Monday, February 10, 2014

Concept 10 10: The Latest High Intensity Interval Training for Strengh

Do you want to develop your strength in your body but just don't have the time to work out at the gym on the Nautilus for 1 or 2 hours a day?  I know I don't.  And I'm supposed to be retired and have all the time in the world.  Well, I have the answer:  Concept 10 10.

I have written quite a bit about the benefits of high intensity interval training or HIIT. See e.g., Most of those involve aerobic activity which is done at a very high level of exertion, followed by an even longer period at a much lower level of exertion. The entire session generally lasts only between 3 and 6 minutes.  It can involve cycling, running, walking on a treadmill or just plain old walking.

If you haven't heard of Concept 10 10, you are not alone.  I hadn't heard of it either until I read about it in the local newspaper down here in Southwest Florida.It sounded fascinating so I thought I would share it with you with a slight variation of my own that I am working on.

Basically, the concept is that you work out on the Nautilus or other strength building machines for about 20 minutes just once a week.  During that twenty minutes, you perform various of the standard strength exercises.  The difference is that you only do a limited number of those exercises at a very slow pace until muscle failure. The slower, the better. By doing the exercises slowly, you actually use more effort and therefore the muscle failure comes faster. Usually, the exercises are observed by a Concept 10 10 trainer, but once you learn the routine, I would think you should be able to perform the exercises on your own.  But I would strongly recommend consulting with a trainer and your physician before undertaking these or any other form of exercise.

Earlier, I mentioned that I developed a variation of this training method. Very simply, it involves doing the same exercises with a resistance band. I have tried it and it does seem to work. A good source of information on resistance band exercises that can be done in twenty minutes can be found at

As I said before, please consult with your physician before any exercise program. If he or she approves, give this approach a try and let me know what you think.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mindfulness Goes Mainstream

Since I began writing this blog two years ago, I have advocated the philosophy of mindfulness as an antidote for a variety of physical, mental and spiritual ills. Now, mindfulness has gone mainstream. It was the cover story for Time Magazine. Nothing is more mainstream than Time.

The February 3 2014 Time issue contains an article explaining some of those benefits as well some of the mindfulness techniques that work. The key to mindfulness is focusing on the moment, whether that is eating a raisin (the example cited in the Time article) or simply sitting and watching your breath.

What is a little disappointing about the article is the author's admission that he has not continued with the mindfulness program he studied for the purposes of the article. Anyone serious about the idea of mindfulness should consider continuing the program  to make sure they maximize its benefits.

Monday, February 3, 2014

What the Super Bowl Taught Me

Like practically everyone else in America, last night, I watched the Super Bowl. We had some friends over for the game and munched happily on Buffalo chicken drummies. No, not chicken wings, but drumsticks prepared like wings, but better using a Sandra Lee recipe I saw on the Today Show and perfectly executed by my wife.

The game itself seemed to be almost anti-climactic after all the all day pregame hype. This morning I woke up with a start and realized that there was a valuable lesson I had learned watching the game last night. I just had to share it with you and I hope you will find it useful also.

Near the end of the game last night, they showed one of the NFL officials carrying the Vince Lombardi trophy, that Tiffany silver football on a stand that is emblematic of excellence in the game of football. I've seen the six that my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, have won and they are awesome.

But, I digress. After they showed the man carrying the trophy with white gloves, they then flashed a picture of the steely-eyed man after whom the trophy is named.,Vince Lombardi, the legendary football coach who won the first two Super Bowls.  Of course, what immediately came to mind was his famous declaration that "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."  Quite frankly, I used to think that his statement was an arrogant manifestation of someone with a huge ego. Today, we are prone to tell our kids and ourselves that it is okay if you lose: "It's not important if you win or lose, it's how you play the game" is the mantra we repeat often to those children and ourselves.

After the game was over, during one of the interviews with one of the Seattle players, he said something that particularly resonated with me.  When asked how he felt about winning the Super Bowl, he said  that he had watched many Super Bowls on television over the years and now thought about himself and his teammates, "Why not us?"

"Why not us."  What could he possibly mean by that.? This morning it struck me like a lightning bolt. Earlier yesterday before the game, I was doing some research for a new book on negotiations that I am in the process of writing. One of the sources I was consulting was a book by the famed trial attorney, Gerry Spence.  In his book, "How to Argue and Win Every Time", he puts forth the following thesis:  In order to win an argument, whether a court case or a negotiation over a contract, you must give yourself permission to win. And the most important corollary to that is that you must never give yourself permission to lose.

Last night, that was what drove the Seattle Seahawks, the underdogs going  into the game. They not only gave themselves permission to win, they never gave themselves permission to lose. That's what that Seattle player meant when he said, "Why not us?"

And I now understand that was also what Vince Lombardi meant all those years ago, when he made that famous statement: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."  He means never give yourself permission to lose.  Oh, believe me, sometimes you will lose, whether it is a court case or some kids' soccer game. But if you have the mindset that you will not give yourself permission to lose,who knows, some day you or your kid may end up holding that Vince Lombardi trophy also.

Think about it.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

How to Get the Best Deal Every Time: A Free ebook

I am pleased to inform you that my Ebook , "How to Get the Best Deal Every Time" is now available for FREE on Amazon until February 5, 2014. I think you will find it to be an extremely useful guide if you are making a large purchase such as a house or automobile. It will also guide you through other negotiations such as getting a pay raise from your boss.

I hope you will enjoy it.  If you like it, please feel free to offer a review on Amazon.


P.S. The book i s now ranked #1 on the Amazon Kindle list of  consumerism ebooks. Thanks!