“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” Hebbel
I started my fitness journey as skinny, puny 145 lbs 18 year old. Like most guys, I wanted muscles to get noticed but what started as a way to get a date with a girl became a lifestyle and a career. After tirelessly trying to break into the fitness industry, I got my first training job in 2004. I was certified and ready to start whipping people into shape. What started as something I was doing on the side became a love and an obsession. Personal training was what I wanted to do! I trained them all; professional athletes, wannabe pro athletes, housewives, wannabe housewives, executives, and wannabe executivesJ. You name it, I trained them. My next moves were instilling the education and know how I developed as a trainer to other trainers. In 2007 I was promoted to Quality Control Director for Urban Active Fitness. I have spent the past 6 years directing and leading 400 personal trainers in 7 states. I’ve certified trainers; I’ve proctored hundreds of seminars and conference calls and even contributed 10 published articles. My mission is to spread the word of fitness to as many people as I can through personal training. My motto is Train, Motivate and Inspire!
This is my listed biography, short form, but doesn’t tell you everything about me. It has been a long road for me, a road with alot of high points, a few low points but otherwise great career. A career that could have been derailed several times but one that keeps going very strong. A great word I like to use is virtuosity. A word that most people are unfamilar with but one that is very important particularly to me. It simply means “doing the common, uncommonly well,” a moniker I strive to live by. The last 60 days have been a challene for me on a professional level but also a personal level. Personal training is life to me; clients, members and trainers are my family. With Urban Active I helped develop thousands of trainers some of which are with the newly name LA Fitness and some are spread throughout the industry. That simply means everything to me. On October 25th, 2012 at 5pm EST Urban Active closed its doors after nearly 20 years of operations. My entire fitness journey occured within the four walls of Urban Active. A part of me died the day we closed the doors. Now, I could of hung my shoes up and moved on to something else but I wouldn’t be living by the virtuosity defininition. There is a fire inside of me that needs to make a difference, that needs to lead. I need it like I need to breath. I am rambling I know but these thoughts have been trapped for the last 2 weeks and I needed an avenue to reliquish it
To summarize my feelings and future plans I want to say this; I need fitness as I need food. I cannot leave my passion and refuse to let my vision die just because Urban Active closed the doors. It is time for a new journey a journey I have not been on before. My search for new obstacles to conquer has begun, please join me on this ride, I promise you will not be disappointed. I am back jack!
By Jonathan Miller, on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 2:11 PM ET
Welcome to Episode Two of The Recovering Politician’s CRISIS TV, a weekly roundtable discussion of the highest profile national scandals, with expert analysis from those who’ve served in the arena and suffered through crises themselves.
SPOILER ALERT: Be prepared to laugh — these former pols tend not to take themselves too seriously.
CRISIS TV is hosted by The RP, former Kentucky State Treasurer Jonathan Miller.
This week’s guests include:
Rod Jetton, former Speaker of the House, state of Missouri
Jason Grill, former State Representative from Kansas City
Josh Bowen, Nationally renowned and published personal trainer
Click here to order
This week’s topic — Baseball and Performance Enhancing Drugs
The panelists discuss the nature of the scandal, what Major League Baseball and accused players such as Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriquez have done wrong, how they could have handled the crisis more effectively, and what advice they would share with the players and owners.
The panelists discuss the lessons they learned from their own crises, detailed in the book they co-authored, The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis. Click here to order.
November 5th, 1994. The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. A boxing match featuring potentially the future of the sport against an older, heavier, washed-up ex-champion. If you were gambler the smartest money would be on the young lion. However, this is real life and nothing is more dramatic than real life. On that a 45 year old ex-heavyweight champion of the world got lucky or did he? With one punch, George Foreman, knocked out Michael Moorer to capture the world’s heavyweight boxing a title, a title he hadn’t held for 20 years.
So was Foreman lucky or did something else happen? Was a lucky punch that any of us could of landed or was there something else to blame? Fitness and real life are one in the same. What you do for fitness affects every other aspect of your being. We are all given 24 hours in a day and we are all given one life to live as we choose. Ask George Foreman if he was lucky? He will tell you that the thousands of hours, all the blood, sweat and tears and the practice of going against the greatest (Muhammad Ali) prepared him for that moment. He caught lightening in a bottle, one more time. So can you.
A wise person once told me that if you are not doing something to make the world a better place AND making people around better, you are wasting your time. That you have to have an insatiable desire for achievement. Nothing should ever stand in your ways of what you want. I apply this principles to fitness; if you want something go get it. Don’t sit back and let it come to you because it won’t. “Big” George didn’t wait for it to come to him, he took it and made history. History is yours for the taking.
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”
- Vince Lombardi
What is the difference between dedication and commitment? As one of my best clients I ever had told me years ago; the difference between commitment and dedication is like the difference between the bacon and eggs. The chicken is dedicated, dedicated to hatching eggs for all of us that love eggs. However, the pig is committed. committed to the cause and willing to sacrifice their life so all of us can enjoy the great taste of bacon.
So here is what I have done:
1. Given you a visual of the difference between being dedicated to something and being committed
2. Completely over-dramatized the difference between both dedication and commitment and bacon and eggs
3. Introduced my next piece on how to become committed
Extra Credit: Hopefully I made you chuckle…just once.
Let’s bring it back down to planet earth now. Commitment is a huge part of success in anything, not just fitness. However, without commitment to the cause, the results will become hindered and adherence to exercise maybe damaged. So lets first look at some common reasons that challenge people’s commitment to fitness.
1. Time- We live in a world that goes from 0-60 the moment your feet hit the ground. It is easy to use the excuse of “I don’t have time.” Here is the hard truth, we are all given the same amount of time everyday, how we use that time is on us. An hour of exercise a day is 4% of your day. Honestly, in some cases you could get by with 10-20 minutes of exercise. So now you are telling me you don’t have time? Dedication versus commitment.
2. Cost- Money is always an issue in things that are perceived to cost money. Gym memberships, personal trainers, fitness clothes, organic food etc. can sometimes interfere with people starting and/or continuing a fitness program. Truth is fitness can be free. With the wealth of information out there (ie my blog) that is free one can start and continue a program without really having to shell out any cash. However, if buying a gym membership and maybe a personal trainer (come see me!) is what you want to do but are scared of the cost remember value versus cost. If you see value in something you can always budget for it but if you look at it as a cost it will always be just that, something else you have to pay.
Read the rest of… Josh Bowen: Bacon or Eggs – Part One
There are many; articles, blogs, and research in general about exercise/fitness written and seen everyday. Today’s media is obsessed with showing us the latest fitness fads to boost ratings and make mucho dinero. We are all inundated with countless “lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks” tag lines everyday of our lives. From P90X to Insanity to diet pills and the latest fad diet, this country is on fitness overload. But there remains one problem…we are STILL the fattest country on planet earth. Why? Why do millions of Americans sign up for a gym membership and stop using it after three months? Why are diet books sales at an all time high but yet obesity rates continue to climb? I have found a glaring hole in this fitness lexicon; personality.
Personality? I thought everyone was suppose to do three sets of 15 on the bench press, eat the same food over and over and hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes? Where the hell does my personality come into play?
Having been a trainer 10 years, I will say the most important lesson I have learned is; the client’s personality, goals and abilities dictate how I train them not what I want. Personality traits have been used for years in other industries to pick workers in the right career position or match single up for date. Why do we not include this when participating in fitness?
Today we start. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
1. For your workouts to be a success, do you find you need to be continually challenged or have more structure?
This is a great question that will forecast where your fitness journey will take you (at least at first). If challenge is what you need, we first must define what challenges you. Running, lifting, obstacle courses, cross training can be challenging on different levels, if your personality drifts that what, keep it fresh to keep from getting bored. If structure is what you need, switching things up to quickly may overload you. CrossFit or P90X may not be something for you if structure is your goal. Keeping your exercise somewhat predictable may allow for more adherence and consistency. What if you don’t know or you have never exercised? Think about what you prefer in everyday life and apply it to your exercise program.
Read the rest of… Josh Bowen: What is your Fitness Personality? 3 Questions You Must Ask Before Starting a Program
I want to warn everyone that reads this, if you are not open minded and are stubborn about changing the way you view exercise and nutrition please stop reading now. What I mean by this is these are 17 facts that I have learned through 8 years as a personal trainer and coach and 15 years of personal workouts. Some of these I have learned the hard way and others are as clear as day but all are a list of facts that will help you achieve your goals (as long as you choose to accept it.)
Steady State Cardio will not get YOU Results- I see it everyday, gym goers check in the gym and immediately head for the treadmill or elliptical. If you asked them what their goals were they would say body fat loss, increased muscle tone and weight loss. OK? Why are you heading for the treadmill then? Take a U-Turn and head for the weight section. And yes I am talking to you, all of you! Big, tall, skinny, small I don’t care we all need to spend some quality time with the weights. Period. Next!
Resistance Training will boost your Results- A continuation of number 1. All shapes and sizes should be picking up resistance training. Increased; metabolism, decreased osteoporosis, feel better and look better. What else do you need? Nothing that’s what.
The Word “Tone” Does not Exist- So stop saying it. In muscle anatomy and kinesiology there is not term muscle “tone.” When you use this term you mean less fat and more muscle or “lean.” Let’s lose this term please.
Static Stretching is a Waste of Time- Don’t stretch, warm-up. Doing the old school 1980’s Jane Fonda stretching routine is not going to make you more flexible and its not going to decrease chance of injury. Instead of bending over and touching your toes, get on a foam roller and roll your hamstrings out. Instead of stretching your hip flexors, do some explosive reverse lunges to a knee tuck. Stop stretching, thank you.
Bananas are not the only Food in the Universe that Have Potassium- quite the contrary there are better foods, with less sugar that has plenty of potassium. Broccoli, kiwis, and sweet potatoes just to name a few are packed with high amounts of potassium. Bananas have too much sugar, eat apples or kiwis instead.
Squat, Everyone- Everyone should squat regardless of what your doctor tells you, if you can’t squat you can’t use the toilet. Think about that. Enough said.
Deadlift, Everyone- “Dead lifts are for men.” Oh yeah? Have you ever picked a box off the ground? You just did a deadlift. Dead lifts are great for developing posterior strength (you need that mister I sit at a desk all day) and are a great overall body developer. Do them but do them right!
Stop Swinging the Dumbbell Around in an Attempt to Warm Your Shoulder- This doesn’t need much explanation but I see people do this all the time and it’s dumb. Your rotator cuff muscles are as thin as paper and applying this type of circular motion with added resistance is bad news. Just stop it!
Perform Multi-Joint Movements- if your goal is decreased bodyfat, increased strength and better overall bodies start squatting, deadlifting, pressing, and swinging. If you goal is to be a body builder and you want bigger arms, continue doing bicep curls.
Walking Does not Count As Exercise- Humans were made to walk, we are blessed with great mobility and the ability to run, sprint and walk. You cannot count walking around the block as vigorous exercise. You can do that with your eyes closed, try doing something more difficult. Maybe add a vest!
Less Crunches and More Planks- You want to work your core? Try doing more planks and concentrate on extending the amount of time you can hold it. Try doing less crunches, they are a waste of your time and bad for your lumbar spine.
Doing Abs will NOT give you a 6 Pack- Still flabbergasted that people believe this. Proper diet and nutrition coupled with great genetics and discipline is what gives people the 6 pack. Not crunches. Next.
Do More Pushups- One of the best exercises, period. Shoulders over hands, core and quads tight, head, shoulders, hips and ankles in a straight line. If you can’t do them, start doing them against a wall and progress from there.
Supplements are not the End All Be All- Supplements are just that, supplements for foods you can’t or do not get through food. They will not cure the world and will not give you the body of your dreams. Supplement when necessary. A few of my favorites; whey isolate protein, Branch Chain Amino Acids, Glutamine and Omega 3 fatty acids.
If you Sorta Eat Right, You Will Sorta Look Right- Want to look your best, eat your best. Next
Proper Form Rules All- Do not sacrifice weight for proper form. Learn how to squat/deadlift/press correctly. Stop bouncing and making trainers cringe. It will catch up to you one day.
Lift then Run- Lifting weights prior to cardio will burn twice as much fat as doing it in the reverse. A study showed men that did resistance training prior to doing 30 minutes of cardio burned a 100% more bodyfat than those that did the exact opposite.
Now you guys tell me which ones you want me to expound or defend. I’m ready, trust me.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Let’s think about the quote above. What is separating all of us from achievement? Is it us? Could it be that we are actually afraid of accomplishing what we set out to do? Bingo! I have a lot of experience in training and motivating others, not just in fitness but in life. I have always had a sense that deep down people are not afraid of failure but rather afraid of achieving. When you achieve something people will expect you to do the same every time. This adds responsibility and adds the component of hard work. Now, don’t get me wrong I am not calling out people, talking about how lazy they are. Quite the contrary, I am saying that in our subconscious we have a deep fear that we CAN accomplish any and every thing that we set out to do.
So how do I perform reverse psychology on myself? Here is the deal the first step to accomplishing anything is you have to believe it is possible. Here is an example; people once thought that running a mile in under 4 minutes was impossible. It wasn’t until 1954 that Roger Bannister broke the 4 minutes barrier, running a mile in 3 minutes and 59 seconds. 42 days later another man ran a mile in 3 minutes and 58 seconds. Fast forward to present day and the world record for the mile has lowered 17 seconds and now running a mile in under 4 minutes is the STANDARD by which all middle distance runners are judged. Do you see what happened there? Once one person did it, everyone else knew it was possible. You think that you are the only person in the world sitting there at your computer, reading this article with 50, 60, 70, 100 pounds to lose. The reality of it is people are doing it every day and so can you! All you have to do is believe.
The last step (yes I only have 2 steps here, this is not a 12 step process!) you have to have an undying commitment to your goal. Whatever the goal is, it does not matter you have to love it, marry it and live it. It is you and it is a part of you. Do what ever it takes, throw caution to the wind and do it! I believe in you, you must believe in you. Do not be afraid of climbing your personal Mount Everest! GO DO IT!!!!
“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was”
From time to time I experience what most writers call, “writers block.” It is a mythical place where all my thoughts are blocked and my creative juices are shunted. But at last I am back in the saddle and ready to voice my fitness voice to the masses. This could be scary.
Anyways, I left you all with the first entry (of a two part series) on juicing titled I Got the Juice. In this masterpiece of blogging I discussed the benefits of adding juicing to your diet and all the positive effects it could have. NOW, I would like to take it a step further and write about the ingredients and what they do and how they benefit us as a human species. Boom! Here we go…
Fact: You are what you eat. The most accurate statement you will read or hear all day. If you put “crap” into your body you will look (and feel) like “crap.” On the flip side, if you put nutrients your body wants and needs (and when they need and want them) you will look the best you ever have and feel the best you have ever felt. Also…Fact. “So whats the deal with juicing?” Well read the above blog first and then try it yourself. Give it three days and tell me how much better you feel. Because I know you will.
Common Juice Ingredients:
Herbs and Spices
Kale is a nutrient dense food that packs a high amount of nutrition to it. Considered a “super food” Kale supplies only 36 calories per cup of juice. Kale is rich source of Lutein, a cartotenoid and phytonutrient which acts as an antioxidant and blocks potential damage to the human body from ultraviolent rays. Kale also packs a punch with fat soluble vitamins, A and K as well as water soluble vitamin C.
Read the rest of… Josh Bowen: I Got the Juice Part Deuce
If there are any trainers that read my rants you can sympathize with me on the following statement made by a client, “My doctor told me not to squat.” Oh he did, did he? Well isn’t that great, what in the world am I going to do to strengthen your legs? Hold up! Do me a favor and get up and down from that chair. So you know what I am getting at. There are some uneducated people out there that tell patients to stay away from certain activities, not realizing that those activities could potentially help the situation. I’ve incurred this situation several times in the 10 years I have been a trainer, nothing surprises me.
I recently finished a grueling competition involving the squat, where a fellow trainer and I decided to see who could squat 250,000 pounds the fastest. So for 3 weeks we battled it out, squatting sometimes 30, 40, 50 thousdand pounds in a single workout. A feat I would not suggest, having done it, it was brutal to put it lightly. Regardless, through this contest of testosterone, my knees have not felt better in years. Why is that? It is not for the fact I wasn’t squatting heavy loads (Trent would probably say otherwise, he warms up with my max) nor is it because I have my knees alot of rest (I squatted 4-5 times per week). We will just call it faith in the squat but regardless, it just goes to show you that you can squat, under any conditions. As humans, we have too.
The squat is the most basic, primal movement that humans do. We squat when we get in and out of a car, we squat when we get up and down from a chair and when we have to go to the bathroom (#2 for men and always for women) we squat. So how on earth could someone tell me that I can’t squat? Most doctors are not as educated on fitness and it impacts the body, so its easy to tell people what to stay away from. If you have a bum knee its probably not wise to load a bar up with 300 lbs and go at it. But what doesn’t make sense is why you wouldn’t perform the movement at all, without weight.
Josh Bowen, The Recovering Politician‘s resident fitness expert — and The RP‘s personal trainer — was quoted in this Sunday’s New York Times Style section, in an article entitled “Fitness Playgrounds Grow as Machines Go”:
Josh Bowen, until recently the quality control director for the seven-state Urban Active chain, referred to the sweeping revisions the company made last year as swapping “Arnold machines” (as in Schwarzenegger) “for AstroTurf.”
Mr. Bowen, who left Urban Active when it was acquired by LA Fitness, said, “Gyms are way out of the times if all they have is machines.”
People spend all day sitting with machines, he said. “When they come into a gym, they don’t want to be sat down at another one doing three sets of 12.”