Gun Control, Are you prepared

It almost feels like every 3rd day there is another mass shooting. And lately there has been a lot of talk about guns, and our right to have them.  One of the arguments that people that are anti gun control say is “I need guns to protect myself and my family.”

Well statistically speaking you are more likely to kill your family than some intruder is…but that’s beside the point, and I don’t want to get into a pro gun, anti gun debate.  I won’t even tell you wear I stand on the issue.

If I told you, someone was going to creep through your window at night, and murder you while you weren’t expecting it…you would likely verify the threat, call the police, get security systems and the whole nine yards to safeguard you against a threat.

Here’s the thing, the highest cause of death in the US (at least from 2016, but I doubt it’s changed much) is heart disease…not homicide, not even close actually and that’s for all races.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus16.pdf#019

And the kicker is it’s to a large extent preventable.  So whether or not you are for arming yourself to the teeth or not, you should take care of your health first.  And beyond that, being healthy is always a good thing and isn’t even close to being a polarizing issue like gun control is.

“Strong people are harder to kill and more useful in general.” Mark Rippetoe


Eric Moss is a world record holding professional strongman.  His personal training studio is in Boonton Township New Jersey with Lewandowski Chiropractic and is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville and Parsippany New Jersey.

A Few Words on Fasting

I used to be pretty active on Facebook but am more of a lurker than someone actually posting something, unless its funny or promotes positive vibes…or allows me to teach you something, like I am in this article.

A short while ago I was scrolling through my facebook feed seeing what people are talking about.  It’s useful to me to generate ideas of what I want to write about, and I’m friends with a lot of people involved in the world of fitness, strength, personal training etc.  And one thing is for certain is that the schools of thought can be polarizing.  One thing that is very polarizing, is “fasting”

So while I was scrolling my facebook feed, I saw someone make the claim that and I’m paraphrasing here “the only thing that fasting does is burn up your muscle mass and kill your metabolism. Food is fuel.”

First on the burning up muscle and killing metabolism, someone forgot to tell Terry Crews.

Now let’s talk about the food is fuel.  Yes it is, but not in the same way that gas is to a car.  Think about it.  Before gas is put into a car, it has to be refined and broken down to a form that the car can use.  Food is like this, but it’s broken down by chewing it, mixing saliva with it before it’s broken down in your stomach and absorbed.

All of these steps take time, so what your body is actually running off of, isn’t what you just ate, its what you ate a while ago.

Now when your body doesn’t have any stored sugar to burn up (it’s preferred fuel source) it switches to burning up fat (which it had saved up just in case we needed it.) Those days when we needed to store up body fat are long gone unless you live in a 3rd world country or are living on the streets.  It also throws in some of the bad cells in your body with that process Terry mentioned autophagy.  I’ll explain that part a bit more in a different article.

The idea of fasting isn’t new, but it’s come around again as if it were new.  When I explain that I fast, I get a lot of people telling me that my approach is wrong.  I’ll just say this.

I’ve been doing this since 2009 (so about 9 years adherence)

I’ve been able to maintain near single digit body fat year round (not yo yo dieting).

All my biomarkers of health say I’m a-ok

I don’t feel lethargic, or have to worry about what I’m going to have for breakfast, or lunch or if it follows the rules of whatever diet I’m doing.

I don’t have to force myself to eat when I’m not hungry or pressed for time like getting to the studio by 6am.

I’m strong enough to bend steel…like Superman.

With all of those things, if I’m doing it “wrong” then baby I don’t want to be “right”.  Now is fasting right for you?  I don’t know but I encourage you to do your own research so you can make an informed decision.

Treadmills, yay or nay?

One of the things that my personal training clients have access to is me as a support system to give guidance, even when they aren’t in my studio. Knowing this and using me as a trusted resource one of my people asked if I recommend a treadmill for home use for his wife.

no treadmills here.

I don’t for a couple different reasons.  For one thing people buy them with the best of intentions, but it often becomes something that people later label as “an expensive coatrack”.  You see, standard gyms have a drop out rate of around 70% within 6 months the reasoning behind which is usually one of a handful of reasons.

Either people don’t know what to do (lack of guidance though I don’t think this applies to treadmill use since it’s pretty straightforward) are frustrated with a lack of progress (your body adapts to what you are doing, and in the case of a treadmill, the only real progression is to do it faster or if you have a fancy pants one increase the incline).

Another is the potential for injury. When I applied for insurance in my last facility, they had asked me if I had any treadmills and for good reason, they seem safe but there is inherent risk. Just check out this montage of treadmill fails.

And there are dozens more on youtube where that came from. And yeah, you can connect a safety strap to turn it off if you lose your footing, but let’s get real, nobody does that.

Another is a lack of consistency from a lack of accountability.  Here’s how it happens, you start out on a program filled with vim and vigor, but life gets in the way and you start to fall off track.  One skipped session becomes two, two becomes four and the next thing you know months and months have gone by and the only thing on your treadmills are your coats and shoes (hence the expensive coat-hanger bit.)  In fact one of the biggest reasons people hire personal trainers in the first place is to simply have someone there waiting for them to keep them consistent on track.  The treadmill doesn’t care if you use it or not, hence no social pressure keeping you consistent.  Consistency is critical to success.

So what do I recommend instead?  Well, for one thing and here’s my pitch, if you are looking for a personal trainer in Boonton Township or Mountain Lakes come take my trial membership.

If you aren’t and want to get healthy, then pick up a set of kettlebells and get a Strongfirst, RKC or FMS instructor to assess you and teach you the basics.  There are so many things you can do with them, they take up very little space, train things that running can’t, don’t cost much and never break.

The swing is king. It trains cardiovascular conditioning, strength and is joint friendly when performed correctly.

Now let’s say you are the type that is self motivated and wants to specifically be a runner.  That’s great, but running on a treadmill, and actual running though they seem the same in actuality aren’t.  It has to do with you moving across a surface rather than the surface moving beneath you.  That and it locks you into both a predetermined pace and predetermined stride length, neither of which are right for your body.

Solution for that is to simply get outside and run.  What happens next is up to you.

Reflections from my Strongman act in Lake George, the foundation and the mindset

I’m writing this from a hotel room in Lake George before my strongman act combined with an inspirational speech tomorrow morning but won’t post  this until I get home.

It was a crazy drive up here going through snow and freezing rain.  Knowing that the drive was going to be treacherous my wife displayed her displeasure at me going.  I told her I said I was going to be here and that’s all there is to it.

What does any of this have to do with strength, health and fitness?  I’ll tell you 🙂

First, is the foundation.  The future of your fitness and health is built upon the foundation that you set early on.  That’s why in my system of training I analyze the way you move, because if we program on top of a faulty foundation, everything above it will also be faulty.  In the case of me being a motivational speaker, one of the biggest fears that meeting planners have when they hire a speaker is whether or not they will show up in the first place.  It’s important for my reputation early on that I’m a man of my word.

Second is about the mindset that leads to successful transformations. You see with the right mindset, a mindset that is committed to making it happen that’s where success is built.  As a matter of fact, I turn people away if I don’t think they are committed to their own goals, simply because if you aren’t committed, there is nothing I can do to help you.

Tomorrow morning (today by the time this is posted) I have a group of teenagers that I am determined to inspire.  I was not going to let neither a snowflake, nor a legion of them stop me.  Do what it takes, it’s that simple.

If you need guidance from a personal trainer in Boonton Township or Mountain Lakes New Jersey who actually knows what they’re doing, and are committed to your own goals, I welcome you to test drive my training program.

Superbowl, parenting and your strength

This past weekend was Superbowl Sunday. It was the Eagles vs. the Patriots and truth be told, I couldn’t really care less.  I mainly go to the Superbowl party because it’s a gathering of souls that I enjoy spending time eating food and tossing back a beer or two.

At this party two of my friends had announced that they were expecting a child this coming summer.  Wonderful news!  And along with the excitement comes the nervousness about the amazing life changing journey that lay before them.

Aurora Grace, my daughter

Now my wife and I had a baby 8 months ago and we sat down with the mommy to be to share our collective wisdom. (by the way, here’s a baby hack, when changing a diaper give them an unused wipe to play with so they don’t stick their hands in their poop)

Anyway, a bunch of things came up during the conversation that I think can apply to your strength, health and fitness.

For one, while she was talking about how nervous she was (they’ll make wonderful parents btw), I had said “Don’t worry, humans have been doing this since the dawn of time and modern medicine has come a long way since then”.  There are so many things that have us set up to successfully raise a healthy child.  As I look to my right, I have a barebones basic baby monitor…basic in that it only includes night vision, a 2 way microphone and music built into it, but that’s all.

When I was a kid, I remember the monitor that my parents had for my sister.  It was like a one way walkie talkie, nothing more…and she survived.

Anyhow, people got strong, fit, lean and healthy long before complicated gadgets, gizmos, marketing concepts and supplements flooded the market place.  They didn’t burden themselves down with complicated words like “transverse abdominus” or even have supplements like branch chain amino acids or creatine.

Me holding up a steel bar I just bent. Picture taken by Lynda Renee Photography during one of my strongman performances.

The oldtime strongmen intuitively knew that if you practiced doing things that required strength, you got good at being strong.  Strength is a mindset, and part of that mindset is understanding that it is a skill to be practiced, cultivated and perfected much like a musician learning an instrument.

One of the other things that came up is that crackheads have kids, and if they can do it anyone can. Same thing can also apply here, there are people that were in worse situations than you that despite the odds were able to get into phenomenal shape. If they can do it, you can too with the right mindset.

If you need guidance in this and are looking for a personal trainer in the Boonton Township or Mountain Lakes area of New Jersey, give my trial membership a go. It won’t cost you anything and you may even surpass what you previously thought yourself capable of achieving.

The Mighty Atom Documentary

Last night I watched a documentary on the legendary Mighty Atom. If you don’t know who that is he is one of the greatest strongmen of all time despite the fact that he stood a towering 5ft 4in tall and weighed in at 148lbs of fury.

The Mighty Atom was a huge inspiration to me to become a strongman because it had set in my mind that if he at his size, and despite his circumstances could do such amazing things, maybe I could too. And he did it without the use of anabolic steroids…how I do I know?  They weren’t invented yet…and he wouldn’t have used them anyways. So if he was able to do it without supplements, maybe I could too.

You see the fact that some people are able to achieve their goals, no matter how lofty they may be is proof that anyone can achieve their goals.  Success leaves tracks.

In fact one of the things that I tell people is forget any marketing angle and simply look at the results.  If you are in the Boonton Township or Mountain Lakes area of New Jersey, are looking for a personal trainer and are interested in training with me, check out my success stories page first.  That should tell you all you need to know.

And if you are interested in watching the Mighty Atom Documentary go to http://www.MightyAtomDoc.com

train and recover so you can adapt effectively

Earlier today I performed back to back strongman acts. Right before the 2nd show someone had remarked, “It’s got to be really tiring doing that twice in a row.”

Yes it can be, but so can so many other things all which take effect on your recovery. I used to have a short questionnaire before every session where I would ask my personal training clients how their sleep had been, how their nutrition had been, what their work week was like. I did this to gauge how hard they should train.

Someone who is going through a divorce, barely slept the night before, has a huge project that is running behind schedule and ate crappy food isn’t likely going to be able to train as hard as someone of similar genes who naps twice a day, eats like a monk and has a therapeutic massage as their regular day to day affair. And because this sort of thing can change day to day, often times training needs to be calibrated on the daily.

It’s a 3 part process. Train (give your body a stimulus to adapt to) + recover (give your body a chance to adapt before it breaks down) = adaptation (by becoming stronger, increasing endurance etc.)

The amounts and the speed of adaptation depend on the person, but are sped up when given in the right doses.

If you need help with this, and are looking for a personal trainer in the Boonton Township or Mountain Lakes area of New Jersey, try test driving my program. It doesn’t cost anything to try it out.

The Greatest Workout Song

Clever and funny yes…but I’m an old school metal head and prefer the likes of Judas Priest for training 🙂

In actuality I normally don’t have any music playing while training. You see there is an internal monolog that happens while you’re training that music can help tune out, however I want myself and my personal training clients to be able to tune that out without the aid of music.

Besides that I don’t like to have to yell out instructions and cues. I want people to hear me at conversational volume and I like the small groups to be able to socialize and keep a light and enjoyable atmosphere.

If you are in the Boonton Township area of New Jersey and are looking for a personal trainer, I have a one week test drive so you can try it out and see if it’s right for you.

Netflix and Strong

Earlier today while I was between clients, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and saw the post above by The Chive (Chive on!).

Though I appreciate the humor of this it highlights an issue that should be addressed.  For one thing he knows what he’s doing and is deceptive about it.  It’s not uncommon for me to hear things like “My dietician said only clear liquids. Vodka is a clear liquid so I’m having that.”

Yes vodka is a clear liquid, and not that I’m opposed to having a drink or two but who do you think you’re fooling and what do you think you’re getting away with?

Second, is why not just get stronger, leaner, fitter, or healthier while you’re there at least?  It is no secret that people who exercise are healthier, happier, more productive and a zillion other bulletpoints that if you were to put it into a bottle would be a best seller in no time.

Training doesn’t have to be miserable to be effective and can provide a worthwhile and meaningful pursuit in itself.  Every time one of my personal training clients hits a personal record and the cowbell is rung to commemorate it, I see the look  that the feeling of accomplishment gives them.  I know the feeling well myself.

Set a goal, go after it.  When you achieve it set another one.  There are many things to pursue.

If you don’t know how, hire a coach or personal trainer (one that knows what they are doing of course) to teach you and provide effective feedback.  If you can’t afford one, buy a book or dvd course that can at least show you proper training.  If nothing else, learn from your mistakes.

If you are in the Morris County area near Boonton Township, look me up.  I’ll set you up with a trial membership, teach you a thing or 2 and we can see if you are a good fit to continue as one of my accolytes of awesomeness.

How to get strong by taking it easier than you might think.

I was having a discussion with 2 separate people on 2 separate days on my approach to training.  Both of them had been subjected to things like;

“You need to train to failure in order to get stronger.”

and

“You need to keep moving, rest less in between exercises”

I disagree.  Who am I to disagree?  Well I come at it from 2 different perspectives.  I’m a professional performing strongman and I’m a personal trainer (and a good one too).

As a personal trainer I have to dispel some of the things that other well meaning but misinformed personal trainers say.  And my approach often causes argument because it goes against the things they believed.

First off about that whole training to failure thing.  I used to believe that too.  It was brainwashing by bodybuilding magazines, and it was the writings of Pavel Tsatsouline that had changed my course of thinking.

Here’s the thing.  With strength training I like to explain it as a process.

The brain sends a command through the central nervous system to tell your muscle fibers to contract.  Muscle pulls on tendon which pulls on bone and that’s how movement occurs.

The central nervous system in the average person only normally contracts 20-30% of their muscle fibers.  The strength is there in you already, you just don’t have access to it yet.  Paul McIlroy has a quote that I love “Strength isn’t built, it’s granted by the nervous system.”

By teaching your body to use more of what you already have, you can get stronger, without having to train like a maniac, without getting bulky and you do it much faster.  This is why I recommend people take my no cost trial.

Because during the no cost trial you’ll discover noticeable differences in your strength…within the week…oftentimes within the first session.

So how is this accomplished?  By training to success not failure.  By being generous with rest periods so that you can recover between sets.  And by taking advantage of various neurological “tricks” that teach your body to activate more of what it’s already got more effectively.

Do yourself a favor and train effectively the first time by taking advantage of my no cost trial.

You can join my many success stories and get in the best shape of your life, even if you’ve failed before.