Tuesday, November 26, 2013

15 Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays

During the holidays we could all use a little extra money right? I mean I could use a couple extra Benjamins to buy some cool presents. What would you do if you made a little more money for the holidays? Check out the list.

  1. Make Holiday Decorations. Examples include holiday wreaths, painting nutcrackers...etc
  2. Take pictures and sell them on a photo website. If you are interested here is an article about where to sell your photos. 
  3. Shovel Snow or Plow Driveways. It's pretty easy and you can make a decent amount of money especially if you live in a busy neighborhood. Call your neighbors and ask them.
  4. Pick up odd jobs.  If you want to earn extra money during the holiday's and you are skilled in a trade you can make extra money by doing odd jobs like putting up Christmas lights, shoveling snow, personal shopper, gift wrapping, and other side jobs that can ear extra money
  5. Work in a retail store. I have noticed that there are retail stores that are hiring people on the spot. Sure it would suck to work Thanksgiving day but you will sure enjoy having the extra money for the holidays.
  6. Compose a work of art. If you are artistic you can make money selling your paintings or other works of art during the holidays.
  7. Write a book. I recommend using Amazon Publisher. Amazon takes 30% but you can make 70%, which is a lot better than most places. You can also use places like Elance to proof read and correct errors in your book. I know people who have wrote fitness e-books and made between $500-$5,000 dollars during the Holidays. I do not have knowledge of other industries so it probably differs based on your field of expertise.
  8. Holiday Cleaning. My mom is a crazy cleaning freak and she would be awesome at doing this. I talked to her about this and she said that people pay anywhere from $10-50/hr. If you are good you can make a good amount of money for your holiday gift fund.
  9. Tutor Students. If you have patience and want to make some extra money you can Tutor Students. People make anywhere from $10-$75/hr. The tougher the subject and the more knowledgeable you are the more money you can make.
  10. Babysit. If you like kids you can babysit during the holiday's.
  11. Build a Website. Elance is another good resource that you can use to make extra money for the holidays.
  12. Donate Plasma. If you want to make $60 dollars fast its really easy to do
  13. Cater Meals. My Aunt Claire is an excellent cook and makes money on the side by catering. 
  14. Lab Rat. If you are not scared of anything and want to make anywhere from $100-$30,000 (yes, you can make that much but at the risk of never seeing the light of day. It is your choice on how you want to make your holiday money. 
  15. Rent your stuff. If you have multiple barns full of stuff you never use like my Grandma does you should think about renting out your stuff or even selling it. You can even rent out your barns for people to store their boats.
This is just a small list of things that you can do to make money for the holidays. I hope it helps you to earn a little extra money for the holidays.

Dedicated to helping you become your best self,

Ben Myslenski

Monday, November 25, 2013

Why we need regulations on personal training certifications

5 Reasons we need stricter regulations on personal training certifications

I did a search on the internet the other day and was looking at how many personal training certifications there are. Did you know that on the IDEAFit website there are over 120 personal training certifications? This list is only for personal training certifications it does not include the many group exercise, yoga, gym specific and the other groups that certify fitness professionals. How many of these are regulated personal training certifications?

The CDC says that over 69% of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight. Read some of the articles here. We need better regulations that will allow these millions of Americans to get the help that they need.

Reason 1. Unregulated online exams.
I am ashamed to admit this but my very first personal training certification came from one of these so called “personal training certification sites”. I won’t mention the site but it gave you 5 attempts to take a test and you could use google to search things that you didn’t know. If the personal training industry wants to be regarded as a legitimate career path for individuals who are seeking to go into the health and fitness industry they need to have exams that are proctored at a facility.

Reason 2. Less Idiots Who are “Certified Personal Trainers”
Thanks to Meathead trainers who think training until you can’t move another muscle is a “great workout bro” we as personal trainers get a bad reputation. The fact that there are so many of these trainers who are out there and have no idea what movements in the sagittal, transverse, or frontal planes of motion mean speaks volumes to why there needs to be stricter regulation.

Reason 3. Insurance Coverage for Personal Training
If insurance companies covered personal training more people would take advantage of it. If there were stricter guidelines on certifications or a National Certifying body we could lobby to have insurance companies cover personal training. This would also open up training to millions of Americans who need the help.

Reason 4. More Trainers Who Have the Necessary Experience to Help Their Clients
Personal trainers would be required to continue to learn and build their knowledge in the industry. They would be required to go through more studying and hopefully get hands on experience in order to

Reason 5. Industry Will Be Perceived as More Than Just “Highly Paid Workout Partners”
I have people constantly telling me that they don’t want to pay someone to workout with them. When the sad reality is that they need the accountability because they can’t do it on their own. It is really a shame that we are viewed as glorified workout partners. I know for a fact if you asked your average client what the Functional Movement Screen was or whether they knew about Metabolic Training they would have no idea. If people can’t achieve the results they want without help than they need help and that is why we are here.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Top 10 tips to prevent holiday weight gain +(bonus workout)

(Image from Tracy Gardner Flicker.com)

During the holidays it is tough to maintain a good workout schedule and eat healthy. It is important that you have a plan of action to fight the Holiday weight gain that we often fall prey to. I have included 10 tips for surviving the Holiday's. The average weight gain varies from person to person and can be anywhere from 1-15lbs between Thanksgiving and New Year's. 

  • Tip 1. Don't skip your workouts 
Even if you can get 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise it will help. Try doing something active like walking, playing backyard football, ice skating and bowling. You should try to get in at least 2 high intensity exercise sessions during the week.
  • Tip 2. Log what you eat (I use myfitnesspal)
It is easier than ever to track what you are eating and you can now see how helpful everything is for your body thanks to technology.
  • Tip 3. Eat your food slowly
I know this is a tough one for me because I eat really fast. A WebMD study by (Kathleen Zelman in the article "slow down you eat too fast") says that It takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness.
  • Tip 4.Give away leftovers that are going to hinder you from achieving your goals.
  • Tip 5 minimize alcohol consumption
Stick with 1 type of alcohol and try to avoid the sugary beverages like Long Islands, Malibu, Anything with energy drinks or soda mixers. Try instead to dilute with water or mix with tonic. You can also try cutting up fruit and adding it to your beverage of choice.

                                                                                              (Image from Robert S. Donovan)

  • Tip 6. Drink a lot of water
Your body needs at least 8 glasses of water per day (8oz). Make sure that you are taking in enough water because that will help you to feel fuller.

  • Tip 7. Be Thankful
Too often we don't appreciate all that we have in America. If you really want to feel thankful go down to a homeless shelter and serve holiday meals. I always say that you should give money to good causes but if you don't have money give away information or your time.

  • Tip 8. Eat food from quality sources
Make sure that you are eating Proteins, Greens, and Whole Grains.

  • Tip 9. Take a break
If you are constantly working and shopping schedule an hour in the day where you do absolutely nothing

  • Tip 10. Have Fun
The holidays are a time of year where you can enjoy friends, family and memories that will last forever. Enjoy the holidays and don't forget to watch what you eat.

As promised here is the bonus workout. 

Pushups 50 reps
Squats   100 reps        (alternate between the two until you reach the #of reps for each)

Dedicated to helping you become your best self,

Ben Myslenski

Monday, November 18, 2013

20 minute Kettlebell Circuit

We have an awesome workout video that we just put together it is for a 20 minute Kettlebell Circuit. Troy and Ben from Anytime Fitness Grand Haven show you a quick 20 minute kettlebell circuit.20 minutes as many rounds as possible

5 reps per round begginer, 6-8 per round intermediate, 10 reps per round advanced

We used a 45lb Kettlebell (use a Kettlebell that fits your current fitness level)

Kettlebell Snatch
Kettlebell Swing
KB Front Squat

Kettlebell workout,

20 minutes (as many rounds as possible with good form)

5 reps begginer   6-8 reps intermediate  10 reps  advanced    

Kettlebell Snatch
Kettlebell Swing
Kettlebell Front Squat

Dedicated to helping you become your best self

Ben Myslenski

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"You are the average of the 5 people you associate with the most"

"You are the average of the 5 people you associate with the most"-Jim Rohn

Who you associate with can have a large impact on who or what you become.

When I was growing up I wanted to be an all star wide receiver like my idol Jerry Rice. Well I can tell you today that I am not the next Jerry Rice but who I am today has been shaped by what I have learned along the way.

Some of you are like what the heck does this have to do with your quote. I will tell you. While I was growing up I did not have a lot of friends because I was home schooled until my sophmore year of high school. When I did get to school I was the kind of kid who was easily influenced by kids around me who I thought were cool. I started trying to be just like everyone else and turned out to be like everyone else because that is what I aspired to be. What I should have been doing was trying to emulate the best athletes that I aspired to be like. I should have studied what kind of workouts they did and how long they practiced. I should have also studied THE PLAYBOOK. I didn't do any of these things. I was a great athlete but I didn't know the plays or formations. When I actually comitted to working out every day one summer I didn't work very hard and talked to the other guys on my team. This all led to me being the same as every other player. I lacked the drive and determination to be the next Jerry Rice. I became the average of the 5 people I associated with the most.

When I arrived at college I did the same thing that I had always done. Don't get me wrong I had and have great friends but I never made the effort to aspire to be more while I was growing up. I was to preoccupied with going to awesome parties and making people like me.

After college I moved to Virginia for a job at George Mason University. It wasn't until I moved to virginia and started thinking a lot about what I wanted out of life that I truly found my purpose. I started to care more about helping people and giving good advice. I also met a lot of great people who helped me see the world differently. They taught me to read books by thought leaders like Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Stephen Covey, Napoleon Hill, Brian Tracy and many more. When you start learning about real knowledge you become a different person, it changes you.

At that moment you have 2 choices stay where you are or become something more. I knew at that moment I had to choose to write out my goals and start planning out my future. I made a choice to pursue my dreams of owning a personal training business right there. How was I able to do this? I started to seek out those people who aspired to be like. If you want to be average there are plenty of people who are average and will help you stay where you are. If you want to be extraordinary seek out those who are where you want to be and emulate them.

If you are seeking to be more than average you should:
  • Start reading books on whatever it is that interests you.
  • Most importantly is take action and start today
  • Read books on how to set goals
  • Read motivational books
  • Get a mentor or study those who are or do what you want to do or have the knowledge that you seek
  • Always be willing to learn
  • Don't judge others until you know them
  • Give (whether it is your time, money, or information)
  • Start hanging out with people who are going to continue to challenge you to improve
Today I ask questions and I seek out the wise advice of people who are where I want to be.

You have it in your power to improve the quality of your life and become whatever you want to be.

Dedicated to helping you become your best self,

Ben Myslenski

Friday, November 15, 2013

NASM CPT Review/ how to pass the NASM CPT Exam

It has been one year since I passed my NASM CPT exam. I will first review the NASM CPT and then I will give you tips on how to pass it. National Academy of Sports Medicine.

How to pass NASM CPT Exam
Quick Facts about the NASM CPT:
  • I bought the $999 course which included a free workshop, backpack, book, proctored exam, gaurantee retest (I didn't need it), 90 day job gaurantee and the online follow along course
  • I studied for 3 months before I took the course
  • Includes a follow along guide that will help you plan out your time
  • If you receive the book brand new you can also have access to the website specific to the book
  • If you are a visual person the videos will really help you to understand the material
  • It also comes with Flashcards (online) that really help especially when prepping for the exam
  • NASM is very well rounded and in my opinion is in the top 3 of certifications
The CPT course is online except for the material that you will read in the book. All material is online other than the book. The  prerequisites to taking the NASM CPT are that you have a high school diploma/G.E.D, be at least 18 years old, and have your CPR certification. When I compared NASM to the other certification there was no doubt in my mind that it was the best certification for me.

As far as the course goes I really appreciated that they give you a basic refresher on what you need to know about bones, and muscles. They also do a very good job covering basic exercise science. The book is split into 4 sections.
  1. Fundamentals of Human Movement Science
  2. Assesments, Training Concepts and Program Design (largest section)
  3. Nutrition and Supplementation
  4. Client Interaction and Personal Development

What I liked about the NASM CPT:
  • It was very well rounded as far as covering multiple topics and areas
  • Although I sometimes do not us the OPT model I like the model as a basis for beginners (see image left)
  • I appreciate that they go over assessments and how to spot muscle imbalances and how to fix them.
  • The NASM CPT has a wealth of knowledge about flexibility, strength, cardio, balance, plyometric, sports performance
  • The NASM CPT has information on dealing with clients who have chronic health conditions, and physical/functional limitation (diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis...etc)
  • The appendices are very nice for checking muscles, bones, and other exercises)
  • Although limited I appreciated the nutrition and building a personal training business sections
What I didn't like or thought needed to be improved within the NASM CPT:

  • More in depth about muscles as movers... agonist, antagonist, stabilizer,and synergistic muscles
  • A more well written portion about starting a personal training business
  • The biggest  complaint I have had with all of the certifications is that they don't include enough specific information on weight loss (HELLO!!! this is what almost every client I train wants)
I would rate the NASM CPT a 9/10.

Quick facts on how to pass the NASM CPT Exam:
  • Make sure that you really study the anatomy of the human body
  • understand how to do a proper assessment
  • Understand which muscles are acting as the antagonist, agonist, synergist, and stabilizer (I had a lot of questions on my test with examples like a bench press, squat and 
  • Study the planes of motion and axes
  • Study a little about special populations
  • MOST IMPORTANT THING TO STUDY the different muscles that are inactive or over active and if the feet turn out during a overhead squat what that means.
  • Study and review the OPT model and what happens at each stage
  • review the lessons, flashcards, and watch the video lessons (if you do all of these things and have a good understanding of the material you should pass no problem)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Turbulence Training Review

Check it out here: www.TurbulenceTraining.com

Review of Turbulence Training: The Program that Promises Maximum Fat Loss in Minimum Workout Time

Turbulence Training promises fast fat loss results for men and women who don't have a lot of time for exercise. This is a bold promise, and the workouts promise maximum results in only three workouts per week.

Let's take a look at this claim, and see if it really measures up!
Before we get to the program, let's take a look at the expert behind the workouts. I've come across Craig Ballantyne's name many times in popular fitness magazines such as Men's Health and Men's Fitness. So the program is clearly put together by a trusted fitness expert.

Craig is unlike the trainers with weekend certifications that pop up at large commercial gyms. Craig's experience goes back to the mid-nineties, in both the gym and in the research lab. He's actually led research trials on sport supplements, strength training, and cardiovascular training.

Plus, Craig has been a strength coach and has worked with hundreds of clients in thousands of training sessions. This is a unique, and thorough background, so its not surprising he's come up with a new training system for fat loss.

In fact, Craig's articles are always pretty hard on traditional aerobic cardio workouts. So if you're looking for new ways to spend 30 or 60-minutes doing cardio, then this program is not for you. But if you only have 45 minutes to workout, a couple of times per week, and you have access to only a bench, dumbells, and an exercise ball, then you'll like what Craig has for you here.

Now one of the biggest questions about the program is simply, "What is Turbulence Training " Well according to Craig, its the combination of resistance training and interval training used to boost your metabolism so that your body burns calories and fat between workouts. He says, "Cardio doesn't boost your metabolism after exercise. Only strength training and interval training do that - while you work, sleep, and eat - your body will be shedding fat."

Fortunately, Craig's unique system of bodyweight exercises, dumbell exercises, and interval training can all be done at home, with minimal equipment (if you are really strong, it might help to have a chinup bar). So again, if you are one of those people who loves machines, or cardio equipment, or marathon workouts, then this program is not for you.
Frankly, I've used the program myself and recommended to many others. Why? Because no one has time for long workouts! That's why. After an eight or ten hour workday, a round-trip commute of 90 minutes, and spending time with my family, I just don't have time to do another 90 minute workout every day of the week.

In fact, I either get up early and do the workout before work, or I do it just before bed. This workout is perfect for busy men and women. But its not the type of routine that is going to turn anyone into a pro bodybuilder. If you want maximum muscle and want to bulk up, try another one of Craig's programs. But the Turbulence Training system is best for burning fat without sacrificing muscle - so you end up lean, defined, chiseled and toned.

And its fun! So many workouts are boring (i.e. long cardio) or repetitive (i.e. doing the same bodybuilding workout over and over again). But Turbulence Training uses a lot of unique (but not fluffy) exercises, including some cool, killer bodyweight moves that will make you more athletic and increase your functional and core strength - again, all with minimal equipment needs.

But, I am even able to recommend this program to friends who are just starting out, because Craig has put together a 6-week introductory program, and a 4-week intermediate program in addition to the 16-week advanced training phase (PLUS, the Turbulence Training program comes with a massive amount of bonus workouts for muscle building, bodyweight only, advanced fat loss, and even a female specific bonus).
But each workout progresses into the next. He's used all of these workouts with hundreds of clients - so they are safe and effective. Sure, you can get other programs that leave you smashed and puking after the first workout, but Turbulence Training is not like that. Soreness doesn't matter, only results matter! And you are in expert hands with Turbulence Training, and Men's Health expert, Craig Ballantyne.

Craig's Turbulence Training also contains a contract -- basically, your pledge to being committed to the program. It also includes an ebook on Nutrition Guidelines from expert, Dr. Chris Mohr, Ph.D., and an extensive Q&A section, a 21-Healthy Habit Building Plan, plus the complete Turbulence Training workouts for beginner, intermediate and advanced level individuals.
All users will benefit from the Turbulence Training MP3 audio where Craig goes over the program, plus you can find every single exercise explained in detail, complete with photos.
Okay, so bottom line. Turbulence Training is NOT....
  • Long, slow cardio workouts
  • A machine-based exercise circuit
  • A bodybuilding program to gain bulk
  • A workout with lots of time-wasting isolation exercises
  • A restrictive eating plan
Turbulence Training provides NONE of the above. On the other hand, Turbulence Training is perfect for busy men and women who want to burn fat in the comfort of their own homes without spending a lot of money on equipment or space on exercise machines. Oh, and you'll actually have fun and you won't "dread" these workouts - heck, they will be over before you know it!
If you're in the slightest bit curious, I recommend you look closely at Craig's program. I was very impressed with all of the Turbulence Training workouts, the bonuses, the guarantee, and Craig's expertise. For the money, it's the best deal in the fitness and fat loss industry - so much better than diet pills! And remember...
Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training is backed by a 8-week money back guarantee. And this is a real guarantee... if you are not completely satisfied, you will receive your money back, no "ifs," "ands," or "buts." So you really have nothing to lose. 

Check it out here: www.TurbulenceTraining.com

P.S. I have tried several of Craig's workouts and they are incredible. He also includes a good variety of content that will help you reach your goals

P.S.S. Craig loves helping people and his mission is to help 1 million people so he gives away a lot of bonuses. Turbulence Training is awesome!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Why you don't reach your fitness goals

1. Fear
Fear is one of the biggest obstacles we have in regards to achieving our goals. It can be the fear of something new that prevents you from ever trying. It can also be fear of failure that prevents you from reaching your goals. If you are scared that you might fail you may never start. It can be fear of what your friends think. 
Make small steps towards your goal each day. Do something outside of your comfort zone. If you are afraid of failing and never start you have already failed. If you are scared of what your friends think and they can't support you in your pursuit of your goals get rid of them. The most important thing you can do is surround yourself with people who support you.

2. You never even start:
If you never even start how do you expect to reach your goals? I had one lady tell me that it was too hard for her but when I asked her how many times a week she was exercising she said she hadn't even started. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, WAKE UP AND GET OUT THERE!!
This one is pretty easy, start walking, go to the gym, walk the dog, run, honestly do anything that is going to help you reach your goals and write your goals down. If you never start you can't accomplish your goals and if you write your goals down you are more likely to achieve them.

3. You don't stay on a specific program:
I used to be the worst offender of this. I would start a workout plan and have some great results and then fall off the bandwagon because I found a cool new workout plan. If you are trying to achieve your goals stick to a program for at least 6 weeks. 

4. Time
But Ben I don't have enough time. If you say this to me I am going to kick you in the shin and then I will tell you to write down everything that you do during the day. I will find out what you are really doing that is wasting time. How many of you continually waste time playing video games, WATCHING TV, and doing other sorts of nonsense that will not get you the results you need.
The easy way to combat this is find the time. I don't care if it is 10 minutes twice per day or if you have to CUT BACK ON TV (I know shocker huh, watch a little less of your doctor show, or vampire/zombie show). 

5. Commitment
"I think I am going to just go to Starbucks and have a cup of sugar with my coffee and then eat this oversized pastry instead of going to the gym" said no one committed to their goals. If you can't get to the gym or are struggling to stay on track then you are struggling with accountability/commitment. 
Get a friend to come to the gym with you, drag your husband or wife, or hire a trainer. Write down your goals. If you need to put money in a jar and give it to a charity for every day that you fail to exercise that will keep you on track.

6. I’m not losing enough weight
If you are not losing weight figure out why and fix it. "I have been working out all the time and I can't lose the weight". If this is you then you might very well be eating the wrong foods, drinking too much alcohol, or doing the same boring VHS "buns & guns" that your mom did when you were 7. 
Weight comes off in inches people. If your trainer does not tell you this then get another one who knows this. If you lose 3 inches in your waist but gain a pound are you going to complain??? NO, because you lost 3 inches and probably added lean muscle mass. If you are doing the right things in the gym and are eating the right foods it will happen.  I would also recommend using myfitnesspal or a similar app to track calories.

7. You eat too much sugar:
The average American eats 160 pounds of sugar every year and we wonder why we get diabetes. If you like soda, coffee with sugar, energy drinks, alcohol, Gatorade, PowerAde, and even fruit juice, they are all bad for you. 
The easiest way to combat this is by drinking water, drinking alcohol on the rocks or with water, cut back on sugary sweets and definitely cut back on Starbucks. Look, I love gummy bears and chocolate as much as anyone but I know that if I eat them they will give me joint pain, headaches, and much worse.

8. You eat carbs like they are going out of style
This is self-explanatory limit your carb intake to cut down unwanted body fat.

9. You start but you don't finish
If you start and are having great results or any at all don't stop. Too many people allow their busy schedule, soccer practice, marathons of desperate housewives and the other excuses. IF YOUR GOAL IS IMPORTANT YOU WILL FIND A WAY TO CONTINUE.

10. You look for the easy fix
"Hey Jenny I watched that infomercial for little cookie bar diet the other day and I think I am going to do it" MY ANSWER IS NOOOOO!!!! People are always going to look for the quick fix and the truth is it takes hard work and dedication to reach your goals. The weight loss pills don't work and are a scam. The arm circle 9000, and shake weights do not work so please stop buying them. 

11. Weight loss surgery or medications
I will be honest with you and say that over 70% of people who get the surgery go right back to the way they were before. Why does this happen? It happens because they didn't make the lifestyle changes necessary to sustain the amount of weight they gained before the surgery.
Do yourself a favor and take the proper steps to lose the weight. Hire a trainer, workout with a friend, or have someone hold you accountable. Change takes time, you didn't gain the weight in one night so you shouldn't lose it all in a day.

12. You don't do cardio or weight training
If you are not doing one or both start today.

13. You listen to the wrong people
Every person is different Ms. Jones down the street might want to get toned up and look sexy while Janet is going to want to lose weight. Don't get me wrong Janet wants to look sexy too but she has to lose the weight first. Each person is going to be different and have certain things that work for them. We were not all created the same. 
Do what makes you feel good and what fits your goals. 

14. You don't drink enough water
This one is simple drink more water.

15. You don't seek professional help
You can't become the dynamic superstar that you want to be overnight. You will have a much better chance to reach your goals if you seek out the guidance of professionals and NO THAT DOES NOT MEAN THE BIGGEST GUY OR SMALLEST GIRL AT THE GYM!!

Dedicated to helping you become your best self,

Ben Myslenski