Sunday, September 30, 2012

Under The Bridge.

Back in 2001 up until 2007ish I was depressed.  Sad and lonely.  Tired and broke.  I hated the world and fought for the demise of everyone around me.  I looked at you like you were the enemy and had no passion or desire to feel good- to be better- to Live.

I could have went down into a burning ring of fire where the depths of darkness surround the soul and crush the hardest of the giants among us. My soul was crushing my bones and forcing shallow- hard to come by- breaths. My blood was dying and my mind was melting.  I was a loser.

It was all in my mind and I let myself live a hard horrible depressed life where one second I could have snapped out of it and changed my entire world- but I knew not how. Or I didn't care.  I let myself become a waste in society with no balls or bearings.  Disgusting. Useless.  Immoral.

So why now am I preaching power of thought, mental toughness, exercise, diet, hard work, positive intentions and doing more so than ever to become great and live life to the fullest? I lived a hard life.  Not as hard as others but it sucked the life out of me.  I was foolish and an embarrassment to my family. It hurts still to think about the hurt I caused so many people when then- I cared not.  I don't want others to fall into that ring of fire and settle for less. We are all capable of anything we choose. I went from a broke, useless, homeless, and uneducated peon to the beginning stages of leadership, a business owner, a dedicated person to life, a family man, a soon to be father and caring husband.  I have darkness inside but I control it and become more.  Through reading- writing- running and lifting- teaching and motivating and internal suppression.

Everything's changed.  I am no longer living in the shadows of useless person, a menace to society.  I changed.  I evolved- like we all should.  I have no regrets or hard feelings.  At that time- I loved it.  I loved doing the things I was doing and therefore I could never hold regrets.  I had good times and good friends and  a hidden knowledge burning to explode onto the scene of improvement.  It's amazing how much change one can go through when they WANT it.  I was pushed and begged to change and improve.  I ignored the preaching sermons of family and friends and walked through hell until I saw enough.

I'll never truly remember the day I decided enough is enough but it could be a good friend lying to me about cops or the nights under a bridge fishing for my food. What happened after that was sort of a miracle.  My life changed and then- little did I know- everything was on it's way to goodness.

I share my story with you because I want people to see how a life can change quickly and nothing is as bad as it seems.  One minute you could be dreading life pleading to the gods to take you away and the next- you are ready to rock your way to the halls of success and enlightenment. My past has molded me into a good man.  A humble, dedicated, passionate family man who wants nothing but the best for friends, family, and success. I would do it all over again because the experience taught me so much.  I want to thank everyone who has ever helped me improve and take the next step on my journey.  It may have seemed like I was ignoring you and distancing myself from your words- but we now know- it sunk it.  Thank you won't ever be enough.  I am forever grateful and satisfied to call you friends and family.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Little Vacation Everyday!

Little vacations are amazing.

Everyone should try to take one.. daily.

They're refreshing and revitalizing to the soul.  They aid recovery. They clear the mind.

You can have one anywhere.


I like to take a vacation everyday in my Jeep. Twice.  Sometimes three or four times a day.

Just me, the road, my Jeep, and a clear thought process so relaxing I could swear I'm on a beach somewhere.

They don't need to be expensive or lavish.  It could be as simple as a ten minute break while on the John.

Inside your mind you have the most incredible vacation just waiting to be used. Inside your mind could be your quiet room or your decompression chamber. Find it and use it...  Daily.

Use your workout as a vacation.  Nobody can bother you.

Drift away and get onto your plane to the most wonderful destination and live life with a daily vacation.

Friday, September 28, 2012

What's Your Story? A Life Changed..

I asked a question on my Facebook news feed last week and asked people to share their fitness successes and I would pick one to use and write a blog post about it.

Meet Angelo Loukas.

I meet Angelo a few months ago when the original 5/3/1 Group Fan Page on Facebook was closed due to a troll hacking the site and making personal threats.  Angelo sent me a personal message and I friended him.  He said he didn't know too many people who did trained with 5/3/1 and asked if it would be cool to ask questions.  Many questions.

I said sure and since then he's been a loyal facebook friend who reads my blogs and comments on the facebook posts.  His story is amazing and I want to share it with you.

Me: Angelo, tell me about your fitness related successes and how they changed your life.

Angelo: My success has nothing to do with how much weight i lost or how much i can total on a platform. (Total on platform is lingo powerlifters use when in competition.) After a life of excess, too much drinking, too much eating and way too many hours of doing nothing in my free time, I was left with a body that couldn't do anything. I couldn't bend over to tie my shoe with out wheezing  I would snore AWAKE! My body was breaking down sleep,high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. So then I joined a gym- with little results. Then I found 5/3/1 started watching what I ate but not over thinking it. (I) started lifting right, pushing my prowler and working on mobility. Now I am not where I want to be yet but I have learned to love the process anyway. I can say today all my health problems are gone, but where I find my success is in my kids. I realize now I was becoming a bad example to them. Now I'm a father again, not afraid of the long walks outside on the beach or to the city. I spend quality time with them. Teach my daughter about eating right (and) my son 10 is dying to lift with me. So I have him doing the things he needs now so he's ready. My 2 year old still can run me into the ground lol.

Me: That's awesome, nice way to start on the right path and be a good influence to your kids while doing so.  I can't wait until my little girl lifts with me.  Yes, girl, and yes.. she'll lift! Anyway..So how much weight did you lose since you started?

Angelo: 70 pounds!

Me: Damn son!  Good job.  That is some amazing work and dedication!  Goals change as well as plans and this is good because it keeps things fresh.  Where do you go from here?

Angelo: My main goal is to reach a 600 pound Deadlift, 585 pound Squat, a 225 pound Overhead Press, and a 405 pound bench, but recently have been wanting to focus on weight loss.

Me: Elite numbers right there man!  Nice goals and time is your best friend! Out of those movements, what's your favorite?

Angelo: Favorite is the Squat, but quickly becoming the deadlift, and I secretly want a huge bench.

Me: I love the deadlift.  That is definitely my favorite exercise, especially when you go for the singles. Something about grabbing heavy shit and hauling it off the ground makes any day a great day! So, during your journey when you lost 70 pounds- what was the biggest obstacle you overcame?

Angelo: My biggest obstacle was my weight, I was so fat I couldn't lay down on a bench and get up on my own. I couldn't even recover between sets, I was so winded.

Me: Man that is awesome.  Not being able to recover between sets, while powerlifting, and getting it done is inspiring. Good job right there!  For all the "newbies" out there and people just getting started, or for people lacking motivation- what advice can you give them when it comes to training?

Angelo: Advice.. this sounds cliche.. but attack your workouts like your life depends on it, before it really does. Too many people just do enough to get by. Also do the things you suck at.

Me:  Huge thanks man!  I agree.  Do the things you suck at or hate and KILL them.  Go hard at them and don't give up. I love the quote on attacking workouts before life attacks and that is so true.  Too many people take their lives for granted and neglect their health.  This is life man, you only get one.  Why live in pain?  Why live in misery?  Fight for your health and happiness.. DAILY!

That's it from my man Angelo Loukas.  Huge thanks for taking time out of your day for sharing your story and inspiration.  I greatly appreciate it!  Thank you.

If you have a fitness success story and want to share it- let me know.  Email me at activatefitnesspt @

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How hard are you trying?

I asked myself the question "How hard are you trying?" recently, and I demanded a NO BS answer.  No sugarcoating, no lying to myself, no hiding behind fear and the obvious answer was no- I wasn't trying hard enough.

In my personal life.

In my training.

In my business.

In my full time job.

I was not trying hard enough to be the best I could be- to be what I WANT to be.

I have been cutting myself short so much and holding myself back from where I want to go- to what I want to accomplish and the worst part- I was lying to myself. Daily.

It was brutal, it was a hard nosed gut check that left me a little emotional but there is no room for bullshit in my life anymore.  I was hiding behind fear.  I admit it openly and honestly.  I was afraid and I still am- but things are changing.  I'm moving forward.

It's not easy when you do a brutally honest reality check on yourself.  Especially when you preach positive thoughts, emotions, and actions- as well as No Excuses and Hard work- when you yourself are failing to hold that end of bargain up.

Sitting here writing about how there's no excuse to miss a workout and to not give your all, when underground I was working so hard and long I had no energy to train myself beyond a Main Lift or two.  6 sets of heavy lifting and I was done.  10 minutes tops.  No warm up or cool down.

Enough is Enough!  That has all changed.  I found my heart and changed it all.  I was ready, I needed it.  My body was screaming at me to do what's right and I ignored it for so long that I became overtrained.  Not in the physical sense- but the mental and emotional part of my body was drained.

When I came about my wits it was like this:  

The biggest difference is I'm not doing this for a fight inside the ring or for touchdowns on the field- I'm fighting for life.  Training for life.  Training to become the best person I can be physically, mentally, and emotionally.  It's not easy.  It hurts.  I have old injuries and scar tissue that screw my days relentlessly but I push past it.

So how hard are you trying?  What are you training for?  Are you just swinging through the motions and the daily routine without trying to jump ahead?

How hard are you trying for that different job or that promotion?

How hard are you trying to make your ideas manifest into reality?

How hard are you going at life and how much of your energy are you throwing at it?

Let me know! Drop a comment below and we'll discuss it.  I'm here to help.

I for one am not and never again will be just somebody withering away with the daily rotations of Earth, playing the game of life hoping to retire when I'm 80, failing to give society everything I am about.

.... How hard?


Side note- if you notice above I've added a few different links.  I'm working on it..

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Top 5 exercises for New Mothers at Home.

So you say there's a new baby in town and life has been turned upside down.  You have gained some serious weight during your pregnancy and as soon as the doctor gives you the okay, you're off and firing.  Ready to get back to the "Pre-Pregnancy" weight or shape, and as fast as possible.

Then it hits.  The time problem.  For some people it is easier to get to a gym then it is for others and a lot of new moms seem to never be able to make it.  Below I will go over 5 of the top exercises you can do, after medically cleared, in your own home, right in front of your baby, in the living room, outside on the deck or anywhere you please.  Just note that this will be a good start and nothing more.  Doing these exercises will take you to a certain point and when the baby is a little older- you can move onto a more advanced program.

So again- make sure you're medically cleared first and then try these at home! Also, in order to lose the baby weight you need to reduce your caloric intake and eat well.

1)- Jumping Jacks- Simple and effective.  Great for increasing your cardio as well as providing a calorie burn.  Do I need to explain how to do jumping jacks?  Mr. Koes would kick your ass if he knew you needed an explanation.

2)- Squat Thrusts- This exercise targets the majority of the muscles in the legs and is a good movement for cardiovascular health. To perform a squat thrust stand with feet shoulder width apart, bend the knees and place the hands on the ground as you would a push up and kick the legs out- to a push up position. Optional here if you want to do a push up, and then bring the legs back in and stand up.  Simple.

3)- Push-Ups- Watch GI Jane for a description and just do it. One of the most important bodyweight movements is the push-up. Push-Ups are great for strengthening the chest, the arms, and the shoulders.

4)- Prisoner Squat.  Stand with feet shoulder width apart, place the hands behind the head, and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, and press yourself back up. Squats work the muscles of the butt, the legs, and the hips.  A great strengthening exercise that can be done anywhere. You can also hold your precious little bundle of joy while doing this movement. They'll like it.. maybe..

5)- Mountain Climbers- Get into the push-up position and start by bringing the left knee to your core. Shoot it back and bring the right knee up.  Repeat this sequence as fast as possible providing a great cardio effect. Doing this movement for a minute or two will humble you.

There was recently a study released that showed a 4 minute Bodyweight Workout (Doing some of the above mentioned exercises at 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest) was comparable to a 30 minute cardio session such as treadmill walking. This is great news and new mothers can get a seriously effective workout while home with their new baby.

A sample workout can be put together like this:

Jumping Jacks x 50 reps
Squat Thrusts x 20 reps
Push-Ups x 20 reps
Prisoner Squats x 20 reps
Mountain Climbers x 40 reps Each Leg
Clean Diaper, feed, burp, repeat circuit.

Finding 4 minutes during your day is possible and if needed, doing a workout like the above 1 set at a time repeated throughout the day will give you some good results.

Always keep the walking in your exercise routine.  Be sure to go through this post here Stretching 101 and make some of the mobility movements and stretches part of your warm-up and cool down.

With bodyweight movements like those shown above and the latest research showing a 4 minute workout to be effective there are No Excuses NOT to exercise.  Start slow, work your way up, and make it a part of your daily life. Get creative and use your baby for some exercises.  You can buy an ergobaby carrier and do the squats, walk up and down the stairs in your house, and so much more.  Have fun and enjoy the new kid.

There's a meaning behind the 3 D's.

When you belong to a group, an organization, a tribe, or a team there is and always will be a certain vibe among the crowd. A successful group, a motivated group, and a group that wants to get better will always be on the positive side of the emotion spectrum.

At Activate Fitness we are Dedicated, Demanding, and Determined and there is no room for bullshit in that saying.  You either are part of the team with the focus on succeeding in your fitness goals or you're not. Living only a part of this is not acceptable.

Activate Fitness is not a quick fix company that you can expect to come to for a month and get into the best shape of your life.  Getting into shape is great, and it takes time but it's not Life. Sure looking great naked is fun and exciting but it means shit when you move along in your life.  Being Dedicated to staying fit for life so you can tackle obstacles that many can't is why we do what we do.

Personal accountability needs to be a paramount focus of your fitness success.  Counting your own reps and knowing what comes next in the workout is being accountable. Sticking to a diet needed to live a healthy life and maintain a good weight is up to you.  Nobody will give you the food on your plate that you should be eating.  It comes from within and that is demanding excellence.

An undying desire for success in living a healthy life and getting to your goals is determination. Without that determination, there is no room in this inner circle. A determined will to succeed is one of the most important aspects of achieving goals.  Without it, you just swing back and forth in failure.

I want my team to win.  I want my team to get to where they want and to maintain that status or reach for new heights.

I have recently changed everything about Activate Fitness. There are no more free trials to see if you like training at the gym.  The free weeks are your try outs to see if you belong- if I want you.  I don't need babies, whiners, and complainers working out and ruining the atmosphere inside the gym.  During the free week you are put on the stand, not just for me but for the other members of the team.  When you come to Activate Fitness and get the free week trial I will test you and I will ask for feedback from my established clients. I value their input.  If they feel you are not motivated enough and fail to live my 3 D's, you're gone.

After that week, if you pass, comes a 21 day probation period. During this period the tests continue and the feedback from my clients is noted. We have expectations of what we want to achieve and for that reason alone we need our teammates to be on the same page. If you are not on that page, you're gone.

Then after graduation from the schooling of the 3 D's and the program Activate Fitness offers you have two options- a 3 month membership or a 12 month membership.  Why?  Because, this isn't something that a month here or a month there can help with.  Dedicated. Demanding. Determined. If you can't dedicate 3 months to your fitness and health- we don't want you.  You're gone. If you can't dedicated yourself to 3 months- you truly don't want success in health and fitness. You care not for the body you were given.

Is this harsh?  No it's not. There is a certain atmosphere required inside Activate Fitness and we will fight to keep it that way.  This is not a bar that you go to on Thursday and have a good time at.  This is a place for work, for effort, and for success.  This is a community. This is not a gym that you sign up to and then don't come.  If you want in and you sign up for the program- you come- because that's what you want.  You want success in your fitness goals and you're dedicated to getting there.

If you feel this is too harsh or not a good business model, that is because you don't understand and for that, you don't belong. There is and will always be a difference between Fit people and Tire Kickers.  Fit people sign up for year long programs and stick with the programs and get results that people envy.  Tire Kickers never get anywhere and fail to ever live the dreams they have.  They fail to commit and their results show.  They'll never get from A to B because they can't understand the big picture and lack the dedication.  They want quick fixes and have no patience.

When I say Dedicated, I mean Dedicated.  You expect, you perform, and you receive.

When I say Demanding, I mean Demanding. You demand the best from yourself first and then from me. You demand the best from the other members of the gym also.  You demand success.

When I say Determined, I mean Determined.  You are determined to do what needs to be done and to stay on track.  This determination breeds success and excitement.

Are you Ready to Activate Fitness?

Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter, top of the page to the right....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where I Go From Here..

Lately a lot has been on my mind and it seems like I'm an inch away from crazy. So much has been going on that I have slipped badly in my training, my nutrition, the goals I had set out to achieve, even trying to take my business to the next level. I am human and it happens- but not anymore.  EVERYTHING changes now.

Making a plan is important for anything in life.  Sticking to it is hard and sometimes we fail. It's not a problem.  Again, we're human. But failure is not an option for me. I will not sit here and feel sorry for myself because I failed to achieve the goals I wanted. I've learned and now I am ready to take it back to where I want to go.

In Jack Canfield's book The Success Principles, he laid out 64 principles he felt were important for success. After his years of experience, working under W. Clement Stone, and his work with many other best selling books- I took his advice.  The first thing he talks about is "Taking 100% Responsibility" for everything in your life.  Nobody will make my dreams come true. Just me. After reading this book I implemented many of things he taught into my life and things were going great- until I let it slip and failed to continue.

I have BIG dreams.  HUGE dreams for my life and I can't and WON'T accept a normal life.  I am meant for much more then a 9-5 with a side job barely getting by. But, it's up to me and me only.  Nobody is going to give me my dreams.  Everyday I have to fight my ass off to improve and get one step closer.

I've taken an interest in Mental Toughness Training lately and this is the next step for me to take.  I need to master my mind and become tougher- mentally and physically. I felt the training I was doing was making me tougher.  Tough enough to handle many challenges in life- until it bitch slapped me across the face and brought me back to Earth.

For those of you who know, I follow Jim Wendler's work in 5/3/1.  I am a Barbell guy. For those who don't know, 5/3/1 is a training program based on Strength, used mostly by Powerlifters. There are 4 main lifts (The Squat, Overhead Press, Bench Press, and Deadlift) that the program is based on.  In addition to the 4 main lifts there are templates for accessory work.  Accessory work is used to improve in weak areas and help the progression of the main lifts- using mostly dumbbells and barbells.

Recently- this all changed for me. I started following a guy named Zach Even-Esh who owns the Underground Strength Gym in Edison, NJ. Most of his work is based around bodyweight, sandbag, kettle bell, and other training tools. His work has changed my entire view on WHY I am doing what I am doing.

I love being a trainer because I love helping people and motivating them.  Through exercise is the platform I chose. I personally train to Kick Ass in life. I want to be strong and powerful so I can take care of my family, take care of my house, do things without feeling weak and tired.  5/3/1 was that outlet. And still IS, but things are changing.

For the past few weeks I have still been following my plans in regards to my 5/3/1 program, BUT- only for the main lift.  All of the accessory work I've been doing is now GONE. The additional work I get in after my main lift for the day is now centered around sandbag work, kettle bell movements, and bodyweight training. Sled Drags and Walking Lunges.  Sandbag Cleans and Kettle Bell Farmer Walks.

I decided to go this route because my strength was Barbell strength.  Not real world strength.  As I mentioned I was bitch slapped back to earth and in that I mean I was knocked down when I realized my strength was not like real world strength.  Like a construction worker or a mechanic. I had (and still kind of have to) set up my body for the movements I was planning on performing- not training movements but shit like lifting the lawn mower or moving a carpet down a flight of stairs.  This happened because of - the bar at the middle of the feet, knees straight, bend down grab bar, ass down, chest up, and then lift off of ground training I was doing.  I know people who grab heavy shit and just manhandle it. That is why I was training and for what I want- it was all wrong. Now, I want to be able to jump right into action as needed, alert, ready, and able.

From here out my training will look something like this:

Squats 5/3/1 sets and reps

1A) Bodyweight Squats/Weighted vest Squats/KB Squats 4x20-30
1B) Weighted Push-Ups 4x20-30

2A) Sandbag Carries 4 x 100-200 feet
2B) Kettle Bell Swings 4 x 20-30

Prowler Drags w/ TRX 4 x 150-300 feet

Ab Exercises 4 different x 20-30 reps

Grip Work 4x *Varies (DB Holds x ALAP)

This is just example and not necessarily what I'd do but you get the picture.  Also I will be putting in Log Work, Heavy Sandbag movements, Farmer Walks, Various Strongman exercises, Weighted Vest work, Heavy Stone movements and really anything I can find to lift that mimics real world strength movements. I will also always keep Barbell movements in my accessory work.  Inclines presses, Lunges, Front Squats, Cleans, Stiff Leg Deads, Good Mornings, Barbell Rows. They're not going anywhere, but no longer will they be 3x10 or 4x8.. I may be wrong with this- but you live and learn and adjust when needed. For now- I will train with various movements that are new to me.

Now, moving on, I want to discuss my diet changes.  For awhile now it's been this here and that there with no real plan or rhyme with a reason. I tried Paleo, the Renegade Diet, Intermittent Fasting, and many other ways of eating the foods I wanted to eat.

Recently I changed it all, threw away the science, the knowledge, the opinions, and headed back to the good ole basics.

Here's an example:


Chicken 2 Fists
Carbs (Rice, potatoes, whatever) 1 fist
Veggies 2 fists

Repeat this three times a day with a Kick Ass smoothie somewhere between that and some nuts and fruit.

That's it.

Again moving on, Activate Fitness has quickly progressed, regressed, progressed again and stalled. A big portion of my time is spent figuring out how to build my business.  A lot has run through my mind and some of it's been negative. That's ok.  It opens the mind for more thought.  There have been times lately where I have asked myself if Hackettstown and Mount Olive are the right area for the mission of my business that will be able to follow it's values while growing.  I have had a hard time getting my clients to refer other people to come in and this has led me to question EVERYTHING. Is my training boring?  Are my classes too hard?  Is this town not the right town? Personal questions, political questions, negative thoughts and positive thoughts.

I've come to the conclusion that I've been worrying over things I can't control and I need to "just do it". So now some new things and different changes are beginning to take light and here are few important things coming soon:

October 6th, 2012 Activate Fitness will participate in Hackettstown's Community Day at the Lowe's on Mountain Ave. I'll be giving away some Free Trials, have a raffle for possible 1 year free training, and hold a few workouts in the parking lot.

October 19th and 20th I will be training to become a Certified Underground Strength Coach.

Activate Fitness will now be starting to "interview" and "try-out" new clients.  If they don't fit into what I want or who I want training in my gym, in my business, I will not allow them to become members.  This isn't about money and losing a few bucks will not concern me.  I want a specific vibe in my gym and will fight to create it.

Sometime in November or December, Activate Fitness will host a charity fundraiser for a local organization. Details to follow.

I will try my hardest to put out content EVERYDAY.  Quality, informative, intelligent, motivating content. Daily. Whether it's a 200 word blog, a 3 minute YouTube video, or a 10,000 word blog in the form of a list- you will see me everyday.

I recently started a closed group on Facebook for Activate Fitness clients, my inner circle, and will put out information for my clients that only the members of the Inner Circle will be able to view.

I have a baby coming and I will start training myself, I should say continue again, to live with a lack of sleep.  I started doing this by staying up later and waking at the same time.  Weekly removing time from my daily sleep.  This will be important to my mental toughness training and I will record everything from training recovery to aches and pains.

I will continue to put out my weekly newsletter (which you can subscribe to above and to the right) and I will try harder to get it out on a consistent basis. For those of you who have subscribed- thank you! I hope you enjoy my newsletters.

My goals from here on out will be tackled with a persistent consistency.  Dedicated with a continuous effort. Most nobody will ever no.  I keep them to myself.  Nobody needs to know what is going on through my mind.  I have made the decisions about what I want and I will never give up in achieving them. Join in on the fun, hitch a ride, kick ass with me, and get it done.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Four Days and a Blog Post Later..

EDIT- I started this the 17th and never got to finishing it.

I haven't had the opportunity to throw a blog post up in quite a few days.  Life has been going Mach speeds and was quite enjoyable over the past few days.  It started last Thursday, the 13th of September on a day I will never forget.

My stepfather Rob works for a company known as PM Solider Weapons, formerly PM Small Arms, and it was their 20th anniversary.  They had a celebration and I was lucky enough to attend the ceremony and much more.

It started with him picking me up at 4:45 in the morning to head to the gym.  On the way in he showed me around and mentioned the wildlife that seems to make the base their home.  We went straight into the gym and on the way into the building I was already impressed.

On the outside, Forge Fitness looks like an airplane hanger.  To the left of the door to enter there was a small section that resemble a children's playground.  Atlas Stones, Tires, Monkey Bars, and much more sat resting in the mulch.

We walked in and the tour began after I dropped my change of clothes in the locker room.  The first part of the gym looked like a normal Globo Gym with free weights and cardio machines.  The next room was HOME.

Enter the Powerlifting room. I have to say I was greatly impressed when I saw the platforms, the bumper plates, the sandbags, a box to jump on, and even a Strongman Log.  My workout started in the Globo section of the gym as I benched but quickly made my way in here to use the log, do some jumps, and slam a medicine ball, as well as multi-grip pullups on the fascinating power rack to the left of those platforms above.

Also in the gym was a full sized basketball court, a cycling room with a TV for p90x totally equipped with pull-up bars and more, a room with a table tennis set up, a pool with a treadmill in it, and a karate room.  Awesome to say the least.

Finished up the workout doing Dips with guys almost twice my age who made me look like a weak bastard..

After the workout we headed over to Rob's office and on the way the wildlife he was talking about made a cameo appearance.

Momma quickly ran and I only got an ass shot on my phone of her, but above is one of her cubs.  He chilled.  Slightly frightened by the cameras and numerous pictures we snapped, he stayed right alongside the road for a good 5 minutes without running.  In the picture he attempted to climb the tree or was just getting ready in case we needed our protein for the day.
After our encounter with Yogi I visited his office and meet a few people as we walked over to the conference room.  

Inside the conference hallways were tables lined with the coolest freaking weapons I have ever seen.  From Sniper Rifles to Body Armor to handheld Grenade Launchers. Shotguns with machine gun attachments and Fully Automatic weapons that weighed as much as a medicine ball. 

Upon the arrival of my mother we jumped at the chance to get our picture taken holding some seriously badass guns.

So it was finally time to head into the conference room where we sat and listened to the history of PM Solider Weapons and how they started as an idea.  One huge thing I learned also before the speakers was that retired does not mean "retired".  I met a few people who worked that said they were "retired". So after the history of the company some active military personnel walked in and showcased the weapons that PM developed that are in use with our armed forces. We sat and listened to a few Snipers talk about their deployments in Afghanistan and what weapons they liked the best.  Interesting to say the least.

In attendance were One Star and Two Generals. They both gave a brilliant speech and it was awesome to be in their presence.

Major General Nickolas Justice gave one of those speeches and I am honored to have been able to see it.

After the ceremony and speakers we headed over to the country club on base and had some burgers and dogs. Then the awesome part was about to get underway. We loaded into a bus and went to the range!

At the range we had the incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity to shoot some military issued weapons.  2 Sniper Rifles, a Shotgun, a Semi Automatic Rifle, and a Fully Automatic Machine Gun. The Sniper Rifles gave me an eerie chill the first time I heard them fired and the machine gun was the best. My mother kicked ass shooting those weapons also and had a great time.


So Mom & Rob- Thank you for this awesome experience!

Also- that weekend my wife threw me a great 30th Birthday Party.  I had such a great time seeing friends and family, playing ladder ball and laughing when the keg was kicked so early.  "Just open the gifts I got and throw them in the cooler." My In-Laws came over the day before and really helped me kick ass and prepare for the party.  Thanks for the new leaf blower and for taking time out of your life to help us! The weather was perfect and the food was great!  A few motorcyclists, some Jeepers, and 3 pregnant women celebrated with excitement. Two garter snakes and a niece who loves to pose for a camera. A 30 seocnd speech were I forgot to thank my mother for all she did and gave- I am sorry and will never forget forgetting. For everyone else who came that I forgot to mention- thank you. You're still cool enough to be invited.


Thank you everyone who came out! It was awesome!

Since then a lot has been happening, a camping trip gone, and a change to my fitness routine. I'll get to that later!

- Get out there and Kick Ass!

Dedicated. Demanding. Determined.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Everyone does it. It's real enjoyable.

It's good for the body and helps refresh your mind.

But for most people- Did they earn that right?

Let me know what you think. Do you earn your relaxation times or do you just do it? Do you have standards that are high and therefore only relax after an accomplishment?

Comment below!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What's YOUR fitness story?

How'd you get started?

What are some of your past and present fitness successes?

Tell me EVERYTHING. Go to my Facebook Fan Page and drop a comment about what you have achieved and what you plan for the future.

Activate Fitness Facebook Page

Or you can email at activatefitnesspt (At)

I will pick one story and write a kick ass blog post about YOU.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Continuous Effort

Just like a Persistent consistency, continuous effort makes you stronger and healthier.

Fitter and better.

You grow through continuous effort of lifting heavy weights and eating big.

Fat falls off through continuous effort that is put in through a diet reduced in calories.

Running gets easier.

Weights get lighter.

Programs evolve and again- become harder.

Progress doesn't wait, it happens.  By Doing It Now, continuously- you learn to grow and achieve.

Success doesn't stand still- it moves with time.

Don't wait for the right time, that time was yesterday.  Today is the only thing that matters.

A child doesn't put together a lego model with a lack of effort.  It doesn't happen.  Only until the continuous effort of the required actions needed does it become a firehouse or a pirate ship.

Muscles won't get more flexible or firm without continuous effort.  One week of workouts won't do the trick.

Just like one beer leaves you looking for more...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Persistent Consistency = Fat Loss Success?

Being persistent and consistent is a great way to achieve a goal. Persistent consistency avoids failure.

Hard work with persistent effort and consistent action will launch your success ten fold.

Have a goal of losing 50 pounds? Be persistent and consistent. Strive for the goal with Persistent Consistency.

Persistent Consistency with action, effort, and goal oriented planning will have you in top shape quicker then quitting and using gimmicks.

Once or twice a week doesn't cut it. Daily action will.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Yes I Will

It's not "No I Can't" or at least it shouldn't be.

Thinking of doing a Tough Mudder?  YES I WILL.

Thinking of applying for a better job? YES I WILL

Thinking about taking a huge jump to something that scares the hell out of you? YES I WILL.

No doesn't get anywhere.

No loses.

Like my mother always said "Action speaks louder than words." When you say "Yes I Will.." then YOU DO.

Do it Now.

In reality- what do you have to lose?  A house? A Car?  So what.  Those things come and go. What is standing after the storm means everything.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Accept Negative Feelings As A Challenge!

I wasn't always a highly motivated Hackettstown Personal Trainer and Business owner. I used to be a "Negative Nancy".. I was always angry.  I hated many, many people and was some sort of hermit on occasions.

Things changed.

I knew I was negative and so I decided to turn it around. I accepted the challenge and went in full swing.

Not letting the negative feelings control me I fight them everyday.  I block out the useless mumbo jumbo and negative news broadcasts.  The negative conversations about life and gossip are quickly crushed. Sometimes they catch up and I quickly fall into the leaf covered hole in the ground, but I climb out and continue to stomp to the positive that I, me, nobody else, wants.

Don't ever say exercise is too hard or you're too busy to workout. Accept the challenge those negative feelings have laid in front you and Kick Ass while doing.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mindset in the Gym

It's not easy to lift weights or do a circuit of bodyweight exercises.  It's not easy to go for a run or do sprints.  Should it ever get easier?

No, it shouldn't.  Workouts should always be different and you should always push your limits to the max.  What you did the day before should be easier the next time you do it, if you go at it with the same intensity, but to change- to see that improvement in your body's image and energy- you need to progress.  Do more then yesterday.

You go to your gym, you walk in and it is time to work. You do your warm-up and get right into the workout.  You know what you have to do.  You are either following a coach, trainer, teacher, instructor- OR- you're following your plan, that you spent time writing out.

The day could be hard, slow, boring, frustrating or straight hell but when you get into workout mode you need to forget everything and do the workout.  There's no excuses.  Unless you fall over or limp away you do the work.  It's not easy and it should never get easier. BUT- you want to improve, you want to feel stronger, you want to burn fat or build muscle.. So you kick ass every time and leave the excuses at home.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Awake and Alive: 10 tips to Kick Ass.

Never before in my life have I felt so "Awake and Alive".  I have two businesses, both start-ups, the plot of a third (on-line) business, a full time job, I'm am Author, a Beautiful wife who is expecting our first child (a baby girl), and an awesome family. It wasn't always that way though.  I used to feel dead and drained all the time.  I used to hate being sick and tired, alone, broke, and unmotivated.

Things turned around.  Not many people helped me along the way.  There have been a few people who motivated me from afar and through the interwebz, and I can count on half of one hand the people who played a small part in "real life".

That's the thing!

Nobody cares.

Sad.. but true.  Nobody cares about what you do.  Of course, family wants you to be happy and successful.. more than a bum.. but nobody is going to do that work for you.  Things do not come to those who wait.  Things come to those people who are out there kicking ass, who do not take no for an answer- to those people who step over the naysayers and whiners.  Complainers are left in the dust.  I know, I was there.

I am sick and tired of reading, watching, or listening to people bitch about taxes and politics.  I end their conversation with me on that subject by closing my eyes and nodding.  I don't take part in it.  I hate when people smash successful rich people.  I did. I feel like a fool now for doing so.  The Rich are Rich because they DO.  They kick ass.  The poor are poor because they do not.

I've said it before.  Life is more than a 9-5 with television as dessert.  Am I a hypocrite?  I was there.  I did just that.  I sat around after work like a bum and lost my mind.  No, I am not a hypocrite.  I fully took responsibility for my actions and NEVER hid the fact I used to be "that guy".

Now.. I am Awake and Alive.

10 tips to Kick Ass and become Awake and Alive:

1). THINK- Simple as that.  Use your mind.  Create ideas.  Imagine things the way you want them.  Think about the positive things in life and move towards them. As soon as you wake up in the morning and as soon as you close your eyes at night- think about how you want your life to look like.  How you want your future to be and about what YOU want.  Not what other people expect of or from you- but what you want most in life.

2). No Rest For The Wicked- Yes sleep is important, but you can't sleep until you deserve it. Nobody ever became rich and successful by working 9 to 5 Monday through Friday.  It takes more than that.  If you work a 40 hour job, spend more time crafting your skills and increasing your knowledge.  Spend the time needed to make your fitness plans and to perform the workouts. Wake up earlier or push your television time back until you feel you kicked ass. As my mother once said "Just because your scheduled time to leave is 3:30 doesn't mean your day ends at 3:30."

3). Take Risks-  Don't be afraid of the unknown.  Don't let fear hold you back from jumping into something you love. Try different workouts and different diets.  Taking risks will help you find your way and open up the world to you.  I subleased space at an MMA studio with only 3 paying clients.  I didn't have enough clients to pay for the rent but I took the risk and now my numbers have increased.  I make the rent. I knew that if I wanted my business to grow I would have to find a studio space, sublease a space, or "join forces" with another company.  It scared the shit out of me, and still does, but I jumped over the fear and went in swinging.

4). Follow Your Heart- Passion, Desire, Purpose.. whatever you want to call it, you know it's there.  Stop smothering it.  Stop letting number 3 keep you from following your heart and do it.  Start small, stay up late, read books, watch videos, go to seminars and just follow what you know your heart is telling you.  If you work at Lowe's and your heart bleeds cupcakes- start making them.  Start in your kitchen, your mothers or best friends kitchen and make the damn cupcakes.  Do it for free.  Bring them to work at Lowe's and hand them out to your co workers.  Word of mouth will spread if they're good and constructive criticism will help you make changes if needed. You don't need a million dollars to follow your heart.  I started in my driveway and still do it there.

5). Do it Now- You need to be proactive and do things immediately.  Do not wait.  Time is our worst enemy and everyone's is running out.  Don't hold back on your dreams or before you know it, you're old and lonely. Do not wait for summer to come again or for someone to show you the way.  Don't wait for more money or Tax Season.  DO. IT. NOW.

6). Plan- EVERYTHING! Make a plan right now (see #5) for how you want your life to be.  If you want to lose 40 pounds by Christmas, make the plan.  I suggest buying a notebook and writing on the first page EVERYTHING you want in life.  Then use the other pages for your planning.  Time goes too fast and thoughts change so rapidly, as well as "life" getting in the way, to not make a plan.  The most successful people in the world make plans. Plans change and it's okay to correct them.  Have no fear.  Write the most outrageous stuff in your mind that YOU want and make the plan.

7). Be the Best You Can Be- "The world needs to change or else.." "The government needs to change this..." Be that change. Stop worrying over things you can not change, things out of your reach, things that will never change, and be the best person you can be.  Help that old lady, give to charity, learn about ways to help in your community, write a blog on 10 tips to kicking ass. Be the kind of person that people turn to when you walk in a room.  Forget about what they think and DO what YOU need to do to be the best YOU can be.

8). GIVE- and you shall receive.  Those greedy Rich people you hate on- they give more in a year than many make in 20. The saying "Give and You Shall Receive" is one of the truest statements on Earth.  Why it happens?  Nobody knows.  People have named Laws of the Universe after it but "As a Go-Giver gives, A Go-Giver Gets."  Does somebody you know need a hand or two with a project?  Do it, give your time to them.  You see Firefighters on the street collecting money for their missions, give to them.  Give your time away for free to teach somebody a skill or a workout.  If you are planning a start up, as stated in #4, give away your service or products for free and watch as you receive.

9). Love- I may not be the most "down to earth" man and I am in no way a "Softy", but I know the power of love. (No white knighting here folks) Give your love to others and love the things you do.  The number one reason for our existence is Love.  Without it, we'd be nothing, impossible, just plain matter in space.  Our society functions because we love.  Embrace it, understand it, and follow it.  Do your job with love, kiss you wife or husband with love, give to others with love and watch as your life starts to become more Kick Ass. Barbara De Angelis once said "The more anger towards the past you carry in your heart, the less capable you are of loving in the present." Don't let that hold you back.

10). Be Positive- Whatever happens to you in your life is apparently manifested by your thoughts. Some call this the Law of Attraction, others say its bullshit.  What I do know is that having a positive attitude will help you succeed in ANYTHING in life.  Follow the 9 steps before this one with a negative mindset and you will fail over and over again in creating what you want and Kicking Ass.  Yes things happen that mess us up and cause us pain and sorrow- but we need to keep a positive attitude towards all aspects of life. You lost your job?  Instead of bitching and complaining that you were screwed at work, think positive about how you can now follow your heart and start to live the way you want to live.  It won't be easy, but anything worth having doesn't come handed on a silver platter, and if you expect it to- that's a negative mindset. Your entire life can turn around and become just the way you want it to be by changing your attitude from a negative mindset to a positive one.  "I hate Monday's!" "Today sucks" "I wish it was still the weekend." If you currently have that type of attitude, why not change it?  I suggest reading more into this subject and fully embrace it.  It's not bullshit.

Take it as you may.  These 10 tips can be used to kick ass everyday.  You may not believe so, you may think it's corny to think so, you may think it's too hard and you can't do it, but in my experience they work.  It won't happen overnight and it sure as hell ain't easy, but with hard work and persistence these 10 tips to Kick Ass will help you feel more Awake and Alive.

"I'm awake I'm alive
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it's my time
I'll do what I want 'cause this is my life
here, right here, right now
I'll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I'm awake and I'm alive"

Be Kind, Share!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Emptiness and an Inadequate Self Image...

There was a time when everything in my life was, in my eyes, inadequate. I hated the way I looked, I felt like shit, I ate like shit, I partied hard to block it all out, and I thought the world was against me.  There was no meaning to my life. There was no meaning to life in general.  I was empty.

I hated politics, police, successful people, and had a negative mindset.  I was empty. My self image was a pile of shit and I was living in a world destroyed by The Langoliers.

Workouts were rare, food was fast, and work sucked.

The feeling of emptiness can cause the strongest man's knees to buckle and an inadequate self image will blind you to what is true and real.

I've seen many times where someone who is fit and healthy think they were Fat and Ugly, sick and tired.  The self image they imposed on themselves made them believe their nonsense.  They were empty.  Unworthy and undeserving feelings reach out and choke the life right out of you, if you let it.

Stop for a minute and remove all of the outside noise.  Close your eyes in a peaceful and quiet place and breathe the way we should breathe. Ask yourself...

"Who am I really?"