Your “Tasty Tuesday” Primer (6/5/12)

5 06 2012

Happy Tuesday, GymGeeks!

Thanks to everyone for bearing with me on the timing of posts.  This whole migrating to a WordPress.org format has been a total pain the ass from the start, but the hard work (and psychosis) will be worth it, since I will have more access to making this thing prettier and more user-friendly (including the option to post comments via your Facebook accounts).

Angry Jon

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…

Despite the craziness of trying to get this done (on top of the day job of voicing scripts for the college AND dealing with the cable company over a bad internet connection), I’ve yet to fall into the trap of eating due to stress.  That’s what I wanted to touch on today in the primer…see?  I find a way to make my rants make sense!

A lot of people fall into the pitfall of eating not because they’re hungry, but because life has them stressed out.  For a scientific reason that I can’t really explain without having a PhD, your brain produces the same responses for chemical reactions due to both stress and hunger.  You, on the other hand, have the capability of telling what the difference is.

So when you find yourself in times of trouble (MusicGymGeek Problems), walk away from whatever’s stressing you out,  take a deep breath,  re-prioritize and get back in there.  You’ll save yourself unnecessary calories and gain a little bit more sanity.  Besides, it’s been proven that stress hormones do lead to less efficient metabolism.  Translation:  stressing out enough can help pack on the pounds.

That’s my rant for today.  Be on the lookout for a recipe (I’m keeping it a surprise, but I’ll leave hints on Twitter to get you guys following), but most of my day will be focused on making this site amazing for you guys.  You’ve proven that this is a worthwhile venture with all the new follows, view of my interview on YouTube and pictures on Flickr and I won’t let you down!

Jonathan





Your “Serenity Sunday” Primer (6/3/12)

3 06 2012

Sorry for the delay, GymGeeks!  Needed to buy a new power cord for the laptop.  It died on me last night at the health fair…GymGeek problems, right?

Speaking of the Winter Park Health Fair, it was an absolute success!  I had a great time talking with the other vendors and presenters, who ranged anywhere from testicular cancer testing to mental health screenings.  The funniest moment came from the girls from Winter Park Memorial Hospital, who were doing breast cancer screenings (or at least teaching women how to check for lumps).  They flipped out over the pictures for quite some time!  I think I got some new fans 🙂

I tried to donate blood, but unfortunately, the day job needed me to take my MMR vaccination and I’m not eligible until I get back from my trip to Kentucky.  Rest assured I’ll be back!

The greatest part (aside from promoting healthy living) was my impromptu interview with WIRP, an internet-based radio station here in Winter Park.  I was able to tape my talk with them and post it here and on YouTube:

In other news,  things may be running a bit slowly over here on the site.  Since GymGeeks are coming in droves,  I’m moving the site to a better server that’ll allow me to be a little more hands-on with content management instead of just being able to post/tag/repeat.  I’ll still be pretty active on Twitter and Facebook, though!  It’ll just be a minor setback, but completely worth it!

Anyways, go enjoy the day…since tomorrow we get back to work!





Your “Supplement Saturdays” Primer (6/2/12)

2 06 2012

Good Morning, GymGeeks (Old AND New)

I say that because Twitter has officially blow up.  Over sixty of you have become GymGeeks in the last 48 hours, which I find unbelievably impressive (and I screen for bots, spammers and everything)!  You guys have inspired me to do a few more things over the next few weeks (working on the merchandising as we type).  These would include contests and giveaways, GymGeeks!  So keep an eye out…

star wars, x-wing, death star, nerdy, geek

Battle of Yavin…X-Wings? Death Star? Blown Up? You guys get it…

Also keep an eye out (in a more immediate sense) for my talk about green tea, as well as the super-famous Syntha-6 protein powder.  I’ve been holding out as long as I can to write about it, since I consider it an ace in the hole that EVERYONE should read about, but since you guys are coming here in droves now, I feel the time is right!

Don’t forget to pay it forward and share the love via Twitter and Facebook!





Photos from “Men’s Fitness” Shoot

1 06 2012
Men's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 Shoot
Men's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 Shoot
Men's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 Shoot
Men's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 ShootMen's Fitness June 2012 Shoot

 





Your “Fun Sh*t Friday” Primer (6/1/12)

1 06 2012

Another month, but the same Nerdy Gym Rat!

While a lot of you college GymGeeks are out enjoying your summer vacations (unless you’re taking classes, of course…even then, get some time by the pool to relax!), us older folks with day jobs just look at it as just another day at the office.  For me,  today is dedicated to a few voiceovers and getting pieces together for a health fair tomorrow…

Which brings me to a last-second announcement!  I’ll be hosting my own table/booth at the Winter Park Health Fair this weekend.  I was contacted by the coordinator of the fair about a week ago, who happens to be an avid reader of NerdyGymRat.com.  Since I live in the neighborhood, I figured this would be another great way to get the name out there, so I clearly accepted!

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=821+West+Swoope+Avenue,+Winter+Park,+FL&aq=1&oq=821+w+swoope+avenue+winter+park+fl&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=37.735377,86.572266&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=821+W+Swoope+Ave,+Winter+Park,+Florida+32789&ll=28.602466,-81.359453&spn=0.010229,0.021136&t=m&z=14&iwloc=A&output=embed
View Larger Map

The fair goes from 5:30 until 8:30 and they’ll be performing seminars on self-assesment for both testicular and breat cancer.  I plan on also giving blood.  Anything I can do to help my community, I’m more than happy to do!

As I hinted at on Twitter yesterday,  I do have a special treat for my GymGeeks.  I have done some sneaky placement on Twitter and Facebook, but I wanted to share some of the “behind the scenes” pictures from the “Men’s Fitness” shoot, including the famous one used in the June 2012 issue.  The photographer, Sam Robles, was a blast to work with.  I was already a big fan of his work after looking through his portfolio and seeing a shot of my favorite Miami Marlin, Josh Johnson.  I’d recommend him to any aspiring fitness models or athletes in South Florida (we actually lived in the same general area in Fort Lauderdale growing up) and would work with him again, if the opportunity arose.

Also,  I have a great “Gym Pet Peeve” to share.  Now, this one came from one of my followers on Twitter, but I definitely noticed it happening earlier in the week and couldn’t agree more with the assessment of just how effin’ annoying it is.  Stay tuned for that bad boy later tonight.  I recommend reading on a full stomach so you don’t do a spittake…it’s that funny.

I hope everyone ends the week strong.  It’s a new month, so if you’re feeling sluggish crossing the finish line that was the month of May, consider today your mental “reset” button and get back at it!

Now off to the booth I go…be good, GymGeeks!
Jonathan




My Interview With Dylan Farr

31 05 2012

As I’ve mentioned all over Twitter,every week we’ll have an interview with a professional in the field of fitness.  This can be anyone from a trainer, a fitness model or even a nutritionist.

This week, I got a chance to talk to Dylan Farr (@fysiologik), a performance trainer and lifestyle coach based out of California.  Over the course of a ten-plus year career as a surfer, skier (and even model), Dylan has learned the way a lot of us do; by following others who do things the right way in terms of dieting and working out.

Having travelled all over the world and winning countless awards (which can be found at his website HERE), he started Fysiologik, where he has trained professional athletes, recovery patients who were once in acute care and even some A-list celebrities!.  The greatest clientelle he gets to work with, though, are special needs children.  The diversity of his clients alone shows that anyone can make the change, not just someone overweight.

Here’s what he had to say to NerdyGymRat.com:

Nerdy Gym Rat (NGR):  What sparked your interest in fitness?  I mean you’ve been pretty active since your move to California with surfing, but when did turning a hobby into a career happen?

Dylan Farr (DF):  Well…it speaks to something I had no control in. My grandfather was the #1 heavyweight contender in the world, fighting Joe Louis for the title in the late 30’s and almost beating him. My grandmother was an olympic equestrian and racecar driver in the same period. My dad was a top tier rugby player… so it was in my DNA.

That said, It was more of a cultural thing at first, I started surfing at eight years old, and started competing around eleven. I really was enamoured with the guys who surfed the best. They got the best waves and always held their space in a certain way: [they] had a swagger to them.

By the time I was 17 or 18, some [of the good ones] became relevant pro surfers on the ASP world tour.  Others became models, and even actors. A lot of them were idiots but the ones I looked up to really had it together. It was attractive.

Honestly there was a lot of drugs, ego, and crap, but for me my take away was how these guy performed in the water. I learned early if I was raging too hard, I couldn’t surf well. It was then I kind of started to walk my own path with my health and fitness. I started rolling with guys who were on that wavelength. Ironically my family hated the surfing stigma [the Jeff Spicoli effect], and I had almost no support.

The subtext of my life was I wanted to be a professional athlete like the guys I saw who made it. I had a rough situation at home and eventually left the beach and went to the mountains.. I got exposed to competitive freestyle skiing, despite never being on snow really, which speaks to what athlete mentoring and real coaching can do. In three and a half years, I went from a guy who skied once to a nationally ranked mogul skier training at the Olympic Training Center, with the best coaches from the US Freestyle Ski Team working with me out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

The next season, I left Colorado. I got on a snowboard goofing around riding Squaw Valley, where I was staying. About three weeks into the season, I was approached by a rep for the company of the board I was riding on. He asked if I had a board sponsor. I didnt. Later that season I started doing contests and then winning them.   That was the genesis as a pro snowboarder with a 10+ year career that let me live all over the world chasing good snow

In regards of fitness, all of the dryland training, mechanics, sports psychology I learned as a competitive skier I continued to do. I just used it for riding a snowboard, and surfing. I was heavily into yoga and, at the time, I was vegan. As physical as I was, I knew my biggest muscle was my brain. I read, read and read.

I eventually had a pro model gig and got some very cool big contest results.  More importantly, I had a ton of fun. Thats what it’s all about; the memories and experiences. If my life ended five minutes from now, I have ZERO to complain about and everything to be thankful for

NGR: Wow, that’s quite the background!  What’s one of the biggest misconceptions your clients have when they first start working with you?

DF: Mostly the atypical cliches of being a trainer in this area. There are tons of trainers around because it’s easy to get certified.  You get your certifications online and boom! You’re a trainer!

I feel that,l for many trainers, it’s a secondary interest. It’s a hustle and a disingenious one. Many are usually actors, models or hustling a screenplays (laughs). I’m not trying to be judgemental, but its par for the area. All I have been is an athlete, and reflection of my own health and wellness

That said, fitness and health is my first priority, and I treat my clients like that. I consider myself a wellness and lifestyle coach, and that spectrum goes further than the gym. It’s what’s on your plate, how well you sleep, your emotional health and the space your mind holds. I try to be a support element to all of that.

NGR:  How much do you emphasize nutrition with your clients?  I’ve told readers & followers that it’s the majority of getting into shape and being healthy, so I’d love to hear what you have to say.

DF:  I’m emphatic about it! You and I know the truth, Jonathan. For the average person, who grinds at work all week, who lives in a world where majority of advertising is for food,  bad food is everywhere, and its mostly processed crap. It’s a hard fight. 

Discipline is the constant here, and some people are burnt out from life and want to be indulgent. It always starts with food. I try not to preach about it or be sanctamonious, but I do make it clear that whether [your goal] is cutting weight,  being tone or in better shape, it’s the food that goes in your mouth that is the paramount catalyst to it all.

NGR:  I know for me, it’s rewarding knowing I’m helping people with my articles and posts.  What’s your favorite part of training a client?

DF:  People feeling good… the aloha vibe, knowing Im helping someone be a better version of them. 

NGR:  Glad to know we’re on the same page then! (Laughs)  Ok one last question…what is the #1, all-time piece of advice you would give somebody who is just starting to work out and make a change?

DF:  Be consistent! A person can spend seven minutes a day, do 50 burpees and be solid. You can even do a four minute tabata circuit.  the time argument only has so much weight to it. It’s more about commitment. Also, find a gym or trainer that allows you to feel comfortable. There can be a lot of ego and insecurity when we starting talking about our bodies and, ultimately, fitness.

One last thing; pain and soreness isn’t the barametor of growth. That’s just stupid.  Recovery and feeeling good should be [the barometer].

You can find out more about Dylan and Fysiologik over at http://www.fysiologik.com.  Also, I suggest following him on Twitter if you want some up-to-the-minute updates.  It’s a great feed to follow!





Your “Friday Eve Fit Tips” Primer

31 05 2012

Happy 1 Month Anniversary, GymGeeks!

We are now a month older and wiser, with 200+ followers on Twitter, 50 likes on Facebook and a pretty decent following on WordPress.  I have to say, for something that started from scratch, I’m impressed by the reception.  Thanks to everyone who has made it possible.

I also wanted to share our new logo, which was created by Facebook GymGeek, Haris, in his spare time after reading about the opportunity here at NerdyGymRat.com.  I happen to find it pretty kickass.  What do you guys think?

The beauty of the “Friday Eve Fit Tips” (and even “Fun Sh*t Fridays) is that it gives me the freedom to post all the stuff that doesn’t really fit on the other days, so while you’re looking around Twitter for tips on nutrition, fitness and overall health, you can expect a surprise or two over the next few days.  It could be an interview, a couple behind-the-scenes photos, or even updates on appearances I’ll be making in the Orlando area.

Guess you’ll have to stay tuned…stay hungry, my GymGeeks!

(Also, feel free to follow my personal Twitter account for even MORE access to the mind of The Nerdy Gym Rat, including rants about the Heat, Dolphins, Marlins and even my own UCF Knights)





Your “Workout Wednesday” Primer (5/30/12)

30 05 2012

“My name is Jonathan.  My alter ego is Nerdy Gym Rat, with the superpower of visible abs and a hulk-smash expression.” – A text message to a friend of mine yesterday

While this is (mildly) a paraphrase from a conversation I had with a friend of mine, it did lead to the wish, on their part, of wanting the same superpowers (well…at least the abs part…the hulk smash thing would be a little scary).

Frankly, I didn’t think this was necessary for this particular friend, but I digress.  It did get me to thinking this morning during my cardio session, though.  Every person strives for that amazingly ripped/cut look, but more often than not, they go about it the wrong way.  Whether it’s by doing a million crunches five times a week or starving themselves, hoping to see results,  the true formula comes from what you do in the kitchen and a ton of dedication.

Since I’m not one to pull punches about my past, I’ll use myself as an example.  Coming straight out of college, the first few weeks at the gym got me at least a mildly visible “V” (as they say).  This was pretty cool…but let’s keep in mind this was almost four years ago (and there’s an obvious bubba keg in the middle of that V).  It’s taken me that long to get to where I am now and there’s still room for improvement, in my opinion.

Me at 22…a work in progress

My point in today’s primer is this:  there is no such thing as spot-fixing in the journey to a healthier lifestyle.  There’s no magic pill that’s going to burn away pesky fat.  I assure you, if you put in the time and effort (both in the gym and in what you put into your body), the results will come.  Don’t get discouraged just because it’s not happening on your time frame.

With that said,  today’s posts will focus on some important exercises that focus on those core muscles (not just your abs; that’s just one piece of the puzzle).  On Twitter, I’ll be posting some tips that you can do, even just sitting at your desk during your 9-to-5 grind.

Also, thanks to a suggestion by a reader (who I’ll keep anonymous, but REALLY appreciated their input via e-mail),  I’ll curate a workout routine that I have used.  I only have one thing to say about any routine that will be discussed in this forum:  if you don’t find it fun or challenging and you quit on it after only a couple of weeks, it’s obviously not right for you.  Don’t be discouraged!  There is more than one way to skin a cat on this road to a better you.

With that being said…let’s get to work, GymGeeks!





Your “Motivational Monday” Primer (5/28/12)

28 05 2012

Happy Memorial Day, GymGeeks!

Today,  I want to talk about balance.  It’s such a mind-numbingly easy thing to do that we often take it for granted, whether it be at the gym or in our every day lives.

This past weekend, I happened to be in Fort Lauderdale for the third time in six weeks (with four in eight coming soon thanks to a wedding I have to attend in Kentucky via Ft. Lauderdale International Airport).  Because of that, I’m not as readily available to the GymGeek Nation, since I’m not as attached to my laptop as it may appear during the week.

At first, I thought it would hinder my performance and my “street cred” with you guys.  Maybe you’re a weekend warrior looking for something to read and I’m not delivering as often as I should.  In the digital age, where it’s a 24-hour news cycle, it’s tough keeping an audience (if you’d like proof, I’ll show you the stats on the site and my fluctuation of followers on Twitter).  This really freaked me out, since it made me feel like a total hack and made me question whether or not I was really making a difference.

Then a thought occurred to me: I am always going to be the biggest critic of me.  That’s always been the blessing & curse of being me.  It helps push me harder to be great, but also knocks me hard on my ass when I don’t push.  The truth of the matter is I know I’m here for you guys (and those who have e-mailed me know it, since I respond in a timely fashion).  So if I miss a review or a tweet, it happens.  Just have to learn how to work around it and keep going.  The stats may suck on those few days, but I’m not in it for stats.  I’m in it to help and if that’s five people or 500, so be it.

In your lives, you should have the same approach.  Yes, I talk about how living a healthy lifestyle should be the goal, but if you’re beyond hell-bent for too long, you lose sight of it sometimes.  When that happens (and you have the fortunate opportunity of catching yourself), take a step back, breathe, and remember why you’re doing it in the first place.  In my fitness goals, it’s to not be the guy I was eight years ago, physically and mentally (low self-esteem, depressed and just overall angry).  For you, it may be that you come from a family where heart disease is prevalent and you want to fight against genetics.  Find a device that helps you remember that and take a few minutes out of every day to focus on it.  When you do that,  you’re less likely to let your mindset snowball to the point of cracking.

Well, that’s my rant & rave for this gorgeous day.  I’ll be on the road back to Orlando to get my shopping done and get my pieces designed for the Winter Park Health Fair this upcoming Saturday.  I hope everyone enjoys the end of their long weekend…school’s back in session tomorrow!





Your “Workout Wednesday” Briefing

23 05 2012

Happy Hump Day, GymGeeks!

Hopefully everyone is super energize and ready for the downward slope into a long Memorial Day weekend.  I just wanted to share something this morning that’s not necessarily a Gym Pet Peeve, but more of an observation I’ve made over the past month that I’ve spent at my new gym.

Now,  I’m all about having a routine.  For me, it’s up at 4:00 AM, at the gym by 5, at the office from 7:30 until 4:30, lather, rinse and repeat.  On an even more micro level, my gym routine is stretch, light cardio, lift and then a cool down stretch.  I leave some ambiguity by saying lift because I let that be dictated by what my goal is.  Right now, it’s strength, so my lifts revolve around the “Big 3″: bench press, squats, and deadlifts.  We’ll get into why those are the most important lifts for size and strength a little bit later today.

The reason I bring up goals is because I always see people doing the same thing every day.  For example,  there’s a couple who always do ab routines and light cardio.  I’m not one to ever dog or be a jerk about someone working out (in fact, I respect every single person who shows up for wanting to get into better shape).  The only conclusion I can come to is that they don’t have a specific goal in mind.

If it’s weight loss, sure cardio will help, but doing crunches every day is not going to help.  In fact, it’ll be counterproductive since your body will adjust much quicker and get you to that plateau effect in no time.  At that point,  all you’ll be doing is mimicking a hamster on a wheel.

I guess the bit of advice I’m trying to get at today is have a specific goal in mind when you want to make a change to your lifestyle.  Today’s posts are going to be for those who want sports-specific exercises in their routine (mainly because I’m in the mood after a Miami Heat bashing of the Pacers last night).  For some, that’s a goal that they want to attain.  I remember a time where I wanted to be built like Ben Roethlisberger, until I realized I’m not 6’4” and 245 lbs.  and probably never would be, but I could at least focus on the agility and burst of speed elements of an NFL player.

Boy am I glad he plays for the Heat…

With that being said, what goals do you set for yourself in the gym?  Do you want to be able to dunk like LeBron?  Do you want to look like Ryan Reynolds (or Jessical Biel, for my female GymGeeks) in “Blade Trinity?” Hell, do you want to just look good for the opposite gender?  These are all things that are worth striving for.  The key is to have a goal, research the hell out of it and follow through!

Now let’s go kick some ass today!

Jonathan








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