Paper Weights

The new copy of Men’s Journal (formerly Men’s Fitness) is sitting in my mailbox. Wrapped in plastic, with up-and-coming actor Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor) gracing the cover. The dude looks fit! As I unwrap the plastic and pull out that crisp, new, and definitely untouched work of art, I quickly scan through the headlines on the cover: “The 7% Body Fat Diet” (more on fad diets in my next writing). They are definitely eye-catching, why would I not want to drop my body fat down to 7% in 21 days?! And of course, I want to be ripped like Chris Hemsworth.

So your 21-day diet plan is up and you have done the “Chris Hemsworth” workout 4 days a week for the last 3 weeks ... now what do you do? Wait for the next Men’s Fitness magazine? You can probably do the workout for a few more weeks and try the diet for a couple more weeks too but I promise your body will get used to it all. The magazines will keep putting out the same cookie-cutter workout programs just with different actors claiming they did this workout for this long when in all reality they paid this “trainer” $1000 a week and probably spent just as much on their weekly diet plan.

15-year flashback: I remember my very first Men’s Fitness magazine, I bought it from the local Jackson Country Mart while I was working part-time and going to college. Man, was I amazed... jacked dudes, nutritional supplements, love and relationship tips, and the never-ending collection of workout “programs”. Now, not knowing exactly what to do when I stepped into the gym for the first time I brought that new Men’s Fitness magazine with me. I thumbed through it, to the page that had a folded corner, to my very first “structured” workout. Thinking back, almost 15 years ago, I do not think Men’s Fitness used celebrities then ... I think they just used fitness models, physique competitors and bodybuilders.

I was paying $3 a month for FREE personal training?! What a deal! Man, was I wrong... I hit plateaus, I lost motivation, I did not feel challenged anymore. The editors of Men’s Fitness do not know you personally, so they do not care if you have lost motivation, you have already paid for your 2-year subscription. They just pump out 10 magazines a year with 10 different celebrities on them because who does not want to look like The Rock.

Fast forward 4 years and I am sitting in my very first Health Management course at SEMO. My plan was to get my degree in Exercise Science, Nutrition, and become a certified personal trainer. I put the magazine down and picked up a textbook. In my first year at SEMO, I was finally able to be myself, not someone that was trying to model themselves after celebrities. 100 pounds of weight loss was next on my list of goals to accomplish. One year later, done. I knew how to program my weightlifting and cardio and how to track my diet.

I know not everyone wants to go through 4 plus years of schooling and certifications, but I did. I stopped following everything that was printed in the magazines and started learning real scientific “stuff” in textbooks and journals. I went through the countless hours of training clients and gaining the experience necessary to be where I am today. Magazines do not know you like trainers do. They do not know your limits like an exercise specialist can. In addition, the magazine cannot tell you when to put the fork down but trainers can!

Accountability, Motivation, and Discipline: 3 things that you cannot put on paper.

Until Next Time | Danny the GM



Live Well & Flourish

Hey everybody! It's that time again; late January. A time of new found strength and hope for those who have managed to stick to their New Year's Resolution thus far.  Sadly,  its at about this time that many of us find ourselves either beginning to stray from our goals,  or having abandoned them completely. Neilsen Analytics has "Lose Weight" as the number one most common resolution amongst American citizens, and also that only 64% of those stick to their goal past one month.  I believe that a large part of the problem in this situation is in the nature of the resolution itself,  and that's what today's blog is about. We need to take a closer,  yet broader look at exactly what we want to achieve and how we're going to go about doing so.

       It's time to reevaluate your resolution.  Losing weight is a great and worthy goal; but in my personal opinion,  it is only one of many aspects of life that we need to be attentive to in order to progress in any area. We need to be healthy socially,  financially,  in our family life, and spiritually as well. Attempting to correct one area while disregarding any other is akin to fixing the kitchen sink when the well is the problem.

    So,  instead of resolving to lose weight,  I believe that the majority of us should instead resolve to "Live Well", or "Flourish". These particular wordings draw directly from Aristotle's writings on Eudaimonia, or "the state of having fulfilled your potential and living well". I find those to be very admirable goals that every one of us can continually strive for.  Furthermore,  the clients that i've seen achieve the greatest success are those who are determined not just to change their weight,  but to improve the overall quality of their entire life.

      In aspiration to better "Live Well", I challenge you to evaluate your negative habits in all aspects of your life,  and address them with positive progress in mind.  So yes,  get to the gym, and eat healthy! However, I suggest that we do so while we also build positive relationships,   nurture healthy financial habits, take extra time to really talk to a family member,  read,  pray,  meditate, sing,  paint,  whatever works for you!

     Every step in the right direction will further solidify your commitment and dedication, all while improving numerous aspects of your life. With this mindset,  it's my belief that you will set yourself up for a life filled with success,  both on and off of the scale. 

Flourish,  my friends!

-Daniel B

Cardio Rejuvenated

Cardio Rejuvenated - Calvin Lovig

There are plenty of times that I have been in the middle of a fitness related conversation, and the topic of cardio gets brought up.  With how often I see it get brought up, people know that it’s important, but don’t always know how to make it refreshingagain.  Below I will discuss some of my ways to break through the mundane drags of cardio.

When it comes to cardio, I will be the first to tell you that it’s not my favorite, but we all have to find a way to get it done.  So when it seems to get boring and you get unmotivated, try one of these and see how it works for you!


1) Mix Up the Music – No matter your music of choice for your workout routine, try and mix it up a few days a week.  Even if it’s something you’ve never heard or something you don’t normally listen to.  You may be surprised how much it effects your workout!

2) Don’t Be Scared to Try Something New – Whether you’re into running, biking, swimming, high intensity circuits, or any other type of cardio activity, try something different! There have been numerous times where I’ve really started to enjoy cardio again just from switching up what kind of cardio I do.

3) Run with a Partner – Taking someone with you on your next run can really give your run some life.  Or, if you usually run with people, go enjoy a solo run.  This isn’t something that needs to be done every time, but every now and again it can help push you to that next level.

4) Run at Different Times -  When nothing else seemed to work, I always decided to get up early the next day and run before I started my day for good.  That instant body shock from getting up that early and getting my heart rate up gave me an extra kick of adrenaline for a little while.  This really ended up reinvigorating my cardio sessions.  Same goes for if you’re usually a morning runner, try it in the afternoon, if possible!

Any of these four things could be the key to your next cardio session! Give any of these 4 tricks a try the next time you fall into a cardio slump.


Calvin Lovig - Fitness Specialist/Personal Trainer

Daniel B's Intro Post

It's that time of year again! Summer is just around the corner,  and most of us are attempting to shed the few extra pounds we acquired over the winter months. It's easy to resign yourself to promising you'll do it next week,  next month,  or even next year. Fittingly though,  spring is the perfect time to really focus on being proactive about your health and fitness goals!
        Examine your daily habits and find out what changes you can make.  For some people,  thirty minutes in the gym five days a week is an sustainable goal,  and that's phenomenal!  For others, walking with friends,  incorporating a multivitamin or fish oil supplement,  or eliminating an unhealthy habit could all be worthwhile changes. 
        The reality is,  whatever positive changes your current level of dedication can muster, now is the time to make it happen! Here's to a healthy and happy summer, everybody! Godspeed, and good luck!