Friday, January 30, 2009

Keep going in the worst conditions

KY weather update... off school two and a half days this week... huge ice storm, freezing rain, snow everywhere... a lot of people have lost power.

Pretty much the best excuses any client could give a trainer to miss. I am encouraged by all of my clients' motivation to keep going, to miss the fewest amount of workouts as possible. The clients i have trained have communicated their dedication to their health through their actions this week.

I think of myself as a fitness professional that gives my clients an ass-kicking when they need it, but also I try to give them as much instruction and guidance for future workouts so that they can eventually go off and push themselves in a workout.
Face it, I won't always be around. People move, schedules change, etc. i want them to have the confidence to workout on their own, but I also want them to fully be able to rely on my services as a personal trainer/strength coach to get them into the best shape I can possibly get them into in the time they generously set aside to work with me.

Some people have plenty of motivation to put a solid workout in by themselves, but they just need their workout to be completely mindless on their part, they just move the weight I give them in the direciton I tell them. It is relieving to know that they are going to get a solid hour workout and they don't have to think about what to do next. Weeks like this, when my clients show their own dedication to improving their health, that makes me pumped to assist them in any way that I can.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Smash'n sand

The owner and author of beat'n the sand up...

And you can hear me breathing crazy in the background because I just completed my set... see below

Sledge Hammer workout

I promised a video... here it is. I got 40 something hits total the first set, the middle two sets I lost count because my head phones fell out of my ears... so the last set I managed to get 51 hits... these are just numbers for me to try to beat. Check out my lift'n partner's set at

it's all about being unique... this adds variety to my workout

youtube version

Monday, January 19, 2009

Practice what I preach

I have said several times in this blog to write down your goals to better your chances of attaining them. Not to write them down and throw them in a drawer... display them on a mirror, refridgerator, etc, something you see daily that reminds you of what you want to attain. I am no different from any one I advise. I have goals.

In the picture above you can see that I put my current bench and squat max out goals in plain view in my bathroom. I can see them every day, calling me out.

I have a constant reminder of what I want to complete this semester. I will go out and achieve my goals, will you?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sledgehammer and Sled Workout

Monday through Thursday I am in the gym pushing weights around... today was a new experience. Did you ever have a labor-intensive job? I worked construction one summer and worked as a landscaper for two years, long days... but they were fulfilling days. I knew how many trees I moved (approximately) and how much dirt I shoveled and steel I placed. Best of all, I got to see the finished product afterwards.

Steel beems that wouldn't budge. Trees planted perfectly, mulched and all. Sod laid. Fitness is no different. Isn't every one training for a reason.. a goal??? Those people that say, "I don't have a plan, I just like being here... I don't have any goals"

I don't understand them at all. What do you mean you don't have any goals? Do you just not want to vocalize your goals? Do you not want to tell me any of them? Are you lackadaisical with everything else too? And the list of possible questions goes on. My point is, if you work out you should have a reason to be there. You want a finished product, of some sort.

Fridays are going to be a combination of hitting a sledgehammer into a pile of sand, throwing sandbags, throwing cinderblocks, pushing and pulling a weighted sled and whatever else myself and my lifting partner can think of that will push us to the "up-chuck brink" while having a functional purpose. Today we completed four sets of one minute each hitting a pile of sand behind the Johnson Center. I went for a minute, rested for a minute and a half while Chance Cianciola ( had his turn.... did i mention we were OUTSIDE??? it's cool though, it was only 5 degrees.

The first two sets I was too focused to count my reps and the sledgehammer was a new thing for me so I needed to work on my rhythm. The third set I hit the sand 33 times in a minute, the fourth set I achieved 40 hits.
After that we came in and pushed a 70kg sled down a hallway about 20 yards and back. I wpushed up and back, he pushed up and back and we both went three times

My quads were on FIRE.

It was a good way to end a week, look for a video of this next week. I forgot my camera today. We will complete some combination of these exercises for the next five weeks and then change it up a little bit. Variation is key.

I have fitness goals, but I like to think my strength and body are both a continuous work-in-progress.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fitness article

I cowrote the following fitness article with a colleague here at UK for the Wellness program newsletter, check it out here or I copied it and put it below... sorry it looks a little rough.

Improve performance: Get specific
- By Kimberlee Kabbes, AFAA, CPT and Rob Sinnott, CSCS, PFT (UK Health & Wellness Graduate Assistants)

Specificity of training is a training principle defined by performing exercises
similar to the sport or activity that you complete most often or that you wish
to excel in (the target activity). Simply put, train with movements that mimic
your desired activity to increase performance. Athletes and other highly active
individuals use this principle to enhance performance by incorporating specific
resistance training exercises for target muscle groups or planes of motion
in which their sport or activity is performed. For example, many people that
play basketball include free weight squats into their workout to increase their
vertical jump.
Free weight squats strengthen the muscles of the glutes, thighs, and calves as
well as the core which are utilized greatly while playing basketball. Squat exercises
are performed in the saggital plane (separates right and left sides of the
body) which is the same as the plane of a vertical jump. While exercises such
as leg press, leg extension, and leg curl will also strengthen the muscles of the
glutes and thighs, they are not exercises that mimic movements of basketball
players in the same plane of motion, and, therefore, will not have as great of
an effect on increasing the athlete’s vertical jump. For beginners, it is suggested
to start with body weight squats and then work up to free weight squats.
Both Body Shop facilities allow you to examine your form perfectly by using
the mirrors for front and side views throughout the exercise.
You also can approach any one of our knowledgeable Body Shop staff members for pointers on your squat form. For
those who prefer yoga, Pilates, and other group fitness classes over conventional sports, this principle applies to you as
well! Exercises specific to those activities include any core stabilizing exercises and exercises to improve your upper body
strength. Practicing these exercises build strength in order to hold poses to perform other challenging movements. The
last issue of Fit News covered multiple core exercises for reference, but the following is an example of a combined “core
and upper-body specific” exercise that any of our staff members can gladly show you.
Start with a four-point plank. In this exercise, you are facing the ground, bridged on your forearms and toes, with your
body positioned in a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold this for twenty to thirty seconds and then
complete twenty push ups (modified or regular) without resting. Rest for thirty seconds to a minute and repeat up to five
times. Core exercises are a great addition to the beginning of a workout to help you warm up, or after a workout to cool
down. Ending with stretching can aid in yoga, Pilates, and other group fitness workouts. If you have any questions about
how to make your workout more “sport specific,” please contact a Body Shop staff member. We would love to help!
Improve performance: Get specific
- By Kimberlee Kabbes, AFAA, CPT and Rob Sinnott, CSCS, PFT (UK Health & Wellness Graduate Assistants)
Fit body + fit mind = WELLNESS

Strong Movie

Also, check out if you need an extra punch of motivation to the face.
These are some clips from the movie... pick it up.

AVOID the New Years Resolution Crowd

So you have been working out to make this year a healthier one than last year. Going consistently, feeling better, and maybe even seeing results- on the scale AND in the mirror. But you noticed the three million other people in the gym at the same time you are... and it is messing with your workout flow.

In order for you to not drop off the face of the gym world like 60% of the people clogging the gym up right now, find out from one the the workers what times the gym is less busy. Right now with people flooding the local and university gyms, it is hard for you to get through your routine or even get a water break without some one jumping on your machine or bench while you aren't looking.

I want gym adherence. I want you to continue to come to the gym after February 1. Make it easier to get your entire workout in and maybe even try some new exercises. If you ask a front desk worker or one of the people walking around in the polo shirts when the gym is less busy you will have a time that you can get in the gym, get your workout on, and get out ASAP. I want you to make the most of your time while you are there.

There is a possibility that the gym employee could tell you that peak times are early in the monring or are while you are at work. At the campus gym I work out at the peak, ridiculously crowded times for the gym are 430ish to 8ish. I will never be up there to get a workout in OR take a client into. If the slowest times are before work, you have to think whether you prefer to wait in line for your bench or treadmill and spend 2 hours in the gym to do an hour workout or wake up early, get your workout in, and after your work day you get to go home and relax. If the only slow times for the local gym you go to are while you are at work, stay strong.
Write down your workout with possible alternate exercises for the same muscle groups. The written workout keeps you focused on what you want to get accomplished and the extra exercises will provide quick alternatives that will work the same muscle groups, just in case some one is on the machine you wanted.

Say in a given workout your plan has:

Chest Press
Leg Extension
Leg curl
Shoulder Press
Lat Pulldown
Seated Row

Write off to the side these exercises to give yourself options:

Leg Press
Dumbell Bench Press
Lunges or Step ups
Romanian Deadlifts
Dumbell Shoulder Press
Pull ups
Dumbell Row

Variation in a routine wouldn't hurt and this helps your workout continue a solid pace to keep your heart rate up. I would rather you didn't perform the same exercises every week instead of your heart rate dropping to an almost pre-workout rate between every exercise while you wait on the next machine.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fast Forward... do something!!!!

Fast forward to June13... five months from today. Your name is still the same, you more than likely have the same job. How is that resolution going you had in your sights? Do you feel better? Do you feel worse?

What is the scale telling you? WAIT, even better... What is your body fat percentage telling you? Most gyms have free fitness evaluations. If you set a resolution, you should get your basic anthropometric measurements. I wouldn't buy some land and build on it before I saw the layout of the land to see what I started with. If you set goals to improve, shouldn't you want to know where you are starting????

What is your resting blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety level, sleep pattern, eating pattern telling you? Have you changed anything?

You set a goal or goals in December, early January to make this YOUR year... your time to set those new marks, improve your overall health... how are YOU doing?

It is June 13, 2009, half-way through this year... looking right at 2010... that's right 2010. That year doesn't even look correct. Did you want to call your trainer at UK and say "Hey Rob, yea I lost a couple more pounds and I am planning on "insert next life goal"

I would probably hop the hell out of my seat and get all too much caffeine excited to hear you still making goals, excelling at everything you do.

A great quote I saw today reading some articles....

"Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame"—Erica Jon

It's your life. Your time on earth. Your time with your family. I am not saying don't enjoy their company, spend time with them. Workout to lengthen the years you are able to spend time with them.... In all seriousness, working a long day, chilling with the fam, then going for a short run or lift in the mornings before they are up, watching what you eat, not just while it goes into your mouth... love your family for longer.

Take responsibility. You are all grown up. It is January 13, 2009... Two weeks into 2009. Did you write down your goals?

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Workout- New Aspirations

I have done a strength/hypertrophy twelve week cycle.... I have done hypertrophy in a body building routine for twevle weeks... it is time for what I love to do... focus on STRENGTH.

Nothing in my mind can be equated to being strong. Nowhere close. You are in an endless fight with all the iron plates in the gym that taunt you to add more to the bar, regardless of the lift. My weight currently is 210. I wouldn't complain if it was 225 or 200 as long as I am strong... I am not talking about relatively strong ("yea, he is strong FOR HIS SIZE"). you know weight lift divided by body weight. That is nice and all, but I want the weight i put on squat, deadlift, bench press, db bench to be looked at as "WTF, I bet he can't do that". I want and crave ABSOLUTE strength. Heavy ass weight, if you will.

For the next five weeks I won't do a single set that last longer than 6 reps (except for core) and don't think I am going to let my form on my lifts go to shit just to do more weight. That won't fly with me, son. I am going to do things right, I could honestly care less about what these spring break and new years resolution clowns think in the gym. you have to have a motor in you that drives you, or else you won't hit the weight loss goal, you won't get that lift, you won't come to the gym anymore. Extrinsic motivation is a plus, intrinsic motivation is a necessity.

My routine will consist of push exercises Monday and Wednesday, Pull exercises Tues/Thursday and some sled or sledgehammer work with sandbag training on Fridays. Core will be done daily, rotational and stabilizing exercises on every day. Here it is:

Shoulder Press
DB Incline
Flat Fly

Seated Row
1-let Stability ball leg curl
Leg Curl
1-arm lat pulldown
Chin ups

Leg Extension
DB Shoulder Press
Rear Raise

Lat Pulldown
1-arm Cable row
High Row

Most every exercise will be done for four sets of six, with little variation. I WILL get 415 on squat by this semesters end. I will bench 345 by the end of this semester. I am going to write these down, print them off and put them on my mirror in my bathroom. I will be called out daily by these two goals.

Some random thoughts:
I like to be surrounded by qualified people that know what they are talking about. Who else would you want around you?

I want a feel-good story.. A success story... a "hey, you look great, what did you do?" story... i have several motivated clients this semester. I believe all of them can do it and can achieve their goals.
Short of naming them by name:
1) a guy that is almost ready to venture off on his own and have only once a week guidance from me. has been working hard for almost an entire year with trainers and has a stockpile of workouts
2) a guy who has made it a priority to meet with me more per week and has a healthier him in his mind, ready to attain all his goals
3) a woman who has increased fitness level and a vacation trip to plan for. she pushes herself like it is just the two of us in the gym
4) a woman who recently had twins and is ready to get back to pre-double baby weight
5) a guy who needs to change his focus from boozing and school to his previous all-american high school athlete body

And the list goes on...
Some people out there need to realize that they can bust it in the gym with me two or three times a week, but the struggle is all the other hours they DON'T see me (168 total weekly hours minus however many hours you meet with me a week). Of course you are dedicated with me right in front of you, of course you push yourself, I wouldn't train you if you didn't. Get your mind right and focus to attain your goals when I don't see you, the rest of the week.

I have faith in all the people I train. I know the goals are attainable


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thoughts for 2009

Starting 2009... do you remember the half-intoxicated goal you set for yourself SIX days ago? That is right, we are already almost a week into the new year. You could have been working out every day and be talking trash to your goal because you know that you will reach it, it is only a matter of time. You could have reverted to the trend you were in last year, of saying it is only January 6, I have plenty of time to hit my goal. Help yourself out and get to a gym, run at home, run around your neighborhood, use those dumbbells that you got for Christmas, strap on the heart rate monitor and mp3 player loaded full of kick-ass songs and go do something productive.

People are extremely dedicated in early January and sadly tend to face out of the gym picture, as do their health related goals... all they do is fade out. Get in a workout routine. Don't work against yourself. Believe the person who set the high standard for weight loss, health improvement, strength gains. If you don't set the goals high, there is no work needed to attain them. Make that year-long goal the one that makes you smile when you think of achieving it. This is what you have dreamed of and what you said for the last month taht you were going to start. Write down your goals and tape them to your mirror, instantly reminding yourself every day. Do some research and find some healthy snacks and pack your apartment/house/trailer with them.

"I'm starting the new year right"
"Man, in January I am going to be in the gym so much they might give me a paycheck"

"I'm going to get serious about training in January"

HEY, IT'S JANUARY. Time to show up. MAKE TIME. People are their own worst enemies a lot of the time. They throw in a ton of speed bumps and hurdles for themselves. Having a fridge full of beer and the wrong snacks around will doom yourself because having that temptation constantly a cabinet away is torturing yourself.. You will cave. It is better that you don't even buy that stuff or treat yourself once a week to something you think you need. Make it a reward for hitting your mini-goal weight loss mark. Don't let your treat be a sheet cake and ice cream, then you are just working against yourself again. A lot of successful people give themselves rewards that start as that piece of chocolate cake and end up being a heart rate monitor, new book, or new cd because as you lose weight and get in better shape you have a better understanding of what you need to do next to meet your next goal head-on.

You need the proper balance of exercise, diet, and sleep. Say you work 12 hours a day and don't workout becasue you are tired... but you go home and mess around on the internet so long that you only get 4 hours of sleep AND you were up so late you got hungry so you ate 1500 extra calories. You will repeat this viscious cycle daily because HEY, you only got four hours of sleep. Of course you are tired. Help yourself. Don't skip the workout. Eat something light when you get home, and get some sleep.

One summer I helped set up an Office Depot store. Walked in first day and it was a huge open room.. Had to lay the steel, drill it together, put all the merchandise in, blah blah blah. For about four weeks I worked 7am-7pm, got home and ate dinner then lifted with my buddy from 830-1030pm, shower, then bed.
I understand busy schedules.

My body weight went from 225lbs to a little under 200 and my flat bench went from 3 sets of seven at 275 where I would get 7,7,6 to 3 sets of seven at 280 7,7,4. I realize the weight loss was from long hard days and their were small gains in my flat bench, but I made a point to work out on top of my work schedule and I saw gains in strength and weight loss. Freak of nature? Hard-worker? I'd say it was a combo

My fiance recently sent me an article, check it out:

These are the people that don't workout to get in better shape, they workout because it is January, because spring break is two months away, becasue they didn't enough last year.

Make it your purpose to workout to surpass your goals this year. Let me know if I can help. I found this on Youtube:

start progressing today... you aren't getting anywhere just sitting there
Custom Search