Posts Tagged ‘Fitness


Darryl Talks About Personal Training With the Fitness Connection Nation

Darryl has made great progress in muscle growth and loss of body fat.  It’s exciting to watch people make changes in body composition and completely change their lives.

Watch the video to see Darryl talk about his experience with personal training and changing his body composition.


Time To Go To The Next Level

Are you making progress in your fitness and nutrition?  If so then it’s time to take it to the next level.  If you are not making progress, then it may be time to reevaluate you training and nutrition and try to figure out what’s not working.

Sometimes it can be something simple like not getting enough protein or vegetables in your diet.  Or, it could be something holding you back like problems with digestion or stress.

If you are making progress, that’s good.  The worst thing we can do is think we got it made because we are seeing results from our workouts and nutrition.  One of the things I tell people I train is never think that you can do the same things you are doing this week and expect them to help you progress next week.

If you are looking to make progress, you have to change your workouts.  Your body is very good at adapting and once it adapts to the workout, you stop making progress.

This means you have to vary your sets, reps and even your cardio conditioning.  Basically, I never train the same sets and reps two workouts in a row.  The workouts always change so that muscles can not adapt to the training.

Have fun with your workouts.  In order to see any results, you have to exercise 5 hours a week.  If you are going to spend an hour each day in the gym for 5 days out of the week, you might as well enjoy the time that you are there.

Personally, I love working out.   When I’m weight training, it’s just me and the weight.  I never think in terms of the weight and me in competition.  No, the weight is there to show me what I need to do to make improvements.  If it ever turns into a competition, I will always lose to the weight.  I’ve come to terms with the weight and it allows me to see me as I am and what I need to do.

Make friends with your workouts.  Have fun and enjoy making progress.  It’ll make going to the gym something you look forward to rather than dread.

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3 Examples of People Making Progress In Strength Training

I’m excited about the things happening with 3 people who are making great progress in their strength and fitness goals.

I’m seeing all kinds of great things going on.  From gaining bucket loads of strength to showing vast improvement in body composition and muscle tone.  People are making tremendous improvements in their training and getting healthier every day.

For instance George.  When he first started training could only bench press the bar, by itself, just a few reps.  Now George is benching 130 pounds at 6 reps.  And then on top of that super-setting with 6 reps of triceps bench dips.  The man is a monster now.  He’s on fire and getting stronger every day.  It’s just amazing to watch someone like George make the progress he’s made in such a short period of time.

Then there’s Jane.  Jane swore to me three weeks ago she could not do a single push up.  She started out doing the girlie type push up with her knees on the ground.  Then she quickly progressed to knees off the ground.  Jane went from not being able to do a single push up to doing 48 push ups in one training session.  Talk about someone who’s made a real metamorphosis in the strength of their body.  Jane is a real champion.

Darryl nearly passed out and had to stop his first training session early to go throw up.  I never try to work people so hard they pass out or throw up.  My point of view is that it’s counter productive to have to stop a training session because someone gets sick.  But, Darryl was so out of shape he could not get through his first training session.

This week Darryl completed one of the most challenging training session I could throw at him.  He did a whole hour of complexes.  Complexes will make you cry for mercy even when you have been strength training for years.

Darryl did great.  He went through the whole hour and at the end asked me if it was okay if he did some light cardio for 15  minutes.  What kind of person nearly passes out on his first training session and three weeks later is training like mad and asking for more?

All three share something in common.  They all told me they couldn’t do something and are now doing what they said they could not.

My mother had a saying when I was growing up that I never understood, but for some reason it stayed with me.  Whenever I would tell her that I couldn’t do something she would say “Can’t never could do anything.”  That made no sense to me when I was growing up.  Mom’s a little bit country, as we say here in the south.  But today I realize the wisdom of her simple statement.

If you continue to tell yourself you can’t do something, you will probably never do it.  You have to surround yourself with people who believe in you and you have to change your mindset.  Most important, you have to stop telling yourself you can’t do whatever it is you have told yourself you can’t do.

You are much stronger than you ever imagined.  You just have to believe that you can bench press that heavy weight, you can do push ups, you can do a rigorous workout.

But most of all, believe that as strong as you are physically, you are even stronger in your determination.

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Gaining Strenght and Adding Muscle with Pushups and Pullups

The past four weeks I’ve been training my chest and back muscles hard.  Usually, I recommend that you have at least 24 hours rest between workouts of the same muscle group.  I recommend this rest because generally muscle needs at least a days rest between workouts.  This is so that the muscle can repair itself and build stronger tissue in place of the tissue that was damaged during the workout.

But for the past four weeks I’ve decided to do something different.  For five days out of the week I do 100 pushups and 50 pullups.  NO, not all at the same time.  I split it up into three sets.  Something like a 40-40-20 for pushups and 20-20-10 for pullups.

At first this was exhausting because I was doing either an upper or a lower body workout along with the 100 pushups and 50 pullups.  The first week was the hardest.  But after the first week it’s been great.

Here’s what I’ve experienced.  An extreme boost in strength and endurance.  So much so that at first I was somewhat alarmed.

After 3 weeks of doing 100 pushups and 50 pullups per workout, I decided to do some unassisted dips.  My usual max on dips was right at twelve per set.  However, on the first set I reached 12 with ease and went right on to 15.  Doing 15 reps of unassisted dips kind of freaked me out and I did the last two sets of 12 dips.

The next day, after getting over the initial shock of the day before, I decided to see just how many reps I could do at one time of unassisted dips.  This time I went to 20.  That’s almost double what my max was before I started doing pushups and pullups everyday.

I’ve become so sold on basic pushups and pullups that I’m having most of my clients do them each workout.  Right now I don’t think they appreciate doing so many pushups and pullups as I do.  But I am certain that they will in a few weeks.

If you want to gain lots of strength and lots of muscle, then do pushups and pullups in each training session.  It’s that simple.  Not a whole lot of complication.  Just remember to do the simple stuff.  By simple I don’t mean easy.

See for yourself how far you can progress in a short period of time.  Have fun and train hard.

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The St. Augustine Workout/Travel Blog

Last week I went on vacation to St. Augustine, FL.  St. Augustine is a great place to visit because of all the historical sites, great beaches, natural beauty and so many restaurants that you can never visit even a small percentage of them in just one visit. You might ask yourself  “is this a fitness and nutrition blog, or a travel blog for St. Augustine?”

While in St. Augustine you should visit Caps Restaurant...Wait, this is a fitness blog...Not a travel blog.

While in St. Augustine you should visit Caps Restaurant...Wait, this is a fitness blog...Not a travel blog.

A major part of staying fit and healthy is relieving stress.  Sure it’s great to go to the gym and lift weights or do some cardio to relieve the day to day stress of life.  In fact, I believe that stress reduction through exercise is one of it’s most underrated benefit. While on vacation, I continued to follow a routine of daily weight training and interval training.  I usually go to one of the local gyms and pay for however much time I’m going to be in St. Augustine.  This time I decided to use the gym at the condo.

Beautiful stress free day on St. Augustine Beach

Beautiful stress free day on St. Augustine Beach

I’m not a big fan of the condo gym because it’s not very big and doesn’t have a lot of the equipment I like to use.  But, it does have lots of free weights and enough equipment to get you though a good training session.  And it doesn’t waste a lot of space on cardio machines (which, by the way, are a waste of space in most gyms if you are looking to lose body fat). Because I was forced to go out of my routine and come up with exercises I rarely do in my local gym, I got in some really good workouts.

This gym had very few cable machines that I usually use for pulling type exercises.  I had to come up with exercises that involved pulling without the use of cables. Every good training routine should incorporate a balance of pushing and pulling type exercises.  In a perfect world you would do a pulling exercise followed by a pushing exercise, or vise versa.  Changing up the type of exercise you do will ensure that all muscle fibers are being activated.

It’s not that difficult to come up with pulling type exercises without the use of cables.  But, cables to help a lot.  The best way to overcome lack of cable machines is with the use of bands.  Bands will give you all the resistance you need to get a great workout. Lower body workouts are where I missed my gym at home the most.  No squat racks in this little gym.

Bands Type Exercise

Bands Type Exercise

I couldn’t imagine that there were any complaints about the lack of squat racks.  Most of the people I saw using this gym were a little older and probably would not use a squat rack. Not that I’ve never seen older people in the squat rack.  The most in shape older individuals I’ve ever met do squats on a regular basis.  Without the assistance of a squat rack I was forced to use much lighter weights.  Lighter weights meant that there had to be higher reps.

Body Weight Squat

Body Weight Squat

I usually do heavy weight for lower body, especially when training glutes.  By the time I finished the high rep routines on lower body I was whipped out.  And my glutes were on fire.  This for me is a sign of a great workout. You really can get a great workout without being in a huge gym.  In fact, some of my best workouts have been outside of the gym where I had to come up with exercises that I normally don’t do in a gym.

Going on vacation is always fun and doesn’t have to mean that you should take a vacation from exercising and eating healthy foods.  In fact, it could be a way to energize your training and nutrition plan.  It could be just what you need to come back  rested and more enthused about your fitness.


Don't fall for the Acai Berry Myth

You can’t really miss it on the Internet these days. Seems like everywhere you look there’s another company promoting the nutritious Acai Berry as a weight loss miracle.

First, you know better than to believe you’re going to pop some pills – ANY pills – and have the pounds and inches melt off like magic. If you’ve been listening to me for any length of time you know true fat loss comes from a variety of factors, including exercise and proper nutrition.

Second, any fitness expert worth their fees will tell you that any diet that promotes you eat any one food all day long and then eat a sensible dinner, well, don’t bother. Yes, you will lose some weight short-term, but as soon as you go back to your old eating habits – and you know you will – you know exactly what happens.

Third, the Acai Berry contains VERY powerful antioxidants and it is getting a lot of good press for that very reason. Yes, antioxidants as in the extraordinary nutrients that help fight the free radicals associated with aging, cancer risk and other degenerative diseases.

And while on the subject, I wanted to fill you in on something that has recently come to light. Did you know that coffee berries (the berry that covers the coffee bean) is one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet? It’s something researchers have discovered in recent years.

What’s really cool is my friends at Prograde Nutrition have just created an amazing Whole Foods based Anti-Aging formula called Prograde Longevity that includes both Acai Berry and Coffee Berry. Oh, and it also utilizes Green Tea, Pomegranate, Wolf Berry and Biovin Grape (Red Wine extract.)

Just to give you an idea of how powerful this formula is, well, you’d have to eat an entire POUND of raspberries to get the same ORAC value. And in case you’re not familiar with the term, ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.

Today only Prograde is having sale to celebrate the launch of Prograde Longevity. Friday you can get 11% off Longevity or any of their other exclusive products they offer.

You can check out Prograde Longevity for yourself here:

Prograde Longevity

Just be sure to enter this coupon code in when you checkout: (yes, it’s all lower case)


Oh, and just so you know, you can’t find Prograde products in stores anywhere. They’re so exclusive they only let fitness experts work with their company to help them get the word out.


My new blog

I have resisted doing a blog for a long time now.  The idea of a blog seems very self indulgent to me.  However, there are some topics on fitness and nutrition that I think I can be very beneficial.  I know what it’s like to be out of shape and obese.  Five years ago I was well over 100 pounds overweight.  I lost over 100 pounds through strength training and nutrition.  What I would like to convey in this blog are my thoughts on how to lose weight, gain muscle and stay in shape.

In the coming days I will write on topics ranging from fat loss, gaining muscle and strength, and improving metabolism.  If I can contradict some beliefs that you have about the best way to lose fat, then this blog will prove quit interesting.  Anytime that I state something as fact I will try to back it up with scientific research.  I’m aware that research can be manipulated so I will try to share the most unbiased research available.

Tomorrow I will write about how to burn fat through interval training and nutrition.

Hope you enjoy.   Jack

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