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!

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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

 





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 “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!





My Interview With Natania Goldberg

25 05 2012

Here is the first of hopefully many interviews to come! 

Natania Goldberg is a personal trainer based out of Santa Monica, California.  She has been training trainers for almost 15 years, originally getting her certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in New York City.  Her commitment and dedication to the field was clearly evident from the second I started chatting with her, mentioning her work with local media as well as her executive roles at many major fitness companies all over the country.

What I found most interesting about her story is how diverse her athletic prowess is.  For example, not only has she competed in triathlons, 5k’s and other long-distance races…but also kickboxing matches!  She’s one of the few trainers I’ve had the pleasure to talk to that get that it’s more than lifting heavy weights and putting them down.

So without further ado…

Nerdy Gym Rat (NGR): What sparked your interest in fitness?  What made you want to turn it into a career?

Natania Goldberg (NG):  I started in the fitness industry at age 18 and never looked back!  Movement, exercise and the enjoyment of it was always something that was a part of me. I decided to turn it into a career from the day my first client said “thank you” you have changed my life! Making a career in making a difference …gotta love it! 

NGR: That’s what it’s all about to me: Paying It Forward!  What is one of the biggest misconceptions your clients have when they first start working with you?

NG:  That exercise is work, boring and will hurt! It can be if you like that kind of stuff 🙂 I believe in finding things clients enjoy doing and meshing that in to their programs so they enjoy it and stick with it, forever! As they say, take the “work” out of workout! 

NGR:  Yeah nothing is more of a turnoff for most people starting than it being boring as hell.  I tell most of my readers that nutrition (I hate saying diet) is 80% of a healthy lifestyle.   How much do you emphasize nutrition with your clients?

NG:  I do emphasize it with all of my clients. It is at times the determining factor in reaching or not reaching your goals. However, I do collaborate with my clients to not make drastic changes in foods, avoid deprivation and use coaching to establish change needed in eating habits to last life long. 

NGR:  What is the most gratifying feeling about training a client?

NG:  Seeing that turn around in them when they have reached a goal, feel better about themselves and in turn have changed their life for the better as well and the loved ones around them. Fitness, starting to exercise is usually one of the first action steps someone takes as part of a bigger plan 🙂 

NGR:  Ok, one final question, and I saved the toughest for last…What is the #1, all-time best piece of advice you would give to somebody who is just starting to work out and make that change in their life?

NG:  Just be you and take it one day at a time!

For more information (and for you West Coast GymGeeks looking for a trainer), she can be found on Twitter (@NataniaGoldberg), as well as her website and Facebook.  She’s always happy to talk to people and be as communicative as possible, so drop her a line and give her a follow!  She is officially part of the GymGeek Nation, as far as I’m concerned!

(If you are a fitness professional and you’d like to be interviewed for NerdyGymRat.com, drop us a line at thenerdygymrat@yahoo.com)





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





Your Motivational Monday Briefing (5/21/12)

21 05 2012

“But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” – Ernest Hemmingway

This is something we all think about from time to time.  There’s that little part of your brain that asks you, “What if I screw up?  If I do this wrong, what will people think?”  Inevitably, we are all afraid of failure in any facet of our lives.

For me, it has always been in a social setting, not necessarily in the gym (in fact, that’s probably where I feel the most confident).  I’ve been the guy to think out things (sometimes overthink them) before making a decision.  All this allowed for was time for that little bit of doubt and fear to take over.  It’s a strong little bastard if you allow it to be.

For some of you, it might be that you psych yourself out of going to the gym on the drive home from work.  Sure, it starts at 2:30, when you say to yourself “I’m totally going to do chest and back today!” By 4:00?  “Ok, I’ll at least do chest.  These reports are draining me.”

By 5:00, when you’re in your car driving home? “Well…maybe I should take the day off and get some sleep.  I haven’t eaten dinner yet and I need to catch up on Sportscenter.  Besides, the gym isn’t going anywhere, right?”

Well, in a literal sense, you’re right.  However, you couldn’t be any more wrong.  You’ve allowed that part of your mind to take over.  The only way to counteract that is to have a continual level of swagger through your day.  That mentality of “I’m gonna be awesome in everything I do,” will remove doubt and keep you motivated not only to work out, but to work hard at everything in your life!

And if you do screw up?  If you’re afraid of how you look doing something?  I have two words for you: fuck it.  Yes, this is the first time I’ve ever dropped an “f-bomb” on TheNerdyGymRat, but it’s appropriate in this post.  If I allowed other people’s thoughts (which I don’t even REALLY know anyways) to control what it is I did, I’d be trapped in a bubble that moved from the gym to work and back home seven nights a week.  No human contact whatsoever!

If you worry about how you look NOW (as opposed to how you’ll feel immediately after a workout or how you’re going to look in the long run) because you’re afraid of what people think, you’re already fighting a losing battle.  That’s what “Motivational Mondays” are all about.  Getting you to a point, mentally, to walk with that head held high, even if you trip and fall.

Now get out there and take control!  It’s a new week and the beginning of a new you.  Hit the “reset” button and do the damn thing!

Jonathan

(P.S. – Enjoy the playlist!  Foxy Shazaam is my new favorite find and this song is beyond addictive.)








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