Archives For Fitness

Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.  Quite cliche, right?  Well it’s not cliche when you don’t listen to it!!  About six weeks out of Boston, I hurt my knee during a training run.  If this injury were to happen any closer to April 17th, I would have had to back out of my bid.  For over a week after the injury I walked as if Tanya Harding was my running coach.  When I finally could strap on the old running shoes, over two weeks had gone by.  I was pain free, and ready to hit the pavement.  Two miles down the road, I was limping myself back inside to sulk in agony.  I guess the injury wasn’t gone, and now I’m only four weeks out with no real idea on if I will be able to even run in Boston.  The next four weeks were going to prove to be the most crucial.

As I gave my leg two weeks off from running, maybe the two most important weeks of the training process were now gone.  Any endurance athlete knows that a week out you taper your runs, and I had to crank up my training right near the start of my tapering phase.  The problem was, I developed a severe case of the running itis.  Having not done anything for two weeks, it was hard to find (I should say MAKE) the time to go out running.  I got out to run twice in the final two weeks.  One of my runs was for some of the hardest 16 miles I’ve ever done, and another for only five miles.  I had effectively trained for 5 months, to blow it all in the last month.  Despite this, I was very confident in myself.  I was prepared for the best, and wasn’t expecting the worst.  This proved to be a BIG mistake.

I got up to Boston two days before the race.  I wanted to get up there and enjoy the city, and get settled in.  Still feeling confident that I was going to crush the race, I really enjoyed the city.  I went to Fenway, ate some great meals and drank whatever I wanted.  I knew it was going to be hot on race day, hotter than I have ever trained in before, but I figured that I could just drink a few bottles of water on Sunday and be good to go on Monday.  Again, prepared for the best, not expecting the worst.

Race day came, and the excitement of the day eliminated any doubt I still had left.  The city was alive!  There were people on every street, in every bar, on top of buildings and yelling from cars.  There were BBQs going on along the race route, and all 30 thousand or so runners were rockstars for a day!  I cruised through the first 10 miles as if I was out for a Sunday stroll.  The adrenaline from the crowds drowned out any fear of not finishing.  I took it all in, stopping to talk to people along the way, chatting with the volunteers, and flirting with the girls handing out water.  I had this race in my back pocket, it was going to be a breeze.  Little did I realize that I was starting to become dehydrated, and from all of the early downhill running my legs were fatiguing quickly from constantly decelerating.  I was not prepared for what was to come next.  The best was behind me, and that’s all I was prepared for.

I hit the halfway point, took a selfie and posted it for all of my “followers” to see that I was halfway, and kept moving.  I was still feeling food, but my legs started to get a little ache.  Completely normal after running 13 miles.  My plan was to pick up my pace in the second half, which was a great plan until I hit mile 17.  I felt the most paralyzing feeling I have ever encountered while exercising.  Both of my quads and my right calf decided to cramp up hard!  I felt like I was just taken out by a sniper.  My legs stopped working, and I came really close to falling flat on my face.  Just like that, my race went from the best, to the worst case scenario… which I was not prepared for.

The next nine miles ended up being the most trying and difficult three hours of my life.  While training, I could run nine miles in about 90 minutes MAX.  However, every ten steps I now took led to my legs turning into frozen rubber bands.  The only thing that kept running through my head, was how much I regretted not taking the final month of my training seriously.  It was to late at that point, and I had no other option but to grit my way through it.

Well, I did finish he race… barley.  It took me an hour and a half longer than I had anticipated it taking.  It was the hardest physical act I ever had to do!  I took it for granted that I was strong and in good shape.  Heading into race day, I was not physically or mentally prepared.  I thought I was just going to come in and crush it, 26.2 miles ain’t nothing!  Fortunately, there was a lesson learned in all of this.  Always make sure you are fully prepared for the absolute worst situation.  You should never take anything for granted, because the moment that you do it will come back to bite you in the ass.  I was prepared for the starting line, but adversity never shows up at the starting line.

How many of you have stepped on the scale this week, and have not been happy with what you saw?  How about just today alone?  In our society we have been stepping on the scale from the time the doctor smacked our bare ass for the first time as a baby… and guess what?  We cried then as well!!  The scale is the source of so much contention in our lives, and that’s because we have been so conditioned to believe it is the most important tool for judging our health.  In reality, the only thing the scale does is make us judge ourselves!

In my personal opinion, stepping on the scale is the single most demoralizing action someone can take when defining their health.  Ask any of my members at Next Generation Training Center, and they will tell you how much I hate it when they tell me that they have weighed themselves.  Unfortunately, a lot of people do this on a regular basis, and it sends them into a tailspin of negative emotion.  Let me make this clear right now… YOUR WEIGHT IS NOT A REFLECTION OF WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOU ARE MADE UP OF!!!  There, I got that off of my chest.

Judging yourself off of your weight would be the equivalent of judging a book by its cover.  I know I know, very cliche but I couldn’t think of a better analogy to use at the moment!  There is so much more that goes into what that number on the scale represents, that it’s really unfair to JUST focus on that number.  If you were to hypothetically gain five pounds of muscle, while at the same time losing five pounds of fat, your weight would stay exactly the same.  So why are we taught from the dawn of our existence to care about weight?  Because first off, it is an easy measuring stick to use while judging people, and the path of least resistance is ALWAYS the right choice in the medical field (if you didn’t get that, it’s called sarcasm).  However, the main reason (in my opinion of course) is because instead of educating people about their weight, we would rather scare people into losing weight.

So, what am I actually trying to get at here?  If the weight on the scale is a lie, then what else could it possibly represent?  Well my friend, that answer will be reserved for another article.  I can write a book on this subject, but the most important thing I want you to understand is the concept of this.  It is not the weight that counts, it is what makes up that weight that counts the most!  I am going to leave you with this question to answer for next time…. Does 1,000 pounds of rocks, weigh the same as 1,000 pounds of feathers?

Follow Mike Ercolano, the author of this amazing and life changing blog, on Facebook www.facebook.com/mikeercolanofitpro and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/mike_ercolano_fitpro. If you would like to know more about fitness, fat loss, nutrition and health, send Mike an email at mike@ngtcrandolph.com.

One For the Money

March 14, 2017 — 2 Comments

What is the one thing that you can do today, to accelerate your fat loss goals?

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Obesity is the number 1 killer in the United States of America.  Think about that statement right now.  We are the most technologically advanced society, with any knowledge we want at our fingertips.  In fact you are probably reading this from your phone right now.  Obesity leads to so many diseases that will kill you, yet as a society we are doing absolutely nothing to stop it.  More and more fitness “gurus” are opening gyms, starting YouTube channels, creating Instagram accounts and writing blogs (none of which are as good as mine 🙃); but yet the number of obesity, heart disease, and cancer is on the rise faster then your “master trainer” can post the 1 millionth video on how to do a proper squat.  So what gives?  Are we just lazy as a society?  Do we not actually care about our health as much as we say we do?

Well, the fitness industry brings in billions of dollars every year, with that number on the rise with each new year.  This number alone tells me that it isn’t the lack of motivation that is holding us back as a society.  The knowledge, the gadgets, the gyms and the “master trainers” are all out there for us to succeed, but that’s exactly the problem.  There is to much unnecessary knowledge to go around.  We get so caught up at 3:00am watching Tony Horton tell us that we can look and feel just like him for just 10 easy payments of $99 and only an hour a day (not actual numbers or a quote, just an exaggeration to prove my point. Please don’t sue me), that we forget that the best way to success is keeping things simple.

Let me ask you something, how many calories do you consume daily?  I’ll bet that you, along with 90% of the people reading this can’t answer that question.  Did you know that 74% of America is considered overweight?  74 fucking percent!!!  That number is astronomical!  Yet, only 33% of people think that eating to many calories in a day will make you gain weight.  Now, if those numbers don’t speak to you then I don’t know what will.  It’s clear there is a very big imbalance of knowledge.  When our social media, google searches and infomercials all scream messages of extreme weight loss with extreme measures, it’s easy to think that weight loss is an extraordinary thing.  Yet, it’s something that I feel everyone is capable of doing with the right knowledge.

So, where do we start?  Let’s begin with doing the one thing that EVERYONE who can write is capable of doing.  Let’s start by tracking your food intake daily.  People who track their food are 3x more likely to lose weight.  There are a plethora of free apps and programs out there to track your food intake.  I personally like the dotFIT website, however the most important thing is not what app/site you use, but the fact that you start doing it.  Hell, if you aren’t technologically competent, you can use the old school way of pen and paper.  Once you know what you are putting in your body, you can change what your putting in.  You will become more mindful, and give yourself an opportunity to see what is actually causing you to gain weight.  All it takes is five minutes of writing or typing each time you eat, to change your life.

When you’re sitting down at the dinner table, before you open up Instagram or Facebook, open up your tracking app and write everything down.  I promise you, this will be the single most important thing you can do to kick start your weight loss.  I am going to leave you with one more thought.  If you consume only 100 calories more then you expend everyday, you will hold onto and store an extra 3,100 calories by the end of the month.  It takes between 3,000 to 3,500 calories to gain a pound of fat…. Start tracking your food.

First blog post

January 23, 2017 — 7 Comments

My very first blog!

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