Monday, December 31, 2012

End of the Year Blog Fog Stew

I want to thank all of the members at
Activate Fitness for being Dedicated, Demanding, and Determined. Without all of you this place wouldn't exist. You are family! THANK YOU! 

Sometimes you don't know what to write.  This happened to me a few times this past year and I wrote this Blog Fog Stew and then this Blog Fog Stew 2. Being it's the last day of the year I wanted to get a blog post up because I enjoy writing a lot and enjoy when people read the posts.  Sometimes I sound like an idiot or even an asshole but other times I give people tips and tricks, ideas, and increase their motivation.  Check out the top 5 blog posts from Activate Fitness in 2012, what was accomplished, and other random Yada Yada B.S...

First things first.  It's freaking cold as hell right now and where I live the wind is going to constantly blow like it's on a mission to destroy me by the end of the windy winter. It's actually working a little.  You see, my dog takes FOREVER to do his duty and normally I don't mind- unless I have things I want to do or in this winter's case it's freaking cold. I get angry easy, actually very easy.  I'm not going to lie or pretend I am some superior being that is la-di-da happy everyday and every minute.  My dog taking his sweet old time when the wind is freezing my.... yeah... off- I get pissed! Poor pup takes the brunt of the anger from me saying things like "You dumb ass! Hurry the F up!"  Patience is something I need to work on, but then again, who has patience when it's -10 degrees with the wind freezing your snot?

There's a lot of talk about taxes now that the year is over and some sort of fiscal hoopla going on.  People talking about how their deductions are depressing and how it's F'd up that the money is being handed to people looking for free handouts. Okay- What happens when you get that monthly check for the rest of your life after 65 and get medical benefits covering 80% of ANY medical claim which only costs you about $155 a year after you turn 65 as well? Is paying into that out of your income the wrong thing to do? What happens when your cars shock pops right off because the town you live in failed to fill a 4 foot pothole in? Also.. what happens when terrorists threaten our country and some brave dudes making your tax deduction as their salary go and fight for you and me? Is it really depressing? You need to get over it super quick and get to work on kicking ass and making more money while increasing your financial intelligence so that one day you pay taxes like Mitt Romney.  It's a game of Rich versus Poor. Are you quitting?

Going out and partying or to see the newest blockbuster or to meet friends at the diner is cool and all.. but I'd rather kick my feet up and read a book. Boring huh?

The only member of my family, extended family, friends, and co workers that are subscribed to my email list to keep up to date with what my business, Activate Fitness, is doing is my Mother in Law.

When you set a goal you can't just set it and wait for your dream to come true. That shit doesn't work.  You need to take action, massive action, daily action, and more fear filled action then you ever have. is one crazy website.  Most of my clients came from free ads I put on there but some people who post on that site are angry and depressed, mean and lazy. It's funny to read the people fighting over some stupid topic or complaining about another stupid topic when I have free time but in general I avoid that site.  It's hazardous to your health.

Some people feel they are not meant to be fit or healthy, lean and strong, sexy and in shape. This is horrible stuff. Everyone is an athlete! We are born fit and strong. Some people just need a quick change of thought and push out the negative to make room for the positive. This shit is simple. May not be easy but it's worth it. Laziness is the devil. Better to admit it then to deny.

One member of Activate Fitness recently said this on Activate Fitness Facebook Fan Page in the "recommendation" field:

"Activate Fitness rocks! I have been a client since August & have never received results like this before when I worked out at your typical chain-type gym. Classes are challenging (they're supposed to be!!!), fun & addicting! Never in a million years did I ever picture myself being someone who works out 4 times a week. :) And Mike truly cares about the success of his clients. He's not just a "Class Instructor clock puncher". From workout inquiries to diet questions Mike always makes himself available. Prior to signing up I despised "group" classes...I had major anxiety about worrying about how out of shape I was & how silly I'd look if I couldn't get through the class without falling to the ground gasping for air. I can honestly say that from my first class at Activate I never felt like that. Members of AF are each others biggest fans. There are no egos here at all. If you've been thinking about doing something for awhile now give Mike a call." Jessica D Hackettstown, NJ

I posted this pic on my facebook page and it caused quite a stir with a few women I know that were pregnant at the time! Next time I will avoid the argument for the sake of the people who were wrong.  Just because I was right doesn't mean I needed to defend the picture haha! It's funny what hormones do to you huh?

This past year I stumbled across Zig Ziglar. I never heard of him before and I listened to one of his audiobooks. It changed my life and it was sad to hear he passed in 2012. RIP Zig Ziglar

During Hurricane Sandy we lost 4 big trees and a few smaller ones.  I still haven't cleaned up all of the mess.

Our family lost a loved one way too young.  RIP Bobby!

This was one of the best movies I watched all year:

My Top 5 Most Read Blog Posts of 2012:

1. North of Vag

2. Is Fat The Future?

3. Weightlifting and Women. Why Big Muscles are a Myth.

4. Hackettstown Fitness Trainer Changes A Life!

5. The Garage Gym Experience.

Project Resolution Boot Camp kicked off early this morning with a bang! This 12 week program is a great way to kick off 2013 and start a successful journey through the diet and exercise world! I am proud of all the action takers, the people who took the steps to get into the program and who are dedicated to succeeding during these 12 amazing weeks!

Some things I accomplished in 2012:

I read over 45 hardcover and paperback books...

..Read about 20 eBooks.

...Listened to over 20 audiobooks and Seminar programs.

I became a Certified Underground Strength Coach!


Activate Fitness went from 1 client who trained for free in her living room to 6 people on a driveway to training numerous people out of NJ Core MMA's gym where I have classes for kids as young as 8 and classes for people that range anywhere from 15 to over 50.

The driveway isn't finished yet either!  I still train there.  I love it and it's open to anyone who wants to get hardcore serious with some tough ass strength and conditioning workouts- even powerlifting! I could use a dedicated training partner!

I successfully created a new life in the form of my beautiful daughter and became a first time Father.

I wrote a few blog posts for the Long Valley Patch.

My deadlift increased by 100 pounds and my bench press increased by 50 pounds. My squat sucks, it only increased about 50 pounds. More hip mobility and flexibility work is needed in 2013 and the focus is on the squat and increasing it by 100 pounds.

Pull-ups went from 5 at a clip to 12.

At one point I deadlifted everyday for 36 straight days because it felt right. Read about it here: For The Past 36 Days I Deadlifted Everyday. I tried to go 40 but got hit with the bug that everyone in the gym got hit with.

It was awesome to do a Strongman Contest in the beginning of the year. I was humbled greatly by the experience and it drove me to work extra hard.  Here's a pic:

Well I am going to leave you guys with that.  There are some HUGE things planned for Activate Fitness in 2013 so make sure you fill out that form with your name and email to stay up to date on what's going on.  Hackettstown is going to be taken for a huge ride as Activate Fitness will get more involved with the community and bring out the best in people everywhere! It is our one BIG TIME goal for 2013 to help Hackettstown and the surrounding towns lose over 1000 pounds! Whether it's training in the gym on Main Street, the home headquarter Garage Gym, or even by helping someone with a tip or two via email or the facebook page! If you haven't yet...

Please go to and LIKE the page! You can even look over here ----> somewhere and LIKE it right up there..

So I hope you enjoyed the stew and please have a SAFE and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

How to Take Charge of Your Poor Diet..

It seems that one of the biggest problems we deal with is a poor diet.  Surprisingly, we were taught at a young age to eat our veggies and fruits and what foods are either good for us or bad for us. Even though most people have the common knowledge of what a good diet is and how we should eat to maintain a healthy body and weight, we find it too hard to follow those guidelines.

With mass media, long work hours, abundant and inexpensive fast food places everywhere, and general laziness our society is getting sicker and fatter every year. The lack of active adults and cost of processed foods being so low are causing tightened stress to our healthcare system and increasing our pants size.

A common myth we often hear is that it's too hard or too expensive to eat clean and proper. Another excuse we hear from people who have a poor diet and have become overweight is that exercise is too hard and that is the problem.  It's not exercise or lack of that is making you fat. It's the poor diet choices.

It's easy to let your diet spin out of control and cause crash and burn problems for your health and body image. Below I go over some important keys to take charge of your diet and your life!  It's not hard to eat clean and it can be extra delicious and satisfying- even crushing those sweet cravings!

- Take 100% Responsibility for what you put in your mouth.
It's not on your wife or husband, mother or father, or whoever else besides YOU to make sure you eat well. If someone in your household is "causing" you to eat poorly, you're making excuses. Nobody will force feed you unless you're 2. If a person in your home buys Oreo cookies and orders Chinese food, you have no obligation to eat those things.  You may be weak in the knees and lazy to the point you don't want to cook, but when you know your diet is poor- YOU need to stand up and take charge by taking responsibility.  Cook for yourself.  Buy food for yourself.  This is about YOU.

- Avoid Gimmick Foods.
Eating 100 Calorie Snack Packs of Popcorn or Pretzels is not taking charge of your poor diet. Just because they say 100 calories doesn't mean it's good to eat when looking to clean up a diet. Try baby carrots or blueberries instead.  Even a handful of almonds. Special K and Cherrios saying they're good for the heart and good for a healthy body is a marketing gimmick. Avoid that aisle in the grocery all together. Buy shrimp and cook it, take a handful and pack that as a snack. Wouldn't you rather taste delicious shrimp packed with protein instead of genetically modified bullshit?

- Throw away the garbage in your lazy susan.
Seriously.  You may have things like Pastas, Canned Sauce, Potato Chips, Cookies, Hamburger Helpers, and other stuff that doesn't expire.  Okay it's tough to throw stuff away that you spent your hard earned money on. Stash it away for the Zombie Apocalypse and start a Doomsday Prepping supply.

- Shop for food twice a week.
When you want to lose weight or build lean muscle making the proper food choices is critical to your success. One important factor when deciding on what food is "good" or what is "bad" is the shelf life. Shop for foods that need to be cooked today and eaten tomorrow. Shop for food that will go bad within a few days if not eaten. By doing this you should be shopping at least twice a week. Fresh preservative free foods go bad in a few days.  Most people who eat this way shop at farmer's markets or farms like Mini Mac Farm in Long Valley, NJ.

- Make Your Life One Big Do-It-Yourself Project.
And stay busy! Sitting idle and being bored is a quick way to run to the store and buy a tub of ice cream. By keeping yourself busy with work, family time, reading, working out, and starting that business you've always dreamed about, you will keep your mind active and away from food. Make a clear structured plan of your daily life and assign "feeding" times. Most people can do well with Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner and be satisfied throughout the day. Whatever you need to keep busy do it!

- Take it One Day at a Time!
Just like a recovering addict does, take one day at a time and don't stress over the future.  Don't stress about up coming parties or family gatherings. The first step of taking 100% responsibility should take care of your commitment. Just focus on what you are doing at the current time and what your mind is telling you.

- Tell EVERYONE what you are doing!
There is no quicker way to ruin a good diet than having a co worker force a donut into your space. Bosses love to call meetings with catering, meetings at the Olive Garden and the lady down the hall bakes as a second job. Make sure you tell people "No Thank You". If they insist tell them again No Thank You and if they continue it's time to punch their lights out.

- Drink a ton of water.
With Fresh squeezed lemon or frozen blueberry ice cubes if you hate plain water. Nothing will soothe those stomach rumblings better then an ice cold glass of water.

- Stop using the Excuse and Myth "Eating healthy costs too much."
This is not true, actually far from it.  If you measure and weigh your food you will be surprised at what a serving size looks like. When you buy healthy foods and commit to a clean diet you will start to notice the plates getting smaller and in turn so will the grocery budget. Also, your medical bills will go down, the time spent sick or recovering will go down, and the purchases of pain relief meds or cold medicine will be few and far between.

Taking charge of your diet starts with your mind. It's easy to drift away from clean eating to suck down a few beers or have some deep fried Oreos at the fair.  However when this happens don't stress about it and don't think a 60 minute treadmill run will make you feel better or ease the guilt you may feel.  Pick up where you left off and take it a day at a time. If you have a family that loves Macaroni and Cheese and a husband or wife who need to "Have it their way" you need to take responsibility for YOURSELF and do what you need to do. If it means telling your family to cook for themselves because they don't want baked chicken and a healthy salad for dinner and you don't have time to make 2 different meals than so be it. It is what it is and we have a very special unique talent that helps us avoid starvation.  Your edgy husband or wife or cranky kids will adapt! Sometimes you need to put yourself first!

A few days out of the year of eating like a College kid should be looked at as a treat and something you have to earn.  While it's awesome to eat burgers and dogs and drink beer with friends at the lake or down at the corner pub, keep it to some special moments during your year! The way you feel when you clean up your diet and take charge of your life is way better then a bag of Doritos.


- Do it Now. Don't Wait!
Don't wait for the cereal box to be finished.  Don't wait for the leftover Pasta and Potatoes to spoil. Don't wait until you are out of food and need to go shopping. Start your clean diet right now! You know what you need to eat and what is healthy.  Don't wait for the ball to drop and the hangover to begin!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

What we need to Win a Losing Battle..

If the entire fitness industry as a whole, meaning me, you, the guy that runs miles around the neighborhood, the lady on the treadmill, the Olympic lifter, and those people who compete, is only 2% of our entire population in the United States it's easy to say we are losing the battle of unhealthy versus healthy.

Headlines in 2012 screamed foul about the hardships of those collecting Medicaid and the details of the new Obamacare. Thousands bitching on Facebook about their thousand dollar medical bills and prescription drug commercials littering the airwaves fill our minds everyday.

"Ah don't worry about getting sick! There's a pill for that."

"Who cares if I gain 10 pounds over the holidays.  There's a new plan in the magazine that promises I'll lose it all with a water based diet!"

It sure seems to me like America is losing a very important battle that MANY ignore or simply don't talk about.  Why bring up the fact you're fat and lazy?  That's horrible!  How can someone hurt your feelings like that?  We baby our emotions and hide our true feelings so we don't hurt yours. We choose to eat out rather than eat in because it's faster and we like being waited on.  Saves the mess and the trouble of the trip to the grocery store.  We pack processed garbage for lunch and skip breakfast.

We seek our doctors care to treat our sickness or our low back pain rather than take preemptive measures to assure ourselves we never get sick or hurt.  It's easier to take a pill than it is to eat Broccoli everyday. It's easier to get pain meds and lay on the couch when we hurt our backs than it is to stretch daily and do our mobility work.

It keeps getting easier and easier to just waddle through life and more politically incorrect to speak the truth.

You want the truth?

You're lazy. You eat garbage food.  You watch too much television. You never read.  You workout for less than .02% of your week. You are out of shape and it'll take you a year or more to get into shape.

That is brutal! That is hard to read and even harder to hear someone say it to you.  The problem is that those things are true for over 90% of our population and WE NEVER say anything about it. Sometimes- maybe your doctor will- but how often do we take it to heart?

What's it going to take?  A stroke? Cancer? A loss of a loved one to realize change is needed and it's needed now?

We need to scratch everything out of our minds, out of our stores, out of our books, and START over. It's not too late to start over.

We need to not be concerned with p90x or if CrossFit is the best thing for us.  We have to stop worrying about the Paleo Diet or the Zone Diet, the Hollywood Star Diet or whatever else sucks.

We need to turn off Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz.

We need to shut Oprah and Kristie Alley up and listen to people like Jason Ferruggia and John Romaneillo.

We need to eat Veggies like Potato Chips.

We need to eat Protein every meal!  This shocks me the most.  I know so many people who don't get enough Protein.  People don't eat meat, chicken, or eggs.  We'd rather have Pizza or a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich and call it lunch.  Macaroni and Cheese for dinner. Where is the 4 ounce piece of chicken?

We need to stop going to the gym whenever we feel like and not feel bad when we miss a trip because our membership is only $19 a month and start going to places that have specific programs and coaches, trainers, or a team of specialists running the show- people that place the responsibility on YOUR shoulders and HOLD you to YOUR commitment.

We need to INVEST in our health rather than our health insurance.

We need to stop sugarcoating the fact that our brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and parents are sick and out of shape and tell them to kick ass or they're going to keel over.

It sucks to know that many many many people just don't give a shit about their health. It sucks knowing people hate exercising because they think it's too hard. Some people say they see things turning around.  I believe this is true but it's not enough.  We have too many people in our lives that we love and care about that just don't give a shit.  That is not cool.  All it takes is a few TRUE words and you can get your friends or family members to eat better or work out.  Why let their lives slip away without a fight?  This is it.  We only live once and there is no reason we should do it sick, fat, and nearly dead.  We should do it happy, alive, and as fit as can be! Get up, grab your partner, and do the work needed.  Stop complaining.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to Finally Lose Weight in 2013

2012 is nearing the final weeks and nobody is answering my question.  It has to do with the year and goals and it must be a touchy subject for some.  How well did you accomplish the goals you set for this year?

Did you lose the weight you wanted to?

Did you earn the amount of money you wanted to?

Did you lift the weight you wanted to lift?

Or, did you not set any goals and just let life slip you by one day at a time?

Most people want to lose weight. Every year we set goal after goal of losing weight, eating better, getting to the gym, and becoming the best version of ourselves.

Not too many people complete the goal. It may seem that you're at a loss and your motivation is gone.  It may seem too difficult to lose weight.  It's always easy to grab a cookie at Christmas time though.  It's always easy to grab hot dogs and hamburgers with a few gallons of booze in the summer though.

In 2013, it is easy to lose weight.  Especially if you follow what I talk about, what I write about, my programs, my advice, and my training. This may seem like I'm lifting my chin a little and smirking back at you but I know what works, how to do it, and what doesn't work.

This year I had a guy come train at Activate Fitness and in his first 3 weeks, he lost 15 pounds following diet advice from me and training at my gym.

Enough of that though, this is about you and FINALLY losing weight in 2013.

First things first, get a notebook.  If you choose not to do this then leave the page now, quit my gym, stop reading my blog, and get off my email list and facebook page.  There is no excuse or reason why your workouts and/or diet is not recorded on paper.

Now, go into your kitchen and take an inventory of what you see in the refrigerator, the lazy susan, the cabinets, and wherever else you stash your food. See what you have. If you have more boxed food and canned food than you do fresh, quality, nutritious food this needs to change. Take most of the processed boxed garbage and canned shit and give it away.  Who cares if your grocery supply cost you $400.  Toss it.

What did your parents teach you about food?  What did schools teach you about food?  What did doctors teach you about food?

Probably not much and probably the wrong shit.

Get Meats
Get Veggies
Get Fruits
Get Water
Get a Multi Vitamin

You're done.  Eat whatever you want from above, cut crap out, stop eating ice cream and cookies and using the holidays as an excuse or your neighbors barbecue and stick to what WE know is good for us.

Easier said than done.. yes.. BUT!!! We want to succeed right?  We are tired of failing right?

Do it 90% of the time and you will succeed in 2013.

Eat good foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you will lose weight with ease.

Stop snacking on the Keebler Elf and the Pillsbury Doughboy's account and snack with veggies.

If you don't think carrots are satisfying and delicious when you eat them as a snack then you have too much work to do to be complaining.

If almonds and greek yogurt is not your idea of a delicious dessert than you need to really work hard at this.

Don't worry about counting calories or weighing your food if you still need to eat 100 calorie snack packs to make it through your day.  That shit is garbage and pointless.  It's useless and will do nothing for you.

You don't want to hear that though.  They are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good and you "just can't" live without it.

Enough about food.  It's easy to understand.  It's hard to accept.

After you come to grips about the food you're eating it's time to talk workouts, training, or exercise whatever you want to call it.

CrossFit is good
Strength Training is awesome
Conditioning is awesome
Zumba is good
Jazzercise is good

Going to a gym and getting on a treadmill while you read a book is stupid.

At Activate Fitness we focus on circuit style strength and conditioning routines.  Some functional and metabolic exercises are thrown in the mix, as is Cross-"training".

Is one better than the other?

No. Or Yes. Depends on who you are and what you want.

The most important thing you can do is to learn WHY you are doing something.

Why do you CrossFit?

Why do you PowerLift?

Why do you Zumba?

Why do you Boot Camp?

If you're doing something because everyone else is or a magazine said it's the best thing for you then you need to check yourself and really ask yourself why.

I powerlift. I lift heavy weights and throw some conditioning work in the mix because I want to be the Strongest and most mobile version of myself.

I don't Zumba because I hate dancing.

I don't do CrossFit because it's not the program I am looking for.

If walking on the street is your thing, it's your thing.  If running is your thing then run..

The point is your active.

When you want to get into the best shape of your life and lose weight in 2013 here is all you need to follow:

Write Down Everything about YOUR diet and exercise.
Eat well 90% of the time.
Exercise 5 times a week or more.
Sleep as much as possible while not being a bum ass.

That's it.  In 2013 you can lose all the weight you want if you follow those suggestions.

Stick to a program for 6 months in 2013 and DO THE WORK needed.

If you fail it's because you DIDN'T DO THE WORK.

**Check out the Facebook page up on the right and "like" it if you didn't do so already!  Be kind and share!!**

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What If You Fail?

So what? Big Deal!

Try again.

Do it over.

Keep working at it.

For the past 36 Days.. I Deadlifted everyday.

Over the past 36 days I have Deadlifted everyday. It was my main lift, everyday, no exceptions. I also followed the Deadlift with Overhead Presses, Rows and Curls, KB Swings, and some abdominal work.

Following a plan mixed between Dan John, Pavel, Chad Waterbury, and Anthony Mychal I decided to do deadlifts everyday to Grease the Groove as they call it.


Why not?

I was sitting one day in the dark with a headlamp flashlight on reading Dan John's Never Let Go a day or so after Hurricane Sandy.  I was so amused by the book that I couldn't put it down.  The things I learned from reading the book have helped me in such a short amount of time that I will refer back to it frequently. 

One chapter in the book was his article on the 40 Day Program. In this program you pick 1 posterior movement (Aka DeadLift), Upper Body Push, Upper Body Pull, simple full body explosive movement, and an abdominal exercise. 2 sets of 5 for the first 3 exercises, 1 set of 25-50 for the full body and 1 set of 5 for abdominal exercise. 

Following the plan I would have done 5 days in a row, rest for 2, 5 days in a row, rest for 2 until I completed workout 40. But I decided after reading a blog post from Anthony Mychal the day after I started that I'd go straight through and show overtraining who's the boss.

I started the program doing this:

Deadlifts 2x5x 245
OHP 2x5x115
Bent Rows 2x5x115
KB Swings 1x25x50
Ab Wheel 1x5

Apparently you're supposed to only do 40% of your 1RM for the main lift but I didn't know that.. or I didn't care.  I guess 40% keeps you away from overtraining? The numbers were just thrown out there with no rhyme or reason. 

40% would've had me lifting about 180 for the deads and like 65 for the OHP.  No way.  If I was going to do this I am pushing it to the fullest.  If I get hurt I get hurt, if my poor little self overtrains I overtrain big deal. 

I also decided to add the PLP work Chad Waterbury talks about here: PLP Challenge into my warmup. Instead of starting at 10 push ups, 10 reverse lunges per leg, and 10 Pull Ups, I started at 1 each and added one each day.  This is the single most important thing I have ever done in an exercise program.  This greased my groove as far as Pull Ups go. When I started I could only do 5 max at once.  Shitty yes but now I can do 12. Amazing. 36 Days later.

So while doing the 40 Day program as Pavel or Dan John would have it, you'd do something like Deadlifts 1st set 150x5 then the second set would be 90% of the 1st set for 5 reps.  Anthony Mychal did 225 straight across the board 40 days in a row before taking two days off and doing it for an additional 20 (with rest days every 5). I decided to add weight whenever I felt like it.

After 36 Days this is where I ended:

Deadlifts 2x5x270
OHP 2x5x130
Rows I scratched after 14 days because of Snapping Scapula Syndrome.  This is something I have had for awhile and it hurts all the time. Pain for 24 hours a day. Surgery or Cortisone.  No thanks I'll deal with it. It's not that bad.
I replaced them with Curls in the Squat Rack 2x5x95 just because.
KB Swings 1x30x65
Ab Wheel 1x10 because what is 1x5 anyway?

At Day 17 I added 2 sets of Chins for 5 reps at the end of the workout.  By Day 30 I was doing 3 sets of 8 and Day 36 I did 3 sets of 10,10,9. It was my dessert. 

This program I did was amazing.  There were days I felt awesome and days I felt shitty.  I ate to get stronger not worrying about losing fat or whatever.  I upped my protein and carbs and ate so I could avoid overtraining.  I also went to sleep early almost everyday and made sure I had AT LEAST 7 hours of sleep every night.  

I'm not done yet.  I decided to make today a rest day after 36 straight days of deadlifting because 1. I feel sick and very crappy and 2. because I accomplished what I wanted to. Which was..?

I chose to do this program for 2 reasons.

1. My Deadlift Sucks.

2. Deadlifts are awesome. No... Actually number 2 is because I suck at Pull Ups.

In the book Never Let Go, Dan John mentions a quote from Dan Gable "If it's important do it everyday."

After 36 days of lifting things up and putting them down I feel I have a very good connection with my mind and my form and my Deadlift is much better.  Like I mentioned above my Pull Ups have gone from hardly being able to bring my chin to the bar on the 5th rep to crushing 12 straight.

I think this B.S. we hear about overtraining is just.. B.S. and it's funny to, because during the past 36 days my newsfeed has been filled with people talking about overtraining, high frequency programs such as above, and everyday workouts.  Shit, even Jim Wendler made a month long High Frequency Program that he just released.


Maybe we're on to something..

Again, I'm not done.  Tomorrow, tentative due to feeling sick, I will max out on Deadlifts and most likely take another day or two off and start all over. I'll be giving the Frequency Project a run for my money and I'll run it 6 days a week only resting Sunday. 

I can tell you I feel stronger everywhere in my body, more than any other program I ever did, and I feel I have gained muscle.  I should have taken before pics and measurements but that wasn't the point.  I can tackle 36 straight days of heavy lifting and I now have a great respect for High Frequency Training. It wasn't easy as the mind really does play tricks on you.  At Day 10 I felt like my bicep tendon was hanging by a thread and I thought I was going to rupture it while doing the Deads.  Just mental hogwash. There were days when the workouts were tough, I was drained, and my mind was elsewhere but I dug deep and did the workout anyway.

Greasing The Groove has proven to be very effective in my opinion.  I highly admire the results it has given me, the way I felt, and what it has done for my mental toughness.  I will always keep this program in my arsenal and go back to it when I feel stuck.  Anybody can do this.  The key is recovery.  I always went to sleep on time EVERY NIGHT and ALWAYS ate what I felt my body needed.  Could I have tanked? Hell yes.  I could have lacked in diet and missed a rep or felt like shit but I made sure I was perfect. Dedicated. Demanding. Determined. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Get Lean! 10 Ideas That Really Work!

With 2012 wrapping up and the New Year coming we all know it's time for New Year's Resolutions once again. Remember this time last year and what you set as your goal for 2012. If you didn't achieve the goal you still can.  Don't just quit and feel like you've given everything you have- because you didn't.  I bet you kicked ass all year anyways.  Life throws us so much outside interference that it is hard to keep a straight head 365/24/7.. Keep reading this blog and I'll help you through for Fitness Journeys!

Below are 10 Ideas that Really Work when you want to GET LEAN!

1. Count calories, Weigh, and Measure Food.

This is the best way to lose fat quick.  Count the calories, weigh the meats, measure the carbs, and write it all down. Go to an online calorie calculator and find where you should be as far as total needed calories and keep track of what you put in your mouth.

2. Fast

While this isn't for everyone, it is very effective due to the influence it has on our hormones.   To put it simple- when you eat throughout the day your body is working on digesting foods.  When you fast most of the day and eat in a small window like 6-8 hours, you give your body a 14-16 hour period that allows it to focus on more important things then digestion- like repairing your body.

3. Run

When I say run I don't mean a leisure jog through the neighborhood or park.  I'm talking about going to a track, a field, or finding a hill and RUN it with everything you have. Run around the track as fast as you can once and rest.  Sprint across the field as fast as you can and rest.  Run to the top of a hill and walk down slowly while catching your breath. Why? Because it works- try it.

4. Lift heavy

Sandbags, Barbells, Kettle Bells, and serious bodyweight movements will help you burn a ton of calories after your workouts while possibly increasing your strength. Strength training has been proven time and again to be one of the most effective tools for burning fat.

5. Dedicate everything to 28 days!

Take your year and break it down into 28 day periods. Make a commitment to do what needs to be done as strict as possible during those 28 days without a cheat meal or cheat day and see what happens.  It's hard to plan on a 12 week or 6 month program- UNLESS- you take small steps and go one block at a time.

6. Cut Carbs

Try it.  I hate it. I love eating carbs because I want to be strong and I feel my body, after countless tests and trials and errors, needs carbs.  BUT if you want to really get super lean try dropping all of your carbs besides what you get from Fruits and Veggies and do it for 28 days. For some people it's amazing and for some cutting carbs really makes you miserable and negatively effects your workouts.  Even if you like carbs and don't want to drop them- try consuming them all after your workouts or if you train in the morning- keep them until dinner time.  For more info on Carbs at Night check out: The Carb-Nite Solution

7. Circuit Train

If you train at Activate Fitness you train in a circuit fashion most of the time. Training in circuits will make you go through a workout faster, while doing more work than your standard Set, Rest, Set, Rest templates.

An Example:

Sandbag Squat- 1 Minute
Sandbag Clean and Press- 1 Minute
KB Snatch- 1 Minute
1 Arm Rows- 1 Minute
Jump Rope- 1 Minute

In this type of workout you do what you can do in the 1 minute and then move on. While training alone this may be difficult because it's hard to keep track of time- so in that case- do each exercise for a certain numbers of reps and then rest.

8. Compete/Commit 

Make training more meaningful and push the commitment to a higher level.  Sign up for a Mud Run, A Powerlifting Contest, a Bodybuilding/Fitness Show, or a Strongman Competition. You will train very intensely, follow a strict plan, and have more motivation to train hard.

9. Sleep More

Turn the TV off at 8 or 9 and hit the bed.  Turn the phone off or put it across the room and shut your eyes.  Simple.  Best thing for you.  Do it.

10. Drink more water

2 Glasses right upon waking up and go from there. Water is awesome and keeps everything moving inside your body.  It's fuel.  Use it.

Use all 10 of these Ideas that Really Work to Get you Lean and you will amaze yourself.  This is a formula for fat loss and overall fitness success. It seems like a lot but in reality it truly isn't- BUT- that is why true fitness success needs to be a lifestyle first and foremost.  When you don't do ALL the work, you get half assed results. Commit to implementing these ideas into your daily routine and you will Get Lean.

Stay tuned for a Serious Announcement tomorrow regarding a Smash Mouth NO BS training program for 2013 that will help Hackettstown and the Surrounding Areas lose 1000 pounds in 2013!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

No More Excuses! Taking it to the Next Level..

It is said that the most successful CEO's of the Biggest Corporations in this Country read 60 books a year.  The average American Worker reads less than ONE book..

The average worker also earns 319 TIMES LESS MONEY than those CEO's.

Our society points fingers to these "Crooks" and cries Foul when the news reports the fact the CEO of XYZ, Inc earned $50 million last year.  What we don't see is what that man or woman did every day of the year that the average person did not. Instead of learning how they achieved that level of success  we say they had no right to earn that amount.

This is an Excuse!

Lately I have really pushed my efforts into high gear to raise the community's awareness of Activate Fitness.  Many people have "unliked" my Facebook page because I "post too much" and others have unsubscribed from my emails because I am not "appropriate", a "bad influence", and "lost in space."

The thing is...

I'm done with excuses.

Throughout this past year I heard many things come from people who showed interest or even tried my programs, like this:

"I'm not ready."

"I think I need to work on my diet first."

"I need a kick in the ass."

"That email really pushed me and I should be ready soon."

"6am is way too early for me."

"You finally motivated me to try it out.. but.. I can't..."

"This is way too hard for me. (Too much effort needed)."

These are all excuses.  Now, I could care less about the fact that these people didn't come and join my gym. They clearly are not in the right mindset to be successful at their fitness activities and for them to come and train would probably cause problems in the gym.

The thing that really bothers me is how we hide behind excuses and lies.  Fear and Resistance.

I can't. I won't. I don't know how. I'm Not.. Maybe next week. It costs too much.

These excuses are so common in many parts of our lives and NOW.. it's time to shut the heck up and get to work.

In 2013 it is my GOAL to help Hackettstown (And the surrounding towns) LOSE ONE THOUSAND POUNDS. Yes, one thousand pounds.

BUT... there is NO ROOM for excuse makers, complainers, and people who can't make the commitments needed.

There are plenty of people who need help to get fit and healthy and at Activate Fitness I will make it happen.

No Excuses.

None from me, from my clients, or anyone.

Activate Fitness is ready to take this mission to the next level and in the coming days BIG things will be announced and more huge plans await the right time.

If you are finally ready to get up and put in the work check out this video.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Need to Be Obsessed.

It's crazy that in the world which we live that being obsessed about a sport, a job, or a dream is frowned upon. People feel like those people who work hard and long are workaholics and people who weigh their food, lift 5 days a week, and always get to sleep early are obsessed with fitness.

Being obsessed with something in your life is usually called something like not healthy or dangerous to your mental state.

We want to get ahead in life and get the most out of it.  We want nice things and more money then last year. Living a fit life, healthy, strong, and energetic is a desire of most.

Then why do we frown upon obsession?

We need to be obsessed.

But.. we are not obsessed because we feel being so is dangerous and so we avoid it.  People may talk about us and point their fingers.  We think- maybe we'll end up laying on a couch talking to a therapist if we continue this unhealthy obsession.

Being obsessed with something is a desire with a burning passion, a purpose, and determination.

Obsessions for fitness and being lean is good. It means we want to be strong and healthy- while looking good naked.

Obsessions for work, money, and career success are good.  We need more of it.  Too many people bitch about lack of jobs and how they can't afford anything, their bills are crazy, and they'll never retire. Bullshit!  Work harder, become obsessed with your occupation and take it to the next level!

We want and want until we want more but the moment someone says we're too obsessed and need to back down, we quietly submit to the resistance and fear.

We obsess over the unhealthy objects such as television and facebook, fast food and alcohol and society is accepting this as normal- but working too long is not.

If you want to achieve success in your goals try harder, become obsessed, work harder than the average.  The middle class is the new poor because we settled for normalcy. We fear obsessions like long hours of workaholicism and an addiction to fitness. We fear trying extra hard and moving away from the average. Average is comfortable.  Average is accepted.  Average is not obsessed and the perfect place to submit to our fears and the resistance around.

The end of the world as we know it is certainly surrounding us now and if you don't adapt and change your techniques, and more importantly your thoughts, you will lose.  The end of the world brings to us a new way of life not an unfortunate death. Become obsessed and grab it.. rabbit run!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

3 Not So Shocking Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

Losing Fat can be very frustrating for most people.  We try our hardest and the weight just does not fall off. We start a workout program and jump into it with everything we have!  Most people have a plan for what they eat and some just wing it.  Others weigh their food, measure it, and count their calories.  Some people follow magazine article diets or Best Selling Weight Loss Book diets.

Then why do we not lose weight?

What is holding us back from succeeding in our goals?

Below are 3 Not So Shocking Reasons that may be the first clues into WHY you're not burning enough fat!

1. You're not being serious about focusing on your diet

Do you follow the latest trends and wing what you read about?  Do you just go about eating how you feel is the right way to lose fat? We don't spend enough time doing the research we need to really get the most out of diets.  The media has thrown so much information out at us and through years of outside input we are very confused.

To get serious, grab a pen and paper and record everything you eat.
Eat food that walks, flies, swims, and grows out of the ground.  If it doesn't, don't eat it.
Use your fists to measure your food if you're too lazy to weigh or measure it properly.
Cook days in advance.
Don't just eat a banana for breakfast and an apple for lunch while going home to eat a dinner of pasta, meatballs, and garlic bread.  That doesn't work.
FOCUS! Protein first!

2. You don't train hard enough.

You workout 2-3 times a week and leave it at that. There is no other exercise in your week and barely any daily movement. To get lean and fit while being strong you need to train for it.  5 times a week at least. You could hit the weights and group classes 3 times a week while running, walking, or lifting more on your own time.  Train hard, to the point, and effectively. No long treadmill sessions or 4 minute rest periods.

3. You worry about it too much.

Or you're just negative about your body image and lack self confidence.  Stop worrying about why the weight isn't falling off. Make your plan, follow the steps, and let nature work it's magic.  Leave the scale alone and let it collect dust in the closet. Stop looking at yourself in the mirror and complaining or letting yourself down.  Get excited about the plan, the food, the exercise, and go about your daily life.  If you follow a plan and do "great" and don't lose weight, just let it go.  Focus on the long term picture and see if you need to make changes... You do record everything right?

Don't blame genetics, don't blame any medical reasons you made up, and don't blame anyone but yourself.  It's your responsibility to do the work.  Nobody will do it for you. It's best to do it right the first time. If you train for 3 hours a week, remember the other 165 hours are more important. Use your willpower and determination and keep the focus. It all comes down to one thing and that is...

Doing the Work YOU need to do!

----> Enter your email in the box to the right for a Free eBook that contains 10 workouts that you can do anywhere when you're in a pinch for time.  There's no excuses not to workout.  I'm sure you do have 10 minutes..

Sunday, December 2, 2012

How to Make a Sandbag for Training!

With the ability to take with you wherever you go and a wide variety of exercise options, the sandbag is one of the best tools for the fitness lifestyle. When you perform sandbag exercises you will be humbled by the effectiveness and the difficulty that can come with them.

Some people say that sandbag training is more primal, more real world, and develops more brute strength than traditional weight training. Sandbags can be great for fat loss, strength training, and to build muscle.  You can purchase high quality rubber sandbags and such online like these: Ultimate Sandbags or you can bring out the DIY person inside and make them yourself.

The other day I went out and purchased the materials to build my own.  First, I went to home depot for Rubber Mulch and there was a whole pallet on the rack, wrapped for the season, and I asked for it to be brought down and was immediately told NO.  Screw them.  I left and went to Lowe's and had no resistance.  I purchased the bags I needed and below is a list of materials, cost, and steps with pictures on how easy it is to make your own. Also, I chose to use rubber mulch because the classes I train are held at an MMA gym and the sand would not be good for their mats. You can use Pea Gravel, Sand, Stones, Junk Mail, whatever...

Shopping List:

1. Military Duffle Bag from a Police Outfitter for $19.95

2. Rubber Mulch from Lowe's for $8 a bag.

3. Contractor Grade Garbage Bags from basement. Cost N/A

Follow the steps below and you'll have your own Sandbag that will take your training to the next level.

1. Grab a contractor garbage bag and a bag of Rubber Mulch.

Obviously cut the bag of mulch open and poor it inside the contractor bag.  The weight of each Rubber Mulch bag varies.  Estimated each to weigh 15 pounds.

2. Take the bag and get all the air out of it and tie it tightly.

3. Now take the bag and wrap it up with Duct Tape.


This was just the start of the taping.  I suggest taping it up as much as you can which will help make the bag stronger and more firm.

4. Now below is the bag I chose.  You have many different options as it depends on what your local Police, Army, Navy store has. These bags were the only thing they had.

5. So now you have the Contractor bag filled with the rubber mulch and wrapped in Duct tape. Place the mulch filled bag inside the duffle bag and seal it as per instructions. Note: Depending on the Duffle Bag size you may have to use multiple contractor bags to fit them inside. The one pictured below has 2 bags inside in.

And this is the final product. It took me about 10 minutes to make two bags.

For a total of $80 dollars I made two sandbags. 1 bag weighs about 30-35 pounds and the other is around 60. 

The size I purchased in the picture above was I believe 21x36.  I suggest buying the size up if you want to make them heavier.

Sandbags can take your training to a place you never have been before. There are so many different movements and options that can be performed for the Squat alone. Someone who doesn't train with sandbags will be shocked at how odd they feel but how well they work.

If you're looking for a new twist to a workout, build a sandbag and get to work! I highly suggest taking a look at Zach Even-Esh's course that he offers found here: Underground Sandbag Assault Course