Matt Gornick

Vibram FiveFingers at the Gym and Running Day 3

Posted in Health, Personal by mgornick on May 1, 2009

So, I decided to experiment with my new Vibram FiveFingers KSO at the
gym today. I’ve worn them almost exclusively for 2 days in order to
build up the endurance I need to work out with them.

Lifts: Squats and leg press were great as I received more feedback
from the KSOs and my contact with the ground. It was much easier to
focus on correct form, stability, and using a variety of muscles to

Running: I was a sprinter back in high school so I was used to running
on the balls’ of my feet, but the design of the KSO’s pretty much
force you to do that. Running heal-toe isn’t possible as the shock
runs up your ankles, knees, etc. for each stride. Instead, your body
becomes pretty comfortable running on your toes/balls’ of your feet
which shifts the shock to your calf’s, Achilles, and arch which
actually feels quite comfortable. I ran on both concrete and a
rubberized track surface for a variety of 100-m sprints and 400-m
strides. Both felt very comfortable and didn’t cause any pain. I did
notice being sore after running on concrete, but I’m assuming that is
to be expected. I will continue to use these for my short distance
running and training.

Balance and Stability: Balancing on plates, planks, balls, and such
varied in difficulty. I found myself engaging a wider variety of my
muscles to stabilize and balance. I think this is going to greatly
help with rock climbing where flexibility and balance are critical.
On certain exercises where balancing on a plank (with a ball folcrum)
I performed quite poorly. I believe this was because using flattened
shoes push the stabilization and center of mass higher (possibly
knees); whereas, with the KSOs I felt that any slight change in my
ankles or specific points on my feet caused me to lose balance. This
was definitely a better workout with the KSOs than my Sauconys.


Intern Lifestyle in Manhattan

Posted in Health, Personal, Uncategorized, Work by mgornick on June 16, 2008

I haven’t wrote in a while, but I’ve been adjusting to the Manhattan lifestyle.  Since I’ve only been here a few weeks, I thought I would post an update as to my current lifestyle for success.

Work: I’m early to bed and early to rise.  Before I got to sleep, I create my list of things to do for the next day and review them when I wake up.  I find that this greatly helps me focus on what I need to accomplish for the day.  I arrive at work early and stay late (10-11 hours of work per day).  I love the project(s) that I’m working on so I have no problem putting in the time.

Health: Before I start work, I go to the gym for an hour and then prepare for work.  I’m starting to prepare a healthy breakfast and lunch the night before so that I can just fill my gym bag and leave in the morning.  I’ve been eating pretty healthy and going to the gym 5 days a week with a various mix of cardio, strength, and supplemental workouts (e.g. rock climbing).  

Financial: It is obvious that Manhattan is extraordinary expensive!  I found that purchasing food via was actually cheaper and more convenient that going to a grocery store in Manhattan.  So far, I received my first order from Fresh Direct and I’m very satisfied.  I can fill out my order the night before and have the groceries delivered to my apartment the next day.  I find that it should save me countless hours each week due to traveling and comparison shopping.  Also, cooking my own food and bringing my own lunch has enabled me to save money that would otherwise go toward restaurants.  I’ve noticed the average price for a meal to be around $10; so by purchasing my food and preparing it myself, I can save a good deal of money this summer.

I am planning on writing an “Intern Guide to Manhattan” post that will give specifics on how interns can be successful and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in Manhattan.

Finding the “Perfect” Gym Without Getting Taken

Posted in Health, Personal by mgornick on May 22, 2008

Fitness and health is an important part of living a successful life.  At some point or another, you will consider paying for a gym membership.  If you can afford it and you’re dedicated to staying healthy, a gym membership can open up some great possibilities in your workout.  Unfortunately, you need to find the gym that meets your standards and budget.  I have compiled some tips for finding the perfect gym without getting taken and pressured into any commitments.

1. Start by tapping your social contacts and finding out where your friends or coworkers workout.  Ask them the name of the gym, location, price, and most of all their opinion of the gym.  Start writing down this information in some organized fashion and move on to step 2.

2. You should have a list of 3 or more gyms that your people in step one liked and enjoyed.  Now go to Google Maps, type in your address, and search for “gym” in your area.  Take note of those choices that come up and begin doing research into your online gym finds.  Cross-out gyms that are too far or have bad reviews.  Those aren’t the gyms for you.

3. By now you may have as many as 5 or more gyms that you could possible see yourself going to based upon location, price (if available), and recommendations.  Go to their websites and see if they offer a complimentary workout (some offer several days) and print out those coupons.  Now plan to visit each of these gyms.  A lot of times, a gym will take you on a tour of their amenities.  Take mental notes and write down questions for later.  Example, they may show you a rock climbing wall that you may be interested in using but it only opens after 5 pm.  This would be a big issue if you prefer your workouts in the morning.  Ask for as much paperwork on schedules, group fitness, and equipment that they have available.

4. Probably the most daunting task after the gym tour is when you sit in an office and they begin to start talking about membership offers.  Remember your goal is to physically try out the gym; not to sign up immediately.  If this discussion of joining lasts more than 10-15 minutes and the person is beginning to pressure you it may be a problem.  If the gym was highly recommended by a friend, ask to speak with a different representative.  If one is not available return on a different day when a different person can assist you.  If the gym was recommended on the internet and not a friend, you should consider walking away and crossing the gym off your list.  Almost all gym tour guides make a commission in signing people up and naturally forgetting that you want to “tryout the facility”.  If you are feeling pressured say something like: “I left my wallet [or money] in the car because I will not be spending any money today.  I’m simply wish to tryout your facilities”.  They might cut prices, give you free benefits, and other ways to convince you into signing up; just stand your ground with the above quote.  They should get the point and hopefully get you setup to try the gym for the day.  

5. When you’re finally in the gym and working out take special note to the equipment, people there, and your overall liking to the gym.  How was your first impression?  Do they have amenities that you like or are they lacking?  How were the costs (they will definitely tell you this)?  Are there people within your age group?  All these factor into a gym that you might want to be apart of.  

6. Decide and use your new membership to its fullest!

Take on Exercise

Posted in Health by mgornick on May 12, 2008

I find that exercising is my best stress relief.  It can be a long day at school, work, or just life and I can always seem to clear my mind and relax via physical activity.

In a Fortune article, Bill Gross the CIO of Pimco says that

“the most important part of my day isn’t on the trading floor. Every day at 8:30 A.M., I get up from my desk and walk to a health club across the street. I do yoga and work out for probably an hour and a half, between 8:30 and 10. […] After about 45 minutes of riding the exercise bike and maybe ten or 15 minutes of yoga, all of a sudden some significant light bulbs seem to turn on. I look at that hour and a half as the most valuable time of the day.”

Bill Gross seems to get it right and considering he’s managing $200 billion dollars a day, I’ll take his advice. A lot of people say that they don’t have time to workout/lose weight/eat healthy.  I figure if multi-billion dollar hedge-fund managers can do it, so can I.  Exercise does not have to be a burden or something dreaded.  Put on your economist hat and get in the mindset that you are increasing your mental and physical utility.  10 minutes of exercise may prevent you from pulling out your hair and also help you achieve that 6-pack.