Take Charge of Your Thoughts with Neuroplasticity

“The first rule of super brain is that your brain is always eavesdropping on your thoughts. As it listens, it learns. If you teach it about limitation, your brain will become limited. But what if you do the opposite? What if you teach your brain to be unlimited?”  -Deepak Chopra

For the longest time, I would crawl out of bed with dread.

Anxiety about the immediate future would strike me. Fears about my health, my financial state, and the overwhelming amount of things I had to do all besieged me immediately upon waking. Deep down, I knew I could handle life’s challenges, but in the immediate moment upon waking this deep-rooted confidence was silenced by the plethora of autonomous negative thoughts I had.

As I forced myself out from under the covers, I would hurriedly go about my morning routine and leave the house uncomposed. This carried into my work, and although my performance was not bad, I had an overwhelming feeling of “meh.” A feeling of dissatisfaction.

I knew the foods I needed to eat, and I knew the efforts I needed to make. Yet, for some reason, I was always almost good enough. I was always almost there. I felt like I had unlimited potential, but it remained at just that: potential.

I knew that my thinking was not exactly where it needed to be to reach this potential, and my lack of mind-control was really eating at me.

Was it just a moral failing that I had?

Was my lack of peak-performance my fault completely?

Was I destined to be a second place finisher always?

Why did it feel like I did not have control?

I have always been fascinated by this idea of having absolute control of my thoughts. See, in the comforts of your home office, when everything is going according to plan, it’s easy to remain calm, cool, and collected. It’s easy to make the right next move.

It’s in the face of adversity, whether it’s macroscopic, or microscopic, that we are tested, and the autonomous thoughts we have ambush us. When we are a little sleep deprived and our alarm clock goes off is an example of a micro-adversity. How about after a long day, you unexpectedly find junk food on your kitchen counter? What about when you are running late for yoga class, and the decision on whether to go or whether to skip must be made?

Wouldn’t it be great if our thoughts always worked for us? Wouldn’t it be great if you did not hit the snooze button and got straight up out of bed, even when you were sleep deprived, and your automatic thoughts in that situation were inspiring rather than debilitating? Better yet, in the face of cookies, brownies, chips, and wine, if you had the thoughts to say “NO!” without even a second of consideration. How about when you felt lazy, your dominating thoughts made you choose the Yoga class without hesitation.

These questions led me to research how peak-performers, such as Tom Brady, Elon Musk, Michael Jordan and Mark Cuban, had such control of themselves and their performance in scoring points and developing a business.

I realized a few things:

  • Successful winners, such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, and all the massively successful people that this world has ever seen have gained absolute control of their thoughts.
  • The thinking vessel is the brain, and so the optimization of my brain’s health must yield healthy thoughts. My research and reading proved this to be true, but what was even more fascinating to me was that the opposite was just as true. It is not just a healthy brain that yield’s healthy thoughts, but it is also, and possibly primarily healthy thoughts that are the primary catalysts to healthy brains!

Ultimately you are in absolute control of your life, because you have control of your thoughts, which in turn will impact the structure of your brain. Thoughts actually have a vibrational or electrical energy, and we humans as both biochemical and bioelectric creatures are physically impacted by thoughts. A healthy brain structure then, will yield optimized brain function and it is here that the positive feedback loop between healthy thoughts and a healthy brain is formed.

What is Neuroplasticity?

So what’s this positive feedback loop all about? How can the brain physically change as a result of thoughts?

A concept called Neuroplasticity explains this.  In his 2007 book, The Brain That Changes Itself, neuroscientist Norman Doidge made mainstream the then recent finding that “the brain can change its own structure and function through thought and activity.” [1]

This concept of a malleable brain is called Neuroplasticity, which Dr. Doige claims is “the most important alteration in our view of the brain since we first sketched out its basic anatomy and the workings of its basic component, the neuron.”

The prevailing view in traditional neuroscience states that the brain is a static processor. This has been discovered to be entirely untrue and instead, the brain should be viewed as a dynamic, flexible process!

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s capacity to change and adapt our thoughts, behavior and environment. It describes the physiological changes in the brain that occur because of our interactions with our environment.

In the book Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being a book by Harvard neurology professor Rudolph E. Tanzi and Deepak Chopra, 5 conclusions about neuroplasticity are discussed:

  • Your brain is constantly renewing itself.
  • Your brain can heal its wounds from the past.
  • Experience changes your brain every day.
  • The input you give your brain causes it to form new neural pathways.
  • The more positive the input, the better your brain will function.

These implications are POWERFUL, as it puts brain health in your hands. [2]

How your brain processes and structurally adapts to information

In order to take complete control of neuroplasticity and craft a mindset for peak performance, we need to take a deep dive in how exactly our processes and adapts to our thoughts and behaviors

Here is a brief explanation of how it all works. Our neurons must continuously gather information about our internal and external state, evaluate this information, and coordinate activities appropriate to the situation. Thoughts are massive contributors to the internal environment and serve as physical stimuli to our brain.

So how is this information of our internal and external world processed by our neurons? This essentially happens by means of the nerve impulse.  A nerve impulse is the transmission of a coded signal from a given stimulus along the membrane of the neuron, starting in the point where it was applied. Nerve impulses can pass from one cell to another creating a chain of information within a network of neurons.

Two types of phenomena are involved in processing the nerve impulse: electrical and chemical. Electrical events propagate a signal within a neuron, and chemicals called neurotransmitters take these signals from one neuron to another where they are received by receptors. [3]

The thoughts you have will create nerve impulses in appropriate areas of the brain. That’s right, the very thoughts that you have are the catalysts to electrical and biochemical processes!

Because our brains are not rigid structures but instead, malleable and neuroplastic entities, the regions busy with nerve impulses will start making new connections with each other and existing synapses, and the connections between neurons that experience more activity will get stronger and start building more receptors.

To spell this out as clearly as possible: The most dominating thoughts in your mind are the ones that will create the most noticeable and impactful structural changes in your brain. If you consciously take the time to think positive thoughts, the areas in your brain associated with positive thoughts will start to grow larger. As a result, the autonomous thoughts that you have will more likely be positive, as more connections are made in regions associated with the thoughts you have.  Here’s a crazy example.

The London Cab Drivers

An example of this is seen in the popular series of studies done on London Cab drivers. [4] Neuroscientist Eleanor Maguire of University College London first got the idea to study London cab drivers after her intrigue in the research done on some high-functioning, peak-performing animals.

Researchers noticed that a part of the brain called the hippocampus was much larger in animals that stashed their food away and had to remember where it is, as opposed to animals that ate their food upon acquisition.

London taxi drivers are notoriously known for navigating the absurdly tangled and bustling London streets and maneuvering their passengers to their destination. This impressive navigation requires great memory of the streets. In fact, the training of these London cab drivers requires them to memorize the 25,000 streets that are entwined within a 10-kilometer radius of Charing Cross train station, along with various other attractions.

This intentioned thought-process of memorization did indeed align with Maguire’s hypothesis: just like the animals, the London taxi drivers had substantially larger hippocampi. Thoughts created structural change here.


What does this mean for your peak performance?

A revolutionary truth and empowering ideology exists when you truly understand the implications of neuroplasticity. Considering that the brain is the single most important organ in your body, and is the engine to your experience, an optimized brain yields and optimized life, simple and plain. You can very simply change your brain for the better right where you are, right now! By changing your conscious thought patterns right where you are sitting, your physical brain will witness benefits.

Reality becoming a manifestation of thought then, or the Law of Attraction is not some spiritual mumbo-jumbo, but instead truly a law that is rooted in quantum physics and neuroscience. Contrary to what popular neuroscience states, your intellect, mood, memory, focus, creativity, willpower, and all mental faculties can be changed based on the thought-stimuli that you provide your brain!

2 Ways to Harness your thoughts to change your brain

In waking states, your mind is either being intentioned, where you are deliberately placing your awareness on something, or unintentioned in a default mode, where your are not deliberately trying to control where you placing your awareness.

Attaining control of your intentioned thoughts, and optimizing your unintentioned thoughts would make you unstoppable at life.  Here are two simple and powerful practices that require only your deliberate thinking that you can use to change the physical structure of your brain for optimal happiness and performance!

Meditation: One of the most common ways to harness your thinking mind in order to change the structure of your brain is Meditation. Meditation can be defined as a practice where an individual focuses his or her mind on a particular object, thought, or activity to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. [5]

According to a Yale Study, mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network that is responsible for mind-wandering, and thoughts that are considered self-referential (otherwise known in modern western society as the monkey mind). During periods where our thinking is not deliberate, and we are in default-mode, our mind wanders from thought to thought. People in this mode are generally less happy, because they are ruminating and worrying about the past and future. Meditation reduces the amount of time in this state. In addition, meditation actually changes the structure in the brain so that one can snap out of this mind-wandering state quicker! [6]

In 2011, Sara Lazar and her team at Harvard found [7] that mindfulness meditation can actually change the structure of the brain. The experiment had participants undergo a process of MBSR, or mindfulness-based stress reduction activities. The result was astounding; significant increases in cortical thickness were found in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that governs learning and memory. Additionally, areas of the brain that contributed to the regulation of emotion and self-referential processing increased. Better yet, not only were areas of the brain that are required for constructive activity and thought enhanced, but MBSR actually proved to decrease brain cell volume of the amygdala, which was responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress. Last, a growing number of studies [8] has shown that, given its effects on the self-control regions of the brain, meditation can be very effective in helping people recover from various types of addiction.

Visualization: Due to the way neuroplasticity works in creating circuitry in your brain and activating/reactivating dormant circuitry, visualization could be powerful tool in changing your brain structure for optimized performance and happiness. Visualization is the act of deliberately constructing mental imagery.

Most people visualize by closing their eyes, and imagining themselves in the middle of an act, oftentimes something challenging such as a set at the gym. The more clear the imaging becomes, the more the pathways in the brain will change. Through repetitive practice of visualization, desired changes can become powerfully etched into the mind and the physical brain changes correspondingly. Interestingly enough, in some studies, it was found that visualizing playing an instrument or engaging in a behavior produced the same brain change as actually doing the behavior!


Healthy Living For The New Year!!! RECOVERY AND RESTORATION

Healthy Living For The New Year!!!


You know you’re gonna be hitting the gym hard, spending hours lifting, day in and day out,,,, but do you know you might actually be stalling your progress??  Recovery and rest are essential parts of any strength and conditioning program. Recovery must occur before progress can be made. It’s important for staying injury free during your training.
In order to adapt to the stress placed on the body during intense workout sessions and competitions, it is recommended doing activities that help prevent and overcome injuries to the soft tissue. These include:

1)  Myofascial Release & Foam Rolling:
One of my favorite activities to release tight fascia is foam rolling. Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release that is commonly used by fitness and medical professionals. A myofascial release technique is intended to address localized tightness in the fascia. This localized tightness may be impairing proper movement by causing pain or limiting range of motion – or both.

2) Sports Massage:
To reduce muscle stiffness, promote circulation and induce a state of relaxation in the muscle It can be performed the night of a hard workout to remove scar tissue, adhesions in the muscle and restrictions in the fascia (a type of connective tissue that wraps around the whole body).

3) Corrective Exercise
Used to normalize human movement before increasing training or exercise demands.

4)  RockTape
A special kinesiology/sports tape that provides support while allowing full range of motion. Tape is used to decrease pain, unload tissue via decompression, and provide a novel stimulus that improves body awareness.

5)  HydrO2-infused Massage
SolaJet™ DRYWAVE™ Massage System delivers a full body, high pressure wave of water, intended to help flush and condition muscles while stimulating the lymphatic system, all while you remain clothed and dry. SolaJet is an effective form of massage due to its deep tissue penetration and soothing waves of warm water.
Recommendation :
10-15 minutes
1-2 times per week
Should be done 3-6 hours after the workout, if possible

*Studies have proven that 15 minutes on  a SolaJet™ DRYWAVE™ Massage System can provide physiological effects that would take 2 hours of rest to achieve. 

Don’t wait!!!
Book a Recovery and Restoration session- Contact Cathy by clicking here
Members receive a complimentary Movement Assessment & 15 minute SolaJet™ DRYWAVE™ Massage Session


Here’s a challenge…….don’t do a challenge!

Here’s a challenge…….don’t do a challenge!

I know it’s popular in the fitness game- 30 day challenge, 14 day challenge etc.  Well, here’s my challenge. Don’t do a challenge!!!  I’ll explain.

Over the years, well ok, over the decades that I’ve helped people lose weight, I always tell them that the smartest way for permanent weight loss is to go on a program that is sustainable.  I understand that when people are anxious to start, they may want to “start strong” to get their head in the game.  Be careful.  If a method of dieting is used, or if an amount of increased exercise that is outside your normal realistic lifestyle is used to help you hit your goal, you will put weight back on once you go back to the more realistic, sustainable program. Maybe not right away, but over time you will.  So, here’s the “challenge”……don’t do a “challenge” but instead make a realistic lifestyle change.  I’ve seen countless people put it in over-drive during their “challenge” period. Often during these short challenge windows, I see an unrealistic and often unhealthy alteration to their nutrition that can result in quick (but not permanent) weight loss. (I’ll go more into detail about nutrition tricks in another article).  I also see extreme exercise programs that cannot be sustained due to work and family obligations.

It is so much smarter to make realistic changes to your eating and fitness regimen that you can do for the long haul.  Something that fits your lifestyle vs doing a short-term challenge program.  You may not have “quick-fast” weight loss.  But here’s the news flash. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS QUICK, FAST, PERMANENT WEIGHT LOSS. Weight loss should be slow and steady to assure you lose as little muscle as possible. Muscle tissue needs calories and keeps your metabolism cooking.  

If you don’t eat enough calories, you lose muscle and make your body lower its calorie requirement.  If you over exercise, you lose muscle and make your body lower its calorie requirement.

Once you lower your body’s calorie requirement and start eating a little more or start exercising a little less, you will put the weight back on that you lost.  Welcome to the world of yo-yo dieting. So stop with challenges, stop with needing motivation to start a program.  If you really want it, do it! If it’s not that important to you, then don’t do it.  But don’t do it because you think in 14 to 30 days you’re going to find the secret or change your metabolism to get you to your goal for the long haul.  I often say don’t just do it…..do it right.   

Where do you start?  Start with a smart program.  Get your FREE personal training sessions and learn how to structure your long-term program.  CLICK HERE

Meet with our nutrition coach that will not focus on short term methods to move the scale, but will focus on a smart eating plan that you can maintain.  For your FREE consultation   CLICK HERE

Let’s start your 2018 fitness program by being smart.  More articles to come!

Stu Rosenstein

Gym owner/trainer since 1983


How to build big legs

I have a secret to tell you guys. If you train legs more frequently they will grow! The common training routine for legs is 1x per week. With one compound movement (squat, leg press, etc..) followed by isolation moments (leg curl, leg extension, etc..). Leg day can always seem like an intense workout. You may also feel very sore days after training legs and not want to come close to training them again for at least another 5-7 days. The strange thing is if you were to train them more frequently it would actually make them feel less sore. Training legs 2-4x per week is ideal for growth. Here’s what you should focus on. Lower body compound movements such as back squat , front squat, leg press, Bulgarian split squat and deadlifts. Make it your goal to add 30-50lbs to each lift by next year. Each time you train legs do a different rep range and add variety such as pauses, chains, bands, and tempo. One day you can do volume (5×5,4×10 etc). The next can be more heavy and intense (work up to 1 rep max, 5×3). This does not mean you’re neglecting your upper body. You can squat in the beginning of a workout and follow them up with an upper body workout. Give this a try and make sure you’re eating right, drinking plenty of water and stretching post workout. Recovery is very important when training muscles more frequently. 

-Dan, OVOX Trainer

To read more about Dan, click here

Let’s talk Booty….…

Let’s talk Booty….…

Females and males alike, who doesn’t want shapelier glutes? Shapley glutes represent an athletic, fit physique. Our bodies tend to live by “use it or lose it”. If we don’t activate muscle tissue our body eliminates the muscles over time. Often when people try to lose weight, their booty tends to flatten out due to lack of not activating the muscle properly.

With this said, a very common goal that a lot of my clients express to me, particularly females, is the desire to get a bigger and stronger butt. For athletes of both genders, powerful glutes are crucial for athletic power as running, jumping, and squatting movements all heavily recruit the gluteus maximus.

Regardless of whether you are trying to get more likes than your sister, (Kim, Kylie’s catching up) trying to fill out some new jeans, look better for your significant other, or be a beastly athlete, I am here to help you. Let’s start by listing four key reasons as to why you may still have a pancake back there.

1. Over engagement of the quadriceps – If you are quadricep dominant (possibly due to an anterior pelvic tilt, which is a very common muscular imbalance I will talk about in a later blog post) your posterior chain will be improperly, inefficiently, or altogether unable to be recruited on a lower body day. No matter whether your form is “correct,” if your body is strong in a certain muscle group, and that muscle group is a primary, secondary, or tertiary mover in a given exercise, the load will go to that muscle at a disproportionate rate relative to other targeted muscle groups. This leads to the next point.

2. Too many compound movements, or not enough isolation movements – Compound movements are movements that that engage more than one targeted muscle group. Compound movements are highly efficient and allow for a greater overall mechanical load relative to isolation movements, which means greater bang for your buck. However, if you are dominant in the quads to go along with the last point, squatting might not be as good as glute kickbacks for building Kardashian Cakes. By isolating the glutes, all other muscles are limited or better yet, eliminated from a movement and thus, all the hypertrophy (growth and increase of the size of muscle cells) occurs on the muscle we are aiming to hit, in this case, the glutes.

3. Not enough focus on the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus – The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. I notice many individuals perform movements that utilize extension and flexion from the hips (kicking back motion), but not enough movements that utilize abduction from the hips (opening the hips).

4. Tightness in the Hips, not allowing for full Range of Motion – This one is important, prevalent, and can make things really messy. If you are not able to utilize extension or flexion from your hips fully, you can’t contract your glutes effectively. To engage a muscle group, you need to stretch it and contract it. Tight hips mean, short ranges of motion, which means no butt growth.
So, what should you do address these issues?

1. Address your muscular imbalances. A qualified fitness professional should be able to identify where you are strong, where you are weak, and where you are tight. Based on this, he or she should be able to identify the proper corrective exercises to balance you out. If anyone needs help with this, please feel free to contact me.

2. Use isolation movements, not compound movements.

3. Incorporate movements that allow for hip extension, and hip abduction single leg movements as well.

4. Stretch. Open those gates.

Good news for everyone. Starting on Wednesday, 11/22, at 7 PM, I will be teaching a Booty Blaster, small group class on the Synergy Unit at Ovox Gym & Training Center in Morganville.
Come check it out if you want to build those cakes. You will leave walking like a duck. I guarantee it.

Move or die, it’s that simple. by Cathy

Move or die, it’s that simple.

How important is movement? If you can’t move, you will die. 

Whether tending to crops or hunting our next meal, humans have lived most of our time on our feet. Unfortunately, as a society we are tending to move less and less, and as a result we are getting sicker and sicker.

With the advent of the desk job, smartphone, TV, and computer, we’re sitting down more than ever before. It is estimated that Americans sit 9.3 hours a day, which is even more time than we spend sleeping (7.7 hours). Our bodies weren’t built for that, and it’s starting to take a toll.

Sitting 6 or more hours per day makes you up-to 40% more likely to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than three.

Unfortunately, as we exercise we also tend to get injuries to the muscles, joints, and tendons. Normally when we see our health care provider while injured, the recommendation includes rest. Too much rest, in my opinion!!!

The abrupt cessation of physical training destroys any previous muscle strength gains in both older and younger individuals. In addition, studies have shown that 6–10 days of inactivity are associated with reduced glucose tolerance, insulin action, and GLUT-4 transporter levels. Others have reported reductions in total aerobic capacity, deltoid muscle respiratory capacity and muscle glycogen content compared with levels during peak season training.

Still others have reported significant increases in body weight and body fat after two months of detraining.

In order to avoid this detraining effect due to forced rest from injuries, It is suggested doing activities that help prevent and overcome injuries to the soft tissue.

Kinesiology tape – helps athletes of every level go stronger, longer.

I am a certified RockTape specialist and Functional Movement Therapist. I use RockTape kinesiology tape on my clients based on the obvious yet largely overlooked concept of muscles acting as a chain. RockTape is a special kinesiology/sports tape that provides support while allowing full range of motion. Tape is used to decrease pain, unload tissue via decompression, and provide a novel stimulus that improves body awareness. RockTape microscopically lifts the skin away from the muscle and fascia, which decompresses the area which reduces swelling. RockTape also signals the central nervous system through the skin’s nerves, which provides powerful feedback to minimize pain and cue form.

More functional movement is my goal. When you move better, you move more ! 

Book your functional movement assessment today with the RocDoc and start moving better with RockTape/Kinesiology sports taping.

-by Cathy

Martial Arts vs Kickboxing Fitness

Martial Arts vs Kickboxing Fitness

Hi everyone.  I received an email asking about martial arts in regard to our Kickboxing Fitness Classes.  I guess I should start by introducing myself.  My name is Stu Rosenstein, and I oversee the class schedule and content.  Along with my father Harry, we opened our first gym over 30 years ago.  However, we have been martial artists much longer than that.  My father started in Martial Arts beginning in 1959, myself in 1974. 

Though my love is in martial arts, when I started designing Kickboxing Fitness classes, I had to make a very conscience decision not to make them Martial Arts classes.  The reason is simple.  You cannot grasp Martial Arts in 5 minutes.  The goal for a Kickboxing Fitness class is to give the participant an engaging, high calorie burning workout through the use of various hand and leg strikes on a punching bag.  Besides the great workout, most find it to be a lot of fun!

Each Kickboxing Fitness class starts with a warm up, followed by an instructional segment.  There are 2 goals during the instructional segment: 1. We want the participant to know what to do when a strike command is given 2. We want the participant to not get hurt.  That’s it; know what to do and not get hurt.  We have some people take our classes that have boxing experience.  The way a boxer holds their hands up in a guard position is 100% different than how I, as a traditional martial artist, holds my hands.  The way a boxer jabs, hooks and punches is different than the way I jab, hook and punch.  So, during the instructional segment, if we can get the participant to know that a “jab” is done with the front hand, and they do not over extend their elbow, that’s perfect. It would be impossible to teach proper Martial Arts hand and leg techniques in 5 minutes.  I have been doing traditional Martial Arts for close to 45 years and my punch is “ok”, I still have a lot to learn. 

If anyone ever needs more instruction on the techniques that are used in our kickboxing fitness classes, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will make sure you receive some extra help.  If anyone ever has an interest to learn Martial Arts, we do provide one on one private instruction.

See you class!!

Fitness and Philosophical Topics for a Successful, Happy, and Healthy Lifestyle

Jonny Tsunami


                  Picture yourself in this situation, you are amidst a grueling one-hour workout with your trainer.  You glance up at the clock on the wall and are struck with the very real fact that only 23 minutes have passed since start time.  It is in this moment, when you decide that you are either going to give up and BS through your workout, or push yourself to reach new limits. 

                  We have all been there before, and unfortunately many of us decide at that moment to take a break.  Whether it’s stopping to check your phone, to turn to a familiar face and strike up a useless conversation, make a joke to make light of the fact that you are dying, or simply to just gaze off drifting into a world of your own thoughts (usually the most damaging for any workout), it is in that moment when you decide to make the most out of your workout, or the least.

                  Mental mindset is essential for a positive workout session.  Oddly enough many of my clients come into the workout session with the wrong mindset.  They have already put themselves into the machine and hit auto pilot before they walk through the door.  That is when I slap them with something new, something that challenges them and forces them to wake the fuck up and focus.  It is also at this point in the workout that I like to motivate my clients by reiterating very basic universal facts about having a successful workout. 

The workout is symbolic for everything we experience in our everyday lives

  1. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” Too many times I have witnessed people leaving the gym with absolutely no change occurring in the process. They drift in, get lost in their world, and drift out.  The change never occurs because the challenge is never there.  When my clients experience a new skill set or unlock a new move they tap into a deeper understanding of their self-worth.  “I didn’t believe I could do that” believe me you can, and you will from now on.  All of this stems from the simple truth, if you don’t challenge yourself you will never move further towards your goals.  Outside of injuring an actual joint, ligament, or bone, the burning sensation you feel when working out a muscle or muscles is something you need to accept, not deflect.  Pain is temporary, and pain is proof that you are alive.  Remind yourself every day to prevent yourself from becoming stagnant and comfortable with being just par.

REAL WORLD CONNECTION – When was the last time you challenged yourself in your personal life?  How did it benefit you?  What did you learn through the process?  What did you gain, what did you lose?  Chances are the risks you took in life lead to growth, and that growth made you the person you are today.

  1. “Don’t think, feel” When I receive a new client I always notice that apprehension and over analysis gets in the way of their workout. They spend too much time thinking about the move or wondering if it is working, instead of listening to their own body.  Many times, we lose focus in our workout and when this happens our mind body connection drastically decreases.  If we up our focus levels during the workout our results will increase drastically.  But how does one lose focus, and more importantly how does one gain it back?  The answer is simple, leave your frustrations, fears, thoughts, inner dialogue, and ego at the door, the rest will fall into place.

REAL WORLD CONNECTION – We have always had that moment in life where we realized that we should have gone with our gut instinct.  Life is usually best traveled when we follow our intuition, and the same goes for the workout.  Don’t worry about the numbers, the time, the reps, the minuscule details.  Focus on the moment, not the rep count, but the single rep, the one individual rep that matters in that moment alone.  If you focus on nothing but the present moment your body will reach fatigue and you would have accomplished your purpose for stepping into the gym.

  1. “Less breaks! More work!” While I love all of my clients and are genuinely interested in their lives and well-being, I do not let it get in the way of their workouts. Yes, it is important to vent and let your frustrations out so that it doesn’t distract your workout, but if we are talking in-between every set, there is a problem.

Talking, joking, slacking, socializing, phone checking, business calls, professional calls, are all unacceptable when training.  When you walk out of a session and feel like you only had a basic workout, ask yourself where you took breaks and how long they lasted.  I’ve seen too many trainers talking to their clients, it becomes nothing more than cheap therapy and a shoulder to cry on.  Focus on your fitness goals while you are in the gym and let’s catch up on life after the workout or during the recovery stretch.   Personally, I would prefer a phone call off hours when we can talk for real.  Oddly enough, people would rather spend that time talking during the workout then on their own time.  That’s not going to work for you, and it’s not going to work for me.

REAL WORLD CONNECTION – Idol time is never a good thing.  Either we make no use of it, or we get sucked into our world of thoughts, keep moving, keep adding new interests to your life, and don’t get caught in the drudgery of the everyday. 

                  Remember to remind yourself that your goals in life and in the gym, are the same.  They both require a routine, a personal belief system, and discipline to practice out what you preach on a daily level in some way shape or form.  Let the gym be therapy for you because it should be nothing else but that.  If your vanity is dragging you in, you are in the wrong mindset and will only get superficial return from it.  If you truly seek a place of solace, then let the gym be the place where it happens.  Don’t worry about what other people are doing in the gym, don’t stare at someone wishing you had their arms, legs, ass, or whatever else it is you desire.  Focus on your goals and your personal growth and change.  Drown out everyone and everything around you and focus on no one but yourself.  If you want to see the change, be the change.


“I don’t feel pain in my neck and shoulders any more!”

It’s a proven fact that people feel so great when proper alignment and healthy movement patterns are encouraged.

It brings me such joy to hear:

  • “My back doesn’t hurt!”
  • “My posture is improving!”
  • “I don’t feel pain in my neck and shoulders!”
  • “I’m running faster, turning quicker, lifting heavier!”
  • “I am flexible and I am feeling AWESOME!”

Are you looking to increase range of motion?  How about decreasing muscle tightness and soreness?  Would you feel better with improved muscle flexibility and joint stability? Did you ever wonder how to achieve better core strength?  Can your balance be better?

If you said yes to any of these questions, you need to try a “MOTR” class!  “MOTR” stands for “movement on the roller.”  Working on the MOTR enables activation of multiple muscle groups.  It delivers strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular benefits.

Looking for a different time and day for MOTR?  Private lessons are available and semi-private classes are now forming! Click here to contact.



Question: “Hey, where can I box that’s not my boyfriend’s gym?” Answer: OVOX GYM AND TRAINING CENTER

If there is a key to getting in shape, it consists of finding a way to workout that doesn’t feel as if you are going to work. As a student of many self-defense disciplines since the age of 12, I trained in Boxing and Kickboxing several years starting in my early twenties. Though I never competed as a boxer, I was a sparring partner for those who did fight on the amateur circuit. It was the most intensely physical training I ever experienced.

After realizing the lack of places for women to go to learn Boxing and self defense while being emotionally empowered, I began teaching self defense/awareness classes. This led me to create “Defend “Til The End”- a women’s self defense and empowerment program created for women by a woman. I provided seminars covering women’s self defense and rape prevention/intervention programs because most self defense courses are created by men, and a lot of women are intimidated by the attitude that prevailed there-even in a place of learning. One of the most important things I’m most proud of about my training style which uses Boxing and Kickboxing fundamentals, is the comments I get from my clients about how much better they feel about themselves, how much more confident in their own skin they feel….THAT’S what it’s all about. Improving yourself and improving your skills. Never stop learning, never stop growing and you will stay strong in your heart and mind.

I currently train with professional fighters- there is no question about it-Boxing is a complete fitness program. It provides you with a holistic workout :strength, aerobic, conditioning, weight loss, and total body focus. It is no wonder why Boxers are the among the best conditioned athletes in the world!

There is no better time than now to start training!! Guaranteed to burn calories and fat, Sign up for an incredibly efficient workout-tone your ENTIRE body, learn valuable self defense moves, take out stress and aggression. Let’s face it, sometimes the best way to release stress after a hard day at work is some intense physical activity- “its an excellent release to beat up your boss on the pads-not you Stu- we love you!” 🙂

Speaking from experience, when you put yourself through a program that DOES really challenge you and you finish it that alone boosts confidence dramatically because you’ve accomplished something and that’s something to be proud of!


Cathy is available for one on one boxing and Cathy is one of the teachers of our OBOX classes

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