Monday, November 17, 2014

Exercise Guru to the Stars Looks to the Past for New Workout

When fitness expert Michael Carson first started out, he worked with the current celebrities of the day like Carmen Electra and Paula Abdul. Now he takes his exercise cue from the past. He has developed a workout routine that uses the survival mechanism of our long gone ancestors as its basis and says it will have us all Fit in Seconds.

In a recent one on one interview Michael explained the origins of the theory, "When you're hungry, you think of food… That is a survival mechanism that turns on in our body… When we're hungry, we are focused physically and mentally on food. In pre-Civilization that meant it was time to hunt or gather for food. We couldn't go to a supermarket. We couldn't have it brought to us. It wasn't something that was fun. It was about survival…"

He continues, "When your body was in hunger state and you would mobilize during your hunger state… That window is our survival window. And if you hunt and gather while you're in a survival state and immediately ingest the food within 15 minutes of doing that mobilization, your body does not store the calories because it only uses it for building energy and lean muscle mass to survive."

The workout is quite simple. Once you sign up for the plan, you receive one 90-second video routine each week. You do this 90-second routine for 15 minutes before every meal or snack. He states that if you do the movements three times a day for 30 days, you'll lose on average 1-3 ounces of fat at every meal. You get a new routine very week, so when you get used to the movement pattern of the first workout, you switch it up so the body maximizes the effect of the routine.

Michael developed the series while working with his current business clientele who do a lot of travel for work and found they didn't have time for exercise. He wanted to give them consistent energy in the form of a quick workout. This 90-second routine moves every muscle group, enhances circulation, strengthen bones and increases blood flow to every part of the body.

After over 20 years in the fitness business Michael has seen the industry change drastically. In the early days he created some of the best selling and most iconic pop culture workouts around including the Carmen Electra Aerobic Striptease DVD series, the Paula Abdul Cardio Cheer workout and the Envy series (Arms of Envy, Legs of… and Buns of…). The latter starred the Women of the Year from Playboy, FHM and Maxim. In addition he has trained celebrities like Cindy Crawford, Brooke Shields and Constance Marie.

But Michael has noticed a big shift lately that he finds disturbing. He points out, "The biggest trend is that intensity is key for people… but they're not really getting fit."

He is bothered by the push for everyone to train like ultra endurance athletes. He notices, "It's become more extreme… They're doing activities that are great if you're 20 and you're preparing your body for something that you need to be completely super hero strength for. But it's breaking people's bodies down more… People are really doing major damage to their spines and their knees and their backs because they're lifting enormous amounts of weights."

According to Michael rather than beating up your body and spending hours in a gym every day, you can burn calories much more efficiently if you exercise for a much shorter time period during the survival window. He states, "The 90-seconds simulates the instinctual hunt that is hard wired into our body for survival… With my movements and with this small burst of activity I am able to take off seven pounds on average, every 30 days, in four minutes a day."

Now, he's not saying all the other exercise has to go by the way side. If you are already in an exercise routine, this regime will enhance it, not replace it. He explains, "This maximizes your meal's absorption of the nutrients which will help build your body better and recuperate from the other exercises that you do. And it burns additional fat so you don't have to work quiet as hard on the other days that you work out. It's like an exercise supplement that maximizes your caloric absorption and your body's ability to minimize the fat that goes onto it."

Michael also says that with the Fit in Seconds workout people have lost great deals of weight without changing their diet. He adds, "You also ingest less food naturally, because you're body has an additional response, wanting to keep it safe and be able to flea from predators, if need be, at any moment. So you won't eat as much when you have that mobilization before a meal."

And unlike many other exercise programs, Fit in Seconds does not require any special equipment or a particular environment. Michael says, "You need gravity and you need enough space to spin your arms around like you're Wonder Woman… you use your own body weight… anywhere you're at, this works."

And with the holidays coming up, Fit in Seconds can come in really handy as you have less time for workouts. "With this workout, you're one meal away from always burning fat. If you have five meals a day, you can do five 90-second routines before each one and you will not gain weight from anyone of those meals."

Interested in hearing more? You can find details at the website.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Concetta Antico Sees a World of Colors Beyond Your Wildest Imagination

Photo courtesy of Concetta Antico 

When Concetta Antico was a seven-year-old girl growing up in Sydney, Australia, she started painting with oils. She soon became interested in the works of the great Impressionists. Inspired by the masters, she reproduced a Cezanne in one of her earliest works. 

But a typical canvas wasn’t big enough for her vision, so the preschooler took to working on a larger scale — painting the fence in the backyard of her home along a local golf course. As she recounted, “I have a very vivid memory that they used to give me a bucket of water and a brush. And you know the old wood fences that you see around old homes? There was one in the backyard and I would just stand there all day with this bucket of water and a big brush and I’d be painting the wood.”

She went on to cover the walls in her room and recreate famous album covers. Her skills and passion were so clear then when she was just eight or nine years old, she says her mother told her, “‘Concetta, you’re going to be a great artist and an art teacher.’ The reason that has stayed with me is that just a few years after that she passed away very suddenly of cancer… I never forgot it. She became this beacon for me that I would think of her and think of what she said. And, of course, I loved her, so I would think about what she told me and try to guide myself that way because she wasn’t around anymore.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jane Seymour Talks About Forever and Glen Campbell

Photo courtesy of ABC

We were happy to hear this week that ABC’s Forever has just received an order for another nine episodes making it a full season. We are intrigued by the premise of the immortal medical examiner and look forward to discovering more about his mysterious past. On tonight’s episode the legendary Jane Seymour guest stars as a love interest for Judd Hirsch’s Abe.

We had the chance to speak with Jane about doing the show. She told us, “I thought the character was really fun and really something I could get my teeth into but at the same time something that could possibly be a bigger role one day.”

Jane plays Abe’s twice ex-wife, Maureen Delacroix. She explains “She’s basically trouble for Abe… She’s realized that in finding the right partner, no one ever’s been quite as good as Abe... So now she wants to get him out of his life and travel the world with her. But he knows she’s trouble.” Lucky for us, the producers asked her if she would be available to do more shows, so it seems like things are not quite settled with Abe and Maureen.

They must have picked up on the instant chemistry between Jane and Judd. “I did all my scenes in one day. And obviously, they’re pretty intimate. It’s quite interesting. From the moment I met Judd somehow or other we hit it off. We worked really well together. She seduces him and he just does not want to be seduced but he just gets suckered right in.”

The actress, best known for her ‘90s TV series Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman is as passionate about her work behind the camera as she is acting in front of it. Most recently she co-produced the documentary I’ll Be Me: The Glen Campbell Story with her ex-husband James Keach. After announcing he had Alzheimer’s, Glen set out on farewell tour, which is documented in the film.

Jane recalled, “At first we thought this would be a very depressing story but then when we met him, he was a very, very, funny, amazing, uplifting guy. We followed him for a year and half, thinking it was going to be five weeks, and ended up with an amazing documentary that makes you laugh and cry. And it’s on a very important subject, the fact that there’s no cure currently for Alzheimer’s… I saw it last night for the hundredth time and there was a standing ovation and people were actually cheering in the middle of the film and laughing out loud. So I do hope it gets a wide audience.”

Her passion shows through while talking about the project, so it is not surprising that she revealed to us, “I’m most passionate about things like being able to bring awareness to things like Alzheimer’s. I do my Open Hearts collection, which really speaks to a concept of taking a challenge in life and using that as an opportunity to help other people. With all the change and uncertainty in life, I’m a very positive person. And my mother, who went through a lot of terrible things in her life, taught me how to turn lemons into lemonade, how to think out of the box and how to live in the moment and appreciate every moment you have and be creative with it, and find your happiness.”

It is this passion that inspired her choice for which pop culture icon she would be for one day if she could. She answered, “Audrey Hepburn because I felt we had something in common. She was  a dancer, her mother was Dutch and she also made such a huge difference when she worked with UNICEF. She would have been fun because she ticks off all the boxes I’m already interested in.”

Tune in to Forever tonight on ABC at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Movie Heroes to the Rescue

Photo courtesy of Movie Heroes

How would you feel if the movie theater where you had your first date was going out of business? What would you do if the cinema where you saw the movie that inspired your career path was closing its doors forever? Well that happened to Keith Walker and Matt Sconce. But they put their best caped-crusader effort into saving their local movie house… and subsequently Movie Heroes was born.

Keith and Matt learned in November of 2012 that their local movie theater, The Met Cinema in Oakhurst, California, could no longer afford to operate. So rather than let their childhood memories fade into oblivion, the independent filmmaker and aerospace engineer sprung into action. In a recent one-on-one interview Keith stated, "That's the place where we saw every single major movie growing up. I remember seeing October Sky there which really inspired me. It's about building rockets, and that's what I ended up doing with my life… So there's a heart for that place and it closed, and it's like, 'Oh, no, we have to save this.'"

Matt added, "For me that was the theater that I went to my first date on, Oliver and Company. So I remember growing up it was always the place to go. For me, being a filmmaker, it was one of the biggest things that inspired me. Because I love to be able to see the stories that other people like, to be able to look into different realities and different places and be able to travel the world."

So how do a filmmaker and an engineer who know nothing about running a theater go about such a daunting task? It was perhaps their naiveté that made the venture successful. Instead of thinking about all the stumbling blocks in front of most theater owners, they took a different approach.

Keith said, "We attribute our success to the fact that we didn't know much about it. Now that we know what we know, we realize that what we were doing was more significant and more risky than we know at the time." They went into the business thinking it was all about the consumer and creating a value added proposition for them. However they did not realize how much control the movie studios have over the theater owners.

They thought they could turn the business around by selling subscriptions a la Netflix. For $19.95 a month a consumer got unlimited access to see any film showing at the theater at any time. They set a goal to sell 3,000 monthly subscriptions and assumed the studios wouldn't care how they got their money as long as they got it.

Keith recounted, "What we found out is, they didn't do it that way. They viewed this as a very different thing. As a result we had to spend a lot of time building trust with the studios and developing audit mechanisms so they would feel comfortable with what we were doing."

So while they were building a business — hiring a staff, ordering concessions, updating the projectors — they were also negotiating with major movie studios to get product. Matt admitted, "For a while we had saved the theater but we had no studios giving us movies. So we had this limbo state for about three months where we wondered, 'Did we save the theater just to not save the theater?'"

But once they gained the studios' trust, business began to flourish. In fact, the model has been so successful for them that the movie house has had better attendance under this subscription model than at any other time in the theater's history.

Keith explained, "People watch way more movies. And by 'way more'  we don't mean 10% more. People are watching at a rate between six and 10 times the national average. A 500 to 900% increase."

Not only have the Movie Heroes saved The Met Cinema in Oakhurst, they have applied the same model to movie houses on Coalinga, Avenal and Red Bluff. And these theaters have more than doubled their revenue. Matt and Keith hope to save many more theaters around the country and are in contact with 60 other cinemas that are interested in the Movie Heroes model.

So if the local theater where you shared your first kiss is on the verge of closing its doors forever, the Movie Heroes might be able to help save it… one subscription at a time. For more info visit

Monday, October 20, 2014

Finding Common Ground with “The Real Apes of the Planet”

Photo courtesy of Animal Planet

We’ve all gone to the zoo and marveled at the fact that chimps, with their expressive faces and distinctive personalities, seem to be just like us. But it takes a special like The Real Apes of the Planet to show just how deep the connection between humans and our primate brethren runs. It’s true that in addition to the fact that we all share large brains, faces with forward facing eyes and opposable thumbs, we also all run the gamut of personality types.

From the tiniest tarsier to the most steadfast silverback gorilla, The Real Apes puts the variety of personality traits in the primate world on display. And in doing so, the special takes the viewer on an globe-spanning journey from the northern most monkeys of Japan to the baboons farthest south in South Africa’s cape.