My interest in exercise probably began in my high school years when I became a member of the Ariel Rowing Club in New York City. I have rowed on and off since then whenever I lived near the water. Or, if there is no water available, I row on an indoor rower. Rowing with a sliding seat is probably the best all-around exercise there is. During the summer after I graduated from high school, I bought my first barbell set. I became a fairly good lifter in college simply by doing basic exercises with as much weight as I could handle. I may have even been the strongest man in the college I attended. My interest in weight training has continued to this day as well. Shortly after I began graduate school, Kenneth Cooper wrote his now famous Aerobics book and, as a result, people became increasingly aware of the importance of endurance training. So, I started to run and, eventually, became locally competitive as a distance runner. Along with rowing and weight training, I also continue to run. While weight training is probably the most efficient way to gain strength, running is probably the most efficient way to improve your endurance. I feel that I was fortunate to have been exposed to these two sports --- and rowing --- while I was relatively young.
While in graduate school, I also became seriously interested in diet. I believed then (and still believe now) that, if a person could figure out the natural diet for human beings and follow it, he would be the healthiest. This quest led me to experiment with vegetarianism way before it was mainstream. This didn't work out well for me, especially given my interest in strength athletics. I recall my weight dropping from a very muscular 190 lbs to an unbelievably "ripped" 160. My energy level decreased significantly and I began to notice other problems. Needless to say I dropped the idea but always continued to emphasize what I believed to be natural foods. For my entire adult life I have been extremely conscious of the food I eat and am proud to say that the diet I have finally arrived at via common sense, trial and error, and a bit of research has now been shown to be the natural diet for human beings. This diet has a name and was dubbed the "Paleo Diet" by the man, Loren Cordain, who was responsible for bring it to the attention of the public. More about this on the Food page of this website.
Although I’ve done alright at these my three sports (weight lifting, running, and rowing), I will confess that, over the years, my exercise programs have had their ups and downs. I would do well for a while and then, for one reason or another, I would lay off for a week, a month, or even longer. I am definitely not one of the fortunate few who has managed to stay in great shape all their lives. As I look back, it seems that I was always trying to “get back in shape again.” Perhaps the good thing about this is that I can easily relate to problems the beginner or out-of-shape adult might have when he or she embarks on a fitness program. So, the K*I*S*S* programs have not been developed from the point of view of someone who "knows it all," but rather from the point of view of a guy who has made mistakes and has learned from them and would like to pass along what he has learned.
Even though I've been a health and fitness “nut” since my teens, my formal training is in engineering. I graduated from Pratt Institute (in New York City) in 1963 with a BME degree in mechanical engineering. I also received MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University (in New Jersey) in 1966 and 1971 respectively. While a PhD candidate and a few years thereafter, I taught basic engineering science courses at Lafayette College (in Pennsylvania).
In spite of this high-powered education, my love has always been for the practical aspects of engineering --- specifically the design of machines and neat things like fast motorcycles. Because of this, as well as my love for aquatic sports (rowing, swimming, spear fishing, etc.), I moved to Guam in 1972 where I was involved with teaching and development of simple associate degree level engineering technician training programs at the University of Guam. Still at the University of Guam, I was later “drafted” into heading up a water research center, something very far from my professional interests. However, the center did very well and we eventually added alternate energy research to its scope of interest.
In 1985, I moved to Micronesia where I set up a small company called Appropriate Technology Enterprises. This company dealt with the design and installation of solar power and water supply systems for use on remote tropical islands. This was exciting and rewarding work that took me to many far flung dots of islands.
In 1998, I closed the company and my wife and I (and our baby son) moved to her home island, an idyllic site in Micronesia more than 100 miles of ocean away from the nearest developed island. There we lived a Robinson Caruso lifestyle, starting out in a thatched hut and year by year improving our situation such that, when we left five years later, we had built a comfortable home with all the basic amenities of civilization. Our girl was born there.
In 2007, we finally returned to New York. My dream now is to make a retirement career out of my lifelong interest in health and fitness.