3 Expert Ways to Make Exercise a Priority

Mind & Body

Ask any personal trainer or that really dedicated gym buddy their opinion after a no call- no show. Then hearing them say later, “I’ve just been so busy.”

Insert ironic selfie. We’re all busy.


Back in the day, Before Cellphones we might have bought the line of being busy. However, with the advent of modern technology and this curious little thing called social media which helps us stay “connected,” we now see right through that little half-truth.

You were busy alright. We saw that pic of the empty shot glass #Happyhourthen check-in at Dennys the next day. You also checked-in at the Apple Store with the caption, “Baller Status” – evidently your not as broke as you say you are.

But I digress.


Why the sarcastic tone you may ask? Let’s start with the clinical approach:



  • a thing that is regarded as more important than another.

Related Articles


Indeed we make time for those things we find important everyday. We need fellowship, fun time, and most definetly we like our gadgets. That was my conciliatory, more understanding side. I am a gemini after all.

3 Expert Ways to Make Exercise a Priority


1. Stop thinking of exercise as a task

I enjoy working out. So much so, I’ve decided to pursue a career devoted solely to helping show others how to enjoy it as well.

Exercise builds stamina, strength, and confidence. Workout classes and gyms are communities.There is strength in numbers. And unlike a hostile work environment, people in health clubs & gyms actually try and motivate each other.

2. Decide on a schedule (and stick to it)

If you’ve mastered number one, then this shouldn’t be that hard. There are 168 hours in a week. You can make 3 of those exercise time.

3. Think of exercise as an investment in yourself

We make an investment expecting a big return. Or at the very least, a nice, steady return.


Be that blue chip-stock. Learn to enjoy the rewards. No, “reward system” did not make the top 3. You don’t get “I kept my commitment so now I get to eat the cupcake.” That’s known as a cheat meal and there’s a whole article dedicated to them coming soon. Rewards systems, like cupcakes, do not foster genuine satisfaction.

Lean, solid muscle does.

The reward should be the satisfaction you will get from investing time and energy into your health and longevity. The pump you get after pushing yourself really hard.



5 Way’s to Make Workouts More Effective

Fitness & Exercise



Put the phone away

We’ve all done it. Checked in, checked updates, checked emails. How can you truly have an effective workout if your on your phone hashtaging beastmode?

Focus, Jedi. It can be difficult tuning the world out for an hour to an hour and a half. But once you do, it’s great.


EffectiveStay the course

Would we set out on a road trip with no map, no GPS, and no destination in mind? Perhaps, if you have the time and truly like to live on the edge. Having a clear idea of what your goals are and envisioning the end results will help give your sessions that extra intensity.

synonym: strength, power, potency, force



Check Your Ego At the Door

A little competition can go a long way. Watching someone walk in and warm up with the dumbbells you just finished your last set with can motivating. It is for me. #BuildYourself. But strutting around like a boss and stack slamming doesn’t earn you cool points. It only annoys others and will get you some very stern looks from the management concerned about the equipment. Wanna be like a real superhero? Learn how to laser focus .



Get Creative

I once knew this guy who had what he called, “One set of crazy.” Having a plan is crucial. “Leg Day” “Arm Day – All Day,” etc. etc., but think outside the box. I constantly encourage people to color outside the lines. Every once in awhile you just have to do what you need to do. If someone asks you if you normally do squats on back day, just smile and tell them no.



Birds of a Feather

Fly by night workout partners and weekend warrior types won’t cut it. Determination does. In addition to that inner fire, that motivation, it never hurts to enlist the help of those that know what it takes to be pushed.

The Takeaway

Perhaps it’s an upcoming and much needed vaca, a bridesmaids dress, or maybe you just want to look and feel great. Working out is not a chore, but something to look forward to.

Make it count.

Email: jwilliamstrains@gmail.com




Are you being S.M.A.R.T at the gym?


We’ve all seen a fashion forward outfit on someone and thought, “That looks so smart.” Or walked into a smartly appointed room and thought, nice!

Are you being smart at the gym?


Let’s take a look.

Specific What are your goals? Over the years I’ve heard them run the gamut. From, “I’m getting married and I have to get into my dress” to “The doctor told me I have to lose the weight,” and everything in between. What ever your motivations may be, you get a high-five and props from me for making fitness a part of your lifestyle. Word.

“I wanna get fit” is too vague. Have a clear idea and be focused about it. “Improve Strength and Flexibility” and it starts getting clearer.

Measurable  Let’s do the numbers. “Increase my Squat by…” “Lose 20lbs…” This involves keeping food logs and workout journals. Sites like MyFitnessPal make it extremely easy nowadays too document from day to day as they do the measuring. All you do is enter it. Smart phones are great for things other than social media.

Attainable Our favorite celebrity just prepared for a movie and hot damn look at them. We’re scrolling through feeds and oh my, look at some of the #fitfam with the 425k followers. It all gets us motivated to want to curl and squat all the day as well. We should always set the bar high. Understanding what our capabilities, schedules, and lifestyles all are is equally important.

Be realistic. 

Yes, your abs can pop. We all have abdominal muscles. Do you naturally have an 8 pack like some genetically gifted instagramers? Prob not. Focus on you.

Relevant “Appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstance” I use the textbook definition here so that there is no misunderstanding. This is about you, not what somebody else wants or thinks you should look like.


Timely Setting aside time, and I believe equally as important, a time frame, is key. We construct business plans with time frames and office projects with deadlines. Fitness goals are no different. “30 days from now….” “60 days from now…..” 90 days from now…..” You get the picture.


Be S.M.A.R.T


6AM – 8PM Monday – Saturday

By Appointment

Designing a Routine Part I.b for BACK

Building Muscle

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone” – Reba McEntire

Symmetry is the hallmark of good training. Bodybuilders, physiques competitors, and avid gym dwellers strive for just the right proportions.

The Back, comprising of multiple muscle groups, plays an important part in all of this. Gentlemen, if you really want that small waistline you need Lats that flare. Some of us ectomorphs have to work them for days, but it is attainable.

Very attainable. Assuming, of course, your nutrition is in on point, and you are training a minimum of 3 days a week.

Muscle Groups Worked

  • Latissimus Dorsi The “Wings” the Lats 
  • Teres Major The little Lat 
  • Rohmboids 
  • Trapezius 
  • Erector spinae 

Frank Zane, a bodybuilder from back in the “Glory Days”, became known across the land for his hyper-focus on symmetry. You just don’t rack up the titles he did without it.

While not a bodybuilder in the competition sense, I have followed his approach for years and base a good deal of my workout strategies around his knowledge.

I also believe in targeting muscle groups from multiple angles and being slightly unconventional. No wackadoodle broscience, just some creativity.

The Goal

To not only build strength and definition, but to focus on proportion.

The Workout (Option 1)


I was taught that if you choose these on Back Day instead of Leg day do them first. A compound exercise utilizing all the muscles in the back and some in the legs, keep reps low.

Warm up Set

Working Sets 8, 6, 6 or 5 x 5

Alternating Close Grip Lat Pulldown 

Get a Grip


Why close grip? A common misconception is that a wide grip = wide lats. A closer grip, slightly shoulder width apart, is more effective.

Sets 3

Reps 12, 10, 10,

V-Bar Pull


Because it’s a tried-&-true mass & thickness builder for the Lats & Rhomboids, I continue to use V-Bar Pull downs in a 5 sets of 5 rep range, using heavy weight.

Sets 5

Reps 5

✔ Tip: Keep rest periods here longer than others. 2 minute range or more. Why? Your using heavy weight.

Bent over Dumbbell Row


Sets 3

Reps 12, 10, 10

Pull ups/Unassisted

These are a no-brainer. When I was a struggling newbie, a fellow gym-goer said to me once, “If you really want to put all these knuckleheads to shame, everytime you walk in to the gym, go straight to the pull up bar and crank out 15, then go work out.”


It’s just one of those things that’s just stayed with me.

Sets 2

Reps “Until failure” “To fatigue” I still say, “As many as you can”

Standing Lat Pulldown

A good way to help isolate the Teres Major, or “Little Lat”


It’s also effective as you do not have the knee pads to use as resistance as you do in sitting. Focus on keeping your core tight and knees slightly bent.

Stand facing the stack with arms raised out front parallel with the floor. Grip bar shoulder width apart and pull down. Hold for a 2 count. Raise and repeat.

In all of my finishing exercises I reduce weight to lower and perform high rep sets.

Sets 3

Reps 15, 12, last set as many as I can.


The shoulder blade squeeze. This just feels awesome. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Now your ready for a protein shake, or your Tupperware full of egg salad, or 2 boiled chicken breasts, or…..

Read more from Frank in his interview with Flex : Q&A with Frank Zane