Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Greetings From Colombia!

Human Flag Medellin



 Just hit a quick workout in Medellin, of course you don't always need a gym to train.


  

Monday, December 21, 2015

Are Protein Powder Prices Getting Way Too Expensive?


    My brother called me this weekend asking about which whey protein gave the best bang for the buck, and if any was cheaper than around $50 for 5lbs, I arbitrarily answered that I love the Now Foods Pure Whey which has no ingredients other than whey protein and Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard if he wanted flavored protein. I hung up the phone, thought for a second, then immediately called him back with a realization on the insanity of these prices, he didn't pick up, so I'm gonna write this article instead!

      $50 for 5 lbs or about 2.26 kilograms of protein is INSANE! You are paying $10 a pound! Think about that, when you buy chicken is it $10 a pound? Steak? I'm not even sure Whole Foods charges this much! Yet we pay this for our protein powders, when it's becoming pretty damn well known mainstream that the powders and pills are mere supplements to compliment a solid diet, not to replace it.

     Let's take a look at the cheapest healthy protein, eggs, an egg has 6 grams of protein, so a dozen eggs has 72 grams of protein, and that costs me $2 where I live. Comparing this to protein powder, I get 25 cartons of eggs, 300 eggs, which comes out to 1800 grams of protein, the whey comes about to about 1600 somewhat grams. So the numbers aren't too far off, but lets be honest, what builds muscle? They both do of course, but the eggs are going to be far better, real food will always be better than the supplements! Let's look at chicken, it's about $2 a pound, so again comparing it to $50 whey, you would get 25 pounds of chicken, this comes out to over 3,000 grams of protein!!! High quality lean meat!

    I'm going to the gym in two hours, when I get out I may do my egg white drink, with liquid egg whites, hard boiled eggs or I may do protein powder with eggs, so I'm not saying don't use protein powder. For adults $50 probably isn't a big deal, but where this hit me is for the beginner, the kid that's gonna have to work two jobs to pay his gym membership than get bombarded by ads that you NEED PROTEIN POWDERS TO BUILD MUSCLE! Protein powder is a great supplement, but if you are on a budget and have to choose, real food dominates in price, grams of protein, and results.

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This article is solely opinion of the author and written for entertainment purposes only.
Consult a doctor or medical professional before beginning any fitness, diet, or weight training program. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Summary: I Cooked For The First Time In My Kitchen In 2015


   So in a rare case of events, I had two days off in a row this week, no clients, no fire department, no side business stuff, and no real estate work. I got a great cookbook off amazon.com boasting healthy recipes so I decided to give it a go, I did two appetizers and one entree. My typical cooking day, involves grilling a piece of chicken, boiling some brown rice, steaming some spinach, or drinking egg whites/protein shakes. THAT'S IT! So today I did some fancy Italian dishes. Here's how it went down:

COOKING    VERSE    NORMAL DIET

Time: 3 hours               Time: 30 minutes
Cost: $45            Cost: $12  
Left Over Servings: 1          Left Over Servings: 0
Healthier: No           Healthier: Yes
Calorie Estimate: 1,300*    Calorie Estimate: 500
Flavor/Taste: Plenty        Flavor/Taste: Bland

*in all fairness, I also had more calories because I was snacking on extra ingredients as I was cooking, and also did 3 recipes where I would have been fine with 2.

    On a health note, it already looks bad for the cooking day, so here's where it gets worse, the recipes I used, were actually HEALTHY RECIPES! But honestly, I can't say they were truly healthy, I'm not gonna knock or name the book I used, it makes a great effort to make healthier versions of dishes we eat, and I will definitely cook this again for special occasions. But at the same time, it calls for things high in sodium, and fat, and on top of all that, it calls for you to make several servings, and I didn't feel it specified that, yes the meal is only 300 calories, but you made 4 servings, so it's 1,2000 calories! So the problem is the average American may buy this book, but still continue on with our number one issue in America with our diet, PORTIONS! Sugar, salt, and fat are ESSENTIAL to live, it's the portions that kill us.

        Food is social, it bonds us, and it identifies our culture, it's family time, and it's friend time. So on the one hand we don't want to give that up, on the other hand we don't want to do it in excess. Admittingly, cooking only once in 11 months is the other extreme, I probably should cook more! But most of my friends and I go out to eat more often because we live near so many damn good restaurants. But when you are watching your weight and your health, you need to find the balance, you need to more often, and unfortunately eat bland, eat boring, and remember that food's first purpose is biological function. Cook for fun here and there, but eat for health and life.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How Much Do You Need To Bench Press To Impress A Girl?


    One of my friends who has never been in the gym asked me this the other day. I think a lot of guys get into the gym to impress the opposite sex, and no doubt they want to have a big bench press to impress the girl they are pursuing, so statistically, what's a number that will impress over 90% of the women out there???

200 pounds

     Ok, if you are experienced stop laughing, and if you are new to the gym listen in. 200 pounds, that's it, I swear on my life 9 out of 10 women will be impressed if you can bench two hundred pounds. But unless you are about 4'11, have only one arm, or some other disability, 200 lbs is no summit on the mountain of the gym. It's something almost ANYONE can do in a year of training, some of the naturally big guys can probably do it without ever having touched a weight. It may sounds impressive to someone that has never been in a gym, or a girl that weighs 120lbs, but in reality, it's a warm up for most experienced lifters.

     What you need to realize if you are trying to lift to impress someone, you are in the gym for the wrong reason. Hey, I started off at a 95 pounds maximum bench press, so I was happy when I benched 200, but it was no where near my lifetime goal. You go to the gym to grow as a person, to extend your life, and to live it better. Don't just set your eyes on doing something to beat someone else or impress someone else. Those things will come to you, but there will ALWAYS be someone who can lift more and someone with a better physique. You have to set your mind to be in the gym for your body, and your life. 

Have a great workout!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Why CrossFit May Be Better Than The Gym



    First, I don't do crossfit, in fact, I wasn't honestly not sure how to spell it even, I had to google it, Cross Fit or Crossift? Turns out it's one word with two caps, according to Wikipedia, so CrossFit. And yes, I don't do CrossFit, I have tried it before many times,  it's just not for me. I don't hate it, or hate the people that do it. I just personally don't enjoy doing it, which is one of the foundations of commitment to the gym for me, enjoying it. I have some worries about the long term effects on spinal cartilage with some of the crazy dynamic lifts, but all in all it's getting people in shape at most places, and it's a lot better than sitting on your arse eating and watching television. So if I don't do it, why am I actually going to tell you it may be better than the gym, which I do almost every day?


    I am going to write another article on this soon, but the main reason CrossFitters do better than the average gym rat, is because in CrossFit people are ACTUALLY WORKING OUT! It still blows my mind to this day how many people have gym memberships and either A: don't go at all, or B: go and do next to nothing at the gym. I would say in gyms I've been to, which I can easily say is around 100 gyms on 6 of the 7 continents of this world, only around 10% of the people in the gyms were actually training hard enough. This even includes when I trained at the mecca of gyms, Gold's Gym Venice. The percent was better at Gold's Venice, but I still saw a significant number of people doing a text message workout, a lips and tongue conversation work out, a bad stretch for 5 minutes followed by 10 seconds of bad lift workout, etc. A large number of people that go to gyms simply don't train hard enough. Don't even get me started on cardio, I've said somewhere in this blog, unless it's an extreme weather or a safety issue, do cardio outside!!! It's over 110 where I live now and I am still biking, sprinting, or hiking everyday! If it hits 115, you may see me in the pool instead though. 

     If you go to a CrossFit place, I forgot what they call them, box? It's closer to 90% are actually pushing themselves! I can go online and find 10 hysterical videos of crossfitters doing stupid shit, but I can't find the same with a gym, because a kid sending text messages or 3 people conversing around a bench that they tell you they have 15 sets left on is not as viral of a video on YouTube. 

     The first important thing is to find the fitness activity you love doing! Since I don't love CrossFit I wouldn't stay committed, if you don't like the gym or CrossFit, maybe it's basketball, soccer, or boxing? Or tennis, running? The possibilities are endless. But the key is finding the one you will love. The next key where CrossFit or really most group fitness classes win, is pushing yourselves in them. If you love the gym like I do, that's great, but you have to make sure you are really training in the gym. I always remember my days as a trainer at the lower end gyms, being there 8 hours a day I'd see everyone's routine. I could only imagine the married guy coming home to his wife and saying, "Baby, I don't understand I'm in the gym 6 hours a week and not making any progress." It's because he's not doing anything while he's there!!!!

      I'm not saying to stop the gym, or to join CrossFit, I'm saying find your fitness love, and like a spouse, your dream job, or your dream whatever, give it nothing less than 100% and I promise you for the 100% you give, it's going to give you a hell of a lot more back.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I'm sorry, but this picture is bullsh+t.


    I've seen this one all over Facebook, Twitter, IG, etc over the years. And I am sorry to break everyone's heart, but the picture is complete B.S. I went grocery shopping just now, literally just now! 1 pound of turkey, 24 eggs, pico de gallo with no salt or flavor added, and some zucchini. It cost me about $20, and will last me about 1.5 days if even. Something that sucks about healthy eating that you don't think about until you are truly eating healthy, natural foods, as opposed to some generic "low fat yogurt" or "healthy boxed cereal", is that healthy eating is expensive!!!

    I'm also curious what city and state you can even get that fast food for $21 in, we have to be talking a truck stop or smaller city, moving down to the second pic, so many things wrong with this:

  • Orange juice: likely sugar loaded
  • Strawberries, I love em, and they are good for you, but they are expensive, where the hell can you buy 1 pound of strawberries for $1.69?
  • The 96% ground beef if you read the label actually tends to be over 50% fat, I still have no idea to this day how they get away with labeling it that way. 
  • 10 pounds of potatoes for $3????? 
     Ok you get the point. Most of you know my story now, when I first started training I trained friends and family for free, then I worked at a chain gym, and eventually started my own training business. My clients now tend to be in a higher income, I'd love to go back to training people without as much income, but I don't know how on earth I could ever legitimately do sales and live with myself again, "So uhhhhh, are you ready to spend around $15-20 a day for groceries?" Bottom line is, unless you grow your own vegetables, or have a backyard to raise chickens, HEALTHY EATING IS NOT CHEAP. And from what I've observed, I'd say 70% of the time it is more expensive to eat healthy.

    However, you guys know me, I wrote the article The Cost Of Fast Food Vs Open Heart Surgery, you gotta make short term sacrifice for the bigger picture. Sure I could've gone to get fast food for lunch, it would be cheaper, but in the long run, like anything else in life, a healthy body takes dedication and work! And it takes sacrificing. The picture is a cute thought, but in reality if you want to be healthy you need to accept that you are not only investing time and effort in the gym, but you will be investing money into eating better. But trust me, every penny of it will be worth it!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Most Valuable Thing You Own


     What is the most valuable thing you own? Your house? Your car? Your cell phone? Of course unless this is the first time you are coming to this blog you see where I am going with this. I haven't had television for over 12 years now, it wasn't a choice initially, my pay as a cop in the NYPD was so low I had to get rid of everys single bill I could get rid of, so obviously cable was bounced out quickly, but now when people ask why I don't watch TV, I reply, I was born with my body, not with a television. In fact, you weren't born with anything you own now except the body you are in.

    Personal training has supplemented my fire department income well, I don't live in a mansion but I live in a nice little house, but if the house got to the point where it was interfering with my health or training, I would foreclose tomorrow. The one thing we truly own in this world is the thing we need to take the best care of, but as society has "advanced" we are more and more disregarding the greatest instrument we will ever own. You have to put your body first. Before anything. That's right, if you are not healthy, you will not live to see your kids grow, you will not live to enjoy whatever money your job brings you, you will live the new American nightmare of living off morning pills and invasive surgeries just to make it through the next 24 hours where the cycle will begin again.

      You want to drive your dream car one day or own your dream home, and maybe you will get there, but when you do, you aren't going to trash the house and roll the car, you are going to treat them with dignity and respect, why would you not to the same thing for the best thing you own? Your body is more valuable than anything on this Earth that you will ever have. Treat it that way.