Tag Archives: Los Angeles

How To Crush 2017

“There is no other road to to genius than voluntary self effort”

– Michael Gerber

I’ve heard it all. The same ol’ story that leaves us with the same ol’ results. All valid mind you, your daughter absolutely needed to get to her music lesson, your wife or husband was actually sick and left you with all the house choirs, that email you’ve been waiting for actually did come in just as you were walking out of the door.

Basically, life happens and will continue to happen. The choice we all have is whether life is happening with us or to us. You may not like to hear that, but it isn’t just coincidence that some of the most powerful and busy people in the world like Barak Obama, Tony Robins and Steve Aoki prioritize exercise into their daily routine.

I believe that their ability to achieve greatness and most importantly sustain it is in large part due to their adherence to health and fitness. So, how do we, the average person find time to make health and fitness a priority in our life? I believe the real question is about energy; what produces it and how we can cultivate it?

First of all, the ego craves the status quo, and if left unchecked will continue to make self limiting, fear based choices that suck the energy right out of us. Until the ego is checked and under control, we will jump from excuse to excuse as to why someone is able to achieve physical, financial and spiritual success but not us. Trapping ourselves right where we are.

It’s the story that we tell ourselves about who we are and what we’re capable of that creates the self limited belief system that forms the basis of our decision making. Even when we know we need to change, that we hate our current circumstance and want to be better most of us just won’t make a move because no matter how terrible it is, its what we know, and that’s comfortable. When opportunity presents itself we suddenly catch a bad case of performance paralysis and stand blinking like deer in headlights unable to take a chance.

Change is hard. Trust me I know, but it also happens to be the only constant in life. So, if we’re to succeed at anything we must become pros at spotting when its time to make a move and take action.

We get stuck in our thinking that we can’t be more because that would involve doing more, and who has time for that? How am I supposed to carve out an hour a day for exercise when I barely have time to do all the other things in my life? Fair question, and if you can honestly say you spend zero time on social media, binge watching television or other idle/ low value activities then touché, you got me there. However, we both know thats probably not true.

The American dream has created a culture that idolizes hard work, pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and burning the midnight oil. Its not surprising then that few of us want to admit that we spend on average 20-50% of our day on mindless entertainment. Nobody is saying you shouldn’t enjoy a good television episode after a long day. Hell, that’s one of the pleasures of life, but that episode, cheat meal, glass of wine or any other indulgence will be ten times more enjoyable when you’ve taken care of your health and well-being first.

So often I’ve hid from doing what was necessary in order to become the man I knew I could be. I had no other reason than simply believing the story I was telling myself that I couldn’t pile anything else on to my already busy schedule. Only after taking action did I find that in fact choosing to do more was the very thing that expanded my capacity to be more. This is one of life’s paradoxes and this realization only comes after I got out of my own way and drop the self limiting beliefs that plague so many of us. Good ideas are a dime a dozen, but life meets you at action.

Once we commit to being more, huge obstacles suddenly fall seamlessly into place and clear our path to greatness. It seems counter intuitive but structure and commitment is what sets us free. Conversely, avoiding structure and avoiding commitment keeps us trapped in the throws of life unable to break through.

When we prepare our meals in advance we no longer waste our time and energy hungry and scrambling last minute for food. When we create a schedule for ourselves and time block what matters most to us we no longer mindlessly engage in low value activities. This creates the freedom to flourish personally and professionally. Things like exercise become non-negotiable. If you continue to let life happen to you then your inner dialogue will always be correct; you don’t have time, money, energy etc.. Basically, you can not be the person you know you should be because you’re still doing the same things that keep you the person you are.

As Lau Tzu said “When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.”

Spending your day visualizing health, happiness and abundance for all, doesn’t mean shit unless you take that first step. There’s nothing magical about it really. It’s pure logic. Whether you’re an athlete or a couch potato the journey to greatness only varies by scale. There is always the next level, the next step and it’s up to us to not succumb to complacency and fall into the never ending rat-race where the average person spends a lifetime woking 60 hours a week so they can impress coworkers and neighbors with their car, house, wardrobe etc… Even if it means they gain weight rapidly due to lack of sleep, high cortisol levels from stress, too many stimulants and unhealthy foods that just turn into a means of satisfying hunger rather than nourish their body.

100,000 years ago if you were lucky enough to be born bigger, curvy,  stronger or well endowed you had a good chance of procreating and passing along your genes to the next generation. It was survival of the fittest in it’s most raw form. Now a days things are a little different. Its no longer simply physical prowess that determines your future lineage, its mental. And the part that is physical only applies to our overall state of health and well-being with the slight chance that we’ll ever need to use our physicality in a survival situation. So, if its all about health then why bother achieving the upper echelons of performance? Because of the simple truth that it’s always better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have.

There’s arguably no bigger turn off than a macho douchebag picking fights with smaller guys and therefor nothing more satisfying than that smaller guy surprising everyone with his strength and ability to defend himself. Just as with keeping our minds engaged with books, blogs and seminars so too should we adopt a general physical preparedness program to our routine that keep us ready for life’s unknowns.

Now get out there and crush it.


Add 2 Years to Your Life

How many hours do you sit in a day?

  • 1 hour in the morning while you get ready for work
  • 30 minutes in the car to work
  • 8 hours while you’re at work
  • 30 minutes on the drive home
  • 1 hour at the table for dinner
  • 2 hour the couch while you close out the day?

Crazy when you think about it that way, huh? That’s 13 hours!

If this sounds anything like you then I’m going to make the assumption you’re in a little back/neck/hip pain.

Rarely is back pain ever caused by the back itself. Pain in your back is a symptom of poor hip/shoulder mobility and movement patterns. If the muscles in your hip (mainly hamstrings, quadriceps, Gluteus, adductor and flexers) are stiff or inhibited then your lower back is recruited by your brain to pick up the slack.

The number one cause of this is prolonged sitting. Dr. Peter T. Katzmarzyk, lead researchers on a study to determine the effects of prolonged siting and sedentary behavior that was featured in the July 10th, 2012 issue of the Wall Street Journal. He estimates sitting for 3 hours or more a day can decrease your life expectancy by 2 years. Even of you’re physically active, eat well and do not smoke or drink.

By my estimations this is nearly the entire developed world. Myself included. Siting inhibits your glutes, which are the main muscles responsible for extending your hips when you run, walk, stand, lunge, jump, kick etc.. So when you sit on these poor guys all day your body, the clever creature it is starts recruiting other muscles to do the job. Over time this leads to a cascade of postural issues and cause pain when you do just about anything but sit so sitting becomes the dominate position your body feels best in.

Since we know that movement is the number 1 thing we can do to heal and rejuvenate our body it would make since then that the opposite is also true. A sedentary lifestyle will slowly kill us.

The best thing you can do for your hips and back is to be active and move every hour. give your mind and body a quick reset from your work and hop up, do a set of 20 lunges, walk around the block and stretch your legs every hour or so. A little goes a long a way and can significantly decrease your changes of falling victim to a sedentary death trap.

Try it for a day and see how you feel. I’m willing to bet you’ll feel an improvement after just one time.

Let me know how it goes!


3 Guaranteed Tips to Lose 10 Pounds In a Month

1. Don’t eat a single carb after 4pm.

A 2016 study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine titled “Enhanced Endurance Performance by Periodization of Carbohydrate Intake: “Sleep Low” Strategy.” Found that athletes actually increased their performance  by stopping their carbohydrate consumption after 4pm and “sleeping low”.

They did this by splitting 20 athletes into two groups. Both groups ate the same amount of carbohydrates and trained the same way. The only difference is one group consumed their carbohydrates earlier in the day, while the other group consumed them evenly throughout the day. At the end of 3 weeks the group that consumed all their carbs before 4pm and “slept low” saw a significant increase in maximal and sub maximal performance, and a decrease in total fat mass, but not a decrease in lean muscle mass.

To me, this study says everything I need to know about carb cycling. By going carb free for 16 hours from 4pm to 8am, it allows the body to release GH and mobilized fat storage. Both of which are inhibited when blood-glucose levels are high.                                                             Even if no other dietary adjustment is made, simply ending carb consumption earlier in the day could have a significant impact on your health and appearance.

2.  Eat Fewer Carbs On Non-Training Days

Body builders have know this trick for a while. To stay lean yet not lose any muscle, carb cycling is the optimal solution. Science is now backing it up saying not only is it an effective way to look great, but has quantifiable health and performance benefits as well. Carbs should be looked at as a tool to increase performance and recovery. Not the size of our mid section. Lets clarify what I mean by that and how you can effectively harness the power of carbohydrates without accumulating any unwanted body fat.

Think of the amount of energy stored in your muscles, know as glycogen, as a bucket of water. When we train hard and exert energy the levels in the bucket drop. When we rest and consume carbohydrates the levels fill up again. So the idea of cycling your carbohydrate intake really boils down to only consuming them during periods of high exertion.

For example, today is a training day for me, so I’ll eat an extra 40 grams of carbs a couple hours before my workout, and another 40 grams immediately after. This only refills my bucket so to speak without spilling over into fat storage. If on a non-training day I roughly consume around 100 grams of carbs, on training days I will consume 180 grams. 40 before the workout and 40 after.

3. High Intensity Interval Training Is Superior to Endurance.

– Intensity Over Duration.

In a 2008 training study by Burgomaster et al at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, subjects were divided into two groups of 5 men and 5 women per group.                                                               For 6 weeks one group performed 4-6 repeats of 30 second all out sprints on a stationary bike followed by 4.5 minutes of rest 3 times per week. The other group performed 40-60 minutes of cycling at 65% of their V02 Max 5 days per week.

At the end of the study both groups experienced similar metabolic adaptations responsible for effective breakdown of carbohydrates and fats along with an improved V02 Max, but the striking difference between these two groups is the amount of time actually spent training. The 40-60 minute endurance group spent approximately 4.5 hours per week cycling in order to see the same results the sprinting group achieved with only 1.5 hours per week of cycling.

Using the same model you could replace cycling with any movement and achieve greater metabolic adaptations than with endurance training alone. In addition to improved cardiovascular health, HIIT enables you build muscle and improve athleticism.

If you don’t see results please email me for a full refund 😉

Justin Schollard

A recent interview I had for an upcoming fitness book.

Hey everyone!

Recently I was contacted to do an interview with Regency Publishing for their upcoming book  “Your Fitness & Nutrition Questions
Answered – by America’s Expert Personal Trainers”.

I posted the interview below in hopes that it might answer some of your questions as well.

Hope you enjoy!

Please tell us about your company here:

I run a personal training business in Los Angeles, CA. As well as a micro-green nutritional supplement company called KJ SuperFoods. I also blog about health and well-being at www.justin-training.com
Please answer each interview question directly below each question.

What should people look out for when hiring a personal trainer?

There’s no shortage of personal trainers out there charging $80-100/hr who have very little understanding of exercise other than maybe playing sports in high school. Since the law doesn’t require us to have a certification in order to train people, anyone can call them self a personal trainer with hardly any understanding of the body or how to train it. Also, be careful of the “it’s my way or the highway” trainers. A person seeking a trainer should absolutely be willing and open to a good trainers approach, but a good trainer needs to consider every clients specific needs and predisposition before designing a program. As well as be able to adjust on the fly if something isn’t working.
If someone has a friend who is in good shape, who is willing to give them
exercise advice, why is it still a good idea to hire a personal trainer?
First of all; anything is better than nothing, and if that’s what it takes in order get a person moving then I’m all for it. There’s no sense in waiting until you can afford a trainer to start exercising. However, depending on the person, genetics play a huge role in how a person’s body responds to different types of exercise. What works for someone may not work for their friend. So, unless that person’s friend understands how to work with different body types, they’ll probably just end up doing the same routine. Which I’m sure would be fine for a little while, but eventually he or she will need to seek out other avenues of fitness in order to keep it fresh and avoid any plateaus. 

Is it true that people should take periods of time off from working out? 
If so, how long should these “workout vacations” last and how frequently
should they occur?
Absolutely. A couple times a year I like to take a solid two weeks off from training. This allows my muscles to loosen up and my tendons and ligaments to fully recover since circulation isn’t as good there as it is in muscles. On a smaller scale I like have at least two off days a week, but I’m a big fan of listening to your body. If you’re feeling achy and tired then don’t feel like you’re gonna drop the ball by taking an extra day or two to recover. You’ll be much better served and be able to perform greater than if you were to keep pushing yourself too hard.

What are some tips to help people stick with an exercise program and not
Small, achievable and, measurable goals. I know when a person comes in a little too excited to get starting that their probably not going last very long. The clients who come at it with patients and consistency are the ones who reap the benefits and enjoy great results. It is a marathon not a sprint, so be realistic. It might take a year to get where you want to be, but times going by whether you train or not, so enjoy the journey and don’t look back. Anything worth doing in life takes time and effort. I always shoot for a pound a week goal with my clients. That seems to be a good number that doesn’t put too much pressure on people. Most of the time they’re pleasantly surprised.

What is a “drop set”?
Once you’ve done as many repetitions as possible of a given exercise you drop the amount of weight in order to keep going. Using up every last strength reserve in that muscle or muscle group.
If someone likes to listen to music, on a personal music player with
headphones, when they workout, is this considered rude by most personal
Haha, well I could see it being a little awkward. I’ve never personally experienced it but I have seen it done. I think its important that the client and trainer are engaged in the session. That doesn’t mean they have to be chatting the whole time but good training definitely has a flow to it, and if the trainer doesn’t feel like he/she is connecting then that could interfere with quality of the session. On the other hand if the trainer and client have a rapport and a mutual understanding then why not? Bottom line, it depends on the people involved. 
Which types of people can benefit the most from a personal trainer?
All types. Anyone from collegiate athlete to fitness novice has something to gain from the right trainer. There’s just something about having somebody waiting for you at the gym. You can’t cheat yourself, and when someone is standing over you encouraging you to do one more rep because they know that you can, you’re gonna do it. For those who have never touched a weight in their life, or those who have spent countless hours exercising to no avail, the right trainer can give you the tools you need to bring your conditioning to the next level. A good trainer is more than just someone who works you out. They’re your coach. Think about the amount of time you spend with this person. A lot of trust and disclosure is needed to keep you going in the right direction. No matter what your fitness is level the right trainer can help you find that missing piece that is keeping you from your potential. And that may very well be just doing one more rep!
What are “boot camps” and why are they so popular?
Bootcamps are basically just fitness classes. A group of people meet a few times a week and a trainer runs them through a series of exercises for about an hour. I think the reason they’re so popular is because you get a great workout for about $20 and there’s usually no commitment.  There are a couple here in Los Angeles that have a very real “military bootcamp” feel. The trainers wear fatigues and bark orders at you like drill Sergeants.. I don’t know. I guess some people like that. The bootcamp I run is kept relatively small (6 person max). I like it that way so that I can keep quality control. You wont catch me yelling orders in camo either… Gym shorts work just fine.

How can people overcome junk food cravings?
Stop making it into something so forbidden. It’s human nature to want what you can’t have. So the more you try and deny yourself the stronger the cravings will be. The best approach is to just give yourself that free day once or twice a week. Enjoy your life. It’s all about balance. Trust me that desert is going to taste 100% better after 5 straight days of dieting and exercise. Life is more enjoyable guilt free.   
Do most personal trainers yell at people, like drill sergeants, to keep
them motivated?  What if someone wants to hire a personal trainer without
being screamed at?
Haha, I certainly don’t yell at anyone. I am honest with people though. In my experience most trainers do not yell at people. Maybe in the movies, but generally speaking we’d like our clients to come back. How does someone know if they’re “over-training”?
Common signs of over-training are elevated resting heart rate, fatigue, sore joints, bones and muscles. If you’re not getting at least a couple rest days a week and chances are you’re probably over training to some degree. Basically whats happening is that your body just can’t repair it’s self as fast as it’s being broken down and therefor goes in the opposite direction. For example you might actually start gaining weight or stop loosing it no matter how hard you train, or a person might actually start deteriorating muscle no matter how heavy they lift. Bottom line, You need adequate recovery time in order for your body to make the changes you seek. 2 days on 1 day off is a good ratio.

How will a trainer know what program is right for their client?
Experience. After you’ve seen enough people you start to notice patterns. This goes back to what I was saying earlier about a good trainer understanding the subtle differences between body types and how to adjust their approach according to each clients specific needs. Taking into account things like past injuries and other medical conditions is a very important and often over looked aspect of programming. I feel that it’s the trainers job to research diseases and injury protocol in order to successfully progress their client and assure them that their in good hands.

Can someone still lose weight if they split their workouts throughout the
Absolutely. A person burns roughly about 2000 calories a day by just staying busy and moving around. If it better fits your schedule to do three 10 minute workouts a day then more power to you. Sedentary behavior is what we want to avoid. Now, there is a certain degree of hormonal response you might miss out on by splitting up your workouts, but as long as you keep the intensity up you can absolutely drop weight that way. 
How should the diet of someone who’s looking to build muscle differ from
the diet of someone who’s looking to lose weight?
The biggest difference is the amount of calories you need to eat. The exact amount will vary from person to person depending on their body type, but  If a “hard gainer” is looking to put on 10 pounds of muscle then he/she is going to need to eat like it’s their job. I would consider myself a hard gainer. For the first 3 years I lifted weights I didn’t gain a pound. It wasn’t until I literally doubled the amount of food I was eating that I started building muscle. Some have it easier, some have it harder, but the general consensus is that you need to lift heavy and feast often on high protein meals to build muscle. 
What is the customary procedure, with regard to payment, if someone has to
cancel an appointment with their personal trainer?
We love 24 hours. That gives us enough time to find someone to fill your spot. With that said, sometimes things pop up out of nowhere and you can’t give a full 24 hour notice. In that case most trainers appreciate a cancellation fee for the session. Especially if it’s last minute because at that point there’s no way for the trainer to find someone to fill the spot and they lose out on the hour. Since I live in LA and things always seem to pop up last minute here, I only ask my clients to give me a 12 hour notice. With texts and email these days its a little easier to move people around. Most clients understand and are more than happy to oblige.
How long, after eating, should be people wait to workout?
Depending on the size of the meal you’re going to want to wait at least an hour. Maybe even two if its a large meal.
What should someone bring with them to a personal training session?
Unless previously discussed, general workout attire is all you need. 
How should people with asthma approach their workouts?
With asthma, progression is very important. I’ve seen clients with asthma become incredibly fit in a relatively short amount of time. You just have to walk the edge with out going over so to speak, and allow enough time for their bodies to acclimate to new levels of intensity before increasing it again.

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