Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years and setting your resolution...

First off, Happy New Years to all.  With New Years comes resolutions, the most popular being fitness type goals.  So today I'll talk a little bit about how to attain those goals.  Most people lose sight of their fitness or weight loss goals within the first two months of the new year.  Mostly because they burn out quickly due to  lofty expectations.  "Rome wasn't built in a day".

The best way to help yourself achieve goals is to break them down into near term and long term.  In the military we say, "this is my 50 meter target" (your closest goal).  So have yourself some closer, more attainable "targets".  For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds....then start with a 10 pound goal.  I'll remind you that weight isn't the best goal either, using actual measurements can be better.  The point is, make your starter goals easily attainable.  This will give you confidence and begin a habit once you attain that goal so that hopefully you'll be motivated enough to continue.  Don't just say, "I'm going to fit in my size 7 jeans" when you're wearing a size 12.  Start with making it to a size 10 or 11, then go from there.

Also, when it comes to diet and exercise, don't make it hard on yourself.  With exercise, try to make it fun or enjoyable.  Exercise is not limited to walking on a treadmill.  You could have a set time of 30 minutes of running and playing with your dog or child in the backyard, that's exercise.  If you do want to do the treadmill, but don't enjoy it that much.....find something to make it better.  Use it during a TV show you want to watch. (provided you have a TV in sight)  Get an audio book to listen to while you walk/jog/run.  Make exercise fun.  Skipping can be an exercise if done enough, so skip with your kids.  Be creative.  Stimulate your mind and your body will follow.

When it comes to diets, don't try to start eating like a rabbit on January 1st.  Just like with setting goals, start easy.  Pick certain things and cut them out of your diet, maybe trade them for a healthier option.  Simply don't buy it and it won't be in your house to consume.  Remember to be thoughtful of what you put in your body.  The statement I use is "garbage in, garbage out".  Put garbage in your body, and it'll show in body composition or energy levels.

The bottom line is to go easy.  You don't have to go all out to start with.  Small steps are easiest.  If you set your goals too high to start with, you'll easily burn out or give up when you don't see results.  Remember, these kinds of things take time.  Just set your goals, pick a path to achieve them and make it a habit, check your results, then rinse and repeat until you feel like you're where you want to be.

Good luck and feel free to email me at if you need any help or advice.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Handgun Selection

Today some of us had a discussion on handgun selection, which is a topic near and dear to my heart.  It pains me when you get people that buy a handgun just because it's a "good deal", it's popular, or it looks cool.  I'll reference the people who "drink the kool-aid" on Glocks.  Just because a gun is popular and proven, doesn't necessarily mean it's the best fit for you.  So below I'm listing what I believe are the biggest considerations when selecting a handgun, not in order of importance.

1.  Purpose-  Why are you getting the gun?  Home protection?  Concealed carry?  Competition?  The reason you're buying it plays heavily on the selection criteria.  If you're buying for home protection, you probably don't want to go with a larger caliber that may go through walls.  If you're carrying concealed, obviously size comes into play with being able to conceal it.  If you're buying for competition there are many factors to look at.

2.  Caliber-  This ties back into purpose.  My personal preference is a .45 ACP, but you may want a smaller caliber for various reasons.  Smaller calibers will be easier to shoot due to less recoil, but can be just as effective.  I would suggest selecting a caliber that is common so that ammunition will be easy to find and affordable. Also, the larger calibers are going to cost more to shoot.

3.  Size/Shape-  This is the point where you start actually "fingering" the guns.  I highly suggest handling any gun you might want to purchase.  Always get some hands on before investing.  If you're carrying it concealed, you may want to go with a more compact model.  This will depend on your size and body type.  One of the biggest components to this is, how does the gun fit your hand.  You NEED to answer these questions.  How does it feel in my hand?  Can I reach the magazine release fairly easily?  Can I reach the slide release fairly easily?  When properly holding the handgun, how does my finger fit on the trigger?  Am I able to get my dominant hand high on the gun?  If you answer these questions and all are yes, then it's probably a good choice for you.

4.  Cost/Manufacturer-  If you've ever watched Pawn Stars or American Guns, you see that the value of guns will go up as they age.  Not true with cheap guns.  If you just don't have the money, I understand.  If you can save enough, spend it on a good gun.  Read reviews and ask people you trust.  Don't always trust the person behind the counter, make sure you do your research.  Cheaper isn't always better.  The old saying "you get what you pay for" applies here, and you don't want a gun failing you as you're trying to protect yourself or your family.  If you live in the Fayetteville area, don't buy from Guns Plus.

5.  Sights/Sight Radius-  There are several different types of sights out there, just look and see what you like.  If you're looking at a concealed carry gun, just be careful of sights that stick up a lot and may snag on clothes.  As far as Sight Radius, it deals with accuracy.  Long story short, sight radius is the distance between the front sight and rear sight.  The longer the distance between the sights, the more accurate you will be.

6.  Magazine Capacity-  How many bullets will the magazine hold?  I prefer at least 7 or more.  You can always carry additional magazines if you desire, but I prefer to have enough in one mag.  If you can't tell by looking at a mag, ask someone or look it up.

7.  Action Type-  Semi-automatic or revolver.  Revolvers are typically bulkier and don't carry as many rounds, but are usually very reliable.  When looking at semi-automatic pistols, you need to consider hammer or striker fired.  Hammer fired usually means double action or single action.  Double action being when the hammer has to be cocked by the pull of the trigger, single action being where the hammer is already cocked back when firing.  Striker fired doesn't have a hammer, the pull of the trigger releases the firing pin to strike the round.  Most people find striker fired guns easier to shoot.

8.  Trigger Pull-  The factor here is how hard the trigger is to pull.  For females, you may want a lighter trigger pull.  Double action is going to be a heavy trigger pull.

9.  Safety Features-  What safety features does the gun have?  Is it a Glock with virtually no safety, or is a 1911 with a grip safety and safe selector?  What features are important to you?  Are there kids in the house?  All things to consider.

10.  Legality-  Last, but not least is the legal side of things.  Do you have a permit?  Do you need one?  Always know your local laws and what it will take to purchase a handgun.

So there you have it.  Handguns are a life-long purchase, so make sure you do it right.  Best case, take someone with you that really knows what they're talking about.  If the store has a range you can shoot the gun at before purchase, even better.  Also, it's not a bad idea to take a basic handgun/safety course that may make you aware of some more things you want to think about.  Owning a handgun is a responsibility, and you should ensure you know how to properly and effectively utilize the handgun you purchase.  

Old and New....

I decided to start a new blog because my last one was just about fitness, and I have some more things I want to share outside the realm of fitness.  Thanks to my career, I have some great experiences with life and challenges, as well as tactics and firearms type stuff that I get asked about a lot.  So I'll start sharing some of those things, because I believe in passing knowledge on.

So here is a link to my old blog in case you want to see any of the fitness stuff I wrote about on there.  I'll try to do a better job about keeping this one current and keep new stuff coming.  Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is having a great Holiday season so far!