Monthly Archives: September 2017


Pull out your  boots, metal studded leather jacket, and tame your mange. It’s time for another riff of the week. This weeks riff is actually something that I’ve learned just recently. It’s from another one of my top 5 favorite bands and although this song was one of their hits, I tend to be more fond of their more obscure tracks. This one is a classic and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. This weeks featured riff is from the song titled Them Bones by Alice in Chains. This song comes from their second album called Dirt, which was released in 1992. Sorry about my thick thighs.


I blame Kevin Costner. He made it seem cool to steal from people when he played Robin Hood in the Prince of Thieves movie. In that time period, if you were wealthy it was because you were born into wealth. Unfortunately that same mindset has made it’s way into modern times. While financial success does hinge on opportunity and some people are afforded more opportunities than others, the beautiful thing about this country is that everyone has the ability to raise their current status. Despite this fact, some people believe that everyone who is more successful than them only got there through the oppression of others. Rich people are assholes and taking their money is a good thing (thanks Kevin!). The method of theft has gotten a little more complex over the years and now instead of using bows, arrows, and swords people can just use their votes. While I understand the need for taxes, it’s gotten a little crazy since I opened my own business. Here are the taxes I currently pay:

  • City Property Tax
  • County Property Tax
  • City Personal Property Tax
  • County Personal Property Tax
  • Payroll Tax
  • Sales Tax (when purchasing)
  • Sales and Use Tax (when selling)
  • Self Employment Tax
  • Income Tax
  • Capital Gains Tax

If just my property taxes were cut in half, I could give my entire front desk staff a 35% increase in their hourly pay. But oh well, such is the cost of doing business. However, that is not what this blog is about. This is about the ways in which you can steal from me and other small businesses like me right now! You don’t even have to wait till election season.

Everything Below Has Actually Happened….This Week

Let Your Friends In For Free

While I’m sure you understand that businesses have expenses, businesses also need to understand that you have expenses too. Businesses can’t really expect you to pay for their product and services can they? Of course not. So when a business has some stupid policy like a guest fee, you should just ignore it. I mean, I know they said it was on the honor system and all and they seem pretty good about letting you bring in friends to check out the gym, but none the less, $10 can buy you a tall boy and a bag of chips so why waste it on something else. This guy below has the right idea.

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Undercut Their Prices

The next time you go to a steak house, take your grill, set it up in the lobby and offer to cook steak for half the price the restaurant is charging to the people who are walking in. Think about it, you’ll still make a profit and you won’t be burdened with all the other expenses or hassles of running your own business. In fact, take cash or paypal payments from your “family and friends” and you won’t even have to worry about paying taxes like those suckers who own the business. If that seems like too much of a hassle, just come to NBS and start offering your services to people at a cheaper rate. You’ve got a target market at your finger tips. Money in the bank!

Steal Their Intellectual Property

The only potential road block to cooking your own steaks or doing training, nutrition, or programming for someone on the side at NBS is that people may or may not think you’re good at what you do. So, take the time, spend the money and work with one or more of their trainers. Get a few of their workout routines or nutrition templates and then just sell that to people! It would be foolish to go through all the work they did to create it when you can just steal it and sell it yourself. And again…no taxes!

Don’t Pay Your Invoices

Look if a business is stupid enough to sell you their services without running a credit report on you, then they don’t deserve to be paid in full. So, if you actually go into that steak house, be sure to enjoy a nice steak and some wine but not the whole thing. Then bounce before the waiter or waitress has time to give you the bill. If they catch you in the parking lot, just tell them that you didn’t even finish the steak or wine and that being asked to still have to pay for it is bullshit. Another good way is to go to NBS and sign up for a membership but then just stop paying. Your keyfob will get shut off but if you signed up for the year contract and only paid your bill for 4 months who cares? You saved $60! Granted they’re going to spend a lot of time and energy trying to contact you about your failure to pay (which you should definitely ignore) and eventually they’ll send you to collections (when they do this, just call and cuss them out) but let’s be honest, your credit sucks already so what’s a little more bad credit gonna do. The best part? The owner gets an email for every failed credit card payment each morning. That rich asshole and his staff have to sift through every one of them to contact you and try to get you to pay, hahahaha suckers!

Remember, from a moral standpoint, stealing is very circumstantial. And who hasn’t pretended to be the Kevin Costner version of Robin Hood? I know I have

NBS Anniversary

Labor Day was my one year anniversary with NBS Fitness.  I knew coming into this hard driving powerlifting/strongman community there would be a few high brows. I recall one of the very first questions I posed to David during our first discussion of combining the communities. “Let’s be serious, David, powerlifters hate CrossFitters, and CrossFitters hate powerlifters. How do you propose these communities come together?” He smiled and said, “They have a tendency to follow where I lead them.” I could appreciate that comment, because my members do too….and many of them did just that.  There has been a lot that has transpired over that year.

Our Past

Although Wolf River CrossFit was approaching the end of its 4th year, I knew the merger would mean basically starting over as a new business. Unlike most new businesses however, we had a good foundation to start with, including my coaching experience, David’s successful business experience and a pretty good handful of CrossFitters who were willing to follow me and trust my decision, as well as David’s direction.

I wasn’t sure what the vibe would be once we got planted at NBS.  As the new kid at school, you never how well-received you will be.  My biggest hope and prayer was that even if one did not prefer CrossFit as their method of training, they would at least respect it.  A mutual respect is all any of us could ever really want, in my opinion. When one can put aside their own opinions and open their mind about something new, growth happens. It’s been awesome to see that most have done that! Our community as a whole has strengthened and expanded. Eventhough us CrossFitters spread out our equipment everywhere and take up all of the space around us, we’ve still somehow managed to make a few friends. And while my personal aspirations reach beyond perfecting my squat, bench and deadlift, or keg carrying (although that could come in handy) I highly respect those who work so hard on theirs.

The Reality

If I had my way, I’d keep nearly everyone who comes into our fold, that’s not quite reality however. Over the last year, we have added many new faces and we have lost several along the way as well. I hate it when we lose a member, no matter the reason. I try to put all of myself into coaching and helping everyone have a good experience, so when someone drops off, it definitely makes an impact on me. It’s not necessarily about liking me, because not everyone will, and that’s ok, as liking me is not mandatory…..appreciated but not mandatory. Making sure everyone walks out a little bit better (no matter how long they stay)  is mandatory, however. I can only hope that I’ve done that.

Our Future

As a new business we are doing pretty well for one year in. We’ve recently expanded our staff by adding another coach. Rylan Burns is super excited about helping out and bringing new experiences to the table. Additionally, we are not far away from having a new building built to move our entire CrossFit operation in to. While I will miss working out alongside our powerlifting friends, I am pretty excited about getting in that building aannnddd changing the music!! Er, I mean changing more lives! 😉

Let’s keep rockin and rollin and make year two an ultimate success!!



We discussed rucking on episode 3 of the Iron and Lead Podcast very briefly, and since then I have had quite a few questions on rucking.  While I have had the benefit of working with hundreds of military/LEO/big dudes for the last few years, I do think rucking can be an enjoyable (*gasp*) activity for nearly anyone who likes to get outside and get moving.  Today, I aim to address a few common questions I get for people that are relatively new to rucking or just need a brush up on what to know.

Which rucksack is best for me?

As with everything, “it depends.”  A few common packs and their benefits:

1.) Lightweight Daypacks: these are exactly what they sound like.  Often made of nylon , these are packs that are very simple in layout and have a lightweight design with padded straps.  They don’t commonly have a TON of padding and aren’t made for absolutely brutal conditions. They are great packs if you are headed out for a short duration ruck (less than 4 hours or so) and your packaway needs are simple things such as hydration, snacks, weather precautionaries (rain coat/extra socks/etc) and emergency kits.  These also typically have a small compartment for things you may need quickly, such as car keys, a knife, or batteries.  Keep in mind: if you overload these rucksacks and head out for a longer ruck than the bag is designed for, you run the risk of being hours from home with a broken ruck. This is true for all rucksacks, but especially true in nylon ruck sucks.

2.) Rucksacks: this is a common term for rucksacks that are made for longer or even multiday rucks. They are quite a bit ore sturdy than the daypack and can be loaded heavier, with a recommended maximum up to 120lbs.  The straps are heavily padded as are the hip straps, which becomes increasingly important as the day wears on.  These are typically adjustable to accommodate different torsos.

3.) Climbing Packs:  I didn’t even think of these initially, but see Crossfit NBS coach Angie Foree with hers all the time and had to stop and consider it as a contender in the ruck pack gang.  Climbing packs are extremely sturdy, as they are intended to be very secure while climbing all over rocks.  They are a bit longer, which increases stability in most people and can pack quite literally everything you would need for a couple days of vigorous hiking and camping.

How do I put this thing on?

The first step would be to make sure you are packing your ruck appropriately.  I tend to use the bottom of the ruck for items that I don’t need until the end of the day/at all OR flat items that can accommodate even allocation of weight on top of it. Towards the center of your pack, you will tightly put together things that need a little space.  Get comfortable with the approximate weight of things that you are bringing along and play a little tetris.  In a perfect world, you can evenly distribute weight and bulk in the middle of your pack.  Lastly, to avoid having to dump out and rearrange your pack, leave small emergency or common items in side zippers or on the very top of the ruck sack.

Now positioning: this can be tricky. too high and your center of gravity shifts up and you run the risk of toppling over with any downhill momentum.  Too low and you end up inhibiting proper hip mechanics for walking.  Ideally, you want the waist belt secured tightly around the top of the hip bone.  Once you have found the right position for your hip belt, you can then adjust the shoulder straps and tighten them down. You do not want to bind up the shoulder girdle so much that it creates an awkward tension relationship with the waist belt, but you also don’t want the straps falling off your shoulders either. Look for a happy medium there.  After you have figured out the shoulder straps, lock in your waist belt and chest strap.

Next Month, we will discuss how to move with a ruck.


Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance is happy to announce that we have successfully launched our first newsletter this month! Here at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we believe that one of the most important factors in successful care of our patients is providing education. We are not interested in band-aid care or care that is only focused on the presence of pain. Instead we want to find the causing factors of dysfunction and compensation in the body and arm our patients with knowledge to help reduce or prevent future injury. Our hope is that this newsletter will serve as yet another outlet to provide education and awareness to our past, current, and future patients to further accomplish the mission (Prepare. Perform. Prevent.) for which this clinic was founded upon. To view this month’s newsletter, click here!

If you would like to stay up to date with the latest services, articles, events, health care news, and patient success stories to help keep you and your family at the peak of health and performance, click here to join our newsletter and like us on Facebook!

Mid South and Spine and Sports Performance

How Did This Happen

Since the introduction, we have had plenty of examples of ways to ruin a gym. Let me remind you that these scenarios listed are things we would kind of like to NOT see when coming into the gym, just to be clear. We are going take a look at equipment that has been broken or ruined due to misuse, I will attempt to paint a picture on how I think the incident ended up happening.

Broken, Snapped and Torn

Bands get ran through like water here at NBS, every day we find them either lying on the floor, ripped, or shredded. Now in all fairness the new style that came out we have had the past year was not as durable as the originals, however, the originals have been ordered again and should do a little better of a job holding up against abuse.

1- Leaving bands on machines while still under tension.

We have a lot of ways to set up bands on machines to aid in strength. Just as weight is difficult to put away so are bands once they are already set up. Last week I came in and saw brand new red bands doubled up and left on the Hack Squat machine, this is a great way to make them loose their elastic quality.

2- Dropping bars with safety rails up

Although the safety rails are in place this does not mean bail and let the bar fall from it’s highest point and crash into the rails. Since the gym has been opened we are now up to 2 bars that have been bent, now normally this is something you would think is normal in a gym, let me inform you it is not for this equipment. These Texas bars are rated to hold 1200 lbs without breaking!!!!! There is one person that comes to train at this gym that can stress a bar that much and he has never broken one. We have had a Texas bar bent by way of sumo pulls in the power rack and we can only assume someone was trying to look cool and just dropped his “heavy weight” after each set enough times to make a bar bend.

Just recently we found out football bar bent, dead center in the middle of the bar, this almost seems like it was calculated and the only assumption we could make was someone was doing overhead press or pin presses and was letting the bar fall to the rails with a lot of weight on it several times.

3- Leave Texas Bars outside

Yes, that is correct, perfect storage for metal is exposing them to the elements. This method of storage allows them to get coated with rust and protects the inner part of the metal, it also feels really good on the hands, smells good as well.

Every one of us at some point in time has walked into their work place and just looked and said, “what in the actual F***?”. Whether it be in your current job, or past job, some job you have been in this has happened. Some of the scenarios you literally have to think about all day until you come up with your own conclusion of how and why it happened. Here at the gym, we see whacky stuff every morning coming into the gym, sometimes even when we are not paying attention while in the gym, turn around and just stare in awe of what currently is in the process of happening or the left overs of what happened.  This mini series will entail 3 examples per blog of stuff that has accumulated over the weeks so we all can share in the laughs


We were recently nominated for Memphis Best Health Club by the Commercial Appeal and we ended up making it into the top 3 nominees which got us the invitation to The Memphis Most Banquet last Wednesday night. It was a honor to be a part of the event and to know that we were able to make it into the top 3 best facilities in Memphis. Unfortunately we didn’t win the category which was between YMCA, ATC, and NBS (guess the key is to using your initials in your name). Even though we didn’t win, what I thought was really cool is this:

ATC has 14 locations in the mid-south area with several thousand members per location.

YMCA has 12 locations in the mid-south and an even higher number of members per location than ATC.

NBS has one location with only about 450 clients.

That is a statement to all of the NBS Fitness family who believed in this facility enough to take their time to vote us into the top 3 best facilities in the city. It was a bit of a David versus Goliath competition and while we might not have won this round, we at least rattled their cages. Till next year…

This book was recommended to me months ago. It sat on my reading cue for quite a bit, until a long flight without wifi gave me nothing but time to dive right in.  As I have touched on before, I typically have a rotation in subject matter when it comes to books that I read: business development, skill development, fiction, and personal development.  This book by Mark Manson was a pretty perfect book for me, as I tend to give waaaaaaay too many fucks about things, which bogs me down from allocating my time and energy in productive places. For further proof, you can just ask David. He’ll tell ya.

Determined to not let this year be another overly emotional shit storm, I cracked into this book and also popped open a note book to jot down things that resonated with me. Several college ruled sheets of paper later, I present a few of my favorites.

  1. If you give a fuck about everything, you can’t really give a fuck about anything.  This book isn’t really about not caring about anything. It’s about caring immensely about the right things and NOT AT ALL about the rest. See, try as I might, my emotional bandwidth is most definitely finite.  There have been many nights that I have crashed on the couch as soon as I got home because I was carrying demons that didn’t belong to me.  While sometimes you can get away with this, this is extremely detrimental when you come across the need for the emotional energy, but have spent it on problems that you can really fix.  I have a widowed mother, two sisters with growing children, a career that’s really taking off, a relationship that has been nothing but positive.  I have a staff of GOOD people that I can help usher into a productive, happy life.  I have some of the most genuinely caring friends. I have a massive dog with anxiety that needs cuddles.   All of those people + Kilo deserve emotional energy in the very rare occurrence that they need an ear or some help in their life struggles. However, its easy to get sucked into the peripheral problems of people outside that list that aren’t really ever going to resolve, but diversify.  By choosing to detach from those situations and energy drains, you are electing to reserve the best you have to offer for those you CHOOSE to hold closely. “If you find yourself consistently giving too many fucks about trivial shit that bothers you — your ex-girlfriend’s new Facebook picture, how quickly the batteries die in the TV remote, missing out on yet another 2-for-1 sale on hand sanitizer — chances are you don’t have much going on in your life to give a legitimate fuck about. And that’s your real problem. Not the hand sanitizer.”–Mark Manson
  2. You cannot hide from adversity: this was a good take away.  The most fair thing in this life is that we are all treated unfairly. There is not a person I know that hasn’t gotten the shit end of the stick at one point or another.  Unfortunately, a trap many people fall into (myself included) is to focus on how unfair life is.  This negates the ability to saddle up and fix what you can control in the situation.  If you get laid off, you might sit and sulk about how unfair that is. OR you can spent that emotional energy finding a more secure job. The beauty of option two is that you might very well find stability AND you release yourself from feeling like a victim.  The reality is, sometimes you will face pain and adversity. You will have your heartbroken and you will be disappointed.  Often, you wont *deserve* it, per se. BUT you can always overcome it.
  3. Feeling pain isn’t the worst thing in the world: have you ever watched teenagers suffer their first break up?  Often, they have no idea that the hurt that they feel in their chest is temporary, and that with time it will go away.  Its only with experience that you know that the human condition can be painful, and that is just the risk of doing business with other humans. However, what I think is interesting to watch is the desperate flee from pain: rebounding relationships, extreme distractions, lobbying insults, and generally being a shitty person helps take the sting off of pain.  I’ve done it, you’ve done it, and everyone I know has done it. At the end of the day, you have done very little to make peace with the situation. Instead of focusing on fleeing from the pain, focus on something bigger than that: self improvement and the honest assessment you just got by way of a heartache.  “And in a strange way, this is liberating. We no longer need to give a fuck about everything. Life is just what it is. We accept it, warts and all.  Life fucking goes on. We now reserve our ever-dwindling fucks only for the most truly fuckworthy parts of our lives: our families, our best friends, our golf swing. And to our astonishment, this is enough. This simplification actually makes us really fucking happy.”–MM
  4. Perspective is a motherfucker:  If you gain nothing else out of life, you gain perspective.  I have been both unfortunate and fortunate to have experienced the highs of seeing new life in my family recently as well as the lows of a final breath.  Both extremes exist on the opposite end of the spectrum but lend to the understanding that these events happen while you are stumbling through this life, for better or for worse. How dumb I have felt realizing that I have been consumed with people and events who made almost no long term impact on my life, all the while missing out on celebrating the birth of nieces and nephews.  All the while, missing valuable time with family that may not have much time left.  If that doesn’t shake the fucks out of you, nothing will.
  5. And then you die..”: We all tend to look at our existence as ending once we die. In a lot of ways, that is true.  However, to quote Banksy, “you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” This is pretty deep.  The reality is that the things you choose to give time and attention to is a reflection on your values and what you think was important during your time on this earth.  If you are fortunate to have friends and family outlive you, the legacy you leave behind is etched by your efforts.  The things you found worthy of your “fucks” will be topic of memories each time your existence is brought up.  The beauty is that if you start now, you can author this. With a bit of restraint, you too can stop improper allocation of fucks,

What is failure?

Failure is inevitable. Failure is life. Show me someone who doesn’t have a bag full of failures that they can pull from and I will show you someone who hasn’t done anything worth a damn. Failure is an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, to do it better the next time. Failing is vital to winning. And that is the distinction between failing and losing. Losing is a finished state, there is no coming back from it. If you fail to convert on third down in a football game, you can learn and adjust to increase your chances of success the next time you need to convert on third down. But if you lose, the game is over.

Everyone Has What it Takes, Some People Just Don’t Use It

My time in the fitness world has allowed me to experience a lot of failure, a large amount my own, some from clients, the rest from people I know. And while failure is an opportunity to learn, for some, they let it become an opportunity to lose, or worse…quit. I don’t know what causes this mentality. Is it biological, something that is inherent in a person’s DNA, something they have no control over? Is it environmental, where during their development they were rewarded for quitting instead of trying again, harder? I’m not sure what the answer is. However, I do know two things for a fact:

  • Everyone has the physical ability to push harder
  • A small minority have the mental ability to push harder

This is true up and down the spectrum of intensity. I recently interviewed a SEAL buddy of mine named JP Dinnell on my podcast (The Iron and Lead Podcast) and he said that despite the military’s best efforts to better prepare candidates for BUD/S training the only way to get more SEALs is to take more candidates. You can’t improve the drop out rate, some people are going to quit and some people aren’t. Period. On the other end of the spectrum, a minority of people are going to be able to succeed when they begin a new exercise regimen, try a new diet, or start a new years resolution and the large majority will not. Love it. Hate it. It is what it is.

Define Your Own Success

What you consider failure, what you consider winning or losing is up to you. For some, winning is giving up regular soda in place of diet soda, for others winning is hitting a new PR in the gym or on the road, and for others winning is completing an IronMan Triathlon or being in the record books. But like I stated above, regardless of what your goals, somewhere along the way you’re going to fail. And how you respond to that failure will ultimately determine whether or not you find your eventual success or throw in the towel. Understanding why you failed is the first step in learning from that failure and ensuring it won’t happen again. Here are the 4 reasons you will fail:

You Won’t Accept Self Responsibility

Truthfully, this is the foundation for pretty much this entire article. Every other reason points back to this simple statement: take responsibility for everything. If you haven’t read the book Extreme Ownership, you need to read it. The book is based around the principle of taking responsibility for every part of every situation. Missed a third attempt squat at a powerlifting meet because the judges were from another gym and they don’t like you? Wrong. You missed it because you didn’t squat it low enough to where they had no choice but to give you a white light. Didn’t get a promotion at your job because you don’t suck up to your boss? Wrong. You didn’t get the promotion because you failed to produce at a high enough level and develop quality work place relationships to a point in which there wasn’t any choice but to promote you. The biggest detriment to not taking responsibility is it leaves you with no course of action. How can you make any changes to ensure a more positive future outcome if none of the reasons for your current failure are your fault? You can’t. You just sit there and make indiscriminate passive aggressive Facebook posts and show the world how much of a loser you really are. It’s your fault, take responsibility and do something about it.

You Think You Are Special

Look, you are special. You are special in the sense that your parents were able to procreate, that somehow that one sperm and that one egg happened to go through meiosis, that you somehow survived birth, happened to be born into a time period with things like computers and air conditioning, and happened to (for most of you anyway) be born in the United States where you have the freedom to listen to rock and roll and eat apple pie. In that sense you are special, but in the sense of exercise and fitness, you’re not. Sure some people are born with different abilities and natural gifts but really, very few people lose because of their genetics and no one quits because of them. The thing is, if you just read that and thought to yourself “But David, I am one of those people”, then that’s the problem. In pretty much every single situation, regardless of what you are having to face, someone has been in a way worse situation, toughed it out and made it through successfully. That being said, if you find yourself in a tough situation, and want to start telling people how you’re “grinding”, make sure you’re not in that situation because of your own dumb ass decisions. Either way, don’t tell people you’re grinding. Just shut up and do the work. And if you think I’m being a hater, understand that haters don’t exist. No one has “haters”. If you think you do, you’re probably just a shitty person and people don’t like you. Be a better person and you won’t have haters.


You’re Afraid

The easiest way to fail is to not give your all towards something. You don’t have to give 110%, you just need to give one hundred percent one hundred percent of the time. Sure, you still might not get the results you’re looking for but at least you know you didn’t leave any effort out on the table. One way I implement this is during my runs I always run out half the distance so no matter what I have to run back the other half. For you it may be cleansing your entire kitchen of crappy food or it may be putting all your toiletries at the gym so in order to brush your teeth and put on deodorant in the morning you have to go to the gym. Maybe that’s an extreme example but for a lot of people, they will take any easy out they can get. If there’s a chance to quit, they will. Don’t give yourself a chance. Get in the corner, take the punches, and fight your way out.


Your Ego is Too Big

This is a combination of not taking responsibility and thinking you’re special. Ego gets in the way of many great dreams. If the Titanic, the Hindenburg, or Blockbuster can teach us anything, it’s that thinking you are too big to fail is almost always going to guarantee failure. Be humble, ask for help, be open to new ideas and suggestions and don’t be married to your ways. Not only does this help you be more agile and able to react quickly but it helps you win over much needed teammates. Egos get bruised easily in the fitness industry where everyone’s self worth is wrapped up in how many followers and likes they get on the IG. Don’t let your pride be your blind spot.

‘Nough Said

This article was meant to be a little harsh and straight to the point. Hopefully it struck a few nerves in you, it definitely struck some within myself writing it. That’s a good thing. That means you have a chance to do something about. Be the small minority.

At first I wasn’t sure if I should post about this but I figured people would find it informative and possibly a bit entertaining (I thought it was hilarious when I first found out). The funny thing about the fitness industry is that it really is the only health related field that is completely unregulated. What this means is that anyone can legally charge somebody for health, fitness, and nutritional guidance. There are no requirements by law that you must have any type of education, certification, or pass any type of board or state licensing exam. Contrast this to every other health related field like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and dental hygiene where you are required to go to post graduate school, pass a board, get a state license, and maintain your continuing education. Even cosmetologists are required to go to school and pass a state exam. So to summarize:

  • Cutting someone’s hair without a license: ILLEGAL
  • Giving a pedicure without a license: ILLEGAL
  • Cleaning someone’s teeth without a license: ILLEGAL
  • Telling someone to do 3 sets of 10 of squats as part of their occupational therapy without a license: ILLEGAL
  • Telling someone to do 3 sets of 10 of squats on a bosu ball because it “activates their core” while selling them raspberry ketones through your MLM: TOTALLY LEGAL!!!!

I hope that sounds as ridiculous to you as it does to me. The problem with this lack of a filter to actually become a personal trainer is that a ton of people who are not in any way shape or form qualified to personal train people or give them nutritional advice actually put themselves in a position to make a living doing just that. Most of the time, they’re not ill intentioned, they just don’t know the proper pathways to becoming a qualified trainer. Unlike becoming a doctor, where everyone knows you can’t just say you’re a doctor and instead you actually have to go to school for it, people tend to just wake up one morning and say “Hey, I’m a personal trainer, pay me.” This is why NBS makes all of our trainers get a top level certification, why we make them all go through our trainer development program, why they all participate in monthly continuing ed and are given a continuing education allowance, and why we have five exercise science degrees on staff. We don’t want to be like every other gym, we want our facility and our trainers to stand way out from the rest of the industry.

So without further insight into the personal training industry, as a gym owner I get to experience all kinds of pains in my butt of which some still make me chuckle. This is one of those. The gentleman in this photo (who’s identity has been hidden) has decided that he will now become a personal trainer and what better way to advertise yourself as a personal trainer than taking a picture at Memphis’ Best Gym where the best trainers in Memphis are. And at the insanely low and outside of industry norms price of $15 a session, what a deal he is giving us! Now, I don’t mean this to be a personal attack on this man who used to be  a member at our facility but the fact remains that an industry in which anybody can present themselves as an expert is going to struggle with quality control. The best thing you can do is educate yourself so that you don’t waste your money, time, and health taking direction from the wrong person.



My poverty bench is so comical it could have its own stand up show and make a killing. Seriously, it would sell out the FedEx Forum. My current goal is to hit a (measly) 400lbs bench on the platform.

Over a year ago I completely changed my bench setup and stance, which got me to a 400lbs bench press in training but never on the platform. I have been chasing this goal for 2 years now and I have decided to completely change it up AGAIN in hopes of reaching my goal. After making minimal to negative progress 3 meets in a row (over a year time frame), I decided it was time for a change. It is too soon to tell if the new approach is working.

Some bench sessions feel good, others feel terrible. Consistently inconsistent. But I am sticking with it through the next competition. You have to know when the time is appropriate to make a change.

Think of it like a science experiment. You need to complete the whole thing to see the result. If you stop and change things mid-way, you can never be certain about the results you get. Say you finish Week 4 of an 8-Week program and decide it’s not working, so you do your own thing the last 4 weeks. What if you hit a PR at your meet? Which 4 weeks of training was effective, the first 4 weeks or the last 4 weeks?

It’s important to remember that the process that allows you to reach one goal will not be the same process required to get to the next goal. In other words, what gets me to a 400lbs bench press will NOT be the same strategy I need to get a 405 or 410 bench press. I find great humor in social media posts where someone hits a new PR and announce the next meet they will hit a 20-50lbs heavier PR after their next training cycle. It is neither logical nor reasonable to request that of your body. You can’t count your chickens before they hatch, and the top lifters in this sport realize that it may take YEARS of hard work to get that next 5-10lbs PR.


A lot of great things happen in powerlifting, but so do bad things. The long-lasting phrase, “it’s not IF you get hurt but WHEN” is a very real thing in competitive sports. When an injury arises, you have to be willing to change your game plan and change your mindset. I had a defeated mindset all of 2016 in powerlifting and that lead to some struggles on the platform. Frankly, they are not all fixed and it will be a long time until they are. Doing the same things over and over won’t get me there.

My mental focus on meet day is something that is lacking. I allow that negative voice in my head to get louder as my attempts come near. After talking to a few great lifters, this is normal. Great lifters, however, are able to quiet that voice and not acknowledge it. Personally, I tend to let it take the microphone and start singing. I attempted to add meditation to my game plan. Unfortunately, I was trying the wrong kind of meditation and it just made me tired the rest of the day. I found there were different forms of meditation that could be done prior to a stressful activity that I should have been doing.

CHANGE needed to be made after realizing my mental state was off and this was one of the several things implemented to initiate that change. All in all, change is not bad, it is actually necessary to grow and increase your potential in just about any area you can think of. Nothing stays the same forever. Everything adapts. Everything changes.