• Deep Thoughts with Greg: Elevator Guy

    We all know that guy. That guy that gets into a really crowded elevator and feels the need to practice his latest stand up routine on innocent bystanders. We call this man “elevator guy”. Poor souls who are just trying to get to work are subject to the gruelingly bad jokes of elevator guy. These are often painfully unfunny jokes such as “what is this, the Broadway local?” when the elevator stops on every floor. These jokes are often made by the same guy who asks you if you “wanna dance” when you accidentally try avoiding each other in the hallway – but both move to the same side more than once.

    We all know of an elevator guy. If you haven’t been personally affected, you know someone who has. So what can we do? How can we prevent this epidemic from spreading? You can start by learning the warning signs to make sure you or someone you know is not in danger of becoming an elevator guy. Here are the signs to look out for:

    1. You are on an elevator:
      Always be aware of your surroundings. Are you in a box that is going up and down between floors? Does this box have a sliding door, and multiple buttons with sequential numbers on them? Chances are you might be on an elevator. Don’t panic, try to press one of those magic buttons and get off on the next available stop. You can’t be an elevator guy if you are not in an elevator.
    2. You are a guy:
      Studies show that the biggest risk factor for being an elevator guy, is being a guy. Consult your doctor right away to find out if you are a guy. If you are, may I suggest taking the stairs.
    3. You have the uncontrollable urge to say a joke, any joke, while in an elevator.
      So how does does a guy go from a normal guy in an elevator, to the elevator guy. It’s all about the innate desire to tell jokes during those brief moments in an elevator. These urges often involve the need to make a witty remark about how full the elevator is, or that the elevator is making stops at every floor.Just don’t do it.

    Know the signs, spread the word. Let’s end the elevator guy epidemic for good.

  • How Not to Train for a Spartan Race

    Last year I did a Spartan Race with my girlfriend and my younger cousin. My cousin played football and worked out regularly, so he was already in good shape and ready for the race. My girlfriend and I, not so much.

    Our “workouts” consisted of doing 10 minutes of YouTube yoga videos (maybe twice a week), running an untracked, untimed distance maybe once every two weeks, and totaled approximately zero weight lifting days in the gym. Not exactly the recipe for a great Spartan Race – but hey we really wanted to try it and hoped it would be able to motivate us to begin seriously working out. Besides, how hard could it really be??

    We signed up for the easiest race, the sprint. Advertised as the beginner level run, averaging about 3 miles with about 15-20 obstacles. I may be out of shape but I could still run 3 miles I thought, no problem.

    Except big problem. We pulled up to the Spartan Race decked out in our sick sports gear expecting to see a flat 3 mile track set up with some obstacles, only to be shocked to see that the race takes place on a mountain. Yes, we unfortunately did not research this enough and we missed the part where the race would not be a straight 3 mile run with obstacles. Instead it was a run up and down an old skiing mountain. And best of all they announced at the site that the run would total 5.2 miles! Good stuff.

    The race began with a nice 8 foot wall to climb over, followed directly by a sprint straight up the mountain. We managed to somehow push/pull each other over the wall and then “run” (read, light jog at best) straight up the hill. After about maybe 30 seconds of our best efforts to run, my girlfriend and I were already conceded to walking. My cousin, who had promised to stay with us the whole race, saw the writing on the wall and continued on without us. The rest of the race was more of a casual walk for us, mixed with about 30 obstacles of mud, walls, water, ropes, and barbed wire. It took us a total of four hours (my cousin was able to do it in about two).

    Don’t get me wrong the race was a blast. It helped that a lot of other people were also walking for most of the race, so we did not have to feel completely ashamed (shame…shame…shame). We had a ton of fun struggling at each obstacle and despite being completely not ready, we did push ourselves to finish the race. We will definitely do another race; only this time we plan on training, at least a little bit.

  • My Current Workout: 5×5

    I currently squat and bench about 100lbs, press and row about 75 lbs, and can successfully deadlift 135lbs. So naturally guys are coming up to me in the gym all the time, asking me what’s my secret to such massive gains. Well now, for a limited time only, I am giving away my secrets for FREE.

    There’s a good chance you have already heard about the 5×5 workout. It’s a really popular workout for people at any fitness level. This workout is great for me right now because it’s relatively simple, and the workouts are short (45 minutes an hour at most). Most importantly it’s a full body routine that doesn’t require 4-5 days a week at the gym. Best of all it includes all the major compound lifts.

    The 5×5 workout involves alternating just 2 lift days, for 3 days a week. You do each exercise for 5 sets with 5 reps each set. Except for deadlifts,which you will only do 1 set of 5 reps.

    Workout A:
    1) Squat  5×5
    2) Bench 5×5
    3) Row 5×5

    Workout B:
    1) Squat 5×5
    2) Shoulder Press 5×5
    3) Deadlift 1×5

    That’s all there is to it. Alternate each workout every other day, 3 days a week. So for example if you workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday your routine would go A, B, A one week and then B, A, B, the next. For a much more detailed description read this.


    I just started working out seriously again a month ago. I am doing this workout now and using the 5×5 app to track my progress (highly recommend this, just search 5×5 in the app store and it’s the first result and the app is by Strong-lifts). I started with really light weight and have been adding 5lbs to each workout. After another month I’ll post updates, and will post monthly after that as well.

    A little advice, if you are starting this program with your girlfriend I recommend starting at least 5-10lbs heavier then her on all of your lifts. If you don’t you will suffer constant reminders from both her and your gym buddies that you lift like a 5’5 girl. Not that I am speaking from personal experience or anything…


  • Below 30 Degrees Outside, 70 inch TV and a Beer Inside. To Gym or Not to Gym?

    Picture this scenario; you woke up at 6 AM to a cold dark winter morning. You commuted for over an hour to work, sat at your office chair all day and then traveled an hour back home. You finally get back into your apartment a little after 7:00 PM. It’s already dark out again, and not to mention freezing cold.

    You’re faced with two options; change into your gym clothes, pack your gym back, put on your giant winter coat and head back into the freezing cold to walk/drive to your nearest gym; or, grab that refreshing beer sitting in your fridge, kick your feet up on the coffee table and enjoy that 70 inch TV you just bought on Black Friday.

    This is the scenario I found myself in all too often this past winter. When you’re already out of shape and then further exhausted from your busy day- its pretty hard to choose option one. It becomes easier to just fall into the pattern of coming home and watching TV, despite how much you may really want to get back into working out.

    It wasn’t easy and I tried many times to break the cycle. But no matter what I did it never seemed to work. Maybe I would be able to force myself to go to the gym for one week, but by the next week I would revert back to the couch. I needed to find a new approach, so here’s a few things I did to help get me started:

    1) I stopped going home before I went to the gym

    It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out this pretty simple solution. Right as I leave work I still have some energy and motivation to work out. However, whatever energy or motivation I had before my commute was always zapped after my long commute or the moment my foot stepped into my apartment. The gym I was going to was by my house, not my work. So by the time I got to the gym it was already after sitting on the subway for over an hour. A true motivation killer any New Yorker can certainly relate to. So I found a gym that is about 20 minutes away from my work (even better it’s towards the direction my house, so it doesn’t add to my commute). This seemed to work almost overnight for me. I now go to the gym immediately after work, while I am still motivated and have the energy to go. The best part is it completely eliminates the temptation to sit on the couch and drink that beer. It’s a lot easier to not grab that beer when you don’t have the option.

    2) I started to meal prep

    If you’re anything like me you need a good meal at least an hour or two before your workout. I found that if my last meal at work was lunch, it was almost impossible for me to want to work out at 6 or 7 when I would get home. I would just be too hungry. Even worse, if I tried to eat dinner right when I got home it would basically guarantee I would not go to the gym after. By the time I finished cooking and eating, my energy would be totally gone and the laziness would have already sunken in. Meal prepping has changed this. I now eat my dinner a little before I leave work, allowing me to workout right after. This change was definitely a little harder to implement then changing my gym. I could (and likely will) write a whole bunch of articles on meal prep, so I won’t get too detailed here. If you are completely new to the idea, I suggest checking out this reddit page (MealPrepSunday) for some great ideas to get you started. If you are looking for a change I highly recommend trying meal prep out – just remember there’s no beer in the meal prep plan.

    By adding these two things to my routine it has made it much easier for me to get to the gym 3-4 times a week. If you have a long commute and are struggling to get back to the gym consistently I really suggest trying these out and seeing if they work for you.