Game Changers


Over the past three decades of training, I’ve tried all kinds of various tips, tricks, gadgets, and fads. The foundation of any type of health and fitness pursuit is an intelligent plan that you can stay consistent with. In that pursuit, there are certain things that can make the process easier and/or more efficient. Here are some of the more effective items that I’ve found to help (these came from a Social Media series entitled “Game Changers”):



I’ve been doing 10-20 minutes a day in an infrared sauna at around 150-180 degrees for several months now (did it less frequent prior) and there are three direct benefits I am clearly aware of:


  1. Heat Tolerance. I used to get uncomfortably hot ALL THE TIME. Being heavy didn’t help but even at lighter body weights, I would still be dying if it was over 80 degrees. Since doing the sauna I can tell a major difference in my ability to tolerate heat. Combined with the cold dunks, I feel pretty good at most temperatures I experience throughout the day. 
  2. Improved endurance. There are several physiological changes from the sauna that help with endurance including increased blood volume, increased RBCs, and improved heat tolerance. I have seen pretty dramatic improvements in multiple types of endurance performances since starting regular sauna work.
  3. Improved Stress Management. Much like the cold tub, spending time in purposefully uncomfortable situations (specifical temperature in this case) with the focus on psychologically managing that discomfort has helped develop and sharpen that skill. In today’s society where stress is primarily self-manufactured, this has been a highly invaluable tool.


The sauna has been a game-changer for me. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.


Cold Dunk


I actually started doing ice baths in college and have maintained some type of cold training to some degree over the last 18 years. I recently started doing them daily and, while there are many physical benefits, I find the biggest benefits to being psychological. Few things can initiate the fight or flight response like the shock of cold water. The benefit to this is twofold. First, it is an opportunity to learn to deal with extreme stress. Proper breathing combined with active mindfulness allows you to create a sense of calm and think rationally despite being in physical distress. These techniques can be carried over to other areas of life and utilized to deal with stress outside of the cold. Second, it is an opportunity to accept and pursue discomfort. Every day I have to make the choice to step into the water. This provides a sense of control and agency in the activity of discomfort and stress. The knowledge that I have done hard things, that I’ve pursued discomfort and experienced stress helps me to better accept and handle those hard things that I haven’t chosen. It also helps put things into perspective. It is unlikely that I will face anything more physically stressful today than stepping into that pool. 


The combined effects of these two is an overall reduction in stress and anxiety, something that is quite useful in a society that is highly stressed and highly medicated for that stress. If the cold pool isn’t an option for you, start with a cold shower for 2-3 minutes. Focus on controlling your breathing and being mindful of the situation. Afterward, you’ll feel a sense of calmness and euphoria. Give it a shot. It’s a game-changer.




“I wanna be fit” is the second most common goal we hear but how do you define and measure it? Well, we use the level method to assess fitness levels and objectively track progress.


“I want to lose fat and gain muscle” (or other variations like I want to tone up) is the first and most common goal but, again, how do you measure it? Most people use the scale but that just tells you how much you weigh, not what that weight is made up of. That’s why we use an Inbody. It gives us data on muscle mass, fat mass, and water that we can track over time and objectively measure how you are progressing in those two areas.


Wanting to lose fat, gain muscle, and be fit are great goals but if you can’t actually assess and measure progress in either, you’re really crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. That’s why we use have an Inbody at both locations, it’s a game-changer.


Amplified Meal Prep


I started focusing on my nutrition in 8th grade. It was around that time that I had to start learning basic meal prep. For the vast majority of my life, I have prepared most, if not all, of my food for the week on Sundays, and when Jennifer and I got married this was our Sunday ritual. 


Then we had kids. 


Trying to cook, cut, weigh, measure, and portion out all of our food with two toddlers and a 10-month-old running around doesn’t make for an enjoyable Sunday afternoon. Since health and fitness are part of our family values, eating poorly wasn’t an option either. That’s why we use Eat AMP’d. We get healthy, nutritious meals for the entire family to eat delivered to our door every Sunday, which makes for a far more enjoyable weekend with the family. 


Level Method


It’s hard to be concise when discussing the benefits of the level method but, for sake of this post, focus on two points.


  1. One of the reasons I enjoyed competing in football and the iron sports was that everything was very objective. There were well-known and established standards and you could know, objectively, if you were improving. Fitness as an objective is less clearly defined. Unfortunately, this has led to many people performing significant amounts of exercise that does not actually improve their fitness and, in many cases, has a negative impact on their fitness (happy to explain this more in the comments if someone would like me to). The Level Method provides objective standards for fitness so you can properly assess your current fitness level, address your needs, and make progress.
  2. With regards to programming, (over two decades I’ve done quite a few) this is the first one I can see myself doing for the rest of my life without having to make significant sacrifices. If you’re a competitive athlete it’s not the right program for you but if you’re trying to be as healthy and fit as possible, it’s the best. It’s been a game-changer for me.


Protein Coffee


With my current caloric intake and current schedule, getting all my protein in can be difficult if it always has to come from whole foods. One of my favorite combinations is Phormula 1 from 1st Phorm, coffee, and a half and half. I go back and forth between vanilla and chocolate, either tasted amazing. Just blend for a couple of seconds and it’s good to go. It’s even better in the summertime over ice. If you’re looking for an easy way to get more protein in, this can be a game-changer. 


Foot Stuff


What happens if you never take a joint through its full range of motion and instead cram it into a limited space? What happens if you never train a muscle? Well, that’s what generally happens to your feet when you wear modern shoes all the time. I didn’t realize how bad off my feet were until I actually start training them. That’s when I realized that years of letting my shoes do all the work had made my feet weak and inflexible. The toe spacers help to fight against the effects of your toes being crammed into the tiny ends of shoes over the years and they act like little mini resistance bands for toe yoga (individual toe movement). I’ve been using them on and off for a little over a year and have seen a tremendous improvement in how my feet look and feel.


Building off of yesterday’s post about toe spacers, the next best thing I’ve done to strengthen my feet is giving them the opportunity to actually work. I have size 13 feet and I’ve realized that most socks are sized  6-13 so every pair I’ve ever worn was maximally tight on my feet, pulling my toes together. Zero drops, thin-soled shoes, with a wide toe box allow my feet and toes to do what they were made to do and keep them strong and mobile. It’s such a game-changer that I exchanged all my shoes (daily shoes, dress shoes, boots) for these types of shoes and it’s what my kids wear as well.