It’s All About Balance

Ok, time for some Hector-isms regarding weight-loss, exercise, and the such. These are just some simple fitness and battle of the bulge tips to keep in mind. My clients hear the following from me over, and over, and over again.

1. Women, mujeres, muchachas, you cannot eat like a man unless you want to weigh what a man weighs. Why can’t you eat like a man ladies? Because on average, men are bigger/taller than women, and men carry more muscle mass than women. Being taller and carrying more muscle mass allows for more calorie consumption. So ladies, every time you sit down to eat with a man who is bigger than you, make sure your plate’s amount doesn’t match his.

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2. Women, you cannot drink  as many adult drinks as a man does for the same reasons I just stated above. If your male friend has 10 beers over the weekend, and you do to, you will pay the price more than he will, in the form of fat accumulation.

3. Women, lifting weights will not make you buff or bulky. To be buff or bulky you would have to be really, really strong. Like WAAAAYYYYYY stronger than you probably are right now. Very few women have the genetic predisposition to get bulky/buff. If it was that easy to be buff, you would see buff men everywhere, and that is simply not the case. Ladies, don’t be afraid of getting strong.

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And now for my compadres, the men.

4. Vigorous exercise helps circulation/blood flow to all parts of the human body. Good blood flow helps your friend downstairs stand at attention. Get it!!!

5. Men, if you’re not sure if you have gained weight in the form of eff-aye-tee in the last 10 years, there is a simple way to find out. Go find a pair of pants and a shirt that fit you well ten years ago and try them on. If they are super tight or don’t even fit, you have gained weight. The four things that don’t lie about weight gain are clothing, the mirror, the scale, and children. If a child says “you’ve gained weight”, you probably have. I once was told by a kid that I have big ears, and guess what, I have big ears. But that’s ok because guess what they say about men with big ears? They say we hear well. (Get your brain out the gutter).

6. Men, do you like how women look who workout? You like a nice firm and toned body?  Well guess what? Women like how men look who workout too. You don’t believe me, just ask a few of your female amigas.

7. Men, take advantage of the testosterone you produce naturally and do resistance training. Your body will thank you for it, and you might build some muscle too.

Now some Hector-isms for everyone.

8. Just because you can stomach it, doesn’t mean you should eat it. Think junk food.

9. Your stomach is not a garbage can.

10. Do you have a car? Do you take your car in for its maintenance and scheduled tune ups? Well, guess que? Your body is a much more complicated piece of machinery than a car, so give it its tune-ups too, in the form of exercise, and provide it with clean fuel/food while you’re at it. You can always replace a car, but the last time I checked, you get one body. Yep, just one. True Dat!!!

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11. You don’t run on batteries. If you’re constantly tired and addicted to caffeine, check your food quality and sleep amounts.

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12. And finally, I believe life is about balance. Go ahead, have fun, eat some pizza, drink some beer, stay up late, but make sure you balance it out by eating clean, drinking water, exercising, and getting your sleep.

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Beer, Pizza, and Weight Gain

So how’s that New Year’s solution going? Nope, that is not a type-o. It’s better to call them solutions, as in to solve something, than to call them re-solutions, as in to try to solve something over and over again, like weight loss. To me, re-solution sounds too much like you are redoing or retrying something. So how’s that New Year’s solution to lose weight and get in shape going? Not so good? Never fear, Hector is here. It is time to trouble shoot.

First, let’s talk about alcohol. How much did you drink during the holidays last year? No, not just the Christmas holidays. I am talking about all the holidays, as in Labor Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July weekend, Thanksgiving Day weekend, and whatever else you might celebrate weekend. You drank mucho? That’s ok because this is not an exercise in finger-pointing. I’m just trying to help.

Did you also regularly drink on weekends that weren’t about celebrating anything in particular, other than you survived another week of work? Did you go to a few happy hours too? Did you drink on Sundays during football season? Did you drink because it was hot outside, and you were poolside with some friends and the kids? Did you drink because you were happy? Did you drink because you were sad? Did you drink because you were tired? Did you drink because you deserved a drink? Did you drink because you needed to relax? Did you drink because it was a Friday night? And then drank because it was a Saturday night? And then drank because it was Sunday night?

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So what’s my point of all this alcohol talk? It is simple. Calories from alcohol add up. And if you were a regular drinker last year, and this year you are trying to lose weight, I would advise you to cut back on the alcohol, big time. You might save some money too!!

Time for some math. Let’s say you drink an average of twice per week, and you have two drinks each time you drink. I will be kind and say that each drink only has 100 calories. That’s 400 calories per week, and that is a whopping 20,800 calories per year of empty calories. I know, I know, wine is good for you, but we’re talking weight loss here, and not tannins and resveratrol.

If you drink three times per week, you are drinking 42% of the year. That’s creeping up on almost half the year. And if you are drinking four nights per week, you are drinking 57% of the year. Good luck losing weight drinking four times per week or more. It’s tough. You might attain six-pack abs though.

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One of the most effective changes a regular alcohol drinker can make to lose weight is to cut back on drinking. How much should you cut back? Well that depends on how much, and how often you drink? But I do know this, the less active you are, the less you can afford to consume liquid calories from beer, wine, tequila, rum, scotch, or whatever your preference. Combining inactivity and regular alcohol consumption will wreck the best of weight loss plans.

Now let’s talk children. According to yesterday’s news, pizza contributes to children’s weight gain.

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Really!! We needed a seven-year study, 2003-2010, of the dietary habits of children to figure out that pizza contributes to weight gain/obesity? Let me guess, fries, hamburgers, sodas, ice cream, and funnel cakes will make you gain weight too? Please feel free to look up the pizza study I am talking about. Just Google “pizza and childhood obesity” and it should come up.

Pizza is not bad once in a while, any nutritionist or pediatrician will tell you that. The problem is that when pizza is consumed often, and several slices at a time, the calories add up very quick. I am not here to tell you or your children what to eat, just asking you to be aware that pizza packs a punch when it comes to calories.

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So that means that just 3 slices of regular crust pizza is almost 1,000 calories. You would have to walk about 8 miles to burn that off. And as of now, I know no one who walks 8 miles in one walking session.

On a side note, I like to read the comments at the bottom of  weight loss articles, like the pizza one yesterday, to get an idea of what people think. Man, I tell you what, keyboard personal trainers, pediatricians, and nutritionists are everywhere. “When I was a kid, we walked everywhere. We played outside from sun up to sundown. We never wanted to be inside.” read one comment. Then there were those that were a bit nastier like “Kids nowadays are so fat because they don’t move and just play video games all day.” Then there’s the perfect parent who says “It’s not the kids, it’s the parents.” These comments can get ugly. Technology is great, but it has also allowed folks to talk tish from the safety of their homes or a coffee shop. That’s not cool. (Excuse the venting. Maybe it’s better to invent than vent.)

Ok, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was talking about kids and weight gain. Allow me to try to simplify a complex subject. Here it goes. Children are becoming overweight because they consume more calories than they burn. That is a fact. It does not matter if these calories come from sushi, red meat, chicken fingers, hamburgers, fries, pastries, ice cream, cereal, cookies, or pasta. If a child consumes more calories than his or her growing body, and its physical demands need, he or she will gain weight.

Here are some things I have noticed:

The thin kids that I know, whether they be adolescents or teenagers, are physically active. I don’t know what they eat day in and day out, but I know they are active.

Most overweight children that I have met or know personally, are not very physically active.

Almost all, if not all, children love pizza, ice cream, fries, cookies, soda, etc.

Not all kids enjoy physical activities. And that is ok.

To help children grow as healthy as possible, movement must be encouraged, and the amount of calories children consume should honor the amount of movement they partake in. And yes, a child who prefers video games, reading, and being on the computer over exercise, has less caloric demands than a child who swims or plays football five days per week. This is a fact.

This caloric formula, law, or whatever you want to call it, even applies to animals. My Rottweiler, Rocco, eats 6 cups of food a day, and he’s only 6 months old and already about 65 pounds. My Jack Russel Terrier, Buddy, on the other hand, eats about 3/4 cup of food a day. Buddy weighs 17 pounds and is about 6 or 7 years old. He’s a rescue, so we don’t know his true age. If I increased Buddy’s food amount, and didn’t increase his activity levels, he would gain weight. If I cut back on my Rottweiler puppy’s food, he would lose weight and probably not grow to his full genetic potential.

Food for animals or humans is energy. If you consume too much food for your physical demands, you will gain weight in the form of eff-ay-tee. Remember, fat on the body is just stored energy waiting to be used. The human body is so efficient with its calories that it will not poop or pee away any excess. You give it excess calories, and it will store them for later use as eff-ay-tee. Your body does not know that you will eat again, again, and again. Food abundance, where it currently exists, is a relatively new phenomenon for humans.

There is really no one factor to blame for our societies weight gain problem.

And here’s another challenge. For anyone to lose weight, calorie consumption must be reduced, and the feeling of hunger must be learned, and that feeling of hunger must be endured for short periods at a time. Sorry. If a person satisfies their hunger signal every time it appears, chances are, they will gain weight. Sorry again. Weight loss is more about calorie reduction than it is about carrots and lettuce on your plate. I hope this makes sense.

If you want something to place blame on for how easily humans gain weight, blame the ridiculously complex machine known as the human body. It runs on very little fuel, and it always wants fuel/food, no matter how active or inactive it is. It does not care what the fuel is, it just wants it. Blame evolution.

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Children can have pizza, adults can have adult drinks, but these calorie sources are best consumed in moderation. Even consuming too much water can kill you, and water has zero calories. Now that’s muy loco!!!

 

 

 

 

Group Exercise

Happy New Year!! I know, I know, it’s already the 5th of January, but better late than never, right?

Guess how I’ve been bringing in the New Year? I will give you some hints: a runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, headache, body ache, and just feeling overall crappy. Yep, you guessed it. Healthy Homeboy is not so healthy today. I have the flu. For you edge-a-macated folks, I have influenza. Yuck!!! My symptoms began on January 2nd, in the evening.

I scoured my thesaurus and dictionary for the perfect word to describe influenza, found it!! Sucks. Yes, the flu sucks. But I will keep this post positive, like all my posts, and talk about positive experiences I had with my personal training business last year. (One of my New Year’s resolutions is to stay away from negativity and be as positive as possible).

By far, without a doubt, the best experience I had last year with my personal training business was, and continues to be, group training.

It all started in the spring with a group a women who wanted to exercise together and needed a trainer to monitor and push them. I obliged. We agreed to train outdoors at 6am twice per week. Before I knew it, they were doing weighted sled pulls, running and sprinting, push-ups, lunges, and everything else I asked of them. workout-collage

The group stayed together through spring, summer, fall, and now winter. We are no longer outdoors though. It’s muy frio. So we have taken the bootcamp indoors. Guess what some of my neighborhood bootcamp crew asked me to do for them on January 1, 2015? They asked me to run a bootcamp for them. What!!!! I couldn’t believe it. Even some of the husbands showed up. To top it off, the bootcamp we did was outdoors, because our indoor facility was closed on January 1st. Through a camera lens the day was beautiful, but physically, it was a bit cold. Here are some action shots.

Flutter kicks for abs. This was after jogging, sprinting, sled pulls, lunges, squat and press, and whatever else I had my motivated New Year’s day bootcamp crew do. (If any of you are observant enough to notice that one of the participants is wearing flip-flops, good job. No, she did not do the bootcamp in flip-flops. Exercising on a muddy field in flip-flops is a safety hazard).

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Push-ups to focus on triceps. (Elbows close to body).

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And after the torture, I mean bootcamp, they all had protein shakes that I made for them. Trust me, they were protein shakes, despite what the red cups might allude to.

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Even my sisters, Norma and Vicky, who were visiting from Florida and Cali, showed up for the bootcamp. Everyone said the protein shakes hit the spot.

Thank you, Stonegate bootcamp particpants. You all gave me and continue to give me OJT, on the job training, when it comes to group training, and I love it. Keep up the great work. And remember ladies, strong is the new skinny. (I challenge any man over 40 to do as many push-ups as the lady on the right can. How many can she do? It’s more than 40). strong-beautiful-women

And to my UCG workout crew, your story will be next.

The Kitchen Tones

First, I would like to give a big thumbs up to all military veterans. Happy Veterans Day. And now for your regularly scheduled program. The kitchen tones.

No, not these kitchen tones.

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Or these.

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When I say “the kitchen tones”, that is exactly what I mean. You can lift weights, do cardio, Zumba your nalgas off, and do any other exercise you wish to do in order to “tone” your body, but if you don’t adhere to a clean diet, and you eat too many calories for your desired weight, chances are, you will not tone. Tone is created in the kitchen. That is why I say “the kitchen tones”.

Tone is muscle definition, and muscle definition is created by lowering body fat levels. In order to lower body fat levels we must lose fat (duh). Body fat is lost/lowered by moving more, eating healthier, and in most cases, eating less. I know, I know, some athletes like Michael Phelps eat 10,000 calories a day and still remain lean. But guess what? Unless you plan to swim for hours a day, almost every day, I suggest you stay away from the 10,000 calorie a day diet. Oops, my bad. I just Googled it, and because everything on the internet is true, I have to show you what I found about Phelps’ diet.

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And he still looks like this!!! What tha? Que la? (That’s “what tha” in Spanish). That’s not fair! But as my wife likes to remind me, no one said life would be fair. Right?

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If you are already working out hard with weights a few times per week, doing some intense cardio, and you have not seen any improvement in muscle tone, analyze your diet. That may be what is holding you back.

Let me explain it this way. Let’s say someone has good muscle definition. Their arms and legs are tone, and they even have visible abs. If that person increased their calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories a day, and their exercise routine remained the same, they would begin to gain fat and eventually lose muscle definition. They wouldn’t lose their muscles or strength, just their definition/tone. Translation: An increase in calories would lead to an increase in body fat levels.

If you are trying to tone your cuerpo, make sure you’re working out with weights at least three times per week, doing some intense cardio, and tightening ship on the diet side. The tone will arrive. But don’t look now, the ultimate de-toner is right around the corner, Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays. Better double up on the cardio and not dessert.

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Lose 30 Pounds, Like An 11 Year Old

Weight loss. It’s tough. It’s a challenge. It takes discipline. It takes a well thought out plan, and that plan has to be executed diligently and daily. So when someone loses weight, say over 20 pounds, credit must be given. But when an 11-year-old young boy takes it upon himself to lose weight, and he loses over 30 pounds (31 to be exact), he deserves much credit, hugs, and even a visit from me (more on that later). He is my godson. His name is Gavriel.

Before his weight loss. This is Gavriel and his mother in June.

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After

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Notice that his tummy has shrunk considerably (6 inches). This picture was taken the morning of his game last Saturday, October 25. His father was weighing him to make sure he made weight for the game later that evening.

Gavriel, or as his family and myself call him, Gavy, lives in California. He is my best friend’s son. He just turned 11 and he is already 5’5″. He is a great kid, full of joy and laughs, and has plenty of physical energy. His mother told me that she rarely sees him tired, if ever.

On my previous visits to California, and when Gavy and his father visited me here in Maryland, I also noticed that Gavy was very energetic and moved well for someone his size. When I say his size I mean it in two ways. He is tall for his age, and he was overweight for his height. And please do not feel bad for Gavy, he knows he is tall and he is very aware that he was overweight. (He still has some pounds to lose, but because he is still growing in height, it can be tricky to calculate the correct weight he should be).

I was not planning to go to California this year, again. I was there this summer, and Gavy had just started practicing with a football team. He had to lose about 30 pounds to make the team. For 10 and 11 year olds, there are weight limits for kids in the name of safety. The coaches made it clear that in order to play on that specific team, Gavy would have to lose the weight. No exceptions would be made. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to do it, but I have learned that in life, humans can accomplish almost anything they set their minds to. I also promised Gavy that if he lost the weight and made the team, I would go back to California to watch him play. He lost the weight, and I had to keep my promise to my godson.

I think it is absolutely incredible that he lost the weight. INCREDIBLE!!! And commendable. I could have blogged about his weight loss from my point of view, but when anyone accomplishes something impressive, I rather hear how they did it in their words. So I interviewed my godson without his parents or siblings around so he wouldn’t be interrupted or influenced into giving different answers. Here’s the interview.

Why did you decide to lose weight? “I wanted to be on the same team with my friend Marcelo, and I also thought it would be good for me, and help me be lighter on my feet.”

Marcelo and Gavy.

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Before your weight loss journey, what did you drink regularly? “I drank everything. Chocolate milk, all juices, any juice, milk shakes, and root beer floats.”

What do you drink now that you are on your weight loss program? “Just water.” (Yes, that was his answer).

Who taught you how to do your diet? “Diana. She is the mother of one of the kids on the team. She made me a list of the foods I could and shouldn’t eat, and also explained that I should lose weight for myself”. (Diana is a nutritionist and personal trainer). Keep up the great work Diana!!!! She played and integral part in his weight loss.

What has been the most difficult part of losing weight? “Facing reality that I can’t eat those junk foods anymore.” (What a great answer!!!!!!!!) “Like being dropped off at a party and having to make the right food choices. I’m not lying, I used to make the bad food choices a lot.”

Are you used to the diet? (This is the one question I would say he thought about the response for the longest time.) His response. “I’m used to the routine.”

What’s the most difficult part of weight loss for you, the diet or the exercise? “You can love exercise, but if you eat junk, the exercise does nothing. In my opinion, the diet is harder if you’re new to the routine, especially if you were big like me. I used to cheat at first, but then I got serious because I knew I had to make the team.”  (I swear that these were his answers!! Incredible!! He just turned 11.) He went on to tell me about someone he knows who couldn’t lose the weight and this is what he said “That’s the problem with some people who are overweight, you give them the work (plan), and they give up.”

What did you eat before you started your diet plan? “Pizza, potatoes, burgers, fries, ice cream, bacon, tortillas, quesadillas, chicken fingers, and chicken nuggets. I ate chicken, but not the way you eat it. It was always in nuggets or strips.” (Like all children, he is very observant, and has noticed that I do eat chicken, but not in nugget or strip form.)

When are you hungriest? “After my football games, because my belly is empty.” True dat!! (I don’t blame him, on his game days he can’t eat much because he has to make weight. Heck, I was hungry after his game too, and I was just watching and not dieting.) ”

Do you ever get to eat whatever you want? “I cheat once a week. A burger with fries or some pizza. And I still recommend you drink water, so it’s not that bad.”

Keep in mind, this is a young boy who just turned 11 in September, so I debated whether I should ask him the next question. During our interview I got teary eyed a few times because he so young, innocent, and honest. I decided I would ask him the next question.

Did you know you were overweight? “I knew I was overweight because bending over was difficult sometimes, and I would get out of breath going up steps.”

Do you have any advice for people trying to lose weight? “For everyone trying to lose weight, it’s no joke. It takes hard work. If you are one of those people who really want to lose weight, eventually you will see that hard work pays off. Your health will improve.”

What differences do you feel physically, now that you have lost over 30 pounds? “I can do more physically, and I don’t feel tired like before.” Then he asked if he can just tell me some things, I said “sure”.

“For me, when I was big, my mind didn’t think about homework or anything when I got home from school, just eating, eating, eating. But now my mind has a clearer mindset on what it has to do, especially because the doctor told me that the bigger I got, the shorter my life span would be. Now when I’m bored, I try to do active things instead of playing video games.” (I’m telling you, the boy is amazing.)

What are your goals in football? “I want to be fit enough to get a good scholarship, to get a degree. So I could make the pros with more experience.”

So how big is this kid, my godson? I won’t share his weight with you, but I will tell you he is tall and strong for his age.

His feet are already as big as mine, and I’m 5’11”. My foot is on the right. I didn’t know my foot would be on display for the world to see, so I skipped the pedicure.

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Gavy hugging and picking up his grandmother, when he was 10!!

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Here’s Gavy in action. He is #50.

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Gavy below, making weight before the game. It was the first time he made weight without having to take off his shoulder pads, and other football gear. He was so happy, and so was #66, taking a peek behind his teammate.

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Gavy and yours truly. He’s not taller than me, yet. He’s standing on the bench.

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And the following morning, after his game, I took him to Nat’s Cafe so we could enjoy a meal together. He had a semi-healthy breakfast. I won’t lie, the boy has an appetite.

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We weighed him later that evening to see if the breakfast had done any damage, but he was fine. He probably just replenished what he had lost during the previous night’s game.

And now I would like to give you my perspective, my personal trainer perspective, on Gavy’s weight loss. I am shocked that he lost the weight to make the team. Yes, I am proud and happy for him, but because my work involves helping people lose weight, and I know how much people struggle in their weight loss endeavours, what he has accomplished is incredible.

Think of all the excuses he could have made to not lose weight. “I’m hungry. This is too hard. I want to drink soda. I want to drink chocolate milk. I want pizza. Water is yucky”, so on and so on. But he made no excuses. He practices hungry, plays his games hungry, and probably goes to bed with less food in his stomach than he would really want and was used to. The boy just does what he has to do. Many people have the knowledge necessary to lose weight, but not everyone applies it. He clearly does apply it.

I don’t know what the future holds for Gavriel, but I believe his future is bright. Not only did he lose weight, and he seems to enjoy sports, he is also smart and likes school. This past summer he graduated from the 5th grade with perfect attendance for the year, and an honors award in math.

So what was the magic formula for his weight loss? There is no magic. No smoke and mirrors here. He was motivated. He cut back on his calories, and started to move much more than he did before. The principles behind his weight loss are simple. It is their application that is the challenge. Simple as that.

Thank you for the inspiration Gavriel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How About Some Pie?

Have you ever had a humbling experience? You know, your silly pride was fed a big fat slice of humble pie. I had a slice last Friday.

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Since a teen, I have always admired boxers. Their conditioning is insane. Don’t get offended MMA fans, when I was a teen, MMA was not what it is today. I’m talking way back in the 80’s, when the most popular one on one combat sport was boxing.

Boxers are in incredible shape. They are strong, very strong, and have incredible levels of cardiovascular fitness. And just as impressive as their fitness levels is that they train their asses off on low calories (minimal food), because many of them have to weigh in the day before a fight at a weight that can be light for their height. Imagine being 5’11” and having to train and weigh in at 145 pounds. I’m 5’11” and weigh 185, and I am not even eff ay tee. I can’t imagine weighing 145, 150, or even 160. I would have to move to Venus or the moon to lose a bunch of weight. On Venus I would weigh 167 lbs and on the moon I would weigh 30 lbs. Don’t ask me how that works. Talk to an astronaut about that fact, but I am sure it involves gravity.

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So, I decided that I wanted to take some boxing classes. I found Champion Boxing & Fitness in Rockville, MD and I paid them a visit. Andy, the gym manager, walked me through the gym and explained how it all works. I took him up on his offer and showed up the next day for a free trial workout/boxing lesson.

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When I arrived at my first group boxing class (picture above) I was a bit nervous. (Now I know how my clients probably feel before their first workout with me). I saw everyone warming up, and I had no idea what I should be doing or what I was in for, then I heard a voice shout “GET YOUR JUMP ROPES AND WARM UP FOR 5 MINUTES!!” It was William Joppy giving those orders. Who is Joppy? He is just a 3 time middleweight boxing champ of the world. He fought Bernard Hopkins and Felix Trinidad. Yes, he did lose both those fights, but just the mere fact that he fought both of those great fighters is insane and impressive. And trust me when I tell you that I am not easily impressed by athletes. Just for fun, think how many times you have interacted with someone who is, or once was, a world champ in anything. It is a rare occurrence, at least for me it is.

So, I was jumping rope honoring my five minute warm up, and about two minutes in I started thinking “This is a warm up? I’m already breathing hard!” That was my first bite of humble pie. I realized that I hadn’t jumped rope probably since elementary school, and that jumping rope is more taxing than it appears. And then I had a bigger realization. My cardio sucks! And I still had to complete the class.

During the class we did push-ups, sit ups, jump squats, sprints, running in place, AND boxing, of course. Joppy, as he likes to be called, makes one thing very clear. A boxer is only as good as his cardio. I had never thought about it that way.

By the end of the class I was gassed, but I loved it. I enjoyed discovering an activity that had kicked my ass and had swiftly reminded me that there is more to fitness than just weight training and being able to run outdoors, or even worse, on a treadmill. I don’t usually do the whole selfie thing for show, like never, but I had to take a picture with Joppy, to show my wife and friends that I was not kidding about him being my boxing instructor. This is William Joppy in his fighting days.

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This is him and Healthy Homeboy now.

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Oh but wait, the humble pie slices get tastier for me, much, much, tastier. After taking a few group boxing classes, I decided that I would talk to Joppy about hiring him for some one on one boxing lessons. We talked, an agreement was made, and my first lesson with him was last Friday. And if the first group boxing lesson I told you about was a kick in the ass, this past Friday’s one on one session was a kick in the ass, face, and gonads. Besides working out in the Marines, it is the most difficult exercise routine I have ever done because it taxes your cardio and muscles.

I will not get into all the specifics of what we did, but it wasn’t just boxing. It was plenty of abs, cardio, AND boxing. I love the boxing part. To be trained by a former world boxing champ is very motivating and exhilarating to me.

I learned plenty during our first session. I learned how to stand and hold my hands correctly so I won’t get my head knocked off. I learned combinations and footwork. I learned to punch and then move. At first I was punching and moving at the same time, compelling Joppy to say “If you’re moving while your punching you will lose power. Punch first, and then move. That’s why they say stick and move.” The most difficult aspect for me is punching and moving correctly. Sometimes I punch, and then I just stand still, like a punching bag, probably because I am so darn tired. That is no bueno. And no, Joppy is not punching back. He is just holding training mitts for me to hit. If he ever punched me, just once, in my abdominal region, I am certain I would poop a kidney out. Think about it, Joppy trained his whole life to punch as hard as he could, so I am sure he still packs a wallop.

Besides boxing being so tiring and technical, you want to know what else REALLY surprised me? I never had realized that you are so close to your opponent. How close are you to your opponent, and you to him/her? Go stand an extended arms reach away from a mirror. Now stare at yourself. Now picture a professional boxer in the mirror instead of you. Yes, you’re that close to your opponent. Damn! In other words, if you plan to land a punch, chances are punches will also be landed on you. Joppy below, in one of his battles, landing what looks to me like a left hook.

Joppy Punch

At times, during our one on one session, Joppy would demonstrate either footwork or punch combinations for me to view and grasp. Holy guacamole Batman!! He is so damn fast. I couldn’t help but think two things. One, that he could hurt me really quick and very easily. That is a fact. And two, that pretty much wherever he goes in life, he will rarely, if ever, come across a man who could beat him in a boxing match, or street fight. That must be a pretty cool feeling.

This week I have my second session with him. I hope I show improvement. But if I do, he will probably make the session more challenging. That’s ok, because that is exactly what I do for my clients. Wish me luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muscle Building Exercises

Building muscle is not easy, but with the right approach it is possible. In order to build muscle tissue, certain exercises have to be done using specific repetition ranges for a total amount of sets. The amount of repetitions and sets completed is called volume. How heavy a weight is compared to your 1RM (one rep max) is your intensity. So if someone can bench press 300 pounds just one time, that is their 1RM. If this person bench presses 30 pounds for 10 repetitions, that is not intense because 30 is just 10% of 300. Also, to build muscle your muscles have to be pushed to exhaustion during multiple sets in order to recruit as many muscle fibers as possible. Some exercises and machines are a waste of time if you are trying to build muscle like: the inner thigh gadget.

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This inner thigh gadget is not intense enough to build muscle and I know, you know, it won’t burn fat from your inner thigh either. If you want to target the inner thighs, you’re probably better off doing sumo squats.

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Let’s talk building leg muscles. It’s simple. You must lift intense and do some of the following exercises once or twice per week.

Back squats (called so because the bar is on your back).

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Front squats (the bar is in front). The front squat forces your body to stay more upright during the movement, and this causes you to recruit muscles of the thoracic spine to keep you upright. Great for posture!!!

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Lunges

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Step ups

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And my favorite, the dead-lift. The dead-lift is really a full body exercise, but it is an excellent leg muscle builder too.

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These are the muscles used during the dead-lift.

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Don’t worry ladies you won’t get buff doing dead-lifts, but you might get strong.

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And men, you will gain muscle with dead-lifts because of a hormone running through your body called testosterone.

To build the upper body, push-ups and pull ups are your friends.

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If you can’t do push ups or pull-ups, this is where machines come in. Lat pull downs are a good back and arm builder.

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And the bench-press will definitely build your chest, anterior shoulder muscles, and triceps. You can start light.

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The overhead press is also an excellent exercise to strengthen the shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.

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Anyone who trains with me, or has talked to me about strength training programs, knows that I am a big believer in free weights, and some cable machine exercises in order to get the most bang for your buck. If you don’t know how to do the above lifts correctly, you should hire someone to teach you, or you can go on YouTube and look at multiple instructional videos on how to do a given lift with proper form.

Please keep in mind that lifting weights is just the stimulus for building new muscle tissue. To honor and complete the stimulus you must eat correctly and get your rest. We don’t run on batteries you know, or caffeine.

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