Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Now drop down - Push'em out, then stand up and Pull'em Up, because this is YOUR year - seriously, it's up to you - YOU DEFINE 2009...No one else defines your year unless you decide to accept someone's definition...and the only definition I encourage you to accept is this: This year is 100% up to YOU. I mean this with every Fired UP molecule in my body - your questions/comments led me to write The PERFECT PROMISE, which describes how I approach life and Team PERFECT (to me - they are one and the same).

I'm splitting the PERFECT PROMISE into seven installments to make it as easy to digest as possible. It's personal - it's heavy and not easy, but it works, and I hope it'll Fire YOU UP to live the life you define - not the life that others will attempt to define for you.

This is your year - it's your life - make the most of it!


Monday, December 29, 2008

SEAL PRT and the Perfect Pushup Counter

In SEAL Team, every six months all SEALs are required to conduct a Physical Readiness Test (PRT) to ensure you’re keeping your most important weapon mission ready – your body. The test is comprised of five events: pushups, situps, pull-ups, swim, and run, and time is your enemy. The entire PRT is strictly timed; it starts with pushups and ends with a three mile run. The calisthenics portion of the PRT starts with the pushups and ends with the pull-ups. You have two minutes to perform the pushups and situps (with 2 minutes of rest between each one); the pullup test is as many as you can do without dropping off the bar.

To make sure you’re getting “full benefit” (one of a SEAL instructor’s favorite sayings) from your pushups, a SEAL performs his pushups over his swim buddy’s fist. (The swim buddy is lying on the ground with his arm extended and hand made into a fist.) The reason for the swim buddy’s fist is simple - it forces the SEAL to perform the full range of motion of the pushup ensuring the maximum number of muscles in the chest, arms and shoulders are fully engaged.

The pushup test is simple – you’ve got two minutes to do as many pushups as you can do, but they only count if your chest touches your swim buddy’s fist. In SEAL Team, it takes two people to orchestrate the PRT – a timer and a swim buddy on the ground keeping the count. (Incidentally, same holds true for the situp and pullup, except the swim buddy has different responsibilities to ensure the SEAL is getting “full benefit”.)

Now that I’m out of SEAL Team, I don’t have my swim buddy around anymore and it’s pretty darn distracting timing my workouts while I’m trying to focus on “putting out” (another favorite SEAL axiom). Enter the Perfect Pushup Counter – I’d call it the Perfect Pushup Swimbuddy if I didn’t have to educate everyone on what a swim buddy is! The Perfect Pushup Counter combines a timer with an LCD counter (think swim buddy fist for the 21st century). The counter is adjustable in height from 4.5 to 6.5 inches and fits easily between the Perfect Pushup. It can count up to 9999 pushups and can be adjusted in time increments from 10 seconds to 99 minutes. Made from flexible polycarbonate and a thick cushion of rubber foam, the Perfect Pushup Counter won’t hurt your chest if your “put out” was a little more than you anticipated.

The Perfect Pushup Counter is the first of its kind, it’s next the best thing to my swim buddy during a SEAL PRT. On second thought, it might be better than my swim buddy during our bi-annual PRTs, because this swim buddy doesn’t heckle me as I struggle to put-out in the final seconds of the test. So enjoy getting full benefit from your next Perfect Pushup workout – putting out on your Perfect Pushups never felt so good.


Monday, December 22, 2008

CM Teammates -- Happy Holidays!

I hope this post finds you Fired UP for an Outstanding Holiday season. It can be the best of times and the worst of times depending on your perspective especially this holiday season. If you're able to breath, eat, and move under your own power, then you're off to the right start to getting (and staying) Fired UP. So many folks ask me about getting (and keeping) a positive attitude, and the holidays amplify the positives or negatives in your life. If you're in the negative camp this holiday season, Push and Pull yourself out of it by starting with a review of what I call life perspective fundamentals:

1. Can you breathe under your own power?
2. Can you eat under your own power?
3. Can you move under your own power?

If you answered yes to all three (and incidentally, if you're physically challenged but can still move even mechanically assisted, then your answer is "yes!" for #3) - then you have NO REASON not to have a positive attitude, an Awesome Holiday season and the foundation for a killer mission plan for 2009.

The point is, you decide what your attitude is 24/7 - and it starts with having an appreciation for your big picture perspective on life - how fortunate you are that you can do the above fundamentals, because there are plenty in this world that can't, and trust me, they'd give anything to be able to have what you have...anything (and many of these folks still remain Positive!).

Next step - you guessed it - workout. Nothing fancy, just get the muscles moving, the blood pumping and feed your machine some good fuel. I know the holidays are the best time for taking in short-term feel good fuel (sugar: candy/alcohol/cookies/cake, etc) - I certainly enjoy more than my fair share - just know that its your call to pay now or pay later - no guilt trip here - it just is what it is - Output versus Input. More input (food) and less output (exercise) will tip your scales and your attitude in the wrong direction. Don't let the Holidays get the best of you - instead Get the best out of the holidays this year by staying Fired Up and in control. After all - it's all your call.

Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays - CHARLIE MIKE! ALDEN

Monday, December 15, 2008

Plan Your Dive/Dive Your Plan in December!

The holidays are here -- than means more opportunity for binge eating on useless fat-creating calories. I love sweets more than anyone I know, but you need to keep things in moderation. If you have established your routine and understand "your enemy within" then you'll be absolutely fine during the holidays have to have a plan to burn the extra calories you decide to eat.

Dare yourselves to try one week of exercise scheduling. Sit down in the next 24 hours and write down a schedule for yourself and follow it ... a couple of hints ... morning exercise will energize you for the rest of the day. During this busy time of year, challenge yourself to plan your exercise: 10 minutes a day with the Perfect Pushup is one option. As we say in SEAL Team -- plan your dive, then dive your plan.

Go to the Perfect Pushup YouTube channel for a Fired Up Kick Start to keeping on track with your exercise and diet goals for this holiday season.


Friday, December 12, 2008

When Did You Last Do A Pushup?

Guest Blogger: Tom Rancich

LaLou recently bought a Perfect Pushup – she very kindly agreed to share her story with the readers of Charlie Mike.

“So I bought some Perfect Pushups. I am trying to get more fit. I have a lot of physical limitations, including a bad shoulder. I opened the box at home and took them out. I tossed the instruction dvd’s on the table and set the pp’s on the kitchen floor. I gripped the handles, assumed the position and began to lower myself.

SNAP CRACKLE POP CRUNCH! Wrist, elbow and shoulder joints all sounded off in protest – and that was just the down motion. Up was just as loud, if not louder. I thought, “Well, there’s one” and stopped before something snapped. Hah! Luckily I am strong from years of mucking stalls and such. I’ll shake out the arms and do some more today.”

Tom Rancich with the $64,000 Question:

“Hi LaLou – so my question to you is---when did you last do a pushup? The ability of a body to get weak is only equaled by its ability to get strong---so---if you haven’t done a pushup in forever, start on the wall or on stairs to decrease the stress. Get the muscle thinking again. When I first used the PP it did not feel good, not just the physical part but the rotating etc. My body was totally conditioned to regular pushups. The PP, though better and more efficient for me, was way uncomfortable to do the new movement. But I was strong enough to just decrease reps and work through it: that might not be your situation and you will have to adjust.”

And LaLou responded:

“I haven’t done a pushup in probably 20 years. I was in an accident when I was 19 … I spent 2 years before I could walk without crutches, then canes. But now I toss hay bales around all year and clean stalls and run a heavy wheelbarrow. I have strength, but not apparently for that particular motion.

I’ll start slow. Maybe use the wall. I thought the PP would be good by reducing rotational stress on my shoulder. I think it will be, once I get used to doing pushups again.

There is nobody more stubborn than I.

And now, in conclusion, Tom’s advice to “use your stubbornness only when it is advantageous."

"Stubborn is great---stupid is not. So before ya get mad that I called ya stupid, I didn’t. So I go to the doc about three months after being in a helo crash and she says, “When did you break your neck?” And I say, “Hmmmmm, got an idea.” Anyway, she tells me I must stop all physical contact. I say, “No rugby? And she says, “You can’t wrestle with your kids.” I say, “Pfffft” ---and go play rugby. I wind up laying on the ground with no feeling anywhere: that is stubborn and stupid. Stubbornness is a great quality but it has to be balanced with smart. How am I to reach my stubborn goal? By doggedly taking it one tiny step at a time.”


Lt. Commander Thomas Rancich, US Navy SEAL (Ret.) is the co-founder of VRHabilis, a disabled veteran-owned small business that seeks to employ the highly trained and motivated veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for work in construction and related fields. Rancich and co-founder Elliott Adler are pioneering the concept of using adaptive technology to bridge the gap between industrial and medical technology. On a very serious note---to all the people who have seen the worst of this conflict---knowing the hollowness and lack of joy some returning veterans experience daily, Tom has said, "If things aren't going well, contact me at Off-Shore Consulting or visit the Veterans Hotline".

Through his consulting firm, Off-Shore Consulting, Tom provides professional advice on leadership and team building, often as a motivational speaker, in addition to being an expert consultant to the entertainment industry. The YouTube clip shows some recent work for a production company.

Alden Mills and Tom Rancich served together in the Teams. Longtime “on-line” coach for Team Perfect, Tom blogs monthly on Charlie Mike.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nutrisystem Team Leader: keep those questions coming!

To the Nutrisystem Perfect Pushup team leader Tom – like the motivation and particularly like the detailed e-mail – thanks.

To your points:

a. The “0” level (i.e. can’t do a pushup starting workout) is 4, 3, 2, 1 on your knees – if this phrase “*on your knees” or “*knee pushups” isn’t written under the numbers 4,3,2,1 then you have a faulty chart – let me know ASAP [at] and I’ll get you another one – also, check out and you’ll find the correctly stated workout for the starting level of “0” – to perform proper knee pushups see the chart.

b. The “10” level on the chart does ask you to do a total of 20 pushups – what gives? Great question – here’s why – the idea is to get you to do 80% of your max on the first rep – after that, I want you to exhaust your muscles to force you to your knees. Everyone thinks that Pushups only count if your knees don’t touch the ground – NEGATIVE – this rule only applies when you’re conducting your one set Max. The concept is to push your muscles to total exhaustion and to get you to total exhaustion I use time and twice your max number of repetitions to compel you to go to your knees.

If you’re not ending the last sets of your pushups on your knees then you’re not pushing yourself, and if you’re not pushing yourself then you won’t get maximum gains, and if you don’t get gains then sooner or later you’ll give up – and that’s the last thing I want anyone to do. I realize this is a fine line – make it too hard and the workout will scare folks off – make it too easy it’ll they complain that they are not getting the results they deserve. Coming from SEAL Team, I’ll err on the side of making things harder – I know level “50” gives you only 4 seconds of rest – but that’s the point – I don’t want level “50” to be easily achieved – it can be done, but it takes time and a whole lot of practice on your knees!

c. All this said, if you feel I haven’t stated the importance of conducting your final sets of pushups on your knees then I will definitely edit the chart to articulate it more clearly – it’s this kind of feedback that helps us help teammates all over the world better themselves, and this is exactly why I started this company – thanks for the feedback – you’ll be receiving our latest Power 10 Advanced DVD and Workout cards (these about to go to print so you’ll get’em in about 6 wks) - keep the feedback coming!