Tuesday, December 30, 2008

30X30 NO EXCUSES New Year's Challenge!

I've decided to share something with everyone that saved my life--The Lean Berets 30X30 NO EXCUSES New Year's Challenge. It's a very simple plan to kick start your mind so your body can follow. 30 days of exercise in a row. 30 minutes per day. That's it. Sounds easy enough. Even walking qualifies as exercise. The real battle? The mind.

The 30X30 is getting some traction around the country. People are posting the flyer at work. Businesses are posting the flyer at the shops. People are telling friends and family. It is so important for us to start moving daily. Our health is in such poor condition today. It's absolutely pathetic! There are NO EXCUSES good enough for allowing ourselves to get in such poor shape. It's out fault. We need to get over it! How? Starting MOVING! This is a great start.

Take 30X30 Challenge if you need a good kick in the butt. Curse me and The Lean Berets the first two weeks if you must. You can thank us later!

To report for duty, go to The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge link below...then get moving!

From a warming Atlanta today, Coach RJ, Co-Founder, The Lean Berets-Avengers of Health!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Extreme Radicalism

So yes, I'm being ranked as an extreme radical. NO--I have not joined the Taliban, but I have joined other "extreme" radicals like Jack LaLanne, Richard Simmons, Pavel and the RKC, my Bro Kevin Rail and co-founder of The Lean Berets, and others who like me have an EXTREME and radical position--of getting a nation full of illness, obesity, and sloth healthy! Straight up--NO BS: When you try to change some 80% of a population, there is going to be some heat, complaints, and people offended. So be it. Any moron should be able to see that we need some extreme measures for extreme times i.e. get OFF ass and get to work. Any moron...yet we are still having arguments and debates about whether or not people should be personally responsible for their own health and get in shape. Here's a news flash! If you're overweight and out of shape, it's YOUR fault. Not mine. Not LaLanne's. Not anyone else's fault but yours. It is what it is. Now take ACTION and change it. Want to take action? I'm here to help. So is Jack, Richard, Kevin, and many other health and fitness pros. Key concept here--YOU have to do the work. We can't do it for you. We also refuse to own YOUR health behavior dysfunction and disease. That's yours. Change while you still can, or simply, Enjoy the Pain because that is what you're going to get. Keeping it real, Coach RJ

Sunday, December 14, 2008

KBs, Metallica, & Truffles!

KBs: Another KB PR on Saturday Comrades! 100 snatch reps in 5:24 with the 24kg. Felt GREAT! And for those that don't like my "Comrade" diction--get over it. Go back to your donuts and leave me alone because I'm BUSY getting it on!
Metallica: Hit the Metallica and Lamb of God show last night in Fresno. I don't like Fresno, but I love Metallica. An awesome show. Heavy metal without a kettlebell for sure! Lamb of God for a warm up set the tone--HARD and FAST! Metallica was awesome. This was my third time seeing my all-time favorite band. Why do I like them so much? They age well. They stay hard. They stay fast. Why ask for more?!!!
Truffles: Okay, so I'm in Trader Joe's tonight waiting to pay for my: mixed greens, avocados, and bananas, and I spot the truffles. I check them out thinking they'd be out of control with fat and calories, but NO! Not bad. I had a moment--of weakness! I bought them! And now I'm eating "one" serving which is five totalling 240 calories.
I guess when you are closing in on completing TWO full years of exercise without ever missing a day, you can eat truffles after setting a kettlebell PR and seeing Metallica.
Keeping it hard, fast, and real from a cold and windy SoCal tonight, Coach RJ!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"Linkage Over Leakage" KB Training Tips

Yet another enlightening Sunday Morning Line Up with Kettlebells Los Angeles Comrades! This time under the watchful eyes of RKC Anton since Dr. Cheng was still on the road. The theme of the day was "Linkage Over Leakage." We spent the morning practicing our HARD style lockouts to prevent force leaks. I stayed after class to jot down some notes before I forgot them. Another group showed up with a KB. I watched them for a while. BIG difference! When people don't know or understand HARD style, at best they are not efficient and at worst they are outright dangerous with a KB and an injury waiting to happen! I'm thankful to be learning KBs the RIGHT way--and the safe way.

To help y'all do it the right way i.e. in true HARD style (and SAFE style!) of the RKC and KBLA, read on:

Deadlifts: Use a "lat lock" technique to keep shoulders packed throughout.
  • Think about pressing the KB "down" as you deadlift the KB up--this will trigger more lat lock which then helps stabilize shoulders more. This was kind of weird at first, but it worked. My shoulders really don't move much during deadlifts--they stay back and down without protracting. My ankles, knees, and hips move and my arms "slightly" rotate in the shoulder joint, but the shoulders themselves do not round forward.

Swings: A great tip to help you engage the lats before you swing is to place the KB out in front then "drag it back" for 1-2" before you actually pick it up. This triggers your lats to fire which then helps you pack your shoulders. The more you engage lats then pack shoulders, the safer you will be while also increasing performance and efficiency--a win-win Comrades.
  • If you do 1-Arm Swings, make sure to stay SQUARE on your lockout. Don't let your body rotate or be pulled forward on the KB side...think lat lock again. Even when you backswing the KB between your legs be thinking about keeping the KB arm/shoulder back as much as possible. If you allow the shoulder to unpack, you weaken the joint.

Cleans: Make sure to punch up under the KB quickly so you don't bang the forearms.
  • The best HARD style tip at KBLA for me on cleans was a super clench of the glutes. The better I pop the glutes, the more the KB jumps up into my armpit like a cat.
  • We worked on "Dead Cleans" too which is when you pull the KB straight up off the ground without a back swing. These force you to use even better technique in some ways, but in general, use the backswing method to get the KB moving before you bring it up.

Presses: As you lockout overhead, press chest slightly forward. This keeps the KB centered better with your body so you have more structural support from the skeleton and rely less on soft tissue support at the top end position.
  • Use a more narrow stance on the press--no wider than hips. After you clean the KB, you can readjust slightly with your feet before beginning to press.
  • Using a double crush grip enables more MVC--Maximum Volitional Contraction. Basically this means you can press more weight if you try to crush the KB handle while also crushing your opposing fist as well.
  • Use the double lat lock technique--BOTH sides even though you are pressing with one side and one KB. This will keep you SQUARE with two packed shoulders and in the safest position. Using the double lat lock also keeps you from doing a side lean as you lockout. Don't allow your torso to collapse under the KB as you lock it out! Stand tall Comrades!
  • If there is one big point I've learned about pressing it's to slow down and go HARD. Get a hard lockout on top, then slowly descend like you are literally doing a 1-Arm pullup. Set the KB into the rack firmly--pack the rack!!! I use two exhalations with the Press--one of top lockout and one on bottom rack position too.

Turkish Get Ups: This is a new technique for me on descending into the negative. As you come back down, you "slide" your back foot back instead of blindly reaching back. The slide method will keep you more stable. The key is to slide back at hip width. When I had my stance too narrow, I lost too much base of support, and it was not comfortable or efficient.

  • Another HARD style TGU tip is to SLOW DOWN! Really push the stabilization with these. I have hard stops in my TGUs. I stop, assess form, think about my next more before I go there, and wait until I start shaking a bit to get the full joint stabilization benefits. Speed with TGUs is not the objective with me. Max reps is not the objective. I only do 3-5 per side with the 16kg. Doing these HARD style pushing max stabilization like above is...well...HARD! Trust me--less is more with this one if you do them right as in less reps but more quality.
  • Don't allow your rear foot and ankle to externally rotate putting stress onto your knee and ankle.
  • Basically, this looks like what I call a Box Lunge as you step back and down.

Our Workout: We did a ladder drill instead of a finishing circuit today. Enjoy the pain!!!

  • Descending ladder drill of swings followed by goblet squats. Start with 10 swings followed by 10 goblets then go to 9-9, 8-8, etc. Take a brief rest as needed between sets to emphasize both quality and safety i.e. HARD style! Go all the way down to 1-1.
  • Go deep on the goblets. This will help open up your hips.

So these are the basics from Sunday, December 7th. Another HARD style Sunday in Santa Monica with KBLA. Enjoy! From SoCal this week, Coach RJ!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Heavy Metal Fridays: 1 Week-2 PRs+Motley Crue

Just so you know that I practice what I preach, in the last seven days, I burned two new kettlebell PRs. Last Friday I ripped 60 snatch reps with my 24kg in 3:48. Tonight on Friday one week later I completed 30 straight minutes of the VO2 Max Protocol using my 16kg and getting seven reps per set. For those of you that don't know what the VO2 Max Protocol is, it's ripping 7-9 snatch reps with one arm, putting it down, then switching arms to rip another 7-9 reps. Each interval is 15 seconds. You snatch 15, rest 15, snatch 15, rest 15, etc. It's one of my favorite KB routines. You can get a lot of volume while maintaining good form and crisp lockouts. So each snatch set I was getting 7 reps which means 14 total reps per minute. 14x30=420 reps. Big time volume but in quick sets of seven. To view my 24kg PR of 60 reps, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEwvH6ejBWE Enjoy the Pain!
And to complete a total HEAVY METAL evening, I'm off to the Hollywood Palladium to see Motley Crue! I'm a rockin' mofo tonight Comrades! Keepin' it real with whole body strength and power! From a warm and windy SoCal tonight, Coach RJ

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yin, Yang, Hard, Soft...Balance

Saturday I threw 100 reps with my 24kg kettlebell plus some other stuff. A fairly ripped workout for being jet lagged. Enjoy the pain! Sunday I went hiking with the family in North Georgia to enjoy the beautiful fall colors on a perfect fall day. *Above photo is me on Appalachian Trail near Woody Gap. Fairly warm weather, open sunshine, virtually no wind, quite literally the perfect fall day for hiking with our five year old twins. After a peaceful hike for about 1.5 hours, we cruised down the road to Dahlonega which was the site of America's "first" gold rush. A cool little town with a nice restaurant there we frequent called Crimson Moon. Next door is an old fashioned ice cream parlor. We indulged there too! My wife Candas tried to fake me out saying she didn't want an ice cream cone...then being the Golden Retriever at heart that she is licked all the drips up for the kids! I'm not fooled! It's all good though. It's nice to relax, go easy, eat some ice cream, and rest after working so hard and so fast throughout the year. I've seen a lot of people in my business burnout lately. Too much of a good thing. I nearly killed myself last year too. I still like speed and intensity. I'm just realizing that if I rest I can go harder and faster with more quality when the time is right. So enjoy the pain Comrades! But also enjoy the ebb and flow of easy. Chillin' in the South this week, Coach RJ

Monday, October 20, 2008

Into the night...

Tonight as the SoCal sun set over the mountain range, I was throwing my kettlebells into the near total darkness...sweat mixed with fall coolness. I spoke with tribal Bro and fellow Wellcoach Kevin Rail tonight in NYC. We both have lonely lives in many ways. We passionately train. Work with our people to get them fit and strong, yet spend a lot of time in solitude. Not complaining. It is our warrior path--as it should be. Deadlifting, ladder pressing, push pressing, light volume snatching into the darkness with my all black RKC kettlebells while my iPod shuffle clipped to my visor was cranking Motorhead and Motley Crue...still feeling Dr. Cheng's Sunday Morning Lineup class yesterday in Santa Monica...enjoying the pain Comrades! From the darkness of Santa Clarita Valley, Coach RJ!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

San Antonio this week...

So I'm in San Antonio this week for some coach training and staying with my Wellcoach colleague Blaine out in Fair Oaks Ranch. I have never seen so many deer in my life! They are literally everywhere. In the morning, afternoon, and evening. The front yard, back yard, golf course...Bambi overload! I've actually enjoyed them. They are calming. In Atlanta when you look out the back window you see all kinds of birds--they also have a calming effect. The nature thing is cool--good for the soul. I did a couple of walks in the evenings this week just looking at all the deer hanging around. Weather is good. Some rain today. Still warm. I miss my kettlebells though! I tried to find a KB gym here--no luck. Still doing my daily workouts, but man do I miss my beloved KBs. I need to enjoy the pain again! Back to LA on Friday. Hopefully by then the fires will be out so I can go outside and exercise. From the BIG state of Texas this week, Coach RJ

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Smokin' KBs in Santa Monica today!

Yes Comrades, yet another wild fire in SoCal today! My God...it was even smokey in Santa Monica at the KBLA workout. Dr. Cheng had to cut the workout short...we were starting to gag. My lungs are still scratchy tonight. Nasty! Nonetheless, our homework points for this week, so time for preparation!
  1. Heel Drive: Continue to work on driving the heels into ground for the optimal force transfer and safety. The "Curb" drill will teach us...the hard way! Place heels on concrete curb allowing front part of feet to hang off over gutter. Arches should be off curb. Proceed to do your KB swings with slightly less weight. I swing the 24kg, so for the curb I will use the 16kg. If your heels are not firmly planted, guess what? You end up in the street! The curb--will teach you the hard way.
  2. Linkage: Coming up from the heels, there is a sequence for the HARD style locks. Basically...Heels-knees-glutes-abs-lats. For optimal force, they must ALL be locked at the appropriate time.

Off to San Antonio this week for a few days of training. Stay fit. Keep a sweat going...I will! From Smokey SoCal, Coach RJ!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gasless in Atlanta, Critical Mass Comrades!

Home in Atlanta this week--and virtually NO gas! I can walk or ride to get food--for this I am thankful. Stocks crash! America hemorrhaging! Health care failing! Is all this bad? No. It's an opportunity for people to get off their ass and change. First things first Comrades--GET FIT! If you think America can rebuild on a foundation of epidemic obesity, diabetes, and failing health...think again! Or rather just think. Americans tend to wait too long sometimes before they spring into action. My God--I hope our waiting is OVER. Get a clue--NO ONE IS COMING! No matter what happens, any moron should know that being fit and healthy is NOT going to make anything worse! It can only help--and it doesn't even cost a lot of money! Failing health care and doctors cost a lot of money. Doing a body weight workout and eating "real" food does not. Critical mass baby. The time is NOW. Let's "ROLE" as Lean Beret Kevin Rail would say, who by the way, has just moved to NYC! If you want to get it on in NYC with straight up no BS health, fitness, and nutrition, contact me so I can put you touch with K-Rail. This guy is one in a million man--if that! With minimal gas but serious fitness in Atlanta, Coach RJ!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Signs in the grass...

So I'm down in Huntington Beach, CA last week working out with my kettlebells on the beach. I'm literally getting stronger by the week with my KBs...nothing short of amazing. Inbetween sweating and heavy metal (KBs!), I'm looking around taking life in and notice a fortune cookie paper on the ground. Now I'm one of these people that ask what things in my life mean. If I see a raven circling over my head, I ask why? If someone comes into my life, I ask why? The fortune reads: "If you can't decide up or down, try moving from side to side." So I reflect. My life is in the fast lane of corporate wellness. America is bleeding. I know how to stop it. This is valuable. Things are happening. I'm at a Crossroads. Then I start looking closer after my next set...more fortunes! They read: "Education will never be as expensive as ignorance." and "An unexpected event will soon make your life more exciting." Interesting messages. I've spent a fortune on my education while others were investing in the stock market making lots of money. "So far" it has not really paid off...things ARE changing. As for the mystery event? It would not surprise me to "get the call" any day. Just a matter of time, or rather "energy." On the backside of two fortunes some Chinese words for "sympathize" and "very polite." Just senseless trash left by eco-clueless litterbugs? Maybe. Maybe not. Believe what you will. I think there are something to universal signs. I'm listening...
And the KBs! Been spending more energy on working form instead of VO2Max. Really getting my technique down--doing better to be HARD and clean. Not perfect, but better. It shows. I'm much stronger. Interesting. Just went to my 30 year high school reunion. Had to wonder how many of my classmates have doubled to tripled their functional strength the last FOUR MONTHS like I have. Answer? None. In Kettlebell Heavy Metal, Coach RJ!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Kettlebells Los Angeles-Sunday Line Up

Just got back from Santa Monica and another great day working with Dr. Cheng and his Kettlebells Los Angeles comrades. You know there is a lot of jacked up stuff in this county when it comes to health, fitness, and disease, yet when being there this morning I feel...HOPE. There is hope this morning that some Americans are most definitely getting stronger and more fit. While most of you slept this Sunday morning at 7:00 AM, we were already lined up with hundreds of pounds of Russian kettlebells and getting it on. There is a bright ray of sunshine in SoCal this Sunday morning...it's Kettlebells Los Angeles.

Check out Kettlebells Los Angeles. Quality people. Heavy Iron. Serious Fitness. In Hard Style (or no style), Coach RJ!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sushi with Dr. Cheng

I had the honor of sitting down with Dr. Mark Cheng of Kettlebells Los Angeles last night for some excellent sushi and engaging conversation in Santa Monica about kettlebells, philosophy of training, and the always evolving business of fitness. The fish was FRESH and the conversation stimulating...and humbling. I'm a bottom line keep things simple guy. On way home last night, I asked myself, what is the take home point--bottom line? My own answer? I have a lot to learn! True--in the corporate wellness business I have obtained a hard-earned status as one of the best. Despite this place and reputation, I find it refreshing, and humbling, to know that I must also remain a life-long learner and student. We both agreed last night that if there is a better way to help our clients and students--we want to know! Dr. Cheng spoke so highly of the people that have helped him like Pavel, Gray Cook, and others. I am speaking highly of Dr. Cheng, Delaine Ross, and David Whitley who have all helped me personally beyond words the last few months to "Enter the Kettlebell" world. It's sort of like being a kid again with so much before me or like when I first entered college after 15 years in the blue collar workforce and realized there was so much to learn. The more I learn about kettlebells, the more I realize how much more is still out there! And it's only getting better! So today...it's out to work on my fundamentals with the 24kg two-arm swings. At the advice of Dr. Cheng, I will swing for 2:00 focusing on perfect form for EACH rep. I'll be more patient with the TGUs today...and work on those stopping points to David Whitley referred to in one of his recent blogs...which even humbled the Iron Tamer himself! While there are many warriors in the RKC, with the best, there is also humility and an open mind to keep learning from each other to be better and better. Moving better--that's what it is all about for me--the bottom line. Next week--back in Atlanta to hang and train with RKC Delaine Ross @ Condition Kettlebell Gym! Enjoying the SoCal Sushi this weekend, Coach RJ!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SoCal Earthquake Update!

Hey everyone,
I’m in LA today. We just had a ripping earthquake. It shook the crap out of my apartment in Valencia. Friggin’ RJ was getting ready to leap off the 2nd story balcony into the tree--fitness in ACTION at the time of need! Not a hard jolt but a major rock and roller up and down and all around for about 30 seconds—15 of which was pretty intense. Anyway, I’m okay. No damage that I can see anywhere. Not sure what is up at this point, but I’m hanging tight and okay. It was a 5.8 in Chino Hills between Santa Monica and Long Beach.

Edgy in SoCal, Coach RJ

Saturday, July 26, 2008

New KB Snatch PR!

So I'm in Paso Robles, CA this week. I set up some work friends on the kettlebells this morning. At the end, I tried a new PR on the SSST (Secret Service Snatch Test). I'm still using the 18kg for my SSST. I can snatch the 24kg but only 5-10 reps per side then I'm done. My SSST is hitting five minutes. I was at 117 reps in 5:00 last attempt. I hit 125 reps in 5:00 this morning. Now I'm on pace to expand the duration and push for 200 reps in 10:00. All the people agreed this morning--the KBs are the REAL deal! Kevin said I feel DIFFERENT! I agree. You do feel different--better! Albeit somewhat wasted at the end of a SSST but in a good sort of way. I love the intensity of the kettlebells. People that are not using don't have a clue about what they are all about. They are not stupid. They are not like dumbbells. They are unlike any other thing I have tried in fitness. KBs are high intensity primal training at its best. Swingin' HARD style today, Coach RJ!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kettlebell Chemical Reaction

Today Luke (one of the FEW workouts partners I've had in my whole life because he can kick ass!) and I worked on KBs for 1.5 hours. I set him up on the basics. We felt the difference between other lifts and the KBs. There is a lot that goes on with KBs chemically that I didn't feel with other workouts. More HGH response. More EPOC. More testosterone. More fitness in less time. I FEEL DIFFERENT working with the kettlebells than with other types of strength conditioning. They've given me my edge back--the edge I had when I was racing at an elite level. On days when I'm throwing KBs, I have a different attitude. I was the MidState Fair tonight after our workout. Some people got rude. I thought...F this! I'm outta here! I don't tolerate bullshit when I throwing kettlebells. My mind is sharper. I'm more dangerous. I like it. Intense on Cali's Central Coast today, Coach RJ!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Battle of Atlanta...Where's Our Passion?

I was hanging out at Inman Park in Atlanta the other day. While twins Ronnie and Cade played on the climbing equipment, I ripped through a 30 minute body weight workout using a superset of elevated rear foot box lunges to decline push ups. The playground wall was great for getting the foot elevation and decline position. 20 lunges per leg then 20 push ups then repeat for a total of 200 lunges and 100 push ups. Then we walked around and visited with dog people and explored what is one of Atlanta's coolest historic neighborhoods.

I found a sign which explained the history of Inman Park. It was actually the site of the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. In one hot Southern July day, 9,000 men died in battle. I was awestruck. We were on hollowed ground...major chi rush followed. It made me think--people die for their passion and what they believe in. I don't think we have the right passion anymore in America. We are passionate about getting the newest iPhone or Xbox to point of killing someone over it, yet few really stand up for what is truly important like saving what is left of our country! Military is fighting doing their part. I'm fighting the health wars doing my part. Others are getting it on too--no disrespect to them. However, there are far too many people with jacked up priorities and completely lame in their way of thinking.

Speaking of lame, I saw two teens walking the other day. Both were holding their crotches because their damn pants were so loose they would fall down around ankles if not held up. What morons decided that wearing pants around the bottom third of your ass was cool? Whoever it was is making millions--that is jacked up! Pull your pants over your ass after you pull your head out--then fight for something worth fighting for y'all. Deep in the South today, Coach RJ

Monday, June 30, 2008

Kettlebells Los Angeles

*(Photo: Studly RJ wife Candas, Dr. Cheng, RJ)

Just did a great workout with kettlebell guru Dr. Cheng and his Kettlebells Los Angeles comrades down in Santa Monica. His group meets every Sunday morning at 7:00 AM sharp. If you want to work with a real KB pro and a great group dedicated to moving well and injury free with KBs, check out the Sunday @ 7 group for sure! I've been working hard to get better and better with my technique. Dr. Cheng was able to make numerous points with me. Here were the points of KB light for me on Sunday:

  • Drive my heels more as I bring the KB up--a good cue is to just lift "the toes" which then makes it impossible to lift the heels!

  • Engage lats more. I'm straining my neck too much. I commented that I need to relax my neck to which Dr. Cheng quickly replied, "NO! You need to engage your lats!" Point well taken. At which time he took the group to the pull up bars for the Pavel style "lat" pull ups with locked elbows just to drive in this point!

  • I need to keep my shoulder more packed as I finish my snatch. I'm thinking of this more and more but it's hard to master. The lat pull ups above will help with this.

  • I was letting my front ABS get a little too soft which allowed my hips to finish too forward with my snatch and swings. Keeping the front ABS really tight enables a much better vertical line all the way through the body.

  • This might be the best point and definitely the most funny--but totally true--keep your ass so tight as you pop it during your KB exercises that if someone threw a brick at your ass--the brick would shatter! How's that for redefining a buns of STEEL workout Comrades!

I also met some cool people there. Of course Santa Monica is an interesting scene with or without kettlebells...I met a cool guy named Dr. Victor that is there every morning at 4:00 AM working out. He had some Indian Clubs, DBs, tubing, etc. Has been doing martial arts for 60 years. I'm going to go back down there one morning just to hang with this guy a bit. Two of the LA KB people are getting ready to take their RKC certification, so this makes it a great place for me to hang out more because there are people in the group with "instructor focus" who don't mind helping others as well. Great experience man! If you're in SoCal and interested in kettlebells, you should look up Dr. Cheng! Class fee is $20--a nominal fee for this quality of Comrades! Here's how to find him:

Here's a video of me doing some 24kg snatches while he worked with me on form corrections:
From the SoCal Kettlebell scene this weekeend, Coach RJ!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


My latest project with fellow kick-ass Wellcoach Kevin Rail is about ready to launch...The Lean Berets--Avengers of Health! Stay tuned baby...this has some serious chi! We're pushing HARD to save America from obesity and sloth. Are you? TheLeanBerets.Com is just the beginning! Rippin' it, Coach RJ

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spring Hatch, Swim Team, White Space...

The new cardinals are out in Atlanta! I've noticed they only come out in the evening. The older cardinals are out early and mid-day, but for some reason, the babies that are flying but small are just around in the early evening. I've got a full gym in my basement--squat rack, Olympic plates, dumbbells, balls, tubing, kettlebells, bikes, and all kinds of other stuff. I use all of it. I've got to say though that watching all the cool birds in my backyard here in Atlanta has been just as good for my health. I love watching those birds at the dining table. My twins have grown up watching the birds and other animals. It's cool. Never had much of that in California, but Atlanta is so forested there are many more animals. The twins started the swim team this year. They are only four. I'm not a fan of pushing kids early in sport programs--it screws them up more than it helps them. But this is a local team for our own subdivision--the Saratoga Sharks. The adults are there to make sure the kids enjoy swimming--that is all. It's fitness fun first, so I'm cool with it. My wife Candas is the coach for the little ones. I'm on the sidelines for a change--and LOVING it! It's nice to sit off and take photos and hang out instead of leading...refreshing actually. Speaking of refreshing, I've been taking more down time to rejuvenate before completely destroying myself--or rather--getting more white space between the lines of intensity. Y'all should take note as well. We work too much and too long and end up screwing up our performance. If I get enough rest, I then get more done and have more punch! I'm more effective at work, more inspirational to others, more positive, it's better for not only my health, but others as well. We have a lot in America--and we've paid the price for all "our stuff" that in reality has made us less happy, more depressed, and more dependant upon other countries and imports. I'm convinced that getting back to some old school simplicity is in the FUTURE--not the past. Case in point! I bought a new Z car in 2006. I specifically bought the "base" model--no extra bullshit, nav crap, electric seats I don't need, etc. There is a simple joy in adjusting the seat with an old fashioned lever or knob! My Tahoe has a fancy seat. I still can't figure the damn thing out. We both hate it! We are shopping for a more green car now. Candas told me yesterday she wants a car with NO electric seat options! Just the basics...simple, no BS...it's good for health. Enjoying HOTlanta this week, Coach RJ

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Aging WELL or Like Crap!

Spent some time with my grandma this weekend who is 83. Her friend was at the party who is 95. They both are active, do volunteer work, stay busy, and are fun and sharp to talk with. Both are NOT obese...interesting to me. Tonight on the LA news they ran a story about a woman that after five years has her black belt. She's 73 years old! And wants her fifth degree belt before "she gets old"!!! A few days ago a morbidly obese woman was at the store in one of those damn electric scooters--I hate those things! She was so fat she wouldn't even get up to lower the electric scooter tray on her car by hand--she leaned out away from her scooter and worked the controls with the end of her cane! She could walk when she wanted to--she chose to sit. I keep hearing about people having breathing problems from sleep apnea which has been tied to obesity. You would think when people start suffocating themselves with their OWN fat they would have a friggin' clue! What is it going to take?! I swear it makes absolutely no sense to me sometimes...too fat to breath, too fat to walk, take more pills, or keep kicking butt after 80. YOUR choice! Oh by the way...how many medications does my grandma take per day? NONE! She's 83 years old and needs no pills because she walks her butt off and works in her garden! Take that one to the bank. Coach RJ!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tulsa Time?

Oklahoma just passed a landmark bill mandating TWO full hours of physical education per day for elementary school children! I feel like moving there tomorrow and throwing down with this movement! It's about time our kids get a chance to actually be healthy instead of taking stupid tests that don't even validate actual intelligence. In my operating states of Georgia and California many schools don't even have PE at all--what a load of crap! I've never seen such stupidity! Thank God the people in Oklahoma have figured it out. Hopefully the other states will take note and GET ACTIVE! Rippin' it for fitness, Coach RJ!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Inside My Head...and Bike.

I'll let you inside my head--into the stream of consciousness of a champion cyclist.
I decided to start riding my road bike more. Got it down today...can't remember the last time I was on the road since I usually opt for my MTB these days...damn the road bike is unforgiving on my ass despite the carbon fork! I don't like the road much anymore--haven't for years. Funny--I used to live for and on my bike spending thousands of miles per year training and racing in all sorts of weather and conditions...tonight it's a struggle to pedal over the bridge down to the boulevard where I searched for a hot lap course--or warm lap course considering my "bike legs" currently...I opt for the favorite spot which I have not visited for months near I-5 in Santa Clarita Industrial Park...two hard rights with a sweeping curve and only one hard stop...about 2:00 or so around the whole loop...more tonight though...I ride to ride tonight. Heart rate, cadence, watts, %s of output, voltage, or whatever else they are using today doesn't mean shit to me--it simply doesn't matter. All that matters is that I ride. The mind of a champion--from the past. It's hard for someone like me to ride at all because I'm immediately a marked man...even with my feeble bike legs, I still look like I can race tomorrow, so anyone with any sort of bike fitness wants to knock me off...it's hard to friggin' relax! The road bike has a higher profile than my MTB...I settle in though...it's like an old friend--sort of. Off the stop sign out of the saddle getting up to speed then right over the gutter always full of water watching my line so I don't spin out then around the sweeping right towards the T intersection where no stop sign is posted so it's a traffic check and go then down to the hard right with stop sign where I do a quick stop barely enough to be legal...then 'round again. I spin it for 30 minutes--my goal. Another 10+ each way to and from...about an hour on the road...not too bad I guess.
Coming back through the market parking lot I pull up to the crosswalk. There is a family--two obese parents and their normal weight child. Hell the Dad is morbidly obese--it is what it is. The kid jogs across to clear the busy traffic. The Dad waddles because he is too fat or too lazy to run...what I caught more than the visual was his comment to his son..."Don't worry. We have good lawyers." Interesting. I felt like asking him, "Do you have a good mortician too that carries supersized coffins in case you stroke out?!" The American way man...sue with lawyers. It's always someone else's fault isn't it?
So tonight I rode...thought...listened to crosswalk comments, and spun away my chest pains from the stress of trying to save America from its "appetite for destruction." Spinning in LA, Coach RJ

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fat Foods Back in Schools!

I'm livid today--f'ing pissed! National media is breaking on increasing food costs pushing schools to return to selling "fat" foods so they can make money instead of offering healthier foods to our obese and unfit youth. Apparently, the healthy foods cost more money, and the soda and junk food crap can be sold with profits. What about our failing national health? How much is that costing us?! And our schools?! I simply cannot believe this absolute stupidity--it's total bullshit! Since I'm offended by this, it's time to go on the offense again. There are a few people in this country willing to step up for today's children and their health--I'm one of them! Putting more junk food into our schools and children is shameful and WRONG! There is no justification good enough to make SHIT smell like health--NONE!!! Heated in SoCal, Coach RJ!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Costco Exit-One Foot From the Grave

So, I finally got to Costco today after work for my seeds, nuts, and precious V8 juices...as I'm leaving, I check out all the friggin' obese people eating the crap food. Greasy-assed pizza, supersized dogs, you know the story. I look over to the other side of the aisle, and there were caskets on display. I had just been wondering what the universe was telling me today with the fat people eating fat food literally killing themselves--then the caskets told the whole story. These people were eating food on one side of the aisle that was going to put them in the caskets right on the other side! Hell, they might has well just finished the crap and jumped right in! I wonder if they could order take out one last time before the dirt hit the lid?!!! Would this be "take DOWN" pizza? The mentality of people amazes me sometimes. One guy was so fat he barely fit onto the stool, yet he was pounding down a dog...I wonder if he saw the caskets like I did, and I wonder if he thought about them?....Rollin' hard this week, Coach RJ

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Weekend in SoCal

Weather was awesome in SoCal this weekend! Did another corporate hike at East Canyon in Santa Clarita. Flowers are coming out, clean air, really pretty. Tonight I went for an easy spin on my MTB along the river bike path. I rolled up on a bobcat stalking some one's backyard. Pretty cool animal. We curiously checked each other out as I rode by the quick and agile cat. After a few pull ups and push ups at the local park, I saw the cat again on the return darting into the river brush. I've seen a couple of bobcats on East Canyon too--even a mountain lion one day! While the bobcats are cool, I can do without the mountain lion sightings! An Easter in solitude for me today. Spent most of the day working...the life of a road warrior Wellcoach. KFC announced grilled chicken today! Health-minded customers forced them to change. Keep it coming baby! The more health the better, and it's about time! From sunny SoCal today, Coach RJ

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Getty Villa in Malibu

I took a day off and went to the Getty Villa in Malibu, CA to check out the Greek antiquities. I have long appreciated the Greek culture and its appreciation for the human body, health, and athletics. What a wonderful day. Pretty windy in SoCal but not as bad on the beach. A tad cool but refreshing. Rolling down PCH is not bad by any stretch! After a couple of hours at the Villa, I rolled my Z back up Topanga Canyon to 101 and back to Santa Clarita. Rejuvenation today! Ahhh...to appreciate the body and muscle definition without obesity...time tested and TRUE. We should pay better attention. If you get a chance, check out the Getty Villa. It's free! The only thing you have to pay for is the $8 for parking. Food is reasonable inside. People are pleasant. What a breath of fresh air. In health from SoCal, Coach RJ

Friday, March 7, 2008

Atlanta's Birds

I love Atlanta's birds! I've really enjoyed watching them this winter. The Cardinals are my favorite bird. They show up in the early winter. Their reddish orange color almost looks fluorescent against the dark gray of winter. Our dining area overlooks a forest greenbelt. My family has spent hours eating and watching the wildlife out back. The twins have learned a lot about life watching the forest activities. On any given day, we have and can see: about 6 different species of birds at one time, squirrels, chipmunks, snakes, turtles, and the occasional neighborhood cat cruising by. But my favorites are always the Cardinals. They are wary birds--very cautious about humans. Just seeing us move behind the glass can make them exit. We have a bird feeder on the patio deck near our window. The twins have learned to be still and watch so they don't scare the feathered friends. It's soothing to sit and watch the forest. Primal survival...nature's order. Life itself is it not? How about nature's big screen with high def? Definately more educational for children that TV trash. Reflective in Atlanta, Coach RJ

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cheetos Argument!

My four year old twins told me this morning they don't like Cheetos. Apparently, they have been arguing with their fellow students at the preschool where Cheetos are served. Ronnie and Cade tell the other kids they are nasty and taste bad and are not healthy. The other kids argue back saying they taste great and good food. See what a difference assertive training makes vs. passive acceptance?!!! If YOU don't stand up for what is right, as in health, the junk food giants will brainwash your kids into thinking crap like Cheetos is good food. Let's THINK about this for a minute! Why is there an argument that Cheetos are good? Cheetos are clearly toxic and completely manufactured food. It's not rocket science folks. Ronnie and Cade already know that eating food like that will make them sick and slow them down. Isn't 20+ years of obesity and diabetes increases enough evidence so far?!!! Cade actually said Cheetos will make you throw up. They refuse the status quo of ILLness through food in this country! Good for them. Your kids are next. Good wholesome food and health...or junk food, obesity, and illness. It's time for a change. Join the revolution--for health! Fighting for my kids' lives, Coach RJ!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Death by "Food"

"Don't kill yourself with your own knife and fork."
--English Proverb

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Road Warrior & Day After

Well, I spent another five hours on an airplane Sunday plus one hour in traffic getting to airport then another hour leaving the next one--plus errands after I got there! My back hurt! Actually, it felt better by doing my warm-up and some extra spinal mobility stuff. I'm telling you there IS a magic to simple movement! I was in Target recently. A morbidly obese woman in her late forties was behind me with a package of those damn Tyson Any'Tizers and a Cocktails for Dummies book! She waddled out with all of them later. I hate those Any'Tizers and their marketing! I'm going to write an article about them in my next newsletter! I went to the store today and bought one! I had to hide it under my reusable shopping bag until I hit the counter. What a waste of $2.50! But, I'll make it worth while with my story. On that lady @ Target and people like her...I always want to say something to people because I know I can help them so fast and so clearly, but how do you begin that sort of conversation at a store line?!!! I felt bad for her. Today I noticed more than usual all the crap on TV, media, and pretty much everywhere about eating disorders, diets, etc. My God we are jacked up when it comes to eating food! The best thing I did for myself on my own nutrition lately was to listen to my Wellcoach Bro Kevin Rail going off about how Americans are getting duped by the hype at the supermarkets and beyond. A few minutes with this guy and one of two things are going to happen...you're either going to start thinking about what the hell you're eating and why or you're going to be running as fast as you can the other way...well maybe waddling for some. I've really been thinking about what I'm eating more at the store. I've been eating well for years, but the last couple of months I'm really getting more into it. It's cool. Health is cool! It's great to eat good food for your body and appreciate what you've got when it comes to health. More people should do it! Take care, Coach RJ!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Rep Sunday!

I got a wild hair before the Super Bowl again. Like some years past, I decided to exercise for 60 minutes before the game's kickoff. Here are the rules of engagement: 60 minutes prior to game only--no exercise distractions "during" the game! Only exercise on commercial breaks. If you're finishing a set as the commercial ends, you can finish up the set as they start coverage again. I chose body weight exercises only this year. In years past, I sometimes used a pair of DBs. In 60 minutes on "commercial time" only, I ripped off a total of 865 reps in the following categories: 150 military push ups, 290 bicycle crunches, 345 prisoner squats, and 80 Superman Pointers. Set reps ranged from 20-80 depending upon exercise. When 60 minutes was over, I drank my favorite beers--420 Pale Ales made in Atlanta--then ate my wife's homemade veggie and turkey pizza...and enjoyed the game! Oh...had a few of her chocolate chip cookies too, but I figured I earned them after 865 reps! Ripping in A-Town, Coach RJ!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

P90-X: Coach RJ Gets Burned!

I conducted an experiment the last couple of months. I stopped thinking like a professional corporate Wellcoach at times and started thinking like an average health consumer. I wanted to explore what a non-wellness professional goes through when shopping, trying to lose weight, and purchasing fitness equipment. It was an amazing "education" to say the least.

I've been watching the cool P90-X infomercials for years. I liked their simplicity and straight forward approach. This program basically uses body weight, dumbbells, and a pull up bar along with what appears to be some great workout programming. So, in late 2007, I dropped $260 and ordered the DVDs and pull up bar. My experience with P90-X as a consumer had the opposite effect I had hoped for--they made my blood boil when I realized they burned me with deception!
Read Full Story A Fit & Furious Coach RJ!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Elephant Seals

I was working on the central coast of California last week and was fortunate enough to see the amazing Elephant Seals near San Simeon. They come back yearly to certain spots in this region to give birth to the young pups. The older bulls are up to 3,000 pounds! After some work early Sunday, I looped back to this area for a second day to check out the famous Hearst Castle. While in the castle, the winter storm raged outside bending palms and howling through the solid concrete walls...quite a good storm out in Cali this last week with some well deserved rain for a change. If you get a chance to check out the amazing Elephant Seals, go for it. They are well worth the effort. It's been a looonnnggg month...New Year's is hopping for people in my business. In seal chi, Coach RJ

Friday, January 25, 2008

High Blood Pressure-In 3 Year Olds!

I got an update from a government organization the other day about a new pocket guide for high blood pressure in kids--as young as three years old! My God! The American apathy regarding the health of their own children ceases to amaze me! Why are we accepting this crap?! Giving your three year old high blood pressure is shameful. No excuses are good enough. Not my business? Bull! We are all paying for this lack of personal health responsibility! Whatever blood fat I have today just got boiled off after seeing the above! Travel Notes: Holed up on the Central Coast of Cali today in Paso Robles. Mucho rain--and snow in this region the last couple of days. Supposed to hike on Saturday with a group from work but might get blown out due to storms...will hit the gym again if needed. Rain? No problem. I'll still get my DAILY workout. Keeping it real, Coach RJ!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Trail Goddess Meredith Emerson...

So I hit the trail for the first time since Meredith was found dead yesterday...reflective I might add. Just a few seconds in, a nice family came walking down. Mom, Dad, and three "fit" kids. As they went by I said hello and "Wow--these are FIT kids!" The Mom said, "Yeah, they ARE fit kids." I couldn't help but think the parents walked away a little taller feeling proud of their family. It was somewhat odd to see a whole family with everyone fit...times have changed. Feeling the good chi and thinking of Meredith, I came to the realization that she has become a literal "Trail Goddess." This feeling was warm to me in a recent week of frenzied activity helping to plan some memorial hikes for her. A few minutes later a guy came wheeling down the trail in a wheelchair! I think he had cerebral palsy but was happy as a clam to be out on the trail bouncing his ass off coming down. I thought my God--NO EXCUSES! Of all the people I worked with the last decade that have lame excuses about why they can't or won't exercise and this guy is off roading in his friggin' wheelchair. That guy kicked ass! I love it! I got up to the big old oak tree and just sat down. No damn iPod. Just me and the wind. I watched some hawks cruising around catching the updrafts. They were so efficient. I watched them for a long time. They reminded me of fighter jets...they just made these big swings around the canyon in and out of the shadows...very cool. Then up and down without event or confrontation...hope is eternal I guess that there are still some nice people in this world and on the trails. Many were on the trail yesterday for me to experience. Thanks Meredith. From the trail, Coach RJ!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Meredith Emerson Grieving...

Why does a person working 2,300 miles from home get involved to organize an event for someone he never met before? Because it is the right thing to do. I did not know Meredith--yet we knew each other well through universal love of nature, hiking, and outdoor chi. Atlanta's own Dr. Martin Luther King said it best I think, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." This one matters. I've got to do my part to turn this thing around--to find something positive for healing out of this whole disgusting mess of Meredith's murder. I have not been this emotionally upset about an incident since my best friend Norm Hoffman was killed by a car driver while riding his bike in March 2001. There will be a point in your life when you will be called upon to do the right thing and NOT be silent--but to take ACTION. Some person or a group of people might ask you--or the universe might ask you--regardless, it is a moment of truth I think. I won't even be able to make the Memorial hike in Georgia in my physical body because I'm on the road right now...but by God I'll be there in SPIRIT. This one matters. It's time to speak. Reflective today, Coach RJ

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Meredith Emerson Memorial Hike

I refuse to take this lying down! I'm helping to get the word out about a Memorial Hike for Meredith on Sunday, January 20th. Please see link to show support Atlanta and hike communities! We MUST exercise our right to hike and enjoy nature's positive energy! Don't let someone like Hilton keep you from getting outdoors. Be Safe. Be Aware, See you ON the trail! Coach RJ

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Hiker Meredith Emerson

I'm so damn angry today and completely horrified--even violated--about what happened to the young grad student hiker Meredith Emerson this week outside Atlanta. My whole career is dedicated to getting people to do what Meredith was doing--exercising to be healthy. When some asshole harms someone trying to be healthy, it is like assaulting me or my own family. I feel like a part of humanity eroded this week. It's depressing. As I rebound, I (we) must fight back for our right to be healthy and fit whether on the trails, in the parks, or riding our bikes. Let us all be AWARE of where we are and who is around that might not have the same core values and passion for making the world a better place through fitness and health. I'm sorry Meredith. I was trail running in Atlanta on New Year's Day--the day you were murdered. Why couldn't I have been closer to hear your cries? Why couldn't I or someone else been able to help you that horrible day? What possesses someone to get up in the morning, eat breakfast, take a crap reading the paper, then go about "their business" to find someone to murder that is totally innocent and minding their own business on a nature hike?!!! Why do some only serve to harm instead of making the world BETTER? How in the hell can a person even live with themselves after such an evil act? Why couldn't I have heard Meredith and ripped that guy's f'ing head off?!!! I gladly would have voluteered for the task! I'm so frustrated...and so sorry. God Speed Meredith. From a spiritually Cloudy Cali today, Coach RJ