Archive for December, 2010
Keeping Up with an Exercise Plan During the Busy Holidays
By Barbara Brenseke
Does your Holiday To-Do List look something like this?
- •Hunt through closet for something to wear to the office holiday party that looks professional yet party perky, give up and deal with maddening holiday crowds to search for an outfit.
- Buy Holiday cards, address them and write cute little personal greetings on each one.
- Shop for gifts, including a few extras for unexpected visitors who arrive with presents.
- Look through the hall closet for the left-over-from-last-year wrapping paper and ribbons, give up and buy more.
- Mail gifts to relatives, strategizing the best time to go to the post office — even though I know inevitable conclusion: There IS no best time.
- Decorate the house for the holidays.
Truthfully, just looking at that list makes me tired – and your trainer tells you that I should keep up withyour exercise plan during the holidays! Hah hah, ho ho, merry Christmas.
Forgive me if I sound like the Grinch, but sometimes that’s how many of us feel during the too-crammed with-to-do-lists holiday season!
BUT – and this is a big but (in fact, it’s about the same size as my butt gets if I don’t exercise!)
– I also know that the holidays are a time when we most need to incorporate exercise and a healthy diet into your day.
Regular exercise and the right foods help to relieve stress and benefit us physically and emotionally.
It’s a win-win situation with regard to the holiday season.
So what have you got to lose? Nothing – but the holidays are a time when you have a higher risk of gaining weight.
Making a plan always helps – so here’s a plan to keep up with your exercise program this holiday season:
When you drive to the mall, Take a brisk walk around the outside before going inside.
Your gym workouts belong on your calendar. That way, they are scheduled in, giving them just as much importance as that holiday office party and the cookie exchange. Variety is the way to go when it comes to exercise. Mixing it up means you’re never bored and always entertained enough to meet your exercise goals.
Any Time Is A Good Time For Healthy Changes
By Barbara Brenseke
Each year, many people make resolutions for change, and each year, most of those resolutions go…unresolved.
This isn’t due to people’s lack of desire for a better life; it’s just a byproduct of the reality that change is difficult. Our habits become ingrained and automatic; changing them requires constant effort until a new habit is formed. This resource can help you to make necessary alterations in your expectations, attitudes, and methods of change so that you can experience real results that last. The following ideas can help:
Think in Terms of “Goals”, Rather Than “Resolutions”:
While most people make resolutions that they’re determined to keep, a better tactic would be to create
What’s the difference, you may ask? With traditional resolutions, people generally approach change with the attitude, “From now on, I will no longer [name a given behavior you’d like to change]”. The problem with this is, after one or two slip-ups, people feel like failures and tend to drop the whole effort, falling easily back into familiar patterns.
By setting goals, one instead aims to work toward a desired behavior. The key difference is that people working toward goals expect that they won’t be perfect at first, and are pleased with any progress they make.
Rather than letting perfectionism work against them, they allow motivation and pride to do their magic. The following ideas can help you with meeting your ‘New Years Goals’:
WRITE your goal on a piece of paper and tuck it away in a place where you’ll see it frequently, such as inside a dresser drawer or taped to the back of your closet door. Every time you see it, you’ll be reminded of your goal.
RESEARCH information from numerous sources, including people who have successfully done what you’re trying to do.
SEEK out others you trust, such as a mate, close friend, personal trainer, clergy member or mental health professional, who will listen, ask questions and offer moral support.
CHART your feelings and progress along the way in a journal.
RUN the numbers. Can you afford to do this? What are the financial challenges and payoffs?
ASSESS the impact. What emotional effect will striving to accomplish this task have on you? What would happen if you achieved your goal? What if you failed? What if it took longer than you thought?
WEIGH any possible consequences. If you do this, what’s the worst that could happen? What’s the worst that could happen if you don’t do it?
CREATE a timeline. Nothing says you have to accomplish your goal by year’s end, but set a deadline and work toward it. Reassess along the way at set intervals, such as every six weeks or every three months
Congrats to AFTLI athletes who made the Newsday “Wrestlers to Watch this season”
Dan Spurgeon @ 152 lbs
Dave Ng @ 215 lbs
Joe Manna @ 285 lbs
Good Luck to all of the wrestlers who train or who have trained with AFTLI!
Keep training hard!
Flank Steak with Toasted Corn Salsa
Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 18 minutes
Makes 4 servings
To slice corn kernels of the cob easily, use a serrated knife, Don’t both using frozen or canned can- it actually makes longer to toast.
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 scallion, thinly sliced
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (if you like it very spicy keep seeds)
½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
½ teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1(1/2 pound) flank steak, trimmed
1/3 (12.5 once) package baked tortilla chips (OPTIONAL)
- For salsa heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the corn; cook 8 minutes or until it is lightly charred. Transfer corn to a large bowl; let it cool. Add remaining salsa ingredients; toss well/
- For steak, mix cumin, chili powder, coriander, and salt in a small cup. Rub steak with spices, Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cook steak until medium rare (about 5 minutes per side). Transfer to a platter cover, loosely, and let stand 5 minutes.
- Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with salsa.
Calories 520(32% from fat); Fat 19g(sat 6g, mono 9g, poly 2g); Cholesterol 65mg; Protein 42g; Carbohydrate 48g(including chips); sugars 5g; fiber 7g; Sodium 510mg
Upper Body Power Training Integrating upper body movements into your speed programs.
Part 6 Ropes and Sleds Drills
Sleds and Rope training are a great way to condition athletes and they are even more effective when they are combined together.
Sleds can be a very effective tool for increasing leg strength and sprinting speed. When using the sled for strength heavy loads can be used for both pushing and dragging. The low handles are great for mimic the acceleration position and will help athletes build a strong and powerful start for athletics. When using the sled for pure speed the weights should be lighter and as a general rule of thumb the athlete shouldn’t be more than 10% slower in order to get a good carry over for speed training. The ropes can be very effective for speed and strength as well.
Rope training to the upper body is like sled training for the lower body. It is a way to load quick movement of the arms. This exercise works the muscles in the arm, the grip, upper back, shoulder and the MIND. It is a tremendous conditioning tool on its own, but I really enjoy combining the ropes with a lower body exercises such as a sled. I enjoy this combination because while the legs are resting. When the upper body is getting work from the ropes the arms are resting and the lower body is getting work from the sled.
This can take your cardiovascular system even further than you ever imagine because now the muscles are not the limiting factor. Typically if you are in very good “cardio” shapes you might not be tired physically, but there is a point where your muscles are fatigues and you cannot continue. At that point you can switch to a different muscles group and continue to work the cardiovascular system to its limit. I have found no other upper body implement to be as effective as the battling ropes system. It is like sprinting with your hands!
We like to use longer ropes when we training outside. The longer ropes require you to put more force into the rope. If an athlete isn’t strong or fast enough the “wave” will not reach the “anchor” point of the rope and give the athlete some visual feedback. This gives the athlete visual motivation to reach the anchor point every rep of every set.
For conditioning training purpose it is important to try to be as fast as possible when performing the rope training drills. The rope you can tell how fast an athlete is going by how many waves are visible when performing the exercises.
The rope can also be utilized for traditional upper body sled training when attached to the sled. These exercises are quite effective for working the muscles of the grip as well. I find the rowing variations work extremely well from a conditioning standpoint.
If you have a rope, but don’t have a sled I have also included some footwork and rope combinations at the end of the article. This is a great way to train for coordination. It takes a lot of physical and mental concentration to be able to move the feet and hands quickly. The athlete must concentrate on moving both the upper and lower body very quickly. This is another way you can integrate both upper and lower body movement training simultaneously. The combinations here are endless as you can do any footwork drills in combinations with a rope drill. Give these a try and let us know what you think!
Try out the sled and rope combo for new twist for a BRUTAL conditioning workout!
Sled and Ropes Combinations Examples
Prowler Push Rope Pull
Alt. Wave and Forward Drag
Double Wave & Backward Drag
Sled Sprint and Power Rows
Lateral Shuffle and Triceps
Lateral Shuffle and Biceps
Backwards Sprint and High Pulls
Footwork and Rope Drill Combinations
Lateral Shuffle Partner Rope Drills
Merry Go Round Partner Rope Drills
My Trip to the Underground Strength Gymnasium
By John Gaglione
This is a quote from Underground Strength Gym(UGS) owner Zach Even Esh.
“There are those that do
and those that don’t
Those that will
and those that won’t”
Zach is one of the most inspirational people I have ever meet. He kicks butts in the gym and in life. Zach really just embodies that quote. He IS willing to do what others WON’T. He is not afraid to be different, say what is on his mind, and follow his heart no matter what the circumstance.
He started out as a gym teacher for an school in New Jersey. Zach always had the mind set that he wanted to help others improve their bodies as well as their minds. Zach had many great ideas to improve the training of the schools teams and improve the curriculum of the health classes in the district, but the district was content with staying average.
I visited Zach this past weekend and we were talking over dinner and one thing he said really resonated with me. He is the jist of what he said
” If you go on a job interview are you going to say. Hi I am John I am very mediocre. I am going to take all of my sick days, I will arrive barely on time and leave as soon as I can. My strengths are NOT doing any EXTRA work and ONLY doing the BARE minimum. I am really good at being average and when I tired I am going to take it easy ….”etc etc
The sad thing is this is reality for a lot of people. Zach stopped teaching and found another avenue to help kids get stronger both PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY.
He started training athletes in his garage and now he owns UGS gym. He was WILLING TO DO WHAT OTHERS wouldn’t. He left a VERY secure job to become a trainer out of his garage?!?
Zach followed his heart and he NEVER QUIT on his dreams of becoming a successful strength coach. He now trains athletes from all over New Jersey and trains some of the best of the best from Blair Academy and Rutgers Universities. These are some of the most ELITE wrestling schools in the area and Zach delivers AMAZING results.
He prepares these young men for BATTLE on the MAT as well as in LIFE. He teaches the kids responsibility, integrity, and determination through his rigorous training protocols. He teaches the kids that HARD WORK PAYS OFF and being average just isn’t going to cut it.
His workouts are a mix of free weight training, calisthenics, odd object training and other unconventional methods. Zach‘s methods may seems basic to some, but they are BRUTALLY effective. There are NO filler exercises in his program. Every move serves a purpose.
Zach‘s program is what PHYSICAL EDUCATION SHOULD BE.
I had the pleasure of training with Zach and his crew last Friday night. We shut the doors had the music cranking and we GOT GOING. There was NO STANDING AROUND. We were moving from start to finish.
I felt right at home as if I was at one of my old wrestling practices. I can’t totally describe the feeling, but I FELT ALIVE!
It was a blend of power, strength, and endurance training. The pace Zach and his wrestler kept the entire workout was quite incredible. Zach explained that our goal is to OUT WORK the other team. This is a similar philosophy to what the legendary coach Dan Gable said. You always find a way to OUT WORK your opponent. If you KNOW you are working HARDER than everyone else YOU CAN’T LOSE.
If you always put worth YOUR BEST EFFORT and work harder than everyone else the WINNING WILL TAKE CARE OF IT SELF. You CAN’T STOP when it get TOUGH you have to KEEP GOING. Zach teaches his kids to FIND A WAY around obstacles in life rather than just accepting defeat.
Zach also told me to ALWAYS stay POSITIVE no matter what. There are ALWAYS going to be people who DON’T believe in you, but it DOESN’T matter. Zach says to surround your self with other POSITIVE people and KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING. People who are NEGATIVE simply won’t SURVIVE at UGS gym.
UGS gym has an amazing positive atmosphere that when you TRAIN there you feel like YOU ARE PAR T OF THEIR TEAM. That support system is positive, but still is also an intense training environment. These qualities of the gym are what fosters GREAT SUCCESS.
Zach Even Esh is the man and I want to thank him and his crew at UGS gym for an amazing weekend. We learned a lot, trained hard, and made some great friends. This is MY version of what Zach said and a quote I try to live by…
“You have to DO WHAT OTHERS DON’T
To ACHIEVE what others Don’t”
Be a person that “DOES” not a person that “DOESN’T”. Find a way to make it happen. Do worry about what people say or think. Do what is RIGHT FOR YOU. Work hard and DON’T be ORDINARY, be EXTRAORDINARY.
The only difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little EXTRA. You have to do the EXTRA to get BETTER and BE SUCCESSFUL.
OUT WORK the person next to you and GOOD THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN!
Keep Training HARD and SMART! Go and KILL IT in your training TODAY!
Educate, Motivate, Dominate
Balsamic Braised Chicken
Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 39 minutes
6 Chicken thighs, skinned
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
¼ cup dry red wine
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
¼ cup honey
1 bay leaf
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and heat olive oil in a braising pan over medium high heat. Sear chicken thoroughly on all sides until it is a deep, golden color, about 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate.
2. Add shallots and thyme to the pot, and sauté until soft and golden. Pour wine into pan, and scrape up any bits left from the chicken. Cook 102 minutes, until nearly all liquid has evaporated.
3. Add vinegar, both, honey, bay leaf, and chicken to the point, and bring to simmer. Cover tightly and transfer to oven. Cook 30 minutes, turning, until chicken is cooked through is a deep brown.
4. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer chicken to plate. Remove bay leaf, and skim off and discard any fat floating on the surface of the sauce. Cook sauce uncovered on burner over medium high heat to reduce liquid by half, until it has the consistency of light syrup. Reduce heat to medium low, add chicken back to pan, spoon sauce over top, and cook for 2 minutes to reheat. Serve hot. Yield: 3 serving (serving size: 2 thighs).
Calories 394(32%from fat); Fat14g (sat 3g, mono 6g, poly 3g); Cholesterol 99mg; Protein 29g; Carbohydrate 36; Sugars 32g; Five 0g; Sodium 201mg