Is the TV on? by James Leath

Two hours of television a day equals 14 hours a week.20130915-212001.jpgThat equals about 60 hours a month. That equals about 29 days a year. That's an entire month, gone, every year. Multiply that by 30 years, that's 2 1/2 years of watching television.

Was it worth it?


Don't judge a book by its cover. by James Leath

In this fascinating reminder that even the “hardened” people of the world often feel deeply under it all, former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman uses the occasion of his Hall of Fame induction to shed some light on what was really behind the “I don’t give a f*#k” attitude.

It starts slow, but is definitely worth the watch.

All of Life is Sales by James Leath

All of life is sales. As the sales manager of a sales team at a fantastic company, I spend much of my day working with sales people who are working hard to hit their own personal goal. Some set higher personal goals than others, and many times, the ones with the higher standard of achievement end up on top. But you don't have to be in sales...to be in sales. Life is sales. Aren't we always selling our ideas to our friends and co-workers? Don't we constantly sell our image to strangers by how we dress, walk and act? Here is a fantastic poem I have set to memory. It reminds me to ask for more out of life.

Poem: "I bargained with Life for a Penny"

"I bargained with Life for a penny, And Life would pay no more, However I begged at evening When I counted my scanty store. "For Life is a just employer, He gives you what you ask, But once you have set the wages, Why, you must bear the task. "I worked for a menial's hire, Only to learn, dismayed, That any wage I had asked of Life, Life would have willingly paid."

AUTHOR: Jessie Belle Rittenhouse (1869–1948)

Should you wait to lose weight? by James Leath

Wait until tomorrow. Wait until after vacation. Wait until you graduate or get that promotion. I spoke with a woman yesterday about weight loss and fitting into some new clothes for the summer. She told me her mom has been encouraging her to wait until things in her life  "slow down" then focus on eating better and exercising.

Really?!? That is horrible advice! What if in the time she waited she develop heart disease? What if she rolls her ankle and exercise gets REALLY tough? The amount of calories she will have to eventually burn is not going to stop accumulating just because somewhere in the distant future there will be some glorious plan set in place.

Listen: DO IT NOW! Don't let ANYONE tell you to stay overweight. Its your body, and the only one you will EVER get. Take care of it...not tomorrow, NOW!

Now let's go and sweat it out!


Favorite Music, April 2012 by James Leath

My top spin class and workout playlist songs this month:

  1. I Wanna Go, Britney Spears
  2. Little Lion Man, Mumford and Sons
  3. Eye of the Tiger, Survivor
  4. Battlefield, Jordin Sparks
  5. You're Going Down, Sick Puppies
  6. Lighters, Bad Meets Evil, Bruno Mars
  7. That's Not My Name, The Ting Tings
  8. Live Like We're Dying, Kris Allen
  9. Right Here, Right Now; Fatboy Slim
  10. Never Say Never, Justin Beiber

#1 Spin AND workout song: 

Do you have an All-Time favorite?

The Angry Boy and a Box of Nails by James Leath

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

3663DA2E-666E-449B-9E6C-447F5C2F0D83The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said, “I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you.”

“Of course I can,” said the father. -

I don't remember where I got this story, but it rang true with me as I look back on my younger days.

I think the lesson the young man in this story learns is such an important one and also is a lesson that unfortunately many of us learn much later in life.  When we are young, saying or doing mean or hurtful things out of anger or frustration to the ones we love (or even strangers for that matter) seems pretty easily remedied.  As children we are confident that the adults and people in our lives are more then capable to forgive and forget our offenses no matter what we would say or do.  It’s not until we reach adulthood that we realize the long term damage our words and actions can have on one another.  Suddenly as adults we look back on our own lives at the times when someone hurt us with their cruel words or actions and although we were able to forgive them, there are some things we discover were never able to truly forget.

The fact is there are some things that we may say or do that ultimately can never be taken back no matter how many times we apologize to the one’s we hurt.  Unfortunately we tend to realize the level of irreversible damage we caused only in hindsight and even more, the ones we tend to hurt the worst are the people we usually love the most.  As the saying goes, “To err is human, to forgive divine,” which is true, we are human, we make mistakes, and sometimes we say or do things we don’t mean out of anger in times of great frustration or sadness.  Yet, every time we are in a dispute with a friend, disagreement with a loved one, or even just having a bad day,  it’s so important to remember to pause and take a moment to think about the possible permanent repercussions our actions and words could have on others.  It’s only natural that we will have times in the future where we will lose our tempers or be pushed to personal our limits.  However, when we find ourselves in those times of great frustration or anger, we must be sure that whatever we say or do in those moments won’t,  like the nails hammered in the fence, end up leaving permanent holes in the one’s we love and in relationships important to us that we will never be able never undo.

Favorite Songs-March 2012 by James Leath

My top spin class and workout playlist songs this month:

  1. Breaking the Habit, Linkin Park
  2. You're Gonna Go Far Kid, The Offspring
  3. High School Never Ends, Bowling for Soup
  4. New Divide, Linkin Park
  5. (If You're Wondering if I want you to) I want You To, Weezer
  6. Second Chance, Shinedown
  7. I'm Not the One, 3OH!3
  8. It takes Two, Rob Base
  9. Animal, Neon Trees
  10. Yeah!, Usher
What is blasting in your ears this month?

Favorite Songs-February 2012 by James Leath

My top spin class and workout playlist songs this month:

  1. All of the lights, Kanye West
  2. Stronger, Kanye West
  3. On the Floor, Jennifer Lopez
  4. Smooth Criminal, Michael Jackson or Alien Ant Farm
  5. Written in the Stars, Tinie Tempah
  6. I Gotta Feeling, Black Eyed Peas
  7. The Time (Dirty Bit), Black Eyed Peas
  8. Alive, P.O.D.
  9. Like a Prayer, Jay Smith (origianlly by Madonna)
  10. Bleed it Out, Linkin Park
What are you diggin this month?

David McClain, Weight Loss Journey by James Leath

David McClain talks about losing over 65 pounds in 6 months with my help and a whole lot of determination from him. (Update: as of 8/10/2011, Dave his completed 12 events including 4 triathlons and 2-10ks, and will be competing in his first Olympic triathlon next week. GO DAVE!!) You'll hear him talk about why he finally had it with his weight, what he did first, and why he went with online training to help him along the way. Dave, I am SOOOO proud of you!!!

Your Two Week Nutrition Plan for Crazy Weight Loss by James Leath

Here is your assignment: By Saturday, create 3 days of meals, from waking up to going to bed. Include Fruit, Vegetables, Nuts/Seeds, eggs and meat/fish for each day. Send it over to me and I'll make any additions I think will help you, then when you hit the store you will be ready. Starting Monday, you will have 14 days to kick ass in the nutrition department and you will lose weight.
Sunday afternoon:
  • Hit the grocery store with your list in mind and prepare.
  • Grill up a few chicken breasts for you to add to meals all week.
  • Boil some eggs for quick snacks.
  • Cut up and store vegetables that are to be added to salads and morning omelet (Amanda and I pre-portion nuts, seeds and raisins into sandwich bags for quick snacks) Also, getting some bundles of leafy greens and cutting them up yourself is way cheaper than buying the prepackaged stuff.
  • Cut out Dairy and Bread completely for the first week. Amanda use to CRAVE milk every day. I challenged her on this and I doubt she will ever drink it again. I know I won't (except for the occasional coffee splurge at the Bux.) You can go back to it if you really miss it after the 7 days but I doubt you will. Or, try almond milk. We love the vanilla. As for bread and pasta, not for the next two weeks. Your carbs are going to come from fruits (bananas, apples, oranges, etc) and vegetables.

Sample day:

AM: Coffee, 2 eggs, 2 oz of chicken or bacon, bell peppers, mushrooms, and some avocado. (Imagine if your kids ate like this every morning!)

Move your body.
Snack: Hard boiled egg, strawberries. (Done with the coffee, switch to tea or water)
Move your body.
Lunch: A salad with very little dressing (try the raspberry spray dressing...bomb!) Add raisins, raspberries, strawberries, etc. (Pick 2 days a week to have yourself a little dessert after lunch, not dinner.)
Move your body.
Snack: Nuts and seeds, maybe some grapes. If you are going to drink a diet soda, pour out half, grab your soda and at least get a little walk in while you are sipping.
Move your body.
Dinner: Fish/Steak/lean meat. (Note: The meat should be no larger than the palm of your hand and no thicker than that, either.) Stay away from rice and mashed potatoes. Keep it simple with some green beans, soybeans, peas, etc.
Move your body. A family walk would fit nice here, or maybe a Wii dance off!
Dessert: This is most likely the worst idea ever when it comes to having a healthy body weight. Prepare yourself and that sweet tooth by buying small pieces of very rich chocolate. Stick to just one and make sure you are going to be up for at least an hour so it can move through your system and not keep you from sleeping.

Eating like this for two weeks will give you a great start on weight loss. There is a big difference between planning your meals and just recording them. When you just record them, you are vulnerable to the whims of the people around you and whatever is available. Be proactive, not reactive.

Get out of that body- you were meant to be so much more!

My Reality Show Pitch by James Leath

Guest Post by -Brett Klika(Re-posted without permission. Just a great post I found on ToddDurkin.com) 

Weight loss shows are a hit. Modern society’s insatiable voyeuristic appetite drives millions of viewers to tune in and watch the profoundly overweight, devoid of hope or motivation, endure overly intensive physical and emotional struggles to win a race to the lowest number on the scale. Special diets, celebrity personal trainers, hours of daily rigors, and spectacle-worthy competitions are performed daily under the watchful eye of medical physicians and most importantly, reality show executives. A message of hope is intertwined in these daily tribulations that reads, “If you are overweight and you have access to a personal trainer, psychologist, dietician, gym, equipment and are able to exercise for hours every day for the possibility of a considerable cash prize, you too can turn your life around.”

As complex as the process is depicted in our modern society, maintaining a healthy weight used to be an extension of our existence. Our automated interaction with the world around us has significantly interfered with this relationship. We are now an inactive population in which minorities of individuals sometimes exercise for a pre-determined amount of time. Instead of a reality show displaying how complex the process of weight management is, what if we were to actually highlight how “simple” it can be? No diets, trainers, organized exercise, or psychologists…just humans interacting with their environment the way they were designed to. We can call it, “The Farm.”

Participants would be given a bare plot of land. The only professional assistance would be from a farmer experienced in the daily survival skills needed in the early 19th century. They would be given enough rations to survive for a week or so as they get things going. Unlike the show “Survivor,” they could be put in an extremely resource rich area that is more than capable of naturally providing everything needed for survival. The participants could eat whatever they wanted in whatever portions they chose as long as they grew it or killed it. They would not participate in any organized exercise.

Participants would, however be responsible for everything from building a shelter, planting and harvesting crops, caring for and butchering livestock, and other tasks related to daily survival. There would be no electricity or plumbing, only fire for heat and light and a clean water source nearby. They would be allowed basic sundries such as cloths, baking supplies (sugar, flour, baking soda, etc.) that could be obtained from a “store” two miles from their residence. No refrigeration would be available. Want butter? Eat it! You will of course need to milk the cow and churn it first. Is it the “carbs” that have caused the meteoric weight gain? In “The Farm,” you can eat all of the “carbs” you want. You’ll want to make sure, however, you effectively plant, nurture, and harvest a crop that allows for your preferred volume of consumption. Want pie after dinner? It’s encouraged as a reward after an arduous week! You’ll want to get started early however, as you’ll need to gather the berries, go to the store for sugar and flower, get eggs from the hens, roll the crust, heat the oven, etc. That would be in addition to the other food and domestic responsibilities required for survival.

What do you think would be the outcome of such a “simple” program? Imagine if every food intake was the result of a significant energy output. Imagine if there actually was a limit to the food available. What if movement wasn’t neglected or confined to relatively infrequent short bouts? What if technology didn’t interfere with man’s affinity to rise and sleep with the sun? In the above portrayed environment, how would you expect people’s “energy levels” to be? How about “motivation?” If they continued to live by those means, could they “keep the weight off?” I can’t say exactly what the outcome would be because I’ve never seen a modern show like this. Thousands of years of history give me a pretty good idea, however.

Humans are at their best when they do what humans are supposed to. From an anthropological standpoint, excessive weight gain is actually complicated. Weight loss is not. When it comes to weight loss, simplify to succeed. We don’t live on the frontier any more, but if we can embrace the notion of naturally interacting with our environment physically (walking instead of short car rides, moving throughout the day, opting for manual instead of automated tasks, re-evaluating our food supply and concurrent intake, etc.) we can return the balance of energy intake and output. In essence, returning to the “human” way of life. If anyone has Mark Burnett’s phone number, I want a meeting.


Jamie Oliver's TED award speech by James Leath

Some of the quotes from this video:"Sadly, in the next 18 minutes, 4 Americans will be dead because of the food they eat."

"Statistics say 2/3 of this room in overweight."

"Fact: Diet related disease is the biggest killer, right now, today."

"Obesity cost 10% of your health care costs, $150 Billion dollars a year. Let's face it, America, you ain't got that kind of cash!"

"Every child needs to leave school with 10 recipes they can use."

Mindbody Software for Online Scheduling by James Leath

Mindbody for your businessI use MINDBODY to run my business. It is the most comprehensive, easy to use program I have ever come across. You can even get a merchant account that cost WAY less than using PayPal. In fact, when I went to headquarters for training on the software, I was offered a job. So, full disclosure, I loved the product/company so much I now work for them. If you are considering using Mindbody, I work for Mindbody and would be more than happy to give you a tour of the software. I am completely confident you will love it!

Click here to email me about a free tour. It truly is an amazing product. I wouldn't promote it if it wasn't.


Tips for Personal Trainers and Coaches by James Leath

*Links are bold and underlined Certifications: "What company should I get certified with?" is a question I get all the time. Between my brother-in-law trainer and myself, I think in 5 years we have been asked twice. The general public is not interested in who you are certified under, only that you know what you are doing and you can deliver results. Get certified to build confidence and knowledge, not to impress people. Trust me, a trainer with 10 certifications is not impressive to anyone but themselves. Whoever you go through, stay current through continuing education units and ALWAYS have insurance. Some companies to check out for certification are: ACE, NASM, ACSM, and ISSA. There are many others, but these are the ones I know of the most because I have gone through their programs. TIP: Find out what is popular in your area, and what certifications are accepted at the place you want to work.

Websites I have always used GoDaddy for domains. Start a blog, not a stale website. Wordpress has been the blog of choice for me. Many reasons, too many for here. They are the best in my book. Stand alone websites pale in comparison to blog in regards to repeat traffic. Buy your name (jamesleath.com, trainerjames.com) or your brand and forward the domain to your blog.

Email and Calendar Connect your free GoDaddy email account to a Google Apps account. That way you have a calendar an can use the Google Docs with clients.

Mindbody for your business I use MINDBODY to run my business. It is the most comprehensive, easy to use program I have ever come across. You can even get a merchant account that cost WAY less than using PayPal. In fact, when I went to headquarters for training on the software, I was offered a job. So, full disclosure, I loved the product/company so much I now work for them. If you are considering using Mindbody, click here to shoot me an email for a free demonstration. It truly is an amazing product. I wouldn't promote it if it wasn't.

AWeber for Newsletter Its a toss-up between AWeber and Constant Contact. Both are great. If you go with Mindbody, they have an integration tool with Constant Contact. But these are the best two out there. I was with AWeber for a while but switched to Constant Contact when I started with MINDBODY. I am pretty happy with the switch.

SparkPeople.com Most of my clients keep track of their own measurements and keep a food journal using SparkPeople.com. Its a great tool, plus there is an iPhone app.

Google Docs Again, Google Apps is the way to go. Using Google Docs to create forms for your clients is an amazing way to keep them accountable. Great for food journals and exercise prescription.

Register with IDEAfit.com Fitness Connect IDEA FitnessConnect is the largest fitness professional directory, connecting more than 16 million consumers to more than 200,000 fitness professionals with credentials verified by the top 23 fitness certification bodies...and its FREE. (I copied that straight from their site.)

Get a mentor You need a mentor/coach. Grab someone you respect and offer to buy them a sandwich in exchange for picking their brain. I have a trainer/coaching program you can find here if you want that person to be me, or you can click here to shoot me an email. Whoever it is, it is very important and valuable to have a mentor.

Read good books Don't waste too much time reading about anatomy. Your clients don't give a crap what deltoids are. Its called a shoulder- call it that. Search out books on psychology and self-help. These are the subjects your clients want to talk about. Some favorites include:

  • Think and Grow Rich
  • The Influencer
  • The Talent Code
  • Man's Search for Meaning

Dropbox Account Use the above link to create a dropbox account to share files with clients that are too big to send over email. You get 2GB for free and extra if you share it. I use this to share videos/clips with my clients.

Crunches by James Leath

I see people at the gym all the time doing crunches wrong. There are a few right ways, and many wrong ways to strengthen the abs. Tip: anytime you can do an exercise that allows you to go through the full range of motion for that muscle or mucles group, you are doing well.

Email and Calendar for Trainers and Coaches by James Leath

Email and CalendarConnect your free GoDaddy email account to a Google Apps account. That way you have a calendar an can use the Google Docs with clients. Also, your *MINDBODY account can connect to your Google calendar and keep you updated.

*Reminder: I work for Mindbody and would be more than happy to give you a tour of the software. I am completely confident you will love it!

Click here to email me about a free tour.


The Truth about Nutrition and Health by James Leath

Here's the final word on nutrition and health, Seriously, it is a relief after all these conflicting medical studies! Diets and Dying

  • The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
  • The French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
  • The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
  • The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
  • The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.


Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you! Go America!

Is Online Training for you? Click here to set up a free demonstration to find out!