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Posts Tagged ‘Corps Strength’

Corps Strength – Something Old, Is New

Monday, March 10th, 2014

A long time ago before I was born again as a Marine, I worked in a rock quarry. I always tell people this was my real boot camp. As an 18 year old working with a group of hard living red necks, Union men (Teamsters), and convicted felons (In one case a convicted bank robber and murderer), I learned fast about what being an adult, and working in a grown man’s world’s really meant. It was a real experience, and during those two years I learned lessons about life, leadership and work that no doubt helped me greatly throughout my career as an enlisted Marine. Running that circus was just one man. Anthony was the owner, a first generation Italian that was about 6’2, 240 lbs. To give you an idea what he looked like, it was rumored that he could pass a golf ball though his wedding ring. I doubt if he ever held a golf ball in his life, but I didn’t doubt that rumor. He was one of the most physically impressive human beings I’ve ever seen in person. All of the misfits working there respected the hell out of him and feared him to be honest (myself included); even the Teamsters gave him a wide berth.

When I first started working there I didn’t have a car, so as my boss lived right up the road from me, I often rode to work with him. The problem was that he was one of the true old school guys that believed in always being the first one to work. So I had to hump my ass to his house in the dark at about 0430 every morning. The rule was if I was there when he left I could ride with him, but he wasn’t going to wait for me. If I missed him I had to hitchhike to work, imagine that in today’s world? As you might guess, as a kid I often got up at the last minute and ran out the door to get there on time. I never had time to eat, so I would have to work all morning on an empty stomach. Hunger pangs would always catch up with me about halfway to work. One morning I made the mistake of asking my boss if he would stop at a diner so I could grab a quick take out breakfast. “Huh, breakfast?” he barked. “You haven’t done shit yet?” Needless to say, we didn’t stop.

The point here is that as big and strong as my boss was, he never ate at work, nothing but cigars and coffee all day. The fact was most of the other guys didn’t eat much, if at all either. The general attitude was that eating too much when there was work to do, would just slow you down. Keeping up with the fast pace of the quarry machinery meant only eating something on the fly at best. “I’m not paying you eat.” was another one of his common sayings. Looking back while this group of guys never did any “PT”, their wasn’t anyone there you would consider fat, most of them were between 30 and 50 years old, my boss was the oldest in his 50’s (I was by far the youngest). They were all physically tough, hard men, who would routinely worked outside in below zero weather, doing some very tough work 8-10 hours a day, longer during the summer months. Now contrast that with today’s health and fitness advice, you would think you can’t even do office work without eating a perfectly balanced meal or snack every 2-3 hours? Your metabolism will shut down, you’ll have no energy, you’ll gain weight, blah, blah, blah. To that advice I say: “Bullshit.” Like I say in my book Corps Strength; you’re not a baby and don’t need to eat like one. The fact is the multiple meal plan has been popular for many years now, and its results speak for themselves; the United States is at an all time high for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.


Even before that I was never a fan of this plan. I don’t have time for it, and I don’t think its practical or effective. I rarely eat more than what you would call a “real meal” once a day and that’s at night. During the day I eat just enough to keep me going, and never a big lunch. This isn’t anything new; General Stanley McCrystal’s routine of not eating all day, but still running 7-8 miles everyday is well known, plus more recently the “Warrior Diet” has become popular. Its the same principle I witnessed years ago. So to be productive and help stay in shape just try eating lightly during the day, and have one meal at night after the days work is done. Like I often say, maybe something old is the new answer. Does it work? My old boss recently died at 89 years old and was still working hard almost everyday. Try it. Be good and stay safe.

Semper Fi,


Corps Strength – Hump Day

Saturday, February 8th, 2014


Here at the International School house we run different PT programs for almost every level of fitness. From BUDS, Dive school and Marine TBS prep to simple (easy) programs just to teach our students how to set up and run a basic PT program, and keep (try to) themselves in shape. From my observation of 100’s of these students over the last five years they have the biggest problem improving in two areas: swimming and humping a pack. Now I don’t teach swimming, we have a former Navy SEAL and a Dive Master that handle that training, and they can take a guy that can barley swim to what ever standard they need to pass (if the guy is motivated) pretty quickly. However, I oversee the 16 week PT program to prepare foreign officers to attend the Marine Officers Basic School in Quantico, Va. As you might guess the program is heavy on the basics: running, UBD, O course, and other combat fitness related tasks, but from all that the thing (as a group) they have the hardest time with is humping a pack, and we do a lot of it, as it’s a big thing at TBS. At least once a week we gear up and hit the trail, starting with about a 20lbs load for a mile or so and ending with a no shit 20 mile forced march with 50 plus lbs. The student’s hate it and it does suck, but humping always has.

Going back over many years of doing it, my experience tells me the only way to prepare for carrying a heavy combat load (especially up and down hills and/or in the heat) is to do it. While general PT programs and weight lifting does help, nothing will get you ready for a humping a pack, but humping pack. I have another TBS prep class starting this summer and I know I have to just grab my pack and get after it once a week to prepare myself. All the other PT I do won’t be enough. The upside is that when I add this weekly hike to my routine I always notice my running improves and so does my overall strength, which people like to call “Core” nowadays. It’s not really what you’d call fun, but I’m convinced that it has benefit for almost any PT program, especially if you’re in a job that bearing weight is a requirement, like a Firemen, SWAT cop or even a construction worker. In my book Corps Strength, I outline how to add these workouts into an overall fitness program. You don’t need actual combat gear. A good weight vest or military/civilian pack will do, and it’s pretty much mindless once you get out there. Good boots are must and you need to start out light, slow and short, gradually adding weight and distance to prevent injury. Plus it’s something that will get your ass outside of the gym for a change. Good luck.

Be Safe always, Good when you can.

Semper Fi


Corps Strength – The Deal With Supplements

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Recently there was a medical study published in all the major media outlets, about the role of vitamins in health. It got a lot of press and much discussion on social media. The take away from the combined study was that supplemental vitamins are a waste of time and money in preventing disease, and/or improving overall health. While I’m no doctor, I find their results seriously flawed from a common sense, real world perspective. First off this study makes the base assumption that everyone is consuming a balanced diet, and from that you’ll get all the vitamins you need. Really? I think that’s a pretty big assumption. Who exactly eats a balanced diet everyday? Especially in the military. Plus like a lot of “medical studies” that I’ve read over the years on diet and exercise, this one was focused on various groups of people in a “control group”, with one the groups sited was men that are 65 years and older? This is not exactly a group that you’ll find serving in the military, working as First responders, or frankly a group of people that do hard physical work. The study did say that while they didn’t think a standard multivitamin was harmful, it wasn’t beneficial. Sorry Doc, just don’t buy it.

In my book Corps Strength I outline a simple and effective high performance eating plan that was reviewed and found sound by the head nutritionist for the U.S. Special Operations Command. This plan has helped thousands achieve and maintain a healthy bodyweight, and still preform at a high level in almost any situation. However, I still recommend that everyone supplement with a daily multivitamin as insurance. Not just to cover any nutritional deficiency, but to also help deal with the added physical and mental stress that is associated with the military, first responder and other hard working occupations. Not to mention those that PT hard and compete in athletics. BTW, I’m not talking about “mega/animal paks” of vitamins. I have tried those and I got urine that looked like OJ, and smelled like a salad bar. So I think most of those extra vitamins end up in your sewer system, and could be toxic due to the excessive doses of vitamins they contain. I’m talking about the simple one a day type. I take a Centrum multi, have for years, and in this old Jarhead’s opinion they ARE beneficial, especially over the long term. Plus it doesn’t cost squat try it. Big good and stay safe.

Semper Fi,

Corps Strength – Eat, Drink AND Stay In Shape

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Now that we are right in the middle of the holiday season, it’s no surprise that most people are going to eat more and exercise less. This is the time of year that we all like to enjoy the great food and drinks at social gatherings and everyone is extra busy with shopping, traveling, etc. It’s all good, but one down side to all this fun is the well -known holiday weight gain. I recently read a study that stated the average American will gain about 5 lbs. between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Now that doesn’t sound like much, but the study also found that most adults never completely shed that excess weight and people who are already overweight, tended to gain more and lose less afterward. So it would make sense to try avoiding the increase in the first place, rather than trying to work it off later.

One of things I pride myself on in my book Corps Strength, is that when it comes to diet and exercise I stay away bullshit; I.E. scientific double talk, complicated routines and weird diets that no normal person can stick too. I only go with I know works from own experience, and what I seen with my own eyes, on those I train. Keeping in shape around the holidays is no exception. Having said that, it’s not impossible to fully enjoy the holidays and keep your weight in check. I do it every year, and I’ve never been known to miss a dessert or adult beverage.

First off, keep in mind that every day between Thanksgiving and Jan 1st isn’t a holiday. The fact is there are only a couple of actual “holidays” during this time frame. I know they’re at least a few parties in there also, but come on man, not every day and night. So get a grip Bad Santa, you don’t have a built in excuse to stuff yourself like a North Carolina deer tick, and skip PT for over a month. For the most part, you should stick to your normal routine.

For the days of a big get together I have a simple routine that I have followed for many years with good success. The first thing I do is get up early and go for a run. Whenever possible I like to do this in a local Turkey Trot, Santa’s Run, New Year’s 10k, etc. Every place I’ve ever been stationed has had one of these runs and you can take you family too. Even if you participate just by walking, it’s the best way to get yourself moving. In place of running I have also gone hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, skiing, hunting, etc. The point is to get some cardio (calorie burning) type of activity in to start your day. After which I have a light breakfast (skip the Breakfast Buffet) and I also eat very little the rest of the day. I’ve heard other recommendations that you should eat something just before a holiday dinner so you will start off kind of full and not eat as much. In theory that sounds good, but the fact is it never stopped me from eating like an escaped hostage at these things, and I doubt it really works well for anyone else either.

My plan is to go in hungry, but to just eat a little bit of everything, and I mean everything. Now at the type of dinners that my family has, this usually means dozens of different items. So I just will have a small portion of each, but in the end this will add up to a huge plate full. I find that I will eat less and be satisfied quicker if I go with the most variety. I also try to eat slower than normal, and enjoy the debates, gossip and other BS that you usually have at these things. I always stop at one helping and will save dessert for later when I will enjoy it more when I’m not so full.

Right after dinner grab someone, and go for a walk. This is the best way to settle your food. Doesn’t mean I don’t watch football, but at some point after the I will get a walk in.

As far as drinks go, try to go easy on the alcohol. 2-3 drinks of your choice, at the most. I go with 1 before and 1 after dinner. Now before you say it, as a career Marine trust me when I tell you that in the past I have drank much more than that at holiday events. Sometimes way too much. However time has granted me some hard learned wisdom on this subject, and I’ve found its better NOT to drink too much at these gatherings, for a variety of reasons, weight gain being the least of your worries in that respect.

The bottom line is; enjoy your time off and especially the time you get to spend with your friends and family. Just keep in mind that you don’t have out-eat and out-drink everyone to have a good time. You’ll thank yourself when you step on the scale Jan 2.

From my family to yours have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Semper Fi


Corps Strength – Hard Time

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

The Naval Air Station in Pensacola is one the best-maintained military bases in the world. What most people here don’t know is that the majority of the beautiful grounds and historic buildings are kept up by federal prisoners from the minimum security penitentiary up the road (These guys are all non-violent offenders and are closely supervised by civilian guards while working). Putting prison reform and other judgement’s aside for a minute, there is one thing you notice immediately about this group of men; it’s how fit and healthy they look? We recently had a group doing some maintenance work on our Leadership Reaction Course, and I had to be there to supervise some of the work. I found them easy going, respectful and hard working. More than anything else they seemed very grateful to be away from the prison (even to work in the heat, for 75 cents a day, yes that not a type O. 75 cents a day).

During the course of the work, I asked them about their living conditions, their workout routines, what they ate. They live on an old military base in converted barracks and ate in old chow halls (three meals a day of “boring chow”) Like most federal prisons nowadays they have no access to weights, but they do have a large exercise area that has some basketball courts, a running track and a place where they can do calisthenics. Lights out at 2200, 0530 wakeup. (sounds a lot like boot camp).
This group was in their 30’s to early 60’s, and you’d be very hard pressed to find a group of men in that age group (civilian, military or otherwise), that are in as good physical condition, especially the older guys. We have a pull-up bar there and during a break we had a pull-up contest. One guy in his late 40’s (who looked like an NFL tight end) did 27 perfect pull-ups. The majority did between 15-20, the least was 10 and a guy that was 62 did 14. These guys were in work clothes, wearing heavy work boots, not PT gear. (My sorry ass took 3rd with 23) As you might guess if you took any average group of 40-60 year olds in the U.S. you would not get this type of fitness, and most would be overweight. None of this group were even close to being fat, and I might add they were a mix of white, black, and hispanics from all different parts of the U.S.

So what is the point? Get yourself throw in federal prison to get in shape? Not hardly. The point is the real example this group provides. These guys have been forced by their own past misadventures to live a simple (healthy) lifestyle. It’s a proof source of what I talk about in my book Corps Strength; That getting and staying in great physical condition is not that complicated. People make it much harder than it has to be. These guys don’t follow “scientific” workouts, no weights, no PX90, Cross Fit, Paleo Diet, or supplements. A diet of everyday foods, a simple routine of calisthenics, no drugs (you hope) or alcohol, plenty of sleep and days consisting of light physical work (over the long term) yields some pretty impressive results. It was especially obvious when you see these guys standing next to the guys guarding them? Big difference. Like I always tell people, Keep it simple. It works. Be safe and stay out of trouble.

Semper Fi


Corps Strength – Leopards Vs Lions

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Over the past few months I’ve been working with someone who purchased my book CorpsStrength and is using my PT system. After six weeks of good progress, he stalled and couldn’t get his max pull-ups past 13, or his mile run time below 7 minutes. People hit walls with their PT goals all the time, so this was nothing new. However with him I knew immediately what the issue was. He was just too big, (a very solid 240 lbs). A former competitive power lifter who racked up some very impressive lifts over the years, but now due to injuries decided it was time to move away from the heavy lifting and get in better overall condition. His problem brought me back to something I’ve spoken to many people about when helping them get into shape; it’s the mental dilemma of Leopards vs. Lions.

As we all know people come in all shapes and sizes, however stuck in the minds of many people (especially young men) is this misconception that to be in true kick-ass physical condition you need to be big, physically large. To illustrate this concept in a simple way, they want to be lions. You know the big cat, King of the Beasts and all that that. I get the appeal, however the problem is that most people are just not born lions, (I’m talking physically here, attitude wise is another thing) they’re something else. Some people are badger size, some are more like a buffalo. In my own case for example, I was designed pretty much to be leopard size, with my best fighting weight right around 160lbs. However when I was younger, that wasn’t enough. 160lbs? No way, too little. I wanted to be a lion, and that meant 200lbs of muscle, so I went heavy on the weights, chow and supplements for many years. At my biggest I got up to a very solid 195lbs. Was I now a Lion? The simple answer was no, In reality I was just a overweight, slow ass Leopard. I was very strong in all the standard weight room lifts, and I could still run ok, but I just wasn’t at my best. I didn’t feel all that hot either, my joints were sore all the time and my uniforms didn’t fit right. I was just too big and frankly in denial about it. After many years (Marines are hard-headed), I figured this all out and got my weight to where it needed to be (160-165lbs), and like magic I immediately felt better, looked better in uniform and could do almost everything (physically) better, much better in fact (with the exception of a max bench or squat). That ideal ratio of muscle to frame size made everything work more efficiently. There is no getting around genetics, nor should you try. It won’t work in the end. If you’ve ever seen a bodybuilder is huffing and puffing after then just do a posing routine you’ll get my drift. Looks are just looks, and size is just weight unless you can use it. Real conditioning is a combination of many factors, and carrying a bodyweight that matches your natural frame size is one of them.

I related this simple concept to my reader about two months ago. He tightened up on his diet, the PT program didn’t change, didn’t need to. I received an email from him last week where he stated that his weight was now around 210lbs, he can easily do 20+ pull-ups, and his last timed mile run was 6:04. But more importantly he said he has never felt better. He feels stronger, healthier with much more energy. Magic huh? No, not really, its just long practical experience that has lead me many times to this conclusion. That’s if you really want to get and stay in great condition for the long term. You need to wear the uniform you’re issued and work on making that the best you can, not trying to up-size just for its own sake. Be a kick ass leopard, wolverine, or whatever you are and forget about the Lions, they always seemed kind of lazy to me.

Be safe and good luck


Corps Strength – Take It Running

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Including this morning, I’ve been running now, in one way or the other, for about forty years. Running to train for football, boxing, track, adventure races, marathons and triathlons and of course for the Marine Corps, not to mention my present job as an instructor. The point being is I know a little something about running as a means of getting in, and staying in shape. Not everything by a long shot, but like most Marines I learned most of what I know the hard way, by my own mistakes and successes. One thing for sure is that while running in shorts, t-shirt and running shoes is a great conditioning method, its not the end all if you’re a first responder or in the military. In my book Corps Strength, I’ve spoken about training with weighted vests, and wearing boots to simulate the weight of the gear you have wear while doing your job. Another important aspect is conditioning your body (and mind) is to hand carry something while moving. Most military people have some experience with this: running while carrying your rifle is a boot camp standard, and First Responders need to condition themselves in the same way, as firemen (especially Wildland firefighters) have to hand carry gear when climbing hills, stairs, ladders, etc. SWAT guys carry weapons and gear, and EMT’s carry boxes of medical supplies, oxygen bottles, same concept for all.


A simple way to do this is to carry something that simulates what you have to carry on duty. A real weapon, or equipment isn’t always practical, and it’s sure to freak out the public if you decide to take a jog at the local park with your favorite AR at port arms. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee in today’s world you’ll have a cop up your butt in a hot minute if you do. Better just to avoid all this drama and carry something that gives you the same workout without the risk of getting shot or arrested. Here at the schoolhouse I talked my boss in laying out a few bucks (more than a few in fact) for a set of rubber training rifles for my students to PT with. They are the same exact size and weight of a M4, but are just blue rubber. To make it a better training tool, we tape a 3lb weight to the fore stock. It looks and handles like a real rifle, but is harmless and the bright blue color cuts down on the 9/11 calls. Firemen can run with their “Halligan” bar (carefully). These are heavy and its something firemen have access to, or you could use a heavy piece of rebar, a sledge hammer or a length of heavy pipe. If you want to get fancy you can buy one of the “Fitness Bars” that I see in gyms now a days. They have the advantage that you can buy the exact weight you want, (10 lbs is about right). In any case the addition of hand carrying this extra weight is sure to make any training run (long and slow, or short and fast) tougher, and your conditioning more realistic. Try it. Be Safe and Good luck.


Corps Strength – Chow Time

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Last month we spoke about the time investment required for an effective PT program. This month we need to address something I get more questions about than any other aspect of staying in shape; eating. If you’re a person that lives life on the run, (like I do) you know that you have to stay in top shape to do the things you need to do, and one of the biggest factors in helping you do this is how you eat. It should go without saying that what food (fuel) you put in your body is going to have a big impact on your physical performance, keeping your weight right and maintaining your long-term health. Its common sense to me, but a for many this seems to be a big issue.


Now if you pay any attention to what’s in the non-stop 24/7 media, you know that diet products, books and different eating systems are everywhere. Non-fat, low -carb, high-protein, Paleo, Vegan, blah, blah, blah. One day this food is the best thing for you, tomorrow it’s the worst, and this ever changing cycle of bullshit never seems to end. Over the years I have tried most of these “plans” myself, and I’ve seen the results of many other peoples attempts. Some seem to be effective (at least in the short term), many are just nonsense, and some are dangerous. My honest observation is that the overall results of the vast majority of different “systems” are inconsistent at best.

To start with, IMO, any eating plan that takes special foods, expensive supplements, or more than a few minutes a day in planning/perpetration is not going to last very long. So if you’re honest about it, and go by what you actually see and experience yourself you’ll also see that there is no such thing as a “perfect” diet. People, and what they need to do are different, and how food affects them varies widely. I have a high octane Navy SEAL buddy that lives on little more than dip, beer, fast food and chocolate, and I’ve seen overweight (and out of shape) people that are very strict vegetarians. The hard core Paleo people I know seem to split most of their free time between preparing special meals and trying to sell others on their pain in the ass eating plan. However, there are a few basic things I know from long experience that are consistent for high performance eating.

1) Eat a wide variety of natural, simple foods. Balance is the key.
2) Don’t eat too much, especially at one setting. A hungry leopard hunts best.
3) Drink plenty of water. A FEW beers is a good thing.
4) Stay away from junk food, and you know what that is genius.
5) You don’t need expensive supplements. Do 1-4 and a good multi-vitiman for insurance is enough.

Too simple, or maybe you need more detail to sweat the load about? In my book Corps Strength, I layout a effective and time tested high-pro eating plan that I was given about 30 years ago when I was a AAU boxer. Since then I’ve recommended It to hundreds of Marines and others to stay in shape and keep their weight in check. It’s simple and easy to follow, and its been proven to work for most people. Just like with a PT program, if your diet is too complicated it won’t work, not long term in any case. So stop wasting your time (and money) looking for the magic diet, supplement or food. It doesn’t exist. Just like anything else, what works is the consistent application of sound principles applied over the long term. Never easy, but it does work. Try it.

Semper Fi

Corps Strength – Spend Time to Gain Time

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

When I’m working with people and/or students on their fitness and weight loss goals, one of the things that often comes up is the issue of time. Specifically the time that you have to invest in an effective workout program. I have a lot of people tell me that they are just too busy to exercise. Really? I have a simple word for that; Bulls**t. In my very experienced opinion, 99.9% of you aren’t that busy, so get a grip. The time is there, trust me you just have to be honest with yourself and stop wasting time and making excuses. Plus its a common misconception that you need to spend many hours everyday doing hard core PT to get/stay in great physical condition and keep your weight right. Unless you’re in a Special Forces outfit, or training for a specific athletic event like a triathlon, that’s just more Bulls**t. In fact the average military, or firemen or cop would do very well to spend five hours a week on PT, many do much less. As I outline in my book Corps Strength I am convinced (from many years of personal experience and observation) that you can obtain and maintain a very high level of fitness with the time investment of only about five hours a week of the right PT. Now my normal routine is to PT every morning 0530 -0630 (a little later on the weekends) for an hour, and I take a day (at least one day a week) off when I have/need to. I do the standard stuff I recommend in my book, and this includes some more traditional military PT that I do with my students. In any case its balanced and the intensity level varies depending on my mood and energy level. I relate this to illustrate that I’m like anyone else, I don’t have all day to PT and then lay around resting up. I work full time, travel a lot and have a family/home to take care of. Plus I have another important part of my life, its called fun, so I’m not going to spend all my free time in the gym, or running. PT is part of my life, not my life, and it doesn’t need to be to stay in shape.

Tempus Fugit

An hour everyday is my baseline, and I do my best to stick to it. However for the average person five – one hour sessions (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri and one day on the weekend is great routine) a week isn’t that much when you compare it to how you spend much of your other free time, like on the internet, watching TV, etc. In fact its less than 3% of your total weekly hours. Which by the way is the same for all of us. You can do this, its just a matter of priorities. To start out with you have to look at it like an investment. Its just like going to college at night, or saving your money. Spending time exercising is a investment in not only your future health, but your present quality of life. It will also pay big dividends in your attitude, and your outlook on everything around you is better when your health is good. Secondly once you imbed these five hours into your life, it will be come a no-brainer and you’ll be pretty much on cruise control. I set my own cruise control on this somewhere around 1977 and its been pretty much been running every since, and that’s during years of construction work, active Marine service, and now as a contract instructor. Different locations and duties the whole way. Its not that hard bro, if you just look at it the right way. Of course it must be said that you need to eat right also, which isn’t a matter of time. As you are going to have to eat my friend, and it takes just as much time to eat crap as it does to eat something healthy, but that is the subject is for next month. Till then be safe always, and good when you can. Good luck.

Semper Fi

Corps Strength – Enjoy It!

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Enjoy ItOne common problem I see with people that are trying to get in shape, is that they don’t let themselves enjoy the process. I have a news flash for you tough guy; Every exercise program can, and should include some fun stuff. It doesn’t have to be ass-kicking painful 24/7 to be effective. The fact is that if you try to make it that way, you won’t last long, that I know from personal experience. You need a balance for it to work long term, hard vs. easy (fun). When I’m trying to work out a exercise program for someone, one thing I always ask them is what did they like to do for fun when then were 10 years old? Rarely (like never) have I had a person tell me that when they were 10 they liked to do “Cross-Fit” or run marathons. Well of course not, back then it was about fun, not fitness. but the point here is that you can greatly help your overall physical fitness (and mental fitness) program by not spending everyday preforming a 4am Weight-Vest, Beach Run Beat down (or something like it). I don’t care what your physical condition is, or your fitness goals are, you need to give the hard-core PT a rest once in a while and just do something for the fun of it. Good examples of this are sports like golf, softball, touch football, hunting and fishing. They all get you outside, are best done with friends, and while active, pretty easy on the PT scale. One thing I like to do is ride a bike. Now I’ve been in many Cycling and Triathlon races over the years, and in the process logged in thousands of hard bike miles training for them, but thats not what I’m talking about here. When the weather cooperates, I get up a little earlier and ride my bike to work. I don’t dress up like Lance Armstrong, nor do I ride my $2000 mountain bike. I have an old “hard tail” mountain bike that I tuned up with some road tires, and a old man gel saddle. I ride the 7 miles to and from work at a leisurely pace, and just enjoy the ride. Its an easy way to get in another hour of PT without really trying. It also works wonders for my attitude, just like it did when I was 10, as there was nothing I liked more than riding my Sting Ray bike with my friends. The bottom line is that riding a bike is still fun and it is exercise at the same time. So give yourself a break now and then and take a day just to do what what your inner 10 year old liked to do. No, you can’t throw rocks at girls. Haha. Be safe, and good luck.