February 2013 Issue


Fitness Article:

Don't be that Guy in the Gym!
By Declan Condron

It’s that time of the year again when the newbie’s hit the gym with the best of intentions. Unfortunately a lot of freshmen gym goers are not so well versed in some basic “rules” of the weight lifting area.

You've definitely seen one, you may know one, or you may even be one. I'm talking about that annoying guy (or girl) in the gym who either doesn’t know what they are doing or just plain ignores some basic rules.

This is my list of the top five weight training no-no's.

Don’t be that guy doing curls in the squat rack
It's called the squat rack for a reason. Because it's for SQUATTING not curling. You want to do bicep curls? Then take a barbell, but not the one from the squat rack, that’s for squatting. Take one of those other bars on that other rack on the other side of the gym floor, and do your curls far away from the squat rack.

The squat rack is for squatting, deadlifting, heavy bench pressing and other compound, multi-joint tough exercises. You want to train your beach muscles, no problem. Knock yourself out, but stay out of the squat rack.

Don’t be that guy who doesn’t re-rack his weights or racks them in the wrong slots
The gym is not your bedroom, so stop leaving weights all over the floor. You found the weight on a rack, so put it back there when you're finished. And if you found the 20 lbs dumbbells in the 20 lbs slot, walk the extra two steps and put them back where they belong. Don't just dump them in the 50 lbs slot because its open and right in front of you.

Oh and this applies to your weight plates as well. Take the 30 seconds to slide those plates off the barbell and put them back in the right slots on the weight tree. Don't be that lazy sod who just slides the 10's in with the 45's and a 25 thrown in for good measure. Thats just as bad as not taking them off at all.

Don’t be that guy who blocks the weight rack
Do you really have to stand there? Yeah right there in front of the dumbbell rack doing whatever it is you're doing and blocking everyone else's access to six sets of dumbbells. No you don't! You could just take two or three steps back or to the side and not be in anyone's way.
You also don't have to act all annoyed when someone politely tries to get around you to put back or get a set of dumbbells that you're blocking. "You're in my way, move or I'll drop one of these on your foot!" Oh let me guess, you were doing bicep curls, weren't you?

Don’t be that guy who hoards dumbbells
do you really not need to take every set of dumbbells from 15 lbs to 50 lbs and stack them up around a bench so you can do "burnouts," or "drop sets" or whatever. If you want/need to switch weights during an exercise, that's cool, but put the other ones you were using back first.
Most gyms will only have two or maybe three sets of the same weight, so hoarding dumbbells is just plain selfish, not to mention extremely annoying. Wait, I'll bet you were doing bicep curls again eh!

Don’t be that guy who posing in the mirror
Believe it or not, the mirrors in the gym serve a few useful purposes such as allowing you or your trainer to view form from a few angles or to help you see your surroundings and how much space you have to move around in. They are also used by many gyms to make the place look bigger and brighter.

However, they are often used and abused by people checking out their beach muscles and killer abs. Nobody wants to see you pull up your shirt, exposing your somewhat still soft belly, trying to squeeze out a six-pack, or roll up your shirtsleeve to "flex" your biceps. That's what your bathroom mirror at home is for.

Please be sure to follow these simple basic gym rules and don't be that guy or girl who does any of these things.

About Declan Condron:
Declan is PumpOne's exercise physiologist and has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years. He has worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, Physical Education Instructor and Fitness Manager, Personal Training Manager and Personal Trainer. Declan holds a M.S. and B.S. degree in Exercise Physiology from Southern Connecticut State University and Hofstra University respectively. He completed his internship for his B.S. degree in Cardiac Rehabilitation at a Long Island Hospital. He completed his internship for his M.S. degree in Sports Strength and Conditioning at Yale University. Declan is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), as well as a Certified Olympic Weightlifting Coach through the United States Weightlifting Association (USAW).

Visit Declan's Great Website:

Health Article:

Nine Factors that Affect Nutrition and Oral Health
by: Joy V. Poskozim DDS PC

Oral health may be related to many nutritional factors other than the obvious sugar, including the number of times a day a person eats or drinks, the frequent ingestion of drinks with low acidity (fruit juices, diet and regular soft drinks all have high acid levels), a daily balance of nutritious foods, and proper oral hygiene (brushing for two minutes twice daily, daily flossing, and mouth wash twice daily after brushing).

Oral tissues, such as the gingiva (gums), teeth, and muscles of mastication (chewing muscles), have the same nutritional requirements as any other living tissue in the body. Too many carbs, and the body stores for later. Since simple carbs are digested in the mouth by saliva and oral bacteria, it becomes a situation of supply and demand: more carbs mean more bacteria needed to break them down, and those bacteria have to live somewhere. Why not the teeth? More carbs = more cavities. Too little nutritious foods and teeth become brittle, gums lose their ability to hold onto the teeth and there is a higher chance of tooth loss (periodontal disease).

There are nine supplements that aren’t so obviously important. They not only improve overall health and well being, but oral health as well….

1) Folic Acid: 2.5mg a day keeps the gingivitis away! Folic acid, otherwise known as Vitamin B9, has been shown to get rid of, then prevent, bleeding gums, the primary sign of gingivitis. Folic acid can be found in lentils, kale, asparagus and kidney beans.

2) Vitamin B6: 25mg a day keeps the fungus away! Vitamin B6 directly improves the immune system, helping the body protect itself from foreigners. In other words, too little of this vitamin and people are more susceptible to oral ulcers, bacterial and fungal infections, especially for people with removable appliances like partial or complete dentures. Food rich in Vitamin B6 are bananas, grains, meats, veggies and nuts.

3) Beta-carotene: 25,000-50,000IU/day = healthy teeth and oral bone development and growth. Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach all have high levels of beta-carotene.

4) Vitamin B12: 1mg a day lowers the chances for pernicious anemia, otherwise known in the mouth as “burning tongue syndrome.” Severely low levels of this vitamin and a bluish line will form around the gums where they hold the teeth. All foods rich in protein are rich in Vitamin B12.

5) Vitamin C: 500-1000mg a day fends off infection and even cavities! How? Vitamin C is necessary for your teeth to produce dentin, the second layer of teeth that supports the enamel, as well as keep the gums healthy. The purpose of gums are to keep the teeth in the mouth. Unhealthy gums over time can beget tooth loss. In a Vitamin C deficiency, small red spots that hemorrhage blood, may appear in the mouth, as well as the rest of the body. Vitamin C is found in broccoli, citrus fruit (one orange has 138% daily dose of Vitamin C), papaya and bell peppers.

6) Selenium: 200-400mcg per day helps improve the thyroid gland and the immune system, protecting the body – and mouth – from opportunistic infection. Nuts and shellfish are the top two food sources for Selenium. Allergic? Then all fish, oats and grains also have good Selenium levels.

7) Calcium: 600mg twice daily helps keep teeth strong by helping break down acids oral bacteria produce. These acids in the saliva attack and weaken the enamel, causing teeth sensitivity and decay. Calcium is also associated with a decrease in bone (and tooth) fracture. But taking calcium alone can cause bloating, so take Magnesium and Vitamin D3 with it. Vitamin D is Calcium’s best friend because it can’t be absorbed without Vitamin D. D is absorbed only in the presence of fat, so consuming olive oil or avocado helps tremendously. Foods rich in Calcium are dark, leafy greens.

8) Vitamin E: 200-400IU per day supports the immune system by helping reduce stress, which causes inflammation. This is most noticed in the mouth by inflamed, bleeding gums. Foods rich in Vitamin E are pine nuts, sunflower seeds, and green olives.

9) Iron: RDA guidelines for women are: 15 milligrams (mg) per day for ages 14 to 18; 18 mg/day for ages 19 to 50; 27 mg/day during pregnancy; 10 mg/day during lactation if the woman is 14 to 18; and 9 mg/day during lactation for women 19 to 50. Additionally, women with renal failure and gastrointestinal disorders that affect absorption of iron may require extra iron to prevent deficiency. Oral symptoms include: glossitis (swollen tongue), glossodynia (painful tongue), angular cheilitis (inflammatory lesions at the corners of the mouth) recurrent oral ulcers, oral candidosis (yeast infection), diffuse erythematous mucositis (auto-immune disorder where the body attacks the oral mucosa, or skin). Foods rich in iron are: Total and Raison Bran cereals, shellfish, eggs and beans.

The relationship of nutrition to oral health includes much more than a simple focus on sugar’s relationship to caries. It includes factors such as a person’s overall diet and systemic health.

Joyful Dental Care
(6314 N Cicero Ave. Chicago, IL 60646 / Phone (773) 736-7767 / Website:

Dr. Joy V. Poskozim is proud to serve Lincolnwood and the NW side of Chicago through integrative family dentistry. At Joyful Dental Care, they understand that dentistry is more than just fixing teeth; it is building relationships and creating an environment where everyone can feel comfortable receiving dental care. They have incorporated oral appliances for mild and moderate sleep apnea, dental laser therapy, quality dental care and patient compliance; creating a positive dental experience for the entire family.


Professional of the Month:

Len Kravitz, Ph.D.
(Author, Educator, Researcher, & Exercise Scientist)

Len Kravitz received his M.A. in Physical Education from San Jose State University in 1980. He went on to get his Ph.D. in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 1994. From 1996-99 he served as the Program Director of Exercise Science and Graduate Coordinator of Wellness at The University of Mississippi. Since 1999 he has served as Coordinator of Exercise Science, in the Dept. of Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences, at UNM. Dr. Kravitz is recognized and highly respected nationally and internationally for his contributions to the fitness and health industry. He has published 30 refereed journal articles and recently completed the 10th edition of his popular textbook, Anybody’s Guide to Total Fitness. Len has authored over 200 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals in addition to several monographs, text chapters and manuals.

Dr. Kravitz was the first person (1987) to be awarded the “Fitness Instructor of the Year” award from IDEA (The Health and Fitness Organization of the United States) and in 1999 the Canadian Fitness Professional Organization, the largest fitness organization in North America, awarded him the distinguished “International Presenter of the Year” award, and in 2006 the “Specialty Presenter of the Year” award. He was also awarded the prestigious honor of being selected Fitness Educator of the Year by the American Council on Exercise (2006). Dr. Kravitz has delivered 37 research-related presentations and over 200 international lectures on fitness, health and exercise science at international conferences in Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Australia, Canada, Japan, England, Norway and the United States.

Ph.D. - Health, Physical Education and Recreation, University of New Mexico, May, 1994
Emphasis Health Promotion and Exercise Science
M.A. - Physical Education, San Jose State University, August, 1980
B.A. - Recreation, University of New Mexico, May, 1974

- Distinguished Alumni Award from San Jose State University, 2011
- Aquatic Fitness Industry Global Award, 2010.
- Canadian Fitness Professional Association Specialty Presenter of the Year, 2009.
- Canadian Fitness Professional Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 2008
- American Council on Exercise Fitness Educator of the Year, 2006.
- Canadian Fitness Professional Association Specialty Presenter of the Year, 2006.
- UNM Outstanding Teacher of the Year, 2003-04
- Senior Exercise Physiologist, IDEA - The Health and Fitness Source (Media Spokesperson), 2003 - 2005
- UNM General Library Faculty Acknowledgement Award, 2003
- Lifetime Achievement, ECA World Fitness Association, 2003
- International Presenter of the Year, Canadian Fitness Professionals, 1999
- Researcher of the Year, The University of Mississippi, College of Education, 1999
- University of Mississippi Faculty Achievement Award nominee, 1998
- APEX ‘97 National Award for Publication Excellence in Technical Writing
- Awarded Distinction for Ph.D. Comprehensive Written and Oral Exams, 1994
- 1st Place Award for AAHPERD Exercise Video Contest, 1992
- 2nd Place Award for AAHPERD Exercise Video Contest, 1991
- National Fitness Spokesperson for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association's Commit to Get Fit program, 1990-93
- Meritorious Performance and Professional Promise Award Winner, San Jose State University, 1988
- President's Scholar Award Nominee, San Jose State University, 1988
- Fitness Instructor of the Year, IDEA - The Association of Fitness Professionals, 1987
- Honorary Chairperson of Santa Clara County's Dance for Heart, 1987-90

Visit Len Kravitz's Website:

Workout of the Month:

HIITilates New Year Slimdown Workout (15 Minutes)

By Casey Ho (POP Pilates)


Cassey Ho is a pilates instructor & designer with a zest for life, a love for drawing, a fancy for dancing, cooking super healthy versions of everything, and smiling. All the time. She loves teaching Pilates so much - it gets her high on life after each session. Cassey feels lucky to be around such awesome people who want to push themselves to their fitness limits constantly...and with a smile. Cassey is living the uncertain but exciting life of a young entrepreneur designing yoga bags, gym bags, and all kinds of fashionable fitness gear. oGorgeous has been featured in SHAPE Magazine, Daily Candy, the Wendy Williams Show etc.

She is the Founder and Designer of the oGorgeous yoga bags. In college, she made the first bag for herself after running into trouble trying to find a cute mat carrier. When the original Beverly Bowtie was seen in her Pilates class, she realized that she wasn't the only one who was vying for fashionable yoga bags. Senior year 2009, Cassey debuted her first line. Since then, the bags have been featured in major publications such as SHAPE Magazine and on national talk shows such as the Wendy Williams Show. Cassey is currently working on the second line of bags which will include mat carriers for women, mat carriers for men, and a whole new collection of exciting women's gym bags. When not designing, Cassey teaches Pilates mat and reformer classes. When not teaching, she films workout videos for her Pop Pilates YouTube Channel while maintaining her Blogilates health & fitness blog.

Talk to Casey on Facebook:
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Casey's Cute gym bags:
Visit Casey's Blog:

Kids Health & Fitness:

Cardiovascular Cross training: Is It Important?
By Michael George, NASM, ACE, AFAA

You change into your workout attire all the while contemplating another boring cardio workout. The same boring workout you have been doing for some time now. STOP...! It doesn’t have to be this way. You can do something different. Ever heard of cross training? Cross training is a fun and exciting way to not only spruce up your work outs, but to learn new and challenging skills, reduce risk of injury, maintain a consistent work out routine, achieve better results, and diversify your circle of sports buddies.

Many sports professionals and recreational athletes alike are incorporating cross training into their workout routines just for that reason, so they are not so mundane. Participating in different activities for cardiovascular training continuously challenges you to learn new skills and realize accelerated performance gains while reducing the risk of injury. You may even meet a new friend or two!

If you're like most people the thought of doing your cardiovascular work is less then thrilling. How many times have you heard that inner voice quietly encouraging you once again to get on that Stairmaster, treadmill or bicycle in the gym. Well, don’t: switch gears. If you always jog or walk on the treadmill, in the gym, then take it outside. You could also try biking in the gym or out doors.

If it’s impossible to take your cardio work outside try a different activity. There are numerous other cardiovascular activities you can participate in which are fun and challenge you to learn new skills. For instance, have you ever tried mountain biking, hiking, racquetball, volleyball, basketball, boxing or jumping rope? Even vigorous martial arts or yoga classes can be extremely aerobic.

The body is very much like a machine. Repetitive use of muscles in the same activity with the same amount of resistance at the same speed wears down joints and strains muscles were the greatest amount of stress is located. Let’s take jogging for instance. Think about it? What are you doing when you participate in resistance activity? Contract and release right? Jogging uses the quadriceps and gluteus maxims primarily. The gluteus maxim is a muscle just like your biceps or deltoids. The gluteus will get harder and more tone over time, however, every muscle needs recuperation time.

Joggers tend to develop the infamous runners knee. Sharp pain located directly under or surrounding the patella. This pain is typically the result of inflammation of muscle tissue due to over use syndrome and over pronation. This inflammation and pain can become chronic or develop into chondromalacia if not attended to by refraining from running for a period of time. Other running injuries resulting from over use include shin splints, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. The musculoskeletal system needs time to recuperate from the mechanical stress of running.

As a runner myself, I have first hand experience with most of these stress related injuries and the frustration and pain associated with them. Over the years, I have learned to use cross training as a way of preventing injuries before they happen without stopping my cardio training. By participating in a variety of activities I decrease down time due to injury and pain. Running then becomes much more enjoyable and less of a mechanical necessity.

Biking is a great solution because of the angle at which the knee operates while biking. Biking actually helps to heal this type of injury by opening up the joint area and taking pressure off of the inflamed muscle tissue. This is true for the Stairmaster as well. Don’t just ignore that pain and hope it goes away. Changing cardiovascular activities on a consistent basis is not only the best way to heal muscle areas suffering from over use syndrome but also to prevent injuries from occurring.

If your passion is biking that’s great, but you too need to use cross training to prevent injury. Bikers are prone to injuries like compression of the ulna nerve and strains within the knee capsule. Biking is one of the sports I use to cross train with since I love the outdoors and live close to the beach. I also use mountain biking for a change of pace and scenery. Since biking and running are both joint stress producing activities I use swimming as another alternative to cross train and keep things interesting.

Swimming is another great cardiovascular activity and very refreshing. Water resistance is much less demanding on the joints and is a great cross training activity for people who are prone to joint injuries. To improve your swimming ability and cardiovascular workout attempt to increase your stroke length and the force of each stroke.

Michael George
Michael George Enterprises, Inc.
4712 Admiralty Way, Suite 218
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Ph: 310.575.3500
Fx: 310.477.7401
C: 310.486.4829
Web: http://

Recipe of the Month:

Pinto Bean & Quinoa Burger with Romesco Mayonnaise, Toasted Sesame Whole Wheat Bun (Kid Friendly)

(Yield: 10 servings / Watch the Video Demo of this Recipe)

(Recipe provided by The Culinary Institute of America)


Red beans, soaked in water overnight - 1 ½ cups
Garlic, minced - 2 tsp.
Carrot, peeled and grated - ½ cup
Red onion, minced - ¼ cup
Cumin - ½ tsp.
Coriander - ¼ tsp.
Cayenne - ¼ tsp.
Egg - 1 ea.
Kosher Salt - 1 tsp.
Black pepper, ground - ¼ tsp
All purpose flour - 2 Tbsp.
Bread crumbs - ½ cup
Italian parsley, minced - 2 Tbsp.
Cilantro, minced rough - 1 Tbsp.
Quinoa, cooked - 1 cup

The fixins…
Cheddar cheese - 8 slices
Tomato, sliced - 2 ea.
Iceburg lettuce as needed
Red onion - 1 ea.
Romesco mayonnaise - 1 cup (SEE RECIPE BELOW)
Whole wheat sesame buns, - 8 each cut and buttered
Canola oil for cooking burgers - ¼ cup

1. For the red beans: Place soaked beans in a pot and cover with cold water by 4 inches; add the diced onion, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt. Cook on a simmer until the beans are soft, about 40 minutes. Drain and measure out 3 cups for the filling.
2. For the buger: Peel the carrots and grate them on a box grater on the large holes. Place 1 ½ cups of the cooled beans into a food processor with the garlic, ground spices, salt and pepper. Slightly process to obtain a rough paste, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula; add the carrot, red onion, egg, and flour and process briefly until evenly mixed but slightly rugged. Remove to a large bowl and add the bread crumbs. Fold in the remaining 1 ½ cup red beans, parsley, cilantro, and quinoa. Mix to combine.
3. Divide into 8 patties and form them the size of the bun. Chill for 50 minutes.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and pan-fry in batches for 2–3 minutes on each side, until golden, then drain on paper towels.
5. Toast the buttered sesame bun, spread each side with Romesco mayonnaise, and then build a your burger.

Pasilla chiles - 2 ea.
Almonds, blanched & toasted - 1 cup
Garlic, minced - 4 ea.
Red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, - 1 ea. (seeded, and chopped)
Tomato, peeled and seeded - 1 cup
Red wine vinegar - 3 Tbsp.
Kosher salt - 1 tsp.
Extra virgin olive oil - ½ cup

1. For the base: Soak the chiles in hot water to cover for about 1 hour. Drain, remove the stems and seeds and cut up into small pieces. Transfer the chiles to a food processor along with the nuts, garlic, roasted pepper, tomatoes, vinegar and salt. Pulse a few times to make a rough paste. Add the oil and process until combined.
2. For romesco mayonnaise: In a small bowl, whisk together about ½ cup mayonnaise and ½ cup romesco. Adjust the seasoning, as you may want more salt or a bit more acidity.
3. Use for the burger or keep for other sandwiches.

Watch the Chef Prepare of this Great Recipe!!! >>>

The Culinary Institute of America
The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is a private, not-for-profit college dedicated to providing the world's best professional culinary education. Excellence, leadership, professionalism, ethics, and respect for diversity are the core values that guide our efforts. We teach our students the general knowledge and specific skills necessary to live successful lives and to grow into positions of influence and leadership in their chosen profession. (Support the Culinary Institute of America)

Campus Corner:

I'll Be Back! My Favorite Back Building Exercises
By Frank Gigante (GYMFACE Pro Sponsored Athlete / Trainer)

Building a wide, thick back means working the entire back through a variety of exercises and hitting it hard with some major mass movements.

For any back movement, I aim to work through a full range of motion controlling both the positive and negative portion of each rep. I will use a weight that allows me to be able to pull my shoulder blades back and contract the targeted muscles.

As with any exercise, proper form and position is key to maximizing results and back exercises are no different. We have all seen someone using a lat pull-down machine with no real form and just moving the bar up and down in any manner. The effectiveness of that exercise is completely wasted by poor form.

Most back exercises require the shoulders to move backward allowing the muscles of the upper and middle back as well as the lats to contract and tighten with each rep. Often times the lower back maintains a slight arch and does not round over. With that said, here are a few of my main back exercises that form the staple of any back program I use.

My 5 Favorite Back Building Exercises

Bent-Over Barbell Row

The barbell row is by far my favorite mass building back movement. I have relied on this exercise for years to build thick, strong lats as well as hit the muscles of the upper back.
I use a few variations of the barbell row. The most common row is done with the torso bent over almost parallel to the ground with a slight bend in the knee. Head and chest stay up and keep a small arch in the lower back.
However, I prefer a slight variation of this form, made popular by Dorian Yates, where rather than bend the torso the full 90 degrees, the torso is bent forward a bit more than 45 degrees. The head and chest stay up and there is a slight arch in the lower back, but for me this makes a tremendous difference in the feel of the movement. I can really squeeze the lats and feel them throughout the entire range of this movement.
One other variation I like to use is a reverse grip on the bar. Having an underhand grip is a small change, but adds yet another unique feel to the movement.

Pull- Ups

Pull ups are by far the best body resistance exercise. They are great for targeting the muscles of the upper back and lats.

Pull ups are an exercise the lifting community ignored for a long time, but recently has regained a more frequent spot in back workouts. There is a great feeling of accomplishment after you fight against your own bodyweight, and little by little grow stronger and able to do more pull ups reps.
You may find different pull up equipment variations in your gym. This will offer multiple possibilities for hand positions. I find that experimenting with those is a good way to keep the exercise fresh and target different areas of the back.

Close Grip Lat Pull Downs
For a complete back workout I will add some type of lat pull-down in to the mix. I usually will not do these in the same workout program as pull ups though. After blasting my lats with rows - either barbell, dumbbell or pulley rows - lat pull downs are a great compliment, and round out a complete back training session.

Targeting the muscles of the upper back, I get a great feel and squeeze through several different variations of this exercise. Close grip lat pull downs, using the handle grip from the pulley row machine, is one of my favorite pull down variations. With the closer grip, I can really squeeze my shoulders back, keep my chest up and feel the muscles of my upper back and lats contracting.
We also will do several other types of pull downs to continually work the back through a variety of angles and positions. The most common pull down movement is the wide grip pull down, where I keep my hands just wider than shoulder width apart on the bar.

A reverse grip lat pull down adds a completely different feel while using the same bar as wide grip pull-downs. For this exercise, I bring my hands in to the middle of the bar and grab it with an underhand grip.

One other variation of the lat pull down we use is a palms facing grip pull down. This exercise uses a bar which has handles facing one another, set about shoulder width apart.

Seated Low Pulley Rows

To continually change things up, I like to use seated pulley rows in place of barbell rows from time to time. For me, it is a great mass movement and I can certainly concentrate on pulling and squeezing with my lats.

For this exercise, I prefer to keep the handles low and pull more into my waist than towards my upper abs. I am better able to feel this exercise when doing them this way.


To add size and thickness to the traps, which are clearly visible in any back pose or shot, barbell ordumbbell shrugs are the way to go. I add these in to my back routine after doing some of the exercises I have mentioned above.

I love finishing off a back workout with some heavy shrugs. There is something about using a heavy weight and simply trying to shrug your shoulders up to your ears that is rewarding yet so incredibly challenging at the same time. After a good set of shrugs I can feel my traps not only from my neck out to my shoulders, but also right down the middle of my upper back.

Deadlifts – Back Exercise or Leg Movement?

This seems to be an often debated topic. At times I have used deadlifts at the end of my back workouts. It is one of my favorite all around exercises. It does however use a great deal of leg strength, especially during the first half of the movement.

The second half of the movement after the legs have lifted the weight off the floor relies on back strength as you use your lower back muscles to rotate the hips and move to a vertical position. This is undoubtedly a full body movement, which takes great power and strength throughout to complete.
Recently I have broken down this movement to focus primarily on the muscles of the lower back. After completing the first rep off the floor, I will then only lower the weight to just past my knees, maybe as low as mid-shin. At that point, I raise the bar back up focusing on my lower back doing all the work.

This modification takes most of the leg strength out of this variation of the deadlift and I am able to concentrate on using this primarily as a back movement. I am not sure how often I will work with this version at the moment, but it certainly does allow me to put more emphasis on my back when doing it this way.

Within each workout program, I will choose several of these exercises depending upon the goals and focus of each program. Variety is key and so even within each program the goal is to hit all parts of the back from a variety of angles.

I welcome your thoughts, questions, and experiences with deadlifts or any of your favorite back exercises.

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Health & Fitness Business:

In The Loop on Applying to B-School (Health & Wellness Professionals)
by: Al Turner, Assistant Director, Rutgers Business School Office of Graduate Admissions

Applying to graduate school can be an overwhelming process. And, the landscape is changing with regard to the age demographic applying to and entering graduate business school. The field is getting younger, and those with years of professional maturity will find that the youthful are extremely competitive. There can be no taking comfort in having a job that lasts forever and not experiencing some sort of restructuring. Growing pains and bottom lines dictate the profitability of big and medium sized business, therefore all the more reason to be prepared for the shift and pursue your graduate studies. However, there are definitely some checks and balances that need to be adhered to during the process.

There is a lot to be gained by having an MBA degree and the financial reward can be quite lucrative. What is required to be that breakout candidate and star? When applying to b-schools, research is extremely important, as evidenced by the numerous graduate MBA fairs that are conducted in cities across the globe. Seeing what schools have to offer with reference to the program is important in your search. When you’ve narrowed down your choice of institutions, it is also important – and demonstrates your level of commitment – to know a lot about the school to which you’re applying. Researching the following are all worthwhile pieces of information:
• Statistics revolving around GMAT scores
• Required work experience
• Program size
• Specializations provided
• Alumni availability
• Availability or access to current students in the program to gain their perspective
• Resources available that will enrich your experience while in graduate school

Know some history of the program and its accomplishments, awards won or competitions participated in, as well as any breaking news pertaining to the program or school. The process in applying to a school is critical and you need to keep in mind that the school wants to assess that you are a quality candidate, no matter how high an entrance exam score, GPA, or amount of practical professional experience. Programs will examine that you can fit into the culture and student body and you should assess the same. You need to feel comfortable with the school and its student body.
At Rutgers Business School Graduate MBA Program Newark-New Brunswick, we encourage prospective students and applicants alike to meet with one of the directors or arrange a time to sit in one of our classes. We generally recommend attending a class where you may wish to specialize. The experience of a graduate school classroom and getting involved in discussions with peer groups and faculty is a great way to become part of the culture and further ignite that flame for you to attend b-school. There are additional things to consider when looking at a quality MBA program.

A key component in aiding a prospective student in the research process is the Office of Career Management. Look at the companies that recruit at the institutions. Ask about their statistics in regard to the amount of students that have found internships as well as full-time opportunities prior to graduation and three months post graduation. These are some important statistics that should be readily accessible if not online then by way of communicating with a Career Management Specialist.

Be prepared in respect to knowing what specialization you want to pursue. To have any sort of success with Career Management, you must have researched the industry, speak the language of the field and demonstrate that you belong in graduate school and are the right candidate for said employment opportunity. I tell students that you need to embody and embrace; become and sell the fact that you are Finance, whatever area within Finance you choose to pursue or Management or Marketing or Supply Chain. Speak with Career Services and ask questions that will be relative to your future success and career. Our Office of Career Management is there to support the students and guide them with resume restructuring, mock interviews, which are strongly encouraged, aiding you with the must-dos and don’ts in order to be a star. What we do at Rutgers is present you with the tools and qualifications to aid you in attaining that job in your new career path.

In short, do your research, attend an institution that has what you want, not just in terms of name but also in the substance of the program. If you are attending b-school because you feel it is the golden ticket to a great income and easy street like in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, then you will be in for somewhat of a reality check. Make sure b-school is right for you and you it! Two things you cannot recapture if you feel that you have made the wrong choice in a graduate b-school are the time you’ve lost and the expense. Our creed here at the Rutgers Business School is: “Come with your passion and leave with your career.” Keep in mind, you are not only here for the experience and a job but to separate yourself from the competitors and place yourself in a different tax bracket. It doesn’t get any more candid than this. So, be certain that your detective work plays to your advantage.

Learn more about the Rutgers Business School and the great programs that they offer health & wellness professionals:

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Did You Know?

What's Healthy to Eat? (Maybe Not What You Think)
by Jared Koch, founder of Clean Plates and co-author of The Clean Plates Cookbook

As a nutritionist, I've learned a lot about food. And I've gotten some big surprises. For instance, we all know that candy isn't good for us. But you probably wouldn't guess that certain things in the "health food" aisle aren't much better.

That's why my definition of "healthy" is different from what you might be used to. You might think it means "vegetarian" or "low-calorie" or "vegan." Is it a plate of carrot sticks? Is it a high-fiber cereal? Or is it a special diet only a nutritionist can prescribe?

Actually, it's none of these. My philosophy is this: the quality of ingredients is what matters most, whether you’re a carnivore, a vegan, or somewhere in between. "Low calorie" and "low fat" foods often contain fillers and chemicals that our bodies don't know how to process, or too much sugar and salt. Special diets might work for one person, but not for another. But when we eat whole foods that are as close as possible to their natural state—without additives, pesticides, and other toxins—we feel best, and the foods taste best, too.

To break it down, here are our five basic guidelines:
1. Every body is different. We call that "bio-individuality," which just means there’s more than one right way to eat. One person might thrive as a carnivore, another as a vegan. Some bodies tolerate gluten or dairy. Others don’t. Embracing healthy eating means finding the way of eating that makes your body thrive. (Experiment and see how your body responds.)
2. Real food is just better. Try to build the overwhelming majority of your diet from natural, high-quality and whole foods—in other words, food that comes from nature, not factories. If you can picture a particular food item growing on a branch or sprouting in a field, then chances are, it’s “real.” (Caution here: many manufacturers misleadingly label products as “all-natural.” "Natural" has no legal definition, so companies use it freely…sometimes, too freely. Read the ingredients list and use your own judgment to decide whether the claim is likely to be true.)
3. It's good to eat more plants. Plants are the most nutrient-dense food source and everyone would be better off if they ate more of them. When possible, choose local, organic vegetables (especially leafy greens), fruits, nuts and seeds, because they suffer less nutrient loss than their long-distance counterparts, while reaping the benefits of nutrient-rich, organic soils.
4. If you eat meat, know its source. Yes, meat may be right for you (see guideline #1). But if you choose to eat animal products, aim to consume only (a) high-quality and sustainably raised animals (ideally pasture-raised and grass- fed, but at least hormone and antibiotic-free), and do so (b) in moderation, so you’re eating smaller portions and less often.
5. We can all reduce toxins. To feel better immediately, simply reduce your intake of artificial, chemical-laden, processed foods as well as sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

The more you practice these guidelines, the more they'll become second nature. But if you get away from them now and then, don’t beat yourself up—guilt is a form of stress, and stress interferes with good digestion (on top of having other nasty side effects). Just acknowledge that you made a choice you don’t want to make again, and move on. And remember, you aren’t alone.

About Clean Plates ( and the Clean Plates

I founded Clean Plates to help make it easier for everyone to figure out what's good for us to eat (we even have a free newsletter on our website). We're working on making healthy, delicious eating a lot easier, every day. You can get free access to our guide of Clean Plates-approved restaurants, healthy eating articles, iPhone app and newsletter (I like to say it's like having a nutritionist in your in-box) by signing up to Clean Plates. Whether you’re a conscientious carnivore, a vegetarian, or going gluten-free, Clean Plates has restaurant reviews, news and tips to help boost your health and keep your taste buds happy. Clean Plates founder Jared Koch graduated pre-med from the University of Michigan and is a nutritionist and health coach certified by the Teachers College of Columbia University, Global Institute of Alternative Medicine, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.


I'm new to personal training and would like to work with the older population.
Do you have any exercises that I can use for balance training with my new clents?

Answered by: Dan Ritchie, PhD, CSCS

Here is a video I shot (actually my 14 yr old son shot), demonstrating some basic balance movements you could incorporate into any fitness routine. These are ideally designed with that over 65 client in mind but I still use them in more challenging ways with my clients in their 50s as well. At any age you can be working on improving your balance, coordination and agility.


Dan Ritchie, PhD, CSCS
Owner, Trainer
Miracles Fitness

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