Teammates, CHARLIE MIKE has moved! It is now on the perfectonline home page: check it out! And while you do, take a look at the new 21-Day Workout Challenge.
Please follow CHARLIE MIKE from its new location by clicking on the upper right hand corner of the new blog: you will see the words SUBSCRIBE IN A RSS appear in red.
See you at PerfectOnline.com Teammates! HOOYAH!
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
Monday, February 22, 2010
Teammates, CHARLIE MIKE has moved! It is now on the perfectonline home page: check it out! And while you do, take a look at the new 21-Day Workout Challenge.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Teammates, Navy enlisted man Sean Ellis was the winner of our Facebook Fan Page Perfect Combo contest! He won a Perfect Pullup and our new V2! Post some pictures when you get it installed. HOOYAH Sean! AMM
Here's what Sean had to say on our fan page: "Thank you so very much. A bit about myself: I am 19 years old. I am currently enlisted in the US Navy. I am in school for the nuclear power program in South Carolina. I am big into judo and jujitsu and many other martial arts. Once again thanks for the congrats."
More contests to come Teammates!
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
Monday, February 15, 2010
Teammates, I love the Olympics – from the opening to the closing ceremonies to everything in between, but more than anything else I love to learn about the athletes and their personal stories of persistence in the face of adversity. To me, the Olympics are a celebration of individual perseverance – of childhood dreams finally realized over countless years of hard work and undying determination. One of the many wonderful elements of the Olympics is that only a handful of Olympians will ever gain fame and fortune – for most it’s the satisfaction of accomplishing a goal they refused to let go. Friday night during the opening ceremony, John Furlong, the CEO of the Vancouver games stated: “…lives of great significance start with a spark.” Knowing that billions around the world were watching, he implored the next generation to find their “spark” from the athletes performing in these Winter Games so a new generation of inspired athletes can raise the Olympic bar. Furlong encouraged the Olympians to “seize their moment” and to “Never EVER Give UP.” It was an excellent speech, and the words came home to me.
An extraordinarily small number of people around the world will ever become Olympic athletes. It’s hard work and it takes work and it takes talent, persistence, luck and unusual amounts of family/friend/coaching support; I know, I tried for the 1992 summer games in rowing, and never got there. My Olympic spark started in high school when I found a sport that I could actually excel at – rowing. It was perfect for me – a seemingly simple movement while sitting down and going backwards! One particular day after completing what I thought was a tough workout (and feeling pretty damn good about myself) I boasted to my coach, Hart Perry, I wanted to row in the Olympics. I’ll never forget his response: “then train and row like an Olympian.”
That one statement was my Olympics spark. Coach Perry could have responded a thousand different ways from laughter to a ludicrous stare, but instead he took this 15 year-old boy’s comment seriously and essentially said if that’s what you want then it starts now and you better raise your game – if you want to be the best, then do what the best do. I’ll never forget how he responded to me – I wasn’t the best rower on the squad and I certainly wasn’t the healthiest (asthma and pneumonia plagued my early days of rowing) – but he gave me reason to believe in myself, and though I never made the Olympic podium, let alone the games, that single spark has since ignited multiple fires within my gut to go after my dreams, and most importantly, he gave me reason to believe in myself.
Not everyone has a Coach Perry in their life or the Olympic dream in their head but EVERYONE has the capability to dream their own Olympic-sized dreams. And once you find your “Olympic spark”, seize it with all your might and go after it like an Olympian. There’s a Coach Perry out there for you, and an Olympic medal with your name on it – you just need to keep your Olympic flame burning bright by Never EVER Giving UP!
CHARLIE MIKE – ALDEN
P.S. Thanks Coach Perry for teaching me how to believe in myself.
Statue of Ilanaaq, located on Whistler Mountain, BC, and symbol of the 2010 Winter Olympics, wikipedia: creative commons license.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Teammates, meet Jerry A., a fellow sailor. When I read his story and saw his before and after pictures, I asked him to share his fitness journey with the CHARLIE MIKE readers. Jerry, thank you -- and I agree with your first line! AMM
"I have not always been one to like doing pushups. I did plenty of them in the Navy, especially for punishment in basic training. I was stationed at NAS North Island on the USS Constellation CV-64 '81-83, and I had shore duty at the medical clinic there '87-89. Since being out of the Navy I have mostly walked for exercise. My mother had to have a quadruple heart bypass nearly two years ago. After being released from the hospital she needed wrist and ankle weights, so I went to Walmart and bought her some. As I was looking at the weights, I noticed "Perfect Pushup" was stocked next to them.
This is my before picture. Although I walked for exercise, I knew that I needed to exercise my upper body. I caved in and bought myself "Perfect Pushup". When I started using "Perfect Pushup" I could barely do one. I am now doing 50 of each pushup -- regular, wide, and close -- but not 50 straight. I have started doing the “Power 10” and I am sore!
I bought the "Perfect Pullup" and "Abstraps." I cannot yet do one full pullup, but I can do the rest. I am now considering doing the advanced "Perfect Pushup" workouts. I have not only strengthened my upper body, I am also pleased that I bought a product engineered by a fellow Navy veteran. What's next, "Perfect Gym?"
My before Perfect Pushup pic was taken in NYC and the one in St. Maartens is the after.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Hey Team, Marcus Colburn, aka Mojo Frog here, your "Perfect" charge' d' affaire and I've got a killer tip that you can use to help you get wicked awesome results from your perfect products! Check out The Perfect Wicked Awesome Killer 100 Rep Workout!
I'll make it simple for you as I know how confusing all this figuring out the correct tabulations can be (at least for me as I'm just a gym rat)
Keep working your way up till you can get 100 reps of everything. Now this may be quite a chore but it's do-able.
• Keep your numbers low at first like 5-10 reps & do them on everything: pushups, dips, situps, pullups, & squats with no weight & you can even use the pullup bar at a waist level to aid you in the squats at first.
• Then keep a log on what your rep count was even if it's 4. IT'S ALL GOOD! Just work it baby...
• Stretch when you get done with each body part worked & release myofibril tissue to allow strength to increase. This will give you the rest time in between sets. You have so many combos & "perfect exercises" to choose from that it's astonishing or in my case dumbfounding!
You will not have to worry about where that workout deck of cards is or if you might have misplaced a few. All you need is your "wicked awesome perfect log note book” in order to track your progress, along with your very Own Customized Training & Nutrition Program!
Remember, "THE ONLY EASY DAY WAS YESTERDAY"
Friday, February 5, 2010
Teammates, a couple questions I often get are, "What's SEAL training really like? Who are the SEALs recruiting these days?" Check out what NBC's Today show learned when they had unprecented access for nine months to the world of the Navy's Silent Warriors.
"From high-tech weapons and underwater demolition to hand-to-hand combat and parachuting into war zones, NBC’s Chris Jansing takes a look at the making of a Navy SEAL." Notice what phrase comes up again and again: Extreme Fitness.
Did you know a Newsweek reporter wrote about Bronze Star Lieutenant Commander Tom Rancich's SEAL Hellweek aka BUD/S? Tom is a CHARLIE MIKE blogger too! N.B. every CM SEAL blogger has written about their BUD/S week. Lastly, read Warrior Elite: Forging SEAL Class 228 by Dick Couch.
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Or, as Lance Armstrong puts it, "Work like you stole something."
Teammates, I’m over all the efficiency experts in the world saying: “Work Smarter Not Harder”. Who’s kidding who here? Just because you’re going to “work smarter” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still work harder. Think about it! Let's assume you’ve discovered a smarter way to work (assuming you haven’t just discovered a Genie in a bottle), you have to assume others have unearthed a similar “smarter” approach; which means that you’re no further ahead then when you started “working smarter” because others are doing the same “smart work” – which means you’re right where you started UNLESS, you take your new found “smart work” technique and apply a hefty dose of good old fashioned hard work to the equation.
For those looking to really make something happen – then live by this slogan:
“Work smarter, THEN Work harder!”
There’s lots of ways to work smarter (we think we’re on to something here at Team Perfect!) but that’s only half of the equation – the other half is hard work, and lots of it! At the end of the day, the person with the prize is the one who learned to work smarter while working his or her tail off all along the way. When you learn a better way to do something, be like Lance Armstrong when he would earn the yellow jersey for the first time on each of his tour wins – he’s been quoted as saying: “I ride like I stole something”. I love that phrase, because that’s exactly what you should be thinking when you’ve discovered a better way to do something. Take that smarter approach, then work like you’ve stole something! Because sooner or later, others are coming, and the one that wins will be the one that is relentless on learning how to work smarter while working harder!
And guess what, your ability to work harder is directly correlated with the condition of your body! The strength of your brain, body and attitude – the only three things you can control – determine your ability to generate work. The better conditioned your brain, body, and attitude are, the better you’ll be at generating relentless amounts of smarter, harder work toward your goal. That’s why fitness Fires me UP so much, because it’s a key component in enabling you to work harder to accomplish your goals – i.e. it powers your ability to make a difference – to live the life you want!!
So next time you hear some self-help expert tell you that all you need to do is Work Smarter Not Harder – correct him/her immediately before they accidentally infect another poor soul with a slacker’s slogan.
Define your goal, then work it like you stole something!
CHARLIE MIKE - ALDEN
Monday, February 1, 2010
Teammates, over the past year the marketing team of Team Perfect has been on a quest to distill the essence of Team Perfect into a single phrase. They call it a “tag line”, I call it our mission statement reduction sauce – our mission statement reduced into 4 words or less. It’s not an easy thing to do – edit words down to the bare minimum yet still capture the key meaning of your purpose. There are lots of examples of tag lines, but few really stir the soul – a couple of effective ones that come to mind are Nike’s “Just do it” or Apple’s “Think Different” campaigns. Both capture the prospective company’s personalities – of course, at the end of the day, tag lines or mission statements or slogans or credos are just words. However, when they are backed by action such as Apple’s consistent design philosophy to “think differently” about what a piece of technology looks, feels and works like or Nike’s continual pursuit to associate their product with people that don’t talk about performing – they “Just do it” – then the words begin to take meaning…
To reduce our “mission statement” is to get to the core of why Team Perfect exists (and continues to persist!). We have seven core values at Team Perfect and our first one is:
#1. We CARE about the health of our customers” is our front sight focus. And the reason we care is that we link health with the ability to never give up, and when you’re armed with the capacity to persevere no matter what the odds are, then you have the ability to make a difference. Think about it for a second – what’s your purpose? What are you going to do with your life? Why?...What Fires you Up?...what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? (i.e…what would you do if you knew you wouldn’t give up?!). Doing anything new or different is hard enough – but it’s exponentially harder if you’re out of shape!
So what’s my favorite phrase?
“Make your life count.”
It’s up to you – you define your life and what it’ll be. After all, at the end of day, what’s really important in life? How many objects you own or the number of zeroes in your bank account? Doubt it... I bet, if you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll come to the conclusion that I have: figuring out ways to make a positive impact on something or someone – leaving the world a little bit better than you found it while having one helluva good time. In other words: Making YOUR LIFE Count. So be like Apple and think differently about your life, because your life is uniquely yours…and once you’ve decided what it’s going to be, be like Nike and Just do it!
CHARLIE MIKE! ALDEN
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Team Perfect Teammates: Welcome Aboard! You don’t realize how much it Fires Me UP to read about your journeys of overcoming obstacles - - it’s why I started this company 8 years ago, and your stories of success are what fuel all of us at Team Perfect to work tirelessly at innovating products and workouts to help all of us get the most out of our lives.
Keep the inspiration coming – your stories are ten times more powerful than you can imagine for folks around the world who are facing the same challenges you’ve already overcome – there’s nothing more rewarding then helping others unlock their potential – HOOYAH and CHARLIE MIKE TEAMMATES!
HOOYAH! (SEAL speak for Fired UP!)
CHARLIE MIKE (radio code for Continue Mission*)
* I'm on top of Mt. Whitney in this picture: a personal mission of mine was to climb Mt. Whitney before my 40th birthday -- which I did! AMM
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Teammates, every once in a while I talk about other “perfect” products – that is, products not by Team Perfect, but by entrepreneurs that share the same ideals we do when it comes to function, quality and purpose. Here’s my latest, shameless introduction of a product that I feel is worthy to mention on CHARLIE MIKE. The company is called SilverTech and they make socks – really good ones…and before I go further, I want you to know I stand nothing to financially gain from this post except the gratification of helping a fellow entrepreneur who’s trying to bring “perfect” into the marketplace – and I respect that.
Socks? What gives Alden?? Here’s a little known fact – I’m a sock nut. In SEAL Team training they make you obsess over taking care of your feet (I’ve been diving with waterproof bags just for my socks) – after all, if your feet get damaged your mobility to complete the mission is dramatically reduced – instructors and teammates alike would hound you on ensuring your feet are well taken care of. I’ve carried this fetish with me into civilian life and I’m constantly T&E’ing (testing and evaluating) socks – I probably have well over a 100 pair – drives my wife nuts!
Over the past six months, I’ve been T&E’ing SilverTech’s socks – the inventor claims that they are the first socks with actual silver in them which is supposed help wick the sweat from my feet (my feet sweat a lot); fight fungus and odor; and lastly, can self regulate the temperature depending on the environment (i.e. keep my feet warm when it’s cold outside, or keep my feet cool when I’m working out). I can’t really comment on the fungus or even the odor – never really had a problem with that, but I can comment on the sweaty feet challenges and temperature regulation function – on both counts they work, and work well. SilverTechs are now one of my three staples of socks that I use: Smartwool, Balega, and SilverTech. I use the SilverTechs for short to medium cardio workouts, and work/travel days. (I believe the inventor speaks the truth about preventing fungus, and God only knows how much fungus is laying in ambush on airport screening carpets!). They’re an excellent all-day sock (many socks I have to swap out during the day – not SilverTechs). As a veteran, I took note that the same silver fiber technology found in SilverTech socks was originally developed by the Defense Department for use by the Military – unfortunately after I left active duty.
Anyhow, I told the inventor how pleased I am with his invention and he’s graciously offered any of us a 20% discount from the SilverTech site: just use the code “Perfect” at checkout.
Meanwhile, keep working on your mission to live a life that counts!
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Teammates, to recap, the key question is how do you stay Fired UP to keep trying – to keep doing – to keep persevering – to keep from quitting – to keep from giving up – to keep persisting – to keep pressing on after you’ve had your failures or, as Dr Seuss would say, “your hang-ups and bang-ups.”? Here are my last two secrets!
2. The bigger your goal the longer it will take you to accomplish it – which means you need to have the stamina to maintain course and speed when things get bleak. I’ve always found and firmly believe in the concept of healthy body = healthy mind. Get yourself in shape! Your brain relies on your body for nourishment – to give yourself the best possible chances for success you need to keep your brain and body partnership thriving through exercise and great nutrition.
3. Assuming you have the stamina to press on through thick and thin, you’ll still need protection against the “quitter demons” – these are the little voices you’ll hear in your head or from those you love and trust or from repeated failures. To beat the little bastards back use the weapon of Perspective. Remind yourself of your position in life compared to those less fortunate – and dig deep here – example – you can read, remember how many can’t or perhaps once could, but no longer can – that no one is shooting at you – that food will be on your table tonight – that you have friends, loved ones, clothes, so on and so on. Unlike thousands struggling to rebuild in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, you have a roof over your head. The key here is appreciating the perspective of your situation in comparison to other things in life. It’ll keep you grounded and on track when others might want you to join their misery…after all misery loves company!
As you attack your 2010 goals, I hope you’re able to use these to keep your persistence engine stoked, because at the end of day, persistence is the only thing that gets, and keeps, you going to achieve your goal. I’ll leave you with my favorite quotation of all-time:
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "Press On!" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. J. Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States.
CHARLIE MIKE – (Press On in military speak!) ALDEN
P.S. A huge goal for me was to climb Mt. Whitney before I turned 40 -- my picture is proof positive. Read all about it at my SEAL buddy Tim Grizzell's Fire in the Gut website! AMM
Monday, January 25, 2010
Teammates, how do you stay Fired UP? It’s a great question and one that I hear all the time. News flash – you’re not going to be Fired UP all the time…yep it’s true, "I'm sorry to say so but, sadly it's true that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you." Dr. Seuss continues,"unslumping yourself is hard to do.” This quotation is from one of my favorite all-time books Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss: it acknowledges what every one of us will deal with in life…and some of us will have more “bang-ups and hang-ups” as we dare to do things differently and we challenge ourselves in new ways. When you push the envelope in whatever you do – you will fail – failing is a fact of life – the key is understanding that you only ever fail if you never learn from your “failure". Thomas Edison once said he learned over 5,000 ways not to invent a light bulb – I learned 1,475,000 dollars worth of how NOT to launch a fitness product – in other words, you’re not learning if you’re not Failing!
So really, the key question is how do you stay Fired UP to keep trying – to keep doing – to keep persevering – to keep from quitting – to keep from giving up – to keep persisting – to keep pressing on after you’ve had your failures, or as Dr. Seuss would say, “your hang-ups and bang-ups.”?
Having failed many more times in life than I’ve succeeded, I humbly offer you my three “secrets” for staying Fired UP in the face of adversity – here goes:
1. When you set your goal – the thing you want to accomplish and are willing to devote time to it – first take the time to understand and visualize why this particular goal is important to you. Literally define the goal’s purpose – example: I want to create a fitness company – its purpose to me is: working in an industry that will always be a part of my daily life and the joy I receive from helping others take control of their bodies is immeasurable – furthermore, I want financial freedom and scheduling freedom to be with my family during the most precious years of their young adult lives. I’ve linked this purpose so strongly to my goal that failure to achieve isn’t an option – it’s a similar linkage I had when conducting SEAL training, my attitude was they (the instructors) would have to kill me before I’d quit. I promise you, if you spend the time creating this linkage of purpose with your goal and you visualize both the pleasure of achieving it with the pain of not achieving it, you will have a created a foundation for tireless perseverance and there will be no brick wall thick enough or tall enough to stop you.
Part 2: Secrets 2 and 3 to staying Fired Up in the face of adversity.
CHARLIE MIKE – (Continue Mission in military speak!) ALDEN
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Teammates, Joe Gunter needs no introduction! He has been a Perfect Swim Buddy since 2008 -- and his life-changing journey can be summed up in one word: EXCELLENT! Bravo Zulu Joe! Thanks for sharing your story to date with the CHARLIE MIKE Teammates. AMM
The year was 2008 and the person was Alden Mills. I was reading a blog post he wrote, where he made reference to the transversus abdominis – the muscle below your belly button. (It gets hard as a rock when you do a sit-up.) Having recently studied a basic Latin course, and remembering my younger years when I worked as a landscaper and learned Latin botanical names, I had one of those Eureka moments when you don’t necessarily shout “Wow!” but you realize you just learned something very, very important.
I discovered my transversus abdominis. It was a good feeling. You have one too, of course.
From there, I had to face the cold hard fact of the matter: I had neglected my transversus abdominis for my entire adult life. Maybe we did some sit-ups in P.E. class when I was a boy, but that was long ago, and this important abdominal muscle was about as atrophied as atrophy can get.
“The pushup is an active plank.” I can hear Alden Mills’ YouTube-video words as I type. I already knew that the pushup alone was a super exercise, because practically every physical fitness program in every military and law enforcement unit in the world uses it extensively. But Mills perfected it by inventing the rotating handles. Any child can tell this after using the Perfect Pushup for about ten seconds.
Back to the Latin. Incidentally, if you hate Latin, join the club. Almost everyone hates Latin, except teachers. Still, if you want to study botany or anatomy, you are going to learn some by default, because muscles and bones and plants have Latin names, like the one mentioned above.
Look at any picture of the human body where the muscle groups are labeled, as in Gray’s Anatomy. Look at those Latin labels. Look at those muscle groups. Are you using them?
Most people are not using them.
Don’t be like most people.
Be smart. Be strong. Be ready.
Join the Enlightenment.
That’s my story
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Teammates – check out what Julie and Julia have to say about doing Perfect Pullups over on the Perfect Fitness Facebook fan page! That would be the amazing Julia-White: Ok I finally put my PERFECT PULLUPS to the test..Uhmm..Australian pullups are FREAKING HARD!! Julie Erickson, Team Perfect’s Marketing Coordinator, agreed: They are SO awesome! The standing rows and Australians are killer but such GREAT stepping stones to doing full-on pullups. Gotta do your negatives too, those babies are clutch for working up to doing full pullups.
Learn everything you ever wanted to know about to do a Perfect Pullup by taking a look at these previously published CHARLIE MIKE blogs. Still have questions? Ask a teammate for help!
What is a negative pullup? How can knowing how to do one help me master a pullup?
Want to know how to increase the numbers of pullups you can do?
Teach your kids to do pullups.
What if you want to combine a pullup and a pushup workout?
Like I've said before, if you find yourself at a plateau, get that step ladder out and start doing negatives – I promise you – if you do the work, you will be rewarded with success – the key is DON’T EVER GIVE UP! Don't let naysayers get the better of you. Remember, misery loves company – so let’em be miserable, while you Pull your way to victory!
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
Monday, January 18, 2010
Teammates, this post ends Jim's series of blogs on his journey to become Navy SEAL fit -- but the work continues! Just ask Jim. And if you want to check in with him and other Perfect Fitness teammates, please join the Perfect Fitness Facebook fan page. CHARLIE MIKE Jim!! AMM
I resumed my regular workouts after I got dismissed from the army and kept on following the “SEAL training pattern” which also helped me develop a “never give up” attitude helping me a lot with my job. Back at work I was assigned to a “special task” for which I couldn’t find any serious support on how to deal with, no matter how hard I searched. Not accepting failure as an option though I finally managed to fulfill the given task on my own powers with 100% success! It was probably that “fire in the gut” that kept me going.
Years passed by and further internet searching on fitness led me to “Perfect Pushup”. This community of motivated people has managed to keep me fired up over the years and looking to further improving myself, not only in terms of fitness but also as a person. What can one say about Alden’s inspirational posts but a great THANK YOU!
Looking back all I can say is that bringing change to one's life requires a stimulus usually external but then equally important is the person’s own will to succeed and make change happen. it definitely requires being open minded so as to manage to question one’s beliefs and be able to accept the coming changes, no matter if it’s fitness, work or other aspects of personal life someone is dealing with.
Set short realistic goals that will take you to your final objective.
Maybe the road to improvement is hard (yes, those stomach muscle cramps is something I don’t ever want to go through again) but it’s definitely worth the effort, as Navy SEALs say “It’s mind over matter, if you don’t mind then it doesn’t matter”.
Jim in Greece
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Teammates, more fitness inspiration from Jim K, a sensational athlete -- and great communicator -- from Greece. He's a charter member of Team Perfect! Did you take the challenge I made the last time Jim blogged, to sign up for the weekly fitness challenges on our Perfect Fitness Facebook fan page? Check it out! AMM
One year before enlisting for my obligatory military service, I purchased a book by Dockery which got me into all round fitness, running, lifting weights, swimming & calisthenics. It felt really good! This triggered me to do some further searching on Navy SEALs and I decided to attempt Stew Smith’s “BUD/S warning order” (picture above is of one of Stew Smith's books). I would have a free weights session at the gym and then get back home for a one hour session of calisthenics (not recommended to anyone since it can cause serious injuries due to severe muscle strain).
Those Navy SEAL fitness books managed to boost my endurance and fitness levels to a point that I’d never thought of I was capable of achieving. Before I started doing the workouts in those books I had considered myself to be fit because I could lift some serious weights even though I wasn’t bulky at all. This showed how wrong I was, free weights didn’t offer the functional strength “SEAL fitness” did!
I couldn’t join the special forces because of terrible eye sight (I’ve had eye surgery recently) so I said to myself “if you can’t join them at least why not be as fit as these guys are?” I stopped lifting weights and got into the advanced level of "BUD/S warning order" with all my heart, always keeping up with the pace, just driven only by my personal will to become “SEAL fit” .
Excessive running (6-7 minutes/mile) almost daily, swimming almost one hour each day, and calisthenics had managed to reduce my body fat to a level I had never imagined. Yes, I’d exercise about 3 hours a day and there was a short period that I’d suffer from serious stomach cramps because of those workouts’ intensity. Those cramps were probably the hardest pain I’ve ever endured so far, it felt as if someone was cutting through my stomach with a knife and they lasted for about 2 weeks. But even this couldn’t keep away from exercising, and I kept saying to myself to be patient and that they’d go away when my body got accustomed to this physical exertion, and they did. Today I can recognize the symptoms and prevent this from occurring but I was determined to reach the fitness levels Navy SEALs had set and there was nothing that could stop me.
My military service (in Greece) was rather frustrating for me because I had reached the fitness levels set by Navy SEALs and I was determined to stay there. I did a daily workout on my own and in fact people were giving me strange looks because I was the only one in the camp who would exercise voluntarily. I recall a competition between our company and another one where I was asked to compete against x-special forces guy on pushups, he kept yelling and shouting that he’d beat me easily but in fact he dropped face first into the ground and I kept on going for an extra twenty reps before being stopped by the cadets who had the roles of referees (I could keep pushing out more reps though). By the way, that guy never talked to me again!
Part IV: Maintaining Navy SEAL fitness level after military service
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Look who came to visit Team Perfect! Teammates, for those of you who don't know him, former SEAL Tom Rancich was the first guest blogger on CHARLIE MIKE. Tom and I go way back! I met Tom during BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training. I was class leader of BUD/S Class 181 but was pulled out for medical reasons and rolled into Class 182. Tom was the class leader of BUD/S Class 182 – when I came in halfway through as the assistant class leader. Tom was pulled for medical reasons but I was secured. And the story Tom tells is that he was the one to get my guys into shape, thus making my job ever so much easier!
And here we are, years later, and Tom's still making my job easier. As longtime Perfect Fitness teammate Nancy in NC said, "SEALs are all about teamwork  Any tips on team building and motivation?" Tom Rancich was and is the best leader ever -- that being said, I'm re-running a blog from him on Teamwork -- thanks brother! AMM
Question from Nancy in NC: So, you and Alden are obviously great motivators. How do you take a group of individuals, with their own self interests and personal goals, and motivate them to work as a team? I'm not referring to exercise here, but more team building at work or in a civic club situation.
Answer: The very first thing to do is to define what your organizational needs are. Very few organizations actually need a true team, or a least a team as I choose to define it--(Team- A group of people who have undergone advanced/ specialized training and been specifically forged into a highly committed, capable, mission specific, performance oriented operational entity).
But rather they need to improve their group performance (again, as I chose to define it. Group- A task oriented compilation of people based on individual skills relative to the projected skills required). Now the reason I define things this way is that I assert that the dictionary definitions are inadequate to properly define the future requirements of the team/group and thus makes achieving that status highly unlikely.
So the first thing that an organization really needs to do is clearly and accurately define what are their:
4. Critical values
5. Organizational imperatives
6. Organizational philosophies
From that start you will have defined the type of people and the type of interaction/communication you need. It is a lot of work, but this will also clearly show how people are to be and most importantly, the benefit to the individuals for being that way.
I have long believed that all SEAL training and operational successes come down to two simple critical values that all SEALs must possess: Never quit, Never leave your buddy. That is the bedrock foundation of everything else we do.
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.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Teammates, CM SEAL Team blogger Mike Ryan is back with an update of his Labor Day classic "Don't Fall Off the Wagon". What's more dangerous than a Labor Day bar-b-que? A Super Bowl Buffet! Fortunately, there's still time to prepare your Dive Plan. How about throwing some Perfect Pushups in front of the TV? Challenge your friends to push out twenty perfect pushups each time your team scores a touchdown. Just remember, you'll be pushing 'em out too! AMM
The goal: To navigate a Super Bowl party successfully.
Keep in mind that your body, to feel satisfied and full, needs four things:
Volume * Fat * Fiber * Protein. So my prescription for preparing for a Super Bowl party is simple. You want to arrive feeling full! BEFORE you leave, drink tons of water. Prepare a big dark green leafy salad or a plate of at least 2 cups of grilled/steamed vegetables like broccoli or spinach. Throw 3 oz of turkey on top and use a good quality salad dressing made with olive oil. That's the formula:
Drink as much water as you can -- almost, but not, to the point of feeling sick. Are you drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily? For the really hardcore, swallow a tablespoon of high quality olive oil on your way out the door to get a sensation of saity.
When you get to the party, go crazy eating vegetables. Make sure that protein is part of everything you eat. Let's face it, an all day celebration with a sporting event as its centerpiece (like the Super Bowl) is a dangerous time if you are trying to stick to a nutrition plan. Just one poor meal can erase an entire week of productive training. Let me put this into perspective. A typical weekend get-together usually consists of a bar-b-que with an assortment of appetizers and cocktails. We're talking, for most people, a minimum of 1,500 calories with 81 grams of fat. In just one meal! It will take you 1.5-2.0 hours of moderate to intense exercise to burn off that many calories. This assumes that there was no net gain in your net caloric intake over the previous week. Bottom line, it’s not worth it.
Here’s a better meal. 1.5 chicken breasts, 20 grilled asparagus, ½ avocado, one whole tomato, and about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Put the oil in a flat dish and dip coat veggies first – meat last. Some of it will burn off on the grill. Salt, pepper, and season everything to taste or use Santa Maria Grill seasoning on everything! This meal only sets you back about 570 calories in an almost perfect 40:30:30 PRO, CHO, FAT ratio. Just remember, everything else you eat adds to the caloric values above – so watch out!
Here are some other tips to keep you on the right track.
Avoid all dips – the better they look and taste, the faster you should run. Buffets up the ante! Everyone's favorite -- the traditional 7-layer dip weighs in at a hefty 3,696 calories!
Avoid mixed drinks – this is a killer. Mixers can be as much as 300 calories of sugar per cocktail. Aim for wine, soda water mixers, or shots. Try to keep slamming water.
Chuck the buns. You can save almost 150 calories of useless carbs by chucking the white bread.
One final tip.
Plan for a brutal training session at 0600 the morning after your festivities. (When I say brutal, I mean 1 hour of "dry-heave difficult": the worst workout ever.) You have two choices – a) eat anything you want and throw up what’s left 30 min into your workout or b) eat my meal, sleep in, and blow off that workout!
Don’t quit. Stay focused. Remember, you only get one go-around. Live with Intensity.
Michael Ryan is the President and CEO of Intensity Nutrition LLC. Founded by former Navy SEALs, Intensity develops super-premium sports supplements for professional, semi-professional, tactical, and functional athletes. Intensity goes live in Feburary 2010: stay tuned! Mike and Alden met during “running remediation” at Basic Underwater SEAL (BUDs/s) training. Special thanks to BMC Pardue for the introduction.
Before I turn the spotlight over to Jim K, a sensational athlete -- and great communicator -- from Greece, I have a challenge for you: sign up for the weekly fitness challenges on our Perfect Fitness Facebook fan page. Jim's journey to Navy SEAL fitness levels demonstrates the power of having a "swim buddy" -- a fellow fanatic to show the way! Every week Perfect Pushup users challenge each other to take their workouts to the next level. AMM Back to Jim --
"A few years later I got to high school where kids were much more competitive. One summer I started doing pushups and abs to improve my overall condition. Maybe the form wasn't correct but at least I was trying! At that point I'd started going fishing with my dad where I'd row for quite extended periods of time, and I begun to realize that exercise wasn't actually so bad even though the palms of my hands would get sore with blisters and tears from extended rowing periods on a heavy wooden fishing boat.
Even without an exact workout or strict exercise pattern I kept food intake at normal levels; the big change came when I got to college where I became friends with a guy (John) who probably was "the ultimate fighting machine" on campus. He was seriously involved in weight lifting, kick boxing and various martial arts and showed me organized workouts either for weight lifting or calisthenics. I owe him big for all his good advice. This also led to further weight loss and I have managed to maintain this weight ever since (probably I could use an extra 1-2 kg though)!
So there I was, I had managed to shed weight (those extra 4-5kg) and would hit the gym almost daily making steady progress until one day I came across on the internet Navy SEAL fitness books."
Part 3: Navy SEAL fitness books and their impact on a civilian athlete
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Teammates, Perfect Fitness is a sponsor of the Presidio10, a 10 mile/10k run across the Golden Gate Bridge (the picture above is from last year's race). Please join Team Perfect as we storm the Golden Gate! Mark your calendars: 18th April 2010!
Perhaps some of you are looking to RUN your first race! I'm going to re-run a blog from running expert and entrepreneur, Mr. Fire in the Gut himself, Tim Grizzell on how to segue from walking to running.
Start with a positive attitude! That is what will inspire you to sign up for a race in the first place and it will carry you across the finish line. I like to refer to it as “FIRE IN THE GUT!”
If 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. Walking is great exercise and for walkers/hikers, 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:
-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.
Teammates -- follow Tim Grizzell on Twitter @timgrizzell or check out his website, Fire in the Gut. Some of Team Perfect will be running across the Presidio10 finish line wearing Fire in the Gut apparel!
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN