Brevi Fitness

My trainer the putz

Is your trainer a ridiculous putz?

Recently, Ruschelle was approached by a trainer in our globo gym, trying to make a sales pitch for personal training sessions. He had spoken to her a while ago and apparently had forgotten that she was a trainer and that she had been a member for 2 years. After asking Ruschelle what  the 'average/decent mile pace is' (R said 8.0min/mile), he proceeded to boast that he can get her running at 2.0 min/mile by doing workouts on treadmill.

Now, since the world's fastest mile has been set at 3:43.13, I find it a bit hard to believe that the personal trainer at our gym is going to get Ruschelle running under the world record.  I would love to see him try.

I try to find everything there is to know about my client and make it a point to learn something new about them as we go along every session.

As a Finance guy, I try to find out who I am speaking with, what role they play in the larger picture etc.

As an Engineer I over-analyze the elevator I take every day to get to office and how my efficiency can improve drastically if I am allowed regular breaks :)

And as an 'Alien in this country' I try to find out ways where I can contribute to the society and community I live in and make a difference in any shape or form with the opportunities that I have been given here.

I told Ruschelle the best thing she could do for the misinformed young man trying to sell her a $1500 pt package was to explain that he needs to know his shit before he approaches ANYBODY every again.  She agreed.

So, is your trainer a ridiculous putz?  The answer is probably "yes" because we all can be.  It is good however to know that we can always improve.

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Blaming The Lift


Today’s post is about convincing you that Deadlifts are a must in your workout routine.  And that your bad attitude needs to stop.

I want to share something that happened to me recently at work.  

Me: 'I choose this farther printer so I can walk a little bit more instead of the one right beside me'

Colleague: 'Well, that's really good thinking, I should be doing that, considering my back hurts while sitting'

Me: ' Huh?'

Colleague:' Yeah I was doing deadlift (not that heavy) and something happened in my back and now there is pain in my back and I am seeing a 'physio'. I was sitting back too much on my deadlift'

Me: 'Oh wow, sorry to hear that, but you are supposed to have weight in your heels and back straight... anyways, so now?'

Colleague: 'I am seeing the physio and laying off of it. Whatever you might gain, its not worth having pain and messing up your back. I am a cyclist anyways, wonder why I was fooling around with the deadlift'.

Why would a cyclist do a deadlift?  Well for one, deadlifts are one of the best exercises you can do EVER! and for 2, well I don’t really need to give you another reason.

There are several ways to convince yourself that you should not be doing something.  Below are a few and their remedies.  

a) You don't like it: This is time for exploring why you don't like something. Is it that you are not good at it/think will not be good at it so why bother trying when you will not be the best at it? Or you don't see a reason of not doing something because you don't see the value in the activity itself or don't see the 'perceived results' that you would get out of the activity

So many psychological reasons that could result in this type of mind set

Typical speech in this case would be
i)  Adopt a YES I CAN attitude
ii)  Surround yourself with positive, ambitious people
iii)  Start a 'CAN' journal (write every day what CAN you do, one thing small or big and then go ahead DO IT
iv)  What are you feeding your Brain (TV, Lack of sleep, arguments, stress?)

All these points are extremely powerful in unearthing why you feel about things a certain way and why you don't like something. Regarding, NOT seeing the value in the activity, I personally think, is about education.
Typical ways of thinking about personal training or working out or MY FAVORITE Weight lifting/Olympic weight lifting is useless and will make me BULKY!!!
I mean lets get real, what makes you bulky is:
i) What you eat
ii) How you perform the lifts
iii) What your goals are
iv) What type of programming that you follow etc…

I am 5" 9', 31 (soon be 32) @160lbs and recently did 325lbs deadlift. Now when someone looks at me they think I am thinner and weigh probably 150. In no way look like a 'bulky' guy. And let me jump in right here, I have a tendency to gain weight (I was 160lbs when I was 18) and I DO EAT.

It’s all about spending the time to focus on the best person you know.... YOU

b) Can't do... Whatever man... You CAN do whatever the hell you want. Its all about conviction and willingness to endure anything that comes in the way of your goals

c) Think you can't do ... How would you even know that without even doing it? Just go over and try to fling a bar over with no idea on what you are doing will get you killed and jack yo back up. So Breathe, relax, chill first, find a good coach who actually is invested in YOU (Not in themselves having you come for as many sessions they can pawn) and then get motivated about life

d) Have been hurt doing... Your technique is off/You are pushing too hard too fast for gains/ Your programming is making you over train/ You are de-conditioned and starting out you want to win the Belmont.

And by the way, WHO the F said you are a 'cyclist'? Or Maybe there is a 'cyclist' in every one of us :)

I came across this quote from a coach, who said ‘Failure Is Not An Option’. I know we have heard this many time before, but what he is really saying, that just by trying a heavier weight than you are prepared for and missing the lift is not going to make you better. But preparing to meet the heavier lift and ‘making’ it is going to make you better.

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Are You Future Hungry?

Yesterday, Ruschelle and I were in a coffee shop and around 5pm, she said we should go ahead and pick something to eat before we go into the movie.

I said to her, "Are you hungry...or future hungry?"

We laughed about it for a minute, but it also brought to me this idea of why we eat at certain times or why we feel like eating? Are we eating at certain times just to make sure we don't feel hungry later?

As part of a research paper by California State University there are various ways you can look at hunger and eating:

'Hunger is the motivation for us to be able to know that we need to get the nutrients in our body. But how do we really know that we are hungry? The answer can be analyzed by three different components: biological, learned, and cognitive.'

There are a number of Biological theories, like the Balloon theory that hunger occurs due to contractions in stomach. So when a balloon is inserted and expanded in the stomach, technically you should not feel hungry. But it doesn't hold true  when you consider people who have their stomachs removed as part of a surgical procedure. Another experiment is mentioned, which is based on body temperature. When temperature rises we feel less hungry compared to when you are cold, you tend to eat more.

Humans have developed affinity to tastes, smell, and meal times.  We are the only species who regulates food intake based on external time cues. Interesting! We also try to fulfill our taste for all four tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty). A personal observation is that when you go to a really good restaurant where sometime savory flavors are intertwined with bitter/sweet flavors, our satisfaction is not as great.

'There are two mechanisms for satiety. One is at the brain level, the other is at the gastrointestinal tract level. There are two places in the hypothalamus, part of the brain, that controls hunger and eating. The Ventromedial Nuclei gives a signal when to stop eating, and the Lateral hypothalamus gives a signal to start eating (e.g.,Coon 1995). We feel satiety at the brain level because of the function of the Ventromedial Nuclei. On the other hand, at the level of the gastrointestinal tract, Koopmans (1985) states that satiety signals come from the stomach, which controls short-term eating.' -- Ref.

Are you Preventing Future Hunger or staying in the present moment?

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Just Because


As much as working out and staying healthy is important ( boot camp, yoga, local CrossFit box, Marathon, Half Marathon etc.), its also important to take time out to breathe and be outdoors.

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Need For Speed

While on my way to work, I stumbled upon the Gumball 3000 rally starting lineup. These cars were incredible!

"The Gumball 3000 is an annual British 3,000-mile (4,800 km) international road rally which takes place on public roads, with a different route around the world each year. Founded in 1999 by Maximillion Cooper, it sees an annual entry of 120 cars, which are mostly exotic and powerful sports cars. However, more unusual entries (such as police cars and camper-vans) have been seen." -Wiki and


Equally incredible is our human engine. We have the capacity to accomplish a lot of work in a short amount of time with little fatigue.  Fortunately, capacity of our engine is determined by how much work we do, how effective we are in our movements and if we 'mean' every single lift (either body weight or olympic weightlifting) we attempt.  Our philosophy at Brevi Fitness is to keep things short, meaningful and performance based . You want to make sure that every second spent in the gym is done with dedication and focus.

Sometimes we focus so much on speed and putting pedal to the metal that we loose form, loose efficiency and are just going at a rapid rate without care about the consequences ( similar to gunning the engine on a Lambo to get 160mph without actually thinking of the possibility of wrecking the car/getting caught speeding).

There are three stages to getting the optimal result:

1. Master the technique/Form

2. Add some quantity while maintaining the Technique/Form

3. Add speed into the work

Now if the above three steps are followed, either in a boot camp, fitness class,personal training session, you will have a better result overall instead of a flat tire:)

Please put in your comments below and let us know what you think or if there are other ways you practice adding speed to your workouts.

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