August 17, 2017

"Anti-Fascism" Should Not Be A Real Term

Let me preface this by saying that Gym Hero is first and foremost a fitness site. We're all about promoting health and wellness within every community through educational and (hopefully) fun methods. We don't delve into politics because there are many nuances within most discussions, too many to simply try to gloss over with a Facebook post or a clever tweet.

This is not one of those discussions.

This IS one of those discussions that has a very clear cut and simple dichotomy.

You're either a fascist (Nazi, skinhead, "nationalist", what have you) or you're not.

You either think that there are superior individuals based solely on their race/place of birth or you don't.

You either think that bigotry and segregation is a good thing that should be celebrated or you don't.

You either support these bigoted ideals...or you're a rational f**king person.

My mind is blown that it's 2017 (72 years after the end of World War 2) and we're still having discussions on CNN/Fox News/MSNBC about what to do with Nazis and what do they really mean when they say what they're saying.

May 18, 2017

March 31, 2017

March 28, 2017

My Four Tips To Not Get A "Dad Bod"

About a year ago my wife decided that it would a great idea for us to have a baby. To be clear, she was deciding to procreate with this guy:

I don't even know what's going on here...

Luckily for us, we didn't have any of the issues that a lot of couples have in conceiving and we were blessed with a pretty amazing baby girl that is now three months old. The only "issue" is that I have never had any intention of achieving a "dad-bod". 

dad-bod: (noun) A guy who has kids and was once in shape and still has guns that can crush beer cans but also with a belly that says I drank those beers and I can eat 6 slices of pizza in one seating. - urban dictionary

Feel free to call me vain but I am a pretty big fan of how I look and I really love working out so here are some tips to help you avoid your own dad-bod:

1. Have A Support System

This cannot be stressed enough. Remember when I said that we were lucky with our baby? That cannot even compare with how lucky we've been with family. Without Mrs. Gym Hero's family taking care of Logan and helping out all the time I'm not sure I would have had time to breathe let alone work out.

2. Don't Feel Guilty About Taking Care Of Yourself

Initially, I thought this was just a weird quirk that only I had but it seems to be a real thing. I felt that I was being a horrible dad by not being with her all the time. Maybe I'm wrong and I've just ruined my daughter for life but I'm willing to bet that she'll grow up ok even though I went to the gym for an hour or two.

And you call yourself a father. tsk tsk

3. MEAL PREP!!!

This falls under advice for anyone really but especially for people that are super busy. Like you parents. Because your life is no longer your own now, is it? Somehow there's a tiny little thing that completely dictates your schedule and can/will throw a wrench into your plans at any given time.

Don't stare into their eyes too long! They suck you in with cuteness!!!

Meal prepping (in the simplest terms possible) is making a crap-load amount of food and packaging it for the week. I know you have fantasies of having time to prepare your lunches on the day or cook dinners but that's probably not going to happen. I can honestly say that I've probably cooked dinner for my wife and myself 4 times since Logan was born.

And you call yourself a husband. tsk tsk

4. Have A Workout Regiment/Training Plan

So you finally took some time out for yourself and you're at the gym. Chances are that you're just going to do "whatever". Which is another way of saying that you'll be doing a half-assed workout if not just walking on the treadmill. Having a plan will hold you more accountable and make them more efficient so you're not wasting the precious seconds of freedom - I mean, suffering from not being with your amazing baby - you have.

March 26, 2017

July 05, 2015

Captain Serious

POWER PLAY: CAPTAIN SERIOUS

"Deal with things and stay mentally strong." - Captain Serious

Johnathan Tays had always been a serious person. When he was born he refused to cry and even slapped the doctor in the face when the doctor tried to spank him. Johnathan was born in the small mining town of Flin Flon, Manitoba in *shudder* Canada *shudder* to Brian (a miner) and Andrée Tays (a military history professor at the University of Manitoba).

These seemingly opposing viewpoints of his parents definitely helped shape the hero that we have now. A natural athlete and brilliant mind, Tays was recruited into a branch of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command or CANSOFCOM, their version of the United States Special Forces (try not to laugh at the idea of Canadian Special Forces...)

During the Great Maple Syrup War of 2001, CANSOFCOM reaches desperation as the country's maple syrup supply is dwindling and they are losing the war to the dastardly Pottsylvanians. To combat this, Tay's athleticism and overall seriousness attracts the notice of General Francois Fussypants and "Project: Strongman." Tays is used as a test subject for the Super-Soldier project, receiving a special serum made by Dr. Nickolas Tesla.

The serum is a success and transforms Johnathan Tays into a nearly perfect human being with peak strength, agility, stamina, and intelligence. Tesla, however, refused to write down every crucial element of the serum, leaving behind a very imperfect knowledge of the steps. Thus, when the Pottsylvanian spy Boris Badenov killed him, Tesla's method of creating new Super-Soldiers died with him. Unable to create new Super-Soldiers and willing to hide the "Project Strongman" fiasco, the Canadian government casts Tays as a national superhero. He is supplied with a patriotic uniform featuring the Canadian colors, an indestructible shield made of adamantium (reportedly taken from the Weapon X facility), a special hockey stick (because it's Canada), and the codename Captain Serious (because he refused to be called Captain Canada).

Powers & Abilities

  • Due to the Super-Soldier Serum, his strength, endurance, agility, speed, reflexes, durability, and healing are at the zenith of natural human potential. Tays' body regularly replenishes the super-soldier serum; it does not wear off
  • Tays' battle experience and military history training make him an expert tactician and an excellent field commander, with his teammates frequently deferring to his orders in battle.
  • Years of practice with his near-indestructible shield make him able to aim and throw it with almost unerring accuracy. His skill with his shield is such that he can attack multiple targets in succession with a single throw or even cause a boomerang-like return from a throw to attack an enemy from behind.
  • Though not technically a "super-power", Tays' tenacity and resourcefulness cannot be understated. He simply refuses to lose and will die before claiming defeat.

SuperKaner Bio HERE.
Cupcake Queen Bio HERE.
Ice Scream Bio HERE.
Krispy Krack Bio HERE.
Ron the Don Bio HERE.
June 21, 2015

Here Is What A Certified Personal Trainer Eats In A Typical Day

One of the most frequent questions I get is "what do you eat?" Apparently people are of the opinion/belief that I graze on kale chips and beet juice all day. To give you an idea of what my eating day is, it'll be helpful if you knew me a bit more. So who is "Michael Okoye"?

Hi.

As you can see, nothing special. I'm not a super jacked guy with an 8 pack but I can definitely cut down if I want to. I'm also not a walking blob. I like to think I keep a pretty nice balance.

SO LET'S BEGIN!

Water

This is my general water intake for the day: a gallon. I've previously discussed the importance of water. It's very important. Drink that shit. Moving on.

1st Meal

I say "First Meal" rather than Breakfast because it's simply that: your first meal. Generally speaking you'd want a meal within an hour or so of waking up, but that doesn't work for some people. My 1st Meal is usually the same thing:

  • 2 servings Steel Cut Oatmeal
    • Brown Sugar
    • Cinnamon
    • Granola
    • Almonds
    • Strawberries
  • 3 Whole Eggs, 5 Additional Egg Whites
So goooooooood!!!!!

2nd Meal (Snack)
Aw yeah...
Now we're 2-4 hours later. I'm knee deep into helping people change their lives but I need to eat something soon. So I bust out my Nutribullet (or any portable blender) and mix myself a quick protein smoothie.
  • 4 Strawberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Tsp Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Scoops Whey Protein
  • Water/Ice
Ignore the disgusting table...
3rd Meal
This is where things start to get a little weird. I'm actually having a salad today. I know, I know. I'll give you a second to get over the shock.
...and we're back. Generally I stick with grilled chicken and a sweet potato, but we're jazzing it up today.
There's greens in there...somewhere...
  • Lots of Spinach
  • 3 Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Lots of Shredded Chicken
  • Ranch and BBQ Sauce
4th Meal
Just a protein shake. Nothing serious. Throw some shit into a shaker. Add water to that shit. Shake it up. Drink.
Moving on.

5th Meal

I didn't take any cute high resolution shots with this, but those are swordfish steaks that I have grilling that I'm going to crush with some sweet potato and broccoli.

You all may have heard about the "new" idea of eating multiple meals, though some research would argue that it doesn't really make a difference if you eat 3 well rounded meals vs. 5-6 little meals. This is what works for me. Hopefully you find what works for you in your fitness journey.

Stay sexy, heroes.
March 07, 2015

10 "The Wire" Quotes That Reflect Most Personal Trainers

I think that my love for the television show "The Wire" is well chronicled. It's an amazing show that tried to tackle a lot of complex and nuanced problems in society...yet it had some pretty amazing one liners. These are 10 that pretty much exemplify my life as a personal trainer:

Tried to include videos with each one. Also, a lot of swearing. Like...a lot.

1.

Bunk: "A man must have a code."

Omar: "Oh, no doubt."

Video

Very often I see personal trainers (or "fitness professionals") not living up to the ideals that they set for their clients. They'll tell their clients one thing, such as: "Don't drink!" "Eat clean all the time!" "You need to do 12 hours of cardio a week!!!!@!@!"

Meanwhile, that same personal trainer jackass is at the bar till 2 in the morning and can't sprint a block to save his or her life.

2.

Proposition Joe : "Look the part, be the part, motherfucker."

Which leads to the concept of aesthetics. Obviously everyone has a different concept of fitness and health, but for me if you're going to prop yourself as being a fitness expert, you better look like you're a damn fitness expert. You better not try to give me the finer points of carb cycling when you have a beer gut. That's how you catch a 'bow to the throat.

3.

Walon: "What the fuck do you wanna hear? That you're strong enough to do this by yourself? Gettin' clean's the easy part. And then comes life."

You made a decision to make a drastic change in your life. For some of you, to fundamentally change your lifestyle completely. And for a week or so, you're gung ho as hell about it. You Are Focused. Then life happens as it is wont to do. This is when you need help, from either your external support system or form a stronger intrinsic reason because life does not care about your goals. Life does not give two shits about your motivations. Life will kill you if you let it.

4.

Spiros: "But you don't ask ... because you don't wanna know."

Working out is hard. Eating well is hard. Finding the motivation to do either one is hard. I try to drill this into every prospective client before we even get started because people are being inundated with all this fake shit all the time:

Just 10 minutes a day and you too will have 10 pack abs!

Take these pills and you'll be beach ready in no time!

No one wants to talk about how much time and sacrifice this takes because people don't really want to know. Ignorance is bliss. Well, wake up and enlighten yourself. Ask questions and educate yourself about your own body.

5.

D'Angelo Barksdale: "It don't matter that some fool say he different 'cause the things that make you different is what you really do, what you really go through...And 'cause he wasn't willing to get real with the story, that shit caught up to him."

Video (starts at 0:26)

Actions speak louder than words. You can talk about how you've changed your diet or the crazy workouts you're going to do...but what have you actually done?

6.

Stringer: "That's good. That's like a forty degree day. Ain't nobody got nuttin to say about a forty degree day. Fifty? Bring a smile to your face. Sixty? Shit, niggas are damn near barbecuing that mothafucka. Go down to twenty? Niggas get they bitch on. Get they blood complainin... but forty? Nobody give a FUCK about forty. Nobody remember forty, and ya'll niggas is giving me way too many forty degree days. What the fuck?!"

Video

Effort is everything. I cannot handle people who come to a workout and half ass it. You might as well just take your ass home cause nothing frustrates me more than someone wasting time.

7.

Levy: [to Stringer] "A guy says if you pay him, he can make it rain. You pay him. If and when it rains, he takes the credit. If and when it doesn't, he comes up with reasons for you to pay more."

There are predatory people out there that are only interested in your money. Those people include personal trainers. Be careful and ask around. Get references from your friends.

8.

Omar: "How you expect to run with the wolves come night, when you spend all day sparring wit' the puppies?"

Video

Can't expect to keep up with one aspect of fitness when you haven't been training for it at all. Which leads to:

9.

Marlo: "You want it to be one way, but it's the other way."

 

You want this to be easy. You want to be able to slack off on your prep and training. But that's not possible.

10.

Marlo: "Do it or don't...but I got someplace to be."

Video

Either you're going to put in the effort and work out...or you're not. Either way, I got shit to do.

Bonus 11!!!

Clay Davis: "Shiiiiiiiet"

 

When a client asks me if we're done yet.

Stay sexy, heroes.

February 22, 2015

SuperKaner

POWER PLAY: SUPERKANER

"I thrive under pressure" - SuperKaner

Patrick B. Kane was burn Fulgur on the planet Müllet (pronounced mooh-let) to a high ranking Mülletian general named Batillus and his scientist wife Luculentus. However, due to *insert lots of sciency words* their world was destroyed, but not before Fulgur was saved and sent to Earth. It was on our planet that he was discovered in a hockey puck-esque spaceship with nothing more than his guardian stick named Bronte. He was found and raised by a New York police officer and his wife and thus Fulgur became known as Patrick Kane.

With his new family he became imbued with a strong moral compass as well as a killer instinct whenever he engaged in any sports. His adopted father, Kiki, quickly let him join traveling hockey teams as a way to offset his aggression...but also as an outlet to showcase his talents. At an early age he began to develop supernatural abilities and strives to use these abilities for the good of humanity upon his maturation - which, to be honest, took quite a bit of time.

Patrick has generally been considered "small", but his agility and marksmanship absurdly make up for this slight. He has also showcased an otherworldly ability to withstand punishment. In fact, it appears that he can absorb physical blows and turn the force into kinetic energy that he can attack using Bronte.

Powers & Abilities

  • Slap Shot attack can range in destructive ability. It has been noted that the higher the stakes, the stronger the Slap Shot is. There is worry among many SuperKaner theorists that it could eventually deal a force so great that it becomes a world destroyer.
  • Bronte can shorten and lengthen at will and seems to have a consciousness of its own. In Kane's hands it is nothing more than a feather; however, in the hands of others, it is completely immovable. Even Silverback (arguably the strongest Gym Hero) is unable to budge it more than 2 inches.
  • SuperKaner cannot fly, so it is really confusing why he wears a cape. However, he does possess super speed and an agility level almost equal to Krispy Krack.
  • It is suspected that a great deal of SuperKaner's powers reside within the power of his mullet, the hairstyle of his native planet. No one has seen him with a haircut since he was 6 months old.
  • Although he is highly resistant to most physical attacks, he can be very susceptible to telepathic attacks. However, as he has grown and matured he has become far more adept at handling these attacks.

Cupcake Queen Bio HERE.
Ice Scream Bio HERE.
Krispy Krack Bio HERE.
December 26, 2014

The Greatest Television Show You've Never Watched

I generally dislike television. I seriously watch 1 of 5 things:

Sportscenter (mainly as background noise)

Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Colbert Report (obviously not much anymore)

Random documentaries

Elementary (I'm a sucker for Sherlock Holmes inspired programming)

However, the best thing that has ever graced a television screen is the series "The Wire".

Oh my god, it's so good!!!!

 

What's that, you never heard of "The Wire"? Don't worry, no one did because it was overshadowed by a very overrated show about the Italian Mafia that received 111 Emmy Nominations (ONE BLEEPING HUNDRED ELEVEN). Meanwhile, what is easily God's gift to media received 2.

Two. And Omar Little was not one of them.

He should have been nominated for this line alone.

 

I bring this up because after 3 years of marriage, I finally got Mrs. Gym Hero to start watching it. I really have no idea why she was so hesitant because as soon as she started watching it she finished season one in 4 days. This is a woman that works full time and is going to grad school so it probably would have been 2 days if she had free time. And what was I doing? Watching it all with her again because IT'S THE GREATEST SHOW OF ALL TIME!

The show is about the drug trade in the city of Baltimore, but it's about way more than that. The show IS Baltimore. Each season is geared to tackle different aspects of the city as its own separate entity but still addresses how they all blend together to form this cesspool of shit that is life in West Baltimore. I really cannot explain how amazing this show is and how angry I get every time I think of Bubbles not getting nominated for anything. I mean, the man played a heroin addict so well that Mark Wahlberg seriously walked up to him and congratulated him for getting clean because he thought that Bubbles WAS a heroin addict in real life!

Then again Marky Mark wasn't above making random racist assertions...

The point is that this show is amazing and did not get its due on a ridiculous scale. I have seen it in its entirety 3 times. There are certain scenes that I will watch ad nauseam. I used to have nightmares about meeting a dude like Marlo Stanfield. The quotes...sigh...

 

Just go watch it. Now. HBO is doing an entire marathon in HD for the next 5 days. Every season for 1 day then it'll be re-released on DVD. Or, if you have HBO already, you can just watch it On-Demand. Do yourself a favor. Go watch it now. You will thank me.

“Either do it or don’t, but I got some place to be”. – Marlo Stanfield.

 

Stay sexy, heroes.