Passion and Inspiration

Passion and Inspiration

I’ve had some conversations lately about doing what you love.  About how inspiring it is seeing somebody drop the normal day to day grind to do what it is they love.  This inspiration comes from everywhere. You can get inspired walking down the street seeing a street musician playing the guitar.   Think about it, have you ever seen someone play a musical instrument or an artist paint really well and noticed the passion they have for it?  Tell me it didn’t make you want to learn how to do it!

What inspires me is seeing people do what they love, are good at and have a passion for.   For example, I love sport, and watching anybody play with passion can literally bring tears to my eyes. Not for a show (i.e. professional)  but just for the love of it.  You can see the joy and the passion for what they are doing.  Its part of them, its built in them. Some of them may have been born with the talent, others may have worked their asses off to develop it, either way its part of them.   There is something about loving what you do so much that its part of you.  I think this is important.  You have to find what you love to do and do it.  Whether it becomes your career or if its your passion and you do it on the weekends, find what it is and do it!

What do you have a passion for?  What Inspires you?


More on Vitamin D

Vitamin D: The Multifunctional Prohormone’

R.S. Isaac Gardner, M.D.

In recent years it has become increasingly clear that vitamin D is an extremely novel and important prohormone. Not only is vitamin D involved in calcium and bone metabolism including the prevention of osteoporosis, but it has several other functions of equal import. It was discovered by Dr. Michael Holick that vitamin D is converted to 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 (calcitriol) in the liver and kidneys, and this latter hormone is an important factor in inhibiting cancer cell growth. Epidemiological evidence strongly suggests that maintaining adequate vitamin D levels in the blood markedly decreases the incidence of colon, breast, prostate and other cancers. Receptors for vitamin D are found throughout the body. Vitamin D may also play an important role in preventing heart disease. There are receptors for vitamin D in pancreatic islet cells involved in insulin secretion. In fact low vitamin D levels are associated with type I and type II diabetes mellitus. Vitamin D is important in cellular immunity and prevention of the autoimmune diseases. It is actively involved in brain metabolism with links to depression. Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal syndrome characterized by muscle pain and fatigue of unknown origin. It has been found that a majority of patients presenting with symptoms of fibromyalgia are deficient in vitamin D. Treatment with vitamin D3 is successful in relieving the symptoms of fibromyalgia in these cases.

In northern latitudes in the United States as well as in Canada, it is very common to develop vitamin D deficiency during fall, winter and spring due to decreased ultraviolet radiation (UVB) from the sun. This is especially true in northern California. Nutritionally there are few sources of vitamin D in the diet, so supplementation with vitamin D in capsule form may be necessary to prevent deficiency of this vitamin. Vitamin D is present in certain fish and fish oils and is synthesized in the skin from exposure of a cholesterol derivative to UVB. Milk products are supplemented with low levels of vitamin D. It is also in egg yolk. The level of vitamin D in the body is assayed by a blood test measuring serum 25- hydroxy vitamin D. This can be used to determine an adequate intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D supplementation is also extremely important during pregnancy to ensure proper development of the fetus and to prevent later life diseases. Forty percent of the American population is vitamin D deficient. A high percentage of pregnant women are also deficient in vitamin D. Consult your physician for advice regarding proper supplementation with vitamin D.

Hardcore Thought Of The Day

Push yourself. Enjoy yourself. Be yourself.
Knowledge is power. Obsessed with functional strength.


Hardcore Thought Of The Day

Weights are not sex change devices, they are muscle conditioning devices. A woman with a strong healthy body with muscle tone or even muscle hypertrophy does not look like a man, she looks like a healthy woman!


Finding A Way To Get Your Training On (Part 2 To Make Time For The Gym)

Everyone is at different stages in their lives and have different responsibilities. So that means certain life strategies will only work for certain people. Obviously there is no one perticular way to handle challenges that you may face or juggle all those responsibilities and what not. There are many ways to skin a cat, so being creative and having fun is essential in prolonging a positive mindset.

When it comes to health and fitness we all have the same basic goals but being that we are facing different situations it is more likely than not that in order to reach our goals we have to try different means and measures.

Some people will work out early in the morning and others late at night. Some people may only have the weekends to get some type of exercise in their busy lives. But within a year or two it can all change. Now the guy or girl who trains at night has to start training in the morning. Instead of working out 5 days a week they now can only manage 3 days a week.

Adapt & Overcome

When things in your life change, you have to change too. Think of yourself as a sitting duck if you don’t evolve.  Adapt and overcome is the operable phrase here. The idea is that we all live different lives and we are facing different challenges or issues that make exercise feel like it’s the straw that broke the camels back. Kids,work,family and friends,making dinner,bringing the car for an oil change, and you have to sleep also right? Then you are supposed to just step out and go workout for and hour and then have your post work out meal and shower and step back into what seems like the most hectic time of your life!

How do you CONSISTENTLY keep up with your work outs and have enough energy and time to do it??

There in lies the crux of the situation. The challenge isn’t whether or not you can add 10 pounds to your squat or dead lift (although that would be optimal). It’s not if you can run a mile a minute less than last time. It’s not about if your pectorals are symmetrical and if your delts are not striated enough. The challenge has nothing to do with the weight you’re lifting at all! Get that out of your mind right now. Unless you are entering a competition and are at least competing at an amature level (in which case completely forget about what I’m saying) you are not focusing on the REAL challenge.

I know this may not make sense right now because we have all been exposed to the same minutia when it comes to health and fitness. For example, an article about getting a 6 pack is all about diet and exercise, like it should be. But what the article fails to consider is , when do you have the time and above all, you are still working on just getting a barley visible 4 pack!

What Is The Challenge ?

The challenge, that us normal, but very hardcore people face is this….”How do I make enough time to workout 3 to 5 days a week consistently , have enough energy to do it and have enough energy afterward to spring back into my hectic life?”  That’s probably not a good title for a book but doesn’t it hit the nail right on the head?

When you look at it like this doesn’t it change your perspective on what the challenge is?

Sure you want to make progress in the gym. I always try to add a little weight or another rep or two.  I always expect a little punishment when I get under the iron, who doesn’t? But there is no way I am going to put any added pressure on top of what already seem to be  way too much pressure.

Woody Allen said “80 percent of life is showing up.” This is true! I’m not sure if his percentile is accurate but it just means that once you show up that majority of the battle is completed or won.

Showing Up

Now , we discussed the issue Lets actually look at a few ways we can make the challenge of “showing up ” a little easier.

Change A Negative To A Positive

Surround yourself with people who share the same interest. When you see others who are in the same boat you can visualize yourself in that spot. Things are tough enough so the last thing you want to do is be thwarted by naysayers and negative people.

If you can’t surround yourself with like-minded people then you need to insulate and become a strong-willed leader to negate the effects of any negativity that may trip you up.

Lost In Da Funk

Being tired after a busy day working and running around is sometimes the death knell for an end of the day workout. You still have to pick the kids up from school or football practice and you have to make dinner, your tired and you want to take a half hour nap to re- charge. Look, sometimes you just gotta take a nap, do it. You know when your really tired. But other times that sense of fatigue that is keeping you from your workout is more of foggy cloudy fuzzy feeling that you get from a long day,. Yes your tired, but it is more of a mental thing than a physical thing. This is where our pal Woody Allen would step up and say ” Hey buddy! Just show up, just get in there and your more than half way there!”

I would say that 9 out of every 10 workouts start off with me feeling a little , well lets just say, dragging ass. It is very rare that I am all jacked and pumped up right before I workout. But every time I finish my workout…. I am jacked and pumped up! If I feel like I am dragging  I know that it is because of the day I had. Life may be hardcore but sometimes it is just plain boring and monotonous. But when I walk away from the gym having hit it hard once again I am lit up like a roman candle! I am in a great mood because exercise makes you feel good. And you realize that you weren’t tired but just in a funk.

The Training environment

If you belong to a gym that you don’t like or maybe you lack motivation because you train at home then finding something different may be the order of the day. If your training environment isn’t working for you then change it! Find a place where you like to train, where you feel comfortable and where you WANT to be. Again , take a look at the people who are in the gym , maybe this is not your crowed. Surround yourself with the right people and you can go a long way.

Lost In Time

If your schedule is hectic because of kids and family then consider making a deal with your spouse. Explain your need to exercise consistently and show them a schedule. See what kind of compromise you can find that will propel your workouts much farther.

Get Your Team On

Invite a friend. I write this one with a bit of caution. Yes having a friend as a workout partner is great. If you peruse the internet you will find this advice is very prevalent. But if this friend is the only thing keeping you going then you best beware. If this friend should happen to stop working out for any reason then you will be doomed to quit as well. Not good. If you have a friend that is on the ball then go for it! Great things happen when people put their heads together.

The Punch Clock Blues

See if you can change your hours at work. If you start at nine and finish at 5 ask your boss if you can start at 7 and finish at 3 or start at 8 and finish at 4. You never know he/she may just think it’s a great idea. I used to work where at 5 pm we were still getting calls from the west coast. A colleague of mine started his day at 10 am and stayed untill 7 pm to pick up some extra business. The boss loved it and so did my colleague , he spent a good 2 hours at the gym every morning and he would eat his dinner at his desk and avoid all the traffic when going home!

Join a team

Like getting a friend involved joining a team can do wonders IF it is the right team of course. What kind of team? Anything as long as it is involved in physical activity and I mean real physical activity. I’m not taliking about the local bars dart leauge here!

All you need to do is look around there are teams everywhere. Softball/baseball, skiing, running, cycling (road & mountain), swimming, basketball,tennis, powerlifting, MMA/martial arts and much more.

With this strategy try to look beyond the idea of getting your game on and think what else this move can do for you as well. You may make a lot of new friends that you have things in common with. People will get to know you and you may be offered great opportunities like a new career or meeting an awesome love interest!

People who are motivated to play sports have a positive mindset as opposed to those who sit in a bar all night. This brings you full circle and back to the first tip of surrounding yourself with positive people and getting the negative ones out of your life!!

Do Your Chores (be your own mule)

Make physical chores your workout.

We had a huge maple tree come down in our yard from Hurricane Sandy. I had a tree company take the rest of it down and cut i up. I saved a couple hundred dollars by having them leave it laying in the yard.

They were a little confused but hey that’s not my problem.

Most of the logs were very big and heavy. I will guess and say anywhere from 40 to 100 pounds. And there was a shit ton of em too! I spent about 2 hours dead lifting each one and strong man carry them to the back yard where I set up a log pile. My neighbor asked if I needed a hand or a wheel barrow. I declined his offer and explained that I was exercising. He too looked confused and just shrugged his shoulders, oh well, not my problem.

Another example is I was putting new shingles on a roof for a friend. He wanted to rent a Mule which is a special ladder that will shuttle the heavy packages of shingles to the roof for you. I told him to save his money because right here is your mule buddy!!  Each package weighed 65 lbs. so I carried up 3 at a clip until I was tired then dropped it down to 2 then finally 1 package. Not only was it a killer leg work out but it really was an overall body workout. Of course my friend thought I was nuts but then I explained to him what my thinking was and he sort of saw things my way…….. sort of.

Find A Way

Adapt and overcome , be creative and find a way. All weight training is, is putting a heavy load on your musculoskeletal system and moving it around until you are tired. It basically is a replacement for doing physical labor but with a touch of science added to it.  Always go with the idea that something is better than nothing then take that to the next level that something a little extra is better than a little something and so on and so forth.

Don’t beat yourself up if you miss one , two or even three workouts in a row because life is happening. Even if all you did was take the stairs instead of the elevator you did a good thing my friend and you should be proud!

MAKE Time for the Gym

MAKE Time for the Gym

The emphasis is clearly on the “make” part of this habit. Inspirational speaker Tony Robbins once said

“Now do you think those people out there working out 5 days a week, do they have more time than you do? Is there life less busy? It’s just a must for them. They must work out that way and they’ve made that turn in their life change. So if you want to make real progress, then you really have to look at your life in a different way. You’ve got to say, I’m going to take control of this process and not just hope it’s going to work out, like people do and make a resolution.”

A lot of people make excuses that they don’t have time to go to the gym. They don’t want to get up early to work out or they are too tired after work. But, everyone is busy and everybody who isn’t a professional bodybuilder has a life. Highly fit people find a way to go to the gym, whether it’s waking up at 5:30 in the morning or joining a 24 hour gym that’s going to fit their job with odd hours. Right in there with consistency, highly fit people do not make excuses as to why they “don’t have time” to go to the gym.

This goes for everything else in your life as well. All things from your career to your relationships require you to make time for them. That’s a lot of things that are constantly viewing for your attention. The more in demand your attention is , the more it is necessary to get away from the unimportant things , the time wasters. You know what your time wasters are so whatever they are put a big target on them and eliminate!

To help you along you should follow an exercise program. Have everything written down so you know exactly what to do and where to go in the gym. Write down your reps and your sets. Stay focused on your workout. Minimize the talking and maximize your training. If someone is on a piece of equipment either ask them to work in or go back to that one later. The idea is to get in your best workout at the very least time.Make sure your diet is spot on. If you have a wish washy diet where you miss meals and cheat a lot then it will slow down your progress. By eating right and true you will maximize your training and results will come quicker.

After all this if you find that you are still having trouble making it to your workouts and you have done everything you can then maybe consider a radical approach. You are obviously working a lot and that is sometimes just the way it is. I am not going to tell you to not go to work! That would be radical yes but not smart either. So what do I mean by take a radical approach? You have already cut out the time wasters like T.V. and video games. You have restructured your whole itinerary around a 3 day a week workout program. You have been eating right and sleeping enough. What else could one do?

Here are some options;

If you workout at a gym consider making a home gym and do your training there. Since my daughter was born this strategy has not only allowed me to still get my workouts in but I actually have excelled and I am doing better than ever!

Or the reverse, if you workout at home then maybe join a gym that is right near where you work. Maybe this way you can train on your lunch break or as soon as you get out of work.

If your social life is the thing that is soaking up your time then try to incorporate it into your training time. If it’s your girlfriend or wife ask them to go to the gym with you. If it’s your friends ask them to go with you.

Again if it is your social life and it involves partying up till the break of dawn then maybe stop and think about the long-term effect this will have on your body. Are you ready to go down that road? Losing muscle mass and gaining fat mass. Feeling tired all the time . Eventually winding up at the doctors with bad news. Or flip the switch and shit can the all nighters and instead take up exercising for real. That’s a choice that you have to make.

If things are that tight that you don’t even have time to do anything then maybe yes you need to just not worry about working out. Just wake up 15 minutes earlier and do a quick body weight workout on your floor. Push ups , sit ups, lunges and planks. Bang it out in 15 min. hit the shower have breakfast and get on with your busy day and since diet is more important than training (90 % diet 10 % training) just make sure you eat healthy. Do this everyday without fail and you can still get in some vital exercise that will make you look and feel a lot better! Come on, you gotta have at least 15 minutes right?


Here’s a tip I picked up from a personal trainer that I was talking to. Victor Lopez say’s to Try a light set of rows for back before every set of bench presses. A muscle is stronger if its antagonist, or opposing muscle group, is contracted immediately before it’s required to work. Not many techniques in the gym allow for a particular muscle to be able to make a gain in strength by indirect means. If you do a row before a big bench press, your bench press will be much stronger. One important key is to not go to failure on the row because doing so will actually hinder the bench press. You can apply this antagonistic technique to virtually every bodypart and lift.



Photo Of Pregnant Woman Lifting Weights Sparks Online Firestorm

Hardcore as hell!

Sykose Extreme Sports News

(credit: CrossFit/Facebook)A Los Angeles woman is sparking controversy after a photo of her lifting seemingly heavy weights while eight months pregnant was posted on Facebook.

The popular CrossFit exercise program published the photo of 35-year-old Lea-Ann Ellison, who attends a Hollywood gym, on Facebook earlier this week.

“8 months pregnant with baby number 3 and CrossFit has been my sanity. I have been CrossFitting for 2 1/2 years and … strongly believe that pregnancy is not an illness, but a time to relish in your body’s capabilities to kick ass,” the photo’s caption reads, quoting Ellison.


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