Monday, August 1, 2011


The other day, someone  asked me "Hey Mark , you Incredible Fitness Warrior King, what is your favorite workout"? I said “well obviously BICEP CURLS”. Who doesn’t love big arms right? SIKE!!!!!! Really? Bicep curl? My favorite workout of all time is squats, although I did used to hate them in high school and college. I hated them because they took a toll on my body. It took all the energy I had for one simple movement. But now ask me why I love them. 

I love them because Squats are known to be the "King of All Exercises". It is considered to be the best exercise for improving quality of life because it uses multiple muscles in one movement. When performing a squat, you are activating more than 200 muscles in your body. The muscles that you are using releases testosterone and human growth hormones that help you gain muscle in the other areas of your body. What more can you ask for! We squat weather you know it or not. We sit and stand, pick up packages off the floor and even picking up your children. The true test of squatting is being in a public restroom and having to take a #2. While you’re sitting in that half squat position, because the toilet is nasty as hell and you don’t want your booty to touch that bowl, you’re actually engaging your booty, core, and quads. I bet you didn’t even know huh? Just imagine, the more squat workouts you perform, you’ll be able to hold that half squat position on the toilet longer. HAHA but I swear there are more benefits to squatting.

Benefits of Squatting:

• Injury prevention – If done correctly, squats can help with injury by strengthen the connective tissues. It’s used for treatments such as ligament injuries, pattellofemoral (patella) injuries, joint replacements, and ankle stability.
• Toning – Since you’re engaging almost 200 muscles in your body, squats are great for toning your body.
• Increasing Muscle – When performing a squat, your body releases anabolic growth hormones and testosterones into your body. This will help increase size strength and size to your upper body. Don’t worry ladies; you won’t look like a body builder if you perform squats.
• Athletic Performance – If you’re like me and still think you can make an NBA team, squats will help you get there. Okay maybe not for me since my age is considered the dinosaur era in basketball (sniff). But squats can help you with endurance training like long distance cycling, marathons, soccer, tennis, basketball, etc…Just about every sport I can think of requires lower body strength, endurance, agility and balance. The nerve fibers and connective tissue strengthens and will help in any sport you participate in. 

 Basic High Bar Squat
With this squat you will focus more on our quads.  You basically bring your feet about shoulder width apart and keep the bar high on your back.  Simply squat down by bringing your hips back first and focus your body weight on your heels.  As you come up, focus on pushing off your heels.  Make sure to pull in your belly into your spine and stand stall as you come up. 
A helpful hint to know if you're doing it correctly: Toes come off the floor.

 Sumo Squats
A sumo squat is different from your regular squats.  Sumo squats will help work the booty and hamstrings.  Bring your feet as wide as you can and point your toes out.  The bar will sit low on your back.  As bring your body down, slowly come down and lean slightly forward.  As you come up, concentrate on pushing your knees outward.  

Try to vary these squats during the week to see some gains and strength. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Make A Comeback and Reap the Benefits of FITNESS!!!

Guess whose back! Yep, that's right, after a year of absences from posting fitness tips and workouts, I thought it was time for Gym Etiquette to make a come back. Maybe A Tribe Called Quest can learn a lesson or two from my comeback or maybe not, but I really hope they do.

Anyways, since so much of us get into a rut from working out, I thought I'd share why working out can reap benefits for your health. Hopefully this will help you stay on the right track and don't stray away from it like you did in the past.

The Gym Etiquette staff writer, (which is me), suggests making physical activity a priority each week. I know we all have a busy work schedule, but maybe it's easier for you to workout during your lunch hour, or perhaps hitting the gym right after dinner is best for you. The key is to set aside specific days and times for exercise, making it just as much a regular part of your schedule as everything else. I actually have a friend who sets an alarm on his phone to remind him to eat or else he'll forget. That's actually a great idea. Remind yourself by setting an alarm so you know you'll be focused to work out at a certain time. Or maybe schedule it in your Outlook calendar so it pops up while you're working.  Pretty much, just make sure to remind yourself, so you get that body busy in the gym or wherever you choose to be active. 

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests doing moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week or doing vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week. ACSM also recommends doing eight to 10 strength-training exercises with eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.

Remember that starting an exercise program is about more than just decreasing your waistline or getting washboard abs like the Gym Etiquette staff writer. Exercise improves your health. Check out these benefits:

• Physical activity can help stimulate various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.

• Physical activity can help prevent or manage high blood pressure, cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.

• Engaging in physical activity helps burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you will burn, helping to keep your weight under control.

• Exercise can boost your energy level by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. In fact, regular physical activity helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cycle Your Calories Away

I’m SORE! But it’s a good kind of sore. Today I rode my bike to work. I have a cheap Trek Mountain Bike that I bought when I first moved to Los Angeles. (I'm sure the bike was stolen…The person I bought it from seemed shady.) However, a bike is a bike. NOT! Well before I go on and talk about what kind of bike to use for the road, let me tell you how my ride to work was.

First, biking to work is great. Being green is what's in and I get to save some gas (being cheap). So my commute to work is roughly 10 miles, but I had to take some alternative roads so it might have been 15 miles or so. I thought it would be a gentle ride in the morning with the cool crisp air BUT it was pretty hard. The deadly slow inclines to reach my destination were exhausting. I could not tell where the hills were coming from but I could sure feel it. By the time I got to work I was ready to go home and go to bed. As I got off the bike my knees buckled and soreness ran through my hamstrings and quadriceps. I haven’t been that sore in a long time. Although I was hurting, it felt great! A few stretches to the hamstrings, gluts, quads, and calves I was ready to start my day.

Now back to the "a bike is a bike" discussion. A mountain bike is not meant for the road. I can't tell you how many times I got smoked by a dude in spandex on a road bike. While waiting at the stop light, one guy looked at me and laughed. Light turned green and I saw smoke. I was pretty mad. If only I had the right bike, my commute would have been faster and I would have burned the other suckers off the road. A road bike would have been better because it’s lighter and the skinny tires seem a lot smoother. My Trek mountain bike seems more durable for trail riding where speed may not be an issue.

If you’ve been contemplating going green via biking it, check out this web site. It’ll help you get started:

Remember, biking is great exercise. It can help increase leg strength and you can sure burn a whole lot of calories. So find a bike. Whether it’s a mountain bike or a spin bike/stationary bike at your local gym, hitting the road with two tires instead of one is gym etiquette to follow.

Check this website to see how many calories you can burn while riding a bike:

Monday, October 5, 2009


I think we all know what this word means. I actually need to be reintroduced to this word because it seems like I’m lacking IT. So what I did was try to research what motivated others to become successful.

Michael Jordan: He is motivated by proving to others that he is better than the next player. It all started when he was cut from the varsity team in high school. Ever since then, he’s proven that he is truly the best.

Donald Trump: He is motivated by reading about his success. The more he reads about his success, the more he is inspired to achieve more.

President Obama: He is motivated by his dream, determination, spirit, and his enthusiasm to accomplish them. And he did, becoming the first black president.

Derek Jeter: His motivation was to have the determination to start a goal and keep at it. He worked hard and never stopped achieving goals. Jeter won’t stop until he is fully satisfied.

I chose these four figures because we all know the success they have accomplished in their careers. I hope these four gentlemen can help ignite the motivation that you might be searching for.

My motivation is to continue to practice what I preach when it comes to health and fitness. It is to help others through support or any advice that can help them become more successful with their health. Also, to be successful in my own right by helping you fools haha.

So tell me, What’s your MO-TI-VATION???!!??

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Myths of Fitness...BOOOO

I wanted to share some myths about good ol fitness. There's a bunch that we all must get to the bottom of. I'm sure we all don't want to be confused with what's right or wrong, therefore the TRUTH must be told.


I know right, that's what I said. Who Knew!! So fortunately drinking water will not make you less hungry. It is true that there are no calories, but you're probably eating less because you're walking back and forth from the bathroom. Also, drinking 8 glasses a day is not true. You should only drink when your thirsty. It's to replace the water a healthy adult looses everyday which is about 4 to 6 ounces.


Not good. The reason why it's not good is because you're body is cold, tight, and not warmed up. Think of this, your body is like a frozen rubber band, when you pull, it will break. Our body is pretty much the same way. Our muscles are too cold to be holding a static stretch. Try doing some active stretching such as running in place, arm circles, and squats. Stretching after a workout is more beneficial since your body is already warm.


This one is for the ladies. Men have 20 to 30 times more testosterones than women, which why it is more noticeable in men. For women, you would have to live in the gym and work out harder than the average female to look like the Hulk. Weight training will help decrease weight and body fat because your metabolism will increase and therefore burn more calories. So ladies and fellas, add some weights to your exercise program.


Although it does feel good, cold water is a sure bet after a hard work out. When exercising, blood vessels in your body increases in size and stays that way for about an hour after a workout. The soreness which comes from lactic acid settles in the dilated vessels. The cold water will help constrict the vessels which will limit the lactic acid in your blood vessels. So jump into a tub of ice next time.


Yes, you can burn calories while holding onto weights; however, it may not be safe. Holding onto weights can cause elbow and shoulder injuries from holding on and using excessive and uncontrollable movements. To burn more calories, bump up your speed or incline on the treadmill.


You can do 1000 crunches everyday and you still may not see your six pack. The key to attaining a six pack is your body fat. The lower your body fat the more laundry you can do on your six pack. Spot training will not help loose that belly fat. Try concentrating on your cardio, strength training, and diet.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Jumping Rope

In my opinion, one of the best cardio workouts you can do is jump rope. It's cheap, you can do it anywhere, and you don't have to spend one hour just to burn an x amount of calories. FYI, in one hour you can burn up to 1000 calories. With jumping rope you can build your cardiovascular endurance, develop lean muscles, and improve coordination and balance.

If you're a beginner you want to start off slow and try to find a rhythm where you are most comfortable. The more you do it, the faster you'll get, and the more calories you'll burn.

Try this:

Jump rope for 1 minute. Count how many times you jumped in one minute.
Now jump rope for another minute and try to beat the total amount of jumps you performed previous.

Try to remember your total jumps and continue to beat it each time you jump rope.

Also, for those who are little more advanced, my HS basketball coach once told me to listen to music while jumping rope.

Play three songs and try to jump rope non stop to each song. Music usually makes exercise more fun. Next thing you know, you've jumped roped through three of your favorite songs.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Weekend Fitness Warrior

Weekends are the best!! You can catch up on sleep, maybe do a little hardcore cleaning in the house, or you can get outside and be a "Fitness Warrior". I always admire those folks who get up early on a Saturday or Sunday to get their FIT on. It makes me want to get out there with them.

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I promised myself to go to the beach every weekend to go running. It lasted maybe three months. But since moving to a better location in LA I'm ready to get going again and become the "Weekend Fitness Warrior" that I was before.

Things you can do to be a "Weekend Fitness Warrior"

1. Join a bike club or run club. They're usually free and they send invites for weekend rides and runs.
2. Go hiking. Just wear proper attire and bring water.
3. Try swimming at the lake or beach.
4. Sign up for a race. This will help you get out on the weekends.
5. Join a sports team such as softball, volleyball, basketball, and flag football. These are usually fun because you can meet new people.

Here are some websites to get you started:

http:// You can find different races to sign up for. You can find different clubs to join. This is an example of local sports leagues you can join in your city.