Myths about Self Employment and Strength and Fitness

One of the myths about working for yourself is that you have tons and tons of freedom.  Not really.  Your schedule goes where the market goes and you’re always at work because you don’t really leave it behind. 

In the back of my mind, I plan out new feats of strength.  I got the idea for my “Strongman in the Box” feat by watching an escape artist a year or two ago when my wife took me to see the Illusionists 1903 show.  It also dominates my mind everytime I go to Home Depot.  With every bit of hardware I see I think to myself “Can I break it? and if so, would it be cool in a show?”

Strongman in the Box, I’m trapped inside of a wooden box constructed of 2×4’s and held shut with locks and chains. The only way out is using my strength and breaking out.

I also have a hard time leaving the personal trainer in me at home.  A week or two ago, I was out with my wife and daughter and overheard a conversation about training and had to bite my tongue. I’ve been a personal trainer for around 15 years now, I’ve distinguished myself and was asked to teach at personal training certification courses nationally and internationally, given advice to celebrity trainers, trained people that were on MTV and am a world record holding professional performing strongman.  Basically, I know a thing or two about training. They already know this but I kept quiet because I knew that even if I explained in detail, they simply wouldn’t be ready to hear it.

If you are open minded, keep reading 🙂

Myth

“Strength training makes you inflexible.”

Nope.   Here’s the deal.  Your strength and your flexibility aren’t really about the muscles themselves.  Both of them are regulated by the central nervous system.

Just like this gif illustration shows the central nervous system telling the muscle fibers to “contract”, it can also tell them to “relax” into a longer length. They are like a yin and yang of each other.  Your muscle fibers are already long enough to perform full splits and things that contortionists do, but what stops them is that your central nervous system doesn’t perceive what you are doing as being safe and hence puts the breaks on.  Your nervous system remembers the positions you are in habitually (if you don’t use it you lose it). With regular strength training, alongside regular flexibility training, you don’t have to rob Peter to pay Paul.

Myth

“You need to do lots of different stuff”

Nope, variety in training is overrated.  Everything you do, competes with every other thing you do for growth and adaptation.  The jack of all trades is the master of none.  The high bang for the buck exercises will carry over to the things you don’t regularly train (we call this transfer and it’s the reason athletes have strength and conditioning coaches and not just skill coaches).  Doing heavy deadlifts, transfers to making you better at most things.

Myth, kind of

“You don’t need to lift more than 5lbs”

Technically, yes.  You need food, water, air, and to a certain extent human connection.  You don’t need to lift more than 5lbs to survive…but why just survive when you can thrive?  Thriving is partially about growth, improvement, and expansion.  If you want to change your body, you need to challenge your body.  You need to do something that tells your body “Hey, we need to get stronger so that we are better equipped to handle this (the stimulus) in the future”.  And strength carries over to multiple goals.  Using weight loss as an example, heavier weights burn more calories than lighter weights.  They also deplete more glycogen and tell your body to release more of those hormones that keep you lean.  You don’t “need” to get stronger, but you “should” get stronger if you want to improve yourself.

I also find that many people come to me for weight loss, and they lose weight but are more excited about the all-purpose strength they gained training with me.  And as Mark Rippetoe famously said;

Strong people are harder to kill and more useful in general

If you need help with this, I have a one-week trial membership available.  Text me at 973 476 5328 to get started.


Eric Moss is a world record holding professional strongman, author, speaker and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is in Boonton Township New Jersey with Lewandowski Chiropractic and is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, and Parsippany New Jersey.

Competence, Confidence, Commitment for Goal Achievement

It’s been a while since I’ve written on here so I went onto my facebook feed to look for inspiration. Usually, on Facebook, I can find something to talk about since a lot of my friends are fitness professionals, personal trainers etc. In this case, Kevin Yates one of my facebook friends had posted a video about setting and achieving goals and how it plays into our self-confidence when we unknowingly set ourselves up for failure.

“How to lose weight” it gets around 550,000 google searches a month and yet there is no shortage of articles out there making the same promise of “do this, lose weight easily”.  Despite the plethora of information, people continue to gain weight.   You can read more about the increasing rates of obesity in this document by the CDC.

In truth, it’s easy and it’s not.  It really depends on what you make of it.  You see, it might involve more than you think it does and that’s why you need to be committed.  Those people that say “I’m watching what I eat” never really get anywhere because they quite simply aren’t committed to the result.  If you aren’t committed, you settle for less.  Sometimes the result you want takes more than you may think and you have to do more, but at the same time, it may not be as hard as you may think.

One of the big things when it comes to training, nutrition, and fitness is how much of a mental game it really is. When I sit down with potential personal training clients for a goal assessment interview, I ask them to rate their level of commitment to their own goals. If they aren’t committed enough, I will turn them away for the simple fact that if they aren’t really committed, then none of the “how to’s” I show them will ever be enough. The mindset drives all.

Sometimes people seek me out because I’m a professional “motivational speaker”. This isn’t completely accurate. I’m actually an “inspirational speaker”. You see motivation really has to come from within. I can’t make someone want something they don’t want. I can, however, inspire by example. I train like this, look what it’s done for me, look what it’s done for my personal training clients, it can do the same for you. Hopefully, that sets the spark which ignites the fire that burns inside you to take charge of your health. Along with accountability and self-discipline, if that fire burns hot, that will provide the mental fuel you need to get through the times when you just don’t feel like training.

The other part is that confidence and competence are intertwined. There is something called the competence/confidence loop. Basically, what it boils down to, the more competent you are, the more confident you will be. The less competent you are, the less competent you will be.

And confusion will stop an action before it ever gets started.

This is where guidance and support come in. When you know what to do, then you simply do it. As you do it, you get better at it and as you get better at it, you start to enjoy it a little bit. Success is fun. Getting stronger is fun. Getting closer to your goals through the process can sometimes be a drag, it’s fun when you know you are getting somewhere. Having someone there to support you makes it fun. On those days when you don’t feel like it, use the discipline and the social pressure of having someone there expecting you to come in, to carry you through.

If you are committed, and you simply need guidance, support and accountability to get you to your goals, take advantage of my trial membership offer by texting me at 973 476 5328


Eric Moss is a world record holding professional strongman, author, speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is in Boonton Township New Jersey with Lewandowski Chiropractic and is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, and Parsippany New Jersey.

What we want to achieve vs. what we do to achieve it.

Often times following one of my strongman performances, when people find out I have a personal training studio they make the mistake in assuming that the clientele I typically work with are up and coming strongmen.

My demo vid so you know what I’m talking about.

This is not the case.  It used to be that when people wanted me to teach them some of the classic feats of strength, I’d tell them “Do a Turkish get up with 100lbs, then come back to me and I will teach you.”  Now I just send them to my coach Hairculese Chris Rider, because quite simply in my opinion he’s way better at teaching it than I am.  And by the way, he’s coming to my studio on September 9th to run the Break Through Strength workshop.

The kind of people I work with aren’t normally up and coming strongmen, bodybuilders, or professional athletes.  They are usually recreational exercisers that simply want to look, feel and perform better in life.  There is a difference between “fitness” and “health” but that’s another topic for another day.

When I sit people down for the goal assessment interview, I dig into their goals to try to figure out what it is that they want to achieve.  It’s quite simple really.

  1. Find out what they want to achieve.
  2. Figure out where they are, compared to where they would like to be.
  3. Based on the first 2, determine the actions necessary to bring them from where they are to where they want to be.

And when we’ve determined which actions are necessary to achieve said goals, then you simply do the things. And that’s the hard part really.

Let’s take for example someone who wants to lose 50lbs. It’s quite simple really, the super secret yet effective combo diet and exercise has produced more success stories for weight loss than any other way of doing it.

Here’s how; train with an intense yet safe program consistently over time and follow a diet that works.  I personally do intermittent fasting but for most people, I recommend the slow carb diet popularized in the book the 4hour Body by Tim Ferriss for most people (google it).

If you follow those actions consistently, you’ll lose weight.  If you aren’t losing weight, or any other goal for that matter, then it’s time to look at the actions you’ve taken.

Were you training hard enough, often enough?

Did you follow your diet to the T (as in, all the rules all the time)?

Fat loss requires a full-time commitment which is a pain in the ass. I know, it’s a big commitment to do all the actions that it takes to achieve your goals which is why I ask people to rate how committed they are.  On a scale from 1-10 if I get anything less than an 8, then it’s simply not enough and I send them away.

However, if someone simply wants to be all around healthy and strong, strength training and eating generally healthy foods can work wonders.  This is a goal too, although not a very specific one and the program needed to achieve it is not nearly as harsh in its execution.

This is where most people are.  Most of the ones I work with are along these lines.  They simply want to know how to train safely so they can move through life stronger, a bit leaner and healthier without having to live inside of a gym off of nothing but boiled chicken, steamed broccoli and protein shakes.

What are your goals?  Do you need help with them?

If so, give my trial membership a go by texting me at 973 476 5328.  Just tell me who you are and what you’d like to achieve and I’ll see what I can do to help.


Eric Moss is a world record holding professional strongman, author, speaker and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is in Boonton Township New Jersey with Lewandowski Chiropractic and is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, and Parsippany New Jersey.