You can change TODAY

You have an opportunity to change TODAY
Sometimes we forget that we are the ones in control of our lives. Remind yourself every day by saying this one phrase –  


Here are 3 ways to create positive change in your life, and you can start all of these principles TODAY!  

1. Have a practice of RAISING AMBITION by looking at your goals each and every day.  Don’t have any goals? Start by writing down where you want to see yourself in 1 year. Then you can start to reverse engineer that larger goal into more bite size chunks of where you want to be in the next 3, 6 and 9 months to get there. 

2. Learn “positive expectancy” – You MUST BELIEVE IT TO ACHIEVE IT!” Motivation and action will occur when you “expect” the future to happen the way we envision it to happen. That we can develop or grow in the future! Start to tell yourself “I know I can grow into that!”  

3. Use the “Progress Principle” – Progress each day to kick start more drive in your life. Motivation comes from momentum and taking action. Ask yourself “What are the 1-3 things I can do today to move forward?”  Haven’t started yet, or don’t know why you haven’t started. You likely don’t have a motivation problem, you have a FOCUS problem. 

Action step – Re-engage with your network.  Ask 3 friends about their ambitions and their goals. Doing this will get you in the mindset to start to focus on your own ambitions and goals to a greater degree.  

You are reading this I bet because you are considering making a change in your life.  Why not make it easy and let us guide you through the next 2 weeks and let us give you the kickstart you deserve.  Invest in yourself, it will be the best investment you ever make – check out more information below:



The “Best Diet” does not exist

The “Best Diet” does not exist

You know what doesn’t exist?

The best diet that represents the One True Way.  I know, sorry to burst your bubble…

This is a tough pill to swallow because wouldn’t it be a lot easier if someone could just tell you exactly what to eat.

But unfortunately humans are complicated. While there are some generally accepted best practices, different people seem to do better or worse with different dietary approaches.

Even when we’re looking for a specific result (like weight loss), most meta-studies suggest they all work pretty similarly over time when controlled for adherence.

We have to presume there’s some genetic variance to how well we each tolerate certain food items. While elimination diets can be useful, we can’t determine exactly how to eat for your individual best health probabilities (even as much as people want you to think!).

So it can really get complicated. And to make things more confusing, virtually every approach you can think of has a small army of advocates, books, Netflix documentaries, and (usually cherry-picked) studies to prove that a given approach is the One True Way.

Paleo, Vegan, Zone, Atkins, Ornish, Keto, Mediterranean, If It Fits Your Macros, Raw Foods, Intermittent Fasting…the list goes on and on! In fact, we’ve finally filled in all the squares on the “Literally Every Diet Imaginable” Bingo card; we now have the meat-only Carnivore Diet. Hooray!

So what’s the best diet?

Or to put a finer point on what’s being asked with this question…

What and how should I strive to eat?  The reason I like this question is because at Epic Fitness, we don’t even use the “D” word – we actually hate it.  You know why? Because all diets have the same thing in common.  They all have a start and an end date, they all are unsustainable, and they all are binary in nature – meaning you can only eat this, and not THAT.  

So let’s go back to what and how you should strive to eat.  While I’ve already acknowledged that there are lots of different factors to consider, allow me to offer some (admittedly broad) guidance that will hopefully serve you more often than not:

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Prioritize a protein-rich food source with each meal.
  • Create your meals and snacks mostly out of foods with only one ingredient; mostly foods on the perimeter of the grocery store and/or ones that can go bad.
  • Cook most of your meals at home if possible.
  • If this ISN’T possible, become practiced at asking for modifications when you eat out to avoid massive amounts of butter, oil, dressings, etc.
  • Develop a repertoire of meals you can prepare at home that you genuinely love to eat. This one of the best investments of time and energy you’ll ever make.
  • Go as organic as you can afford, particularly when consuming thin-skinned fruits & vegetables, dairy, fish, and meats.
  • Prioritize locally sourced foods.
  • If you order in a lot, identify your “go to” menu of delivery meals that serve your fitness goals.
  • Eat slowly. Your body needs time to recognize it’s been fed, so this is particularly helpful if you’re prone to overeating.
  • Adjust your portion sizes up if you want to gain muscle and down if you’re looking to burn fat.
  • Be intentional about planning indulgences so you can enjoy them guilt free while still nourishing your body with healthy foods most of the time.

I concede this is a pretty general list. But I promise if you follow the above principles you’ll see good results!

We may well in the future see breakthroughs in our lifetime that will tell us exactly what’s best to eat for our individual bodies. And that would be amazing.  But, for now we will work on the basics – because over a long enough time horizon, the basics tend to work brilliantly well – if you are patient enough for the results to set in. 

You are reading this I bet because you are considering making a change in your life.  Why not make it easy and let us guide you through the next 2 weeks and let us give you the kickstart you deserve.  Invest in yourself, it will be the best investment you ever make – check out more information below:


What’s the Deal with Protein Intake?

What’s the Deal with Protein Intake?

This week I would love to give a shout out to protein and how important it is when you look at reaching any health or wellness related goal.  I truly feel having an adequate (and even high!) amount of protein in your diet is the secret weapon against poor health, obesity, diabetes and so many other health related illnesses out there.  Allow me to unpack this for you…

Protein is one of the three main macronutrients alongside carbs and fats. Each of these play a role in a well-nourished body.

Protein is the building blocks of your muscles. Adequate consumption helps you recover properly from your workouts, and from all that life throws at you.

And if and when one is looking to lose fat, there are three big benefits:

1) When you’re getting sufficient dietary protein, you’re more likely to burn a higher percentage of fat instead of burning muscle (protein) for fuel.

2) Protein is more filling and satiating.  This means you will tend to overconsume calories much less.

3) Protein takes more “work” for your body to digest.  So the absorbed calories that you consume are lower.

The most common protein food sources are meat, fish, and dairy. Not a meat-eater? You can get protein from foods like tofu, lentils, beans, and legumes. 

Depending on your goals, you may go with higher or lower fat sources. We don’t need to be afraid of fat, but if you’re prioritizing fat loss, you may want to prioritize lower calorie (fat) versions. Alternatively, if you want to gain muscle, you may need the extra calories from full-fat choices of protein.

Side note: When it comes to meat, fish, dairy, and vegetables in particular, it’s a good idea to consume high-quality organic sources whenever logistically and financially possible. 

Now you may be asking “How much protein should I get?”

The FDA recommends a minimum of 0.8 gram per kilogram (or .36 grams per pound) to avoid malnourishment. However, while there’s debate on the ideal amount, most nutrition experts recommend getting more for optimal functioning. This is particularly true as we age and want to maintain muscle mass.

The sports nutrition standard is 1 gram per pound per day. This is definitely on the higher side, but it’s a good general high target when one has any short term fat-loss, muscle-building, or performance goals.  

At Epic Fitness, we suggest striving for a range of between .7 – 1 gram per pound per day.  So, for a 160 pound female your goal would be to hit between 112 – 160 grams of protein per day.  That is a BIG range, but when you start to prioritize protein, getting between 30-40 grams at each meal is not that tough! 

(You can always just ask Arnold, and he will give you the right answer too!)

And of course, as always, we have to factor in your personal preferences. If that’s more than you can consume without overhauling your diet, you may decide to shoot for a (relatively) lower amount. Protein powders can also play a role if you’re not getting enough protein from the whole foods in your diet.  At Epic Fitness, we LOVE the SFH brand of protein powders as they come from a great source – free range, grass fed New Zealand cows!

For customized protein recommendations based on your body and goals, check out’s nifty protein calculator HERE. (Fun factoid – the recommendations that they make are very close to ours, and are close to .72 Grams per pound of bodyweight). 

Another note: “X grams per pound per day” makes for a clear quantitative goal, but most people are best off without counting calories anyway.  In the beginning, tracking protein can be helpful so it helps you become very aware of how much you are getting each day.  After about 2 weeks of tracking, you should have a very good idea of whether you are hitting your protein intake goals or not.

In the end, when you do your best to anchor each meal with a big serving of protein, you  will be all that much closer to your goals. Outside of a highly specific physique or performance goal, you’ll be golden.

Want a more comprehensive guide on all things protein?  Click the link below to receive your FREE copy of our Protein Guide.

Get My Protein Guide!

Looking for a way to start new healthy habits with your nutrition and your overall health?!  We would love to be your guide for a super comprehensive 14 Day Kickstart you can start NOW!  Check out more details below:


From Painful to Pain FREE!

Rockstar Highlight – Jess L. From Painful to Pain FREE!

We are super excited to share the story of Jess L.  She has been a member of Epic Fitness now for the last 8+ years, and over the past year she has overcome so much.  One year ago Jess was 4 months postpartum, and she could not lift her son out of his bassinet.

Now, one year later Jess is fully recovered and lifting more than ever before (just watch these amazing videos below of her entire story!).

Here is Jess performing a Kettlebell Swing with “The Beast” or the 106 pound kettlebell.  You can be for certain she is swinging her baby around now with ease!

Learn more about how we can help you get out of pain and feel your best below:


5 D’s For Managing Cravings

The 5 D’s For Managing Cravings

By: Ben S. Fogel
 We all know how hard it is to battle cravings.  I mean, we all have them (I am dreaming of a long strand of  a Twizzlers as I write this!).

Managing or not managing cravings can be a giant barrier to weight loss success. It can set up a negative cycle of initially “battling” the craving, giving in, overindulging, feeling like a failure, and then finally giving up.  Sound familiar? I’d like you to try the easy “5 Ds” to help manage your food cravings. They really do work!


Delay:  First, postpone eating for 10-15 minutes when you feel an urge.  Even better, set an alarm for those 10-15 minutes.  You’re not saying “no” – just stopping to think before you eat. You’re not ignoring the thought but dealing with it. While you’re delaying your decision, the next D makes it easier…
Distract: Try a non-food activity to give you something to do (so you don’t watch the clock for 10 minutes!). Often the wave of desire to eat disappears in a few minutes when you keep your hands busy without food. Clean out a drawer, call a friend, brush your teeth, surf the web, or even drink a glass of water.  The most important part is to remove yourself from the situation and do something else!  
 Distance: It’s important to keep your eating environment at arm’s length – maintaining a distance. Keep food out of sight, not on counters; “out of sight, out of mind” can help. Stay out of the kitchen when a craving strikes.  And use the kitchen only for food preparation and meal consumption. Avoid it as a place to hang out.
Determine: After waiting 10-15 minutes, determine whether you are physically hungry or just thirsty; these two are often confused.  More often than not, just drinking a glass of water can quench your thirst and help you realize you were more thirsty than hungry to begin with. Also consider whether you might have emotional/boredom hunger, what I call “head hunger.”  If we asked you if you could eat a ½ cup of broccoli, and the answer is yes, then you are actually hungry!  Avoid getting over-hungry, a main consequence of meal skipping. All of these situations can be helped with a structured eating schedule and pre-planned meals and snacks. 
 Decide: If you’ve made it through the first 4 Ds, it’s time to make a smart choice. Think before you eat and pre-plan what you are really looking for – sweet, creamy, salty, chewy – before you make a choice. Look for single-serving packaged items for built-in portion control. You also get the satisfaction of “eating the whole thing.” Aim for a snack between 100-200 calories.
We get it! We totally understand life is going to happen.  Using the 5 D’s can really help you to slow down and realize that so much of the time we attach our emotions to eating, instead of using the food as fuel to keep us alive and well! 

Ready to learn more about how we can help you get in a great spot with your nutrition?!  Look no further!  Check out our 14 Day Kickstart Below:



The 3 “BIG ROCKS” That will lead to success in Health and Fitness

Have you maybe hit a wall on your progress?  We will often see this when clients are not prioritizing what we like to call the “Big Rocks.”  We have all heard about prioritizing the “big rocks” in the world of productivity,  but what about with your health?   There is that analogy of filling up your glass with the big rocks first, then the pebbles and sand last – otherwise your big rocks will never fit in the glass (your most important priorities). The big rocks in your health that cannot be overstated enough are:

  1. Sleep
  2. Stress 
  3. Drinking Water

Managing sleep, stress levels, and drinking water can have a significant impact on overall health and well-being. Here’s a short list highlighting the importance of each area:


  • Promotes physical and mental restoration and allows the body to repair and heal.
  • Supports immune system function and helps prevent illness.
  • Enhances cognitive function, memory, and concentration.
  • Regulates mood and emotional well-being.
  • Supports healthy metabolism and weight management.

**GOAL – Aim for 7+ hours of great quality sleep per night.


  • Reduces the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
  • Boosts immune system function, making you less susceptible to illnesses.
  • Improves mental health and reduces the risk of anxiety and depression.
  • Enhances cognitive function and productivity.
  • Promotes better sleep quality.

**GOAL – Spend 5-10 minutes a day either in meditation, or time with yourself.

Drinking Water:

  • Maintains proper hydration, which is essential for overall bodily functions.
  • Supports optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Flushes out toxins and waste products from the body.
  • Helps regulate body temperature and prevent dehydration.
  • Promotes healthy skin, joints, and organs.

**GOAL – Aim to drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water.  If you are 150 pounds, your goal will be to drink 75 ounces per day. 

By managing sleep, stress levels, and ensuring adequate hydration, you can improve your overall health, enhance your well-being, and maintain optimal functioning of your body and mind.  You will also break through that wall of not seeing progress!

Ready to reach a breakthrough in your health and fitness, and in a supportive community that will help you prioritize the “big rocks”?!  Check out our 14 Day Kickstart below!


5 Reasons Why Community Matters

5 Reasons Why Community and Belonging Matters
By: Ben S. Fogel
Community and belonging play crucial roles in our lives and have a significant impact on our overall well-being and lifespan. Human beings are inherently social creatures, and our need for connection and a sense of belonging is deeply ingrained in us. Here’s why community and belonging are important and how they correlate with lifespan:

  1. Social support: Being part of a community provides us with social support, which is vital for our mental, emotional, and physical health. Strong social connections have been linked to lower rates of anxiety, depression, and stress. When we have a support network around us, we can better cope with life’s challenges, such as illness, loss, and adversity, which can ultimately lead to improved health outcomes and a longer lifespan.
  2. Sense of purpose and identity: Belonging to a community gives us a sense of purpose and identity. It provides us with a framework for understanding ourselves in relation to others and the world around us. When we have a sense of purpose and a clear identity within a community, we tend to have higher self-esteem, greater life satisfaction, and a more positive outlook on life. These psychological factors can contribute to better overall health and a longer lifespan.
  3. Health behaviors: Communities often share common values, norms, and behaviors. Belonging to a community that promotes healthy lifestyles can have a positive impact on our own health behaviors. For example, if we are part of a community that values physical activity and healthy eating, we are more likely to engage in those behaviors ourselves. Adopting and maintaining healthy habits, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet can significantly contribute to a longer and healthier life.
  4. Reducing isolation and loneliness: Loneliness and social isolation have been associated with adverse health effects, including increased mortality rates. When individuals feel disconnected and lack social interactions, it can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, and stress, which can have detrimental effects on both mental and physical health. Conversely, being part of a community helps combat loneliness by providing opportunities for social interaction, fostering meaningful relationships, and creating a support system.
  5. Cognitive stimulation: Engaging with a community provides opportunities for cognitive stimulation and intellectual growth. Interacting with others, participating in group activities, and sharing knowledge and experiences can help keep our minds active and sharp. A mentally stimulating environment has been linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline and conditions such as dementia, ultimately contributing to a longer lifespan.

Community and belonging are essential for our well-being and have a strong correlation with lifespan. Being part of a supportive community provides social support, a sense of purpose and identity, promotes healthy behaviors, reduces loneliness and isolation, and offers cognitive stimulation. By nurturing our connections and fostering a sense of belonging, we can improve our overall quality of life and increase our chances of living longer and healthier lives.

Check out what Jane H. says what keeps her coming back to Epic Fitness (it turns out it’s our amazing community of Rockstars!).

Ready to experience a community of like-minded humans that are all around to support YOU?!  Check out our 14 Day Kickstart where you can experience it all for yourself:



Prioritizing Protein!

Importance of Protein on a daily basis
By: Ben S. Fogel

The goal in this article is to uncover not only what protein is, but why it is so important to be consuming it in more likely than not higher quantities than you currently are.

To start, let’s uncover what protein actually is.  Protein is an energy containing macronutrient that is responsible for or has a hand in virtually every process in the body. For the purposes of this post, it is vital in repairing and restructuring muscle and other tissues. 

Outside of that it is important in other cellular structures, immunity and enzymatic processes. It’s an important part of optimizing body processes, including fat loss. Common protein containing foods are things like chicken, beef, beans, soy, and dairy.

When you start as a new member at Epic Fitness,  we give some baseline guidelines for calories and protein. Calories, to manage weight appropriately depending on the person’s immediate goals, and protein as a starting point to help folks understand it is a priority.  We also call this being in a “positive nitrogen balance” on a daily basis, especially when you are strength training.   

Here is the basis for why we want to be in a positive nitrogen balance, meaning we are eating enough protein to help us towards our goals of fat loss/muscle gain/maintenance (fill in the blank!):

  • First, remember that fat loss is about cannibalizing your own body’s tissue for fuel because of a “fuel shortage”
  • Your body will make up the caloric deficit from its own tissue – Fat or Protein – You get to choose!  You will cannibalize your protein stores if you are not getting sufficient amounts of protein.  
  • You get to direct the Tissue Cannibalization – By creating a Positive Nitrogen Balance.

Now, you may be asking “How do I create this positive nitrogen balance?”  It is as simple as these 3 steps:

  1. When you eat protein, your body breaks the protein down into amino acids.
  2. Those amino acids are then used to repair and grow new muscle fibers.
  3. When you consume an adequate amount of protein, your body will experience a Positive Nitrogen Balance.

The next question always is, “Well, what is adequate for protein intake then?”

Well, there are a lot of bad recommendations out there. The RDA (Registered Dieticians Association) recommendation is .8g/kg of body weight is around HALF of what you should actually be getting in your diet as an active, healthy adult.  You should be closer to 1.6 g/kg BW.  

But let’s actually make this super simple and talk about this in pounds of body weight (since we are the last country to be doing things imperially!)

Our baseline recommendation for protein intake is 0.75 g/pound of your current body weight

So, if you weigh 160 pounds, start with 120 grams of protein per day. We use this number because it is approachable and attainable, and has some room to move up or down. That way, as you get going you can track how you are doing, adjust, and find your sweet spot as you get better at eating alongside with your strength training. 

Note: This recommendation would change with someone who is looking to add size/mass or for someone who has a significant amount of weight to lose, as it would be simply unrealistic.

A common question we get is, “How do I increase my protein intake?”  There are a lot of ways to do this, but here are 3 general concepts that can help:

  1. Double up on protein you are already consuming:  Choose 4 eggs instead of 2 (24 g vs. 12g). 2 palm sized (3oz) servings of chicken at lunch on your salad, versus the 1 you used to eat (48g vs 24g). If you did the same at dinner, you’d be around 120-130g of protein, and that is only with meat and dairy examples!  You will still get some smaller amounts of protein from most foods. We use this concept with clients when it is clear that they under-eat at breakfast and lunch, then it usually makes dinner less controlled.  By emphasizing high protein at both of those first meals, we encouraged satiety so that you can make better decisions in the evening, as well as recover from your morning strength workouts. 
  2. The Rule of 10: Try and ask yourself how you can add another 10 grams of protein to each meal. So, maybe it’s another egg and some nuts. Another chicken sausage, 2 pieces of deli meat. Half a can of tuna. Half of a protein shake. A yogurt on the side. By the end of the day, adding an extra 10 grams of protein at each meal will get you another 30 grams. Over time this will pay huge dividends in conjunction with keeping your calories in check. Maybe this adds some “variety” to your meals, too! If this helps you hit your protein for the day, it’s going to lead to better results.
  3. Supplementation: There are tons of options out there, and thanks to modern food technology, most protein supplements taste MUCH better than they used to. We primarily want to get our protein from whole food sources; there are more nutrients, there are less ingredients, and they are generally more bioavailable. 

For most of us aiming to hit goals in the gym, supplementing can be a game changer in terms of rounding out our protein intake. Think about it this way – protein supplements are a way to always have a solid source of protein on hand, whether we are on the go or need a quick meal to get us to dinner. There are many varieties: whey and casein (dairy, fast and slow digesting), egg, plant based, collagen – they can all work just fine based on your preference. 

We typically suggest supplementing with protein immediately after workouts at the gym to fasttrack recovery and start refueling for the next workout. Or, if you want to add more to it, you can use frozen fruit, yogurt, or other ingredients to blend your shake into a full meal. This can help curb some calories too. All in all, protein supplements are a great way to get another 20-40g of protein each day.

We hope you found this information valuable and useful!  Want FREE access to our 11 page “Epic Fitness Protein Guide” where we will share more useful tips, tricks and recipes that you can start using today.  Click the link below to have the PDF sent straight to your email!  

Get My Protein Guide!




Epic Rockstar, Maren shares her story!

We are so excited to share Maren M’s amazing story.  Maren has been a member of Epic Fitness now for almost 2 years, and her energy is contagious in the gym!  Maren participates in EVERY challenge or program that we offer, and she recently saw amazing results in our most recent “Upgrade Your Life Challenge.”

Even when Maren goes on vacation, it never stops her from getting a workout in! (See below!!).  Check out in Maren’s own words why she keeps coming back to Epic Fitness.

Ready to start a routine that is sustainable?!  We would love to be in your corner!  Start below:


Maren always taking advantage of working out while on vacation! 

Jane Shares Her Epic Journey

We are so excited to share the story of our Epic Rockstar Member, Jane H. Jane started with us right as COVID was at its peak, and she was just looking for a safe space to workout and feel strong during a time when it was the hardest to do so.  Now almost 3 years later, Jane just finished our Upgrade Your Life New Years challenge, and she had some pretty incredible results.  Check out her whole story below!