Monday, January 9, 2012

My #1 Fat Loss Tip for 2012

One week after all the New Year's Resolutions began, many are still staying strong while pursuing their fitness goals and expectations.

For those that are starting to struggle, perhaps a simple tip to increase the chances of achieving your goals.

But first:

How do you eat an elephant?

The answer is simple:  One bite at a time

How to fail?  Try eating all in one sitting and by yourself.  But if you spread out the task, and ask a few friends for help? You will eventually 'eat the elephant', whichever elephant that elephant may be. 


Actually, out of the variables (Frequency, Intensity, Tempo, Duration) most people could change on a daily basis is simple: Frequency.  Changing to 4-6 workouts per week, even if they are 30 minutes long, is an extremely effective way to stimulate the body to change shape, metabolize fat 24/7, and 'take one bite at a time'.  Further, rather than stressing the body much more than you used to in 60-90 minutes and perhaps doing too much, always leave a little bit in the tank for the next day.  That way the risk of over-training is less, and there is more continuity from one workout to the other. 

BUT 4-6 times per week??  I don't have that much time! 

Take a look at how much TV you watch, how much you are playing video games, etc, and you will surely be surprised.  Pause that DVR and put down the wii remote: this is NOT a large time commitment here.  One of the best parts of the increased frequency is that you might actually surprise yourself with some new varieties of workouts.  From TRX workouts, bodyweight only, kettlebell only, or bands, your options are aplenty.  In fact, many of those workouts can be done in with only a timer and yourself, in the privacy of your own apartment or home.  One of my favorite kettlebell-only workouts is located HERE and is absolutely perfect for those days when you only have 20-30 minutes.

But what about if I have more than 30 minutes? 

This is when things get good: do a little extra, but again, in moderation.  A few examples of some fat loss finishers and mini-workouts are located HERE.  You can add any of these, or do some simple intervals on a Concept 2 Rower, Treadmill, or better yet...outdoors.  Two other treadmill/running workouts are located HERE and HERE.

But what would my week look like if I wanted to workout 4 times per week?
4 times per week
Monday: Lower
Tuesday: Upper

Thursday: Lower
Friday: Upper

5 times per week
Monday: Lower
Tuesday: Upper
Wednesday: Metabolic, 30-60 second intervals with kettlebells, slideboard, bands, weight vest and heavy medicine balls
Thursday: Upper
Friday: Lower

6 times per week
Monday: Lower
Tuesday: Upper
Wednesday: Metabolic, 30-60 second intervals with kettlebells, slideboard, bands, weight vest and heavy medicine balls
Thursday: Upper
Friday: Lower
Saturday: Metabolic, 15-30 second intervals with various equipment from above
Where's my cardio? 

Anywhere, except I would highly recommend doing intervals after Upper body workouts ONLY, so you don't take too much out of your legs on one day.  Light cardio can easily be done after leg day.

Is this more like a bodybuilding approach?  

Not at all.  Upper and lower body movements are still multijoint, the only difference is switching up the upper and lower portions of the body.

But what about core? 
Core is also done in every workout, using either stabilization, rotation, or lengthening/anti-lengthening as a pattern for the day. 

Do your clients do this? 

Actually, I am working on transitioning clients (right now about 25% of my clients are 4+ times per week) that are more advanced to this type of workout plan.  Their metabolism is stimulated and pushed on a daily basis far more than ever before.

What about if I told you one of my clients, a General Manager at the #1 Restaurant in NYC (cannot reveal his name for privacy purposes), who works 60 hours per week, is in my calendar 5-6 days per week at 30 minutes per workout.  Here's what he has to say:

"After working with the Coach for the past 3 years, we decided to change the program from 2 One-hour long sessions a week to 4-5 thirty minute sessions a week. The results have been tremendous!  More intense, fast pace and far more focused. I cannot believe the change in my energy and most important the results."

While this workout plan is not for everyone, this will definitely help you take one bite at a time.

In extraordinary health,

Coach Kev

Friday, January 6, 2012

Crushing Fat Loss Cardio Workout - TRY THIS!

In my recent posts, I have been trying to share more and more of what I do and why I do it.  In this recent installment, I am going to spill some details on this awesome, although very difficult, cardio interval workout. 

Before I continue with the workout, a few additional thoughts:
  • My favorite method of training in the last few months is simple but not easy: running, putting one foot in front of the other, but only because I'm training for a marathon in May.  Traditionally I run 30 minutes, 3 times per week, and ONLY do intervals
  • When compared to other workouts, jogging is actually not a great use of your time if your heart rate is kept consistent throughout the workout (also known as steady state).  
  • However, using intervals, going back and forth between different energy systems and fuel sources, and basically running/sprinting bouts paired with walking/jogging bouts is the absolute KING when it comes to fat loss (and it takes less time)
  • Absolutely loved this workout as it broke up my usual routine and increased recruitment from my hamstrings and glutes, while getting my heart rate above 95% (190 bpm) and my recovery after 2 minutes below 65% (130 bpm).
  • I included a mile warmup at an easy pace before the intervals began, but mainly because it was 30 degrees out and I wanted to warmup the muscles and start a light sweat before beginning the higher intensity portion

Here we go:

Intervals 1-4
.25 mile as fast as possible
walk for 2 minutes
repeat 3 more times for 4 total intervals
Intervals 5-8
.20 mile as fast as possible
walk/jog for 2 minutes
repeat 3 more times for 4 total intervals
Intervals 9-12
.15 mile as fast as possible
walk/jog for 2 minutes
repeat 3 more times for 4 total intervals

Finish with a cooldown mile at a comfortable pace. 

  • Make sure to precede this workout with a dynamic warmup, videos of that can be found here: warmup videos
  • If you don't have access to a treadmill or a GPS, try using time instead: Intervals 1-4 should be 90 seconds long, intervals 5-8 should be 60 seconds long, and 9-12 should be 45s long
Keep on keepin' on,

Coach Kev

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My 2012 New Year's Expectations

For 2012, I have made a list of things I that will make happen.  In fact, I have a separate list of HOW those things will happen.  Some things are big and difficult expectations (running a marathon, opening a new gym in NYC), some are small (monthly Starbucks session, read 2 books per month). 

Regardless, the impact and correlation by both big and small expectations cannot be ignored; opening a gym will be a result of maintaining the expectations that I have, including the small ones (reading and writing helps me clarify my thoughts and how I WILL them to become actions). 

Before I dive into my list, I would like to clarify a minute difference between a New Year’s Resolution and a New Year’s Expectation.  But first, let’s look at the difference:

ex·pec·ta·tion     /ˌekspekˈtāSHən/

  1. A strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.
  2. A belief that someone will or should achieve something

res·o·lu·tion      /ˌrezəˈlo͞oSHən/

  1. A firm decision to do or not to do something
While small, I think the key here is accountability.  With an expectation, I have made it so that any pessimistic thought of not following through on an expectation is immediately met with disgust, and I return back to my optimistic state, and follow through on exceeding expectations.  However, if I have a resolution to do or not do something, then that blanket statement limits my ‘wiggle’ room, and something could happen that could ruin the potential in maintaining my resolution.  Which leads me to quantify the difference (at least in my head):

I would much rather exceed anything than maintain something, ANY DAY. 

Now, on to my 2012 Expectations

  • Blog 5x per week, including workouts
  • Finalize Program Project and release to Trainers and General Public (5 left to go)
  • Finalize new website to public
  • Reach 20 clients (18 now, converting 2 from Amazon Local Deal)
  • Add two trainers to payroll to help them reach their financial and personal goals
  • Add three new programs to the fitness mix (30 minute workouts with me, yoga with yoga instructor + running program for fat loss with running coach)
  • 5 public speaking engagements
  • Business of the month for local business (starting January 2)
  • Read 2 books per month (read 1 per month in 2011)
  • Sign lease for new studio
  • Attend 3 seminars, 2 new ones (outside of Perform Better Circuit)
  • 84 pound handstand pushup x1
  • 84 pound chinup x1
  • Single Leg RDL x3 at 200 pounds (currently at 145)
  • GH extension x5 at 300 pounds
  • Run NJ Marathon sub 3:30 (just under 8m/m pace)
  • Run 2 half marathons, and 9 NYRR races, (automatically qualifying for next year’s NYC Marathon)
  • Half marathon time: 1:35
  • Allow alcohol 1x/week, scheduled in advance
  • General carbs under 100g/day except post-run and on cheat days
  • 24 hour fast at least 1x/month
  • 1 Golf vacation, 1 family vacation, 2 mini vacations down South
  • Take golf lesson(s)
  • Break 80!
  • Starbucks moment 1x/month (go into Starbucks with nothing but a pad of paper and a pen, and write for 90 minutes)
  • Help my mother and father with their fitness routines by skyping while they work on the TRX they received for Christmas
  • Visit Rochester (hometown) 6x (including Thanksgiving and Christmas)
If any of these expectations sound good to you, let me know.  I'd be glad to share with you my plans on how to exceed them!  

In extraordinary health,

Coach Kev

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Workout 1/1/12

So it's Sunday, I have a TON of work to do (which is worsened by the fact I have Week 17 NFL obligations), and not a lot of time to workout.  In fact, I don't even feel like leaving my apartment. 

But I have fasted since 11p last night, am pumped for what 2012 has to offer, and wanted to get a quick workout in at my apartment.  Here's today's Upper Body Workout:

Pre workout nutrition:
green tea (Loving my Mighty Leaf Christmas gift - thanks Abby!)
16 ounces cold water

Spidermans x 5e
Forward arm circles x5e
Backward arm circles x5e
Quadruped external rotation, hand behind lower back x 5e
Quadruped external rotation, hand behind head x5e

During workout nutrition:
Xtend branched chain amino acids (2 scoops = 10g) with 20 ounces cold water

Equipment needed:
Chinup bar  ($20 bucks on Amazon)

  1. Pushups AMAP (as many as possible) until you get to 300
  2. Pullups 10x5
  3. Hand Stand pushups 10x5
rest as needed between (my average was 30 seconds or so)

Post workout stretches for chest, shoulders, triceps and lats

Total time taken, including warmup and cool down, was 28 minutes.  If you don't have 28 minutes to invest in your body, well, I am truly sorry. 

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tough as Nails Barbell Fat Loss Complex

This week I've been a bit inspired to boost metabolisms everywhere as a result of the gluttonous holiday parties looming large in the rear view mirror.  And with the feedback coming in, these complexes (Bear Cub Complex and Grizzly Bear Challenge ) have been said to be enjoyable upon completion, but definitely not during. 

Finally, if you have survived the introductory Bear Cub, withered the punches that the Grizzly Bear had to offer, then you might be ready for the ultimate challenge:


First, it's called the Polar Bear challenge because after it, most people are usually a lighter shade of white than they were before.

Grab a stopwatch, and for beginners, just the 45 pound barbell will do.  More advanced lifters can start at 65 perhaps with bumper plates, but anything else is probably too aggressive.  Here's the complex:

  1. Deadlift
  2. Romanian Deadlift
  3. Bentover Row
  4. Clean
  5. Front Squat
  6. Push Press
  7. Back Squat
  8. Good Morning
Instructions: each exercise is performed WITHOUT setting the bar down, and continually moving to the next movement
Rep scheme: 8 for the first set, 7 for the second, 6 for the third, etc all the way to 1.
Rest: start with 1 minute rest between sets until you feel you can go before the 1 minute mark.
  • 8 reps of each, rest 60 seconds
  • 7 reps of each, rest 60s
  • 6 reps of each, rest 55s
  • 5 reps of each, rest 50s
  • 4 reps of each, rest 45s
  • 3 reps of each, rest 40s 
  • 2 reps of each, rest 30s
  • 1 rep 

Few thoughts:
  • This complex is NOT an excuse to use sloppy form and injure your back
  • If you are not familiar with the clean, do NOT attempt it, but rather, seek out a qualified Olympic Lifting Coach and learn the lift before adding it in
  • If you're losing your grip, be smart and set the bar down for a few seconds
  • the limiting factor for most people will be how much they can overhead press
  • Doing this in a squat rack helps the transitions, without a rack just makes things more interesting
  • My highest weight used is 89 pounds (45 pound plates with 10k/22 pound bumpers on each side) and the time it took was 18m57 seconds
  • My Fastest time with 65 pounds is 14 minutes 19 seconds
Good luck!

-Coach Kev