How to work up to doing a "real" push up. by Stephen Cooper

(Make sure you turn your audio up, sorry it's quite low.)

You may be frustrated when you try to do push ups.  I know especially for new boot campers it is quite frustrating.  You always think like you should be able to do more, but the body doesn't quite seem to cooperate.

My suggestion as in this video is to use a simple stability ball.

You can begin at the very easy level by resting on the ball at about waist level.  As you get stronger and your balance improves scoot the ball out towards your toes.  Eventually you'll be able to do a push up with only the toes of one foot on the ball.  (I'll do another video of that one after my triceps recover.)

Try it out and let me know how it goes



Three Important Movies That Will Help You With Your Quest to Lose Fat and Feel Better by Stephen Cooper

This last weekend I had a little bit of "me time" so I spent some of it watching these films on Netflix.

The first is Bigger, Stronger, Faster.  One of my favorites for exposing the slimy markeitng that is done to convince us that we need supplements and pills to be happy and lean.



The second is Ingredients,


Third, Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead

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Focus on The Basics for Fat Loss by Stephen Cooper

Most of you who are in the boot camp are here for fat loss and toning.

Continuing with yesterday's theme of focusing on the basics, here are some more tips.

If you "blow it" in one area such as not getting enough sleep, make sure that you do your best in the other two areas, eating clean, and training hard.  If you falter in 2 or more areas, your chance of success is slim to none.

Have a look. (Video is about one minute long.)


Upcoming calendar:

Each Monday in May - My client, Onil Chibas of Elements Kitchen here in Pasadena, is donating 15% of proceeds when you eat at his restaurant to another great client of mine, Young and Healthy.  Pretty simple. Eat on Mondays, get some incredible food, and everyone benefits.

May 30 New camp begins

What We Can Learn from World Champion MMA Fighters by Stephen Cooper

JC Santana and Stephen Cooper, MMA Strength and Conditioning Certification in Boca Raton, FL

Last week I flew down to Boca Raton Florida for my Strength and Conditioning Certification for Mixed Martial Arts with JC Santana

I went down there for two reasons. 

The first was a selfish reason.  Having started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu about a year ago, I wanted to learn how to improve my own conditioning. 

The second reason is that I wanted to learn how I could modify the training regimens of these elite fighters and apply them to my boot campers. 

What I didn't expect was that I was going to learn how champions approach training, and how I could use that not only for myself, but also for my clients. 

No matter what your feelings are on the often brutal sport of MMA, there is no question that these fighters are some of the best conditioned athletes in the world. 

Having to fight at precise weight levels the athletes are lean, strong, powerful, and very nimble. 

I wanted to learn the routines and strategies these warriors use, and apply them to my "weekend warriors". 

Juan Carlos Santana, one of the top strength coaches in the world, led us through some sample circuits.

MMA Strength and Conditioning Certification, JC Santana, Boca Raton, FL

 (Me in all black training on the PowerMax 360)

You can check out a video of us going through a circuit here.  

He gave us a lot of information on how he and his team prepare his fighters to outlast the competition.  (Isn't this what many of us are trying to do in the real world?  Have the stamina to be the best at work, and have incredible energy to spend with our family and loved ones.) 

JC demonstrated both the science and real world application.  Just like at boot camp, smart programming with consistent effort can produce excellent results. 

Probably the most valuable part of this weekend was the question and answer period with the fighters.


2011-04-16_IHP Fighters @ IHP

(MMA Fighters at IHP Fit in Boca Raton, FL) 

The fighters reminded me what it takes to be champion. 

  • No excuses.
  • Unrelenting passion, focus, and determination.
  • Extreme dedication.
  • Commitment to being the best.  

My take away from the weekend was a reminder of how often I feel sad and frsutrated that so many people quit, or sell themselves short. 

I see it time and time again in my clients.

The tools are here to reach the highest levels in health and in life.   

Aren't you in a fight for your life? 

To be the best mom or dad?  To be the best at your profession?  And so on... 

Don't back away...step up and fight.

Get Serious by Stephen Cooper

Here is my mentor, Todd Durkin of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego going over the basics of succeeding at fat loss.

You'll notice that we recommend the same things.

There is a formula to success in getting leaner and losing the fat, please watch and get to it.

Using the Tiger Tail for Muscle Soreness by Stephen Cooper

This morning in boot camp class, one of my clients asked what she could do to reduce muscle soreness.

I often recommend using the foam roller, but in this video, I suggest using the Tiger Tail too.

It's smaller and quite often easier to hit the target...meaning those sore muscles.

Have a look at the video, and give it a try.



Welcome to A New Boot Camp by Stephen Cooper

New Clients, Welcome to Boot Camp Pasadena by Stephen Cooper

New clients, welcome to Boot Camp Pasadena.

Like I mention in this short video, the first few classes are going to be challenging...and you are going to be sore. If you haven't exercised in a while, you are probably going to be quite sore.

If you feel bewildered and overwhelmed, that is totally normal.  Some of the other people in the boot camp have been with me close to two years, so they definitely know what they are doing.  Soon you will too.

I am here to help, and so are your fellow boot campers. 

I pride myself in creating a supportive group.  We are in this together.

The most important thing is that you have made the commitment, and you have the courage to show up...I totally admire you for this.  Pat yourself on the back.  There are many who talk about change, but fewer are those who actually do something.  You are doing it!

Don't Settle. Challenge Yourself to Be Your Best. by Stephen Cooper

"It is not the critic who counts.

Not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled

or how the doer of the deeds might have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena

whose face is marred with sweat, dust, and blood.

Who strives valiantly,

who lives and comes up short again and again.

Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions

and spends himself in a worthy cause.

Who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement

and who, if he fails at least fails while daring greatly.

So that his place shall never be with those cold and timed souls

who know neither victory nor defeat."

Compete. Lady Boot Campers Kick A.. by Stephen Cooper

So we've got a little friendly competition going on here at boot camp.

On Monday night we did a fun little exercise with the BOSU ball.  I actually had the pleasure to meet with David Weck, the creator of the BOSU ball late last year.  He is super passionate about training, and a great guy to talk to about training.

I won't divulge what the exact challenge is (you gotta train with us to experience it), but I can tell you that it will get your heart pumping and your legs pumped...and maybe burn some calories too.

The point of this challenge is to see where you are at, and to push yourself.  Our winner with the top number won herself a nice little Under Armour bag.  The good thing is that when we do this challenge, the "winner" will be the one who improves the most.  Keeping working hard.

I know that there are still a few of you who need to compete in this challenge, but so far our winner is Laura T. of the morning class.  She really kicked a.. .  The ladies were super tough!

Here she is with her prize.

Laura wins the BOSU ChallengeFor those of you who competed but didn't quite get still got a nice prize, right?  (That prize was 15% at my buddy Onil's restaurant, Elements in Pasadena.)  If you haven't eaten there yet, do yourself a favor and bring your loved ones for an incredible experience.  Today is their 1 year anniversary too!

Speaking of Onil...look who got caught on video doing the BOSU Challenge.