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.
Home page: http://www.HuntsvilleBootCamp.com
Posts by brawny7878
Do you know the author of this quote?
Bonus points for you if you got that. It’s a very true statement.
The exercise version is:
“I was doing really well until _______.”
You can fill in that blank with got sick, injured, married, divorced, pregnant, won the lottery, changed jobs, etc…
They are all be valid excuses, but still they are excuses. I always say:
“You have to be mentally strong to get physically fit.”
Here are 5 ways to get mentally tougher.
A recent survey said that in a group of 681 women 93% listed their stress levels at moderate to high. Stress can make you fat, sick, old, and cause you to die early. Not good.
Have you ever heard of the Stew and Chew response to stress? People get really upset then start eating or drinking to deal with stress. Not the best way.
Exercise is great for stress relief, music is another one, or hanging out with your pets can help you to de-stress. Here’s another quote for you.
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
Any clue where that comes from?
2. Balance caring for yourself with caring for others.
This is a HUGE one for women. What happens to everybody else when something happens to you? There are certain things you have to do, but you gotta find YOU time to stay sane. You are not being selfish by taking time away from your family by exercising. You are doing this for them in the end.
3. Do the work it takes to achieve your goals.
This goes back to, how bad do you want it? Quote time:
4. Anticipate and be able to handle the challenges that will come up.
What happens if your car breaks down? Don’t have anybody to watch the kids? you have to travel? There is a zombie apocalypse? Get a plan! Have a go to workout you can do any time, any where. Plan out eating strategies that you can easily execute.
“Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail.”
5. Get yourself back on track after you get stuck.
This is a tough one, but the most important one. You gotta get back on that mule that kicked you! What will you do if you can’t ride your mule anymore?
Giving up is not an option. It is not a big deal if you make a mistake. Just throw yourself back into the mix and get back with the program. All will be fine if you just keep coming back.
“Don’t let a slip become a fall.”
Does that look familiar? It should because most of us look like that at work. What do we do about it?
One of my clients, Lori, sent me a video of fancy move called the Thoracic Bridge. It’s a great way to correct imbalances and tight muscles. You can check out the video here Thoracic Bridge Video
It got me thinking of a few other ways to help undo all the desk job posture that is so common.
1. Sound the alarm
Set an alarm so that you have a reminder to stand up at a minimum once an hour. Preferably every 15 minutes if possible. Or you could always rock the stand up desk.
2. Squeeze the Charmin
A side effect of too much sitting is your glut muscles going to waste. While you are standing up any way when the alarm goes off, why not add a little something to it? Put your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointed out at 45 degree angles, and pinch your butt cheeks together. Sounds weird (because it is), but it will really help you.
3. Pull it apart
You need a band for this one. Hold a band directly out in front of you, arms straight, wrists straight, knuckles up, and then extend your arms all the way out like you are demonstrating your awesome wing span. Make sure to pinch your shoulder blades together in the back. This one will you will feel a difference in by doing them for just a few days.
4. Tight hips don’t lie
Sitting too much causes your hip flexors to tighten up. If you have trouble getting into a deep squat, the culprit can be tight hips. Try the 90/90 hip flexor stretch. Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Keeping your back straight, push your hips forward, and think about sinking your hips into the ground. Hold that for 15-20 seconds and then do the same on the other side.
Fat gets a bad rap. I’m thinking about making a shirt with the phrase on it to support the cause.
The reason fat has been demonized is that it is calorie dense. For instance carbs and protein both have 4 calories per gram, while fat has 9 calories for gram. So if you eat something that is fat you are getting more than double the calories of a carb or protein of the same size.
But low-fat and fat-free foods are not the answer. Whenever food manufacturers take something out, they will add something back in. And it is not something you want in your body. Usually it is things like sugars, starches, and chemicals. No thank you.
Plus, people tend to eat ton of them because it’s fat free, that means I can eat the whole box right? Darn you Mr. Snackwell!
Why do you want to eat fat? Fat is considered an essential macronutrient (the other two are protein and carbs) for a reason.
The benefits of dietary fat include:
-absorb and store fat soluble vitamins (some famous fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K)
-skin health (keeps your skin from drying out)
-helps you feel full (satiety is a fancy word used sometimes for this feeling)
-boosts your immunity
-helps control inflammation (joint pain is an example of inflammation)
-keeps your cells healthy (no big deal, cells are just what you are made of)
Some examples of healthy fats are: fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and tuna), extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and avocados.
The one fat you should avoid at all costs is the dirty trans fat. It is basically a fat that has no redeeming qualities for humans. It is only beneficial to food manufacturers, so they can keep their foods on the shelves longer. These fats are commonly found in margarine, cookies, cakes, and fast food.
Read your food labels/packaging and if it says it has trans fat in it, don’t buy it. And beware of the sneaky hydrogenated oil trick. If your list of ingredients says hydrogenated oil, you also want to avoid that. The process of hydrogenating oils creates trans fats, but because it is under a certain amount (0.5 grams for you scoring at home) it does not have to be listed on the package.
Happy Iron Bowl Eve to you! This game is always a big deal in Alabama, but there year it is even bigger. The #1 team in the nation versus the #4 team in the nation, championships on the line.
People will be no longer speaking to several friends and family members after this. If you are unfamiliar with this rivalry, I’m not exaggerating.
The game is so nerve racking for some people they can hardly stand it. Why not put all the pent up aggression, nervous energy, and anger towards something else?
Introducing the Official Iron Bowl Exercise Game! Clay Travis is a well known sports write who has a CBS football drinking game. I can’t really sponsor that, so I’m totally stealing his idea and just using exercise instead.
Every time something from the following list happens, you will have an exercise to go with it. Since these games last 3.5 hours you could accumulate a serious workout here.
1. Every time the announcers mention “divided houses” (Auburn and Alabama fans who are married) do 5 pushups.
2. Every time they mention AJ McCarron’s girlfriend Katherine Webb do 5 pushups. If they also mention she is an Auburn grad, add 5 more on to that.
3. Every time Verne Lundquist says “Oh. My.” do 15 jumping jacks. This alone could kill you.
4. Every time an old coach for either team is talked about (The Bear, Chizik, etc…) do 20 squats.
5. Every time Aubie is shown do 5 pushups. Sorry, this will cost you probably 80 pushups.
6. Any time there is a turnover (by either team), do 10 burpees.
7. When Nick Saban is interviewed, do 5 squats every time he shrugs his shoulders.
8. Any time Gus Malzhan’s high school coaching career is mentioned, do 30 mountain climbers.
9. Any time a fan is shown looking dejected/with his or her hands on their head, do 20 pushups.
10. Every time they reference Tre Mason’s dad being in De La Soul, hold a plank for 30 seconds.
11. If your team is losing at half time, go for a long soul searching walk. Regroup.
12. If they mention an infamous interview with Gus Malzhan’s wife, do 20 sprints in your yard if you are a Bama fan. If you are an Auburn fan, turn your TV off.
13. Every mention of Saban going to Texas will get you Auburn fans 5 sprints. Bama fans can angrily tweet at whichever announcer keeps mentioning it.
13. Any time Gary Danielson arrogantly talks about a bad decision by the quarterback on your team, do 10 pushups.
14. Every time Verne seems like he is having way too much fun pronouncing names like CJ Uzomah or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, do 5 burpees.
15. If your team wins, sprint around the block as fast as you can. If your team loses, angrily chase the winning fans in your neighborhood.
Best of luck to your team today! Either way, it’s just a game being played by giant teenagers. Enjoy it for what it is and have fun.
Man I love the holidays! Friends, family, getting fat. You heard me, I love eating food that is terrible for me. Who doesn’t?
This is a special time and I think people should enjoy it. The only problem is I feel terrible and walk around for days feeling swollen afterwards. You ever feel like that?
This year I am trying something new. I’m doing a 9 day fat burning and cleanse plan starting on Monday, December 2nd. The plan includes:
It will work out great because I can get to back to feeling normal, but not run into the Christmas holiday season. This is all stimulant free and is not a cleanse where you just starve yourself.
If you would like to join me, order your products today so they can get here on time! I will help coach you through and we can help keep each other motivated. Please let me know if you have any questions. Here is the link to order yours today:
Hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to help you get healthy!
We’ve all been there at some time. Especially this time of year. Let me walk you through what I call the Brownie Chain.
1. Buy brownies (It’s for the kids!)
2. Leave brownies on the kitchen counter
3. Get tired and or bored
4. Get “hungry”
5. Walk into kitchen
6. Grab a brownie (or 4) and head for the TV
7. Eat a bunch of brownies in a short amount of time
8. Feel guilty, feel like you are a failure
9. Think of yourself as weak willed and a person who can never do things right so what try?
Then the chain starts over with you going and getting more brownies.
Or you can insert whatever your food weakness is in there. We’ve all been there!
So what do we do about it? Let’s give a solution for each number from above.
1. The easy answer is to not bring it into the house! Never shop hungry, always use a list, have someone else do the shopping, and if you have to have brownies try buying a mix rather than pre-made brownies, cookies, cakes, etc…
2. Out of sight out of mind! If you leave them out where you can see them, you will crave it every time.
3. It’s ok to take a nap! They can be very beneficial to your health. Or you can always try that exercise stuff, some say it has magical energizing properties.
4. The big thing here is to figure out if you are hungry or you are just having a craving. Drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes. If you are still hungry, then have something to eat. You can always use the rule we use with my son. If you are truly hungry you will eat vegetables.
5. If it is not time to eat or cook, stay out of the kitchen. Otherwise you wind up doing what I call fridge surfing. You ever go in there and start looking in the fridge to see what’s in there? It’s my fridge, why do I expect magical extra food to be in there? Find something else to do and somewhere else to go.
6. Sit down at a table and enjoy your brownie! Focus on how awesome it tastes, don’t focus on the TV, a book, or your cell phone.
7. Slow down! This one gets back to enjoying your treat. Put your fork down in between bites, if you are a fork type of person. I like to use a fork when I eat a Snickers for you Seinfeld fans. Just bring one of the brownies with you to the table, when you truly focus on eating one you will get much more out of it.
8. There are no bad foods! Food is meant to be enjoyed and you are not a bad person because you ate a “bad” food. Don’t put food in that category and give yourself permission to enjoy foods you love. I feel like Holley Porter Wright.
9. Don’t let a slip become a fall. No use beating yourself up over something in the past. It’s all about the future baby, let’s go.
My apologies if reading all of this has only succeeded in making you want to eat brownies.
I have a question for you. What state the most obese people? That’s pretty easy right? It is Mississippi. For now any way, Alabama tends to sneak back on top every now and then.
But do you know what has the most hungry people?
The answer to that is also Mississippi.
How can that be? How can the people who have the most extra weight on them, still be hungry?
There are several reasons, but the biggest cause is poor nutrition habits. People who struggle financially buy low cost, low nutritional value food that tends to be overly processed.
In short, they are not eating enough calories so what they do eat gets stored as fat. And what they are taking in does nothing to nourish their bodies (no vitamins, nutrients, etc…), so they are still starving.
This happens to people I train too. Have you ever gone on a diet that involved a heavy rotation of “healthy” microwave meals? You probably were not happy with the results and you more than likely stayed hungry.
It doesn’t have to be like that! Make sure you are eating nutrient dense foods. Nutrient dense foods are foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, and fiber but not packed with calories. Such as black beans, eggs, apples, quinoa, and avocados to name a few.
One of the biggest take aways people get from being on the 30 day plan with Isagenix is that they aren’t starving all day. The calories are reduced, but the calories you are taking in are nutrient dense calories so your body is more satiated. I truly believe in Isagenix or I would not recommend it to you.
Also, think about the things you eat on a daily basis. Are they packed with nutrients or chemicals and other junk? A cool resource is The World’s Healthiest Foods. you can go to this link and they list what they consider 126 of the world’s healthiest foods.
As always, I am here to help if you ever need anything. Let me know how I can help you reach your goals.
If you are on Facebook, you have probably noticed that a lot of people are talking about the things they are thankful for. I love it! Too often Facebook is a place where people go to do two things.
Brag or complain.
Especially the dreaded humble brag. “My Ferrari hasn’t been washed since I got back from skiing with Lady Gaga in Vail. LOL!”
This all sounds nice, but what does being grateful have to do with your health? As it turns out, it has a lot to do with your health.
Studies have shown that people who show an appreciation for the things they are grateful in life experience the following benefits:
-less aches and pains
-exercised more often
Another great thing about having an attitude of gratitude is the effect is has on your brain. When you are grateful it effects the part of that releases dopamine. It feels good to release dopamine, so this helps you continue to have that positive attitude so you can experience that feeling again.
Another benefit is that your brain is not a multitasker. When you are focused on the positive things in your life, you won’t be focused on the bad things in your life.
All of you doing the Facebook gratitude thing, keep it up! Or you can keep a gratitude journal if you are a more private type. Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life.
I recently wrote a letter (by hand!) to a coach I had in high school who helped me. It really did feel good to picture hime reading the how he positively effected my life. It was 20 years ago, but I still benefit from the things he taught me.
Think of ways you can be more grateful and you will feel better. It’s science.
I want to start giving you real life examples of what my clients do to achieve success. My hope is that you will find something in there that will help you with your fitness program.
We will start with Meg Nester, who won our Transformation Contest a few weeks ago. In 4 weeks Meg lost:
-10 inches (including 3 off her waist)
-6% body fat
And as a bonus, she managed to knock out a couple of triathlons. Let’s learn a little more about Meg and what she does to excel.
1. Tell us a little about yourself (single, married, kids, work, business owner, hobbies)?
I’m married with two kids. My boys are 7 & 4. I quit working when my oldest was born. My background is in molecular biology, and I randomly worked as a horticulturist for a few years since I’m a plant junkie.
I have about 8 zillion hobbies, but the top few are: glass enameling onto copper, cooking, gardening, woodworking/building, writing, and sewing.
My passion amongst all the hobbies is “upcycling” anything…making something beautiful or useful out of things that are no longer being used/appreciated.
2. How long have you been a member of ABC?
I started in January 2013. BEST Christmas present EVER!
3. What do you enjoy most about working with ABC?
The variety of exercises keeps me interested and makes me feel like I’m getting a consistent full-body workout. The people are amazing and supportive. If I have to drag my arse out of bed that early I want to be with people who can make me laugh and who will encourage me when I’m having a slacker day.
4. Tell us your top success strategy, what has worked best for you?
Consistency. I know I have to show up every day and be diligent about keeping my diet in check. It doesn’t mean I always do it…but I’ve seen what happens when I backslide, and I’ve seen how I can kick ass when I’m on top of it. So like you’ve said in the past, I just need to own it.
5. A) What goals do you have for your health and fitness in the next 12 months?
I’d like to lose 5-10 more pounds, and continue to increase my strength. I want to maintain a “healthy” level of running, which for me is just enough to keep me doing 5K’s and TRI’s, but not enough to cause me more knee problems.
B) What goals have you reached over the last 12 months?
I have lost around 15 pounds (solid pounds that I’ve kept off…not all of the weight from the challenge stayed off…but I’m working on that).
I’ve gotten a lot stronger. I have re-balanced the strength in my leg muscles enough to really help with my knee troubles.
My blood pressure has come down a good bit, and I feel less stressed overall.
C) Did you do anything different during the Transformation Contest?
I did a modified version of Fix Fat Forever. I usually do an additional 3-4 workouts per week on top of bootcamp, and I definitely upped that a bit…tons of 2-a-days and extra running to get ready for my TRI.
6. What is your…
A) Favorite breakfast?
Ummm…favorite? Or healthy favorite? I can put some Eggs Benedict down! But my usual breakfast is plain greek yogurt with raspberries and sprinkle of Kashi Go Lean for a little crunch.
B) Your favorite post workout meal?
Ugh, I’m terrible about this. I’m not usually hungry right after I workout. Mornings are easy because I come home and have breakfast after bootcamp, but other workouts I just want water…or pretty much every edible thing in sight if I’ve done a TRI.
C) Favorite exercise
Nothing makes me feel as centered and focused as core work. It sticks with me all day and I notice the payoff more that anything else.
7. If you could give one tip or piece of advice to a brand new member, what would it be?
You’ve got to get your diet in line with your goals. And find something to reward yourself with besides food. Get a pedicure, curl up with a great book, do something other than snarf down a big bowl of your favorite snack. You just can’t out-exercise a bad diet.