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

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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Health lessons from animals


13428843743 ddb6f8dc68 Health lessons from animals

My family and I just got back from a tropical vacation in Missouri. Some people go to the beach for Spring Break, some go the other way.

My wife’s uncle lives on a farm in Missouri. On this farm, he has some cows. Insert your own music.

He mentioned that they had penned up 2 cows to fatten them up. Normally the cows are out wandering around this huge pasture.

To fatten them up, they put them in a smaller enclosed area.

To make them gain weight, they cut down on their activity level. Hmm, sound like any jobs in today’s world?

A few weeks ago I heard a guy on NPR talking about how elephants in zoos have tracking devices put on them to keep track of how much they walk in a day.

They make sure the elephants walk a certain amount every day because it keeps them healthier and they live longer.

There are multiple studies that have shown that even if you exercise every day you are still at risk for health problems if you are inactive the rest of the day.

The point is to mooooove. Sorry, you probably knew that was coming but I couldn’t stop it.

Don’t sit for more than an hour at a time, walk more, find a physically active hobby you enjoy, etc… You will find the more active you are overall, the more energy you will have.

You will also burn more calories, lose more weight, and start sleeping better at night.

The main thing is to not rely solely on your workouts to get the results you want.

Move more and eat better.

Simple concept, but very powerful when you put it into action.

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How well you dry your hands could determine your results


automatic hand dryers How well you dry your hands could determine your results

I have 3 steps that I follow when drying my hands with one of those hand dryer things in the rest room.

1. Push button

2. Rub hands together vigorously

3. Wipe hands dry on my pants

I hate those things.

How well do you dry your hands? Do you even think about it?

Not sure if you know this, but I’m kind of a big deal. It’s true, just ask me.

My fear is to walk out of the rest room, see someone I know, shake their hand, and have them give me the “Why are your hands still wet, you sicko?” look.

Nobody needs that. So I am very intentional with my hand drying. I dry my hands like someone is waiting to shake my hand just outside the door.

Yes I am weird, it’s my cross to bear.

My whole point in sharing my weirdness is to get you to think about exercising intentionally. Think about what you do as you go through your workouts.

Are you paying attention to your form, owning every single rep. Or are you going through the motions?

Start thinking of every rep of every exercise you do as the one that is going to get you the results you want so bad. Be intense with every rep, focus on giving it your best, don’t just go through the motions.

When you start tuning out during your workouts, you subconsciously start losing form and focus. You won’t squat as lower, you will give out earlier, you will not push as hard.

Make sure those hands stay dry, you never know who is waiting just outside.

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How to win a free month of boot camp


scholarship How to win a free month of boot camp

I want to thank you for reading these posts. It may not seem like it most of the time, but I do put a lot of effort into these things.

It’s not easy writing about meat sweats and prefrontal cortexes in one week.

So it means a lot when you let me know that you liked something I wrote. And even when you let me know you disagree with something.

At least you read it.

Been feeling especially blessed with how well our boot camps have been doing as well. You have helped with that as well, so I would like to return the favor.

Just in case you didn’t see the announcement on our Facebook page, I wanted to make sure you saw this.

We are going to start giving away a boot camp scholarship every month to someone who could not otherwise afford our classes. These are can be used in Huntsville as well as the Madison location.

To be eligible, you can just e-mail and let me know why you would like to come to our class. You can also nominate someone who you think should win the scholarship.

We will do a drawing next week and announce the winner on Wednesday March 26th, so make sure you get your entry in before then.

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