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Category Archives: My Transformation

What’s it take to reach your Goals? Do you have what it takes to make a successful transformation?

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It’s all too common to hear people who are frustrated with their inability to successfully reach their goals.  When it comes to a transformation that means: They aren’t losing the fat.  They aren’t gaining the muscle.  Or they aren’t getting any stronger.  I’ve been asked many times, “What’s it take to reach your goals”.  My answer usually starts with, “the right mindset”.  “You have to be able to take control of your own mind”.

Obviously, most people know that it comes down to proper nutrition and a consistent exercise program.  But where most people fail is not being able to follow through with one or both of these.  People will lie to themselves to make themselves feel better.  I’ve done it myself.  I’ve told myself that I was going to stick with a strict diet, which I did.  Or at least claimed I did.  I would just ignore the box of cookies that I stuffed in my face on a Saturday afternoon.  There isn’t really a problem if there is a cheat meal once a week or whatever.  The problem comes in when there are cheats that you are not self reporting.

There is also a difference in putting together what might be more of maintenance than anything.  Someone is setting high goals, but when they get to the gym they go through the motions.  If I’m not killing it in the gym, then I am not making the gains that I expect to make.  The way I see it, is that if I get through a workout and don’t feel muscle exhaustion and don’t feel like I just got my ass kicked, than I didn’t put the work in during my workout.

In my workout today we did a couple of circuits.  Each circuit had  5 rounds of 8 to 15 reps with 3 exercises.  We do increase the number of exercises based on workout.  Our rest period was 1 minute in between rounds.  The weights weren’t real heavy but our legs were on fire by the time we were done.  We finished up with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on a rowing machine.  We went hard for 15 seconds with 10 seconds of rest and repeated it over and over and over again.

If you aren’t stressing your body than your body isn’t going to change.  If you are just going through the motions don’t expect your muscles to be getting what they need in order to grow.  If you were to go hard for 3 weeks, your body will change in order to accommodate the workouts that you are putting it through.  At that point what was hard 3 weeks ago isn’t so hard anymore.  If someone is lifting for strength, it’s going to be a different workout with heavy weight.  However, they still have to stress their body, so that it reacts and they make their gains.

Stay after it.

 

 

I’m Glad That I Use To Be Fat And Out Of Shape: Although I Was Not Happy Or Jolly

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I just thought of something.  It’s kind of funny to me, because this has never crossed my mind before.   And I only thought that it was strange that I hadn’t thought of it before.  So here it is:  What if I started training the way that I am now, when I got out of college?   That would have meant that I never stopped working out, but that I took what I now know about training and nutrition and implemented it.  What if I started living a healthy lifestyle back then?  If I had continued to be active and made some changes to my training so that I would meet my current goals earlier, than who knows what kind of shape I would have been in for the last 26 years.  Who knows what I would be doing.  I’m sure it would have had quite an impact on my life.  But no matter what, I would not want to go back and change it.  I’m actually glad that I didn’t live a healthy lifestyle my entire life.  Being fat and out of shape was something that I needed.  Maybe it sounds strange to you that I would say that.  You might wonder why, I’m glad that at one time I was so out of shape that a doctor told me that I was going to pop.  I’ll tell you why.  It’s because I overcame certain challenges to get to the point in my life that I am at right now.  It wasn’t easy.  In doing this I was able to strengthen my mind.  I was able to learn how to control myself.  I am also able to put myself in other people’s shoes and understand what they are feeling and I know what they will have to go through to reach their goals.   At one time I was in someone else’s shoes.  Sometimes it seems like it was a dream.  I remember the person that I was but it doesn’t seem real to me.  I have learned so much more in these last 3 years then I have during the rest of my life.  The reason for it is only because of what I put myself through to get here.  A lot of the things that I have learned are about myself and it helps me relate to other people.  From my point of view, most of the things that I learned, could only be learned coming from a miserable place.  What I mean by that is that I had mentally put myself in a place that was full of misery (lack of goals, drive, determination and confidence.  And an abundance of depression and negative thoughts.)  I was able to dig myself out and end up on the polar opposite side.
If I hadn’t faced any of these challenges, than I probably wouldn’t appreciate what it took to get there.  More than likely I would be a cocky prick, who may understand what hard work is, but doesn’t realize what people go through when facing tougher challenges or for that matter any challenges.  I would probably take the things that I had for granted and feel entitled.  I still don’t have everything figured out and I am constantly learning.  I am also increasing my goals.  If I ever become satisfied I might just fall back into my old ways.  I need something to drive me.  One of those things is passing on what I have learned to others.  It’s only fair, because I constantly get knowledge, motivation and inspiration from others.

Sticking To Your Promises

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Everyone has a day when they just don’t feel like following through with something. Sometimes I get into the gym and am dreading part of my workout. I just feel out of it. Usually, I get into my workout and by the time I get to what’s been traumatizing my day, I feel so energized that I just get it done. Even if I’m not into it yet, my training partner will be and I will have to do it. Just so that I don’t hear him run his mouth. Actually, I would feel like I let him and myself down.

A week ago we decided that we needed to bring conditioning back into our workouts. We have been doing very little of it for a few months and it’s becoming very noticeable. So we said that we would do it 3 or 4 days a week. Our conditioning can last for 10 minutes and it can last for an entire workout. It might not last long but if you aren’t in shape it sucks. We can get more out of 10 or 15 minutes of conditioning than if we ran for 45 minutes.

I got in today and we got our workout done and I wanted no part of conditioning today. Something I woke up thinking about. If you are hitting it hard, you will feel like you are drowning because you are so out of breath. I say to my training partner, “Lets get our conditioning done.” He says, “No, I don’t have time today.” Now all of the sudden I really want to do it, so I start talking crap to him. After calling him out, I say, “Hey, we made a commitment to do it 3 or 4 times a week. And it will only take 12 minutes. You don’t have 12 minutes? Today will be day 2 and we will still have 1 or 2 more days left. Are you going to break your PROMISE?”. He gets this look on his face like he is going to start calling me a couple of choice names.
We got it done in 12 minutes. It was not fun but both of us were happy that we followed through with our PROMISE. #PromiseToFinishWhatYouStarted

Priorities and Passion

 

 

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Since I work for myself I can usually arrange my schedule to meet my needs.  Up until a couple of years ago I would work over 50 hours a week.  When I decided to prioritize everything in my life, I cut out a lot of the things that i didn’t think were productive.  So to tell you the truth i cut my work weeks well down below 40 hours.  Put it this way most people don’t think that i have a job because I’m usually in the gym every day starting at 9 am and leaving when we are done.  That might be 11 and it might be 12.  I travel once in a while, which might or might not be for work.  Last year it was for a bunch of obstacle races.

The way i see it is that i found the things in my life that were holding me back or dragging me down or were just a waste of time.  I cut them out.  I decided that i would rather spend time on trying to build something related to fitness or making people better.  I still have some things that I feel that I may be missing but overall I am living my passion.

 

While I searched for something that would allow me to really make a career out of my new passion, I came across a lot of other people who are living similar lives.  They have an appreciation for many of the same things that I do and they are motivated and inspiring.  They all have set their goals and they focus on them.  One of these people is Chase Reynolds a running back for the St. Louis Rams.  We started training together during the 2013 NFL Offseason.  We pushed each other hard and every day hit a new level of motivation.  We realized that we bother were interested in helping other people achieve their goals and we decided to start a motivational brand.  The brand is The Promise∞Line™.  Chase’s entire life is based on it and my life has been more fulfilling since I found it. If you really want something bad enough you are willing to work on it every day.  Stay focused on it.  We wanted a brand that has a positive impact on how it makes people think and feel.  It’s a reminder of what goals they have set for themselves.  We call our goals promises and we don’t like to break themScreen Shot 2014-07-26 at 9.28.10 PM.

In creating The Promise∞Line™ I have had to start working over 50 hour work weeks again, but I am still getting it in at the gym from 9 until we are done.  I’m still keeping my priorities and this time I am working for my passion.  I have made Promises to myself and Chase my business partner and we pan on building a brand with an impact.

#PromiseToSeizeTheMoment

#ThePromiseLine

 

Looking Back On My Transformation Was It Really That Hard?

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One day I made the decision to transform my body.  I ended up transforming my life.  I look back on it now and some times think that it really wasn’t all that hard to accomplish.  What makes me think that?  I’ve learned a lot since I surpassed my original goal.  Most of what I have learned has been about myself.  The greatest thing that I learned was being able to take control of my mind.  That truly is the hardest part.  If you can control your mind, you can control how and what you eat.  If you can control your mind, you can also train several days a week.  If you can control your mind, than you can give up what is holding you back.  If you can control your mind you can clearly see your goals and you can reach them.  

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that it is easy.  And I am not saying that you can just convince yourself that you will live a healthy lifestyle and have a fit body.  It does take time and if you are like me, you will probably expect more from yourself.   You may have setbacks and you may have to convince yourself that you are strong enough to control your own mind every day.

What was once impossible can now be accomplished once you take control of your mind.  The hard part is being strong enough to be able to take control of your mind.

I Am Not A “PUSSY”!!!

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I am not trying to be offensive.  I’m just being real.  If you really want to know what it took for me to learn how to take control of my mind, you will get that by reading this.  Offensive or not.  I rather be truthful and accurate about my own experience, instead of provide you with some half truth.  I guess I could have said, “I am not a PUNK” or I am not a “LOSER”, but that is not real.  That didn’t happen to me.

Once I’d realized that I could transform my life, by taking control of my mind, I put one of the worst things that I could think of into my head.  It actually started out when I decided that I had to quit chewing tobacco.  Which was several months prior to starting my transformation and building the body that I desired to have.

I started chewing tobacco when I was a senior in college at the age of 22.  Twenty-three years later, I was still chewing.  I unsuccessfully quit several times.  I would think about things like how gross my habit was and how it would make me feel in the morning when I was dehydrated from it.  Sometimes my breath stunk from it.  I even damaged keyboards and entire computers.  In one case I dumped chew spit on a $3,000 MAC.  That was one expensive tin of Skoal.  I had to buy a brand new one.  I also knew that it had a negative effect on strength and muscle development.  I thought about losing my jaw to cancer and even had numbness in my throat and check along with other strange sensations.  Fortunately, none of those problems currently exist.   Based on doctors and dental visits, I have no medical issues from chewing.  I use to watch the singing cowboy commercial (TRUTH – “You Don’t Always Die from Tobacco”) and think, what if that happens to me.  I would rather die than go through that.  None of these things made me quit.  But they did make me think about quitting.

One day I realized that I could quit if I really wanted to.  So I thought about one of the worst things that anyone could call me.  “PUSSY”.  Next thing I know, I would reach for my tin and in my head, I would say, “If you take that, than you are a PUSSY!!!”  It’s funny.  It worked.  I don’t want anyone calling me a PUSSY, including myself.  I wasn’t a PUSSY, because I chewed tobacco.  And I don’t want to say that it was easy to quit.  But it was all because I convinced myself that if I could not control my own mind than I was a PUSSY.

When it came time to starting my transformation, I decided to use the same motivation.  Obviously, a lot more than that motivated me, but this helped.  And within the first week, I was a PUSSY one time during the whole 16 weeks.  It’s not something that I can settle for.  I rather be a BAD ASS than a PUSSY.   My greatest strength is my MIND and I do control it.  I can break bad habits and enforce good ones.  I AM NOT A PUSSY!!!

Finding The Right Training Partner: Chase Reynolds

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Train with people who are where you want to be or train with people who are going to the same place that you are going.  When you train with someone who is where you want to be, you might have a long way to go in order to catch up.  But chasing them only adds to the motivation.  You might not have the exact same goals but you want to  be in the same place mentally.

After already finishing my transformation and getting into shape, I decided to step it up some more.  So I went to Xtreme Speed in Plainfield, IL about 4 hours from my house in St. Louis, MO.  I trained there for 3 days a week for 10 out of 12 weeks.  I have been back about 10 times since.  It’s amazing how far that I have come since I completed my transformation.  These guys took me to a whole new level.  The first time that I walked in the door and trained with these guys, I got my ass kicked.  I failed at everything.  I couldn’t keep up.  I thought about how hard it was and how I knew that I could handle it.   I did not have the muscle endurance to last during this kind of training.  I was going to have to build it up.  It’s ok to FAIL, but it’s not ok to QUIT!

I have seen a number of guys come through the doors, who wanted to try it out.  After their first day, I never saw them again.  It’s almost like a murder mystery.  Come in and get tortured and disappear never to be heard from again.
I know exactly what these guys are going through.  I went through it myself and still remember it very clearly.  Toughest workouts ever.  I also know that it is mostly psychological.  I know that I am going to go through some pain and that my lungs are going to feel like they will bust through my chest on cardio day.  I can still picture running on a treadmill at 12 MPH for 30 seconds for 10 sets, with 1 minute rest in between sets.   Rest consists of doing 10 burpee bench hops.  I’m on my 7th rep and still have 15 seconds on the treadmill.  3 more sets after this one, I feel like I’m drowning because I’m so out of breath that I can get enough air.  I already pulled my shirt off just so I wouldn’t have my shirt restricting me.  I’m getting yelled at for taking my shirt off because I’m dripping sweat all over the treadmill.  I need to fight through it.  I’ve got 15 seconds left out of my entire life and then I have another 90 seconds left split up in 3 sets, tied in with a total of 30 burpees for my rest.  That’s not that long of a period of time, I know that I can do this but it’s a bitch.  Now, I hear someone yelling, “Eisenberg, come on man, keep going”.  So now I know if I stop I’m going to disappoint someone.  I’m going to fail in front of them.  Fuck that, I’m going to suck it up and finish.

Up until this point in my life, I have only had training partners who motivated me, while I was in high school, college and for a few years after college.  Being able to train with the guys at Xtreme was/is amazing.  The atmosphere and the people are what makes me stronger.  They motivate me to do what I know is the hardest training program that I have ever done.  The program works.  It increases my level of conditioning, strength, endurance, with an additional focus on stabilizer muscles and hammers the CORE.

So I come home and train alone, because it’s almost impossible to find someone to train with me at the level at which I am training.  I still hit it hard at home, but I’m still not at the intensity that I would be at Xtreme.  However, whenever I go back, I know that I can handle it but it will be far from easy.

In the beginning of June, I found a new gym with a great atmosphere called Excel Training, in St. Peters, MO.  It’s closer to my house than my old gym and it’s a  Sports Performance Center.  It’s all about training and they do sell memberships.  The owners are part of the atmosphere.  These guys are all in great shape and they know how to train people.  About a week after joining Excel, I was at a party and met Chase Reynolds, a Running Back with the St. Louis Rams.  We talked about nutrition for a while and I told him about Excel.  I actually thought that it would be really cool to get Chase to train with me.  Training with a professional athlete all the time would be great.  He should be able to handle it.  But he probably won’t want to train with some guy almost twice his age.

A couple weeks later the Rams ended their Off-Season Conditioning program and Chase came over to Excel to check the gym out.  I asked him if he wanted to try out my program.  He said that he didn’t have anyone to train with, so he was up for it.  This program consists of non-stop circuits and super-sets.  We beat the crap out of one or two muscle groups during our circuits.  Each circuit could last  between 3 to 6 rounds.  So with most of this stuff we are not using a lot of weight but we were doing high reps.  (15 to 30.  Sometimes more).  I never really filled Chase in on this, I figured that he was better learning about it based on trail.  We had a four station circuit set up for 5 rounds.  It included DB Bench.  Each time we hit bench we would do something a little different.  For instance, hold one weight up while benching with the opposite are for 5 reps.  Switch arms, and then bench 5 more reps with both arms together.  The other sets would include things like raising legs off of the ground to activate the Core.  Rotate weight as we come down so that we have an underhand grip.  Do 1/3 of a rep, followed by 2/3 of a rep, followed by a full rep and that is 1 total rep. We would do 10 of those.  The second exercise was Dynamic Push-Ups.  We started off with both hands on separate 18 inch platforms and would drop to the ground.  Push-Up hard enough to land on the boxes and finish the push-up.  Only 10 reps of that.   Next was one type of raise for 15 reps and single arm bent over rows for 30 reps.

Training this way with someone new to it could almost be funny.  After doing the first set, Chase told me that he was going to move up on the next round.  He was using about 5 lbs. more than me.  I guess I knew something that he didn’t.  I almost laughed but said ok.  If he did what he said when we got back I  would have been impressed.  Well the Dynamic Push-Ups put to rest any ideas, that he had of moving up.  Instead he was forced to drop weight.  I could tell that Chase was strong but I also could tell that he didn’t have the muscle endurance to handle this type of training.

I started to wonder how much Will Power this guy had?  I’m thinking he has a lot because he made it to the NFL because of hard work.  Well either way, I’m about to find out because, I am going to see if he quits.  Not that I wanted him to quit but if I can make it a little bit out of his reach he is going to have to work that much harder to make it.  Now for the motivation.  And this works both ways.  I am going to work my ass off and make this look easy.  I’ll be out of breath and I’ll be tearing up my muscles, but I am not stopping.  I have a pro-athlete training with me and I’m not going to let him keep up. I have an advantage.  I’ve been training this way  for about 8 months and he has never trained this way.  If you can make it psychologically, than you can not only survive but progress pretty quickly.  What’s going through his head?  My guess, “How the hell is the guy going through this same workout and not even having a problem with it?  He is kicking my ass?  This guy is old, he’s in his mid or late 40’s.  He’s not a pro-athlete.  I’m getting beat by an old man.  I’m not quitting.  This stuff sucks.”  I’m watching this guy hitting it hard, but starting to struggle, so I start getting fired up.  I don’t want him to quit, but I want him to come close.  I start yelling at him while we are training.  “Get up!!!  Come on man!!!  2 Minute offense.  No huddle, Get up!!!  I know exactly what he is going through, I’ve been there.  He gets up.  He finishes his set an is off to the next thing.  I’m getting down and getting in his face in between my sets.  Even during my sets, I’m going off on him.  Every time that I yell he responds.  My motivation is through the roof.  I can tell that his is also, but he is still dealing with the shock of a style of training that he has never done before.  I don’t want to bring anything negative into it.  I even decided not to remind him of my age.  I had some great jokes about having to get back to the retirement center.  I didn’t know him that well yet.  (I had to wait until our 2nd workout together before I reminded him)  I’m going to just keep pushing him with the positives of what he will accomplish this year.  How much better condition and how much stronger can he be going into camp?  Shit this is his first day I don’t even know if he will be back.  We got done with his beat down after about 4 circuits including one with Ball Walks and Spider Man Walks which both can not only fatigue you and burn your muscle out within the first half of the first of 6 sets.  It’s rare to find someone who has the Core strength to get through it very easily the first time.  This exercise is one that  can actually make you sick.

I think that first workout really put things into perspective for him.  I wasn’t 100% sure that we were going to be working out on a regular basis.  I found out real quickly, when he told me that he was coming the next day for Leg/Cardio day, which was another day of torture for him.  By the beginning of week 3 he had already had some huge gains.  For instance his Core gets better every day.  Like I said the Ball Walks are a great indicator.  He almost caught me on them the other day.  That actually made me get fired up to go harder.  He is getting more and more competitive and refuses to quit.  I tell him to give me one more rep or one more set when we would have been done.  Except that he was coming close to failure.  It’s this point where you go for that extra 10%.   For those that don’t believe in 110%, they have never gotten to this point.  This is what separates someone who can control the psychological side of things.  This is where I am going to tell him that I know his mind better than he does.  His mind may be telling him to quit, but his body can keep going.  One more set of pushing a Weighted Down Prowler Sled in the rain (sleds don’t slide well in the rain.  20 times harder).  After he finished, I asked him if he knew why I added a 6th set up.  He said, “No”.  And I said because you almost quit at 5.

We talk about our workouts and both of us love them.  It’s different.  It’s challenging.  It’s competitive and getting more competitive.  I’m not going to let him beat me and he’s not going to let me stay ahead of him.  He has proven that he has the Will Power to dominate these workouts.

I don’t respect him because he plays in the NFL, I respect him because he worked his ass off to get there and he is working his ass off even harder to improve.  He has been successful at everything that he has been involved in, by focusing on it and working hard to not only be good at it but be great at it, whether it was football, track, basketball, motocross or wrestling.  He has a lot of other qualities, including participating in charitable programs.  He is a good person who works for what he has earned.  I’m honored to have him as a training partner and I’m proud to call him a friend.  I have never had a better training partner.  The funny thing is that I couldn’t be happier to lose him as a training partner, so that he could go into camp with the St. Louis Rams.  Hopefully, we wouldn’t be training together until the end of the NFL Season.  Getting the call from him at the end of training camp, telling me that he made the 53 man roster was one of the best calls that I ever had.  He has his own team, but when we train together we are a team.  We both work together towards his goal.  He removed his limitations, he reconditioned his body and he made a Promise not to Quit.  Mentally we are in the same place.

Have you ever talked with someone about what each of you thought when you first met?   We did talk about our first day of training together and told each other what we thought.  I guess I was somewhat close but his initial response to me was, “I thought that you were making stuff up as you went along.  I thought you were only trying to get me to quit.  I wasn’t going too.”

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