Building Paris

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day…Neither Was Paris!

Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Nutrition, workouts, running, etc.

Kettlebell Training

Posted by Jeremy Paris on May 6, 2009

I’ve been doing a bit of research and have been seeing a lot of good info on kettlebell training.  Look for a series of posts that will delve into the little-known world of kettlebells.  In the meantime, check out this article!

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Don’t resist the resistance bands!

Posted by Jeremy Paris on March 26, 2009


Come see the workout system used by the best!

When I arrived tonight for my second shift of the day, I was greeted by a friend that took my advice and bought the T.O. Bands(Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Read this previous blog post, or click on the ad in the upper right corner of this page).

Now that he has them he will be starting one of the workout routines, and trying to stick to the diet as well.  I will be posting updates at least once a week on his progress.  FYI – I put the two 30 lb. bands on and couldn’t even do one standing bicep curl.  That rocks!!!

Have you tried working out with resistance bands yet?  If so, I would love to hear about your experiences.  Just leave a quick comment.

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Does this STRESS make me look fat?

Posted by Jeremy Paris on March 13, 2009

Told ya it was from stress...now pass the donuts

Told ya it was from stress...now pass the donuts

Yes…it’s not the DRESS that is making you look fat…it’s the STRESS!

Research shows that your body does not distinguish between the stress of running from a bear or from trying to meet your boss’s unreasonable deadlines. To your body it’s ALL stress. To help you escape from that bear, your body will increase your heart rate, lower your sensitivity to pain, and increase the amount of Cortisol secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol, also known as “the stress hormone”, increases the flow of glucose, fat, and protein into your bloodstream to help with your fight or flight situation.

So Cortisol is good…if you are running from a bear. But if you are sitting in a cubicle all day, then this chronic stress can lead to fat around the abdomen. And this isn’t the ordinary “under the skin” fat. This is Visceral fat, which is the bad stuff that lead to heart attacks and strokes. This is why people have been saying “stress kills”.

Here’s the good news: Stress isn’t bad in spurts. It’s constant stress that’s the killer. So break up your stressful day by exercising. Get some resistance bands, like the ones in the upper right corner of this screen, and pull them out of your briefcase when you feel the stress mounting. After a couple quick sets you will feel the stress start melting away. If the boss man starts giving you flack about working out in your cubicle, take it outside! No, you Neanderthal, I didn’t mean punch him in the nose…go outside for a “smoke break”. If that loud mouth down the hall can take ten 7 minute smoke breaks a day I’m sure you can get away with one or two.

Don’t worry about your co-workers seeing you. Just send them to my blog and don’t be surprised if they aren’t out there joining you for a mini 7-minute workout session.

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Getting a good treadmill workout is an UPHILL battle

Posted by Jeremy Paris on March 12, 2009

Up the incline!

Up the incline!

Raise your hand if you hate running on a treadmill.  Ok, not all of you, but a good number.  I LOVE running outdoors, but when it’s cold out I’m a big wuss.  Yes, I am from Buffalo, and I did spend 3 years in Alaska…but I still hate the cold.  So what’s a guy to do when you are unwilling to run in the cold?!?  Treadmill.

Why do I dislike it so much?  Well, I don’t get the spiritual benefit that I do being out in nature for one.  But mainly, it doesn’t seem to help me when I’m on the pavement.  I spent 2 months a couple of winters ago running religiously on a treadmill so that I would be in good running shape in the spring.  I’d be running on that damn treadmill and sweating my butt off.  But when I started running on the pavement in the spring it was as if I had not ran at all over the winter.  I could barely do a mile before my legs were burning and my heart was pounding through my chest. 

Why does this happen?  I have no idea.  Please use my comments section to fill me in.  I did try something new though, and I’m hoping that it will help me this spring.  When on the treadmill, I will start off flat, and every 30 seconds I will bump it up 1 on the incline until I can’t go any higher.  Then I bring it down 1 at a time.  I really feel like I’m getting a workout when I do this…but we will see if it helps any in a couple weeks. 

Please…any better ideas, let me know.

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Screw Ovaltine…Drink your nice hot Creatine!

Posted by Jeremy Paris on March 10, 2009

Ok, Ok, You can drink your creatine IN your Ovaltine

No, you won’t get a handy dandy secret decoder ring from drinking creatine, but you will get a slew of benefits.  They range from increased muscle strength and endurance, to reducing cholesterol by up to 15%.  Studies are being conducted on the therapeutic effects of creatine for diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, and even muscular dystrophy (MD).  As a parent of a child with diabetes, I am especially interested in the fact that creatine has been known to moderate glucose levels in patients with diabetes.

Yes, I hear you.  All together now “Tell me something I don’t know”.  Well, since you asked…did you know that creatine is better absorbed and useful to your body if you drink it in a warm beverage such as hot tea?  Add a teaspoon of sugar and you will get that small “spike” in insulin to help it get into the muscle cells.  Be careful though not to make the water too hot.  Boiling water will destroy the creatine, so make sure it is drinkable before adding the powder. 

I use tea, but it’s only because I’m “off the coffee”.  Put it in whatever you like, but make sure it’s at least warm.  You will lose 65% of the creatine if you put it in something cold. 

One blog is not enough for you to decide if you are going to start taking a new supplement.  So do your research.  There’s TONS of it out there.  Don’t be lazy, it will take you like 15 min. 

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This workout will get you CUT…from the Cowboys

Posted by Jeremy Paris on March 6, 2009

 

Wait...youre saying you dont lift wieghts?!?

Wait...you're saying you don't lift wieghts?!?

What?  Too soon?  🙂

 

Yeah, we have all heard by now that T.O. has been cut from the Cowboys.  I personally think it’s a mistake and hope my hometown team (Go Bills) gets a shake at him.  Yes, he’s controversial, he doesn’t color inside the lines…but he also caught more touchdown passes than Randy Moss in the last 3 years…more than anyone actually.  He’s fast, he’s got great hands, and nobody can argue his extremely high level of fitness.

After reading a blog about his diet, I decided to do a search to see what his workout was like.  I was FLOORED when I saw that he doesn’t workout with weights.  That’s right…he uses resistance bands.  Crazy right?!?  Furthermore…he has his own branded workout bands out there.  I just HAD to see these.  How different can resistance bands be…what did he do, sign his name on them with a Sharpie?  😛

Yeah…I was wrong again.  These bands are freakin GENIUS!  I can’t believe nobody has done this before.  The bands have carabeaner-type clips on the ends and clip to the handles.  Then you get a bunch of different size bands.  So you can use one 7 lb. band, or a 7 lb. and a 30 lb, or….actually tons of different combinations that give you 1 – 2 lb increments all the way up to working out at T.O.’s level.  The best part about it is that you can buy the package for like $50. 

I immediately decided that I was going to start endorsing this product.  I am giving serious thought to stopping my P90X routine dead in it’s tracks and jump on to this one.  One of the main reasons is that I don’t have to do a 90 minute workout every day.  If I only have 15 min….I can workout a whole body part fully.  The  other benefit is that they are so small and light that I can take them with me in a backpack and workout anywhere I happen to be.  Want more info?  Click below!!!

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Water…Nature’s Energy Drink

Posted by Jeremy Paris on March 4, 2009

Boost energy with this new drink...Water!
Boost energy with this new drink…Water!

Research shows that for every 1% of water weight that we lose, our ability to

“do work” decreases by 10%.  That “work” may be exercising, hammering nails, taking a test, or even making love. 

As an illustration, lets say you are a male who weighs 175 lbs…like me, and is 75% water.  I’m around 131 lbs of water.  If I lose 1.3 pounds of water, my ability to write this blog diminishes by 10%.  Sorry guys, I might already be there. 
If you want to perform at your best all the time, make sure to keep the water flowing every day.  Over 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.  So if you start downing that water, you will be among the elite 25% that is firing on all cylinders. 
Drink up!

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I don’t have time to workout…and 2 other excuses busted

Posted by Jeremy Paris on March 3, 2009

If you’re anything like me, your brain will find the easiest avenue to avoid something that you don’t want to do.   The trick is to recognize that you are making an excuse, and then make a CHOICE to follow through with the task that you know you should be doing. 

Here are 3 of my favorite excuses, along with their reality:

1. I don’t have time to workout today – The truth is you don’t have time to drive to the gym, and spend 30-45 minutes hitting the weights.  But if you want to stay on track and Bust this Excuse, do a set of push-ups to failure.  Not until you start to hurt, or until you feel like quitting, but until your body gives up and slams you to the ground.  I guarentee that this will take you under 3 minutes and will give your body the boost it needs until tomorrows real workout.  To make it even better, find one or two more lags in your day that you can repeat this.  Come on…it will only take you like 90 seconds, tops!

2. I don’t have time to workout today – How many times do you say “I’m late for work, so I don’t have time to brush my teeth today”?   Chances are you don’t say this.  Why?  Because you have prioritized brushing your teeth higher than being on time for work.  The same is true with working out.  If you put the same priority on working out, you would never miss a day from your routine.  Move something else off of your perceived “must do” list that day…like watching American Idol…or stopping at Fourbucks for a latte. 

3. And my favorite…I don’t have time to workout today– “No Jeremy, you don’t understand, I REALLY don’t have time today.  I have to leave from work, pick up the kids, go to square-dancing practice, and shave the family goat”.  Ok, I understand that you are busy…but how about leaving work 10 minutes early and skip the elevator.  Take the stairs up to the top floor, and then turn around and go down two flights.  Then go back up a flight and then back down two flights.  Continue this until you reach the bottom.  You can adjust this as you see fit depending on if you work in a 3 story building or a 300 story building.  No stairs?  Speedwalk around the building a couple of times before stopping at your car. 

The point here is to do SOMETHING.  Everything that you do in life is a choice.  If you are happy with your body, with your energy levels, and with your health then go ahead and make your excuse.  But if you aren’t satisfied with those things, then make the choice to change them.

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Running as Meditation

Posted by Jeremy Paris on February 28, 2009

Use what works for you.
Use what works for you.

I developed a love for running towards the end of high school, and did plenty of it during my 10 years in the Army.  I especially liked the long steady runs because I would often “drift off” during the run.  No matter what was going on in my life at that time I would always feel happier after my run. 

It wasn’t until after I was out of the Army that I discovered the reason running made me feel good.  It was my meditation.  My mind goes a million miles a minute from the time that I wake up until the time I go to sleep.  But during a long run my mind would shut off.  I don’t mean day-dreaming.  I was aware of everything going on around me.  In fact, I was more aware of everything around me.  I could hear my breath, the birds chirping and the children in the park giggling at the same time.  I would be taking in the beauty of the vegetation, and have an overwhelming sense of calm. 
About a year ago, someone was teaching me to meditate and explained exactly what I just explained above.  They said that the reason for it is that we have “self-talk” constantly which tends to block our senses.  But when we meditate (or when I run), that self-talk stops giving you an inner-peace. 
I read about this again in “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.  Interestingly enough, I don’t experience it as often when I actually try to meditate.  But give me a nice long run on a hot sunny day.  Mmmmmm. 

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Tweaking P90X to suit your needs

Posted by Jeremy Paris on February 28, 2009

Run for Fun

Run for Fun

In my previous fitness post I mentioned that I made some minor adjustments to my P90X workout.  What I noticed was that 3 days out of the week I was scheduled to do some kind of non-muscle-building workout.  Plyometrics, Yoga, etc.  I decided to replace these days with “Run Days” instead.  I would like to be able to run a 1/2 marathon, and then a full marathon…and maybe even beyond.  Although Yoga and Plyometrics, and Kenpo will ultimately help my running, in my opinion it won’t help as much as running will. 

My plan is to switch up the Run Days so that I’m doing wind-sprints on some days and long distances on other days.  I am not going to restrain myself by deciding that in advance because some days will be stressful for me and I will benefit from a nice long run (my equivelant to meditating). 

If you stick exactly to the P90X plan, I’m sure you will experience the repeatable results, but if you aren’t happy doing it then it will become a chore instead of fun.  And once that happens we all know that any opportunity for you to miss a day…you will.  If you enjoy your workout, you will do it because you want to not because you have to. 

Aside from incorporating running what other ways could you tweak your P90X routine?  Hit up the comments section and let me know.

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P90X works…but at what price?

Posted by Jeremy Paris on February 26, 2009

I hate it...but I love it -Tony Horton

I hate it...but I love it - Tony Horton

Some of you may have followed my attempt to gain some size using the Squats And Milk routine.  Yeah, that didn’t work out so well.  First we found I can’t drink milk.  Next came an increase in strength, but I felt sluggish, and the only gain in size that is worth speaking about was two whole inches on my waist.  Not exactly what I was going for.

So now it’s time for something new…er old…I mean….ok, I bought P90X over a year ago, but only used it for a couple of weeks.  So it’s old…but since I never did the program…yeah, you get the picture.

So I’ve been doing the P90X for the past week, and plan to keep it up…with some minor adjustments.  I’ll get to those later.  For now, just a quick review of the program.  It has a sound foundation, great original nutrition plan, ultimate muscle confusion…and by the way, it ROCKS!

Why the derogatory title to this post, you ask?  Well, since you asked…my beef with the program is that it takes me about an hour and a half to workout each day.  That means I need to be up at around 4:30 am to get my full workout in.  Not easy to do after a 13-hour work day, is it.

I’ll be getting into the inner workings of P90X in my next couple Fitness posts.  Be sure to subscribe so you can find out why people like Sheryl Crow are using it, and also what my modifications to it will be.

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