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.”
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.
There’s been a lot of talk these days about how “yoga can wreck your body”. Well, there’s no question that practicing yoga with an inexperienced or bad teacher can lead to injury; I’ve been hurt three times in the past six years from so-called master teachers and their inappropriate sequencing of poses. Unfortunately, just like Glenn Black says in the NY Times article, “To many schools of yoga are just about pushing people”. Add to that, too many yoga teachers have no background in physical fitness and/or body mechanics, and voila, yoga can hurt you.
Proof in point: Last summer I read a GQ article and posted my Letter to the Editor in my July 22nd blog (click HERE to read). In short, a NYC studio owner prescribed a 15 minute yoga workout with three twisting and forward bending poses that made me cringe. Because there are certainly yoga poses that should never be attempted without the proper (and complete) understanding of how to come into and out of each pose, as well as properly warming up the spine and preparing your body. And if you’re new to yoga, be extremely careful with any teacher that’s pushing too hard or moving too fast – especially an overzealous one that’s new to the profession.
And if you’re someone who truly wants the benefits of yoga but are reluctant to take a class (for a variety of reasons), then try my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts that are based on yoga principles and employ my very precise teaching style that’s designed to minimize injury to any body part, especially the neck and low back. Or better yet, if you really want to arm yourself with knowledge, then watch my Yoga Survival Guide with 30 fun lessons teaching you the proper and safe way to practice 100 yoga poses. Enjoy – R
Now I’m not going to rant about how everyone in the world should challenge themselves in everything they do…blah,blah,blah. No, this “challenge yourself” is more of a challenge yourself along with me as I lose exactly three pounds of fat over the next two weeks. That’s right, lose 3 measly “lbs” with me from now until September 1st.
Call me crazy, but over the past six weeks I’ve bulked-up about five pounds to do this study. That’s right. And I call it a study because in my opinion, anybody can burn fat if they just commit to it. Today I weighed exactly 153, and on the first of September I’ll weigh exactly 150 (or less). That’s only a 2% reduction in 2 weeks. So how about it? Weigh yourself today and commit to weighing 2% less on September 1st. Anybody can do it – assuming you’re not starving yourself and you have the 2% to lose. Whatya say? And if you need some help getting there, start doing my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts everyday, and don’t forget that brisk walk after lunch or dinner! Let’s get you kick-started with some great ab-work in Fat Burning Workout #93 – Extreme Abs. Enjoy – R
We’ll soon begin a 30,000 journey across America visiting all 50 states – 100 Cities in 100 Days – to raise money for my charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation. We teach yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters. Ambitious? Yes. For a great cause? Yes. Impossible? Certainly not! I expect it to be life changing. For all of us, as well as all of you because we intend to EDUCATE, INSPIRE, EMPOWER and ENTERTAIN you with cool, trivia-filled workout videos from historical sites everywhere.
Here’s me teaching the women and children at the San Diego domestic violence shelter:
Here’s the Hollywood Sneak Peek Trailer for my Fat Burn America Tour. Enjoy! – R
It felt like a ghost-town when I walked into the gym this morning at 6am. I expected it to be light because of the holiday, but it was barren. And as I was making my way past the Chest machines, this older gentleman sat up tall and said to me, “I’ll glad you’re here.” Of course, right. Because when it comes to a daily fitness program, sometimes it helps to get a little boost from your compatriots. Let’s face it, honoring our Nation’s Independence deserves a day off from exercise, right? Wrong. That’s all the more reason to honor yourself and your freedom with a strong body – clear mind. So don’t let the Fourth of July festivities spoil your routine. Grab a fellow barbecuer and challenge yourself with today 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #95 – Dancer’s Pose. Enjoy – R
This goes out to all the Ladies living at the domestic violence shelter in San Diego where I taught a 2-hour yoga & lifestyle class last night. Because after teaching a 75 minute yoga class followed by a 45 discussion about embracing a positive mindset, a healthy diet, and most importantly, a daily fitness routine, I truly believe in each and every one of them. I know you’re reading this Ladies, so don’t forget to do your Peaceful Warriors, Temple Poses, Side Body Abs and Stretching, Chair Poses up against the Wall, and of course our favorite, Viparita Karani or Legs Up the Wall. Today and every day this week until I come back again next Thursday to “kick it up a notch”. Always remember to stay present with your thinking and live positively and happily, moment to moment. Because whether or not your past experiences have been negative or abusive, you never have to carry that energy with you. Let it go. And if it begins to creep into your mind and body, go outside and do some yoga and my fat burning workouts, or better yet, work on some balancing with that meditative breath I taught you – and remember to pick that point of focus and use all distractions to help you focus more. So respect yourself each and every day, especially during this long holiday weekend, and enjoy sculpting your thighs and butt today with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #96 – Killer Squats II. Namaste – R
The other night I had dinner with Stephani Drapeau, my dear friend and co-star of my film, Boulevard Zen. We were discussing the concept of “freeing your mind and your soul” from anything that prevents you from evolving to a higher level. That is to say, letting go of the “ties that bind” you to past beliefs, or rather, disbeliefs about your dreams, your desires, and your life’s destiny. Because when you free your mind and your soul, you evolve to a much better and brighter place. A place where anything is possible if you truly believe it. So make a conscious effort to become Free Squared, especially when it comes to fat burning and a daily fitness routine. Because anyone and everyone has at least 5 minutes a day to respect themselves with a little exercise. So enjoy firming your Core & Abs with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #97 – Side Plank. My best – R
I just read an LA Times editorial by Randy Lewis expressing his appreciation for the late Clarence Clemons. Similar to Randy, I’ve also been a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band fan for more than 35 years now. And I agree with Randy that, “Clemons was there to express that which transcended mere language.” Because with the Boss and the Big Man, it was about reaching into your mind, body and soul to echo feelings and images, not just sounds. I still remember a bootleg version of Prove it All Nightfrom 1979 with the Boss’s heart-felt guitar riff and the Big Man’s incredible sax. “The wondrous thing about Clemons was that everything he played, in solos or accompanying his bandmates, was astonishingly simple from a technical viewpoint.” Thanks for pointing that out Randy, especially to us non-sax people, because technical simplicity should also apply to your daily fitness program. So keep it simple and technically correct with today’s 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #98 – Elevator Squats. And thank you Clarence Clemons! RIP – R
Oftentimes we receive compliments from friends or people we recently met, and just let them slide off us without really absorbing their energy. That is to say, really taking compliments to heart and warming yourself with the admiration. Especially guys. We can easily prefer criticisms to compliments because of our male conditioning. But it’s OK for anyone to basque in the moment of the compliment. Like what happened to me this morning. I saw a friend in the gym I haven’t seen in a while who complimented me on my film, Boulevard Zen, and my 100 days of blogs when she went on about how she loved the film’s characters, and my “totally believable” girlfriend, and my “powerful blogs”, until she finally said, “And you know what Rich Tola, you got heart.” Now that made my day. And why shouldn’t it, right? So take note and absorb that positive energy. Take compliments to Heart! And enjoy firming your Core & Abs as we countdown with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #99 – Core Power II. – R