Monday, May 31, 2021

Principles of Fitness: Basic Boxing Offense + Defense (Module 3)

Offensive Moves
1) Straight Punches

Jab - lead hand straight punch
  • Step with same side foot
  • Opposite hand stays up at temple (doesn't drop down to chin or below)
  • Turn the punch over to connect with the largest two knuckles (index and middle finger)
    • These are always the two knuckles you want to connect with.  Connecting with the smaller knuckles can break the hand bones.
  • Fully extend punch (but don't hyperextend elbow)
    • Get full extension on the jab.  Jabbing at too short of range leaves the chin exposed to powerful counters (hooks)
    • Punch straight ahead.  Not up or down.  Punching downward leaves your chin exposed.  You have maximum reach, power and effect on your jab when you punch straight ahead (not up or down).
  • Shoulder of punching arm is glued to chin at the end of the punch (chin protected behind shoulder)
  • Chin stays down (doesn't come up as you throw the jab)
  • Recoil quickly 
    • Bring your punching hand immediately back to guard.  Snap it out and snap it back.  Recoiling slowly or incompletely is a lazy jab and leaves you open to counters.
    • Snap your hips and shoulders and when throwing the punch, then snap them back
  • Eyes always on the target
  • After the jab, throw another strike or make a defensive movement.  Don't just stand there.
  • Whether you step or not, and how far you step, depends on how far you are from the target.  You want to connect with the target where your jab is at full extension for maximum effect.
  • Variations
    • Snap jab - focus on speed
    • Power jab - focus on power, step-in (guard buster)
    • Double jab - first jab focus on speed, second on power
    • Angle jab - step forward with back foot as you jab (step at 45 degrees to create angle on opponent)
      • Can slip at the same time (jab + slip + angle step)
    • Jab to body - bend your knees and drop your hips to jab to the body.  Don't lean forward or bend forward at the hips. Sit your hips down and punch directly forward, so that your chin is protected by your punching shoulder.  Don't punch downward, this leaves your chin exposed.  Keep your chin back behind your punching shoulder (don't lift your chin or dive in with it).  Target: solar plexus.
    • Jab + slip: Dip your head off the center line to your non-punching side as you jab.  Don't let non-punching hand drop.  Goal is to slip the straight punch and land the jab at the same time.  Eyes always on the target.
  • Common mistakes
    • Not recoiling quick enough
    • Not recoiling all the way (leaving the jab out there)
    • Dropping the punching hand before throwing the jab (loading with the hand).  
      • Load by rotating the hips and shoulders, not by dropping the hand.
    • Dropping the non-throwing hand as you jab (below the temple)
    • Not fully extending jab (jabbing at too short of range and leaving chin exposed)
    • Flailing elbows
      • Elbows should fire straight forward on straight punches.  They do not bow out to the sides on straight punches.
    • Being tight throughout the movement. (Keep your muscles loose and relaxed all the way through the punch until the very end, then tighten the fist at impact)
      • Snap punches, don't push them.  Clench your fist and snap it only at the last moment.
    • Jabbing downward instead of straight ahead (thus leaving the chin exposed)
      • Jabbing downward is an easy habit to fall into if you're taller
    • Bending or leaning forward at the waist (thus exposed to uppercut)
    • Lunging forward with the chin up
    • Staying still after throwing the jab (not throwing anything behind it or making a defensive move)
Cross - rear hand straight punch
  • Opposite hand stays up at temple (doesn't drop down to chin or below)
  • Pivot same side foot (rear foot) as you punch (turn it in)
  • Turn your fist over to connect with the largest two knuckles (index and middle finger)
    • These are always the two knuckles you want to connect with.  Connecting with the smaller knuckles can cause the hand bones to break.
  • Fully extend elbow (but don't hyperextend it)
    • Get full extension.  Throwing straight punches at too short of range leaves the chin exposed to powerful counters (hooks)
    • Punch straight ahead.  Not up or down.  Punching downward leaves your chin exposed.  You have maximum reach, power and effect on your cross when you punch straight ahead (not up or down).
  • Shoulder of punching arm is glued to chin at the end of the punch (chin protected behind shoulder)
  • Chin stays down (doesn't come up as you throw the punch)
  • Recoil quickly 
    • Bring your punching hand immediately back to guard.  Snap it out and snap it back.  Recoiling slowly or not completely is a lazy punch and leaves you open to counters.
    • Snap your hips and shoulders and when throwing the punch, then snap them back
  • Eyes always on the target
  • Whether you step or not, and how far you step, depends on how far you are from the target.  You want to connect with the target with your cross is at full extension for maximum effect.
  • Variations
    • Double cross - recoil all the way between punches
    • Angle cross - step forward at 45 degrees with your lead foot as you throw the cross (to create angle on opponent)
      • Can slip at the same time (cross + slip + angle step)
    • Cross to body - bend your knees and drop your hips to cross to the body.  Don't lean forward or bend forward at the hips. Sit your hips down and punch directly forward, so that your chin is protected by your punching shoulder.  Don't punch downward, this leaves your chin exposed.  Finish with your chin behind your punching shoulder (don't lift your chin or dive in with it).  Target: solar plexus.
    • Cross+ slip: Dip your head off the center line to your non-punching side as you throw the cross.  Don't let non-throwing hand drop.  Goal is to slip the straight punch and land the cross at the same time.  Eyes always on the target.
  • Common mistakes
    • Not recoiling quick enough
    • Not recoiling all the way (leaving the punch out there)
    • Dropping the punching hand before throwing the cross (loading with the hand).  
      • Load by rotating the hips and shoulders, not by dropping the hand.
    • Dropping the non-throwing hand as you throw the cross (below the temple)
    • Not fully extending cross (punching at too short of range and leaving chin exposed)
    • Flailing elbows
      • Elbows should fire straight forward on straight punches.  They do not bow out to the sides on straight punches.
    • Being tight throughout the movement. (Keep your muscles loose and relaxed all the way through the punch until the very end, then tighten the fist at impact)
      • Snap punches, don't push them.  Clench your fist and snap it at the last moment.
    • Punching downward instead of straight ahead (thus leaving the chin exposed)
    • Bending or leaning forward at the waist (thus exposed to uppercut)
    • Lunging forward with the chin up
2) Hooks
  • Rotate your hips
  • Snap your elbow up
  • Turn your fist over (twisting motion)
  • Pivot your same side foot
    • For kickboxing: do not pivot your foot on hooks in kickboxing or muay thai because you have to defend kicks.  You can still generate a lot of power in your hooks without the foot pivot.  The foot pivot is correct form for boxing, but incorrect for kickboxing or muay thai.
  • Get your elbow up on the hooks (high elbow = more power, less chin exposure)
  • Finish with your chin tucked behind your punching shoulder and your opposite hand up at your temple
  • Punch ends at the contact point (directly in front of your face) and recoils immediately.  Don't over-rotate or follow through.  
  • Connect with the largest two knuckles (index and middle)
    • Whether you land the punch with the palm facing down or facing towards you, either is correct, but connect with the biggest two knuckles
  • Hooks, straight punches and uppercuts should all be landed from the same distance.  Visualize a nickel at the end of your jab.  You should be able to hit that nickel with a straight punch, hook or uppercut.
  • Can throw hooks with or without a step depending on the distance.  You want to connect at the distance where you have full extension on your punch because that's where you have the most power.
  • Common mistakes
    • Dropping the non-throwing hand (leaving chin exposed)
    • Not getting your elbow up high enough (loses power and leaves chin exposed)
    • Over rotating (excessive follow through)
    • Not recoiling quick enough
    • Not recoiling completely (leaving the punch hanging)
    • Lunging forward as you punch (leading with the chin)
    • Looping the hook (loading with the hand).  Load by rotating the hips and shoulders, not by reaching out with the hand.
  • Variations
    • Hook to the body - Turn over the hook to the body, same as the head hook.
      • Targets: 
        • Floating ribs (bottom ribs - the smaller rib bones)
        • Liver (right side of body, at and just below bottom of ribs)
          • Attack by coming up and under ribs at 45 degree angle on opponent's right side
        • Solar plexus (center of chest, just below sternum)
          • Good hook target if you are at an angle to your opponent
      • Finish with chin behind punching shoulder
        • Can sit your hips down to avoid having to reach too far down with your shoulder (thereby exposing the chin above the shoulder)
      • Good to follow a body hook or series of body hooks with a hook or uppercut to the head.  Don't just stand there after throwing a body hook - either throw another attack or make a defensive movement.
      • Common mistake: diving in with the chin (leading with the chin).  Keep your chin hidden behind your shoulder.
    • 45 - halfway between hook and uppercut (comes in at 45 degree angle)
      • Targets liver and floating ribs.  Dig the largest two knuckles (index and middle) on impact.
    • Overhand - hook that comes from over the top of the shoulder
      • Throw the hook overhand to come over the opponent's guard
      • Shoulders will tilt and head will naturally dip off the center line
      • Eyes always on the target
      • Twist your fist over and connect with the largest two knuckles
      • Opposite hand stays up (don't let it drop)
    • Check hook - step back with your opposite foot as you throw the hook
3) Uppercuts
  • Same distance as hooks and straight punches
  • Palm facing in (towards you) at point of impact
  • Connect with biggest two knuckles (index and middle)
  • Stop at point of contact (directly in front of your face) and recoil immediately.  Do not overextend the uppercut too high)
  • Stay loose until the very end of the punch and only tighten the fist at the very end
  • Common mistakes
    • Dropping the punching hand before throwing the uppercut (loading with the hand).
      • Load by rotating your hips and shoulders, not by dropping your hand
    • Throwing uppercuts too short (you have max power at full extension)
    • Not recoiling fast enough
    • Dropping non-punching hand below temple
  • Variations
    • Uppercut to the body - use when opponent is bent forward
Defensive Moves
  • Evading is always superior to parrying.  Parrying is always superior to blocking.  Blocking (even partially) is always superior to taking a clean shot.  Evading is your first line of defense, parrying the second and blocking the third.
1) Evading (head movement)
  • Think of head movement as a full body movement, not just a head movement.  Slips, rolls and pull backs all require you to move your whole body.
  • Head movements
    1. Pull back
      • Front hand drops (only slightly)
      • Head pulls straight back
      • Chin stays down behind shoulder (don't allow it to come up)
      • Back hand stays up at temple
      • Pull back just out of range.  Don't exaggerate the movement as pulling too far back will leave you off balance.
      • Bring front hand immediately back up as your head recoils.  Don't leave it down.  Drop the front hand only slightly, not too far.
      • If you need to pull back twice in a row, step back with your back foot as you pull back the second time
      • Pull back from straight punches, hooks or uppercuts
    2. Slip
      • Bend your knees
      • Turn your hips and shoulders
      • Dip your head off the center line
      • Keep both hands up (don't let either hand drop while slipping)
      • Slip straight punches
      • Slip to the outside of the punch
        • Slipping to the inside can be dangerous if there another punch coming behind it
      • Practice slipping while stepping forwards and backwards
    3. Roll
      • Roll under hooks.  You can also roll under straight punches, but generally you slip straight punches and go under hooks.
      • Bend your knees, drop your hips and roll your head under the centerline from one side to the other.
        • Don't bend at the waist.  Bend your knees and sink your hips to go under
      • Eyes on the target at all times (don't look down)
      • Beware that you are vulnerable to the uppercut while rolling (especially if you bend forward at the waist).
      • Keep both hands up
      • Practice rolling while stepping forwards and backwards
      • Kickboxing and Muay Thai: Generally don't roll in kickboxing or Muay Thai because of the knees.  If you do roll in kickboxing or Muay Thai, do so only slightly - rolling too low makes you vulnerable to knees or kicks to the head.
2) Parrying
  • Parry straight punches (jab or cross)
  • A parry is an advanced block.  You catch + deflect the punch as it comes in.
  • Keep a tight guard and use minimum movement
    • Keep your hand close to your face when parrying.  Don't reach out to far.  
    • Let the punch get to you, don't chase it.
    • Keep the parrying motion as short as possible, no extra motion
  • Hit the punch down or to the side with your hand
  • Can also use your forearms to deflect punches
  • Parry with the same side hand that the punch is coming from (parry their right with your left hand, and their left with your right hand)
  • Variation: slip + parry - slip while parrying (dip your head off the centerline to the outside while parrying the punch to the inside)
  • Parrying straight punches to the body: you can parry straight punches to the body, but be aware that your hand has to travel farther to reach a body punch, thus leaving your head more exposed. 
    • You can evade body shots by pulling the hips back, or block/deflect them with your forearms and elbows.
3) Blocking
  • Head block (blocking head punches)
    • Block by raising your hand up to your head (left hand to block right punches, right hand to block left punches)
    • Key is to keep your hand pressed tightly against your head.  If there is a gap between your hand and your head, then you will hit yourself and your block will not be effective.
    • Use your hand, shoulder, elbow and/or forearm to block or deflect the punch
    • When blocking a hook, make sure your temple and ear are protected.  Do not allow the hook to sneak behind the guard.
    • Eyes always on the target
    • Make sure your feet are balanced.  You must have a strong base or you can still be knocked off balanced by a punch, even if you block it.
  • Body block (blocking body punches)
    • Drop the elbow down to cover the floating ribs and liver (left elbow to block right punches, right elbow to block left punches)
    • Bring elbow immediately back up afterwards, because dropping elbow leaves chin exposed
      • Crunch down as you block to keep your chin behind your glove, thereby minimizing chin exposure


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Principles of Fitness: Warm Up (Module 2)

Warm Up (Module 2)

⦁ Goals
⦁ Elevate heart rate
⦁ Gradually put joints through full ranges of motion
⦁ Activate blood flow to all muscle groups
⦁ Break a sweat
⦁ Take at least 10-15 minutes to warm up at the beginning of each training session.
⦁ Take 20 or 30 minutes, if necessary. Get a good warm up. Failing to warm up thoroughly is often the cause of injury. Do extra reps and take extra time, if you need to.
⦁ Warm up longer when it’s cold or when your body is cold.
⦁ Warm up tight muscles longer. Stretch muscles that feel tight during warmups or during training.
⦁ Spend extra time stretching and warming up sore areas. Failing to adequately warm up sore areas can lead to injury. Usually activating blood flow to the tight area will help it loosen up. Start with simple movements and gentle stretches.
⦁ Incorporate cardio into your warm up (5 or 10 minute jog, shadowboxing, jump rope)
⦁ A proper warm up is one of the major keys to avoiding injury.

Steps

⦁ Roll out tight areas with foam roll or lacrosse ball
⦁ Stretch any area that's particularly tight
⦁ Dynamic Warm Up
⦁ 5 way squat 
⦁ Deep squat (6-12)
⦁ Side squat (6-12 each side)
⦁ Lunge (6-12 each side)
⦁ Rev. lunge (6-12 each side)
⦁ Step behind lunge (6-12 each side)
⦁ Trunk twists (30) 
⦁ Neck rolls (6-12 each side)
⦁ Jumping jacks (30)
⦁ Pushup position
⦁ Perform these exercises in modified pushup position (on knees) if they are too difficult in pushup position
⦁ Shoulder touches (30)
⦁ Twists (6-12 each side)
⦁ Pushups (6-10)
⦁ Burpees (6-12) 

Move Descriptions

⦁ Deep squat (6-12)
⦁ Steps
⦁ Feet shoulder width
⦁ Toes pointed slightly out
⦁ Weight over your heels
⦁ Drop your hips down to your heels
⦁ As low as you can go
⦁ Engage legs to push yourself up
⦁ Keep your knees pointed out. Do not let your knees buckle in at all.
⦁ Think about pushing your knees apart as you push yourself up, if that helps.
⦁ Performance notes:
⦁ Keep your shoulders back, spine flat and head level. No rounding of the neck or back
⦁ Do not allow your knees to buckle (point in) as you push yourself up.
⦁ If you are unable to perform squats without your knees buckling, then perform an assisted squat by putting your hands on a table to assist you until you can squat your own bodyweight comfortably.
⦁ If you experience pain in your knees, perform assisted squats with your hands on a table.
⦁ Go as far down as you can. You should feel a stretch in your glutes at the bottom.
⦁ Your squats should be getting lower and lower as your strength and mobility increase from doing these exercises (along with the stretches) daily.
⦁ Variations
⦁ Pause squats
⦁ Decline slow (3 counts), pause at bottom (1 count), explode up
⦁ Pause halfway down (1 count), pause at bottom (1 count), explode up
⦁ Pause halfway down (1 count), pause at bottom (1 count), pause halfway up (1 count)
⦁ Side squat (6-12 each side)
⦁ Steps 
⦁ Standing position
⦁ Step to one side
⦁ Toes pointed slightly out
⦁ Drop into a wide squat
⦁ Push up and bring your feet together
⦁ Back into standing position
⦁ Performance Notes:
⦁ Keep your shoulders back, spine flat and head level. No rounding of the neck or back. Keep your knees pointed apart as you push up - do not let them buckle in.
⦁ Modification: Use a table for assistance until you can side squat your whole bodyweight comfortably.
⦁ Modification: Alternating left and right: easier, doing one side at a time: harder
⦁ Modification: Do them uphill or downhill to make them easier or harder
⦁ Lunge (6-12 each side)
⦁ Steps
⦁ Standing position
⦁ Step forward
⦁ Drop your hips down
⦁ Knee should almost touch the floor
⦁ Both knees bent at 90 degrees at bottom of lunge
⦁ Push yourself back up and step back into standing position
⦁ Performance notes:
⦁ Modification: If you are unable to perform a lunge, modify it by not taking the step back at the end. Keep your feet in the staggered position and drop your hips up and down without a step.
⦁ Modification: Try them on a hill. Perform these facing uphill (easier) or facing downhill (harder) to add or decrease difficulty.
⦁ Modification: Alternate sides (easier) or perform them one side at a time (harder)
⦁ Modification: walking lunges (step forward into standing position at the end of the lunge instead of backward, so you keep "walking" forward as you complete reps).
⦁ Rev. lunge (6-12 each side)
⦁ Steps
⦁ Standing position
⦁ Step backward
⦁ Drop your hips down
⦁ Knee should almost touch the floor
⦁ Both knees bent at 90 degrees at bottom of lunge
⦁ Push yourself back up and step forward into standing position
⦁ The performance notes are the same as those for the standard lunge (above)
⦁ Step behind lunge (reverse lunge twist) (6-12 each side)
⦁ Steps
⦁ Standing position
⦁ Step behind your other foot and rotate torso
⦁ Drop hips
⦁ Knee should almost touch the floor
⦁ Both knees bent at 90 degrees at bottom
⦁ Step up and rotate back into standing position
⦁ Performance notes
⦁ Hold your arms up in front of you and use them to help you balance as you complete the move.
⦁ Trunk twists (30)
⦁ Standing feet shoulder width
⦁ Arms out out straight at your sides
⦁ Rotate the hips and spine to both sides, so your arms swing around your body
⦁ Rotate as far as you can go and increase progressively
⦁ Neck rolls (6-12)
⦁ Standing with your hands on your hips
⦁ Stretch your neck all the way to one side
⦁ Slowly roll your head in a circle
⦁ Gently stretch your neck throughout the entire circle
⦁ Then roll your head the other direction
⦁ Jumping jacks (30)
⦁ Keep arms and legs straight
⦁ Bring your hands all the way over your head so they touch (or almost touch) at the top - putting your shoulders through the entire range of motion. If it hurts to bring your hands all the way up overhead, then bring them as high as you can without pain.
⦁ Bounce on the balls of your feet (not heels)
⦁ Pushup position
⦁ Perform these exercises in modified pushup position (on knees) if they are too difficult in pushup position
⦁ Shoulder touches (30)
⦁ Pushup position
⦁ Lift one hand + touch opposite shoulder
⦁ Keep core tight
⦁ Replace hand on ground
⦁ Repeat with opposite hand
⦁ Twists (6-12 each side)
⦁ Pushup position
⦁ Feet together
⦁ Hands shoulder width
⦁ Fingers pointed forward
⦁ Lift one hand off the ground
⦁ Twist and Reach up towards the sky
⦁ Twist back and place your hand back on the ground
⦁ Pushups (6-10)
⦁ Steps
⦁ Feet together
⦁ Hands shoulder width
⦁ Fingers pointed forward
⦁ Lower yourself all the way to the ground
⦁ Without resting the on the ground
⦁ Push yourself back up
⦁ All the way until your arms are fully extended
⦁ Performance tips
⦁ Head, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles all in line. Back flat.
⦁ Complete the full range of motion of the pushup - arms fully extended at top, chest all the way to the ground at the bottom.
⦁ Variations: wide grip (hands wider than shoulders), narrow grip (hands together or narrower than shoulders), straddle (feet wide, hands shoulder width)
⦁ Burpees (6-12)
⦁ Standing Position
⦁ Place hands on ground and kick feet back in pushup position
⦁ Perform a pushup
⦁ Tuck your knees in
⦁ Jump up off the ground and raise your hands over your head
⦁ Return to standing position

 

 

 

 


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Principles of Fitness: Nutrition + Weight Loss (Module 1)

⦁ Eat at home as much as you possibly can. 

⦁ Prepare your own food. This gives you much more control over what you put in your body. Minimize the amount you eat out if you are trying to lose weight.

⦁ Intermittent fasting (don't eat between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.)

⦁ Exception: if you finish a workout at or after 7 p.m., it's okay to eat something after. I get hungry after I train and have a hard time sleeping on an empty stomach. Sleep is the top priority, so it's okay to eat something after a night workout because it improves sleep and aids recovery by providing your body with nutrients.

⦁ 24 hour fasting

⦁ If you are coming off a heavy period of consumption, such as a cheat day or a cheat weekend, a 24-hour fast can help reset you. For example, if you go on vacation and indulge in food and beverages, doing a 24 hour fast when you get back is a good way to detox, reset and get back into your normal routine
 
⦁ Start the fast after dinner, so it's easy to sleep. Then don't eat the next day until dinner.
 
⦁ Some light cardio is okay (walking, light jogging, shadowboxing) but I don't recommend hard training while fasting.

⦁ Work out first thing in the morning

⦁ Training first thing in the morning activates your metabolism and energizes you for the whole day. 
⦁ If you don't train first thing in the morning, get at least get 30 minutes of light cardio before you eat (i.e. walking the dog, walking or riding your bike)

⦁ Walk 30 minutes per day

⦁ Walk as much as possible. Walk the dog. Walk to get groceries. Walk to work. Walk in the park. Go for hikes. Walking daily is a great lifestyle habit to adopt.

⦁ Ride a bike

⦁ Riding a bicycle is a great way to build your legs and burn calories while accomplishing your daily commutes. If you install a carrying device on your bicycle, you can get groceries and other errands done on it. The bike makes it easier to avoid traffic and parking hassles as well.

⦁ If you can't walk or ride a bike where you live, then consider moving. I have moved multiple times in my life specifically so I could walk and ride my bike more (to work, get groceries, etc.). Walking and riding are great calorie burners and are also a lot of fun.

⦁ Cut sugar

⦁ No processed or refined sugars. This eliminates basically everything in the aisles at the grocery store. No "cardboard carbs"- carbs that come in a cardboard box.

⦁ No added sugar allowed, ever. (check the ingredients)

⦁ Sugar from fresh fruit is good. Eat as much fresh fruit as you want, and eat a variety. No processed fruit (i.e. frozen/pre-packaged).

⦁ Use organic brown sugar for things like coffee and cocktails. No simple syrup or white sugar. Use as little as possible.

⦁ To lose 10-15 pounds quickly, cut sugar completely for 10 days. No carbs. No fruit. No milk. Only proteins and vegetables. 30 minutes light cardio per day.

⦁ Limit desserts and cheat meals to heavy training days (i.e. whichever day you train legs). If you have a dessert or a cheat meal at night, exercise first thing in the morning before you eat (even if it's just a 30 minute walk).

⦁ Don't keep sweets or desserts in your house. Make yourself go out for them, if you must have them.

⦁ Carb cycling

⦁ Three days low carbs (60 grams per day), one day high carbs (260 grams)

⦁ These numbers may vary slightly depending on your size and exercise output, but try these first.

⦁ Carb cycling + intermittent fasting + 60 to 90 minutes training every day will cut fat and lean you out quickly. Try it for 6 weeks.

⦁ Eat all your colors

⦁ Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables of as many different colors as possible. They all have different vitamins and will help boost your immune system.

⦁ Choose the brightest and most colorful vegetables in every color.

⦁ Eat proper portions

⦁ Your plate should be roughly 1/2 fruits and vegetables, 1/4 carbs and 1/4 protein

⦁ Carbs

⦁ Choose from: rice, brown rice, sweet potato, potato, pasta, whole grain bread

⦁ Some people have strong opinions about avoiding bread, rice and pasta. I eat all of those things. They're actually important staples of my diet and I wouldn't function well without them. It's the portions and the timing that are important. Eat small portions, and only eat them before or after a workout (when your body needs immediate, fast-acting fuel for exercise or recovery).

⦁ Proteins:

⦁ Choose from: chicken, fish, steak, eggs, pork, ground beef, ground chicken, seafood

⦁ Fattier meats like bacon and sausage are okay and even good sometimes (depending on portions and timing). Replace them with turkey bacon or chicken sausage. Monitor the sodium content on these products. Choose the one with the least saturated fat and the least sodium. Some of them have very high sodium.

⦁ Eat until you are no longer hungry, not until you are stuffed. If you have a big meal in front of you, don't try to eat it all. Save the rest until the next time you are hungry.

⦁ Eat one salad per day

⦁ If you don't eat a salad, then at least do a smoothie with a variety or fruits of vegetables to make sure you are getting your vitamins for the day.

⦁ I see no downside to doing a salad and a smoothie a day. I've never met anyone who got fat or sick from eating too many fruits and vegetables. 

⦁ Your shopping cart should be mostly fruits and vegetables 

⦁ Cook with olive oil or grapeseed oil

⦁ Grill over fire as much as possible

⦁ Squeeze your own juice

⦁ Never buy pre-packaged fruit juice at the grocery store. Always squeeze your own.

⦁ Daily smoothies

⦁ The ingredients you put in your smoothie matter greatly. Do not use yogurt with any fat or any added sugar. Do not use any premade fruit juices. Do not use frozen fruits. Only use fresh ingredients. Failure to use the appropriate ingredients will turn your smoothie into a calorie bomb loaded with processed sugar - so follow the rules.

⦁ Basic ingredients
⦁ Fresh squeezed fruit juice (never store bought)
⦁ Fresh fruit of your choice
⦁ Fresh vegetables of your choice
⦁ Ice
⦁ Nonfat Greek yogurt (no added sugar) 
 
⦁ Put ingredients into a blender and liquefy. Include the pulp from the juice - there are good fibers in it.

⦁ Break fasts (long periods without food) with protein

⦁ The first meal of the day should have protein, and the first meal after a fast should have protein. Can be a protein shake or smoothie.

⦁ Timing of meals

⦁ Exercise before your first meal of the day, even it's just a 30 minute walk.

⦁ Exception: If you are training hard first thing in the morning, you can eat something light such as oatmeal with fruit or a peanut butter and banana sandwich at least 20 minutes before training. I will typically have something small before a hard morning session, then eat might first full meal after the session.

⦁ If you exercise later in the day, eat something (carbs) at least 20 minutes before so you have energy to train.

⦁ Eat something (carbs) within 30 minutes after training.

⦁ No processed or frozen foods

⦁ No frozen or prepackaged foods, including fruits and vegetables. Eat fresh food.

⦁ There should only be one ingredient on the label of your foods. For example, when buying peanut butter - only buy natural peanut butter that has a single ingredient on the label: peanuts.

⦁ On days you exercise less, eat less.

⦁ You don't need to eat as much. You're not burning as many calories.

⦁ Proper diet gives you more energy

⦁ Consuming proper nutrition gives you more energy, not less. At no point should you feel like you are starving yourself or don't have enough energy to get through the day. If you are hungry, eat something. But eat something healthy. If you don't want anything healthy, then maybe you aren't really that hungry.

⦁ Replace dessert (candy, ice cream) with fruit and yogurt or apples and all natural peanut butter.

⦁ Cocktails

⦁ No simple syrup or other syrups. Use brown sugar instead.
⦁ Fresh squeezed juices only. No store bought juice.
⦁ Fresh garnishes only
⦁ No premade mixes
⦁ Use quality spirits
⦁ Drink a glass of water for each cocktail you consume
 
⦁ If you eat a dessert at night, train the following morning before breakfast.

⦁ Your eagerness to eat healthy will increase as you start seeing more and more results.

⦁ Exercising a small amount of discipline now will lead to results, which will motivate you to keep going. You will appreciate good eating habits more and more the longer you keep them.

⦁ Stay hydrated

⦁ Consume water throughout the day. If your urine is yellow, you are dehydrated - so drink some water until your urine is clear.

⦁ Take stretch breaks when seated for long periods

⦁ Take stretch breaks every 20 minutes. Don't sit for more than 20 minutes without standing up and moving around.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Principles of Fitness: Foreword

Think of fitness as something you do every single day for the rest of your life.  It's a lifetime commitment.  Your body is not a painting - you don't get it perfect one day and then stop.  Get at least one hour of exercise a day, no matter what, from now on.  

But don't think of fitness as something you do for an hour a day.  Think of it as something you do all day, every day.  Fitness is a lifestyle.  It's part of everything you do.  Walk and ride your bike as often as possible.  Make exercise your top priority and design your entire life around it.  Your fitness is your health.  Your health is your top priority.

I wrote out my Principles of Fitness because my entire life goes the way my fitness training goes.  When I'm eating properly and training every day, I also excel in other areas of my life - because I am properly energized.  If I'm developing bad habits in my diet and training, then that affects the rest of my life as well - particularly my attitude and energy.  

Some people think that working out or dieting will drain their energy for other activities.  It's the opposite.  Working out energizes me.  A proper diet and fitness routine will have you feeling more energized than ever for your daily activities, including time with your family and friends.

You will notice that your attitude, energy and general outlook on life improve as your fitness does. This means that you will be better able to show up for your family, job and other activities because you will be properly rested and energized.

Don't think, ''I'm going to train for six weeks, look like a statue, and then stop.''  Think of fitness as a commitment that you make every single day for the rest of your life - for the purpose of enjoying your life as much as you possibly can.  Your whole life will improve tremendously as your fitness improves.  I guarantee it.

Find fitness activities that you enjoy, and keep doing them.  Join training groups focused on the activities you like.  Find friends and mentors who like the same activities you do.  Immerse yourself in the culture of the activities you like.   Fitness training is a great way to meet people and build relationships.

Probably the most important rule of all is to have fun when you train.  Training should always be fun.  If it's not fun, then you're doing it wrong.  If you get tired of doing the same activity, then do something else for a while.  You can train in multiple disciplines, or just focus on one at a time.  The important thing is just that you keep training.  Consistency is everything.  

Get deeply in touch with why you are doing this - and be honest about it.  Is it because you want a girlfriend or boyfriend?  Is it because you want to be able to run around with your kids or grandkids?  Improve your sports performance?  Sign a pro contract?  Lose weight? Get on the cover of a magazine?  Star in a movie?  Live longer?  Become a better person?  There are a million reasons to train.  Clearly identify yours.  Write them down.  Post them on the fridge, wall or mirror.  

Your hardest days in training will be the days you get most in touch with the reasons why you're doing it.  You will start to realize what you really care about - and the things you really care about will be your reasons for showing up to train again tomorrow.

You should never be so sore after a workout that you can't train again the next day.  You will see better results by showing up every day and training at tolerable intensity then you will by showing up twice a week and training at max intensity until you can't move for two days.  This is especially true for gains in joint mobility - which come slowly (1/10 the pace of muscle gains).  

With that said, do things to the best of your ability at all times.  Not just in fitness, but in everything you do.  The way you approach fitness is the way you approach your entire life.  You will get what you put in, so challenge yourself.  You don't have to be extreme, you just have to be consistent.  Consistent, daily effort is great effort.

The most important thing is to engage with fitness activities every day.  You will burn more calories and have more energy.  If all you do one day is warm up, go for a light run, and finish with core and stretching - then that's great.  If one day you just want to do an hour of yoga - then that's great, too.  Do some form of exercise every day.

By doing things every day, they become a part of who you are.  Make fitness a part of your daily routine.  Put it on the schedule, and keep it there.  That doesn't mean you can never take a day off - but think of fitness as something you do every day, with rare exceptions.  Train every day that you are not too sick or too injured to train (this should be almost never).  Unless you are literally so sick or injured that you can't walk, there is almost always some sort of training you can do to improve your fitness.


Monday, May 24, 2021

Apology: Not All Trump Voters Are Racist

I've been rethinking my life this week.  Not in a bad way, my life is overall pretty good.  But my brother said some things to me that got my attention and I realized that I made a big mistake.  I said that all Trump voters are racists, and that just isn't the case.  Although I think many of Trump's actions are intentional, harmful and racist, the same cannot be said about everyone who voted for him.  I prescribed the intent to harm to everyone, and it just wasn't true.  So I owe everyone an apology.  Not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, and I don't have any right to say they are.  

I took those old posts down, and I plan to focus my writing on things other than politics because I don't think my opinions are really doing the world any good at this point.  The last thing the world needs is another political loudmouth.

My brother pointed out to me that I'm not running into burning buildings to save people or showing up to a hospital to treat patients every day, and I have no right to say that people who actually do those things (for all races) every day are racists.  He is exactly right.  

He also asked me what I am doing to make the world better.  That question that really got me because my friend here in Mexico asked me the same question last week, so I had already been thinking about it.  I even used it as one of our conversation topics for the language club on Thursday - ''How does your work make the world better?''  I sat down and thought about it and wrote about a bunch of ideas.  I wrote out every thing I do in a given week, looking for the answer to how it makes the world better.  I realized that I have 15 main activities that I do every week:

  1. Read
  2. Write
  3. Surf
  4. Train
  5. Cook
  6. Eat
  7. Play guitar
  8. Sing
  9. Draw
  10. Travel
  11. Spanish
  12. Sleep
  13. Shopping/Errands
  14. Laundry
  15. Recovery

Then I asked myself, "How do these make the world better?''  And the answer is, ''That completely depends on how you do them.''

Then I realized that calling everyone a bunch of racists isn't making the world any better or safer at all, and that I would probably be adding a lot more the conversation if I focused on the things I actually like doing rather than focusing in politics.  In my defense, suffering through 4 years of Trump was awful - especially during the election.  But I still had no right to say what I said and I owe a complete apology.  I'm sorry for saying that all Trump for voters are racists.  It just isn't so.  

As far as I am concerned, it's time for me to move on from political conversations and focus on the things I like doing.  The things I like doing are actually going great.  I live by the beach and surf every day.  I have all day, every day to do the things I love doing.  Kings don't live so well.  I have everything in the world to be grateful for, and nothing to complain about.  Not even haters.  I'll keep making them as jealous as I possibly can.

I always imagined that it would be a great feeling to wake up every day and know that I could do pretty much whatever I want that day, and every day after.  I always imagined that would be complete freedom.  And I wake up every day and I do pretty much whatever I want.  That's my schedule for the foreseeable future.  I am the luckiest guy in the world.  I have so much fun that it's ridiculous.  So from here on out, I vow to focus on the fun things.

My 37th birthday is coming on June 12, and I want to go into my 37th year with nothing but good vibes.  No political nonsense.  May we all receive what we wish on others.  I wish everyone health, love, happiness, peace and well-being.

Principles of Fitness: Stretching (Module 4)

Stretching Tips ⦁ Stretch any particularly tight areas before and during warm up. ⦁ If anything feels tight during the workout, stretch it. ...