Category Archives: Howto

Stay Zen #7 – 20 Ways to Be 20 Years Younger

Who says you can’t look and feel and have the spirit of someone 20 years younger. I do, and there’s not a week that goes by without someone guessing I’m 30.

You can too, with my 20 Ways to Be 20 Years Younger! Enjoy – R

Get Fit. Live Healthy. Lose Inches. Stay Zen.
RichTola.com. Follow on Instagram @BLVDZEN

Stay Zen #6 – Top 5 Super Set Exercises

Anyone can get a great full-body workout with my Top 5 Super Set Exercises. Super sets are quick and effective and give your muscles a “super” pump by combining two different exercises consecutively – without taking a break in between. Enjoy – R

Get Fit. Live Healthy. Lose Inches. Stay Zen.
RichTola.com. Follow on Instagram @BLVDZEN

Stay Zen #4 – 10 Ways to Workout with a Stool

Still wondering if you should give away that little stool you have stashed in the closet?

Don’t be a stooly…workout with it!

Check out the latest episode of Stay Zen, 10 Ways to Workout with a Stool, where you can Get Fit, Live Healthy, Lose Inches and Stay Zen. Enjoy – R

Stay Zen #2 – How to Workout when its Freezing Cold

What should you do when it’s too cold outside to go for your walk or even make it to your favorite exercise class? Stay inside and improvise..and why not walk the mall! Enjoy – R

Stay Zen #1 – Intro

Hope you enjoy my new web series that’s all about Health & Fitness, Dating & Relationships, and everything else From Wall Street to Main Street.  Stay Zen – R

How to Live with the Aches & Pains

So you’re getting older and your body’s experiencing aches and pains that you never had before, constantly reminding you that youth is fleeting. And to add insult to injury (no pun intended), you can’t even stand-up straight in the morning when you first step out of bed.

Welcome to the club.

Because when it comes to having “issues” with your body parts, I’m the King of Pain. That’s right, I may preach about the benefits of Fitness & Yoga and looking 20 years younger, but I need two hands to count the problem areas in my body: neck, back, shoulder, wrist, forearm, knee, and even my big toe. But do they stop me from walking 1.5 miles to gym every morning (and back), or exercising every single day regardless of my aches and pains. No chance.

Rich Tola - Author, Actor & Yoga Master

Rich Tola – Author, Actor & Yoga Master

Because embracing a Daily Fitness Program is what keeps the body from deteriorating even more by firing up your endorphins and inhibiting the perception of painful stimuli. That’s right, and I’ve never taken a PED (performing enhancing drug) or any type of steroid in my entire life. All that’s necessary is physical exercise that enables the body to produce these amino acids that reduce the sensation of pain. Not to mention the sense of accomplishment you get when you’ve finished a workout or Yoga class (I certainly do). That’s why I recommend exercising first thing in the morning, even for a measly 15 minutes, especially if you’re like me and feel the most achy after a full slumber.

And whatever you do, never internalize these aches and pains by complaining about them or feeling sorry for yourself because that only makes them worse. Just put on that suit of armor everyday and power through them – like a Peaceful Warrior – and know that you’re doing everything you can to thwart Father Time and achieve my foolproof mantra…a Strong Body-Clear Mind. And if that doesn’t work, get your inspiration from someone else in the world who has the courage to power through life and smile in the face of adversity. Just like the paraplegic gal did in my fondest and most enlightening Yoga teaching experience when “She took the entire class with perfect posture and a smile so big it could light up Fifth Avenue” (listen below).

Enjoy – R

Perfect Yourself with Perfect Form

A sixty year-old man stood watching me blast my biceps in the gym this morning before he approached me and said, “This is my very first time here and I think I know what to do, but not how to do it.” I relied, “To perfect your body in the gym, knowing what exercises to do is not enough. It takes perfect form – including your posture and breathing – in everything you do. Not to mention good focus and concentration, just like a surgeon would in the operating room.”

Rich Tola

Rich Tola


That’s right…like a surgeon in the operating room. Because getting results from any kind of exercise regime takes a seriousness that goes beyond just knowing what to do.

So if you’re one of those fitness buffs who thinks you can perfect your body with ‘speed and quantity’ rather than ‘precision and quality’, think again. No matter what you do in the fitness world – weights, yoga, pilates, or my 15 Minute Fat Burning Workouts – take your time, pay attention to your posture, breathe deeply and slowly and don’t hold your breath, and use perfect form.

Trust me, it works.

Because achieving a perfect body – or one that looks and feels 20 years younger like mine does – takes a hellava lot more than knowing what to do.

Enjoy – R

RIP Joe Weider

www.RichTola.com

‘We Bought a Zoo’ Delivers

If you want to feel the love this holiday season, go see We Bought a Zoo starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. The performances are wonderful – including the incredibly adorable Rosie, played by Maggie Elizabeth Jones – and there’s plenty of animal magnetism, feel good energy and tear swelling compassion at every turn. So no matter if you’re 6,000 miles away from your loved ones (like I am here in Hawaii while my family’s in New Jersey) or 6 miles away, share some good times together and bask in the film’s sunshine of love – because it truly delivers!

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to get your workout in with some Zoo Yoga from my Yoga Survival Guide. Because what’s a holiday season without fun, friends and fat burning yoga to melt away those extra pounds of joy! Merry Christmas everyone 🙂 Enjoy – R

Quality not Quantity

Everyone has heard the adage, quality not quantity, right? Well, the same holds true for fitness. Whether it be yoga, free weights, exercise machines, treadmills, abs, whatever. Because it’s better to do anything with proper posture and body mechanics, than to do it improperly, for a longer time. Like the fifty-something guy I heard talking in the gym this weekend. He told his friend he was going to do his 1,200. And when his friend asked, “1,200 what?”, the guy said, “Abs”. Now this guy looked like he just swallowed a bowling ball. Whatever he’s doing for abs, isn’t working, regardless of the 1,200.

So don’t settle for quantity, go with less – and that goes for food too – and go with quality! And here’s to the guy in the gym who needs a new ab workout – today’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #88 – Screaming Abs. Enjoy – R

GQ – Letter to the Editor

If you’re a GQ reader like me, you probably read the August issue with Mila Kunis on the cover. On page 32, there’s a brief article by Mark Byrne called “Rewriting the Book on Yoga”, with a 15 minute yoga workout as prescribed by a studio owner in NYC. Unfortunately, I cringed when I reviewed the workout that includes three twisting and forward bending poses, the last of which is an advanced pose.

But before I add my two cents, let me state my fitness and yoga qualifications: I’m 48 years old, 5’7″ and weigh 150 pounds. My body fat is less than 9% and most people think I’m 33. I’ve worked out in fitness centers every day for the past 32 years totaling more than 12,000 hours. I’ve practiced yoga every day for the past six years totaling more than 2,000 hours. An accomplished student/athlete through college, I’m also a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Cycling Instructor, and 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher. I’ve taught more than 15,000 yoga students of all levels in the past five years, from the ages 3 to 93. I’ve created more than 15 hours of instructional yoga videos in the past two years, including a Yoga Survival Guide detailing more than 100 poses.

I currently teach yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters, who had zero experience with fitness and yoga before I got there. I have neck, low back, shoulder and wrist issues, and have been injured three times since I started practicing yoga – all from bad teachers. Thus, my very precise teaching style is designed to minimize injury to any body part, especially the neck and low back. Finally, I’ve practiced yoga mostly in New York City and Los Angeles, the yoga meccas of the United States, and have taken classes with the “so-called” best teachers in the world. 90% of which are women.

That said, here’s why I disagree with the Byrne’s claim that GQ “found the best back-saving, workout-improving moves…” When it comes to anything twisting and forward bending while standing, you better move slowly and be super careful. Your stance is critical, which the caption doesn’t clearly emphasize. The caption also says “twist your head to look up”, which you should NEVER attempt without properly warming up the spine and preparing your body for such deep twists. Revolved triangle is a perfect example of this. A good teacher wouldn’t sequence this pose until at least halfway through the yoga class, because coming into this pose is AS IMPORTANT as the pose itself. So is coming back up to stand once you’ve been in the pose for any length of time. Here’s why: once your torso weight and your 10 pound head is down and over your forward leg, you’re balancing this weight over a tight triangular stance, making it quite difficult to manage. And since most men carry their weight in their torso and have tight hamstrings, coming into – or out of – this pose without bending your legs (like the picture shows), and without moving ridiculously slow, could lead to serious injury.

Thus, it’s not back-saving at all. It’s actually quite strenuous on your neck, low back and hamstrings. And requires ample core strength to control your torso as you’re folding forward at a 90 degree angle (if you keep your back straight like the picture – which is also very difficult). And although the directions state “you won’t be able to touch the floor right away – settle for your ankle”, very few men can even get to their ankle. Frankly, this is a very challenging pose for an advanced yogi, let alone anyone who’s never done it before. So take note and be VERY CAREFUL, especially when twisting and forward bending at the same time. And if you really want to experiment with this pose on your own, warm up and strengthen your core and abs first with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #82 – Easy Abs. Enjoy & hope to see you on the FAT BURN TOUR! – Rich Tola