Weekly Challenge: Time Journal

Despite our busy schedules and lives, I feel like I definitely have some “time-suckers” in my life whether it be tv or pinterest (sigh) or cuddling with my cats. It’s not necessarily wasted time, but I wanted to just be able to see where my time when I wasn’t working, working out, blogging, etc. was going! I was reading this article and it inspired me to try a time journal. I love experiments, making schedules, so I was thrilled to take the challenge. It’s just a Monday through Sunday thing.

My intolerable written-out schedule for Wednesday as I was writing this

My intolerable written-out schedule for Wednesday as I was writing this

I convinced my friend from the joy scout to join me in this endeavor. Chris too but he hasn’t had time to do it yet…ironic. Basically you can format it however you want, I know my friend used her Notepad app and I preferred to type and print out a table chart that I could scribble in as my day goes on. I still may revert to the Notepad at the end to make it prettier to present. I’ll just show you one day so you can get the picture, and don’t worry I will type it out so you don’t have to endure too much of my chicken scratch.

Monday, January 27th

  • 6:30am- woke up, but stayed in bed to cuddle
  • 7am- showered and made oatmeal
  • 7:30am- ate, posted blog, made lunch, and got ready
  • 8am- wiped off car (got a bunch of snow the night before) and drove to work
  • 8:30am-3pm- worked
  • 3pm- drove home from work
  • 3:30-5:30pm- gym
  • 5:30pm- got dinner for Chris (he had scuba lessons and no time to get dinner)
  • 6pm- made and ate dinner, fed cats
  • 6:30pm- watched food network, showered
  • 7pm- (and this is when my stomach started to hurt) watch food network, plan schedule, clean up
  • 7:30pm- watched food network, cleaned litter, did dishes
  • 8pm- watched food network (see, this is on in the background this whole time), went through emails, formatted post
  • 8:30pm- slight story edits, YouTube, Twitter (ugh)
  • 9pm- YouTube, Twitter, wrote
  • 9:30pm- wrote, talked to Chris
  • 10pm– talked to Chris
  • 10:30-11:30pm– caught up with some Downton Abbey
  • 11:30pm- got ready for bed and went to sleep

So you probably know more about me than you wanted, perhaps, but there it is! Each night is different depending on workouts, dinners, and how I’m feeling. Obviously for Monday, I could have avoided TV and YouTube/Twitter to save more time. And it’s just about being diligent and meticulous filling the time journal out. I love doing things like this. Join me! You could always do a Thursday to Thursday! I will be posting my entire week once I finish. Let me know if you want the time journal file, I can send it over! Fill out a time journal to stay hungry and fit!

  • Question of the Day: Have you ever tried a time journal?

BONUS KITTY PIC

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Nymeria being cute, nothing new

Best Thai in Boulder: Aloy Thai

Instead of getting Chinese take-outs growing up, we always got Thai. And I am oh-so-happy for that! It’s rare that I’m not in a mood for Thai food. I just love all the deep flavors right along with that spark of zest at the end. And because we grew up having it as take-outs, it reminds me of home in a weird way. We’ve tried a lot of the Thai places in Boulder and finally we took a friend’s advice to go to Aloy Thaiand I’m so glad we did! The combination of a great price and awesome taste knocks it out of the park.

Aloy Thai Cuisine

Let’s start with the dishes. The first time we came here was after a gym session (surprise, surprise), and I wasn’t feeling so hot. Everyone at work was sick around me, and I wanted to burn anything out! When we would get sniffly or sick as a kid, instead of chicken noodle soup, my dad would go get us Tom Yum Soup, a spicy Thai soup. It is so delicious and has that kick that will make your nose run. So you know I went there and ordered a huge bowl of Tom Yum Noodle Soup with Tofu. Serving was so big I had a full lunch of it tomorrow. Chris got the pineapple fried rice with chicken and he devoured it with a big smile on his face. And he got it a second time when we came back! I got the Pad Thai the second time. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was still good. We also have gotten the vegetable fresh spring rolls numerous times and love them–so fresh and we nearly drink the peanut sauce that goes with it.

Veggie fresh spring rolls!

Veggie fresh spring rolls!

Tom Yum Soup

Tom Yum Soup

The atmosphere is also excellent, with Thai designs and a yellow-orange lighting. They have plenty of staff and the service is always great. The music is nice and it is never too loud. The price definitely seals the deal. The huge tom yum noodle soup was only $9–NINE DOLLARS. Chris’ pineapple fried rice came to only $11. It was such an amazing dinner for such a good price, we are constantly going back.

If you’re in Boulder and craving some Thai, stop at Aloy Thai. It has delicious dishes that won’t break the bank. Avoid the Pad Thai, but dig into anything you can get your hands on! Hungry and Fit gives Aloy Thai a big thumbs up. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Two cuties under the pingpong table

Two cuties under the pingpong table

WaterFi Waterproof iPod Nano Review

This is a guest post from our good friend, Nerdy Neanderthal, a nerdy fitness dude (see pic below). Expect more posts from him ranging from workouts to beer discussions to nerd surges! 

Sick tattoo!!

Sick tattoo!!

Pros:

  • Good price point (156 dollars)
  • Helps monotony
  • iTunes is easy to use
  • Small size
  • Free Headphones

Cons:

  • Doesn’t function the way it should (can’t skip songs!)
  • Sound is inconsistent above and below water
  • Can easily get in the way
  • Headphones wont stay in

This product barely does what it is supposed to do. I hopped in the pool and clipped the nano to my suit. Swam one lap, that was great, but it was all downhill from there. Buttons stuckhollow sound and most of my workout with less than two headphones in my ears.

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Before even going into my swim, my biggest problem with this product is its functionality: I CAN’T SKIP SONGS! Customer service told me that the buttons can get stuck in the water-proofing process. Solution, put the iPod between a desk and a heavy book and press down in circular pattern. I did all this and all I got was a better understanding of the word, “futility.” This is a huge issue for me because I listen to 40 minute podcasts when I do cardio. So if you listen to quick songs and make a good playlist ahead of time, this won’t be a big issue.

Now, to get to my actual swim. Off the first flipturn of my swim, I push with moderate force and out pops the right earbud. Finish the lap, readjust. Third wall less push but same result. Put a cap on over my ears and now when the headphones come out they hang half in your ear; both physically annoying and psychologically. I get the hang of pushing weakly off the wall and using my biceps during streamline to squeeze the headphones back into place. Even when I did hit a rhythm the sound is hollow and far away below water.

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Like the night before a hangover, this product seems like a good idea at the time. It’s cheap, barely more expensive than the base Nano, came with free waterproof headphones, and dropped off by USPS free of charge. (I used Amazon) The computer side of the input is a breeze for anyone familiar with Apple products. The size is a great plus, exact same diminutive size as the regular Nano; easily fits in any pocket. When I got the headphones to stay in, the right track on the Nano, with the correct volume it did create that “in the zone” feeling I was looking to obtain.

My thoughts on this MP3 player are hugely mixed. My Nano couldn’t skip tracks, creating this feeling of uselessness in the device. The headphones that came with this product were garbage, both in sound and staying in during rigorous exercise. But even with these massive negatives, it is still a waterproof Apple iPod for barely more money than its base partner. Like the proverbial moth to the flame, I will come back to this device once I can get it working properly. I can not damn this product, but I do wish to severely hedge your expectations.

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Your Nerdy Neanderthal gives the WaterFi iPod Nano a 4/10.

Weekly Workout Round-Up and Plan

We’ve come to a beginning of another week now and let’s see where we are at! Here is the post with our workout plan from last week…let’s see how we match up. This is what actually happened:

Hungry

Chowing down on a Reuben from the Sink!

Chowing down on a Reuben from the Sink!

 

  • Monday: back workout at lunch
  • Tuesday: leg workout and short IM swim
  • Wednesday: arms workout focusing on isolation
  • Thursday: shoulder workout
  • Friday: chest workout and very easy pick-up basketball
  • Saturday: very slow back workout
  • Sunday: rest day?

Fit

My life living with Chris

My life living with Chris

 

  • Monday: slightly less than 2 mile run outside and a BEASTLY leg workout (found and modified from here, you will see this in a post form soon)
  • Tuesday: just about 2 mile run outside and a home arms and shoulders workout
  • Wednesday: morning 30 minute swim and afternoon core and back workout
  • Thursday: Ashley Conrad circuit training
  • Friday: long evening walk
  • Saturday: frisbee golf and then late chest and swim workout
  • Sunday: Rest dayyyy aka plate full of cookies!

So there’s our match-up…I think we did pretty well sticking with the plan. Much better than it could’ve been! It’s so easy to divert from the plan due to life and such. Here is our plan for this week:

Hungry:

Scared

Scared

 

  • Monday: 15 minute leg cardio, 45 minute leg workout
  • Tuesday: 10 minute arm cycle, 50 minute arm workout
  • Wednesday: 60 minute shoulder workout, 15 minute swim and sauna
  • Thursday: 60 minute chest workout, 15 minute swim and sauna
  • Friday: 60 minute back workout, 60 minute easy pickup basketball
  • Saturday: 40 minute core workout, 40 minute machine cardio
  • Sunday: 30 minute leg cardio, 60 minute leg workout

Fit

I swear I don't know any gang signs, no clue why my hand did that

I swear I don’t know any gang signs, no clue why my hand did that

 

  • Monday: Legs and Elliptical
  • Tuesday: Arms/Shoulders and Swim
  • Wednesday: Core/Back and Run
  • Thursday: Chest and Swim
  • Friday: Ping Pong and Circuit training OR Run AND/OR Yoga
  • Saturday: Frisbee golf and Rest or Total body
  • Sunday: Legs and Elliptical

It’s extremely helpful to plan your workouts each week because it leaves much less room for excuses and gives you a schedule. We try to stick to ours as best we can. Plan your workouts to stay hungry and fit!

  • Question of the Day: What is your workout plan for the week? Post it here!

 BONUS KITTY PIC

Someone was a bad boy...

Someone was a bad boy…

Air New Zealand Review

Wonderful, as far as I’m concerned. There are several factors to this. In my adult life, I’ve used Air New Zealand twice to New Zealand, and both times it has been fantastic. 12-hour flights aren’t easy, but Air New Zealand definitely makes it easier. I’m surprised at the fortitude and endurance the flight attendants have for the whole entirety of the flight. Let’s go over the reasons why Air New Zealand rocks.

View from inside the airplane just getting into New Zealand

View from inside the airplane just getting into New Zealand

1. 75 movie choices. Yes, seventy-five. Usually you have to pay for even one movie, but here you get 75! They range from Despicable Me 2 to Whale Rider to 2 Guns. My goal is to usually watch one or two movies before attempting a sleep and then finishing with one when I wake up. Chris unfortunately watches like four our five and doesn’t get sleep. Go team.

2. Meals of decent to good quality. I know this doesn’t exactly sound like a compliment, but it is! Usually airplane food is blargh! But Air New Zealand does it well. I never had a stomach ache and everything tasted good, especially breakfast! Oh and both are free.

3. An epic safety video. I mean epic. It was completely Lord of the Rings/Hobbit-ed out! Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits galore! Even Peter Jackson made an appearance! It was such a good surprise. We were laughing the whole time. One of the few times I actually pay attention to airplane safety features. Last time I rode Air New Zealand it was Richard Simmons, which was of course hilarious.

4. No baggage fees. Yep. I couldn’t believe this one either. We did have to pay them going from America, but not back! It was so nice! Especially refreshing after Frontier now charges for carry-on items! Can you say rip-off!

5. Wonderful attendants. How would you feel serving a bunch of annoying Americans for 12 hours stuck in a small space high up in the sky? I would definitely not be cheery and helpful as all the Kiwi attendants were. They show that they care about the service you’re getting and want to help you best they can. Like the Kiwi people, they are friendly, laid back, and good-humored.

6. Wellington AirportI know this doesn’t necessarily count, but still. Check out the post. It’s awesome.

7. Free New Zealand wine. I can’t tell you how upset I was when I realized the wine was free and I didn’t take it! I couldn’t help but laugh when they were carrying the leftover bottles in the morning, saying “Wine, anyone?” Plus, New Zealand wine is among the best I’ve had. Before I didn’t like white wine, now I do! Yeah if this isn’t a perk of an airline, I don’t know what is.

DCIM100GOPRO

Those are just a few reasons why Air New Zealand knocks it out of the park. And yet another reason to visit New Zealand. If you’re going to fly to New Zealand, choose your Kiwi airline and you won’t regret it. It’s the best way to spend those 12 hours locked in an aircraft. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

And Don’t Forget Your Morning Walk!

From when I started college and probably before then, my mum has woken up bright and early (before the sun in the winter) and goes for between a 2-4 mile walk. She will put her “winter woolies” on (because it’s 50 degrees and that’s cold for Los Angeles folk!) and sneak out of the house just as dawn arrives. She will walk down to the beach and then along the path (an absolutely beautiful walk). She rarely misses her walk, even on the weekend. And boy is she a walker. Even for me, it’s hard to keep up! I don’t know how those legs move so fast. Must be her Kiwi blood. My dad will also go for his walks and bike rides in the morning, knowing that it’s an excellent start to the day.

My mum with my aunt's new puppy!

My mum with my aunt’s new puppy!

My brother and dad

My brother and dad

What I’m getting at is that they taught me a great lesson which I am just starting to follow. And I think New Zealand was also a positive influence on this as well because much of my family will do walking for their primary exercise. Since I’ve gotten back from New Zealand to good old Boulder, Colorado, I have tried to walk more. Now I usually did before, I would walk to the grocery and to the gym. However, now I am really trying to get at least 15 minutes logged in the morning. Sometimes I don’t make it out of bed in time (I blame cuddles with cats and Chris), but when I do, I’m thankful for that quiet time and brisk exercise to wake up my body. I enjoy it more than running (I am not a morning runner–I wish I was but let’s face it) and it really wakes me up more than a splash of cold water in my face.  It makes you feel good and is an excellent form of exercise for all levels. I find a good tool is to lay out my shoes and warm clothes so I have no excuse.

Lurve my new shoes, which doesn't hurt the process :P

Lurve my new shoes, which doesn’t hurt the process :P

I challenge you just to try morning walks for at least 15 minutes. Wake up just 15 minutes earlier. I dare you! You feel so great, energized, and refreshed for the day! You also know that you started the day right with exercise. So if you don’t get to a workout for the rest of the day, at least you had your morning walk. I wouldn’t lie about this–I’m becoming a huge proponent. You also catch killer  views and get to experience a more quiet city (or wherever you live)–it’s quite serene and peaceful. So some time this week, just try for that morning walk. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Take your morning walk to stay hungry and fit!

The beginning of my walk this morning...moon over the mountain

The beginning of my walk this morning…moon over the mountain

Which turned into this delightful sunrise

Which turned into this delightful sunrise

AND SPECTACULAR SUNSET

AND SPECTACULAR SUNSET

Morning walks makes me feel like this to face the day!

Morning walks makes me feel like this to face the day!

*Question of the Day: Do you take morning walks?

BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria is so hard to photograph because she is so dark!

Nymeria is so hard to photograph because she is so dark!

The Coolest Airport in the Southern Hemisphere

Wellington, New Zealand, of course! No really, it is absolutely awesome. And that’s mostly because of Weta Workshop (which you will see in a later post), which created most of the props, weaponry and armor, and lots of the digital effects in Lord of the RingsAvatar, the Hobbit and more. They are truly amazing. More on them later. Tolkien fans will love this airport. I think the shock factor is a big part of this airport’s coolness. You just don’t expect what you’re going to walk into. And my family did a great job not saying anything (shocker there).

So when you get past checking and get into the terminal, you are first blasted with three huge eagles with Gandalf atop one of them hanging from the ceiling. I was totally amazed. I mean these are huge props, huge. We estimate 20 feet in each direction. Yeah it was literally awesome. Side note: recent earthquake in New Zealand (as in 2 nights ago) actually knocked one of the giant eagles to the ground! Nobody was hurt but…woah.

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And then you walk by more shops and restaurants, and then…boom. Gollum comes reaching in from the ceiling. And I don’t mean Andy Serkis-sized Gollum. I mean freaking huge–42-feet kind of huge! It’s Gollum’s head and arms reaching in for a fish, with bubbles about too! It’s really hard to describe how amazing it is. You have to see it in person to really feel the impact. Especially for Tolkien fans.

HE'S GONNA EAT ME

HE’S GONNA EAT ME

The rest of the airport is definitely unique too. All the shops are Kiwi-focused from Haka shirts to Kiwi poo to Merino wool everywhere! If you leave your shopping to the last minute, this is a perfect spot for you! Food options are also excellent, better than the average as far as airports go. Keep an eye out for awesome statues like dwarves and sheep. In addition, as far as security goes, it’s a breeze. Don’t even have to take your shoes off! Take that, America! Just kidding…kind of. Anyhow, if you’re looking for yet another reason to head to New Zealand, do not miss out on the Wellington Airport. 

One of a few there...

One of a few there…

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baaa

  • Question of the Day: What is your favorite airport?

BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria kneading...always

Nymeria kneading…always

Work with Us!

Happy Tuesday (at least in Colorado)! We just wanted to send out a short post letting you know that we have (finally) put up our official “Work with Us” page. You can find it by clicking hereWe wanted to write up an official page to make it easier for others to work with us and find us in order to establish opportunities and so forth. You will find our contact information and various options of what we are open to (anything from food to fitness to travel to nerdy stuff!). And besides…who wouldn’t want to work with us?!? (See below picture…yikes)

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We also updated our “Contact Us” page where you can find every which way to contact or follow us be it instagram to email to YouTube. Click here to see that page. We would love to hear from you in whatever you have to say! We are all ears! So please stop by those pages and give it a looksie.

As per our workouts this week thus far, we have stayed pretty true! I did legs and went for my run and Chris was able to get his back workout in. Trying to keep up the good work! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

  • Question of the Day: What did you workout Monday?

BONUS KITTY PIC

Cuties cuddling

Cuties cuddling

#Workout Plan for the Week

Chris and I decided to do a different-styled post that may recur every week. Instead of informative posts, we decided to create a post outlining our workout plan for the week. This is for a few reasons: one, because it will keep us on track and give us less excuse to skip and two, hopefully it will encourage and motivate readers! I used to plan workouts for myself and a few of my friends throughout college. I would write it up every Sunday and email it out–and we definitely got them done and loved it. I encourage you to write one for yourself! Now this is very flexible and could change based on how sore muscles are.

Hungry

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  • Monday: Back 2 – 60 minutes, focusing on mid-back size and lower back strength, HEAVY caloric intake
  • Tuesday: Legs 2 – 75 minutes, focusing on strength in hips, glutes, and hamstrings, 400 yard easy swim, Heavy caloric intake
  • Wednesday: Arms 2 – 65 minutes, focusing on hypertrophy in the brachialis, strengthening wrists and forearms, working relative strength through weighted dips and chin-ups, 400 yard easy swim, moderate caloric intake
  • Thursday: Shoulders 2 – 70 minutes, focusing on strength in traps and size in front delts, 400 yard easy swim, moderate caloric intake
  • Friday: Core 1 – 60 minutes, focusing on flexibility in core region, strengthening lower abdominals, and planks, full court basketball for “cardio,” moderately high caloric intake
  • Saturday: Chest 3 – 60 minutes, focusing on hypertrophy in the upper through lower inner chest, strength with dumbbells on the incline, frisbee golf,  high caloric intake
  • Sunday: Back 3 – 60 minutes, focusing mainly on rack pulls and deadlifts for strength, ping pong, high caloric intake

Fit

Looking small...>.>

Looking small…>.>

 

  • Monday: Run (2 miles) + Legs
  • Tuesday: Run (2 miles) + Arms and Shoulders
  • WednesdaySwim + Core and Back
  • Thursday: Total-body Circuit Training + optional Elliptical
  • FridayRun + Yoga (OR REST)
  • SaturdaySwim + Chest (and frisbee golf!)
  • SundayElliptical + Legs (and ping pong!)

So that’s the plan, and I truly emphasize plan. It most likely will not all fall into that exact order at all depending on soreness, tiredness, and time. I’m looking forward to planning ahead and seeing how this week takes us. Time to shred up 2014! Create a workout plan to stay hungry and fit!

  • Question of the Day: What is your workout plan for the week? Anything from lifting to walking to dancing!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah drunk with sleepiness

Sajah drunk with sleepiness

Choosing the Right Program and Coach (Beginner Level)

Here are some notes to take into consideration before the troubleshooting:

IMPORTANT: To make matters simple, coach refers to the instructor or person that is training you. Facility can mean a gym, pool, yoga studio, field, forest or any place a coach may use to perform your program. Program refers to the exercises and workouts that you are performing, whether they consistently change or have very little differentiation.

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Not all facilities, programs and coaches are created equal. It is a coach’s responsibility to tell you this. One way you can tell if a coach has YOUR health and wellness in mind is if they are honest about this piece of information. I am NOT a good businessman but I help people reach their goals because I care. It is impossible to know if your future coach will do the same but there are some signs that will help you decide whether you trust them or not and it is that…

No facility, program or coach is the gold standard. By that I mean, there is not one perfect way of reaching your goals because everyone is different. If a coach makes any mention that they, their facility or their program is the best choice for every single person, that is a red flag. I have worked with a wide array of triathletes and the first fact that I state to those interested in working with me is… “I will NOT instruct you on your bike and run. I will, however, tell you some amazing coaches to help you with those aspects. I will help with your race strategy and your swimming.” If a coach says something along those lines, it is a good sign. Honesty is obviously very important and every facility, program and coach requires…

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Specialization! This is what makes a good coach… a great coach. Every new personal trainer, inexperienced CrossFit coach, yoga instructing apprentice, etc, etc is going to be taught the basic tools of their trade. Depending on their own experience and how they are officially educated or certified, there will be some degree of differentiation. You can research your coach, on Google, and find out more about their history in the industry and it will help you decide if they are a good candidate to work with you. However, the internet only has so much information so please don’t rule out candidates solely because their online information is out of date or inaccurate. Getting back on track, as a coach continues to learn through methods including seminars, continuing education units and trial/error (hopefully… not so much that last one) they will start to develop a focus. It is similar to choosing a major in college, or something along those lines. That focus is usually a specialized part of their trade that they are very interested in or at which they are very skilled. A good coach will advertise their specialization because it was sets us apart from our competition in the industry. It also usually means that you will attract clients that are interested in your specialization, and since you love your focus, it means doing more of what you love! It’s a win-win situation, as long as…

The client has chosen the correct facility, program and coach. Now we are coming full circle on our little journey. This is the important part… we can call it the end of the road. After taking all of the previously stated and more into consideration you want to end up in the right place for you! And this is where you make important decisions. I will not tell someone why they should workout. I don’t think it’s right. That is up to their family, friends, doctors, and most importantly… themselves! If some underweight and underdeveloped feeling beginner wants to join a CrossFit box because he has a huge crush on one of the girls that works out there… GO FOR IT!

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Picture from www.carrotsncake.com, who is a CrossFit enthusiast

Just proceed anywhere with caution! Take pricing into consideration. Think about why you want to start exercising. Create some basic goals and ask around to get an idea about local facilities, programs and coaches will help you meet those goals safely, effectively and in a fun way! If you want, EMAIL ME at hungryandfit@gmail.com and I will point you in the right direction! But if you just want a general idea let me provide some information to get you started.

There are SO MANY facilities and coaches out there so I can’t help much in this department without your location and budget. There are however YMCAs, 24 Hour Fitnesses, and playgrounds all over the country. There are also hundreds of mostly free online coaches  (YouTube and Instagram) so you can always find some advice and means of exercising for little to no cost. (Feeding yourself the proper macronutrients and micronutrients is a different story that I will not touch on here.) Still… proceed with caution, again, with some of those coaches. There is nothing stopping them from providing false information about their credentials, so you have been warned. (There are some good ones!) However, going back to the troubleshooting guide, I want to present a small array of programs for you to consider. They are either popular, I approve of them, or both. Here is what some of you might have skipped straight to in order to avoid my “notes.”

Workout in Taupo, New Zealand

Workout in Taupo, New Zealand

(I hope pilates instructors, etc, are not offended because their program is not listed. This is a VERY short and basic guide, and once again, it is subjectively objective!)

Personal Training – You can find personal trainers in almost any gym or fitness facility. The YMCA, 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, L.A. Fitness, local one of a kind gyms, local one of a kind businesses. Last time I checked there were over 240,000 CERTIFIED personal trainers. The vast majority of them will cost you about $40 an hour, especially at the big name locations. Not all of them will be good but they SHOULD be one of the best candidates to point you in the right direction because their education and certification process SHOULD have included fundamentals that are seen in most programs and relate to nutrition, exercise science, anatomy, physiology, evaluations, first aid and cpr and more.

Good CPTs can be accessible, affordable, and effective for ALL individuals interested. Discover their specialty and see if it matches your goals. A great CPT can train almost any demographic that simply “wants to get in shape.” This might be the ideal path for a beginner, depending on anything that might them considered a special population. Special populations generally include individuals that may have special physical or mental needs. Most CPT educators will cover special populations, which should be somewhat comforting. Please remember to always check with your doctor before starting a program. If your coach has any doubt of your ability to perform, they SHOULD recommend or even require that you get clearance from a doctor first. But back on track, personal training can be  amazing way for the lost souls of fitness to learn the fundamentals that carry over into every other field and eventually use this as a stepping stone to move towards a more specific goal. That goal could very well keep you working with a personal trainer or move you towards one of the following options.

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CrossFit– Oh, my best friend CrossFit (Inside joke). CF was officially founded by Greg Glassman in 2000 and it has grown into a HUGE community in the fitness industry. Within in a year there will probably be 10,000 affiliated gyms throughout the world. CF utilizes exercises that have existed for far longer than the official entity has but it also has made tons of innovations. Where CF succeeds the most, in my opinion, is its, well… crossing over of different fitness programs. This is reflected in the annual Reebok CF Games, which are televised nationally. You will see athletes run, jump, push, pull, swim, lift, etc.

The general dose of CF is to join a box (their word for facility) and perform the WOD, or the workout of the day. It is very structured and easy to perform on a daily basis, but is not necessarily repetitive depending on your coaches. The growing community is in my opinion the most supportive in the fitness industry. If you want to make friends, join a box. If you want to develop a “nice and natural” physique and get “in good, great or awesome condition,” join a box. Just remember, that YOU are responsible for your own health and wellness. Listen to your coach because they should know best, and if what they say sounds stupid, don’t just do it. Feel comfortable doing it. CF is VERY challenging, includes complex Olympic lifts, advanced equipment, and timed workouts. You need to understand what that all means before you try to race to the end of a five round circuit involving all of the above. I, personally, would not recommend this for true beginners, but some facilities and coaches are exceptions to that statement. However, for those with some experience in fitness and for those that are good listeners, doing one WOD with the support of your box and community can be a VERY efficient way of achieving a better physique and having fun unless you are interested in optimal hypertrophic growth and…

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Bodybuilding – So you want to look like Arnold, Dorian, Ronnie, Flex, Jay, Phil, Kai etc. You don’t want to be able to put on your own shirt or fit through a doorway. You want your veins popping out of our bulging muscles and you want to walk up on stage with a fake tan, in a g-string, and hit that back double biceps with cameras going off making tons of flashes. I AM ALL FOR IT. Bodybuilding is, in my opinion, the optimal means to hypertrophy, or gaining muscle mass. But don’t just start lifting weights with no idea of why you are doing it. Here are some tips. Join a cheap gym with good equipment. You could win the Mr. Olympia and pay 24.99 a month to go to your local 24 Hour Fitness, or at least I think you can. The man makes the body, not the gym. (But working out in The Mecca everyday would be a real motivating factor.)

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Research the different ways to perform a rep. You are looking for hypertrophy. I believe slow reps, especially negatives are essential… but I am not a bodybuilder or BB coach, so what do I know! Find a good online coach. I recommend Marc Lobliner and Team Hollywood Militia, if you can afford it. If you can’t afford, save up money, because if you’re going to be a bodybuilder, you better do it right. Don’t follow some cookie-cutter program that is free or cheap, because it was not made for you. It didn’t take your height, injuries, body composition, current physique, etc into consideration. Also, NEVER starve yourself… it is not worth the risks. Christian Bale can starve himself for a movie because he gets paid $20 million. If you want a trophy made of plastic, go for it, but don’t risk “damaging your metabolism” or anything along those lines. Also look into Layne Norton and Jim Stoppani’s work. They are WELL-educated, passionate as anything and I agree with A LOT of their material. (I don’t know if Jim does the same level of coaching the Marc does. And for the record, I have nothing to gain from mentioning or recommending anyone. I worked out with and talked with Marc once, he swears a lot which I am cool with, but he will never see this, so don’t think I get something out of it. Remember, I am doing this for YOU ALL. FREE OF CHARGE!). Well, that was longer than expected so we will make this short with…

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Powerlifting/Strongman– Please, no one be offended. I know these are different. Powerlifting is essentially performing bench press, deadlifts and squats. You do it in a weight class, and you can do it raw (no fancy braces or shirts) or equipped with some items including belts to help you. You try to get a max weight of each and at an elite level, you have monster numbers for all three. Everyone has their best lift here. In the Olympics, you get three attempts at each. I don’t know much more except that to train for powerlifting you perform reps for strength and well… power. Do not think your bodybuilding reps will carry over, a bodybuilding bench press and a powerlifting bench press are VERY different.

Strongman, I believe is the origin of powerlifting. If you watch the MET-RX World’s Strongest Man Competition you will get a very good idea. These men and women are massively powerful and have surprisingly good agility, speed, quickness, endurance, etc. These are ELITE athletes and their bodies reflect their ability to lift, throw, and carry massive objects. They deadlift cars, squat monster truck tires, carry buckets of stones in circles, pull trucks and more. I believe this sport has a very high risk of injury so proceed with caution. (Powerlifting isn’t the safest either, IMO, but Strongman is a whole different story.) If you are getting into strongman, don’t assume you will have this ripped physique. Their fat protects their body from injury and provides a padding for the three hundred pound rocks they hold against their chest and stomach.

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Yoga – Do not be macho about this. Yoga is not easy. If you asked any of the above, with no previous Yoga experience, to take an advanced class, 99% of the time they would not do well at all. It requires flexibility, focus, relative strength, and so much more. I sincerely recommend Yoga as a supplement to all athletes. It helped me a lot in the past. It comes in all forms, from beginner to advanced. 100% approved by me.

Endurance Sports/Triathlon – Now I am getting lazy, obviously, but I did say this wouldn’t be the best guide ever. Maybe one day in the future. Endurance sports take a certain crazy individual that can tolerate repetition. You NEED to get in a groove to run 26 miles, bike 112 miles, and swim 2.5 miles. (26.2 and 2.4 so no one goes crazy on me) That is the extreme distance obviously, there are far shorter races and some people don’t even want to race. They enjoy training and staying in shape. Most endurance athletes are light and lean. Remember to watch your body fat, don’t let it drop too low and be careful! Cycling on a highway is dangerous. Cycling on a highway, listening to music is more dangerous. And when you creep into a lane for cars because you want to ride next to your partner and talk, that’s just a risk not worth taking. Aim to compete in Kona World Championships because Karlyn Pipes told me it is beautiful there.

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Aquatics/Swimming– Obviously, I am very biased here. Teaching people how to swim is my specialty. It is challenging because you can’t just breathe whenever you want. In scuba, you can if your equipment works well. In aqua-aerobics, aqua zumba, deep water running, etc you can but here is the major benefit of aquatics. Little to NO impact. Save your knees, save your ankles, save your hips and get in a nice warm pool. You can get in the water when you’re 6 months old, pregnant, physically disabled (if supervised), elderly, etc. It can forge strong athletes with attractive bodies or help an elderly person exercise for a long time. Ask me about any specific aquatic questions.

“Sports”– In my opinion, if an athlete is equally skilled at everything I listed, they will usually choose sports as the most enjoyable means of exercise. By sports, I am referring to tennis, basketball, soccer, football, lacrosse, hockey, water polo, rugby, volleyball, baseball, etc. You get the point, track and field etc. that whole family that can be recreational or highly competitive. These sports are fun because of the nature of the competition, the social aspect and the unique features that make them all different from one another. Sports can and should, usually, be combined with other training methods to produce the best results, essentially, winning. Many football players lift weights to increase size and strength. Sports are a great way of creating a very natural body.

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On a personal note, I have a much larger and stronger lower body, compared to my upper. That is a result of the massive amounts of basketball, soccer, tennis, and similar sports I played growing up. That just happens and it makes you unique. Sports can be expensive, depending on the sport. Ultimate frisbee is not expensive but can burn some serious calories and get your heart rate very high. Golf will however provide nearly the exact opposite. Give every sport a try and either play them all or choose your favorite. Join a league and practice in order to not only stay in a great active state of being but also have fun!

And I will stop here with a final note. I don’t discriminate, much, in fitness. If a program gets people off the couch and into a facility, with or without a coach, and helps them better their health and wellness, and puts them in a good mood, I can’t complain much. I didn’t mention home workouts such as Insanity or P90X because they are what they are and I won’t stop anyone from doing them. Just remember, when you are alone, the risk of serious injury or doing an exercise incorrectly increases a lot. I also obviously have “something” against cookie-cutter programs BUT with that being said, these home workouts HAVE made more people workout and for that I am thankful. I didn’t mention martial arts, which I normally would have, because I would have too much to say about. Just know that I fully support martial arts as a means of achieving many health and fitness related goals. Also, please don’t judge someone because their method is different than yours. Respect bar athletes and calisthenics (see my post about Barstarzz for more info), respect cheerleaders (I say it’s a sport and they are athletes), and appreciate what good people are trying to do and make the general fitness community as supportive as the CF community. With that being said, please follow this link (this came out of nowhere, I feel like I should do this) and help him recover. You might think the $140,000 raised so far will cover the cost, but he doesn’t have insurance, and trust me… it will not even come close. Recognize, respect, and support one another.

H&F

H&F

If you read that whole post, wow. It was almost 3000 words. You are my new favorite people. Stay hungry and fit 😉

  • Question of the Day: What is your workout/exercise type of choice?

BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah giving kisses

Sajah giving kisses