The Memory Game

We had a blast on Friday playing the “Memory Game” with all our classes.

Nancy shot some video of the 9:00am Ladies class.

Great job ladies!

6 Pack 6 Week 7 and a Bonus Recipe

Weigh MeWho is going to blink first? Once again Chrissy and Lisa tied with a perfect score of 72.

If they remain tied after next weeks results, it’s going to come down to the scale. There is no hiding then!

A big shout out to Robin and Evelyn this week! These ladies overcame some big adversity this week as they dealt with some injury issues. They didn’t use this as an excuse, but did what they could this week to stay on track. I can’t begin to express how impressed I am with their perseverence.

Look, life is not perfect, and you are not going to be in the perfect situation all the time. Things can happen that will knock you off track – if you let them. Life happens – it is how you respond to it that counts. Robin and Evelyn could have used their circumstances to throw them totally off track. They could have had an “all or nothing” attitude, and given up “until next week”. But they realized that just because they couldn’t train for a few days didn’t mean they couldn’t eat well, or log their food diary, or take their vitamin. Well done ladies!

I also wanted to give an extra shout out to Evelyn, who told us this week she reached a milestone she hadn’t seen in 20 years! Ask her about it!

As always, I commend everyone who continues to faithfully turn in their scoresheets every week, regardless of their points. Keep building those habits and reaping the rewards of your efforts!

Ok, here’s that recipe I promised.

This is a wonderful recipe taken from the first volume of Gourmet Nutrition. Easy to prepare, and cooks in the crock pot so it’s ready for you when you get home from work!

Peasant Stew (Serves 4)


2 lbs cubed beef, eye of round, fat removed, or lamb.
2 large turnips, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
Cabbage, 1/2 medium head, sliced
4 medium carrots, thickly sliced
15 green onions (scallions) chopped
10 medium mushroom, halved
4 tbsp whole flax seeds
4 cloved garlis, minced
1 beef bouillon cube
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
3 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet (cast iron is the bomb) brown the cubed steak and minced garlic in half the olive oil, just until the outside of the meat is brown. When the beef is browned, add the water and bouillon cube to the skillet. Bring to a boil, then pour mixture into the crock pot.

With the remaining oil, stir-fry the turnips, scallions and carrots in the skillet on medium high heat for 5 minutes, then transfer to the crock pot.

Add the remaining ingredients to the crock pot, cover and simmer on low overnight (7 or 8 hours) or on high 4 to 5 hours.

Quick, easy and delicious!

6 Pack 6 Results

Week 7 Top Ten

Lisa A.
72 Points
Chrissy S.
72 Points
Karyn M.
70 Points
Linda F.
66 Points
Angela D.
65 Points
Judy S.
63 Points
Julie D.
63 Points
Robin S.
63 Points
Evelyn P.
60 Points
Joanne R.
60 Points
Greg S.
60 Points

Overall Top Ten

Lisa A.
502 Points
Chrissy S.
500 Points
Evelyn P. 480 Points
Julie D.
458 Points
Judy S.
458 Points
Robin S.
447 Points
Joanne R.
432 Points
Karyn M.
428 Points
Greg S.
426 Points
Donna K.
378 Points

Make It Happen!

6 Pack 6 and The TRUTH About Fat Loss

Just a reminder to get your 6 Pack 6 scoresheets in, with your training log, by tonight.  Make It Happen!

When you come to our bootcamps, you will often hear me say “It’s simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy!”

And that’s really what I want you to get your head around today, particularly as it relates to fat loss.


“Losing fat is simple, but it’s not easy.”

You know the drill. There are specific steps that you must take in order to achieve your fat loss goals. That’s really what 6 Pack 6 is all about. Establishing habits that lay the foundation for lifelong health – more on that later.

First back to the “Simple not Easy” thing.

I really want you to ponder what I am going to write, because it is ultimately the key to your success.

You must acknowledge and accept that it takes hard work, time and commitment to lose body fat. Once you take this step, everything else become much easier.

Acknowledge and accept that you need help and support.

Acknowledge and accept that you will have to stop eating fast food and prepare healthier choices.

Acknowledge and accept that you need to get to the gym every time you are scheduled, and work hard when you are there.

Acknowledge and accept that you will have to make sacrifices and break bad habits.

Acknowledge and accept that it is worth it, and that the any struggle that you go through now is far less of a price than future regret for what might have been.

Nobody is perfect! Not me, not you, not anybody! – Just do better today than you did yesterday.

There is only one thing that stands in the way of you and and ultimate success – Giving Up!

Just don’t do that ONE thing – and ultimately you will be healthier, happier and living life to your potential.

Now a little guidance regarding 6 Pack 6.Scale

The rules say that to get your daily point for nutrition, you need to eat protein and veggies at 3 of your meals. That will still hold true, but I want to challenge you further.

I want you to take a look at what is going on with your body composition. Take a look at your log over the past 6 weeks, and evaluate how you are doing relative to your goals. Are you seeing the results you are wanting to see? If so, and many of you are, that is excellent! For those who may not be, it’s time to examine why not.

Look at these things first:

Have I been consistent with my training?

Have I planned and prepared what I am eating when?

Have I been logging my food intake daily? (not saving it up for a week and trying to remember. If you have been doing that, you have some explaining to do!)

So say you yes – I have been doing these things and I am  still not seeing satisfactory progress (no Lisa, you are not going to lose 5-7 lbs of bodyfat every week 🙂  Now what?

Now it is time to dial in the nutrition a little tighter. By that I mean start paying a little closer attention to not only quality of your food choices (the focus of 6 Pack 6), but also the quantity of food and timing of certain macronutrients (like starchy carbs).

In particular I would do the following:

Choose starches only for my first meal of the day, and after resistance training (bootcamp). Good choices would be whole or steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa, etc.  Less than optimal choices would include bagels, potatoes, white rice, instant oatmeal, bread, etc. Your remaining carbs should come from fibrous carbs, primarily green vegetables.

Evaluate how much fat I am taking in, particularly from dairy, and specifically from cheese. If you are eating cheese 3 times a day for snack, cut it back to one and choose other healthy choices that will still help keep you full. Olives, almonds and walnuts in moderate amounts are a great choice.

Evaluate how much fruit I am eating and when. Toward the beginning of the day would be better for fat loss than at the end of the day, when energy requirements are lower due to sleep.

It should be relatively easy for you to implement these strategies, as you have food logs from the last 6 weeks to reference.

The plan is to implement one or two small changes, measure and evaluate, and change again as necessary.

This is impossible unless you are keeping records and knowing what is going down your throat, thus the food logs. You can’t aim if you don’t have a target. Target

I am looking forward to your questions and feedback.

Make It Happen!


What Can You Learn From A Wedding?

As many of you know, our oldest son Tim is getting married on April 3rd. This got me thinking about a few things (besides the fact that I’m way too young to have married kids), but primarily about how having a deadline can be a crucial part of reaching your fitness goals. We have had a few “brides to be” come to bootcamp to get ready for the big day, and I want to warn you – don’t get in her way! It’s amazing what happens when you have an absolute deadline in reaching a milestone – and brides are a perfect example of that – they will do whatever it takes to get into that dream dress and look fabulous on that special day.

But here’s where all this applies to you, even if you are not walking down the aisle anytime soon. You still need a blueprint to get the job done. And when it comes to fat loss, nutrition is the name of the game. These guidelines have and continue to produce body and life-changing results, and when applied consistently can get rid of that ugly, unwanted fat. Remember – the focus is on improving overall health, body composition and performance – don’t zone in on the scale only!

In honor of Tim and Deb, I am going to call this outline the “Fit Couple Mentality”.

EAT to Elevate Metabolism and Lose Fat (NOT Weight)

Tip#1- Stay Hydrated:

  • Drink at least 2-4 cups of water immediately upon waking and then drink at least 1-2 cups of water every 2 hours you are awake. A dehydrated organism cannot effectively lose body fat!
  • Drink 1-2 cups of water for every 15 minutes of vigorous activity to maintain optimal performance and to prevent dehydration during your workouts.
  • Consume at least 3 servings of antioxidant-rich green tea per day to boost your immune system and accelerate recovery from exercise.

Tip#2- Eat Early and Eat Often:

  • Eat immediately upon waking and then again every 2-4 hours after that for a total of 5-6 feedings per day. This is a staple for any solid fat loss nutrition plan because it allows your body to starve the fat and feed the muscle, optimizes performance, and prevents your body’s starvation signals from going off- signals that will slow fat loss to a snail’s pace.
  • The dietary breakdown is 3 total meals per day consumed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time, 3 total snacks/day consumed between meals and before bed, and workout nutrition in the form of a protein or amino acid supplement consumed around your training sessions.

Tip#3- Focus on the Essentials:

  • Consume a wide range of organic lean proteins of animal origin at each feeding. A great rule of thumbs is to consume at least a fist-sized worth of anything that had a face or a mother and ran, fly, or swam at some point (sorry, doesn’t sound as appetizing this way, but it’s one way to remember!).  Protein is not only the only macronutrient responsible for building and repairing that lean muscle tone but it also allows your body to best starve its ugly, unwanted fat stores. In addition, the sheer consumption of protein elevates metabolism and burns calories because the thermic effect of feeding since protein is more than twice as energy costly for your body to digest than fat or carbs.
  • Consume a wide range natural fats at each feeding (olive oil, coconut oil, beef, salmon, whole eggs, avocado, mixed nuts, flax, full-fat cheese, etc.). Sufficient dietary fat intake is critical to beneficial hormone production, which allows for optimal fat loss. Furthermore, your body cannot optimally burn stored body fat without a sufficient amount of healthy dietary fat.
  • Consume a wide range of fruits and veggies at each feeding (with a special emphasis on green veggies). A great rule of thumb when it comes to produce is to consume at least one green item AND as many other colors as possible at each and every meal to get the most health benefits.

Sample One-Day Menu

Breakfast- 6am
Scrambled Omega-3 Eggs, Greens, and Turkey Sausage or Bacon

Mid-Morning Snack- 9 am
Mixed Raw Nuts and Fruit/Veggies of Choice

Lunch- Noon
Chicken, Salmon, or Shrimp Caesar Salad

Mid-Afternoon Snack- 3 pm
Full-Fat Cheese and Fruit/Veggies of Choice

Dinner- 6 pm
Turkey or Beef Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash

Pre-Bed Snack- 8 pm
Wonder Bowl:
Mix of Full-Fat Cottage Cheese, Protein Powder, Flax Meal, and Raw Nut Butter

Tip#4- You NEED These 2 Supplements:

  • Take a daily whole food based multi-vitamin for your gender. Ensuring adequate intake of vitamins and minerals is essential for your body to function optimally, especially for people who struggles to get at least 8-12 servings of fruits and veggies per day.
  • Take a high quality essential fatty acid (EFA) or fish oil supplement. Omega-3 fats found in fish oil are scientifically proven to increase metabolism and generate increased fat burning, besides having a host of other benefits like preventing cancer, reducing inflammation and joint pain, enhancing skin and hair quality, etc.

Tip#5- Think Fiber First When It Comes To Carbs:Wheat

  • It is critical to focus on carbohydrate quality first AND then quantity second. In terms of quality, all carbohydrates (outside of dairy) that you eat should contain AT LEAST 3 g of fiber per serving and offer LESS THAN 10 g of sugar per serving. In terms of quantity, we have found most females achieve the best fat-burning effects by limiting their total daily carb intake to 50 g or less, NOT including their unlimited daily fibrous carb intake from green veggies (fruit can be used in moderation) nor the trace carbs from protein and fat foods.
  • Use The Carb Reduction Blueprint: Use the following step-by-step process in the exact order listed to breakthrough any plateaus in your quest to get into that dress:

Step#1– Replace all white carbs with 100% whole grain carbs and all refined sugars with natural sugars found in food choices with ONE ingredient (e.g. fruit, honey, etc.). This will results in much more stable blood sugar levels, the key to maintaining high energy levels and burning fat.

Step#2– Limit all 100% whole grain starch and natural sugar consumption to within 1-2 hours post-workout or immediately upon waking for breakfast. Your body best handles these types of carbs at these times without excessive risk of this energy being stored as fat.

Step#3– Replace all starches and sugars with fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are the most nutrient dense carbs loaded with tons of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and stomach-filling fiber, making them the staple of any good fat loss meal plan.

Step#4– Replace all fruits with green veggies (or any other veggies BESIDES corn, peas, carrots, and potatoes) to weed out any remaining dietary sugar (fructose- fruit sugar) that will prevent your body from maximally using stored body fat for fuel. Green veggies like broccoli, spinach, dark leafy lettuce, green beans, asparagus, etc. have the most figure-friendly benefits of any carbohydrate out there and can be consumed in an unlimited amount throughout the day to keep you full and satisfied.

Step#5– Use strategic carb and calorie cycling to take your body to next level (my clients and I have had great success with this but it is beyond the scope of this article).

So there you go – Wedding day, class reunion, family gathering, whatever drives you to look and feel great – sticking to this plan will make sure you show up looking and feeling great!

Congratulations Tim and Debra – May your marriage be a blessed one full of joy and happiness in life and with each other.

Love, Dad

Tim and Deb

6 Pack 6 – Halfway Home!

Chrissy and Lisa tied again this week – it’s getting sorta hot in here!

Please take note: Due by Tuesday March 17th – Your training log for this week (March 8-15) needs to be turned in with your score sheet. It should include day, date, activity and time of workout at a minimum.

Everything works, but nothing works forever!

We are halfway through 6 Pack 6, and we are seeing some great results. I am proud of the effort you are putting in! This is the time to keep your focus, be consistent, persistent, and determined!

What brought that up?

Well I want to address a question that has been coming up lately.

It goes something like this “I was going along great, losing weight and inches, and all of a sudden this week it stopped. What am I doing wrong?”

Well unless you started visiting KFC 7 times a week, probably nothing.

It may just mean you have hit a plateau.

Following is an article taken directly from our “Weight Management 101” series. It addresses common challenges and strategies for overcoming plateau’s – a period where you don’t seem to making any more progress.

Please take time to read it, as you will gain good insight to what is happening, why, and how to blast through it!

Good Food Choice Scale

Here are the main points I want to emphasize:

Don’t drop your calories to unhealthy levels.

Do keep your body well nourished with healthy foods.

Do get the rest and recovery we recommend. 7 days off every 8-12 weeks. Our scheduled rest week is March 30 to April 5.

Do read the rest of this article and find out why!

Hitting a plateau is a common experience. It can be one of the most de-motivating things to happen.  Plateaus are the number one reason why people abandon exercise.  They bring on feelings of discouragement, confusion, and utter frustration. Thankfully, overcoming it is easy… all you need to do is prepare for it to happen and know the steps to take to overcome it.

What is a plateau?
The human body has a regulatory mechanism that works to keep the amount of energy you consume in balance with the amount of energy you use. In other words, the body does not like to lose weight, thus the slowing or halt of fat/weight loss in spite of exercise consistency and consistent, proper food intake.

Look at the experience of a plateau as a good thing!  Your body telling you “I am ready for the next stage”- “I have conquered this current routine” – “Give me something new!!”  This is when fitness gets fun and you can add creativity to your routine.

The human body is amazingly adaptable for a variety of reasons.  What you first need to do is identify the reason for the adaptation and make then proceed with the proper changes.  

Plateaus: The Reasons & The Solutions

Lowering calories too far…
“It takes calories to burn calories,” which is true both internally and externally.  Internally, the body simply slows its metabolic rate (burns fewer calories) when it senses a decrease in food intake.  The body still functions correctly, but requires fewer calories, creating hunger and preventing fat loss.  Externally, the body is tricked into doing less,(i.e., you get lazy, tired and therefore, move less and more economically).

What to do…
To prevent a plateau, keep your calories slightly below the amount recommended for maintenance to keep your metabolism and energy levels high during exercise and daily activities.  A deficit greater than 500 to 700 calories makes it much more difficult to maintain lean muscle.

Loss of lean body mass
Lean body mass uses up to eight times the calories as fat does. Therefore, loss of enough of this fat burning commodity (muscle) dramatically lowers metabolism and brings fat loss to a screeching halt.

What to do…
Keep your body nourished with supportive foods and a quality multivitamin. Follow your exercise recommendations; resistance training at least 3 times a week, no more than 20-30 minutes of cardio.

Net weight loss
The less you weigh the fewer calories it takes to move your body, even during exercise.

What to do…
Concentrate on increasing lean muscle through resistance training. This is an ideal way to compensate for the fat loss of calories, due to net weight loss, and enhance your look.

Body becomes Efficient
The body is required to make hundreds of internal changes to adjust to different workloads. Each of these reactions consumes calories. Therefore, once the body stops repairing muscle from exercise or adding new cellular machinery, the calories burned to make these changes are no longer spent and the amount of energy your body uses decreases.

What to do…
Never let your body get used to exercise.  Keep it guessing by changing frequency, intensity, type or time of exercise.


OH Press Pink Dumbells

More exercise is not always better. Just as in under-eating, overtraining may decrease the amount of calories you burn. This is partially due to adaptive thermogenesis, (a survival mechanism). In other words, there may be a point of diminishing returns, when an increase in exercise energy expenditure is negated by an equal decrease in non-exercise energy expenditure.  This negates the additional work, at least until expenditure is dramatically increased and/or calories decreased. By the way, the girl to your right is in no imminent danger of overtraining!

What to do…

Take at least seven days off from your regular exercise routine (this should be done every 12 weeks, regardless).  Start back with less and a different type of work and increase only as necessary (e.g., the least amount of specific work to initiate change).  Your metabolism and daily activities will reset and increase again.

Enhanced physical condition
When you are in overall better shape, your system is more efficient – burns fewer calories to operate. The primary benefit of exercise is to improve health through an

appropriate regime.  Improved health can cause a slower resting metabolic rate.  In other words, fewer calories are burned during normal daily activities.  This is partially due to an increase in cardiopulmonary efficiency (e.g., lower resting heart rate).

What to do…
Stick with your goal of staying healthy.  Concentrate on exercise intensity and type changes for a longer “after-burn” (calories burned above the normal resting metabolic rate after exercise).

Just as a well-tuned car gets better fuel economy, a well-tuned body can also thrive on less fuel (calories) when consistently challenged.  By making a few changes, you can jumpstart your routine and see positive results in no time.

Remember, the best ways to stave off a weight loss plateau involve boosting your metabolism, not decreasing your calories. Consider the following Plateau Busters:

  • Reassess exercise time and intensity. If you’ve walked 30 minutes, three times a week for a few weeks, that’s great! But it’s time to add small bouts of extra intensity so 20 minutes now feels challenging. Do the extra rep or two, increase your range of motion, and increase resistance as you get stronger.
  • Reassess exercise activities. Try new activities to cause muscles to be challenged and burn more calories.
  • Consistency. Improvement and change occur when you do things often. Stopping and starting all the time will kill any momentum you need to succeed. You must find ways to stay in the game. Moderate forms of exercise, done consistently, provide far better results than the occasional full-body pummeling. A lifestyle that includes multiple forms of exercise five to six days a week guarantees results.
  • Avoid the scale. Focus on inches lost and the leaner you are becoming.  Your body fat percentage will decrease significantly over time.

Measure Don't Weigh

  • Make sure you are eating smaller, more frequent meals. Every time you eat the right amount and type of foods, you give your metabolism a small boost.
  • Reassess the short-term goals that you made in Session Two to be sure you’ve selected the right strategies. Perhaps you need to re-evaluate the goals you made and come up with new solutions.
  • Use your Fitness Journal to track and view how far you’ve come and how well you’ve done. This positive feedback will hold you accountable and help you stay motivated.

6 Pack 6 Results

Week 6 Top Ten

Lisa A.
72 Points
Chrissy S.
72 Points
Robin S.
71 Points
Evelyn P.
71 Points
Judy S.
68 Points
Angela D.
67 Points
Julie D.
65 Points
Joanne R.
62 Points
Nadia K.
62 Points
Gretchen W.
62 Points

Overall Top Ten

Lisa A.
430 Points
Chrissy S.
428 Points
Evelyn P. 420 Points
Julie D.
395 Points
Judy S.
395 Points
Robin S.
384 Points
Joanne R.
372 Points
Greg S.
366 Points
Karyn M.
358 Points
Gretchen W.
329 Points

Make It Happen!

Tonight’s Dinner and The Biggest Loser

Got a quick, easy and great tasting recipe you can make for tonight…more on that in a minute!

I was reading the other day that the TV show “The Biggest Loser” is looking for one or two new trainers for the upcoming season. They are expecting to be inundated with thousands of portfolios and tapes from trainers looking to get on the show.

As you know, I am a “Biggest Loser” junkie. Not necessarily a fan, but I do enjoy watching the show. I enjoy watching people accomplish what they never thought possible. It intrigues me to watch Bob and Jillian (the trainers) interact with their team members and search for what will drive each individual closer to their goals. Some of the challenges are really cool. The reveal at the end of each show where you see how much progress each voted off contestant has made since leaving the “ranch”. I just have fun watching.

As I mentioned previously, they are looking for a couple additional trainers. Some of you have even been so kind to say that I should go for it, send in a tape and audition for the show. I am humbled and flattered, and I have to admit it crossed my mind. What better platform to get the message out?

But therein lies the problem; I would not be allowed to get Nancy and my message out. While the show is fun, we have a few fundamental disagreements with the methodology.

First and foremost, it is not realistic for the VAST majority of the population.

Odds are you are not going to be sequestered on a private ranch with other totally like minded individuals 24 hours a day.

You are not going to be able to train 8 hours a day.

You are not going to have someone do your shopping and stock your fridge for you.

You are not going to have someone looking over your shoulder every hour of every day making sure you don’t do something that will compromise your weight loss.

And you are not going to average 7-12 pounds of weight loss for 12 weeks.

And you know what? That’s OK!

Because when it comes down to it, it’s not just losing the “weight” that’s important. I can point to thousands of people that lose weight at one time (or more) in their life. And I can point to just as many that gained it back (and more) once they stopped “dieting”.

In fact, many of the contestants on the show have done that very thing! They may have “learned” how to lose weight in the little bubble they were put in, but once they got back into everyday, routine, “normal” life, they were not equipped any better than when they first got there. Yes, some have kept the weight off – very few from the research I have done.

You know I don’t like the word “can’t” – but I am going to break my own rule…

You can’t tell people that it’s ok to eat “100 calorie packs”, because while the portions are controlled on the show, who says I can’t eat a whole box when I get home? 100 calories of junk is still 100 calorie of junk!

You can’t expect a mom with 5 kids to go home and be able to train 7 or 8 hours a day in order to maintain her weight loss.

However you can…

Expect to get hit with the every day stresses of life.

Expect your boss, or your kids, or your husband to drive you nuts once in awhile.

Expect to be tempted to resort to poor choices when things seem out of control – so called “comfort food”.


You also CAN take the small steps you need to every day to help you achieve consistent AND permanent weight loss.

Ok Mr. Trainer, you are asking – what do you know anyway? What do you know about being overweight, stressed, and life seemingly spinning out of control?

Fair enough – why don’t we ask this guy instead:

or how about him?

or what about this dude, holding his ribbon for a pie contest he just placed in?

What if I told you this guy topped the scales at 270+ pounds, had a 46″ waistline, couldn’t walk up the stairs without getting out of breath, had high blood pressure,  problems randomly passing out, and a whole list of other fun stuff?

Why would I listen to him, you say? Why, he’s worse off than I am!

What if I told you this same guy now weight 188 lbs with a 34″ waistline, has normal blood pressure, the heart rate of a triathlete, normal blood sugar, and has (this is important) kept it off for over 5 years?

What if I told you the tools that he used to achieve this are available to you, absolutely free?

Would you take advantage of them, or would you find another reason why not?

Here’s the tools, go on and get them, I’ll wait:  Weight Loss Success Toolpak

Ok, now here’s that recipe I promised. It is absolutely delicious and great for you!

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken and Avocado Salad (4 Servings)
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 tsp.lemon juice
1 bag(10oz.) torn romaine lettuce (about10cups)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 medium tomato,cut into wedges
1 small cucumber, sliced
¼ medium Vidalia onion,chopped
½ cup Red Pepper
½ cup Light or Fat-free Italian Dressing
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese

Toss avocados with lemon juice in large salad bowl. Add lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions; mix lightly. Add dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Let me know what you think!

Oh and if you see the guy in the pictures, say hi for me! 🙂

Make It Happen!

Don’t Look For Your Motivation Here!

Are you motivated today? Let’s get motivated! Find that inner motivation! What’s it going to take to motivate you?

You’ve heard it, and I’ve heard it – you have to be motivated to reach your goals.

I say Hogwash!

Blasphemy you say – isn’t it your job as a trainer to get me motivated?

Well, maybe for the one hour a day we are together I can encourage, inspire, and yes, even motivate you to get through the workout.

But what about the other 23 hours in the day?

I submit that what you need is a good dose of determination on top of that motivation.

Let’s look at a definition of each word:

Motivation – the state or condition of being motivated

Determination – a fixed purpose

Do you see the difference? Motivation depends largely on how we feel, while determination has a much more solid foundation – it is fixed, or unchanging in nature.

So what does that have to do with losing weight, eating healthier, reaching higher athletic performance? In a word – Everything!

Let me put it this way; It’s late Monday afternoon, you just finished a grueling day at work, your boss was being a major jerk and you have enough paper piled on your desk to heat your house for a month. You don’t feel like going to the gym, you don’t feel like doing anything but going home and plopping down in front of the television. What do you do? Are you motivated to go the the gym? The answer is pretty obvious – absolutely not. This is why determination is far more important than motivation. Determination will drive you to the gym, your present state of (lack of) motivation will cause you to drive right on by.

We humans are emotional beings. Our nature causes us to act on how we feel and the circumstances that surround us much of the time. Hard day at work? I don’t feel like going to the gym. Kids driving you nuts? That pint of ice cream is sure to make me feel better.

How about this? You have been working hard in the gym, not missed a training day in 3 or 4 months. Your nutrition is on track, and yet you still can’t get rid of that last 10 pounds. You are not seeing the results you want as fast as you want. What do you do? Circumstances like this can sap our motivation, no question about it. But are you determined to reach your goals, to do what is necessary to reach them, or do you give up, because it’s just “not working”?

The battle we are waging is largely in our minds. No one lives in a perfect bubble, immune from the pressures of the outside world. We all deal with less than ideal circumstances, it is only a matter of degrees. For years I made excuses why I was obese and unhealthy. For years I was “motivated” to do something about it, only to lose my motivation a few months later. Fear of failure, fear of ridicule, even fear of success can cause us to lose our will to keep going when things get hard.

As a trainer, when a prospective client wants to hire me to “motivate” them, I know we are in for a hard battle. It goes back to what was said before – if you are only motivated 1 out of 24 hours of every day, are you likely to do what it takes? I can guide you and inspire you, but motivation is personal and transient; it comes and goes. The best way I know to overcome these peaks and valleys is to formulate a plan, the “fixed purpose” that defines determination.

We are big on plans around here. We provide a training plan that you execute on a daily basis. The nutrition plan guides what and when you eat. 6 Pack 6 incorporates daily and weekly checkpoints into an overall plan that drives you toward your goals.

Do you have such a plan, the purpose that drives you on in spite of what is going on around you? Do you know what you are going to do today that will help get to where you want to be? Do you know what you are going to do tomorrow, next week, next month, next year? Taking a step back, do you even know what the end result will be? Have you fixed a picture in your mind of what you want to look like, feel like, or perform like? If not, now is the time.

Take out a piece of paper, and write down your “fixed purpose” for the next year, the next 6 months, the next month, next week, and today. Start with the end goal, the “fixed purpose”, in mind and work backwards. The action you take today will determine where you end up tomorrow.

This quote from the great Jesse Owens, a man who overcome far more obstacles than most of us will ever know, sums things up nicely.

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

It’s a new week. What are you determined to do with it?

Make It Happen!


Friday Funnies and 6 Pack 6 Leader Lisa A.

I wanted to share an interview I did with your doctor. It actually explains a lot! Very insightful, and loaded with advice!

But first, take a look at what Lisa has to say about our 6 Pack 6 transformation contest and the difference it’s making in her life.

Lisa has done an outstanding job and is working hard to look even more fabulous for her upcoming wedding!

Frankly, I am sick of giving her the majority of the prizes – so get after it!

Thank-you Lisa – Great stuff!


Ok, now on to the interview, you might want to print out this page for future reference.

Q:  Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it… don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a  nap.

Q:  Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A:  You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn.  And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q:  Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A:  No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy  is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way.  Beer is also made out of grain.  Bottoms up!

Q:  How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A:  Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q:  What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A:  Can’t think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is:  No Pain…Good!

Q:  Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A:  YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!!! ….  Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they’re permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q:  Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A:  Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q:   Is chocolate bad for me?
A:   Are you crazy? HELLO – Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It’s the best feel-good food around!

Q:  Is swimming good for your figure?
A:  If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q:   Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A:   Hey!  ‘Round’ is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.


For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans..

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like.  Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Well there you go – I didn’t say it was good advice!

Laugh a little; no actually laugh a lot – it’s great for you!

Now Make It Happen!


6 Pack 6 Week 5 – Neck and Neck!

This week we have a tie at the top, with Lisa and Chrissy both scoring max points –  Well Done Ladies!

Let me preface what I am going to say with this – I am EXTREMELY impressed with those who are actively participating in 6 Pack 6. As I wrote up the weekly top ten, it was not surprising that the superstars on this list are also the people making the best progress toward their goals. Sort of a no brainer, huh?

I was also very impressed with a couple people in particular who made huge strides in their scores from last week to this week. Great job, and keep it up!

Now for a little push toward even better progress and higher achievements…

This week your assignment was to turn in your meal plan for the week along with your 6 Pack 6 score sheet. I am going to dish out a little tough love – with very few exceptions, the meal plans I got back were shall we say – “substandard”.

Here’s what #1 of your weekly tasks is, and I quote from the rules:

“Planning is crucial to your success. Going into the week without knowing what you are going to eat is like going on a hike in the Rockies without a map. Sit down before you go grocery shopping, plan out your meals for the week, make a shopping list, and stick to the list. Winging it isn’t good enough, so plan your successful week ahead of time.”

When I read this, it occurred to me I may not have been perfectly clear what I am looking for in order for you to achieve your 5 points for the week, so please allow me to clarify the main points:

  • Before each Monday, write down the contents of every meal and every snack you intend to eat for the next 7 days.
  • Write down which meals are going to be cooked in bulk, and which will be made “at the time”.
  • Make your shopping list and make sure you have the food in the house you need for the week.

If you are not doing these steps, you haven’t earned the points – it makes a huge difference to do it this way, I promise!

Another point, not totally unrelated:

Your food log (Daily Task #5) should actually reflect your meal plan. So if you planned an omelet for breakfast Tuesday, and you ate a bacon and cheese bagel, are you doing your plan? Note that this is way different than planning to eat almonds for snack and having walnuts instead. I think you get the picture.

Don’t cheat the plan – the only one you are cheating is yourself!

Ok, without further adieu, here is the top ten list for the week!

Week 5 Top Ten

Lisa A.
72 Points
Chrissy S.
72 Points
Robin S.
71 Points
Evelyn P.
70 Points
Julie D.
68 Points
Joanne R.
66 Points
Greg S.
66 Points
Nadia K.
64 Points
Judy S.
63 Points
Donna K.
62 Points

Overall Top Ten

Lisa A.
358 Points
Chrissy S.
356 Points
Evelyn P. 349 Points
Julie D.
330 Points
Judy S.
327 Points
Donna K.
323 Points
Robin S.
313 Points
Joanne R.
310 Points
Greg S.
306 Points
Karyn M.
303 Points

Make It Happen!

Should I Eat Before I Workout?

YES – end of message – see you next time!

Seriously, you do need to have something to eat before you train. 60-90 minutes before training is optimal, but for you early birds 30-60 minutes is just fine.


You need energy to train, simple as that. When you don’t have enough calories (energy) to sustain your workout, you will not be able to train as hard, will fatigue more quickly, and may even feel dizzy. Resistance training in the morning without eating is very counterproductive, as your body will burn the most available energy source, muscle, rather than fat. Not the best strategy!

You don’t want to load up on a huge meal however, as you don’t want to see it again in the middle of your workout, if you know what I mean.

There are a few options for pre-workout nutrition. A piece of fruit, such as a banana or apple is light and digests readily. The challenge with this option is there is little to no protein, and we need protein in the mix if we are going to maximize our training.

My favorite strategy is to use a whey based protein shake. A shake is quick and easy to make, digests readily, and you can sip it on the way to the gym. There are hundreds of ways to make a shake, so you are sure to find one that you like.

A protein shake is an effective way to break your overnight fast (breakfast) and give your body the nutrients and energy you need to attack your workout hard. It is the absolute best way I know to prime your body to burn bodyfat and preserve lean tissue. If you train in the afternoon and evenings, the same applies – don’t go into the gym without eating!

I don’t recommend living on protein shakes, as your body work best on whole foods as close to their natural state as possible (No Virginia – Fruity O’s are NOT natural) But at specific times they are an invaluable tool in your training arsenal.

Our buddy Danno shared his recipe for his favorite protein shake – Give it a try and let us know what you think. We love to hear your feedback – so chime in below!


Danno’s “I’m Bananas for Banana’s” Protein Shake

1 Banana
1 Tsp Ground Flax Seed
1 Tbsp Almonds or Pecans
1 Scoop Vanilla Ultimate Muscle Protein
10-12 Ounces of Water (Sorry Danno, milk rots)

Put it all in a blender, mix and enjoy!