What Do You Want To Be

What do you want to be? This is a question often asked to children as they grow up and progress through their school years and life experiences. The question is usually asked as what do you want to be (when you grow up)?

A few questions immediately come to mind when I hear this question, first how would a 10 year old have an idea of what he or she wants to be “when they grow up” when they don’t really even know what is available to them. My second question is how many “grown ups” really know what they want to be? 

Here’s the bigger question, why is this usually defined by the job people decide to pursue? If you chose to be a doctor, lawyer, police officer, teacher, custodian, or burger flipper is that really who you are, or is it just what you do?

One more question, why do we not ask this question to adults? Do you know what you want to be? Do you define what you are by what you do to earn money? Does what someone does for a wage define what they are, or does someones character and value set define what they are. Is the person who decided to be a doctor more valuable than the person who decided to be cashier? What you decided to do is not what you are, it does not define your value versus what someone else decided to be.

So what do I want to be? Honest, reliable, kind, healthy, a good father, boyfriend, and friend. In short a good human being who cares about others.

What do I want to do? Now thats a whole other question.

Stay Human 

Peace

Step 1

Step 1, start. Doesn’t matter how you start, just start. If weight loss is the goal and you don’t know how to lose weight starting may be reaching out to a trainer or a nutritionalist, it can also be as simple as a 10 minute walk after dinner, or skipping the sugary coffee drink you pick up on the way to work. 

The important thing is to do something, and keep in mind, the easier the first step is, the easier it will be to stick with and build upon. If you decide your first step is an hour of cardio followed by weight lifting and a 900 calorie diet I can pretty much assure you will fail.

Start with small easy steps, but START…

Peace

Behavior Change for Health

In order to achieve long term success in your health and fitness you need to address the thought process that brought you to your current state of being. Trying to start a new diet plan and exercise program without addressing and correcting negative thoughts and behaviors will inevitably lead to failure; to have good physical health you need to have good mental health. All 3 areas are important to address, however your thoughts drive the entire experience and must be in order to lead you on the path to success.

The behavioral change process is based on self reflection through guided sessions where we find healthier thoughts to replace less than healthy thoughts which usually lead to less than healthy actions and a less than healthy life. You cannot control the thoughts that enter you mind but you can control your reactions to them and replace them with constructive helpful thoughts to move you onto a productive, healthy life.

 

Mobility Vs. Flexibility

Mobility is the ability of a joint to move actively through a range of motion.

Mobility is based on movement and motor control.

Flexibility is the ability of a muscle to move passively through a range of motion.

Flexibility is temporary. 

You can’t effectively stretch a muscle that crosses a joint with limited mobility. 

Proper execution of mobility exercises will improve free movement through a joints full range of motion. When performed consistently mobility training may help correct imbalances, help reduce the risk of injury, and help with the performance of resistance training and free movement. 

Mobility movements are ideal to use as a lead in to resistance training as they prepare joints to move through their full range allowing proper form and full range throughout each exercise.  

Stretching muscles prior to resistance training may result in decreased performance as stretching muscles sends a signal to the muscle to relax and will have a detrimental effect on the muscles ability to fully contract for maximum strength. 

Stretching is most effective post resistance training. 

Peace

I’m Back

Re-posting one of my past blog entries yesterday made me realize how long it’s been since I wrote anything new. As the new year came in I made a list of things I would like to accomplish in the coming year. This list includes starting a sauerkraut business, being consistent with making soap to grow that biz, release a weekly podcast and several other things I already do but incredibly inconsistently. I just added post a new blog weekly to my list.

This coming Sunday I will be heading to Saint Barthelemy for my 6th BJJ Globetrotters camp (4th time as an instructor). I will be teaching 2 classes at the camp, the 1/2 guard sweeps class I also taught in Iceland last July, and a new class I recently developed on the lasso guard. I’m really looking forward to this camp because it takes me away from the New Jersey winter for a few days even though this has been a mild winter. As much as I’m looking forward to going to the camp I still get an incredible amount of anxiety every time I attend BJJ camps. I think the fact that I’m usually one of the oldest if not the oldest martial artists at the camps contributes to my anxiety, also flying makes me very uncomfortable especially flying over water, however this usually passes quickly one I arrive at the camp.

My BJJ journey has been a long amazing trip and is finally at the junction where I feel like I’m passing knowledge to those who I reach through teaching and training. Although I’m not very old (52), when you spend a lifetime physically beating on your body 52 can sometimes feel like 100. Myself and most of the martial artist I know and train with do a variety of things to keep ourselves in good shape to continue training, teaching, and to keep our bodies strong and healthy. The catch 22 is the things that keep us in that condition can also be the very same thing that break us down. At this point in my life my main goal as a martial artist (BJJ specifically) is to be the best instructor I can possibly be and share my knowledge with as many people as I can. As much as I love to roll (spar) I need to be smart about it and limit myself so I can stay healthy and teach and train for many more years.

One more subject to cover here.
As most my friends and family know I was adopted from birth. Although I consider myself 100% American and I grew up in an Italian family (Sicily and Bari) I never knew my actual biological background. I do now…
Stay tuned………….

 

Personal Trainers

IMG_6846
So it’s the time of year when lots of people decide to start exercising and eating better. Everyone who makes this decision has their own ideas about achieving this goal. Some people feel that they are strong willed, and knowledgeable enough to go at it alone. Some people feel they need help and enlist a partner in their new fitness goals, and some people feel they need the help of fitness professionals (personal trainers). Whatever category you fall into, the important part is to make this commitment, set achievable goals, and follow through.
I want to talk about personal trainers a little. When you make the decision to hire a trainer you may be tempted to hire someone based on appearance. Just because someone is lean and muscular does not mean they have the ability to safely and effectively help another individual reach their fitness goals. On the other side of the coin, just because someone carries a little extra body fat that does not disqualify them of being able to safely and effectively help another individual reach all of their personal goals.
When you decide to hire a trainer the first thing you should do is make sure that he/she is certified by a reputable organization, and insured. Just certification alone doesn’t make someone a good trainer, I know some certified trainers who scare the hell out of me. Get some references, fitness related employers, past and current clients, and just watch them train someone, that’s where you will get the best indication of if this is someone you can work with.
This morning while at the gym working out I noticed 2 trainers working with clients. The first was a male trainer working with a teen boy. Now if you are working with a new client you need to teach them, a lot, what the exercise is, what it’s for, and how to do it safely. In order to do this effectively, first tell the client what they are doing and why, next demonstrate the correct form, than you have the client do the exercise and provide cues for proper technique. If a client is having trouble performing the exercise correctly you can again demonstrate the move, but most importantly work with the client on body mechanics and cues, that is the only way they will learn how to perform the move. The trainer I was watching this morning did a demo (full set) then had his client do a set (without correcting form) then demonstrated the exercise again (his 2nd set). I think you get my point. This guy was more into getting his own workout than he was into teaching and making sure this kid was exercising safely.
The second trainer was a woman and she was training another woman. Now I drink a lot of coffee, but, when I’m working with a client that person is my main focus. The way I see it, part of being a trainer in addition to being a teacher, and a coach, and a cheer leader, you are also a spotter; if you have a cup of coffee in your hand while your client is performing an exercise there is no way possible you are spotting them, sip the coffee (if you must) during a rest period.
Now for the most part this woman’s client was doing the exercises as she was taught, however this trainer was not teaching her safe form, also the proper way to pick up and put down exercise equipment is extremely important.
If you are training someone and talking to them as they perform an exercise you should be standing in that persons direct line of site. This woman was talking a lot and standing of to the side of her client, so as the client was doing a 2 arm kettle bell swing her head was turned to the left so she could see her trainer. Yeah and the only thing you should be talking about is the movement being performed.
The bottom line is this. Make the commitment, do your due diligence, and do not under any circumstances hire the 2 trainers I mentioned above.
HIRE ME 
Peace