I am a fitness professional who is certified as an Adventure Boot Camp instructor, personal fitness trainer, sports nutritionist, and health coach. I have a B.S. in Health Promotion with a Minor in Business from Auburn University. Currently I am the owner and operator of Joe Martin Fitness LLC, a fitness company that specializes in fitness boot camps, youth fitness, and on-line personal training. I was voted Huntsville's Healthiest Male, Huntsville's Healthiest Trainer, and Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp was voted Huntsville's Healthiest Place to Workout. As a writer, I have written the best selling book The Wellness Code, The 21 Day Tight and Toned Transformation, the Army MWR Sports and Fitness Newsletter, and I am a frequent contributor to the Huntsville Times as a fitness writer. I had been a lifelong athlete, until one day I woke up and realized I was 50 pounds overweight, depressed, and injured. It was a turning point in my life when I got fed up and realized there had to be a better way. From that day on I have dedicated my life to studying health and fitness and using it to help others achieve their goals. I have used this passion to train all populations but my specialty is fat loss for women.

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Posts by brawny7878

Don’t do boot camp before going to the dentist


funny dentist gums bleeding Dont do boot camp before going to the dentist

With the popularity of activity and food tracking apps, I get asked a lot how many calories does an hour of boot camp burn.

We have had people track their calories burned with monitors and depending on the workout it is anywhere from 350-800 calories per hour for an average size woman. Not every workout will be that high or that low.

Your size, the type of workout, and how hard you are working will all factor in as well.

The main benefit of the type of workouts we do is not just what happens during the workout, it is what happens afterwards.

There is something known as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), sometimes called the Afterburn effect, that occurs after a tough workout.

Basically it is continued calorie burn that happens as the body tries to put itself back together like Humpty Dumpty. Returning heart rate back to normal, repairing muscles, getting oxygen levels back to normal, and replacing energy stores (glycogen) all take calories to get the body back to its normal resting state (homeostasis).

In more laymen terms, it revs up your metabolism like crazy. I also have an explanation in the form of a dental warning.

I had a client one time who had a dentist appointment a few hours after a 530am workout. She was having a procedure done that required dentist numb her mouth.

There was only one problem. Shortly after they numbed her mouth, it would go away quickly and she could feel things you don’t want to feel at the dentist.

The dentist was at a loss until he figured out my client had been at boot camp that morning. Her metabolism was up so high that it would get rid of the numbing medication in no time.


Awesome for burning calories, not so much for being pain free at the dentist’s office.

You can not get this afterburn effect from walking or low intensity exercise. You have to work hard and you will be out of breath, but it will pay off.

Come join us at our class that starts on Monday if you want to see for yourself how it works. Or get in touch with me and I can help you figure out a plan that works for you.

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Negativity Detox Series


No Haters Button 0992 Negativity Detox Series

Let’s face it. We are living in a Golden Age of haters. TV, radio, movies are all chock full of conflict and negativity.

And then there is the capital city of Haterdelphia, the Internet. Which is basically a breeding ground for a super species of negative people who feed off of making people upset.

Quick tip- If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t put it on the Internet.

So here’s is what I came up with to combat all the stress and negativity that we are surrounded with.

A Negativity Detox Program

One of our most successful programs is the 21 Day Belly Blast program that detoxes your body of processed and junk foods. That works great, but if you are stressed you will not be able to lose fat.

Chances are very good that you have a lot of stress in your life right now.  It is just the world we live in.

Over the next 10 weeks I will offer one challenge every Monday for the week. The purpose of these challenges will be to purge you of the negative influences in your life and replace them with new positive thoughts and actions.

To many of you this may sound silly, I understand. But if you are willing to trust me and just give it a try, you will be amazed at how much better you will feel.

First Week Challenge

Might as well start with one of the toughest ones first. When you are riding in the car this week, do not listen to the radio, talk on the cell phone, text, or anything other than drive.

A lot of the stress we have in our lives is from sensory overload. Stop what you are doing right now and just pay attention to all that is going on around you right now. AC blowing, radio on, people talking, lights flashing, etc…

There is a lot going on! You may not notice it, but your body does and all of that adds up. Give your body a break.

Now if you have to handle work or kid related things in the car, I understand. Do what you gotta do, but stick to the plan when you can.

The goal is to get 30 minutes/day of quiet time. You can do that at home or anywhere else as well. The car just seems to be the easiest place for most people.

Use that time to plan out your day or week, plan your meals for the day, pray, meditate, problem solve, or whatever you deem appropriate.

You will be amazed at how much clearer your thoughts are without Ke$ha blasting in the background. That 30 minutes a day of focused time can make a huge impact on your life.

I’m doing this plan right along with you. So if you need some support and someone to keep you accountable reach out to me. I will be struggling just like you!

I am looking forward to the next 10 weeks with you, glad you are on board.

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Carbs are the devil!


carbs are of the devil Carbs are the devil!

There is an enemy amongst us. He is single handedly making us all fat.

His name?

Carbohydrates (AKA carbs)

If you believe a lot of the media and the interwebs this is the gospel truth.

Carbs are not the enemy! You just need to replace the “bad” carbs (processed foods) with “good” carbs (stuff that comes from the Earth).

Do you eat low carb, reduced carb, or carb free foods?

Would you like to know what food manufacturers do to reduce carbs in the foods they make? Here are 3 things they do:

-replace refined wheat flour with soy flour, soy protein, or wheat protein

-add high fat ingredients

-replace sugar with sugar alcohols (look for maltitol, lactitol, sorbitol on food labels) or artificial sweeteners

Not the worst things in the world, but not exactly optimal for your health either.

Whenever the food manufacturers make a food “reduced” or free of fat/carbs/sugar/whatever, they are replacing that missing ingredient with something else.

Often times they replace it with something you don’t want in your body.

Here is the take home message. The more often you can eat whole, natural foods the easier it will be for you to reach your goals.

You will look, feel, and perform better when your body is being fed things it knows how to use.

PS-starting Monday I am going to re-run a popular series I did awhile back. It is my 10 Week Negativity Detox Series.

Great way to rid yourself of toxic people, places, and things that are holding you back.

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What happens when you don’t plan things out


plan to fail What happens when you dont plan things out

I was making a video for you all about why boot camp works so well for so many people. My intention was to talk about all the things that make boot camp so special.

Things were going awesome until I noticed what I was unintentionally spelling. It totally threw me off my game, but I pressed on with the video.

Because that is what pros do.

So if you were like me and you had a bad day yesterday, this might help get your day started on a lighter note.


If you like to have a good time while you workout, you don’t take yourself too seriously (or expect your trainer to be), and you are looking for something new take advantage of our New member special.

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New member special


 New member special

Have you been wanting to try out boot camp, but you have been on the fence? We want to make it a little easier.

We are running a new member special right now. You can get 4 weeks of unlimited boot camp for $99.99.

This deal is good for any class time (530am, 830am, 530pm) and is good for Huntsville as well as Madison.

Warning, this class is habit forming. If you do not want to become addicted to exercise, do not go here —>New member special 

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20 ways to jump start your results


snap1 20 ways to jump start your results

Are you in a rut? Are you overwhelmed?

Does it seem like you have so far to go, what’s the use in even trying?

I’ve been there my friend, it is a hard place to be in.

You know how you get out of that place?

One action step at a time. Below are 20 examples of what that one thing could be.

1. Get the junk food out of your house

2. 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 (I know a great boot camp if you need it)

11. Turn the TV off and go to bed on time

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. Do your measurements so you can see how far you are about to go

20. Get negative people (AKA energy vampires) out of 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.

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Ah screw it, I’m eating pizza and donuts

 Ah screw it, Im eating pizza and donuts

Very convenient for my new plan, thank you

Picture yourself happily driving down the road, letting your mind wander, and thinking about all the many things going on in your life.

That’s when it happens.

Bang! You hit a curb REALLY hard.

You get out to inspect your car and you find out you popped a tire. Your next move? You go around to the rest of the car and pop every single tire of course!

Why? Because you screwed up!

What? You wouldn’t do that? Sounds crazy, but I bet you have done pretty much the same thing.

Have you ever been doing really good on a nutrition or exercise program, have a slip up, and then just go NUTS on a binge, go completely sedentary, and just give up?

“Well I already blew it with the pizza on Friday, might as well drink a party ball of Budweiser and eat a dozen donuts.”


dominos guatemala donna pizza Ah screw it, Im eating pizza and donuts

Also, very convenient for me

Weren’t those things called party balls back in the day? Seems about right.

Anyway, the point is to not blow it all based on one slip up!

Build some cheat meals into your plan, practice portion control, just go for a walk, show up at an exercise class, eat a little healthier every day, stop expecting perfection from yourself.

Do one little thing to get you back in the groove.

The main thing is to stop beating yourself up about food. Stop beating yourself up because you missed a week of working out.

Start thinking big picture. A week of “bad” eating and a week off from working out will not defeat you. You will be fine, you just need to get back to work.

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8 “Healthy” Foods You Should Avoid


super funny hilarious worlds funniest pictures of wrong advertisements women 9 8 Healthy Foods You Should Avoid

There are so many food options out there claiming to be healthy, but how do you know which ones are actually good for you? You know my answer is always Read the Food Labels, but I thought I would give you a list of foods that are typically thought to be pretty good for you, but are NOT that great for you.

1. Diet soda
Soda is never good for you, but diet sodas create more insulin in your body, which means more sugar. Diet soda also inhibits the hormone leptin, which regulates your metabolism and appetite.

Another side effect is that it makes you order the Big Mac, supersized fries, and a Diet Coke. You’ve seen it too, it’s science.

I know some of you are hooked on diet drinks, but studies have shown they do not help you shed pounds. You make up the calories somewhere else and putting all of those chemicals in your body is not worth it.

2. Pretzels
You may think pretzels are better than potato chips, but most varieties are made with enriched white flour and packed with sodium.

Low fat food does not make you low fat. Baked is always better than fried, but don’t think these are a health food.

3. Fruit juices
Many fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar – natural and added. Depending on the brand, some may have as little as 5 percent natural fruit juice. For more fiber and less calories, eat your fruits rather than drink them.

For more reasons not to drink fruit juice, check out the recent Naked Juice scandal. 

4. Salad kits
Salad dressings plus the buttery croutons, nuts and cheeses that accompany many “toss at home” salads can add hundreds of calories to your healthy meal.

Go light on dressings and extras or make your own salads. Plus toss at home just doesn’t sound right.

5. Reduced-fat peanut butter
On the surface, a reduced-fat version of anything seems like a great idea. Unfortunately, the removed fat is often replaced with sweet fillers that keep the calorie level the same. Using a bit less of your favorite full-fat peanut butter is your best choice.

Natural peanut butter actually tastes good! I’m thinking of doing a George Washington Carver term paper as a tribute and I’m not even in school.

6. Chicken or turkey hot dogs
Say it out loud. I’m eating a healthy hot dog. Does that sound right? No? Well you’re right, no such thing exists. Read your food label on that and see if you still want to eat it. I don’t like my meat mechanically separated.

7. Cereal bars
There are plenty of cereal bars that are low in fat and calories. But be sure to read labels closely! Many of these “meal replacement” or “energy” bars are packed with sugar and saturated fat. Nutrigrain bars are really popular and really sugary.

8. Rice cakes
An 80′s diet staple, but they are still around. These crispy treats can cause your blood sugar to spike, which in turn causes your body to store unwanted fat by slowing down its ability to burn it off. And beware of flavored rice cakes, they are usually loaded with sodium.

Would anybody notice if you mashed together some of those packing peanuts and served it was a rice cake? Probably not. Same taste, but you would save some calories.

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The Truth About Crunches

about crunch bar 426x185 The Truth About Crunches

Not this kind, but glad it caught your attention

Every now and then one of my clients will ask me why we don’t do more “abs” in class. So I thought I would address that today.

Quick question for you.

How many crunches does it take to lose a pound of fat?

500? 2000?

What do you think?

It takes 250,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of fat (3,500 calories).

That is crazy! So if you started doing 685 crunches every day, this time next year you will have burned off that pesky pound of fat.

Not too efficient is it? But crunches are still a go to exercise for people trying to get six pack abs.

Instead of taking 15 minutes to do several hundred crunches, here are 3 ways you would make much better progress towards getting rid of belly fat.

1. Use that time to prep and cook some healthy meals.

You have to get rid of the fat surrounding your stomach to see progress. Proper nutrition will get you there the quickest.

2. Spend that time doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

Go hard for 30 seconds, then slow down for 30 seconds. Pick out 3 exercises and do 5 minutes of this pattern for all three exercises.

3. Do this workout

Set a timer for 15 minutes, every exercise is 15 repetitions, and you will do as many rounds as possible for the following exercises:



-Bodyweight squats

-Shoulder press right

-Shoulder press left

-Squat and row

-Pike pushups

-Mountain climbers

Or you can view the video we did for Healthy Huntsville last year



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The 7 moves you need for a workout (plus a tutu of course)

1016325 10152243805259586 1586076481 n The 7 moves you need for a workout (plus a tutu of course)

I wouldn’t recommend telling these ladies that tutus aren’t cool.

Exercise is really pretty simple when you break it down. There are really only 7 movements that you can do.

There are hundreds of variations on these 7 movements, but they all get back to this basic format.

So many of the magazines and articles you see on fitness make it so complicated! To create a well balanced workout (where all the muscles get worked) you just need 7 movements.

No fancy equipment needed, other than maybe a tutu.

I fully support a woman’s right to do whatever she wants in a tutu. Just in case you were wondering where I stood on the tutu controversy.

These 7 movements are:


2. Pull

3. Squat

4. Lunge

5. Bend

6. Twist

7. Step (walk, run, jump)

You can easily build an efficient workout for the gym or home. Here is an example:

Do each exercise for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, then move on to the next exercise. Go through the list 3 times total.

1. Pushups

2. Rows

3. Squats

4. Walking lunges

5. Deadlifts

6. Torso twists

7. High knees run in place

In 21 minutes you have worked your body from head to toe, burned calories, and built strength.

Use this template, get creative, and you can workout any time, anywhere.

Let me know if you ever need help building a workout.

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