School and Calories

I’m baaackkk!

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since last September, shame on me.

shame-600x250

One of the main reasons for my blogging absenteeism is academic. Yes, I am back in school.

large_h5BCN1bhbmcOxuuqPwkNMWcF0cH

You know how some youngsters take a gap year while in school, in the name of personal growth? Well, I have had about about 15 years worth of gap life (only in academics, I have been working you know). I used my GI Bill to go to school, off and on, from 1996 to about 2000, and I completed a good amount of units. I didn’t quite finish school. I just focused on being a personal trainer, and I am proud to say that I have become fairly proficient at it.

Me and my crew after they completed a Dirty Girl Mud Run. You go girls!!!

IMG_4744

Oh yeah, about school. One day, yes, one day, about a year ago, I was training at a now defunct personal training studio, and I looked around at all the personal trainers and I realized that none of us really had a niche. Or, at least I knew I didn’t have one, and something told me to go back to school and specialize in an area which could help me grow as a person, and help my personal training business grow too. After thinking for a bit, and then asking my wife and friends for advice, I decided to major in Gerontology and Aging Services at UMUC, because I have noticed over the years that my “older” clientele has grown, and that there is a lack of understanding in the personal training world, on how to work with and train clients over 65 years of age. Hector to the rescue!! One of my senior clients calls me Hector Protector, and she even had a T-shirt made for me with an HP logo on it for Christmas. Thanks Rhona! And sorry Hewlett Packard, HP now stands for Hector Protector.

One last thing about school. I don’t like to curse, but I will say this, I have learned a shit-load. I figure that’s better than learning a load of shit.

Wait, one more thing about school! I recently completed a research paper that focused on different types of exercise modalities for fall prevention-intervention in the elderly. Studies have looked at physical therapy, yoga, tai chi, elastic band training, balance training, and weight training for their effectiveness in reducing fall rates in seniors. To make a long story short, nothing comes close to the effect weight training has on increasing strength and balance in the elderly. Interestingly, walking is not very effective as a fall prevention measure. This is all backed by research and is not “bro-science”. What is “bro-science”? This is…

hsdGFCM

My training business is going great! I have a coed bootcamp on Saturday mornings at 8am. It is really cool to see men and women working out together. I keep pushing them, and they keep coming back! I love it. I am very lucky to do something for a living which has such positive effects on the well-being of others, and because of the coed bootcamp I have made new friends. I am truly blessed.

Rows from the push-up plank position.

IMG_5219

Squat and press before walking up the hill with weights.

IMG_5298

Hill sprints! 5 times.

IMG_5397

On a personal note, my workouts are going pretty well too. I run about twice per week, anywhere from 3 to 5 miles max (or hill sprints) and I lift weights about 3 to 4 times per week, mostly at home. My weight training routine is computed and formed by a hypertrophy power-lifting template I bought from Juggernaut Training (http://store.jtsstrength.com/collections/training). At 44 years old, I knew I needed something just a bit more scientific then doing “legs” today and “chest” tomorrow. I am not a competitive power-lifter, but I think it is impressive that by following a program based on research and results, I have gotten stronger, even at my age. When I am done with my first 5 weeks of training which is what the template calls for, I will let you all know the progress I made, strength-wise.

I also recently read a book by Juggernaut called “The Renaissance Diet”. It has great information about nutrition written by extremely knowledgeable people. Here’s a bit about the authors: “Dr. Israetel, Dr. Case and Dr. Hoffman not only have PhDs and are actively serving as professors and researchers, they are also high level competitors and coaches in powerlifting, bodybuilding, rugby, and combat sports. This combination of scientific knowledge and practical experience is the best in helping you achieve your goals.” Yes, they know there stuff. Or as I like to say, they know a shit-load.

I have read some of the book, and one thing that is clear from the authors, as far as weight loss goes, is that it still boils down to calories. Too many calories for your activity levels, you will gain weight. Not enough calories for your activity levels, you will lose weight. Of course, the book is much, much, more than just that, but I thought I would let you know that calories do count, as I am sure many of you already suspected.

29calories_500

Before I forget, you can follow me on your bike or skateboard if you want, or you can follow me on Instagram @healthyhomeboy, which is much more convenient.

 

Meet Two Fit Women

You want real-life health and fitness success stories? You want to read about people with careers and kids, who are fit? Well, I have two women’s stories for you. I know these stories well because I know the following two women pretty well. Say hello to Rebecca and Tanya.

Let’s begin with Rebecca. She is in her thirties (sorry Rebecca, people want to know the age of fit people, always). She works, has two children, runs a house hold, is a wife, has social commitments, and somehow she finds time to workout. Wow!! This is her before and after picture.

IMG_1115

As you can see, Rebecca has transformed her body. She was kind enough to write a testimonial for me that will be on my website soon, but I want to tell you about her from my point of view, and why, in my opinion, she has succeeded in shedding pounds.

First of all, she is very consistent with her workouts. Unless she absolutely cannot make my bootcamps, she will be there. Rebecca doesn’t have time for excuses. Even if she’s tired, or not feeling 100%, she shows up to exercise and gives it her all. Segundamente, and very importantly, she understands that food trumps almost all other factors when it comes to weight loss. She often says that she would rather eat her calories, than drink her calories (great motto. What’s a motto? I don’t know. What’s a motto with you!!).

She is so “matter of fact” about food/calorie consumption, that one day we were having a group discussion about dieting, and someone said that during the summer it can be a bit difficult to watch your calories because of all the cook-outs and such. Rebecca chimed in “It’s hard in the summer because of cook-outs, its hard in the fall because of candy during Halloween, and then Thanksgiving arrives. Before you know it, it’s Christmas and all the holidays. Oh what the heck! It’s always hard.” End of conversation. Yes, I agree with Rebecca. It is always a challenge to diet because food is everywhere, all the time, and much of what we do with family, friends, and even co-workers, revolves around food and drink.

And lastly, Rebecca pushes herself during exercise. Whether it’s my bootcamps, or training at the gym, she pushes herself. She is not afraid to lift weights, run, sprint, do pushups, run hills, or try anything else I can come up with to keep her and the rest of the crew fit.

Here she is in bootcamp, she’s the second one from the top, in the light blue top, walking up a hill with 15 pound weights in each hand. That means she shoulder presses, curls, and all other exercises that requires weights, with 15’s in each hand. You go Rebecca!

FullSizeRender(1)

Next, we have Tanya. Tanya is a busy professional, a mother, and a very fit woman, in her 40’s!! When it comes to fitness. Tanya is also like Rebecca, all business. Tanya does my bootcamps, and has hired me as her personal trainer.

As you will read in her testimonial, once it’s up on my website, Tanya came to me for strengthening purposes, more than anything else. Tanya is a runner. She ran track in high school and college.

Now she does mostly distance running, about 3 to 5 miles at a time. When she came to me she had bursitis in her hip. She asked me if I thought I could help her pain by strengthening her legs? I gambled and said “Yes”.

The gamble was the following: I didn’t know if strengthening her legs, specifically her hamstrings and glutes, would alleviate her pain, but I knew I could get her legs stronger, and then I hoped/bet (fingers crossed and all) that Tanya having stronger legs would help her pain subside. My gamble paid off!! Tanya is practically pain free. She’s back to running, and even sprinting hills.

FullSizeRender(2)

As you can see from the picture above, Tanya is lean. Some of you may be thinking “What’s Tanya’s formula for being lean?” It’s very simple. She follows a pretty strict diet. I believe she consumes about 1,500 calories per day. She lifts weights about three to four times per week, and she runs. She basically does all three facets of fitness. Portion control when it comes to food, resistance training, and cardio.

Cover your eyes if you dislike tough love when it comes to weight-loss. There is no magic bullet, miracle pill, or perfect workout, when it comes to weight-loss and fitness. Exercise, specifically cardio, does burn calories, and weight training the right way, does build muscle. But if the diet isn’t right, weight-loss will be quite the challenge.

Rebecca and Tanya are great examples of what it takes to be fit. I can only instruct them during our exercise sessions, and give them nutritional advice, but ultimately, they must execute the “fit plan” day in and day out.

FullSizeRender(3)

The sign says “No Parking” and not “No Kettle Bell Swings”. Good job ladies!!!