October 31, 2011

The tools that allow for optimum health are diet and exercise

Rant and Tip for October 31, 2011

Quote: As I mentioned previously, the tools that allow for optimum health are diet and exercise.
Bill Toomey

Happy Halloween Everyone! Last Friday we dressed up at work and I went as Clark Kent. It was a lot of fun and in the morning when I stopped for coffee shop that happens to sell truly sinful bagels a child said to his parent, Look dad it is Superman. It was very cute and the little boy’s sister proudly stated she was going to be super-girl. How sweet was that? Truth be told the shop is a bagel franchise and they truly have some delicious bagels. Which I do not partake of anymore. I personally have nothing against bagels I just like to get my carbs from a more complex source.

As the quote states above it really takes both diet and exercise to achieve a weight loss goal. If I had a dollar for every person who said I want abs like yours, I would not need the donate button on my blog. They always want to know what exercises I do. I have to remind them although they may not be as developed as mind they already have the abs. They are just covered by a comfortable layer of fat and diet will bring them out. This always leads into a conversation about their diet and if they truly would rather have that bagel or donuts or the abs, sometimes they choose the bagel and donuts and that is fine. It is their choice. I have said many times to make the changes in you life you truly have to be ready.  Are you truly ready?

Have a great workout and enjoy your Halloween!

Tip: Recovery is just as important as training. When you lift weights, you're actually tearing down muscle fibers. It's only after you've completed your workout that your muscle tissues begin the rebuilding process. To allow that process to unfold properly, give your body adequate downtime in between workouts. As a beginner, don't lift more than three or four times a week, never work the same muscle group on consecutive days, and never train a muscle group that's still sore from a prior workout. For optimal results, you also need to maintain a proper nutrition program, which calls for five or six nutrient-packed small meals a day (four, at minimum). Finally, you need to get enough shut-eye--at least eight hours of it. Adequate sleep keeps you mentally and physically sharp for your workouts, and the act of slumber itself accommodates the release of growth-inducing hormones.

October 28, 2011

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain

Weekend Post for October 29, 2011

Quote: The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain

Happy Weekend everyone. Mark Twain was a very interesting man and humorist. I found this quote by him and thought I would bring it to the masses this weekend. I hope you all take heed to it. The only way you are going to get ahead in changing your dietary habits or implementing a new exercise schedule you simply need to get started. You can do it. With a little dedication and some determination you will succeed.

Shoulders are still sore today from working in the shirt Thursday night; I am sure however they will feel better by Monday. Just two weeks till the Gobbler Open in Binghamton. I will be lifting Raw in this meet, no bench shirt. I have been advised that working in a bench shirt can negatively affect my raw bench. Let’s see how things go in two weeks.

On a personal note as of yesterday it has been 30 years since my mother has left this earth. She was a wonderful woman who to this day I miss dearly. I was only 19 at the time. While she did pass from respiratory disease it was not cancer. It was an alpha 1 anti-trispan deficiency. This is a rare genetic condition. I have been recently tested for this and am waiting for the results. It is not that I feel like I have any of the symptoms it is just that I want to make sure I keep an eye on it. With all the different awareness ribbons like the cancer awareness ribbons, I wonder if there are any for this condition as well. I personally know several people who have had cancer. Some have beaten it and others fought a valiant battle and lost. My cousin Matt was one of the people that fought that fight and lost. Although as I think about it, maybe he did win in that not once did I see that man let it get him down. I am sure it did, but he would not let it show on the surface.

Seeing the cancer awareness ribbons made me look into companies that create them. Pinmart is one of those companies. They offer many kinds of awareness materials, ribbons, bands and even state pins. If you have a function or a fund drive for a special cause you may want to look into them.

If you are like me then this weekend is a 2-day rest period. Unless of course I start to get to excited and feel the need to have some cold hard steal in my hands.

Have a great weekend!

Tip: REST!

Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general

Rant and Tip for October 28, 2011

Quote: “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.” Mark Rippetoe

I found this quote while looking for powerlifting quotes and while I am sure this was meant as a quote regarding actual strength in lifting, I believe it applies to life in general. It is the will of a strong man or woman that will keep them going forward. History is filled with people who while not big in size and so strong willed they accomplish the seemingly impossible. We all need to be strong in our resolve to accomplish our goals and stretch to achieve what others see as an impossible task. If you are extremely over weight and are looking at what seems like the impossible task of losing 100 lbs rest assured it has been accomplished and it has been accomplished without being on a TV show. I could give you a few names if you like.

Last night I worked in my bench shirt again. It was interesting again just getting the shirt on all the way. The stroke in a bench shirt is different and really uses a lot of tricep for the lift. After ever the past to sessions in the shirt I have also notices a lot of tightness in my shoulders. I have loose joints in my shoulders, I am able to point my shoulder blades out backwards. Last week when benching in the shirt the one scapula went in. This created a little pain in the lift. Not a big deal but it is a reminder that I need to make sure I keep everything very tight in the lift. Again it is very important to keep the shoulders in tight. Like trying to squeeze a quarter between the scapula. I have one more work out before the Gobbler Open in Binghamton NY. I am looking forward to this meet. So next week will be a light week and I will hit my opener for one and then see where the cards will fall on the 12th of November.

Back to my diet a bit. Only 5 pounds to lose before the 12th and that will come of with some good old fashion cardio, and a reduction in carbohydrate intake. Keeping my water intake up will also help me because is if I need to, I can stop drinking fluids 16 hours before the meet and shed 3 pounds in water weight if needed. I would rather not have to do that. I will also reduce my protein to 1 gram per lean body mass and this will help me maintain my current muscle mass and I will not lose any strength for the lifts in November. Now for most of you 1 gram per lean body mass is more than enough for you needs, even if you are following one of my current exercise programs on this blog site. Typically the average person only needs 4 to 6 ounces of protein with each meal, being breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This will keep you body from going into a catabolic state.

Have a great workout!

Tip: As a rule, if you are working out a lot as in 3 to 5 days a week do not worry about the scale. Take your body measurements and watch them go down in some areas and increase in others. Your waist should reduce while you chest increases. The difference between your wrist and forearms will change as well.

October 27, 2011

In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail." Unknown

Rant and Tip for October 27, 2011

I made the IPF World Team!!!

Quote: "In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail." Unknown

OMG I made the IPF World Bench Press Team. I am so stoked. I think this quote is really appropriate. If you recall I mentioned my friend Ted the other day and how I was actually reluctant to enter my first Bench Press Competition. Well I did enter and you all are aware and now I have received notification I am on the world team.
The meet will be in the city of Plzen in the Czech Republic on May 23rd 2012. This just means I have to work twice as hard as I do not want to embarrass my country or myself. Holy cow to say that out loud really sends a chill down my spine. I have to make the decision by November 12. I need to raise a substantial amount of money to go, as this will be a week-long event I believe, between flights and working with the world team.

If you are interested in assisting me to the world meet please just click the donations button on the top right side of this page. Any amount will help and I greatly appreciate your assistance.

My diet needs to get real serious as well. I need to eat like a champion while maintaining my current weight. I can lean down as I gain more muscle. I really need to hit some big numbers in to be ready for the worlds. While I train and eat for the world meet please do not lose sight of the fact I am just like you. I was an over weight out of shape unhealthy man with poor eating habits and now after working out and eating right I am a world competitor. This may not be your goal and it was not mine when I started. It is now. Remember I said we need, to keep pushing ourselves and resetting our goals. Well it seems to me that no matter what age we are our goals can push us to new heights.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Today I am looking for tips from you. Any ideas you have on how I can raise the money necessary to go to worlds will be greatly appreciated.

October 26, 2011

You only ever grow as a human being if you're outside your comfort zone."

Rant and Tip October 26, 2011

Quote: "You only ever grow as a human being if you're outside your comfort zone."
- Percy Cerutty

Oh man was I in a cranky mood yesterday. I hadn't slept well the night before and I am sure that was my issue. After that every little thing just seemed to bother me. I did get my workout in and after that I was in a better mood. I was able to get the endorphins flowing and just felt better afterwards. Mind you not 100% but definitely better. The lifts went well and I decided to go for a new PR which was not the best idea yet. While I need to have a general idea what I need to push for the meet on the 12th, I need to start letting my joints heal and the next couple of weeks are going to be really crazy and hectic.

I would like to talk about the stabilizing muscles. These muscles are the secondary muscles that are used in a lift. For instance many people when they work out will concentrate on a specific muscle and isolate it by using a machine. When we do this we neglect the stabilizing muscles and we rob ourselves of truly getting stronger. Don’t get me wrong, machines definitely have their place and yes I do use them. However, there really is no substitute for cold hard steal, or in the case of many gyms today rubber coated steal. When we lift a dumbbell or free bar for squats, benching or deadlift we hit those stabilizing muscles as well. If we stand or sit on a ball while doing our biceps curls we can hit our abdominal muscles as well. I guess what I am saying here is don’t be afraid to break away from your comfort zone.

Have a great workout!

Tip of the day:
   Comfort zones are just that a place where we feel comfortable. Well your muscles know that and they need to be pulled out of that zone to grow, just like you.  Several of you came here having never worked out with weights before. You left your comfort zone and tried something different. Do that to your muscles to. Try heavier weights one day and maybe do a couple less reps. Then go lighter and do more reps. Don’t be afraid to leave that comfort zone. You have done it once

October 25, 2011

Exercise: you don't have time not to.

  Rant and Tip for October 25, 2011

Quote: Exercise: you don't have time not to.  Unknown

I have the statement “you don’t have time not to” many time over the years. I once worked for a company and it was vital to have information at my fingertips, and know where to get it quickly. Co-workers would ask me “how to you have time to keep your desk so neat.: I would respond “I don’t have time not to.” I was bar far more efficient at my job being able to access the information quickly and accurately with a neat desk. While I have not heard this statement made regards to exercise you all know I believe this to be true. I have mentioned before the importance of making time to exercise to the point of suggesting you make it an appointment in your calendar, just like an appointment with a doctor, or lawyer. This will solidify your time to exercise and allow you to fit it in to your schedule literally.

Worked on my benching yesterday and I really think it is a time to lighten the load for a bit. My shoulder joints and wrist were sore. Not a muscle fatigue but a pain in the joints. With my meet coming up on November 12th I will lighten the load now anyway and not push at heavy loads until the day of the meet. I was able to do some dumbbell flies that did not hurt the bicep tendonitis, it did feel a great stretch in the muscle but only a little pain. I can work through that. Sometimes we have to push our bodies beyond it’s limits to get to the next goal and really if you think about it, if you are able to push past it, was it a limit at all? Just some food for thought there.

Speaking of food, How is everyone doing with their changes in diet? Are you staying on plan? Remember the key to success is tracking the food you put in your mouth or are going to put in your mouth. I tend to put my whole menu in Fitday in the morning and then print that out. As I go through my day I will check off what I have eaten and what I have left to eat. For me the challenge is eating enough. Lately I have not felt like eating at all. Although I am not hungry I know my body needs the fuel.

Have a great workout!

When performing lunges make sure not to step to far in front with you lead foot. This can put a lot of stress on the upper quads and you could pull something. I learned this the hard way.

October 24, 2011

The impossible is often the untried.

Rant and Tip for October 24, 2011

Quote: The impossible is often the untried. ----Jim Goodwin

Found this quote on a friend’s website and thought I would use it here. Many times people will think that there is no way they will lose the weight they want to lose. They also think that it is impossible to find an exercise regimen that will work for them. My question to you is have you really tried or has it been a lackadaisical approach. Have you not tried the seemingly impossible with an eye on succeeding.

It in Monday and I am not sure as I sit here if I will be benching today or squatting. I think the call for the day will be benching. I like benching on Mondays. On a Monday my shoulders and arms have had time to heal and I usually feel pretty good and ready to go. I will be sure to fuel up for my strength training but at the same time, it is time to start shedding the extra 4 pounds I am carrying around. My next meet is about 3 weeks away and for the first time my daughter want to come with me and I am so excited to have a family member there.

This past week I spoke to a guy about training heavy and the stress it can put on the body. He told me that another reason to get your body the rest it needs before a meet is the stress it puts on the Central Nervous System. Yes you muscles are under a lot of stress but since the messages are coming from the brain to press these heavy weights the stress on the CNS is high as well. Also the part I found interesting of the conversation is that in his opinion while the muscles will heal quickly the CNS takes longer to recover from the stress it get put through when you are moving a large amount of weight. I tend to train heavy often. My gains in strength definitely have high and lows. Since I have yet to hit my gym max in a meet I wonder if this is the reason. Have I been training too heavy for to long? Am I not giving my body the time it needs to recover? Are you working out heavy and are you giving your body the time to recover that it needs?

I ate well this weekend. Although the 2 glasses of bourbon I had last night were not exactly on the diet for this week and I will now have to work that toxin through the body. It is already out of my system of course. I jut like to use it as motivation to push hard in my workouts. I have had a few people ask me to help them with their weight loss goals and all have said they tried exercise and did not lose any more than 4 to 5 pounds. Like our doctors tell us people it takes diet and exercise to achieve these goals. People tend to want the easy way out. We tend to not want to put the effort in to correct years of eating in an unhealthy manner. We want the simple fix. A dear friend of mine has a son who is only 11. He and his father were having a discussion and the boy said to his dad, “I will take the hard way, I will be better for it”. WOW out of the mouths of babes.

Have a great workout!

Tip:. When you benchpress the weight, try to bend the bar with your hands. The benefit here is you will activate more muscle fibers in your lats and move the bar in a stronger and safer path for your shoulders.
A sunset from Vacation back in August


October 21, 2011

“Choose your motivation wisely

Rant and tip for the weekend of October 22, 2011

Quote: “Choose your motivation wisely” Wesley Kipp

I have never heard anyone else make this statement before, however as I sat here this evening I was thinking what motivates me. I have to be honest it has changed over the years and I guess that is a good thing. If you read the page “Who is Wesley (Jim) Kipp” you see it was my health and my children that motivated me to get fit. Then as I worked out to get fit and changed my diet to get healthy my body composition changed. I was fit and healthy and stronger than I had ever been. That is when my goals and motivation changed. While I still want to stay fit and healthy for my children so I am around for their future, I also have goals in regards to powerlifting.

My powerlifting goals came about when a High School friend Ted Kruzinski contacted me on Facebook and subsequently called me, and asked me if I would be interested in lifting in a local bench press competition. I was a little reluctant at first. I did not think that I was even close to being competitive. He said to me that he did not think there were to many guys our age, 48 at the time and my weight class pressing close to the weight I was pressing. I decided to give it a shot and I won my age/weight class. I was even more please when I realized I would have won the open division as well if I had entered it. In any case I thought that would be it for me, until my friend Ted called me a few days later to inform me he thought I set a NY State record for my age and weight. I did a little research to at that point and found out that while I did press more than what was the current record, it was not done in a sanctioned meet by any of the recognized lifting federations. It was at this point my motivation changed. I now wanted to see how far I could progress as Bench Press competitor. Now a few months later my motivation is changing again. I not only want to continue lifting competitively in the bench press I want to lift competitively in a full power meet.

My point here my friends, is your motivation may and should change as you reach your goals. This will keep you progressing forward and give you something to look forward to each day. Since I want to become stronger without putting on fat, my diet is pretty strict and I make sure my body is getting the nutrients it needs to be properly fueled and successful in reaching my goals.

Now the reason to choose your motivation wisely. If you choose to motivate yourself to get the attention of others it is a recipe for disaster. You may succeed in getting fit and even healthy. However, will you be able to maintain that level of fitness and health when the others are gone? I know I will. I did not make the changes I needed to make for anyone else but myself. You may sit there and say wait a minute he did it for his kids. Well yes I did, but mainly because I wanted to be around myself as they got older. There is a selfish part of me that wants to be around as they have children and be there for them as the get older and hit life’s hardships.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Access your motivation and goals often. Do not let your goals get so far out in front of you they seem to daunting and yet do not make them to easy either. Where is the reward if

We are what we repeatedly do. Aristotle

Rant and Tip for October 21, 2011

We are what we repeatedly do. Aristotle

Actually the entire quote goes like this “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” If you want your diet and exercise routines to become perfect then you must practice at making them perfect. You will not start any new exercise and do it perfectly in the beginning. You need to practice and make it a habit in your life. Once you make it a habit you will be successful. During the interview with Katia she made the statement that cardio is just part of her lifestyle like taking a shower. It is a habit for her. It is something she does without thinking about it having to get done. I am the same way when it comes to working out during my lunch. I do not think twice about it. I just do it. Are there days I do not want to go to the gym or days I feel like I just don’t have it in me. Of course I do. However, I get myself down there and push myself until the endorphins kick in and then I usually do not want to stop.

Wednesday night I got to put on my new bench shirt. It was very tight. So tight that I could not get the bar to come down and touch my chest even with 315 pounds on the bar. The shirt needs to stretch out some more so I can pull the bar down to my chest.  When benching in a bench shirt you need to keep your elbows tucked in, or so I am told. I have to state right here that I do not see being able to get the bar to chest any other way. When I first put on the shirt I felt like a T-Rex because I could not grab the bar as wide as I normally like to. As the evening progressed I was able to move my grip out on the bar as the shirt stretched out some. Also as it stretched I was able to slide my arm further into the shirt. We wanted to take it slow with the shirt so we just stayed with did single repetitions with 315 each time getting the bar lower and closer to touching my chest. I was pleased with my first day with benching in the shirt. I look forward to hitting over 400 pounds in the shirt.

I am maintaining a weight a 5 pounds more than my competition weight. I do not want to be any higher than that because I do not want to lose strength as I go back down to 165. There is a 100% Raw Powerlifting meet in early November in Johnson City, which is near Binghamton NY. I am hoping to set a new personal record and maybe bump up my own State record while I am at it. I continue to work out with out the bench shirt as well at getting my training in with the shirt. I need to be careful not to over train. I was talking to another power-lifter who has lifted for a long time and he mentioned to me, that it is not that the muscles cannot heal fast enough but it is the nervous system that needs the time to heal. When are stressing the body with heavy weights it also puts a strain on your nervous system. I will need to watch that carefully.

Have a great workout!

Tip:  Get the rest your body needs and take the time to listen to your body. If you are feeling joint pain or tendon pain give your body sometime to heal.

October 19, 2011

Katia Porretta

October 19, 2011

Interview with Katia Porretta

No Rant today, I decided to do something a little different today. The first Federation I lifted in was the USAPL. The event was in Albany NY. At this event I met a woman power-lifter named Katia Porretta. She competes in the 105-pound weight class. She currently holds NYS records and continues to work hard to hit bigger numbers.
Here is an interview with Kat.

WJK: When did you first start working out and why?
Kat: I started working out when i was 15yrs old.  The first time I was in the weight lifting room in high school I was hooked.  My high school sweetheart trained me very well.

WJK: When did you first compete in a powerlifting event and how did you do?
Kat: I was always a strong weight lifter.  Strict Powerlifting starting in my early thirties.  I’m the strongest I’ve every been. I met a great mentor named Frank Panaro.  He took me under his wing as soon as we met.

WJK: You are a personal trainer, what would you say is the most important factor in someone picking a personal trainer?
Kat: Picking a trainer is not as easy as one might think.  You need to like the person and respect them.  Trust them not to hurt you .  Make sure the trainer has knowledge in his field.
WJK: You specialize in training at home, can you elaborate on what you think the benefits of this service is?

 Kat: I choose to train people in the privacy of their own home.  They are more relaxed.  They know having me keeps them stay honest.  Appointments are made and kept. The client goes through a vigorous workout with me always. The client feels great and proud of themselves.

WJK: Tell us about your diet, and do you modify it prior to a meet?
Kat: My diet is usually the same now.  Most of my carbs are in the morning. I start lowering the grams as the day progresses.  I eat 30grams of protein at every meal.  Fats are limited but not taken away and no sugar or added sodium before a meet.  I like to stay lean at 105lbs.
WJK: What are your favorite exercises?

Kat: Benching is my favorite exercise.  I placed 11th in 2009 national!  Nice birthday gift!
WJK: Least favorite?
 Kat: Least favorite is front squats.  I love having the bar on my shoulders. 

WJK: How much cardio do you do, and for someone just starting out, how much would you suggest they do?

Kat: I do cardio everyday. It’s my lifestyle just like showering.  I always tell my clients 5 to 6 days a week/45 mins.  It’s like a savings account; the more you put in, the more you get out of it.

WJK: What supplements do you take?
Kat: I take my multi-vitamin and mineral every day.  My pre-workout drinks on powerlifting days.  I drink 64 ounces of water at least a day. I take Creatine on workout days, vitamin C 5 days a week and b12 everyday.  I also take a calcium magnesium zinc combo at night. The rest all comes from food and drinks.  Tons of protein shakes after my workouts.

TIP Kat:
Do your best every workout for that day. Do not over-train any muscle group.  Know exactly what foods you are inhaling.  Have fun and enjoy your new improved body!

October 18, 2011

The one way to get thin is to re-establish a purpose in life.

Rant and Tip for October 18, 2011

Quote: “The one way to get thin is to re-establish a purpose in life.”  ~Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave

Good Morning, I found this quote this morning and all I can say is that is what happened to me. My children needed to know I was going to be around as I get older. I did not want to be the dad on the sidelines. I want to be the dad on the field. So I re-established my life. I need to do that again. You see I am broken. From years of being put down and beat up verbally, I got all caught up in listening to people tell me how fit I looked. While I have to address issues I currently have going on in my life, I also know I am no good to anyone till I take care of the home issues first. I became addicted to my friends telling me much they looked up to me. Well I learned a lot from my friends, if they are still my friends. I know that emotionally I will probably always seek justification for all that I do. The thing is, the person I need to work on the most is myself. I need be happy with myself when look in the mirror and not let other people be my barometer. I need to give fully from the heart and not just halfway. I learned this last night.

Benching did not go as well as I had hoped yesterday. I may just need to give my body more rest and I do have a rest week coming up in November. November 12th is the Gobbler Open and I hope to increase my State record. I am also training for the world meet, just in case I am called to be one of the lifters. Today is squat day and again I will concentrate on form. I am told that sometimes as you work on squatting heavy weight your bench will suffer because of all the weight on your shoulders. So for now I will concentrate on my form.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When squatting lead with you butt like you are going to sit in a chair. This will make sure your knees do not go out over your toes.

October 17, 2011

Rant and Tip for October 17, 2011

Quote: “ The physically fit can enjoy their vices” Lord Percival

Lord Perceval was a British Statesman and He is the only British Prime Minister to have been assassinated. Unfortunately being physically fit did not help him.

When we are physically fit, our vices and our bodies can tolerate them much easier, not that I have any of course. HA only kidding!!! We all have those little things we do that may not be the healthiest thing for us. However with proper exercise and a diet that is as healthy as it can be we can at least slow down any negative affect our vices have on us.

This past weekend again was a busy weekend. Between the mother of my children working and my children have activities and homework it was much non-stop for all of us. I must say though, my sister in-law was a big help taking my son to his game. Family is very important and I am lucky in that my in-laws are able to help out so much with when a weekend like this past weekend comes along.
Back to exercising and I want to talk about lunges. I have decided to work my legs twice a week as they are the weakest part of my physique and I know I need to get them stronger for some big lifts in the squat and deadlift. Someone suggested lunges. Now while I was doing them, I may not have done them correctly and on the third lap around the gym and a good amount of sweat I pulled something in my upper quadriceps. Just about where everything connects to the hip. It is all good now and I am hoping it was just some deep stretch that took place but I thought it would be important today to talk about proper form for the lunge.

The 8 Key Tips to Mastering Forward Dumbbell Lunges

Tip #1 – Stand Up and Hold One Dumbbell In Each Hand.

Tip #2 – Turn and Keep Your Palms Facing Inward.

Tip #3 – Raise and Keep Your Head Up.

Tip #4 – Keep Your Back Straight.

Tip #5 – Place and Keep Your Feet About a Foot Apart.

Tip #6 – Inhale and Step Forward With Your Right Foot in One Smooth Movement.

Tip#7 – Lower Your Right Thigh Until It Is Parallel to the Floor; Do Desired Number of Reps, Then Switch Legs.

Tip#8 – Keep your abs tight during each lunge. This will also help keep your back straight.

Final Precaution:

Do not bend the knee behind you until it is a few inches from the floor. If done properly, you should feel the stretch in the buttocks and the hamstrings (the muscles behind the thighs). Keep youc

Have a great workout!

October 14, 2011

“I failed my way to success”

Rant and Tip for October 14, 2011

Quote:  “I failed my way to success” Thomas Edison

I have failed many times in the gym and even with my diet. I continue to push forward and work harder to be the best I CAN BE. Thomas Edison failed many times when working on the incandescent light bulb. He tried many different filaments and failed repeatedly until he finally got it right. That is what we must do when adapting a new lifestyle or taking on a new endeavor. We all know that the people with the greatest success in life are the people that are not afraid to fail. I look forward to failing in my next training session.

 As I look at the stats on my blog it looks like my following is growing again and I hope you all take the time to look around and see what this site has to offer. As you can see I am an Amazon associate and if you already shop at Amazon why not start here. I have a page for exercise equipment, Atkins products, supplements and one page that I fill with request from you the readers of this blog. There are exercise videos and even exercise programs you can follow. I think at the next meet that I do I will ask one of the experienced lifters to show you proper form for the lifts at that event.  You already know I power lift and I assure you the routines on this site are designed for all abilities, from the beginner to the more advanced exercise enthusiast.

You all know I am a big proponent of strength training with weights or even your own body weight. The home cardio machines are good and if you have them you should use them. Strength training will actually help you burn more calories when you are at rest though. As you build muscle you body works harder to maintain that muscle which in turn burns more calories and depending on our diet will burn off more body fat. At this point in my diet and strength training regimen I work pretty hard for an hour a day. All the time trying to get stronger and build more lean muscle mass. Of course as I do this I am eating more food that you can imagine and still maintaining a lean physique. I try not to get caught up in the scale unless I am preparing for a meet.

Have a great workout!

Tip: For those of you that can only do one pull up here are some suggestions.
  • Chin-ups. Chin-ups are done with your palms facing your and are easier than Pull-ups. If you can't do 1 Pull-up, try Chin-ups. Alternate Chin-ups with Pull-ups when you get stronger.
  • Resistance Band. Attach a resistance band to your pull-up bar and loop it around your knee, like in this video.
  • Ask For Help. Ask someone to grab your side with his hands. Let him help you on the way up by squatting down & pressing up.
  • Kipping Pull-ups. Swing your hips while pulling yourself up until you get stronger.
  • Routine. You can also try this strength training routine to increase your strength on Pull-ups (or Chin-ups).
  • Use a chair. Use the chair to get yourself up to the bar and step off the chair, lower yourself slowly, this is a negative you with repeated work you will get stronger in the pull-up

October 13, 2011

A good goal is like a strenuous exercise

Rant and Tip for October 13,2011

Quote: “A good goal is like a strenuous exercise - it makes you stretch.” Mary Kay Ash

Good Morning everyone! Found this quote and wanted to share it with you. I guess for those of us who set our exercise goals and exercise hard, we must be ahead of the game. If you already are stretching to reach your goals, that is good news. You probably already set goals in life and know how to work towards achieving them. The rest of you I hope you are getting encouragement and help through this blog.

I went to Albany Strength last night and work with the bench shirt again. I did not go heavy and continued to work on stroke and my form. With the bench shirt you tend to bring the weight a little farther down on the chest. However this is not always the best thing. In a competition you have to touch your sternum and the judges watch that closely. Secondly if you bring the weight to far down your chest you are not loading the shirt properly. You want and need to force the shirt to stretch at the right point. This loads the shirt and your muscles for the explosive power to throw the weight up. I have more to learn about lifting with the shirts but I have till April to get there.

Benching for a meet and benching to put on muscle like a body builder are to different benching styles. If your goal is to get a bigger chest, you will need to flatten out your arch in your back a bit. There should still be a small space that you can fit your hand in at the small of your back, but that is basically it. Also a wider grip will help you isolate and hit the pectoral muscles giving them a good pump. When benching for meets, you want a big arch this helps keep your shoulders tight, and will shorten the distance you need to push the weight. I try to do both types of benching. I want a larger chest and also some big numbers on my bench press. Pick your bench-press goal accordingly and lift the way that is best for you.

How are you doing with your change in eating? I am trying not to use the word diet because it always seems to have a negative feel to the word. This should not be a negative process in your life. I guess this is why I call it a lifestyle change. To me it just sounds better. After all it is a lifestyle change just like someone who quits smoking, or chooses a different career. You can do this and will be successful if you are able to get the negativity out of the thought of this being just another diet. I have said this before, while the way of eating I have chosen works for me, you may have chosen a different approach. This is ok, just remember this is a lifestyle change and you need to make it permanent. If you do not it will be like every other diet out there and you will put the weight back on. Yes I used the word diet; however, I wanted the negative effect.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Bench Press: (Courtesy of http://www.myweightlifting.com/bench-press-tips.html)
Retract Shoulder Blades & Stick Chest Out. Bringing your scapulae (shoulder blades) together will naturally bring your chest out. This essential bench press tip has three beneficial effects:
o Stable Foundation. First, your shoulder blades and the surrounding upper back muscles give you a solid foundation off of which to push.
o Shorter Range of Motion. Second, the combination of retracted scapulae, a flexed upper back and a puffed out chest decreases the distance you need to push the barbell.
o Shoulder Health. Finally, you save your shoulder joints and scapulae from injury; leaving your shoulders protracted with scapula hanging all willy-nilly can only lead to shoulder issues down the road.

October 12, 2011

You’ve only got three choices in life,

Rant and Tip for October 12, 2011

Quote: “You’ve only got three choices in life, Give up, Give in, or Give it all you got. “ Unknown

A friend sent me this quote last night and I thought it was really worth mentioning today. This applies to many aspects of life. For the sake of this blog let’s keep it diet and exercise related. Although I can think of other areas this can apply to but those areas really need two people to give it all they got and sometimes that is not meant to be.

As far as exercise and power-lifting this hit home with me today. I want to do a full power meet and next year and hopefully be competitive in my age and weight class. This means I have to GIVE IT ALL I GOT! I did this yesterday with my squats. I did a hundred squats yesterday. 10 sets of 10 at 265 lbs. Not a heavy weight but a heck of a lot of reps. I am looking to build muscle memory here so when I go much heavier my muscles remember what to do. Dead-lifts will be on my schedule later in the week again higher reps with a lower weight to build the muscle memory on the form.

If you recall I was resting my right bicep as it was diagnosed with bicep tendonitis. I still feel pain in the bicep and have decided it is what it is. I had gone through physical therapy and was impressed with the physical therapy documentation process. Every time I went in regardless of the therapist I went to they knew what changes were made and what was next on my agenda. I know your thinking well yeah that is their job to know what is going on. However to be honest how many times have we gone to a specialist only to find out they had you mistaken with a different patient. It really isn’t their fault they see so many people in a day it is just crazy. Insurance companies have almost made it a processing plant. Thank goodness for good physical therapy documentation processes.

As far as changing you eating habit and the above quote, we have all given up on a diet, or gave in to temptation. Let’s try something different and give it your all. Make it a lifestyle change. It is longer a diet you are on. It is you daily diet that meets your nutritional needs for the rest of your life. It took me to understand it is a lifestyle change for me and not just a diet that made the difference.

My workout today will be some benching with a bench shirt in the evening and during the day some back work. I will have a separate day for arms as they do get it on the other days. Also since I will be doing dead-lifts on a regular basis and will be getting a good stretch in the bicep I want to make sure it is not over worked.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When doing single arms rows take the time to look in the mirror and make sure you back is straight and not rounded. If it is rounded use a lighter weight and get your form correct.

October 11, 2011

Amazing Sky

I was on my out of a coffee shop that happens to sell bagels and saw this beautiful site in the sky. While it is not related to health and fitness I wanted to share it with all of you.
copyright Wesley Kipp October 2011

It was taken in Clifton Park NY with my cell phone. I am actually very pleased at how well it came out.

Enjoy my friends and feel free to comment.

Doing Cardio before strength training is like

Rant and Tip for October 11, 2011

Quote: “ Doing Cardio before strength training is like filling up on snacks Thanksgiving day before the big meal” Wesley Kipp

Yes this is my own quote and I find t so true. Ask any trainer and they will tell you that if you are going to strength train and do cardio in the same exercise session, you should do the strength training first. Strength training is the main course. Cardio is your desert!

When you do your cardio first it robs you of the strength you need to make gains in your lifting exercises. Even if you are performing an upper body exercise after doing your 30 minutes of running your upper body exercise will suffer, you will not be able to stress the muscle enough to see growth, and or gains in strength. You have read me say to do your cardio first thing in the morning before breakfast. This is meant to be done separately from your strength training session. When I do my cardio in the morning I will strength train several hours later. This way I get the benefits of kick starting my metabolism and have the time to eat to fuel my body for a strength training session. If you need to do both in the morning by all means eat first then hit the weights and cardio after that. Remember if you fill up on those snacks you do not have the capacity to really enjoy that big dinner.

Some people have consistently asked me how I fuel up for my training sessions. When I first started losing the weight I was in the very early stages of the Atkins diet and kept my carbs pretty low. I lost the weight fast and followed the rungs of the Atkins ladder. I fueled my body with healthy fats, nuts, olive oil on my salads, cooking with butter, yes butter can you believe it. The avocado became my best friend, it is rich in omega threes and was able to really fuel me before a training session. As I moved through the phases of Atkins I added more carbohydrates, however only complex carbohydrates. This seems to work well. I learned that my body can handle a potato before a workout and a yam afterwards and still maintain or even lose weight. I have put on several pounds of muscle since then and have gotten stronger. If you choose to live a low carb lifestyle you should read the book first and learn the program, learn what it is and what it is not. I will tell you this, I have never eaten so many vegetables in my life and love every bite.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Form your own opinions! There is a saying opinions are like belly buttons (ok I changed that for the younger readers of this blog) Everyone has one. Definitely read my opinions but you should read a little for yourself from other sources and determine what is best for you. You are the one that has to be happy with your life style change. Nobody Else!

October 10, 2011

the best buy in public health today must be a combination of regular physical exercise and a healthy diet.

Rant and Tip for October 10, 2011

Quote of the Day:  And I believe that the best buy in public health today must be a combination of regular physical exercise and a healthy diet.
Julie Bishop

I do not know who Julie Bishop is but she has hit the nail on the head. OK I just looked her up and she is either an actress or a politician in Australia, either way I like this lady. It really is the best buy on the market adopting a healthy eating style and incorporating an exercise program. So invest today my friends.

I wanted to talk a little about binge eating. I use to do that all the time; I would do it every time I went on a diet. It was crazy; all of a sudden I just had to chow down on everything in sight. It would usually happen at 9:00 at night and since bread was always handy and so was the peanut butter, it was a peanut butter sandwich before bed with a large and I mean large glass of milk. Well I learned my lesson and started controlling my food intake. Really I just changed my food intake from high carb, to low carb. I increased my healthy fats and read the Atkins book. Yes this is an Atkins body. To be frank (actually I am still Jim) I do take in more protein than the book states. This is because of the goals I have and most people do not have the same goals that I do. Anyway, I ate moderate protein, 4 to 6 ounces per meal, lots of vegetables, and surprisingly a lot of fat. There I said it FAT FAT FAT….. When you eat fat you satiate the body. It does not need to look for any more fuel than that. I have to say I remember setting my watch to tell me when to eat because I just was not hungry. You may think “Well if you are not hungry then don’t eat you fool”, but you need to eat to keep yourself from going into starvation mode. I still eat a ton of vegetable, and I have found my balance point for carb intake. Anyway back to binge eating, you need to find out what your triggers are, mine was boredom in front of the TV. I changed my habits, switched the chair I sat in and started reading more books. Now the new habit seems to be writing a blog. Find your triggers and try to change them or avoid them. Lastly if you do not want to go low carb try not eating any carbs after two o’clock in the afternoon. I have a friend who is a trainer and she likes to say “Eat like a King at breakfast, a nobleman at lunch and a pauper at dinner.

Today I will be working on my benching, I am going to try a couple of different grips, one a little wider and another a little closer. Every bencher has a grip that works best and is the strongest for them. A closer grip seems to benefit benchers with larger triceps. A wider grip will engage the chest more and if you are stronger in the chest this may be the grip for you. Of course if you are body building and want to focus on the chest you will want to work with a wider grip to keep the chest fully engaged.

Have a great workout!

Tip:  Work your week points! Don’t be afraid to step up to the plate and hit the lifts that are you weakest.