The Road to Parris Island

Everyone makes decisions in their lives that can pave the way to how their adulthood plays out. Some choose to go to college, others choose to go into the family business.
Then you have the ones that join the School of Hard Knocks, the United State Military.
magnets-3
Have you ever wondered why or how someone came to that decision? Well let me tell you, if I hadn’t joined the United States Marine Corps I wouldn’t be who I am today.

My road to Parris Island was pretty much a given. Meaning that I was 100% sure since the age of 14 that I would join the Few, the Proud, the U.S. Marines. My father is a former Marine and I wanted to be just like him. Everywhere he walked, he just had an aura to him, a certain presence that he gave off, and a leaned back swagger to his step that I just couldn’t get as a 14 or even 17 year old kid.

Joining the Marine Corps was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I didn’t realize this at the time, but I needed the Corps more than the Corps needed me. The reason for this statement was that in my head I was bigger than the Corps. My attitude was so bad that I thought I was the best thing going. A
nd no matter how hard my parents tried to knock me down a couple pegs to keep me grounded, it just didn’t work.

It all began as a freshman in high school. I was the stud wrestler of my class, I was one of the only kids in school with muscles. And if that wasn’t bad enough I had all the attention of the Senior Girls. So you can imagine my ego was so inflated it could have filled the auditorium.

Thank God I never drank or smoked.
I don’t know what my poor parents would have done then. No matter what they tried, my attitude just stunk. I thought I was the man and no one could tell me different.

So the road to Parris Island began on June 3rd, 1994. I was in great shape and not worried at all about what awaited me on the island.
Once the bus pulled in to the island I was welcomed by some big, seemingly psychotic, deep voiced drill instructor.
This guy had the personality of a rattlesnake and spit fire from his mouth.

Once he brought us to our squad bay we were introduced to his brothers.
These were 4 more drill instructors who took turns surrounding us and verbally degrading every man in the squad bay.

All of us men were told that we were now known as recruits and that no one is to call each other by their first name.

I was signaled out rather quickly because I was not afraid of the DIs, I stood my ground and challenged their authority.

This was a very stupid thing to do, but probably the best thing that could have happened to me.
After I stood up to the DIs I was a marked man. I was constantly being punished by being put on my face in a giant sandbox called The Pit.

I was finally shown that I am not the best, that the world does not revolve around me, and I was taught how to be a gentleman. All of these things equaled one word…humility. I was humbled.

See the thing to understand is by me standing my ground that first week of the Indoctrination of Boot Camp, I made myself standout, I didn’t do anything disrespectfully, but unbeknownst to me, I made things harder for myself.
I made myself the center of attention.
Wrong thing to do.
Believe me you get enough attention by just being there.

When you stand out, that’s a challenge. And the Marines love challenges, so they tried to challenge me constantly.

The Marine Corps breaks you down from the punk, mamas boy or tough guy you were and brings you back up to a Marine.

Instead of me getting put in the pit all the time, the Drill Instructors challenged me by putting me in charge of the Platoon.
I was given the Honor of Platoon Leader. The Corps likes a leader, not a follower.

Once I was given that title I never lost it. I went on to graduate Parris Island as the Honor Graduate for Hotel Company, Platoon 2170.

I was actually rewarded for standing my ground. The DI’s wanted to test my character and see if they could break me.

Could I handle the pressure?
Could I achieve the mission under stress?
This one little reward changed me for life.

Being humbled, learning pride, honor and commitment and becoming a Marine made me who I am today. I thank God for that. Everyday in my life I try to be a gentleman and be a good man. For even though I am no longer in the Marine Corps I still represent the title that I earned….I am a Marine.

I’m going on a Diet?

I want to gain muscle mass, I want to gain weight!!! So I’m going to go on this TOP SECRET MELT THE FAT AWAY DIET!!!
WHAT?
I hear this nonsense all the time. From examples, like above, to all the so-called fitness gurus telling all the overweight people to diet instead of getting out there and working hard.
This is pathetic. You need to train to get what you want. I don’t care if it’s to lose weight or to gain weight, you HAVE to have a good work ethic. Or you can go to one of those crazy surgeons to have your stomach clamped off allowing you to only take in a small amount food. What the heck kind of way to live is that?
You don’t have to diet, you just have to be smart. Don’t over do it at the table!! If you are an overweight person then be sensible, cut your portions down. You know what is good food and what is not. Use your head. If you want to be considered a nasty, fat body, then go ahead and shove all the food you can into your gullet. I’m telling you train hard and eat smart and you won’t have to go out and diet. Think about it, do you want to go through life eating like a bird? I didn’t think so!
It’s a very simple concept. Eat more meats, fruits, veggies, water and limit your intake of breads, pastas, cookies, candies and ice cream. It’s really not that hard people, you just have to want it bad enough.
I think dieting is overrated. Did you know that most people on diets don’t stick with them? They quit. What does that tell you? The reason for this is because with most diets you cut out a lot of the carbs and fats your body needs to keep going. When you limit your bodies intake of fat and carbohydrates for too long, it starts to fail you. You feel drained, tired, not energized and always hungry; it sucks. If you choose to do this cutting, make sure you have a couple of days where you take in some fats and carbs. If you don’t, you will be working against yourself. I personally say “BLAH!” Eat sensibly, smart, train hard and you will be fine.

Training Journals are a must for success.

If you have read any of my articles or my first book, you know I’m huge on consistency. Well, what better way to stay consistent than with a Training Journal?
A training journal helps you set goals, stay motivated and help turn your training goals into reality.
You can keep track of everything you do regarding training, such as what you are eating for meals that day. The date you had a great workout, the day you set a personal record or a certain lift.
It is a known fact that if a person writes something down to do they are more likely to
stick to it and accomplish it.
I still have training journals from 10 years ago. This is another great benefit to keeping
your journals. The reason for this is let’s say you may be having a plateau (set-back) and you don’t know what to do. Well, if you keep your training journals and mark them Book 1, Book 2, etc., with the dates the workouts were done, you can go back through your notes and see what you did back then when faced with the same problem. Or you may find a routine you had a lot of success with that might just be what you’re looking for to start new growth and excitement in your workouts.
Training journals are a MUST for any serious strength athlete.
If you don’t have one, you’re only holding yourself back. It doesn’t have to be a fancy book, all you need is a pad of paper and a writing utensil and you’re on your way to better gains and achieving your goals.

The training journal is your guide to success, becoming stronger, seeing where you need to improve and most importantly it is your Guide to being above average and not settling for anything less.

The training journal is your guide to success, becoming stronger, seeing where you need to improve and most importantly it is your Guide to being above average and not settling for anything less.

When should I work out?

One of the most common questions I get asked is “Should I workout in the morning orthe night? Which one will give me the best results?”
The only answer for this is that there is NO right or wrong answer. The right answer
solely depends on the individual.
Some people are early risers and love the morning, while others keep hitting that
snooze button dreading getting out of bed let alone working out.
Then you have the people who don’t care at all and just train whenever. These
fly-by-niters have the least success of the three.
Here’s why: Consistency is the key!!! Your body responds best when it is on a
consistent schedule. Your body is like a clock, it gets used to certain things and adjusts to them. Training for instance is a big adjustment that the body responds well to. By picking a certain time of day strictly for training, you get your body’s biological clock on a set schedule.
Your muscles as well as your mind will know that at 3:00pm in the afternoon on these certain days I’m training. You are basically programming your body to perform what you want it to do, and it will respond best to this consistency. In order for the body to grow, it needs to be trained repeatedly. No fly by night, one workout here, skip a workout, now I’ll train at night…blah blah blah. You only need 15 minutes out of your day to do some type of training. That’s not asking much, so there’s no excuses!!
Some of the perks to working out early are that you will be training on an empty stomach. This is a prime time for your fat burning furnace to kick in. Another good perk for early morning training is that you will have your workout all complete and the rest of your day to do whatever you choose, errands, family time; or just relaxation knowing your work is done. This time of training is great for getting your day started off on the right foot.
Some people like training in the afternoon right after work. This is my personal favorite time to workout. I find that after I put in a good days work my body’s muscles are already awake, thus I’m already raring to go. I find that I get better results working out at this time of day than any other. But this is what works for me, you need to find what works best for you and do it. Once you have figured this out you’ll be on your way to success.

The DEADLIFT builds size and power.

Another great overall mass builder is an exercise that gets a bad rap today mostly by the new-age Guru’s who would rather stand on their stability balls than pick up anything heavy.
This is my favorite exercise to do: The Deadlift
Here’s a common myth that is spouted out of the mouths of all the so-called fitness gurus out there.
Dead lifts are bad for you,
Dead lifts will hurt you,
Dead lifts give you a thick waist,
Dead lifts only lead to injury,
Blah, blah, blah….
I am so tired of hearing this! No exercise will hurt you unless there is negligence on
your part. I am speaking from experience. I think this whole dead lift, bad back thing is a myth.
Here’s why – I hurt my back badly in the Marine Corps and all the quacks said it was one of three different things. They wanted to do surgery on me and I told them to pound sand. How could I let them do surgery when they couldn’t even pinpoint what was wrong?
Eventually I started seeing my family care doctor and after three months of therapy, started my own little regimen. My plan was that if I could build up a bunch of muscle around my injury, then this muscle would help cushion my injury.
So I decided I was going to start dead lifting. What made me choose the dead lift, you ask?
Well, after much inquiries to all the biggest muscle heads at the gym about what was the best exercise to build up my lower back, I was told “Start dead lifting, kid.”
To this day I think it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Not only did I build up enough muscle around my lower back but the extra strength and muscular size to the rest of my body was a welcome addition. It was much thicker in the my arms, shoulders, back and legs. Doing the dead lift made all my other lifts feel light. My lower back has never felt better and I have never re-injured my back doing the dead lift or any other strength exercise.
If anything, the dead lift has saved me from more pain and discomfort than anything else. So if you want super strength, if you want a thick back, tree trunks for legs, then start dead lifting – my friends. And to all those so called fitness gurus who say dead lifting leads to a bad back…tell them all to take their 20lb dumbbells and go have a salad.

SQUAT to increase Testosterone and get BIG!

The only way to gain muscular weight and get bigger muscles is to EAT!!! EAT!! EAT!!
But if you could only do one exercise that contributes the most to overall muscular size, it would have to be the squat.
Many people consider the squat the king of all exercises. I personally prefer the Dead Lift, but both of these exercised are perfect for gaining mass. The reason for this is that you need big compound movements with heavy weights to boost your testosterone into overdrive.
Testosterone is the muscle builder for men. It produces the most when the body’s pushed to extreme limits. The squat, when performed very heavy will make the body produce more testosterone. This testosterone then starts the hypertrophy of muscle.
So, along with eating big, this exercise will add size to your whole body. Not only will your legs get huge, but so will your shoulders and arms. I see it all the time in gyms as a trainer. Young men out on the gym floor doing curl after curl, bench pressing, doing every machine in the gym. But yet these clueless trainees have legs the size of toothpicks. And then to top it off, if they do decide to ask for help they ask “How can I get bigger?”
I bet I get asked that three times a day. And the first thing I tell them is “Brother, you gotta start hitting the squat rack.”
It’s not uncommon for some people to gain up to 10lbs of new, hard-earned muscle just from doing some heavy leg work. Squats are awesome and if trained very heavy with deep breaths, your whole body will be winded.

One of the big reasons for the overall mass you gain is because you can handle so much weight on your back when doing this exercise. Your legs are your biggest and strongest muscle, therefore, the body is pushed to it’s max capacity. This threshold of maximum power will require your body to recruit all of it’s muscles to assist in the movement, thus acquiring overall body mass.

Odd Ball Super Sets

Everyone has heard of super sets, right?
Well if you haven’t, a Super Set is doing one exercise to completion then immediately going on to another exercise with no rest at all.

An example would be barbell curls followed immediately by dumbbell curls.

Super sets are great for getting an insane pump in your muscles being worked and for all of you that want to get out of the gym as fast as you got in.

Super sets will enable you to get a full workout done within 15 minutes depending on the muscles being worked.

You rarely hear of anyone doing super sets that you usually wouldn’t think of mixing up together? Those are called Odd Ball Super Sets.

That’s a given title considering the odd combinations you can mix together.

Why would we want to mix exercises together that don’t generally go together?

One very simple word: SHOCK!!!
Just think of some of the pumps you can get, how about the conditioning benefits, oh man! The combinations are endless.

Let’s take a look at some possible match ups:
Heavy high rep shrugging/sprawls
Barbell or Dumbbell cleans/pushups
Squats/jumping jacks
Sprints/Pullovers or Dumbbell swings

Mass Odd Ball Super Sets:
Deadlifts/Squats
Deadlifts/Bench presses
Dips/Pull ups
Shoulder press/Squats.

The main thing is to have fun and SHOCK your body. Incorporate some of these oddball supersets into your routine or choose some of your own.

Own the day<
Mike

Procrastinator or Victor

If I were a betting man, then I would bet that most people are Procrastinators.
This means that they say there are going to do this, and going to do that, but never do either one. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a regular stronghold that most people have.
That’s why the people that don’t procrastinate make things happen.
Procrastinating can be broken!
You just have to step out of the box.
Don’t be the norm.

This is easier said than done, I know.
I was one of the biggest procrastinators, a few years back. I was told I had a bunch of talent, why are you doing this?
Why are you doing that? The reason was, I was a procrastinator.

But here’s some ways I used to step out of the box and break through those chains of procrastination.

1. Get a notebook or piece of paper and write down all the goals that you want to do this
year.

2.Next get a business card and write down one of the goals from your notebook on the
card.
3.Write your goal in a sentence like: “On November 1, 2014 I will finish writing this book
or “January 12, 20..I will win the state wrestling title.
Now keep this card in your wallet or somewhere you can look at it throughout the day.

What this does is programs our mind to take the necessary steps to achieve this goal. It is a way of positive thinking.
The main thing you can do to stop being a procrastinator is to just get out there and do it!

If you want to write an article, write a book, make a DVD, increase your income or win a championship; then only you can take that step of breaking those chains of procrastination.

It’s very tough, I know. But if you find your niche and you want it bad enough, then you will do it.

Are you going to be average? Or are you going to become above average?

STEP OUT OF THE BOX and make something happen?
I challenge you, STEP UP! Try to live your dreams, it’s not easy, trying to achieve a
goal is very hard.

This is what separates those that succeed and those that don’t.

So who are you? Are you an ACHIEVER or a PROCRASTINATOR? Don’t be just average like everyone else who gives up when things get tough, stand strong and strive to reach your goals and live your dreams.

I’m doing it and so can you.

Mike

Your only as good as your Word.

The one thing no one can ever take away from us is our word. And our word is the most important things that makes us who we are and how we are looked upon.

If you are the type of person that acts like a clown and tells stories, lies and makes a fool of yourself then you will be looked at as a joke.

If you go around putting people down and bad mouthing people all the time, no one is going to want to talk to you.

If people do talk to you, or listen to you, they won’t believe anything you say, and then you will be talked about and made fun of when you’re not around.

As a clown, liar, bad mouther, and joker no one will respect you. And I think everyone wants to be respected in some way.

The best way to get respect is by speaking intelligently and sticking to what you say. Don’t lie, try not to exagerate. Be honest. Don’t try and make what you’re saying more exciting than it is. Just be honest. No one likes a liar.

Be respectful of others and you will gain respect. It’s very simple. Because no matter what, you’re only as good as your word.

The Machine