Archive for April, 2013

Your stilettos are trying to kill you

I would just like to first state that I understand the importance of fashion. Anybody that has seen my gold pants knows that. But sometimes fashion can be costly. A study in the Journal of Experimental Biology found that women who wore high heels 5 days a week for 2 years had much shorter calf muscles and Achilles tendons than women who did not wear the high heels.   Why do you care? If you're a guy who doesn't wear stilettos you probably don't. But for those that do (men and women) it means when you shorten those muscles you can't move your feet up and down like a normal person. This leads to more low back and knee injuries.   Most injuries are not caused by a weakness in the muscle that gets injured, they are caused by a weakness in another muscle. Ever had a "bad" knee or ankle? Did you end up eventually hurting the other one as well from overcompensating for the injury? It is very common.   This was about high heels, but I mainly want you to just think about tuning into your body. Listen to the body when it gives you warning signs that you are doing something wrong. When you are exercising, be in tune with proper form and proper joint support at all times. Don't get a pair of athletic shoes just based on how they look. Get some based on the activities you will be performing in them. And most important of all, use your stilettos sparingly.

Are you unhappy with your body? Maybe this is why


One of the strongest predictors of happiness is based on what kind of mindset you have. A scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset. This is mainly something that is used in the business world for entrepreneurs to predict whether they will be happy or not.

People who have scarcity mindsets, never think anything is enough. They are constantly worries about what other people are doing. These are the "keeping up with the Jones'" type. They don't typically help others because that might help someone get ahead of them! These are what the kids call haters.

People with an abundance mind set, focus on themselves. They will help others any time they can, they focus on doing the best at what they are doing, and they know that there is enough to go around. Doesn't matter what, there is already enough.

When I first started in my business, I definitely had a scarcity mindset. I was worried about what the competition was doing. Worried about trainers stealing my clients. I was always reactive, rather than proactive. Looking at what the competition was doing and thinking about how I could do the same.

Things started to turn around for me when I realized there are plenty of clients for everybody. My business has taken off since I started focusing on being the best at what I can do, not better than what others are doing. I help other fitness professionals as much as I can, even my direct competition. I refer my own clients to other trainers, classes, gyms, etc... I want what's best for my clients, even if it isn't with my business.

I DO NOT care what other people are doing, because I am confident that nobody can match what we do. It's not bragging if you can back it up right 😉

I'm telling you all of this, to ask you one main question. Which mind set are you when it comes to your body?

Are you constantly wishing you had someone else's body? Or are you focusing on improving your own body?

Do you constantly think about how easy other people have it and how hard you have it? Or do think about how you can maximize your strengths?

Do you help a friend who is struggling with a weight problem? Or do you ignore them because you don't want them looking better than you?

Do you get jealous when a friend loses a lot of weight? Or are you happy for them and use it as inspiration?

Really think about how you react to situations like these and decide what type of mind set you have. You have everything you need right now to achieve whatever weight loss and fitness goals you want to. Stop wasting energy on things that are out of your control, channel that energy into doing you best, and you will be amazed at what you can do.


Eating elephants


How could I ever eat this thing?

Before we learn about how to eat elephants, I want to pass on something that truly encompasses why our boot camps are so special. Check out this write up by one of our awesome clients Meg.
How awesome is that? We truly do make it more than just an exercise class, we are a family.
I have a question for you. Do any of you watch the Discovery Channel? If you do, you might already know the answer to my question. Do you know the best way to eat an elephant? Any guesses? The answer is, one bite at a time. There are many times in your life when you will come across something that seems insurmountable. My house payment comes to mind... It can be you want to lose 50, 75, or 100 lbs.  Running a 5K (3.1 miles) might as well be a marathon to you.  You start looking at how many years until you can retire. It can be anything in your life, finances, education, fitness, your kid's recital. So thankful I have a son. When you look at the big picture it seems impossible and there is no end in sight. The key is to break it up into small manageable chunks. Try to lose one pound at a time, not all 100 at once. When running or walking keep picking out landmarks in the distance and saying "Ok, just to the next (lightpole, mailbox, tree, etc...)." When you get there, pick out another one until you get to the distance you want to make. The days you don't feel like exercising just go through tiny stages. Ok I'm out of bed, my feet are moving, eat a pre-workout meal, put on my workout clothes and shoes, brush my teeth (hopefully), then go to Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp to stare at Joe's chiseled features for inspiration (optional). Just get to camp, just make it to the gym, just get started on that walk or jog  and you will feel so much better once you get going. Don't get overwhelmed by the big stuff. "The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." -Lao-Tzu If you need help, we are starting a brand new slate of classes on Monday and would love for you to join us.

Tax Day Workout

  Happy Buy An Accountant A Massage Day! Anybody else feeling the pinch from paying taxes? I thought it was rough before, but paying taxes from a small business owners perspective is rough!   If you are in a similar boat and looking to work off some stress, here is a circuit you can do. Just click the link to access the PDF. There will be pictures, descriptions, and videos of each exercise and exactly how to do the circuit.   Tax Day Workout

Focus and follow through


They always make golf look so easy. Dirty liars.

I heard a sermon a few weeks ago at my church on how to shoot free throws in basketball. You have to know my church to know that this is not all that unusual.   The pastor said the two main things you need to have to make a free throw are focus and follow through. I would say that is true with reaching your health and fitness goals.   How many times have you said "That is it, I am going to (insert life changing behavior here), starting today!" You were absolutely convinced you were about to make that change. That day any way. Then as the days wore on, you slowly but surely slipped back into bad habits.   What happened? You definitely had the focus, but the follow through fell through. It's ok, it happens to the best of us. I saw the movie Bagger Vance a few years ago and I was bound and determined I was going to become an awesome golfer. Yeah that lasted about 4 weeks. I just couldn't follow through.   The main things that held me back from following through were: not having a coach, not having a compelling reason, and not enough time. Think about what held you back from reaching your fitness goal? It was probably something similar to my list wasn't it?   Most people that play golf will tell you that the first thing you need to do is hire someone to teach you how to swing the golf club. This way you don't have to unlearn a bunch of bad habits when you learn to do it the right way the first time. You will get much quicker results and avoid frustration. I would recommend you get a trainer for the same reason.   You know what my "compelling" reason was to become a golfer? I thought it would be cool. Boom, that will get you jumping out of the bed ready to take on the day won't it! Not so much. My reason did not mean that much to me, so neither did my commitment to the goal.   "It would be nice to run a 5K" "I would like to lose 5 pounds"   Those goals are ok, but will they get you through the hard, frustrating times that are sure to come? Will it make you go for a run, when you have absolutely no energy and it's the last thing you want to do? Will it motivate you to change the way you eat, even when others around you are eating junk? Find that compelling reason and it will drag you kicking and screaming towards your goal.   I'm busy man I don't have to time to do this! That was my perception anyway. Here is a little fun fact for you that backs me up. If you are a terrible golfer, 18 holes of golf takes a looong time. But you don't have to play 18 holes of golf every day to get better. I could have been working on my swing in the backyard, going to the driving range for an hour, even playing putt putt would have helped!   I wasn't willing to get up any earlier, stay up any later, or do all the little things that would have made me better. Many people do the same thing when they have a long way to go to reach their goal. Just because you don't have 2 hours a day to exercise and prepare healthy food, does not mean you can't do something! Don't be paralyzed by what you can't do, dominate what you can do. Chip away (no pun intended) at your goal and hang in there, you will be successful.

The winner, leftover coffee recipe, and financial aid for food

Congratulations to Sherri Stroud for winning a free copy of "What You Need To Know About Getting In Shape- Tips and Strategies From 10 Top Trainers". I got together with 9 great trainers and we put our best tips together in this book. The book turned out really good and I was very honored to be invited to take part in the project. If you want your own copy, you can pick it up on Amazon or if you are in the Huntsville area I can get you one. Just respond to this e-mail and I will get it to you. Either way you can get it autographed if you like. Just as a warning, the value of the book goes down when I put my chicken scratch on it.      

What to do with leftover coffee I'm sure some of you are thinking, "There is no such thing as leftover coffee at my house!" Totally understand. Instead of throwing that coffee out, it can serve a purpose. You can create a Iced Power Coffee. It needs a better name, but work with me here. Mix 4 ounces of cold coffee, with a scoop of vanilla protein powder, four ounces of almond milk, and 4 ice cubes. Blend it all up and it makes a great pre-workout drink, especially on days when you are dragging.


Personal Trainer Food Sale Personal Trainer Food is a company that delivers healthy foods right to your door. 28 days worth of food that comes in a giant cooler. It is great for people who are on the go and don't have time to prep their food. They are doing something pretty cool right now. The company is aware that these are not the greatest economic times, so they want to help out. They are having a financial aid sale to help people to purchase their food. Just go to --->Personal Trainer Food and use the following coupon codes. relief25 for $25 off relief50 for $50 off relief75 for $75 off It is all done on the honor system, so feel free to pick one that fits your needs best.

Win a free copy of my new book

Thank you all so much for all of the great feedback you gave me on 27 Things You Don't Know About Me (the link has some embarrassing pictures to go along with the embarrassing stories). It was the most responses I have ever received and I really appreciate it. I almost erased that one several times, but I am a real person who struggles with making the right choices just like everyone else. I hope that came across. To celebrate and as a thank you, I would like to give away a copy of a new book that I am a part of. Top Trainers Book It was an honor to be included in this book and it is chock full of great advice on how to improve your body and your health. To win all you have to do is like my Facebook page here --->Facebook page Then at 7am CST today, I will post that same picture of the book cover above and when you share it you will be entered and get a chance to win your own autographed copy.

27 Things You Don’t Know About Me


In the fitness industry a lot of fitness professionals like to act like they never eat cake, enjoy a beer, or skip a workout. I enjoy doing all of those things! And sometimes I will skip a workout to have a beer with cake.

I am far from perfect, just like everybody else. It is a struggle to eat right and there are even times when I don't feel like exercising.

In the spirit of that theme I present to you 27 Things You Don't Know About Me. Some good, some bad, all played a part in making me who I am today.

1. I split a 40 ounce beer with a nun in Nicaragua.

2. I got a C in the first nutrition class I took. Very odd considering I had eaten a Pop Tart with jelly on it right before I took the final. Proof that anyone can come  long way if they just stick to something.

3. I've split 3 pairs of pants in my life. Two in the seat of the pants and one in the thigh (see below).

4. I have the calves of a 3rd grader and my thighs are the size of a third graders waist. Frog legs is what I call them. My thighs are one of the many reasons you will never see me in skinny jeans.


5. I lived in a trailer park for 3 years when I was in college.

6. I lived in Dublin, Ireland and worked in a pub while I was there. To this day I am good at doing an exercise called cleans because I got really good at learning how to stack full kegs 3 high. Not an easy task.

7. I still feel like I am going to throw up before I do any kind of public speaking, TV appearance, etc... I even get a little nervous when I teach my boot camp classes. It has taken a huge amount of effort to become the center of attention, but I will do whatever it takes to be successful.

8. My right arm (I'm right handed) from above my elbow to the tip of my thumb was in a cast for 6 months. This was when I was overweight and was a turning point in my life when I decided to start losing weight and getting healthy. Dropped a lot of extra baggage and decided I would spend the rest of my life helping others do the same.

9. My absolute lowest moment ever was waking up in a jail cell. Not recommended, but a major turning point in my life.

10. I ate 26 pieces of pizza in a pizza eating contest. Also not recommended.

11. At one time I thought I wanted to fight mixed martial arts. There is a big difference between people who fight in bars and people who know what they are doing. That is not the sport to be bad at, 6 month of training was enough for me. Only slightly influenced by the black eye I got right before my wedding.

12. In high school, I fouled out of a basketball game in just over 2 minutes. Pretty sure it is a record. Sadly it was probably the longest I played all year.


Soak it in ladies. Hair parted in the middle=hotness

13. One of my college roommates is in the CIA, while the other is a veterinarian on the island of Grenada and an expert in dog neurosurgery. There was no evidence I witnessed that these two positions would ever be reached.

14. I have a blue belt in Combat Jujitsu as well as a blue belt in Combat Judo.

15. One of my proudest accomplishments was training Wounded Warriors to get back their health as well as their lives. Amazing resiliency and more evidence of the power of a positive attitude.


16. I originally went to college to be a physical therapist. Turns out there is a lot of chemistry and math in there that did not agree with my brain. Majored in Health Promotion/Exercise Physiology with a Minor in Business instead.

17. One of the most embarrassing things that happened to me in college was when my 2 roommates and I were all gathered around the TV eating Ramen noodles and watching Blossom when a maintenance guy walked in and busted us. That along should have kept my roommate out of the CIA.


18. I have busted my chin pretty seriously, twice in my life. Both self inflicted. One was when I tried to do The Worm at a club in Ireland and hit my chin on the ground. The second was when I was trying to adjust a hand truck when I broke it loose and hit myself in the chin. Had health insurance this time, got stitches.

Slide accident for the little man, hand truck for me


19. I still have scars on my feet from getting really sunburned when I was in high school. Sunscreen kids, it is important.

20. I spelled the word business "buisness" until I was 18 years old. Darn you public schools! For the young people out there, make fun all you want. Paper and pencil do not come with spellcheck.

21. I tried to join the Army Reserves a few years ago. Aced the tests they gave me, had a slot reserved in Birmingham, they kept losing my paperwork. Took it as a sign I needed to go a different direction.

22. My vision is terrible. Literally every time I go to a new eye doctor, they have to bring in most of the staff to gaze at my blindness. Look at the freak! I'm near sighted, far sighted, and I have a stigmatism. The lenses for my glasses were made from the same stuff the Hubble telescope was made of. (that part might not be true)

23. My fourth toe on my left foot is longer than the third toe on my left foot. It's like they were put in the wrong toe slot. I refer to them as my mutant toes.

24. My right wrist does not hardly bend. When I do pushups it is basically like I am doing pushups on my finger tips on that side. That is what happens when your wrist is broken and you do not get it fixed. You will end up having surgery, they will take a bone out of your hip to fix it, it will still not work right, and you will end up in a cast for 6 months (see above).

25. I found out my wrist was broken when repeatedly mashing dough to make pizza crusts hurt way worse than it should have. Two years of football with a broken wrist? No worries. Two weeks at Mr. Gatti's pizza? Couldn't handle it.

26. I smoked a pack of menthols one night. Had never smoked before that and have never smoked since.

27. The only thing that freaks me out is something getting in my ears. I had a lot of medical issues with my ears growing up so I guess it stems from that. Those stories of bugs getting in people's ears and laying eggs? Can't handle them.

  I think that is enough for now. Hope it gives you a little insight into who I am and why I do what I do.

Weight control after age 50


Got a lot of positive feedback from the nutrition seminar re-cap. Thought I would pass on some more informative nuggets. This section concentrates on Baby Boomers, but we can all learn something from these tidbits. Here are the highlights.

-"People who are fat simply eat more than people who are lean." Dr. David Kessler, author of The End of Overeating

-Obesity is being linked more and more to cancer

-It is much easier to try to eat for health rather than for weight loss

-Muscle doesn't jiggle

-The World Health Organization (WHO) found that 75% are overweight and obese (based on Body Mass Index-BMI)

-Of those, there are a greater percentage of obese than overweight for the first time in history

-Why do Boomers gain weight? The main reasons are: Testosterone decline (men), Inactivity, stress, "Empty Nest Syndrome", the "Baby Boomer Boomerang", Early retirement, eating out, alcohol abuse

-Women reach peak body mass in their late 50's early 60's

-WHO says obesity is the number 1 health issue in the world

-Behaviors are the main reason we are overweight

-Some rules to follow:

Don't buy food where you buy gas

Eat at the dinner table as much as possible

No drive thrus

Before you go back for seconds set a 20 minute timer. If you are still hungry after 20 minutes you can have seconds.

-Men tend to reach peak body mass in their late 50's

-Men get into a  vicious cycle of testosterone. Weight gain causes testosterone levels to drop, lowered testosterone cause more weight gain

-58% of obese men have low testosterone levels

-High intensity exercise is effective at increasing testosterone levels

-The "Old school" approach to fat loss for baby boomers consisted of: long duration, mild intensity cardio work; mild to moderate strength training; caloric restriction and consumption of "diet" food

-21st Century approach: high intensity, shorter duration strength and cardio sessions; changing eating behaviors; portion control

-Exercisers don't gain weight on steroids (not THOSE steroids) like sedentary people do

-Eating is a health issue, not a morality issue

-You are not "bad" when you eat unhealthy and you're not Mother Theresa because you had blueberries for breakfast

-Enjoy your food, just eat less of it

-People do not enjoy food like they used to

-Know what a serving size is, you are probably exceeding it (A single serving of wine is 4 ounces. I've seen the wine glasses that are out there, many of them are closer to 20 ounces)

-Pour 4 ounces of water into your wine glass and mark where a single serving is (Cry at how little that really is)


-People who live to be in their 100's have two things in common. Moderation and optimism

-Why do we overeat? We are hardwired to eat as much as we can; we seek out sugar, fat, and salt; sugar and salt were traditionally hard to come by; now they are EVERYWHERE

-70% of overweight and obese people are "emotional eaters"

-Find an alternative to each emotion that causes you to overeat

-Call a friend just to talk, get a pedicure, get out of the house, just do something that breaks the cycle of your emotional eating.

-There is no guarantee you will start losing weight right away

-My sister (the lecturer's sister) took exactly 1 year of strict, healthy eating before she lost a SINGLE pound

-She has now dropped 30 pounds total

-You HAVE to keep eating healthy. The only alternative is to give up. If nothing else you will be much, much healthier

- Some healthy eating habits:

Pay more, eat less

Cook your food

Eat meals not snacks all day

Eat at a table

Don't eat alone (you tend to eat more)

Eat slowly

-Some tips for healthy eating at home:

Cook enough for 1 portion each person

If you are cooking enough for the week, get the food you are eating that night out and immediately pack the rest up

Don't sample while cooking dinner

If you have trouble with sampling, put in a toothpick or chew gum; serve from the stove, not the table

Don't clean your kids plates for them, throw it out

-There is something called Recession Induced Obesity

-The fast food $.99 options increase during bad economic times

-Tufts University found that if a person eats out ONE time during the week they will have trouble maintaining their weight

-The average American eats out NINE times a week

-In 2009 Americans spent more money on meals outside the home, than inside the home

-20% of all food is consumed in the car

-People who eat out consume on average: 300 more calories; 19 more grams of fat; 400 mg of sodium than they would at home

Nutrition tidbits to improve performance and weight loss


I wanted to give you a replay from a nutrition conference I attended several months ago. These are tidbits I picked up from the presenters that I thought you might find interesting and useful.   If you need something clarified or would like to discuss any of these items further, feel free to e-mail back and I will help out.   -The number one reason for the obesity problem is this country is processed foods   -The higher the intensity of the workout, the higher the need for protein   -Fat and fiber slow digestion so avoid them pre-workout   -It is impossible to count calories   -If you are training really hard and restricting calories at the same time to the extent you are missing your period STOP!   -You will not gain weight if you meet your protein and carbohydrate needs   -A few good options for pre workouts meals are: homemade smoothie with 1 cup milk and a banana, 1 string cheese and toast, 6 oz yogurt with 1/4 cup dry cereal   -The closer you can eat to your workout the better (without upsetting your stomach of course)   -The only time you need to eat something DURING exercise is when you are exercising for over an hour (I will now cease eating my candy bar in between squats)   -Gulps rather than sips work better during a race (your stomach empties better with gulps)   -The goals of a post workout meal are: STOP protein breakdown START protein synthesis REPLENISH glycogen stores (In a nutshell all that means is you will help your muscles grow, recover faster, and be ready for your next workout)   -You need to get fast acting protein and carbs into your system ASAP after a workout   -If you wait longer than an hour after exercise to eat, it is too late to get all the benefits   -Some quick post-workout meals could be: protein shake, chocolate milk, cereal and milk   -Essential Fatty Acids(EFA's), like krill oil, are needed by everyone who exercises   -EFA's are even being used to treat depression in some promising studies   -Food diaries are very important   -If you are not doing a food diary, you are afraid of confronting yourself   -Evening exercisers have a hard time getting all their nutrients (have a tendency to skip dinner)   -Eat SOMETHING before your workouts   -Never eat after ______pm is a myth   -It's dark down there, your stomach doesn't know what time it is   -The reason that myth came about was because people tend to eat junk after 7pm (ice cream, popcorn, crackers, chips)   -Reflux is the only issue you may have to deal with in late eating   -Weight come from calories in/calories out, your health comes from the TYPE of calories you put in   -Athletic performance is about the training, weight loss is about the eating   -Inadequate B12 can lead to dementia   -People overestimate how many vegetables they are eating   -Do a food journal and you will see how little you really eat   -80-90% of can be accomplished with basic nutrition principles   -Some principles of healthy eating: eat 5-6 times a day, get enough protein, eat breakfast, increase vegetable intake, reduce refined sugars   -Looks simple enough, but how many people follow it?
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