How Fitness Became My Path to Personal Growth

I grew up a lot like other kids in the 80s. Playing backyard football, baseball, and tag while it seemed like enjoying every moment was a full time job as a in our communities in Montana, Virginia, and Colorado.

I must have tried every sport growing up because it seemed like every season except winter was full of go, go, go from one field to another. I didn’t get involved in indoor sports like basketball or volleyball because I enjoyed playing outside so much as a child.

As it would turn out, I was a pretty decent baseball pitcher up until high school. While my teammates hit their growth spurts, I was left nursing my pride from not getting past baseball tryouts my freshman year. So I gravitated to track where not a single person was cut from the team and everyone got to participate in practice and team activities. That felt like a better environment for an undersized freshman that never seemed to fit in with any one crowd.

Track and Cross Country were my focus as I began to uncover performance anxiety and fear of not being good enough. At every starting line of every race, I felt the knot of insecurity in my gut as I was learning what limiting beliefs were for the first time.

Eventually, by the end of high school, I was excelling at Cross Country in spite of those fears and limiting beliefs. In the final meets of my senior year, I would place 9th in our league race, 16th in regionals, and 67th overall in the state 5A Championship race. And by the time track season rolled around in the spring of ’98, I was burnt out on competing and chose to work instead to save for college.

I turned in my uniform and hung up my spikes in front of the look of dismay from my coach. In actuality, I quit because I was afraid of not meeting my own expectations that year. I had been in communication with the head Cross Country coach from Western State College and he had asked me to get my mile time down to 4:40 and my two mile time down to 10:00.

I didn’t believe I could meet that expectation, so I quit. And used work as an excuse and a priority. I would use that excuse a thousand times over the next 20 years to confirm that belief I wasn’t good enough.

Over the next few years, I found myself struggling to find my groove at college, although I would stay pretty consistent with fitness. I added 45 pounds of overall mass my freshman year thanks to my “consume everything in sight” nutrition plan, which included beer. Way too much beer.

I ran with the party crowd and would transfer schools after my sophomore year to escape the influence a small town and my guy friends had over me. I was facing the darkest depression of my life from a combination of factors; drinking too often, feeling out of control, and ignoring proper nutrition.

After transferring schools, I felt more at home in Ft. Collins, CO at CSU because I had a non-drinker roommate, began attending church, and found the on campus recreation center, and I gravitated to the healing effects fitness had on me as I decreased my drinking and began cooking at home more often.

About a year later, I met my daughter’s mom at a restaurant that I worked at in town, began partying again, and stopped working out entirely to spend my days with her. I made some poor choices during this time; including a DUI and becoming pregnant with my girlfriend.

Once again, I was at a time in my life that the limiting beliefs were raging and I quit school to work full time in a restaurant and support my soon to be new adventure in life. I had limited activity at this time in my life because the depression and anxiety I felt heading into fatherhood weighed heavily on me. About the most I could commit to was joining a men’s roller hockey league one night a week.

My partner and I would soon move to Denver to live with family and I found full time work in the restaurant industry with my first management position. Along with the late nights at work, came free beer, and a sleep schedule that was not helping my parenting at all. And with my drinking came challenges in my marriage and an eventual divorce from my daughter’s mother.

Gratefully, I was getting back into the gym with the help from my employer committing to a group membership for the restaurant team. The challenge at that time was to make it a priority. As an adult with a lot of responsibility, I faced a new challenge in personal growth. How do I make the time for work, family, parenting, friends, and the gym?

All of which I loved. Something had to go to the bottom of the priority list at that time. I chose to change jobs at that time and it made a huge difference in my life.

I raced head first into the catering and convention services career as a Banquet Manager at the Brown Palace Hotel! I began making better income and the hours were an improvement so I was able to dedicate more time to my fitness goals; plus the 24 Hour Fitness I joined had a kid’s club.

I chased success in the years after my divorce and shift in career paths. I felt lost, alone, and without direction although the one constant in my life was my commitment to the gym. It was’t until the hotel and restaurant industry bottomed out in 2008 with the recession that I found my purpose in life.

My roommate at the time had a twin brother who was a strength coach at Penn State University and he wrote us a remote workout program that took our squat, bench, and strength to new heights. I felt a draw to the science behind fitness and figured that if I was just serving tables in a restaurant, I would go back to school to finish my degree.

I found a great program at Metropolitan State University and transferred credits to complete my Exercise Science and Adult fitness degree in about three years. All while juggling parenthood, a relationship, and my course load.

I made many strong friendships along the way to earning my degree and none was more important than the relationship I found with myself. I began to gain confidence by putting in the work to earn my degree as well as working full time, becoming debt free, and being a part of my daughter’s life.

The education at Metro State included a 405 mandatory internship which I chose to pursue at The University of Denver in their strength and conditioning department. I learned many valuable lessons observing and coaching with their athletes but none was more valuable than the impact Olympic lifting has on sports performance.

I became obsessed with the Power Clean exercise. The nuances and technical requirements to move big weight FAST had me captivated. This was the key piece of the puzzle I was looking for in my own fitness journey.

Take a look at this quick tutorial of the power clean from 2020.

Watch this instructional video from me on the power clean.

What exercises would benefit me most physically, mentally, and emotionally? I am drawn to intense choices, risks, and activities. I attribute that to my Enneagram personality type, The Challenger, who seeks out all things intense. (More on this later).

Almost a year after graduating college, I was still working in a restaurant with late nights and feeling the exhaustion creeping in from the craziness that I experienced the last few years. It finally caught up with me while I was applying to strength coach positions to fulfill my purpose.

That was when my mom reached out to help her reach her fitness goals. She had already seen tremendous weight loss with a shift in nutrition and wanted to keep building lean muscle mass.

We began to meet weekly at a local gym to workout together and she paid me for my time. I saw my path and my future for the first time in becoming a self-employed personal trainer; the money was good and the work came naturally to me.

What I didn’t expect was to grow as much personally as I did professionally through starting up a fitness business. Honestly, in the beginning, I didn’t know at all what I was doing so I stuck to the basics. You know…

  1. Set up a business entity
  2. Set up a business account
  3. Seek out clients
  4. Manage my time and finances

What lay beneath those simple tasks was where the personal growth happened. Could I really build a sustainable personal training business?

Could I be though of as a leader and a good personal trainer that people would hire and pay hard earned money for?

I didn’t know the answers but it didn’t stop me from trying my hardest to figure it out along the way. Soon after, my mom and I got “busted” at the local gym and were asked to leave if I was coaching her.

So I took the leap and found a private training studio to rent space from. Instantly, my business changed. I felt the desire to create something bigger than myself. Something for others to experience personal growth through fitness like I had.

I put in a lot of hours in the beginning. Between the restaurant and the gym, I would sometimes have 20 hour long days with a nap and 4 coffees tucked in there. I loved the work and the challenge I was facing to build something from scratch.

I began to feel the exhaustion and the negative effects coffee was having on my adrenal glands. This was a major turning point for me to realize I couldn’t thrive on coffee, naps, and willpower forever. I started to clean up my nutrition choices by turning to meal prep to save time and money.

This was a game changer for me personally! I finally had a plan of action and the energy I needed to get through long, hard days spread thin between to jobs.

Things began to change for me at that time. I began to attract clients easily through social media and word of mouth. Although my physical and financial health were improving, my relationship was not. About six months into building my business, I went through a break up after three and a half years together.

I began to face some demons at that time and fitness was a powerfully positive force to help me get through the challenging times. I cut back on eating out, drinking, and skipping sleep and in exchange, I was able to make space for new hobbies, friends, and clients.

One of those hobbies became a passion: boxing. I absolutely loved the high intensity nature of the sport plus the mental side to effectively strike with power while maintaining a steady pace over the hour long classes. I found myself in the best shape of my life by making time for olympic lifting and boxing three times each per week. Here’s a picture from that time in my life at about 33 years old, 162#, and 8% body fat.

Could I keep this up forever? I soon found out that the answer was… NO.

I developed a herniated adductor muscle in my hip from the repetitive rotation in boxing and the stabilization necessary to accomplish power cleans. My body was asking me for rest so I finally listened.

Being humbled and told to slow down like this needed to happen quite a few times in my fitness journey. It was part of the process for me to learn my limits and just how far I could push my body before it began to break down.

That summer included rest and it also brought tremendous growth to my business! I eclipsed the $50k revenue mark after only 14 months in business and I felt like my professional path was laid out clearly before me. Beyond the professional development I experienced in the first year of my business, I also found my ego rise up a attempt to destroy what I had created through limiting beliefs, taking unnecessary risks, and a misunderstanding of the power behind the psychology of money.

Staying consistent with my exercise routine during this time was paramount to maintain happiness, decrease stress, and boost my confidence. I was facing hardships in a relationship and learning about my limiting beliefs for the first time in my life. It was a shock to the nervous system to try to balance it all out while running a business, parenting my daughter, and repairing the relationship with myself and others.

Summer of 2013

This feeling of balance was an illusion. What was I trying to control that was giving me an illusion of balance that was entirely beyond my control?

I’ve learned since that balance is just a clever word for control. Controlling any outcome is what I was clinging to the second and third year of my business.

I’ll never be able to control how long a client stays with me. I’ll never be able to control the economy which impacts my business, or rent prices skyrocketing in Denver, or even how long the gym I was renting space at would remain open.

About 3.5 years into my business, the gym moved locations on short notice. We were kept in the loop about how the current landlord wanted us out, or raise their rent, or how they delayed repairs. In the end, the gym owner found a space a few miles away and gave us 30 days notice to find new locations for our business. I could not control whether I received an invitation to move with their business or not; at that time, I did not feel welcome to move to the new location with the community.

The next few years were hugely impactful on my personal and professional growth. I chose to find my own studio space and my clients came with me; some stayed long term and others left when their packages were finished.

What I found within myself over the next 12 months I never knew I was capable of enduring. Business tanked and my personal viewpoint of my worth went with it. Fact is, I was burnt out and needed help because I was wearing too many hats in the business.

Head trainer, janitor, CFO, CTO, CEO, COO, etc. It was too much. I was humbled once again by another dimension of my fitness journey.

Thankfully, I was still working with some very passionate clients and I loved coaching them while building lifelong relationships with some of them. I am grateful for the consistency in fitness, nutrition, and progress in olympic lifting during that time that helped me regulate hormones like cortisol.

Demonstrating how our online programs work for remote clients.

I was trying to do too much and all of it fell on my shoulders. I was burning out and my body was reminding me to slow down, rest, and relax. I wouldn’t listen.

And my personal relationships suffered as a result. I began to connect the dots between my personal relationship challenges with my long term battle with mental health; specifically depression and anxiety.

Upon exploration, I found that depression and anxiety were the symptoms of many years of ignoring and suppressing emotions. What was lying beneath all that?

While sabotaging my business and personal relationships by pushing people who loved me away, I realized I needed to turn the mirror on myself and look inward. There is no amount of running, lifting, eating, and sports performance that will help you outrun your problems.

Especially if you are bottling them up inside you for so long.

That’s about the time that I found jiu-jitsu. I kept driving by a boxing gym that was within a mile of my studio. I reflected often on how good it felt to hit the mitts and heavy bag a few years before, so I walked in one day to try a free five class package.

The instructor was a former Mexican professional boxer with skill and speed with a flare of enthusiasm. I was hooked on the community there from the start.

After my five pack was up, I decided that jiu-jitsu would be my next adventure and looking back on it four years later, I am so grateful that I took the leap. I had watched my daughter train jiu-jitsu for two years and thought, “If she could do it, so can I.”

Through jiu-jitsu, I have met some of my best friends, found a community, and even teamed up with the owners of that school and operated my business out of their space for two years. Things were rolling there for a while.

I had left a bad relationship, recruited three trainers to work with me in my studio space, and had even grown my business while working with clients only about 20 hours per week.

The personal growth I found through jiu-jitsu was unlike anything I had experienced up until that point in my life. I felt as if my physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial health were coming together to lead me down my path to my true purpose.

To share the benefits of fitness and nutrition for mental health with as many people as I possibly could.

Let me come back to the Enneagram really quick. My Challenger personality type gave me a new lens at which to view my world and I really began to see myself for who I was as a man.

The Challenger, or type 8, is drawn to intensity in all endeavors. There is no half-assing anything so when it appears as if I go hard all the time in weightlifting, boxing, jiu-jitsu, relationships, and business… you’re absolutely right.

I go big or not at all! After four years of personal discovery and self-awareness through the Enneagram, I can confidently say that I am “Enthusiastic about challenging people.” What better profession is there than a strength coach, personal trainer, and business owner for a type 8?

As I mentioned before, I was facing challenges in my relationships, both personally and professionally. The Enneagram helped me see through the blind spots that had been plaguing me for years…

And that began the next level of personal growth for me and a turning point in my fitness journey. I really, truly began to look at myself in the mirror.

One relationship ended. And then another in the fall of 2017. I was near rock bottom and I was taking on too much responsibility.

I had three teammates at the studio and an intern yet I was still working too much; early mornings to later evenings and I had very little quality of life. I decided to take a break and schedule a two week vacation the final two weeks of the year.

The team with a few clients.

It was the best choice I could have made for myself to listen to my body and delegate some client session hours to trainers that believed in our mission. What happened on that vacation, I’ll never forget.

I had bought some Christmas gifts for the team, copies of Strength Finder and the assessment that went along with it. I also purchased a book for myself, The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard. While I struggled with the author’s voice and writing style, I took away one great message.

Your message has meaning.

That message told me that I could and would be able to share my powerful message with the world and be empowered because of it. Instead of carrying around the shame and embarrassment of childhood memories, I could share the rest of the story with others to inspire and educate.

So I wrote my book. Aspire Higher tells my story from the age of 17 to the time I was about to turn 38. This memoir-esque story shares how the benefits fitness, nutrition, and personal growth impacted my mental health. I completed about 90 pages during that two week vacation because of that one line from Burchard’s book.

Your Message has Meaning

I screamed through the remaining 160 pages over the next three months and it honestly became the therapeutic experience I was seeking the previous 20 years. I also found a tremendous counselor who listened to me share my thoughts over the course of the next 20 months; from about January ’18 until November ’19.

While processing my life’s experience through writing, journaling, counseling, and shadow work of the Enneagram, I stayed consistent with my jiu-jitsu practice, competing four times, lifting heavy weights, and building my business. All of which I attribute to helping me survive through the highs and lows of life.

I remained single during this time for a reason. My purpose was strong enough that I dove into serving others through fitness and nutrition and began to cultivate another idea to help so many others. I decided to take my break ups as a learning experience and begin a podcast to explore the depths of modern dating.

In June of 2018, the Believe Be Real Be Bold podcast was born to help busy adults navigate the modern dating world with a better consciousness by interviewing experts each week; dating coaches, authors, therapists, counselors, and matchmakers have joined me from across the world to make a great change in so many peoples’ lives.

Host of the Believe Be Real Be Bold Podcast

I feel that when we combine a holistic and mindful approach to personal growth through fitness, nutrition, and our relationships, we can improve our lives dramatically. And that of our family too.

When we heal generations worth of trauma, eliminate blockages from years of limiting beliefs, and share our story with others, we can and will make our experience on Earth worthwhile. Leaving behind a legacy that will greatly improve generations to come.

Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of how much of a role fitness and nutrition can play in your life when you stay consistent with your goals and purpose in life.

Brave. Strong. Fit for life. Is our slogan and if we were to leave anything out of our story when building relationships with our members, we would be doing them a great disservice by becoming robots engaging our clients through technology and screens.

I can’t say, at this time, everything is rolling along smoothly. I sit here, sheltering in place during a global pandemic, hanging on by a mere thread of hope that life will improve for us all. I have considered this one of the largest mental health crisis in our human history and I feel as if I am not alone in that opinion.

One of the first choices I made when told to stay home, shelter in place, and flatten the curve was to join a virtual men’s group. My men’s group leader serves a role in my life as well that is indescribable the impact he has had on my personal growth in just nine short months.

Additional choices I made to stave off the hardships our mental health crisis has given us was to continue to train with body weight workouts at home, kettlebells for overloading my system, and jiu-jitsu with my roommate and partner. I realized early on that nutrition would play a huge role in my stability while isolated but I acknowledge that giving myself grace at this time would better serve my long term holistic health.

Training at home with Sam McGraw

So I order in dinner twice a week, eliminate alcohol from my lifestyle, and choose a new recipe about once a week to further my passion for meal prep and thriving with healthy choices in the kitchen.

Are you looking for additional support right now to reach your goals quickly and safely? Set up a free consultation with me now to hear about the new programs from Fit Life for 2021.

Just find a time on my calendar below to speak with me personally on the phone.

5 Fun Facts about Fitness

If you’ve been staying off social media recently (it’s always good to take a break and reset, am I right?) you may have missed these five fun facts about fitness!  

We’ve been mindful about teaching healthy habits in our community and encouraging our members to set boundaries around their screen time, especially with all the extra time at home.  

Did you know there is such a thing as residual attention?

According to Cal Newport, who wrote Digital Minimalism, it’s the energy your mind devotes to social media, the tv, and distractions that lasts long after you set your phone down or walk away from the news to return to your task.  My mind was blown when I learned about that the other day as well as these five fun facts about fitness we looked into this month while!

  1. Exercise is one of the best relievers of stress, anxiety and depression, because it releases endorphins and gives your mind something else to focus on.  This backs up the point about residual attention we made earlier.  When you need a break from your task at hand because you are stuck or overwhelmed, try 10 minutes of exercise instead!  
  2. The average person walks about 70,000 miles in their lifetime. That’s enough to circle the earth almost three times!  Do you have a Fitbit?  One of our members recently remarked that in the last couple months, she had walked the length of Italy!  A whole 730 plus miles!  Way to go Jen!
  3. If all the muscles in your body could pull in the same direction, you could lift 25 tons.  Of course, many of our muscles are meant for pulling and stabilizing the joints, so this is a fun fact that can hardly be applied to our every day lives.  But did you know that your pulling muscles (back) need to be trained twice as much as your pushing muscles (chest) to prevent imbalances and injuries?
  4. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories.  More bang for your buck right here!  In 30 minutes of HIIT, you can continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours after a good hard workout!
  5. Exercising boosts brain activity and helps build new brain cells.  Just one more reason to think about how much time we devote to screens that distract us and to find ways to replace those brain cells we just lost!

If you would like to hear more about the impact fitness has in our lives and learn how to lose 20 pounds by 2021!

Join me for a free fitness class where you can ask me anything about fitness, nutrition, and personal growth!

Just click here to save your seat for one of the live zoom classes I am hosting!

7 Healthy Habits that are Guaranteed to Improve Your Life

I’d like to introduce you to the seven best habits you can implement in your life today that will create major change! When you add in these simple habits into your life, you will be guaranteed to feel more energy and boost confidence immediately.

Our coaching philosophy was adopted to fit your top goals from Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit. Read on to help make a major life change today!

Healthy Habit #1

Make Time! 

Make time FOR YOURSELF, for meditation, for exercise, for meal prep, for work, for rest, etc.

Why is this habit important?
Making time for yourself is an essential habit because if not done, it’s easy to neglect! Work, family, kids, and life, in general, can get in the way of carving out those few precious moments that can make a big impact on your day.

How to implement this habit:
Start small… set aside just 5 minutes early in your day to accomplish something just for you. The earlier you complete this habit each day the more likely it is you won’t put it off!

Healthy Habit #2

Drink plenty of water

Why is this habit important?
I know, I know, this one you’ve heard before over and over. But it IS important in order to feel your best and reach your goals! When you are properly hydrated, you sleep better and reduce inflammation to help your body work optimally.

How to implement this habit:
To decide how much water you should be drinking each day, take your body weight, divide by 2= total ounces of water per day. Decide how many refills of your favorite water bottle it will take to drink that many ouncews and count of how many times each day you refill your water bottle and voila! An easy way to stick to your goal!

Healthy Habit #3

Eat Slowly:  

Why this habit is important 
It takes 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain that it is full, but if you eat your food too quickly, you can eat too much. By the time your stomach tells your brain it’s full, you’ve already eaten everything on your plate (and your kiddo’s plate too) and it’s too late!

How to implement today’s habit
Remember, eating is not a race, take your time and enjoy each bite for 15 “chews”.  Be present in the moment and really enjoy your meal and table conversation with friends and family!

Healthy Habit #4

 Get Plenty of Rest

Why is this habit important
The body’s recovery from the day’s activities happens while we sleep, the less sleep we get the less recovery to prepare us for tomorrow! Sleep is a crucial keystone habit for so many reasons, so make sure you’re getting plenty of it! You should be getting a minimum of 7 hours per night!

How to implement this habit
Some tips on getting enough sleep…set your alarm to wake up early to make time for your new lifestyle! If you sleep in, your body won’t be ready for bed at the appropriate time this evening. Getting plenty of exercise during your day will wear you out by bedtime as well.   And lastly, make sure you’re adding good healthy fats to your diet such as avocados or foods rich in Omega 3’s, such as grilled or baked salmon. Quality healthy fats help you sleep better!

Healthy Habit #5

Eat more veggies than fruit

Why is this habit important?
Vegetables provide longer lasting energy than fruit, plus they are power-packed full of nutrients to give you the most bang for your buck!

How to implement this habit:
Eat the rainbow! The more colors from a variety of veggies, the better nutrients we get in our diet! A good gauge for how much veggies you should eating… for every one piece of fruit, 3-5 veggies at every meal!

Healthy Habit #6

Choose goal appropriate exercises

Why this habit is important
Choosing goal appropriate exercises helps you arrive at your goals quickly and safely. For example, the exercises in this 7-day challenge, are picked specifically for you to get the most results in a short amount of time.

How to implement this habit:
We recommend finding a good resource to follow for motivation and who knows your niche inside and out!  Got questions about which exercises are best for you?

Healthy Habit #7

Plan meals ahead of time

Why this habit is important:
Planning your meals ahead of time will not only save you time and money but also help you get to your nutrition and health goals. If you have planned out (and hopefully prepped) your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks it’s more likely that you will plan healthy options rather than reach for quick & convenient but often less healthy choices.

How to implement this habit:
Start by planning out your week: which meals will be at home, which will be at work, or out to eat.  If not at home, have a plan that covers what to eat when!  

Would you like to feel more energized and confident so that you can juggle all your responsibilities AND have time for home workouts that get results?

Apply for remote coaching with Dave Glaser, CSCS now by clicking here and receive a complimentary discovery call!

Not All Calories are Created Equal

Have you heard this before? Weight loss is simple. It’s all about calories in versus calories out.

While it is true that a caloric deficit will help you lose body fat and build lean muscle. You must remember that not all calories are created equal.

For example, if I eat one meal today that consists of an entire pizza which equals around 2,000 calories. Those calories are not going to help me lose body fat and build lean muscle even if I were to exercise for one hour to burn about 350-400 calories.

Using the example above, your caloric deficit occurs if your basal metabolic rate (BMR: the minimum calories you need to take in per day to run your body’s systems) is 2,000 kcal and you exercised for one hour making your deficit 350-400 kcal. That leaves you with 1600-1650 net calories ingested that day.

On the flip side, if your intake of 2,000 calories were made up of lean proteins, fresh veggies that are nutrient dense, and healthy fats, then you would be able to reach your weight loss goals with the same amount of exercise while improving your recovery time, your energy levels, and your performance at work, play, or rest!

Check out the full video below for all the details!

Grab your free 5 step guide to master meal prep now by clicking here for more helpful and healthy tips to lose weight and keep it off!

The Number One Thing Holding You Back from Reaching Your Goals

After nine years of coaching, we have discovered that there is one major factor holding back 90% of our members!

Coach Dave Glaser addressed this challenge in a quick video to our members to help them get back on track with their fitness goals so listen in now! The number one thing holding our members back is TIME and convenience.

Sound On!

Are you scheduling your workouts into your very full calendar? Are you making it a priority? If you’re like our members, you are most likely saying to yourself, “Oh, I’ll do it after (insert chore, meeting, task, errand)”

We get it. We have extremely busy lives and with many gyms at limited capacity right now, we have less support and accountability than every before. That’s where our Body Weight Warrior program is the game changer! We have created over 40 body weight workouts you can do anywhere, anytime for less than a cup of coffee per day!

Here’s what people are saying about the program!

Sarah, a serial entrepreneur, had very little time in her schedule but she set appointments with herself at 5 am three days per week and saw amazing results in a short period of time. She said, “Dave makes this experience exactly what you want it to be. He listens to you and what you are trying to achieve and creates a program that caters to just that.” Check out her results below!

Would you like to learn more? Apply for remote coaching with Dave Glaser, CSCS now by clicking here and receive a complimentary discovery call!

3 Safe Workouts You Can Do Without a Gym

As summer rolls around, I feel this intense craving to be outside! We are blessed to have the mountains in our backyard as an outdoor playground but we can’t always scoot out of work at lunch for a hike! But as busy adults, we want to make time for the things we love AND be in the best condition to play outside so today, we are bringing you three safe workouts you can do anywhere, anytime! They are… 

  • HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training includes many different types of workouts like Tabata and Circuit training but with one major difference! HIIT training specifically aims to produce cardiovascular performance and adaptation with a secondary goal of muscle and central nervous system adaptation! What does that mean? It means you are going to get a heart pumping, leg burning quick and safe workout at home or while you travel! Check out the video below to try a HIIT workout today!
  • Circuit training- like HIIT workouts, circuits will make your muscles burn and your heart race but the goals are slightly different. Safe and quick, circuits will have 2-4 rounds of the same exercises repeated in order with either specific reps or time for each exercise. The rest comes in between rounds and the goal is to highlight muscle adaptation for endurance more so than heart rate! Trial workout is available below
  • Tabata Training- one of my favorite ways to train our clients online, Tabata training has a focus of heart rate conditioning AND strength endurance. The methodology is unique here because it includes a specific amount of time for work and rest for 3-8 rounds of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise. You can accomplish a lot of reps and training in a short amount of time with Tabata which is why we are such big fans of using it in our online programs! Check out an example below to try it for yourself!

For more ideas on in home exercises to compliment your favorite outdoor workouts, check out our trial of the Body Weight Warrior program below!

5 Summer Workouts You Can Do Outside the Gym

5 Summer Time Workouts Outside of the Gym


Welcome to the peak of summer! It’s heating up out there but we have some cool ideas for you to find exercise routines to do outside of the gym.

Hiking- This feels like an obvious solution for those of us living in areas well known for hiking. However, you can always take your hiking game to the next level! Next time you go for a hike, pick up the pace so that you can include a cardiovascular component to this popular low impact form of outdoor exercise.


The “Mini Incline” in Castle Rock- Phillip S. Miller Park is home to a miniature version of the popular incline in Manitou Springs (closed for the season). It’s also home to an outdoor gym and recreation center with sports fields athletes can use for soccer, sprints, and footwork drills!

Cycling- We are so blessed in Colorado because we have miles of cycling trails for this popular low impact form of cardio and endurance training. One thing to keep in mind about cycling is that you will still need to compliment it with an “off the bike” resistance training program because the amount of low impact hours on the bike can lower bone density. Resistance training with weights or body weight exercises helps stress your bones to keep them strong unlike the low impact form of exercise that cycling gives you.

Kayaking/Canoeing- This is for our adventure seekers out there and not for the faint of heart! Kayaking or canoeing does so much for us to reconnect to the wilderness, get outside, and find some vitamin D! The sun is one of the only sources of vitamin D outside of supplements and it is crucial to get a good dose of this plentiful micronutrient. Fun fact about vitamin D is that you can never get enough of it from the sun (short of daily sun burns) but you can get too much of it from supplements. We recommend the natural route!

Hit the Dog Park- My sidekick Chloe has been the best motivator to get me out of the house for daily walks. But if you’ve ever wanted to take it up a notch, bring a “Chuck it” with you to get your arm workout and mobility in, or jog with your pup to wear you both out!

For more ideas on in home exercises to compliment your favorite outdoor workouts, check out our trial of the Body Weight Warrior program below!

7 Exercises that Help You Lose Weight Fast

These 7 exercises will help you reach your goals quickly and safely right in your living room!


Body weight squats are compound movements (multiple joints) and burn more calories than a single joint exercise like a bicep curl or leg extension. They can serve as part of your warm up or included in a full workout right in your own home!

Jump Squats are a compound movement PLUS a power exercise that increases our calorie expenditure above and beyond regular squats.

Side Lunges incorporate lateral movement (frontal plane) and recruit stabilizer muscles as well as primary movers. The more muscles we recruit, the more calories we burn! They can serve as part of your warm up or included in a full workout right in your own home!

Burpees are everyone’s favorite exercise that they love to hate! This full body, power generating movement will challenge your cardiovascular system AND burn more calories in less time. No wonder they are so popular for workout programs at home.

Sprinting may surprise you that it burns more calories than long distance running, especially when you perform it AFTER a body weight or gym workout. The max effort output that sprinting provides causes your central nervous system to adapt quickly and use many other systems that require calories to function. Plus, when you add in sprinting to your routine, your body will continue to burn calories long after your workout is complete. Called EPOC or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption 🙂

High Intensity Interval Training requires your body to adapt quickly with the short rest periods that are provided during interval training. Quick adaptation in your body means reaching your goals quicker!

Circuit Training provides the body with a lot of exercises in a short amount of time which creates fast adaptation and fast results. The shorter rest periods and exercises stacked on top of one another provides a huge bang for your buck!

To get your free 7 day trial of the Body Weight Warrior program, check out all the details below!

No Equipment Needed!

3 Types of Carbs that Will Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

Why is it that carbs get a bad reputation in the nutrition world. Today, we are set to answer that question and more about the mystery that is carbohydrates!

I could go on for hours about how carbs play into our lives but for time’s sake, I’ll highlight 3 reasons why carbohydrates are good for you!

What does your day feel like when you are “carb depleted”? Pretty sluggish, right? That’s because we aren’t fueling our body with what it needs to perform at it’s best!

If we look at carbohydrates (and Fats) as if they are fuel for the energy that we NEED to perform our best each day, then we can begin to build a healthy perception of them. Carbohydrates are consumed and converted to energy by the body so that we can work, exercise, move, enjoy our hobbies, as well as fuel our brains! What options do we have to bring healthy carbs into our daily routines? SO MANY!

Let’s break carbs down into three basic groups. Haha, I love nutrition puns.

  1. Complex carbs- veggies and grains make up this category of carbohydrates. This is where we like to focus our consumption of carbs because they last longer as fuel for the body! If your goals are to run a half marathon, you need more complex carbs than a golfer. My favorites include sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, broccoli, spinach, celery, carrots, and so much more.
  2. Simple carbs- these are sugars that break down quickly in the body but if left unused by the muscles or the brain, they just sit and wait to be turned into body weight. Included here are processed sweets (candy), table/cooking sugar (sucrose), fruits (fructose), starches (bread, alcohol, pasta), etc.
  3. Fiber- insoluble or soluble, fiber is necessary for the digestive tract to absorb the complex carbs, healthy fats, and proteins in our nutrition plan. Did you know Americans get about 30% of their daily requirement of fiber per day?! This type of carb can be found in the skin of fruit and veggies or in a simple supplement to get a minimum of 10 grams per day!

Hope this cleared up the questions many busy adults have around why they should be getting anywhere between 25-55% of their nutrition from carbohydrates! If you have questions you’d like answered, click here now to grab our free Meal Prep guide discover more healthy ways you can save time, money, and include carbs in your diet!

3 Simple and Easy Ways to Cut Calories

3 Ways to Cut Calories without counting or weighing your portions!

I wanted to share with you the top three ways I manage my calories each week without breaking out the scale and weighing my food!

These are really simple ways you can implement today to reach your goals quickly!

1. Mindful eating- mindful eating can be added into every recipe you enjoy to cook each week! It begins with eating slowly and enjoying about 15 chews per bite of food. It takes about 20 minutes for your nerves in your stomach to recognize that it is full and signal your brain to stop eating! We always coach our PrepWars clients to eat to 80% full which means recognizing you have been satiated BEFORE you normally notice it!

2. Smaller portions- taking smaller serving sizes is a step in the right direction! American plates are larger than they ever have been in history and naturally, we tend to fill our plates full to the edges. Protein portions will be about the size of your palm. Carbohydrates will equal one cupped handful on your plate. And fats, yes they are necessary too, will be about 1-2 thumbs in size so about 5-8 nuts.

Spinach salads are ideal for meal prep to fuel your body and help your routine reach your goals.

3. Find more fiber- fibrous foods make us feel fuller faster and longer than simple sugars or protein. Fiber is classified in two ways: soluble and insoluble. Meaning absorbable or not. Fiber is also considered a carbohydrate so if you are choosing insoluble fiber, those carbs will not get absorbed! An example is celery. Celery has both soluble and insoluble fiber. Have you juiced celery? The insoluble fiber is what is left behind in the juicer.

Meal Prep is easier when you have a plan! Check it out at learntomealprep.com


These little know facts are why calories get such a bad reputation… Americans just don’t know the difference between simple and complex carbs or even why they are so important!

The next time you’re fixing up your plate for dinner, be mindful of your portion sizes and choose more fibrous foods to eat fewer calories without counting them down to the gram!