Posts from the ‘Physical’ Category

Keep Your Friends Close, Your Enemies Closer…

and your “FRENEMIES” closest! I thought of this word while anxiously engaged in a good cause (losing my expanding waistline). Specifically, I was utilizing a principle I had learned from Dan John, one of my favorite strength and conditioning coaches, author and seemingly all around good egg.

More on Dan John in a minute, but first the principle: Inefficient Exercise, which he defines as

“doing something that takes a lot of movement and breathing and really doesn’t get you very far. If you are poor at swimming or dancing, swim or dance.”

My chosen Inefficient Exercise was riding my fixed gear bike. Although not a true “fixie” as these single speed bikes are commonly known, as my bike is set up to “freewheel” allowing me to rest when riding/coasting downhill. It is nonetheless, VERY inefficient for me, and as Coach Dan John has taught, a great way to lose body fat, exercise for met-con (metabolic conditioning), aerobic exercise, etc.

So why “frenemies?” After all, I am clearly a fan of Dan John and his coaching and should see him as a friend in my life… well, the truth is, because I was hurting. Bad. But that is good, inefficient, and in this case, and for my purpose effective, right? Right! But still, in my agony, I started “hating on” the guiltless Dan John… my new… “frenemy.”

Dan John is someone who teaches principles that are simple but not easy!  Principles that expose my weaknesses for my benefit! In my life, I have been blessed with many friends who have taught me myriad correct principles. When I am my best self I have had “enemies” who have taught me my own weaknesses, and therefore my most important life lessons personally.

During today’s efforts, I thought of some amazing “frenemies” I would like to introduce over the next several weeks, months, years? People who teach myriad correct principles that can expose personal weaknesses and help you develop YOUR best self, more than any friend or foe!

Examples: The aforementioned Dan John on Strength, Conditioning and being an amazing Coach! Jocko Willink and Leif Babin on Leadership, and Tim Ferriss on all things Learning/Teaching and Training/Coaching.

I am an unapologetic “bibliophile” and have read extensively the great writings of these three. Jocko and Tim also have amazing podcasts. My hope is to share with you some of what I have learned for your benefit, in hopes that you too might study these great Teachers/Coaches/Mentors, and selfishly to journal some of my experiences while putting their principles to the test! So…

“Keep your friends close, your enemies closer and your frenemies CLOSEST!”



The Human Diet

You are in the middle of a river (Time) and facing downstream. The future approaches you from behind… only to recede into the past, which actually lies in front of you, moving ever farther away. If you could look far enough downstream you would see the beginning of the stream and in essence, everything.Robb Wolf, The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet.

With a focus on the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and well being in modern humans,  Dr. Loren Cordain, a Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University, looked far enough downstream, to find the answer to today’s dietary issues. His focused backward glance in time resulted in an excellent book The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat.

Robb Wolf, Co-Owner of Nor-Cal Strength and Conditioning and also a renowned CrossFit Coach read much of Dr. Cordain’s work, became a student of Dr. Cordain’s and eventually wrote The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet.  Robb Wolf’s work is an engaging study of Dr. Cordain’s work coupled with practical advice for incorporating this, the human diet, into our modern lives.

If you don’t have the time or energy, or if you’re not a pointy headed academic geek, like me (I actually enjoy reading about exercise and diet), trust me and give both CrossFit and The Paleo Solution a good 12 week trial. It will make all the difference in the world for you. After years of study and experimentation in my own life, these two methods get my highest recommendation and continued support.

Thanks for stopping by, sorry for the delay in today’s post, I suspect a later post on Tuesdays will be the norm! Joe H

P.S. To save yourself some time and facilitate a smooth transition into a paleo diet that will fit your lifestyle, visit Robb’s blog HERE. Like CrossFit, Robb’s site is jam packed full of information to support the use of his book and your success.

On Getting Older WITHOUT Ageing

Everyone wants to get older, no one wants to age! –Joe Hamilton, talking with a patient, sometime last year.

As a “baby boomer,” (along with every other generation) I’m getting older. I really feel it at work when I ask my co-workers to “get me a ‘xerox’ of this chart please.” Most just look at me quizzically and ask, “you need me to copy that chart?” Others are so young they don’t know that xerox is now one of many copier manufacturers, much less remember a time when xerox was the ONLY company that made copy machines!

Heck, I remember “dittos!” The copy machine that rendered all of our printed material at school in a distinct blue print!

And of course, like every red-blooded American male boomer of the 70’s I remember “dittos” the great looking pants girls wore to school…  Hey guys, I’m happy to report dittos (the pants of course) are making a comeback! Sorry, back on topic;

There is, however a way to get older without excessive ageing. Exercise and eating right. Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger. Seriously, best exercise methodology (if applied correctly) for slow-ageing? CrossFit. This is my informed opinion, for three reasons:

1. CrossFit has THE best methods, based on a comprehensive definition of fitness, and strict adherence to aligning it’s programming with human energy systems, as opposed to training for aesthetics.

2. CrossFit continues to develop best practices of it’s methods by using an open source philosophy, the only exercise methodology to my knowledge to take advantage of the internet, communication and media, strictly for the purpose of improving the practice of developing peak human performance. (As opposed to strictly for marketing)

3. CrossFit is scale-able. Don’t discount CrossFit for it’s focus on Olympic Weightlifting, gymnastics, sprint training, and their use in a high intensity interval training format. It’s true affiliate gyms and their coaches are taught to scale workouts to each athlete’s abilities. Can’t do a single push-up, pull-up or dip? Think you might be allergic to iron, and/or can’t see yourself doing a barbell clean from the floor? Haven’t run in awhile? Don’t worry there’s ways to get you from zero to hero WITHOUT injury… in the hands of the right coach!

Check the CrossFit affiliate in your area. If the workouts are not scaled to your needs, there’s probably two or more CrossFit affiliates in your city or surrounding area to choose from, find the right fit.

Even if there are no CrossFit affiliates in your area, go to the main website and subscribe to the CrossFit Journal. For $25.00 bucks a year  some of the BEST writing on strength and conditioning anywhere! You get a searchable database of all past journals, videos, pod-casts and articles, along with the new material that comes out every month. An amazing resource.

So there’s your answer to the exercise half of the equation. What about the whole “eating right,” half you ask? Great question, I will attempt to answer that tomorrow! Until then; please, continue to get older (it’s better than the alternative!) and I hope you’ll visit again for more suggestions on how to do so with less “ageing” along the way!

Computers, Sex and Nuclear Energy

What do these seemingly disparate subjects have in common?

Computers, Sex, and Nuclear Energy, each has the power to create, each has the power to destroy. Joe Hamilton –Peakaboomer, January 2012

Wow! Pretty heavy no? Fear not, I won’t bore you with a verbose philosophical, moral, spiritual, political rant. If you’re asking why in the name of peak performance I would come to make such a statement, the answer is simple. At least in my wandering, ADD riddled brain. My intention this morning (Tuesday, January 10, 2012) was to CREATE an informative and motivating post with a video about a recent service project my family and I went on in Mexico. Alas my computer had a different plan! It (my computer) hasn’t necessarily DESTROYED  my plans but you may see this post and video later today… or maybe even Wednesday the 11th, as I sit here writing this I’m honestly not sure yet!

On a serious note, I’m curious what your thoughts are on my quote, please do comment! When I said this I was thinking in serious terms:

COMPUTERS can create a myriad of opportunities in education, employment and more, or it can destroy via gambling, pornography and other all too popular websites.

SEX can create a temple (body) for a new spirit sent to a family from Heaven itself, or it can destroy the same family if conducted outside of marital bonds.

NUCLEAR ENERGY can create power for the use of entire cities, or it can destroy the same cities if applied in the form of a weapon of mass destruction.

Well there you are. Hopefully we’ll go out and create all things positive, with the many tools God has given us in these modern times. If I’ve met my goal for today’s “creation” you should be able to watch a video (above) showing the boys and girls of Casa Hogar (literally; House Home) Buena Vida (Good Life) In La Mision, Baja California, Mexico. Linda (see about page under peakaboomer tittle) created this video from pictures she shot while we (Linda and I, Cameron, Cody, and A.J.) served there. The music is a great track, I won’t let go, from Rascal Flatts’ album, Nothing Like This. If the video is not here when you visit, don’t worry I won’t let the computer demons win! I WILL PERSIST, I WILL SUCCEED  Have a great day, night, week… (I still don’t know when my computer will let me post this!) Joe H

P.S. A special thanks to my friend Pete Greene for motivating me to volunteer and serve! And to Linda for finding A Child’s Hope Foundation, a great organization with whom to volunteer and serve.

Putting Resolve in Resolution

Three Solid Suggestions for Success in Your New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Choose Excellence. Whatever you’ve chosen as your New Year’s resolution(s), choose first to excel at every little thing that will get you closer to that goal(s).

2. Focus: Be in the moment, every moment, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Start today. Challenge yourself to listen intently to every conversation, comprehend fully what you read, watch and hear.

3. Repeat: Excellence will NEVER be a destination. Every day we seek perfection. Every day we fall short. That’s earth life, welcome aboard! The trick is to “meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same,”only to greet the next day with the same hunger for excellence you had on the first day of your journey.

Repeat: Focus is much harder (at least for me) than it may sound. When you find yourself truly “in the moment” physically, mentally, emotionally; ask yourself  “does this conversation, book, article, video, music, popular media, propel me closer to my chosen resolution? Yes? Consider being in that moment spiritually as well, dig in, and find ways to immediately apply whatever that moment may have offered! No? Run like Joseph from Potiphar’s wife! Whether by accident or design, your being distracted from your chosen resolution! Refuse to be distracted!


In Pursuit of Excellence: How to Win in Sport and Life Through Mental Training, by Terry Orlick, PhD. An outstanding text divided into four parts: Envisioning, Preparing the Mind for, Building Toward, and Realizing Excellence. I’m currently reading this and it was the inspiration for this morning’s post.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield. Mr. Pressfield also has an outstanding e-book, titled: Do The Work, I’ve read both and can highly recommend them! These are some of the best writings I’ve ever read on defeating distraction, and improving focus! You can find other tips and techniques on his interesting website here. 

Have a great day, choose excellence, stay focused and repeat! Joe H

Looking Stupid and Losing for Peak Progress!

It’s common for us to play over our heads against superior opposition, because this foreknowledge that winning is not an essential part of the experience is what brings out our best performances… If you are not intimidated by the idea of losing… or “looking bad,” you can simply concentrate on playing and sometimes go beyond yourself. —Thomas Tutko and Umberto Tosi, Sports Psyching

Most of my coaching/teaching experience has been in the martial arts (Judo and Tae Kwon Do) and strength and conditioning. I noticed early on that kids between the ages of 4 to about 14, at the eldest, will generally learn physical skills, and athletic movement exponential faster than young men and women from 15 on into even older adulthood. The older adults will blame their slow progress on the young persons “youth” and the teens will just get pissed off, pout, or verbalize their frustration with a snappy comeback like, “whatever!”

The fact is that these kids learn, progress and enjoy the process because they don’t mind “looking stupid,” while they’re training! Not only is this thinking not part of their psyche, but they often enjoy “looking stupid.”

I had a Grand Mother-In-Law, Carmen Beltran, who I loved dearly. Carmen was from Chihuahua Mexico originally, and she lived in Glendale Arizona. She taught me that the “looking stupid” lesson applies to language as well. I was told Carmen didn’t speak English well. The truth was she didn’t speak English at all, if she could avoid it, around English speakers! She was afraid of “sounding stupid” yet when she tried, she spoke English well by any standard! At the time I was trying desperately to learn the Spanish language. I had the whole City of Los Angeles to teach me. I had opportunities to learn every night as I policed, talking to victims, witnesses and suspects who spoke Spanish. Thanks to Abuelita Carmen, I stopped worrying about “sounding stupid,” and began to enjoy the laughter when my grammar was less than perfect. I went from proficient to fluent in months and had fun doing it!

Bottom line: go out there, look stupid, sound stupid, lose a game, match, competition or two, have fun doing it and expect to get better! The alternative is a much slower, agonizing journey toward mastery in your chosen endeavor, or worse being discouraged and not trying at all! To lead by example, I’ve included a photo of myself doing what I do best: NO not just looking stupid, I’m getting better! Joe H

Fathers and Sons, an Eternal Perspective

Recently I had the opportunity, if not obligation, to help coach my Son’s football team. The team started with five coaches and that number soon whittled down to one coach and a dad who had volunteered to help. I finally jumped in after watching these young men get humiliated in their first two scrimmages. In an effort to do my very best for my son, his remaining coaches and his teammates, I picked up a book titled Positive Coaching: Building Character and Self Esteem Through Sports, by Jim Thompson.

The season’s outcome is a story for another time. Suffice it to say it was character building… as to self-esteem… the jury’s still out on that one. I wanted to share, however the introduction to the first chapter in Mr. Thompson’s text, it’s actually a quote from Scott Russel Sanders, Secrets of the Universe: Essays on Family, Community, Spirit and Place. I offer it  here to all fathers who, like me, may be beginning to feel the press of age. Stay the course my brothers it’s worth the effort, not to mention early morning aches and pains!

I mean to keep playing games with my sons, so long as flesh will permit, as my father played games with me well past his own physical prime. Now that sports have begun to give me lessons in mortality, I realize they have also been giving me, all the while, lessons in immortality. These games, these contests, these conversations of body to body, father to son are not substitutes for some other way of being alive. They are the sweet and sweaty thing of life itself. 

I hope you find this as inspiring as I do. Every time one of my three boys still at home want to wrestle, run or otherwise throw themselves against their father in their never-ending quest for manhood, I remember this great quote and bury myself in the fray… oh and of course theirs always ibuprofen! Have a great day, Happy New Year and GO PLAY!