Archive | February, 2008

For the (Fit) Boozer in You…

Posted on 28 February 2008 by Jason White

Beer

I come from a long line of drinkers. In fact I have a very fond (at first, then terrible later) memory of one Adirondack winter when I was about 6 years old and my father and my uncle were in the woodshed chopping wood. It was a family event and our two families were out in that shed just hanging out.

There’s not much to do up there especially in winter and especially when you have to feed two wood stoves 24/7 to keep the house warm.

So my cousin who was my age exactly suggested we go inside and ask her mother for beer to give to our dads and then just drink the beer ourselves. Mischievous by nature I thought her idea was brilliant and agreed. We almost got stuck when my aunt who was completely unfazed by our request for brewskis asked us which kind they asked for….”uh, uh, uh the green ones!” I stammered. It worked!

Two green bottles in our hot little hands and we tore out of there like we had just stolen The Crown Jewels. Mischievous AND Athletic by nature I immediately went to the shed, stuck the bottle in my teeth, bit down on to the cap (I know, it did hurt), and started climbing the door hinges to the two wooden planks that sat astride the support beams. Those two little slats added up to about 12 inches across of “loft space” and rested there about 10 feet off the ground. Grinning like a soon to be drunken elf I sat to work prying the top off that bottle giggling at everyone’s gaping face holes. I mean they were just so shocked.

The whole thing had happened so quickly, I was fast “he was fast” and I had a beer “where the heck did he get that beer?” I think deep down they were really amused and never thought I would actually pull it off. Nor could any of them climb up there like I did. Top off I drank that whole beer up on that loft and immediately started to wobble. I don’t remember much after that (duh) including how I got down. I DO remember being inside later that evening and everyone basically making fun of me for being drunk and I remember screaming at them to stop and I remember crying because I was so dizzy and I couldn’t shake it.

I guess I sobered up eventually. And this is sort of the long way around to say that: I enjoy drinking. Which is difficult for me because I also enjoy being lean. And if it is one thing I have always told you it is that DRINKING MAKES YOU FAT.

You might enjoy drinking too. I am not the trainer that is going to yell at you for drinking. UNLESS you are trying to lose weight and then we have a problem. It can be reconciled though and I have a secret weapon to juxtapose the two: Remember my Holiday Weight Loss guide on Fox 5 Good Day New York? In it I suggested that you take Vodka on ice if you are trying to lose weight and you really, really want to drink. And then of course I found a cool blog post that supports the idea:

Check out The Low Cal Cocktails on Vital Juice Daily It is a cool post about how to make some choices that will keep you in cups without completely ruining your weight loss efforts.

Enjoy!

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Your 55th Birthday?

Posted on 24 February 2008 by Jason White

Just a quick question… What will you be doing on your 55th birthday? My friend Ellen Stein just turned 55 on Friday and in her honor I have finally gotten my butt in gear to post the video of her Record Breaking single rep squat at the IPA NJ Power Challenge on Jan 20th. Just look at her thighs in this video, they look like the thighs of a teenager! And let me tell you another thing: She only weighs 128lbs!

SO I don’t want to hear any more of that junk about how weightlifting makes you into some kind of giant. Get cracking in that weight room ladies it is the closest thing you will ever get to the fountain of youth. Heck it IS the fountain of youth.

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Preaching to the Converted

Posted on 23 February 2008 by Jason White

In this blazingly fast talk from Dr. Dean Ornish you will hear something you probably already heard: Americans are getting fatter. But the there are two very interesting pints about this talk. One is that since we are exporting our culture we are also exporting the diseases we suffer as a result of carrying so much extra weight. Cardio vascular disease is now more prevalent in some places in Africa than the AIDS epidemic. And the part that I am fascinated with is the series of slides that show the rise in obesity in America by state in the 1990’s.

I first saw these slides at the NSCA convention in Las Vegas when Thomas Incledon gave his presentation on how his lab will analyze your blood work to determine your nutritional needs. But he went through them very slowly. Dr. Ornish blazes through them like the rest of his talk so you can see the rise in obesity bloom like a flower. It is fascinating.

The good news…by training with me you are actively participating in your health, and ultimately your wellness, staving off the ill effects of our country’s slow slide into inactivity.

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Lessons Learned at 10,000 feet

Posted on 20 February 2008 by Jason White

Snowbird from the Cirque Traverse

So there I was. After many years of dreaming that one day I would sit atop this mountain looking down and bask in the glory of the Utah sun and cold. I traveled to Snowbird with 3 other trainers for a 4 day trip during the first week of February at the tail end of a record breaking 100″ of snowfall. The locals were beside themselves and the energy on the mountain was a snow lover’s dream.

We got there early on Wednesday so that we could get a few runs in and we were booked through until Sunday where we could get a few runs in before heading home. It had been Waaay too long since I had been on a mountain trip and the last time I went snowboarding with friends was in Vermont which served basically only to whet my appetite for bigger, more challenging terrain.

I feel like I had finally found the exact right spot for me when we got there because I was neither the best rider in the group nor the worst. In fact we were all fairly equally matched for skill and conditioning but my age showed a bit and my preparation could have been better. What I may have lacked in either case I made up for in sheer determination and a risk accepting attitude, probably the reason I broke my wrist 18 months ago, but it has kept me knee deep in fun all my life.

Josh Rodrigo and Jason

Whether you are planning a big mountain trip, a casual escape to a ski resort, or looking for a little extra excitement, there is no better feeling than being well prepared for the adventure.

Please…Learn from my mistakes.

Mistake #1

Good Preparation. All good trainers analyze the demands of the sport they train their clients and athletes for. I underestimated the volume of effort that we would be putting out during our trip. I should say I underestimated my sheer ability to go crazy, take risks, charge ahead and get in trouble. Getting in trouble on a snow trip means if you make a wrong turn you could end up waist deep in powder that is practically like quicksand. It really takes tremendous effort to escape from and at elevation can cause intense hyperventilation.

Lesson Learned: Figure out where you are going and what you are going to do Surfing? Skiing? Mountain Biking? Estimate the amount of time you will spend each day and make some adjustments to your workout routine. Adding a few extra sprints and hard cardio sessions would have acclimated my body to some of the demands that the altitude and the deep snow placed on my system.

Mistake #2

Water. 11,000 feet meant hyperventilating and I did a tremendous amount of it because when I wasn’t stuck in the snow I was barreling down a crazy hill making tight turns and screaming I was having so much fun. Add that to the competition to keep up or lead the guys in my group down a steep pitch meant that there was very little rest and a lot of full body movement. Which means I spent most of my four days gasping for air. All that gasping meant there was a huge increase in the amount of air I was exchanging and water I was losing as vapor. Exercising at altitude means I needed a lot of water. Exercising about 5 hours per day more than I was used to and I needed to at least double my water intake.

Lesson Learned: We did use Camelbak hydration systems. They are basically backpacks of water with tubes that run to your mouth via your shoulder straps so you don’t have to fiddle with bottles while you are on the move. They work very well IF you keep them filled. On one day I managed to go through my water supply and I never refilled it so by the time we finished I was already dehydrated. Use a Camelbak, and use it well. Even if you think you feel fine drink more water. It is nearly impossible to drink too much water so drink up. Worst case scenario you pee a lot more.

Mistake #3

Calories. If you are going on an adventure trip, a hiking excursion, spending a day at the beach, or just out for a long bike ride you need calories. Don’t make it part of your weight loss routine. Concentrate on having the fun. I bought a backpack for the trip so I could carry my calories and that worked well on two of the four days. The rest of the time I thought I would rely on the lodge or on some trail mix. A couple days this left me without the calories I needed to support my exertion levels.

Lesson Learned: Pack your lunch! Pack two lunches! Don’t underestimate your need for fuel. The protein bars and the trail mixes are an ok supplement but a sandwich goes a lot further. Find plenty of variety in your fuel sources and you will never run out of energy while having your fun. You will also supply your body with the fuel needed to repair damaged muscle and if you are adventuring then you will surely need it.

Mistake #4

A little too much partying. Thank the Snowboard gods I was with trainers who are basically healthy guys. I like to drink when I am social and if I was hanging out with drinkers then I would have boozed it up a little more and that would have dehydrated me further. As it stands we had a couple beers each at dinner and that seemed to be plenty. Drinking at altitude can be quite taxing on your system and even though you are on vacation and should let loose a little bit if you are exercising then beer and wine make poor recovery drinks. I am not in the habit of grabbing a beer after the gym so grabbing one after 6 hours outside playing doesn’t make much sense in hindsight.

Lesson Learned: A little less beer and a little more water would have done wonders for my recovery. Try to limit your intake while on your exercising vacation. You will be able to play harder and far longer if you do.

Mistake #5

I really should have taken more advantage of the jacuzzi and the steam room. The steam room, especially at altitude, helps to salve the dryness and irritation of the lungs from the volume of air exchanged. Our rooms came with humidifiers as well and I should have used that at night. I probably would not have come back with that rough cough as a result. The jacuzzi would have helped. I did take a soak but only on one night. The mistake was in not going out there every night to let the warm water and jet streams help to ease the tension out of my muscles. A massage would have done me pretty well too.

Lesson Learned: Steam, Jacuzzi, humidifier, and massage will help you in your recovery and as you age the name of the game is recovery. The faster you can recover the more fun you can have.

So there you go. I went and made the mistakes so you don’t have to. Please take a couple notes so that you can have more fun and feel better during your trip. And please share your experiences in the comments.

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