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
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
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
Let’s face it. Sometimes you need a little external motivation to get you going to the gym or yoga studio, or for that power walk around the neighborhood. Take me for instance. In six weeks I turn 48, which makes it 31 years since I started driving and began my daily workouts at Man’s World gym in Trenton, NJ. But even today, after all those years, I often require that external motivation to keep me interested and to give me that little extra something to work towards. Fortunately, in my gym there’s this guy who’s built like Adonis, and like me, works out every single day. Yesterday I asked him his age thinking “if this guy is anywhere close to my age I’ll retire”. Luckily he said 31. That makes me old enough to be his father, and since he was born the same year I started working out, I felt relieved. Because we all know the powers of Father Time and Mother Nature, and how your body certainly slows down as the years click by. So in the gym this guy’s my motivation. As for the yoga studio, I started practicing in 2005, so let’s just say my internal motivation kicks in at all times! So if you need a little external motivation to get you going, pick someone who’s got that rockin’ bod, or better yet, find that beautifully sculpted body in a magazine and post it our your vision board. And if you don’t have a vision board, then post it on your bathroom mirror. Because when if comes to anything fitness, sometimes we can all use a little help. Enjoy your workout – R
My yoga teacher used that phrase today in Savasana at the end of class. For those who’ve never taken a yoga class, Savasana is the final resting pose when you totally let go and experience the sensations from your practice. It’s awesome! It’s also that quiet surrender to your feelings and affects of the physical and mental challenges you just endured. Yoga truly helps you achieve that peaceful pool of water while wringing the body of all sorts of negative things. Even if it’s practicing Warrior II for 5 minutes a day, pushing the body to limits that challenge your focus and your mind. So do some yoga and get a little more peaceful. And staying with that peaceful theme, check out my friend Molly’s Peaceful Offering – she’s amazing! PS – she’s the beautiful blond at the beginning and the end
The topic of my horoscope today was self-discipline and how no one is born with it, but is something that must be fostered. I believe self-discipline is something you can cultivate everyday with conscious thoughts, feelings and actions. And since actions lead to results, than it’s best we take positive and deliberate actions on anything in our lives that will lead to positive and desired results. In the case of physical well being, it’s therefore important to take action that will lead to a healthier, leaner and longer life. By embracing a daily fitness program, whether it be walking, biking, weight-lifting, yoga, or any other preferred form of exercise, you’ll be cultivating self-discipline everyday in the realm of physical well being. Which also helps strengthen your mental well being. So if you’ve already broken that New Year’s resolution to workout every day, don’t despair. Leave those negative thoughts behind and start your new routine today. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to achieve a strong body and a clear mind? Enjoy your workout! R
So what’s your excuse for not making fitness a daily part of your life? Here are the top 10 excuses I’ve heard this year:
1. It’s too expensive. Well, if you can’t afford the $13.93 to download my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts – only $1.99 per workout – or the $14.99 to download my Yoga Survival Guide, then go for a free 15 minute walk or just lay on your back and stretch and work your core & abs – for any amount of time.
2. I don’t have the time. Who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves? And if 1% a day is too much time for you, then make it 5 minutes.
3. I don’t know what to do. Educate yourself for free on the Internet, or better yet, purchase any fitness or yoga video that resonates with you – hopefully mine.
4. I’m injured. Speak with your doctor about what you can do to avoid that area of your body – and mindfully and cautiously workout around your injury.
5. I’m afraid of getting hurt. Before you begin any fitness program, check with your doctor about what you can and cannot do, and really listen to your body at all times.
6. I’m too old. Nonsense! Everyday – including this morning – I exchange hellos with this eighty-something year old man in the gym. Plus, my oldest yoga student was an 88 year-old woman who could barely walk. Need I say more?
7. I don’t have the desire. Who does? I mean, what’s desire got to do with strengthening and preserving your body and your mind for the long term. It’s a necessity.
8. I don’t like working out. Same as above. Plus, try working out everyday for 30 years then tell me if you really like doing it.
9. It’s too cold outside where I live. Who says you have to go outside to workout?
10. I’m going to start in the New Year. Great. Now download my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts or my Yoga Survival Guide, and I’ll see you tomorrow!
All the best in 2011 – R
This morning I spoke with this twenty-something year old Ethiopian guy who moved here to pursue the American dream. You know the one: money, kids, cars, a big house – am I forgetting anything? Well, he explained to me how his family is considered wealthy by Ethiopian standards, with a nice house and a live-in servant for $20/month (yes, $20), and how he’s basically had to “start from scratch” since arriving two years ago. Because regardless of his perceived wealthy past, he’s had to start from square one here in the United States. Just like many people and their fitness programs. If you haven’t worked out in a really long time, well, you’ll just have to start from scratch. But that’s not a bad thing. In fact, why not make it a good thing! Like with my Ethiopian friend – who has his own apartment, works a full time job and goes to technical college – starting over doesn’t have to be feared. Keep it simple and keep it short, as in 1% of your day. Embrace the challenge and have fun with your new beginning. Because who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to respect themselves? R
I spoke with my sister yesterday after I received her beautiful pictures of my nieces and nephews, including my brother’s children. This holiday season my family is 3,000 miles away, but for sure I’m there in spirit. And keeping with that holiday spirit, my sister told me she just started my fat burning workouts and intends to lose 12 pounds. The key word here – intends – as opposed to hopes. Because with anything you do that requires action, it’s better to set your intentions and make it happen than to hope for something good to happen. She also told me the first two days her legs were so tired she couldn’t go for her 2 mile walk – which she also just started. I told her after a week or so that muscle fatigue will get better and she’ll be jogging those miles in no time. This Ode’s for you sis…
Burn Fat Burn
Sometimes the path seems filled with pain,
but the only thing that hurts is your ego in vain.
Who says you’ll find success by pushing yourself daily,
when the results seem as far as the comet Halley.
But wait, you say, there’s a simple solution,
because reasons and excuses are just an illusion.
So keep on trucking with that positive attitude,
with fat burning workouts there’s no room for platitude.
Always set your intentions and just let’em fly,
no judgment, no worries, to your old ways goodbye!
Merry Christmas Everyone – R
Everyone knows the feeling when the weather’s got you down and you’re ‘a little under the weather’ right? Well how about turning the tables on today’s bad weather and telling yourself exactly the opposite – that you’re a little above the weather! Because that weather malaise is just a temporary mindset you can enthusiastically change. I know for most of you Mother Nature has been rather frigid and snowy and all around nasty, but for those of us in LA it feels like we should be boarding Noah’s Arc right about now. And since we’re relatively spoiled with our clear blue sunny skies – well, who says you can’t move to LA – it’s especially easy to feel under the weather and fall off your daily routine. Don’t do it. Or if you do, just make it one day only, not two or three in a row. Because while everyone else around you feels a bit more weather-like with each passing day, you’ll be the bright a cheerful one who got your workout in. For sure you’ll feel better and for sure your positive energy will radiantly affect everyone around you. And maybe you’ll even motivate your loved ones to do the same, so they can bask in the sunshine of their own positive energy. So get your 15 Minute Fat Burning Workout in today. And I’ll see you tomorrow. R