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re·bound verb \ˈrē-ˌbau̇nd, ri-ˈ\

Rebound: Return, bounce back, setback, backfire, move backward. 

Stev Pfiester, Light Heav WeightI recently took 18 competitors from my gym, Max Fitness, to compete in the NPC Southeast Classic. The goal was hitting the stage. Not winning a trophy, but using the stage to make us push harder and be our best.

The goal was made, and the goal was met!  What we do now defines what we learned on our journey to accomplish our goal.  In the “realm” of goal acquisition, focusing solely on the goal can be a tragedy.  What I mean is, the goal is just that: “a goal” – a means to an end.  How we develop, the wisdom we gain, and the way we develop along the way is the real reward for meeting our goal.  Goals are not the real rewards.

Team max

Josh GayLets think backwards for a second.  By creating a goal to shoot for, you are inviting some level of adversity into your life.  How much adversity we will endure is measured by how grandiose the goal.  The “Goal” only gives reason to validate and hold accountable our hard work, our long suffering, our perilous effort to make our bodies fitter, our will stronger, our bellies hungrier.  I have never seen anyone train harder than when they were stretching themselves to reach a new goal. These guys did just that. Josh Gay‘s 60-day before & after picture shows just how hard they worked. Then, they hit the stage, and celebrated, and then they went home…

Score! Now What?

CruiseWhat happens after we reach our goal?  It is good after hard training to back down, enjoy the “win” and celebrate the goal acquisition. For me, it was going on a vacation (cruise). We hit the keys, then Mexico and then headed to Disney shortly after we got home. Yes, there was a lot of food involved. But, at some point, we must get back in the game.

We don’t pay off credit cards just to go on some huge spending spree waisting our money, discipline and hard work. It is ok to go charge a dinner, but then we pay it off immediately to avoid getting in the bad position we were once in. Whether the goal was physical or financial, it’s important to remember what you learned along the way and how you felt while you were working so hard.

Sloppy Joes Key West

The best way to prevent rebound is to give yourself a marked amount of time to enjoy your hard work. But after that time is finished, it’s time get back to work. It’s time to make new goals – both long and short term.

bench pressBefore you even reached this goal, you should already dream about what is next. Don’t take your eye off of the immediate prize.  Don’t focus on your future goals until you accomplished the one set right before you.  However; you should already be thinking about what is next.  This will prevent your downtime from turning into a complete train wreck and a complete rebound.

Doesn’t matter if we are talking about finance or weight loss, enjoy your success but don’t throw away your investment.  Remember what you learned along the way.  This is what makes you better, stronger, and more patient.  Make some goals, so you can push your limits!

Geared Up & Ready

Even something like a new pair of shoes can get you motivated to get back in the gym and hit it hard again.  I got these new Reebok ZigCarbons and love them. It was just what I needed to want to do cardio again.

Reebok ZigCarbon

My next new gym toy is Reebok’s Bose Headphone set. They help get my mind focused, shut out distractions and make the most of my time at the gym. Totally what I needed to tune back into my routine.

Reebok Bose Headphone Set

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Formula for Success

goal“If you take your eyes off the goal, for even a second, doubt will rush your mind like a band of brutal thieves.”

Doubt intends to kill your dreams, destroy your desire, and beat you down with fear.  Evidence of this is obvious in the most trying times.  When we are hungry, when we are tired, when we are angry, when we are in despair…

arnold Be Hungry

When you are hungry, let that hunger be your purpose.  It is a burning reminder in your gut of what you want to accomplish. When you are tired and your eyes grow heavy, don’t be the martyr the world excuses you to be, no one owes you anything. If there is something you want, you stay up one more hour and you go out and get it!

Be Productive

train like you want itAnger?, rage? Make it productive, and focus the intensity of this moment into success instead of resentment.  No one can control your emotions but you.  And when you are in complete despair — Stop. Shhhhh. Be still, and listen.  You are more than “just being”. You have the potential to be even more than your desires. You have the ability to accomplish things you havent even dreamed of …yet.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes by way of the late Henry Ford.  He reminds us that we can decide what happens next… he said “he who thinks he can, and he who thinks he can’t, are usually both right“.

Go Beyond 

“Attaining the goal isn’t success.  Success is found in the pursuit, attaining your goals is the icing on this cake we call life.”

Work harderLastly, it isn’t enough to just dream. I love visualization. Wondering what if, thinking just maybe…  Hoping, even praying, for that desire of your heart.  Instead of praying for “the goal”, pray for the opportunity to make a way for your goal. The satisfaction of accomplishment comes in the effort – the blood, the sweat, the tears, the years, in pursuit of the “goal”.  Attaining the goal isn’t success.  Success is found in the pursuit, attaining your goals is the icing on this cake we call life.

“Vision without execution is just hallucination” Henry Ford

Equation for Success

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #LiveWithFire

Sculpting Better Legs: Simple Leg Workout to Improve Your “Sweep”

vastus lateralisIf you have been following this mess I call a blog at all for the last 5 months you may have heard me whine and whine about my knee. If not, you’re in luck because here I go again.  5 months ago I was getting ready for my first ever MMA tournament.  I know,… shut it! But anywho, I was gonna try. Here’s a shocker: my 42-year-old butt got tore up by a 19-year-old monster.  I tore my medial meniscus and sustained a 90% tear to my MCL.  I was devastated, but now I’m back and I want to not only return to competing, I want my quads bigger and stronger than ever. The area I want to focus on for this workout is the Vastus Lateralis, the largest and most outer portion of the thigh.

How to Improve Your Sweep

Bikini competitors legsHow do we isolate out the vastus lateralis muscle, or as we call it in the physique world, “the sweep”?  Vastus externus or vastus lateralis, depending on your A&P professor, is the largest of all the quadricep muscles. The action of this muscle is to extend the tibia or shin bone at the knee, but I’m here to help you learn how to perform knee extension to isolate out the other muscles that synergistically aid in this action.  In sculpting, it is very important that we learn isolation. Whether we are a bodybuilder, a bikini competitor or a stay-at-home mom that wants to scult their body, we can all use these principles to learn to sculpt nicer legs.

Target Training

target fatFat burn or spot reducing fat  can not be limited to specific areas of the body, no matter what  “bogus science” and pills tell you. However, sculpting most assuredly can be reduced to a single area, action, and in some cases, specific fibers of a specific muscle – all based on how we execute the exercise.  You don’t need a degree in kinesiology to learn these principals, just a little common sense is all.

So, how do we excite and fatigue the fibers of our outer quad to hypertrophy our SWEEP?

Narrow-minded

Leg press sweepOk, so here is one exercise you should be narrow-minded about. Narrow is better when we talk about our stance to accentuate or facilitate the contractile tissue of the outer quad.  So lets think narrow when doing squats and leg extensions.  Whatever exercises you do, stand with a more narrow stance (feet together).  You may stop and ask, does that mean if I stand wide, I will work my inner thigh and medial quads?  Yeppers! Now you are getting it.  (another blog perhaps)  Moving on…

Self-Centered

building better legsWith leg extensions, it’s all about being self-centered – literally. If you point your toes outward, you are working the  vastus medialis, the tear drop shaped muscle on the medial side (inside) of the legs close to the knee. Since we want to work the opposite side of the legs, then (yes, you guessed it) we want to point our toes in the opposite direction, pointing toes together. Note: this doesn’t work by just pointing the feet from the ankle down, the whole leg must internally rotate to the center to excite the appropriate muscles.

Here is an example of my own leg workout where I use these same principles to improve my sweep.

Yesterday’s Leg Workout

Warm up:  4 sets / 20 reps  

Deep weighted walking lunges  (35-50 pound dumbbells) 45 seconds rest btw sets

Couplet: Leg Press & Leg Extension Super Set
(zero rest between super set, 1 minute between sets)

#1 Heavy leg press
5-8 plates each side, narrow stance (4″ apart) and push only on your heels
10 sets / 15 reps

#2 Moderately heavy leg extension
Moderately heavy leg extension (130lbs-160lbs) internally rotate your femur’s in (toes are pigeon-toed), and squeeze your outer quad in terminal extension.
10 sets / 12-15 reps

Repeat Super Set 10 Times

Puke and repeat for 10 rounds(sets) with 1 minute rest between (rounds) sets

Here are some pics from my last show, the Daytona Classic, just 10 days after getting hurt.

daytona classic

I WILL FAIL!

Next time you gain ground and next time you find yourself making any headway, no matter how insignificant, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT to keep it!

i will fail

BUT, I WILL NOT FAIL MYSELF!!!

#RESPECTYOURSELF 

How to Get Perfect Abs

I love fundamentals.  Fundamentals are the foundation from which more complex and effective derivatives are built upon.  So many pro athletes achieve stardom and fame only to eventually fall into a slump and return to the basics.  Many coaches and athletes alike will tell you, if you perfect the fundamentals, there may be no need for much else.

My Striking, and grappling skills are continuing to get better.  As I get more advanced,  I’ve noticed that every class starts with repeating basic drills that I learned from the very first day; and so it is with abdominal work.

You can do V-ups, X-ups, sit ups, roll ups, knee ups, or just about any abdominal exercise you want,  and without using basic fundamentals,  you will never effectively work the target area.  Most ineffective abdominal work is caused from poor set up.  If you can accomplish a good starting position and maintain good positioning during the range, your abs will cry sweaty tears of bliss.  So, how do we set up to get all the “goody” out of our abdominal training? glad you asked!

1. Lay down on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor
2. Roll your belt line (low back)  into the mat or ground (a slight posterior pelvic tilt)
3. Use the hamstrings to lock your pelvis into position.  Do this by digging your heels into the ground and pull them toward your buttocks to tighten your hamstrings holding your pelvis in a posterior tilt
4. Place your hands behind your neck holding the base of your noggin (nuchal line) and keep your elbows open and wide.
5. Look straight up keeping your chin off your chest.
6. Pull your naval into your spine AS YOU EXHALE.
7.
As you exhale, PULL YOUR TRANSVERSE ABDOMINALS IN, LIFT YOUR SHOULDER BLADES OFF THE FLOOR UNTIL ONLY THE MID BACK (THORACIC REGION) IS TOUCHING
(NOTE: LIFT STRAIGHT UP AS IF YOU HAVE A GLASS OF WATER ON YOUR CHEST… TRY NOT TO ROLL UP IN AN ARC)

Congratulations, you just executed a perfect crunch!

Continue to use these same principals for all abdominal work.  These fundamentals will help facilitate and recruit more abdominal musculature durring your workout giving you “perfect abs”.

NOTE: Don’t forget – no matter how great your ab exercises are, you’ll never see them if you don’t diet. Diet is 80% of getting the abs of your dreams!

Tractor Tire Abs

Here is an entire ab & core workout I put together for GNC utilizing a tractor tire. Since many MMA camps and boot camps us tractor tires, I decided to come up with a few exercises to help you make the most of your tractor tire. Don’t have one? You can get a used on free at your local tractor repair store or dealer – or you can use a stability ball or bench.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

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”

“The Contest of Will”, The World of Figure & Bodybuilding

The starvation… the deprevation… the deteriation.  For a trophy?  Of course not!  This blog is for anyone who has ever thought about competing in figure, fitness, or bodybuilding.  This past-time seems to have no functional ends.  We dont play in a tournament, we dont test the strength of our muscle. We dont test the agility of a motor skill, we dont even have to get out of breath.  Yet compared to any other sport in the world, who deprives themselves more, who trains harder, who else is stripped of there clothing in front of hundereds of strangers?

A Contest of Will
Unlike other contests of skill, this sport is a contest of WILL – especially for those of us who dont have great genetics or perfectly symetriical bodies to start with.  But we train through what we dont have. Not that it is ever overlooked, but maybe for our weakness’s to someday become our strengths.  If we cant be the biggest, we will be the most shredded.  If we cant be the most symetrical,  we will train to overwhelm the judges with Read the rest of this entry

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