Rommel’s FLOW: Fitness Lifestyle for Optimum Wellness

Strategies to Keep Fitness Simple In Your Busy Life

Just Get It Done!

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I just got back from an amazing trip to New York and New Jersey volunteering (on the coaching/support team) for a self-improvement workshop, and attending a mastermind meeting within my industry.  In my mastermind group there were 5 of the biggest names in my industry and it was amazing learning from them.  Simply put, they gave me a much needed kick in the a$$ to move forward on projects that I’ve been putting off due to many excuses – or as James Arthur Ray likes to say “Good Stories”.

You see, so many of us have the passion to pursue things but lack the drive and discipline to keep it in our sights. We let “ourselves” get in the way, and blame the lack of results on “life” getting in the way. Whether you agree with me or not, we are always responsible for our results – ALWAYS.  If that pushes your buttons, I have three words and three fingers pointing right at your face simply telling you to “Get Over It”. That’s right, I said it, “Get Over It”.

Pointing fingers (photo credit: cowbite)

Pointing fingers (photo credit: cowbite)

I’ve learned that who we are today isn’t a determiner of who we will be, but is a direct result of our past actions. By now you’re probably saying, “Rommel, what the heck does this have to do with fitness?” Everything! Every week I hear clients telling me every “good story” or excuse in their book as to why they’re not achieving the results they want. They point fingers at others when they should be pointing the finger at themselves. Only you can push yourself harder in a workout, only you can put non-nutritious food in your mouth, and only you can control your time to dedicate to your fitness plan and achieve the results you’re looking for.

As fitness professionals/coaches we’re here to help motivate you, and to provide you the tools and the “map” to your fitness goals, but we are definitely not the ones to drive you there. It’s not our place. So get over yourself, stop complaining, and just get done what needs to be done. Take small steps if needed, but just understand that every small step achieved is a victory not a challenge. At least you took action, and that’s better than 90% of the individuals out there. Take inspired action, get it done, and before you know it you’ve achieved the results you’ve been looking for.

Do you agree or disagree with this post?  Are you taking inspired action? Questions/comments about today’s post?

– Rommel

Photo credit: cowbite


Written by acdaflow

March 16, 2009 at 3:52 am

The Secrets of Bond Girls!

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The James Bond Girls have become as famous as 007 himself. With exotic looks and far out names it’s hard not to notice the women who portray Bond’s girls. Their presence is almost as necessary as all of 007’s cars and cool hi-tech gadgets.

I came across an article in which three of the Bond girls shared their secrets to maintaining a sexy physique.

The latest Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko said she cross-trained with martial arts and high-intensity circuit weight training. Her nutrition tip was to not overdo it with sugar, and said “The only time I had dessert was at friend’s houses!”

Halle Berry’s tip was along the lines of using an external motivator. Her motivation was knowing that she had to wear that orange bikini in Die Another Day, and to “walk sexy” coming out of the water. She too cut out sugar, ate more fruits and veggies, and focused on short, intense, and effective circuit weight training.

Michelle Yeoh explains that regular exercise is part of her life, and it’s important to incorporate it into your everyday lifestyle. She doesn’t diet, eats most things in moderation, but eats a lot of fruits and veggies.

These tips are great examples of how you don’t need to overcomplicate your fitness routine and eating habits. Cutting out refined white sugar and increasing your consumption of fruits and veggies is something we’ve been preaching consistently. Make exercise a priority in your life, but find a way to make it fit seamlessly even if it’s literally just doing 1-2 sets of bodyweight squats and pushups. You perform those two sets intensely enough it will still provide you great benefits in as little as four minutes per day.

So get off your butt right now, bust out as many squats as you can in 20 seconds, followed by as many pushups as you can in 20 seconds, and repeat that five more times. You’ll be worked for sure, and when you’re done you can bite into your favorite fruit.

Have fun with that!

– Rommel

Why You Shouldn’t Eat Meat

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Last Saturday I held a grocery store tour for a few clients. As we approached the meat section one client mentioned that they’ve pretty much cut out red meat from their diet, that people should stay away from meat, it causes a lot of problems, it’s linked to cancer, and the “China Study” reveals why.

I agree and I disagree. But let me explain something first. The “China Study” was written by Dr. Colin Campbell – a well known vegan. Of course he’s going to be anti-meat. As my business partner, Belton, and I have stated numerous times, please consider the source.

Now I’m not completely bashing Dr. Campbell, because there are very good and legitimate points stated in his book. However, there are way too many factors to consider before concluding that eating meat is the devil. Yes there’s definitive evidence that links meat with increased cancer risk, but some factors to question are,

  • The type of meat that was eaten – is it hormone pumped, grain fed beef? Or, naturally grass fed beef?
  • Were the meats processed?
  • How was the meat cooked? Grilled or Charred? (Charred beef contains cancer causing carcinogens)
  • What was eaten in combination with the beef? More saturated foods like cheeses? Or heart healthy whole grains and fruits and veggies?

Do you see my point yet? Again, there are way too many things to consider, but let me simplify what I’ve learned from my own research, and in discussions with numerous nutrition experts. It’s more about the way you combine your foods that will dictate your overall health and your physique.

We utilize these simple methods in our fat loss programs from Jayson Hunter, registered dietitian and Director of Research and Development for Prograde Nutrition:

  • For each meal fulfill one serving for each category: lean protein, fibrous carbs (any fruits or veggies), starchy (but high fiber) carbs
  • For starchy carbs do your best to choose whole, unprocessed grains such as whole grain or whole wheat breads, or other complex starchy carbs, such as sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, and brown rice.
  • Consume more healthy fats in the form of nuts, cold water fish, or supplementing with heart healthy, fat blasting essential fatty acids (we recommend Prograde’s EFA Icon, and read this blog to learn more about how essential fatty acids helps beat the battle of the bulge).
  • Drink more water! We recommend a minimum of 64oz per day.

These methods are not rocket science, and they’re definitely not new. The problem is that most people are oversimplifying the concepts (considering how we Americans tend to react to information, this isn’t surprising). Remember the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle? Take small steps by focusing on one bullet point each week. Master that bullet point then move on to the next. I guarantee you do that and you’ll be seeing results in no time.

Now back to the issue of eating meat, if you love it don’t avoid it, just make sure to eat the naturally raised grass-fed beef, and eat more fruits and veggies to go with it. Eating the right amounts of meat can be helpful in an overall supportive nutrition regimen. Not only is good quality meat high in muscle-building protein, but it’s rich in iron, and energy producing B-vitamins. Again, just make sure to add in high quality fruits and veggies for added antioxidants, and lots of fiber to round out your nutrition plan.

Yours in health,


PS – If you’re not a participant in one of our fitness and fat loss programs and would like more information about the nutrition guidelines stated above, please fill out the form on our home page and we’ll send you our “Nutrition Crash Course” guide.

**Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian. The dietary recommendations are not intended as a substitute for any treatment or dietary regimen that may have been prescribed by your physician. If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or any other metabolic disorder please discuss all nutritional changes with your physician or a registered dietician.

Breakfast is Boring!

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This morning I was in a rush to head out to teach bootcamp and didn’t have time to make my normal breakfast of an omega-3 enriched egg omelette and oatmeal topped with almonds and dried fruit. So I had to reach for my trusty shaker bottle, filled it up with water and threw in two scoops of Prograde Lean. About two seconds into shaking it up I made a huge mess, because I forgot to secure the cap and about a fourth of my shake went splashing all over the kitchen floor – AARGH!!!

I was so pissed, but calmed myself quickly knowing that I had to get to the club asap. I noticed as I was cleaning my mess up that I really wasn’t in the mood for a meal replacement shake and wanted my REAL breakfast.

Why am I telling you this story? Well, I wanted – yet again – to stress the importance of breakfast to you and how crucial it is to achieving great results, especially in regards to positively changing your body composition (or, in the words of most of my clients “lose belly fat”).

On my drive over I was like, “Gosh, this shake is so boring right now!” So I figured my blog title would express that in some way. But do NOT take this message lightly.

“You have to eat breakfast!” I know you’ve heard it a many times, and this message is nothing new. But do you have any idea how many people I talk to on a daily basis that DO NOT eat breakfast? It’s a lot! And the worst thing is that at least 70% of these people that admit this to me are overweight.

Look, I know a lot of people either don’t have much time in the morning or are just not that hungry after waking up, but you’ve got to find alternatives to feeding your body some quality nutrients in the morning.

Consider this analogy – You go to work every day, because you need to earn a good income, provide for your family with a comfortable home, food to eat, and enjoy other luxuries. You do this because you NEED the RESULT of this effort, right?

Well, Ok, then IF you want to burn fat, feel better and have more energy you NEED to eat breakfast every morning. Period. End of discussion.

Some things are boring, such as the shake I had this morning. Some things just have to be done to get the result you want. For those of you that want to burn fat all day long, breakfast is just one of those things.

Yours in health,


6-Packs and Michael Phelp’s Bong

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By now you’ve heard that our Olympic champion Michael Phelps has gotten into a lot of trouble over his bong pics. There are lessons that can be learned from this mishap.

First, we must always remember we are role models in some way. There is always a client, a family member, or a colleague somewhere looking to us for guidance. Michael Phelps screwed up, and it’s a shame, but what’s done is done. However, it reminded me that as a fitness professional, I MUST lead by example.

Second, forgiving yourself after a mishap. I believe in forgiving yourself after recognizing “fitness faults”. I’m talking about “cheat” days versus a “cheat” meal, or a less than stellar workout week. After working with hundreds of clients looking to change their body, there’s no doubt you WILL screw up along the way. When it comes to burning fat, or simply improving your fitness, it’s VERY important to recognize your mishaps, forgive yourself, then move on immediately towards positive action. If you don’t, you’ll easily be one of those that gives up their fitness goals soon after the mishap.

Third, really has nothing to do with Michael Phelps recent actions, however I was simply reminded of working hard for your fitness goals. Regardless of his actions, you have to agree that he worked super hard for his six-pack abs and to achieve such a high level of fitness. He set goals and he tackled them with such ferocity. You don’t have to be an elite athlete like Phelps, but I encourage you to work hard at becoming the best you can be in relation to your fitness goals. It’s not easy, so don’t be fooled that losing 20lbs in 12-weeks is going to be a walk in the park.

With that said, have you revisited your “Resolutions”? It’s been almost 6 weeks into the New Year, and you should have seen some decent changes and results. If not, it’s probably time to take a hard look at what’s holding you back from achieving the body or fitness level you dream of. If you want amazing conditioning you need proper nutrition AND proper intensity in your workouts. Period.

Anyway, anytime I see a story like Michael Phelp’s recent news, I always try to look for the lessons that can be learned in relation to fitness. Please share your comments on what you learned.

Dedicated to your fitness success,

Rommel Acda

PS – If you’re serious about your training and want the best nutritional products, then use what I use – Prograde Nutrition

Balancing Hormones by Dr. Lucille

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Life is all about balance.

At least I think so.

So does hormone expert Dr. Holly Lucille.

Holly’s idea of balance goes beyond day-planners and schedules. She talks about “internal” balance: Balance between your  natural hormones to help create energy,  lower bodyfat, and jacking up your

Good stuff.

I wanted to give you this today. It’s an  excerpt from Dr. Lucille’s fantastic book,  “Creating and Maintaing Balance.”

Pick it up here free —> 26 pages of Holly’s book


Four Minutes – All You Need to Start Getting Fit!

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Four minutes?  What?!  You’re probably thinking, “Great, here’s another fitness scam!”  Nope, sorry to dissapoint you. 

Enter the “Tabata Protocol”.  

In the past few years this protocol has become extremely popular as a personal training and fitness bootcamp tool. Why?  Simply, because it produces results in less time!

The Tabata Protocol is a simple interval routine proven to improve fitness levels and performance.  The protocol is performed for a minimum of 4 minutes upwards of 16 minutes.  Have I sparked your interest yet?

It is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, a former researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya.  Tabata and his colleagues researched and studied just how effective Japan’s speed-skating coach’s workouts really were.  What they discovered became a major breakthrough in the fitness field.

Here’s what they found:

Tabata Protocol (TP) vs Traditional Cardio (TC)

  • 14% (TP) vs 9.5% (TC) improvement in aerobic capacity
  • 28% (TP) vs 0% (TC) improvement in anaerobic capacity

The Tabata protocol proved not only to be more effective than traditional cardio, but to also be more effective than typical interval training.

The awesome part about these findings is that these results were experienced by elite athletes.  Many studies perform their protocols on beginners so that they can show amazing results to prove it’s effectiveness. Then follows the slick marketing that they’ve come across a superior fitness tool to produce the results you’ve been looking for.  Hopefully, by now you should know that any beginner will get results on any program.  But, when a protocol produces results in elite athletes who have superior conditioning, well it’s hard not to listen.

Make sure to consider the source.  You can view the abstract for the Tabata protocol here.

In my previous post I mentioned how to get started on a beginner Tabata workout.  So let me give you two more ways to perform them with traditional weight training exercises. 

To review, Tabata intervals consists of 20 seconds of high intensity work, followed by only 10 seconds of rest, and repeated for a total of 8 rounds.  You can perform 2 more rounds to complete 16 minutes of total work.  A word of caution, start out with one round then see how you feel.  If you do it right one round might be enough to send your breakfast out your mouth. He,he 🙂

Ok, so there are many ways to construct a Tabata workout, but I’ll only go over two of them.

Sample 1: use two non-competing exercises to perform 4 sets of each exercise 

1) Squats: perform as many as you can in 20 seconds

Rest only 10 seconds

2) Pullups: perform as many as you can in 20 seconds

Rest only 10 seconds, then repeat until you complete 4 sets.  Rest for 30-60 seconds then perform 1-2 more rounds if you think you can.


Sample 2: use four exercises that utilizes a push,pull,squat,twist/core

1) Squats: perform as many as you can in 20 seconds

Rest only 10 seconds

2) Bench/Chest Press: perform as many as you can in 20 seconds

Rest only 10 seconds

3) Dumbbell Rows: perform as many as you can in 20 seconds

Rest only 10 seconds

4)  Band Woodchops/Twists: perform as many as you can in 20 seconds

Rest only 10 seconds, then repeat for one more set to complete 4 minutes.  Rest for 30-60 seconds then perform 1-2 more rounds if you think you can.

* For both samples I’ve discovered that a weight that you can normally perform 10 reps with is a good start.  I also recommend performing your reps as fast as possible, WITH good form, so please use common sense.

Give these a shot, do it right, then let me know how you feel tomorrow!