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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Nick Saban’s Fitness Advice



College football starts this week! It's a great time of year to see people you thought were sane absolutely lose their mind over people they will never meet.

I love it.

I am a proud Auburn graduate and I know technically I'm not supposed to say anything positive about Nick Saban, but I have to admit I like the way Nick Saban approaches getting the job done. Here is a great quote about why his programs are so successful:

"Well, the process is really what you have to do day in and day out to be successful," he said. "We try to define the standard that we want everybody to sort of work toward, adhere to, and do it on a consistent basis.

And the things that I talked about before, being responsible for your own self-determination, having a positive attitude, having great work ethic, having discipline to be able to execute on a consistent basis, whatever it is you're trying to do, those are the things that we try to focus on, and we don't try to focus as much on the outcomes as we do on being all that you can be."

You can apply all of those things to your own exercise program. Getting results is a combination of all the things you do to make a difference.


1. Being responsible for your own self-determination

You have to set goals that mean something to YOU. Not your doctor, not your family, not your friends. You are the one that is going to have to do the work, so focus on what works for you.


2. Having a positive attitude

Every morning you wake up, you have a choice. You choose what attitude you are going to have that day, just like you do the clothes you wear. Wake up and put on that positive attitude shirt and watch your days get better.


3. Having great work ethic/discipline

It is not easy to stay healthy. It is not easy to go into every day fighting that fat loss battle. Staying in great shape is a constant grind that is too much for a lot of people. You've done hard things before, why not apply that hard work to the most important thing you have? Your health.


4. Focus on being all that you can be

Focus on getting healthy first. Doing the things it takes to get results: eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, healthy stress relief. Concentrate on doing those things first, not weight loss or how you look.

When you change that mindset over and pour your energy into the things it takes to get results, rather than wasting time looking in the mirror at your problem areas, it makes it much easier to get rid of those problem areas! You will get there, keep doing the right things.

Exercise doesn’t work



I was reading a study from the University of Texas and on the surface it is pretty depressing. The study followed 100 sedentary, obese people 12 weeks.

Half the people exercised 5 1/2 to 6 hours per week, while the other group continued to not exercise at all. Can you guess how much their body changed after 3 months of hard work?

On average, the exercise group lost 1 pound of fat.

Has that ever happened to you? You feel like you are just killing it in your workouts on a consistent basis, doing all the things you need to do, and then you get discouraged by the measurements?

It is very common, so you are not alone. But here is an absolute truth:

If you do not change your nutrition habits, you will not change your body.

It is as simple as that. Is exercise a habit for you already? Are you still not getting results? Then it is time to get serious about your nutrition.

Start making small changes to your diet each day.

Cook and eat at home more.

Eat more vegetables and less fast food.

When you do go out to eat make better, bad choices. I put this into effect at Golden Corral last week. They have a stir fry bar where the guy cooks it for you fresh. Now let's never speak of that place again.

Take a look at how many empty calories you take in from soft drinks, tea, coffee, junk food,etc... That is a great place to start making changes.

Don't have time for all of this? Then you do not consider nutrition a priority, it is that simple.

We make time for the things we consider important. And if changing your body and improving your health is a priority, then you need to improve how you eat. It doesn't have to happen over night, but you can start making progress today.

Where will you start?


A great place to start is with our 21 Day Detox Challenge. Get all of the junk and toxins out,  health your body, and see how well you feel. You will experience weight loss too, but the long term, positive effects for your health is the best part of this challenge.

21 Day Detox Challenge FAQs



I had a lot of questions/concerns about The 21 Day Detox Challenge, so I put together a list of the FAQs I've been getting. Mainly because I enjoy typing FAQs.


FAQ #1: Do I have to be a current boot camp client?

Answer: No. :-) We have several past and never-been clients joining us.


FAQ #2: Do I have to drink some weird concoction that tastes awful?

Answer: NO! This isn’t about blasting your system and spending your weekend on the toilet.

The 21-Day Detox is more of what is termed an “elimination diet.” The idea is to pull out certain foods that are both addictive and toxic to your body. That’s not to say you can’t ever eat them again. No, it is just want to give your body a break so it can heal itself internally. When that happens people lose incredible amounts of weight and see huge bursts of energy!


FAQ #3: Do I have to take any extra supplements?

Answer: NOPE. Taking a good multi-vitamin, fish or krill oil and a probiotic is good nutritional sense, but it is not part of the challenge. There are no supplements required.


FAQ #4: What can I eat?

There are plenty of delicious, everyday, common foods that you can eat. There are also 21 awesome recipes that you and your family will love. It's almost football season, can't be having lame food up in here.

FAQ #5: Why is it only $21?

Yes. I’ve gotten this one a bunch. “If the program is so great, why is it so cheap?” Honestly, there are three reasons: The 21-Day Detox Challenge is VERY DIFFERENT from what most of our clients have ever done before with detoxes; probably, you, too. We didn’t want to scare anyone off with a price that was more in line with the value ($49.95 - $99.95)

I REALLY want people to experience this. I know there will be awesome result for those who do the program, so I want as many people as possible on board.

If you've never worked with me before or tried any of my programs, I want you to see that I like to under promise and over deliver. If this sounds like something that would work for you, pick up your copy for just a dollar a day here ---->21 Day Detox Challenge

21 Day Detox Challenge Launches Today!



I'm finally finished with The 21 Day Detox Challenge! If only I had paid attention in typewriting back in the day it would have been finished faster.

Yes I said typewriting kids, it was done on an actual typewriter.

If doing a detox challenge does not interest you, feel free to stop reading this post. I'm skeptical of most detoxes too, so I understand.

I just want to ask you a few questions:

Do you have sugar and carb cravings that just drive you nuts?

Do you suffer from fatigue, lethargy, depression or anxiety?

Do you feel like total crap (brain fog, cloudy thinking, no concentration, constant cravings) when you go on a "diet”? Hint- Everyone does!

If you answered "YES!" to any of those questions, well my friend, you're not alone. I'm right there with you myself at tines. And, so are MILLIONS of other Americans who struggle to lose weight and keep it off.

If you are looking for answers, if you are ready to try something new, and if you are ready for a change you can read more ---->HERE

PS- Does it look cooler abbreviated to 21DDC? I'm asking for a friend.

Can’t believe I’m still friends with him…

First practice in pads, a rite of passage

First practice in pads, a rite of passage

Since I talked abut forgiveness on Monday and my son had his first football practice in full pads last week, I thought I would share a story about my first football practice.

It was my first football practice ever. I was in 7th grade and I had no idea what I was doing, but I was very excited about doing it.

I got down into my freshly learned football stance across from my teammate. This was going to be my big moment.

The plan was to crush this guy, get onto the coaches' radar, and then become a super star. That was not exactly how it went down.

The ball was snapped, I fired off, and promptly went blind. What in the world is going on???

Turns out the guy across from me threw sand in my eyes.

What kind of person does that??? I now officially hated this guy. But middle school boys are a little different, as you may know.

Fast forward a week later and me and this guy are best friends. We are still friends to this day and I even wore a tuxedo in his outdoor wedding in New Orleans in August. That's how tight we are.

So I'm asking you to be patient when you start something new. Especially if you hate it.

-Your body will likely hate getting up early if you aren't used to it.

-You will hate having sore muscles when you first start a new program.

-It will be awkward doing exercises you have never done before.

-Eating vegetables is no fun if you have been eating junk all the time. (I know from personal experience).

-Prepping and cooking your own food can seem like a part time job

What you are feeling is life outside of your comfort zone.

Think of it is as your new normal, you will not stay in misery. Focus on this becoming a lifestyle change, not just something you are doing this month.

Stick to it long enough to feel your energy levels go up.

Stay with it until you get that amazing feeling of being physically and mentally strong enough to take on anything life throws at you. Don't think about having to do this for the rest of your life, that will ruin your motivation.

Just get through the next repetition in your workout. Just get through the next meal. Break it up into small, manageable milestones.

Keep at it long enough and one day you will have made a healthy lifestyle, a way of life. That is something to be proud of and it is an awesome feeling.

Don't give up on yourself before you get there. You can do it and you deserve the rewards that come with it.

So many chances to get fit



Lots of exciting things going on in the health and fitness world these days. Here are some upcoming events you can participate in:


August 15 (tomorrow)- Fundraising Boot Camp

Tomorrow at 8am at Weatherly Elementary School (1307 Cannstatt) we are raising funds for the Smallwood/Sokolowski family. This is the family who was effected by the horrible murder of 5 family members and then having their house burned to the ground. This class is open to women, men, and children of all ages. Just bring some water and an exercise mat.

I can't imagine what they are going through right now. They have a GoFundMe account if you would like to donate online or you can drop off donations at any Redstone Federal Credit Union branch.


August 22- Breaking a world record

Haven't you always wanted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records? Now is your chance! At 12pm at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, you can be a part of the largest group of people doing burpees at one time.

It is a part of the Rocket City Tailgate Challenge. Lots of cool events going on all day, including me teaching a class from 11:15-11:45am to get you ready for burpees. We are collecting school supplies for Free 2 Teach that day too.


August 29- Move Better Workshop

From 8:00-10:00am we will be hosting a Move Better Workshop taught by Dr. Nancy Harden from Flexibility For Life. Dr. Harden is my physical therapist and I call her The Muscle Whisperer. What she does is amazing!

Imagine if you could be pain free when you moved? Despite injuries, joint problem, and other physical limitations. Dr. Harden will be focusing on pushups, squats, and fixing "desk posture".


21 Day Detox Release

Putting the finishing touches on a new 21 Day Detox Program and will be releasing it soon. This will change how you look at nutrition, which is the single biggest factor for long-term success. It does not include pills, powders, or potions nor does it starve you to death. It will teach you to eat the way your body was made to eat to maximize results and decrease risks for chronic diseases. Pretty excited about this one.

Pre-heat to 400 degrees workout (video)



I had a busy day not too long ago, so I was looking for somewhere to squeeze my workout in. I was getting dinner ready, so I figured I could workout while the oven was pre-heating.

Each exercise is 20 seconds long, no rest, and then you go right into the next one. The exercises are: 1. Goblet squats 2. Swings 3. Squat and press transfer 4. Rows 5. Plank taps

All you need is one weight, a mat, and an oven to pre-heat. Dog is optional.

I never knew it took so long to pre-heat an oven, that was a tougher workout than I was expecting. Give it a try some time!

The World’s Healthiest Meal



I put together 5 health tips and interesting facts for some light weekend reading for you. My goal now is to eat the healthiest meal ever created (see #2)


1. Avoiding genetically modified produce

Look at the first digit on the food label. If it starts with the number 8, you don't want it. That 8 means it has been genetically modified and you do not want that in your body.


2. The healthiest meal ever created

Scientists in the UK created what they claim is the healthiest meal ever made. What exactly would that meal consist of you ask?


Smoked salmon terrine and a mixed leaf salad with an olive oil dressing


Chicken casserole with lentils and vegetables


Yogurt-based blancmange with walnuts and a sugar-free caramel sauce.

It all sounds pretty good to me, despite not knowing what a blancmange is. Sounds a little skin diseasey to me.


3. We eat out about half the time

A study from 2010 found that Americans eat out 47.9% of the time. The USDA says that eating out will add an average of 134 extra calories into your diet. So eating out just once a week would add 2 pounds a week to your body in a year's time. Doesn't sound like much, but how many times a week are you eating out?


4. Stop calling yourself fat


Researchers at the University of Arizona, Tucson found that repeatedly calling yourself fat has real life consequences. Lead researcher Analisa Arroya said, "We found that fat talk predicts changes in depression, body satisfaction, and perceived pressure to be thin across time."

Stop the negative self talk, more proof it is just making things worse!


5. Lift your mood without meds

A study done in 1999 found that exercising 3 times a week for 45 minutes per session at a high to moderate intensity for 4 months was just as effective at treating depression as Zoloft. The exercise group did even better than the group that exercised AND took Zoloft.

Are You 3 Feet From Gold?



Have you ever heard the story of R.U. Darby? I bet he got some awesome prank calls with that name. Napoleon Hill has told about this amazing story in his book "Think and Grow Rich".


Mr. Darby was a gold prospector who started digging and eventually found a vein of ore. He covered up his find and then went back home to raise the money to finish the job.


He secured the money, came back, and it was a success! They made enough money from the gold to pay off all of their debts. Things were looking good, anything else they found from here on out would be profit.

Then, the vein dried up.  

They could find no more gold. They kept digging and digging, but nothing was happening. The project was a bust, it was time to give up.


They sold their machinery to a man and went back home in disappointment. That's not the end of the story though.


The man who bought the machinery called in a mining engineer to see if there was any gold left in the mine. The engineer checked things out and found something shocking.


There was a vein of gold 3 feet from where Mr. Darby stopped digging.


There are two lessons you can apply to your fitness journey.


1. Never give up!

You might be on the cusp of a huge break through! I've had clients who were doing the right thing for months. Eating healthier, exercising regularly, getting plenty of rest, drinking water, etc... and only seeing minimal results.

Then all at once, it is as of the weight and inches start falling off of them. Never give up on yourself and what you are capable of doing.


2. Get help from an expert

There are crazy people out there what do this stuff for a living. Their job is to help you get there quicker. If you feel like you've been digging and digging, but not getting anywhere find a coach to help you out.


You might be 3 feet away from gold and you don't even know it.




Atlanta was good to me. Taught me some lessons about traffic that I shared on Wednesday.

I also learned some lessons while getting lost.

If you have been following me for awhile yo might know that I am not real big on running. My wife loves to run. So guess what I do? I run.

Hate running, love my wife. That's just the way it works.

I had not been running since I ran a half marathon with her in Knoxville, TN earlier this year. Little tip for you- Knoxville is a Native American name that means City With Buttload of Hills.

We woke up early Saturday morning and before I could wake up good I realized I was out on a run. 20 minutes into the run I realized that I had no idea where we were or how to get back.

There is the obvious lesson of: Know where you are going, especially if you are going to make your wife run through some shady parts of town. But I also learned 3 things on this run that I think you might find interesting.


1. Take Your Mind Off the Pain

Have you ever been in the middle of a workout and all you can think of is how much it hurts? The result from that is more pain.

There are times in your workout where you have to go somewhere else in your mind. Go to your happy place, make grocery lists in your head, listen to music, etc...

I was so focused on trying to find our way back, wondering how I got us on the interstate, picturing how my wife was going to kill me that the run was easy.


2. Train For Any Situation

The last time I had run was 4 months ago at the half marathon. This run became much like that one. Hills everywhere. We had to do fancy footwork to run and jump over pieces of random metal, holes, trash, thorns, and other obstacles. There were times when we picked the pace way up when some seedy characters with glassy eyes were starting at us.

It ended up being an hour long run of hills, sprints, and agility work but I was not tired at all despite not running for months. I believe you should train the total package.

Work on strength, cardio, agility, core, balance, speed, and hit all of those in a variety of ways. They all work together as a compliment to one another and well balanced training helps you prevent many overuse injuries.

Those are the things we work on in boot camp. I sometimes get strange looks for some of the things I ask them to do in our sessions, but there is method along with madness. You should come see for yourself how we do things, it's pretty awesome.


3. Take Your Phone With You

Turns out those things have built in GPS and the ability to call people who can come pick you up. You heard it here first.

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