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Archive for October, 2010

Random Musings

Recipe

The picture above is a slightly different version of the recipe that I’m going to share today.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 oz. ground turkey, I prefer the 93% lean (I used chicken breast in the picture)
  • 1/3 cup quinoa (In the picture above, I used red quinoa)
  • Handful of chopped peppers (red, yellow, green, orange)
  • Handful of chopped broccoli
  • 2-3 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Mild Salsa (chunky tomato style)
  • 2-3 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Black Bean Salsa
  • Little guacamole on the side

Personally, I cook up 2 to 3 days worth of turkey and quinoa. The amounts I used for the recipe are for a single serving (for me at least). Cook the turkey and the quinoa. Put everything on your plate. Smile. Enjoy. In all seriousness, it’s a really healthy, delicious meal that I eat all the time.

The “Icky, Weird Toe Shoes”

That’s the reaction I normally get when someone sees me wearing my Vibram’s. I’ve been wearing these for about a month or so and they are stupendous. Seriously, the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn. They have definitely helped with my training as well, much easier for deadlifting and single-leg lifts.

“Lynx”

Yes, that is a lynx. More specifically, the Canadian version. According to Wikipedia, a lynx has 28 teeth, which stab deeply into their prey. Awesome.

Here are some quick links for the week:

  1. 30 Random Thoughts – The posts that Bret puts together are some of the best out there. I learn a TON from reading his work.
  2. Reverse Lunges from Deficit – A phenomenal exercise demonstrated by Ben Bruno. I’ve been using these consistently for the past 4 weeks.
  3. Why Eggs Prevent Heart Disease – This was posted a while back but eggs, specifically the yolk, seem to be a misunderstood topic.

Have a great rest of the week and weekend!

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I wanted to kick off the week with a couple of simple ways you can improve your diet. If your goal is fat loss, I would be confident in saying that 80-85% of your success will hinge on what you put in your body. Here are a couple of easy ways to take control of what you’re eating:

1. Plan

Having a plan in place for the day/week takes out all of the guesswork. More often than not, poor eating habits are encouraged by what’s readily available to you. If you surround yourself with poor food choices, your diet is probably horrible. On the other hand, if you surround yourself with healthier options, chances are you’re doing pretty well.

  • Plan your meals ahead of time. Before you even head to the grocery store, sit down and plan every meal for the week.
  • Develop a grocery list. After you have planned your meals for the week, write down every item you need.
  • Stick to the list. Don’t walk around the store looking for crap to buy.

2. Prepare

Upon arriving back home with groceries in hand, it’s now time to prepare for the week.

  • Chop vegetables. Hopefully, you bought some vegetables at the store…if you didn’t, you need to refine your grocery list. Chopping all of your vegetables ahead of time will save you the trouble of having to do so during the week.
  • Make a meal that will last for days. Knowing that you have healthy leftovers at home will make you think twice about stopping at McDonald’s on the way home from work. For me, my favorite thing to eat day after day is turkey chili. Add a ton of vegetables and ditch the sour cream & cheese.

 

If you have any questions, comment below. Thanks for reading!

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Goals

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

– Larry Elder

Everyone has goals in life. Whether those goals are personal or professional, every goal needs to be planned out in order to succeed. I’ve seen the SMART model used by others in the past and it’s a really great way to break down your goal in more detail. The SMART model is:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Realistic
  5. Timely

I’ll use my current goal of trying to gain 5 pounds by Thanksgiving as an example.

  • My goal is specific because I’ve determined the exact amount of weight that I desire to gain.
  • My goal is measurable because when I weigh myself on Thanksgiving, the scale will tell me if I’ve gained the 5 pounds. It’s pretty clear one way or the other.
  • My goal is attainable and realistic because I’ve had success gaining weight before and have seen others have success in the time frame allotted.
  • My goal is timely because I’ve set a definite deadline of Thanksgiving Day. I’ve either hit my goal or I haven’t.

The SMART model can be used for any goal, whether fitness related or not. Instead of saying “I need to start going to the gym more often”, say “I’m going to make it to the gym 3 times by Friday”. As Diana Scharf Hunt once said, “Goals are dreams with deadlines”.

Additional key things to remember when setting goals:

  • Have short-term and long-term goals. If you keep your goals attainable and realistic, hitting those short-term goals will keep you motivated to focus on the long-term goals you’ve set out to achieve.
  • Plan, plan, plan. Write down your goals. If you find yourself struggling to keep your goals in mind, keep little notes with reminders on them in various places around the house to remind you of your goal.
  • If your goal is fitness related, keep a training log. Write down all your training sessions. This is an extremely easy way to track progress and see results.
  • If your is goal diet related, especially fat loss, keep a food log. Write down everything you eat, with the exact amounts(tablespoon, 1/2 cup, etc.) to really get a feel for what you are eating and what may be holding you back when it comes to losing those 10 pounds you set as your goal.
  • Keep others(friends, family members) aware of your goals. More often than not, they will provide encouragement and keep you on track.

Write down your goals today. Make them clear. Do everything in your power to succeed.

If you’re still reading at this point, thank you. A couple of weeks back, Mike Boyle recommended Today Matters by John C. Maxwell so I went out and picked it up. And by went out and picked it up, I mean I went to Amazon.com, pressed a couple of buttons, and it magically appeared on by doorstep a few days later. Amazing. Either way, it’s a really great book and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something to read.

Also, I just picked up the new Kings of Leon CD. So far, so good.

I hope you enjoyed the post, as I had fun writing it. Make sure to bookmark my site. Have a great weekend!

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Hip Dominant Exercise

Over the past few months, my knowledge of hip dominant exercises has been greatly increased. I’ve always had an even ratio of hip dominant to knee dominant work but I’ve found that in the general population, a 2 to 1 ratio of hip to knee dominant may be necessary at first to gain some strength on the back side of the body. The primary muscle groups used to extend at the hip are the glutes and hamstrings.

Here are some of my favorite hip dominant exercises:

1. Supine Bridge

The supine bridge, also referred to as glute bridge, is really the foundation for all glute training. While this may seem like an incredibly easy exercise, we really need to focus on glute activation here and eliminate the lumbar spine from the equation. Thanks to Mike Robertson for this video.

2. Hip Thrust

The hip thrust, or hip lift, is a great progression from the supine bridge. Once you are able to “feel” the glutes in a supine bridge, I recommend moving to an unloaded hip thrust to further your hip dominant training. Since I am without a video camera, take a look at this great video by Bret Contreras explaining the exercise that he’s made famous.

3. Deadlift

The deadlift is really the “king” of all hip dominant exercise. However, the form that I generally see on this exercise makes me want to rip my eyes out. Although the video below will give you an idea of how it works, an extra set of eyes can really help in this situation. I really recommend filming yourself deadlifting and allowing someone with experience to take a look at your form.

Add some hip dominant training to workouts and great results will follow.

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First Post

As noted in the title, this is my first blog post. To learn more about me, click on the About Me page. If you’re interested in what a few current/former clients had to say about me, check out the Testimonials page. Also, I’ve recently started to offer online personal training, or more specifically, online program design. Check out the Online Personal Training Page at the top of this page to learn more about what I’m doing and how you can possibly benefit from my services.

My goal of this page is to deliver great information in an entertaining way. I will be posting on various topics, namely strength & conditioning, nutrition and my thoughts on training. Within the next couple months I will be receiving a video camera (Santa, are you listening?), which I will use to upload videos of various exercises and stretches. Also, I’ve created a blog roll, which is located on the right side of this page. This list includes a number of the top minds in the industry so I highly suggest you take a look at those pages as well. Set up a google reader account, it will save you tons of time.

I’d like to leave you with a few words from John Wooden, who would have been 100 years old today. I read this recently in a book I’m reading and it really applied to what I’m trying to do.

“When I was teaching basketball I urged my players to try their hardest to improve on that very day, to make that practice a masterpiece. Too often we get distracted by what is outside our control. You can’t do anything about yesterday. The door to the past has been shut and the key thrown away. You can do nothing about tomorrow. It is yet to come. However, tomorrow is in large part determined by what you do today. So make today a masterpiece. . . . This rule is even more important in life than in basketball. You have to apply yourself each day to become a little better. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and everyday over a period of time, you will become A LOT better. Only then will you be able to approach being the best you can be.”

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