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Sunday, May 22, 2011

What is the "Best" Workout Plan

People often ask me what the “best” workout plan is. How much cardio should I do? How many days a week should I lift weights? What exercises should I do? While these are all great questions, there is no single answer. Exercise plans should be developed with your specific goals in mind.

That being said, many people do have very similar goals. They would like to drop a few pounds, look lean and defined, and improve their overall health and wellness. Women typically would like to focus on their hips and thighs while men want to decrease their waist measurement and add some muscle to their upper body. They may also want to improve their 5k time or their golf or tennis game, but these are secondary to physique and health improvements.

For these people with general fitness goals, I suggest resistance training three days per week with two added sessions of cardiovascular training, one long and slow and one interval style. A sample workout plan might look like this:

Monday - Gym workout consisting of joint mobility work, resistance training with an upper body focus, metabolic conditioning, and a cool down of static stretching

Joint Mobility

A1) Shoulder Rotations with Mini-band – 2 x 16, 5-0-5 tempo, 10 seconds rest

A2) Lying External Rotation, Arm Adducted – 2 x 15, 2-0-2 tempo, 10 seconds rest

A3) Lying Side Abduction – 2 x 15, 2-0-2 tempo, 10 seconds rest

A4) Semi-supinated Standing DB Overhead Press – 2 x 20, 2-0-2 tempo, 60 seconds rest

Resistance Training, Upper Body Focus


A1) Negative Only Chin-ups – 3 x 3, 10 -0-0 tempo, 10 seconds rest

A2) Underhand Grip Pull-down – 3 x 8-10, 5-0-5 tempo, 10 seconds rest

A3) 30 Degree Semi-supinated DB Press – 3 x 8, 5-0-1 tempo, 10 seconds rest

A4) Rope Push-downs – 3 x 12, 3-3-1 tempo, 90 seconds rest

B1) Incline DB Curl – 2 x 20, 2-0-2 tempo, 10 seconds rest

B2) Standing Barbell French Press – 2 x 20, 2-0-2, 90 seconds rest


A) Parallel Grip Pull-ups – 3 x AMRAP, 3-0-1 tempo, 30 seconds rest

B) Lat Stretch – 1 x 30 seconds each arm, 3 minutes rest

C) Incline DB Press – 3 x AMRAP, 5-0-1 tempo, 30 seconds rest

D) Pec Stretch – 1 x 30 seconds, 3 minutes rest

E) Wide, Pronated Chest Supported Rows – 3 x AMRAP, 3-2-1 tempo, 30 seconds rest

F) Shoulder Stretch – 1 x 30 seconds, 3 minutes rest

Metabolic Conditioning

A1) Push-up Position Ladder Walks – 3 x 3 trips, 10 seconds rest

A2) Plank Push-ups – 3 x 10 each side, 10 seconds rest

A3) Sprinter Sit-ups – 3 x 20 each side, 10 seconds rest

A4) Jump Rope – 3 x 120 seconds, 60 seconds rest

Cool down with five to ten minutes of static stretching, focusing on chest, lats, and triceps.

Tuesday - Interval cardiovascular training for 10-30 minutes, preferably outdoors

Hill Sprints - Run the infamous "Kuzora Hill" near the Jelly Beans on Common Oaks Drive. If you live close by, walk to the hill as a warm-up, then run from fire hydrant to fire hydrant at 60% of maximum effort. Walk back down and repeat at 80% of maximum effort. Walk down again and do one to eight more hill sprints at 90% - 100% of maximum effort, depending on your fitness level.

Wednesday - OFF

Thursday - Gym workout consisting of joint mobility work, resistance training with a lower body focus, metabolic conditioning, and a cool down of static stretching

Joint Mobility

A1) Reverse Hyper Extensions - 2 x 30, 10 seconds rest

A2) Hip Circles - 2 x 20 each leg each direction, 10 seconds rest

A3) Turkish Get-ups - 2 x 1 each side, 10 seconds rest

A4) Overhead Squats - 2 x 10, 90 seconds rest

Resistance Training, Lower Body and Torso

A1) Trap Bar Deadlift – 3 x 5, 3-0-1, 10 seconds rest

A2) Ball Crunch – 3 x 10, 1-0-10 tempo, 90 seconds rest

B1) Twelve Inch Step-up – 3 x 15 each leg, 10 seconds rest

B2) Blast Strap Ab Fall-outs – 3 x 6, 3-3-1 tempo, 90 seconds rest

C) Six Inch Box Squat Jumps – 3 x AMRAP, x-x-x tempo, 30 seconds rest

Metabolic Conditioning

A) Prowler Shuttle Runs - 2 x 120 yards, alternating high and low handles every 10 yards, 5 minutes rest. Choose a weight that allows you to complete the 120 yards in about three minutes.

Cool down with five to ten minutes of static stretching, focusing on hip flexors, hamstrings, and glutes.

Friday - Easy, long duration cardiovascular work for 60 minutes or more, preferably outdoors

Walk, bike, jog, roller blade, or hike outside for at least 60 minutes at a slow enough pace that you could do it forever.

Saturday - Gym workout consisting of joint mobility work, resistance training with a whole body focus, and a cool down of static stretching

Joint Mobility

A1) Shoulder Rotations with Mini-band - 2 x 10, 10 seconds rest

A2) Push-ups - 2 x 15, 10 seconds rest

A3) Side to Side Leg Swings - 2 x 10 each leg, 10 seconds rest

A4) Javorek Special Good Mornings - 2 x 6, 60 seconds rest

Resistance Training, Whole Body

A1) Dips - 5 x 10, 3-2-1 tempo, 10 seconds rest

A2) Alternating Front Lunge - 5 x 6 each leg, 3-0-1 tempo, 10 seconds rest

A3) Parallel Grip Pull-ups - 5 x 12, 5-0-1 tempo, 10 seconds rest

A4) Double Kettlebell Front Squat - 5 x 10, 3-2-1 tempo, 2 minutes rest

Use assistance or added resistance on the dips and pull-ups as needed. Cool down with five to ten minutes of static stretching.

Sunday - OFF

NOTE: EVERYTHING SHOULD BE VARIED! Exercises, repetition tempo and number, and rest intervals should be changed every three to eight weeks.

Beef and Sausage Coconut Curry


1 lb pastured pork hot breakfast sausage
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 can coconut milk
2 teaspoons green curry
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon garlic chili hot sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt or organic tamari

I used beef and sausage from Ray Family Farms in Bunn and a bag of asparagus stir fry mix from archer farms.

All of the seasonings were purchased at Target or Lowe's foods and all are gluten free. Small amounts of naturally fermented soy are acceptable for most people, but if you are involved in the Paleo detox substitute sea salt for the tamari.


1) Add coconut milk, curry, and hot sauce to a large sauce pan over medium-low heat. Stir to incorporate ingredients.
2) While the coconut milk mixture simmers brown the beef and sausage.
3) Strain out excess fat and add garlic and tamari or sea salt. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
4) Add meat to the coconut milk mixture. Cook for 5-10 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.
5) Lower heat and add the bag of frozen vegetables. DO NOT STIR!
6) Cook uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes.
7) Increase heat to medium and stir, bringing mixture to a simmer.
8) Remove from heat and serve.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Meals

Cauliflower with sliced garlic and olive oil and BBQ chicken (cooked with the skin on - YUM!!!)

Carol's dinner

Kid Friendly Paleo Lunch

Sophia loves Paleo too!

Nothing beats a diet of fruit, veggies, and natural meats, for adults and kids alike. Today we had pork shoulder, mixed root vegetables chips (yuca, malanga, and boniatillos) fried in coconut oil and lightly dusted with sea salt, steamed broccoli with lemon juice and olive oil, and fresh strawberries.

Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting." ~Buddha

Post written by Leo Babauta

Even the most motivated of us — you, me, Tony Robbins — can feel unmotivated at times. In fact, sometimes we get into such a slump that even thinking about making positive changes seems too difficult.

But it’s not hopeless: with some small steps, baby ones in fact, you can get started down the road to positive change.

Yes, I know, it seems impossible at times. You don’t feel like doing anything. I’ve been there, and in fact I still feel that way from time to time. You’re not alone. But I've learned a few ways to break out of a slump, and we’ll take a look at those today.

When I fall out of exercise, due to illness or injury or disruption from things going on in my life, it’s hard to get started again. I don’t even feel like thinking about it, sometimes. But I've always found a way to break out of that slump, and here are some things I've learned that have helped:

1) One Goal

Whenever I've been in a slump, I’ve discovered that it’s often because I have too much going on in my life. I’m trying to do too much. And it saps my energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I've tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely.

2) Find inspiration.

Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories. Zen Habits is just one place for inspiration, not only from me but from many readers who have achieved amazing things.

3) Get excited

This sounds obvious, but most people don’t think about it much: if you want to break out of a slump, get yourself excited about a goal. But how can you do that when you don’t feel motivated? Well, it starts with inspiration from others, but you have to take that excitement and build on it. For me, I've learned that by talking to my wife about it, and to others, and reading as much about it as possible, and visualizing what it would be like to be successful (seeing the benefits of the goal in my head), I get excited about a goal. Once I've done that, it’s just a matter of carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.

4) Build anticipation

This will sound hard, and many people will skip this tip. But it really works. It helped me quit smoking after many failed attempts. If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. Because by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.

5) Post your goal

Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.

NOTE: A picture of your motivation can help too. I used smokeless tobacco on and off for years. When I finally quit for good, my main motivation was wanting to be around to see my daughter Sophia grow up. I put pictures of her everywhere (my computer, my wallet, my car, and anywhere else I could think of) to remind me of not only what I was trying to accomplish but also why it was so important to me.

6) Commit publicly

None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we've said publicly. For example, when I wanted to run my first marathon, I started writing a column about it in my local daily newspaper. The entire island of Guam (pop. 160K) knew about my goal. I couldn't back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it. Now, you don’t have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you have one. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.

7) Think about it daily

If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.

8) Get support

It’s hard to accomplish something alone. When I decided to run my marathon, I had the help of friends and family, and I had a great running community on Guam who encouraged me at 5K races and did long runs with me. When I decided to quit smoking, I joined an online forum and that helped tremendously. And of course, my wife Eva helped every step of the way. I couldn't have done these goals without her, or without the others who supported me. Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.

9) Realize that there’s an ebb and flow

Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn't do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal (see below), ask for help (see below), and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.

10) Stick with it

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren't feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump. Stay with it for the long term, ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you’ll get there.

11) Start small

If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 push-ups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you've done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps.

12) Build on small successes

Again, if you start small for a week, you’re going to be successful. You can’t fail if you start with something ridiculously easy. Who can’t exercise for 2 minutes? (If that’s you, I apologize.) And you’ll feel successful, and good about yourself. Take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step. Add 2-3 minutes to your exercise routine, for example. With each step (and each step should last about a week), you will feel even more successful. Make each step really, really small, and you won’t fail. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress and a lot of success.

13) Read about it daily

When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.

14) Call for help when your motivation ebbs

Having trouble? Ask for help. Email me. Join an online forum. Get a partner to join you. Call your mom. It doesn't matter who, just tell them your problems, and talking about it will help. Ask them for advice. Ask them to help you overcome your slump. It works.

15) Think about the benefits, not the difficulties

One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.

16) Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones

Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If that wimp Leo can do it, so can I!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really.

NOTE: If you do hit a roadblock don't beat yourself up over it. Get back on the wagon and try again. Be thankful for your set backs - they are learning experiences that can only help you reach your long term goals!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Paleo Meals

Grilled beef patty topped with pico de gallo and and guacamole and steamed brussels sprouts with red wine vinegar

Naturally processed Italian sausages (from Ray Family Farms) and asparagus sauteed in olive oil and sea salt

Carne guisada (beef stewed with garlic, onions, and pepper)

Homemade buffalo wings (chicken wings pan fried in coconut oil and tossed with a sugar free hot sauce)

Paleo "tacos" and Cherokee purple heirloom tomatoes (from the Wake Forest Farmer's market) drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Paleo Detox Nutrition Plan

A healthy diet is the foundation for a healthy body. For 30 days, we will eat real food: food that our bodies have been engineered to eat.

Everything we put in our mouths should fall into one of these two categories:

1) You can pick it out of the ground and eat it raw

2) Before it was on your plate it could run, swim, or fly

You can dig up a sweet potato and eat it. You can grab a coconut out of a tree. Same goes for apples.

Not so much for wheat, oats, and other grains. Without some serious food processing these are inedible grasses. Animals that subsist primarily off grasses have four stomachs to help with digestion.

I can almost hear some of you out there saying "What about corn? You can pick that out of the ground and eat it without processing!" While this is partially true you will never convince me that something that exits your body looking exactly the same as it did entering your body is being properly digested.

Legumes are out too. You can’t eat raw beans without getting sick. They are loaded with toxins and gut irritants that can only be partially removed with careful soaking and long cooking times. Under our rules, dairy products are also eliminated, although small amounts of butter and heavy cream can be used in moderation.


1) Fibrous vegetables of any type, including asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, greens, etc.

2) Healthy fats such as olives and olive oils, coconut milk and coconut oil, and avocados.

3) Protein such as beef, chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs, turkey, duck, veal, pork, and any other critter that could walk, fly, or swim before it was killed.


1) Fresh Fruit has loads of soluble fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients. And while it's generally healthy to eat two or three servings of whole, fresh fruit per day, I highly suggest eliminating them if weight loss is your primary goal. Long distance runners and triathlon competitors can increase fruit consumption to match their activity level.

2) Starchy root vegetables such as potatoes, yams, and yucca, and sweet potatoes should also be eaten according to goals and activity level. If weight loss is your goal, eliminate these as well. For lean muscle building, eat a serving after weight training only. Hard training endurance athletes can eat these according to appetite.

3) Nuts and nut butters (other than peanuts), and seeds can be eaten in moderation, again in accordance with goals and activity level. For weight loss, limit to three servings per day.

4) Alcohol should generally be avoided although one or two glasses of red wine per night are acceptable. This will slow weight loss, but will not negatively affect the healthfulness of the diet. (FYI, please don’t save all of your red wine servings for Friday night and then tell me the diet isn't working!)


1) All grains including wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, etc.

Although grains are a very cost effective source of calories, they are also inherently unhealthy. There is absolutely no reason to eat grains of any type.

I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. I've listened to all the arguments. I’ve heard all the reasons to eat whole grains. But these arguments are all flawed. Let’s examine a few common ones:

“Grains are a nutrient dense source of vitamins and minerals” – Calorie for calorie, there is nothing in any cereal grain that wouldn’t be found in higher quantities in a big salad or a serving of beef or fish. For example, spinach has four times as much magnesium as oat bran. Liver has six times as much folic acid as 100% whole wheat bread. Even enriched breads have less thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin than salmon.

“Whole grains are a great source of fiber” – See example one. NOTHING in whole grains cannot be provided from vegetables.

2) Beans and legumes

Beans and legumes are certainly not the worst food you can eat. But they are also not the best. Although they do provide protein, they are also very high in fattening carbohydrates. They contain high amounts of many minerals, but these minerals are very poorly absorbed due to the high fiber content of beans. And some legumes are extremely high in phytoestrogens. For example, a cup of soy milk has the same estrogen activity in the body as a birth control pill!

3) Dairy products

Dairy has positive and negative consequences on your health, but nothing that can not be obtained through other, healthier dietary sources. Yes, even calcium. Collards and other greens have 20% or more calcium than skim milk, and many nuts are also very high in this mineral. And those foods don’t contain potentially toxic amounts of lactose.

If drinking black coffee is a deal breaker, you can lighten your morning java with a small amount of heavy cream and can sweeten it with a bit of honey or raw cane sugar. Although not ideal, I understand that for some people (including me!) coffee is an absolute must in the morning. And although I prefer mine black, many other equally caffeine addicted folks cannot handle plain coffee.

Take the Kuzora Fitness 30 Day Paleo Detox Challenge!

Summer is right around the corner and there is no better time than now to make a commitment to lose weight while improving your health and fitness. In as little as 30 days you could:

  • Lose up to 10 to 20 pounds
  • Improve your skin and reducing acne, eczema, and other skin conditions
  • Improve your heart health, lower your blood pressure and triglycerides, and increase your HDL’s (good cholesterol)
  • Reduce joint pain
  • Lower your fasting blood sugar and greatly reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
  • Dramatically improve your mood and mental well being


The Paleo Detox replaces toxic and fattening foods such as grains, legumes, and dairy products with naturally healthy foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood. These foods are higher in health promoting nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and omega-3 fats. Eliminating grains, legumes, and dairy products reduces or eliminates our intake of dangerous trans fats, sodium, sugar and other quickly digested carbohydrates; nutrients that frequently cause obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many other health problems. The Paleo Detox encourages us to eat the natural, unprocessed foods our bodies were genetically programmed to eat.

After completing the 30 Paleo Detox, you can expect to feel significantly better. Your digestive system will run much smoother, reducing or eliminating constipation, gas, and bloating. Your energy levels will increase dramatically. You will lose body fat without ever counting a calorie or gram of fat. You will increase muscle tone and definition. Symptoms of eczema and other skin problems, depression, anxiety, and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, allergies, and hay fever will all improve.

Our 30 day detox challenge includes:

  • Before and after body metrics including 7-site skin folds and circumference measurements
  • Before and after pictures
  • Complete PDF outline of the paleo detox nutrition plan
  • Sample meal plans and recipes
  • Supplement recommendations
  • Weekly “Lunch Out” meetings to learn what to order at different restaurants
  • 30 day food and exercise log
  • Educational classes and seminars
  • Bi-weekly emails with recipes and other helpful tips

And the best part is the price. Participate in our 30 Day Paleo Detox Challenge is absolutely FREE!

Here’s how it works:

Call or email to set up an appointment for measurement – it shouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes

  • Program is open to and FREE for everyone – whether or not you are a current Kuzora Fitness client
  • We will email you the program details, sample meal plans, and food diary
  • You can start your paleo detox challenge anytime between Monday, May 9th and Monday, May 30th
  • Complete every day of your food and exercise log
  • Shoot for 90% compliance – an “A” grade
  • Look and feel great just in time for the Fourth of July weekend

Everyone who completes the above requirements will win a FREE 30 minute massage. In addition, we will choose one “grand prize” winner who will receive 6 one-on-one personal training sessions and a 60 minute massage, valued at $450!

So what’s the catch?

There is none. Of course, I imagine a few people might become personal training clients after participating in our detox challenge. And I’m sure an army of buff human billboards will increase business. But mostly I’m just sick of all the nutritional misinformation. Most of the advice given by “experts” is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. Following it is sure to make us overweight and diabetic.

And while it may seem extreme not to eat bread, isn’t vastly improved health worth extreme measures? No price is too high for increased energy, youthful vigor, and freedom from disease.

Accept our challenge. Make a 30 day commitment to your body and your health!