I get a lot of comments on photos and articles that I post claiming that, of course I can do the things that I do because I’ve been fit my entire life. But, I can tell you that is not true. In high school, and my much younger years, I was very active and outdoorsy and constantly exercising, but there was a point in which I fell out of it, and through a good portion of my 20’s I was completely off the fitness bandwagon and started putting on a bit of weight and body fat. I came back onto the fitness scene with studying Taijiquan, and not long after I got into weight training. My primary goal, at first, was to start losing that weight that I had put on. And it was a struggle a lot of ups and downs in my diet anger over not seeing results right away and wanting to give up on more than one occasion. But with a lot of hard work, and a few years of busting my butt, I lost about 20 pounds. At this time I was doing a combination of weight training as well as calisthenics. And when I was doing this calisthenic training I will tell you firsthand that I could not do one single pull-up. After continuing to work for a few more years those pull-ups started coming along as well as hitting those crazy numbers on push-ups. It is honestly been within the last four years that I’ve become more calisthenic focused and it’s not because I dislike lifting weights. It was because I found calisthenics just work better for me. Now looking at some of the crazier calisthenic moves that I’ve been doing I want you to keep in mind that for a lot of those I train for well over six months just to do it for the first time and in some cases it took close to a year just to get it for the first time. So what I’m really trying to say is that this was all achieved through hard work not something that I have always been able to do I’m still striving for new goals just like everyone else, I even continue to watch my eating habits. If you have a goal you need to push for it and there will be ups and downs, but there are people out there that are more than willing to support you towards your goal.
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Get info on my up coming book.
Ok, so now you are considering a trainer but don’t know what to look for. Sure, the huge meat head or cheerleader looks like they know their stuff, but do they?
First, is your trainer willing to answer questions? To believe everything without question is indoctrination. Your trainer should be able to answer your questions about health and fitness. No trainer knows everything, but they should be willing to research the answers to your questions.
Does your trainer make huge promises? No person is the same, so to be told you will lose a bunch of weight just like a person you saw in TV is likely a false promise. Also, if they tell you that you will be ripped like Arnold, I ask you this. Are you Arnold? No one will build the same.
Does your trainer have insecurities? If your trainer tries to dissuade you from trying new things this could be due to personal insecurities. If you want to try out that Spin, Yoga, or Zumba class, then do it. It is your fitness journey and you should do things you enjoy.
Does your trainer listen to your goals? If your goal is to lean out and lose weight did they build the right program for you? There are certain rep ranges and weight percentages to take into account for each goal. Also, if your goal is to not lift weights at all, then your trainer should be listening to this.
Finally, is your trainer certified or just a gym rat? Sure that guy that can lift 200lbs is ripped, but can he teach you to do that safely? I highly suggest researching your potential trainer. Most certifications can be looked up online for free. After all, you are putting your fitness health and goals in their hands.
Don’t be afraid to get a trainer, just make sure they are right for you.
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Like a lot of people, I started martial arts training in an external martial art such as Muay Thai, and weight training worked great for excelling in that art. I got stronger and hit harder. Now, there is nothing wrong with external martial arts, I respect each art, but they were not for me and I didn’t realize this until my 20’s.
After a small hiatus, and watching late night Kung Fu movies, I gave Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) a try. The art fascinated me with its flowing movement and hidden power. I had to reverse all of my study, and focus on my internal self. I picked up on the weight training and noticed the weight training actually hindered my movement. In the last few years I dropped the weights and went to calisthenics. My movement, quickly improved. But I didn’t really pay attention to the change.
Recently, I had the opportunity to study with Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, a Grand Master in Yang Style Taijiquan, and after his lectures and expectations of movements, it clicked! Calisthenics is extremely beneficial to internal martial arts. Let’s look at the meaning of calisthenics, exercise to achieve fitness and grace of movement. In TaijiquanTaijiquan you need to have every part of your body to flow as one, calisthenics teaches full body control. This is a beautiful match to improve your internal martial art performance. I would never say you should give up your weight training if that is what you love to do, just make sure your training matches what your current goal is.
See my story here.
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I know many people don’t have the ability to meet for training either because of scheduling or distance, so I will be offering “at home programs” for all fitness levels. All of the workouts will be done with minimal equipment so you can do it at home or even at the park. Each level will include instructional videos to show you how to perform each exercise with modifications, if needed. I will also include basic nutrition information. Again, this isn’t a substitute for personal training, but it is a step in the right direction.
So many people tell me they can’t do push-ups, but that simply isn’t true! Now, before I continue, I just want to say that there is nothing wrong with lifting weights if that is what you like to do. I, myself, use to lift, but I just found calisthenics to be more enjoyable for me. You have to do what you enjoy in fitness. Now with that out of the way, here is why I love push-ups.
Push-ups, if done correctly, is a full body exercise. It doesn’t just hit the chest, but also the shoulders, triceps, front and back of the core, back and legs for stability. Sadly, not a lot of people use them, and the ones that do don’t always use them properly. Hand placement and body position are key to the proper movement. To help people both regress and progress their push-ups, I have put together a video tutorial to help. Granted, this shows you just the basics; it doesn’t lay out rep counts or tempo to fully progress in a workout. That is best left to meeting one on one with a trainer to build a program that fits your fitness needs. After all, we all progress differently.
As always, Quest Fitness is here to help. In person and video training programs are available. Now, let’s hit those push-ups!
You can find the full video tutorial here.
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We have all heard it in commercials and seen it on fliers, “Best workout program ever made”, and this gets said about every program advertised. This is rather misleading, because let’s face it, if it was the best, then it would be the only one. So let’s look at what is the best for you.
First off, does it fit your time? Not everyone has an extra hour or so to spare for a workout, but we do have some free time for exercise. The fitness professional should have this in mind when making your fitness routine.
Next, does it require extra equipment or lots of room? Some pre-made programs require extra equipment or lots of space to move. In some cases, not all, you will need a gym membership to work with a fitness trainer. (Just a reminder that Quest Fitness has no membership fees.) If lots of room and equipment is needed, then are you willing to move furniture around or buy equipment?
Most important of all, is it something you can see yourself enjoying? Remember, fitness is a long journey, and it will take time. Not everyone likes cardio, weight training or calisthenics, it needs to be a workout based around your goals and needs. If you are not sure, then consult with a fitness professional, they can show you all the options. Another thing, don’t focus on how you feel during the workout, focus on how you feel after. The endorphin rush and the feeling of accomplishment.
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My fitness journey.
I’m sure I have explained it before and I’m sure I will say it again, but I hate to travel. So, I’m sure you could understand my hesitation when I had to make a trip to Manhattan for my latest certification, Strength Calisthenics Certification (SCC). Now that I did it, I’m so happy I did! Thank you to my wife, Elle, to convincing me to do it.
I got to see and visit places I only ever saw in movies, met new people, and got to hang out with the calisthenics legend Danny Kavadlo.
At the SCC I picked up so many epic calisthenic techniques to improve my game and the performance of my clients. Even I got a little sore! Worth it! At one point I got called on to demonstrate muscle ups, and even got referred to by one of the SCC coaches as having beastly pull-ups. I want to say that the entire class formed a bit of a brother and sisterhood. I even found another Kung Fu brother.
Over all what I’m trying to say is don’t pass on the possibility for new experiences, whether it be in fitness or any other aspect of your life. If you do, then you will miss an entire world of wonder. If I would have passed on this, I would have missed out one the best training experience I ever had.
See my fitness journey.
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Early last year I submitted my application to become a NASM Master Trainer, and after passing the entrance test, sending letters of recommendation and writing an essay, I was accepted to be 1 of 50 this year. There are 5 summits you can attend and only 10 students per summit.
I picked the first one of the year. The class was rough, but I picked up a ton of useful training tips. Later I found out only 8 were accepted into my group. By summit time there were only 4 trainers in the program including myself. Even more surprising, our class was in the private MUSCLEPHARM facility in Denver! It was amazing, best equipment I have seen.
It was awesome to have the facility all to ourselves! We could build programs using any of the equipment. But the most valuable lesson I learned was, trust your gut. Pass or fail, it was an awesome experience! I want to thank my NASM instructors and MUSCLEPHARM for the amazing opportunity! Good luck to my classmates!
Fyi, MUSCLEPHARM hooked my class up!!
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Want to see how I’ve progress? My Fitness Journey.