RSS Feed

Category Archives: My Transformation

My Experience with Fasting and it’s Benefits: ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet Review

Up until recently I never thought that fasting was a great idea.  I would never go a day without food.  I assumed that I would burn muscle and cause damage to my body.  It was my understanding that all I had to do was eat the right foods to make my body the best that it could be.   Food either works for your body or against your body.  It will help your body recover and grow stronger.   The wrong foods will create inflammation and oxidation.  I have been eating about once every 3 waking hours for the last 20 years.

Over the last year, I started to hear some good things about intermittent fasting and decided to give it a try.  I liked some of the results that I got from doing it.  Not too long ago I also found out about some of the benefits of fasting.  Which lead me to a particular type of fast that allows for a minimal amount of food throughout the day.

I am still learning about fasting, so I am far from an expert on it.  But I am starting to understand it. After hearing about these benefits, I decided to give it a try.

The fast that I just finished takes place over the course of 5 days.  On the first day you have 1000 calories and 750 for all of the other days.   It’s called the ProLon Mimicking Dietand it has been the subject of clinical testing at USC.  It is backed by 25 years of research.  It is beneficial in rejuvenation and regeneration. Their studies show that it will also protect you from muscle loss.  It puts your body into a survival of the fittest mode.  The weak are destroyed while the strong flourish and get stronger.  When there is little food available your body will do what it has to in order to survive.  Your body burns food for energy, but once that is no longer available it will burn fat or muscle (The ProLon fast protects muscle from being burned).  It also kills off aging and damaged cells, and activates stem cell renewal.   The weak cells won’t survive and your body will function better.  Not only that but you can also expect a decrease in blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and inflammation.  And the fast will activate stem cells.

I started this fast on a Monday.  Actually, the last thing that I ate outside of the products Prolon provided was on Sunday night. I’ve been pretty excited about trying this out and seeing if I notice any major differences.  Going into this fast, I had been eating like crap for about two weeks.  Normally, I eat pretty clean with an occasional cheat.  I guess I fell into a binge mode and when I decided on doing the fast, I figured I would wreck my diet until I started.  I also skipped the gym for almost a week. This put me into a pretty bad funk.  I felt like crap and was getting depressed and gained a few pounds.  Eating this way for a two-week period definitely had an effect on me mentally and physically.  Now I am expecting this fast to make an even more dramatic impact.

On day 1 of my fast, I went to the gym on an empty stomach.  I ate my first meal with which was far from filling, although it was very tasty.   I am really not use to eating so little and I eat much smaller portions than I use to eat.  Dealing with such a small amount of food over the course of 5 days actually takes a lot of will power.  I have also had the will power to make transformations in the past and even compete in body building competitions.  This is a little bit different but it still takes the same mental approach as a transformation.  I’m hungry and I want to eat.  But I also want to make my body heal.  If this fasting thing truly works, than there is only one way to find out. If you want it bad enough than, you will deal with the hunger for just under a week.

For the most part on day 1 I felt pretty good.  I ended up going to bed around 9 pm, because I was getting tired.  I probably had the best sleep that I have had in over a month.  I woke up feeling refreshed, but hungry.  I made it into the gym and had a decent workout.  I felt good but didn’t have a whole lot of stamina or strength, so I changed up my workout up a little bit.

On Day 2, my food was cut down to 750 calories from 1000.  To tell you the truth there really wasn’t that much difference in the amount of food I ate.  I think it was about a crumb or two less.  I’m hungry and I’m drinking a lot of water, but I do feel good, although I have been a little agitated today.  My morning workout was pretty similar to the day before.  I felt good in the gym but was low in strength and stamina.

On Day 3, I had another great sleep.  Went to bed early again.  Woke up a couple of times during the night but fell back to sleep pretty quickly. Woke up feeling great.  I was pretty surprised, because I wasn’t very hungry.  My stomach was empty and I could eat, but just didn’t feel like I was starving.  I had a pretty good workout.  Once again my stamina and strength were down. After my workout I ate my first meal, which was around 250 calories.  500 left for the day.  I had gotten a little bit hungrier since I got back and had my first meal and continued to get hungrier throughout the day.  Unlike the day before, I wasn’t agitated.  Coming into this program made me think about basically starving myself for 5 days wouldn’t be easy.  On the other hand I have cut my food back quite a bit for some competitions, so I knew I could do it.  Going into the third day on Wednesday morning, I knew that I wouldn’t have a problem getting through Friday.  I was already considering when I would do a fast again.

Day 4, I had another great night of sleep.  I actually use a Whoop to monitor my recovery through HRV (Heart Rate Variable).  It tracks strain, sleep, and a number of other things.  Last night I hit REM and Deep Sleep longer than I have since I got a Whoop. Usually, I get less than 20 minutes of both combined.  Wednesday night I had over an hour of REM and 25 minutes of deep sleep. I did wake up several times, but I felt great when I woke up and actually was up before 6 am, which is not something that I typically do.   Some of the other things that I noticed on the Whoop were my resting heart rate, was 45, which is about 8 beats lower than my normal resting heart rate. My HRV was 57, which is close to the highest it’s ever been since I’ve been tracking it.  My recovery was 96%, which was almost 3 times higher than it was on Monday when I started.  Recovery obviously changes every day.  At this level my body is ready to take on a lot of strain. What all of this is telling me is that this fast is working.

When woke up, I wasn’t very hungry.  I got some light cardio done at the gym.  My energy and strength were lower than usually.  My head seemed a little out of it until after my cardio. For the rest of the day I felt great, but my hunger increased as the day went on.

Day 5 my sleep was pretty good but not as good as the other nights, while fasting.   My Rem and Deep Sleep were better than prior to the fast.   I continued to wake up earlier than usual.  I got into the gym early and had a pretty good workout.  I still lacked strength and stamina but it was the best workout of the week.  Kind of weird since I was on the last day of my fast.  Hunger is not that much of an issue today.  It came on kind of strong after my workout, but after I had my little bits of food it went away.  I have been drinking a ton of water, which is pretty normal for me. My resting heart rate continued to be close to 45 beats per minute.   Middle of the day my energy seemed to climb.  By the time I went to bed I still felt great.

Day 6 I woke up earlier than the previous and was a little tired, since I was up too late the night before.  I ended up going back to bed.  I had a better sleep than prior to the fast, however it wasn’t as good as the two previous nights.  I did have a decent amount of REM and Deep Sleep.  This was a transitional day.  A day that starts off with soups and juices.  Add in some pasta and a little bit of fish or meat later in the day.  You don’t want to take in too much animal protein.  My breakfast was bone broth with hemp seeds.  Later I had some almonds.  Lunch was black bean pasta.  And I went to a friend’s restaurant for some Pho (Vietnamese soup with meat and noodles).   My energy level started to climb as the day went on.

One of the other things that I started to notice on day 5 and through day 6 (transition day) was that my usual aches and pains weren’t bothering me.  I am interested in seeing how I feel in the gym on Monday morning.  I did have a good amount of inflammation in my body going into this fast and I do notice that there are points on my body that seem to have either lost or greatly reduced the amount of inflammation.  The fast does activate stem cells and regenerate cells and tissues and decreases inflammation, so I would think that this is what is helping me with my old aches and pains.

On Sunday, I woke up much earlier than I planned to wake up.  I was up late and ended up having less than 5 hours of sleep. I would have gone back to bed, but my energy and alertness was through the roof. I was thinking that I should have been tired.  The short amount of sleep that I had was amazing.  All throughout the day my energy level felt almost euphoric.  And I am not feeling any of my aches and pains at all.  Up until about 2 nights ago have a pretty decent amount of pain in my right knee when I am sleeping, because of a torn MCL.  It bothers me at certain points during the day, mostly based on position or movements and then at night while laying in bed (not typically the entire night. Usually, starting up in the middle of the night).  At least for now the pain is gone.  Obviously, some of these injuries are still there, but with reduced inflammation and stem cell activation the pain has subsided.  I am even tempted to try running on it (haven’t been able to run for close to 2 months).

Because this fast is supported by credible research I had some pretty solid expectations.  So far I have been blow away by the results. Later this week, I will be getting a blood test that I can compare to my results from about 2 months ago. Back then I did have high Cholesterol and high Triglycerides.

All of the food that is provided for the diet matches the nutritional ingredients, which is supported by the 25 years of research.  As far as the food goes, they have these crackers and bars, which are really amazing.  The only thing that sucks is that when I ate them, I wanted more.  The bars blow away most of the other bars on the market when it comes to taste.  And I am not just saying this because I was really hungry when I was about to eat.  I don’t eat soup very often, but I do really like theirs and I looked forward to eating them.  They provide several different kinds of soup.

The biggest negative with the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet is that they provide you with several meals of olives.  I honestly, despise olives.  I could be eating a salad and if someone slipped some olives into, they ruined it for me.  Olives are definitely on my top 10 foods that I hate.  They might even be number one.  There has to be something that they could replace them with.  I found it kind of funny that they mention in a video something about “if you don’t like olives…”  They didn’t say that about anything else, so I guess I’m not the only one complaining about them. They are high in fat, which is something that you need while doing this kind of fast.  I ended up eating them, but I would throw them to the back of my throat, while trying to avoid my tongue.  Gag on them a little and then swallow them.  So if you like Olives than you will love the meals with them.

The other negative is their APP.  I haven’t been able to use it, because they have a high level of security on it.  I don’t really get what they are protecting. I signed up and it asks me to create a password.  As I am creating the password, it starts making suggestions. (Something that I have never seen to this extent.) “Add another word.” So I add another word.  “Add another word.”  What the hell, I already have 27 letters.  So I add another word.  Add a number.  Add a symbol.  Who the hell cares about my fasting diet enough to hack into this stupid app?  By the time I got done with my stupid password, I forgot what I wrote.  I do know that it was something like F@@@MUTHAF@@EATS@@@ .  So now that all of this is created I get an email to verify my account.   I figured the email would come right away.  WRONG.  It showed up the next day.   Well by now I have forgotten the password.  So I clicked the forgot password button.  Stupid email doesn’t show up until about 10 hours later.  I have sent in several requests.  I attempted to login again and it says. Account not verified. WTF.  I honestly think that they know people are starving on this fasting diet and they want to piss them off with some stupid app that probably doesn’t exist.  I think that there are benefits to being pissed off while starving.  It must accelerate the speed of the neurons firing in your brain.

The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet is backed up with a 25 of research at USC.  Their Phase 2 Clinical Trial proved that the Diet treats aging and reduces risk factors for multiple age related diseases.  Maintain healthy levels of Blood Glucose, Triglycerides, C-Reactive Protein, Stem Cells, IGF-1.  Decreases body fat percentage.  Mostly Visceral fat.  Protect Lean Body Mass.  Improve skin and energy levels.

To tell you the truth, I originally believed that you could go out on try to replicate this diet on your own.  But based on the years of research I don’t think it would be that simple.  It’s not just that they provide the convenience of providing you with everything that you need.  They have the research to back it all up.   I will personally stick with something that is proven with years of research.    I will definitely recommend it and I do plan on fasting again next month for 5 days and the following month for 5 days.  I am going in for blood tests next week so that I can see if there is a difference in any of my blood markers. .  I will also continue to bitch and moan about the Olives.  As for the App, I have actually contacted the company and they are planning on changing it and making it more user friendly.  That was pretty impressive that they responded on that so quickly.  I guess I can add, great customer service to my review.

If you are interested in trying out ProLon, it costs $249.  You get a discount when you buy more than one.   When I purchased it, I quickly realized that over the course of 5 days I would probably spend about $150 for food if I ate at home the entire time.  About $60 more if I went out to eat twice.  No matter what my health is more important than spending dollars on something that will keep me from spending money on drugs to control any of my biomarkers.  And you can’t put a price on feeling great.

My experience with fasting has been minimal, but because of the benefits, it has also been exceptional.  Which leads me to giving ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet a review of a 5 Star rating.

Here is the link for more info on ProLon and to order: ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet

 

If you decide that you would like to try the diet they do have a list of people that they say should not do it:

Who should NOT be on a Fasting Mimicking Diet?

  • Children under the age of 18, or people who are elderly and frail
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing
  • Individuals who are allergic to nuts or soy
  • Individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) <18 or >40
  • Individuals diagnosed with serious medical condition or disease, unless approved in writing by a physician appropriately trained to treat that condition
  • Individuals who have been severely weakened by a disease or medical procedure
  • Individuals who are taking medications which may not be safely consumed with a calorie restricted diet
  • Individuals with Diabetes (type 1 and type 2), cardiovascular disease and cancer, unless approved in writing by a licensed physician. ProLon should never be combined with glucose lowering drugs, such as metformin or insulin
  • Fasting is prohibited for individuals with certain metabolic disorders including those affecting gluconeogenesis (in vivo glucose synthesis)
  • Individuals with a history of significant cardiac disease, particularly uncompensated congestive heart failure NYHA grade 2 or more or LVEF <40% on any prior assessment
  • Individuals with a history of syncope (fainting) with calorie restriction or other medical co-morbidities
  • Individuals with special dietary needs that are incompatible with the ProLon meal plan
  • Individuals with liver or kidney disorders that may be affected by the very low glucose and protein content of the diet

 

Click here to order: ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet

 

 

 

What’s Your Trigger? No More Excuses. Get After Your Goals.

Image-1.jpgWhat’s your trigger? What has to happen for you to make a change for the better?  For me it was a picture. I actually just found the picture again.  I had assumed that it had been lost and figured that I would never see it again.

It was January of 1998 and I was getting ready to head to San Diego for the Super Bowl.  I went to the doctor for a physical and she told me, “You’re about to pop.”  I asked, “What do you mean?”  She said, “You’re going to have a heart attack.”  I’m thinking, I’m 31 and I can’t believe I might not make it to 32.  When she made the statement, she seemed pretty confident.  The more I think about it now, I might have made it to 32 but there is no way I would have been around until 35.  I still had not made any decision to do anything about my life.  I actually don’t remember her making any suggestions, just giving me a warning.

While in San Diego, I went to Rosarito, Mexico with some friends and we rode horse on the beach. This is where the picture was taken. It was about 2 weeks later that I received an envelope from a friend with two pictures.  I still don’t know where the other one is, but I think that one made me feel like I was bigger than the horse.  I felt bad about making the horse carry my fat ass.

EAS was being promoted all over the city of San Diego and by the Broncos players.  I ended up speaking with someone from EAS and got some product and a Muscle Media Magazine.  The magazine had a promotion for Body for Life, which was the first actually transformation challenge.  They were promoting their second year.  I read about the contest that same day that I saw the picture.   The next day was my first day back in the gym.  7 months later, I had accomplished what I set out to do.  20 years later I am still doing it.  Only now I have more knowledge and a better understanding of what it takes for me to achieve my goals and live a healthy lifestyle.

It’s funny, because I remember how I felt when I saw that picture.  Part of me thinks, “Why would I want that reminder? It made me feel horrible.  I couldn’t believe I was that fat.”   It is also a reminder of what I have accomplished. This picture represents a time in my life that I made my greatest change ever.  The combination of the 3 things that happened around the same time were the wakeup call that I needed in order to change my life.  You don’t always see yourself, the way you actually look.  I always recommend that people take before and after pics.  As someone starts making changes during your transformation they would probably be the last person to notice their changes visually.  We see ourselves in the mirror just about every day and are use, to what we see.  In some cases, we lie about what we see.  I know, I did. I lied to myself about a lot of things.

That trigger isn’t just about recognizing the problem, it’s about setting your goals, taking the steps to accomplish them and pursuing them, until you have accomplished those goals.

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

img_9178-edit

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

Evolve Blog Before After Glad I was fat

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

conditioning
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

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 1.54.57 PM

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?

Posted on

Screenshot 2014-05-07 23.41.43

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”!!!

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 11.26.47 AM

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

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 5.43.08 PM

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.”

Don’t Expect to Be Given Anything. Stand Up and Take it!

When we were training at the gym today, we had a conversation about a college player that was pissed off because he said the team was “screwing him”.  What was the problem?  They brought in another kid that was a “beast” at the same position.
I don’t consider that getting screwed over.  Your team is trying to get better.  If you want to be the starter, stand up and take it.  If you ball hard enough and the other kid who is going after the same position is still better than you, there are always other positions out there.  That other kid and his ability better give you the motivation to take that job.  There are cases where players get a job because of favoritism.  In the NFL it can happen because they have money invested in one player but not another.  It’s hard to admit that you made a mistake when you invest big dollars into someone.  But this kid told us himself that they brought in a solid player.  The team is trying to get better and you should want to do that for yourself.
If you are already the starter it’s your job to keep not your job to lose.  There is always someone out there that wants to take it from you.  It’s the same thing in the real world.  Earn it, take it, get after it.  

Cristian Mihai

writes a short story every week

I Am a Spartan

"Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure"

JanaBanana, RD

Registered Dietitian. foodie. coffee lover. runner. Healthy Living Blogger. Book-a-holic. Ring Out Ahoya. Go Blue!

She's Evolving

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE EVOLUTION

Gluten Free Gus

Baking Joy Into Every Gluten-free Bite

A is for

A is for Amuseless

EatWellChef

UNBIASED

Almost Thirty-Something

Millennial. Blogger. Happy soul.

LocalSportsReviews.com (coming soon)

Sporting Local Athlete Reviews & Listings

Nicole Meadows

Lifestyle blogger with a passion for fitness

The Better Man Project ™

the journey continues

Matt Mayberry's Blog

Professional Athlete, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Fitness Guru

Kat's Health Corner

A young mother striving to raise a healthy family.

No 'FRIES' for 365

- My Journey: A Blog About Fitness, Nutrition, & Overall Health -

Jen's Dish

Life...with Recipes

Rantings of an Amateur Chef

Food...cooking...eating....tools - What works, and what doesn't!