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My Fitness Journey

Growing Up

I grew up in a low-income family in Kansas City, Missouri. We dug in dirt with kitchen spoons, climbed trees and rode bikes. You know... free stuff.

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5 Worst Exercises to do in the Gym

I've been going to the gym 3-5 times a week faithfully for 9 years. As a NASM Certified Personal Trainer I have learned that some exercises are simply not as efficient as others. Below are the 5 worst exercises to do in the gym.

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Sitting is the New Smoking

Sitting causes a lot of negative health effects just like smoking does. And we can prevent it!

Carrying excess weight is one of the biggest consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. When sitting for prolonged periods of time, the metabolism slows down and your body burns fewer calories, storing the excess as fat. People who sit for long periods also have to deal with hip and glute muscles being unused, and this leads to decreased hip mobility.

When you sit for long hours, the entire pressure is on the lower back, especially if you slump over your seat and don’t keep your spine erect. In such a case, the spine is adversely affected, because the disk spaces between tend to get unevenly squashed.

A lifetime of continuous sitting weakens the muscles, deteriorates blood circulation and lowers the tone of blood vessels. A lack of physical activity is one of the main reasons for early atherosclerosis (a build-up of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels of the heart). 

Let this just be a friendly reminder to stack some books or boxes at your desk in the office or at home so that you may stand while working.

Here are some helpful tips in increasing your work posture.

7 things missing in your desk life that affect your fitness​​​

FREE 
WokeFokk  
Lifestyle Guide 

WokeFokk is a Lifestyle Guide by G.I.Lane that helps people get their Mind Right before and while embarking on fitness & business goals.


This book includes:

  • My Wants Vs. Needs Chart that lists all elements needed for your goal
  • A Daily Routine Habit Worksheet to get your time management on point
  • List of the Pillars of Health in Priority from greatest to least
  • Purpose Worksheets to help you find what you love and aspire to be
  • My Philosophies on Life and the details of each
  • A Mango Basil Smoothie Recipe to get your Meal Plan & Prep locked on
  • A Leg-Day Workout to build the muscle you’re going to need for these dreams of yours.

Seated Row – Exercise Highlight

The row is a horizontal pull. It's one of the 7 basic human movement patterns (the others being horizontal push, vertical pull and push, deadlift, squat and rotation). It can and should be performed many ways throughout your training regimen.

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5 Phases of Training

Training should be systematic, integrated, and progressive. In this post I explain the 5 phases of training conceptualized by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) - the top rated trainer program for certification and advanced credentials. Each phase has a designated purpose that provides a systematic approach to reach goals and address needs. Everyone should be periodizing  training into phases. Here's why.

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Summer Q&A

The Summer is in full swing and its a great time to be outside in the sun enjoying your best self. Below are the answers to the most frequently asked topics Achilles and I have received in the past 3 months.  Do you have a question for us? Send it to info@achillescook.com and we will share our perspective.

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5 Tips for Recovery

Recovery helps to decrease the inflammatory chemicals that are released from strenuous exercise. These same inflammatory chemicals make your muscles feel tender, sore and stiff, but with a conscious recovery approach, you will be less sore and your muscles will repair more quickly, Here are some great ways to recover from your workout.

1) Sleep

Sleep is the body’s time to repair itself from the physical stress it goes through in a day. During sleep, your body releases enzymes and hormones that promote recovery and even illness prevention. With more sleep, you’ll experience less muscle soreness – which means better performance when you go back to the gym the next day.  Sleep equals better recovery.

2) Ice

Icing your muscles can dramatically reduce muscle soreness. My hamstrings were on FIRE last night from leg day a couple days ago so I used my ice pack. IIike the packs with the circle jelly things to allow for easy maneuvering to the contour of the human body as oppose to flat ones where you have to contour yourself to get it in the spot needing attention. You can get a one like you see in the picture for $15. It has a strap you can use to hold it to which ever body part you need. Just 5 minutes each leg helped dramatically! I can straighten my legs out now! 😝haha! You don’t want to ice muscles more than 5 minutes at a time (says my doctor). Some super hard core athletes take ice baths after their workouts!! I’m not quite there yet (and I ain’t got no tub 😁 haha) but reducing inflammation with an ice pack can help and allow for a better, more able training session the next day. Try it out if you’re experiencing muscle soreness.

3) Stretching

Stretching  cues your nervous system to tune down its overstimulation from exercise, it signals your parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the rest and repair system, to become dominant. This helps you to sleep more deeply and maintain mental calm. When I stretch I notice a dramatic difference in muscle soreness and mobility the next day.

4) BCAAs

Branched-chained amino acids (BCAAs) are nutritional supplements with the essential amino acids (see Complete Proteins in Chapter 2 of the book for an explanation of complete proteins). I have noticed decreased muscle soreness after taking BCAA’s. I take BCAA’s when I’m in phase three (hypertrophy) or phase four (max strength) of my training program. Sometimes not even then because they can be expensive – about $1 per serving. Some protein powders have all the amino acids so need, but it is best to check the label.

5) Nutrition

Following a workout, your body has immediate nutritional needs. Satisfying these needs quickly—within the first hour or so after the workout is completed—supplies the body with the raw materials it needs to bounce back stronger and perform better tomorrow. In particular, your body needs water to rehydrate. Additionally, eating protein with some carbohydrates after exercise helps to replenish energy stores, sparing protein to help build and repair muscles.

G.I. Lane 12 Month Strength Training Plan

  • Compound and Isolated Exercises
  • Warm Up and Cool Down
  • High Intensity and Dynamic

Workout to Pig Out

Have you ever seen a fit person pig out and asked yourself, 'How can they eat like that and still be so fit?'

Do you want the flexibility in your diet to eat treats, go out to eat, grab a snack, have that blended coffee you so badly desire and it not affect your physique?

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My Favorite Ab Routine

Abs. The holy grail of fitness. We all have have the muscles - they are just covered up by our delicious meals.  If you are looking to for a new set of exercises to develop your then check my favorite routine below.

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Lat Pulldown – Exercise Highlight

Today I want to take you all though what the Lat Pulldown looks like in each of my phases of training. If you perform the same exercise time and time again your body will get used to it and stop progressing.

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