January 2011

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By: Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S.

If you can’t see your abs, don’t assume it’s because you’re missing out on a magical abdominal exercise or secret supplement. Blame your mindset.

You see, losing belly flab is a boring process. It requires time, hard work, and most important, dedication. Take the right steps every single day, and you’ll ultimately carve out your six-pack. But if you stray from your plan even a few times a week—which most men do—you’ll probably never see your abs.

The solution: six simple habits, which I teach to my clients to help them strip away their lard for good. Think of these habits as daily goals designed to keep you on the fast track to a fit-looking physique. Individually they’re not all that surprising, but together they become a powerful tool.

The effectiveness of this tool is even supported by science. At the University of Iowa, researchers determined that people are more likely to stick with their fat-loss plans when they concentrate on specific actions instead of the desired result. So rather than focusing on abs that show, follow my daily list of nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle strategies for achieving that rippled midsection.

The result: automatic abs.

Need help planning your workout? Men, click here | Women, click here.

Wake Up to WaterImagine not drinking all day at work—no coffee, no water, no diet soda. At the end of an 8-hour shift, you’d be pretty parched. Which is precisely why you should start rehydrating immediately after a full night’s slumber. From now on, drink at least 16 ounces of chilled H2O as soon as you rise in the morning. German scientists recently found that doing this boosts metabolism by 24 percent for 90 minutes afterward. (A smaller amount of water had no effect.) What’s more, a previous study determined that muscle cells grow faster when they’re well hydrated. A general rule of thumb: Guzzle at least a gallon of water over the course of a day.
Eat Breakfast Every DayA University of Massachusetts study showed that men who skip their morning meal are 4 1/2 times more likely to have bulging bellies than those who don’t. So within an hour of waking, have a meal or protein shake with at least 250 calories. British researchers found that breakfast size was inversely related to waist size. That is, the larger the morning meal, the leaner the midsection. But keep the meal’s size within reason: A 1,480-calorie smoked-sausage scramble at Denny’s is really two breakfasts, so cap your intake at 500 calories. For a quick way to fuel up first thing, I like this recipe: Prepare a package of instant oatmeal and mix in a scoop of whey protein powder and 1/2 cup of blueberries.
As You Eat, Review Your Goals . . .Don’t worry, I’m not going all Tony Robbins on you. (I don’t have enough teeth.) But it’s important that you stay aware of your mission. University of Iowa scientists found that people who monitored their diet and exercise goals most frequently were more likely to achieve them than were goal setters who rarely reviewed their objectives.
. . . And Then Pack Your LunchMy personal Igloo cooler just celebrated its 19th anniversary. I started carrying it with me every day back in college. Of course, it often housed a six-pack of beer—until I decided to compete in the Purdue bodybuilding championship. (Second place, by the way.) Once I knew I’d have to don a banana hammock in public (the world’s best motivator), I began to take the contents of my cooler seriously. And so should you. In fact, this habit should be as much a part of your morning ritual as showering. Here’s what I recommend packing into your cooler.

• An apple (to eat as a morning snack)
• Two slices of cheese (to eat with the apple)
• A 500- to 600-calorie portion of leftovers (for your lunch)
• A premixed protein shake or a pint of milk (for your afternoon snack)

By using this approach, you’ll keep your body well fed and satisfied throughout the day without overeating. You’ll also provide your body with the nutrients it needs for your workout, no matter what time you exercise. Just as important, you’ll be much less likely to be tempted by the office candy bowl. In fact, my personal rule is simple: I don’t eat anything that’s not in the cooler.
Exercise the Right WayEveryone has abs, even if people can’t always see them because they’re hidden under a layer of flab. That means you don’t need to do endless crunches to carve out a six-pack. Instead, you should spend most of your gym time burning off blubber.

The most effective strategy is a one-two approach of weight-lifting and high-intensity interval training. According to a recent University of Southern Maine study, half an hour of pumping iron burns as many calories as running at a 6-minute-per-mile pace for the same duration. (And it has the added benefit of helping you build muscle.) What’s more, unlike aerobic exercise, lifting has been shown to boost metabolism for as long as 39 hours after the last repetition. Similar findings have been noted for intervals, which are short, all-out sprints interspersed with periods of rest.

For the best results, do a total-body weight-training workout 3 days a week, resting at least a day between sessions. Then do an interval-training session on the days in between. To make it easy on you, I’ve created the ultimate fat-burning plan.
Skip the Late ShowsYou need sleep to unveil your six-pack. That’s because lack of shut-eye may disrupt the hormones that control your ability to burn fat. For instance, University of Chicago scientists recently found that just 3 nights of poor sleep may cause your muscle cells to become resistant to the hormone insulin. Over time, this leads to fat storage around your belly.

To achieve a better night’s sleep, review your goals again 15 minutes before bedtime. And while you’re at it, write down your plans for the next day’s work schedule, as well as any personal chores you need to accomplish. This can help prevent you from lying awake worrying about tomorrow (“I have to remember to e-mail Johnson”), which can cut into quality snooze time.

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“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint.”  Prov 17:27

Raise your hands if you’ve gotten into trouble, within the last 72 hours, by opening your mouth when you shouldn’t have!  

Keep your hand up if you’ve executed this blunder with family members!

Both my hands are up (making it very hard to type, by the way)!  I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve opened my big mouth and gotten into trouble…

Put this (using words with restraint) high up on your list of priorities!

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Think of your all-time favorite rock song: Hey Jude, London Calling, Smells Like Teen Spirit, whatever. Now imagine that the next time you crank it up, all the guitar riffs will be replaced by violins. Kinda weak, right?
 
Well that’s akin to what happens when you turn a fruit into fruit juice: You still have the flavor, but you don’t have the grit, the substance, the power. Even the very best fruit juice isn’t as nutritious as the fruit it originally came from, because the fiber that makes a piece of fruit so filling has been stripped away: Instead of filling your belly like an apple or an orange, juice just passes through your gastrointestinal tract like a little stream of sugar. It’s like listening to “Hey Jude” without the “Na-na-na na” part at the end. The sweet melody is intact, but the soul is lost. So as a rule, always choose the original version (that would be the fruit) over the Muzak version (that would be the juice).
 
But that doesn’t mean juice is a terrible choice—after all, it’s still a great way to get your daily quota of vitamins and minerals. Problem is, a lot of what food marketers try to sell us as “juice” is about as healthy for you as, well, being chased down a highway in a white Ford Bronco. Flip through this slideshow to see what terrible atrocities we’ve uncovered. For each one, we’ve also included a healthier alternative. Or, as the Beatles might say, we took a bad juice, and made it better. Just call it “Hey Juice!”

Worst Cranberry Cocktail

Ocean Spray Cran-Apple (8 fl oz)

130 calories
0 g fat
32 g sugars

Ocean Spray makes a whole line of cranberry juice blends, but there’s only one thing you need to know: They’re all polluted with unruly loads of added sugar. The first two ingredients here are water and sugar, the hallmark of an inferior bottle. In fact, the best juices in this line have only 27 percent juice. This one? A paltry 15 percent. Go with Ocean Spray’s Cranenergy line instead. Compared to Cran-Apple it delivers slightly more real juice, a far weightier package of vitamins, and just over a fourth as many calories.

Drink This, Instead!

Ocean Spray Cranergy Raspberry Cranberry (8 fl oz)

35 calories
0 g fat
9 g sugars

Worst Mixed-Berry Blend

Welch’s Mountain Berry (8 fl oz)

140 calories
0 g fat
33 g sugars

The flowering bouquet of fruit on the outside of this carton makes it appear to be just one step down from a smoothie, but in truth, it’s just one step up from Sunny Delight. Regardless of what Welch’s wants you to think, this juice is made with only 25 percent real fruit, and with this many calories in each cup, you should expect nothing less than 100 percent. Go with Bolthouse Farms 50/50 Berry blend and you’ll trade out the sucrose for an antioxidant- and flavor-rich blend of purple carrots, blackberries, pomegranates, and blueberries.

Drink This, Instead!

Bolthouse Farms 50/50 Berry (8 fl oz)

120 calories
0 g fat
28 g sugars

Worst Lemonade

Minute Maid Lemonade (20 fl oz bottle)

250 calories
0 g fat
67.5 g sugars

In 99 percent of cases, lemonade contains between 10 and 15 percent lemon juice, meaning that 85 to 90 percent of the calories are added as table sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The reason we pinned Minute Maid as the worst lemonade is that with this bottle, they’ve dropped the lemon juice concentration down to 3 percent, and at the same time, jacked the sugar level up to soda-like proportions. In fact, this bottle has more sugar than a same-sized bottle of Coca-Cola, not to mention a bevy of preservatives, fillers, and artificial colors. The only lemonade we’ve found that can legitimately call itself “juice” is the one below by R.W. Knudson. It replaces the added sugars with a blend of apple and grape juices.

Drink This, Instead!

R.W. Knudsen Lemonade (8 fl oz box)

130 calories
0 g fat
30 g sugars


Worst Juice Imposter

SoBe Elixir Cranberry Grapefruit (20 fl oz bottle)

250 calories
0 g fat
63 g sugars

With a name that references two fruits, you might expect this bottle to provide a respectable dose of real juice. Unfortunately that’s not the case. The only juice this bottle carries is used as a coloring agent, which means every gram of sugar here is added during processing. That puts it right alongside soda as one of the worst beverages at the supermarket. Cut calories by looking for water-based beverages that use juice as a sweetener and flavoring, like the one from Olade below. The few calories it has come from a blend of lemon, pinapple, mango, and passion fruit.

Drink This, Instead!

Olade Tropical Juice Beverage (16 fl oz)

20 calories
0 g fat
4 g sugars

Worst Grape Juice

Tropicana Grape Juice Beverage (15.2 fl oz)

290 calories
0 g fat
72 g sugars

It’s hard to say which is worse, the fact that this bottle has as much sugar as six scoops of Edy’s Slow Churned Rocky Road Ice Cream, or the fact that it looks legit but contains only 30 percent real juice. The thing is, even if this bottle weren’t teeming with high fructose corn syrup, it would still be loaded with sugar. Grapes produce the most sugar-loaded juice at the supermarket—even a 10-ounce bottle of 100 percent grape juice carries more than 200 calories. If you like rich, dark juices, try the one below from Bossa Nova. The acai fruit from which it’s made is one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits on the planet.

Drink This, Instead!

Bossa Nova Acai (10 fl oz bottle)

114 calories
0 g fat
22.5 g sugars

Worst Canned Juice

Arizona Kiwi Strawberry (23.5 oz can)

360 calories
0 g fat
84 g sugars

These hulking calorie cannons—5 percent juice, 95 percent sugar water—have the equivalent of 20 teaspoons of sugar! They’re sold at gas stations and convenience stores across America for the low, low price of 99 cents, making this quite possibly the cheapest source of empty calories in the country. Earn more flavor in fewer calories by switching to V8-Fusion instead. The company makes a reasonable line of regular blends and an even better line of light juices.

Drink This, Instead!

V8-Fusion Strawberry Banana (12 fl oz bottle)

170 calories
0 g fat
42 g sugars

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Some people believe this is the greatest speech ever delivered. No doubt, it was probably delivered in the most delicate of all circumstances imaginable …

Is it the greatest? Matter of opinion, of course, but know this: there are a great many lessons to be learned from this profound 6 minute video.

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The full version of Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is one of the world’s most celebrated role models. His hope for a brighter future inspired millions to stand up for what they believe in, and his legacy lives on. Today, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, which falls on Monday, we celebrate Dr. King and his vision. Watch this week’s video to hear the full version of Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.

What part of Dr. King’s speech were you most inspired or affected by? What are some of your dreams? Who else do you consider to be a role model? After watching the video be sure to share your comments below, and feel free to pass this video on to friends and family.

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We’ve long recommended the side plank as one of the best exercises you can do for your core. But you might be surprised at the simple ways you can vary this exercise to make it even more gut-wrenching (in a good way). Ready to learn how? Click the video to see the secret ways to do the side plank—and build better abs then ever.

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As a full time martial arts instructor for the past 28 years I have taught well over 20,000 students. In that time I have talked to numerous students who have wanted to quit training in the martial arts. The reasons have ranged from “I don’t have enough time,” to “I just don’t like it anymore.” At times I have thought it was good for some students to move on and try something else because they just didn’t understand what the martial arts are about. And there were other times where I didn’t have the support or the push from their parents to help them reach the primary goal “Black Belt Excellence.”

Today my message is to help explain what “Black Belt Excellence” is and to help parents, students and any other people reading this Blog to understand that “Pain is temporary but quitting lasts forever.” First let’s start with Black Belt Excellence; this is giving your best with everything you do. Black Belt Excellence is having the self discipline to do things on your won without being told. The little things like taking pride in everything you touch, and not having to be reminded to do the really, really hard things that most people don’t want to do. BBE is the having the power to make it through the rough times without turning to drugs, alcohol, or food. These are the three things that people without BBE turn to in the difficult times.

BBE is doing the right thing in life, work, and relationships. We all make mistakes, and as long as we learn from them and move forward mistakes and or poor choices can happen. But how we respond, and getting back up after we fall is the difference between a black belt and a white belt. I’m not saying that you have to be a Black Belt to be successful or to the right thing. But what I am saying is that is you train at our school, you will get the benefits of BBE.
Now, moving on to quitting and pain. Pain is when a friend let’s you down. Pain is when you lose your job. Pain is when someone close you is sick or passes. Pain is when someone breaks their trust, or leads you in the wrong direction. Pain is when you can’t control your emotions because you’re angry. Pain Hurts! But, it’s OK! Because it will pass. With the right attitude that is. With the Black Belt attitude, pain is temporary and you will bounce back.

I wanted to list things that have been painful to me in the past year.

1. Losing someone I thought was a friend and mentor.
2. Seeing a dear friend struggle financially.
3. After a jiu jitsu class that was too hours long. (I lost 5/6 pounds)
4. When I was doing pad drills and a student punched me right in my nose
5. Seeing someone special to me getting diagnosed with cancer.

These are all painful, but I have to keep going.

OK, it’s time for the curse word in life-QUITTING

Quitting is something that we all have done in our life. Some of us have quit jobs, some of us have quit sports, and some of us have quit in relationships. I want to talk about the biggest regret in my life, quitting college. And looking back now, I wish I could go back in time and change my decision. Even though I have gone back and gotten my degree and made martial arts a success, I could be even better and more advanced with my career if I had only stuck with it at an early age. At the time, I didn’t listen to my parents. I had just got out the military and I was training in the martial arts and my instructor was more worried about having someone to clean the school, mop the mats, teach the classes, and enroll the students than giving me the advice to back to school. Why? Because it made his job easier, and he wasn’t concerned with my personal growth. But, I learned from this mistake and wish I would have finished my education at California State. Just an example that quitting lasts forever, 36 years later to be exact.

Things I regret quitting in my life

1. College

Why did I quit? Because I was bored, I didn’t like it, and I wanted to hang out with my friends. Very similar reasons to other activities or things in life that we quit. I hope that you enjoy this motivation and you can use it or read it before you’re faced with quitting in your life.

Should I Quit? Cheat Sheet

1. Will it help me in Life?
2. Will it make me a better person?
3. Is my hear telling me to quit? Or someone else?
4. Is it a positive thing in my life?
5. Is someone influencing my decision?
6. Will I regret it later in life?

Hope you enjoy and send it to a friend,

Sifu Chi

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Jack Lalanne shares 10 ways to help you feel great, physically and mentally, and improve your overall well being.

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This weekend I spent a lot of time reflecting on what one of my mentor’s, Guro Dan Inosanto said to me years agao. Guro Dan has always given me awesome Martial arts advice, as well as coaching me in personal growth. Well, this weekend the lesson was simple-How to be a winner…..

For those of you who I talk to often, you might remember me telling you about the book “Winning” by Jack Welch. In this book, I have adopted several tips and I recommend it you as well. The point I’m trying to make is that winning is all about who you surround yourself around. And this is an important lesson for everyone. When I look at back at when I struggled in my life, or went through rough periods of time, I noticed that the people I were in my inner circle were nothing to write home about.

This weekend I was proud to see a dear friend, (one of my best friends) achieve a really successful weekend at a MArtial Arts competition. He had a few characteristics that were exactly what Guro Dan had talked about. Please try to use them in your life. And to my family at Chi’s Martial Arts—thank you for teaching me how to be # 1. And I look forward to next year…..

1. Winning is in your DNA-Most of us either have or we don’t

2. Winners are never satisfied

3. Winners only want to be #1—anything less is not enough

4. Winners care about personal growth just as much a financial growth

5. Winners have a certain look—-Clean, dress well, and like to dance (still working on the last one)

6. Winners don’t make excuses

7. Winners spend more time thinking how it can be better in the future than talking about how good a job was

8. Winners don’t dwell in the past-they are always looking forward and never behind them.

“Don’t let good enough, be good enough!”-Bill Parcells…

Let me know what you think and please share your secrets on winning!

Sifu Chi

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