Thursday, March 17, 2011


Effective today, this blog will no longer be updated.  Please go to the SHOP’s new web address:

Be sure to update your bookmarks, favorites, RSS feeds, etc.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I had the great pleasure of hosting a friend of mine in the SHOP a few days ago.  Bryan Guido Hassin, whose list of credentials is longer than my … well, it’s pretty long:  Rice alum with two undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering as well as a Master’s degree in Computer Science, an MBA from IMD in Switzerland, and a successful entrepreneur many times over.  Bryan was in town to pitch his latest entrepreneurial adventure (Smart Office Energy Solutions) to potential investors (I’m already an investor because I believe both in his business and his abilities).

Bryan stayed at my house while he was in Dallas, and of course my house rules clearly state that anyone who spends time in my house must also spend time in the SHOP before departing.  I put Bryan, along with one of the SHOP regulars Craig Stansberry, through a serious workout, and he recapped it in a serious blog post:


I love having guests in the SHOP, and not because I get to destroy them with a really hard workout.  For the record, Bryan was exhausted at the end of the workout because he pushed himself that hard.  Some of the movements may have been new to him, but he is no stranger to good, old-fashioned hard work.

Anybody can make someone tired (for example, go do 1,000 pushups), but my purpose with Bryan (or anybody else) was to help him improve.  As he concluded at the end of his blog, he learned three important lessons from just one SHOP workout:  the benefit of early morning workouts, the importance of pre-workout fueling, and the value in anaerobic activities.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, a short clip that shows some of the action.  A few things to note about this video:

a short training montage from the SHOP
  • It was 30 degrees outside (same temp in the SHOP), so we’re all in Under Armour and hoodies.
  • It was 5:15am, so there wasn’t any natural light (plus the garage door was shut)
  • My explosiveness is significantly greater than my other buddy’s (Craig Stansberry, professional baseball player).
  • My Flip camera’s battery was acting up, so we got very little footage from the workout.

That’s all for now.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


REMINDER:  The SHOP has moved!!

It has been snowing non-stop for about the last 3-4 hours!  This is unheard of here in Dallas…although it happened last year too (record snowfall at that).  I don’t think this happened in the previous five years at all!

I had plans to take my Prowler up to JJ Pearce high school with a few buddies…the rain and snow put a stop to that idea though.


It has been a while since I busted the Prowler out due to holidays and traveling and such, but it’ll be back!

Anyway, the snow may have changed my plans, but I was still able to get a solid training session in.  Today was a heavy focus on soft tissue work (foam rolling, lacrosse ball), flexibility and mobility (primarily hips for me), core work, and finally some conditioning.  It looked like this:


Turkish Get Ups

Using the TGU as a warm up and mobility drill
2 reps with a 50 lb. DB
1 rep with a 70 lb. KB

Standing Ab Wheel Rollouts w/ Weight Vest (20 lbs.)

6 reps with a 20 lb. weight vest


KB Swings x 12

Burpees x 10

Rest 1 minute

Repeat for a total of 5 rounds

1 round of the KB swings/burpee conditioning


I can’t think of a better way to spend a cold Sunday morning!  Especially since I followed it up with a pumpkin protein shake, a coffee, and some venison roast that I smoked yesterday.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


REMINDER:  The SHOP has moved to!

My goal for this blog in 2011 is to hit it hard and hit it regularly.  Obviously it would be nice to post a variety of themed blogs…training-related blogs, book reviews, collections of articles, etc. so I am going to do my best to make that happen.  I’m off to a good start with two blogs on the same day!

As the title indicates, and as Ice Cube would say, today was a good day!

I started out with jiu jitsu practice at 10am for about 2 1/2 hours!  I have big goals for my jiu jitsu training this year.  I want to get my blue belt, I want to train several hours per week, and I want to compete in at least one tournament (whether it will be gi or no gi is to be determined).  I actually spent my time today about 50/50 between gi and no gi.  I also got roughed up pretty good by a purple belt and a blue belt…my face is all scraped up.  When I got home Lauren thought I looked pretty funny and she asked “you actually enjoy this?”  YES, absolutely.

I also got to try out one of my Christmas presents this afternoon…a smoker!


Using some hickory wood chips I smoked two venison roasts and some backstrap:



It was my first time smoking meat, and I my backstrap, which was thin and small, probably got a little too dry (that won’t stop me from eating it).  The roasts, on the other hand, turned out damn good.  Juicy, flavorful, and they will probably only last about another day.

First meat smoking session…a SUCCESS!



REMINDER:  The SHOP has moved to a new location!

Don’t forget to update your RSS feed or your bookmarks!  I will post updates to both blogs for a while, but then I will drop this one for good.

Happy 2011!  Hopefully everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Lauren and I went to Santa Barbara, CA for the holidays and had a great time.  As you would expect, I got plenty of training in.  Lauren’s aunt even setup a training session for me with an RKC so that I could learn a few kettlebell moves…namely the Turkish Get Up (“TGU”) and the KB Swing.  The TGU happens to be one of my favorite moves now…it trains so many things at one time:  core strength, mobility, stability, coordination.  I personally like to do them without any weight (or with light weight) as part of my warm-up.  On other days, I load them up as heavy as I can for singles or doubles.


One of my buddies from the Rice baseball team is in Dallas and he’s been coming over to the SHOP in the mornings since he is gearing up for Spring Training.  We had a pretty solid session yesterday morning (Friday) that went a little something like this:


A  DB Snatch – 4 x 3 with 100 lbs


B  Single-Leg Squat (Goblet hold) – 4 x 6 with 50 lbs


6 reps on each leg with a 50 lb DB


C1  Chest Supported Row – 4 x 12 with 100 lbs

C2  DB Lunges (walking) – 4 x 7, 7, 7, 6 with 100 lbs (each hand)


It’s still dark because it’s only 5:30 am! And it’s about 30 degrees!


D  Towel Pullups – 14, 10. 8

E  DB Rows – 3 x 8 with 100 lbs



Mountain Climbers (using furniture gliders under my feet on the carpet)

5 x 20 seconds on the minute


It was a solid session!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


The SHOP is relocating!

The new blog is still under construction, but I was able to transfer all of my old posts over (with only some minor formatting issues).  I'm still experimenting with appearance, design, etc. on the new site, but it'll get the job done.

Be sure to update your bookmark and RSS reader.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I just read a very good article from the Huffington Post:

The concept here is basically that one cannot only consider the short-term costs of food.  It's not about how much you pay at the cash register, but what that food will "cost" you over your lifetime.  TIME Magazine actually ran an article that talked about this same concept about a year ago:

There are some great take-away points from both articles (which I'll include later in my FAVORITE EXCERPTS section), but each of these articles can be summed up in the following way:

You will spend both time and money on your health, and you get to choose whether your time and money are spent proactively or reactively.

Now I'm not going to steal credit for that quote.  I read it from one of Mike Boyle's blog posts, but I'm not sure if he was the creator.

The odd paradox is that food insecurity--not knowing where the next meal is coming from or not having enough money to adequately feed your family--leads to obesity, diabetes and chronic disease.

And most of those meals eaten at home are produced in plants, not grown on plants, are from a food chemist's lab, not a farmer's field.

Unhealthy food is cheaper because our government's policies support its production. We're spending nearly $30 billion a year to subsidize corn and soy production. Where do those foods go? Into our food supply as high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated soybean oil (trans fats), that are the foundation of almost all fast food and processed foods that are "manufactured" by the food industry.

Corn and soy are also used to feed cattle for the production of meat and dairy. In fact, 70 percent of the wheat, corn and soy farmed in this country is used to feed animals used for our food. The world's cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people--more than the entire human population on Earth! expert has estimated that healthcare costs related to obesity are $118 billion per year. That's nearly 12 percent of total healthcare expenditures--and more than twice that caused by smoking! Seventy-two percent of Americans are overweight and over one third are medically obese. One in three children born today will be diabetic in their lifetime and the life expectancy of our population is declining for the first time in human history.

As these numbers prove, the costs of eating fast, junk, and processed foods are often deferred until later. And that's the key point: When you go to McDonald's for a cheap burger and fries, you might immediately compare that lower price to whole organic foods which are more expensive in the short term. But the total cost isn't reflected in how much you pay for your meal in the immediate moment, it's the cumulative cost of what those decisions cost you over a lifetime.