Posts Tagged ‘personal trainer’

Holy hell time does fly. I was 17 years old when I first moved to Hawaii, and this year will mark living in paradise for 8 years. I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else (other than Saipan of course), because I sure as hell can’t live in the mainland.


It was definitely great being back home for the holidays with my family. I enjoyed every minute of it. I mean come on, look at that beach. Nothing quite like eating fish tacos and drinking a few coronas while watching the sunset. Don’t be mistaken though, I still got my training in ūüėČ

I know it’s cliche for me to say this, but 2015 was DEFINITELY a game changing year for me, so I’m pretty stoked about what this year is going to bring.

With that being said, I recently wrote an article for Taga Sports, Saipan’s premier sports magazine, and it just got published.

You can read the full magazine HERE.

On top of that, I was invited to do a brief interview with Saipan Tribune.¬† I discussed my upbringing in high school and throughout college, and I get into detail on what I think makes me an exceptional coach. *Hint: it’s not the training or program design (well yes, it’s the training, but seriously, it’s much more than that).

Check it out HERE.

5 Principles Of Fat Loss

It’s that time of the year again where fat loss is on just about everyone’s mind. ¬†It’s become somewhat of a tradition where everybody suddenly decides to get in shape because it’s a new year. While it is admirable, the cold hard¬†truth is that the vast majority fail miserably. You set a goal, you take action, but 2-3 months in,¬†you throw in the towel. ¬†Sound familiar?

Fat loss can be a difficult process, but with a sense of direction, the right attitude and proper instruction, you can be successful. Becoming the best version of yourself is suppose to complement your lifestyle, not take away from it.  Here are 5 principles of fat loss to help you succeed in your efforts for the new year.

1. Strength Training

First and foremost, you have to build muscle. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are trying to get lean¬†is not placing a premium¬†on strength. Curling five pound pink dumbbells in an attempt to tone your arms¬†is not going to cut it. ¬†Copious amounts of cardio will¬†not give your body a reason to build¬†muscle either. It’s still an important aspect to drive fat loss, but long bouts of aerobic based activity on a day-to-day basis causes the release of an excessive amount of cortisol. In addition to prohibiting formation of additional muscle, excessive amounts of cortisol will cause muscle breakdown and storage of fat. If you want to maximize fat loss, prioritize strength training first then sprinkle in the cardio work.

2. Fuel Up

Many people reduce calories in their attempt to lose fat. Here’s the thing: increasing your energy expenditure while reducing calories is the equivalent of a dog chasing its tail ‚ÄĒ¬†you’re going nowhere fast. Sure, you might see some results in the beginning, but you’ll end up hitting a wall. Eating less will turn down your metabolism, further suppressing your body’s ability to breakdown fat. Concurrently, if you are predominantly eating processed foods and/or drinks,¬† your body will be too busy detoxifying all that crap rather than metabolizing it and using it for energy. Training without proper fuel is not an ideal approach, especially in the long run. Fuel up!

3. Mitigate Stress

Managing¬†stress is an¬†often overlooked¬† aspect when it comes to getting in shape.¬† Chronic stress can cause a multitude of problems if left unchecked and it will wreak havoc in your life, not just from a fat loss perspective, but for overall health. ¬†When your body is out of whack, whether it’s due to lack of sleep or other¬†outside stressors, the last thing it wants to do is release energy. ¬†Your body will respond by retaining¬†water and accumulating more fat, and you will start to crave sugar. Examine your situation and start to eliminate or at the very least, mitigate what is stressful in your life.

4.  Do it for YOU

Hold yourself accountable. ¬†You can’t depend on anybody but yourself. When being healthy becomes too stressful to you, you’re not going to last very long ‚ÄĒ you have to want it. ¬†That’s all it boils down to. ¬†Intrinsic motivation is absolutely necessary. It’s the commitment and discipline to keep going.¬†Habits are indeed hard to break and changing what you eat and drink on a daily basis is not easy,¬†which is why¬†cultivating the¬†right mindset is paramount to your success.

You and only you are responsible for the well-being of your life. Set a goal to have a sense of direction. Don’t become a victim of your circumstances. It’s not a matter of wanting it, it’s a matter of how hard you are willing to work for it.

5. Remain Consistent

To a lot of people’s misfortune, they don’t realize the amount of work it takes to improve one’s¬†body composition. ¬†The kind of changes we want typically involve short-term sacrifices for a long-term payoff. ¬†We want immediate satisfaction, but nothing ever comes that easy.

Getting¬†from point A to point B requires patience, so don’t be in a rush to drop the excess weight. If your progress is slow, so what? Don’t be derailed by that. ¬†Most people who try to rush through their fat loss program inevitably gain everything back and more. There are no shortcuts to success.¬†Consistency is key.

With that in mind, don’t wait for the calendar to switch over to another year again to start getting back into shape. You don’t need to employ fancy workouts or fad diets. Don’t bother looking for the most cutting edge workout or that magical nutrition program because there is none. Adapt these principles and stay the course.¬†Fuel your body and move everyday.

If you found this article to be informative, share and/or comment below.


If I was given only a handful of exercises to choose from, it would be:

  1. Deadlift
  2. Squat
  3. Chin Ups
  4. Prowler Sprints
  5. Farmer Carries
  6. Turkish Get Ups

Sorry! Fads and gimmicks have no place in my training philosophy. I have a simplistic approach in that regard, and I do not believe in shortcuts. If someone tries to sell you on a “magic” program, they’re snake oil salesmen, not coaches.

Turkish What?


Turkish Get Ups (TGU) is a dynamic movement I picked up from Dr. Mark Cheng when I was out in Los Angeles last November and I have been incorporating it into my programming since.  Interestingly enough, it has also become one of my all-time favorite exercises because of the complexity it presents.

I love a challenge!

The TGU is really difficult to classify because of the series of movement one must go through just to complete one repetition, so for simplicity’s sake I’ll be concise on why they’re awesome and how you can incorporate them into your training.

Kettlebell Turkish Get Up

Why They’re Awesome


My ego took a beating when I first started doing this exercise.  It was a reality check, if you will, because the amount of load I was only able to lift was laughable to say the least.

What I’ve found as I started to refine my technique is that it improved my shoulder stability. ¬†Now if you didn’t know, the shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body, therefore; it’s the most prone to injuries. It only made sense because I had to hold a relatively heavy object steady while moving through multiple¬†planes of motion ‚ÄĒ doing so requires a tremendous amount of shoulder stability.

Another benefit of the TGU is increased core stability and hip mobility, which translates into improved strength gains in your heavy lifts.¬†“Who doesn’t want that?” That’s what makes the TGU a¬†bang for your buck exercise.¬†And since you are moving through multiple planes of motion while holding a relatively heavy object in one arm, you need to have an appreciable amount of strength and control, otherwise, you’d fall over. Not a good sight!

One thing I’ve learned now that they are a staple in my programming is,¬†the¬†slower the better.¬†I made the mistake of treating it like a squat or a deadlift, where the only objective for them was to move the weight as quickly as possible. ¬†You have to be cognizant that this is a different scenario and this is not an exercise you want to rush through. The slower and more controlled you are in executing the movement, the better.

How To Program the Turkish Get Up


There are various ways of incorporating this boss movement into your program. ¬†You can apply them as “fillers” in between heavy sets of squats or deadlifts. You can also use them in a tri-set routine, which I often do for my clients. They love it, by the way ūüėČ

1A) KB Turkish Get Ups

1B) KB Goblet Squats

1C) KB Swings

Personally, I like to implement them into my dynamic warm up and I’ve found them to be tremendously beneficial when I want to lift some heavy a** weights. I’ve always said that improved stability = better control = strong.


To put things all into perspective, I think everybody should learn this movement and incorporate it into their training.¬† It’s a dynamic movement that will not only make you learn more about your body¬†(restrictions, limitations, and capabilities ), but you’ll also become a boss in the process.

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Become An Insider

My biggest pet peeve is somebody asking me for “fitness advice”, but ignoring it and then doing the complete opposite.¬†Seriously?!?!?!


The most pertinent issue with regards to fat loss is adherence.¬†Adherence is the most difficult thing for most people ‚ÄĒincluding myself.¬†We all have different goals (get stronger, lose body fat, build muscle),¬†but no matter what your goal is, adherence is that X Factor.¬†It’s going to keep you afloat.

For simplicity’s sake, I’ll skip on the whole¬†what to do to maximize fat loss¬†because let’s be honest, majority of us already have a general knowledge of what to do and the foods we¬†should minimize, if not avoid. That’s not the problem. The problem is adherence coupled with a “I don’t give a F**K mentality.”


When it comes to fat loss we’ve all made mistakes before¬†and evidently we still continue to make those same mistakes. I’d like to call these mistakes, the dark side. It’s like what Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Crash Dieting

As the saying goes, the best diet is the one you can stick to. ¬†In hindsight, I should have ditched the whole notion of¬†“strict dieting” because it’s not sustainable. ¬†I’ve tried it and I felt miserable. I made my clients try it and they felt miserable. ¬†Sure, there are outliers who can stick to intense diets, but improving your quality of life is suppose to be enjoyable.


Research has shown¬†‚ÄĒ and I’ve seen this myself¬†‚ÄĒ¬†that the vast majority of people who lose weight, almost inevitably gain it¬†back and more. This is typically a result of strict dieting or as I’d like to put it, the all-or-nothing approach. ¬†Unfortunately, this is the way most people diet ‚ÄĒ¬†they go on a low calorie, carb restricted diet, coupled with exercise. Consistency is key and with extreme methods, they never pan out in the long run. Moreover, it will wreak havoc on your metabolism making it more difficult for you to lose fat.

We’re all in this for the long run, so adding in a little more flexibility as opposed to strict (crash) dieting, goes a long way. ¬†The quality of the food you eat should never be overlooked, but they pale in comparison to being consistent with a diet. ¬†Put it this way, if you do not see yourself maintaining¬†your current diet, then it won’t work for you. ¬†Sustainability is the key for long-term success.

Neglecting Your Health


At the end of the day, we’re only human, and what I mean by that is that we all want results…FAST! Our natural inclination is to want everything right this minute. Well let me tell you, nothing deteriorates your health quicker¬†than training¬†to lose fat in a short amount of time. ¬†It doesn’t matter how slow your progress will be, just as long you keep going. Consistency is key.¬†Keep this in mind:¬†the faster the fruit ripens, the quicker it rots.

Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare? Slowly does it every time.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if your health is out of whack then the last thing your body wants to do is lose fat. While it is necessary to set a deadline to create urgency, ¬†it is also a detriment to your health to rush through it. Losing weight or dropping body fat isn’t the problem ‚ÄĒ it’s keeping it off. Looking at the hierarchy of importance, your health is at the top of the list, so don’t be in such a rush to lose X amount of weight or X amount of body fat because through my experience of training different people, the slower you lose it, the more likely you’re going to keep it off.


May the force be with you.