fitness coach buffalo

Quick Holiday Workout

Yeah yeah I get it, you are soooooo busy. All day, every day, every week.. You work 3 jobs daily, have 12 kids and have absolutely no time to cook or work out.


I don't know about you but I get tired of these excuses. But I do understand. I can relate. I sympathize because I am human and I'm also busy.

Real quick story here-  Back when I was working 3 jobs (for real), being a single dad taking care of a child a few days a week and living alone (cooking/cleaning for myself) I had to find a way to get in some workouts. 

I had to "find" time.  What I really did was MAKE time.

No way to get to a gym? I would do a quick bodyweight workout on my lunch or at the end of the day or in the morning (my least favorite)

Truth be told, I hated bodyweight workouts. They felt lame. No weights, no clanging of plates and dumbbells. No benches or pulleys or cables or racks.

I would dread those workouts. But I found a way. Which meant I just did it. Even if it was just 20 minutes.

So today is a holiday and we are all busy, including myself. I had some clients this morning and I have family gatherings all day but I had a small window (that I created) of 30 minutes between clients and going home to get ready for the family holiday party.

Not enough time to drive to a gym and get warmed up and work out with weights, cardio I did a bodyweight circuit.

And honestly, I don't dread them anymore as much as I used to.  Maybe it's my age or the years of lifting under the barbell, but lately I almost (stress- almost) enjoy these high-intensity bodyweight circuits. Today's felt good.

Here's what I did- squats-15 reps, pushups 15 reps-bird dogs-12 reps-reverse crunchesx15-side crunchesx12-planksx30-reverse pushupsx15-

I went from one exercise to the next without rest. After the circuit I rested 30-45 seconds. I did 5 rounds. It took about 25 minutes. For the next 5 minutes I did some stretching/yoga/mobility flow movement. Done.

Work up a little sweat and feel better about your day and your self.

Take pride in the fact that you chose to do something. Instead of saying you have no time (but you have time to watch tv/play on the internet/social media etc.. Have some pride, it's ok. It means you worked on improving yourself today. And that's nothing to be ashamed of. Even if it's only bodyweight exercises and not anything exciting like a big heavy squat or deadlift.

Happy holidays to you and your family. And if you don't celebrate any holidays, have an awesome day!

Do You Need a Workout Plan?

Here's a great answer to the question Do you need a workout plan? 

It depends.

That's the truth,

If you need structure, maybe you do.

Or you crave variety and being surprised then having no set 'plan' may work better for you.

Either way, you need to show up and work your ass off consistently.

You can be one of those guys with the little notepad, writing down every set, weight and exercise. Or you can go into the gym and wing it all the way from your warmup to your workout and cooldown. You do a cooldown right?  I didn't think so.

I've had great training plans and made progress. I've also had no real plan and made progress.

Depending on what you want to get out of your training, you may need to track your workouts and stick to a plan. There's some flexibility here too. The best plans allow for changes to be made over the course of the weeks/months.

There are a million ways to structure a workout/plan so I won't get into that here.

I'll leave you with this.  You should try a program at least once. Stick to it for 3-4 months. If you hate it or just don't like being tied to a single program then you've learned some valuable information.

You don't always have to have a goal with your training. Fitness is good enough on it's own without a specific goal, but if someone has a burning desire for a goal, then I say go for it with all you have!

3 Times Per Week for 30 Minutes is all you need!

Have you seen the articles that say all you need is 3 workouts per week for 30 minutes each session? 

Is this just a bunch of bull?


In my experience with clients, if a guy hasn't worked out in awhile 3 days per week for a half hour each will be plenty.

If you are starting up at the gym after a long break or if you've never trained vigorously in your life, then 3 days will be plenty.

On the other days you need to do some walking. Yes, walking. Outside, inside, at the mall. I don't care. Just get in a walk every day. Ideally you will walk an hour every day, even on days you train with weights.

But I get it. You don't have time as it is. How are you supposed to do something physical every single day?

You start small. 20 minute walks. 30 minute workouts.

Find a way.

How does anyone do it?

You make it a priority. It should be anyway.

Once you establish this healthy habit for a few months you are ready to take it up a notch. You will no longer be sore from workouts (not AS sore at least) and you have already 'made time' for your health and fitness. Now it's time to take it up a notch.

Shoot for an hour of physical activity every day.

This could be weights or cardio. But just messing around in the yard does not count. This is your time. Where you are working on improving yourself. An hour a day. You can dedicate this time to your most important asset- your health.

Start small. 30 minutes. Even 15.. but eventually you will need to do more. Embrace it.

Now get started. Go for a walk today.



That Damn Snooze Button

How did you start your day today?

Did you hit the snooze button?

That damn button is no good!

I know you don't want to be preached at. To have someone tell you to "do this, do that" or "stop doing this, stop doing that"..  I get it. I don't want anyone telling me what to do or what not do do.

It needs to happen on your own terms. On your own time. When you are ready. When will you be ready to change your life?

What will it take to make you decide now is the time? Today is the day I change my life for the better...

I can't be the deciding factor for you. No one can except the man in the mirror.

What I can do is tell you the benefits of changing your life with weight training and fitness.

You will have more energy. When you feel drained at work, or after work when you get home to your wife and kids or home to your girlfriend. It may seem counter-intuitive that by working out you will generate more energy but it's true. 

You will notice your body change on the outside. Looking in the mirror you will see your muscles pop, your belly shrink.. your shape will take on more of a masculine, attractive look.

When it comes time to work in the yard, or to move furniture, you will be more confident. Up and down the stairs you will have more air, you won't be out of breath as easy.

You'll sleep better. Eat better. You're standard of living will improve. Yep, all this from lifting weights on a regular basis.

Get on a program today.

Do something daily.

Don't do it for anyone other than yourself. Or if you find your motivation comes from wanting to be strong for your kids or your wife or whatever, then use that as fuel for your fire.

Whatever it takes, find a way to just do it. Morning, on lunch hour, after work, late at night in the garage.. etc.. Find a way, not an excuse.

Most people find an excuse.

But not you.

Be different. Be strong.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

I remember it clearly.

It was the first day of my new life. My new work.

Work as a personal trainer and coach.

I could barely sleep. I was too excited. But I had no problem getting up at 5 a.m. when my alarm went off.

Of course, this doesn't last forever. No one gets up every single day like this, no matter how much they love their job, their passion etc.

But it makes me think of an important idea.

This idea about being excited. What motivates you to change your life?

I'm sure it's not seeing pics of models on the cover of men's health. Or some big gym sending you a flyer saying "get fit, get healthy!"..

But what will get you to change? What is the catalyst that can drive this difficult transition?

It's not for me or anyone else to know. No one can tell you what will drive you to get up at 5 a.m. and go train, when all you want to do is sleep another hour in a nice warm, cozy bed.

Only you can find that reason that will propel you when you get home from work and you are exhausted and stressed and hungry and just want to lay on the couch and watch sports center.

But what will it be? Is it to be healthy for your kids? And then grandkids? Is it to get lean so next summer you aren't embarrassed to take your shirt off? Maybe it's to prove to someone that you can do it.

The more the reason can resonate with you, the better the chance you will stick with it when things get tough. And they will.

Everyone can start and go a few weeks/months.

This can be tough enough and part of the barrier to being consistent with fitness is the fear of failure. That you will give up eventually. Go back to your old ways. Your will-power will run out of gas.

But if you have a powerful reason, that comes from deep within yourself, you will have much much better odds of sticking to it.

So if you don't know your reason yet or have lost your way, do some soul-searching. See what resonates with you. It may be totally different from the last time you committed to a fitness regimen.

If you're 45 years old and working long hours in a white-collar job, you're motives will be different than when you played high school baseball and wanted to be a better athlete, stronger and look muscular for the chicks. (maybe the last part is still the same)

This exercise of looking within to find what drives you to change into a better version of yourself, is so crucial. It's easy to overlook it. Many do.

Don't be one of them who think they can just will themselves into the gym when they sign up for a year at a big commercial gym. Thinking that because they pay $30 a month that they will automatically go and results will come.

Find what compels you, what drives you. And make this your best month ever.

Brisket Burger

I had the most amazing beef brisket burger today. Just wanted to share that.

How do you fit those types of meals into your eating plan?

One way is to count your macros/calories. If you want to lose fat you eat less than your body needs per day. (or over the course of a week)

The other way is to eat "clean" most days of the week and to have a meal or two one day a week where you go off the normal diet plan.

Either way works. Any diet can work.

For how long?  And will you have a big rebound?

Here's a big concern that no one really thinks about. Ok, you lose 20 lbs. in 6 weeks. Then what? What does your diet become after that? Can you sustain it?

Or do you go right back to where you were before ?

Diet and training are simple yet complex at the same time.

The human body is an adaptive machine. Our body doesn't want to be super lean. It wants to survive, which means having more fat stored up.

We have to constantly work with our body and understand it. The best diet is the one you can stick with and adapt as you go. As you change, as you age,  go through different transitions, transformations, have new goals etc..

The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn to listen to your body.. Pay attention. Write down what you experience. Take notes on what foods make you feel bloated, what foods give you great energy, what drinks give you a headache etc..

What I want to say is this - have that brisket burger. Enjoy it. And don't worry about it. When the meal is over, that's it. It's over. No guilt. No starving yourself for a half a day. Have a plan, stick to it 80-90% of the time depending on your goals. If you want more fat loss then go more towards 90% but you can still enjoy that apple pie or burger or whatever treat you want.

Don't stress about it. Just eat the damn burger already.


Everyone Knows Everything

On the one hand you have fitness experts who say the general public is clueless about health and fitness.  The other hand says people know what to do, they are just lazy and don't want to work hard. 

Which is it?

If I was trying to sell you a program I would choose one side and cherry-pick some studies to back that program up (there would be plenty on both sides) and voila, here's the answer for you.

But I don't work that way.

I know that life isn't so black and white. There's plenty of grey area.

But for the sake of this post let's talk about the person who knows what to do. Generally speaking.

Let's say you have a decent grasp on eating right for your body, what kind of exercises to do, how to structure a workout, a week/month of workouts etc.. you have a basic understanding of supplements and which ones are a waste of money and the ones that may help a bit.

But you don't do it.


Are you just lazy?   Can't find the time?  Have too much fat to lose and you know how long it can take?

Maybe it's just your MINDSET.

You don't take your fitness seriously. It's not a priority.

So what will it take to get you on track? For good..


Find a friend that you can go to the gym with. Drive together if that helps. Pick days/times and stick to them. Hold each other accountable.

If that doesn't work for you, try an online forum. Check in daily to post about your workouts, meals, progress, struggles etc.. it doesn't take as long as you may think. You're already on a computer anyway aren't you? Make a few internet friends and comment on their training logs. They will comment on yours. When you don't post, they will ask where you are.

If that doesn't work for you, find a coach/trainer. Search your area, ask around, post on your facebook.. get a referral. Talk to someone who has a trainer and get a recommended name.

This is huge. And it's often overlooked.

I've done each of these three methods and they all work.

Try one. Any of them!  They are better options than what you're doing now aren't they?

You can search the internet all day long for new diets, workout ideas and fun things to do but until you actually starting taking action CONSISTENTLY, you will stay stuck where you are and it will only get worse.

So start today. You know everything, I know.  But when you start taking action on this, you will find that guys will have tips for you that you wouldn't have found out yourself just from reading.  It's a whole new level when you have someone there to check on your form, assess your movement, and push you beyond the level you'd push yourself.


You Got Hurt Again?

I remember thinking I needed to catch up to the bigger guys at the gym as fast as I could. I didn't want them seeing me benching the light dumbbells for too long.

So I got injured lifting too heavy.

The injury healed up and soon after I could bench again with no pain I did it again.

With dumbbells on an incline.

A lot of coaches out there will tell you to use dumbbells if you have 'bad shoulders' and that the incline is often easier on the shoulders also.

But even if that is true, you can still mess your shoulders up if you lift improperly.

And what do I mean by improperly?

I mean lifting in a way that is not suited for your body. It will wreck your joints. Maybe not that day. Maybe not that month.. but eventually.

So you can do things 'right' according to others on the internet or a trainer/coach but only you are inside your body. Only you can feel the movement, the range of motion, the resistance, the stress, the pump, the stretch and the strength of the muscles and joints.

Don't be afraid to try different ranges of motion. Mix in various exercises. Try all kinds. If you find a handful that work for you and you don't desire more variety then go with that.

It's empowering to know that your strength and fitness plan is really up to you. There is no right or wrong, no matter what anyone says.