Health and Fitness Right Now

When it comes to health and fitness, I’m not “an expert”, yet. However, I’ve been studying it and increasingly dedicated to it for the last 6 years. I have learned an immense amount, but there is always more to learn. Plus, science, technology, and information sharing have all increased available knowledge, and progressed health and fitness to new realms. I’m skeptical about training just one way, I believe in a balanced approach, and that’s what I’m working towards.  Gradually improving what I eat, how I train, and what I study/believe. I want to share resources, workouts, diet tips, and progress in this category of the blog, also make myself available to answer any questions. I’m working on becoming a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) this year so if you’ve got questions I’d be happy to help.

This is a passion that’s borderline obsessive. Not as obsessive as some people, but it’s still been something I’ve been very focused on, and progressively more so. I invest money, time, and substantial effort. Results have been steady, but finally breakthroughs are here. (6/19/13), I set 2 personal records for lifting. Dead Lift over 200lbs. (205×6)x2. And, Bench press over 200lbs 225–4x. Both of these have been on my fitness goals since LAST YEAR. So I’m pretty happy that I’ve been able to cross them off. Evernote Snapshot 20130619 234635 That’s one thing I love about having clearly defined goals in places you’ll see them; sometimes it may seem like nothing’s happening but the more you see that and think about it the more likely you are to take action. The thing is that I’ve probably been strong enough for quite some time now, but just never tried. That being said those are relatively light weights in the fitness world, but nonetheless for my 170lb frame, mark a decent strength benchmark, and a place to keep improving from. My body fat percentage is surely dropping and overall body aesthetics are improving.

I always record my workouts, so I can see progress and learn from mistakes, and for personal accountability. Evernote Snapshot 20130619 204932

(I recommend pen and paper, but digital is an option)

This was today’s workout with notes: (weight/reps unless otherwise indicated)

This workout is a variation on a total body day from a self designed program I’ve been developing over the last several years. The more I learn the more I adapt this and add/remove exercises.

Warm up:

Bike 10 minutes: stationary bike on a moderately challenging setting.

Stretch: upper/lower body, compound movements, and total body stretches

Warm up circuit: Complete 3 circuits

(no rest between exercises)

15 lateral raise with resistance band

15 incline situps with 10lb medicine ball (alternate twisting each set)

15 box jumps 1.5 feet

Main Lifts: (maximum 1.5 minute rest between lifts)

Seated Machine Row: 60/20, 90/10, 120/8, 90/10, 45/15

Bench Press: 135/8, 225/4*, 135/8

Dead Lift: 135/8, 205/6*, 205/6, 135/8

Hammer Curl: 40/12, 45/10, 50/8, 45/10, 35/12

Leg Press: 180/15, 225/FAIL (65)

Myotatic Crunch: 12 reps

Chinups: 7 (legs at 90 degrees), 6 (reversed grip), 4 (2 finger).

*Indicates personal best & goal accomplished.

In my next fitness post I’ll be sharing some of the resources that have taught me the most in the past, as well as the one’s I’m learning from now.

Thanks for reading, and keep training. Ask me any questions in regards to this post or health and fitness in general, and I’ll share what I know or find an answer.

Brendan

Where I stand in 2013

This post is basically an inventory and brief summary of where I stand in each category of achievement that’s requisite to achieving my own version of success.

Every so often it’s good to take a step back, analyze progress (or stagnation), and make adjustments.

Learning Languages:

Japanese:

– Read hiragana and katakana but writing needs work

-An ear for pronunciation

-Limited vocabulary

Spanish:

-Decent pronunciation

-Kitchen Vocabulary

-Bad words

-Sounding out reading, but lack comprehension

French:

-Conjugating regular verbs

-Ear for pronunciation/conversation

-Latent vocabulary & reading/writing from high-school.

Business(es):

-I have some great start-up ideas swirling around.  I’m very confident in 3/10 of the ideas, but have yet to take any action towards launch or lean launch.

-Potential for a pop-up restaurant is high. I have a good network within the hospitality industry, and the market is prime for a great pop up.

-My dreams of film/TV production are simply dreams right now.

-Using apps and technology to automate income is similar to my start-up ideas; no action has been taken towards realization other then capturing ideas on paper. I’ve got one rock solid idea though, and about 8 mediocre ones.

-Developing a school would be a legacy project, and I’ve yet to build the requisite resources or fully master many teachable skills.

Health and Fitness:

-The quest for the six-pack is ongoing. Starting to lean out and loose the last 5% body fat that it takes. (for progress shots see my Instagram)

-Personal trainer certification is a goal for the next 90 days. Studying between 4-10 hours a week.

-Healthy eating is becoming a passion. making better choices and structuring a diet based on nutritional benefit and balance is something I study between 5-10 hours a week.

-Yoga has helped me immensely since I started 2 years ago. I’m still not as flexible as I’m striving for, but quite an improvement. Always end my training sessions with yoga/stretching.

Martial Arts:

-Reached a meager yellow belt in Judo at age 13, but have not practiced since.

-Starting from scratch in this field.

Music:

-Played trumpet for 2 years in junior high.

-Messed around with DJ/production software: Reason, Traktor.

Food:

-Started cooking at a young age— starting with eggs at age 8.

-Immersed in the hospitality industry my whole life up this point and presently.

-Apprenticed and worked under one of the best chefs in my city, and a crew of renowned sous-chefs, for a year and a half. The restaurant made #3 on a list of Best New Restaurants in Texas.

-Studying techniques, recipes, and ingredients from a wide variety of sources.

-Shifting focus recently to nutrient dense, and maximally healthy dishes/ingredients, while still maintaining flavor development.

-Achieved a good flow while cooking on the line, loved to improve this day in day out.

Love:

-I’ve been in love once, maybe twice.

-Quite a bit to do and accomplish in this area.

Travel:

-I have traveled internationally 3 times: United Kingdom (age 8), Mexico (age 18), and Japan (age 24). Within North America, I’ve seen a good deal of western Canada, parts of the southern United States and Texas …far from well traveled, but I’ve traveled enough to give me the “travel bug”.

-I have only lived abroad once, and that’s my current 3+year stint in Texas.

Learning Wealth:

-Studying Napoleon Hill, Rhonda Byrne, Darren Hardy and others.

-Recently had the most money I’d ever had at one time.

-Make small donations monthly to 2 organizations through my job.

Driving:

-Driven some wonderful vehicles.

-Racing and drifting have not been attempted or learned.

-Drive often presently, so skill is improving.

Art:

-Appreciating art in all its forms more and more as I age.

-Haven’t created any art since high school art class, and that was hardly considerable.

Properties/Homes:

-Currently own no properties.

Teaching/Helping/Giving Back:

-I’m acquiring more skills and knowledge in order to better teach people in the future.

-Set an example of good work ethic in jobs that I’ve had in my career, but working smarter is ongoing.

Agriculture:

-I’ve planed 4 trees.

-I have an aloe plant

-Starting to grow Chia.

As you can see from this inventory, I’ve got a long way to go in almost everything. This doesn’t deter me, nor should it deter anybody who sets out to achieve anything. I’d rather take the time to assess where I am, so that I can always look back as I progress and reach benchmarks. As opposed to saying “there’s too much work to be done” I say “here’s a way to measure my work against something. Everybody starts somewhere…

Started from the bottom…–Drake

Moving forward I’ll be detailing posts in each of these categories as I learn and experience new things, but also delve into what I’ve learned in the past in more detail.

Thanks for reading, and leave me any comments you have.

What am I about…? & Who Am I?

So what am I about?

In one word, Success. Had to pick that word, cliche as it is, and with all the ambiguity. Success is, or at least should be, a unique word for everybody who reads it. However, this is often far from what the collective of humanity thinks when they read, hear, or ponder this word. It’s so much more then the material things in life. Please define what it means to you. Actually not the easiest thing to do, and it’s taken me a long time, but I want to share what it is for me, and why I push for it day in and day out. My definition may be far from yours, it may contain parts of yours. But, I hope seeing someones personal definition of success and the perpetual quest that it is will help you define yours, and hopefully charge up some inspired action somewhere in the world. Those are the places I eventually want to reach–the reasons you should read or care about any content here.

Who am I?

To share a little about myself I’ll start with my name–Brendan. I’m 24 years old at the time of publication and residing in America, specifically Texas. But, don’t jump to conclusions, I am a dual citizen and my mother country is Canada. I think this is a great blessing, and the first I’ll mention about how lucky I am. I’ve got crazy good luck! Listing hobbies and passions has a pre-requisite; namely that I explain what I want to be in life, and where the name of this blog arose. Allow me to illustrate where this all began:

At a young age, perhaps 12, but maybe 14, I was often asked what I wanted to do with my life. I could never answer in a way that was fully truthful or left me feeling satisfied with my response. What adolescent could? They’re rare but they’re out there. But, I think it’s not often clear if those answers are really their own or some conglomerate of parental pressures and societal conventions. Either way nothing I ever said was fully the true expression of what I subconsciously felt was my calling. That’s because I don’t have just one thing calling me; really I want to be and do as much as possible, and as much that’s impossible as possible. In these young years I was asked a very valuable question by my mother: “Brendan, do you know what a Renaissance Man is?” I responded with the characteristic false omniscience of youth, “Of course I do. It’s someone who lived in the Renaissance period.” I was indeed misinformed, or rather under-informed. My mother went on to essentially summarize the definition as “A Master of many things.”

It didn’t stick right then, but as I grew older I knew this was the only “calling” calling me. That’s partly why success has been a real illusive and challenging word to define in my life. I want to succeed in so many things, and this overall mastery is the most simplified definition of my personal success in life.

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