January 25, 2008

Hey all! I’ve seen many of you in the gym in the past few weeks no doubt working on your New Year’s resolutions and I wish you the absolute best with it. I have also been approached many times in those same few weeks with some questions that I feel need to be addressed and clarified. There are some common misconceptions about how to train in order to achieve a specific goal for both men and women.

What follows is an outline of what I’ve been asked the most and a few other myths that people believe about training and working out. One of the most common and misunderstood myths out there is that you can spot reduce fat in specific areas without affecting other areas of your body. WRONG. The human body simply doesn’t work that way. In order to lose bodyfat in one area you have to lose it everywhere. I hear it all the time: “Mike, I do 100,000 crunches twice a day and I can’t lose this fat off of my stomach!” Look, ladies and gentlemen, it doesn’t matter how strong or “in shape” a particular muscle is if it’s covered with two inches of fat.

In order to bring your bodyfat to a level that’s to your liking you have to: 1) pay attention to your eating habits and correct whatever mistakes you are making. Get with one of our trainers for some advice. You never know…you just might learn something; 2) either increase the intensity of your resistance training, cut down on your rest periods between sets, or both; 3) stay consistent with your cardiovascular training and continue to push yourself beyond your comfort zone in order to burn more and more calories; 4) challenge yourself to learn more about fitness through books, the internet, and the trainers in our gyms.

The next most popular myth I hear and see acted upon is that if you simply perform higher reps you can “cut up” and get ripped. WRONG. You get “cut up” and ripped through proper nutrition and cardiovascular training plus high intensity resistance training. If you have any questions regarding getting cutting up and ripped ask one of our trainers to clarify what I just touched on.

The last myth I’m going to talk about today is one I hear a lot of the younger guys talking about. As matter of fact, I had a 19 year old approach me a few weeks back. Here’s what he said to me, “I don’t wanna get too big in case I stop working out because I don’t want my muscle to turn into fat.” PEOPLE, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE FOR MUSCLE TO TURN INTO FAT. The reason this myth exists is because when guys get big and muscular their appetite increases along with the size of their muscles. In order to support the new muscle mass you have to feed the machine, so to speak. Then, for whatever reason, some stop working out. What they don’t stop is their high calorie eating habits. Their activity level decreases due to not working out but they continue to eat 4,000 or more calories a day. Guess what? If your activity decreases but you continue to eat a high calorie diet and can’t burn off those calories your fat levels are going to increase while your muscles atrophy.

Let’s get this straight: MUSCLE IS METABOLISM. Muscle burns calories even when you’re sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing. That means that the more muscle you have the more calories you burn. So if you’re eating 4000 calories a day to support a lot of muscle and then suddenly you lose a lot of that muscle for whatever reason but you STILL eat a high calorie diet those extra calories are going to be stored since you no longer burn them off. So yes, your muscles get smaller and your waist gets bigger but that isn’t because your muscles turned into fat. They simply shrunk and then you didn’t adjust your caloric intake accordingly. Excess leads to excess.

Not to beat a dead horse, boys and girls, but don’t believe everything you hear. There are a ton of experts in every gym across the country, so ask yourself this simple question when presented with any type of fitness “information”: “They may sound like they know a lot about this but do they LOOK like they know a lot about this?”


Hey all! I hope every one of you had a great Christmas and perfect start to the New Year! If you didn’t…well, it still isn’t too late to turn 2008 into a fantastic year. As far as I’m concerned it’s NEVER too late to do something positive, including bettering your fitness levels. What I’m going to talk about today may or may not hit home to quite a few of you reading this.

How often have you started a new year with tons of resolutions only to let many, if not all, of them slip by the wayside? Many a smoker has promised themselves and loved ones to quit smoking once the new year hits. For a few days or even weeks they do very well, not smoking any cigarettes, only to have a weak moment and light up. Once that first cigarette is smoked they adapt the mentality that they just can’t quit. WRONG! On average it takes smokers four to six attempts to quit for good, so just call this attempt practice and try again.

Nothing worth having ever comes easy. For those of you that have achieved financial success remember all the long hours and sleepless nights you invested to reach that level of success. Still others have attained a level of fitness success that at times seemed impossible to achieve, yet here and now it’s a reality. The reason behind these successes is one and the same. These people turned what was once a chore into a habit which then became a lifestyle. The point being, they made a commitment to themselves and their goals and stuck to them through all obstacles. No, it wasnt easy but yet they presisted. They were times in all these success stories when it was thought that maybe they took on more than they could handle and times when all seemed lost, but they stuck chin to chest and bullishly moved forward.

The point I’m making folks, is that all of these people had a very specific idea of what they wanted and did whatever it took to make their goals a reality. The other point that needs to be made is that NONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE ANY BETTER THAN YOU! I may not be the biggest success you’ve ever known but if you consider where and how I grew up, in the city of Detroit, I can proudly say that I’ve made more of myself than many of my old high school counter parts.

Here’s a quick history outline of my past: my senior year in high school I weighed an excessive 151lbs with dreams of playing college football. Even some of my coaches advised me to focus on other avenues to get to college yet I persisited. I could have very easily agreed with the naysayers and adopted a negative attitude. Instead, I worked my butt off and landed a scholarship to Eastern Michigan U. where even the coaches there got a chuckle when they first saw me. The strength and conditioning coach, the honorable Mr. Bud Doba (man I hate him!), told me more than once that I was too small for the great sport of football. Yet every single day I was the first one at the gym and the last one to leave. I was going to play football and no one was going to stop me from doing so.

Long story short, folks, I became a three year starter at cornerback anb free safety. There were many times I thought that I just couldn’t do it. I remember many times leaving the gym or practice field thinking I wouldn’t come back yet somehow I managed to show up the very next day and gave it my all each and every time. The pay off was magnified every time I talked to an old high school friend. I could tell you countless stories of people I went to high school with that ended up in prison or destitute and dead broke because they allowed the naysayers to influence them. Instead i stuck by my belief in self and overcame what many said I couldn’t.

I’m no better than anybody else and that’s why I fully believe anyone can achieve anything IF they set they’re minds to it. Set short, medium, and long term goals and do whatever’s necessary to achieve them. Develop a game plan or strategy for each goal you set. In terms of fitness goals and what you want to achieve in and outside of the gym goal setting is very important. Decide on which goals you really want to achieve and make reality. You’d be surprised just how much you want out of your gym membership if you write down your prorities. Maybe you have certain bodyparts you want to focus on or a specific date in mind to achieve a certain level of fitness. Whatever it may be, put it on paper. Next to those goals write down a plan to achieve them.

If you’re having a rough go at developing a plan of success it wouldn’t be a bad idea to talk with one of our trainers. That’s our job! Let us know what it is you want to accomplish and let’s develop a plan together. No doubt we can help you and it’ll be an investment that will pay off for the rest of your life. Let’s make 2008 GREAT! Good luck and God bless!