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August 14, 2009

Will Duggan Getting it Done

Hello Fitness Concept Friends and Blog Readers:


I did an interview with my best friend and all around great person Will Duggan. Now Will is definitely not your average Joe. He has it all. He has managed to excel in all areas of his life (He is a senior electrical engineer, successful model and a national bodybuilder). He is truly an inspiration.

In this interview I ask will about his philosophies about training, diet and life in general.



I live a very enthusiastic and dynamic life, but have an equal balance of fun to break the monotony of work, school, and training.  I graduated top of my class with my Electrical Engineering degree at California State University, Long Beach, being recognized on The National Dean’s List of the United States of America.   In addition, I finished my graduate degree in engineering at USC, with a 4.0 GPA.  I am currently employed as a Principal Multi-Disciplined Engineer.  My surroundings are the catalyst to success, allowing my knowledge to grow daily, at an exponential rate.



Since the mind is by far the superior ‘muscle’ in the body, succeeding in training it will allow your body to follow. In example, you must prioritize your responsibilities and teach yourself discipline and focus. It is all too easy to join your friends at happy hour then it is to drive to the gym and leg press 1500 lbs on leg day. I personally enjoy staying in shape because this is something you can carry with you day in and day out. It is a fantastic feeling of well being, all day long. The characteristics mentioned above traverse beyond the realm of bodybuilding and can be carried over into your personal and professional life as well. Observe any successful individual, and you will notice an aura of motivation around them.


Fitness of the mind…first. There is no magic to my training so I won’t bore you with a typical routine that can be seen in any magazine dating back to the beginning of the press. Basically, I train a big muscle (chest, quads, back, etc.) and a small muscle (biceps, triceps, calves, etc.) beyond failure in one workout, once a week.

What distinguishes me from the next is the passion and enthusiasm in which I train.

There must be a certain level of tenacity and initiative deep in your heart when you enter the gym in order for any gains to be achieved.

I feel it is vital to have a structured, weekly plan although when I feel tired or my mind is not 100% into a workout, I won’t put myself in jeopardy of injury and will find something else to do that evening.





I was born August 23, 1974 in Mt. View, California and resided in the Bay Area for 22 years. Driven by a competitive spirit at an early age, I played baseball for 13 years and football for 10 years. I was the captain of both my football and baseball teams.

I was introduced to boxing by a friend and decided to try my hand at the more individual sport. I immediately took to it and had every intention on turning professional, when I injured my back. The result of my doctor ordering me to the gym is how my bodybuilding career began. My body responded instantly and I immediately had a passion for improving my body composition. I decided to enter my first show (1994) as a teenager where I won the overall at the Monterey Bay Classic.


I won’t bore you with the long list of all my championship competitions (but you can click on any of my pictures and check out my website) and awards but just to show my drive I will tell you that over ten of these I placed 1st place overall.

Instead of focusing solely on physical improvement or exclusively on intellectual development, I personally feel striving for excellence in all facets of life will allow me to develop into a successful, well-rounded human being.

“Life is a great big canvas…..throw all the paint possible at it.”



In my professional life, my immediate objective is to learn as much as possible and become a prolific engineer. Knowledge is something that nobody can ever take away from you. I also am a volunteer speaker visiting middle and high schools to convey to the younger generations the importance of an education. The goal is to spark the student’s interest in math, science, and engineering, and to increase their awareness about careers in these fields.



As far as bodybuilding is concerned, I may take a bit of time off from the competitive arena for a bit, so I can channel my energy into growing my personal life as a soon-to-be husband.




First, we all need to understand that every person who exists on the face of the Earth is comprised of a unique genetic composition. Unless there is a way to change your parents, what I am basically saying is that no matter what extremes we result to, we cannot all look like the Incredible Hulk. Setting attainable, realistic goals is the first step, along with convincing yourself that many sacrifices will have to be made along the way. Once again I am reverting back and emphasizing the importance of mental strength and preparation.

“Train your mind, and your body will follow.”


Second, put together a training regimen that will push you to the max without discouraging yourself. Keep a mental photograph of an inspirational figure or picture that will force you to crank out 3 more reps as the lactic acid incinerates your muscles. Train beyond failure with a spotter. Unless you are running for office, keep the gossip to a minimum. Let your physique do the talking, not your mouth. Don’t fall into that class of people. Make your own class. Wear your walkman.


Third, adapt to a wholesome and nutritious everyday diet that will nourish and nurture your body through your intense training. Depending upon how drastic of change you need to make from how you already eat, this may be the toughest battle. Nevertheless, your body will quickly acclimate to your new nutritional regime and the results will be undeniably worthwhile. Our bodies parallel that of a young child. It is plain and simple. We both need to eat healthy to grow.

You wouldn’t feed your newborn a Big Mac would you?



Fourth, get plenty of rest. The misconception many have is that we grow in the gym. This is an erroneous belief. Growth actually occurs while we are sleeping. We break down our body in the gym, and the reparation occurs during rest. Keep those late nights out to a minimum.


Sacrifices. Sacrifices. Sacrifices.

Success to me, is hanging on when others have let go.


Will, what’s your thoughts on nutrition and fat loss

There is no 3-day class telling someone the exact food to eat.

Once again, our body is one of a kind, and from a specific point of view, what works great for me, may only be mediocre for you, and vice versa.

Use the trial-and-error technique and document your results. Account for what and how much you ate, what time you ate it, and most important, how you felt afterwards.

If you talk to 10 different athletes, you will get 10 different answers. Keeping that in mind, there is a more general perspective. I will share some fundamental tips of training and diet that I employ which will lay a sound foundation for the beginning of our reconstruction. These are generalities which will work for everyone, however, specific personal modifications are encouraged.


1. Do at least 45 minutes of cardiovascular activity of your choice in the morning on an empty stomach. This will speed up your metabolism and allow you to burn more body fat. Keep a wide range of cardiovascular ideas available (bike, swim, racquetball, etc) to avoid boredom. Boredom inevitably leads to neglect.

Always have fun and enjoy your workouts….



2. Eat high protein. This is the staple for feeding your muscles and will promote growth. Insufficient protein will cause the body to enter a catabolic state which will eventually ‘eat’ its own muscle for food. Try to utilize clean protein sources. Some good choices are chicken breasts, tuna, flank steak and egg whites.


3. Minimize intake of simple carbohydrates. This is the primary source of energy for the body. Our objective is to tap into our fat storage (the SECONDARY source of energy,) and utilize those cells for energy which will conclusively create a leaner you. Consuming an abundance of carbohydrates will only result in the body metabolizing those calories as energy, consequently, never burning any body fat.

4. Take multivitamins and amino acids daily. Amino acids are the “Building Blocks” of the body. Besides building cells and repairing tissue, they form antibodies to combat invading bacteria & viruses. In addition, they carry oxygen throughout the body and participate in our objective, muscle growth. When protein is broken down by digestion the result is known amino acids. Eight are essential (cannot be manufactured by the body) the rest are non-essential (can be manufactured by the body with proper nutrition.) Because our bodies do not produce these eight essential amino acids, it is imperative that we must take them on a daily basis.


5. Drink plenty of water. Muscle is 80-85 percent water. Not consuming enough H20, will cause the body to become dehydrated. The logic is simple. You lose water, you lose muscle.

These five universal steps apply to and will assist every person wanting to improve their body composition regardless of how unique we are.

All in all, improving your body is extremely gratifying. We all need advice in the beginning, however in the end, the recognition for all of the hard work is credited to you; the one who had the most focus, discipline and commitment to their objective.



Also click on any picture of him to take you to his website….

Also click here to check  out Dr. Saman Bakhtiar’s Website

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August 7, 2009

Coffee for Fat Loss??


Is coffee OK to drink?


At just 5 weeks old, our daughter Bailee isn’t always the best at sleeping … 2 hours here, 3 hours there.


Sometimes leaving me and my wife Johnette woozy … tired doesn’t even scratch the surface.


But we of course need to still function during the day – me, at 4:00 AM working out and getting ready to work and throughout the day – Johnette, as she juggles feeding, being mommy, and getting some work done.


As I sat drinking a few cups of green tea this morning, Johnette drinking her coffee, I thought about one of the most common questions we get – “is it OK to drink coffee?”   For some it’s a savior – what I call a “liquid nap.”  But is this drug (yes, caffeine is a drug) a true necessity?  It surely can help keep you alert (particularly when you have a 6 week old at home!)


I have to be honest, I would never in a million years get between a person and their coffee.  Of course not everyone is a coffee drinker, but for some it’s a staple.

So if you’re trying to lose weight and you’re paying attention to your calories and all of your food where does coffee fit in?  I have to be honest, I’m fine with you drinking coffee … it’s not coffee itself that’s the “issue” it’s everything most people put in it.

Sugar, cream, half and half, or that horrendous artificial, imitation, fat free creamer junk.


Those things all add up – 100 calories here, 100 calories there – and you’re left wondering why you can’t reach your fat loss goals.

A regular cup of black coffee – no calories – no worries.


But a coffee shop latte can pack a whopping 400-500 calories!  Talk about sabotaging your fat loss efforts!  Particularly when coupled with a scone, muffin, or whatever else you may pick up on the way to the office.


The bottom line is you need to know how many calories you’re truly taking in and how they all fit in your daily routine.  Drink an extra 100 calories each day (which would be just a bit of whole milk and 1 tsp of sugar in a coffee) and you’ll pack on 10 extra lbs at the end of the year.  Couple this with other added calories and that weight can come on pretty quickly.

And if you were to rationalize that you’re going to exercise to “balance” out those added calories, remember that walking or running 1 mile burns just 100 calories.

Therefore, drink a latte and run 5 miles – you’ve essentially stayed the same.

Not that I’m saying walking or running is the best way to burn fat, but you get the point.

Moral of the story?  You need to account for the calories you put in your body … all the calories you put in your body.

3 Things will help you do this:

1. Eat attentively – don’t eat or drink when distracted.  That means NOT in front of the TV, while reading, or in front of your computer.  Doing any of those means you’ll eat more calories, without even “knowing” it.


2. Avoid the extra BLT’s – bites, licks, and tastes – tasting while cooking, finishing off your kids’ drinks or foods, or eating before putting food away (you know, when there’s leftover dinner and you take a few bites before you put it away)


3. Write down what you eat and drink – this increases your awareness and will help you lose fat.

diet journal

Oh yeah, and coffee is OK – just watch those added calories.

Coffee-Good or Bad??
Coffee Good or Bad?

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August 4, 2009

Bailee Rose We still enjoy seeing her precious 1st moments!!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Sweet Love

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July 29, 2009

The Government Conspiracy To Make Us fat

In Washington, DC and everywhere else it seems as if the government, nutritionists, medical doctors and “established” organizations are hell-bent on making Americans FATTER by spewing utterly ridiculous and completely unsubstantiated advice about how to eat and lose weight.

Here are some of their most popular nutrition-related weight-loss myths:


Myth #1: A calorie is a calorie

First, let me ask you a commonsense weight loss question – if you had two identical twin sisters and you put them both on very different 1,500 calories diets. The first one ate all of her calories from McDonald’s and the second one gets all of her calories from lean, healthy meats, fish, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, and a small amount of fresh dairy products. Do YOU think they’d look the same at the end of a year?

We have actually known that all calories are NOT created equal for at least 50 years, and we keep getting the same results over and over and over again.

Take this study for example. All participants were on hypocaloric diets (less calories than they need). All did the same amount of activity, ate the same number of calories, etc. The ONLY difference was where those calories came from. The results speak for themselves.

Group A: 1000 calories at 90% fat: lost 0.9lbs per day

Group B: 1000 calories at 90% protein: 0.6lbs per day

Group C: 1000 calories at 90% carbs – actually gained some weight (not really significant though).

We keep repeating these types of studies and we keep getting the exact same results

Why do our so-called authorities in Washington, DC keep selling us the same raft of lies? That is probably a book in and of itself, but here’s the gist: Official nutrition recommendations are political and financial decisions – who made campaign contributions (it is DC)? Who’s lobbying for what recommendations? What industry group does this scientist work for? Who paid for the research? Was it the same company that will make money off of its favorable results?

The list of questions goes on and on and on. Plus, there’s also just plain old stubbornness – people like tradition, they like to do what they’ve always done.

Rarely are official nutrition recommendations the result of years of practical experience about what works and what doesn’t, and a thorough and unbiased review of research. The people who make official recommendations do NOT usually work one-on-one with people helping them to get weight loss results. If your mortgage payment doesn’t depend on your ability to produce results, then I do not care what you have to say.


Myth #2: High protein, moderate carbohydrate diets are unsafe

There are at least 15 years of peer-reviewed clinical research saying that there is absolutely no risk posed to normal, healthy people from short or long-term exposure to a high-protein diet. In fact, higher protein/moderate carbohydrate diets (I didn’t say none or low carbohydrate) have consistently been shown to outperform low-fat/high-carb/low-protein diets for weight (fat)-loss, in the treatment of diabetes, and for heart health.


Myth #3: Juice is healthy

The federal government in Washington, DC and nutritionists would have you believe that drinking a glass of juice is the same as eating a piece of fruit. Well, the fact of the matter is that a glass of juice is about as nutritious as a glass of Pepsi.

A. To make a small 8 oz. glass of OJ, you must extract all of the sugar from FIVE oranges. Ounce for ounce, OJ has the same amount of sugar as Pepsi. Is it better because it’s “natural”? NO! Cocaine is a plant extract, is it now a health food? All sugar comes from plants anyway. There is NOTHING more fattening than a bunch of sugar.

B. In the process of extracting the juice virtually ALL of the vitamins are lost due to exposure to the air and from the chemicals used to increase extraction yields from the fruits.

Conclusion: all sugar, no vitamins – not a health food. Instead of OJ, eat an actual orange. It has fiber, tastes good and it will make you feel full (unlike the juice, so it is really empty calories that your body won’t register as having eaten them). Bureaucrats in Washington, DC don’t necessarily have your best interests in mind when writing policy, sometimes they are trying to help sell more oranges because you can drink far more than you can eat.


Myth #4: Moderate drinking is healthy

Doctors love to say this one. They say it for two reasons, both of which are misleading at best:

Reason #1 is there was a large study of studies (meta analysis) that showed that people who drank moderately lived longer than those who did not drink at all. There’s a HUGE problem with this study, former alcoholics and people who were so sick that they could not drink were lumped into the group of people who CHOSE not to drink. They took the average life expectancy of all those different types of people to get their “data.”

If you’re so sick that you can’t drink alcohol, you probably don’t have long to live. And being an alcoholic is VERY hard on your body and will probably shorten your lifespan.

Reason #2 is that alcohol thins your blood. Well, so does water and fish oil, and those have ONLY positive side effects. Whereas alcohol IS a toxin, and it does stimulate both fat storage and muscle loss – that is a bad combination for weight (fat)-loss.

Conclusion: Drinking in moderation is something that you do because you like it, not because it has any health benefits whatsoever. “But red wine is healthy” you say. The good stuff in red wine comes from the grapes that it was made out of – grapes. You can just eat the grapes and rid yourself of the alcohol.

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