Monday, November 22, 2010

Toys for Tots Christmas Drive

The Asbury Park P.B.A., Local 6 is once again sponsoring a “Toys for Tots” drive to give those less fortunate in our area an opportunity to have a Merry Christmas. Keeping in with our practice of helping those in our immediate community, Premiere Personal Fitness will be collecting new, unwrapped gifts for boys and girls - with ages ranging from new born to 16. These kids need clothing, games, personal items, books, toys, etc – things that we take for granted every day. There is no dollar amount required to spend – it’s just about sharing with others who have very little. Also, please remember the demographics of those receiving these gifts when purchasing. Last year, Premiere Personal Fitness was the top collector in toys – let’s be #1 again this year! Thanks…. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 908.433.4542 or email me at

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Training Programs and Rates at Premiere Personal Fitness


“Invest In Yourself”

One-on-One Strength Training
$40.00 for 30 minute session

One-on-One “Elite” Strength Training
$75.00 for 30 minute session

One-on-One Strength, Cardiovascular and Flexibility Training
$75.00 for 60 minute session

One-on-One Cardiovascular Training
$40.00 for 30 minute session

Group Cardiovascular Training (2-4 people)
$15.00 per person for 30 minute session

For more information visit
or call Fred Fornicola at 908.433.4542

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NEW Fat Loss Winter Program

Fred Fornicola (Fitness Professional)and Tom Mantos (Clinical Nutritionist) will be holding a fat loss contest for anyone interested. The contest is based on percentage of fat loss over a 5 month period. Body fat lost and muscle gained are part of the total equation. In addition, we will cover other aspects associated with this time of year.

For those that may get better benefits from a group setting we have set up 5 separate group meetings. These will be held at Premiere Personal Fitness in Asbury Park. These phases will be as follows:

November-Structuring a Plan
December-Handling the Holidays
January-Dealing with Stress and Setting Goals
February-The Winter Blues
March-Maintaining and Getting Ready for Spring

To make the contest more challenging and rewarding we are charging $100.00 per person. If you bring a friend along and he or she signs up for the program, you will receive a $25.00 rebate and only have to pay $75.00. We are looking for a minimum of 10 contestants to participate and the winner will receive a $100.00 American Express Gift card. Second place will receive a $50.00 gift card.

As an added bonus, Tom will be doing body composition analysis at my office for free once per month. That's $175.00 savings!

All you have to lose at this point is some unwanted fat. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday November 1, 2010 at 7 PM so please let me know as soon as possible if you (and anyone else you can encourage to participate) are interested in the program. You have until October 25th to register.

For more information, contact Fred Fornicola at

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

PPF YouthFIT Certification

Matt Brzycki and I just completed writing our Premiere Personal Fitness YouthFIT Certification Course. To become PPF YouthFIT Certified, visit our blog.

YouthFIT Certification

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Well Worth the Investment

I don't usually recommend or endorse too many books on training...and for one very good reason - "Because there aren't many out there!", but the one's I feel are spot-on, I like to share and such is the case with Dave Durell's


Dave's concise and thorough depiction of proper strength training (along with his endless "bonus offerings") makes this an endless source of great information. If you can't directly work with a qualified fitness professional, HIGH INTENSITY MUSCLE BUILDING is the next best thing!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dumbbell Training Videos

I have started a video series from our book, "Dumbbell Training for Strength and Fitness". Today is the first installment and I will be providing a weekly video highlighting areas of each chapter with exercise descriptions, illustrations and workouts so you may want to bookmark this site. Please feel free to pass this along to others as they may also benefit from it.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Saturday Morning Crew kicked butt as they performed an intense conditioning cycle today. There were 4 stations were: Concept II SkiErg, Schwinn Windsprint, Concept II Rower and Marpo Kinetics Viper Rope. Each man did a station for 2 minutes and rested for 1 minute between each station for their first round. Their second round consisted of 90 seconds with 1 minute rest between stations and their 3rd and final round was 1 minute long with 1 minute rest between stations. They pushed each interval very hard and needless to say, were beat after they were done. Job well done, fellas!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An 8 Week Training Cycle

Most people cycle their training by using different rep ranges, exercises, sequence of exercises, volume, etc. and they all can work. I have found for myself (and others) that cycling frequency can work very well without changing any other factors. Take the following as an example:

Weeks 1&2: 3 full-body workouts
Weeks 3&4: 2 full-body workouts
Weeks 5&6: upper/lower body split
Weeks 7&8: 1 full-body workout

Weeks 1 and 2 are straight forward, non-consecutive workouts performing exercises that work the whole body. If compound movements are used, a total of 5-10 hard sets per session will suffice. If possible, do not do any intense conditioning work on the off days but feel free to recreate.

Weeks 3 and 4 are again straight forward in that these 2 weeks are giving you just a little more rest between strength training days since you are strength training twice each week. You can throw in an intense conditioning day if you'd like and again, feel free to recreate.

Weeks 5 and 6 have you splitting your workouts up into upper and lower days done over 3 non-consecutive days. This will have you performing 2 upper and 1 lower workout the first week and 2 lower and 1 upper workout the following week.
Depending on what your full body workout looks like, you may be only doing a couple exercises for the lower body. To make the trip to the gym worth while, you can include any direct abdominal and lower back work to this day if it makes sense to your overall program. On lower body day you may want to throw in a handful of intervals via the bike, running, elliptical, whatever works for you

Weeks 7 and 8 have you strength training only once a week - giving you 6 days of rest from strength training. Throw in 1-2 intense conditioning days but focus on recovery.

Fred Fornicola

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Massage by Marcos

Marcos Pichardo, CMT

Certified by the Massage, Bodywork & Somatic Therapy Committee of NJ

"Enhancing the well-being and quality of life through massage therapy."

Marcos is available for Chair and Table Massages on Saturday's at Premiere Personal Fitness, 614 Lake Avenue,, Asbury Park. Massages start at 9AM by appointment only.

Marcos is also available for home massages on Saturday afternoons and Sunday's by appointment only. A 24 hour notification is preferred.

Chair Massage: $1.00/per minute - Table Massage: $75.00/per hour
Out calls for Table Massage: $85.00/per hour

Some Words from the "Elite"

"Fred's new ELITE program has had a significant impact in a very short period of time. Since initiating this program, I have increased my overall strength and well as achieving a visible improvement in my of all, I have "seen" these changes almost immediately. As a result of my training, I am well on my way to reaching my goal of overall improved health." - Jason Woods

"Fred’s Elite program has been a life-changing experience for me, after struggling for years to find the “sweet spot” combination of weightlifting, conditioning, and nutrition that worked for me. Over the last 8 months in applying Fred’s Elite program to my workout regimen, I have experienced a definitive improvement in body composition and conditioning. When I went to my physician’s office for a routine blood pressure follow-up not too long ago, my doctor was actually enthused by my check-up results. When I asked him if there was anything else I should be doing, he said “just keep doing whatever you’re doing, because it is working.” I must attribute this to the guidance and discipline that Fred has given me through his Elite program. One day a week with a ½ hour of intense lifting, and one or two days of 15-30 minutes of conditioning is all that it’s taken, plus eating right. Don’t get me wrong: it’s been hard work. However, it’s been worth it, and I am certainly proud to be one of Fred’s Elite success stories." - Darryl Hughes

“I've been training with Fred for about 5 years now. I would train 2-3 times a week and made pretty decent gains when I worked according to Fred’s guidelines. Fred thought I’d be a good candidate for his Elite training program so I decided to give it a try. I was leery about only working out once a week at first until, BAM! I started seeing results. I feel stronger and see more definition than ever before. Other people have noticed as well and have made comments about the muscle tone in my legs and when I tell them I go to the gym once a week for 20 minutes, they totally don't believe me. This program is ideal because of my hectic schedule and makes it much easier for me to keep in shape and dedicated to my training. I highly recommend this to ANYONE looking to get fit fast….you won't be sorry.” - Allison Bibbo

Friday, August 20, 2010

No Time to Train? Really?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the brightest bulb in the pack, but it's beyond my comprehension that a person can't dedicate some time to exercise. I just trained my wife - it took her 10 minutes to drive to our studio, her training session consisted of 10 total sets of hard exercise that trained her entire body and her workout lasted 13 minutes. Another 10 minutes to drive home gives her a total time investment of 33 minutes once a week. So, if you aren't investing in your health, what's your excuse, because it can't be time!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What A Ride....

My last few Sunday's have been dedicated to intense cycling (intense for me, anyway). I'm generally out on the road between 6:30 and 7AM – mainly because I like to get an early start, but more so because there’s no traffic, the sun has just fully risen and, well, it’s just so damn peaceful with no one around. I usually do about 8-10 hard miles, consisting mainly of steep inclines and interval type work and have been averaging about 16.5 mph with some speeds as high as 29 mph and as low as 11 mph.

I have this one particular series of hill-like inclines that challenge me right at the beginning of my ride – maybe 1 ½ miles into my trek – that get my heart and lungs a pumpin’ right away. I like taking that hill early, not because it’s easier to do when I’m fresh (because I do other hills after it anyway), but because it’s my albatross. Me, one on one with that hill, I can feel my chest pumping and at times, hear my heart beating as I talk my way up that hill and when I concur it I don’t realize how hard I’m breathing or how much my lungs are burning because I kicked its ass and I feel great. Without a doubt, these Sunday’s have provided a stimulating and productive ride - challenging my heart, lungs, body and mental toughness. It's very rewarding as it promotes many positive aspects that go beyond the physical – and let me tell you something, it is physical (it’s unbelievable how much the lower body works taking those hills and the torso stabilizes your efforts).

These rides allow me to challenge myself on many levels, some I can't begin to explain. The interesting thing is that if I didn't strength train, if I didn't eat wholesome foods, if I didn't rest properly, if I didn’t work hard - I would not be able to perform and appreciate what I experienced on my ride this morning. Sure, it sounds like what I did this morning was “the work” and in essence, it was, but that’s not how it felt. It felt more like re-creating and offered an intrinsic value that I’m appreciative for having had the opportunity.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Youth Fitness Special

My co-author, Matt Brzycki and I are offering any youth related organization/school etc. an opportunity to bulk purchase our Youth Fitness book at a very, very low cost. There are two stipulations at the low price: 1) the books will be utilized in some capacity and not shoved in a corner somewhere and 2) you pick up the freight charges. If you have an interest, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss further.

==> Youth Fitness: An Action Plan for Shaping America's Kids <==

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Fred Fornicola is a trainer. Wait, you say. You knew that. No, Fred Fornicola IS a REAL trainer. Fred is constantly thinking about how to make workouts effective given constraints thrown at him that might come with each individual. He's one trainer I would trust to train my kids. And, for me, that's a big deal. Safety while being effective is always part of his equation. As I have said plenty of times, you can not train if you are injured! Fred's latest article on running is spot on. In fact, I took his advice and went to a local neighborhood BIG hill (grass!) and talk about a good cardio workout without the joint stress. I loved it. He's also been firing suggestions my way to help with my lower back. It's been much appreciated Fred, thanks! Frankly, Fred knows his stuff and long time Cyberpump readers are probably aware of this already. Fred tells me he's going to start up an online training service. If you are looking for some help in your training even for a short period of time to get back on track, contact Fred. I give him the highest recommendation." - Bill Piche

Friday, August 06, 2010

"On-Line" Training

Gather round, Fred Fornicola is now offering “Online Training” services for anyone interested in working one-on-one with Fred.


• In-Depth Consultation
• Health History Evaluation
• Goal Setting
• Exercise Selection and Equipment Recommendations
• Personalized Exercise Program


• Review of Training Video Performance
• Email Inquiries
• And much, much more.

If you are interested, Fred Fornicola can be contacted at 908.433.4542 or via email at For more information about Fred and Premiere Personal Fitness, visit


Initial Consultation (by appointment) - $40.00

Hour Phone Session (by appointment) - $75.00

30 Minute Follow up (by appointment) - $30.00

Additional emails inquiries and video performance evaluation extra.

Sign up for Fred’s services after consultation and receive a $20 credit towards your program!

“Fred has always gone above and beyond to help me with any health, nutrition and training related questions or assistance I needed, whether I am there in person or if we work together online. He is always available and always willing to share all that he has to offer.” – Vicki A.

“Fred Fornicola is a trainer. Wait, you say. You knew that. No, Fred Fornicola IS a REAL trainer. Fred is constantly thinking about how to make workouts effective given constraints thrown at him that might come with each individual. He's one trainer I would trust to train my kids. And, for me, that's a big deal. Safety while being effective is always part of his equation.” – Bill Piche

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Speed and Endurance Simplified

I recently came across an article by Clarence Ross which was published in 1953. The title of the article was “Speed & Endurance” and in it Clarence has a conversation with a young athlete who’s apprehensive about strength training as it might “bulk him up too much and slow him down” for his athletic performance. I found the topic quite interesting, as when I ventured into the world of training back in the early to mid 70’s (yes, I’m that old) and as a high school basketball player, I was told to run away from weights as fast as I could because it would make me muscle bound and stunt my growth – which, at only 5’7” I couldn’t afford any more stunting. Fortunately, I ignored the myths and naysayer’s and went head first into training using Nautilus equipment and The Nautilus Principles, as they were referred to back then. Training didn’t hurt my game one bit, in fact, it helped out tremendously as an aggressive shooting guard, I didn’t mind penetrating the lane and getting smacked around and was certainly not shy about mixing it up under the boards to try and get rebounds or at least, box some of the larger guards and forwards out. I found that I didn’t get fatigued as quickly and I could play ball for hours. My quickness had improved and I seemed to use less energy to make things happen on the court.

So, let’s get back to my initial point and what prompted this. Well, a lot of people think speed and endurance are developed by lifting weights fast, running with resistance (sled, weight vest, bands, etc), doing tons of miles on the road or some type of agility/plyometric type training. The real truth, however, is based on a few criteria that will be much safer, efficient and effective to improve speed and endurance.

1) You need to be strong. A stronger body (not just legs) will enable you to perform a task easier so you will express ore power AND you will use less energy doing it. A win-win situation.
2) You need to know how to perform your skill properly. Take identical twins that are the same size, weight and strength levels. One plays football, the other doe not. Who do you think will have more speed on the football field? The one with more knowledge and experience as he knows how to react quicker and can anticipate plays thereby giving him the edge up on speed and quickness, and to a degree endurance as he knows when he can steal some rest between plays.
3) You need to make “perfect practice” to engrain the behavior and at the same time build sport-specific cardiovascular endurance which is best achieved by playing your sport or activity EXACTLY as you would in competition.

I’ll close with an excerpt from the Clarence Ross article, which, in 1953 was spot on as it is still today. Unfortunately, many coaches and athletes find the need to complicate what is as simple as 1-2-3. Here are Clarence’s thoughts as he expressed them to this young man.
“After all, what is speed other than power in motion? In other words, there can be no speed without a motor power of some sort. In the body, the muscles provide this power. The better trained the muscles are, the more power they will possess.

“And what is endurance other than a continuation of motor power over a period or time? Endurance is based completely upon body power, for weak muscles cannot possess the reserve energy for sustained action. Only powerful and well-trained muscles can keep going in active sports for some period of time without growing exhausted. So here too, it makes sense to realize that well-trained muscles possess endurance.

“But there is still one other factor . . .coordination. Without coordination you can have all the power in the world and still not be able to use this power efficiently. Since muscular coordination is developed through training the various muscles of the body to work in harmony, it stands to reason that any method of exercise which develops MUSCULAR PROPORTION will give the individual a balanced type of power and extremely good coordination.”

Well stated Mr. Ross, well stated.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

"Use exercise as a means of improving your health and functionality. When certain types of exercise become counterproductive to these means, it's time for you to reevaluate and consider." - Fred Fornicola

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Drop Sets

Pressed for time or need a change of pace and want a kick-ass workout? Well you may want to try drop or strip sets. So what’s a drop or strip set? Well, it’s quite simple to understand but a real bear to do. You perform an exercise with a weight that will yield you about 8-10 repetitions to muscular fatigue/failure. When you reach failure, you immediately drop or strip approximately 15-20% of the weight and then do as many reps as you can again (you will probably get around 4-6 reps). Now, you have one more drop/strip set so again, reduce the resistance by 15-20% and do as many reps in good form as you can (you will probably get around 4-6 but as always, do as many as you can).

The ideal approach for using drop/strip sets is to pick 3 compound exercises (exercises that use more than one joint and involve more than one muscle group) and a resistance that can be reduced easily and quickly. Selectorized machines (selectorized refers to a machine that has weights already and you change the resistance by using a pin while a plate-loading machine has to have weights added to it manually) or dumbbells tend to work best. In picking your three movements, choose one for the lower body so it stresses the thighs and hips, one movement that works the back and biceps and another that will stress the chest, shoulders and triceps. An example may be a workout that involves a leg press, pulldown and shoulder press. These three movements will hit every major muscle group quite intensely and effectively. If you pick a piece of equipment and requires you to plate-load or you use a barbell, make sure to have a qualified spotter or training partner drop or strip the weights for you after, of course, you’ve set it up for the proper increment drops. A quick example of the plate-loaded leg press using 200 pounds for your initial set: load the leg press so that it totals 200 pounds but allows you to drop/strip the resistance by 35 pound plates (which is about 17%) so you just need to make two easy drops.

In essence, a workout of this magnitude is providing nine highly intense sets in a very short amount of time (probably no more than 10-12 minutes). There is no doubt that you will stimulate plenty of muscle fiber and your cardio respiratory system to its fullest.

Fred Fornicola

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Some people making lifting weights their life - nothing wrong with that. Others strength train as a means to enhance their athletic or recreational performance...and that's good too. While others use strength training to be more functional and a "part" of their overall exercise program...and that's great. But remember,... regardless of your reason for training, it's all about improving your health.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Big Daddy D

Big Daddy D

Darryl (also referred to as Big Daddy D around here) has been training with me for 6 ½ years. Darryl has been on the up-and-down fat loss wagon for some years now, but over the last 6 month’s we have honed in on the right exercise frequency/intensity and he has stayed strong on his nutritional plan allowing him to lose over 25 pounds of fat and gain around 5+ pounds of muscle. Darryl at one time trained twice a week then went to three times a week and for the last several month’s has been strength training just once a week with me. On Saturday’s, he and a couple of other guys come in and we go through a very intense conditioning program using the Concept II Rower and the Concept II SkiErg.

Today, Darryl’s workout consisted of the following:

*Machine Pullover – 8 reps to failure plus a couple forced reps - supersetted with*Machine Pulldowns – 4 reps plus a static hold in the MMA position (Maximum Moment Arm)* Machine Shoulder Press – 3 reps plus various static hold positions for 5 seconds each*Single Leg, Leg Press on the Nautilus Leverage – 5 reps each leg alternating for 3 sets (15 total reps per leg)* TrapBar DL/Hi Pull combo for a handful of reps…..(see attached video)

And then Darryl rested……he had no choice!

Check out the video! DARRYL DEADLIFTS

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Entire Body

Name one sport, athletic event or physical activity that doesn't engage all the muscles of the body? Well, I'll make it easy for you, there isn't one. Certain areas of the body may be emphasized more than others as in running or cycling, but don't think for a minute that your entire body isn't involved in activities like would be sadly mistaken.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

What's More Important?

A question I often get is "what's more important, good nutrition, strength training or doing conditioning work?" and my answer is usually the same, "what's more important to a car; gas, the engine, oil, wheels, the key, etc., etc"...

If you give it some thought, all aspects could be argued in favor of or against, especially when the individual is keen on one particular area, but the truth of the matter is, I don't feel that you can, nor do you need to separate and distinguish one over the other. Like the car, they all work in unison to support each others functions and in doing so, enable you to have a healthier more functional lifestyle.

Fred Fornicola

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Short or Long?

More & more research is showing how high level, interval type training (and that refers to any type of high level/high intensity work) will develop the same if not better results as low or moderate level endurance effort. Basically, you can get done in 10-15 minutes what 45 minutes or more can do if you're willing to work hard.....and without the related overuse injuries that accompany such activity.

SAFE - EFFICIENT - EFFECTIVE.......Premiere Personal Fitness

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Number 1 Reason

The number one reason to engage in a safe, efficient and effective strength training program? To help reduce the risk of injury! Whether you are an elite athlete, desk jockey or an elderly person....everyone is vulnerable to injury.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fat Loss Contest Results

From February 1st to April 30th, 2010, The Jersey Shore Health and Wellness Group ran its first “Fat Loss Contest”. As the title implies, this contest was geared toward losing fat, not just bodyweight, which required the participants to not only tailor their eating habits but to also engage in a strength training program so as not to lose muscle tissue.

First, the contestants met with our Clinical Nutritionist, Tom Mantos. Tom handled the nutritional/diet portion of the program and placed the contestants on a modified Mediterranean, low glycemic diet. He measured body weight and composition by using bioelectrical impedance and structured a custom vitamin/mineral supplementation program based on each individual’s specific health profile.

Fred Fornicola was the Fitness Professional who administered the physical training for the individuals. The contestants exercise program was based primarily on high intensity strength training done one to two times per week for 30 minutes or less. Very little if any additional cardiovascular exercise was done throughout the program other than what was gleaned from the high intensity strength training sessions.

The results that were encountered were amazing. As a group of 8 (with a median age of 43), the total pounds in body fat that was lost was 137.9 pounds (an average of 17.24 lbs. of fat per person). There was also an increase in muscle tissue that totaled 8.1 pounds (an average of 1 lb. per person). Our winner (a 55 year old male), lost 25.8 pounds of fat and gained 2.4 pounds of lean muscle tissue!

Congratulations to all 8 contestants for doing so well.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is It Worth the Money

Consider this scenario, if you will.....Your faucet is leaking and you've spend hours trying to figure out how to fix it, but you can't. You're frustrated and tired of not getting the results you want so you finally call a qualified plumber to handle the problem. The plumber arrives and in a matter of minutes, fixes the leak and charges you $75. At first you're taken back by the price for the little amount of time spent fixing the leak, but you then realize the plumber had one advantage that you did not - he knew what he was doing and you didn't and therefore, worth every penny.

Folks, knowledge and experience matter and usually worth the money. Please check out my programs and rates for more information about what I have to offer you.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Few Words From One of the "Elite"

After struggling for a long time to find the right type of strength and conditioning approach for me, I think Fred's on to something with this one. This Elite Program is very challenging, but has been the most effective regimen for me and my lifestyle. With a very demanding and stressful work schedule, I have found this approach to be very efficient in generating impressive results with measurable and sustained fat loss and increased muscle gain over the last few months.

I feel fortunate that Fred chose me to be one of the "Elite".

Thanks, Fred,
Darryl Hughes

Monday, April 26, 2010

If you're too fat and out of shape to catch the ice cream truck you probably shouldn't be trying to catch it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An Unstable Practice

Standing on a wobbly object - especially while lifting weights - does not build stability, in fact, it impairs it. Why? Because you are promoting unsafe stressors on the tendons, ligaments and joints of the ankles, knees, hips and lower back. So get on the ball by getting off the ball.
- Fred Fornicola

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Exercising too frequently can alter your recovery time and therefore hinder growth and performance. Rest is a must and without it, progress will come to a halt or worse yet, there is the strong possibility of injury or illness. In reading coach Phil Jackson's book, Sacred Hoops, there is an excerpt that is applicable to what I'm suggesting:

"The farmer who's so eager to help his crops grow that he slips out at night and tugs on the shoots inveitably ends up going hungry."

Think about how that can apply to your exercise program. - Fred Fornicola

Monday, April 12, 2010

Become One of the Elite

Each and every Monday morning, I start my first training session at 5:30 with Ted, who is one of my many dedicated clients. Ted is one of those guys who never miss a workout (even at 5:30 AM in the middle of winter), never makes up or uses excuses and always gives 100% effort – regardless of his circumstances. Ted has been with me for many years now and we recently discussed his need to refocus his attention on himself as Ted is very much a giving kind of guy. Because Ted is a devoted father, partner, friend and educator, he tends to take a back seat to his own needs and after a recent conversation, we both agreed that it was time for him to make a change. I offered Ted the opportunity (and challenge) to start up on the “Elite” training program as he would benefit greatly from it. In a nut shell, the “elite” program consists of training once every seven days with a very high level of intensity (see the “Elite” program for more details).

Ted and I reviewed and discussed what exercises would suit his orthopedic and personal needs and we decided that the best “bang for the buck” would come from the compound movements (exercises that engage a great deal of muscle). We also knew that because the level of effort is so high in the Elite program that Ted’s total work volume would be no more than six total sets for his entire workout and sometimes seven when we include work for his lower back every other week. And because Ted is looking for a higher than normal conditioning effect and wants to accelerate his fat burning, he also comes in on Saturday for the “High Performance”” training program which is specific to his cardiovascular, conditioning and fat loss goals.

The Elite program consists of a couple different approaches, but the one Ted is currently using is a slow repetition speed in which he takes approximately 10 seconds to raise the weight and 4 seconds to lower. He works until he can’t move the weight in good form and then we terminate the set. His total “Time Under Load” (how long it took him to complete the exercise) is timed for each exercise and is documented. His weights are then adjusted accordingly for his next workout the following week. This makes his training very focused and intense and beneficial to his muscular and cardiovascular systems. A big plus using this training system is that Ted no longer has issues with his low-level exercise induced asthma that he found to be restricting when we used other training protocols and frequency. The “elite” program also frees him up to do the many other things that he’s responsible for on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at what Ted’s once-a-week workout consists of and the muscles that are involved for each exercise:

Hammer Strength Row (back, biceps, forearms)
Pendulum Chest Press (chest, shoulders, triceps)
Gravitron Chin (back, bicep, forearms, abdominals)
Cybex Shoulder Press (shoulders, triceps, chest)
Nautilus Leverage Leg Press (hips, legs, calves)
Nautilus Abdominal Crunch (abdominals)
Nautilus Low Back (lumbar region/lower back – done every other week)

As you can see, every major muscle is being stimulated with just the involvement a handful of exercises done for one maximum effort set. The correct exercise selection along with a monitored approach has enabled Ted to make significant gains over the last couple of weeks. Here are some results from this past week. In just one week, Ted increased his weight in the rows by 10 pounds using only 15 seconds less than last weeks time. His chest press went up by 5 pounds AND he increased his time by 8 seconds. He improved his chins by 16 seconds, his shoulder press by 6 seconds and his leg press improved by 10 pounds as did his abdominal crunch with only a few seconds shy of last weeks Time Under Load. Ted’s total training time was approximately 11 minutes and he took no more than 45 seconds rest between exercises, so that means Ted finished his total body workout in just around 15 minutes.

On Saturday Ted will come in again, but we will use the “High Performance” training module to further his cardiovascular system and fat burning productivity. With careful attention to detail and proper dieting techniques, Ted has lost over 10 pounds of fat in just three weeks time and has put on muscle. Oh, I almost forgot, did I mention that Ted is also in his 50’s?

If you’d like more information regarding Premiere Personal Fitness and our various program offerings, please visit our website.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Static Contraction Exercise - Part III

PARTS 1 & 2 describe the overall concept and the pulldown and shoulder press movement done with static contraction. The third and final exercise of the workout sequence is of the leg press.

Leg Press

The leg press is another of these big exercises that stimulates the entire lower body – with this trainee we used the strong leverage point of near lockout position to but he can (and will) vary by using the leg press in the weakest leverage position which is a few inches off the bottom (picture yourself doing a wall sit). Either way, there are reduced compressive forces on the lower spine/lumbar region.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Static Contraction Exercise - Part II

In PART 1, I gave an overall view of static contraction training as I am employing at the moment and showed the effectiveness of the particular pulldown exercise that we use. The following exercise is the second movement in our sequence.

Shoulder Press

In the shoulder press (which works the shoulders, chest and triceps along with the upper back to stabilize), this particular trainee uses the strong leverage position since he has issues at the beginning of the overhead press due to a shoulder injury which prohibits the use of the press in this range of motion. He can, however, handle the top portion with zero discomfort – affording him the opportunity to do overhead work. Someone else may find the beginning portion or mid range to work better for themselves.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Reduce Stress With Exercise

Times are tough right now. Economy is hurting, government is throwing us some curves and people are feeling the one is impervious to it. The key to a lot of this is how we handle it, trying to keep things in perspective. With all of this surrounding us one of the best things we can do is not give up on ourselves and more now than ever is when we need to take care of our health. Don't short change yourself by sitting on your butt, get up and relieve some stress...invest in yourself.

Reducing Stress With Exercise

Sunday, April 04, 2010

3 Exercises and Out

A GREAT workout by Lynn. Three intense exercises and that was all she needed.

Slow Rep Shoulder Press

Slow Rep Chin Up

Slow Rep Leg Press

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Static Contraction Exercise

We’ve all been told or have read that that you should train with a full range of motion and that exercise, to be effective, needs to provide a concentric (raising) and eccentric (lowering) of a resistance in a controlled manner. As this is a tried-and-true practice, there is just too much proof that there are other ways to become stronger, to gain muscle and to improve metabolic performance. For the purpose of this article, I will discuss (in limitation), the concept of static contractions. Static contractions (an offshoot of isometric training to some extent) allow for limited range of motion while providing a high level of stimulation with the added bonus of reduced wear and tear on the joints, tendons and ligaments. Several books and information have been written about static contraction and it has become a mainstay for many trainees and as such, variations have spawned from its usage.

Static contractions can be performed in different positions, allowing the trainee to find a spot that is not contraindicating to his or her body for that particular movement. For instance, some trainees may find that the very beginning of a shoulder press (a weak leverage point) alleviates any problem with their shoulder that a full range overhead press may cause while another may find that a few inches from lockout (a strong leverage point) may have no ill effect on their shoulder at all. Through experimentation and a little know-how, a person who was once prohibited from doing an exercise because full-range movement caused by discomfort or orthopedic restrictions can now utilize these exercises again – safely and effectively.

Today’s training sequence is pulldowns, overhead press and leg press for this particular trainee. The workout is broken down as such: Each exercise is taken to momentary muscle failure. Each set is held for approximately 20 seconds. We are striving for a cumulative fatigue effect with lower than normal compressive forces, so on each set there is an increase in resistance until the trainee can no longer hold the weight in good form. As an example, this would be similar to using a weight that allowed for 15 – 20 repetitions as the first half of these reps provide and innate warm-up and fiber fatigue. I instruct clients to take a deep breath or 2 (maybe 10 seconds) in between repetitions to regroup and get to the next weight level. Once they reach a resistance they can no longer handle for 20 seconds in good form, the weight will then be reduced over 2-4 subsequent sets – basically until the trainee is completed exhausted on the movement. The entire set takes approximately 2:30 – 3:00 minutes, at which time he moves to his next exercise movement with little rest. This trainee’s total exercise time today was under 11 minutes.

The Pulldown

The following series of videos are of three movements that, to be honest, is all it takes to train the whole body properly. This pulldown movement (along with some of the program ideas described), is something I recently picked up from conversations with John Little (Body by Science). I’ve implemented static contractions in the past in various ways, but this application and this particular pulldown movement are relatively new to me. As you will note in the video, the positioning of the arms, elbows and torso engage the muscles of the upper (lats) and lower back, the pectorals as they are fully contracted and the biceps which are in a highly supinated position – not to mention the contractive stimulation of the abdominals.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some Cool Art Work


Are you following a set of rules simply because "they say" or mimick what "they do" because you saw, read or listened to someone? Ask "why", understand "why", and most importantly, make sure the guidance you are receiving is from a source that truly understands "why". Make sure your information is from someone who has experience and isn't just regurgitating information without knowing "why" themselves.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time Marches On

As we progress through life, we must take time to reflect and understand where we’ve been, where we are at this moment and where we are headed. This holds true on many levels of our personal lives of which training is a part of. We need to sit back and take stock of our current physical, mental, emotional and spiritual situation and figure out what we are trying to achieve for ourselves through exercise. Basically, we need to set realistic goals and expectations based on our current levels of wear-and-tear from years of training and what life has done to us through the course of time. This is not designed to be some part of a “gloom and doom” approach but an honest and realistic means to which you can achieve the improvement of your health through selective endeavors. Essentially, it boils down to making the correct choices through your determined needs and not being diluted through your wants. At times, it’s a hard pill to swallow when you can’t do what you used to do, but when one door closes another opens and new goals can (and should) be established.

As you meander down the road of physical fitness, alterations will more than likely need to be made so you can exercise safely, efficiently and effectively. This necessity will dictate the need for change so you can further enhance your health. Since exercise and health are very personal things, your approach should be one that satisfies your individual needs based on protocols that suit those needs. Massaging aspects of this modus operandi is vital to your success, please use the following as a consideration and make adjustments based on the overall concepts. Proceeding on any recommendation verbatim is a mistake since a “cookie cutter” approach to anything – exercise routines, diets, protocols, etc. - are less than beneficial if they do not suit your needs so tweak them accordingly.

Below are just a few suggestions that may help further your quest for aging fitness. They are not detailed as in doing so would be a lengthy process and one that would need to be addressed on a more one-on-one level. Each has merit based on your needs as I’ve tried many of these approaches for particular reasons with success. You will see that most offer less compressive forces with greater stimulus to the musculature and cardiovascular systems.

*Slower Rep Speeds
*Higher Repetitions
*Calisthenics/Bodyweight Movements
*Static Contraction
*Less Volume Per Workout
*Less Frequency
*Intermittent Intensity
*Interval Training
*Maximum Contraction
*Less Endurance Work
*Reduced Caloric Intake
*Organic Foods
*Reduced/Zero Gluten
*Ample Hydration
*Nutrient Dense Foods
*Straight Line Activities
*Relaxation Techniques
*Chiropractic/Acupuncture/Massage Therapy

These are simple considerations and more investigation will need to be done on your part. Anyone interested in more detail on any of these aspects and more can contact me for consultation. – Fred Fornicola

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Natural Ways to Deal With Seasonal Allergies

Here are a couple recommendations I have found to be beneficial in coping with seasonal allergies along with the links to their products:

Really Raw Honey: Raw honey contains the pollen, dust and molds that cause allergies - by consuming this honey you will build a resistance to the allergens. Start off with 1 teaspoon and work up to a full tablespoon over a two week period than continue daily.

Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and can be very useful during allergy season. Start off with 1-2 grams per day and work up to 5-7 grams over the course of a couple of weeks. Take one gram at a time throughout the day. Too much Vitamin C is determined when you experience digestive disturbances.

To help cleanse and moisturize sinuses, try a Ocean Brand saline spray. Use this non-addicting spray once or twice a day to help irrigate and purify your sinuses.

When sinus headache or sneezing strikes, try Sinus Buster. With its main ingredient, capsicum (an ingredient found in different types of peppers), will get your eyes tearing a little but clear your head up in no time.

And finally - exercise. Exercise has been proven to boost the immune system and a strong immune system can help fight seasonal allergies.

For more information or a free consultation, please contact me at 908.433.4542

Fred Fornicola

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Premiere Personal Fitness - The "Elite Lite" Training Program


Premiere Personal Fitness – The “Elite Lite” Training Program

The “Elite Lite” Training Program is for those looking to achieve a high level of strength and fitness. This program is similar to the “Elite” program in that it focuses on safe, efficient and effective applications but does not offer all services as expressed in the “Elite” program. The program is detailed as follows:

*Very specific exercises and modalities will be utilized to give you a personalized approach to developing your overall level of strength and fitness.

* A highly individualized program will be developed to satisfy your personal and physical needs/goals.

*We will work closely as a team for your success in this project, so communication is imperative.

*An extremely high level of effort from both trainer (me) and trainee (you) is required to benefit from this program, and commitment must be made to the program by adhering and complying with all aspects involved (a strong work ethic, focusing on improving, not missing a workout, etc.).

*To increase the strength of your heart and to efficiently burn body fat, little rest will be taken between exercises. This fast-moving application stimulates the metabolic system and increases your fat burning metabolism. It is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle and improve your physical appearance.

*All exercises will be performed with a high level of effort. Due to the high level of intensity on each exercise at each workout, total sets will not exceed 10-12.

*Training session will be intense with a focus on working hard.

*Some exercises will involve the use of slow repetition speeds and will be performed with a 10/10 cadence. This means you will raise the weight over a 10 second period and lower the weight in 4 seconds - never allowing it to stop moving during the set. Each rep will offer NO REST PERIODS - so it's continual workload. Static Contraction Training (pushing against an immoveable resistance) will be used as well to intensify the training session as will traditional training methods.

*Training sessions will last approximately 25-30 minutes.

*Each training session is $55.00. An individual would benefit with two (2) weekly workouts or a training schedule of once every three (3) or four (4) days.

*As always, we can discuss additional ways of improving your heath but the main focus is PROGRESS AT THE GYM!

All Training Programs Come With a FREE Consultation and Health History Evaluation.

**Additional Add-On Services Available Under This Program:

Body Fat Analysis - $5.00
Stretching - $10.00

Premiere Personal Fitness - The "High Performance" Training Program


Premiere Personal Fitness – The “High Performance” Training Program

The “High Performance” Training Program is for those looking to achieve a very high level of cardiovascular fitness and burn excess body fat through intense conditioning principles. The program is detailed as follows:

*Very specific exercises and workloads will be utilized to give you a personalized approach to developing your cardiovascular and fat burning systems.

* A highly individualized program will be developed to satisfy your personal and physical needs/goals.

*We will work closely as a team for your success in this project, so communication is imperative.

*A high level of effort from both trainer (me) and trainee (you) is required to benefit from this program, and commitment must be made to the program by adhering and complying with all aspects involved (a strong work ethic, focusing on improving, not missing a workout, etc.).

*To increase the strength of your heart and to efficiently burn body fat, we will use specific interval periods to maximize your efforts to improve cardiovascular health and improve your physical appearance.

*All workloads will be performed with a high level of output. Due to the level of effort on each work effort, actual total work time will not exceed 8-10 minutes after appropriate warm-ups and recovery periods are implemented.

*Heart rates are monitored and evaluated for peak performance.

*Training sessions will last approximately 25-30 total minutes (or less) due to the high level of effort.

*Each training session is $40.00. One (1) or two (2) sessions per week are enough to stimulate improvement in cardiovascular health and body fat reduction and make for a good addition to one (1) or two (2) strength sessions.

*As always, we can discuss additional ways of improving your heath but the main focus is PROGRESS AT THE GYM!

All Training Programs Come With a FREE Consultation and Health History Evaluation.

**Additional Add-On Services Available Under This Program:

Body Fat Analysis - $10.00
Stretching - $15.00

Premiere Personal Fitness - The "Essential" Training Program


Premiere Personal Fitness – The “Essential” Training Program

The “Essential” Training Program will focus on a safe, efficient and effect approach to strength and fitness. The program is detailed as follows:

*A variety of exercises and modalities will be utilized to give you a personalized approach to developing your overall level of strength and fitness.

* A highly individualized program will be developed to satisfy your personal and physical needs/goals.

*We will work closely as a team for your success in this project, so communication is imperative.

*A high level of effort from both trainer (me) and trainee (you) is required to benefit from this program, and commitment must be made to the program by adhering and complying with all aspects involved (a strong work ethic, focusing on improving, not missing a workout, etc.).

*To increase the strength of your heart and to efficiently burn body fat, little rest will be taken between exercises. This fast-moving application stimulates the metabolic system and increases your fat burning metabolism. It is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle and improve your physical appearance.

*Each session is will last 30 minutes or less. If you are truly working to your fullest, 30 minutes or less will be all you need to stimulate your body in a positive way.

*Each training session is $40.00 and best results under this program have been proven with two (2) to three (3) sessions per week under my guidance.

All Training Programs Come With a FREE Consultation and Health History Evaluation.

**Additional Add-On Services Available Under This Program:

Body Fat Analysis - $10.00
Stretching - $15.00

Friday, March 19, 2010

Premiere Personal Fitness - The "Elite" Training Program


Premiere Personal Fitness – The “Elite” Training Program

The “Elite” Training Program is for those looking to achieve a very high level of strength and fitness and a strong focus on weekly progression through safe and efficient applications. This program is very quantitative and improvement is strived for on every exercise of every single workout. Documentation is kept for all exercises at every single workout along with additional, pertinent data. The program is detailed as follows:

*Very specific exercises and modalities will be utilized to give you a personalized approach to developing your overall level of strength and fitness.

* A highly individualized program will be developed to satisfy your personal and physical needs/goals.

*We will work closely as a team for your success in this project, so communication is imperative. We will contact each other frequently to keep updated on aspects of recovery and the effects of the workout with an emphasis on monitoring progression.

*An extremely high level of effort from both trainer (me) and trainee (you) is required to benefit from this program, and commitment must be made to the program by adhering and complying with all aspects involved (a strong work ethic, focusing on improving, not missing a workout, etc.).

*To increase the strength of your heart and to efficiently burn body fat, little rest will be taken between exercises. This fast-moving application stimulates the metabolic system and increases your fat burning metabolism. It is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle and improve your physical appearance.

*All exercises will be performed for one “all-out” set to muscular failure/fatigue (when you cannot perform another repetition in good form). Due to the extremely high level of effort on each exercise at each workout, total sets will not exceed 8-10, and in most cases, will be less.

*Training session will be "all-business" when we're working out - socializing will be for before/after the workouts.

*We will review and evaluate the previous week’s results and discuss our goals for the current workout as well as subsequent workout goals.

*Exercises will involve the use of varying repetition speeds, static contractions, negatives, hyper reps and many other intensifiers, as well as traditional training methods.

*Training sessions will last approximately 15-20 minutes (or less) due to the high level of intensity.

*Body fat composition will be measured once per week to help monitor progression.

*Each training session is $75.00 - you are only required to come once a week due to the extremely high level of effort required. That will be all you need to gain improvements in strength and cardiovascular fitness if 100% effort is given and you follow the above guidelines.

*As always, we can discuss additional ways of improving your heath but the main focus is PROGRESS AT THE GYM!

All Training Programs Come With a FREE Consultation and Health History Evaluation.

Premiere Personal Fitness Training Programs

Listed below are the available programs at Premiere Personal Fitness. These programs will enable you to train within your own personal capacity to increase your strength, improve your cardiovascular system and lose body fat. Please click on each program for more detailed information and feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at 908.433.4542.
- Fred Fornicola, Fitness Professional

Premiere Personal Fitness - The "Essential" Training Program

Premiere Personal Fitness - The "High Performance" Training Program

Premiere Personal Fitness - The "Elite Lite" Training Program

Premiere Personal Fitness - The "Elite" Training Program

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Be One of the "Elite"

Took in the second of my two strength workouts for the week this morning. Started off with a couple organic dates about an hour before I trained and 8 ounces of water. I performed 1 compound "pulling" exercise (one movement that works the back, biceps and forearm muscles), 1 compound "pressing" movement (one exercise that works the chest, shoulders and triceps) and 1 compound lower body exercise (the area of the hips and thighs). The muscles of the calves, lower back, upper back and abdominals are thoroughly worked as ell with these particular movements and in the way that they are performed. My total workout time was under 10 minutes. I really like this workout approach because it meets my physical needs and gives me time back in my day. Basically, I'm not a slave to the gym.

This, and similar one's are part of the "Elite Training Programs" offered at Premiere Personal Fitness. Call or email for more information.

Fred Fornicola

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Core

My interpetation of the "core" differs greatly from conventional thought. The core, for me, consists of the entire body from top to bottom, left to right and front to back. There aren't many activities - recreational, athletic or functional - that don't include the whole body to some degree so why just make one area a priority.

Friday, March 12, 2010

TrapBar Deadlift

This exercise works all the muscles of the body...and then need for cardio training after a set of these babies.

GIve Up Some TV Time

According to Nielsen Media Research, the average person watches four hours, 35 minutes of television each day (275 minutes). To me, those numbers seem excessive, but I’m sure most people catch at least 60 minutes each day (and more on the weekends). If an individual were to give up 60 minutes a week (and I’m allowing for some drive time here as well) of their TV time and engage in a properly planned exercise program, they could achieve significant strength and cardiovascular benefits – as well as an all-important better shaped body.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Buddy Rows with Resistance Bands

Buddy Rows with Resistance Bands

This exercise works the muscles of the back, biceps, forearms as well as the legs and midsection.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Natural Interval Training

Sunday’s I usually darn my weight vest and take my dog, Angel, for a walk at one of the local parks by my home. I use a vest primarily because I gain no real value of just meandering along on a walk and prefer a little more of a stimulating challenge. It’s also a great reminder to me of how it felt when I was lugging around all that extra weight years ago….but that’s another story for another time.

At this time of year (winter) and because Angel and I go out so very early morning, there are very few people in the park and therefore, I let her off the leash to romp around as I walk the park. If it snows (which we’ve had a ton of this year), we’ll trudge through the accumulation and encounter one helluva an adventure. As we take in the fresh air and sunrise, I watch her innate behavior as she sniffs this and that, pees here and there, sprints to here next spot and just has a good ‘ole time being outside and moving around. Interesting are her instinctive movement patterns that enable her to do our 3+ miles without her ever really getting tired as she is now pushing 9 years of age. Because of her intermittent bouts of sniffing, peeing, walking and sprinting so naturally, she has a built-in capacity to handle this workload as she would otherwise not as proof of when my wife takes her for a two mile run and she’s “dog tired”. However, when we’re done, she comes into the house and heads right outside the back door to play around some more. It’s apparent that she recovers well from her exercise as she isn’t panting when we’re done and she is able to be relaxed and breathing normally as soon as she lay’s down. In addition to her ability to have this recovery ability, this exercise pattern is a lot less stressful on her joints, pads and of course, her heart.

Now don’t confuse increased heart rate as not being stressful, I’m referring to a good stress that strengthens the heart and not a pattern that add strain to the heart in an ineffective way. It seems apparent, then, that this stop-and-go pattern (from the research I’ve read) offers a greater value to strengthening the heart rather than adding unproductive stress to it. Those who partake in some type of high level effort, high intensity training are already reaping the benefits of this exercise pattern, those who are not may want to consider some form of interval training to enhance their cardiovascular and muscular systems to improve their heart, lungs and musculature. Hmm, I guess you could say that maybe an old dog can teach us new tricks.

Fred Fornicola
Fitness Professional

Thursday, March 04, 2010

60 Minutes a Week

“Heart attacks don’t occur because of a lack of endurance. They occur when there is a sudden increase in cardiac demand that exceeds your heart’s capacity. Giving up your heart’s reserve capacity to adapt to unnatural bouts of continuous prolonged duration only increases your risk of sudden cardiac death.” – Dr. Al Sears, MD

We’ve all been told to do our “cardio” to improve our hearts, but as Dr. Sears has suggested in the above quote, long duration/low intensity exercise may be counterproductive to one’s health. So how does someone go about improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their heart? Well, interval type training has been shown to have many positive results for building strength, improving the cardiovascular system, decreasing body fat and reducing the amount of time exercising. A very simple, yet highly successful approach can be found in using a high level or intensity when you exercise. For instance, when you train intensely (working at a very high level of effort), you can’t go for long periods as opposed to lower level efforts that may be found in endurance training. The key to interval type training is to significantly elevate your heart rate for a short time period then allow for your heart rate to come down a bit by taking a brief respite. This type of training has become more and more popular among elite athletes, high level recreational participants as well as body builders for purposes of improving their sport, activity and/or reducing body fat levels. You can find most individuals performing this type of work on a bike, elliptical, rower or via running/sprinting efforts for instance. There are many benefits derived from this type of training – most of which, however, does little for overall strength building in the traditional terms.

Interestingly enough, an individual can get the best of both worlds by strength training with a high level of intensity and moving quickly through their workout. When you train with a high level of effort your heart rate climbs as you are exerting more and more energy (effort) to perform an exercise. Once you terminate your exercise due to muscular exhaustion or fatigue you then take a brief reprieve (but not too long) and then proceed to the next exercise. This interval type manipulation benefits your muscular and cardiovascular systems to their fullest and can be accomplished in a very short period of time.

Believe it or not, many people thrive on two – three intense training sessions per week with each session lasting 30 minutes or less. This is exactly how we train at Premiere Personal Fitness and if you are interested in getting stronger, leaner and in really, really good condition, feel free to call to set up a free consultation with me.

Fred Fornicola,

Fitness Professional

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Figure 8's with Kettlebell

A great way to work the lower body and abdominals...not to mention the cardiovascular benefits

Sunday, February 28, 2010

XF 7000 Static Contraction - Bench Press

Here is a short clip of the Bench Press performed on the XF 7000 static contraction machine at Premiere Personal Fitness.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Top 12 Produce Foods You Should Buy Organic

Here is a ranking of the Top 12 Produce Foods you should buy organically (or locally from farmers) to obtain higher nutritional quality as well as less pesticides and chemicals

Coming Soon....

The official Jersey Shore Health and Wellness Group website is nearing completion and will provide you with more detailed information on what we offer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why We Need To Supplement Our Diet (PART 3)

The following are the 3 basic nutritional support modalities which include the following:

1. Prophylactic nutrition: This is using supplements in the prevention of health related problems along with dietary and lifestyle modifications. Prevention of disease is the real key to living a longer and better quality life.

2. Therapeutic nutrition: This is related to specific nutritional health problems or diseased states. By temporarily increasing the intake of specific nutrients we help to compensate for our bodies increased needs caused by trauma, disease, surgery, stress etc. In this way we supply the body with critical co-factors to stimulate the bodies healing mechanisms.

3. Accesory nutrients: These are the nutrients that our body already makes. In some people they become a conditionally essential nutrient when the body does not make enough to meet its demands as in a diseased state. In this manner they must be supplied to the body in higher dosages by supplementation. Some accesory nutrients include carnitine, inositol, co-enzyme Q10, lecithin, glutathione, glutamine, amino acids ,and many others.

Balanced intake: The most important rule in taking supplements is to use the proper balance of all the nutrients. The ratio of one nutrient to another is critical in maintaining a balanced intake and support of cellular function. The presence or absence of a nutrient may effect the availability, absorption, metabolism, or dietary needs for others. The form of the vitamin may also be importasnt, because some binding (chelating) agents help to absorb the nutrient and deliver it more efficiently. The cheap one a days advertised as the best multiple out there are the worst. You can not fit everything you need into a one a day vitamin. If you have health problems it is best to seek the advice of a healthcare professional trained in nutritional medicine.

Well folks this concludes my 3 part series on supplements. If you have any questions or comments please give me a call.

Tom Mantos
(732) 219-9636

Monday, February 22, 2010

Static Contraction Machine

There's a new toy at Premiere Personal Fitness (courtesy of my buddy Joel). This machine allows you to perform static contractions (isometrically provide force) and gives a digital read out of your performance. Static contraction training will allow you to perform movements that you may not have otherwise been able to do due to orthopedic restrictions (joint problems, injuries, lack of flexibility).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Premiere Personal Fitness


*One-on-One Personalized Training in a Private Environment
*Group Conditioning Classes
*An Opportunity to Get Stronger, Leaner and Fit in 30 Minutes, Two Times per Week
*No Contracts, No Obligations - Just a Personal Commitment to Succeed

For a FREE Consultation, call Fred Fornicola at 908.433.4542 or email at

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Why We Need to Supplement Our Diet - Part 2

In part one I covered nutritional related diseases. In part 2 I will be focusing on factors that increase our need for supplementation. These include the following:

1. Biochemical individuality: Each person has a unique physiology, which sets us apart from anyone else in the world. A person's nutritional requirements can vary widely based on his particular makeup. We all vary in our ability to digest food, absorb nutrients into the body, transport nutrients into the cells and tissues, and excrete waste products. Due to inborn errors in metabolism, some people may require 100-1000X the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for optimal functioning. These inborn errors in metabolism are being documented more and more frequently.

2. Environmental factors: Our bodies become burdened and depleted by increased contamination of the food, land, and water. These chemicals (xenobiotics) can diorectly induce a disease state in the body and of course increase the demand of specific nutrients for optimal function.

3. Well balanced diet myth: A recent USDA survey involving 21,500 people over 3 days showed that not a single person consumed even the meager RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) of the ten nutrients studied.

4. Soil depletion: In farming, we replace the fertilizers and nitrogen compounds, which the plants need to grow. The essential nutrients of the soil are not replaced, leading to soil depletion. Couple this with the use of pesticides.

5. Food processing: The processing of foods has led to signifcant reduction in the essential nutrients, anti-oxidants, and fibers of the food.

6. Food cosmetic treatment: Consumers today must also cope with a broad array of colorings, waxes, and disenfectants whose long term effects only time will tell. We do know this that people react negativelyto colorings and dyes in the food. Many children with behavior disorders react to these agents, which is verified by doing IgG sensitivity testing and improvements in behupon avoiding the agents.

7. Trauma/stressors: conditions such as disease, impaired liver detoxification, physical, and emotional stress, alcohol, medications, electromagnetic fields are all documented to riob and deplete our bodies of essential nutrients.

8. Lifestyle choices: Each person's lifestyle also directly effects their needs for specific nutrients. Considerations include exercise, food and beverage choices, refined carbohydrate intake, food additive consumption, chemical adulteration of the water, alcohol use, drug use, air and water quality, and bioenergenics patterns.

Tom Mantos
(732) 219-9636

Sunday, February 07, 2010

You Have To Earn It First

If you’re just starting a dieting regimen, you need to stick to your plan for at least 30 days before taking any liberties – i.e. grabbing a cookie here or a piece of candy there. Keep the following analogy in mind next time you want to cheat on your diet: Let’s say you start a new job and after your first week you walk into your boss’s office at 3PM and tell him you’re cutting out early to get a jump on the weekend. How do you think that’s going to fly? You haven’t earned that reward yet – just like you haven’t earned the reward of cheating on your diet yet if you haven’t put the time in. Now let’s consider a week’s vacation from work. You definitely have to put in your time to be able to request time and take off from work – same holds true for a real “cheat meal” if you are newly into your new eating plan. The point is simple; be diligent in your quest to stick with your program, resist temptation and develop solid habits and then feel free to reward yourself every now and again as you should in every day life. – Fred Fornicola

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Why We Need to Supplement Our Diet

The human body manufactures about 100,000 different chemicals. There are about 90 essential nutrients that the body does not make and must be consumed. Under certain conditions such as disease states the non-essential nutrients may become essential. These essential nutrients supply the body with enzymes and co-factors which run most of our biochemical pathways in the body. These nutrients include vitamin, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, and specific plant compounds. The following contribute to nutritionally related diseases:

*Nutritional Deficiencies:
Deficiency disease states result from not consuming enough of a specific nutrient to prevent a nutrient dependent disease. This would include "scurvy" from a vitamin C deficiency, "beri beri" lack of thiamine (B1), and protein/calorie malnutrition as seen in starvation we see in third world countries called "kwashiorkor".

This results in diseases not only from nutritional deficiencies, but also the opverconsumption of too much saturated fat, sugar, alcohol, and white refined products. These disorders can manifest themselves as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, hypertension, osteoporosis, arthrtitis, etc.

*Genotrophic Disease:
This refers to poor nutrition which does not meet the unique demands of our genes resulting in poor function and disease. The way our genes express themselves in health or disease is mostly influenced by our environment (lifestyle, diet, exercise, stress) according to The Human Genome Project. Research is showing that genes can be turned on and off like a switch depending on what we do to them. We are all biochemically unique and require different levels of nutirents for optimal functioning. This new field of nutrition is called Nutrigenomics which is the study of the interaction of diet and genes.

Tom Mantos
(732) 219-9636

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Focusing on Fiber

With all the cockamamie diets and chemically processed food products available today, it’s no wonder that Americans are continuing down the path to poor health. With obesity (adult and child) and type II diabetes on the rise, manufacturers are zeroing in on how to alter their products to corner the market to keep up with the next trend in dieting. Unfortunately, this feeble attempt to encourage weight loss only furthers the decline of healthy living by encouraging “quick fixes” instead of focusing on eating well balanced, nutritious foods.

With people on the go and express meals at the ready, a lot of people are missing out on several important nutrients that supply the body the right type of fuel to build a strong immune system, fight disease and supply energy. Because many of these ready made meals and packaged foods are so highly processed they tend to lack the vital nutrients our bodies need. Unfortunately the consumption of these foods is merely offering a feeling of satiety and provides nothing more than what is known as “empty calories”. Empty calories are calories consumed from poor food sources that lack any kind of nourishment for the body. Items such as soda, chips, candy and the like offer no vitamins or minerals that can benefit ones health (and in some cases can even rob you of the vitamins your body needs) while still adding to your total caloric intake.

Due to the magnitude of this topic and the length at which it would take to discuss, I’d like to focus on one nutrient that seems to have lost focus over the years - fiber. With coronary heart disease being the number one killer for both men and women in America, fiber can play a critical role in helping reduce the risks. In fact, a Harvard study of over 40,000 male health professionals, researchers found that a high total dietary fiber intake was linked to a 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to a low fiber intake. Fiber intake has also been linked with the metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high insulin levels, excess weight (especially around the abdomen), high levels of triglycerides, the body's main fat-carrying particle, and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol). Several studies suggest that higher intake of fiber may somehow ward off this increasingly common syndrome. Along with helping to reduce the risks of the above mentioned diseases, fiber has been found to be effective in helping to reduce adult onset diabetes – better known as Type II diabetes. With a well-rounded exercise program, fiber can be effective in reducing the risk of type II diabetes and possibly help reduce the need for insulin for those with diabetes. Other unhealthy related conditions fiber has been effective in helping are diverticulitis and constipation.
There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Both soluble and insoluble fiber are undigested, therefore they are not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead of being used for energy, fiber is excreted from our bodies. Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid, while insoluble fiber does not. Insoluble fiber passes through our intestines largely intact. The function of insoluble fiber is to move bulk through the intestines and control and balance the pH in the intestines whole soluble fiber binds with fatty acids and prolongs stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly. Sources of soluble fiber are: oatmeal, oat bran, nuts and seeds, legumes (dried peas, beans, lentils), apples, pears, strawberries and blueberries. Insoluble fiber sources are whole wheat breads, barley, brown rice, bulgur, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery and tomatoes.
Current recommendations suggest that adults consume 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day. Children over age 2 should consume an amount equal to or greater than their age plus 5 grams per day and yet the average American only eats approximately 15 grams of dietary fiber a day. So folks, it’s pretty simple, focus on at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables as well as at least 5-8 servings of whole grain products per day and you are very well likely meeting your fiber requirements and improving your overall health.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mental Masturbation

It’s been years since the inception of the Internet (thanks to AL Gore, right?) and through its capabilities; you can reach out with just a few clicks of a mouse and find pretty much find information on any topic of interest. Well, my interest is the field of health and fitness and God knows there is an abundance of information on the subject – in fact, I’d say there is probably too much. Of course, with all this information and interest comes a copious amount of discussion groups and boards which involve many interesting parties. Some are new to the field of strength and conditioning, some have “dabbled” for a while and are still in a learning phase and unfortunately, there are only a few who really and truly are authorities that disseminate solid information. The main problem, however, lays in the majority of the group who think they know what they are talking about. These people, who are usually regurgitating information based on what they were told and not what they’ve learned for themselves, are actively “assisting” others - sort of like Ray Charles helping Stevie Wonder navigate driving a car.

But thanks must be extended to the self-anointed authorities, who without their constant dedication for scientifically dispelling all aspects of fitness and graciously sharing their new-found discoveries, we would not know the “real truth.” WOW, thank goodness for these individuals who have analyzed the precise applications and exact timeframe in which the most favorable atmosphere could be provided to take full advantage of the most insightful breakthrough of the millennia.

Man-o-man, am I tired of reading and hearing about all this BS. That’s all it is too, just plain old bull. These people are constantly going back and forth with all their research and hypotheses, discussing the optimal this and the optimal that, using their weights and measures as if that is supposed to validate their information or impress someone – although it very well may to those who don’t know any better. But for those who truly “do know”, we realize that the banter that goes on, the jockeying for Internet supremacy is not much more than mental masturbation - a constant evaluation and re-evaluation of the wheel and the need to perfect what is already working . Sadly, they add nothing worth investigating, let alone even worth mentioning and yet, somehow these unique individuals, in their own minds, feel as though it is they who created a new and better concept of the wheel. Well, guess what boys – you haven’t. The time spent discussing and arguing over the most menial aspects of training are sad and yet I find myself rubber-necking to view the wreck on the side of the road by going back to these boards to see what analytical crap is being dealt out for questions like “how much time a weight should be lifted for”, ‘what time of day is best to exercise” and “is it ok to have sex the night before I workout?”. I guess on second thought, it’s pretty damn comical. Someone asking the world if it’s okay if he has sex before his workout is quite sad, but pretty damn funny when you think about it – even funnier is the host of responses being offered by these mental giants covering the “optimal times” and “time under load” for having sex prior to work out time.

Wow – how pathetic this has all become when someone takes something as simple and personal as training and makes it so complicated that all they do is spend all their time searching for perfection and the answer is right there underneath their nose the whole time - all they had to do was stop thinking and just start doing.

- Fred Fornicola

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


For those of you who are struggling with "why" something like what happened to Haiti recently could happen, maybe THIS BOOK will help bring a littler perspective to things....maybe not, I'm just suggesting it might answer some questions.

A Note from Herb April

"Not many are interested in the goings on at Duncan Y back in the good old days. I guess that's progress. Personally I learned a firm foundation for lifelong gains, health, strength, and fitness from what I learned from Bob [Gadja], Irvin Johnson ( Rheo H. Blair ), and my first teacher, Jim Smith. Today's bodybuilders are so caught up in complex workouts, ridiculous supplements, and drugs, that it is a wonder they don't all lose their minds in the gyms. Training should be a sort of balance between serious and fun. The so-called "sport" of bodybuilding is the root of the problem. Being a "iron gamer" or "muscleman" is a thing of the past. Everything today is "plastique" and superficial." - Herb April

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where Does Fat Go When You Lose It?

The first thing to remember is that muscle and fat are two different substances, such that one can not be converted into the other. You need to lose fat and build the muscle. Fat is stored in fat cells (adipocytes) which are located all over the body. Depending on factors such as hormones, genetics, and blood sugar regulation you may have more fat cells in certain areas of the body. You have two different body types when it comes to fat cell location upper body heavy (apple shape)and lower body heavy (pear shape). You are born with a certain number of fat cells which you are stuck with. Having said that there are special occasions when these fat cells can multiply. This can happen first in the womb if mom gains way too much weight, you are overfed as a kid in the growing years, pregnancy, and in extreme obesity. So when we lose or gain fat we do not change the number of fat cells only there size. So the fat cells can increase or shrink like a sponge, but the number remains the same.
Lets take a journey and follow the fat to see where it goes when we lose it. The body primarily uses fat for fuel during our normal physical activities or during prolonged aerobic type activities. When the body needs fatty acids for fuel it is transported out of the fat cell and makes its first stop at the liver. The liver has to breakdown these long chain fatty acids (beta-oxidation) into short little 2 carbon fatty acids (Acetyl-CoA) so it can be easily used as fuel. The next step in our journey transports these short little fatty acids (Acetyl-CoA) to the area of the cell that uses these fats for energy or fuel. The part of the cell that does this is the mitochondria which is the powerhouse of the cell. The mitochondria produces all our energy needs for the muscles to work, brain and heart to function. We can increase the number of mitchondria by increasing muscle mass and aerobic capacity. Now we have more engines to burn more fat for fuel. Once the little fatty acid is transported into the mitochondria it goes into a system called the Kreb Cycle which burns up the fatty acids (oxidation) and produces energy. That's where the fat goes.

Tom Mantos
(732) 219-9636

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Boosting Your Immune System with Tea

Research has shown for years that drinking tea has many health benefits. Most people are aware that teas – specifically those that are green, oolong, white and black – supply antioxidants to the body, but what antioxidants are we referring to? Well, for the most part, these previously mentioned teas contain flavonoids (a class of water-soluble plant pigments), and they contain one in particular called catechins. So now you’re probably thinking, “what the heck is a catechin?” Well, catechins are one of the most powerful in the polyphenol family. Tea contains four main catechin substances, one of which is about 25-100 times more potent than vitamins C and E. In fact, research has stated that one cup of green tea provides 10-40 mg of polyphenols and has antioxidant effects greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots, or strawberries. The high antioxidant activity of these teas makes it beneficial for protecting the body from oxidative damage due to free radicals which helps the body ward off dis-ease (heart disease, cancers, inflammation, etc.).

Another consideration is quality. It is quite possible for store bought tea to be good. If a customer chooses loose leaf over tea bags, they greatly improve their chances of getting quality. Tea bags are generally bad because the quality of the tea in the bag is generally poor - having a significant impact on taste (flat, bitter). Shelf life is another matter of importance. If kept properly, tea leaves can be kept fresh for a long time - but quality does diminish - how long has that tea been sitting on the shelf? That's why I will use places likeAsbury Park Roastery who works with tea suppliers who are passionate about what they do - in turn, they are able to provide fine quality loose leaf organic teas to their customers. They handle and store the tea properly to maintain that quality and they also know how long it has been sitting on the shelf. Equally important is they are available to assist and guide - can't buy that at the store. Oh, and one more thing, organic is more significant when it comes to tea versus coffee. The image of someone spraying pesticide on a leaf, then saying, 'here, go put this in hot water for a few minutes and drink it.'

Here is a quick description of the four teas mentioned here in the article:

White Tea - buds are plucked before they are open, allowed to wither, then they are dried
Green Tea (unfermented) - leaves are dried, and then heat-treated to stop fermentation
Oolong Tea (semi-fermented) - leaves are wilted, then allowed to go through brief period of fermentation
Black Tea (fermented) - leaves are withered, rolled, fermented and then dried