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Don’t Believe The Muffin Top Myth

If there’s one thing that really irks me, it’s seeing people led astray by the Muffin Top Myth.

These well-meaning folks devote time and effort under a faulty premise that gets them zero results.

And I get fired up!

I know that when you put your valuable time and energy into a fitness program, you deserve to see nothing less than amazing results. That’s my commitment to all of my clients, and is something that I am truly passionate about.

You can see why I’d get so upset when I see people working hard without getting results.

So what’s this Muffin Top Myth?

The belief that doing a magical ab exercise will shrink and flatten your waist, and will rid you of a muffin top.

Sorry, there’s no such magical ab exercise.

In fact, all of the magical ab exercises in the world won’t make a dent in your muffin top, as long as you continue with your current, unhealthy lifestyle.

The true belly-shrinking magic is found in improving your diet and exercise routine to promote fat loss from your entire body, including—but not limited to—your midsection.

Here’s how to really get rid of that muffin top:

Shrink Your Belly Tip #1: Stop Eating Processed Foods

Everyone loves a good shortcut, right? Depends on where that shortcut takes you.

From now on I want you to think of processed foods as a shortcut to belly fat.

I wouldn’t be surprised if future studies prove that the over-processing, chemical additives and high fructose corn syrup that are pumped into processed foods specifically adds fat around your belly.

If you want to shrink your belly then stay away from sugars, sodas, chemically altered fats, processed, packaged, fried and preserved foods.

Shrink Your Belly Tip #2: Eat Fresh, Whole Foods

Once you’ve cut the processed foods out of your diet, fill in the void with lots of fresh foods like:

  • Green vegetables
  • Whole, organic, seasonal fruits
  • Lean, hormone-free, high quality meats
  • Colorful organic veggies
  • Nuts and seeds

I know this list of foods may seem boring at first, but if you stick with it long enough, you’ll grow to love the tantalizing flavors of real food.

When your diet is filled with the foods listed above, your body will quickly shed pounds and lean out.

Shrink Your Belly Tip #3: Do Challenging Exercise 

The absolute best way to lose your muffin top forever is with a consistent, progressive exercise program.

  • Consistent: You should be exercising 3-5 times each week.
  • Progressive: For truly awesome results, keep your body guessing with new exercises and increasing intensity.


Here’s to your success,



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3 Fitness Motivation Hacks That Wont Fail

You have probably heard from every fitness expert or self help guru on earth about how to increase motivation for things like exercise.  A lot of their principles of organizing oneself have good practical application and value but as always the hardest part is actually in the doing of what is suggested.  So to make it easy I am going to give you three simple ways to kick start your fitness motivation:

  1. Input your exercise into your mobile device calendar

One of the reasons I recommend putting your gym workout in your mobile calendar because it gives you reminders and alerts that you can set to pop up right on your device.  Make sure you schedule your alert an hour ahead of time to give yourself time to mentally prepare for your workout


2. Get your gym bag ready the night before and put on your passenger seat in your car

The next step to keeping yourself honest with your fitness program is to try and eliminate the chance that you will forget your gym stuff at home and then be “forced” to have to make the hard choice as to whether or not you’re going to skip the gym that day.


3. Bring a friend

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to have a support system.  Someone who can call you or you can call that is willing to go to the gym with you.  Here’s the caveat though, you should choose a friend who is already in the rythym of going to the gym on their own.  Even if you don’t workout with them, the fact that you can arrive together will be motivation enough for you not to waste your time and you will get a workout in while you’re there.


These three tips may seem simplistic, but that’s because they are.  The key to any advice that’s given, is to make the action steps related to the advice clear and understandable.  I hope this helps you in your quest for motivation.


Here’s to your success,


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Don’t do this if you want to succeed with your fitness program

Often when people think about starting a fitness program they only focus on the physical aspects of the program leaving the mental part of achieving health and fitness goals out in the cold.  This prompted me to write this blog post about how my most successful clients actually hit their goals and accomplish personal best.

Breaking bad habits in humans is associated with the same part of the brain that responds to torture, so no doubt it is painful when you have to break a habit that you’ve had for many years.  Without having mental exercises and a plan to change your mindset you could find yourself with much to be desired in the motivation department.  So all of this prompts the question, how can I change my negative mindset so I can succeed in my fitness program?  The answer is both simple and hard….easy to say, but hard to do.  It has to do with making your mentality match your future goals.  That means you have to use your mental power to overcome feelings of failure and fatigue.  Of course the question is how, well here are five ways you can increase your mental power:

5 Ways to Increase your mental power

  1. Get a good nights sleep – Go to bed the same time every night (if you can), make sure you are getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night
  2. Be proud of yourself – It takes strength just to recognize that you have to make a change in your life and of course it takes even more strength to take the first step to accomplishing your goals.  Never allow someone to dampen your enthusiasm for your goal or make you feel bad about the progress you’ve made
  3. Take imperfect action – Don’t wait for the absolute right opportunity to change things in your life.  Don’t wait until you go grocery shopping or until next Monday or until the Doctor tells you, you have to make a change.  Start today and take baby steps towards your goals.
  4. Focus on the positive – There will be many things that test the power of your positivity perhaps negativity from family or friends or even self doubt, but remember why you decided to change your life and set your goal.  It’s because you wanted to become a better version of yourself.  Be positive about where you will be a year from now and do something everyday to move forward towards your goals.
  5. Shape your environment – In order to build a building, contractors have to first scout out the best site, prepare the area and lay the foundation.  By shaping your environment it will help you stay in your new positive mindset and encourage you to take actions that directly affect your end goal.  Here are some of the things that you should do to shape your environment: clean your office space, use to do list and notes, ruthlessly manage your time, prepare, prepare, prepare.

Here’s to your success,


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How To Choose A Personal Trainer

I get this question a lot.  How you should choose your Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach.  On the surface it seems like the choice should come down to basic convenience and a lot of prospective clients do choose on that, however they could be doing themselves a disservice in choosing their Fitness Coach that way and here’s why:



Many Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches lack the experience in dealing with a wide range of special populations like dealing with individuals with injuries or post surgery or even extremely deconditioned.  Often if you are working with a Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach with less than 5 years of experience then you will really want to ask detailed questions about which type of clients the Trainer or Coach has trained and even possibly ask to contact a client to see what  their experience was like working with the individual, or if you don’t have the stomach for that, ask for a testimonial from a previous client that verifies their abilities.


Also unfortunately not all Personal Trainer certifications are equally as acceptable as a general rule in the industry also.  You want to look for a Personal Trainer who has a certification from an organization recognized by the N.C.C.A.  (Institute for Credentialing Excellence).


How long have you been in your job? Would you consider yourself a master salesperson or graphic designer or nurse with less than 10 years experience.  Of course not, many Personal Trainers consider themselves to be “Master Trainers” after only 8-9 years of actual experience.  As a general rule of mastery, it takes 40,000 hours to master anything.  Your Master Trainers have typically been in the industry for 15 years and up.  They can work with a variety of clients and have probably already done so.  Credentialing only doesn’t make a person a Master Trainer, time, experience and actual hours mastering your craft does.



Let’s not dispel one of the biggest factors in choosing your Fitness Coach.  P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L-I-T-Y, say it with me now…personality.  You have got to like the person who you will be most likely seeing multiple times per week for the foreseeable future.  Eventually you will get to know your new Fitness Coach or Personal Trainer as closely as you know a good friend.  You need to like your Trainer/Coach and you should click with them.  I’m not saying you should be best friends, but being with your Trainer/Coach should be one of the best parts of your day.  You also want to make sure that as you embark on one of life’s hardest journey’s (changing bad habits), you choose a partner who will support you and distract you from the journey and help you face difficulties with competence and class.


So here you have it, don’t just jump right in UNTIL, you’ve applied this blog.  Or you can call us at Next Level Fitness & Wellness 😉 we’ll take great care of you.  Here’s to your success.



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Get the most from your fitness program in 2017

Within the next 2.5 half weeks, millions of people around the U.S. will start to make their New Year’s resolutions.  They will range from trying to quit smoking to improving bad habits to losing weight.  The most predominant of the New Year’s resolutions people make is trying to lose weight.  The harsh reality though, is that for the vast majority of people who set these resolutions will fail within the first 8 weeks into their “new lifestyle”.   How though, can you be a 1 percenter when it comes to accomplishing your goals?  I’ll give you 3 tips that you can use to get the most from your fitness program through 2017 and be successful.


Hire a Fitness Coach

Why go at it alone? Don’t continue to do the same things that you’ve done in the past that didn’t help you achieve your goals.  You don’t have to hire a Fitness Coach long term, use a Fitness Coach for a few months, that will help you gain good habits and it will also help you spring board your results.  Also a Fitness Coach will help provide specific instruction for you to be successful since they will get to know your strengths and weaknesses.


Educate Yourself

Try to find some information online pertaining to your goals, but be careful, all advice is not created equal and you don’t necessarily know the credentials of the person who is giving the advice.  Try trusted sources of information like,, and of course our blog here.


Create Good Habits

I know what you’re going to say, if I could create good habits then I wouldn’t need to seek the advice on this blog.  The habits that we want to encourage you to develop have more to do with mindset and environment than fitness programming.  If you want to truly have a successful year where you accomplish everything you’ve set for yourself to accomplish then you have to adjust how you think about your life and habits in general.  You have to be willing to turn bad days into good days, you have to be willing to forgive yourself if you fail and you will fail.  You have to be willing to look to the end goal and the future with positivity knowing that if you stick to your plan you will accomplish your goals.  Accomplishing a big goals is really about doing all of the little things in between starting and finishing.  Waking up every day 15-30 mins earlier to get a head start on your exercise or your day.  You have to also shape your environment into what you need it to be to promote your goals.  This may include changing your social circle to include those who will help you promote good habits and who are encouraging.  Turn your home and desk into a place where you can thrive by creating order and organizing yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the clutter and mess.  These good habits will hands down have the biggest affect on you accomplishing your goals.


Your mom was right when she said you can do or be anything you want to as long as you put your mind to it, but what I will add to that is, put your mind to and plan to.  Stick to your plan, take action and advance yourself forward everyday.  Overall be proud that you took the step to getting better and becoming a better version of yourself.


Here’s to your success in the new year,




Check out my other blog post where I talk about personal success and positive mindsets


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How to avoid gaining the holiday buldge and no pain no gain

Going into the holiday season there are two undeniable facts….calorie consumption will reach a year long high in just a few short weeks and physical activity can reach their lowest ebb.  Take a look at this  week’s Trainer Talk, Micah address this issue and is the motto “no pain, no gain” actually beneficial.




Stay healthy and find your Next Level,




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