As new year’s eve approaches, I tend to get nostalgic and look back over the last year – how fast it seems to have flown by, the successes (and failures), triumphs -and everything in between.Then I raise a glass and throw confetti.

Looking Back 2017

On January 4th my first post was a simple bit of advice ( click here ) I try and follow in, and out, of the gym.

Gym’s, health clubs, and the like are communities, full of like-minded people all with a common goal – that of self improvement. “Birds of a feather” as they say, and I like to be around supportive people, and those who encourage each other. Fitness enthusiasts tend to posses that unique combination of accountability, motivation, and drive. That same week I published the first installment of my eBook series Inventing Fitness The Greeks, a Society, it’s Strength (

The First Gyms

Inspired in the gym to find out the origins of it, I researched the ancient Greeks, their obsessive fascination with the body and mind, and even more, this civilizations need to constantly improve both. These early gymnasiums, some truly epic in size, later grew to become institutions of higher learning.The great philosopher Plato, a skilled wrestler in his day, opened his Academy in Athens.

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save and preserves it” Plato


In 432 BCE a strong body represented a strong mind, and physical fitness not merely something that was trending, but a way of life.

newUrban Fitness

During the spring I teamed with a property management company to design routines for resident workout rooms in some of their buildings.


As a seasoned gym dweller, I’ve learned (forced at times) to get creative and make due with what was there. As a trainer, I know that every client and their goals are different, and a huge facility with copious amounts of equipment isn’t always necessary. Nice, perhaps…but not required.

“You are what you eat…”

“…so don’t be cheap, easy, or fake.” 2017 was a year of truly eating cleaner. I made a concerted effort to deconstruct as many recipes as possible, then rebuild them into cleaner versions. Some worked out very well.


A common misconception is that healthy food is bland, and lacking in flavor. Not true. From Chicken Salad to Chicken Cacciatore, learning what to eliminate and what you can substitute is key. Master the basics, I say.

The importance of paying closer attention to the foods we eat cannot be overstated. Yes, there is a host of baloney out there to confuse us. In a rant-ish style post, I gave my thoughts on IIFIYM. I’m all for a cheat meal, no doubt about that. However, trying to justify eating prepackaged, processed, fake food, simply because the numbers crunched isn’t a recipe for success in my book.

Legitimate, scientific studies show incorporating a cheat meal regularly (that is once a week or so, Jedi) can actually work for you.

Keeping It Real

Not everyone is as gung ho and ardent about working out as some of us. I get it. But never say never. Throughout this past year, I looked for ways to preach the word without, well, preaching.


My slogan, “Practical Advice for Practical People,” is the core intent of this sight. I’ve always taken a no-nonsense approach to the world around me – and believe it to be the wave of the future. Ride the wave, man, and learn to simplify.

Looking Ahead 2018

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit”  – Aristotle

Way of life.

The second installment of the ebook series moves on to Rome, with it’s“Bread & Circuses.”  Rome grew to be one of the largest empires the world has ever seen. What was the Roman definition of civic duty and physical preperadness as compared to their predecessors? What happened to the gymnasium?

Fitness & Social Science, er, media

Those damn algorithms. Has any else gone and adjusted their settings yet again? To keep things completely real, I believe there are more than enough “Insta-models” out there. Pass go and do not collect $200, the market is saturated, already. We get it – videos demonstrating slow-repped exercises, using standard attachments in awkward ways (being “creative”) all with bleached teeth. And what’s up with the random hairstyling tutorial? I thought it was a fitness page. Btw, how did some accumulate 250k bots, I mean followers?

What to takeaway

Fitness is about confidence, self respect, and feeling good about yourself, just to name a few. That being said, what it absolutely is not is an attention seeking platform to see how many likes a person can accumulate, or comments praising how swole you are. The message is getting lost. Personally speaking, I have a “doctor/patient” relationship with my clients. Their privacy is exactly that, and most people I work with do not want “transformation pics” spread online, nor do they need comments.

What we could do with seeing more of are new ways of showing people that fitness is fun. (yes, it is) and that enjoyment does correlate with results. So, if you are following someone via social media, think about what are you get out of it? Are you getting inspiration and motivation? Is it encouraging? Attainable? There’s a new acronym – I.M.E.A.

From our perspective (Sorry, not sorry) 

As fitness professionals and personal trainers, we hear just about every excuse in the book. So please, in the new year, no more excuses. The “I’m so busy, I can’t workout” line is *bleep/expletive.* Instead, don’t just make the time, but commit to it as well. Own it, and make it yours.

“Beware the bareness of a busy life”Socrates

Food in 2018

I spent years going in and out of the Food & Beverage Industry, I’ve seen every fad, crock, and trend happen before it really happened. Cleaning your plate, or time spent in the kitchen has never been made easier, than in my new eBook of meal prep recipes. I plan to share it, and a great deal more on eating for success. Sound crazy? 80% of success is Diet & Nutrition. Should we eat carbohydrates? – of course we should. Are all fats the same? – most definitely not. Streamline the process, learn which of the latest claims are bogus, and what tried and true methods work.



It’s a fast paced world out there. In 2018 plan to keep pace without missing a beat. Make time for fitness. Make the time to “save and preserve.”


Follow @jwilltrain on Twitter for quotes meant to inspire, food pics, as well as complete randomness. 


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