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"
Turkish Get Up