Weekly Review

The courthouse where I grew up in Ohio.


“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
– Dr. Seuss
Leftover Turkey Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Revitalize holiday leftovers into a delicious Whole30 compliant casserole. We used broccoli and mushrooms, but feel free to use whatever veggies you have leftover. Shaved Brussels sprouts, carrots, or green beans all work great in this healthy Shepherd’s Pie.
Servings Prep Time
4meals 20minutes
Cook Time
Turkey Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Scoop roasted sweet potato flesh, and then mix with coconut milk.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
  4. In a skillet, add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Saute for 5-7 minutes until softened.
  5. Add broccoli and mushrooms, and saute another 3-4 minutes, while seasoning with fresh or dried herbs and salt and pepper.
  6. Add chicken stock and dijon mustard. Add arrowroot, and whisk to combine. Arrowroot doesn’t clump like wheat flour and corn starch, so it’s okay to add directly to your liquid as long as you’re whisking it in. If using corn starch or wheat flour as a sub, combine it with a few tablespoons of water before adding it to your pan.
  7. Mix in chopped turkey, and then add to an 8×8 or similar sized casserole dish.
  8. Scoop sweet potatoes in mounds around the top of your filling, and then gently spread into a layer across the top of your pan.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes until bubbling and starting to brown on top.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition for 1 out of 4 servings:

29.4g Protein | 58.1g Carbs | 10.3g Fat | 6.2g FIber | 453 Calories

Good News:
Learning Opportunities:
Exercising while fasted induces adaptations to mitochondria in muscle and adipose tissue including increased fatty acid metabolism that is blunted by pre-exercise feeding (meta-analysis of 46 clinical studies).
Exercising in a fasted state increased the release of fatty acids stored in adipose tissue and the use of them for energy in muscle and adipose tissue (ie. fat burning). It also increased the use of intramuscular triglycerides over glycogen in muscle tissue. Exercise while fasted also caused mitochondria to increase gene activity in genes related to fatty acid metabolism making them more efficient as using fat for energy. These adaptations were blunted by pre-exercise feeding.
Pre-exercise feeding did enhance performance in long-duration aerobic exercise (> 60 minutes) but had no effect on aerobic training shorter than 60 minutes. Pre-exercise feeding also slightly enhanced anaerobic exercise (ie. run until exhaustion) but had no effect on high-intensity interval training.

Opportunities for 2019 and Beyond

How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?

– Epictetus

As the year ends I challenge you to reflect on what you achieved, what you fell short of, what you would do differently and what you’d do the same. It’s all about assessment.

We learn. We adjust. We grow. And the cycle continues.

New Years resolutions get a bad reputation for one reason: missed opportunities. A missed opportunity does NOT have to be where it ends. Take time to assess and observe why you didn’t achieve what you hoped for.

Many times we set the bar too high. I suggest a time sensitive goal that is attainable. Set the bar lower to start the momentum and success.

YES, set the bar low!


Want to get up at 4am but you still can’t get up at 530am? Year after year you feel like a failure because you didn’t meet that goal. Because YOU JUST KNOW that 4am is that time of productivity for all the greats.

First, if you are going to the same goal year after year, you ARE NOT assessing properly. Start observing what keeps you from getting up? When do I go to sleep? How is my sleep environment? How is the quality of sleep? Then let’s shoot for 545am. Establish a pattern of success. After celebrating the success of that “low bar” goal, raise the bar. Reasonable adjustments. 😉

If you are just fat and say I want washboard abs, that’s a dream but not a real goal to be attained. Start with activity. Start with small changes to clean up what you eat. Start there. That’s success! Then the next step for “operation 6 pack” might be adding in some more advanced concepts that you haven’t been doing. More movement, intervals etc are next level ideas to help.

However you decide to set up goals keep striving to learn, adjust and grow.

There are no failures. Merely opportunities.

Weekly Update Nov 18 2018

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
-Norman Cousins

Holiday recipes for us https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/5-low-calorie-thanksgiving-recipes.htm

Video Tutorial:
Agile 8

IT band foam roll x 10-15
Adductor foam roll x 10-15
Glute/piriformis myofacsial release 30 secs
Rollovers into V sits
Fire hydrant circles 10 forward and backward
Mountain climbers x 10
Groiners x 10 holding last rep for 10 sec
Hip flexor stretch x 3 sets of 10 sec

Other additional warm up ideas and movements: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIEak50Mexvwz8lEKVLDztnFDtBLx_oss

Learning Opportunities:

Embrace your fears!

Sometimes it is the very thing that we are afraid of or just attempting that we should in fact meet head on!

Moving Forward:

“I don’t know who you are. Please believe. There is no way I can convince you that this is not one of their tricks. But I don’t care. I am me, and I don’t know who you are, but I love you.

I have a pencil. A little one they did not find. I am a women. I hid it inside me. Perhaps I won’t be able to write again, so this is a long letter about my life. It is the only autobiography I have ever written and oh God I’m writing it on toilet paper.

I was born in Nottingham in 1957, and it rained a lot. I passed my eleven plus and went to girl’s Grammar. I wanted to be an actress.

I met my first girlfriend at school. Her name was Sara. She was fourteen and I was fifteen but we were both in Miss. Watson’s class. Her wrists. Her wrists were beautiful. I sat in biology class, staring at the picket rabbit foetus in its jar, listening while Mr. Hird said it was an adolescent phase that people outgrew. Sara did. I didn’t.

In 1976 I stopped pretending and took a girl called Christine home to meet my parents. A week later I enrolled at drama college. My mother said I broke her heart.

But it was my integrity that was important. Is that so selfish? It sells for so little, but it’s all we have left in this place. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch we are free.

London. I was happy in London. In 1981 I played Dandini in Cinderella. My first rep work. The world was strange and rustling and busy, with invisible crowds behind the hot lights and all that breathless glamour. It was exciting and it was lonely. At nights I’d go to the Crew-Ins or one of the other clubs. But I was stand-offish and didn’t mix easily. I saw a lot of the scene, but I never felt comfortable there. So many of them just wanted to be gay. It was their life, their ambition. And I wanted more than that.

Work improved. I got small film roles, then bigger ones. In 1986 I starred in “The Salt Flats.” It pulled in the awards but not the crowds. I met Ruth while working on that. We loved each other. We lived together and on Valentine’s Day she sent me roses and oh God, we had so much. Those were the best three years of my life.

In 1988 there was the war, and after that there were no more roses. Not for anybody.

In 1992 they started rounding up the gays. They took Ruth while she was out looking for food. Why are they so frightened of us? They burned her with cigarette ends and made her give them my name. She signed a statement saying I’d seduced her. I didn’t blame her. God, I loved her. I didn’t blame her.

But she did. She killed herself in her cell. She couldn’t live with betraying me, with giving up that last inch. Oh Ruth. . . .

They came for me. They told me that all of my films would be burned. They shaved off my hair and held my head down a toilet bowl and told jokes about lesbians. They brought me here and gave me drugs. I can’t feel my tongue anymore. I can’t speak.

The other gay women here, Rita, died two weeks ago. I imagine I’ll die quite soon. It’s strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years I had roses and I apologized to nobody.

I shall die here. Every last inch of me shall perish. Except one.

An inch. It’s small and it’s fragile and it’s the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

I don’t know who you are. Or whether you’re a man or a woman. I may never see you or cry with you or get drunk with you. But I love you. I hope that you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better, and that one day people have roses again. I wish I could kiss you.



There is so much hatred in the world but there is also so much love. Choose your focus.


Life...Take 2

what the heck does this word really mean?  Wellness seems to be a popular buzz word that is thrown around a lot these days, especially in conjunction with the word health.  I know I am guilty of using it a lot in my own blog, Instagram and even Facebook posts but when I stopped to think about it I was a little unsure if I was even using it correctly. 🙄 I caught myself dropping the word yesterday when I was talking to a friend of mine who I have been coaching for the last couple months and I realized it really can mean different things to different people. What wellness means to me may be totally different than what it means to my friend and to all of you out there as well!

I wanted to dive a little deeper into what this word really encompasses so of course the…

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Dr. Ken Tips

In 1974 IronMan Magazine published an article by a young Ken Leistner detailing the strength training programs that his football trainees were using. The article emphasized high repetition squats and hard work on a relatively brief program. This type of training appealed to me. I always felt a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment upon completing a high rep set of squats or deadlifts. After a hard high rep set of hip and thigh work my workouts had to be brief and relatively infrequent. Training in this manner (especially when one trains alone) the trainee has to be extremely motivated. Through the years Dr. Ken’s articles and unique ideas helped to inspire me to maintain this difficult regimen of training.

Dr. Ken is surely the most prolific writer in modern Iron Game history. I would venture to guess that he has written over 1000 articles for strength publications such as Powerlifting USA, The Steel Tip (his own newsletter from the mid-eighties), Muscular Development, Hard Gainer, HIT (Hard Training), Milo, Dino Files and others. His hard hitting, tell it like it is writing style is refreshing.

In this article I’m going to write about a few of my favorite training tips that Dr. Ken has written about over the years. I might have modified some of the techniques but the original suggestions came from Dr. Ken’s articles.

50% SETS
This method involves selecting a weight for a particular exercise that will allow the performance of 10-12 reps to absolute failure with good form. Rest exactly 1 minute and do a second set to absolute failure with the same weight. The majority of trainees will fail on the second set with approximately one half of the number of reps completed during set one. Strive to exceed 50% during set 2 while maintaining perfect form.

10-10-10 SETS
This is a technique that I might have changed. I can’t find the original article but this is the way I do it now. Select a weight that will allow you to complete 20 reps in perfect form. Perform 10 reps and rest exactly 1 minute. Complete your second round of 10 reps and again rest exactly 1 minute. During the third bout aim for 10 reps in good form. Of course if you have anything left push on to failure. For most people set 3 will be a difficult challenge to reach 10 reps. What you are doing in effect is taking a weight that will allow 20 good reps. Instead of pushing for 20 consecutive reps you are aiming for 30 reps with 2 rest intervals. This technique provides variety and a nice psychological change of pace from pushing each set to the absolute limit.

Your editor has written about and utilized this method extensively. I really like this method for the Hammer leg press (one leg at a time). Simply select a weight that will allow the performance of approximately 25 good reps. After completing as many reps as possible hold the weight out at leg’s length. Rest 15 seconds while breathing deeply and then continue on in subsets until 50 reps are completed. This is extremely tough and I would only use it as a change of pace challenge on an infrequent basis. A typical set might consist of 25 reps followed by 8, 6, 5, 3, and 3 for a total of 50 reps.

These are an old favorite of mine. Again a little goes a long way. These can be very intense so just use these on a very infrequent occasion. They are also very effective. I’ll have a trainee do a hard one leg set on the Hammer leg press (approximately 20 reps on each leg). I’ll give them a short break and then load another 25-30% more weight on the movement arm. I’ll help them lift the weight to leg’s length then have them lower the weight very slowly (8-10 seconds per rep) initially. The set is terminated when the trainee cannot maintain a 3-4 second negative. The trainee must constantly breath in pants during each rep and strive to touch the movement arm to the rubber stop at the bottom as lightly as possible. It is surprisingly easy for the spotter to help the trainee lift the weight back to leg’s length for another rep. I caution the trainee not to squeeze the handles and remind them to breath rhythmically throughout the set. The trainee should strive for 6-8 good reps.

This requires setting up 3 stations so the trainee can move from one to another immediately. Work one arm at a time starting with the left. Start with the seated Hammer gripper (any other gripper will work). Utilize a weight that will allow approximately 15 good reps. After completing the gripper move as fast a possible to kneeling reverse shot wrist curls. Kneel at the side of a bench with the forearm resting palms down across the bench.

The hand and shot hang off the edge of the bench. Start with a 6 or 8 lb. shot for these and go to absolute failure. And then move to anvil pounds to complete the series. Grasp a standard rubber mallet in the left hand and strike the anvil as many times as possible in 1 minute (strive for over 100 strikes). The rubber mallet will tend to rebound. Maintaining a tight grip on the mallet requires intense concentration and it will work the hands and forearms in a unique manner. Make sure the mallet does not twist excessively or it could fly out of your grasp. Repeat the above sequence for the right arm.

The above techniques are just some of my personal favorites. It would require a book to cover all the creative and innovative training methods that Dr. Ken has written about over the last 25 years.

Source: http://www.naturalstrength.com/2009/05/unique-training-tips-from-dr-ken-by.html?m=1

Weekly Review

Screenshot_2018-10-27 Fail Again Fail Better - Samuel Beckett quote Poster.pngScreenshot_2018-10-27 Fail Again Fail Better - Samuel Beckett quote Poster
No protein powder needed protein shakes!
Nut Protein Shake
    1 cup soymilk
    2 tablespoons almond or peanut butter
    1 tablespoon chia seeds
Green Protein Shake
    1/2 cup red grapefruit juice
    1 cup kale
    1 large apple
    1 cup chopped cucumber
    1/2 cup chopped celery (1 medium stalk)
    4 tablespoons hemp hearts
    1/4 cup frozen mango
    1/8 cup fresh mint leaves
    1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
    3-4 ice cubes
Bean Protein Shake
    1 cup almond milk
    1/2 cup black beans
    2 tablespoons hemp seeds
    1 banana
    1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Tofu Protein Shake
    1/2 cup silken tofu
    1 cup vanilla soy milk
    1 frozen banana
    1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
Video Tutorial:
Good News:
STOCKS!  I now have shares with eBay as an employee.  Very cool personally!  Also I have gotten put on a day shift which shows what a blessing in disguise all of this has been.  Not only did we get disability while I was out of work but I am in retraining for my position AND met another employee that wanted the shift I was assigned to.  They approved a complete switch!!!  How cool is that?  I had alot of anxiety not being home.  Some surrounding my own issues with my mental health and having borderline for sure.  This has been such a weight lifted off of my shoulders.  Sometimes life seem to be pitted against us especially in my mind.  And then it works out and you feel a little silly that you floundered opportunities to enjoy moments because you were in self inflected distress.  We can all learn from these moments.  “This is the mark of perfection of character — to spend each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, laziness, or any pretending.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.69
Red H Nutrition has some NOOTROPICS that I have talked about before!  https://redhshop.com/ Order on Friday and get a free shaker too!  Use my code RPTSLLC and save there as well.
Savage AF Fitness has come cool shirts to check out! https://www.savageaffitness.com/collections/all
He is on Instagram too https://www.instagram.com/Savage_af_fitness/ Say hi!
Learning Opportunities:
Have you ever been so afraid of failing that you decided not to try at all? Has Fear of Failure subconsciously undermined your efforts?

Many of us, including yours truly, have experienced this at one time or another. The fear of failing can be immobilizing – it can cause us to do nothing, and therefore prevent us from moving forward. When we allow fear to stop our forward progress in life, we’re likely to miss some great opportunities along the way.

Below are three methods/philosophies that I commonly implement to manage the fear of failure:

  1. Stoicism

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic Philosophy founded in Athens. It concerns the relationship between fate and freedom. Stoics believe that remaining calm during suffering can help overcome destructive emotions and build self-control though reason and truth. The following are the ideals of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, one of the most famous stoics:

  1. Immediately recognize what is out of your control.
  2. Fear, anger, and all other emotions are personal choices, regardless of outer circumstances.
  3. Live a life centered on principles, not wealth, awards, or power.
  4. People who misbehave do not deserve an emotional reaction from you.
  5. Meditate daily to revive your commitment to a principle-centered life.
Marcus Aurelius
  1. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. Here are the four components of EI as it applies to overcoming the Fear of Failure:

  1. Self-awareness – Realize when you are emotionally stressed.
  2. Self-management – Recognize when to take a step back, control your emotions, and adapt to different circumstances.
  3. Social Awareness – Understand and respond empathetically to the emotions of others. Despite what you may be feeling, each individual is also dealing with emotional stress.
  4. Relationship Management – Most times, people can walk though a room without anyone noticing anxiety issues. But it is important to connect with people you trust and discuss conflicts and stresses. Close relationships are vital to success.
  1. Humor

By far, the most potent weapon on this list is humor. Humor works for me in two ways:

  1. Laughing is one the best stress-relievers around. When you make others laugh, it can change the whole dynamic of the room. I find that when the group is laughing, even during an important or stressful meeting, the entire mood becomes more positive.
  2. Wit and sarcasm often helps me put my anxiety inside. This method works wonders in preventing me from retreating inward. Humor can keep everyone, including me, engaged in the conversation.

*One Last Note*

While the above methods have worked for me, they may not work for you. Everyone is different and deals with stress and anxiety in different ways. If you are having trouble with work or personal issues, I strongly advise you to see a professional. Many companies have Employee Assistance Programs that provide free help.

Moving Forward:
Chris has a meet coming up in a couple of weeks.  This firefighter will be smoking a 425+ raw bench!!!  His training has been great!
Keep sending me your videos.  iMessage people can send that route otherwise use Signal please.  I will likely share on my Facebook business page as well.  The page is listed as closed and while I am not taking on new clients and thinning things down, I do love the Iron and will keep evolving and growing as a 45+ year old looking to be the strongest with 20 inch arms and cool abs/calves.  🙂  I have personally found alot of enjoyment just in nature.  A walk outside with some sunshine is pure medicine.  I turn on my music and just appreciate the privilege of walking.
I also have a cpap machine and will start using that.  I will report my own findings.  I can’t wait to see how this helps my hormones and overall wellness.

Various Benching Tips

In this video I share:

1. How to wrap the wrists in a pressing movement

2. Using chalk minimally for maximal results

3. Setting up on a parallel pressing movement including backside bracing

4. Demonstrating how to do a Larsen press with a bench block

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”   Marcus Aurelius

Champion’s Chili


A LG.onion,
2 lg. Cans tomatoes,
1lb. burger, fried,
2 cans chili beans,
2 cans kidney beans,
1 can garbanzo beans.
2 cups tomatoes juice,
1 cup water, 1/4 c. brown sugar . Cook until bubbly. Lower heat, cover and simmer. Stir and don’t scorch the bottom…. Yuk!

Video Tutorial:

Earthquake Pushups

Good News:

Bethany took best lifter in her competition yesterday.  She pulled 286 weighing 117!

Steve didn’t have the day he hoped for.  He still lifted really well but no personal bests.  He discovered some issues like using a power bar to deadlift in warm ups while pulling with a deadlift bar on the platform.  I can’t stress enough how ignorant that is to do to a lifter if only from a safety perspective.  However, he made the best of it and still pulled 560 with ease.

Check out the link for clothing https://shop.spreadshirt.com/raw-power-training-systems

Red H Nutrition has some NOOTROPICS that I have talked about before!  https://redhshop.com/ Order on Friday and get a free shaker too!  Use my code RPTSLLC and save there as well.

Savage AF Fitness has come cool shirts to check out! https://www.savageaffitness.com/collections/all
He is on Instagram too https://www.instagram.com/Savage_af_fitness/ Say hi!

Learning Opportunities:


Fasting Tips

The Presence Process
A Journey into Present Moment Awareness

You can dissect and analyze your issues for decades, but nothing will actually resolve them and change your life like The Presence Process.

Author Michael Brown shows us how it’s possible to experience awareness of the present moment without having to take the long, challenging path most of us usually take as we attempt to live in the “now”.

We all long to be free of our discomfort and experience inner peace. However, the attempt to get rid of our discomfort is misguided. We’re not broken and don’t need to be “healed”. Our difficulty is that our deeply suppressed emotional imprints from childhood distract us from an awareness of the present moment. Until this emotional charge from our past is integrated, our attempts to quiet our thoughts and access the peace, joy, and love that are bedrock to our being are of only limited success. Since presence is universal, it has the ability to manifest in our daily experience the very circumstances required for us to integrate the dysfunction that keeps us from experiencing the radiance of present moment awareness. We are each responsible for determining the quality of our personal experience, and The Presence Process guides us in taking responsibility for our emotional integration. It’s a way to consciously “grow up”.

5 Things Every Person with a Mental Illness Needs to Hear


If you are open about your diagnosis of mental illness, most likely you are faced with more negative feedback than positive. We are labeled as damaged goods. When I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder, there were no words of encouragement or pamphlet that taught me how to handle stigma or love myself. I was set up for failure, and I know many of you feel the same way. The following blog post is what every person with a mental illness needs to hear. It’s the truth that we are kept from acknowledging.

You are not stigma.

Self-stigma is when you are aware of the stereotypes that exist and apply it to one’s self. The negative misconceptions about people with mental illness are so heavily present in our society that it can influence our self-perception. We cannot control how the public views those of us living with a mental illness…

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