Monday, August 7, 2017

On the Road as a Coach

bob on vacation
Whether we hit the open road, or the open skies, travel can be a big part of our personal and professional lives.
From visiting family to attending industry conferences to just exploring a new country or continent just to see more of our amazing world, it's inevitable that travel will be a part of our lives at some point.
view from airplaneHowever, travel brings with it a whole host of fitness related issues such as how to best handle jet lag, options for good nutrition, and places to train. As coaches, we can be very good about creating a travel plan for success for our clients, but we are often not so diligent about implementing, or even creating, such plans in our own lives.

What About Food?

Nutrition is often the easiest one for us to deal with, in part due to our knowledge of good nutrition, as with the exponential growth of vegetarians and vegans globally. This trend means that there are myriad of options for healthy and balanced meals/foods around the world, even in meat-obsessed places such as Spain and Poland.
One of my favorite things to do on the road is to find a local farmer’s market for a nice selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish that I can’t always get back home. In the rare cases where there isn’t one, or if I’m too lazy to go, I simply opt for the local grocery store to pick up nutritious foods that I can have on hand. You can also pack an extra bag of your favorite snacks to bring along on your journey if shopping is not on your vacation’s to do list.
We can also opt for healthier options on the menu of restaurants, such as choosing baked instead of fried meals, or forgoing the ritual drowning of our pasta and salad in sauces, dressings, and oils. We can select water instead of juices and sodas, and leave the extra packet of sugar for our post meal tea or coffee on the table.

Places to Train

When it comes to working out, we, just like our clients, can be lost if we don’t have a plan going in. Michael Granger, a tier 3+ trainer at Equinox and a black belt in karate, shares his plan for success:
hotel“As for working on the road: it is all dependent on the type of travel. If I travel for karate {competitions} then I am always practicing utilizing the space I am in or that is available.
If it is for leisure, then it is dependent on the locale. In Cape Cod, I joined a gym for a week. In Guyana, I exchange coaching tips for gym access. Otherwise I do my mobility circuit and in place karate moves.”
Even if we aren’t a black belt in karate like Michael, we can get some free passes to, or join a local gym for our stay. There is also my favorite option, TRX workouts, since the TRX is light and easy to carry.

Your Turn

Fellow coaches, we need to remember to take care of ourselves on the road, so that we can continue to change the lives of our clients, families, and friends.
Questions? Have a travel hack you want to share? Leave a comment below.
(This article first appeared on

Monday, January 23, 2017

How to Master Stress and Gain Control of Your Life and Body

Stress is an inevitable part of life, part of our shared human experience. At some point in our lives, we have all had, or have known someone who has had to deal with such stressors as severe illness, a difficult boss, car accident, delayed travel, and myriad other stressful situations.

However, our responses to stress are not inevitable. Think back to the person you know that can handle any crisis with the patience and serenity of Iyov (Job), or alternatively, the person that seems to wither under even the slightest amount of pressure. 

Our ability, or inability, to handle stress is based on our resilience, which Precision Nutrition defines as "..the ability to bounce back from a challenge." 

Our physical body, emotions, attitudes, beliefs, environment, and even our worldview influence our resilience and therefore our ability to deal with, adapt to, and recover from stress. Resilience is therefore a skill and mindset that we can learn and improve in order to improve the quality of our lives and bodies.  

"When we have physical, mental, and emotional resilience, we feel in control of our lives and our bodies." (PN Level 2 Certification Program)

Check out the resilience web below to determine where you stack up:

Resilience Web / courtesy Precision Nutrition

How did you measure up? If your resilience is not where it should be or where you want it to be, you can try the following two habits to help improve your resilience:

1. Meditate. Carve out five minutes from your day to just sit and meditate. Whether you chant ohm, woosah, or just focus on your breathing, this daily habit will help decrease the physiological effects of stress and thereby improve your resilience. 

2. Be grateful. Observant Jews start each day with the Modeh Ani, thanking Hashem for another day. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, there are numerous people/things/events to be grateful for, such as our lives, families, friends, sunsets, beach vacations, and more. Reflect upon, and/or chronicle these in a gratitude journal to increase the positive nature of your thinking. 

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to post them here, or reach out to us at with more questions, or for more information on how to work with one of our coaches to improve your resilience and gain control of your life and body.  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Get in Touch with the Benefits of Massage

"As you lie on the table under crisp, fresh sheets, hushed music draws you into the moment. The smell of sage fills the air and you hear the gentle sound of massage oil being warmed in your therapist's hands. The pains of age, the throbbing from your overstressed muscles, the sheer need to be touched -- all cry out for therapeutic hands to start their work. Once the session gets underway, the problems of the world fade into an oblivious 60 minutes of relief and all you can comprehend right now is not wanting it to end." (Body Sense)

Massage has been around for thousands of years, in some form or another, as mankind has long intuited the transformative, restorative and healing powers of touch. Think of a mother gently kissing her injured child's boo boo to make it better, or a man rubbing his head after banging it to soothe the pain. It feels good to be touched, especially when we are injured or stressed.

This is especially salient in our fast-paced hectic lives, which are often an incubator for stress, age us prematurely, and wear out our bodies, especially our joints. Science, which is now catching up to what we have long known, now prominently touts some of the benefits of massage:

  • Alleviates low back back and improves range of motion.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow--the body's natural defense system.
  • Lessen depression and anxiety.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous training sessions.

Therefore, whether you are a weekend warrior, NFL superstar, or just want to play with your children or grandchildren, massage therapy can help you do it better.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your massage today and start getting all of these benefits now.

To book with one of the best therapists in the country, Brian Riley, check out Brian's website, For more massage options globally, email us at or contact your local spa.

Questions? Comments?Please feel free to post them here or email us at

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Five Ways to Change Your Fitness Level, and Your Life (Part 5:Resistance Training)  

   by Bob Wells, CPT, CES, PES, Pn1, Pn2

There is no question that a proper resistance training program will help us achieve incredible results: we will perform better on the fields and in the gym, and we will look better on the beach and in our bedrooms. 

However, most people's workouts are poorly designed and are thus inefficient, and ineffective. We need our workouts to be challenging, yet varying in intensity and exercise selection. These proper progressions will ensure our continued growth and eliminate stagnation and overtraining. 

Here are three different, challenging workouts that will get you started or change up your routine:

The first workout is a kettlebell workout with Nealey Wallis, a former diver at NYU. The second workout is Wallis' ViPR workout, and the third workout is a TRX workout from one of the top trainers at Equinox, Karolina Pawlak.

Be safe and have fun.

Check out the Bob Wells Fitness YouTube channel for more workout videos, or email us at to design an individualized training program for you. 

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to post them here or email us at

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Five Ways to Change Your Fitness Level, and Your Life 

(Part 4:Time Management and Planning)  

   by Bob Wells, CPT, CES, PES, Pn1, Pn2

The great Benjamin Franklin famously said, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." These words highlight a fundamental truth about the need to plan. 

From fitness to travel to work, this aphorism rings true: in order to ultimately be successful with anything, we must have a plan and manage our time wisely. 

So, how do we manage and plan our time wisely in order to accomplish all of the things that we need and want to do to be successful? One way to master our time is to "obey" Entrepreneur's 10 commandments of time management:


  1. Carry a schedule and record all of your thoughts, conversations, and activities each week. This will give you an accurate account of how much you can get done during the week, as well as how much time is wasted via unproductive actions, thoughts, and activities.
  2. Assign a time to any activity or conversation that is important to your success. Set appointments with yourself and create time for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Stay disciplined and keep these appointments. 
  3. Spend at least half of your time on the thoughts, activities, and conversations that produce most of your results.
  4. Schedule time for interruptions. 
  5. Spend the first 30 minutes of each day planning your day. It is crucial not to begin your day until you complete your time plan, since this is the most important time of your day. 
  6. Take five minutes before every task to decide what result you aim to achieve. This will allow you to define success before you begin. Spend five minutes after each task to determine whether or not the desired result was achieved. If not, troubleshoot how to achieve success with the next task. 
  7. Put up a "Do not disturb" sign when you have to get work done. 
  8. Practice not immediately answering the phone or emails. Don't immediately give people your attention, unless it is absolutely crucial to immediately offer a response. Instead, schedule blocks of time to answer emails and return phone calls. 
  9. Block out social media distractions, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook unless you are using these tools to generate business at the time.
  10. Remember that it is impossible to get everything done. 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations, and activities are likely to produce 80% of your results.   
By implementing these proven time management strategies, you can remove any self-limitation or self-sabotage you have around "not having enough time," or today not being "the right time" to start on your next journey, fitness or otherwise. 

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to post them here or email us at

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Five Ways to Change Your Fitness Level, and Your Life (Part 3:Cardiovascular Training)  

   by Bob Wells, CPT, CES, PES, Pn1, Pn2

Cardio, or cardiovascular training is an important part of any training program. Whether the primary focus is to improve athletic performance or to look and/or feel better, cardio is key to this success. 

However, to many of us, cardio conjures of images of that boring thing you do on the treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike. Too often we turn on the television, grab a book, or listen to the music flavor of the day on our iPhones or iPods. We zone out as we try to get in the fat burning zone.

Courtesy: VeryWell
This method of doing "cardio" is the surest way of ensuring boredom, but more importantly, it doesn't work to improve performance or looks. Like other aspects of a proper training program, the cardio portion has to make sense and fit into the overall goals of the training program. 

One effective, and efficient method to properly incorporate cardio training, is to use high intensity interval training, or HIIT for short. HIIT is done by alternating between work phases and active recovery phases. 

For example, you can do HIIT by alternating between running sprints, jogging, and walking. One way to do this is:

1. Start with a 5 minute warmup.
2. Sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
3. Immediately follow the sprint with a 60 second jog.
4. Finish with a 30 second walk. 

Complete steps 2-4 for 5 to 15 rounds, depending on your current fitness level. For most people, a cardio session should last for no more than 10-30 minutes. 

For more information, check out HIIT Your Way to a Leaner Body or email us at and we can customize a training experience guaranteed to help you reach your goals.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to post them here or email us at

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Five Ways to Change Your Fitness Level, and Your Life (Part 2:Proper Recovery and Stress Reduction)  

   by Bob Wells, CPT, CES, PES, Pn1, Pn2

"Nothing great was ever achieved without hard work."

We have all heard this quote, or some variation of it regarding the need to work hard if we wish to be successful in our lives. Quotes like these, and their call for hard work inspire us to persevere at work, in the gym, and on the playing fields.

We lionize those who seem to never rest, pushing their minds and bodies to the brink of collapse. We erect statues in their honor and memory, and endlessly recall their admonitions to work increasingly harder.

There is no debate about the need to work hard to achieve our fitness goals, such as our dream bodies. However, it should be also noted that nothing great can never be sustained without proper recovery and stress reduction.

College football fans surely remember the case of Urban Meyer, whose legendary hard work initially paid off with an average record of 11.4 wins and just 2 losses his first five years at Florida, claiming two national championships in that same span. Stories about Meyer's legendary work ethic grew, as did his mental and physical stress.

His last year with the Gators ended with a trip to the emergency room, a 'dismal' 8-5 record, and the beginning of a two year break from coaching to recover from his inordinate amount of stress and hard work. Clearly, hard work has a tipping point, where there is an inverse relationship between it and success.

Therefore, we need to recover properly and reduce our stress if we are to achieve even greater successes in the gym, on the playing fields, and in life.

Here are five things that we can use to recover and reduce stress:

1.  Get a good night's sleep.  According to Harvard Medical School, adults need 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep a night. Proper sleep will allow us to recover and perform optimally, physically and mentally. (Check out Hacking Sleep for tips on how to engineer a good night's sleep.)

2.  Practice yoga.  Yoga, which has become extremely popular in the last 40 years, is another way to relieve stress. (Here are some basic yoga poses, or a list of yoga classes near you.)
Photo by Ilaria Vecchi Photography
3.  Curl up to a good book.  Find a quiet spot to read for 30-60 minutes each day.

4.  Meditate.  Meditation, which can be done in just 10-15 minutes a day, is an effective way to calm our minds and reframe our thinking. (Check out how to meditate to get started now.)

5.  Get a massage.  Massages are a great way to relieve the accumulated physical and mental stresses of our lives. (Equinox spas are amazing, but feel free to try one of these other spas near you.)

Check out "Strategies for getting control of stress" for additional ways to relieve stress and recover properly. Remember that rest/recovery is as important as the hard work that you are doing to achieve your goals. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Five Ways to Change Your Fitness Level, and Your Life (Part 1:Nutrition)  

   by Bob Wells, CPT, CES, PES, Pn1, Pn2

When it comes to nutrition, or more specifically good nutrition, many of us conjure up notions of restrictive diets, counting calories, and forswearing our favorite aperitifs.

Everywhere we turn, the latest health and fitness magazines and blogs, our family, friends, trainers, or the random yenta at the grocery store has the perfect diet for us. We are told to "eat this, not that" and sit back as the pounds melt away. We will try anything to feel better, to look better naked.

Atkins, Zone, veganism, paleo, and pescetarianism are just some of the myriad diet options that abound. Some options require us to confront complex moral issues, such as dealing with meat and fish consumption. Others simply require us to be math wizards, calculating our caloric intake and expenditure during various activities with the mental dexterity of Alan Turing or Leonhard Euler.

So we try one or more, but inevitably, and rather quickly, we put back on the pounds that we previously lost. We end up frustrated by our inability to keep off weight permanently. We cycle back to defeatist mindsets and unsustainable diets, as our weight yo yos.

We can stop this vicious cycle with a sensible diet that works and that we can sustain long term. Precision Nutrition has a great hand based diet that does both. Instead of fastidiously counting calories, we use our hands to measure the food portions.

The charts below are a guideline to help you regain your sanity, and get your dream body--for summer and beyond.

Courtesy: Precision Nutrition

Courtesy: Precision Nutrition