WOW! The group training class DYNAMIC X "The Anti-Boot Camp Class" is really taking off.  I want to say Thank You to all of you for coming out and supporting the launch of what I am sure will be the next wave of group training.

That being said, let's get right down to it.  It's Friday so it's time for a new exercise to add to your own private exercise locker.  I want to tell you that this video is from a project I am working on.  As you've probably guessed it's footage from my On-Line Training Video series.  It's a great way for those of you who don't live in the immediate Los Angeles area to get some serious private instruction on how to train properly and get results without injuries.

While there is lots of video to be cut and edited, stay tuned, we're working as fast as we can.

Today I want to share with you a well known exercise with a little twist -- Flat Chest Press with Dumbbells, Alternating.  Now at first glance the movement really doesn't look like much.  That is until you try it for yourself. 

It's a great exercise to add variety to your chest routine, strengthen your rotator cuff and believe it or not, provide a little challenge to your core as well.

I will caution you though.  Be careful with this one.  Start with a weight that is typically very easy for you.  The amount of stability needed in the core, chest and shoulders is no joke.

For quite some time now I've been asked to create a group training class that uses all of the techniques of re-alignment, core strengthening, and yes, good old fashioned weight loss.  But I have to be honest, when we start talking about large numbers of members, I was concerned that everyone have a positive experience and in fact -- get results.  Getting each member to perform the exercises correctly in a large group can be more than a challenge.  I don't want to create just any old boot camp experience, I've heard too many horror stories of injured backs, shoulders, and knees.

Besides, just jumping around and breaking a sweat anyone can do.  I want to create an experience where losing weight is the least of what you get from my class.  I want you to not only feel better, but function better.

If I'm going to create a class, I decided it would have to be with the same attention to detail and intensity that the Energy F/X Fitness brand is known for. 

So here comes DYNAMIC X.  All of the unique exercises you need to function better, the appropriate fitness level for each member, and the good old fashioned intensity that creates serious change.

Want to know more?

Check out the flyer below--

Happy July 4th.  As promised here you go!

I feel like it's time for this post.  Whether it's in person at the gym, or through email, people often ask me, "what are the things I absolutely have to do to get my body to change quickly".  Now 9 times out of 10 I usually try to avoid this question because if I give you the 5 things that absolutely need to be done, most people do 3.  And then they wonder why they aren't getting results. 

But, I figure I've been asked enough at this point that it's about time to give you the secrets to getting the body you want in as short a period of time as possible.

Ready?

There are literally 5 things that you absolutely have to do to get your body to change quickly.  You follow these 5 rules and I can virtually guarantee you will get the body you want in as short a period of time as possible.  This isn't based on theory, these are the techniques I use with my clients that get results fast!

1.) Warm-up:
Take the time to do a good 10-15 minute warm-up. And I don't mean going to jump on some piece of cardio equipment. Research shows that's a waste of 10-15 minutes.  Instead, do some self massage.  It will serve the same purpose of getting your body ready for exercise, and even better, it helps to alleviate the knots and tight muscles that come from sitting or standing all day long.  Truth be known, it will also decrease your chances of injury dramatically.  Need a little reminder (self-massage warm-up)

Follow this warm-up with some good old fashioned stretching.  Yes, the jury is still deliberating as to whether stretching is beneficial, but my experience has been it works wonders to prepare your muscles for the workout ahead. Here's a quick reminder on the stretches (warm-up stretches)

2.) Core:
From what I can tell too many people leave training their midsection to last, when they are tired from their workout.  And then if they do actually train their abs/core, it's half-hearted at best, usually only doing some kind of crunches, and thus get little to no benefit.  Training your core is as important, if not more important, than any other body part. Here's couple to get you started (core exercise examples)

3.) Resistance:
If I haven't done a good job of it before, let me clarify now, if you want to change your body and get lean, resistance exercise is the absolutely the best way to do this.  And to the women out there who think lifting weights will make you bulky, not so. Women typically do not produce enough testosterone to even come close to creating the bulky physique they worry about.

That being said, resistance training doesn't have to be lifting weights.  You can use bands, suspension straps, or traditional weights if you prefer.

Circuit                                                                                 Circuit   
Squats (with flavor -- see my you tube channel)                Squats (with flavor --you tube channel)
Lateral Raises                                                                     Chest Press (dumbbell)
Split Squats                                                                        Rear Deltoids
Push ups                                                                             Lunge (back) to Bicep Curls
Deadlifts                                                                             Deadlifts
Back (seated row)                                                               Triceps
Step up to balance and shoulder press                                  Pull-ups
Bicep Curls (dumbbell)                                                         Lunge (back) to Shoulder Press
Tricep Push-downs                                                               Breast Stroke (see you tube channel)
Jump Rope --- 70-100 times                                                 Jump Rope -- 70-100 times
                                                                                        
Circuit_3_Cheat_Sheet.pdf                                            Circuit_3a_Cheat_Sheet.pdf

4.) Cardio:
If you've been following my blogs for any length of time you know I'm big on doing intervals for cardio.  Because it gets the job done quickly with minimal damage to the knees, hips, and lower back.

Equally effective and a big favorite of mine is kettle bells.  With some proper instruction, this activity is the absolute best for burning calories, strengthening your core, as well as building some solid muscle in the hips and glutes (butt).

Follow this program with a good cool down stretch (the same movements you did to warm-up) and you should be on your way to a transformed body in a few weeks.

5.) Nutrition:
I'll keep this short, as this is becoming a bit long.  Whether you call it the Paleo diet, Mediterranean diet or anything else, staying with lean meats, minimal starchy carbs such as breads and pastas, plenty of veggies, and some nuts is the best way to go.  Need a little more clarification?  Here you go (nutrition made easy).

Get on Track and Stay on Track!
I know you thought I forgot about you, but I didn't.  Putting the finishing touches on my packing as I am headed out for a much needed week of relaxation.  But I didn't want to leave you hanging without some more fuel for your arsenal.

Since this post is for Friday, that means it's time to share some solid exercises with you to make sure you're ready for the summer weather and lots of activity.

Way too often people believe they have to go to a gym to get a good workout.  The two movements I share with you today prove you don't have to have a gym membership to transform your body.

Try them out and as usual, let me know what you think.

Just a few days ago, while waiting for my client to arrive, I watched a guy with low body fat (think lean), proceed to do his ab routine.  He did the typical knee raises, crunches on knees using the cable, and a few others that are too difficult to effectively explain here.  Let's just say it was an extensive routine, full of complicated and high level core movements. 

But you know what?

Almost each and every ab/core movement he chose, he performed incorrectly.  I was honestly concerned whether he was going to literally injure his spine throughout the entire routine.

Now, please understand I'm not being pompous or arrogant.  The movements, by the way he was executing them, were literally putting his spine in danger.  He maintained little to no stabilization in his mid section while performing each of his movements, and when he became tired (fatigued) his form became even worse.

Of course I commented respectively, "That's quite a core routine you have laid out for yourself.  Those are some really advanced core movements".  Beaming he responded, "Yeah, I just saw it in (fitness name omitted) magazine.  They said it will give me a great core in a few weeks". 

This is the exact kind of the thing that burns my you know what!

There are progressions to every movement/exercise.  There is a starting level, and numerous levels in between leading to the more advance versions (simple versions to more complex versions).  As in life, the goal is to start simply and slowly progress upward to more challenging forms and versions. 

Why?

So you don't injure yourself.  Do any movement, no matter how easy it seems, the wrong way long enough, and you will get injured.  Just because someone has a 6-pack does not mean they know how to train their core properly.  Having great genetics or good nutrition habits is what makes you lean. It doesn't dictate the quality of your core training.

And for goodness sakes, just because it's in a magazine doesn't make it the right way to train.  Magazine articles are written to help sell magazines.  Not necessarily to properly instruct you on the progressions of a certain movement/exercise.  Be clear, it's to sell magazines.

I want each of you to succeed in having a strong stable core.  And believe me when I tell you, you can't do it, build a strong core, if you're injured.

Start your core training movements utilizing the floor as your initial support surface.  Then try moving to do single leg versions of something like hip raises, for instance.  Then you would progress to a Swiss Ball, as this would provide even more challenge to your stability.  From there you could move to suspension straps, etc.  Now realize the above is merely a suggested guide as to how to properly progress your core training forward and not hurt yourself in the process.

It's more about how they function -- not just how they look.

Check out today's progression.

No matter how you slice it, you really can't get around the necessity of training core.  Whether you're dealing with knee pain, low back pain, or hip pain, chances are, at some level your core is involved.  You would be amazed at how frequently I've used a bit of self-massage (rolling on Energy F/X Tube), some effective stretching, and solid core work to address all sorts of pain issues. 

Yes, I know most of us only think about the vanity aspects of having a 6-pack to show off in the warmer weather, but it's bigger than that.  Core strength is part of keeping your body in alignment (think car tires). If your core is weak, the structures that connect to it, for instance your hips, can't maintain alignment or stability.  And if the hip can't maintain stability how will it keep your legs and knees in alignment when you sit for long periods, walk or run. 

Remember, everything is connected. 

Ignore training your core properly long enough and it's like ignoring putting oil in your car -- eventually you'll have to address it . . . . . or else.

So as promised here's another core movement to keep you progressing.  This is a progression from last week's post.  And of course if you've missed any of the exercises I've shared with you, or need some motivation, check out my You Tube Channel.

Had some technical difficulties yesterday.  Can you say no internet or cable?  Thank goodness they came and fixed it quickly.

Now on to the business at hand.

This month I'm sharing with you core exercises using the Swiss Ball.  The purpose of the Swiss Ball, if you're not familiar with it, is to add increased instability.  By adding increased instability to your training, you increase the functioning and efficiency of your core musculature.

And as you all already know, a strong core is one of the most important aspects of being fit.  You can't truly call yourself in-shape if your core doesn't function properly.  Because to be quite honest, all movement first comes from the core.  It stabilizes your body just prior to any movement you do.  And if it's weak, other muscles take over a job they are not meant to do.  Now of course we all know what happens when you use the wrong tool for a job -- in this case possible injury. 

So don't skip the important exercises.  Train the muscles that matter as well as the muscles you can see.



I'll have another one for you next week.

Last month after sharing with you some very challenging exercise on the suspension straps, I promised to provide you with some new movements for core that you can do on the Swiss Ball.

Actually, as I'm sure you already know, getting results and providing an effective workout for my clients is all about understanding progressions.  Meaning understanding how to go from simple to complex with any given movement/exercise.  Unfortunately most people go for the most "interesting"-- usually meaning the more difficult progression of an exercise.  Probably because it looks so impressive to observe. However you have to understand that it is probably being done by someone who has already put in the time doing the previous progressions.


Not following the order of easy to difficult is a good way to get injured.

In regards to the core, start off doing your movements from the ground (obviously a very stable surface).  Then proceed to a more challenging version of the exercise by moving to the Swiss Ball (which provides some instability and increased challenge), then consider using the suspension straps after mastering the previous movements.  That way you don't risk injury and can be sure you will keep making progress as well as keeping your routine interesting.

So by example, this is what a good challenging progression would look like (in the second video I show you all 3 options):








Now it's important for you to understand that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of progressions that could be followed.  This is just an example of one way to do it (from the ground, to the Swiss ball, to the wheel, and then of course the suspension straps).  The key is to not allow your ego to get ahead of your skills -- that's a recipe for injury.

Bottom line is to keep moving forward challenging yourself with different movements and types of equipment so that you can keep motivated and making progress.

Be sure to check back in with me next week for another new movement for core using the Swiss Ball.

Well this is the last exercise for the series on different movements you can do on the suspension straps (Jungle Gym XT). Of course there are literally hundreds of movements you can do on the straps, but as the month comes to a close I want to move on to share some new movements using the Swiss Ball.

Yes, I do realize that I say it all the time. 

Core fitness is 70-80% of being truly fit

The truth is, you can't perform to near your capability or avoid injury as well if your core is not fit and functional.  And I'm not just talking about being lean and having a 6-pack to show off.  Heck, that's just a matter of having a great metabolism and/or sticking to a good nutrition program.  No, having a 6-pack to show off has nothing to do with how well your core functions.

The funny thing is no matter what your sport, a strong and stable core is the basis of all movement.  Ask someone with back or hip pain how important is a strong and stable core.  And for those of you stuck at a desk all day long it's even more important. 

Why?

Because you're stuck at a desk all day long in a seated position. Your core is literally shut off for most of the day.  Muscles function better the more you use them.  Kind of like your brain.  The more you exercise virtually any muscle, the better it will function and ideally the longer it will last.

Thus the importance of exercising a minimum of 4-5 times per week.  Your body, your hormones, your mind and your spirit need that challenge to continue to function at their best.  Like your brain, if you don't exercise it regularly it goes bad a lot sooner than you realize.  Trust me on that one.

But I digress.

Today, I wanted to share with you one more version of the core exercise commonly known as plank.  In this version you are forced to have a strong and stable core as it relates to each side of your body independently, not just when both legs are there to support you.  It's a great next step after you've mastered last weeks example.

Remember, check back in with me each Friday next month where I will be sharing some core exercises using the Swiss Ball.

I know you've heard it over and over again, but I'm unfortunately going to say it again.  I hope I don't offend you in the process:

Transforming your body (think getting rid of body fat) is 80% nutrition

Having a fit body (think being able to do the things you truly like and not risk getting hurt) is 70-80% core fitness

Sometimes people jump to conclusions, so let me be really specific so I don't get misquoted.

Yes, you can do less than 80% on your nutrition and still get results.  The problem is I have only met a hand full of people that are willing to train that hard, or the person has incredible genetics and doesn't have to work that hard.  And by the way, there are very few people in the latter group.

Most of us do have to monitor what we eat and how much.  It's part of the process.  If you want your body to change you have to do something different than you've been doing, to get results.  Keep doing the same thing and expecting different results is . . . .

Well, you know what that's called.

So it stands to reason that if you want to avoid back pain, you're going to have to do something different than those monotonous crunches.  Sure you'll feel a burn in your midsection, but that doesn't mean you're really training your core effectively.  I fell asleep on my arm the other day and when I woke up it tingled.  But I'm pretty sure that didn't mean I had trained my arm effectively.

If you haven't been training core and need some movements to help get you started, check out You Tube Channel. Or stay tuned because next month, each Friday, I'll be sharing with you some core movements using the Swiss Ball.  It's a great next step after doing the one's listed on my channel.

Now, if you've been training core you already know the benefits and importance of doing those movements regularly.  But once in a while it's nice to throw in a little variety to keep things interesting and motivating.

Here's another one to add to the list.