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

25 05 2012

We made it, GymGeeks!

Sorry, but a 41/10/3 stat line gets you a Friday shoutout!

It’s finally the end of a long-ass work week.  Hopefully your workouts got you primed for a long Memorial Day weekend.  I know I’m looking forward to some downtime in Fort Lauderdale this weekend with the family.  I’ll be catching the Marlins/Giants game on Sunday at the new Marlins Park, so if any of my South Florida GymGeeks are going to be there, come by and say hi!

Today, we finally have the moment I’ve at least been waiting for…and interview with a fitness professional!  I’ll be posting my talk with Natania Goldberg (@NataniaGoldberg on Twitter) later today.  She was a blast to talk to and is as enthusiastic about the battle against the bulge as I am!

Also, I’ll finally get to putting up my “Gym Pet Peeve” for this week.  This one will have a bit of geek flair to it (and not too many pieces of flair…first person to tell me where that reference comes from gets a special “Follow Friday” on Twitter).

Other than that, I hope everyone finishes their week out strong.  I know I did, with yet ANOTHER new high on squats thanks to the “Shortcut to Size” program (11 reps of 265 lbs.).  Not bad for a guy just short of 160 lbs. and 5% body fat, huh? 🙂  I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the finest movie trilogies of all time…

“Do or do not…there is no try!” – Yoda

Your “Friday Eve Fit Tips” Primer (5/24/12)

24 05 2012

I have to start this week’s primer with a bit of a mea culpa…

As you may or may not know, last week’s “Gym Pet Peeve” was one that I had encountered while in the gym working through my Shoulders/Traps/Calves day in the Jim Stoppani “Shortcut To Size” program.  The mayor of the machines, as I came to call him, was back in form this morning.  At first, my initial thought was “FML” (want to keep it safe for the younger crowd reading) and that I’d be stuck waiting or modifying my routine AGAIN.

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…

Instead, I was on such a rush from a new high in leg press machine calf raises (20 reps at 630 lbs.) that I just simply went over and asked the guy how many sets he had left.  Truth be told…he was actually a really nice guy!  He asked if he could knock out one more set at the seated calf raises before I jumped in, mentioning that he noticed I was “killing it” and didn’t want to “mess with my groove.”

I was in total shock and awe.  We even ended up chatting after our workouts about how much leg presses suck and how we both believe in stretching prior to lifting (he’s a couple years older than me…I’d say mid-30s).  It just goes to show you to never judge a book by it’s cover, GymGeeks.  While it’s still a total pet peeve of mine, don’t be afraid to ask or talk to someone if what they’re doing is really in the way of your routine.  You might even make a new friend.

And that’s only the FIRST of your Friday Eve Fit Tips!  Expect to see more posted all over Twitter and Facebook (and even Google+, as I start getting that profile running).  If you have any you want to share, don’t hesitate to use the hashtag (#FridayEveFitTips).  I’ll get a notification in my e-mail and you’ll be re-tweeted to all my followers.  As I always bash over your head, it’s a group effort to get everyone into a healthy lifestyle.  I refuse to let us get to that 40% obesity rate by 2030!

Have a great morning, GymGeeks!


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!


Great Motivational Moments (…from movies…)

21 05 2012

I’ll admit it:  I’m a bit of a movie fanatic.  In fact, I believe there was a time in middle school when I could do the ENTIRE script of “Dumb & Dumber.”  Even looking back now, I’m kind of impressed with myself!

Aside from music, some movies always get me juiced to give my all.  That doesn’t necessarily mean just in the gym, just overall pumped to be great!  Whether it’s the Herb Brooks speech before the semifinals against the Soviets in “Miracle” or something from a comedy,  there’s always that one scene that can make you want to seize the day.

In fact, just to prove that these speeches don’t have to come straight out of sports movies (automatically means no “Hoosiers” or “Rocky” speeches…sorry guys),  here are a few moments that always get me excited to seize the day (you’ll see why I’ve said that twice a little further down this post…)

“Animal House” – Bluto’s Speech (NSFW, gang)

“Stripes” – Winger (Bill Murray) the night before the parade.

“Dead Poets’ Society” – Oh Captain, My Captain…enough said…I’m going to need a minute…

And how can you NOT have this gem from “Dodgeball” when talking about motivation (props to Lance Armstrong for his acting chops):

So what movie moments get you going, GymGeeks?  I’d love to hear it!

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!


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

Motivational Mondays!

14 05 2012

Good Morning, GymGeeks!!!

I have decided (after an awesome start to Phase 2 on the “Shortcut to Size”) to sort out what gets rolled out at on what day.  As you can tell from the title of this post, Mondays will now be forever known as “Motivational Monday.”

Now, what exactly does this mean for you guys?  It means that you’ll be getting all sort of motivating stuff from me, including playlists, movie quotes/clips (depending on if YouTube hasn’t shut it down yet) and even some good articles to kick your ass into the gym, even though you’re dreading walking into the office after an awesome weekend.

I always feel re-energized after my rest day and want to hit the weights (and hit them hard), so that’s all the motivation I need…but what about YOU, GymGeeks?

I’ll leave a link to the playlist on Twitter and Facebook from now on so that you guys can subscribe (as some of you already have…you guys rock, by the way), but I’ll also embed it in this “Letter from The Editor”-esque Monday morning post I’ll start with every Monday.

So I’ll ask one more time…what motivates YOU?


My Definition of “Nerdy”

9 05 2012

Let me step out of my comfort zone for just a second…

While I was in a pseudo-skype chat (and by that, my microphone was fried so there were a lot of stares and typing sounds) with Eric Wang at “Health Demystified,” talking about some ideas for helping our sites out, he posed a very VERY good question to me that left me in a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights state:

“I hate to ask this…but what makes your site different from <name of site here, as to not give them free press>?”

Not even knowing the site existed, I took a quick peek and all I could say in my head was W…T…F!  This guy’s story is almost EXACTLY the same as mine!  The only differences were that he was a skinny stringbean who made the change and started writing about it three years before I did.  To be perfectly honest, I had a split second feeling of defeat, followed by a few moments of “I’m gonna blow his site out of the water!” swagger, followed by the feeling of knowing I’d have to actually think about this one…

Then it sort of came to me in the middle of the night.  A revelation, if you will.  When I went back to his site, his content, while very extensive and of high quality, was geared at the stereotypical nerd.  This meant a ton of references to gaming and not much else to make parallels to.  It made me think about what it means to really be a nerd.  I looked it up in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary at work and this is what popped out:

“One slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits.”

That is such a broad definition that, if not for the fact that YouTube has tightened the copyright infringements on film content, I’d have a great speech from the end of “Revenge of The Nerds” linked RIGHT HERE:

Sorry; Couldn’t find any Omega Mus….

Essentially, what it would have conveyed is that all of us are nerds in one way or another.  For some of us, quoting Monty Python skits makes us a nerd.  For others, it’s figuring out Randy Johnson’s WHIP from the years he pitched for the Seattle Mariners.  Maybe you wear Iron Maiden t-shirts and pretend all other genres of music created after 1986 don’t exist (or as I like to call it, Jonathan, circa-2004).

If you have a devotion to learning or discovering something, you are for all intents and purposes, a nerd!

It’s that devotion and desire to learning how to live a healthy life that brings us all together as a community, which is what it’s all about!  We can be a nerd in so many different ways, but as long as you have the desire to learn how to get fit, YOU are my demographic.  YOU are who I’m hoping to help with this site, the Facebook updates,the tweets and any other places I share content (this is where you click and go to Pinterest or follow me on Instagram – TheNerdyGymRat)!

I’m not going to pander to just gamers or kids who played “Magic: The Gathering” growing up.  They’re great groups of people (I’ve been known to get my butt kicked in Madden on XBox Live), but why pigeonhole them?

So this is my promise to each of my newly minted “GymGeeks” (you’ll see that hashtag quite a bit from here on in):  I will continue to share and research fantastic content for you as long as you want to share and learn from it!

Viva Las GymGeeks!

(And with that, I have completed my quota for awful Spanglish today.  Have a good night, everyone!)


Shifting Back To Neutral

6 05 2012

Now that the Miami Heat game is over (the only team that can never win…either it’s “LeBron choked” or “LeBron didn’t get the ball!”),  I’m mentally in a good place to write a quick post for tonight…

I wanted to go into why I love & encourage the rest day.  Personally, it allows me to relax, while also being super productive.  I was able to cook my meals for the week, portion them out and do laundry, all while posting & tweeting!  I do this all on one day because my weeks are hectic.  Between working out, my day job of being an Audio Engineer and this new venture, I have a 80-90 hour a week job now.

Mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-day snack all ready to go!

Like the title of my favorite book from a User-Centered Design class back at UCF, “Don’t Make Me Think” about the stuff that I consider time wasters.  When you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail (example:  if you don’t plan/portion your meals, you’re more likely to indulge in a fast food alternative or frantically make something without a second’s thought of what it is you’re putting in your body).

Not only does it give you a mental rest, the rest day also gives your body a chance to shift back to neutral (yes, we have now come full-circle with the post title).  As I’ve mentioned before, the only time your muscles are able to repair from the damage you do to them in your workout is when you rest.  Sleeping eight hours a night is a great start, but a full 24 hours of active rest (I took my dog, Layla, on a walk at the dog park) allows the body to recover while also not being in a sedentary state.

Truth be told, I love it!  To be able to say I’ve worked out, walked the dog, gotten some writing in ALL before most of my friends & family hit the snooze button is a great feeling.  Aesthetically, the proof is in the pudding (as you can see from previous posts).

Anyways, that’s my soapbox speech for the night.  Get ready for another week of intensity from me, The Nerdy Gym Rat!  This video is all the motivation I need to get revved up for the morning.  How do you guys start YOUR Mondays?

Friday Night Revelations

4 05 2012

Hey Everyone!

Hope you all had a great Friday at the office.  We’re still re-arranging the new digs (the coffee pot is still looking for a new home).  All I know is my “Back To The Future” poster isn’t going anywhere!

Anyways, I thought I’d take this time to impart some wisdom that doesn’t really fall into the “article” category.  When it comes to fitness, there’s always a bit of a sacrifice.  Maybe that means earlier wake up calls, two less drinks a week, whatever.  It could also mean getting a hard time from friends & family (some playful ribbing, mostly).  The key to get through it all is just to put blinders up and keep your eyes on the prize.

Speaking from experience, I know I had my doubts about doing the “Men’s Fitness” article early on.  When I posted that it was happening on my personal Facebook page, I got about 20 comments within the first hour.  While most were well-received, there’s always gonna be morons among the bunch who look at it as an opportunity to poke fun.  At first I was pissed because most of those insinuated that I was gay for being shirtless in a men’s fitness magazine (NOT that there’s anything wrong with it, if that’s your preference).

I happen to come from a family with quick-twitch anger (on both sides, actually) so my reaction was less-than-ideal.  I think “go fuck yourself” and unfriendings happened.  Once I got over being a pissy little teenage girl about it and stepped away to look at the bigger picture, the people making fun?  Pure…unadulterated…jealousy.  This isn’t my ego speaking.  Why was I getting upset that overweight slobs who live at home with their parents working menial jobs (to summarize a group of people, not all in one person) were making fun of my transformation?  I look at them, look at myself, look at them again, and all I could do was chuckle and take pity that they weren’t open-minded or willing enough to make changes in THEIR lives.

Anyways, I thought I’d share that bit, since I know that everyone trying to make healthier decisions in their life (be it working out, eating right, etc.) will run into this situation.  Just remember to keep your eyes on the prize and the rest will work itself out and you’ll be better off for it.

Anyone have these experiences?  Don’t be afraid to share them.  This is (and will always be) a collaborative effort.  We’re all in it together 🙂

I hope you’re all enjoying the posts, both on here and on Twitter & Facebook.  I love the responses I’ve gotten so far but will always be open to more!


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