Friday, January 10, 2014


You want to be in the best shape of your life.  But what does that mean and how do you get there?  If I had to pick my TOP 10 FITNESS TRUTHS FOR OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE, meaning your must-haves for getting in the best shape of your life, these would be them. They are not in any particular order, except number one, two, and three. Nothing really comes before them. (this blog was written from my ipad, please don't mind any typos)

It works and we all need it.  Announce to the world what you want to accomplish. Tell your family and friends. Post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Make it known what you're striving for. Magic happens when you put it out there. It becomes real. Things will work around you. People will encourage you. And you don't want anyone to think for a second that you're a quitter now do you? #nopressurethough

Action step: Actually report to somebody each week about your progress or lack thereof.  It could be a coach, mentor, friend, sister or brother. Just have someone that knows what you’re doing and is willing to hear you out and call you out if you’re not doing it.  #checkyourselfbeforeyouwreckyourself

This is probably the most misunderstood training principle. Results happen in the rest phase. Too often we see and hear people who want to go hard and long every day of the week, all year round. I used to be there so I get it. Then I started learning more about adaptation and stress and applied the principle that Less is More. My performance went up and so did my results. About every 3-4 weeks, especially if you train hard like us, it's time to back off a little bit and REBOOT. This means taper about 50% intensity and perhaps volume too. You also shouldn't work out every day in my opinion, 5-6 days a week is a lot (again if you're training really hard like us). And 45-60 minute sessions should be plenty. No 2-3 hr sessions. That doesn't make sense and it’s not effective (unless you're hitting one long session a week to prepare for a marathon or endurance event). Finally, I'm a firm advocate of the HIGH/LOW method. Go high intensity one day, low intensity the next. Or high two days, low the next two. Applying these concepts will really help you feel fresh and continue to see your body respond to your hard work positively. Think about how much stress is in your lives already. Pounding more on top of it with your workouts, will not do your body any good.

Action step: Plan rest days. Period. #nopainyougain

I tell you what, if I don't have something to compete in every few months or so, my motivation goes way down. It can be so simple too: a 5k race, a pull-up challenge like ours coming up on jan 31 (, or a silly ab challenge for 15 days you do with your friend. We have one of those too ( It's just like everything in life.  You need to constantly set goals and benchmarks to keep you rising to the next level. Life is a journey, and yours never ends. If you don't set goals, big and small, it may feel like it does.

Action step: Find something to sign up for today. It doesn’t matter if you’re ready or not. You’ll get ready. Once you sign up, you’ll have to. #fakeittilyoumakeit

7. STRENGTH TRAINING IS A MUST. Don't think of heavy lifting here. People, especially females, seem to worry so much about building "bulk." That's not easy to do you know. You can do resistance training with bands, body weight, weights, all kinds of fun gadgets that we use at FMU, like sleds, battle ropes, and dynamax balls. Everyone in the fitness world agrees that building lean muscle is paramount to any effective workout regimen and should be a main focus. It keeps your body strong and mobile, helps improve flexibility and prevent injuries, and burns fat more than certain cardio work does.

Action step: Incorporate strength training 2-4x per week into your routines. 20-30 minutes, even if just body weight. Never doubt that pushups, air squats, pull-ups, planks, and BURPEES can get you in the best shape of your life. #dontbeafraidtogetstrong

Mixing up what you do, when you do it, and how you do it is a staple of any solid fitness program. Don’t fall into the trap of hitting the same routines for too long. Even though you have staple exercises you like to do, you can alternate the rep schemes, sets, styles, formats, and protocols.   For example, take the pushup. You can do them slow, fast and explosive, with feet on a chair or a fitness ball, hands wide or hands close together, to the side or walking forward, holding for ten seconds on the bottom position, tempo style which is slow down and slow up, push-pause style which is push to the top, pause at the top then back down. The options are endless.

You can and should mix up the apparatuses you use as well for your workouts. We use all types of equipment like barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls, straps, rings, tires, battle ropes, sleds, slam balls, plyo boxes, etc.  

Action step: Don’t change your workouts every day. You should stick to a routine that you follow for about three to four weeks. Your body needs time to adapt and respond to the stimulus you applied to it. Then change up during your reboot week and come back with something different for the next four week block.

5. RUN.
Fast. Slow. Hills. And stairs. Running is one of the human body’s most natural forms of movement. Many people will disagree with me on this one, especially fitness trainers. There seems to be this whole new push in the training world to bash running and promote nothing but high intensity cardio. So I'm going to make sure I state that I guarantee, hands down, without a doubt, the only way I'm ever in the best shape of my life, is when I'm running. Not just fast, not just intervals, not just a long slow and steady meditation run, but a mix of all of the above. My conditioning gets better, my body fat stays lower, and my weight stays where it needs to be. I encourage running as much as possible to anyone who wants to be in the best shape ever. Here's my disclaimer though: if you have restrictions or limitations or a situation when running would cause problems or pain, then of course, you can't do it. Should you run more than three times a week? I see no reason to. Should you run the same pace every time? Absolutely not. Go back to variety is key here.

Action step: Run fast one day. Run medium intervals another day. Run long and on cruise control, purposely slower than your race pace, another day.  Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race. But neither does sprinting like a spastic animal every workout either.

Take it off of you. You know my motto: LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOU. It can't be. You miss out on too much if it is. To a certain point, at the beginning of initial transformation, it is about you. You become aware of whom you are and where you're at and you know you need to change for the better to reach your potential. But then you transition to the WHY behind it all: because you know the change is needed for everyone who needs you. You lose weight because you want to look good, but why? Because then your confidence boosts, and when it does, so does your demeanor towards your wife and children. You want to give up drinking because it's affecting your health, but why? Because you'll gain more focus and clarity and not miss the little moments and people passing you by. You want to run your fastest 5k, but why? Because when you do, you prove that you can equip and prepare yourself to accomplish anything you put your mind to, and now you know that nothing can stop you. There's nothing holding you back. No more pity parties. No more poor me attitudes. There are people out there who need you. You wake up and perform at your best every day to fulfill your utmost duty and responsibility in life: to serve and lift up those around you to benefit and enhance the greater good of humanity.

Action step: Just be willing.  Not to necessarily develop a grandiose solution to solve the world’s problems, but to rise up when the opportunity presents itself to give back and help others. Be on the lookout. They tend to come when you least expect it. #whencalledfollow

Listen, any infomercial or fitness program is lying to you if they post an image and testimony of a person who lost 100lbs or has a ripped 12-pack of abs and claims it's all from their 30 minute a day DVD. They're forgetting to tell you something really important: that person drastically changed their eating habits. Nutrition HAS to be your main concern if you are serious about shaping up. You cannot outwork a bad diet. Don't get me wrong, you will get some results and still see change if you work out consistently and effectively. But you will only get so far. The extra edge comes from quality nutrition. I know this for a fact from firsthand experience. We just had our second baby. I let myself go for three weeks and loved every second of the desserts our friends and family brought over to help with meals. When I got back on track with my workouts, I didn't want to let go of the delicatessens. Well my body doesn’t want to let go of all of the body fat either, no matter how hard I work out. Not until I start eating strict again, (just yesterday by the way, oops) will I notice a big change again. Make sure you understand that WE DO NOT EAT RIGHT all the time.  We allow splurges. Never think this is about deprivation. It's all about delayed gratification. Eat right the majority of the time, and feel free to let loose 15% of the time. You gotta enjoy life. But you also have to take pride of the body God have you, and treat it well by fueling it with what it needs.

Action step: Focus on nutrition more than you workouts. #worksmartnothard

The mental game is everything. I'm going to promise you this; you need to have the mental game down before true transformation happens. You can have all the information in the world about nutrition and fitness and anything in life for that matter, but if you don't have the right mindset, you won't get far. You'll freeze. You'll give up. You'll make excuses. The body and spirit can't be treated until the mind is defeated. Defeat it and you'll move mountains. Let it defeat you and you'll stand at the bottom looking up.

Three things about the mental game:

A. TRIPLE AAA: be AWARE of who you are and where you're at. ACCEPT your situation and the cards you've been dealt. Then AWAKEN the giant within and do something about it.

B. PERSPECTIVE; once it changes so does your life. Do you see yourself as a miracle that was created and designed intricately and uniquely with meaning and purpose destined for greatness? Or do you see life as something that just happens to you as you go through the motions along for the ride? How you see your life determines how you'll react to it. When you put value on the talents, gifts, and abilities that you've been given, and the characteristics you have that are unlike any human being that has ever and will ever walk the face of the earth, you can't tell me that you won't be fired up to escape mediocrity and take charge of any situation or circumstance that falls in your lap.

C. RAMP UP AND REVAMP YOUR CONFIDENCE AND COURAGE.  We have a “what’s your 2014 game-changer wall” hanging up at our gym and it's not as filled up as it should be. After talking to some people it seems that three things are holding them back. 1. They don't think it's important enough. 2. They're afraid they won't achieve it and will look like a failure. 3. They don't think people care. I say, bogus, bogus, and more bogus. Look how the mind lies.  No matter how big or small, your intention does matter. If you fall flat on your face, it doesn't matter. Whether you believe it or not, to others, YOU do matter. Know that confidence doesn't mean you think you'll win all the time. It means you know you'll do the best you can. And courage doesn't mean you're not scared. It means that even though you're scared as heck, you still do it anyways because you know the place it can take you. You'll grow. You'll learn. You'll become a better human being all around, in everything you do.

You can’t leave home without it. It is the secret to true success and fulfillment in life and I’d be lying if I didn't include this on my list. I'm not even going to say much about it, as it would take more than a few blogs itself, except this: in my opinion, faith is usually the _____________ component. I’ll leave it at that for your own pondering.

Action step: Find something bigger and greater today. It's an absolute game-changer.

This is just where I’m at right now on my journey. I learn more and more each year as I discover and unlock the truths to my own health and performance status.

Until next time, remember…..

It’s not about us.

Never can be. Never will be.

Coach Theo

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