Posts Tagged ‘training’

Micelle

Hello, my name is Michelle and I am excited to share my fitness journey as so much has changed since sharing my first story with Socially Fit. I’m from the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago found in the far south of the Caribbean. I began exercising at age 11 and never stopped unless told to do so. I was forced to stop working out in 2003 when I had a surgery. The other time was more recent, in 2013 after the birth of my miracle baby. Yes I said miracle baby since I was told that I was not capable of having children due to my diagnosis of endometriosis in 2003. I’m a figure athlete and have represented my country in various international body fitness competitions. My last competition being the Arnold Classic held in Ohio in 2013 where I placed 5th in my class.

During my pregnancy I was able to exercise with some modifications as I went through each trimester. However I had an emergency C-section which slowed my return to exercising post pregnancy. It was recommended that I should not to work out for the first 6 weeks post pregnancy and that was the crucial time when my weight should be reduced. Instead I have only lost a minimal amount of weight and after two months began a training regimen.

With the new addition to my family life, exercising has to be strategic. Timing is key. We purchased a treadmill for our home so I can get more structured cardio done when the baby is asleep. Weight training normally lasts between 30 to 40 minutes and is done prior to or after training clients as I am currently a freelance Personal Trainer in north Indianapolis area.

I have set both short term and long term goals and they motivate me to everyday to wake up and accomplish the objective set out for the day, week or month ahead. For example I set out to complete a 30 minute cardio session at least 3 days a week as well as 4 to 5 days of weight training to build muscle. My nutrition has also become even more crucial thus food prep every Sunday has become the norm to allow me to ensure the proper meals are consumed daily.

Some of my fitness goals include me being my original weight before I became pregnant on or before my birthday which is in July. I would also like to challenge myself by preparing to compete in October 2014 either representing my country Trinidad and Tobago or taking part in an NPC Show.

My hubby and parents have always been and still are the best support system ever. Hearing my mom say, “I’m eating better and exercising to be healthier” is support and a great motivational tool for me.

My favorite body part to work out is back.  I have always loved the quick response my back muscles adapt to my exercise routines over the years and this time is no different.

Always motivate yourself from within. Make mental notes and write down your goals. Mark Twain said it best, “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.” My last competition pic has been a continued motivational piece for me. I would love to earn my professional status one day. “One day at a time I am getting close to my goal” has been my mantra. It’s what I tell myself with each workout and each meal I consume each day.

Follow me on Twitter @triniintownmich
Blogspot M.O.R.E. Wellness by Michelle
Email michelle@fcindy.com
Or Facebook Michelle Blessed

Kristin

Since my last story approximately two years ago, I’ve rejoined the workforce, commuted to another county, my mother survived cancer, I’ve competed in a small bodybuilding show, sold my house and divorced.  It’s been quite a journey.

The competition in February 2013 was small and a lot of fun.  I wasn’t the fittest competitor at the show, but I was the fittest ME.  Just being strong enough and brave enough to get up on stage after having kids and several years of training and getting healthier was a victory in itself.  I lost to my bodybuilding coaches, but no disappointment there. I did it for myself!

I am planning to compete in Women’s Physique this summer in Venice Beach.  Gorgeous plans, lots of fun and many friends will compete there. Again, I’ll be doing it just for myself. Free time and extra money are scarce these days, so one show is my only goal.

My work/life/gym balance is currently far from ideal.  I spend 3-4 hours commuting daily to my office in Orange County.  I have my daughters every other week but hardly see them.  My training is done whenever I can fit it in. Five days training per week is my goal, but fluctuates based upon travel times, the girl’s schedules, obligations, and a disturbing need for sleep.   This is the area of my life that needs drastic improvement, but the bills must be paid!

My primary goal is to find proper balance, spend as much quality time with my loved ones as possible and become as financially independent as I can without sacrificing my health, fitness or family time.

For the past 4-6 months I’ve been lifting as heavy as possible and building strength and mass. My upper body and legs have grown and definitely reflect it. I focus on individual muscle groups during each training session, but do adore training chest with triceps and lats with biceps.  I just started lowering the weight and am doing 20 minutes of some type of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) almost daily now that I am working on leaning out so the muscle definition really pops. I am very careful to keep the cardio moderate, my ultimate goal is burning fat without burning muscle mass. I want to keep the strength I’ve worked so hard to develop.

While my nutrition is tighter now that I am working on getting leaner, I am much more loose with it than I used to be. I eyeball portions more often than weighing and measuring. Treats find their way in when I feel the need. I recently recalculated my macros and am playing around with 170 grams protein, 140 grams carbs and 40 grams fat daily.  If I don’t see the results I’m aiming for, I’ll change it. No plan is so perfect that it cannot be improved upon.  This isn’t a diet or a fad, it’s my lifestyle.  It gets tweaked as my goals and needs change. I eat a lot of lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.  Added sugar and processed foods are kept to bare minimums.  I’ve been doing this long enough that it’s no longer habit, but second nature.

Getting started, overweight, after having two children and multiple abdominal surgeries was HARD.  It was even more challenging to keep stepping into the gym when progress was slow, or seemed non-existent because I couldn’t see the changes happening fast enough for my liking.  It seemed like all of the incredibly fit people I saw at my gym were born that way and found it an effortless process. I have never, ever forgotten how that felt. I know better now and my passion is to help motivate others to take that first step. Encourage them to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Small steps now lead to BIG changes later. The journey to health and fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.  I want others to believe in their own inner strength and learn how to channel that into self-motivation.

The past year has been the most challenging of my life.  It’s also been the most rewarding.  I’ve fully embraced my inner strength, further developed my outer strength and emerged with the clearest vision of just who I am and, more specifically, who I am not.  I am perfectly imperfect and the people in my life who truly matter embrace me for who I am, not who they want me to be.  I am grateful for each new day.  Love and respect yourself first.  Then allow others to.  Love more.  Train harder.  Eat better.  Dream bigger.  Don’t compare yourself to others be the best possible YOU!

TWITTER: @OrganicOutcast
FACEBOOK: The Organic Outcast (warning: haven’t logged onto FB in months…)

Norba Nationals, Mammoth Lakes, CA - Jul 2001

Norba Nationals, Mammoth Lakes, CA – Jul 2001

I am an exuberant animal, dancing my way through life exploring every nook and cranny that is presented to me on this journey. My year round interest is ice hockey. I don’t play that much any more, so when I say ice hockey, I’m referring to the players that I develop, both on and off the ice. During the summer in my free time I’m in the mountain hiking with my dog and during the winter I’m snowshoeing with him. On the slopes during the summer I’m mountain biking, and during the winter I’m skiing. My current projects are developing an elite strength and conditioning program for Washington Ice Skating Association (Seattle Juniors Hockey Association and Seattle Skating Club). Also providing functional fitness and correction exercise services at an integrative medical clinic (Masa Integrative Clinic) in Seattle, Washington.

From as early as I can remember, my life has revolved around physical activity. Skiing, mountain biking, and hiking have all been the staples of physical activity throughout my life. When I was 9 I discovered ice hockey in the movie “The Cutting Edge”. From that day, I have been obsessed with the sport. I’ve always been passionate about fitness. The most recent catalyst for change came when I was living in Los Angeles in 2012. I had moved from Kirkland, Washington back to Los Angeles, California to be reunited with my closest friends since I moved to Washington to attend Bastyr University. When I moved back, I was my heaviest at 195 pounds. I had never been that heavy. As time went on, I continued gaining weight and hit 210 pounds in late 2012. I realized something needed to change! A better way to say that is transform! I wrote down all the tools that I used with clients to improve their lives and applied them to myself! I can now say “Wow this stuff really works”. I haven’t looked back since. I’m now 178-180 pounds. I want to add a caveat that weight is not an important number to look at overall, but for me it had meaning. And that is the key, find what inspires you to transform your life.

Without fitness I would not be where I am physically, mentally, or spiritually. Fitness has given my life purpose, and a community that has a universal language. I don’t care what type of physical activity someone participates in it’s fitness. The fitness world as a whole has given me the opportunity to touch lives, that I would not have been able to touch without my knowledge of fitness.

Maintaining a high level of fitness allows me to continue to inspire others, while continuing to participate in the physical activities that keep me inspired.

Maintaining a high level of fitness allows me to continue to inspire others, while continuing to participate in the physical activities that keep me inspired.

My driving force is leading by example. Being able to demonstrate what I’m expecting from my athletes and clients is very important. Also being able to participate in all of the sports and activities that I’m passionate about. In the long run, I take care of myself in the hopes of having a long healthy life. I’m the only child of two amazing parents that have not had the easiest of lives and I have the most amazing stories to tell because of that. My parents have been the most encouraging and supportive part of my life. In whatever I chose to pursue, they were always there to ensure I had a plan in place, to ensure that I was making progress. They offered this support for my desire to race BMX as a kid to the 20 plus years of ice hockey, and attending Bastyr University. Outside of my family, I’ve always had the most amazing mentors and coaches. For example I’ve had the same skating coach since I was 9 years old! My psychology mentor I’ve had since I was 14. Of course that relationship started with me being a patient. But hey, he’s a mentor now. More recently a former professor of mine from Bastyr has become a great inspiration and mentor. The honesty was not always easy to hear, but without the unrelenting support and encouragement of these people, I would not have been able to confidently pursue my passion for athletic performance, fitness, and wellness.

The most difficult thing to face thus far has been the numerous head injuries I’ve sustained over the years. I believe I am up to 12 concussions and 1 brain contusion. The concussions are not the obstacle. The contusion however changed the course of my life. Don’t get me wrong, the course of my life has lead me to this moment, which I’m honored to have. As an 18 year old being told that I could never play hockey, race downhill mountain bikes, go skiing/snowboarding, or four-wheeling ever again, broke my heart. That realization sent me into a place that I never wish on any of my athletes or clients.  Following my contusion diagnosis; there was a 5-year span of my life that was incredibly scary for my parents. But with the support of so many, I over came that barrier to become the coach I am today. Speaking of this time, I am inspired to do a presentation on the importance of sensitive communication when dealing with athletes who are recovering from an injury.

It's very important for me as a Coach to lead by example ~ Coach Daniel

It’s very important for me as a Coach to lead by example ~ Coach Daniel

I don’t have a set routine but I always have fun and try to stay injury free. My favorite tools though include TRX suspension, Rip Kettle bells, Barbells, Dumbbells, and of course bodyweight. Every workout does include the following:

Dynamic warm-up

Power Component

Strength Component

Agility Component

Aerobic Component

Flexibility & Mobility Components

When it comes to supplements, I stick to the items that have been shown to maintain brain health because of the severity of the brain injuries I’ve sustained, most of these products come from Metagenics. I take a high potency DHA, Co-Q10, and Multiple Vitamin Mineral. Sometimes I’ll add protein powder to my yogurt or make a smoothie. To manage my pain, I take a product called Inflavanoid Intensive Care, which is a combination of anti-inflammatory herbs.

The following are examples of how I usually eat; as with my workouts, my meals vary as well. I do my best to ensure that I’m getting a healthy dose of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. For my own personal health; I am gluten free and take supplements specific to my health needs.

Breakfast – Greek Yogurt with peanut butter, dark chocolate chunks, and blue berries Snack – Coffee with soy milk
Lunch – Sandwich (gluten free bread) with lots of spinach, onions, and an animal based protein.

Snack – protein bar or drink
. Dinner – Vegetables and an animal protein.

I want to maintain my current fitness level and remain injury free. It’s that simple. I’m always preparing to participate in an event. Currently I’m contemplating getting back into racing down hill mountain bikes.

Am I an exuberant animal ~ Daniel Heller

Am I an exuberant animal ~ Daniel Heller

Are you lacking motivation?

If that phrase comes up, sit with it. What does it mean to you, the reader? If it’s not sitting right, try another phrase, “I’m not motivated to go to the gym.” That’s totally fine, what are you motivated to do? What does that motivation feel like? Use that motivation to create a goal. If you’re uncertain how to accomplish that goal, remember there is someone out there who has had the goal and accomplished it; who is also willing to guide you. You’re not alone! Fitness is an open-heart community full of people willing and wanting to support each other.

Personal Note: I would like to talk about the importance of community. What Socially Fit has created by bringing people together to share their fitness journey in a social way is incredibly powerful to those who need community support to accomplish their goals. Thank you for this opportunity to share my journey, inspirations, and future with your audience. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey of athletic performance with you. I hope that my journey inspires others to take charge of their own lives and to seek out the community that can offer the support they need to continue with their journey to fitness, health & wellness!

Daniel Heller, BSc, CSCS, FMSC
Email: daniel@ironwood-fitness.com
Website: http://www.IronwoodFitness.com
Twitter: @CoachDCSCS

Meet Elite Trainer – Will Hough

Ever wonder how the pros keep themselves in shape? Here you’ll find out what one particular individual is doing to stay at the top of his game. I’m often amazed by the sheer dedication and passion of the personal trainers, coaches and mentors that I see in gyms, out in the field and in the media. I wonder what their secrets are, what motivates them to get up every day and work hard to help other people achieve their fitness goals, shape and mold athletes, or coach a team to victory. My mission with this blog is to take a closer look at the world of personal trainers, coaches and mentors. What makes them sweat? What makes them smile? And what can we learn from their personal stories?

Believe it or not I met Will Hough through Twitter! He has quickly become a friend, a trusted peer, someone I can bounce ideas off of, and above all, someone I truly respect and admire. I am honored to feature Will Hough as the first trainer interviewed for “How the Trainers Train Themselves.”

Will Hough
Owner: WillFit in New York City
Certifications: USA Triathlon, IHP, Certified Coach, Strength Training for the Triathlete,
Swim Faster Using Less Energy, Triathlon Training Program Design, ACSM, CPR & AED

Professional Trainer Instruction in: Running, Weight Training, Flexibility, Endurance, Strength & Conditioning, Triathlon & Biathlon Coaching and Nutrition

How the Trainers Train Themselves: How did you become interested in fitness?
Will Hough: When I first got into training I was new at working out after coming from a background with the Marines. I had trained with the Navy Seals and Special Ops teams in areas like super chemical warfare, snipers, unconventional warfare training, heavy artillery and as a heavy equipment operator. I was a Marine from 1979 to 1985.

HTT: That’s some pretty intense training! How did you get into the business?
WH: Yeah, I knew about being conditioned but I didn’t really know about the art of training. I met a women in Seattle, Nita Gunthrie, back in 1982. One day at the gym I was trying to bench press 185 lbs and the bar fell on top of me because I didn’t have the correct form, and this woman comes over to me, she’s about 4’ 11”– and pulled the bar off me and said, “let me show you how to workout the right way.” That’s how it all started, that day in the gym. She took me under her wing and became my mentor. She guided me through training and reconditioning and helped me gain 30 lbs of muscle mass over two years. I went from 235 to 185 and started competing in triathlons and biathlons and became an adventure racer, a power lifter.
HTT: So that was a pivotal moment in your life, the beginning of a new career path, when this tiny strong woman came to your aid?
WH: Yeah! At that point in Seattle I was out of the Marines and just an ordinary guy trying to see what life was like on the outside. Within a year (1983) I became certified and started training.
HTT: What were your personal fitness goals back then?
WH: I wanted to learn to develop my body. Instead of being lean and small, I wanted to learn how to become more muscular, I was always intrigued about being strong and lifting a lot of weight.
HTT: And where did this new body and career as a trainer take you?
WH: I was working for myself as a trainer in Seattle for a bit, and I became a competitive bodybuilder in 1982, until 1989. I eventually made my way back to New York and started my own training business in 1993—WILLFIT/HOUGH LLC.

My business is based on training, conditioning athletes, the everyday person looking for a change from basic training. I’m more into taking a person beyond their limits.
HTT: What’s your favorite/least favorite type of client?
WH: Favorite type of client! One that’s truly motivated, passionate, driven, limitless and eager to rise above and beyond.
Least favorite client!?! One that’s wasting my time!
HTT: I hear that! What makes your training style unique? What is your specialty?

WH: My training style is very different, I try to see, learn, what makes you, YOU! Develop your weakness, make you stronger from within and then there’s no limit on where we can go from there!
HTT: If you had to sum up your style in a few words?
WH: Intense, driven, mind and body together as one!
HTT: What are your hobbies?
WH: My hobbies are vast, I have an African Art collection, Asian Art, sports memorabilia, a coin collection, car collection, Ducatis! I’m into almost anything that fuels my passion! My cars and bikes! Any chance I have to ride and drive it’s on!

HTT: Favorite food?
WH: Anything except red meat, sushi…
HTT: Favorite sport?
WH: Formula 1, then football.
HTT: What’s one of your “guilty” pleasures?
WH: Baking cakes!
HTT: Your favorite book?
WH: I haven’t had a chance to read any! I’m more into audio books now. But “The Feathermen” is a must!
HTT: Favorite movie?
WH: Gladiator! Anything action or Sci Fi.
HTT: What do you do to keep yourself in shape?
WH: I challenge myself each workout–cycling, high reps, moderate weight total body 3x week with cardio 30, 45, one hour sessions.
HTT: What do you do for fun? Leisure?
WH: Spend time with my son, my family and friends and my hobbies.

HTT: Where do you see the future of fitness heading?
WH: Future of Fitness! That’s a good question! I think the market is over saturated with unproven trainers, fly by night certifications and many haven’t paid their dues. While trainers like you and I have laid down the ground work for them!
HTT: Thank you, Will! I so appreciate your honesty, integrity and humor. It’s great getting to know more about you, like, who would have pictured you baking cakes? Formula One, yeah, that I can picture, but cakes? Sweet and Strong, an inspiration!

Follow/Contact Will:  https://twitter.com/#!/willtrainer008

Written by Laura McDonald 2012 and reblogged today as per Will Hough

“I couldn’t roll just living in the shadows” not anymore.

Be the best that you can be then be better ~ Morne Gabriels

I couldn’t roll just living in the shadows, not anymore. ~ Morne Gabriels

I am the proud father of four boys. Their age ranges from five through to thirteen.  I currently work from home as a software developer and have been doing that for thirteen years. I enjoy reading when I have the time, but my absolute focus at the moment is on singing, song writing and performing. I have also developed a passion for working out and running, running, running.

The only fitness activity I remember being involved in as a child was playing with friends and riding our bicycles everywhere.  However, exercise and fitness were not emphasized that much as I recall. I indulged in comfort eating; mainly because my parents were going through a messy divorce.  I remember eating 6 or 7 chocolate bars at a time, loads of bread, cheese, etc, etc.  In my mind, I’ve always been overweight.

Hitting puberty somehow helped and I grew into a more proportionate version of myself.  I remember my friend’s sister (who I had a little crush on) telling me that I looked so different (which was a boost) and then her immediately saying and laughing, “you used to be so fat” (which just somehow destroyed my confidence).

I remember as a twelve or thirteen year old, starting to run and running long distances.  I’d say eventually I was running 5kms, two or three times a week.   I had two bricks in my room, which I used as dumbbells.  So mainly did curls until I couldn’t hold the bricks any longer.  I did lots of calf raises, which I did until I couldn’t walk. Yet, that all fell by the wayside when there was any stressful situation in my life, I would return to comfort eating.

I had a certain amount of passion of fitness but never realized my fitness potential, growing up.   Through high school I never took part in any sporting events because I was never fast enough,  strong enough or confident enough.   My main form of exercise in high school was walking to school and back, which was about 10k each way.   I actually loved walking, thinking about it.  It was a great stress reliever during my teens.   However again whenever stressful situations or events occurred in my life, I needed to eat food that made me feel good.So this was my pattern for life until about the age of 32.  Exercise, stressful event, comfort eat, depression, exercise, stressful event, comfort eat and repeat.  The word “Yo-Yo” springs to mind.

The main catalyst for change was the day I stepped onto the scale and it displayed a nice, round number of 120kgs (about 265 pounds).  That, for some reason, did not make me depressed but determined to change.   I initially went about it in the wrong way; starving myself which again led to Yo-yoing but eventually learning that there is a balance to it all.  Exercise, eating right and rest.  When I finally got it right I noticed that the more physically fit I became the more confidence, joy and peace came to my life. I started thinking more positively about my kids and giving them a positive example.  Music; I started writing more songs and performing; it’s a really big passion of mine right now.  Being positive in my thinking and actions makes a world of difference. I am more adventurous now and willing to trying new things, meet new people.  I’m no longer in the background.  A line from a Foo Fighters song always gets me, “I couldn’t roll just living in the shadows” not anymore.

Apart from the obvious health benefits, it is truly a lifestyle for me now.  “Sweat everyday” is a poster I’ve seen on the Socially Fit Facebook page and it’s something I am living by. But the feeling of lightness, strength, confidence and peace is so intoxicating.  I want to feel that every day.  My support system is amazing. Though my immediate family resides overseas, my “in-laws” as well as my kids are always encouraging me.  Family and friends have all given me very positive remarks and comments, which spurs me on to keep going. My hope is that I am an inspiration to people.  If I can do it anyone can!! Furreal!!

The hardest thing for me to date has been maintaining the proper diet. Being consistent. I’ve learned to deal with stress in a more positive way and that has had a positive effect on my relationship with food; not being a slave to it. I’ve said goodbye to comfort eating.  I’m really proud to say that 5 years ago I was 120kgs (265 pounds) and today I am currently 86.5kgs (191 pounds).  No more Yo-yoing.  At my heaviest I wore 44inch waist trousers,  I now comfortably fit into 34inch waist trousers. I can honestly say that on average I run 80 to 100km per week! These are my accomplishments and I am humbled by them.

My workout routine is simple. I run an average of 7kms a day.  On alternative days I work individual body parts with weights i.e. biceps, shoulders, chest and triceps using 16.5kg dumbbell. I’m not taking any supplements at the moment.  My meal plan for the last four months has been eating one hearty meal in the evening including anything I wanted but would gravitate around green vegetables, chicken, fish or beef, rice or potatoes.  Also having the occasional junk foods like pizza, fries, fried chicken, etc.  But for the most part stayed away from white bread and hard cheeses. 4 to 5 cups of green tea, 1 to 2 cups of coffee and about 7 pints of water a day. In the last few weeks however  I’ve had 3 to 4 small meals a day; Morning oats, with cranberries and cashews.  Lunch: Tuna or chicken with green leafy salads.  Evenings: Chicken or beef, vegetables, rice. Snacking on fruit and nuts during the day. This appears to be working for me right now.

I plan to enter a few races to keep me focused and pushing forward.  I’ll start with 5k runs and work my way up. I’d like to increase my lean muscle and most importantly get that flat stomach.   I’d like to add swimming to my exercise regime, meaning getting swimming lessons.  Then possibly giving triathlons a go. Baby steps. If you would like to get started I find reading positive messages on pages like Socially Fit’s Facebook page or motivational groups really does help keep me in a positive frame of mind and thus positive about my reaching my goals. Make daily affirmations:

Hard work pays

Sweat everyday

I can do it – I will do it

It’s not how good you are – it’s about how good you want to be

Be your own hero

Find your focus, find that determination deep within yourself that’s been lying dormant all this time.

Pain is temporary.

Get it done.  Get it done.  GET IT DONE!!

I remember when I started my recent journey to a successful me it was the middle of winter, here in the UK.  I was up at 5 o’clock in the morning, enduring the cold and sometimes snow to go running.  And I started with 5km most days. In the back of my mind I was thinking though, 5km will become your maintenance run.  And it did.  Then it became 7km a day.  Don’t be afraid to speak to yourself, positively.  I wake up in the morning saying “Today’s going to be a good day” even when I feel the opposite.   I remember things that I am grateful for and it changes my mindset.  Be positive to and about others as well ‘cause it will come back to you. I tell/ask my kids the following before they leave for school, “Be the best you can be and then?”  And they answer “BE BETTER”.  That can be used in any part of your life but in this case fitness.

When I first start running, I could only run for 10 minutes before I started feeling my ankles and knees.  120kgs will do that.   But I didn’t stop.  I would run for a minute and then walk for 30 seconds.  Repeating that.  Slowly I became better, stronger, faster.   IF I CAN DO IT – YOU CAN. It all starts up here (points to head). Start thinking right and positive. Visualize your goals; the body you want, the health you want.  Think about it, see it and feel it; then BE IT.

The only limits in life are the ones that you imagine!

https://www.facebook.com/morne.gabriels
https://www.facebook.com/groups/38546773592 – my music related page.
https://twitter.com/DukeSeven7

The Way of Kaizen

Kaizen

The Japanese culture is based on respect, honor, and innovation. They focus on being better and getting better all of the time. You may have seen the Japanese word “Kaizen” frequently used in the business world.

According to Wikipedia, Kaizen is:

“Japanese for ‘improvement’, or ‘change for the better’ refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, and business management.”

Notice the word ‘improvement’ … it describes my journey to become Strong By Choice.

The Beginning

Growing up in Ohio, I certainly wasn’t the biggest or strongest kid. My body type is an ectomorph. Small wrists. Broad shoulders. Lanky legs. I remember how I used to look at those who played sports at our high school particularly one named “Larry” who was built like WWE Ryback at the young age of 16!

I knew that I wanted to look the same so I begged the football coach to train me to look like Larry. He chuckled and brushed me off. His dismissal hurt and only fueled my fire more. So I did what any skinny boy in America would do, I asked my parents for a weight set! After enough pleading with my parents, they finally decided to give in and shell out money for me to buy a Sears weight-lifting set complete with grey plastic sand weights and black steel bar. I would now show the coach and Larry what’s up!

Wrong.

After a few months, the weights became home to spider webs and boredom. Larry went on to muscle bound glory I’m sure while I stayed trapped in my thin frame.

Fast forward to my time in the military in the 1990’s through 2000’s. If one is not able to get in shape in the military, then there is no hope for them! Totally by God’s grace, I passed boot camp and military school to be assigned at a horrible place of blue waters, good weather, and clean air: Hawaii.

Since I would go on deployments, we have nothing better to do than to get in shape. So we would work out in scouring hot weather using the facility’s rusted equipment while downing the latest supplements in hopes of creating the Atlas physique. In fact, I think I could have been a shareholder for GNC’s supplement store because of all the money I was spending on potions, powders and promises (e.g. Bill Phillips & Body For Life, EAS supplements, Cybergenics).

During my time with the military, I was able to make some gains by ballooning to 170 lbs of muscle  and fat by eating Burger King and McDonald’s to put on size. My dress uniform pants for the military would scream every time I plunged my girth into them. Eventually I got out of the military and went into the Reserves. My access to the gym now meant I had to buy my membership and so I did. My wife and I joined the local gym in the neighborhood where some of the customers would walk barefooted while lifting heavy weights (no joke). That’s not all. The facility didn’t have a sanitation bottle to spray the benches. After a few weeks, we decided to cancel our membership and my training fizzled to nothing. We moved to Ohio and later moved to Kentucky. After years of inactivity, there was a spark that started an inferno of activity. The spark was a co-worker of mine named Jeremy Corder.

The Spark

In 2011, Jeremy had various health problems including Fibromyalgia. I recall one time when Jeremy showed me how many bottles of mediation he had to take for his ailments. I remember clearly that he pulled out so many bottles of meds that he shook his head in disbelief.

Over the months following, I was able to work from home for the company that we worked for. Since I was in Kentucky, I could instant message those at work to keep in touch. One day I was chatting with Jeremy and he shared with me how he had changed his life. He stated that he was off his meds, found natural solutions and was getting in shape! He shared with me that he was even starting to get buff. I could hardly believe what I was reading. To be frank, I was jealous because he took control of his life while I was stuck in my own mediocrity.

So one day, I was looking in the mirror and I knew that I had to change. Then a spark of inspiration touched me. I could see…wait a minute…I could see small definitions in my abs. I had eaten traditional foods and organic foods for a while and there must have been some fat burning on some level. I was determined to find the workout program that would work for me. The spark had been lit. I knew I had to change.

The Inferno

With new determination, I went to the local library. There had to be some program I could do that was time friendly since my #1 excuse was the #1 excuse of everyone else – Lack of time.

Enter Sean Foy – the author of the book “The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough.”

In the book, Sean proposes an exercise program that can be done in 10 minutes yet offer the same benefits of a traditional 1-2 hour program.

Skeptical yet? Good.

Why?

Because I don’t want you to believe what I say yet to encourage you to check out the book yourself.

I can say that with this program, I had successfully worked out consistently. Every time I try to weasel out of doing the workouts, I reminded myself, “It’s only 10 minutes. Anyone can do ten minutes.”

I do the workout and boom. . .done.

Through eating real food and working out for 10 minutes (M,W,F), I began to slowly see changes in my body. Yes, the spark had ignited into a flame.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have -  @strongbychoice

Find what works for you and stick to it ~ @strongbychoice

The Future

From that point I had moved from body-weight exercises to being able to afford a gym membership and getting in the best shape of my life in 2011-2012. I started the Twitter handle @StrongByChoice because being strong is always a choice.

In early 2013, I dead-lifted 205 lbs and 210 lbs at 165 lbs which you can view here: bit.ly/19wh055 it’s my personal best to date.

My twitter account remains active and my core supporters are a group of committed individuals called #TheStrongNation. For the time being I’ve cancelled my gym membership in order to save money and focus on new ventures. My training is at a stand still however I realize that fitness is a journey and the choice to be strong is indeed a daily choice. Eventually, I’ll get back on track. My training is all about Kaizen.

Besides, 10 minutes is a good place to start again, right?

Christian, husband, daddy and the assassin of average. Creator of ™  @StrongByChoice

Sammit Fitness

Dan Sammit

Sammit Fitness is committed to providing health, fitness and performance training and education. 

I am currently involved with 2 successful small businesses. I am the co-founder of Pin High Performance and the owner of Sammit Fitness.

Pin High Performance develops custom fitness programs for golfers of all levels. Sammit Fitness is committed to providing health, fitness and performance training and education.

Over the past several months, Sammit Fitness has been working with health care providers and a holistic health program (sponsored and funded by SunLife Insurance) through a local hospital to help people with various health conditions. It has been a great opportunity to give back and help transform people’s lives through exercise and education.

Today, I enjoy being physically active on a daily basis but it has not always been the case.

Many of us were introduced to fitness through sport. My childhood was no different. In the warmer months, track (sprinting), soccer, baseball, bike riding, hiking and street hockey were the norm. In the colder months, downhill skiing was the major source of physical activity.

As I got into my teens, physical activity became an afterthought. I made poor food choices which lead me to become overweight for several years. I became very self-conscious of my body and my height or lack thereof. Going into high school, I was 5’2” and a very out of shape 140lbs. This caused a lot of anxiety for a few years.

It was not until I was at the end of grade 10 that things started to change. Over the summer I grew about 8 inches and gained about 20 pounds. When school started in the fall, I was much taller than many of the kids that used to pick on me. I gained a new confidence. Since I would not be the smallest, slowest guy on the field, I decided it was time to go back and try sports again. I signed up for baseball, and got back to regular activity.

I kept up with my exercise and sports into my early 20’s. That is when I was introduced to weight training. I also stumbled into a part time job at a nutrition/health food store at that time.

While working at the store, I became quite familiar with vitamins, herbs and supplements. This was extremely helpful with my weight training regimen and getting me healthy.

At this point, I was still unsure about my career path. I had the opportunity to manage several stores so I decided that I wanted that challenge. While I was running the stores and interacting with clients, I realized that I really enjoyed helping people with their health. It was gratifying to know I was empowering them and helped them feel better. That is when I knew I wanted to make my career in the health and fitness field.

Today, I enjoy being physically active on a daily basis but it has not always been the case.

Today, I enjoy being physically active on a daily basis but it has not always been the case.

With the support of my family and friends, I enrolled in the Fitness and Lifestyle Management Program (FLMP) at George Brown College. I had been out of school for several years and this program was a real challenge. After 3 years, I graduated and have not looked back since. My pursuit of knowledge did not end at school. I constantly read and study under some of the best fitness and health professionals in the world. My passion for helping people get healthy and reach their fitness goals keeps me going every day.

I enjoyed weight training but needed an additional challenge after school was complete. Enter Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). A friend of mine took me out to a class and I was hooked. It was hard to understand how these small guys and girls were able to handle larger opponents with ease. Talk about motivation! I knew that I had to learn this martial art. The sport has taught me some valuable lessons in dedication, perseverance, confidence and respect. It has been a great addition to my regular exercise routine. I am currently an active competitor.

Due to the varied sports and activities, my training and workout schedule have evolved over the past few years. I periodize my training based on various goals to maximize my results. Here is a snap shot of my current workouts:

1. Jiu Jitsu 2-3 times per week (1.5 hr per session)

2. Weight Training or HIIT 2 times per week (using free weights, kettlebells, sandbags, clubs, body weight) 20-30 min

3. Joint mobility is done daily (active recovery)

Daily meals can vary but here is an average day:

Breakfast: 2-3 eggs with ezekiel toast or fresh pressed juice (mainly from greens) with plant based protein and essential fatty acids

Lunch: 1 of chicken, fish or meat with mixed green salad, olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Supper: 1 of chicken, fish or meat with steamed vegetables (several types) or salad

*as many organic, non GMO ingredients as possible

Other important factors for daily health and fitness I follow are:

*3 liters of water spread throughout the day.

* Sleep from 10:30pm- 6am

Supplements are limited because I try to get as many nutrients from food as possible. That said, I use coconut oil (daily), BCAA’s (daily) and plant based protein on occasion.

Eat well, move daily, set goals, keep a positive attitude, and enjoy every second of life!

Eat well, move daily, set goals, keep a positive attitude, and enjoy every second of life! ~ Dan Sammit

Current GoaIs: Training to compete in several BJJ tournaments (3-5 more this year)

Start training for an athletic model/bodybuilding contest in 2014 or 2015

Continue to study and mentor with the best people in the industry

For those of you looking to start your fitness journey remember that physical activity can be done anywhere. Don’t get hung up on going to the gym to get fit. Choose activities you enjoy doing. Eat well, move daily, set goals, keep a positive attitude, and enjoy every second of life!

 

Follow me on twitter @SammitFitness and @GtaMMACoach
For golf fitness: dan@pinhighperformance.com
For health, fitness and performance: dan@sammitfitness.com

 

1, 2, 3 Lift!

For many women, and some men, targeting the butt during exercise is priority. From an anatomical standpoint, the butt consists of three muscles known as the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. When you want to create a fuller, rounder butt, you need to work these muscles with weight training exercises. You can use free weights and the weight of your body to achieve this goal.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat

  • REDUCE your hips and thighs, and melt away those stubborn saddlebags
  • SHAPE your gluteal muscles to get you a perfectly round derriere
  • LIFT your bum so it looks great from every angle
Reduce, shape and lift your bum with the following exercises:
1. Lunges – Performed correctly, the lunge is excellent for reshaping the butt. Options include static, dynamic or step-ups.
2. Donkey Kicks (or kickbacks) are an excellent butt isolation movement.
3. Squats (or split squats) are a staple!
4. Butt Lifts – are very effective and work the hamstrings and lower back as well.
Wonderbum Womens Lift

Wonderbum – Women’s Lift

You may also wish to consider undergarments that lift and enhance your derriere! Having never tried one of these before  we decided to try Rounderwear.  Being a bit of a tom boy myself I was drawn to wonderbum women’s lift and couldn’t wait to give it a try. We ordered online and it arrived in a couple of days! Stress free! I am a firm believer in clean eating and exercise to deliver my fitness goals and I didn’t have much faith in the undergarment industry to deliver results BUT wouldn’t you know… it actually works! What a pleasant surprise! It took all of my hard work and lifted it just a little bit higher. Happy days are here again!  I’m no longer a skeptic. We’re still working hard at the gym but it’s nice to know that there’s a little extra support there when I need it!

Thanks Rounderwear your product kicks ass!

Your friends at Socially Fit.

http://www.rounderwear.com

The Misfitstudio

Today I am the owner and creator of MISFITSTUDIO. It’s a unique Pilates, fusion and yoga studio in Toronto. My interests lay in building awareness, love and building a community with like minded healthy individuals. My current projects on the go, beside running a studio, managing a full and amazing staff, creating classes, playlists and running an Art Collective; I am writing a fusion teacher training program.

I am grateful to have been raised in a loving and artistically supportive environment. From an early age I showed a deep interest in art and dance, and that was never questioned. Following both through my childhood and teen years, I continue to this day. It  has always been celebrated. Health has always been a priority in my home; eating well, then rushing off to ballet, rhythmic gymnastics and expressive movement classes were a part of most evenings. I have always been physically active. I actually didn’t think about it, other than I needed to move every day; that was just a beautiful given and amen for it. My life has organically flowed from dance to yoga, to Pilates, to teaching, to studio owner.

Movement as meditation is my mantra.

I believe we could all benefit from a little endorphin kick everyday; a reconnect to yourself; an untangling and a quieting that happens when we focus on just one thing. I value this so much. It is what I encourage every student to attempt to do knowing the positive affects on my body, mind and spirit. I see my physical practice as my faith. I have an innate desire to move, to breathe and to flow with grace.

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I am thankful that I have the most incredibly supportive system around me. My family and friends have been with me on this journey from the very beginning. They constantly remind me of love in the world; of devotion and pure support. I am grateful every day for them and their true belief in me and my vision. Everyday is a lesson; an unknown. The surprise of it keeps me guessing and I have acquired skills that I never would have imagined. I take it all in stride and see it as an opportunity to learn and grow and be a better version of myself. I see each day as an accomplishment and take great pride in what my body can do as opposed to what it can’t.

I wake up and meditate to set my day. Then I practice a little on the floor beside my bed; yoga; stretching and breathing; then I’m good to go for the day! My morning shake is seasonal fruit, a scoop of protein powder and a handful of Bcomplex, omega 369. I take a high performance multivitamin and I drink magnesium before bed. I eat tons of fresh vegetables, delicious salads, quinoa, seeds and nuts. I love me some good dark chocolate!

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What if today is it?  What if today was the last day? I would like to learn more about the aging body. It’s my current focus. As my mother grows older I want to know how to offer a positive support for her and her generation so I’ll keep working toward this effort. I learned a very difficult lesson as a young girl and it taught me that you just never know when life will end. So I urge you to make the most of each day. Feel good, smile and glow from the inside. The only way to be inspired is to feel inspired, and moving every day contributes to that in a tremendous way.

Community is a massively important part of my life. I would like to take this time to thank friends, fellow teachers, mentors, students and family for contributing to the endless supply of positive energy in the Pilates, dance and Yoga community in Toronto!

I believe anyone can achieve their dreams! I am living mine and each day I am grateful for the love, lesson and unknown. The journey can be up and down, yet full of beauty and inspiration. Follow your dreams!

I want to make myself better tomorrow than I am today.

ImageSean has served almost 20 years in the United States Marine Corps as a fighter pilot and a test pilotflying 28 different types of aircraft. He’s a father and husband and has been blessed beyond all he deserves. He’s passionate about fitness and health-taking a holistic approach to fitness and exercise with focus on endurance athletics. You can find him on Twitter at Sean Garick@push_ur_limits and on the web at pushurlimits.com. 

 

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Now how do I tell you everything about me in a few short lines? No, I can’t, no way. But I can provide a few highlights and tell you about some of the things which matter most. Let’s start with the amazing…  

 

One of greatest joys in life is watching someone accomplish something they once thought impossible. It’s amazing and life altering- to realize that there really are no limits to what you can do. I love to be a part of that. We live in a world of amazing people. People overcoming every type of obstacle imaginable; some are physical, some emotional, some mental. The people who are doing this have one thing in common- they believe! They may not have always believed, often it was someone else who believed in them first, but they believe now.  

 

“Every great achievement begins with the decision to try.” 

I’m constantly in awe of what people are capable of when they believe and apply. Of course, I’m also amazed by what others can’t accomplish because they just don’t believe it’s possible.I CAN’T are the words I absolutely hate more than any others! I’ve faced these ‘limitations’ myself. When I first joined the Marine Corps I had a group of buddies who invited me to go for a run with them. Then they told me they were going 10 miles. I quickly declined but inside I was astonished. How can someone run that far? I was firmly convinced that there were two kinds of people in this world: those that could run far and those that couldn’t- and I was squarely in the group that couldn’t. I lived with that until I was in my mid-thirties. 

 

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“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves” 

Then I began to wonder…hmmmm…what if...I wonder if I could add a little distance. I began incrementally with a little, then a little more. I remember the first time I ran 7 miles, then the first time I ran 10. I began to believe. Then eventually the Marine Corps Marathon. Now, remember my mindset at that time 26.2 miles was paramount to walking on the Moon. I mean, it was that far out there. It was an impossibility and yet, I did it. I had achieved the impossible. Here I was a pretty smart guy, a Marine and a fighter pilot and yet I had lived with a SELF-MADE limit for over 35 years. I had limited myself for absolutely no reason. I had held myself back. I had diminished how full my life could be. I had done this to myself. I vowed never to do it again. 

 

“Do not fear death. Fear an unlived life.” 

There are much better examples of this than mine. Just last weekend I met a Marine who told me about the number of screws and metal parts in his right leg- he’d been injured in combat. He and I met while both doing some open water swim training in the bay- training for his Half Ironman that he was doing the very next weekend. Awesome! I am fully convinced now that all limits can be overcome. And more importantly they can be overcome by anyone….anyone who is willing. We have the power in ourselves- the power to limit ourselves or the power to live an unlimited life!  

 

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t. You are probably right.” 

I love optimism. I have no room in my life for negative thoughts or negative people. I believe that attitude is contagious. The old saying, “You are either affecting or infecting others” rings very true. Motivation, positive thinking, and encouragement– these things are absolutely crucial to your mental state and your ability to achieve success. And these things have a shelf-life. They are fleeting! The book I read says ‘renew your mind daily’. It takes constant replenishment and that replenishment takes effort. We must work to remain positive and motivated. I love quotes and inspirational sayings- if you follow me on Twitter you already know this. These things replenish me. They renew me and my commitment. Yet another reason that I love Socially_Fitthe constant motivation and encouragement.  

 

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Athletes amaze me. I’m addicted to their inner strength. They get it, when the rest of the population doesn’t. Every damn day!That motto, that mindset. Regardless of the circumstances, the weather, the mood- they get up and go do their thing. Run, swim, bike, lift, Zumba, Crossfit, it doesn’t matter. That mindset translates into everything else in their life- the ability to push through the pain and to get up when you can’t. Because let’s be honest, life is going to knock us on our ass sometimes. How long we stay there is up to us and is often more a mental battle than a physical one. Every athlete knows it’s better to get up, get going and get it done. Life is always better when we do this rather than just lying there feeling sorry for ourselves. And similarly the day is always better when we get up and get that workout done. Love it.  

 

Balance: 

I am a big believer in well-rounded fitness and truly love all forms of exercise. In training myself to become a better athlete it didn’t take long before I expanded my view to include all the aspects of what healthy really means. The ONLY view that’s acceptable is a holistic view. We’ve all seen that guy in the gym that looks like the Hulk above the waist but is standing on toothpicks! Or the opposite version of the ultracyclist with amazing legs but looks like a 10 year boy above the waist. This imbalance is present in anyone who only focuses on ‘one’ thing. They develop imbalances in muscle strength. Different parts of the body compensate and stress is placed on parts that weren’t made for it. The eventual result is injury. Balance is the key to our health and I believe in holistic view of muscle development with an emphasis on core-related fitness.  

 

But we can expand this holistic concept a little more. For example, great exercise without proper nutrition will result in ceilings on our achievement as well.As I began to move into multi-hour workout sessions and multiple workouts per day,nutrition became a more important part of my life. You cannot train at high levels without making nutrition one of the pillars upon which your fitness is built. Now it’s about focusing on the various aspects of nutrition: pre-workout fueling, fueling during the workout, recover fueling and getting the body ready for the next session- which many times is only a few hours away. I get so tired of eating! Very rarely is eating for enjoyment- it’s about feeding the machine- about fueling the beast- making it better, stronger and ready for the next challenge.  

 

Now, if we dare to expand this concept a little more to account for our life as a whole, it’s easy to understand how all things need to be in balance– God, family, fitness/health, rest/recovery, work/career, seriousness, silliness, leadership, followership, father/mother, son/daughter, etc. If any of these grows too large individually at the expense of the others we will have issues sooner or later. We are made to be multi-dimensional- we can’t achieve our full potential living a one dimensional life. If we fail to achieve balance at any of these levels we will undermine our goals and will not reach our potential. Again, balance is the key.  

 

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“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift” 

People often ask me how do I run and bike for hours at a time. What do you think about all that time? Why do you do it? Truthfully, inside me there’s a celebration going on! Every workout, every mile is an expression of gratefulness. There’s so many who would love to be doing what I’m doing and they no longer have the chance. I run because I can. And I run for all those that can’t. 

 

And my favorite feeling? Post-workout, laying on the ground, covered in sweat, too tired to move. The body completely drained of everything it had. You gave it all. There’s nothing left. That feeling of complete and utter satisfaction. The body is empty- but the heart, the heart if full!  

 

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Final Thoughts: 

ImageI want to make myself better tomorrow than I am today. I want to attain heights I’ve never reached. I want to inspire and help others to do the same. But I’m also at the point where I want it to be about more than just me. I want to do more. That’s why I was very excited to find the Charity Miles app. It’s an app that tracks your cycling and running and then a sponsor will donate to the charity you choose. It’s an awesome example of something that is ‘right’. A way to give and a way to help by doing what you were going to do anyway. There are some great charities and great sponsors. I run and cycle for the Wounded Warrior Project and PROMAX Nutrition donates for me. It’s a great relationship. I would like to find more ways to do similar things like this. If you know any, please let me know.