Summer Paleo Challenge (Starts Monday June 19) by Stephen Cooper

Challenges work.

Time and time again, I see clients get great results from our Paleo Challenges.

For each Paleo Challenge, I try to step up my own game, and add improvements to what I share.  With this challenge, I'll add what I've learned from Robb Wolf's (the godfather of the Paleo movement) book, Wired to Eat. 

Past participants have said...

Nicole says..."I've lost a total of 15 pounds since I started boot camp, with 10 of those since starting the Paleo Challenge."

Michelle says..." Stepped on the scale this morning and I'm down 10.5 pounds since the start of the challenge."

Sal says... "Weight at the beginning of The Paleo Challenge was 228 lbs. Weight at the end of the challenge was 210 lbs.  My waistline in the beginning was 42in., and now is 38in.  Initially, I was a bit skeptical about the challenge. I noticed I had a lot more energy during the workouts and throughout the day.  I also started sleeping better, which I think came from having a good diet. I’ve decided that I am going to continue with this diet because it’s a necessary life change.    I've been riding the bike to work and going uphill minus 18lbs. makes a huge difference!

Here are the details

The 2017 Summer Paleo Challenge begins Monday, June 19, 2017, and runs for 60 days, ending on August 18.  

Here are some of the basics when it comes to following the Paleo Eating Plan.  (Please look over these to decide if you are up to the challenge.)

  • Eat real food
  • Do not eat or drink dairy.
  • Do not eat grains.
  • Do not eat sugars of any kind, real or artificial.sugars of any kind, real or artificial.
  • Do not eat processed foods.
  • Do not drink alcohol, in any form.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep each day.

Details and Guidelines of the Challenge

  • Cost: $40 to be put into a kitty. (You can pay in person, or contact me to pay online by June 19.)
  • 3 'Before' pictures taken on or within 2 days of June 19, 2017.  Front view, side view and back view. Men are in shorts and Women are in shorts and sports bra/bikini top.  (See example here.)
  • 3 'After' pictures are taken (on or before August 18)
  • Your beginning and ending scale weight.
  • Your Body Measurements:
    Belly: Place the measuring tape over your belly button and measure around your body. 
    Hips: Place the measuring tape across the widest part of your hips/butt and measure all the way around while keeping the tape parallel to the floor.
    Chest: Place the measuring tape around the biggest part your breasts/pecs and measure around while keeping the tape parallel to the floor.
    Thigh: Measure around the largest part of the thigh. Measure and record both legs
    Upper arm: Measure around the largest part of each arm, above the elbow. Measure the same portion of the arm every time.
  • Winning is based on improved body measurements and weight lost.
  • Stephen will pick the winners.
  • The Grand Prize Winner takes home 75% of the kitty plus 1 month of boot camp classes.
  • The First Runner-up takes home 15% of the kitty plus 1 month of boot camp classes.
  • And the Second Runner-up gets 10% of the kitty.
  • Past winners have taken home some really cool Paleo Cookbooks too.

60 Paleo Challenge "Rules"

Each day you should be doing 3 things.

1.  Eat Paleo

2.  Exercise

3.  Sleep at least 8 hours

  1. Eat real food. Meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit, oils. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re fresh and natural.
  2. Do not eat dairy. This includes butter, cheese, yogurt and milk (including cream in your coffee).
  3. Do not eat grains. This includes bread, rice, pasta, corn, oatmeal, and also any gluten-free pseudo-grains (quinoa, etc).
  4. Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter!
  5. Do not eat sugars of any kind, real or artificial.  No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Truvia, Stevia, etc.sugars of any kind, real or artificial.  
  6. Do not eat processed foods. This includes protein shakes, processed bars like Zone and Balance Bars, dairy-free creamers, etc.
  7. Do not drink alcohol, in any form.

Coaching and Support

Free, private coaching group via Facebook page with recipes, workouts, tips, accountability, and any support I can help you with. 

How to Sign Up

Email me for details. I will then send you more information, and invite you to the private Facebook group.

What to do since we aren't training on Memorial Day by Stephen Cooper

Hopefully, you've heard that we aren't meeting on Monday.

  • If you've been training hard and consistently this past week, then go ahead and take the day off.
  • If you've been stressed out, not sleeping well, overwhelmed...also take some time off.
  • If for some reason you missed your workouts, and have energy, get in a workout on Monday.

Listen to your body honestly, and take approprite actions.


Summer Fat-Loss Boot Camps Start June 1 by Stephen Cooper

Mornings look like this...

Mornings look like this...

Now that we have daylight in the morning Boot Camps, you have one less excuse as to why you can't train.  

It's not that hard to wake up now, and getting it done in the morning guarantees that your exercise is taken care of.  From experience, I see too many people who don't start their day with exercise but promising that it will happen later.  And...guess what?  Somehow and for many reasons, the exercise doesn't happen.

Don't fool yourself.  Commit.

You can train with us Mon-Friday from 5:45 am - 6:30 am.  Choose 2-3 days per week. the evenings from 6:00 pm - 6:45 pm.

3x a week is $165, and twice a week is $135

Big improvements can be made in 1-2 months of training.  Don't let more time pass without taking action.

Contact me with any questions, and to secure your spot for the June Camps.

If you don't live close, but would still like some long distance coaching, I provide an online nutrition and workout option which may work for you.


P.S.  Current Boot Campers if you haven't already, please confirm if you'll be continuing in June.
P.S.S.  And note, no classes on Memorial Day.

In Case You Slept In and Missed Your Workout, You Can Do This (Morning Workout Plan) by Stephen Cooper


For whatever reason, you missed your workout this morning.  Well, here's the at-home workout I did and you can do too.


Warm up as needed then

On the Airdyne Bike (you can use whatever cardio machine you have, or just jog/run)

20 seconds as fast as possible, 40 seconds rest

repeat 4 X

Jump rope as fast as possible for 20 seconds, 40 sec rest

repeat 4x


5 sets of close grip (6") push ups as many as possible, with a 15 sec squeeze/isometric hold after each set (1-2 min rest between sets)


coffee, oatmeal with 1/2 scoop protein powder, and 1/2 apple cut up  (note, I'm not trying to lose weight, so yes I eat oatmeal)

Done - get on with the day

P.S.  If you are here in Pasadena and need a cheap but good jump rope, surprisingly Ross on Lake Ave has good ones.  Cheaper than you'll find on and other sporting goods stores.

There's No "Sexy" in Diet by Stephen Cooper

Your fat loss success is going to come from what you put in your mouth.

You know that I'm blunt, so I want to give it to you straight.

Your success boils down to your dedication and discipline.  Stick to the following suggestions when you want to lose weight while training with me.  (And yes, I know there are a thousand and one other options...but here is my simple solution.)


Optional, many get great results from eating or from skipping breakfast.  It's up to you.

If you are eating my suggested choices are:

Red meat, sardines, eggs, nuts, vegetables, and coffee, tea, or water.

Rest of the Day

Vegetables - lot's of green and fibrous vegetables.  Each time you sit down for a meal aim for having half you plate filled with greens.  And the rest of your plate, have some protein.  Chicken, fish, meat.

Avoid alcohol

One drink per week.

If you train hard...

Treat yourself with some berries or other fruit after your workout.

Keep it simple, and execute!



More Choices, More Distractions, More Stress, and Less Time by Stephen Cooper

Are you at your psychological breaking point?

Overwhelmed and stressed, and wishing for a better way to take care of yourself?

I ask as I see more and more clients who are stressed to the max.  Family, traffic filled commutes, work contacting you on your phone at all hours of the day and night.  

An easy step is to cut down your time on social media.  Measure your time spent there.  Was it useful?  Did it make you a better person?

Here are four books which are definitely useful in helping you to refine and reduce your overwhelm.  (I plan on doing a separate review on each in upcoming blog posts.) 

The One Thing 


Deep Work



No Classes on Memorial Day May 29

Choosing A Specific Time To Exercise by Stephen Cooper

When I started my Boot Camp about 8 years ago, my gut feeling said it was important to "enforce" that clients register for and attend class on specific days and times.

I realized that for many new trainees, sticking to an exercise program was a big part of their frustrations in not seeing results.  In my own case, I know I'm different, be that good or bad, but the way I handle stress and get a "high" out of life, is by exercising.  I'll get it in no matter what.  But if you know that's not in your DNA, then I encourage you to stick to a certain day and time.  Commit, and make it happen.

I've realized that I've been more lax lately in letting clients "make their own schedule", and sadly, I see them missing more and more.  There are way too many distractions pulling us from all directions, and for many the discipline cannot sustain the temptations.

If you find yourself on this ship without a sail, pause for awhile and revisit your values.  What matters most to you?  And get back on track.

From Tony Schwartz's awesome book...  "A group of subjects was asked to exercise at least once for 20 minutes during the next week.  That hardly seems like a daunting challenge, but based on the request itself, only 29 percent complied.  A second group was given the same challenge, along with detailed information about the significant role of exercise plays in reducing the risk of heart disease, an attempt to further motivate them.  Compliance rose modestly, to 39 percent.  A third group was asked to commit to exercising at a specific time, on a specific day, at a designated location.  For this group, compliance more than doubled to an extraordinary 91 percent.

Quality of Life by Stephen Cooper

Hip, from the TX Ranch in Wyoming.  

Hip, from the TX Ranch in Wyoming.  

The more years and deeper that I go into understanding my profession, the more important it is that I see clients improve their quality of life.

Firmer butts and toned abs used to be high priorities for my clients...but these days so many of my clients are stressed to the breaking point. Poor or not enough sleep, work demanding you stay late and be attached to your phone 24/7, family stresses, all add up.

Devote 30 minutes today where you get away from all distractions. Turn off your phone. Walk, preferably in nature.

Listen to your gut. What needs to change?

And...take action.

It's About Mindset by Stephen Cooper

I don't know if getting pumped up before a workout or competition is built into our DNA, or it can be taught.

I encourage my Boot Campers to clear their minds as they are driving to class.

Psyche yourself up and see yourself lifting heavier, and smashing your training session.

The other side of the coin is arriving late, while being immersed in the cat videos and shocking "news" stories on your cel phone.  

You decide.  Will you focus on your health, and your future?  Or will you be distracted?

Monthly Online Coaching by Stephen Cooper

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At 5:20 this morning, as I was setting up for the morning Boot Camp class, I was wondering why some clients see results while others don't.

The main thing that came to mind is habits.  It's the day after day of working on new skills, practicing, and molding them into habits that create long-lasting and healthy changes.

So often now I see clients who'd like to train with me but can't because they work late, or can't get enough sleep...also because of work or family.

They are stressed out the point of almost having a nervous breakdown, and they need more time to fit in self care.

Well, I'm going to offer you an online coaching solution.

It's a daily plan where you'll receive lessons and a habit to work on.  You'll take a few minutes, read through the lessons, and then check off if you've done your lesson and your habit.

Honestly, getting to a healthy weight and the body you want is possible, but without learning the skills, and then practicing them and creating the habits...long term success won't happen.

It's human nature to search for the "next thing", but this program creates a solid path to long-lasting results.

I've personally used this program (Precision Nutrition) since before 2006.  This is the most respected nutrition plan I've seen and used ever since I became a trainer, over 25 years ago.

The second part of the program is the workout plan.  You'll fill out an assessment, and information about your goals.  I will review that, and assign a workout program for you.

For each of these, I will be your coach.  We'll speak directly through the program, plus you can email me, or even call if you like...and I will answer all of your questions.

I'm offering both of these plans for only $67 per month.  I'll be raising the price soon, as I have a limit to how many clients I can coach.

Here is a video which explains the woman's program,

and for the men...

Have a look at the video, and sign up below, or contact me with your questions.

Talk to you soon,

P.S.  You'll still get the results, but you'll be able to do everything from home or your gym.

Hit "Subscribe" to get started.

P.S.S.  I don't really look at my weight too often, but just happened to check my own progress while doing the PN Program (I'm in week 22), and you can see, I'm down 20 pounds.  Pretty crazy!

My own results while using the program.

Did You See This? by Stephen Cooper

Morning Boot Camp

Morning Boot Camp

This morning's sunrise was spectacular.  Did you see it?

Did you plan on waking up early to exercise?

We each have a choice. 

If your goal is to lose weight and improve your health, then commit...truly commit to what it takes.

1.  Training smart and being consistent.

2.  Get in enough sleep and recovery.

3.  Eat healthy 80-90% of the time.

And, eliminate the excuses.

If you want some help, join us.  May Camps start May 1.

Contact me for details, or see the main page for more information.



Too Hectic by Stephen Cooper

I see more and more clients who either can't make it to training, or miss because of long commutes or work obligations.

Just recently I received this email..."I was stuck in traffic and didn't get back to town until after 6pm. Due to my work schedule, I don't think any of the sessions fit well into my current schedule. Hopefully, I will find a job closer to home soon and my schedule will allow me to join one of the sessions; however, I do not feel my work schedule currently permits it."

And my advice...Unfortunately, these days so many clients like you have long commutes and are expected to work at all hours and day of the week.

20 years ago when I was training many one on one clients, these type of pressures weren't present.

My advice would be to find a simple program that you can fit in at home.  Zuzka on YouTube,  has fast, free workouts.


A book that you might like which I really believe would be helpful is, "Wired to Eat", by Robb Wolf.  It's about diet, but also hits on the importance of sleep, stress reduction, and community.  So often I see people not paying attention to these areas and they battle with weight loss.




Sick, Overwhelmed, and Dying Younger by Stephen Cooper

Foz do Iguacu, Argentina

Foz do Iguacu, Argentina

I know, a pretty wild title for this blog post, but it's what I woke up to this morning.

I rarely look at CNN, (I usually read the physical WSJ), but happened to come across this article basically saying that among high-income countries, the lowest life expectancy at birth is likely to be in the US...similar to Mexico and Croatia.  

"People have a relatively high risk of dying in their 40's and 50's".  Many reasons are mentioned including greater risk of obesity and their associated health risks as well as homicides and road accidents.

I find this extremely sad.  Knowing how "wealthy" we are here in the US, but sadly our health and longevity are going down the tubes.

I see and hear from my clients, just how stressed out, overwhelmed, and sick they are. Expectations to work at all hours, to be on call and available 24/7, along with the incessant lure of news and social media, there is little time for pause.  

We all have choices.

Be mindful of how you invest your time.

What Should I Eat After a Workout? by Stephen Cooper

From today's Nutrition Lesson...

What should you eat after your workout?

You don't have to eat special "fitness foods" after your workout.  You know the ones so often hyped by unscrupulous trainers and supplement companies.

If you're not hungry after your workout, wait a little while. Follow your hunger and fullness cues.

Let your body be your guide.

Once you feel truly physically hungry, have a normal meal of real food.

When in doubt, ask yourself:

- Am I truly physically hungry?

- Does this meal nourish my body?

- Does this meal help me look, feel, and perform better?

- Does this meal add value to my body?

*If you are a current Boot Camp client, you can be getting these lessons daily, for free. If you aren't training with me, but would like to sign up for this nutrition coaching plan, contact me.

Remembering Ishi by Stephen Cooper

Yesterday I attended the funeral for a grammar school buddy of mine.  He passed away from a heart attack at the age of 52.

I hadn't spoken to Ishi for many years, probably not since high school.  We'd written through Facebook some, but I hadn't seen him for a long time.

He and I grew up in the same neighborhood.  Those were the days when you rode your bike to a buddy's house and actually played outside.

I remember him so fondly because he always greeted me and others with a big genuine smile.   He radiated a warmth and sincereness that is so often missing from people these days.

One of my childhood friends put it simply, "everyone loved Ishi".

And another friend said, "he was a warrior".  A warrior in the best sense of the word.  One who was faithful, strong, a solid friend, and deeply caring.

It's a sad reminder of just how precious each moment is.

For me, it's also a reminder of what is really important in life.  A clarification of how I want to be remembered, and how to spend each day being authentic and more loving.

I'll miss you buddy.











Special Price for Spring Boot Camps - NEW Camps Start March 1 by Stephen Cooper

The first few months of 2017 have been rainier than usual, and I realize that many of you have missed classes because of the I've created a special offer to get you back on track.

This month, the Monday/Wednesday/Friday camps have 14 classes which would normally cost $175...but I am dropping the cost of the March Camp to $159.  That's about $11 a class!  

* Note that spots are quite limited for new clients in the MWF AM Camp.

The Tuesday/Thursday Camp will have 9 classes in March, and the cost will be $125.

(For active clients, I will make sure you are training at the best preferred price possible.)

About the Camp

  • You'll participate in 12 or 9, forty-five-minute fat burning classes.
  • We may use TRX's, kettlebells, medicine balls, boxing equipment, and your own bodyweight
  • Exercises are adjusted to challenge you, yet not push you past a safe place.
  • You don't need to bring any equipment, only a towel, drinking water and an exercise mat.
  • Small classes so you get personal attention.
  • Personal attention and coaching.  Ask questions any time, via email or in class.


  • Access to daily Nutrition Coaching via Precision Nutrition.  (Valued at $179 per month)  I offer this to Boot Campers, but know there is a considerable commitment of time, and really working on yourself.  I will discuss this option with you when and if you are interested.
  • Off day workouts.  Once again, I offer this help to those who can commit to more work outside of Boot Camp.  The workouts are not necessary, but can accelerate your progress if you can make the time commitment.


  • I prefer that you stick to one Camp time slot...but I can create a personalized training schedule to fit in with your hectic schedule.  My goal is to get you the results you want.  

Contact me with any questions

  • Email:
  • Phone:  (626) 609-7399



Do You Ever Wonder Why We Often Do Bodyweight Workouts? by Stephen Cooper

Does it seem like we often do a lot of bodyweight workouts?

We do.  I want you to realize how big of an impact such "simple" exercises can provide.  

As you've probably felt, those workouts can really make you you know that are challenging.  Challenge creates good stress to the body and therefore creates positive changes.

Another reason is that I want you to remember that when you are training on your own, that you don't need equipment.  Missing a boot camp workout, or not having equipment, is no excuse to skip. You've got all the equipment you need with just your body weight. 

Lady Gaga and the TRX Suspension Trainer by Stephen Cooper

Lady Gaga training with the TRX before the Super Bowl

Lady Gaga training with the TRX before the Super Bowl

Core and fat loss training.

I'm not sure if you saw the Super Bowl, or Lady Gaga's performance.  Honestly, I only saw part of the first half, and clips of the second half and her performance.

But what interests me, is the "behind the scenes" training of both the players and Lady Gaga.  I'm fascinated by their commitment, dedication, and execution.  I study those who are at the top of their game no matter what profession.  They have achieved their success for a reason.

Lady Gaga was using the TRX Suspension trainer before her performance.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the TRX, it was designed by a former Navy Seal and Harvard MBA graduate.  We've been using the TRX in my boot camps for over 8 years.  (First Boot Camp in the Pasadena area, by the way.)

Myself and other professional trainers like Harley Pasternak (Lady Gaga's trainer) use them because they are safe, can be modified to work with your fitness level, and they always work the core and transfer over to real world applications.

For those active in my Boot Camp classes, I've been sending out the full write up of workouts (when they miss).  And today we did a TRX workout.  When I went to Amazon to see the price of a TRX, I noticed that they now offer a less expensive option.  Way back, I paid around $200 for each TRX.  Now TRX offers a home version for just $99.95  Click here to see it on Amazon.

For those of you who aren't training with me, but would like to receive the workouts and training plan, plus nutrition coaching, please contact me for details.  

Now, get to work!