Monday, May 21, 2012


So it was not to long ago that in the middle of writing posts about overcomming Cancer that I signed off with a very simple saying"Don't just Survive...thrive" It stuck on many levels and has become my signature. As time passed I looked into possibly getting funding for a Fitness video and writing a book. Well I wrote the book which was more about fatherhood than anything else. The Fitness Videos peaked with P90x and Insanity but time and technology has seemed to catch up with that. You can get everything on line these days. I still do think a Fitness website can be a very viable commodity. Interestingly enough in the middle of this process I had the idea of putting together some tshirts that had inspirational and funny sayings on the back with the AFEX logo on the front. So here are the first 2. We have a few more in development. Here are some quotes that we are working on:

Concieve, Believe, Achieve
(in red)(This is a basic saying that I've heard for the past 20 years. It's so simpke and it rhymes.)

You Riding...or hiding?- Bike Austin
(in green)( I live in a community that loves bikes. I see groups of people on a regular basis riding their bikes on the streets and highways here in Austin. They all seem to acknowledge themselves)

Want to surf?
Move to Hawaii
Want to Ski?
Move to Colorado
Want to play Football?
Live in Texas
(in burnt orange)( The thing I like about this quote is that it applies to all of Texas. I never realized how big football was here in Texas until I moved here my junior year in highschool)

Deffinition of a Grapefruit:
a lemon that had a chance and took it

(in purple)(When I was a sophmore in high school a senior left this as her quote in the yearbook. I loved it. It has stuck with me all these years.

H20  the benefits are clear

( I always loved the marketing for milk. I'm constantly encouraging my clients to drink more water. One of my clients gave me this quote. I loved it.)

  So there is my start. For all of you here from kickstart a few words on the shirts. All are printed on a coton poly blend high quality tshirt at Aztec printing here in Austin. All shirts are light charcoal. Lettering font right now is up in the air. Considering some new options for our font style so please give me some feedback. Our ladies shirts come in v neck babbydoll style. I want to make a push for the "football" t shirts to get here by football season, sold at games and hopefully soon at some of our local co-op stores. All our initial orders will be Med,Large and XL for men and XS,Small and Med and LArge for women. Please contact us for any specific requests. Kids shirts...we can do it. I beleive in this and know we can be sucessful.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Every now and then the fitness industry puts out something worth it's price and weight in gold. 10 years ago a Houston gymnastics coach was visited by one of the strength and conditioning coaches from the Saints for ideas on how to build strength , balance, and conditioning for his football players. Gymnast have long been looked upon for their physical excellence. Their bodies and very realsitic sculptures of attainable muscle as well as having the grace of ballet dancer and power of a sprinter. In esscence they represent the perfect physique. To many at least. Anyway, what the coach observed was handmade device consisting of 2 heavy duty straps. One acted as an anchor and the other was suspended by it.Attached on either end were 2 gymnastic rings. A couple of years later the TRX was introduced to the fitness world with a some great celebrity endorsers. Drew Breeze,Laird Hamilton,Gabby Reece, The Hamm brothers, and Brandon Vera to name a few. For the cost of 5 dollars to make and an average price of 115.00 to purchase the TRX has made huge waves in the fitness industry. And here's the works!! I got my first TRX about 7 years ago as a promotional tool. I love it and have encorporated it into many of my training sessions. The TRX suspension system can be used to work every body part all while encorporating your core. The catch is that your stabelizing muscles get engaged from the minute you start any movement. The clue is to use this piece of equipment to balance out your other movements not take the place of the others. Here is where we as trainers make our biggest mistakes . We get a good routines or new piece of equipment and we beat it to death. Does anyone remember the swiss ball. The other day at the gym I watched a guy try to do a 60lb chest press on the ball. A bit much. ambitious though. Try this abdominal routine for starters.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How much is too much?

I hate to admit it but I love gossip mags. Sure I can blame it on my clients or even say I'm getting them for Nicole. The truth is they're damn entertaining. With the success of the Biggest Loser and other similar contest it seems as though every couple of months my gossip mags have the latest rash of fat loss stories from celebrities to the common every day folk. Some are very inspiring. I myself was at one time very overweight. I'm not the tallest of men and the day I joined the Navy in 1994 I was 204 lbs. Needless to say I was taunted from day one. Over the course of my time in the military I developed a love for fitness and made up my mind that when I got out I would pursue a carreer in the fitness industry. Now some 18 years later I weigh about 160 and am doing just that. What I knew I could bring to the table that other trainers couldn't was an empathy for those that struggled with weight loss.
So as I read these stories I ask myself "What is realistic?" I've heard a pound a day. A pound a week. Who's to say for sure. Your weight loss or lack there of will be directly related to 2 things . First the ammount of time and effort you put in. Second , the ammount of distractions you give up. Well we know what that first one means right. You need to workout. Be active at least an hour a day. That second one is the killer. "What do I need to give up?" I hear this all the time. "I know what I need to be doing." So if you know , than what is the problem? The reality is most people don't realy know. I have a line that I use with all my new clients. "There are 24 hours in a day . 168 hours in a week. I see you for 3 of those hours. A great deal of what your body is going to look like will depend on what you do with the other 165 hours." In other words: What you're doing is not working. Lets try something new.
So realisticly what can you expect to lose? Well it all depends on how much you give up. If you give up a large portion of your current counterproductive diet and replace it with healthy lowfat,low starched,low sugar meals in conjuction with 3-5 high intensity workouts a week, The sky is the limit. Well maybe not the sky , but deffinitely some clouds up there.
So here is my own personal little tidbits:

ditch the diet coke
stay away from anything fried.
eat high fiber
drink 6 glasses of water a day
don't eat after 7pm
allways have breakfast
jog for 30seconds followed by a 45 sec to a min sprint 10 times
lift weights 4 times a week
stay away from alcohol 5 days out of the week.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Birth of Bootcamps

When I first started personal training some 15 years ago, Body for Life was the big thing. It was the simplest of concepts. Get people into a competition to see who could lose th most body fat and gain the most muscle in the shortest ammount of time. Prizes were given away. Gym memeberships were sold. EAS and Muscle Media 2000 became a household name. We all in the fitness industry owe a bit of grattitude to Bill Phillips. You youngins don't know who he is? Look him up. Body for Life the book , written by Bill Phillips, stayed on the best seller list for a record 154 weeks!!!! A fitness book for God's sake. And to be quite honest it was a very simple fitness book. Nothing new here, he just broke it down into very easy to follow instructions. Now , most gyms have their own workout challenge. The biggest Loser is a hit TV show. So what is the current trend? Well about 11 years ago a very simple concept started picking up steam. Let's take the model of an aerobic class and apply it to a "blue collar" crowd. We'll model it after the millitary. And we'll call it ......wait for it.......Bootcamp. I started teaching my first civillian bootcamp in 2001. It was the year I started Austin Fitness Extreme. I started off small. When Austin Fitness Extreme launched in 2001 I was one of maybe 3 camps in Austin. There was a Navy Seal bootcamp and a marathon running group. Over the past 11 years around every corner is a bootcamp of some sort. They're running up hills,down hills,up stairs, down stairs,pushing ,pulling,lunging,squating and jumping everywhere. So how do you pick a good one. Hmmm. Pick mine! No seriously. Think about what you want to get out of it. A good bootcamp will constantly evolve, much like the fitness industry. When I started I need a schtick of some sort. I went out and bought 40 kettlebells. A small fortune at the time. However, I was the only bootcamp with them at the time. Now everyone has kettlebells. Since my early days I have added just about every mobile piece of fitness equipment known to man to make myself and my camp more marketable. Most good camps will have aerobic based days and anaerobic days. The concept is to get the best of both worlds and house them under the same roof. Bootcamps should build you up more than they break you down. Don't get me wrong they should be tough , but they should be very doable. Beware of the bootcamp instructor who probably can't do the workout he/she is dictating. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Also beware of any bootcamp that tries to sell you supplements. Like I said pick mine!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012


The agility ladder is on of my favorite pieces of tourture. I'vebeen using it for the last 6 years. I remember the first time someone put me through a training plan designed around the agility ladder. Needless to say I tossed my cookies. These days you can encorporate the agility ladder with pretty much any exercise routine. Remember the key here is to always try something new and always challenge yourself . Take John here. In his forties, runs his own company, dad,husband, and he kinda looks like the "Brawney Man". John needed some new ideas for working out outside the regular push/pull/squat routine, so I had him encorporate this with some good ole fashion high knee hurdles. You gotta love it. Not only did he do this several times but we mixed up variations of the exercises to keep his mind and body guessing. At the end of the workout John's heartrate was elevated which gave him the ability to burn more calories post workout. That's key here. Keep your body burning calories. The other key is to not consume bad calories afterwards. I am hoping John didn't make a trip to Burger King when this was done. Keep you're body hydrated. Seventy degrees in Texas during the winter can still be miserable if you don't have enough fluids in your system.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sports Films

I love a good sports movie. There have been some amazing ones over the years. I think what makes a good sports movie is one in which you care about the characters. Lets see....... Rocky is an amazing sports movie , but when it comes down to it, it's a love story between Rocky and Andrian. In the end it doesn't matter if Rocky wins, you want Adrian to fall in love with him. That theme surrounds all the sequels. For all the boxing, Rocky is a love story. One of my other favorites is Hoosiers. I can't imagine living in Indiana or making high school basketball interesting, but from start to finish you care about the characters. Hoosiers is a movie about ,well.....transition...moving on.....overcoming the past. A coming of age film if you will. I challenge you to not love this film. The Program is a football film about ...........testosterone. It's a film for all of us who never played football in college but wishes we could have hung out with the team. You guys all wanted to be Joe Kane or Lattimer.
With all that said I hate mixed martial arts films. They are horrible. For the record if Kimbo Slice is in the film sucks. Just sayin. The movie Warrior is amazing. Yes it is surrounded by the world of MMA, but man it's about family. Two brothers fighting in a tournament for two different reasons, but both trying to shake the shadows of the past. It's amazing. I almost cried..........but hell no I didn't. Instead I did 70 pushups and shadowboxed afterwards. Just like when I watched Rocky. Do yourself a favor it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Couple that works out together...stays together

You know, I've been training people for the past 15 years and the thing I've realized is that when it comes to couples and exercise, the couples that share fitness as a passion and/or workout together tend to be the happiest. Why is this? Well for starters you're both taking an interest in each others health. The other big thing is that watching or just knowing that your spouse is working out is well.....attractive...dare I say sexy. I'm a very solitary person by nature, but I love working out with Nicole. Now does she want to be a Thai boxer. Hell no! Does she want to do a cage fight? Definitely not. She's a trained ballet dancer. I just love it. Our strengths are different. Our goals are different. But, she is very fit. Very balanced and very strong( and not just strong for a girl). What I find attractive about all this is that we share a passion for keeping our bodies healthy. Once a week she does ballet classes by herself, and I roll and or spar with people several times a week. What I look forward to , is our workouts together. When we took a vacation together this past summer we worked out everyday. I never thought I'd say this , but my girlfriend is my favorite workout partner.

As I've looked around this past week I've watched couple come in to the gym together. Some share a trainer, some have different trainers. Some just workout on their own. It has become so apparent to me that the couples that seem the happiest both workout . Date nights are great, but what about scheduling some workout time together. Release some of those endorphins. Get rid of some of that stress. Nicole and I are running a half marathon this year. I hate running. I've already run a half marathon. It's horrible. The thought of running it with Nicole makes it not just bearable....but an adventure. I know .....I've gotten sappy. ......Wait I'm still tough. I'm a hard ass....who am I trying to kid? I'm whipped. In the meantime try this:

squat and press 5 reps(10lb weights)

scissor jumps 5 reps (10lb weights)

front should raise 5 reps(10lb weights)

push ups 5 reps

mountain climbers 5 reps

v-ups 5 reps

do this circuit 4 times through. no break. increase by 5 reps each time through.....good luck!