Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Sgt Shanahan's kettlebell workout is a sure fire bet to shred the fat. Before I wrote this and posted this video, I did it. I can't say enough about his kettlebell workout and I would advise you to pick up some kettlebells, the Sgt Shanahan DVD, the e-manuals and get your body ready for the beach baby!

Funk Roberts


I had a friend ask me about the best ways to help her stiff and painful hips. The hips often bear the brunt of daily activities such as walking and running. It is important as you get older, particularly if you have arthritis, to get involved in three major types of exercises including stretching, strengthening, and non-impact aerobic forms of exercise.

Avoiding physical activity because of pain or discomfort also can lead to significant muscle loss and excessive weight gain. Exercise, as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, can improve joint mobility, muscle strength, overall physical conditioning and help to maintain a healthy weight.

A tailored program that includes a balance of three types of exercises - range-of-motion, strengthening and endurance exercises - can relieve the stiffness, soreness and protect joints from further damage. You can also increase muscle flexibility and strength, maintain joint movement, maintain weight to reduce pressure on the joints and help keep bone and cartilage tissue strong and healthy.

Range-of-Motion Exercises

Range-of-motion exercises (also called stretching or flexibility exercises) help maintain normal joint function by increasing and preserving joint mobility and flexibility. In this group of exercises, affected joints are conditioned by gently straightening and bending the joints in a controlled manner as far as they comfortably will go. During the course of a range-of-motion exercise program, the joints are stretched progressively farther (maintaining comfort levels) until normal or near-normal range is achieved and maintained.

In addition to preserving joint function, range-of-motion exercises are an important form of warm-up and stretching, and should be done prior to performing strengthening or endurance exercises or engaging in any other physical activity. A physician or physical therapist can provide you with instructions on how to perform range-of-motion exercises for the fingers, shoulders and back, chin and neck, hips, knees and ankles.

Three excellent ROM of exercises are:

1. Internal Rotation - lie on your back bring your knee to your chest, clasp your hands on the front of your shin and internally rotate the hip while keeping the pelvis as flat as possible.

2. Thread-the-Needle - lie on your back, bend the knee on the good side and place the foot down flat. Take your affected leg, bend the knee and cross your "bad" leg on top of the "good" thigh. Reach down with the arm on the "bad" side through the hole created by the crossed leg on top of the thigh. Reach down with the hand on the good side and clasp both your hands together behind the good thigh. Pull up slowly and gently to stretch the bad hip.

3. Knees to Chest - lying on your back, bend both knees together, and bring them toward your chest. Then slowly move them in an ever-widening circle, keeping your lower spine on the floor. After you do 5 to 10 circles, switch direction. Then slowly come back to your original position.

Strengthening Exercises

Strong muscles help keep weak joints stable and more comfortable and protected against further damage. A program of strength-conditioning exercises that target specific muscle groups can be beneficial as part of your program. There are several types of strengthening exercise that, when performed properly, can maintain or increase supportive muscle tissue without aggravating affected joints.

Isometric exercises are designed to strengthen targeted muscle groups without bending painful joints. Isometrics involve no joint movement, but rather strengthen muscle groups by using an alternating series of isolated muscle flexes and periods of relaxation.

Isotonic Exercises are similar to range-of-motion exercises because they involve joint mobility. However, this group of exercises is more intensive, achieving strength development through increased repetitions or speed of repetitions, or by introducing light-weight resistance with small dumbbells or stretch bands.

Hydrotherapy or aquatherapy (water therapy), is a program of exercises performed in a large pool. Aquatherapy may be easier on painful joints because the water takes some of the weight off of the affected areas while providing resistance training.

A physical therapist or fitness instructor (preferably one with experience working with arthritis patients) can provide you with instruction on how to correctly and effectively perform isometric and isotonic exercises.

Endurance Exercise

The foundation of endurance training is aerobic exercise, which includes any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously for a long period of time and is rhythmic in nature. Aerobic activity conditions the heart, lungs and cardiovascular system to:

When paired with a healthy diet, aerobic activity also is fundamental for weight control (which reduces excess pressure on affected joints) and improving overall general health.

You should perform about 15 minutes of aerobic activity at least three times a week at first, then gradually build up to 30 minutes daily. The activity also should include at least 5 to 10 minutes of warm up plus 5 to 10 minutes of cool down. While peak benefits are achieved when an aerobic activity is performed continuously for at least 30 minutes, aerobic exercise can be spread out in smaller segments of time throughout the day to suit your comfort level, without overexerting yourself.

Aerobic exercise should be performed at a comfortable, steady pace that allows you to talk normally and easily during the activity. Ask your therapist what intensity of exercise is appropriate for your fitness level.

Examples of aerobic activities include walking, swimming, low-impact aerobic dance, skiing and biking, and may even include such daily activities as mowing the lawn, raking leaves or playing golf. Walking is one of the easiest aerobic exercise programs to begin because it requires no special skills or equipment other than a good pair of supportive walking shoes, and it's less stressful on joints than running or jogging.

Biking also may be more beneficial to people with arthritis than other aerobic activities because it places less stress on knee, foot and ankle joints.

New Exercise Program

Regardless of your condition, discuss exercise options with a physician before beginning any new exercise program. Also, begin new exercise programs under the supervision of a physical or occupational therapist, preferably one with experience working with arthritis patients.

People with arthritis who are beginning a new exercise program should spend some time conditioning using a program that consists only of range-of-motion and strengthening exercises, depending on their physical and athletic condition. Endurance exercises should be added gradually, and only after you feel comfortable with your current fitness level.

As with any change in lifestyle, your body will have to take time to adapt to your new program. During the first few weeks, you may notice changes in the way your muscles feel, changes in your sleep patterns or different energy levels. These changes are to be expected with increased activity levels. However, improper exercise levels or programs may be harmful.

Consult your physician or therapist and adjust your program.

Good Luck
Funk Roberts
Don't Rush the Beat


Fitness Trainer Michael Olsen demonstrates the Basic Pushup Pyramid.

The pushup pyramid is a series of pushups that can be done at home or at the gym. The exercise consists of five parts. The first is a standard pushup. The second brings one arm into the body to create an asymmetric pushup. The third is a narrow pushup. In this pushup, it is important to keep the arms tight to the body. The fourth is an asymmetric pushup again finishing with the final standard pushup.

These 5 pushups create one series. Beginners should start with 2-3 series for 3 sets. Intermediate and advanced individuals should attempt 5-8 series for 3-5 sets. It is important to maintain form throughout the movement and ensure the body is in a rigid plank position to maximize core recruitment and stabilization. This series of movements targets the chest, triceps and core.

Michael Olsen is a personal trainer at System Fitness in the Beech. I have seen him transform many people so be sure to contact Mike if you have any questions or would like him as a trainer. Look for more of Michael's posts.

Funk Roberts
Keep Training for our Push Up day

Improve your Golf Game with these Exercises


The weather is great, big executives entertain their clients on the links and kids, women and men all over the world are hitting the driving range. For those of you who want to add some valuable yards off the tee and avoid those nagging golf injuries, here are some of exercises that will help win the battle against Tiger Woods.

It’s important for the golfer to complete a stretch that corresponds to the muscle he or she is working after doing their reps. And contrary to my workout beliefs, golfers should not use heavy weights. You can risk injury and get a bit too bulky for the sport.

Back is one of the best exercises for golfers. Nearly every muscle in the back is employed during a swing.
Three sets of 10 reps here will do the trick.

Strengthening your arms, triceps and shoulders will help you to increase the length of tee offs and other long range shots. Bicep curls of triceps dips and light shoulder dumbbell presses all at three sets of 10 reps is what Dr Funk prescribes

The best golfers will tell you that without a solid base, their swing would crumble. Balance and strength in the thigh, calf and glutes will lead to a powerful, fluid swing.
Squats at three sets of 10 reps could not be any better to you with the foundation.

4. ABS
The rotation of the torso is enhanced by strong abs and crunches - three sets of 10 (try to increase reps every workout) will not only help with the swing, but you will also get that 6 pack that will aspire to.

It’s important for the golfer to complete a stretch that corresponds to the muscle he or she is working after doing their reps. And contrary to my workout beliefs, golfers should not use heavy weights. You can risk injury and get a bit too bulky for the sport.

There you have it. Whether you are preparing for the PGA/LPGA Championships, your local Golf Club Tournament or you just want to improve your game, strength training is essential not only to increase your power, but also longevity in the sport.

Funk Roberts
Don’t Rush the Beat


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Monday, April 7, 2008


Hello Readers,

Climate change is the single biggest environmental threat facing our world today! In order to help WWF-Canada fight climate change on behalf of people like you and me, I've decided to climb the CN Tower.

I've signed up to climb the CN Tower's 1,776 steps to help WWF-Canada fight global warming and I need your support! I am climbing with my Workopolis Team on April 17, 2008 between, 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Sponsorship: I also need to raise money and would appreciate your support. For every pledge of $20 or more you will get a tax receipt and you will be supporting a worthy cause. I do not have much time to raise some money but with your support we can do it.
Pledge what you can. $5, $10. $20 or more.

Click this link to sponsor a climber with Workopolis click this link (Marc Roberts):

The concern and awareness we have for our planet has increased and this is a great way to raise some money for an important cause. Every stair I climb and every pledge I acquire will bring us one step closer to help fight climate change, the single biggest environmental threat facing our world today.

You will help protect our oceans and coasts, our freshwater and forests, and wildlife everywhere.

It won’t take long for you to make a difference!

Thank you so much for your support

Marc Funk Roberts

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I am always intrigued to try different workout and exercise programs to continually shock my body into growth or fat burn. High-reps have been something that I have wanted to master as your muscles increase its endurance. Anytime I feel a body part is getting stagnant, I'll do a set of 100 and that’ll be my whole workout for the body part that day.

I’ll start with a weight that I can get 25-30 reps and then strip the weight as the set progresses.

The pump is amazing and painful in a good way of course.

Regular use of the hundreds can increase muscle development, separation and definition. It will also help you to grow bigger and stronger, when you return to a standard heavier weight-lower rep program.

If you decide you want to give this difficult yet rewarding program, here is how it is done. You want to complete 100 reps per set, but you should reach muscular failure before the mark is reached.

The goal is to perform at least 70 reps before stopping for a breather. If you can complete 100 reps without stopping, then the weight is too light and you’ll need to increase it next workout. When you are at failure, try resting for the number of seconds that corresponds to the number of reps you have left.

Once you can perform more than 70 reps without hitting failure, then slightly increase the weight (2 ½ pounds for smaller groups and 5 pounds for larger.

Albert Einstein defined as insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

So with that in mind, give this crazy workout a try.

The Funk 900
This is a routine for the entire body, but you can break it up by doing 2-3 exercises per body part performing 100 reps each

Quads/Glutes – Leg Press – 1 set of 100 reps
Hamstrings – Lying Leg Curl – 1 set of 100 reps
Back – Seated Cable Row – 1 set of 100 reps
Chest – Flat Bench Dumbbell Press – 1 set of 100 reps
Shoulders – Seated Dumbbell Press – 1 set of 100 reps
Biceps – Barbell Curl – 1 set of 100 reps
Triceps – Pressdowns – 1 set of 100 reps
Calves – seated calf raise machine – 1 set of 100 reps
Abs – Ab crunch machine – 1 set of 100 reps

Funk Roberts
Don't Rush the Beat

If you need help getting through your workouts and training programs or thinking about running a marathon or triathlon. Then design your own drink formula to
help you reach your goal.


It seems like the scope of fitness and nutritional advice from, professionals, celebrities and scientific health pros are limitless. But there are some things that just don’t make sense. Funk has compiled six health myths and why we should ignore them.

1. THE LESS FAT YOU EAT, THE BETTER – There are four different kinds of fats: Saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans-fat. . Avoid saturated and trans-fats, which are associated with the increase blood cholesterol. The other two fats, however, lower blood cholesterol, increase nutrient absorption and enhance food flavour. AN adult should have about 65 grams or less of fat each day. Less than a third of that should be “bad” fats, so stay away from processed foods. Supplement your meals with healthy fats found in foods like avocado, almonds and olive oil.

2. HIGH-PROTEIN, LOW-CARB DIETS ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE FOR WEIGHT LOSS – While the low-carb diet has long been a trendy option, it cannot support optimal health for long. Restricting essential carbohydrates prevents you from getting the vitamins and minerals that you need to keep your body healthy. Adequate carbohydrates must be consumed daily to restore glycogen levels.

3. YOU CAN LOSE AND MAINTAIN WEIGHT WITHOUT EXERCISE AND YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT IF YOU DO EXERCISE – Both myths are a recipe for unhealthy living. You can lose weight without exercise, but cutting calories to the extreme will only lead to eating disorders. And as good as physical activity is for you, if you don’t couple it with a proper diet, it won’t help you lose weight. Remember the weight loss only occurs when you burn more calories than you eat.

4. FRUIT AND SPORTS DRINKS ARE GOOD REPLACEMENTS FOR WATER – Although fruit and sports drinks contain water, they are not replacements for it. Sports drinks overdose in sodium (to replace loss by excessive sweating) and sugar (to supplement depleted carbohydrate reserves). These drinks should be reserved for athletes who endured extended strenuous workouts. Sports and Fruit drinks add countless calories along with flavour.

5. WHEN FOODS ARE “LOW-FAT” OR “FAT-FREE” YOU CAN EAT AS MUCH OF THEM AS YOU LIKE – Most low-fat and fat-free foods are highly processed. And while they boast less fat, they don’t supply much nutritionally. They contain too many calories because manufacturers add-sugar, flour and starch to replace flavour lost through fat removal. Don’t get duped by a label: Just because a food is lowfat doesn’t mean it’s calorie-free. Eat foods naturally low in fat like vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

6. AVOID LIFTING WEIGHTS BECAUSE THEY WILL MAKE YOU BULK UP – This is a myth that is probably the number one excuse by women looking to avoid weight training. While men gain bulk when they lift, women can weight train to increase muscle definition without looking like a bodybuilder. The reason for the difference is that females have one-tenth the amount of testosterone levels that males have. Women who weight train help themselves lose body fat and build lean muscle. They become stronger, firmer and can strengthen bone density which will help prevent osteoporosis.

Funk Roberts

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Here is a great move for the arms, shoulders, chest, and core. Holding the kettlebell in one hand, place hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your body in a straight line, lower your chest to the floor and as you come up drive the kettlebell to chest height. Repeat. Switch sides.

Aim for 3 sets of 10.

Estella Hom
Get your kettlebell workout for women today