Fitness Hiking By: Roland Ho Jr.


As someone who has been hiking the trails of Hawaii for the last 20 years or so, I have noticed that the activity has taken on a whole new meaning.

When I first started hiking the local trails it was to; Explore the mountains & outdoors of Hawaii, Experience & enjoy what nature had to offer, Enjoy the hike, and maybe get a little cardio in.

As a bodybuilder, I am aware that walking is one of the best forms of cardio for burning fat. So, I can definitely see the health benefits of hiking.

However, these days it seems that there are many inexperienced hikers that are now hiking for primarily the fitness aspect. Hiking for health is great, but it presents a problem when those hiking have no knowledge of the trails, respect for the land (aina), are unprepared, unaware of their limitations,  and have little to no respect for the communities they pass through to get to the trails.

When I first started hiking we studied the trails. Did some research, and read books written by experienced hikers to understand what to expect of the trail before charging up it.

These days, with technology, the Internet, and social media there is so much information it can make your head spin. Some are good,  some not so good. However, this has also contributed to an explosion of hikers on the trails.

I remember when you could hike trails, and be on it all day, and not come across a single person. These days, you will often see hundreds of people while on a hike. Personally, this sometimes takes the enjoyment out of the hike.

One of the greatest things about hiking, is the solitude. Being out in the forest, the mountain, in nature, in peace and quiet. Sadly, many of the trails these days, at lest here in Hawaii, have turned into somewhat of an amusement park. This is also where many of the problems occur. People hiking purely for amusement, are not necessarily aware of their surrounding conditions. In fact many of the rescues that are made to retrieve lost, stranded, or injured hikers, are a large majority of visitors, or people who have recently moved to Hawaii.

Now, I am in no way saying that if you are a visitor or new to Hawaii that you should not be hiking the trails of Hawaii. The trails are definitely there for everyone to enjoy. The concern is that, many visitors and new residence of the Islands may just charge straight toward advanced hikes without first getting acquainted to hiking in Hawaii. Many of the hikes are not even open to the public.

The visitor, the person new to the islands, or someone just starting to hike should start off slow. There are many trails that are open to the public, well maintained and at various levels. You can find many of the trails listed on the state Trail Access System website Na Ala Hele. The website lists 43 trails, just on Oahu alone. That should be enough to keep you busy for awhile.

Also, please make sure you have proper equipment. At least enough water and a decent pair of hiking shoes. Do some research. Get some books on the trails in the area you plan to hike, and know your fitness level. In addition, if you want to explore trails that may not be open to the public, do it the right way. Go with an organization that has been hiking the trails for years. Experienced people that can educate you on the various plants, terrain, and etiquette. The Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter and the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club are the two official clubs in Hawaii that I am aware of, that does just that. Have fun and be safe!

3 Walking Workouts To Help You Burn Fat Anywhere – by: myfitnesspal

3 Walking Workouts To Help You Burn Fat Anywhere

Travel Strong LogoWalking? Really? Don’t you have to do some sort of high-intensity workout that leaves you feeling beat up for days to lose fat? Well actually, no.

I could try to convince you that walking is the quickest way of burning fat, but that would be a very long post. And I think getting out and doing it would serve you more than sitting here and readying about it.For anyone who is out of shape, suffers from an injury or some other form of physical limitation, or simply wants to preserve muscle mass while burning fat, walking is an excellent form of exercise.

No, it won’t help you prepare to run a marathon, but walking can build a base level of fitness that will enable you to move onto more strenuous forms of exercise down the line. Best of all, almost anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter where you are, or how old or young you are, you can simply head outside and start walking. And like any form of exercise, walking burns calories and therefore fat.

Here are three simple walking workouts you can do anywhere. I like to head outside and enjoy the fresh air, but if it’s a particularly miserable day you can do them on the treadmill, too.

1. A Nice, Long Walk According to the Mayo Clinic, running is thought to burn around 800 calories an hour, while walking only burns around 350. That’s a big difference, but the fact isyou can walk for a lot longer than you can run (unless you’re extremely fit). So while running for an hour might burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, going on a 3 hour hike would actually burn more calories (and therefore fat) overall. And you have the added benefit of reduced chance of injury.

Burning fat really is that simple. Next time you’re not in the mood for a strenuous workout, put on some comfortable shoes, head out into the world, take comfort in the knowledge that you’re getting fitter, healthier, and leaner.

2. Fast & Slow Workout Beyond losing weight, walking can be incredibly beneficial to your health. Think: a reduced risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes, and better cardiovascular health. But to really tap into these benefits you need to raise the intensity. Here’s how:

  • Walk at a comfortable pace for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Walk quickly for 1 minute.
  • Return to a comfortable pace for 1 minute.
  • Repeat this pattern for a total of 30 minutes.

When this becomes too easy, add difficulty by reducing the periods of walking at a comfortable pace and increasing the time spent walking quickly (up to 5 minutes). You can also add in hills or increase the overall time of the workout.

This slow-fast-slow walking method will help prepare you to move onto more strenuous forms of exercise, such as running.

3. Bodyweight & Walking Intervals Turn your walk into a total-body workout by including bodyweight exercises at intervals.

  • Walk at a comfortable pace for 5-10 minutes.
  • Walk at a moderate (slightly quicker than comfortable) pace for 5 minutes.
  • Perform a bodyweight exercise for 10 reps.
  • Walk at a moderate pace for 5 minutes.
  • Perform a bodyweight exercise for 10 reps.
  • Repeat until you have performed a total of 5 bodyweight exercises.

Not sure which bodyweight moves to incorporate, here’s an article I recently wrote on my 5 favorites. (There are more great suggestions in the comments on that post, too.)

Ready? Set? Walk! Tell us which of these three walking workouts you’ll be trying today!

Re-post of original article posted on myfitnesspal

The History of HIT (High Intensity Training) by: Roland Ho Jr.


It’s amazing to me how many so called HIT (High Intensity Training) programs are our there these days. Everyone claiming to have developed a NEW HIT training program. Everything from Cross Fit, Boot Camps, Training with weights, & with your body weight only. The list could go on and on, and be pretty endless.

However, the intention of this article is not to bash the various HIT training programs that exist today, but to clarify some of the confusion that may exist today.

First of all HIT is nothing new. HIT has been around since the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, through the 2,000’s, and continues to evolve today.

Of all the name’s in the bodybuilding, health and fitness world, the one name that always sticks out to me when I think HIT is Mike Mentzer.

He has probably wrote more, spoke more, and practiced the principles more than anyone in the industry. He not only used HIT principles in his own training to win the Mr. Universe title, with the only perfect score of 300 in history. He also practiced the principles with the 1,000’s of personal training client’s, with great results. Perhaps the most recognized name of his client’s being the former Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates.


In fact if you have ever ventured to watch training videos by Dorian Yates, you will most definitely witness True HIT in action. What Dorian has evolved into his Blood & Guts Training.

Dorian applied the HIT principles he learned from Mike, and Mike applied the principles he learned from Arthur Jones.


For those who don’t know, or are too young to remember, Arthur was the Inventor of The Nautilus Equipment, and very much an advocate of HIT. His legacy continues to live on in many ways. Walk into practically any gym across the country, or around the world, and you will likely come across some piece of Nautilus equipment. If not Nautilus you might come across some Hammer Strength Machines. To no surprise, guess who the creator of the Hammer Strength machines is? No, not Arthur, but his son Gary Jones. Although, I do recall seeing some plans of these machines in an old magazine that were sketches from Arthur. Not a bad family business, and legacy to pass down.

Though Arthur may have left a tremendous legacy in the machines we see in many gyms today. He also left another legacy, that which we call High Intensity Training. He passed that on to Mentzer, who passed it on to Yates, who continues to pass those principles down through generations.

There are many other names in the bodybuilding and fitness world who also applied and practice the HIT principles, but those are the three biggest names (Jones, Mentzer, & Yates) that set the standard.

You can throw around kettle balls all day long, do a 1,000 squats with your body weight, and try to do as many reps as you possibly can of any given exercise with explosive, lose and sloppy form, and get some results. Lets face it, 100 sloppy reps, will still get better results, than no reps at all. But if you truly want to understand what HIT is, you cannot understand it without studying the principles of Jones, Mentzer, and Yates. Happy HIT!