Author

Josh Starner

Hello all, I'm Joshua Starner! I've been working and studying in the fitness industry for the past 7 years and even obtained my Bachelors of Science in Exercise Physiology back in 2013. I'm an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and currently manage a Get Fit 24/7 Fitness Center, a quickly growing chain in Illinois. My mission is to increase the public's awareness for the need to increase their physical fitness and health so that increased longevity is an option available to all. Also, I love providing motivational advice and coaching for anyone who needs a guiding lantern on the shadowy path we call life. I currently live about 30 minutes outside of Chicago in the suburbs and I love it here. One day I aim to run a flourishing coaching business to help people not only achieve their fitness goals, but their life goals as well.

HOMEFIT- THE AT HOME FITNESS REVOLUTION (1)
Fitness, Life,

HomeFit: The At Home Fitness Revolution

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So you want to get FIT, do you!? But what’s that? You don’t have time or money to attend a traditional fitness or health center? NEVER FEAR!! Some of the best bodies in the world are built without fancy machines or facilities (Although they do help, so if you’re being cheap… Go get a gym membership).

There’s a few different ways to attain that awesome body of awesomeness in the comfort of home:

  • Following a strictly designed body weight program
  • Buying a pre-programmed fitness routine (Such as P90x or Insanity)
  • Buying gym equipment for your home

The last option is similar to actually having a gym membership. However having a few pieces of equipment at home will definitely make achieving symmetrical results easier. I recommend having the following:

  • Dumbbells/Kettle Bells (weights will vary based on your strength level)
  • Resistance Bands (varying resistance, again, based on strength level)
  • Chin up bar of some sort
  • Jump Rope
  • Cardio Equipment (Treadmill, bike, elliptical… If opposed to doing cardio outside).

Now, let’s say you get the recommended equipment (cardio is optional)… What do you do with it? Just like normal weight lifting, varying sets, reps and intensity to cause progressive overload is the key. Programs will vary slightly based on goal. As a disclaimer, none of the proposed exercises or programs should be completed if above your ability level or without proper evaluation by a health professional. Always remember to warm up properly and stretch when done!

Program 1: I WANT TO BE STRONGGGGGGGG! (Extra G’s because you know deep down you’re a real G).

Day 1: Upper Body (Repeat 3-10x based on fitness level)

  • 50 x Jumping Jacks
  • 15 x Pushup Pro Tip: Do explosive pushups for a challenge!
  • 10 x Crab Walk (each direction)
  • 15 x Shoulder Press (Requires dumbbells)
  • 15 x Spiderman Pushups (15 ea. side)
  • 1 minute Plank Pro tip: Try High planking or single arm alternation to make it harder!
  • 15 x Chest Fly (requires dumbbells)
  • 1 Minute Jump Rope
  • 15 x Triceps Extension (15 ea. arm)
  • 1 minute Pushup Hold
  • Rest 2 minutes

Day 2: Lower Body (Repeat 3-10x based on ability level)

  • 1 Minute High Knees
  • 1 Minute Mountain Climbers
  • 15 x Goblet Squats
  • 15 x Straight Leg Deadlifts (Requires Dumbbells)
  • 15 x Lunges (each leg) Pro tip: Do switch lunges if you need more of a challenge!
  • 15 x Switch Step Ups (watch your step! 15 ea. leg).
  • 1 minute Jump Rope
  • 100 x Calf Burnouts (Calf jumping)
  • 15 x Laying Leg Raises Pro Tip: Try hanging leg raises for a challenge!
  • Rest 2 minutes

Day 3: Rest! You earned it tiger ;D.

Day 4: Upper Body (Repeat 3-10x based on ability level)

  • 1 Minute Jump Rope
  • 12 x Pullups (Do as many as you can!)
  • 15 x Bent Over Row (requires Dumbbells) Pro tip: Change grips to target differently!
  • 15 x Biceps Curl (Requires dumbbells or bands)
  • 15 x Superman plank pulls (Requires towels or socks)
  • 15 x Resistance band Lat Pulls (each side)
  • 15 x Plank Rotations
  • 1 minute Jump rope
  • Rest 2 minutes

Day 5: Lower Body (Repeat 3-10x based on ability level)

  • 1 Minute Jump Rope
  • 100 x Calf Burnouts
  • 1 Minute Jump Rope
  • 15 x Squat Jumps
  • 1 minute Jump Rope
  • 15 x Side Lunges (each leg)
  • 15 x Sumo Deadlift (requires dumbbells)
  • 1 minute Jump Rope
  • 100 x Flutter Kicks
  • 1 Minute Jump Rope
  • Rest 2 minutes

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Abs (Repeat 3-10x based on ability level)

  • 1 minute Plank
  • 25 x Laying Leg Raises
  • 25 x Crunches
  • 25 x Side Crunches (25 ea. side!)
  • 1 minute bicycle kick
  • 25 x V ups (Jackknives)
  • Rest 2 minutes

This is just an example routine. There are THOUSANDS of exercises out there. Primarily you want:

  • Exercises which target large muscle groups (burns more calories, builds more muscle)
  • Do cardio for 75-150+ minutes each week. 75 for High intensity, 150 for low intensity. The above workout includes cardio.
  • Maintain rep ranges based on goal: 1-6 for Strength (Requires HEAVY weight), 6-12 for strength/endurance/hypertrophy, and 12+ for pure endurance.
  • Exclude exercises which cause you pain!
  • Stretch AFTER exercise only. Stretching before can cause injury.
  • Proper diet and nutrition! Check out the other articles on this site for more information.

Additionally, if the weather is nice, get creative. Park workouts are amazing and fun (Doing pullups on a jungle gym, for instance)! Doing resistance moves also helps, such as hand stands.
Whatever your goal, wherever you can go, always keep fitness in mind. Our bodies, are our temples. Go out, get strong, get fit and let your body show you of what it’s capable.

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Fitness, Life,

F*ck a Thigh Gap: Why Women Should Strength Train

That’s right. F*ck a thigh gap. Squat down for what!? SQUAT DOWN FOR BUTTS! That Instagram model you totally have a secret lady crush on? Yeah, that’s right, she lifts weights. Strength training will not make you bulky, so get it out of your head. What will strength training do? Make you look sexy as hell naked, that’s what. Final point before I go over the benefits of strength training… If it was easy to get big and bulky naturally… there would be a lot less Dad Bods… Just saying.

Why Strength Training?

  1. Strength training is an integral part of a well planned health and fitness program. Without strength training, you’re missing part of the magic formula for long term health and fitness.
  2. Women don’t build muscle as quickly as men, simply because they lack the proper levels of testosterone to do so. Women who are muscular are typically lean, whereas men typically get bulkier.
  3. Being stronger helps across all aspects of life. Stubborn jar lid? Don’t worry bro, I lift. I got it. Go overboard on buying groceries? One trip, through two doors and up five flights of stairs… light weight.
  4. Looking athletic with some muscle definition will make you stand out, even in clothes. Toned calf muscles and those Louis Vuitton red bottom heels? Collar bones and toned arms in that strapless dress? What about a flat stomach or some abs with that bikini? And Damn! Those yoga pants on you should be illegal with that ass… Everyone’s drooling now, even that Instagram model lady crush of yours.
  5. Of course, all the usual benefits of strength training: Increased metabolism, increased feel good hormones, better sleep, decreased stress hormones, higher sex drive, toned muscles… the list goes on.
  6. Finally, number four was about clothes… number six, well, I’ll reiterate. Sexy. As. Hell. Naked. For you or your guy. I mean hey, who doesn’t want to be able to look in the mirror and be like “Damn. I. Am. FINE!”

How to Properly Strength Train:

A disclaimer here; If you have no idea what you’re doing, I highly suggest paying for the help from a professional, either from whatever gym you attend or from myself, to prevent injury and wasting time.

  1. Depending on your fitness level and fitness goals, strength training should be done 2 to 5 times a week, sometimes more! The toner you want to be, the more you need to train.
  2. If you’re training on the lower end (2) per week, you need to focus on full body workouts. If you’re training on the higher end (5+), there are better split patterns to follow, such as a push pull split.
  3. Remember, the weight needs to be heavy ENOUGH in order to illicit a change in your musculature. Doing three sets of 20 with those 5 lb dumbbells probably won’t increase your strength much. Challenge yourself.
  4. Cardio is important for your heart, but if done too frequently, can take away from your muscle gains. If you’re going to do cardio in the same day, try to space it apart by a few hours. Again, this is based on fitness goals. I recommend doing HIIT instead of traditional cardio. (To learn more about HIIT, read the HIIT article on this site!).
  5. Always remember to use proper form. The number one thing I hate seeing, is someone get injured due to improper form. Most machines have pictures of proper form and warning of what NOT to do (I’m looking at you, behind the head lat pulldown people). Even if the machine doesn’t have instructions, we live in the age of smartphones… look up the correct form!
  6. Write down everything you do, and make sure you’re progressing. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result… that’s called insanity. If you don’t know how to make a program, contact a professional like myself.

At the end of the day, strength training will only help you. Whether your goal is just to look more fit and be healthy, or to get ready to be the hottest girl on the beach, strength training will help you get there. So get out there, pick up some weights and ask for help if you need it. The weights don’t bite… (Hopefully). And always remember, SQUAT DOWN FOR BUTTS!!

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Fitness, Life,

HIIT Yourself Today For a Fitter Tomorrow

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Right now, I’m going to coin the phrase, You’ve Got to HIIT to Get Fit!

 I can see all of you jumping up and down yelling, “I want to get fit, I want to get fit!” Perfect! I’m here to help.

 What is HIIT you ask? Great question! Allow me to go in-depth about the intricacies of HIIT.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and if done correctly, it can streamline your physique and pump up your metabolism better than any other type of training.

HIIT Options: 

The term HIIT extends to a wide array of training protocols and styles of exercise that have the ability to provide similar benefits, with some styles having additional benefit depending on the protocol selected. While the list below should encompass a large portion of the available options to perform HIIT, this list is not all inclusive.

1. Sprint Interval Training(SIT)

– SIT can be done anywhere, anytime, by anyone. Performing SIT requires literally no equipment (but can be done with equipment if desired). All you have to do is alternate going fast and slow doing your desired form of cardiovascular exercise. Whether it’s summer and you want to run, bike, walk, swim or roller blade outside, or you prefer to go inside and use the stair stepper or elliptical, that’s up to you. 

-Interval times:

Across literature there is a lot of debate and dissimilar information regarding optimal interval timing. From what I’ve read and utilized, these are the SIT intervals that have worked best for myself and my clients:

Beginners: Utilize a work to rest ratio of 1:3. For example, sprint as hard as you can for 10 seconds, and then walk for 30 seconds.

Intermediate/Advanced: Utilize a work to rest ratio of 1:2. Example, sprint as hard as you can for 10 seconds and then walk or jog for 20.

Bonus Tip: As you become more advanced, you can amp up the ante by increasing the resistance during the sprint portion (via resistance on a cardio machine or wearing a weight vest) or increase the difficulty of your rest period by not allowing your heart rate to recover as much between sets. 

2. Tabata Training 

– Tabata is by far the most difficult style of HIIT around, requiring strong mental focus and hardy willpower to complete a round. The caveat? Tabata only requires 4 minutes of your time. Created by professor Izumi Tabata back in 1996, he showed that by performing 4 days of super high intensity Tabata regimens combined with one day of stead state cardiovascular(AKA low/moderate intensity for a longer duration), one could see cardiovascular changes similar to someone performing steady state for all 5 days.

– Interval times:      To truly perform Tabata training as intended in the study done by Izumi Tabata, one must utilize a work to rest ratio of 2:1 for the entire duration, with the fast portion meant to be as intense as possible. For example: Biking all out for 20 seconds, resting for 10.

Today, Tabata encompasses a wider array of training, with some people including weighted exercises (such as barbell squats, pushups, etc) as part of the intervals. For Example: Doing pushups as fast as possible for 20 seconds, and then resting for 10. After that, either do the same exercise again or switch exercises. For best results, try to do each body part throughout the 4 minute time span.

Reminder: Tabata is extremely difficult and not recommended for brand new exercisers. While effective, make sure your cardiovascular health, cardiovascular strength, and mental fortitude is high enough in order to correctly and safely perform this protocol.

3. Class Based/Strength Based HIIT

-The great thing about the world today is that exercise professionals exist to take the guess work out of training, as well as making sure exercise is modified and safe for each individual. While strength based interval training can be done on ones own using body weight, medicine balls, dumbbells, etc, just like tabata training, it’s best to seek the help of a professional to ensure safety and proper progression.

Interval times/Class offerings:

-Just like SIT, the primary interval times when done on ones own are 1:2 and 1:3 depending on fitness level. The only difference is the addition of weights in the exercise. 

Classes:

XSport Fitness XIT/Queens X Programs:

These classes help individuals achieve their highest level of fitness by continuously challenging their clientele. Classes are lead by the XSport Elite Personal Trainers. These trainers have gone through special training in addition to their training experience and certificates in order to teach XIT classes. One of the greatest assets to these classes is the Polar CardioGX system, which displays every members current heart rate, heart rate percentage based on maximum, name and calories burned for the coach to see and monitor throughout the class so that each client is working correctly based on the current interval timing and exercise choice. Classes routines are changed every 3 weeks so that the body has time to make adaptation, but not to plateau. The other main benefit is that a person would have access to other areas of the gym as well, in addition to their classes. More information can be found at www.xsportfitness.com/xit, or just e-mail me with questions!

 

Personal Training:

If you don’t think a group atmosphere is for you, go find and sign up for a personal trainer and tell them that you want to do HIIT style training! That way you get the one on one help of an exercise professional but don’t have to deal with a group atmosphere.

HIIT Benefits: 

I hear you! HIIT sounds hard. Why should I do HIIT, you ask!? Because HIIT will make you a better, more fit, you. 

Performing HIIT can provide the following benefits: 

-Increased Cardiovascular Health (Endurance and strength)

-Increased Lean Muscle Mass (Especially with Strength/Class based programs)

-Increased Metabolism (Increased Resting Metabolic Rate)

-Increased Mood (Via Release of endorphins)

Increased Athletic Performance Potential (Higher power output, anaerobic strength)

-Improved Insulin Sensitivity

-Decreased Body Fat (HIIT encourages the body to use Fat as energy)

These are but a few of the benefits of HIIT. At the end of the day, if you want to get fit, you’ve got to do HIIT. Get your head on straight, focus, and get to work. Building a strong heart as well as strong muscles through HIIT will benefit you throughout your life. If you have any questions about HIIT, other articles or subjects you’d like to see an article on, shoot me an e-mail at joshua.starner@gmail.com.

GO get out there, get fit, and go HIIT yourself!

 

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Fitness, Life,

Diet to Live, Not to Diet: If It Fits Your Macros; A How to Guide

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Today, is the day you take your diet by the horns. YOU should be in control, not the other way around. Too often the word diet is negatively associated with a predetermined way of eating in order to lose weight. While losing weight is great if weight loss is necessary, too often predetermined diet plans restrict a person from eating things that they enjoy and therefore they develop an unhealthy relationship with food by believing that they cannot have something that they enjoy, causing stress. Controlling your diet, should be stress free. Enter Flexible Dieting, also known as If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM).

IIFYM consists of a person having macronutrient (Macros) goals set for them based on their goal and then eating in order to meet those goals. Macronutrients consist of three things: Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate. By altering the diversity of these three macros, you can alter your body composition. Dieting should be easy, and I’m here to show you how.

To begin, to stave off any naysayers to IIFYM, I say this: All diets, no matter what predetermined way of eating they outline, consist of macros. If a person is losing, maintaining or gaining weight, that means the program they chose has a macro spread conducive to whatever is happening with their body composition. IIFYM is not a free pass to eat complete garbage. While it’s true, a person can consume things that wouldn’t be seen on a ‘clean’ diet and still achieve their body composition goals, eating a diet low in nutrient density can cause other issues altogether. I recommend eating foods that are typically seen as healthy as the majority of a diet, somewhere along the lines of 90 percent healthy food and 10 percent pleasure food split is best to maintain sanity. If you want to eat less healthy but still hit your macros, great. If you want to eat 100 percent clean, great. Both work, one is better for health than the other, but, they both work. End rant.

Alright, now, let’s truly begin.

So you’ve decided you want to take your diet by the horns and actually LIVE your life without constantly thinking about your diet in an unhealthy, stressful way. Awesome!

Step 1: Tracking Your Macros

First, download My Fitness Pal (MFP) on your phone or go to http://www.myfitnesspal.com and create a free account. Input all of your information and get started! It’s going to give you a calorie and macro goal based on the options you select, but we’re going to ignore that for now and set our own. This app/website will be used to track EVERYTHING you eat and drink, including alcohol. If you don’t put something in, or lie about the amount, you’re only hurting yourself, so, be honest! As a side note, make sure you don’t log your exercise into the app/website and don’t link it to any fitness instruments (Polar watches, fit bits, etc) that you might have. When you enter exercise manually or through a fitness tracker, it gives you extra calories/macronutrients, which most of the time we don’t want.

Step 2: Determining your Macros

Once you’ve created your MFP account, it’s time to figure out our macros. Go to http://iifym.com/iifym-calculator/ and go through the options. The site has a lot of ads and it’s really annoying, but it’s the best tool out there to accurately generate macros without having to do all the computation by hand.

Fill out the form according to gender, age, weight and the number of times a week that you exercise. It gives the option to choose between an athlete formula and an overweight formula; Always select athlete formula, even if you’re not an athlete. Over the years of training clients I have found that this formula always gives a better result. Once you’ve done that, click calculate your TDEE to generate your TDEE and BMR. BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, or the amount of calories your body burns naturally without doing anything. TDEE stands for Total Daily Energy Expenditure, or the amount of calories you expend each day based on your BMR and activity level.

Once you’ve generated those numbers, step two asks you to select your goal. What do you want to do, Gain, Maintain or Lose weight? Select one and get started! The lose weight and gain weight options are more tricky as each of them has 3 options to choose from. Typically the top option works best for gaining in order to limit the amount of body fat gained during a bulk and the middle option works best for the losing weight option in order to maintain a healthy muscle mass during a cut.

After choosing the appropriate plan, you come to adjustable numbers for protein and fat. Here’s where most people wouldn’t know where to go because of conflicting information. To make this simple:

– If you’re LOSING weight, you need HIGHER protein than someone who is maintaining or gaining weight. So select a number between 1.0 and 1.4 instead of the default .8. The lower your body weight, the higher that number should be (so someone with low body fat who is trying to get to a lower body fat percentage would need to be closer to 1.4, and someone who is overweight can be closer to 1.0). I typically keep clients at a 1.2 until they reach their body composition goals.

– If you’re GAINING or MAINTAINING weight, your protein doesn’t need to be as high, especially for women. So select a number between .6 and 1.0. If you’re going to be doing heavy endurance workouts, keep the number closer to 1.0 so that you maintain muscle mass.

Now that you have your numbers set, click calculate and the calculator will spit out your macro goals. In this view it will tell you how many calories, grams of protein, grams of fat and grams of carbohydrate to consume in order to reach whatever goal you set. You can even break down these goals by the number of meals you want to eat!

– A side note: If you have ANY questions about how to go through this calculator and need help or someone to do it for you, feel free to e-mail me and I can calculate them for you!

Step 3: Editing your MFP

After getting these numbers, it’s time to put them into your MFP. On the app, go to ‘More’ at the bottom of the home page, ‘Goals’, ‘Calories & Macronutrient Goals’ and then edit the calories and percentages until the macronutrients resemble the numbers from the calculator (they will almost never be exact, but as long as they’re close, you’ll be OK). Every 5 lbs or so down or up, repeat steps 2 and 3 to make sure your Macros stay in tune with your body composition.

Step 4: Understanding MFP Macro Goals

Now that you have goals in your MFP, it’s time to actually hit them. Under the nutrition tab on MFP, you will see two views. One is a pie chart, we’re going to ignore this one, and a list view with progress bars (As of the most recent update this is true, it may change in the future). These progress bars will fill up as you reach your goals throughout the day by entering food. The main 3 bars to pay attention to are: Protein, Fat and Carbs. You’ll see at the top 3 columns: total, Goal and Left. At the end of the day, Your total and goal columns should be nearly identical and your left column should say 0 or slightly under 0 (if you’re losing) or slightly over (if you’re bulking). As you enter food throughout the day you will see the bars fill, and that will allow you to know how much of each nutrient you have left to eat for the day. Often times people struggle to initially meet protein goals and typically go far over carbohydrate goals. As you get better at controlling these two categories, you’ll begin to notice changes in the way that you eat and ultimately your body composition.

Step 5: Tips and Tricks

I was going to call this section rules, but hey, rules aren’t fun and there is really only one rule: stay close to your macro goals to ensure success. Protein and Carbs are less calorie dense, so +/- 10 is acceptable whereas fat is more calorie dense, so staying +/- 5 is usually better. Below are some tips and tricks to help you succeed!

–  Every 5lbs up or down, recalculate your macros to keep them consistent with the changes in your body composition. Also recalculate if your goal changes (Going from losing to maintaining or maintaining to gaining, for instance).

– Eating healthier, over time, will serve you better than eating less healthy. Yes, you can have that piece of chocolate cake if it is within your macro goals to do so. Should you every so often? Yeah, that’s fine. Should you every day? No. That’s not good for your overall health. You need to eat things with vitamins and minerals to keep yourself healthy and strong!

– Tracking all of your food the night before or in the morning will always be less time consuming than tracking it each and every meal. If you want to do it every meal, that’s great. Tracking can be tedious, so find a pattern that works best for you and your schedule. A note here though, if you decide to track what you ate throughout the day, at the end of the day, you won’t necessarily know that you hit your goals. Doing it the night before or morning of, keeps you accountable for the rest of the day because you know what you’re able to eat.

– Getting a food scale and/or meal prepping will make this entire process easier.

At the end of the day, choose a plan that works best for you. The way that we eat impacts our health and fitness in a HUGE way; make sure you’re impacting both in a positive manner. As I said earlier, if you have any questions, comments, or requests for future articles, comment below or e-mail me at joshua.starner@gmail.com. Until next time, get fit, get healthy, and get above the ultimate competition; Yourself.

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Fitness, Life,

Embarking on Your Fitness Journey

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You! Hey you! So I hear you’ve decided you want to be ‘fit’. Welcome, my friend, to the beginning of your fitness journey. My name’s Josh, and I will be your guide, here to aide you in this epic endeavor we call fitness. But listen carefully young fitness warrior! The path to fitness lays strewn with obstacles, challenges and triumphs alike; but with guidance, I will help you circumnavigate your path with ease so that you may conquer the mighty mountain of fitness and stand tall atop the peak!

Now that we’re excited, let’s take a step back. In fact, let’s take a few steps back, and outline a step by step plan!

Step 1: Setting Goals

Fitness begins with a well laid plan; we have to know where we’re going and why. The need for a plan leads us to setting goals. Without goals, our success is neither measurable nor meaningful. We’re going to create what are called SMART goals:

– S: Specific. Select a goal related to what you want to achieve and specific to yourself.
– M: Measurable. Select a goal which you can CLEARLY measure your success.
– A: Attainable. Select a goal which you are actually able to achieve. A caveat here; you are able to achieve more than you believe a lot of the time, just make sure your mindset is set for success.
– R: Realistic/Result-Oriented: Select a goal which is realistic and/or outlines an end result.
– T: Time-Oriented: Put a time limit on your goal. Without a time limit, there is no sense of urgency created to actually finish your goal.

Example of a SMART goal: I want to increase my weight from 140 lbs to 150 lbs by adding lean muscle mass and maintaining a low body fat percentage by this time next year.

This goal hits all five aspects of a SMART Goal. By adding personal weight and goal, the goal is specific. By using numerical values, the goal is made measurable. By choosing a goal which isn’t over ambitious within the designated time frame, it is both attainable, result oriented and realistic. By selecting the period of a year, the goal is time oriented.

Step 2: Developing a Program

Now that we have goals set, let’s move onto the program. Our number one purpose here is to create a program that maintains relevance to the goals set forth and to remain injury free. For beginners, doing some research and finding a program that suits your needs works best. For the more advanced… Programs begin to become more difficult. Throughout the coming articles, I’ll do my best to provide proper information on how to achieve your goals through programming. More often than not, it’s best to reference and even hire a professional to develop a program for you; again, to make sure the program remains relevant and you remain injury free.

Step 3: Monitoring Diet

Diet. A word shrouded in taboo. No one wants to be ‘on a diet’. The word itself brings fear because people believe they will be restricted from eating the things they enjoy, forever. To keep this section short for now, that should never fully happen. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and diet truly means nothing more than the food that you eat. To take a step in the right direction, download MyFitnessPal on your phone or go to www.myfitnesspal.com and create a free account online, then start tracking your food; it’s that simple.

Step 4: Read this blog.

Over the course of time, I will be posting fitness articles to help you better understand health and fitness. Every week I will update and post a new article to keep you up to date with how to best achieve your results. If you have a specific question or would like an article posted about a topic in depth, let me know!

Step 5: Let the journey begin.

Get in the gym, get outside, get in a class, get a trainer, GET SOMEWHERE! All the planning, all the research and all the wishing in the world won’t get you anywhere. Put on those running shoes and get to work! This is where most people fail. Instead of following the pack, take initiative. Your fitness, your health, your life, is all in YOUR hands! I’ll see you at the top or from the top, the decision is yours, fitness warrior. See you at the end.

Stay tuned for weekly articles! Any questions, concerns, or article requests, please e-mail: Joshua.starner@gmail.com (or leave a comment on this post).