Saturday, October 31, 2009

Glad you did

Folks, I'm busy with last minute revisions to Monday's Pierini Fitness blogflection so that is all I have to say today.

Visit Pierini Fitness on Monday and you'll be glad you did.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, October 30, 2009

A free lunch

Yesterday, Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives released new proposed healthcare legislation that includes a government-run insurance plan and imposes a tax on the wealthiest Americans to help pay for it. This proposal will only cost $894 billion over 10 years according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

“Is that all?” you say.

In reading the details of where the new money will come from to pay for this, you’ll learn that the proposed legislation includes a 5.4 percent surtax on individuals making more than $500,00 and couples making more than $1 million which, supposedly, would generate about $460 billion of new federal government tax receipts.

Before you and me, and other ordinary average citizens, echo sighs of relief that it will be those rich business executives, Hollywood actors and rock stars who will be paying this massive price tag, ask yourself what if it ends of costing more and who will our government tax next when they discover that their proposed wealth tax is not enough.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Pierini DIET

Early next week, I will be introducing you to the Pierini DIET - Decrease In Eating Time – a structured approach to eating that focuses on the time you devote to eating, rather than the foods you eat - to help you eat less and fight middle-age fatness. It’s nothing revolutionary because it borrows a fitness endurance training technique called “coaxing” to help you eat less food.

The Pierini DIET Plan works solely on reducing the time you eat rather than what you eat since the time you spend eating determines the amount of food you eat which contributes to excessive eating rather than the foods you choose to eat.

Face it folks, if you are carrying unwanted pounds on your body, it’s because you’re eating too much food, plain and simple. I’ll acknowledge that there are some people suffering from hormonal problems or taking prescription medicines, who gain unwanted bodyweight despite not eating very much food. I’ll be the first to show my empathy for this one percent of the population but for the rest of the world fatsos, who are carrying excessive bodyweight and claiming they hardly eat, I have a message for you: “Liar, liar, pants on fire!!”

The Pierini DIET will help you conquer holiday gluttony during this upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, but you’ll have to want it and be willing to do the hard work.

The Pierini DIET is not intermittent fasting that I’ve written about this past year sharing my experiences with that eating lifestyle. It is, however, a beginning approach to eating less than will prepare you for intermittent fasting success if and when you want to experiment with that eating lifestyle. The research I’ve read, and my own personal experiences, are convincing that eating less food translates to a healthier lifestyle.

Stay tuned for the details as soon I will be introducing the Pierini DIET.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spending my small change inheritance

The small change tray sitting on top of my filing cabinet at home was getting full so yesterday morning I grabbed a handful from it on my way to work. En route to work, I stopped at the grocery store for a petty purchase, and reached into my pocket and pulled out this handful of change at the grocery checkout counter. While dumping this weighted collection of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies on the checkout counter, I chuckled and told the grocery checker that I was spending my small change inheritance. She replied she had done the same a day earlier because she was low on funds, and struck gold with a financial windfall of over six dollars from her effort, and that it made her day.

This reminded me of a teenager episode I shared with her about the time I wanted to go bowling with friends and asked my Mom for money to do that. When she said no, I then began a hunt for loose change sitting idle in our home and, a short while later, had enough money to go bowling with my friends and buy a snack afterwards. “Where are you going?” my Mom asked as I exited our home front door to which I replied that I was going bowling with my friends.

The grocery store checker, about my age but perhaps a few years younger, laughed and then began telling me about her youthful experiences doing the same and her similar successes in finding pots of change gold at the end of her change hunting rainbows. Her methods were similar to mine. Her favorite was looking under the cushions of the coach where her Dad sat in the evening watching television. The key to success, she shared, was patience, persistence and regularity of change hunting. I enjoyed sharing my change hunting memory with her and listening to her memories.

It was great early morning chit chat and better than the “good morning, how you doing?” small talk that doesn’t require much social interaction effort. It gave me a free early morning chuckle to start off my day so I’ve decided I’ll be regularly spending my small change inheritance.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I miss my Gangee

Yesterday was the birthday of my paternal grandmother who was born on October 26, 1900. I was so close to her that, as an Army soldier stationed in the Republic of Korea, my sergeant approved a 30-day emergency leave request in March 1975 for me to fly home and be with her when she was critically ill.

I vividly remember the long 14-hour flight home to California wondering the whole trip how she was doing and whether she was still alive. I also remember the first words I uttered upon arriving of “how is she?” and the answer from my uncle that “she passed away.” I immediately broke into tears and, later that night, cried my guts out in a torrential storm of tears as I tossed and turned in bed all night wanting to believe that it was all a bad dream.

Without a doubt, I was her favorite grandchild; there's always one who has that honor and, with her, it was me. I spent a lot of time visiting her and together we watched her favorite television shows on her black and white television set. Shows like Bonanza, Gunsmoke and other western television series that were very popular at that time along with the Perry Como Show, Ed Sullivan Show and Lawrence Welk Show.

All her grandchildren knew her as “Gangee”, a name I gave her according to my Dad as that was my infant attempt to call her grandma. It was a name that stuck with her and how I knew and called her until the day she died.

Yesterday, on her 109th birthday, I thought of her often and, later than evening, offered my evening prayers for the repose of her soul while reflecting on how much I miss my Gangee.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, October 26, 2009

Another reason to drop the lard

Vanity may be the greatest, yet sublime, reason that many of us choose a life of fitness and health to be lean and mean and capable of fitting in our clothes without looking like a stuffed enchilada. Many heads of former fatsos have swollen with pride upon receiving a compliment about how great they now look after losing a ton of weight.

If vanity is what does it, then so be it because whatever gets the job done is what matters.

A recent news article I stumbled across on the internet late last week provides another motivation to get rid of unwanted pounds and this one has an economic twist. An October 22, 2009 Associated Press news article reported than some ambulance companies will start charging extra for obese patients. It costs ambulance companies more to transport obese patients and they say it’s time for insurance providers, Medicaid and Medicare, or patients themselves to begin paying the added costs which are cutting into their profit margins.

This makes total sense to me. We buy our deli lunch meats, fruits and vegetables, and many other items by the pound and transporting merchandise via truck or rail is also by the pound with 200 pounds costing more than 100 pounds in most cases.

So this proposition gets my vote. I’m all for my 140 lb. friend getting a ride to the hospital at a lower cost than my 180 lb. butt. It’s news that makes sense and for an obese person, it’s another reason to drop the lard.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another day of rest

Pierini Fitness is closed today so the chief executive blogger can rest his body mind and spirit, but do come back tomorrow for another blogflection about a topic yet to be determined but guaranteed to be creative and original.

No promise just fact, I guarantee it! Today is Sunday and another day of rest.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Busy eating

Last week was hit and misses with my intermittent eating (IF) lifestyle but this week I was back on Monday through Friday. Seems like the colder weather is making me hungrier or at least that’s my official excuse. Maybe it's making me weaker but that I’ll never confess. Today is Saturday so it’s not an IF day as my current plan is to eat this way Monday through Friday.

There’s one change I did make and that is the hours of my IF feeding window – the hours that the kitchen are open for business. My 5-hour feeding window had been from about 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This had some drawbacks with my late afternoon training causing me to come up short with strength and strength endurance performance because at that training time of day my energy gas tank was near empty and operating on fumes.

So I finally decided to do something about it and, last Monday, changed my IF feeding window start time to 3:00 p.m. I’m still working with a 5-hour window so that means the kitchen is now open for business between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

My mind likes this change and so does my body and gut. While my current training is not centered on chasing heavy weight personal record attempts, I’m sure my body will deliver better performance during the intense and short cardio closer components of my fitness training.

So don’t call me at around 3:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday because I won’t be able to accept your call with a mouth full of food and busy eating.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, October 23, 2009

The anaerobic conditioning department

Being long overdue for a new fitness toy purchase, I recently invested in a GYMBOSS interval timer and it arrived in the mail on Monday. I’ve known about this fitness gadget for years but never purchased one, preferring instead to rely on my heart rate monitor as my sole cardiovascular training tool. The combination of a recently-discovered dead battery in my heart rate monitor that I resurrected from the bottom of my gym bag last week, plus reading about the GYMBOSS on a couple fitness forum websites I frequent, motivated me to buy one.

I won’t make today’s blogflection long by describing how this interval timer works but instead proceed to share that I put it to immediate use during the cardio closer component of my Monday afternoon gym workout. I set the working interval for 40 seconds and the rest interval for 20 seconds and then proceeded to perform 100 reps of two-handed swings using a 24 kilogram kettlebell. Continuing with my theme of mopping the cardio floor in 5 minutes or less, I completed my 100th rep about 4 minutes and 25 seconds after the first swing. It was hard work, I was breathing hard and my glutes and other members of my posterior chain felt worked.

My next goal is to get a new battery for my heart rate monitor and use it along with my GYMBOSS for some “kick butt” training and to get some updated heart rate readings to see where I am in the anaerobic conditioning department.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nonsense is infinite

While talking to a friend the other day about my Pierini Fitness blog, I shared how easy it is for me to compose my daily blogflections. People are amazed when I tell them that my average blogflection takes less than 20 minutes to compose from start to finish. Some take longer such as my recent blogflection about the day I conquered manual labor. Once I get the blogflection topic idea in my head, the composition is relatively easy and swift. I consider my composition swiftness a gift from God.

What I’ve also noticed from over a year of blogging is that my business composition skills have improved. My business correspondence is much more flowing and not as stiff and upright as before, yet just as effective in my humble opinion.

Despite this “it comes easy for me” brag sharing, I do sometimes get momentary panic thoughts of what would happen if one day there were no longer any creative and original blogflection topic ideas floating around in my head; a discovery and realization that my creative writing well has dried up. What would I do and what would all the middle-age men around the world do if their self-appointed ambassador was no longer able to eloquently deliver his daily blogflection homily?

Those momentary panic thoughts always quickly pass with accompanying sighs of relief when I realize that my creativity well will never run dry because, like the road to nowhere, nonsense is infinite.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A culture of life

Regular readers of Pierini Fitness in cyberspace and those who know me in the bricks and mortar real world know that I freely profess the sanctity of life in addition to familiar middle-age man fitness and health topics. For me, it’s a no-brainer that life begins at conception and I’m living proof as are you.

Besides being my wife’s young and handsome bodyguard, I help her with an apostolate she has formed in Sacramento called the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. We’ve organized a pro-life retreat this weekend and the time requirements of last minute planning activities for a successful event are competing with my fitness training schedule this week.

Here’s a short video promotion of this weekend’s upcoming event:

For this middle-age man, I’m grateful for my fitness and health and a culture of life.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This other cardio closer idea

Last Friday’s blogflection included a demonstration of a short cardio closer exercise using clubbells for those who want to mop the cardio floor in 5 minutes or less.

Here’s another video demonstration of a short cardio closer exercise that also uses clubbells taped during my Friday afternoon workout that I wrote about yesterday. It too incorporates a karate stance and clubbells but adds a basic karate front kick to add balance and coordination challenges to the cardio challenge.

Give it a try and tell me what you think of this other cardio closer idea.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, October 19, 2009

Swinging the clubs

Last Friday was one of those days where I didn’t feel like training but knew that I wouldn’t be satisfied if I didn’t do something. So something is what I did with a free-for-all and unstructured workout using clubbells. I’m a clubbell rookie and decided to play with them and see where this play led me.

Here’s a short video incorporating basic karate stances and clubbells for a couple minutes of my hour-long experimental, flowing and playful workout that met my benchmark fitness training standard of something is better than nothing:

It was a fun Friday afternoon workout swinging the clubs.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Today is Sunday and, as always, Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and spirit.

There was a time when that wasn’t always the case and my Sunday was like any other day running around chasing wind, working during my busy work season, exercising and shopping. Honoring the Lord’s Day and immersing myself with rest from the activities and toils of Monday through Saturday everyday life is definitely better for my faith, fitness, fortune and health.

Regular readers of Pierini Fitness recognize my closing signature and have figured out on their own that it is a Latin phrase for “The peace of the Lord is always with you” . Enjoy your Sunday as I am, come back tomorrow for another Pierini Fitness blogflection about a topic yet to be determined but guaranteed to be original, and Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The day I conquered manual labor

Some figure it out sooner in life while others never do. Those who embrace it generally do while those who resist it do not. What I’m talking about is work - as in our job or career - that consumes, on average, one-third of our adult lives.

My earliest job was picking tomatoes but that was more a youthful cultural experience. I wrote about this experience around one year ago when sharing an episode from many moons ago when coaching a younger cousin; you can read about it here: You can always pick tomatoes

My later jobs included a pre-teenage stint helping my Dad when he owned a commercial janitorial business and, as a teenager, working as a busboy, dishwasher and food server for restaurants. The money I earned from the janitor assistant job was used to purchase an electric guitar while the restaurant jobs provided economic fuel to buy my first car, gasoline to make it go, and spending chump change for my discretionary teenage activities.

None of these play work experiences, however, prepared me for the three years I spent in the U.S. Army, my first experience of full-time work as a soldier and its Monday through Friday, day in and day out “manual labor” grind. Even though I had an easy military occupation working in a personnel office, these experiences were my introduction to the yin and yang of resisting “manual labor”, and provided many valuable lessons about the role of work in my life.

And what is that role? In my opinion, it’s that work is a natural component of a balanced and healthy life, just like breathing, eating, exercising, praying, sleeping, and socializing. It should be an enjoyable component of my life as any other and, if that's not the case, then something isn’t right and needs to be corrected to achieve a balance and harmony that's lacking.

So whether we are a big shot CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a high-priced attorney making the big money chasing ambulances, a hospital emergency room physician saving lives, a gardener raking leaves, a manual laborer digging ditches, or an unpaid volunteer doing charitable works, it’s all the same in that we grind away doing our thing to bring home the bacon. At times it feels as demanding like manual labor, exhausts us, makes us want to run away, or resist the perpetual challenge of accepting and embracing work as a necessary part our lives.

It’s my belief that it takes at least 10 years to conquer these "demons" and first enter the positive paradigm about the role of work. I remember when I did – the day I conquered manual labor.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mop the cardio floor in 5 minutes or less

On Monday I shared that I’ve been in the fitness kitchen cooking up new high-intensity and short duration cardio closer exercises for my workouts. For years, running was my cardio activity of choice but now as an official retired runner, I’m always on the search for interesting and new alternatives. A set of burpees is a no-brainer staple but since variety is the spice of life, I sometimes yearn for newness in my toolbox of cardio training tools.

Here’s the first of my two recent discoveries – walking lunges clubbell forward swings – in this short video demonstration:

Longer duration cardio such as slow and steady runs can be fun and pleasant but it’s also nice to mop the cardio floor in 5 minutes or less.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My latest "moi research"

Most everything I know of any personal moving-forward value related to fitness and nutrition is the result of my personal experiments to gather anecdotal and unscientific evidence about how my body responds to stimulus to which it is being subjected. Certainly I’ve learned a lot from reading articles and books, and from the anecdotal stories of others, but my “moi research” has been the most convincing to me.

For example, late last year I concluded that my body did not respond to a popular supplement called glucosamine/chondroitin. You can read about my experiment and final report here: The experiment is done

My latest “moi research” involves a nutritional supplement known by the trademark name of ZMA which stands for zinc magnesium aspartate. I originally learned about ZMA from reading internet fitness forum discussions about its benefits, one of which is deep nighttime sleep. While I generally do not have trouble sleeping, I was curious about these repeated claims and eventually read more about ZMA.

ZMA, a supplement used by bodybuilders and athletes, is a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. The formula is patent pending and those who peddle it claim that it raises strength levels but, apparently, studies haven’t shown consistent results.

The label of the 120-tablet bottle I purchased describes zinc magnesium aspartate as a supplement for metabolic support and nighttime mineral support with directions to take two tablets daily at bedtime. I did not purchase the trademarked ZMA but another brand that contained a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6, plus some other stuff, in about the same combination as the ZMA product.

Once this anecdotal-based research is completed, it will be the subject of a future Pierini Fitness blogflection where I share the results of my latest “moi research”.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The grass is greener on the other side

Every blue moon I receive an e-mail from a client or friend sharing something funny that becomes a Pierini Fitness blogflection like the following:

You can retire to Phoenix, Arizona where...
1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You've experienced condensation on your butt from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
3. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
4. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
5. You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
6... The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!

You can retire to California where...
1. You make over $250,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3. You know how to eat an artichoke.
4. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
5. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
6. The 4 seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought.

You can retire to New York City where...
1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.....
2. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
3. You think Central Park is "nature."
4. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
5. You've worn out a car horn. (Note: if you have a car).
6. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.

You can retire to the White Mountains of New Hampshire where...
1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco..
2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3. You have more than one recipe for moose.
4. Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5. The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.

You can retire to the Deep South where...
1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. "Y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
3. "He needed killin'" is a valid defense.
4. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, Mary Beth, etc.
5. Everything is either "in yonder," "over yonder" or "out yonder." It's important to know the difference, too.

You can retire to Colorado where...
1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car .
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and so he stops at the day care center.
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.

You can retire to the Midwest where...
1. You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
4. You end sentences with a preposition: "Where's my coat at? "
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"

AND you can retire to Florida where...
1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind -- even houses and cars.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people.

From where we sit it often seems that the grass always greener on the other side

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To be my own middle-class big brother

Earlier this year in March, I wrote a blogflection asking the question of who needs a middle-class big brother. It was my tongue-in-cheek expression of what a waste of time was emerging with a new White House Task Force of Middle Class Working Families, a major initiative by President Obama targeted at raising the living standards of middle-class, working families in America. You can read what I had to say here: Who needs a middle-class big brother?

Well since this middle-class middle-age man still seems to be standing still with the same two quarters in his front pants’ pocket that he had six months ago, I decided to visit the task force’s website and see what the people who make it up have been doing. You can visit the website here: White House Middle Class Task Force website.

Goals of this task force include:

  • Expanding education and lifelong training opportunities
  • Improving work and family balance
  • Restoring labor standards, including workplace safety
  • Helping to protect middle-class working family incomes
  • Protecting retirement security

How have these folks been doing in pursuing these goals on our behalf?

A power skim on the front page on the task force’s website found a blog with three recent entries, the most recent being a yawn-producing essay about reforming Wall Street to protect Main Street and how imperative regulatory reform is to the middle class. My assessment of this discourse is that it does provide something to us middle-class – a guaranteed cure for late night insomnia.

In a golden opportunity test of my patience, I’ve decided to give these big-shot members of the White House Task Force of Middle-Class Working Families a chance to do their job and earn their keep by sparing them of any further criticism for another six months. My concluding thought is a message to these folks that I prefer to be my own middle-class big brother.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, October 12, 2009

Heart-thumping cardio closers

Lately I’ve been in the fitness kitchen cooking up new high-intensity and short duration cardio closer exercises for my workouts.

One includes walking lunges using a pair of 10 lb. clubbells and the other is a 12-count burpee. I’m still working out the finer points and testing both of these exercises in my fitness-training laboratory. Stay tuned for details as soon I’ll post a short video demonstration of each of these heart-thumping cardio closers.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Running a red light fine a good deal

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee will vote next Tuesday on a 10-year $829 billion legislative proposal that would expand health insurance coverage to 94 percent of eligible Americans.

Regardless of what side of the debate you are on regarding national healthcare reform, the truth on either side is that the final proposed legislation will cost American taxpayers about $1 trillion and vastly expand the role of government in our health care decisions while limiting choices.

Case in point regarding choice is that beginning in 2013, Americans would be required to get health insurance, through an employer or a government program or by buying it themselves. Wealthy people, for example, would not be able to assume the risk and self-insure. Neither would anybody else. Failure to obey this requirement would result in penalties of up to $750 per family.

Images are dancing through my head of a young father coming home in early December and breaking bad news to his young children that they will not be getting any Christmas presents from Santa Claus this year because he was fined $750 by the federal health insurance police for not having the correct type of health insurance.

On the brighter side, this proposed $750 fine will make the running a red light fine a good deal.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, October 9, 2009

In the darkness of the night

About one year ago I wrote that in my fitness journey I tried isometric exercise training and found it to be challenging and effective, but didn’t stick with it because that training method didn’t match my personality. You can read my thoughts here: That's the isometric truth.

On Wednesday evening after a long day that included an up-and-back day trip to the San Francisco area, I managed to squeeze in a very quick workout at my gym. My shoulders were not cooperating and the time available to train was short so I came home less than fitness training satisfied. Not that it filled my training void, later that evening I spent about 2 minutes doing some isometric contractions. Here’s a very short video of me doing an isometric contraction in the shadow after my post-workout shower but before an evening snack:

My fitness training preference is movement-based, forward and backwards, up and down, and side to side. Isometric training, therefore, does not match my personality, but every now and then they are fun to do as a fitness nightcap in the darkness of the night.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A plate of Spam and a bowl of Ramen

The Center for Science in the Public Interest recently conducted a study of dangerous foods. Scientist for this nutrition advocacy group rated foods by the number of illness outbreaks associated with them since 1990 and compiled a list by risk.

Topping its list were these 10 riskiest foods, listed in descending order, were:

Leafy greens including lettuce and spinach






Ice Cream




You can read more about it here: Leafy Greens, Eggs & Tuna Top List of Riskiest FDA-Regulated Foods

In a sigh of relief, young people gourmet cooks found comfort when reading this list that their favorite foods were absent. They’re busy now preparing a dinner favorite of a plate of Spam with a bowl of Ramen.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Because I got caught

There’s always plenty of news to be had on the internet that, besides filling our insatiable thirst for gossip, provides opportunities to learn and reflect about the joys and perils of life; and to be reminded that we are all sinners.

Sinners - the forgotten S-word that you seldom read about in the secular world in which we live!

The latest case in point is the recent bust of late-night talk show host David Letterman’s infidelities with female employees of his show. Now he has the difficult task of making amends with those in his life whom he has hurt including his wife, child, other family members, show staff and fans to name a few. Let’s not forget his soul and his God, or higher power, on this list.

Whether you believe in God or sin doesn’t matter in this case because most standards that the non-believer live by clearly recognizes the wrongness of Mr. Letterman’s acts. He’s made a public apology and that’s a start but there’s much more he needs to do. To keep him in our prayers and thoughts, rather than use his plight as comic fodder, is an opportunity for each of us to test our character, compassion and values.

In difficult situations when I’ve hurt someone, I’ve learned to ask for their forgiveness rather than to say I’m sorry. To say I’m sorry is all about me and doesn’t empower the person whom I’ve hurt. To ask for their forgiveness is more empowering to them, and their active forgiving me, in response to my request, is true healing in the making.

The contrition lesson to learn about saying that I’m sorry is to examine if I am truly sorry because what I did was wrong, or whether I ‘m sorry because I got caught.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Taking off my shirt at the beach

Lately I’ve been busy with my middle-age man fitness ministry spreading the good word to all willing to listen. Currently, there are two men I’m encouraging and mentoring in their fitness resurrection journeys.

My advice is simple in the nutrition department for those wanting to lose weight. “Buy some duct tape” – as in eat less food - is my standard advice. With the holiday season approaching and all the festivities centered on food and drink, this nutrition tip will do wonders to keep in check middle-age men bellies with the propensity to expand on short notice.

My advice is also simple in the exercise department. Find a training program that matches your personality and remember that something is better than nothing. Favor intensity instead of duration particularly if time to exercise is a scare daily resource. I call this the It model – the upper case I stands for INTENSITY while the lowercase t stands for short duration (time) workouts. There’s no need to pitter-patter around in the gym for hours when 10 to 15 minutes of intense exercise can get the job done.

Sunday evening at dinner, I talked to another middle-age man fitness warrior who has triathlete fever and has embarked upon a training program for upcoming triathlon competitions. We discussed how, at this age in our lives, it doesn’t take much to be at the upper percentile of fitness compared to our peers. We discussed my middle-age man fitness benchmarks that I should be able to run up a flight of stair without being winded at the top and be able to bend over and reach down to tie my shoestrings without throwing out my back or ripping the seat of my pants.

There’s one more fitness measure that this middle-age man should be able to do, and that is to have sufficient muscle tone and the absence of a big belly to not be embarrassed when taking off my shirt at the beach.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, October 5, 2009

Eating a piece of humble pie

A bothersome right anterior deltoid muscle has put limits on the Olympic lift workouts I’ve been able to do the past couple of months. Slowly but surely it’s healing but not at the pace I’d like, evidence that my deltoid, like the rest of me, is bona-fide middle age.

Interesting is that I’m able to perform behind-the-neck pull-ups and behind-the-neck push presses and split jerks with no discomfort but traditional split jerks are a no-no. Squat snatches with lighter weights are fine too but I wouldn’t want to load the bar heavy and try for a personal record.

Once a week I use the squat snatch to “see where I’m at” with my anterior deltoid muscle recovery and last Friday my test consisted of these sets of squat snatches (loads in lbs.): 65x3 – 65x3 – 88x3 – 88x3 – 115x1 – 115x1 – 115x1. All of these sets felt good and I had this strong desire to load the bar heavier for a further test but my little guardian angel told me to quit while I was ahead to be safe rather than sorry. I listened.

These loads are a far cry from what I was doing last October 2008 when I set personal records of 155 lbs. on October 10, 2008 and 160 lbs. on October 31, 2008. How things can change in a year’s time.

I really enjoy the Olympic lifts so I’ll continue doing them. Setting a personal record and successfully lifting a heavy weight is like eating a piece of ego cake. The loads I’m currently moving, in sharp contrast, is like eating a piece of humble pie.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Sunday, October 4, 2009

On this first Sunday of October

Today's blogflection is as predictable as every other Sunday, consisting of a standard blurb that Pierini Fitness is closed so the chief executive blogger can rest his body, mind and spirit along with an invitation to return on Monday to read a creative and original blogflection about a topic yet to be determined.

So once again Pierini Fitness is closed on this first Sunday of October.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A great example of how to work your age

My blogflection on Wednesday shared a recent workout of mine that consisted of flexibility and warm-up, strength and cardio closer components and completing repetitions of each exercise equal to my age. The exercises I chose took into account my current fitness level and would not be appropriate for someone needing to get, or back, into shape.

A cyberspace fitness brother from a different mother named Joel posted a comment about my work your age workout that he has made a similar recommendation many times to those needing to get, or back, into shape. Joel’s workout suggestion is that every day you do:

Your age in push-ups

Your age in sit-ups/crunches

Your age in minutes walking/running (or double your age in squats)

Joel instructs people to break up the above workout into sets as necessary. So, for example, an out-of-shape 40-year old incapable of performing a single set of 40 pushups could get the reps in my performing 40 sets of 1 pushup, 20 sets of 2 pushups, 10 sets of 4 pushups, etc., etc. It's basic, but effective.

Thank you, Joel, for sharing your fitness coaching wisdom with a great example of how to work your age.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, October 2, 2009

Clubbell 54

In the old days, my buddies and I would spend our weekends going to the clubs as in night clubs but as I recently wrote six days ago, I'm out of the loop and don't do clubs anymore. Actually, that may not be exactly true as twice in the last two weeks I've been hitting the "clubs" again.

At Bodytribe Fitness, the gym where I train, they have lots of fitness tools in their tool box that I've never used before but now am giving them a try. Tools like kettlebells and clubbells for example that I've been experimenting with as cardio closers.

Here's a simple clubbell cardio closer from Tuesday afternoon this week. I'm keeping my moves simple as my right shoulder still heals so no Ninja chops and other fancy moves that will put my shoulder recovery at risk.

So maybe I don't do clubs anymore as in night clubs, but don't be surprised if you hear me saying that I'm going to Clubbell 54.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A sit-up-less ab workout

After an extended hiatus, two weeks ago I resurrected the ab plank hold into my weekly training mix and plan on doing it at least once a week until further notice. I’ve written favorably about this static isometric posture gem exercise, going so far as to say if there was only one ab/core exercise I could do for the rest of my life that this would be it.

Certainly there are many ways to make this exercise more difficult, but I prefer the standard garden variety type where I balance on both of my forearms like the above photo. My personal best hold time in this position is 5:01.

Tuesday was the second time in the past two weeks that I did an ab plank which I held for 3:30. The prior Tuesday was my first time and I held it for 3:00. It will take a little dedicated effort to get close to my 5:01 personal best. Time will tell if I get there or lose interest and move on to something else.

Gone are the days of performing mindless high-volume reps of crunches and sit-ups. I’ve got better things to do with my scarce training time so Tuesday as well as future workouts will be a sit-up-less ab workout.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum