Moving Some Kilos in Budapest!

Boldog uj evet kivanok! I decided to start my new year off on the right foot (and the left) with a workout, on my vacation to Budapest. Once or twice a year I visit Hungary to spend time with my fiancee's family. Year's past this has been a "deloading" period for me, aka deconditioning period. While the city provides lots of physical activity, walking, stair climbing, etc, holiday eating offsets any ancillary calorie burning. Disappointed with my conditioning when I return from these visits, I decided to make training arrangements before leaving, and take the same advice I give all my clients.

Formal fitness in Hungary is growing, but is not as popular as it is in the states. In addition to the hotels, which cater to international clientele, Budapest also has a few chain gyms, like Gold's Gym, among others. However, many people participate in traditional sporting activities, like soccer, handball, and aquatics, to stay fit. In addition to some pickup soccer and water polo games, I also lined up access for training in a small gym in the bowels of a post-soviet era apartment building gym, about 300 square feet,  pictured above. While this gym is far removed from the luxury of new york city fitness chic, it is more than adequate. It reminds me some of the equipment that sparked my interest in weight training and fitness as a teenager, and forced me to be creative balancing out a full body training program.

Accompanied by my future brother in law, and a national pentathlete, we ventured down into the basement for a full body resistance workout for about an hour. While balancing our pushing and pulling, I tailored the exercises towards his Pentathlete events, introducing him to some sport-specific movements that may give him an edge in his sport. The Pentathlon is a five event sport consisting of running, swimming, fencing, horse back riding, and shooting, a challenging blend of both skill and physically intensive events, requiring many hours of conditioning and skill development.

After a dynamic warm up, we began two, three exercise circuits, three sets of 15 repetitions, consisting of: barbell bench press, pull ups, stability roll outs - Rear foot elevated split squats, bent over rows, and straight arm pull downs. Short and sweet after an evening of mild indulgence and less than adequate sleep. Perfect start to a healthy new year. This holiday season, don't let your travel plans get in the way of your fitness. Whether you start your training today or Monday, make it a priority this year. Cheers!

Have you stuck with your Resolution??

It’s May, summer is right around the corner and by now many of us have probably deviated from our New Years resolution. Four out of five people break their resolutions and nearly a third do not make it beyond January. If you have made it this far, pat yourself on the back, you are the minority. If you have not adhered to your promise, maybe its time to get back on track, the year is young! Often our resolutions are too vague, expressing a general desire rather than a specific goal. Broad desires to lose weight and exercise more will not get you into the gym. More than one resolution at a time can be overwhelming and lead to not following any.  Narrow your focus. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Simplify and make realistic day to day goals.

“I will go to the gym every other day for 30 minutes.” – This is a reasonable goal. Committing to exercising everyday for an hour is never going to happen all at once. Start off slow.

“I will improve the health and calorie content of one meal a day.” – Don’t deprive yourself of what you enjoy. Instead make small changes in just one meal a day to slowly improve your health and the amount of calories you consume daily.

“I’m going to walk more and take the stairs.” – Buy a pedometer. Studies show those who wear a pedometer and are aware of how many steps they take a day tend to walk more than they would have with out it. Skip the elevator and take the stairs.

These simple modifications day to day can add up to pounds lost or gained per year. It’s not too late to start the year off right.