Monthly Archives: January 2012

Majoring in the Minors

Yesterday I saw this young guy with a completely trashed car that barely ran, and he put at least $2000 dollars worth of “spinner” rims on it?  I even saw someone wearing target jeans, and when I looked down they had on $200 dollar shoes?…  Okay, bad example, cause I do that… but you get what I mean.. right?

What does this have to do with fitness?  (Insert soap box)  I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve been at the gym and have seen the meticulous biomechanical strategies that some people come up with to make their lifting routine more effective, or the countless times I’ve listened to people who are extremely overweight, discuss food on a totally microbiological level.  Instead of looking at calories, they are “buggn” about if it is free range or not.   I am not arguing that biomechanics and microbiology doesn’t have a place in training and nutrition, but by god-man,  look at the bigger picture.

I call this “majoring in the minors”.  As a trainer, blogger, or just exercise enthusiast, it is so vital that we realize the importance of fundamentals.  My back ground is very clinical, but I have never deviated from the application of fundamentals.  I am not saying that details are not important, however, $2000 dollars worth of wheels and tires on a $300 dollar car is a waisted investment.

Biomechanics: When you evaluate your body and decide you want to tone and tighten specific areas, start with the basics.  There is no need to do complicated movements when your time and energy will be better suited using fundamentals.  i.e. you want to tone your glutes.  Let’s begin with squats,lunges, and maybe straight leg dead lifts.  Why begin with 1 legged Romanian dead lifts or cook hip lifts, when simple basics will reach deep fibers at rich angles and are superior to intricate complicated movements.  Do these other exercises have their place?… Of course, but after exhausting the basics!

Take home:  When you sit on a machine for the first time, do it as designed.  Do not begin to invent your own way or make up a complicated movement to target some erroneous area of musculature.

Nutrition: Many people, in there quest to find the “right diet”, dissect micro-nutrition to a fault.  At the end of the day (listen Paleo Freaks) no matter how clean you eat, if your caloric intake exceeds your out put, you are going to store energy.  Your body prefers to store energy as fat because, for the same amount in grams stored, your body can yield twice as much energy from fat as glycogen or lean muscle.  This my friends is MACRO-nutrition.  It is the science of metabolism of  four general substrates: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, and Alcohols.  If you are eating more calories than you burn, regardless of your “blood type’, “zone”, “points” or any other thing else you measure… LISTEN… YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT!

Take home: Before you get involved in vitamins and minerals, the ph of your blood, even the glycemic index of foods, first figure out how many calories you burn per day, and eat less than that.  It’s just science.  Anyone who challenges this statement (Dousch-tard) would be saying, “if you are dropped off on a deserted island for two weeks, with nothing but water, and luckily found, you would have not lost any weight”. 

Fitness is simple guys… Our industry makes it complicated.  Quit  looking for the magic bullet, trying to find the “little pill”, or doing the perfect gluteal exercise for 30 seconds every morning.  You give me fundamentals, hard work, and discipline… And I’ll give you your magic bullet!

“The magic bullet IS fundamentals, hard work, and discipline.”


Muscle Head Flap Jacks

Late wednesday night I was laying in bed, going through my twitter feeds.  I saw a short tweet about perfect protein pancakes and, like a moth to a flame… I was intrigued.  I clicked on @bridgetnicole26 (awesome pfollow might I add) and it took me to Bridget Nicole’s site among all the kick-butt pics and info I saw two amazing things…

One was a protein pancake recipe, and the other was a promo I shot for my very own treadmill video. Yessirreee,  Pfiester was on Bridg’s “Sweatandsavor” blog.  (Cue running man music!) OK, sorry.  Even though my own narcasism was severly disturbed getting to see the treadz promo, my apetite won out and I intensly studdied Bridget Nicoles protein pancake recipe as if it was a lost dead sea scroll.  All the rope memorization does no good in a recipe unless the Lab Tech or  “cook” is willing to follow said recipe.  The video that follows shows the chaotic carnage… Enjoy

There were no animals or humans hurt or injured in the making of this video…

Bridget Nicole’s Perfect Pancake Recipe (the REAL one!)
-one scoop of vanilla protein powder (we use GNC’s Amplified 60 Whey)
-one Tbsp of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake mix
-3/4 tsp of baking soda
-half banana mashed 
-1/2 tsp of cinnamon 
-1 tsp of vanilla extract
-about 1/4 cup of egg whites
-about 1/8 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

THE SKINNY: Exercise Makes You Fat & Hungry

Before we start,  lets just agree to disagree…  Dont you dare hit dislike at the bottom of this blog just because I’m not saying what you want to hear.  This is what you need to hear.

Over and over I see clients that are in pretty good shape,  just over weight, and I’ve seen clients that look fantastic but they practically vomit walking a mile…  What gives?

By far, the most asked question I get is either 1.) How many calories should I eat to get in shape?  orrr 2.) How much cardio should I do to lose weight? Commercial media has sold us a bunch of schmedge.  Dieting will not get you “in shape” and cardio inherently is not the best tool to lose weight.  Chill out and keep reading…

What I mean is, “dieting” will not affect important aspects of  your physiology, ie: Dieting will not increase VO2 max,  peak oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity, nor will diet increase stroke volume,  the volume of blood pumped from the left ventricle of the heart with each beat, nor will diet increase your strength or flexibility. Savvy? Likewise, any exercise, including cardio, though it expends calories, is not the means to an end for weight loss.  Exercise will increase caloric output which in turn directly increases our appetites to replenish used energy exponentially,  so that your body is prepared for more caloric expenditure next time you need it.

Downfalls of diet and exercise:
As soon as we start to decrease our caloric intake, or “diet”,  our metabolism will begin to decrease to preserve our energy stores, which in turn makes us less prone to feel energetic.  The other bad news; as soon as you begin to exercise, or increase caloric expenditure, your appetite will go through the roof – and you will want to eat everything in sight (again this is in response to your body preserving energy stores).  In other words, as soon as you start a diet and exercise program, you will be hungrier and lazier than ever.  It’s just primal. However, there are many things we can do to combat this evil problem.

Life vs Looks
Your body, biologically,  is more interested in survival than aesthetic appearance.  Unfortunately in the commodity of physiology, fat is more valuable than muscle, and muscle requires a hefty luxury tax.  Lean muscle is rather useless for your body in the realm of survival… but it looks so so good.   So now what?

If you want to lose weight, you are going to have to eat less calories than you expend.  If you want to get in shape, physically and physiologically, you are going to have to exercise.  But Steeeeeve, you just said that will make me lazy and hungry.  Yessss Jedi, but the force is strong in you. Here is the good news…

Trick Your System
How can I diet without slowing my metabolism down or losing energy?  We must retrain our bodies so that energy is constantly being deposited.  If your body will always have dietary energy, small meals being deposited, then your  body will have less need to store energy for long periods.  This takes work to “trick” your body because energy storage is primal, and it feels so good to indulge.  Try eating 5-6 small meals a day.  Stay away from foods that will spike your blood sugar and require your pancreas to secrete large amounts of insulin, as this gives your body momentum to store energy for longer periods of time… (as fat).   Stay away from foods that are high in carbohydrates, like breads, starches and sugars.

How can I benefit from exercise and not end up eating a horse?
If you pair exercise with decreasing your caloric intake you will be amazed at the response you will have.  Diet and exercise together will give you exponential results, and you will find yourself skinnier, toned, and in great physiological shape.  But how? “Steve you just said I’d eat more if I exercise”.

The skinny.
In the same fashion you eat when you diet, 5-6 small meals per day, and keeping your food choices responsible, with very little breads, starches and sugars, your body will feel more satisfied more often.  Your blood sugar will start to become very stable and less distressed triggering the hypothalamus to request food, or your pancreas to secrete insulin.  Eating more often is easier on your digestive system, increases circulation to the brain, and preserves muscles mass just to name a few phenomenal things you can start to expect.  So please please, diet to lose weight, exercise to get into shape, but put these two disciplines together and be amazed at how you can look and feel.

Positive NRG

I live, work, and sleep fitness.  I have since I was 13 years old.  But being fit doesn’t exempt any of us from that dreaded 3:00 feeling.  What 3:00 feeling?  Go park your car outside a Starbuck’s or any local “Cafeinatorium” at 3pm.  Never fails, at about 3:00 the drive through will be wrapped around the building with “zombified” patrons willing to spend six dollars for a cup of lightning that can reignite their heart beat for at least two more hours… 5:00.  Caution my fellow caffeine addicted drones… what goes up must come down.  The high that espresso will give you is also going to leave you bottomed out,  lower than where you started.  The combination of caffeine and sugar will cause your blood sugar to spike followed by a crash.  In this quest for any substance, short of Meth’, that will help us to maintain energy, focus, and performance with no crash,  I’ve come across a brand new product released by GNC that provoked my interest.  There are a lot of products available that boast of boosting your energy, yet very few are able to keep their promises!

In the fitness industry, I need energy reserves that I can call on instantly, but that don’t give such a huge rush of adrenaline that I get agitated, or so jacked that I can’t focus. On the other hand,  I definitely can’t take anything that is gonna leave me “zombified” when I have to teach a kick boxing class late in my day.  So, if not coffee, if not crack… what?

The rap artist 50 Cent just launched an energy drink distributed by GNC called Street King.  It delivers 6 hours of steady energy without leaving you lethargic or tired.  I took Street King immediately before a work out and was pleasantly surprised that it pushed me the entire workout without fading.  I had no upset stomach, no shaky feeling, no spacey moments that I’ve gotten with many other energy drinks.  I also enjoyed the recovery after my workout.  Not only was there no crash, but I was able to recoup faster, finish working and take Bonnie out for a great evening that lasted way past the 6 hour mark.  Upon retiring for the evening I had no restlessness, no jitters, no regrets.  Street King was the total package, and I can honestly recommend it to anyone needing that push to the edge.  To top off the performance of this product, for every shot of Street King purchased, 50 Cent will provide a meal for a starving child through the United Nations World Food Program.  Now that is “positive energy”

Pfiesterism “Cafeinatorium” any establishment that legally distributes lethal doses of stimulants injested by humans resulting in a state of  “Javariousness”

Pfiesterism “Javariousness” A  Zen state of being, brought about by the first sip of coffee.  When the temperature and taste of the coffee are complimented by the weather and blissful calm that surrounds you, and the planets are aligned in your astrological favor. That is a state of “Javariousness”

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