(From an interview of Ian Kelley by intern Jake Lee for his Graduation Project)

Q. What is the best way to create a workout routine?

A. The best way to create a workout routine is to clearly define your fitness goal(s) short and long term. Then design your routine to match your goals. Your goal needs to be realistic, measurable, and believable while maintaining a deadline.

Q. What are the benefits of fitness?

A. Improved quality of life through better health, you’ll live longer, have more energy, more strength, an improved immune system, an increased self-confidence, you’ll look and feel younger…. if you don’t have your health nothing else matters.

Q. What foods contribute to bad health?

A. Jack Lalanne said “If it’s made by man don’t eat it.” Any processed, packaged, man made food, anything with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, MSG, hydrogenated oils, fast food, most restaurant food, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, sucrose, dextrose, flours, cakes, cookies, most breads, soda, most baked goods, candy and refined carbohydrates in general.

Q. What foods contribute to good health?

A. The healthiest foods I know of are:

· Natural and organic fruits and vegetables like kale, apples, grapefruits, garlic, collards, sprouts, spinach, green beans, lemons, broccoli, asparagus, melons, eggplant, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.

· Healthy whole grains and legumes like lentils, oats, brown rice, quinoa, barley, black beans, pinto beans, etc.

· Lean, clean proteins like wild fish, pastured poultry, free-range eggs and grass-fed beef.

· Healthy fats like cold processed coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, raw nuts, olives, flaxseeds, chia seeds, etc.

Bee products like raw honey, propolis, and bee pollen are also amazing super foods because of all the health benefits. Honey is the only truly natural sweetener because bees make it.

Q. What are some small and easy lifestyle changes someone could make to improve overall health?

A. Exercise your mind every day. Never try to escape from thought. Unplug your television and video games and read a book. All fitness begins in the mind so a fit mind is even more important than a fit body. Eliminate anything from your life that alters your mind and stops you from clear, rational, thought and judgment. Use your own mind to decide what you believe. Sing, go dancing, laugh, give hugs often, play with children and pets often and love yourself. Woops, I guess those aren’t small and easy changes so how about just eating oats and fruit for breakfast instead of cereal!

Q. What do you think is the future of fitness?

A.  I don’t know about the distant future but in the near term the trends are:

1. A revival of Functional Training, body weight exercises and old school calisthenics as people steer away from weight lifting and pursue core strength, stability and balanced fitness.

2. Fitness Boot Camps providing efficient and intense total body, strength, core and cardio workouts combined with nutritional counseling.

3. A decline in heavy weight training from the public’s “negative bodybuilding perception” and widely believed myth that weight training will make you big and bulky when in reality only excess calories can make you bigger and bulkier not heavy weight lifting alone.

4. HIIT or high intensity interval training. Not to be confused with interval training. The idea of HIIT is to push yourself to an extreme level for short periods of time and requires serious motivation. Crossfit is an example.

how do I succeed with a 6 week body transformation?

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”- Dr. George Sheehan

Creating new challenges has been the best way for me to stay in shape and continue improving my fitness level. Since our bodies adapt quickly, every six weeks I design a new routine for my fitness boot camp that always has fun, new exercises that must be mastered to challenge the nervous system in a new way.

The motivation, intensity and energy that I feel from group fitness, whether instructing or participating, is much more powerful than exercising alone. Other People are the key ingredient to a better workout because on my own I might not push myself to the same level. Scheduling workouts with a training partner that I respect and admire has always helped me to have fun and succeed as well. For many years I would meet with a friend for strength training who was a little stronger than me. In addition to the camaraderie, this always created a healthy competition and drive to improve.

Since I’ve been very active in strength training and bodybuilding competitions for many years more recently I have focused on triathlon competitions, cycling and running. Signing up for races and competitions helps me to improve by setting goals with a definite timeline. When I have a weak area, like swimming, I schedule workouts with a trainer or friend to force myself to practice and improve on something I would not do on my own. FITNESS IS AN EXPERIENCE.

By Ian Kelley

From The Essex Edge On Fitness quarterly newsletter 2011


Posted by Ian Kelley on Thursday, October 29, 2015