Please read if you have given up

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I have a confession for you, but you have to keep it to yourself. There have been a lot of days lately where I have hated exercise.

It’s hard for me to admit, but I feel better telling somebody. That is weird because I have loved exercising almost my entire life.

Dealing with a couple of significant injuries and having some fatigue issues have really made it not so fun. Can’t lift as heavy, go as hard, or go as far as I used to be able to so what’s the point? It’s very frustrating.

Have you ever felt that way? You get to the point where you want to give up because it is too hard, uncomfortable, inconvenient, or insert your excuse here? If so, it is ok you are not alone.

You can not give up! Stop focusing on what you can’t do and dominate what you can do! Look for the reasons, not the excuses.

And I am not getting on to you, I am talking to myself just as much as anybody else. You may have to slow down, you may have to take a few steps back, and it may not be what it used to be right away but you can still make progress. Keep pressing forward!

If your lower body is injured, summer is right around the corner let’s get those guns ready. If your upper body is injured, that is great news! That means you can have all the squats in the world. And if you are too beat up to exercise, then it is a perfect time to put your energy into cleaning up your eating habits.

Most of all you need to stay positive. Feed yourself positive thoughts, get around positive people, and break the habit of talking negative to yourself.

Let’s keep each other encouraged, build each other up, and keep this train rolling. We have stuff left to do in this life and we are going to need to be at our best to make it happen.

Have a great weekend!

Inspiration from the Barkley Marathons

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Last night I started watching a documentary on Netflix about the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee. It is an insanely tough race, that many consider to be the hardest race in the world.

Great documentary to check out next time you are lost in the Netflix searching zone. It even has a guy from Huntsville in it.

I loved the quote I heard from the race director, Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell. He said, “You can’t accomplish anything without the possibility of failure.”

I thought that was so awesome! Looking back on your life, what are your proudest accomplishments? Chances are they came with a high chance of failure. We tend to live safer lives the older we get. We also tend to stop growing as people the older we get.

 

My next question is this: Have you stopped challenging yourself?

When was the last time you did something that you were completely scared to do, but you did it any way? Whether or not you succeed is not the point, it is the intent to step out there and stretch your limitations.

Here is your homework. Write down one goal you want to accomplish that scares you to death.

One that makes your heart race just thinking about it. Did anything just pop into your head?

This goal can involve fitness, your career, family, relationships, or whatever it is that you are scared to do. When you figure yours out, I would love to know what it is. I'm still trying to come up with my next goal.

I look forward to hearing about your new goal!

The Cardio Fountain of Youth

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In a recent study published in Cell Metabolism researchers may have found the key to slowing down the aging process. It is not a pill, potion, or surgical procedure. The key is good old exercise.

 

In particular the key is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The study reported that the subjects who were in the 65-80 years old group increased their mitochondrial capacity by 69% through HIIT biking. What this fancy talk means is that this type of exercise stopped the aging process at the cellular level.

 

Pretty cool stuff, but how does that effect you? If you go to our boot camp, you are already doing this type of training! If you are not, I wanted to give you a few tips to add HIIT into your training regimen.

 

Let’s go ahead and start with the bad news first. HIIT is hard. Always gotta add those disclaimers.

 

HIIT is simply alternating high intensity exercise with low intensity exercise or short rest breaks. Where you take it from there will vary based on personal preference and your fitness level.

 

In the study they used biking, but you can do walking, running, swimming, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, weights, bands, and just about any exercise method you can think of. When you are first starting out, I would recommend short bursts of the high intensity part and longer rest breaks or low intensity portions.

 

A famous (and famously hard to do) training protocol is the Tabata method. This is 20 seconds of all out effort (think running as fast as you can) and resting for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds. It is pretty rough, but if you are pressed for time it is a great option.

 

That is just one way, but there are tons of ways to work this into your program. Give it a try and have a great weekend!

Our new Lifestyle Course is available!

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Several people sent me messages asking some version of this question after I sent out Friday's e-mail about our new Lifestyle Course. I wanted to provide a little more information for you in case you had a similar question.

 

It is about establishing six habits that research says will improve your life the most. Those habits are:

 

-No screens after 9pm -Sleep -Gratitude -Meditate -Daily activity outside -Plan the night before

 

The goal is to establish these habits as a part of your routine and it will accentuate all the other nutrition and exercise stuff you are doing too 🙂 The course costs $15 and will start on April 24th.

 

You can enroll here ---> 

 

It is a 6 week course with one habit every week. Within that habit, there are daily lessons that will be sent to you help cement that habit into your routine.

You will also have complete access to me for any help you might need. Also, you will have the support of your fellow students in the course in our private Facebook group.

 

For the price of a meal I think what you are getting is a tremendous value. If you have any further questions, please e-mail me at HuntsvilleBootCamp@gmail.com and I will help however I can.

 

Have a great day!

Next time you mess up…

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We are wrapping up our Lean and Clean Challenge this week and I wanted to share something with you. It is about how to keep perspective when you "mess up".

The object of the Lean and Clean Challenge was to eat whole, natural foods with no additives all day, every day. As you can imagine that is very hard, so people would sometimes find themselves feeling like a failure. That is not the case at all! It is about progress not perfection.

See if the Popped Tire Image can help you keep some perspective next time you aren't feeling so perfect.

 

Imagine you are riding down the road, you lose control of the car, hit a curb, and pop a tire. You get out, inspect the damage, and then pull out a knife and pop the remaining tires. I mean one got popped, why not pop the rest of them???

That sounds really silly doesn't it? But what about when you find yourself eating a fast food meal that was nowhere near your eating plan. Then you tell yourself you screwed that up, so what's the use? I might as well just eat terrible the rest of the day.

Don't slip into that mindset. If you have one bad meal, one bad day, one bad week even, it is not the end of the world. Assess why it happened (usually a like of time and/or planning), make a plan to prevent it in the future, and get on with your life. This does not mean beating up on yourself and feeling bad. It means you are human and still a work in progress like the rest of us.

This will be a life long journey where you will make tons of mistakes, that is a given. The important part is how you respond. Skip the pity party, have a planning party, and enjoy the "bad" foods that cause us to think we are messing up.

Just make sure those "bad" foods are something you truly enjoy, not just the "last person at the bar at last call" kind of foods that hang around until you have a weak moment. Food is meant to be enjoyed and healthy foods are not meant to be punishment.

Find the healthy balance that works for you and keep on keeping on.

I need your opinion on this

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I've been working on a few different courses to help people with their biggest struggles. These are struggles that I hear about most often.

 

But I wanted to make sure I am on the right track. So it would be extremely helpful if you could do me a favor and take this quick survey.

 

Click here for the survey -->Your opinion survey

 

It is just one question and you can remain anonymous. Thank you in advance for helping me out!

Everybody is a hottie to somebody

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I was reading about how the beauty standards have changed so dramatically over the years. I believe it is what most 39 year old fellas do in their spare time. So I made a little list of some of the highlights of the more popular trends that have been in:

 

-Pale skin is in! (I missed my era) -Perfume over bathing -Full figured always in (except past 100 years, starting mainly in the 1960s) -Wigs -Blondes were out at one time. Can you believe it? -Max Factor makeup setting the beauty standard with his Beauty Micrometer. You needed to have a nose the same length as the height of forehead and your eyes should be separated by a space the width of one eye. But if not, it could be corrected with Max Factor Make Up!

 

Check out this picture of the Beauty Micrometer. Looks cozy.

-Plucking -Plastic surgery, Airbrushing and Photoshopping -Tiny waists -Dark skin is in -Big booties -Big boobs -Big hair

 

Meanwhile, in modern day Africa being overweight is considered a positive thing. There are even businesses in Nigeria that help people put weight on. While in in the modern day fashion world, “plus sizes” are considered sizes 6-14. What the what?

 

My main point in this: you do you. Are you comfortable with your hair, looks, body, etc…? Good! You are on the right track.

 

If you are not happy with any of those things, why? Look at that list above. At one point in history all shapes, sizes, and looks have been considered beautiful. What changed?

 

Trying to fit the mold the media has made is simply impossible for many people. Thankfully I was born with an LA face and an Oakland booty, but not many are. Most people’s genetics will not let them be 5’10” and a size 2 with big boobs or have the Kardashian look.

 

My secondary point is that everybody is a hottie to somebody. Feel free to write that one down.

Pink has a great attitude on this subject

 

Trying to achieve those bodies can lead to eating disorders, negative body image, depression, and potentially passing those down to their children. I think it is awesome when people are doing their best to improve their bodies, when it is done the right way.

 

Looking better, feeling better, and having your body perform better are all things that improve your life overall. It seems silly, but if you have ever been overweight and/or out of shape you know it effects your life on a daily basis.

 

My advice is to focus on the process. What can you do today to eat a little healthier, lift a little heavier, run a little further, push a little harder? Don’t focus on that 50 pounds you need to lose, focus on exercising 3 days a week for 1 month or preparing at least one healthy meal a day at home. Take a holistic approach to getting better by taking into account your sleep, recovery, stress levels, mobility, and supplementation along with the exercise and nutrition you are improving.

 

Focus on these types of things and everything else starts to fall into place. Embrace your unique body, focus on the things you like about your body, and don’t let anyone tell you how you “should” look.

The $150 selfie

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This weekend I was supposed to be taking part in a health fair called "Your Health Is No Joke". I was really excited because it is being held at the Ninja Obstacle Academy. A really cool training facility that trains people to be like the athletes on American Ninja Warrior.

 

But then I found out I was going to be out of town for my son's basketball tournament. Which will be fun too, I love watching him play.

 

But I did not want to let down the great people of Huntsville who had expected to get some Joe in their lives. So I came up with something new.

 

The $150 selfie.

 

My gaudier twin Cardboard Joe will go in my place. He will be available for selfies the whole time. You can be entered to win a $150 gift card by taking a selfie with him and texting it to me.

 

The health fair will be held at the Ninja Obstacle Academy 2316 Memorial Parkway from 2-6pm on Saturday April 1, 2017. Yes they needed a fool on April Fool's Day. There will be exercise demos, great vendors, and a lot of fun.

 

Especially fun with this guy:

Your spark can become your flame

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Sometimes all it takes is one little spark to ignite a flame. It's the same way with getting started on a healthy lifestyle. One action step at a time. Picking out a specific action and making it a habit. Think about what you would like to change the most. -Your weight? -Your endurance? -Your strength? -Your eating habits? -Your energy level? What is one thing you can do this week to ignite that fire and start conquering your struggles? Here are 20 examples of what that one thing could be:

1. Get the junk food out of your house 2. Set an alarm and stand up for 5 minutes every hour 3. Avoid fast food this week 4. Eat one healthy meal today 5. Take a 10-minute walk 6. Use a foam roller for 10 minutes 7. Floss (it adds 6 years to your life) 8. Stretch for 10 minutes 9. No liquid calories today (soft drinks, alcohol, coffees, etc…) 10. Commit to one workout

11. Turn the TV off and go to bed an hour earlier 12. Take 10 minutes of absolute quiet by yourself to de-stress 13. Find someone who will keep you accountable (friend, trainer, group) 14. Go buy some new workout clothes or shoes 15. Write down your goals where you will see them daily 16. Rather than creating excuses for not getting healthy, create a plan 17. Start a sleep routine you will do every night 18. Eat a vegetable you've never tried this week 19. Take a picture of yourself and do your measurements so you can track the amazing results you are about to achieve 20. Cut ties with a negative person (AKA energy vampire) in your life The list could be thousands of things, but I want you to think of one specific thing you will commit to TODAY to take action on. Pick something you know you can do, keep at it until it becomes a habit, and then target your next goal.

Let's get this fire started.

The dangers of that peanut butter life

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Most of these posts I write are lessons I am trying to teach myself and I think others could benefit from. Today’s post is no different.

I have two examples of how hidden calories can become a problem. The first one is one I did to myself, the second was one that I did to my wife.

Both of them involve... peanut butter.

Did that sound really dramatic? I hope so.

I noticed this week that I have a habit that could be dangerous if I was trying to cut down on my caloric intake. Every time I make my son a peanut butter sandwich I give myself a bite of peanut butter for the effort. That can add up considering that 2 tablespoons of peanut butter is 200 calories.

I also make my wife protein shakes on a regular basis. She asked me how much peanut butter I used and I realized it was way more than she does when she makes her own.

Maybe an added 100-150 calories here and there does not sound like a big deal, but it can add up. Especially if you do it consistently over time. An extra 150 calories per day would lead to a 15.6 pound weight gain in a year.

Three things to learn from my mistakes.

First, is to watch out for the BLTs. The Bites, Licks, and Tastes that you put into your body. All the little bites you take when cooking, licking spoons, and other taste tests you do count.

Second, is that it matters who prepares your food. That is why it is crucial to prepare your food as often as you can. Restaurants do not have your waistline in mind when they prepare your food. Their main mission is taste, so calories can pile up pretty quick.

Third, is that small changes can work for you or against you. I mentioned above about how they can work against you. But those same pounds you put on, can be taken off by eliminating 150 calories/day. You could eat 150 calories less, burn 150 off, or a do a combo of the two.

PS- Peanut butter is still delicious, I regret nothing.

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