The Blog Has Moved (Again!)

I haven’t posted here in ages, and even when I did it wasn’t that consistent—so I’ve switched things up. My new site (deanstattmann.com) has a blog, although it’s not the main event. The new site is a hub for Twitter, Instagram, the blog, and links to various other galaxies in my social media universe. 

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Newsletter Design

This is a newsletter I concepted and designed for Twinlab while I worked in their marketing department. They never ended up going with a newsletter, but either way I’m still proud of this one, especially since I’m not a designer and did the whole thing in Photoshop from top to bottom.

The colors look really saturated after uploading for some reason.

The idea was to promote the brand, and as with any successful newsletter, I really wanted it to have value in itself. I felt that a Trainer Tip from Twinlab athlete Tim Taylor would be a good way to accomplish that, plus an Exercise of the Month feature that would encourage readers to try a new exercise each month. The three stories at the top are obviously a little heavy on cycling, although to be honest that’s really all we had going for us at the time. I wrote all three of those stories too.

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Athlete, Soldier, Officer, Bodyguard

When you think of Ray Lewis, you don’t think of bodyguards. After all, what protection could anyone possibly offer the 12-time Pro Bowl-er that he couldn’t provide himself? But if you were pressed to choose someone to fill the role of protector of the most feared man in football, he would have to be the absolute best. I’m talking about a real warrior. An American hero. I’m talking about Larry Armwood.

If you’ve never heard the name before, it’s okay. Until late 2003, neither had most people. That is, until the staff sergeant and three-war veteran returned to American soil from Iraq, ending a military career marked by headline-defining missions that we can’t even repeat here. Upon his return to the United States, Armwood, who spent his time in between military tours working as a detective for the Baltimore Police Department, received a hero’s welcome – a fitting end to a military career including terms in the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq. When he arrived, there was a big press conference in Baltimore with all the major TV networks, and the world was watching. Among those glued to their TV screens was Ray Lewis.

“I heard that Ray had been watching me on TV and wanted to know my story,” Armwood recalls. “I gave my number to one of the personnel who was working with him and we sat down and talked. And that’s how it all started.”

Today, with three wars and fifteen years as a Baltimore police officer behind him, Armwood is Lewis’ right-hand man.

“We get along like brothers,” Armwood says. “We found a connection once we got to know each other and we have a lot in common as far as how we were raised and some of the difficult things that we’ve been through.”

But if you’re going to be spending that much time with Ray Lewis, you’d better to be ready to work. The two work out together every day, along with Lewis’ trainer Monte Sanders, and the ever-changing workouts are basic but grueling. On some days they’ll break it down into three phases. Phase one could be a dumbbell workout starting with the incline bench press. Grabbing a dumbbell in each hand – Lewis takes the 80s while Armwood goes for 50s – they take turns doing sets, increasing the weight in each hand after every set as the reps decrease. From there, it’s on to the flat bench, followed by shrugs and eventually squats, all without rest, following the same pattern.

Phase two is a core workout and involves a sort of card game that Lewis has apparently been playing since he was a boy. “[Ray] will scramble the cards out on the floor and when you pick a card you flip it over,” Armwood explains. “Jokers are 25, the big joker is 50 and the face cards are 20. Everything else is whatever the card value is.” The numbers refer to reps, and after a core exercise has been chosen for that day, three decks of cards are scattered on the floor and the games begin.

“The workouts are not designed for you to complete 100%,” Armwood says. “Ray designs these workouts to muscle failure. And to him, pain is just pain. It’s something you can get through.”

The final phase, usually a timed exercise, depends on the muscle groups worked in the previous two phases, but typically centers on either speed or endurance. One option is a drill Armwood calls “online/offline,” where the idea is to quickly step both feet, one and then the other, onto a thin line on the floor, and then off again, over and over for three minutes. Another option is jumping jacks – usually reserved for days geared towards legs – which serve as a sort of cool-down.

Muscle confusion is the name of the game, and it’s workouts like these that prepare Armwood – still an active police officer – for the toughest days on the job.

“I recently got in a foot pursuit after a guy that assaulted a young girl and then took off running,” he recalls. “I took off after him not realizing he was armed. When I grabbed him, I tackled him to the ground and then flipped him over and put handcuffs on him. When I patted him down, I realized that he had a .45 automatic loaded in his pocket, but he simply couldn’t get it out fast enough because I was just too quick for him. When you’re apprehending someone and there’s a struggle it’s like muscle memory. You automatically go back to your muscles. It’s no more than a hand grip when you grab someone but you’re used to having those dumbbells in your hands and squeezing them tight. So when you go to grab someone by the wrist, and you’ve done that kind of training, it’s real simple.”

And that’s not the only benefit of training with Ray Lewis. Earlier this year, Armwood, who started playing semi-pro football in his free time, decided to crank his workout schedule up to par with that of Lewis.

“We started out before Power Fuel® was launched and then began using it after the first week,” he explains. “Ray works out about four to five times a day with a two-hour break in between. In the beginning I started with about two workouts a day until I got up to five, all over the course of a month. I believe it was because of the edge that Power Fuel® gave me.”

Armwood, now technically Lewis’ head of staff, continues to serve as the football star’s primary security, attending games, signings and, of course, daily workouts. You may have even met him if you’ve attended any of a number of Twinlab events where Lewis was present. But first and foremost, he’s an officer of the law. And as for his “retired” military career? Well…

“If you asked me whether I would do it again, the answer would be I would do it again, over and over,” he says. “I would be happy to return and do what I do, just so another son or daughter wouldn’t have to do it.”

 

This story originally appeared on TwinlabFuel.com

Graphic by Dean Stattmann

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It’s Not “All or Nothing”

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There are plenty of other reasons not to skip your workout

Maintaining Strength and Mass is Easier Than You Think

For some people, one unhealthy meal can be enough to derail an entire diet; a cheat meal turns into a cheat day and before you know it you’re back at square one. The same can be said of working out. But while one healthy meal a week may not suffice to keep you healthy, research shows that even minimal exercise could be enough to significantly offset decreases in strength and aerobic capacity.

In one recent study[1], researchers at the University of Murcia, Spain, observed fourteen world-class kayakers for five weeks following the end of their competitive season to witness the effects of reduced training versus total inactivity. Seven athletes ceased training entirely, while the remaining seven scaled their training down to just one resistance training workout and two endurance sessions per week, a mere fraction of their in-season regimen. Using two exercises – bench press and prone bench pull – and a kayak ergometer, the researchers tested various measures of the athletes’ physical strength as well as their maximal oxygen uptake.

By the end of week five, the data showed a significant difference in the two groups’ performance. While athletes who reduced their training saw their bench press one-rep max decrease by about 4%, the group that ditched the gym entirely lost more than double that!  And even though the first group’s maximal aerobic power decreased by 5.6%, it was considerably less than the 11.3% loss experienced by their inactive teammates.

“Short-term TC (total cessation) results in large decreases in maximal strength,” the study’s authors concluded. “These results suggest the need of performing a minimal maintenance program to avoid excessive declines in neuromuscular function.”

These findings support those of another recent study[2] in which, instead of professional athletes, researchers focused on one group of males aged 20-35 and another aged 60-75. Subjects engaged in intense resistance training three days a week for 16 weeks, followed by a 32-week phase in which they were split into three groups where they either reduced their training by one third (one workout a week), one ninth (one workout a week with just one third of the exercises), or stopped exercising altogether.

Just like the kayaking study, the group that stopped exercising entirely experienced a reverse effect on their muscles, while those who cut their training down to one full session a week were able to preserve most of their muscle mass and strength.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Well, you probably didn’t need a scientific study to figure out that it’s easier for young guns to pack on muscle than it is for their folks. The real point to take home is how much easier it is to maintain strength and mass gains than previously thought. So next time you find yourself deciding whether to work out or not, just remember that a little can go a long way, and it’s not “all or nothing.”


[1] García-Pallarés J, Sánchez-Medina L, Pérez CE, Izquierdo-Gabarren M, Izquierdo M. Physiological effects of tapering and detraining in world-class kayakers. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jun;42(6):1209-14. PubMed PMID: 19997013.

[2] Bickel CS, Cross JM, Bamman MM. Exercise Dosing to Retain Resistance Training Adaptations in Young and Older Adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Dec 1. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 21131862.

This story originally appeared on TwinlabFuel.com

Photo by Flickr user modelxing under Creative Commons license

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New Tumblr page

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My First Major PR Achievement

My career shift from journalism to marketing hasn’t been so much of a transition as it has a broadening of my skills and interests. I still write original editorial content; it’s just not the only thing I do anymore.  One of my roles at Twinlab, the company where I currently serve as marketing coordinator,
is public relations – something that I volunteered myself for when I realized that the role essentially didn’t exist. Admittedly, part of my motivation – as a former writer at a New York-based men’s lifestyle magazine – was to regain that sense of living in the now. Or rather, the two-months-from-now.

Earlier this year, Twinlab inked a deal with legendary Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who you may also know as the face of Twinlab’s new pre-training supplement, Power Fuel. (And if you don’t, I need to work harder!) Back in May, Ray came with us to the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH, to launch his new product, and I was tasked with planning a media session at the adjoining hotel and inviting select media that could potentially result in coverage of Ray and, hopefully, Twinlab, and, double hopefully, Power Fuel. PR 101.

I had never set up an event like this before, but I had been to many. Granted, all of my experience was from the other side of the fence, but I remembered all the things that made certain events effective and memorable, and I carefully began coordinating the event and reaching out to editors of publications across the country.

Well, ladies and gentlemen (and Mom), today is an awesome day. Not only is it Friday, but it’s also the first time that you can check out a sneak peek of Maximum Fitness’ Sept/Oct issue featuring the legend himself, Ray Lewis, on the cover, along with an eight-page feature (eight!) including explicit mentions of both Twinlab and Power Fuel! I’m totally stoked, and glad I can finally talk about what is now the successful result of weeks of planning, including setting up a photo shoot at Ray’s home in Boca Raton, FL.

Click here for the digital preview, and here for an excerpt from Maximum Fitness Editor-In-Chief Michael DeMedeiros’ interview with Ray.

One of the reasons I’m so happy about this is because I know what it’s like to deal with a company that wants you to write about them. Nearly all of my athlete interviews at Men’s Fitness took place at sponsored events. Chuck Liddell: Reebok. Jimmie Johnson: Samsung. Blake Griffin: Subway. Each and every time this happens, there’s a nagging publicist dead-set on getting you to mention the label attached to the goods. But the reality is that once the interview is done, you don’t owe anyone anything. I’m not saying that I never personally gave credit. I mentioned Subway in my interview with Blake, and I even dedicated a whole blog post to Reebok’s awesome event that allowed me to meet and train with The Iceman and NFL stars DeMarcus Ware and Jerricho Cotchery. Healthy relationships, in my view, are the key to a long and successful career.

Maybe it’s karma. Maybe it’s just knowing how editors (read: people) like to be treated. Either way, it’s score one for Twinlab, and I couldn’t be happier right now.

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Muscle Food: Joe Manganiello

This month,  Muscle and Fitness magazine features Joe Manganiello, the shape-shifting werewolf from HBO’s hit show True Blood, on its cover. Actors are required to alter their physiques for demanding roles all the time, but I think that Joe’s taken things to a new level. I mean, just look at the cover – does that look like an actor, or an athlete? But while his character can change form at will, it took a little more than a full moon to get the actor into this kind of shape. I interviewed Joe for Men’s Fitness to find out exactly what he eats to maintain his prime-time physique…

 

 

MONDAY
10 a.m.
— 2 packets of oatmeal with hot water— Protein shake

12:30 p.m.
— 2 roasted chicken breasts
— 1/2 cup of corn
— 1 sweet potato

2 p.m.
—Protein shake mixed with a banana and creatine

4:30 p.m.
— 4-6 oz steak
— 1/2 cup of carrots or asparagus
— Large salad with vinaigrette dressing

9 p.m.
—1 chicken breast
— 1/2 cup of green beans

TUESDAY
9 a.m.
— Pure Protein Bar
— Muscle Milk Light

12 p.m.
— Detour Bar

2:30 p.m.
— Tri Tip
— Tilapia Fillet
— Baked Cauliflower
— Green Beans
— Salad with (Balsamic dressing)

4 p.m.
— Almonds

7 p.m.
— KOO KOO ROO
— 2 original (roasted) boneless chicken breasts
— side of corn
— side of mushrooms

10 p.m.
— Isopure 40g protein drink

WEDNESDAY
9 a.m.
— 2 packs of plain oatmeal with water
— 50g whey protein with water

10:30 a.m.
— almonds

12 p.m.
— egg white omelette
— peppers, ham, turkey, bacon, feta cheese

3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
— SNACKS on set
— apple, buffalo jerky, sugar free chocolate almonds

7 p.m.
— 2 pork chops
— broccoli
— squash
— mushrooms

10 p.m.
— 50g whey protein with water

THURSDAY
9 a.m.
— 50g whey protein with water
— 1 pure protein bar

11 a.m.
— KOO KOO ROO
— 2 original (roasted) boneless chicken breasts
— side of corn
— side of broccoli

1 p.m.
— 2 plates of chipped ham
— 4 sausages with marinara sauce

2:30 p.m.
— tri tip beef

5 p.m.
— SNACKS on set
— 3 apples
— 50g whey protein with water

10 p.m.
— Mahi Mahi fillet
— spinach
— house salad (balsamic dressing)

FRIDAY
8am
— 50g whey protein with water
— almonds

9 a.m.
— egg whites
— bacon
— papaya

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
— SNACKS on set
— bacon, apple, pineapple

2 p.m.
— 2 chicken breasts
— 2 slices of tri tip beef
— cauliflower
— broccoli

5 p.m.
— salad
— chicken, bacon, corn, carrots, feta (balsamic dressing)

5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
— SNACKS on set
— handful of sugar free chocolate almonds, asian pear, peanuts, jerky, corn nuts

11:30 p.m.
— Salmon steak
— salad with mango, walnuts, (balsamic dressing)
— green beans

SATURDAY
8am
— 50g whey protein

8:30 a.m.
— 4 eggs and bacon
— an apple

2 p.m.
— WEEKLY CHEAT MEAL: UMAMI BURGER
— 2 “Truffle Burgers” with cheese and buns
— half order of “cheese tots”
— half order of onion rings

4:30 p.m.
— package of “Sour Patch Kids” at the movie theatre

8 p.m.
— SUSHI ROKU
— mackerel sashimi, toro sashimi, clam sashimi
— green salad with ginger dressing

10 p.m.
— 2 apples

SUNDAY
9 a.m.
— 50g whey protein with water

9:30 a.m.
— 4 eggs and bacon

12 p.m.
— 2 chicken breasts
— salad with balsamic dressing
— almonds

2:15 p.m.
— 2 Atkins bars + 1 think thin bar (on set)

4:30 p.m.
— 2 buffalo burgers (no bun)
— salad

9 p.m.
— Mahi Mahi
— spinach

This story originally appeared on mensfitness.com

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