Sunday, February 24, 2013

3 step

I've had a blog on my mind for about a week. Kind of geared towards young athletes but relate-able to anyone. I definitely need to get it out before the "fire," of it fades away. This pic kind of reminded of it.
A few things I wanted to touch...
  #1 - Know your goals.  Its a real simple question. 

What do you want?

What do you want?  What is it you need?  We all have them, wants and needs.  Everyone does.  Do you actually know what it is you desire?  Desire... its such a burning word.  I write it, I type it and just saying it out loud... I cant say it normal!  Its like DE-SIIIRE and my face kinda snarls up like I'm ready to head back to the gym for round 3.  (This can be physical and fitness related, it can be work related, it can be about a relationship with a brother or sister or spouse, it can literally be about anything.)
You cant move on to anything and do anything until you know what it is you want.  Without knowing what you want, you're in the dark.   
I've known a lot people in the dark, I still know people in the dark... I HAVE been in the dark.  Sometimes, the worst part about it is, you don't even know how dark it is.  Sometimes you've been in the dark so long, you don't even know how good the light can be.  For some of us, the darkness is all we've ever known!   BUT...
Eventually something happens, something has to happen, and we see a spark.  And we want to know what its about.  Where'd it come from?  That light looked good, where'd it go?  Then we catch it again... where'd it go?  And again, I like it, lets find it, where'd it go?  So now we're on the move, we've been dark but now we caught some light and that light looks sweet!  We know we want it!  And its go time and we're going to do everything we need to do to get it.  Anything & Everything. 
Take a second and think about that...
A dark job.
A dark relationship.
A dark state of mind.
A dark level of fitness.
A dark level of self confidence.
We need the light to show us...  
  #2 Opportunity - We're loaded with it.  Everyday. Literally, every single day.  We act like we're busy and stressed and all that, but deep down that's a bunch of bullshit. We have 100's of opportunities every single day to improve multiple areas of lives.  We can improve work, we can improve our health, we can improve our relationships, we can improve anything.  But lazy is easy and work is hard. Its easier to sleep in than it is to get up and run, its easier to watch television than read or think, for some of us its easier to quit... but for some of us, quitting will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.  Never.
What's harder? Make excuses as to WHY something didn't happen or making them happen?
What's harder? NOT seeing results or waking up, going to the gym or hitting it after work?
So know, believe with all your heart, opportunities are swirling around you, right now.  Right now, theres an opportunity to improve something, anything.  Finish reading this :) but when its over, put your phone or laptop away and call a loved one, read a book, go for a run, just sit quietly, make a goal sheet.  Do that, get out a piece of paper and write 50 things you want.  50 random things.  Then put it on your fridge and read it every day. just doing that, it seems so minor, but its so major because you'll be creating a magnet and that list will attract positive things into your life.  Google "the law of attraction," but not now... read this then call your mom or go for a run.  Just turn off the TV and computer.  
Lets review since I got a little carried away:
We know what we want because we've seen a light.  We've been dark but we're ready now.  We've seen a light and we know, we're fully aware of the endless possibilities that are all around our lives.  So theres only one thing left to do.
  #3 - The active and actual decision to lock in and go. Knowing what you want is #1, acknowledging that there is opportunity #2, going and doing it is #3. You know what you want, go do it. Just do it. Nike has the greatest logo and saying. You see the swoosh... You think "Just Do It." I do. I used to have Nike ads hanging in my bedroom when I was a kid. "Just do it," was everywhere. That's why I know, I don't care about this back pain I have... Unless it can stop me from physically, literally lifting my leg, those runs I plan on running will happen. I have mornings where it hurts in my back to walk down steps.  I have days where its tough to put pants on because lifting my right leg takes my breath away... but there isn't a question about it.  That's my WILL, that's my HEART, it can't stop.  I refuse to quit.  You know what you want. You know what you need to see. You know your goals. You better know your goals. Just do it. Talking about it does nothing.  Saying "I'm working on it," does nothing.  Action is everything.  You can be a great "talker," but if you cant do the things you say... time to be quiet.  I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to be able to do the things I put clients through.  how can i tell you to run, if I couldn't run?  If i didn't have the balls to go through the exact same workouts I'm willing to put you through... I'd be a piece of trash.  Flat out.  Granted, its getting to the point... actually passed the point where my age is taking its toll, and some of these young athletes are going off doing things I could never do.  But I'm still willing to push myself to edge, to the max, to the sweat covered, pukey max :) 
Dinner will be there. The television will be there. The job will be there. 
Your opportunities will one day disappear.   Your chances will fade away.  Time will not pause for us to get our heads out of our asses... its a little harsh but sometimes we need that.  I know I do. 
How bad do you want it?
How bad do you want to look back and say:
"I did that."
"I made that happen."
"I fixed that."
"I worked my ass off."
"I won."
"WE did it."
"We made it happen."
I want to say "We worked together and created something so f'ing amazing, they're going to want to copy us... lets help them duplicate it and lets even improve it.  Lets work for perfection. 
Lets never stop."
Will you have a list of excuses or great stories about what you DID do?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Some things to think about...

...when hiring a personal trainer.
Experience is important. 
     How many clients have they trained?  What was the variety of the client base?  Have they ever trained anyone with similar goals to yours?  Its OK to ask for references and a resume.  Remember, you're about to spend hard earned money and your health and safety is at the hands of someone else, don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. 

Is longevity is important.
     Not quite the same as experience, but this is actual length of time/years.  Knowing someones been around a few years might feel a bit more comforting than someone brand new.  That being said, I still train quite a few people that I met at my first real training job.  After all, a new trainer has to start somewhere but again, you need to feel comfortable.  Plus there are quite a few "old," trainers still teaching very old methods and never evolved.. so maybe new is better? 

Education is important.
     The trainer needs to be able to answer as many questions as possible with facts, not opinions.  Yes, there are many theories as to how to obtain certain goals however, this is also a science.  And not having the education and understanding how muscles "fire," how joints move, how the metabolism slows down and how to speed it up, how different stresses on joints effect the muscles differently and stimulate growth, can hinder your progress, it can put your body in danger and it can waste a lot of your money.  I have seen many, many clients spend money and a lot of time and still look the exact same. 
    If the trainer does not know the answer, he/she needs to say so.  For instance, I know my weaknesses.  I know I cannot comfortably plan someones weekly or monthly meals.  #1 I'm not a nutritionist or dietitian.  I'm pretty sure if an unlicensed trainer does write meals for you and something were to happen, there could be a law suit.  (Someone told me that.) 
     #2 I'm not a nutritionist or dietitian. 
     More personal side note
     I do not have a degree. 
     However, I read an incredible amount of health and fitness related articles and training case studies out of the National Strength & Conditioning Associations monthly journals.  They cost a lot of money and are very specific.  I hate wasting money so I read as much as possible to stay up on new tests, other styles that are going on worldwide and whats happening in college weight rooms. My main certification covers a very large portion of what is covered in most exercise science and physiology courses. 
     I read, I stay up date but not all trainers do.  This goes back to my top point, ask questions, especially if you have some special needs or any lingering/rehabbed injuries.  If they don't have the knowledge to program your training that best suits your goals and your body, they're not a good fit.  They might be an OK trainer, just not a good fit for you.
     Not having a degree only hurt me on paper early on, before a resume was built/established.  I have trained professional athletes who have literally walked out of the workout to grab their cell phone to call their head coach and talk about the work outs.  No lie.  I don't brag or talk much about who Ive trained, but when cool things like that happen... its kinda worth repeating... a few times.  Prior to coaching changes over the last 12 months in the Big 10, I had open invites in the top 2 football schools (in my opinion) to come in and work with the teams whenever I liked.  That's not offered to just anyone.  That sounds like a pretty cool "degree." 

Professionalism is important.
     All of these points I feel are important, but this might be 1 or 1A.  If you're seriously considering hiring a personal trainer, first scout him/her out.  By "scout," I mean watch from afar.  Go to their gym and watch them interact with their clients.  Watch their routines. 
-Do they repeat for everyone, 4 sessions in a row?   How much thought do they really put into a session if everyone who comes in is getting the same workout?
-Do they text or play with their phone during the session?  You'd be amazed how I often I see this.
Are they dressed appropriately?  If theyre wearing jeans, how can they show you how to squat or do anything below the waste?  If theyre wearing a tnak top... why the heck would they be wearing a tank top?  To look at themselves in the mirror?  Again... hang with me for a few days, in the 3+ gyms Im in... you would be amazed.
Then watch them when they walk away from their client.  What vibe do they send off?  Hows their energy? 
Again, its your money.  Spend it wisely.

Empathy is important.
     This was my other 1A point.  Empathy.  Merrian-Webster defines it: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.  They need to be able to feel you.      
     To understand your why.  Its critical.  If they cant understand your why, there will always be a connection missing.  In my opinion, the training will suffer.  Without empathy, theres just an "x" factor that will be missing, a partnership.  My clients goals become my goals, theyre now our goals, we're a team and I dont let teammates down.  Those goals will happen.  No one quits. 
     They have to be relateable, and this ties in with empathy.  If they cant relate to you and feel your struggle, feel your passion, your drive, your intensity, how can they train you? If they cant pick you up and lift your energy and remind why you signed up, how can they train you?   They have to be able to read your mood and feel your energy.  With the ability to relate and feel and connect, the link to motivate will not be there fully.  It might be there, but it wont be as strong as it could or should be.

Oh yeah!  Get a background check too!  Again, you're about to write a check for $500...   you'd be amazed what you'll find out.   

Wrap up it fella!
I have never lost a client due to lack of experience.
I have never lost a client due to any educational issues.
I have never lost a client due to anything that would/could be deemed unprofessional.
I have never had a client, fully commit and NOT reach their goals.  Never.   Full committment means train when its time to train, follow the homework and follow nutritional guidelines (especially those that now meet with Nick Kelly from Spotlight Nutrition, Blue Chips newest branch.  See, I told you there I things I dont know, so I find a really, really, really smart guy who does know it). 

I recently met with someone who I feel can take Blue Chip to another level, a level it needs to go.... stay tuned.  Its going to get better and better.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chill Out

(Written some time in May or June of 2012 but recently revisited it, made some changes and addded some things.)

"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need." Tyler Durden

Ironic... the week I remove the blog for being "too personal," is the week I find the need to write something really personal. Often, and I've hinted or maybe flat out wrote it, that these are directed back at me at times. So when reading this, don’t take it personally... I'm also talking to myself.

That quote at the top popped in my head today and maybe I shouldn’t admit that they often do. Fight Club quotes? Kinda weird, no? But it fits.

We're very busy people these days. We're working overtime or 2 or 3 jobs. “Stay at home,” moms are nearly extinct. Prices are going up, yet our wages are staying nearly the same. I was talking to a man who has been driving a semi for nearly 30 years. His son is graduating high school in a few weeks and then off to college. We somehow got to talking about school funding and how horrible he felt voting down his local levy. "I make the same amount of money now as I did in 2002... But everything around me is more expensive." So he needs a second job.

There are people I don’t see in the gym as often as they'd like to be there. I ask "where are you?" and they're busy... and they are. I know it’s not an excuse. I know they're not blowing me off, it really has zero to do with me or the workout... they're just flat out busy. School, work, the 2nd job, then errands and managing life, kids, dinners, little leagues... then we get a free second....

...and that’s where my mind is. What are we doing with the free moments? When the day is finally coming to a resting point... what are you doing?

It's 11:43 pm right now... My resting point began about 90 minutes ago where I wasted some time watching a sitcom and Greys Anatomy (and what a waste that was! Terrible season finale!). I'm not overly thrilled about wasting my time in front of the television right now... I never really have but it’s kind of been automatic, and I'm working on changing that.

I went on a vacation a couple weeks ago and had some excellent time to read and write. I remember sitting there thinking something along the lines of how amazingly ironic that I had to fly to another country to find time, to force myself to find time, to sit down with my thoughts... and do nothing but stare into space... and that’s exactly what I did.

I sat. I read some. I wrote some notes and observations... random thoughts. It helps clear my head and put everything in line.

Then I got home and thought "That habit isn’t lost in Mexico... I need it here." I need to find time to stop and breathe. We all need that time. We all need to find a way to sit down and do absolutely nothing.

No television. No computer. No cell phones. Sit and breathe and that is all. Does that sound crazy? What if you showed up to an appointment with me... and instead of heading to the treadmill, we sat in a quiet room... and did nothing but breathe? For 30 minutes, you will sit there and breathe as slow and as deep as you can... would you be mad at me?

What if that was the best part of your day? 30 minutes of turning the world "off." What if you did that every day? What if I told you, you'd start to feel less stressed and that you'd start to see things differently?

I get it... but I don’t get it. The car that you thought you needed to make you happy, is the reason you need to work 2 jobs... still happy?

I talk to so many people everyday... all week and everyone is stressed. Right now as I write this, I'm thinking of someone who works too many hours... someone who is in school and working two jobs.... someone who is so stressed they can’t get their thoughts straight... someone who sits up til midnight working on a website, emailing, facebooking, and writing crazy blogs that only his parents read :)

Hi Mom

Take a break... the weather is going to be beautiful this weekend... go to a park... go sit down and be alone for 30 minutes.... and do nothing but breathe.

Trust me. You won’t regret it.

New part:

What if I left the door open to the yoga room?  And bought a bunch of pillows to sit on... Would you go sit down?  No charge.  Just a room, an open door and comfortable place to sit quietly, would you go?

What we started a class like that?  Or ended like that?  20 minutes or so of nothing but deep breathing… so deep you forget where you are… so deep, 20 minutes felt like 5.  And you want to go back and do it again because you actually cleared your head and it felt unbelievable.

Side note:

Things are headed in a direction, I think you see that.  The current classes are strong and feel really solid.  Everyone is getting stronger, looking good and having a good time.  And very, very soon it’ll be time to add some new elements.  You will be meeting a few new faces, very good people, with fantastic intentions and a gift and an insight to share.

As more classes are slowly added and new people are with us, the entire concept will come to light.

I hope you enjoy it.    

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hi! (random updates)

And Welcome! A lot of new faces and people that I haven't seen in a little while are making their way back, so I wanted to take some time to let everyone know whats going and maybe a sneak peak into whats coming up.
First of all, for those new to reading these blogs, know that I often get off topic and talk about random things... then I write "What the heck am I talking about?" and get back on topic. Its all good.
My #1 goal for Blue Chip will always, always, always be to work to create, develop and offer highly effective classes and training at an affordable rate. Whether its one on one personal training, yoga, bootcamps, whatever they may be, I want it to be an experience. I want it be worth your money, worth your time, I want you to get what you came for. Scott's Yoga class is incredible, Alex and Mimi too when they come back, Nick is getting Ready, Set DANCE rolling along, Power Yoga Plus is... I'm continuously amazed every single week with the people that come and just let it all fly with no fears or doubts at all.
The BootCamp ties it all up and takes you to a different place. Ive always said "Yoga is the best training," and that wont change, but the Boot will take it somewhere else, not better/worse, but different results.
Point is, I never want you to leave and say "That class sucked, no clue what we just did."
I'M LOVING MONDAY NIGHTS! Absolutely having a blast with that class from creating the play-lists the days leading up to it, to getting there early and cranking those heaters, setting out the sign in sheet, chilling til you get there, hitting the lights and letting it fly... what a great night, every night. The heat, the intensity, the music, your flow, your effort and intensity, your desire and how you bring it every week... I'm in awe. Truly.
Kinda getting pumped for the summer! I'm 1000% confident that this is the year I'll finally be able to run the class I've been daydreaming about. But I do know, all spring/summer/fall, I'll be waiting for 60's and a slight overcast with a nice breeze... that's in my daydream too.
Ive tinkered with some Boot/Yoga concepts over the past few years, but they basically turned into just an outdoor yoga class and we missed the point. But this year is going to be different. "How?" In the past few years, Ive asked other instructors to run the yoga part because I wasn't confident I could transfer from "Boot-Brain," to "Yoga-Heart," and the class come off smooth. Issue dissolved :)
And I have a funny feeling the cost on these will be around... $0. Why not?
Indoor Boots started last week and they TOOK OFF! Pretty excited to watch this group grow as well as adding new toys and eventually a weight "room," which will probably be up and running by the end of March. When that happens... look out! One goal behind this class, especially when the weights are more involved, is to teach you how to train when you're not with me. A lot of people have gym memberships, but don't really know what to do, so they take a class. Problem with that is, most gym classes are just a "5," and we want "10's!" So with this class, you'll learn how to take yourself to work at a "10."
And we'll be calling the BootCamp, Training Camp from now on. Its not a Boot, at least not what other local group fitness instructors call a boot. Their Boot is standing in one room using 1 or 2 pieces of equipment and... I actually dont know what they do for 90 minutes. But I do know if it can last 90 minutes, yet your feet are pretty much stuck in one place, it cant be a very hard "BootCamp." So this is BlueChip Training Camp, because we TRAIN.
I promise you will see results. No doubt about it.
Schedule wont change much into March. The Training Camp might bump up to 6:15pm but we'll talk about that as a group. I'd like to choose a time that's most convenient for everyone. I know I cant please everyone, but I can try.
Again, thanks for coming in, coming back and getting the most out of the classes you've experienced so far... its going to get even better.

This Is Blue Chip