Tag Archives: exercise

Jen Panaia Man’s Up!

Jen Panaia, a client of about six months, began with steely determination to reach her health and fitness goals. As measured by her starting body fat of 17%, that determination paid off. Currently, well below 10%, as she states, she’s looking and feeling better then she has in years! Congratulations Jen.

Our clients receive a ManUp! hat when they get below the 10% threshold. . . .


Anthony Valentino – compression fracture to golf in 2 months!

I’m sure the day started like any other day on the slopes in Southern California, but much to his dismay ended badly. Anthony, an athlete his entire life, botched a jump while snowboarding and landed like this. . . .

A back injury can be a pretty scary thing with, in some cases, a recovery which never ends. . . .

As he was hauled away by the people in red jackets, I’m sure he was wondering when he’d be able to get back on his surf board!
The end result was a serious injury, threatening to put a cramp in his style: a compression fracture to his L1. As he puts it, after eight weeks of initial recovery, he decided change the traditional course he’s taken over and over again after sustaining sports-related injuries. He entered the STARK spinal care program.

Two months later, he was back swinging a golf club!

Prior to a vacation in Belize, he went to his M.D. for malaria meds, and informed him of his injury. He was shocked at Anthony’s mobility. The conversation went something like this:

Doc: “. . . . but you seem to be moving around just fine. Well, if you want we can do surgery or shots if you need it.”

Anthony: So I showed him the xray, he immediately looked at me with a look of dismay.

Doc: “I have a patient that has the exact same break, same age and build as you, it’s been 6-months, and I still can’t get his pain level under control… what are you doing differently?”

Anthony: “Well for starters, I didn’t come to see you first. I went to an orthopedic specialist, got an MRI just to double check what was going on. I then rested for 3 weeks, saw a chiropractor twice a week, and as soon as I could move enough I went to get training.”

Doc: “Oh, so you went to get Physical Therapy. . . . that makes sense.”

Anthony: “No, actual training, like with weights.”

In Anthony’s words, he believes his doctor is re-thinking his approach to medicine! Way to Man Up Anthony! See the pics below of his recovery, in action.

Jacob Davidson, desk jocky extraordinaire transforms himself in 112 days!

I’ve really enjoyed listening to, and seeing, Jacob’s transformation! In particular because he’s not a local client but an engineer, living and working in Chicago. Because of his conservative engineer-detailed-like approach, he started slowly and is only now working exercise into his transformation. His brother and my partner, Brad, has coached him through his health plan while documenting his experience via podcast (pretty entertaining insight through the eyes of a regular, non-fitness dude). Go to for the details of that experience.

For those into cliff notes, here are the stats and a few pics of Jacob:
Day 112
Weight 166 lbs. of sex appeal
Starting weight 196 lbs.

Next step: put on some muscle!



Drive For Water

A good friend and client of ours, Stephen Magliocco,  Manned UP recently by creating a non-profit called Drive For Water to benefit children who don’t have access to clean drinking water.  Through his efforts, his organization will help fund the installation of wells and water purification systems as well as provide health and hygiene training to the communities in need.

As a father, imagining my own children in a struggle for basic necessities is no less than heart-wrenching.  Stephen, also a father of a young family, after being exposed to the benefits of easily-installed water purification devices, donated the money to have one installed in a clinic.  Realizing the impact of this small gesture and its positive ripple effect, he decided to form Drive For Water, a non-profit created to promote and organize golf tournaments and other charitable events with all of the profits directed at providing clean water to children in need.

Please join us in support of Drive For Water’s first golf tournament held at Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point on August 22nd.  The format will be ‘shotgun, best ball’ with an 11:00 AM T-time, followed by dinner and awards at 5:30 PM.  You can contact Stephen at Stephen@driveforwater.com, or 714-470-3306.

Or, for more information, see the Drive For Water website, and we hope to see you at the course!


The latest addition to our team!

Brandon Scott Campbell, currently enrolled in Stark University, and soon-to-be addition to our team of Personal Trainers and Strength Coaches is training to become the world’s strongest man!  Weighing in at 265 lbs, standing at 6′ tall, his personal records are a 555 lb bench press, a 640 lb squat, a 710 lb deadlift, a 380 lb clean & jerk, a 380 lb log press, a farmer’s walk of 350 lbs per had, and a 50′ yolk walk of 1,100 lbs!

This is a video of a recent Strongman Competition where he took 3rd place!

Man vs. Alcohol

For additional information on the negative effects of alcohol CLICK HERE.

Why Running Makes You Fat!

Great news!  Stop Running!

Well… . in and of itself, running doesn’t make you fat; butt (ha, ha), after a period of time, the hormonal impact on your body, as a result of running, can (and typically does) tell your body to store fat in many unflattering places.

During the first eight weeks you’ll get leaner; you’ll make some headway.  After that, you’ll plateau at which time your metabolism will slow and you’ll begin to increase your body fat percentage:  you’ll get fatter!  You may get smaller, or lighter, because you’ll be losing muscle as well.  That’s a result of your decreasing testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) levels.  Essentially, you’ll gradually become a skinny fat person!  There aren’t many men out there, over 30, who can afford lower testosterone.

It’s the result of increasing cortisol levels.  According to Dr. James Wilson (author of Adrenal Fatigue – The 21st. Century Stress Syndrome,) when one does too much continuous aerobic exercise, the adrenal glands are stressed and secrete a greater amount of cortisol. The hormone, cortisol, is one of the least understood but most crucial hormone to consider during a training program. Cortisol is a hormone released from the cortex of the adrenal glands. Cortisol is catabolic, which means it works against testosterone, HGH (human growth hormone) and IGF by breaking down the proteins in your muscles and organs, and by using the amino acids that are released for energy. With cortisol being elevated too long the result is adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is associated with such symptoms as tiredness, fearfulness, allergies, frequent influenza, arthritis, anxiety, depression, reduced memory, and difficulties in concentrating, as well as insomnia, feeling worn-out, loss of muscle mass and most importantly the inability to lose weight after extensive efforts. It has been shown through numerous studies that cortisol levels following several months of aerobic exercise are far higher than when weight training is used for body fat loss.

As if it’s not bad enough to discover continuous cardio can prevent you from losing body fat, it has also been shown to increase oxidative stress—you get older faster—resulting in poor recovery from your workouts.  As a long-distance runner, you may actually look older than your lazier peers.

What’s the answer?  Don’t jog; sprint!  Do intervals.  Or, train with weights.  Or do both. Consider the facts, guys:  when you were younger, you were able to run and get leaner. Why?  Because you were overflowing with testosterone.  As you age, you’re finding it more and more difficult to get that flat belly back.  If you’re a male over 40 and you’re not doing anything about it, you’re well on your way to becoming bankrupt—hormonally speaking.

So, take my advice and change what you’re doing:  as you transform from a marathon runner’s body to a sprinter’s body, you’ll know you’re making headway.  You’ll also get that old swagger you once had when you were younger as your cortisol levels drop and your testosterone levels increase.  Do you remember that?  Your swagger?  C’mon, it wasn’t that long ago.

-Todd Vande Hei