Living and Learning by Stephen Cooper

Living and Learning...

A few weeks ago I went camping with my family up along the California Coast (San Simeon up by Hearst's Castle to be exact).

San Simeon, CA

San Simeon, CA

Normally I'm a very active guy and I look forward to adventures such as this, but this time was a little different.

For the past 2 and half years I've been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  It's been a blast for the most part...but there have been some serious injuries.

The small injuries such as two broken fingers and two broken toes healed pretty fast.

A torn medial meniscus meant a bigger inconvenience, missed workouts and the cost and time dealing with surgery.

Now I have some type of nerve damage in my neck. (Came by way of some big guy rolling on top of me and bending my neck into a bad position.)

So for the past two months I haven't been training because of the pain in my neck and arm.  (If you are wondering, yes I just had an MRI yesterday, going for an EMG soon, all the time talking with my ortho doc.)

I share this with you as it is a real reminder of just how important our health is.

In all the years that I've been working out, meaning weight training...I've rarely gotten injured.  Remember that I began working out at about 13 years old, and I'm 46 lot's of time training.  Sure some muscle soreness or joint issues that lasted a day or so...but never anything like I've experienced doing the jiu jitsu.

So what's my point?

Find some method of exercise that will keep you feeling and performing your best.  Exercise to get rid of the unhealthy fat and to prevent the many diseases that you and I both know are helped with exercise.  Exercise to reduce your stress and to brighten your mood.  Exercise to be a better parent, mom/dad, etc..

If my boot camp classes are a good fit for you, we begin brand new session tomorrow. (June 22)

Cost is $165 for twelve, 45 minute classes.

We meet MWF from 5:45-6:30a, or 6-6:45p

Contact me for any questions or to secure your spot.


P.S.  Current clients please confirm with me if you will be continuing or not.  Thanks.

Spring Boot Camp Begins Next Week by Stephen Cooper

How are you doing with your New Years resolutions of fat loss and better health?

Have you made the progress you had hoped for...or has it been more hope than effort and results?

If you are on the right track and seeing the results you want, then congratulations.  If you aren't seeing the results and are frustrated, then maybe my boot camp is your answer.

If you are committed to change and are willing to put in 2 - 3 hours of work per week, then my boot camp might be a good choice for you.

So often people ask me..."well how many pounds do you think I can lose?"  My gut answer is...that I've had many clients lose about 12 pounds in one camp.  A lot depends on many different factors...but if you put your mind to it, show up, and eat well, I think 12 pounds is very doable.

Reminder of the days and times we meet,
MWF mornings 5:45am - 6:30am
MWF evenings  6:00pm - 6:45pm
TTH evenings same time of 6:00pm - 6:45pm

Cost: 3x a week camp is $165 
         2x a week camp is $115

Morning class only has a few openings.  Evening classes have more space.

* The next camps begin on Tuesday April 24, and Wednesday April 25.

Contact me to secure a spot.

See you soon,

New Spring Boot Camp Begins This Week by Stephen Cooper

Morning Boot Camp Class

Want to know the secret to losing 10 pounds in one week?  I’m writing about this because one of our newest boot campers just told me that in her first week at boot camp (only 3 classes) she lost 10 pounds.

“No way!” You say, “That can't happen to me!”

So how did she do it?

Well, getting these results comes from a proven formula...

And I'm certain that you can do it too.

Over the years I’ve experimented with many many strategies to help people tone and lose fat.  In my upcoming boot camp,  I want to share those strategies with you.

Have a Plan

Many people join my boot camp because they know that they should be working out, but they don't have the time to design a plan, nor are they sure of exactly what they should be doing. 

  • Your time is precious.  When you attend boot camp you can be guaranteed that I have put together the best plan for you to lose fat, tone, and get stronger.  
  • Each class is planned out as being one part of the entire fat loss puzzle.  (You and I will work together to figure out your particular puzzle.)
  • Not only will your plan include what to do in class, but I do my best to suggest workouts that you can do outside of class.  (My client who lost the 10 pounds, did 2 simple at-home workouts which took no more than 12 minutes each.)

Eat Sensibly

If you are anywhere near my age, you've seen hundreds of diets, and probably thousands of supplements...all promising to strip fat and provide miracles.

  • They don't work!
  • So what does work?  Eating the freshest most wholesome food possible.
  • My boot camps are designed to provide long tern results.  Lessons about diet and food that you learn here will provide results that last a lifetime, not just for the 4 weeks or so that you train with me. 

Get In To Action

You've got to take action.  

I recently took BJ Fogg's "Tiny Habits" program (free), where basically you create new habits by making just the smallest change possible.  Taking these small actions set you on the path to creating new and positive behaviors.

If you really want to lose the fat and improve your health, you've got to action.

If you'd like some help in creating new behaviors and taking action, I encourage you to join us this week as we begin new boot camp classes.  (Classes begin Tuesday, Mar 27, and Wednesday, Mar 28)

Let me help you and provide you with the workouts, meal ideas, accountability, and encouragement.

How to Get Started

1.  Decide how much time you can commit to training.  Will it be 3 days a week (45 minutes each class)?  Or does 2 days per week work better for you?  

2.  What times can you train?   

  • Before work 5:45am - 6:30am?   
  • After work   6:00pm - 6:45pm? 

3.  To secure your spot, you'll simply fill out the pre training forms here on my site, and once you've done that, I'll confirm with you via email.


That's it!  I've laid out a plan and some advice.  My hope is that you take action.

Do you have any questions?

What is your plan?


Only a few spaces avail in the MWF Morning Class

Happy Thanksgiving by Stephen Cooper

Three quick things for this Thanksgiving... 

First, a big thank you to my clients present and past.  It's you who allows me to make a living doing what I love. I cannot thank you enough. 

Second, I hope that this Thanksgiving finds you in excellent health.  Now more than ever there seems to be a lot that we cannot control...but one area in which you can take control, is your health.  No one is going to wake up early for you and exercise.  No one is going to make you eat the healthy foods that you know you must eat to be at your best.  No more excuses...take care of you. 

Third,  eat what you like this Thanksgiving.  It really bugs me when I see low fat or low sugar substitutes  during the holiday season.  Eat your favorite goodies.  Enjoy traditional family meals.  One day is not going to ruin your health or your's the other six days of this week that you must focus on. 



P.S.  For those in my boot camps... No class on Thursday, but regular classes on Friday.

Are you Stressed Out? by Stephen Cooper

"Stressed Out"

That's what I hear from friends, clients, and family. 

The turmoil that is around us just seems to be mounting, and people are stressed out like never before.  So many are facing very serious challenges.   

Loss of jobs, increasing pressure from employers to work longer, harder, and the expectation to be connected to work at all hours. 

As I spent last weekend in San Diego visiting my daughter at college, I stepped out of the stress circle and it gave me time to clarify a few things. 

When I first started lifting weights, now over 33 years ago, I can say that it was a great relief from stress.  At that time I was dealing with crappy stuff at home, plus as I trained my mind and body became stronger.  I felt better about myself. 

These days when I train I do so for a few reasons.  One of course is vanity.  I want to look strong and fit.  Second, along with practicing jiu jitsu there is this feeling that I want to have to power to quickly destroy someone if they mess with me or my family.  (This may sound a little harsh to some, and as most of you know I have never been in a fight, and I intend to keep it that way...but the feeling and instinct is still there.) 

The last reason is that I want to be as fit and as healthy as possible to spend time with my family and those that I love. 

In spending that time in San Diego at the beach with my family, seeing my daughter struggle with her first semester of college, it became crystal clear why I want to be fit.  I want to be here as long as possible, and as strong as possible, in order to experience everything there is to with my family. 

So why do you exercise? 

Exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress. are competing with the world now.  Shouldn't' you be strong for your family and yourself? 

Exercise is one thing you have control over.  Of course I'd love for you to train with us at my boot camp...but do whatever it takes to take care of you.

Are you taking the easy way out?  Are you settling for less than your best?  Don't. 

Your life depends on this.  Don't let another day pass you by without exercising and taking charge of your health. 



Fall Back Into Fitness Special by Stephen Cooper

School has officially begun.

In my own case, my daughter began college last week, and my son began seventh grade today.

 (My daughter at SDSU)

If you've been putting off training because you were just too busy this summer, then now is the time to restart.

Our next boot camp begins Sept. 12th..

There are two simple options for a month of training.

1.  Attend 3 sessions per week for $147

2.  Come twice a week for $97

Each class is approximately forty five minutes long.

These prices are the lowest I've offered in two years and I'm not sure how long they will last.

If you start now, you will lock in that rate until at least the end of the year.

If you are serious about losing that nagging fat, then please contact me.  I'm ready to help.  

Best, Stephen  

P.S.  If you have already confirmed your spot with me you can disregard this email...even better is to pass it along to a friend or co-worker who might need a little boost to get moving.

Summer Fat Loss and Toning Boot Camp Begins Monday, June 20 by Stephen Cooper

I've heard from many people that they have been having problems with one of my email addresses...Sorry about that.

Try, hope that one works for us.

As you know, I'm not one to blast out a lot of hype, specials, and lot's of talk.   

The fun I have doing these boot camps and training is when I get emails just like this one I woke up to this morning.

..."I feel that I am getting so much stronger, my stamina has improved. I have lost 18lbs of body weight. Mostly unwanted fat."

Life doesn't get any better than that.  If you'd like to join us and lose some fat or tone up, we'd love to have you with us.

Contact me, and I'll answer your questions, and fill you in on the details.

Best Price in Two Years by Stephen Cooper

I don't take any day for granted.

I know how lucky I am to have a healthy family, and a really fun profession.

Two years ago I started my boot camp.  I had been a personal trainer for over 13 years or so, and it was getting harder and harder for my one on one clients to afford my hourly rate.  I had heard about these "boot camps" and decided to give it a shot.

I still have many of my original clients, and to those of you, I owe you a special thank you.  I mean it from my have allowed me to earn a great living from doing something that I love.  I am so grateful.

So in appreciation for this 2 year anniversary, I am going to drop the price of this session to only $165.  ($110 for the 2 day a week option.) That was the original price when I started two years ago.

*For this special price, I will ask that you pay via cash, check, Square, or Dwolla.  (Those last two have very low cost CC fees for me.)

I'm sure that spaces will fill fast.

If you've had friends who wanted to try boot camp, this is their chance.

I will still honor the "one session free" referral bonus when you bring a new friend too.

If you have a special price for "couples", etc., I will work out something special for you too.

Email me directly to confirm your space.  If your friend is emailing me, make sure that they mention this 2 year anniversary special.

P.S.  The next camp begins March 28.

Newsletter for March 8, 2011 by Stephen Cooper

Mar. 8, 2011

I'm back from a 3 day conference in Denver.  I'll be posting and writing more about that in the next few days, but I wanted to give you a quick and convenient snack idea.

I tried a great and wholesome food bar while I was at the conference.  They are homemade here in L.A..

The reason I'm suggesting that you give them a try is that they are made with real food, nothing artificial...and they taste great.

It's the perfect snack for right after a workout, or maybe in case you can't grab breakfast.

The bar that I like and tried is called "Training 33".  Tim Ferriss of the "4 Hour Body" fame chooses it in his book as the "go to" bar for fat loss.

The site is

If you use my code "Boot Camp Pasadena" you'll receive 5% off.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Free Hike and Workout This Saturday Jan. 29 in Pasadena by Stephen Cooper

Newsletter for Monday... How has 2011 been for you so far?  Are you on the right path to being lean, healthy, and as fit as you desire?

Have you changed for the better?  Or will 2011 just be another year of frustration?

Yes, this is meant to be a little kick in the a.. to get with it.

What are you waiting for?

If you are exercising and eating right, then congratulations!  You realize that there is no magic, no miracles...just focused and consistent training to get the job done.

If you haven't been doing enough, or you need a little boost, here are a few options for you.

This coming Saturday, we will be leading a free hike and workout here in the Pasadena area.

Day: Saturday Jan 29, 2011
Time:  8AM - 9:30AM approximately
Location: See our MeetUp Page for location (Eaton Canyon)
Cost: Free
RSVP:  Please RSVP on our MeetUp Page so Marie knows how much equipment to bring.

Bring a friend too!

Another option is our next boot camp.  Sessions begin on Jan 31, or Feb 1, depending on if you are taking the 4, 3, or 2 day a week option.

(Yes, we've added a new, four day a week option.)

Time and time again, people who train with us report really great results.  Some  clients experience pounds and inches lost, and many report feeling stronger, more powerful, and having more energy.

If you are frustrated, and trying to lose weight on your own isn't working, I encourage you to join us.  

Last Boot Camp for 2010 by Stephen Cooper

Hi guys,

We just got back from a peaceful Thanksgiving up in Sequoia Park.  I hope that you got to spend some quality time with your loved ones too.

I finally got to take my truck up to the snow.

And also played in the mud too.


But now it is back to planning the last boot camp for the year.

For those of you in the Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes, there are only 9 sessions.  For those in the Tuesday and Thursday classes with Marie, you only have 6.

Some suggestions for this last camp...


  • Get enough sleep.  Maybe easier said than done, especially during the holidays, but so important for your goals to lose fat.
  • Stick to a Paleo diet 85-90% of the time.  You know that tempting food is coming in December, so plan your "cheat meals" wisely.
  • Show up, and train.  Block time for yourself.  You know that you always feel better after a workout, so plan on making each session.


I'm going to do my part to bring you a great camp.  In return, I ask that you give me your 100%.

Let's end 2010 on a high note!

P.S.  Be prepared for a very cool Monday morning, about 38 degrees according to

Paleo Challenge Ends Today by Stephen Cooper

Paleo Challenge

For those of you who are in the Paleo Challenge, today is the last day.

Her'e what I'd like you to do:

Take your "after" picture.

Email both your "before" and "after" pictures to me.

In that email I'd like you to write me a little essay on how the challenge went for you.  Was it difficult?  Were there cravings?  How did you get through them?

Looking over your days was it pretty simple to track the three areas of importance?

1.  diet

2.  sleep

3.  exercise

What did you learn from tracking these?

Did you realize that you weren't paying enough attention to one area?  Like sleep?

Once you modified those areas, did you see a difference in your body?

If you took measurements, how many inches did you lose?

And your weight?  How many pounds did you lose?

The more you tell me how this challenge affected you, the better.  I am really curious to hear your responses.


Marie and I will be judging the pictures, comments, and your results.  I will keep you posted as to when we will announce the winner.

In having this challenge my hope is that you are feeling better, that you've lost fat, and you have learned some life long lessons.

My hope is that you've discovered that a little bit, done every day, can really add up.



Birthday wishes to Arcelia of the evening class, and to Renzo of the morning class.



This year will be winding up before you know it.

We only have 3 sessions this week.  A new camp begins November 8 and runs till the 19th.  Then we are off for Thanksgiving.

Our last session for 2010 is Nov 29th - December 17.

Please do me a favor if you haven't already and let me know if you'll be here and attending one or both of these camps, or if you'll be away.

Day 39 Of the Paleo Challenge, and Vacation Updates by Stephen Cooper

Information Overload

I've been struggling a lot lately with this.  Tons of emails, messages from Facebook, Twitter, etc..  It's really distracted me from what I do best...which is developing programs and helping you with your specific situation.

I'm working on how best to provide you with results, and a lot of this other stuff is really getting in the way.

This means that I will be streamlining some things which may affect you.

A few things that will happen right away is that I won't be responding to direct messages on Facebook or Twitter.  I will be monitoring the boot camp page and will be posting updates (automatically), but I may not see your message there.

I will not be monitoring Twitter at all, but once again auto posts will be there.

Contacting Me

The best way to contact me is via email at: Stephen(at)  I see email first, and during regular business hours 6a-5p, Monday - Friday.   I will try to respond as quickly as possible.

Calling me

For clients, you should have my cel phone number.  Once again you are always welcome to call me during those hours above.  If for some reason you don't have it just let me know and I'll gladly give it to you.

For people hoping to join the boot camp, please call (626) 609-7399, which is my voice mail.

Contacting me here on the blog

This is a great option, and one that will help a lot of people.  If you can share your questions here in the comment sections, your other boot campers will learn too.  I receive your comments via an email alert so I am usually quick to respond.

Best Place to Receive Updates

I know that many of you have been asking me about rain updates etc..  I will post all updates here on this boot camp blog page:  Check here first.  I can send updates to this page via my phone, but I can't email or call every individual.  Just in case...rain does not cancel morning sessions as we have use of the hall.  Rain shouldn't cancel evening sessions either, but dress appropriately as we often have to scramble for covering.

A Change in Billing by 2011

By next year I hope to implement a better system of payments.  I like to be as fair and flexible  as possible, but lately this too has gotten out of hand.  I say this not to be an ass and I hope that you don't take it that way...I'm just trying to focus on helping you, and I can't do that by being a bill collector/bookkeeper.

Minimizing Distractions

One of the most important parts of my business is being very truthful with you.  I like to practice what I preach.  If I preach balance, clean eating, good sleep, etc., I want you to be sure that's how I'm living my life. These past couple of months have not been in line with this, so that's why I'm changing a few things.

I truly believe that life is too important and too short not to be lived as we design it.   I know that I'm a lot happier when I live in this manner.

I hope that these changes will benefit you too.

I'm learning and experimenting all the time, and I'll share with you what I learn.

Important Vacation Updates

Thanksgiving Break

No sessions November 22 - 26

Christmas Break 

No sessions  December 18 - Jan 2


New Sessions will begin on January 3, 2011

Monday's are Fun by Stephen Cooper

Welcome to Monday,

Good stuff going on...

Yesterday, I had a nice relaxing morning with a long walk along the beach.

My wife and kids will be returning this week from their vacation in Brazil.  My kids have been there since late June, and my wife has been there for 3 1/2 weeks.

I am so looking forward to seeing them, and hearing about their adventures.  One interesting piece of news, is that Sean, my 11 year old son, had his first kiss!  Incredible.  When he left here he didn't even like girls.

I may be in the minority, but I really like Mondays.  I do.  Each Monday seems like a fresh start.

I'm also anxious to get back to training.

Like today.  We trained with what are called SandBells.  Think of a big, floppy bean bag filled with sand.  Being that it's heavy and unstable, it's both useful in helping with grip strength, plus it helps with the core.  The core has to contract to try and get control of the moving sand.  Not to mention that it's just fun to toss them around.
(I'll post some videos of us playing with the SandBells later this evening.)

Take advantage of this new week.


P.S.  We may be starting a new Saturday morning boot camp which will be taught by Marie.  Send me a note if you might be interested.

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,

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,

Today's newsletter mar 15 by Stephen Cooper

The "life is good" edition.

Wow, it's a been a busy few weeks here.

Last week our boot camp class had a special visit from my buddy Mike Michels.  His name might not ring a bell, but most recently he was on Access Hollywood giving workout tips on how to "Get Oscar Ready Arms".  He visited my boot camp last week as part of an experiment.  He will be introducing a product very soon with Polar Heart Rate Monitors whereby he has provided a formula to burn fat most effectively.  He and I have been discussing ways in which my boot campers can get the best workout possible for burning fat.  I'll keep you posted on our discoveries and also when his product is released.

Here's the link to his "Oscar Arms" workout in case you'd like some tips.

Over the weekend I went with my wife and kids down to San Diego where I met with my fitness mastermind group.  I'd say that there were about 50 or so fitness professionals from all over the U.S. and Canada.

We talked about much of the usual fitness stuff but this is what really shocked me…

I couldn't believe how many of these fitness professionals were feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, just like my clients.

Here were some of their complaints.  See if any resonate with you: 

"I work too much."

"I'm not getting enough sleep."

"I don't work out consistently."

"My diet isn't what it should be."

"My relationship is suffering because I'm not spending enough time with my partner."

"I'm overwhelmed with all this internet stuff like Facebook, email, etc.."

I was really shocked.  I guess that I was expecting these men and women to be different, but I saw them struggling with the same things like you and my other clients struggle with. 

How do we have the time to do the important things in life? 

I was just talking to my wife the other day and told her that in one morning alone, I had four emails from clients who were at their wits end.  Their lives were filled with stuff, and they were extremely frustrated with their inability to lose fat. 

Being at that conference and seeing those emails got me to thinking.

Since the beginning of 2010 one of my most important goals has been to simplify my life.  I've been reducing a lot of the clutter, and getting a chance to really live the life I desire.  My eating is simple, my training is usually 15 minutes or less maybe 4 days a week at the most, and I feel fantastic.

Beginning in April I'm going to be opening an online coaching program where I will be coaching a small group of people just how I do this.  This will be a virtual group where I will be leading you into creating what I believe is a very simple and doable way of simplifying your life while improving your health and losing fat.

This will be a small group so if this is something that you might be interested in drop me an email. .

Rather than trying to solve the problem by adding stuff, I will help you to reduce the unnecessary to finally lose that dreaded fat.

Zen and Boot Camps by Stephen Cooper

I’ve been on a minimalist “kick” lately.  I’ve actually been into Buddhism and Zen since I was about 12 or so, but we’ll leave that for another time.

I like the quote “Identify what’s most important to you, and eliminate the rest”.  So how does this relate to your goal of being more fit and losing fat?

Success in boot camp will come down to a few things.

1.       Courage

2.       Commitment

3.       Community

Courage- This one you have already conquered, so pat yourself on the back.  You have followed through in signing up for the camp and you are showing up.  If you only knew how many people have told me that they should or would come to camp but never do, you’d be amazed.  You have also demonstrated your courage to do some new and often awkward exercises.

Commitment- Now it gets a little more challenging.  Your commitment to eating well and training consistently will make or break you.  I use the 80/20 principle here…so eating and training hard 80% of the time will keep you on the right track.  If you stray from this very much, you will most likely be frustrated.

Community- There are a lot of great people in your class who are supportive and encouraging.  If you aren’t already part of our Facebook group, I encourage you to join us there.  You’ll find many of your fellow campers, and me, who are there to answer questions, or to keep you on track.   We have a good time there.  Join us here on the blog too.

The class sessions are filled with exercises and we don’t get time to discuss much, so please take advantage of the blog, videos, and the Facebook page.

As always, let me know what I can do to help.

Time for New Ideas by Stephen Cooper

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.  With more and more information about diet, health, and fitness, it seems that we are growing fatter and unhealthier by the minute.  So what's going on here? Is more information the answer?

There always seems to be "the next miracle product" or e-book, diet, or system that is going to save us from our fatness. (I don't think that will pass as a real word, but too bad.)  Is it the newest supplement or the fitness gadget sold on QVC that will burn the fat right off our thighs?

There are many in the fitness industry who are preying on you.  That’s right, I said it.  Fitness marketing is a science and many trainers and scammers are studying the psychology of how to sell you stuff you don’t need.

So what really works?

Discipline in training hard, eating clean, and paying attention to recovery and regeneration.  Now you don’t have to be a fanatic and stress out about this one hundred percent of the time, but if you really want the best results you had better pay attention to these “rules” at least eighty-five to ninety percent of the time.

I have a new boot camp session starting this Wednesday the fourth of November, but I’m tempted to to make the camp available on an application basis only.

It doesn’t make sense to spend your money or your time if you know you can’t be committed to twelve, forty-five minute sessions spaced out over the month.  You’ll be frustrated and you won’t get the results you had hoped for. (I’ve had clients lose up to twelve pounds in twelve sessions, but that means attending all sessions, and eating clean.)

If you are serious and would like to join us, I’d love to hear from you.  If you are training on your own, please do me this favor.  Stick to the basics.  Get to work, and stop looking and hoping for the “next big thing”.  If you have any questions, or I can be of any help just let me know.

It’s up to you.  Make it happen.

Choose One Habit To Make The Biggest Impact by Stephen Cooper

My hope is that you have recovered and your muscle soreness has subsided.  I always say that the first week is the hardest.  Each workout and each week should be challenging, but hopefully you won't be as sore in the weeks to come.

When trying to lose fat and tone, there are a few areas in which I consistently "harp" on.

    * Diet/Nutrition
    * Training
    * Rest/Recovery

These are the basics area which must be mastered to achieve the fat loss you are looking for.

Sadly, on this list you won't see miracle potions or pills, wacky infomercial exercise gimmicks, or any other nonsense.

Fat loss and long term success is simple, but not easy.  I hope that makes sense.

If you stick to the basics of what I will discuss over the next four weeks or so you will learn how to take back control of your health and fitness.  Just as your body has responded to poor eating and not enough exercise, it will respond in a positive way with our boot camp sessions and healthy eating.

Here's my suggestion: (I "stole" this from a great little book, The Power of Less, by Leo Babauta.

1.  Choose one habit for the next 30 days which you know will make the biggest impact on improving your health or helping you lose fat.

It may be to stop eating white flour and sugar.
It may be being consistent about attending the boot camp classes.
It may be to stop or reduce your alcohol consumption.

2.  Write down your plan.  State your new habit and review it daily.

3.  Post your goal publicly.  A great place to post this is in our Facebook Group Page here.

4.  Report on your progress daily.  Once again I suggest the Facebook Group Page.  I set up that FB page so that we could support one another, encourage each other, inspire, and hold each other accountable.

5.  Lastly, after the 30 days, celebrate your new habit.

I really believe in the idea of "mastering" one habit at a time.  Just imagine how much progress you'll be able to make when you master your most important fitness related habit.

If you have any questions or might be stuck for ideas, let me know.