May Books

Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman

I listened to this as an audio book. I was a bit skeptic with the subtitle of “A Book That Changes Lives” but I can say that it will (or should) change your outlook on life. Part fiction, part based on his life, Millman takes you on his journey as a young college student at UC Berkeley. As a varsity gymnast chasing his Olympic dream, he has everything a young person could want with his whole life ahead of him yet doesn’t truly feel happy. He meets a wise old man who makes a major impact on his life and challenges his ability to thrive. Watching his own death from a distance, Millman is able to get his priorities in line and become a warrior at peace.

Marley & Me, John Grogan

Are you a dog person? Follow along as the author and his young bride decide to buy a puppy to dip their toes into parenthood. As they navigate life and a growing family, their sometimes wild but always loyal canine is close by. Marley is a constant reminder of the saying, “a dog is man’s best friend.” This one had me laughing and crying. This book was later made into a movie starring Jennifer Aniston.

 

Get Jacked While Under Quarantine

Okay so 2020 is the year of being stuck at home. Gyms are closed but that is no excuse to not continue, or start, your fitness journey.

I don’t think people realize you can still get in amazing shape without a gym and full equipment at your disposal.

It forces you to get creative and thrifty, in a good way.

Below, I am going to outline simple workout principles you can use to build your own personalized program while under quarantine. You don’t need a lot of space to execute your routine either.

There are six main movement patterns that will build muscle and allow for a great workout:

  1. Push
  2. Pull
  3. Press
  4. Squat
  5. Hinge
  6. Lunge

These six movements will get you 80% of the results you are looking to get from them.

Push

Push-Ups

Floor Press

Pull

Row

One-Arm Row

Pull-Up

Inverted Row

Press 

Shoulder Press

Handstand Press

Squat

Goblet Squat

Back Squat

Hinge

Deadlift

Hamstring Curl

Lunge

Forward Lunge

Reverse Lunge

Lateral Lunge

You can use your own body weight as resistance for most of the exercises listed above. If you need more resistance or more of a challenge, below are the pieces of equipment I recommend ordering online for home delivery to further expand your at-home workout routine.

Val-Slide Pads

I bought a pair of these at Marshall’s on sale for $4. They are the best four dollars I have spent in a long time. I get so much value out of them- I use them for hamstring curls, lunges, push-ups and core moves. They work on both carpeted and hardwood floors.

(A thrifty hack for hardwood floors: socks will do just about everything else a fitness val slide can do.)

Pull-Up Bar

Nothing beats a good, old fashioned pull up bar. This one hangs from a sturdy door frame for pull ups, toes to bar and push-up/dip variations on the floor. Find a sturdy door frame in your house or apartment to hang from. Please no kipping pull-ups, you’ve been warned.

Exercise Bands

The possibilities are endless with exercise bands. These aren’t just for Richard Simmons any more. You can get a serious, full body workout with these. I suggest getting a bundle of bands with different measures of resistance. These are a great option too for lateral shuffles and glute bridges.

TRX

The TRX system was invented by a NAVY Seal to get a workout in anytime, anywhere. It is a tested piece of equipment that will allow you to train a number of different movements.

Kettlebell

You know how much I love the kettlebell. In my opinion, it is the most versatile tool in fitness and a staple for a home gym operation. It can do everything a a dumbbell can and more. You only need one for a great workout.

Jump Rope

Nothing gets you breathing heavy like jumping some rope. As a kid, you may have thought skipping rope was fun but now it is a great workout to add to your routine. Boxers jump a lot of rope for a reason- it gets you in shape fast.

Dip Station

A dip station is great for moves like dips and inverted rows. With no more than your own body weight, push and pull yourself to a great workout that will help build yur chest (dips) and back (inverted rows).

Weight Vest

Okay, so body weight really is too easy. Try strapping on twenty extra pounds to your frame and tell me those squats don’t burn your quads.

Now you have the movements and extra tools to get a great workout in at home. Remember back in January when you said 2020 was the year you were going to get back in shape? Don’t let the current situation outside get in the way of the progress to be made inside.

A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbols mean nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we as humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not.

-John Grogan, Marley and Me

Enlightened

He wasn’t always this way.

He used to be like the rest, following the crowd.

But one day he asked, “why?”

That was the day he changed.

It set him off on a wonderful journey, one he did not know where he would go, or how long it would take.

He began to read, listen and see.

Slowly it came. Not all at once but, piece by piece.

He was building something that excited him. He yearned for more.

Connecting the dots was a part of the journey.

The more dots connected, the clearer the picture came into focus.

Several years in, he now know how long the journey will take. Forever.