One of the questions I ask when people call for information about the Custom Body Fitness program is, “Why do you want to exercise?” The reason I ask is because it is very important to know exactly why our new prospect wants to exercise.
There are people who really just want an exercise that makes them feel like they’re doing something. Others are just looking to have fun, and for many others the doctor told them to exercise and they don’t know where to start. My job is not to persuade them to sign up for our program but to help them understand what they are looking for. Sometimes when I find out what they want, I refer them to a local gym or to the training center around the corner.
But I do have callers who want real results. These prospects are not looking for just any exercise program; they are looking for an exercise program that delivers the results they want, such as losing 30 pounds, toning their body, controlling diabetes or fitting in a two-piece.
The reality is that not all exercise programs yield the same results. Honestly, those people who are planning to get results have an idea that they need to sign up for a program that will not be easy to stick to. Nevertheless, they hope they can stick to it. Here is where a professional exercise program is different from a just “hardcore exercise program.”
If you are one of those people who are looking to get results and want to sign up for a professional exercise program, here is what I recommend you look for:
Motivation: Make sure that the personal trainer is motivational enough to help you get to your goal. You need to be motivated, and you can only get that from people who are motivational by nature.
Buddy: Research shows that people are more successful when they exercise with other people. Find a friend to sign in with or sign up for a group training program to find accountability from other people who have the same goals as you. Make sure these people are supportive, which brings me to my next point.
Family environment: You need people who are looking forward to exercise with you, not against you. It’s okay to be competitive, but the competition should be against oneself, not against your partner. When people are competitive with themselves it inspires other people. On the other hand, when people are competitive with others, the atmosphere can turn heavy and not fun.
Follow ups: You need to know where you start and how far you have gotten. This will help you to stay on track and understand that you are not wasting your time, giving you the motivation to continue on your fitness journey.
Feedback: To stick to your program, you need to understand the things you’re doing right and the things that can be improved so you can polish your exercises and get closer to your goal. Therefore, someone who can continuously give you feedback is important.
Commitment: Your program (or your personal trainer) should have the same level of commitment as you (or even more) to help you reach your goal. Trusting that he will be available and on time as you and he agreed in the beginning will instill in you a sense of responsibility, and the chances of sticking to your program are higher.
Humanistic approach: Many professionals have a high level of expertise and may express their knowledge with technical words. As humans we like to be fancy or technical to show how smart we are. However, sometimes when we try to impress our clients, our humanistic approach disappears. Make sure your team of professionals gives you a humanistic approach, talks from the heart and also has the knowledge to help you.
To get the results you want, you need to find a program that gets you out of your comfort zone. When the program is only “hardcore,” it can be easy to drop because of the level of difficulty. Yet when the program facilitators also get out of their comfort zone by walking the mile extra to help you achieve your goals and this makes you feel that the program is “easy,” your percentage of adherence is higher and your success is guaranteed.
While back when I started exercising, many people would asked me if I was a personal trainer which back then I was only a guy with a dream to improve his appearance. My only goal was to get in shape. On the other hand, I had other “friends” who wanted to discourage me to stop exercising. They would say something like, “When you get older and turned 30 years of age, your body will start getting loser and you will start getting fat.”
Many people start gaining weight after their puberty stage. And the reason it could be because of the habits they have developed. I started lifting weights since I was 19 years of age. I never stopped since then, so I don’t really know what is to be out of shape and I’m very happy with the results weight lifting have brought to my life.
Maybe my friends who thought I would be a fat person passing my 30s believed that I would give up my habits and focus my life in drinking and seating in the couch watching TV like they do.
I don’t think is nothing wrong with their lifestyle if it’s what they want. However, many people want to improve their self esteem, health, appearance and over all their quality of life. And I don’t think practicing negative habits will help them do that.
Here is my little secret I’m reveling to you. Honestly, it is not a secret. If you take some time to think about it, you will notice that it just make sense:
Every single thing you do in your life has consequences. So if your goal is to be healthy, lose weight, be in shape, improve your appearance, run your first marathon or wherever it is, you should start working on it every day. You either work towards or against it.
After hurting my back, completely dislocating my knee, lost a loved one, being in debt, be punished by USA migration and sent back home for months, I continued practicing my good habits and guess what? The prophecy my friends proclaimed did not become true. I’m over 30 years of age (I know I look like I’m 26, but it is just my habits that keep me young) and I continue lifting weights and eating healthy with no pains, healthy, disease free and very happy.
I keep in mind one of the laws I read in my personal development- We create our destiny, nobody else has control of it.
So just practice your good habits every day and they will pay off in the future. Great investment!
All the articles that I have written have been created because of you. If there are no readers, then it does not make sense to write. But all passionate writers do so because they are hoping to have a reader. And as you may have noticed, my emails are full of information that I have to share with you to help you in your journey to be healthy, to tone your body, to lose weight and ultimately to find happiness in your own life.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my narticles and apply the lessons mentioned in such to your own goals. At the end, I myself have been inspired by other writers and have learned from their knowledge, so I can succeed faster in my journey. The chain of us helping each other to succeed is indeed what matters.
I really enjoy writing the information I share with you and think that the topics I’m exposing will help someone to understand all the choices hi or her have in their life and be able to achieve his or her goal. We all are in the same boat and we want to help each other to navigate to our destiny.
Once again, I can’t thank you enough for trusting me with your health, concerns, goals and other questions or comments. However, I promise you to continue my research and education about the myths and truths about fitness. And along the way find out what works and helps you to stay healthy. Truly your health is my priority.
I’m hoping you are enjoying all the articles as I enjoy writing them.
It’s interesting that even though many of us know what to eat and all about the benefits of exercise—that it slows downs aging, prevents diseases, strengthen our bones, improves our appearance, and facilitates weight loss– it’s difficult for us to practice those healthy habits.
Lately I have being paying more attention to how the cells function. Cells are the building blocks of life—teeming with many organelles with unique functions, a microcosm of the unique organs inside the larger human body.
One specific organelle in cells, the mitochondria are often called our power plant and are responsible for the production of energy in cells.
The human body functions due to thousands of different cells, all doing their jobs: creating tissues that in turn make up organs, organs make organ systems that enable our whole organism to work. But fundamentally, it all comes down to cell and their health. Cells need energy to function and they get the energy from the mitochondria. Biologists and physiologists explain that the more cells we have the more the mitochondria we have, and the more the mitochondria there is, the more energy is needed. This leads to an increase of metabolism. When we develop more muscle in our bodies, we are actually creating more muscle cells, which need more energy, thus increasing our resting or basal metabolic rate. To say it in a different way, the more muscles the human body has, the more calories it will burn. For every three pounds of muscle we add to the body, we burn around 120 calories more.
Another reason to exercise is that weight lifting helps prevent osteoporosis. When we lift weights, the bone goes into a process that is called remodeling; it adapts to the stress to which it is put. The skeleton replaces itself bit by bit every day like this, and takes seven years to replace all the old bones. So if there is no stress in the human body, the bones remodels itself weaker, and the skeleton weakens accordingly. On the other hand, if the bones are stressed regularly, they develop a stronger skeleton.
A study several decades ago in Brookline, Mass. showed that even the elderly can gain bone strength after a few months of moderate weight training. The study had people over 80 and even over 90 engage in weight training a few times a week, and to the researchers’ surprise, the seniors’ bones got stronger. Great information, right? But what good this information do if we don’t practice it?
Action is what really matters. And action requires will. Albert Einstein once said, “There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity and atomic energy: the will.”
Many people need to boost their grit and their will. If they did, they would use the information they have to achieve their goals.
There are two types of energy: potential and kinetic. Potential energy is like water in a dam. The energy is there, but it’s not moving. Kinetic energy is like a river; it’s moving. Our brain works the same way; we can either keep the information static in our head or put it into action.
Exercising and healthy eating are two good habits that will add value to your life. Such changes will result in losing weight, increasing your energy levels, and avoiding some diseases, such as osteoporosis.
Many people neglect their responsibilities, including looking after their health, until the proverbial “tomorrow.” Unfortunately, “tomorrow” often becomes “never.”
My dream is to help everyone reach their potential and be genuinely happy. Our body is a machine that requires maintenance. Exercising and eating healthy will not only help you look good or lose weight. They are needed for a happier life. Put this into practice and you will see how much value you can add to your life. Make sure you do it now, however, since “tomorrow” may never come.
My dad came to the U.S. recently for the first time. He was overweight thanks to his lifestyle. In Mexico he sits in a taxi almost all day long and doesn’t eat very well. He didn’t think he could lose the weight. When we went shopping I suggested he buy smaller pants, but he didn’t want to. But after some time here he understands why I made that suggestion.
My father joined our fitness program. He is now in his 60s, and he has never been more fit. He lost 45 pounds in six months, gained a lot of strength, improved his posture, is now at 12 percent body fat and loves to run or walk every day, when before those activities were difficult.
He had never lifted a weight before or exercised in a gym. It’s never too late to start, even at 60 year of age. However, proper form and a good program is important to stay safe and healthy.
During training we focus on working most big muscle groups in the body including the pectorals (chest), latissimus dorsi (back), biceps, triceps, deltoids (shoulders), abs, quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus (butt). By knowing which muscles we are working on when we exercise, we can target them, avoiding doing movements that are not necessary and which may cause injury. We make sure we have an exercise for each muscle group and do three to four series of each exercise with 10 to 15 repetitions at least three times a day. Overloading the muscle correctly helped my dad improve his strength and avoid injury. If the muscle is not overloaded, there is no progress. However, if the overload is too much, injury may happen.
For many older adults, we stay away from high impact exercises to avoid any injuries. We isolate each muscle group, and we often work on balance with some equipment. Form is very important with each exercise to avoid overloading other muscles due to compensation.
A weight-lifting program not only helps people lose weight, it also helps build the muscles that we lose due to aging. As you probably know, we lose muscle as we get older. I know that many people want to stay young, and the only way to stay young and healthy is by exercising and weight lifting properly. Using periodization helps slow down the effects of aging.
Walking, running, hiking, biking and swimming are also beneficial in a different way. Weight lifting helps the heart become more efficient, but these exercises are more effective at that by targeting the heart and making it work to meet demand. The heart is a muscle that needs to be challenged just like the rest of the musculoskeletal system. When the heart is more efficient it sends more blood to the body, delivering more oxygen and nutrients and removing waste from the body. The heart does this when we are young, and we can continue that process as we age.
Proper stretching is important with any high impact exercise such as running to avoid scar tissue buildup and injuries. As we age we lose flexibility as well, and stretching helps to maintain a healthy range of motion to prevent injury. Many people can’t see the connection between tightness and injuries. Usually they blame weight lifting, running or any other activity they were doing. While is true that the activity may contribute to the injury, often the biggest factor is the tightness of the muscles.
It is essential to exercise properly to keep it as safe as possible and continue delivering results. My father has being exercising with me for nine months achieving great results, and he’s enjoying his life more with fewer limitations. He is improving his health and avoiding injury. Exercise properly at a later age is a need to stay independent and continue doing physically activities that we love to do.
“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.”
–Augustine of Hippo
When I was a kid, around 10 years of age, I remember going to the local market in Mexico with a friend to work. We used to bring clean buckets of water to the local sellers from the cistern. They paid us well for each bucket, and it was enough for us to play arcades. It was a routine. One day as we were dealing with a local owner, my friend noticed many bills on the ground. After my friend pointed them out, I picked every single one. It was more money than someone could make in a month.
I did not turn to look around as I walked out of the market. My friend followed me, and so did another guy. I have no idea how the guy who followed us ended up in front of us, but blocking our path he demanded I give him the money I picked up. I played dumb and told him I did not know what money he was talking about. He told me that if I didn’t give him the bill, he would tell the owner I have it. Since I knew I had a lot of money, I asked him how much he was talking about. He was asking for only one bill. I carefully pulled one bill and gave it to him knowing that I had plenty more. The guy walked away.
With the threat gone, we walked away as well, and I gave my friend his part of the money. When I picked up the money, I honestly knew who the money belonged to. It was a guy who used to sell chickens in the market. He was sitting in a food stall with his wallet half way out of his pants. I did not care about him; all I cared about was what the money could bring me. So I took it.
This is not the only dishonest act I ever committed. I committed many more. I am about to publish my book in which I talk about my life and all my mistakes. It took me many years until I turned 28 years old to understand that I was very selfish. It was not the age and the experiences that made me change. While these factors do contribute, what really made me change was pain — the feeling of being human and standing in someone else’s shoes.
All the money I stole in the local market (because I did not find that money, I stole it) I spent on useless things, and it disappeared in just a couple of days without bringing me any fulfillment. This money could have been the person’s next mortgage that he worked so hard for, his next inventory, his grocery money for the whole month or payment for the next needed surgery. The only thing I know now is that the money did not belong to me. Many times I rationalize that everyone was dishonest; therefore, I could be as well. The fact is that I always knew what was right and wrong and what was convenient for me or everyone.
Once I changed, I decided to ask for forgiveness from all the people I hurt that I could reach: return items that did not belong to me, pay money I owed, ask for forgiveness and start over by helping others.
From the bottom of my heart I know to do the right thing even when it is difficult and seems to affect my life negatively in the short run. Of course, by no means am I perfect, and I still make mistakes. However, asking for forgiveness and compensating is the best follow-up.
When we were remodeling our new location in Glenwood Springs, we spent most of our savings, leaving us living almost paycheck to paycheck. I was in need of income, and the place needed more investment. We went to Lowes to buy another $500 of products. When we came back and checked our bill, we noticed that we got charged only $66. Even though the business needed money, I was willing to do the right thing, so we went back with pictures of all the products that were not scanned, and we paid it all back.
When I was in college, I took many psychology classes, and there are contradictions among theories. Therefore I learned that not everything that people write is legitimate. As I continue my journey in my education, I remain a student. I never accept an idea without questioning it. I meditate the information, and it has to make complete sense to me to make it part of my teaching. Otherwise, I toss it.
For example, I found out that supplements comprise a million-dollar industry, and we as personal trainers have the opportunity to push these products to our clients, adding a couple thousand dollars a month to our income. I used to take many supplements, but through research I found out that they provide no benefit and can even put our health at risk, so I stopped taking them. Therefore, I don’t sell or promote any supplement.
Jim Rohn recommends to read a book on Gandhi and a book on Hitler. As a matter of fact I am reading a very interesting book that recommends lying, manipulating and taking advantage of people to get power over them. I focus my learning on human development, environment and psychology. But I decided to read this book for a specific reason: I like to study how people think and find out what to expect from someone who has no desire to improve this world and who thinks only about himself. I have no right to judge anyone. I used to be selfish, but it is good to understand.
I believe when we do the right thing and we speak the truth, we are peaceful and have less stress. We don’t have to worry about other people catching us doing wrong or having a guilty conscience about how our negative decision affected another person.
It is a sacrifice, but I think it’s worth it when we think about others. How would I feel if I was the one working at Lowes and I made that big mistake? I would probably lose my job when I have a family to sustain. What about the chicken seller I took the money from? How about if I were him?
When I started my transformation, I read many times the importance of honesty. Not only is it a natural law that we can’t be dishonest, but our self-confidence increases and our life improves. There is a thing that many people call karma in which the world works on turning things around, making us pay what we owe to life.
Once again, I am by no means perfect — I am still a human being — but fighting my desires and continuing to do what is right helps me be happy and ultimately make a change in this world, which is my goal.
Before I started exercising, I weighed 130 – 135 pounds. I loved my body back then. I did not compare my body with someone else. I didn’t even know there was a difference between my body and others. It could be because the society where I grew up did not put attention in insignificant details.
One day I was working with a body builder. I noticed his body was different than mine. We worked together doing an extremely physical job. I remember asking him how he got his body. I asked if he did it by doing the physical work of our job. He answered, “No, I wished. I exercise.”
I remember being in harmony with my body. I didn’t dislike my body. I never thought about my long neck, skinny legs, skinny arms, small belly and flat chest. I only set up a goal and I worked towards it. Setting my goals was important, but it was not enough. It was my actions: what I was doing to increase my muscle mass. I started going to the gym every day. I stopped drinking. I was tired from work, but I still went to the gym and gave my best. I started eating in a different way than I was eating before.
Finally, I started to see results after three months. I was not, however, where I wanted to be. So I continued. Three years after, I reached my first plateau. Still, I saw other guys more muscular than me. They were in the gym, magazines, movies, music videos… I wanted to be like them. I tried harder but my body was not built to be bigger. Sometimes, “friends” would come and tell me if I stopped lifting weights because I was smaller. They knew that phrase would bother me.
After taking my time meditating and studying my past, I understood that I was happy with my body, no matter what others said. And one of the reasons why I didn’t care was because the environment never put ideas about a perfect body in me. I started caring when others contributed to my thoughts.
I kept studying my journey. I noticed that I replaced many bad habits by good habits. As an example, I replaced drinking by exercising. My body shape changed; I’m stronger; I have more energy, my clothing fits me better and I hardly get sick. My happiness was not the “new body,” but the good habits I acquired. So I continue practicing all the new habits.
Later in the future, I understood that many guys in magazines take drugs and other guys have a different type of body than I do. Drugs or supplements? No, I care much about my health to take a risk. There are three types of bodies for men and women. The three types are endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. I’m classified as an ectomorph. The mesomorph tends to be more muscular than my body build. It is impossible for me to be as muscular as the weight lifter mesomorph. This did not mean that I can work around my body type and make it healthy and attractive.
I noticed that it doesn’t matter what type of frame some people have, they usually are not happy with it. They want to have someone else’s frame. People skinny girsl want bigger hips and many girls who have bigger hips want no hips.
I started to accept my body again. And the perception of the “perfect body” went away. I achieved a perfect body. It was healthy, stronger, more energetic, had good posture and more muscle development.
The reality is that we can have an attractive body, be physical and mentally healthy not taking into account the type of frame we have.
To clarify, accept yourself, love your body the way it is, care for it, exercise it, nourish it healthy food. Don’t get persuaded by others. See your clear, realistic goal and start working toward it. What’s most important, what are you going to do every day to get there? Stop drinking? Eat organic? Get rid of junk food? Exercise? Make your new lifestyle a habit.
Find your body type, work it and, please, for the love of God, don’t compare yourself with someone else. You are unique the way you are. You are beautiful! You may improve your physical appearance by losing weight, toning your body, increasing your posture, but only compare yourself with your old you… That is when you start seeing results. Everything begins with the mind and becomes physical when you work for it!
In life we find people who succeed in their goals and others who will only try, but fail. To be more specific, less than 8% of people will succeed in their weight loss goals. There are people who have all the possibilities to succeed in their weight loss goals than others and fail. Then there are others who have less possibility to achieve their goals and succeed. What differs between these two types of people? The consequences obviously are not a factor. Sidike Conde is a great example, with no legs he could achieve more than people with legs. The way people perceive life is the biggest reason why people succeed or fail. I was talking to my landlord the other day and she was telling me how some tenants are full of excuses. Even though they have all the possibilities to leave everything under good circumstances, they prefer to leave everything to the last minute and come up with all types of excuses. Interesting enough we are all full of excuses. We blame anyone and/or everything, but we don’t take responsibility of our own life decisions.
Here let me illustrate, two different people same event: one is doing her best to lift weights and get out of her comfort zone. Every time she is squatting she thinks, “The burn and the pain will help me get my legs and butt toned and lose fat. I can do this: no problem. I have done it before. I like this feeling of accomplishment.” When she is running, she tells herself, “Running is only for the strong and I’m strong. I can run 20 miles. My body was made to run”. When she chooses to eat the right foods, inner thoughts are, “My life is healthier with these foods. Healthy foods are the best energy I can consume for my body.” While the second person, when she is squatting says, “Oh no, this is very difficult. My legs are killing me. I can’t do this. I will never get what I want. I should stop now.” She comments to herself while running, “It seems too long. My body can’t handle the running. I better walk because running does not feel comfortable.” When she chooses what to eat she says, “I will only eat processed foods once. Why should I cook when there is food that is already made? Processed foods are the easiest thing to eat and I don’t care about my health anyway, because I will still someday die.”
Can you feel the joy of one of them and the pain of the other? If you picture these two people, I would hope that you would want to be the first example. I could be wrong. Maybe you would want to be example number two and continue making excuses? I know you are smarter than that ;). Anyway, did you notice that both these people in the same event were affected differently by how they perceived the same event? The reality is that you create your reality. You are the one who decides if it is painful or enjoyable. How do you perceive events?
Do you remember back in school when you needed to seat with a specific group and discuss one of the assignments? We do the same out of school in boards of directors. I’m on the board of directors of a couple of health organizations in the valley. Here people gather and bring ideas to share and problems to resolve. One of the issues that we were discussing last time was how to make people aware of their health.
Anything that has to do with health requires some level of effort or discomfort for many, at least at the beginning. Cooking requires knowledge, time and patience. Eating healthily entails scheduling, choosing and paying extra cash for the right foods, preparing those foods, and eating the right amount. To exercise people need to get out of their comfort zone, make their heart rate increase and their muscles burn and learn to schedule their time. However, if people fail to practice any of these habits, there will likely be negative effects.
Nobody consciously wants to be weak, sick, suffering or overweight or in pain. Yet it’s difficult to make many people aware of how to prevent these problems. If people don’t want to suffer, why is it so difficult to get people to think about their health? While many organizations offer free cooking classes, free exercise programs, gardening classes, disease prevention seminars and many other government-funded community events, why is it so difficult to get the community involved? Publicity is not the problem: Look around and you will find many organizations working to help you adopt a better life. So what makes it so difficult? This is what we were discussing at our last board meeting.
The brain focuses on what it thinks is important. When you bought a new car, you probably saw many people driving the same model everywhere. Why didn’t you notice before? Because it was not important until you focused on the one you wanted. The reality is that people had been driving that type of car before, but you didn’t notice because it wasn’t important.
People are focused on and value many things before their health. Many people don’t understand that their health is more valuable than what they are searching for. Many people think that their health is predetermined. They may think that they have no control over it and that their health problems just happen, so they don’t put the time, effort and money they need into preventing health issues.
When people start seeing the value in their health is when they invest time, effort and money into it, not caring about the difficulty, time required or how hard it can be to do so. But once again, what can we do to make our community members aware of their health? If you are reading this article, it means that you care about your health and you are aware of your health. If you think about yourself, something motivates you to stay healthy. It could be your appearance, your spouse, your family, the pains that you don’t have anymore because of your good habits, or simply that you noticed you’re happier when you practice good habits.
In other words, we need to find what people value and what motivates them. Therefore, I remind you that you should stay focused on your motivation when you practice all those good habits. Your values or motivation are the reason why you are willing to do what many people avoid doing.
There is something else: You are an example for others to follow, and that is more powerful than any information that we can provide to others. So stay positive and be proud of yourself, because you are unique, and you are helping us changing the community.