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Check out the creator of the most Intense exercise videos in the world Insanity and Asylum ! Shaun T !!

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Shortcut BBQ Ribs

Friday, September 7, 2012

Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Monday, August 13, 2012

3 years old

Three years with Beach body, wow goodstuff

I want to tell a story though, I hit rock bottom three years ago(2009), It was the weekend my first grandaughter Isabella was born, I went down to Allegheny to spend a night with my sisters and their kids camping.

I bet I weighed 260# or more. I got a call form my ex wife that Bella went back to the hospital and she wanted me to come right away, it was not urgent , nursing issues, and she was dehydrated, once you admit a child they need to stay 48 hours.
I was so big I needed a shirt or two to fit me , XL's were too small my fat belly hung out.

I stopped at Walmart and bought two XXL I was so ashamed I was M in High school for Cripe sake. Anyways I tolled around like this until late Oct 2009 when I found Beach-body, and Power 90 came to my house in the mail! I went down to 230 by Xmas and was so proud, I met Mel and Mac & Trudy and Tawny, King Fatty,  and Lydia and Lee and Paul and so many others!!
I probably got down to 195 last winter before i started eating bad again this spring.

I will never go back although I am trying like hell to be  a fat-man again , sorry lots of stress will do that LOL. Seriously thank you to all of you , I need help, I know i get it here!
I still wear Large shirts and almost got down to 32's just need to refocus and do this!

luv you all


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Racing Weight lets go!

Hey gang working on my new Running weight program
Going well except the diet , I need to stop the FUCKITS 

My body is sore in new spots from the up hill sprinting 

This is what I did yesterday :

Hill Intervals 
Run 15 easy
4X30 sec hard up steep hill
jog down recovery
Run 15 easy

This what I have to do tonight:

Strength Workout
Lunge, plank
Chinup,step up
alt single leg rev crunch
Pushup,balance ball leg curl
Eccentric heel dip
Reverse plank,inverted shoulder press

Plan to hike at Callahan State Park tonight with Trevor after wo.

Bring it everyone we all have a lot to be thankful for God, Peace and fresh air!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Running on

Hey Mac & Odin & Lydia , ( glad to hear from you girl hang in there!)

Paul you are my primal man , GROK ON !!!

Got home from work at 6:45pm last night loaded the BACK pack and Trevor and we hiked up & down and back up over & down Cedar Hill, nice hike at Dusk! it is a beautiful "forever wild " forest owned by the Sudbury Valley Trustees, there are a lot of cool trails around my area. I ran this trail with the running club a few weeks back!

Tracked the hike on Backpacker pro on my Droid , 2 miles in 49 minutes , up and down the 400 foot high "Hill" Twice not bad, Even shows an aerial view of the route . Trevor had a tick on his foot pad this morning, I had one on my leg , got it off before he bit@ me f;;;;!!!

Therapy is on ongoing on the two fingers, it has been three - four weeks, two to go , not going well!

Starting my "Racing weight program" on Monday, needed to get ramped up , had to get a new step, a new stability ball and get the diet program down.

Ran a nice 4 miler this morning. I need to go back to POD runner!

have a great TGIF and an awesome weekend!

I have attached the program here 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Skinny on Obesity (Ep. 3): Hunger and Hormones- A Vicious Cycle

Monday, May 21, 2012

Back at it!

Hey gang Back from Mexico, need to dry Out. The Iberostar Grand is awesome all Porcanloso marble and teak!

We drank and swam and sunned and drank some more. Food was so, so, but all included...
The resort had its own theater,band and dance troupe, lot of fun, show every night then dancing with the troupe afterwards.
Need to dry out we almost polished off a 1.5 liter of 1800 (5 people) sat nite, LOVE Tequila!!

We went to the disco at the shopping plaza after the show one night kind of funny....
I need to lose the pounds I gained back , my hand is getting stronger working on the deck project at my neighbors every week, including 12 hours this weekend ( tired).

Running and workouts have been poor at best emoticon !

Start therapy tomorrow, need to get the stiffness out of the two fingers, I notice the hand is still stiff at the base of the two fingers too!

Go for it everyone


Saturday, April 14, 2012

5 Minutes of Fate

5 minutes of FATE!

Hey Friends busy Mike here, Started a new job with 8 fingers on April 2nd.Here is the story:
Okay I needed to give blood on the 28th at 6pm , so you can't get a workout in after that per Red Cross guidelines.
So I got up at 5:20 and was out the door by 5:45 to tun 4 miles , I had been eating bad since Iaccepted the new job and gave notice at the old place. I had been there 4 years, had a lot of respect for the people there just need security and more money! Stessed, melancholy ,uncertain etc...

So instead of losing weight I was gaining! OH no , I don't have bigger pants anymore. I was five minutes past my GET UP deadline but needed this run for all of the aforementioned reasons.
I should have stayed in BED...

I ran up the hill to Forest St and continued on Williams past the ballfields towards town proper
( East). There are three fields there, and the town allowed them to put guardrails against the road, no shoulder or sidewalks! It is a beautiful country road with Lake Williams and thecourthouse on the left and farms and fields on the right , old country road like I said, the sun comes up over the City of Marlborough and is beautiful on these runs!
Anyways I was facing traffic going by the first field, when I see a police cruiser turn his lights on a 1/4 mile ahead to pull a car over. The Car stops and then creeps towards me. Now I am in full night gear, reflective hat, gloves , jacket; blinking armband and a six LED headlight. The car pulled into the driveway where I was trying to get out of his/her way. I have been pulled over for speeding in the past so I know people can panic. I was blinded by Police lights and went into the driveway to go around the car on the inside of the guardrail, you never know what would have happened had I stayed on the road and tried to go around them:
a) the car could have ran me over
b) the Cop could have came out with gun...

Anyways I ranb imnto this driveway, not fast at that point I'm sure and I tripped over a curb.
Not sure how I fell , I had reflective gloves on too. But when i got back up went past the two cars, the cop asked if I was okay I said yeah I guess. I wnt over the guard rail got afew steps and took my glove off, finger bent slightly and hurt like a mother. The Cop said are you okay?
I said no I broke my finger. He said do you want an ambulance I said no I need to go to workafter I go to the hospital , so i walked/ jogged home and showered, dressed and did so. I did call the Police for a report, he came to the hospital , and was po'd at me, I said hey I have a badly broken finger through no fault of mine and will incur medical costs that I don't want to pay.
Hand was swelling up badly at this point.

I was there for 4 hours, a bunch of X rays, Yep broken pretty bad a base. I had Novocaine and the doctor and a nurse reset the finger. they put a long soft cast on the two finger 4th& 5th digit.
BTW my wedding ring finger was swollen pretty bad too and badly bruised, good thing I took the wedding band off before the hospital!
I had to go to an Orthopedist the next day for more X Rays and he put a metal splint on it. I had an appointment last Thursday the 5th and he was able to see more as the swelling was down a lot, he said my finger was still off 60 dgrees at the base and i would have hook finger if left alone. They scheduled surgery at 8 am the next day Friday the 6th and i had anesthesia , the whole ball of wax, missed an entire day of work
I woke up with this, tough missing a day on my first week of the new job .

Anyways 5-6 week to recover, running a little bit , but my push-ups and pull-ups will be badly setback again all because of FIVE darn minutes! Not able to complete simple tasks at home yardwork will have to wait...

Scared to run hard now twist of fate!

Keep bringing it, glad to be alive and breathing good breaths

I will!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mel Robbins: Take Control of Your Day

Mel Robbins: Take Control of Your Day

What's the first thing you did this morning? I bet it was reading messages on your cellphone. The question is why?

April 06, 2012

If you looked for texts, realize that it’s rare to hear a ping in the middle of the night. What kind of text would likely be there, after all? Is there a joke from a drunk buddy partying in Vegas? Did your spouse who left the bed earlier text you something lovely to wake up to? Doubtful.

Next you open your inbox. Why? Is there something so important you must do it this instant? Is there an email you need to send before you wipe the sleep from your eyes? No, because you would have sent it last night. But you open your inbox anyway.

You aren’t alone. Recent studies suggest almost 80 percent of cellphone users sleep with their phones in their bedrooms. Among entrepreneurs, I bet that number is even higher. So why is reaching for the phone first thing such a problem? Because how you start the day sets the tone for the rest of your day.

If your first act is to check for texts or emails, then someone else sets your priorities before you’ve had breakfast. And those emails seek your time, attention, help and brain space. You start your day being reactive to other people rather than proactive about your goals. You have surrendered control—which is crucial to your well-being, success and happiness—to others.

Think a second: You’re lying in bed reading emails that arrived while you slept. Emails from marketers, colleagues, vendors and bosses flood your brain. Before you’re even vertical, someone else’s needs come before yours.

If your phone doesn’t receive emails, you aren’t off the hook. I guarantee you either fire up the computer as soon as you leave your bedroom or as soon as you arrive at work. That means you check your inbox before you even get organized.

Do not ever do that again.

Before you read about a 25 percent off sale, before a reminder alerts you that a PowerPoint is due, before a colleague turns you into her errand boy, take control of your day.

Instead, do a “brain dump” for five to 10 minutes without opening that inbox on your phone, laptop or other computer. This consists of dumping all your projects, to-dos, reminders and priorities onto a piece of paper. Then highlight the top three things on the list that you need to deal with today, things that matter most to you.

This starts your day by focusing on what’s important to you. I make my notes in a 3-by-5-inch notebook that I carry everywhere so I can continue brain-dumping all day.

Next—still without visiting that inbox—open your calendar and find a 30-minute block in your day when you can focus on your top three things uninterrupted. It doesn’t matter when that block happens. It can be the first 30 minutes at work, waiting in the car for your child’s soccer practice to end or after you watch a ball game tonight. Find the time and schedule it.

All right, you’ve given your needs priority over everyone else’s and you’ve taken control of your day. You may now open your inbox. And if you have a few seconds after replying to messages, email me at I’d love to hear what happens in your life and business when you start your day focused on your needs instead of someone else’

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Broken Finger Update

Hey everyone it is two finger Mike here
bummed that I can't lift weights for few more weeks I was just getting back to BIG Business too! Way to go Paul with the pushups, I need to see how I can modify pushups or bench presses!

I had to go for Surgery to have the knuckle / finger joint "reduced"( yesterday) it was off by 60 degrees, I need to contact the insurance company of the driver who caused this!

The bills need to be a 5000 by now!
I have a report from the cop who pulled the car over so that is a start!
This old guy wAS GETTING COMPLIMENTS in the Hospital with my 48 BPM heart rate in the hospital bed!

New job is cool , love the responsibility, they don't have an office for me yet but the painters were working away on a couple of new ones . here is a pic or two!

Be good all I will RUN carefully a couple of times this week to keep in shape!

Happy Easter all

love ya Mike

Friday, March 16, 2012

Low Carb Comfort Foods | Mark's Daily Apple

The Perfect Pot of Primal Soup | Mark's Daily Apple

Frozen Primal/Paleo Meals | Mark's Daily Apple

How Fasting Aids Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple

Monday, March 12, 2012

90 Day Challenge ~Days 30-36

Okay I've been away for a bit from this Blog update.,Here we go
Day 30 Run 4.5 in the AM, CST at night plus my pull up program

Day 31 Wed Off

Day 32 Thursday Did Back & Biceps and Pull up program!

Day 33 Friday Ran 5

Day 34 Saturday Back & Pull up Program

Day 35 Sunday Ran 6

Day 36 Today Chest Shoulders & Triceps, & Run 4 ?
We'll see it is 66 degrees out there beautiful.

Assisted Pull ups(and the prep program) are coming well , back is still sore in the mid to lower area need to foam roll it more!

Next week is week three and I am supposed to be able to do 1-2 pullups, we shall see!!!

Bring it all Time for my VI shake for Lunch!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

70 Percent of Ground Beef at Supermarkets Contains ‘Pink Slime’

70 Percent of Ground Beef at Supermarkets Contains ‘Pink Slime’: Gerald Zirnstein grinds his own hamburger these days. Why? Because this former United States Department of Agriculture scientist and, now, whistleblower, knows that 70 percent of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains something he calls “pink slime.” “Pink slime” is beef trimmings. Once only used...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012


Smart Energy!

Tips for Better Pullups

Tips for Better Pull-ups

by Stew Smith

Of all the exercises, the one with the largest mind game attached to it is the PULLUP. One thing I have learned is that women AND men CANNOT do pull-ups IF they do not PRACTICE pull-ups.

On the flip side, the common denominator among those men AND women who can do dead-hang pull-ups, are those who practice pull-ups.

In my personal opinion, one of the worst things we ever developed in physical fitness classes were the "girl pullup" or flexed arm hang. At an early age, we have been telling young girls, that they cannot do regular pull-ups because they will never be as strong as boys. Well, part of that statement is true - the strongest woman will NEVER be stronger than the strongest man - but I have seen 40-50 year old mothers of three do 10 pullups. How is that? They practice pull-ups as well as the auxiliary exercises that work the muscles of the back, biceps, and forearms - the PULLUP muscles! Anybody can do pull-ups, but it helps to not be 40-50 lbs. overweight and to follow a program that places pull-ups and the following exercises in your workouts at least 3 times a week.

The Proper Pull-up (Regular Grip)

Grab the pull-up bar with your hands placed about shoulder width apart and your palms facing away from you. Pull yourself upward until your chin is over the bar and complete the exercise by slowly moving to the hanging position.

Pull-ups (Negatives)

If you cannot do any pull-ups, you should try "negatives". Negatives are half pull-ups. All you have to do is get your chin over the bar by standing on something or having spotter push you over the bar. Then, you slowly lower yourself all the way down - let your arms hang grasping the bar fully stretched. Keep your feet up and fight gravity for a count of 5 seconds. This will get your arms used to supporting your weight.

Assisted Pull-ups

This is the first step to being able to perform pullups. Using the bar that is 3-4 feet off the ground, sit under it and grab with the regular grip. Straighten your back, hips, and slightly bend your knees while your feet remain on the floor and pull yourself to the bar so that your chest touches the bar. Repeat as required. This is a great way to start out if you cannot do any pull-ups at all. You can also do this on a pair of parallel bars that are used for dips. These are also great to do after you can no longer perform anymore dead-hang pullups. This is a good replacement for the Lat Pulldown machine as well.


Using a pulldown machine, grab the bar, sit down and pull the bar to your collar bones. Keep the bar in front of you. Behind the neck pulldowns are potentially dangerous to your neck and shoulders.

Dumbell Rows

Bend over and support your lower back by placing your hand and knee on the bench as shown. Pull the dumbbell to your chest area as if you were starting a lawn mower. Muscles worked: Back, forearm grip, Bicep muscles.

Biceps Curls

Place dumbbells or bar in hands with your palms facing upward. Use a complete range of motion to take the weight from your shoulders to your hips by bending and straightening the elbows. Keep it smooth. Do not swing the weights.

You can build up your strength and within a few months of this workout, you will have your first pullup in years - maybe ever! If weight loss is needed, naturally find a plan that incorporates cardio vascular exercise, diet and nutrition tips and weights and calisthenics if your next goal is to do a pullup one day! Good luck and always remember to consult with your doctor before starting any fitness program.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

Day 28 ~ 7 Mile run


It was time to get out and run 7 miles the 6 milers have gone well needed to up the distance.
Although I had a sore hamstring I stretched and warmed up well and off I went to

Who says there is not a lot of interesting things in or near Marlborough!

Okay points of interest:

1) Dav Lin Farm

check out the goats

2) Dav Lin Acres

Notice the canoe in the Tree!

Okay then you run up Chest hill road , Chestnut hill farm is a 131 acre forever wild property given to
Southborough by the Beals family.

Check out the cows

4) Chestnut Hill farm sign

Okay now on to Route 30 and East to Sears road, Running is going well except that Chestnut Hill and route 30 are both hills to challenge!

Sears Road, This is a ritzy section of town, here is an original marker, 27 miles to Boston!


Okay up Sears Rd past many Very expensive homes and up another steep hill ! Und
er the railroad bridge and left on Route 85.

6) Back in Marlborough

Up Maple Street/Route 85, left on South St, love the open farmland and another hill! Left on Beach street up to the ICC cemetery!

7) ICC Cemetery

Left on Clover Hill


Up CLOVER Hill and home bTW Clover Hill is about 120 feet up!

9) Clover Hill
Notice the girl running up it ahead of me!

Finished Run in about 1:15.
Average heart rate 147 , Calories 1601 NICE
Longest run in about 15 years and as you can see quite scenic too!


Friday, March 2, 2012

90 Day Challenge Day 22-26

Do you want to lose weight?
Do you want to regain your fit & trim youth!
I did ask me how!
Join the challenge and we will help you!

Day 22-26

Okay this was supposed to be a "recovery week" , week 4 -Not!
So this is hwat I did , I need to look at my schedule once in a while

I am on week two of 50 pullups in 7 weeks prep level so modification is required

Lets see

Day 22 Monday the 27th
We did Chest and back( P90X) and Pullup program
Pull up program was
7 assisted( my assist is about 120# right now)
9 assisted
7 austrailian pullups
1 Negative
1 power hold
9 chin ups assisted ( extra)
Wow do I feel it, Then I walked the dog for 25 minutes then dinner

Day 23 Tues
Ran 4.75 miles in 45 minutes Great run two new hills Park and Adams st
175 bpm heart rate avg!

Day 24 Wed
Shoulders and arms - First half with extra DB curls
Pull up program was same as monday
7 assisted( my assist is about 120# right now)
9 assisted
7 austrailian pullups
1 Negative
1 power hold
9 chin ups assisted ( extra)

Day 25 Thursday
Off Needed a break. It snowed 8 inches good excuse not to run
The treadmill did not interest me!

Day 26 Friday ( Today)
Time for that run after work and the Pullup program final time for this week , same as before!!!

Day 27 Tomorrow

Kick at Gym and XC skiing
Yeah !!
before the melt, then a nice Body by Vi Shake and my Vi Pak Vitamins!

Do you want to lose weight?
Do you want to regain your fit & trim youth!
I did ask me how!
Join the challenge and we will help you!

Weigh In and measurement(s) on Day 30 March 6th
Stay tuned!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Days 19-21

Day 19-21

Day 19
This was a good Legs &Back workout!~

I enjoy the kick class at my Gym I just wish it was longer, my quandry is my club has runs at 8 am and Kick is at 9:15am I want to do both I think they start a little earlier after daylight saving time (the runs)

Okay catching up
Lydia congrats on one year it has been over two for me yippee( thanks to mac & melanie, tawny &trudy and the rets of the gang for keeping me here)...
Annie in London Hi!!!

I live outside of Boston , Marlborough,MA; good english name
Sunny Glad you joined my fit group on Fb everyone is welcome, find me at facebook/xmikew
Are you and your hubby retired?
Trudy how is it jumping? way to get the walks in!!
Mac you are the fire of us all Go Girl!!!
Tawny great job you and Jimmy!

Day 20
Okay so we had a tough Kick class my hammies are still sore
I took Travor hiking on a couple of the trails in Westboro we have some awesome open space here man!He went swimming in Lake Chauncy and learned to walk on swamp boards( small 2 board,board walks in the bogs), pretty cool.
Day 21
I ran 6 yesterday before church as it was a great morn to run
Tonite: Back to chest and back and the pullup program I am doing, message me if you want a copy!

Paul: MOF gO buddy!!

Next week 7 miles , go mike

The Masters(men) in my club ran a 2:53 marathon relay at Hyannis yesterday a 6:40 pace for 6.5 miles each
[b] SMOKING!!!![/b]

Day 21 Tonite Chest & Back and my 7 weeks to 50 pullups program

Message me if you want the agenda for this!

Losing Weight? Hell YES !

Bottom Line these body by VI products work my butt and hips are smaller, and I plan to have a rocking weigh in on Day 30!

Okay enough


Friday, February 24, 2012

90 Day Challenge Day 11-18

Okay fell behind on posting sorry

Are you on track to weet your weight loss goals? Have you loss weight this year?, If not why?

Here is the recap

Day 11, Last Thursday - Did Shoulders and arm to catch up on the strength workouts

Day 12 Friday - Ran 5 after work felt good, a little too much traffic ( on a Friday night ) in big Marlboro!

Day 13 Saturday Killer kick class at Boost!, Then did the back part of Legs and back.

Day 14 Sunday - Ran a good solid 6 + miles ~ getting there.

Day 15 Monday Back on track Chest and back, Push up count is improving every week!

Day 16 Tuesday
Nice solid run 5 miles in 45 minutes! Cardio Abs

Day 17 Wednesday
Shoulders and arms I nailed this one hard! Ready to up the weights for both shoulders and Bis

Day 18 Thursday

Day 19 Friday today
Readyto run this am but I did not get to sleep until 1 am so after work, then backs & pullups
my modified version of legs and back).

How is this Challenge going?
It is awesome , never felt better, lot of improvement in strength and cardio endurance.
I need to get another Insanity workout in here soon!
Enjoying the Vi Shakes, Vi trim and Vi slim, this stuff rocks
I am now ablke to fit into the slacks that were too tight last month!

Pics coming on Day 30!

Ask me how to get Body by Vi products!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Presidents week

In Celebration of Presidents weeks we are giving away, a Vi Shake sample, Nuero and a Nutracookie, Just need to sign up on the 90 day challenge,
Get your samples or your freebies!
Message me!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Lift Heavy Things- Grok Workout!

Law #4: Lift Heavy Things

Grok Workout

Quick Bodyweight Routine

Gym Circuit

Begin each workout listed in this section with a five-minute warm-up of low intensity cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, stationary cycling or other cardio machine at 55-75% of maximum heart rate) followed by light stretching. Conclude each workout with a five minute cool down identical to the warm-up. Be certain that you have medical clearance before attempting any strenuous workout, including those described in the Primal Blueprint.

Grok Workout

This workout is fun, different, very challenging and can be done anywhere. It’s inspired by my old friend Rip Esselstyn – former professional triathlete, world record holding masters swimmer, Austin, Texas Firefighter and author of The Engine 2 Diet ( All you need is a bench or chair for a few of the resistance exercises. The following descriptions may be a bit laborious. Please check for regularly updated videos of workouts like this and many others.

Back Slide Arches (arms, abs, back, legs) – Sit on the ground with legs extended straight in front of you, upper body perpendicular to the ground, arms at your side and slightly behind your butt. Lift your legs and butt off the ground with your arms, arching your back in the same motion by pressing into the ground with your feet (toes pointed) and dipping your head backwards. Hold the arch position for one count and then return your upper body to perpendicular position. While suspending your legs in the air with your arms, thrust your straight legs backwards as far as possible and land on your butt. Return hands to position behind butt and commence another arch sequence. As you thrust your body between your arms, notice that you travel a few feet backwards with each rep. It’s best to do this exercise across a long room or outdoors on a field or beach, setting a goal of traveling twenty or forty yards as you number of reps.

Spiderman Crawl Pushups (abs, pecs, biceps) – After you have traveled down the line with your Back Slide Arches, you will make your way back to your starting point with Spiderman Crawl Pushups. After your final arch, stand up and bend forward, arms hanging at your feet (you are facing backwards the way you came). Crawl forward with your hands (feet stay put) until your reach the pike position for a pushup. Commence a Spiderman pushup by driving your right knee forward to touch your right elbow and returning leg quickly to pike position. Then, drive left knee forward to touch left elbow and return quickly to pike position. Keeping hands on the ground, walk forward with your feet until they reach your hands, then walk with hands to return to pike position. Notice that you are traveling down a line back to your starting point for the arches!

I like to complete a ladder of Spiderman pushups starting with ten (a complete right knee-left knee sequence counts as one), then doing nine, eight, seven…down to one, then back up to ten. On a field or beach this represents twenty to forty yards of travel. Advanced exercisers can strive to perform the move as fast as possible, so it looks like you are practically running in place.

Chair Squats (quads): Stand feet shoulder width apart in front of chair or bench. Sit quickly by lowering butt, trying to keep knees centered over the balls of your feet. After barely touching the seat, stand quickly. Pump your arms for momentum and commence a set of 25-75 chair squats, going as fast as possible, until failure. When you get the hang of it and establish a nice rhythm, challenge yourself to go faster and faster!

Mini Chair Dips (pecs, lats, triceps, quads): Stand feet shoulder width apart in front of chair or bench. Reach straight arms backwards and grasp the bench with both hands still shoulder width apart. Dip down, bending elbows and dropping butt into sitting position. Dip until elbows are at 90-degree angle – butt will be below the level of the bench. Perform dips as fast as possible, completing 25-75 reps until failure.

Chair Jumps (cardio, legs, core): Standing slightly to the right of the chair or bench, step up and over with left leg onto center of chair or bench. Then quickly step up onto chair with right leg, while at the same time moving left leg off and over to the left side of chair. Then step right leg off chair, joining left leg to stand on opposite side of starting point. Commence return trip by stepping up quickly with right leg onto center of chair, following with left leg while removing right leg and returning to original starting position, followed by left leg returning to original starting position. The exercise should be performed as fast as possible so legs are shuffling on and off the chair and are only together for a split second at any position before one leg commences the next move in sequence. Perform 25-75 reps until failure, going as fast as possible. Pump your arms to assist your effort and keep your eyes on the chair to ensure balance.

Scissors: Lie on your back and extend your legs six inches off the ground, taking care to press your lower back into the ground for support and to fully engage the abdominals. Hold position for twenty seconds, then commence twenty “scissors”, spreading your legs wide and back together. Hold starting position for twenty seconds, then rest. After thirty seconds rest, assume starting position for twenty seconds, then raise both legs skyward until they are perpendicular to the ground, then slowly return to starting position. Complete twenty repetitions from skyward to starting position. After your last rep, then return to starting position, hold for twenty seconds, then rest. Note that this is an advanced exercise and carries a risk of back strain. If you feel any strain whatsoever in your lower back, cease your efforts and rest. As your abs fatigue, the strain will be transferred to your lower back, making it essential to press your lower back into the ground at all times during the scissors. It may help to raise your head off the ground a bit to help achieve a strong connection between the lower back and the ground.

Lunge-Burpees: Stand feet shoulder width apart. Squat down and place your hands on the ground right in front of your toes. Leaving your hands there, quickly jump your legs backwards into the plank pushup position. Complete a pushup, then jump legs out spread eagle style and complete another pushup. Then jump legs back together and complete another pushup. Then jump legs up to your hands. Then jump straight up in the air as high as you can. Then perform a lunge by extending right leg forward and bending until thigh is parallel to the ground. Then extend left leg forward into lunge position and return. Then touch toes and jump into pushup plank position to commence another series.

Quick Bodyweight Routine

If you are pressed for time, 7 to 15 minutes of bodyweight resistance exercises can produce an outstanding workout. If you don’t have a proper overhead bar for pull-ups, improvise using railings, stairwells, door frames, park playgrounds, tree branches – anything that can support your weight. To experienced gym goers, this routine of the most basic movements might seem a little bland. However, if all you ever do is squats, lunges, pull-ups, pushups and planks you can still become as rock solid as the guys and gals in the Bow Flex commercials. Retired football legend, Heisman Trophy winner, and Olympic bobsledder Herschel Walker (who was once traded by the Dallas Cowboys to the Minnesota Vikings for – counting eventual draft picks – a total of 19 other players!), reportedly never touched weights, instead relying on simple exercises like pushups (with his wife riding on his back – captured by a memorable Sports Illustrated photo) and 2,000 sit ups per day to develop his massive – and extremely functional – physique.

For a unique challenge, set an ambitious numerical goal for each exercise and don’t move to the next exercise until you complete all of them. If it’s 100 squats, you might have to rest at 40, again at 60 and again at 85 to reach the goal. When you get to a goal like 50 pullups, it might require 5, 10 or even more “sets” to get the reps done. Talk about a real ass kicker! I did a blog post about how I became nauseous from the extreme effort of a workout consisting only of squats, pull-ups and pushups…on an empty stomach.

The following quick bodyweight routine is particularly applicable to those who frequently use the “time and place” excuse not to exercise. I can relate a busy schedule vaporizing that desired 80-minute round trip excursion to the gym. Give yourself 10 minutes and a little floor space in your hotel room, or sneak away from T-ball practice and hit it hard with the available apparatus at the school playground. Having a slow day in your cube at the office? Move the swivel chair aside and hit the deck (just do it towards the end of the day when the sweat factor won’t compromise any remaining appointments on the docket!).

Squats as previously described

Lunges as previously described

Pullups (back, lats, pecs, biceps): Grasp bar (or tree branch) at shoulder width with overhanded grip. Raise chin above branch (or bar) and return to slightly past 90-degree elbows (advanced exercisers may want to extend arms fully). You can alternate sets with an underhand grip; this is technically called a chin-up. It’s also an excellent exercise with a slightly different muscle load. Chin-ups are considered to be a little easier so choose this option if you struggle with this exercise.

Pushups (lats, pecs, triceps): Assume pushup plank position (arms extended below you, body straight). Lower your chest to the ground and return to plank position, repeating until failure. Advanced exercisers can push body into the air after each rep, clap hands and land back in plank position for next rep.

Ab Planks: Hold pushup plank position with either extended arms or resting your elbows on the ground. Maintain position until failure. Then, lean on one hand and rotate upper body into sideways plank position (straight line from your head to toe) to stimulate oblique abs. Hold position until failure. Return to pushup plank position, hold until failure, then lean on other hand and rotate upper body into sideways plank position facing the other direction. Hold position until failure. Rest one minute then repeat exercise, this time extending opposite arm over your head when holding the sideways plank positions.

Gym Circuit

It’s understandable that you might feel more comfortable in a controlled indoor exercise environment than you would chucking a medicine ball down a field (especially if the soccer practice kids are pointing and giggling). While I encourage you to experiment with more primal activities, going through the basics in the gym can also produce an outstanding workout. Every gym has the equipment necessary to complete this workout. The rest is up to you. An experienced lifter can do three sets for each exercise, while a novice can begin with just a single set of each exercise, working up to two per workout after a few sessions, and eventually to three.

Start on any machine (or free weight) described below with a weight that you can perform eight to ten reps before temporarily exhausting the muscle as described in detail in Chapter 6. If you are doing more than one set, increase the weight five or ten pounds on each successive set, resting only 15-20 seconds between sets. It’s expected that you will reach fewer reps on successive sets with higher weights. After you’ve finished one, two or three sets (depending on your plan for the day and experience), rest thirty to forty seconds before moving on to the next exercise, always maintaining a high intensity level and high degree of difficulty throughout your session. Be sure to maintain safe technique and rhythm. Stabilize your spine and maintain a balanced center for all workouts, resisting the urge to sway or jerk for momentum in order to get that last rep.

Squats (quads, buttocks, calves): They say core is king but squats are perhaps the most fundamental, functional and primal exercise of them all. Sprinting speed, climbing strength, stability, and core strength are all impacted by this one movement, which probably generates more Human Growth Hormone than any other single exercise when done properly. Grok squatted for just about every occasion – eating, resting, eliminating, lifting, foraging and hiding out during hunting. When you can develop excellent lower extremity strength and balance, you minimize the risk of injury, particularly to your back and neck. These are the areas that typically get tweaked when you fail to engage your leg muscles for lifting or fail to stabilize your body adequately for sports and other complex movements.

You can benefit from doing squats without using any weight at all. Review the “Chair Squats” description in the Fireman workout for a high speed variation of the typical tightly controlled repetitions. As you become stronger and accustomed to the proper technique, use your imagination to add more weight: drape a log across your shoulders, a duffle bag full of clothes or even a small child on your back – just like Grok.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart in natural comfortable position, not necessarily pointing straight ahead. Cross arms over chest and lower your butt slowly as if sitting in a chair. Try to maintain a straight spine (it will travel from 90 degrees to a 45 degree angle), but resist the urge to lean forward. Use your quads to absorb the load both sitting and standing. Go down in a smooth and steady movement until your knees are at about a 90 degree angle and then return to a standing position without locking your knees, particularly if you have weight on the barbell. Do as many repetitions in a set as you can while still confident you can return to a standing position (failure sucks on this exercise in particular!).

Forward and Reverse Lunges (quads): Close behind squats in importance for virtually every physical activity are lunges. Stand feet together with dumbbells in each hand, arms at your sides. Lunge forward with right leg and lower until your thigh is parallel to the ground, knee bent at about a ninety-degree angle. Return leg to starting position, repeat. Then lunge forward with your left leg and complete a similar repetition. Then, step backward with right leg until left (forward) thigh is parallel to ground. Return right leg to start and repeat. Then complete two reverse lunges with left leg.

Bench Press on Ball (pecs and arms, along with legs for stabilizing): Be sure to ask someone to “spot” you on this one. Sit on ball with legs spread slightly and extended onto ground for balance. Grab barbell and lean backwards into bench press position. Ensure that your wrists are in line with your elbows. Extend arms to lift bar. Slowly return bar to a level where elbows are bent 90 degrees. The bar will be just above your chest and your hands will be just wider than shoulders on the bar. As you improve, you can move the arms farther apart to work the muscles on a different plane.

Lat Pulldown (lats and back): Hold lat bar with hands about eight inches apart. Kneel or sit on bench with arms extended overhead. Pull bar straight down until even with upper chest. Slowly release to extended arms position. As you improve in this exercise you will be able to perform wide grip pull-ups, an even more effective and explosive lat/back/biceps movement.

Shoulder Press (deltoids): Sit on bench with dumbbells in each hand. Raise dumbbells to shoulder height. Elbows face out, thumbs face in. Stabilize spine with abdominal muscles. Raise dumbbells overhead. Slowly release to shoulder position. Proficiency in this exercise will give you the strength to try to move into some very advanced exercises like handstand push-ups (at first against a wall, and later unsupported).

Shoulder Shrugs (traps), progressing to “Travelin’ Shoulder Shrugs”: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells in each hand at your side. Or use a barbell with arms extended at your side. Elbows face out, palms face down. Shrug shoulders, taking care to keep neck relaxed and focus the exercise resistance on the traps. This exercise will provide a degree of strength that you can eventually apply to compound movements like carrying a couple barbell plates walking around the gym or around a running track – seriously!

Adapting what can arguably be considered a non-primal “isolation” exercise (and one that’s not very popular due to the “I carry too much tension up there already” factor) by moving while your muscles are under stress converts it into one of the most functional – and primal – exercises under the sun. Ever tried to carry your suitcases from baggage claim, load them on the shuttle, unload them and drag them to your trunk after a long trip? If you don’t seize up on the spot, you’ll get hit hard when you wake up the next morning!

Of course, your leg-press/squats will get you ready for this “traveling shoulder shrugs” workout too. If you have the very common tendency to carry stress in your trapezius, use extreme caution on this exercise by choosing light weights and moderate set difficulty. By doing so, you will gradually improving the strength, range of motion and blood circulation of these muscles and alleviate the tendency for them to absorb all of your tension.

Dumbbell Row (mid back): Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent and supple. Hold dumbbell in each hand and bend forward at the waist with spine and head at about a 45-degree angle. Straighten and extend arms down, pointing elbows out and thumbs in. Commence exercise by raising elbows straight up in the air so that your back muscles pinch together.

Bicep Curls: Sit on bench with upper body straight. Grab dumbbells or resistance cords in each hand and rest them on thighs. Commence exercise by curling dumbbells up to your shoulder, then releasing slowly back to thigh. Keep spine stabilized throughout exercise.

Back Crunches: Lie face down on the ground with arms clasped together and resting on your lower back. Arch carefully by lifting your chest and legs off the ground. Hold position of maximum arch for a count of one, then return slowly to starting point. Stretch back muscles after completion by assuming a “prayer” pose – kneel, bend forward pressing chest into thighs and extend arms fully along the ground.

Woodchopper Abs (with resistance cords): Stand feet shoulder width apart, bend knees about 45 degrees and maintain straight spine. Grasp resistance cords in both hands and position hands directly in front of knee that is nearest to resistance point. Swing arms across body and upwards towards opposite shoulder, then return to opposite knee. Take care to isolate the resistance on your abs, letting your arms go along for the ride instead of engaging them to move the cords. Repeat until failure, then turn in the other direction to commence exercise starting with hands in front of other knee nearest the resistance point

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