Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Living With The Essential: A FitAndBusyDad Interview with Author, Blogger and Father of 6, Leo Babauta

I've been reading ZenHabits.net for over a year now and I get great and RELEVANT information each and every time I read a new post.

So, when Leo Babauta came out with a book, The Power of Less, earlier this year, I was there the Tuesday it came out to pick-up a copy. Since then, I've bought copies for several of my family and friends.

I've been using it as my guide for 2009 to SIMPLIFY my life and to teach me how to FOCUS ON JUST THE ESSENTIAL.

Check out this review that I did for the book, and then make sure to download the NEW interview that I did with Leo where we apply THE POWER OF LESS to living as a FitAndBusyDad (it's FR*EE)....

Download the FitAndBusyDad Interview with Leo Babauta HERE...

=>FitAndBusyDad Interview with Leo Babauta

Enjoy your day!

The FitAndBusyDad

Monday, May 11, 2009

How to get 6-Pack-Abs....That Actually Work

The gym that I train at here in Toronto doesn't have any foam rollers. So, prior to my squat and deadlift workouts, I have to head over to the "abs & stretching" area of the gym to use a medicine ball to knead out my glutes & IT bands.

Without fail, every time I get to the open floor area, I've got to step over or around some poor trainee trying to chase his abs by doing crunches (or even worse, sit-ups) until he "feels the burn" - what is this, 1983?

If only he knew that there was a better way to get those six-pack-abs and burn fat that is actually safer, less boring and more effective.

I wish I could have told him to use big, bang-for-your-buck exercises like squats, deads, lunges, chins, rows & dips that require more abdominal work than your average crunch or sit-up.

I wish I could have told him that his 6-pack will come a lot faster if he were to limit his sugar intake and eliminate all junk food and just focus on eating fruits, vegetables, lean protein & healthy fats.

I wish I could have told him to make sure he gets enough rest and manage his stress to reduce the amount of cortisol (a belly fat loving hormone) he produces.

I wish I could have told him all those things, but I made a pact to myself never to give advice to another trainer (yes, he was a trainer that works in the gym that I go to) unless I actually know him or unless he asks....long story short, the last time I "made a suggestion" to another trainer, I almost got my a$ kicked because he thought I was being arrogant.

So, in dedication to all crunch-happy gym-goers who are in search of that "burn", here is a great ab exercise circuit "finisher" that I did on Friday after my squat workout.

It's called a "finisher" because...

1. You should always do your ab exercises at the end of your training session and

2. After you do a few of rounds of this circuit, you will be "finished".

Make sure to give this one a try and let me know how you feel tomorrow! If you do this right, I guarantee you'll be so sore that it'll hurt to cough.

FitAndBusyDad Intermediate Ab Finisher

1a. Ab-Wheel Roll Outs x 15

1b. Lower Ab Reverse Curl x 15

1c. X-body Climbers x 20 total

Repeat the above circuit 3 times with NO REST between exercises, then finish with...

2. 100 x KB or Dumbbell Swings (Complete the swings in as minimal sets as possible resting 45s between sets...remember to brace your abs HARD on these)

This circuit should take you about 6-8 minutes to finish and uses so many muscles that it could be considered a workout by itself!

Tack this onto the end of one of your FitAndBusyDad workouts and you'll be shedding the fat and getting 6-pack-abs that work in no time.

The FitAndBusyDad

P.S. Stop wasting your time with useless crunches and sit-ups. Stop buying $50 ab-gadgets. Stop looking for the magic bullet. Work hard, train hard, eat REAL FOOD - and use FitAndBusyDad Workouts!

=>Get started with the FitAndBusyDad Lifestyle

Friday, May 8, 2009

Video Friday: 2 LAST MINUTE Mother's Day Gift Ideas

By this point, I hope you know NOT to buy your wife a vacuum cleaner for Mother's Day, right?

You do know that Mother's Day is this weekend, don't you?

Forget the nice clothes, the pearl necklaces and the household appliances. I took a survey of all my Twitter Followers, all my Facebook Friends and all the folks that subscribe to my Newsletter and asked them what "the absolute best" Mother's Day present they have ever given or gotten was.

Surprise, surprise...most moms don't want the fancy things.

The 2 most popular answers will cost you little to NO MONEY AT ALL!!!

Just watch the video, and then head back to WalMart and return the frying pan set, will ya.

I hope you kept the receipt!

Happy Mother's Day!

The FitAndBusyDad

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Injury Management for Busy Dads: How to Make Yourself UNBREAKABLE- An Interview with Physical Therapist, Keith Scott

I don't know about you guys, but as a result of years and years of competitive sports, I've got some nagging ailments that have really annoyed me over the past 5-7 years.

My right shoulder is incredibly volatile from about 15 years of playing indoor and beach volleyball and being a baseball pitcher (with a wicked fastball, I might add...although my mound dominance ended when I was about 14:-).

My left knee has a tendency to get a little sore every now and then because of some degeneration due my obsession with being able to dunk a basketball...that obsession still continues today (in highschool I dunked once in a game and several times in practice...I haven't dunked a basketball in the past 11 years).

And just recently, since I've been dabbling a little on the "interwebs", my upper and lower back haven't been feeling as strong...probably from sitting at my computer for hours on end.

Sound familiar? I know it does. Nagging injuries are something that plague us as busy dads.

Before I really started to educate myself on how to alleviate (and then prevent) my nagging injuries, I used to just "LIVE WITH THE PAIN" thinking that it was just a part of life and of getting older.

All of that changed when I met Keith Scott, a physical therapist from New Jersey, at conference a while back. Keith convinced me to pick-up a foam roller and taught me how to incorporate soft tissue, mobility and injury prevention techniques INTO MY CURRENT LIFESTYLE AND TRAINING PROGRAM.

Since then, I've managed to stay (relatively) injury and pain free and in the instances that I do start to "feel" anything, I know exactly what to do.

It was a no-brainer, then, for me to interview the man, Keith Scott, himself and get him to divulge some of the secrets he gave me that's allowed me to be a FitAndBusy - and Injury Free - Dad for the past few years.

Read on and learn how to be UNBREAKABLE...

CL: Keith, having chronic or nagging PAIN (as in low back, neck, hip, shoulder, knee, etc) is so common today that people think it is normal. Why is this such a dangerous way of thinking?

First of all, people have to stop playing the “victim”, where they think they’re supposed to have pain and that it is just a “normal part of life.” Once you give in to that kind of thinking, you lose the ability to do the things you want to do, because you are a prisoner of your body.

Having pain is a normal thing when you have physical issues; however living with it is not.

When people “give up” and just figure they have to deal with it or ignore it, more problems are sure to begin. For example, if you hurt your lower back, and just think “well, I am getting older, this is just part of getting old” you will automatically stop doing anything that causes low back pain, or might cause low back pain. I see dads do this all of the time. They can’t play with their kids, they have to stop working out, and they just wind up living on the couch. Pretty soon, they lose important strength, lose their mobility everywhere, sustain other injuries and the cycle continues. In no time at all, they just feel “old!”

Most dads just want to be healthy, look decent and take care of their families. You can’t do that unless you are physically healthy. I work with dads that come to me just because they want to be able to play with their kids, work in the yard and look good too. Their knees, low back, shoulders, etc… are hurting them so badly, they had to give up on doing all of those things. There is no need for that, and no need to think that way. Within a month of working with my UNBREAKABLE system, they get their lives back and can start doing all of the things that are important to them.

CL: OK, so one of the obvious symptoms of being injured is PAIN. What is pain really? And why is popping pills for pain not a viable solution to the problem?

Pain, simply put, is just your body’s way of telling you that you’ve got a problem. It's a signal that is put into place so you don’t do anything to mess yourself up more. The important thing to remember is that pain is also the body’s way of letting you know that you need to do something to correct this issue. Some people tend to skip that part. They feel pain, and just stop doing things and never address the problem.

The solution for a lot of people out there is to just pop some over-the-counter medication until the pain goes away. There are many problems with doing this, but the biggest problem is that taking pain medication is only treating the symptoms, and doing nothing about the problem. Even if they do take away some of the pain, the problem(s) is still there and will eventually come back…usually worse.

The other problem with using pain meds all of the time is that it will start to mess up your stomach and cause other side effects that are very serious. Not something anyone wants or needs. Finally, I have witnessed many people use so much pain medication that it totally masks the pain to the point where the person injures him or herself even more because they could not feel anything. Remember, pain is there for a reason. Without it we would be hurt all of the time. You have to address the issues.

=>Click HERE to become pain-free and UNBREAKABLE

CL: One of the biggest things that plagues us is having bad posture. Why do you think that is and what can we be aware of/fix in our everyday lives to help us stand/sit more erect and alleviate the strain that bad posture has on our bodies?

I think the biggest reasons are sitting so much. Dads tend to sit at work all day, come home and then sit some more. Go to bed and repeat. The low back and hips get tight, the shoulders get rounded, and those things pull the body into really bad posture. Having bad posture is a marker for a lot of pain and problems.

A big way to correct some of these issues is just to get up from your desk every 20 minutes and stretch. It doesn’t have to be long either. Just a quick break to stretch out the back, hips and shoulders, and that can prevent a lot of the stiffness and tightening that occurs. The other thing that dads can do is to make sure they are aware of their postural problems in the first place. You would be surprised at how many dads out there think they have NO issues with their posture, until you do an assessment on them and show them just how bad it is.

Until you become aware of it, you cant fix it. That is the biggest step. I have fixed a couple of postural things in some dads and in a matter of minutes pain started to disappear

It is really that simple sometimes.

CL: OK, last question. A lot of guys, when they think about "injury prevention" work, they think that they have to put everything else (ie. their muscle-building and/or fat loss goals) on hold. Is there any truth to that? Can you prevent injuries and still go hard with your goals without suffering any set backs in either?

KS: Absolutely! That is the whole point of my UNBREAKABLE system. Too many people separate the rehabilitative side of things with their regular fitness programs. I don’t know too many people that never have pain or physical problems. So when they do, most people stop their program completely until the pain goes away and then resume in a few weeks, only to have the same issues again. Why? Because they never really solved the problems in the first place.

Its important to understand that you can continue to train AND work on your physical issues at the same time. Actually, this is the best way to go about things as long as you do it the right way.

Lets say you have a shoulder issue. Why should you have to stop training completely just because one joint in your body is injured? You shouldn’t...and it really doesn’t make sense to do that. However, this is exactly what most people do. My system is set up so you can address the shoulder problem AND continue to workout, around your problem. That way you are still burning fat, still building muscle and you are taking care of your issues at the same time.

I spent 15 years dealing with athletes and their injuries. Athletes don’t have the luxury of taking a lot of time off…the season is only so long. It was my job to find a way to get them back in the game as fast as possible, while keeping them strong and fit. I was able to do that by combining a sports medicine approach with a conditioning approach. They were training while rehabbing. There is no reason that “non-athletes” cant do the same.

CL: Awesome info, Keith. Man, I'm glad I sat beside you during that conference! I think I learned more chatting with you than I did during the actual presentation that we were there for!

Chris Lopez
The FitAndBusyDad

P.S. If you're looking to 1. Take care of those nagging injuries that keep on flaring up on you and 2. Stay on track with your Fat Loss Goals, then using Keith's "plug and play" UNBREAKABLE system in conjunction with your FitAndBusyDad Workouts is probably the best and safest way to stay healthy and get lean for the summer.

=>Become an UNBREAKABLE DAD!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Video: What're You Making For Dinner Tonight?

Since it's Friday and we've probably all had enough of reading long-winded posts and are maybe suffering from a bit of information overload, I've decided to post my "Simple Salmon" recipe video.

"Simple" because you need 4 ingredients - salmon, olive oil, salt & pepper.

Remember, the key to eating well and enjoying it is to get GREAT QUALITY food (if you're making this tonight, pick-up either SASHIMI GRADE or WILD CAUGHT salmon.

If you're food is of really good quality, then you don't have to overwhelm it with added flavors or sauces, etc. It'll be delicious on its own with just the basics.

Happy Friday. Have a great weekend!


P.S. Let me know how it turns out!