Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Dips: 4x8

Squat: 1x12 45 lbs.
1x12 65 lbs.
1x12 75 lbs.
1x12 85 lbs.

Dumbbell Bench Press: 4x8 37.5 lbs.

Planks: 3x 1 minute

Pull Up: 3x4 Bodyweight + 25lbs.

Monday, December 28, 2009



Warm Up: Jump Rope 5 min.

This thing:

Each back-n-forth was a rep, 4 sets of 4 reps.

Burpee's 2 sets of 5

Jump Rope: 10 min.


"You Already Knew That..."

Here's another post from one of my favorite fitness bloggers, Jason Ferruggia, who writes for Men's Fitness and owns a hardcore gym in New Jersey. Nothing I could write would do any better than this article.

Here's his site.

It just wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t get at least a dozen random fitness related questions per week from strangers, family members or long lost pals at holiday parties. Kinda like the exchange I had with my old friend Kevin last week…

“Hey Jay, good to see you, buddy. Glad you’re here, I have a couple questions for you.”

“I probably don’t have the answers, but fire away.”

“My shoulder’s been killing recently right here, when I bench press. Here, feel this clicking thing it’s doing,” he says as he places my hand on his shoulder.

Another holiday party; another guy placing my hands on his body. For once I’d like to meet a lingerie model with a supraspinatus tear. Or a pulled pec.

“Feel that? What do you think I should do?”

“How bad does it hurt?”

“Pretty bad.”

“I’m gonna go with stop bench pressing, then.”

“Oh man… I was hoping for another answer. I love benching.”

“But obviously it’s screwing up your shoulder. You can probably go back to it eventually but for now you have to eliminate whatever is causing you pain. That would be the first logical step. See how it feels when you drop the bench and we’ll take it from there.”

“Yeah, you’re right.”

Kevin already knew the answer but he needed to hear it from me.

At another recent holiday soiree I was approached by a young guy named Rick who I hadn’t seen in a year. At the 2008 version of this bash he asked me how he could get bigger. He said he’d been training for the last six months but with little to no progress. I inquired about his current training program and he said he had been following some of my stuff online and in the magazines.

“Well, that’s a start. What exactly are you doing?”

“I do bench, curls and pushdowns three days per week. For legs I run on the treadmill when I’m done.”

I sat with a puzzled look on my face, trying to recall when exactly I had written such an inefficient training program. Finally, I concluded that I hadn’t and it was he who was mistaken… at least I hoped.

I told him to drop the pushdowns and add in chins, dips, military presses and cleans or rows for upper body work. I allowed him to keep the curls because I’m nice like that. He was done with the treadmill and was going to learn how to squat and deadlift, I insisted.

“Train three days per week with an upper body pull, an upper body push and squat or deadlift variation. Finish up each workout with a few sets of curls or shrugs and you’re done. Eat an ample amount of healthy food three to five times per day and report back to me in a year.”

Had he done what I said he would have gained an absolute bare minimum of twenty pounds. Yet, here he was standing before me, the exact same size as last year.

“So what’s been going on with the training?” I asked.

“Uh… it’s good.”

“Have you been doing squats and deads?” I obviously knew the answer.

“Well, I tried them, like you said. But they were just so hard, ya know? I like to look forward to going to the gym and getting a good pump. I wasn’t really getting a great pump from them. And I felt them in my back a lot. So, ya know, I didn’t want to get hurt.”

“Yup… I know.”

“I mean, I trust you and all, and I’m sure I would have gotten much better results if I did what you said, but… ya know.”

“I do… I do.”

Later that night a guy named Chris approached me and asked me how he could get ripped for a trip he had planned to Hawaii in March. His training was pretty good. He was actually running sprints instead of jogging. The only problem, I concluded, was his diet. When probed, he admitted that there were tons of starchy carbs being stuffed down his pie hole on a daily basis. I very simply told him to cut those out and he’d lose the fat.

“So you really think it’s the diet, huh?”

“Yes, it is. You can’t out train a bad diet. And you’re proving it to yourself right now. Change the diet and your body will transform.”

“Yeah, you’re right; I know that.”

You see, most people know more than they think. They have at least half of the answers. They just need me to confirm it for them.
Don’t believe me?

Try this 10 question pop quiz and prove it to yourself…

What’s the best thing to drink all day?
A) Water
B) Soda
C) Coffee
D) Irish car bombs

Which foods help you get leaner?
A) Green vegetables
B) White rice
C) Bread
D) Chocolate mousse

What’s the best exercise for your triceps?
A) Dips
B) Pushdowns
C) Extensions
D) Kickbacks with soup cans

Which exercise helps you get leaner, faster?
A) Sprinting
B) Jogging
C) Walking
D) Knitting

Which exercise helps you build muscle faster?
A) Deadlifts
B) Concentration curls
C) Leg extensions
D) Ankle inversion/eversion with stretch bands

What’s the optimal amount of sleep you should get each night?
A) 8-9 hours
B) 5-6 hours
C) 3-4 hours
D) Who needs sleep

Which exercise will help you get faster most efficiently?
A) Sprints
B) Speed ladder drills
C) Over speed training
D) Watching Carl Lewis sing the national anthem on YouTube

Which exercise will have the greatest transference to the playing field?
A) Power cleans
B) Smith machine presses
C) Donkey calf raises
D) Double biceps curl thingy while standing in the middle of the power rack and holding a cable in each hand and holding each rep for a three second peak contraction

Which food helps you build muscle fastest?
A) Eggs
B) Oreo’s
C) Twizzlers
D) Butter

What would help you make faster progress in the weight room?
A) Adding more weight to the bar
B) Going from training four days per week to seven
C) Doing tri sets and giant sets
D) Doing drop sets and running the rack all the way down to the 5’s on every exercise you do

If you answered A on the majority of questions you are on your way. You know what you need to do and what it takes to get great results.




Chin ups


Lean protein



Lots of the above will lead to tons of muscle and strength being built and fat being lost.

But you don’t need me to tell you.

Because you already knew that.

Now you just have to do it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Christmas Eve!

So, it's Christmas Eve. Some of you might be kicking around New Year's resolution ideas. You're probably thinking about getting serious about losing that weight. And I fully support you!

But not until next year.

During Christmas especially, enjoy your life. This really is the perfect holiday to give way to gluttony, because you can use all of those fat sacks of cash money on some workout equipment, and get into serious shape come January.

These are some things I asked for for Christmas, or plan on blowing my gift money on.

Vibram Five Finger Shoes. These are shoes that work your feet as nature intended. Made to mimic barefoot walking and running, you'll never suffer from foot pain again. (at least until you get through the acclamation period.)

Gymnastic Rings. Carry them where ever you go, and do dips as low as you want. Most trainers say that you shouldn't go below parallel on fixed dips, but with rings, go as low as possible and reap maximum benefits!

An at home pull-up bar! I'm trying as hard as I can to move my strength training towards total body workouts, featuring lots of body weight exercises; and with these items, and my jump rope, I'll be able to take a complete gym on the go for future gigs!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Yesterday's Routine was not counted for set/reps as it was more of a goof off between a trainer friend of mine and myself. Still, the lifts were useful as he helped correct form and the like.

Squats superset with Chinups

Swiss Ball Chest Press 3x12, 35 lbs.

Alternating Kettlebell Swings/ Jump Rope Five minutes

Last night was AVATAR night, so it was my cheat for the week. Popcorn, Junior Mints and Puppy Chow were had.

There's never enough Puppy Chow...


It's 5 in the morning, and after having to help a random stranger outside my apartment get his snow-stuck car out of the street, I find myself unable to sleep and rolling Avatar over in my head.

The more I think about it, the more disappointed I was.

This is not PHANTOM MENACE disappointment, no, but unsatisfied I still find myself.

After the movie, I left the theatre sullen and quiet. A friend asked me what the problem was, and after telling her how I just wasn't too happy with the movie, she said that perhaps I expected too much from the film. But did I? Let's look at the general stats for AVATAR. It's directed by James Cameron. James, while not the greatest screenwriter, has given us some of the best genre movies in the history of mouth breathing geeks. TERMINATOR, THE ABYSS, TERMINATOR 2, ALIENS, TRUE LIES. All of these movies feature an incredibly satisfying blend of storytelling, character, humor, terror. The Terminator movies were instantly iconic; single handedly launching Arnold's career, telling an incredible and at the time groundbreaking time travel story, and giving us some stellar work from Stan Winston.

ALIENS was broader and, on repeated viewings, possibly a bit campy. But the storytelling is incredibly focused and breathlessly paced. From the moment the xenomorphs attack the Marines, it's a non stop ride to the "Nuke it from Orbit, only way to be sure" finale. It features a large cast of characters, all who are given a chance to stand out, to have something to do, and for us to actually care about when they die.

THE ABYSS I'm not as familiar with, as I've only seen it once, and I was in my mid-teens, but it's generally considered Cameron's masterpiece. The characters' humanity is called into question by an outward alien force, as they, too, discover what makes life worth living, all while trapped at the bottom of a 2 mile deep underwater trench. It's claustrophobic, beautiful.

TITANIC, bloated as it was, still had a thrilling second half. Once the ship starts to sink, Cameron finds individual scenes that, brief as they are, imply character and evoke sympathy.

Which brings me to AVATAR. We've waited, what, 245 years for him to make this? He's been hyping it since I was a zygote. It cost him the GNP of Costa Rica to make it. The production design is impeccable. He actually made the "Uncanny Valley" more of an "Uncanny Smallish Field." The 3D is absolutely stunning. And I couldn't care at all.

Most every review I've read has people apologizing for the story. The story is fine. The story could actually be the framework for something, as my friend Gary Busey would say, "very very very very very very interesting." But alas, his characters are given absolutely nothing to do. There are no stakes made throughout the movie.

After the 20 min. mark of the film, once the character of Jake Sully is given his Avatar, absolutely nothing happens for a full hour. We are given a montage of Jake riding a horse, riding a LEAF, and WATCHING PEOPLE RIDE OTHER THINGS. All the while he narrates whatever is most painfully obvious on screen.

All of the world building that Cameron slaved over is completely lost to minutia. Why show us an hour of plants and crap? Why not show family dynamics? Why not show us what the Na'vi eat? Why not actually show us the love scene and how that works? As silly as it could possibly be, if taken seriously, it would've been pretty moving. Or how about, afterwards, when their 'bonding' is revealed to the camp, actually make it a major point of conflict? I'm pretty sure her going behind the back of her father and ruining an arranged 'marriage' would warrant more than 10 seconds of Na'vi hissing at each other. But instead, we're given an hour devoted to watching Jake bumble around and touch stuff.

We could've been, oh, I don't know, fleshing out Michelle Rodriguez's character. Did she even have a name? We could've been getting to know Natashararabama's parents. Instead, they're regulated to American Indian stereotypes. How about the Mother Tree, huh? Might've liked to spend ANY TIME AT ALL with it, or have seen the inside of it, since it was the most sacred home of the NA'VI people. Spoiler: When it's destroyed, we don't care because the movie has not vested our interest in it. Instead, we're told to care because the music gets sad and people cry. Or how about the time when (Spoiler) Jake abandons his life-partner pterydactl for the big scary one? The one time we see Jake do something on his own in a heroic fashion? Instead we get a cut away. Sometimes, a cut away is great. It builds tension. It can be a great choice. But there's no tension here. It's a foregone conclusion that Jake, being the hero, will get the frakking bird. Why not give us a cool scene? Instead, we get 20 minutes of unfocused clutter that stands in for a climax.

There is an often hilarious, extended video review of STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE online. Not only does it meticulously detail the train wreck that was Episode I, it also serves as a pretty good introduction to film criticism. I suggest you watch it here. Many of the problems of Phantom Menace can be transferred to AVATAR. It's in 10 minute chunks, so give it a shot.

I didn't hate the movie. As I said, I was absorbed by the 3D, and was entertained in the novelty of it. But this makes 2 of my favorite directors that have let me down this year. When a film that has the pedigree and history as this one, you are more than allowed to be dissatisfied. Know that, when you're drunk on the film's light up plants, it had the capability to be so much more.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Prowler

No longer is this just the name the police give me any time I'm near a playground, The Prowler is what I want most for Christmas. If you all (the internet) got together and got me this, it'd be like 5$ a person!

Friday, December 18, 2009


(This workout was completed on the 18th)

Weight 162.5 lbs

Warm Up: Jump Rope

Farmer's Carry: 95lbs. plus about 40lbs. of square bar

3x 4 laps

Box Jump: 3x25 @ 2 ft. height

Alligator Crawl: 2x 25+ yard sets

Jump Rope: 10 Min.

I cheated with some red velvet cake and a few chocolate covered pretzels.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


161.1 lbs. (!)

Dips: 3x8

Decline Bench Press: 3x6 115 lbs.

Barbell Overhead Press: 1x12 45 lbs.
2x4 55 lbs.
1x4 45 lbs.

Medicine Ball Flye: 3x8 27.5 lbs.

Jump Rope: 15 min.

Pick Your Goal

So, if you've read from my first post, you know that I have a goal to get to 7-8% body fat by March 1st, while adding around 10-15 lbs. of muscle. This is all well and good, but most people need motivation outside of a number. Imagination and a bit of creativity can go a long way to helping someone achieve a fitness goal. I'm talking about activity specific training.

For instance, if you're training to be a linebacker, you're going to throw much of your focus onto brute strength, your power presses. A lineback
er does not need to waste his time doing long distance cardio, he'll just burn through the muscle he's been building. He WILL, though, be doing short bouts of conditioning exercises to prepare him for intense play after intense play.

A pro golfer would have a more rounded routine, although he is going to focus on flexibility, eye hand coordination, etc.

The average joe, on the other hand, has nothing to train for except to look good. So, to give myself some motivation, I have cast myself in a film.

Ah yes, Assassin's Creed. The above-average stealth assassination game from '07. I was never much a fan of the game until the other night when I sat down with it for more than 10 minutes, and realized its swordplay and pick-pocketing could be fairly addicting. And it got me thinking: If people like Ryan Reynolds can go from this:

To this:

because of a lame vampire movie, then I need something myself.

The main character in the game is an assassin named Altair. He has a buzz cut, which is about where our similarities end, but that won't stop me from tailoring my workout around what he does. Here's a sample. (skip the video ahead by a minute to see what I'm talking about)

A little sprinting, a lot of climbing, quite a bit of agility. He also fights, although it is rarely bare-knuckle. Because of this, my workouts are focused mainly on body weight stuff you, too, can do at home. Body weight exercises engage a greater amount of muscles, which, on the whole, force you to work harder and burn more fat. I've been doing lots of pull up/chin ups, squats, dips, and push ups, with the short term goal of doing a muscle up.

What's a muscle-up, you ask?

Short story, pick a long term/short term goal, and have a little fun with it. Mine is stupid, but it narrows my focus in the gym.

Eat well!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Today's Exercise:

Chin Ups-
W/O Weight Belt- 1x9

W/ 10 lbs.-
3 x 5

W/O W.B.- 1x7

Inverted Row
4 x 8

Hammer Curl
3 x 10, 25 lbs.

Jump Rope: 13 min.
Today I was able to do crossovers while running in place! Getting a little trickier each time.

Alligator Crawls, 2 sets of these and I was done. (This is not me, but I hope to add my own video to this at some point.)

Monday, December 14, 2009


Today's Stats-Training:

164.2 Lbs

20 Min. Conditioning


-Alternating Jump Rope/Bear Crawl

The Bear Crawls were a little awkward, with the just-let-out-of-school Punk Kids pointing and laughing at me. Although they did call me Spiderman, so that was somewhat a plus.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Diets Are a Complete Waste of Time

I'm going to namecheck www.nerdfitness.com. Steve, its author, is one of the inspirations for my own blog, as he chronicles his own fitness journey. Give his site a look around, as he gives some pretty sound advice geared towards those who might prefer the couch to the cardio.

Here's one of his articles about diets.

Diets Are a Complete Waste of Time

Posted using ShareThis


In my copious readings, I've come across the idea that your diet is 80% of the battle for fat loss/body composition, and I couldn't agree more. You might have trouble getting a workout in your day, but you're going to have to eat, so why not eat healthy? I can vouch that since drastically changing my own diet, I have not had a single day of illness. No colds, no allergies, no swine flu, nothin'. My immunities are rock solid.

So here's what I, after doing some research, have put together for a typical day's diet; provided I can afford it.

Breakfast: 3 Eggs, omelette style, with red bell peppers and spinach when I've got it.
4-5 oz. glass of Grapefruit juice.
OR a bowl of Steel Cut Oats with unsweetened apple sauce

Snack: Broccoli, Carrots with Hummus; Whole Wheat Pita

Lunch: Spinach salad with a tin of tuna or chicken breast

Pre-Workout: 1 Scoop Whey Protein, Whole Wheat Pita

Post-Workout: 2 Scoop Whey Protein, 1 Medium to Small banana

Snack: More Spinach with broccoli

Dinner: Chicken breast with steamed vegetables

Bedtime Snack: 1 Scoop Whey Protein or low-fat cottage cheese

This is ideal, and when I was in OKC this summer (and getting paid regularly), this was a very effective diet. It's important to eat green and often, as this will stimulate your metabolism.

If you're like me, you might be able to see that bowl of ice cream you had last night ON your body the very next day. You're just going to have to suck it up and stick with a program. If you don't have any food handy but find yourself starving, drink some water. It will instantly curb your hunger.

Personally, I plan on adding more beans to my diet. They're packed with protein and supply you with tons of micronutrients, not to mention incredibly easy to prepare and add to your salad or meat.

Look at what you eat tomorrow, see if there's not a way to throw some fruits or vegetables into it. Ask yourself if the happiness that that delicious sundae are worth the bloat you'll feel afterwards. After a week or two of significant change, you'll notice those 10 Piece Chicken McNugget Meals aren't quite as delicious.

In Brief

I've had an incredibly hard time sticking to a clean, routine diet this last week. With only some limp spinach and some chicken legs, I've succumbed to temptation and gorged myself on whatever's handy. Expect a post tonight detailing my diet and such, with a blog visual overhaul over the weekend.

Until then, I'm going to nurse this quart of Baskin-Robbins. Judge me.

Life Wasted

This is an inspiring post from Jason Ferruggia, a vegan body builder who's ripped as all get out. I found this guy through Nerd Fitness.

Life Wasted

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Word

My mission for this blog is to chronicle my journey towards 7-8% body fat by March 1st, 2010. I've picked this goal purely for vanity reasons. I'm an actor living in NYC, and what I've learned in my short time here is that if I want to get the roles I'm interested in, I'm going to get chiseled.

A lot of guys have fitness blogs that follow them as they loose hundreds of pounds. This is not one of those; I'm your typical guy. I tried cutting up a bit in college, but those were only short stints of a month or so as I got bored and quit. At the end of my (5th) senior year, I hit my highest weight of 185. At a height of about 6'1" this wasn't so bad, but why settle for a life of faint man boobs and a muffin top?

June 1st, 2009 I picked up my first Muscle & Fitness magazine, followed their diet plans, and hit the gym a few times a week. This was followed by grabbing the 'Couch to 5k' app for my phone, which over 9 weeks will train you to run a 5k in 30 min. (I never went through the whole program, but it did serve as a good kick start.) I did as much online research as I could, went to the gym 6 times a week, and by the time I moved to NYC in August, had gotten down to 163 lbs and was starting to show some real definition.

I lost most of the muscle mass due to not having a decent gym for the first month or so, but was able to keep off the weight. Since then, I've attained a job at a great commercial chain in Manhattan and plan to truly abuse my free membership (in a good way). Surrounded by a fleet of personal trainers, I hope to get to a single digit b.m.i. in time for audition season.

I don't have hundreds of pounds to lose. I know what I'm doing. I know the diet I need. I have the determination. What I lack is willpower. Heck, I'm cheating on my diet as I write this (about 3 bowls full of mac n' cheese).

Hopefully this blog will inspire someone else who's stuck in that grey area of fitness to get off the couch and do some push ups. It won't be easy, but I hope you all join in with me.