40 Years Old and 40 Lessons Along The Way

 

Recently it was my 40th Birthday.  My wife surprised me with 40 people giving me gifts, letters, and cards.  It was a surprise and literally the best birthday ever.  Thank you, Melissa.  As a gift back to all of you.  Please read and see what I might have learned along this journey.  I hope you can glean a little wisdom from this.

  

Throughout my life, there has been tough times and good times.  There has been successes and failures.  One thing is certain this life is an awesome journey and we all have limited time.

40 years old and here is what I have learned.  Which is your favorite?

  1. These four questions are key to your philosophy. What are you here for?  How did you get here?  Where are you going if anywhere after we die? Is there a God?
  2. Knowledge is not power but correct knowledge with correct action is power
  3. Being kind goes a long way
  4. Being a leader means doing the tough things and doing the right things when people are not watching
  5. Imperfect action is better than no action or taking to long
  6. Service for others is the key to business success or possibly any success for that matter
  7. “Love your neighbor as yourself” Bible
  8. In marriage do your best to put the other person first always
  9. True love is a commitment
  10. Being a good steward of our gifts and talents is advisable no matter how much or little a person has
  11. If you want to great at something or you want to achieve something…. mimic, learn, and be mentored from someone that has already done it
  12. A strong team can do exponentially more than 1 person
  13. The sooner that health and fitness become a priority the less likely it will be forced upon someone as a priority
  14. Having a strong personal, ethical vision and mission can be transformational
  15. Believe in yourself with the help of others
  16. Humbleness is not the opposite of confidence, in fact, I think it is being confident
  17. Get physically strong and more fit but do it slowly and safely
  18. Jesus could have been the most controversial person ever.
  19. The Bible is the best book ever written in my opinion
  20. Listening is an amazing, underrated, gift that anyone can get better at
  21. Actions speak louder than words
  22. Asking for help is wise, not weak
  23. Seeking the truth is worthwhile endeavor
  24. Maximizing our potential is success but I am not sure if anyone has ever maximized their potential… Well, maybe one person but that is an entirely philosophical question.  We might want to strive for perfection and become excellent in the process.
  25. The book of Proverbs in the Bible is a great book on how to live your life
  26. Listening to educational audio in your car is a great way to be educated
  27. Take notes it almost always helps remember
  28. Learn from the past, live in the presence, strive for a better future
  29. Everything happens for a reason it is how you react to it that is important
  30. Praying for yourself is great but so is praying for others
  31. Develop and write down your core values
  32. Encourage others, give compliments, and be a leader
  33. Trust is built over time
  34. If you want to get great at something practice harder and better until you are great at it
  35. Shooting buckets outside in rural Minnesota is cold in the middle of winter
  36. Entrepreneurship can be challenging but also very impactful
  37. We can never manage time we can only manage our lives
  38. Most things including technology is neither good or evil it is how we use or misuse it
  39. Never give up but maybe shift plans
  40. Live and leave a legacy begins each day. It is not just about the things you leave behind.  It is about the person you become, your faith, your impact, your philosophy, and the people you helped along the journey.  It is about your family, your community, and the love you show to others.  It is about the memories and obstacles you overcome and the emotions you experienced.  My recommendation is write down what you want your legacy to be with the end in mind.

Comment and share which is your favorite?

Making New Years Resolutions Work

Every year people make resolutions to do or not do something.

But so many people fail!

What is the solution?

Is there a solution?

First lets look at the facts

“Based on the study, attempting to start anew by making a new year’s weight loss resolution is ill-recommended as it is a pointless exercise which only leaves you even less inclined to actually follow through with your weight loss goals.  The final results of the study showed that less than 20% of the subjects were able to follow through with their new year’s resolutions.” http://www.relationshippsychology.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-resolution-success-rate

I understand this is just one study but from experience most new years resolutions just do not last.

Although I could delve into great detail on all the reasons why they do not work instead lets focus on how they can work.

1.  Make them into new years goals not resolutions.

Resolutions make it seem like you have to give something up.  Instead lets turn the resolution into a goal.  When it comes to goals they should be written down, challenging, rewarding, and have a plan.  By writing it down the chance of success skyrockets alone.

“Study 1
According to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech:

  1. People who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetimes as people who don’t.
  2. 80% of Americans say they don’t have goals.
  3. 16% do have goals but don’t write them down.
  4. Less than 4% write down their goals and fewer than 1% review them on an ongoing basis.” http://www.goalsgonesocial.com/ggs2/blogs/write_down_goals

2.  Get some accountability

Lets face it when it comes to challenging goals and reaching them we all need help.  Accountability makes a person more likely to succeed for several different reasons.  The more accountable a person is to a group or to another person the more likely they are to succeed at a goal.

“Of course, there’s science behind this link between weight-loss success and accountability. A study in the current issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine confirms what weight-loss experts have long suspected: Accountability works. Study participants who kept food journals were twice as successful as those who did not.” http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/health/In_Weight_Loss__Accountability_Is_Essential.html

3.  Have an actionable plan

So many people set new years resolutions but have no real plan.  Without a plan it just will not work.  Just by saying something or half heartidly trying something will not work.  This is especially true when it comes to challenging goals such as starting and running a business, losing fat and keeping it off, or quitting smoking.  These are just three examples but any goal should have an action plan of things that need to be reach the goal and in many cases a new goal will need to be made.

So there you have how to make your goals stick for the new year.

I want to help so comment your new years goal or goals below.

 

Music With Workouts This New Years

When it comes to fitness and working out there are several ways to help increase intensity.

I see several reasons why to use music for workouts

1.  Decreases boredom

For the average person workouts can get boring and mundane.  When listening to your favorite music this can be helpful from workouts being mundane.

2.  Increase intensity

When it comes to workouts results happen with increased intensity.  I know several people that want (need) their hardcore or upbeat music to increase the intensity of their workouts.

3.  Variety through tempo

Depending on the interval or type of workout music can be used to match the tempo.  For example, doing a sprint or conditioning workouts can be different music than say lifting weights.

4.  The fun factor

Music is associated with fun and many do not think exercise is fun.  However we tend to associate certain music to fun and excitement and mixing that with exercise increases the fun factor.  If something is fun this increases the likelihood of continuing.  Continual progress is one of the most important keys to fitness success.

5.  Infinite Choices

People like different types of music so there are so many ways to get in great music.  I know of people that listen to 80’s ballads:)  Others listen to hardcore music, others country but the truth is whatever makes you want to workout, workout harder and do better is key!

So now that you know that workout music helps…. here is a workout radio station for you to listen to some upbeat music and the best part…. NO COMMERCIALS!

 

 

What We Can Learn From The Olympics For Our Life

I am not sure about you but I absolutely love the Olympics.

I had the opportunity to train a few former Olympic Athletes and here are some things I learned from them and from watching the Olympics.

1) The Law of Action

When it comes to results in life a person can learn all they want and never achieve anything.

You can want, wish, and hope but without action nothing will happen.

For example, Michael Phelps said he did not train to his potential.  He might not be able to achieve his goals because he did not work as hard as he could.  The truth of the matter is genetics is really over rated.  I have never seen a baby do a black flip, jump, lift or do any of that stuff when they are born.  I have asked my daughter (on the left) to do flips it does not work:)

So what we learn is that it takes action, to achieve anything worthwhile!

2.  The Law of Faith/Belief

Nobody goes into wanting to lose or thinking they have no chance of winning.

The first step that helps people take action is belief.

They shoot for the gold, work for the gold but first they believe they can get to the olympics and even win the gold.

This happens with fitness goals all the time.

A person does not truly believe they can reach a goal so they never really work at it.

We can learn that we must first believe before we can ever achieve anything!

3.  The Law of Specific Training

When it comes to any training for a goal a person must be very detailed and specific.

A triathelete and a gymnast will and should train very different.

The details are super important and the abilities are very different.

A gymnast is not going to win in a triathlon and the reverse is also true.

So the first step is figuring out a goal then training specifically for it.

4.  The Law of  Discipline  

There are times that Olympians do not want to train but they train anyways.

They have to sacrifice so many things to become great.

They have to be disciplined in work ethic, nutrition,  training times, and routine.

We learn that discipline is the crucial ingredient to reaching any goal.

5.  The Law of Constant Improvement

My wife and I were discussing what do olympic gold medalists do after they win or after they break a new record.

She says they try to beat their last record.

I totally agree that they are never truly satisfied with their results they are always trying to get better and that is what makes them unique.

They always want to improve from where they are to where they want to go.

What we learn is that somebody who improves gradually and constantly will always beat the person who becomes complacent and content with their results.

 6.  The Law of Individual Team Work

The saying “a team is only as weak as its weakest link” is always true.

For a team to be better an individual has to get better.

Individuals should get better for themselves and for the team.

I will never forget my college basketball days when I sat on the bench.

Sitting on the bench is something I was not very good at so I worked as hard as I could.

Years later talking to a former teammate he said that it was us that made them better… that pushed them to become better.  It is nice to have an individual goal yet have the team support to become better than you could on your own.

What we learn is that we can help more people including ourselves when we become our absolute best!

7.  The Law of Failure

I am a perfectionist in many areas and that can be very bad because it can stop me from trying.

The rule is if you are not failing at something you are not trying…. I totally agree.

When it comes to the Olympics so many of these athletes started very young.

Tears of failure from falling, missing that jump, making mistakes are the only way to get to the success of getting to the Olympics.

Jerry Barca: “There is a gap between people that are really good and people who are extraordinary. One of the things that seem to always stand out is that people at the extraordinary level have a different relationship with failure, mainly they’re not phased or stopped by it.”

Dan Jansen: “That’s one of the reasons I ended up winning in the end. It is because I was never afraid to fail. The worst thing, and I always hear — quote —successful people say it is “Oh, my fear of failure is what drives me.” I don’t believe that. You may not like to get beat. But if you’re successful, you’re not afraid to fail because you can’t be. You’ve got to be innovative sometimes. You’ve got to take risks sometimes. People who are truly successful — they may say they’re afraid to fail, but more so it’s a dislike of failure.” http://plimptonmovie.com/updates/dan-jansen-success-failure-and-olympic-gold

 What we learn is to learn from failure, get better, and keep going no matter what.  

 

All this can be used to develop a any training goal.

 

You probably are not training for the Olympics but no matter your goal these points might help

What are your thoughts? Comment Below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Ninja Warrior Training

I am training for American Ninja Warrior.

Here are some things that I believe need to be a focus when training for this type of competition.

1.  Really focusing on grip strength.

Many of the successful warriors have great grip strength especially per pound of body weight.  I was really impressed with the football player who made it through because his weight was much greater than the other competitors (I digress).  The truth is that grip strength has to be incredible to do well in this competition.

Here are some examples of exercises I am using.

– Two finger pullups

– Two finger KB carries

– Weighted pull ups

2.  Must be explosive in the lower body.

The reasoning is because of the jumps that are needed throughout the competition.  Fortunately my many years of training for lower body jump height has potentially prepared me for this.  My main goal is to maintain strength and explosiveness in the lower body.

Here are some examples

– Single leg squats

– Deadlifts

– Different jump and sled work

 

3.  Advanced body weight training

In the past I wrote about different exercises for body weight.  I feel that strength per pound of body weight also known as relative strength is key.  None of the warriors have a high percentage of body fat and many do freestyle tricking or are rock climbers.  Without doing these specific things I will need to focus on other ways to be strong.

Here are some examples

– L-sit

– Planche

– Explosive dips

Here is some of the training I have done in the past

 

Comment What You Think… Is anything missing?

5 Advanced Bodyweight Movements

Below are five advanced bodyweight movements that can be used for better fitness and or athleticism.

These should be done in a progressive manner and should not be practiced if someone is not ready for them.

For example if a person is unable to do a full body squat with both legs the progression is obviously NOT a single leg squat.

1.  Single leg squat from the ground up

2.  Crow Stand holds with vest

3.  Two finger pull ups

4.  L sit variations

5.  Any explosive power movement such as tuck jumps, plyo push ups, broad jumps, and so on.

What is your favorite body weight exercise?

Comment below!

10 Truths You Can Learn From The Fitness Career

The fitness business is changing rapidly.

Despite fitness being around forever the business of fitness  is still in its infancy.

With several years experience and many observations here are some things I have learned.

1. You cannot make other people change they have to want to change.

There are times in my life where I figured out the problem. I wanted people to change more than they did. On the other hand, people can change and these are the ones that give me the best sense of purpose. The ones that change their lives, get fit, and really change their mental attitude towards life. They increase confidence, become healthier, more fit, and take charge of their lives. Act as though you can change people but remember they have to want it.

2. Progression in exercise intensity is WAY more important versus exercise duration.

It never ceases to amaze me. People join a program, gym, or try some sketchy method. They go super hard for one month or even a few months but then quit. I find people still improve after 7 years of progressive training. How can people expect to be fitness rock stars in one month or even six months? Gradual progression in strength, speed, movement patterns and conditioning should always be the focus of an exercise program.

3. All good deeds and wanting to help others will be faced with resistance and rejection.

I do my best to always try to help when I can. It is in my personality to want help others. If you feel convicted in something and are passionate the level of success will be come with resistance and rejection. I think the best people are the ones that want all people to be successful. In my life I have faced resistance and rejection and if you have know you are on the right path.

4. Being lazy can be good for innovation but not for fitness and work.

For example, we have created the car, fast food, air planes, movies on demand, and so on the list goes. I am willing to bet there will never be a quick fix or a way to become fit and healthy without work! Although, we will keep trying. If there is a way to give someone a pill that makes us lean, fit and healthy without side effects the person who creates it will be very, very rich.

5. A person cannot be great at both sprinting and long distance running.

Talk about an endless battle. This is something I am very passionate about explaining. I have never seen anyone be a great sprinter and a great marathon runner at the same time. Yet some people want both. First is to decide exactly what you want then work back from there.

6. Nutrition is highly debated but the truth is people can be healthy and fit with very different diets.

This website http://www.bluezones.com/live-longer/ looks at how to live longer based on diet. The one thing that I noticed is that people eat differently in the cultures that live longest. However, one thing really stuck out to me. They have a sense of purpose, low stress levels, and many work labor jobs. It is fair to say that nutrition is only part of the equation. I personally adhere to a paleo style of eating but believe that people can eat differently and be both healthy and fit. Here is how some of my clients lose 1-2 pant sizes per month.

7. Nobody can exercise themselves out of a poor lifestyle.

Calories are not meant to be burnt off. The are meant to improve performance, great lean muscle tissue, make us feel full and yes for enjoyment in moderation.

8. Too much exercise and too little are both a problem, finding the right amount is key.

 

How to lose stomach fat: Does beer make you fat?

This is contingent upon goals, recovery, and movement patterns. From my experience less can be better in most cases for the average adult but again there are so many variables.  I know that most people want results too fast which actually slows long term results.

9. There is not magic pill or easy way out to be HEALTHY AND FIT.

It bears repeating. This was explained in number 4.

10. Just because a workout is challenging does not mean it is the best one.

Many people want to feel like they got there butt kicked in from workouts. This is not the most important thing. Yes getting more intense over time is great but slow and steady progress is the answer. If I get someone for two times a week over a year and someone else trains intensely for 5 times a week over a year… most likely my client will win based on similar lifestyles especially nutrition. Again more is not better but better is better.

Express Fitness Featured Client Keith K

What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from investing in Express Fitness?

There’s no doubt that investing in a fitness coach is more than gym membership alone but really they are very different.  I worked out in the gym for a year but seen better results in one to two months with Express Fitness.  This made me realize the value received is very high, it then becomes a no brainer.  I could’ve continued investing in only a gym membership for the rest of my life, but I now know that coaching has taken me to a level I could not get to on my own.

Testimonial                                                                        90lb pull up

   

What have your results been?

Since beginning Express Fitness camps (8 months ago), I’ve lost about 10lbs of fat and have gained a considerable amount of strength and, more importantly, power.  To date, I’m most impressed with my ability to do a 270lb. weighted pull-up.  Prior to joining Express Fitness, I would have been lucky to push out 5 bodyweight pull-ups.  The power gain achieved from being able to do a 270lb. weighted pull-up translates into being able to do about 20 bodyweight pull-ups.

 

What specific feature do like the best?

You really can’t beat a 20-30 minute workout that produces the results I’ve seen with Express Fitness.  Prior to joining, I would’ve laughed at the claim to produce these type of results when working out for such a short duration.

What are some other benefits?

One, being introduced to a much wider range of workouts/exercises.  Two, discovering a type of workout (bands w/ intervals) that can easily be done while traveling for business.  Three, realizing the importance of nutrition.  A consistent workout routine with proper nutrition has been extremely beneficial.

Would you recommend Express Fitness?

Absolutely.  Enough said.

Anything else you would like to add?

I think there’s a stigma that these types of classes are targeted more towards females.  I would argue that these classes are also hugely beneficial to males.  It amazes me that a class focusing largely around band exercises has produced such incredible gains in strength, power, and a reduction in fat while increasing muscle mass.  When I go into the gym on off days, I’m amazed at how much my strength has gone up.


You Have No Time For Fitness? 3 Solutions!

I hear it all the time:)

“I just do not have time for fitness.”

I understand the dilemma but this leads me to a story.

I have trained all types of people in my career.

One person in particular always stuck out.

She said she was so busy but when I asked her about her day it was not busy.

Without going into details and ruining confidentiality it really was not busy at all but she thought it was.

Basically our lives are busy but if you can carve out just an hour a week it can make all the difference.

This leads to the first solution.

1.  Workout Time that is best for you is when you will workout and it should be a priority.

I would not worry so much about night time versus morning…. instead know yourself.  Know your patterns and when you are most apt to get in a workout no matter what time of day that is.

2.  Workout more effeciently but with shorts amount of time.

A good 10-20  minute workout can trump many longer workouts for a variety of reasons.  The ten to 20 minutes will be worth it.

3.  Finally and most importantly get it in the schedule.  

The more discipline a schedule is the more likely you are to not make excuses.  In fact I think that a good fitness program has huge value based on the accountability of a group time slot.   If you want to save time for your workout check out http://www.Siide.com.  Siide.com is a marketplace for micro jobs and transactions built on trust and reputation, learn more about this Milwaukee startup at: www.siide.com.  So you can delegate those things you do not want to do so you can have more time to workout.

7 Awesome Fitness Blogs

Resistance Band Training

For some of the best information on bands and how to use them Dave Schmitz from Resistance Band Training is your guy.

Mike Robertson Training Systems

Mike is one of the best when it comes to corrective exercise but he has a ton of useful information for the fitness professional and the fitness enthusiast.

Renagade Fitness Training

Jason has a ton of information geared towards men and how to train smart with a focus on recovery.  Ladies you can go here

Fit And Busy Dad

For all the busy dads out there you can be fit

Rob Wolfe

Nutrition is super important and eating Paleo is one great way for results

Rachel Cosgrove

Rachel and her husband, Alwyn, run one of the most successful Small Group Training Facilities in United States.

Pat Rigsby

This one is for the fitness professional mainly.  The focus is on helping quality fitness coaches become better at owning and running a business.

 

 

 

Fitness Facts From The Trenches With Jason Yun

I am excited to bring you fitness truths with my friend Jason Yun.

Jason is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Columbus Bootcamp personal trainer

Below is the interview but to sum it up

1.  We talk about the difference between intervals and steady state cardio and how to transition into intense intervals.  Many people that say the workouts are not intense are unable to push because of how they have trained.

Example 30/30 advanced interval training

 

2.  The myth is that dieting well means not eating or eating very little.  The truth is your body needs lots of healthy nutrition to lose fat and decrease body fat percentage.

3.  The myth is that sit-ups and crunches are the best for ab strength.  Sit-ups and crunches may not be the best for strength.  On the other hand, anti rotation band exercises and other isometrics are great for core strength.  Different planks with varying degree of intensity depending on the person is always a great way to strengthen the core.

Share your comments below

2012 Fitness Predictions

1.  Many people will pay less for gyms but many will still not go to the gym.  However they will still pay for it!

2.  Many gyms will compete on price versus value essentially ruining their ability to compete.

3.  People will still look for the easy way out.  It is human nature to do so and in most areas of life being lazy can help us. The airplane, the car, the internet, email, social media, and any other device that makes our life easier is a good thing.  But when it comes to fitness, basically the rule of thumb is this…. the better you get the better your body looks!

4.  Metabolic training is going to be the words describing short intense workouts that will increase the metabolism over the long haul.

5.  Fitness Professionals are going to train regular people more like beginner athletes or advanced athletes.  There will be a focus on recovery and lifestyle techniques for better fitness results.

6.  Infomercials will sell like always:(

7.  Diets will pop up and people will say they work but will put weight back on.  Hopefully this will lead to an understanding of the difference between weight loss and fat loss.

8.   Fitness Revolution, Prograde, Bands, Meal Movement, and other helpful tools will grow like crazy.  Because these are the programs and tools that really do work in the long run!

9.   Express Fitness Powered by Fitness Revolution will be Waukesha Counties secret society for long term lifestyle fitness changes not just a quick fix (shameless plug)!

10.  More people will want 10-30 minute workouts that improve them versus the long boring cardio people do with no success.


Do you agree or disagree? Comment below your thoughts!

Fitness Facts From The Trenches With Steve Long

When it comes to fitness most people think that killer workouts are all that matter.

This is not true especially if  movement is inefficient and progression is not present.

This leads into an interview I did with Steve Long who is the owner of http://www.personaltraininginstlouis.com/

 

Steve Long

The audio is below but if you just want the main points here they are!

1.  Use corrective exercise and focus on proper movement

2.  Focus on recovery techniques to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury

3.  Progression in exercise movements is the most important thing in any exercise program…. not just feeling tired.  In fact feeling tired might be an indication of a poor workout.

4.   Shoot for the “90/10” rule until you reach your goals.

5.   High Intensity training is great but low intensity should be implemented as well.

Such as walking, band stretching, yoga, swimming, foam rolling and other recover things.

 

Fitness Truths From The Trenches With Jim Laird

Part of my mission is to bring the truth about fitness, fat loss, and athletic performance.

To do this I will be interviewing people in the trenches and today’s guest is Jim Laird.

Here is more about Jim http://j-mstrength.com/?page_id=20 and here is his radio show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/j-m-strength-conditioning

The interview is below but if you just want the main points here they are.

1.  Rest and recovery is so important and you should be getting better in any lifestyle fitness program.

2.  People cannot exercise out of a poor lifestyle.   If they try to you must over exercise which always leads to burn out.

3.  Eating the Paleo philosophy seems to be best for healthy fat loss.  The easiest way to learn how to eat is the meal movement.  We both support the meal movement program.

4.  Train to be more athletic, stronger, faster, and more conditioned.

5.  We did not talk about it exactly but I think Jim would agree:) Help from professionals is best!

Remember your mom said to share so please share:) below