Friday Fitness Finds 7/7

Okay, so it looks like I took a week off. Feels like more. I thought I had neglected this space for a month or longer.

I could say that I was incredibly busy and simply had no time to dedicate to the ol’ blog while masking the real fact that I was just too lazy to write words since I do it 40 hours a week already but that would be a lie.

All lies.

It’s definitely true that yes, I have been quite busy and being a bit swamped at the office makes it difficult for me to want to write even more words when I get home or even on my lunch break. I’ve kept the ball rolling, though, on some new, hopefully cool, projects that involve my personal training.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to start rolling out JTFStrong — a website and social presence where all my fitness postings where live. My intentions include the same posts I’ve been making here for the last few weeks, some rants and raves about hot fitness topics, some hopefully artsy fartsy videos, free workouts and even a full eBook version of my meal prep series that I’ve not finished yet (I owe y’all one more post — I promise I haven’t forgotten).

Anyway, so that’s all been going on in the background. Hopefully they’ll start getting their full reveal sooner rather than later.

Until then, here’s some shit I found this week:

  • Why Negativity Is a Social Killer by Brett and Kate McKay via The Art of Manliness
    A lot of people just assume I’m chill and in a good mood most of the time. Honestly, I actually am. But this isn’t always the case. In fact, I’m often grouchy, hateful and can sometimes be downright nihilistic. But, like it or not, it’s my job to be positive. Not just because I’m a personal trainer, but because I think it’s everyone’s job to be. Being negative is unbelievably easy. Griping and not feeling grateful about nit-picky shit in your life is the simplest way to live, therefore a huge portion of people you encounter during the day will be this way. But not you — not anymore. Someone is depending on you to brighten their day and you may not even know who it is. Does it take effort? Yes, but the benefits far outweigh those of being negative (none).

  • BCAA Energy by EVLution Nutrition via
    Nothing to say here except this is what I use for midday energy boosts or something to swig on between a workout or run and class if I’m doing more than one thing during the day. It’s currently Buy 2 Get 1 Free and you might want to jump on that.

  • 9 Dynamic Plank Variations for a Sexy and Strong Core by Fitness Coach Lunden via Runtastic
    I do several plank variations during my boxing classes (push-up, push-up with hands on the medicine ball, push-up with hands on the medicine ball and ankles crossed, elbow plank, elbow plank with feet on medicine ball, uneven planks, elbow-to-push-up planks, side planks, side planks with the medicine ball on the hip…)

    The point here is that I do a lot of planking. Well, my clients do. And I like these variations. If you come to my classes, expect to see some of these in the future!

  • How to Deadlift (And Why Everyone Should by Nia Shanks
    Confession: I was one of those people that dogged deadlifts. For years. Because I hurt myself when I was in high school. Know how you hurt yourself doing deadlifts? Not doing them right. I didn’t do them right, I griped about them, and herein lies the reason other idiots gripe about them. Nia does a great job here describing the proper deadlift and its many benefits. If you’re name is Erin, please expect to start doing some more deadlifting in your next phase…

  • Anabolic Stretching: An Oft-Overlooked Training Facet to Ramp Up Single Bodypart Growth by Peter Tzemis via Roman Fitness Systems
    This is interesting. I don’t know how accurate it is but his reasoning makes sense (and the idea that Arnold did it helps). The thought here is that while we know that static stretching cold muscles is not only NOT beneficial but potentially detrimental, our muscles can benefit from loaded stretching where we hold a weighted stretch at the top of our eccentric portion of our lifts. It couldn’t hurt, I don’t suppose and I may try this out starting with my cross training this week.

Music to Run Fast-ish, Lift Heavy and Punch Hard To

I guess it was around the time I started training for my first 10K that I stopped listening to music while running. For the longest time I had various playlists and podcasts and story runs I’d listen to while running just to keep my mind off of how tired I was getting. But at some point I decided to quit because I figure since it’s not really allowed during races, why would I train that way?

Then last week I was watching Two Minutes to Late Night clips on YouTube when I found a short video of host Gwarsenio Hall doing Carpool Karaoke with members of various metal bands to the Misfits song Hybrid Moments. The Misfits are one of my favorite bands (if not my #1 favorite) and Hybrid Moments is one of my favorite songs they do. Hearing it that day and seeing people thrashing about in the car to it got me so hyped and I couldn’t stop hearing it in my head.

As a result, I loaded some Misfits onto my iPhone and broke out the headphones for the first time in a long time for a short 2-mile run in the park.

And it was amazing.

It wasn’t my fastest run during this training program thus far, but it was a close second. Something in those Misfits songs sets a fire in me that nothing else can. I’m also sure I was more than just a little intimdating running nearly shirtless through the woods shouting IF YOU WANNA SCREAM, SCREAM WITH ME…

Anyway, that’s the jam for this week — go run, lift or box. And come see me if you want to learn how to do either of those things better.

My Own List of Fifty

A blogger from across the pond I follow and have mentioned here before, Mind Body Work Travel, posted an interesting blog a few weeks ago involving The List of Fifty. This list, according to her, is a nice way of racking your brain for ideas, inspirations, or anything else you may need to make happen but are having a hard time with. Lately I’ve been having some pretty serious attitude issues, I’d say largely due to recently becoming a nihilistic Agnostic but having to deal with some pretty mindless self-righteous and religion-fueled hate spewing from the mouths of friends, family, and coworkers. So I’ve decided that although I think the world is bad and so are everyone in it, it wouldn’t be impossible to reshape my mind and how I approach things and one way of doing it would be to start with my own List of Fifty, and like my friend Pippa, they’re 50 things I know are good:

  1. Pimento Cheese Burgers
  2. Bracelets
  3. Headphones
  4. Doodles on Post-It Notes
  5. Sleeping
  6. Being Married
  7. My Dogs
  8. Cooking
  9. Hearing People Say My Food Is Good
  10. Sharpies
  11. Reading
  12. Tattoos
  13. Clean Bed Sheets
  14. Red Wine
  15. Pizza
  16. Trivia Night
  17. Helping Appreciative People
  18. Knoxville
  19. Running Shorts
  20. Ska
  21. Lana Del Rey
  22. Graffiti
  23. Lunching With Mom
  24. Records
  25. Laughing When Someone Says “Poop”
  26. Beers on the Back Porch with my step dad
  27. Instagram
  28. Baby Animals
  29. Black Shirts
  30. Sprite On the Rocks
  31. Beards
  32. Hockey
  33. Short Weeks
  34. Long Weekends
  35. Getting Up Early
  36. Boxing
  37. Taking Photos
  38. Supporting Friends’ Creative Endeavors
  39. Competent Coworkers
  40. The F Word
  41. Cookies
  42. Having a Window Where I Work
  43. Random Compliments
  44. Grilling Food Not Usually Grilled
  45. Having a Bad Attitude When Necessary
  46. Action Figures
  47. The Thumbs Down Gesture
  48. Pal’s
  49. Races
  50. Dinner Parties

50 Things. All of which I would take any minute of any day, really. I wanted to make comments on them all but I wanted to preserve the list as it is in the notebook I wrote it down in. After reading through it I’m already in a better mood – and I was already in a pretty good one to begin with. Everybody wins!

I’m going to leave you with a picture of me in this fat mask I found at Party City over the weekend. It’s a nice reminder of who I would be if I didn’t get off my ass and make it to the gym, the park, and the greenway six days a week. Hard work pays off!