Saturday, March 17, 2012

SXSW Plant Strong Potluck

Last year I was so exhausted from SXSW by the time I had to return to work, so this year I decided to lay low.  However, I did make on exception and that was attending the Plant Strong Potluck hosted by Rip Esselstyn, author of the Engine 2 Diet (

The assortment and variety of plant based foods was amazing, the music was great and all the people that I met were so cool.  Rip's backyard was packed with over 150 people, including kids and dogs!  I found out that even the dogs are on a plant based diet.
Robert Cheeke and I flexing our plant based muscles.

After the music and food, people got a chance to share their stories about how following a plant based diet has led to improvements in their health.  Authors, John Joseph (Meat is for Pussies), Lindsay Nixon (Happy Herbivore) and Robert Cheeke (Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness) shared their stories as well.  It was so motivational to hear about the positive changes in peoples lives and health due to following a plant based diet.

Later Rip called Robert and myself up on stage at the end to show off our plant based muscles.  It was a blast!
Rip Esselstyn, John Joseph, Lindsay Nixon, Me and Robert Cheeke

I had a great time and I'm looking forward to the next potluck and getting to make more plant based friends.

Below are some links to more information on the benefits of following a plant based diet:
1. Forks Over Knives
2. Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
3. The China Study
4. Vegan Bodybuilding
5. Engine 2 Diet
6. Meat is for Pussies
7. Happy Herbivore

Monday, January 16, 2012

Add Intensity to Your Training With the Hyper Vest Pro

The Hyper Vest Pro by Hyper Wear is a weighted vest that comes pre loaded with 10lbs, but additional weight can be added to the vest.  The Hyper Vest can be worn during almost any type of training to add an additional challenge.

I had been wanting to get a Hyper Vest for a while, so when Hyper Wear had a 20% sale before the end of the year, I decided that it was the perfect time.  Although, I wasn't sure which size would be right for me.  Luckily, Hyper Wear is based out of Austin, TX and has an office and warehouse where you can try out their equipment before buying.  I love shopping online, but sometimes I just need to see it in person and kick the tires a bit.

Hyper Vest Pro weighted vest from Hyper Wear
Every time I have gone, the staff over at Hyper Wear have always been very helpful.  Chris had a few vests for me to try on when I got there.  I tried on the XL first and took it for a test spin outside in the parking lot.  After doing a few burpees and jumping jacks I decided to try on the Large, because the XL seemed to move around just a little too much.  Plus the XL was longer and went down lower on my waist.  The Large was snug and stayed in place better without being too tight.

I decided to test drive the vest doing a body weight workout at my gym focusing on chest, shoulder and triceps.

1. Decline push ups using physio ball 3x20
2. Diamond push ups 3x15
3. Med ball push ups 3x10 per side
4. Pike press (feet on bench) 4x10
5. Crawl up push ups 3x10
6. Dips 3x15

The Hyper Vest Pro definitely adds another dimension to the workout.  It kept snug to my body almost like a second skin.  However, after about 45 min of wearing it I did notice that it was rubbing a little where my traps meet the side of my neck.  It is hard to tell from my pic, but the neck hole of the Hyper Vest is cut more like a V neck.  It's nothing major and it won't keep me from wearing it during my future training.  The XL may have given me more room in the neck, but I prefer a snugger fit with the Large.

Overall, I really like the Hyper Vest Pro and would highly recommend it.  It fits close to the body and has adjustable straps for a custom fit.  The pre-loaded 10lbs is just enough to add more of a challenge to any workout including running, weight training, martial arts or any sport specific training.  I'm looking forward to incorporating the Hyper Vest Pro into more of my workouts.  I can see lots of possibilities using it with my TRX suspension trainer.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Discounts on Boot Camp Fitness Equipment

I am constantly checking for good deals on exercise equipment.  Currently there are some great year end discounts on some of the equipment used in my Boot Camps.  I received an email the other day from these companies letting me know about their current deals.  The equipment that my clients use at our bootcamp is the same equipment that I have purchased and use for my personal workouts.  If you haven't had a chance to try the TRX suspension trainer or a set of sandbells, then I highly recommend that you do.  Individually, they are a great total body workout, but pair them together and its even better.

Sandbells Grip it. Toss it. Swing it. Slam it. SandBell®

Sandbells are a great replacement for traditional weights.  The sand-filled core shifts around inside giving targeted muscles a new challenge while simultaneously activating core muscle groups.  Sandbells are safe and are also a great way to work on grip strength. As a P.E. teacher in Austin ISD, I have been using Sandbells with my kiddos for a couple of years now.  As a matter of fact all of the P.E. programs in Austin ISD use Sandbells.  We use 2-8 lbs in P.E. and all the way up to 25 lbs in my bootcamp.  Plus, HyperWear is an Austin based company.
They also have a cool 10lb weighted vest called the Hyper Vest.  I've been wanting to get one for a while, so I'm going to take advantage of their discount and get one before the end of the year.  I'll post a review of it after the new year.

Discount: 20% off all in-stock merchandise at
Ends: Dec. 31, 2011

TRX Suspension Trainer
Suspension Training utilizes bodyweight exercises to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability at the same time.  Hundreds of exercises can be performed on the TRX suspension trainer using only gravity and bodyweight.  I take my TRX with me when I travel and set it up in my hotel room.  It easily connects to the door or tree or monkey bars when I'm working out in the park.  It is a great portable piece of equipment that gives me a challenging total body workout.

  • Get a fast, effective total body workout
  • Benefits people of ALL fitness levels (pro athletes to seniors)
  • Can be set-up anywhere (gym, home, road, outside)

Discount: 15% off TRX Pro Kit, plus Free shipping (use code TRXLIVE) at

TRX: Train Like the Pros

Reilly Boot Camp Week 4

Well it has been a few weeks since I checked in so I just wanted to give everyone an update on the Reilly Elementary Boot Camp. We just finished week 4, and everyone is still going strong and working hard with only 2 more weeks to go.

There is such a wide range of fitness levels, ages and abilities in these classes. The classes are upbeat, fast paced and challenging. In this first 6 week cycle, the focus is on the development of functional strength, conditioning and cardiovascular endurance. I encorporate full body, multi-planar exercises by using body weight, Sandbells, kettlebells, TRX Suspension Trainers and Battling Ropes.

I will try to get some videos posted of the classes and exercises. Below is one of the circuits from the class.

Warm-up: Partner Sandbell
Sandbell mountain climbers and Sandbell slams

1. Lateral Slide Push Press
2. Forward Facing Side Toss
3. Lateral Lunge w/ Side Toss

Circuit 1: Week 4
Work: 40sec
Rest: 20sec
Rounds: 2

1.TRX Sprinter Start
2.Rolling Push up
3.P-ball Hamstring curl
4.KB Row
5.Battle Rope: Alternating + Plank

Monday, December 5, 2011

Post Workout Smoothie

One of my favorite parts of the workout is the end. That's when I get to go home and make my post workout smoothie. After the workout is the beginning of the recovery phase and there are benefits to drinking a recovery drink as apposed to eating a meal. Whole foods can take up to several hours to be digested, while liquids can be digested in as little as 20-60 minutes.
Organic blueberries, apples, banana and spinach

It is important to get some high quality and easily digested protein and carbohydrates within 30-45 minutes after a workout. It should be about a 4:1 ratio of Carbs to Protein. I like to make my own shakes because it's less expensive and I can put exactly what I want in there without all the extra "junk" that most store bought shakes contain. I use a few organic, whole food ingredients and also add a few vegan supplements, like plant based protein powders.

Post Workout Smoothie Recipe

2 handfuls organic baby spinach
1 large organic fuji apple (you can use any variety, but I'm partial to fuji)
1 organic banana
1 cup organic raspberries or blue berries (frozen)
1 tbsp organic flax seed oil
Plant based protein blend (Organic Brown Rice, Non GMO Pea, Organic Hemp)
1 tsp Bee Pollen
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1 tbsp Spirulina
1 tsp Raw Honey

Blend everything up smooth in my Vitamix!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Summer Challenge Final Results

Well, I didn't quite reach my goal, but I came close.

Before Weight: 200 lbs
Before Body fat: 9%

After Weight: 205 lbs
After Body fat: 7%

Goal Weight: 210lbs
Goal Body fat: 5%

Before photo: 7/6/11
After photo: 10/6/11

Reilly Boot Camp

I'm excited to announce that for the next 6 weeks teachers, staff and parents will be getting fit at the Reilly Boot Camp.  The focus will be on functional strength, conditioning and cardiovascular endurance.  I will post updates on the class and the progress of the participants.  You can also find sample workouts and maybe an occasional picture and video.
The class schedule is located below. Click on the class time for more info.