JoeMartinFitness

JoeMartinFitness

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

Tough Love From Back Spasms

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The other day I was all excited about my workout. I couldn’t wait to take a trip to Muscleville, population me.

I’m just a few sets in to my very first exercise and it happens. Stinking back spasms.

Not sure if you have ever had back spasms before but they are not much fun. The bad part is that is was completely my own fault that I got them.

If you were making a formula to give yourself back spasms, I came up with a pretty good one. First you get about 4 hours of sleep the night before, then, you drink lots of coffee to make up for that, do NOT rehydrate with water, eat not so great foods, sit a lot working on a project, rush through your warm-up, and then go too heavy too fast doing squats.

That will pretty much do it if you are looking to experience some sympathy back spasms with me. And I knew not to do all of these things, but I still did them. Do you ever get yourself in those situations where you know better, but do it any way?

The first lesson here is to always prepare for your workouts. If you are tired, dehydrated, your nutrition has been terrible, you’ve been sitting all day, and you halfway go through your warm-up chances are good you could injure yourself.

The second lesson was what I did after I got the back spasms. I obviously was finished with my heavy squats and deadlifts for the day, but that did not mean my workout was finished. I found some things I could do (wall sits, bodyweight squats, rear foot elevated squats) and not be completely miserable. Then the next day, I found upper body exercises I could still do.

When you have an injury, you can choose to give up or adapt. I always choose to adapt and you should too. It’s not time to throw in the towel because you are uncomfortable or it’s too hard. What CAN you do? Put the focus there.

Maybe it is time to clean up your nutrition, decrease your stress levels, or improve your sleep quality. If your lower body, upper body, or core is injured find what you can still work on and do that! Studies show doing something works 100% better than feeling sorry for yourself.

If you need help on finding what exercises you can still do, some lifestyle changes you can make, or anything else feel free to reach out to me. Don’t give in, awesomeness is still attainable at all levels of life.

How I caused a ruckus on the dance floor (story time)

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One of the gifts I got my wife for her 40th birthday was a ticket to the Moon Over Three Caves Dance. We’ve been trying to go for years and I am so glad we went because it was awesome!

They had one of our favorite bands, Juice, playing. They actually played at our wedding, so my wife was really excited to see them.

On special occasions, I will take my unique talents to the dance floor. I give the gift of dance to all who are around me because I am a giver. I am familiar with most of the popular line dances, but they all tend to kind of run together for me until I find my way.

 

Juice played The Wobble at one point and I found myself in a familiar position of knowing just enough to be dangerous. I knew all of The Wobble steps, but I may or may have not had the correct order.

The dance floor was in a state of confusion. There were several people who were thrown off by the slightly different rendition of The Wobble. Some were thrown off by the fact they had no idea what was happening. And others might have been thrown off by the glare on my head.

Somebody needed to do something! They needed guidance. They needed a hero.

They needed a ginger.

So I went all in. I did things big, I did things on the 4 count. I did all the steps you’re supposed to do. I have no idea if it was in the right order, but I did it with gusto.

A funny thing happened. People started following my lead and doing the same flawed moves. It was like that dance scene in Can’t Buy Me Love if you’ve ever seen that.

There are a few lessons to take away from this.

1. You have control over two things in life: attitude and effort.

This is something we preach to our 11 and 12-year old football players all the time. You don’t have control over how fast or big you are, but you do have control over how hard you work and your positivity.

The same thing applies to your exercise program. You can’t control genetics, your schedule, and hundreds of other things. You do have control of how much effort you put into it and whether or not you are going to stick with it. Go hard.

2. Psychology trumps physiology.

One of the top guys in the fitness world, Alwyn Cosgrove says this. That just means there is a lot you can overcome going all in with the help of others. You don’t have to have the perfect exercise program to get results. Don’t overthink what exercises to do, how many times, how many days, etc… A group atmosphere has been proven to help you increase your intensity, overcome fatigue, and get you better results.

3. Be careful who you follow, they probably have no idea what they are doing.

Especially when it comes to dancing.

Make Your Bed

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Retired Admiral William H. McRaven did a commencement speech at his alma mater the University of Texas. The speech ended up going viral, so chances are good that if you didn’t see it you probably heard about it.

The speech was called Change The World By Making Your Bed. What does making your bed have to do with changing the world? I hate making my bed, I’m just going to sleep in it in a few hours!

There are several reasons for making your bed, the first being that it gives you a sense of accomplishment. Gives you a little pride to start your day and that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Inspiring you to do another task, then another task.

Making your bed shows you that the little things matter. You can never do the big things, if you can’t first do the little things. Then if nothing else when you come home and you have had a terrible day you have a nicely made bed waiting for you at home. And that gives you hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

I just finished reading Admiral McRaven’s book “Make Your Bed: Little things that can change your life...and maybe the world.” Great, short read if you are looking for a book. And it motivated me to “make my bed”. I just have one problem.

There is still someone sleeping in my bed when I get up at 4am.

So I’ve started waking up and immediately doing 5 minutes as hard as I can go on a VersaClimber. Wakes me up, I get in a little cardio training, and no matter how busy the rest of my day gets I have at least done 5 minutes of exercise that day.

What can you do to “make your bed” each morning? What can set the tone for the day and get you off on the right foot? Find what works best for you! Find that thing that no matter how bad your day goes, you will always have that one positive thing to look at as proof that this day was not a waste.

PS- Today is the last day to get a copy of the 21 Day Detox Plan. You can reserve your copy here --->undefined

September Slim Down Special

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Fall is here! This is my favorite time of year. It is football season AND I don’t feel like I’m going to spontaneously burst into flames from the heat. Two of my favorite things.

In a few short weeks it will also be time for that polarizing invention called Fall Break. Our classes are normally 4 weeks at a time, but the break falls right on our 4th week.

So we are going to offer a special 3-week September Slim Down Special Camp. 3 weeks of fun and energizing sessions to get you in shape at your pace and on your level.

And as a bonus we are including a free copy of our 21-Day Detox Challenge. This detox is a great way to lose weight, have more energy, and tone up. Just in time for that trip to the beach over fall break.

Save your spot at our web site here --->Slim Down Special

10 Tips For Creating Meals In Under 10 Minutes

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1. Start the Sunday Night Ritual: Integrate an hour on Sundays to plan and prepare meals. Get your family involved in a fun way to help you prepare the meals for the week. Give everyone (kids and husbands) an appropriate job. For example: Husband BBQ’s chicken breast and kids can wash the vegetables and fruit, and separate into baggies. Put on music, funny aprons, etc.

2. Boil a dozen eggs at a time and refrigerate. Hard-boiled eggs will last at least five days in the fridge, and are a great, compact snack.

3. Cook eight chicken breasts at a time. Grill, BBQ, bake or broil with your favorite seasonings. Great for slicing over salad, or even having half of one as a snack. Keep 3–4 in the fridge, and individually freeze the rest. Take out a frozen breast the night before.

4. Chop up vegetables and store in individual containers. Chop up whatever vegetables you like to eat raw. A good tip for making them last is to wrap them in a coffee filter. The filter will absorb any excess water, so they will last longer.

5. Wash entire heads of lettuce and chop for salads. Store lettuce in an appropriate container. If it is already chopped up, it is very easy to make a salad in the morning.

6. Make a vegetable soup. Make your favorite soup recipes and make enough soup for a week. Store 2–3 servings in the fridge. Put the rest in individual containers and store in the freezer.

7.  Cook a huge amount of vegetable stir-fry. Throw a bunch of vegetables into a wok and stir-fry with unlimited condiments of your choice. Store in the fridge in individual containers, so they are ready to grab. Add a chicken breast to it. This way, dinner is almost ready without having to cook when you get home from work.

8. Pick 1–3 recipes and cook ahead of time. Using the recipes provided, cook and freeze. Take out the meal in the morning, so it will be defrosted by dinnertime. Add a side of stir-fry or salad.

9. Portion out nuts/seeds. Buy your favorite nuts/seeds in bulk and store in containers in the fridge. Portion out your weekly serving amounts into snack bags. This makes it really handy to grab and go.

10. Eat the same lunches and snacks on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and then switch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Planning to eat the same things on alternate days cuts down on the need to plan, grocery shop and prepare ahead of time. This way, you always know what you are having and can use the leftovers for lunches.

Don’t Get Beat Twice

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Sticking with my football theme this week, I want to share with the concept of getting beat twice. Sometimes in football you will see a team lose a big game one week and then come back the next week and get beat by an inferior team. That is letting one team beat you twice.

The team gets so caught up in the disappointing loss, they don’t put in the necessary work all week at practice. They don’t play with the same fire and enthusiasm they normally do. They are letting one letdown lead to more letdowns.

That happened to me recently too. I had a disappointing experience in one area and it affected my performance in another area. My focus was still on the negative things that went wrong and it caused more negative things to happen. Not good.

I see the same thing happening with clients with their fitness and nutrition. They will miss the first few days of class for the week and then decide to skip the whole week. Or have one bad day of eating and just decide to totally give up on their eating plan.

Hey, I get it! I’m obviously in the same boat. Most of these posts I am talking to myself too, so let’s all take the advice that football coaches offer. That loss is over, learn from your mistakes, and move on because there is nothing we can do about that loss now.

You missed a few days or weeks of working out? The best thing you can do about that is to start working out today. Really went off the rails on your nutrition game this week? Start back with one healthy meal today.

Don’t get caught up in the past, figure out why the slip happened, take steps to avoid it happening again, and keep your eyes fixed on the future. Don’t look behind you, you aren’t headed that way.

The Beast Within (Motivation)

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My pastor had a message yesterday about The Beast Within. Part of it was about that little voice inside that feeds your addictions. The voice that makes you buy M&Ms at the checkout lane or fill your drink cup with ice cream at Jason’s Deli. Have you ever seen that move before? It’s pretty impressive.

But I prefer to think about another entity that is inside of all of us. I’m talking about the concept that there is another person inside of you. This is the person that is able to go further than you thought possible, overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable, and give you hope when things look hopeless.

Check out this video from former Tennessee Vol football player Inky Johnson:

https://youtu.be/mlPES2LXiF0  

Inky used that motivation to become a scholarship football player at Tennessee with plans on making it to the NFL. His chances looked good until he got injured making a tackle. The play almost killed him (nerve damage and internal bleeding) and would result in a paralyzed right arm and then end of his football career.

That is when he discovered just how much the person inside could handle. A great message with several other nuggets to keep you motivated. Definitely worth 3 minutes of your day.

Blackmail your way to success!

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With all the controversy surrounding those knuckleheads in Charlottesville, VA it reminds me of a strange, but interesting book. The book is called The Blackmail Diet by John Bear. The subtitle of the book is Lose Weight Or Else!

Pretty catchy title right there.

The premise of the book surrounds the author has been overweight for most of his life and finally has had enough. So he decides that extreme measures need to be taken. Did he go on a crash diet? Join the Army and go to boot camp? Workout like a madman? He did something a little different…

He put $5,000 in a trust to be paid to the Nazi Party unless he could lose 70 pounds in one year.

He did not have much money and this was in 1983, so $5,000 was a pretty hefty sum. Add that to the fact that he despised the Nazi Party and things got serious real quick.

One March 1, 1983 he weighed in at 255 pounds. On March 1, 1984 he weighed in at 179 pounds. For those of you without a calculator, that is a loss of 76 pounds.

The author decided that since focusing on food had never worked for him, he needed to focus on the psychology of human behavior instead. Specifically there are two main factors:

A: Everyone who is committed and excited on day one of the new diet that is going to change their life. 98% fail because the enthusiasm wears off quick.

B: There are certain times in life where once you decide to start something, there is no going back. You are committed until the bitter end. Think signing up for the military, once you step out of an airplane to skydive, or once the roller coaster starts. In all those scenarios, you are going to HAVE to finish what you started.

The Blackmail Diet combines both of those factors. It keeps you motivated every day and you have to reach your goal because there is no going back once that money goes into the trust.

The “blackmail” does not have to involve money. You just have to find something that you REALLY don’t want to happen as your motivation. You could write an e-mail to your boss that would get you fired, save it, only to be sent if you didn’t lose the weight. You could volunteer to serve on that board on church that you have been trying to avoid for years if you were unsuccessful. Get creative and think of things that are absolute no-gos for you and that would light a fire under you.

Now clearly this method is not for everyone. This is an extreme example of what one person did, but it does offer some interesting tips. When was the last time you went all in on an exercise program or a nutrition plan? Where failure was NOT an option.

If you are fed up and ready to make a change, don’t make quitting an option. You don’t have to pledge $5,000 towards the Nazis, but write out a contract to yourself that you will follow through with your plan. No quit and no surrender, anything is possible with the right motivation.

Can you smell what the Crock Pot is cooking?

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Crockpots are one of the best inventions ever. I like to start things off with controversial statements like that.

It’s so easy! You can set-it-and-forget-it, and somehow whatever you end up with always tastes amazing. Just try not to follow my set-it-and-forget-to-plug-it-in method.

It is football season at our house. My son plays and I coach his team, so we don’t get home until 830 at night. Not really time to cook dinner, eat, and shower for the early risers under our roof. So football season is also Crock Pot season.

Last year my wife did one of the greatest things ever. She went to a Wild Tree party where they made a bunch of Crock Pot meals and then froze them. We lived off those things for the whole season, it was glorious.

We got started back on the Crock Pot train with a simple, but delicious one last night. Put lean ground beef in on low until the meat is browned. Then add a diced sweet potato and black beans. You stir garlic salt in, squeeze a lime on top, and then cook that on low for a few more hours. About 15 minutes total prep time.

What is your favorite Crock Pot meal? If you are looking for some new recipes, here is a great link to check out.

77 Crock Pot Meals

The web site Greatest gives you 77 different meals you can do in the Crock Pot. It covers breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, sauces, even vegetarian options. Pretty awesome.

Go forth and Crock Pot my friend.

Why you take the penny over $3 million

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In the book The Compound Effect the author Darren Hardy poses an interesting question. Would you rather have 3 million dollars in your pocket today or a penny that doubles in value every day?

Seems like an easy choice right? Give me that 3 million and let me go buy some exotic pants and other stuff I don’t need ASAP! But if you break down the numbers it changes things a little.

 

At day 14 you would feel like a sucker if you chose the penny option. I’m over there taking selfies with tigers and you have $81 and some change.

By day 20 you’re doing pretty good, but still you only have a little over $5,000. But things start picking up towards the end of the month.

At day 29, you’ve almost caught me. You’ve got $2.7 million!

Then you wake up the next day and you have $5.4 million. Then on your final day of compounding that one penny, you wind up with a whopping $10,737,418.24 to be exact. Thank you very much penny.

 

I share this story with you for one reason. Your health and fitness works the same way.

I see it all the time with clients who have been beating their head against the wall because they are barely losing weight or inches even though they are doing the right thing. One pound here, couple inches there.

Then it happens, the tide starts to turn. All the sudden it seems like the weight is falling off!

This time period is different for everybody. I’ve seen some people that it takes a few months before it pays off. For some it can take much longer.

For one of my clients it took a full year to really see great results! She had a very stressful life, poor sleeping habits, and some medications that were holding her back but she kept at it.

She found ways to reduce the stress in her life, she found a sleep routine that worked for her, and she talked with her doctor about changing around some of her medications. This was along with eating better and exercising consistently.

No part of that is easy. That was a long, frustrating year for her but she said something pretty powerful to me though when I asked her how she stayed motivated. She said:

“Well, I can either keep plugging away at this or just quit and be miserable the rest of my life.”

Yes! Those really are your two options. Stay in the fight, keep tweaking your holistic program (exercise, diet, stress, sleep), and be consistent with what you do. Because one day it will happen, but only if you keep at it.

Don’t give up, you don’t have to be unhappy but you do have to work. Are you willing to do that? If so, I’m here to help however I can.

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