Thursday, December 18, 2008

Staying Hydrated During the Winter

Just because the temperature outside drops, and we are not sweating as much doesn't mean we should ignore fluid consumption! Yes, It is a constant battle to keep our bodies hydrated throughout the year. Especially during the winter when cold beverages don't seem as appealing as that 100 degree August afternoon. In fact, dehydration can be just as common in the winter as in the summer. Since our bodies aren't sweating as much it is easy to overlook the signs of dehydration. This can lead to cramps, exhaustion, muscle fatigue, and loss of coordination. Dehydration during the winter can also leave your body more susceptible to the common cold and flu.
So, what are some keys to staying hydrated and healthy through the winter? First, remember that the rules of hydration are the same in any weather. Keep in mind the signs of dehydration. Drink plenty of water, even before you are thirsty. Thirst is a good indicator that you are already on the path to dehydration.
Drink water before, during, and after workouts. Try to consume 1 to 2 cups of water at least an hour before a workout. Then try to consume 4-8 oz of fluid every 30 minutes of physical activity. A good bench mark is the color of your urine. It should be light or clear unless you are taking supplements, then you may notice some darker color. Don't forget to consume fluids throughout the entire day, especially post workout.
Another useful reminder is to drink a glass of water when you choose that hot Starbucks beverage to warm yourself up!!! KEEP DRINKIN' Trainer Todd

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trainer Todd's Recipe of the Week

Cranberry and Herb Turkey Burgers
6 tablespoons whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, minced
1 tablespoon diced, fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped, fresh sage
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 pound 95% lean ground turkey

Place couscous in bowl add boiling water and let set until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Preheat grill to medium high.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and stir for about 1 minute. Add celery and cook until soften, about 3 minutes. Add thyme and sage. Cook about 20 more seconds until fragrant. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the couscous, add the cranberries, and stir until thoroughly mixed. Let sit until cooled, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and mix. For mix into 6 patties.
Cook over stove top, coat a large skillet with nonstick spray. Set pan over medium high stove for about 2 minutes. Add patties, and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 4 minutes. Turn patties and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Cover and cook until lightly brown, but juicy. Thermometer should read 165 degrees.
220 kCalories
16g Protein
2g Dietary Fiber
11g Fat
15g Protein
3g Sugar
Serve with whole buns, or whole wheat flat bread for fewer calories. Don't forget that side of fruit to complement the meal. This is a good source of protein, and a GREAT power source with the couscous!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trainer Todd's Recipe of the Week

This recipe will make 2 8oz servings
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons low fat vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoons peanut butter
2 teaspoons or 1 heaping scoop chocolate whey protein
3/4 cup instant oatmeal cooked
6 ice cubes

per serving
220 calories
12 grams protein
29 grams carbohydrates
4 g fat (1.5g from saturated)
118 milligrams sodium
3 grams fiber

This is a GREAT post workout smoothie. Add a shot of espresso to get that caffeine kick. Simply put the ingredients in a blender and hit the switch. The peanut butter will make that clean up interesting!!! BOTTOMS UP, Trainer Todd

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Training through an illness

As winter approaches and the temperature outside drops, many of us will pick up that first runny nose, cough, flu and cold! It is the age old question " Should I stop working out while I'm sick?" or "Should I tough it out and workout through my sickness?" Well, Mom would tell you to rest up, get plenty of sleep, and consume plenty of fluids. I remember my old high school P.E. teacher would tell me to sweat it out and run laps, which usually made me sick in bed the next day. For most of us, We push through the daily grind and address our sickness over the weekend. Suprising enough, there is not a lot of research on the subject. The basic guidelines if you don't have a fever, and the illness is above the neck easy to moderate exercise may be beneficial in speeding up the recovery process, while reducing your symptoms of the illness. If your symptoms are fever, swollen lymph glands, body aches, and extreme fatigue you should refrain from exercise. Your immune system has been compromised, and recovery is needed. You won't benefit from training through this, but just prolong recovery. A few days off from exercise is better than a few weeks. I also like the common sense approach of listening to how your body is feeling. I know this is tough for you hard core athletes, but you won't lose your fitness level by taking a few days off to recover from an illness. TRAIN HARD, REST HARD!!! Trainer Todd

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trainer Todd's Recipe of the Week

Grilled Italian Skirt Steak
12 oz skirt/ flank steak
1 can 15.5 oz cannellini beans
1 large red onion
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon

In a medium pan over medium heat, cook the onion in half of the olive oil for 10 minutes, until soft and slightly brown. Add the vinegar and cook another 5 min.
Heat a pot with remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, beans, and rosemary and cook for 5 min. Use a potato masher to roughly mash the beans. Add lemon juice to taste.
Heat a grill, grill pan over high heat. Grill steak for 3-4 min per side for medium rare. Slice and serve over the beans and spoon onion on top. Makes 2 servings.

Roughly 580 calories, 56 grams protein, 41g carbohydrates, 21g fat, 8 g fiber.
This is a GREAT post workout meal for protein content. Serve this with a green salad and you are good to go!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


With the Holiday season approaching, now is the time to focus in and prepare your workout routine for the end of year. I see a trend every year as the Holiday's approach. The workouts drop off as we get busier with parties, family, and travel.
This year let's get focused and prepared to keep a workout routine through the new year. Even if you downscale your regiment as long as you keep active. Your body will thank you come January 1st, when you make those new year resolutions.
Don't forget to pack those workout clothes if you are traveling. Find a gym close to where you will be staying at and drop in a class or hit the trail for a hike. Sign up for a Turkey Trot or Jingle Bell run. Most hotels have gym and cardio equipment, so set 1 hour a day out of your schedule to get that workout in.
Try to monitor that Holiday diet as well. We are all human when it comes to mom's home cooking, but MODERATION is our friend. The more you think about diet and exercise over the Holiday's the easier it will be when you return to your normal routine. You will feel better!!! ENJOY THE HOLIDAY'S, Trainer Todd

Monday, November 10, 2008

Trainer T's Recipe of the Week

Chinese Pineapple Chicken with Black Bean Sauce
4 medium scallions
1 Tbsp ginger root, fresh, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 LBS uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
20 oz can pineapple, packed in juice, tidbits
1/4 cup black bean sauce
2 cup cooked brown rice

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set pan over medium- high heat. Add scallions, ginger, and garlic; cook until soft around 3 min. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides, stir often, around 5 min.
Add pineapple with its juice, and black bean sauce to skillet; bring to simmer until chicken is cooked through, around 5 min.
Divide rice into 4 plates and spoon chicken mixture over top.
Makes 4 servings or roughly 1 cup of chicken and 1/2 cup rice per serving.

This is a GREAT post workout meal. Serve this meal with a salad, and you are hitting all of those food groups. CHEERS, T

Thursday, November 6, 2008


HELLO ALL!! I was reminded by one of my clients this week that you should enjoy your fitness. Whether it is yoga, Pilate's, resistance training, running or hitting the elliptical in the gym you will tend to see better results if you look forward to fitness during your daily grind. You will more likely to stick with it over the long term as well. This helps with that rollercoaster weight loss and inconsistant fitness levels.
In a time where fitness modes are analyzed and media blitzed to the popular Hollywood fitness trends. Every year there are new products, exercises, and training methods that will get you "fitter faster". Sometimes it all seems overwhelming. What fitness modes should I choose to loose the pounds faster? What trainer is the best and most efficient? What overpriced fitness equipment do I buy this year to use as a clothes hanger? The one thing we overlook in these decisions is simply What activity do I like? I take it for granted. I put on my running shoes and hit the pavement. Running is my decompression, my office, my therapist, and my euphoria. Those of you who have felt that exercise high know what I mean. So sit down and ask yourself "WHAT FITNESS DO I ENJOY?" Make a list of the pros and cons of a few exercise modes. If you haven't found it yet, try something new. Stretch that comfort zone. Who knows, you might like it!! TRAINER TODD

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Red beans and rice with turkey sausage.
serving size: 2-3 people
2.5 cups chicken stock
1 cup brown rice
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound smoked turkey sausage cut into 1/2 inch coils
1 15oz can kidney beans
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
In a pot, bring stock and rice to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Saute peppers, onion, and garlic in oil until softened. Add sausage and saute until brown. Add beans and 1/2 cup of bean liquid, diced toms with juice, thyme, and bay leaf. Simmer uncovered for 20 min and stir. Add and stir in rice to combine. Don't forget to remove the bay leaf and serve!!
Calories per serving, roughly: 470 carbs, 68g protein, 11g fat


Are you hardcore? Yes, The core is one of the most hated and neglected training systems. How many times have you put off core training until the end of your workout or end of the week? I used to find myself saying, "I will focus on core next week." Then I look back at my training log and it has been a month since I did core exercises, WHOOPS!! The core muscles are like a foundation of a house. The stronger they are the stronger your house is. So, how do we embrace those core movements? I have found that integrating core exercises throughout your workout routine is a positive route. I will pick a core movement, such as Russian ab twist, and use it as active recovery from another group of muscles in a rotation. Another great way to sneak core in is functional movements. For example, Walking lunges with a torso rotation holding a med ball. This is a GREAT way to challenge your mind body connection. You will see huge benefits from functional training because we are forcing your entire body to work and move.
Don't forget about your lower back and sides as well. Sometimes we get tunnel vision and focus on the front abs. So, do those planks and side crunches with a smile on your face!!
Mix it up!! I see people in the gym doing the same core movements week in week out. Variety is the spice of life!! your body will thank you for the challenge.
A strong, balanced core regiment will enhance you posture, balance, and performance. You will also experience decreased lower back pain and reduce the risk of injury in sport and daily life functions. GET READY, GET SET, GO HARDCORE!!! Trainer Todd

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


HELLO ALL!!! Are we enjoying the cooler temperatures? I want to give a quick update at OTEF!! We will be a part of the auction at the Ghoulball put on by Goodwill this Friday, October 24th at the Driskall downtown. Put a costume on and come down and support a GOOD cause. Rumor has it there will be an open bar!! HMMMM! OTEF is proud to sponsor The Lion's Club Dog Walk this Saturday, October 25th at Lakeway City Park. Start time is 9am.
Trainer Todd's Fall Fit Camp is off and running. We are meeting Saturday mornings 9:30a at the Lakeway facility. The cost is $10 a class. It is worth the drive!!
OTEF has partnered with Body Dynamix for a Fall Core Class at Ladybird Lake on Mondays & Wednesdays. Start time is 6a!! Get your day started off right. You still have time to join. Contact Tell her Trainer Todd sent you!!
OTEF successfully finished the IBM uptown 10k classic last Sunday. I'm proud to say that I tortured myself for a grueling 37:05. I just finished under 6 min per mile pace. Not bad for an old man. We will be at Gilbert's Gazelles Run for the Water 10 miler on November 9th. We are also scheduled to run the 3m half marathon on January 25th followed by the AT & T half Marathon on Febuary 15th. It's still not too late to start training.
OTEF Gift Certificates are now available for your fitness needs. Have you received your official OTEF T shirt yet? Ask Trainer Todd!! They also make great gifts!! Do you know someone interested in training? OTEF would like to offer a 10% discount on the first months training dues ,and earn a complimentary session for yourself! Referrals are VITAL for the growth and development of OTEF!! THANK YOU for every one's continued support and encouragement. You are all a part of this!! NOW shut down that computer and GET ACTIVE!!! TRAINER TODD

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


We all have these imaginary boundaries, I like to call COMFORT ZONES! I had the pleasure of being a guest at a Lion's Club function the other week. The guest speaker was Chad Morris, Head Football Coach at Lake Travis High. He gave a very inspiration speak on comfort zones. I'm not one who usually buys into these sort of speeches, but he struck a nerve.
Chad is in his first year as head coach. He has some big shoes to fill, since Lake Travis High won the Texas State Football Championship last season. He previously coached at a smaller school. So he is definitely out of his comfort zone. From relocating his family to new players and their parents, to new coaching staff. That is a lot of jumping outside those comfort zones that we fight so hard to build and protect.
While Chad was giving his motivating lecture, I was amazed how this scenario of breaking out of our comfort zones applied to myself. I have just started my own small business without any safety net. I haven't had time to reflect on this until now!! What the heck was I thinking. I'm in my 30's, and I decide to change my life now. No wonder I can't sleep at night. Chad gave me another bit of advise. You have to let the people around you be a part of your comfort zone. Everyone wants to take ownership and be a part of something. WOW!! This guy might be on to something. I was getting FIRED UP just listening to him. I challenge you to let me know, what I can do to push your fitness comfort zone!!
We all break through these comfort zones at different periods in our life. Whether you have just relocated your family, started a new career, or tried a new fitness activity for the first time. We have the great ability to adapt both mentally and physically. When we push harder and longer at the gym or in class, the next time it will get easier and you will do better. That is what makes us successful. So, get out there and try something new in life!! Take ownership of those cardio workouts and embrace our time in the gym!! Okay, that is deep enough for now!! TRAINER TODD says "Take it to the next level"!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The THRILL of the HILL

Austin, TX is an amazing place to live and exercise. We are soooo lucky that everything here is either uphill or downhill!! I hear it all the time, How do you run those hills with a smile on your face. First of all it isn't a smile, but a grimace!!! Hills are like anything else in life, the more time you spend on them, the better you get. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! So when I tell people that I ran up Ladera Norte twice yesterday, they look at me like I'm INSANE!! There is an art to ascending and descending those Austin hills. One effective trick is to train on them regardless of what mode of exercise you choose. Hill repeats or intervals are another great trick. This will improve your form and mental toughness as well. Practice on the downhills as well. Good controlled form and body positioning can reduce the risk of injury. Body weight is a huge factor. It is no fun to pack those extra pounds up the hill, then have that extra weight pounding on your bones, tendons, and joints coming downhill. Spend time in the gym with resistance training for those legs. A strong core is a big help as well. Last but not least, Flexibility!! Stretching on a daily basis will be huge positive. So what are you waiting for? Get out and embrace those hills!! CHEERS, TRAINER TODD


HELLO ALL!! After that horrible Nike Human Race 10k, I decided to run the Casa for Kids 5k the following weekend. I'm not a big fan of competing back to back weekends, but I needed to test myself. I was looking for a little redemption. It helped that the temperature was in the low 80's at start and that it was a short race with only a few hundred competitors. I felt good and raced well. I finished second overall with time of 18:11 @ 5:50 per mile. I let a 15 yr old kid beat me. It wasn't my proudest moment. This goes to show that sometimes you will have great workouts and sometimes have bad ones in the same week or month. Stay positive and realize that you will always have a better workout or race!! The body does weird things to us throughout the year. You will have peaks and valleys. Enjoy the roller coaster and keep chipping way at it!! Quitting is easy, finishing is an accomplishment!! So walk or run that extra mile this week. Spend that extra day in the weight room, on the elliptical or yoga class. KEEP AT IT!!! Trainer Todd

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nike Human Race Recap

WOOOOOW!! It was a long, hot 10k on Sunday night!! I made my way down to Congress Ave with fourteen thousand of my closest friends. I hopped a barricade with a few other brave souls to inch my way towards the front starting line. I looked up at the start clock as it was counting down from fifteen minutes. That seemed like forever in the hot crowd. I didn't get a chance to warm up before due to the controlled chaos. As the start approached the temperature was pushing 95 degrees. As Evil, the race announcer, introduced Lance Armstrong and Mathew McConaughey the huddled masses squeezed closer in to get a glimpse of star power. Olympic swimmer Aaron Peirsol counted us down and boom. Everyone darted across the stat line to catch up to Lance. As I passed by Mathew McConaughey, I wasn't feeling to strong. My goal was to keep Lance in sight. I hung around for the first 2 miles then lost him. I made one of the most common mistakes in a race, I started to fast plus the heat factor. This was getting ugly quick. By the half way point I had settled into a rhythm. I was getting passed by runners and I couldn't do anything about it. This was new territory for me. I'm usually the passer not the passe! At mile 4 a familiar face passed me. My old rivalry Chris. I tried to hang with him, but didn't have the legs. As I made to turn onto Congress Ave, I had the finish in my sights. With the cheers from Austin, I found that extra kick I had been waiting for. I finished with a respectable time of 39:49. A painful 6:25 mile pace. I managed 43rd overall. I made bad decisions throughout the race. It started with no warm up, to starting off to fast in the first two miles, to not consuming enough water on the course, to mentally quitting. Good lessons learned!! TRAIN SMART, RACE SMART, Trainer Todd

Monday, August 25, 2008


Do you get bored with the same workout routine and exercises? I often lose that drive and desire to get in the gym and hit the weights, treadmill or elliptical machine. Sometimes 30 minutes can seem like an eternity on that piece of cardio equipment. So what do we need to do? Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try a new activity. Instead of that treadmill day after day get out and hit Ladybird Lake Trail or one of Austin's many paved hills. A good way to get that cardio in is to meet with a local club or group. Most of these are fairly cheap and provide a variety of times and locations for their activity. Accountability can be a good motivator. You will also get a more intense workout in a group setting. Also, mix up that gym routine. Switch your exercises and workout days. Ask Trainer Todd for some of these exciting exercises. Your workouts should be balanced, like everything else in life. Don't be afraid to take an extra rest day or week off from training every so often. Your body goes through cycles, so should your workouts. GET OUT THERE!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rest Days

One of the toughest things to remember during our training regiments is the importance of rest days!! Yes, those days away from the gym, off the bike or away from Lady Bird Trail. We need to rest and recuperate at least one day a week. Don't feel guilty for enjoying a margarita, chips and queso instead of a 5 mile run in the Texas heat. That means letting those tired muscles regenerate from the stresses we place on them without any physical activity. Your body may react in different ways to these rest days. You may feel tired and lethargic that first workout back or you may be totally refreshed back at 100%!! Try to have a plan for this. Chronic fatigue is a good sign of over training. Some ways to combat over training are to have a plan, set goals, keep a log, sleep, and rest. By implementing these easy steps you can avoid the negative affects of over training. Rest days are key elements in this cycle. The body needs the adequate time to mend the damages placed upon it. GOOD LUCK!! REST UP!! Trainer Todd

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nike's Human Race 10k

Are you ready? Yes, OTEF will be represented at the Austin version of the Nike Human Race 10k. As a faithful Nike supporter from Oregon, I just have to do it. You can find the link to register for this event @ The race is approaching quickly. This will be your chance to run with Lance. That's Lance Armstrong kids. He will be hosting our Austin race. The race is on Sunday Aug 31st at 6:30p. This should be a HOT one. I will be down there to torture myself to represent OTEF. I will try to make us proud with a respectable finish time. Please join me for this event. Remember as Lance Armstrong once said "Pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever!" Train on!! Train on!!! TT

Mornings vs. Evenings

HELLO ALL!!! Yes, It is the age old battle of morning workouts versus evening ones. Most of us have battled through those morning workouts in agony of that 5 A.M. wake up call with a certain trainer telling you two more, two more! We have also struggled through those evening workouts, tired and wore out from the stresses of everyday life. Just trying to hang on for that last 30 min until Trainer Todd says enough!! Well, what is more effective and beneficial? Research has data to support both arguments. Let's start with the benefits to mornings. Early exercisers are more likely to stick with exercise over the long term. You can beat the heat during those dog days of summer by rising early. You can kick start that metabolism and burn more calories earlier in the day. Your body will have increased energy levels through the morning and afternoon. Most important, All of the daily life commitments won't burden that early workout. Well, How about those evenings workouts? A major benefit is that your body is most alert between 4 P.M- 5 P.M. This means that your strength and stamina is 4-5% higher during this time. Your body temperature is at its highest during this period as well. This all helps to reduce injury. Research also suggests that sleeping patterns are more consistent with evening workouts. With valid research to support both arguments, it is best to know your body and what works best for you!! Keep pushing it!! Trainer Todd

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Beat the Heat

HELLO ALL!!, Well we are in the middle of a hot, hot, hot summer. This is the time of year when those summertime training woes start to hit. One way to look at it is that all of this tough training in the heat will pay off in the fall. One of the most important items is hydration, hydration, hydration. I have tried numerous of electrolyte drinks, gel shots, bars, and recovery products. I have been training in this heat for over ten years in Arizona and now for three in Texas. My favorite endurance products come from Hammer Nutrition. They don't contain those high fructose corn syrups and numerous dyes or colorings. They are more natural and the biggest thing is that they are gentle on the stomach. They have a full line of products from powders to capsules to gels and bars. Check out their website Also, don't forget those fruits and dark, leafy vegetables, whole grain pastas, and lean meats. Refueling becomes more important as we push beyond our physical limits. Try to choose nutrient dense foods. More BANG FOR THE BUCK!! ENJOY the summer!! Trainer Todd

Monday, July 21, 2008


Well, I would like to start by saying THANK YOU!! I appreciate every one's support and words of encouragement through this transition to Over The Edge Fitness. It has been a dream of mine since I can remember. In case you haven't heard, I'm training in two locations. I will be at Gym One in Central Austin at Mopac & Anderson Ln a few days a week. I will spend the rest of my time in Lakeway. YESSSS, Lakeway! This is an exciting and unique training facility. I have 600 square feet of my own space as well as access to an indoor activity room and outside training fields. This is a non membership facility with clean locker rooms and plenty of room to get those GREAT workouts done. I know Lakeway sounds far, but we are only 8 miles past the dam off of 620. It's worth the drive. I have a few tricks up my sleeve for the coming weeks. Please check out my website @ My web guy put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in this. You all know how I harp at you during training, so just imagine what my web guy had to endure!! Please feel free to post feedback, and questions or concerns that you may have about this transition. I also welcome any discussion issues that you may have. ARE YOU READY? Trainer Todd

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