Its a fact, most diets fail!! Its a fact, people that opt for a lifestyle change for the long run are more successful than those who opt for a quick fix diet. Not every plan works out and we are giving you 6 surefire warning signs to know if your diet and lifestyle change are on the fast track to success or in hot water.

1. You make the decision to go on a diet or change your eating/nutrition for the better. The warning sign that you might risk failing: You make every change in 24hrs!! Think about it this way, would you go out tomorrow and play sports professionally without years of experience and practice? The first day or two might seem great but then reality hits and we realize we are sore, tired, and miserable. Doing it all in 24 hours because we are excited is the same deal. In a week or so reality hits for most people and we realize that this HUGE change is not sustainable. Instead opt to make a small change every week to slowly but surely achieve success.

2. You start to cut back on portions to reduce calories. The warning sign: you are always hungry because you went too far in the opposite direction. Cutting calories in half is a recipe for a very hungry and cranky person, when you do it all at once. If you are cutting calories first thing is first. Track what you are eating and then start to cut calories by 100-200, stay with that for a 7-10 days and see how you feel. Don’t cut out 100 0 calories all at one go as this can backfire on you and in the end cause more harm then good.

3. You increase your veggies, fruits, and protein and cut out sweets and bad carbs. The warning sign that you may not be doing it right: you are constantly craving sweets and salt everyday, all day. If you used to eating sweats everyday then a more practical solution would be to cut out sweats every other day for 2-weeks and build on that. Cravings are horrible and often lead to overeating and indulging later on.

4. Sometimes we begin or increase or exercise routine to burn more calories and lose weight. The warning sign: your only reason for exercising is so that you can maintain what you eat. This is more typically the person who doesn’t want ot change what they eat or thinks that if they just do more exercise it will equal out or creat a caloric deficeit. Sometimes it will, but most times it won’t. We MUST combne exercise and nutrition together. Nutrition is and always will be the make or break between losing, maintaining, and gaining weight.

5. You find a coach, support group, or nutritionist to help you out and get you results. Warning sign: You don’t really know why you hired them and you think that just because you are paying soemone means you will get results. I know this sounds odd but think about it. Say someone hires a trainer to coach them and work with them on exercise. They tell you to do 2 days of strength and 3 days of cardio. Just because you hired that person doesn’t mean weight loss all of a sudden happens. YOU still have to put the time and effort in to make it happen. Trainers and nutritionists can only show you the way, YOU must make it happen.

12 Laws of Exercise

This is not some pseudo-science or something I think might work. These are literally tried and proven “LAWS” for working out that you should adhere to.

1. Make sure you crawl before you sprint, at every workout, and I mean this literally. If you are working out and the session is 100 meter sprints or you are maxing out in a certain lift you still have to “crawl” or proggesively warm yourself up. I see too many people go from 0 to 100 in 3 minutes and wonder why they have pain or problems later. It might take 15 minutes to progressively warm-up for an all out sprint. Walk, jog, run, slow sprint intervals, faster, etc.. but its worth the time and effort to do so.

2. If you want to get stronger make sure you use a weight that you can do 8-12 reps with the majority of the time. If you are doing multiple sets of 12+ reps its time to increase the weight as you are getting into endurance based lifting at that point.

3. The athletic stance is a generic but great way to set up for squats, deadlifts, and any overhead pressing exercises. It provides stability of the legs and core and minimizes injury.

4. You must do more wieght, with good form if you want to continue to challenge yourself. No one ever got stronger by doing the same weights all the time and there will never be a point where you are strong enough. I have never heard anyone say, “More weight, nah, I am already too strong” NEVER!!

5. Make sure to have a mix of both body weight and equipment based (Kettlebell, dumbbell, barbell, etc…) at most every workout. Barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells provide more load or weight than a body weight exercise. Body weight exercises require more control and stability along with coordination than your typical lifts. Both are awesome and both are needed.

6. Do the basics first than worry about the new/fun stuff later. This means squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, pullups, lunges, etc… The tried and true compound lifts that we know work must come first. Everything else should be saved for later.

7. Superset 2 opposite exercises to maximize your time in the gym. You can pair up exercises in the following ways: upper/lower, front/back, core/upper, core/lower. Any of these will work and also allow you to get in more exercise in the same or less time.

8. Change up your routine every 6-8 weeks. Ideally, you should stick with the same exercises for 6-8 weeks, allow the body to adapt, and then make some changes. The changes can be small, increase or decrease your reps, change the order slightly, use a different grip or piece of equipment for the same exercise. It doesn’t have to be a full program switch.

9. Find a workout partner that has like goals and is on the same page as you. Even better, if they are stronger, faster, more dedicated, etc… than yourself this is a HUGE plus to help push you each week.

10. Make sure to take 1-2 days off between high intensity workouts for full recovery. Training 3 days in a row, especially full body or high intensity raises cortisol levels, increases your risk of injury, and decreases the benefit  you are looking to receive.

11. On the other hand, make sure to get in no less then 2 full body workouts/week. Even better get in 3 days/week with adequate rest days between sessions. Its been shown that the more we do something, with appropriate rest, the better and stronger we become at it.

12. Lastly, make sure your workouts fit YOU. Working out 6 days a week alternating between cardio and strength training along with recovery walks at night may be great for some people. For other people 3 days of Metabolic Resistance Training is what their life allows them. Figure out what your life allows you to do then develop your trainign around that.

Instant Ways to Boost Your Health and Live Happier

Boost your health, be happier, probably gonna live longer, that sounds pretty good huh? Here you go, enjoy:

1. Laugh- Laugh at least once a day, I think I laugh way more. Its good for you and makes us feel good. Ever spend too much time around some that complains all the time no fun. Get next to the person that cracks jokes once in a while

2. Stretch- Its like therapy for your muscles. It takes 5-minutes and your muscles will thank you the next day. It makes us feel good when we are done too.

3. Wash Your Hands- I know we have lots of teachers in our program and mine always used to remind us to wash our hands, FREQUENTLY (my wife reminds me too 🙂 Germs are everywhere, wash em up and get sick less.

4. Envision Good Thoughts For Sleep– If you can’t sleep or are stressed out try imagine yourself in your picture perfect vacation over and over again. It will soothe your mind and help you to fall asleep.

5. Get A Massage- Get a massage!! Its relaxing and good for you. Can’t get a massge then ask your significant other OR just foam roll it out.

6. Take  A Multivitamin- Just take a multivitamin to ensure that you are getting in all the neccessary vitamins and minerals.

7. Walk– This is not an exercise walk just a relaxing walk for 5-10 minutes to clear your head and start fresh. Too many times we get caught up at the computer for hours only to suffer what I call “brain fog”. Walk for five and then re-start for a clearer head.

8. Get Outside- Being outside provides a sense of well-being and relaxation. Get outside and do soemthing, even work 😉

9. Be Optimistic– Don’t always assume the worse, better yet be optimistic about events and confrontations. Many times we assume the worst, when really it doesn’t have to be. Be optimistic and be happy.

10. Focus on Experiences– Focus on the experiences that you have and who you are with rather than what you may or may not be doing. Who you are with is more important than what you do.

11. Be A Kid- Everything we do is so structured at work, home, travel, etc… Be a kid and goof off once in a while. Get away from the schedule and let loose. It will do you good and de-stress you even if only during that time.

12. Be Silent– When was the last time it was just…quite??? Probably not too often. If you can take 60s and just sit and chill in silence, reflect and know that you are probably living a great life. Let the body and mind relax.

13. Hike- Let’s see, exercise + outdoors + experience= a lot of fun and healthy living 😉 Seriously, hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy life, de-stress, get some sun, and appreciate everything that is not on a computer, TV screen, phone or I-Pad

14. Grudges Be Gone- You know what’s the worst feeling in the world, holding a grudge against someone that you think about all the time that literally makes a knot in your stomach. Its terrible and we all do it at some point. Let it go or deal with it face to face. There is nothing worse than waiting a week to deal with an issue, DEAL WITH IT TODAY!!

15 Eat A Sweet- I know, I know it goes against everything we ever taught a client EVER. Not exactly, indulging once in a while is not only healthy is down right good for you. Eat some sweets every now and again as it releases dopamine from the brain, makes you feel good, and prevents weekend food binges.

16. Sleep- Wanna really live longer AND actually be happier, make sure to sleep at least 7 hrs a night. Lack of sleep causes brain fog, unhappy people, and usually leads to bad decision making.


Motivation, Goal Setting, and the Ah Ha Moment

Motivation…It seems to be one of those things that come and go, week to week, and day to day. Its in our daily lives, goals, future, you name it. Without motivation it would be hard for many of us to accomplish what we want and be persistant at accomplishing those things. Motivation IS what drives us to be successful, no doubt about it. Motivation is the #1 most important detail when trying to do anything.

Think about how hard it is to do something because someone tells you its good, without the motivation. The doc says that you better start exercising. That’s all good but if you aren’t motivated to make such a change do you really think its going to happen? AND how long can you really stick with it? Thus, change really won’t happen until we are motivated.

I find motivation and the concept of motivation very interesting and unique. What we are most motivated about is what we always want to be doing and what we will give top priority to. Our motivation can and will change over time and what used to motivate us may or may not any more, so we need to find new ways and new sources of motivation.

Those sources can come in the way of the people you surround your self with, personal goals, aspiring to grow and better yourself, etc.. Make sure that you are surrounded by people with potentially the same goals. Sometimes we see new clients get started that may not be super motivated, but they come back, again, and again, and again. Then all of a sudden its no longer a struggle to come, they are smiling, they are getting results, and they are motivated!! It wasn’t the exercise or the new workout it IS the people around them, YOU, that motivates others whether you know it or not. Over time they then start to set goals and are motivated by the goals and what is possible.

As a coach its one of the most amazing experiences to see clients go through and when it happens, its pretty special 🙂 This is also one of those AH HA moments.

Sooooo, lets get motivated. You found the right program and the right people. You love going to your facility to workout. You have seen results but you know there must be more to this, and there is. It’s now time to set goals and goal setting in itself is in fact motivation to work hard because its directly tied to an end result.

The first thing you should do is pick a long-term goal about 6-12 months away. I started back competing this year, actually Jan. 3 2014 was my first day back training. The day I stepped into the gym I knew I was in the right place again. I set a goal that day that in one year I would be back to where I was when I left 4 years ago. Its a goal that has stayed with me and motivates me to train and do all the little things outside of the training hall.

After setting a long-term goal then its time to set small incremental goals, usually every 2-months. These are of the UTMOST importance because without these you will never know if you are on track, ahead of time, or need more time. After I set my long goal I than sat down and wrote out exactly where I needed to be with my lifts at the end of every two months. This gives me a direct timeline as to what needs to be done to achieve my long-term goal.

This type of motivation is what has driven me the last year and I hope that by using this you can also increase your own motivation. This same type of goal setting can be done with weight loss, running, and anything that you can put direct numbers too.

If you have a long-term goal I would LOVE to hear it and how you will accomplish it.


Intervals To Make You Faster (All Runners Should Read This)

If you want to get faster or improve your time in a race, more is not going to be better. Many times I see people fall into this trap. They start running or training and build themselves up to a 5K distance, do a few races, improve their times and then start to really get into racing. They want to continue to improve their times so what do they do, they start running 4, 5, and 6 miles. The thought is that if they can run farther in training than when they only have to race 3.2 miles they can run it faster…but is that neccessarily true?

It might be, depending on what level of training you are at. If you are in your first 1-1.5 years of (consistent) training as a runner more just might be better. At some point you will hit your peak and running farther will no longer illicit the same results. Something else to consider is that at the beginning of your training you get significantly better each week due to central nervous sytem responses. The body becomes more efficent at running, the lungs and heart are working better after a few weeks, and your gait improves to fit your body/style of running.

So, what happens when you increase your running to 5, 6, and 7 miles with no improvement of race times…It’s time to start interval training. Here’s why it works:

1. Running farther often means that you are running slower. If you can run a 5K in 30 minutes most likely a 10K might take 65 minutes. So, running farther= running slower does not mean better 5K times

2. Running short distances at faster speeds in quarter, half, and mile repeats improve power and speed and will have an effect on your 5K times. This works so well because your body adapts to these new, faster times in shorter distances and subsequently will carry over to your races. Your heart, lungs, and mind now know what its like to run at these faster speeds.

3. You are only as good as how you train. Train slow and you race slow. Train at faster speeds and you will race faster.

My take on how 5K training should be done:

1. I believe that if you are only training for a 5K then long distance runs not need exceed 4-4.5 miles. I have even read a story where there was a runner who never trained more than 2.5 miles and had an incredibly fast 5K time.

2. 3 days a week of training is sufficient

3. You need to have a balance between long distance and intervals. I used to set up my weeks so it encompassed a long distance run, interval, and moderate distance run at a slightly faster speed.

So, know that we know why intervals are important for runner’s how do we set them up?

There is any number of ways to set up interval based training but I prefer to set up as follows:

Week 1- Short intervals- 200-600 meter intervals

Week 2- A mix of short and long (800-1600 meter)

Week 3- Long Interval Repeats

Week 4- 1.5-2 mile race pace or fatser than race pace, then finish with short intervals

The final step is timing on these intervals. Figure out what your average mile time is. Lets say that we ran our last 5K in 30:24. We then figure out what our average mile was, in this case its 9:30/mile. When it comes to intervals we have two types:

1. Speed Pace- This interval is used for any interval up to 800 meters. Its your race pace (9:30min/mile) minus 30sec.

2. Race Pace- This intevral is used for any interval from 800-1600+ meters and is the exact pace that you ran your 5K in.

*The 800 meter interval can be both a speed or race pace depending on how your program your intervals or the day.

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