By Terry Carter, Editor

I am not a physical trainer. However I listen to trainers, athletes and read the best advice available as I continue to chase my goal weight. So I consider myself pretty informed compared to most people who enter the commonplace weight room for a workout.

I like to start with stretches because I’m older than dirt. Don’t argue — I’m probably a century older than you. Regardless stretching is essential for everyone, whether round or thin, tall or short, male or female. After a 5-minute, warmup stretch, then start with a walk to get you perspiring.

Why? Because you don’t visit the gym in shorts and a muscle shirt just to because you bought new running shoes. Sweat matters. For many of us, the more we perspire, the more weight we lose. My experience is ongoing, but I’ve seen that fat areas start  to slim down where I perspire the most. Even my neck dropped 1.5 inches in the past year due to evening walks, mixed with short sprints and some strength work in the gym.

PS — The strength work probably does not help your waist, neck, thighs unless you work in classic Circuit Training style. Translation: Medium-to-heavy weights, high intensity and very little breakdown between exercises or sets. Bruce Lee used this method to create the best real world physique ever — and remember Bruce was amazingly lean.

So I’m calling this workout the Midlife Fundamentals for those of us who fit this generous description: No longer 30; no longer as thin as we once were;  no longer as strong as we once were; no longer flexible. OK some of you were cheerleaders, and others never stretchy. You know who you are. We all have things to deal with — stand tall.

After stretching, a 5-10 minute walk/run is essential to start the sweating, aka weight loss. If you are a slow starter like me or you haven’t worked out in a while, sprint at least 3 times for 30-60 seconds. You know what kind of shape you are in. So give it 70-80 percent of your top speed. For me that is about 6 miles per hour.  Have mercy on me, you younger athletes. I realize you can fly at 15-18 mph and keep it at 12 mph for complete 5k run. 

Here is a quick anecdote that may prove helpful to your workouts: I was at the gym today and observed a personal trainer there working with several female clients. I noticed that some of the people coming to the gym consistently focus only on their strengths, aka strong guys work on strength exercises; thin girls focus on burning calories on a treadmill. My advice to myself and you is simple: If you are actually overweight like me, use their calorie-burning, endurance excises for 60-70 percent of your gym time. If you are thin and not entered in 

Now for 3 upper body strength exercises. Minimize the break time to keep your heart beating fast by perspiring. Remember to vary your various exercises, the amount of weight, the repetitions/sets so that your strength exercises continue to put muscle where you need it. Schwartenegger set the bar in the 1970s at Mr. Universe with legendary trainer Joe Wieder by varying his intense workouts. 

I focus on my back, shoulders and whole arms (biceps, triceps). I use cables, an adjustable military press and a lat pull down machine frequently. Use what machines you prefer, including free weights. BTW guys: It’s not necessary to workout your biceps with a 100-pound barbell each time you visit a gym. Every muscle needs 36-64 hours to recover from an intense workout. Working hard on the same, sore muscles you used yesterday results in more extreme soreness and virtually flat-line growth.

Then go to core exercises and/or machines. One abdominal machine I started on 2 years ago was brutal. I could not move the machine with only 10 pounds on it. I know somebody was probably laughing at me struggling to do a seated crunch. But  I endured the moment. Better technique and time have helped me to now workout with 60-80 pounds. I’m hoping to max out at 100 pounds this summer. 

Another point: If you go to a weight room more than once, you should max out on all the machines you will frequent so you can create your standardized 3 sets, 10 reps workout with the proper weight. In reality, most people — including me — cheat on the 3 sets/10 rep standard we all heard of or read about years ago. If I am trying to build a little muscle, I will find a weight that allows me to barely finish 8 reps and either 2 or 3 sets. If my goal is to burn fat/calories, then I increase my repetitions to 12-15 and do 3-4 sets with a lighter weight on the bar.

Once the core is worked over — and certain dense much groups like calves and abdominals can be worked harder due to their ability to bounce back quicker — move on to legs. Like I said earlier, I’m ancient. So I can’t do all the leg workouts. But a leg press do in 4 different positions with the maximun knee bend can do wonders for your inner, outer thighs, as well as calves. Let me know if you need more details on this.

Finally when you are feeling leg weary, you have 2 choices to complete the gym portion of your workout. Either go swimming for 30 minutes like I did recently, or go 15-30 minutes on a treadmill, Stair Master or elliptical. Or just go for a jog in a nearby park.

Invest in a 30-45 minute workout like that 2-3 times each week and try to go walking before or after work for 30-60 minutes with a friend or pet. And you will be feeling 10 years younger if you embrace the fun some people call hard work. Check with your physician before you go to the gym to get some advice and approval for such an exercise plan. I started taking the tiny aspirin tablet each morning years ago, and I find it makes me more comfortable when I get to the park or the gym with big ideals of an intense workout.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve lost a little weight, about 25 pounds. However I still have 30 pounds to go. I’m not perfect and never will be. If you prefer sitting in a lounge chair and smoking a cigar while laughing at my efforts, I wish you well. But I really wish — under my breath — that you would get out of that sleeping chair and join me at Cullen Park near Barker Cypress…

…At least when it’s not flooded. 



By Scott Thornton

Honesty is always the best policy. And today, I’m flat out honest, as always.

Jordan Spieth is my favorite PGA golf today, and I am picking the next Texas prodigy to win the British Open at St. Andrews. This will make the 20-year-old phenom the first golfer in 62 years to win the first three major championships in a calendar year. We are talking about matching a feat accomplished by none other than Ben Hogan in 1953. 

Hogan was magic, and Jordan is today’s dominant player with Rory McIlroy on the sidelines with a knee injury picked up during a friendly soccer event. I am impressed by both young bombers, but Jordan has a unique quality. You cannot help but root for the young, talentd man who won the Masters and the U.S. Open.

Put me down for picking Jordan, Ricky Fowler to finish 1-2 this week in the blustery, rainy conditions. It’s  rare day when 2 Americans are favored in a European event, but I’m going with the young crowd. Tiger Woods, as mentioned in a previous column, is done. He will be lucky to make the cut when he has twice captured British Open crowns.

As a side note, I’m picking Jordan to capture 7-9 wins this season, lead the PGA money earnings list and record the lowest scoring average of any active player this season. He could notch 20 Top-10s and an average of 67.8 or better.

Not bad for a Dallas Jesuit graduate, UIL state champion golfer and a UT dropout. Go Jordan!


In wrestling, history favors those who are prepared — and have a recent tradition of great grappling.
With the State Dual Championships being held in two Houston locations today, the favorites include the Allen boys and Cy Ridge girls in this ultimate team event. where team scoring is everything. Both are state powerhouses with the Cy Ridge a UIL State runner-up in 2014 and team state champion i 2013.
The Allen Eagles are on an ongoing, record-setting journey with multiple team titles at the annual UIL State Tournament held in February. In the boys’ tournament, North Texas teams are expected to dominate the top positions, but Houston’s top finishers — Morton Ranch, Klein, Westside and Cinco Ranch — will make noise and could pull upsets.
Westside finished third after Morton Ranch upset them in the December Houston Duals. While Morton Ranch and Klein enter the State Duals as Region III’s top two seeds, the Westside Wolves sport 1 one dual loss all year. At their best, the Wolves are a top-3 contender.
While that sounds contradictory to common sense, it all depends on the strengths and weaknesses of teams match up. Westside has only 2-3 wrestlers who are not strong. Many teams have twice as many, but at this State Dual tournament, four is probably the most you will see if you can make it to Cy Ridge and Mayde Creek High Schools today.
The Allen Eagles? Traditionally they enter every tournament with few or no non-state caliber wrestlers. Arlington Martin, the 5A boys’ state runner-up, isn’t far behind.
Other challengers for the boys’ dual crown at Mayde Creek on Saturday include El Paso Franklin and Lake Highlands, which some said may finish in the top 4.
While the boys’s State Duals draws teams from all parts of Texas except the Panhandle, the girls’ event this year is a bit of a Greater Houston battle. Besides Huntsville (7-0) and San Antonio Wagner (6-1), all of the teams are close to Houston. This
At the girls’ State Duals Championships being held at Cy Ridge today, the host school boasts an impressive 11-0 record. The Lady Rams are the clear favorite, but they too will be challenged by the likes of district rival Cy Falls (17-2), Clear Falls (9-1) and others.
The girls’ State Duals will start its finals between noon and 1:30 p.m. today (Saturday) at Cy Ridge. The boys’ semifinals will start about 3 p.m. at Mayde Creek with finals slated for 5 p.m.


Once upon a time, the Katy Tigers captured their first football state championship and then stumbled into a slump that lasted close to 35 years.

The doldrums included consecutive losses to the new kid on the block as the Katy Taylor Mustangs began playing varsity football at the same time the Tigers’ new coach Mike Johnston arrived on the scene. Johnston suffered several losing seasons as he laid the groundwork for Katy’s current run of seven state championships.

In 1994, Katy reached its second state final in school history. But the Tigers lost. Still they kept learning and growing each season while chasing the ultimate goal of a second state championship for the friendly Houston suburb.

Pure talent did not win Katy’s first state titles. It was done by a Johnston area of expertise: Depth and a lack of weakness in any area of the game.

Try this stat on for size: Since the 1994 season, no Katy High School 4-year student has graduated without his red-and-white Tiger football team holding up a state championship trophy in December.

Can you imagine that every Katy student has had the chance to witness a state championship season for the past two decades?

With a state championship in 1997, Katy stepped on the national scene by qualifying for the 5A state title game four consecutive seasons — and winning again in 2000 with a perfect 16-0 record.

Since the 1997 title, Katy has claimed six championships and will play Saturday in Arlington for a Texas record-tying 8th state crown. The Tigers have also reached the state finals 12 times in the past 17 seasons, starting in 1997. Only two times have they missed the title game for more than one season.

For the record, the Katy Tigers currently have won state championships in 1959, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2012. Those seven could become eight when the mighty Tigers (14-1) meet defending state champion Cedar Hill (13-2) on Saturday at 4 p.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the new 6A-Division II championship.

Funny thing: Cedar Hill and Katy will meet for the third consecutive year for the coveted trophy. Katy won round one in 2012, 35-24; Cedar Hill rallied for round two in 2013, 34-24.

Winner gets more than bragging rights because a three-peat for both teams is extremely rare. History, however, sheds some light on which team will win Saturday.

The Katy Tigers, under the guidance of 11-year head coach Gary Joseph, have lost to only one opponent more than once. That opponent is The Woodlands, which downed the Tigers for the third time this fall.

When Katy meets Cedar Hill this weekend, it will be the third meeting between two talented, deep teams with top-notch coaching and a will to win.

Still Joseph’s Tigers will not allow another blemish on the coach’s Texas-best career winning record. Joseph was defensive coordinator for two decades under Katy predecessor Johnston, who won state in 1997, 2000 and most notably 2003.

Taking over in 2004, Joseph has compiled a Texas-best winning percentage of 92.12 percent in just 11 seasons. He currently stands at 152-13, averaging 13.82 victory and only 1.18 losses each fall.

Simply put, the achievements of Johnston (200-75) could have made Joseph’s job easier for several seasons. However, Joseph has a quiet intensity about him. He always adjusts, finds ways to improve his players, teams, coaching staffs and himself.

He is a leader by training and an analyst naturally. No surprise why he was the defensive mastermind of the Tigers for years under Johnston’s term.

He remains fit and healthy — appearing able to run a marathon at a moment’s notice.

Texas has hundreds, if not thousands, of very good coaches. Dozens are active legends, still chasing the coveted 300-win mark. none, however, can touch Joseph’s winning percentage, or the speed in which he has climbed to 150+ career victories.

Bottomline: Katy wins on Saturday to tie the all-time victory for Texas state championships. The score? Stick with tradition when common foes meet for a common goal: Katy 35, Cedar Hill 24.


When you live in Houston — the home of Region III football — only a handful of high school powerhouses can claim your crown and advance to play in the 6A state semifinals.
This fall the Division I-6A race in Region III comes down to one unbeaten squad without much of a track record, Dickinson (10-0), a couple of 9-1 powers with recent pedigree, Pearland and Lamar, and a few outside hopes for Cinco Ranch (8-2), Elsik (9-1), Cy Ranch (7-2) and even North Shore (6-4).
Experience tells me the bi-district winners this week will be:
Cy Ranch, Cinco Ranch, North Shore, Elsik, Cy-Fair, Lamar, Pearland and Dickinson although the final four favorites could be pushed in this weekend’s postseason openers by underdogs like Seven Lakes (8-2).
In Division II-6A, I won’t be stepping on a limb to suggest that Katy (9-1) and unbeaten Manvel (10-0) will meet for the Region III crown in December — unless miraculous upsets happen.
Seven-time state champions, the Katy Tigers should walk through Westside (4-6), Langham Creek (9-1) and either La Porte (6-4) or Hightower (7-3) to reach the regional final.
Manvel is also expected to slay Beaumont West Brook (5-5), Clear Creek (7-3) and either Memorial (7-3) or Cy Woods (6-4) before clashing with the Tigers.
First-round winners in this region will be: Langham Creek, Katy, La Porte, Hightower, Memorial, Katy Taylor (6-3), Manvel and Clear Creek (7-3).
Other 6A powerhouses I see dominating their region include Cibolo Steele (10-0) in Division II-6A, Region IV. Steele would represent a state semifinal for either Katy or Manvel.
Up in Division I-6A, Region IV has no clear favorite, but Converse Judson (6-4) lurks, and that’s always a significant program.
That’s enough forecasting for now as Regions I and II are also loaded for UIL gold.