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Showing posts from May, 2012

My top 5 Plant Strong meals for a leaner, stronger U!

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Since becoming 100% plant based in 2003 the road to refining what i eat has been one full of constant discovery and challenge. Discovery in what works and what doesnt, Challenge in finding plants that make me feel stronger, leaner and healthier on a daily basis. You see back in 2003 the only book i knew of really was "The China Study", that was the one that kicked it off for me, changed my life! Besides the great amount of overwhelming studies the CS was not a how too book...so that left me to seek and discover on my own...with a little help from my friends:) Since that time i've come across times when i felt like i'm getting it, then sometimes when i felt like a white belt:) TODAY is different, much more dialed into what makes myself and others feel strong, get leaner and more athletic....THIS is the goal for mmmmm almost everyone:) So this is the topic for today...if i'm to funnel my best, strongest, lean making, muscle building, energizing giving meals i'…

5 Keys & Combo's to a Balanced Core Workout and FUN question of the day:)

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Within each workout you begin with a GOAL for that workout....or at least you might want to:) This goal might be a sweat, building strength, feeling more aligned or balanced or simply feeling more at peace. Some of the above goals might be for a strength workout, others might be a yoga class. What i'm talking about here is creating a balanced approach to a core part of your workout so that you leave the workout feeling balanced and aligned. THIS is important for long term success in training i feel as the more aligned you are the better you feel, move and the less likely you are for injury.
With each of the points below understand that alignment is key on each....use your Eischens Yoga knowledge on proper alignment on every exercise and you'll be good to go!

5 Keys & Combinations to creating a Balanced Core Workout:
Always perform an extension type of movement to balance the flexion usually done as the only Core Exercise. For simplicity we'll say flexion (frontside of …

Why Push ups Trump Bench Press! Training for my birthday workout!

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Why push ups trump bench press: Most folks have always say what'dya bench as if the bench press is the be all exercise of fitness. In terms of function i argue this point 100%. You see resistance is resistance...the body doesnt know the difference....so if all resistance can be made equal then the next point is what forces the body to respond in a way that develops more function and overall strength in the long run? Which one causes more stabilization throughout the whole body?
In comparing the two obviously people think the bench press can lift far more weight....but over the years i've learn ways to load up a push up to match any challenge you can give with a bench press via my power push up (cables), the use of kettlebells or other dead weight on the back of a push up.
SO you can match loads, so then lets just go to function:)
Here is where the two differ:
The Push up: gravity resists the weight of the body, the Bench:  gravity resists the external weight. The push up uses app…

To Coffee or Not to Coffee, that is the question!

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This is the question i feel most fitness folks ask all the time....Coffee...good or bad for you?So i did a little research and found this great article by Brian St. Pierre. He does a great job of answering all the questions you. Within the article i learned alot of things that surprised me:) As a strength coach for over 32 years i've heard it all...terrible for you, it dehydrates you big time, you need 4 glasses of water just to even out 1 cup of Joe, it's a diuretic versus it's essential before workouts, it reduces perceived exertion levels, it helps lower blood pressure, it reduces risk of major disease and more! Because of all of these questions it made sense to look into it a bit as honestly i was never a coffee drinker, my sister Juli was always happy after she drank coffee, my Jessie loves coffee in the am so what was the deal? So about a year or two ago i thought "yeah, i can try it out and see how i like it...and you know what? I did and do like it:) haha It g…

4 steps to creating a EIschens Yoga practice at home!!

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1) Place - this is very important to find a place that makes you feel comfortable thru being quiet, is it spacious enough, will this space have no interruptions, do you need walls or not...all points are important! Finding this place is most important to develop a healthy and long term yoga practice.
For example: in fall, winter, spring i like to take or teach our Eischens Yoga classes 3 days a week at Monkey Bar Gym Chicago and then on non class days i do the beginner sequence or a series of back dome enhancing poses in my spare room. During the summer i use my back deck often times but since it has not walls and railings it's limited to some warrior poses and some prone / supine poses as well which is cool:)
2) Time and making time - next in line is finding a time that works for you everyday. That is why taking classes works so well, for many yoga is easier to do when someone else leads you....privates, classes or even dvds all can do just this. With the first 2 times are always s…

Week of Workouts, TIP OF THE DAY!

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The above picture is from maybe august / sept of 1997, right after moving back to madison from LA. Soon after getting back and having Roger fix my left knee i said i'm dunking again and i'm gonna make a tool and program that makes the best vertical jump increases out there....and i did!!!:) This first model used a wall bracket that the cable ran thru up to the belt around my waist. Actually made the wall mounted version first, then the portable version which is the one i stuck with and is still the best out there today:)
Funny thing is in looking at the picture it's after i had completely said i'm done with the fitness industry and how fake it was....so in doing so i also said i'm just gonna chill completely on training for awhile and just do yoga....lost a bit of weight but that's cool:) haha
TRAINING TIP OF THE WEEK: Aside from taking some time off, practicing more yoga, eating cleaner and sleeping more.....i have one big tip for everyone......ENJOY every sin…

NATO, restoration and MY TIP OF THE WEEK!!!!

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This has been a crazy week for us here at MBG Chicago, the NATO summit is happening 1/2 block away, we're literally at ground zero of a place that is to have world dignitaries AND world revolutionist coming into ONE ARENA....McCormick Place. The process has been eye opening....our landlord refuses to help us board up the windows...it's getting down to crunch time too. They're closing the city down big time....250,000 people expected to be protesting! I understand why people are upset with the higher ups coming into town to meet and discuss various topics...i get it. What i do not understand and have never understood is why the need to break windows and businesses that have nothing to do with the event! I was in LA during the Rodney King riots...insane....completely! I saw Seattle...also insane....but why? Why the need to hurt others that have nothing to do with what you are upset about? You have an issue come and talk to me, puff up, whatever, get it off your chest! Just …

So how do you progress to eating, drinking, being stronger?

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When people want to LOSE FAT, GAIN MUSCLE AND BECOME PLANT BASED it brings up one common question more than any others...what do i eat? You see there's alot of levels and results people may get when changing to plant based. Instead of going back in time and talking about the hippies or frail looking veggie look....i want people to talk about the strong looking plant based look!
So what i want to do for you guys today is to go thru some sample meals and choices you can have that can help you make stronger and stronger food choices....choices that make you LEANER AND STRONGER!
The Monkey Bar Gym Greener & Leaner approach:) SIMPLE & STRONG!
So here's what seems pretty common approach for 3 levels of nutrition that result in;

STRONG THEN SICK /  THINK HEALTHY BUT SICK / HEALTHY & STRONG 100%
JOE FITNESS PERSON     COMMON VEGGIE PERSON     MBG PLANT STRONG
coffee, milk, sugar               coffee, soy milk, sugar                  cold pressed coffee, rice milk, stevia
oats…

Week 8 of my training, 36k's lever and TIPS!!!!!:)

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Doing 36k's Kettlebell Lever holds....
Want to do this? YOU CAN:) if you've never tried this it's a kettlebell lever.
Many ways to get your body ready for this movement so HERE'S MY TIPS FOR YOU!!:
Laying on your back with your hands overhead.Then bring your hands and legs together directly over the shoulders.Then take both back out til both touch the ground at the same time.Get use to this move, then add in some kettlebells, start light:)When you can work your way up to half your bodyweight then it's time to try the hold! Then as you're lowering towards the floor you counter balance the kb's opposite the legs, as you also work to get the body into a straight line. You continue to lower straight body and kb's (straight arms) to the floor until both lightly touch the floor then pull them back up touching kb's to straight legs/knees and repeat for reps OR hold in the lever position as seen above for 5-10 counts as low as possible.It takes time, do the a…

Handstand Walking the entire Capital Steps! PLUS some Eischens Yoga tips to help handstands!

How to restore sore calves after running: 2 simple drills

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The person in the red is in the prone mountain position...begin here after reading:) Got sore calves? Easy fix:) no worries man:)
SO FIRST OFF, HOW DO YOU GET SORE CALVES? This is the first thing you need to pay attention too:) haha...sore calves happens most often from any or all of the following reasons:
running or jumping rope too much on the toes instead of the front half of your foot....this is super common for new folks into running barefoot or in minimal shoes....DOING THIS IS A BIG REASON WE TEACH PROPER PROGRESSIONS AT THE MBG:)running too far (before your actually ready to run that far)doing hill sprints, runs, walks for too much incline or too much work - again your calves will tell you while it's happening but here it's smartest to start slow...with low volume/reps and slow speed....let your body and feet adapt!resisted sprints with a partner or sled with too much resistance or for too long...same as #3. jumping rope for too long before ready to do so...this again …

Whats the choice? Be or Not? Live and embrace!!

QUESTION #1: GUESS WHAT AM I DOING HERE?:) 
At whatever age we are the choice has always been the same...LIVE, BE or not....to me it's clear:) embrace what life offers! We are given gifts in life from all in our circle...the "Gifts" are opportunities we either accept or decline. WE have the choice...if we embrace these gifts we can challenge ourselves and grow and experience all that life has to offer, the ups and downs, the highs and lows...BUT by accepting and embracing ALL we live, grow and take ourselves and all around us to higher heights!
What is it that is holding you back? Fear of embarrassment? Not achieving some level you think you should be at? What if you realized that NO ONE CARES:) hahaha would that make you do some things that are holding YOU back?
SO think on that and CHOOSE TO LIVE, so do that which scares you, take on challenges...for me i like the challenge of all types and always have....breakdancing back in the day...can you say bad when i started:) ha…

Plant Strong OR Plant Wrong, THAT is the question!

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A great meal at Veggie Grill! This is a great example of a perfect way to eat some healthier foods that give that comfort food feel:) All hale kale top left with some mock chicken is the bomb and although mock meats are usually pretty bad stuff i've talked with owner Kevin Boylan and asked him about just this point and he said it's made from lots of veggies mixed with some soy protein...pretty simple:) Not bad! Plus what i really love about it is a meat eater would not know the difference and so for getting folks to transition this is a perfectly healthy meal! Other parts to this meal were a veggie burger (healthy? i'd say not too much but again for a transition meal...it's great! For a Plant Strong person it's a fun meal!:) and a lentil soup that's the bomb anytime, that is just pure tasty and healthy stuff!! Other restaurants that serve up similar plant based meals are native foods and they too offer healthy and not so healthy choices. Now why is this importa…

Creating your own Restoration / Eischens Yoga practice

Today's Blog is ALL about creating your own practice of re-balancing yourself. This can come in the form of doing our Eischens Yoga, doing indian clubs, range of motion swinging of the body in different planes, doing the brazilian jiu-jitsu warm up....really anything that makes you feel good, loose, opened up and balanced.
The above video is one i took while Jessie and i were driving to colorado to stay a bit in the mountains, do some hiking and biking and re-connecting to nature. So on the way we'd stop on the hour every hour to do something to re-awaken our bodies and minds....basically to re-invigorate! We called it the "Road Warrior workouts" and it was a blast! But during this time it's not all just doing hard exercises, sometimes we'd mix it up and do a restoration type of movement like the down dog / up dog movement that i'm doing here at a gas station somewhere between wisconsin and colorado:) This is a perfect example of a re-balancing movement …