Monday, May 31, 2010

Ms. Fitness

I don't really think people understand how hard it is to compete in a Fitness or Bodybuilding competition. What those men and women put themselves through for a couple months especially the week leading up to the competition is more intense then any professional athlete out there. My friend Caresse decided a few months ago to enter a fitness competition. She only had about 3 months to prepare, which is not a lot of time at all. She worked real hard at the gym which is where I met her. I watched her workout daily and we began to talk. Because of her true interest in fitness, lifting weight, diet and supplementation, we became friend discussing her routines daily.

Let me just say that there isn't anything Caresse won't try and she is extremely hard working and gave 100% working towards this competition. I am extremely excited to report that she sent me a txt message today to report she placed 1st this weekend at the Kumite Classic at the Monroeville Convention Center.

While I wasn't able to attend the competition in person, I was able to get a sneak peak at Caresse's moves a day before the competition. Check out the video. I apologize for how dark it is but when she hits the light, what you see is a culmination of 3 months of extremely hard work.

The best part is, this was her first ever competition.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Heading to the Beach

I'm off to Ocean City this weekend. Can't wait to have some fun in the sun (hopefully sun). Maybe I can come back with a nice tan. Whatever you do this Memorial Day Weekend, have fun and forget about work. Enjoy yourself and be safe. I'll have some pictures from the weekend when I get back.

Exercise of the Day will continue on Tuesday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

EOD - Running

Today's Exercise of the Day is not really a specific exercise but is something some people do religiously and that is running. The video here is a documentary on some women in Washington, D.C. and how running has impacted their life.

Watch more free documentaries

Running is interesting to me. Yes, it is healthy for you in that it increases your lung capacity, lowers your resting heart rate and helps you burn calories. All of these are phenomenal.

But there are a lot of risks involved with running. Just remember what happened to the first person who ran what is now called a marathon, HE DIED on the spot after giving the message he was sent to deliver.
"The marathon is named after a town in Greece which was the site of the battle of Marathon in 490 BC. The battle was won by the Athenian army which defeated the Persians. After the victory, a messenger named Phidippides ran from Marathon to Athens, a distance of 26.2 miles, to announce the victory, after which, as the story goes, he keeled over and died. (Pretty much how most folks feel after having completed a marathon!)" ~Thank you

Running can also be extremely rough on your major joins, specifically the knees especially if you are overweight. Running short distances (3 miles or less) is the best way to go. But for distance runner, sometimes the pain can be excruciating after a long run. This is where foam rolling comes in handy. (I will have an EOD on foam rolling in the coming days). Foam rolling takes out all of the knots in your IT Band (outside of your leg) which is what causes pressure in the knee and all the pain you feel. This article in runnersworld explains a little more about running. But just remember the source. This is a website to convince people to run more.

Also, one last helpful hint. DO NOT run everyday. Your body needs rest and time to heel. Running does break muscles down and muscles need rest. Try to only run 4-5 days a week MAX. Check out this website on a 16-week plan to get ready for a marathon. Notice that they never say to run more then 4 days a week. If you do run, here is a great website to create a route and see the distance wherever you plan on running.

Lastly, don't forget to stretch before and after you run and always stay hydrated with enough water.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pitt to Rebuild Bones and Muscles

The University of Pittsburgh Medical School was given a nice $12 million gift to help treat damaged bones specifically for wounded war veterans. Part of the money also goes towards researching ways to rebuild muscle tissue. Here is the article in the Pittsburgh Tibune-Review.

The Pitt School of Medicine continues to be one of the very best in the country and this money for continued research proves that fact. It makes me proud to say I'm a Pitt alum (even though I didn't have anything to do with medicine when I was in school).

I'll be very interested to hear the results from their research in the next two years.

Bootcamp and the EOD-The Lunge

Today's Exercise of the Day is the Lunge. This is another very common exercise for both men and women at the gym. The lunge is a great dynamic movement involving the ankle, knee and hip complexes. It can work everything from the quads (front of the leg) to the gluts (butt), the hamstrings (back of the leg) and even the calves.

This instructional video on lunges comes from the Pittsburgh Bootcamp for Women. If you are female and looking for an intense week of training, check out this website. If anyone has done this in the past or plans on taking part in this bootcamp, let me know and I'd love for you to post a review on it.

Also, I've heard some people say that lunges are not good for people age 55 and over. While a lot of men and women of this age do begin to have knee problems which could prevent someone from doing a lunge, I have yet to find any evidence that lunging isn't good for people of all ages.

Obviously there are precautions you should take. If you feel any discomfort in the knee, do not lunge. If you recently had surgery on your knee, leg extensions and leg curls are a much better option for you. The rest is explained in the video. Also, here is a good article on some exercises you should never do.

If anyone has any questions on an EOD or would like instruction on a certain exercise, please comment on any of these posts. Enjoy today's video.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Today's Exercise of the Day consists of working the most talked about muscle on both men and women......ABS

Everyone wants defined abs or to lose that gut. But it's not as easy as doing a million crunches or holding that plank for 5 minutes at a time. Getting defined abs is more about diet then anything else. If you have been working your abs at the gym for months and don't see any results, maybe it's time to change your diet.

While decreasing carb intake will help shed a few pounds and I have seen this work on myself included, decreasing your carb intake is dangerous if done incorrectly. On average, a person's diet should contain of 60% carbohydrates. That's a lot. So someone saying I'm not going to eat carbs is depriving their body of a lot of essential food for energy. While I'm not a dietician, I'm suggesting if you want to cut carbs, don't cut a lot of carbs, just cut a small amount. If you aren't seeing the results you want with your abs, play around with your diet. Everyone's body reacts differently to different foods.

On to the exercise. These are exercises that make your abs stronger which is what I am all about as a trainer. This video, courtesy of Turbulence Training describes why we should be working our abs and a few exercises to include in your everyday routine.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Supreme Court Ruling

If you didn't hear on SportsCenter or CNN, today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the NFL consists on 32 seperate teams and is not one single entity. This stemming from a lawsuit against the NFL by a former hat company which was dropped by the NFL a few years back.
I don't have all the specific details on the lawsuit itself but the ruling definately changes a lot of things concerning sports as a whole. Only baseball has anti-trust exemptions. This means that the NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, etc. can not control the respective teams in their league. If all 32 NFL teams want to work as a whole and only produce Reebok hats, they can. But say the Cowboys or Steelers (probably the 2 most popular NFL teams) want to sell Steeler or Cowboy hats made by Nike or some other company, then they are allowed by law to do this. It will be interesting to see what this leads to in the future but needless to say, today is a huge loss for everyone major sport in this country (except for baseball of course)

is the link to the ESPN story

Here is the official ruling for the Supreme Court


Welcome to another workweek. Today's Exercise of the Day is all about the basics of a squat. Squatting is the best exercise anyone can do, hands down! If squatting properly you are working out all of the major muscle groups in the leg including the gluts, hamstrings, quads and calves. It involves movement in three major joint complexes, the hip complex, the knee and the ankle.

A lot of people I talk to tell me they don't squat because they have knee problems. Well here is the truth. A squat shouldn't bother your knees at all if done properly. In fact, squatting will only strengthen your knee. The main reason most people feel knee pain during squats is because they are sitting far enough back into the squat.

My co-worker at Gold's Gym Audrey is doing the demonstrating in this video and explains the squat really well. She is one of the best trainers I work with and one of the strongest women I've ever lifted weights with, especially when it comes to lower body workouts.

Enjoy the short video and starting squatting today.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm a Chef!

I decided to make some sushi tonight from scratch and it actually worked. I bought sushi rice, seawood, fish, eel and wasabi. It worked like a charm. Enjoy the picture. I enjoyed the food. I'm going to have to make sushi more often. It is my favorite food and one of the healthiest foods in the world.

It's no coincidence why the Asians live to be the oldest people in the world. They have a steady diet of fish and rice, two incredibly good foods for you. Add in some cucumber and avacado as are in sushi and it doesn't get much better then that.

I've got a great Exercise of the Day for you on squatting tomorrow. So stay tuned.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Google and a Great Sports Weekend

Anyone else see that turned its google logo at the top of the page to an actual Pac-Man game marking the 30th anniversary of the legendary game? First off, it's been 30 years.....holy crap! Here is a great blog about what Google using their logo as a game did to America yesterday. Also, anyone see about the new GoogleTV. It's a great concept and I think it will be very successful. Here is a link to their demo video. AOL always said they wanted to make an impact on America like the telephone and the television. Well now two of America's greatest inventions are connecting to one another which I believe is a brilliant idea. It's like a universal remote. We love All-in-One devices and now we can use our TV's for shows, the internet, as a webcam (like a telephone) and sooo much more. It's a Universal remote to life.

On to a great sports weekend. Great hockey action this afternoon with the Habs and Flyers playing game 3 and you heard it hear first, the Blackhawks will sweep tomorrow and might even sweep the Stanley Cup Finals. They are leaps and bounds better then San Jose who is by far better then both Montreal and Philly.

NBA intrigue as well this weekend. I loved Paul Pierce's comments about sweeping Orlando. Why shouldn't he be confident? They detroyed the Magic twice in their own building. Now, can Superman make Paul eat his words? I doubt it.

I plan to take in the Pirates-Braves game tonight. Can't wait to see the newest MLB young phenom Jason Heyward. Great seeing the Buccos featured on TWIB (This Week in Baseball) this morning. TWIB is still my favorite TV show (it airs on Fox every Saturday during the baseball season), and no one knows it is on. There are no sponsors, no opinions, just facts, great insider interviews and great highlite reels.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, May 21, 2010

EOD - The Vertical Jump

The exercise of the day today is a little different. This one is a dynamic movement which helps give power to your legs. It is a standing vertical jump (Box Jump) onto a platform, step or whatever level-raised surface you can find.

This is a great exercize for active people who want a spring in their step for whatever sport they play. This is the drill most used by NFL scouts to determine how athletic a player is. Denver Broncos Quarterback Tim Tebow had a ridiculous vertical jump which helped him move up in the draft all the way to the first round even though his throwing skills as a QB were lacking. I bet he practiced this exercise a lot.

The video (click here) for this exercize is courtesy of one of my clients, Beth. Her husband is a football coach at a local high school here in Pittsburgh and this is a player on his team which after seeing this jump should get some scholarship offers next season when he is a senior. Maybe it will be Pitt!! The jump is the first 30 seconds of the video. The rest are football drills which college coaches will use to determine how valuable this athlete could be for their team.

Have a great weekend everyone and remember a glass or two of red wine is actually good for you so have a glass of wine with your dinner tonight!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Just got back from my hockey game. Yea, we lost 11-1. At least I was the one who scored the 1. Wasn't a pretty goal, but it counts.

I hate losing, but it was nice to get back on the ice for the first time in two weeks. My team has a few quality players and a good goaltender. We will pick it up. I know we will get better.

As for the NHL, big win tonight for Montreal. I still think this series is going 7, which would mean a third straight game seven for the Canadiens. Montreal didn't play their normal game today to win. They actual played aggressive hockey. They beat the Pens and Caps by sitting back on defense, blocking shots and taking advantage of the few scoring chances they got. Tonight they were on the attack the entire night and it actually worked for them.

Jacques Martin is my former boss when I worked for the Florida Panthers. I believe he is a fantastic head coach. He made some great coaching changes for the game tonight and it showed. As much as I love the Caps, he outcoached Boudreau in the first round and it showed. He figured out how to neutralize the best two players in the game. Hal Gill has a lot to do with it but Jacques is the one who put Hal Gill in the right position.

Exercize of the Day (EOD)

Too many times in the gym I see people workout without stretching first. Stretching is a huge part of workout out, getting stronger, losing weight and just being a healthier person.

Now most people think stretching is getting into a certain position and holding it for a few seconds. This is called static stretching and is great, but it doesn't prepare you for a workout. Static stretching is great AFTER your workout.

Prework stretches should be ACTIVE, meaning your muscles are moving, not sitting still. These are called active or dynamic stretches. The reason for this in simple terms is that if you warm up by being still, your muscles will be still and it will be harder to activate them when you lift a weight or start running. When you use active stretches you are actually preparing each muscle to lengthen and then contract which is exactly was is done with resistence training. (Sports Fitness Advisor)

Here is a video of some active/dynamic preworkout stretches. Obviusly you don't need to go as far as the man in the example, but attempting a slower variation is recommended before your workout no matter if you are about to get on a cardio machine or about to do resistence training.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's on TV?

With the NHL Playoffs winding down and the fact that I don't find the NBA that intriguing to watch, baseball is now the sport on the most in the evenings. However, I have a serious problem with ESPN carrying the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Cubs, Mets and Dodgers constantly. Mainly the Yankees and Red Sox.

Now I understand they are the two most popular baseball teams in the country and that they probably drive ratings which is why they are always on. However, ESPN would do the game a baseball a favor if they put on some Marlins games or Royals games. Maybe a Diamondbacks game or Pirates game. AND, I don't want to see the Royals playing the Yankees. Give me Pirates-Diamondbacks. Give me Marlins-Braves.

I want to see the future of the game as well as the All-Stars. We all know that come October we are going to see these perrenial playoff teams. Let us see the rest of baseball during the regular season.

Exercise of the Day - Kettlebells

Kettlebells have been around for a while but recently they are becomming more and more popular for everyday use at the gym. At my gym, we got a set in about a month ago and we are continuously learning how to use them. Here is a great video instruction on some basic kettlebell exercises.
Try this out at home if you have a kettlebell. If not come into Gold's Gym in downtown Pittsburgh and I'll give you a crash course lesson.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ping Pong Balls, Jewish History and some Gym Time

Wow, what a crazy day. Not that I follow the NBA that much but I am a Wizards fan when push comes to shove. And my Wiz got the No. 1 pick in the draft tonight which means Welcome to D.C. John Wall!!! Now if only we could sign LeBron. (ESPN Article)

Tonight begins the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. It is the day that God gave the Torah to the Israelities in the desert. I went to an even at the JCC (Jewish Community Center) tonight as I try to get more involved in the Jewish Community. I learned a lot tonight such as you are supposed to eat dairy tonight. There are many theories on why this is the case but I don't buy any of them so I won't get into it now.

I need some help from everyone with this next topic. I started a class at the gym last week. It is called Power Lunch and I run it like a bootcamp for 45 minutes. The gym I work at is downtown so I figured I'd get business people on their lunch break. Last week I offered the class for free so everyone could see what it was all about. I had 10 people show on Tuesday and 8 on Thursday. However, today not a single person showed up. It seems no one wants to pay even the small $10 a class fee I am asking. Any suggestions on how or what you think I can do to make this class a success. I still want it to work out as I think it is a great cheaper option to have a personal trainer. I can charge up to $60 a session for 1-on-1, so I thought in a group setting, I could charge a lot less and get more people involved.
Hopefully all of you brilliant marketing/PR minds out there can suggest something for me.

Back to Blogging

I haven't blogged in nearly 3 years now. But recently I was reading Ted Leonsis' new book Business of Happiness ( and it inspired me to start blogging again. The internet is such a powerful tool that it would be naive of me not to blog all of my thoughts.

I love sharing my opinion and opening in great conversation with people on all topics (sports, politics, history, etc.)So I am going to begin blogging again. Hopefully I will be able to do it everyday. Hopefully I'll figure out how to blog from my phone and hopefully I can get lots of followers.

So today begins my blogging career.....part 2!