How Much Should You Exercise?

Feb 6, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

This is a question that has been much debated over the years and does not come with an easy answer. I can tell you what has worked with my clients over my twenty years of training.

I cater to the general population, which let’s face it, thats most of us. I like to see two days of lifting a week, three to four days of cardio and a sound diet. Let me now elaborate on my three tiered approach.

With weight-lifting or negative resistance training I like full body workouts set up in a push/pull fashion, with a heavy emphasis on functional movements. I also like to focus on corrective movements based on the Functional Movement Screen ( that I give to all my clients.

The cardiovascular approach we take is very low risk. Two days of elliptical and two days of spinning. Both are no impact cardiovascular options which is key to safety and continuance of regular cardiovascular training. Elliptical training should be done at 55-65% of maximal heart rate to help build a strong cardiovascular base. Spinning covers the need for interval training which is essential. See link for good explanation:

As far as diet is concerned, we have a very specific approach that combines a detox cleanse and simple to follow five meal a day approach. It is very much based on being able to fit into the busy schedules that everyone seems to have these days. For more details see link:

I hope this helps and if you are interested in further explanations or just general FAQs please feel free to peruse our website

Light at the End of the tunnel

Jan 18, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

I am nearing the end of the story of my feet. I just had had my second surgery last Friday and and will be convalescing for about ten days. The surgery was a success and both neuromas were removed. If you have following my tale of woe then you know that I have been dealing with Morton’s neuromas (two in each foot). Only being able to remove one at a time from each foot, I needed two surgeries.

I am hoping to be back to 100% by June, but will start this coming Tuesday with the upper body cycle, then the recumbent elliptical and then swimming. I will also try some light calisthenics as well. That regimen should hold for about two and half months and then I will try the regular elliptical and the zero runner with an eventual transition to running.

The ultimate goal is to get back to my kung fu training with an additional focus on intense cardio, stretching and less focus on weightlifting only as cross-training.

I am excited for a pain free future and my new focus; before my surgery I was to focused on weightlifting, and my martial arts training was left wanting. I am also going to stick to my New Years resolution of learning some ground fighting.

If you too are struggling with and injury I hope this provides some inspiration. Keep your chin up and focus on the can, not the can’t and you will rise above.

The New Year

Jan 1, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What will you be thinking about when Auld Lang Syne is playing? I should frame this a little more particularly, I am referring to your health and fitness in the past year…this is not me trying to be Tony Robbins.

I myself have had ups and downs in 2016. I was able to focus for better or worse on a lot of weight lifting à la bodybuilding. To the point that I was contemplating entering a contest/show. This style of lifting however does come with a cost. It is all consuming, very painstaking and the rewards comes slowly. You cardio suffers, your flexibility and speed as well. But boy do you love looking in the mirror, it becomes very narcissistic.

That being said my martial arts training very much fell by the wayside, but not only due to bodybuilding. I have been having foot issues, more specifically – Morton’s Neuromas. This led to surgeries in each of my feet. The second round of surgeries will be January the 13, 2017 (yes I need two surgeries in each foot). This for all intents and purposes has brought me to a complete halt. I have only recently gone from using the upper body cycle (UBC) to recumbent elliptical and I swim when I can.

The last time I lifted was Thursday November the 17, 2016. For those that bodybuild you know thats enough to put you into absolute freakout mode. Fortunately I have vacillated from aerobic to anaerobic training so many times over the years it doesn’t really bother me and it actually sets me up for the New Year.

My plan for the New Year, although due to my next surgery really won’t go fully into effect until Spring will be focused on cardio, flexibility, speed and martial arts. I will also try my hand at grappling as well to compliment my Kung Fu training. My strength training will be greatly reduced most likely two days a week.

I am looking forward to this change of pace and programming, and pushing the limit with my new focus for 2017.

Diet Time Now!!!

Dec 31, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

The New Year is here and the time for diet draws nigh!! I must admit with my greatly reduced mobility (thank you foot surgeries) mixed with holiday vacations and all the food and good cheer that come with I have been struggling to maintain my schoolboy physique.

I am up about ten pounds and since I have not lifted weights in six weeks (again thank you foot surgeries) I am losing muscle mass rapidly. I don’t mind the ego hit that comes with the muscle loss but muscle mass burns calories (one pound of muscle burns about 40 calories a day).

I have had some success with the upper body cycle and the recumbent elliptical. I have struggled with getting to the pool for lap swimming; I just need to buckle down and make it happen.

That being said, it’s time to address diet. I have been sucked into holiday mode and have quite frankly been eating horribly. I think partially due to the fact that with my reduced level of activity I’m not mentally as focused on diet and exercise as much. This morning I upgraded to a premium membership on my LoseIt app and will be using it everyday until I reach my goal weight.

I am still trying to figure out what my goal weight should be, I have been as heavy as 200 hundred pounds when really lifting heavy and as light as 164 pounds when really pushing the mountain biking and triathlete pursuits. My focus in the New Year will be martial arts and general endurance. This course of action of course is best helped by staying lean and mean, most likely I’ll shoot for 165 pounds.

My time will be split between lots of cardio with an emphasis on interval training, some weight lifting (most likely only two days a week) and martial arts training.

The main thing to remember for myself and anyone else reading this is simple…there is no exercise regimen that can outperform a bad diet. So even though my exercise regimen will change, my real focus will be on using the LoseIt app and really watching what I eat. Otherwise I will not hit my goal weight. I hope to hit my goal by March at the latest. My starting weight is 179 pounds.

I’ll keep you posted…

Staying Focused On Your Physical Fitness While Injured

Dec 20, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

How do you keep your focus on physical fitness while you are injured? It is an issue I am wrestling with currently. I am preparing for my second round of surgeries on my feet (yes both feet) in January.

I have been literally trying to keep my steps to a minimum to heal as fast as possible and avoid possible scar tissue and nerve damage (a possibility if I don’t ease back into my everyday routine). I keep a fold up tripod stool with me that I sit on whenever possible while at work and recently got a temporary handicap placard for my car. The handicap placard is somewhat helpful; but his humbling experience has also led me to the sad conclusion that the Bethesda area is really not very accommodating for those with disabilities, especially for longterm parking.

Some much energy is spent trying to not move and taking extra time for every task because of my naturally slower approach to everything that it’s hard to get motivated to workout. I started with using an upper body cycle and in just the past ten days or so I have started using a recumbent elliptical. It feels pretty good but of course it is harder to burn calories in a recumbent position.

I have been trying to eat less to not gain weight, my muscle mass due to not lifting weights is being affected, which is a little bit of vanity hit but there is a upside. I will be going back into martial arts full force once this is all over (hopefully April, 2017) and being lighter is a good thing for speed and agility. I will also be focusing on a lot of stretching and I have promised my self to try my hand at some grappling training.

All that being said, as mention it is a struggle to stay motivated and it is a little depressing to be so immobilized. However I am enjoying reading more and catching up on some Netflix viewing. I am doing my best to stay upbeat and have also been doing research for how I want to structure my eventual return to the physical.

Keep me in your thoughts and if you can move do it…you may not alway be able to one day!!

Training With Injuries

Dec 5, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

If you have been in the game as long as I have you are invariably going to sustain some type of injury, be it from life, training, age, wear and tear or all of the above.

So what to do when injured, the last thing would be to do nothing. There is always a way to exercise and stay in shape. Figure out your do’s and don’ts and plan accordingly.

Recently I had surgery on my feet and my exercise regimen has been pretty severely curtailed. However as I said there is always a way; I have been using the upper body cycle (UBC), swimming and of course abdominal/midsection work.

You would be amazed at what just the UBC, swimming and ab work can do. I am getting great workouts while being completely off my feet.

Generally for the UBC I’ll go for forty-five minutes to and hour alternating between going forwards and backward. At the pool I alternate between distance and sprint work. As to my ab work, any type of crunch or sit up you can think of in positions that keep all weight off my feet.

My mission is to lose ten pounds with these work outs and push hard to up my cardiovascular fitness. I want to be as lean and mean as possible when I return to my martial arts training.

Thats the current plan, I’ll let you know how it works out

Can we push ourselves beyond?

Aug 10, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

With the Olympics in full swing, it begs the question am I/we (all my super fans out there) pushing ourselves hard enough?!

Personally I have been been hitting my goals. I have been pushing hard to get back to a 225lb. bench and a 315lb. squat. I achieved both of those goal weights for the second time in as many months this past Monday and Tuesday respectively. I will now try to push beyond and am setting new goals for both my bench and squat and will keep you posted.

I am also hoping to pass a forms test at my martial arts school that I have been working on for almost a year. As soon as I pass this next test, there is much, much more for me to learn. I have upped my martial arts practice time and will continue to try and keep that pace…I will try to push beyond.

Now the question is what are you doing to push yourself beyond, please let me know what your personal Olympics are?!

What are your Summer Goals?

Jun 15, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, you’ll have hopefully picked your Summer Plan by now, if not quickly read the last post –

So now that you have picked your Summer Plan; what are your summer goals? What do I mean by this exactly? Let’s say you picked rock climbing, do you have a spot picked out to practice be it indoors or outdoors? Do you have a schedule and routine to keep you on track? Is there any equipment that you need to purchase? Is there a book or magazine that may help hone your skills? Are there lessons or coaching that you can take?

I’m a fan of immersing myself in my activities and learning as much about them as possible, and to practice them as much as possible to get results and achieve success. If you take this approach you certainly will move forward in your pursuits. You will also find that you have built in “mandatory” leisure time, which we all need in our desperately busy world while becoming more healthy all at the same time.

I have two goals for this Summer:

1. Bench – 225lb.
Squat – 3151b.

2. Pass another belt test at my martial arts school –

Please let me know what your goals are and if I can help you to achieve them.

Summer Plan

Jun 9, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Do you have your summer exercise plan together?!

Here are some outdoor and indoor activities for you to consider and links to further your potential pursuits (it’s always a good idea to have indoor options available with the heat, humidity and air quality of the Washington Metropolitan Area).


Tennis – No Limits Tennis email –

Horseback Riding –

Running –

Cycling –

Swimming –

Hiking –

Kayaking –

Rock Climbing –


Spinning –!bethesda-md/cfbd

Yoga –

Pilates –

Rock Climbing –

Martial Arts –

Crossfit –

Please feel free to let me know what you’re up to…

Bone Density Training – (not for the feint of heart)

Apr 18, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What is the best way to increase your bone density? Well that can very much depend on your physical pursuits. The general recommendations are weight bearing exercises, adequate calcium and sometimes, prescribed supplements such a Fosamax, Boniva and Actonel.

I would like to talk about a much more visceral approach – Impact Conditioning. Impact conditioning has been used for years by marital artists. Repeated hard impact forces a biological response to the high pressure that causes greater bone density from microscopic fractures – this is also know as Wolff’s Law. There can be a downside to this rigorous approach – stress to tendons, ligaments and muscles.  Often in taking this traditional approach lineaments will be prescribed by your coach/instructor/Grand Master to help you heal after this type of intense training. One good example of this is Dit Dow Jow (

I have been training in this manner for years at my martial arts school more specifically with a Southern Shaolin approach. Here are five basic techniques I have used over the years. To help the reader who is not familiar with martial arts training when I refer to strike points, these are the areas on the leg or the arm that come in contact with opponents.

The first is an exercise called Sam Sin and is a series of forearm clashes with another student that helps to toughen all the striking areas of the forearm.

The second is a similar approach but the technique is performed (also with the forearms) on a Wing Chun Dummy (, this drill also strengthens all the striking area of the forearms.

The next two techniques are for the legs and are very similar to the afore mentioned approaches for the forearm.

The third approach requires a partner, you perform a series of leg clashes on all the contact points of the leg.

The fourth approach requires a whole bunch of chops sticks and some duct tape. You tape them together (lengthwise) about forty or so. Now you use your new toy to tap on all the contact points of the leg.

The fifth approach is for the body itself and requires a partner. Its quite simple you take turns giving round house kicks to the body.

In just the past month I have also found one more technique/tool that can be used on almost any part of the body but is best used for the legs and arms. It is called the Iron Arm ( Same approach you strike all the contact points of the legs and forearms. I’ll let you know how it works out with the Iron Arm soon!!

Now a little due diligence; I have been using these techniques for years but your must have guidance by a good coach or Grand Master. I would also check with your doctor. You can expect abrasions, cuts, possible skin infections, possible tendon and ligament damage as well as possible stress fractures. With these considerations in mind again make sure to seek expert guidance if you are going to engage in this type of conditioning. There are some risks but you will reap the benefits if done properly.

I have also attached a few links to articles, books and videos of this type of training.

Train Hard, Train Safe!!