What Have I Been Up To?

Hi my loyal blog readers. I appreciate those that have kept me followed for the last few weeks as I’ve been pretty busy and I thought I’d write a blog post about what I’ve been up to.

Just to put things in perspective, I’m a pretty busy adult these days. I work full time as an IT tech at a school. I’m also a full time parent with my wife for two kids including a beautiful and cute 11 month old baby girl. Also we have our adopted nephew who’s 11 years old and just finishing 6th grade in his schooling. So probably the main reason I choose to wake up early to workout everyday is because the early morning is the most open time for me to use for myself. My whole day goes from working full time to being a parent and husband when I get home. It’s quite a balance, but long ago this is the life that I wanted to build for myself so I’m more then motivated to work hard at it everyday.

My Fitness Training

After finishing the The Work back last month, I started a new program known as Muscle Burns Fat (MBF). I’ve really been loving the work I’ve been doing the last 4 weeks on this program. I’m in month 8 of my fitness training with the Beachbody programs and with MBF I’m seriously seeing my results accelerate. This program focuses on doing a high amount of reps to the point where my arms, legs and abs are getting seriously sore in this program. Megan Davies, the creator of this program, has the right energy to bring you to pump you up every workout. I’m also enjoying the indoor jump rope known as the BOD ropes which allow you to work on your jump roping indoors. I’m currently in the Advanced round of MBF which extends the workouts by about 10 minutes and also adds some more difficulty. Check out this MBF page for more info about this program.

IG Live Workouts Weekly

So I’ve decided to go live at least once a week and show you my full workout so you guys can all see me die and get these reps in. Haha. So far I’ve been having them on Tuesdays and Mondays at 6AM PST. I will try to get some workouts in during more active hours, but for now this is what I can do. I hope everyone gets motivated by my work ethic. I talk during the workout and continue to pass on tips that I’m getting from the Beachbody Super trainers that I’m working with. Hope you guys enjoy and find these IG live workouts helpful.

What are my Goals for 2021?

I’ve been consistent with my fitness training and routine now since April 2020. I’ve successfully been working out at least 3 times a week for over a year now and I’m at my strongest I’ve ever been in my life. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to improve and the protection of having the vaccine allows things to get back to normal, I’m looking ahead on where to test my strength. I’ve joined two virtual 10K races with the Giant Race . In April, I came in 10th place out of 141 entries and in May I came in 9th place out of 181 entries. So I’m really happy with where I’m competing with others. I have a Spartan night time 10K trail run in September that I’m excited for. I’m considering joining the Spartan races with obstacles later this year and go for a Spartan Trifecta, which is a medal earned by completing three types of obstacle races in the Spartan races. In 2022, I plan to join my first Spartan Elite race which is a race only for the competitive that want to really test their skill in a Spartan race. This is what I’ve been training for the last year which is why 2021 is a key year to continue to grow strength in order to really compete effectively. This has been a long term goal of mine and I’m looking to achieve this goal and see how I do.

Thanks for following my blog. I’m sorry I’ve been absent and not as active lately. I will try to get back to adding more useful fitness and lifestyle entries. I wish everyone that follows and reads my blogs the best. I enjoy giving others inspiration. I strive to lift others up through life. Life is not easy for anyone and we all have our personal struggles and hardships that we have to deal with, but I strongly believe that whatever life throws at us is an opportunity to face it and become stronger. Stay well my fitness and running friends and have a great week.

Fat And Depressed At 16 to Being Passionate And Fit at 34

Imagine going through grade school being the fat kid that everyone picks on and makes jokes about. Where everyone around you is skinny and able to eat whatever they want, but you’re the one that is overweight and opting to wear 2XL just to make your clothes look baggy. To be so out of shape that going up and down a flight of stairs got you out of breath or not being able to keep up with the baseball team because your body is just not able to handle the workouts like all the other fit jocks are able to. This was my reality growing up in High School. I wasn’t driven and worst of all the depression I had made me feel even more unmotivated while many around me were enjoying the benefits of being in their teen years.  These are supposed to be the years that you’re supposed to be in the best shape because of youth. That was not the reality for me and it never was all the way through High School. So how did I end up being in the best shape of my life 19 years later?

Me at 16 Years Old

Most people I know look back at their High School years and talk about how exciting life was back then.  They talk about how amazing their sports days were or how amazing all the School dances were. I\’ve heard also how much people talk about how they were so skinny back then. Unfortunately I’m unable to really relate to these conversations as I was overweight at 320lbs for most of high school and had zero confidence in myself. I did try to ask some girls out to dances, but got rejected. I really had no game at all in that department. Haha. As much as I loved Baseball, I unfortunately wasn’t driven enough to push myself to do well.  In my sophomore year, my baseball coach used to make us run so much and being mentally weak back then, I regrettably faked an injury to avoid having to run.  As a result this didn’t get me into games too much. The few at bats I did get in games, I didn’t really do much to give my coaches a vote of confidence in me. While being out of shape was one thing, I was even more disappointed in myself because I knew I was a good hitter in my little league years. However I didn’t practice or push myself enough to handle High School ball overall. So the one year I did play High School Baseball, I pretty much failed myself and didn’t end up trying again at Baseball in my Junior and Senior years. Doing this self inflicting behavior to myself only lowered my confidence and self esteem even more as High School dragged on.

By the end of High School the realization that my time in grade school started to hit me and my automatic reaction was to do a review of my years in grade school. All the regret I had about never going to a dance or participating in High School events, not trying hard enough at baseball, struggling to fit in, or just not having much to be happy about really affected me. However it was a different feeling.  It wasn’t the brooding negative feelings I had been feeling that suppressed my confidence over the years. It was a feeling where I was tired of being the person I was during grade school. I had had enough. By the time I graduated, I was ready to leave my school years behind and reinvent a new Richard that would take on life much better then I have in my first 17 years. I decided first and foremost that I would get real serious about my overweight problem and start actually pushing myself to lose weight. I wanted to make some serious changes in my life and really be a better version of myself. At 17, this is where my real transformation started.

At 19 and half years old, I made a lot of amazing strides toward reinventing myself.  I had lost 100lbs after dieting, running, and starting to do workouts for the first time in my life. This was the beginning of me being a runner as I realized that running isn’t that hard once you stay consistent. However the dieting part was and still is the hardest part, but I was determined to make a change back then. I had restricted myself to as simple less then 2,000 calories a day and stuck to it while exercising 3-4 times a week. Back then Slim Fast was all the rage and I really had used that drink to my advantage and actually used it to substitute meals (This would not be a diet I’d recommend now as my whole outlook on dieting has changed drastically). The confidence I built from doing this physical transformation really affected my personality in a positive way. My family has always been supportive of me losing weight and they were all extremely happy for me about making my big change to being more fit. I was so much happier with myself and being more confident I was able to build an IT career.  I went into my 20’s and lived my life with a much more positive perception then I did in my High School years. I really learned that how you view the world and your attitude of your view of the world really made a difference in how you tackle everyday life.

From my 20’s to my 30’s, the transformation hasn’t really stopped. I’ve become a person that has always strived towards improvement. I made a lot of mistakes in my 20’s as many of us do and learned to do things better. I ran into ups and downs still in my life.  Life isn’t as simple as the Disney movies where “You live Happily Ever After” when all the problems and conflicts in life have been taken care of.  Life continues to always throw curveballs at you every step of the way.  I found the love of my life in my late 20’s and married her at 30 years old. We adopted Leia our Husky in 2015 and she’s now my running partner on my No_B.S._Rich Fitness Instagram page. In 2016 we adopted our nephew in order to give him a better home and education. Last year we had our first baby, who’s now changed our lives forever as parents.  Life will always be full of personal struggles, but I’m extremely grateful that I turned things around after High School and became someone that can face the hard parts of life.  I’m now 34 years old and I’m the most driven and passionate I’ve ever been in my life.  I’m driven by my own little family that my wife and I have been building the last few years. The Covid 19 pandemic may have took me away from the gym, but it didn’t stop me from finding a a new way to do fitness training. I’m in the best shape of my life physically and mentally. I still believe I have so much upside still in my fitness life.  Going through my early life struggles in grade school really prepared me for adulthood. While back then I hated life and didn’t expect much out of myself for my future. I would say my 16 year old self would be completely surprised at how well 34 year old Richard is doing now. I hope this story of myself inspires others that are in High School or College that your future is not determined and hasn’t been written yet. You have a lot of time to really turn things around and live the fulfilling life that you want. I’m surprising myself everyday on what I’m doing in my life compared to what I used to think I wasn’t capable of doing. Stay positive about the future and don’t let your mind cheat yourself out of a positive future.

Me at 34 Years Old Stronger Physically And Mentally

Be sure to follow all my latest Fitness content on my Instagram: no_b.s._rich_fitness

Fitness Is A Lifestyle! Key Facts To Make It A Sustainable One!

For many fitness is a struggle and a subject of difficulty. Its not easy figuring out how to build a healthy body and I can honestly say I struggled for over a decade to figure out the true meaning of what it means to work towards your fitness. My Fitness journey started when I was 17 and I was convinced that drinking slim fast was actually going to make me lose weight and get me the strong body that I or anyone else desires. However after dropping 100lbs to 220lbs by the time I was 20, I realized over the years into my 20’s that fitness isn’t just something you do for a certain point in your life and stop all together. Its a lifestyle that needs to be adopted. As a result of not understanding this at first, my weight fluctuated between 240 to 260lbs for some years in my 20’s. I stopped working out at some points and then kept coming back to it. As I mentioned in another blog post, I had a perception in my early 20’s that just going to the gym and doing cardio was working out. So while I worked out here and there, I wasn’t working out as passionate as I am now which affected my weight. I didn’t consider fitness an important lifestyle in my 20’s and that is the reason I never got my body and muscle toned the way I wanted. I was missing a key part of working out and I want to share some key facts that can help set your mind in the right direction for success.

The Key to Lasting Change/Results

Focusing on and being consistent with healthy habits is the absolute best action you can take, right now, to attain the results you’re after and achieve lasting change. Simple yet specific dietary and physical activity habits like drinking enough water each day, including colorful vegetables on your plates each day or getting in at least 10,000 steps, are all great places to start. You don’t have to do them all at once, either. Pick one or two healthy habits to work on for a few weeks; make it so easy at first that you physically can’t fail. You’ll distract yourself from the constant worrying about the scale, and when you focus on these things, lasting and meaningful change will follow. Consistency is found in those small, repetitive, seemingly unimportant decisions you make each and every day. Slow it down, stop putting so much pressure on yourself and make the decisions that allow you to feel your best. Whether that means losing weight, getting stronger or faster, or simply trying to make better dietary choices for yourself each day, your success on this journey will depend on your consistency over the long-haul.

How to deal with setbacks?

In the world of health and fitness, setbacks happen to everyone. The most important thing is how you choose to deal with and respond to those setbacks. Real progress is made when you accept that health and fitness isn’t linear and that perfection isn’t possible. Accept responsibility for your actions, take a deep breath, and vow to get back on track. Nothing is as black and white as we make it seem, and you are not good or bad if you made poor food choices or skipped a workout. Acknowledge your shortcomings and take the time to figure out how you might avoid a particular setback in the future. Have a plan: create a workout schedule, make time in your week to shop for and prep whole and healthy meals ahead of time, set aside time in your workday to get in some extra steps, movement or stretching– whatever it may be. Make the commitment to yourself to keep moving forward and not let setbacks be the reason you give up on your health and fitness journey.

Why You Can’t Fail (Cause It’s a Learning Experience, Everything You Do Gets You a Little Closer to Your Goal)

Overcome the fear of failure: you CAN’T fail! We all learn from our errors, and no one is perfect enough not to commit any mistakes. Learning from failures is important. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be your own failures; learn also from the mistakes and errors of the people who went before you.

You should be proud of your mistakes. Don’t feel horrible because of mere errors. Mistakes help us gain knowledge in our fields. Any successful individual will tell you for free that without some failures along the way, the journey wouldn’t be what it is today.

Here are some of the reasons why failures and everything you do will get you closer to your goal:

·         Failures trigger creativity and enable us to think outside the box.

·         Mistakes and errors make us resilient; we can understand the adversity of overcoming challenges.

·         Failure teaches us humanity; we are all humans and mistakes are inevitable.

·         Every failure provides references; we are always better each day when we try something

·         Failure offers us new ideas; they push our limits in addition to offering new things that inspire us

Ultimately, everything we do should add courage. Failure makes us wiser. Thomas Edison said that, “I’ve not failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Mistakes are true references!

And as John Powell said, “The only real mistake is one we learn nothing from.”

Fitness Check In: Week 3 And 4 Of “The Prep” Finished. What’s Next?

Two Days ago I finished my 4 grueling weeks of ‘The Prep.’ This program is by far the hardest Beachbody program I have done and it wasn’t even the main event. It was only a ‘Prep,’ but that didn’t make it any easier either. Week 3 and 4 were a repeat of weeks 1 and 2 where I covered all the workout days in my previous blog posts which you can read here: Week 1 & Week 2. In this blog post I’m going to go over a few comparisons in the last two weeks of this program and then also a preview of what’s next in the real program called The Work.

I started off Week 3 by going outside on a beautiful day in the San Francisco Bay area. I picked a nice spot next to the water and did a rare afternoon workout. You can view my reel to see for yourself. Week 1 & 3 pretty much gets you prepared for Week 2 & 4 based on the patterns I’m seeing in the schedule. The push and pull days are separate while in week 4 the push & pull day is covered in one day. There is a designated leg day in week 1 and 3, but in week 2 and 4 the leg workouts are combined in full body workouts which I honestly like. I like this mix up because I can get bored really easily doing the same thing over and over. This mix up keeps things fresh and interesting while still getting the work in all the muscle areas. The middle of the week workouts are similar as they focus on cardio & agility. However Week 2 and Week 4’s version (Cardio and Abs) puts a focus on some ab work. These agility workouts are so fun and with the work I’ve done in 30 Day Breakaway and Liift4 since October I feel confident and strong powering through these workouts. The one thing I’m missing on being able to do in this program is a pull up bar. However Amoila Cesar provides you with a modifier move that allows you to simulate a pull up move using two dumbells.

Here is how the modifier move looks for pull ups

This modifier move proves to be effective for day 5 for all the weeks of this workout which focused on pull movements. The Isometric workout is still by far the 2nd hardest workout of the program as it forces you to do static movements while holding the dumbbell weights in place. You can view my Instagram post going over all the moves for this Isometric workout. The hardest workout award still goes to the last workout in week 2 & 4 called the “The Crucible” which is a grueling workout that has you do 25 reps of each workout move and then superset (A workout move after another with no rest) with 25 army crawlers. This workout is a marathon and as I mentioned in my week 2 blog about this program, if this program was a video game, this workout would be the last boss to overcome to beat the game.

Here is a video of The Crucible Workout:

So Whats Next

As hard and challenging as ‘The Prep’ was its only the start of my real fitness challenge. The Work is the primary program I have been prepping for for the last 4 weeks. Based on what I’ve seen in the schedule for this program it looks like the exercise days are the same format. However researching further into the workouts I noticed that the workouts in The Work are about 40-45 minutes instead of the 30-35 minutes that were the average length for workouts in ‘The Prep.’ This means I’ll be working out longer and probably doing more reps in The Work. I’m so looking forward to starting this program tomorrow. I’ve been training for over 5 months on these Beachbody programs now and this is where my fitness journey has brought me. Amoila Cesar always says he likes “killas who don’t hesitate.” There is no hesitating on my part. I’m going to crush The Work and enjoy the results of my progress and hard work.

30 Day Breakaway: A Must Do Program For Runners Of Any Level

Lets get one thing straight. I never liked running most of my life. I was the high school kid that walked instead of running during gym class. I was the fat kid in High School that faked an injury just to get myself out of running all baseball practice. You can read more about that story in this blog post. I was pretty bad though. It wasn’t till 2020 where I realized that running is actually something that can be super enjoyable and fulfilling. I wrote a blog about how running became an incredible outlet to deal with the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. You can read it here. Both of the previous blog posts I mentioned are lead in’s to what I’m about to talk about in this blog post. While 2020 made me realize how much I actually loved running, it wasn’t until I discovered this new running program called 30 Day Breakaway that I realized the extra mechanics that running is. After this blog post I hope you’ll understand just how amazing this program is and why its a must do if you’re a beginner runner or if you’re a competitive runner that wants to get stronger and faster.

This program literally came out at the right time for me last October. After gaining running strength for the last 6 months my focus was on gaining more muscle strength. So when I discovered that this program focused on running and strength training it was the perfect combo I was looking for in a workout program. I signed up for VIP access as soon as it was available. I couldn’t wait to get started on this program. It would be my first Beachbody program I’ve ever done. Meet Idalis Velazquez, the Beachbody Super Trainer that created this program. She would be my first impression of what doing a Beachbody program is like. Right from the start on Day 1, I already got a great vibe with her. Her workouts in this program are two parts. The First one is a 20-30 minute resistance/strength workout that either targets all your muscle groups, upper body, abs, and lower body. During these strength workouts she is there every step of the way from warm up to pushing you when the exercises she’s having you do get tough. All the exercise moves are timed based. These resistance workouts are focused on helping you get lean and build strength to become a stronger runner. After each workout she finishes off the last 5 minutes with getting you warmed up to go running. This leads us to the 2nd part of the workout which is the running part.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about doing audio runs since I’ve always ran while playing some motivational music to pump me through a run. I can honestly say after this program Idalis Velazquez has changed my perception of audio runs. The running portion of this workout is one of the most fun parts of the workout. Idalis is in your ear the whole time motivating and guiding you through how she wants you to run. She has you focus on this RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion) system that gets your mindset aware of how much effort you’re putting into each step of your run. In other words the runs she puts you through is her version of an interval run as she has you mix up your speed in these runs. In some of her runs she’ll have you work hard at 3 different speeds working your way from slow to faster and then back down to slower again. She also goes over form and cadence, which is the rate of how many steps you take per minute. The runs are all about 18-22 minutes long. Idalis makes all these runs fun and exciting by not only pushing you, but by educating you with useful info about running. I felt so good and accomplished after my runs. Some days I was super sore after the strength portion of the workout, but once you get outside for your run the body naturally gets moving and the running exhilaration kicks in.

I loved this running & strength program so much that I went for 2 rounds which was a total of 60 days of 30 Day Breakaway. This program helped me reduce my 5K time by 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Yes you heard that right. That’s a lot of time in the running world and I felt so good about being able to run a 5K in 21 minutes and 27 seconds. I also dropped 13lbs in the 2 rounds of utting myself through this program. This program helped prove to me how possible it really is to work towards gaining strength and seeing results. Idalis Velazquez is a vibrant and motivating trainer and I hope you will enjoy her instruction as much as I did. Whether you are just a beginner runner or a seasoned one, this program is a “must do.” If you put in the work that this program puts you through, you are just about guaranteed to come out of the 30 days a stronger and faster runner. I’ll be sure to put myself through a 3rd round of this program in the future.

For more information on this program click this link: 30 Day Breakaway

My Advice To Those Beginning Or Want to Continue Their Fitness

My page is all about bringing you no B.S. content. So I’m going to give it to you straight. Getting started in your fitness journey and getting into a routine is the toughest part of the journey.  Your confidence in your ability to start and continue a fitness program probably is swaying a bit right from the start.  Your mind is probably even telling you the negatives of keeping up with working out or exercising. There is probably lots of doubt that you can’t even lose weight, especially if you’ve tried before and didn’t see results. I know these feelings well because I’ve been there. I’ve restarted my fitness journey a lot in the last 17 years since I started working out and losing weight from being over 300lbs. Like I mentioned in my other blog, I used to get tired just from climbing a flight of stairs or walking 5 blocks on a flat street being a high school student. Getting started is hard and then once you do start and actually get on a roll in working out consistently you then need to maintain that consistency. So how do I maintain my consistency in working out?  The simple answer is I’ve found my ‘why’ and I haven’t just found one ‘why’. I’ve found many reasons at this point now to workout and keep up my fitness long term.

First off Its okay to be scared. It’s okay to be intimidated to get started in fitness.  You’re not a weak person for feeling like this.  Fitness is not easy and is really intimidating if you are not sure of what to do. Trust me. We are wired to want to put effort into something and get results. No one likes to waste their time. I still get intimidated before I go running some days despite running now for years.  It’s a mental battle pushing yourself to go workout whether you have been working out like me for 17 years or whether you’re just thinking about to get started. This is why its important to figure out your ‘why.’ Its important to figure out the reason you’re going to exert so much physical and mental effort in fitness before you do it. Making a list of goals is helpful, but could also have a backwards effect. The goals you set may not be something realistic and if you don’t reach these goals you will beat yourself up about it later on. This will result in you losing motivation to keep working out and staying on your fitness. I can’t tell you how many times I did this in my 20’s. Too many times to even remember. So while goal setting is one tactic, its not as sustainable as figuring out your primary reasons and ‘why’s.’

It all starts with taking a leap of faith. You have to choose to believe you can do it. You have to tell yourself with full confidence that you are a bad ass and you can do anything you start. There honestly is no room to doubt yourself when you start or continue your fitness because once you do start doubting, your motivation works against you from that point on.  Even the smallest shred of doubt will result in you burning out in whatever workout plan you are doing for yourself.  You need to be a warrior of positivity and slash through all the negativity or procrastinating thoughts that are pushing back on your fitness and you. Fitness is a mental battle pitting you vs. you. Its a game of facing your fears and figuring out a way to push past them. So lets go over some of my reasons why you should start your fitness today and work towards making it a lifestyle.

  1. Working out and staying fit allows you to live life with more energy and feeling happy about how you feel.
  2. Feeling stronger and the way your body looks gives you so much mental confidence for everyday life.
  3. As a parent I know I’m not getting younger and that my kids are getting older and more energetic at the ages they’re at. I want to keep up with my kids energy levels while also having the energy to take on adulting in life. We all know adulting alone takes a lot of energy out of us.
  4. Living a healthy and fit lifestyle increases your chances of living a longer life and warding off health complications later on in life.
  5. Working on fitness every week gives you the opportunity to get stronger physically and mentally so that you can take on everything life throws at you. Having an outlet keeps us grounded mentally so why not do an outlet that makes you the best version of yourself.

I advise you to think hard on your own whys and write them down on a piece of paper. On days that you’re struggling to stay confident about your fitness, I want you to go back and read your list of ‘whys’ to help you remember the reasons you are working hard. Hope this blog entry inspires you to start or continue your fitness.

Happy Saturday!