Category Archives: Blog

lighter-4-steps-blog

4 Steps To Results

4 Steps To Results

By Michael Harland

Here’s the thing… I don’t need my clients to do the toughest exercises, change up their workouts every single day, spend 3 hours in the gym every workout, or anything crazy to achieve great results.

Nope.

I need them to do the same things consistently, with a solid effort level, and a commitment to their goals above anything else.

It really is this simple:

Show up,

Work hard,

Recover well,

Do it again.

Those things apply to all aspects of the fitness journey (nutrition, sleep, stress, etc…), not just the actual workout. How do you “show up” in regards to sleep? That’s simple, you establish a routine that allows you to get to bed on time every night. You set the time, you set the routine (last meal, brush teeth, put down technology, etc…), and you stick to that.

The best results come from consistency. Not from pills, not from shakes, not from anything other than showing up for yourself day after day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

44-pounds-and-lifting-heavy-blog

44 Pounds and Lifting Heavy Shhh!

44 Pounds and Lifting Heavy Shhh!

By Michael Harland

Meet Stacy, she’s a fairly new member and has trusted us on her health and fitness journey. Let’s start with what she said in a recent email to Mike during the Summer Slimdown:

“The day of my orientation I had come from my doctor’s office, and my weight was 281. 44 pounds down total!

And I deadlifted the heaviest kettlebell yesterday. I was pretty amazed I could even lift it, let alone do 3 rounds of reps.”

Pretty incredible, right?! What I like best is the confidence she now has, the real understanding of how to continue seeing progress, the increases in strength gains, and that she is fully committed to becoming her best self.

Now, let’s talk about what happened over the last 5 weeks. Stacy started the Summer Slimdown with me at 251.9 pounds and dropped all the way down to 237.5 in 5 weeks! She checked in with me every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and stayed on track most of the time. I say most of the time because I encouraged the participants to have cheat meals and enjoy themselves occasionally. She did just that, got right back on track, and was able to see great results.

Awesome job, Stacy! And I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jamie-gambardella-blog

22lbs, 15 inches, and More!

Jamie’s Story

By Jamie Gambardella

When I first came to A|M Fitness, it was for the 5-week trial. I had been contemplating the gym for over a year before I actually signed up for an orientation. I decided to do it because my friend that was a current a member urged me to sign up. So I came in thinking that even if I hated it I would only be here for 5 weeks, and I wouldn’t be stuck in a long-term membership. I had previously tried so many others gyms and fitness groups, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

From the moment I came into orientation, I loved it. I loved everything about it. The trainers knew that I wouldn’t be able to do everything, and knew how to modify the exercises so I could work out safely. I was pumped to get started! It wasn’t easy, but I kind of knew it wouldn’t be. I worked my tail off every class. After the first 5 weeks, I hadn’t lost any weight and was feeling a bit discouraged until I noticed my clothes getting too big. I did not lose pounds, I lost inches. 8 inches to be exact! I was so excited. It works! It was something I enjoyed and got results with, so I had to join the gym!

I am now in the middle of my 3rd phase, and I am participating in the Summer Slimdown Challenge. I have already lost 22 lbs and 15 inches, but that’s not the most exciting part. The best part is seeing how my body has changed and how much stronger I am. Things that I was unable to do when I first started I’m now able to do with more weight. I no longer need as many modifications, there I am able to do more.

The trainers are fantastic motivators and supporters, they push me and every member to give their all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

priorities-over-goals

Do Your Priorities and Goals Line Up?

Do Your Priorities and Goals Line Up?

By Michael Harland

We train hundreds of people each week. They don’t just come and workout at our gym, they show up and are led by at least one, if not many of our coaches. All of these people have come to us with a goal in mind. But… does that goal line up with their priorities?

I’m going to go back to when all I was doing is personal training and start with the intake process. Here we would discuss goals of course, but also lifestyle, health history and more. I’d write a program up and take someone through a few sessions. From here I would ask for a larger commitment (typically 2-3x a week for 12 weeks). It was at this point when the objection came.

Well, what is always the biggest objection? It’s all about the money… people have a hard time justifying paying for training. But do you know what they’re ok with paying? To go out to dinner a couple times a week, grab lunch at work a couple times a week, and maybe a few coffee runs (and maybe they grab a snack when they’re grabbing a coffee). All of that adds up! So I ask if they’re willing to give up their dinners and make their coffee at home to free up the money to pay. Want to know why? Because it is those things that have usually gotten a weight loss client into the situation they’re in.

But they’re not willing to give that up!

We’ve identified problems and habits that need changing, we’ve shown how to get from our current state to our desired outcome, and someone’s social life is many times more important than their health and longevity.

Does that make sense?

Now, I’m not saying a social life isn’t important. It most definitely is. But is it important at the expense of your health? I personally don’t think so.

So, do your priorities and goals line up?

Big goals usually require sacrifice and dedication. They require us to give up things that currently satisfy needs and the process of change isn’t always fun, so the reality and difficulty start kicking our ass.

But you’re worth it!

You’re worth trading a meal eaten out for a walk outside.

You’re worth not drinking and instead just hanging out with friends.

You’re worth the effort.

You’re worth the outcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the-supplements-i-take-blog

The Supplements I Take

The Supplements I Take

By Michael Harland

Let me start this by saying I’ve run the spectrum when it comes to supplements. I went from taking none, to taking pretty much everything on the market when we were selling supplements at the gym. I was given samples galore and explored them all. Some I liked, some I didn’t, and below is the outcome of that.

I also want to mention that supplements are only an aid to an already healthy lifestyle. They’re a “just in case” measure or a tool to help you break through a plateau. They are not the thing that gets you results.

You create your own results based on the dedication to your healthy lifestyle. If you eat like shit a fat burner isn’t going to make you healthy. If you sleep 3 hours a night and demolish pre-workout to wake up, understand that that’s just not healthy. Protein bars taste great, but aren’t a real, whole food and shouldn’t be counted as a daily meal for yourself. If it’s a choice between a Snicker’s Bar or a Quest Bar, pick the Quest Bar. At least you’ll get some protein, but don’t think that that will ever replace chicken or eggs or any other real protein source.

So what do I take?

Vitamin B & D

I had blood work done and I am deficient in both of these. The supplements just ensure I’m where I need to be in regards to these numbers. I use Thorne Research products for any item like this.

Barlean’s Ultra High Potency Fish Oil

I’m not a fish eater. I try, but I’ve got cooking chicken, beef and pork down to a science, so they’re much easier for me to keep on track with. I do, however, understand the importance of consuming omega’s daily; heart health, brain health, inflammatory response, etc… So since I won’t be getting this through my food consumption, I supplement it in.

Barlean’s Organic Greens

I start each day with a mixture of ACV (for gut health), lemon (same), and these organic greens. They contain a ton of great things, are made well, and help to mask the flavor of the other 2 ingredients. They also mix easily so there’s no clumping when I drink it.

Spirulina and Chlorella

“Our Spirulina & Chlorella Tablets are a 50/50 blend of two potent, chlorophyll and protein-rich algae. Combined, they provide a full array of micro and macro nutrients including all the essential amino acids, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12, magnesium, iron, zinc, healthy fats and vitamin A (beta-carotene). The two algae complement each other perfectly, containing antioxidants (carotenoids) and anti-inflammatory compounds to boost immunity, while simultaneously working to detoxify and alkalize the body. This powerful green superfood nutrition aids the body in maintaining optimal health on the molecular level. Consuming Spirulina and Chlorella daily is a highly recommended practice for strengthening and elevating your body’s nutritional profile.”

Probiotics

Again, the reason for this is gut health. The rest of the body won’t work well if your gut doesn’t, so I do my best to keep it healthy.

OWYN Vegan Vanilla Protein

2 or 3 times a week I’ll grab this. It’s usually because I’m rushed or missed the timing of a meal I was supposed to have and want to make sure that I’m hitting my daily requirements. Also, sometimes I’ll make an ice cream out of my smoothie meals for a fun treat. I’ve come to realize that this is still a processed food item and not something I need to consume daily. Real food makes me fuller, is better for me, and is the first thing I go to.

Why vegan? My stomach just isn’t a fan of whey proteins. I would much rather have a quality 100% whey isolate (like Isopure), but that’s just not in my best interest…

Coffee

I added this in because I do drink it each morning. I love my morning routine or brewing some fresh coffee, drinking my morning cocktail, and then sitting down with my coffee to start writing. Well, we all know it’s a stimulant, so I’m using it to get a little pep in the morning and hit the gym as soon as I’m done writing/emailing each morning.

That’s It

Something I hope people consider is that supplementation is not meant to replace hard work and dedication. They are not the be all, end all and do not determine your results. You determine your results based on your level of commitment. Is there a protein shake you like drinking? Well, drink it! Just make sure there’s a reason for it; it allows you to hit your daily caloric/macro needs. Don’t drink it because it helps you lose weight. It doesn’t. Your lifestyle determines your weight. Are you tired and need a pick me up? Have some pre-workout! Just don’t think it’s the thing that is going to help you get better results and don’t think that you need it every day of your life. Work on your mindset and allow that to get you where you need to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i-eat-what-i-want-blog

I Eat What I Want

I Eat What I Want

By Michael Harland

Today’s blog kind of carries on from my last one in regards to having my own meal plans and coach. One of the biggest things we hear is how hard it is to eat healthy, how there’s no variety, and how it gets boring.

Why?

I eat absolutely anything I want. I also only eat foods that I like. I also eat A LOT of food. I would never force myself to eat things I didn’t like or that didn’t taste good. The trick… to make an effort to learn how to cook well.

Have you ever just not liked eating what you cooked, so instead you run out and grab something? We all have. Well, what did you get? Chicken? Steak? Fish or salad or anything similar? Whatever it was, you could have made it yourself.

You see, chicken is chicken is chicken. That’s right, the restaurants don’t have magical chickens, they’re just regular old chickens. They’ve just prepared them well.

Healthy eating can be fun AND taste good. you just have to experiment with seasonings and styles of cooking. Need a resource for this? You have access to the internet! If you’re reading this then you can simply create a new tab, hit up YouTube, or google recipes. It really is that simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Summit Experience – Kena

My Summit Experience

By Kena Perry

This past weekend at the Perform Better Summit was full of great information and experiences that I look forward to using as a coach as well as in my own training. There were many inspiring and informative presenters and topics, but a few of them really stood out.

Throughout the weekend, there was a common theme in a few of the seminars about proper breathing and rib kinematics. I learned the importance of rib and pelvis alignment and how it affects our mobility, posture, and movement patterns. In a couple of the seminars by Dana Santas and Greg Rose, they talked about the importance of breathing and aligning the ribs and pelvis in order to improve mobility.

Another engaging seminar that I attended was on the importance of sleep by Brandon Marcello. One of the main things that he covered was that sleep is the foundation of health and fitness, it’s even more important than nutrition and movement. Sleep impacts cognitive, physical, social, and emotional human performance domains. Sleep also has an effect on brain health, regulates hormones and aids in recovery.

I’m excited to put into practice a few of the tools that I learned as well as continue to research and learn more about rib kinematics and sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Summit Experience – Spencer

My Summit Experience

By Spencer Ingvertsen

This past weekend was the first time I had the chance to experience The Perform Better Summit. It was honestly one of the most informational and hands-on experiences I have ever had. I am honored to have been able to attend this event. I learned more and more with each breakout session that I had attended. I can implement the things that I have learned not only here at A|M Fitness, but in my own personal training, and in my life in general. Throughout the summit, there were many times where I felt as if I had an “AH HA!” moment, where so many things were actually starting to make sense. I could write a few paragraphs on each breakout session where I had an “ah ha” moment, but I am only going to go over the two that were the largest to me.

My first ah-ha moment was in Josh Henkin’s “Strong, Stable and Mobile Principals of healthy shoulders, low backs and Knee’s”. Josh Henkin’s talked about contralateral and when he first said this word I looked around and everyone seemed to know what he was talking about, except me. So I made sure to give him all of my attention and I am so happy I did. Contralateral is “something occurring or acting in conjunction with the opposite side of the body”, meaning your left shoulder affects your right hip, and your right shoulder effects your left hip. For example, if you have a weak left hip, your right shoulder is going to be affected and will also be on the weaker side. It all makes sense to me and my personal injuries and my personal weaker sides.

My second ah-ha moment and where I personally took away the most information was Frank Nash’s “Content Creating Ninja”. I can implement the things I learned in my job as Membership Experience Director here at A|M Fitness. Frank talked about how to get people into the door of your gym. Not only that but also how to get people to stay. Frank talked about the good content that you should be sending out to your client’s vs. the bad content that is being sent out to your clients. Throughout the entire breakout session I kept thinking to myself, wow Mike knows what he is doing (even if I hate to admit to it). I don’ want to give away any more of the secrets I learned in Frank Nash’s breakout session, but just know that I now know how to get the best content out to our clients!

I learned a lot while I was at The Perform Better Summit, but the largest take away that I have is the connection made with my co-workers. I see them each and every day at work, but being away with everyone for a weekend is different. I can honestly say that I haven’t laughed as hard as I did this past weekend in a very long time. The five of us now have “inside” jokes where I say “hips shoulder width apart” and all of us will laugh, but to everyone else, I just sound confused.

I am very excited to attend this summit again in the future!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Summit Experience – Greg

My Summit Experience

By Greg Hammons

Another year and another great experience at the Perform Better Summit. I really love going to the summit. When I first started in the field it was a crazy wealth of new information. Things I would get so excited for I’d try to do everything at once, but as the years have gone on the summit has become more about the experience, the energy and the love of fitness, a love that gets renewed by being around so many like-minded people. Listening to speakers like Martin Rooney and Alwyn Cosgrove and Thomas Plummer can fire up anyone new to the industry but to get someone who has been at this for almost 15 years to light up is a true skill and that’s what these guys bring every year.

Along with the experience at the conference, there’s the team building time that I truly enjoyed. Taking time to get to know the people I spend most my day with outside of work is awesome. In the past, I have always seen a great change when we return from the summit. This year is no different. We work smoother and problem solve better together. Its always easier to talk to someone and discuss ideas when you have a true relationship to fall back on. The summit gives us the chance to work on and develop those relationships along with expanding our professional circles by meeting and interacting with so many other professionals from around the New England area.

Now that’s not to say I didn’t take away some new information. My biggest takeaway was the gameplay. Ian Jeffreys gave an amazing presentation on using games to help supplement fitness programs. He explained the science on how gameplay actually works to create what is called a “flow state” in where the fun becomes skill development. After the lecture and the science we “played” a few games. Needless to say, it was the hardest I had worked all weekend long and the most fun. On Monday I brought a few games into my private session and at the end was told that was the hardest and most fun they had in a session yet.

I can’t wait to explore how I can use games more to help more people, to continue to work with my team and find better ways to serve our members and just be on fire so maybe I can light the fire in someone else that doesn’t yet have it, and change their lives for the better with fitness.