How Not to Shop for Father’s Day

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It’s hard out there for a red, furry monster!

Rappers like Big Daddy Kane, Snoop Dog, and Ice-T all agree that blogging ain’t easy.  We all work hard to put our ideas out there, hoping that people will read our posts, share them, and maybe even provide a few advertising dollars.  But like many bloggers (and women of the night) working it hard, all we really want is love.

That’s why when the Huffington Post reached out to me to provide a blurb about what I’d like as gift for Father’s Day, I responded.  They informed me it was a post sponsored by Best Buy and that I should write about something they actually sell.  My remittance?  Increase traffic to this site.

Does this make me a sell-out?  Should I feel used and cheap?  Am I, basically, prostituting myself as a writer?  If you read the comments left on HuffPost, you might think that I, and the other daddy bloggers consulted, are pretty dirty indeed.

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How Increasing Your Fat Intake Can Actually Make You Healthier

What Then, Shall I Eat?

Low-carb diets are nothing new.  Over the past two decades the Atkins Diet became the South Beach Diet, “low-carb” products like tiny bagels and gluten-free cupcakes flooded supermarket shelves, and millions of people had their gallbladders removed and went on statins after gorging on bacon and Big Macs.  After such a questionable run, it seems low-carb might not be so great after all.  Or is it?

low carb, diet, meat, paleo, bulletproof

Low-carb diets. Is this all there is to them?

Enter the better researched, more sophisticated versions of Atkins like the Slow-Carb Diet, the Paleo Diet, and the Thrive Diet (Paleo for vegans).  These diets actually factor in the types of proteins and fats we ingest.  Grass-fed beef, organic nuts, beans, and legumes, avocados, and olive oil.  All are important in balancing cholesterol levels, improving metabolism, and ensuring health and longevity.

Basically, any diet that features real, unprocessed foods will improve your health and wellness, and these diets do deliver.  I’ve tried each and have experienced good results including better body composition, improved energy levels, strength and fitness gains, and clearer thinking throughout each busy day.  But there’s more to it than dropping sugars and artificial ingredients . . .

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Notes from the John

nutrition, supplements, health, diet, exercise, bulletproof coffee, joe rogan

Maybe Kim and Kanye are on to something?

With end-of-the-semester grad school deadlines looming, grades due at school, and a crazy one-and-a-half year old to keep up with, I haven’t had much time to post lately. Sorry about that. To top it off, I just got over a stomach bug that dropped me for a week. Jeez! Now that I’m in recovery mode, I thought I’d finally post and share some things I thought about over the past few days with you.

Getting sick sucks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the time to improve your mindset for when you’re well and back to your normal routine!

These thoughts range from health, nutrition, exercise, and self-improvment. I guess I had a lot on my mind! Some people spend good money for a retreat to spend time alone and meditate, or for a full body cleanse. I got to do both for free! And the Saltines and ginger ale diet is going great!

For what it’s worth, here are some notes from the john. They’re written like advice, but I mean to use “the general you” and you could take all of this lightly. I just wrote what came to mind at the time.

Some people might think I’m full of it, but I maintain I do my best thinking in the bathroom! Continue reading

Sadiv’s Sadistic Sets for Power and Explosive Strength

I’ve been away from the big weights for a while now, since I don’t have barbells at home and don’t have gym access at present. Maybe you’re in the same position! But that doesn’t mean we can’t train to become stronger. I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to build strength and power using lighter weights and with bodyweight exercises. I was lucky to stumble upon this article by Martin Rooney, head trainer at the Parisi Speed School. There are some pretty great workouts in here, but my favorite for developing strength and power is the Sadiv Set. One of the head coaches at the school, champion power lifter Rich Sadiv, designed the following workout to improve the deadlift:

  • Load a barbell with 60% of your deadlift 1RM and set a timer for 12 minutes.
  • Perform as many single reps as possible in 12 minutes, shooting for a minimum of 20 reps.
  • Each rep should be performed with maximal speed from the floor.
  • Release the bar completely between reps; rest until you’re ready, and repeat.
  • Once 12 minutes are up, retrieve that lung you expelled around minute 9 and record your score.

The whole point is to work on muscle recruitment and to be explosive.  Here’s a video demonstration by Rooney and Sadiv themselves!

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Combine Workouts to Eliminate Boredom and to Enhance Results

workout, crossfit, exercise, time management

Mix it up and make it work!

After years of rotating between StrongLifts, CrossFit, and Ross Enamait’s Infinite Intensity training protocols, I’m starting to experiment with combining principles of all three. I love each program and can’t stop writing about them, but it’s hard to find the time to do it all, right dads?

My new fitness experiment is this. I’m trying to find a way to build strength without giving up cardio, conditioning, or skills. I also read that CrossFit elites do strength workouts coupled with WODs that work the same muscle groups as the lifts. Seems like it might be a good way to have it all in each workout.

The idea is to train motions, not muscles!  This is especially true for those of us who participate in sports.  We need to practice skills as well as to improve our fitness.

Here are a few workouts I’ve tried–kinda like multipleworkouts done back to back. The whole thing takes about an hour for me, which may be too much time for some of you. Feel free to scale based on time and ability. Right now, I’m making it work, and I’m enjoying the results–though recovery is all the more important.

The title says it all: if you mix it up and stay consistent, you’ll never get bored while getting in shape!  Have you tried stringing workouts together like this? Let us know!  Examples follow after the jump.

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Group Training Ideas

I recently started a small, informal, martial arts training group called The Meriden Martial Arts Club.  While we focus on martial arts skills and techniques, we also do workouts during each meeting.  Here are a few we’ve done recently.  Do you have any neat team workouts to share?

group workout, crossfit, fitness

This isn’t really what I had in mind . . .

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A Guide to the Best Workouts for Busy Fathers

Dads!  Have you been looking for the best workouts to give you help you get in better shape while giving you the most free time to spend with your family?  Sitting in the gym, diddling with your cellphone, and doing machine curls isn’t going to cut it.  Ultramarathoning probably isn’t going to work either.  If you’re tired of feeling out of shape, but you don’t have the time or motivation to become a weekend warrior again like you were in your 20′s, then keep reading for a head-to-head comparison of my three favorite, best bang-for-the-buck fitness programs out there.

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It doesn’t have to be this difficult!

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Jacked Dad WOD 1.3.14

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You don’t always need to max out to get the best results!

After recovering from food poisoning (yuck) and then making up for the holiday feasting I missed out on, it’s time to start refocusing on my training.  I knew I needed to do something that might make me a little sore to get back on the right track.  So I did three separate strength circuits consecutively.  I did all exercises with minimal rest between sets.  It took about 45 minutes.
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