In our busy lives we create the impressionable idea that we are masters of our universe… Undeniably, we do master, or attempt to master, a trade and develop a family but media plays too large a role in our health. Unfortunately, we look to the TV to influence what foods to eat and celebrities to shape visions of ourselves. At Training for Warriors, it is our responsibility to respond and help you emerge as master of your own health. Below, I will present 3 common mental barriers you are likely to experience and how to get passed them.
1. “To scale or not to scale… “ Whether or not you should use the scale has become the popular debate. Not a single person (whose aim is fat-loss) has passed through my school without harping on their weight. I am going to lay it on you flat out: the number on the scale is not the most important number AND for the record, BMI is even less meaningful. Weight is important because if you ever need medication or are involved in a clinical setting it comes in to play for certain calculations. Weight is also important for athletes to track because some sports have weight classes. It is also great to see the numbers drop on the scale during your quest for fat-loss. However, you will inevitably reach a point where the scale drops less and less, especially as you get closer to your goals. It begins to weigh on your mind because you think you should still see the scale go down a bunch. This isn’t always true. When you reach the point where you are closer to your ideal body fat percentage you have to focus more on the ‘eye tests.’ How do your clothes fit? Are people complimenting you? Regular body fat testing is also an option. These become the new focus points, not the scale. I have seen many students torment themselves over the scale despite fitting into clothes they haven’t worn in a while. Trust in your jeans! If they are loose and you have to pull old ones put of the closet then let the scale rest in peace! If you are seeing curves in your legs that weren’t there, those are muscles!
2. “Once more into the gym dear friends…” Training for Warriors is a big believer in the group setting. If you have a support network to hold you accountable at the gym then you are far more likely to stick with it. At Training For Warriors we have an unwritten rule that you must high five each other or cheer on your team mates. However, there are many people who just seem to shy away from this. You wind up going to a big box gym and get lost in the fluff, or you try doing it at home and can’t stay committed. It is very simple, obesity and other disease are a giant adversary and if you try to soldier it alone, you probably won’t succeed. If you are part of an army then you are better equipped to attack the enemy.
3. “This too shall pass…” The dreaded plateau. The funny part about this one is that there isn’t a great drop out rate from a plateau but a lot of people are content to just stay the same for a LONG time. I have known people to plateau for years before changing their routine up. At Training for Warriors, we write your program so you don’t have to worry about changing the routine per se. You do have to worry about the routine effort you put forth. I have seen in my classes people get fired up beyond where they thought they could and see amazing results. They progress to a higher level but then something happens, it gets harder! They become intimidated and fail, and fail, and fail, sometimes more than they have to before realizing that it is just an effort barrier. Failure is part of learning, no doubt but don’t let an effort plateau dictate when you progress just because you fear how tired you get from a level 4 hurricane or how heavy the bar feels on a back squat or deadlift. Plateau doesn’t always refer to your program, it can also refer to your mental state and the effort you put forth. A great way to bust out of any mental barrier is to put yourself outside your comfort zone. If a hurricane feels a little too routine then it is most likely an effort plateau.Remember, “this too shall pass” and get after it! There is a rule we live by in my TFW school: if you are going to do it anyway, do it awesome!”
When you are at a TFW school, the objective is to become more. I correlate the 3 mental barriers above to too much reliance on media for guidance. Don’t worry about what media outlets are saying, focus on the basics which is clean eating and being consistent in the gym. If you find yourself stuck at a mental barrier try to remember the lessons from this post.
The first “smartphone” was developed by IBM in 1992. It was limited to calls, calendar, and the rest of the basics but nevertheless revolutionized the industry. Nokia evolved it in 1996 but the industry really took off in the early 2000’s with all kinds of styles and capabilities. Flip phone, touch screen, etc. Smartphones are now a staple in almost everyone’s lives. I will confess, I can’t live without mine. The fitness industry is in the same place smartphones were in back in 2005; we are booming with different concepts, styles, facilities, etc. It is a free for all! The irony of all this innovation is that it is a catch 22. Sure, I can get my mail instantly, I can talk to anyone at any time (thanks Verizon), and I can look up anything I want within seconds but that doesn’t mean I’m smarter, or more capable. The same goes for your fitness. Believe it or not almost everyone I talk to has either a gym membership (sometimes 2!) or a home gym, Insanity, or P90x but those same people haven’t come close to meeting their goals. Why? Because all these available gym options, and the latest program that you are doing doesn’t mean you are getting better. This article is going to outline 3 ways to stay on track with your goals.
1. Continuity.The biggest thing to be consistent with isn’t your exercises; It is your schedule! You can’t get stagnant if you aren’t in the gym 3-4 times per week. I know what you are thinking: “I go consistently,” or “that’s easy.” Please trust me when I say: IT ISN’T. Life used to be different before TV and social media. You worked, you went home or maybe a party but with TV, social media, and more efficient vehicles we are spread thin! Kids have soccer, wait! new post on Facebook, gotta watch the soap operas… the list goes on! In this day and age, an unstructured life is a circus and you are likely to waist precious hours and thus, you perceive that you have no time! Plan your 3-4 hours for the gym and stick to it! If you write it down or put it in your phone, it becomes that accountability you need. If you just keep it in your head it is easy to forget or overlook.
2. Spread the word! Telling everyone about what you are doing and what you hope to accomplish is one of the best things you can do. If you workout with friends and you skip a day of training, who do you think is going to call you the minute they get done with the workout? They won’t let you be inconsistent and vice versa. A support network is crucial. I see it all the time. The people who train with friends haven’t missed a session and the people who don’t know anyone do. You can also spread the word on the home front. Practice the things that give you trouble at home. I don’t mean overtrain. Don’t go doing hurricanes after dinner but some pushups would be a great thing to practice at home. You can go outside and do sprinting drills. Get your kids involved, it doesn’t have to be a structured session with them. You can make it a game. Freeze tag and when you are tagged you have to do 5 push-ups and 5 squats or 50 high knees in place. Spreading the word is tied to a thing called: lifestyle change. If you are going to see long term results then a lifestyle change is necessary. Going to the gym can’t be a chore; it has to be fun.
3. Measure. A great lesson I learned from Training For Warriors is you can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you are one of those people that go to the gym and decide what you are going to do while you warm-up up on the treadmill then you probably aren’t measuring anything. In order to make continual progress forever you have to have goals and then measure how you are doing. It is easy to plateau if you never give a thought to how you are progressing. My suggestion is to get a notebook and start writing things down. Start with your weight and track that every month. Periodically track how many push-ups you can do in 2 minutes, how heavy is your deadlift? Once you have a few base measurements you can then go ahead and write out a month of training. That way you have a plan that is geared towards your goals that you took measurements on and guess what? Having a month of training already planned out is another way to hold yourself accountable. It gives you something to look forward to instead of dreading the unknown.
Don’t get caught up in the circus. Everyone is busy but there is no excuse if you plan, tell everyone you know, and stick to the basics.
The protein powder phenomena has reached to every corner of the country. Body builders, triathletes, and the stay at home parent alike are consuming protein powder for one reason or another. Protein powder is a practical alternative to food when one is on the run, or after a workout and it is one supplement I support and consume myself. I have not yet given my take on why I use it or how it should be used so get ready!
My reasons: I use protein powder after workouts and occasionally in a super shake for a meal replacement. I have friends who have core values that are based around food consumption and are against protein powder and argue that you should be able to get enough protein from your meals. This absolutely true but I believe that modern advancements of science have given us ways to be more efficient and we should use them. Neither opinion is right or wrong; it’s just a matter of preference. However, I will say that all proteins aren’t created equal and you should be careful which you choose to take, but we will get into that later. I mainly take protein powder after my workouts because I don’t have time to eat a meal and it is the most efficient way to refuel my muscles after breaking them down for an hour. I make super shakes when I don’t have time to eat a whole meal OR if I want to throw in some vitamins & minerals I don’t normally consume in my regular meals like from apple cider vinegar or sea salt.
Protein source: I don’t know how many brands or derivatives of brands we are up to but suffice it to say that it is a SHIT TON. I really want you to be cautious about which protein powders you choose because most are probably doing you more harm than good. There are 3 things to look out for:
1. How it is processed. Slow, cold-filtered whey is the best. I am certainly not an expert but I have read up on it a lot and protein powder that is filtered through heat will create something called a free radical in your body. Free radicals are damaged cells that can wreak havoc in the body leaving the door open for disease later on. Think of free radicals as white lies, or damaged interactions. It may catch up to you later and create a bigger problem or it may not but why take the chance when you can just tell the truth? The same goes for protein powder. There are great products out there so why take the chance on a cheap, poorly processed one? I know what you are thinking: “how do I know which one to get?” In my experience, a good quality protein powder will brag about how it is made because most brands don’t take the time to use the cold filtration method. You can go to a potential protein’s website and see if they mention the words “cold filtration” or “cold processed” or a lot of times it is on the bottle.
2. The other thing you want to look out for is the sugar, or sugar derivatives that they add for taste. Not only will sugar mess with your blood sugar levels and send you on the insulin roller coaster ride but sugar alternatives are linked to neuro-degenerative diseases. Again, why take the chance??? So what are acceptable sweeteners? Stevia leaf extract and xylitol have so far been accepted by the nutrition geeks (I mean that as a huge compliment). Here is the kicker, I actually put carbs in the form of a simple sugar into my shake but I make sure it is all natural and from a good source which is why I put it in separate. Simple sugars after a workout are readily used to refuel and are optimal for sports performance and even fat loss. I will normally just eat an apple with my shake or I will put Capra Greens in with it.
3. Quantity. There is so much speculation about how much protein to consume after a workout. I am not even going to open that can of worms up. I am just going to give you my take on it (which is ever evolving by itself so I don’t feel the need to stir up a debate). I don’t think MOST people need half as much protein as they recommend. I say 20g max for your after workout shake (perhaps more for athletes depending on your size). I would say as little as 12g for the average person in a morning super shake and as little as 17g for a casual exerciser post workout shake. These are just guidelines to follow. It really does depend on goals and size but I can tell you for sure you don’t need 50g of protein to see results. Keep it closer to 20g.
With any product there is going to be a quality product and a product made to be cheap. You are what you eat so always ask yourself: IS IT WORTH IT? Is it worth it to potentially harm yourself for a cheaper product? Hell no! It is better to just not take anything than the stuff you get at the grocery store (health food store excluded, I know a lot of stores go the extra mile). Supplements aren’t meant to be replacements full time. Real food is the best so make sure you have that squared away before you start adding in stuff. Just like we say at TFW with our programming: you have to earn your exercises. Be sure to earn your supplements too. Know what you are taking and what kind of product it is, you may not even need it.
Get Strong → Move Fast →Burn Fat → Feel Great → More Energy → Look Great → Self-confidence ↑ = UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES
In the event that this article turns into a rant, I apologize… The purpose of this post is to give you some basic knowledge about my process of achieving fat loss. I can’t overstate my distain for fad diets and fad programs out there that just beat you into the ground with no regard to longevity. The equation above is basically how I design a fat loss program. More importantly, it is the different stages you go through during that process. Sustained fat loss is just as much a mental transition as it is a physical one. My job description, as my mentor Martin Rooney drilled into my head, is to burn fat and build muscle. What I noticed with this is that it applies to everyone. I have athletes and I have everyday people and we all want the same thing when you boil it down: to reach our potential. In order to do that we all need to follow the equation above. Below, I will outline the top 3 most important aspects to fat loss and in the process we will expose some myths out there about fat loss. I will also give you some pointers at the end to implement in your day to day life to help with the transition from who you were to who you will become.
1. Nutrition. We can work out for the rest of your natural life, in the TFW system which has built world champions, BUT if you don’t eat healthy then you will not see the results you want. We are currently in the process of redoing our core values for the gym and some of the feedback from the students suggests that one great thing about the gym is that everyone buys into the nutrition part. Granted, we still need work on it and we always will, but it says something that the students are noticing how much of an impact nutrition plays on fat loss. We have seen up to 60lbs of sustained losses in some people because of our commitment to nutrition. This brings me to my first myth:
– FAD DIETS DON”T WORK. I was listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast a while back and one of the spokes people for the Atkins diet was on there talking about how great the system works and how much weight people lose, etc. Ben was asking questions about it and then Ben asked how his current weight loss was going because it was well known this guy lost over 100lbs. The guy stumbled a bit and replied that he had “gained a lot back.” With all these diets, whether it is super low calorie, no carb, etc. There are so many flaws that it is almost inevitable that you gain your weight back. I am not a nutritionist and talking science is boring. Luckily, the main reason why these diets don’t work is simple: WE ARE NOT CLONES. Our bodies are all different. We all have a certain chemistry and need to eat a variety of nutrients to maintain that chemistry. Would a no carb diet work for some? Sure. Does Paleo work for some? Sure. Does anything work for everyone? NO!!!! The Atkins diet is anti carbs, most people need carbs! Low fat diets? What do you think makes up part of your cell walls? Or carries LDL through the blood? Fat does! The main thing about these diets is that they are too extreme. It is the same reason why these fad strength and conditioning programs don’t work. You can’t write a workout on the board and throw the whole gym on it and call it a day. Everyone is different and requires different exercises that fit into their goals and body type. If history has taught us anything; it is that extremism never leads to results.
2. Fat loss happens from the inside out. The very first variable to the equation above is: get strong. The turning point in our last 8 week transformation class was when we all had a sit down in the prehab room and talked about the results we were getting. I think we were 4 weeks in (but I can’t remember exactly). They hadn’t lost the weight they expected. I couldn’t stop smiling that day because I explained how true fat loss works. You have to get your body strong first. None of them could do a pushup, everyone had at least one nagging injury that we had to attend to, and no one knew the movement patterns of the lifts so we had to teach that too. Once we got strong and learned the movement patterns were off to the races. If you ask them now about fat loss they will all show you pictures or tell you the jeans sizes they dropped. The point is that I could have taken those 8 weeks and just threw them into some intense metabolic training and beat them up and we would have lost a shit ton of pounds but instead we got strong, then we got injury free, then we moved fast, then we dropped dress sizes!!!!
– MYTH 2: Just circuit or HIIT train. I know numerous people who have had a personal trainer for years and they look the exact same or worse than the day they signed up. If you ask them they don’t blame the trainer or their workouts. That’s bullshit! You pay to look good and dammit I intend to make that happen but there is a proper progression to follow to do it safely and effectively. You have to earn your exercises as is our slogan at TFW dojos across the world. Build a strong base and then move fast and that produces results that last and prevents you from being injured. Like I said, we can beat you up to get slightly faster results or we can make you strong with lasting results and not have to visit the radiologist every month to see what our next injury is. On the flip side you can’t move slow forever or else you won’t see results either. FYI when I say move slow I mean body weight exercises, heavy weight training. I don’t mean elliptical or tread walker. EVERYONE at this school lifts heavy. I don’t’ know where this idea that lifting heavy isn’t effective for fat loss came from but it’s crazy talk. I also hate when I hear that lifting heavy is how you get hurt. You only get hurt if you lift with poor form. Another reason why just straight up metabolic training doesn’t work in the long run is because you have to change your mindset along with your body. As our process of fat loss progresses, we also progressively change our lifestyle. The people I mentioned earlier that still look the same after years of training never accomplished that. They see their workouts as just a beat down. They think the gym is a place to sweat and get nauseous. It is just something they have to get through. IF you look at it that way then change won’t happen. You have to look at it as your time to learn, to get better, not a negative event that you have to suffer through a few times a week.
3. Move fast, get fast! Now that we have got a start on our nutrition and we are strong enough to handle moving fast without getting injured we can put the fat loss on the fast track by metabolic training. In the world of TFW this means HURRICANES!!!! There is no doubt that training with speed is the best way to burn fat. Get running out of your head and the “fat burning zone.” It’s bogus. Running will lead you on one of 3 paths: injured, too skinny, or nowhere. The idea behind the hurricane is to create a disturbance within your body so vast (where you will burn carbs mostly during the workout) that it takes you a day or more to recover. In that day of recovery you will utilize your fat stores to replenish your tissue and thus burn more fat! Hurricanes are also safe. There are boundaries that aren’t crossed and that is how we avoid the “beating you up” part. Those of you who have done them know that they certainly kick your ass BUT there is always a specific exercise selection to each student’s needs to avoid injury and we always get the needed recovery during the workout.
Myth 3: If I create a caloric deficit and move fast I will drop fat. I know what you are thinking: “that’s true, it’s not a myth.” It is true but I wanted to make sure you understand that the mental changes and lifestyle alterations we go through during our training is just as important. Martin started calling it “bringing out the warrior within.” It is now the TFW slogan and it is crucial to long term success. We use physical training as a tool to achieve the lifestyle changes. People like feeling and looking good which creates a need to change things in their life. Those that don’t change mentally are the ones who lose a ton of weight and then gain it back and go through that process over and over. I call it the circus. They never get better because they are stuck going up and down. People think that changing the way they think comes first. If you focus on trying to change your brain then you are fighting a losing battle. Actions speak louder than words. I argue that changing the body is first and then the mind adapts. It has been that way since the beginning. 5 million years ago Ardipithecus Ramidus walked upright and began the evolution of the Homo Sapien species. Walking upright led to using our hands for more complex actions. These complex actions required more complex communication, hence language is born. The body evolved and then the mind adjusted. Fat loss is the same way. Move fast, get fast, get health smart and then your quality of life goes up. If you follow the system then you will constantly get better, if you have one foot in and one foot out you will go up and down and never get anywhere.
I just watched the new Training For Warriors video for probably the 20th time. I get filled with the same inspiration that I felt when I first met Martin Rooney 3 years ago. I wanted to extend a personal commentary about the TFW lifestyle to you so you can see it through my eyes. Martin asked me 3 years ago what I wanted. Simple… you’d think! I spent the next year figuring out what I wanted. It took me at least that long to figure out my core values (which I am now in the process of evolving). Although I am still evolving as a coach (and I always will be), and a mentor; it wasn’t until recently that I figured it out completely: I WANT TO INSPIRE PEOPLE. That is my mountain. You have all heard me say: ” climb the mountain” when you are pushing the sled or driving your knees up during a hurricane and you all have filled out a goals sheet entitled “Your Mountain.” I like to use this mantra because I believe that climbing a mountain is one of the purest and challenging things you can do. It is also one of the hardest and most rewarding things you can do.
Too often we get caught in a rut. Too often we let our minds meander the path of the uninspired. When I travel to the Adirondacks to go for a hike it takes hours. My legs and low back cramp in the car, I almost fall asleep on the highway. It is a miserable trip mainly because I hate the car. BUT, in the wake of all that grind and misery of the car ride there is a silver lining: the moment I reach the base… The roads narrow, the trees turn to pine, and the forest gets thick. The land is tattooed with lakes and rivers and giant rock faces. When I see that, I am rejuvenated. The day’s mission is crystalized, the goal hits me like a wave of inspiration. Climb the mountain! The funny thing is, it isn’t just a climb. After each trip I leave with a sense of clarity and vitality.
I know that some of you don’t want to workout every day, hell; I don’t either. Some days we are tired. I know that when you are pushing a heavy sled or sprinting in the 8th round of a tough hurricane you want to quit sometimes, just like halfway to the mountains I want to turn back but if I did I wouldn’t see the majestic change from highway to paradise. I would miss the esoteric serenity of the peak, I would miss the rewarding work I put in to get to the top! Pushing ourselves in our workouts is the same principle. That is why I always say: “CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN.” These workouts also have a silver lining. It is something different for all of you. It may be fat loss, improved energy levels, or improved sports performance. Whatever you are seeking, the only way to get there is to become more.
Training for Warriors is more than just a workout, it is about evolving your mind. Transcend the masses and find tranquility in our everyday lives by aspiring to be better. Strive to inspire others. One of the members told me today that she is getting her co-workers to eat better. That is AWESOME! If we all inspire the people around us then we can turn the tides and win the war! Don’t just join the resistance… SPREAD IT. Henry David Thoreau said : “If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than myself.” Can we all say the same? I know I can for my students and the TFW network. We all love sports and part of the reason is because there is a camaraderie. Team work is how you win a championship. Fighters always thank their team after a big fight. I believe that life is no different. We are a team. That is the beauty of Facebook, it gives us a quick outlet to share things with our team. I hope this is a reminder to evaluate your “WHY.” Why do you do what you do? What is your path?
Go back and reevaluate your core values. My challenge to you is to inspire someone in your life who needs it.
The 3 “Knows”
I have recently began to exclude the word “no” out of my vocabulary. Not that some situations don’t call for it; but I believe we are quick to jump on an opportunity to be closed minded. I have, however embraced the word “know” and all the doors it opens for me. There are 3 “knows” in particular that I believe can form the cornerstone to your physical and mental fitness.
Know when to push…
Know when to pull…
Know when to sleep…
In a world where we are ruled by our habits, it doesn’t amaze me that people tend to latch onto things that inspire something within them. Inspiration is one of the most beautiful events that can happen to you but you have to know what to do with it. You must understand how to take action, and that brings us to our first “know:”
Know when to sleep also refers to not overtraining. Rest is a key component to seeing the gains you work hard for. It is hard to actually overtrain and if you train in the TFW system then you certainly won’t but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility for people to leave the gym and then go home and do another workout and then repeat that process every single day. Trust me, you will see more by doing less if you are one of those people. This brings us to another important principle of training called training economy. Optimize your time in the gym and you won’t need to put in so much!
Knowledge is power warriors, but only if you implement it. Knowledge is nothing without action, a fact my mentor Martin Rooney reminds us of often. We can all change the way people view fitness and how they treat their health but we have to do it together by implementing the knowledge we learn into our day to day lives. Lets get after it!!!
Laurel has mastered one of the essential training principles; continuity. We often have to cut her back from doing two-a-days! She won this months shout out not only because of her discipline but also because of her sense of community and family atmosphere that we set here. This picture is a testament to her diligence because it took us a little while to learn the hinge that allows us to deadlift so watch out!!! Here we come…Make sure you give Laurel a high five, it has become tradition! Don’t forget to check out the quote she picked for this month. It’s on the board.
If I were to tell you to close your eyes and clear your thoughts, most of you would have e a difficult time doing so. Our heads are constantly filled with mostly jargon, but also other daily “worries.” Whether it’s taking the kids to school, laundry, work projects, marriage issues, appointments, the list is ENDLESS. I want you to re-evaluate what you worry about. For example, I have an acquaintance who is always flying around with all these “important” appointments. The funny thing is, when you ask her what she has going on she gets all huffy and states that she has to take her dog to the groomer, then go and see her EX boyfriends mother, then she has to go to the store, then go see her cousins friends….ETC!!!!! Can you see my point here? Nothing on that list makes her better and NOTHING on that list is anything to get riled up about. In fact, most of them are ridiculous. She is an extreme example but I also tested this theory on others and got the same results. We are spending way too much time worrying about things that don’t matter.
So lets get back to clearing our heads. Clearing your thoughts is more about changing what you value than just sitting there and trying to forget. Going to the spa for a day and forgetting for a few hours isn’t changing anything, it is just a distraction. Reducing stress permanently requires a change in lifestyle. The good news is, most of the “important” things you worry about aren’t important. I know some of you just got offended. I’m sorry, but seriously… Sit down and pick one of the chores you had lined up for today and think about if it doesn’t get done. What happens? What are the consequences? If you evaluate the real important things in your life like your family’s mental and physical well being, your finances, and your happiness, do those chores really help you improve those?
Now think about the things you aren’t worrying about and that you aren’t doing: reading everyday to improve yourself, taking care of your body everyday for great health and longevity, spending time with your family and being in the moment (not worrying about dishes, what your friend said to you, etc.). What are the consequences if these things don’t get done??? Pretty severe, if you ask me.
So why do most of the people worry about the former instead of the latter? Why are our heads filled with jargon? Could be a number of things but mostly because this is what we have been conditioned to worry about. Think about TV, how many commercials are about laundry soap or furniture? If you see something enough times it starts to become imbedded into your culture. We worry about if our couch is in the right place, instead of making sure our health is in order. Most people watch reality TV instead of actually going and LIVING a life other people want to watch. It’s there for the taking, all you have to do is reach for it. It starts with clearing your thoughts. Start with an empty cup, get rid of preconceived notions, and bad habits. Fill your cup up with knowledge, take that knowledge and use it to build new habits that will actually move you towards your goals. We only live once, you can spend it trying to live vicariously through TV stars, or you can take steps towards building your own adventurous life.
Aaron “the Fit Barber” LassiterAaron Lassister is this months winner of the member’s award. After a successful 8 week transformation, he now has his sights set on larger goals. Aaron is willing to challenge himself to consistently get better, even if he has to inch his way there! It is never easy to evaluate yourself, especially if you have a background in fitness already. Aaron is a boxing coach and is going to school online and nights to learn about health and fitness. He ALWAYS takes time after his workouts to ask questions to see what he can do to get better.
Aaron also is a great motivator and goes out of his way to inspire those around him. This is a trait that cannot be understated, nor under appreciated. It is an achievement to be able to understand yourself enough to get better every day but it is a great thing to be able to impart that to others.
If you get a chance head over to A&T Barber Shop to give Aaron a high five!
Stand for something or fall for anything” is a lesson all TFW familia becomes accustomed with. When you become a student of the TFW system you learn that fitness isn’t just about beating you up in the gym. Anyone can do that. A warrior is defined as anyone that is prepared to work hard and develop oneself in an effort to battle against his/her particular challenges in life. The TFW system was designed to develop the muscular strength and mental fortitude to take on those challenges.
Martin reached out to the TFW familia and through his travels has developed a code that we all live by. I wanted to share it with you so you know just what it is we stand for.
1. Gameness. This is when you decide to be ordinary vs extraordinary. There isn’t much that separates those two words except the word: “extra.” refusing to let fatigue or pain (emotional or physical) cause you to lose focus towards your goals. Gameness is when everyone you know is trying to feed you cookies and brownies and trying to get you to skip your workout and go out and party but you refuse and stick to your goals. Gameness is when you are tired and wanting to quit but you find a way to give a little EXTRA.
2. Rei. This is about respect and integrity. There is no need to taunt or embarrass people. There is no need to be dishonest because the people in this world we are in competition with is ourselves. In a world where so much is misguided and lost; we want our compass to always point north to integrity and respect.
3. Enthusiasm. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”-Emerson. If you believe in something and are apart of it then be fired up about it! Why do I make you earn your TFW band? Because you have to work hard but you also have to be engaged. Have fun, be apart of the resistance.
4. Familia. TFW is a family. You don’t just come here to workout and then go home. That’s what Gold’s gym is for or Planet Fitness. I want to know what is going on in your life. How can we challenge each other without being a family? You wouldn’t go up to a stranger and say “hey! stop eating that. You aren’t living up to the code!” You better be certain that that is what I want you to do to our family though.
5. Verdade or “the truth.” This encompasses not only our training principles that we coach with and the 20 years of development of the TFW system by Martin but also the way we deliver it. TFW isn’t some make believe system founded in the back yard. Martin and all the other TFW practitioners since have gone through all the mistakes, worked out the kinks, and now deliver to you the truest and most organic form of coaching out there and when you see it first hand, verdade is what comes to mind.
6. Kaizen. This is one of the aspects to TFW that really resonates with me the most. It means continuous improvement. We are in competition with ourselves. Don’t worry about what the next person is doing, just do better than what you did last time.
This is our way of life. As Martin Rooney says: “every time there is a breakdown, it is an opportunity for a breakthrough.”