Category: First steps

We lead, by example












Are the fire’s necessary?

I continue to discover a common perception of productive leadership, by those who see themselves as leaders, is to posses the skills to distinguish the fires.

I’ll admit, I’ve done this.  In fact, I am quite talented at strategically distinguishing the obstacles that continued to get in the way. Moreover, I reached a point a few years ago, to completely stop. Why?

Once it is known you can do this, guess what you will always be doing?

Second, as a leader and over time, you will be the example that fuels the insane behavior of ongoing, non productive repetition.

Now, I don’t involve myself in situations that don’t have purpose, or meaningful to the individuals involved.

The challenge: there are no guidelines to follow. Only starting points and possible attempts. On the flip side, no time is wasted, as every day feels new.



I recently received a Facebook message from a friend who was seeking some fitness guidance from me.  Wow, big news right?  I’m sharing because I think it is both important and interesting to address that with ALL of the information available, people still are unsure on how to begin and want to hear it from a voice they trust.

My friend asked me what kind of workouts he should be doing to help address  his goal of dropping 25 lbs, as well as gain some muscle.  I took my time to reply as I am busy, moreover, I also like to wait a few days to allow the words to sink in and give me  an opportunity to not overthink the process.

I assume he asked me as he respects my professionalism, as well as trusts the guidance I would give.  I wear this honor everyday and would like to share a little of the intentional strategy I used to address his goals.  Keep in mind, he is a busy single father of four kids, full time job, and only a little time available to hit the gym.   He likes to go for a run before work and, if time, hits the track at the end of his day.

I needed to come up with a plan that can help him maximize any time he has available to train, as well as practice fitness skills that create carryover to life outside of the gym and with his kid’s activities.

Week 1, 3, and 5 (approx. 12 – 15 sets each session)

Complex moves + Cardio

Monday – Power Cleans

Wednesday – Bench or Squat

Friday –  Deadlift


Week 2, 4, and 6 (approx. 20 total sets each session)

Muscle grouping

Monday – Chest and Triceps

Wednesday – Legs and Shoulders

Friday – Back and Biceps

There is no magic in the above, just a simple point at maximizing activities that begin to address his weight loss and muscle building goals.    Where the magic does lie is my reminder to him that there is again, no magic.  Do the things that create physiological change and let the magic happen all on it’s own.  In short don’t force it, just do the work.

In Sanity,

Coach Sanity


You say you want to (or you already have) join in on the fitness craze called High Intensity Interval Training?   A common question I receive is, “Is this right for me?”  I mean after all, one person’s food is another’s poison, right?

Ask yourself these base line health questions:

  • Do I sit more than stand?
  • Can I touch my toes with out pain and/or restriction?
  • Can I walk a mile without feeling tired and/or sore?
  • Can I run a mile without feeling tired and/or sore?

Why is this so important?  Well, this basic level of health is your fountain from where you will draw recovery from.  Yes, both your ‘in class’ output and recovery are as strong as the foundation of this fountain.

Picture it like this, you are 16, you just got your driver’s license.  You now have open access to the road and the full gas tank to get you there.  You begin racing from place to place because, well why not right?  BOOM!  Your first accident.  Why did this happen?  You let the gas pedal lead, not the steering wheel.

The truth is, the exercises used in high intensity activity require a level of motor control that most don’t regularly practice.  Therefore, if you do not regularly practice the above, please allow yourself several weeks to do so.  Not only will your body love you for it, your orthopedic surgeon may be disgruntled because he lost your business.


Coach Sanity


Sumo style Dead-lift

Sumo style Dead-lift

Have you been consistent at sweating out your routines at the gym for some time now?  These three tips may be help you continue progress.

3.  A Grunt Out Loud (GOL) – Why?  It’s a sign to your body that you mean business.

It amazes me that so called gyms today do not allow you to grunt when necessary.  Seriously?  This rule can set limitations on your want for successive progress.  What to do?

Do some grunting in the car, or the house before your next session.  Get your nervous system slightly elevated by taking a few deep breaths, and then a few more breaths with an intentional grunt and a muscle contraction.  Yes, it may seem silly at first, however, will aid in those times of momentary failure under the same loads you used a few weeks ago.

Focus on the muscles or the movement you are wanting to train that day.  If you are training big moves, focus more emphasis into your diaphragm for these core lifts.

Sanity Tip:  Your nervous system is currently wired on exactly what you are already doing.  If you want change, prepare it for hard work with breathing, focus and a few loud GOL’s ;)

2.  Practice movements - Why?  In order to have a lifetime of sustainable activity, your ability to move must always be a priority.  And, from my voice of experience, know that freedom of movement is not free, it costs movement.

If you are sitting for hours a day, STOP!  You need to add in simple activity and stretching into your day.  The calisthenics we used to do when we were little can work wonders for extra activity in your day.

For example: Stand up, touch the sky, touch your knees, touch the sky, and then reach for your toes.  Repeat until you feel limber again.

In the gym, try something that starts as a challenge, and practice it to be easy.

Have more time available?  Take a long walk, practice some Yoga, or a mixture of both.  Practice a few different Yoga poses, and then rotate in a new pose every so often.  When you feel ready, take a class and see what your made of.

Sanity Tip: Make it simple, and keep it significant.  Stick to the basics of healthy living, so that you always have these sane options available to you tomorrow.

1.  A clean slate -  Why?  We are creatures of habit, and although it is important to be consistent with exercise, it is also important to recognize when your wants have been met, and shift priorities to the present moment.

For example, if you are wanting to have more defined abs, bigger biceps, or a stronger squat, then your gym sessions must focus on making this happen.  This also can mean adjusting your lifestyle outside of the gym to influence these new results toward success.

Sanity Tip:  A plateau is not a bad thing, so don’t be afraid of it.   It simply means you have  received  the fruits from your labor.  Now, it’s time to climb a new tree.


I share these tips for my Sanity fans because with all the information available to us about health, wellness, fitness, and such, I think it’s important to fill the gaps rather than overfill the mental plates.


Coach Sanity




Raising the Bar


Extraordinary directions

Extraordinary directions

A few months ago, I was one of the lucky 100 plus participants who attended a 3 day summit that basically celebrated two very specific things.  One was to thank me for doing exactly what I am doing, and the second was giving me a few more pointers on how to continue to do what I am doing.

What am I doing you ask?  I create extraordinary experiences to help you move forward into excellence.  What is excellence?  Excellence is doing all that you commit yourself to, to be done at the highest level of focus and meaningful direction.  Simply said, it is a trained instinct of significant progress.  You interested?

I have learned over the years that nothing can be forced.  In fact, the more you push at it, ironically it pushes you right back to where you started.  Yes, equal and opposite reaction, or in this case, the opposite direction.  In order for us to gain forward motion and progress, focus and a meaningful direction are both required.  Then, a lot of hard work done intelligently, so that any force being transfered is exactly into the direction of what is necessary to further your quest.  This is why it is so important to know what you want.

Why Raising the Bar?  I have helped to lead  so many people toward extraordinary changes in their daily lives and I have done this by learning early on that most were not recognizing their daily actions of insanity.  Yes, they were all working hard, however, they didn’t recognize that their work had become non-progressive.   I would like to introduce a new direction, and this direction leads us away from mediocrity, and toward extraordinary.

I can tell you now that extraordinary does exist, and if you are willing, you will find it.  You can begin now with three very simple steps.

1.  Wipe your slates clean, mediocrity was yesterday.

2.  Write down exactly what you want

3.  Next to it, draw an arrow going up, because this my friend is our direction toward extraordinary.

A voice of direction and creativity,

Coach Sanity

6 Small Meals?

In the hopes to continue to create a sense of balance, a long with share my thoughts of sanity, I’d like to share some personal applied practices to the theories of 6 small meals vs one large meal.  I also think this is something important to address because each year most of us set a goal to lose weight.  Ironically, for some strange reason, most people can not maintain their lost weight, and find themselves either starting over, or starting from an even higher weight gain.  Hopefully once you have read this post, you will have a more clear idea as to which philosophy to follow.

First, where did the practice of ‘six small meals’ a day come from.  If you are familiar with Bill Philips, and his book, Body For Life, you can recall his prescription for weight loss was to consume six small meals a day.  With the goal to a. speed up metabolism,  b. stabilize insulin levels, and c. provide a steady flow of carbs, proteins, and fats (macronutrients).

This is simplified down for the spaces of this post, moreover, there are other benefits to this way of eating.

Needless to say, this can be, and has been a successful way of eating for a lot of people.  Bodybuilders specifically as they have been successful with it for years.  If you have found success in doing this, by all means, don’t change it if it isn’t broken.

I do feel it is important to also share that there are some not so positive realities that may come with following this way of food consumption.  For one, it can become quite time consuming to prepare forty two meals every 7 days, for each passing week.  You may also begin to feel overwhelmed with your mind set around food, food, food.  In other words, your mental frame of your day is around consuming calories ALL DAY LONG.  Probably not the best approach if you find that you are back to square one, months or a year later.  Of course if you never stop eating this way, and you do gain the self control to stick to small number of calories six times a day, then you will be successful.  Keep in mind I said NEVER.  Which may be a lifetime of worrying about overeating.  One word, stress.

If you are in search for something different, might I suggest my way of daily eating.  Understand that I started years ago as an overweight adolescent.  Later, I glorified the small meal eating as I was also a competitive bodybuilder, and all around gym rat.  When I reached my 30′s, I found that I was not in balance of my mind spending, with preparing for the gym and being at the gym vs. a life existing outside.  How could I have the rewards of both worlds?

I switched my way of eating and found liberation.  I was liberated from thinking about food, to making memories of trying flavors.  No longer was I fearing overeating because I no longer experienced self deprivation.  The rewards were that I was now healthy because of how I used my time in the gym, and now I also have a healthy relationship with all foods.  No fear of overeating, just a healthy habit of chewing slowly, all those zests of macronutrient combinations.

My typical day of eating looks like this:

Wake – 4 a.m.

Sip coffee

Meal One (large) – 3 p.m.

Meal Two – 6 or 7 p.m.

Sleep – 9 or 10 p.m.

Please note, for all sane purposes, I am not thinking about food preparation all day because I only need to think about it twice.  Now more space is available for making smiles, and smelling roses.  The beauty of this way of eating is that, through time, it becomes very flexible to social gatherings, traveling, surprise getaways, etc.  No need to feel obligated to keeping a kitchen within a 5 mile radius.  Just the open road and a blank canvas.

I hope that I could at least open your mind to something different.  A different way of eating, a long with a different way of living.  If you like what you see, and have a question(s) for me, please feel free to ask.  Obviously I can not customize this approach to you specifically within this confined page on the internet.

Fun. Move. Play.

Coach Sanity


Simple tools.  Significant movement.

Simple tools. Significant movement.

Our excitements run high of adding  new activities through out each year.  Remember, life is a long marathon, not a sprint, and the better we prepare ourselves to enjoy each and every day, the more we can enjoy ALL the rewards.

Before you embark on your next activity (a run. a class. a lifting session. etc.) be sure to take a little time to prepare your body for proper recovery.  Aside from a proper warm-up, healing from the stresses of exercise can begin once you have finished today’s sweat session.  It is also a nice habit to make recognizing that your body can only continue to provide you what you will give it back.  In other words, take care of it, and it will be there for you when you need it.

A few simple actions you can use for recovery are:

  • self myofascial release techniques
  • passive or static stretching
  • short stages of meditation/breathing

I have found that a after my fitness training sessions with a few minutes spent on a tennis ball for my feet, some simple stretches, followed by 10 minutes of meditation can do wonders for longevity.  We all love playing this game of life.  And the better we treat our opportunities to savor our experiences, the more we open ourselves up to take in each colorful rain drop we call today.

To our health, Salud!

Let’s play,

Coach Sanity


“I believe a life practice is personal development aimed at a powerful direction.”

 Coach Sanity

 Through tough “hard knock” life circumstance, I found myself settling with content, moreover, without a direction or meaningful purpose.  After the passing of a parent, illness of a sibling, and friendships lost,  I was led to a dark abandoned place where courageously fought life chapters become closure.

What I discovered was an emptiness of truth, a blank space called possibility.  Deep down inside is where our true self gets discovered.  And to be nurtured, for in time, can again be shared with another.


Coach Sanity


My mission is to simplify.  Simplify.  Simplify.  I speak these intentions so boldly because to me, sanity is a fluid line connecting our dots between our mind & body.  I am not only speaking to one direction, moreover, to every direction.

In this moment I speak of a simple application that brings together training, and tasting.  What I mean is, the open spaces between both of them, and how they can more easily work together for you.

When we think of the word train, we may tend to envision words that elevate our hearts and cause us to perspire. For example move, lift, heave, and throw.  When we hear the word taste, we may find ourselves searching for a connection toward delicacy, flavor, and indulge.

As I voiced, our sanity is a line that exists between the lyrics of mind & body.  In this instance, I speak of your lyric to be within a balance of left and right brain hemispheres.  When we taste, our mind should speak to our body voicing logical, rational, analytical, and objective impulses.  We should see it as parts, and as sequential means to an end.  When we train, our mind should fall toward intuition.  Be subjective & holistic.  To learn to see it as a whole rather as individual parts.

A balance can be found not within a focus of which side one remains dominant, but rather gain a strong trust in our body’s feelings of both present place and present time. Here is where I am to be, where I am to play, and where I am to discover.

Follow the signs,

Coach Sanity


A Social Experiment

Envision this:

Three individuals whom each received the same dollar amount of money in a sealed bag, and were told to spend it on what they felt was the best way to use it.


The first went on a mad crazy spending spree, purchasing anything and everything his eyes would see.  If it was shiny, buy it!  If it made noise, I want it!  Needless to say, the expenses added up, and the money quickly dwindled down to zero.


The second went straight to the bank.  She started a savings account and decided to let her bag of money sit in the bank and not think about it being there.  No large purchases were made, and no lavish life experience to be spoken of.


The third took exactly half out of the bag, put it into another, and moved it out of sight.   He then took the other half and split that in to two.  One half of it was deemed for enjoying with family and friends exactly one year from today.  The second half was for one single purchase.  This purchase was to represent what he could not live without and treasured most.


Now ask yourself two questions:

1.  Which person are you?


2.  What did all three have in common?

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