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 JoeMartinFitness

What 75% of people regret (motivation)



Research shows that 75% of people name their biggest regrets in life as the things they didn't do in life...not the things they did. It always makes me think of that quote from Max Lucado.

Take a look around at a lot of our older population.

There are too many people that are bed ridden and pill riddled. Don't let that be you!

Next time you don't feel like working out, think of the person in the wheelchair who would give anything to complain about running or lifting weights.

Think about not just living longer, but better, healthier, and stronger. Who wants to live stuck in a bed or chair?

That is not living, that's just surviving.

It's never too early or too late to start getting healthy, but the earlier you start the easier it is. Start making changes now.

Pick out something from this list and work on it TODAY:

-Stop keeping junk food in your house, you will eat it and it's not "just for the kids".

-Use proper portion control when you eat, especially if you eat out a lot.

-Cut down on alcohol intake.

-Do your cardiovascular training to keep your heart and lungs strong.

-Lift weights so you'll be able to take care of yourself in your later years.

-Cut out cigarettes completely.

-Stretch or do yoga to keep your body limber, so you'll be that spry old person people are amazed by.

Along the way you will start looking better, but don't let that be your only motivation.

Exercise is as close to a miracle drug as you can get, take it in frequent doses.

Take charge of your health right now, right this minute. Wouldn't you rather prevent disease rather than that it?

Live without regret!

Adventure Boot Camp Cook Book



Did you know there is an official Adventure Boot Camp cookbook? So fancy.


Since I am more of a meatatarian I use it as a reference when people ask me for vegetarian recipes.


Here are two simple recipes that are delicious even if you aren't a vegetarian.


ACLT (avocado, cucumber, lettuce, & tomato) Sandwich:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 slices of Ezekiel bread

2 large romaine lettuce leaves

1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced

2 slice of avocado

6 very thin slices cucumbers

Directions: Spread mustard on the 4 slices of bread. Layer 2 slices with lettuce leaf, 1 slice of tomato, 1 slice of avocado, 3 slices cucumbers, top with other slices of bread. Serves 2.


Marinated Vegetable Salad:

3⁄4 cup white vinegar

4 cloves, peeled and halved

2 bay leaves

3 cups cauliflower florets

1 1⁄2 cups sliced carrot

2/3 cup celery, chopped

1 can artichoke hearts, drained & halved

1⁄2 cup pitted ripe olives

1⁄2 cup sliced bottled roasted red bell peppers

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper


Directions: Combine white vinegar, garlic, and bay leaves in a large bowl; set aside. Combine cauliflower, carrots, and celery in a large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil.


Cook 1 minute, drain; transfer vegetables to vinegar mixture. Add artichokes, olives, red peppers and oil. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.


Drain vegetables; remove bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

Will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. Serves 8.

Negativity Detox Challenge #7- Is It Me?



Your challenge last week was to think of three things you like about your job. If you couldn't think of at least 3 things, you need to either find a new job or find some ways to relieve stress at work.


This week, it is time to look at you. Are you a source of negativity?


This week pay close attention how you interact with people.


Are you constantly nagging them?


Are you always putting them down?


Do you ever have anything positive to say?


Are you saying things that put them down, just to lift yourself up?


Are you talking behind their back?


This isn't just face to face, it is especially on things like Facebook, text messages, and e-mail. People will write all kinds of horrible things that they would never say to a person's face.


Facebook is probably the king of this, especially between "friends".


Simple rule of thumb: if you wouldn't say it to their face, don't put it in electronic form either.


So this week turn the microscope on yourself.


Would you want to be treated the way you are treating others?


Are you constantly being negative?


It is time to check yourself this week. Look back through the texts, e-mails and Facebook posts. If you are spreading negativity, it is time to change.


The great part is that by being mindful of your actions, you will treat people better.

How to exercise at your desk


The-Office-Workout-Hour How many of you are trapped at your desk for 8 plus hours a day? Are there a lot of days you don't even get the chance to take a lunch break, much less take time to workout?

The American Heart Association recommends that you get 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 times a week at a minimum.

Pretty hard to do that when you work an exhausting and time consuming job. This is where the office chair workout comes in handy.

Before we move on, just know that you have to meet 2 requirements to do this workout:

-you have the freedom to move around a little bit

-You don't mind people thinking you are the crazy person in the office

This workout is assuming you work 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. It also assumes you have a chair with wheels on it, just stick with me. This workout will not always be feasible, but a little something always beats a whole lot of nothing.

Here is how it works:

Set an alarm to go off every 15 minutes. Every 15 minutes you will do the exercise for 1 minute, changing exercises every hour.

Hour 1- Jumping Jacks.

As an alternative, you can do chair jacks. Just do the upper body part of the jumping jacks. Don't be surprised if people think you are drawing attention to yourself.

Hour 2- Squats.

Use your chair as a guide. Feet shoulder width apart, push your hips back, keep your knees out, sit away from your knee caps, and slowly lower yourself down towards your chair. Lightly tap your chair, then stand all the way up.

Hour 3- Chair Plank.

Place your forearms on the seat of your chair, walk your legs out until your body is in a nice straight line. Hold that position, make it harder by rolling the chair back and forth with your forearms

Hour 4- pushups.

You can do the pushups on the floor, hands on your desk, hands on the wall, knees on the floor, hands on your chair, any option will do.

Hour 5- Push back/walk in.

This is mainly where the wheels on the chair come in. Place your hands on the edge of your desk, hands shoulder width apart, explosively press backwards (if you are on carpet, don't push quite as hard if you are on hardwood floors). Next, you will dig your heels into the ground and walk yourself back to your desk. Great hamstring workout.

Hour 6- High knees.

Run or march in place getting your knees up as high as possible.

Hour 7- Reaches.

Feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, lift your right heel, pivot, and reach your right arm across your body to the left side, repeat with your left arm. Make sure to pivot each time, letting your belly button lead you to the side. Make it more challenging by holding a lower squat.

Hour 8- Basketball shots.

Knees slightly bent, feet shoulder width apart, we will start with the right hand being the "shooting" hand. You will pivot and step to your left, reach out with both hands, and grab the invisible ball, step and pivot back, then shoot the invisible basketball.

If you have ever seen a 3 point competition, that is what you are mimicking. Alternate the shooting hands each minute, so both sides will each get 2 sets in. If you want to make it a little more interesting, this is a great way to get rid of all the balled up papers and trash around your desk.

This will net you 32 minutes of exercise every day at your desk. You can start working in crazy stuff like foam rolling, stretching, yoga, etc... later on after you fully break your co-workers in. If there are thing that are not feasible in your office, adapt t what you can do.

You will find that you are more productive, energetic, and a lot of your back pain will subside due to the decreased amount of sitting. Please report back co-worker observations of your activities.

How To Stick To An Exercise Plan (Guaranteed to work)



Think about the last few diet or exercise plans that you started and stopped for whatever reason. Why did you stop?

Now this one counts

Now this one counts


Some very common reasons are: time, money, boredom, sore, tired, weather, self-consciousness, family commitments, not getting results.


A fact about exercising is that you are going to run into rough patches along the way. There are going to be many times when you want to quit and never start again. Exercising in my backyard in July at noon when it is 100 degrees comes to mind for me.


It's normal to feel this way! You are not alone in wanting to give up. And don't feel guilty for giving up in the past.


There was a study done on people in their 60s and 70s who had hip replacement surgery. After the surgery the patients were asked to record how it went with their rehab.


Immediate rehab is absolutely crucial with joint replacement. If they did not start right away and stayed at it consistently, the surgery would not be a success.


Do you know who the most successful ones? The people who found out what was their biggest challenge (getting up from sitting on the couch for an hour for example), knowing that the pain and discomfort was coming, and making a plan for getting through it.


Here is what I would like for you to do. Get out a sheet of paper, brainstorm for a few minutes, and write down some obstacles that you see for yourself over the next few months.


After you have your obstacles written out, I want you to list 3 ways you will get around it.


What will you do when work gets crazy? What are some tips and strategies you could use to find some free time?


When school starts back how does that effect your schedule?


When you are sore, what are some things you can do to soothe those sore muscles?


Think about what has stopped you in the past. Don't let it happen again.


When you KNOW that rough times are going to come and are PREPARED to defeat them, your chances for success go way up.


As alway, if I can help you please let me know.


PS-don't just read this, think "Hmm, that looks pretty good", and never think of it again. Take some time and do this and I guarantee it will pay off in the future.

When you are feeling discouraged or scared…



I would like to give a shout out to one of our boot camp "graduates" Kim Holmes. When Kim first joined boot camp she was very quiet and timid until we started doing punching or kicking activities. Then I was impressed and a little frightened, I knew there was a hidden beast in there.


She was a casual runner, doing a 5K in the 39 minute range. Then next thing you know she is doing much faster 5ks, then 10ks, then she turned into Forrest Gump and has run 50 miles. Like in a row, 50 miles. Last week she traded in her van for a life time supply of shoes at Fleet Feet.


When I met her she was also terrified of swimming and bicycles. And much like her journey as a runner, she slowly chipped away at her fears. Got better, never completely gave into the fear.


This weekend she completed an Olympic distance Triathlon.


So if you are discouraged because you can barely make it a mile. Or you think you will never be able to complete a triathlon. Or even if you feel overwhelmed by life in general, my friend Kim is proof that it is possible.


Why not you too?

Got a picky eater? Here are 5 ways to help your children eat better.



A lot of the moms I work with have a similar problem when dealing with their kids. Picky eaters.


I asked our Kid's Camp dietitian Diane Bierbauer for some help and here is her advice:


Many kids do not like to try new foods! So what is a parent to do?


Well, to save you hours of frustration, I will tell you in advance getting into a power struggle over eating will not produce a desirable outcome.


Instead what you want to do is instill the desire to try new foods. More of a curious, adventuresome spirit!


So how can you do this? Try one or more of these:


1. Prepare foods multiple ways

For example, if introducing carrots - try cooking them, slicing them, dicing them, serving with a variety of dipping sauces (including ketchup), or juicing them.

2. Have your child rate/critique the food

Make a score card that allows them to describe how it tastes…cold, crunchy, mushy..etc. Or have them rate it on a scale of 1-5 or use smiley/frown face evaluations.

Remember to have them evaluate all the different ways it was prepared. This makes it more of a game and the children are caught up in the tasting/rating and often don’t realize they are actually eating the food!


3. Take your child to the grocery store and have them pick out a food they would like to try

If your child refuses to eat vegetables, take them to the produce area and allow them to look, feel, smell and then select a vegetable to try. Look up recipes to use for your vegetable. Then use the rating/evaluation system after your child prepares it multiple ways.


4. Plant a garden and allow your child to grow her own vegetables/fruits

This is a surprisingly easy way to get them to try new foods.


5. Offer, offer, offer…and when you think you have done it one million times…offer it one more time with a smile!

Negativity Detox Challenge #5- Call AAA and stop being a victim



The challenge last week was to do something for someone who has no hope of paying you back. Hope you had fun with that one and got something out of it.


Your challenge this week is to do one thing to eliminate one major source of stress in your life.


What's the thing in your life that causes you the most negative thoughts in your life? That's what you need to attack.


No matter how big the situation is, pick out something to do. Start a budget, make a phone call, take a walk, etc...


Whatever it is, just do ONE thing this week that starts to work on the stress source. You will feel so much better just by doing one thing!

I am a true believer in the AAA principle.

Action Alleviates Anxiety


When all you are doing is worrying about a problem it becomes a much bigger problem. When you start to do something about the issue, you can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.


You become an active participant in getting it resolved, rather than just being a victim.


Do one thing this week to help with your biggest problem.

4th of July Circuit Workout in Flag Shorts (video)

Double point at camera=elite

Double point at camera=elite

4th of July is a reminder of how awesome this country is. Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Landmark Chevrolet.


Anyone else remember that commercial?


It is also a great time to get a quick workout in before all the craziness starts. I recommend a Boot Camp Baseball Workout.


Set up 4 stations like a baseball diamond. Each base represents an exercise. Each time you make it through all the exercises you score a run.


This video is one example of how you can set up the Boot Camp Baseball Workout.


First Base- Goblet Squats Second Base- Sledgehammers (you can use a baseball bat too) Third Base- Kettlebell swings Home- Burpees


10 reps at each base and then I "score" when I finish all the pushups. You can choose any 4 exercises and any number of repetitions you like. It has endless options to make it unique and different each time.


Bonus points if you can rock the flag shorts like I do during the workout. More bonus points if you can barely talk at the end like me.


Set a timer for 15 minutes, challenge Uncle Frank, and have fun. Enjoy your holiday!

Wrecking a Lexus in your flag pants (embarrassing story)



Have you ever wrecked a Lexus?


Have you ever wrecked someone else's Lexus?


How about have you ever wrecked your parent's Lexus while pulling into a parking place to eat at the City Cafe? I might know someone that happened to one time...


My wife and I had just got back from a trip to Mexico for our 10 year anniversary. We stayed at an all inclusive resort for a week. It was amazing!

Coffee in paradise

Coffee in paradise


But we had terrible timing because right after we got back we were signed up to do the Cotton Row 10k. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to run the race in the hot and humid weather wearing flag pants.


Side note- flag pants are hilarious for about 1 mile, every mile afterwards are pain and misery. In case you were considering this feat.


All of that would have been fine, but Mexico will sometimes do things to your digestive system that is not in the travel brochure. We both completed the race, but were feeling really dehydrated and loopy.


And where else should you go feeling like that, but to a place that serves massive amounts of food. I had borrowed my parents car (a Lexus) since the Boot Camp Mobile was in the shop. I went to go pull into a parking place and BAM nailed an innocent car that was just sitting there.


You haven't felt embarrassment until you have to explain to an irate man that you indeed it his car while you were trying to pull into a space. And you are wearing flag pants. He probably thought I was drunk and I don't blame him.


I was 36 when this happened, so I had been pulling into parking places for a long time without incident. You know what happened afterwards? I was rattled! I got nervous pulling into parking places, thinking I was going to do it again.


I let one incident make me think I was no longer capable of doing something.


Has this ever happened to you? Not the flag pants wearing, car crashing stuff, but where you let one incident define reality for you?


Tried to eat healthy and it didn't work out, so you think you can't.


Tried to start a regular exercise program, but failed.


Tried to become a runner and it didn't work out.


Tried to get up early and work out one time, but you told yourself you couldn't.


Chances are you fit in somewhere along those lines. Are you letting past failures keep you from attempting to reach your goals?


You are capable of so much more than what you are doing now. Don't be afraid to attempt new things. You are not the same person you used to be.


Be brave, believe you can do it, and watch out for parked cars.

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