Thursday, December 22, 2011

"The Evil Elf's Workout" 2011 Edition

It's That time of year again!  Time for "The 12 Days of Christmas" The Workout 2011 Edition.  This year after several clients have had the chance to experience this workout, GHF Personal Trainer, Michelle Adams came up with a new name for my annual workout..."The Evil Elf's Christmas Workout".  I love it!

This year I have all new exercises for you to experience.  But, as always, the workout plays out just like the song.  On the first day complete 1 repetition of the exercise, then on the second day complete 2 reps of the next exercise followed by the first day.  Then keep adding a rep to each new exercise followed by all the previous days.

Be sure you crank up the volume and enjoy!!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fast Food, convenience , and MONEY!!

Hey Everyone,
Here is a great article that I ran across the other day. The financial cost of fast food is one thing. Is it really that cheap? But, more importantly, what is the ultimate cost that we are paying for poor health. I have always viewed exercise and eating healthy as preventative medicine. People all to often will use the excuse that eating healthy is too expensive. Is it really? How much do those medical bills cost for all those diseases and ailments that are attributed to an unhealthy lifestyle of eating "cheap" processed food and not exercising enough? Enjoy the article below and decide for yourself what is more important: convenience or your health? 

Living Life with No Regrets!... No Excuses!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

1 Habit= Success

Create a Habit of Success

Every year about this time many Americans set out to achieve a “New Years Resolution.”  And by about mid February the harsh reality sets in that most people will not be successful in achieving those resolutions. “Thanks for positive outlook Scott!”  Facts are facts.  Industry statistics will show that retention numbers do not support the notion of success with New Years Resolutions.

Well, here is the good news.  I am not here to rub it in that most Americans will not be successful with their resolutions.  I am here to make you think of things in a different way so you WILL be successful with not only your New Years Resolutions, but with your life long lifestyle changes!

The problem is most people set these big, harry, audacious goals; we call them B-Hags. Not only do they not have a real defined plan on how to achieve those goals, but they try to make many changes at once, which makes their chances of success drop dramatically.  Think of it this way: have you ever tried to juggles tennis balls?  Go out and try this for the first time, but start with 5 tennis balls.  How many of those balls will you drop, and how long will it take you to drop them all?  It is the same thing when someone says, “I resolve to lose 30 pounds starting January 1.  And to do this I am going to lift more weights, eat better, do more cardio, pick up a recreational sport, stop eating desserts…” This might last for a very short time, but not many people can sustain this for an extended period of time.

The solution is to create habits that will support your goal and ultimately lead to long-term success! There is a great book by Leo Babauta titled, “The Power of Less.” In his book, Leo outlines a plan to create long lasting habits by focusing on ONE habit at a time for a specific time period.  Leo states some rules that if followed will make it very difficult for you to not form new habits in 30 days.
1.     Do only one habit at a time.
2.     Chose any easy goal/ habit
3.     Chose something measureable
4.     Be consistent
5.     Report daily
6.     Keep a positive attitude
So, rather than saying, “I resolve to lose 30 pounds starting January 1.  And to do this I am going to lift more weights, eat better, do more cardio, pick up a recreational sport, stop eating desserts…”  Try choosing one new habit that will support this goal.  Such as:
·      Add 1 additional exercise session per week
·      Eat breakfast every day
·      Add 1 more fruit and vegetable intake every day
·      Take 10 g of fish oil every day (per Dr. John Berardi)

Chose one of these habits and do it consistently for the next 2 weeks.  The book recommends doing this new habit for 30 days, but I usually tell my clients to just do it religiously for 2 weeks.  Once you have been successful with doing this new habit for 2 full weeks, then pick a new habit and do this for 2 weeks.  If you were not able to be consistent with this new habit every day for two weeks then you are not ready for a new habit.  Before you know it you will start to see and feel the results that you desire.  And most importantly these results will be sustainable for the long term because you got these results by forming 1 new habit at a time that are now a part of your daily life and routine.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

12 Secrets for Thanksgiving Day Success

Sir.....Step away from the Turkey leg!!

Well, another great year is quickly winding down.  Hopefully your year has been filled with many successes and continued improvement.

But, alas the year is not yet over!  We cannot let down our guard and watch 10 months of hard work and achievements go through our lips and down into our stomachs as the Holiday season approaches.  As I mentioned in the last newsletter, life is too short not enjoy the foods, family and friends during the holiday season.  Enjoy a little dessert if you want but, stay FOCUSED, stay DISCIPLINED, stay SMART and follow these tips in the article below to remain successful during the Holiday season.

Have a great Turkey Day and try to stay active.

1. Limit the gravy- Use a teaspoon instead of a ladle to serve the gravy.
2. Use smaller plates to help reduce portion size.
3. Bake pumpkin pies in small custard dishes without the crust.
4. Remove the skin from the turkey before serving.
5. Pack more vegetable in your stuffing, use less breading.
6. Don't serve any snacks or appetizers throughout the day.  If so, try a raw vegetable tray.
7. Drink 16 oz of water before you begin eating.
8. Use fresh steamed green beans instead of green bean casserole.  Throw some sliced almonds on top.
9. Bake your turkey, don't fry it. Frying is very popular these days, but adds many calories and fat.
10. Eat a light and healthy breakfast and lunch (depending on what time you eat). Do this so you don't go into your Thanksgiving Day meal starving!
11. Don’t drink your calories.  Watch the sugary and adult beverages.
12. Take a nice, long walk after dinner with your family and friends.

Living Life with no Regrets....... NO Excuses!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

F.I.T.E Club Workout- Leg Blaster!

Here is Fridays workout courtesy of the original BlastfoMe!

This is a partner workout.  Each on is done as descending pyramid as noted below.  While partner 1 works partner 2 rests.

  1. Weighted jumping jacks (20 reps-- decrease by 2 each round)
  2. Tuck Jumps (10 reps-- decrease by 1 each round)
  3. Dynamax Slams (20 reps-- decrease by 2 each round)
  4. Later step hop overs (20 jumps-- decrease by 2 each round)
  5. Power sit ups (20 reps-- decrease by 2 each round)
  6. burpees (10 reps-- decrease by 1 each round)
  7. jump rope 100 skips-- decrease by 10 each round)
  8. KB swing curls (20 reps-- decrease by 2 each round)
  9. Lateral hops (over small hurdle) (20 reps-- decrease by 2 each round)
  10. Pop Squats (20 reps-- decrease by 2 each round)

Living Life with NO REGRETS........NO EXCUSES!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dumbbell Complex

Hi Everyone,
Over the past couple of week I have been doing some testing with my clients.  Normal PFT (physical fitness test) including Vo2 max, 3 RM strength test, body composition, etc.  We have also been doing a timed work out to test overall work capacity.  Give this a try and then post your best time below.

** This circuit will be for 5 rounds.  First round complete 8 repetitions, 2nd = 10, 3rd= 12, 4th= 10, and the 5th round= 8 repetitions.  Try to pick a weight that will be challenging for the most difficult exercise below and use the same weight for all exercises.  The goal is to complete the circuit with as little rest as possible.

  1. DB alternating curl
  2. DB High pull
  3. DB Bent row
  4. DB Thrusters
  5. DB lunge
  6. DB plank row (renegade row)
  7. Ice Skaters
Scott        29:00
Jim           30:11
Sharen      32:45
Margaret   31:10
Dennis      27:14 (3 rounds)
Carla        24:22 (3 rounds)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Breakfast: The Second Bite

Hey Everyone,
Today I am re-posting an article by one of our Master Level personal trainers, Michelle Adams.  She tackles the subject of what you should eat for breakfast.  Many people ask me the question, "what is the best things to eat for breakfast", and I think this blog post answers a lot of those questions.

Enjoy the read, and if you would like to read more great blogs regarding the facts about nutrition check out her blog by clicking HERE.

Breakfast: The Second Bite

Let’s take a quick run through the main points I made about breakfast:
·      Eating high Glycemic index/load meals will trigger fat storage response in your body (exception post trained state)
·      Eating high Glycemic index/load breakfast will cause this to happen following your NEXT meal as well- REGARDLESS of its content
·      Start logging what you put in your mouth..especially for breakfast

So you have been logging your food intake, what did you find? Reaching for the boxed cereal and juice for breakfast? Maybe a breakfast bar, fast food drive through or maybe you are skipping it all together? For some reason breakfast is the most challenging meal for a great number of people.  I hear it all the time from my clients: “I don’t know what to eat for breakfast” or “what ELSE can I eat?” I have a hard time not sighing or laughing- especially when this comment comes from someone with whom I have had this conversation a million times previously.  Well, you can eat whatever you want to eat.  But let’s step back and look at why we are eating breakfast and what we are trying to accomplish, maybe that will help us to choose more wisely.

Merriam Webster defines breakfast as the first meal of the day especially when taken in the morning.  Simple enough, right? No rules about what foods MUST be present or ones that must NOT be present. Breakfast literally means to break the fast of night. No rules about what we are trying to accomplish other than that, so I suppose that part is up to us. Ok, so we have to eat something when we get up in order to put a stop to the time we have spent fasting (while sleeping).  If that is all you want to accomplish, then by all means eat whatever you’d like and stop reading right now.  If you would like to continue on your path with health and fitness then we are going to have to set out some other rules or stipulations and you please continue reading.

Reducing body fat (or simply limiting its accumulation), preserving lean tissue (muscle), stabilizing blood sugar levels, and providing energy are only a few of the things we can accomplish with the proper fueling from breakfast.  What will it take to for this to happen? Well, first we will need a protein source as well as some carbohydrates and most likely some fat as well.  Not just any sources of these will do. We want lean protein sources, low Glycemic index/load carbohydrates and healthy fats.  (If you have not read my blog post BREAKFAST What is Yours Doing to YOU? You may want to stop now and gain the knowledge behind these statements) Are there other rules? Not really.  If you get up and exercise first thing in the morning then this may change a little, but let’s start here.

So we could have egg whites, and oatmeal with some almonds and walnuts.  We could have a whey protein shake with some oats, or quinoa with and whole egg and egg whites. What if we had chicken and sweet potato? Whoa! That isn’t breakfast!
Funny, that is the very reaction I get from most people when I make that suggestion.  All very interesting to me as no one seems to have a problem with having steak for breakfast, in fact you can find that on just about every breakfast menu around but mention chicken and all bets are off.  Somehow breakfast is acceptable at any time of the day, but lunch (or dinner) is not considered acceptable for breakfast.  Who made THAT decision?? Remember, as long as it fits in with what we are trying to accomplish it is fair game.  The possibilities are endless, really.  Kind of like Mr. Potato head there are different items (foods) that can be mixed around and put in different places (including breakfast). 

A simple place to start is with a list of lean proteins, low Glycemic index/load carbohydrates and healthy fat sources.  Lean proteins may include: egg whites, plain Greek yogurt, chicken breast, fish, turkey breast, venison, buffalo, certain cuts of red meat and protein powders. Low Glycemic carbohydrates may include: old fashioned oats, yams, sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, black beans, kidney beans, as well as most fruits and vegetables. Healthy fats should be rich in Omega 3’s: wild salmon, halibut, tuna, almonds and walnuts are some common sources.  This is not meant to be an exhaustive list but rather the basics, staples in your food plan if you will. 

So let’s go back to the question of what to have for breakfast. This should be simple enough.  Remember Mr. Potato head and pick something from each list.  So you could come up with egg whites, old-fashioned oats and salmon, or you could have plain Greek yogurt, yams and halibut.  You are probably laughing, but there really isn’t a ‘wrong way’ to combine these foods.  You are laughing because I am challenging your sense of what breakfast is.  Let’s be honest though, chances are pretty good that your rendition of breakfast, the paradigm you subscribe to, hasn’t been doing you any favors.  Right? Boxed cereal, milk, banana and coffee with cream, hmmmm.  What have you got to lose by shifting your paradigm? Oh, that’s right, some body fat.

Wait, stop right there.  I can hear what you are thinking.  You want more variety, right?  I hear it all the time from clients and people in general.  What is this all about?  Variety huh? Do me this favor.  Think about your job, whatever it is you do each day.  What is the end result? Exactly what is it that you are trying to accomplish? Got that? Ok, now tell me how many different ways you can get that done.  Probably not too many, right?  Sure there may be a few, but definitely not thousands of different ways.  What if I told you that there are only a limited number of foods that will help you to reach your goal and that eating foods other than that will NOT get you the results you are looking for.  Do you still want that variety? Is having so much to choose from a good thing?  I can name thousands of different things (read: variety) found in the Breakfast Foods isle in your local grocery store that I would not even THINK about having for breakfast. They definitely won’t get the job done.  Remember what you are trying to accomplish- health and fitness.  This is NOT an exercise to see how many different foods you can eat.

Merriam Webster defines variety as: the quality or state of having different forms or types. Ok, so different forms or types.  So chicken breast could be chicken breast, ground chicken breast, chicken breast burger, baked chicken breast, grilled chicken breast, broiled chicken breast, or boiled chicken breast. Italian seasoned chicken breast, chicken breast with mustard, garlic chicken breast, salt and pepper chicken breast or chicken breast with cinnamon. Wow, look at THAT variety!

Have you ever heard of the book by Dr. Wayne Dyer Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life? Yes, it even applies to your thoughts about food..especially breakfast.  Start now; redefine what breakfast is and what it is comprised of.  I promise you will NOT be disappointed!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Do Work"- "Manual Labor" Day Style

Good morning everyone and day happy day after Labor Day.

Today we did some major work, Labor Day style. The gym was packet and it was great to see so many people working out on their day off. As I told my client Sharen, "fat never takes a day off", why should we! I dubbed today's workout the "Manual Labor" day workout.

This was a 6 exercise circuit that we did each exercise for 60 seconds followed by a 15 second rest. Then repeated the entire circuit 3-4 times.

Warm Up:
We started the workout with some self myofascial release on a foam roll then did 1000 meters on the rowing machine.

1. Dynamax Tall box lifts ( placed 2 plyo boxes on top of each other at about 60 inches, then lifted to ball from the ground to the top of the box, repeat till time is up)
2. Sledge hammer lunge chops(change legs after 30 seconds)
3. Dynamax bucket toss (change sides after 30 seconds)
4. Kettle Bell dead lifts
5. Tube metabolic back (20 rows, 20 alternating rows, 20 swimmers. Keep repeating till time is up)
6. Partner rope pulls (heavy rope attached to water filled kick boxing bag. Pull 20 yards to partner then keep repeating till time is up)

Have fun with this one! and remember to......

Train for Life!

Friday, September 2, 2011

TRX 40-40 Challenge: F.I.T.E Club Crew

WOW! it has been a long time since I put a post up. I apologize for the long delay between post. Things are finally starting to settle down with my new role at the gym, traveling to seminars, and basic family life.

So, today I will keep it short and sweet with a little video from a recent F.I.T.E Club workout. I hope you enjoy!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Get RESULTS in only 32 minutes of exercise per week?

Hi Everyone,
This is an interesting article that I ran across recently from Dr. John Berardi from Precision Nutrition.

This article discusses a minimalistic approach to exercise. This might be good for those of you that have so many things going on in your life and don't have time to exercise or for those of you that just don't like to exercise.

It is a pretty interesting article, I hope you enjoy it.

Train for Life

Two Experiments In Exercise Minimalism

by John M Berardi, July 20th, 2011.
Summary: Most people assume that getting in shape – or staying in shape – requires hours of weekly exercise and rigid meal planning. Not true. Minimalistic exercise plans and flexible nutritional guidelines can work equally well – sometimes better – as these Precision Nutrition experiments demonstrate.

8 hours and 32 minutes.

That’s how much time Marsha spent in the gym… over the last 4 months.

Do the math. That’s only 32 minutes… per week.

What’s the deal? Is this Marsha person lazy?


She works 2 jobs, runs a Girl Guides group (Girl Scouts, for you Americans), and plays co-ed volleyball a few nights per week. Oh yeah, and she’s planning a wedding.

No, she’s not lazy at all. She’s a hard-working, busy, social, fun woman.

Is Marsha recovering from some kind of injury?


She’s as healthy as can be. And she could technically work out 8 hours a week… if she wanted. But she doesn’t want. Her goal is to get leaner than she’s ever been — while still having a life — with as little exercise as possible.

Leaner than she’s ever been? On 32 minutes a week? She must be crazy!

No, not at all.

In fact, if anyone’s crazy it’s me. Because I’m the one who recommended this program to her. She actually asked for more exercise. But I capped her at 4 workouts per week and 32 minutes.

The workouts looked like this:


Friday, June 24, 2011

F.I.T.E Club Workout!!

Well, Robin and her summer travel schedule are in full swing so she handed off the FITE club to me again this morning.

We had a pretty good turnout, but it could have been better if I would have sent a text like we usually do. Sorry Adam, Meghan, and Kristen. But at least I saw you guys working hard on your own, good job!! Christie was sick this week , so hopefully she feels better and we get her back next week.

On to the workout:

This is a timed workout. You will start the timer at the beginning, perform the below circuit 3 times through. Be sure you record your 1/4 mile interval time each round, and then record your total workout time at the end.

You want to beat your own 1/4 time each time.

1. Kettle Bell or DB double clean to press 10X
a. BOSU Slide board mountain climbers 20X
b. BOSU Plank hold 20 sec.

2. KB or DB lunge variation 10 each leg
a. BOSU Slide board mountain climbers 20X
b. BOSU Plank hold 20 sec.

3. KB or DB Renegade Row 10 each arm
a. BOSU Slide board mountain climbers 20X
b. BOSU Plank hold 20 sec.

4. KB/ DB Turkish Get ups 3 each side
a. BOSU Slide board mountain climbers 20X
b. BOSU Plank hold 20 sec.

5. KB/ DB Lateral lunge to lateral raise 10 each side
a. BOSU Slide board mountain climbers 20X
b. BOSU Plank hold 20 sec.

6. 1/4 mile interval (run, bike, or row)

1/4 mile times:
M. (run) 1) 2:08 2) 2:04 3) 1:54
D. (run) 1) 2:07 2) 2:03 3) 2:02
H. (run) 1) ? 2) 1:59 3) 1:55
S. (run) 1) 1:45 2) 1:40 3) 1:33
J. (row) 1) 2:20 2) 2:15 3) 2;15
M. (run)

Total time:
S. 37:58
D. 38:03
M. 38:05
H. 39:17
J. ~40

Finisher: (we didn't have time for the complete finisher, so we just did the farmers carries
F1. Team Farmers Carry relay
F2. Team heavy bag rope pull then push

Hope you all enjoy it.

Train For Life!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Building the Best!

Hi Everyone,
I love this time of year! We have begun the planning for our annual Staff Retreat. I look forward to planning this event every year, and every year it is a little different. But, one thing is always the same. This event is about rewarding exceptional work, having a great time, and most importantly growing as a team and supporting each other.

For the third year in a row now I am planning another "Amazing Race" themed Road Rally which will lead the trainers to the "Secret" retreat location. This is a great way to start the day. The trainers will make 3 or 4 stops along the way to complete different challenges that will be both mentally and physically challenging. Also, this year we are doing things a little differently by having the trainers create and lead the team building activities.

Over the years I have used these books to help lead the trainers through various team building activities.

I will keep you updated when the big day arrives.

Train For Life!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Refuse to Fail"

Hey Everyone,
If you follow my blog, you will know that I often like to share content with you from someone I respect very much in the fitness industry. So, here is another great article form Todd Durkin. I think he speaks for all of us in the fitness industry with this article.....listen up!

Train for Life!

"Refuse to Fail"

Just two weeks ago, someone asked me (for the umpteenth time) if I ever get mad. I responded to the question in my opening letter for our Fitness Quest 10 Insider telling about a particularly chaotic evening when our three young children clearly outnumbered me, and my wife, Melanie. I was totally frustrated that night. But in hindsight, it was nothing compared to how I felt on a recent flight between Providence, RI and Tampa, FL where I was headed to participate in an Under Armour Combine360 event.

Before I tell you what happened on the flight, I need to be clear about a few things. Every fitness professional works with people of all shapes and sizes. I have clients who are some of the strongest and most fit men and women I've ever known. And on the other hand, my team and I work with a number of individuals who struggle with their weight. I've had clients at Fitness Quest 10 who were a hundred pounds or more over weight. These brave individuals fight everyday to break bad habits and replace them with healthy, life-altering choices - chief of which is the choice to get their you-know-what into the gym three or more times a week. I couldn't admire them more and I thank God they are on a path toward health and wellness.

Here's my story. On Sunday, I was seated on the plane next to an obese 30-something year old young woman. She was at least 150 lbs overweight and practically took up two seats. In the course of our two-hour flight, she consumed one can of Mountain Dew, one can of Diet Coke, one full-size can of Pringles, and a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. But who's counting?

I sat and wondered, "Is this really happening right in front of me?" The woman's headphones, in place for the entire flight, sent a clear message about any potential conversation between us. So I sat wondering about her particular story and the stories of so many others who are obese. I've heard a lot of stories and I've heard a lot of excuses: thyroid, hormones, medication, bad parenting, poor role models, stress, depression, poverty... the list goes on. I'm not sure why, but Sunday felt like the "last straw" for me. Even though this woman and I never spoke, I left the plane with a new sense of clarity and resolve... I'm done with excuses.

Right here, right now, I'm calling it like I see it. For adults, no matter where or why a weight problem starts, it ends in the same place. My friends, you've got to have the willpower to make good choices. We are a nation addicted to food. And most of it is junk. No one force-feeds you. No one stops you from buying fruits and vegetables and lean protein. No one chains you to the couch. No one bars you from your neighborhood gym or stops you at the door when you want to take a walk. There is no one to blame but the guy or gal in the mirror. We are suffering from an epidemic of bad choices and I've had enough. Do you or do you not have the will power?

More than ever before, we are well informed about exercise, nutrition and health. Yet, despite this increased awareness, the incidence of disease linked to poor lifestyle is on a rampant rise. Our waistlines continue to expand and our health continues to deteriorate. I have to own this. Each one of us has to own this.

Once home, I contacted my friend Thomas Plummer, a respected fitness industry professional and author of numerous industry books, for some quick facts. With Thomas' help and a little Internet research ( and, I've got some eye-opening stats:

* Approximately 72.5 million adults in the United States are obese
* Obese adults are at increased risk for coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and premature death
* Childhood obesity more than tripled in the past 30 years
* Obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008
* Obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1% in 2008
* 16% of the American population belongs to a health club
* Of that 16%, only 10% exercise 1 or more times per week
* Less than 2% of the overall population of the US exercises regularly (3 times per week or more)

Read the facts or just look around - you can see the problem for yourself. Pay attention this summer when you visit any theme park, county fair, airport or restaurant with super sized portions. I sat on that flight this past Sunday and watched a real-time demonstration of this epidemic of bad choices. I took it personally. I felt like I'm failing in my life's work. Folks, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Enough is enough. I'm taking action right now, and I'm going to need your help. Together, we can form a groundswell and create "MASSIVE ACTION" to fight this epidemic. Here's how:

Step One is YOU. I want to hear how YOU are going to GET SERIOUS with your own health, fitness, and conditioning. What are you going to commit to doing? What areas of your life are you going to GET SERIOUS about? And you do NOT have to be obese or overweight to step up your game!

Step Two. Then, I want to know how you will share this with others. Will you invite a friend on a walk or a run? Maybe a trip to the gym to join you for a workout? Hire a coach? Will you step up and be a role model in your own family for planning, shopping for and cooking healthy meals? Will you be brave enough to clean out the frig and pantry? Will you be a leader and toss out all that junk? That would be IMPACT!

I can't do it alone. Together, we can make a real difference. Together, we can create "MASSIVE ACTION" toward change. Together, we must 'Refuse to Fail.' I really do want to know what you will do. So, make your plan, write it down and share it with me. Reach out - Tweet me, Facebook me and tell me. If we are going to create MASSIVE ACTION, we need to work together. The time is NOW!

Peace & love,

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide. He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele. Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes, including 2010 Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP Drew Brees. He is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council, serves on the Gatorade G-Fit Team, and is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit. He is a two-time Trainer of the Year (IDEA & ACE). Additionally, Todd provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide.

Men's Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US. Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post. Todd has authored 35 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.

His new book, The IMPACT! Body Plan, which debuted in September 2010 and is a 10 Week program designed to create world-class fitness and life performance. You can sign up for Todd's FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the TD TIMES, at or

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Home is Where the Health Is

Hey Everyone,
I ran across this article today written by Brett Klika, from Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, Ca. Please read it and share it with your friends who have kids.

Train For Life!

Home is Where the Health Is

Brett Klika C.S.C.S.

Our youth are getting fat and unhealthy. You can beat the stats to death, but the consensus is that in less than 20 years, 1 out of 3 American children will be obese. Not just a little baby fat, clinically obese. Along with this condition comes multiple health risks such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Quite frankly, this is probably not the first time you have heard these stats. It certainly isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned them. So what are we going to do about it? We can point fingers and wait until big money, politics, litigation, and Brad and Angelina catch up with this epidemic, or we can start a grass-roots, house to house battle. A “revolution” if you will.

This revolution must start inside the 4 walls of each individual home. Yes, that means yours! What’s your child doing right now? What are they eating? What’s in your cupboard? What’s for dinner? What did they have for breakfast? We have to stop the blame game. It’s not Microsoft’s fault you bought your kid an Xbox and allow them to play it all the time. It’s not the cable company or Sony’s fault that your child has a television in their room and watches it around the clock. It’s not McDonald’s fault that you repeatedly drive your family there to eat frankenfood because you’re “busy.” It’s not Kraft’s fault that you continually buy and stock your cupboards with their over-processed low food-value products. As a society, we actually demand all of the above. These companies merely provide a supply for that demand. It’s called capitalism. If you want to create change, we need to quit blaming the supply and start looking at the demand.

In our free country, demand is primarily a product of choice. The process of how we arrive at our choices is influenced by many things. For example, if I offered you either an apple or a doughnut you would definitely know which one is a healthier, more beneficial choice. Which do you chose though? Why? How many other people make your same choice? Why? This applies to the health of our youth. Our youth are a product of their environment. This environment affects how they make decisions. In their highly influential early years, children learn daily life habits from home. If “food” is attained by driving through a fast-food restaurant, or “free time” is lying around watching television, these concepts will follow them throughout their lives. Think about how you position health in your house. Do your kids see you exercise just to “lose weight?” Do you eat unprocessed “gross, plain health food” just because you’re on a diet? Kids pick up on these concepts. Exercising and eating healthy foods becomes viewed as punishment for eating yummy food and having free time. Kids aren’t going to embrace punishment as a lifestyle. This thought process effects how they make daily health-related choices.

Daily activity and good nutrition should be part of your family’s lifestyle. I’m talking about enjoying physical activity, playing with your kids, going on bike rides, walks, etc. I’m talking about sitting down and eating real food as a family. However, make sure that when you do get prepared food, you enjoy it, but you help your kids understand that it isn’t real food. In this way, they start to form positive attitudes towards exercise and eating right. They become bored with their friends who sit around all day, because being inactive isn’t what they have learned is fun. They see their friends eat mountains of crap every day (and while they do enjoy this stuff from time to time), they realize that it isn’t food. As children get older, they start to form more advanced concepts as to how their activity and diet either positively or negatively effect how they look, feel, and perform. They make their choices and create consumer demand appropriately.

Creating a household that nourishes a healthy lifestyle requires the resources of time, energy, and commitment. Plugging your kids into technology is much easier than encouraging them to go outside. Picking up dinner at a restaurant is quite a bit easier than cooking. Unprocessed food takes time to prepare, and can be more expensive. Participating in daily physical activity can be tiring. In most households, we chose to allocate resources for the things we deem the most important. That being said, the issue of creating a healthy lifestyle becomes primarily a “value” proposition for most. How important is it to you that your child does not battle with their health for the rest of their lives? How important is it to you that you are not contributing to the disturbing youth health statistics? How important is your own health? These decisions begin at home and eventually affect the masses.

Positive change is created when strong, smart people start doing the right thing. Eventually, weak and ignorant people are forced to get on board by litigation or legislation, and they absent-mindedly reap the benefits. Be strong and create a household that facilitates a healthy lifestyle for you and your kids. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Heath for our kids starts at home. Let’s commit to nurturing our kids into happy, healthy, pain-free adults.

Coach Brett Klika is the Director of Athletic Performance at Todd Durkin’s Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA. He specializes in youth fitness and athletic performance, overseeing a staff of 8 strength coaches developing programs for over 300 youth per week, both athletes and non-athletes. In addition to coaching, Brett currently authors for a variety of publications, produces DVD’s on fitness and athletic performance and presents around the world on topics in fitness, wellness, and sports performance. Brett can be reached at //

Friday, June 3, 2011

FITE Club Workout #2

Good Morning Everyone,
Another Friday and another awesome FITE Club workout completed! I have to admit, I really wasn't looking forward to the workout this morning. Combine an extremely busy week with very little sleep and that equals no motivation to get up early and train...... I know, I know..... preaching to the choir, right. We all have weeks like this, maybe every week for some of us? But, the good news is I didn't want to let the down the FITE Club crew so I designed today's program, manned up and and stuck to my commitment. These are the days you will feel most proud of after you complete your training. And I can tell you that I feel amazing after this workout!!

So, push through those barriers and road blocks, make a commitment to get better at something and stick to it!!

Enjoy today's workout.

Rule #2 of FITE Club: Maximum Effort Only at FITE Club!

** Each station is 8 min running clock. Complete as many rounds as possible in 8 min. 90 seconds between rounds.**

*Dynamic Warm-up
*Station 1
KB Snatch 10x
Lateral hop(small hurdle) 10x
Cable Rotation 10x

*Station 2
Scissor step ups 10x
TRX Row 15x
Dynamax Squat Slams 15x

*Station 3
Wall Ball 12x
Post. cross behind Lunge 10x
Band Rotation 20x

*Station 4
Jump jax w. weight 15x
KB Swing curl 15x
Jump Rope 50 skips

Stability Ball Russian twist w/ MB 15x
Stability Ball kneeling roll outs 15x

Train For Life!

Friday, May 27, 2011

F.I.T.E Club Workout

Aloha Everyone!
I just completed our FITE Club Workout and I feel amazing!! Early morning workouts are definitely "my" time. After a hard workout, shower, and a protein coffee it is amazing how much energy I have!! Have you determined the best time for you to work out yet? If you haven't, you need to experiment with your times. A workout after a long day of work is not always the best time. You might not be a "morning" person, but I encourage you to try different times. You will know almost immediately after your workout if that is "your" time. You will feel powerful, energized, and invigorated!!

Have your guys heard about the FITE Club yet? It stands for Friday Interval Training Experience. This is a early morning Friday workout that Robin Zukowski started months ago. As we speak, Robin is on her way to Hawaii with the girls to sip on Umbrella drinks and enjoy the sun, so she asked me to lead the group.

Rule #1 of FITE Club: Tell everyone about the FITE Club!!!

So here was our workout today:

*Dynamic Warm up
*Strength: 50-10-5 (50 sec. work followed by 10 sec. rest, 5 exercises), 4 rounds
1. Dumbbell curl to overhead press
2. Kettle Bell Goblet Squat(picture below)
3. Cable machine single arm row
4. Lunge with Medicine ball chop
5. TRX power pull (see picture above)

Sprint Interval: 3 rounds
1. 1/4 mile sprint on treadmill, bike, or rower (record time each round)
2. Lumber jack lift to press (picture at top)
3. Stability Ball cobra with weight
4. Stability ball plank with reach.

Sprint Times:

Adam: Run

Scott: Run

Jim: Row
2:12 (500)

Everyone did awesome and had fun. See you next week!!
Train For Life!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hey Everyone,
Try this to improve your upper body posture and core control.

Train for Life!

Kettle Bell Romanian Dead Llift

Hey Everyone,
Here is a great exercise that will wake up your posterior chain!!

Give it a try and enjoy

Train for Life!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Take heavy Sh** and lift it over your head!!"

Hey Everyone, You never know what tomorrow holds... I am definitely a schedule guy. I like to know what I am doing and when I am doing it well before I actually do it. These past two weeks has been a great test for me to see how well I can manage off of my normal schedule? We all have unexpected challenges that occur throughout our lives and how you handle those challenges, I believe, comes from preparation and planning. Over the past couple of weeks I have had to mix in unexpected travel with expected travel, while rescheduling and juggling my client load to help accommodate my wife's travel schedule. As is life as a dad, husband, and a fitness professional. I know that I am preaching to the choir, but despite all the craziness in my schedule I have been able to eat well (healthy), and stay consistent with my workouts. All thanks to proper planning and execution. Here are a couple of workouts and tips I have heard and done over the past week. Tip #1: The secret to fitness results"Take heavy shit and lift it over your head" Thomas Plummer..... sounds pretty simple Tip #2: "The 5,4,3,2,1, rule" Brett Klika (Fitness Quest 10) 5- Have 5 small meals a day. 4- Have a least 4 pints of water per day (more if you are an athlete) 3- eat every 3 hours. 2- Look at the ingredients in your food. There should be no more than 2 ingredients. 1-? I didn't hear them say a #1, so I will throw in my own, have at least 1 serving of fish oil per day(serving size will vary per person) Workout #1 -Dynamic Warm-up, 10-12 min. -Core Series Stability Ball Plank, 45 sec. Side Plank, 20 sec. each side TRX resisted rotation -Strength Kettle Bell Swing, pick a weight, 30 sec. TRX Atomic Push-ups, 30 sec. Kettle Bell swing curl, 30 sec. Kettle Bell goblet squat, pick a weight, 30 sec. (complete the 4 exercises above as a circuit. 45 seconds rest between sets. Complete 4- 5 sets.) -Finisher(metabolic) Val slide mountain climbers, 30 sec. Plate pushes, 30 meters Rope whips, 30 seconds Dynamax slam squats, 30 seconds. (complete the above as a circuit, 2-3 times.) Workout #2 -Dynamic Warm-up -Core Series Medicine Ball S2S(side to side) slams, 20 reps Stability ball kneeling role outs, 15 reps Reverse crunches -Strength Split squats(back foot on bench), pick a weight, 15 reps each side, 3 sets Push-up variations, to fatigue, 3 sets Kettle Bell single arm snatch, pick a weight, 15 reps each side, 3 sets Kettle Bell renegade row (plank row), 8 reps each arm, 3 sets -Finisher Burpees broad jumps, 10 reps Medicine ball toe taps, 30 taps Sky divers, 15 reps (complete the above as a circuit, 2-3 times.) Train For Life! Scott

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Urban Legends of Fitness- The Fat Burning Zone

Hey Everyone,
This post is for all you treadmill walkers that think you are burning copious amounts of fat while strolling leisurely on the treadmill in the "Fat Burning Zone".

Mike Boyle
does a great job in this article explaining how you can be much more successful in your fat loss endeavors. Read Below.

Living Life with NO Excuses.......No Regrets!!

Is there a fat burning zone and Does it matter?

If you’ve been reading this blog on a consistent basis you
probably already know where I’m going with this one.

You guessed it. The Fat Burning Zone is another of the urban
legends of fitness.

Does anyone think that when they are in the so-called fat
burning zone that stored bodyfat melts off them like butter?

A little reality therapy is in order. The Fat Burning Zone is
a big fat lie. Here’s the truth.

1- The “fat burning zone” supposedly describes a level of
exercise that results in a larger number of the calories
burned during exercise being derived from fat. This does
not mean that stored bodyfat is the selective source. It only
describes the relative percentage of utilization of three
substrates, fat, carbohydrate and protein.

2- The fat burning zone actually describes what percentage of
calories burned are derived from fat as an energy source.

Do you know when you are burning the most calories from fat? Sorry.
The highest percentage of fat utilization is at rest. The more
intense the exercise becomes, the more carbohydrate is used as
a source.

Guess what. It doesn’t matter. The reality is that it’s about
the number of calories burned, not the number of those calories
that come from fat as a source. If the fat burning zone idea
actually worked we could get extremely lean by simply sitting still.

Guess again. That doesn’t work, does it.

Confused, let’s use a mathematical example.

Lets assume that we have two identical exercisers who are going to
exercise for twenty minutes. Exerciser one is doing a slow walk to
stay “in the fat burning zone”. Exerciser two is going to run hard
for twenty minutes. To keep the example simple we will assume that
exerciser one will derive forty percent of his or her calories from
fat. Exerciser two will move out of the fat burning zone and only
derive 20 percent of his or her calories from fat.

Exerciser one will walk at 3 miles per hour and will cover one
mile in twenty minutes. This will result in a caloric expenditure
of 100 calories with 40 calories coming from fat.

Exerciser two will run at 7.5 miles per hour and will cover 2.5
miles in twenty minutes. This will result in a caloric expenditure
of 250 calories with 50 calories coming from fat.

Hmm, seems interesting. The exerciser in the “fat burning zone”
burned less calories and less calories from fat in the same amount
of time? The exerciser working harder and leaving the fat burning
zone burned 2.5 times as many calories and, 10 more calories from fat.

I rest my case. Figures lie and liars figure. Stop worrying about
burning fat and start worrying about working harder

Yours in strength,

Mike Boyle

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Training Log- Wed. 3/30/2011: Pushing Strength

Workout of the Day: Wednesday 3/30/2011

Training Focus:
Pushing Strength

Power Plate movement prep.
Shoulder mobility
Active chest swings


A. Overhead squats, 10x
3 sets

B1. Dumbbell incline chest press, 10x
B2. Concept Row, 300 meters fast as possible
3 sets

C1. Machine Chest Fly, 10x
C2. Machine Post fly(rear delts), 10x
3 sets

D. Dumbbell triceps overhead press, 10x
3 sets

E1. Ab wheel roll-outs, 10x
E2. Pilates stuff w/ body bar, 10x

Although the focus of today's workout was pushing strength, I had to include a "big bang" exercise with the overhead squat. Then I was feeling like I needed a little additional core work at the end.
Enjoy, good luck, and train hard!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Power Book List.... Business Edition!

Hey Everyone,
I just got back from the IHRSA convention in San Fransisco. As always, it was a great experience. I had the opportunity to listen to many successful business leaders both inside and outside of our industry including: Daniel Pink, Patrick Lencioni. and my favorite of the week was Zappos Ceo, Tony Hsieh.

Their presentations inspired me to continue to grow as a leader. So, today I wanted help inspire you to grow by sharing a list of some of my favorite books on leadership and business. These are great books that can help you grow regardless of your position or title. Whether you are a owner, CEO, manager, employee, a student, or a parent, we all have room to grow and these books have helped millions of people do just that.

The One Minute Manager. Kenneth Blanchard, and Spencer Johnson
Good To Great. Jim Collins
The E Myth. Michael Gerber
Jack Welch and The 4E's of Leadership. Jeffrey A. Krames
Leadership. Rudolph W. Giullani

Currently Reading......
How to Win Customers & Keep them for Life. Michael LeBoeuf
Delivering Happiness. Tony Hsieh

Future Reading.....
Drive, The Surprising Truth about what Motivates us. Daniel Pink
Tribal Leadership

I hope you enjoy growing and getting better with these books like I have. In a future blog I will provide a list of fitness, exercise, and sports medicine books to peak your interest and help you grow physically as well as mentally.

Living Life with no Regrets....... No Excuses!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

MTS of The Week- 10 Minutes of Fun!!

Hey Everyone,
I am re-posting a blog from a close friend and coworker, Robin Zukowski. I helped her design this workout for her Friday Funday workout group. It is brutal!!... Have Fun!

Scooter's 10 minutes of fun workout!
Today's workout almost got me. It starts off with you thinking, "ok, I think I can do this" and ends with, "man, I am not sure I can do this...". But, we all finished in a little less than an hour. You start with 4 stations. Each station has 2 people and for the most part 2 exercises. You and your partner switch back and forth between the 2 exercises for 10 minutes with NO REST. After your 10 minutes of work, rest 2 minutes and move to the next station. It is 40 minutes of total work. This is what we did:

station 1)
partner dynamax slam followed by a burpee with push-up
(slam the 16-20lb ball to the ground and immediately do a burpee with a push-up. meanwhile, your partner slams the ball and does a burpee with a push-up. rotate between you and your partner for the entire 10 minutes).

station 2)
10 dumbbell step ups (20-40lb) on each leg
rotate with hold a water filled stability ball, a.k.a. "slosh ball" overhead until your partner is done with step ups. then switch back and forth for 10 minutes.

station 3)
20 rope slams
until your partner is done.
switch for 10 minutes, no rest.

station 4)
10 box jumps
kneeling up downs
until your partner is done with box jumps.
(to do a kneeling up down, start in a squat position, lower your right leg to the floor followed by the left so that you in up in a kneeling position. then bring the right foot followed by the left food back in front of you so that you are back in a low squat position. repeat, alternating which leg goes down first).

Saturday, February 26, 2011

MTS of The Week: 45-15-5 Circuit

Hi Everyone,
Here is a great circuit for you to try. Each exercise is done for 45 seconds, followed by a 15 second rest/ transition to the next exercise. There are a total of 5 exercises in the circuit. Complete 3 total rounds.

1. TRX single leg squat
2. Dumbbell plank row
3. Dumbbell bicep curl to overhead press
4. Push ups
5. Tuck jumps
Bonus exercise. After the each circuit is complete jump on the concept row, 300 meters as fast as possible.

Living life with No Excuses..................No Regrets!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Is doing Abs a waste of time?

Good Morning Everyone,
Well, one day until the 5 Points of Life Marathon Relay that I have been training for. My team "Out For Blood" is ready to roll!!

I was reading a article by Mike Boyle the other day that I wanted to share with you today. This article is about the #1 questions that we are asked as fitness professionals. "What is the best exercises I can do to get that 6 pack?" I can't tell you how many times I am asked this in the course of a week, and I am always happy to answer. And my answer sounds pretty much exactly like Mikes' response. So, rather that recreate the wheel, I figured I would just re-post his article. I hope you enjoy!

Living life with no Regrets......No Excuses!!

"Is doing Abs a Waste of Time"

I can’t even tell you how often I hear someone at the end of
the workout say something like “I need to do more abs, I
want to get a six-pack.”

The truth is that passing on a six-pack is a better way to
get a six-pack than six hundred sit-ups. The key to abdominal
definition is the visibility of the abdominal musculature, not the
strength of the muscles.

You can do one million sit-ups, crunches or whatever
exercise you want and it will have no effect on abdominal

When people ask me the best exercise for abs I tell them
table push-aways.

It usually takes a few minutes for them to get it. It’s not a
joke, it’s the truth. If you want better abs, eat less and train
more but, don’t just train your abs.

The idea of working abs to get abs is one of the oldest
misconceptions in training. This goes back to the old idea
of spot reduction. Spot reduction has never and will never
work. The research has been done over and over and the
answer is always the same.

You can’t decrease the fat layer on a particular area by
working that area. That means that the guys doing sit-ups to
lose abdominal fat and the lady sitting on the adductor
(inner thigh) machine are both wasting their time.

Good total body work is, was, and always will be the key to
fat loss.

Want better abdominal definition?

Finish every workout with some hard interval training
instead of extra sit-ups or crunches. Interval training or
what is currently called High Intensity Interval Training
(abbreviated HIIT) is the real key to fat loss and the resulting

Interval training burns more calories than steady state aerobic
training and because it is s sprint program you get a sprinters

Abdominal training may potentially reduce the diameter of
the waistline but, will very little to reduce bodyfat.

The truth is there are lots of good reasons to do abdominal
work or core training as we now like to call it. A strong core
(strong abs) is one of the keys in the prevention of back pain.
A strong core will help you look better and improve performance
in a host of sports but, sit-ups or any other abdominal exercise
will not reduce bodyfat. The fact of the matter is that crunches
will lead to back pain long before they lead to visual abs.

Another good tip.

Don’t do crunches. A good abdominal or core program is
a lot more than crunches. Most of your core work should be
isometric exercises like front planks and side planks or carries
like Suitcase carries.

One of the major functions of the core musculature is the
prevention of motion.

What does that mean? It means that the abdominals are
great stabilizers. Work on the stability function, not on
flexion and extension.


Mike Boyle

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Parents can end childhood obesity..... lead by example!

Hi Everyone,
As a parent we all like to brag and share stories about our kids. And I am no different.

My son Jacob did something yesterday that thoroughly impressed me. Not only as a parent, but more importantly, as a fitness professional.

My son has always been into sports (definitely my son!) But up until recently I did not think he shared the competitive spirit that I overflow with. Sunday he had try outs for flag football. The tryouts consisted of about 6 stations of drills which consisted of: Zig zag pattern run for time, 30 yard dash for time, shuttle run for time, football catch for repetition, football throw for accuracy (through a hula hoop), and football throw for distance. He did very good at just about everything except the football throws. The ball he had to use is bigger than the one he has at home so he had trouble gripping the ball.

So, on Monday on the way home from school all Jacob could talk about is getting home to practice football. And he insisted that we use my regulation size football so "I can throw better when I use the junior size football". Ok, sounded good but I know he would never be able to grip a NFL size football so I picked him up a "junior" sized one to practice with. Then for the next hour or so we practiced throwing and catching as he played the role of coach.

Last Saturday I went through a FYSA "F" level soccer coaching course. I learned a lot of great information and drills to coach kids 12 and under, and I was also very humbled with how out of "soccer shape" I was. Jacob was very intrigued to hear what I had done, and what I had learned. So, Wednesday on our way home from school Jacob insisted on me teaching him all that I had learned.

So, we spent the afternoon running through all the drills I had learned at the coaches clinic.

Later that night as a am tending to baby Reese and making dinner I heard some running coming from the hall way in front of Jacobs bedroom. As I walked over there I was surprised to see Jacob in full football pads running shuttle drills in the hall way, then running in to his room to attempt pull ups from his bunk bed followed by push ups!!

Dats my boy!! What makes me the most proud is that all this was his idea. I didn't have to ask him to practice or anything.

One of the most important lessons I have learned as a parent is to lead by example. Now this can be good or bad based on the lifestyle you live. Fitness and living a healthy lifestyle is my life and I always make a point to do some form of exercise in front of Jacob so that he can see that exercise can be fun. And in turn he wants to participate and have fun too!!

Give your kids the best gift you can give them by being a good role model for them. Kids will forever try to be like their mom or dad, sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously. It is our jobs to set a good example. Turn the TV off, put the computer down get outside and have fun!!

Living Life with no Regrets.......No Excuses!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The CJ Story: Making Exercise Fun, Effective, and Educational.

This is a true story about CJ that literally wrote itself perfectly during our training session the other day.

It is important to me that I make exercise as fun as possible. Bottom line is, most people do not enjoy exercise. So, I need to find a way to make it fun for each and every person that I work with.

My client CJ loves to shoot hoops(basketball). We begin each training session with the same routine, we go down to the basketball court and begin with a dynamic movement based warm up follow by a couple games of HORSE. CJ loves basketball and would be happy if all we did was just shoot hoops. But, if you know me, I like to do things a little differently. It would bore me silly if we just played HORSE everyday. I also feel that if we are going to be down here just "shooting hoops" I have to make it worth our while by making it motivating, inspirational, or at the least educational. So, it is may challenge each day to find words that will motivate, inspire or pick words that have a meaning or lessen behind them to play HORSE to. We have gone through many words and themes such as, discipline, strength, power, achieve, believe, you pretty much name the motivational word, phrase or theme and we have played HORSE to it.

.....We have been doing a little project with our Team Leaders over the past couple of months called "Keep, Start, Stop". Where each week we chose a team leader to "roast", and tell them a couple of things they should keep doing, things they should start doing, and things they should stop doing. It has been a great project because it really allows for your peers to give you some great feedback to things that you are doing well, and to some things that maybe you are not doing well and need to stop doing.....

I chose this theme to play HORSE with CJ today.

Game 1:
Me: "OK CJ, the first word is going to be "Start"
"But, before you take your first shot I want you to think about something while we play this first game."
"At the end of the game I want you to tell me one thing that you are going to "START" doing this year to make yourself better" "Now, it does not have to be fitness related but you have to tell me one thing that you are going to "START" to make one facet of your live better in 2011" over....
Me: "Ok CJ, what are you gonna "START" doing this year to make yourself better"
CJ: " I want to improve my diet......"
Me: "Hold on there, first of all lets re-phrase that a little. I don't like how you said "diet". "Diet to me seems like somethings short term, kinda fad-ish. Lets say, you would like to improve your eating habits"
"How does that sound?"
Cj: "Sounds great"
Me: "we will talk more about changing your eating habits in a minute, but lets go onto game 2 for now."

Me: "Ok, the word for this game is "STOP"
"At the end of this game I want you to tell me one thing that you are going to stop doing this year"
"It could be anything that you think is not making you get better. It could be a time waster that could free your time for something more productive. Just think about it during this game and let me know what you will "STOP" doing this year. over....
Me: "OK CJ, what are you gonna "STOP" doing this year to make yourself better"
CJ: "I am going "STOP" not eating breakfast everyday."
Me: "That's perfect CJ!!. As a matter of fact that goes right back to what we talked about a minute ago about something you want to start doing. Better eating habits. Lets make that your first new eating habits."
"Improving your eating habits is a little to vague. We need to be a little more specific with that (SMART). If we try to make too many changes at once our chances of being unsuccessfully are greater."
"So lets take what you want to "STOP" doing (not eating breakfast) and make that your first new habit of something that you want to "START" doing (improve eating habits)"
"And lets try that new habit for 2 weeks."
" I want you to start eating a healthy breakfast everyday for the next two weeks."
"After you are successfull at that we will add a new eating habit for you to master."
"How does that sound?"
CJ: "Sounds Great"

Game 3:
Me: "Ok, final game. The word is going to be "Keep"
"And again, at the end of the game I need you to tell me one thing that you are going to "Keep" doing this year to make you better"
"Your shot!" over....
CJ: I am going to keep exercising this year.
"more specifically, I am going to exercise at least 4 days a week......"

We then went on and completed our workout. It was by far one of our best workouts we have ever had. CJ not only had an awesome time during her workout (even though I beat her 2 out of 3 games in HORSE:), but she also left the training session feeling great about her plan to make 2011 her best year yet!!

So, the moral of this story. Whether you are a personal trainer,a coach, or just somebody that wants to get better, be sure you are doing something everyday to make yourself a little bit better. Every activity can be an opportunity to educate, learn and get better! Be sure you have a plan and stick to it. Eliminate excuses. And remember to have fun in your life(or workout)and smile everyday.

If you haven't read Todd Durkins article on 83 ways to make 2011 your best year yet read it now by clicking here

Living Life with No Regrets........No Excuses!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

83 ways to make 2011 your best year yet!!

Hi Everyone,
This is a great article that I am re-posting from Todd Durkin's most recent newsletter. There are some great and simple things that you can do everyday to help make this your best year yet!!

Living life with No Regrets..........No Excuses!!

Your Best Year Yet
I am a true believer. Each Christmas I notice everything printed with Believe or I Believe. Cards, calendars, ornaments, pillows - you've probably seen as much as I have or more. Well, I do believe. I believe in positive energy. I believe in persistence and mental toughness. I believe in myself and in others. I believe in YOU.

Each January brings the opportunity for a fresh start. We've passed through the gate of the New Year and have the chance to make 2011 YOUR BEST YEAR YET. Grab hold of this chance and run with it. So what if the first day of the year has passed. It's never too late to start getting better. Whether you're looking for dramatic change in your life or the chance to get 1% better each day, now is the time to be renewed in the spirit of new beginnings.

Keep reading for my personal list of actions and reminders that pack a potent punch and are sure to make a positive difference for you. Read each one. Implement a few or many. Find your favorites and go deep to discover the secret buried within. Then get ready for your best year yet!

83 Ways to Make 2011 Your Best Year Yet
• Be the most positive person you know.
Get 1% better everyday.
• Define your "game-changing" move in 2011. Then get it done!
• Take more risks.
• Do something that scares you everyday.
Be a team builder, regardless of your title at work.
• Remember that business is about relationships and connections.
• People need motivation, accountability, and know how. Deliver it.
• Write your eulogy and then live your life backwards.
• Know your Big 5: the 5 most important things that need to happen by the end of the year to make 2011 feel like it truly has been the best year of your life.
• Read your Big 5 every morning.
• Post affirmations on your bathroom mirror.
• Don't focus on making money - focus on creating value.
• Lead by executing and getting results. No excuses.
• Strive to be 'World Class' in all you do.
• Read The 4 Agreements by Dom Miguel Ruiz.
• Train like a pro athlete - exercise more.
Eat higher quality foods.
• Get a massage once a week.
• Attend a destination spa vacation each year.
• Have at least one other "dream" vacation each year.
• Remember - no one has ever regretted a great workout.
Be obsessed with learning.
• Join a Mastermind Group. It will accelerate your results, improve your mindset, and provide you with fertile soil in which to grow.
• Be impeccable with your words - don't complain, gossip, or be negative.
Be careful with whom you surround yourself. Just as much as the right people can pull you up, the wrong crowd can bring you down.
• Plan as if you will live forever but live as if you'll die tomorrow.
• Say please, thank you, and I love you more.
• Give someone a massage.
• Write love letters like you used to.
• Call someone you always wanted to talk to but never thought you could.
• Call an old coach or teacher and thank them for positively impacting your life.
• If you want to resolve a conflict, use the phone instead of email.
• Write a hand-written note to a client or customer.
• When you travel, send letters to your kids on hotel stationary.
• If you want more, GIVE more.
• Do or do not - there is no try.
• The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.
• Journal. What are you thankful for? What are your intentions for the day? Who is in need of prayer today? Where were you outstanding today?
• Clarity precedes genius. Find clarity in writing and solitude.
• Track your success.
• Slow down in order to speed up.
• Be willing to fail. It's the price of greatness.
• Spend at least 10 minutes every morning in quiet time, prayer time, or meditation time.
• Listen to inspirational music. Create your favorite play list for chilling out as well as working out.
• Listen to books on tape and podcasts.
• Read The IMPACT! Body Plan.
• Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
• Read The Leader Without a Title, The Greatness Guide, and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma.
• Watch a Rocky "marathon" with your kids on a rainy day.
• Do what you do best and hire the rest.
• Sometimes good is good enough. Don't let "perfectionism" rob you of getting things done.
• "Color code your life," says my mentor, Wayne Cotton. Green machine, blue sky, red tape, and mellow yellow. Visit for more information.
• Complete a 90-Day Wonder. What have I accomplished in the last 90 days? What are my current challenges? What will I accomplish in the next 90 days?
• Remember the 10,000-hour Rule. It often takes about 10,000 hours or 10 years to be recognized as an expert.
Success takes time. Be patient, but continually invest in yourself.
• Work on your business, not in your business.
• Your big ideas typically come when you are sitting on a beach or skiing in the mountains.
• Hire only "A" players to build a winning business.
• Replace the bottom 10% of your players each year.
Everyone in an organization should be considered a "leader." • Always believe in your dreams, even when they seem impossible or others doubt you.
• Focus, focus, focus!
• Water people everyday - lift people up instead of tearing people down.
• One quick "No" is better than 10 "maybes" or "I don't knows."
• Win the day!
• Remember what Walt Disney said, "Everything speaks!"
• Be more spontaneous.
• Block out the noise and focus on the signal.
• Develop a hobby.
• The bigger the dream, the more important the team.
• Run your own race - be authentic and original.
• Speak more. Write more. Read more.
• Turn OFF your TV!
Eliminate excuses.
Organize your time more effectively.
• "Eat that Frog," says Brian Tracy. Do the things that you don't like to do or want to do but have to do early in your day.
• Get your mind right!
• Do more of what you love to do.
• Action is like gas in the car. Without it, you will not go.
• Be hungry.
• Create IMPACT everyday.
• Live by the mantra, "... And then some."

Implement any single item on this list and you will create change. Combine a few to really rock your world and the world of those around you. Explore, experiment and find your favorites. But remember, there's more to it than implementing a list of action items. YOUR BEST YEAR YET will require something deep within YOU.

You've heard me talk about the power of "theme-ing" a year. In the days and weeks ahead, spend some time alone with your thoughts to find the theme that's right for you - the single most meaningful, overarching and powerful pledge you can make to define who you will be and what you will do in 2011. Find it and treat it like an oath. It will deliver.

For weeks now, I've been doing this kind of thinking. I searched for and found my theme for 2011. Ironically, when I looked deep enough within and examined my soul, I found it there. 2011 is my year of "S.O.U.L." I am making a very public pledge to nurture and go deep with my Spiritual development and inner life, to seek Outrageous fun and adventure, to create Unbelievable value and innovation in my work, and to step up and Lead in all areas of my life.

It's January 11th my friend. We're through the gate and ready to run. Lace up your shoes and let's go. After all, 2011 is going to be YOUR BEST YEAR YET!

Peace and love,

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide. He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele. Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes, including 2010 Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP Drew Brees. He is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council and is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit. He is a two-time Trainer of the Year (IDEA & ACE). Additionally, Todd provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide.

Men's Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US. Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post. Todd has authored 35 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.

His new Todd Durkin Mastermind Institute for personal trainers and fitness professionals starts January 15th, 2011. You can get all the information at His new book, The IMPACT! Body Plan debuted in September 2010 and is a 10 Week program designed to create world-class fitness and life performance. You can sign up for Todd's FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the TD TIMES, at or

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Is your breakfast making you FAT!! "Breakfast. What is yours doing to you?"

Hey Everyone,
Here is a guest blog from a friend of mine, Michelle Adams. Michelle is an incredible trainer with a wealth of knowledge regarding nutrition among other things. Breakfast is a topic that many people have trouble with, most because they aren't eating anything, and those who are often times are eating the wrong things. So, enjoy this post, and if you would like to read more nutrition tips from Michelle click below.

Living life with No Excuses......No Regrets

Breakfast. What is yours doing to you?

Client "I'm eating healthy. I just don't understand why I'm not losing weight OR getting leaner."
Me "Really? Tell me what a typical day looks like for you"
Client "Well, for breakfast I have whole grain cereal, a banana and orange juice"
Me (trying not to choke) "Whole grain cereal? Really? What kind?"
Client "______________" (insert name of popular boxed cereal touted as whole grain)
Me (trying harder not to choke) "Who told you that was healthy?"

Ok so that may not be what I would say but it is definitely what I am thinking. Sometimes I really just want to ask people (in all seriousness) "WHY do you think that is healthy?" I really wonder if anyone has an actual answer to that. I'm sure I would get a lot of "well, the commercial said so." No, the commercial DID NOT say inferred it. You did exactly what the marketing team hoped you would. You made the jump- some how connecting the information presented in the commercial to "this product is healthy and good for me, I should buy it". Congratulations, you fell for it. Here is a bit of advice...and if you know me I'm sure you have heard me say it many times before-- it is MARKETING! They don't care if they kill you, they want to make money. Plain and simple.

Client: "But it is whole grain, it HAS to be good for me."
Me: "It WAS whole grain. Now it is a whole grain that has been smashed up, ground into dust, had other things added to it and stamped into some sort of flake, square, circle or other enticing shape."
Client: " But it is made from whole grain. It says so right on the ingredients list!"
Me: beating my head against the wall and wishing I could strangle each and every person in the marketing departments of these major companies.

Can whole grains have a positive effect on your health? Yes they can. Did whole grains give their lives to make that cereal? Yes, they sure did. So the cereal is good for you? No, it is not. Confused? Probably.

Let's look at it like this. Take a potato. With me so far? Now turn it into a potato chip (or even a french fry). Is it nutritionally the same? Does it bring the same benefits to your body as it did in it's original state? No and no. Still with me? Let's try this one. Take a tree. Add sunshine and rain and what happens? Well, it grows. Photosynthesis takes place taking in carbon dioxide and water and releasing oxygen. When the wind blows, the branches sway. Now take a piece of paper, pretty much a tree smashed up, ground into dust with other things added to it and stamped into some sort of enticing shape. Sound familiar? Add sunshine and rain and what happens? (Yes, I can hear you laughing from here...) The paper is probably ruined. Is photosynthesis taking place? Absolutely not. What happens when the wind blows? Well, you probably just lost your piece of paper!

What am I trying to demonstrate here? Simple. Changing the structure of an object (or food item) changes its function regardless of what the ingredient list shows. What would the ingredient list of your piece of paper say? Tree. Does it still act like a tree? Nope. Does your whole grain cereal list whole grains in its ingredient list? Yep, sure does. In fact, take a look at the ingredient list of one popular "multi grain" cereal:
Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Starch, Brown Sugar Syrup, Corn Bran, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Trisodium Phosphate, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Distilled Monoglycerides, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients)Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate)Color Added, a B Vitamin (Niacinamide)Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate)a B Vitamin (Calcium Pantothenate)Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride)Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate)a B Vitamin (Folic Acid)Vitamin A (Palmitate)Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness.

Wow! Look at all that whole grain.. Bull$*@t!!!! Remember, just because it once was, doesn't mean that it still is.

Why am I making such a big deal about this? On to the next piece of the puzzle, the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL). The glycemic index is the ranking of foods based on the blood glucose response after ingestion as compared to a reference food. Basically how quickly it is converted to glucose in your body after it enters your mouth. (Glucose is your body's prefered energy source) The reference food is either glucose itself or white bread and is assigned a value of 100. Water is assigned a value of zero. Most foods will fall somewhere in between 0 and 100. Notice I said MOST, as some foods will have a value greater than 100. The rate at which carbohydrates are converted to glucose is affected by many factors some of which include physical characteristics (surface area, solid vs porous), type of starch present (amylose-amylopectin ratio), sugar content, type of sugar, fiber content, fat content and acidity. Foods assigned a higher number produce a larger, transient glucose spike. Lower numbers cause a mild, more sustained increase.

So why does this matter? Well, we have to look a little more in depth at how the body of a healthy individual responds to an increased glucose level. A very simplified version: in response to increased glucose levels, the pancreas (beta cells) secretes insulin in hopes of returning the blood glucose level to a near normal range. The insulin binds with the glucose and removes it from the blood stream. High levels of glucose require high levels of insulin.

Insulin is a very powerful hormone. In the proper amount it is life sustaining. It promotes muscle building and prevents muscle breakdown. However, too much of it causes problems. Insulin is the one and only hormone responsible for storing fat. High insulin levels also completely stop all fat burning. Reams of scientific studies show that excess insulin is a factor in diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Eating foods that are higher GI/GL is basically like dumping massive massive amounts of glucose into your system. From there insulin spikes and VOILA! fat storage!!!

Follow me so far? Your breakfast is making you fat. Yes, you read that right. Take your 'whole grain' cereal or 'whole grain' bagel, grind all of that whole grain up and what happens??? Well, I bet you just increased the surface area of that 'grain' and pretty much destroyed the fiber (to name just a couple things) making it muuuuuch easier for enzymes to convert this to glucose. Woohoo, hello high GI!!! Now to add insult to injury, studies have actually shown that after having a breakfast comprised of high GI foods you are actually going to store more fat after you eat lunch too. REGARDLESS of what your lunch consists of. Yes, your lunch could be the most perfect lunch on the planet and if you had a high GI breakfast, you are going to store more fat after eating your lunch compared to someone eating that very same lunch, yet had a low GI breakfast. So fat storage from breakfast AND from lunch- talk about NOT reaching your health and fitness goals!!

STILL NEED CONVINCING??? Let's take a look at the GI/GL of some popular breakfast items (and a few other items just to put things in perspective).
Remember the closer the number is to 100, the more it reacts like glucose in your system and the more it causes fat storage.

Breads/bagels 103
Special K cereal 98
Cornflakes 94
Cheerios 74

Jelly beans 112
Coke 76

(taken from Please see for more information)

Hmmmmm...bagel...over 100??? Special K, 98, and higher than Coke???? Wait a second..are both of these things touted as being healthy??? Yep. Less than 5 minutes ago I saw a commercial for one of those products and it's 'weight loss program'. How can that be since it actually causes fat storage??? Well...they didn't advertise it as a fat loss program, now did they??? (I promise you'll hear more on THAT later)

Glycemic index/glycemic load is one very important part of the mystery of proper nutrition, but it is only a tool in out tool box. Just because something is low GI does NOT mean it is automatically good for you. Take ice cream for example it has a GI of around 51, Pizza Hut pizza may range from 30-40 while soy milk has a GI of 34. I would not classify any of those as 'good for you'. Remember, foods with a high fat content will have a low GI, so use your common sense as well. For now, go back and take a look at your breakfast. Are you storing fat from the moment you get up???


"Life Is Motion"

"Life Is Motion"
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