Is There Ever a Perfect Time to Start Improving Your Health and Fitness? 

Heard This Before?

Let’s take a look at a few different scenarios, some I’m sure you’ve faced at some point in your life…

  1. You get home after a long day at work. Meals during the day were ok, but not the greatest. You’re mentally exhausted and physical fatigue REALLY sets in once you walk through the door. That little hope you had of exercising (of course that’s what you told yourself in the morning...I’ll wait until I get home) is just a faint memory as you lounge on the couch. Maybe with some snacks or desserts. After a few shows, you hit the bed. Rinse and repeat for tomorrow.

  2. Here it is, the perfect time to start. Your motivation is through the roof and nothing is going to stop you from working out and eating healthy foods. But check the calendar. Work dinner party, wedding, vacation, and your birthday all within a couple of months. ‘Should I just hold off and wait until things calm down?’ you ask yourself. ‘It WILL make things easier and I can actually enjoy my time at these events.’ So a few months pass, you indulge and enjoy. Alright, now is the perfect time. Oh but wait, now it’s busy season at work and the holidays will be coming up soon. ‘Maybe I’ll just wait until the New New Years resolution!’ ….And the vicious cycle continues.

  3. ‘I’m doing it, I’m finally doing it! I have a great exercise plan in place, I’m eating all the healthy foods, and starting to see results. This isn’t so bad!’ But then you miss a day after an important deadline came up at work. Then a few days, then a week.  Uh oh, a snag in your ‘perfect’ plan. ‘I’m not used to this’ you say. ‘I’ve done so well up until this point and haven’t missed a meal or a day at the gym.’ ‘My plan has now gone to shit and there’s no way I can get back on track’ From there you decide that this exercise and nutrition thing is too difficult to maintain, so you go back to old habits.  All that progress you made? Gone and you’re right back where you started.

Sound familiar?  Maybe you’ve gone through one or all of these scenarios at some point in your life. They’re common and I’ve experienced them personally and see them everyday professionally. But how do you break the cycle? How do you make health and fitness a priority and part of your lifestyle? Well, that’s what we will cover today. Below are some tips to help make this stuff stick for the long term.

How Does This Start in the First Place?

As I’m sure you’ve experienced, there is usually some type of fitness related thought or goal that you have in mind (lose weight, gain muscle, get toned, etc.), so you go to the drawing board. You do tons of research, scour every blog, YouTube channel, and post you can find. Heck, maybe you even hire a professional. You devise the perfect plan and routine. Time to get started.

Now as in scenario 1, you might not even get started. Who wants to exercise or exhaust themselves more after a long, taxing day at work? No thank you. Scenario 2 is similar in the sense that you never actually execute the plan, but it’s less from the day to day grind (still a factor), and more to do with big events coming up. No way that plan can actually happen with everything going on! And finally scenario 3, you start that plan. You do well. Days, weeks, maybe even months pass and you’re doing great. Sticking to the plan 100%, nothing going wrong.  But all of a sudden something comes up. You miss a day, then 2, then a week. Shoot! You didn’t plan or set a buffer for that. The perfect plan is ruined. ‘No reason to keep going’ and you end up quitting it all together. 

What do all of these scenarios have in common?  Number one is the expectation of perfection. All or nothing thinking. If it’s not 100%, then it might as well be 0%. Call it whatever you want, but this is a huge factor when it comes to sticking with this health and fitness stuff. 

And what starts that type of thinking? How you set your initial expectations...As you’re setting up your plan or researching, do you plan for the unexpected?  Do you give yourself any leeway? If not, then you’re almost destined to fail...

How to Shift Your Mindset to Change for the Long Term?

So now you’re at a point where you want to change, but you’re tired of the short term fixes that fizzle out after they lose their initial excitement. The rinse and repeat programs. The start and stop after a few months way of life. 

A big factor in reaping the benefits of exercise and nutrition is staying consistent and making this part of your lifestyle. Making it a priority should be a goal for EVERYONE, but if you’re set up for failure or never see results, why would you want to continue? Failure sucks, I get that, but it shouldn’t be a deterrent from continuing to implement exercise regularly. So what’s a better strategy for long term success?

Here are 3 tips for making health and fitness a part of your lifestyle for the long haul:

  1. Reframe your expectations

    • My number one piece of advice is to realistically set your expectations. This way if something goes awry or you don’t stick to your program 100%, it’s no big deal and you continue as if nothing happened. 

    • Now this will be very individualized, but one tip would be to scale everything on a continuum (0-100). You have one end where everything is exactly how you want it to be (100) and the other end where everything goes wrong and it’s worst case scenario (0).  Your goal each day is to inch away from 0, whether that be 1 or 99, it’s still better than 0.

    • This allows for a buffer and even if it’s just the quickest workout or one healthy snack during the day, you can count that as a success and keep trending toward your end goal.

  2. Do something

    • Action (ideally consistent action) is ALWAYS better than no action at all. More than likely something else will be on the schedule (work, kids, friends, etc.), but that shouldn’t stop you from taking action towards your health and fitness. Does your program say 60 minutes, but you only have 20? Cut your workout down to 20 minutes. Need to stay home because of a crazy day? A quick at home workout will do.  Whatever the scenario, don’t overthink it and do something!

  3. Realistically plan

    • Setting yourself up for success is crucial when it comes to sticking with a routine for the long term. There are plenty of days where I don’t want to do anything, but I’ve prepared enough around me that it’s almost automatic. I like to call these positive triggers.

    • Lay out your workout clothes the night before. Go to a specific part of the house where it’s easier to think about exercise (for me it’s the basement where all the workout stuff is located). Preload emails or reminders on your phone so that you always have it front of mind.  

    • And what’s pretty cool is that one trigger usually leads to positive momentum. Don’t feel like doing anything?  ‘Let’s just put on my gym shoes and see what happens. Oh, well I’ve already started, let’s just go for a 5 minute walk, then I’ll come back. This actually feels pretty good, let’s go for 20.’  And the positive momentum continues. But that all starts from that initial positive trigger.

Hopefully these tips allow you to reframe how you view this health and fitness stuff. The funny thing about life is that it is unpredictable and things happen.  There will never be a ‘perfect’ time and you’re fooling yourself if you think there will be. But set your expectations appropriately, take action, and plan for positive momentum and I almost guarantee you’ll have success. Plus, the process won’t feel overwhelming and you won’t feel guilty for not adhering 100%, since it will blend in with your lifestyle. Try it out and you’ll be surprised and how well you do.

And if you’re completely lost or struggle with sticking to a routine and need some guidance, fill out the form below and I would love to chat with you.

Name *

What is Progressive Overload and Why Does It Matter When It Comes to Your Exercise?

So, you’re finally getting into an exercise routine and your progress up until this point has been great. Increased strength, more stamina, and feeling better in general. But then you start to notice that you’re not getting the same results as before…you’re not feeling as strong as those first few months, your energy becomes stagnant, and heck, maybe even your endurance starts to decline. What gives? How can your consistent efforts be causing a regression?

Today I’ll shed some light on progressive overload including what it is and some tips on how you can implement the concept to continue to progress with your exercise.

What is Progressive Overload?

Progressive overload is classically defined as the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise training.  (For my explanation I may use stress and stimulus interchangeably)

When a stimulus is provided to the body, the many systems (nervous system, pulmonary system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, etc.) react to that stimulus and elicit a specific response. Since we are referring to exercise, and I’m assuming resistance training specifically, let’s keep this in the context of the musculoskeletal system, even though all of the systems I just mentioned will be affected by the stimulus.

So in order for there to be a long term adaptation for the specific goal that we are trying to achieve (increase strength, increase muscle mass, increase muscular endurance to name a few), there must be the appropriate amount of stress/stimulus provided to elicit those specific adaptations. If there is too little, then no change will occur in the tissue (muscle), if there is too much, there could be an adverse effect (injury, overtraining symptoms, etc.).  And this is where progressive overloading comes into play.  If you’re able to provide just enough stimulus to elicit the desired effect, then you’re right on track, but over time our bodies are really good at adapting, so a little more stimulus will be needed in order to continue to see the adaptations occur.

Now the question becomes, how much and how do you figure that out?

Tip #1 - My advice would be to first get a baseline.  This can be done safely by doing a sub maximal (submax) assessment to see where you’re currently at.  So if you’re assessing strength for let’s say chest press, do a proper warm up (light weight for 6-8 reps), then move to a more challenging weight to where you could do no more than 8 reps.  If you fail below 8, that is ok. From there, you will get a good idea or ballpark of where your max weight is. Then you can use that to program your working weight for a specific regimen. Continuing with strength as the goal, you would do anywhere from 60-90% (depending on your fitness level - beginner to advanced) of your max weight for 2-6 sets of 4-8 reps (again those variables depending on your fitness level).  Now this is by no means a set in stone rule that must be followed 100% of the time, but it will more than likely set you up for success to consistently see progress.

Tip #2 - In addition to the set parameters, another, more subjective, measurement is what is called the Rate of Perceived Exertion scale.  This is essentially you paying attention to how intense the exercise is during your working set. Ideally for a progressive overload to happen, you would consistently be at an 8, 9 or 10, most of the time during your exercises.  Now there are plenty of variables that could affect this including how you’re feeling at the specific point in time, which can be due to a number of things (nutrition, sleep, hydration, previous exercise, etc.), but it is still a decent indicator of how intense you’re pushing yourself.  

Just remember as a general rule of thumb, never push through pain and never exhaust yourself until there is a serious issue, it’s not worth it and you have your whole life to train!  But if you’re scared to push yourself or always staying with the ‘light weights’ then you may never see progress. So experiment and trial and error your way through the process to find your sweet spot and reap the benefits.

Action Steps:

  1. Find your current baseline with one of the 2 tips above (ideally both)

  2. Come up with a plan or program that will gradually increase the intensity over time (6-8 weeks)

  3. Once the program is complete, reevaluate your baseline

  4. Repeat as necessary until goal is achieved

Now this is very over simplified, but the concept remains the same. Steady, incremental increases will result in your body continually adapting and progressing. Unfortunately there will come a time where you will hit your max and you will have to maintain what you have, but until that point comes, there is always room for improvement. Start implementing these tips today to improve your efforts!


And if you don’t know where to get started or don’t want to think about any of this, reach out and I will be happy to see if we’re a good fit to work together. I’m currently offering a new online service, so you don’t have to be located in Chicago in order to work with me.  Here are some of the benefits:

  1. No longer have to go to a gym

    • Gyms can suck sometimes. I am able to modify and accommodate at home workouts with ease. 

  2. Scheduling is a non issue

    • No time to meet in person? Online training to the rescue.

  3. Stronger accountability and support

    • My time is freed from commuting and the hustle of in person training, which means more support and focus.

  4. More cost effective

    • No more gym overhead or travel cost.  Quality training at a fraction of the price.

  5. Can work with the best

    • I can be anywhere at anytime, which means YOU get the best without worrying about how to get to me. 

  6. Loved ones can be taken care of 

    • Too much variance in this industry and not all trainers are created equal.  Now your friends and family can work with quality even if they don’t live close. 

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m excited to be able to offer this service. If you have questions or still don’t get what online training is, feel free to contact me at

We All Have the same 24 Hours in a Day - What are Your Priorities? Is Exercise One of Them?

As many of you may already know, my wife Jenny and I recently had a baby boy. One of the biggest blessings in both of our lives, but with his birth came some drastic changes. Number one...sleep = gone ;) Something that I didn’t expect so soon was the things that I found valuable or a priority in life suddenly shifted. Staying out with friends until 2am isn’t atop of the list anymore, but rather spending that time with him and watching him grow (because I know these baby days won’t last forever). And all of that got me thinking...does it take something as significant as the birth of a child for priorities to shift? Or can that be done without a massive, life changing event? Does it need to be sudden? Or can that change gradually happen over time?  Let’s dive in to what makes people tick and some strategies to help reorganize your priorities, so that exercise can be atop of the list each day. 

I will say a big obstacle for a lot of the clients that I work with, especially starting out, is finding time for exercise. The conversation usually goes something like this….

  • Me: If you were to look at yourself 3 months from now, what would you like to see happen?

  • Them: (Specific goals or life changes important to them)...something along the lines of losing some weight, getting stronger, and feeling better

  • Me: Why is that important?

  • Them: **Finding that deeper meaning**

  • Me: What is your biggest obstacle in getting there?

  • Them: Usually something to do with time or scheduling

So then we dive into what their typical day/week looks like and try to find some time to realistically fit in exercise. Even if it is something as simple as walking 5-10 minutes per day because one strategy that is often helpful starting out is to come up with some so simple that you could do it in your sleep.  This lessens the resistance to change and gives you a better chance of sticking with it. Because to be honest, it is NOT easy in the beginning, regardless of what you choose. Change is hard...But also necessary if you want to see yourself differently in 3 months (aka hit your initial goals). 

Now back to my personal story. For all you parents out there, I’m sure you’re well aware that living with and raising a newborn is no small feat. Functioning on minimal sleep gets easier over time, but it also makes it easy to put your To-Do list on the back burner. Everyday chores seem like monumental tasks when you start each day. Cook, clean, garbage, walk dog...and next thing you know it’s 5pm...ready for dinner then bed?  So where does exercise fit in?

Here are some tips for making exercise a priority in your day/week (even if you don’t have a newborn):

  1. Schedule your workouts - The biggest thing I make sure to do each day is to schedule a dedicated workout/exercise time.  If I see it on my calendar, it’s more likely to get done. Now, I’m not going to lie, my ideal workout doesn’t get done every day, but I do schedule what I plan to do (60 minute full body most days) and modify based on how the day goes. It’s a lot easier to modify or reduce my time if it’s on the calendar than if I have nothing scheduled at all, where it is almost a given that I will do nothing.

  2. Have a plan in place - Another component other than time is knowing what to do. As the saying goes if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you’re randomly going to the gym or starting from scratch each time you workout, it may feel daunting or that you’re not seeing any progress.  And more than likely if your approach or process is random, your results will be too. So I make sure that I plan out my workouts into months, weeks, days based on my specific goals. Now, do I stick to that every single time or quit if I miss a day? Of course not, that would be silly or unrealistic, but having that plan and structure gives me confidence that I’m setting myself up for success and progress each time I workout/go to the gym. 

  3. KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid - Action beats inaction any day of the week. If you’re not consistent with exercise, your body won’t adapt appropriately and you won’t see any progress, regardless of how great your plan or program is. So how do you make sure you do what you say you’re going to do? By making it simple. I know what 45-60 minutes of resistance is like because I’ve been doing it for a long time and I know what I can realistically fit in during that time, but if you’re just starting out after a long hiatus or new to exercise, I doubt 45-60 minutes would benefit you. Not because it’s too much exercise, but the chances of you actually following through are probably low. It’s too daunting, too difficult, too (insert excuse)...Anyway, you get the point. By making your exercise super simple (especially important in the beginning) you increase your chances of actually doing it and the more you do it, the higher the chances of sticking with it for the long term. 

  4. Eliminate objections or barriers (within reason) - This is a tough one for me. It looks good on paper, but the execution can be tough. One thing that usually prevents me from exercising is coming home later in the day. I have the best intentions on my drive home or while I’m out, but it’s like the front door is a vortex. Next thing I know, it’s time for bed and no workout has happened. So how do I plan for that? Make sure to get my workout in while I’m already out of the house or first thing in the morning. That helps me eliminate being home, late, with a workout that still needs to get done. I challenge you to take a look at your current week. Write down your observations...are there certain environments, activities, people, things, that prevent you from exercising? Just observe and get data at first.  Then you can spot patterns and decide how to avoid or minimize those barriers to set yourself up for success.

And as a final note, even if you follow all 4 tips, you may not be able to squeeze in a workout or exercise every day, and that’s ok.  Just as long as it is happening most of the time you will be reaping the impactful health benefits of exercise and progressing towards your goals. So don’t beat yourself up or quit if you miss a day or two. Learn from it and move forward.  Your health and wellness depends on it :) 


Send me your top 2 ideas for how you plan to make exercise a priority, I’d love to hear them.  The first 3 responses will be entered into a raffle for a 4 week trial of online personal training. This is a great option for many people and new service that I am currently offering.  Here are some of the benefits:

  1. No longer have to go to a gym

    • Gyms can suck sometimes. I am able to modify and accommodate at home workouts with ease. 

  2. Scheduling is a non issue

    • No time to meet in person? Online training to the rescue.

  3. Stronger accountability and support

    • My time is freed from commuting and the hustle of in person training, which means more support and focus.

  4. More cost effective

    • No more gym overhead or travel cost.  Quality training at a fraction of the price.

  5. Can work with the best

    • I can be anywhere at anytime, which means YOU get the best without worrying about how to get to me. 

  6. Loved ones can be taken care of 

    • Too much variance in this industry and not all trainers are created equal.  Now your friends and family can work with quality even if they don’t live close. 

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m excited to be able to offer this service. If you have questions or still don’t get what online training is, feel free to contact me at

Personal Trainers: Part 1 - What Do They Do and Why Should You Care?

Personal Trainers - Welcome to the Car Sales Lot

Think of something that you use everyday...your car, your phone, your fridge (hopefully), even the clothes you wear. Can we agree that these all fit into an all encompassing category? Within those macro categories, there are specific nuances that make up that individual product or item. I’m sure those lead you to become attracted to that product and ultimately decide to purchase it.

Vehicles, for example. Is it a truck, car, SUV, or van.  Is it 2 door, 4 door, black, grey, red, 4WD, 2WD, full amenities on the inside or bare bones.  You get the idea...a TON to choose from, right?! But, since you are a unique individual, there were probably specific features that you really needed and/or wanted.  I doubt a mother of 3 would do well with a 2 door sports car…so a van it is. I also doubt a guy in his mid 50s would jump for the van scene, so maybe a more sporty or fast car would be the ‘right’ option.

And I could list out those same examples for each of the items I listed.  What’s my point? When you hear the words personal trainer or personal training, I’m sure there is a certain stereotype or vision that comes to mind.  Whether it be the Jillian Michaels aerobic fit type people or the in your face drill sergeant forcing you to do the hardest, toughest workout, I’m sure you’ve heard and seen it all. The crazy thing is that it might not appeal to you at all, which I find to be a BIG issue. It’s almost as if the only option on the lot would be 4x4 trucks...appeals to some, but misses out on a lot of others!

Why Should You Care?

My goal with this 2 part series is to shed some light on personal training and how it might benefit you, the exerciser, because just like there are many vehicles to choose from that might better suit you, there are also many fitness professionals to choose from, each varying in their expertise and abilities. They are NOT all created equal and making sure you choose the right one is important. (Note: this will not be a series about bashing the industry and pointing out all the faults…that can be a separate conversation)

What Do Personal Trainers Do?

Let’s start with defining what a personal trainer is, which can be tricky.  A quick Google search brings up hundreds of definitions. I went with the definition: a person who works one-on-one with a client to plan or implement an exercise or fitness regimen.

And some of this I agree with, but it is pretty vague and not very specific. A lot of businesses and models are becoming more semi-private and small group, which can be a great option due to its cost effectiveness and sense of community. So it is not just one-on-one anymore, although that is still a popular choice for many.  The second part still holds true though. A personal trainer's number one job is to plan or implement an exercise or fitness regimen for their clients. The specifics for each plan will vary, but that is the ultimate goal.

Here is my personal definition …

An individual with an extensive level of skill, knowledge, and ability relating to the body including biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, and exercise mechanics. They are able to listen to their client and get only the necessary information to determine the safest and most effective exercise program for that specific individual; always staying within their current abilities and tolerance levels. During each session they are able to communicate effectively and apply their extensive knowledge with ease and precision, which creates a unique experience for each client (this may include being ‘tough’ when needed or backing off as deemed necessary). They are also able to have an impact outside of each session with a specific follow up process to ensure that each client adheres to their program for long term, lasting change.  Above all else they put the client first.

Slightly different than the first, right?

My point is that you, the exerciser, should know that a personal trainer is more than just someone who cheers you on, counts your reps, and is there as your friend as you exercise. They should be an intricate part to your health and fitness (just like an accountant or financial advisor is part of your financial well being), bringing a deep level of knowledge to the table, which allows you to feel confident that you’re getting the best value for your investment.  Your health and your body should not be taken lightly and it should be the fitness professional’s sole purpose to ensure that you're getting the best service available. And the proof should be in the results (which we will touch on in part 2).

But can’t I just exercise on my own?

And of course the answer is yes. I know and have trained many people that are self sufficient when it comes to their exercise. But to say this is everyone would be foolish. I outsource a lot of services that I have minimal expertise in like my accountant, plumber, doctor, etc. So why should your exercise and ultimately your health (I’m a big believer in exercise being a great medicine and prevention of disease) be any different? If you want the best option for your goals, then having a professional guide you will be one of the greatest investments you could make. This is especially true if you have a health issue, joint problems, or are just starting out because you could potentially be doing more harm than good if you’re not careful.

Next Steps

So there is a nice general overview of what I and many other colleagues do and the standards we hold. Next week’s Part 2 of this series will go into where you can find various personal trainers and what each may bring to the table. Until then, I challenge you to determine where you’re at with your health and fitness.  All it takes in answering these 3 simple questions:

  1. If you were to look at myself 6 months from now, what would you like to see happen? Why does that matter?

  2. What is stopping you from doing that right now?

  3. What kind of assistance would benefit you in achieving those goals?

Send me your 3 answers, I’d love to hear them.  

The first 3 responses will be entered into a raffle for a 4 week trial of online personal training.

This is a great option for many people and new service that I am currently offering.  Here are some of the benefits:

  1. No longer have to go to a gym

    1. Gyms can suck sometimes. I am able to modify and accommodate at home workouts with ease.

  2. Scheduling is a non issue

    1. No time to meet in person? Online training to the rescue.

  3. Stronger accountability and support

    1. My time is freed from commuting and the hustle of in person training, which means more support and focus.

  4. More cost effective

    1. No more gym overhead or travel cost.  Quality training at a fraction of the price.

  5. Can work with the best

    1. I can be anywhere at anytime, which means YOU get the best without worrying about how to get to me.

  6. Loved ones can be taken care of

    1. Too much variance in this industry and not all trainers are created equal.  Now your friends and family can work with quality even if they don’t live close.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.  I’m excited to be able to offer this new service as I think it will allow my reach to spread.  If you have questions or don’t get what online training is, feel free to contact me at

How to Maximize Your Results with Resistance Training

What’s Better for Long Term Muscle Growth?

This question, usually followed by heavy weight and low reps or light weight and high reps is a question I get a lot and I think there is a common misconception when it comes to the type of training program you should implement (mainly due to marketing and silly advertisements).  

Let’s look at it from the perspective of a male, trying to put on a little bit of muscle mass and lose a little bit of fat...aka look better (A very common goal).  What should he do to maximize his effectiveness in the gym? Great question...

A saying that I heard recently and stuck with me is ‘a random process (exercises) will yield random results’.  So it’s best to have a plan of attack when it comes to reaching a specific goal. Here are the basic guidelines when it comes to resistance training and how to program your routine for a specific goal.

There are typically 3 program types when it comes to resistance training. Each has a set of specific parameters (intensity, sets, reps, tempo, and rest) which will vary based on the goal or adaptation you are trying to achieve.  Those are:

  1. Power

  2. Hypertrophy

  3. Muscular Endurance

We won’t touch too much on the power or endurance programs today, since we are focusing on muscle mass, but they should not be overlooked and are vital to a well rounded training regimen.

How Does a Muscle Increase in Size?

Muscle growth…What is it? How does it happen?

The common term in the science world is hypertrophy, which is essentially an increase in the size of the skeletal muscle through an increase in the size of the cells. Without getting too deep into the science of how this happens, there needs to be stimulus (resistance training) that is at or above an individual’s threshold for conditioning. Basically a fancy way to say that you need to work hard enough for there to be any change. If you are below the threshold, then there won’t be an adaptation (muscle size increase). If you’re too high, then the body might not adapt because there is too much intensity.  This is called overtraining and some symptoms include fatigue, decreased performance, decreased motivation, depression, and irritability.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are multiple muscle fiber types that will adapt differently to different stimuli.  Again, without getting too deep into the science, you have muscle fibers that are really good at powerful, quick movements and others that are good at long duration movements or activities. Not saying one is better than the other, but knowing this will allow for a more efficient program, especially if you’re trying to increase the size/growth.  Remember, a random process, yields random results…

What Should I Do to Maximize My Results?

So, we have a general idea of how a muscle increases its size.  How do we make that happen? And as fast as possible?

Well, to be honest, muscle growth takes time and isn’t a quick process...especially if you’re doing it naturally through resistance training and a proper diet...Of course you can always take supplementation/steroids and see quite a bit of progress in a short amount of time, but that usually puts you at a high risk for other health issues down the road. So I do NOT recommend or condone that.

Now that we got that out of the way, here are the specific guidelines and parameters to maximize hypertrophy:

Intensity: 75%-85% of 1RM

Sets: 3 to 4

Reps: 8 to 12

Tempo: 2-1-4-1

Rest: 30-60secs

Why is this recommended?  Because there is high metabolic stress due to the breakdown of type 1 and type 2 fibers (remember there are different muscle fiber types), ATP/CP and Glycolytic energy systems.  Essentially you’re able to improve a lot of variables with one set of parameters. And in terms of frequency per week, this will vary depending on your current fitness level, but anywhere from 2-4 days per week is recommended.

What Should Each Exercise Look Like?

Now that you have a nice overview of what a program should look like each week, what should each exercise look like? If your main goal is to put on some muscle, then make sure you are doing these 4 things when it comes to your resistance training:

1. Ensuring that you’re putting the tissue under enough stress/stimulus during each set

  • This is why the reps and the tempo are set at the ranges they are.  Research has shown that ~40 secs of time under tension or how long you are doing the set with the resistance, is optimal for muscle growth/hypertrophy. 8-12 reps at a 2-1-4-1 tempo will get you to those 40 seconds.

2. Time is not the only factor...intensity is just as important:

  • If you’re consistently using a low weight and not challenging yourself, then your results will probably be non existent. Ensuring that your intensity is high on most days will set you up for success when it comes to building muscle. Now of course there are many factors that come into play and you might not feel up to a high intensity workout every day, but in order to see results, you will have to bump that intensity up at some point.

3. Directly challenging the muscles/tissues you want to grow

  • A big trend nowadays is the ‘functional training’ method, where you use exercises or movements that you do in everyday life. If all the muscles are involved they should grow and get stronger, right?  Not necessarily, especially when were are talking about optimization. If you want the muscle to get bigger, you have to directly challenge it through strategic strength training (see exercise videos in Newsletter or YouTube)

4. Have an internal focus when executing the exercise

  • So the bulk of this write up has a lot of external components (sets, reps, % intensity), which are vital and shouldn't be left out, but there is some cool research about how what you’re thinking about during the exercise can have a pretty big effect on the outcome.  So don’t just mindlessly go through an exercise or lift and count the reps. Rather think about squeezing the muscles involved and letting that be your main focus.

Follow these tips and you will be on your way to maximizing your results with your resistance training, especially increasing your muscle mass.

Next Steps:

Also, I would love to hear from you.  Let me know your current goals, your biggest obstacles in accomplishing those goals, and what would help you accomplish those goals by clicking on the link below:

What Does Health Mean to You?

What is Health?

First, let’s define health and healthy.  Such common buzzwords that are thrown around often.  But what do they really mean? Well the dictionary has it’s version…

Health (noun):

  • The state of being free from illness or injury.

  • A person's mental or physical condition.

Healthy (adjective):

  • In a good physical or mental condition; in good health.

  • (of a part of the body) not diseased.

Probably something we ‘knew’ already, but it might elicit some different emotions or feelings when we see it written down. Being free from illness or injury is a big part of it, but not the only part as we see with the second definition…’a person’s mental or physical condition’.  Pretty multifaceted and tough to put an exact measure on, plus add in each person’s individual definition and boom...good luck knowing what health is.

But the cool thing, is that it will be very unique and individualistic to you.  And I’m sure your own definition will change over time as we age. So, I pose the question, ‘What is your definition of health?...What does it mean to you? (characteristics, thoughts, etc.) What affects health?  Why should we even worry about it?

List these things out.  Thoughts up in the head can get lost and forgotten about in the midst of a busy day.  So carve out some time on a weekend day (maybe 5-10 mins or so) and answer the above questions.  You might surprise yourself or you might be spot on, but now you’ll have it down in writing.

Now what?

Cool, a definition, but why does that matter and what can I do with it? Well it should be personal. One driving factor in motivation to change is defining a why and making it important to you. Defining the issue and giving it meaning is the first step.  Then you can create specific goals, skills and behaviors related to that definition. So lets say your definition of health includes being able to live disease and injury free for as long as possible, so that you can enjoy life to the fullest with your family and the people that you love..this includes doing the activities without pain or discomfort, looking and feeling great, and not stressing over food choices so that you can enjoy life…..Pretty deep and some meaning to it right?  Rather than ‘I just want to be healthy or I want to improve my health’

Once that meaning is defined, let’s create some goals on how to accomplish this…

  1. I want to stay strong and maintain muscle mass that is appropriate for my age, so that I can continue to do the activities I enjoy without struggle and pain

  2. I want to look great and feel great for as long as I can maintain it (the next 30-50 years)

  3. I don’t want to stress about what I eat or be very strict about my exercise routine and make it more of a lifestyle for the years ahead

Some of these goals are vague, which is ok, because we will get more specific with the next step...the skills:

  1. Resistance training 1-3 times per week

  2. Consistent eating habits along with consistent exercise (resistance training + aerobic training)

  3. Have guide available to practice hand rule during meals and have daily check ins so that I am mindful and aware of how my body feels/responds to food, plus awareness of hunger

Awesome, things that you can specifically work on...what do you do each day?  Our last step...the behaviors or the practices:

  1. Follow structured training regimen created by personal trainer for specific goals (1-3 days per week, with option of full workout, at-home workout, or quick workout). Everything is provided including what (exercises) and how (sets, reps, tempo, etc.) which will align with my specific goals (strength and muscle mass)

  2. Follow guidelines presented by specific program (eat slow, eat to 80% full, eat veggies, protein, healthy fats, and smart carbs for most meals) and program created specifically my goals

  3. Follow the ‘hand rule’ with meals, eat slowly at most meals, and eat to 80% full at most meals

Next steps:

My challenge to you is to try this out on your own:

  1. Find your definition of health

  2. Create 1-3 goals based off of that definition

  3. Create 1-3 skills that will support your goals

  4. Create 1-3 behaviors that will supplement the skills you’ve created

Don’t worry if it’s not perfect at first. This health and fitness thing is usually one big trial and error process and will more than likely change over time.  So just get something down on paper and get started. It would be great to hear what you’ve come up with! Below is a link to a quick survey with a couple questions relating to your definition of health: Survey Link

As always if you have any questions or are having trouble defining health, feel free to reach out at

Where to Turn for Reliable Health and Fitness Information?

What to Look For?

Last week we covered ways to spot misinformation and clickbait in the health and fitness world.  As a refresher, 4 ways that usually scream BS are:

  1. Promising results that seem too good to be true

  2. All you see are fitness models, not real people

  3. Heavy media influence

  4. Results seem too good to be true

So now that you have those in your back pocket, you should be able to go through an article, blog post, media video, or any other source and at least be able to get a general idea on whether it is credible. If you’re still having trouble, then use the resources I provide today as a fallback and go to for reliable, objective information.

The main issue with a lot of information you find out on the web or mainstream media is that there is a usually a heavy bias toward the information presented. Don’t get me wrong, bias will always be present, but when it comes to reliable and trustworthy information, you want to remove as much of it as you can. The more ‘middle ground’ the information is, then the better your decision making skills can come into play without being persuaded to the extremes.

A big piece of the puzzle is whether or not the information is backed by science and is evidence based. And not just labeled as such, but rather has actually been through the rigorous process of being vetted by other professionals.  If it hasn't’ then it’s tough to say it’s reliable and valid. Now I’m not saying that each blog post your read or article you find should be peer reviewed and formatted as a body of research, that would be silly, but are the concepts and thoughts of the writer backed by well known scientific principles and information....that should be the main concern.  

So this poses the question about WHO is presenting the information.  Heres a checklist that I think is important:

  1. They should be well versed in up to date research in the field

  2. Have an objective viewpoint (as reasonable as possible..remember there will always be bias)

  3. Be able to interpret all of their knowledge for you, the consumer, in a simplistic way so that you’re able to take action right away (aka really good at communicating).

This allows you, the reader/consumer, to be confident in the information presented and know that it is the most up to date thoughts/theories/practices in the industry (plus you’ll be able to utilize that info right away). Unfortunately not every source will have these very wary of mainstream media, remember they are trying to get clicks, views, ratings, and become more popular.  Unfortunately science based, objective viewpoints can sometimes be boring and don’t cause controversy because there isn’t a stance. And if there is, it’s usually in middle. Not great for ratings. People love to debate, state their opinion, be the ‘expert’, and mansplain/womansplain at any chance they get, especially on the internet. So the more that happens on a topic written by a news outlet the better.  That means the information presented is usually extreme in one direction (aka heavily biased) and if there is research referenced, it’s usually taken out of context to feed the agenda. Here is my one tip about research:

***It is never an absolute or ‘the end’** That one piece of research (if it is done well) controls many variables and presents some data. This data is then interpreted and explained, usually in reference to the hypothesis at the beginning of the study. This is only one sliver of the bigger pie.

But what does the media do? Uses it as doctrine and that there will never be any other way or method.  This is why you see such a back and forth on health topics in mainstream media. (Eggs anyone?) So my biggest tip to you, the consumer is to take the main media articles with a grain of salt.  If they are speaking in absolutes, it usually is to stir up controversy and the research presented is taken out of context.

What are Some Trusted Resources?

Now, where do you find the legit information? Like I was saying before, science based and objective, plus great communicators.  Below are some of my favorite resources:

Precision Nutrition (Health, Nutrition, and Exercise):

ThePTDC weekly articles: (Exercise Specific):

Stronger by Science (Exercise Based):

Alan Aragon (Nutrition and Supplementation)...also follow his social media:

Main Certifying Bodies: ACSM, American Heart Association,

And this just scratches the surface. I’m in the camp that more information usually isn’t the issue, so I don’t want to overwhelm.  More often times it leads to inaction, which doesn’t help. So let’s leave it at these sources for now. If you would like additional links or resources, feel free to reach out.  I would love to help!

If you’re lost and need guidance…

My intention today was allow you to start building the skills to think for yourself and continue to decipher some of the bs out there.  Hopefully this helps. And as always, if you’re completely lost or don’t want to think about any of this, then contact me at I will do the thinking for you and set you up with a customized approach to improve your health and wellness in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Tired of Empty Promises and Misinformation in the Health and Fitness World?

Turn on the TV, browse the internet, scroll through Facebook or IG, and you’ll get an overload of exercise, health, or nutrition information (maybe products) that are promising amazing results all with a reasonable price tag. But do they work?  Maybe, but I’m sure there’s a catch. That ab roller or exercise gadget?...look at the fine print because you’re not looking like that ripped 6 pack model unless you change your current eating habits. That new juice cleanse that Gwenyth Paltrow is promoting?  Good luck ever eating ‘normal’ again to sustain your initial results...The best diet (Paleo, Keto, Whole30, blah, blah, blah)...could be a great short term experiment, but hardly sustainable for the long term. Unless of course you like yo-yo dieting, then go for it!

I get it...especially since I’ve dedicated my professional career sifting through a lot of the bs out there. The crazy thing is I’m a fitness professional and this stuff can be confusing...I can only imagine how you, the consumer, feels when trying to navigate all the health and fitness info on the market.

My goal today is to help clear up the confusion and let you make smart, well informed choices that will help you, not hurt you...and I don’t say that lightly because there are definitely programs and products out there that can hurt you (I’m looking at you Gwenyth)...but how would you know?

Well, let’s deconstruct the bs. There are usually some characteristics or trends to a lot of gimmicks on the market today including:

  1. Promising results that seem too good to be true

  2. All you see are fitness models, not real people

  3. Heavy media influence

  4. Results seem too good to be true

Breaking Down the Information (Some things to look out for)

1. Promising results that seem too good to be true

  • Let’s face it, you’ll never change your body overnight...whether it be losing fat, increasing strength, building muscle, {insert health and fitness goal}. That change or adaptation takes time and consistency.  So if you see a ‘lose 30 lbs in 10 days’ or ‘transform overnight’ type of headline, be very wary and cautious because the body does not work like that (and it could potentially be doing more harm than good)

2. All you see are fitness models, not real people

  • Now, it might be marketing suicide to put average people, that don’t look extremely fit, on an ad campaign, and the product or program might not sell all that well (just speculation)...but what I’ve slowly started to notice, especially with my own business, is that the low hanging fruit (individuals that want the quick fix and instant success) are the only one’s drawn to that type of marketing.  Meaning they don’t want sustainable anyway (which is what you see on some of my success stories)’s not their style.  They're’ almost ‘comfortable’ losing and gaining, jumping to the next flashy object.  The unfortunate part? That’s all you you accept that as the ‘norm’ try it, it doesn’t work, and think hmm, this health and exercise stuff just isn’t for me and never do it again or very seldom at best.

3. Heavy media influence

  • Oh the media. What could be a great outlet for fitness professionals to spread the word about useful, effective, and sustainable health and fitness regimens, is often outweighed with clickbait and trendy stories that most of the time confuses rather than helps or guides. But, this isn’t a sob story for myself and other colleagues (we’re still fighting the good fight), rather a wake up call to you, the consumer, that seeing something from a news source should be taken with a grain of salt...remember they just want your click, and might not have your best interests at heart when trying to do so.

4. Results seem to good to be true

  • Can’t reiterate this enough.  Run the other direction as fast as you can! Consistent habits are the only way that the body will produce lasting change.

So, where does that leave you? Do you just give up on the health and fitness stuff?  Say, ‘it’s not for me’ or ‘if everyone is against me, then why should I even try’. Well that’s one way you could go with it, but I’ve got a better idea…Change your sources!

Next Steps…

If you’ve always done things one way and it’s never worked or you always go back to where you started, then it might be how you’re trying to do things. Evaluate what you’re doing with the 4 tips above and if they don’t pass the test, then it’s time to find something that is proven to work for the long term.

Next week’s Newsletter will cover strategies and principles to implement that will set you up for long term success when it comes to your health and fitness…so stay tuned!

Want to try a new approach now, but lost on where to start? Reach out by emailing me at and I will help you evaluate your current situation to get you on the right track (at not cost to you). If you don’t like my advice, no harm, no foul and we can go our separate ways.  But I challenge you to at least give it some thought, especially if you feel like you’re going in circles.

Also, I would love to hear from you…what are some of the craziest products or headlines you’ve seen in the past 6 months? Shoot me an email with your response.

How Much is Too Much When It Comes to Exercise?

I was recently given a series of questions by a freelance reporter in her search for sources regarding exercise and determining whether you’re doing too much. The questions were kind of vague and open to interpretation, so I kind of took it the direction I thought was most appropriate. But I think this can be a very serious question for someone just starting out or starting back up after a long break from exercise. Even though the intentions are good and you are super motivated to get back in shape, it may be doing more harm than good.

So take a look at my responses and utilize the information to make smart, beneficial decisions regarding your exercise regimen.

The big question….how much is too much when it comes to exercise frequency or duration? And the answer? Well it depends….on a lot. Here are some guidelines to help navigate on your own.

1. Define what it means for someone to over exercise/push yourself too hard? Is this subjective?

  • First, let’s define what too hard is and the type of exercise in question. When it comes to exercise are you talking about aerobic or anaerobic exercise? Because both of those will have different measures, both objective and subjective.

    • Aerobic exercise has some viable objective measures such as heart rate and VO2max. Usually there are specific percentages of the maximum measure that an individual will work at to elicit a desired training effect or adaptation. Maybe if an individual goes above those measures for too long, too fast, or too high, then they will be exercising too hard?

    • Anaerobic exercise, which I will refer to as resistance training, has other objective measures that can be used. They include max strength or force output.  This is usually measured by a 1 rep max, which will determine how much resistance can be used at one time for that specific exercise. A percentage is often used for a desired training adaptation, but if an individual uses too much or goes too long, then they may be pushing themselves too hard.

  • I would also agree that there are useful subjective measures that can determine if someone is exercising too hard. This includes what is commonly known as the Rate of Perceived Exertion scale or RPE scale. The scale allows the individual to rate the intensity of the exercise on a scale (1-10), which will give the practitioner or the individual an idea of how hard/intense the exercise is at that current point in time. By all means, not fool proof, but good data nonetheless.  

2. How can someone tell the difference between moments when they should push through the pain, and when your body is telling you it's time to take a break?

  • I would say that as general advice and also advice I give my clients is that there should never be pain during exercise.  That ‘no pain, no gain’ motto is really dumb and a bunch of bs. And myself, as a fitness professional, know that my first duty is to not harm my clients, so I would never push them to a level of pain. And if they are experiencing joint pain, I would recommend they go and see a specialist (ortho, PT, etc.)

    • Now if you’re referring to ‘pain’ as muscular fatigue during exercise (either aerobic or anaerobic), then that is something completely different. That is where the muscles/tissue are working to the point of fatigue, which will cause the nervous system to respond accordingly (muscle burning sensation).  That is more often then not ‘normal’ and should be expected. Now, it truly depends at where the individual is at with their current fitness level on whether they should even get to that point. If it’s a beginner or someone who hasn’t exercised in years, then it isn’t really necessary starting out and I would probably advise against getting to that point, let alone pushing past it. Now for a well trained individual that has been exercising for 1+ years, then by all means get to the point.  But it should be in the muscle belly and a focused contraction from the muscle, not just mindlessly going through random stuff to make it harder. And never joint pain.

  • If there is anything funky in the joints or if that level of intensity is happening often without adequate recovery, then the body may start to break down. Fatigue, not feeling well, constant aches or soreness, foggy headed, and other symptoms may be a sign of overtraining and rest should happen immediately.

3. Everyone has their limits. Is challenging them a sign that your workout might be too intense? What's a tell-tale sign that the routine you have for yourself goes beyond your skill set/capabilities?

  • I would say it’s ok to try something new or push yourself, but to use common sense and be smart about it. If that starts to become the norm, then your body may react negatively.  Remember, exercise is supposed to benefit you and prevent a lot of negative things from happening (disease, chronic conditions, etc.), but as with anything, too much of a good thing can cause harm or negatively affect you.  Even too much water can kill you…

  • Also, going back to the last bullet in question 2 will answer the 2nd part of this question. Overtraining is a real thing and if you have 1 or more of the symptoms, then it’s best to rest.

4. If your workout is too intense, how will it reflect in your physical body, and mental stability? Does your mood change, your appetite, your confidence, your stamina, etc.?

  • The body is very complex and one system affects every other system, whether we like it or not. This means that if we’re taking a toll on our muscular system, cardiovascular system, and pulmonary system, that the other systems may be feeling those same effects.  This includes the nervous system, which will affect mood, confidence, and many other things; the endocrine system, which may lead to hormone imbalances and also affect some physical/mental states; your digestive system, which will affect appetite and how well your body is able to absorb nutrients, which in turn may affect every other system in the body; and also your immune system, which could lead to a decreased ability to fight off viruses and you may get sick a lot quicker. So as you can see, too much intensity or too much exercise can affect a lot of things.

5. In the context of "everything in moderation," are there workouts you just shouldn't do every day, or multiple times a week? Give some examples and explain why performing these types of workouts x amount of times per week might be too intense for your body.

  • As a general guideline, there should be at least 48 hours rest in between resistance training bouts for a particular muscle or group of muscles. Now, as always, there are exceptions to the rule. How much is being done (sets, reps, time, rest, etc.)? At what intensity (easy/hard)? Let’s say a client came in and we did some low level isometrics for a particular area, but went really heavy/intense on another.  I would probably be ok with doing some more of those isometrics the next day (if they felt ok of course), but would recommend resting the intense resistance training. Recovery is just as important as the workout. So for a lot of these ‘HIIT’ or interval style classes, I would recommend doing them 1-3 days per week, with at least a days rest in between or something that promotes active recovery (yoga, light walking, any light cardio really, etc.). If you’re doing those every week because you just signed up for their ‘unlimited package’, be very cautious and pay attention to your body.  You might be at a high risk of injury, both acute and chronic.

6. How is your form affected when your workouts are too intense?

  • This will depend highly on the individual and their skill set.  I’m sure a pro athlete does very well under high stress/high intense workouts, but a beginning mom of 3 might have a tough time.  So if you’re just starting out, I would recommend to progress yourself appropriately. Learn how your body moves and pay attention/be mindful.  Once you start getting better at moving, then start bumping up the intensity, but not to the point of where you’re mindlessly moving. Again, that puts you at a higher risk of injury with minimal upside.

7. Can working out too hard and too much affect your immune system?

  • As I sort of touched on in question 4, working out too hard/too much most certainly can affect your immune system. Like I stated, the body is made of many systems that are all interdependent on each other.  So even if it’s not a direct effect, too intense of exercise can have a heavy influence on the immune system.

Pretty intriguing questions and something that I think a lot of us struggle with when figuring out how much exercise to do….here are the main takeaways.

  1. Don’t exceed your current tolerance levels.

    • Pay attention to your body. Never push through pain (joint pain specifically) and don’t overdo you’re training. Overtraining is very real and if you’re experiencing symptoms (persistent muscle soreness, elevated resting heart rate, increased susceptibility to infections, increased incidence of injuries, irritability, depression, etc.) then see a medical professional or rest!

  2. Use different measures and data points to track what your body can tolerate

    • Now don’t get me wrong, if you want to see progress, you WILL have to challenge yourself. Bullet 1 is eluding to doing wayyyyy too much. If you’re doing just enough to push yourself past ‘equilibrium’, then you’re body will progress appropriately. But how do you know? Like I stated in question 1, there are both objective (heart rate, VO2submax, HRV, etc.) and subjective (RPE, self recording, etc.) to help determine data points. This will give you the info necessary to know if you’re doing too little, just enough, or too much.

  3. Don’t let this stop you from exercising

    • Exercise truly is a medicine! And as such, you must get the appropriate ‘dosage’. Once you have that figured out, or at least in the ballpark, exercise and exercise often! You shouldn’t be afraid to exercise because of the risk of doing too much (and that wasn’t my intention with this article)…Think of all the other ‘risky’ things you do on a daily basis (driving a car, chopping vegetables, texting while walking/crossing road, etc.). Silly, but makes a point nonetheless. You’re smart, so just make sure you’re paying attention to all of the variables and you should be just fine.

  4. Follow general guidelines as starting point and adjust as needed

    • ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) currently recommends:

      • Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.

      • For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.

      • Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. ƒ

      • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.

If you’re lost or this seems pretty overwhelming, feel free to reach out. Put your exercise regimen in the hands of a trusted professional and it will be one less thing you have to think about. Reach out to and I will help guide you to feeling and moving better for the long term. And I’ll know exactly how much exercise you should be doing. Happy exercising!



 How to Find Guidance When You're in Search of Answers with Health and Fitness?

I’m a member of quite a few professional groups on social media and there are usually a wide variety of topics discussed.  One that I see pop up frequently is the topic of calories and weight gain. It usually goes something like this….

“I have a client who weighs _____lbs and has lost ____lbs.  We track their food and he/she is around ____kcals/day with very strict macros.  They also workout 3-5 days per week, usually a mix of strength training and cardio. But…….they’re not losing weight and getting very frustrated, what should I do?!”

Well, first, it’s tough to give an opinion based on such little detail. (Even though it’s funny when other ‘fitness professionals’ give absolute recommendations thinking they have it all figured out.. but that’s a different topic entirely.)  So I ask myself “how can I still guide without coming off as a know it all?” It usually involves some general recommendations or things that have worked through experience or maybe I have seen it recited elsewhere at some point in time. And even though that doesn’t create a specific, absolute, this is what you have to do at least allows the original poster to start exploring, researching, and trying.  Because let’s face it, when it comes to this health and fitness stuff, there will NEVER be the exact same road/path to the end destination. (And that also holds true for your own, individual experience.)

That was a tough thing for me to admit early on in my career.  I thought ‘hey, I’m smart, I got the hang of this stuff, I know all the answers!’  And that’s partly true. I was getting great results with my clients and I felt very confident in my abilities.  Until they stopped working or were only for the short term. What happens when you’re training a client for 5, 10, 20 years?  Well I quickly learned that my short term solutions were exactly that and when my clients started to regress or quit all together, I knew something needed to change with my approach.

The best advice I’ve gotten on this was during my time at the RTS courses in Oklahoma City. ‘You will never have all the answers, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying (within reason), and that’s what makes this enjoyable...Always figuring out solutions to puzzles’  That really hit home for me.

Back to the start of my career...I was ignorant to think that I would know everything about everyone at every point in time and get great results forever.  I was really good in the beginning because that’s all I knew. I had never trained a client past a few months starting out, so I was lost.

But fast forward to today and I now know that it was ok to not know everything.  That’s part of learning and getting good at using the resources available to you. Trial and error is the name of the game (again, within reason).  But the cool thing is I’ve had way more success using guiding principles rather than absolutist statements with any of the clients that I’ve trained.  Because there’s an end with those absolutes, a destination, a finale. But I have quite a few clients who want to train to live longer, so the only finale with that is death! (Sorry to be so morbid)  So what do we do? Well of course we have shorter term goals scattered throughout their training regimen and lifespan, but a lot of it is trying stuff out to see if they like it or maybe working on a very specific piece of the puzzle to see if it helps improve the whole or any number of things, since we do have quite a while together.  Because let’s face it, a client that’s happy, enjoys exercise, and continues to do it day in and day out will more than likely live longer and that’s why I got into this business in the first place. Not to get a few metrics down for a few months, but to make lasting, long term relationships to help individuals improve their health and fitness for a lifetime.

Anyway, enough rambling about me, what can you get out of this post, right?

Well I encourage you to also use a set of guiding principles with your health and fitness.  Here are a few that I try to live by daily that you can hopefully adopt and start to implement:

  1. Don’t be afraid to try something and be ok with failing

    • This is probably the hardest for me, which is why I put it number one. I analyze everything, which leads to inaction. I’m trying to improve every day to make small, attainable actions that help propel me forward.

  2. Consistency is key

    • Doing those actions I create in principle #1 EVERY day.

  3. Always try to improve and learn from what you tried (and most likely failed)

    • Failure is feedback, which I learned through a Precision Nutrition course very well. Failure will more than likely be a common occurrence, but it should allow you to grow and learn rather than give up or feel defeated (not that those feelings won’t exist, but it’s how you deal with them that matters.)

  4. Be grateful for what you have and what you’ve accomplished, don’t dwell on what you don’t have and haven’t accomplished

    • Going back up to the start of this post, all the trainers that inquire about their clients usually miss the successes, which are such a BIG deal. Yes, I’m all for improving and getting better and finding solutions, but don’t miss out on the steps that got you there.

So I guess after all that, don’t be afraid to get started with an exercise program or nutrition habits because it’s never too late to start and the process is half the enjoyment.  If you need guidance and feel lost, don’t hesitate to reach out and we can chat about your ‘triage plan’ or what you need to focus on first to make the most impact. My email is or you can fill out the ‘Get Started’ tab in the right hand corner. Get out there and take some action!