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 JoeMartinFitness

The One Thing to 6 Pack Abs



We live in a multi-tasking world. We are all busy, so it is kind of expected of us. How else can you expect to chase Pokemon characters and still post on Facebook that you are chasing Pokemon charaters?

The problem with multi-tasking is that it just doesn’t work. It feels like we are getting a lot of stuff done, but multiple studies have shown it is not the ideal way to go. We do this with our weight loss attempts too.

I read a great book about this topic called The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. The main two directives from the book are:

  1. Start with 1 habit at a time

  2. Do the most important things first


Two simple concepts, but are you currently using them in your life? Yeah, me neither. You look to find the one thing in your life that if you did it, it would make everything easier or even unnecessary.

Here is a great video that breaks down the whole process. The premise is about getting 6 pack abs. You break down your habits so small that you can’t make your habit any smaller. Then eventually a lot of those smaller habits become unnecessary and the rest of the steps become easier.

This is the example from the video. His big goal is to get 6pack abs. His first step is to eat clean 7 days a week, but that is too overwhelming in the beginning. So he begins to break the habits into smaller, more manageable steps.

Here is how far he goes down.

-Eat clean 7 days a week

-5 clean meals prepped daily

-Cook all meals on Sunday for the week

-Create a Sunday cook time from 12pm-3pm

-Grocery shop every Sunday at 10am

-Create a grocery list

-Watch videos and do research on what to eat

-Set aside 1 hour to do research

-Wake up early

-Go to bed early

-Set time to go to sleep every night

-Remove all distractions (such as your cell phone) before bed time

Pretty crazy right? That your first step to 6 pack abs is to turn off your phone before bed time. Eventually the last 6 steps will become unnecessary as they become just a part of your normal routine and the first 6 steps become easier.

So what is the one thing you need to do to reach your goal? Spend some time on this and reverse engineer it so you make the process not seem so impossible.

10 Fat Loss Laws


1.Eliminate the excuses, they no longer apply to you (listed first for a reason)

The sooner you realize that just about every reason you have used in the past for not being in shape (kids, work, illness, etc…) is an excuse, the sooner you will be successful. There are things that may be making it more difficult to be successful, but they are not stopping you.

Own your life! When you get rid of the excuses, you are now in charge and you are ready to make some changes.

2. Whatever you weigh in pounds, you drink half that much water in ounces every day (If you weigh 200 pounds, you would drink 100 ounces per day)

This probably seems like a ridiculous amount of water, especially if you are not currently drinking water. Make this a goal you will eventually reach if that is the case, don’t get overwhelmed.

Drinking water helps with increase energy, decrease appetite, increase exercise performance, improves skin quality, and a ton of other benefits. Bottom line is that drinking plenty of water is worth the effort.

3. Sleep a minimum of 7 hours each night

Picture someone doing a giant, mouth stretching yawn. Did it make you yawn? Then you probably need more sleep! If your body is not getting the sleep that it needs to recover, then you will not be getting the results you deserve. Set a firm bed time, get into a nightly sleep ritual, get the electronics out of your bed, and make sleep a priority.

4. Learn to de-stress

Even if you are doing all the right things (exercise, nutrition, sleep), you will not progress if your body is stressed out. That is how our bodies are wired. Dealing with stress comes before anything else in the body’s priority hierarchy. Think of some non-food/drink ways to rid yourself of stress. Go for a walk, hit a punching bag, listen to music, pet a dog. Do something other than just internalizing your stress.

5. Cut out fast foods and processed foods


6. Get rid of the junk foods and unhealthy snacks in 
your house

Will power does not work. You will eat those cookies you “got for the kids”. You know it and I know it because I’m the same way. If there are things in your house that you are trying to avoid, you will eventually give in. Keep. Them. Out. Of. Your. House.

7. Eat a vegetable at every meal


8. Eat a protein at every meal

9. Make sure you are eating healthy fats (olive oil, 
fish oil, nuts, avocados, etc...)


10. Eat fast burning carbohydrates (rice, pasta, 
bread, potatoes) only after a workout.


If you like these and find them helpful, there are 11 other Fat Loss Laws that go with this list. They are from my first book the 21 Day Tight and Toned Transformation. There are also 21 days worth of workouts you can do any time and just about anywhere with minimal equipment.


If you would like a copy of that book, just e-mail and let me know you want a copy and I will e-mail it to you as a thank you for being a loyal reader.

Is it ok to fail?



This weekend I got the chance to go to Clarksville, TN to watch my son’s basketball team play. Really cool city if you ever get the chance to go. It is the home of Austin Peay State University.

My son’s team was there to play for the 10U (10 years and younger) Division 1 national championship. There were teams from all over the country, there were coordinated outfits, opening ceremonies with sky divers, nationally ranked players and teams, pomp and circumstance. It was a really big deal.

My son’s team is good and they had a great season to qualify for the tournament. But these other teams were next level. Every game so far they have been beat by 20 plus points. And the coaches knew going in that this was gong to happen. So why did they even show up?

There are times in your life when you should attempt to do things that you think you cannot do.

You can make massive improvements even if you fail! Failure is not the worst thing that can happen to you. I would argue that never attempting things out of your comfort zone is much worse. When you fail you learn what you need to do to get better.

My challenge to you is to attempt something you think you cannot do.

Sign up for a race you don’t think you can complete. Set a goal to lift a weight you don’t think you could ever do. Go after your dream job. Whatever it is, write it down today and start making plans to accomplish it.

I’m not saying you should run a marathon tomorrow. Your goal could be something in 3 months, 6 months, a year, etc… When you know there is that deadline looming in the future you get extra accountability. It will help you make it to every workout, eat healthier meals, and to push yourself even harder.

What seems impossible today, can one day become just another day when you consistently work hard. People do amazing things all the time. Why not you?

Fat Shaming



There is an article out right now that says that if you are fat, you should be shamed and then you will lose weight. What the what what? It is supposedly backed by science and research.With links to studies and everything! Until you actually look at the science and research that the author uses...


This article by Josh Hillis does a great job of breaking down just how wrong everything in the fat shaming article is.


I have been training exclusively women for 7 years, so I feel qualified to speak on this subject. I've never met a woman who lost a bunch of weight, got in great shape, and made lasting changes because someone made them feel bad about themselves.


On the other hand, I have helped pick up the pieces from several women who have been shattered by hurtful and insensitive people in their lives. Some of them "professionals" who are in the same field I am in. It's no wonder every trainer on TV and in movies is a caricature of a meathead, goober.


You know what did work? Deciding for themselves to make a change (not anyone else), having a compelling reason/goal, getting in a supportive environment, being around people who challenge and encourage them, and not giving up when the hard times come.


If you've been discouraged because someone made you feel bad when you were trying to exercise and eat right, I'm sorry. You can do this and nobody has the power to stop you. That is the beauty of all this.


You have what it takes right now to get started on the path to success, do not give up. You deserve to be in that gym, in that class, on that bike, in that pool, etc... just as much as anybody.


Screw anybody that tells you different.

The Kan Jam Workout


Kan Jam is a game involving what looks like 2 plastic trash can liners with a mail slot in them and a Frisbee. You can score points when you hit the can or get the Frisbee inside the can. You can also get points if your partner slaps the Frisbee inside the can or into the side of the can.


Dinger- when your partner deflects the Frisbee off the can. Worth 1 point

Deuce- When you throw it and hit the can without your partner touching it. Worth 2 points

Slam Dunk-your partner slaps the Frisbee inside the can. Worth 3 points

Bucket- You make it in the can without your partner touching it. Worth 5 points


The ultimate goal is to get the Frisbee into the slot. If you do that, no matter what the score is, you win the game. Pretty tough to do.


It is a lot more fun than I am making it sound, I promise. But like everything else in my life, I look for ways to turn it into a workout.

So I have adjusted the scoring a little bit. Same scoring methods, but the stakes have changed. Whatever you score, the opposing team has to do the corresponding repetitions for each exercise.

Dinger- 10 reps

Deuce- 15 reps

Slam Dunk-20 reps

Bucket- 25 reps

If you make it in the slot, the opposing team has to do 100 burpees. Thus pretty much ending the game and possibly some friendships.


Here is a video of my son and I demoing a little bit of the game:  

Below are the exercises I chose, but feel free to make it your own!



-Swings (kettlebell or dumbbell)

-Shoulder presses

-Bent over rows


-Squat and press

-Walking lunges

Are you half way there?



Can you believe today is July 1st? This is the half way point in the year. 2016 is going fast!


Think about the goals you set for yourself in January. Are you half way through the goals you set for yourself?


No? Not to worry, it is never too late. It's not the time to beat yourself up, it is time to come up with a plan. Think of the amazing changes you could make in 6 months with hard work and dedication!


You could do some truly amazing things if you cut out the excuses and and go to work. So here is my challenge to you:


Get in 100 workouts between now and December 31st.


December 31, 2016 by the way. For those looking for loopholes. You know who you are.


That means you need a minimum of 3 workouts per week and most weeks you need to get in 4 workouts a week. (Technically you need 3.84 workouts a week)


Getting that many workouts in will be tough. You need motivation, accountability, and something you enjoy doing. Got that in your workouts already? Great! If not, make it your mission to find those necessary ingredients.


I'm here to support you in completing this goal however I can. Don't hesitate to ask if I can help you along the way.


Have a great holiday weekend!

Don’t let it soak



One of my go-to moves in the kitchen is to cook something and then let the pan soak afterwards. You ever do that? Oh man, no way can I clean that right now it HAS to soak!


My wife just laughs and shakes her head. She knows the real reason is I’m being lazy and don’t feel like cleaning that thing right now.


I was listening to Eric Thomas (AKA ET or The Hip Hop Preacher) and he talked about when he tried to pull the soaking move on his grandmother. She told him, “Don’t put that off. If you put that off, you will start putting everything off.”


It makes sense to me. When you get into a certain mindset, it is easy to keep that mindset with everything. If you tend to do things right when the opportunity arises, you tend to do that with everything. If you tend to put things off, you do that with everything.


Your homework this week is to do one thing right away that you would normally put off. It is hard work overcoming your habits! But you can do it.


A few suggestions could be: -planning your meals for the week -get your workout clothes ready for tomorrow so you aren’t running behind in the morning -cutting up some vegetables and fruit for easy, grab-and-go snacks -planning your workouts or sign up for class and I will do it :) -get on your foam roller that you have ignored for 3 months


A lot of times in life, the last thing you feel like doing is the first thing you really should be doing. Start making it a habit to do those hard things first.


Whether it is something on my list above or one that you know you need to do, do it today!

Please help with our scholarship giveaway!



I pride myself on giving back whenever I can. It is a blessing to wake up every morning and do what you love. Not very many people have that privilege and I don’t take it lightly.

One small thing we do is give scholarships to our classes to people that can not afford to come, but desperately want to. They get a month of unlimited sessions to any of our locations and times. We have seen some extraordinary results from past scholarship winners.

We saw tremendous physical results, but the coolest part is what happened from there. Every single person who has won in the past has ended up getting a job shortly after completing their 4 weeks with us. Man of these winners had been out of work for several months too.

It is amazing the confidence boost you can get when you begin exercising and feeling better about yourself.

I need your help finding the next applicant. Maybe it’s even you! Please spread the word to someone you know who might be interested in a scholarship.

To apply, all they need to do is send a short e-mail (200 words or less) to and simply say why they would like to be awarded a scholarship. Thanks for the help and thank you for being a part of helping me live my dreams!

The small print stuff:

Scholarship will be awarded on Sunday, July 3rd. The scholarship will be for the Tight and Toned Camp that starts on July 5th. You can choose Huntsville or Harvest. Huntsville has 530am, 830am, and 530pm classes. Harvest has 530am (although we will be adding an evening class soon).

Personal Excellence on your fitness journey



In Steve Jobs' biography by Walter Isaacson, he shared a story about how he developed an appreciation for craftsmanship. His adoptive father Paul Jobs was a mechanic and overall handy guy who would build anything they needed.


Paul Jobs refused to use cheap wood in the back of a cabinet he was building, even though no one would ever see it. When Steve was helping him build a fence his father told him:


“You got to make the back of the fence that nobody will see just as good looking as the front of the fence. Even though nobody will see it, you will know, and that will show you’re dedicated to making something perfect.”


I share this story with you not to get you to try and be perfect, that would be an awesome way to feel like a failure. I share this story with you to encourage you to take pride in your fitness journey.


Do the things it takes to be successful that only you know about. Only you truly know when you gave your best effort. You are the only one who knows how much you sleep, what you are eating/drinking, how active you are outside of your workout, etc…


You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be consistent. Every day do something mentally or physically that gets you closer to where you want to be. Don’t worry about impressing others, make yourself proud first!


Action Step- Write down what you are going to do today to get better. First thing that pops in your head, no matter how big or small. And then do it. Simple as that. Only you will know.

The people who impress me have one thing in common



The other day I saw a video of a 75 year old man squatting well over 400 pounds with perfect form. Then I went to jiu-jitsu class and saw a guy in his 50s roughing up a guy in his 20s. And then I saw a video of a 60 year old woman doing a head spin.


I took this as a sign to write you this e-mail. Hey it gets tough to find inspiration for an e-mail some days.

lebron james block

I am impressed with lots of athletic feats. Watching Lebron James dominate some of the best athletes on the planet in the NBA finals or watching Usain Bolt run is very cool. But do you know what impresses me the most?


People who continue to accomplish athletic feats into their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond. At an age where many people start to slow down, they are still getting after it. What makes them so special?


There are probably several right answers, but I think there is one thing they all have in common. Momentum.


They never stopped!


Remember when playgrounds used to have merry-go-rounds? Kids today are missing out on the fun, throwing up, and getting teeth knocked out that those things could bring.


What was the hardest part about those things? It was getting it going! Once you got that thing going it would go for a long time. You created the momentum and it was easier.


Working out and eating healthy are the same way. The starting and starting over are the hardest parts. So don’t ever stop!


This is a lifestyle change you are making. This is not a short term fix to get ready for the beach or a wedding. This is you setting yourself up for a lifetime of your body looking, feeling, and performing how you want it to.

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