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!

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!

Unless You’re Easily Offended, This New Method Could Be Your First Class Ticket To Achievement

I should have seen it coming…

I pushed “send” and within minutes people started unsubscribing…


My guess is the headline because there’s no way they even had time to read it…

Lesson: Never judge a book by it’s title. There was some quality content to be absorbed…

So I’m doing the unthinkable…

Taking my most unsubscribed email ever and posting it again as a blog simply because I want people to have and use this method of getting $h1t done.

And if you’re curious I’ll also share with you that infamous headline.

So without further ado, here’s the email I sent today…

It’s ok, we all do it…

And be honest. Don’t they usually stink?

Would you believe me if I told you that one of your biggest problems is that you never tell anyone when you do it?

Before going any further let me make sure we’re on the same sheet of music

Hopefully you figured out I’m talking about setting GOALS…

Did you actually think I’d write an email about farts?!

I know you’ve heard it before…

Make S.M.A.R.T goals..

The guroo life coaches PREACH…

….your goals have to be


But how has that been working for ya?

Today I’m putting out into the world my own little spin on SMART goals because, well, I think that acronym has been failing you long enough.

Today I introduce to you…

**drum roll please**

WHO FARTS BAD, or BAD FARTS WHO to be technical. WHO FARTS BAD just has a certain ring to it…

Regardless here’s what my funky new method stands for.

Keep reading because this doesn’t stink…. Ok I’m done, promise

BTW that was the headline “Who Farts Bad.”

Anyway, this is a fool proof outline for making and achieving your goals so don’t discount it because it’s a silly acronym.





Disclaimer: I don’t have my PhD in psychology and I haven’t done any scientific studies on this method but this is what works for me and hopefully will for you too.

“If you know your WHY you can endure any HOW”

Why – At UA we call it your 567. It’s what drives you to get up early and get uncomfortable. A powerful why forces you to become hyper focused on the goal at hand.

Think about it…

Almost everyone I talk to wants to lose 10-15lbs. When I ask them how long they’ve wanted to lose 10-15lbs I usually get “about 10 years” or “forever.” How come those same people, when told by their doctor that they’re diabetic or at risk of heart attack make quick work of that goal?

Because, they didn’t need more information or the perfect plan…

They needed a big enough WHY.

Half your goal – It’s great to set big hairy audacious goals, but the perfectionist in you is always watching, sitting right there on your shoulder waiting for you to come up short or doubt yourself.

Do me a favor…Strap that little perfectionist monster to a rocket and send her / him to the moon. Then set take your goal, whatever it is, and cut it in half, or less…

If your goal is to write a book. X that. Make your goal to write a chapter. Writing a book is a daunting task. You’ll feel more successful and more motivated if you just write a chapter and you’ll be more likely to finish because now you’ve got the magic of MOMENTUM!

Obstacles – List all the obstacles that you anticipate getting in your way. Of course things will come up that aren’t on your list but if you can anticipate some of your more common obstacles then you can come up with an action plan to avoid them or at least deal with them in a way that doesn’t totally derail you.

Fun – This is a big one. Especially for people whose goal is to get in shape. It’s the main reason SMART goals don’t work. If you’re not having fun you’re not going to stick with it. Now does that mean your workout has to feel like you’re getting a massage on the beach while eating ice cream and gummy worms? Of course not! But the GOAL should be fun and if working out is a necessary part of reaching your goal, well then Nike…. JUST DO IT

What if you love biking but you hate running or swimming? Newsflash… setting a goal of doing a triathlon is not a good goal for you. You’ll be miserable training for it. You’ll give up. You’ll label yourself a quitter. You’ll be less likely to set a goal in the future. You’ll sell your bike. And you’ll probably end up homeless…

…Just sayin…

Set a goal of doing a bike race instead.. Then get your butt on the road and in the gym and start training for it. FYI the point of working out isn’t to get better in the gym, it’s to help you get better at life and to help you keep doing what you love doing longer, better, and safer.

I think a lot of people forget that…

Sure when I was 21 I worked out to TRY to impress girls (you’ll read in a minute how TRY means it didn’t happen) in the weight room and on the beach. But now? I workout to impress 1 girl, my daughter Naya. If I can’t swing her around, carry her on my shoulders, and throw her up in the air when I come home I’ve failed.

My goal is simple. To have the energy and strength to be the Dad my kids deserve. That and to be the strongest, most in shape dad at my son’s preschool and future sporting events 🙂

Announce – Say it out loud it’s more likely to happen. Social media, a close friend, your spouse, it doesn’t matter just take that goal from out of your brain housing group and let it be heard. That’s when things get real…

Fun fact: If you just tell someone you’re going to do something you get a straight shot to the head of dopamine. This alone actually makes you less likely to achieve your goal. So don’t just tell them you’re doing something. Tell them you would like them to hold you accountable to the actions you’re going to take to achieve the goal.

Realistic – I’m all for big goals, but if you’re 52 and your goal is to grow 5 inches this year, you’ve got issues. Hopefully realistic is pretty self explanatory

Time Bound – A goal without a deadline is a dream. So working backwards, tell someone your goal and tell them when you’ll do it by.

Does that scare you a little? Good!

A good goal will make your heart skip a beat or two when you think about it…

Specific – Don’t just say you “want to lose weight.” Say I’m going to lose 20lbs by January 1st 2018. Out Loud. To A Friend…

Behaviors – Your behaviors have to match your goals. I told this to the wonderful woman I had the pleasure of meeting last night…

Thanks for the referral Andrea (who‘s coming back after a year off from UA to get back in tip top shape at 47 years young).

See what happens when you tell people? They hold you accountable!

Anyway, this well-intentioned woman asked if she could still go out to eat and have deserts.

“Of course” I said, “you just have to change your goal.”

Do this…

Make a list of all the behaviors of someone who achieves the goal you’re going to achieve.. example: if your goal is to run a marathon, you’re going to list all the behaviors you think a marathon runner has…

They have discipline. They take care of their body. They follow a plan. They eat healthy so they don’t gain weight. They stay hydrated.

Now create your behavior action plan…

To stay disciplined I will – Set my alarm for 4:30 and lay out my running shoes and outfit the night before.
To take care of my body I will – Get a massage a month and take 2 epsom salt baths a week.
To follow a plan I will – Hire a coach or hit the interwebs for general programs
To eat healthy I will – Get healthy ready made meals delivered
To stay hydrated I will – Drink 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water each day…

Attitude – I could write a whole book on this so I’ll save it.. In the Marine Corps the first thing our weapons instructor told us on the rifle range was this…

“Keep a PMA at all times.”

PMA = positive mental attitude. If you don’t think you’ll hit your target, you won’t. Simple as that. Change your attitude and change your life.

Now to conclude my WHO FARTS BAD method of achieving your wildest dreams…

The most important step…

Decide – The first and most obvious way of interpreting this is to compare deciding to trying or wanting. If you try to do something you don’t actually do it. If you want something, ok good, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to get it.

BUT, when you DECIDE to do something, it’s done. Nothing left to talk about. Think about it like a relationship..

Boy TRIES to leave girl. Does it happen? NO

Boy WANTS to leave girl. Does it happen? NO

Girl DECIDES to leave boy. Does it happen? Hell Yeah. Bags packed. Facebook status changed.

The second way you need to decide is by choosing just ONE GOAL. Don’t try to do 10 things at once. When it comes to goal setting, be a sniper rifle not a shotgun.

If you made it this far I hope you take this and become WHO FARTS BAD master! If you attempt this on your own please when you get to ANNOUNCE, shoot me over an email justin.case@undergroundathlete.com.

I want to be on your team!

Now I’d like to ask you…In January 2016 I did a goal setting workshop at the gym. It helped a ton of people have a really successful year. I’m considering doing it again this year as an online workshop / webinar so that I can help more people…

Would you be interested in virtually attending? It would include walking you through all the steps here (this was just the outline) and helping you get crystal clear on what you want, why you want it, and how you’ll achieve it.

Reply back or text 5714187050 with “add me” or “heck yeah” or “sure it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye” and I’ll let you know when I’m ready to do it.

Don’t worry, it will definitely be before 2018 to help you start the new year off with a bang.

I know this was a bit long so thanks for reading. I hope it helped!

Have an outstanding Tuesday!

Dedicated to your success,

PS. If you read my last email and thought I was seriously upset about being called “not a brunch guy,” I was not. It was total sarcasm and proof I need to improve my written communication!

PPS. If you don’t want to wait for the goal setting workshop / webinar and you’d like to set up a one on one goal setting success session with me, just reply back to this email and we’ll get it on the calendar.

PPPS If you’d like to get this kind of awesome and possibly offensive (in the best way) stuff delivered weekly, join the inner FREE by signing up HERE.


Basics of Program Design: Balancing Pushes and Pulls

Basics of Program Design: Balancing Pushes and Pulls

“I read part of it all the way through” – Samuel Goldwyn

Here’s hoping that you read all of this all the way through (if nothing else than for the picture of the cute puppy balancing). Program design encompasses far too much to
attempt to cover in a single blog post. I do, however, want to talk about the importance of balancing some of the variables that go into it. Anyone can just throw a single workout together
without too much trouble, but that doesn’t mean that day will be good, nor does it mean it will fit into the rest of the week well either.

No, not that type of balance, although it is cool too.

An easy concept to think about is balancing upper body pushes and pulls (think bench press and rows respectively). A good starting point for a lot of people is to have a pull:push ratio
of 2:1, or even 3:1 in some cases. Eventually the goal would be to get this ratio closer to 1:1 over time though for most. What this means is for every horizontal or vertical push you do, you
should do twice or three times as many horizontal or vertical pushes (mouthful of jargon I know, so let me simplify). A vertical push/pull is done with your arms overhead, such as when doing overhead presses or pulldowns respectively. A horizontal push/pull is done with your arms goingforward or backward, such as during DB bench presses or rows respectively. So, for every “chest” or push exercise you do try to do two “back” or pulling exercises as a rule of thumb.

Most people benefit from prioritizing pulls in training because of the nature of society currently. Lots of people sit all day at work with potentially poor posture, go to the gym only to
train the mirror muscles (the chest, biceps, abs, etc.), etc. Below is an example of two upper body days to make this easier to see visually.

Day 1
Bench Press 3 x 6
1 Arm DB Row 3 x 10ea
Seated DB OH Press 3 x 10
Lat Pulldown 4 x 10 ea
Chest Supported Row 3 x 15
Rear Delt Fly 3 x 15

Day 2
Bent Over Row 4 x 8
DB Bench Press 4 x 8
½ kneel 1 arm cable row 3 x 10ea
Cable fly 3 x 12
Sled row 3 x 10 yards
TRX body row 3 x 12

There are times and reasons for deviating from a balanced program but that doesn’t mean it should only be that way. A few exceptions (but not all) are:

  • If you are a powerlifter or olympic lifter
  • You have a lagging body part/area you want to add mass or strength too
  • Have an injury and can’t train a certain part of your body

Powerlifters and Olympic lifters must train in specific ways that will allow them to excel at their sport. Powerlifters for example, must prioritize the big 3 (bench, squat, and deadlift)
which can mean other things don’t get given the same attention. There might be less single leg work done, less upper body pulling (think rows, pull-ups, etc.), among other things.

If someone’s chest is lacking in size and strength, then it could be a good idea to add more volume (sets x reps x weight) to that area for a time. Regardless of the reasons for focusing
on this area it will undoubtedly throw off the balance of the program to an extent. This is why it’s might be beneficial to do from time to time but not for the majority of your training

With few exceptions, you can almost always train with an injury (unless you’re in a full body cast or something severe). If you hurt your right leg then that means there is still plenty of
upper body work that can be done. In addition, there is plenty of single leg work that can be done on the left leg as well.


See, I wasn’t kidding about the cute puppy balancing

When looking at a program to examine whether it is balanced well or not, you can’t just look at one day, but instead you must look at the entire week (AKA microcycle). Better yet,
ideally you would look at the whole month and even the year (depending on how far ahead you plan). When looking at an entire year of training most of the time spent training should be done with balanced programming (barring the exceptions above).

Are you a competitive power lifter who does a ton of pressing and not quite as much pulling? Cool, no worries. Spend a month or so after a meet working on increasing your pulling volume before going into another couple months of powerlifting specific training. Got a body part that is lagging behind in terms of muscular development? Just allocate more volume towards that muscle group for a month or so before going back to a more well rounded program. Programs don’t have to be 100% perfectly balanced all the time, nor should they be. But it’s an important thing to keep in mind when writing programs for yourself or someone else.

Rise Up!

Are Fitness Trackers Worth It?

Are Fitness Trackers Worth It?

Let’s play a game.. I’ll say a word then you say the first word that pops in your noggin..

Ready. Set. Go!

Peanut Butter…



Best Gym…


Pretty easy right.. Without even thinking I know you just rattled off
Protein (If you said cookies we need to talk)
Underground Athlete


Fitness trackers have become so dang common that I can break the ice with most people by asking them how many steps they’ve taken that day.

I’m not a big fitness tracker guy but, like coffee, sneakers, buffalo wings, and french onion soup, I’ve tried enough to feel comfortable sharing my opinion with you.

Here’s what I’ve discovered

The iWatch

I must preface this by saying me and watches don’t have the best history. I buy a lot of them and wear none of them. My cousin had a Citizen watch when we were in high school and I thought it made him a complete baller. Once I could finally afford a watch that wasn’t casio I bought myself a solid gold Citizen.

It didn’t make me a baller..

Fast forward 20 years.. My wife washed my Apple nano and I said she could make it up to me by buying me the new iwatch.

Mistake… I should have just had her replace the nano or taken me out for sushi!

The only reason I wanted the iWatch was for the heart rate monitoring and fitness tracking capabilities. It was cool for about a week and I felt pretty hipster, but it took too long to check my heart rate and it wasn’t as accurate as I would have liked (doesn’t everyone wear a polar heart rate monitor and an iWatch at the same time to compare data?) Plus the fact that the battery had the lifespan of gnat = not for me.

Enter the…


I thought I just needed to simplify my life so I bought a fitbit. The fitbit had what I wanted in the iWatch without all the fancy stuff that confused me. It told me how many steps I took and it let me talk trash to my wife which is always a bonus. I had fun with it for about 3 weeks until it died on me. I wrote the company and they sent me a replacement at no cost. Points for customer service. Two weeks later it lost it’s novelty and it has remained on my shelf ever since. I will say that it was nice to have the sleep monitoring, but if that’s what you’re looking for there’s better options in the market.. Overall if you like simple things, you’re not too competitive, and you only care about seeing daily activity but not necessarily effort, fitbit might be for you..

But don’t be this couple

Or the guy we saw on a 5 hour flight that looked like Arsenio Hall the. whole. time.

Polar H7

When it comes to heart rate monitors Polar is always a solid go-to, quality product, reputable, and versatile. The Polar H7 pairs up with just about everything in the gym. There are some nice apps you can use with it like Polar Beat, Polar Flow, and Polar Team but there was just something missing for me. As much as I tried to love it, I couldn’t… We even used the group heart rate tracking system in the gym for some time. It was cool, but we needed more.



Myzone Fitness Tracking we use for personal training

I always reserve the right to change my mind, but as of right now May 2017 I’m loving the MyZone system. It’s been everything I’ve desired in other fitness trackers. If I had to analyze it I would say that MyZone satisfies all of my basic human needs.
It gives me certainty. It’s consistent, always works, and the battery life is ridiculous!
It gives me uncertainty by allowing me to set up challenges and connect with everyone in the gym so we can encourage each other 90% of the time and talk trash 10% of the time.
It gives me significance by promoting me to the bronze badge from the iron badge and allowing me to collect “likes” on my workouts… What did our egos do before there were likes???
It gives me love and connection… All the members of UA are connected through this little fitness tracker and it’s kind of built a supportive community inside an already supportive community.
It give me growth. It makes me want to challenge myself to improve every week. It allows me to set goals for yourself. It also recalibrates and gets more accurate the more you use it, so that’s cool.
It gives me contribution. This month we are doing a MEP challenge. MEPs are the little points you get for having your heart rate elevated. Every MEP is a bragging right. They’re like gold around the gym. So this month we’ll be doing a workout where we’ll add up everyone’s MEPs and donate 10cents to charity for every MEP.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about you should go back and read my blog on the human needs here

The coolest part of the myzone system is that you are connected to everyone in the gym and whenever someone walks in the gym I can see if they’re nervous because their high heart rate pops up immediately on the screens. I kid… The for seriously best part is that it can be used in and out of the gym. I can coach people through heart rate zones in New York by just logging into the app and seeing the details of their training. It also stores all the data on the device so you don’t need to have your phone with you while your hiking, biking, etc…

In our group classes we set target heart rates for each exercise which is nice when you want to make sure everyone is pushing hard enough. It also let’s us individualize our group training. Someone who’s more conditioned is going to recover faster and be able to repeat an exercise faster than someone who may not be as conditioned. So as cool as it is too see people’s heart rates going up into the red, it’s also cool to see heart rate recovery rate improve as people’s fitness level improves.

MyZone is first fitness tracker I’ve owned that really does make me want to be more consistent with my training. No one wants to miss an opportunity to miss getting some MEPs

We’ve got an Underground Athlete bowling night coming up and I guarantee some people will be keeping score with MEPs rather than PINs

So are fitness trackers worth it? I’d say yes…if you can find one that fits your personality.

If you want my vote on which one to get it’s MyZone, but if you have multiple personality disorder, a big bank account, or you’re a gadget hound like Gary Young buy them all 🙂

Rise Up!


Are you goals adding value to your life?

Are you goals adding value to your life?

How much thought do you put into the goals that you make for yourself? Do you
currently write down goals for yourself at all?

As Benjamin Franklin once said “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Not all goals are created equal, nor are all coaches and gyms created equal. Great
coaches help you understand what your goals truly are and pushes you to be able to reach
them. Poor coaches push their own goals on you and don’t give you the push you need to get
to the destination you desire. Whether you want to have 6 pack abs, do your first pull-up, or I
don’t know, do the most shake weight reps in a minute…having a coach can make all the
difference in helping you reach YOUR goals.


Are well thought out and specific goals better than vague and meaningless ones? Yup.

Can a good coach help turn those well thought out goals into reality? You bet ya. Am I excited
to watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2? Heck yeah! (I mean come on, Baby Groot is
adorable…but I digress.) Creating goals using the framework of S.M.A.R.T. goals can be a great
starting point to getting more from your goals. This acronym stands for

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

Specific: Specific goals have detail and are well defined, they aren’t just vague
statements. Don’t say “I wanna lose weight” as your goal, instead say “I want to
lose X amount of pounds.”

Measurable: Measurable goals are ones that have an easily understood way of being
measured. Squatting 405 pounds is a measurable goals since all you have to do is load a
bar to know you lifted 405 pounds.

Attainable: Attainable goals are ones that you can actually complete and achieve.
An example of one might be to lose 1 lb of weight in one week, while being on
the moon next week might not be.

Realistic: A realistic goal would be a goal that is realistic for your current life situation.
If you travel for work every week then going to a gym in your hometown 4 days a
week might not be realistic.

Time-Bound: Time-bound goals have a specific time to be completed by that holds you
accountable. Don’t say “I want to do a chin-up at some point,” but instead say “I
want to do a chin-up in 3 months.”

A good goal will hit on most of the S.M.A.R.T. framework, while a great one takes all of
these parts into account. Let’s say you write down a goal to exercise 7 days a week in hopes to
lose 5 lbs this month, but you currently struggle to exercise twice a week. On top of that you
have 4 kids, your mom is sick, a stressful work situation, and you have to walk your pet fish
twice a day (random sure, but that’s a commitment for sure).

That goal probably isn’t realistic for your current life situation nor would it be attainable. Start with a smaller goal that you know
you can achieve, and use that achievement as momentum for working towards a bigger goal.

An example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal could be to lose 4 lbs of body weight (specific and measurable)
in the next 4 weeks (time-bound and both potentially attainable and realistic). This structure
can be a great starting point to make sure that the goals you create are well thought out and
effective, but it can be taken a step further.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 5.51.12 PM

Coach Adam Feit mentions in the book Conscious Coaching: The Art &amp; Science of
Building Buy-In (By: Brett Bartholomew), that goals should also follow the acronym P.I.E
(purposeful, impactful, and enjoyable).

Purposeful: Purposeful goals have meaning to you and add value to your life. I could make a
goal to be able to pet 5 different puppies in the next 2 weeks, but is that purposeful
(some might argue it has great purpose)?

Impactful: Impactful goals add value to your life and can, well, make an impact in your life.

Petting puppies is all well and good, and definitely should be done, but how will that or
another goal impact your life in a beneficial way?

Enjoyable: Enjoyable goals are ones that you can have fun in achieving. If your goal is to
improve your cardiovascular endurance but you absolutely hate running, then maybe
riding a bike will be more enjoyable and easier to stick too.

Know the why (purpose) behind the goal you are trying to achieve. Do you want to be
stronger so you could help your family if there is a fire or other emergency? Outstanding! Want
to be able to run your first marathon? Awesome, but what value does that add to your life? Do
you want to lose body fat to fit into those old swim trunks/ swimsuit you used to wear? Great,
but let’s take it a step further. How would fitting into those clothes be impactful or purposeful
to you? What impact would that have on your life?

Creating S.M.A.R.T. goals is a great idea but make sure they are P.I.E. goals as well.

Starting with these frameworks in mind ensures your goals align with your core values and are beneficial to your life.

Rise Up

Coach Tommy Royer