August 1, 2013

Do not surrender to past habits!

Rant and Tip for August 1, 2013

Quote: "The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." ~Vince Lombardi~

Vince Lombari has had many quotes over his career. I found this one and thought this is where I am now when it comes to my way of eating and exercise. I find it very hard to surrender to eating a less than healthy diet and hitting a new personal best when I lift. I am always striving to get better and better. The harder the work the greater the reward, as you change your lifestyle and work hard to be successful in your lifestyle change, you will find it harder and harder to surrender to any unwanted urges or cravings you encounter. Work hard and you will be successful.

Went it comes to exercise as you work hard to achieve your goals you will find as you go along it will be harder and harder to give up on that last repetition. I recently was working out with a friend and hit some great person best in the bench. I made a miss-calculation on the bar and instead of hitting 315 for 1 rep I pressed 335. I forgot we were using 100 lb plates and 5 pound collars. This added 20 pounds to a bar I thought was 315. Anyway the weight went up easy. My training partner at the time was John Bogart a master bench press world champion. He immediately put 345 on the bar for my next attempt; again it went up with speed and confidence. We made a bold jump at that point to 355. I was excited to make this attempt. I hit a sticking point at just before lockout. I held that bar there and continued to try to lock out the weight. I did not want to surrender to the bar. Ultimately I missed the lift but, I fought it all the way. We dropped the weight to 350 and I did hit that weight.

As the weight went up I hit the stick point and t was at this point and I pushed harder, I was not going to surrender to the weight. I wanted it to go up. I needed it to go up. I would not surrender to the bar. When you strength train consistently you will find this will happen to you in your workouts. As you get stronger from your training and you find that you are able to do things you have not done in years, you will find it hard to surrender to the life you had before training. Whether you are a cardio aerobic type person or a strength training individual like myself you will not want to go back to you previous lifestyle.

It is funny as a young adult or child you do not realize what a gift being fit is. You almost take it for granted and you allow yourself to eat anyway you want and you do not take in consideration the affects it could have on the rest of your life. As a mature adult we have experienced the side effects of an unhealthy lifestyle and for many of us it took that for us to pull ourselves together.

Through this blog I have raised about $100.00 towards the National and World meets. I have a long way to go but I will get there. Thank you to those who have made donations to help me get there.

Tip: Make your new lifestyle fun. If you do not enjoy the exercise you are currently doing mix it up and find something you enjoy. Now I do know some of you may think UGH I don’t enjoy any physical activity, this you will just have to overcome. You can do it and you will find something you enjoy. Maybe it is just a matter of going with someone you enjoy spending time with.

June 4, 2013

Exercise and Endorphins

Rant and Tip for June 4, 2013

Quote: Exercise and application produce order in our affairs, health of body, cheerfulness of mind, and these make us precious to our friends.- Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson is more than just one a great politician and one of the Fathers of the United States, he was also a very wise man. The quote above is true on a chemical level as well. It is known by that exercise releases endorphins, which can put you in a better mood. You may have heard many a person say I need to work some frustrations off in the gym. What they are really doing is releasing endorphins into the body. Researchers are even looking into how the release of endorphin can improve the body’s insulin action. It is believed that the hormone can actually help control diabetes.

Exercise also aides in the reduction of stress through the releasing of endorphins. Stress produces the hormone cortisol which is known to reduce the fat burning process and slow down your metabolism. When you feel stressed, don’t reach for that piece of cake, go for a walk, jog or run. Whatever you body, and time will allow of you at that time.

Those of us who have struggled with our diets can also train our brains with exercise to eat better. I know for myself when I exercise I do not want all this hard work to go to waste. If I exercise daily instead of thinking to myself, “Oh I exercised now I can eat that piece of pizza”, I think, “Man I just worked hard in the gym, why would I want to sabotage that work by eating that slice of pizza.”

I hope my little rant has inspired you or at least give you something think about.

Tip:  Dumbbell Fly

  1. This exercise should be done slowly, focusing on the stretch and contraction of the pectoral muscles.
  2. Don't pause or let the dumbbells touch at the top of the exercise.
  3. Use a full range of motion by lowering the dumbbells as far as comfortably possible.
  4. Always use a wide semi circle motion when doing this exercise, and don't allow the dumbbells to come too close to the body. 

May 27, 2013

Reflection should be a part of life!

 Rant and Tip for May 27, 2013

     "Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful."  Margaret J Wheatley       

                  Margaret J. Wheatley is an American writer and management consultant who studies organizational behavior.

Jim Kipp and Tom Cencich

   It has been a while since I have written and it is way past time I get started again. I have been reflecting lately on a lot of things. I find it very helpful in all areas of life. Of course I have been reflecting on my recent 7th place finish at the IPF Masters World Bench Press meet and trying to find where my third lift went wrong. I have watched the video over and over again I know what I did wrong. I rushed myself with my set up and my grip on my left hand was off. The bar was not place correctly in the palm of my hand, this forced my wrist to cock back and change the direction of the bar on my left side. The bar had no choice but to propel towards my face. Which it did, I knew something was off just before the bar touched my chest. If I did not take the time to reflect on the lift and view the video over and over and over again chances are I would make that mistake again. I assure you that is not a mistake I will make again.
Left Wrist Is cocked back, bad set up
 This little story is really meant to share with my readers that reflection is needed and vitally important to be successful in our dietary and exercise needs and goals. If you feel you are failing in some area take the time to reflect on what is causing the failure and yes it is OK to say failure. Failure is a learning opportunity. In every opportunity there is a chance for growth.

If you diet is not going in the direction you want it to then start tracking everything you eat and determine what needs to be changed. A good diet sometimes needs to be modified based on your exercise needs. If you eat a low carb diet you may need to increase your fats in some way and an Avocado is an excellent way to do that. Try it an hour before a work out and see if that helps your. It is also full of potassium and this will help with cramping in the legs and other muscles.

You exercise needs to be tracked. You have probably noticed many guys and girls in the gym tracking their workouts. When done correctly and injunction with tracking your diet, you can tell a lot about your body. For instance if you track exercise and you note you felt weak or just lacked energy, you can reference you diet for the previous few hours and determine whether or not you ate enough.

Reflection can take many forms and be done at any point in the day.

Exercise tip: This one goes out to those of us who are obese, to the point that your knees are in pain and squats are out of the question. Take the time to get a partner and find a bench. Use your partner by holding their hands and sit back on to the bench. Do not plop down! Ease your self down and back. Making sure your knees do not go out over your toes. I will work on a video for this for you. I have found it has worked very well for a few people I know who are taking control of their eating habits and the rest of their life. 

Tip: Schedule a time to reflect at least once a week, but preferably daily. Jot down what you need to work on and make changes as needed.

April 15, 2013

IPF Masters 2013 World Bench Press Meet

As many of my readers are aware,I am a member of the USAPL Masters World Bench Press Team.

I want to thank you all for your support and encouraging words.
I lift on Friday the 19th at 9:30 AM Eastern Standard time. This will be 3:30 PM Czech time.
If you are so inclined you can watch the event at

It should come up in the search results. IPF Masters World Bench Press meet in Prague, Czech Republic.

Feel free to share this with anyone you think maybe interested.

Thanks again and see you all when I get back.

February 16, 2013

Is opportunity Knocking

Quote of the day:

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” - Milton Berle

Milton Berle said it well when he said the quote above. I have tried to do this myself. Sometimes opportunity does knock and we are to afraid to open the door. Whether is because of negative comments made about you at the local gym, Like "Why is he going, he doesn't deserve that" or a family member that talks you out of changing your eating lifestyle. Other times you need to build a door so that opportunity can knock. Maybe it has to be a new door in a different direction. Such as my pursuit to get certified in personal training.

Rant and Tip for February 16, 2012

Hello my friends and it is time for me to get back to writing. I have to figure a happy medium between blogging daily and more than once a week. Once a week is not enough for me to write and get things off my chest, and not enough for you to want to visit often. 

It has been a big week for me, the first news I received was on February 9th Saturday evening, the head coach of the Masters USAPL World team contacted me and asked if I wanted to accept a position on the team at either a lower weight class than I competed in or a higher weight class. I stay pretty lean my friends and there was no way I was ever going to come close to 145 pounds with looking like death warmed over. I accepted the higher weight class and plan on putting on a few extra pounds to see if I get stronger by April 19. That is the day I compete. I am looking for donations of any size through PayPal to offset some of the cost to represent the United States in the Powerlifting event. Being an amateur these things can get expensive.  

The second bit of news is, as of February 11, 2012 I am a Nationally Accredited Personal Trainer. I hope to be helping others in their goals to eat right and get fit soon. The certification is a NESTA certification and although it is the same certification that some trainers on the Biggest Loser have, I assure you I am more into the long term training you to help yourself than the short term quick lose and say good bye to you. I look forward to seeing clients in person someday. Right now it is just great to know that all the information I have shared with you all is accurate and I have not lead anyone down the wrong path.

As many of you know I follow a low carb eating lifestyle. This does not mean I do not eat any carbs, it just means compared to the general public I eat a lot less carbs than the average person. The carbs I do eat are complex carbs and they are consumed around my workouts. I have increased these since finding I am competing in a higher weight class. The key to any diet and I use the word diet to represent an eating lifestyle, not a temporary thing to help me lose weight, is to consider everything you put in your mouth and determine if it is going to get you to, or help you maintain where you want to be. I will say there are some things I occasionally miss and one of those is peanut butter. 

Training is going well for the world meet and although I am training in gear I have found a happy mix between raw training and geared training. I recently hit some numbers that by using One Rep Max calculators puts me at about 350 pounds. Well I do not know if I have that in the tank yet, but I am feeling like I am close to 340. The trick I come to realize is when it comes to strength training less can be more. Less Reps and less work sets and make every week a Personal Record. Whether it by a half pound to 5 pounds always get that PR and go home happy.

Have a great workout!