Category Archives: Inspirational

100 Rep Challenge: The Whirlwind

The 100 rep challenge is a very basic concept, but it opens up a big spectrum of possibilities.

The idea was started by a trainer from Scotland named Rannoch Donald and it’s now growing into a worldwide trend. The challenge is simple; take any exercise (or exercises) and do 100 total reps.

That’s it.

As Rannoch says, “It’s up to you what exercises you use and how you divide the reps. The only thing that matters is you get your 100 reps, no matter how, no matter what – every day!”

I decided to do my own version of the challenge, which I’ve dubbed “The Whirlwind.”

The Whirlwind consists of:

10 Muscle-ups
20 Push-ups
10 Pull-ups
10 Pistol Squats (Right leg)
10 Pistol Squats (Left leg)
20 Dips
20 Australian Pull-ups

Your objective is to do the workout as quickly as possible. Keep in mind, however, that good form should always come first. Do not sacrifice good from in order to get through it quickly – every rep is important!

If this version of the 100 rep challenge is too advanced for you, check out the 100 rep challenge official website for other quick, simple and effective workouts. A 100 rep challenge E-book is also in the works (more info to come soon). In the meantime, check out this video of me attempting the whirlwind. If anyone reading this is bold enough to try The Whirlwind, let me know how it goes!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeoQKA1Lo10

It All Starts in the Mind

Photo courtesy of brightroom.com

You can have anything you want. It all starts with your mind.

Exercise is the most clear cut example of how we can use our minds to manifest the reality of our choosing. Once you put that mental focus into action and start a consistent workout routine, your body starts to change right before your eyes.

If you have the mental focus to be in tune with your body, and you practice using that body, you can actually effect physical change in yourself. How cool is that? Really think about it.

The amazing thing is, everything else in life is pretty much the same way. Anything that you give your full mental focus to can be yours. That doesn’t mean it’s going to come easy, but if you want it badly enough, and you take the necessary steps towards that path, things that may have seemed impossible can become possible!

There were many challenges I once deemed out of my reach, but have since overcome; muscle-ups, human flags and one arm chin-ups were all exercises that once intimidated me. When I doubted my ability to perform these feats, I shut myself off from my potential. Once I realized that, however, I began to adjust my beliefs and start taking action to manifest my dreams. With practice and discipline I have since trained my body to do those feats and many others. And you can too!

Want a better body? It’s yours for the taking.

Working out in the Morning or the Evening?

Split legged front leverDo you have a hard time fitting workouts into your busy schedule?

People often ask me when is the best time of day to exercise.  Let’s weigh the pros and cons of a few different approaches:

Morning People
A lot of people like to exercise first thing in the morning in order to get it out of the way. If you do your workout before the stresses of the day start to pile up, then you don’t have to worry about life getting in the way and derailing your plans. I like this approach.

On the other hand, a good night’s sleep is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. Sacrificing sleep in order to get a morning workout might be solving one problem, but it creates a new one in the process. Besides, you’re unlikely to muster up the energy for a great workout if you’ve only had 4 or 5 hours of sleep.

The Lunch Crowd
If you can slip away from the office in the middle of the day, it can be a great time to fit some exercise into your schedule. Gyms are usually pretty quiet in the afternoon, which can let you get your workout done without a lot of distraction and wasted time. Just make sure you don’t skip lunch. Nutrition (especially post-workout) is a key part of the fitness equation.

After Work
The evening is generally the most popular time to go to the gym. After a stressful day, exercise can be a great way to blow off some steam. Plus you don’t have to wake up any earlier than usual!

The downside is that the gym can be very crowded and you may wind up spending half of your time waiting for the equipment you need. It’s helpful to have a back up plan and to be able to improvise in these situations.

Additionally, some people find that evening workouts rev them up too much and cause insomnia. If you are going to the gym in the evening, you might want to give yourself a few hours to settle down before bed.

Trainer Tips:
It takes time to make a habit stick–eventually early risers will go to bed earlier and it will get easier. But for night owls, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can allow for deeper and more restful sleep.

No matter when you get your workout in, the important thing is consistency. Get it in when you can fit it in, but don’t stop working for it or it might stop working for you!

Client Spotlight: Trish Balbert

Trish NowFor the last two years, Trish Balbert has been my most dedicated and consistent client, usually training with me four times a week. Everyone at our gym knows Trish!

But before I even met her, Trish had been no stranger to exercise. She had already lost over 80 pounds and had worked with several trainers before me. She even did some nutritional counseling herself.

Trish rarely misses a training session. She’s usually excited to come to the gym, but also knows how important it is to get there even on the days that she doesn’t feel like it.

What a transformation!

What a transformation!

Despite past injuries, such as an extruded disk in her lower back which required surgery, Trish has gained a lot of strength and has become more functionally fit in the last two years.

But she doesn’t use old injuries as an excuse–in fact it’s just the opposite–Trish needs to work out and keep her core strong so that she doesn’t need to have surgery again.

Trish is still concerned about keeping her weight down and she understands that fitness is an ongoing journey. She continues to stay the course, often doing supplemental cardio sessions on her own in addition to our workouts together.

We usually tend to alternate our focus between upper body and lower body workouts from one session to the next, although we have done total body conditioning as well. Trish’s favorite exercises include dips, Australian pull-ups, and lunges.

Watch the video clip below from one of our recent upper body strength training sessions:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6e-YaTQVSs

Finding Inspiration at the 2009 NYC Marathon

Blindness and age didn't stop this woman from finishing the NYC Marathon.

Blindness and age didn't stop this woman from finishing the NYC Marathon.

This is a guest post by Mike Lieberman. He came to support me at the marathon, and took some great pictures. (It’s also his voice you hear cheering me on in my marathon video.) In watching the marathon, he was inspired by some of the participants and asked to write a post.

I went to check out Al on Sunday and support him in running his first marathon. Besides supporting him, I found a great source of inspiration while I was waiting for him to run by – the “handicapped runners.” This group included a 75 year old blind woman, a dude with cerebral palsy on a modified bike, an older couple using one of those bikes that you peddle with your hands and some dude with no legs using a similar bike.

I stood there in complete and total amazement. I felt like starting to run myself. The feeling that overcame me was a bit overwhelming.

The only thing that made them handicapped was the label that we placed on them.

It got me thinking about family and friends who come up with excuses as to why they can’t exercise. I don’t expect everyone to run a marathon, but at least doing some form of physical activity to know that you are alive.

Take the stairs, walk for 20 minutes, step away from the TV and do something!

I have a relative who is on Weight Watchers and drives the three blocks to the meetings. Am I the only one that finds that to be ironic?

Or another who complains about all of their “ailments” and does 0 physical activity. These ailments are just excuses for living a dormant life.

It saddens me to see people that are close to me come up with excuses as to why they can’t take care of themselves, then complain about their ailments. handicapped marathoners

You think the 75 year old blind woman says, “I’m blind, I’m not doing this.”

You think the dude with no legs says, “I have no legs, I’m not doing this.”

These runners gave me a whole new appreciation for life, inspiration for working out and taking care of myself. It showed me that with the right attitude, anything is possible.

We are all going through our own thing in life. I get that. It comes down to how you deal with what happens. Are you going to feel bad about yourself and do nothing? Or are you going to take that negative and use it as a source of inspiration?

I’m not sure about you, but I’m certainly not letting a 75 year old blind woman show me up.

Mike Lieberman resides in New York City and provides simple solutions for living in a complex world. Besides his own blogs, he contributes to others across the web. You can find all of his work at CanarsieBK.com and follow him on Twitter @CanarsieBK.