Monday, August 21, 2006

New Features! Adobe Printouts, Endurance Audio Podcasts and New Yoga Sequences

Dropping a note to let everyone know that we have some new and exciting features being added to your programs over the next 6 weeks!

Adobe Printouts - all of your workouts will be available on a one pager showing the exercise illustrations and a short description.

Audio Podcasts for Endurance Workouts - We start recording all of the endurance workouts live! A couple of endurance athletes and myself will exercise through and record every one of our endurance workouts (currently over 300 of them). We'll cue you on when to go harder, slower, easier and faster! All mixed to a cool beat. Don't worry - it'll be done in a way that we're not constantly in your ear breathing heavily and telling you what to do.

New Yoga Sequences - Mariko Bhakti Hirakawa is coming on board to really make our Yoga Programs special! This will transform our Yoga from, 'yes, we have that too' to the most authentic and original Yoga programming available. Mariko has over 15 years experience and will be spending half of her time with Agile in India! If you'd like to get a preview of Mariko, visit her website at

New Dashboard and Workout Page - We're making it more intuitive. Workout page should be up and running this week and Dashboard page next week.

Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Most people like the idea of training but few people have the patience to see this idea through to reality. My squash coach, Sean Gibbons, and I thought about this between drills today. I suppose, and Sean agrees, that this dilemma is true with most things in life. Many people start off on a project, or new job, with good intentions and great energy. In fact, I have learned only in the last 5 years that I needed to learn how to apply my athletic discipline to other areas of my life. Now, I have much more balance and success in other things besides sport.

Does this sound familiar? In what areas of life have you excelled? My bet is that a big part of your success in that realm is because of your persistance and ability to see things through.

So the secret to getting fit is that there is no secret. You just have to implement day-in and day-out. Stay true to the cause. Stay focused on what you set out to do, tweak it from time-to-time, but otherwise implement day-in and day-out.

I can only help you if you are committed to letting me help you.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sari is Doin It!

I'm gonna open up a gym that has a female-friendly weight room, possibly with pink weights. Sari, the 'case study' subject many of you asked about has been courageously walking into a testosterone-heavy gym to do her Tone Lifting program. Sensing desperation and pressure-overload in her voice on one of our phone updates, it seemed clear to me that I needed to stop by her gym to get her comfortable. We did that yesterday morning.

We went over most of the exercises in her program. It's been slow-going with the her lifting program partly because it was so new to her. The rowing too. We decided that since there is so much new-ness to this experience for her, that we're gonna scrap the rowing program until the winter and swap it out for running in this fantastic weather we've been having lately.

I think now that she has more comfort in the weight room (I showed her how to flaunt her stuff and not take crap from any muscular monkeys) she'll be good to go with the lifting. It's important for her, and important for most women, to lift weights. I said as much in my last blog but I left out a critical part. Weight lifting increases bone density, an especially important benefit for women. Pilates, Yoga or Cardio do not have the bone-densifying effect like that of weight training. Any time you place a weight-bearing load on your shoulder girdle, spine or hips, it sends important messages to your central nervous system that your skeletal system has to adapt and handle that load. At the cellular level, this means creating more osteoblasts, which increases bone density.

So, Sari's plan is lifting to increase her lean body mass and running to simply let loose and soak up nature when the endorphins are flowing (a beautiful, and downright spiritual combination).

The success story so far: Sari and I are still working together. Exercising, or really making change, is hard work. It takes a team.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Pear-shaped Women

I see it all the time - women who are strong in their hips but have very little tone or strength in their shoulders and arms.

If you have extra weight in your hips and you want to burn that off, the fastest way to do so is not by cardio and not by Pilates. You should lift weights. Specifically, upper body weight training exercises.

Here's why:

When you increase your lean body mass your metabolism (base metabolic rate) increases. That means you'll be burning more calories all day long - even when not exercising. If you're lifting with your shoulders, arms, back and chest, then that muscle growth will effectively eat away the extra weight in your hips. In 3-6 month time, your pear shape will morph into that of a beautiful hourglass.

Running or elliptical training won't build lean body mass because you're using the aerobic energy system. To gain lean body mass, you need to train aenorobically (weight training). It is true that you could run aenorobically and gain lean body mass, but that means lots of sprints (think Olympic sprinters). Sprints are great, but chances are, you may not be ready for the high impact demands of sprinting.

Here's a good routine to build those upper body muscles:

1. Upper Body Ergometer for 6 minutes to waken and stabilize your shoulder capsules.

2. Romanian Deadlifts to hit all large muscles groups and prep your body for isolation-type exercises.

3 and 4. Pullup & Dip Machine for chest and back. Use wider grips and plenty of assistance from machine.

5. Seated Overhead Press for shoulders (first with bar and then with dumbbells)

6. Seated Double Arm Extensions with dumbbells for triceps (do not alternate).

7. Arm Curls for biceps (bar, then alternate with dumbbells).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I Am Not Selling Magic Pills

Tucson, Arizona, 2001. I went there to train for the up and coming racing season. New York is no place to ride 3000 miles in the winter. I just finished B-school. Job market was horrible. It was a perfect opportunity to go. 8 weeks of 400-500 miles per week in the desert. Not one of those miles was my heart rate over 158 beats per minute. Yet cumulatively, those were the miles that made me wickedly fast by May of that year.

Results will come if you are persistent, one mile at a time. One workout at a time.

Common scenario is that people will start going to the gym and really get into it. High energy, they feel great and then 'the fizzle' happens. I think its great that people get into it that way. It's so awesome to see people's energy shoot through the roof. What stinks is seeing them disappear 3 weeks later.

It is good that you start off that strong, but when that dies down (within 3 weeks for most), that's when you need to recall why you started exercising. Slow down. Take the pressure off yourself that you need to go hard all the time. Go to the gym and allow yourself to have a less-than-great workout. On those days, take credit for even getting there. You accomplished more than you think.

I am not selling magic pills. If you want to get in shape then you need to do the work. I'm impressed with what you've done in 3 months, not 3 weeks. I can help you get started in 3 weeks. But I need more of your time to get those results. I need 3 months without a week missed. I need 6 months without 2 weeks missed. I need 2 years to change your life.

Exercise for many is a random pursuit. Think about your goals. What is your plan to reach those goals? Are you hopping on a cardio machine everyday? If so, what's the workout plan? What about the next one? How do you string together 2 weeks of cardio sessions? 4 weeks? 2 years?

At Agile, when you logon to your workout, you'll see something called 'Run Rate' on your dashboard. It starts at 50%. Each workout you complete makes that number go up. Each day that goes by without you doing a workout makes that number go down. This is your barometer. Results are guaranteed if you can keep that number at 65% over a 3 month period.

But here's the beauty of Run Rate. If you got off track and your Run Rate dropped to 18%, then you have a clear goal - get it to 25%.

If you're having trouble, let me know. I am always here to help.

About Me

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NY, New York, United States
I'm 34 years old, the proud father of 2 beautiful children and husband to Jennifer, a beautiful, smart, and very caring woman. I'm an athlete - someone that was blessed with the ability to move fast and fluidly past, around, up and over my opponents. But, my body now reminds me that those days are numbered. I'm the Founder of Agile Fitness, a company dedicated to helping others achieve their fitness goals. Resume: - Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist ('96). - Bachelor of Arts & Science, University of Delaware, ('95) - Masters in Business Administration, Baruch College Zicklin School of Business ('01)