Saturday, February 28, 2009

Where in the World is Perfect Pushup? Uruguay!

Uruguay: Meet Jon's 80 year-old aunt "Chiquita"

Jon said, "I went to Uruguay in South America to visit my family. I was doing Perfect Pushups and my 80 year-old aunt was like "I can do that". LOL! Here are some pics of her using your pushup handles."

When we asked Jon if we could share her story, he said, "This is pretty cool. She's 80 years old. We call her "Chiquita" which is "little person" in Spanish. She was a Ballet Dancer in her younger years and modeled. She walks with a jump to her step. Very confident and is willing to take on challenges. She is truly a "one of a kind" kind of person. She feels younger then she looks."

Jon, please thank your aunt for launching our newest monthly feature -- Keep the pictures and stories coming -- -- and share your Perfect Adventures with the Teammates of Charlie Mike!


Friday, February 27, 2009

Training Tips for Easing Into Running

Guest blogger, Tim Grizzell, Former Navy SEAL

A few weeks ago, a Charlie Mike Teammate asked Tim for some advice: "How do I go from walking to running when walking feels great and running feels awkward to me?"

Hello Lisa:

I am fired up to hear that you did Rudy’s Navy SEAL challenge and got the experience of turning yourself into a “sugar cookie,” otherwise known as getting wet and sandy! Congratulations on finishing the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. You only gave yourself less than a month’s notice and you did it. I like it. You obviously have a positive attitude that inspired you to do the event in the first place and carried you through the event. I like to refer to it as “FIRE IN THE GUT!”

I will begin by saying that you are on the right track to go from walking to running. You have completed athletic events where you did both walking and running. Also, making slight modifications to your diet is a more sustainable approach that will work in the long-term versus some extreme diet.

Given that running has not been part of your weekly exercise program for many years, you will want to ease into it. From a physical perspective, you need to condition your muscles, joints and tendons for running. The last thing you want is an overuse injury by jumping into it too quickly.

On the mental side of things, you do not want to lose your motivation and desire to run by doing too much at the beginning. I will say though that you are going to have to push yourself out of the comfort zone. You clearly like to walk. Walking is great exercise and that is what your mind knows. Right now for you, running is somewhat of a foreign exercise. Yet – running will not feel as awkward the more you do it.

In terms of training tips for easing into running, I suggest the following:

-After you have properly warmed up, run a quarter mile, walk a quarter mile, repeat. I would try to do this running program three days a week.

-Once you are comfortable with the above program for some weeks, I would try running a half mile, walk a quarter mile (or a half mile if you need it), and repeat.

-I would just keep doing this type of training until you have worked up to a program where you can run a mile without walking. Just try to continue to building from here and give yourself small victories.

-Eventually, running will not feel awkward and you will probably start to run and not want to stop.

I will finish by sharing some personal thoughts on running versus walking. When I am running, I am generally thinking about a number of things that have nothing to do with the environment around me. My mind tends to wander and I come up with a lot of creative ideas and thoughts. Also, I am an “endorphin junkie.” Walking, on the other hand, produces some different feelings. I tend to become more aware of the environment around me, especially if I am hiking in the mountains or along an ocean side cliff. Although my mind is free to wander when walking, it is not with the same intensity as running.

I would be happy to answer any more questions about running you might have as you get further into your running program.

Fired Up!


Teammates -- Tim Grizzell returns to Charlie Mike next month. Get Fired Up to train for a Marathon with Tim!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stew Smith on 8 Count Bodybuilders and Push-sets

Guest blogger: Stew Smith

Here’s a question from PerfectPushup2008 YouTube channel: I wanted to say to say GREAT DEVICE!!!! I bought 4 and kept one and mailed the other three out to (1) Iraq & (2) Afghanistan (family in the Military). I have two question regarding 8 counts and push-reps/sets.

"First 8 count: My brother-in-law and nephew went through Great Lakes (mid 90s) and the 8 count was no longer being used due to stress on the knee while performing positions 5 & 6 on the 8 count. Has the Navy reinstated them or are they just used in BUD/S (at Coronado)?"

Answer: Here is the problem. The caliber of people joining the military are about 75% deconditioned people and the others are average fitness levels. So it is smart for the Navy to take out advanced elements of fitness like 8 count body builders and 5-10 mile runs. Compare the 8 count pushup to the 10 mile run - you would not ask a deconditioned person to run 10 miles without expecting injury of some sort. Same holds true for the 8 count pushup - it is an advanced form of exercise that should be done by intermediate / advanced fitness levels. YES - you will see it again at BUD/S - but likely not at bootcamp - unless they find out you are a SEAL wanna-be.

"Second: I was told that it’s best to perform pyramid sets of any type of push-ups"?

There are two great methods to producing a solid foundation of performance fitness for pushups. See article below for ideas of creating pyramids and supersets with a variety of exercises. Notice the Perfect Pushups used in the Swim PT supersets in the pictures...

These workouts will help you get your scores up to the 15 pullups / pushups 75 and situps 75 zones after a few / several months.

The other way to peak from your foundation is to do what I call max out sets. Pick 3-4 exercises like pushups, situps, pullups and a run or bike or swim for 3 minutes

Max out on your pullups, pushups, situps with 2 minutes each exercise then do a recovery cardio for 3 minutes. Do not stop until you reach 100 pullups / 200 pushups / 300 situps or other ab of choice...

That workout usually takes you from 15 to 25 pullups / 75 to 100 pushups / 75 to 100 situps in about 6 weeks...

Stew Smith CSCS

Special NOTE:
Donate to the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Running in Cold Weather

Guest blogger: Tim Grizzell, former Navy SEAL

Although I currently live in sunny Southern California, I am from the Northwest and I also lived in Stuttgart, Germany for two years. So, I have logged plenty of miles in really cold weather.

Most discussion about running in extreme climates seems to be focused on the risks of too much sun and heat, which ultimately could lead to heatstroke. Running in very cold weather poses some hazards as well that we often overlook. Hypothermia and frostbite are the most serious conditions to consider when running in subzero weather. The risk of hypothermia and frostbite is not great when running shorter distances, but you still need to be prepared. Therefore, when you step out the front door, you want to ensure that you are ready for all of the elements: wet, cold and wind.

You want to prepare for all the elements that you might encounter when running in cold weather by wearing proper clothing and layering the clothing. You will want to wear a base layer of technical fabric designed for runners (i.e., long sleeve top and full length bottoms/tights) that takes moisture from sweating away from your body and keeps your skin dry (otherwise known as “wicking”). The outside layer of clothing designed for running that you wear on top of the base layer that should protect you from the wet and wind, but it should be breathable. As your body starts to warm up, you might want to shed the outside layer and wrap it around your body. If your body starts to cool down, you will want to put the outside layer on. You can always add another layer in between the base layer and outside layer if needed, but do not overdress because you could end up sweating too much. Lastly, do not forget your gloves and hat as well.

In cold weather, you also might encounter some slippery surfaces. You do not need to change your running form too much. Maybe lean forward a little and shorten your stride some if it is very slippery out.

Another factor to consider when running in subzero weather is breathing in really cold air. You might feel like you have asthma like conditions after your run because of the cold air hitting your lungs. Some runners might wear a fleece neck gaiter that they can pull over their nose and mouth. Other runners just breathe through their nose instead of their mouth and find that helps. Most importantly, I would try to warm up inside by stretching or doing some exercises (i.e., pushups, pullups or situps) to get your blood pumping before heading out the door because this will help too.

Lastly, do not forget to hydrate just like you would if it was very hot outside.

Fired UP!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Team Perfect Welcomes Our UK Teammates

Welcome to our Teammates from across the pond to CHARLIE MIKE (Navy SEAL speak for Continue Mission)! It’s now official, Team Perfect has landed on the Beaches of Britain! We’re Fired Up to be here and motivated to help our closest allies in the joint mission to Take control of your body – do this and you’ll find that you’ll be able to take control of your life!

To truly understand us (Team Perfect), is to truly understand The Perfect Promise – we shared it with our Charlie Mike Teammates on the First Day of 2009. Search on Perfect Promise and read our Promise to You. And don't just read it – Be it – Live it…and if you have questions, by all means Fire Away, because the only way to truly be Perfect is to Never Give UP on your dreams!

HOOYAH GREAT BRITAIN TEAMMATES! (HOOYAH = SEAL speak for Fired UP!) Looking forward to hearing and learning from you.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Humans Were Born To Run

Guest blogger: Tim Grizzell

I’ll get right into it. I subscribe to the theory that humans were born to run. Relatively recent biomechanical research by University of Utah biologist Dennis Bramble and Harvard University paleoanthropologist Daniel Lieberman suggests that humans are built to outrun nearly every other animal species on the planet over long distances.

I personally love the following quote from Professor Lieberman. “From our abundant sweat glands to our Achilles tendons, from our big knee joints to our muscular glutei maximi, human bodies are beautifully tuned running machines. We're loaded top to bottom with all these features, many of which don't have any role in walking."

I disagree with doctors that say running is bad for the knees. They either do not like running or just want to take the easy way out on the prognosis. When I was just out of BUD/S, I had a hard landing on my 5th and final jump at Airborne School in Ft. Benning, Georgia. I completely tore my anterior cruciate ligament and had two tears in my meniscus. Three years ago, I had some extreme pain in this reconstructed knee as I was preparing for a marathon. I went to see my doctor and he told me “running is bad for your knees and it is time to pick a less intense form of exercise!” I have not been back to see him, the pain eventually went away and I have logged many miles since.

No question – running is an impact exercise and our knees are affected as a result. In terms of ongoing care for the knees, my advice is the following:

1) run on soft terrain when possible,
2) inject some cross training when your knees are a little overworked (I personally like to cycle and/or swim),
3) try not to add any unnecessary pounds to your frame; and
4) rest your body if necessary.

I will conclude by saying that runners come in all shapes and sizes carrying varying loads, which is proven every time I run a marathon or some other distance. We are all born to run! It is just a matter of taking a realistic approach to conditioning your joints and body for a consistent running program if you want to run on a regular basis. (Note: Clearly, there are exceptions and I realize that not everyone can run for various reasons.)

Fired Up!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hit the Ground Running with LT. Tim Grizzell

CM Teammates! Last month I introduced you to my swim buddy, former Navy SEAL platoon commander and a damn good friend, LT. Tim Grizzell – aka Brotha Al. Tim has done SEAL tours on the west coast, the far east and in Europe; he was a top collegiate runner and he's an aspiring running apparel entrepreneur.

There's not much Tim doesn't know about the art and science of running -- as the Teammates who asked him questions discovered. CHARLIE MIKE is going to "re-run" three of his replies this week:

* Humans Were Born to Run
* Running in a Very Cold Climate
* Pushing Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone: Going from Walking to Running

Tim will be back next month blogging on How He Trains for Marathons so hold on to your questions. Brotha Al, CHARLIE MIKE is Fired UP to have you on deck!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Solution for the Diet Plateau Blues

Guest blogger: Stew Smith

I have been working out for several years now and have dropped from 335 to 250 and look and feel a lot better. I am 6'1". I am working with a trainer and he has me on a bodybuilders diet but I have plateaued and I want to loose more weight. 50-20-30 diet. 50% lean protein, 20% complex carbs, and 30% good fats. If I change to a low calorie balanced diet will I lose a lot of muscle and not just fat? Thanks, John

Nicely done John - just by doing what you have done will add years to your life. I think your diet is fine so I would think about changing up the other side of the equation which is the workout itself.

When you hit a plateau - make a change: add more cardio, decrease weight on lifting and do more reps, add in new leg exercises, - sometimes it is as simple as adding swimming or more running to your plan - BUT at 250 I would pick a easier low impact aerobic activity like elliptical gliders, biking, rowing, etc. You may need to add some time to your workout to get these new exercises in OR just replace by using Perfect Pushups, Perfect Pullups versus weights.

Also arrange your workouts so you do your weights / PT first and then cardio last for better fat burning mode.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Strength in Diversity among SEALs: Pt II Too Big? Football Players & Weight Lifters

Guest blogger: Stew Smith

Question: I am a former football player and power lifter and not much of an endurance athlete, in fact 1.5 miles is considered long distance to me. Also I am over 230 lbs - how can someone like me become a SEAL?

SEAL Teams is all about being a TEAM Player so you already have the skills developed to be a TEAM player from your sports experiences. That is a plus! Now, I remember one guy at the SEAL Team that was 6’2” and 230 lbs and could do 30 pullups and run 3 miles in 18 minutes! So your size really has nothing to do with it. It is all a function of how hard you work to become a good runner and muscle endurance athlete.

We recruited a stud football player who weighed 280 lbs. He was a great leader, had just passing PT scores but assured us that he could lose the weight and perform on a BUD/S student level. In a matter of 4 months he was down to 200 lbs and could PT, run and swim with the best of his classmates at BUD/S. He even later made it into DEVGRU! So you cannot be discouraged about your size - in fact embrace it and work hard to be a better performer.

Physiologically it is easier to go from power lifting muscle fiber to endurance/strength muscle fiber than in reverse order. I did it and so can you. I did not lift weights for nearly 2 years prior to going to BUD/S and just ran, swam and PT’ed my butt off. It worked and when I started lifting again I was only about 6 weeks away from my previous maxes when I went on a weight gain cycle to prepare for cold water SDV diving in the winter.

In the SEAL Teams, you will be one of the bigger guys so you have to work hard not to slow the group down, but at the same time your strength and even teamwork ability will keep you in good stead with your peers.

Questions? Fire away!


Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness and self defense books such as The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, Maximum Fitness, and SWAT Workout. Certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and as military fitness trainer, Stew has trained hundreds of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT and many other law enforcement professions. See him at

Don't miss Fight Science Special Ops with Stew Smith

February 23rd on Nat Geo Channel

Monday, February 16, 2009

Are You There For Yourself?

Guest blogger: Tom Rancich

A friend of mine came up to me at a party once and said—“You saved my marriage.” I was fairly surprised as I hadn’t realized that I had made an attempt to do so. I asked—“How so?” She said, words to the effect of, well, “We were talking one night and blah blah blah and then you (Tom) asked me," “Where is he?” I said---"He is at home" and you replied, "No—he is there". My friend continued, "And you were right—he was there and always was there----and all of his imperfections and annoyances became less important than the fact that he was there---always." What she had realized was that he could have been anywhere but he chose---and continues to choose--to be with her in their life. That is worth a lot in a man’s view of the world.

So, what does that have to do with anything—well—mostly just this---are you there? Are you there for yourself? Do you stand up for yourself? Are you the friend to yourself that you always wanted to have at your side?

I know that might sound a bit huggy feely—even to the point of cheesy, but it is an important question to answer—because at the end of the day, or even the beginning, if you are not there for yourself then the day is lost.

So why wouldn’t you be there for yourself? I ask that as a serious question---but at BUD/S I saw it over and over---men walking away from themselves because they had decided that they weren’t worth the effort---and back then I didn’t care---good riddance to the quitters—but not anymore. I see the fallacy in that emotion---people need to understand that success starts and ends with ego. Ego is not something we are born with, it is something that develops---and for most of us our egos get developed around the things that embarrassed us—the things we fail at. I mean, I won hundreds of races that I don’t recall---but I certainly recall the one I lost by 2 one hundredths of a second. So here is the point---in my lectures I call it active introspection: Actively, consciously and periodically ask yourself what, why and how you are doing things… take time to define for yourself your:
a)Formative Experiences-Those experiences or events that formed the way you think, act, react, view your-self etc.
b)Definitive experiences- Those experiences that define the way you think, act, react, view your-self etc.

So through active introspection you can understand why you are making the decisions that you are making---if you are honest—and begin to sculpt how you make decisions to better achieve your true goals. I tried to start a tradition at BUD/S whereby the class leader from the class that had just made it through Hellweek would talk to the class about to go through Hellweek---my talk was pretty simple—“If you quit during Hellweek it is not because you can’t make it or because you are too cold or because all along you really wanted to be a teacher (actual excuse given to me from a quitter)—it is because you are willing to walk away from your brother when he is struggling for his life dream”. Okay a little harsh perhaps but I did have two people from my boat crew quit during log PT (4 people carrying log a lot harder than 6). Point is, that if you spend some time to know why you make decisions—honestly—you will start to see that a lot of decisions are made on old biases and are counter to your goals---oh, and doing this allows you to make bad decisions if you want to---just not lie to yourself about it!

If you are not there for yourself—no one is. If you are not thinking--actively and introspectively--about why you are doing things then you are not there for yourself. And if you are beating yourself up because you are short or fat or old or ugly---then you are not there for yourself. I told one of my dearest friends in the world once, “If anyone talked about you the way you talked about yourself, I would break their nose.” Don’t let your ego prevent you from being your friend.

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. Their company contributes proceeds to two worthy causes: a fund for the development of adaptive technology that will allow disabled veterans to pursue their desired career path and the EOD Wounded Warrior Fund.

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.

Alden Mills and Charlie Mike blogger Tom Rancich served together in the Teams.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Monica Lovato, Champion Boxer and Mixed Martial Artist

Guest blogger: Champion Boxer Monica Lovato

"Being a professional female boxer and a mixed martial artist with a wrist injury isn't the ideal situation especially in this age of competition. The Perfect Pushup has allowed me to still incorporate pushups in my training. The fact that it replicates the natural punching motion gives me an added edge in my training and has actually made my wrist, arms, back and other muscles stronger than ever.

I now can honestly say to myself "what wrist injury" as the Perfect Pushup has made me a stronger fighter all around. I continue to improve with the Perfect Pushup."

Charlie Mike Teammates, if you have questions for Monica, fire away!


Monica will Fight Melinda Cooper March 21st, 2009 for The IFBA World Bantamweight title at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas NV

CBS piece on Ms. Lovato:
Champion boxer transitioning to MMA.
Age: 30 Weight: 115 lbs, Super Flyweight Division
Amateur Record: 10-2
Professional Record: 11-1 (4 KOs)
Currently ranked #1 according to the World Boxing Council (WBC)
Currently IBA Bantamweight World Champ
Currently NABF Superflyweight Champion

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Strength in Diversity in the Navy SEAL Teams: All Body Types Needed!

Guest blogger: Stew Smith

I often receive emails concerning guys who are “too lean”, “too short”, “too tall”, “too big” to attend SEAL training. This is one of the first “doubts” you will have about yourself on whether or not you are tough enough to make it through SEAL training. There is not much you can do about what God gave you physically - BUT the good news is the SEALs need men of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and colors.

Each month, I will address a concern from the emails I receive on a near weekly basis and this will hopefully help you clear the self-doubt you are having about attending SEAL training

Too Lean:

Question: I've heard that guys at BUD/S without enough body fat have a really tough time -- that they have to carbo load even more than the normal person.

True - some guys go to BUD/S and are lean - meaning sub 5% bodyfat. Not only will you want to eat more carbohydrates, but you will have to eat more fat and protein as well in order to maintain your weight. We had one really skinny kid in my BUD/S Class who was tough as nails and was cold all the time and he had to eat extra meals - sometimes waking up in the middle of the night to eat some pizza or protein shakes to keep weight on. But in the end, he was actually one of a few BUD/S graduates who actually gained weight by the time BUD/S was over.

You will be cold, but we all are, your muscles will keep you warm like fat will. In fact it is the muscle shaking that produces body heat so do not be scared of shaking - it warms you up - it is when you stop shaking is when it is dangerous.

In the SEAL Teams, you will be able to get into places others cannot and perhaps be a cardio-vascular stud and outlast many others. To me that is an advantage in many situations.

I always tell people that there is Strength in Diversity - we all carry unique skill sets whether they are physical, mental, or the experience of life that all come together to create a platoon of well rounded SEALs in a TEAM. If you make it through SEAL Training, you obviously have “something special” to share with your teammates and add to the strength of the team.


Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness and self defense books such as The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, Maximum Fitness, and SWAT Workout. Certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and as military fitness trainer, Stew has trained hundreds of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT and many other law enforcement professions. See him at

Don't miss Fight Science Special Ops with Stew Smith

February 16th on Nat Geo Channel

Back to the Future with Abe of Texas

Teammates – it is my pleasure to share Abe’s story with you. Hooyah Abe!!

My name is Abe R. I got the Perfect Pushup last November and started using the work out chart. My first max was 10 pushups, barely. I struggled to do 10. Here’s my background: when I was is in high school my bench max was 310lbs. I only weighed 168lbs. Now I weigh 235lbs and have not even touched a weight bench in 13 years. Thanks to your product I worked my way up to the top level of the work out chart.

Today I decided to go the local work out center and tried my hand at the bench press. I am happy to report that because of your product today I benched 300lbs. The only thing that I have done in 13 years is use your product. I use it every day. Here is the after photo of me.

When I went to the gym, I did 10 reps of 225 then 6 reps then 2. I told every one at the gym about your product and recommended it. I have incorporated the Perfect Pushup into my bench press routine.

Thanks very much.

Abe R., Texas

Teammates -- If you have a story and a picture too, fire away:


Monday, February 9, 2009

How Military Fitness Changed My Life

A life changing experience….

I want to share an answer to a question from a long lost friend of mine: Rob Provost – actually the question isn’t from Rob, it’s from his 15 yr old son Tyler who’s conducting a school project about regarding fitness and its importance in the military. His question:

“How has military fitness changed/affected your (my) life?”

Leave it to the next generation to come up with the best questions. Tyler, this is for you pal…

…the short answer is military fitness shaped who I am today, and I don’t just mean literally regarding my appearance, I mean my attitude, which is a factor of ten times more important than anything else in life. In SEAL team training, before we fired a single shot at the range or pulled a grenade pin or jumped from a plane or swam out of a sub, our instructors reminded us repeatedly that those privileges – and yes jumping from a plane or operating from a submarine or shooting a weapon ARE privileges – are reserved for those who have proven they have weapon’s “platform” to not just handle these tasks but excel at them under the most adverse conditions. The weapon’s platform the instructors are referring too is our body. Anyone can complete the aforementioned tasks but can they excel at them when the chips are not in your favor – the difference is not just having a body that is up to the physical punishment of these tasks but they have a command and control system (our brain) that can think under pressure and a compass (your attitude) that will not waiver when the going gets tough.

That’s what “military” fitness has done for me – it’s taught me a critical relationship: the body obeys the brain – not the other way around. (Incidentally, this was not learned overnight – actually it was learned through many sleepless nights – thank you Hellweek instructors among many others!) Once you learn that you are in charge of your Body – your weapon’s platform – then you’ve just increased your chances at mission success – it’s not about how fancy your gear is, it’s about knowing your capabilities and knowing that limitations are set by you, not by anyone else. Military fitness is the cornerstone to SEAL Team – so much so, that platoons use a slogan daily to remind everyone why we conduct Physical Training (military fitness) – it is: “The platoon that PTs together, stays together!”. Point being is that the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

Military fitness is what drives me today to build Perfect Fitness, because you don’t need to go through SEAL training or for that matter any military training to benefit from “military” fitness. You see, there are only three things in life you can control: your brain, body and attitude (I’m assuming you’re lucky enough to control your brain and body – i.e. not mentally or physically impaired). Learn to control these three things and you’ll possess the tools to not only handle anything life throws at you and you’ll be able to define your life. It won’t happen overnight, but every moment you’re learning to take control of our body – getting fit – is a moment you’re succeeding, and this success, which is hard fought and takes time, will permeate through other elements of your life. Stick with it, and you’ll find your attitude improves, your brain functions better and your body has more energy and is better conditioned to be what I call your Life Experience Vehicle – your experiences in life are directly dependent on how conditioned your body is to experience whatever it is you choose to experience.

So whether you choose to experience SEAL training or bagging a 14,000 foot mountain peak or SCUBA diving with whale sharks, knocking out some Perfect Pushups is a great way to start learning how to take control of your body – do this, and I promise you, you’ll have the tools to take control of your life!



Sunday, February 8, 2009

Activate Your Abs

Charlie Mike Teammates -- I'm re-running a blog from last April about Ab Activation. Doctor Scott's blogs emphasized the importance of stabilizing the core and activating your abs -- it's the bedrock of all exercise and rehab programs.

1. Activate your Abs by standing tall and literally pull your navel to your spine - try it five times...then do it again, but now try to pull in your lower abs at the same time (Abs muscle between your bellybutton and pubic bone is the key abs muscle - it's called the Transversus Abdominis, and acts as an "abdominal belt" for your Core - it's THE most important Ab muscle - helps you get into a smaller pair pants, among other useful things).

2. Put Ab activation into everything you do - now that you know what it feels like to activate these abs (when you pull your navel to your spine you're activating all four sets of Abs) - apply it to doing your Perfect Pushups. I'm a BIG fan of multi-tasking your workout - that is working more muscle groups at the same - the benefits are awesome: multi-tasking workouts require more blood (improves cardiovascular system); requires more caloric uptake (burn more fat); and makes you think (stimulates central nervous system - i.e. release of hormones)...there’s absolutely NO REASON why you can't work your Abs while you do Perfect Pushups and for that matter Perfect Pullups!

3. Ab focused workouts - for those who enjoy working your Abs try the following workouts:

a. Mountain Climbers followed by Squat Thrusts - grab your Perfect Pushups, get in Pushup position with feet shoulder width apart, now use your lower abdominals to pull one knee up to your chest, then alternate as if you were in the starting blocks of a sprint race - but you're sprinting in place - up and back twice is one repetition - it's done to a four count cadence. Try for 10 reps - then go to 20 and grow from there...once you've hit 20 reps, to increase the intensity add Squat thrusts to the mix (same exercise as mountain climbers except now it's both legs at the same time) - do 10 reps of Squat thrusts adding by 10 reps of Mountain Climbers (everything is four count)!

b. If you have the Perfect Pullup - GET THE PERFECT PULLUP AB STRAP and follow the enclosed Ab Strap workouts - these are sure to help you build Rock Hard Abs!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Stretching and Flexibility

Guest blogger: Dr. Scott Calzaretta

Barbie’s question – Is there a method to stretch correctly and not have your muscles tighten? What else can you do besides stretching to get greater flexibility?

One of the best ways to develop flexibility is to get stable??? Strange, but here is an example: someone with a weak core or back may have tight hamstrings as a result of the hamstrings trying to make up for the weakness and act as a stabilizer. So…when we strengthen the core the hamstrings suddenly feel better about relaxing/stretching since the other muscles are now doing their job of stabilizing the body.

Here is a simple test:

While standing, attempt to touch your toes. Now, place a pillow between your knees and squeeze with your legs. Attempt to touch the floor again. Result -- if it is easier to touch the floor with the pillow and contracting your muscles, your core needs some help and your hamstring flexibility will improve. (I have had many patients who reported not being able to touch their toes be able to do so on the spot).

Strengthening a "Weak" Arm + Rock Climbing Exercises

Guest blogger: Dr. Scott Calzaretta

Natalia has two questions. She has used the BodyRev for years and she’s now back at the gym 2x a week after a 6-month hiatus.

Question: Although Rev’ing has strengthened her arms, when she gets to the Butterfly machine, her left arm is unbelievably weaker (she’s right-handed) – what to do?

Imbalances of greater that 10% may mean something more than just weakness and should be checked by a sports medicine specialist. If there are no underlying issues, than I prefer dumbbells or cables to help focus on the weak arm and stabilizers (no cheating here). Typically, doing this with the addition of an extra set or two on the weak side can be a quick fix. If you are doing light weights, then we add more weight to the weak side and keep reps at 6-10 per set. Get help from a trainer in the gym and let them watch your form as well.

Question: Her 13 year-old “Little Sister” is Rock Climbing at the gym: what kinds of exercises will help her? What should she avoid, other than falling (they do have harnesses)?

The Perfect Pullup is a great device for rock climbing. You can work out the entire body in the comfort of your home. Grip and finger strengthening is also an area of focus. The nice part of climbing is that, for the most part, the activity itself will strengthen her naturally.

Road to Recovery after a Rotator Cuff Injury

Guest blogger: Dr. Scott Calzaretta

Kamy severely injured her rotator cuff a year ago. She’s had therapy and avoided surgery and now has medical clearance to go back to the gym. She doesn’t want to re-injure her shoulder.

Question: What movements should she avoid? How can she strengthen that area? What about working back up to regular pushups?

I am glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery. The Perfect Pushup can be a great assistance in giving you more stability in your shoulder. We have seen this many times through testimonials as well as in our rehab department. Some people will start with kneeling while using the Perfect Pushup. The rule of thumb is that if it hurts while you are exercising (on your own) avoid that motion. Typically, your therapist should have told you things to avoid so go with their recommendations.

Outside of the usual exercises you have probably been taught, here is a great move for rotator cuff: A single arm deadlift while contracting the cuff muscles and squeezing the bar with intensity (please get help learning that one). Good luck.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Guest blogger: Dr. Scott Calzaretta

Cat is coming out of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and had two questions:

Is CFS a long-term case of severe overtraining?

Answer: There is nothing that I have come across in the literature to suggest that CFS is a direct result of long term overtraining.

Her second question: How can she ramp up her ½ hour hill walking to a law-enforcement level of fitness without getting sick again?

Answer: You should get help from a health care professional who can assist you in improving your condition. Over 23 years, I have seen CSF patients make excellent recoveries when addressing the issues that caused their CSF. As a general rule, start slow (don’t increase more than 5%/week), get adequate sleep, focus on great nutrition and give yourself enough days between workouts to recover.

You really do need to work with someone knowledgeable in assisting patients to recover from CSF, and has more insight into your personal history, so you can move forward in your training.


Guest blogger Tim Grizzell also addressed Cat's concerns -- see the comments to his blog, "Making Time for Fitness" for his answer.

How Do Athletes Recover from Overtraining?

Guest blogger: Dr. Scott Calzaretta

AJ asked: What do you have athletes do to recover from overtraining/over exercising?

Great question as this is an all too common challenge. The athlete's training program of exercises, sets and reps (including diet, stress levels, sleep patterns) must be assessed. Many athletes overtrain, but there are varying degrees of symptoms. Some are evident and some not. A few examples are decrease in strength, endurance, poor sleep and elevated resting heart rate. Active rest/recovery is one of my favorite mechanisms for someone who overtrains and just will not rest. OK, once we literally almost had to lock a US ski team member in the closet for a weekend. After convincing him of how to stop overtraining he performed the best he had done in years.

An example might be a light cardio day keeping heart rate in 60% range followed by full body foam roller and stretching. It does depend on the sport or goals of why they are training, but rest and or active rest/recovery are a good place to start. Did you ever notice how strength can increase with some time off from lifting?

You might need to decrease volume, intensity, frequency or all three. Get help from a trainer and most importantly, listen to your body and train smart.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Check out the Today Show tomorrow 8/9 am

Charlie Mike Teammates --

The Perfect Pushup will be featured on the Today Show on NBC tomorrow (2/5). The segment will air between the 8AM-9AM.

Perfect Pushup will be included in a round-up of products for a segment on "Home Fitness Infomercial Products." The other products they have selected to include are the Rock and Go, Cardio Twister and Iron Gym.

Thank you for your support: the Today Show is the #1 ranked national morning show and it's great to have the opportunity to inform and Fire Up people who are Perfect Pushup novices.

Please share the news and tune in to NBC tomorrow morning!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back to Basics with Doctor Scott

Guest blogger: Dr. Scott Calzaretta

During any sport or activity the best coaches always told you to pay attention to the basics. Focus on the foundation for the activity and everything else is built around those basics. Martial art masters will tell you that once you receive a black belt it is an indication that you've mastered the basics and now ready to take your learning to the next level. Most of the advanced moves are basics with a nuance. The same thing holds true when it comes to exercise. The foundation of all exercises start with proper movement patterns and timeless basics. You'd be amazed how many people cannot squat to the floor without lifting their heels. Watch a child play and you will notice they can play in the squat position effortlessly. This is a basic movement pattern that is easily lost with a weak/unstable core and/or inflexibility.

I recently attended a conference which gathered some of the best-known sports chiropractors, medical doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers dealing with professional athletes and amateur enthusiasts on a regular basis. A common theme amongst the presenters was exercises that dealt with body weight and functional movements (the way the body is designed to move in relation to itself and the activity for which you are training). Push-ups with focus on core and shoulder stability while varying angles and even adding a plyometric component are much more functional than your standard bench press. The ability to do pull-ups is an outstanding exercise in so many ways (and products like the Perfect Pullup have made them even better).

How about good old fashioned skipping or sprinting? Box jumps, which start in a partial squat position and jump up onto a solid structure with focus on technique that sticks the landing (a partial squat just like when you started). There are so many great exercises that can be done at home with minimal equipment and maximal results. These are just some examples of the exercises that are tried and true and have real life applications. We also understand that people are limited in their time and want results. So let’s define results….

Results are defined by improved function which means you are more efficient in your activities or sport and have a decreased risk of injury. All movements in sport should come from the core. The core is the area between the ribs and the pelvis. By maintaining a stable core, it provides the foundation for which all other movement patterns come from easily and efficiently. What the core is not is the abdominal muscles. While some of the core stabilizers do involve some of the abdominal muscles, the complete core wraps around the body. The important purpose of this is that when the core muscles engage, they stabilize the spine - which functionally strengthens it.

This brief blog isn't about developing massive size to your frame. These exercises are about getting tone and looking fit (and if you really focus on your nutrition, becoming ripped). More importantly, this new phase of old exercises (variations with additional degrees of difficulty, e.g. balance and stability) can help you to feel better and function better in your everyday life activities. These exercises are timeless, ageless and produce results.

Remember that famous quote from Billy Crystal, “It is better to look good then to feel good”? I am sure he would now be saying, “It is better to look good, feel great and function better”. Now go “Back to Basics”, learn them as they should be done, and enjoy the results you deserve.

I look forward to answering your "Back to Basics" questions!

Dr. Scott Calzaretta


Dr. Calzaretta is the director and founder of the Chiro-Medical Group. He has been in practice since 1985, and has successfully pioneered the design and operation of a multi-disciplinary health care facility. He has traveled extensively both nationally and abroad treating professional and world class athletes.

Dr. Calzaretta was a founding board member of F.I.C.S (World Governing Body of Sports Chiropractic). His knowledge and experience in treating athletes was a key factor in his appointment as a team doctor in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea. He is a State Appointed Qualified Medical Evaluator and Certified Industrial Disability Examiner. Dr. Calzaretta has taken his experience in sports and rehabilitative medicine and has successfully integrated them into the comprehensive health care approach offered by the Chiro-Medical Group.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Stud Sports Doctor -- Welcome Doc Scott!

CM Teammates, here’s another special guest blogger joining us tomorrow – Dr. Calzaretta – aka Doc Scott. He’s ranked as one of the best of the best when it comes to sports medicine; he’s trained and treated folks from pro sport teams to Olympians to even the Rockettes (lucky bastard!); he’s a certified Titliest golf trainer, a black belt in Karate and has started six sports medicine clinics – yep, he’s a stud, and we’re honored that he’s a member of the Team Perfect’s advisor team. Feel free to fire questions his way.

Enjoy learning how to improve your body’s performance.