Tune in for a quick interview with the pull-up queen, Shawna Kaminski to learn a simple trick that will help you look years younger. This simple trick can be mixed into your daily cube dwellling schedule and make a big difference in how you feel and appear to others.
Shawna Kaminski has been in fitness for a lifetime, then worked as a Catholic school teacher. She was constantly having friends ask for her help getting into shape. By working in her own gym she could help a few people, but she’s jumped into the online world to extend her reach.
When she started building products online she focused on helping people with challenges; fitness challenges to help them continually improve.
One challenge that kept coming up is helping people overcome the fear of pullups and get one. The challenge is both mental and physical. Shawna found that by helping people find simple victories by overcoming challenges we keep at it, stay energized, and keep pushing ourselves. So she has earned the title as The Pull-up Queen by specializing in helping people learn how to do pullups.
Check out Shawna’s Challenge Workouts for more information on how you could learn from her.
Shawna’s Tips for Cube Dwellers
Accept that for most people, we are cube dwellers. Embrace that it is our way of life and how we earn a living. Accept it, but also realize that we need to get intentional about adding movement into our lives. For cube dwellers make time to add movement and exercise into each and every day.
As a fitness professional Shawna is constantly moving and active. She holds classes multiple times per day and is moving all the time. That’s her line of work, but for most of us our livelyhood and our passions leave us sitting. Don’t bemoan it; embrace it.
We are Cube Dwellers, but that doesn’t mean we can be in shape to enjoy all life has to offer. Remember there’s life outside the box.
Shawna says that we should decide to add activity to our lives. Spend time to intentionally think about how you can add some more activity into our daily routine.
Start with a walk – every day! Challenge Workouts are great, but have a starting point. Just get moving. Once you are moving, then you can keep adding to new levels. Take on new challenges, then find new challenges. Constantly challenge yourself no matter what point you are at.
Park on the far side of the lot and walk in.
Skip the elevator take the stairs.
Take a micro-break with a kettlebell
Sitck-Up (see below)
Get creative and move
Change your attitude to you decide to add exercise into your day
Shawna also reminded us that we don’t need a lot of equipment. It is possible to get a great workout with just our bodyweight. She recently did a full workout just on the stairs near her home. So do a stair workout. Run the steps, do pushups, leg raises, and more between flights.
Be a fitness weirdo. Sure getting “caught” doing exercises can make us seem like weirdos, but it also lets us enjoy more of what life has to offer. Get out and move.
Find support and challenge each other. Find someone around you that can help you get and stay active.
The biggest thing with cube dwellers is tight and hunched shoulders.
Simple Trick To Look Years Younger
So what is it? What is the simple trick from Shawna “Pull-Up Queen” Kaminski that will help you look years younger?
The Stick up is a simple exercise that you can do with just your body and a wall. Simply do it hourly and look years younger.
I know that may sound too simple to be true, but your posture matters. Anything we can do to improve it will not only help how we feel but will literally take years off our appearance. So stick-up.
Video Demonstration of the Stick Up
Up against the wall with your entire back against the wall, then put your elbows to the wall, then bring your hands to the wall, and reach upwards. Squeeze the shoulder blades together – focus on paying attention to the muscles of your back to pull the shoulders back. These muscles get ignored through life as a cube dweller; reintroduce yourself to them. Once you know how to trigger them into action they will help you keep your posture and offset hours of sitting.
Other Ways to Offset Slouched Shoulders
Our cube dwelling days keep us slouched forward, so there are other ways we can offset slouched shoulders.
But it doesn’t have to be a full workout. Shawna recommends simply laying down on something to let us stretch the muscles of the chest and open up. Rest and pull the shoulders down and back. Find an exercise ball, or even a coffee table. Lay back, let your arms fall out and back to increase range of motion.
Look years younger and leaner by changing your posture: ear aligns withe shoulders and hips. Stand straight and you will be surprised how much better you will both look and feel.
Learn More From Shawna
Shawna is located up in Toronto, Canada. If you happen to be up in the area, look her up and meet her in person.
For the rest of us we can still benefit from her fitness expertise. Join the pull-up queen by digging into her Challenge Workouts.
But start today find a fitness challenge and add some more activity into each and every day. Start adding some stick-ups into your routine.
Are you a trainer, or fitness fanatic, who likes to develop your own programs? Then you need to take a look at the latest product from Rick Kaselj, called Muscle Imbalances – Assessment and Exercises. He pulls together an awesome team to dig into properly assessing movement to find issues then fix your workouts with proper exercises.
Rick Kaselj – He’s Been Here Before
For those of you that have been around for a while, or scoured the site, may recognize Rick’s name. That’s because he’s been here before. Rick is a trainer from Canada, eh, who has developed a specialization in addressing injuries and muscular imbalances. We did an interview where Rick talked about the need to Move it Or Lose it – keep moving.
While I still am refusing to believe that I’m in my forties and at some point need to say I’m old. I will admit that I’m much more aware of how my body moves; or doesn’t move. Those aches and pains can often be addressed by digging deeper into the biomechanics of how we move.
Rick knows this first hand from his experience helping people address injuries and work towards regaining mobility. Enter the 3rd edition of his Muscle Imbalances program.
Muscle Imbalances Revealed – 3rd Edition
Assessment & Exercise is the focus of the 3rd Edition of Muscle Imbalances Revealed and it aims at helping you “Discover How to Pinpoint Problems & Fix Them with Exercises”.
As a fitness & health professional or exercise enthusiast we often just focus on strength, flexibility and cardiovascular techniques with our clients to help them reach their fitness goals. By just focusing on these three exercise techniques you hamper your client’s performance results, ability to bust through fitness plateaus, overcome injuries and remain injury-free. To get past this, what you need in your toolbox is a full understanding of muscle imbalances.
Muscle Imbalances Revealed goes beyond stretching what is tight, strengthening what is weak or just performing corrective exercises. It assists the fitness & health professional or exercise enthusiast in understanding the synergies that exist within the body and walks you through the intricacies of muscle imbalances.
In the Assessment & Exercise Edition of Muscle Imbalances Revealed you will be guided by 4 experts from various health professions on how to perform a number of assessments that will allow you to pin-point problems and then give you the exercises to fix those problems in order to improve performance, athleticism, fitness results, injury prevention and injury recovery.
Who Are These Fitness Experts?
So the team brings incredible depth to this product. Here are some short bios for each of the four members helping you to find issues and fix your workouts.
Rick specializes in active rehabilitation and fitness. He has worked in one-to-one active rehabilitation and group rehabilitation with people who have been injured at work, in motor vehicle accidents and during sport. Rick has personally trained a wide variety of individuals and lead group fitness classes for healthy and special populations.
Rick has put together several different products to help people recover and/or prevent injuries. His other products include:
Nick Rosencutter is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the two most respected credentials in the fitness and strength and conditioning field. He is also a Nationally Certified and Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Active Release Techniques (ART) provider.
Anthony Mychal exists at the crossroad between fitness and athleticism. As a professional, he’s a writer appearing on the likes of T-Nation, LIVESTRONG.com, STACK, and Greatist. As a dude, he’s a self-proclaimed performance junkie that practices martial arts tricking. He splatters his ideas about building a body that matters on a weekly basis at his blog.
John Izzo is an accomplished fitness professional with over a decade of experience working with people to achieve things they never thought possible. He is a commensurate professional and coach, that supports others achieve great levels of fat loss, sports performance, and optimal health. He is a listener and an opportunist that believes in working hard by meeting challenges with passion and tenacity.
Assessment and Exercise – Sample Video Clips
Here is a short clip highlighting how to assess issues with the knee.
Listen to Anthony Mychal go old-school and expound on Vitruvian Man from Leonardo da Vinci.
Assessment and Exercise
Don’t keep building imbalances, instead take the time to learn from the team that Rick pulled together. Learn how to assess your movement, find issues, then fix your workouts with exercises.
I’ve done INSANITY from Team Beach Body and I’ve found something better. Drop the INSANITY workout and join me doing the Super HERO Fat Loss program.
Perhaps you’re like me …
Your time is precious. You have goals that aimed to you stretch and improve. You are want to get lean. You want to build muscle. So let’s compare INSANITY versus Super HERO Fat Loss.
Shaun vs Roman
INSANITY Workout Falls Short
There are options. I got excited about Team Beach Body’s INSANITY program a while back. It was filled with high intensity interval training. It promised to get me lean and push me. It faltered and INSANITY left me with an aching back.
Since then I’ve been looking deeper at the design of the program and I’ve decided that INSANITY falls short. The program falls short in two ways: weight and periodization.
Sure the program has three phases and changes focus from one workout to the next, but the program is consistently high intensity body weight intervals. The program pushes along one avenue. Depending on your background, training, and goals that may work, but it isn’t a diversified approach to training for fat loss.
Super HERO Fat Loss A Better Alternative to INSANITY
So now I spend more time digging through programs that I promote and try. I’ve been following Roman for a while and reading Roman Fitness Systems. He delivers sound fitness advice and an edge. While his style may not be for everyone, he is right on track. He delivers.
His latest program, Super HERO Fat Loss, has me excited. Not only excited to hear how he manages to transform other cube dwellers into Super HEROS, but excited to dive into it. I’m going to work through the entire 12 week program.
See Roman convicted me when he said that “program hoppers are destroying their results“. Call it ADHD or be blunt and call it program-hopping, I tend to jump from one thing to another. I do develop programs for myself but typically they are 4-8 weeks long. But I also spend time in between programs where I use “a little of this and a little of that” approach.
Super HERO Fat Loss – Weight and Periodization Makes It Better Than INSANITY
Bodyweight workouts can produce results, but lifting something heavy will produce results faster and bigger.
There I said it. Lifting heavy works, period.
So I could stop the comparison between Super HERO Fat Loss and INSANITY right there, but I won’t. Just because a program uses weights doesn’t make it inherently better than a bodyweight program. So let’s continue.
The Super HERO Fat Loss program has three phases.
Super Strength – Phase 1
The first phase lays a strength foundation with a metabolic burn. Nice and simple – 5×5 complexes. In simple terms this means lifting a weight that you can do 5 solid repetitions, then repeating it for five sets. 5×5.
But then add in a metabolic conditioning circuit that focuses on other muscles – don’t want to overwork those muscles just nailed by the 5×5. This combination is incredible for building strength, packing on muscle, while firing up your metabolic furnace to burn off fat.
Super Density – Phase 2
The second phase goes deep into density training. I spent some time training with a German Volume Training (GVT) program and this brings back fond memories of those workouts. This phase forces your muscles to respond and build deep dense strength. In this phase the weight is a little lighter, but both the repetitions and the number of sets jumps up. Your body won’t know what hit it if you haven’t done this form of training before.
The workouts are two time blocks of circuits. Keep going, build density, rest only if/when needed. Take a break, then hit another set of exercises for another time block.
Serious, like a Super HERO!
Super Intensity – Phase 3
This phase pulls together a high intensity combination that ratchets the workouts up another notch. These workouts are aimed at building muscle while shaving off the fat. The sessions vary to keep your body adapting, burning, and growing. The workouts mix in some density training like in phase 2 with some solid blocks of lifting heavy. A perfect way to polish off the Super HERO Fat Loss program.
Skip the INSANITY and Turn To Super HERO Fat Loss
Join me in the adventure and skip the INSANITY. Instead trust the expertise of John Romaniello as he’s poured it all out into this program.
I’m working my way through it and would love to cheer you along with me. After you buy a copy of Super HERO Fat Loss make sure to let me know so I can send you the bonus workout sheets. These will be an easy way for you to bring the workout along with you to the gym.
If you are working out at home, also let me know. I’ve adapted the Super HERO Fat Losss workouts for the garage gym. If you buy the program I’ll share my Garage Edition with you.
Together let’s rock this thing. Don’t hurt your back, drop the INSANITY and dive into the Super HERO Fat Loss workout program with me.
When people walk through my area at work people wonder if it is standing room only. That’s because the standing revolution is on. Here’s a guest post to help you join the revolution.
There’s a lot of talk lately about the dangers of spending too much time sitting down — and with more and more jobs done mostly or entirely on computers, work is often a huge part of the problem. The good news is you don’t have to quit your job to improve your health. Just by spending a larger portion of the day standing up, you can gain huge health benefits. Read on to learn about why standing is so much better for you than sitting, and how you can convince your boss that it’s better for him or her, too.
What’s wrong with sitting, anyway?
The statistics on sitting are terrifying. A recent study showed that people who sit most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack than those who don’t. And that’s most of us: the average human these days spends 9.3 hours sitting every day! This is a huge shift from how our ancestors lived, so it’s no surprise that our bodies were not made for all this sitting.
And it gets worse: As you may have heard, even among those of us who exercise regularly, the amount of time we spend sitting is a huge factor in how likely we are to die in the next 15 years — 40 percent likelier if we sit six or more hours per day than someone who sits less than three hours a day.
Why is sitting so bad for us? For one, sitting burns only one calorie per minute, so it makes us gain weight, and we all know that being overweight is unhealthy. But there’s more to it than that. Sitting also shuts off the electrical activity in your legs and drastically reduces the enzymes in your body that break down fat. Sitting for long periods of time also reduces levels of good cholesterol level and effectiveness of insulin. It restricts blood flow, breathing and digestion, and actually leads to fatigue and muscle strain.
For many people, being tethered to a desk is a necessary part of our jobs, but we can still take frequent breaks to stroll around the office or stretch. And increasingly, employers and office workers are turning to standing as a healthier alternative to sitting at work.
3 Reasons Standing is Healthier
Is standing really that much better than sitting? Being forced to stand all day is definitely not a good thing — not having the option to sit down can lower productivity and lead to fatigue. However, standing up at least part of the day can drastically improve your health.
1) Standing is NEAT.
Standing burns more calories than sitting because it’s a form of non-exercise activity called thermogenesis — in other words, it burns calories even though you’re not actually choosing to exercise. In fact, standing burns 30 to 40 percent more calories than sitting — one study showed that standing at your desk for 2.5 hours burns 350 calories — as many calories as 23 minutes of running, 46 minutes of walking, of 34 minutes of low-impact aerobics!
2) Standing Encourages Movement
If you’re already standing, it’s all the easier to pop over to a coworker’s desk to ask a question rather than sending an email, or to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water.
3) Standing keeps your blood moving and allows you to take full breaths
All that awful stuff that sitting restricts, standing allows.
4 Ways to Convince Your Boss
So-called “stand to sit” workstations allow employees to stand most of the day, while also giving them the option to sit when they need to. If you’re convinced that you want to be part of the standing revolution but your boss isn’t so sure, here’s what you can say:
1) Employees are more productive when they stand.
Recent research shows that employees make better decisions and have increased output when they’re standing rather than sitting at work — provided they have the option to sit down when they need to.
2) Reduced medical costs and absenteeism.
Standing has a wide variety of health benefits for employees, which in turn reduce medical costs — important to employers who provide health insurance. Some employers will be concerned about the large up-front costs of buying new standing desks. However, a recent study showed that for every dollar companies spend on wellness programs — and standing desks count as wellness — within three to five years, they save $4 in health care costs and $5 in lowered absenteeism.
3) Lower obesity rates.
Studies show that standing for just 2.5 hours a day can burn as much as 25 lbs. of fat per year. With increasing awareness of the negative effects obesity has on employees, it just makes sense for employers to encourage weight loss — and standing is an easy way to do it.
4) Everyone’s doing it.
Many leading corporations are providing wellness programs for employees because they’re increasingly recognizing the payback — sometimes in the millions — of helping employees get healthy.
Standing is one of the easiest ways around to improve your health and lose weight. Now that you know that benefits — and the dangers of sitting — don’t just sit there! Do something. Talk to you boss today.
About the Author: Patty Englebaugh founded ErgoStoreOnline.com in 1993.
She has 19 years of experience installing ergonomic office furniture and computer accessories that create healthy work environments in home and corporate offices as well as in the healthcare, education, government, and business sectors.
Call her today (Mon-Fri 8-6pm EST) for one-on-one support for your ergonomic needs: (877) 971-0151.
During the Tough Mudder in Beaver Creek, CO there was one obstacle that beat me – Hangin’ Tough. Let’s dig into this epic ring failure and dig into how to prepare for the Tough Mudder Hangin’ Tough Obstacle.
Epic Ring Failure at Tough Mudder
Analysis of My Failure on the Tough Mudder Hangin’ Tough Obstacle
When faced with failure, spend some time looking back to analyze why the failure occurred. Laugh about it, then find failure points to address.
For this situation there were two main reasons behind my epic ring failure: Grip Strength, and Numb Hands.
Let’s be honest. If I had grip of steel I wouldn’t have fallen off the rings, period. Many activities and obstacles in life would benefit from developing increased grip strength. Watch the video again. Watch for how I fall. The simple conclusion is the ring slips right out of my hand.
If I had developed the strength in my hands more they could have locked on like a pit-bull. Lock onto the rings with strength that isn’t questionable.
Cold and wet! Cold and wet are two physical conditions that work against how our hands work to grip things. My hands were experiencing both; I had numb hands.
Numb hands start to shut down, there is less blood flowing which reduces sensations (proprioception) and strength. Now when you combine that in this case the numbness stems from being wet my skin also was very slippery.
Prepare for the Tough Mudder Hang Time Obstacle
Sometimes it would be nice to have wings to make progress…
Build Grip Strength
In my training I do work on grip strength, but as a secondary focus. Here are the exercises and equipment that I use in my garage gym that develops grip strength:
Rings – perfect for doing ring flys, ring pull ups, ring dips, rows, and many more movements.
Soft Ball Pull Up Grips – these were a great DIY project and doing pull ups on these definitely hit the forearms.
Bulgarian Training Bag – fill a car tire inner tube with sand, make handles, then start swinging it around. Let me tell you right now that it will improve your grip strength. Training the the DIY Bulgarian Training bag is a great way to get started. Check out my Kindle book on The Bulgarian Bag Basics.
Kettlebells – these compact little tools are near and dear to my heart. They just work for the limited space I have in my garage gym. In my Kettlebell Guide I offer lots of other links to help get you started with kettlebells. They are another training tool that requires your grip to hang on as you swing weight around.
While those are well and good, they did not develop the grip strength that was needed on the Tough Mudder Hang Time Obstacle.
I’ve joined GripBoard as a way to talk with others about building my grip strength.
Prevent Numb Hands
In this situation I just shake my head. I already had the solution to numb hangs, Mad Gripz gloves.
See months prior to the Tough Mudder I had researched what equipment I needed to run the event. One piece of gear was gloves, specifically Mad Gripz gloves.
They worked incredibly well – when worn.
Coming up to the Tough Mudder Hang Time obstacle our team was debating if gloves would help, or not. We talked about trade-offs either way and in the end I decided to pull the gloves off.
The result was an epic ring failure. My hands felt fine in the gloves, but instantly felt cold outside in the wind. They were wet and chilled. As much as I tried to get the blood flowing to warm them up it just wasn’t happening. By the time I reached out for the first ring my hands still felt cold.
The Mad Gripz gloves have a wonderfully sticky rubber palm. They helped tremendously as I climbed across the monkey bars later in the Tough Mudder. I should have kept them on; next time I will.
Dig Through and Embrace Your Failures – Fail Forward
But take this same approach with any of your own failures. Look back on them, find humor, find opportunity, and go forward.
For me finding ways to fail forward is an essential part of improving. Embrace your own failures, like my epic ring failure at the Beaver Creek Tough Mudder, to help you improve.