Monday, May 27, 2013

Into The Breach - Memorial Day 2013

This video is dedicated to all of the servicemen & women who serve and have served this great country of ours.

Thank you for HONOR, COURAGE, BRAVERY, and INTEGRITY in defense of our FREEDOM!

We are indebted to you!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Flip the Switch - High-5

So there I was....walking down one of the aisles at the local market buying the goods that I needed to get. What's funny about the entire landscape of this place is that people are "in the zone" and focusing solely on the items they need. I rarely see people conversing or interacting with others unless they're in a group or see someone they know.

I figured I'd change things a bit ('instigate' is actually more like it) and have some fun with the people I'd come across. After all, as a strength coach & personal trainer, I meet new people all of the time and my job is to not only make them feel & move better but to also bring some fun & excitement into their lives which yields AWESOMENESS!

As I make my way down the produce section, I see an elderly man and he briefly looks up at me and smiles.

"Fist bump?", I asked with my fist aimed straight at him.

"Excuse me?"

"Fist bump?" holding my fist.

" thank you!"

"High-5?", this time holding hand in the air.

"Seriously?", he chuckles.

"Absolutely! High-5!"

He then slaps my hand and smiles!

"You're AWESOME! Make it a great day!", I replied.

"Thank you!"

As I make my way to the check out stand, I put my things on the counter pull out my card.

"Do you have rewards card?"

"Not only do I have that, but I also have FREE High-5's too!", I reply.

Looking perplexed, she went about scanning and bagging the goods.

"Credit or Debit?"

"Debit....and I also have a High-5 for you!"

"Um.....I don't get it."

"Easy, slap me a "High-5!"

"O.....K, I just don't understand why you're giving me a High-5."

"Cause you're AWESOME! That's why!"

She smiles and slaps my hand.

"Have a nice day."

"Oh, I intend to. You make it a GREAT day!"

More often than not, many people just go on cruise control with their lives without noticing the simple things around them than can have a major impact in making things somewhat better - to bring some vivacity and enthusiasm into their lives.

During my training sessions with my clients, it all comes down to what I call "flipping the switch" - to turn things around in an instant by seeing and experiencing things from a different perspective. Getting in their head by planting seeds of positive reinforcement, encouragement, growth, endless opportunities to thrive......or simply giving them a High-5!

Flipping the switch from ordinary to EXTRAordinary!

Despite how silly or childish a High-5 may seem to some, it's a pretty POWERFUL gesture if you ask me!

The simplicity of making ones day and subliminally telling them "you did great and I'm proud of you" can elevate things dramatically.
Just recently, I had the honor and privilege in obtaining my Training For Warriors (TFW) Level 1 Instructor Certification presented by my colleague and good friend, Martin Rooney, CSCS - founder of TFW. If you don't know Martin, he's the kind of guy that will make you want to go smash a workout after talking to him about eating blueberries! Yes, he motivates people to that extreme! And I'm not kidding!

Anyway, as we started the metabolic workout session of our training, there we were 27 of us fitness pros getting our asses handed to us on a platter. However, the session wasn't about getting smashed so hard that we had to start looking for the nearest puke buckets! Martin doesn't operate that way! As he said, "Anyone can make someone sore and smash them into the ground. But not anyone can make someone better."

It was a lesson about the standards of effective coaching while keeping us engaged through positive reinforcement despite how fatigued we were. In other words, no matter how tough things will get, you will always come out on top and be grateful that you accomplished a great feat! And you'll also feel better that you did!

The way we accomplished that was by simply giving a High-5 to each other for a great effort and job well done!

Awesome stuff!

No matter how hard life can get, how disengaged you may become, how demotivated and discouraged you may feel, YOU have the power to turn it around and do something AMAZING while having the potential to impact your life as well as others!

To be able to give someone an identity and a sense of self through small yet powerful ACTIONS is priceless!

So let me ask you this?

How many High-5's can YOU give out in day?!



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gimp Monkeys Rule - Living Life On The Edge

"We're limited by our beliefs!" - Those were the exact words spoken from none other than Jarem Frye, a climber who lost his leg due to bone cancer at the age of 14.

I have to say that after watching the video below, I am truly inspired to create GREATNESS more so than I have been. It's not to say that I've been "dragging ass" or anything of sorts! I'm all about elevating my game to greater heights. For me, it's all about my philosophy of improving 1% more each day than the previous one. As I mentioned in a previous post, it's all about the implementation of 'constant never ending improvement' - simply known as the Kaizen principle.

I truly empathize that we all have things going on in our lives and there will be obstacles & challenges that will steer us off the course every now and then. The question is, how do you plan to get back on track and stay on the path?

As Pete Davis, a climber you'll see in the video who was born without his right arm, mentions, "It's all about attitude and perception! What do you really perceive as 'hard'? The right attitude and one arm will beat the wrong attitude and two arms.....every time!"

Do me a favor, watch the video and absorb the content as you will in terms of overcoming challenges. Do away with the list of excuses as to why you haven't started cleaning up your diet, started exercising or why your lifestyle doesn't mesh with your training, fitness and nutrition.

The time has come to take ACTION, to take your game to the next level and do something that will enhance productivity and success.

Life is too short to spend it on the couch watching reality TV!

The choice is yours!

I choose to bust out the "Gimp Monkey" within and start 'living life on the edge'!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quote of the Day

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them."
- Bruce Lee, Martial artist, martial arts instructor, actor, philosopher, and ultimate badass

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Self Discipline and Having A Backup Plan

I wrote a blog not too long ago about the 'Awesomeness Factors' that have impacted and continue to impact & enrich my life. Funny as it may seem, I've always had the self discipline to care for myself long before my self discipline bracelet came along.

I always knew that I had to eat right foods to stay lean and strong, make time to exercise, get plenty of R&R to optimize the effects of training and conditioning, to stay on top of game by learning, reading, researching, and networking and most importantly knowing when to play and unwind. 

Just the other day I was having a casual conversation with someone who lives the lifestyle opposite of the way I live mine. By that I mean that this person doesn't exercise because 'they have no time', they don't cook & prep healthy meals because they're 'super busy', and they don't live the health & fitness lifestyle simply out of laziness - his words, not mine. The crazy and sad part is that this person use to live the life - healthy, lean, fit, and had a sense of caring for themselves.

I've been in the fitness business for a very long time and I've seen many people crash & burn after so many years of "dieting" and training. Yet on the other end of the spectrum, I've seen a lots of people transform themselves physically & mentally. Was it easy to take on such a feat? Hardly. I know I've said this plenty of times but I'll say it again - anything worth having will always take hard work, dedication, persistence and effort.

Think about that for sec. Look at where you are today and what it took to get there. Some of us may be content being in the status quo, but others are still striving to create a better situation than the one they're currently at. It doesn't mean that they're currently in a bad place in life. If you have this "go-getter" attitude, it's about establishing a better way to exist by having the will, determination and intestinal fortitude to constantly improve each day. And if you're not, either there's no plan or you don't exist!

Self discipline outlines the ability to train and control oneself for the sole purpose of personal improvement. If someone says, "I don't have the self discipline to do this or that.....", my rebuttal is, "Then how do you ever expect to climb of that hole by doing the same thing over & over again?" Do you really think you can expect to see change if you're doing the same thing without creating a different stimulus?

I see this contagious, poisonous and stagnant position in life as being on dangerous ground! Simply because life will kick you in the teeth, beat you down and keep you there if you let it.

When it comes to fat loss, the process of getting lean isn't difficult nor is it rocket science. The difficulty is putting things into ACTION! If you stand naked in front of a mirror, would you be happy with what you see? I'm guessing that the majority of you would say "No". Knowing that you're dissatisfied, and consciously knowing that eating the crappy, processed food stuff that you've been stuffing your face with has gotten you where you are today, would you know the things you have to change in order to create a leaner, stronger, sexier version of yourself as opposed to what you're seeing in the mirror? I'm gonna say "Yes".

You know what you have to do - it's just a matter of DOING what you know. Take ACTION and DO something about it!

Self discipline is your wake up call in the morning. It's what will present to you another day to make difference at improving your life more so than the previous one. It's the ability to do something even when you don't feel like doing it, knowing that it creates productivity and a sense of accomplishment. It's the cornerstone of getting your mind right which translates into everything you do!

Living the life of self discipline allows you to see the true essence of reality by experiencing life through the thick & thin of it all. It allows us to breathe when and if we get punched in the belly. It allows us to get back up on our feet and brush off our shoulders should we ever fall down. When shit hits the fan, we learn, we grow, we comprehend what not to do again, we improvise, and we go to plan B.

If plan B sucks, go to plan C.

If plan C crashes and burns, move onward to plan on and so forth.

Once we exhaust all 26 letters of the alphabet and if all plans backfire, we start with plan #1. As we know, we can use an infinite amount of backup plans if we start using the numberic system. Hopefully we won't ever have to go to that extreme in order to find something that works....then again, you never know. 

One tactic to highly consider in terms of backup plans and improving overall health & fitness is to surround yourself with people who are fitter and healthier than you. I do this all of the time. Trust me - I have numerous friends and colleagues that can out-lift me & out-run me any day. But that’s what keeps me going! The ability to create goals that will help me get better each day so that one day they’ll chasing after me as they choke on my dust!

It all starts with taking ACTION!

Another awesome way to improve your health & fitness is to get the social support you've always needed to succeed by others who already live the health & fitness lifestyle. It's a proven fact that having accountability to others gives you better & greater RESULTS! In addition to this, when you surround yourself with like-minded people, you begin to inherit the same principles of optimal health & well being into your own life.

Backup plans consist of many things - from getting a workout partner, hiring a strength coach and/or personal trainer, buying a gym membership, building a home gym, taking your workouts outdoors, to participating in a recreational/competitive sport and/or activity, trying a different nutrition system, the list goes on and on.

The point is to always weigh out your options and take the time plan ahead. Knowing that you'll have challenges and obstacles is a given. The question is how will you conquer them if you fail at your 1st attempt?

Did the Wright brothers give up in their initial quest when they masterminded the construction/invention of their plane? I know for a fact there were many days and nights of frustration and many failed attempts. But they never gave up. They always went back to the drawing board to exercise and mock up their backup plan.

Dedicate yourself to getting better every day by implementing the “Kaizen” Principle – taken from a Japanese philosophy that focuses on ‘constant never ending improvement’. Never forget that your personal health & fitness is a lifelong process. The only time it ends is when our life on this earth expires! Until then, keep going. Keep adding value. Keep learning. Keep connecting with other great people.

Don't wait another minute to get started. Leverage the combined power of a solid but simple and effective health, fitness & nutrition program, social support, take ACTION and TRANSFORM.

The breakthroughs will come. I promise.

Stay strong and aim to get STRONGER!


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nutrition - Yeah, It's That Important!

There's never a day that goes by when I meet or talk to someone about the importance of 'clean eating'. In  most cases, quite a few (not all) people think they can just eat what they want and "train off the bad calories".

If only it were that easy, right? If that was the case, we'd be feasting all of the time on the most decadent foods without regards to the caloric content or the nutrient & physical components for that food item we're chomping down on while maintaining the physique of a Spartan Warrior!

I know for a fact that many people struggle to stay on point - sticking with clean & healthy foods because the people they surround themselves with are always eating crap! Shitty stuff that's highly processed, contains lots of sugar and trans fats. And I'm sure it doesn't help when you're trying to be good while your friends and/or co-workers are bringing crap to share or making bad choices which may also impact your options & influencing you to eat the stuff they're eating - doughnuts, cookies, candies, know the deal!

In a fast-paced, single serving society where convenience runs rampant, it's no wonder why so many people have issues with high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight, etc. We live in a day and age where TV commercials are brainwashing people to go and buy that McRib sandwich which is only here for a limited time! Better yet, you can bring your cholesterol down by eating a cup of Honey Nut Cheerios vs taking the time to prepare a hot, healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs & veggies! How about that get together with friends where nothing but junk foods and sweets are the only things being offered for snacks?

There comes a point and time where you have to take a stand for yourself without giving in to someone else's choices and decisions to eat poor quality "food stuff" (my good friend & colleague Steve Krebs, owner of Next Level Athletic Performance calls it as such cause it's simply NOT real food)!  No one should ever succumb to peer pressure to eating poorly! It's unfortunate because your family & friends will try to bring you down consciously and subconsciously. I know most mean well and want to keep you feeling full & satisfied. Like the picture below says, your family & friends will influence what you eat by 34.5%!

But what if what they're offering you doesn't align with your health & fitness goals? What then?

If your goal is fat loss, how is that huge bowl of mac & cheese going to help?

If it's weight loss, will eating that bag of chips & drinking soda (diet soda is even worse) get you to your ideal weight?

If it's getting off your diabetes meds, I know for a fact eating deep fried butter isn't going to cut it!

Eating the right foods and staying away from junk is a huge issue! It's also an issue that many people aren't educated about.

As I said earlier, many will assume that they can out train a bad diet. I don't mean to fart on your cornflakes (well, technically I do) but you're missing the entire point when it comes to training/exercise and optimal nutrition. To see real world results, both of these must mesh together nicely - they have to compliment each other. You just can't assume that you can smash a high-intensity metabolic workout and even things out by eating Ho-Ho's and corndogs! That's like taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back - you're never going to get ahead! NEVER!

So, what can you do to get yourself on the road to eating well and feeling awesome? Here's a start. Check out this awesome, classic video of the late Jack Lalanne - the Godfather of Fitness, as he explains what foods you should eliminate for 5 days. I know this may be a challenge for some of you but try it out!

It's only for 5 days!

Remember - your goals are just that....YOURS! Not your family or friend's goals!

Have the determination and courage to be the change instead of being changed!