The doctor thought I was trying to kill myself



I feel like you should know that I have terrible vision. Do you ever go to a new eye doctor and they call in extra people to observe the freak with the 20/8000 vision?

It has happened more than once to me.

Remember the Hubble telescope? I order my glasses from the people who designed that.

Mr. Martin your glasses are ready for pick up

Mr. Martin your glasses are ready for pick up

As part of any eye exam, they make you take your contacts out. Then the observe>call in people>order from NASA process happens.

One time as I am gathering my dignity up, I am putting my contacts back in. The doctor happens to catch me in my contact-putting-in procedure and says, "Oh my gosh! Do you always do that like that???"

That's a good feeling.

I told him I have been doing it like that since I was 12 years old. Turns out the way I put contacts in is very similar to someone trying to commit suicide via eye pokes.

What can I say? I blink a lot so it has to happen fast. I had no idea I was putting in contacts like a psychopath. I needed someone to tell me.

This is the importance of getting fresh eyes (pun intended) on how you do your workouts. You may have no idea that the way you squat is the equivalent of the eye gouge contact move.

Sometimes it is little tweaks that can make a huge difference in not only your results, but preventing injury. For example, squatting is not bad for your knees but improper squatting is.

Find a trained professional (I don't recommend your spouse, even if they are a fitness professional) that can look at your form, let you know how it looks, and offer suggestions for improvement.

Especially if you have an exercise that doesn't feel right to you. Always listen to your body, it knows stuff.

Upcoming awesome events in the Huntsville areas



May 10th

Family Field Day and Resource Fair

Alabama A&M University Wellness Center


Obstacle course (I'm in charge of this one), field day activities, exercise demos, give aways and more on the fitness side of things. There will also be resources to help young people get jobs, summer camp opportunities, volunteer opportunities, etc... The main theme is to combat youth obesity and find ways to keep kids engaged and out of trouble.

May 17th

Healthy Huntsville Super Saturday Event

Big Spring Park

9am-12pm (9am HABC will lead a boot camp class)

There will be healthy vendors set up, as well as fitness classes throughout the day.

May 24th

Boot Camp to Benefit Alabama Aids Coalition

Space and Rocket Center


This is no cost, but we will be taking up donations to benefit the AAC. I've always wanted to do a class at the Space and Rocket Center, so this will be an awesome opportunity at a really cool location.

May 28th

Official release date of the 28 Day Summer Slim Down Challenge. A guide guaranteed to get you results for the summer. I will tell you more about this later.

June 2nd

4 week, Summer Slim Down Boot Camp

This promises to be a fun filled, energetic camp to get the summer kicked off right. Got a few new tricks up my Hammer pants for this one.

Don't take that the wrong way.

That ginger usher scared me mommy

I sometimes forget, gingers can be scary to some people

I sometimes forget, gingers can be scary to some people

Do you like to challenge yourself? Willing to try new things and strive to get better? I am like that, sometimes to a fault.

My wife and I had a challenge to see who could handout the most programs at church one Sunday morning when we were ushering. Nothing like the look of shock on a small child's face when a 6'2" inch ginger is overaggressively foisting a program in his face.

Probably not the best challenge, but that's just the way we are both wired. Always looking for a challenge.

In case you are wondering, I won.

The latest challenge I am taking on is called the Whole Life Challenge. It is an 8 week challenge where you score yourself daily in 5 different areas.

You get points for nutrition, exercise, mobilization, supplements, and lifestyle.

They give you support, tips, tricks, and strategies to help you along the way. The overall concept is pretty straightforward.

-Eat healthy foods, stay away from processed and sugary foods

 -Exercise at least 10 minutes per day

 -Stretch or foam roll for 10 minutes a day

-Take your chosen supplement every day (multivitamin, fish oil, etc...)

-Take steps to improve your overall lifestyle every day (drink more water, improving sleep, etc...)

Sounds like stuff that you have heard about from just about any health and fitness person right?  So why did I shell out my own money for something I write about doing every day?

Three main reason. Being intentional, accountability, and I wanted to see if it was something my clients would like to try for the next challenge.

It is so easy to just go through your day going through the motions. But when you are tracking what you eat, your workouts, stretching, supplementation, and all of the other things that can help you improve you will stick to it.

This all create a blueprint for your path to success, but will also give you an idea what you need to work on if you don't reach your goals.

If you would like to join my team (it's just me so far) you can go HERE

Today is actually the last day to sign up for the Whole Life Challenge if it interests you at all.

But the main thing I want you to do is be mindful of what you are doing every day. Do you keep track of what you are eating and what you are doing in your workouts?

If not, I would suggest you start today. It really does matter.


Something for your mind, body, and soul



Hopefully we are through with all of the dangerous weather that has been in our area lately. Hope your friends and families made it through safely.

We have been trapped indoors long enough. It is time to take things outside.

Here are the top 10 reasons, you should exercise outside.


1. 50% greater improvement in mental health over gym workouts.

2. It decreases tension, anger, confusion, and depression

3. Increased rates of exercise compliance (easier to stick to your workout routine).

4. Vigorous, outdoor exercise increases energy and alertness better than a cup of coffee.

5. Much higher Vitamin D levels. In a related note, people with low Vitamin D levels are twice as likely to be overweight than people with normal to high levels if Vitamin D.

6. Adventure Boot Camp is outside. Just putting that out there.

7. Test subjects scored 50% better on a creativity study after exercising outdoors.

8. No need to worry about germs on the equipment or waiting on the guy who is reading a novel while camped out on the piece of equipment you need.

9. Better way to increase your fitness level, especially for runners. Dealing with wind, temperature changes, different terrain, etc... makes your body work harder, expend more energy, and become more resilient.

10. Helps you sleep better at night.

Even if you can't exercise outdoors every day, try to sneak in at least one workout per week outside.

Get some fresh air, sunlight, movement, sweat, and maybe even have a little fun while you're at it.

You will be amazed at what that can do for your mind, body, and soul.


Don’t do boot camp before going to the dentist


With the popularity of activity and food tracking apps, I get asked a lot how many calories does an hour of boot camp burn.

We have had people track their calories burned with monitors and depending on the workout it is anywhere from 350-800 calories per hour for an average size woman. Not every workout will be that high or that low.

Your size, the type of workout, and how hard you are working will all factor in as well.

The main benefit of the type of workouts we do is not just what happens during the workout, it is what happens afterwards.

There is something known as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), sometimes called the Afterburn effect, that occurs after a tough workout.

Basically it is continued calorie burn that happens as the body tries to put itself back together like Humpty Dumpty. Returning heart rate back to normal, repairing muscles, getting oxygen levels back to normal, and replacing energy stores (glycogen) all take calories to get the body back to its normal resting state (homeostasis).

In more laymen terms, it revs up your metabolism like crazy. I also have an explanation in the form of a dental warning.

I had a client one time who had a dentist appointment a few hours after a 530am workout. She was having a procedure done that required dentist numb her mouth.

There was only one problem. Shortly after they numbed her mouth, it would go away quickly and she could feel things you don't want to feel at the dentist.

The dentist was at a loss until he figured out my client had been at boot camp that morning. Her metabolism was up so high that it would get rid of the numbing medication in no time.


Awesome for burning calories, not so much for being pain free at the dentist's office.

You can not get this afterburn effect from walking or low intensity exercise. You have to work hard and you will be out of breath, but it will pay off.

Come join us at our class that starts on Monday if you want to see for yourself how it works. Or get in touch with me and I can help you figure out a plan that works for you.

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 

Ah screw it, I’m eating pizza and donuts

Very convenient for my new plan, thank you

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."

Also, very convenient for me

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.

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.

These exercises are Sir-Mix-A-Lot approved

Class is now in session.

Class is now in session.

The glutes are a common term for the group of muscles in your buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minims. The buttocks is a scientific name for your rump shaker.

With so many jobs requiring extended periods of sitting, the muscles of the buttocks are going to waste.

Weak glutes can cause low back pain, knee injuries, hamstring pulls, make climbing stairs harder, and many other negative effects.

Besides making you look better working these muscles can also: help prevent or fix a lot of the problems listed above, increase athletic performance, and improve overall strength.

Here are a few of other glute exercises that you might not have tried.

Crossover step ups

Put your right foot next to a step, bench, or even a curb. The height you use and whether or not you use weights will be based on how experienced you are.

Step your left foot across your body up onto the platform. Keeping your hips facing to the front, push hard using your left glute muscles, and step your right foot up onto the platform. Step back down with your right foot and start all over.

Kneeling stand up

Kneel down with your left knee on the ground, your right knee up. Push hard through your right heel and concentrate on using your right side butt muscles to stand all the way up. Stand up fast, then slowly (taking 3-5 seconds) lower yourself back down.

If that version is too hard, get your right side close to a wall and use your right hand to assist you. If you have joint issues that prevent you from doing this exercise, start at the top part of this exercise and slowly lower yourself to the point you can go then stand up.

Rear foot elevated squat with one weight

Like the crossover set ups, you have options depending on your fitness level. You can use a bench, a step, or a curb and you can also choose to use weights or not.

Start with your right foot up on a bench, shoelaces flat on the bench (or some people prefer to put their toe on the bench), and left foot 2-3 foot away from the bench. Keep your chest up (don't round your lower back), lean your torso forward slightly, bend your left knee to lower your right knee toward the ground. Don't let your right knee touch the ground and drive back up to the starting position.

Then one more important exercise.

The Stand Up

To perform this one, simply stop sitting down, and you got it. This might be the most important one. The more you sit, the more those butt muscles are going to feel unwanted, and will deteriorate. Stand up at least once per hour.

This is how we do things in our boot camps. You will have an exercise, then we will provide a way to make it harder as well as a way to make it easier/work around joint issues.

We start our brand new Better Booty and Belly Boot Camp on Monday. Whatever shape you are in now, we can figure out a way to get you looking and feeling your best. Can't wait to get started, come join us!

What body part do women obsess about most?

For those teams when you need to smell like the 90s

For those teams when you need to smell like the 90s

I have a confession to make to you.

I use AOL for all of my e-mail.

I've tried to quit many times, but I can't stop even though I'm aware that it makes me look like someone who still listens to 8 tracks.

It's an excellent distraction when I am actually trying to work. It posted these headlines after you send an e-mail to get you interested in their stories.

They had one last week about the body parts people obsess about the most.

Being a fitness professional, I had to investigate so I could be up on the latest research.

Do you have any guesses on what body parts women obsess about the most?

Their stomach is the area that 69% of women obsess about. Followed by thighs 36% and butt 29%.

You can check out the rest of the stats for men and women here

The problem with obsessing about something, is that all you tend to do. The issue seems so insurmountable that it can make you feel hopeless and you will do nothing but worry.

This is the time a molehill starts to become a mountain.


The best cure for that is AAA.



Do something about it! We have created a specially designed camp to help these specific problem areas.

This will be 4 weeks of class with a special focus on the stomach, butt, and thighs. This class will start on March 17th and we have also added a 2 days per week option for people who have requested it.

Registration is open today! Go to HuntsvilleBootCamp.com:

 -Select the class location from the Calendar and Registration menu (Huntsville or Madison)

 -Find the class that time that suits you best (530am, 830am, or 530pm)

-Choose however many days per week (2-5 days) that you would like to attend

When you are actively working on your problems you will feel so much better, than when you are sitting back passively worrying about them.

Sign up today and we can obsess about important things, like having the Billy Ray Cyrus of e-mail systems.

Parents, let him be a lesson to us all. Lose your mullet, lose control of your daughter.

Parents, let him be a lesson to us all. Lose your mullet, lose control of your daughter.

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