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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: March 27, 2009

“It’s all in your head.” Has anyone ever told you that? Whether you were feeling sick, frustrated with something, or even depressed—perhaps you’ve even thought it yourself.

Sometimes it is. There’s quite a bit of evidence suggesting many illnesses have a psychosomatic component. Or at least the cure does. When they treat test groups with actual medicines and placebo’s (fake medicine), a surprising number of people actually improve on the placebo.

It might mean that they were about to get better anyway. But if they really believe the “medicine” is going to help them, sometimes it works. This is called the “placebo effect.” I think it goes deeper than just the mind (which is already pretty deep). I think it gets down to the level of the heart—perhaps our spirit. And it can work for us—or against us.


Posted: March 16, 2009

This week, twenty people got to experience some basic Kick Boxing for their Friday night workout. They learned how to jab, cross, and throw a left hook, while bobbing and weaving and hitting targets held by their partner. They also learned how to throw a low-line round kick, also called an angle kick to their opponent’s leg.

A great cardio workout, Kick Boxing can become a strength workout too when throwing in other exercises between rounds, like pushups, pull-ups, or body squats. The resistance felt when hitting targets makes it even better. Plus anytime you get to hit things, it’s great for relieving stress! Finally, training like this where you’re actually dodging things and learning how to move and put power on a target is very real and practical.

The group also learned some new Level 3 exercises to start using in their regular routines: EZ Bar Deadlift-Curl-Press; Dumb-bell Clean & Presses; and Kettle Bell Swings. Each exercise uses the entire body, including Pushing, Pulling, and Lower Body muscles. As a result, a very efficient yet complete workout can be built around them.


Posted: March 10, 2009

In week one, the participants started on the machines to build some base strength and just get moving. After a month, they progressed to free weight exercises with dumbbells and the exercise balls. Working with dumbbells, they used more stabilizer muscles to do the movements, and also their core muscles more.

Last week, after two months of training, it was time for some new exercises. Called compound exercises, these exercises take two or three familiar exercises, and combine them into one movement.

Compound movements require even more core strength to keep the body stabilized. They also demand much more oxygen since more muscles are working at the same time. This is why you might not be breathing hard after a set of bicep curls, or shoulder presses, or even lunges. But if you combine the three into a walking lunge-curl-press, you’ll find yourself winded right away. Or, do a squat and shoulder-press together, and see how quickly you gas.


Posted: March 07, 2009

48 people made this week’s weigh-in. I’m pretty sure another four or five are still active, so that puts us at around 52 or 53 out of the original 60. That’s still pretty good for the eighth week. Typically we’d be down a third or even half by now, so something’s different this time. People are sticking it out longer.

One thing that’s helping is that some have hooked up with a buddy. Their buddy calls to make sure they’re going to go workout and then calls to check in afterward. Sometimes they meet at the gym and workout together.

Making changes like eating right and exercising smart is tough for some people. Old habits are hard to break. New ones are tough to make. If you’re not extremely self-motivated, it helps to have someone who can provide that motivation for you. Most people work harder when working out with a partner. It’s a biblical principle. “Two are better than one” and “a cord of three strands is not easily broken.”


Posted: February 28, 2009

Five people missed the weigh-in this week. Out of the original 60 people, it looks like 56 are still hanging in there. And that’s good because we’re coming down to crunch time.

There’s something about the one and two month barriers. It’s a psychological barrier, but it’s real and almost a tangible thing. That’s why we try to get people to commit mentally to a 12 week program.

Three months is long enough to see significant results AND create new habits that are likely to last. Anything less and I get a little nervous. But even six months or a year doesn’t guarantee long term success.

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