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Ant

I’m very focused on building muscle while creating as little stress on my joints as possible. Always strict, controlled form. No bouncing. No swinging. Often (but not always): Slow reps (4sec down + 6 sec up) to shock the muscle and build up lactic acid releasing growth hormone. Drop sets, rest/pause and partial reps. Occasionally I will lift heavy weights, 3 sets of 5 reps or so.

In the mid-80s, I was a 115-pound teenager and I saw a picture of Robby Robinson posing. I remember thinking “Good grief is that his bicep?” He was fantastic and I was inspired. Seeing Robby Robinson, Frank Zane, Tom Platz and others, they blew me away.

I don’t have as many pains or some of the health problems that others my age have. I like to attribute this to staying healthy. Mentally, I love preparing for a workout, testing techniques and seeing how my body responds. It keeps me sharp. I love getting questions from others because then I usually have to do research before answering. I end up learning a lot that way.

Looking at how others progress and transform themselves, I also want to be inspirational to others my age or even younger. If I’m doing it, they can too! I love encouraging others and watching them take the bull by the horns.

My wife is fantastic! She’s my biggest supporter. She helps me eat healthy by eating healthy herself. She knows I’m not a fan of vegetables and she creatively adds them to the things she cooks. She is always encouraging me and telling me that I make her proud. She’s a wonderful woman and a blessing to my life!

I also get much enjoyment out of the younger crowd. We’re fortunate enough to have a great group of young people at our gym and they’re always encouraging and inspiring! I like having a good time at the gym and we all get along great.

Putting on weight has been one of my biggest obstacles. I was proud that I put on 18lbs. last year before cutting. That was the most I’ve ever weighed (178). I was also fortunate enough to have been interviewed by Bodybuilding.com. I was one of their Over 40 Amateurs of the week.

My routines change all the time. I’m cutting at the moment, the techniques are the same basically, I might add a few additional exercises if I think a specific body part needs more attention. I’m doing a lot of isolation type exercises right now to bring out the small details as I cut. I am very big on the MIND/MUSCLE connection (Kai Greene talks about this a lot). It really works!

I have a few goals I wish to achieve and there are many ways that I can go. Maybe personal training. Maybe a contest. But definitely to look at myself in the mirror and see improvement. My daily food plan consists of various combinations of the following: egg whites, 1 egg, oatmeal, tilapia, chicken breast, brown rice, tuna, broccoli, spinach, orange, apple and cottage cheese (casein protein). I also mix in supplements such as: Whey, BCAA’s, Creatine HCL, Yohimbe, Green Tea Extract, Fish Oil and Beta-Alanine.

I’m a HUGE fan of positive reinforcement. It’s just a great tool! EVERYONE has something they can be proud of and you should find people that will recognize those things in you. Social media is a great avenue for that. Find positive people who are not just blowing smoke or trying to sell something and they WILL help you. Remember, if you don’t fail occasionally, you’re not pushing hard enough. Don’t be afraid to fail! Just get started, one step at a time. Set small goals leading to ONE big goal.

Be proud, but don’t be satisfied. Take time to be pleased with the results of your hard work, but don’t be finished. Always look for something to improve. If you’re serious about progressing, you won’t have to look hard to find them.

Twitter: @TheOnlyAnt

Matthew Serd - At the beginning of hismy bodybuilding phase 10/2011.

Matthew Serd (Left) At the beginning of his bodybuilding phase October 2011 (Right) from his show this past weekend 4/13/13

I am the father of a wonderful 17 year old daughter, National Council of Strength & Fitness Certified Personal Trainer, NGA Men’s Masters Pro Bodybuilder, NPC Amateur Bodybuilder, Fitness Club & Personal Trainer Studio owner, and Nutrition Coach. I reside in Brownsburg, Indiana and my educational background includes a BS degree in Finance & Business Administration from Illinois State University. I am an Independent Distributor of Advocare and I love their products. My main areas of interest include bodybuilding, sprint triathlons and witnessing the transformation of the many clients I train.

As a child I was always very active in sports and my two favorite were football and baseball. As I grew older I was not able to keep up with the other kids with regards to size and strength. This led me to the sport of running and as I welcomed high school I became a top runner on our cross country team. Running became an obsession of mine and as high school ended found myself at a scrawny weight of 110 pounds. As I entered college my fitness goals changed and I started strength training which is where my desire for physical fitness started to change my life. I began to get stronger and stronger and my body composition changed drastically. At the end of my college career I had increased my weight to 190 pounds. The majority of this gain was muscle, but of course the fun time of college added some additional fat.

I have continued my love and passion for fitness since my college years and most recently have been a gym owner and personal trainer for over 12 years. My goals of increasing my level of fitness are what continue to drive me from a physical and mental stand point each day. My dedication to fitness has also carried over into my faith and spiritual life. It has brought me closer to God and has renewed my religious beliefs which lead me to becoming newly baptized at a community church in Brownsburg.

My recent birthday put me at the age of 48 and I consider myself to be in the best physical shape of my life. Getting to the point today has been a very exciting journey, but it has not come without setbacks. Injuries to my L5 & L4 disks, and shoulder surgery in 2009 were major setbacks that I had to cope with. These obstacles were very trying, but they have made me a more determined and goal oriented individual.

Of course the support system of my family and friends were a critical part of keeping focused and on task towards my goals when the healing process was completed. Their support has also been very important for the accomplishments that I have blessed with over the past 12 years of my life, one of which includes me becoming a successful fitness club and personal training business owner.

My experience and dedication to personal training has led me to becoming one of the top personal trainers in the Brownsburg and surrounding areas. My most recent accomplishment of stepping on stage as a bodybuilder (NGA Men’s Masters Pro and NPC Amateur) has been the most difficult but one of the most rewarding accomplishments in my life.

For the past two years I have been training on a 4 or 5 day split (prepping for bodybuilding shows) which consists of the incorporation of undulating periodization training (with extended set and mechanical drop sets) as well as high frequency training (HFT). Along with my strength training I am following a carb cycle nutrition program that incorporates high, moderate and low carb days based on my strength and cardio training program. I drink 1-2 gallons of water each day, take vitamins, minerals, pre, during and post workout carb-protein-bcaa supplements. (My supplements of choice are Biotest, ON & Advocare products.) My supplement ingestion is based on a very carb focused peri-nutrition workout program for optimal results.

As I mentioned earlier I am currently training for four bodybuilding shows that will take me through the first week of July. My current goals include winning my weight class and master’s class in one of the upcoming shows and to place in the top 10 in the Team Universe show July 5th and 6th in New Jersey. Growing our current bodybuilding, physique and figure team (Team TRAINBots) will be a goal that I will work on in my off season.

Matthew Serd - At his first show 3/2012 in Cincinnati Ohio

Matthew Serd – At his first show 3/2012 in Cincinnati Ohio

A final note:

For all of you individuals who are struggling to start your fitness journey the advice that I would leave with you is to take one step at a time and focus on making little changes as you move forward. “Little changes lead to big changes.” Trying to correct or change all of your bad habits at once will lead to a lot of frustration which may lead to a short lived fitness journey. Remember your journey will be a life changing experience, so treat it as a marathon race not sprint! Good luck!!!!

Thank you for this opportunity to share my story with you.

I can be reached at: Twitter: @progressfitms, Facebook: Matthew Serd, Email: progressivefit.ms@gmail.com

Heart of a Champion

On stage with Curtis Harwell

Each day on twitter there is a powerful boost in energy when he arrives. He is first and foremost thankful for the grace of God, and he makes a point of personally thanking each and every follower (over six thousand the last time I checked). He inspires with his words, and motivates through his unyielding spirit. He is a proud father, and an avid bodybuilder. It is an absolute pleasure for us to introduce you to “Curtis Harwell” and what you’ll discover is that he has more heart than you can ever imagine. When your heart fails, and all the colors in life fade to black, that flat line is quite possibly all that is left, but that’s not always the case.

As a youngster I liked being faster and stronger than everyone else. I knew I wasn’t going to be tall so I worked with what God gave me. God made me strong, hence my choice was easy. I liked the look of Arnold and Franco and said I want to be like them. I have spent every day since working for that. I have a successful marriage, family, and business. I will continue to bodybuild as long as God is willing. My coach Ted Post from Orange California still competes at the age of 69 so I hope to match whatever he does.

A young Curtis – Always the athlete

March 3rd has marked 3 years since I’ve had total heart reconstruction. I am stronger and have more endurance than I have ever had. So its influence has made me a better father, man and bodybuilder. I live to motivate people every day. There was never a moment in which I thought about quitting bodybuilding. My survival rate was not good so my main goal was to be around and functioning for my family. I did however think about bodybuilding since it has been a huge part of my life since I was 13. I knew no one worked harder or had more desire to succeed than I did. I knew if God gave me the opportunity to continue my life, he would also give me the strength to come back and be better. I was never afraid I would not body build again. I just didn’t know how good I would be. I was back in the gym 3 weeks after my surgery. My sternum was still wired and unhealed and hurt like hell but I had to start. I did what the doctor would let me do with a weight limitation of 5 pounds. Remember everything was new and not well healed yet. Walking from the car to the gym I was out of breath.

Getting “PUMPED”

When competing professionally, a week before the show I put the finishing touches on. I’ve learned from a lot of old style bodybuilders so my goal a week out is to tighten the screws on the diet. NO accidents. Do nothing I wouldn’t normally do. NO experimenting. I do a full body workout Monday throughWednesday with a few exercises and sets but I do sets of 25 reps. The reps help me get hard and striated and thin my skin out for vascularity. Plus the day of the show a full body pump is easier to achieve and not get tired. I do NO legs the week of the show. Need the cuts the day of the show. I rest after Wednesday. I start my water cutting regimen on Wednesday. The color starts going on Wednesday night through the morning of the show. I practice poses in the mirrors at Gold’s Gym early in the morning when no one is there Monday through Wednesday. I am a power poser so I’m not a dancer. Not my style with the injuries I have had. Thursday is used as travel day.

Curtis Harwell “Believe”

God has had the chance 3 times in my life to take me home. Every time he has allowed me to stay here to share my motivation and life with others. Giving back to the sport that has given me my life is the least I can do. Every day of my life I try to make a difference in someone’s life for the better. Everyone should experience what being a WINNER and WINNING is all about. I think bodybuilding is the GREATEST sport in the world. I never waste time on what my competition looks like or how they train. If I give everything I have to give I will WIN. If I don’t WIN it’s because I need to work harder; and I do.

Be the best that you can be, and everything else will fall into place – God Bless

Curtis

 Inspired By Life

Eileen and Courtney (on right)

Today we at Socially Fit are excited to introduce you to Eileen and Courtney, the beautiful faces behind Titika active wear in Toronto. While studying fashion at George Brown they noticed a lack of fashionable active wear on the market and made it their mission to design and create active wear that accentuates women’s natural curves as it provides comfort, function, quality and most importantly, style!

Growing up I (Courtney) was heavily involved in sports and fitness competitively such as Basketball, swimming and Triathlons. Now a days I have a new found love with Yoga and Zumba and also try to participate in our stores free classes whenever possible:)  I’m so proud of Eileen as well, she has recently been working out for the first time in her life, with a personal trainer, one of our advocates Atif, and she has stayed with it for the last few months! 

 I think at the beginning we were not totally sure what was going to happen or what to expect.  We started out with about 15 pieces to test out the market and see what the feedback was.  We got a pretty good response and a lot of feedback from people trying out the clothes, and slowly started adding more pieces based on the feedback we received. I think as we evolved our styles changed in the sense that we learned what people were looking for and tried to offer something that was different from what was already out there.  I think today we are really aware of what works for us–Offering key Titika basics but also the “fast fashion” approach where we have many new lines that correspond with trends in the industry, with an athletic twist, per season to keep people excited!
 

Every detail counts

The name Titika came from Eileen’s son William who was about 3 at the time!  He was singing and dancing saying  Ti- ti- ka, ti- ti- ka and Eileen thought it was the perfect name!  Fun, free, inspiration from her son. The idea around athletic clothing came from doing a lot of projects on many different companies throughout the school years.  We noticed there wasn’t much fashionable active wear out there and that most athletic lines were all similar in style and fit.  Since fitness attire has become as popular as “every day wear” and not only worn in the gym, we thought why not take it to another level offering both Function and style is our designs.
 
Our long term goals are to have a brand that people know and love, and inspire them to lead a healthy active lifestyle.  Also to hopefully open more stores in Malls and eventually in other countries would be great!  Right now we currently have 3 locations and are actively looking to expand:)  Our dreams for Titika are to be able to survive, thrive and flourish in such a cut throat industry, to be able to offer people an alternative to the basic work out attire out there, and to inspire others in knowing that with hard work, dedication and a love for what you do you can make your dreams a reality:)  It feels so good when we see people wearing our clothes on the street, or when a customer leaves one of our stores feeling sexy and ready to go get fit because they feel confident and comfortable in their new Titika outfit,  so in terms of what it would feel like to see all of our dreams come true…  I can’t even imagine how incredibly rewarding that would be for the whole Titika team!
 

Titika retail - Come experience the luxury

We offer some great key basics which are items that over time people are always drawn to and Love. And then we offer different lines each season that are “get em while they last” type lines that we make especially for that season. We use some pretty amazing athletic fabrics that have wicking, quick dry, anti-stink, breathable properties, and more recently have got in some pretty cool waterproof, soil proof cotton fleece fabrics that are so comfortable and functional at the same time!  We take pride in offering Quality garments that are built to last and last!  The supplex fabric we use is especially durable and  personally  have actually had some items from our very first line over 3 years ago that I still wear and they look great! The design process is pretty exciting; it’s so rewarding to see an idea come to life.  It starts out with a sketch,  a sample is then made, and once we get samples in we tweak and add to make it as perfect as we can, then once approved we choose the specific fabric and color for that style.  We get a lot of feedback through our members of our Research and Rewards program – where we offer 30% off to trainers/yoga instructors/dance teachers etc. for their feedback on the clothing, the fit, fabrics etc. – this helps us to evolve with our designs/fit and functions as well!  People can sign up for this program on our website if they are interested as well! 

Titika active wear

On our social media pages we really just like having fun with it and interacting with our customers!  We offer monthly contests and prizes to keep things exciting and currently have a “picture perfect contest” where people can send in pics of them wearing Titika to win prizes!  All in good fun:)

We really believe in community involvement and participate in many events and fundraisers such as Kick box for the cure, breast cancer awareness month with Gilda’s club, many Red Cross initiatives and many smaller community charity events and fundraisers as well!  We also offer free fitness classes at all of our store locations as well!!

 Come check us out we would love to meet you!

 2012 Queen St East // Shops at Don Mills // 257 Lakeshore Rd East // as well as Sporting Life, Yoga Sanctuary and other small sporty boutiques in and around the city! We’re hosting an amazing VIP event this Saturday at our Oakville location from 10am – 3pm – 30% off and first 10 people there will get a $25 gift certificate that can be used that day only!!

 Thank you for taking to time to read our story, we’re also available online at www.titika.ca and remember if you dare to dream, everything is possible!
 

 

Effort = Results

Posted: April 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Walking The Walk

As I was on my way home from work yesterday, I heard two people talking about a particular exercise DVD. This is how the conversation went:

Person 1: I tried that new DVD you recommended. It wasn’t all that you said it would be.

Person 2: I’m surprised because I thought it was great.

Person 1: It’s all just a money-making scheme. It really does not work.

Person 2: Really? What happened?

Person 1: I gave the program two weeks and I saw no changes.

Person 2: It took me a while before I saw results but I stuck with it everyday and lost 12 pounds in 4 weeks.

Person 1: The first week I missed two days and in week 2 I was only able to do half of the instruction.

That is when I began to get a little irritated. This is not the first time I have heard someone say something like this about an exercise program. Whether it was a DVD, video game, or personal training; this story is not new. Some programs are not meant for everyone but in this instance we can clearly see that the DVD was not the problem.

In order for one of these DVD’s to give the desired results, it takes effort on the user’s behalf. If we don’t put in 100%, we will never get the full benefit of anything in life. Fitness requires a certain dedication and if you lack that, don’t expect to have the results just fall into your lap.

100%: The minimum effort required for excellence.

Posted: April 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

A story about….us!! Thanks to J. Lynn of Skinny Fat to Fit!

Posted: March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Funny and true….we are “The Couple”

theCHIVE

Every word of this is the truth and you know it….

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