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The most popular excuse for not exercising is lack of time. With that said, when the majority of people do actually exercise, they often waste time doing things that aren’t necessary. Ask me how i know. I do understand that it’s all a bit confusing at times thus very difficult to know the difference between what’s gold and what might be a turd. My #1 recommendation for making the best use of your time while exercising is to always use FULL-BODY EXERCISES (aka TOTAL-BODY EXERCISES. Google them. There are many. (P.S. find the Instagram video I posted to my Blue Sky Strongbox page on March 20, 2018. There you will find a few of my favorite total-body exercises). Write me anytime with questions or if you need recommendations. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox
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I appreciate simple things. I also appreciate that simple and easy are not the same thing. They say you can tell a lot about someone by the shoes they wear and how they walk. I can do the same watching someone crawl. A very simple thing to try (but may prove to be more difficult for some) is to walk/crawl down to the ground and come back up to standing using mostly your upper body and whatever flexibility you currently have. Try to do several in a row if you want. (After years working as a fitness professional, I can honestly say that, as easy as this may be for regular exercisers, it’s often quite difficult for those that are sedentary.) Did it make you breathe heavy? Was it challenging to move the weight of your body around? Did you feel tight in a few areas? Perfect. This would be a great place for you to start exploring movement with your body. Yes, it also burns calories too. Just make sure nothing hurts when you do it. It is ok if it doesn’t look perfect. The point is to begin getting more comfortable being uncomfortable. I recommend practicing this daily. You don’t need to get all sweaty while doing it. Not yet anyway. For now, don’t even worry about counting any reps if you don’t want to. I would rather you put all of your energy toward simply moving better. You’ll know you’ve made progress when it feels easier to do AND begins to look more and more graceful over time. You can always upgrade to BEAST MODE later on if or when things drastically improve. But for now, master the fundamentals. They are never to be overlooked. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox
“What exercise would you recommend if I only have time to do ONE exercise?” (Video below from my Instagram page)March 22, 2018
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TURN UP THE VOLUME. Today is an important (free) video I did for everyone that asks, “What’s one good exercise you recommend for busy people?” It’s a great question and one that I do get often. So if you were to just do one (strength) exercise, I would recommend choosing one from this list. I tried to choose exercises that I do myself. I also tried to choose exercises that had variety and could be done in almost any situation with a variety of equipment or no equipment. One single exercise practiced correctly, intensely enough & often enough can give a tremendous bang for the buck. If your main goal is to lose body fat, focus 99% of your effort on nutrition and 7-9 hours of sleep every single night. For health, most folks don’t need to do a bunch of exercises to strengthen the body. But we all do NEED to do something. Strength is super important for everything that relates to health, fitness and enjoying a long higher quality of life. Strength doesn’t have to mean working out all the time or building big muscles, if that’s not your cup of tea. Strength exercises come in many varieties. Most people just do nothing their entire adult lives which catches up to most people later when they are too weak to do basic everyday tasks. Do know that a “strength” exercise is the same thing as a “resistance” exercise or even a “weight-bearing” exercise. Don’t ever be confused. Keep things simple. Remember, your form (how you do the exercise) is very important. Doing it regularly is also very important. Write me with ANY questions you may have… so here’s the list: 1) The Swing 2) Deadlift+Carry 3) Squat to Row 4) Goblet Squat 5) Turkish Getup 6) Crawling 7) L-sit. With all that said, the single best “general” exercise in the world is WALKING. Seriously. People often think I’m joking but I’m not. Personally, I prefer and highly recommend walking uphill whenever possible. Walking daily is essential. #blueskystrongbox
New Weekly Health & Fitness Video Tipz! This week I demonstrate and describe a short and simple exercise routine that can be done anywhere by most anyone, with very little equipment. Don’t be put off by the fact that it might only take 10 minutes to do the entire workout. Don’t be put off by the fact there are only 3 exercises. I’m not going to go into great detail on this today, but just know that exercise need not be long or include lots of exercises to be effective. All 3 of these exercises will help improve the three big areas that constantly need our attention: Stretching, Strength & Stamina. Do you need to lose body fat? Then focus most of your precious energy on eating better and food prep, sleeping well and managing your stress. Most of us don’t need to exercise hours on end. But yes, we should move every day and eventually work towards 2-3 days of simple strength training each week. There will be much more on all of this in the coming year. In the meanwhile, get to work. Ask for help if you need it. You are in control.January 9, 2017
New Health & Fitness Tipz! This week I talk about avoiding injuries when trying to do things we may not yet be ready for. Sounds obvious I know, but trust me it’s not. We all have things we are good at as well as things we need to work on. Unfortunately, especially in group settings, it’s very popular now to throw body awareness and form out the window in the name of competition or a challenge. This is one sure way to get hurt. We must be smarter than that. As a bonus, near the end I demonstrate some “finesse” progressions/alternatives to burpees.February 17, 2016
Time Warner News’ (Austin) “Active Now” spot showed me a little love last week. Here, I do my best to demonstrate the main first move of the Turkish Getup using a shoe. It’s like a sit-up but much much more.
Ideas for a better warmup:
THE “Old” WARMUP (5-15min): Most people just hop on a treadmill or stationary bike for anywhere from 5-20 minutes to “warmup”. This works but it’s most likely not as effective as other options. Guys who plan on lifting “heavy” weights often ONLY warmup by doing light warmup-sets of their chosen exercise(s) for the day. Again, this also works but considering the fact that most of us know we need more stretching in our lives, including at least a few simple stretches in the warmup might be more optimal. Often guys are also scared to stretch before they lift because, “rumor has it”, you won’t get as big and strong. While it may be true that doing a marathon stretching session before lifting might be counterproductive for some, including other “types” of stretching has proven to actually increase strength & performance when done correctly. Lastly, some folks do their “cardio” first before lifting “weights”, i would assume in hopes of losing some unwanted body fat. Again, this is probably not the best idea UNLESS you are primarily seeking to increase your endurance for a specific event, competition or occupation. But for everyone else, i don’t recommend it. Ever, really. Normally, too much “cardio” before “lifting weights” interferes with… you guessed it, the weights. (And just to clarify, “weights”, “lifting”, “lifting weights” “strength machines”, “strength training”, “resistance training”, “body weight training”, “calisthenics”, “hard yoga”, “hard pilates”, etc are ALL basically the same thing!) “The primary purpose of resistance training is to get stronger, and for some, also build muscle. Both these things can also indirectly aid with fat loss. But keep in mind, getting stronger and building muscle both require INTENSITY to get the desired results. So don’t empty your fuel tank too early by doing too much in the warmup. If your goal is fat-loss, getting stronger or packing on more muscle, try including a short, intense 10-minute “interval session” after “weights” (aka “a finisher”). I’d also recommend doing your longer “cardio” workouts or group classes on another day, all by themselves, if you have the time available.
THE “New” WARMUP (5-10) So here we go. Here are some new things to try as your “warmup”. First and foremost, correct breathing is essential and often overlooked. This means breathing deeply from your diaphragm, through your nose. Keep this in mind as you warmup and proceed to the rest of your workout. I often tell people to do all movements at a pace that allows you sync your breathing with each repeat of that movement. Start your warmup by massaging some of the major muscles regions (back, legs, hips, calves) with a Foam Roller. (This is what most professional athletes do.)Most gyms have them. Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc all sell them for $30 or less). Then do a few safe Dynamic Stretches (aka “moving stretches”). Google this. Then perform a few easy body-weight warmup movements, focusing on stabilizing your spine and moving your many joints about (especially the hip & arm sockets). To summarize, you could very quickly Foam Roll 2-3 major areas of your body, do 2-3 full body stretches and 2-3 major body-weight movements (easy pushups, easy pulling & easy squatting), and be done in less than 10 minutes. You could even include 1-2 “core” exercises near the end or even devote some of the time to practice a new exercise (with no weight or a light weight) that maybe needs some practice. If you really want to hit everything, perform all the primitive movement patterns every time you warmup. (Check out any of Mark Verstegen’s Books). Research all this stuff! Educate yourself. It’s free. Keep things simple. Many things could work. Just keep this in mind, the purpose of a “warmup” is to get you prepared/ramped-up for the harder work ahead, not beat you done prematurely. The key is always to maximize your time, this should include not wasting any precious time doing useless sh*t during a warmup. You may want extend your warmup longer if you are sore or dealing with an injury, have specific “corrective exercises” you know you need to include, it’s really cold outside or you just woke up. We all know we need to stretch more, etc. Include these type things in your warmup and you can always get a lot done in each session, regardless of time. Density is the key.
p.s. Keep things simple. Always. I know i mentioned a lot of things, and that was just the silly warmup. lol. The reality is that the details of exercise and programming can easily start to bog any mind down. So don’t let it. Start by including just one new thing next time your workout. Build on that over time. The point is to move more, move better. There will probably never be a “perfect” way. And while some will waste time searching tirelessly for that, you should be out there getting work done. Time is of the essence. Ask for help if you need it. Work hard. Play hard. Enjoy.