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 JoeMartinFitness
Heard an interesting story from my pastor about plums versus pecans. I know it sounds like a riveting story, but just stay with me.
It was a story of a homesteader who had the choice to plant plum trees or pecan trees. Those were the only two trees that could really survive in that climate.
He was asked how one would decide which one to choose. The old homesteader said, “If you are growing the trees for yourself choose the plum tree. If you are planting for your children, choose the pecan tree.”
The plum tree was the quick fix. It would grow faster and produce fruit much faster, but then fizzle out. While the pecan was the opposite, it would take a very long time to get going but once it did you were set.
In my world, the plum tree is those quick fix diets you see all the time. “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days” or “Lose 10 pounds in one week” types of diets. You get short-term success, but very rarely does it lead to lasting success.
While the pecan tree is a lifestyle change. This is where you slowly establish one healthy habit at a time, keep at it consistently, and then one day it all falls into place. It is not easy, you do not get that immediate gratification that we are all programmed to expect these days, and it is HARD.
But it is the right path to take. How many times have you lost what feels like the same exact 20 pounds only to gain it back? Instead of focusing on short-term weight loss goals, think about the big picture. Don’t be in such a rush, you have a life time!
When you are thinking short term, one slip feels like disaster! When you are planning for the long run, it is just a small bump along the way. Establish those short term goals, plan them in conjunction with your big picture, and don’t give into the short term temptation.
Plus pecans are delicious, always go pecan.
On Monday I talked about using the CRAP acronym to avoid eating things that might hurt your chances of losing weight. I feel like a bit of an expert because I ate most of the things on that list this past weekend.
My son had a basketball tournament is Winchester, Tennessee that lasted all day Saturday and half of Sunday. I didn’t prepare ahead of time and I paid for it.
After eating out for breakfast, lunch, and the traditional 4 o’clock ice cream hour we hit the road to come back home. We got home around 6 and I decided to get a quick workout in before dinner. The workout was miserable! No energy, constantly out of breath, feeling stiff and weak.
The combination of drinking very little water, eating junk, and sitting all day added up me feeling awful. Is that how you feel when you workout?
If so, I would encourage you to take care of your body before you take on an exercise program. Give yourself a fighting chance!
Properly fueling your body, taking care of your muscles (with stretching, foam rolling, or massages), and avoiding sitting down for extended periods of time will make everything better. It will still not be easy and you will still need to work at it, but you will greatly increase your chances of success.
Where do you need to start today? Better nutrition? Taking care of your muscles? Stop sitting so much? Pick one, make it a habit, and then start adding the other steps into your life.
In January I decided to start taking jiu-jitsu as a hobby. I quickly discovered that it was not really something you do as a hobby. Unless you enjoy someone trying to choke you in your leisure time. After a few weeks of regular classes I decided that I was going to sign up for a tournament. One of my bucket list items was to win a jiu-jitsu tournament.
Long story short, I trained, I hurt, I won. I mainly wanted to share with you a few things I learned through the process that might help you as well.
Everybody needs a coach
I’m a little biased since I coach people very day, but you cannot understate the importance of having a coach. And having the right coach is crucial. You want somebody who fits your personality (yeller vs low key), someone who knows their stuff, and a person who has your best interest in mind. The guy who led most of the classes I went to is a guy in his early 20s named Evan. And he has all the characteristics I mentioned above. Extremely knowledgeable, patient (even when I make the same stupid mistake over and over), and is really invested in getting people better. Plus he’s a handsome devil, so that always helps.
Community is key
An added bonus to training at Maverick Training Center where I train is the people I have met there. There are some crazy, hilarious, weird, friendly, and outrageous people there. They come from all walks of life, but the one thing they have in common is that every one of them gave me tips and encouragement to get better. It’s weird to have someone say things like, “No, no if you want to really hurt me put my elbow up higher.” There is tremendous power in being surrounded by people who lift you up.
Misery loves company
There were so many moments that I would have given up if I were by myself. But having that coach to push you and your fellow students not giving up gives you the strength to go further than you thought you could go.
There were days when I first started training that I decided to quit. I had every excuse I could think of ready (too old, too sore, too busy, etc…) I considered faking a broken leg (I know people with casts), saying I had some horribly contagious disease, or perhaps faking my own death to get out of going to class. It is a natural, human instinct to avoid pain. Maybe not the way I was going to do it, but still. It is ok if you want to give up, just don’t! Dig down, push through, and make yourself proud.
Good Days, Bad Days
There were days I felt like I was really getting the hang of things, felt physically strong, and did really well in training. Other days were absolutely awful. In a workout if I don’t feel good I slow down, take a break, or get lighter weights. In jiu-jitsu you take a break and somebody will do bad things to you. These days are rough, but you know what? That makes the good days that much sweeter.
What are you willing to give up?
Getting ahead means leaving some things behind. Blood, sweat, time away from family, broken bones (minor ones), sore muscles, and time away from my business were all things I was willing to give up/endure for a few months to achieve my goal. I don’t think you need anything that extreme, but something has to change for you to change. Maybe you need to give up wine, eating out every day at lunch, or Netflix binges.
There is a growing trend in the health and fitness industry to list activity equivalents along with the caloric content for food and beverages. What is your opinion?
Would you make a different food selection if you knew how much physical activity it would take to burn off that food? Many experts think that may be the key to curbing the obesity epidemic.
While it might not be the magic bullet, but I do think any time you are creating awareness for people that is a good thing.
As you go through your week, here are a few things to keep in mind. Would love to have your feedback on if this makes a difference to you at all if your choices.
Calorie and Exercise equivalents
Large French fry (500 calories)= 400 burpees 1 Slice pepperoni pizza (250 calories)= 200 burpees Bagel, cream cheese + medium mocha coffee (800 calories)= 133 minutes of brisk walking 1 slice chocolate layer cake with icing (550 calories)= 92 minutes of brisk walking Beer (150 calories)= 150 pushups Cinnabon cinnamon roll (879 calories)= run 8.75 miles 8 inch cheesesteak (710 calories)= 3550 situps
Fat gets a bad rap, but is actually a vital part of your diet and is very beneficial. Things like avocados, almonds, olive oil, and other healthy fats are awesome. But there is a specific kind of fat you should avoid.
Have you heard of trans fat? You probably have since you read your food lables, but what are they? Some trans fats occur naturally in foods, but the artificial kind is a little trickier.
I failed chemistry in college, but let me take a crack at it. Food manufacturers take a good fat ( the unsaturated fat) and an extra hydrogen atom to it through a process called hydrogenation. So you've probably seen hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated foods. They are not good for you.
Food manufacturers do this to increase shelf life and to make a more desirable product. Anything that is built to sit longer on a shelf you don't want! Cheese that sits on a shelf comes to mind. Velveeta I'm looking at you.
Trans fat increases LDL cholesterol (AKA the Bad cholesterol), and decreases HDL (the good cholesterol). That combination will greatly increase your risk of heart disease, the #1 killer in America.
Trans fat consumption has also been linked to: cancer, diabetes, liver dysfunction, depression, and Alzheimer’s.
Pretty bad stuff. So how much should you eat? I would say zero. The FDA tends to agree, they are looking to ban all artificial trans fats in the food supply by 2018.
Let's play a game. Take a look at this list of the Top 10 WORST Trans Fat Foods in the Supermarket courtesy of Eat This Not That. Can you beat it with anything you currently have in your pantry?
10. Pillsbury White Chunk Macadamia Nut Big Deluxe Classics
9. Pasta Roni Fettuccine Alfredo
8. Jimmy Dean Sausage, egg, and cheese croissant sandwich (I thought we all agreed to call those croissanwiches)
7. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (D'oh! How many of you have that in the pantry?)
6. Pillsbury Perfect Portions Buttermilk Biscuits
5. Austin Cheese Crackers with Cheddar Jack Cheese (crackers are secretly one of the worst things you can eat)
4. Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Supreme Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls with icing
3. Celeste Original Pizza For One
2. Pop-Secret Kettle Corn
1. THE WORST OF ALL is...................... Drake's Cherry Fruit Pie! It has 4 days worth of trans fats in ONE pie!
Girls' Night Out or GNO to the cool kids. Beloved across the land by women of all ages.
If you have a GNO planned any time soon, this is a study you may find interesting.
When a person in the study became obese, there was a 40% increase in risk that their sibling would become obese too. And for the spouse, there was a 37% increased risk. But here is what really hurts.
When your friend becomes obese, you have a 57% increased risk yourself. And if your friend was of the same gender, that jumped to 71%!
That is crazy, but it does make sense. Think about the social events you go to or the things you do with your friends. How many of those events involve physical activity and healthy eating?
For the most part it is dinner and drinks with little regard for caloric intake. GNO's are awesome and really can help with stress, but can sabotage your weight loss program.
So what do you do? Be the leader, not the follower.
-Suggest a restaurant that you know has healthy options you enjoy
-Avoid eating 4 loaves of bread or 4 baskets of chips while you wait
-Volunteer to be the designated driver (or at least be the one who has the Uber app on their phone)
-Suggest a hike and a picnic (wear hiking boots so you don't slip and break the wine bottle)
Are you going out with friends this weekend? Why not be the one who takes the healthy lead?
Make healthier choices and help your friends do the same. You will find that you will still have a great time, but you will feel a whole lot better.
I also wanted to personally invite you and a friend to try our new Cardio Kickboxing pilot program. It is from 9-10am at Weatherly Elementary School for the next 3 Saturdays and does not require any experience or certain level of fitness. The class will be led by a black belt in karate and is only $39 for all 3 classes.
Space is limited, so reserve your spot here ---->Cardio Kickboxing
For our boot camp workout on Monday I thought I would switch it up. So I gave my classes a nutrition quiz.
If they got the answer right, the exercise was easier. If they got it wrong, the exercise was not easier. It pays to be a winner.
The main idea was to drive home the importance of reading food labels and knowing what you are putting into your body. A lot of these might surprise you.
You can take the quiz yourself. The answer key will be at the bottom of the page.
Let me know how you do!
1. How many grams of sugar does 2 tablespoons of frosting contain?
2. How many grams of sugar are in one glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut?
3. How many calories are in one glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut?
4. Which has more calories: a medium sized blueberry muffin or a cupcake?
5. How many calories is one slice of cheese pizza?
6. True or False. A basic 8-piece sushi roll is less than 200 calories?
7. True or false: ¼ cup of Ketchup has almost 4 times the calories of ¼ cup of salsa
8. How many calories are in 12 ounces of orange juice?
9. True or False: A half cup of grapes is 30 calories
10. True or False: A half cup of raisins is 100 calories
11. A half cup of granola has how many calories?
12. True or False: Tofu has more calories than chicken?
13. A can of Coke has the same amount of sugar as this many Hershey Kisses
14. What drink at Starbucks weighs in at 640 calories?
A. White Hot Chocolate
B. White Chocolate Mocha
C. Tazo Green Tea Frappucciono
D. Double Chocolatey Chip Frappuccino
15. What item at McDonald’s has 730 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 1400 mgs of salt?
A. Big Mac
C. Hot cakes and sausage
D. Kale salad
16. What item has the highest calories of all at McDonald’s?
A. Large McRib
B. Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese
C. Big Breakfast
D. Large McFlurry
17. If you ate a ¼ burger, small chili, and medium iced tea at Wendy’s RATHER than eating a Carl’s Jr./Hardees 6 dollar burger, medium fries, and medium soda how many calories would you save?
18. Yes or No. Would you have more calories by eating the above mentioned Hardees/Carl’s Jr. meal or eating 29 Rice Krispee Treats?
19. Which of these chain restaurants has a dish that is 3660 calories?
A. Cheesecake Factory
B. Red Lobster
D. Steak ‘N Shake
20. Which of these beers has 180 calories?
A. Harpoon IPA
B. Killian’s Irish Red
C. Guinness Extra Stout
D. Samuel Adams Boston Lager
B – 20
Muffin 300 to 200
True 60 vs 16
False 4 ounces of chicken is 120 calories, tofu is 100
Yes 2618 calories vs 2610 for rice Krispee treats
B- 3660 calories