Systems for Holiday Success

Show of hands.

Anyone feeling a bit of a time crunch and some holiday stress.

Yeah, me too, sort of.

I actually haven’t felt the stress, because I haven’t thought
about the gift giving part, but I know its coming.

In fact. I’m going to start and ideally finish this week.

Here’s my plan.

I cooked the majority of my meals this weekend, so I could
keep my energy high, keep my body fat low and have food
readily available for when I need it.

I arranged my schedule to allow some midday shopping when the lines are small and roads are clear. This will make my days longer, due to later & earlier training schedules, but more efficient.

My exercise programs are pre-written, so I just follow the plan. Escape from reality, train hard and have some fun.

Then review/rewrite my plan for the following day, being sure to roll with the punches.

Would you like to know what I cooked for the week?

*I made 5 days of Nutty Apple, Eggalicious Oatmeal

  • 3/4c old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 c of milk, 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c of egg whites (for the protein)
  • 1 medium apple or 1 cup of frozen fruit
  • 1/4 c of mixed nuts (for the fat)
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

* I made 3 Chicken Berry post workout shakes.

  • 2c milk
  • 1/2c egg whites (protein)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted, crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp wheat germ
  • 1 c frozen fruit (mixed berry)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • this recipe equals 2 servings

*Dr. John’s Homemade Chili from Precision Nutrition

  • 4lbs of ground turkey
  • 4 peppers (1 of each: red, yellow, orange & green)
  • 4 cans of kidney beans (I did 2 chick peas & 2 red kidney beans)
  • 2, 46oz V-8 spicy hot juices
  • 2lbs of slide carrots
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 6 diced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of cashew meal (grind cashews in blender; short bursts until powder)
  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • Serves 10 and is awesome. Which for me should be, I hope, 3 meals.

Then I’ll make some other meals like egg omelets or grilled entrees, salads & side dishes as need be, but this should get me to if not through Wednesday, keeping my energy high and my body fat low.

Wish me luck on the shopping.


Mike Alves

p.s. Do you have a proven system for maximizing efficiency, getting the best deals or staying healthy during the holiday season? Comment below if you’d like to share.

p.p.s. Did you notice the balance of my meals. Each one has a protein, fat & carb.

I’m a professional, do not try this at home! (wink)

Here’s a fun one for you. I was racking the ‘ol cabeza, literally, to come up with some new vertical push exercises.

Lets see. We’ve got overhead presses, dips, push press/jerks…what about a Hand Stand Push Up?

Can I even do one?

Watch the videos below and find out.

Here is attempt #1. For the record I did 5 or 6 total, though my bro only caught 2 or 3.

I am aware they were not pretty. My hips “sagged” towards the door. What happened to my trunk stability?

Attempt #2, Tripod Push Up. (wanted to correct the sagging hips, so changed direction)

No chance. I think I maxed out on the first set.

Attempt #3, From a Hand Stand again with back against the door.

Nope! Not happening. Have to try again tomorrow.

To my clients. Yup, you know what’s coming. Hope you don’t mind having blood rush to your head. 🙂

Course, I won’t teach it, if I can’t do it, so your safe. For a little while.


Mike Alves

Personal Training, Semi-Private Training & Boot Camps in Boston and Newton, MA

Am I alone?

Am I alone?

Does anyone else out there L-O-V-E going to the doctor, visiting the dentist, getting your body fat read, being put through the ringers of an assessment or taking a test, both physical and paper?

O.K. Maybe I don’t “heart” these things as much as the company of a women, or hanging with my friends and family, but I do enjoy them.

Maybe its because I expect the results to be outstanding. I want validation for all of my hard work, smart work, consistency and sacrifices. Maybe I NEED a rude awakening every once in a while, to remind me to get my act (I wanted to say sh*t) together. Don’t you?

Then again, some of my clients HATE assessments and testing. They HATE to have their body fat read, HATE to do photos and HATE to step on the scale. Well, their right in that assessment. I can sense it the second after I suggest it. This automatically means they haven’t lived up to their part of the deal. They haven’t done their homework (yeah mom, I get it. Do your homework, get good grades).

Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with a former client who I last trained 4+ years ago (he moved). He gave me many compliments: how his body fat & body weight had dropped to personal bests when we were training together, how he got hooked on road races because we ran the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge together (he’s since run the Boston Marathon and is planning on running it in ’09) and how he still uses the program I designed for him 4 years ago. Crazy.

Well we did the assessment. His results were as he expected. Poor in most areas, but VERY STRONG in key areas. Specifically his foundation. His ability to move and his ability to stabilize his joints were encouraging. Body fat & body weight were not good, but that’s why he’s coming to me in the first place.

Do you think he enjoyed the experience? Maybe, maybe not, but I think he appreciated visiting a professional and getting put through the ringer. He now KNOWS where he stands. He has goals to beat (push ups, chin ups, dips, isometric holds, 1-mile run, BF & BW) and goals to achieve. Assessments can be very motivating if you let them be.

How do you feel when you visit the doctors office, get a cleaning or go through a physical assessment and exercise testing? Respond below.


Mike Alves