What Does Freedom Mean To You?

I’m now confident as I proceed through the third decade of my life, that everything in the universe has a different meaning for you depending on your point of view. I find that interesting, given that we have a dictionary, which spells out clearly what the definition of certain things are. That said, our lexicon is made up by man as a means in which we can communicate the physical world to others. So, it makes sense that if language, the most common way to express meaning is fabricated by man, then the meaning of those words are also different depending on the person hearing or reading the words. Here’s an example: take the words strong, rich, happy, stressful, and beautiful. My bet is that if you asked 10 people to write down something or someone that meets the definition of the words, very different answers would be given. This phenomenon is one of the reasons it becomes so difficult to run your life, a business or a government—people will interpret what you say and do very differently. However, how can we function as a society without some common understandings? Therein lies the answer to the question why people tend to associate with people they perceive to share their values and beliefs. These groups of people have similar ways of making meaning in the world.

So what about freedom or liberty? Clearly those words have very different meanings to people. From Dictionary.com, freedom means:

-The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.

-Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.

Sounds fairly easy to understand. But given this definition, we are not free at all. We are not free to move about without a passport. We are not free to earn and spend without taxation. We are not free to consume what we please without the consequence of physical restraint. We cannot engage in mutual exchange without the penalty of taxation or regulation. But, if you were to ask most Americans or others from a similar cultural or governmental region whether or not they had freedom, I suspect the answer would be yes. I guess my definition of freedom is very different.

I suppose it really depends on what freedom means to you. For millions, government health care is freedom. For many of the same people freedom means paid sick leave and a mandated living wage. For others, freedom means exactly what the definition is in the dictionary—exemption from external control, interference and regulation. Does this mean no government or total anarchy? Not necessarily. To believe anarchy would endure with less government certainly shows a dismal view of humanity. However, if the institutions created by man repeatedly infringe on the freedom of its citizens, one can no longer claim to be free under those conditions. Freedom does not come from external sources. It comes from the desire to be free from control and engage with others without restricting their freedoms. I believe while all humans crave freedom, the definitions we have for what freedom is keeps us from achieving it. I also believe many of us keep ourselves from being free by allowing ourselves to be slaves to internal forces.

Freedom, then, must be created internally before one can claim to be free. Stated differently, just because you are not a slave to someone else physically, does not mean you are free. Do you have good health? If not, you are not really free. You are constrained. Do you have a positive mental attitude? If not, you may achieve certain levels of success, but your mind will keep you a slave. Many are slaves to their fears and habits. Visit any mental hospital or check the CDC website to see how many people are addicted to psychiatric medication if you need proof of this. If freedom must be created internally first, before one can truly be free, how does one do it?

I believe the first thing that must happen is the decision to be free. You must decide that you will not be constrained by yourself or external forces (that you can control). Like most things, freedom happens with a choice. Today, I’m asking you to make the choice to be free, truly free. While you not may be truly free from government taxation and regulations in your lifetime, you can make the choice to no longer be constrained by your own behavior and thoughts. Ask yourself “What has to happen for me to feel free?” Write down your answers and then begin immediately taking massive action to attain freedom. Is it more income? Less stress? Less pain? A great outlook on life and humanity? Incredible strength and endurance? Less debt? Whatever you need to feel free, identify it and work tirelessly to be free.

In Liberty


Life’s Greatest Secret

Turning Adversity into an Ally

“Problems are life’s gifts–without them we wouldn’t grow”

– Anthony Robbins

            There is a very powerful and strange secret in the universe that few understand and even fewer take advantage of. Some will think what I’m about to write is controversial. It may be. The world is not and will never be without some controversy. When it comes to powers that exist in the universe, controversy will always accompany the science. Indeed, the universe is full of untold, unrevealed secrets waiting for man to uncover them. In some cases we already have uncovered some of the secrets and are able to apply them in our own lives. Specifically, I’m referring to the ability for humans to take adversity, defeat and failure and turn them into a seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. I came across this strange power from Napoleon Hill in his 16 Laws of Success. He argued that to be really great and successful, you must profit from problems. It’s an understatement to say problems exist for everyone. The only people without any problems live in a cemetery. But the truth is that humans need problems in order to grow. You see, some people need to be cut down by failure and defeat before they realize they have the ability to use their minds and turn their problems into assets that can take them to a higher level of success than they ever dreamed of. The problem is, of course, nobody wants to have bad things happen to them and when they do happen, it’s very difficult to keep a positive and open mind. But you can, in fact, profit from adversity.

A quick look through history shows us a great many people who have turned adversity, even disaster and tragedy, and transmuted it into something that helped others. Stephen Hawking gave us a theory of how the universe works and even has suggested that alternate worlds may exist. Perhaps he was a genius before the onset of ALS, but perhaps the disease allowed (forced) Hawking to harness his mind to a degree that he might not have been able to otherwise. Would he be better off physically without the horrible disease? No doubt. Hawking himself might suggest there is an alternate reality in which he doesn’t have ALS and is a professional athlete. If so, the world would be without his gifts of scientific theory. Franklin Roosevelt is another example of someone stricken with a terrible disease and was able to keep a positive mind and succeed in capturing the presidency. I would argue he was a bad president, but I’ll save that for another article. The point is that people, if they keep a positive attitude, can learn from and even profit from defeat.

At the age of 19, I was diagnosed with a debilitating, progressive spine disorder that should have caused me to be reliant on immunosuppressive drugs and painkillers. The disease causes me immense pain everyday. It limits certain things I can do physically. It causes severe bouts of depression on occasion. When the diagnosis was confirmed, I made it part of my identity and I became severely depressed. But I was lucky enough to be around loving people who wouldn’t let me stay in that place. They didn’t indulge me in my self-loathing. So I decided to turn my life into one that is dedicated to helping others overcome adversity. I used my disease as inspiration to win three bodybuilding competitions, start a chain of health clubs that helps thousands transform their lives in a positive way and write articles that can reach people all over the globe. Do I still have the disease? Yes. Does it affect me daily? Yes. Do I let my problems determine where I go in life? No. I use them as an opportunity to learn and improve.

The loss of a loved one is probably the most painful experience in life. My biggest fear is to lose someone I love and care about. I think that’s true for most people. However, there are countless others that, despite the pain of loss, have decided to dedicate the memory of those who are gone to helping others in a positive way. Some even use tragic stories of loss of their loved ones to influence others to get over addiction, anger, abuse, teenage pregnancy and various other uses of turning tragedy into something positive. My beautiful, loving wife, the mother of my two children, lost her father to stomach cancer while she was pregnant with our first child. It was a terrible tragedy, especially witnessing the effects of chemotherapy on an adult man. Despite the loss of her father, she decided to turn her grief into a series of children’s books. I will add that the loss of my father-in-law reminds me daily that life is short and I need to be a great father for my children and spend as much time with them as possible. I want their memory of me when I pass to be an incredible one. And perhaps they will use the story of my life will be used to help others.

Nothing is ever so bad or so unpleasant that we cannot turn it into a seed of an equivalent benefit, if we keep a positive mental attitude during the struggle. Does that mean we should invite problems into our lives? No. But we should expect them when they come and not allow ourselves to be beaten down by them when we have the power to transform them into good. However, turning tragedy into something positive can only happen if the belief that it can happen exists and we keep a positive mental attitude when facing adversity. For many, religion helps them stay positive and inspires them to help others. The worlds largest religion is Christianity. There are 2.2 billion followers of the religion in the world. It’s worth noting that the popularity of Christianity is solely because Christ and his followers believed in turning defeat into success. In fact, Christianity spread like a wildfire across the Roman Empire because, according to the story, Christ used his own death and resurrection as a testament to God’s love for mankind. His disciples followed suit, allowing themselves to be burned and crucified before renouncing their beliefs. Their deaths only added to the popularity of the religion. Soon the Roman Empire itself would become a Christian empire.

One doesn’t need to follow a religion to believe that in any problem, there exists the seed of an equivalent benefit. Out of infection comes antiseptics. Out of tyranny comes the desire for freedom. Out of dangerous and deadly voyages comes the discovery of new worlds. Out of recession comes expansion. Out of death comes a new appreciation for mortality and life itself. Indeed, it takes a certain mindset to see the benefit in problems, but they do exist. Regardless of whether you believe this universal power exists or not, the fact remains that others have tapped into this “secret” and profited from it. Problems are life’s gifts. They truly allow us to grow, but only if we tap into our ability to turn them into a benefit and not allow them to defeat us permanently.

Start With Why

I’m currently halfway into a fantastic book by Simon Sinek, Start With Why, and I must say that’s its very thought provoking. His basic premise is that while most individuals and companies focus on and advertise WHAT and HOW they do something, there exists a few truly revolutionary leaders that start with and advertise WHY they do what they do. Sinek argues that by going deeper and discovering why we do something first, we as individuals or companies are setting ourselves up for the type of success that delivers loyalty from many others. It also allows for a possible movement for changing the status quo, in the case of Apple, or how we travel, in the case of the Wright Brothers. Or, even how we see our fellow man, in the case of Martin Luther King Jr. All of those examples had very strong reasons for doing what they did. While there were others equally or more qualified to do what they did, because these people and companies started with WHY, they were able to enact real change in the world. All of this has led me to examine why I do what I do. The answers, “make money”, “provide for family”, “get more customers” come to mind. Yet as I go deeper, I realize that is not why I do what I do.

My reasons, and I believe all our reasons for why we do what we do are the major determining factor in whether we succeed or not. My WHY is that I want people to realize that their biggest problems, their biggest adversities in life can be their greatest allies. My WHY is that I want to change the way people think about the world in relation to themselves. My WHY is that I want everyone to be able to transform their health, philosophy and well being at their will. I believe that if you have strong enough reasons for WHY you are doing something, you will do whatever it takes to follow through. So what happens if we take and apply this logic to other areas in life?

If we begin with WHY, it’s easy to see why so many people fail in their diets or training. “I want a flat stomach” is not a strong reason. A better reason: “I want an abundance of energy and vitality so I can play with my kids, love my partner and deliver value for those around me.” A flat stomach is a by-product of the work. Starting with WHY, it’s easy to see why so many Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs and their marriages. “I’m going to be with this person because I’m comfortable with them” is not a strong enough reason to stay with someone. The same goes for a job. Humans understand when something doesn’t “feel” right. Our gut tells us that we are capable of more and that we should be aspiring to get it and inspiring others along the way. Yet most don’t start with WHY and as a result end up very unhappy and unsatisfied. We go through our days meeting some of our needs for certainty and connection, but are not getting what we desire because we are not starting with WHY (purpose and reasons).

What is your WHY? What are your reasons for wanting what you want or doing what you do? For results with your physical body and health, your reasons must go beyond looks. Looks fade and the pursuit to maintain them is done in vain. Strength is a better reason. If you train for strength, the look you want will more likely appear. The reverse is not true. For lasting success start with WHY. Sinek’s book is really a must read if you want to further understand how some leaders inspire others to take action and some fail. If you want to better understand yourself and how your brain works, pick up a copy of Start With Why. Don’t forget the highlighter as well. You’re 50% more likely to retain knowledge if you are physically involved in the material, not just reading or watching passively. In fact, don’t be passive about anything in life. Be active. Everyday.

America: The Sick and Disabled Nation


About 40 Americans die each day from overdosing on prescription painkillers, according to the CDC. In 2013, an estimated 1.9 million people abused or were dependent on prescription opiates. In 2014, the CDC found that doctors wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in a single year, which is enough for every U.S. adult to have a bottle of pills. Americans consume 80% of the entire world’s painkillers. What the hell is going on in this country? Are we in that much pain that we need a prescription for every adult? Here’s another shocking statistic:

According to the Social Security Administration, in 2013 disability payments were made to 10,228,364 people, up 139,625 claims from 2012 when there were 10,088,739 disabled beneficiaries. Disabled beneficiaries have increased 49.7 percent from a decade ago when there were 6,830,714 beneficiaries. From 2009 when President Obama took office until now, that number has jumped 14.3 percent up from 8,945,376 beneficiaries.


Are we getting sicker and more disabled as a nation? The numbers certainly would support that theory. It’s shocking that in 2016, with a world of information and research at our fingertips about how to get healthier, happier and improve yourself physically and mentally that more people than ever are turning to prescription painkillers. Is there really a physical pain problem in the country or is it a mindset problem? Manufacturing jobs and other manual labor jobs are at the lowest percentage of the total jobs in this country’s history according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The shift has been steadily away from manual labor jobs into service worker jobs for many decades. Perhaps it’s the interaction with other humans and technology in the service worker industry that’s causing so many to turn to opiates. Whatever the cause, it’s clear that millions of people need to chemically alter their state to get though work, or they just drop out of the labor force and collect disability. Either way, it appears there are thousands of doctors willing to provide some pain pills.

Personally, since being diagnosed with a severe autoimmune disease I’ve had prescriptions for painkillers, NSAIDS and other drugs. None of which have benefitted me in any way other than a very temporary distraction from the pain. I never renewed the prescriptions because they didn’t stop the pain. And, frankly, I was afraid I would get so used to the feeling while on them that I would become addicted. I almost did. I thought I needed them, but after I ran out, I realize that I didn’t. Why? Painkillers don’t really eliminate all pain. They block receptors in your body that signal the body to feel pain. Pain is an indicator of possible damage to the body. Despite blocking the sensation of pain, there is still damage being done while on painkillers. Stated differently, pain pills are rarely a long-term solution. They are designed for immediate relief from trauma and for temporary use. Painkillers can have severe side effects on every organ in your body, especially the liver and kidneys. They can kill you. They kill 40 people a day in this country from people abusing them.


“Life is pain. Anyone telling you different is selling something.” — Wesley in The Princess Bride.

I love the above quote. It’s meant to provoke laughter, but there is a bit of truth to it as well. See, pain is in fact a part of life. Life is full of sensations and feelings and pain is but one of them. It’s a normal part of life and always will be. Someone who believes this will be less likely to dope themselves up with pills, unless they are used for a specific purpose with an end date for their use. An individual on painkillers, especially those with a chemical addiction, (which happens very frequently with prescription drugs) must move away from the belief that pain, any amount of pain, is something to be avoided at all costs. The focus must move from masking the pain to developing strength to defeat the pain. We must focus as a country on addressing the reasons why millions believe they need pills to get through life. We must address why we have moved from a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” society to a vicodin and Paxil society.

Author’s Note: I’m not speaking about the people who have had severe physical trauma and rely on painkillers because of the tragedy. That number of people represents a small fraction of total narcotics users. I’m speaking about drug use at epidemic rates among a cross section of the United States.

CONCLUSION: The opiate addiction in the United States is a serious problem that we cannot take lightly. I would venture to say anyone reading this know someone who has a reliance on painkillers. I’ve been on them myself. This is a major problem that has moved millions of the workforce to drop out altogether and millions of others going through their workday in a drug-induced haze. This is a health crisis and I believe the solution is that individuals must focus on improving their health and talk with doctors about how to do that before resorting to narcotics and potentially toxic drugs. Millions are now chemically addicted to these drugs. They cannot function without them. Does that sound right to you? Is that how we should treat dealing with pain?

P.S. The best advice I ever got about dealing with pain was from my father Marlon. He told me to do what I could to fix my body and if I still had pain, to ignore it. He said, “Son, nothing lasts forever. Especially pain.” I remember that everyday. I focus everyday on improving my body and preventing pain from coming. When it does come, I remember that pain doesn’t last unless you focus on it. Whatever you focus on gets amplified in your mind. I’m not saying to ignore the fact you have pain. I’m simply saying that you should do what you can to prevent it and strengthen yourself while remembering that pain is a part of life. It usually doesn’t require a prescription to deal with. Certainly not 259 million of them. Something must change soon.

Be healthy,

10 Statements For Your Success

Want to be the best you can be? Print out these 10 Success Statements and look at them daily to remind you of how great you are and can be.

  1. Do what you fear most and you will thrive and grow. Discomfort is how we grow.
  2. You are capable of more than you think you are.
  3. There are only 4 levels of action: retreat, staying still, normal action and massive action. Move forward whenever possible to advance yourself.
  4. Progress equals happiness–to be happy you must be progressing forward.
  5. The best return on investment you can do with your time in the gym is to lift weights and lift intense.
  6. Fear is what holds most people back but fear, like everything, runs in cycles.
  7. Nothing lasts forever–cherish what you love while you still have it.
  8. If you want an increased quality of life, raise your standards.
  9. You become what you think about most of the time. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t.
  10. Love and gratitude are the antidotes to fear and depression. You cannot be truly grateful and depressed at the same time.

How to Get Anything You Want

“You become what you think about most of the time.” – Earl Nightingale

We live in an age where people point fingers at others, blaming them for lack in their own lives. The attitude and politics of envy are prevalent and are only getting worse. Let me be the first to say, if you have something that others want, you are not a bad person. Likewise, if you don’t have something that someone else has–money, great looks, a great body, awesome style, etc.–you are not lacking it because someone else has it. Stated differently, someone else is not evil because they have something you want. If you are overweight and a good person, getting six-pack abs does not make you a bad person. If you have very little money and are a good person, gaining wealth will not suddenly make you evil.

So this begs the real question, “How are some able to achieve so much–incredible physiques, great wealth, a positive attitude–while others struggle with achievement and fulfillment?” The answer is so simple that most reading this will discount it immediately without really considering the implications of the following words: “You become what you think about most of the time.” People who achieve their goals spend most of their time thinking about exactly what they want and they keep their mind off of what they DO NOT WANT. As someone who used to focus on the problems and the lack in my life, I can tell you this is true. Having the great privilege of training hundreds of people over the last decade, I’ve seen firsthand that most people focus their thoughts on lack rather than abundance, pain rather than pleasure, problems rather than goals, and expectation rather than appreciation.

Thoughts form the character and therefore the actions of all humans. Thoughts are things. They have physical energy that can create a physiological response in humans. Excess stress can kill you. Likewise, excess enthusiasm can cause great feats to be accomplished. This concept, that your dominating thoughts and desires will determine the outcome of your life is so simple that it’s a wonder why so few people focus on what they want rather than the opposite. I believe the answer comes down to: what is easy to do is easy not to do. As a culture, we believe that anything so simple must not be correct. We are used to having things be complicated. We cannot believe that a simple low-sugar diet and weight lifting can literally transform bodies and put disease in remission. No, it must be more complicated than that. Well, I’m here to tell you, IT’S NOT. Success is simple. Getting the body you want is simple. It’s not always easy for people, but the strategies are simple. Complexity is the enemy of execution.

In closing, to get what you want, focus on what you want and keep your mind off what you don’t want. It’s important to evaluate the downside to a decision, but only focusing on problems will result in you never getting what you want.  Remember, keep it simple, focus on exactly what you want, and then take massive action to go get it. Along the way, don’t let the little negative voice in your head deter you. Yes it’s simple advice. What can I say? I’m a simple guy. My favorite phrase? KISS. (Keep it simple, Stupid).

To your health and success,


Hard Work and Happiness

When I think back on the times in my life when I’ve had a clear mind, unbothered with anxiety or worry, there is a common theme. My mind has been most clear when I’ve worked hard physically towards a goal I’ve wanted to achieve. I believe that physical exertion can free the mind of unwanted and unwelcome fear because your mind realizes that when the body takes action, it can accomplish nearly anything. In other words, action is the antidote to fear. This has certainly been true for me. Whenever I’m anxious, I tend to take massive action on something. What I’m doing is irrelevant. Just taking action is usually enough to clear my mind.

Taking action everyday, moving your body—working hard on something every single day is, I believe, the antidote to worry and anxiety that holds so many millions down. Physical movement will change your mental state and break the chains that feel like so many tons upon your shoulders. But don’t take it from me. Try it for yourself! Exert yourself to the point of exhaustion. It will not feel like the “mental exhaustion” so many claim to have daily. In fact, when most people complain they are exhausted, what they are referring to is mental anxiety. Most are not really physically tired. Work yourself to the point of true physical fatigue and notice the flood of positive emotions and sense of accomplishment and well being that follows. Here are some tips when working hard:

-Be aware of your limitations and environment. We’re not talking about getting injured. We are talking about working hard.
-Focus on your breathing. Those who can control their breath can control their minds and bodies. This will also help oxygenate your body, leading to better energy levels and positive emotions.
-If possible, work on a hobby or goal. Bodybuilding, building a house, gardening, and strongman competitions are all great examples of hard work towards some ideal. The sense of accomplishment that can be gained from goal-driven activities can cause an increase in well-being.
-You produce energy. Energy is not always something you have. So remember, you are capable of much more than you think you are. Remembering this is key to achieving any worthwhile goal.
To happiness and being exhausted!

Embrace Pain-(and Grow)

Be Uncomfortable Most of The Time (and GROW)

I wonder if our human nature often works against us. We are programmed to move toward pleasure and away from pain. That programming in our DNA has worked well for Homo sapiens sapiens (humans) for over 200,000 years. But I pose the question, has the modern technological age made us soft? I believe it has. Pleasure and comforts are every where around us. For most humans, the true pain they feel is emotional, not physical. For those who do feel physical pain, an increasing percentage of that pain is due to overconsumption of food and lack of physical training. Perhaps it’s time to rewrite our human software and embrace pain or discomfort.

By embracing discomfort, putting yourself in situations that are uncomfortable physically and emotionally, we are more apt to grow and develop our true potential. Growth is a human need. Growth and contribution are the only two needs that fulfill us emotionally, yet humans work so hard to avoid pain and discomfort that we are limiting our ability to grow. By putting yourself in painful situations (situations that cause discomfort, not physical or emotional injury) you will develop a greater tolerance and soon those types of situations will not be uncomfortable. In other words, you force emotional growth. You develop your potential. By lifting progressively more weights in a proper movement pattern, your muscles are triggered to grow. The pain of muscle fatigue and soreness will lessen over time as your training frequency increases.

So start today! Don’t try to always avoid pain. Embrace it instead. Make a call that you know will cause discomfort. Instead of doing 12 repetitions of bicep curls, do 20. Or increase the weight and try 12 more. Do something everyday that scares you or makes you uncomfortable. Work against your human nature to avoid pain and force yourself to grow. Soon, you’ll find what used to be painful may become something that you are strong at. I never used to like conducting meetings. I talk loudly, I am very direct and I was afraid that people would be put off. Now I’ve done so many meetings, I’ve refined my craft and worked at it so many times that I find great pleasure in leading them. I also used to hate the Squat exercise. I have a fused spine, so it caused my great physical pain, plus it was physically exhausting. Once I saw my peers pack on pounds of muscle, and become faster and more flexible after being able to squat, I decided that I was going to make my weakest exercise one of my strongest. Now I can squat over 400 pounds without pain and I’m more flexible than I have been in years. So let me ask, what makes you uncomfortable? Confront your fears and make your weakness a strength by living in a state of discomfort- a state of constant growth.

Maximum Contraction

The best way to truly build up your body.

            Do you ever notice how certain people have excellent body parts? It could be their biceps, chest, back, shoulders, butt. Let’s be honest, 2014 was the year of the butt. There’s even a new term “belfie” due to the phenomenon of people posting pictures of their firm butts on social media. Maybe you have a body part you’re really proud of. Maybe there are a few you don’t want to talk about. Today, we’ll talk about the best way to truly sculpt the body parts you want to improve.

The secret to building up stubborn body parts is one word: Contraction. While many lift weights and perform exercise they think will help sculpt their body, the likelihood is they are not contracting the target muscle for a long enough time to build it up. The other problem is likely the muscle is not fully shortened during the exercise. What’s fully shortened mean? Let me explain.
Fully shortening a muscle, like the triceps for example, would be pulling your elbows back behind your body and fully extending your arm. You see most people do triceps pushdowns with the cable in front of them and then extend down. They may feel their triceps, but they haven’t fully shortened or contracted the muscle. This process forces your nervous system to recruit more muscle fibers because the muscle is very weak when fully shortened. So let’s start by laying out what you need to do to get maximum contraction.
Learn the Muscle’s Range of Motion:
A key to this process of properly contracting a muscle is to learn the true range of motion of the muscle itself. As with the example of the triceps, the full range of motion is when the bicep is contracted (the triceps are fully stretched) and when the elbow is pulled all the way back and the arm is extended. With the chest, maximum contraction comes when your hands are pulled in towards each other. With the calves, point your toes up towards your knees as far as possible, then extend your toes down as far as possible (like a ballerina). Getting the idea? Take the time to figure out your body’s full range of motion!

Start by Contracting:

With any exercise, begin by contracting the muscle you intend to engage first. So, when doing a seated row for example, pull your hands away from each other first, thereby engaging the lats immediately. Then, follow throw with the movement by focusing on driving your elbows back and down. This will shorten the muscle and take it through its full range of motion, ensuring constant tension and stimulating your body to repair it bigger and stronger.
Slow the Negative:
Super important! Slow down the negative part of the exercise. For example, after you do a bicep curl, control the weight slowly on the way down. Keep tension for as long as possible during a set of an exercise. Muscles only grow because of the tension placed on them. The weight you use should only be a tool to increase tension, but the truth is you can increase the tension just by activating the muscle, fully shortening it, and keeping it under tension through the duration of an exercise. In other words, leave your ego and attitude at home when weight training. You don’t need lots of weight to get amazing results.

Have a Vision:
Yes, the mind-muscle connection is very real. It’s your brain that send signals to muscle fibers to contract and extend. Therefore, it’s imperative that you focus on the target muscle and squeeeeeeeeeze it to maximize the connection between your mind and the muscle. It’s true—you must get your head in the game when bringing up lagging body parts. So, have a vision for the body you want and then train wisely and efficiently to go and get it!

Conquer Worry


Watching the news today, one would think that humanity is on the brink of Armageddon. Sinking global stock prices, ISIS, global unrest and just overall bad news. If you are thinking about what the future holds and are uncertain about what to do to survive this global crisis. I urge you to think inward. Very few things in life are within our control, but they are the most important. Among these are time and health. The only thing we truly have is the time left in our lives and the quality of our life in the form of our health. With this in mind, let all of us focus on increasing the quality and length of our lives with the hope of bettering the world around us. The following are recommendations to help cope with stress, gain strength and maintain a positive attitude. Take heed of this advice and send this article to everyone you know who could use some help.


All stress, worry and anxiety is fear.  And there are really only two types of fear; 1. that you won’t be enough , 2. that no one will love you. Are you afraid of losing your job? Your wife? Your health? What if you did? What would happen. See,  those fears really boil down to the fear that if something bad happens, you’re not enough or others won’t love you.  These fears are easily banished by taking action.  The problem is that taking action requires discipline.  It takes the PAIN of disciplining yourself to confront fear and refuse to let it get a hold of you forever. Get better thoughts and emotions in your life. Decide to live in a great place whenever possible.  And yes, it’s possible to live in a great state when the world is falling down around you. It just takes tremendous discipline. So let’s get moving!


If you are feeling down or lethargic ask yourself, “Am I working out 4 times a week? Am I sweating? Am I combining strength training with cardio exercise?” If you answered yes to all of these questions, really look inside and be honest with yourself. We’re talking about your life and if you are living in denial or making excuses as to why you can’t exercise, you’re inherently sabotaging yourself. Be honest. You need to exercise vigorously at least 4 days a week. No excuses and no whining.


A recent article from the Mayo Clinic reports on the mental benefits from exercise. The release of endorphins via exercise can cause an elevation in mood and reduce stress. Regular exercise forces us to concentrate on ourselves rather than the situation of the world. In addition, working out can reduce the symptoms of mild depression. Perhaps the most important mental aspect of working out is the boost in self-confidence. There is a mind-muscle connection in which the mind controls the body. But this connection works the other way around as well. While many sit and complain about how they are “not in the mood to workout”, they forget that working out the body will improve the mood. Next time you’re not in the mood, go lift some weights and see if your attitude improves. I guarantee you will feel stronger, more energetic and more confident.

Bottom line: Stop sabotaging yourself! Go train your body and improve your take on life.


The food you are taking in could very well be causing your mood to sink. Fast food and restaurant food contain large amounts of sugar, flour, hydrogenation and trans fats, which cause an inflammatory response in the body. This will cause your mood and your body to sink faster than a rock (result: food coma). Moreover, intake of these types of substances is devastating to the liver and kidney, which filter out toxins and synthesize amino acids and other compounds. Fast food and highly processed foods are the equivalent of a tiny bomb going off inside your body. I point to Morgan Spurlock’s documentary film nside your body. I point to Morgan Spurlock’s documentary film “Supersize Me” as evidence of what can happen from constantly bombarding your body with these types of foods.

I can’t even tell you the amount of times I have heard clients say, “I don’t eat this stuff all the time.” What they really mean is, “I don’t have McDonalds for every meal.” Sometimes it’s McDonald’s for breakfast, Taco Bell for lunch and Jack in the Box for dinner. Get the point? We must eat clean in order to properly manage our lives and our well-being. If we don’t prepare our own meals and eat nutrient dense foods, we are consuming large amounts of flour, sugar, alcohol, saturated fats and other elements that destroy the body. If so, we are THINKING WITH OUR TONGUES RATHER THAN OUR BRAINS! To maintain a healthy, positive attitude, we must think logically and give our bodies what they need, not what our tongues want.


Turn off the news and read a book. This author used to work in the media early in life and my arthritis began to give him more trouble than ever. The constant flow of negative information and geo-political problems can cause people to wonder why they should even try to carry on. Turn off the radio and TV and stop listening to pundits and analysts who claim to be experts. Rather, pick up a copy of “Think and Grow Rich” or “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” Learn how to heal yourself. The point is this: all the problems that you are facing in your life have been dealt with and written down by others. Take the time to read and learn how you can use the experience of others to improve your own life. The written word contains the secrets to life. All you have to do is be willing to seek the information out.


When we are under a lot of stress, particularly financial stress, we tend to cut back on purchases we deem are non-essential. Unfortunately, many of us will eliminate or cut back on the things we need the most to prepare us to deal with stressful times. Two things that come to mind are gym memberships and our supplement regimen. Stress left unchecked will eventually exhibit itself in the form of disease, both mental and physical. The best way to combat both is to give our body and mind the nutrition and proper exercise it needs to work towards developing a healthy mind/body relationship.

We all know there are times when we justify purchasing that 99-cent hamburger on the sweetened white flour bun in order to save money, rather than opting for something healthier, which may cost a little more. The problem with doing that is, once you have put that idea in your head, you will soon develop a lifestyle habit that will ultimately cost you much more in the way of compromised health. If you live the fast food lifestyle, it is even more important for you to maintain a healthy supplement regimen to make sure your body and your brain are receiving all of the nutrients they need, not only to run efficiently, but also to fight off disease and depression. A high quality multi-supplement containing nutrients like essential fatty acids, such as omega-3s from fish oil and B vitamins with powerful antioxidants like alpha lipoic acid and green tea extract, can go a long way toward nourishing and protecting your most valuable assets– your body and your brain.

If you are too busy to prepare or buy a healthy breakfast or lunch, you can at least add water to a healthy and delicious protein shake rather than consume a jelly doughnut. If you don’t know what supplements to take, look it up! The world is at your fingertips.

No one knows what the future holds, but it makes sense to prepare ourselves physically and mentally for whatever may come our way. If indeed we are headed for a long economic downturn, allowing ourselves to become physically and emotionally ill will only paralyze us in our own personal depression, making us even more of a victim. Remember, great things were accomplished during this country’s Great Depression era of the 1930s, such as building the Hoover Dam and the Empire State Building. Don’t let the worry about what might happen paralyze you into inaction. Take control of your thoughts—that, in turn, will lead to control of your actions. Prepare yourself to conquer worry and whatever challenges may come your way by exercising and nourishing your body and your mind. DOMINATE 2016!

-Sean Covell