Thursday, March 31, 2011

Helping the Ladies...Get Right


Please excuse me if I stereotype, but judging from field research I have conducted, I felt it to be appropriate to focus on certain hot spots, if you will, that members of the female gender target for improvement. AGAIN, drawing from research the gluteus maximus (more informally known as “the butt”) and legs area led the field as the number one area of desired improvement followed by overall weight loss and abs.

At the beginning of my collegiate football career, my strength and conditioning coach introduced me to the concept of core strength. Broader than simply lying on the floor and doing pointless sets of 50 crunches core strength includes one’s abdominal (upper, lower, obliques) and lumbar regions. Aside from aesthetic benefits, core strength holds crucial importance for one’s posture, spine care, as well as other all power, as the core is the starting point for personal power. Weak cores make weak people, and that’s real.

FYI: For lean muscle building, add moderate to light weight and perform exercises for higher number of repetitions. Lifting heavy weights for smaller numbers of repetitions builds bulk. Ok. Now, for the exercises.


CARDIO
            -Jogging/Eliptical
            -Stairmaster
            -Spinning
            -Zumba
            -Kickboxing
            -Basketball

*In addition to cardio, ESTABLISHING and MAINTAINING a proper diet are the easiest ways to see significant weight loss. Remain FOCUSED and DEDICATED, and you will SEE RESULTS! Start with moderate time of activity, and increase as comfort increases, however, ALWAYS challenge yourself. THIS is how strides are made.


BUTT/LEGS
-Squats4 sets of 8-10 repetitions (4x8-10). Feet spread slightly wider than shoulder width, focus on pushing butt back during squatting motion remaining balanced and keeping the weight on the heels. Squat to a depth comparable to sitting in a chair. Start with the bar until form becomes solid and add weight accordingly.

-Calf Raises – 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions (3x8-10). This exercise is to be supersetted with the aforementioned squats (superset – immediately performed at the conclusion of the first exercise creating a two exercise set).

-Lunges – 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions each (4x8-10 ea). Stand with legs shoulder width apart, holding weights in hands and alternate lunging with both legs. Keep weight on your heels and do not allow your knee to go over your toe. When lunging step forward, stabilize, and THEN lunge, dropping your knee straight down, keeping your core tight, and pushing up and back through your heels. Start without weight until your form is good, then add weight accordingly.

-Romanian Deadlift (RDL) – 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions (3x8-10). Stand with legs shoulder width apart, holding weight in front of your legs. Slowly bend at the waist, keeping your head up, and pushing your butt back. Bend until your back is flat (you can bend your knees slightly if you need to), then return to the starting position, keeping your core tight the whole time and feeling your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back working.


CORE
Although there are variations of core exercises using gym equipment, I will focus on what can be done in the comfort of one’s home because not having a gym is NO excuse to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. ALL of the aforementioned movements (exercises) can be performed without the weight in one’s home!

-Elbow Bridge – 2 sets of 15 seconds front, left, and right. Lie on stomach, bend elbows and place forearms on the floor beneath you. Plant toes into floor and raise your body up from the floor, drawing your core to spine (keep your core tight). Hold for 15 seconds, then switch to right side, bending your elbow and holding yourself up on your right forearm. Stack the sides of your feet on top of one another, so your body is perfectly aligned while your hold. After 15 seconds, switch to left side and repeat. Once all three sides have been complete once, repeat for the second set.

-V-Ups – 2 sets of 10 reps. Lie flat on back with arms extended straight above your head. Simultaneously draw your abs and lift your arms and legs, so they meet and touch (if you can, although IT IS FINE if you cannot) before slowly returning them to the floor. Remain controlled during movements and MAKE YOUR BODY WORK!

-Russian Twist – 2 sets of 15 reps each side. Balance yourself on your butt, keeping your upper body and legs off of the floor (You should look as if you are reclined in a chair). Clasp your hands together (or hold a weight when you are ready) and alternate, twisting from side to side for 15 reps on each side for two sets.  Work to tap either your clasped hands or the weight on the ground for each rep.

-Seated crunch – 2 sets 15 reps. Balancing yourself in the same manner as in the Russian Twist, alternate extending your legs and drawing them back in, keeping your core tight. Your hands maybe remain on the floor, propping yourself up or raised in the air to increase difficulty.

REMEMBER: Workouts can be modified to generate specific results. I have provided a buffet, if you will,  of exercises with which you build your desired workout to target what you want. PLEASE feel free to leave questions, comments, BEFORE and AFTER pictures, whatever you feel to be necessary! Let’s GET RIGHT with Just GQ!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's ALL About the Presentation



In a superficial world where we are all judged and judge alike, perception plays a key role in all facets of interaction. We are all aware of the old adage, “a first impression is a lasting impression”, but at times, some of us fail to make our impressions stick with those whom we encounter. This relatively unavoidable social construct presents an amicable arena for all of us to improve the manner in which we are initially and regularly perceived, making effective first and frequent impressions. Essentially, an understanding of the importance embedded in the impressions made equips people with the tools necessary to turn an opportunity for prejudice into an opportunity for a positive takeaway.

In a seminar I teach entitled “Best Foot Forward”, I attempt to instruct undergrads in the how to’s of their professional presentations, physical and otherwise. We touch on a cornucopia of topics ranging from construction of their resumes to the handshake, signifying acceptance of the job offer. No need to worry, though. I will not be cannonballing into all that the seminar offers (wipes brow).

However, I do intend to provide a few general tips to keep the impressions you leave positive and when other people bring your name up, nothing but compliments will flow.

1.     General Physical Upkeep – People are visual creatures, and thus, our initial judgments derive from the signals sent from that sense. A frequent misconception lies in the thought process that makes people feel that dressing in expensive clothing on a daily basis is a must, which is not true, HOOOOOOOOWEVER, looking like a bum is un-ac-ceptable! Take care of the major areas and all should be well. Make sure your hair is in order (including facial for the gentlemen, hopefully not for the ladies), your nails are clean and trimmed, and your personal hygiene is up to date—that means EVERYDAY!

2.     TWO Ears, ONE Mouth – Like moms frequently remind us, God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listening to other people carefully serves as one of the greatest tools in assessing personality traits and tactics of interaction. USE IT! Also, MAKE SURE you do not dominate the conversation, as no one wants have their ears talked off with no opportunity to contribute to the conversation.

3.     Strike Common Ground – Most people love to talk about themselves, so utilize this embedded mindset to your advantage, though I hope it is genuine interest because that promotes great conversation and forges valuable relationships. Take an active interest in the conversation, voicing inquiries to gain further understanding regarding the subject matter at hand. When asked a question, respond in a clear, concise manner to convey exactly what you want to say, allowing the person with whom you are CONVERSING to reciprocate the interest you expressed in them (“conversate” is NOT a word and should NEVER be used!).

Hopefully, these tips will assist in improving the impressions with which you leave people. Relationship management holds a vital nature in ALL facets of life ranging from the personal sectors to that of our careers. Following the aforementioned tips should ensure that you, at the very least, do not grossly offend anyone unless you decide to throw a hot drink in his/her face and/or push him/her down some stairs—both poor choices, by the way.

Thanks for checking in the GAME! Make sure you follow Just GQ by clicking in the right-side panel and BECOME FAN on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-GQ/200715399948621)! God Bless!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Alessandra Ambrosio on GQ Brazil!

I have come to know that people enjoy visiting Just GQ and viewing the ever-changing backgrounds of domestic and international GQ Magazine Covers. In fact, I am fairly certain that some of you just took a look at this foreign cover and said to yourself, "Wow, she's bad. Who is that?" 

(Insert picture for further effect.. :-D)


(Pretty dope, right?)

Well, as I was on my way out of Brazil, I stopped by the mall in an attempt to spend the last of my foreign currency (Brazilian Real). A GQ cover caught my eye, capturing my attention, and then I saw the name, Alessandra Ambrosio. Ambrosio graced the inaugural cover of GQ Magazine's Brazilian extension, so naturally, I allowed the cover to dress the website for a little while.

Ambrosio, a Brazilian model who has been described as "the future of the modeling world" by one, Tyra Banks, served as the spokesmodel for the immensely popular Pink line of clothing presented by Victoria's Secret. She, also, draws recognition from appearances as a Victoria's Secret Angel and in television shows, among those How I Met Your Mother, a personal favorite of mine.

Just a little somethin', in case you were curious. Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode of Just GQ! Check in the GAME!

Monday, March 28, 2011

No Cuffing Zone




I thought we could take a break from the Just GQ Get Right posts, so I could talk to you about something else for a little bit. Is that cool with you? Thanks. I appreciate it.

Now, I have never been shy about being a member of Team “Don’t Chase ‘cuz Chicks Choose”, and I am equally adamant about not co-signing guys who suffocate girls without being in a relationship—suffocation, at that point, seems to be greatly subjective, as a number of girls may enjoy that type of stalker-ish, 24/7, “I see you” attention. Lol—but seriously.

Many of you probably identify this construct by its slang term, “handcuffing” or simply “cuffing”, a practice in which you may or may not have engaged. My particular disgust with this ties to the fact that I believe this stems from insecurity projected onto other people. While the ladies contain full capacity for this type of behavior, for the sake of multiple pronouns and character space, I will speak from to male perspective.

I, personally, feel that possessive guys may as well wear a sign that says, “I know you could probably take my girl, and since I know that, and you know that, and you know that I know that you know that, I will be cuffing her and she will not leave my side for the entire night!” Weak, right? The conveyance of this insecurity not only appears apparent to the perceived adversary but to the significant other, as well. No one enjoys being suffocated. That is why we are taught to keep plastic bags from over our heads early in life. Think on that!

Cuffing, also, explicitly displays a sense of distrust in regards to the partner. When someone truly feels comfortable within a relationship, he feels no need to provide ‘round the clock surveillance because he feels genuinely secure in knowing, “I am the better deal, and even if she was lured away, she is dumb for that. I would be able to re-up pretty quickly, anyway.”

This attitude, which I admittedly adopted around the time of my sophomore year of high school, flirts dangerously with the line between a cool nonchalance and emotional numbness. I believe there is a time and place for emotional numbness, however toting an icebox in your chest like the Grinch or 2007 Omarion can completely disable someone from taking part in significant, constructive, and lasting relationships, which I later learned, as well.

Balance is the key, similar to so many other scenarios; one can care and invest without suffocating and/or monitoring the other person like an inmate at Alcatraz. If the trust presents the actual issue, then a greater problem exists, which should be addressed to preserve the relationship, if it is, indeed, worth saving.

As always, I encourage you to leave your questions and comments, as you know I respond and enjoy a bit of intellectual banter. You can, also, mosey on over to onyxlouisville.com for more Just GQ! Stay tuned for more posts, and thanks for checking in the GAME! GOD BLESS YOU!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

To Get Right, Eat Right!




Good morning, Just GQ readers! I recently, posted the first increment of the Just GQ Get Right Plan. Today, in addition to that entry, I have displayed a sample diet plan to provide a more clearly stated list of some of the acceptable foods. Feel free to comment or ask questions! Enjoy and GET RIGHT!

Drinks

LOTS of Water
Milk
Orange Juice with Breakfast
Apple Juice
Green Tea

Breakfast

Oatmeal
Egg beaters/egg whites
Turkey sausage (preferably but regular sausage/bacon work)
1 piece of wheat toast
Fruit

Snack 1

ALL Fruits - Apple, Orange, Kiwi, Papaya, Mango, Cantalope, Honeydoo, Banana, etc.
Granola
ALL Raw Veggies - Carrots, Broccoli, Celery 
ALL Cooked Veggies
Salad

Lunch

Grilled Chicken
Grilled Fish
Salad
Veggies
Fruits

Snack 2

ALL Fruits - Apple, Orange, Kiwi, Papaya, Mango, Watermelon, Cantalope, Honeydoo, Banana, etc.
Granola
ALL Raw Veggies - Carrots, Broccoli, Celery 
ALL Cooked Veggies
Salad

Stop eating after 10 pm!

Dinner

Grilled Chicken (breasts preferably)
Grilled Fish
Ground Turkey
Ground Beef (In moderation)
Salad
Veggies
Spinach

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just GQ Get Right




Just as fall gave way to winter, the cold defers to the return of warmth as the leaves and flowers bloom in the spring. People are reminded of their new year’s resolutions to get in the gym and improve their health and fitness levels as winter coats are shed for bikinis and shirts exit for “no shirt season”. The problem with the perennial resolution to get back in the gym and lose the newly added weight is a number of people, dare I say the majority, are clueless when it comes to diet and training regiments. No need to fret, for Just GQ brings you (drumroll please…in an epic voice) THE JUST GQ GET RIGHT PLAN!

I am a firm believer that diet accounts for 90% of a healthy lifestyle and weight loss as well. The purpose of embracing a change in diet is to establish solid habits and personal guidelines by which people can abide. A large portion of the change centers around elimination, primarily of carbohydrates and late night eating, a popular drunken activity (yeah, that means YOU!)

For the record, the carbohydrates (or carbs) group primarily includes:
BREADS (ESPECIALLY WHITE BREAD)
WAFFLES
CAKES
COOKIES
PASTAS
RICE
POTATOES

Now, I realize that a lot of you have bewildered looks on your faces right now, thinking, “This dude is crazy! He wants me to starve!” Believe me when I tell you, as an avid fan of food consumption, the last thing I would want someone to do is starve. And yes, I understand it was quite fat of me to state my infatuation with eating, but I digress. Where was I? Ahh yes… Employ fruits, vegetables, and HEALTHY snacks in place of the sugary, fatty, and synthesized foods that were formerly included in your diet. Great substitutes include grapes, apples, oranges, celery/carrot sticks, pineapple, assorted nuts, granola, bananas (though not a personal Just GQ favorite), among other foods in similar classes.

While on the Just GQ Get Right, you should increase the number of meals daily, while decreasing the portions. This allows your body to metabolize the food better. TRY to get THREE solid meals and 1-2 snacks in daily. We covered snack choices earlier, but as for your daily meal intakes, utilize LEAN meats and veggies. Lean meat choices include GRILLED or BAKED chicken, ground turkey, and fish (Notice how NOTHING said FRIED!) Speaking from a cost cutting perspective, for all my economically responsible brothers and sisters out there, bags/platters of frozen chicken and fish cost about $5.00-$7.00 at your local grocer or even better, Wal-Mart (PLUG!). Packages of ground turkey range from about $2.50-$5.00.

LET IT BE KNOWN: Living a healthy lifestyle is much cheaper than frequent candle light dining at McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants, and while I will charge you to end your fast food romance, I understand the convenience and work issues associated with that challenge. Healthy eating choices guest star on the majority of popular fast food menus, and if there are none on the menu about which you are thinking, cut it out (scissors+point+thumb=GET IT OUTTA HERE!)!

Let’s Recap
·       THREE meals daily with 1-2 snacks (increase meals, decrease portions)
·       Limit carb intake (See above list)
·       NO EATING AFTER 10 P.M. (Avoid “sleeping on your food”)
·       Get fruity... and umm… veggie? (Healthy snack choices!)
·       Employ lean meats
·       Drink LOTS of water AND cut out soft drinks (Limit sugars)!
·       Get the fast food OUTTA HERE!

Well, thank YOU for checking in the GAME! Stay tuned as I will continue this “Get Right” series with the Just GQ Get Right Workout next! We gotta get everything tight for the summer! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just GQ Goes Abroad!

video

Greetings Just GQ readers.. As you can see, I have been on a bit of an hiatus due to international travel, BUT never fear wi-fi is here! I will be jumping back into the loop periodically during my trip to update you on the developments in BRAZIL!







Monday, March 14, 2011

Reality Bites





In the digital age of innovative technology, people have become consumed with their immigration into world of social media. Facebook serves as a chronicle of users’ lives, available for all (including employers and some parents) to observe the various moods, statuses, and late night drunken activities in which people participate and have participated in since their membership with Facebook commenced. Twitter plays the role of the up and coming trend involving not only friends and friends of friends but celebrities and pseudo-celebs alike.


PAUSE FOR DEFINITION!

Pseudo-celeb: a person who has achieved slight fame through reality shows or another temporary means; believes they are more important than they really are; D-List; See For the Love of Ray J or Flavor of Love

Ok, now let’s continue. Twitter provides proverbial field passes for its users to stalk other users’ daily activities, intimate, and not so intimate thoughts.  By the way, follow me on Twitter – @GQ50! (Wink!) But I digress.

Basically, social media, from a non-business perspective, enables the crafty art of meddling to a large extent and makes the act almost completely effortless. Due to a lack of understanding of the word “discretion”, users will undoubtedly post controversial pictures, statements on people’s walls, or beef through the ever-changing “What’s on your mind?” statuses. Because of this fact, exercising personal vendettas, keeping tabs on someone, and/or simply messing with people has become a pastime frequented by many.

The aforementioned activities are of toxic nature to relationships, friendly or romantic. I will admit, initially when I heard of this epidemic, I did not believe that it actually occurred in the fashion it had been explained to me. That is, until I, personally, experienced it in a past relationship, one in which a significant portion of the relationship’s details existed in social media – pictures, official status, all the talk on the walls, all that. I, then, decided that was NOT the way to go, for me, at least.

So, how might one avoid these predicaments? Prudent caution. Discretion. Have your relationship in real life and not on the Internet. Please do not understand me to say you should remove yourself social media altogether or even not showcase your friendship and/or love, but neither Facebook, Twitter, nor MySpace before that, should be used as a personal journal or diary for all to track. Nothing can be gained from broadcasting your most intimate details on a social media stage. Meaningful relationships are challenging enough without extenuating circumstances. So, date someone in person and not online! Again, that’s @GQ50. Shameless plugs don’t hurt. #kanyeshrug Lol…

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lupe Aims For Another Bullseye With L.A.S.E.R.S.



Slated for a March 8th release, L.A.S.E.R.S., which stands for “Love Always Shines, Everytime, Remember to Smile” marks the third commercial release for Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, more commonly known as Lupe Fiasco. Fiasco, whose last album, “The Cool”, was nothing short of a classic masterpiece, has his sights set on yet another timeless work of art, as The Cool boasted billing as the top rap album in 2008 and achieved a #14 ranking on the U.S. Billboard 200.

The Chicago hip-hop artist encountered issues with his label, Atlantic Records, as he planned the completion of his career in the solo sector of music. Atlantic intervened, and consequently, Fiasco’s eagerly anticipated follow up to the album, which detailed the story of The Streets, The Game, and The Cool was postponed until almost four years after his second album.

Fiasco’s knack for using his lyrics as the brush with which he creates vividly realistic illustrations along with his ability to comically mock stereotypes within society distinguish the artist as one of the true gems in hip hop, specifically, and music, generally. He has already released his first single off of the upcoming album entitled “The Show Must Go On”, which is currently enjoying heavy rotation. Though, like the majority of other popular artists, Fiasco has encountered the leak epidemic, the release date has remained unchanged. In speaking for the masses, I know the public (who have not taken advantage of the leak) cannot wait to see the magic and intriguing perspectives Fiasco has cooked up, as his projects continuously render new meaning and inspire thought with every listen.