August 28, 2012

Never give up and always come back fighting

Rant and Tip for August 28, 2012

Quote: “I’ll Be Back!”

OK just have to say it was a great meet in Palm Springs and I need to thank my trainee and Avi Silverberg for helping me in and out of my shirt this past Saturday. I did better than I did at worlds and know that I will continue to improve. I took second place in my age and weight division. I know I have a lot more in me. I am actually hoping to open up with over 400 lbs. (180) kilos next time. I am starting to believe and this is after talking to a lot of lifters I may be opening to light and the it is just taking to much out of me to touch with a lighter weight. I am also going to start working with a larger shirt but tighter sleeves this way I can lock my shoulders in tighter for the heavier weight. Let me work on that and “I’ll be back”

You can be back as well if you happen to stumble with your diet that is. We all have slip ups in our diet regimen and when this does happen it is best to get right back on the horse and get back on track. Do not dwell on past mistakes just move ahead with determination and a plan to stay on track. You can do this and you are so worth the effort.

As far as your exercise regimen I want to talk about stretching. Many of the stronger lifters in the meet this past weekend were doing a good amount of stretching, from stretching the hips and groin muscles to the back and shoulders. You see it does not matter what type of exercise program you follow stretching is very important. I have learned that my quads are very tight and if I can stretch them some more I may be able to get my feet back more and incorporate a bigger arch. This along with stretching my rib cage and back will make some big changes in my bench.

Have a great workout!

Tip: For some great quad stretches you can go here:

August 19, 2012

Is Opportinity Knocking?

Rant and Tip for August 19, 2012

Quote: “If opportunity does not knock, build a door! Milton Berle

Although Milton Berle was a comedian he had a quote here that really rings true. Some people it seems to us have been blessed in that is seems that everything they touch turns to gold. Maybe it is not that they are lucky, maybe they built the door and then walked through it. This applies to our physical fitness and our pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. If it seems others are gifted in their pursuit of a fit and healthy body, maybe they struggled and actually built their own door (or exercise program, or diet) and walked through it every day. Yes I do agree that there are some people who are truly gifted with a great metabolism and I assure you I am not one of them. I watch what I eat daily and continue a exercise regimen. If you are struggling with your diet or exercise regimen, build your own door and work your way through it. You can and will be successful.

Another thing that many people struggle with is addictions. Some addictions are healthy, like my mild addiction to exercise. Other addictions are not so healthy. Alcohol and drug addictions can be deadly both literally as well as deadly to your relationships and work life. I have friends and family in Atlanta Georgia and they have experience with Atlanta drug abuse rehab centers . They sing their praises and I have to believe the centers are all over the country just waiting to help. I am told the Atlanta Drug Rehab is able to give their clients the anonymity and complete confidentiality they need to pursue the recovery. If you are struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction please do not be afraid to get the help you need. If you are looking for a facility in Georgia consider the Atlanta facility found in the links above. If you are not in that area I am sure you can just perform and internet search and find a facility that can benefit you.

Training went OK yesterday. I was able to train at Muscles in Motion in Oneonta. I only warmed up and worked to hitting my opener for the National Bench Press meet in Palm Springs California. I am looking forward to this event and what it may hold. I truly believe my biggest competitor will be my own head, literally and figuratively. There are strong competitors at this event and I cannot control what they press. I am striving to do the best I can and as long as I do that, I am a winner in my book. Competing in the bench shirt is still new to me. This will be only my second meet in the shirt and I plan on doing better than the last time. Today will be a cardio day for me so I can be sure to make wake next Saturday.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When you build your door, make sure it is big enough for you to walk through. Do not build your door with limitations or to narrow to allow you the flexibility that is needed. 

August 18, 2012

Exercise For Your Health!

Exercise For Your Health!

It is common knowledge that exercise and health normally go hand-in-hand.  Doctors not only recommend exercise to maintain overall health but also to combat the symptoms of many illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and even many cancers. Although many people have the misconception that the benefits of regular exercise are linked exclusively to strenuous, challenging workouts, the reality is that inactive people are able to improve their health just by becoming moderately active. 

There are many physical benefits associated with an active lifestyle.  The CDC discusses the benefits of regular exercise as well as provides definitions and explanations about the different terms. The first benefit is prevention.  Exercising regularly can help prevent premature death as well as the development of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure and colon cancer as well as other cancers.  It can also help people who have already developed high blood pressure manage their condition.  Healthy bones, muscles and joints can all be achieved with the inclusion of a consistent exercise routine.  And older adults can use exercise to increase their mobility and balance, preventing dangerous falls.  These benefits are all in addition to helping control weight, which is normally the first thing people think of when they think about exercise. 

The relationship between exercise and overall wellbeing is not limited to the physical realm.  Exercising regularly or keeping up an active lifestyle also affects mental wellbeing.  In the article, “The Influence of Exercise on Mental Health,” Daniel M. Landers discusses how exercise can benefit those suffering from depression and anxiety. Including a regular exercise regimen in the daily routine and doing this over a period of time has the biggest impact on these conditions.  Aerobic exercise best serves to decrease anxiety while consistent strenuous workouts help to reduce depression.  Those people that are most affected by these conditions and include a workout a few times a week receive the highest benefits.  Even if a person is not suffering from depression or anxiety, exercise can improve their mood. 

There are many ways to become more active and include regular exercise in daily routines.  No matter their original shape and condition, each person can start slowly and begin working out at his own pace.  Traditional forms of exercise like walking and jogging offer the same benefits as more rigorous workouts.  Additionally, as a person becomes healthier and more accustomed to regular exercise, they can find ways to continue challenging themselves.  Another traditional way to include exercise in the daily routine is by joining a gym, using the treadmills and ellipticals and other gym equipment available there as well as the services of a personal trainers.  There are also many fitness classes offered at the gyms.  Other people might prefer acquiring home gym equipment and working out in the privacy of their home. 

Becoming more active, however, does not mean following the path of traditional exercises.  There are many non-traditional ways to exercise.  There are interesting classes, such as pole dancing classes and boxing, which can provide strenuous exercise.  As well, there are many circuit training routines that incorporate box jumps, kettle-bells and muscle-ups that are helping people become healthy.  Other non-traditional forms of exercise include mountain biking, rock-climbing, skipping rope and dancing.  Though many people think of these as hobbies, they in fact provide intense workouts.  Completing household chores and activities such as a weeding, gardening, planting, raking the lawn, cleaning, organizing and playing with the kids are also ways to maintain an active lifestyle.  These non-traditional ways are less rigorous, but they are, nonetheless, providing health benefits.   

The important thing to remember is that being healthy, both physically and mentally, includes maintaining an active lifestyle, and that no matter what shape each person begins their health journey in, there is a way to include fitness activities in regular life and build from there.   Traditional and non-traditional exercise routines can all become part of a person’s lifestyle and assist in achieving optimal health.

August 15, 2012

Do you feel labeled?

Rant and Tip for August 15, 2012

Quote: "Success doesn't come to you--you go to it."   Marva Collins

You may wonder who Marva Collins is, let me help you a little with that one. She was and educator who started Westside Preparatory School in Garfield Park in Chicago Illinois. She is famous for successfully teaching impoverished students who had been labeled as learning disabled. She also wrote "I have discovered few learning disabled students in my three decades of teaching. I have, however, discovered many, many victims of teaching inabilities." I can imagine this woman standing in front of her class saying the quote above. Inspiring those children who had been labeled to be so much more than they ever thought they would be.

Sometimes we are those children, we have been labeled as lazy, fat, and good for nothing, unattractive and in some cases even treated as a second class citizen just because we are (or in my case was) over weight. Now I was only 40 lbs over weight and this does not compare to what some other people have lost or want to lose, however I see the emotional damage that has been done through others actions and deeds. My friends I say to you that you are worth making the changes in your life, however “Success doesn’t come to you – you go to it.” Go for the success that you seek, ignore those who hold you back and label you. Take back your lives and live them to the fullest. Do not subject yourself to the indignity of being treated with disrespect. Throw aside the labels that have been assigned to you and assign your own labels. “Dedicated”, “Empowered”, “Intelligent”, “Outgoing” and dare we say “FIT”.

Cardio is done this morning, and I had to push myself through it. Yesterday was a weighted core day with lots of low back work as well. We hit our obliques hard as well and to be honest this made the cardio more difficult. It hurt to breath. LOL. Today will be a raw bench day and really working on set up. Keeping my shoulders very tight and treating every weight heavy.

If you have questions regarding diet and exercise feel free to email me. My email is at the top of the page. I also have a question and answer page where I will post your questions with your permission of course.

 Have a great workout!

Tip:  If training for strength and power you need to use heavier weight and lower reps. The 3 to 5 rep range and in some cases 2 to 3 reps. this will tax the central nervous system more and help strengthen the tendons and muscles. If your goal is to get larger muscles, stick with the higher rep ranges of 12 to 15. This will engorge the muscle with blood and help stretch the fascia membrane that surrounds the muscle.

August 14, 2012

How to remain fit

 A Guest Post From Nicole White

Healthy aging is a priority area of global concern for the World Health Organization. The human body is the most energetic and active .Proper diet and nutrition and many exercises are necessary to accommodate this, otherwise our body cells are not able to get the energy to do the work and the blood will not able to obtain the required amount of nutrients. Our body needs proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates and some minerals for proper function and to stay fit.

Fitness is about the exact function of the body is able to do much work without getting tired. A fit person is very much energetic in nature and can give the tireless efforts of all kinds of jobs for hours.

To stay mentally fit means relaxing yourself by playing games which we like for example cricket, video games, cards, golf, carom, chess, slots, poker and casino games etc. many more games online. Monte Carlo Millions slot machine is a traditional 5 reel 5 win line slot game.

Having a glass of water with a bit of lemon early in the morning will remove the toxins from your body.Drink water only when you feel thirsty because thirsty bodies gives significance of dehydration and drink water slowly rather than having two glasses at the same time. Do not count tea, coffee, soft drinks  in water intake.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so take a  healthy breakfast as it helps to start the metabolism of our body after a long gap. Breakfast should be nutritious so include  fruit salad and yogurt.

Must intake of green vegetables in your diet as they have lot of antioxidants that keep our body healthy and also make you look younger.

Join gym and go for swimming, dancing, tennis.Choose any outdoor game that you enjoy to workout.  Join a group or a club that can help you to stick to plan. Make it a habit to take out some time for your body.
You should go for regular checkups after every 6 months. This will help to determine if there is any disease in your body.

Do not think like that  you can't have a fat food if you want a healthy life. You can do workout to remove those extra calories there is not any any harm in taking these things.

Sleep is good for health as it helps our body's refresh and improves the immune system. Do meditation or yoga for relaxing which reduce the repression.

August 13, 2012

"Anything worth doing is worth doing right" SSP Nutritional

 Rant and Tip for August 13, 2012

Quote: “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.”  Hunter S Thompson

This is how I feel about my training, and although I am still learning how to execute the deadlift and squat properly I am striving to do them right. I recently failed on a squat attempt of 385 pounds. I honestly feel the strength is there to get the lift and when I looked at the video I knew what was wrong. OK When a fellow lifter looked at the video I should say confirmed what I thought was wrong. I had leaned forward, I did not keep my chest up. That is why I failed in the lift. My depth was great and when I walked out the weight it did not feel to heavy. Not even close.So If I am going to squat I need to do it right and get some numbers I can be proud of. 

As with your diet program you need to do it right for you. It is definitely worth doing it right. When I first when on the Atkins program I followed the program to the letter. A friend of mine went on the program at the same time. The difference was he had cheat days and did not truly follow the program. Always saying to me it is to have this and that. I stayed true to the program and lost the weight I needed to lose. He on the other hand is still struggling to lose the weight he has been carrying since I first started the program 3 years ago. "Anything worth doing, is worth doing right."

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have to put this post up about SSP again. I am very happy with the results from the product and think it is well worth the look by my fellow athletes and weekend warriors.

I thought I would talk a bit about Supplementation. I have recently started a consistent program with the product SSP Nutrition. I am feeling stronger than ever and I am hitting Personal Records in the gym in just 2 short weeks. Of course this is not due entirely to the supplements but the supplements do allow me to push harder and see the gains I am striving for. As we work-out our bodies are put under a lot of stress and we need to replenish the nutrients that are lost in the process and provide the body with the fuel needed to repair as well.

I have used many protein supplements in the past, as well as a pre workout supplement. I cannot say I have used a post work out supplement other than a protein Isolate. These supplements can get costly so you want to make sure you are getting exactly what you need from them.
To show a comparison I thought I would share what I have taken in the past and their cost.
Pre workout; SuperPump                                    Cost. 40.00
Post;  BCAA Powder                                         Cost 30.00
Maintain; Isopure Protein                                    Cost  52.99
Rest Day; Creatine Monohydrate                        Cost  25.00

For a total cost of  $157.99 a month. I chose these products because I have seen some success with them.

The difference with SSP is all of these come as a complete system designed to work together. The total cost of the System is $129.99 if you purchase them by the canister. As you can see while on the surface this looks expensive as a product it is actually cheaper than buying the supplements you need as an athlete separately. You can also purchase the convenience of the packets which comes in a box to help keep them organized.

Now I have tried the SSP product before, sometime last year at one of the National events that I went to. Like most people I looked at the cost and thought holy cow that is expensive. Now that I break down the cost and take in consideration what I had taken in the past I realize it is very affordable.

A little about the products individually

The Pre formula addresses critical needs for the performance athlete. Before and during the first half of the workout it’s crucial to ingest strategic amounts of proper nutrients. The Pre provides safe and natural supplementation to hydrate, enhance energy levels and prevent burning coveted muscle during the workout and performance competition. It’s what the body needs. The Pre keeps the athlete focused and hydrated while maintaining lower body temperatures for maximum workout periods with greater intensity. The latest research shows that taking essential amino acids before a workout increases muscle protein synthesis and anabolism. This, along with the hyper-hydration technology of our creatine and glycerol combination, supercharges the anabolic environment. Containing fat burning properties, The Pre enhances net gain of lean muscle and net loss of unwanted fat.

♦ Protect ♦ Replenish ♦ Repair
Provides athletes with the strategic blend of nutrients the body needs immediately after intense exertion. Post scavenges free radicals, repair's damaged muscle cells and enhancer’s lean muscle growth potential.
THE SYSTEM Packets are great for on the go athletes, or to keep organized at home in your custom SSP Nutrition box. The workout shouldn’t stop when the training ends.

♦ Lean Mass Stimulator ♦ Continue ♦ Repeat
SSP Nutrition recognizes that athletes need optimal nutrition at all stages of performance: Energetic workout, Muscle repair, and continued growth. The muscles contain remarkable growth potential long after the workout – if fed properly. The Maintain formula provides exactly what the body needs. Taken 2 hours after the Post formula, Maintain is a low calorie, lean mass stimulator. This allows muscles to continue on the anabolic path, receptive to vital time-released nutrients.

Rest Day

The rest day product allows athletes and weekend warriors the ability to maintain the proper levels of both Creatine Monohydrate and Citrulline Malate during non-workout days.

You can order SSP Here and use coupon code 3020 and get a 10% discount
Have a great workout!

August 10, 2012

If you admit to being beat,YOU ARE!

Rant and Tip for August 10, 2012

Quote: "You're never beaten until you admit it." George Patten

Now while General Patton my never had the desire to hit the weights or not I do not know. He did however lead many a man to a successful battle. Sometimes that is exactly how we feel as we tackle our diets and our fitness regimen. It is a battle. If you have a lot of weight to lose still then it becomes an all out war. I believe that his words are absolutely true. If you admit that you cannot follow your chosen diet then you will fail. It truly is a mindset that you need to adapt that you will not admit defeat. You will not get beaten in your quest. I remember the last meet I did there was a point with I started to falter during a lift. I remember thinking there is no way in hell I was going to let that bar start a decent back down and I did not let it.

It seems many people want to get better abs. I know I have repeatedly told you that it is mostly diet that will get the abs to pop. If you do not lose the fat the abs will never show no matter how many crunches you do. With that said let’s talk a little about getting better abs. To get the most out of your ab-crunches you need to keep the muscles tight throughout the movement. You never want to let muscles relax during the motion. You want to keep them tight though the entire movement. You should not rest during a rep whether at the bottom or the top of the rep. Do not rest or bounce on the floor or bench. Be sure to exhale as you contract the abs on the upward movement. When you do exhale be sure to fully exhale as if someone has punched you in the stomach. Inhale as you lower your body on the way back down. Lastly you need to keep in mind the range of motion for an ab crunch is very short. A full sit-up or crunch brings in the hip flexors as well. So be sure to focus on crunching of just the abs. For an added benefit you can crunch to the left and the right and get the obliques involved.

I had a good training session yesterday benching raw. Then some board work from a 3 board. Well the equivalent of a 3 board that is. I have noticed that my raw strength has suffered a bit since training in a bench shirt and I really want to get that strength back. I was warned this would happen and my to my surprise it did. I want to figure out why this is and maybe it is just a matter of training both equally as hard.
What do you have planned for today regarding your diet and exercise?

Have a great workout!

Tip: If you are having problems with crunches or other ab exercises try this while sitting at your desk at work or at home. I know you at your desk right now. Tighten you abs as tight as you can and hold it for 30 seconds. Now release and do it again for a set of 10. At the end you should feel like you had just done several crunches without the pressure of sitting on the floor.

Please visit The Tribustolplus web site and give Tribustol a try.  As an affiliate the proceeds will help me get to the next big meet.

August 7, 2012

“It’s not trespassing to go beyond your boundaries” Dr. Mark Hillman

Rant and Tip for August 7, 2012

Quote: “It’s not trespassing to go beyond your boundaries” Dr. Mark Hillman

I am lucky enough to get to enjoy a cup of coffee and some quick wit banter with Dr. Hillman on a regular basis. He has a coffee mug with this quote on it. As I read this quote it struck me that we set our own boundaries and many times these boundaries are not broad enough. People who do not set boundaries at all may truly be the real heroes in our society. I will have to think about that statement some more. Let’s talk instead about those of us who set our boundaries. For example, you all know I competed in a power-lifting competitions. I originally started only doing the bench press portion of these meets. I did not consider myself strong enough or good enough at the other 2 lifts. There was a meet last year however that changed all that. It is funny your lifting friends at these meets can make you do some wonderful things. It was the American challenge last year and Marcus Morris and Brian Espino convinced me to deadlift as well. I did not even think I could pull 400 pounds off the floor. Well I went and did the lift and much to my amazement I pulled 407 pounds off the floor. Now with proper form and training I am close to hitting a 450 deadlift. It seems as I sit here I had set a boundary for myself and that boundary was not broad enough. Maybe we all sell ourselves short a little bit. Maybe we all need to look beyond the boundaries we set. When we set big goals are they big enough or do we pigeonhole ourselves in a fashion that doesn’t let us live or lives to fullest. Dr. Hillman was my High School guidance counselor; he is now a renowned therapist. If he had boundaries in the past he has gone past those boundaries. He often gives his opinion on National Television regarding a broad range of issues. Feel free to check out his website So this week I will ignore any boundaries I have set for myself and go beyond them. I will push harder and not let my fear of the unknown hinder me. I have put off getting my personal training certification long enough. It is time for me to get that certification in something I love to do. Your goal this week is to look at the boundaries you have set for yourself, determine what boundaries have kept you from reaching your health and fitness goals. Let’s do this together!

Training tonight will be deadlifts and another 30 minutes of cardio. I got 30 minutes in this morning and since I want to be down to 165 before I fly out to Palm Springs this will get me there.

Have a great workout!

Tip: When performing the deadlift remember to keep your back straight and drive your hips forward not up. The first motion should be your legs driving and lifting the weight up while the hips drive forward.

August 6, 2012

When I want to read a novel, I write one.

Rant and Tip for August 6, 2012  “Happy Birthday To me, I turn 50 years old today”

Quote: “When I want to read a novel, I write one.”
Benjamin Disraeli

OK before anyone gets in an uproar here, for the record I love to read and I enjoy a good novel. While I love to write my blog I do not see myself writing a novel anytime soon. To those who have the ability to write a novel, god bless you and thank you. 

As for the quote, I read it and immediately thought that, we all need to write our own way in life. There are always things that work for me in regards to weight loss that may or may not work for you. You need to write your own story for your way in life. I encourage everyone to read others weight loss success stories and strive to learn from all of them. It can get very discouraging to read how one person lost their weight, attempt to lose weight the exact same way and find that you struggle the whole way. It can and will be frustrating when this happens. I know for my body if I do 20 t0 30 minutes of cardio every morning and again at night I will shed about 3 to 5 pounds of fat in a week. I also know that many people cannot dedicate that time and focus in to reach their weight loss goals. It really needs to be your own success story you write. Many of you know I lost my weight via the Atkins program. Going through all 4 phases and learning what my body can handle. I encourage you all to read the books and make the program your own.

Training continues to go well and my weight is 168. Only 5 pounds from the 163 weight class for the USAPL National Bench Press meet. I am getting excited and hoping to hit some nice numbers and possibly win my age and weight class. Even though I will be competing in a bench only meet I am continuing to train for a full power meet in October and November. That means squats for today. I will be modifying my 5 set training programs to get the most out of my final sets. My sets will be 3, 2, 1, 1, and the last set with the heaviest weight for a set of 5. This will aide in making me stronger without making me bigger. Right now those are my goals, increased strength with the size I am now. I do not need to look any bigger. I am happy with the amount of muscle I am carrying at this time. I just need to make that muscle tighter and stronger.

As I continue my strict diet program I am often asked how to maintain this level of dedication. To be honest at times it is not easy. For me it isn’t really so much about getting ready for the next meet as it is about being as healthy as I possibly can be. It is a battle against father time that I choose to wage. As I stated above, I turn 50 years old today. I am often told I do not look 50. I now ask the question what is 50 suppose to look like? Maybe I look 50 and those who look older than I do are the ones who need to take a look at themselves and determine what changes they need to make. I know genetics play a big part and we are all dealt a hand that we must play out. I choose to play the hand I was dealt to the best ability it can be played.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Do not believe that you are ever too old to try something new and different. Age is merely something that needs to be addressed and used to our advantage. With age comes great wisdom and experience. Even if that wisdom comes from learning from poor eating habits or lack of exercise, you already know what not to do now.

You to can look like a 50 yr old. SSP Style

August 2, 2012

“There is nothing impossible to him who will try.”

Rant and Tip for August 2, 2012

Quote: “There is nothing impossible, to him who will try.”  Alexander the Great.

Every time something seems impossible try to adapt this quote. Alexander the Great conquered many a land and had a great empire. None of it would have been possible if he did not try. When you look in the mirror and feel it is an impossible task to get you body where you want to be you have nothing to lose if you just try.

The birds are chirping and people are already outside running and it is only 5:30 AM. Including me, I got my cardio in before breakfast today and happy I got it done. You have to love this. 

Today I want to address the ladies out there and let them know it is a good thing for them to weight train as well. If I heard it once I have heard it a hundred times. I suggest weight training to a female co-worker or online friend and she says to me I don’t want to get bulked up. Listen, in most cases the women you see that are bulky are taking something. I have seen many women in the sport of power-lifting who are very strong and none of them are taking any performance enhancing drugs. They can’t because it would be caught in a drug test. Women simply don't produce enough of the hormone testosterone to build muscle mass the way that men do. If you see an over-muscled woman in a body building competition, chances are that she has used a synthetic testosterone such as anabolic steroids. Weight training for a woman will strengthen and tone muscle, burn fat and increase metabolism, not build mass. I have several friends who are female that lift and let me just tell you they are beautiful healthy women who are just that, all woman.  I really want you ladies to know not to be afraid of the gym or the weights if you workout at home. So no more excuses ladies, let’s get hitting the dumbbells and if you darling better half has earned the nickname dumbbell please don’t go hitting them.
With my cardio out of the way all I have to do now is get my strength training in. This will take place later today and it will be back day. I plan on switching it up a bit today and going higher reps to build some muscle endurance. Lots of rows, lat pulls, shrugs and pull overs. 

Have a great workout!

 If you are having trouble getting your cardio done in the morning, employ the help of a friend to call or text you to get your bottom out of bed.

Use Discount code 3020

August 1, 2012

You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality

Rant and Tip for August 1, 2012

Quote: "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."
- Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

This quote I think speaks for itself. We can avoid the truth about our eating habit and lack of discipline with exercise but the truth is it will and does catch up to us.

It is funny; in my daily life people all the time come up to me and ask me questions about fitness and my diet. They in general think I am not following the Atkins diet, because they see what I eat and think that based on their knowledge of the diet that I am not following it. I inevitably end up given them a lesson in the program. I do not push Atkins on them but try to educate them on how the body will process foods. I let them know your body burns four things for fuel, Carbohydrates, Fats, Protein and Alcohol. My poor children have heard this all before and they have said to me, “Can you go a day without saying carbohydrates?” I tell them, “I can as long as nobody asks me how I got so fit.” Sometimes they just walk away shaking their heads. I actually hope, this all sinks in for them so they never get to where I was.

This weekend is the USAPL Raw Nationals. They start Friday August 3rd in Killeen Texas. I wish I could be there. Some strong lifters will be present. My friend and fellow 165 lb competitor Mike Macri will be competing. I wish him strong lifts and proper depth. Mike is a talented lifter with strong hips which help him a lot in the squat and deadlift. I have learned a lot from him and wish him the best.

If you have not been working out, what are you waiting for? Strength training really is for everyone. Studies have shown that people who continue to lift into their senior years benefit greatly. They tend to not break bones as easily and they maintain the balance better, thus having less accidental falls. I bet if that woman who keeps saying “I have fallen and I can’t get up” had been doing her strength training exercises she would not have fallen in the first place. Exercise can keep us going long into our later years of life and give us quality as well. We lost a fitness guru last January. Jack Lalanne, he was 96 years old. He was never a burden on his family and was an avid swimmer. One of his quotes I like most is: "Living is a pain in the butt. Dying is easy. It's like an athletic event. You've got to train for it. You've got to eat right. You've got to exercise. Your health account, your bank account, they're the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen: together, you have a kingdom." I just love that statement.

Have a great workout!

When eating out do not be afraid to ask what is in a dish and even request some changes that meet your dietary needs. I do not usually eat a potato or yam after 4:00 in the afternoon. So when I eat out I have no qualms asking for an extra side of vegetable instead, or a salad. You are the one paying for the meal, get what you want.  Oh and one more thing, if they are accommodating as they should be, be sure to tip appropriately.