In an ideal world, everyone would walk to their dream job, walk to their best case school, have short commutes to the awesome shopping plazas, great public transportation at your finger tips, low to no traffic and congestion, highly rated programs and extracurriculars at your finger tips and 5 star medical care easily assessable.

But that’s not the case in all ways for everyone.

Sometimes you have to go to and find the good stuff.

People do out of the norm commutes for work, school, shopping, extra curricular’s and health care.  Ever met a hockey or private school parent?  Or someone who works in sales, travels for work or leaves before the rooster gets up and gets home after the rooster goes to sleep?  How about people who make long commutes to see specialists or to work with experts?  Ever go out of your way to go to a great store?  Ever go to the Cape on weekends?  Travel during school breaks?  Go north during the winter to ski / board after big snowfall or go to the beach on that perfect summer day?  Have you ever done anything out of the norm, that other people think you’re crazy for doing, and their intentional or unintentional words come across as judgmental because they don’t get it?   Or because they forget they might do it too for something really worthwhile that they love or simply value highly?


That’s why people choose Change Your Body Boot Camps.


They want the good stuff.  They go out of their way to make the schedule work.  They bring their own equipment.  They want what we offer because they know it’s the good stuff.  They want the elite coaching from someone gets them on a deep level and who cares.  They want the programming that’s safe and delivers results.  Programming that’s consistent so they can gain mastery, yet still varied so it stays fresh.  They want awesome people to train with and to be around who are interesting, not tire kickers who complain and don’t really want to be there.  They want a high energy place to go and get filled up at.  A place that’s safe, where they can shed their roles and responsibilities for 60min and just be their self, a fellow human, who’s making time for their self-care, who wants to have a good time, learn & practice new skills and leave feeling better than when they arrived.


It’s the same for my colleagues I look up to except not only do some or many of their clients commute from far to work with them regularly, but they get people who fly in, ride the train in or drive in from distances greater than 90min to work with them for short periods, days, weeks or months or simply for overnight consultations.


You go where the good stuff is.


Sure there are comparable opportunities nearby to you that are more convenient, that are good, maybe great, maybe not great or not good, but for some reason, they’re not the best fit for you.  There’s something lacking.  You know it.  Maybe you can put your finger on it, maybe you can’t, but you know it.  And that’s why, when you find what you’re looking for you’ll know and you’ll go out of your way to make it work, even if it seems crazy to other people.  You know if they were in your shoes it’d make sense to them and you know they do crazy things themselves, that other people wouldn’t do, but they do it anyways because they value it and it’s worth it to them.


You go where the good stuff is.


So do I.  So do you.  So do they.


Don’t judge.  Appreciate.  Admire.  Inquire.  Maybe even try for yourself if it makes sense.


If you do try.  You’ll learn something new.  You’ll learn something about yourself, about your referrer and about the experience.  And it doesn’t even matter if you do it again.  That new experience will have been worth it.  It’ll give you context, a story and a connection.  Yours forever.


But maybe.  That one brave decision to try it, will lead to something you love.  That missing puzzle piece to a life lived better.  To feeling better.  To moving and playing better.  To looking better and to having better health.  And you’ll be forever grateful for not judging and instead trying.  For making a decision.  For taking action.  For showing up.  And then you too, will go to where the good stuff is!


Also going to where the good stuff is,


Coach Mike


p.s.  the first (2) weeks of every phase are guests weeks.  If you or someone you know might like (love) what we do, let me know by filling out our contact form, email introducing or signing up.



“I don’t want to look good”, said no one ever!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the research article I shared with you the other day and how to better apply it in our program.  Research is often times playing catch up to what happens in the real world, yet once it’s finally done, it can help crystallize your parameters or guidelines.

The things that stand out to me from the article are:
  • lifting to failure (can’t lift the weight anymore)
  • 3 sets
  • single joint exercise
  • lifted 2x/wk for 8 weeks
  • readjusted (retested) 1RM after 4 weeks (8 workouts)
  • assessed subjects rate of perceived exertion (RPE) after every workout
  • comparable to lifting heavy weights to failure
  • subjects ate their regular diet
  • 1-leg did reps to failure
  • the other leg did reps not to failure, but completed same total volume in greater than 3 sets.

In the article the subjects did a leg extension for +/- 34 reps per set with a load that was 30% of their 1 rep maximum.  If the weight is that light you’d have to assume the pace was pretty quick, either 2sec / rep (1 sec up, 1 sec down) or 3sec / rep (1sec up, 1sec pause, 1sec down or 1sec up, 2sec down).  The article did not say.

Let’s assume it was 2sec / rep x 34 reps = 68sec per set.  They rested 2 minutes and repeated.

I’m not sure how to get everything we do in a given workout while providing 70sec of work time for 1 exercise, especially a single joint exercise.  It is a much better use of everyone’s time if we hit large, multi-joint, compound movements if you only had 70 sec for a set.  Even then, 70sec is a lot of time to allocate to 1 exercise in a group setting, and then still have to do 2 more sets.  That’s 3.5 min for 3 sets.  If you did 4 different exercises (squat, hinge, push and pull) or let’s call it 5 if you had a right / left exercise (like lunges, 1-leg squats, 1-leg SLDL’s or 1-arm rows).  That’s 14min or 17.5min to be budgeted for work time only, not including rest, rotate & set up time for the next exercise, which would be the most efficient thing to do if nobody wanted to stand around watching, while they rested for 2-minutes.

If you stripped away the med balls, hurdles and dumbbell power exercises, you could make up that time, but then you’d be trading some really fun and athletic power development for more beach muscles, which might be o.k. for some, but not all and you never appreciate what you have until its gone.  You need both show muscles and go muscles.  The cool thing is that go muscles help to give you show muscles, but show muscles don’t necessarily give you go muscles.

I don’t know yet what to do.

How can we implement the principles and still get a similar effect?

Maybe we’re already addressing it, but we can fine tune it a bit.

Well, we know that HIIT training works and this study showed that it decreased body fat.  Decreasing body fat is what most everyone wants and if you decrease body fat, then it’s much easier to see your muscles and shape, which compliments the goal of working on show muscles.

Here are 2 ideas I have so far.

1.  Show Muscle Finisher (completed on own time)
2.  Head to Head Show Muscle Finisher (completed on own time).

1.  Show Muscle Finisher (completed on own time)
The first 2 weeks of every phase are teaching weeks (also guest weeks) in which members stand around and learn the new exercises and progressions we’ll be doing this phase while I do the demonstrations.  We tested in the 4th quarter of 2019, a show muscle finisher that members could do while they watched or while we rotated and set up for the next circuit or at the end of the workout to help them peak for holiday hotness.  Not everyone did it, but those that did really enjoyed it. Here are the exercises with guidelines.

  • DB Farmers Carry (full court down & back)
  • Push Ups x20
  • Biceps Curls x8
  • Triceps Kickback x12e
  • DB Lateral Raise x12
  • Band Pull Aparts x12
  • 1-Leg Calf Raise x20e

  • First things first.  More than 1 set per exercise is not realistic.  Even adding this finisher isn’t realistic all the time, but it does fit.  Ask anyone who’s done it and you can find the time to do it while you’re at the gym.

    Since we’re only going to do 1 set, then we could do max reps to failure.  If the study showed it took 34 reps to reach failure on a leg extension and that equated to 68 seconds, then we’re looking at 9 exercises x 70 seconds = 630sec or 10.5 minutes.  It’s doubtful anyone could find 10.5 minutes of standing around time in the workout, but I’m guessing anyone who tries this and starts to feel and see a change in the mirror, will quickly start finding time before, during and after the workout to get it in.

    2.  Head to Head Show Muscle Finisher (completed on own time).

    One thing when lifting to failure is knowing when you really can’t do anymore.  The first thing to look for is if your form breaks down, but with light weights, you could stop, rest a second, collect yourself and mentally try harder to hold strict form.  The second is to have a workout partner or coach who knows you and can tell if you have anymore left or if you’re mentally choosing to stop (the body does what the mind tells it too).

    This could be fun.  You find a friend and you stand face to face or side to side and you do the same exercise at the same time or in a you go, I go manner, until you can’t do anymore.  This would naturally help you push a little further and bring out your best.  If we’re talking show muscles, training with workout partners was a key to Arnold’s long run as Mr. Olympia.

    Those are my 2 ideas so far for how to implement this new research in our programming.  I feel very good about how our current system (HIIT, paired & circuit training, highs w/ lows, pushes w/ pulls, mix of body weight and loads, 2 hips to 1 knee, strength & conditioning, cardio minutes, nutrition plan, daily habits, linear & lateral days, multiple levels) addresses the body composition goals of weight loss, body fat loss, muscle building and +/- inches.  How can we make it even better?  I’m not sure yet, but I look forward to figuring it out.  In the meantime, try the Show Muscle Finisher yourself and either use the prescribed reps or lift to failure.

    Loving the show muscle swagger,

    Coach Mike


    Short answer:  Yes!


    Long answer:

    Back when I was training for sports and my DKNY club clothes, lifting heavy weights and lifting weights to failure were common methods I would use to help achieve sports performance, maximum strength building and body composition goals.  I was smart enough to know there were certain exercises it wasn’t worth the risk to intentionally go to failure on even though many times I did when I failed to hit a rep or fatigued mid-rep.  These were mostly the big muscle, multi-joint, compound movements like cleans, snatches, back squat, front squat, dead lifts, lunges, overhead presses and bench presses.




    Other times I would intentionally go to failure, especially on pull up progressions, push ups, inverted rows, 1-leg squats, biceps, triceps, carries, delts, abs, forearms and calves.  More of your body weight and single joint exercises.  These seem less risky to me to get hurt on because the loads are much lighter, so the risk is low and the reward is still high, where as, intentionally lifting to failure on the big barbell loaded exercises seemed like a high reward and high risk that wasn’t worth it.




    I have lifted to failure on those exercises both intentionally and unintentionally, however as I grew wiser, I stopped lifting to failure with large load, barbell exercises.  Stopping when I could only do 1 or 2 more, left something extra for the next day, and helped me recover quicker.



    When I started Change Your Body Boot Camps ~ 12 years ago, I wanted to create a do anywhere program where busy adults, ages 30-60 years old, could come and work on their health, body composition and performance goals, using minimal equipment that they found at home or could get, could find at a gym and at a hotel if they traveled.  I wanted to eliminate the excuses, so if you had a simple home gym that replicated what you could find at a hotel, you’d be able to get a workout in, whether you were traveling or stuck inside because of weather, illness and deadlines for example.



    I knew it was possible because I spent the previous 8 years training this demographic and with the exception of the outliers, we mostly used dumbbells and lighter weights.  When I would try to train my clients in the beginning like athletes with college, pro or olympic programs, they would get stronger and gain weight.  Often times we’d have to spend a lot of time on the recovery end (sore) because they’d be real beat up from training.  Then my programming evolved to include more preventive exercises and corrective exercises and later foam rolling as staples to compliment my, from day 1, inclusion of dynamic flexibility (first), core training (before strength) and stretching (at the end).




    The more I listened to my clients and learned that even though they may have wanted to look like me and/or perform like me, they weren’t 25 or 22 or 30, they were older and had much more responsibilities and family demands that needed to be considered.



    I remembered every time I did a high intensity (heavy weights, fewer reps) peaking phase with Dumbbells, I would get very cut and lose size (my clothes would be baggier on me).  This was a light bulb moment and led me to find ways to challenge my clients using Dumbbells.  People who wanted to lose weight, were now less likely to gain weight and size.


    Then when I was training for a triathlon that I wanted to win (I didn’t), I thought that if I dropped weight, but kept my strength high, I’d be lighter and faster, allowing me to train harder, longer and recover easier.  I cut 14 pounds and 14min off of my sprint time, which is considerable on both accounts.  My main inspiration for the training I would do came from thinking about sports and what we did in sports to get athletes or myself in shape.  Coaches would use timed sets.  Drills would be set to time, so I started timing my sets and doing as many reps as I could in 30 seconds for example.  This led to some exercise modification, which also led to some exercises being lifted to failure.  Another light bulb went off.


    Back to boot camp.  Ultimate Boot Camp was very popular at the time I started my business.  They had multiple outdoor locations and were extremely popular, so I studied them online, in person and talked with their past customers.  They did so many things well, so I had to find the things they were missing.  One thing that I noticed was the lack of weight training.  They didn’t have clients bring weights.



    Who wants to bring weights to workouts I initially thought?

    Since I worked at a gym, I only needed my program and a bar / shake / sports drink to train with because they provided everything, but, … then I remembered that I brought a basketball bag with my basketball sneakers, a hand towel, a sports drink, water and a basketball to my games.  I brought my baseball bag, with glove, cleats, balls, batting gloves, sunflower seeds, a bar, a sports drink, water, high socks and a uniform to practices and games.  I brought head gear, mouth piece, wrist wraps, gloves, shin guards, a towel and water / sports drink to Krav Maga.  Hockey players bring their hockey gear.  Yogis bring their own mats even though studios provide them.




    But then why do people go to boot camps when gyms have equipment?

    And why do people play sports if they have to provide their own equipment?  

    Because they like to!  



    I realized it wasn’t a big deal after all.  They could farmers carry their equipment to and from their workouts, which would make them more bad a**.  They wouldn’t have to wait or share.  They could just train and do.  If they invested in gear, they’d have more accountability to use it.  They could train inside at home if it snowed or rained or was too windy or too hot and they could train outside if it was an ideal day.  They could easily find the same equipment at a hotel they stayed at when traveling.



    So I made CYBBC into a do anywhere workout, using minimal equipment you bring, program.



    This is great and all, but how much weight should people bring?

    I knew people were only going to bring so much weight.  I figured guys would be open to bringing 15-30lbs and women 8-15lbs. per hand, so I had to figure out how to get results using lighter weights.


    How to Get Results Using Lighter Weights

    • Timed Sets
    • Lifting to Failure
    • Multi-Joint Compound Movements
    • Skill Progressions
    • Paired sets, compound sets, super sets, ups with downs and vice versa and motion with no motion


    We could address all 3 main goals of health, body transformation and performance using lighter weights.


    Health (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, joint / muscle pain)

    • easier to get started
    • scheduled self-care
    • easier to recover
    • build lean muscle
    • gain more energy
    • welcoming, non-intimidating community
    • easier to be consistent
    • supports weight loss efforts
    • decreased injury risk because of lighter weights

    Body Transformation (weight loss, maintenance and gain:  fat loss & muscle building, decreased body fat %, decreased inches in some places and increased inches in others).

    • people care how they look
    • strength training helps build muscle
    • makes you look better
    • feel stronger
    • have more more energy
    • allowing you to do more
    • lifting with weights would help preserve muscle
    • lifting weights regular would help to promote it
    • lifting weights in timed sets / to failure would help to make muscles grow
    • lifting to failure would help enhance muscle definition


    Performance Goals (play with their kids, participate in athletic and physical activities  recover from sports, run faster, play better, and participate more often)

    • compound, multi-joint movements trains the active patterns of sports and life and even lighter loads would stimulate the CNS, muscles and energy systems to adapt and get better.
    • light weights lifted fast (timed sets or to failure) conditions the body for physical activity
    • when you do high skill movements you naturally have to lighten the load compared to less skilled movements.  You don’t see a lot of barbell, back loaded 1-leg squats on the internet.  It’s too skillful of an exercise, but you could use light dumbbells and do a front raise while 1-leg squatting that works as a counter balance while strengthening your legs, building muscle, making you more athletic and making your shoulders look even better.
    • you can still get stronger using light weights if you add them to body weight exercises.  look at gymnasts.  90-95% of their strength training is from body weight exercises.  Add a little bit of light weights to their routine and they could get a little bit stronger, while keeping their body mass relatively the same (+/-).
    • you can build muscle and become more durable to both take impact, give impact, reduce injury risk and to recover from both participation and potential injury, much quicker


    As you can see there are a lot of reasons for using lighter weights, even though you can get much stronger, and build muscle using heavier weight, that’s why I was so fascinated by this article.





    Subjects used loads that were 30% of their 1 rep max for the light loads and did ~34 reps to failure, whereas the high load groups used 80% of their 1 rep max and did ~12 reps to failure.  Both groups did 3 sets.



    Nerd Alert – Volume

    Leg Extension:  30% of 1 Rep Max vs. 80% of 1 Rep Max

    Let’s say you can lift 100 pounds for 1 rep on the leg extension machine.  30% = 30 lbs. and 80% = 80 lbs.

    Total Volume Lifted:  30 lbs x 34 reps x 3 sets = 3,060 lbs.

    Total Volume Lifted:  80 lbs x 12 reps x 3 sets = 2,880 lbs.

    Difference:  3,060 – 2,880 = 180 lbs




    You can get stronger with low loads and build muscle if you lift to failure with low loads.


    You can get 2x stronger and build more muscle using high loads vs. low loads (see abstract) with fewer reps.



    I was fascinated for obvious reasons because we use light weights (loads) in our program so this helps confirm that you can build muscle with lighter weights if you lift to failure (high level of effort) and you can get stronger if there’s enough volume.  We address both in CYBBC by aiming for max reps in timed sets for the high level of effort part (failure) to build muscle and we do multiple sets or rounds for the volume part to get stronger.



    Take Home Message

    Most people don’t want to lift heavy weights, get bigger and/or get super strong.  These people want to be strong for them, healthy and lean, while being able to participate and do well in physical activities they enjoy, so having research show they can build muscle by lifting to failure with light weights just as easily as lifting with heavy weights is refreshing.  And if someone wants to lift heavy weights, they can.



    Using the same program my clients use,



    Coach Mike



    p.s.  when you’re ready to stop doing all the thinking on your own and get more support, accountability and possibly better programming, here are 3 ways I may be able to help:


    1. Group Personal Training:  get an awesome team of people you’d like to be friends with; a caring coach who gets you and knows you; a butt kicking program that keeps you getting better; and a high energy place to get filled up;  all in a dynamic group setting and all very personalized.
    2. Private Training:  can’t train at 6am, 9am or 6:30pm; don’t want to train in a group; prefer private training; prefer having someone come to you to save time and gain convenience or simply prefer to just show up and not think; have needs that are better addressed 1-on-1, then this is for you.
    3. Program Design:  does our schedule not work for you.  are you self-motivated.  do you want a custom plan and the support of check ins and follow ups so you don’t feel so alone and you have some accountability?  then this is for you.

    When you’re ready, fill out my contact form and let me know which option your interested in and how I can help you.


    Did you play sports growing up?

    How about activities?  Did you do any physical extracurricular activities growing up?

    If yes, then you probably had gear and had to bring it in a bag.

    Football players had cleats, cups, pads, helmets, pants, jerseys, water bottles and a ball.

    Soccer players had balls, cleats or turf shoes, shin guards, cups, socks, shorts.

    Field Hockey players had sticks, balls, cleats or turf shoes and goggles.

    Basketball players have basketball sneakers, a basketball, hand towel for sweat and a water bottle.

    Ice Hockey players have a giant bag, sticks, helmets, pads, tape, pucks, cups, jerseys, pants, skates and a water bottle.

    Baseball & Softball players have bags, cleats, bats, balls, gloves, cups, pants, jerseys, batting gloves, hats, sun glasses and eye black.

    Tennis players have tennis shoes, rackets, balls, water, towel and sun glasses.

    Golf players have cleats, bags, clubs, balls, towel and water.

    Cyclists have bikes, helmets, GPS, heart rate monitors, cadence readers, glasses, water and nutrition.

    Skiers / snowboarders have winter clothing, skis, poles / snowboards, boots, helmets and goggles.

    Musicians have instruments, a case, sheet music,  stands, mics, recording devices and maybe an amp.

    Artists have easels, paint, crayons, pencils, mocks, writing surfaces and brushes.


    You get the idea.  And it doesn’t include bonus items like:

    • rollers,
    • super bands
    • mini bands
    • mats
    • stretch out straps
    • valslides
    • stability balls
    • manual therapy trigger guns
    • TRX’s
    • dumbbells
    • Kettlebells


    Most every athlete has their own gear, brings it to practices and games and needs to take care of it and update it as needed.


    Equipment We Bring:

    The same holds true for our Newton athletes.  Our athletes are required to bring 7 things to every workout.

    It’s what we need to do to be great at self-care as part of Change Your Body Boot Camps, so we do it.

    And best of all there’s a way to carry your equipment so you look super cool, bad a** and get a great workout while doing it.


    How to carry your equipment?

    Watch the vide above again to see how to carry your equipment.  Skip forward to 3:18 to see how to pack the gear to carry it and to 4:38 to see what it looks like carrying all the equipment.

    If you want to learn more about farmers carries, read this blog post.

    If you have a question, fill out our contact form and let me know.

    If you want support with your self-care, a scheduled appointment, awesome people to train with, a results-oriented program to follow and a high energy place to go, answer our 8 questions to make sure we’re a good fit, submit your registration packet and schedule a call to talk about your goals.


    Thank you for reading.


    Fellow athlete who brings gear,


    Coach Mike


    Self-care = taking care of yourself.

    You know self-care is important.  You may or may not be great at it all the time.

    If you want more from your life, you have to become more to get more.

    To become more, you have to do more.

    To do more you need to take action.

    To take action you need to get moving.

    And to get moving you need to just do it!


    Once you do it, you need to do it again and again.

    Some easy ways to do it again and again are to:

    • do something you enjoy
    • do something you can see progress with and get better at
    • do it with friends and/or other people you like
    • get support
    • go someplace to do it
    • schedule it
    • have an appointment so there’s accountability


    If you want to make a change happen.

    If you want to change your identity to the person you always knew.

    Or you want to change your identity to the person you’ve always wanted to be.

    You need to imagine, paint and write down the picture of that person very clearly.

    What does she do, what does she not do?

    When, where, with who, how and how often does she do and not do those things?

    Those things.  They’re processes or habits.

    The habits, if you schedule them and make them super simple (how easy is it to fall into a bad habit), then you can more easily fall into a good habit.


    Health, Body Transformation and Performance

    If you want to

    • see the scale go down (lose weight / weight loss)
    • decrease body fat and tone up, so there’s less to pinch and less to jiggle.
    • build muscle and get firm, so your strong, lean and defined
    • lower your resting heart rate
    • lower your blood pressure
    • increase your circulation
    • decrease your stress
    • sleep deeper, longer and better
    • wake up more rested and energized
    • have energy all day long
    • feel strong all day long
    • feel better
    • sweat
    • decrease your waist, hips, arms, chest or leg circumferences (aka lose inches)
    • increase your waist, hips, arms, chest or leg circumferences (aka gain inches)
    • fit your close better
    • look better, great or even hotter
    • move better
    • be and feel less tight
    • have less aches in pains in your feet, ankles, calves, achilles, knees, legs, hips, low back, upper back, shoulders, arms, neck, elbows, wrist, hands and head
    • run faster
    • jump higher
    • run a 5 or 10k, half marathon or marathon
    • train for a triathlon
    • hike or ski
    • do sports and activities with kids
    • play soccer, tennis, basketball, softball, volleyball, golf, … again
    • do real push ups
    • do a chin up
    • do a pull up
    • do a pistol squat
    • do a handstand push up
    • train like an athlete
    • meet new people
    • be in a positive environment where you get filled up and help fill up others
    • be around healthful living
    • listen to fun music and move to it
    • laugh
    • high five
    • make memories
    • share experiences

    If you want to do any of these things.

    If you want a scheduled appointment to keep you committed.

    If you want a team and a coach to support you.

    If you want to learn new things and track your progress.

    Let me know.  You can fill out my contact form or start the registration process.  I’d love to learn your story, what your looking to change over the next 12-months and what needs to change to make that happen.


    Your fellow human who values the things listed above and schedules them too,


    Coach Mike


    p.s.  set it and forget it is a nice phrase.  set it and do it might be a better one.  Or even set it and show up.  You get the point though.


    If you’ve ever had a great workout, especially in the lower body and then sat for a long time because of work and/or travel, you’ve probably experienced hip stiffness.  Here are 2 easy to do hip mobility drills if you find yourself both stiff in the hips and near a wall and 1 easy to do hip activation exercise for sprinting.


      1. Linear & Lateral Leg Swings
      2. 1-Leg Hip Rotations
      3. Wall Marches


    Try ’em and let me know what you think.

    LeBron James, current superstar forward for the, Los Angeles Lakers was recently interviewed by Tim Ferriss, New York Times best selling author of the Four Hour Work Week, Four Hour Body, Four Hour Chef, Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors.  

    This caught my eye because James is arguably the best player in the NBA over the last 14 years and Tim doesn’t really interview current sports athletes.  

    Turns out LeBron is launching a new supplement and lifestyle company, similar to Tom Brady’s TB12, called Ladder.  

    You can look it up for yourself, but here are 3 takeaways from listening to what one of the greatest basketball players of all time does to stay on top of his game from a health and fitness point of view.

    1. Consistency
    2. Recovery
    3. Nutrition


    LeBron and his trainer of the last 14 years, Mike Mancias, (how did I not get spotted as an intern for my hustle), talked a lot about consistency, leadership and routines.  The basketball season is 9 months long and they practice the same things almost everyday.  He credits it as one of the reasons he has played 16 seasons and hopes to play 5-6 more.  He sees it as one of the biggest leadership skills he tries to show and teach younger teammates.  He also tries to practice it with his family as he was born to a 16 year old single mom, so he wants to give his kids what he didn’t have.


    Mike and LeBron talked about training and its importance, but they talked more about knowing the individual, the unique body type, the training age, the current movement patterns, the injury history and checking in.  They didn’t delve much into his strength & conditioning routines, but I could tell that they do them a lot, what they did focus on was the recovery.  LeBron is such an elite athlete, who has played more minutes at a high level than probably anyone, ever, in the NBA, and as such, he needs to be able to recovery as quickly as possible to be able to do it again.

    Here are some things they prioritized to aid in his recovery.

    • sleep 8+ hours:  I’ve heard / read LeBron often sleeps 10 hours / day
    • naps:  LeBron said he was going home after the 60min interview to nap for 2-2.5 hours
    • hydration:  Mike says he’s in James’ face immediately after games with a water bottle, to start recovering asap)
    • shakes:  right after the water bottle is a custom, plant based protein shake to help LeBron recover
    • nutrition:  James and Mike were all about organic, clean eating, no artificial foods or drinks during the season
    • accountability:  James is 100% in, but just like anybody, he can get distracted sometimes and lose focus, and Mike, great name by the way, keeps him focused with texts, calls, and actual face time.
    • modalities:  LeBron was icing during the interview, so its obvious he uses that.  He also has his own cryochamber, uses ice baths, massage, manual stretching, does yoga and I’m sure he foam rolls.  
    • stretching:  LeBron is all in on stretching to recover and has been doing it since high school


    LeBron and Mike as noted above, eat clean, as they call it.  All or mostly organic and no artificial foods or drinks during the season.  They have their particulars and didn’t delve to far into it, but they’re starting a supplement company with the Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cindy Crawford and Lindsey Vonn, so you know he values them.  

    He shared his breakfast for the previous day, which was an egg white omelet with smoked salmon, and gluten free pancakes with berries.

    His lunch was salmon again and his dinner was a chicken parm with a cabernet wine.  He loves his red wine and drinks it in season.

    Key points for nutrition

    • set meals and snack schedule (doesn’t miss meals)
    • practices it 7 days a week for 9-months
    • doesn’t participate in splurge or joy foods that are artificial (fake ingredients or fake sugars) during the season
    • prioritizes nutrition around workouts, especially immediately after to accelerate recovery
    • prefers plant based protein shakes vs. whey protein after games as they feel the body accepts them better and absorbs them easier (I don’t know if this is true or not).  
    • he’s all in on “clean eating”.  It’s not worth it to him to eat any other way as he knows it aids recovery, which helps him be consistent, which helps him stay at the top of his craft after so many years.  He also knows its an advantage over people who don’t do this regularly.
    • he enjoys all foods during the off season, when he’s on vacation and not working.

    You already know all 3 of these tips: consistency, recovery and nutrition to become and stay your best.  It’s the laser focus practice of them, having a strong why for doing them and having reaped the rewards of doing them for so long, while refining them, that makes it even easier to buy in and be consistent.  

    We can all do this.  We all work, just like him.  We all take time off, just like him.  We all know life is so much better when we feel, are and perform at are best.  We have to eat foods that make us feel good so we can perform at a high level and recover from that performance.  We have to build all kinds of recovery methods into our lifestyle so we can recover from kicking butt, and start them asap after our work day finishes, including sleep because of all the methods, with nutrition as a close 2nd, sleep has the biggest bang for recovering; and we need to be consistent, 7 days a week, 365 with our practice.  You can always take days or weeks, off, but outside of those times, its all in, if you want to reach your full potential.

    Listen for yourself

    Go ahead and listen to the interview as it’s only 60min vs. Tim’s usual 3-4 hour interviews, to hear for yourself how LeBron does it.  

    Finding joy in routines,

    Coach Mike

    My wife, aka, the Queen, has me reading this book to help raise a kick butt and competent human, especially around food.  One thing many people can relate to are hang ups.

    Hang Ups

    Hang Ups are defined by me as anything that you get stuck on or tripped up by.  It’s usually a long term pattern or habit you’ve developed that may or may not be obvious to you and sometimes is obvious to others.  Identifying your hang ups and letting them go is a fast way to make progress, even though its easier said than done.

    Birth Through Pre-School = Adulthood

    One of the really cool things about this book, is how it applies to so many people, not just infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, school age children or adolescents, but everyone.  And how, so many of the hang ups that adults repeatedly get tripped up on, are possibly related to when they were infants or toddlers.  That thought, to me, is mind blowing, especially because I’m co-parenting a young child, and I don’t want to screw up.

    Separate Comforting and Sleeping from Feeding

    Don’t eat to comfort.

    Don’t eat to sleep.

    Eat to feed.

    Ellyn writes, “separating eating from comforting and sleeping is intended not to make your baby go without eating, but to allow her to eat when she eats, sleep when she sleeps, and calm herself down when she is upset.  After feeding, keep your baby company until she looks drowsy; then put her to bed and let her put herself to sleep.  She may fuss a bit to get herself settled down, but not much.  DON’T FEED HER TO HELP HER FALL ASLEEP.  That hooks eating with sleeping.

    Chapter 5, pg 146, covers this big one.

    And, “If you use food to help yourself sleep or to calm yourself down, you may have begun to form that tendency in your earliest infancy.  While eating can be calming and eating for emotional reasons is natural, having to eat to calm down or go to sleep is a learned distortion.  Feeding a baby to help her sleep teaches her that she has to eat to go to sleep.  Feeding a baby to comfort her teaches her she has to eat to calm down.”

    Chapter 5, pg 146.

    Take Home Message

    • If you’re looking to see the scale go down.
    • If you’re looking to get more restful sleep.
    • If you want to manage stress better.
    • If you want to create better habits for you and for kids.

    Eat when you eat.  Sleep when you sleep.  Calm yourself down when you’re upset.

    Don’t eat to sleep or eat to comfort.  

    If you find yourself having to eat to put yourself to bed, most every night, it might be related to when you were an infant and your parents may have had trouble putting you to sleep, so they fed you until you passed out.

    If you have trouble calming yourself down when you’re upset and you use food to calm yourself down when you’re upset or stressed, your parents, caretakers and/or relatives may have used food to calm you when you were an infant and were crying.  Any new parent knows, that a crying baby scares the crap out of you, can be super stressful and is super stressful if you’re sleep deprived, if you can’t get the baby to stop.  Some caretakers use food aka, the bottle or the boob, to stop a crying baby, even if the baby is not hungry.  If the baby pushes the food away, its not hungry.  Don’t force it.  Check the next item on the list for why babies cry.

    So if you use food to put yourself to sleep or you eat to comfort your feelings, it may have started when you were an infant and its time to work through that and move past it.  No more hang ups.  Time to get on with your life.

    Still learning to change lives, but now from birth to adulthood,

    Coach Mike

    How to do a proper push up?

    Diane, one of my superstar change makers, asked me recently if I could shoot a video of how to do a proper push up, so she could watch it and practice her technique.  I said, “sure!”.  I handed her my phone and here’s the video.


    Starting Position

    Lie down on the floor.

    Place hands just outside of chest.

    Fingers wide.

    Go to Knees.

    Sag head, then pack it (pull head back as far as possible with chin tucked into neutral neck alignment).

    Sink shoulders, then press body away from floor rounding shoulder blades into armpits.

    Turn elbows out, then, corkscrew elbows down towards your feet.

    Go to high plank (up on your hands and feet).

    Place Feet Together.

    Place knees together.



    Intentions are the thoughtfulness behind the exercise.  The added details, which takes a good exercise and makes it a great exercise.  Do these all at the same time.  Once all intentions are activated, do your push up.

    Squeeze your feet or sneakers together.

    Squeeze your knees together even if your knees don’t actually touch.

    Tilt your pubic bone up, like your zipping up a zipper.

    Squeeze your butt and tuck it.

    Brace your abs.

    Continue corkscrewing your elbows down.

    Continue pressing as far away from the floor as possible.

    Continue packing your head.

    Claw the ground with your wide spread fingers.



    Do PULL yourself down to the floor by tucking your elbows back 45 degrees from your body.

    Don’t pull your elbows to your ribs, that’s a close grip push up and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we’re not doing that exercise right now.

    Don’t let your elbows flare out to 90 degrees from your side.  That’s what most people do, and can cause impingement in some people.  It’s can be a good joint angle and exercise for some, but we’re also not doing that push up.

    Do pull yourself down towards the floor.

    Do pull your shoulder blades down from your armpits and in towards your midline.

    In the bottom of the push up is where many people core gets challenged the most.

    Do continue to squeeze your feet together.

    Do continue to squeeze your knees together.

    Do continue to tilt your pubic bone up.

    Do continue to tuck your butt and squeeze it.

    Do continue to brace your abs.

    Do hold your breath for a moment.

    Then press back up.

    As you start to come up start blowing hard through pursed lips.

    Do continue to keep your elbows corkscrewed.

    Keep pressing and feel your shoulder blades rotate from down and in, to up and out towards your armpits.

    Do continue to keep your head packed.  Don’t look up or sag your head.

    Do press until your arms are fully straight and your pressed as far away from the floor as can be.

    That’s one rep.

    Now do it again!

    If you liked this post, please share it and if you’d like to upgrade your self care, please subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll write to you about all things health, body transformation and performance for busy people.

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    “How you doin’?”

    Sometimes you need to hear the right voice at the right time to make a connection and that’s what I wanted to write to you about.

    The Right Voice at the Right Time
    When people join CYBBC it’s because there’s something that works for them.  It could be the coaching, it could be the thoughtful programming, it could be the awesome people they get to train with and/or it could be the great environments they get to train in.  Or it could be combinations of those or all of them.

    However when someone makes the decision to reach out, sign up and commit, they were either frustrated with something, inspired by something or both and the voice and message they heard at the time was exactly what they needed to hear and read to start their journey of change.  This journey of course has ups & downs and everything in between and that same voice might only work when they’re in that same exact state.
    This state is what changes.  Sometimes everything is consistent and normal.  Sometimes, you have a bad day.  Sometimes you have amazing days.  Sometimes something happens unexpectedly good or bad or other.  Sometimes you eat or drink something and you don’t feel so good afterwards.  Sometimes your having so much fun you forget to set boundaries and you start borrowing from tomorrows energy pool by staying up late and/or over consuming and leave yourself with insufficient time to recover.  Sometimes someone says something that upsets you.  Sometimes you could be on vacation and you slow down, stop following a schedule and enjoy life more fully.  Sometimes life stress is real high with strong deadlines and lots of tasks you need to get done.  Sometimes your world comes crashing down.  Sometimes you feel like all your diligent efforts have lined the stars up finally and you feel so blessed with all the good things happening to you.  Sometimes everyday feels the same.  Not good or bad, only the same.

    The point here is everyday your state is vulnerable to changes and the thoughtfulness you put into your planning of each moment in advance (scheduling) and your corresponding boundaries (do this, not that, this) can help protect and prime you to be your best most often.

    But sometimes life happens and the voice and message you choose to hear can inspire you, discourage you or something in between.

    If I were your coach.  My role would be to inspire and encourage you.  To provide you accountability, support and direction.  Some like a kick in the butt, some like a little more hand holding.  “Some like it hot, hot, hot” and some like it straight up.

    Most of the time my voice and message are going to paint you pictures of where we’re going and why you’re going to love going there.  How it’s going to be fun & exciting.  How you’re going to do and achieve really cool feats.  How you’ll move in ways that are really athletic and how you’ll become a better version of yourself.  How you’ll leave filled with gratitude that you made time for yourself and how amazing you’ll feel and how the rose colored glasses you’re looking through couldn’t get any brighter.

    Sometimes though you don’t want to hear this.  You’re stuck in a funk.  It’s all nice and good and you like that, but you’re not in the mood for it at the moment.  You know your state is pretty crappy, but it is what it is.

    These are the times you need the right voice and the right message delivered at the right time.

    When you make a decision that leads you to not want to keep your appointment and commitment to CYBBC.  That’s when you need to hear the right voice and the right message at the right time.

    Or maybe you need to hear the right voice and the right message before you make a decision that’s going to move you further away from your stated goals.

    That would be preventive and best case.  The day after or moment before the appointment, would be reactive and last minute.  Either way I see 2 opportunities:

    1.  the moment before you make a decision that has a cost that affects your self-care appointment

    2.  the moment before you decide if you’re going to keep your appointment or not

    The Right Message at the Right Time
    Let’s address #1 first.  You’re going to be presented with the same or similar opportunities for most of your life, so if you have a default answer that you thoughtfully developed in advance, you can save yourself later.


    Don’t miss workouts!  
    Whatever opportunity presents itself you have to ask yourself if it’s going to cause you to miss a workout and be honest.

    If you stay up to late, there’s a chance you’ll miss a workout.

    If you go to be early, you’ll probably keep your workout.

    If you have 1 more drink, 1 more dessert, stay a little longer, consumer a little more, and you don’t give yourself enough time to recover, you might miss a workout.

    If you say no thank you, I’m good.  If you pass on the invitation.  If you announce in advance you have to leave at X time and then leave.  Of if you leave early in general, there’s a good chance you’ll keep your workout.

    You might have a bit of regret and 2nd guessing in that moment if you do the right thing, but you’ll be glad you did the next day and you’ll know it was the right thing when you leave your workout feeling primed for your day.

    #2 the moment before you decide if you’re going to keep your appointment or not.

    The message you need to hear in this moment is different for everyone, depending on which state you’re in when you hear it, but let me plant a seed, present an ace up your sleeve and give you a reusable get out of jail free card.

    The Seed.  
    No matter how bad your state is, how low your energy is, what your affect is, remember that when you come to CYBBC you’re safe.  It’s your personal sanctuary, led by coaches who care and with kind and good people to train with.  We start off real slow.  We start off with a massage (a self-massage), that goes at the perfect pace you need.  Not too fast & not too slow.  You know at the end of 5 minutes, you’ll feel instantly better.  You’re circulation will improve.  Your whole body will be tingling with improved blood flow and switched on sensory neurons.  You’ll feel less achy.  You’ll feel better!

    Then we’ll stretch out your tight spots.  Often times, you feel the worst, when you’re body gets stuck in the same position for a period of time or certain muscles and movement patterns get overworked and leave you feeling crappy.  We’ll hit most of those spots 2nd and it might be uncomfortable if you’re more stiff than usual, but it’ll also feel great, like when you’re thirsty and you drink water.

    Next we’ll address posture.  We’ll do corrective exercises that stabilize the loose joints (knees, low back, shoulders) and mobilize the stiff joints (ankles, hips, t-spine).  Translation we’ll wake up your soft bottom and belly, we’ll stretch out your calves and ankles, hip flexors & hamstrings and chest & upper back.  We’ll get you back to or as close as we can to neutral.  Back to homeostasis and your personal equilibrium.

    This is the first 13 minutes.

    Now that you feel like a human again, we’re going to help you to start sweating if you haven’t already by moving through space in all 3 planes.  You’ll move forwards and backwards and side to side.  We’ll sandwich in some sort of crawling exercise, so you don’t even know its there and then we’ll finish with some super energizing & fun speed drills like sprint starts and ladder drills.

    By this time, whatever state you arrived in, has most assuredly washed away, but we’ll still be gradual.

    Then we’ll throw things @ the wall (medicine balls) and jump or hop over hurdles.

    After that we’ll pair a plank on the ground with a sprint or power drill.  Here you’ll be glad you get to go at your own pace, you’ll appreciate the increased sweat and the deep breaths.  Don’t go to fast, we don’t want nausea on this day, just enough.  This like most everything else will switch on your neuromuscular system, endocrine system and cardiovascular system to help wash away that state you were in.
    By the time you reach the strength & conditioning you’ll have done enough to reverse how you felt when you arrived and begin making deposits on your future, which will make the finish doubly sweet.  There’s a good chance your S&C portion of the workout won’t be your best.  You might even do worse than your norm, but that’s o.k.  Everyone has to rip the band aid off sometime and by getting in this workout today, you almost guarantee your next workout will be amazing.  If for nothing else than you’ll know you outperformed your last workout.  And you’ll be adding a moment to your bucket that leads to momentum.

    When we finish with stretching, you’ll begin to reflect on the decisions you made, the costs associated and ultimately how proud you are that you showed up, stayed, did your best with what you had that day and finished.  This is where double sweetness comes in.  You worked through the tough state you had, which is a win AND you now feel better and set up tomorrow to be great because you exercised and ripped the band aid off.

    So remember this Seed, when you find yourself vulnerable from decisions you made that leave you considering whether to show up or not.  You can roll.  So start there.


    Are you ready?

    When we work together you have my cell number.

    You can call it or text it.

    I’m great at giving pep talks.  I’m great at listening & reflecting.  I’ll care about you.  If you call or text after 8pm, I probably won’t get it, but I’ll hit you back up as early as 4am the next day or whenever you tell me is a good time.  Tell me about your state and tell me how I can help.  Need a friend.  I got you.  Need a kick in the pants.  Yippee!  Need some gentle hand holding.  My calloused hand is there for you.  Need to be reminded of all the great things you’ve done and all the reasons you can do it.  That’s my specialty; it’s one of my gifts.  And I want to share it with you.  So use it whenever you need it.   It makes me feel good to make you feel good.  So no guilt.

    The Reusable Get Out of Jail Free Card
    Sometimes you make bad decisions.  Sometimes life happens to you.  Sometimes you need a break.


    Take one.  You have my full support.  Listen to your body and self.  It may be giving you the best advice, unless of course it’s coming wrapped in crazy talk, then of course you’ll need to decipher that advice first before you do something crazy, but I hope you get the message that if you need a break from training so you can sleep, detox, de-stress, have some quiet time, … whatever, do it.  It’s o.k.  Regroup as soon as you can and then pick yourself back up and move forward.  No guilt about missing a workout or workouts.  That does you no good.

    Now, be sure to use those boundaries we talked about.  A little might be good and sometimes a lot can be good, but you know deep down, when it’s too much.  Stop there and get back to doing the things that make you great.

    So we both know weekends, holidays, days off, snow days, vacation times and summer months can cause many people to be taken off their routines and have it affect their training consistency.  We both know there are opportunities to participate in life that aren’t normally there on a regular basis.  You may even be moving away from your goals with some of the decisions & habits you’ve been participating in of late.

    That’s o.k.  Every moment and every day is a new opportunity to make a different choice and start with a clean slate.  Give yourself a get out of jail free card, let go of the guilt and move forward if you need & take a personal day.  If we work together, call or text me if you need someone to listen or if you need to be encouraged.  Remember, when it comes to getting re-started from a dead stop, you can can start slow with foam rolling followed by gentle stretching, then gradually do more from there.  Whether you choose to workout or not, it’ll be the right one.  It’ll be o.k.  And you’ll be o.k.

    Coach  Mike Alves

    p.s.   want my help?  Schedule a call here.