Surfers Get Lean

Why Surfers Get Lean


Surfers get lean for many reasons. It is a combination of aerobic and resistance training work outs. Aerobics use fatty acids for fuel and recovery from intense muscle use also incorporates fatty acids for restoring energy, repairing, and rebuilding muscle.

Surfing Benefits All Body Systems

Surfers get lean from exercising frequently and allowing rest between exercises for muscles to grow and rebuild. As muscle increases, metabolism increases burning more calories at rest. 

The intensity of muscle burning in aerobics utilizes the endomysium fat that can accumulate around muscle fibers and is often called the invisible fat. This fat prevents nutrients from entering muscles and wastes being discarded. It is the fat that can keep well built weight trainers from being able to run around the block. 

Surfing is About Paddling Fitness

Paddling is like swimming in exercising the upper body. Paddling is both  steady state aerobics as surfers paddle out to waves and then intense aerobics as surfers paddle to catch waves. Intervals, so to speak, are the most efficient fat burners whether running, walking, swimming, or working on the tread mill. 

Nutrition and Fitness

Nutrition is important for building muscle and becoming lean. Surfers get lean from following good fitness nutrition schedules as well as ingested calories. Fitness and leanness come from supplying muscle with nutrients before and after exercise and then every four hours to keep the anabolism (muscle building) process continuing. 

Without proper nutrients at the right time, muscle feeds on itself for fuel lowering metabolism and then the calorie burning while at rest. If fed before exercise, muscle will use carbohydrates and protein for energy. If fed after exercise, muscle will use carbohydrates, protein, and fat to rebuild. 

Cross Training as the Perfect Lean Combination

Combining surfing with cross training to support the muscles needed for surfing and build cardio-respiratory fitness is a routine followed by pros. Surfers can accentuate the progress to get lean by building antagonist muscle (opposite of muscle used to surf). Surfing is both pushing off the board and pulling with the arms to paddle. 

Doing chest presses with weights and chest pulls with cables supports these muscles and balances the growth. Doing leg extensions builds the quadriceps while doing leg curls builds the hamstrings. Doing squats, dead lifts, and military presses support the large muscle groups that are called upon for surfing. 

Surfers get lean from their exercise and getting lean helps surfing. Getting stronger and leaner supports any recreation as well as our Average Daily Activities. The fact that health and longevity are side products is one more bonus. 

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Why surfers get lean

Why surfers get lean

Fat Loss

Fat Loss for Beginners


Fat loss for beginner exercisers is often a motivating goal to begin a routine. It is good to differentiate between fat loss and weight loss. It is beneficial to burn fat and add muscle which could result in weight stabilization or gain.

Begin Losing Fat and Adding Muscle

Muscle weighs more than fat, but increases metabolism which then burns more calories. It is important when stripping fat from the body not to strip lean muscle at the same time without adding it back.

How does that happen? Low intensity aerobics use fatty acids for fuel, a little glucose from the liver, and can use lean muscle if the exercise is long enough. The body feeds on muscle after exercise if nutrition is not correctly times. Muscle diminishes anyway as we age. Muscles are important for bone support and any recreational activities we might want to pursue after getting leaner and more aerobically fit.

I have found that to lose fat, a low glycemic index diet and lots of water is more effective than exercise. Lyn-Generet Recitas has an excellent book, The Plan, on a very effective diet that can be incorporated into your life permanently.

Exercise is necessary though because fat loss diets also strip muscle. If you are accelerating the diet benefits with aerobics, you will lose fat quickly. I lost 17 pounds in three weeks. I stopped the severe aspects of the diet, but maintain it to this day.

Beginner Aerobics

Walking 30 minutes a day helps burn fat. I walk in the morning before eating. Walking again at night would be beneficial and accelerate the process. Going from 150 minutes a week as a target to 300 minutes a week is a good goal. A long term predictor of maintaining lost weight is exercising an hour to hour and a half a day.

The reason most people gain weight after a year of a program it never becomes a permanent habit. If you move to healthier foods, eliminate bad foods, and exercise daily, it can become a routine you can’t resist.

Begin the Weight Program

Low impact resistance training has a lot of benefits. High reps of 20 to 25 with a low percentage of weight to maximum capacity is the best way to start. The muscles get educated on how to absorb nutrients. The body becomes leaner, stronger, and has more endurance.

If getting stronger becomes a goal, weights can be increased as reps are reduced. The beginner exerciser can do weight routines up to 5 days a week because muscles are not taxed. The moderate exerciser might need rest as weights increase.

Going for Maximum Strength and Size

If size and maximizing strength become a goal, then weights close to maximum capability are lifted once or twice a week with just six reps. In between days, exercisers can work alternative muscle groups.

Heavier weights tax muscles that need to be repaired. Muscles will utilize fat and glucose from immediately ingested carbohydrates to refuel, repair, and rebuild muscle instead of feeding on muscle for glucose.

In losing fat, losing weight is not always beneficial. Increasing muscle raises the metabolic weight which causes more calorie burning. Better measurements include inches around the viscous fat areas and fat percentage calibration.

Go for long term diet adjustments rather than setting one or two month goals. Reducing sugar and high glycemic foods like white flour are good permanent changes. Minimize soda and fast food establishments. Drink more water and get good sleep.

Now you’re healthy and lean.

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Fat loss for beginners

Fat loss for beginners

Fitness for Surfing

Fitness for Surfing

Fitness for Surfing


Fitness for surfing is a second path to improvement while learning the fundamentals of surfing. No one has ever denied that surfing is one of the most physical sports to learn for beginners. There are beginner techniques but no beginner physical demands. 

Fitness for Surfing Begins with  Paddling

Surfing is about paddling. Paddling requires arm, shoulder, and back strength at least. Popping up is about upper body and core strength with necessary flexibility. Flexibility is about strength and stretching, not just stretching.  

Many beginner adult surfers have become unconditioned meaning they have been inactive and their muscles are not used to absorbing glucose for fuel. 

Consequently, they tire quickly because there is no stored glycogen for fuel. 

Active exercisers like kids and teens have muscles attuned to the absorbing and burning of fuel and have good circulation for taking in fuel, discarding waste, and absorbing glucose and amino acids for recovery. All this is necessary for good muscle function. 

Adding Resistance Training

If new surf students have been engaged in aerobics without resistance training (weights) they have been burning fat and muscle so decreasing their lean body muscle. This is not great when you need more strength and stamina from muscles you have not been using. This means runners could run marathons and tire quickly paddling in the ocean. 

When I cross train for surfing I include exercises for the largest muscle groups first. These include squats, dead lifts, chest presses, and military presses. These condition the body to improve circulation in the major muscles, store more glycogen for anaerobic (no oxygen in contracted muscles like paddling out to waves for ten minutes) and build strength and size.

Nutrition Timing is Crucial

The timing of nutrition becomes important in building muscle and preparing for stamina. Carbohydrates and proteins should be consumed two to three hours before strenuous exercise and immediately after. I have a big breakfast a few hours before exercising and a high carbohydrate lunch after exercising where I burnt muscle. These are the main two meals to be concerned with. 

After a few days from exercising my main muscle groups I exercise the smaller muscle groups that are also important for surfing. I work the arms aiming at the triceps, biceps, shoulders and back muscles with lots of pulls. Pulls can be exercised with dumbbells and cables. They offset the pressing of chest and military presses. 

Fitness for surfing can include the legs and abs which can be worked in with leg presses and various ab exercises with cables, captain chair lifts, crunches on big balls, and the bicycles laying on your back. 

Add Other Aerobic Exercises

Adding another aerobic exercise can also assist in cardio-respiratory improvement. In between weight days I have begun riding my bike and then swimming. You could also jog or use a tread mill or elliptical type machine at various intensities.

The results are not just improved surfing techniques but longer sessions. Soon you will have more energy for every day activities, better body composition, and a very positive attitude toward life. 

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Fitness for Life

Fitness is a life style that becomes easy to live once the right habits are adopted and enjoyed. 

When you know what to do to feel good, no one will have to remind you to exercise or eat right. 

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Fat loss vs Weight loss

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss

  The terms fat loss and weight loss are often used interchangeably. What is it people want? Sometimes weight loss is not desirable but fat loss is almost always desirable.

Who doesn’t want to lose weight? Athletes working to be optimally competitive. Weight lifters attempting to build muscle. Thin people trying to get in shape. Intense Aerobics practitioners trying to build endurance. 

Why Can Losing Weight Be Undesirable? 

Why is losing weight bad for these people? Because weight is frequently lean muscle. If people starve themselves or just go negative calories to lose weight, they will lose fat and muscle. If intense aerobics leads to weight loss, lean muscle is part of the loss. If body builders are losing weight it is because the body is using muscle for fuel. If intense aerobic practitioners are losing weight, they are shedding fat and lean muscle. 

The ideal growth is to convert fat to lean muscle. There is no actual pure conversion of fat to muscle because they are different tissues, but there is a process by which fat is burned and muscle built at the same time.

Good Practice for the Unconditioned

In a simple practice for the unconditioned (sedentary) or new trainee, one can begin a work out with a low intensity aerobic warmup. This is great to get the heart beating faster, the respiratory system activated, and the blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and muscles. After engaging in an hour of resistance training, the exerciser consumes 100 calories of carbohydrates and protein, like half a Cliff Bar and then does a 10 to 20 minute low intensity aerobic warm down.

The glucose in the bar from the carbohydrates and the protein will get picked up by insulin and transported to the muscles for catalytic processing and then repairing and building muscle. Aerobics uses fatty acids for fuel but adipose tissue can’t accept and supply fuel at the same time. So fatty acids will be utilized for fuel in the aerobics while the Cliff Bar is used to supply the demands of muscles.

Muscle Building Requirements

Muscle building has several requirements that are not met without focus and intention. Too often muscle building is interrupted by incorrect practices, lack of knowledge, or lack of discipline. 

Muscle building requires an adequate and often increased supply of carbohydrates, protein, and water. Muscles also need rest because they build during recovery not during exercise. Bodies need rest to prevent the body from feeding on muscle for energy. In this process, most nutritionists recommend consuming some protein each four hours. 

As an aside, it would make sense that people with eating disorders might place themselves in danger by training and severely restricting calorie intake. By the same magnitude, exercising and following a negative calorie diet can lead to fatigue, over training, and muscle injury. 

How do you lose fat and maintain a healthy body? This is a great question that usually only gets a partial answer. People intent on losing fat often enter a calorie restrictive diet and/or engage in aerobics without resistance training. The result is to both lose fat and muscle. Resistance training without adequate supply of nutrients will not result in muscle building. The body will use muscle for fuel. 

An intense aerobic routine will burn fat and muscle. Runners should engage in resistance training to preserve and build lean muscle while burning fat. There is no doubt that losing weight usually increases speed, but losing muscle can have long term ill effects, cause injury, and affect stamina. Unconditioned exercisers can start off walking a half hour a day to build to 150 minutes a week and then 300 minutes. This maybe the most effective start for the unconditioned to burn fat. 

Starving to Lose Weight is Rarely A Good Practice

One of the unanticipated results of negative calorie diets is the body’s metabolism slows down. This reduces the calorie burning affects of exercise as the body holds on to fat. The body would rather hold onto fat than muscle when a negative calorie diet is followed. The more often a person pursues attempts at rapid weight loss through negative calorie dieting, the lower their metabolism. 

On the other hand, muscle increases metabolism. Eating can increase metabolism letting the body know it won’t be starving. Exercise and adequate nutrient consumption encourages the body to release fat and build muscle. Resistance training must be part of every regimen to build muscle or high intensity exercise that damages muscle allowing for repair and increase in size and strength. 

Anaerobic Aerobics and Resistance Training

Anaerobic exercise like intervals can force the body to utilize glycogen stored in the muscles for fuel until oxygen is returned. When oxygen is returned (breathing and resting) waste in the muscles is eliminated and nutrients are supplied by oxygenated blood. In resistance training, anaerobic conditions are created with intense contractions and no rest between reps. Sets of 4 to 6 reps at near capacity is ideal for muscle damaging and rebuilding. Avoid going to failure. 

In aerobics, the anaerobic state is created by exercising in intervals at near capacity for periods of three minutes or more. Intermediates can start with shorter bursts and work to longer periods of up to 95% of capacity. The affects can be increased with longer sustained intervals and shorter rest periods. 

Nutrition and Body Building

Nutrition becomes a key element in any muscle building program. Timing is the first element. Glucose and protein must be available before exercise. The best timing is eating two to three hours before exercise so the body is in a fasted state. This means the blood supply is not taxed feeding digestion and muscle exertion. 

Intense exercise must be quickly followed with carbohydrate and protein 

consumption to stop the catalytic and cannibalism process of the body feeding on muscle for fuel. Body builders will say that carbohydrates and protein should be consumed about each four hours because after this time period, the body can no longer use stored proteins. Carbohydrates are necessary for insulin to carry protein to the muscles so eating carbohydrates to stimulate insulin helps carry protein to the muscles. 

Hopefully this brings light to the subject that losing fat is good while losing weight is not always desirable. If there is a high percentage of fat, then losing fat can reduce body weight favorably. One measure commonly used is the Body Mass Index (BMI). 

This index lists athletes as generally having a body fat percentage in the low teens 10%-15%, normal adults in the range of 16% to 25%, overweight as 25% to 30% and obese as over 30% fat to weight. 

The index is calculated in grams and centimeters. Weight in grams divided by height squared. Weight in grams is calculated by dividing pounds by 2.2. Height in centimeters is calculated by multiplying inches by 2.54 then squaring. 

To calculate in pounds and inches, divide weight by height squared and multiply by 703. So, a 180 pound male at 6’ tall would be:

180 divided by (72) squared x 703, 

180 divided by 5184= .0347

703 x .0347 = 24.40. 

This would be a normal body fat percentage as it is under 25. This is not and indication of health and it doesn’t accurately reflect bodies with a high percentage of muscle or big bones. In general, it works for most people and is a standard measure by doctors. 

A balanced program of aerobics, resistance training, and good nutrition will create health, desirable body composition, strength, and a quality life style. 

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Fat Loss

Most people say they would love to lose 10 pounds thinking only of fat. Aerobics burns fat but costs lean muscle. Starving burns fat, but also costs muscle and lowers the metabolism maybe permanently. We need to be careful when we mess with Mother Nature.

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Fitness nutrition to reach our goals

Fitness Nutrition

Fitness Nutrition

Fitness nutrition can differ from nutrition to lose or maintain weight. Fitness nutrition is focused on supporting goals of athletes that are trying to maximize their workouts, body composition, and performance.

Timing Consumption is Key for Fitness Nutrition

Fitness nutrition is about timing as well as content. It is important for preparation to exercise, recovery, and maintenance of muscle and performance gains. The exerciser with performance and body composition goals has to preserve muscle they utilize in work outs and events. 

Maintaining and building lean muscle is not an easy task. Lean muscle disappears from being sedentary, aging, aerobics, and intense exercise in which refueling is not adequate. Necessary for building and maintaining muscle is the right exercise, protein, carbohydrates, water, sleep, and recovery. 

Optimizing Performance Requires Fuel

Optimizing performance, building muscle, and preserving muscle requires nutrients. Muscle needs glucose and protein. Glucose is sugar and the best sources are fruits and vegetables. If the muscles don't have adequate glucose, the body can break down muscle for fuel, which is the last thing an athlete  wants. 

The body needs glucose for aerobics and resistance training. The body stores glucose in the liver, the blood and in the muscles. The liver can hold about 400 calories, the blood about 100 calories and the muscles about 80 calories. It is pretty easy to figure at what point the body runs low on glucose. The body will turn to adipose tissue for fuel especially in aerobic activities. In high intensity anaerobic activities, muscles make fuel from Adenosine Biphosphate and Pyruvate to create Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) when the muscles are oxygen deprived. ATP is the prime source of muscle energy along with mitochondria in the cells. 

In low intensity aerobic activity which can be walking, treadmills, biking, jogging, or resistance training, the body will source fatty acids and glucose for fuel. In this process, the body also breaks down muscle for fuel in a process called catabolism. It is important to stimulate anabolism or positive nitrogen balance in which the body has adequate protein to repair and build muscle and adequate glucose to fuel catalytic processes of the muscles during activity. 

It should now be evident that starving the body to lose weight or deprive the body of adequate calories or nutrients works counter to building and maintaining muscle. Starving reduces metabolism and forces the body to hold onto fat stores.Not a process most people desire. Not providing enough calories causes the body to access the muscles for fuel which is counter to most goals. 

How Do We Determine Our Correct Calorie Intake?

This creates the question of asking what is the right amount of nutrients and calories to maintain or lose weight and build muscle. Athletes engaged in high intensity exercise do not want to lose weight although no one has a problem with converting fat to muscle. Muscle is more dense than fat so a successful program would find the athlete becoming leaner and perhaps heavier. Digestion and muscle need large amounts of water so a half ounce of water per pound of body weight per day is a good goal for aiding digestion, building muscle, and losing fat. 

How does one know how many calories to consume a day for their goal? There are many formulas for determining the Minimum Daily Calories to maintain weight. Since a pound of weight is about 3,500 calories, maintaining, losing, or gaining weight is a balance of consumption and energy expenditure. To lose a pound of weight a week you would need to reduce calories by 500 a day or in combination with additional energy expenditure. If an hour of exercise is 500 calories and consumption is reduced 500 calories a day, the body should lose two pounds a week. 

The Minimum Daily Calorie or Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) can be estimated with the more popular Mifflln St-Jeor equation: 

For men RMR= (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) - (5 x age, years) +5

For women its the same but at the end its -161.

Calculate weight in kg by dividing pounds by 2.2. Calculate height in cm by multiplying inches by 2.54. 

So a 30 year old male who weighs 180 pounds and is 6' tall and is a moderately active exerciser would be calculated as follows:

RMR= (10 x 81.8) + (6.25 x 182.88) - (5 x 30) + 5 

10 x 81.8 = 818, 6.25 x 182.88 = 1,143, 5 x 30= 150, -5

RMR= 1816 calories a day

Then we multiply by a range of numbers from 1.3 for a sedentary person to 1.9 for an extreme athlete. This gives us the daily calorie requirement to maintain our weight given our level of exercise. Our moderately active male (sports 3 to 5 days a week) multiplies his RMR by 1.55. 

This gives us a total daily caloric intake allowance of 2814 calories a day. Now getting calories from the right food is important. Fruits and vegetables are often considered negative calories because their enzymes help burn not only their own composition, but additional food consumed. Empty and harmful calorie foods have zero enzymes and require other foods to supply digestive enzymes (any packaged or unnatural foods)

There are various ways to monitor our progress. The bathroom scale is one measure, but can be deceptive if we are putting on muscle. Fat calipers might be a great measure of progress toward our goals. The fit of our clothes can also tell us how we are doing.

Judging Our Success by How We Feel

The next important gauge is how we feel and perform. If we are not getting enough calories we are going to become tired. We are not going to have weight or muscle gains. Our performance will deteriorate.  These can also be the symptoms of over training (inadequate recovery), lack of sleep, dehydration, inadequate protein or carbohydrates (eating poorly), and poor meal timing.

Exercise preparation should begin with adequate consumption of protein, carbohydrates, and water two to three hours before intense exercise. This allows most of the carbohydrates and protein to reach the muscles in the form of glucose and protein. It also ensures that the blood supply is not divided between digestion and muscle demands. This is exercising in a fasted state. 

After exercise, it is important that we supply the body with carbohydrates, protein and water to restore glucose, repair and build muscles. In intense aerobics in which we lose pounds, we have to drink 16 oz of water every twenty minutes for each pound lost. In intense resistance training we need carbohydrates to stimulate insulin to carry the glucose to the muscles. If we ingest protein as well, the insulin will deliver glucose and protein to the muscles to stop catabolism and stimulate anabolism. 

Beginner exercisers can start with a low intensity aerobic warm up before resistance exercise and then ingest 100 calories of carbohydrates and protein (half a Cliff Bar) following resistance training and do a low intensity aerobic warm down for 10 to 20 minutes. This fuel will supply the body with muscle building nutrients and help convert fat to muscle as fatty acids are sourced for the aerobic exercise. 

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Exercise and Fuel

The two are like twins in the need to reach performance, body composition, and muscle building goals. Starving our bodies and trying to improve performance and build muscle are at odds.  Coaching can help you reach your goals and set you on your path to self-monitoring. 

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Surfing Fundamentals

5 Surfing Fundamentals for Beginners


There are 5 fundamentals we learn and practice in Oceanside Surf Lessons:


· Balance and Position on the Surf Board

· Paddling Correctly

· Catching Waves

· Popping Up

· Riding to the Beach

Lessons go from Dry Land to in the Water

1> In the water, I teach students to hold the board up with the tail facing the waves. Then they roll over with their chest on the board so the board and their body hit the water at the same time. Their feet need to be positioned over the back of the board and then they put the balls of their feet on the board. Their nose should be in the middle of the board and it has to be pointed straight at the beach. 

2> Paddling should be short strokes up to the elbow and fast. Long paddles turn the board and one arm is usually stronger than the other which also turns the board in the wave. If the board gets at an angle to the wave, it turns over. 


3> Catching foam or real waves is timing. When the foam wave is 20 feet away, the surfer rolls over on the board and begins paddling. When the wave is 5' away, the surfer paddles hard as the wave hits the board and then three more paddles until the board is in front of the wave. 


4> The pop up is a sequence of moves. Beginners often try to jump on the board as soon as the foam wave hits the board and they create a mess. The sequence is paddle until the board has caught the wave. Then put hands on the board in a man's push up position next to the chest. Then push up. In the beginner pop up I teach, I have the students put a back foot on the board under their butt so they can stand up on it. This placement of the back foot is crucial. Then the student raises both arms in front of him as he stands and moves the front foot to the middle of the board. The front foot must land in the middle and preferably at a 45 degree angle forward. 

Body Position on the Surf Board

Also crucial for beginners is their body position. The feet should be about 3 feet apart and the shoulders and hips have to be squared to the front. We don't want one shoulder back like in snow boarding. Weight should be equal on front and back legs and the torso should be upright. We do not want the head in front of the front foot bending forward or the surfer flies off the front of the board. 

5> Riding the board is easy if the posture and position on the board is correct. The surf board will go straight and no work is required. If the student falls off on the butt side, he was snow boarding. If he flies off the front, his head was in front of his front foot. If the board carves, his weight is not equal on both sides of the middle stringer. Hands should be in front, knees flexed, and the body loose to react to the boards motions. 

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Learn to Surf

Most new students say learning to surf is more difficult than they imagined. The reason is in films, only experts are filmed and not beginners. Learning the fundamentals brings together the need for some flexibility, strength, and stamina. If you are not in shape, you can cross train for surfing, surf, or do a combination. Try a surfing and fitness package.

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Cross Training

Cross Training for Ideal Fitness

Cross training provides ideal fitness through aerobics and resistance training. A combination of exercises can create fat loss, strength, and stamina. Advanced exercisers are looking for power, speed, and agility. 

At the Beginning

The unconditioned exerciser is beginning a program and probably has weight loss, strength, and stamina as the first goals. Their muscles need to be educated to start absorbing fuel. Until this moment, insulin has been taking glucose straight to the adipose (tissue) leading to weight gain. 

The beginning exerciser starts with low impact aerobics like walking 10 to 15 minutes a day and progresses to 150 minutes a week. This exercise could also be on a treadmill, a road bike, swimming or other comparable low impact exercises. 

Resistance exercise begins with function and movement before adding load. It is important that body posture and basic movements are correct to prevent injury that could occur from loading weight. 

Early Resistance Training

Early resistance training begins with low intensity load and high reps. Beginners may start with 50% of their one lift capacity (a guess at the beginning) and do 3 sets of 20 to 25 reps with rest between each set. Intensity is increased with heavier loads, more sets, and less rest. Programs can vary. 

Low intensity aerobics and resistance training can be performed up to 5 times (or more) a week because there is no muscle tearing and recovery.  Daily low intensity aerobics for at least a half hour is excellent for burning fat, increasing cardiovascular capacity, and stamina. 

Moderate Intensity 

Moderate intensity aerobics starts to incorporate interval training to build anaerobic conditioning, endurance, and speed. The body starts to burn glucose instead of fatty acids principally for fuel, so nutrition for preparation and recovery becomes more important. 

Moderate intensity resistance training increases weights, reduces reps to the 12-15 range and starts reducing frequency of workouts. Now the muscles are building strength and endurance, but not yet size or maximum strength. 

High Intensity

High intensity aerobic exercise prepares the competitor for competition in which they may reach maximum effort. High intensity efforts up to 95% maybe included, but only once a week. The balance of the time is spent in lower intensity workouts. 

High intensity resistance training aims at increasing size and reaching maximum strength. Loads are increased up to 90% of capacity with only 4 to 6 reps. These routines may only be engaged once a week to allow for muscle recovery and building. 

Plyometrics is an advanced stage exercise in which power is the goal. Jumping, sprints, and various other exercises, usually without load, increase power, speed, and agility. 

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For Surf Lessons, a great cross training aerobic, muscle, and stamina conditioner, see my Surf Website  . You can take surf lessons and personal training with Packages seen on this site. 


Fitness is a full body practice increasing strength, endurance, and power. Incorporating hydration, nutrition, and rest are vital parts of any program. 

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Make Fitness Like Breathing

Every day you breathe without thinking about it. If you meditate you do think about it. Your heart will beat millions of times in your life. All your systems operate automatically as designed by Nature to assist you in enjoying a quality life style. 

The quality of your life, however, is free will. Hearts often stop beating before necessary. Cells designed to maximize our productivity can turn against us. Bodies designed to be the greatest runners on earth often can't walk around the block. 

Getting on the Right Track

Let's think about the opposite; waking up every morning refreshed, energetic, thinking, grateful, loving, and anxious to make a contribution. We can tune our own engine. We can build our transmission. We can develop a super drive train. Yes, we can be a race car that attracts attention because we operate at such a high level of performance and good will. 

We are energy. Everything in existence is energy including thought. The prime source of energy for earth is the sun. It fuels plant growth. Everything living sources plants as a primary fuel. Eating natural food is the sun's energy. 

Energy in our body is the burning of fuel. We consume, we digest, we process, and we eliminate. Maximum energy and vitality is the result of incorporating muscle in the process. Exercising of muscle exercises our circulatory, respiratory, digestive, endoctrine, nervous, skeletal, muscular, and cardio systems. 

Getting to Fitness

Fitness is how we optimize what we are. The level of fitness can be the determinant of our quality of life not to mention longevity. Strangely, the body organism can be satisfied with minimum amounts of fitness. The majority of the population doesn't achieve these levels. 

Each day think of yourself as a fitness machine. All the autonomic systems that make us super powers depend on what we consume and how we move. That simple. At the most basic level, take a half hour walk and don't consume sugars, saturated fats, and white flour. 

At the next level, introduce another half hour of exercise totaling and hour and then intervals into simple aerobics for two minute stretches whether walking, swimming, biking, or treadmills. 

Resistance Training is Important

To balance the tendency of our bodies to consume lean muscle for fuel in aerobics add resistance training two or three times a week. Start with the big muscle groups. Exercises like squats, bench press, dead lifts, and military presses exercise the major muscle groups and do the most with the minimum focus. 

A diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein with minimum fats will cause the body to consume what you digest and with adequate water, you could lose weight while eating a sufficient amount of food. Vegetables and fruit are negative calorie consumables. 

Beginners Can Get it All

To lose weight, add strength and stamina for a beginner exerciser, consider this program. Warm up with a walk or treadmill for 10 minutes. Exercise the major muscle groups with the above exercises utilizing 20-25 reps per set and a minimum of 3 sets per exercise at 50% to 60% of total capability (a guessing game at the beginning). When the weights are completed, consume 100 calories like half a Cliff bar and do a warm down of 10 to 20 minutes at 50% intensity aerobics. 

Aerobic intensity is measured by heartbeat. Your Maximal Heart Rate is 208 minus your age.  208- 50 years old equals a maximum suggested work out heart rate of 150 beats. 50% of that is 79 beats per minute. 

The above work out warm up process readies your body for exercise by accelerating heart beat and blood flow. The resistance training consumes glycogen (glucose-sugar-carbohydrates). It educates the body to start feeding muscles and muscles to prepare for more work next time. Consuming 100 calories after weights and before light aerobics causes the new energy to rush to the muscles and fatty acids to fuel the aerobics. Perfect system. Build muscle endurance and strength, replenish so body doesn't use the muscle as fuel, and burn fat to fuel aerobics. 


As you progress, you can start lifting heavier weights at 12 to 16 reps and approaching maximal capability in the 60% to 80% range. By now, you should have a better idea of your maximal lift for one rep. In the final stage, if you are interested in maximum strength building and size, you start lifting 80% of your capacity for 4-6 reps. 

I have simplified the explanation here, but it is an excellent outline. A good progressive resistance work out has a few sets of 60% capacity lifting for warm up and then one rep of an 80% capacity lift and then 3 sets at 70% of capacity. This allows the gradual increase of minimums and maximums.

Aerobics are intensified by adding intervals and then one day a week work outs reaching 80% to 95% of capacity for the time that your body has progressively allowed. 

As work outs intensify, it is more important to time consumption and ensure you are getting adequate carbohydrates, protein, water, calories, and rest. 

As you increase your levels of fitness, you will start to feel better, have greater brain function, more energy, look better, feel gratitude, probably feel more purpose in your life, improve relationships, feel more unified with the whole, and maybe know why you are here. 

These improvements occur because there is a level of spirituality that accompanies taking care of ourselves and appreciating what we are and perhaps why we might be such fabulous machines. 

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What is Fitness

Fitness can be a whole body experience of health, fitness, and spirituality. They each feed the other until at the end you know why you are here. 

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Training Muscle

How to Train Muscle

Consider muscle as a living organism. It needs fuel. It exercises. It excretes waste,  it needs to refuel and then it needs rest. Consider a big cat in Africa. It sleeps 20 hours a day. When it hunts, it may only be successful in one out of ten chases. It then gorges and rests until the next time. Its a muscle machine.

Start Conditioning Your Muscle

The best state for conditioning muscle is to eat carbohydrates and proteins two and a half to three hours before exercise. This allows the nutrients (sugar and amino acids) to get digested and distributed to the liver and muscles. When exercising begins, the blood system can fully focus on the muscles and not worry about digestion. This is called the fasted state. 

After burning all the glycogen in the muscles and liver that were converted from sugar (carbs), the liver, blood and muscles need to replenish. The liver holds about 400 calories of glycogen, the blood about 100 calories, and the muscles about 80 calories. So 500 calories is about an hour of medium intensity weight resistance or aerobics exercise. 

The body needs carbs and protein after exercise. The nutrients will first replace the glycogen and stop catabolism which is the body feeding on muscle to replenish energy. Then the nutrients are used for muscle repair and muscle building. Depending on the degree of intensity, the muscle needs time to recover. 

Exercise is Measured by Intensity

Exercise is in degrees of intensity. Low intensity aerobics (walking, treadmill, biking) use fatty acids for fuel and begin to build endurance. Low intensity weight training burns fat, builds endurance, and some strength, but not size. Exercisers are lifting 50%-60% of maximum one time rep capability and doing 20-25 reps. 

Medium intensity aerobics introduces intervals for short periods of time often up to two or three minutes to create anabolic states in which there is no oxygen in the muscles. Medium intensity weight training does the same. Exercisers start lifting 60%-80% of capability and doing 12-16 reps. This level builds endurance and more strength, but not size. 

High intensity exercise for aerobics is utilizing up to 95% of capability for short bursts. This is used mainly for competition training and only once a week. The balance of the time is spent at lower levels of intensity. High intensity weight training is lifting 80% to 90% of maximum capability for 4-6 reps. This training can only be engaged perhaps once a week. For weights, it is building maximum strength and size. 

Low intensity exercise can be engaged 3 to 5 times a week because the recovery process is not as intense. Unconditioned exercisers begin with low intensity and build up. Most exercisers never need or desire to engage in high intensity exercise. Losing fat, improving body composition, building endurance and strength can all be accomplished with low and medium intensity. 

How Intensity is Measured

Aerobic intensity is developed around the percentage of Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). This is 208 minus your age. A fifty year old person would have a maximum heart rate of 208-50=158 beats a minute. Exercising at 50% would equal 79 beats a minute. 

Weight training intensity is developed around Maximum One Time lift capability. If you can bench press 100 pounds once, 50% intensity is 50 pounds. Most unconditioned would begin exercises around 50 pounds and high intensity lifting would be about 90 pounds. Maximum lift capabilities will differ with each weight exercise. You can squat with more weight than you can curl. 

Timing in the Process

Training muscle incorporates timing. When to eat, when to exercise, and when to rest. The unconditioned can start with 10 to 15 minutes of walking a day aiming to reach 150 minutes a week and then 300 minutes. A long term predictor of sustained weight loss is the willingness to exercise an hour to an hour and a half a day. 

The unconditioned begin by building the muscle's ability to absorb fuel. Sedentary life styles result in the muscle's resistance to insulin delivering glucose and forcing its deposit in adipose (fat) tissue. This is the reason for obesity. The unconditioned have no endurance for aerobics or resistance training because the muscle doesn't have fuel. Its a building process. 

When muscle is exercised, it begins to build resources for the next experience. We train muscle to anticipate more load. Results at the beginning often come quickly before plateauing. We jog a quarter mile, then a mile and soon five miles. 

In Conclusion

Water is essential for digestion, muscle function,  and recovery of weight loss from exercising. Drinking half your body weight in ounces is a healthy target. Carbohydrates and protein are essential for providing sugar and amino acids for exercise preparation and recovery. Minimize lean muscle loss by eating after exercise that lasts at least a half hour. 

Consider muscle your pet (your big cat) and learn to treat it for what it needs.

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Training muscle is the process of getting fit. It is more complicated and yet more simple than most people consider.

Muscle is like taking care of your pet. It needs food, exercise, and rest. Throw in a little love. 

Timing is essential for optimal results. 

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Weigh Training

Why Weight Training is Necessary

After the growth period in the human body which ends in the mid 20's, the body begins to atrophy from disuse. Consider the age of the human organism and what humanoids were doing a million years ago.

While Nature has done wonders with the human brain, the body hasn't changed dramatically. We have more bacteria cells than human cells and we are still stardust. We are used to full body exercise which includes walking, picking, carrying, lifting, and pushing. 

When these activities are not part our routine, the primitive systems believe we must no longer need to survive. The body is used to starvation at times of the year and when we don't eat, it is very accomplished at shutting down our metabolism and feeding on itself if necessary. 

Our Major Systems Support Muscle Use

8 major systems that are part of the autonomic composition of our body  operate without our conscious thinking. They utilize 65% of our metabolism. The circulatory, cardiovascular, digestive, and muscular systems all coordinate the fueling and waste disposal of material to our muscles. Our body is based on providing nutrients and oxygen to working muscles and eliminating waste by-products of exercise. 

When you look at the host of diseases that plague us today, most of them are sourced by the lack of exercise or sedentary behavior. Our bodily systems are not being fully utilized so they deteriorate.  Not exercising is not resting you, its killing you. 

Aerobic exercise is fantastic for our body, but low impact aerobics use fatty acids for fuel which is good and then in long periods of exercise, the body turns to muscle tissue for additional fuel. Building strength and stamina in aerobic exercise also causes muscle reduction. Aging results in muscle reduction. Osteoporosis is only one result. 

Do The Basics

Go cave man. The most useful exercises that affect the major muscle groups are squats, dead lifts, chest presses, and military presses. Balance would dictate that secondary exercises would entail pulling like chest cable rows, bar pull downs, and other exercises where we pull weight towards the body. 

In these exercises, we achieve lifting, raising, pushing, and pulling. We exercise the major muscle groups and support muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. We support the autonomic systems of our body. We eliminate waste and utilize nutrients. 

The problem with over weight diseases in our society, which is the source of most killing diseases, is that when muscles are sedentary, the body takes sugar, our main source of fuel, and by passes the muscles as it transports it directly to adipose tissue. If the muscles don't burn fuel (sugar- carbohydrates) it turns to fat. 

The Long Term

Long run, we should consider exercising muscle as important as paying our bills. The type of bills we will pay in the long run will start to be more about health than about rent. Consider the issues that confront us most right now about the national budget and health. People can't get the health care they need to take care of the bodies they have neglected. 

The population with higher income is more conscious of health and the necessity of good nutrition, exercise, water, rest, and stress reduction. Most of us have learned that whatever we neglect comes back with a vengeance whether its maintenance, relationships, or health. It places an additional burden on what we often consider overwhelm, but it is like avoiding putting oil in your car. 

The Reluctant Mind

Half the literature in Coaching for health, personal training, and nutrition deals with the fact people don't want to self-monitor for improvement. Most diet and exercise programs fail. Cognitive Behavior Theory teaches what people believe leads to how they think and behave. If people don't believe healthy habits are necessary, they won't behave accordingly. 

if you didn't go to a gym, you could help your body with squats, lunges, push ups, planks, and a half hour walk a day. 


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 It is always fun to have support for our efforts by someone who has done it before and knows the correct process. 

The purpose of Coaching is like tech support. Learn to obtain the desired results with the fewest mistakes possible and the shortest path to the results.  

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Does Fitness Make You a Better Person?

How often do we think about being a better person? What would that mean? I, personally, am always trying to be better than I was the day before. I have several areas on which I focus. 

Health is a top priority. I hate to be sick and consciously think about longevity and quality of life style as I age. Being active is a high priority. It is my life. Learning is a high priority. I learn to give back. That makes contribution my goal and my learning helps me contribute to improve the lives of others. It is also how I earn money so I get to blend my goals of fitness, learning and earning. 

I am extremely grateful. I feel blessed to have health and fitness even though I earned them. I feel blessed to be able to work on my goals toward daily improvement of health, knowledge, and contribution. Being a better person helps me make a better contribution. 

Lets look at it from another perspective. How does the person feel that struggles to fill all their obligations and never has time for themselves? In a recent survey of happy people, they said they needed two and a half hours a day of free time. In another survey, people rated free time higher than promotions and children. Quite a statement. 

What seems to separate happiness from feeling overwhelmed is often choice. Do we get to choose how we live our lives? What are the choices we are making? Most people are sacrificing their health to obligations. No judgement here, that's just the reality. Look at the plague of weight, disease, and drugs on our health system today. 

Being healthy is having control. It is a sign of self discipline. It is a sign of self-monitoring. One of the major obstacles as taught in Health Coaching, Personal Training, and Nutrition programs is getting clients to stick to healthy routines and become self-monitoring. Most people resort to old habits even after a year of adherence. 

People make health a lower priority because their pain, emotional upsets, financial conditions, and struggles need to be placated (food, alcohol, drugs, anger...) before they value the life opportunities they have been gifted. Yes, we are all born with the opportunity to feel great and be grateful.

One of the reasons I became more spiritual on the path to good health is that I realized everything we need is already here; natural food and exercise. We forget we are animals just like all the other inhabitants of the earth. Before cities, we lived off the land. 

We can all start a path towards health without dramatically altering our lives. Walk a half hour a day. Start jogging when viable. Run intervals when capable. Walk on a treadmill or bike. Make better food choices. Start by eliminating sugar, saturated fat, and white flour foods. Add something healthy each week or two. I followed this path years ago to lose 50 pounds over a four year period. 

How does your attitude about life change when you are making choices that benefit yourself? When you start choosing health, free time, helping others the desire to do more of each seems to grow. When they become your priority, you feel you have found your purpose and know why you are here. Sure, that's a major jump for most people, but where does it start? 

What could you do today to take better care of yourself? 


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 It is always fun to have support for our efforts by someone who has done it before and knows the correct process. 

The purpose of Coaching is like tech support. Learn to obtain the desired results with the fewest mistakes possible and the shortest path to the results.  

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Training for Fitness

Training for Fitness

Fitness is a level above feeling good although the more fit you are the better you probably feel. The majority of our population is not fit. They take some solace in the fact they feel good and perform their daily functions. 

At a certain point, our body stops growing and without proper stimulation to all systems, starts to atrophy toward death. Sure, it takes a while, but there are other influences we often absorb in addition to not exercising our systems. We might not eat correctly, endure stress, and gain weight. 

Fitness is an approach to remedy all three items: Nutrition, stress, and weight.

Adding Just the Minimums

A minimum amount of exercising can make us far healthier than the sedentary person. A half hour brisk walk every morning. Low impact resistance training (weights) a few times a week can make a big difference. Eating less sugar, saturated fat, and flour while adding more fruits and vegetables is a healthy nutrition plan. 

In coaching, we work by degrees. For the sedentary overweight person, we start them on the simple program above. As the muscles get trained to take up fuel, they grow in strength and endurance. Then you can add more intensity and load. Its that simple. 

Fitness becomes the degree to which a person wants to add intensity and load. In aerobics, some people find marathons or Iron Man competitions their ultimate tests. Some take to real life adventures like climbing mountains. Biking, swimming, skiing, tennis, and basketball have their tests for endurance or just enjoyment. 

Why Get Fit?

The beauty of being fit is that there are few activities you might want to enjoy that you can't learn because the endurance has been developed that will apply to all sports with some sport specific muscle training. 

Everyone who learns to surf says I need to be in better condition. It is a great test. Triathletes, runners, and swimmers are in better condition than most to learn surfing, but they also need to develop surf specific stamina. 

Fitness is an attitude, a perspective, spiritual, and a never ending goal. It is rewarding because every effort exerted starts to pay dividends. The biggest changes occur in the first few months. Our body reacts to fat loss regimens, builds muscle endurance, and prepares automatically for more intensity and load. 

Fitness Becomes the Life Style

People that believe in fitness couldn't live any other way. It is their priority. It is what they live for. It might even feel as though it is their purpose and why they are here. The more engaged we become, the more important it becomes in our lives. 

As we progress to fitness, the effort becomes less painful and more pleasurable. We wake in the morning looking forward to our work outs or bike rides because at a certain point our body accepts the work as easy as walking. I bike for an hour rest and bike for another hour and my body thanks me. It changes my attitude about everything. 

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It is always fun to have support for our efforts by someone who has done it before and knows the correct process. The purpose of Coaching is like tech support. Learn to obtain the desired results with the fewest mistakes possible and the shortest path to the results. 

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Catching Waves

The Timing of Catching Surfing Waves


When I teach Oceanside Surf Lessons, one of the main things students learn is catching waves. We start with foam waves after the wave has broken. You have to start paddling before the foam wave arrives. After it hits the board, you paddle hard until the board takes off and is in front of the wave. Then you begin a smooth pop up.

Catching real waves also needs timing. One of the biggest mistakes newer surfers make is trying to paddle over the top of waves as the waves are passing by. Most of the time they miss these waves or they get in too late. If you get in too late, you crash as it closes or you just miss all the momentum as the waves pocket leaves you behind.

On real waves, you need to get in front of the wave and let the lip form behind you and over your head. Then you paddle down the face. If it is a steep wave, you do a bottom turn and get into the pocket. If it is not too steep, you can turn the board towards the pocket before you pop up. 

The length of the board also influences how early in the wave's forming you catch it and the steepness determines whether you can go down the face or have to angle the wave. A close out wave may have to be taken at the corner and avoid the apex where it comes over too fast and steep.  You have to recognize all the factors and not just treat every wave, every tide, every swell, or every day the same. 

But back to the beginning.  Considering first whether you are a long boarder or short boarder, you have to spot where the waves are breaking best for your board and your skill. I go to that spot and wait for the waves that break in that spot. When I am surfing next to the Pier in Oceanside, I mark the spot with light poles on the Pier and return to that pole. 

On a sand bar beach you often have to let the close outs go by. When I see a wave I want, I start paddling to get momentum. It also notifies other surfers in the line up I want the wave. I love to paddle parallel to the wave to get up speed and try and pick my interception point.

I like to let the wave come up behind me and lift my board. If I time it right, the wave will be at its peak as I reach the spot just under the lip. Then I paddle hard and kick to get down the face.

If you start just under the lip, the wave face is easy to see and you are already on it. If you chase a wave, you have to drop over the lip and then drop down the face. If you start on the face you can decide whether to drop or go right or left. You can angle the board or do a quick bottom turn carve in the middle of the face as soon as your best path is obvious.

For Surf Lessons or Surf Lessons with Fitness Sessions see the Coaching and Package pages. 

Learn More

Surfing and fitness go hand in hand. Surfing is one of the most demanding full body sports. It requires upper body, core, flexibility, and power. Surfing enough will create the necessary prowess, but most professionals train outside of the gym as well. Learn more about fitness

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Select Your Surf Board

Beginners Select Their First Surfboard


Selecting your best surfboard includes a decision about how much fun you want to have and do you want to have the maximum fun. The other criteria many new surfers make is do they want to look cool. 

Its one thing for a coach to pontificate about what he thinks is the right thing to do, but surfing is an individual sport and the independence people love gives them the right to select their dream board. 

We All Want to Be Experts

As soon as surfers begin, they want to emulate the experts they saw in the movies ripping and shredding great waves. It would be like me watching Top Gun and enrolling for flying lessons. I want to be like Maverick.

Surfing and flying are slow learned processes and are more complex than they appear. The first thing new surf students say is this is more difficult than I imagined. The second thing they say is it is more tiring than I imagined. 

This might indicate why the culture of surfing is so special. Those who know, have climbed the ladder, made the sacrifices, learned patiently, and put in the time to improve. Each has a great respect and love of the ocean and knows the risks of advancing to bigger waves. 

All Worthwhile Achievements Require Dues

One secret for lasting in the sport until such time as you can wear your stripes is make the smart moves along the way. Surf on the board that suits your learning status, your body size, your conditioning, and your courage. 

9' soft tops are the best place to start for teens and adults. They have the volume to help you catch foam waves and learn the fundamentals of getting on the surf board in the right posture. Many master this in one lesson. 

I move these students to an 8' soft top which is more maneuverable and more demanding while requiring more stamina to paddle. This board can catch 7' high real waves, so there are no limitations for awhile.  I have had students progress to riding bigger waves and even real waves in one lesson. 

If students get to surf often, they can consider moving to real boards which means fiberglass or epoxy. These boards deliver more performance because they are more maneuverable. Caution here because if the drop is too radical, they are harder to paddle, harder to catch waves, and harder to ride. There goes the fun. 

Move to Shorter Boards Slowly

I suggest if dropping in size to move down six inches in length and keep the width and thickness. A fun board is 7'6" long, 21"+ wide, and at least 2 3/4" thick. This is a great first move down. 

There is also nothing wrong with going bigger. Weekend surfers might enjoy a longer board like 9' or 9" because week end warriors can paddle for an hour or two as opposed to twenty minute sessions on a short board. The longer board catch waves easy and therefore in a session, one can ride a lot of waves. What's not to like?

See my Dry Land and in Water Demo beginner video

For Surf Lessons in Oceanside See Coaching or my surf website 

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Get Fit For Surfing

Surfing is one of the more physically demanding sports for people beginning. It likes flexibility, upper body and core strength, plus stamina. Surfing and getting fit at the same time can bring lots of life style rewards. 

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Weight Loss

Developing a Program for Fat Loss

Most people that start on quick weight loss diets fail. The mind that doesn't like change, doesn't like change that causes suffering. It will find ways to sabotage these efforts of weight loss and new exercise programs. 

The Larger Perspective

It takes a larger perspective and longer range attitude shift to create permanent affects. In Cognitive Theory, the most popular behavior therapy coaches use for assisting new clients, it teaches that what we believe affects what we think and then how we behave. Without changing what we believe, we have difficulty creating long term healthy behaviors. 

If we think our life is fine, but we just need to lose ten pounds, we will soon believe in the program that it is not worth the sustained effort of deprivation and sweaty exercise. If we shift our beliefs to thinking that healthy changes would keep us disease and pain free, make us feel better and result in looking more attractive, we might be inclined to raise health in our priorities. 

Fear is a great factor for sustaining people's belief in fitness. I am one who fears losing my abilities to enjoy any recreation, fear disease, fear having pain from being sedentary, and fear  sickness due to neglected health. I find most of my compatriots in fitness have the same subconscious fears. 

Time is a Huge Hurdle

The first obstacle for prioritizing health for most people struggling with it is Time. Time is usually the culprit underlying our deferring healthy habits. We have too much on our plate and if we insert health, then we can't pay our rent or satisfy our family's demands. 

One of the most discouraging aspects of creating a healthy and happy life style is falling victim to all the obligations that prevent us from being healthy, having choices, finding our purpose, and knowing why we are here. Sadly, people often have to change the survival mentality before they start enjoying life and good health. How often do you hear about someone who gave up great jobs to get more free time or a different life style? 

Happiness Can Come Sooner than We Think

One aspect we fail to give proper consideration is that healthy people have happier more productive lives and tend to feel they are more on purpose with their lives. In a recent survey, people that were happiest thought that 2.5 hours of free time a day was optimum. What could you do with 2.5 hours a day? 

In a time management course with a real estate guru, he had us chart the use of our time each day for a week and gave us categories for productive activities, activities leading to productivity and non-productive time (like chores and errands). We all found we were not productive about 64% of the time. 

He said, why not take a day off and at least enjoy the non-productive time all at once. It won't affect your weekly result, evidently. I did that with the blessings of my employer. I was a real estate office manager creating good results and rationalized I would be more accommodating if I took better care of myself. My employers gave me the week day off. 

How Many Components to Health?

Living a healthy, productive, fulfilling, and loving life has many components. We need to feel we have choices. We have to feel connected. Isolation is a major contributor to many negative affects. We have to be connected to our bodies. We need to be connected to life whether it be Nature, mankind, or God. It helps if we see ourselves as unified with the bigger picture (Nature, the Universe, Mankind) and not struggling on our own as a totally separate life form. 

Weight loss becomes one increment to better health. Research shows excess weight places us in the highest health risk categories. Obesity is the world's number one risk for health. Don't see weight as a burden? See it as one area that is probably illuminating a host of symptoms that have manifested. Examine your life in totality. Weight is most often a symptom of emotional eating. It is usually the result of a sedentary life style that underestimates the long term consequences. It usually indicates we are victims of life's pressures and not prioritizing the search for who we are. 

Make health a high priority goal. Examine your total life style including stress, relationships, work, free time, creative time, contribution, and fitness. Health should include a long check list of life changing goals to find out who we are and our purpose here. 

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Fat Loss

The Fat Loss Mentality and Action Plan

Fat loss is often a goal for people interested in health and it usually requires a change of life style. Most research shows that people who try radical diets to lose weight fail and regain losses in a short time. 

In fact, people who stay with a regimen for up to a year are still at risk of falling into old habits and allowing their discipline to fade as they focus on their other life issues. Research has shown that people trained by the followers of Health at Any Size are far more successful in maintaining weight losses up to 5 years. 

The difference is that health becomes their first priority. If you are concerned about being healthy more than looking good or fitting in to the newly purchased outfit, chances are your mind will be more health supportive when faced with difficult life style choices. 

I lost 50 pounds over a 4 year period many years ago and found the mind is a worthy opponent. I was addicted to ice cream after every dinner. Not the worst thing in the world, but one of many habits that lead to loss of control. If you can tackle the most stubborn habit, the rest become slightly easier. 

Secret Addiction Breaker

I found a secret on breaking addictions that still serves me although I have few unhealthy  ones now and my weight hovers at my high school graduation weight.  I found that if I broke one addiction with something equally as bad, it nonetheless moved me to a new space. To break the ice cream habit, I started eating a Snickers bar after dinner. Once the ice cream habit was satiated with the Snickers bar, I moved to a granola bar. 

I found that as I moved from bad food to good food, the weight (fat) slowly disappeared. As I progressed to mostly healthy foods, my mind started to support my new healthier look and feelings.  Soon, it protested my decision to choose a food that was a step back. My mind enjoyed progress.

The thinner and healthier I became, the easier it was to participate in more rigorous exercise.  I was always an exerciser, but it was clear that more rigorous exercise would speed my progress. It became a fun game in which I always was the winner. 

If you have been sedentary, the muscles are not capable of rigorous or extended exercise, They have to be trained to absorb glucose instead of the receptors blocking glucose and forcing the insulin to carry sugars to adipose (fat) tissues. 

Fat Burning Routine

A simple outline of a fat burning, muscle building, and endurance increasing routine would look like the following. This assumes you are a healthy person capable of exercising without risk. This also assumes you have begun exercising and are capable of a half hour of low intensity aerobics and a high rep weight work out up to an hour. 

If you are not there, then aerobics can start with 10 to 15 minutes a day of walking adding up to 150 minutes a week and the gym workouts begin with assessing function, movement, and flexibility before adding loads. 

So to begin, you have a carbohydrate and protein meal 2 to 3 hours before a gym work out. This leaves the body in a fasted state which means the food is digested and glycogen and amino acids are delivered to the muscles. The body will not fight over blood supply between digestion and muscle support. 

You do a ten minute warm up on the treadmill, a walk, or a stationary bike to warm the muscles, get blood circulating, and start burning fatty acids. The body seeks fatty acids for fuel in low intensity aerobics. 

Then you participate in 45 to 60 minutes of large muscle group weights at 40% to 60% of capacity with 20 to 25 reps and 3 sets of each. Work the legs with squats, the back and core with dead lifts, the chest with presses, and the shoulders and core with military presses and pulls. 

After the resistance training, you ingest about 100 calories of carbs and protein with half a Cliff Bar or similar energy bar. Then do a warm down of 15-20 minutes of low intensity aerobics which could be the treadmill again. Simply stated, this allows glucose to funnel to the muscles for recovery and calls upon fatty acids again to support the aerobics. 

This process builds strength, endurance, and burns fat. As you progress, you can move to heavier weights if desired and fewer reps. Serious weight trainers end doing 4 to 6 reps at 80% to 90% of capacity (often called 1 rep maximum load).

These high repetition workouts could be performed several times a week since they are not loading the muscles to exhaustion and requiring long recovery times. Or you could break them up with days of aerobics. Aerobics burns fat and lean muscle tissue, so the resistance training maintains and builds more muscle. 

Increase Your Metabolic Rate

The greater the amount of muscle, the higher the metabolic rate and the faster your body burns fat. Its a win/win. This should encourage you to shape your life style nutrition to your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).  The RMR is the minimum calories required to support your autonomic systems (breathing, digestion, circulatory, and endoctrine systems etc) plus calories for Average Daily Activities, times a factor for the amount of calories you are burning in exercise. 

For men the formula for RMR is (10 x weight in grams) + (6.25 x height in CM) - (5 x age) +5. For women it is the same, but the last number is -161. Grams is your weight in pounds divided by 2.2 and CM is your height in inches multiplied by 2.54.  

If you are sedentary you multiply the RMR + approximately 400 calories for Average Daily Activities (non-construction or heavy activity work) by 1.3 and if you are extremely active exercising by 1.9. Your multiple number is an estimate in between the two. 

This is the total calories you can consume to maintain weight. As you do the above workout process, you will burn fat and build muscle so you may not see weight loss but you will notice your clothes fit better and you can follow your fat loss with fat loss calipers, as one measuring process. 

If you adhere to the workouts and conform to the calorie regimen, your lifestyle will change to the healthier and this usually includes more happiness, hope, optimism, and spirituality. I found in the process my desire to help others and make a contribution became more profound. 

As your perspective begins to change, you might stumble onto your life purpose and why you are here. Amazing insights begin to occur when your sights are set on better health and fitness. 

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The Point

Losing fat and improving body composition is a long term proposition that can start showing results soon, but the larger picture of increased health should be the primary goal. 

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Life Style Changes for a Better Body

Life Style Changes for a Better Body

Most everyone wants a better body, less stress, more money, more free time and happiness.  Why not? Chris Butler said "The best part of your story is the next page and you get to write it." 

Ask The Right Questions

Selecting your priorities is a first step. How much time do you have to focus on how many new processes? How I spend my time is at the top of my list. I want to spend my time on activities that make me feel I am fulfilling my purpose, answer who I am, and give me the answer every day to why I am here. 

Answering these questions takes care of most everything on my list. People who are living a life they love aren't always as concerned about material possessions. People fulfilling their purpose would often sacrifice monetary pleasures to continue doing what they love. Its a matter of priorities. 

Health being a priority, I focus on getting enough exercise each week and my nutrition. Since my exercises are activities I love, it is not work. I love to bike ride, swim, surf, walk and go to the gym. I have to space them out so I can fit them into my time schedule, but I give up most things to get in my recreation activities first, other than work. 

Nutrition is Easy Once You Start

Nutrition is easier if you have discipline. The funny thing is, once you enjoy feeling good because of eating healthy, there is no temptation to constantly eat unhealthy food. One trick with nutrition is to understand it is a marathon not a short race. The habits are formed one food at a time, one meal at a time. It may take years to hone the perfect diet that gives you energy, recovery, and the body you want. 

To develop your desired body, it is also a marathon, but progress can be achieved quickly. A combination of aerobics to burn fat, weight training to build lean muscle, and nutrition, can start yielding results right away. You won't have your perfect body in a month, but you can start burning fat, converting fat, and building strength and stamina each month.

Losing 50 Pounds

I found in a four year process to lose 50 pounds, I developed a spirituality about the connection to my body and then to everything else in Nature. I always had a Nature connection, but realizing how exercise, health, and feeling good were within my control and the natural order of how we should live our lives, created a closer awe and belief that all is one. 

With a spiritual connection to the Unity of all things, we realize that the purpose of all particles as defined in physics is to contribute their all to the benefit of the whole. It follows that to be in alignment with the natural order, we should look at how we are contributing to the benefit of the whole. The whole being our families, friends, communities, work, the earth, and mankind. 

Finding Our Purpose

If these principals are seen as our purpose in life and here on earth, how we spend our time starts to take shape. In include learning as one of my priorities so that I can make a bigger contribution. I have been coaching surfing for 10 years but now I am a certified Health Coach, a Personal Trainer, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. My passions have become my purpose, my contribution, and my livelihood. 

Now all my time is coordinated fulfilling the same purposes. I am getting healthy and fit, learning how to help others do the same, and sharing the information for those who also want to have a more optimal life. 


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Not All Fat is Visible

Not All Fat is Visible

Subcutaneous fat is visible and it is the part of body composition that most people setting out on a fitness routine want to change. Endomysium fat is invisible but surrounds muscle fibers and prevents oxygen and nutrients from entering exercising muscles and waste products from exiting. The result is quick exhaustion from exercising. 

You can be lean or have lots of muscles and still have endomysium fat that causes rapid breathing when engaging in an activity. It gathers from lack of activity and especially from a lack of aerobics. A muscled body builder can have endomysium fat. The cure is engaging in aerobics. Some people with muscles or even lean bodies will tire immediately when they start running and their hearts will race. Slow recovery is also an indication of endomysium fat accumulation. 

Low intensity aerobics like walking at 50% of the Maximal Heart Rate (208-age) or low intensity biking, swimming, jogging, treadmill, or elliptical machine will burn this fat. The body's favorite source of fuel for low intensity aerobics are fatty acids to fuel muscles. Long distance runners run slow to train the body to burn fat and not rely just on carbohydrates.

Aerobics only will use glucose from the liver and fatty acids but will also consume lean muscle for fuel. This is the reason to engage in resistance exercises with weights. The ideal for fitness and body composition goals is to reduce fat stores and build lean muscle. 

The routine I suggest for beginner exercisers is a warm up with low intensity aerobics before weight training and then a warm down with low intensity aerobics after consuming some carbohydrates following the weight training. This process begins to train the muscles to accept glucose for refueling and burns fatty acids during the aerobics. 

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The Point

Fat around muscle fibers prevents nutrition from entering and wastes from exiting. It inhibits exercise be reducing our ability to contract muscles for prolonged period of time or engage in aerobics.

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