Breaking Barriers – Part 2

3 Reasons Why You Don’t Go After What You Want – And How To Overcome It!   PART 2

By: Ben S. Fogel

In part 1 of this series FOUND HEREwe discussed the first 2 reasons why we don’t go after what we want and these 2 things were the fear of failure, and time.  In part 2 we are going to discuss the last reason and probably the one we have all struggled with the most – procrastination and the loss of focus.

Procrastination or the loss of focus

Our world is full of things where we can lose focus very quickly (look, there’s a squirrel!).  This can be a huge issue with technology right at our fingertips 24/7.  Use the following strategies to help with procrastination or losing focus:

  • Have a “Daily Three” – your to-do list with only three things on it you want to get done TODAY and make a schedule for when you will complete it.

  • Find your “magic time” where you have the least distractions and can get the most done in the least amount of time.

  • Find the time to have your personal time built into your schedule – time to workout and take care of yourself.  This needs to be scheduled into your day.

  1. Have a “Daily Three”

This is a real game changer.  Start by making this a habit during a certain part of your day.  Before bed works great, or make it the very first thing you do when you wake up and you feel most refreshed.  Have a notepad ready and write down the top three things you know you need to complete for the day.  If you only have one thing, even better – but don’t make it a list of four or five to-do’s.  You will not have that sense of accomplishment if you only complete three out of the five, and not all five.

Why three?  This isn’t a magic number, but it does seem to work very well.  The second part of this habit is making sure you schedule a specific time for each task to be completed.  For example, if one of your daily three tasks is to call five clients you better have a 1/2 hour block scheduled to complete this task.  What seems to be the easiest thing to do is to assign a time of day you will complete each task.  So, “phone calls” will occur at 1pm-1:30pm, “Writing a work proposal” will occur from 2-4pm and so on.

  1. Find your “Magic Time”

Your “magic time” is that time of the day when you are the clearest in your mind and body.  It could be right when you wake up in the morning, just after a workout, or even after a certain meal during the day.  This time is all yours, so it needs to be protected and used appropriately.  For me, my “magic time” is in the morning before the kids and wife are up in the house.  I am able to take 20-30 minutes and make it all about me and setting up my day for success.  This is when I do most of my reading and writing, and when I am able to get the biggest bang for my buck and get the most done in the least amount of time.  This way, I am able to conquer my mornings and then have better control of my afternoons when things sometimes don’t quite pan out the way I always envision it.

To find your magic time, take note of when you are in the best “flow” state.  That is, when you are able to concentrate and focus the most on single tasks and complete the most work.  Maybe it is when you are able to write the most, or be the most creative.  You will figure it out.  Make sure if you have never tried to do this in the morning – wake up 15-20 minutes earlier than usual and get your #1 top priority done first.  I think you will be amazed at how you feel when you can do that!

  1. Schedule your own “Personal Time Off” or “PTO”

This one is hard if you are a work-a-holic like myself.  One thing I will tell you though is if you take the time to refresh and recharge, you will come back so much stronger and be able to re-focus to get things done and not procrastinate.  This could be something as simple as taking PTO in the middle of the week for two hours to just leave the office and “chill out” at a coffee shop or a park.  You will be amazed what a break during the day can do for your day and your week.  Having personal time as well to workout and work on your own health is very important, and to be sure to schedule it is crucial as well.

Self-care should be included here as well.  When was the last time you treated yourself to a massage, pedicure or facial?  These things are all added extras that our parents probably didn’t do much of, but it will surely lower your stress levels and give you the refresher you need to get back to work and bring your best and to be re-focused on those “big rocks” again.

This was supposed to be just a quick summary of the three main things that usually get in our way of being successful, but quickly became much more than that.  My hope is that you can take one thing away from this post and use it right away to become more successful in whatever you do!  Good luck and remember to take action!

We have limited space on a weekly basis into our 14 Day VIP Kickstart Program, and want to invite you to check it out!  Learn how to prioritize your most valuable asset – YOU!



Breaking Barriers Part 1

3 Reasons Why You Don’t Go After What You Want – And How To Overcome It!   PART 1 

By: Ben S. Fogel

When studying what top achievers do on an everyday basis to be successful, there are 3 common things that they all overcome first to break through the barriers to become successful.  The good news is, all of these reasons are barriers that we put upon ourselves through our repeated poor habits.  That means we have the power to make the change to become successful, and I want to give you this recipe for success.

What are the top three reasons why you don’t go after what you want?  Here are the most popular three that we see time after time:

  1. Fear of failure

  2. Time (Do I have time to invest in this?)

  3. Procrastination or the loss of focus (We will dive into this more in part 2)

I will go over each of these reasons in detail of action steps you can take right away to overcome each of these obstacles to become more successful in life.

  1. Fear of failure

First, the fear of failure is one of the biggest fears I hear about from brand new clients when first starting a new exercise and nutrition program with us.  I can completely understand this fear, as many people who start right off have no idea or roadmap of what to do to get from point A to B.  This is why they hired us, and this in and of itself can be a very scary thing.  A brand new habit of exercising and taking care of yourself, and to throw on top of that attempting to create one small habit to help assist in nutritional health, which we discussed in detail in an earlier blog post here can be a lot when making a radical change in your life.

What you need to realize is that every top achiever in their field has failed on multiple occasions before they were successful, and there are many examples we highlighted here of individuals that failed first before they succeeded.  And this is ok.  We just want to try our best to keep those failures to a minimum – so try these steps to keep a positive mindset to achieve success and limit failure in anything you do:

  • Take some time to actually write down what you will accomplish, and then expand on why this is actually so important to you and your life right now.  Simon Sinek’s amazing book “Start With Why” is a great place to understand and find out your “why.”  (Also, here are some great steps you can take when setting and writing goals).

  • Once you have figured out your “why,” do everything you can to remove the distractions from your life that are getting in your way.  Maybe you are always a “yes” person, saying yes to everything that is asked of you.  Learning to say “no” is a very powerful step in taking control of your life so you can be successful.  Pick the things that you truly value, and go all out!  Say no to everything else.  Remember, you are in control of your life, not other people.

  • Make sure you are surrounding yourself with people that actually challenge you, and are willing to be challenged by you.  You will never grow unless you are challenged – this will be the one thing that could change your entire mindset in your life.   Remember, you become the average of the top 5 people you hang around with.  If you are spending your time with people that don’t challenge you at all personally or professionally, then find some new friends, a networking group, mastermind, etc.  Challenging yourself with others will help you overcome adversity better as well, so you can find a faster path to success.

  1. Time (Do I have time to invest in this?)

Yes!  The answer to this question is undoubtedly, yes!  We all have the same amount of time in the day – 24 hours.  168 hours in a week and 8,736 hours in one year (doesn’t seem like much time, does it?)  Here is an even better exercise I did recently to find out how much time I really have on God’s green earth:

28,855 days is the average life expectancy for the average adult (just over 79 years old).  Mathematically, figure out how many days you have lived on this earth:

42 years old x 365 days (excluding leap years) = 15,330 days lived

I have already gone through more than an entire half life cycle already!  Now when you put things into perspective like this, you realize how valuable and fragile this one resource is – this is the only resource on the earth that is NOT renewable, we continue to lose time on a daily basis with no ability to get it back, ever.  What are you doing right now to manage your time and to make sure your 28,855 days are utilized to their fullest potential?

This one quote really hit home for me:

“Every minute you waste is a minute you steal from your loved ones.”

Now, that was a very powerful one for me.  I have two boys under the age of 11 years old.  I had been in the “daily grind” for about an 18 month period (part was necessary) working between 14-16 hours a day.  These 540 days I was pulled away from my children and much of their development early on in their lives.  I lost my ability to be present with them on a daily basis, I lost many nights where I missed dinner with them, and many times I missed their bedtime stories.

Then, there was a massive change that took place.  I realized this notion that time is NOT a renewable resource, and I will never get those days back – I will never have the chance to see my children at this young, adorable age again.  So, I made the decision to make a change and make them and my entire family a priority!  It was only then, when I “dealt with my own bullshit” that I could actually make a significant change in my life.

I only tell you this story because whatever you are struggling with, you can overcome it by realizing YOU can make a change to become more “time efficient.”  It really starts with you, and only you.  I tried to blame my situation or circumstance, but in reality it was all on me.  Here are several tricks to overcome time or the lack of it:

  • Use the Pareto Principle – this principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.  Essentially, Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; Pareto developed the principle by observing that 20% of the peapods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.  You can look at this a little differently by thinking of filling a large mason jar with several big rocks, then dump sand in afterwards.  The sand is the 20% – the small stuff that we usually waste most of our time on.  The 80% are the big rocks – these are the daily habits you can create to make lasting change in your life so you don’t feel like your days are wasting away.  Big rock examples include having a to-do list with only one or two major things you need to get done today.  Or, setting a schedule for certain tasks during the day.  These are important habits that will help you be a time saver and not a time waster.  Always think of the “big rocks first” then fill the rest with sand.

  • With the Pareto Principle in mind, think of the top 3 things that will move you forward – and do those things everyday!  Whether it is having a consistent workout regimen, reading on your area of expertise, or masterminding with a group – make sure you are doing it daily! (We will dive more into this when we talk about procrastination as well).

  • Break up your days, weeks and months into 4 quadrants, it would look like this:


Q1 – Important/Urgent


Q2 – Important/Not Urgent


Q3 – Not Important/ Urgent


Q4 – Not Important/Not Urgent

Quadrant One (Q1) would include:

  • A crisis (Heart attack, stroke) or things that need to be taken care of right away.

  • Filling up an empty gas tank when driving.

  • A scheduled meeting or appointment.

  • A significant other’s birthday celebration (of course this is urgent and important!)

These are your “big rocks”, that means get these things done first before they become a fire in your life.

Quadrant Two (Q2) would include:

  • Time with your family.

  • Steps taken towards a longer term goal.

  • Sleeping, self care.

These are all the important things you should be doing every day, but aren’t urgent.  You should be spending the majority of your time in Q1 and Q2.

Quadrant Three (Q3) would include:

  • Answering the phone, emails.

  • Getting on Facebook or any social media

  • Enabling “Push” notifications on your phone, tablet.

These are some of the things that you should try to minimize in your daily life – or at least assign a time to, so it doesn’t take over your entire day.  Actually removing those “push” notifications and all those bings and dings off your phone and assigning a time to get to them (like only reading and responding to emails after 12pm) you will find you can save hours a day to be more productive!

Quadrant Four (Q4) would include:

  • Watching TV.

  • Browsing the internet, your favorite blog or website.

  • Netflix

  • Scrolling social media

These are just a couple of ideas, but you get the point.  These are not important, and not urgent and you want to spend the least amount of time possible in Quadrant Four (Q4).  

I hope you are able to pull a couple takeaways out of the above.  Our time is the most valuable non-renewable resource ever, so think of how you prioritize it.   I can’t wait to share with you part two which is all about managing procrastination and loss of focus.

We have limited space on a weekly basis into our 14 Day VIP Kickstart Program, and want to invite you to check it out!  Learn how to prioritize your most valuable asset – YOU!



5 Simple Ways to Create Success in Life

5 simple ways to create success in life

We all live in a world where we can easily be bombarded by all of the not-so
important things and allow our lives to be flooded by things that are outside of our control.  Social media, 24/7 news cycles and emails are the first three things that come to mind that can flood our time and lives, and finding control in this world is key to staying successful on what is important.

What is important to you? 

Spending more time with your spouse and kids? 

Having more of a scheduled and prepared day? 

Being able to workout and take care of your health on a daily basis? 

All of these things should be important to most of us, we just need to learn how to prioritize our lives in a way to make the right choices to conquer our days.  Here are 5 simple ways to create success in life and to take back your time.

1. Keep the main thing the main thing, or keep the goal the goal

It is important to make sure you know what your #1 top priority for the day is and get that done first, with absolutely no distractions.  We all have “to-do” lists and things we never seem to get to, but we need to stay focused on what is most important and do just that ONE thing each day.

Also, if you have set a goal for yourself to reach down the road, make sure you write down daily and weekly targets that will get you closer to your goal.  An example of this – if you want to lose 10 pounds over an 8 week period, your daily targets may be that you will eat protein at each meal, or drink an extra glass of water before bed and when you wake up.  It can be something so simple, but when written down and actually acted upon it becomes very powerful to getting you closer to your goals.

2. Stop doing time management, start doing priority management

For every task during the day, you should have a priority set for each task, and a time allotted for each task.  Think of the highest priority items first, as well as what you can implement or get done the fastest.  We all know that checking things off our “to-do” lists can be very motivating, so start with those items that are the highest priority and can be done the fastest and then set a time in your schedule for when you are going to complete the task.  This will ensure that you are not checking your email 10 times a day, or looking at social media on the hour every hour.  My business coach and mentor, Alwyn Cosgrove calls this strategy “Force Ranking.”

You would start with your primary question or goal of what you want to accomplish, then work backwards from there and start to fill in all the items you need to complete and with what impact and speed each action item brings to the table.  Here is an example of what your force ranking system would look like:

Force Ranking – Primary Question?  Ask this question first:

Item- what needs to be completed to help aid in your primary question

Impact (1-5)

5 = huge impact

1 = small impact


5 = quickly implement

1 = slow to implement

Total (2-10)

Total score from both columns

The high impact and faster items to implement  would be what you would work on first (scores totaling 8-10).  For those items that may have a high impact, but be done at a slower speed (scores around 6) like a larger project – make sure to work on these since they have a high impact, but  also set a goal completion date.  For those items that have a minimal impact and are slow to implement (scores of 2-5) you are probably safe placing these on the back burner for a later date, or reconsidering if you even need to do it (or maybe just delegate it to someone else, or delete it all together).

These are all top priority items that we can get done in the first part of our day, before we need to put any fires out.  Make sure to plan your day ahead of time, don’t just “show up.” 

3. Make time, don’t try to find time

We all have the same amount of hours in one day – 24, and the same amount of hours in one week – 168.  Let’s make sure we are making time every day for all the important stuff.  You can make time by doing the following:

–      Write down the most important things to get done the night before, that way it is first on your mind.

–      Make your priorities a true priority.  If you want to learn more, make the time to read.  Place it in your schedule like an appointment.  It will get done if it is placed in your schedule.

–      Have non-distracted “time blocking.”  Make sure to block off certain times of the day where you get particular things done, and try to keep it somewhat the same each day.

–      Stop watching TV/scrolling mindlessly on your phone!!  The average American watches between 5-7 hours of TV a day (If you say you don’t watch TV anymore, this time is also spent on ANY screen)!  This is in almost all cases a “time waster” and you will lose some powerful hours in your day by being stuck on the couch.

Remember, if it is on your calendar, and you stick to your calendar it WILL get done.

4. Extend the game 

Adding to point #3, if you can make time you will be successful.  Start to plan your day around your mornings- this is where it has been proven time and time again where you can get the most work done, before any distractions come into play for the day.  If you can set your bedtime for 1 hour earlier and your alarm for an hour earlier, you won’t lose any more sleep and you will extend your mornings by one hour to get some of the most important things done while your brain is the most active!

5. Simplify, simplify, simplify.  

There is no reason at all to make things any harder or more complicated in life than they already are.  Success lies in keeping it simple and making sure you are relentless in making things easier on yourself.  A few quick and easy suggestions to do this:

–      Use bullet points and lists daily.  Having something as simple as a standard pre-written weekly grocery list can make your time at the grocery store so much shorter and keep you from buying those not-so-healthy items (bonus points for laminating the grocery list, and using a dry erase marker so you can re-use the same list each and every week!).

–      Prepare ahead of time.  This will almost always simplify anything you do in life.  Unpreparedness leads to making things more complicated and sophisticated.

–      Shark habits – think one bite and it’s done!  This has become well known by Dan John, who has been famous for saying, “I will always reply to your email.”  And he does, no matter how many thousands of emails he gets each day, he opens it and takes appropriate action right away.  When opening an email, reply or delete.  When brushing your teeth, make sure to floss.  When setting up appointments, set reminders right then and there.  Shark habits keep the simple things very simple, instead of out of our control.

A great quote to end with comes from Kevin Eastman, former Los Angeles Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations.  Success lies in simplicity, and confusion lies in sophistication.”

Don’t forget how valuable your time is in your life.  It is the only non-sustainable resource that we actually have more control over than we ever imagined!

Seize the day!

Ready to add the most valuable investment into your day that you can make – In yourself!!  We would love to be in your corner to show you that when you take care of yourself, you can much better take care of the people around you!  Start below, and we can’t wait to be your guide.


How Healthy Are We, Actually – Part 3

How Healthy Are We, Actually – Part 3

Back in Part #2 of this series, FOUND HERE we discussed sleep and nutrition in deep detail and how these 2 things are the foundation to your lifespan and healthspan matching up with each other. 

In the final part of this series, I want to discuss the other 2 big rocks when it comes to health and longevity – Exercise and Happiness. I know I have written hundreds of pages on the exercise piece, so I am going to do my best to summarize my findings of what we have found to be the most beneficial forms of exercise that our members get the most success from (and actually keep them coming back year after year!).  

First, the best exercise program is the one that YOU actually want to do, and will be able to repeatedly do on a consistent basis.  After being in this industry for 16+ years, I have seen a ton of fitness fads come and go (can you remember the shake weight?!).  

(Charles Barkley sure does remember the shake weight!)

What tends to stick around are the things that are useful to our bodies, the movements we tend to do every day, and have to continue to be strong at on a daily basis as we age gracefully.  These movements include, but are not limited to:

  • Push
  • Pull
  • Squat
  • Hinge
  • Carry
  • Groundwork

There is nothing too sexy on this list, but it is the “basics done brilliantly well” which will yield the best results over the long term.  

We like to call our programs and what we do with our clients MRT, or “Metabolic Resistance Training.”  We don’t break up our clients workouts into just straight body part training – chest one day, back the next – we instead will pair upper body pushing movements with lower body pulling movements, then sprinkle in things that will either keep your heart rate up (if you are a fat loss client) or to help with lean muscle building – like adding an extra set of a strength exercise. 

This not only saves you time, since it is a full body routine, it also becomes more metabolically challenging since you are performing more compound lifts.  

The other part here, and probably the most important factor like I mentioned above – is  that we want to create a plan and program that can be repeated again and again, and is actually something that our members look forward to.  It also doesn’t completely destroy them so they are sore for a week, but it does challenge them to want to do more and to progress each day.  

Remember, the best exercise routine is the one that YOU will follow and do. 

The last piece of the health and longevity puzzle is happiness. This is a tough one to actually define. How do you know when you are happy?  Is happiness a fleeting feeling, or is it an emotion that we go in and out of?  I feel like it is an emotion, just like sadness, and we have to have both emotions of happiness and sadness to be human.  

I believe happiness can be engineered to be in our lives more and more. One way is by adding an intentional community into our lives.  

Being intentional about the friendships and relationships that you have will have a lasting impact on your happiness.  Also, having a community of like-minded people just like you that are on a similar journey is one of the secrets to happiness.  

A recent Harvard Study found that strengthening your closest relationships has the highest correlation to happiness in a person’s lifetime. This not only includes your spouse/close friends, but also the community that you decide to spend the most time with – this is what we like to call your “intentional community.” 

(Epic’s “Intentional Community!)

How do you cultivate and create an intentional community?  Start showing up to places where you know you are valued and where you can bring value to a group of humans that share similar values as you.  I love to call Epic Fitness our little intentional community.  

Many members call it their “third place” – besides work and home, we are their third home.  This is honestly the best compliment, to be that safe space where you have people in a community just like you that are pushing towards a common goal to become the best possible version of themselves.  

I know we went over a lot of information in this 3-part series, but I wanted to review it quickly and give takeaways.  

In part one of this blog FOUND HERE, we discussed what has gotten us to be one of the unhealthiest nations in the world.  Obesity and metabolic disease account for 93% of Americans being “sick” to one degree or another. 

In part 2 and 3 we discussed the 4 pillars to health and living a vibrant and full life:

  1. Sleep
  2. Nutrition
  3. Exercise
  4. Happiness (our relationships)

Doing the simple things brilliantly well – prioritizing sleep, protein and mindful movement is a great start.  This is literally the bulk of what will add a decade (or more!) to your life.  Because, isn’t that what we want in the end?  I want to be able to dance at my sons and grandon’s/grandaughter’s wedding.  I want to be able to hike up a mountain in my 90’s.  

I want to be able to ski and do all the things I love and to MOVE freely into my 100’s.  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, it is not.  You have the control, just keep doing the simple (notice how I say simple, not easy) things brilliantly well! 

Are you ready to find an intentional community, and a routine you can stick with for the long term? Check out our 14 Day Kickstart program below:



How healthy are we, actually? Part 2

How healthy are we, actually – Part 2 

In part one of this blog found here, we discussed what has gotten us to be one of the unhealthiest nations in the world.  Obesity and metabolic disease account for 93% of Americans being “sick” to one degree or another. 

This is also a time we are seeing more diets hitting the mainstream than ever before.  You might be asking yourself “Should I start with Keto, or Paleo.  Vegan, or Atkins?” There is no wonder why our society is so confused.  

As I have heard before:

“A confused mind always loses.”

I want to start where a lot of people start to combat fat loss, and it is usually starting a new healthy exercise routine.  Owning a private small studio gym, I love this but I also know it is an uphill battle.  So let’s do the math:

There are 168 hours in a week. Working out 6 days a week for 1 hour per day is still only 3% of your total 168 hours of your week! I am going to recommend below that exercise alone is not the solution, and you have to invest your time and energy into more than this. 

There are 4 pillars to health and longevity, and when maintained and amplified over the course of the 168 hours each week, they can have dramatic effects on our lives.  These 4 pillars are the basics, and when done brilliantly well can extend our lives.  These things can have our healthspan match our lifespan, because isn’t that what we want anyways?  I don’t want the last decade of my life to be bedridden, or for someone else to have to take care of me.  

I want to be in control, to be able to walk up and down stairs, to hike, bike, ski and travel in my 80’s, 90’s and beyond. Here are the 4 pillars to health that I feel so strongly that will keep us healthy for a very long time:

  1. Sleep
  2. Nutrition
  3. Exercise
  4. Happiness (our relationships)

We have seen what a time investment looks like for exercise, what about sleep?  During the week, sleep should be one of the biggest investments in time that you make.  Striving for 7-8 high quality hours of sleep will promote so many good things in your body.  This is when all of the repair, regrowth and adaptations in your body occur. 

Remember the last time you went one, two or even three nights in a row with little to no sleep?  How did you feel? Did you feel like working out, eating well, or pushing forward on a tough project at work? I am guessing not.  Sleep is literally the base of the pyramid, and if you are not getting your sleep right, there is no pill or diet or ANYTHING that will help you advance into the healthiest version of you.  

Next up – Nutrition! I am going to make this a true no-nonsense topic since we hate to use the “D” word at the gym (that is DIET, BTW!).  Remember when I said in Part 1 of this series that 60% of our calories in America come from ultra processed foods, and for kids that number balloons to 67%! That is where I want to start.  

You know where the majority of our processed foods come from in our diet? It’s that amazing invention that we made to give ourselves permission to eat more and more, and here it is:

SNACKS = America’s invention to eat more processed foods! 

(This is actually an “item” you can buy on Amazon!)

Ask yourself this question – on the days when you are eating well, do you even need a “snack?”  The answer should be “No.” 

The first meal that you eat in the day will set the stage for how you eat the rest of the day, and here is the secret:

Prioritize FAT and PROTEIN in the morning.  Obviously, these fat and protein options are healthy ones (think eggs, avocado, etc). Think of it this way – most of our diet should consist of fat and protein by caloric amount, and vegetables and fruit by volume. 

Thomas Jefferson (who lived to the age of 82) said it best, when asked what his diet looked like:

“I eat vegetables with a side of meat.”

We always like to say this to our clients – prioritize protein first, then fill the rest of your plate with color.  The increased amount of phytochemicals in dark vegetables and fruit are about the best “snack” options out there!  

Let’s move back to “junk food” and “snacks” again, shall we.  I think Dr. Mark Hyman said it best when he gave his opinion on sugar. He said:

“Treat sugar like a recreational drug.”

If you think of sugar in those terms, you will be much better off. If you use sugar daily and all of the time, think of it as a huge detriment to your health. If you see sugar as an “every once in a great while” sort of substance, just like any other recreational drug, that at least will change your mindset about what it is and how it interacts with your body.  

Every time you prepare a meal, think first of what protein source you will have, followed by a vegetable or fruit, followed by a healthy fat source.  Eating like this will not only lead to you being fuller for longer, but it will also limit any snacking. 

The last 2 pillars to health (exercise and happiness) will be in part 3 of this blog, so check it out very soon! 

Looking for a kickstart to get your healthy habits started right? Check out our 14 Day Kickstart program below:


How healthy are we, actually?

How healthy are we, actually?

Almost 3 years now since the Covid Pandemic started and you may be wondering – How healthy are we, actually?  

Well, I’m here today to provide you with some facts, figures and numbers and try to explain how we got here in the first place.

This is the first time in modern history that we have seen a decrease in life expectancy, it has decreased by 1.5 years.  In addition there are the statistics below:

  • 6 out of every 10 Americans are diagnosed with a chronic disease
  • 4 out of every 10 Americans are diagnosed with 2 or more chronic diseases

It gets even worse.  A new study looking at metabolic health (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, weight, heart attack, stroke, etc.) has also stated these scary facts:

Only 6.8% of Americans have not had some sort of Metabolic Disease.

Which means 93% of Americans are “sick” to one degree or another.

Now I am not here saying that I have all the answers, but I do know that having a fast food restaurant on every street corner, with the largest food suppliers and food scientists creating the best tasting, fully processed foods out there, is not helping us. 

I also know that we DO have a choice in this matter. 

Here is the most miraculous thing about the human body.  The body WANTS to heal itself.  If you are eating a mostly processed food diet, your body is constantly working to heal itself from the inside out. 

For all the drugs out there that will manage symptoms for the 93% of Americans who are “sick” what we fail to realize is that FOOD is actually the most powerful drug.  So let’s start there.  

If we are going to start with food, we have to start with the first release of the US Dietary Guidelines in 1980 by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.  I am not going to dive into super great detail except to say there was a direct correlation in 1980 being the start of the “Obesity Epidemic” with the new release of these dietary guidelines.  

(Want to check out the ORIGINAL pamphlet from 1980?!  Here it is!! )  Some of the guidelines are good – like “avoid sugar.”  But what got us into this huge mess in the first place was the recommendation to avoid ALL fats like the plague, and instead REPLACE fat intake with carbohydrates (Section 4 of the pamphlet). 

And then the guidelines go on to say “If you limit your fat intake, you should increase your calories from carbohydrates to supply your body’s energy needs.”  This was taken quite literally in the 1980’s, and all fat was demonized, so we loaded up on carbs instead, and look what happened: 

From 1980 to 1990, obesity climbed by almost 15%!  And now in 2023, most of the US population (almost 7 out of every 10 American) is overweight or obese.  

Here are a few more facts:

  • 60% of our daily calories currently come from ultra-processed foods (Corn, Wheat, Soy) 
  • For kids, that number jumps up to 67% of foods being ultra-processed
  • For every 10% of your diet that is ultra-processed, your mortality and risk of mortality (death) goes up by 14%

So let me repeat that last one…for every 10% of your diet that is ultra processed, your risk of dying goes up by 14%.  

Let’s use the 60% example:

If 60% of our diet is ultra-processed, then our risk of death goes up by 84%!  

If that doesn’t get you motivated to make a change, I’m not sure what will.  

As someone who was diagnosed at a young age (35) with a very rare form of Leukemia, I have always wanted to lower my risk of death with the things I could control. 

That is why in part 2 of this blog post, we will talk about all of the positive ways YOU can make small habit changes, starting with your nutrition and health. 

Looking for a kickstart to get your healthy habits started right? Check out our 14 Day Kickstart program below:


6 Things to focus on in 2023

6 Things to Focus on in 2023

By: Ben Fogel

I am confident that if you take ONE of these pieces of advice into action in 2023, you will see some pretty amazing success in your life.  I am going to take the contrarian view here and say DON’T create New Years resolutions.

Instead, think of it this way – You are the SUM of your habits.  What you are doing today will help you build into who you are becoming tomorrow.  Here are 6 things that will help you gain and keep momentum in 2023:

1. The little things add up to the bigger things.  The little things ARE the big things.  Everything in life is cumulative

When I realized that everything in my life was cumulative, things changed dramatically.  I used to think in more “all or nothing” terms, but soon realized that did not serve me very well.  

As a former competitive athlete, I thought every training session had to be performed at 110% effort and if I didn’t “bring it” every session then it would be detrimental to my success.  What I have learned over the past 20 years is that even when you make a small but habitual effort towards ANY goal, it will add up and stack in your favor.  

Here I am, Looking in the camera, Winterberg, Germany in 2003!

This is true in fitness, in finance, in nutrition and in everything.  Every small effort you make is multiplied over time.  I tend to remind myself more often than not that “A 30 minute workout is still better than a zero minute workout.”  

2.  Look back on what’s worked in your life and do more of it

Success leaves clues.  If you haven’t gone back and reviewed your last year, or even your last quarter of the year this can be a very powerful exercise.  Many times in the past, I have done something in work or in life that brought about a very powerful change.  Then I stopped doing that thing that gave me success.  

Crazy, I know.  Why would I stop?  Usually it is because of novelty.  As humans, we are pre-wired to want change and I am talking about change just for change’s sake.  Many people around you that are having success with nutrition and/or fat loss are successful merely because they give themselves less choice, and they eat pretty much the same thing every day.  

This sounds BORING, right?  Funny thing is, usually when we can give our brains less options, that is when we can have the most success.  I recently bought 10 of the same exact shirt.  When a co-worker asked me why I wear the same shirt everyday, I said “One less decision to make.”  

3. Look back at what is not working in your life and do less of it

This is literally the opposite of above.  So many times though, we never really hit the pause button in our lives and reflect on the things that might be spiraling your health, wellness, or lifestyle out of control.  

A good start here would be to just write down the top 1-3 things that are not working in your life, then offer yourself an alternative.  For example, if my nutrition is not working in my life, and I have identified that I eat out for lunch every day, then I can make a goal to bring a lunch from home that I know will be healthier and more nutritious than the on-the-go alternative.  

I heard a great quote the other day:

“The reality that you are facing today is based on every action and decision that has come before.”  

The cool thing is, we have the power to change our own reality!  

4. Think of your strongest positive belief, story or thought from the past or current  that when you think about it, you feel invincible  

This can be one of the most powerful things you can do on a daily basis.  I thought back about 7 years on this one for me.  What I realized was my strongest belief came from when I was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia back in 2015. 

(Here I am with my amazing wife, Amy after my second bone marrow biopsy)

I had a 3 and 1 year old, and I KNEW I wanted to live, I wanted to survive, I wanted to thrive.  So, every morning when I woke up, my mantra was:

 “I will survive and I will thrive”

This small, but powerful statement made me truly feel invincible during that time, but I stopped saying it and using it after being in remission the last 5 years.  But here’s the thing – with my type of Leukemia, I will ALWAYS be in remission.  It could come back at any point.  So, I have started to make this my morning mantra every morning now.  

5. What are the thoughts, beliefs or stories that pull you down? Don’t believe them.  Call it out when you hear them

This may be one of the hardest ones.  You are your thoughts.  Read that one again:

Your ARE your thoughts

Your mind is such a powerful thing.  You have the power to control your positive emotions, and your negative emotions.  When the negative emotions take over the positive ones, that is when we can really get into a downward spiral with depression, anxiety, and so much more.  

The goal here is whenever you hear your inner voice think about that thought, belief or story, call it out!  When you look in the mirror, and say “I’m Fat!” call yourself out.  Stop that inner voice.  

A good friend once told me: 

“Think of all the things you say to yourself when you look in the mirror, then ask yourself – would I talk to my best friend this way?”  

The answer will always be no.  

6. Replace the “how” with “who” 

This reframe has been a true gamechanger for me.  Instead of asking the question “How am I going to figure out ________” ask the question “Who do I know that can help me figure out __________.”  

There has always been someone before you that has had the same problem as you, and spent countless hours working on that problem to figure it out.  

Tony Robbins likes the thought of having a mentor and utilizing someone that has “Been there and done that” as the cheat code in life.  I love that he says it is our ability to condense decades into days.  

So, next time you ask yourself the “How”, replace it with “Who” and if you are not sure “Who” can help you, you are usually only 1 or 2 degrees of separation away from that person. 

Looking for a perfect kickstart for the New Year?! We have such a great program that you can check out below.  And if you take action now, you can still save over $200 (BUT HURRY, the discount ENDS on Friday, 12/23!)




Things I know at 42 I wish I knew at 22

20 Things I know now at 42 that I wish I knew at 22!

By: Ben Fogel

Over the last 20 years being in the health and fitness industry I feel pretty good about sharing these 20 health, wellness and life principles I have learned.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but more of a snapshot of what I feel are some of the “biggest bang for your buck” principles you can start with TODAY to make amazing improvements in your life and overall health.  

(There I am, at the ripe young age of 20 – Back when I thought I knew EVERYTHING!!)

In no particular order, here are the 20 things I know now that I wish I knew 20 years ago:

  1. Use strength workouts to increase and gain muscle mass, diet to burn fat and cardio to improve overall health and longevity. 

  2. Eat a high protein diet (between .75 – 1g/lb BW) along with whole foods (think veggies with a side of protein) for body composition and overall better health. 

  3. Drink at least one glass of water before coffee upon waking. 

  4. Delay drinking coffee 1-2 hours upon waking.  This can lead to more sustained energy in the afternoon.  

  5. Sleep at the same time every day. 

  6. Use the 3-2-1 method for better sleep.  No eating 3 hours before bed, stop all work related activities 2 hours before bed, No screens for 1 hour before bed.  

  7. Memory is fallible. When you have a great idea, write it down.  Your mind is meant for thinking, not remembering. 

  8. Your best ideas usually come when taking a walk, working out, or in the shower.  Have a notepad ready! 

  9. Take complete ownership for every result in your life. The only constant in every result is you.  

  10. Who you choose as a partner will determine your level of peace, wealth and happiness.  Choose wisely. 

  11. You will never be as young as you are now.  Do what you feel you are meant to do, and stop waiting for the perfect time to start.  START NOW!

  12. Some of your best decisions come from stillness. Stillness is amplified in nature and meditation.  

  13. You can only get stronger when you face your problems in life.  Embrace the struggle.  

  14. Show up, do the work and seek ways to grow daily.  Do this every day and see the compounding effect that occurs.  

  15. True wealth is about being physically and financially healthy while living in a household full of love. 

  16. Make exercise a part of your life. Why would you not want more energy, better mood, increased healthspan matching an increased lifespan, a healthy brain and more confidence? 

  17. The “Compounding Interest” habits that have nothing to do with money:

    1. Lifting weights is compounding interest for muscle

    2. Meditation is compounding interest for mindfulness

    3. Cardio is compounding interest for heart & brain health

    4. Nutrition and sleep is compounding interest for mood and energy

Doing all of these is compounding interest for living a higher quality of life.

  1. Eat real food. I used to like to use the line “eat like an adult” but even high functioning, intelligent adults still eat like children.  If it is in a box, bag or has an ingredient you cannot pronounce, it most likely was not meant to be digested in your body.

  2. The four horsemen of addiction are: Alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and screens.  Limit these as much as you can.  

  3. Most of the time when you think you are hungry, you are either bored or dehydrated.  Drink a glass of water and get off your phone before reaching for those sugary snacks.  

I hope you found this list useful, and maybe focus on ONE area you can really focus on to see amazing results!

If you are looking for a perfect kickstart for the New Year, we have such a great program that you can check out below.  And if you take action now, you can train for the rest of 2022 for FREE!



Overcoming Stress During the Holidays

It is already the second week of November, and I bet you can already feel the seasons  changing and winter is about to be in full swing!  With that said, we only have 7 Monday’s left in 2022 and so many holiday celebrations crammed in such a short period of time!

How do you keep your sanity during it all?  With family commitments, work parties, and overly busy schedules to get ready for it all we want to help you simplify these next 7 weeks so you can keep your sanity and stay happy (and healthy) over the holidays!

Here are 3 quick tips to own the overcome stress during the holidays.

1.)  Schedule “Me” time!

 Yes, you heard that right! What would benefit you the most during the busiest time of year is to schedule “Me” time.

The best way to do this is to pull out your calendar (I prefer one I can write on, the old fashioned way!) and mark on your calendar every commitment you already know about – every party, event, meeting, etc. that are non-negotiable and that you can’t miss. Once you have those all scheduled, now schedule your “Me” time.  Now is not the time to skip workouts or just say “I am too busy and I am going to take the week off.”

Instead, schedule this very important time just like you would a doctor’s or dentist appointment.  Place it in your calendar and make sure you hold yourself accountable to it by either letting people know that are close to you (like your family) that you have appointments with yourself on these days and times.  Or even better, stay accountable to your coaches here at Epic Fitness by scheduling your coaching appointments ahead of time and sticking to your plan.

2.)  Prioritize your day with the ONE thing that is non-negotiable to get done each day.

After diving into a ton of time-management books and the like, the biggest aha I got was after reading “The One Thing” by Gary Keller.  It was this little gem:

Time is the most valuable non-renewable resource that we all have the exact same amount of.  It is the way in which we use it that becomes the issue. 

What Keller recommends (and what I find super fascinating) is actually making a “to-do” list with just ONE thing on the list.  Yep, you heard me right – ONE THING!  This leads to what they call in the book the “focusing question”, which is:

 “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

This reflects back another important concept known as the Pareto Principle.  20% of your effort will produce 80% of your results.  So, instead of having a never ending to-do list that will leave you even more stressed at the end of the day when you don’t even have half of the items complete, find that ONE thing and focus intently on getting it done each day.

Whether it is a project at work, some cleaning you have been putting off at home, or anything in-between, the power of the ONE thing is real!  You will feel so accomplished, and that will allow you to stack wins each day on top of each other.

3.)  Say “No” more than you say “Yes”

As I just wrote that, I know this may be wildly unpopular.  I have been a “yes” man most all of my life, until I realized that respectfully saying “no” gave me freedom that I never thought I had the ability to have.

You will be asked by many people if you can do many, many things over the holidays.  This is where you should be hyper aware of the amount of commitments you are making (schedule them ahead of time – see above!) and how it actually affects your life and your stress levels, especially during the holidays.

We have all been there – you just double booked yourself for that holiday party – and you need to go to both events!  Isn’t that one of the worst feelings?  Showing up for a half hour only to leave almost as quickly as you came.  Gracefully saying “No” can be hard, especially if you have said yes in the past to similar things.  But it also helps you avoid this awkward feeling.  It also give you that precious resource of time back so you can do the more important things.

One of the best ways to get your sanity back during the holidays is to not be afraid to say “No.”  Don’t even think that you have to give a reason why, it is ok to just say “thank you so much for the invite, but I will be unable to make it.”

One of the worst ways to respond is to say, “I will try to make it.”  The word “try” presupposes the likelihood of failure by about 110%!  Honestly, say it in any sentence and put yourself in the shoes of the receiver.  “I will TRY to make it to your party.”  Or, “I will try to pick you up from the airport.”  How would that make you feel if you were stuck at the airport and that is the line your friend pulled on you!  As Yoda famously said (make sure you recite this with the accent!):

“Do or do not.  There is no try.”

 I know this habit will be a tough one, but once you start to say “No” to the little things, you will see the amount of freedom and time it brings back into your life!

Most importantly, enjoy this holiday season with your friends, family and the people that mean the most to you and that lift you up!

Ready to own the holiday hustle and schedule more time for YOU?!  Click below to start our new 14 Day Epic Experience to help give you the kickstart you are looking for.


Magic of Public Commitment

Part 1 – The Magic of Public Commitment

I have been doing a lot of reading, thinking and learning recently, and the most common theme that comes up when the talk is about reaching a particular goal or outcome is this:

When you commit yourself to putting the work in on a particular goal, and when you make that commitment public, you are going to be much more likely to reach the outcome you are looking to reach.  

I want to give an example.  There was a study performed where they looked at two groups that used the “MyFitnessPal” calorie and food tracking app. Group one used the app and tracked their daily nutrition and had targeted calorie goals.  Group two did all the same tracking with one minor difference:

Group two shared their calorie goal and weekly data with a friend or family member and let them know about their commitment to their goal.  

The outcome? Group two had a 50% increase in reaching their goals from literally just doing that one extra part – sharing their commitment to their desired outcome to someone – having another person that they knew they were going to report back to changed their outcome dramatically.  

What can we learn from this?  Well, a lot, in fact!  

We are connected social animals.  The more connection we have with people, the better we ultimately perform.  Think of another scenario – let’s say you have a goal to lose “X” number of pounds in “Y” months.  What do you think would happen to your mindset if you shared this goal publicly on social media?  

What do you think would happen to your “commitment” muscle?  Do you think it would grow a little bit, because you just told your world that you were committing to this thing, and don’t you feel you would have a higher likelihood of achieving said goal?  

Can you think of an area of your life where committing publicly to something and how taking this small, but powerful extra step would help you reach your goals faster?  I bet you can.  

But what if you are shy, and you don’t want to share a personal goal publicly?  That’s totally ok!  This is where you find a very close friend or family member and ask for their help.  Here is an example where you can ask your spouse for help if you had a weight loss goal:

“Hi, honey. I have this goal that between Halloween and New Years I want to stay committed to maintaining my current body weight, and continue to work out 3x/week.  I know this will be hard, since the average American gains between 8-15 pounds during the last 2 months of the year. Can I share with you my weekly weigh-in numbers, and can you continue to help with the kids on those mornings that I like to go to the gym?”  

The first step is just asking.  This is a great way also to connect with your spouse in a way that keeps you both supporting each other.  You can also ask them “What would you like to commit to and have me help hold you accountable to?”  

This works best with a new goal or habit change, because you know you are staying accountable to another human – especially another human you have a close connection with.  

Key Takeaways

Public Commitment will only work when you follow through and stay consistent to do the thing you said you would do.  This is where the law of consistency comes in, and this is what we will be discussing in part 2!  

Ever wonder how to stay consistent with your plan, even when things get tough.  Well, you are in luck!  That is what we will be talking about and it will be all about how to stay consistent with your plan.  Stay tuned!  

Are you looking to stay committed publicly to a health or wellness goal?  Our team is ready to help you!  Check out this amazing 14 Day Kickstart Program that will help you to get the ball rolling: