Twisted Todd
Of course the Rise Guys smell...BUT in a GOOD way!
Posts from November 2013

Who is High Performance Gym?

I'm 3 weeks in to my High Performance journey, and I have to tell you.  I feel great.  You've heard me talk on the air about how great this place is, you've seen photos and videos of the workouts, but in order to know what HPG is all about, you have to know who they are.
High Performance Gym moved to Greenville, SC and opened in the fall of 2012. We offer small group training and personal training. Although we mostly rely on barbells, Kettlebells, and dumbbells you will train utilizing all modalities including jump ropes, a climbing rope, TRX, Gravitational Training System (GTS), medicine balls, Battling Ropes, Landmines and sandbags. Expect to be challenged, expect to be pushed and expect to see a change in your physique. Our gym begets success in all aspects of your life. PMA! Positive Mental Attitude, more than a saying it's a way of life. You can expect a lot from us and we expect YOU to bring your game face everyday! Training will be hard, training will be tough but we operate in an environment of camaraderie and constantly encourage each other to push beyond our boundaries.
We would love to add you to our team. The first step is always the hardest, and we thank you in advance for putting your trust in us. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

High Performance was originally founded in New York City in February of 2007. Owned by Clay and Elizabeth Burwell, they bring decades of experience in the fitness industry. Clay, a Veteran of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division has a background not only in fitness but also Boxing (he fought in the New York Golden Gloves) and Brazilian Jiujitsu. Elizabeth has a dance background spanning back to when she was five years old. She is also an expert in Pilates, posture correction, flexibility and post rehabilitative therapy. Their clientele list includes some of the biggest names in Hollywood and Rock n Roll: Matt Damon, Anna Paquin, Christina Ricci, Stevie Van Zandt and Drea Dematteo to name a few.

Obviously, if you're going to spend your hard earned money on a personal trainer, you want to know you've got the best.  I'm here to tell you, Clay and Elizabeth are THE BEST.

Find more at, or for a real time look at High Performance Gym, find them on facebook, just search "High Performance Gym".
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Saturday marked my seventh straight year going to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra here in Greenville at what is now known as the Bon Secour Wellness Arena.  This year I managed to score 3 pairs of tickets so Tessa and I were able to take two couples who have never experienced the wonder that is TSO!  Joining us this year was Rob and Michele Young who own Borderlands Comics and Games as well as my old friend and former bandmate C.C. and his wife Jill.

Since we were going to the afternoon performance, we all met up at Borderlands around 2 pm so at least one couple could carpool with us.  The show, as always, was absolutely amazing and I got to enjoy being able to share the experience with not just two newbies but four all of whom loved it!

After the show, I hit the merch table and picked up a tour tee and a TSO beanie!  C.C. and Jill had to head back to Seneca while the rest of us grabbed some dinner at Grill Marks downtown.  I had the amazing burger of the week, the Sawmill Burger!

After dinner, we roamed around downtown hitting places like Mast General Store and Poppington's Gourmet Popcorn.  Tessa grabbed her a sweater blanket and a mug from Mast and we got some sea salt and dark chocolate popcorn from Poppington's - the latter of which is no longer accounted for!  Oh well, it's not like we're going to be losing any weight this week with Thanksgiving in two days!
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Locations : Greenville
People : JillMichele YoungRob Young



Oh yeah, this week has been a geek's wet dream!  Marvel's hammer-wielding god returned to the silver screen in the sequel Thor: The Dark World on Friday and DC's legendary alien superhero landed on Blu-ray with the reboot Man of Steel yesterday.  Needless to say, my ass was at the movies Friday night and at Best Buy securing myself a copy yesterday morning!

Ok, by now almost everyone is aware of the upcoming Batman vs Superman film featuring Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight, but c'mon, is that really a fair contest?  Unless Batman discovers kryptonite which, so far, hasn't been introduced in the rebooted Superman franchise, what chance does a mortal with no real superpowers have against an extraterrestrial of almost limitless power and invincibility?

Now, if Marvel and DC were to ever cross comic book universes on the big screen, just think of how epic a fight between a Norse god and the last son of Krypton would be!  Damn, I've got to go change my underwear and get on the air!  While I'm freshening up, just picture this:
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It's been awhile. I must say I'm excited about this NFL season, College not so much. I always find myself watching College Football but let's face it; too many teams across too many conferences. NFL seems simpler. But hey if it's sports, I'm usually good for watching it. I'm definitely glad my Red Sox won the World Series after the bad couple years they just had. I find myself busy this time of year with no signs of stopping but idle hands right? Gotta keep on keeping on. Check me out ,

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The Other 23


So I'm now about 2 weeks into my own personal work out challenge with High Performance Gym, and I'm getting into the groove of the workouts.  Honestly I knew learning to eat right would be the tough part of this challenge, because I love eating the typical American diet:  pizza, burgers, fried chicken, etc.  I've been doing it for 29 years. 

Eating "paleo" is really where it's at.

As explained to me by Clay, "early man didn't always have access to big meals and an animal protein source.  Caveman didn't exactly bag a deer every day.  They forraged, eating small quantities of nutrient rich food constantly.  Walking down the trail, see some berries or nuts, eating them always to stave off hunger".  The science behind that is eating large meals spikes your blood sugar and your body says "something's wrong, I'm not constantly getting food, gotta store up some fat for later".  So we're essentially eating to get fat.  Eating smaller meals every 2-3 hours keeps our blood sugar and metabolism running at more of a straight line than a McDonald's arch.

That's where my focus has been lately.  I have to overcome my food addictions and train myself to eat more like a cave man.  I got this!  Besdies, once you get used to cooking quality meals for yourself, the food you get out doesn't taste nearly as good.  Getting in a hard workout is great, but it's what you do to and put in your body the other 23 hours a day that really make the difference!

Hit them up, @HighPerformanceGym on Facebook or
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Pushing Through Limits

Yesterday if you'd told me to climb a 20 ft rope I would've said "you're crazy, I'm 218 lbs I can't do that".  Add the fact that I HATE heights and I'd be looking for reasons not to climb.  The idea of being 20 ft in the air holding on to a rope scared the sh*t out of me.  Today, I did it.

You know that old saying "whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right?"  That's absolutely true.  Today's workout started with a pilates warm up (still a butt kicker), then a push press/rope climb combo.  5 push presses at 145 lbs, climb the rope, 4 reps, climb the rope, 3 reps, etc until you get to the last one.  That was tough, my shoulders were burning but I got up that rope.

Feeling accomplished!

Click over to my "Diesel On The Radio" facebook page to see the video, and give High Performance Gym a call (864) 735-8808.  You can even take one free class.  I promise, you'll be hooked after just one and want to GET DIESEL too.

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After our limo from Celebrity Limousine dropped us off at the house following the wedding, Tessa and I got our things together and waited on Mimi and Cheryl to pick us up and head down to Florida to board Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas.  When they got to the house, they brought in all the gifts as well as some to go plates of food from the reception including plenty of Walnut Lane Inn's delicious meatloaf!  So we ate and loaded up their Expedition and took off for Port Everglades.  We got about as far as the outskirts of Savannah before we threw in the towel for the night and got a room.

We got up bright and early Sunday morning so we could hit the road in time to board the ship before departure.  Needless to say, we did not do much the first night of the cruise but we did enjoy the surprise oceanview room upgrade Mimi and Cheryl had waiting for us!

Our first full day of the cruise was spent at sea so we did not do much that day either but on Tuesday we were at port in Labadee, Haiti.  We booked an excursion that took us around the island on a boat for a nice little sightseeing trip.


Wednesday was another day at port this time in Falmouth, Jamaica.  I have to say I was very impressed with Jamaica as we took another sightseeing excursion through historic Falmouth (including St. Peter's Anglican Church) and then took a beach break in Ochos Rios.


Thursday was another at sea day as we made our way to Cozumel, Mexico.  Early Friday morning we went on our longest excursion of the trip as we took a ferry boat from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen then a bus to the Mayan Ruins in Tulum.  The ferry ride damn near killed me as it was storming during the ride and the boat rocked like crazy.  People were puking left and right and thankfully I wasn't one of them but my heart was about to bust out of my chest!

When we got to the mainland, we had to find our tour group for our specific excursion and I am pretty certain we walked though a river of human feces in the process.  Oh yeah, an authentic $h!t Creek!  Once we found our group, we walked further to get to our bus and then made our way to Tulum.


After Tulum, we went to a nearby beach and had an authentic Mexican lunch buffet catered to us.  After the beach, we had to take the bus back to board the dreaded ferry once again to get back to Cozumel so we could board the ship.  Thankfully the ferry ride back wasn't as bad since the weather was considerably calmer.  We actually boarded the ship late but, since we were on a Royal Caribbean sanctioned excursion, the ship did not leave us.  In fact, we had made it back to our cabins then out to the hot tub before the ship left the port.  Evidently, we weren't the only ones late getting back to the ship as we set sail an hour past schedule.

Saturday was another day at sea as we made our way back to Port Everglades where we made our grueling trip back home.  Surprisingly, we made it home in less than 13 hours which is incredible since we made numerous pit stops along the way.

It was a fantastic honeymoon filled with lots of food, entertainment and adventures!  Aside from all the excursions, we took in various shows on the ship including the musical Chicago (which thrilled Tessa) as well as feature films such as Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel.  And I gained at least 6 or 7 pounds from eating at damn near every free place on the ship and even a few that were extra charges like Johnny Rockets and the ice cream parlor on the Boardwalk level of the ship!

Now it's back to reality and planning the next cruise!  Hopefully that will be taking my mom on her first cruise and making it Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas which will take its maiden voyage late next year.
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And So It Begins

Two workouts do I feel?  AWESOME!

I feel like a lot of people stop working out, not because they lose motivation but because they never had it all.  They never decided in their minds "I'm going to do this, no matter how much work it takes, no matter how much blood and sweat it takes, no matter how much COMMITTMENT it takes".  Perhaps that's what's wrong with America.  Everyone wants the results, no one wants to put in the work.

I decided to challenge myself.  I wanted to know if I could get in the same shape as the athletes I see on TV.  I'm two workouts in, obviously this is only the beginning, and yeah the workouts make your muscles tired and sore, but that's what's supposed to happen.

Here's what I've done so far:
11/1 -- FMS (Flexibility Movement Screen).  This determines your range of motion.  I scored a 15, which is passing (two higher than Matt "Jason Bourne" Damon (take that Good Will Hunting).  After that a pushup max, situp max, bench press max, pullups, 500m sprint on the rowing machine, and 10 minutes on the airdyne.  The areas where I need to improve the most of those are situps and pullups...those were definitely weak.

11/4 -- Pilates/core training.  I'd never done anything like pilates before, always thought it was for women...well I'll tell you right now, pilates is no joke...I was sweating like a beast.  After that, deadlifts, rack pulls, and farmers carry.  My forearms have been on fire all day from those rack pulls.  With 275 lbs on a barbell, I had to hold on as long as I could, rest, and do it again.  Three different grips.  It hurt to pull these heavy station doors open today.

Back in the gym at 9:30 Wednesday morning.  Can't wait!

Find High Performance Gym on Facebook, find my "Diesel On the Radio" page, and follow me on Twitter @diesel933 to watch video clips and see pics from each day's workouts.

Challenge yourself.  Call HPG (864) 735-8808 and ask how you can get started.

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