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!





Supplement Review: Syntha-6

2 06 2012

GymGeeks…I’ve been holding out for long enough.

For the athlete, this right here is the holy grail of all post-workout nutrition.  I first discovered Syntha-6 as a last-second ready-to-drink shake at GNC before going out for the night (yes, I’m that guy who pre-games with protein…GymGeek problems).  What I got was 40 solid grams of protein with enough carbohydrates to keep me energized for the night without the crash of a 5-Hour Energy.

Syntha-6

Didn’t even need it carried to me by African swallows…

Granted, this was before I got super-serious about my fitness goals.  Now that I research the hell out of everything I put into my body (again…GymGeek problems),  I can tell you that it is perfect for any athlete or high-intensity fitness freak.  At 200 calories, 22 grams of protein (a mix of different whey types and caseins) and 15 grams of carbs per scoop, it’s a great blend to replenish your strength after a great lifting session.  On top of that, each scoop has 5 grams of BCAA’s and 10 grams of other amino acids,  your muscles will thank you!

This is one of the best-blended protein powders to ever have the privilege to be in my shaker bottle.  After 30 seconds and using both milk and water,  it blends completely with no clumps or sugar-esque crystals like you find in cheaper brands.

Taste-wise…holy crap.  It passes the Nerdy Gym Rat test (which, of course, is having a great cookies & cream option) with every option.  The best of the bunch is, without a doubt, chocolate milkshake is the best flavor.  I’d also recommend the mochaccino flavor, as it sure beats the hell out of a trip to Starbucks.

There is, of course, one catch: since it’s a premium powder, it comes with a premium price tag ($30 for 3 lbs. on Bodybuilding.com).  As such, I recommend it to any of my GymGeeks who are super serious about their workouts.  Otherwise, I’d stick to the whey proteins, since they are better for the beginner and the low-carb dieter.

Has anyone else tried it out?  Let me know what your thoughts are!





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!





Gym Pet Peeves (6/1/12)

1 06 2012

I sure hope you all get a good weekend of rest, because there’s a major national holiday on Monday that all of the GymGeek Nation should know about:  National Bench Press Day!

Ok, clearly I’m kidding.  I’ve just always found it interesting that there’s an unwritten rule that Monday’s are for bench presses.  I still shudder at the thought of waiting in line for the bench press stations at the UCF Rec & Wellness Center back in school (and we’re talking about a school with the second highest undergraduate enrollment in the United States).

There really is no explanation for this phenomenon, other than most meatheads like working their show-off muscles while girls are mildly interested in working out at the beginning of the week.

I bring up the bench press not because of the high traffic on a certain day.  That’s not so much a pet peeve as it is a necessary evil at every gym.  I’ve adjusted by doing my leg workouts on Mondays, just to knock out a tough day early.  Besides, no one’s fighting me to do squats!

So without further ado…

The Mayor of The One-Rep Max

This Pet Peeve Has a History…

I’ll be the first to admit it; finding out your one-rep max is a very important measuring stick when tracking your progress, in terms of muscular strength.  In fact, I do it once every two months just to see how far I’ve come.

But what about the guy that only does one rep…for ten sets?  It’s a head-scratcher to me.  All it does is get you tired, defeating the purpose of building both strength and endurance.  The idea of weightlifting is making your body efficient.

Doing your bench press in this fashion is a lot like driving a luxury car as fast as you can for ten seconds, hitting the brakes, resting at the red light, then doing it again at every…single…light.  All it’s going to do is beat the crap out of the car (or in this case, your body).

If your goal is to get stronger and bigger, you’re far better off doing three or four sets of four to six reps.  It’ll be much more taxing than doing ten sets of one while also giving your body a reason to recover.  Again, it’s about muscle efficiency.

So to this guy/gal, I leave you with this; use it as a measuring stick, not as part of your routine.  Besides, on National Bench Press Day, you’re also going to piss off A LOT of people waiting to get work done!  Also, you don’t want to end up like THIS guy, right?





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)





How To Build Your Own Workout (With a Little Help From Men’s Fitness…)

30 05 2012

The #1 question I’ve been asked by beginning is “How do I start a workout routine?”  Luckily, it’s really not any sort of rocket science.  You don’t need phenomenal genetics or a high-tech gym to be in shape!

A great place to build your own workout is with this article from “Men’s Fitness.”  Basically, the idea is to create a routine that:

  1. Is goal-oriented
  2. Doesn’t stick you in a gym for more time than necessary (efficiency is key)
  3. Is built around a main lift, with secondary lifts to complement

I went into a little bit of detail about the “Big Three” earlier today with the deadlifts.  That would be considered a main lift.  If you’re working back and biceps (an all-pulling exercise day), you’d start with the deadlift, then go into your secondary lifts (i.e. lat pulldowns, bicep curls) that complement it.

A push press is a “main lift,” since it involves more than just your shoulders.

With your goal in mind (weight loss, muscle building), you basically determine how many repetitions and sets you’re going to do for each lift (and how much weight you’re going to use).  If your goal is fat loss, you’re going to go high repetition (12-15 range) at a lighter weight.  If it’s muscle building, you’re going to go low repetition (4-6 range) and higher weight.  Remember, though: no matter what your goal is, you aren’t going to get anywhere with poor form!

Now, we all don’t have hours to spend at the gym like professional athletes or fitness models.  I personally have only an hour, hour and a half tops, to get my work in daily.  That means no jerking around!  There’s no reason to do ten different exercises for your chest.  At a certain point, the muscles will be fatigued and won’t be able to take the beating and recovery will be brutal.  Keep it to three or four exercises per muscle group.

Another great resource that I’ve recommended to GymGeeks is Bodybuilding.com, where they have a “Find A Plan” option that makes it simple for you.  They have a great database of exercises (all with video instructions), so you can go into the gym more informed next time!

(Also remember, GymGeeks.  A healthy lifestyle is 20% gym, 80% nutrition.  You can bench press a Hyundai, but if you’re eating like it’s your last meal EVERY meal, you’re not going to see results.)

Now get your butt back in the gym! No excuses, no surrender!








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