Friday, November 30, 2012

10 Things I Learned Through Fitness..

For the past few years my life has been on a roller coaster of excitement, changes, hard work, and various stages of growth.  A lot of the changes and hard work I have been through have come from Fitness, such as powerlifting workouts, training others, workshops, reading, and athletic training I've put myself through.

It's hard to explain how or why this happened with the means of coming through being weight training but I have learned quite a bit about life, love, and lifting in the past few years.  So much so that I started this blog about a year ago to help get what I learned through to others. Here are ten things I learned from holding a barbell very tight:

1). There's more to life than what you currently see and believe. I never knew about 5/3/1 and Westside workouts.  I never knew that people made "landing pages" with links to $47 eBooks and made hundreds of thousands of dollars.  There has been plenty of things I never knew existed because I didn't search for them or care to acknowledge them.  Training hard with heavy weights opened my mind to searching for answers to many questions and I now know the world isn't so small after all.

2). Family is the best thing ever. Sure I knew family was important and always there for you when you needed them- but I never really grasped the fact and through training others, reading blogs, books, and much more I see that family truly is the best thing ever.

3). Books about life, passion, purpose, biographies, and success are the shit. In less than half this year alone the books I purchased and listened to or read have given me more of an education than the previous 29 years of my life combined. That's all.

4). Never believe what you believe you're capable of.  You can always do more than you think you can.  You are stronger than you'll ever imagine and you can go through so much more than you give yourself credit for being able to.  Suck it up and kick ass.

5). How to live a life with desire and purpose. I'm not quite sure when, where, how, what, or why I came to realize or even understand the true power of desire and purpose.  I think I was passionately fed up with the way things in my life were going and when I found fitness again I knew there was more to life then just going in circles and doing what seemed to be normal, average, cog like. Lifting heavy weights showed me there was something known as desire and purpose and I went to work on learning everything I could about it.

6). The human body is extremely incredible. Like really incredible.  We do cool shit with our bodies and our bodies do even cooler shit than we realize.  I learned much of this through studying about health, fitness, anatomy and much more. Aside from the physiology of the body, the psychological part of the body is far more fascinating. We think ourselves sick, fat, and nearly dead.  We can even think ourselves to become billionaires.  Learn to harness the power of both your mind and body.

7). People need other people. Sad people, fat people, skinny people, strong people, and rich people- whoever you are- you need other people in your life.  Strong people who lift need stronger people around them to get stronger. Sad people need happy and positive people.  Fat people need skinny people and rich people need poor people.  I have no idea what the ^*#* I'm talking about but with other people around you, life is awesome!

8). Choose your battles. I used to frequent a forum online that bashed everyone who wasn't like them and just were out to make the unaware's lives a living hell. Then it was on to fight the believers of CrossFit and question their methods.  I fought stupid battles, like gossip for men and a complete waste of time.  I decided to keep my focus and only choose a battle I knew would have a positive effect on my life.

9). Media was designed to kill you. Not like Shoot you in the head kind of kill you, but through fear and resistance.  Lies upon lies and brainwashing, mental overload with mass advertisements, do this and not that spurts through the airwaves and every night some poor kid was shot in the head or Grandpa was robbed at gun point in his home.  The Stocks Are Crashing!  The Stocks Are Crashing!  Our Economy is Doomed!  Motherfudger please!  Go out  on Black Friday and tell me the economy is bad.  Shut it. Turn it off.  See number 8!

10). You can make a good living never leaving home or opening a storefront. Now it wasn't exactly through fitness that I first understood the fact you can make money on-line.  It was probably eBay and such, but it wasn't until I became a Certified Trainer starting my business that I really understood the level of wealth that you CAN reach through on-line businesses with digital products, webinars, seminars, and so many other really cool things.  I'm just starting to paint the picture and truly grasp the art of online salesmanship but I have high hopes.  It's actually the end of the world.  But the start of anew.  Like Seth Godin once said (something like this... ) We used to make things, now we make ideas.

Strength training, heavy weights, conditioning, reading books, becoming a trainer, and much more has opened my eyes to many different things in life I never knew existed.  Having increased my knowledge through my desire to get stronger and help other people live happier and healthier through fitness is one of my greatest pleasures in life. I am thankful for the opportunity to have trained so many awesome people and for the people who read my blog posts.  Thank you again!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

9 Things Your Chain Gym Won't Tell You!!

A big portion of the fitness industry clientele- meaning you, me, and anyone else who exercises, belong to a Chain Gym, a Globo Gym, or a Big box gym.  Whatever you want to call it.  For years and years this has been the best bet for many average people.  Always in the community with the lowest prices and the most plentiful advertisements.

While a chain gym (And when I say chain gym I mean the big gyms that have locations next to Wal-Marts, Grocery Stores, Multiple locations across the globe, television ads, huge billboards promoting $5 a month memberships, and the places that have air conditioning.)could be a good bet for a bodybuilder, an elderly person, or someone young who is looking to meet people they are not the best place for the average person who wants to lose fat and look good naked- the people who are genuinely serious about getting fit.

We go to gyms to become fit, healthy, and look good naked- it's a fact. Paying a monthly fee of a few dollars so you can have access to do as you want is probably not the best option for your goals. The local garage gyms, warehouse, CrossFit Boxes, and Strength and Conditioning Facilites that charge a monthly rate for group led classes, semi private training, and only have schedule hours where it's "Come now and lift like we tell you to." are your best tickets to the body you dream about. You don't go and do whatever you "think" you should be doing, you go and do what the programs says that guarantees your results.

With the rise in Warehouse Gyms, Small Group Studios, Garage Gyms, CrossFit Boxes, and Strength and Conditioning Facilities it is getting so much harder for the big gyms to make a profit and stay afloat. Many members are trying to leave to find the hole in the wall strength gym and the Gold's, Retro's, 24 hours', and Snaps are fighting for their lives.  With that said, ere are 9 things you'd never hear an employee say at your Chain Gym.

1. "We actually hope you don't come."

They'd never say it to your face but it's true.  With 1000 members paying a couple bucks a month they hope you never show up.  You'll crowd the gym and cause a ruckus while curling in the squat rack. Pay us, be gung ho for a month or two, and please.. don't come. We still need your cash to pay our rent so we have no choice but to lock you in a harsh contract!

2. "Try the Free Weights instead of the Machines."

They're insurance is pretty high because of all the equipment and the amount of members they have.  So with that they load the place with machines to keep you away from the small area of free weights.  It lessens the chance of injury occurring and justifies the fact they bought an abductor machine.

3. "Try Sprinting outside at the track across the street instead of walking on our treadmill."

Now why would they say that to you? They want you, if you come, to be on the treadmill so the other new members see the gym is a place for hard work..... Right!

4. "The gym across the street or the garage gym downtown will get you better results quicker, for only a little extra cost."

Of course you'd never hear this because you'd leave, but it's true.  Being coached or training with stronger, fitter, or more knowledgeable people will get you better results then just going to do your own thing. Those guys design their programs so their clients gets results.  Why?  It makes people happy I guess?  So they tell their friends possibly? Because that's what fitness is about..?

5. "We'll fight with you to keep you from leaving."

Oh you want to leave?  Well that's $250. You didn't see this fine print.  Not good enough you still want to leave?  How about $2 a month instead of $5? I thought so! And here's a free training session!

6. "Some of our instructors or trainers, are not certified and don't know how to perform CPR."

You don't need to have all that mumbo jumbo to train someone.  Why bother?

7. "We hope you don't get results so you keep coming back and allow us to collect your money on a monthly basis."

They'd rather you fail over and over again so maybe the next time you fail, you hire their training staff, or at least... you keep coming.

8. "The music we play is on to get you Stoked to workout hard!!"

NOT! We actually put these tunes on so Grandma doesn't bitch at us and to keep you lifting those 5lb dumbbells like a zombie.

9. "Sure, you can do those crazy effective Strongman or Olympic lifts in our gym." 

No, sorry. That's not even funny.  Sir please don't do Yoke Walks out of our Squat Rack. No chalk either buddy. And I'm afraid you can't use our dumbbells to do Farmer's Walks.  There's too many people and they may start to ask questions.

What it all comes down to is the line that separates the fitness population.  On one side you have the "freaks", the people who are Dedicated Demanding and Determined, the people who lift heavy weights, do intense group exercise, CrossFit, Strongman training, Olympic lifting and on the other side you have the people who are fine with just going through the motions on the treadmill, the machines, the pink dumbbells- the people who get mad at people who use chalk or lift heavy because it's "intimidating".

It keeps the circle of life in the fitness industry going and our small time fitness businesses need big places like these. It keeps the unmotivated zombies out of our way.  We like to pick things up, heavy things, and put them down and they like to watch Oprah or read and call it a workout.  Listen to lies or seek the truth.  When you do, you'll be amazed at the fact you "thought" you were in shape.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Final Month of 2012

My first post on this here blog was about making a New Year's Resolution work. Time and time again we have set goals like what you see in the picture above, only to fail at most of them. Each Christmas brings with it the start of our planning for the next year.  The end of 2012 will be like all the rest of the years for many people.  1. Lose Weight 2. exercise 3.....

What were your goals for 2012?  Did you accomplish them?  I failed to accomplish at least 10 of the goals I set for myself and I only set 11...  I didn't wait for the end of the year though to start over.  I opened up my notebook and wrote some new goals, with different dates, with different attitudes. I went right back to work.  Not letting failure laugh at me.  It didn't hurt and I was afraid but I accepted fear and let him become my best friend.

December starts on Saturday and before you know it, it'll be 2013. Where are you on your life's journey? Did you fail to meet your goals, smash them, or not even bother setting any?  People who say they don't need to set a New Year's Resolution do not understand the power of goal setting.

Take this final month and grab it by the throat and crush it with everything you have inside your soul.  Seriously!  Why wait?  Why would you wait until after Christmas to start over?  Don't give me, us, YOU the excuse that you're too busy with the holidays!  


Never wait. We wait and wait and wait because we expect to hit the lottery or have some miracle pill infomercial come on the television late at night when we should be getting shut eye. We want things handed to us without breaking our backs or a sweat.  We fear the unknown and let resistance crush our hearts.

Get off your ass right now and make the most of 2012.  You still have over 30 days to put in the work to achieve your goals.  Activate YOUR Fitness, Write that Book, Make that Video... DO THE WORK!

If you don't give a shit or never cared bad enough to smash your goals, what makes you think a list like the picture above will do you any good?  What will 2013 hand to you that you hoped 2012 would have? I've been reading this book Goals! by Brian Tracy and it has helped me very much in discovering some ways to set and smash goals.

Make 2013 the best year of your life and finish strong the rest of 2012. Don't let fear and resistance hold you down! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 Simple Ways to Smash Your Goals!

Many people go on setting goals and some strive their hardest to accomplish them and others forget about what they said a few days later when the initial excitement wears off. Fear and Resistance hold us back and often change our minds before we even take the first step.  Writing things down seems like an uncool thing to do and often we become distracted by outside interference that makes us completely forget what we wanted. Many people fail to ever reach their goals but it seems to be easier for some who smash their goals on a consistent, daily basis.

Below are 5 important but very simple ways to smash your goals in the gym so you can easily and quickly reach the point you have been working so hard to get to.

1. Buy a notebook once and for all and Write down EVERYTHING!

I've said this numerous times throughout this past year and I wonder how many people actually do this? Writing down your exercise routines, or workouts completed on a particular day, as well as the food you shoved in your mouth will help you reach your goals of weight loss or muscle building faster than just going with the flow.

You can definitely wing it and for some it is probably easier for them to do it this way, but for the majority of people- recording EVERYTHING will bring you to your goals quickly and easier!

2.  Weigh or Measure Your Food.

Sounds dumb, sounds obsessive compulsive, and it sure as hell sounds like takes way too much time- time we think we don't have.

Have you ever measured your rice or potatoes?  Have you ever measured 4 oz of chicken and an 8 ounce glass of milk?

No?  Then do it.  Try it.

Weighing your food and using measuring cups will shock you when you realize the amounts of food you may be eating or may NOT be eating.

Yes you do not have to do this step but if you seriously want to smash your goal quickly and easily doing this will help you tremendously. Go to this link for a cheap and best selling food scale and start using it! Food Scale

3. Stop and Let Go.

Everyday we are slammed with interference and resistance, and it comes from every direction!  Sometimes it's best to just stop and let go of your mind. Sit in a quite place and let your mind wander, making sure that you don't focus on one thing for too long or recite the movie of your next 8 hours in your head.

Think positive thoughts about everything.  Show gratitude and focus on breathing. When you go to the gym to get a workout in, if you find yourself worrying, stressing, or planning somethings in your mind while driving stop right there and do not get out of the car.  Wait for a few minutes.  Take deep breathes and tell yourself to let go.  Leave your problems in the car or bring them into your fingertips and kick their ass in the gym.

Bottling up your plans, stresses, or worries will kill you and your goals faster than a new status on your newsfeed.  Stop.  Let go. Then- advance.

4. Consciously be aware of your effort.

Let's say you are in a group fitness class and there are 5 stations, each lasting 1 minute.  Last week you did a workout very similar to this one where you did Bodyweight Squats.  You counted your reps and you did 25. 22 were really really good.  22 felt amazing and you knew your form was perfect.  The last 3 sucked but you squeezed them in.  Now, this time, make yourself consciously aware of the effort you put in last week and really feel the movements in your mind.  Don't worry about speed, tempo, or what anybody else is doing.  Make the connection from mind to muscle and back to the energy that produces your effort and tell yourself "This time 25 perfect squats or bust!"

I recently watched a movie called Warrior and in the movie the lead actor trained at an MMA gym where the head trainer had his clients workout to Beethoven.  I immediately thought this was really cool and downloaded a few classical albums on my iPhone. As weird as it sounds when I listened to the music while deadlifting I became much more consciously aware of my effort and my form. Everything was slowed down to snail like pace and the connections between muscle, mind, strength, and effort were firing like crazy!  It made my workout easier.

5. Dedicated. Demanding. Determined.
"If you think you can't you're right and if you think you can you're right." Something along those lines was said  by Henry Ford.  If your goal is lose 20 pounds and time after time after time you have failed you most likely feel like a failure. Your motivation is in the dumps and you've practically given up. You will continue to fail over and over if you continue to feel depressed, lost, or frustrated.  You need to "Keep on Keepin' On!" and find your inner most true self.

Dedicated. Demanding. Determined. is a motto for Activate Fitness and I chose this because they're the 3 most important qualities I look for when I view my clients.  If they're missing one they're doomed for failure.  You need all three.  Your goals are all but lost if you can't find the correct dedication, the correct demanding attitude, and the determination needed to fight on.

Live the motto to the fullest of it's meaning and the above 4 steps will come to you so much easier. The fight inside you to reach your goals will burn so hot that nothing will stop you. Nobody can find this for you, nobody can train it out of you, and nobody can plant the seeds inside you. Find it yourself or continue to fail!

Setting goals is easy but following through with the plans- IF you had one to start with- is a lot harder.  Fear of the unknown and the resistance all around holds us back and prevents most from ever accomplishing their dreams or goals.  Keep On Keeping On will help you along the road when you follow the 5 simple steps I laid out above. We live in a fast paced society but sometimes it helps to just slow down.

Below is an awesome Blueprint that can be used to help you achieve your goals quickly and efficiently. If you're interested in learning some more steps to achieving your goals, click the link and check it out!
7 Step Action Plan to Smash Your Goals!

Monday, November 26, 2012

You're a Masterpiece in the Works.

You. Are. An. Artist.

Sounds funny or like complete B.S. right?  You're probably thinking "No, I work at a computer lab." "I work at a Car Dealership how am I an artist?

When you begin a journey with fitness and the healthy lifestyle you are beginning to create your greatest masterpiece. Starting with a blank canvas while everyday you put in the work that one day you will show off like the Mona Lisa.

You're body is a work of Art.  The lines and the curves and the cuts and even the sweat show off your work in progress.

You may be overweight right now and you know you'd like to be leaner.  This is the start of Art.

Just like it took Van Gogh many many hard years to perfect and sell his Art, it will take you to perfect the fitness life you are after.

One brushstroke at a time you are creating your Masterpiece.

Some artists start over and throw the canvas away.  Sometimes, you may have to do this.. and start over.  It's okay though.  It's Art.

Your life is art.  It's not just diet and exercise. Your work is a product of You.  Your family life and social interactions are a reflection of the paintings of your life.

Diets and Exercise Programs when taken seriously Change Lives.  This.. is.. Art.

Take your time and put in the effort that's needed to create a beautiful Masterpiece.  Don't rush as greatness takes time. Start over if you need to.  Listen to the heart.  Paint slowly and it doesn't have to be perfect. Use your vision and imagination and take it where it leads.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

We've gone soft. How big box gyms stole our Toughness.

For $19 a month you can most likely walk into a Big Box Gym in town and workout. For an additional couple hundred dollars a month you can have a personal trainer employed by the big box train you using their machines and weights.

If you're lucky and the gym owner really cares about you, you might have an opportunity to buy a coffeehouse protein shake after your workout.  They also take it a notch above the little guys by really showing you they care about your results when they put a few thousand dollar machines in a small black room with a big screen and The Movie of The Day! 

But make sure you don't slam the weights and please leave the chalk at home.

2% of our population in America works out at a gym or has some desire for fitness.  I am estimating that 85% of that number are members of Big Box gyms who just love their cardio machines so much.

Corporate Fitness companies do not want you to make progress in their facilities and this is why they make you soft.  They throw all these "benefits" at you so you feel more like you belong to a Country Club rather than a place you leave nothing but blood, sweat, and vomit.

Lawyers for the chains tell their owners to not allow deadlifting because it's a liability and in the end it'll effect the bottom dollar when the weights crack or the front desk person needs to mop blood instead of selling a shake.

There is a large number, a much larger number than should be, of softies running around Globo Gyms pretending they're working out as they keep paying month after month- only to go home and search for people like me and the blogs we write so they can learn how to make progress.  They become fed up because they don't have the "tools" they need. Years in the gym and nothing to show for it.

Yes they have barbells and squat racks, chains and dumbbells- but they don't have a leader. They participate in National Bench Press Day every Monday because it's what they see and come to believe is how it works. Especially at GloboFit. 

Members of Globo's quit so often that the Globo owner's are forced to lock in contracts for 2 years or more and push their trainers to make sales- even when the member doesn't want it. But some people do want the trainers and regrettably the Globo owner is tied down by their lawyers that the programs they force their trainers to abide by- do nothing for the member. 

But it's okay.  We want water fountains and Air Conditioning.  We want to remain comfortable being comfortable without ever pushing our true outer boundaries.  We'd rather sit on a machine inside the gym during the winter with the heat pumping than pushing our true capabilities outside flipping tires.  We even time ourselves and only allow 60 minutes.  Dedicating it solely to the elliptical and our Twilight book- having the balls to call it "working out".  Driveway training?  In the winter?  No thanks my Globo has hot pumpkin flavored protein post workout shakes! 

This is fine. It's not tough at all- by any means- but it's fine.  It keeps the people who don't have the true desire to ever change and become much more in life through fitness from walking into our garage gyms, our driveways, our warehouses, and taking up space at our parks.  This creates a balance needed and makes our tougher environments much more special. Blog viewership continues to climb, fitness programs in forms of eBooks are still being sold, and p90x type programs are the hot items after the holiday seasons.  The circle of Life.  The circle from soft to seeing hard back to comfortable- with the result showing your true desire.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Today and Everyday.. I am thankful for..

This past year of my life has been the craziest, funnest, busiest, and most life changing year of my life.  With many things going on and things changing I need to keep my buckle tight and enjoy this wonderful ride.  There are many reasons for why I am thankful, many people who I am thankful for, and so much other amazing things to be thankful for this year.

I am thankful that I was able to wake up everyday this year and step foot on the ground, breathing, with the ability to walk out of my bedroom.  I am thankful that I am healthy enough to exercise as hard as I do and to be blessed with enough quality foods that keep me healthy. So many people struggle to find food, shelter, some can't walk, speak, hear, or see and I am thankful I have those things.

Without my wife I don't know where I'd be and for her I am so thankful to have her and be able to hold her at night. Even though I may be preoccupied with many things and busy most of the time trying to create this abundant life she still sticks it out with me.  I may not always seem to "be there" for her but I am and I am ever grateful and happy to call her my wife. Jamie you have pushed me so hard to become a good man, a good person, and in turn you have brought out the best in me.  I know you will continue to push me because you can see it in my eyes that I will achieve what I am after.  You will also continue to push me harder to become a good man and father for our lovely daughter!  I thank you and love you very much!

Hannah, we haven't met yet but I feel like I already know you and I know you will change my life, again for the better.  I am thankful that I have this privilege of becoming a father to you and for bringing you into this world. You'll be in good hands!

I am thankful for everything my entire family has done for me this past year, from helping me around my house, to helping my wife with parties, and for being there with support and open arms. Thank you for allowing me to count on you.

To the clients of Activate Fitness I thank you very much for this amazing opportunity to help you in your life's journey's and for allowing me to teach and coach you.  I thank you for supporting my movements through this blog and the workouts we do at the gym.

Judi- it all started with you at the beginning of the year in your living room and it quickly turned into 5 more people on my driveway at the house.  I thank you for helping me spread the word and allowing a "rookie" to train you.

Sue, Maureen, April, Stephanie, and Vivian you were among the originals training on my driveway even when it was cold or wet and as it started to heat up.  Thank you very much for the opportunity to train you and to push you to try harder and commit to the program!

Big Greg- this kid right here is a Champion.  Greg thank you very much for the awesome opportunity to train you, my first athlete, at my house- in my small garage gym.  Throughout the summer you kicked ass on the hot pavement.  Even when it was 100 degrees + in the garage you still worked your ass off.  Thank you!

Brittany- you were the first person to ever come train out of my garage and on my driveway.  I thank you for not running away thinking I was a creep or the "gym" was too small.  I thank you for sticking with my programs and the progress you have made has been amazing!  I also thank you for spreading the word around and trying to help me grow!

Kelly, Laurie, Lisa, Greg, Kim, Bill, and Lucy.. I want to thank you for the opportunity to train you and show you how my programs work.  For the time you spent with me at the gym, your houses, outside, inside.. you guys made great progress and left nothing behind.  Thank you.

Jessica- I also thank you for the opportunity to train you as you have seriously committed yourself to my program. You have made some serious progress and it is inspiring to know how hard you have worked.  Other people see your effort and are motivated by it as well.  Keep up the kick ass effort and thank you very much!

Wayne and Caitlin- you guys come everyday.. well almost everyday and I thank you for your commitment to Activate Fitness and for your desire to progress and make life changes. The effort you put into the program has shown and you continue to improve every workout!  I am honored to have the privilege of training you in preparation for your wedding day!  Thank you.

Jennifer-  the morning bird!  I thank you for everything you put into your workouts.  You strive every morning you come to class to leave nothing behind and you have shown an incredible commitment to Activate Fitness.  I also thank you for all the children advice when I ask you questions relating to my baby. I am thankful to have you as a member of my gym.

Casey and Ray- you guys helped me take my driveway business and actually make it more legit with four walls and a ceiling.  You have given me a blessing of an opportunity and I am so thankful for this chance to grow my business.  Casey- you kick ass in class also and I thank you for the effort you put in when you train.  I wish you guys and NJ Core MMA the best of luck in the future and I KNOW 2013 will be the best year yet.

Charlie and Lori- we only just met recently in the Biggest Loser Challenge but I thank you very much for committing to this program and I will continue to provide quality workouts and information to help you succeed in the program.  I thank you for your hard work and for the privilege of meeting you!

To the Kids in the NEW Youth program I thank you all and your parents for coming to class at 8 o'clock on Saturday Mornings and for your efforts in the program!  I look forward to helping you guys gain some serious muscle and strength that will help you excel through your school careers!  Thank you!

To the readers of this blog and subscribers to my newsletters thank you very much for your continued audience, input, and for sharing my work!  Without you guys this blog would be kind of pointless!  Thank you very much!

Guys and Gals from the 5/3/1 Fan Page I thank you for interacting with each other and lending help to whoever needs it and for staying civilized! Keep it going strong and best of luck in your goals for 2013!

I want to thank Zach Even Esh for his continued support and education on helping me learn many many aspects of this business both on and off line.  I thank you for the opportunity to train at the Underground and become a Certified Underground Strength Coach.

I am thankful for the information that Alwyn Cosgrove and Elliott Hulse put out that helps me learn more about this business!  Finding those guys have helped me a ton and I continue to value their input!

Throughout this year there are many more things that I am thankful for.  Like finding books such as The Secret and The War of Art that have changed my life. To becoming a Godfather at the same time I am becoming a first time Father and to becoming an Author of books in the works.  My education this past year has proved to be more beneficial than all of my years being yelled at by teachers and for that I am very thankful.  To anyone I forgot or didn't mention if we interacted in anyway over the course of 2012 and even throughout my lifetime I am thankful for that opportunity, those moments, and for the honor of knowing you.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.  Thank you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Excuses and Actions

I'm not going to lie or fake it until I make it.  I make excuses.  I always have an excuse to DO something that needs to be done or that I want do.  This past year I have alienated friends and family more than ever because I've been trying to build a business, focus on my own training, and I'm hard at work increasing my general knowledge. My excuse is simple, "I'm working on something I love, something I want so bad, so- I'm sorry I won't..." This needs to stop and I have to cut those excuses out of my mind and take action to make that better. That I know.

I make excuses also about NOT doing something.  I've turned down hanging out with the boys to sit here and write a blog post.  I've turned down all different things so I can write, read, lift, train, and I've also made excuses to NOT cut my grass, to NOT paint my baby's room or clean my house.  I push household chores back all the time- we all do.

But behind my excuses comes action.

I might make excuses to NOT do something and continually push it back but I never do so without making excuses to DO something that I feel is more important.

You have to choose your battles and be comfortable saying NO to someone.

Things can wait and others can't.

Making excuses to eat out or not exercise do more harm than making an excuse to not cut the grass or clean your house. When you are on a diet plan and exercise program and you excuse yourself from a day at the gym or a visit to a fast food joint you are taking the wrong actions.

Actions speak louder than words and excuses come in all kinds of different shapes.  Excuse me if I lift some heavy weights off the floor instead of cleaning my bathroom.  Don't excuse me if I give up on my diet after a few days.

When you take an action or make an excuse it could be for the better or the worse.  Be smart about it and do what you love instead of what "you should do".

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why we THINK we Overtrain in the gym.

Inside of gyms across the world, articles online, forum topics and heated discussions you will always find people talking about Over Training. Over training is a concept believed by many of doing too much in the gym causing very bad side effects such as Depression and Serious Chronic Fatigue. Some people are held back from ever reaching their potential because they let the fear of overtraining hold them down.

Is it our exercise programs that cause over training?

In this day and age we are all working many more hours than we ever have in the history of mankind.  We wake before the sun rises and go to sleep well after the sun sets. Everyone has a hectic schedule and we are always moving. Some people are so busy that they are "forced" to eat fast food garbage loaded with nothing nutritious for the body.  Others may have so much spare time spent sitting in front of the television or the computers that they can't sleep.

We wake tired and go to sleep tired.  Our first move is to the coffee pot or the Dunkin Donuts counter. We yearn for the caffeine rush in the morning to get us moving and without it- we're useless.  Just a few weeks ago Hurricane Sandy knocked out power all over New Jersey and the biggest lines were where the coffee was hot and fresh!

Overtraining is real and we can't deny that.  It happens and it could be devastating.  It happens to High School athletes whose parents do not understand why they want to quit the team or why their grades are dropping.  Why do some kids who have a great future in Football end up quitting and becoming drug addicts?  Why does the girl who gets straight A's and is on the Honor Society and every committee in school, group, organization,and the softball team end up becoming what most would label a "freak" with black eye make up, quitting all extra activities, smoking cigarettes, and hanging out with the "bad crowd"?

Is it peer pressure?  Is outside influence from other kids causing them to stop doing what they love?  Or, is it overtraining?  Are parents causing their kids to work so hard at "Stuff" while not letting them "recover" properly?

Why do some high level athletes excel at their sport one year and totally tank the next?  Is it because of their Strength program?  Or is it because their stardom has led to more opportunities and less recovery time?

How can John Broz have his athletes work out everyday at the level they do and not overtrain?  How do people like Anthony Mychal do Dan John's and Pavel's 40 day Deadlift Program and not overtrain?  How can someone Squat once a week and become so depressed that they become diagnosed with overtraining?

We don't train our recovery and the outcome of this lack of needed training is that we blame everything physiologically wrong with us on exercise.  We start a new exercise program and go hard at it, while on the other side we're neglecting our diet and we become overtrained- throwing the blame at Strength Training like it's the irons fault. Go lift at 80% of your One Rep Max a few times a week while eating 1000 calories a day from Fast Food Alley, staying up watching Letterman, and no doubt you'll kill yourself. Don't blame it on overtraining in the gym.  You didn't even leave your guts behind.

We have no recovery and mental toughness. Only weakness that likes to point the finger of blame at someone other than ourselves to soothe our broken ego. Our ego tells us to push heavy weights right from the get go before we even learn how to develop control, mind-muscle connections, and the basics of proper nutrition and importance of sleep.

Our minds are throwing information at us from all directions going 9000 miles an hour causing us to go insane and yet, we choose to listen to the radio on our drive home from work- never giving us a break.

Our cycles of stress and recovery are so out of whack that over training is happening more and more. We can't hide the fact it is and say there's no such thing as overtraining.  It's right in front of our faces. From trainers, parents, school teachers, and bosses at your work.  You can exercise 3 times a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and still overtrain if you are not recovering like you need to.

In Japan they have a word known as Karoshi. Karoshi means death from overwork. This is happening at a higher rate more than ever because the Japanese people are working such long hours, with little to no exercise and they are not recovering as needed.  Causing many problems.  It's not just Japan, Karoshi is affecting many American people and this can be seen by looking at all the illnesses throughout the country.  We overtrain our minds and bodies to the point that we make ourselves sick.  We don't understand recovery- or we just don't care about it.

As I mentioned before our society used to wake up in the morning when the sun rose and go to sleep when the sun set.  Sure there weren't any lights and electricity but our basic needs of recovery were being met. We're doing this to ourselves.  Our bosses demand more, our family life demands more, our social life demands more, and this demanding nature is causing us to fall apart.

It's not 5/3/1 or Westside.  It's not Zumba or Crossfit. It's sleep, diet, and stress.  We have too much bad stress, not enough good stress, and our recovery is non existent. Some people are not overtrained but rather under trained.  They can experience the same effects that overtraining causes emotionally, mentally, and physically because they are lacking in good stress. Undertraining happens when we just sit around and do nothing.  We over recover and this overload of rest weakens our minds and bodies- causing similar symptoms.

Before you blame overtraining and undertraining for any mental, emotional, or physical problem you need to collect your data.  The data of your life.  What do you do everyday?  Do you sleep enough, too much, too little?  Do you exercise too much or too little?

Some important things needed to have a balance between good stress, bad stress, and recovery are as follows:

Proper diet containing nutrients needed to aid recovery and output.
Sleep.  4 hours isn't going to cut it.  8 hours.
Proper Exercise.  If you've never ran a mile, don't do Crossfit.  If you've never Deadlifted before don't start doing it everyday.  Start out the right way and if you didn't- go back and do it over.

There are certain needs we were designed to have and without one or too much of another we will get our life out of balance and over or under train.

We need to recover our energy. This means we need good, plentiful, food.  Water and an adequate amount of sleep.
We need to release our energy.  Exercise, work, and sex.

This is a cycle that needs to keep spinning.  We need to expend and recover and keep it going without an inadequate amount of anything mentioned or the cycle will not spin.

Our mind has needs also and they will keep you fresh and full of life.  Make sure you work to achieve these things or you may end up overtrained or undertrained.

We need to feel safe, loved, belonged, self worthy, and fulfilled with our lives.

Don't be a loner.  Extend your social and family life and use your recovery to help your mind feel well about itself.  Take breaks every once in awhile where you shut out everything and rest for 15 minutes.  Take naps whenever you can as long as you don't do it like a lazy person.  Drive to work with the radio off and collect your thoughts.  Turn the television off and just sit there. Quietly.

We think we overtrain in the gym because it's the first place our minds think the most of our energy is released.  We lift weights, sweat, become exhausted- sore- hungry, and when we think we've overtrained we stop working out.  This is not the right thing to do.  We need the balance of energy and recovery.  If our sleep is good, our exercise program is sound, our mental recovery is good, and our diet is perfect but we still feel overtrained it's time to go see a doctor because something can be seriously wrong. Never blame the weights until you've crossed your t's and dotted your i's.

You overtrained because you didn't recover.  Not taking a day off from the gym didn't keep you from recovering.  It could have been something as simple as stressing over a job or a few drinks on Friday night that you had at the bar until 3 in the morning.  Deadlifting twice a week at 80% of your max for a few sets didn't cause overtraining.  But if you did deadlift twice at 80% and you ate like a chump and slept like a newborn baby then maybe those lifts did cause it to happen. Whatever the case is always look for answers and most of the time, they'll be outside the gym.

I recommend reading this book.  It's the best book you've never read and the best book I ever read. Click the link and check it out.  It is a great book that will change your life if you need balance between recovery and stresses.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hackettstown Thanksgiving Morning Workout!

Come train at Activate Fitness Thanksgiving Day at 8am! 

Thanksgiving Day workout at Activate Fitness in Hackettstown is FREE for anyone to come and train.

Come on in at 8am for a FREE workout that will last about 1 hour.

Get your body primed for some serious calorie burning throughout the day!  

8am on Thanksgiving  Day
229 Main Street Hackettstown, NJ

Email me at ActivateFitnessPT @ if interested!

This workout is open to all current members as well as their family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else interested in kicking ass the morning of Thanksgiving Day!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Successful Fitness Journey

One of the most frequently asked questions in fitness seems to be How? How can I do that?  How can I lose body fat the quickest? How are you able to exercise because I have no time.  How this, that, who, where, why and again how?

Stealing some work from Dr. Maltz from a very good book I recommend to anyone (Psycho Cybernetics) I will break it down for you using his Picture of Success. In the book Psycho Cybernetics, Dr. Maltz laid out what he called a "prescription" that would describe a success-type personality. For the purpose of this blog, I will go into detail of this outline based on what you need to be successful in a fitness journey.

First here is the "Picture of Success":

Sense of Direction
Self Confidence
Self Acceptance

The first step to becoming successful with your diet or fitness goals is to have a sense of direction.  It helps best to know where you want to be. If you want to lose weight, ask yourself why? Going into a diet with a mindset thinking "I want to lose 30 pounds." will not do you any good.  You have to go deeper than that.

What will the weight loss mean to your life?

How will you feel when you lose XYZ pounds?

What if you fail?

Who am I doing this for?

Once you have a true sense of direction regarding your WHY, you can then move on.

The next step to success in fitness goal is to have an Understanding as to what is going to be needed and required.  If you want to burn fat you need to burn more calories daily than your body needs to maintain it's current weight.  If you want to build muscle, you need more... We know that though.. right?

But we go further than that.  There will come a time/point when you need to do something different.  We have to look at the facts versus the opinions we have in our minds.  You may have the opinion that 3 days a week is good for your goal, when in FACT it may be 4 days.. 5 days.. This is why having a Diet and Exercise Journal is SOOOOOOO important.  I'll say it every day until it FINALLY clicks.

You also have to come to a complete understanding of the truth.  You may never look exactly like Jessica Biel or Channing Tatum. You may believe you need to only lose 10 pounds but in reality it could 20. I could go on and on here but I won't.  I leave that to you.  If you do ONE thing- UNDERSTAND this takes time.

Once you have an Understanding and a good Sense of Direction as to what needs to be done- PLEASE find the Courage to move forward. It is inside of you.  Everybody has the power, the ability, the energy, and the wits to succeed at their goals.  Exercise is HARD, dieting SUCKS... but you want to WIN.  Have the Courage.

In fact- the best way to do so is to BET on yourself.  Place a bet with family, friends, or co-workers and don't just shake on it.  Lay the money on the line at that very moment and hand it over to a mutual party. It is not certain or guaranteed that you'll lose 10 pounds in 2 months- but if you bet on it you'll more likely have the courage to continue and fight forward- and if you fail but the other party sees you tried so hard they may not take your money- and.. if you win- don't collect, just smile.

Now comes Charity.  I had a hard time thinking about what to write in regards to Fitness and Diet and the only things I can think of are Paying it Forward and Accepting Help.  During your journey to fitness success you will learn so much and nothing is greater than paying it forward and helping someone where you once started, and if you're stuck and unsure- ASK and Accept Help.

When you look in the mirror what do you see?  Does the reflection cause pain, excitement, anger? It is going to be extremely important in your daily life to have a High Self Esteem (the next step) when you think about or see yourself. Nothing will break you faster and cause failure than a poor self esteem. Dr. Maltz wrote "Of all the traps and pitfalls in life, (quoting Thomas Carlyle) self-disesteem is the deadliest ."   No matter how you feel about yourself you need to think Positive and continue to kick ass. You will not win if you say "I can't" or "I don't know how."  Just do it and if you're not good at it or weak.. whatever the case.. trying will help you OVERCOME and help you succeed.

While going around saying I am good enough, I can do it, I know I can, I look great- you will still come to those forks in the road that separate you from Can and Can't and this is where your Self-Confidence comes into play. Perhaps you tried to lose fat or build muscle at one point and you failed.  This failure may have stuck with you and has led to a poor self esteem and a lack of self confidence, because- well you didn't achieve your goal.  This pain of failure hurts and will keep you down in the dumps for as long as you let it. As you find your self esteem and crank it into high gear you have to take your Self Confidence along for the ride.  Being confident will help you lift those heavy kettle bells or run that extra 100 meters. Self Confidence will help your mind when you look down at that scale to see the pounds lost or gained.  Keep it High and you will benefit.

The last piece of the puzzle, the last step to the heavens of success is Self Acceptance. Put it simple, plain, easy to understand- BE YOURSELF. Leave your ego of hopes to be glorified at the door right now and just be who you truly are.  If you can't walk up the steps- don't try to run.  If you can squat a 50 pound Kettle bell in a Goblet position- don't try to Back Squat 135.

As Dr. Seuss once said in Happy Birthday to You, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

You are where you are and nobody else.  Your journey may take 20 months and your best friends may take 3. It doesn't matter.  Accept it, live it, and crush it.

When you begin your fitness journey, or as you continue on your current path, keep in mind that you are different but more importantly- somebody.  You have unique abilities and characteristics. Nobody can be you and you can't be them. Apply these steps and use their meaning to help you succeed at whatever goals you have in fitness, life, work, or anything. Always step back and paint your picture first, make your plans, and start at the foundation. No matter what do not quit.  We hear it everywhere- NEVER NEVER NEVER Give up. For more regarding this truth I recommend buying Psycho Cybernetics and reading this.  It should be school required. Click the link and give it go for what-- 8 bucks? It'll help you understand this more and give you a better picture of life. Remeber also- Burning fat and building muscle takes time.  Time you need to enjoy and spend it believing in yourself.  You will Win.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quitting is Easy

Sure quitting is easy.  But not starting because it's hard, boring, time consuming, and frustrating is even easier.

Before you start, ask yourself why.  Why are you planning this?  Why do you "want" to do this?

For you?

For someone else?


To look good naked?

Get chicks?

Soothe a sore concious?

Quitting is easy when you just jump into the game with no plan.  You're going to get your ass kicked and for us, each and everyone, that hurts.  Hurts so much we may never try again.

That's why there's 1% and 99%. It's normal to quit.

Quitting will become harder and a more distant thought if you make plans.

Planning is time consuming.  It's hard.  It's... work.

Do The Work though..

What other options do you really have?

Quit... or Kick Ass...

To me, trying is easier than quitting.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My 100th Post- 100 Ways to Kick Ass

I'm about to head out for the day but I wanted to throw this up for you.  Nothing in depth.  My 100th Blog Post and here are 100 awesome things and great ways to Kick Ass in Life. Take how you want..

1. Squat
2. Run
3. Read
4. Sleep
5. Have Sex
6. Play Poker
7. Lend Your Hands
8. Support a Movement
9. Fight For a Good Cause
10. Donate
11. Squat More
12. Love a Dog
13. Drink IPA Craft Beer Occasionally
14. Do Push Ups
15. Do Pull Ups
16. Blog
17. Plant a Tree
18. Get Off a Riding Mower and Push Mow the Lawn
19. Write
20. Love Yourself
21. Tell Yourself You Kick Ass
22. Be a Friend
23. Be a Good Sibling, Son or Daughter
24. Dream
25. Dream More
26. Write down those Dreams
27. Turn Off the TV
28. Work overtime
29. Write Down Your Values
30. Write Down Your Goals
31. Make a YouTube Video- About anything
32. Roll Around- Think MMA
33. Try to Do Handstands Everyday until you Succeed.
34. Deadlift
35. Push a Prowler
36. Think BIG!
37. Google Rich Dad Poor Dad and Dive In
38. Paint, Draw, Color or Connect the Dots
39. Go to Park with Jungle Gyms and WORKOUT
40. Take Personal Responsibility for EVERYTHING
41. Do an Electronic Fast for a Week
42. Go to an NFL game
43. Do Farmers Walks
44. Study Dan John
45. Ask yourself what you want to be when you grow up- again- at age 30,40,or 50 and try it
46. Kick Negative Nancy's out of Your Life
47. Raise a Puppy to become a great dog
48. Better still.. adopt one
49. Do 100 Kettle Bell Swings
50. Hike
51. Fast for 24 hours once or twice a month
52. Eat Veggies
53. Learn to Cook
54. Learn to Speak another Language
55. Stop Complaining
56. Get to work an hour early once in awhile
57. Brew your own Beer- at least once
58. Workout with a 40lb Weighted Vest on
59. Tell Yourself You're Good Enough
60. Coach
61. Sign up for a Sport- like an adult community softball league or something
62. Compete- Strongman, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Dance, Gymnastics..... Horse riding..
63. Throw a party
64. Press weights Overhead
65. Name a Star
66. Go Mountain Biking
67. Shoot Guns at a Range
68. Write More
69. Turn off the TV
70. Kill Your Food
71. Grow Your Food
72. Do an Extreme Sport- Bungee Jump, Skydive..
73. Write your Own Fitness Program- 12 weeks to chiseled Triceps..
74. Swin across a River
75. Flip Tires
76. Fight a Bear-- yeah.. maybe not..
77. Change Your Oil or Brakes
78. Chop Wood
79. Build a Fire
80. Take a Survival Class
81. Learn to Fight
82. Count the Stars
82. Go Camping... FOR A WEEK..
83. Scream- "GET OFF MY BACK" as Loud as possible while driving ONCE a day... Trust me!
84. Meditate
85. Buy a Camera and snap shots!
86. Gamble
87. Boogie Board
88. I said Hike before- this time.. go to the Appalachian Trail or similar trail and do a part of it.
89. Learn about Native Americans
90. Learn about Andrew Carnegie
91. Do 100 Push Ups
92. Read 5/3/1
92. Hold the Door for Someone
93. Build a Sandcastle
94. Run a 5k or Mud Run type event
95. Drag a Sled with 80lbs or more for 10 minutes
96. Lift Sandbags
97. Design something.. a website, a garden, a lawn, a book cover...
98. Lift Weights Outside
99. Teach

101. Kick Ass Everyday

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hackettstown Fitness Trainer Changes a Life!

My passion and purpose is to help as many people as I can change their lives.  Not for a month or 3, but lasting change.  Change that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. When someone comes and trains for a few months, loses weight, and then quits and goes right back to where they were it is not the change I want out of my clients. I want them to kick ass for the rest of their lives with eating and exercise habits that keep them healthy!

This is Jessica.  Jessica came to me in August and started training to kick ass.  The first workout at Activate Fitness, she came in with a notepad and a diet outline.  Taking the time to record her food intake and stay consistent with her workouts has helped her stay on a plan.  I always ask my clients to do this- I think she may be the only one that I know of who did (and does) so. I snapped this picture when I was watching a video of one of her first workouts because I was shocked at the change she made.

I then snapped this picture and showed it to Jessica and she was surprised.  Proud, happy, and energized!

I asked her to write up a little something when she saw the pictures next to each other, this is what she said:

"When I saw the pictures I thought "wow holy crap!". I knew from all my dieting and working out that I was getting smaller but seeing it like that was like BAM- reality check. It's been hard work but once you find your groove it becomes second nature to follow your routine- then seeing results like that really make it worth it. I'm so proud of myself for what I've accomplished already & I'm totally reinvigorated to keep going. I did that...I changed me...and I can keep changing me."

This is my WHY. This is why I wake up at 4:30am to go train my groups.  This is why I keep studying fitness and reading more and more books, watching a ton of videos, and continue to seek out certifications for increasing my knowledge. This is why I chose Fitness to help people. Jessica kicks ass.  She gets her ass kicked also.  The workouts are not easy and eating on a plan sometimes sucks- but she keeps doing and she keeps kicking ass more and more!

Since August she has lost around 16 pounds and she keeps getting stronger, always making progress. Jessica comes to the fitness classes 3 days a week, walks the dog, and particpates in the first Biggest Loser Challenge at Activate Fitness.  She sticks to a diet that works for her and has not stalled in her diet or exercise.  The most important thing here is that SHE knows it takes TIME and she knows what SHE NEEDS to do to get the results she's looking for.

If you are looking to make a change like this to your life you NEED to make a plan.  You need to get on track and record your diet information and work out on a consistent basis.  Progress happens daily, results take time, but in the end.. the look of achievement makes it all worthwhile.

For information on how to get in the gym and train with a Highly Skilled and Motivated trainer for less than half the price of a chain gym trainer email Mike at activatefitnesspt @

Friday, November 9, 2012

Super Sandy Changed My Life!

They always say things that happen, happen for a reason.  People also say go to school to get a degree so you can get a good job.  They also go on to say keep working and working hard at that job so one day you can get a nice promotion and possibly retire with some money in the bank.

So why are there so many people collecting Social Security and using Medicare benefits? Is that how "it" should be? Work for 30 or 40, maybe even 50 years and save a little so you can retire and get your check every month?

Hurricane, or Post Tropical Cyclone, Sandy beat us to our knees.  Most people, even the 90 year old folks, have never seen a storm like this in New Jersey.  It ranks up there with the devastation that Katrina brought. 12 days later and many still don't have power.  The Feds decided these people need emergency unemployment funds because we can't work.  Gas lines are 9 miles long and certain parts of towns look like Zombies came through, cleaned house, and marched on to the next town. Most people were stuck with their hands out in need, and some angrily so like they were owed something because they survived.

Today on my way home from our midwife's office I was listening to a Navy Seal audio file and on it he spoke about your Why?- why do you do what you do. For you?  For who?

I was nodding my head again as I listened to the audio for the second time. I caught what was said by the Seal Vet the first time I listened to it and it changed my life.  It made me really understand certain things about myself.  But today, when I heard the same speech, something more clicked. I truly understood my Why?.

You see, for the longest time I always wanted to continue getting better and better at many things so my wife and our kids can have a good life.  I reflected on the tragedy and outcomes that Sandy caused today and my Why? became more than just providing a good life for my family.  Do I sit here and live out my Why? under orders from someone else?  Do I plan my Why? around my wife's work schedule and what my kids schools tell them?  Do I sit here and live through our "good life" and become a slave to the President and his rules?

My Why? changed instantly this morning as I drove home. Instead of just doing what I do to provide my family a good life, I'm doing it on my own terms.  Will I just not listen or follow orders any longer? Of course not, I "have" to right now but that will NEVER stop me from trying and working to get there. I know many men who run businesses and live their lives as they please. Some with 6 figure a year gyms that only operate open a handful of hours a day- some- a week.

I'm done living, developing, and growing my life at the orders of someone else.  Nobody will tell me what I can or can't do and as I grow- I will continue to pay it forward.  If I want to wake up on a cold Tuesday morning and decide to drive to Florida in 3 hours from waking up with no plans I will.  That is my Why?

I will live my life on my own terms while providing my family with the best life they deserve. No 9-5.  No rush hour traffic. Nobody to tell me I can't or shouldn't.  Resistance will come from every angle and try to beat me into submission like Hurricane Sandy did to some many people- but I am armed, prepared, and ready for war.

Hurricane Sandy changed my life by opening my eyes to "our" way of life.  I saw the gas lines, the fights, the whining about electricity, and the pain it caused so many people.  The storm toughen me, made me stronger mentally, emotionally, physically, and increased my awareness for life. Back to the Basics we go. From this point forward... Why?