The 3 Things You Have Control Over

Getting Back in Shape: The Three Things You have Control over.


Are you getting a little frustrated with your workouts or lack of workouts?

Let’s take this back to the basics. You have control over three things when it comes to getting back in shape.

Your job is to minimize excuses and maximize workout time so you can get the results you want.

1. Time

Time is the number one excuse for not working out.

There are 168 hours in a week. At a minimum, all I am asking for is 3. That is 2% of the week. Is that too much to ask?

3 hours a week is probably the bare minimum you can get away with and still see change.

Can’t do it? Too busy?


Ask yourself one question.

“Is anyone as busy as I am and can still find time to work out?”

Simple question. The president of the United States makes time to work out. Are you busier than the president? In fact, the answer to this question will tell you a lot about yourself that you may not have realized.

The answer is obvious. No you are not the busiest person in the whole world. The cold reality is that there are people with more time to workout than you and a whole bunch of people with less time.

This leads to the next question, how do I make it work?

Let’s be honest.  You are probably wasting time each day with busy work. I do it all the time and it ticks me off. Unless I schedule it into my day, workouts tend to get pushed farther and farther back in the day. Last night I was on the elliptical at 10 PM. I really hate working out at night but every action has to have a consequence. I could have done it in the morning but the day just got away from me. By making myself work out at a time when I should be in bed, it reinforces the fact that I need to get this done earlier in the day.

I have trained early in the morning and found that once you get used to it, it may be the best time to train.

I trained a stay at home mom who had 4 young kids and she could always carve out time to do her exercise. I am not saying it was easy and I am not telling you the kids cooperated all the time but she had a calendar and she ran a her household like a business. Start with 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise, 3 days a week and write that into your schedule. Don’t think it, write it down.

The correlation of time and getting in shape.

Please realize that if you want to lose 50 pounds, it will take x amount of workouts and x amount of time. We can actually sit down and chart out how many workouts it takes to lose a pound. Knowing that you can apply basic mathematics to your goals can be very assuring to clients. Conversely, the universe will not allow you to shortcut time and still get the results you want. It only works that way on infomercials.

Bottom Line:

Your fitness goals are going to require an investment of time. Get used to that idea and getting your workouts in won’t be such a chore.

2. Money

You can either throw a lot of money at your problem or try and do it as cheaply as possible. Neither method works very well. I am not saying that everyone needs a personal trainer because they don’t. What I want you to think about is the concept of “how much will it cost me to achieve x?” X is your goal or dream.


Just as you can figure out how many hours in the gym it will cost to lose 50 pounds, you can also put a monetary value on it.

“If I want to lose 50 pounds, what is the most effective use of my money?

  • It may be a personal trainer 3 times a week.
  • It may be a gym membership.
  • The cost of eating better quality food.
  • The cost of making a home gym.

Figure out the best to spend each dollar. There is a sweet spot here. Don’t go out and buy every piece of gym equipment in sight because you will probably spend 80% of your time with just a pieces of equipment. By the same token, don’t go without equipment because you want to save money. Cheap equipment is just awful to use. It will break, bend, warp and make working out miserable. You don’t have to buy a lot of equipment but whatever you buy, make sure it is good stuff.

The same goes for workout and diet advice. You can hire a coach, scan the internet or ask friends. There is a cost associated with each one. If you really don’t know what to do, invest in a trainer for a few sessions instead of wasting time trying to figure it out for yourself.

Bottom line:

There is a time cost associated with money. Improve your health by investing in equipment and knowledge. Effective equipment and knowledge will cost money but you will get a huge return on your investment.

3. Effort

I can’t argue that money and time are unlimited. They aren’t.

You are just going to have to deal with that.

The one thing you have an unlimited supply of is effort. This is a great thing because effort will make up for a lot of budget and time limitations.

league of their own

You can choose a crappy workout program, put in 100% effort and get good results.

You can choose to work out 20 minutes a day, apply 100% effort and get great results.

The only thing you can’t do is apply little to no effort and expect results.

Effort is the great equalizer in life. You don’t need a lot of time or money to see results but you do need consistency and a willingness to push hard.

Effort can buy you time while you figure out the most effective workout and nutrition plans.

Max effort will give you results when you are strapped for time.

Effort builds discipline. Discipline builds consistency and that alone will get you 80% of the way there.


Getting back in shape and staying in the kind of shape you want to be in will never be a static thing. As you go through life, the three variables of time, money and effort will change. Your training will have to adapt to the changes in your life. But at least you can use this as a framework to help keep you on track.

I hope this helps you. If you need a little more help, I am here for you.

Fill out the form below or give me a call to set up your free 30 minute consultation.


So You Started HRT: 7 Things You Need to Know.


Congratulations on starting HRT (Hormone replacement Therapy). Whether you are using pellets, shots or troches, you are taking the first step to getting your hormones back in balance. In doing so, you open up a door of possibilities that maybe you thought were closed for good.

So in this post we are going to go over some ideas and concepts for you that you may not have discussed at the Doctor’s office.

1. You won’t build muscle, get energy or change the way you look if you stay on the couch!

For most people, HRT really works well. Now that you feel years younger, it is time to start lifting weights. By weights, let’s include body weight exercises, barbells, dumbbells, TRX, kettlebells etc… If you have spent the last few years of your life wondering why you could never tone up or build muscle, all that is about to change. Increased muscle tone will increase your metabolism and speed up fat loss.

2. Get back in shape gradually.

When I train clients who are starting HRT, sometimes they have the idea that they can jump from the couch to a marathon. Partly because they feel so good and partly because they are anxious to make up lost time. Don’t fall for that. This is the time to have a plan and follow it.

Too much too soon will either lead to a quick burnout or injury. This is why it makes sense to work with a personal trainer who can help you get started.

3. You will be able to recover faster.

This is not a contradiction to point 2. As your hormones balance out, you will soon discover that you can recover from workouts a lot faster. So take advantage of that. Try and push yourself a little more each workout. The better quality of workout, the faster you will see results.

4. Don’t worry about what anyone else says.

Hormone Replacement Therapy still has a bit of a stigma. This is why I included the John Melton Quote at the top. I always thought that was strange. You can have someone on diabetes medicine because of their lifestyle choices and no one blinks an eye. You start taking HRT and all of a sudden you are messing around with forbidden fruit. Any criticism you get will most likely come from people who are doing very little to help themselves. You are doing the right thing. By taking care of yourself first, you will be better able to help your family.

5. You may be on Hormone Replacement Therapy for life.

This also freaks people out. The same people who will be on blood pressure or heart medication the rest of their life. HRT is a preventative therapy to keep your hormones balanced so you can avoid a number of the pitfalls of getting older. This is truly a quality of life argument. Given the choice, I would much rather be proactive with my health than get older and watch the ailments and medications pile up. That is no way to live.

6. In 10 Years, HRT will be the Norm.

Do you really think our generation is going to get old quietly? No way. We are an active generation and we are redefining what old is. You can either sit out on the sidelines and be miserable or give it a try now. HRT isn’t going away anytime soon.

7. HRT does not mean you can eat the same junk you were eating before and get results.

As they say in the computing world, junk in equals junk out. Don’t expect miracles or quick results if you abuse your body. Getting in shape has always required work and will always require dedication and work. No pill or shot will replace that. all HRT will do is remove the barriers preventing you from getting results from your hard work.

Make sense?

I hope that didn’t bum you out too much. The good news is that I work with a number of clients that can get excellent results by making moderate changes in their habits.


This is the new frontier of medicine. I work with a number of clients who have started HRT and really enjoy watching them take control of their life again. As a personal trainer, I can help you with the training, nutrition and corrective exercises programs to make sure you get the most out of your therapy.

If you have an interest or if you would just like to know a little more, fill out the consultation form below and I will be in touch.

It is a no obligation 30 minute consult I offer to see if this is right for you.

weight loss or fat loss?

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss

Are Weight Loss and Fat Loss the same thing?

weight loss or fat loss?

Which one is healthier for you?

Which one is easier?

People tend to use these phrases interchangeably even though fat loss is very different than weight loss. I have to admit I even use both terms. In my defense, I use them because the public tends to see them as the same thing.

But they aren’t and here is why.

Let’s take a set of identical twins who weigh 180 pounds each and have 40% body fat. Both of these ladies would like to lose 30 pounds.

Twin #1 decides on a nutrition program that promotes weight loss.

Twin #2 decides to try a program that promotes fat loss through healthy eating and working out with weights.

Disclaimer: I have been doing these charts for over 13 years now. The charts you are going to see represent best case scenarios for each woman.

The vitals

At 180 pounds and 30% body fat both twins start out with 72 pounds of fat and 108 pounds of muscle.

180 x .30 = 72 pounds of fat.

180 – 72 = 108 pounds of muscle.

Technically the 108 pounds are made up of muscle, tissue, blood bones etc…but since those variables won’t change much, we will just call it muscle.)

Both women are dedicated to their programs and work hard. In the fitness industry, the one thing we all actually agree on is that a person can safely lose two pounds a week. After 12 weeks both women have stuck to their programs and now have lost weight.

So who did the better job of things? Trick question?

Weight loss

Twin #1 was after weight loss. She now weighs 158 pounds.

weight loss

So why is she still at 38% body fat?

Twin #1 has lost 24 pounds but only 11 pounds of fat.

This is very typical of what happens when you go on a low calorie diet. In addition to losing fat, you lose muscle. Really what has happened to Twin #1 is that she has shrunk herself but stayed at about the same body fat level. There are a couple problems here.

  1. Her height to weight measurement has gotten better but she is still overweight bordering on obese.
  2. Muscles help burn calories. By losing muscle she is automatically lowering her metabolism. If metabolism is the measure of how fast you burn calories, she has slowed her system down. This will make it very easy for her to gain her weight back as soon as she stops her diet.

Yes, she weighs less but is she really healthier?

Fat Loss

Twin #2 combined sensible eating with a weight training program and lost 22 pounds of fat and 17 pounds off the scale.

fat loss

Twin #2 is now at 30% body fat. She was able to successfully burn fat while keeping muscle mass.

Key Points

1. When I train women, there is an initial gain of 4-7 pounds of muscle. It isn’t new muscle, you are just toning up what you have. Guys can expect to gain 5-10 pounds in a few weeks. The nice thing is that the muscle gain is offset by the fat loss. If you start lifting weights, you will not turn into the Hulk. I promise!

2. Any time you can keep muscle and burn fat, you know your diet is spot on. This also means you are also getting stronger, leaner and healthier.

3. Twin #2 has increased her metabolism by keeping her muscle mass. By doing so, those cheat days or cheat meals won’t have as big an effect on her as they will on Twin #1.

So to sums things up:

Weight loss is a temporary thing. This is why most dieters will end up weighing more than when they started. When you burn both fat and muscle, you slow your metabolism down and make future weight loss that much harder. This is not a lifestyle, this is a quick fix way of thinking that has serious emotional consequences.

Fat loss is a lifestyle choice. Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy to maintain and you actually feel like you have control over your body. You will look healthier and feel better.

My job as your coach is to show you the difference between constructive and destructive ways of eating. My clients want to learn how to repair and take care of their bodies and that is what M Factor Fitness is all about. Through weight training, corrective exercise and nutrition coaching, you can learn to shape and control how you look for the long-term.

If this sounds interesting to you, please take a moment and fill out my consultation form. It is a free, no-0bligation phone call or visit where we can sit down and talk about yoru goals and how to best achieve them.

Free 30 minute Consult to See if this is right for you!

Spartan Beast Breckenridge

2017 Breckenridge Spartan Beast and Sprint Race review

Spartan Race Breckenridge 2017

Who does a Spartan Race?

People have funny reactions to Spartan races. For some, there is an instant “Hell No!” reaction. For others, there is a little curiosity but it is centered around why someone would do this rather than the event itself. Then you have those that are hooked. From the first time I saw the black banners waving at Fort Carson in 2016, I knew I was all in. Terrified and nervous but nevertheless all in. Obstacle Course racing or OCR, has that primal kick that is lacking in our safe, sedentary lives. Some do it compete against others, most of us do it to find out about ourselves. Work on building a little grit.

Most Surprising Part of the Weekend?

The most surprising part of the weekend were the sheer number of people who had never done a Spartan race before and signed up for the Beast! That takes guts.

Time for a little Backstory.

Back in 2016 I saw the goal of achieving a Trifecta as part goal and part fantasy. The 5 mile Sprint race had basically chewed me up and spit me out. Very humbling for a fitness coach and at the same time opened up a number of new doors for me. The Trifecta is an award given when you complete the 3-5 mile sprint, 8-10 mile Super and 12-14 mile Beast in one calendar year. The Sprint has 20 plus obstacles, the Super has 25 plus and the Beast has 30 plus. These are approximations because every course is different and because they don’t want you to know the lay of the course until the day of the race.

Breckenridge was the missing link to my Trifecta and I couldn’t have picked a better place. Originally I had planned to go to Seattle. One, I would have an advantage by going to sea level since I train at 5,900 feet. Two, it would not be as hilly. Then I started feeling a little ashamed. Colorado is my home and I am not going to back-door this challenge. Give me the highest elevation race and I will either do it or not. The whole idea of Spartan is not to make life easier but to challenge yourself. To sweeten the pot a little more, I decided to do the Sprint the next day.

The Venue

Beaver Run Breckenridge

You probably need to know two things about the Breckenridge Spartan.

  1. The course goes from about 9,200 feet above sea level to 11,200. And down, then up, then down. And yes, there are obstacles and burpees at 11,000 feet.
  2. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

This race has the makings for an adventure of a lifetime. But you need to be prepared.

How to deal with altitude.


I was really shocked by how many people started the Beast without carrying any water or supplies. When you are at elevation, you need more water and electrolytes than you think. A lot more. The air is dry, there isn’t enough of it and you are going to be going full blast for 4-7 hours. If you don’t refuel, you will blow yourself up at some point. I saw a lot of carnage but most of it could have been prevented.

  1. Take a sports drink with you.
  2. Take food.
  3. Bring mustard packets or electrolyte tablets in case of emergency or just to share with fellow runners. It is a nice thing to do.
  4. Take your time. You know the race course creator is going to try and trick you into gassing out early. Be smart, take your time and enjoy the scenery.

This isn’t rocket science. You start at a base of a mountain. where else are you going to go?

Breckenridge Spartan 2017



Coolest Obstacle

The Water Crossing

Breckenridge River CrossingBreckenridge River crossing


Here is an obstacle where it works in your favor to be tall and wide. They said it was 50 degree water and after a mile I was hot already so this was a pleasant way to cool off.

Line of the day came from a woman from Mississippi who shouted “My vagina is frozen!”

Worst Obstacle

The bucket carry was just brutal. Usually I am pretty good at this but at 10,000 plus feet, I just couldn’t catch my breath. In addition, we were putting damp sand into the buckets instead of rocks. You guys got me on this one! The slow incline just sucked the energy out of me. The log carry and sandbag carry were a breeze compared to this.

Would I do this again and should you do the Breckenridge Spartan races

Of course I will be doing both races again. The key for me is getting in the right frame of mind. The chance to earn a Trifecta, for me, is a celebration of life. I earned the right to do this race and I basically set out a game plan to do this.

  1. Either finish or be carried of the course.
  2. Do the race right. Try all obstacles, do all burpees. No exceptions.
  3. Enjoy the moment and have an adventure. Look at the magnificent scenery, make some new friends and leave a bunch of emotional baggage at the top of the mountain.

This was truly a special weekend for me. I would say life changing but all Spartan races are life changing. As always, these races are flawlessly executed and the experience was a 10 out of 10.