Article by Amy Eisinger for


You can crush a spin class, run a 5K with ease, and power through weight sessions at the gym. But you still get winded climbing a flight of stairs.TiredStairClimbing

The good news is that’s totally normal. “It doesn’t mean you’re out of shape,” says Jordan Syatt, a certified personal trainer and Greatist expert. “You just elevated your heart rate and need more oxygen.” Unless you’re doing staircase workouts or using the StairMaster religiously, a quick burst of energy can leave you short of breath, says Nieca Goldberg, M.D., a cardiologist and director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Climbing a flight of stairs uses more muscles than the simple act of walking, Syatt says. After all, you’re essentially doing lunges uphill (and fighting gravity in the process). And a move like that might be slightly more advanced than most people’s fitness level, Goldberg says. As any trainer will tell you, once a workout becomes too easy, you need to add intensity if you want to keep seeing progress. At the new level of difficulty, you’ll be challenged again.

Another potential culprit? If you’re already working out vigorously to train for a strenuous event, like a half or full marathon, getting up a flight of stairs is just contributing to your already heavy workload. Running up 20 stairs, as opposed to running 20 paces on flat land, combines an aerobic activity with a strength activity, says Jason Fitzgerald, a certified track and field coach and Greatist expert. “Even if you’re in great shape, that’s going to get you out of breath very quickly,” Fitzgerald says.

Your Action Plan

“Like anything, you’ll get better at it with practice,” Fitzgerald says. Syatt suggests incorporating lower-body strength exercises like split squats, lunges, and reverse lunges into your workouts to help mimic the movement of going up stairs.

“Start with your own body weight, then eventually add 15, 30, or even 40 pounds,” Syatt says. “When you’re walking up the stairs, it’ll be a lot easier because you’re more conditioned for it.”

So go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief—as soon as you get to the top, that is.


“I don’t dream of success – I work for it.” -anon

Today everyone is remembering the movie, ‘Back to the Future’. Today is the day Marty McFly arrives from the past. Not a big deal for me, but it did give me pause to look back at what I was doing when that movie came out and see how far I’ve come. In 1985, I was still in grade school – still fours years away from joining the track team and other sports teams. I had yet to build any muscle or run over 25 miles in a week.

Fast forward 30 years, I’ve increased my running mileage dramatically. Last week, I hit over 40 miles for the first time ever. I hit 46 miles on a 8+ miler with my Ragnar team on a training run at the Tempe Town lake, which included a run up and down ‘A mountain’. This is what it looked like:

Admittedly, I’m sore, I feel a little deflated, but I feel strong and my mind stays focused. This is definitely a different feeling than when I solely hit the weights. I think I like it.

BUT… My next event is the Tough Mudder. So the WOD today and Friedy is focusing on upper body and core strength.

Here we go!

WOD 10-21-15

Warm up: Jump rope (5 mins, followed by a warm up stretch)

Main set4 sets of

  • Pullups
  • Pushups
  • Plank – 1 minute
  • Mountain climbers
  • Burpees

Spend one minute on each exercise, then

  • Plyometric pushups (clapping pushups without clapping)
    • My variation is to place a weight ball under one hand, then execute the pushup so my opposite hand lands on the ball. Repeat it to complete the set.
  • Standing dumbbell curls
    • The standing variation requires core concentration
  • rest

Again, one minute each.

That’s it!

The intensity is up to you because you’re aiming for time, not reps. You can keep going when you start feeling the fatigue or you can stop – the decision is yours, as are the results.

You got this!

See you on Friday.




“You can never cross the ocean if you don’t have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

…Not sure where this is going, but just get your workout done…” – me

I’ve been on the road for about five hours today. Ran early this morning. Visited the Kartchner Caverns in Benson, AZ. Ran a few errands. Made dinner for the kids. Now I’m stretching out to get this WOD done. After I’m done, my day won’t even be over yet.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I have a full life, just like many of you do, but if I can find time to get my WOD done, so can you.

Let’s go!

WOD 10-14-15

Warm up: 5 min brisk walk or light jog, then stretch.

Main set: (Use light weights, with emphasis on the word, LIGHT)

  • Deadlifts: 25 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 25 reps
  • Side Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 25 reps
  • Seated Rows: 14 reps


  • Deadlifts: 25 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 25 reps
  • Side Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 25 reps
  • Seated Rows: 14 reps


  • Deadlifts: 25 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 25 reps
  • Side Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (both arms at the same time): 25 reps
  • Seated Rows: 14 reps


  • Rear Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (one arm at a time): 50 reps

***I used 135lbs for the deadlifts, 12lb dumbbells for the shoulder raises, and varied between 150 and 180lbs for the seated cable rows. I cannot stress it enough to use a weight that is light for you.***

Cooldown: Hydrate and stretch!

This is not timed.  Just keep moving on to the next rep.  Don’t stop and you’ll find you’re  MUCH stronger than your brain was telling you…

You got this!

We’re running on Friday. See you then.




“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. ” -Walter Elliott

I got two of my intended runs in this weekend. Total of 15 miles. I felt good, overall. I focused on breathing and proper running form instead of speed, but focusing on those two things made my average run times about 30-45 seconds faster per mile! With the McDowell mountain Ragnar coming up and the next XTERRA trail race both coming up soon, I’m feeling good about my progression.

Time to change it up…

This little WOD is about as simple as it gets.  You can do it for time.  You can do it to focus on form.  Me, I’m doing it because my body needs to work through the recovery from the run this morning.  So… We got this – LET’S GO!
Warm-up: Jump rope (5 minutes)

Main set: (5 sets)

  • 20 Push-ups
  • 20 Body weight squats
  • 20 Burpees
  • 20 Crunches

Cool down: Stretch (and hydrate)!
That’s it! I’ll be going on a run tomorrow morning.  See you on Wednesday!


“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” ~ William Barclay

Time to run…

My next event is the Tough Mudder in Temecula, CA at the end of the month. My overall strength is actually pretty good. I’m satisfied with my ability to climb ropes, scale walls, and ‘face all my fears’ during the event. My weakest link has always been running. So… today, tomorrow, and Sunday… I’ll be running.

WOD 10-9-15


Always take time to warm up with a good 10-15 minute brisk walk or light jog. At the very least, start your run out at a very light pace. Then take a little time to stretch out your muscles while they’re warm.

Main set:

  • Try aiming for distance or time.
  • Focus on your form, breathing, and consistent pace.
  • Push when you can, but listen to your body – how it feels at the pace you’ve taken.
  • Remember to re-hydrate and recover with a good stretch and a good meal within two hours of finishing.

That’s it.

Have a great weekend! See you on Monday.





“You won’t get the butt you want by sitting on the one you got.” – anon

Just went for another ‘canal run’ this morning with @scottlew77… here’s how I did:

I can definitely tell I’ve dropped my last 5lbs for race season… Running at 185lbs makes a huge difference for me – not necessarily with time, but in how I feel during and after my runs. It also makes it easier to get the following WOD done.

It’s becoming one of my favorites!

Here we go!

WOD 10-7-15

Warm up: 100 air squats.

  • Hang off the pullup bar for a minute or two, then go at it.

Main set:

  • 20 bar-to-chest pullups + 20 pushups
  • 15 bar-to-chest pullups + 20 pushups
  • 12 bar-to-chest pullups + 20 pushups
  • 10 bar-to-chest pullups + 20 pushups
  • 10 bar-to-chest pullups + 20 pushups

2-minute breather (REST)

  • Standing Dumbbell curls (3 sets)
    • 2 seconds up, 2 second hold, 2 seconds down (5 reps/side) – lower the weight, then
    • 2 seconds up, 2 second hold, 2 seconds down (5 reps/side) – lower the weight, then
    • 2 seconds up, 2 second hold, 2 seconds down (5 reps/side)

1-minute breather (REST)

  • 1 set of tricep pushups to failure, then three more forced reps

That’s it! Be sure to get your recovery meal into within a half hour and re-hydrate.

Remember that you can scale this to your ability. For example, to do half this WOD, the rep count for the pullups would be 10,8,7,5,5, then 10 pushups each set.


See you on Friday!



“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary

I ran the 8K XTERRA trail race yesterday morning in the Estrella mountains, southeast of Phoenix.

I felt good, but I didn’t push 100% on the hills and I missed getting into the top 10. In fact, my time of 49:22 was 14 seconds slower than the 10th place runner in my age group.

Going up the hills on the back side of the course, there were a few areas where the track opened up just enough that I could have run past the string of 8 or 10 runners ahead of me.

…but I didn’t, and that is what made the difference of me getting not getting into the top 10.

I do these races to gauge where I am in my prep for the OCR event series I run, namely the Spartan race series and the Tough Mudder events around the country.  I think I used that rationale as my excuse to not push harder. In the end, I regretted it because I knew I could do it and just didn’t.

At any rate, I realized I’ve still got a ways to go to being where I want/need to be for the rest of the races this year.

Admittedly, I was sore this morning… so the WOD I performed just forced me to get me moving. It’s as intense as you make it – you vs you.

Here we go…

WOD 10-5-15

Warm up: Jump rope (5 minutes)

Main set:

  • Perform 1 minute of each exercise, with 10 second rest in-between:
    • Plank
    • Pushups
    • Mountain climbers
    • Burpees
    • Air Squats
    • Burpees
    • Mountain climbers
    • Pushups
    • Plank
    • Crunches
  • REPEAT the sequence three times (minimum)

That’s it!  Cool down with sufficient stretching, re-hydrate, then get a good meal in you.

I’ll be running the canals in the AM with my boy, Scotty… It’ll be a good time!

See you on Wednesday!




Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records. -William A. Ward

XTERRA on Sunday! I’ll be going on a run later today, but the WOD today is the Crossfit benchmark WOD, “Cindy”!  Some people hate Cindy, but it’s a timed workout against yourself so, really, it’s possible they’re afraid of their scores.

It gets tough in the middle, but you need to know what it feels like to hit a ‘limit’ and learn how to push through it.  So when you get to that  point, “you can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off your face.”

You got this.

WOD – 10-2-15

Warmup: Jump rope – 5 minutes

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

STRETCH OUT and hydrate!

I hope you have a great weekend. I’ll post my race time on twitter at @theCanaPino

See you Monday!


Article written by Prograde author, Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES

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What do you think is the most popular New Year’s resolution for this year – and pretty much every other year?

Give up?

It’s to get a six-pack!

You see it every day when you hit the gym… The people doing endless crunches, sit-ups, and bicycle crunches because they want to get the flat stomach or rippling six-pack…

But the truth is:  They are doing it all WRONG! Doing hundreds of crunches – over and over again – will NOT get you’re the flat midsection you’re dying to have.

So what happens then? You lose all gumption…you lose your motivation…you quit when you’re just getting started!

So here’s the deal…

I am going to give you a blueprint – one that if you use it in combination with a bulletproof diet – then you too, could have the flat midsection or rippling six-pack to show the world!

The Secret to Six-Pack Abs

If you search the internet, over 3,000,000 results will come up in regards to getting a six-pack.

Some of the tips are good…while others may not be so good.

If you really want to get a six-pack this year, then you need to do the following:

1) Eat a healthy diet – this is the most crucial step in stripping away the small – or thick – layer of fat that is covering your belly.

You should be focusing your efforts on lean cuts of meat, whole fruits and vegetables, essential fats (coconut oil, olive oil, and Krill oil), and plenty of healthy carbs.

These foods may go a long way to boosting your metabolism and stripping away the fat that is covering your six-pack.

2) You need to exercise – this is another crucial step in the six-pack process.  Now, before you think your exercise plan should contain hundreds – if not thousands – of crunches, think again!

There are plenty of other exercises that you may be able to do that could lead you to a stronger core and lower back.

And this could eventually lead to a six-pack!

So what exercises should you do? Well, you should be focusing on exercises that help stabilize your and build strength in your lower back, hips, abs, and all the other supporting muscle groups.

One of the best exercises for accomplishing this is (drumroll please)…


This is one of the most fundamental exercises that taxes almost every muscle in your body – but especially the core.

The best part of the plank:  Anyone can do them!

Some may have to start at a different point them others, but most people should be able to the plank for developing the core.

The plank is an exercise that can be changed to make it harder (feet position) or to put stress on different areas of the core (1-arm plan reach).

So, here’s what you need to do to start off the plank:

First, you should start in the push-up position (can be done from the knees as well).  Bend your elbows so they are at a 90 degree angle with your weight now resting on your forearms.

Now , straighten your legs so you are in full push-up position with your hips parallel to the floor, with your body in a straight line from your head to your feet.

Tuck your belly in towards your spine and maintain a tight core throughout the exercise.

For beginners, you should focus on holding it as long as you can,  It could be 10 seconds or 30 seconds, whatever the time, you’re working on getting your core stronger which will help with almost every aspect of your life.

But what happens if you can’t hold it for a long time?

It’s okay if you can’t hold it for a long time…

The more you practice and the more you do it, the stronger your core will become.

That means no more back pain…

A stronger core that keeps the fat OFF your belly…

And an easier time doing every day activities like playing with your kids or going hiking!

Take Home Message

Let’s recap right now what you have learned today…

First, in order to get a flatter belly you need to include the right foods in your diet.  No sugar…no processed junk…and no additives of any kind (including HFCS).

Then you need to exercise!  A program that includes strengthening, cardio, high intensity training (not for everyone), and flexibility is a great, well-rounded workout.

If you notice, I didn’t mention crunches or sit ups!  If you want to maintain a strong core – one that fat melts off of – you should include the plank into your exercise program.

This is one of the BEST exercises for developing the core WITHOUT putting an abundant amount of stress on crunches.

This one exercise could make everything in your body stronger – including your abs!

So, if you want a flat belly, start using these helpful tips today!


An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises. – Mae West

I feel like hell today.  I didn’t really perform well with the ‘Angie’ workout on  Monday, but it felt good to pound through that workout.

I’m climbing Camelback with a 35lb kettlebell this morning with my friend, Ben. He’s the guy who first got me into Obstacle Course racing. It’s going to be a brutal climb, but it’s such a great workout.

The next race season begins for me this Sunday with the first race in the XTERRA Trail Race series here in AZ.  Today’s WOD will help give me good idea of where my cardio is… I’ll be doing this one later on this evening after I recover from the climb.

WOD – 9-30-15

Get to your nearest highschool football field for today’s WOD!

Warm up with a 1 mile warm up jog (4 times around the track)

Main Set

  • Run up and down each of the bleacher columns.
    • Run once around the track for time.
  • Jump up the columns, one step at a time, then walk/run down the bleacher columns
    • Run once around the track for time (aim for the previous time, or better)
  • Take the steps, two at a time, up and down each of the bleacher columns
    • Run once around the track for time (aim for the previous time, or better)
  • Jump up the columns, two steps at a time, then walk/run down the bleacher columns
    • Run once around the track for time (aim for the previous time, or better)

That’s it! 😀

I cannot stress the importance of making sure you stretch out, re-hydrate, and replace your glycogen stores with a good meal within the next 30-60 minutes…

See you on Friday!