How to experience the most successful fitness program

     So you want to learn how to successfully get in shape? Here is a major insider’s tip. Take it slowly, step by step. As a normal part of my health and fitness history forms that I have new clients fill out, I ask about  fitness  goals.  Many people start off their new fitness programs by setting their immediate goals at unrealistic levels.  They proclaim that they will eat only healthy food, take supplements, and go to the gym every day. Most of the time this just leads to failure and winding up right back where they started, if not worse.  There is usually a deepened feeling of lower self esteem and lack of confidence in their fitness journey, 

     I firmly believe that if you change one thing at a time, there is bound to be better long term success rates. I usually ask for just 2 short cardio sessions a week for beginners. Once that client can accomplish that, we can add another strength session. I look for 3-4 weeks of actually completing each goal.  Then we add something else. The rule is to master acquiring the new healthy habit.  Then we can add a new one.

     There are, of course, countless healthy habits that would be in most people’s best interests to acquire. Let’s name just a few, which would be a good starting platform. 


1.      Include flexibility exercises in your daily regimen.

2.      Eat more vegetables and fruit

3.      Drink the generally accepted 8 cups of water daily.

4.      Exercise for 30 minutes each day.

5.      Try to sleep 7-8 hours every night.


     Now suppose your first habit you are planning to start is to drink 8 cups of water. How sure are you that you can accomplish this for the next 3-4 weeks? If it is less that 90%, then we must adjust the goal.  How about 7 cups of water? How about 6 cups of water? Continue making slight adjustments until the client can confidently say they are 90% sure they can accomplish the goal.

      This method can take awhile but it is a surefire way for people to finally change their lives and be successful in their fitness programs. That, of course, is the ultimate goal.


The Dawn of a new day

     Planning the start of my semi-private training has been both exciting and stressful. It’s a lot of work, but will be very rewarding in the end. Throughout the years I’ve had to deal with the obstacle of how I can help more people, without sacrificing quality. As my time has drawn more and more scarce, this has become a consistent problem. Working with 3-6 people at a time finally solves this dilemma. My next question has been what is my niche? I have come to a point in my career that I know I can’t be a trainer to everyone. Could I work with anyone? Maybe. Would I be better at focusing on a few specific goals, and mastering my craft towards them? Yes. So I have focused my energies towards creating a fat loss & strengthening class that I can coach in a small group setting. The last 5 years of my career I have spent studying and learning efficient & safe ways to implement kettlebells, the TRX, and sandbags into my programming.  That being said, I have chosen these tools as my choice pieces of equipment.

     Creating this class forced me to draft a system that I would need to use. The beef with training multiple people is that it can become chaotic. Everyone has different needs, and this constant tweaking can sometimes derail that flow you want to have when putting together an exercise routine. To prevent this, I decided it be best to use the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) with all participants prior to their first workout. This would allow me to plan ahead how everyone could be performing the same movement regardless of their restrictions. It would also serve as motivation for someone to see where they will be able to progress. For example, you may start with an assisted squat using the TRX, because of your lack of mobility. After a month of reinforcing this movement pattern along with tissue work on a foam roller and some mobility work, you could progress to a gobblet squat using a kettlebell. After 2 months of working on improving your strength with the kettlebell you then progress to performing a front squat with a sandbag that has the same load as the kettlebell, but places a different demand on your trunk due to dynamic shifting of the sand. This is a popular progression that I have used for years with my one on one clientele, and it has provided great results. The time table has varied, but progress has been consistent.

     Program design has been part of my training business that I have worked on in an effort to be more efficient. As my clientele has grown, I came to an understanding that I had to have a formula that I could use daily when drafting up my workouts. I have never been a trainer to just show up and do “whatever” for someone’s workout. I despise seeing that in the big-box gyms. By having a system, I can sit down prior and create someone’s workout in 5-10 minutes that will cater to their needs and will follow a healthy progression for strength and fat loss.

     I talk about this workout in my e-book- The Torch Workout. Feel free to download it for FREE at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/400913. The next cog in my machine was how I could monitor everyone’s intensity in their workouts. This is where technology has helped out. Using bluetooth heart monitors I can view via my Ipad everyone’s heart rate confirming they work both intense and safe enough to trigger a fat burning outcome. Intensity during workouts is overlooked so frequently. When I get questioned for my opinion on a specific workout, I will typically answer with a question. “Was it an intense workout?” To this I will typically hear… “Well, I was sweating a lot”. Now I have had my share of workouts where I was dripping like Patrick Ewing warming up for a Knick's game, but did that qualify it for intense. Could I have been doing something new, a change that was unique to what I typically do in my workouts? Possibly something that was challenging, but not super intense. I have learned not to equate having a healthy “lather” in a workout to intensity.

     Finally, creating this small group model has allowed me to work on something I thoroughly enjoy. Becoming a better coach! I have worked on making my cues simpler and easier to follow. I’ve worked on how to explain something so that it’s understood instantly. This is where I feel many trainers drop the ball. Remember if someone can’t perform an exercise because they don’t understand, it’s not their fault, that’s on you. And for me, that is the secret sauce that I feel will make my workouts very effective. So if you’re looking for a kick butt workout for fat loss and strength that will guarantee, yes… guarantee results, in a fun & safe environment, you may want to give my Torch Workouts a try. For more information on these workouts and our launch date please contact me at Doug@JanddFitness.com.  


Here's my beef with CrossFit

Here's my beef with Crossfit


Simple Steps How to Boost your Metabolism

Can you boost your metabolism?  Even if you have a genetically slow metabolism, there are ways to help increase it.  Here are some straight forward tips and habits to practice on a daily basis to get your furnace burning better.


1.      Strength train and increase muscle mass, even if it is just twice a week. Since muscle mass uses more energy, increasing it will mean your body will burn more calories even when not exercising.


2.      Increase intensity of workouts.  A proven method to do this is by doing interval training. There are numerous ways of accomplishing interval training.  One approach is to exercise for 30 seconds at a moderate intensity, then for 60 seconds at a higher intensity.  Repeat this protocol 5x.


3.      Graze your meals.  Grazing helps keep blood sugar level.  Many people have had much success with mini meals (200-300 calories each), aiming for 5-6 meals.


4.      Drink green tea. According to numerous studies, dieters who consumed green tea lost more than those who did not.  Green tea has an active ingredient, catechin, which has shown to increase metabolism.  Aim for five 8 ounce glasses a day.  Think of consuming a couple of large iced green teas. 


5.      Add Omega 3’s.  These powerhouses have been shown to balance blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and regulate metabolism.  Adults should aim for 1000-2000 mgs/day. Be sure to check the total EPA and DHA count which should be at least 500 mg.


6.      Decrease trans fat.  Check all nutrition labels for any hidden trans fat.  Trans fat decreases the body’s ability to burn fat.



7.      Do not go too low in calories.  Nutrition experts say that the lowest number should be 1200 calories.  If you go too low, your metabolism will slow down to conserve energy.


8.       Eat breakfast.  Eating an early healthy meal gets the metabolism going and helps keep the weight off.

If these ideas seem overwhelming for your present lifestyle, choose just one change a week to help with adherence. Try to think of behaviors that you have direct control over to tackle first.  Remember to behave in a way that is consistent with your goals.


Back from the TRX Summit in Long Beach

     This past weekend Randy Hetrick and the rest of his fine crew at TRX hosted the first ever TRX trainer Summit in Long Beach, California. This event featured Randy the creator and CEO of the TRX, Fraser Quelch TRX head of training and development, Chris "angry grandpa" Frankel TRX head of human performance, Dan McDonogh TRX senior manager of group training and development, and last but certaintly not least Pete Holman creator of the Rip trainer. Pete is one of the highest energy people I've ever met. This was a high energy, hands on weekend that allowed you to listen and learn to how suspension training has evolved. These guys are the masterminds behind the whole suspension movement. And it was in a small setting, 200 trainers, so interaction with these guys was at a high. I always enjoy weekends like these. This will go down as one of my favorites.

     Each day started with a high energy butt-kicking workout. I always love being the student, and not the teacher for a change. What I consistently get back from events like this one is having someone correct & "coach me up". I was explaining it to my wife as a similar experience to when I was getting my RKC certification for kettlebells. I thought I knew how to perform swings, snatches, get-ups, etc. You can learn a lot from Youtube, books, & DVDs. But nothing is like hands on. But what made this weekend special is that this is the team that created the training gear. I've gone to workshops and listened to legends like Dan John speak on Olympic lifting. But with all due repsect, Mr. Dan John didn't create the barbell. It was awesome to have Pete give me a tip on performing the drag with Rip trainer, and Chris to share his cues for an active plank. Some people don't take well to criticism & coaching, but I welcome it... as long as it's constructive. And this weekend was all constructive.

     Another cool takeaway was the tribal vibe that they have going on. I liken this to the kettlebell world. I can be training someone or myself in the gym using kettlebells, and if there is someone close by whom also trains with "bells" they will gravitate towards me. This is usually followed by brief eye contact, and then a comment like "aren't they great". We'll both nod and then move on. And in the suspension world either you're all in or not. And what was refreshing was that Chris Frankel, who is the movement mastermind behind much of their programming, was using similar lingo as to what I heard from Brett Jones at the RKC. I have experienced great strength coaches contradict one another at workshops in the past. And this can be confusing. This is where you go into deep thought and think about who's theory you agree with, or sometimes who you simply like better. Chris made it very clear day one that "Movement is the foundation of everything". If you know anything about kettlebells, it's all about moving better and getting stronger.

     Similar to Dragon Door, TRX is more than a distributor of gear. They want to become a resource for training and education. And this is cool. I think that they understand that if you want people to optimize their product, you need to provide quality education and support. This is a growing trend with Perform Better, Dragon Door, and now TRX. And as we draw closer to the opening of our fat loss & strength classes-The Torch Workout, which will feature kettlebells, sandbags & TRX, I felt the timing of the summit couldn't be better. I was able to sharpen my training sword, pick up some inspiration, and break bread with some of the industries best.

     If you're interested in more information about our Torch classes coming to Las Vegas this fall please e-mail me at Doug@janddfitness.com or (702) 892-0400.

J & D Fitness
4180 South Fort Apache Rd,
Las Vegas, NV 89147