Document Your Successes

Document Your Successes

Whether you’re exercising, sticking with a budget or working on a scientific breakthrough, you need to document your successes, as well as chart what didn’t work. Both provide valuable information. It helps you understand what works and also what doesn’t work. Remember, there are no failures in the world if you use your findings, just information on what doesn’t work to solve the problem or get your body its fittest.

Documenting your progress is extremely motivating.

Rather than judging your progress on the scales, which sometimes is deceptive and doesn’t tell the whole story, people who track their progress have proof on paper that they’re able to do far more than they could when they started. It’s tough to remember how hard an exercise was when you started or how tired you were after doing just a few. When you have a written account it’s clear that you’ve gone from 10 reps to 30 or lifted 30 pounds when just five was tough at first.

Documenting progress can change a workout to a challenge.

It seems everyone loves a game and enjoys conquering it and climbing the ladder to new levels. You see people on the bus, waiting in airports and even in the office playing their favorites and enjoying every minute of it. When you track your progress, you’re creating a game, especially if you’ve built in benchmarks, indicating you’ve “leveled up.” It adds fun to the equation and makes you look forward to each workout that could take you to a new level.

Document progress for the same reason trainers do.

Trainers track your progress so they know when to make the workout tougher. With each workout your fitness level improves to a small degree and when that improvement is enough, the trainer adjusts the workout to reflect the new level of fitness. When you track your workout, you’re doing the same, looking for improvement to raise the bar. That way you’ll always be working at maximum potential.

Tracking your workout helps prevent that workout from being repetitive, which can lead to plateauing as the body becomes more efficient doing it.

You can see how long it took to see progress when you track and make adjustments to improve progress. It’s an important tool to get the most out of each workout.

Tracking keeps you more aware of your goals, helping you focus on it. Your head has to be into the workout as much as your body is to get the most benefit.

“Winners keep score” is an old saying that has merit. When you track, you’re forced to record your progress, so you’re more apt to try harder.

Drink More Water Effortlessly

Drink More Water Effortlessly

There’s a good reason to learn to drink more water effortlessly. Water is essential for survival! You can go three weeks without food, but only three days without water. This not so complex drink has huge health benefits and can also curb your appetite and help you lose weight faster. Not only does it help you feel fuller, drinking water actually helps boost the amount of calories your body burns. It’s called diet-induced thermogenesis.

Sometimes, you eat because you’re thirsty and not because you’re hungry.

The body is tricky some times. When you’re thirsty, it will do anything to get you to hydrate it, even make you feel hungry. Remember, food contains water. Think of those times when you were starved for a juicy piece of fruit. You might have just needed a tall glass of H2O. Dehydration has similar feelings to hunger. You feel slow and sluggish, totally exhausted. Your stomach can gurgle and you might even feel light headed. If you’ve ever had a hangover, much of the problem comes from dehydration.

When you drink extra water, besides weight loss and energy, there are other benefits.

Water helps boost your immune system, while also improving your complexion. You’ll be less prone to irregularity when you have adequate water in your system, which means you’ll be less prone to bloating. Water is also a great diuretic, helping to eliminate water weight gain. It helps relieve headaches and makes muscles less susceptible to sprains and strains. It flushes toxins out of the body, helps prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones too.

Boosting the amount of water you drink is easy when you keep it on hand.

Not all water tastes the same. Some of the members of Underground Athlete have water from wells, rather than city water. They say it tastes fantastic. Rather than buy water, they wash and refill empty water bottles and refrigerate them, making it easier to grab a bottle. Access to water is important. If you have it ready, you’re more likely to drink it. Flavoring water with a bit of lemon, an orange slice or even a leaf of mint or basil can make it taste fantastic. You’ll be more likely to think of it as a treat.

Get into the habit of ordering water with a meal, rather than soft drinks when you’re in a restaurant. It’s cheaper and far better for you.

Carry a bottle with you and sip on it throughout the day. If you have it, you’ll drink it.

Get a water filter to make water taste better and fill a pitcher for the refrigerator or put it in bottles.

Order a glass of water or have one ready if eating at home to drink before each meal. It will fill you up and not out.

Do You Know Your Portion Sizes

Do You Know Your Portion Sizes

Weight loss isn’t easy, but you can learn to choose healthy food and make it not only easier, but delicious, too. However, even when choosing healthy food, some foods need to be eating sparingly. That means you should have only one or two portions a day. In order to do that, you need to know how much is a portion. Do you know your portion sizes? It can make the difference between successful weight loss and weight gain.

Overeating is a national epidemic.

Learning portion control is a help in preventing overeating. While you may be able to load up at a buffet and go back for seconds, it doesn’t mean you should—even if you want to get all your money’s worth of food! Stuffing yourself not only jeopardizes your weight loss program, it creates other problems, such as bloating and stretches your stomach so you eat more afterward. You’ll learn to eat less and feel less hungry when you have portion control.

Your brain won’t help much if your body is hungry.

Studies show that most people’s sense of portions goes out the window when they’re body is starved for something to eat. That’s why learning a few tips can help make it easier, since most people won’t take the time to measure, weigh and calculate each portion. Let’s face it, I don’t want to do that either. It interferes with the enjoyment of the meal and makes you feel more like you’re conducting a scientific experiment.

Here are some quick tips on portion sizes that don’t require a scale.

When eating meat, poultry or fish, the cut should be as thick as a deck of cards. You can also judge it by your hand size. Look at the size of your palm without considering fingers or thumb. That’s a portion of meat. Pasta served with an ice cream scoop is one portion. (You don’t have to use one, that’s just a visual aid.) A serving of veggies is the size of your fist. Look at your computer mouse and you’ll see how big a potato should be. Those huge pancakes are far too big for a portion. It should be the size of a CD. Your thumb is a good measure for a stick of cheese, but for cubed cheese, one portion is the size of two dice. If you cup one hand, you’ll be able to pour in one portion of pretzels, chips or other snacks.

One way to help you maintain smaller portions is to use a smaller plate. The amount on the plate then look bigger.

Studies show that people drink less beverage when it’s served in a tall thin glass over a short wide one.

Drink a tall glass of water before the meal to fill you up and address any dehydration issues you may have. Sometimes, those can leave you feeling hungry.

You’ll have less tendency to overeat if you wear formfitting clothing. When your waistband starts binding, you’ll notice you’ve had too much.

Workout Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

Workout Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

workout mistakesIf you want to get the most out of your workout and see the results you want without working harder, here are some common workout mistakes that you can avoid. You normally see people doing these things at big box gyms, where there’s nobody to help. These errors can do more than just make your workout harder with slower results, they also can be the cause of injury. See if you fall into the group that needs to make some corrections.

Using the wrong form for exercises, including lifting is at the top of the list for common mistakes.

Using the wrong form has its consequences, the worst being injury that can set you back for months. When your form is off, you won’t get the best results and may spend twice the time you would to see your hard work pay off, which can be discouraging and dampen motivation. It often takes more than just watching the exercise performed correctly, you need someone to watch to insure you do the movements right. It’s easy to feel like they’re correct, but that doesn’t mean it’s so. Get help to learn the right way to prevent injury and boost your results.

Thinking if it hurts that it must be doing some good is a big mistake.

It’s one thing to work through some minor aches, but quite another to face a massive pain and ignore it. While some people don’t push themselves enough, others push beyond a safe level. They move too quickly, increasing the intensity and length of each workout to the point that it causes injury. It’s far better to measure your progress by number of reps, time it took to do them, intensity and amount of weight used for exercising than use the level of pain as a marker.

Failure to plan is one of the biggest mistakes.

Not only do you need to set goals, you need a plan to reach those goals and a way of tracking your progress to be successful. If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to know when you’ve reached your destination? Goal setting and tracking helps you stay motivated, too. It allows you to look back on the progress you’ve made on those days when you’re ready to quit. It also gives you direction and keeps you on track, relieving you of trying to remember where you were at the workout previously.

While some people try to push their progress too fast, others don’t adjust their program, even after they improve their level of fitness. They miss a great opportunity to improve their progress and reach an even higher level of fitness.

Many people fail to include diet as part of their workout program. The right type of diet is important for more than just loosing weight. Since each person has different goals and needs, we provide individual help in nutritional planning.

Working out alone is better than not working out at all, but it can be a mistake. Having the support of a like-minded community can bring huge benefits to everyone.

One reason I started underground athlete is to provide people who are serious about getting into shape the guidance and help they need to get their fittest, fastest.

How To Stay Healthy On Vacation

How To Stay Healthy On Vacation

healthy on vacationIt’s that time of year when people start taking vacations. Some travel by car, while others hop on a plane to get to their destination. I can’t tell you how many times clients come back with extra pounds or a set back in their fitness program. You can stay healthy on vacation if you plan for it. Just making a few adjustments for time and dietary concerns can help you stay fit and even enjoy your vacation more.

Traveling long distances by car or in a plane can take its toll.

If you’re flying, eat before you go to the airport or take a healthy snack or meal along to eat while you wait for your plane. Not only does airport food tend to be highly processed and higher in calories but lower in nutrition at the food courts, it’s also quite pricey. You’ll save calories and money. Be prepared for your food to go through the security checkpoint by having it in a container if it’s homemade or tucked in your carry on if it has its own wrapper. For those driving, a small cooler of healthy snacks or small meals in a cooler are far better than stopping at an unknown or fast food restaurant along the way. It’s best not to eat in the car, but make a stop at a rest station where you can enjoy your meal. Eat smaller more frequent meals on the road.

Whether you’re flying or driving, get exercise with other forms of transportation.

While you might have to rent a car if you’re flying, that doesn’t mean you have to use it all the time. Walking or renting a bike is an excellent option. Many places rent bikes for people who want to see the sites and enjoy the surrounding atmosphere. In Chicago, for instance, there are several bike rentals, which also include skate rentals and quadcycles, one of which is at Navy Pier. It’s the perfect way to cover a lot of territory, yet get an up close and personal view of the city, while staying fit. You’ll find bike rentals in many larger cities.

Prepare in advance by checking out the facilities or having a workout you can do anywhere.

Many hotels have workout facilities, so when you’re planning, consider that before making reservations. If you’re staying with family or friends or don’t have an available gym, plan your workout ahead. If you’re doing strength training, resistance bands take very little space and can help you get a great workout. Body weight exercises don’t require any equipment, so it’s another practical option. A trainer can help design a plan that you can use when you’re on the go.

Schedule your workout into your plans to insure you do it. You can use sightseeing and hiking for cardio workouts.

Stick with your dietary plan as close as you can, but allow yourself the luxury of splurging at a few meals. Sure, splurging will set you back a little, but if you’re in a town with a restaurant you’ve been dying to try, it’s worth the one-time splurge. You can still look for healthy foods on the menu.

Relax and enjoy. This is a vacation, remember? Take time to soak in everything, but don’t stress yourself out to do it. It’s time to renew yourself.

Visit the local farmer’s markets. You can often pick up a low cost lunch that comes right out of the garden.

Rise Up

Rise Up

rise upAnybody ready to rise up and take charge of their body, health and life may have great resolve initially, but may not know the path to follow. That’s where UA can help. We provide guidance based on your level of fitness, special needs and goals. Before we create any program for a member of our community, we assess their overall fitness in all areas, balance, strength, endurance and flexibility. We identify weaker muscle group, too. We consider any special needs, such as physical limitations that might require an adjustment to form or exercise and the member’s ultimate goals. Only then do we create an individualized program.

When you’re ready to rise up, nutrition plays an important role.

No fitness program would be complete without a complete nutrition program. You need not only adequate nutrition to build muscles, but also the appropriate caloric intake. If you have too many calories, you’ll gain weight or won’t lose it, with too few calories, you’ll put your body into starvation mode, slowing your metabolism and making it hard to lose weight. Everyone has different needs, different preferences and different ways they process some foods. We consider all aspects to help you rise up.

Your mindset plays a huge role when you choose to rise up.

I can almost guarantee that everyone that wants to take charge of their life, particularly their body, has great resolve in the beginning. However, it doesn’t take long before that resolve wains and disappears if there’s no help in the area of motivation. We provide that motivation to help keep you on the track of real change. Our supportive community of like-minded individuals also help you stay on track. Staying motivated is the key to a successful lifestyle change and staying fit for the rest of your life.

Tracking and recovery time are important aspects.

In order to get anywhere, you need a road map and signs along the way to let you know you’re headed in the right direction. We track your progress to help identify trouble spots, detours that are needed and identify the progress made. Tracking is an aid to know when you’ve made progress and when to increase the difficulty of the workout. You’ll always have concrete feedback when your progress is tracked.

You don’t need to struggle on your own when you’re ready to rise up and take charge. We have the knowledge and programs that work.

Sharing your determination and workout time with a like-minded community will help deepen the resolve.

You’ll see results faster with our help and results are a huge motivation.

After just a short time, you’ll notice the difference in your energy level, strength and endurance.

Formula For Success

Formula For Success

formula for successWhen we work with you, we create a formula for success that starts with your level of fitness, special needs and goals. Not everyone has the same goal. Some people want to shed pounds and build muscle tissue. Others want to gain weight and build muscle. Some want bulky muscles, while others want sinewy strength. Some people have special needs, such as knee or back problems that require modification of an exercise. Finally, everyone has a different level of fitness. We’d never expect a person who led a sedentary lifestyle and just started exercising to have the same program as a seasoned athlete.

Some things are part of each fitness program.

Warming up and cooling down are important no matter what the level of fitness. Including all types of fitness workouts, strength, flexibility, endurance and balance, are also important. Ensuring all muscle groups are worked is another constant and part of the formula. However, the actual exercise, number of reps, weight used and intensity will vary based on each participant’s program. When you watch group workouts, it’s easy to see the difference. Each person has his or her own program.

The formula for success includes healthy eating.

You have to consider nutritional needs. Again, there are some basics. Junk food, gobs of preprocessed food and sugary snacks don’t have a place in a healthy diet. Ensuring all the nutrients are included and there are adequate calories, but not so many that you gain weight. At that point, food intolerance, preferences and needs take precedent based on each individual. There’s no one size fits all type of diet, just a few important elements that are the framework. After that, we fill it in with foods and meal plans specifically for you.

Motivation is important for success.

Our coaches hold you accountable. Accountability is an important motivating factor. Not only are you accountable for your inability to follow through with regular exercise or dietary requirements, you also get credit for your successes. The community is another important source of motivation by helping each other and providing encouraging words.

The formula for success does not include juice bars or tanning beds. That’s not part of the program.

A program for success includes coaches that take special interest in your needs and show you the proper form for each exercise, then watch to ensure you understand.

We find that success occurs when clients are monitored regularly. As their level of fitness improves, we adjust the workout to reflect that improvement.

Caring about the client and their progress is at the root of a successful program. We work hard to insure you are successful.

Be Like-Minded

Be Like-Minded

like mindedWhen you want to accomplish anything, find a group of like-minded people to help you achieve your goal or inspire you to greater heights. That’s one reason working out with a group that’s sincere in their efforts to get the most out of their exercise plan can be beneficial. People who want to achieve the most are normally those that share with others and accept the help and support of others graciously. That’s one reason UA is so popular.

Personal trainers are an important source of motivation, but not the only source.

Have you ever felt the electricity in the air when people are all working toward the same goal? That’s what happens at UA. Our trainers really care, but so does the rest of our fitness community at UA. They help drive one another toward greatness, challenging each other to do even more and supporting their colleagues when the road is tough. You’ll feel welcome here and love how much help like-minded people can be.

People in our community tend to hold you accountable.

That’s not mean of them. Quite the contrary. Everyone needs to be held accountable, even trainers. While part of the motivation of using a trainer is that you have someone holding you accountable for showing up and putting forth all your effort, imagine how potent it is when a whole community of people do. You won’t coast through workouts because you’ll be busted immediately and as for missing sessions…it just won’t happen without someone noticing.

It’s really more fun with a group.

Achieving a goal is more fun to share when everyone knows how hard it is to do. Sure, you can go home and share your victory with a significant other, spouse or family member, but most of the time, they just don’t “get it.” They don’t understand the significance or how hard it was to achieve a new milestone in your workout program. Our community at UA does.

You’ll get the personal attention of private sessions at the price of a group workout. It makes it a bargain. You don’t have to be on a budget to truly appreciate getting more for your workout dollar. You’re never just another number here.

While everyone in the group is at different levels of fitness. Each is working at maximum potential, so they have empathy for all other participants. It’s about achieving your own goals, not beating someone else.

Our fitness program works quickly, so you’ll spend less time at the gym. Most of our clients are busy people, so the conversations they share are about getting fit, eating healthy and better ways to do both.

Our like-minded community does more than just support one another in the gym. They share the nutritional tips that work for them and may work for you.

How Accountable Are You To Your Nutrition

How Accountable Are You To Your Nutrition

be accountableYour nutrition plays just as much of a role in your overall fitness as your workout does. While eating doesn’t directly build muscles, you need the right foods to provide the building blocks for those muscles and your overall good health. There have been numerous studies showing the benefit of certain foods for good health and to help reduce the potential for specific diseases and conditions. If you’re spending hours at the gym and stopping at the bakery for donuts afterward, you’re negating many of the benefits you’ve gained. What you eat is important.

Everyone is different.

For the longest time, people pushed a high dairy diet for growing children. I had one client that was older and told about being sick every day. The doctor thought it might be an ulcer, which was treated with a high cream and dairy diet. After losing most of his weight, weighing in at less than 70 lbs for his 5’6″ (he was still in 6th grade), the doctor read of new concept, lactose intolerance. The problem was solved, but not after years of suffering. The moral of this story is that, not every food is good for every person. It also proves that we’re constantly learning about nutrition and the body. Our trainers not only adjust the nutritional advice to any special needs, but also to your preferences, to insure you’ll stick with the plan.

Like Santa, we know when you’ve been cheating.

When you cheat, it shows and there’s no denying it. Your workout is less than stellar and if you’re trying to lose weight, it slows down the process. Our nutritional plans are designed to help you reach your goal, while fortifying you with extra energy and the nutrients necessary to build muscle tissue. Monitoring your progress nutritionally is an important part of the overall plan.

The more active you are, the more you need help with your nutritional program.

If you’re a couch potato, your needs are far different from an active person or an athlete. Athletes or active people need more protein each day than someone whose biggest task is lifting the remote. Our couches help you adjust your diet to include all the additional needs a tough workout requires. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll love this new way of eating that doesn’ leave you hungry, but can help take off pounds if that’s what you need.

We make it easy for you to stay on track. Our coaches create sample food plans to make it even easier to follow.

If you need extra motivation to change your eating habits and stick to the nutritional plan, you’ll get it. We hold you accountable.

Our nutritional plans never leave you hungry. They help stabilize your blood sugar, while also regulating cholesterol and blood pressure.

You’ll be amazed at how the combination of a healthy eating plan and regular exercise will change your life and energy levels. It only takes a short time before you notice how much more you can do without getting tired.



We know you’re busy and occasionally you need to get in, get out, and get on with your day. For those days we’ve packed the most bang for your buck exercises into a heart pounding experience. Working out with a group is an easy and proven way to keep yourself committed to fitness by being a part of a community. We use MyZone heart rate technology to make sure you’re staying in the zone and making the most out of your time. You’ll get a mix of cardio, body weight, trx, and kettlebell exercises put together strategically for one purpose. no time!