I have been recently reading and researching articles about mindfulness. Mindfulness and meditation have experienced a recent surge in popularity. Part of this phenomenon is that we live in an instant access, always on the move MTV era. We have information readily available to us, via our smart phones & tablets, 24 hours a day. We are always plugged in, hence we become distracted by what just happened two minutes ago. One of the things I enjoy is that when I’m training someone they have no choice but to concentrate on what they’re doing. The workouts in my studio aren’t centered on sitting on a machine where you can have a conversation on your phone while you exercise. You have to be in the moment. Squatting while bear-hugging a sandbag or pushing a sled along the turf eliminates that dilemma. To help people get to that flow state, where they feel present and connected, they need to enjoy what they’re doing. Part of why people tune out is because they don’t like what they’re doing. 

     Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who just complains, glass half empty type of person, and you find yourself mentally fading away from the conversation. I know personally, when at the movies, if I’m not engaged in the first 15-20 minutes, chalk up my $20 bucks for admission as a rental fee for taking an hour nap in the theatre recliner. What really brought this to my attention was when I recently had a conversation with a client of mine. I asked him “How many people do you think enjoy what they do for a living?” He responded, “less than 10%.” My instant reaction is that he’s way off. No way! Google, Siri here I come. After a little investigation I was able to discover that he wasn’t too far off. Based upon a Gallup poll taken in 2013 and later printed in Forbes magazine, only 13% of workers feel engaged by their jobs. “Engaged by their jobs” means they feel a sense of passion for their work, a deep connection to their employer and they spend their days driving innovation and moving their company forward.

      The vast majority, some 63%, are “not engaged,” meaning they are unhappy but not drastically so. In short, they’re checked out. They sleepwalk through their days, putting little energy into their work.

A full 24% are what Gallup calls “actively disengaged,” meaning they pretty much hate their jobs. They act out and undermine what their coworkers accomplish. Wow. 

     This is exactly what has happened with exercise for so many people. Many hate or are disengaged with exercise because they don’t like it. I blame my industry on poor marketing that has led people to believe that if you don’t look like a fitness model you should give up. I’ve written before about the poor representation of the fitness industry in the media. We all know that mantra, “No pain, No gain”. 

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     Outside of the youth with blessed metabolisms and those with gifted genetics (you know the ones who don’t exercise and look great) I understand why people check out emotionally. Just like the job they hate. People work because they need money to survive in our society. They exercise because research has proven all of the positive health benefits. What if you found a workout you enjoyed just like finding a job you’re passionate about? Wouldn’t that be special? Can’t exercise be fun?  Can you be challenged and have fun at the same time? I know you can, because I see it every day. 

     One of the jobs as a coach is to know when you have to push people. More important is to know how much to push. A push can mean motivating someone to hold a plank an extra 7 seconds, completing a 30 second set. That may not sound like much, but it’s huge when they could only hold it for 15 seconds prior. The key is to push an extra 5-10% routinely. Too frequently you hear of people going from a 10 second hold for 3 sets to 5 sets of 45 seconds. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume their form may have been compromised. I compare it to being exposed to the sun. Exposing yourself to 10 minutes of sunshine can give you a slight tan and a healthy dose of Vitamin D, 2 hours can produce a bad burn. Some people experience adrenal fatigue because they have been misinformed. They believe every workout has to be “all out”. I have a sign I post in the studio about every 5 weeks. It’s green and reads “Throttle Back”. I use the week to back off intensity with everyone to avoid burn-out. It’s a great time to work on mobility drills or introduce a new exercise which will require some extra coaching time which will provide more rest. 

     The bottom line is find a place where you enjoy your workouts and the people around you. I guarantee it will make a big difference. Learn to be in the moment by enjoying what you do. If you don’t believe me, just ask my members. 

See you at the studio.

Enough with the Hype Already

     “I had a plan, before I got punched in the face.” That’s a famous quote from Mike Tyson after he was knocked out for the 1st time. Funny, but it brings up a valid point. How many times have you had the perfect plan, to find out later that it had a few flaws? Making mistakes is part of the building process. Three years ago, I started training people in small groups featuring a specific workout. I named it the Torch Workout. It’s a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout using exercises that improve mobility, strength and power. I used the research from Dr. Tabata & Dr. Martin Gibala. We still successfully feature this workout today at the studio. 

     When I opened the studio 2 years ago, I knew I would need an additional workout to compliment Torch that would have slightly different goals. Hence, TRX Flow was created. This is an interval workout, with an emphasis on mobility and specifically, core strength. After making a few tweaks, this workout has grown in popularity. 

     Everything hasn’t gone perfect along the way. We tried offering Yoga & TRX Yoga. Neither were a big hit with the members. Not using the poor response from those workouts as a setback, but more as feedback from what people wanted, we came out with Dynamic Variable Resistance Training or DVRT. This has been a big hit. I started to see that, like a restaurant, you can’t offer only one dish, you have to have a few options. I’m going to stay true to our core value of expert coaching offered in a small group or private setting catered to the needs of each individual. You wouldn’t find Chow Mein in an Italian restaurant. I did experience that my members enjoyed some variety. It was listening to my members, or scratching their itch, that Metabolic Disruption has been created. 

     I’ve been writing and talking about this workout for months now. It’s taken me a lot of planning. I had questions to answer on layout, format and efficiency. I also wanted to stay true to my core values. So what is Metabolic Disruption?

     It’s a 40 minute heart pounding fat-burning workout. Similar to our other workouts, the warm-up will be included in that time frame. Once properly warmed-up the workout will begin. The clock timer will be set to 12 ½ minutes. Participants will be spread out between 5-6 exercises. The clock will start and not stop until it reaches 0. The goal is to work as hard as possible at the exercise until  a heart-rate of either 85% (Orange) or 95% (Red) of your maximum heart rate. The coach will determine the appropriate level for each member, based on their current fitness level. Once this level is reached, it must be  maintained for 10 seconds. Then recovery times begin. Rest until the required heart rate is reached, lower by 20%. Someone working at 85% max heart rate will rest until they drop to 65% (Blue) and 75% (Green) for someone working at the higher 95% level. Then proceed to the next movement and repeat the process. There will be minimum rest time during the 12 ½ minutes. The goal is not to pace, but to go to the maximum level. Think sprint, not jog. Once the clock hits 0, members will have 2 ½ minutes to get water & rest before the cycle repeats again. Yes, another 12 ½ minutes. Intense!

     The beauty of this workout is that each person’s heart rate determines their intensity level & recovery period. Some people will get through the circuit 4 times, while some may complete 2 times. Also, the type of exercise will be low skill level. This is to promote an all out effort. Metabolic Disruption will feature exercises such as the ropes, sleds and our new Ski Ergs.


    Many of the members are happy with their improvements in mobility & strength. Many have gotten leaner. What I did hear is the need for something to compliment our other workouts with a pure cardiovascular drive. Here you go, folks. The new schedule will be available soon & will be effective the week of October 16th. We will have this workout on the schedule in 5 slots in the early morning, a new afternoon time, and evening times, as well.

 So stay tuned and I’ll see you at the studio. 


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