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!

Advertisements




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 “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!

Jonathan





Your “Tasty Tuesdays” Briefing (5/22/12)

22 05 2012

Your protein bar sucks.

I learned this a few years ago.  Being in a time crunch on the way to and from Fort Lauderdale,  I’ve pulled over to buy one while gassing up my car.  I also grabbed one on the go when I was working a long shift at the restaurant where I was Kitchen Manager during college.  My thought at the time was that protein bars with high amounts of protein were perfectly fine for consumption, right?

Yes, at one point, this was a good option.

I couldn’t have been any more wrong.  Sure, a bar can promote 32 grams of protein per serving,  but upon further inspection, it’s not the highest quality protein.  Using the MetRX “Big 100” as an example,  take a look at the nutrition label and remove protein content from the equation.

Couldn’t have been ANY more wrong..

That is a meal chock full of fat, sodium and sugar.  While it’s only 5 grams of saturated fat, those three pieces of nutrition each contain 25% of your daily needs!  When you’re eating small meals every 2-3 hours (as you should be),  that’s a recipe for disaster.

Anything with a novel on it’s packaging ain’t worth it!

Also, take a peek at the ingredients list.  I don’t claim to have a degree in biomedical sciences or chemistry, but I can only tell you what purpose a handful of the ingredients serve.  The rest (i.e. xantham gum, brown rice syrup) serve as filler.  Nothing more.  Even breaking down where the protein is coming from, it’s good to see that it’s isolate sources, but soy has been known to be a less stable building block for muscle-building than whey.  The soy crisps in this particular bar are also the source of most of the sodium content in the bar!

What does this all have to do with today’s “Tasty Tuesday,” you ask?  Well, today’s recipe is how to make a protein bar using fewer ingredients (more importantly, that you can actually pronounce).  I’ve always been a big advocate for making as many of your meals as possible, since that means you know what you’re putting in your body.

So I hope you enjoy your “Tasty Tuesday,” GymGeeks!  If you want to share your thoughts on the topic of protein bars (or want to share what’s on your plate today),  feel free to share it here and over at Twitter or Facebook.  I’m up for a lively debate today! 🙂

Jonathan





Sunday Night Recap

20 05 2012

This week was definitely interesting.  The naming of each day gives TheNerdyGymRat a bit more organization in what stuff gets rolled out and when.  As with any site or blog, consistency is key.  I know I quit reading Gizmodo when they went to a random design and I threaten to quit Facebook every time they change the layout.  GymGeeks deserve better and I’ll make sure to do my part!

Now, here’s what all you newbies missed this week:

  • Mondays will now be known as “Motivational Mondays,” where we’ll come up with a way to get rid of all of your excuses.  This week, we talked about the major guts in a man’s life.
  • Tuesdays are “Tasty Tuesdays!”  This one definitely got the best reception.  We’ll be talking about a muscle building or fat burning food, as well as share a recipe for the week.  We took a break from fish dishes to go with a little chicken stir-fry.
  • Wednesdays are “Workout Wednesdays.”  On these days, you can expect to see ways to spice up your lifting & cardio routines.  Abs and Tabata training were on the agenda this week.  I sure as hell used Tabata before volunteering at Orlando Beer Fest last night.  In four minutes, I was sweating like a mad man!
  • Thursdays…well…let’s just call them “Friday Eve Fit Tips.”  On Thursday,  pay close attention to Twitter and Facebook for some great tips on nutrition, fitness, workouts and just an overall healthy lifestyle.  It also frees us up for the quite-popular “Gym Pet Peeves.”  Hopefully you’re not the meathead that I talked about this week.
  • Fridays will be “Fun Shit Fridays,” where I’ll have interviews with professionals in the fitness industry, as well as some reviews of items and news in the sports technology department.  The Under Armour E39 caught my eye, so I wanted to share it with my GymGeeks!
  • Saturdays are going to be all about supplements!  I reviewed GNC’s “Re-Feed” (which, if Twitter is any indication, GNC loved seeing).
  • Which brings us to today, “Serenity Sunday.”  For most people, this is the “rest day” in their workout/diet regiments.  It’ll definitely have a laid-back vibe, where I’ll share a playlist or even fun things you can do on your day off from the gym.

I also want to take a second to thank everyone that’s been reading here, following over at Twitter and liking the Facebook page.  For something I started up on a whim three weeks about, you guys have been a phenomenal group.  I think a healthy lifestyle is something that needs addressing and I hope I’m helping.  I know I hated being talked at in a way where I felt I was being preached to.  I wish something like this existed when I was 240 lbs., so this is my way of paying it forward.  I can only hope you all do the same 🙂

Now get some rest…we start all over again tomorrow!

Jonathan





“Supplement Saturdays”

19 05 2012

Happy Saturday morning to my GymGeeks!

Hopefully you guys crushed your workouts this week.  If you didn’t…well…you have two more days to pick up the slack!  Never leave anything in the tank.  Otherwise, you’ll feel like crap.  I know I do.

Anyways,  today we’re starting “Supplement Saturdays.”  With this day,  you’ll get at least one supplement review and, down the road, some research and studies on different natural supplements from an expert on the subject.  Since most of us do our shopping on the weekends, it seems fitting to post these during the weekend so you don’t forget to pick stuff up if you need it!

Today we’ll be rolling out a review on a protein powder I’ve talked about in passing, but never really got a chance to give my take on, the “Re-Feed” blend from GNC’s “BEYOND RAW” series of sports nutrition.

Do you have a supplement you’d like to see reviewed by The Nerdy Gym rat?  Feel free to leave suggestions here, Twitter and on Facebook.

Now, off to my “active rest” day (translation: time to crush some cardio) before I go volunteer at Orlando Beer Fest this afternoon.  It’s going to be tempting to take a pour for myself for every person who needs one, but it’ll be a fun test in self control!

Everyone have an awesome day!

Jonathan








%d bloggers like this: