Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I can't stress enough the benefits of cardiovascular exercise.

If you pursue cardiovascular fitness, then what you are doing is literally building more capillaries and extending the reach of existing capillaries. This means that more nutrients and oxygen can be delivered more diffusely to all parts of your body because you actually create more highway to deliver those nutrients. It also means that you will improve your lung power and your heart's stroke volume.

Above all other preventative measures, this is the most powerful and effective - and life changing.

So cardio to lose weight? Well, yes - that will happen if you stay on course. But this is an example of a goal that people put forth and have no idea of the powerful effects that can take root if they could just see past the beginning - those first couple of months.

Imagine these effects: lungs that are twice as powerful - lungs that can gulp oxygen. A heart that beats 20 times less per minute but delivers more blood through your body with each beat. Everyday tasks that were once difficult now require little thought and have no consequence - climbing stairs, running with your daughter in the backyard, hopping a puddle on the street.

It makes me think back to when I started Agile - it was so important to me to create something that delivered these goals. I wanted to build something that explicitly didn't promise 'great abs in just 8 minutes a day.' That statement suggests that exercise is unbearable. That's not true - the act of exercise really is a pure example of living in the moment.

Life is not always meant to be pleasant, but it is meant to be lived. And that means conquering the comfortable and not-so comfortable.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Forrest Gump It

Remember those scenes from the movie Forrest Gump where Forrest just starts jogging and doesn't stop?

Sometimes I will see someone that is really out of shape and the thought to myself is, "The best thing that person can do right now is walk and not stop until their weight is gone." It's my own feeling that we really don't have an infinite amount of time and that there is no time like the present. Sometimes we need to stop and think for a second, "Am I where I want to be - is this what I want out of life?" If the answer is no, then what are you waiting for?

Read about this guy's Forrest Gump moment in this excerpt from 'The Perfect Human" By Joshua Davis from "Wired" Magazine.

"DEAN KARNAZES WAS SLOBBERING DRUNK. IT WAS HIS 30TH BIRTHDAY, and he'd started with beer and moved on to tequila shots at a bar near his home in San Francisco. Now, after midnight, an attractive young woman – not his wife – was hitting on him. This was not the life he'd imagined for himself. He was a corporate hack desperately running the rat race. The company had just bought him a new Lexus. He wanted to vomit. Karnazes resisted the urge and, instead, slipped out the bar's back door and walked the few blocks to his house. On the back porch, he found an old pair of sneakers. He stripped down to his T-shirt and underwear, laced up the shoes, and started running. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

He sobered up in Daly City, about 15 miles south. It was nearly four in the morning. The air was cool, slightly damp from the fog, and Karnazes was in a residential neighborhood, burping tequila, with no pants on. He felt ridiculous, but it brought a smile to his face. He hadn't had this much fun in a long time. So he decided to keep running.

When the sun came up, Karnazes was trotting south along Route 1, heading toward Santa Cruz. He had covered 30 miles. In the process, he'd had a blinding realization: There were untapped reservoirs within him. It was like a religious conversion. He had been born again as a long-distance runner. More than anything else now, he wanted to find out how far he could go. But at that exact moment, what he really needed to do was stop. He called his wife from a pay phone, and an hour later she found him in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven. He passed out in the car on the way home."

Continue reading here:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

When I Was 10

"Dad, I wanna look like Arnold Schwarzenegger."

At 10 years old, I saw Arnold as nothing less than a real life superhero. And that is what I wanted to be. The truth is, I still want to be a superhero. But I think I accomplished this based on the wide-eyed gaze I am getting lately from my 1 year old son.

It is the same feeling I have toward my father, the one that got me out of bed at 5:30am to jog around the block and then meet him in the basement to lift weights. Only a superhero can get a 10 year old out of bed at that hour to run and squat. And that is what my father was to me.

Within 2 minutes of him nudging me awake, I was running down the block half asleep. Did one lap around (about a 1/4 mile), walked into the basement and started with Squats. We did all of the classic lifts - Military Press, Bench Press, Bentover Row, Squats, Heel Raises, Arm Curls, and Tricep Extensions. Everything with the bar.

To this day, that is the way that I train. I have an undergraduate degree in exercise physiology, a masters in business, numerous high-level fitness certifications and elite-level athletic experience in 2 sports. Plenty of coaches along the way.

But where did I learn what I know? From my Dad at 10 years old.

I'm not sure where my Dad picked up what he knew. It was not just the exercises, but the progression system he used. Reps of 8, then 10 and 12. When I could do 3 sets of 12, we increased the weight and started back at 3 sets of 8. Simple and effective.

My Dad was a tough spotter. On Heel Raises for example, I had to stay elevated on my toes with the weight on my back until he tapped my shoulder to go down. I never let him down. I stayed on my toes no matter how much it burned.

Well Dad, I'm still on my toes.

You taught me that. And I love you for it. I love you for delivering newspapers at 4:00am every morning so that you could afford to send me to college. I love you for the times you'd make me dinner while I was studying and then bring that big plate of food into my room.

I know that I am who I am because of who you are and how you raised me. I am very proud of that. You were a very good spotter.

Monday, January 01, 2007

My Time In The Desert

February 7th, 2002 - I was 4 hours into a 6 hour training ride, about 65 miles southwest of Tucson, Arizona and close to the Mexican border. I was approaching the small town of Tombstone, my turnaround point.

I had spent those last 4 hours riding straight into a stiff headwind. My face was caked with salt and I was a mental mushball. Something about the wind whistling in your ears for 4 hours straight drains the life force out of you. The steady climb to Tombstone and relentless headwind slowed me down to an average of 12 mph. An uninspiring speed.

But all of this was about to change. I ascended to Tombstone, found an outpost to replenish my water, hopped back on the bike and began my return to my temporary home of Tucson.

And this was where I found a moment that has and always will stay with me. I've written about this moment one other time. That feeling where all distractions leave and your world becomes singular and purposeful.

Suddenly I had a tailwind and slight descent back into the valley of Tucson. A surge of adrenaline won me over because I had past the most difficult leg of my ride.

Spend enough time on a bike, and like anything you develop skill. I was feeling fast and wanted to take high advantage of my speed, so I clasped both hands behind my back and kept my head low to reduce my profile.

Perfect feeling. Steady 34 miles per hour riding that felt like flying through the desert. I gazed at the rhythm of my legs. 34 miles per hour and 120 rpms. My legs were pumping quickly up and down, like huge pistons powering an engine. Four weeks now in the southwestern desert and my legs were chiseled, my skin tan and seemingly translucent that you could see all of the muscle fibers in my quads and calves and the blood vessels feeding them. From feeling wasted and drained, I now felt powerful and perfect. I felt rewarded for the thousands of miles I had written those past few weeks.

All a sense of peace and fulfillment in that moment. That's what I felt. Everything was so silent. I remember that time sort of stretched out when I looked down and watched the work my legs were doing. High speed, high heart rate, deserted and clear landscape, hard work and powerful legs. Purpose and peace. Pureform.

It was a state of mind that forms the foundation from which agile was built. I want others to find their own personal moments by moving and using their bodies to find inner peace and purpose.

That moment for me was a small nugget of time that was buried under piles of hard work. To feel that way for just a moment - it meant more to me than all of the 1-2-3 finishes I had later that year. I won and placed in those races not because I was a special athlete, it was because of the hard work at 12 mph climbing against the wind to Tombstone 4 months before. Each and every mile, seemingly inconsequential, amounts to something powerful.

Question why you have to go to the gym today, but do it anyway. The rewards are surprising and powerful if you let yourself do the grunt work that needs to be done. Don't question the outcome, because from where I am sitting, you cannot yet know it.

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)