Apr 15, 2021
Sorry it’s been so long since I blogged last!! I just wanted to check in with everyone to see what’s up? What have you been doing to keep yourself physically fit and busy during the pandemic?
I personally am now going back to the gym three times a week with a bare bones three day split. I can’t remember a time when haven’t hit the iron and it’s really nice to be back in a gym environment.
Otherwise I have been doing 2-3 days of elliptical a week and I try to get a least two days of marital arts training. Fortunately with the coming of Spring I can get back to more full fledged martial arts workouts outdoors. I also stretch for about 45 min at least twice a week.
I’d be curious to know what has been keeping you busy?? Some things to consider are beefing up your home gym, personal training by Zoom or FaceTime. Peloton’s have become very popular (my wife loves hers). We are in Spring now so biking, hiking, walking, running, jogging, roller blading (which I do whenever I can with my kids) and of course the all time favorite – yard work are great options!!
Anyway keep pushing hard and try to keep yourself healthy.
Train Hard, Train Safe!!
Feb 15, 2021
Here’s a message to anyone going gyms currently about mask wearing.
Please make sure to wear a mask and wear it correctly as well as applying a little common sense. What to I mean by this, please let me explain.
First and foremost when wearing a mask make sure it fits and make sure it is covering your nose 100% of the time.
Let me explain further for those who may not understand…
You don’t just wear a mask when NOT doing a set, or just keep it above your nose when NOT doing a set. No almost covering the nose, there is covering or there is not…not a hard concept. The most important time is during your set. You avoid this situation by wearing you mask at all times in the proper manner.
You don’t wear your mask so low that it falls off every time you do a set (yes we’re wise to that trick and yes people see you doing it).
If you’re using a smart phone don’t pull your mask down every two seconds for facial recognition, just use your passcode.
When drinking water just pull down you mask down when ready, not before unscrewing the cap or getting your water out of your bag etc. And please no sidebar conversation before it goes back up. Pull it down, drink and pull it back up, very simple.
A quick note on masks themselves, as mentioned before make sure they fit, and please do understand a face shield goes on top of a mask. Just wearing a face shield is utterly useless.
None of this should be news to anyone, but it sure as heck may be a reminder to some. If you’re not taking these safety precautions you are either willfully ignorant, stupid or an asshole and possibly all three.
We have vaccines coming steadily but we are not out of the woods yet, please be safe and courteous to others by wearing your mask properly and again using some common sense. It’s really not that big of an ask.
Train Hard, Train Safe!!
Dec 28, 2020
What is your exercise plan for the New Year? Do you have one? Is it even on the radar? Well this is a great time of year to start planning or revising your exercise goals for the coming year.
Maybe this will be the year you start exercising, maybe this will be the year you set higher goals, or possibly start a new sport or exercise pursuit.
I personally will be continuing to strengthen my right knee/leg (just recently got a partial knee replacement). I will also be focusing on improving my kicks as well. I got a new set of kicking targets that I am having fun with.
I plan to keep with my lifting routine of three times a week, cardio at least two times a week, long stretch routines twice a week and martial arts training whenever I can, weather permitting (my school is still closed due to Covid-19). In a perfect world I do martial arts training two to three times a week.
I also plan to start using the Lose It app again to better track my input vs. output.
Other than that I will just keep keeping on…because that is how to get it done, consistency and persistence are always the way.
Let me know what your plan is, I’m curious to know.
Dec 21, 2020
So here I am checking in again about the Iron Neck. First and foremost, training your neck is a tricky business and I would seek a professional’s advice.
I recently purchased the Iron Neck starter, and found that it didn’t provide the resistance I needed, but I realized immediately that this product had merit. I promptly returned the starter model and purchased the Iron Neck pro.
I am happy to say that this model/product is pretty amazing. You can train your neck with a series of exercises without any flexion or extension for those with neck injuries, or anyone wanting to strengthen their neck it is innovatively incredible.
I am a big fan of the Hammer Strength four way neck, and still use it whenever possible, unfortunately my current gym doesn’t have one. I use 45lb. plate for extension exercises as a poor substitute but at least it’s something. My point is that at least for me I use Iron Neck in addition to exercise where I can actually go through a full range of motion with negative resistance. I like using a harness for lateral flexion and extension, however some folks might advise against weighted extension exercises for the neck (tread carefully). Just yet another reason why the iron neck is such a great option for those trying to train their necks with minimal risk.
So on the whole I love this product and use it regularly. It is not my sole means of training my neck but is a great addition to my tool box of exercises.
Thank you Iron Neck and keep up the good work!!
Nov 30, 2020
Do any of you train your neck??
I actually apparently have “broken” my neck at some point during my life. I suffered a compression fracture at C3 in what I have narrowed down to two possible incidents, the details of which are not relevant. Irrespective my neck does give me issues on occasion and in the past ten years I have had 3 “episodes” that required physical therapy.
What I have found that is that is that if I keep my neck strong I am much less likely to need physical therapy. On a quick FYI note, if you’re in the same boat I wouldn’t recommend doing 20 plus front flips at jump zone (the cause of last episode and physical therapy bout.
That being said here is what works for me. My favorite neck piece is the Hammer Strength 4 way neck. I usually would throw it in on my leg days, 4 sets in each direction.
The more low tech options I use on occasion are a neck harnesses, and a wrap around weighted neck strengthener. Both of these are great options for home use and I relied heavily on both during the lockdown.
My lastest foray into neck training is the Iron Neck, I just bought the Iron Neck starter and am actually in the process of returning it. The starter model just doesn’t provide enough resistance. I have the pro model on the way (unfortunately for about $300 more) and will be testing ASAP.
I let you know how it goes…
So I’m curious, what do you do for you neck? Let me know…
Train Hard, Train Safe!!
Testing out some new neck training equipment
Oct 5, 2020
Having been an exercise enthusiast all my life there are times when it can be a bit of a grind. So what’s to be done to help with boredom or need for motivation?
My first go to is of course music…if it drives I listen. Have a play list ready, and work on updating it every so often to keep it fresh.
On occasion I might try a new supplement or revisit an old one. I’m actually about to try Animal Paks again.
New fitness gear and clothing are great go to as well. New outfits, especially new t-shirts are top for me. Then of course any new fitness gear is epic, I am now trying out some new neck training equipment.
I also like to use fitness trackers, and diet apps they are great ways to track progress and viewing the results of your efforts. One of my favorites is LoseIt.
And last but not least I like doing research – getting books on exercise theories and techniques and checking out YouTube.
What do you like to do to keep yourself motivated I’m curious let me know.
Train Hard, Train Safe
Sep 17, 2020
How much exercise do we need? You hear it all the time one hour of cardio day, make sure to lift weights, stretch, and so on.
Well I’ll just let you know I do, and it’s not necessarily what I recommend as everyone is different but here it anyway.
I like to lift three days a week, I usually will train a three day split routine that I vary every six weeks or so.
I train martial arts two to three times a week, which is a challenge these days as our school is still not open unfortunately.
I will stretch on average two days a week, I could use more!!
Cardio will usually be two to three days a week, that has been a little less since I am still in physical therapy for my partial knee replacement but can do about twenty-five minutes on the elliptical so far.
Is this enough…I don’t know but its a routine I like and it makes me feel good and that is as important as anything else.
Let me know what you like to do?!
Train Hard, Train Safe!!
Sep 9, 2020
Obviously the state of play for personal training has changed for personal trainers and their clients. My clients are in three camps – Some train at parks or tracks, some are doing virtual workouts and a very few are coming to the gym. These are established clients and the transition has been fairly easy.
The bigger question for me and the industry is what to do with a new client that doesn’t want to go to the gym and really wants the in-person experience. Well it seems straight forward, just take it outside. But what happens with winter coming?!
My answer is to to make your move now; get your clients up and running outdoors and start gently easing them toward the idea indoor/virtual workouts. This goes for your current clients that are training outdoors as well. In a few weeks you will have established a nice working relationship with your new client(s) and then you can start to move forward with the winter planning.
Start by explaining to them that with just a few pieces of equipment that their homes can be workout ready with very little effort. This shouldn’t be too hard as they are already used to going minimalist by now anyway. Also encourage them to start ordering equipment now; it’s hard enough to get home exercise equipment these days and will only get worse with the colder months coming soon.
Get your clients acclimated to this shift now and you should be set for a strong fall and winter.
Train Hard, Train Safe!!
Aug 31, 2020
It seems that my favorite thing to blog about are my knees. So here’s the latest update. I just recently 7/27/20 had a Mako partial knee replace in my right knee (https://bit.ly/2YQGk76).
Within the past year I had both of my knees scoped to repair the meniscus. I was down to fifty percent of my cartilage left in my right knee and the medial aspect was bone on bone. The pain that it causing just got to a point where I had to make a move.
It’s been a little over a month and my physical therapy is going well and I have no more joint pain. Of course I was in a lot of pain for the first week and physical does hurt but less and less every day.
I’m told that I should be able to get back all the range of motion I had with my real knee and am looking forward to getting back to my martial arts training and hopefully squatting again some day.
So far so good…I’ll keep you posted as I am more able.
Train Hard, Train Safe!!
Aug 26, 2020
Hello fitness community! I hope everyone is safe and well. I am writing today with few thoughts on gym safety during Covid-19 for the personal training community.
Is your gym doing enough?! To me enough is requiring social distancing, wearing a mask at all times, and cleaning regularly and often. All three of these safety steps are critical.
Let’s talk about mask wearing while working out. Let me first define what I mean when I say wearing a mask – wear it correctly! Not under your nose. And definitely not under your chin.
Unfortunately I have watched first hand as gym owners get lax on the rules, and members, for all intents and purposes, end up with their masks becoming necklaces. The result, in my humble opinion, is a potentially very dangerous environment.
Obviously, heavy breathing comes with exercise, which makes it all the more necessary to make sure your mask is covering your face. Is it uncomfortable at times? Quite frankly, yes, but as human beings we are quite adaptable and if you ease into it you should be ok. I liked this article’s (https://about.underarmour.com/news/2020/06/expert-advice-wearing-face-mask-while-working-out) explanation of “getting used” to wearing a mask.
So let’s be clear – it is safe and possible to workout (even intensely) while wearing a mask! As personal trainers, we need to dispel the myths that this is dangerous and ensure our clients are following all of the CDC guidelines to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. We are after all promoting a healthy lifestyle.
I unfortunately had to leave a gym recently because it was not following recommended guidelines. Everyone has their level of comfort, but remember if you catch Covid-19, you could spread it to your clients, your family, and who knows who else. We should all be taking every precaution possible. If you’re in an environment that isn’t being safe then just leave, it’s not worth it. Your clients will respect you for your decision and if you have taken the path that most trainers have these days you probably are seeing most of your clients virtually anyway.
I hope this helps…train hard, train safe!!