Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stop the New Year Madness

It's that time of year again. Time to make a life altering New Year's Resolution that odds are, most of us will not keep. Why is that? I have found over the years that most people do not put too much thought into these resolutions. Often they are made after too many cocktails or just a repeat of last years failed attempt. How do we stop the madness?

Of course there is no fail safe plan, it all depends on you, your motivation and dedication level. I recommend that you start thinking about some challenging, interesting and fun goal or event that you'd like to undertake. Come up with a doable goal but not an unrealistic one like looking like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. Sorry guys, that ain't happening for any of us. Or the same old goal of losing weight.

Set a fun goal, like a race, strength contest or charity event, and work systematically towards achieving it. I tell people not to focus on weight loss, but to let it become a by-product of your training. That way you're not constantly obsessed with food, not eating and those evil scales.

For instance, I have a group of clients training for January races from a half marathon to a 50 miler. They're all getting in shape, having fun together and losing weight. Weight loss is a by-product of their training.

You don't have to choose a marathon. Your goal can be a 5k, 10k, Cancer March, Triathlon, Muddy Buddy, Strongman, Highland Game, Bodybuilding show or Ultramarathon. You pick it! Make it fun, adventuresome and exciting. Gather some family and friends to join ya. That's the best part.

For instance, here are some very cool goals that some of my friends and I have for 2008;

My friend & client, Michelle Ehda, is getting married in 2008. She wants to get in the best shape possible. You can follow her progress and support her at - http://community.active.com/blogs/Michelle_Wants_to_Get_Active

Another friend, Toby at Active.com, is getting ready for his first 100 miler and other crazy fun stuff. You can check him out at - http://community.active.com/people/Active%20Toby

These are just a few of the events I have on the radar.
-Chicago's Strongest Man competition, http://www.nastrongmaninc.com/pdf/entries/ChicagoStrongestMan08.pdf
-La Ruta de los Conquistadores,
-North American Wife Carrying championship, http://www.sundayriver.com/summer/wifecarry.html

Come join the fun. Life's too short. Work Hard and Play Harder!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Barkley 100 - The road to hell

In the world of UltraRunning there's long very doable trail runs, then there's Barkley. It's like no other. In the history of the run, only a handful have ever completed it. It eats the world's best for breakfast. And now, it's my new goal for 2008. I am actually nervous about a race for the first time in years! Read the entry form below and check out the attached link to see why. Anyone wanna join me?!

Website - http://www.mattmahoney.net/barkley/index.html

BARKLEY MARATHONS - 100 MILE RUN & 55 mile fun run

Put this down. Get away from it. You are holding a one way
ticket thru the portals of Hell. One way in and only one way out.

The Barkley is not the most imposing 100 miler. Only 2000'
separate the highest and lowest points. Yet, somehow, year after
year nobody finishes. Why? Because, eventually, everybody quits.
Maybe it is the endless gut-wrenching climbs. Maybe it is the leg-
wrenching descents. Maybe it is the sawbriers and blackberries.
Maybe it is because the Barkley is truly man against the
mountain. We don't have cute little glo-lights every hundred feet.
If you can't find your way, you shouldn't be in the woods. No
gourmet stands every half mile. You are lucky we put out water.

The Barkley is not for the pretty boys. The Barkley takes away
your speed and leaves you a struggling shadow of yourself. The
Barkley runner must be tough. A thousand foot per mile elevation
change exacts a heavy toll. He must be savvy. Finding your way with
a map is easy if you know how. Knowing where you are on a remote
mountainside at night requires no little skill. He must be self
reliant. At the Barkley we provide a venue, and render it
reasonably safe. The rest is between you, the mountain, and that
little voice inside you that says " Mommy, it is too hard, I want
to quit."
There are reasons that the fun-run averages only 2 finishers
a year. There are reasons that no one has ever finished the 100. To
know the Barkley is to know humility...and fear.
Date: April 1, 1995 : packet pickup March 31
Starting Time: Saturday morning
Time Limit: 55 miles, 36 Hours : 100 Miles, 60 Hours
Location: Frozen Head State Natural Area
Don't ask, if you can't find the park on your own, then
you don't belong "out there".
Average Weather: Temperatures 0 to 80 f. Possibly during the same
race. Rain, snow, sleet, hail, hot sun have all occured
in the past.
Requirements: Rigorous requirements must be met: NO women. They are
too soft. No children. They are too small. No Californians. This
race is not cool. NO soccer fans. Soccer sucks. NO marines. They
don't biodegrade. NO yankees. We don't want them buried here. NO
wimps, worms, slugs, or weenies. They don't got what it takes. And
most of all, NO Health Fascists. We encourage smoking during the
Course Profile: Gently rolling, numerous downhills (27,000' in the
fun-run alone). Very scenic.
Trail Description: Varies. Some of it ain't for sissies.

Recomended Clothing: Enough to get thru briers. You should carry
emergency gear. (dry clothing, matches, etc.)
Aid: Access to your car @ 20 mile intervals. Water @ 5-8 mile
Fee: $1.55 and a pair of thick, warm boot socks.
Entry Limit: 25 runner limit. Selection by whim.
Your chances of finishing: You Will Not Complete the 100 Mile Run.
You have about a 10% chance in the fun-run.


* include discussion of all issues involving deorative wood
shavings, unnecessary surgery, Tommy Lasorda, uninspected poultry,
shampoo, duck costumes, reptiles, investment bankers, and unwanted
send entry to: Idiot
233 Union Ridge
War Trace, TN 37183

NAME:_________________________________AGE:_____(in Mercurian years)

ADDRESS:_____________________________________SEX: Y/N

CITY:__________________________________ST____HAT SIZE:_____

FAVORITE PARASITE:_________________________________________________

Complete the following: You can never know too much about fungus,


*** read before signing ***


SIGNED ______________________________________________DATE_________

DEFFN: Fool- enters the Barkley
Moron- enters the Barkley, expects to finish
Idiot- enters the Barkley, thinks he will do the 100
Sissy- does not enter the Barkley

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Even though I have a Guinness World Record for fitness, I still find myself getting bored or becoming complacent from time to time like many of you. When this happens, I know that it's time to add some spice to my workouts or for a little kick in the rear. This usually comes in the form of a 'goofy personal fitness goal.'

There's a set of stairs at the park that I teach my 6 AM Gut Check Fitness Class that just keep going on and on. They are long and steep. You gotta love them. Needing a little fitness attitude adjustment, I decided to try to run 50 repeats in one hour on Tuesday. Was I in for a reality check.

It's 4 AM, alarm goes off. Who's idea was this anyway? Nicole and I get to the stairs at exactly 5 AM. We're off. I'm trying for 50 and Nik for whatever she can get. She keeps me motivated and helps me count. I still have a problem with numbers over ten.

First five stairs, I'm on fire. Five to ten, legs getting warmed up. Ten to fifteen, in the zone. Fifteen to twenty, who's idea was this! Now reality sinks in, I have 30 more to go. Yikes!

Ok, may not get 50 but let's see what we got in the tank. I buckle down, welcome the pain, fatigue and nausea. Now it's on. Mind over matter. "I don't mind 'cuz my body doens't matter!"

Clock strikes one hour. Not bad, was able to get 44 stairs. Nik got 35 and Megan, 20 in 25 minutes. Didn't get 50 but will definitely be back for more.

Even though I doubt the stairs are initimidated, it does and will continue to be one of those goofy fitness challenges that will keep me and others in my group motivated. "Watch out stairs, here we come." What's your fitness challenge?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

High Desert 30k & 50k Race Report

On Saturday, Dec. 1st, 14 of us carpooled from San Diego to the big town of Ridgecrest, CA. Our goal, to run and complete the High Desert 30k & 50k. Our group consisted partially of trail running newbies and some old pros. A great group all around.

Not long after leaving San Diego we started to notice the wind picking up and the temperature dropping. The closer we got to Ridgecrest, the windier it got. Me, being the genius with the bright idea of running in the desert in December, started to get a little nervous. I knew if the wind continued and temperature dropped that I would be in for it come race day.

We all got checked in, picked up our race packets and headed to the local pasta establishment for some carb loading. It wasn't fancy but mission accomplished. Next we were off to Big 5 for last minute items. With 10 women in the group, I'm still a little skeptical about the shopping being necessary or not. But I sure as heck wasn't going to argue!

Race day. The weather channel has the local temperature at 19 degrees. Yes, that is Fahrenheit! Yikes, I haven't seen 19 since I left DC a year ago. I was a little nervous about the amount of grief that I might catch. Luckily everyone was in good spirits and ready for the run.

And we're off. The 30k runners are Kim Martini, Ses & Greg, Nancy & Jeff and Eldar & Erin. The 50k runners are Mindy, Rebekah & her mom Lynn, Marie & her dad Will, Nicole & me. What a good looking group we are! The very first thing we notice while leaving the parking lot is a local runner wearing only what looked like his sister's running shorts and a Fabio hairdo. That'll wake you up!

It was a beautiful sunrise in the desert. As the sun began to rise, so did the temperature. By noon it was close to 55 degrees. Perfect running weather. The course was laid out very well with extremely friendly volunteers at each aid station.

All fourteen runners finished the race with big smiles on their faces. Not sure if that was due to being finished or knowing that there was beer & pizza at the finish line. You tell me! For Kim, Nancy, Jeff, Eldar, Erin, Ses, Greg, Will & Lynn, it was their first. Great job! For Marie, Rebekah, Mindy & Nicole, it was a new 50k PR. Way to go!

CONGRATULATIONS to all of you! You guys trained hard and it showed. You made this run not only look easy but very enjoyable. Everyone seemed to have a great time and many are talking about what's next. Thank you all for a wonderful adventure!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jim's intro to UltraRunning - JFK 50 Miler

Race Report: JFK 50 Miler 2007

I met Joe earlier this summer when I was working in Los Angeles and he encouraged me to think about stepping up from my annual marathon routine to go after an ultra. Joe is a very persuasive guy so after coming back to New York in July I took the plunge and signed up for the JFK 50 Miler!

The JFK 50 Miler has been around since 1963 when 11 people ran the first race. Today more than 1100 people run the race annually. The race starts in Boonsboro, MD, winds across the Appalachian Trail for 16 miles, snakes along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath for 26 miles and wraps up with 8 miles of winding country roads.

At 5.00am on November 17th the race kicked off in the darkness of downtown Boonsboro. The adrenaline was pumping as we started off up a hilly 2 mile road before hitting the Appalachian Trail. It was an incredible feeling to hit the trail before sunrise, lit only by runners headlamps and glow sticks, but as the sun slowly came up the route became an ankle pounding 13 mile trek across rocky trails and steep switchbacks.

At mile 16 we descended off the Appalachian Trail to cheers from supporters before hitting the C&O Canal towpath for 26 miles. The towpath was a welcome relief from the trail but seemed to be never ending. The highlight of the C&O Canal section was the aid stations, which appeared every 3 or 4 miles. Fantastic supporters served everything from M&Ms, soda, sports bars, and hot soup to constant shouts of encouragement. The last major aid station on the towpath at Mile 38 was aptly named “38 Special” and was a truly welcome site before heading off to the final section of the race.

After 42 miles the last 8 miles along a winding country road were a real grind – I had never run or walked this far in my life so I had to dig deep to keep going. As the early evening darkness descended over Boonsboro I headed across the finish line almost 13 hours after starting. Incredibly the winner finished in less than 6 hours!

I got to my car cold and exhausted, and found a cheery voicemail from Joe on my cell phone checking in on how I was doing. I called him up and joked that although I was shattered, maybe its time to step up to a 100 miler next year! I’ve not decided yet, but I’m sure Joe will be there offering encouragement if I do!

Lessons learned -
Next time I’ll wear trail shoes instead of regular running shoes – my ankles took a pounding
If you have run marathons regularly this is doable with some extra long training runs.
Most of the battle really is mental.

A big thanks to Joe for all his support and encouragement – good luck to anyone else who tries this next year. I might be back to try and knock a few hours off my novice time!

Cheers, Jim.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Video of the San Diego 100 Miler

The following video footage is from the San Diego 100 Miler. I captured the beginning, various aid stations after the 50 Mile mark and the finish line. The videos are in order from top t0 bottom. Check them out if you get a chance.

*Before the race

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bootcamp Challenge 2007

On Oct. 6, 2007, myself and a very brave group of my cohorts decided to head down to the Marine Recruit Depot and attempt the Annual Bootcamp Challenge. http://www.bootcampchallenge.com/

What is the Bootcamp Challenge? Let me tell ya;
EVENT FEATURES---The first and best! A fun and furious 3-mile course featuring obstacles used only by Marine Recruits at the Marine Recruit Depot. Get "encouragement" along the way at each obstacle by MCRD Drill Instructors. Compete as an individual or a member of a 3-person or 5-person team.Great post-race party with plenty of music, food, drinks and beer, awards to the top 3 finishers in each category/age group, official race T-Shirts to all entrants. If you've never ran it, you've gotta give it a try. Lotsa fun!

Team Fox Force Five having too much fun! By the way, 6th place as a 5 person female team! Get'em girls!
(From L. to R.) Jen, Ses, Mary, Rebecca, & Rebecca!

Daphne and Gregg came by to say HI! You can always expect to find them at this sort of event!

Katie Mc. & Mary. Great job ladies!

Carrie & Doug - Carrie got 8th place in her age group and Doug got 3rd place in his! This was Doug's first race by the way. Great job guys!

George and Wendy both did a great job! They were cheered on by Alexis, Willow and the little Gramms!

Nikki and Dianne -- We're just here for the beer! Way to go ladies!

J.J. (Super Trooper) & her man, Anthony -- They both did extremely well and were all smiles! Say "Cheese!"

Team PBR made up of Sean, Dave and Katie -- Hmmm, and what are they holding in their hands?!

Team Spartan -- Made up of Erin, Eldar (Crazy Legs) & Jeff. These guys did awesome too and finished 9th as a 3-person mixed team!

CONGRATULATIONS to Team Decker & the Divas! 1st place in the 3 person Mixed Team category. (Joe, Nicole & Marie)
A big CONGRATS to everyone that participated! Awesome job! Gotta do it again next year. Oh, by the way, you also missed the incredible post-race party at Wine Steals. That's another story! Have a great day!

Noble Canyon 50k

On Sept. 29, 2007, Aaron, myself and a group of very attractive "Dirt Divas" set out to run the Noble Canyon 50k. For 3 0r 4 months prior to this the group had been training together and putting in the hard work to attempt this challenge. These girls and Aaron, worked their tails off. Week in and week out. Sometimes we would meet at 0530 to log some miles. Half the group had never even ran a marathon so this would be a huge challenge.
Race day arrives and nerves are on edge. Will we finish? Will our bodies hold up? What lies out there for us on the trail? Me, I had no doubt that they would do just fine. At 0700 hours the race begins. Within a couple miles the jitters are gone and the fun begins! For the next 7 1/2 hours this group runs, jokes and laughs together. Not only did they all finish, they did so with big smiles on their face! CONGRATULATIONS -- Aaron, Carrie, Marie, Meg, Mindy, Nicole & Rebekah! You guys are awesome. More good times to come.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Keeping Motivated

Like many of you, I'm continually looking for new things to motivate me. It can be tough at times. You find yourself asking, " Why am I doing this?" I have found by searching for and attempting new challenges, it definitely helps. Also, my friends and I are constantly challenging one another. You name it, we'll compete at it. Everything from timed sit-ups and stair repeats to hardcore fitness programs. Our latest competition is what I've titled the Millenium "1000" Challenge. It's a three and half circuit of the famous "300" Workout. If you're looking for a little kick in the butt, give it a try. I was able to get through the "1000" in 44:54, but it definitely left a mark! If you're just getting started, try 300 reps of the program. See if you can do it in under 10 minutes. It's tough. Give it a try.

Millenium “1000” Challenge
-25x Pull-up
-50x Deadlift @ 135#
-50x Push-up
-50x Box Jump @ 24” box
-50x Floor Wiper @ 135# (one-count)
-50x DB Clean and Press @ 35# DB(DB must touch floor between reps)
-25x Pull-up
-50x Deadlift @ 135#
-50x Push-up
-50x Box Jump @ 24” box
-50x Floor Wiper @ 135# (one-count)
-50x DB Clean and Press @ 35# (DB must touch floor between reps)
-25x Pull-up
-50x Deadlift @ 135#
-50x Push-up
-50x Box Jump @ 24” box
-50x Floor Wiper @ 135# (one-count)
-50x DB Clean and Press @ 35# (DB must touch floor between reps)
-25x Pull-up
-25x Deadlift @ 135#
-25x Push-up
-25x Box Jump @ 24” box
-25x Floor Wiper @ 135# (one-count)
-25x DB Clean and Press @ 35# (DB must touch floor between reps)
-25x Pull-up

I followed it up that evening with a bottle of Cabernet and a nice cigar! You gotta reward yourself. Have fun!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Aug 26, It's Friday again!

Time flies when you're having fun. Where did the week go? I'm sure many of us ask that question quite often. If you're healthy and exercising, you can look back and congratulate yourself on a job well done. If you're still making excuses and not taking care of yourself, remember, you are not getting any younger and healthier. Don't let this precious time slip away. It goes just like that. I don't know about you, but I'd rather go doing what I love to do with my head held high instead of laying in a hospital bed with tubes up every orifice in my body. Not a pretty picture. Now get your butt moving!

Outdoor Fitness Workout
This morning we mixed it up a little. I like to do that on Fridays to change it up. We started with a half mile jog for a warm-up. Next;
  • 200 Meter sprints x 8
  • Weighted DB sit-ups - 3 sets x 1 min
  • 5 stadium stair repeats
  • DB Squat-curl-presses - 3 sets x 1 min
  • Mile Run - at 75-80% max
  • 10 min stretching

Gut Check Workout

It is Friday and I'm feeling a little lazy. I'm going to hit a workout that has become old faithful. The "300" Workout. Time yourself. Try to do it faster each time. Good luck. Have fun!

“300” Challenge
-25x Pull-up
-50x Deadlift @ 135#
-50x Push-up
-50x Box Jump @ 24” box
-50x Floor Wiper @ 135# (one-count) -the link below has a video description of these
-50x KB Clean and Press @ 36# (KB must touch floor between reps) (I used a 35 lb dumbbell since I didn't have a Kettlebell)
-25x Pull-up
300 reps total

Off to LA to crew for Nicole, Aaron and Jeremiah. They're all running the Bulldog 50k tomorrow. I'm taking it easy. Getting ready for the San Diego 100 and the Javelina 100 in Oct. Good luck gang! Have a great weekend everyone!

Joe Decker

Friday, August 17, 2007

Aug 17 - It's Friday!

Another week almost over! Time to look back. What have I done this week? Did I drag butt and not get too much done? Did I just coast along? Or, did I pony up, kick butt and take names?! Hopefully this last one applies. Life's too short. Make the best of it each week and day. Think outside the box and try new things to challenge and push your self. Like Joe Dirt said, "Life's a garden. Dig it!"

Outdoor Fitness Workout

Today we mixed it up and had some fun. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. We started with a half mile warm-up run and then hit the field.
  • 200 Meter sprints x 6 with only 15-30 sec of rest
  • DB squats x 25
  • DB Hammer curls x 25
  • DB Presses x 25
  • Combine all three - DB squat-curl-presses x 1 min
  • Combine all three - DB squat-curl-presses x 45 sec
  • Combine all three - DB squat-curl-presses x 30 sec
  • Stadium Stair repeats x 5 - tried to finish between 5-8 minutes
  • Sit-ups x 30 sec
  • Weighted DB Sit-ups x 1 min
  • Weighted DB Sit-ups x 45 sec
  • Weighted DB Sit-ups x 30 sec
  • 3/4 mile run
  • 1/2 mile run
  • 1/4 mile run
  • Stretching x 10 min

Gut Check Workout

  • 25 pull-ups (remember you can break up into sets - like 10-10-5, etc)
  • 50 box jumps
  • 50 push-ups - regular
  • 25 chin-ups
  • 50 deadlifts @ 135#
  • 25 One-arm DB chest presses - 25 each arm
  • 50 DB snatches
  • 50 squats @ 135#
  • 25 pull-ups - thumbs touching
  • 50 Diamond push-ups
  • 25 starbursts
  • 50 hammer curls
  • 100 bench dips
  • 25 shrug/calf raises
  • 100 sit-ups w/25lb plate
  • 50 hanging knee raises
  • Timed Mile @ 3% incline!

Have fun! I'm eager to do it myself. Please let me know if you enjoy it as much as I think that I will! Have a great Friday! Keep driving on. Remember, when you're sitting on your butt being lazy, someone else is out there doing a workout just like this and tearing it up!

"Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'!"

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Aug 16, Thurs - Keep it going!

I love Thursday mornings. On this day we generally go to our favorite set of stairs or least favorite long and steep hill. Then we proceed to run it until our quads are quivering and our knees start to buckle. Nothing like a little exercise induced nausea to start the day out right! Give it a try. If you're like us, you might just start to like it!

Outdoor Fitness Workout

This morning we started out with about a half mile warm-up run. Next we did some side-to-side shuffles, butt kickers, high knees, one-legged hops forward and sideways. We followed this up with some 40yd sprints, 5 forwards and 5 backwards. From here we headed to THE HILL. This thing is the length of a football field with a 15 degree incline. It's beautiful. I had everyone get a partner and do 6 repeats, trading off on each one to give them a break. It's a great workout. Find your own hill or use a treadmill. Hills are great for building strength, power and maximizing calorie burn.

Strength Training Workout

I really enjoy experimenting with different workouts. Last week was dumbbells, this week is barbell and next will be machines. Have fun with it. Try different exercises. Really push yourself. Today we'll hit Legs, Back and Biceps for 3 sets of 8 reps. Remember, always warm-up for 5-10 min.
  • 10-20 pull-ups
  • Deadlifts
  • 10-20 chin-ups
  • Squats
  • Lat pull-downs
  • Straight leg barbell deadlifts
  • Bent-over barbell rows
  • Barbell lunges
  • Calf Raises
  • Barbell curls
  • Shrugs
  • Barbell reverse curls
  • Ab exercise
  • Knee Raises

Looks like fun. Give it a try. Let me know how it goes. I'll get to work on program for tomorrow. It'll be a fast paced, non-stop butt kicker. Get ready!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Aug 15, Wed - Back in Action!

Finished up 100 Mile trail run on Sunday. Leg's feel pretty good. Time to get it going again. Guy's, I've gotta tell ya, there is nothing more empowering than getting out there and pushing your body. The human body is meant to be pushed and prodded, it's not meant to sit in a dark cubicle and punch a key board all day. Have fun with it. Punch the gas, squeal the tires! Your body will take you there and beyond if you push it!

Outdoor Fitness Class

Wednesdays are our Cardio days. It's the middle of the week and all downhill from here. Get out there, burn a few calories, clear your head and have fun. We generally meet as a group at 6 AM and run for an hour together. Whether it be running, cycling or swimming, grab some friends and go!

Strength Training Workout

Last week we tried dumbbell only workouts. I really enjoyed those. I think today we'll try a barbell only workout. See how that goes. Let's hit Chest, Shoulders and Triceps for 3 sets of 8 reps. Something different. Here we go.
  • 5-10 min warm-up - 50 jumping jacks - 20 push-ups - 10 pull-ups
  • Clean and Jerk
  • Flat bench press
  • Push-presses
  • Incline bench press
  • Barbell front raises
  • Close-grip bench presses
  • Decline cable flyes
  • Lying tricep extensions
  • Parallel bar dips - 2 x 15-25
  • Weighted sit-ups
  • Hanging knee raises

Gut Check Workout

  • Squat-curl-presses w/20-50lb db's
  • Push-ups - feet elevated - one foot on the bench at a time - slow and touch
  • Bench dips - rotate foot on the ground - slow and touch
  • Reps go 30-25-20-15-10 -- Advanced Reps 50-40-30-20-10

Hope you enjoy the workout. Push yourself. Get out there today and do something physical that you've only been thinking about. Like run a few more miles or do a few more push-ups. Challenge yourself! Have fun!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Aug 13th - Headland's 100 Miler

"You can walk enough when you're dead." I kept repeating these words to myself over and and over again as I stumbled and staggered along the narrow and rocky trail at 3:30 AM in the morning. I had just left the aid station at Mile 91 and have been running for over 20 hours now. Only 9 more miles to go. "Who's idea was this anyhow?"

This past Friday, Aug 10th, Nicole, Steve Purinton and myself drove to San Francisco for the Headland's 100 Mile trail race on Saturday. It had been 6 years since I ran my last 100 Miler. I have to admit, I was just a little nervous. Could I still do it? "Now is not a good time to consider that ya dummy!" I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Saturday morning we drove to the start of the race, checked in and got ready to go. From the starting line you could see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. What a great view. At 7 AM all 140, 50 & 100 Mile runners were off. Across the beach then up the hills we ran. At roughly 5 miles into the first leg we came out onto a ridge line that overlooked the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and downtown San Fran. What an awe inspiring view.

The 50 Milers were to do an out and back. The 100 Milers did the same out and back with two smaller 25 Mile loops afterwards. The first 50 miles was no problem. The sun was shining and the views were spectacular throughout the Golden Gate National Park. Life was good. I've found with 100 Mile runs though, the race doesn't really start until the sun goes down. This would turn out to be no exception.

I was feeling great at the end of the first 50 miles. "No problem, I can do this all day." I'm pretty sure this is a common statement many of us make half way through any event, only to have our butts handed to us later on. Steve left the 50 mile aid station with me to help pace over the next 8 mile leg. Seeing a another runner in the distance, I decided to push it a little harder. This little mistake would catch up with me later. "There's still a lot of running to do."

Nicole traded roles with Steve and ran the next 17 Miles with me. I could feel the fatigue starting to sit in. Up and down the hills and canyons we run, stumble and climb. Over 17,000 ft of elevation gain. And I thought this was going to be an 'easy' 100 miler!

75 Mile mark. Last loop. 25 miles to go. I'm thinking to myself, "Are you kidding me, one more marathon?!" Again, Steve paces me through the first section of the loop. It's definitely slower than the last 2 times. Luckily he keeps me moving. At mile 80, my batteries go dead in my light. Not good. It's pitch black out. Luckily Steve has a light and we're able to navigate the treacherous trails of this section.

Mile 83. Coyotes are howling in unison very close nearby as we approach the aid station. Mother nature's concert. Nicole jumps in at this point and we're off. It's roughly 2 AM in the morning and I'm tired! Must keep going. We stumble on.

Mile 90. The turn around point in the last loop. Only 10 miles to go. My eyes are burning, quads are quivering, stomach is upset, feet and knees are throbbing, but besides this, I feel pretty darn good. We get to Pirates Cove and have about a 2 mile climb to the peak to head down to the last aid station. Don't really remember this section. I think I was having what is known as an "out of body experience" or I was simply asleep! One of the two.

Mile 96. All I want to do is get this thing over with! My mind and body are both rebelling against whatever the heck is keeping me going. Not sure what is. Steve feeds and waters me at the aid station. Nicole and I are off. Straight up the hill we climb. "Were all these hills here before? Did someone add them during the night?"

Mile 98. The sun is coming up again and the fog is rolling in at the higher elevation. Yeah, we're almost done. I can do this. Wait. "Where did this last climb come from?!" You've got to be kidding me. We stumble to the top only to behold the finish line in the distance. Thank you Lord! We actually look pretty good as we cross the finish line at 24 hours and 20 minutes. I find out that I got 5th place. http://www.pctrailruns.com/HH_Results_07.htm Very excited considering all I wanted to do was finish. Time for a Steak Omelet and Pancakes! Here I come!

I couldn't have done it without Nicole and Steve to keep me fed, hydrated, motivated, and actually on the course. They were up the entire night and met me at every aid station with a smile and a peanut butter cup! Thanks guys! And Thank You too all the wonderful people that supplied me with race goodies and support. You really made this Ultra Runners race very memorable and special.

My ankles are swollen and legs are still throbbing. Yesterday, I considered retiring from UltraRunning. It's just too painful. Today the pain has subsided and I'm already looking at the San Diego 100 in October. "Hey, I can't help it. I'm an endorphin junky and always will be. There's no high in the world that can touch the incredible high one experiences when pushing the human body to the limit and accomplishing incredible feats!"

"Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'!"

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Aug 7, Tues - Pick it up!

Another great day in paradise! Got up this morning at 5 AM and did speed and lower body work with my 6 AM Outdoor Fitness Class. Great group! We meet 5 days a week and hit it hard. So does my 5 PM group too. Good stuff! I hope all of you got your butts out of bed this morning and enjoyed the sunrise while burning a few calories. You can't beat it.

Outdoor Fitness Class

This morning we focused on Speed and Lower Body work. Good little butt kicker. Started out with a warm-up followed by some additional exercises to get the blood flowing. Using about 40 yds on a field, we shuffled right, then left, followed by running backwards. Repeated this a couple times. Next came butt-kickers or heel to your rear-end, high knees, one legged hops forward - both legs, one legged hops sideways - both legs and finally lunges.

  • 4 x 40 yds - with a 10 sec rest break
  • 1 x 400 m
  • We repeated this 3 times
  • Lower body exercises -
  • 40 yds walking lunges with a 15lb db
  • 20 yds - backward lunges
  • squats - full, 3/4, 1/2 & 1/4 - 10 each - nice and slow
  • 2o yds lunges - back to db's
  • DB Squats - holding db in one hand - left for 10 reps - then right for 10 reps - then middle for 10
  • 25 calf raises
  • 50 dirty dogs
  • 1 min partner - weighted sit-ups
  • 1 min reverse curls
  • 30 sec sit-ups
  • 30 sec reverse curls
  • 10 min good lower body stretching

Strength Training Workout

Today will be a Dumbbell workout like yesterday. I find that switching it up like this keeps it exciting and interesting. Try out different exercises. Incorporate these into your program. We're still doing 2 Sets of 10-12 Reps. Here we go!

  • 5-10 min warm-up
  • 10 pull-ups - left hand over & right hand under - focus on form - full range of motion
  • DB Deadlifts
  • 10 pull-ups - right hand over & left hand under - focus on form - full range of motion
  • DB Squats
  • One-arm DB Rows
  • DB Straight - legged deadlifts
  • DB Pull-overs
  • DB Stationary lunges - 10 each leg
  • 30 - 60 sec pull-up hang
  • DB calf raises with a shrug added at the top
  • DB seated incline curls
  • DB concentration curls
  • DB wrist curls
  • 100 crunches

Don't be afraid to add your own exercises if you want. Have fun with it. Have a great day!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Aug 6, Monday - Get it goin'!

The weekend's over, time to pick it up again! We had a great "Hit the Surf" workout on Sat. at La Jolla Shores. Lotsa sand, water and fun in the sun. On Sunday, we went for a leisurely little 13 mile run through Rose Canyon. Good time. I'll be taking it some what easy this week. I've got the Headlands 100 Mile trail run on Sat. Can't wait!
As I've said before, we'll start changing up the workout variables a bit to keep it interesting and challenging. Today's Strength Training format will be similar to last week, but we'll do an all Dumbbell Workout. I think you'll like it.

Outdoor Fitness Workout

We started out with a half mile jog for a warm-up. We always work the upper-body on Monday's. Today we went straight to the pull-up bars and proceeded to do

  • 10 sets of 10 pull-ups with a little break in between - 100 total

Next, we hit push-ups and dips;

  • 5 circuits of - 20 dips and 10 negative push-ups with only a 10 sec break in between

Back to the park and our dumbbells;

  • 2 sets of 50 DB weighted sit-ups - timed (from 10 -40 lbs)
  • 2 sets of 50 DB Bench Presses
  • 2 sets of 50 DB Hammer Curls
  • 2 sets of 50 DB Arnold Presses
  • 2 sets of 50 Crunches
  • 5-10 min of stretching

Strength Training Workout

Today our workout will consist of only DB exercises. Thurs will probably be Barbell only then possibly machine. Variety and change is good. We'll still be doing 2 Sets of 10-12. Focus on form and taking it slow hitting the negative.

  • 5-10 Warm-up - 50 Jumping Jacks - 20 Push-ups - 10 Slow Pull-ups
  • One arm DB Clean and Press - both arms
  • DB Flat Bench
  • DB Arnold Presses
  • DB Incline Press
  • DB Front Raises
  • DB Flyes
  • DB Upright Rows
  • DB Overhead Tricep extensions
  • DB Kickbacks
  • DB Push-ups
  • DB Weighted Sit-ups
  • Hanging Knee Raises
  • Cool down and stretching

Gut Check Workout

  • 10 Pull-ups
  • 25 One-arm DB Clean & Presses - each arm
  • 20 Bench Dips
  • 10 Negative push-ups
  • Repeat 5 times (If you want to go for it, try to repeat it 10 times!)

Hope you enjoy the workout! Have fun and enjoy your day!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Aug 3rd, Fri - 1st Week Down!

Hey Gang,

One week down now in our Fitness Challenge. I hope the workouts are helping and you're able to put together a schedule that works for you. I'm seeing a lot of people working their tails off. Some are coming out at 5 AM, others at lunch time and even more in the evenings. It's great to see! I hope you're ready, next week we'll really kick it up a notch!

Outdoor Fitness Workout

I joined my friend Eddie at CrossFit San Diego for a little Olympic Weight Training this morning. If you get a chance, check it out. Good stuff!
This left Nicole to teach class. From what I heard, sounded like a good time!
  • 1/2 Mile Warm-up
  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 25 Push-ups
  • 1 Arm DB Squat Presses or Thrusters - 3 sets of 20-15-10 on each arm
  • Clap push-ups - 1 set of 20
  • 1 Arm DB curls - standing on 1 leg - 3 set of 20-15-10
  • Clap push-ups - 1 set of 20
  • 1 Arm DB Snatches - 3 sets of 20-15-10
  • Super slow eccentric push-ups - 1 set of 20
  • 4 x 40 Meter dashes
  • 1 Arm DB Chest Presses - 3 sets of 20-15-10
  • Crunches Fingers to toes, holding up 1 DB - 25 each arm
  • Bench Dips - sets of 20-15-10
  • 50 Jumping jacks
  • 100 Full sit-ups
  • 5-10 min stretching

Strength Training/Gut Check Workout

I'm going to combine the two today. It's Friday, the week is over, time to kick it in the butt! I want you to leave it all here. You should finish in a pool of sweat! Let's do it!

  • 5-10 min warm-up - 50 Jumping jacks - 20 push-ups - 10 pull-ups
  • 50 DB Squat Presses/Thrusters with 30 lb dbs
  • 50 Box jumps
  • 25 Pull-ups
  • 50 Squats with 135 lbs
  • 50 - 1 Arm DB Snatches or Swings with 50 lb db - 25 each arm and switch
  • 50 Straight leg DB Deadlifts with 30 lb dbs
  • 25 Chin-ups
  • 50 Deadlifts with 135 lbs
  • 50 - 1 Arm DB Rows with 50 lb db - 25 each arm
  • 50 - 1 Leg BW Squats to a bench using bodyweight - 25 each leg
  • 25 Pull-ups
  • 50 Barbell Curls with 50 lbs
  • 50 Calf Raises w/ Shrugs with 50 lb dbs
  • 50 DB Hammer Curls with 30 lb dbs - 25 each arm
  • 50 Second timed hang on pull-up bar
  • 50 Weighted Sit-ups with a 30 lb db
  • 50 Knee raises
  • 50 Supermen
  • 1 Mile timed Run
  • 5-10 min cool-down and stretch!

There it is! Try it out and let me know what ya think! I'm getting ready to go see I if I can make it myself. Remember, feel free to modify the weight if necessary. Try to get all the reps in even if you have to divide them up in sets. DO NOT move on until you've completed all the reps! Good luck. "Remember, when you're sitting on the couch watching the tube letting yourself get soft, someone somewhere is out there training there ass off right now trying to get hard!"

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Aug 02, Thurs -

Outdoor Fitness Workout

This morning was a great workout. Some might even call it tough!;-) We ran a half-mile warm up loop to get started. From there we headed to the stairs. We have a set of stadium stairs at our park that have 128 steps. Pretty substantial. Try to find some comparable or just do more repeats if you want.

  • 5 Stairs - up and down is one - ours take 5-6 min to complete all 5
  • 50 Crunches - bringing your knees into your chest then back out
  • 5 Stairs
  • 50 Abs
  • 5 Stairs
  • 25 Box Jumps
  • 25 Starbursts
  • 50 Mountain Climbers
  • 25 Crunches - Fingers to Toes
  • 50 Flutter kicks
  • 10 min of stretching

This whole workout should take roughly an hour. Be sure to really push yourself up the stairs to get the most out of it.

Strength Training Workout

I like taking the exercises in groups of two's. It helps to speed it up and keeps my heart rate up. Remember, try to get 2 Sets of 10 Reps. We'll change it up next week.

  • Olympic Clean and Press
  • DB Flat Bench Press
  • DB 1-arm Snatch - this is an Olympic lift -pretty tough, but great exercise
  • Barbell Incline Press
  • Lying Triceps Extensions or Skull Crushers - lie on a flat bench - bring bar to your forehead
  • Decline Cable Flyes
  • DB Rear Delts - lie face down on a incline bench for these - lightweight -slowly
  • Weighted Bar or Bench Dips - 2 Sets of 25 Reps
  • 100 Full Weighted Sit-ups - non-stop or in sets of 10,25,50, etc - just get them done try to use as heavy of weight as possible - I'll probably try a 30-40 lb dumbbell
  • 50 Hanging Knee Raises

Check back tomorrow to find a butt-kicker Gut Check Workout to finish off your week. I hope your workouts and training is going well. If you have any questions, please let me know. Have a great day!

Aug 01, Wed - Make-up

Hey Gang,

Sorry I was unable to post a workout yesterday. Was out of the office most of the day. Here's what I was able to squeeze in if you would like to keep it for future reference.

Outdoor Fitness Workout

Wednesday's are group run days. We generally meet at 6 AM for a little 4-6 Mile Run. Yesterday we hit Penasquitos Canyon for a trail run. Great way to start the day. Some of the group decided to either hit the pool or the gym for some cycling. It's up to you. Use this day for a good little cardio burn. Have fun!

Strength Training Workout

The schedule for this week has you taking Wed. off from strength training. Gives the muscles a break and time to recover. But I did do a Gut Check Workout.

Gut Check Workout
  • 15 Overhand thumbs touching Pull-ups
  • 50 Push-ups
  • 50 Dips
  • 15 Underhand pinkies touching Chin-ups
  • 40 Push-ups
  • 40 Dips
  • 15 Overhand Wide grip Pull-ups
  • 30 Push-ups
  • 30 Dips
  • 15 Regular Chin-ups
  • 20 Push-ups
  • 20 Dips
  • Max set of Pull-ups
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 10 Dips

You can for wrong with this workout. It's a great little upper body smoker! Have fun!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fitness Challenge Testing

For those of you that are interested in testing yourself and following along with our 12 Week Challenge, I'll list the tests that we used. I started out by taking everyone's bodyfat measurements. Next, I used 5 different fitness tests to use as a baseline and to track their progress. The 5 tests were;
  1. 200 Meter Dash
  2. Standing DB Squat-curl-overhead presses for 90 seconds - as many as possible
  3. Stairs x 3 - this was timed using a very long set of stairs
  4. Weighted Sit-ups for 90 seconds - girls used 10lbs and guys used 20lbs
  5. One Mile - timed

At the end of 12 Weeks I will test again. Our Challenge is based upon Fitness Progress, not weight loss. In addition we'll be looking at accountability, dedication, motivation and hard work. The goal is to get everyone to really embrace fitness and a healthy lifestyle and incorporate it into their life.

July 31, Tues

Hey Gang!

Real quick, each day I'll list various workouts. From Outdoor workouts to one's done in a gym, even to things you can do at home. Don't think you have to do all of them. These are only options. I generally do the Outdoor Workout in the early morning and the Strength Training at lunch. This works for me. Now you need to find a schedule that will work for you.

Outdoor Fitness Workout

Today we focused on the lower body. Started out with half mile warm-up to get the blood flowing.
  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 200 Meter run
  • 20 DB Squats
  • 20 Alternating Step-ups
  • 20 Lunges
  • 400 M run
  • repeat 3 sets of 20
  • 600 M run
  • repeat
  • 800 M run
  • repeat
  • 600 M run
  • repeat
  • 400 M run
  • repeat
  • 200 M run
  • 5 minutes of AB work
  • 10 minutes of stretching

Strength Training Workout

Today's workout will again be similar to last weeks. We'll be hitting Chest/Shoulder/Triceps. I want to get you in the habit of moving quickly from exercise to exercise. Be sure to hit it hard for 2 Sets of 10. I believe in "Quality over Quantity!"

  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Seated Overhead Press
  • DB Incline Press
  • Standing DB Arnold Presses
  • Triceps Pressdown
  • Cable Flyes
  • Cable Rear Deltoids Cross-overs
  • Parallel Bar Dips
  • Front Raises
  • Close-grip Bench Press
  • DB Kick backs
  • Weighted Sit-ups
  • Hanging Knee Raises

If you have time, try to cool down for 5-10 min., followed by some light stretching.

Gut Check Workout

I'll start posting these workouts Mon, Wed & Fri. They're an added little bonus to really give ya a kick in the rear. Have fun with them. Try to time the Gut Check and let me know how it goes.

Have a great day and an awesome workout! Keep me posted on your progress!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Start of the 12 Week Fitness Challenge

Hey Gang!

Today is the beginning of our 12 Week Fitness Challenge which will end the week before Halloween. My goal is to help you get in incredible shape, incorporate fitness into your life and have a great time while doing it. For the next 12 Weeks I'll be listing a daily Outdoor Fitness Workout, a Home/Gym Workout and an occasional Gut Check Workout. Feel free to use what you want. You can take some of this and make it your own. Remember, this workout has to become your own for you to continue after the 12 Weeks is up.

Outdoor Fitness Workout

This workout will be pretty similar to the one we do at 6 AM at the park we meet at. You could probably do this workout at the park, at home or even the gym. Our 5-day AM format is;
Mon - upper body, Tues - lower body, Wed - Run/cardio, Thurs- lower body & Fri - upper body. Remember, if the workout is too hard or too easy, please modify it to suit your needs. This is all about you! We always start out with 5-10 minutes of jogging to get the blood flowing.

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Pull-up & Push-up Super set - Remember to move quickly from exercise to exercise
  • 10 Overhand Thumbs Touching pull-ups - 10 push-ups
  • 10 Pinkies touching pull-ups - 10 push-ups
  • 10 Overhand wide-grip pull-ups - 10 push-ups
  • 10 Regular grip palms facing chin-ups - 10 push-ups
  • 10 Overhand regular width pull-ups - 10 push-ups
  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • Dips & Crunch Drop-set - On a bench or parallel bars if you have them (Nice and slow with a pause)
  • 20 dips - 20 crunches
  • 17 dips - 17 crunches
  • 15 dips - 15 crunches
  • 13 dips - 13 crunches
  • 10 dips - 10 crunches
  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • DB Squat Presses & Sit-ups
  • 5 Sets of 10 DB Squat Presses with 20 full un-anchored sit-ups between
  • 2 Sets of 20 DB Concentration curls / DB Kickbacks
  • 2 Sets of 20 Leg lifts
  • 5-10 min stretching

Strength Training Workout

You'll see that I'm constantly changing my strength training workouts up. I like to keep them fun and interesting. For the next couple weeks we'll be lifting 4 days a week, then I'll probably cut it down to 3 day routine, then maybe back to 4 days or 2 days. We'll see then. This weeks will be similar to last weeks. Same basic format just to help ya get started. We'll really change it up next week and the following weeks. I generally divide my weekly routines up into Chest/Shoulders/Triceps and Legs/Back/Biceps. This is one of my favorite formats, the Push-Pull breakdown. I've found that it works well to hit all the major muscle groups and allows plenty of rest in between. It's great for maintaining general fitness. Remember, this week is still 2 Sets of 10-12 Reps.

  • 5-10 Minute Warm-up
  • Barbell Deadlift
  • Lat pull downs
  • DB Squats
  • DB One-arm row
  • Single Leg Curl
  • Barbell curl
  • Single Leg Extension
  • DB Hammer curl
  • DB Calf Raise
  • DB Shrugs
  • Ab exercise
  • Wrist curl
  • Hanging knee raises
  • Low-back Hyper extensions or Superman's
    * I like to take 2 or 3 exercises at a time and rotate quickly through them to get my heart rate up and to speed up the workout.

Gut Check Workout

  • 10-15 Pull-ups
  • 25 Box jumps
  • 25 Starbursts
  • 25 Mountain Climbers - single count
  • 25 Fingers to Toes - lie on back, arms and legs extended in the air, try to reach up and touch fingers to toes, similar to a crunch
  • 25 Flutter kicks

Have fun with the workouts. Let me know what you think. Would love to have your feedback and input. Have a great day!

Joe Decker

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26, Thurs - Changing it up

Hey Gang,

Remember, what I want you to notice today is how we change some of the various workout variables. We'll change reps, sets, rest time to using barbells, dumbbells, machines and your own body weight. This keeps it interesting and constantly challenges your body to function differently each workout. This will help you continue to achieve results and stay motivated. I'll start with my Outdoor Fitness workout and then list today's gym workout.

Outdoor Fitness Workout
-This morning we jogged for about 10 minutes to a hill that's roughly 800 meters/ half-mile long with about a 10% incline. From the bottom we tried to run up it, without stopping to walk. We repeated this twice. It took between 4-6 minutes each time. You can try this on a hill that's close to you or on a treadmill at an easy jog.
-Next we did 50 squats with 15-30 lb dumbbells. Hold the db's in a curl position under your chin. Squat down and touch your elbows to your knees. Repeat.
-50 Walking lunges - single count
-50 Alternating Step-ups on a bench
-50 Box-jumps
-1 minute timed sit-ups holding a 15-30 lb db
-1 min plank position
-5-10 min stretching

Strength Training Workout
-Today's workout will be similar to Monday's - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps. We'll still do 2 Sets of 10-12 Reps. I'll change up Exercises, type and order. Here it goes;

-5-10 min Warm-up - 20 Jumping Jacks - 20 push-ups - 10 pull-ups
  • Standing 1-arm DB presses - 10-12 w/each arm - start w/non-dominate arm
  • DB Flat Bench Press
  • DB 1-arm Snatch - this is an Olympic lift -pretty tough, but great exercise
  • Barbell Incline Press
  • Lying Triceps Extensions or Skull Crushers - lie on a flat bench - bring bar to your forehead
  • Decline Cable Flyes
  • DB Rear Delts - lie face down on a incline bench for these - lightweight -slowly
  • Weighted Bar or Bench Dips
  • 100 Full Sit-ups - non-stop or in sets of 10,25,50, etc - just get them done
  • 50 Hanging Knee Raises

I'll put together a real butt-kicker Gut Check Workout for Friday. Stay tuned. Let me know if you have any questions concerning today's workout. Good luck! Have a great day!

Joe Decker

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Legs/Back/Biceps Workout

I forgot to mention yesterday, that I teach Outdoor Fitness classes 5 days a week at 6 AM and 5 PM. I'll list that workout first because I do it first thing in the morning. I generally hit the gym at lunch time to get in my strength training. If you can possibly incorporate both workouts in during the day, you'll really notice your fitness level improve dramatically. Many just do the Outdoor Fitness class because it's extremely challenging and comprehensive. It's your call.

Today's Morning Workout;
This morning we hit the road for a little Speed Play or Fartlek Training. You can try this on the road, a treadmill, or any other piece of cardio equipment. The primary goal is to have fun with it. We ran from light pole to light pole. Run about 80-90% to a light pole, then slow easy jog to the next. Repeat. Sometimes I will throw in 2 or 3 light poles or stop lights to make it interesting. If you are doing this in the gym, you can pick it up from song to song, from commercial to commercial or minute to minute. It's your call. Be creative and have fun with it. Remember, 5-10 minute cool-down and stretching afterwards.

Strength Training Workout;
Yesterday we hit Chest/Shoulder/Triceps, today we'll hit Legs/Back/Biceps. This is one of my favorite formats, the Push-Pull breakdown. I've found that it works well to hit all the major muscle groups and allows plenty of rest in between. It's great for maintaining general fitness. Remember, this week is 2 Sets of 10-12 Reps.
  • Overhand Pull-ups
  • Barbell Squat
  • DB Deadlift
  • Chin-ups
  • Single Leg Extensions
  • Seated Cable Row
  • Single Leg Curl
  • Lat pull downs
  • DB Calf Raise
  • DB Shrugs
  • Straight bar curl - focus on the negative
  • Ab exercise
  • DB Hammer curl
  • Hanging knee raises
  • Wrist curl
  • Low-back Hyper extensions or Supermans

* I like to take 2 or 3 exercises at a time and rotate quickly through them to get my heart rate up and to speed up the workout.

Gut Check Workout;

  • 10-15 Pull-ups
  • 25 Starbursts
  • 25 Fingers to Toes - lie on back, arms and legs extended in the air, try to reach up and touch fingers to toes, similar to a crunch
  • 25 Mountain Climbers - single count

As usual, please let me know what ya think. I always appreciate your feedback. Enjoy the workout. Remember, "that's why we call it working out, not hanging out!" HOO-RAH! Have fun!

Joe Decker

About My Workouts

Hey Gang,

I've been getting some specific questions about my workouts and wanted to try to clear things up the best that I can. First, I've been competing in Powerlifting for 23 years, Strongman competitions for 10 years, and Ultra Running for about 10 years too. The daily and weekly workouts that I utilize are a combination of my years of competitive experience, college education, military background and rugged farm upbringing. This workout format is the same that I used to break a Guinness World Record for Fitness in 2000. Trust me, it will work.

Real quick, what is Fitness? Some say it's looking like a supermodel or having big muscles. Fitness is different things to many different people, but by definition fitness is a mixture of cardio endurance, muscular endurance & strength, flexibility and body composition. This is the definition of fitness that I subscribe too. This is what you will get from my workouts. My goal is to help you achieve total body fitness through a very comprehensive and well rounded workout format. The things we tend to value most in life are the things that we work the hardest to obtain. "Long. Strong. Fast. Fit!"

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Joe Decker

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chest/Shoulders/Tricep Workout

Hey Gang,

Like I said before, I'm going to try to change as many of the workout variables weekly as possible. From sets & reps to the number of days you workout per week. This will help keep it fresh, really challenge your body and get you the results that you want. The first workout that I list will be primarily a gym workout. The second will be a "Gut Check" workout that can be done at the local playground, home or at the gym. I'm going to start off this Monday with the Push muscles; chest, shoulders and triceps. Try to use as heavy of weight as possible for each set and move quickly between exercises. Each exercise will be performed for 2 Sets of 10-12 Reps.

-Easy One Mile warm-up Run

  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Overhead Press
  • DB Incline Press
  • Standing DB Arnold Presses
  • Triceps Pressdown
  • Cable Flyes
  • Cable Rear Deltoids Cross-overs
  • Parallel Bar Dips
  • Front Raises
  • Close-grip Bench Press
  • DB Kick backs
  • Weighted Sit-ups
  • Hanging Knee Raises

* I like to perform and time the Gut Check Workout as soon as I'm done with the above workout. It'll only make you that much stronger if you do it while you're tired rather than doing it fresh all the time. Suck it up and knock it out!

Gut Check Workout
  • 50 Jumping Jacks - one count
  • 50 Overhead DB Presses - 3o lbs
  • 50 Push-ups
  • 50 Bench dips
  • 50 Ab crunches
  • 30 Jumping Jacks - one count
  • 30 Overhead DB Presses - 3o lbs
  • 30 Push-ups
  • 30 Bench dips
  • 30 Ab crunches
  • 20 Jumping Jacks - one count
  • 20 Overhead DB Presses - 3o lbs
  • 20 Push-ups
  • 20 Bench dips
  • 20 Ab crunches

Email me at worldsfittestman@aol.com and let me know what ya think of these workouts. I would appreciate the input. It'll help me improve them for future use. Have a great day!

Joe Decker

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Movie "300" Workout

If any of ya have seen the movie "300", you've probably wondered how the actors got those incredible physiques. Let me tell ya, it came through a tremendous amount of dedication, perseverance and training. Master Trainer, Mark Twight, of Gym Jones - Gym Jones - Knowledge - "300" put these guys on a pretty serious program of old school strength training. In addition, there was a high degree of accountability. Staying at home in bed was not an option. Best of all was their motto, "appearance is a consequence of fitness!"

Many of their workouts were similar to the one's that you guys do with me on a daily basis. Unfortunately you don't have 10 hours a day to workout. If you did, you might look like that too. This stuff works. "Only through hard work, dedication, motivation and perseverance will you see the results that you want and deserve. Remember this, no one owes you anything. "You get what you work for."

If you or someone you know is up for the challenge, listed below is the "300" Workout. It was a right of passage for the actors and stuntmen of the movie. I gave it a try today. It's tough as hell. Took me 12 minutes and 10 seconds and I was hurting! You will have to hang in there, work hard and just keep going. You can do it. Give it a try!

“300” Challenge
-25x Pull-up
-50x Deadlift @ 135#
-50x Push-up
-50x Box Jump @ 24” box
-50x Floor Wiper @ 135# (one-count) -the link below has a video description of these
-50x KB Clean and Press @ 36# (KB must touch floor between reps) (I used a 35 lb dumbbell since I didn't have a Kettlebell)
-25x Pull-up
300 reps total

*Floor Wipers - Josh Hillis' Fat Loss and Fitness Articles: Video: Floor Wipers from the 300 Workout

This is definitely a keeper. Remember, if you can't do this on your first attempt, try, try again until you succeed. I'd love to hear your feedback concerning this workout. Drop me a line if you get a chance. Good luck!

Joe Decker

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Oldie but a Goody!

I've been doing this workout for years but have never actually timed it. It's a good one. I'm going to modify it to make it a little tougher. The first set of numbers is for all my HOORAHS. The second set is a little easier. You decide which one to attempt. This might hurt! Ok, here we go;

Push-Dip-Pull Workout
  1. 50 push-ups / 30 push-ups - This is the modified side - still challenging though
  2. 50 dips / 30 dips
  3. 10 Jumping Pull-ups (from the floor, you jump to the bar and do a complete pull-up. Lower yourself down slowly and drop to the floor. Repeat)/ 10 Modified
  4. 40 push-ups / 25 push-ups
  5. 40 dips / 25 dips
  6. 10 Jumping Pull-ups / 10 Mods
  7. 30 push-ups / 20 push-ups
  8. 30 dips / 20 dips
  9. 10 Jumping Pull-ups / 10 Mods
  10. 20 push-ups / 15 push-ups
  11. 20 dips / 15 dips
  12. 10 Jumping Pull-ups / 10 Mods
  13. 10 push-ups
  14. 10 dips
  15. 10 Jumping Pull-ups / 10 Mods
  16. TIME

This is a good one. I like to try to do it a couple times a week. It really helps your push-ups and dips. The Plyo or Jumping Pull-ups will get your heart rate up too. Let me know how it goes!

Speed Ladder Workout

Ok guys, this morning was spent doing a little Speed work followed by lower body calisthenics. I have various distances marked out in the local park using my GPS. You can do the same, go to a track or use a treadmill. It's all good. I like the convenience of stepping out my door. Here we go.

Speed Ladder Workout
  • 5-10 minutes of easy jogging
  • 100 meter sprint - 15 sec recovery
  • 200 m - 30 sec recovery
  • 400 m - 1:00 min recovery
  • 600 m - 1:30 min ''
  • 800 m - 2:00 min ''
  • 600 m - 1:30 min ''
  • 400 m - 1:00 min ''
  • 200 m - 30 sec ''
  • 100 m - 15 sec
  • 5-10 min easy jogging

This is a great workout to help increase your short and middle distance running. If you want to increase the intensity, try shortening the recovery time. This morning, we never rested for more than a minute the entire workout. Give it a try!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Can you hang?!

Starting today, Friday the 13th, I'm going to start periodically posting a challenging 10-15 min workout smack down. The length of the workouts will vary from day to day. They'll be a very comprehensive mix of all kinds of good stuff. I like to call it "Gut Check" Workouts. I'll do the workouts first to make sure that they are tough enough and to see if I can even hang. Then I'll pass them on to you. If you need to modify, go ahead. Use the format that I give you, but change the weight or distance if need be to make it challenging and doable for you. Give them a try, have some fun then post a comment on my Blog if you want. I'd like to hear what you thought of that particular workout. For instance, "I enjoyed it, that sucked, you suck or no friggin' way!" Feel free to pass the workouts along to all your tough guy/girl friends. See if they can hang!

Here's the workout I did today. It took me 9 min and 48 sec to complete. Not too long, but pretty challenging if you really push yourself for time. Go for it!

1) 15 Wide-grip pull-ups (Ladies - 20 modified)
2) 15 Overhead Barbell Presses w/135 lbs (Ladies - the 45 lb barbell)
3) 15 Palms facing ya/pinkies touching pull-ups (Ladies - 20 modified)
4) 15 Standing Presses w/60 lb dumbbells - both arms together - palms facing in (Ladies - 20 lb db's)
5) 15 Overhand palms away/thumbs touching pull-ups (Ladies - 20 modified)
6) 15 Overhead Presses w/135 lbs (Ladies - the 45 lb barbell)
7) 15 Chin-ups-palms facing ya-shoulder width (Ladies - 20 modified)
8) 15 Presses w/60 lb db's (Ladies - 20 lb db's)
9) 15 Pull-ups - palms away (Ladies - 20 modified)
10) 15 One-arm snatches w/60 lbs- both arms for 15 - weak arm first (Ladies - 20 lb db's)


Thursday, June 28, 2007

What about my knees?!

How many times have you heard people say, "I don't run. Running is bad for your knees." We've all heard it at some time. Generally this is a person that has never run before in their life, an ex-runner that has torn up their knees from abuse, or just a lazy out-of-shape person making another excuse for their current state. Well, is running actually bad for your knees? Yes and No. What does this mean? I will try to answer this based upon my past running experience. First of all, anything in excess can be bad for you. Yes, even beer, wine and pizza! I think we all know that, but did you know that water can too. Yes, too much water can kill you. It's called hyponatremia. Getting back to the point, too much running and only running can tear up your knees. Again, nothing in excess. I will use myself as an example here. I have run 56 marathons to date and many 100+ Milers around the world. Plus, I weigh 195 lbs. That's a lot of abuse on my poor old knees. Sorry guys. And, knock on wood, have never had a major knee problem. Oh, I've had the occasional standard runner issues like ITB syndrome, plantar fascitis and tendinitis in most joints, but nothing serious. You may wonder how a short, stubby, balding guy can run so many miles and escape serious knee injury. Well, here's my story and I'm sticking to it. I started serious strength training around the age of 14. For many years I was a Powerlifter only. No running. I actually got into running because my meathead buddies like myself said, "Dude, you're too big to run." Of course that was all I needed and like Mr Gump, I started running and have not looked back. Luckily though, I have never stopped strength training. I continue to perform squats, deadlifts, lower body calisthenics and plyometrics. This, combined with a good amount of cross-training, has been my saving grace. I strength train heavy, 2-3 times per week, and I listen to my body, especially my knees. I love to run, but when my knees say,"leave me alone for a couple days," I do just that. When this happens, I'll substitute a run for a bike ride or jump on the elliptical machine. In addition, I try as much as possible to keep my body fueled with wholesome, healthy foods and lots of water. Of course I still enjoy the pizza and beer on the weekends, you've gotta stay human. To sum my rambling up, if you are going to run, you need to make sure you implement a couple days of strength training, incorporate some cross training and keep your body properly fueled and hydrated. Will this work for everyone? Who knows, but it'll definitely help and has certainly worked for this 37 yr old UltraRunning Clydesdale. "Running doesn't tear up your knees, the lack of a well rounded plan does!" Stay Long. Strong. Fast. Fit.

Friday, June 01, 2007

"Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'!"

Hey Gang,

Sorry for the disappearing act, I've been busy trying to come up with new and exciting challenges for myself. Like many of you, I start to lose motivation now and then and have to step back, reevaluate and drive on! Well, I've come up with a couple new adventures with the help of some interesting friends. I'm currently working on a trip to the Amazon with famed Naturalist, Richard Fowler. We're going to parachute out of plane into the Peruvian Amazon, hike through the jungle and try to survive for a couple weeks while meeting indigenous peoples along the way. Still in the process of finalizing but that's the gist of it.

The next adventure may have be climbing Everest or a trip to the North Pole. You may ask why? My answer will be, "Because I can." I truly believe that we are not on this old earth for a long time. So the short time that we are here, we need to make the best of it. The "best of it" is different for each and everyone of us. Individually we need to determine that. Before my grandfather past away he would say "Too old too fast." These words motivate me to experience as much as I can while I am still physically capable. Think about. This is our deep thought for the day!

Here's a link to my latest podcast interview. Check it out if you get a chance.

If you are ever in San Diego, come join my Outdoor Fitness class. It's the best in the World and the most fun! Get Fit with the World's Fittest Man (San Diego, CA) - Meetup.com

I'll try to update my Blog more often. Please let me know if you have any particular questions you want answered. I hope that everyone has a great day!


Joe Decker
"World's Fittest Man"

"i ran. i ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. then i ran some more."

Friday, April 13, 2007

More fun stuff

Hey Gang!

We're going to have a GREAT workout tomorrow! I hope that most of you can make it. It'll definitely be a good time.

I put together a Workout Log for some of the employees of AMN yesterday. If anyone is interested in getting a copy, follow this link- AMN's Workout Log - Bodybuilding.com If you want to develop your own Strength Training Log, this is a pretty cool tool and it's free. Bodybuilding.com - Printable Workout Logs - Create Your Own!

If any of ya are interested in beginning a structured Running Program, talk to me first. But if you need some good running resources, here are a couple of my favorite sites. They're loaded with info. http://www.halhigdon.com/ and http://www.run100s.com/

I've added a couple of the races that I'll be doing in the next couple months. If any of you are interested in participating in any fun events of your own, please let me know. I'm sure I can help get ya pointed in the right direction.
Camp Pendleton Races: Mountain Warfare Training Challenge
Rock 'n' Roll Marathon - June 3, 2007 - San Diego, California

In addition, I'm going to start putting together Mountain Bike, Rock Climbing and Kayaking clinics. Please let me know if you might be interested. This is the good stuff in life! Have a great weekend!


Joe Decker
"World's Fittest Man"

"i ran. i ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. then i ran some more."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Doing it for the kids

Hi Joe!

This is Bill Eaker from Northside Elementary in Geneseo, Illinois. You just spoke to our students today at our Fine Arts Fair and I helped you set up the DVD. I just wanted to tell you how inspiring you were to the kids. When I got back to my 5th grade classroom, you were all the buzz, so I know you made a great impact on them. I heard one specific girl comment to a friend, “I think I’m going to start running!” This is a girl with self-esteem issues, so I think it is important that you know that you had an impact directly on her. My son, who is also in 5th grade, was talking about all the things you had done and how impressed he was. He and his friends were playing X-Box and talking about it the whole time. After they were done playing, they went on an “epic” bike ride across town. With all the childhood obesity that we see everyday at school, I just want to tell you that it is awesome that you take your time to talk to the kids, encouraging them to exercise and eat right.

Melanie Rice has talked to me about you for years, and it was a pleasure to finally meet you. It would have been nice to have some time to talk to you about biking and kayaking. I have been an avid mountain biker for years, and have been kayaking now for 7 years now. I have to admit that you inspired me a great deal today as well. I have always talked about planning, training, and completing the entire length of the Mississippi River by kayak, and you brought those thoughts back. Sometimes the doubt that sits in the back of the mind keeps me from larger accomplishments such as these. I’ll just have to set some short and long term goals, take baby steps, and you never know, I just might get around to doing that. Anyway, enough of my babbling. Keep up the great work and inspiration for the kids. I hope you had a safe trip home.

Bill Eaker
Northside Elementary
Geneseo, Illinois

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

From Kyle in Canada

I just received this email from Kyle in Cananda. I thought you guys might enjoy it. It's a great story.

hey joe!

So everyone has a story, heres mine.

I live WAY far north. In a town called yellowknife, nwt, canada. Here we have winter for 8 or more months of the year. I always made excuses for myself, not working out in the winter and saying ill wait for the summer....but guess what? I never did.

I grew up as the BIG Boy in school, teased from time to time, but i used my size to kinda intimidate them. I did alot of out doors stuff like camping, fishing, hunting, and all that. And i got plenty of excersize from it. I also played alot of sports, soccer, basketball, hockey, paintball and many more. But what i ate and drank (alcohol) and how much of it was killing me from the inside out. You know the meals im talking about, the momma's home cooked meals. The ones with more meat and white breads and pastas, and sugars. Id sit down and CLEAR 3 PLATES!!

So on new years day (2007) i stepped on a scale and weiged myself....I was shocked. I was a 19 year old guy out of high school, that weighed in at a whopping 307lbs!

This shocked me, i was depressed for a few days, not sure what to do or where to start, it just seemed like an obstacle that i couldnt conquer.

Then i decided to do something about it. I got a gym membership. I was workingout everyday, drinking lots of water, but i was skipping almost all my meals accept dinner. Where i would fill up on more than i would before!

So then i found your book at walmart (where i work by the way). And i flew threw it in just 2 evenings. Your story reminder me of me alot. So then i decided it was time to change. I started the power of eating program. Whole grains, no bad fats, no more red meat, cut the sugars, everything i should be doing i did. Im eating vegies like brocoli, carots, and snap peas (which i love now). I have been substituting mustard for mayo. And i have started the "shock your body" program too. What a difference!

So here it is. I started the program on january 9th 2007. I weighed in at 307 lbs. Now its march 17, 2007. And in just about 10 weeks. IVE LOST 87 LBS! Thats right, im down to 220! My muscles are toner, arms, legs, I even have pecs haha! And the compliment are great!

So heres my question.. I still have my problem area to take care of. My stomache. Its still really big. I was wondering if i were to work the muscles more in that area, ie abs, lats etc. Will this speed up the weight lossn this area?

any way i really hope youve read this and reply, thanks for everything! And im sure uve heard this before, but your a life saver! thanks again,


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What does Fitness mean to me?

What is Fitness? I have asked many people this same question over the years. Many have said, "It's looking like a super-model or having muscles like a bodybuilder." I personally couldn't disagree with them more. Fitness, to me, is a way of life, a state of mind, a philosophy. Fitness is getting up in the morning and being happy, truly happy with that person looking back in the mirror. Being able to actually say that I love this person. How do we get to this point? I'm sure it's a very different path for each and everyone of us. When I was down and out in New Orleans and contemplating taking my own life, fitness was my savior. It gave me hope. It enabled me to escape from my self-imposed prison. It allowed me to discover the true power of the human body and spirit, to find the fire that dwells inside of us all. The power to believe that anything was truly possible if I only believed in myself. It then allowed me to travel to exotic places around the world to compete in what was once only unthinkable endurance and strength events, inevitably taking this human body as near to death as possible only to come back stronger and more self-confident than ever before. It's a best friend that's always there. It is to be enjoyed and cherished, not loathed and abandoned. It's the ability as I grow older to never stop playing like a child. Most importantly, fitness is my golden path to aging with grace, moving proudly through life and when the time comes to leave this world with dignity. That's what fitness is to me.

Friday, March 02, 2007

It's Not Your Fault

We've all heard the TV commercial for a popular diet pill that states, "If your fat, it's not your fault." It's about time. That's what I always said when I was 80lbs overweight. No one would believe. It wasn't my fault. It was Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Hostess. Not mine. Isn't it such a relief to finally find this out?

Are you kidding? "It's not your fault." Why do we humans have such a difficult time with accountability? Many times we like to play the blame game and point fingers. I've been there and lived that lie. I'm here to tell ya. If you DO NOT hold yourself accountable for your actions, i.e overeating or not exercising, you will continue down the devastating path you're probably currently on.

I know. I sit alone late one night in a dirty New Orleans apartment, contemplating taking my own life. Why? Because I couldn't figure out how I had come to this state in my life. I was overweight, out-of-shape and abusing drugs and alcohol. But it wasn't my fault. Right?

Luckily for me I was able to get it together. I looked in the mirror for hours. I hated the person staring back. But I realized eventually that that person could be weak and pathetic. He was human. He needed to hold himself accountable and not blame the food, alcohol and drugs. He had to accept responsibility for his actions and current condition.

When I was able to do this, it was like a tremendous weight was lifted. Wow. To think, that I could be weak and pathetic. But now I had control. I made the decisions. I stopped blaming everyone and everything. When I was able to do this, it set me free. I was no longer bound. Through my weakness I found strength.

I truly believe that this can be applied to many of us out there. Listen guys, many times in life "it is our fault!" There's nothing wrong with that. Don't give someone or something else that ability to have control over you. Set yourself free! Break those chains. Repeat after me, "It is my fault and I control it!"

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

You're Never Too Old!

Hey Gang!

It's been a couple months since I last signed in. 2007 started off with a month full of fun-filled fitness events. I started with a Powerlifting meet in LA, then the Death Valley Trail Marathon followed by the Strongest Man in Arizona competition. Let me tell ya, I'm pretty beat-up but in a good kinda way. These sort of events don't let you forget that you are alive.

Speaking of being alive, I have worked with and continue to work with people that tell me, "When you get to be my age, you won't be doing these crazy events." Most of these people are 40-50 years old and the majority have set on their ass their entire life. Now that they've gotten older and haven't engaged in any prevention, like a fitness program, they are starting to fall apart. Most people that tell you that running destroys your knees, have never actually run. Or that tell you that weight lifting will destroy your shoulders, have never lifted. These people have done nothing and are paying the price.

I believe that engaging in activities like running and weight lifting in moderation do not destroy your body but have the opposite effect. They help you to continue through life with your head held high and to live with pride. We do not have to become these helpless little crippled people that we generally associate with aging. Yes, I'm only 36, so what do I know. You've got a point there so how about I give you a couple examples from some incredible individuals I met over the last couple of months.

I met Ryan at the LA Powerlifting meet in Jan. This competition consisted of a one rep max bench press and a one rep max deadlift. Pretty serious business even for us youngsters. Ryan told me that he started lifting weights when he was 15 years old. Back then it consisted of picking up heavy things around the farm. He's watched the industry grow over the years. And he's watched many of his friends get old and feeble and die. Ryan is 71 years young. He can bench press 275lbs and deadlift 365lbs. He looks like he's 50 and acts like he's 21. He said, "Lifting weights all of these years has kept me looking and feeling young and strong." Who would you listen to? Your overweight and lazy neighbor or Ryan? Hmmmm?

I met Tom and Kate at the Death Valley Trail Marathon in Feb. This is one of the most scenic and beautiful courses in the country. 26.2 through lovely Death Valley. Marathons are not easy, especially one in this location with 4,000 feet of elevation gain. This would be tough for a young person. Tom and Kate have been running their entire lives. They have done countless marathons and races together all over the world. It is their passion and their first love. Not bad considering Tom is 76 and Kate is 69. I asked them about their knees. They said, "Yes, we've had the normal aches and pains, but both of us would take this any day over sitting down and actually growing old. Running together is our fountain of youth!" Who would you believe? Hmmmm?

I've come to this conclusion, never stop playing like your kid. Try to continually enjoy your body and let it take you to far away exotic places to do incredible things. "We're not here for a long, just for a good time!"