Fat Loss Goals...Keep It Simple by Stephen Cooper

As many of you know me, I keep my words to a minimum and like to keep my life simple.

When I make suggestions to you here or in class, I am passing along things that work in my own life.

I've come across something which I believe will really help with your goals here in boot camp.  (For that matter you can use it in the other areas of your life too...any place you want to work on your goals.)

There's a neat little book originally created by Zig Ziglar, but most recently updated and curated by Seth Godin.

Goal Achievement Book by Zig Ziglar and Seth GodinThe thing I like about this book is that it is simple and right to the point.

You'll hone down your top 4 goals for the next 12 weeks.

Once you have those you'll write down the steps you took each day to get closer to your goals.

And at the end of the day you'll check off if you did enough or not.  See, simple.

How will this help you with fat loss and your time at boot camp?

To get results here you only need to concentrate on doing a few things.

Eat clean, train, and rest and recover.  Imagine writing these in this goal book.

It will be easy for you to keep track of your commitment.

Do it!  And best of all let me know how it works for you.

You can get the goal books through Amazon. (No, I don't get paid for recommending these.)

What We Can Learn from World Champion MMA Fighters by Stephen Cooper

JC Santana and Stephen Cooper, MMA Strength and Conditioning Certification in Boca Raton, FL

Last week I flew down to Boca Raton Florida for my Strength and Conditioning Certification for Mixed Martial Arts with JC Santana

I went down there for two reasons. 

The first was a selfish reason.  Having started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu about a year ago, I wanted to learn how to improve my own conditioning. 

The second reason is that I wanted to learn how I could modify the training regimens of these elite fighters and apply them to my boot campers. 

What I didn't expect was that I was going to learn how champions approach training, and how I could use that not only for myself, but also for my clients. 

No matter what your feelings are on the often brutal sport of MMA, there is no question that these fighters are some of the best conditioned athletes in the world. 

Having to fight at precise weight levels the athletes are lean, strong, powerful, and very nimble. 

I wanted to learn the routines and strategies these warriors use, and apply them to my "weekend warriors". 

Juan Carlos Santana, one of the top strength coaches in the world, led us through some sample circuits.

MMA Strength and Conditioning Certification, JC Santana, Boca Raton, FL

 (Me in all black training on the PowerMax 360)

You can check out a video of us going through a circuit here.  

He gave us a lot of information on how he and his team prepare his fighters to outlast the competition.  (Isn't this what many of us are trying to do in the real world?  Have the stamina to be the best at work, and have incredible energy to spend with our family and loved ones.) 

JC demonstrated both the science and real world application.  Just like at boot camp, smart programming with consistent effort can produce excellent results. 

Probably the most valuable part of this weekend was the question and answer period with the fighters.


2011-04-16_IHP Fighters @ IHP

(MMA Fighters at IHP Fit in Boca Raton, FL) 

The fighters reminded me what it takes to be champion. 

  • No excuses.
  • Unrelenting passion, focus, and determination.
  • Extreme dedication.
  • Commitment to being the best.  

My take away from the weekend was a reminder of how often I feel sad and frsutrated that so many people quit, or sell themselves short. 

I see it time and time again in my clients.

The tools are here to reach the highest levels in health and in life.   

Aren't you in a fight for your life? 

To be the best mom or dad?  To be the best at your profession?  And so on... 

Don't back away...step up and fight.

Don't Settle. Challenge Yourself to Be Your Best. by Stephen Cooper

"It is not the critic who counts.

Not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled

or how the doer of the deeds might have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena

whose face is marred with sweat, dust, and blood.

Who strives valiantly,

who lives and comes up short again and again.

Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions

and spends himself in a worthy cause.

Who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement

and who, if he fails at least fails while daring greatly.

So that his place shall never be with those cold and timed souls

who know neither victory nor defeat."

Good Monday Morning by Stephen Cooper

As I mentioned on our Facebook page this morning...

"Boot campers, way to get your morning started. To those who skipped... a little message, your body doesn't know that its a holiday...it needs to be challenged in order to improve. Get after it!" 

A great message from my buddy Frank Pucher of Fitness 121 Personal Training...

"Promise yourself to be so strong that noting can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!"

More news later today, as I'll give a round up from the Perform Better conference that Marie and I attended over the weekend.

Turn your "shoulds" into "musts" by Stephen Cooper

Each day you have the choice to either bring yourself closer to your goals, or waste the opportunity.

The most successful clients that I've had over the years do the little things day in and day out.

I'm sure that you have many things that you know you should be doing to be more fit and more lean.

What two things must you do today which will put you back on track, or which will bring you closer to your goals?

Please post your "two things" in the comment section below.

Happy Birthday to Courtney in the Morning Class 

Special Recognition to Adrienne of the Evening Class - Adrienne put in a great workout on Friday night. Her focus and attention to form were right on target.

This type of intensity and hard work will pay off.

I'm sending Adrienne a copy of Tim Ferris' new book, The 4-Hour Body as a little "gift" for a job well done.


Speaking of Incredible Before and After Pictures... by Stephen Cooper

I've been working on the before and after pictures from our Paleo Challenge, and I'm also editing some other pictures.

I know that some people tend to think that fat loss "just happens' and that some people are "just lucky".  In my 17 plus years as a trainer, I've seen very few people who have this luck.  I'd say that about 5% of the population have this luck.

The rest of us work hard for results.

There are no shortcuts.

It takes a commitment to clean eating, training, and getting the proper rest and recovery.

I can vouch for this boot camp client below, that she deserves these awesome results.  She puts in the hard work.  I can remember there were times when I first started the boot camp, and some days there were only two people in my class, her and Vanessa (who has also gotten incredible results.)

What can you take away from this?

Get inspired...and know that you can do it too.

The Importance of Time, by Tom Peters by Stephen Cooper


I know, it may seem a little odd to have a video from business guru Tom Peters here on my boot camp site, but what he has to say is critical.

Our time is finite, and for those of you who are working on getting into shape and losing fat, how you spend your time will make or break you.

I was just talking to a boot camper last night and mentioned to her that I only workout for 15 minutes, about 3 times a week.  I also do jiu jitsu twice a week for sixty minutes each session.

These workouts are put in to my daily schedule and it is very rare that I miss them.

In order for you to be in the shape you desire you must pay critical attention to your time.  I always say, "make time for you".

Don't put this off...or wait till some other day.  Do it today!

Day 9 of the Paleo Challenge by Stephen Cooper

Ellen Sue's Paleo spaghetti with spaghetti squash with homemade "bolognese sauce".

Paleo FAQ's

Question:  What about ghee?  Even though its a butter product, as far as understand it isn't technically dairy because its all been skimmed out.... I haven't used it yet, but your thoughts?  And are certain meats, like bacon and sausage okay? 

Answer:  Ghee is technically 'illegal' as the preference would be to use coconut or olive oil instead.  If you are going to use ghee or butter look for products that are made with the milk of grass-fed animals in order to improve the Omega-3 content. from Amy Kubal, R.D.

A couple of you mentioned that you like the motivation videos on my site.  I've just added another here:



IDEA World Conference in Los Angeles by Stephen Cooper

Yesterday I helped out my coach, Todd Durkin as he rallied about 250 fitness professionals at the L.A. convention center. 

The IDEA conference is attended by close to 5,000 fitness pros from all over the world.  I met people from Japan, Turkey, and Singapore.

I worked with an incredible team yesterday.  Here are just a few of the guys.

Coach Jeff Dillman, Head of IPI Physical Conditioning at IMG

Dr. Chris Mohr, Sports Nutritionist for the Cincinnati Bengals and is also the Sports Nutritionist for Under Armour’s TNP Training Council.

Troy Fontana, Nominated for 2010 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year 

For about and hour and a half groups of attendees were put through the ringer at each station.  I was at the ropes station.  What a blast.  The participants were sweating like crazy after their time with us.

I had some time to talk to Randy Hetrick, creator of the TRX, and also Fraser Quelch, the director of training and development for Fitness Anywhere.

I was trying to get any tips I could on spreading the fun for you guys in our boot camp sessions.

Fraser Quelch and Stephen Cooper

Randy Hetrick and Stephen Cooper

8 suggestions for succeeding from john wooden by Stephen Cooper

Winning wisdom from the great John Wooden, as sent to me from my coach and mentor, Todd Durkin...
8 Suggestions for Succeeding
1. Fear no opponent. Respect every opponent.
2. Remember, it's the perfection of the smallest details that make BIG things happen (ATTENTION TO DETAIL)
3. Keep in mind that hustle makes up for many a mistake.
4. Be more interested in character than reputation.
5. Be quick, but don't hurry.
6. Understand that the harder you work, the more luck you will have.
7. Know that valid self-analysis is crucial for improvement.
8. Remember there is not substitute for hard work and careful planning. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
9 Promises That Can Bring Happiness
1. Promise yourself that you will talk about health, happiness and prosperity as often as possible.
2. Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something special in them and that you value it immensely.
3. Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best in yourself and others.
4. Promise to be enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
5. Promise to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
6. Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.
7. Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.
8. Promise to give so much time to improving yourself that you do not have time to criticize others.
9. Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.


2010 Winter Olympics by Stephen Cooper


I'm not much of a team sport type of guy.  I much more appreciate the one to one battle.

I do love the Olympics though, and I'll probably watch quite a bit of it.

I just found a video of some of the Swiss skiers and what they call their "Torture Chamber".

I love the quote from their coach...

"Well, there are no secrets. It is hard work. It is lifting weights."


The Process of Successful Fat Loss by Stephen Cooper

As I've mentioned before, there are 3 areas that I ask you to focus.

  1. Nutrition
  2. Training
  3. Rest and Recovery

One of the most simple ways to monitor yourself and see how you are doing is to give yourself  a rating from 1 being least compliant to 10 being excellent.

Each day simply note somewhere be it a paper notebook or electronically, how you did in each area.

Once again it seems simplistic, but simple is often not easy...but it works big time.  No mystery, no distractions.  You'll quickly be able to see how you are doing, or where you need to improve.

Inches Make Champions by Stephen Cooper

"What's the difference between success and failure? Ideal conditions? Half again as much effort? Twice the talent? Ten times "the breaks"? Or is it simply that some people have what it takes and some people don't?

Vince Lombardi, the football coach who brought the Green Bay Packers from fifteen losing seasons to successive world championships, thought success was a matter of inches. A bit more concentration, one extra push in practice, a consistent second effort for a tiny additional gain. He didn't ask his players to be something other than they were - he asked them to improve their best an inch at a time. He knew inches add up, in life as in sports.

In life as in football, it is often the little things that count: going to meetings when we feel like staying home, or speaking our minds, no matter how insignificant our opinion may seem. When we feel like simply hiding - inches make the difference.

Today, I will be aware that I am a champion in the making. I may not make a complete turnaround today, but I will make progress."

-Vince Lombardi