Challenge Groups Work

Why Challenge Groups Work

When I signed up for my first Challenge Group, I honestly had NO idea what I was signing up to do. I didn’t know my coach. I had never heard of Shakeology. I knew NOTHING about Beachbody, and the only programs I had heard of were P90X and Insanity. Basically, I was desperate for a change, so without knowing what I was committing to, I said YES (and paid with a credit card).

That was 2.5 years ago, and other than the occasional lift in the garage with Luke, every workout I have done since then has been one I’ve followed on a DVD.

I’ve always been relatively active, and while I’ve never been obese, my weight fluctuated greatly, but more than anything, I was miserable underneath the size 4 clothes I was wearing… Because I was nowhere near healthy.

The first thirty days of the Challenge Group, I didn’t see a lot of change, and THAT is because I wasn’t fully ready to change. I was still doing a lot of fast food lunches and running in the gas station for not-so-healthy snacks. When I realized the program wasn’t going to work unless I did, I committed to giving it my all for the next sixty days, and I was blown away with how well it worked when I DID!

So, what makes Challenge Groups so successful??

There’s something magical about a group of women supporting each other and having a place to go where you know you will be cheered on throughout the day. It’s not one thing that makes it work, but I believe it is a combination of these things:

  1. Top of the line fitness programs (with the BEST trainers)
  2. The opportunity to choose a program that fits your interests and goals.
  3. An elite, nutrient-dense meal replacement shake. There is NOTHING else like it on the market.
  4. The most caring community, where you have a safe place to “go” every day for encouragement and support.
  5. Nutrition guides that come with every program designed to work with that individual workout.Basically, you get access to the best trainers, nutritionists and counselors (other challengers) for a FRACTION of the price you would pay for just one of those categories! When you WORK, these Challenge Groups will work for you.

I want to share with you why some of my current challengers keep coming back for more.

Why1 Why2

why3 why4

Want to know more?? Click here to get the 411 and order your Challenge Pack.

I Love The 21 Day Fix


(Click image to order)

When I was released from the doctor to workout, six weeks after having Marcus, I thought I knew what program I wanted to do… PIYO. I started the program, and I loved it, BUT there was something really missing for me at that particular time in my journey: weights and nutrition. Don’t get me wrong, I could see results within a week of starting PIYO, but it wasn’t the right time for me to do the program. I needed MORE than just a workout program. I could NOT give up sugary sweet baked goods, and I felt bored doing body weight exercises every day.

21 day fix containers

I decided, because of the cool color-coded containers, and results I had seen my challengers have over my pregnancy, I would start the 21 Day Fix and go all in. The fact that it was JUST 21 days also appealed to me. I love that I can accomplish something in a short amount of time, then decide what I want to do after completing the 21 days. Have I ever told you, I get bored EASILY?


With a week behind me (ten days to be exact), I can tell you I am in love with this program, and I don’t know if I will switch to anything else any time soon. Week one, I slacked on workouts over the weekend, as well as missing some of my fruit and veggie containers because we were traveling and staying with family. I STILL saw a five pound weightloss… Hip, hip hooray!

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 (Starting weight 135lbs. End of week 1 weight 131lbs. *** 3.5 months postpartum.)

Week 2, I committed to not missing a workout and finishing ALL of my containers, and I woke up this morning hitting a BIG goal; I am under 130lbs for the first time post-pregnancy. While I only want to lose another 6-8lbs, I have LOTS of toning up to do and regaining muscle mass and core strength.

So, here’s what I love so far.

  1. The workouts are only thirty minutes.
  2. There is NO confusion as to what I should be eating. The cool thing is, you can eat when you want, you just have to follow the container guides… wine and chocolate INCLUDED.
  3. I haven’t been hungry once. SCORE.

So, you might be asking…. What do I need to get started? What’s included in The 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack?

  • 7 color-coded portion-control containers
  • Shakeology® shaker cup
  • 6 easy-to-follow 30-minute workouts
  • 21 Day Fix Start Here quickstart guide and workout calendar
  • 21 Day Fix Eating Plan that shows you exactly what to do
  • 3 Day Quick Fix Guide, Autumn’s secret weapon for fast weight loss
  • Dirty 30 bonus workout
  • 30 Day Supply of Shakeology

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The great thing about this program, is it is EVERYTHING you need EXCEPT your own groceries. You have a program created by a top trainer, a food guide perfected by amazing nutritionists, and amazing support group in your Challenge Groups. I can’t tell you how perfect it really is! If you’re interested in joining my November 3rd Challenge Group, make sure and let me know NOW! The spots are already filling up, and that makes me HAPPY.

Connect with me on Facebook to grab your spot! 

Purchase your Challenge Pack here.

Simple Steps to Improve Your Life

I am pretty happy with my life and my standing on this Earth. I don’t plan on scamming a bunch of Libyan Nationalists out of some weapons-grade plutonium so I can fire 1.21 gigawatts of electricity through the flux capacitor. I do not own a tricked out Delorean, and Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan has not visited me in my bedroom wielding a Walkman.

But take a trip with me if you will back in time down a road of reflection.

Roads…where we’re going we don’t need roads!

Here are five things I would have done differently if I could just get up to 88 miles per hour before I crash into those Indians:

#1 Started resistance training at a young age, like single digits young. Yeah, yeah, I know, lifting weights while you’re growing stunts your growth; and the moon is made out of cheese, and the tooth fairy is real! Someone, please find me a legitimate, scientific study that proves that safe resistance training at a young will leave you unable to get on rides at the amusement park.

I would have told “little me” to do lots of full range of motion squats so I didn’t lose mobility like most of us do over time. I would have found something moderately heavy, picked it up and done plenty of ass-to-grass squats. Why so? Well, because having thighs and hips that can generate power in a hurry, and do it over and over, without getting tired is a benefit in pretty much every sport. I would have done push-ups and pull-ups like a mad man and then found something heavy lying around to pick up and then put back down- over and over again deadlift style. To top it all off, I would have ran hill sprints religiously!

That way, I could always be the kid on the playground that runs faster, jumps higher and throws stuff the furthest. That’s just cool, man! It is not too late, though. Everyone who does not have some crazy injury, illness or condition should be doing resistance training. From little kids to Grandpa, everyone can benefit from being stronger.

#2 Actually tried in school. I don’t think I would have chosen a different profession, and I really enjoy what I do, but there is nothing wrong with having more tidbits of information rolling around upstairs. I got very lucky that even after dropping out of high school twice, I was able to get into college and get my degree. Another positive- the universe may not have hit me with the karma stick and sent me some of the “little darlings” I have in class daily.

Education is so ridiculously important these days, and it is only getting even more important. I spend more time on my education now as an old man than I did as a whipper snapper. It is never too late to turn off the reruns of Friends, pick up a book and increase your intellectual capacities. DO IT!

#3 Listened to older people. This might be another case of what goes around comes around, but I thought I knew it all, when in reality I didn’t know up from down. Older people are smarter than younger people. That’s just natural. Your mom may not be able to beat some pimply kid on the other side of the planet in a game of Gears of War, but that’s not being smart. Older people can teach you a lot if you just give them the time of day and listen to them rather than talk to them. Think about how much more you know today than you did ten years ago. Now, make friends with a couple of people who are decades older than you, and pick their brain. Imagine how much you can improve your life by tapping into the decades of wisdom that is holding up the checkout aisle at the grocery store while you check Facebook for the 17th time today.

#4 Eaten better. If could go back and talk to young me I would have given the following advice that was paraphrased from the father of modern fitness Mr. Jack Lalane: “If man made it-don’t eat it.” Lots of people say they don’t know what to eat to be healthy, but this captures so much of what it takes to ingest quality food. Don’t get me wrong, I ate a lot of really good food cooked in my mum’s kitchen when I was growing up, but I also ate mounds of crap. I thought because I was so active and didn’t develop a belly that it was ok to sit down to a tub of ice cream at night or to drink cans of soda that were loaded with sugar and goodness knows what chemicals. What I didn’t know was how much more energy I would have had, how much better I would have performed athletically,and how much better I would have looked- if instead of eating desert I would have stuffed down extra helpings of meats and vegetables. Is what you’re eating making your life better or worse? I don’t mean for the brief moment that you mush it up in your mouth. I mean your entire life.

#5 Read books. Although I can pretty much go-word-for word along with pretty much any episode of Seinfeld, Simpsons or Friends, I can’t say that being able to do this has in anyway enhanced my life. I didn’t read my first book, cover-to-cover, until I was threatening turning 30. Not for school, not for fun and not just because had I ever read a book. Imagine how much knowledge and perspective you can gain by making use of your library card! In even a small public library there has to be hundreds of thousands of combined experience sitting on the shelves. Jersey Shore, and televisions shows of that ilk, certainly do not appeal to a very intelligent audience, and if you’re not watching them, then don’t start. If you do watch them, it probably behooves you to subscribe to the view that Groucho Marx had on television: “Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

I am sure all of us have things we look back on and wish we could improve upon in our lives. Whether they are physical, fiscal, mental or social regrets, we all have them. But the bad news about this is Doc, Marty and Einstein are not walking through that door. There is nothing we can do about them.

What we can do, though, is look forward to what we want in the future, and set the wheels in motion towards achieving these goals. Every day, ask yourself if what you’re doing is improving your life and keeping you on the path to where you want to be. If the answer is not YES, then eventually you will find yourself years from now in the same situation you are in right now; looking back with regrets, saying to yourself, “I wish I had have done this or that.” The problem is, eventually you will run out of opportunity to look forward to what you could do and all you have is the ability to look back. Make sure you have something worth looking back on, and make the most of the brief time you have here.

Original Post- July 2012 by Luke Mackay

Power of a PUSHUP

The Power of the Pushup
The gym can be an intimidating place for some people, especially if you’re lacking the requisite strength or aesthetics to keep up with your peers. This is a major problem I run into with some of my slender basketball players. When you try to throw a pre-pubescent freshman boy in the same weight room as a strong as an ox senior who has been pumping iron for years, it can serve to discourage the lad.

Ideally, everyone would suck it up and work past their discouraging introduction to hitting the weight room. But this is not an ideal world and often times it helps a person to ease into the water rather than do a face first swam dive into the pool.

Here is a ridiculously simple idea I give my frail players. I don’t want to call it a “program” because of how basic it is. However, the kids that have stuck with it gained some much needed muscle, strength and confidence to properly attack the weightroom. I also believe the idea can be applied to men or women wishing to gain some strength and improve the appearance of their upper bodies.

For the upper body, I give the players one very basic but very effective exercise… the pushup. There a million different variations on the pushup, but for our purposes we just assume we are sticking with the basic, good old fashioned pushup.

Here comes the simplicity….
Week 1-2
100 pushups a day
Weeks 3-4
150 pushups a day

Easy right?
I don’t require that they do all the pushups in one sitting or consecutively. Just hit the magic number. If that means half in the morning and half at night, then so be it. However you can get the pushups in.. if that means you have to do the 10 at a time and spread them out during the day that’s fine. Ideally it would be nice to knock them all out in a short amount of time with brief breaks but maybe your strength isn’t there yet or you simply don’t have time. No problem just get to the total.

Over the weeks I rarely ever ask who is doing their pushups at home; I just remind them to do it. Put simply, I don’t need to ask; I can just look at them and tell. A few of things I notice in the people who stick with include:
Improved posture
A stronger and better looking upper body
Increased confidence
Much more likely to venture into the weightroom and try new exercises and a real program
And for some reason, the athletes all lose the ability to keep track of their shirts… because over time, they end up walking around the gym without them on.

Once again, this is not a “program”, it is just a tool I use to jump start our players and get them ready both mentally and physically for a real program. I also like to add it to our normal program periodically just to change things up and add an extra little challenge.

So whether you’re just getting started, you want do something different for a change, or you are simply time and equipment deficient, I really believe revisiting an old friend of the exercise world….the pushup!

LADIES- Don’t think this is just for the men/boys!! When I started my new journey into the fitness world last March, I could do THREE pushups on my toes. I hated them… with a passion! Today, I LOVE pushups. Juts like Chalene Johnsons says, YOU HATE THEM, “because you don’t do them!” So, step out of your comfort zone. Hit the gym. Push play on your favorite fitness program. OR, simply start doing pushups at home. Since my upper body has gotten stronger, there is a HUGE, visible difference in my body. I have visible BACK and shoulder muscles that I have NEVER had before. HELLO…. MUSCLES are sexy!! So, regardless of what you are doing today, listen to what Luke has to say… Drop, and give him 100! YOU.CAN.DO. IT! The only thing stopping you… is YOU! -Sarah

Original Post Sept. 2012 by Luke Mackay

Quick Workout for Crazy Days

You don’t have time to work out? No gym equipment? Can’t get to your local exercise haunt today?

Too bad!

Find yourself a clock with a second hand, or a stopwatch/timer, that you can prop up somewhere and see it while whipping yourself into shape.

Set the clock up where you can see it… take a deep breath and prepare for a wild 8 minutes:

30 seconds of squats
All the way down
All the way up on to your toes
Then right back down again

For 30 seconds you should look like a perpetual motion machine-no pause at the top or bottom

For the next 30 seconds catch your breath-but don’t sit down or leave your little squatting area

30 seconds squats-30 seconds rest is one set

Repeat for 8 sets… a quick 8 minutes

Now, if you are really pushing yourself and not resting in that 30 seconds of work, you should be feeling it.

But, here is where the fun comes in

Try it 3 or 4 days during the first week

Then, for the second week, add 5 seconds to the working period and subtract 5 seconds from the rest period.

35 seconds squats-25 seconds rest

Do that 3 or 4 times/days for the second week.

Then, it gets really fun for the third week….

40 seconds squats-20 seconds rest- 3 or 4 times during this week.

If, after hitting that 40 seconds go/ 20 seconds whoa mark, you feel like you aren’t being challenged enough, you can try one of two things…

1) Quit cheating yourself and do the squats properly and as fast as you can


2) Grab a light set of dumbbells- 10 or 20 pounds will be ample- and knock out the 8 minutes of glory holding them.

Doing that 4 times a week will add up to a grand total of 32 minutes of exercise a week.

It isn’t the magic idea that will take you to physical Valhalla, but if you push yourself and go as hard as possible, it will make your thighs and glutes feel like they are all cramping up simultaneously while giving zero excuse not to improve yourself on a busy day.

Apparently both males and females like a tight-round-backside in the opposite sex; so, not only will it improve your health, it will make you more aesthetically appealing.

8 minutes…. Let’s see what you’ve got!

Original Post- Sept 2012 by Luke Mackay