Fitness & Wellness

Ways To Help And Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Ways To Help And Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Getting the diagnosis of type2 diabetes can be scary, but often leads the person to ways to a healthier lifestyle. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life taking insulin, in many cases. There are foods you can eat and ways to help and reverse type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is becoming increasingly common and part of the reason is the sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet. However, it can cause so many health issues, it should be a huge wakeup call to change your habits.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, lack of insulin production isn’t the problem, insulin resistance is.

Your body produces the hormone leptin in your fat cells. Leptin regulates the appetite and your weight. It’s the hormone that signals the brain that you’re hungry and how much food to eat. It also tells the brain how to use the energy already available. It’s most responsible for insulin resistance, which is the cause of type 2 diabetes. Insulin directs where the excess energy goes. It’s not meant to lower the blood sugar levels, but that does happen when it redirects the sugar. If you consume too much sugar, there’s an insulin surge, over time with too much exposure of insulin, the body quits responding to it and becomes insulin resistant. The more insulin you take or produce, the worse the problem becomes.

If taking insulin actually exacerbates the problem, what’s the alternative?

Modifying your diet is of utmost importance in controlling type 2 diabetes. Simply eating what you want, including sugar, then trying to modify the effect by taking insulin may be as dangerous as the diabetes itself. When you consider that one sugary drink each day increases your risk for diabetes by 25 percent, you can start to understand how important healthy eating becomes. Look for hidden sugar in your diet and eliminate fructose. Processed foods are often loaded with sugar and fructose. Avoiding fruit until you have the issue under control can help. Avoiding grains and sugar and replacing it with protein and vegetable-only carbohydrates. Saturated fat from organic sources, such as grass fed beef, avocados and coconut oil should e added to the diet. Boosting Omega-3 fatty acid is important, according to newer research. ” cholesterol, you’re still actually lowering your risk of heart disease.

Start a program of regular exercise.

Exercise is another important element of controlling diabetes. Man was not created to sit at a computer all day and it shows in the high rate of obesity and diseases. You’ll get almost immediate results from a program of regular exercise, plus many long term benefits too. HIIT—high intensity interval training is good. With these “burst” types of exercises, you’ll spend less time in the gym. Even though it’s extremely healthy, start slowly. Your personal trainer can help you with a program perfect for your needs.

  • Get out in the sun. Exposure to the sun without sun block, promotes the production of vitamin D. Use good sense when doing this by taking precautions to build the amount of exposure time safely.
  • Remember, treating the cause of the diabetes is the most important thing you can do. Treating the symptoms, high blood sugar, only leads to further problems down the road.
  • Not only does exercise work quickly to help you control diabetes, it only takes one session to aid in reducing blood sugar spikes and aid in regulating glucose.
  • Tracking your progress with the condition when dietary changes and activity levels change can give you the motivation to continue a program of regular exercise and healthy eating.

Asian fat man holding a remote tv and donuts at home

3 Rules For Fat Loss

There’s a saying in fitness…

“everything works for 6 weeks.”

Basically anything you do will get you some kind of result for the first 6 weeks. After that your workouts need to be put together more intelligently to keep progressing and prevent plateaus or regression.

It’s the same for nutrition…

Follow any of the popular diets or nutrition programs out there and it will probably work…

…for about 6 weeks.

Once the novelty wears off, monotony sets in, and your best friend falls off the wagon you’ll be running for your hidden stash of family size peanut butter M&M’s…

…Let the Netflix binge ritual begin…

Go Pee  *check*
Do Happy Dance *check*
Claim The Corner of Couch  *check*
Grab Comfy Blanket *check*
Pour Wine  *check*
Grab Popcorn  *check*

3 Hours and 1500 calories later you’re back on the expressway headed home to 123 Imafailure rd.

The more complex you make your nutrition the less likely you are too stick to it.


I’ve witnessed a weird phenomenon…

91.6%  of people who want to lose weight request meal plans. I’ve never understood this but I see it…

All. The. Time.

Taking someone from eating McDonald’s and Burger King 7 days a week to 6oz. of Salmon and a cup of roasted vegetables at 11am is asinine.

It’s like taking someone who’s never played poker before and telling them to go all in with everything they’ve got on the first hand…

Not a smart move…

I’ve classified and ranked the 4 common types of nutrition strategies (The 4 R’s). Chances are you’ve tried them all except the one most likely to bring you success…

…Longer than 6 weeks…

If the nutrition strategy you’re following requires you to hit targets ie 2 cups of vegetables at each meal or hit macros each day, your diet is based on requirements. This isn’t a bad strategy. It definitely works. It’s just that most people can’t keep it up or do it accurately at all. The benefit is it still allows you to eat the food you want as long as it fits in your macronutrients goals. So if you’re allowed 100g of carbohydrates and you have 2 slices of bread you only have 60g of carbs left for the day. Like I said, not a bad way to go, but most people have poor eating strategies and convenience eating is one of the major reasons why. Anything that has you doing math and research every time you put something in your mouth is not exactly convenient, therefore not likely to be adhered to…

I rate restrictive diets higher only because they’re easier to stick to for a little longer, unfortunately most popular restrictive diets actually cause metabolic damage long term. The ketogenic diet would be one that I’d consider good, but most people do it wrong and just cut all carbs. They’ll lose weight but don’t see the benefits. They end up doing damage to their metabolism and falling off the wagon in a place worse than where they started.

We’ve had several people come to UA who after following some 6 week challenge or elimination diet, were so weak, tired, and deficient that they actually showed up with their hair falling out…

Why? Because they were told to eliminate all protein!

If you’re trying to lose weight for the first time and you’ve got a coach or reliable accountability partner ritual strategies can be a great way to go. An example here would be your classic food journal. If you know you have to write it down you’re less likely to eat it. If you know someone else is looking at it, you’ll be less likely to eat it. It’s that simple. Another example of rituals would be the weight watchers points system. You can still pretty much each what you want, you just need to track your points. I’d classify weight watchers under rituals because what makes it successful is the ritual of checking in and going to meetings, not the actual tracking of the points.

For most personality types to achieve physical, mental, and emotional health, a nutrition strategy based on a set of self created rules is the best way to go. By using self determination theory to create autonomy and intrinsic motivation, long term success is actually likely. If done right, creating a set of rules to guide your nutrition will result in long term success for all personality types…

Obligers, upholders, questioners, and even rebels.

If you’ve read my article on the 4 types then you know there needs to be one addition to rule setting for rebels. If you’re a rebel you MUST link your rules to your beliefs or values.

For example, a rule I might create would be to eat a nutritious breakfast every morning with my kids BECAUSE I believe I’m a good dad.

AKA If I don’t eat a nutritious breakfast with my kids I’m not being a good dad…

Who’s got two thumbs and not gonna f’ that one up?

>>This Guy!<<

When I coach anyone on nutrition I suggest 3 simple rules to start.

I’m going to share them with you too…

Follow them and I can guarantee you’ll be full of energy, losing weight, and feeling healthier than you have in years.

Want My 3 Simple And Never Fail Rules?

Check them out >>HERE<<

OR, fill out the form below and I’ll send it to your inbox. This way you won’t miss any of our entertaining and informative emails. As a bonus I’ll send you my #1 fool proof method to achieving any goal (warning: you must have kids for this to work)

Dedicated to your health,


Download Your 3 Rules For Fat Loss [PDF]

LBs Keeping You From Rockin' A Pair Of Guess Jeans?

LBs Keeping You From Rockin’ A Pair Of Guess Jeans?

Christmas 1996…

I was 16 years old and wanted 2 things, just 2 things for Christmas…

My bedroom painted black and a pair of Guess jeans.

Spoiler Alert* I didn’t get either, but I learned 2 very important life lessons…

  1. Don’t ask for dumb shit
  2. If you want something you’re going to have to go out and get it yourself

Fast forward a couple weeks…

Home and bored on winter break, my mom 20 miles away at work in the city.

What would you do?

Exactly! Invite your best friends over, buy some black spray paint, lock yourselves in your room and go to town with reckless abandonment…

Sorry lungs!

I’m not sure if I did real damage to my lungs that day but I know without a doubt I did damage to my bedroom…

All black with the exception of a poorly painted 6 ft neon yellow Nike swoosh…

Bedroom Painted Black CHECK

At that time I was working two jobs. I’d do a shift in the garden department at Kmart then walk across the street to the mall and punch the clock at Structure now Express…

But I f’in hated structure clothes. I was secretly jealous of my friend working down at Abercrombie. That was next level cool, but Guess, Guess was for rich people with boats and big sun glasses. Those jeans were like $70 PER LEG!

Had to have em…

I saved for what seemed like a lifetime til finally I had enough to go buy them myself. I still remember the feeling I got that day…

Walking in, feeling like a pauper in a palace. I didn’t belong. I wasn’t good enough…

I got to the register and froze, cold sweats and everything. Tunnel vision…Was I really going to spend this much on a pair of pants that I didn’t deserve?

I did.

And then a whole new set of problems….

How was I going to get out of the mall alive? A Guess bag?!

Wasn’t someone going to rob me for my jeans?

Looking back someone probably should have just kicked my ass for being so stupid and worrying about what everyone else thought…

Limiting beliefs are real!

Now I can look back, laugh, and learn from my 16 year old self.

I’m glad I bought them. And you can bet I wore the hell out of them for like the next 10 years, til that triangle patch on the back right butt cheek started fell off to display my now cool Tommy Hilfiger boxer briefs hahaha remember those? With the big TOMMY waist band?

No? Just me?

Ok, anyway…

I was 16 and those were just some jeans that could make my butt look better…

But there’s grown ass adults in this room with limiting beliefs…

Telling themselves the same damn thing about THEIR HEALTH…

And working out in the gym…

If that’s you STOP IT!

You are good enough! You don’t have to be fit to start. You don’t have to know anything…

People won’t laugh at you. People will love and accept you. People won’t judge you…

Because we were all there once…

In fact, if you find the right gym (like Underground Athlete 🙂 the people will actually encourage you, laugh with you, and become some of your best friends…

Or future significant other…

Ya never know!

So I have this little sticker…

I keep it on my computer. It says FTSIDIA

If you find yourself spiraling into negative self talk and worrying about what everyone else thinks instead of worrying about what’s right for you, your body, and your health, I suggest you get one of those little stickers too…

It stands for “F’ this shit I’m doing it anyway”

It’s my way of remembering to stop thinking so much and Just Do It…

Pull the trigger. Get your ass to the gym. Take care of your health because you deserve it!

And the moral of the story is…

Lose the limiting beliefs. Come can train at Underground Athlete, and buy an overpriced pair of Guess jeans to give your ass the ultimate alliance.

Train smart. Train hard. Have fun and…

Rise Up
Create an amazing week!


9 Signs You Need To Run Out Of Your 6am Bootcamp Class

9 Signs You Need To Run Out Of Your 6am Bootcamp Class

Gyms aren’t just a place you go to get in shape anymore…

With the rise of this thing called the internet and more people choosing to work from home, we’re losing a sense of community, belonging, and social interaction.

A good gym recognizes this and makes sure their culture and community is as good as the their workouts…

I’ve seen a handful of great coaches who couldn’t make a living for one reason or another.

But I’ve seen even more bad coaches make a great living because they understood the importance of culture…

With all the boutique gyms sprouting up there’s no excuse for not having both.

Maybe you love the people, the culture, and even the coaches, but most people don’t know if they’re getting a quality workout or not, they just judge by how visible their post workout sweat angel is or how hard it is to go to the bathroom the next day…

News flash, those aren’t signs of a good workout! As I think Mike Boyle said “even a monkey can make you sore.” If he didn’t say that it sure sounds like something he would say so we’ll go with it..

The following list is meant to help you judge your class a little better and stay clear of fitness shenanigans. Use this list as your litmus test..

The world of group training is a scary and unpredictable place. Stay vigilant and if you spot any of these signs I suggest you pack up your hydro flask and your go fasters and high tale it out of Bonnie’s Bod-acious Bootcamp (no offense if that’s really someone’s business)

Without further adieu here’s the list..

Here’s Your Sign #1
You’re “coach” is wearing a headset

Here’s Your Sign #2
Your workout has a list of exercises that sound more like boxes of cereal.

Stay in class if you see something like…
Plank 3x30s
Goblet Squat 3×10
Push up 3×10
Walking Lunge 3×10

Run if you see something like…
Star Pops 3x30s
Power O’s 3×10
Morning Delights 3×10
Mighty Twists 3×10

Here’s Your Sign #3
If the class looks anything like a birthday party at Chucky Cheese…

You know what I mean?

Chaos, screaming, bodies all over the floor, and some girl surrounded by balls, hyperventilating, with snot running down her face.

Here’s Your Sign #4
If you signed up for an hour long “tabata” class. Yeah, get out…

Here’s Your Sign #5
If you see high rep Oly Lifts. Actually if you see or hear the term Oly Lifting just run.

Here’s Your Sign #6
If half your workout is spent on a treadmill (run twice as fast if there’s an instructor with a headset yelling at you to “get in the zone”)

Here’s Your Sign #7
If they call the class Bunz & Gunz

Here’s Your Sign #8
If there’s a designated garbage can set aside for the boot n rally

Here’s Your Sign #9
If you have to wear stilettos or spin around a pole for any reason. Yes I’m sure it’s hard and no I don’t want to try it sometime. Save your guest pass. All I’m saying is it’s probably something better to do on your own time and not in a group fitness class.

Well there you have it, I’m sure there’s more but that’s a good starting point. In all seriousness if you’re doing something you love and it’s not causing pain go for it. I’d never tell someone to not be active. I’m just saying you might want to explore other options if you you’re looking for an intelligent, thought output, progressive training program because…


Find your people. Train Smart. Train Hard. Train Often

Rise Up.


Don't let the scale 'eff with you

Don’t let the scale ‘eff with you

More than ever, people are coming to our gym with goals other than dropping some el bees on the scale.

It’s a beautiful thing. Now I get…

“I want to be healthier”
“I want to be a better role model for my kids”
“I want to J Lo’s booty and Jennifer Aniston’s hair”
“I want to do 10 handstand push-ups naked on a hammock in a hail storm”

Those are AWESOME goals!

Unfortunately I don’t think we’ve truly shaken the weight… eh, eh, shake weight, get it?


I’m not convinced… The above goals sound all groovy, but I think it’s all smoke and mirrors…

Those same people are the ones stripping down buck naked and jumping on Tanita bc554

every. single. morning

How do I know? Because they tell me…

I get messages like this at least a couple times a week…

“Hey Justin, good news! I’m down .02lbs from yesterday. I think this whole not eating pop tarts after 10 could be a good thing!”

If that’s you it’s OK!

Own it :).

If you’re weighing yourself every day it’s because it’s obviously important to you and if it’s important to you it’s important to me.


The scale can be unkind, like a cute little pit bull…

You kinda wanna go over and check it out, see how it’s doing…

It seems to be in a good mood, but then you step on it…


All hell breaks loose and now you’re doubled over in the corner, fetal position, crying “why me” like Nancy Kerrigan. (If you don’t get that reference F U you’re young and I hate you #sorrynotsorry) Is that still cool?

I digress. What I was saying is you freakin asked for it.

If you want to celebrate a number on a scale cool…

But promise me you’ll also give yourself a pat on the back for these wins too…

Win #1
Better Movement / Control of Movement
When you’re first starting off some of movements will feel foreign to you. Let’s take a single arm dumbbell press for instance. You’re laying on your back pressing a dumbbell on one side of your body from your shoulder to arms length over your chest. It’s not uncommon to see beginners start to resemble a 2 year old with poopy diapers trying to get out of gettin their butt wiped – kinda uncomfortable and all over the place…

As you continue your journey, take notice of how much more coordinated you are. That’s a WIN my friend. Let’s have a margarita later 😉

Win #2
Improved Recovery Time
At Underground Athlete we use the MyZone system. At any time you can walk in and see a handful of names or nicknames on the TVs with some useful information. Let’s take “Flax Muffin” for example. If you walk in during Flax Muffin’s workout you’ll see the percentage of his max heart rate in the center. You’ll also see his calories burned, actual heart rate, and MEPS (points). When Flax Muffin started out he’d do 1 minute on the bike getting his heart rate up to 180 bpm and it would take 2 minutes for his heart rate to drop back to 65%, but now 1 minute on the bike gets his heart rate up to 180 bpm but he’s back at 65% in less than a minute! Flax Muffin made some serious gains and he should celebrate these improvements in his vagal reactivation.

Win #3
Strength Gains
We use some pretty cool software at UA and if you look at your stats over time you’ll notice something cool happening… You’re using more weight than when you started. If you can see the trend you’ll notice your reps going down month to month or week to week and with that you’ll see the weight you used went up and up. When we come back to the original rep scheme say it’s 3×12 you’ll notice you can do those exercises with significantly heavier weights. So give yourself a pat on the back for an improved nervous system, more muscle mass and increased cross sectional area of muscle tissue. You’re doing a fine job young lad and you just benched 200 12 times so who gives a shit if the number on the scale hasn’t moved.

Win #4
Your Doctor Likes You Again
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone walk into my office looking like they just got asked to prom by the varsity quarterback because of their most recent doctors visit. If you’ve never had a bummer of a doctor’s visit kudos to you, just wait. When I saw how relieved Anne was after her doctor told her her A1C is in normal range and she’s no longer considered pre diabetic or how happy Ken was now that his cholesterol is down 100 points I wanted to throw a party. They should too! When you get news like that don’t you dare step on the scale and let being up .2lbs rethink your whole fitness plan. You’re Winning!

Win #5
You Can Scratch Your Back, Wash Your Feet, And Get Out Of Bed Without Pain
I think that pretty much speaks for itself but pay attention to how you feel. You can’t help but notice every movement when you’re in pain, but once you’re not you kinda forget about it. If you’re no longer in pain you’re doing something right. Acknowledge it, give your coach a double low five, a pat on the tush if you’re cool like that, and an extra referral 😉

And this all leads me to…

Win #5
Your Little Black Dress
You know the one…

It’s been sitting in the back of your closet for the last 3 years collecting dust and empty promises.

Get brave. Go over to it, make some small talk and try that thing on.


Yes you did! Zipped that bad boy all the way up to the top without even an assist.

Game. Set. Match

Scale 0. Little Black Dress 1

Now let’s celebrate by getting your hair and nails did and finding a good excuse to impress in that dress!

Wait. Good News…

I’ve got an event of you! May 19th 2018 we’ve rented a ballroom at the Marriott, hired a DJ, planned a dinner, got donations for silent auction from some amazing organizations like the Wizards, Caps, Redskins, Kendra Scott etc etc


As you may or may not know I recently lost my dad to melanoma cancer. Several other people of the gym are in similar situations. All proceeds of this event are going to help The Cancer Research Institute in their work with immunotherapy.

I’d love for you to join us. You can CLICK HERE for more information.

I’ve also talked a coach I know down in Florida to let me borrow her Little Black Dress Challenge. I would have written my own but ya know…

It’s a little black dress challenge 😉

If you’re interested in joining in on the 28 day challenge and celebrating afterward with a kick ass event for charity tell me your interested by signing up here

little black dress


The challenge will kick off officially next Wednesday.

Thanks for reading. Have an amazing weekend.

Rise up!


Don’t Let The Snow Lay You Up!

You didn’t think you were going to get out of this winter without having to shovel some snow did you?

Before you get started here’s a few tips that can keep you from becoming a statistic…

Every year there are thousands of back, shoulder, and knee injuries caused by shoveling, or caused by improper or inefficient shoveling.

Injuries are one thing but shoveling also causes over 100 deaths every year. Most of those actually could have been prevented..

Here’s how I suggest you get some serious work done while keeping yourself out of the ER…

1) It seems silly but do a proper Warm-Up!
2) Use Intraworkout Resets to improve efficiency, mobility, and strength
3) Use a 1:1 work to rest ratio
4) Use proper form

Proper warm up…

A proper warm is one that adequately prepares you for the task ahead. In this case and generally it should be multiplanar and dynamic, because shoveling works in all three planes of motion, through all joint angles, and requires specifically a lot of hip mobility, shoulder mobility, and rotation power from the hips and upper back.

Before you go out and tackle your driveway do this:

– Neck Circles x 10 each direction (limited range of motion in the neck can show up as pain in the shoulders and elbows) work the neck!
– Arm Circles x 10 forward and 10 backward
– Alternating Toe Touches x 10 each side
– Hip Circles x 10 each way
– Air Squats x 10
– Lunges x 10 each Side
– Lateral Lunges x 10

Inraworkout Resets…

At Underground Athlete we swear by intraworkout resets, but they don’t have to be abandoned just because you’re not in the gym. Intraworkout resets are just a light exercise used in between sets of a more taxing exercise with the purpose of activating or mobilizing body parts or movements that will help make the exercise easier. Here are a couple intraworkout resets you could use that would help your shoveling..

Sphinx with side-to-side look
Glute Activation Circuit
Goblet Squat to Hamstring Stretch
Prone Dowel Lifts w/ Press (you could use a shovel)

Take a time out while your shoveling and throw these into the wintry mix…

Work Ratios…

I like to make shoveling actually count as one of my workouts so I warm up and then do the first couple of minutes HiiT style with a 1:1 Ration. Do this by shoveling hard for 60 seconds and then rest for 60 seconds. Do 5-10 rounds this way. Next maintain a heart rate of 120-150bpm as you tackle the rest. This is what’s called cardiac output. This threshold training followed by cardiac output is a great way increase fatty acid mobilization and oxidation.. ie wake up fat and get rid of it.

Who doesn’t want to get rid of fat and get rid of snow at the same time??

Good Form…

You’ve heard it before I’m sure, “use your legs.” Maybe a better thing to say is “don’t round your back.” Most people get lazy and move things just as the sit… relaxed with a rounded back. Moving a bunch of snow this way will ensure you don’t get off the couch tomorrow. Bend the knees, push your hips back, maintain a neutral spine, and when you toss the snow make sure you rotate from the hips and not your lower back. A lot of people injure their backs because they crank through excessive rotation when the low back should really only rotate 15 degrees. The rest of the rotation should be coming from the hips and the upper back. Using good form also means bracing the “core” properly. To do this take a big belly breath in when you get under the snow. Hold your breath and your belly tight as you lift up and breathe out as you throw the snow 50ft over your shoulder 🙂

Tension is what keeps you safe in a heavy squat or deadlift and it’s what’s going to keep you from wrecking your back shoveling snow too.

Stay warm. Stay safe. Stay strong.

Rise Up!

Post Workout Smoothies

Post Workout Smoothies

After a workout, you may feel ravenous and want to stop for a burger or two, but post workout smoothies are a better way to go. These drinks are an easy way to add protein to help heal and build muscle tissue, they have loads of nutrients necessary, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to protect cells and prevent inflammation, plus they’re a good source of carbohydrates to rebuild your glycogen store. I have a few favorites that I like and wanted to share them. I didn’t include some measurements since I do most my smoothies by guesstamate and taste. I never get too precise, so it’s always a taste adventure.

The basic recipe is easy.

You don’t have to trudge through all the nutritional information, just keep in mind that the smoothie should have about 20 grams of protein, a little bit of healthy fat and the rest should be carbohydrates. Consider whey protein powder, low fat cottage cheese, hemp seed, almonds/almond butter, Tahini or pumpkin seeds can be a source of protein. Avocado, coconut oil, nuts or flaxseed oil provides healthy fat. The rest is easy. Add your favorite fruits and veggies, plus seeds, nuts and spices like cinnamon and turmeric for extra kick. Mix with coconut water, juice, or almond milk. Add ice for hot days.

For runners, create a smoothie that helps build endurance.

Want to find a smoothie that will boost you up after you run for miles. Make one with low fat chocolate milk. It replaces lost glycogen quickly and contains protein to help muscle repair. If you’re lactose intolerant, just add some coco powder to coconut, soy or almond milk or throw in some dark chocolate chips. I add almond butter, a frozen banana for extra potassium, blueberries and avocado for a great pick-me-up that I love.

For something a little more adventurous, add beets to your smoothie.

Beets are great source of vitamin C and contain minerals like potassium and manganese. They also have vitamin B folate, which is important for women in child bearing years to reduce the risk of birth defects. Beets lower your blood pressure, fight inflammation, give a boost to your stamina and help detox your body. They also add sweetness when roasted or steamed in their skins. Use your favorite protein, fresh cranberries, kale, a small peeled Persian cucumber, orange juice, raw honey and celery for a taste treat you’re sure to enjoy. Throw in a few seeds and nuts for extra nutrition and blend until smooth.

  • For a quick smoothie, just add a scoop of any type of protein powder, a cup of almond, coconut or regular milk a half a frozen banana and your favorite frozen fruit. It’s delicious and easy.
  • You can add a handful of spinach to any smoothie and the rest of the ingredients blanket the flavor, but you’ll get all the benefits of the iron.
  • Throw in some wheat germ for a nutty flavor and extra folic acid.
  • Freeze canned pumpkin in an ice cube tray and mix the cubes with yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, avocado, flaxseed, Greek yogurt and real maple syrup for a taste treat that reminds you of Mom’s pumpkin pie.

All Good Things Must End

All Good Things Must End

Note: This post was originally an email sent just to the cool kids on our list. To be one of them Click Here, but read this first!

I had all intentions on writing this last night but I got sucked into “7 Seconds.” Damn you Netflix. Once I’m on I’m locked in like a dog on a bone.

If you’re looking for a nail biting productivity killer I strongly suggest you check it out.

Thank GOD Netflix wasn’t around in the 90s!

You know, back when a killer Saturday night meant binge watching Dirty Dancing on VHS with 4 other girls while sharing a bean bag chair and a couple pints of Cherry Garcia…

Or in my case, slamming Jolt, doing dizzy bats, and watching Major League while trying to cover your junk to avoid nut shots.Those were the good ol’ days…

Staying up late, asking Magic 8 Ball who was going to be your Johnny, where you were going to live, and what kind of epic life you were going to create…

As you’ve realized life doesn’t exactly workout the way we think it will. Life actually throws a pretty wicked curve ball.It happens to businesses too…

You spend sleepless nights watching Gary Vaynerchuk videos, creating the ideal business in your head, and all is groovy…

Except life…

…Curve balls.

In 2011 I hosted a visioning workshop at the gym. At that time we were the only gym in the area doing semi private training. Things were growing. Word was spreading about the customized training we were doing and the results we were getting…

My vision?

I wanted to be able to help more people. So I scribbled UA2 on the wall that day…

A second location. Loudoun County. It’s all I could come up with. It’s the only thing that made sense…

A year later we opened up a second location, Sterling Va, in an industrial park, on the back side of the airport.It was a beautiful facility although way too hot in the summer, and way too cold in the winter, but it was sexy, and the people…

They were amazing!

But all good things must end.

Fast forward 5 years…

Last Friday, March 2nd, I officially locked the doors and turned in the keys to UA Sterling…

After 4 days of moving and pulling up the turf flooring, apparently glued down to withstand a nuclear blast, my hands bled, my back ached, and I sat in silence on the bare concrete floor.

Cold. Empty warehouse. Wind blowing, hard enough to rip the doors off…

But I sat there in peace…

…and I remembered why I started…

To help more people…

I closed UA Sterling for several reasons.

  1. Our lease was up
  2. We couldn’t afford 3-5 more years with a 3% increase in rent each year (I’m convinced that’s one big reason most brick and mortar businesses go under)
  3. We couldn’t get proper heat and AC in there
  4. The road construction was never ending and no one wanted to deal with the nightmare traffic on 606
  5. I couldn’t find enough quality coaches to staff both locations. Believe me I searched!

But those were all minor, just whip cream on the sunday

I actually made up my mind several months earlier after reading two books, “Finding Your Why” by Simon Sinek and “Small Giants” by Bo Burlingham.

I realized I was feeling disconnected from my tribe. I couldn’t be two places at once so I was perpetually torn. Instead of helping more people I felt like I wasn’t helping anyone. I tried to change my mindset and realize my role had to change. I understood that, but it didn’t mean I had to like it. It’s not what I wanted.

Opening a bunch of gyms just didn’t excite me.

I love to coach and I love working closely with people I care about. I love helping people directly. I love innovating and creating, but not managing people and property…

Small Giants made me realize it’s ok to focus on being small and being great, and that growth doesn’t necessarily mean more locations…

Finding your why made me realize WHY building a community and a “fitness family” is so important to me…

When I was 4 years old my family broke apart. Before that we were poor, but we were whole. Then all of the sudden it was weekdays with mom and weekends with dad. Eventually leading to full time with mom, but split holidays…

And they were hell.

They stressed me out. I hated going from one house to another, driving 30 minutes just to do the same damn show all over again.

Why couldn’t we all just be together?

Under one roof, it’s all I ever wanted…

Children either mimic or complete their past. If you know me, you know how I am with my kids and my family. I’m on a relentless quest to keep the family happy and together. I will do everything in my power to not let my children go through the pain that I did.

But for some reason it didn’t stop me from doing it to my business. Finding Your Why opened my eyes to what I was doing…

No more…

The Future Of Underground Athlete?

I signed a 5 year lease at our Fairfax location and took over another 2,500 square feet that we are in the process of turning into another studio for specialty classes, seminars, movie nights, and a Gary Young photography show.

There’s another 600 square feet that we’re turning into a little lounge/coffee, juice, and on some rare nights wine, bar (pictures to come)…

We are putting a limit on our semi private training memberships (we have about 30 more available spots). We will be improving our distance (online) coaching and we will be building an online platform for the public, other coaches, and other businesses.

But most importantly…

We are focused on growing great versus growing big, and keeping a tightknit family under one roof.So if you’ve been on the fence about joining we’ve still got some room.

If you want the support, programming, and coaching but can’t get to us physically, I suggest you join our growing and improving distance training program before the prices go up.

If you just want to swing by, have a coffee, shoot the shit, and see the upgraded UA Fairfax, keep reading my emails because I’ll be sending out the date of our grand reopening soon.

Thanks for caring enough to read this far. You’re good people and I’d love to be part of your fitness journey!

As always, let me know if there’s anyway I can help…

Dedicated to your success,

PS I hope you notice when I talk about UA I say “we,” and not “I.” It’s intentional. UA is not me, it’s “us.” It’s a family. And that is why this will be the first thing I hang in our new community coffee spot.

Rise Up!

Nutrition For Your First 5K

Nutrition For Your First 5K

If you want to stay energized all the way to the end, you need the proper nutrition for your first 5K. It starts with good nutritional meals while you’re training that replace the vital nutrients and help your body repair after a tough workout. Get a good balance of carbs, protein and healthy fat with a daily amount of about 2.5 grams of carbs and 0.5 grams of protein for each pound you weight daily. Don’t forget the healthy fats, either. Nuts, salmon and butter from grass fed cows are good sources of Omega 3s, which help lower inflammation and speed your recovery time.

Get plenty of these specific nutrients.

While you need a well balanced diet containing all nutrients, three vitamins and minerals are particularly important. Iron is often lost when running, so add some extra lean red meat, lentils or leafy greens to your diet. If you want to maintain muscle function and bone health, eat foods high in calcium. Dairy, bone broth, sardines and leafy greens provide it. Don’t forget the vitamin B if you want to maintain your energy level. Snack on nuts to increase this nutrient.

Don’t worry about carbo-loading.

Eating a diet higher in carbohydrates, while you cut back on fats and protein may be good for races that take 90 minutes or longer. Unless you’re really, really slow (which is okay—at least you’re trying), you’ll finish the race a lot quicker. You won’t need the extra fuel from just eating healthy before the race. In fact, carbo-loading could actually make you feel sick and slow you down when the race starts.

Keep your breakfast light and make it a few hours before the race.

You want to eat something before a morning race, but not a heavy breakfast and not as you’re headed for the starting line. Eating a meal that contains200 to 300 calories, is low in hard to digest fiber and fat and comes from unprocessed carbs is best. Keep the fiber under ten grams and steer clear of spicy foods to avoid an upset stomach. If the race is later in the day or at night, follow the same protocol for lunch and dinner.

  • Make sure you stay hydrated, drink about 20 ounces of fluids a few hours before the race and another ten ounces about 20 minutes before the race starts.
  • Test drive some breakfasts before you go for training so you know what works the best. For example, you might find that a bagel, small apple and an 8-oz sports drink works better for you than a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar. Try a few different combinations and go with the best one the day of the race.
  • Take a snack along in case you’re hungry before the race. A small banana, some animal crackers or anything to curb the hunger that’s about 100 to 200 calories will do.
  • Several weeks before the race, practice mock up races that start the same time as your first 5 K. Create sample diets to eat before the race and see what helps you feel and do your best. Not everyone reacts to specific foods in the same way, find out what works best for you.

It's Time To Love Being Healthy

It’s Time To Love Being Healthy

Are you spending your time working out at the gym, dreaming about the foods you can no longer eat or just counting the minutes until you’re finished. If you are, you’re doing something wrong. Getting healthy shouldn’t be a punishment for past transgressions. You should love being healthy. You can do it by making just a few changes that will bring a whole new attitude toward a healthy lifestyle.

Don’t go it alone.

When you’re trying to make changes in your life, you need support. Who understands better than someone else who is doing the same? Don’t just go from machine to machine at a box gym. Instead, join a glass or sign up for group workouts. You’ll find other people struggling with the same goals in mind and not only does misery love company, company turns misery into fun! If you have a close friend who also might consider changing their lifestyle, talk them into going with you and make it your time together.

Change your mind.

Life is all about how you look at it and so is living healthy. You can dread going to the gym and hate healthy food or change your mind. Look for fun workouts and activities that you enjoy. Just moving more is the first step, whether it’s taking a hike, bicycling or having fun at a hip hop dancercize. Even traditional workouts can be fun. Work out your hardest and you’ll boost your endorphins. Start to identify how much control your getting on even smaller muscles. Notice how great you start to feel and how much easier the workout becomes each time. Before you know you’ll be addicted to that feeling and look forward to each visit at the gym. Enjoy feeling the power of controlling your own destiny.

Make it a challenge to learn to cook your favorite foods, but making them healthier in the process.

After a few weeks of eating healthy, your tastes will probably change. Until then, you can work on conquering healthy recipes or finding ways to make your favorite dish healthier. You might not be able to translate all food favs into healthy options, but it’s rewarding when you find a way to do one or two. Sneak in healthy foods, disguised as yummy dishes, to family get-togethers and smile when you receive those compliments. You can tell the family how healthy they are when the meal is over.

  • Include other activities besides a gym. When you first started out, you may have just walked a few blocks for extra exercise. It’s time to get back to basics and do things you love. Go dancing, rock climbing, hiking or biking to supplement the time at the gym.
  • Work in a cheat food or two during the week. Schedule it in, so you’re really not cheating. A sliver of cake after visiting in-laws or a half a donut after Monday morning meeting can be part of your program.
  • Do it your way. Just because the latest craze is a protein shake with wheat grass, doesn’t mean you like it. Choose healthy options in exercise and food that appeal to you.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate. The next time you’re running short on energy, try a bottle of water. You’ll be amazed at how your body perks up and is ready to go. Thirst often disguises itself as hunger, so this trick also helps to curb your appetite. Remember, you’ll look better the more hydrated you are.