Making Progress with a Pass-Fail Approach

About a month ago I gave my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts to a friend in New York City.  He was actually one of my “prototype” users when I was customizing the full body low-impact exercises.  Think Tony Soprano but shorter.  He’s also late 40’s with amazing abilities in the kitchen.  Albeit, his love of food has certainly helped sustain his 70 lbs. of extra weight.  And since he’s never been much of a gym person – nor would he be caught dead in a yoga studio – the 1% or 15 minutes of your life routine works great. It’s also one that anybody can complement with power walks or abdominals & stretching.  And in my friend’s case, I’ve encouraged him to take my Pass-Fail Approach.  It goes as follows:  At the end of each day you write a P or F into your calendar, P for pass if you worked out that day (15 minutes or more) and F if you did not;  at the end of 7 days you’ll grade each week with a P or F, Pass if you have more Ps than Fs, and Fail if vice versa;  and at the end of the year or 52 weeks later, if you have 26 or more Ps, you PASSED for the entire year.  Which means you worked out at least one hour a week for at least half the year – 26 hours – which is excellent if you really don’t workout.  Like my friend who says he’s making excellent progress.  Progress with his personal Pass-Fail Approach, and progress with all the challenging yoga and balancing I’ve got him doing as he gets stronger and more confident with each workout.  So take a Pass-Fail Approach and keep on progressing.  I’ll see you tomorrow – R

Triceps anyone?

Triceps with Rich Tola

Sometimes you just don’t have the time or just don’t feel like changing into workout clothes just to workout, right?  Well who says you have to find time or wear something workout-ish?  Do one thing for a couple of minutes and you’ll get your workout in – at least part of it.  Like when you’re waiting for that email, or that phone call, or your girlfriend to get ready, or that client to show up.  Check out me working triceps here on my favorite reading chair (dining room and office chairs are even better).  Apply “yoga principles” as you plant your feet slightly apart with knees at right angles pressing together.  Keep your chin parallel to the floor, your spine straight and dip slowly until your elbows reach right angles (no need to go further), pointing your elbows toward each other.  Do not to jerk your head or neck.  Note: always be sensitive to any tweaks or pains in your neck as well as your shoulders, elbows and wrists.  Move with slow and deliberate movements.  Nothing fancy and make sure the chair is properly weighted to support this exercise.  Strengthen your arms and build stamina with these simple dips using whatever’s available to you.   Do as many repetitions as you can per set, and as many sets as you can – with short breaks in between until you feel the burn and can’t do any more.  It’ll happen quick.  And always maintain good posture, close your mouth and breathe slowly and quietly like the sound of the ocean, and pick a point of focus to wipe your mind clear.  Enjoy – R

 

Point of no return

I just visited my thirty-something year old friend who was speaking about her weight when she said, “I know what it’s like to be past the point of no return”.  She spoke with such conviction about how everyone struggling with weight loss reaches a specific point of no return.   Last week I gave her my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts and stopped by today to check in on her and to drop one off for her girlfriend.  She hasn’t started the workouts, but said she would today – after much cajoling on my part. When I asked her why not, she said it was “mental”.  Actually she’s doing quite well, mentally and physically, considering she weighed 218 lbs. two years ago.  She also said her exact “point of no return” was 180 lbs, and that once she reached that point she pretty much gave up hope – and desire – of getting the weight off and skipped right past 200 until her final stop at 218.  And can you believe this adorably funny gal started college weighing 106 lbs? The good news is when she finally reached 218 she started with a well-known weight loss program that helped get her down to today’s weight of 180.  Hmmm.  I suppose now it’s the “point of return”.  Next stop 140.  So she says.  And so I believe – as long as she believes and continues to make good choices.  Because with a daily fitness program complemented by a positive mindset and positive lifestyle choices, anything is possible.  Enjoy your workout – R

 

Based on yoga principles

Utkatasana
Bicep Curl

When I refer to exercises being based on yoga principles, I’m referring to the how you do the exercise as compared to what you do and how often you do it.  In the gym this morning I overheard this twenty-something guy ask Mr. Adonis (check out my earlier blog “External Motivation”) what he should do for his biceps and how often he should do it. He also said he only read about it on the internet and found many different opinions.  That’s correct.  When it comes to asking any weightlifter or certified personal trainer their opinions about weightlifting, they all vary.  Just like yoga teachers are like snowflakes – they’re all different – so are opinions of what you should do in the gym.  But here’s something that I’ve brought into my workouts – and you can too – where you can’t go wrong:  think yoga principles in everything you do.  Like biceps.  Take a look at my posture and balance in the left picture – much like my posture and balance in the right picture.  In yoga terms that’s chair pose or Utkatasana (in Sanskrit).  Make sure the energy is radiating straight down through the crown like a steel rod going all the way through your spine down to the middle of your heels planted firmly on the ground.  Relax your toes and try not to swing or alter your posture when curling.  And curl slowly and deliberately for a better burn.  This way is more challenging than the usual swinging people do to get the dumbbells or bar up.  It’s also much more focused and effective.  And for specific lessons on bringing yoga principles into your everyday life – and the weight room – check out my Yoga Survival Guide.  There’s expert instruction on 100 key yoga poses filmed throughout the streets of Hollywood, Venice Beach and the LA Zoo!  There’s even Baking Yoga, Traffic Yoga and Prison Yoga – made especially for Lindsay Lohan.  So think yoga principles and enjoy your workout – R

Healthy lifestyle

Rich's Healthy Lunch

I forgot to mention the bonus part of my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts:  my succinct intros and outros reinforcing the concept of positive thoughts, speech and feelings with the forever mindset of making good choices and embracing a healthy lifestyle.  Like my lunch today.  Check it out – I made it myself.  Just like having a well-balanced diet of exercise, the same applies to what you consume on a daily basis.  So always take that positive attitude out into the world and don’t forget to get your workout in.  R Salad Ingredients:  European salad mix, bean sprouts, cut & peeled baby carrots, fresh tomato, fresh ginger, one can albacore tuna in water, topped with Sriracha hot chili sauce (my fav!).  Plus a non-alcoholic beer and cup of dried cranberries.

Everything worth doing takes time

Have you heard of the new 787 Dreamliner that’s due to hit the market this fall?  It’s promised to be the most advanced, fuel-stingy passenger jet ever made – at a mere $200 million each.  But it’s three years overdue and billions of dollars over budget.  No worries!  Because once it’s ready, travelers will experience shorter and more comfortable trips in a passenger plane that’s the fastest, largest, brightest, lightest, and cleanest – with the purest air quality – ever made.  Sounds great to me.  Because everything worth doing takes time.  Like building a better and more durable plane to achieving a healthier, leaner and better looking body by way of daily fat burning.  That’s why my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts are designed to be effective and easy-to-follow without all that jumping around.  More importantly, I believe a simple and attainable workout program is worth doing, but also one that’s successful over time.  And I say attainable because they’re low impact exercises based on yoga principles that anyone can do for only 15 minutes a day – 1% of your life.  Unlike most high-impact fat burning programs that are more complicated and require much more time.  So take a long term approach to your health and fitness, and just like the new Dreamliner, look forward to the results you patiently desire.  Enjoy your workout – R

30 Day Workout Challenge

So how about a little workout challenge to add to your external motivation?  If you’re not already a fan of ours on Facebook, become one today and win a complete set of my yoga and fitness videos ($50 value) as we aim for 500 fans – click logo to visit our fan page.  Or better yet, workout every day for 30 consecutive days and win a copy of my yoga-inspired film, Boulevard Zen.  We certainly hope our competitive external motivation gets you started with a daily fitness program…because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves?  R