School and Calories

I’m baaackkk!

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


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


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!!!


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…


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.


Squat and press before walking up the hill with weights.


Hill sprints! 5 times.


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 ( 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.


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.


Win Free Weight Loss Sessions!

If you live in the Silver Spring Maryland area, and you are trying to lose weight, today might just be your lucky day.


Here’s the deal. For the New Year, I will be taking on one new client for FREE. Don’t bother rubbing your eyes. It is not a type-Oh no! You read that right. You will get me, in shape year round Hector Vargas, six pack abs Hector Vargas (Ok that was a bit much), Weight Loss Coach extraordinaire, owner of VIA Wellness, for free. I will help you lose weight. My methods work, if you work at it. But there’s a catch, or should I say, “some rules” to my FREE training.


The rules above are pretty cool and funny, but those are not the rules I am talking about. Here are the rules: To qualify for my FREE weight loss training and teachings you must be at least 40 pounds overweight. You must be willing, I will take care of the able, to train with me 2 times per week, move 3 additional hours per week on your own, and you have to want it! So far so good, right? Well, there’s more. There’s always more.

I have learned the hard way that when people get things for free, even something as valuable as my training, they don’t always appreciate what they are being given. So, whoever wins my free services will write me a postdated check for ALL the personal training sessions we complete. We will also both agree on some weight loss goals to be accomplished by March 20, 2014, the first day of Spring. If these doable weight loss goals are not achieved when March 20th rolls around, I cash the check or checks for ALL of our training sessions. If you do complete your goals, you keep your money and buy a new wardrobe.


Here’s how you qualify to win my weight loss training package. First, you must write me a well written email, essay, letter, whatever you want to call it, and explain to me why you deserve to win the VIA Wellness Weight Loss Training Package. You must also tell me what you are willing to do to accomplish your weight loss goals, what has held you back before that will not hold you back now, and any other reasons you have for me picking you and training you for free. And the last part is: you must write in detailĀ  “What is your number #1 reason for wanting to lose weight?” (Let me give you a hint on this last part. The reason should be about you and no one else. Because in the long run, it is mostly you who benefits from a healthier you.) Once you are confident with your writing, email it to me at


And when I do pick you, because your essay is so powerful it moves me to tears and to help you, there will be one last qualifying step. We will meet in person, and you will read what you wrote to me. This will allow me to hear your sincerity, and I will be able to detect if you truly want to lose weight. But the real reason I will want to meet you in person is so that I can look you in the eyes when I ask you “Do you really want to lose weight?”. If you don’t break eye contact and respond “Yes” or better yet “Hell fucken yes!”, I will know you are serious. The eyes rarely lie. Why do you think it’s so hard to look someone in the eyes, especially if you care about them, and lie?


I don’t care how old or young you are, if you are man or woman, gay or straight, legal or illegal, black or white, or anywhere in between, I will help you. As long as you want to lose weight as bad as Michael Jordan and Ray Lewis wanted to win championships, you qualify in my eyes. But remember, I TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY, so you should too. If I choose you, our journey will commence January 6, 2014. What are you waiting for? Get to writing. The winner will be announced January 1st.