Maxed to the Limit

The average credit card debt per household in America is just under $16,000.  The obesity rate in America is now at a staggering 36%.  I want to compare credit card debt to obesity and see if there is a correlation between both in how we got ourselves into the problem and with how we get ourselves out of the problem.

The questions are how did we get into debt and how do we get ourselves out?  The question of how we get into debt is pretty consistent across the board.  Most Americans don't accumulate debt overnight.  It starts with just one purchase at a time.  We then make the mistake of making the minimum payment each month which just helps us cover the interest on our rising debt.  Usually several years down the line, we are up to our eyeballs in debt and find ourselves staring down a long road to financial recovery.

The same can be said about weight gain and obesity.  We don't get fat overnight.  Just like a credit card, we accumulate a little at a time (a Twinkie, bowl of chips and salsa, late night ice cream) and make minimum payments (a little exercise here and there), when before you know it, you are staring at a large number on the scale, that is of course if you can see the scale at all.

So we know how we get ourselves into debt both physically and financially.  The question remains as to how we get ourselves out of debt.   I am not talking about people who pay off their credit card at the end of each month just as do some people consistently watch what they eat and exercise therefore eliminating any possible debt.  As mentioned before, some people try to make the minimum payment possible.  This will never get you out of debt anymore than going for a walk and eating a salad once a week will help you lose weight.  Some people try to move their debt around to other cards with lower interest rates.  I would compare this to those people who constantly try new diets and methods without truly attacking their health debt.  The last group of people are the ones who attack their debt head-on.  They have recognized the problem, determined an effective method of attack, and start implementing those methods to eliminate their debt. 

The keys to success with both types of debt is consistency and time.  Debt, both financially and physically, usually accumulates over many years.  Paying off debt takes time as well.  Very rarely can someone pay off $16,000 over night just like most people can't safely and legitimately lose a lot of weight in a matter of days, weeks or even months.  Debt usually accumulates over time and is also paid off over time.  The key is to work hard towards paying off that debt and to stay committed.  Lastly, try not to sabotage your progress with mindless spending and that late night bowl of ice cream.  Before you know it, you will have money to spare instead of a spare tire around your waist.


Lessons Learned

I have been training myself and others for over two decades now and one thing I have discovered is that there is always something new to learn.  I have learned some of my greatest life lessons through training.  Here are some of those lessons.

Don't judge a book by its cover.  Our workouts prove that there is no discrimination between race, sex, age, height or weight.  The little woman who looks like an easy win may just wipe the floor with you.  It is sort of like when teenagers assume that because you are bald or gray that you are also old and unable to perform at their level.  Nothing makes me smile more than that expression they get halfway through a workout when they realize that maybe they overestimated themselves and underestimated their much "older" workout companions.

What you see is not always what you get.  Sometimes a workout with only two exercises and workout times of 5 to 6 minutes looks easy but turn out to be the toughest whereas an hour and a half workout at the local globo gym can be easier than a walk in the park.  One of the most used statements from our clients is "that workout didn't look that bad on paper."

Maximize your Return On Investment (ROI).  If you really think about it, the goal is to get the maximum gains with as little effort as possible.  That sounds strange but studies have shown that the body can only adapt so fast and that efforts beyond that adaptation process are unnecessary and risky.  We invest high intensity, functional movements for shorter workout times while still maximizing our fitness levels and health benefits.  At the same time, not all programs are the same although they may appear so.  Some workout programs similar to ours invest more time and emphasize increasing load far too fast and too often with minimal, if any, benefits beyond our programming.  Again, maximize your ROI.

Never quit! Whether it be a workout, a tough family situation or schedule, taking care of an aging parent or child, you never quit.  Our training builds upon that principle.  These workouts can get really tough but every time you finish one, it reinforces the habit of not quitting when the going gets tough.  Tough workouts make tough people.

The reps that follow the temptation to stop is where the growth comes. Your victory may just be one rep away.  Doing that extra rep or two is what builds character and confidence.

You reap what you sow.  You get what you give.  Giving your best in a workout, having integrity with your reps and range of motion will produce the best results.  They emphasize habits that lead to success.  The same goes with life.  Integrity and hard work will lead you to a better life far faster than taking the easy way out, cheating, or simply settling for average.

A strong body can make a strong mind and spirit.  Let your physical training carry over into the other aspects of your life.  Although we are firm believers that our spiritual man is more important than our physical, we are still carnal by nature.  We live in physical bodies and when we take care of those bodies, it honors God.(1 Cor. 6:20)  The bible says that the "spirit is willing but the body is weak."(Mark 14:38)  Therefore we should "discipline our body and bring it into subjection."(1 Cor. 9:27)  I hope and pray that after training with us that you also feel renewed in your mind and spirit and feel a since of clarity and motivation to be a light that guides both your life and the lives of those who cross your path.


The Proof is in the Pudding

There is an unlimited number of workout programs and fitness routines to choose from.  I have always said that our training is something that everybody can do but not everybody is going to do it.  We train at high intensities for shorter periods of time.  We trade duration for intensity.  Our clients can vouch for us when I say that explaining what we do and its benefits is not as easy as it sounds.  Most people have a hard time believing that you can workout effectively and improve fitness levels in less than 20 minutes.  You really have to just experience it for yourself to understand it.

The proof is in the pudding though.  What proof?

I have been training my entire life and I would argue that I am in the overall best shape of my life right now.  I hardly ever perform max lifts yet when I finally do, I am lifting more weight, easier than I ever have.  I continue to improve on times and performances.  I have more confidence about attacking certain types of movements than I ever have before.  I recover faster.  I have less injuries including less aches and pains.  I can do things I never thought possible.  I'll take it a step further.  I can do things I couldn't at 18 years old or even as a college athlete.  I have had a couple of injuries in the last year from other activities than training and I recovered much faster and was strong enough to workout with them.  I find that formidable obstacles look more like fun challenges now.  I am tougher and have a higher pain tolerance.  That is how I judge the toughness of many things in life now by comparing them to the pain of a tough workout.  If I can survive 50 burpees in the middle of a workout, I can survive almost anything.  It helps me through tough days.  The day I started this blog was one of the tougher days I have faced this year.  I decided to get a workout in regardless of the time of night and the stress I was dealing with. When I was done, I had more clarity and a sense of calm and fulfillment that had been lacking the entire day.  This stuff works plain and simple. - Randy

I am not alone.  Here is what others have had to say:

Lost 8lbs, went down a jean size, not as embarrassed to wear shorts and I can do a few pull ups now. - Sarah R.

I have not gained weight, even with having a thyroid problem. I’m stronger. - Sherry T.
I already feel stronger after a few weeks and I am excited to get my butt out of bed at 4:45 in the morning! - Jamie
Even though I'm not young anymore,  I can do the things that I like to do like skiing and mountain biking better than I could 10 years ago. - Jeff

I can actually see some muscle definition and I got a good report on my last bone scan. - Ellie

I no longer have "skinny" jeans....all my jeans always fit!! - Sara

I think the one big thing for me is being able to carry heavy things without it being any problem :) My husbands dad has made several comments about my arms looking like "guns"! I feel stronger and can now actually see some abs :) -Miranda

My clothes fit better. I have never stuck with an exercise program this long. I now find myself doing things the hard way just to prove that I can do it. I got that confidence from this exercise program - Nate

The biggest change I have noticed in the short time I have been with Trinity Fitness, is my increased energy level! Along with that comes better concentration, better organizational skills, and more stamina to carry the day!! I love it!! - Roger

I've noticed that ever since working out I never get tired when everyone else does. Christmas decorations, trips, going up & down stairs, moving etc. It isn't just because I'm younger either! Before working out I would get tired with everyone else. It's a good feeling to be in the middle of something and everyone needs a break and I feel like I just begun! It's definitely something small but it's a good feeling at the same time. - Blake

My Dad died at 57, my brother at 50 and my sister at 45 - all with clogged arteries.  I am 57 and just had a heart scan...so after 2 years at Trinity Fitness, my report came back.  It said ZERO build up and compared with 57 year olds, there are ZERO percent that have ZERO.  Thank you God and Trinity Fitness.  Not bad for 2 workouts a week at 20 minutes each. - Doug

You can't argue with results.  We have years of recorded data to prove that this training works.  But what is even better than recorded data on a computer spread sheet is the proof found in the visual and non visual results of our clients.  There is a satisfaction and a confidence that develops when you discipline yourself physically that ends up affecting other aspects of your life.  You become better at more than just the physical but better at everything else as well.



It seems as though we live in a world of broken resolutions. Don't believe me? Just go look at the attendance of your local health club during the first couple of months after the New Year. You will see hundreds of people with a sparkle in their eyes. They will be wearing the latest in fitness apparel and be sporting a pair of brand new shoes; you know the ones that make you run faster and jump higher. You will see sweaty bodies, red faces, bowed up chests, and sucked in guts. After a few months have past, the clothes are not matching as well, the shoes are scuffed up, and gravity has reclaimed the chest and the gut. As the brand new clothes fade, so does that burning desire to revive that high school physique. Within a few months there is no longer a waiting line for the treadmills.

Why is it such a common occurrence for us to break our resolutions and promises? It has become so common that it becomes humorous and expected. You've probably heard a statement like; "So Bob, what's your broken resolution going to be this year?" As funny as it may be at the time, we instill a sense of failure in ourselves when we break a resolution. Before you know it, these broken resolutions lead us to expect failure.

We also live in a world that expects people to follow the same path as previous generations. Let me give an example. You grow up fairly active, playing sports and enjoying your youth. High school comes and goes as well as our 18 year old physiques. You heard of the freshman fifteen haven't you? We become more inactive as the years pass.  We eventually become a part of the fast-paced business world. Once again the activity level decreases as the stress level increases. As our priorities become a little more out of place, we decide to start a family and live the American dream. Before you know it, 10 years have passed and we join the multitude of people living very similar lives. Interestingly enough, it's about 15 years later when we finally see ourselves in the mirror and see a different reflection than the one we saw in high school. We try desperately to regain our youth only to come short due to a lifestyle to which we have become accustomed.

When we break the mold and begin living a more organized life with priorities perfectly set in order, we become a part of the minority. The Bible clearly states that there are two ways of life. Matthew 7:13-14 says, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it." "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Although this may not sound very encouraging or easy, remember that with God, "all things are possible." Jesus himself said that he came that "we might have life and that we may have it more abundantly."

Let your training become a catalyst to a higher quality of life.  Try it for 6 months and then ask yourself if it doesn't make you better at everything else.  Let your resolution this year not be a resolution at all but rather a true and honest attempt to make a permanent lifestyle change that will lead to life more abundantly.