More About Habits by Stephen Cooper

A client asked more about the Lift app and how I use here is a quick response.

What I like to do is "move" the habits in an order that makes sense to me.

On my personal list I list them according to how I will probably check them off during the
  • Sleep 8hrs
  • Floss
  • Eat 2 fruit
Make sense?
My Lift App ListThe nice thing is that you can easily see which have been done, and which need completeing.
You can easily see how you did for the week or month, or more...for each of your habits.


As Seth Godin says about habits,

"Habits are great when they help us get what we want. Bad habits, on the other hand, are bad because the shortcut that satisfies us in the moment gets in the way of our long term goals."

Here's a link to an audio interview with Lift Co-founder Tony Stubblebine.

What Will You Do This Weekend to Stay Fit? by Stephen Cooper

You may attend boot camp classes with me during the week, but what activities do you do over your weekend to keep yourself on track?

For those of us who are lucky to live in the Pasadena area, our weather provides so many opportunities to get outside and take advantage.

One of the best activities is to just get out and walk.  This is a great time to encourage your family to be part of your healthy life, you may be doing them a huge favor by getting them up and moving.  One of our favorite activities is going on the stair walks from the book, Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles by Charles Fleming. 

When I'm crunched for time, I knock out a simple jump rope workout.  I will set my timer on my phone for 20 minutes, and have it notify me every 30 seconds.  For 30 seconds I'll jump rope, then for 30 seconds I'll "recover" with squats.  I'll repeat this pattern for the entire 20 minutes.

There are two weekend options for you.

What else do you like to do over your weekend to stay fit?


First step by Stephen Cooper

I will probably be posting a few times today as there is quite a bit of information.

Many of you will be taking your first boot camp class today, and many of you will be starting our 2nd Paleo Challenge, so the first step is to just do it.

For those of you who showed up this morning and made it through the fitness "tests", congratulations.  That's what it takes...just getting up, out of bed, and in to action.  You've done it!

If you are in the Paleo Challenge then your first step is to eat a Paleo version of breakfast.  Have you done that? (Put you answer in the comment section below.)

If you are curious to know if I actually "do" what I "preach".  Yes indeed.

For breakfast I had a lean beef patty from Trader Joe's with a little seasoning, a small handful of walnuts, a small orange, and some green tea.  As far as my workout...I'm going out right now after I finish typing this post.

How did you start your day???

Day 22 of the Paleo Challenge and next Boot Camps by Stephen Cooper

A few things today.

I continue to hear great results from the Challenge.  Lot's of comments with people losing 10 pounds in the first 3 weeks.

A few of you have contacted me and/or Amy too to discuss "tweaking" your diet.  If you aren't seeing the results you had hoped for, by all means get a hold of me.  We'll look deeper in to what's going on.

I'm here for you.

Speaking of "being here" for you, I have streamlined a few things that may make me more available and to help you better.

As the number of clients increased in the last camp I was a bit overwhelmed.  Many new people joined and my "regulars" stayed...this created the biggest classes to date.

I have been working hard on trying to organise some things better which should make your experience better.

I'm a life long learner and am always trying to get the most out of life, but in a balanced manner.


I have begun to take "attendance" electronically.  I will now be sending emails to those who miss their session. This method also allows me to run reports on how often you come to class, or have missed.  It will be telling for you and I.  I realize that people travel, etc., but please keep in mind that there are only 12 opportunities, or 8, depending on your session... for you to attend.  Clear out your schedules the best you can to make each session.  By the way, the classes are designed in such a manner that if you miss a day, you are missing a day of the "larger plan". 

Next Camps

We don't have many boot camp classes left in this year.  The next MWF camps begin on October 11 and run till November 5.

We then have two short sessions because of the holidays.

November 8 - November 19 has  only 6 class meetings and then...

November 29 - December 17 has 9 class meetings.

If you haven't already, please let me know if you will be in the next camp (Oct 11 - Nov 5).  If you know that you want to be in the other two camps too, by all means let me know...I may even give you a discount for registering for all 3 remaining camps. 

For those in the Tue and Thur classes you will have even fewer meetings.  (I can discuss those specific dates with you.)

Just not "feeling it" by Stephen Cooper

I wrote this as an email to a boot camper who I saw was dragging this morning.

For those of you in the Paleo Challenge this may be old news, but for others have a look and get back to me...

"I could tell that you weren't "feeling it" today. 

What can I/we do to make it better? 

How is your eating?  Describe to me your typical day...






How many hours did you sleep last night?

Is it possible to take a nap at work?  Tell them the benefits? 

Keep me informed.  I want you to have full energy for your training. 


Day 6 of the Paleo Challenge, and Thanks by Stephen Cooper

Almost one week.

Like I mentioned, be careful over the weekend as often there are more temptations.


On a personal note...

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, notes, and cards.  I can't explain to you how lucky and fortunate I feel.

I have a wonderful wife who has been my backbone of support.  Meeting are marrying her has been the most positive and meaningful thing that has happened in my life.

Having healthy, happy and adventurous minded kids is a great blessing and a lot of fun.

To my clients, I am very grateful that our paths have crossed.  

What Did You Have For Lunch Today? by Stephen Cooper

...and more importantly did it help you on your path to losing fat and getting lean, or did it push you in the wrong direction?

You'll find that these choices add up.  Choose healthy meals and your body will reward you with better health and a leaner body.  

So tell me here in the comments, what did you have for lunch today?

P.S.  If you were curious, I had two small pork chops in olive oil, and a peach.  Nothing complicated, but right on target.


Newsletter for August 9, 2010 by Stephen Cooper

Lot's going on, but I'll do my best to keep it tight.

Busy busy weekend, but let's get started with some incredible
 new transformation pictures I've posted on the website. (

Have a look.  What you'll see are just three of our most recent transformations.  These are clients who have shown up, and made the commitment to changing their bodies.  These women have decided that enough was enough.  They put in the hard work and now they feel confident and strong in their lean bodies.

 You may be neglecting your body...and feeling sluggish and out of shape, but know that you can change today.  It may be one of my boot camps, or it can be anything that you'll do on a consistent basis...but do something.  Don't wait till some magical start date when the stars are in it today.

I was talking to one of my boot campers the other day and mentioned to her how much I look forward to Mondays.  I really can't wait to get to training.  I love my time off and vacations, but my groove is really spending time and seeing the results that my clients get.  I feel so lucky.

This past weekend I spent some time at a huge fitness conference here in L.A.  I've posted a couple of pictures here.

I really enjoy attending events like those as I get a chance to listen and learn from the pros...great stuff.

My kids have been in Brazil with their grandparents and relatives since late June.  My wife will be leaving tomorrow and come back with them in September.  For those of you who haven't seen a pic of my daughter in while, she's 17 now.  Hard to believe.

Boot Camp
Big news for the boot camp...Marie, one of the "transformations"  from our front page, just passed her personal trainer examination/certification this Saturday and will soon be joining me as my first trainer.  I don't take my profession or business lightly, and I can tell you that I am 100% confident in how well Marie will be in assisting you with your fat loss goals.

I will be adding some new days and times for our boot camp classes.  As it looks right now, I will be offering a Tue and Thursday class from 5:45-6:30am.  This class will be geared towards beginners, or those who need to get back on track before jumping in to a regular boot camp.

Contact me if this may be of interest to you.  (626)609-7399

Our regular M,W,F  morning session which begins August 16, has a waiting list.  If you haven't already told me if you want to be in this class, please confirm with me.

We still  have some spaces in the PM session. (6-6:45)

On-line Accountability Members Group
Lastly, I am putting the final touches on our on-line coaching group.  We'll be meeting virtually and you'll receive a PDF workout via email, or via your cell phone.  You'll also have access to our on-line group chat, videos, and telephone seminars.   This monthly workout will be the same that my boot campers are currently doing.  This is a great option for those who can't make our in-person sessions, or who want a less expensive alternative.
Contact me if you'd like more details.

Enjoy today,

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

How to Contact Stephen by Stephen Cooper

I just wanted to let you know the best ways to contact me.

The best way to reach me for regular things is via email:  stephen (at)

I'll see your email pretty quick, unless it's the weekend or after 6pm.

You can call and leave me a message on my answering machine at (626)609-7399.  Your message is sent directly to my email, so I pick those up pretty quick too.

I don't often read or see direct messages on Facebook.

Almost never do I see or reply to messages on Twitter

New Boot Camp Session in the Pasadena Altadena Area Begins July 19 by Stephen Cooper

First of all a word of thanks to those of you who sent me wishes about my knee surgery.  I really appreciate it.

My knee is stiff and a little unstable, but otherwise I'm really happy with the procedure.  Now I just have to be patient in not training too hard...which is not going to be easy for me.

The next session begins on Monday the 19th.  As usual, please confirm with me either way, if you'll be continuing with this session, or you'll be taking a break. The morning class looks pretty full, but the evening class could use some company.  If you know anyone who could use some help or a boost with their fat loss plans, send them our way.  (They will receive a discounted price, plus you'll get one free session for each person you refer.)

Rest and Recovery
As you know I stick to the basics when it comes to long term good health.  One of the important areas which you must appreciate is rest and recovery.  I can't tell you how many clients I've had who felt like they had to do more to "lose the fat".  It just isn't true! Doing more often leads to burn out, colds, overtraining, creating lack of results, and ultimately quitting everything in disgust.

I've seen a lot of success with boot campers just doing our three, 45 minute sessions.  (With my own training I typically train 15-20 minutes...maybe 4 times per week.)
If you want to do more on your own make sure that you are eating right on target, meaning 85-90% compliant, and that you are sleeping enough (meaning waking up feeling completely rested.)

Don't add more just for the heck of it.  Stick to the plan.

 (Here's my version of "relax and recovery" with my kids.)

One of the keys to losing fat, keeping it off, and staying lean is that you must create good habits.  A quick fix or a temporary diet may work in the short term, but long lasting success comes from good habits.

Think of one habit that you can begin today which will contribute towards your better health.

Think of one habit that you could eliminate today that would bring you closer to your goals.

Implement them today.

If you need some suggestions, let me know.

See you soon,

Fourth of July Schedule by Stephen Cooper

Monday morning the 5th our AM class will meet at 7a...not 5:45.  

Evening class will meet at the regular time.

Article on the Paleo Diet:

Nice article on a guy who lost 71 pounds in 6 months using the Paleo style of eating.

On a personal note...

On Tuesday I will be having arthroscopic surgery on my left knee.  I tore my medial meniscus doing jiu jitsu.  I tried for some time to work with it, but I need to get this fixed.  It's been very frustrating for me as I haven't been able to do any lower body exercises for about 2 months.

On Wednesday morning July 7, Marie B. will be leading the AM session.  You are in very good hands with Marie. She has been training with me since I began the boot camps about 2 years ago.  She has been studying for her personal trainer exam for quite some time and will be taking her test at the end of this month.

I will keep you posted if I will be making the evening session.

Up until this point, 44 years, I thought that I was indestructible.  In all the years that I've lifted weights I've never gotten hurt like this.  There have been occasions that I've had to lay off for a week, maybe two at the most with a sore joint, but nothing like this.  It's all new to me.

Relax, It's the Weekend. Plus It's Part of a Smart Fat Loss Plan. by Stephen Cooper

Morning boot campers working on the TRXYour success with losing fat during our boot camp , and keeping it off will depend a lot on creating balance in your life.

The best way I've found to do this is by showing up and training hard during the week.  In our case Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, are our training days.  My hope is that you have made it to each session and trained as hard as you could.

If you are trying to lose fat, which most of you in the boot camp have told me is your goal, then eating well should be right on target 6 days a week.

So now we've come to Saturday and Sunday.  For many this can be challenging.  Parties, bar-b-ques, weddings, etc., all of these usually include some rich foods, and many times alcohol.

If you have trained hard, and eaten well during the rest of the week, one day won't set you back on your goal to fat loss.  Your body may even "need" the shock to keep your metabolism revving. 

Enjoying the weekend with my daughter.

As you plan your week, keep in mind the one day which you'd like to treat yourself.  In my own example, last weekend we had a big get together to watch the World Cup game in which Brazil was playing.  I knew that I would want to eat more than usual, plus there were some desserts I wanted to eat.  I ate basically whatever I wanted without the worry that I would gain weight.  It's a good feeling to enjoy life.

The problem becomes when we over do it the rest of the week.

Plan your week.  If you need help with your specific situation, please contact me.


Simplify for Fat Loss Success by Stephen Cooper

I've written about this before, but I believe that this is critical if you want to stay lean and healthy.

Find ways to simplify your life.

Our lives are getting way more complicated and there is no "off button".  Everyone seems to always be on and connected.  I too am guilty of this.  Checking email, scanning never ends.

My challenge for you today is to find 3 things that are preventing you from being at your desired weight or fitness level and to eliminate them.

  • Things like watching 2 hours of TV at night and not going to bed early enough. 
  • Not planning your meals and having to grab fast food.
  • Surfing the internet and then not having time to home cook a healthy meal.

There are many more, you just have to choose 3 and eliminate them.

The second part of this exercise is to add 1 good thing.

  • Eating 2 fruits today.
  • Eating 4 vegetables today.
  • Walking around the block with your family or dog.

Once again there are many and you just have to add one.

Let me know what you come up with in the comment section below.

Here are my changes...

1.  Eliminated checking email, Facebook, etc. to 2x a day.  This is way down for me.

2.  Streamlined my "to do" list to something very basic (low tech).

3.  Finish work by 4p so I can cook dinner and spend time with my family.


1.  Riding my bike for short errands.

P.S.  Two of my favorite sites for simplifying life are:

Zen Habits




Stay on Track With Your Training During Thanksgiving Week by Stephen Cooper

My hope is that you have been earing clean and training hard so that when Thursday comes, you'll be able to enjoy all of your Thanksgiving favorites without any guilt.

Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas should be fun, and filled with loved ones and good food.  I would rather that you go overboard a few times a year, then skimp and try to plan a diet, or low fat holiday.

Enjoy each day, be thankful each day...we have been given a tremendous gift.

P.S.  The videos below are from my hike the other day.  On the video I mention one of the reasons why I enjoy being in shape.  It's nice to look nice, but the benefits of feeling great and able to do whatever your body asks is tops in my book.

Your Goal for Boot Camp Video by Stephen Cooper

You know when you go to a store and someone says that..."may I help you?". It sounds so insincere.

It's difficult to put this across in an email, but I really do want to know how to help you. I've made a short video today where I talk about your goals in taking the boot camp.

When I think of my job as your trainer I have a couple of main points on my mind.The first is to help you achieve your goal as fast and as safely as possible. Each email, video, workout, etc., has your goal in mind.

The second goal is to help you develop these skills and techniques so that you'll make them a habit in your own life.

So having said that, I'd really like to know what can I do to help? Is it more videos, emails, articles, more training days, weekend sessions? I'm totally open to hearing from you and your ideas.

Take 2 minutes to watch the video, and let me know.

Have a great day,Coop 

A Little More Personal by Stephen Cooper

For some of you, you have never met me before taking this boot camp, so I want to take a few minutes to let you know how I feel about "our relationship".

That's really what training with a coach or trainer comes down's about a relationship.

Most of the time when I take on a trainee like yourself, he or she is coming to me to lose weight.  The nice thing about training is that if you put in the work, and eat relatively clean or healthy, the weight specifically the fat, will come off.  Just as you may have put it on by bad eating habits and no exercise, the good thing is that it will come off as soon as you reverse those habits.

But, there is much more to losing the fat.  Stress, lack of sleep, and so on.

What I want you to know is that we are in this together.  You are not merely another "body".  We will get to know each other and I am here to help you succeed.  You have access to my personal email, and my cel phone, so by all means if you have any questions please contact me. (If you don't have these just let me know.)