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by Michelle McCabe, GFP Trainer

Having a trainer tweak your form can lead to big results.

Are you seeing results from your workout regimen? Do you get hurt every once in a while from your workouts? Do you know if you’re doing the right thing when you’re exercising?

If you said yes to any one of the questions above, it may be time to take a look at your plan and see if a professional can help. 

Here at GFP we often see that one small tweak to an exercise can change EVERYTHING. As a coach I witness this happen ALL the time. There have been so many times when we’ve made a small tweak in someone’s form we hear “ OMG! that doesn’t hurt now” or “ Oh, NOW I feel it in that spot!”, and “I totally didn’t know I was supposed to feel it there!”. 

There are a few things  you should know: 

Exercise is not supposed to hurt you.

“No pain, no gain” is an old fashioned saying. Exercise should not hurt you-- if it is, you may be doing it wrong or have an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Our excellent trainers at GFP make sure that the exercises you’re doing are appropriate for YOU and we correct your form so that you don’t get hurt.  BIG TAKE AWAY – you stay healthy so that you can keep coming back to the gym and get results.  

You should know “where you’re supposed to feel it” 

Ever do an exercise and not know if you’re doing it right or feeling it in the right spot? You should know! At the very least you should be able to trust that the exercises you’re doing are working right. GFP trainers are trained to make sure you’re “feeling it” in the right spots and that you are doing the exercises that WILL give you the results you want. 

Finally, you should be getting BETTER!!  

The exercises you’re doing should start to get easier or you should be able to do more, or add heavier weight to them, or progress to a harder version. You should be getting exposed to different and new exercises and coached up on the form. This is how you grow, you get better and get closer to your goals. If you don’t have anyone coaching and correcting you.. how will you know you’re not just spinning your wheels? 

Small tweaks to your form can make a big difference! 

Make sure you have a coach who is a pro and can help you with corrections!

I hope everyone had an amazing 2012 and is looking forward to a great 2013. I have been especially fired up for 2013 for several reasons. The first one is obvious; my second daughter will be entering this world some time in April or May.

We all hear about New Year's resolutions - and the gym is famous for starting strong and tapering off. I strongly feel lack of vision and lack of clarity with this vision is why people fail with their New Years Resolutions.

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This Year, let's just start the year with a clear mind about what went well in 2012, what did not go well, the lessons you learned from them, and finally what you want from 2013.

I have spent a great amount of time planning and preparing for 2013.

I have completed a lengthy exercise that has taken me close to 10 hours over the last few weeks. The exercise is combination of reviewing the past year and setting goals for the upcoming year and beyond.

I have never looked more forward to a year in my life than 2013.

This is because I am starting the year confident in what I want and what it will take to get it.

This exercise helped me discover it.

I feel getting all my failures and successes from the past year written down has been enormous for clarity and peace of mind for the future.

I have exactly what I want to accomplish and improve on in 2013 and I amped to get it done. This is for my personal life in addition to business.

I have put together a shortened version of my 2013 vision planning exercise and I can assure you if you take the time an answer these questions you will crush 2013.

Please remember this is a VERY tapered version of what I went through.

Copy and paste these questions to a word Document and crank this out. When finished, print your answers and keep them VERY handy and look at them often.

1.     List all of your accomplishments in 2012. Celebrations, victories, wins etc.

2.     What were your top 3 lessons learned in 2012?

3.     List your top 3 strengths

4.     List your top 5 weaknesses and one thing you can do to improve it.

5.     List 3 things you want to accomplish in 2013.

6.     For each thing you want to accomplish, list 1 habit you must form to accomplish it

7.     Take a picture of yourself Today. Make some notes on how you feel, your energy level etc.

8.     What are 3 ways you can be a better Parent?(if applicable)

9.     What are 3 ways you can be a better Son/Daughter/Brother/Sister(If applicable)

10.  What are 3 ways you can be a better spouse/partner?(If applicable)

11.  List all the books you read in 2012

12.  Write down the books you want to read in 2013

One of the purposes of SEALFit was to help you realize your true potential. Your potential for not only the physical, but for the mental as well.

During training for SEALFit I got Olecranon Bursitis. This inflammation caused my elbow to blow up like a balloon. Pushups and pullups are a

huge part of SEALfit - there are minimum requirements just to be able to participate.

Because of my elbow I had to drastically cut the amount of pushups and pullups I was doing in training. This was my weak point going in, so I was very concerned.

During the 12+ hours of training there were many times when I thought to myself, "I am close to done".

We trained for about 7 hours and then did a workout called Murph. Murph is a workout named after Michael Murphy, who bravely died for his country.

This is Murph - and yes, we had to wear our 23-pound pack during the entire workout:

When on my first mile all I kept thinking about was the 100 pull-ups and 200 pushups: would the elbow hold up?

I forgot to mention - they told us to shoot for under an hour.

Now it was looking crazy. We were already shot from the previous 7 hours of training.

I finished the first mile and started on the pull-ups. Every time we would finish a round of 5 pullups, 10 pushups and 15 squats they would give me a chalk mark. I needed 20 of these chalk marks to start the final mile.

It felt like there was about an hour between each chalk mark. The trainer kept saying "I'm bored Vinny, let me write something down"

He was watching me like a hawk, if I didn't do a full Navy SEAL pushup (chest to floor and full lock out), it didn't count. If my squat was not low enough, it didn't count. This was tough.

After what felt like an eternity I started the last mile and finished Murph. I was shot.

After Murph we had a 30 minute lunch break, I brought no food other than a Clif bar and 2 peaches, the only things I ate all day.

We started back up at 2 PM and went all the way to 6:30 PM. I thought I was done after Murph, if you asked me at the time if I could train for 4 more hours after Murph I would have said no way.

Something kept me going. It was the team, the coaches and the new lessons I was learning about having 20x more than you think.

I will cherish this lesson forever in my life and realize that what I think is my best is not really my best.

I have more, you have more.

We can all do so much better than we tell ourselves, we just have to find a way to bring it out but it is there, this day taught me that and this lesson will be with me forever.

Remember: You have 20x what you think you have. 


I talked about the 10 first minutes of SEALFit being absolutely exhausting. We sprinted as fast as we could for over a mile and performed a ton of pushups. It was like a huge wave just came and crushed us.

After all the work we did, QD, the former SEAL instructor, kept saying, "Only 11 hours and 50 minutes left!"

It was demoralizing.

To think that we had to move our bodies for that much more time and the fact that we were already exhausted was very tough.

This happens in our own lives. When we think about all the things we have to do it can get overwhelming.

The point of today's Mindset Monday is to take one thing at a time.

At SEALFit, we did countless different activities throughout the 12-hour period, and we always knew something newer and harder was coming up. The only thing we could do was our best, one thing at time.

The more we thought about what was next or when it would be over, the tougher it got.

Hopefully you have some type of calendar or to-do list you work off of daily.

Do not get overwhelmed by how much you have to do. Simply take what is the absolute most important thing to your life and get it done.

At SEALFit, the most important thing was always the current task.

Always remember to prioritize in your life what is most important.

I recently watched a 60 Minutes interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Despite all the success he has seen professionally, it was clear that he ruined what was most important to him: his relationship with his wife and children.

He did not prioritize what was most important.

Your time is your most precious commodity.

Take one thing at a time and do it great.

Remember - the things that are most important to you deserve your absolute best.

I have been on a roll lately with educating myself about personal power. I want more, and I want you to have more too

Personal Power is your ability to take action.

If you want success, the only thing that matters is how much action you produce.

You can think about how you are going to get an awesome workout later today but when you get to the gym, you still need to do it.

There are 3 steps to improving Personal Power, or your ability to take action. We'll cover the first today.

Step 1-Energy

Energy is one of life's most valuable commodities.

Really excited!!!

If you do not have enough energy to get through your day, how can you have enough energy to take real action, to have a day you can be proud of, to have a day that impacted yourself and many others?

Think of one of your days where you got a ton of great work done - was you energy level low or high? I'd be willing to bet it was high.

Having an abundance of energy will help you achieve so much more in your life.

Here are a few of the many strategies for improving energy level:

Eat Clean:

When we eat poor food, our tank is not filled with quality fuel. We have used the analogy before about a high performance race car.

If you constantly gave that car low quality diesel fuel, it would not perform to its full potential. It might run but not even close to the level it could.

Our bodies are the same way.

If we value our level of energy as something that is truly important to us, we will make the right food choices.

You know what to do. 


As adults we need 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to have a solid amount of energy through our day.

I am in the Charlotte Airport typing this and I feel great.

I got an incredible night's sleep last night because the hotel room had these shades that block out ALL possible light.

It was light outside when I woke up, but pitch black in the room. Get your bedroom as dark as possible to improve your sleep quality.

Since Bella was born we have had the baby monitor on all night. This gives a great deal of light to our room and has affected the quality of my sleep.

Look at how many people drink coffee and energy drinks. They are searching for more energy.

I am all about coffee and occasionally will have an energy drink but we must not rely on these tools to get through our day.

A sound approach to have great nutrition and sleep is the best way to have an abundance of energy.

Remember why you want energy.

Energy is a vehicle for success.

Energy is the fuel for what we want accomplish in our life.

Energy is a key ingredient to living a healthy, happy and successful life.

Stay tuned for the second step to improving Personal Power

Mindset of the Week: Putting in extra work is a sign of the committed and successful, not the weak

Many times we will view asking for help as a personal defect - that we are not capable of accomplishing something ourselves so we must seek help our weaknesses.

I remember when I was younger - I was constantly in and out of reading and math tutors for extra help.


I often had the feeling that I did this so much that I was not smart enough to be able to succeed without them. This is Fixed Mindset thinking.

Seeking extra help, whether it is business advice or tutoring, are all efforts to improve and should be viewed this way.

Effort needs to be looked at as something that is positive and necessary to succeed, not that you have a defect if you have to try very hard to succeed.

If you have to stay after school for extra help or after practice for additional technique work, your effort here should not be viewed as you are having trouble but rather you are making a solid effort to improve in school and your sport.

The Fixed Mindset views effort as fruitless because success is not guaranteed.

I will tell you that even after all the tutors, I was still an average student. I am not sure where I would be now math-wise without those tutors but I did learn that it is OK to need help.

I learned that many times things will not come easy and there are extra things we may need to do in order to just break even.

It is never a negative to have to try harder. 

There are more important lessons behind your tutoring sessions that you do not realize at the time, but the sequence of having trouble, working extra hard, improving, and then using the entire process as a learning experience is well worth the extra effort you put in.

Have a great week!

-Vince Gabriele

Mindset of the week: Be aware of negative talk, whether it is about yourself or others. Focus on positives and look for opportunities to help others, not hurt.

I was in a store recently and there were 3 people behind the counter all talking about how another employee was so incompetent and how she can't even remember to do even the simplest things.

I got the feeling this must not be a great place to work. I was just coming in to purchase something and instead got bombarded by negative talk and gossip about someone I do not even know.

What was being accomplished here?

Were they looking to improve their experience for their customers?

No. They were focused on the faults of a person and spreading negative energy to all those around them.

I did not leave that place inspired and ready to attack my day.

Instead, I felt sorry for this person and wondered if there was something one of those people could do to improve their performance at their job.

I want you to start your week off with an awareness of the gossip and negative talk around you. You will probably realize how frequent this is and be amazed how much time and energy people spend talking negatively about other people.

These types of encounters are all too common and display a fixed mindset. The Growth Mindset chooses to focus on positive qualities like how can we make this person better.

My challenge is to be aware of negative talk and always try to put a positive spin on the situation if needed.

Our world is filled with garbage magazines and TV programs that distract us from self-improvement and living life in a productive, positive way.

Magazines like these aren't helping you become a more positive person.

While I do not think these things are going away anytime soon, our conversations should not reinforce this.

I love this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt; whenever I catch myself talking about a person I try to shift the conversation to an event or an idea: 

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." 

- Eleanor Roosevelt

While I do not consider myself a great mind, I strive for this everyday.

Practice the Growth Mindset Today!



Mindset of the week: View each challenge (and success) as fuel to creating a newer, better you. Never let struggle overwhelm you, and never let success make you complacent.

Drew Brees will go down as one of the best quarterbacks ever. As recently as a few years ago, those words would have never been considered.

Football season is back and the Saints were playing the Cardinals in a pre-season game, meaning the starters rarely play long. Brees came out and drove the Saints down the field to score a touchdown on the first series. After that, he went to the sideline and was done for the day.

At first, I was thinking how lucky this guy is: He just signed a multimillion dollar contract, he's a rock star in New Orleans, a Super Bowl Champion, and is almost certainly off to the NFL Hall of Fame.

But the more I thought, the more I realized: This was NOT luck.

Drew Brees is a self-made superstar due to his Growth Mindset.

He is only 6 feet tall, which is several inches shorter than the NFL QB average.

He was basically ousted from the San Diego Chargers as the starting QB after they drafted Phillip Rivers in the first round.

He suffered a career threatening shoulder injury just before he was about to be signed by another team, after which he was only wanted by 2 NFL teams.

He choose the New Orleans Saints, which were at the time an awful franchise, and only days later Hurricane Katrina hit and decimated the city.

All odds were against Drew Brees becoming a successful QB in New Orleans, let alone a superstar.

This guy is the ultimate example of the growth mindset.

Many people would have shut down at the thought of their own team drafting another player to replace them. The Fixed Mindset views this as "I am not good enough", while the Growth Mindset says, "I am going to use this as my fuel and become better". This is exactly what happened to Drew Brees.

Fast forward to 6 seasons of ultimate success.

The Fixed Mindset says, "Look at all I have accomplished! I have a Super Bowl ring, a new contract, a guaranteed spot in NFL Hall of Fame - I'm good, I can coast through the rest of my career."

This happens every year. Players achieve some degree of success and then shut it down.

Drew just keeps getting better every year. He is obsessed with learning and improvement.

When Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's record, his post game speech was filled with gratitude for coaches, players, equipment managers, athletic trainers, strength coaches and front office personnel.

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Never once did he mention himself. It was all about the team and the people who helped along the way.

There are many athletes that we can learn from, but Drew Brees is one we should truly respect.  I have followed his career closely since he came out of Purdue. This is an athlete that kids should want to be like, not because he is a great quarterback but because all the other incredible qualities he possesses that make him a champion.

His Growth Mindset, leadership ability, perseverance, discipline with preparation, winning with character and being one of the most humble professionals in sports makes him a true role model for everyone.

Drew Brees has the Growth Mindset.

Like many of you I have been watching the Olympics. I have been extremely impressed with the mental toughness and focus of many of our American heroes. I stayed up late and watched the female gymnasts win gold and also witnessed history when Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian ever.

These are all incredible feats and it makes me very proud to watch them perform.

I have never trained an American Olympic athlete, but I have trained a Chinese Olympic athlete.

Several years ago when I was training in San Diego, a young man named Chen walked through the door. He did not speak a lick of English and had a translator with him.

I was told he was a superstar basketball player from China and was going to train for the NBA in America.

I trained Chen very hard for several weeks and I have never seen a tougher athlete- he was on a different level. Mind you at the time I was training about 7 NFL football players.

The second toughest athlete I have trained was a competitior in the firefighter combat challenge named Jeremy "the champ" Czapinski. Jeremy was ranked 2nd in the world and had a mindset that was incredible.

Chen trained 2 times a day, 4 days a week.

I clearly remember a long, steep 100 yard hill close to the gym that we used often with our athletes for conditioning.

I had trained high school athletes, college athletes and my NFL guys on this hill. It crushed everyone. Everyone except Chen.

It was like he was immune to fatigue.

When the athletes would run the first hill sprint there time would almost always be slower on the next one.

Chen ran almost 17 hill sprints and his time was almost exactly the same, it was incredible.

It was no surprise that when I looked at the roster for the 2012 Chinsese Men's Basketball Team, there he was.

When we watch the Olympics we must realize the level that these athletes are at.

They are the best in the world at what they do and have dedicated their entire lives to be performing at the Olympics.

Olympic Athletes from any country are the ultimate example of dedication, sacrifice, and mindset.

Yes they all have talent but there are many talented athletes in the world.

The athletes in London right now have much more than talent, they have an incredible ability to ask things from their bodies and minds that others are not willing to do.

Now please do not think I will be routing for the Chinese basketball team to beat the USA. I hope the USA crushes them - but I hope Chen has 30 points and 14 assists!

The other day Vanessa and I spent several hours turning our dining room into a playroom for Isabella.

I have mentioned previously she was struggling to crawl. I talked about her mindset through this process - she was not upset, she did not care how we felt and she certainly didn't quit.

The other day she finally crawled. It was amazing to watch how incredible the development process is.

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We turned our dining room in play room because it serves as a big open area where we can she can move around and explore as much as she wants.

We put the colored and numbered puzzle flooring down and removed anything that she could get into trouble with.

The whole point here is giving her the opportunity to roll, crawl, plank, side plank, sit up, stand, touch, reach and shake as much as she wants with no restrictions.

Many times in our life we forget the importance of repetition.

For example the 2 most important things to improve your free throw shooting are

  1. Find the best possible technique
  2. Practice that technique as much as possible (Repetition)

This can be applied to anything: cooking, reading, writing, eating, coaching, teaching etc. Basically anything you do.

I am sure you have heard the phrase "It's like riding a bike". I am willing to bet you were better at riding a bike when you were doing it everyday versus taking 20 years off and jumping on.

In order to master any skill quality repetition is key. Notice the word 'quality' - because that is big.

Repetition can go the other way as well. If you smoke everyday, eat Fruit Loops for breakfast everyday, or drink alcohol everyday, these are repeating poor habits that you will engrain just like good habits.

My goal for Bella is to provide an environment for her to practice her developmental skills as much as possible. This environment provides the platform for quality repetition.

Action Steps:

  1. Discover what you want to improve.
  2. Learn the most optimal way to do it.
  3. Repeat it as much as possible.

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Summer is in full swing and it can be quite a crazy time; between all the graduation parties, weddings, and backyard BBQs not only is it difficult to stick to a healthy nutrition plan but workouts often get shortened or skipped entirely.

I knew this summer would be particularly hard to stick to my normal regimen.  Thus far I've had 5 weddings, engagement parties, and weekends at the shore, along with several family parties and plenty more events to come. Simply put, our weekends are BOOKED and there have been lots of opportunities to let loose and indulge in rich foods and relaxing times.

However - I've been determined to find a way to not let these events get in the way of my fitness goals while still enjoying all the that summer brings.  I decided to make a plan - I laid out 5 simple guidelines to help me stay determined, stick to my workouts and enjoy the summer at the same time.

I know that you probably have many fun events and vacations planned and we still have half the summer to go. Don't let vacations or weddings or BBQ parties get in the way of your GOALS this summer! If you have a plan and stayed determined you can still get after it and enjoy life.

Here are my 5 guidelines for keeping this summer a fun and productive one:

1.      Train EVERYWHERE 

We've waited all winter for nice sunny weather and it's here; get outside and take advantage!  Be realistic in that you may not be able to make it to the gym 3 times a week. Make your workouts fun by using the environment you have either on vacation like the beach or at home at a playground or park. Make it fun and use what it available to you.

I've been using every opportunity away from home to get a new and interesting workout in. So far I've worked out on the beach, in hotel gyms and at the playground around the corner from my house.

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Playground workout:

2.      Train BEFORE and AFTER

I knew that I'd be indulging a bit this summer and veering off my nutrition plan a bit.  I've been making a point to workout hard either before an event, after, or both. Be determined not to miss a workout. Working hard before and maybe after will make you feel great at your event, if you indulge it will be that much better and you won't feel as guilty.

When I was away for a wedding in MN I took 5 min the morning of the wedding and planned out a workout for myself. I used the timer on my Iphone , set it for 25 min, and got after it for as many rounds as I could in that time frame. Here's what I did:

3.      Enjoy Seasonal Foods & Grilling 

One of the best things about summer is that there is fresh food everywhere and it's time to Grill!  There are tons of farmers markets open in every town so there is no excuse not to find your local farmer and pick up the freshest produce.

It's smart to eat seasonal foods and healthier for the economy and environment too. Fresh fruits, berries, and greens are in season now so pick up your favorites and incorporate them into your summer recipes!

So take advantage of those backyard bbq and tailgate events by enjoying fresh seasonal foods and meats on the grill. I love using the grill to cook everything so I've been using ours a lot. Here's a recipe that I've tried this summer.

Zesty Pineapple-Chicken Kabobs


Cut pepper and pineapple into chunks. Alternately thread chicken, peppers and pineapple onto skewers.

In a small bowl, combine hot sauce and honey. Brush kabobs with sweet & spicy sauce mixture; grill about 12 to 14 minutes.

TIPS: You can also use beef or shrimp! And try everything over a nice big salad!

4.      Stay in the Know with Summer reading/ Listening

Nothing keeps me more motivated than learning new things about health and nutrition. I find that if I continue to read and hear information to keep me healthy I'm more motivated to maintain my healthy habits.

This summer I picked up several books and have been listening to several podcasts that I've downloaded on  iTunes. I've found it a really great way to pass the time on long car rides or just for when I'm relaxing.

These are books and radio broadcasts that both interest me and are written by really smart and informative people. Knowledge is POWER. So get to Learning something new this summer!

Here are a few really great Podcasts that I've been listening to:

5.      Challenge Yourself

One of the biggest things that has kept me motivated to train this summer is that I've started olympic lifting and I have my first meet coming up in August. I've had to set times and get to sessions with a coach and I've hit training sessions every week.

Having a specific goal in mind and deadlines to meet always gives focus and purpose to your workouts. So you can try it out too; sign up for a new challenging event, race or contest. You can even try one of the warrior dashes or adventure races. It also helps to have someone to be accountable to; so enlist a friend, family or coach to help you out!

Another way to challenge yourself this summer is to reserve "active vacations". Trips like hiking white water rafting, kayaking and even surfing will not only be fun but keep you moving at the same time. 

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

There is no better example of the Growth Mindset than a developing baby.

My daughter is 6 ½ months old, and has been on the verge of crawling for a few weeks now.

Every day she gets down in her kneeling position and reaches out, moves her legs, reaches out farther - but still no crawl. She just started to crawl backward a little so I know she is very close.

It is amazing to watch this.

She has not crawled forward yet, but I do not think she is frustrated like many of us would be.

She is not going to decide that it is too hard or just not worth the effort.

She is not worried about how Vanessa and I feel, making a mistake or humiliating herself. She will just keep trying until she crawls.

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We are ALL born with an intense drive to learn. All of us!

Something along the way in our lives changes this. All of sudden we are afraid to learn because of the potential to make a mistake or look foolish.

This is classic Fixed Mindset thinking and if Bella had these thoughts, she might never crawl.

The Growth Mindset frees us from being so concerned about how we will look if we make a mistake.

The Growth Mindset is your vehicle for constant learning and improvement.

This past Saturday I competed in the Warrior Challenge. It is a fundraiser for the Wounded Warriors held down the Jersey Shore. I am in a mastermind group with a bunch of other guys in the industry, and we decided to compete together.

I was not super happy with my performance, but that was not the point of this competition - it was about something bigger.

The first event was a 1 mile deep sand run. The first ½ mile we had to carry a 40 pound sandbag. I finished the run with my great friend Zack; we stayed together the whole time and sprinted the last 100 yards.

There was a guy from our group that bravely decided to run even though he was not in good physical condition. We all finished and he still had about a ½ mile to go.

We all gathered and finished with him, making sure he did not quit.

Then it got emotional.

A soldier who had lost his leg in combat ran the last ½ mile with us. This brave man looked no older than 20 and had a prosthetic leg.

I spoke to him while we were running and thanked him for his sacrifice for our freedom.

When we finally finished the soldier told me he wanted to go shake the hand of the guy who was struggling to finish. What an amazing man.

This got me thinking of several things at a pretty emotional time.

What an amazing country we live in - we should be thankful every day for the incredible, brave people making huge sacrifices for our freedom.

We are always saying if you find a big enough why, you will find the how.

The man who needed to get back in shape found his why after the brave soldier ran next to him on the beach. I found it amazing how a person that needs to get their body in shape can be influenced by one single moment.

I truly value the human body and what an amazing miracle it is. This drives me to take great care of my body, making sure it gets proper fuel, moves often and gets enough rest.

The Men and Women that protect our country are special people. We can learn many things from their sacrifice. We should be grateful they protect our freedom but can also provide us with life changing experiences like the one that happened on the beach on Saturday.

See the picture below of us running together in the camo shirts and take a look at the incredible young man a step behind us. This experienced changed a life forever.

Do great things today!

 "A man's errors are his portals of discoveryJames Joyce


We have written many times how important it is to learn from failure. Learning from failure and adversity is probably the most effective type of growth in our lives.

There is a term in Psychology called "Learned Helplessness".

"Learned Helplessness" is when people continuously fail at things and start to believe everything is pointless.  A person who suffers from this will never try new things because they have cemented in their brain that they will just fail again.

This is similar to the Fixed Mindset, which we have written about extensively.

Tony Robbins' great book Awaken the Giant talks about Dr. Martin Seligman, who has done research on what creates learned helplessness and breaks it down into 3 categories: Permanence, Pervasiveness and Personal



Achiever Mindset: No problem is permanent. "This too shall pass"

Learned Helplessness Mindset:  Even the smallest problems are permanent. Nothing you can do will change the current problem and things are the way they are and there is nothing more you can do.


Achiever Mindset: Will not let one problem control their entire life.

Learned Helplessness Mindset: Believes a mistake in one area means that everything in their life is messed up.


Achiever Mindset: Sees a failure as an opportunity to modify their approach.

Learned Helplessness: Sees a failure as a problem with themselves and as a personality issue. ie someone who takes everything as an attack on them personally

Our lives will be filled with opportunities to tell ourselves we are no good.

There is no one on this planet that does not deal with difficult times. The difference between succeeding and not is how you respond.

You are a resilient being. Make today the day you stop judging yourself, learn from everything and take the steps toward having the achiever mindset all the time.

Onward Brave Hawk Men!

When I was about 12 years old, my favorite sport was basketball. I loved playing, watching, and practicing it. If there was something that was going to help me be a better basketball player I was all over it.

This was about 20 years ago and at the time there were these special shoes called "Strength Shoes".

These shoes were guaranteed to help you run faster and jump higher. I begged my parents to buy me these shoes, and eventually they agreed.

I busted the shoes out of the box and immediately put them on. I wore them around the house thinking that if I just wore them they will help me jump higher.

Then I started to exercise with the shoes on. The first time I jogged around the block. The next time I jogged around the block twice. After a few workouts with the shoes I did not notice my skills improving.

After using the shoes a few times a week for a month, I got frustrated.

These shoes promised me I would jump higher and run faster, and I was doing neither.

As I look back now I realize how ridiculous this was. Even if the shoes did work, the limited amount of time I was training was not even close to scraping the surface.

I was looking for a maximal return with a minimal investment.

Research has come out on these shoes, and it turns out they have minimal effect on athletic performance. At least it wasn't just me.

The message here is that there are no shortcuts to becoming a better athlete. It takes YEARS to mold your self into the best athlete you can be.

Yes, you can improve in 3 months - but it is the continual progress made over years that breeds a truly better athlete.

Skills need to be practiced all the time. Strength, speed, flexibility, etc. need to be trained year round in order to develop yourself to be the best you can be.

Many athletes come to our facility for 3 months, once a year. These athletes do well, but it is the few continually dedicated athletes who train year round, in addition to practicing their sport specific skills, that are the most successful.

We must remember that success in athletics, like everything else in life, does not come over night. No pro athlete ever woke up and became great. They put consistent, hard, smart work in over many years; this is how they became great.

No shortcuts, just work.

Put your time in and become the best YOU can BE.

For my first Father's Day I drove to Home Depot and bought myself a real man gift, a Weber charcoal grill. I have never cooked on a charcoal grill because I have used propane my entire life.

This was very exciting.

If you know me personally, you would know I am not that handy. When I saw that the new grill I bought came in a box, I knew it was going to be a long night.

I was determined to grill that night. I had purchased a bunch of grass-fed beef from Whole Foods and wanted to grill burgers on my new charcoal grill.

I started to put the thing together and opened the instructions.

No words, just pictures. I started to sweat.

I got a little help from my neighbor who had the exact same grill, so I was able to see the finished product.

Ok - I was in business. First step complete.

Then I realized after I had hammered the thing that holds the wheel on that I had forgotten the step before and placed the bar on first.

This was a huge mistake, because when you put the thing that holds the wheel on they are impossible to get off without ruining them.

I was so angry. I started telling myself how pathetic I was that I could not even put together a grill!

I contemplated throwing the grill off my deck and screaming.

I thought it will be weeks before that specific part of the grill to arrive. I was in a rage but then looked up and saw another piece, it was a spare!

I couldn't believe it I had been given a second chance, a lifeline.

I saw this as a metaphor for our lives.

There are times when we make mistakes where you say, "Did I really just do something that stupid?" I looked at that extra piece as a second chance. It was right there all along, waiting for me to mess up.

In our lives we are going to make mistakes, but we must trust that there are things out there that will give us a second chance.

If you mess up your health you can get start exercising and eating right.

If you mess up your grades, you can study harder and come back strong

If you make 3 errors in a game you can come back the next game and put forth an effort that will amaze yourself.

This was just an example, but even if that spare part was not in the box, I am sure I would of eventually have gotten it, it just would of taken a long time.

Learn from your mistakes and then capitalize on them right away. If you don't, the things you want in your life will take much longer to attain.  Use mistakes as learning experiences and get better right away.

I put together the rest of the grill and over cooked my burgers. That's an entirely new article!

Yesterday was my first Father's Day. It was a great relaxing day with the family, and as I thought about how incredible it was to be a father I thought about the impact my dad has had on me over the years. I hope to be able to instill the same qualities to my daughter.

My father is a successful man in business and in life. There is no one I know that is more loved by everyone than he is.

In my childhood, I remember 3 very important lessons that he continually taught me. The interesting thing was he not only taught me with his words, but with his actions.

I feel this is a very important trait. If you are trying to instill qualities in others, living those qualities yourself is a necessity.

Here are 3 of the important lessons I picked up from my dad.

  1. Positive Attitude

This was probably the one he preached to me the most. As an ignorant 12 year old kid, I would try to ignore him or feel that he was lecturing me too much about this, but many years later I realize that success in any aspect of your life starts with a positive attitude.

I remember he put a picture of his favorite baseball player, Nolan Ryan, up on my mirror which said, "It all starts with the right attitude."

This stayed on my mirror for years and I still see it clearly today. This shows how seeing or reading something everyday can truly make it a habit

  1. Consideration for others

My dad is the master of this. He is always thinking and caring about other people more than himself. He shows genuine concern for others, regardless if he knows them a little or a lot.

One of my missions in life is to inspire as many youth and adults as possible to reach their full potential in their own lives. Without this quality I learned from him I may not be doing the work I am doing today.

This was one of those skills where he led by example; he never preached this me - I just observed over the years how he lived this way. That is the ultimate leading by example.

  1. Honesty

My dad is in the financial business, which is filled with corruption and greed. I have observed him over the years and can 100% guarantee that he lives with honesty and integrity. This is displayed is all other phases of life. I remember as a youngster being continually reinforced that being honest and living with integrity is essential for living a happy life.

My purpose of this article is to relay the message to all the young parents on this list to make sure to live your live the same way you want your children to be. If you are preaching to your kids to eat the right foods, are you setting the example yourself?

Lessons are not only taught through lectures or posters on the wall, they are most taught through living out the positive qualities you want your children to have.

There were many times I thought my dad was being annoying and he didn't know what he was talking about. I am sure you get that from your children, and I am sure there will be a time where my children feel the same way.

But - it is the continual life example that we live that is slow cooking the messages into the lives of our kids. That is what truly makes an impact later in life. The things you say may be ignored, but the things you do are the difference maker.

Happy Fathers Day!

 by Michelle McCabe

DO YOU WANT to be the best version of you? To achieve success in your work, relationships and other areas of your life?

I recently read a book called the Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement by Anthony Robbins. For those who have not heard or seen Anthony Robbins, he is a self- help author and motivational speaker - and an amazing one!

This book describes the formula for acquiring the specific behavior to make positive changes in your life. It teaches how to achieve something called "Personal Power".

This phrase originally hooked me into reading this book because naturally, as a strength coach I love power. I want to be a more powerful lifter, I want my clients and athletes to be powerful when lifting weights and most importantly I want to empowermy clients to be better people. The best versions of who they want to be.

Personal power is what really separates successful people - "it is the ability to take action".

There are three keys to achieving your own "personal power". Here are my interpretations

1.      ENERGY

Having enough energy is something I believe many of us struggle with on a daily basis. Many of us are over worked, over stressed and don't get nearly enough sleep.

BUT - if you don't have enough energy to make it through the day you probably won't have the energy to take action to change your life. - People of excellence and people who are successful have all the energy to take opportunities and run with them.

2.      SKILL

In order to be successful at something we have to be able to first have the skill or ability to define exactly what we want. Once you can define EXACTLY what it is that you want two skill can help you achieve this:

Remember this phrase: "My Life is the quality of my communication." People who are very successful are masters of communication.

In order to have any experience in life you must communicate well with yourself and you must communicate well with others. The way you "talk" to yourself dictates the way you feel and how you act. Your thoughts, words, tonality, and even your body language and the way you carry yourself send messages to your nervous system and affects the way you dictate your life.

This is why it is important to strive for positivity in the way you speak to yourself, the way you speak to others and the way you carry yourself through your day. If you are constantly speaking to yourself in a positive way and walk around energized and confidently and have an optimistic attitude I promise you it will come back to you ten fold.

At GFP we believe that excellence doesn't come from being genetically talented. Talents can be developed and you can constantly learn and improve yourself. If you want to be successful at something, find someone else who is being successful and use them as a model.

Successful people use their beliefs and use their bodies to take action to produce results in their lives. For example, let's say you want to be able to lose 10 pounds of fat, find someone who has been successful at losing fat and MODEL them.

Ask them what they did to achieve this feat; did they try and try again until they reached their goal? Ask them what they are thinking about when they are trying to complete this; do they have a positive attitude and inner communication?

Watch what they do; do they carry themselves confidently do they get up and try again when they fail? This is only a small example but doing exactly what people of excellence do is a great way to make yourself better and achieve any goal that you have.


Once you have master the first 2 keys the only thing that can keep you from achieving success is YOUR OWN FEAR. Most people are afraid to take action because they do not want to fail.

Realize: that there are no failures JUST results.

There are no failures JUST outcomes. If you realize this you will always succeed at producing results. This is the number one belief system that stands out in people who succeed.

They do not believe in failure and they manifest this daily by learning from their outcomes. Instead of being fearful, take action and then learn from the result. This is how we turn FEAR into POWER.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter how much intelligence or talented you are; how much ACTION you take is what matters. I challenge you to go out and start modeling others; start communicating in a positive way and learn from every experience you have. Go out and use your personal power to be successful!

Last week, Vince wrote about his college recruiting experience and the highs and lows he went through during the process. Vince and I both grew up in the area, both played football and even played the same position, but our recruiting experiences were very different. I think the major difference between Vince and I was that I was a stud of a player. (I kid, I kid)

In all seriousness, the big difference is that I have experienced recruiting from both sides, as a player and also as a coach. As a 16 year old kid, I was 6 foot 8 and weighed 265 pounds, so I was very appealing to college coaches. I also spent 3 seasons as the offensive line coach at Kean University.

So to show you both sides of the fence, I broke down what I felt were some of the biggest issues/problems I saw as a player and a coach and to give you both perspectives.

1 - Contact is NOT Recruiting

Tom the Player- Following my junior season I was identified by a recruiting magazine and my name was placed on a list as a "Top Junior to Watch in NJ". The problem was, nobody told me I was on the list. Soon after the season I started receiving letters from schools across the country.

When I say schools, I mean every school from USC to Tennessee to Notre Dame. As a 16 year old kid, I thought I was pretty special, not realizing they just looking for information for their databases, that's it.

The schools were NOT recruiting me, they were CONTACTING me to acquire more information. The coaches had no idea who I was, I was simply a name on a list and so they sent me letters, lots and lots of letters.

Coach Langton- As a coach, I would guess that 90% of the athletes I TALKED to or CONTACTED I had no interest in recruiting. They were names that were given to me by coaches or that I received from recruiting resources (like the magazine that I was in). I contacted HUNDREDS of players every off-season, with letters, e-mails and even in person. However, those contacts did not mean I had interest, they were simply "feelers" - looking for information.


Tom the Player- In my mind I was going to play in the NFL, so I simply wanted to go to the school that gave me the best chance to be a pro. I did not use my athletic skills to enhance my academic prowess.

I was being courted by a handful of VERY good academic schools; schools I wouldn't have dreamed of getting into had I been a normal sized 16 year old.

I did not see past my athletic career and realize how important the STUDENT part of student-athlete was. I chose my school based on the athlete part of the name.

Coach Langton- The first question I asked in the recruiting process was "How are his grades?" The grades of an athlete not only show whether or not they could get into school, but also said a lot about the person.

Was the athlete an over or under achiever? Did they have attendance or tardiness issues? Did they slack off in the early years of high school and only apply themselves once the pressure of getting into college began?

I knew as a college coach, that an athlete with good grades and attendance records had a solid work ethic and would fit into the college environment much easier.


Tom the Player- Like I said earlier, I told A LOT of schools that I was not interested because I wanted to play "big time" ball. I thought at the time I was doing the right thing, but it came back to haunt me.

What I did not realize was that I was the backup plan for the BIG schools. When they got their guys, I wasn't needed and slipped through the cracks. There was a time about a month before National Signing Day when I had no schools interested in me. I can't even begin to tell you how scary that was.

Coach Langton- As a College Coach, I tried my best not to string kids along and be up front about how interested we were in them.

However, I was under pressure to get the best players possible and fill certain needs within the team. So if the All-State running back I loved was still deciding, I may have continued to talk to the All-county kid, just in case.


Tom the Player- I ended up choosing Central Michigan University (before you ask where it is, re-read the name of the school).

I loved the coaches and they told me that after a developmental year on the scout team, I would be competing for a starting job.

It sounded great, until after that developmental season, the entire coaching staff was fired. Even better was that I didn't fit the mold of the new staff.

Coach Langton- One of the reasons that I decided to get out of the university coaching business was because of the "nomadic" nature of the job.

The contracts of college coaches are not usually binding and they are fired every year, all over the country, in every sport.  So if a team does poorly, the coach is out. But even better, when teams do REALLY well, the coach will get a better job and leave even sooner.

I hope that I don't make this process sound completely negative. It was a very exciting and eye opening experience. If I could go back and change it all, I wouldn't. I loved my school (Proud to be a Chippewa) and all of the people I met and the experiences I had.

I just know what a mystery the recruiting process could be to a lot of people and want to help out in any way that I can.


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