Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving tips

Well tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I decided to put together a holiday primer for everyone for the long weekend.

Tomorrow morning in some places there will be running events in honor of Thanksgiving. In Clearwater, Florida there is the St. Pete Times Turkey Trot. A good web site to check out for any type of upcoming road race is The Schedule. All around the country there are events to go to or to participate in.

After you are done running or watching parades on TV the main event is Thanksgiving dinner. Here is a pretty good list of eating tips when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. It's important to watch out for portion size due to most dinners will be having multiple side dishes and desserts.

As for football for tomorrow on TV: Green Bay@Detroit on Fox Sports at 12:30 EST, Oakland@Dallas on CBS at 4:15 EST, and NY Giants@Denver on NFL Network at 8:20E EST.

Looks like a full day of fun and excitement, good times and cheer for you and your family. Enjoy the holiday and get ready for shopping on Black Friday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Did Some Trail Running Today

Well today I decided to get away from the treadmill and run outside. I find that when you normally run on the treadmill and then one day you run outside the treadmill will actually make you run faster. The workout is slightly more difficult but overall you will run faster.

I ended up running about 2 miles and then went for a bike ride. The run took me to a sports park in town that has multiple football and baseball fields. It is bordered by a wooded area and there are some trails on the perimeter of the park that I run occasionally. I got a good sweat going and worked on some sprinting too.
Here is a link to the sports park that I was running at.

Trail running is great because you not only see how in shape you are due to not being on a treadmill conveyor belt, but you also have the hills and unsteady ground to deal with. Practice makes perfect and doing trail running will help you out with any type of outdoor team sport (football, soccer, baseball, etc). Definately add it to your training regimine as it does help with getting in shape.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stretching Guidelines

When you work out don't forget to stretch before you begin the workout. Some of the stretches I always do involve the ankle, the hamstring, the groin, the back and the shoulders and neck. These body parts need to be limber and ready to be exercised prior to the beginning of the workout. Below is a video on proper stretching prior to running.

Reduction of injuries during running and working out can be prevented by stretching before and after the workout. Please be safe when working out and don't forget to stretch.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shoulder workouts that yield results

Today I went to the gym and had a good shoulder workout. The shoulder muscle is called the deltoid. The deltoid has three parts to it: the front deltoid, side deltoid and rear deltoid. It's important to workout all three for a well rounded shoulder.

An exercise that hits all three parts of the deltoid is the shoulder press. When you do the exercise you pick up a pair of dumbbells and hold them level to the shoulder in either a seated position or standing. You raise the dumbbells up over your head and then back down. 8-10 reps is a good amount for building the muscle. If your goal is to get defined deltoids (like basketball players, footbal players have) increase the reps to 12-15. Do 3-5 sets.

For the front deltoid exercises such as front raises with dumbells are good. For the rear deltoid you can do bent over lateral raises. You preform these by doing the following: using dumbbells, bend over at the waist with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend the knees slightly so that you don't stain yourlower back. Hold the dumbbells at arms length in front of you with the palms of your hands facing each other. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and bring the bumbells back towards your ears and then back down. The rear deltoid is usually not that strong so start off with light weights.

Below is a good video I found on other shoulder workouts that you can preform in a gym.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Good Leg Workout

When I go to the gym I split my workouts between upper body and lower body workouts. On lower body workout days I like to do leg extentions, leg curls and have started doing a workout similar to the following video in which you take some dumbells and step up onto a bench with each leg (one at a time). I do 10 repetitions and then increase the weight. Here is the video....

I train legs about 3 days a week and I like to do leg curls and leg extentions on different days. A lot of times I notice people in the gym focussing their workout on upper body and I hope people do not neglect their leg workouts.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Why You Should Work Out Big Muscles First

When people do weight training sometimes they work body parts in the wrong order. It is important to realize that working out bigger muscles and then move to smaller muscles will enhance your workouts.

For example, when I do an upper body workout I will start with chest or back because those muscles are the biggest and are needed in order to workout the smaller muscles. I will do pushups, benchpress or other chest exercises and then move on to biceps or triceps. That is because if you workout the biceps or triceps first you won't be able to use those muscles later on in your workout because they will be tired due to being smaller muscles.

Anyone who has worked out biceps or triceps first and then try to do a chest workout will know that you won't be able to lift as much or do as many repetitions as you normally would. This is because the muscles became tired from working them out first and did not have enough energy left in them to help fully for the chest workouts.

If you want to get a good workout start with the bigger muscles and then work out the smaller muscles. You will have a better workout overall and be able to see improvement over time.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Just a quick entry today. Today is Halloween and I just wanted to say have fun, inspect your kids candy before they eat it (I appreciated my grandma doing that more than I did when I was a kid). Stay safe and have a good time today and tonight.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Effects of Exercise on Your Mental State

Today I'd like to talk about the positive effects that exercise has on our brain and mental health. For years I've noticed that if I'm stress out or upset about something it helps when I work out. Afterward, I do feel better and seem to think a bit more clearly about what is bothering me or causing me stress.

I found an article on WebMD that taled about how regular exercise can increase the amount of endorphins in your brain (they make you feel good) and decrease feelings of depression and sadness.
"Regular exercise has been proven to help:
-Reduce stress
-Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
-Boost self-esteem
-Improve sleep "

If you want to feel better mentally, if you've been stressed out about work, school or perhaps something in your personal life a bit of exercise will help put you in a better mood and assist you in thinking clearer. I notice that a lot of people in business field unrelated to exercise work out on a regular basis and this could be due to what the article talks about.

Go for a run or play a sport or lift weights. Do something because exercise will make you feel better.

Monday, October 26, 2009

New week to begin working out

So today is Monday which means it is a great day to start a week of exercising. It's a fresh start for people that might have indulged in the weekend a little bit too much. Too much pizza or beer or burgers eaten while watching football on Saturday and/or Sunday means that the gym will probably be packed today. This seems to happen every Monday. I think it's because people feel guilty about how much they ate or drank on the weekend.

Due to the fact that the gym is going to be packed today, Mondays are usually good days to run outside or due some sort of workout at home. Pushups and situps are great exercises and can be done anywhere. Find two chairs and you can do tricep exercises like this one:

The most important thing is to realize that Monday may be a start of the new work week but it can also be the start of a new workout week and that provides motivation for me and it can also do it for you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Importance of Nutrition in an Exercise Program

Nutrition in an Exercise Program

While working out is important something that is of equal importance is watching what you eat and when you eat. Our bodies need a certain amount of calories to maintain our day to day activities. In order to lose weight a person needs to take in less calories than is burnt through exercise and normal activity.

Running traditionally burns the most calories so if a person wants to take a couple pounds off, eat less calories and run.

How to Lose Weight -- powered by

It's as simple as that. It can be hard but the thing that makes it hard is to be able to be consistant with working out and taking in less calories.

Eating the right things at the right time is important as mentioned in the video clip. It's important to drink about 8 cups of water a day. That can be very hard but it is important because it flushes your system out of the bad toxins that are harmful. Stop drinking sodas as they are bad for you due to the excess sugars contained in the soft drinks.

Hopefully this will help people start to eat better and give them another reason to go work out. If you eat better and combine it with excersize the weight will come off and you will begin to feel better.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good Exercise Links I View

Some exercise links of note
Since I've been working out I developed an Excel Spreadsheet to track my progress while working out. I also like to go to a few websites and check out the latest information on exercising and working out. Below are some of those websites that I find useful.

Here's a good place to look for running highlights.This site has a lot of good information concerning running and training for competitive runs.

Here's a good personal web site with a man that has had success in losing weight.

This is a website I visit for a lot of good articles on working out and tracking progress.


Today I went running after doing some yard work and it started raining. Although it cooled me off I was wet all over and my shoes got wet and the wetness got to my socks. I hate that feeling.

It just goes to show you that you have to plan for anything. Just because it rains doesn't mean you need to stop running. If it were lightning then that would be a different story because it would be a safety issue. Lightning is very dangerous and nobody needs to run that bad that they risk getting struck by lightning.

When running in the rain you just need to be a little more cautious about footing and you will probably get your clothes dirty as it's wet and you'll probably get grass or some sort of debris on your legs or clothes. Either way it's ok to run in the rain.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekend Update

This weekend I only got to work out once and that wasn't much of a work out. I was at work and then hung out with friends watching highlights of football games on Saturday and then Sunday worked until 8PM. It's hard sometimes to find time to work out. Sometimes we need to have a day off from exercising and just enjoy a day off from working out. Enjoy the off days you have because you'll be working out hard again and get back into it.

Monday and Tuesday I work in the early afternoon so I can workout in the morning before I have to go to work. If that is not going to happen for some reason I also have the option of working out after work. The important thing is going to work out. Making time to work out is very important, especially if you have a busy day or quite a few responsibilities at work.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Running Time

I was recently asked how long is a good time length to run for. I would suggest that people run for at least 20 minutes. This doesn't need to be constant running (although that would be very effective) but a good jog for 20 minutes or so is effective for getting the heart rate up and burning fat.

One of the ways I train is the HITT training I've talked about in the past. HITT training involves changing speeds and elevations on a treadmill every minute or so to change the intensity of your workout. By the end of only 10 minutes you'll have gotten quite the workout and you get much stronger cardio functioning and will be able to last longer.

I play soccer and the HITT training is very effective for soccer and other sports where you go from jogging to running quickly and then back to jogging. Believe me, your legs will feel it the next day and you will build up a good sweat.

Jogging is great for relaxation or if you need to think about something you are preoccupied on (work, plans to do something that is important to you, ect.) When jogging I like to do 2-3 miles, or a 5k (3.1 miles). The longer you run the more calories you burn and the quicker it will take to get you into shape.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Running Again

Well it's a great day to start running again. I went to the gym and focused my attention on cardio. When a person starts working out for the first time in a while he or she needs to start slow. My goal today was to be able to do 1 mile. I accomplished that plus I did some biking too.

What's the best way to get back to the fitness level I was at before I stopped working out? My plan of action is to try to run at least a little bit every day or so. I know I will be sore if I run every day and in the long run it is not healthy or smart to run every day as the legs can't take running every day. I'll also watch what I eat more closely. How many people out there have stopped working out for one reason or another and decided to start again? What makes people get back to working out? Let's hope things continue in the right direction and I can make it a habit again!

Fell off the horse and now back again

A few months ago I had joined a group that played soccer every Tuesday evening. I suffered a pulled groin muscle and had to quit running for a while. Well, groin pulls take time to heal and after a few weeks it was better but by then I had stopped working out on a consistant basis.

Work has been busy. I have gotten a promotion recently and have been busy learning and getting comfortable with my new roles and responsibilities. My mind has been on learning the new roles of my new position and not focussing on working out.

Either way, I have got to begin working out again. I have a gym membership and don't want to waste my money by not going to the gym. So I am beginning to work out again and need to focus on running and cardio to cut down on my calories and lose weight. I put the weight on that I had lost so now I have to start over.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Workouts have been going great for me. I find that when I do squats and other leg workouts my body takes a little bit longer to recover. I think it's probably because I trained upper body for longer and had neglected lower body workout due to the fact that as a child I was involved with sports that involved a lot of running. Working out with weights is different than just running and my body is getting used to doing the extra lifting. Recovery time is definately longer after a lower body workout though.

I've also started to focus a little more on abs. I found out that the large exercise balls that you can sit on really focus my ab workout and I can feel it alot better when I'm doing the exercises. Plus, it doesn't hurt my back as much as I were doing regular situps. My form is correct but after a while the middle of my back gets sore and I need to stop. I think it may have to do with breathing patterns.

A little humor now.... on youtube there is a video of this guy from Orlando, FL who took his kid to the dentist for some sort of oral surgery. The video is of the kid on the car ride home and how he is effected by the medication he was given. It's been a hit on Youtube and there have been multiple editing jobs to make it funny or have different effects. Here's one that I think is particularly funny. This is the original video....

And this is a remake.....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Goal Accomplished

Life is full of small victories. I recently accomplished my goal of getting my weight down to 185 from 197. 12 pounds lost since last September. 4 months it took to get to my goal.

I am now concentrating on body fat loss while increasing my weight lifting amount. I also have varied my running by putting inclines in with my normal running and using HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) like the follow video....

I feel stronger and am beginning to see a little definition starting to form in my arms and shoulders.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The fight continues

An update of sorts.... I got my circumfrance measurements and there were some interesting finds. Some of my body parts are larger than the same parts on the other side.

Girth Measurements

Bicep Right=13 1/2 inches Left=12 7/8 inches

Umbilical 37

Hips 42

Thigh Right=22 1/2 Left=23 1/2

Chest 40

Calves Right=15 7/8 Left=16 1/8

Shoulders 47 3/4

I am currently 187 lbs and still need to get rid of 2 lbs to meet my goal of 185. This weekend I was tired from work, saw a movie (with popcorn of course) and then Sunday there was a Chinese New Year/ surprise birthday party for a friend at my house. Now the fight continues and I'll get back on track.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

measurements upcoming

A exercise website I go to called bodyblog has a way to measure improvements in various ways including strength gains and body circumfrance measurements. What are circumfrance measurements? According to the University of Iowa Health Care

"Skinfold thickness and circumference of trunk and limbs are indicators of musculature and fatness that can be objectively tracked over time."

Another reason is to track muscularity. For example if when I begin working out I have 15 inch wide arms and then three months later I measure my arms again and they are now 20 inches wide that is an indication that the increase is probably due to increased muscle mass.

This upcoming week I have an appointment with a personal trainer at my gym to get my measurements. I want to get that done because it will be another way to track improvements in changes in my body structure. I'm looking forward to my meeting with the personal trainer on Thursday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bodyweight goals

Picture of me today

So the last time I posted how people sometimes find it hard to keep up with working out and eating right in order to achieve thier goals. I'd like to talk about how I fell off the train and got back on again.

Back in 2004 I went to police academy and they make you run and do obsticle courses and hoist large objects over your shoulders while running. I had PT instructors that pushed us and because of that when I came out of the academy I was in the best shape of my life. After academy I was not working out as much and my diet wasn't as good as it should have been so I gained some weight back.

Last year I decided to get back into shape so I got a homegym in the garage. The gym consisted of an adjustuble bench, some dumbells and an EZ curl bar. I worked out for a while but then eventually lost motivation. So back in August, after I got a raise from work, I joined a gym that was 24 hrs and had two locations and some other perks. I started out at 197 lbs with 19.7% bodyfat. On Dec. 31st I weighed 189 lbs with 13.9% bodyfat. My personal goal is to get down to where I was when I was in the best shape during academy. This means weighing between 180-185, continue to lose bodyfat and then increase lean muscle mass to get stronger.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Importance of Setting Goals

When a person begins to workout there may be a number of reasons why the person eventually quits.

It could be due to not making enough time to workout.

It could be that the person needs an exercise partner to help him or her keep up with the consistantcy needed to eventually make something a habit.

Here's a video from someone that is dealing with motivation and consistancy.

For me I stay motivated by visiting exercise blogs and keeping track of my progress with an excel spreadsheet. The bigger guys at the gym also motivate me to keep up with my workouts and to workout harder.

One of the hardest parts to working out for me is to vary my workout to keep losing fat. For a while I was running at a constant speed on the treadmill but could not get past the 192-193 lbs area. I went to Vitamin World and they suggested doing interval training and to vary speeds when I run as well as doing sprinting. Let's hope I can continue to lose weight and body fat.

The Beginning

I officially started began to get back into shape at the beginning of September 2008. I wasn't in bad shape but for a 5' 10" 32 year old male 197 lbs was a little heavy for me. I joined Gainesville Health and Fitness and began my quest to lose weight and bodyfat.

This picture was taken when I began working out in September.

When I was in police academy in 2004 I was in the best shape. I feel that I should be between 180-185 lbs. When I started working out in September I had a bodyfat percentage of 19.7%. Eventually I would like to get that into the single digits. At the end of last year on 12/31 I got my bodyfat percentage measured again and I had gotten it down to 13.9%.