All posts by A|M Fitness


Let’s Build A House Together

Wait, what?


By Mike Harland

I like analogies. I like comparing things and hope that it can help someone to see things a different way. When it comes to fitness, I find it’s very important to do this. So, today let’s build our house of goals.

What do I mean by this? Well, I’m sure many of you have stated a goal to yourself, right?
“I’ll be happy when I lose 20 pounds”

But have you stated the goals that get you to those goals?

So, let’s begin… Imagine that you’ve made the decision to build your own home. Better yet, your dream home. The place that you’ve worked your ass off for and imagined for years. The beautiful kitchen, HUGE bathrooms and the walk-in closets. Magic won’t get this done, right? Of course not. There’s a lot of work to do in order to get it built. You don’t just say I want to build a house and BOOM, it magically appears!

First, you’ve got to find the right spot for it. Where do you want to live? Do you want neighbors? How much land do you want? What kind of house do you want? Will it actually fit in in the neighborhood you want?

Once you find your lot, then what? You’ve got to have plans drawn. You sit down and speak with people and literally lay out exactly what you want. Why? Because you need to know exactly what it will take to build your dream home.

What’s next? Well, once you’ve picked your lot, drawn your plans, and are ready to go… you’ve got to dig. We can’t lay a foundation until we really get deep and create this new space for our foundation. That’s right, we need to make space for the strongest part of our dream home. We open the world right up and create a hole in which we will build everything.

Then, the foundation. But even that doesn’t just get poured. We set molds and all of these individual boards get put together to create the strongest part of our house. Once that’s done, we pour the concrete and let that set.

What else? Framing, electric, plumbing, interior design, painting, and finish work.

It takes a lot to get from the beginning to the end. Fitness is exactly the same. It’s easy to state a goal. But, what we sometimes forget, is all of the micro-goals that come together to make our goals happen.

Here’s what I’d like from you – write down your goals, but then, write down what you think it takes for you to actually accomplish those goals.

How many times per week should you workout?
What do your meal plans look like?
What is a successful level of intensity to train with?
How much sleep will you get?
What does your stress look like and can it be managed better?
Are you surrounding yourself with people that are helping you or hurting you and can you change those circumstances?

Plan this out and then follow your plan. This will ensure you are successful. Random doesn’t work. Half-ass doesn’t work. Do you want your dream home? Then build it!


Before and After | Raabi Blackwell

It’s very hard for me to put into words the gratitude that I feel from the changes that I’ve undergone, from becoming a member of AM Fitness.


By Raabi Blackwell

I began at AM Fitness because my former coach reached out to me, and recommended that I come to AM Fitness and pick up where we left off working towards my fitness goals in December 2011 when I weighed 240.1lbs. He told me to trust him, the coaches, and the process at AM Fitness. So I did, and It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. When I started at AM Fitness in March 2017, I weighed 233.4lbs, and as of today, December 26, 2017, I weigh 193.8lbs! I started at a pants size 18W and now I proudly wear a size 10. I used to wear a 1XL/20w dress, and now I’m a size 12/Large! But how did I change so drastically? It is because of the challenging workouts which continue to change to ensure that your body will continue to change. There is also the knowledge and support of the coaches. For example Between April 25, 2017, and December 19, 2017, I emailed the coaches 82 times with questions and insecurities. No email went without a prompt response of reassurance. The coaches build you up and show you that you are much stronger than you think you are. The fellow members became my gym family because we are all working towards the same goals. Even though we are all at different fitness levels and ages, we encourage and support one another. AM Fitness has given me a body better than I dreamed of, strength I didn’t know I had, and comfort and confidence in my own skin. If you truly want to change yourself, AM Fitness is the only place that can make your fitness goals a reality.

This is me at my heaviest 240.1
Lowest weight 193.8



No More New Year, New You

We all know that the New Years holiday brings resolutions revolving around a “new me”.


By Mike Harland

Well, not at A|M Fitness. Don’t get me wrong, we are definitely encouraging people to work on themselves, but what our focus is on is our “best me”. That’s the reason why our annual transformation program is titled “Best Me Yet”.

What we try to do with this is simple. What we don’t do is a little more difficult to understand, though. You see, most programs are trying to entice their prospects with dreams of quick fixes and magic products. They feed off of the latest trend or fad and show pictures of the amazing things they accomplish. The funny part is, though, that most of the time the pictures being shown aren’t even of their own clients. It’s of other peoples clients that took the same product and accomplished something. Now, if this isn’t false advertising, I don’t know what would be.

We don’t promise that. We don’t rely on the latest fad or trend or product. We do what we know is right for our client and for their long-term success. We let it be known that it is going to take hard work, dedication, good weeks and bad weeks, stress, difficulty, and for you to commit to a lifestyle change.

No product can beat out lifestyle. No pill can outlive hard work. Stop being sold on these quick fix things and accept that if you want to look and feel a certain way, you have to live a certain way.

So how does our program differ?

1. It starts with the workouts. We offer up to 6 training sessions a week for our people. With every session, our clients are working with our Transformation Coaches. We’re here to make sure you are moving properly and to provide motivation and encouragement.

2. We use detailed meal plans with different phases for weight loss. We want our clients to understand what it will take a while eating real food for them to accomplish their goals. We also want to provide them with the information they need to stay successful far after they have accomplished their goals.
You see, most of the programs promote quick fixes and provide nothing for long-term, sustainable success. So what happens once you lose your 10 pounds? Are you just expected to keep purchasing their product forever? Are you to believe that a shake or pill is really supposed to be taken for the rest of your life? Do you actually believe that yourself?

3. Our coaches are designated “teams”. We break our large group up into smaller groups and provide different motivational, educational material to further help our clients. We are also your 24/7 resource for ANY questions you might have regarding any part of the program.

4. We provide private emails and groups for our clients to interact with people on the exact same journey. No judgments, just a support system of like-minded people offering help, advice, and support.
Our goal is not for you to create a new you. Nope. It’s for you to create your best you. You see, we believe that you’re already pretty great, we just need to make a few changes for us to become our #bestmeyet

Follow the link to see everything our program has to offer.



4 Years Later, a Reminder

I know it doesn’t seem it…especially with all the corrections I need…but it has been 4 years! Came across a letter that I wrote to you about a year in and it all still applies.


By Hanna


I have been thinking about this for awhile. When burpees showed back up this session, I was reminded of how badly I sucked at them when I first started. And, even though my transformation isn’t as dramatic or obvious as others, I was reminded of how far I’ve come.
My story is different than most and the same as many. Ultimately, we are all on a journey and our paths are entwined. Our struggles and victories shared.

I lost my husband unexpectedly and suddenly about 1 1/2 years ago. I thought that I was coping okay. Clearly, my head was cloudy. I wasn’t coping in healthy ways at all. My very good friend and my daughter were already working out at A/M. They both were strongly encouraging me to join. I hedged for a couple of months when it just hit me that I had to get it together for me and for my kids who had just lost their dad.

The reason I say my story is different is that I didn’t come to a/m to lose weight. The reason I say that my story is the same is that I did come to A/M to change my body, my mind, and my spirit. I don’t have any transformation pictures…other than those in my head. Though, in the year that I have been at A/M, I have gained a solid ten pounds. I feel stronger and am inspired to keep getting stronger, physically, mentally and spiritually.

The encouragement that I get on a daily basis at A/M is enough to keep me coming back for the beatings.

I thank my coaches for being there every day with the right attitude and ability to inspire me to want to be better. I thank Andrea and Abby for getting me there. And, I thank the people who I work out with daily because they push me to work harder and I have never felt intimidated or judged at A/M.

My journey is far from over and I know that I am not always on the right path, but I at least feel like I know where the path is.



Jay’s Official List of Grievances

Since joining AM Fitness in February I’ve read all of the happy-happy, joy-joy posts about how great AM Fitness is.


By Jay Friedman


People keep writing to you telling stories about how they lost weight, they feel better, they have more energy, their lives have been turned around, Jill is so great, you care so much, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada. Well, I am sick and tired of reading all that crap! Worst of all, my own wife just sent you her list of the top 10 things she loves about AM fitness.
I’m here to set the record straight, and finally present my official list of grievances as a result of working out at AM Fitness. Here is MY list of things I HATE about AM Fitness:

My clothes don’t fit! I have drawers and drawers of clothes that must be replaced because of all the weight I lost. Do you have any idea how much it costs to replace clothes when you drop 3 full sizes in a relatively short period of time and you continue to drop?
I had very expensive, custom fitted knee braces that are now worthless! After years of exercising incorrectly at various sports, I severely injured my knees and had to wear braces when I walked into AM Fitness for the first time. Since you taught me the correct way to move and build the supporting muscle around the knee, I no longer need the braces. In fact, I haven’t worn them in months. Do you have any idea how expensive they were and how useless they now are? Thanks, thanks a lot.

Speaking of making my knees better, exactly what do you expect me to do with all of the prescription grade, anti-inflammatory medication I had to take on daily basis for knee pain? Between dropping weight and strengthening my muscles, this medication has become as obsolete and worthless as my knee braces.

Less than two years ago my cholesterol was above 200. Now it’s down to 163. What am I supposed to do with my stockpile of Zocor? Are you going to reimburse me for that? I didn’t think so.

I have been publicly embarrassed and risked jail time because of AM Fitness. I coach U12 girls soccer. Despite having already replaced much of my wardrobe with smaller sizes as mentioned above, I nearly found myself in a world of trouble during this weekend’s soccer game. When I had to sprint across the soccer field to help an injured player, I felt my pants sliding down! If I didn’t grab them quickly, they would have been around my knees or worse. Do you know what the authorities do to 50-year-old men whose pants fall down in front of a bunch of 12-year-old girls and their parents?

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, the soccer players all hate me now. I used to just stand on the sidelines barking orders, but now that I can run and keep up with them for the entire practice, they can’t get away with the things they used to. In fact, since I implemented the “time to run a lap with the old guy, and if you don’t beat the old guy, you have to do another lap” drill, they are really ticked off.
You never give me a break! If I hurt myself over the weekend or by doing something stupid, when I return to AM Fitness you always find different ways to modify the exercises to avoid my injury. This forces me to keep working, moving and sweating along with the rest of the class so that I don’t miss a single minute. What I am really hoping for is a little commiseration, and for you to say “that’s too bad, why don’t you just do 5 toe-touches, go get an ice cream sundae and take a nap.”

AM Fitness has made my teenage daughter continually nauseous! Because my wife and I exercise at AM fitness together, the changes in both our bodies, boost in energy and improved outlook have caused us to more frequently and spontaneously, kiss and hug like newlyweds, despite recently celebrating our 26th anniversary. I can’t begin to describe how this nauseates our teenage daughter. The kid’s eyes are going to roll a full 360 degrees one of these days. Have you got a cure for that, Mr. Fitness???

Lastly, the music stinks. No really, there is no sarcasm intended on this one, your music seriously sucks. It’s not even music. There are no instruments or singers. Just the incongruent, inarticulate, piecemeal ramblings of those with a very poor comprehension of the English language, a propensity for profanity and severely repressed anger/rage issues screaming into a microphone. Seriously, put on some real music. If you do, I will officially retract my list of grievances!

There, I feel much better now.


Shoulder Stabilization Exercises

If you think you have a winging scapula you’re probably wrong.


By Greg Hammons

A true wing is due to a neurologic injury. More than likely what’s going on is you have an underachieving Serratus Anterior, causing your shoulder blade to get a little funky when you press. Here we will go over a few exercises to help activate the Serratus Anterior to help stabilize the shoulder blade in horizontal and overhead pressing exercises.

Shoulder Stabilization Exercises


Wrist Mobility

Ever drop out of a plank or stop doing push ups, not because your core or your upper body was tired but because your wrists just weren’t having it?


By Greg Hammons

Sometimes to make sure we can keep getting stronger we have to make sure our joints have the ROM to keep up with us and what we want to do. Here we go over several pre and post workout exercises to help improve your wrist mobility to keep you in the game and working your hardest!

Wrist Mobility


Hamstring Stretch

Our warmups sometimes include a hamstring stretch, one that is very much needed by the majority of us.


By LeighAnn Clark

It’s a fantastic stretch, but are we doing it right?

When we use this stretch, we need to use something called Reciprocal Inhibition. This essentially means that if one muscle is active, the opposite muscle is relaxed. When we want to stretch out the hamstring, we need to activate the quad by thinking about pulling the kneecap toward our hip. This will activate the quad, effectively relaxing the opposite muscle, the hamstring, and allowing it to stretch. If the hamstring is active when we go to stretch it, we won’t get anything out of it. It’s like making a muscle with your bicep and then someone trying to pull your hand down while you’re holding it; can’t be done because you cannot lengthen an active muscle.

As long as we are keeping our quad tight, we’ll feel the wonderful effects of the stretch very quickly.

Hamstring Stretch


Jungle Gym Squats

If you are new to working out or it’s been awhile since you have used a squat pattern, the Jungle Gym system can be a great way to understand the way a squat works.


By LeighAnn Clark

The JG’s will allow you to perform these patterns with a lot more ease and will also allow you to understand what the movement should look and feel like. Whether the exercise is a traditional squat, a split squat, or a lunge, the JG’s will allow you to execute the movement with a lot more confidence as you learn what muscles to use and how correct form comes into play. Make sure to start with the handles set up to hip level so they can be utilized with the tension necessary!

JG Squat Patterns


You Created That Habit, Now Create A New One

One of the biggest things to remember, especially in regards to fitness, health, and lifestyle, is that we are creatures of habit.


By Mike Harland

We will continue to do things we’ve done repeatedly.

Something else to remember is that if we aren’t happy with where we are, again in regards to fitness, health, and lifestyle, it is a direct effect of the things we are currently doing repeatedly.

So what does that tell us? That if we want to make new, positive changes, we need to fill our lives with new habits and do these things repeatedly. Here are a few of the big ones we focus on:

~ Exercise habits

~ Eating habits

~ Sleeping Patterns

For most new clients we know that changing these things will guarantee success. We also know that this is a very difficult thing to do. Here’s an example:

During a trial, we help with nutrition and during a challenge/program, we give out meal plans. Here are the comments we receive:

“I don’t eat like that”

“I like to eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks”

“I don’t eat that many carbs”

and so on…

This is my rebuttal – “are you happy with where you are currently?”

To which the reply is almost always a strong NO.

So what we need to do now is change a client’s mindset and eating habits. This goes for exercise and sleep as well. With most of what I’ve read, the consensus seems to be that 21 days gets us going in the right direction for behavior changes. For our new clients, this is great news, since our trials are 35 days long.

During this time we offer help with these changes, habits, and lifestyles. We offer information, advice, and help with everything we can, so that a new client can create the positive changes that lead them to healthier habits, ultimately making them the most successful they have ever been.

Here’s a question for you – would you like to have all of the tools given to you, a community of like-minded people all on the same mission, educated professionals to help you every day, and a program that has a proven record of success? If so, click the link below and we will get back to you immediately with how we can help!