Kimerafitness offers a variety of programs including: Corrective Exercise, Physique Sculpting, Performance Training, Swimming, Water Exercise and Bootcamps. Click on each program to learn more about it.
“Luis’ passion for, and knowledge of personal training is virtually unmatched. I’ve known Luis for almost ten years and feel confident in saying he is one of finest fitness instructors I’ve met!”
Paul Moniak, Head Swim Coach at University of Illinois-Chicago
Testimonial from UIC Swim Coach Paul Moniak,
Poi Fitness fuses the art of poi spinning with elements of dance and moves from the whole fitness universe. Poi itself can be any weighed object attached to a cord. The Maori from New Zealand used it to improve flexibility, stamina and coordination. In the modern world, poi spinning has taken a new dimension and it is growing exponentially. Some of its most popular forms include fire poi and glow poi. Online poi communities such as Playpoi.com and Homeofpoi.com have created fantastic platforms for “poi spinners” to share moves and learn from each other. The advent of YouTube has also been key in enabling poi enthusiasts to post videos and exchange ideas. Festivals such as the Burning Man Project, have created an ideal scenario for poi spinners to network and inspire one another.
My personal experience with Poi, begun precisely at the Burning Man Festival, back in 2002. The group of friends I camped with included a foursome of professional fire dancers by the name of Wildfire. They were extraordinary people and very talented artists. After retiring from competitive swimming, I had been looking for a new physical challenge. I tried several sports but none provide the many dimensions of poi spinning. Part martial arts, part theater, part dance, I found in this new hobby everything I had been looking for.
Poi Spinning has given me so much and I now want to give the community something back. I call it Poi Fitness and it is the product of decade of practicing, teaching and performing with poi and over 12 years as a Fitness Professional. I see Poi as a versatile tool that belongs in every gym and can be practiced anywhere since it can fit in any bag or purse. I see people who sit on a computer all day, taking a break to clear their minds and energize their bodies by spinning poi. I see children mastering move after move, developing a hobby which can be practiced for the rest of their lives. I see women of all ages toning their upper bodies while dancing. I see men challenging their bodies and minds by letting out their inner ninja.
Poi is here to stay and if you give it a try you will understand why.
I will be teaching Poi Fitness @The Spa at Trump-Chicago every Friday in September at 6pm. Send me a email for more details!
Last week Kelleen (my wife), myself and two collegues from The Spa at Trump filmed a segment on Poi Fitness for The Steve Harvey Show. The show is set to premiere next week on Monday at 2pm on NBC . Although we know that our segment will air next week we don’t know yet which day. Stay in touch and I will keep you posted.
Want to take a sneak peak? Well, take a look:
I will be offering classes and private Poi Fitness Sessions at The Spa at Trump all month of September. To learn more about Poi Fitness click HERE. Feel free to spread the word!
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT POI FITNESS? Send me a message on my personal email:
Also, if you are interested in fire shows contact Kelleen and I here: www.kimerafire.com
You want to feel better and look better but your work schedule is so hectic you seldom have time to exercise and eat healthy. I get it, there are days when I don’t have time to workout either. At least not unless I wake up at 4 am or train at 9pm after a full day of coaching. Since sleep is crucial to good health I don’t advice to sacrifice necessary rest to exercise. Yes, that was advice from a guy who makes a living training people and loves to workout. In order to look and feel sharp we need proper rest, eat food that nourishes our body and maintain an active lifestyle.
So, how can we stay fit and healthy without sacrificing our careers? I have few suggestions based on science and personal experience:
1. Make your workouts time efficient by learning a few total body exercises and repeat them in a circuit form. This strategy reduces your workout time but maintains its efficiency by cutting rest times. Here is and workout example that requires no equipment:
Push ups (as many as you can get with good form)
10 Squats followed by an isometric hold for as long as you can
10 Donkey Kicks each leg
Front Plank to max (if you can hold it for more than 1 minute make the plank harder by elevating one or two limbs)
Warrior Pose for 30 seconds each side
Bicycle Abs for 30 seconds + Flutter kicks for 30 seconds
Burpees for 30 seconds
Open Book Stretch for 30 seconds each side
Total time 7 to 9 minutes
(REPEAT AS MANY TIMES AS YOU HAVE TIME FOR)
2.Exercise frequently. Of all the training variables, this is the most important. Frequency and repetition develops habits. Aim for some activity everyday and transform movement into a powerful habit.
3.Schedule time for exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, burns fat and builds muscle. The main reason to program exercise in your schedule is because it will fine tune your body and mind.Your body is your main business tool, keep it sharp!
4.Take “movement breaks”. Maybe your work day is completely full and you don’t have time to sweat and take a shower. The solution then is to take “movement breaks”. A traditional workout may not always fit in your busy day but doing some push ups, holding yoga poses, going for a power walk, taking the stairs and doing other exercises throughout the day can keep you fit and healthy. A movement break can be more energizing than a coffee break!
5.When you travel, walk the airport. You are going to enough time seated on the plane so spend some time walking the gates.
6. You do not need equipment to stay in shape. Have a routine ready to go to do on your hotel room. As you can see from the routine I just posted you can get a though workout with minimal space, time and no equipment. Your body is your best training tool.
7. Get a few easy to transport training tools. Resistance bands are great choices and you can get a ton of exercises with them. Take a look at this ARTICLE for some ideas.
8.Train more when you can. Some weeks are less hectic than others. Take advantage of the easier weeks and put some longer workouts in. This is also a great time to lean new moves and work on your technique. The more you know about your body, the better you will be at taking care of it.
1. Change your mindset. Whenever you choose a meal, ask yourself the following questions: Where are the veggies? Where is the lean protein? Does it have too much sugar? There are more questions but if you are constantly looking for more veggies, lean protein and watching your sugar intake, chances are you will be OK.
2. Get some supplements. My advice will be the following: protein powder/shakes, multivitamin, fish oil and green supplements. Supplements do not replace whole foods but they can help us achieve nutritional balance, control cravings, reduce inflammation and maintain body composition. For more information on supplements visit this LINK.
3. Change you meal strategy. Fit and lean bodies are built through different methods. While, there is a lot science showing the advantages of eating smaller frequent meals there is also research that shows that intermittent fasting can develop the great results. The most important factors in a diet is what you are eating and how much. If your schedule does not allow you to eat lunch, do not despair. Have a few protein shakes ready to go, fruit or nuts throughout the day and enjoy a hearty dinner at night. Just make sure that you dinner has the proper ingredients: tons of veggies, lean protein and little sugar.
4.Prepare meals in advance. You don’t have to be a great cook to grill chicken, boil eggs, sauteed vegetables or cook quinoa. Fitness models, athletes and fitness conscious people reduce their cooking time by preparing several meals in advance. After a busy day at work you might not feel like cooking a meal from scratch. Cook in bulk and save yourself from ordering junk food.
5.Master your territory. Just like a hunter knows its hunting grounds, you must know where to “hunt” for healthy foods around your work place and home. Take some time to find the restaurants or health food stores where you can find fresh vegetables, lean protein and whole foods. There are more business selling healthy choices now than ever before and chances are that you can find a few or several choices near you.
6.Pack healthy snacks. Stress can lead to overeating and cravings for junk food. Have a few healthy snacks available to beat unhealthy cravings. Nuts, healthy food bars (check for calorie and sugar content and forget about the marketing slogan), protein shakes, a bag of veggies and fruits such as apples can be of great help to keep you going and producing at work.
7.Lead the power lunch. Is there a rule that says that you must order what every else is ordering during a business lunch? Taking care of your body is a smart decision and a healthy meal shows that you are strong and smart. Choosing unhealthy foods that make us feel good in the moment reflect a lack of will power and mental discipline. If I had to choose, I rather do business with the healthy individual who has control over his or her decisions.
8.Is the Happy Hour making you less productive?At some point we decided that the best way to relieve stress and be social was to drink alcohol at a bar. While, being social is part of business and life, drinking at a bar isn’t the only place to accomplish that. Instead, join a health club and spend some time making your body truly happy. The ideal will be for companies to promote healthy activities and reward those who partake in the programs. After all, who is going to produce more, the pro who is fit and healthy or the one with a hangover?
A large percentage of professionals in today’s world are finding time to stay active, eat healthy and put more great energy into their careers. Find strategies that work for you and are sustainable. Physical fitness has a great influence in your confidence and emotional health. The messages across the media will have us think that the main benefit of exercise is weight loss. Those of us who exercise on regular basis know that this isn’t true. The main benefit of exercise is that it leads to us feeling better on regular basis. Move more, eat healthy, feel better and succeed. That simple.
When I was a child, I used to take my soccer ball to my grandmother’s garden and pretended to reenact World Cup games. My grandma had the patience of a saint and never prevented me from playing even when the soccer ball would land in the middle of her precious roses. These imaginary games would go on for hours. Sometimes I would “play” through an entire World Cup Tournament in one afternoon. Moving felt good, while learning to control the ball I was also learning to control my body.
As an adult, I still find the same joy in movement. Whether I am lifting weights, flowing though a yoga sequence, playing tennis, swimming in the ocean or spinning poi, connecting my mind and body makes me happy. What is poi spinning? Glad you asked…take a look:
Working out to me is much more than following methods or breaking personal records. In some workouts I put my spirit to the test by taking my body to its limits, in others I fine tune old skills or learn new ones, sometimes a workout is a moving meditation or a play session to let my inner child be free.
I love to move because it strengthens my body and clears my mind. My physical training better prepares me for everything that life brings. My confidence is higher when my body feels stronger and my thoughts are sharper when my mind is clear.
I love to live in motion, I train to keep my body fit and I use workouts as way of introspection. Nevertheless, I do understand that not everybody loves to exercise. Just like loving math or history, exercise is not an enjoyable experience for everybody. If you find yourself in that group do not despair. Exercise comes in so many shapes and forms that you are guaranteed to find something that appeals to your personality. Maybe you love to dance or play games. Perhaps you like to be outdoors or go for walks. Maybe joining a sport league or being part of a team is the best thing for you. Our exercise options are limited only by our knowledge, creativity and imagination.
For those of you who have already experienced the multiple benefits of living an active lifestyle, keep going, keep exploring this physical dimension and enjoy the journey to its very last minute. For those of you who do not love to move I have a message for you: a little suffering in training creates a tougher you. Just like life, exercise isn’t always fun. Sometimes life beats you down and if you are not used to taking a beating you will have a much harder time dealing with the ebbs and flows of life. The ultimate goal in training is to strengthen your core, not your abs and back but your spiritual center.
One last thing: Grandma, thank you so much for everything and sorry about the roses.
Do you know the difference between Genotype and Phenotype?
Genotype refers to the genes that you are born with. You can thank your parents and everybody before them for that. Not much you can do about your genetic makeup. Phenotype on the other hand refers to how those genes are expressed. Phenotype is therefore the combination of genotype and your lifestyle. The good news: science is finding out that our lifestyle has a much more powerful effect in our fitness and health than we previously imagined.
What this means is that we all have a certain potential. For Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and Gaby Douglas that potential meant Olympic Gold. Not everybody has the same potential but we all have a certain ideal that we can achieve. Had Phelps decided that training was too hard or Bolt that fueling his body with the right foods too difficult, their amazing performances would of never happened.
Every person on earth has a certain potential: physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. I believe that they are all connected. To maximize who we are we must keep striving towards our own personal ideal. Our own date with our future self.
So, how do we maximize our potential? I do have some suggestions:
1.Make exercise an integral part of you existence: as your fitness improves, your desire to do more will increase. Life is about doing. Train your body to have the stamina to DO more in life. The beauty of exercise is that it comes in so many different shapes and forms. There is weight lifting, pilates, yoga, zumba, swimming, running, spinning,etc,etc,etc. If you don’t love to exercise, you just haven’t experienced the right kind for you. Also, remember that sometimes exercise does not feel good as you are doing it but makes everything else in life feel better.
2. Develop a positive relationship with healthy foods: eating healthy is not a punishment. We are wired to enjoy food. If you do not learn to enjoy eating healthy, you might not do it for long. The good news is that our palate does change. Liberate your body from process foods, excess sugar and bad fats (not all fats are bad-Omega 3 for instance-). Personally, I now crave natural and lean meals and the thought of eating bad foods (at least on regular basis) makes me feel like a daredevil.
3. Get enough rest: fatigue makes us irritable, hungry and tired. While sometimes we have to perform under fatigue, the ideal is always to get a good night sleep lasting 6 to 8 hours.
4. Create a strong social network: while I do not advocate that we should “fire” our unhealthy friends, we should look to join groups that share the same ideals. Isn’t it easier to work hard when everyone around is doing it as well? Surround yourself with people that will keep you motivated and became the example for everyone who isn’t on the same path.
5. Keep learning about yourself: Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to look good? Why is health important to you? What are your current habits? Which habits make you feel good and which ones do not? How are you planning to change things? Is the effort worth it? If I had only one car for the rest of my life: would I take better care of it?
Every 4 years the best athletes from all over the world meet in their quest for glory. For some glory will mean a medal for others a personal best and the joy to compete.
For the rest of us, the Olympics create and opportunity to cheer, learn and be inspired. The formula needed to create a world class athlete is a combination of genetics and hard work. Nevertheless, the audacity to test our personal limits and pursue our goals with passion is innate to all. We can’t all be Olympians but we can all be just as driven as they are.
As we watch the games, witness the drama and celebrate the victors, we can choose to ignite our own fire. A life without passion is a tragedy we can avoid by daring to push, pull, press, climb and crawl our way into personal glory.
The poetry in motion that we will witness will be a clear reflection of a lifetime of hard work and determination. This determination can be seen in every competitors eyes. Their body language will tell us how ready they are and how much they love being there. Not just “there” in London, but THERE in the moment.
In the next two weeks there will be plenty of inspiration indeed. But, how long will that inspiration last? The answer, is up to us. Action is necessary to create change. What actions will you take to generate the momentum needed to produce change?
Every athlete in the London Olympics has a powerful story. They are the best in the world, not just because they are faster or stronger but because they have the power to live life outside their comfort zone. We all have this capacity, we can all do more, we can all be more.
When we watch the Olympic Games we will be witnessing the last 1% of a lifetime’s journey towards excellence. Inspiration in the next two weeks will be abundant and must go beyond the games, beyond competitive athletics, even beyond physical training. Take it all in and use that energy to pursue excellence and happiness.
Let the games begin!
There is no argument that vegetables are good for us. This food group is packed with nutrients, fiber and is low in calories. Vegetables also provide an alkaline load to the blood which helps to balance the acidic loads that grains and animal products produce. When the blood is too acidic our health and fitness goals suffer.
According to the Precision Nutrition System, we should aim to consume 10 or more servings (a serving is the size of the palm of your hand) of vegetables per day. Since different plants contain different valuable nutrients, we should consume a variety of vegetables on daily basis.
In this post, I will give you a few strategies to help you add more vegetables to your diet. By getting in the habit of eating several serving of veggies on regular basis we can improve body composition, strengthen skeletal system, improve our digestive system, increase our energy levels and elevate our overall performance.
THE SUNDAY RITUAL: this strategy refers to the cutting and chopping of fresh vegetables to be frozen and stored for the rest of the week. By cutting time in meal preparation we are more likely to add vegetables to our meals. Make sure you have your veggies ready to go since you should be eating them with every meal.
BUY FROZEN VEGETABLES: same idea as the first strategy but with less steps. Read the labels to ensure that your frozen vegetables do not contain a ton of preservatives.
LESS GRAINS MORE VEGGIES: if you like rice, pasta, potatoes and bread you do not have to give them up entirely. A more conservative and very effective strategy is to reduce the amount of grains and starches and add the number of vegetable servings to your meal. So, instead of 3 servings of grains and 1 serving of veggies, change to 2 servings of each. Ultimately, you want to consume more vegetables than grains or starches but you can start by making things even.
REPLACE YOUR SIDE ORDER: french fries, baked potatoes and chips will not make you leaner or healthier. Always look to replace this side order with vegetables. Do not frequent restaurants that cannot accommodate this simple request.
EAT HEARTY SALADS: a salad can be a full meal or a side dish. Unfortunately most restaurants use iceberg lettuce to make up 50 to 70% of the dish. Choose spinach or romaine lettuce as a base and fill it up with other vegetables and lean protein such as grilled chicken,fish, tofu or eggs. Heathy fats such as avocado, walnuts and olive oil are good choices as well as berries, apples and other nutritious fruits.
USE HERBS and SPICES: healthy food does not have to be bland and eating vegetables don’t have to feel like punishment. In addition to making a meal more flavorful spices provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Here are a few recommendations: parsley, oregano, curry, chives, thyme, basil, pepper, garlic,paprika, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric.
GREEN SUPPLEMENTS: while it is better to consume whole foods, we can supplement our vegetable intake with Green Supplements. This will ensure that our body receives the necessary amount of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals required for optimal functioning. Here is one good option. Also, we can choose to replace some meals with products such as this one.
EAT VEGETABLES in SOUPS: soups are great culinary options. Check out this article for a few recepies and ideas.
VISIT A VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT: eat some gourmet vegan or vegetarian food every once in a while. You might be pleasantly surprised at the variety, creativity and flavor of the dishes.
If we want a five star diet and body to go along, we must find ways to consume vegetables in regular basis. I hope this post gives you a few good ideas and motivates you to take action. Eating healthy nutritious meals will make your body feel better and allow you to get more out of life. Good eating habits are worth the effort.
After the 4th of July celebrations is time to get in top shape! I am excited to begin training different groups in different parts of the city: TRUMP TOWER, MILLENNIUM PARK PLAZA and KATHY OSTERMAN BEACH in EDGEWATER.
The Bootcamps will concentrate on movement quality and technique while challenging participants to push themselves towards great results. The biggest problem with 90% of Bootcamp classes is that the instruction is very minimal and participants end up running 50% of the time. This causes several acute and chronic injuries in many participants.
The way a Bootcamp or any exercise class is thought should not be much different than Personal Training. Movement quality, technique and proper form make the workouts safe and more efficient. If you live in Edwater or are a Millennium Park Resident contact me to join these unique Bootcamp sessions. Members of The Spa at Trump as well as residents of the Trump Tower still have time to join the River Walk Bootcamp which starts tomorrow.
To learn more about each Bootcamp go to the HOME page, click on PROGRAMS and scroll down to find the location that you are interested in. Get ready Chicago, Summer is here and it is your time to shine in the sun!
PS: If you have a group and are interested in my bringing a Bootcamp class to you send me a message HERE
Preparation increases our chances to achieve success. To be properly prepared it helps to have a set of rules or guidelines to point us in the right direction. These rules create a structure which helps us repeat desirable patterns until they became habits. When we create habits, behaviors became automatic and results follow. In this blog post I will apply this concept to nutrition and go over 7 rules that will help you develop great eating habits.
The information I will provide is based in the world renewed Precision Nutrition System and it has worked for thousands of people. Follow these rules until they became a part of your daily routine. You could start by adopting all rules at once or pick one or two to begin with. For most people a conservative approach will work better and since the change we want to see it’s for life, we can take a little longer to make things permanent. Here are the rules:
1.Eat every 3 hours: this means that instead of eating 3 big meals we should reduce the size of these meals and include 2 or 3 smaller meals in between for the same amount of total calories in the day. Ideally, we should have our bigger meals early in the day and after working out. This strategy will help us to manage blood sugar levels,reduces stress hormone levels, keeps cravings under control and maintains our energy levels higher throughout the day.
2.Eat complete, lean protein each time: the body spends more energy digesting protein and this helps manage hunger and cravings. Protein sources can be animal such as fish, chicken, eggs or lean meats; or vegetarian such as soy, tempeh or chlorella or spirulina. Protein supplements from diferent sources such as milk, egg, rice or soy are very helpful as well. Include a protein source with every feeding oportunity.
3.Eat vegetables with every meal: vegetables contain essential nutrients and provide an alkaline load to the blood which helps balance the acidic load produce by grains and meats. Vegetables are also low in calories and high in nutrients making them high in nutrition density, a very good thing. It isn’t always easy to eat vegetables but we can develop strategies to consume them more often. Some of these strategies include eating more servings in some meals to compensate for the lack of vegetables on others, chop vegetables at home and have them prepared to produce a quick meal or to consume vegetable supplements such as Greens Plus. Picture a serving fitting in the palm of your hand and aim for 10 to 15 a day servings of vegetables.
4.Consume “other carbs” only after exercise: by other carbs I mean grains such as bread, rice or pasta. There is more research now that links grain consumption with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. After exercise our bodies’ best tolerate these carbohydrates so it is the ideal time to reward ourselves. During the rest of the day it is best to stick with lean protein, vegetables and fruits.
5.Eat healthy fats: there are three types of fats-saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Balancing our consumption of these three types can dramatically improve our health and helps us lose fat. Saturated fats should come from animal products; monounsaturated fat should come from mixed nuts and olive oils while polyunsaturated fat should come from flaxseed oil and mixed nuts as well.
5.Drink calorie free drinks: this means doing away or reducing consumption of fruit juices, sodas or alcoholic beverages. To be lean stick with water and sugar free teas.
6.Eat whole foods: supplements are great and can play an important role in our diet. Nevertheless, the focus should be on consuming unprocessed whole foods.
7.Follow the 90% rule: if you follow these rules 90% of the time you are bound to reach great success. The difference between following these rules 100% or 90% is negligible. It is important to the math so if we are eating 5 meals per day for 7 days a week that is 35 meals. This means that we can break the rules on 3 or 4 meals.
So how will a day eating this way look? Let’s take a look at some options:
Breakfast: Boiled Eggs, Veggie Omelette, Mexican Frittata, Muesli, Protein Pancakes, Oatmeal, Bran Porridge, Greek Yogurt and Berries,Cottage Cheese, Protein Shake, etc.
Snack 1: Yogurt and Berries, Green Tea, Protein Supplement, Almond Milk, Walnuts, Greens Bar, etc.
Lunch: Quinoa, Brown Rice,Tempeh, Chicken, Fish, Turkey, Bison,Lean Beef, Broccoli, Asparagus, Mushrooms, Peppers,Brussel Sprouts, Romaine Lettuce, Carrots, Berries, Apples, Oranges, Pinnaple, etc.
Snack 2: same as one
Dinner: timing the consumption of “other carbs” after workouts maximizes fat loss. Therefore, if you workout earlier in the day skip or reduce grains to a minimum and stick to lean protein and vegetables at dinner.
Beverage: drink water or teas 90% of the time throughout the day. For very intense workouts lasting over 60 minutes a workout drink containing protein and carbohydrates fits into the plan.
Besides following these rules it is important that we learn how to shop, prepare food and add variety to our diets. By following these rules and transforming them into habits thousands of people have changed their physiques and improved their health. Our habits are more powerful than logic and guilt. Positive results in health and body composition can only be permanent when we change our habits. Cosistency is the key to success.
On Monday July 2nd of 2012, 45 year old Dara Torres swam the 50 meters freestyle at the Olympic Trials and finished fourth. She missed making the 2012 Olympic Games by 0.09 seconds. Torres who competed in her first Olympic Games in 1984 and won 12 medals in 5 Olympic Games won’t be racing in London. Nine hundredths of a second separated her from what would of have been one of the most impressive achievements in sports history.
The question then becomes: Is Dara Torres not making a historic appearance in London 2012 a failure? My, answer is no. The reason why, is because from the moment that she decided to test her limits and reach for glory, failure was no longer an option.
When an athlete or anyone else pushes pass their comfort zone and carves a new path the options change. It is no longer about success or failure. It becomes about the experience of being alive, truly alive.
All of us have had special moments in life. We call them different things: following our bliss, feeling blessed, being in the zone and experiencing flow. Whatever our definition might be; we have all at some point of our lives felt like we could not fail. We were there in the moment, living our lives like the Universe was our playground.
When Dara Torres stepped up on that block she was beyond winning or losing and at the point where the glass is always full and failure was no longer possible. We can all get there. Life is waiting for us to step up on the block with fire in our hearts and the burning desire to give everything we got.
I wish you all a Happy 4th of July and let the lights in the sky be a reminder that fire shines brighter in the dark!