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Cardio using a towel – The Towel Taz

So today our metabolic workout included, among many tortuous things, the Towel Taz.

The Towel Taz has become one of my favorite aerobic conditioning moves. While not necessarily hard if you do it for 10 or even 20 seconds, it becomes brutal at about 30 seconds and completely destroys you if you do it for a couple of minutes.

So what is the Towel Taz?

It sort of looks like this, especially when you get tired and start to grimace.

Basically it is you shaking a towel as powerfully and quickly as you can up and down while moving quickly around from side to side, in a circle, forwards, backwards and every which way. (Just like the Tasmanian devil above, you are basically moving around as fast as you can in a whirlwind!)

Trust me…It is harder than it sounds. That towel that at one point seemed light (although the moving blankets we use don’t exactly feel light even to begin with) gets pretty heavy, pretty quickly. And your legs get amazingly fatigued moving around quickly.

BUT I also like this move because it is something that anyone at any level can do.

AND you can easily do this move even at home…or well…anywhere for that matter! All you need is a towel or blanket. Even a freaking bath towel will work! You don’t even need a lot of room to do this move (just make sure there isn’t anything around that you could knock over with the towel!).

So the next time you want to do a little aerobic conditioning, but don’t feel like going for a run or you don’t have a piece of equipment like a treadmill, bike, VersaClimber or elliptical handy, grab a towel!

Start with 3 two-minute rounds of Towel Tazes. Try to decrease your rest from 2 minutes in between each round to only 30 seconds between each round. BUT if you decrease rest, make sure that you aren’t doing it at the expense of working hard the next round. It is better to rest for 2 minutes and work just as hard the second and third rounds than it is to rest for only 30 seconds and be super sloppy the last couple of rounds.

Once that feels easy try 5 rounds or even up the time that you do the Towel Taz.

OR if you are looking for a great metabolic circuit, try the one I did today!


3-4 Rounds of the following 9 exercises, with one minute rest between rounds.

Each exercise is done for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest to change to the next exercise.

Towel Taz
Sled “Fight” (Push, pull, rotate the sled every direction within a small amount of space.)
Power Ropes battling waves with shuffle (So alternate arm waves while shuffling side to side.)
Push against Wall (So if you don’t push yourself on this one it isn’t hard, but what you do is literally push against a wall as if you want to move it!)
Lateral Shuffle, Sprawl, Sit Thru (So shuffling in a semi-circle, at random points drop to the ground and perform a sit thru, which is an ab move where you lift your left hand and bring your right foot up to replace your hand and literally “sit through.”)
Bag Carry (Take a heavy bag, sandbag or any other awkward heavy bag and bear hug it and walk around quickly.)
Sidewinders (Using a two-inch, 50 ft rope, stretched out all the way, rotate side to side creating waves like a snake moving over the ground. A total ab killer!)
Woodchop Sit ups (Hold a weight with both hands over your right shoulder. Knees bent, sit up and drive the weight across down to your right hip. Then lay back down and repeat)
Glute bridge with twist and reach (In a glute bridge reach your right hand as far back over your head on your left side as you can. Then come back center and reach your left hand across your body and as far overhead to your right as you can.)

Super good! AND lots of different ways to move!

Anyone else have any random exercises that they love that look kind of stupid and not that hard but are actually KILLER?

Do you know why?

Do you honestly know why you eat the way you do? Do you know why you do certain exercises?

If I asked you right now why eating vegetables is good, could you truly give me an answer?

Or would you just be able to repeat something that someone else told you?

How do you know that what they told you is even true!?!


Unless of course you’ve done your own research.

Ok so I’m not saying to doubt everything that you hear. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t trust a professional’s word.

But I do firmly believe that no matter what the subject, you need to do your own research.

I mean I tell you to avoid gluten. I tell you that fat is not the enemy. I tell you to eat LOTS OF MEAT aka I’m anti-vegetarian.

And while I hope you agree with me because I firmly believe I’m right, I know that people won’t believe with me.

And while I don’t mind a good debate, I really hate when people tell me that I’m wrong without truly backing up their opinion.

Sorry to pick on you vegetarians, but I really hate when you attack me about how our farming industry is hurting our environment and that we should all be vegetarians to protect it.

Because for one, this shows me that you obviously haven’t really read a word I said. If you notice I don’t promote conventional farming practices…I’m for all naturally raised animal products a.k.a the way animals WERE living on the land originally when we used to hunt them,

And two, no one really ever explains how being a vegetarian is MORE environmentally safe than eating meat raised the natural way. Most of the time when I actually point out how BAD mono-crop farming is for the environment, they have no response.

And why don’t they have a response?

Not because someone out there hasn’t come up with one, but because most people don’t really understand WHY they are doing the things they do!

haha random but funny!

So while I’m sure there will be a few vegetarians offended by this post, my point isn’t to get a response to my above comments. My point is that you need to THINK.

I don’t care what diet or exercise program you follow, even if it is mine. You still need to UNDERSTAND why you are doing it.

Don’t eat a diet low in fat and high in “whole grains” and tell me fat is bad and whole grains are good for you if you can’t back it up.

And saying, “Well whole grains have fiber” doesn’t cut it.

Anyway, next time you decide to take a stance on something, make sure you’ve really thought about your stance and understand the reasoning behind it.

All talk?

Do you love talking about health and fitness?


Do you love to find the latest trend and read about it and go all gung-ho for like three days and give up?


I feel like over the past few years I’ve met a ton of people who seem to like TALKING about healthy eating and working out, but that DON’T actually do it.

And those are the same people who wonder why they aren’t getting results.

Sorry but talking about being healthy doesn’t make you health.

You’ve got to actually WORK AT IT.

You’ve got to PRACTICE what you preach.

I don’t sit on the couch eating chips and bread as I tell you to eat only meat and veggies.

I don’t ask anyone to do something that I haven’t done before or am not willing to do myself.

I don’t try a new diet or workout program AND RAVE ABOUT IT only to give up on it a few days later.

Every guideline, every recipe, every workout or tip I’ve written about I’ve tried…And believed in.

As with everything, I’ve evolved. I haven’t given up…I’ve just found better ways of doing things.

So what I’m saying is…

For one, you’ve got to actually give something a try. You can’t just get all pumped about a new diet and talk about it to everyone. And rave about how great it is going for the first week only to give up because of some dumb excuse the next week.

For two, once you give something a try…like really give it a chance to find out if it works, you CAN’T stick with it after it has PROVEN not to work for you.

Basically I’m telling you that you can’t just talk about being healthy or rave about something that isn’t getting you results.

And if you want results, you’ve got to give your diet and exercise experiments a chance to prove if they work. At least a month is needed of strict adherence to know if that program works for you.

On the flip side, if you want results, you also can’t stick with something that you’ve tried and hasn’t work. You can’t just stick with something because it worked for someone else. Don’t just keep following something like a drone. Think about it!

Anyway, the point is that you won’t get results by just talking about being healthy. You’ve actually got to go after it. You’ve got to try things…and I mean really try them. You’ve got to find things that work and things that don’t work and you’ve got to keep growing and evolving.

So stop talking about getting fit and start DOING IT!


narrow-minded – lacking tolerance or flexibility or breadth of view; “a brilliant but narrow-minded judge”; “narrow opinions”

So in a comment a little bit ago, I was called narrow-minded.

It kind of made me laugh because that isn’t something I’d ever considered myself to be.

I mean yes…am I arguing in support of MY viewpoint on this site….OF COURSE!

Anyone writing anything is basically supporting THEIR VIEWPOINT.

But while I may support one very specific viewpoint in terms of what I believe to be the BEST diet and exercise programs on this site, I would argue that I’m not narrow-minded.

First and foremost I tell people to constantly learn, experiment and evolve their diet and workout program. As I’ve said before, one size doesn’t fit all!

You have to find out what works for YOU and you only do that through research or learning, self-experimentation and constantly being open to evolving your beliefs and programs.

I have clients that don’t hold near the same diet beliefs that I do. And I have clients that LOVE running. I don’t try to change their diet views and I don’t tell them to stop running.

I will question their diet beliefs just like I hope people question mine. The only way we can make sure we are constantly learning and getting better is by questioning. I never just want to accept something as truth….I want to know WHY it is truth.

So I question them. If they are going to be eating a certain diet, I want them to know WHY they are eating that way.

And I help guide them to become more educated. I don’t say they are wrong or that they should follow my diet. I help them find their own way.

Because as I said before, it doesn’t matter what works for me. It matters what works for you.

And that client that loves to run…Do I force them to become a powerlifter?


Am I completely dumbfounded as to why they love running? OF COURSE! 😛

BUT I don’t tell them to stop doing what they love. Instead I show them exercises and/or lifts to help them become fitter, stronger runners.

You have to do what you love. If you don’t love your workouts, you probably won’t stick to them for very long.

If you love running, do it. If you love lifting, do it.

But that doesn’t mean you can just ignore the rest of your fitness. You need strength training to make you a better runner. And you need cardio to help make you a better lifter. You need to give your body some variety in training and plenty of recovery or you won’t see the results you want in the activity that you love!

So maybe I am narrow-minded. I believe I’ve found something that works for me and I want to share it…hence the birth of Man Bicep. I respectfully disagree that I am not, but it is really up to you to decide.

All I can say is I hope that you find the diet and exercise program that works for you and if you need any coaching along the way, I’m always here…Even if you are a vegetarian runner and my arch nemesis….

Workouts – What should we really be doing?

So last night when I was talking about workouts with a friend I realized how deeply it is ingrained in us that not only are certain exercises the key to weight loss success but so is a certain duration of activity.

She assumed I ran a lot and worked out for long periods of time because I’m “thin” and “in shape.”

Most women assume the same thing. They believe that running and long workouts are the key to weight loss success.

But they are wrong.

For one, I rarely ever run and when I do it usually is sprints or really light jogging if I’m going any distance over a mile.

And two, I don’t think any of my workouts have been anywhere near an hour for months now. Shoot, at least a few times a week my workouts aren’t even longer than 15 minutes!

Running and cardio in general is a key piece of the weight loss puzzle, but it isn’t the only piece. Strength training, and diet, are also very important.

If you don’t do strength training, you won’t add muscle.

Why do you want to add muscle when your goal is weight loss?

Because by adding muscle you burn more fat. When you have more muscle, you burn more calories allowing you to lose weight more easily and keep the weight off!

If you only do chronic cardio, when you take time off and eat normally, you will find the weight goes right back on. Also, you will find that your body will get used to the chronic cardio that you are doing and that you will constantly need to be upping the amount of time you spend running to get the same calorie burn!

BUT if you’ve added muscle, you will find that you won’t gain the weight back near as easily because you’ve raised your metabolic rate by adding muscle which needs more calories to be maintained!

Also, strength training will help prevent injuries that may develop from repetitive motions, such as running, that would hinder your progress or keep you from working out!

So while cardio is important, STRENGTH TRAINING, is actually more key to maintaining a healthy “in shape” weight!

Now to workout length….

Workout intensity is what really matters when you are trying to figure out how long your workout should be.

When I go for a hike or a walk, my workout will be longer. BUT if I workout super intensely, there is no need for my workout to pretty much ever go over 45 minutes.

So it isn’t that long workouts can’t be good, but if you are working out super intensely for an hour, you are probably going to either burn out or start feeling the effects of overtraining, which will actually hinder your progress toward your goal (be your goal weight loss or added strength or merely feeling fitter!).

So I guess to sum up what I’m saying is there is no one form of exercise or a certain length of time you have to spend working out to reach your fitness goals!

Variety is key!

(HMMMMM….Variety is key….That sounds familiar….I was going to link to another post here but there are too many preaching this on this site to pick just one! :-))

The good, the bad and the simply stupid

When I was doing my low-fat diet a few years ago, Ryan and I would watch Man vs. Food and plan out our next cheat. Our meals simply weren’t satisfying. We actually watched a ton of food shows or “food porn” as many of us call them.

Right now Jamie, Tucker, and baby Cooper! are watching Man vs. Food. They just showed a huge Cinnamon Roll and I have to say, my belly started hurting just looking at the 3 pound monstrosity. WOW! What a difference between my current diet and my previous low-fat one! I’m pretty much ALWAYS satisfied!

Welcome home baby Cooper! Congrats Jamie and Tucker!

The Good

  • You CAN eat pretty healthily even if you eat out. Here are a few of our quick and easy meals out since coming to Cali.

    Homemade corn tortilla tacos (steak shrimp, carnitas) and a protein style hamburger. LETTUCE BUN!

  • See I’m not the only one that claims you can eat healthy on a budget!
  • I also thought it was cool to see a number of recent articles and posts against vegetable oils and in favor of cooking with natural fats!
  • An interesting article especially for any trainers out there – what and how we can motivate people to exercise!

The Bad

  • Uhm seriously!?! We need to adopt a vegetarian diet or we will face a food shortage crisis!?! HAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHA!
  • So Statins really don’t have any benefit…Yet half of our nation is taking them….(This article is good…the whole fact that it even needs to be written is bad.)

The Simply Stupid

  • So Sunday night Ryan and I ate pizza for the first time in over two months. Right now we are living with cats and I’ve had problems with allergies and cats in the past. I haven’t had any trouble with allergies while I’ve eaten Primally. BUT Monday after the pizza, not only did I feel swollen, dehydrated and sick, I also had ALLERGIES. Of course a return to my version of Primal got rid of them quickly, but still the whole experience was eye-opening. The reason this whole story is under stupid is because many people are too lazy or stupid to go without gluten for any extended period of time and see if they feel better without it. I guarantee they will! Health issues they just accepted before, like allergies, may just go away!!!
  • READ THE INGREDIENT LABELS PEOPLE!!!!! Soybean oil and other crap is hidden in random products. You may have gone Primal, but if you are still eating some of these products laden with hidden gluten and vegetable oil, you may not be reaping all of the benefits! Check your spices even! Some may not be simply the herb or spice!

Each second I am living for this day

Sometimes we get stuck in a bad cycle and we just can’t seem to pull ourselves out. Things seem to be going wrong and we can’t figure out how to fix them.

We just seem to keep digging ourselves a deeper and deeper hole.

Sometimes a change in your diet and exercise program can be just what you need.

Elle in “Legally Blonde” has a point: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”

Exercise does “give you endorphins.” Exercise can make you feel empowered, successful, strong and happy.

It is also something that is within your control to change.

Maybe you are stressed out at work or there is a family situation going on. There may be nothing at the moment that you can do to alleviate the stress of either.

But if you come in and workout – you can control that. Yes, sometimes you may be so stressed out that you feel like you can’t even spare a minute for yourself, BUT trust me you can!

Just take 20 minutes to push yourself and you will feel 100% better afterwards! You don’t have to workout for an hour to feel better!

This all goes back to my theory that training is therapy.

This post is dedicated to Erin who took control of her life and pushes herself to reach new heights each and every day! (And the title is from her!)


7 Down

Between getting up early and riding for 7 hours I’m a bit tired tonight and don’t have the attention span to write a post.

I must say though, I felt really good energy-wise eating Primally while doing all of that cardio! I didn’t even add in potatoes or anything. Just a bit of dark chocolate after dinner and some fruit during the day.

Here is a wonderful photo of  me and Candy from before the 7 hours. Later I’ll post some sweaty photos taken during the event!

My bicep says “Bigger” because I always tease Dave that my bicep is bigger than his! Also, that is definitely my game face!

Does anyone else catch flack because of their AMBITION, COMPETITIVENESS, TENACITY or DRIVE?

Recently I’ve caught some flack from people around me because of my ambition, competitiveness, tenacity and drive.

For some reason it seems to be much more acceptable for MEN to be super driven and competitive than WOMEN.

Hehe…yes I have a weird sense of humor. We’ve established that! 😉

Usually women who are competitive and driven are called “pushy,” “bossy,” and even “bitchy.” (Sorry for the crude language!)

But it’s true. Drive and ambition aren’t necessarily seen as positive things in women.

My question is, “WHY!?!”

Why shouldn’t I want to take advantage of any opportunity I can to better myself?

Why shouldn’t I want to succeed?

Why is it that when I go after what I want with all my heart that I get condemned and told to not be so pushy?


If I want something, I’m going to go after it. I’m going to work hard and EARN IT.

Call me pushy, bossy or a bitch. It would deter me. And I hope all of you out there are the same way.

Has anyone else ever been condemned because of their ambition, competitiveness, tenacity or drive?

Oh and if you ever need to work out any frustration because someone puts you down because of your ambition, try this workout! 🙂


Bench 3×10

Auxiliary Lifts:

Pull up/Burpee Pyramid

Pull ups 1-10-1 paired with Burpees 2-20-2

P.S. Man Bicep Mom – Happy Mother’s Day! I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again…YOU ARE AMAZING AND MY ROLE MODEL! Love you!

Building Confidence One Squat at a Time

We all know that a good exercise program can help you lose weight and be healthy.

But most people don’t know about the biggest benefit you reap from working out – CONFIDENCE!

I love seeing clients lose weight and get stronger. But honestly the best thing is to see clients happy and more confident!

I love seeing them become more confident in how they look. I love seeing them become more confident in their fitness. I even love seeing them become more confident because they know their health is improving.

I love seeing people’s confidence grow!

And the craziest part is no true results have to be achieved for people’s confidence to improve. Maybe it’s the endorphins. Maybe it’s the fact that we know we are doing something good for us. Maybe it’s simply that we are pushing ourselves to our limits.

Maybe its all of the above.

Whatever it is though, the best part is that the confidence we develop is what truly spurs on great results.

How can you not feel better about yourself if you lift 5 more pounds than you did the week before? How can you not be more confident when you manage to push yourself through three rounds of a circuit when only the week before you had to take a break after the first round? How can you not feel better knowing that you managed to run .1 mph faster than you did even just a couple of days before?

And the craziest part is…that person probably could have lifted that much or made it through the three rounds without a break the week before. They just didn’t BELIEVE they could the week before.

So because they are working out, they become more confident. Because they become more confident, they believe in themselves. Because they believe in themselves, they get great results.

Which guess what?


Simply put…Exercise is empowering!

Empower yourself today…try this workout or one of the other weekly workouts!

Weekly Workout #10


Bench 3-2-2-1-1

Auxiliary lift circuit:

50-40-30-20-10 (Complete the previous rep range for all exercises before moving on to the next rep range. Ex: 50 reps all exercises then 40, 30 and so on.)

Barbell OH Press
Knees to Elbow
Burpees (Chest hits the ground each and every time)
Back Extensions

Can I say ouchie? My arms were toasted between the heavy bench, overhead press and burpees with push ups.

P.S. This is my favorite quote about exercise and endorphins.

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