Fitness & Wellness

Achieve Your Goals By Doing Less

Achieve Your Goals By Doing Less

I’ve always said there are no shortcuts in life, you have to work hard to get what you want. It’s a belief that I share with most people who live in Sterling. However, you can achieve your goals faster by being smarter and doing less. That may sound contradictory, but it’s not. Doing less doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. It does mean you’re achieving your goals in the smartest way possible and doing the activities in the least amount of time. Working smarter makes all the difference in the world.

Use HIIT to achieve goals without taking much time from your day.

HIIT—High Intensity Interval Training—takes far less time than traditional training to achieve the results you want. It provides a maximum benefit in a minimum amount of time. Of course, it’s really intense (note the name—high intensity). One study showed that just 90 minutes of HIIT every week can bring health benefits for the heart that are the same as working out for five hours a week. HIIT exercises have you work toward maximum intensity for a specified time—such as 30 seconds—then, slow your pace and do a longer recovery period of moderate to low intensity for a longer period, such as 4 minutes. Repeat that for 30 minutes three times a week.

Do a nitric oxide dump

This exercise group boosts your mitochondrial health, helping your cardiovascular system and immune system. This group of exercises can take as little as three to four minutes to do AND you can do it anywhere. It’s composed of four exercises of 10-20 repetitions each. You do three to four sets, three times a day. One important rule is to make sure the sets are at least two hours apart. I’ve done these in the airport bathroom on a layover. Yes, I did get some strange looks, but felt great at the end of a long journey. The exercises are deep knee squats, tin soldier, jumping jacks with no jumping and finally a set of shoulder presses. Tin soldier is just alternating the arms and paddling one straight out in front of you with the other pointing directly down to a 90 degree angle to your body, lowering it and raising the other at the same time. Half jumping jacks the arm movements of jumping jacks with feet stationary.

Break up your workout to three ten minute or fifteen minute sets.

One way to manage a workout is to do it in shorter spurts. If you don’t have time for a thirty minute walk, walk to lunch at a location 10 minutes away and walk back. When you get off work, take a quick ten minute walk and you’re done. Breaking up your exercise time into manageable ten minute sessions makes it easier. Stand while you’re watching TV and do intense workouts during commercials with moderate paced walking in place during the program.

  • Include resistance training in your workout. When you workout with weights, you burn more calories and get more for your exercise time.
  • Do full body workouts. Burpees, step ups, pull ups, push ups and dips are a few examples of exercises that will give you more bang for your exercise time.
  • Eat healthier. No matter how much you exercise, if your diet is fast foods and processed foods, you won’t get the results you want. Include a healthier diet in your regimen.
  • Make your home chores a time to get fitter, too. Move fast, move slow. Create a HIIT with your chores. Move as fast as you can scrubbing the tub and then moderately clean the sink. Push that hand mower with speed and then move slower. Find ways to get a twofer—getting exercise while you get other tasks done.

Should Potatoes And Rice Be Part Of Your Diet?

Should Potatoes And Rice Be Part Of Your Diet?

When you’re talking about the best foods for a healthy diet and foods to help you lose weight, potatoes and rice are often hotly debated as to whether they should be part of that diet. The debate is worldwide, not just in Sterling. In fact, there’s a famous debate online between a doctor, Dr Ron Rosedale, MD and an astrophysicist from MIT and Berkley, Paul Jaminet, PhD, author of the book, Perfect Health Diet, as to whether potatoes and rice should be eaten. Rosendale believes that not only sugar, but all foods that ultimately convert to sugar should be avoided. Jaminet disagrees and says glucose has useful functions in the body, if it’s depleted, it can stress systems in the body that need glucose to perform.

What’s the answer?

Most people won’t follow either type of diet. Since Rosedale advocates complete elimination of sugar and all foods that convert to sugar and Jaminet suggests people should lower their carbohydrate calories to 20 or 30 percent of the diet. That’s because most people consume about 50 percent carbohydrates. There is a case for reducing carbohydrates and sugar from the diet and scientific data to back it. Every individual has unique intestinal flora and what you eat either feeds it or starves it. Some people need more glucose for that reason. To add to the debate is the paleo diet where rice is the evil food. It’s counted along with grains, both brown and white rice. According to the Paleo diet, rice contains natural compounds to protect the rice. They contain a natural insect repellent, mold deterrent and sunscreen.

What’s the answer?

Somewhere in the information on the hotly debated foods, you’ll find the answer. The answer is simple. It all comes down to your body. The GAPS diet, created for a number of specific health issues, includes a small amount of calories from carbohydrates. There’s been research on longevity to see what increases the FGF21—fibroblast growth factor 21. Low protein, high carbs did in this study. Another animals study showed that a high fat/low carb diet increased lifespan by 13 percent. The answer is to cut out processed food, eat healthy, limit sugar and keep starchy carbohydrates lower until you find your own perfect diet.

  • If you have a health issue, work with a doctor to see if changing your diet can improve your health, while you’re using medicine and other techniques. Often physicians use an elimination diet to find if certain foods affect your overall health.
  • No matter what your basic makeup, consuming higher amounts of grains, sugar and starches can lead to insulin resistance of varying levels. That ultimately can lead to diabetes and leptin resistance.
  • Changing your diet to eliminate processed foods can be the first step to eating healthier.
  • While lowering the amount of calories from carbohydrates to about 30 percent may sound difficult, consider how few calories fresh fruit and vegetables have. If you’re on a 1500 calorie diet, you can eat a lot before reaching 500 calories.

Ways To Deal With Pain After A Workout

Ways To Deal With Pain After A Workout

If you haven’t had achy muscles after a tough workout, you may not have pressed yourself to the limit. That’s okay, you’re at least exercising! However, for those of us who do push toward the ultimate potential, aching muscles are part of the price. There are ways to deal with pain after a workout and get back to normal. These techniques help speed the muscle repair process in a number of ways. If you find the pain excruciating or prolonged, you may need to seek medical attention.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is the name for it and ice baths, ice packs or a cryo chamber is one way to deal with it.

For the longest time, professional athletes sat in baths of ice after a tough game. Most people still use ice packs for injury, especially if there’s swelling. It helps reduce the inflammation. Soreness without swelling can use heat packs to improve circulation. Today, rather than ice pack or ice baths, many sports teams have cryo chambers. It only takes two to three minutes. It not only reduces inflammation, but boosts circulation when you exit.

Stretch away the aches and pains.

Sometimes all you need is to stretch before and after you exercise to help sore muscles. It often works to relieve muscle pain. Warm up first by moving briskly, walking or marching in place or swinging your arms. Light exercise, such as swimming or walking can also speed up the elimination of lactic acid that’s built up in the muscles and help reduce the pain.

Try a low wave infrared after a workout.

The use of infrared light for pain has been studied over 40 years. The therapy increases the circulation, which helps bring relief from inflammation, boosts tissue repair and wound healing, reduces pain and has a number of other virtues not related to working out. These handy devices are inexpensive now that they’re more popular, but at one time were excessive in price. That’s when people used the infrared lights created to provide night vision for surveillance cameras.

  • Make sure you’re not just thirsty. Sometimes, you just need to hydrate to get pain relief. Water, not a sports drink, is the best way to do it, unless your workout was extremely long and sweaty and you lost a lot of electrolytes.
  • A heating pad can boost your circulation and bring a great deal of relief to sore muscle groups.
  • Don’t forget about a massage. It works on aiding circulation around the sore area. You can do self massage or use a foam roller, too.
  • Consider some pineapple or tart cherries. You eat them, not rub them on your skin. The bromelain in pineapple provides anti-inflammatory properties that compare to aspirin and other anti-inflammatory meds. Tart cherries also have anti-inflammatory substances.

Why Strength Training Should Be Part Of Your Workout

Why Strength Training Should Be Part Of Your Workout

For many people, taking a daily walk, jog or run is what they consider a workout, but it’s not enough. You need all forms of exercise to be truly fit. There are good reasons why strength training should be part of your workout, besides the fact that it helps maintain muscle strength. Both men and women need it. In the past, women believed that it made them bulk up, like a female Hulk. Today, most women realize that their physiology just doesn’t allow that to happen. Instead, they build sinewy, sexy muscles.

Lose weight by lifting weights.

That’s right, strength training is exceptionally good for weight loss. It increases the amount of calories burned, plus does one more important thing…it builds muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, so effectively, you’ll be boosting your metabolism and burn more calories around the clock when you increase your muscle tissue. When you consider that a pound of fat only burns about 3 to 5 calories in a day when you’re resting, while a pound of muscle tissue burns between 35 and 50 calories a day, just converting five pounds of fat to muscle, you could lose a pound in about 15 days without even changing your diet. Imagine how it would help you if you did add a healthy diet to the mix.

As you age, loss of muscle mass means more than just flabby arms.

If you’re buying smaller containers of food, detergent or pet products, simply because you can’t carry the big ones, you probably already are suffering from loss of muscle mass. Not only will building muscles save you money—yes, buy the big economy size—but it also will sculpt your entire body. Losing muscle mass also means bone loss. Bone loss and ultimately osteoporosis, starts in your 30s and continues the rest of your life. At 40, it picks up speed, that is unless you stop it with weight training. Studies show weight training can significantly reduce bone loss and even reverse it.

Strength training helps prevent injury.

The stronger you are, the more improved your balance and the less likely you’ll have a fall. As you build muscle tissue, you also build your resistance to injury. Strains and sprains are less likely to occur and you probably won’t have as many back problems or aches and pains from doing simple tasks. I read a story about a personal trainer that became a trainer after having a bad accident that left him incapacitated from a back injury. He not only got his strength back, he also helped ease and eventually eliminate back pain with strength and flexibility training.

  • Just like all types of fitness training, strength training boosts your immune system and can reduce the risk of serious conditions, such as diabetes, heart attack and high blood pressure.
  • Strength training can be fun. Have you ever considered working out with kettlebells?
  • No matter how old you are, you can improve your muscle mass with strength training. In fact, strength training can help older people live on their own longer.
  • When you build muscle tissue, it affects all parts of the body. It builds strength in muscles you might not expect…and even improves bladder control.

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!