So you weren’t what you were in High School..

Something I often hear from clients with weight loss goals is the comparison to their high school weight. Really, the response always begins with “Well, when I graduated high school…”

It’s a superfluous statement, but not in the manner you might think.

The ACE Handbook chapters on professional conduct mentions how to handle this, and all chapters must be read by those who are trainers under their organization, but I don’t rehearse that answer, as I have one that works better for me, but I would rather cover why.

How long ago was that? The time that has passed since you had been there is a huge factor. Your lifestyle tends to change, as you had become less active in college, (unless you play sports, which many of you don’t ), in response to your new study schedule, and you usually aren’t eating a clean diet in response to the new stress, and due to that stress you have started to produce more cortisol, the “stress hormone”,  which will slow down your metabolism, and force it to store body fat where it hadn’t before. By drinking beer and eating those pizzas, and burning “the midnight oil”, you were wrecking that part of your brain that helped regulate your thyroid.

Now, if this wasn’t you, then I applaud your steel resolve. You’re a person of extreme discipline. The thing is, even if you didn’t gain the weight immediately, it still helped develop bad habits, and they will catch up to you.

Your body is going to change. Your metabolism will change as your body no longer produces the hormones it once did when you were at those peak ages, as that is a biological adaptation. You see, these were once peak reproductive times many ages ago, when lifestyles were shortened by a cruel environment, we had to continue our line to protect our families, tribes, etc. As society changes, so do our priorities, but our reproductive biology just hasn’t made that leap just because we can drive a Tesla now.

Why High School? The weight is simply a tangible embodiment of their nostalgia, A number they assign to a bygone time. I could run 5 miles on 4 hours sleep and hungover. I would never attempt that now. It was a bad idea. I learned it was a bad idea. I don’t long for it. Yeah, sure it all seemed so much simpler, but that was because I had few responsibilities. I also had to live by rules I didn’t set forth. Nothing was really mine, as I had not much to my name. I had to go do that myself.

You had struggled for nearly everything in your life that was to be called yours. Everything your body has endured was because you could as an adult. Your choices and yours. You may have had children, seen them born and begun their paths down the road you laid forth. You have bought homes, gotten jobs that you may love, left the ones you hated, seen historical events on your TVs, loved, lost, and mourned those that have gone on while we yet live. So much living done, so much left to go.

You’re so much better now. I have explained why, but that is my viewpoint. You will never be what you were, and that’s awesome. You’re smarter, you’re experienced now. This even goes for the former athletes who want that one last chance at the ol’ gridiron. Look at what those guys are enduring if they get to do it for longer. CTE, arthritis, numerous internal injuries, and you got your own unique experiences, as it just wasn’t going to be you beyond high school or college.

You won’t be your high school weight, nor will you ever be the person who was that weight. Instead, you will be the person you are now who just needs to regain control over their body, which they really didn’t have when they had that youthful physique. The body was treated irresponsibly, just with less consequences. You can do yourself one better by treating yourself better than you did then, by gaining that control, by taking that responsibility, and insuring that your experiences that much more valuable.

So, just don’t. Don’t say “Man, when I was in high school, I was about 165( That was my weight. It’s about 215 now.), and I could just …”

Don’t. You’re better than that now, and I show you, in time. You have plenty of it, as you have already seen, you must simply look at it differently, and be happy that you have gotten this far. You must simply redefine who you are now, and enjoy that process. Enjoy that “new you”, as it was there all along, just clouded by nostalgia. Where you are now is better anyway.

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We gotta talk

So, I feel like yet another gym etiquette blog needs to be posted here. It’s really only half of that, mainly because it comes down to things that can apply to outside of the gym as well.

A) First off, there is a stereo system. In ours, like a few other privately owned gyms, you can change the station, as it’s usually satellite radio. So, it would be totally cool if you just looked around the area, and asked if you could change the station, right? So, why the hell are you blasting the playlist from your phone???

Seriously, man. It’s enough that I gotta listen to someone else’s choice if they got there first.  I don’t really like Chevelle or Disturbed or whatever is on the Hard Rock station all that much.  I am still respecting the other dude’s choices, I wouldn’t just pop in whatever black or death metal I felt like listening to without at least finding out the pecking order. It’s only fair. So, I don’t wanna hear Maroon 5 while you do your little circuit on top of “Down With The Sickness”!!!!

Seriously, dude. You’re already jumping equipment on your circuit, which would be cool if you also made sure that I wasn’t using it first. The dude was young, so I just chalked it up to that. I saw him again today, he wasn’t doing the same thing. Glad it didn’t have to be me to break him of this crap. He’s probably alright, but come on.

B) Hey, guys. Nobody cares if it’s real Under Armor. Really. And, really, it’s not evening attire. It’s athletic wear. Just throwing that out there, too.

C) Can we retire the backwards hat yet? I mean, as a personal preference, I always liked having the brim protect my eyes from sunlight, as it was designed to do. Plus, if I am supporting my team, I would like them to be front and center. Plus, the frat boy thing is REALLY passe’. While we’re at it, how about not wearing beanies all year round? Is your head cold in 85 – 90 degree weather?

D) Requesting for the radio – Just ask for what station you want. I don’t need to hear how horrible it is to you, or how Western Civilization as you know it is ending because of  the song ruining your day. I don’t care what you like. Also, ask someone before you just reach over the desk to turn it down. Also, don’t act like you’re doing everyone a favor. Yours isn’t the only opinion that matters. No one appointed you. You’re just rude.

That oughtta cover it for now. These are some of my expectations, I guess. It’s really about just respecting a shared space.

And not annoying me. It’s all about me, after all, isn’t it?

Thanks for stopping by. B6eJfhvCYAEpi-P





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Yes, you can overtrain.

Here is something I have learned myself, albeit somewhat recently. You can definitely overdo it. My left shoulder has been arthritic for a while. I’ve slept on my shoulder for years, but it never really bothered me as much. However, there was also the fact that I am using my upper body in 3 out of 4 workouts, in a pretty common bodybuilding cycle that I was trying. It wasn’t for me. My left shoulder is not having it. I am getting rid of the bicep curls, the tendonitis in my elbow is aggravated. Badly. Also, they aren’t mandatory in a workout. I knew that.

Plus I am getting older. My interests and modalities have all changed as well. I have to change accordingly. I knew that, too.

The fact is, there is no one way to do it. I found out through experimentation that this cycle wasn’t for me. I recommend the same. I seem to respond better when I am focusing more on compound movements and no isolation days. Has it worked well for bodybuilders? Sure, but I am not bodybuilding, thought I would do it for aesthetic purposes for the acting stuff, but, eh. I broke my own rule of training for performance while the rest will follow, and time to stick to that. I am extremely active, I don’t need to be adding in extra lifting days anyway.

That is my personal testimonial. I broke my own rule, now I face the consequences. I do so for the purpose of the reader learning from my experiences. It was just plain dumb.

Here is the definition of Overtraining, when you first Google it.

Overtraining can be described as a point where a person may have a decrease in performance and plateauing as a result from failure to consistently perform at a certain level or training load exceeds their recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness.

Here is some stuff you can read about it.

Anyway, it’s not as serious as some of the case studies I am sure they are basing it on, but I have been resting for a few days, changed the cycle. Crap. I should sleep. Then I started this blog.

Anyway, I didn’t wanna talk too much about this, only tell you that if you are starting to feel run down, or like you’re going in reverse, then take a step back. Take a break. Don’t Just trudge through it, make rest a part of the cycle. Recover, and plan to recover. It’s really simple, if the load is already pushed to a certain limit, then maybe the answer isn’t taking on more.

Sounds like something generally applicable in life? It’s supposed to be.

Thanks for stopping by. Burnout Syndrome



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Try new things.

I always say this, because getting into a routine is hard to start, and even harder to get out of. The thing is, it took you a lot to get started, right?

Sure, it is better than not doing it. Absolutely. However, how long do you think you can just go through the motions?

I have one client who does the same thing, in the same order when he comes in on his own, 3 X a week. He knows exactly where he wants to go, and how long it takes him. Then he is off to work. His office is only about 3 blocks away, and he has it down. I don’t do any of the stuff he does during that time with him, and he is used to that as well.

That is what I get hired for. I want to know what the new fitness trends are, weigh them out, and see how they can benefit others, not just myself. However, I have worked in facilities where people have never touched or even a point to know what equipment is a part of the gym that they pay to use every month! At least ask, you know?

Many times we make goals, we even obsess over them. Believe me, I know! More than you may think. We reach plateaus, and we just wanna quit. It’s frustrating. Still, we have to keep going, because we remember what started us on our paths, right?

For many of us, it begins to define us. We cannot fail, because we don’t deliver on a promise, a failure of the soul perhaps. We become absorbed into the chasm of endless effort, pushing harder and harder, because it becomes all we know, to the point where we know longer know ourselves.

Sound about right? Beeeeeeeeeeeeecause I have been there. And when you have to re – assess where you are. You just do. If what you set out to do isn’t making you happy, or at least satisfied, you have to re – direct. I kinda said it last blog, but it’s a running theme throughout my job, because I do have constantly do so to get people to adapt to a changing schedule, or what have you.

It’s become a running theme with me, too.

Yeah, you get tired of that diet. So, start looking into alternatives, especially if nothing is happening anymore. It may be that your body is used to the calorie expenditure, you may actually have to eat a little more for a minute. Don’t gasp. Maybe it’s less. Maybe some adjustments have to be made to your workout times for a little while. Maybe it’s time to shift focus.

None of these should seem insurmountable. I said “should”. My point is, be adaptable. Look at what you are doing, and ask yourself what the common threads are, and then be ready to move them around or even change them.  What is more important? Your current cycle, or that goal?

Here’s another thing – you’re going to have to ask questions. Yes, you may even have to ask a real person. You may have to get feedback. You know what? You will have the support and encouragement it takes to attain what you really, really want.

Just accept that there are no easy answers, but you will find yours. There are many ways to get there. Sure, this doesn’t sound completely like fitness, but it is universal. In a fitness goal, it may be beyond just hopping down from the treadmill or elliptical. It may mean walking away from your favorite Hammer Strength machine, and picking up a dumbbell. It may mean walking away from that Barbell Squat Rack and pulling up to that Kettlebell shelf that wasn’t that far away.

Now, with that written advice, I will definitely advise seeking instruction. Not everything is free of risk, but reward is greater when you know what to do.

Alright. That is that.

Thanks for stopping by.

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You Just Be A More Awesome You

I may have even said that before. Not really sure. I will say it again, because it bears repeating.

You be a better you.

I have had to say this to others many times, but also to myself. You see, it comes from a conversation with a former client, as it came to a sort of crossroads as to what they really wanted, and what I can do for them. Many of us in this career know that there are two types of clients. the ones that show up for their hour and do everything they’re told, and just pay because they like this as a routine, and the ones that you have to accompany on their journey as a sort of guide.

I had to sort of make it clear what my own strengths as a trainer are. What I prefer to do. What I specialize in, even though I avoided being defined by specialty. Still, I had to ask myself this, so I can make it clear as to what it is I do.

I will make you stronger.

What does that mean? Not just lifting, but able to function much better over the course of your day. To give you back what a sedentary lifestyle and the stress it has cause had taken from you.  That entails many things. It can be done in a gym, it can be done at home. With barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells, it can be done. I will show you how.

I will help you become a stronger you.

You must examine why you want a transformation, if that is what you want, and you had better define it. I am not trying to take your bacon away, I just want you to eat it less often. The stories of that one grandfather who “ate bacon every day and lived into his 80’s” is purely anecdotal, especially when you find out he was a farmer, or in the infantry in either the Army or Marine Corps for almost 30 years, and was still on a workout program.  If you are 230 lbs to his 160, perhaps you shouldn’t compare yourself to him.

Again, I didn’t say you couldn’t eat bacon. Or cake. Just not so much of it.

Now, if you are someone who wants to lose weight, it will require sacrifice. I am not obsessed with that. You are. I can’t do be there to smack your hand out of the pantry. You have to do that. I want you to do it. I want you to gain that control, to make the sacrifice. With that, you will be stronger. Mind, Body, Spirit.

I want it for you, but I can’t do it for you.

You must follow through. That is that. I will take you through it, and I won’t half – ass it, but if you aren’t reaching the goal, one of us is. I will make strength and cardio goals to reach in order for you to try to do it, but if you don’t want to change, then you will have to be honest with yourself, and even amend your goals, and be happy with that. Quitting should not be an option.

This is really more of a manifesto, isn’t it?

Fair Enough. I think as I am sort of attacking this New Year, I have had to gut – check a bit.  I have to do it so I can help other people do it. I have to ask what I really want before I try to get it. Know what direction you want to go in and make sure you’re still on it. Sometimes you even have to ask, “Where am I going, anyway?”, but it’s okay to ask again, just to make sure you are still going there. You can get sidetracked. I want to make sure you don’t. Really, this isn’t directed at anyone in particular. Is it a series of events that led me to a conclusion? Yeah, but it obviously needed to be said.

I will make you stronger. I will make you use your body. I will show you how to be better physically. I will make sure you can function better. I won’t make you skinny, you have to do that. If the genes are making it complicated, then amend the goal, or even your definition of “skinny”.  But, most of all, don’t let it define YOU.

We are going to do this, the work. The sacrifice is yours.

Thanks for stopping by.






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Yes, Yes, I’m back.

It has been a minute since I posted one of these, hasn’t it? Well, I have been making my own resolutions, really, some before the New Year, returning to a keyboard is a main one. I have not been a diligent blogger, and I will own that. Still, here I am, basically, to catch up, and talk about what’s next.

Honestly, 2015 was a lesson for me, personally. It really coulda been better, it definitely had its ups and downs, but I am not fond of it overall, as the last few months of it were entirely too stressful. I came out of it, but I really want to beat the crap out of 2016.  So, I will share the positives of it.

  1. I got back into martial arts. This was something I had been wanting to do for some time. It teaches you many things. Many things that can be quite empowering, mentally and physically. It’s not just about kicking somebody’s ass, it’s also about learning what you aren’t as good at, and understanding where to begin improvement. It teaches you that in life, you will be tested. You must be prepared. This is in all things. There are no dangerous systems, only dangerous people. If you dedicate and not hold back when you are tested, you will be dangerous. I really needed this again, as it helps me form my own plans, the other thing that makes it all important is follow through. I need to be consistent on that. I have struggled with depression throughout my life, all there is in life is the next minute, hour, and day. I can’t stress enough how helpful learning a martial art is. I recommend it. Highly.
  2. I got re – certified, and a new certification.  In my job, you have to keep learning new things in order to keep a reputable certification. I did that, I joined the family of High Intensity Kettlebell Fitness trainers, and learned a new approach to programming, and the principles of something that is growing in popularity for the right reasons, and more tricks in the magic bag. Or something like that.
  3. I continued acting, shooting a web series.  Yes. Yes, I did. I didn’t do too much with the acting beyond that, really,  except a bit part in a film. The series, Shotgun Mythos, returns to production next month. You can find it on Youtube,  I play Joss Washburn, the main character. Not bragging, just letting you know I am the first voice you hear on the show. I am starting to form a more cohesive plan, mainly because it is definitely coming to a point where I can’t just do it because I like it. That’s for young, single folk, not married dudes in their 30’s. There has to be a battle plan. So, I wrote it. So there.
  4. I did Brutal Camp all summer.  Yup. I hope everyone had fun, too.
  5. I was featured in one of the local newspapers.  It was a lot of fun. I talked about philosophy and various interests that I think also contribute to how I do my job. It’s posted on my Facebook if you would like to see it. I can post it here, too.
  6. I was a part – time bouncer for 4 months.  That’s another blog for another day.
  7. I lost nearly 30 lbs.  I changed a lot of the ways I did things. I was big, strong, but didn’t like the way I looked on film. I did something about it. I talked to another trainer who specialized in this kinda thing. I changed my lifting program, added in fasted cardio, and adhere to a strict diet. Is it a challenge? You bet. It’s hard to adhere to a strict diet. Still, there is nothing worth attaining without sacrifice, there is no sacrifice without suffering.  
  8. Star Wars made me happy.  

Alright, there are my bright spots. My brief list of things to work on is marketing. I have to get the word out, it’s the nature of the beast. I don’t like talking about myself on social media,  I need to get over it.  I need to find out where the people I want are, then I need to tell them to train with me. Once again, it comes down to consistency and follow – through.

Happy New Year, everyone. Let’s kick 2016’s ass!

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Myths I heard TODAY. And what I said to them.

Ok, so I have told you guys at least a million times what I am up against, so this time I will send you elsewhere. Now, if information is still a struggle for you, ( assuming you had been believing these myths ), then you probably need to talk to a professional. Extreme cognitive dissonance is actually a sign of a potential personality disorder, and I am not the one you should be arguing with, or even talking to any further.

1) “Weights will make me bulky” –

Immediate response : “Are you now? Then what the hell are you worried about?”

Seriously. I hear this at least once a week. It’s 2015. Stop it. Let me first send you to a simple one


B) Here is one by a qualified professional.

C) Something from a reputable publication.

D) Just. Here.

E) And lookie here. A book!!!!

I am not going to spend any more time dispelling that. Or discuss social standards, which are not a good reason to go into the gym in the first place. If how you are judged by others in your appearance is how you validate yourself, then talk to the aforementioned professional who can help you with that.

B)  “Spot Training”

Immediate response : “And just how long have you been training that spot?”

You may receive threats to your person if you still believe this one. Okay, maybe not that extreme. However, it is a myth. Period. I don’t give a CRAP what you read in “Cosmo”. I am sure you learned a hundred different ways of an orgasm, and the how models are just better than everyone, which is pretty much the same crap that they have been telling us since day one. Do people still read this magazine?

1) Here. Just. Here.

2) From a Strength & Conditioning Coach.

3) “Gotta get them guns, B.”

Immediate response: None. I just grin and shake my head. Then walk away.

I am going to tell you a couple of things that many bodybuilders don’t quite understand, that could reduce their chance of injury, while still maximizing GAINZZZ, BRUH!!!

All kidding aside, I believe symmetry can still be achieved without attempting to isolate too many small muscles, instead treating them as the synergistic muscles they actually are. The point of strength training is just that – strength. Strength, as it is measured in competitive weightlifting, and functionality overall, is muscles working in unison to move heavier objects.

The definition according to Webster’s.


noun \ˈstreŋ(k)th, ˈstren(t)th\

: the quality or state of being physically strong

: the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force

: the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way.

A single muscle that is stronger than its synergistic counterpart is not in balance. It means YOU are not strong, especially when put at risk of injury due to that imbalance. But don’t just take my word for it.


B) The positives and negatives of both.

C) And here.

4) “Weights? I’m too old to start that.”

Immediate response : “You’re here now. As long as you can move, you can carry a load.”images-2

You’re not dead. You take the TRX, Yoga classes, and walk on the treadmill, but everything except the weight room. I ask you why. You say “I am just focused on daily living, not trying to lift a car”. Right. That’s why everyone is here. To lift a car.

Look, I wouldn’t bother with this, but I see a lot of scared old people, male and female, who have said this on more than one occasion, as if they will wake up one day and not be able to stand up anymore, and begin to dessicate while still alive!!!!! Muahahahahahah!

Ok, no. I realize many of these people are just set in their way, but I have also noticed many of these people grew up in the Golden Age of Madison Avenue, and just didn’t seem to believe that the people who sold them their products would lie to them. So, if they read something somewhere, in some magazine, it is now the sole truth. You can’t tell them anything now. They are plucky individuals, and they got this far without you stickin’ your nose in where it don’t belong.

Then you hear about their health issues, and how they were basically told they had to start exercising, some due to hypertension, some due to spinal issues. They are loaded with prescriptions, and really don’t know what each one does, or why they’re taking them, or whether or not their doctor might be receiving incentives to prescribe. The don’t ask.

These folks frustrate me the most, because the excuses they tell me are just pure nonsense. The sources, if any, are a joke, but what do you know? You don’t write in a magazine, now do you???

Many of these people have had a scare. They feel they are losing control of their lives as things began happening to them that they don’t fully understand. The idea of having to trust someone else with information is almost traumatic in itself to them, as everything they thought they had known was wrong.  They may have made huge contributions to their own bodily deterioration. I totally get that. However, facts don’t change. They are here for guidance. You must acknowledge that you may have never been in control as much as you thought you were, but with help, you can be more than you had been.

So, here you are.




There are more myths, but I am not a Mythbuster. I try to provide information for you, but that’s all I can do. If you are still having issues with everything you are learning, then read this first – “”

Now talk to a mental health professional. Understand what your own blockages are to success when someone is trying to help you. Really, that’s all I want to do. There is a lot of information available to you, and I would love to help you find it. Or just help you through it.

Thanks for stopping by!

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