Sunday, December 9, 2012

Five most common fitness mistakes you may be doing

Happy Holidays everyone!

It's been a little while since my last post, thought I would come back with something I've been wanting to write about for a long time. Here goes....

Five most common fitness mistakes you may be doing

Kent is an Adaptive Fitness client of mine. He and I have been consistently training together for awhile now, he is recovering from an incomplete spinal cord injury and has made considerable gains from his fitness regimen.

He gets around in a power wheelchair, but can also stand, walk, and even jump with supervision. Kent is one of the most consistent clients I have ever had, he is always open to any challenge (with some grunts and groans) I put in front of him and I believe because of that very reason he has defied what many health care professionals expected of him following his injury.

(Kent and I working on balance with a medicine ball)

The other day as Kent was taking a well deserved rest break I couldnt help but notice all of the other gym goers and what they were doing.

While I commend any and all who take the initiative to begin an exercise plan and live a healthier lifestyle, It's hard to stand by and watch improper form that could lead to injury, or incorrect instruction from a friend/family member, or watching time after time the motions of the hamster wheel.

It's more often than not these above described individuals that put in the hours and then become discouraged and quit altogether when results are not had.

I decided to make a list of the 5 most common fitness mistakes as I see them. (This list applies to the temporarily disabled and/or the able bodied)

5. Not having a goal or plan of attack

You have decided that you are going to start going to the gym, but once you are there your not sure where to start.

Many people are overwhelmed when they go to the gym for two reasons.

1. There are so many machines to choose from. Some target cardio, some target specific muscle groups, there are kettlebells, heavy ropes, plyo boxes, steps, TRX suspensions training units....the list goes on and on.

2. There is an intimidation factor. so many decide to go with what they know....The treadmill.

How to correct this mistake

Take advantage of the gyms Personal Trainers.

The trainers should be able to offer you a complimentary screening or even a low cost session or two to learn your way around the gym and come up with a plan for you to follow.

Those of you in wheelchairs can learn from the trainers how to safely use some of the gyms equipment as well. (call ahead to see if the gym is accessible) Once you know how to use the equipment then you can come up with some goals and begin to implement a program to work on directly achieving them.


Do your own research.

There are plenty of tutorials online that you can use as a resource from credible well respected fitness professionals.


Find yourself a Trainer/Fitness Coach.

Meet with a trainer to go over your entire fitness history, health, and goals to come up with long term and short term goals. Then stick with it! someone who is overweight did not get that way overnight, it happened gradually over months or years so don't expect huge changes in short time periods. Consistency in your training will yield you positive results, and when you get to a point where you are showing progress you can start backing off of your trainer visits and just do check ins.

4. Following bro science

The exact opposite of #5 above. You have been going to the gym and are comfortable with all of the equipment and know what they do, but you follow what some of the guys are telling you because they are "Ripped or Huge". Incorrect form or technique with exercises and unnecessary supplementation advice are what follows.

When your at the gym the only thing you should focus on is you. Everybody is different and are at different levels of fitness, and so everyone learns, grows, adapts to different stressors on the body differently. What works for someone might not work for another.

How to correct this mistake

It is important to educate yourself to learn what works best for your body. Do this through instruction/assessment with a personal trainer, research, or trial and error. Following what one guy is doing because of how he/she looks is good way to end up with injury through overtraining, not reach your individual goals or spend way too much money on unnecessary supplementation that is not needed.

(By the way....I feel strongly that the only true supplemenation one needs are 1. Whey protein 2. Creatine and 3. Multi-vitamin.)- take a look at this stronglifts article.....

3. Too much socializing

The gym has become more of a social club and less of a haven of health for you. You know everyone that goes at the same time as you and soon your 1 hour time slot for workouts has actually dwindled down to 15-30 minutes of workouts because you have talked away the other 15-30 minutes.

How to correct this mistake

Bring your headphones, stay focused! You don't have to be rude, but stay on task. Your there for a reason, leave the talking for the end of a workout or schedule a meet outside the gym.

Don't be the person hogging equipment as a footrest for your socializing when there is actually someone trying to keep a sweat up.

2. Spot Reduction Training

One of the most used machines in the gym are usually the abdominal machines, why? because everyone wants to flatten their tummies or "quad guts"

What everyone doesnt know is that it is absolutely impossible to spot train. It cannot be done, there is no way to target losing fat in just one part of your body. No pill, potion, or exercise machine sold on tv will help you to accomplish this.

What ends up happening is, most people target their abdominal muscles which strengthens them and pushes on the abdominal fat which actually gives the appearance of a protruding stomach.

How to correct this mistake

Begin an exercise program that incorporates strength training with some form of cardio training. (Crossfit, Hiit for example) the more lean mass you build the more you will begin to burn fat. Areas with the most stored fat are typically the last to get the effects of fat burning which is why consistency is so important.

Ditch the crunches on the ab machine and opt for some squat jumps, lunges, suicide drills. Training legs is another great way to get rid of stubborn belly fat. The greatest amount of HGH (human growth hormone) is secreted in the body following intense leg workouts. Increased levels of HGH in the body will assist in muscle growth which will increase lean mass and boost metabolism which in turn will burn more fat throughout the day.

(Diet is a big part of this as well, Abs are more so made in the kitchen not the gym)

1. Lack of intensity

Are you reading while your on the stair stepper, talking on the phone while on the treadmill, texting in between reps? if you answered yes to any of these questions then I can guarantee you that your exercise routine is lacking intensity.

The amount of time your at the gym does not matter, it's the amount of work that you put in while your there that counts.

How to correct this mistake

Set a goal to complete your workout in a certain time frame with rest breaks as needed. stay on task! I personally have been wiped and barely able to move following a 15 minute workout over a 1 hour workout. When your workout has little to no rest breaks your metabolism shoots through the roof and some experts say your fat burning or "after burn" maintains at higher levels throughout the day which burns more calories.

As I mentioned earlier these 5 common fitness mistakes are how I see them, and I feel can be corrected for able bodied or temporarily disabled.

If you have any questions or would like further information please comment.

Keep fighting, Never Give up!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Top Ten Adaptive Fitness equipment for those living with a Disability

I often get asked the question "What is the best exercise equipment for someone who is living with a disability to have at home to continue to exercise after rehab?"

This question got me thinking to put a list together of what I consider to be the top ten most useful equipment for someone recovering or living with a disability.

While each person is different and each is working towards a specific goal I decided to make the list of the top ten fitness equipment that I personally recommend my adaptive fitness clients to have and utilize consistently.

The cost of the items vary from inexpensive to very expensive, but each one has been utilized consistently during training sessions or instructed for use consistently with great benefit and results reported by my clients.

I also encourage all of you to check out this site will give you information on a fitness handbook that I have designed for those interested in specific program design, nutrition, support, and adaptive sports to begin or resume an active and healthy life.

and now.....

From 10 to 1 here are my top ten Adaptive Fitness equipment for those living with a disability:

10. UBE or Arm Cycle

There are several different kinds from big free standing machines with or without seats (for wheelchair user) to table top models. They vary greatly in cost depending on which one you opt for.
This is a great tool to have to use as a warm up tool to loosen your shoulder joints, improve circulation, and increase your heart rate. I usually instruct to work on a high intensity/ low intensity cycle (30 seconds fast/30 seconds slow) for 5-10 minutes.

9. Gripping Gloves/Wheelchair push Gloves

Gripping gloves are great for those with impaired hand movement or strength. The glove allows you to hold an object to perform a lift or pull when using dumbells or a weight machine.

Learn more about grip gloves here:

Push gloves are perfect for someone in a wheelchair that is using wheelchair pushing for cardio. These gloves allow you to work on speed and quick movement in your manual chair while decreasing your risk of injury to your hands. you can check this glove out here:

8. Cuff weights/Dumbbells

Cuff weights or Dumbbells are an excellent way to add resistance to movement and challenge yourself to improve.

The Dumbbells can be used with your grip gloves.

go to to view the cuff weights and dumbbells for sale.

7. Theraband

A lot of the time your therapist will give you some along with a home exercise program, you can also purchase rolls of 25 yards (you don't need more than that). The order of resistance is according to color: Yellow-very light resistance Red-light resistance Green-medium resistance Blue-medium to heavy resistance Black-heavy resistance.

Everyone should start at the lightest and work their way up.

Go to to order your theraband.

6. Medicine ball with or without handles

I've used these balls to work on core strength, balance and coordination and overall upper extremity strengthening. You can use your gripping gloves if you have limited use of one or both of your hands. has these in many different weights.

5. Gymboss timer or boxing fitness timer

THE BEST TIMER for interval training. You can set the number of rounds and your cycles of high intensity/low intensity and just listen to the beeps for your rest and start times.

Check it out here:

Those of you that know me, know that I love to incorporate some form of boxing techniques to adaptive fitness workouts.

I've talked in the past and have referenced research articles that support boxing fitness using the Wii for stroke rehab. 

The boxing fitness timer can be set for 2 minute rounds or 3 minute rounds and rest periods of 30 seconds or 1 minute.

You can also set it for 1 round up to 12 rounds. I have been known to have clients hitting the heavy bag or working on combinations according to this timer.

Get yours here:

4. Heavy bag with stand/speed bag

What I like about this heavy bag stand is that you can use it if your in a wheelchair or standing. The speed bag can be lowered but still kept high enough to have you reaching overhead and challenging your range of motion and muscle endurance, while the heavy bag is set perfect for you to go at it working on combinations, trunk balance reaching with your punches or just getting some aggression out.
It usually comes with everything in the picture. you can look at the details here:
3. Vitaglide
I know that not everyone is a boxing fan, so for those that are not interested in the heavy bag stand here is a great alternative. The Vitaglide is a great way to work on strength and cardiovascular endurance. Use your gripping gloves to secure your hands on the handles and begin working on pushing and pulling movements on a cycle of high and low intensity with you gym boss timer.
2. Total Gym XLS

The total gym is great when working on weightbearing in gravity lessened positions to improved mind muscle communication and strength. You can also get a great upper body, back, and trunk workout with the total gym.

And the #1 Adaptive Fitness equipment to have is......


Once only available in the rehab setting, the FES bike is now available for purchase. The price tag is a hefty one, but if you want it for your home use it can be had.

This bike utilizes electrodes to assist the user in cycling their legs or arms or both. It has the capability to track user sessions to record progress and even has some game features for you to use while cycling.

Details can be found at the company's website here:

So there you have it....

From 10 to 1 my top recommended Adaptive Fitness exercise equipment for you to have in your home and continue your progression to improved strength, function, and independence.

If you have any questions regarding exercise design for any of the above recommendations please don't hesitate to email me at

The above recommendations have been made to clients in the past following instruction and evaluation of use before purchasing and using on their own.
Don't forget to check out Disability Fitness (Fitness Handbook for those living with Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury, Amputation, or as Seniors) on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or here

I encourage everyone at any fitness level to stay motivated and educate yourself on the most beneficial and successful exercises or equipment that works best for you.

Keep Fighting, Never Give up!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wheelchair Base Jumping and other adaptive activities

"Jumping off an 876-foot-tall bridge takes skill and experience for just an average person. But in a wheelchair, it takes even more, including mental preparedness, to land on rocks with only a few scratches."

876ft.....I wouldn't even do 100ft. That's an amazing task for someone to do, but the fact that it was done by a man in a wheelchair is even more AWESOME!.

I love reading and hearing about individuals that take on all challenges.

Check out the full story here:

"Wanna see me do something?....Tell me I can't do it!"

I believe this positive attitude is the driving force behind maximum gains and outcomes in rehab and beyond following a disabling injury or illness.

There are countless examples of exactly what I am describing, here is just a few of some that you may not have heard of:

-Wheelchair rugby or "Quad Rugby"

What a fun sport!, I was lucky enough to work with DC's team the "Capital Punisher's" when they were in their infancy.

This is a no joke, hard hitting sport, and really exciting to watch.

What is quad rugby? click here:

-Adaptive Skiing

learn more about Adaptive Skiing here:

-Adaptive rock climbing for people with disabilities

Check out this e-how video for adaptive rock climbing:

-Adaptive mountain biking
 learn more about adaptive mountain biking here:

-Adaptive Fitness/Adaptive Boxing

what a great workout! the beauty of adaptive boxing is that it can really be adjusted to any level. Seniors, paraplegics, quadriplegics, even those with visual impairments.

As an instructor I have witnessed many people turn up their nose at the thought of boxing for fitness, but once they tried it they were all hooked!

Not focusing on the disability but on the ability of what one can do.

Be it jumping off of a 876ft bridge in a wheelchair or working out to improve your strength for improved independence, don't let any obstacle get in your way.

Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!


Friday, October 26, 2012

A promise between friends ends in a murder-suicide

The following story is a very sad and tragic event that took place recently.

I was very fortunate to have met and worked with Mesfin following his SCI while he was in Rehab. He worked very hard in therapy!

He was an amazing person!, funny, smart, extremely outgoing, and just a real pleasure to know and work with!

RIP Mesfin...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wheelchair Bodybuilding

Last week I wrote about the benefits of Adaptive Fitness for those living with a disability to decrease secondary medical complications and maintain a healthy and independent self.

In that post, I mentioned a wheelchair bodybuilder by the name of Nick Scott. Not too long after that post I received an article written by Men's Fitness on wheelchair bodybuilding highlighting Nick "The beast" Scott and other wheelchair bodybuilders.

The post is accompanied with links to pictures from a wheelchair bodybuilding event and a video with several wheelchair bodybuilders all of different levels.

You can view the Men's Fitness article here:

Look at the wheelchair bodybuilding pics here:

or watch the wheelchair bodybuilding video here:,32068,1900749087001_2126974,00.html

What I love about the videos, pictures and articles is that they all demonstrate what I have said to my patients, clients, colleagues, friends, and family time and time again.....Never Give Up!

Don't let anything be an excuse for your reason as to why you are not where you want to be, if you want something go get it. If you don't know how to start, do some research, there are plenty of informative sites and resources to help point you in the right direction. Last weeks post alone included a great resource guide provided by the Miami project to cure paralysis.

The only real limitation is you, push yourself past your limits.

Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!


PS. here is a great link to a wheelchair bodybuilding site:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Adaptive Fitness to decrease secondary complications in Spinal Cord Injury population

I recently found a great resource for those with Spinal Cord Injuries or those who are family or friends with a person living with a SCI.

Not sure if many out there know about the Miami Project to cure paralysis, it is basically one of the leading research facilities dedicated to finding a cure for those living with a spinal cord injury. I receive updates from their research department on their latest developments, and have in the past attended a conference where some of their researchers spoke. Fascinating information, you can learn more about them here:

What I found was a great resource guide created for those living with SCI on the benefits of exercise and listing multiple references for equipment, adaptive activities, or community accessible gyms. you can see it here:

Again, a great resource. Sadly many of the great exercise programs and facilities are in other countries or are limited in the U.S. There is such a need for more Adaptive Fitness trainers to work with those recovering from serious injury or living with a SCI and there is a lot of research coming out to prove the benefits of exercise to decrease secondary complications for those living with SCI.

Check this out: a quote from this article  "This population has been characterised as extremely sedentary with an increased incidence of secondary complications including diabetes mellitus, hypertension and atherogenic lipid profiles."

This does not have to be, there are many exercises that a person with a SCI can perform. Following a fitness assessment and testing including consultation with your Doctor or Physical Therapist, an Adaptive Fitness trainer can design and implement a challenging fitness program to improve bone density, cardiac output, strength, flexibility and function.

An aggressive rehab program following your injury does not have to be it!, take control and begin pushing yourself and your body to the limit.

Take a look at Nick Scott and his story here:

(Pretty Impressive!!!!)

Dedication, commitment to yourself and your goals, and consistency through it all can achieve your goals.
Earlier in this post I referenced some exercise facilities over seas and in the U.S.
you don't NEED to go to one of these facilities (it would be awesome, but not everyone can afford the expense), a great Adaptive Fitness program can be had right in your own home and with the right guidance.
Don't let obstacles set you back!, utilize the resources out there (and provided at the top of the page), contact trainers and find one specializing in Adaptive Fitness talk to everyone you know about what you want to achieve and find a way to start pushing yourself to be stronger, more independent, and healthier than ever.
Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How can I get rid of my stomach?

One of the most common questions that I get being a personal trainer is "how can I get rid of my stomach", I get it from both women and men. Everyone who asks me always assures me that they "don't eat alot" or that they "exercise daily" but, just can't seem to get rid of the fat.

In my early days I would go on and on to explain the importance of diet and exercise, and sometimes would even email programs and healthy eating options to friends or colleagues (taking a considerable amount of my time) to provide the education and information so that it could be applied and put to good use.

I've learned much since then, I now know that when I am asked this question, the person asking is looking for me to give them the "secret", they want the information that they didn't know about, they want the magic formula that is going to take years of bad eating habits or years of inactivity and turn it around in 4-6 weeks to lose the stubborn belly fat.

It's the way our society has become, the "quick fix syndrome" what can I do to get where I want to be as fast and easy as possible?.... It's the reason why those infomercials do so well. You know the ones....Zumba, Tae-bo, P90-X, Insanity. These programs promise amazing results within 60-90 days. They market their products so well, and stress the fact that your results will be obtained in the time frame allotted. People eat this up, I get psyched watching those infomercials myself and want to go hit the gym even if I have already been, It's encouraging and motivating.

These programs are excellent programs, I don't have anything to say against any of them. I feel strongly that if someone is consistent in any program, they will see results.

This is where the problem begins, I have talked to many people who have some type of DVD fitness program. These individuals have told me that they are doing a specific program and following the exercises to a tee, but when asked if they are following the nutrition portion the answer 9 times out of 10 is no. Then after awhile, that person gets burned out on the exercise because they aren't seeing the results they wanted and quit the program all together.

This is the reason why now when I am presented with the question "How can I get rid of my stomach?" I recommend a training session with a trainer for education.

You wouldn't fly a plane if you weren't a pilot, or perform an emergency appendectomy if you weren't a doctor, so why would you apply your non-personal training skills to your own training and nutrition?

A great recent example:

I received a call from a potential client who is a young male in his late 20's weighing in around 320lbs. He was calling me to train him so that he could reach his 1st goal of losing 50lbs in 6 months en route to his ultimate goal of 100lbs in a year. We continued to discuss his goals and plans and when I came to the subject of nutrition his response was "I feel pretty comfortable with my eating, I just need a solid exercise routine and a trainer to push me".

Red Flag Alert!!!!! No amount of exercise can undo poor eating habits and effectively burn fat especially if you continue to eat poorly. You cannot out exercise bad eating habits. If you consume more calories than your body burns you will continue to gain weight or store fat.

I encouraged this young man to focus on his diet and nutrition before even looking into an exercise program, we discussed the benefits of whole grain foods, the importance of eating lean protein at every meal, water consumption, and the many benefits of fruits and vegetables.

"Wow! I guess I didn't know as much as I thought I did" is what he said to me before we got off the phone.

This call took place around the beginning of the summer, I recently heard back that he had put all the advise to use and has dropped 30lbs. 30lbs on just healthy eating habits! He may not be at his goal of 50lbs, but he See's the benefits of healthy eating and is going to stick with it.

How can I get rid of my stomach?.....

Couple healthy eating habits with regular exercise and sprinkle some consistency on top, that's how. Stick to it! Challenge yourself! I guarantee that when you and everyone starts noticing the changes it won't be as hard to continue. The hardest parts are starting, maintaining, and waiting for the results, but like I said. Consistency will get you there.

Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!


ps. Happy National Physical Therapy Month!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boxing Fitness for Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury Rehab

In may of 2012 professional boxer and former middleweight champion Paul "The Punisher" Williams was in a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He received his rehab following surgery to stabilize his spine at one of the top ten ranked rehab hospitals in the nation, Shepard Center.

It was reported in an article by USA Today:

that Paul had asked for a mitt man to come in so that he could start throwing some punches again.

I was pleased to read that Paul was going to continue to train in boxing as he continues to rehab following his accident. It is my hope that boxing fitness for rehab will get noticed as a great tool for recovery.

Boxing is a fitness tool that I have found very useful working with post Stroke and SCI clients. There are so many ways to implement a sound strengthening and endurance program based on just boxing components that will also focus on coordination and balance.

The boxing stance alone is one that will challenge a clients balance and core stabilization.

This is usually a difficult stance for anyone to perform, but when you take into account someone with hemiparesis, poor balance, poor endurance or trunk control and it makes this stance very difficult to maintain.

Throwing a punch from this stance is additional difficulty, but so beneficial for someone with a neurological condition.

 So much mind muscle communication is needed for the movement in throwing a punch to happen, if that neuro pathway is weak then challenging yourself with an activity like throwing a proper punch repeatedly will help to improve mind muscle communication or to retrain your ability to do so.

A study recently highlighted the benefits of a boxing fitness through wii gaming for chronic stroke survivors and proved it to be a beneficial exercise program for improving endurance and maintaining optimal health.

There are so many ways to implement a strong boxing fitness routine for any individual. Stroke, SCI, Seniors everyone can benefit from a boxing fitness program and any boxing fitness program can be adapted to your needs.

Check out this wheelchair boxing fitness girl fight!:

For more information on a boxing fitness program for you contact me:

Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!-Devon

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Consistency yields positive results for Stroke patients!

Following the interview that I recently completed where I spoke on Adaptive Fitness for Stroke and SCI survivors, I decided to go looking through my literature to find a research article that I referenced. I was successful in finding it and have posted it below for all to enjoy.

Click here for the article:

To sum up the article and my conversation from that Interview, I was speaking on a research study that was conducted in October 2009 and published in an issue of The Cochrane Library and reported on by

The goal of this research study was to determine the benefits of post stroke exercise programs, the research collected was from 24 different studies with over 1100 stroke patients and including resistance training, cycling, and walking as means of exercise.

The conclusion from the study was that walking, 3 or more times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes yielded greater results than a strength training program or no program at all. The benefits were noted speed, walking tolerance, and cardiorespiratory endurance.

As I stated in the interview, consistent exercise is vitally important if an individual is looking to further their progress.

Walking is, in my opinion only the beginning when it comes to stroke recovery and regaining or retraining atrophied muscle or mind-muscle communication.

Walking is something that depending on your level of independence following stroke can be done safely with a family member, friend, or in your own home.

In addition to a great foundation with a walking program, I encourage all recovering stroke patients to look into adaptive fitness training to maximize strength, balance, coordination, and endurance all to improve your walking and all other functional movements in the process.

An adaptive fitness training session will include a combination of movements that are not at all uncommon, these movements will be paired with additional otherwise simple movements with a key focus in overstimulating your nervous system and maximizing mind muscle communication to improve neuro pathways.

For example, a typical session may include a stroke client performing a squat from a chair. Simple enough right?....Stand up, sit down, done.

Again, we want to overstimulate the nervous system. So that simple squat is going to include maintaining the position of a light medicine ball with fully extended arms with the ball above eye level. Getting harder now, huh?....

That's not all, constant cuing will be provided because the focus also has to be on engaging core muscles throughout the movement while breathing correctly.

Don't think it's challenging? try it.....

Overstimulating the nervous system.....the stroke patient/client has to perform a squat, while holding a light medicine ball, keeping the ball above eye level, while keeping arms fully extended, focusing on engaging core muscles and breathing all at the same time.

and now we go into the number of sets and reps that need to be completed....

It's is a very challenging movement and only one of the many exercises in an adaptive fitness trainers toolbox.

Exercise is a great tool for everyone, but is especially important when recovering from a disability.

If you don't use it, you will lose it!

Consistency, as proven with the above research article will yield positive results if applied.

Keep fighting, Never give up!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hello everyone!

Take a look at my recent interview with on Adaptive Fitness for Stroke and Spinal cord injury survivors.

you can view the video here:

I have also joined the staff of visionary trainers as a consultant for all Adaptive Fitness inquiries, check out the Visionary Trainers page here:

Friday, January 27, 2012

5 Most Critical changes I've made to improve my personal fitness goals

Everyone wants a trim and fit appearance, period. You never hear someone say "did you see that guys beer belly?, that's what I want" No, you hear about Mario Lopez or Ryan Reynolds lean physique and six pack abs. Then the term Genetics comes into play, "oh they just have good genes, I can't look like that cause of my genes"

While it is true that it is easier for some, that does not mean that it is impossible for all. (Will write a future post on this topic)

Here are 5 changes that I have made to improve my own fitness goals and that I feel will help anyone when applied consistently.

1: Training: Lifting Heavy Weight (close to my max for very low reps) in a Reverse Pyramiad Training Style ( 3 days a week.

2: Rest: I used to always feel like one day off from the gym would throw everything out of whack. This is sooo not true. When working out (specifically lifting Heavy) your muscles are taxed and stimulated to grow, but this does'nt happen while your in the gym. While you sleep your body releases growth hormone which helps to repair muscle tissue and begin to grow (which is why 8 hours of sleep is so important).

Lack of rest/sleep on the other hand is extremely detrimental to your progress in the gym. If your muscles cannot be repaired to grow with proper rest, then they won't and you will be spinning your wheels in the gym.

3:Diet: Abs are made in the Kitchen, not in the gym. (this is probably the most truthful statement when it comes to fitness) If you fuel your body properly to grow, you will be amazed at the changes and how quickly they come about. Check out or to learn more about effective dieting for muscle growth and lean mass.

4: Water: It is recommended that an active individual consume half of their bodyweight in ounces of water. that means a 200lb man should be taking in around 100 ounces of water a day. That's a lot of trips to the bathroom, and for good reason. Flushing toxins out of your body will cleanse your skin and keep you looking youthful as well as decrease the amount of water your body retains due to your sodium levels.

5: Consistency: Anything you do in life that your successful at takes consistency in it's performance. The same is true when it comes to fitness. It may takes some time, but small rewards will be noted on the way to your ultimate goal. You are where you are in life because of consistency and patience.

That's all for now, good luck in achieving your fitness goals.....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Exercise programs for clients following successful cancer remission...

-Recently the wife of a current client of mine asked me: "do you know of any specific training programs for cancer survivors (not breast cancer)?" According to her research for her organization "Cancer can't get me"she had not come across anything specifically for survivors of leukemia or hodgekins lymphoma, but says that results were endless for breast cancer survivors. Being a cancer survivor herself she stated the stress put on exercise from her oncologist, and the wonderful outcomes from her participation in exercise.

Having a background in Adaptive fitness for individuals with disabilities, I knew off hand that surely there are other trainers with a specialty in training post rehab, and that their has to be exercise programs for that specific client market.

I came across several articles detailing the benefits of community based exercise for cancer survivors here:




to sum up all three articles, exercise is JUST as important for a cancer survivor as it is for anyone else. Of course careful consideration must be placed on program design, just as it would for your beginning exercise candidate without cancer.

To answer my clients wife's question...  "do you know of any specific training programs for cancer survivors (not breast cancer)?" I would now have to answer: There are no specific training programs for cancer survivors, an exercise program should be designed according to that specific clients medical restrictions, fitness level, and goals to safely and efficiently reach their individual goals.

To contact the Cancer can't get me organization call Barbara Keller 703-724-0813

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Functional Fitness

As a trainer i hear the term Functional Fitness thrown around a lot, I've read descriptions of the term in many books by well respected fitness authors, and on legitimate fitness websites. I have a totally different view on what this terms means.

My role in therapy and as trainer has always been to provide excellent treatment to my patient/client to maximize their potential for reaching their goals in a safe manner. As a trainer, I have worked with able bodied individuals looking to lose weight and gain strength, young athletes looking to improve in field hockey, and even young men recovering from spinal cord injuries or Stroke.

"Functional Fitness" to me, is helping that individual increase their strength, endurance, courage to perform a functional task that is difficult for them to perform. For my able bodied client with goals to increase strength and lose weight that means designing a workout to increase their functionality....less weight and more strength means improved function, for my young field hockey player that means focusing on endurance and core exercises to functionally improve on field performance, and for my young men recovering from stroke or spinal cord injury that means working on strengthening movement patterns to increase their ability to transfer from one surface to the other, or to be able improve their walking.

"Functional Fitness" can best be described as Fitness that focuses on increasing specific functions of the client to enhance their overall performance.