5 Aspects to Control to Get “in Shape”





We live in a world full of wonderful technology.  I can pick up a phone not much bigger than my business card and be instantly connected with my pen-pal in china, and talk to him as if he were sitting across the table from me. Long gone are the days of  truly “waiting” for anything.  We live in a society where convenience seems to be the number one focus in our lives.  Everyone everywhere seem to be searching for the easiest, path of least resistance way, to do absolutely everything.  We all want it faster, better, cheaper, and above all else we want it to work.  I think that there is where the problem may first start to rear it’s ugly head.  What else in our wonderful natural world works like that?  We certainly don’t expect to plant a tree and have it fully grown in a day?   As a matter of fact nothing in the natural world works that way.   Everything takes it’s own turn as part of a natural process.  Bugs get it, animals get it, the oceans, clouds, moon and sun all get it…..we humans on the other hand…we are special.  We have been bred by society, religion, media, and even our government to believe that we are special and the rules of the natural world don’t apply to us. We tend to circumvent natural laws as often as possible.  But the fact is, although we may not want to live by them, they very much govern everything we do.  We are not above “natural law.”  For instance, in any population if you introduce an endless supply of food, the population will grow exponentially.  And we think this is a good thing…..look at our ever-expanding waistline  The good news is there is hope out there.  In this post I will outline a very basic approach to 5 aspects of your life that I believe you need to conquer if you hope to achieve fitness enlightenment. (or at the very least reach you fitness goals)

ASPECT # 1   ATTITUDE:   It’s hard to type briefly on this one (or any of the others for that matter) subject, but I will do my best. But first perhaps I’ll let some that have a bit more life experience under their bit do some talking for me:

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Winston Churchill

It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.
Dalai Lama

Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.
William James

….so after reading such quotes you may naturally ask:  OK, what now?  Well you asked for it.  You have to become aware of your attitude toward you.  Sounds a bit redundant right?  But it’s not.  You, right now, are exactly where you are supposed to be.  You are a direct result of all the beliefs, choices, and events over the course of your life what you have done, and the decisions you have made have led you here. Stare at yourself in the mirror, that’s what you got!!  Well what if you aren’t happy with that?  Great News!!  You can change it!!!!. What you can do is choose to change the direction you are heading.  Look inside yourself.  Listen to the way you talk to yourself about how you look, how you feel, how you eat, how you dream, how you act.  You have to find and identify any negative self talk…any thoughts that allow you to …eat that cheeseburger, or skip that workout, or put off joining that gym this week.  Simply…your attitude toward exercising and eating has put you exactly where you are today.  If you want to be in better shape, the first thing you need to do is decide to be in better shape.

ASPECT #2  ENVIRONMENT:  This refers to everything around you.  Friends, Family, living conditions, work, television, the country, our media…..all of it….if you open your eyes right now and look,,,,,what you see is your environment…..and unfortunately……it may not be pretty.   If you are a fit person in the United States of America you are on the extreme end of the spectrum.   As a matter of fact, we are pushing to the %70 mark in the US.   Seventy Percent of us are either overweight or obese….and for our children the percentage has tripled in the past 15 years.   That means if you open your eyes and ears to what society is screaming at you……if you listen to what the majority of commercials tell you, or what your friends at work say…you will stay the exact same way that you are.  The only way you are going to change is if you turn your boat around and start pedaling against the flow.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
Mark Twain

I may take Mr. Twain’s quote and go a bit further…in terms of fitness and nutrition…..instead of pausing and reflecting…I recommend you  run like hell in the other direction….The bottom line is you, as a human being, are going to act, think, and reflect, the values of the environment that you are in.  So…to change your life, change your environment.   More on that in the week, book, years to come.   Perhaps the biggest point to walk away with today, in regards to environment, is do not underestimate how important it is to be aware of how it can either enhance, or can crush your attempts to get/ stay in shape.

ASPECT # 3 TIME MANAGEMENT:   I’ll begin by saying this.  I am a father of three, a husband of one, run a business, and seem to fill my day with obligations.   Impossible to just accidentally accomplish everything that I have to accomplish everyday.  There is only one way I get to the things I “need” to get to.  I plan it.   The bottom line is that you have to plan for it though.  Trust me on this.  No one has ever accidentally got in shape.  “My goodness….I woke up the other day and out of nowhere, I had a six pack of abs and I could run a mile in under five minutes”   Trust me  this doesn’t happen.   What has to happen if you expect to get in shape is you have to make time for it in your schedule….and it has to take priority.  The said truth is most americans take better care of their cars than they do their bodies……here is a time management page stolen directly from a Sales Mentor of mine Chet Holmes:

Commit to these six steps

Six proactive steps to time management can transform your day. They take five minutes to do and can double the amount of results you get daily. The problem is not whether or not these steps will work, because they will absolutely work. The problem is whether or not you will fully commit to doing them, repeatedly.

The key to time management is commitment to the following six steps:

Step One: Touch it once

How often do you pick up something on your desk and say, “I have to take care of this, but I can’t deal with it right now”? If you do that a few times per day with a few different documents/projects/tasks, by the end of the year, you will have spent an entire month touching and rereading information without taking action. So, if you touch it, move it to the next step.

If you want to see how often you waste time, each time you pick up something, put a red dot on it. After you have three red dots on a piece of paper, you begin to feel pressure to do something and move on. If you touch it, take care of it.

Step Two: Make lists, but stick to the six most important things

When we conduct this time management seminar, we ask how many people in the audience make lists. Practically everyone does. People often have lists with 25 to as many as 40 items on them. They are proud that their lists are so long and that they are so busy.

Further investigation quickly shows them that long lists are the perfect way to be busy, but not productive. When you have a long list, your energy is focused more on trimming the list than it is on being productive. Each day, pick the six items that will produce the highest level of results, put them on your list, and finish all six things by day’s end.

Step Three: Plan how long you will spend on each item

You’ve started your day by making a list of the six most important things. That took two or three minutes. Now take another minute to plan how long each item will take or how long you will dedicate to the items that are ongoing.

When we conduct this workshop, the people with long lists usually find that they can have an incredibly productive day with only six hours spent on their six key items. Most people who use these steps find they get more important work done in less time because their time is focused on the most productive tasks.

Step Four: Plan when

Now that you know how much time to dedicate to each task, you need to plan when you will do them. In addition, you must build in time for the reactive mode.

For example, if you are a sales manager interrupted by frequent “got a minute” meetings, plan a fixed time when you will accept those types of meetings. Otherwise, unless it is an emergency, do not allow people to come to your desk and ask if you’ve got a minute!

Think of any top executive you know. Can you simply call them up, or do you have to schedule time with them? Many top executives plan their day down to the minute. Everything is done according to a schedule, including time for “got a minute” meetings. Scheduling time is the key to time management.

Step Five: Ask the results

Few people are highly productive. People like to have items on a list, so they can cross off the items. But that’s not enough. The things that produce the best results are generally the most difficult. Thus, they get left off of the list or are scheduled at the end of the day, causing them to get bumped to the next day…and the next…and the next.

Schedule important tasks in the beginning of your day. Cold calling or trying to get appointments with key prospects or clients are the things that produce the best results. However, they often get pushed off by average salespeople. After you make your list, ask yourself if the items on it are the ones that will produce the most results.

Step Six: Will it hurt me to throw this away?

Of all filed information, 80% is never referred to again. After hearing this time management idea, I began to throw away four out of five of the items I used to keep. It’s been 10 years, and I cannot think of a single time where it has hurt me

Using those steps should help with not only work, but also may get us in the proper mindset of planning out our lives, not to mention our workouts.

ASPECT #4  NUTRITION:    I’m going to make this one simple.Eat none of the following:


  • Grains–including bread, pasta, noodles
  • Beans–including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, peas
  • Potatoes
  • Dairy products
  • Sugar

From here on…now you are wondering what you can eat right??????

  • Meat, chicken, and fish
  • Eggs
  • Fruit–especially berries
  • Vegetables–especially root vegetables, but not potatoes
  • Nuts–almonds, macadamias, walnuts, brazil nuts. Do not eat peanuts.

There…if you are wondering why…the why is for another time…for now…there it is….simple and to the point…take it or leave it..

ASPECT #5  MOVEMENT:  It’s listed last, because in my experience, it is the least important.  If the other four are aligned correctly  then number five simply falls naturally into place.  If you have the right attitude, are surrounded by the right environment, have planned out and organized your life, and are eating the way you were designed to, you workouts not only will work, but they will be part of your life, which is the point.  We, as a species, are meant to move.  We are mobile beings.  We are not supposed to spend 8-10 hours of our day sitting on our asses…..I think that there is a very primal reason that no matter how hard you workout, afterwards there is a very good feeling.  So I care not, for now, what you do to workout.  Sure I would like you to do some sort of functional, crossfit like workout that would incorporate basic movements, and would ultimately lead you to feeling better, looking better, and moving better.  Truth be told though, let’s at first work on consistency.  Step 1, in Movement is to   MOVE!!!!!  Spend 30-45 minutes everyday doing something that makes you sweat,,,,from there we will talk again……

In summary I believe working to master those 5  concepts will move anyone on to the correct path of feeling better.  Thanks for your time.

3/21/2015 WOD

….she’s a good one



4 x 5min EMOM’s

1. 7 Box Jumps  ( Slow Mountain Climbers)

2. 10 Hand Release Pushups  (Slow Crunches)

3. 10 Thrusters 35/45  (Seal Jacks)

4. 7 Burpees  ( Breathe)


Every minute on the minute perform the exercise and desired number of repetitions.  For the balance of the remaining 60 seconds perform the exercise in the parentheses.


Good Luck….she was a bastard!!!


Thanks to the 9am Class for letting me fight along side them.  It was a pretty epic one this morning!!!



18 min of Movement
32 Feet- Foot hand Crawl on 2×4
16 Feet Farmer’s Carry on 2×4
and 10 Reverses with KB racked on 2×4

(5 reverses per side)

Continue through these three exercises until 18 minutes has passed

you can click the youtube link below to see an example of the movements….have fun if you try this one.  Slow purposeful and as always mind your movements!!!


3/17/2015 WOD and then some


15min AMRAP


10- TOES to Bar

15- Med Ball Front Squats


Wow…was this one a doozy.  It was great to see the control most of us demonstrated with the handstand pushup scaled options.  Purposeful and mindful movement, those are the steps that it will take to get you to RX this one.  I think we should give this one a name?  Any Suggestions?   At any rate, I was pleased with the way we moved, with the absolute effort put forth until the bell sounded, and with the attitudes that met the WOD before we started.  Fantastic day all around.





WOD 3/13/2015… Friday The 13th!!!!



Warm Up- 10 min Roll/ 2 min neck rotation, 2 min shoulder rotations/ Bird dogs- 2 min/ up dog down dog-3 min

Shoulder Prep- 2×8 Wall SLiders/ 2×8 Bi lateral External Rotations/

Skinny PVC- Pressing Prep -3 min

KB Swing Prep- 3 min

-hip extensions/ hip flexors/ hip hinges




12 Min

20 Kettlebell Swings (Russian)

5 Shoulder to overhead


Score is total number of weight moved over head in the some of all Rounds with your 5 Presses/ Push Presses/ or Push Jerks

-you can add or take away weight as needed


Best of Luck

3/7/2015 WOD



Warm up

Roll 10min/ Childs pose, up/down dog, lat stretch focus-4 min/ Skinny PVC pipe- 3 min/ Lying Hip Extensions with, big PVC (KB Swing prep)


Active- 10 toe touches/ 10 Jacks    3x



Kb Swings/ Deadlifts

Sprinting in Place

Handstand Holds

Hanging Knee Raises  (strict movements)


Fun 16 minutes today!!!


Themes to follow or reflect on for the week

-being present when you move is paramount to reps.  Pay attention to your body, and improve on movements every time.  i.e., make this air squat better than the last air squat.  The goal is to improve movement patterns, not just do more of them.




Hope for the future and those around us… simple slight rehash of an older post…..relevant nonetheless

I am luckier than most. I have completely designed my lifestyle around fitness. I have to be in shape or it is impossible for me to do my job correctly. So that means it is easy for me to exercise consistently right…..??? It’s super easy for me to eat healthy….right??? I suppose to an extent it is true. But I think what’s important is to understand how long it took me to get to this level. I think it’s too often that people see someone who has made it to a certain level of fitness and they may think….oh he has good genetics…or wow she probably doesn’t even like chocolate. Take me for example; When I was freshman in high school, baseball first introduced me to the “weight room” from that moment on I always “wanted” a six pack, and veins in my arms….well fast forward 20 years later …and finally I have them…..but it did not happen overnight….I wish I could stress that, I wish I could have you all standing on my shoulders as I eyed a piece of candy, that I knew would only lead to more and more candy…..and feel how  I struggled to not eat it.  I wish you could visualize the back and forth battle it was…..”I can eat just that….it’s not a big deal”….vs “don’t touch that, look at how far you have come”….constant, relentless fight…..let me just fall of a track a second and say….sugar addiction sucks, but breaking sucks even more in the short term..lol….20 years it has taken me to undo what society, and my family put into me in the first 13 years of my life. Actually I once read a study that suggested that by 7 our eating habits are already firmly in place…that’s how early this starts. No wonder it took me 20 years to undo what was so firmly embedded in my mind… So why bring this up….I suppose because I want you to believe that it’s possible to be in whatever sort of shape you would like to be in, but you have to make the effort. You have to take on the responsibility….if you don’t do it for yourself you likely will never do it. Perhaps the only other “person” you may be able to get away with would be doing it for your children…..wouldn’t you like to be able to lift and play with their children (your own grandkids) one day? Ask yourself how likely is that scenario at the rate you are headed…and let’s pretend you who are reading this are doing fine with your health, as I anticipate plenty of you will be…then what about someone you know who isn’t going to be ok in 5 years, 10 years….what can you do today to help that person. Who can you put them in touch with to help change their life for the better? Do we, who are healthy and fit, owe it to the rest of society to help them get out of the rut they are in…to help show them how to be healthier,,,,and ultimately happier??? What do you think? Either that or live inside our Fit little box, with our fit little friends and watch Americas average waistline continue to grow….that is what is happening…how do we stop it…maybe you ask do we stop it?? Or do we act like a New Yorker…and look straight ahead and pay no attention to those hurting around us. I once posted that letting someone who is obese eat at a fast food restaurant is similar in my mind to allowing an alcoholic to have a shot a whiskey….that post offended some people…though I’m not really sure why. …I believe until we as a country are prepared to have these uncomfortable moments and recognize the nationwide epedemic for what it is…then I believe we will never begin to move in the right direction….at any rate it’s been a while buffalo…talk to you all soon..

Daily Reflections……working hard and finding happy..

Do more than is expected of you..

Believe in yourself rather than believing you can’t..

Let’s be honest, if you do not love and care for the person staring back at you in the mirror, how can you truly love and care for anyone???

Ok Rob…I give up….what in the hell do those statements have to do with fitness….or especially your Crossfit Box????  

In one word?   Everything.  I have been extremely fortunate to own and operate my Crossfit/ Movnat Box for over 6 months now and have had the amazing pleasure and opportunity to work with some some outstanding people from all different walks of life.  Everyone that comes through the gate at Crossfit Williamsville has to fill out a little visitor information form that helps give me insight into who they are and what sort of goals they might have.  It usually, in terms of their goals, reads something along the lines of ….lose  (insert arbitrary number here) lbs.  Tone up, get lean, get a six pack, etc…..you get the point..  Rarely does perhaps the most important and most telling goal pop up on that sheet…..  Feel Better.   Isn’t that really what it is all about.  If you find Crossfit Williamsville it is absolutely not on accident.  NO one has ever wandered in my door and said…..oh…I thought this was going to be like Curves… Quite the contrary,  while they may not know what Crossfit is, but for the most part they know what is isn’t….lol  it seems I have strayed off the path a bit, let’s come back around to why people seek out this wonderful place….it’s simple….they come to feel better, or perhaps to state it even more concisely..Happieness….they think I can make them happy…   They may not realize that, they may profess that it is all bout dropping 15lbs before the wedding….or getting that first pull-up, or being able to go up and down the stairs with out being winded.  But ultimately it all comes back to being happy.

I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy.  From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering.  Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affect this.  From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment.  I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves.  Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.

                                                                                – Tenzin Gyatso; The Fourteenth Dalai Lama


I happen to agree with about 99.99% if what he says…so I thought I would drop that quote in there.  So…if I believe that most who come to the box are seeking happiness whether they know it or not….how do I help them attain it…..simple….good old fashioned hard work…coupled with accomplishment…..and with some serious  challenge sprinkled on top to boot….and I also allow them to become very comfortable with failure.  Failure…..I know what a dirty word.   The truth of the matter is failure is one of the best things that can happen to anyone…anyone…period.   Show me someone who is wickedly successful…and not only will they have failed dozens of time….but they will have very purposefully become comfortable with the thought of it….  As long as, after a failed attempt, we pick ourselves up and learn from it….no worries…..

At any rate there is an amazing amount of happiness and self fulfillment to be found in an environment that challenges you mentally and physically on a daily basis…and that is what I attempt to create every single time a program a WOD….

have a good evening buffalo and beyond

…go out and find your happy…..

The reality of eating/ being healthy,,,,,and words of encouragement.

…..eating the “right” way is different for everyone……is a popular sentiment among some of the most knowledgeable fitness, health, and nutrition professionals.  And if you get right down to it, purely speaking, different foods will do slightly different things in certain people…I can agree with that.  But the problem is that when the general public reads a statement like that….they take it as a license to mean that ….Hey that could mean that me having a Big Mac, fries, and shake once a week is not a bad thing…..right?   …..umm…Wrong.


All things in moderation…

Look at where all things in moderation has gotten us.  We are, not even moderately, the fattest country in the world.  And it boggles my mind that people would rather seek salvation in a pill instead of taking the time out of their day to eat food that started as food in the first place…

Just had an outstanding lunch with a like minded friend and he recounted a story of a recent stay at a resort in Costa Rica……I will paraphrase….he said it was a wonderful “resort”…five rooms only, 15 staff there to wait on you hand and foot…he said one morning he ordered a smoothie….the ingredients of which where then cut down and put in the blender…how awesome is that…it reminds me of my Great Granny Harris showing me which chicken we were going to eat for dinner that night…..awesome….(maybe disturbing at that age..lol)

All things in addiction….

that’s probably closer to how it should read.  Here is the rub.  If you eat bread/ pasta/ rice/ coke/ ice cream…..etc..on a regular basis…you are addicted to sugar…..it is what it is……if you do not believe go for a day without any grains/ alcohol/ sugar/ pasta/ ….and see how you are feeling..take it to two or three days….trust me, after 30 days straight…you won’t crave it anymore…though it may feel like hell to make it to that point….

So you’re saying I’m not allowed to eat anything good anymore?????

first off, because you are addicted to something doesn’t make it good.  Just because it tastes great doesn’t make it good…..let’s look at what it does when you put it into your body…that will determine whether it is good for you or not.  Let’s at least agree on that..

But it’s ok if I have a little cheat day….isn’t it?   

Well how is that working out for you thus far????  Let’s put it this way …if your goal is to look at function like Jessica Biel and you look and function like Jessica Biel then go ahead and have your cheat day….probably not going to put you out too badly…but if you are 60lbs over weight, and move more like ET….then you have no business having a cheat day…you have had a cheat life thus far..no reason to put an exclamation point on it.

But I can’t eat healthy all the time….

Can’t never could do nothing…….I’m not asking that you eat healthy all the time…just try it for the next week, two weeks, month…the beautiful part of eating well/ right…is that once you get into it..you won’t want to go back….

How do I get started?  

Surround yourselves with like minded people, and/ or information….read blogs about it, read books about it, subscribe to newsletters, watch documentaries (netflix…waddup?)  Educate yourself…just like anything if you wanna be good at something you have to learn about it.  Once you begin to immerse yourself in it, you’ll find it’s not that difficult..there are plenty of great people around to help you on your journey…and by gosh your slimming waste line and heart will love you to life for it.


Fueling yourself is so important, I go as far to tell the members of my Box that it doesn’t matter how hard you work the 60 minutes that you are in here with me if you go out and throw away the other 23 hours you have left in your day….what a shame to work so hard….and see no return….

Best news of all?

you can find thousands of people…in Buffalo alone…that are wanting to experience, or have experienced, or will share with you, help you…guide you…or even take the trip along side you….the way we as a community are going to change…and fight the Obesity epidemic that is infecting our country is at this very grass roots level.  Our Government will not solve it…..it’s not their responsibility anyhow…they have lobbyists to cater to…..take charge of your life…..eat healthy, train hard…and infect those around you with the zest for life that you will gain from it…

thanks Buffalo and beyond..


Losing Weight….having the uncomfortable conversations…

A touchy subject…..ranks right up there with politics, religion, and your momma…as far as things not to talk about, but I believe it is one of the most important discussions that we could have with our friends, families and even coworkers.

But according to the statistics on that page, the leading causes, by a long shot, of death in our country are lifestyle related…..in fact last year there were ten times as many deaths by Heart Disease than by Terrorist Attacks….yet our focus in the media would have you believe Osama was a far greater threat to the U.S. than Ronald Mcdonald…or for that matter than our own lack of self control. It’s not even just the media’s fault..while we fill ourselves up with triple vented frappalatte’s our topics of conversation are all to often completely unoriginal regurgitated samplings of what we watched on fox news or CNN, depending on which side of the fence we lean…we complain about our country as if it is an unloved uncle who comes to the family reunions, hungover if not still drunk, and sits in the corner mumbling to himself during dinner. We, for the most part, have little to no respect whatsoever for our government, if we did we wouldn’t accept the fact that they “lie” to us on a daily basis. You can not respect something that you believe is built on false pretenses. At any rate, the question everyone should be asking…..why are you continuing to eat like that when you know that it is killing you?

Is that harsh? Perhaps. Perhaps we might look in the mirror and ask ourselves the same question. I’m sure addicts of other drugs do it all the time. (I would like to think so at least) But somehow the high they get is so much better than anything else.

I know what you are thinking…”I am not an addict”

Yes you are. You are addicted to sugar.

Ok. Now those of you who still hung on, after all of that, how do I convince you through this post that you are indeed addicted to sugar, perhaps we can rename your addiction carbohydrates but in some ways that is a little 6 of one half a dozen of another…..I digress….if you do not think you are addicted to sugar, I issue a small challenge…go without it for 24 hours and see how you feel.
that means no:
Ice Cream
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Chewy Multi Vitamins
Most Drinks at Starbucks
…..just off the top of my head….oh…and of course no SUGAR

Give that a shot for a day or two and see if you don’t feel like mainlining 6 frosties from Wendy’s.

So there is what you have to give up…..although I’m thinking the term have to give up is crazy..it is kinda like …”what do you mean I have to give up Crack?” you should think look at that list of things that I “get” to give up…..how awesome is that? That small adjustment in your self-talk could make all the difference. Imagine how empowered you will feel when you start eating real food. Real food……think about that for a second….I am telling you by giving up those things and by eating these things, whole organic, colorful veggies, lean meats, nuts and seeds and a bit of fruit here and there….not only will you be eating well….but you will be eating the “real Food” that your body desires, and those foods are chock full of not only the macronutrients that you need most, fat and protein, but also plenty of micronutrients *vitamins and minerals* to boot….how crazy is that? A quote that has been tossed around I will paraphrase here…think of what you should eat like this. If your 15000 year old cousins from back in the day were to step into your kitchen today I would want you to eat only what they would recognize as food.

so……there is your assignment….what if we just do this..how about you start from tomorrow morning, and we take it day by day….

I can promise you this..after about 2 weeks of it…you will not want to go back……

thanks for reading

best of health