Posts Tagged ‘failure’

Several years ago I earned my Personal Trainer Certification from AFPA. At the time I was employed full time outside the fitness field, and looking to land my first job in the fitness business, part time if necessary, but I was hoping for full time.


At first glance there seems to be endless options for the new trainer, local chain gyms always have a need for personal trainers as do smaller club style gyms. The YMCA is also an option.


Off I went to the local chain gyms, eager to jump into the game. Unfortunately, I found out rather quickly, that most of your time is spent giving free trial sessions to new gym members versus actual training. Most of the time, these people never showed up to these sessions, and you end up wasting an hour of your time.


Quickly realizing that the personal training route wasn't lucrative, (or fun for me) and the leg work wasn't paying off, I decided to search for a group fitness gig. Craigslist can be hit or miss with these opportunities, fortunately, I got a hit.


A local karate studio called me in to do a kickboxing class three times per week. I never taught kickboxing before, and had only seen it on DVDs. But, I took the job that was offered. Seventy five dollars per week was my pay. My fitness career had begun, and my first class had a whopping three people. But by the time I left the karate studio, I grew the class tremendously.


So, you are ready to start a career in fitness? Here are ten things you must know.


1.Be comfortable in front of people.

You will be the authority in training your clients, wether in a one on one session or a group class, you need to be comfortable giving orders.


2. Learn to sell.

Not only are you a trainer, but you are a salesperson as well.


3. Marketing.

Learn to market your business as well as sell. Sales and marketing go hand in hand.


4. Don't be afraid to fail.

You will screw up workouts, forget exercises and draw blanks when your speaking at a crucial moment. That's the short list of things that could go wrong.


5. Have fun.

Enjoy what you do. A huge thing that motivated me as a coach was seeing a client master an exercise or reach a personal record, or weight loss goal. Have fun with your clients, be personable and entertaining.


6. Build a team.

Spartan runs, Tough Mudder and other groups have awesome events that you can rally people behind to stay motivated towards a specific fitness goal.



7. Create your own events.

This is a great way to bring recognition to yourself and your training. Night time burden runs, trail runs and other things can be done to bring attention to you and your brand.


8. Invite your friends.

Remember, you are now in business for yourself, invite as many of your friends as possible to work out WITH you. Friends will be more comfortable participating in a workout with you versus by your command.


9. Learn, do, repeat.

Don't be complacent, always be learning new exercises, and repeat the process.


10. Goals.

Business, personal and financial. Break these up into manageable chunks. Need help with goal setting? There are plenty of books on the Amazon market, websites and even free apps to help you achieve more.


These are 10 things I wish I knew the day I started my fitness career. Trust me, there is a huge learning curve when you start, but if you remember these 10 tips, you will be ahead of the curve.


Good luck, and if you need more tips or help, please comment below!



Monday will focus on legs, abs and some upper body.



Learn more about the Superhuman Barbell Club here.


It's been almost four years now since I started my first gig working as a group fitness instructor at a local karate studio. I answered a Craigslist ad looking for a kickboxing instructor. The studio owner offered me 3 classes a week as well as the freedom to lead class however I wanted. This was a tremendous bonus in that it allowed me to design my own style of workouts. It also led me to shit bricks because now I have to put my education into action. Design workouts, lead class, market the class. Uh oh. Fear was screaming in my ear. “You're gonna fail!” I was terrified.

My first class I had three clients show up. (These same three individuals still train with me to this very day) I don't remember much detail from those early years. Plenty of trial and error, soul crushing failures, terrible workouts, missed opportunities are some of the things that stand out. However, it was also an amazing experience. I met some incredible people and forged some lifelong friendships.

It is said you can't get anywhere in life without help from others. This is certainly true for me, because many people helped me build my confidence as a trainer, in business, and life the past few years. As I perfected my craft as a group fitness trainer, I was fortunate to have an individual in my classes who was always willing (maybe willing is pushing it) to help me.

Melissa K was always in class, on time and grasped the form on all exercises almost immediately. I was blown away by her commitment to the class which became a powerful motivator to help others in class become better. As classes grew I began to have Melissa demo the exercises as I explained the form to the class. This was a tremendous help to my success. It allowed me to show proper form on exercises, without having to be the person doing it. Teamwork.

Early days me torturing Melissa in class

Melissa quickly became the girl who paced the class, she never quit, her form was always spot on, her strength was growing by leaps and bounds, she was becoming a leader wether she knew it or not.

Over the past few years I asked her to help me develop classes, experiment with different routines (some which were utter failures, and I'd like to forget) and various other fitness related business. She was always willing to help me become better. She became a War Machine, always ready to take on a new challenge. How do we increase intensity on these exercises? Experiment on Melissa and find out. I put her through a lot of torture in those early classes, but she rarely complained, and came back for more. She is the backbone of Team Superhuman.

The past few years I have come to value her opinion and advice in my classes and business. Without a doubt, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this today if it wasn't for her loyalty.

So I asked War Machine to give me a reflection of her side of this story that started with me so long ago. And of course, she said yes.

Tractor pull at Spartan Sprint

Melissa's side….

I can barely remember a time before Kirk and Team Superhuman. It is almost hard to imagine those first few classes, when my body weight alone felt impossible to lift, when 3 lb weights felt like boulders, when my cardio skills were just beginning to improve. I almost don't recognize that person I was in the beginning, physically and otherwise. That girl was afraid. Afraid of running any race, DEFINITELY afraid of running an obstacle race, and if I am being honest, that girl was afraid of a lot of things in life. But that girl only existed before Kirk and Team Superhuman. I have evolved, and it is just the beginning.

I could go on for ages about how much I love the workouts, how they are never boring, never routine, addicting despite being absolutely brutal, but that's only a small part of what makes Team Superhuman so wonderful. It's the support from the team, the faith that everyone has in you, the confidence that you can't help but gain by being a part of the team that really makes the difference. During the toughest of workouts, when you're feeling beat down, telling yourself you want to stop, that you can't go on, that's when the team steps in and keeps you going. Someone is there to say “one more!” Someone is there to cheer you on, remind you that “you got this!” And you carry on. You get through it. You try. After a while, you begin to see in yourself the strength that others see. You begin to tell yourself “one more!” You begin yelling at yourself that “you got this!” And you believe it. You know that it is true. That even if you fail that last rep, even if you don't beat your last time, you have it in you to try anything. You are not afraid.

That is the best thing Team Superhuman has given me.
I am not afraid to try my hardest and I am not afraid to fail.

I had never run a race before. To those seasoned runners out there, it may seem silly, but despite several team runs with the superhuman crew, I was still afraid of attempting an actual race with an actual time. After being persuaded to run a local 5k, the Towamencin Turkey Trot, and successfully finishing it, I was pumped. Next thing I knew, I was signed up for the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, a ten miler. At the time, I was secretly hoping I wouldn't get picked- due to the popularity of the race there was a lottery system in order to select the runners. But when I found out I would actually be racing, Kirk and Team Superhuman had my back. On race day, they were there to cheer me on. They knew I could do it, and though I had never made it through the whole ten miles in my training runs, I ended up conquering each mile and beating my cheerleaders to the finish line! With the support of Team Superhuman, I made it through.

Philadelphia 10 miler

Then there was the Spartan Race. Kirk had tried to convince me to sign up the year before, but I had not yet conquered my fear. This time, I was ready. Still slightly apprehensive, I committed to give the Spartan Sprint a try, and began mentally preparing myself for the worst. Not just running, but running + mountains + obstacles + burpees if you fail an obstacle? Ughhh. Thankfully, I would not be running this race alone. More and more members of Team Superhuman signed up, and by the time race day came, I was nothing but excited. I knew I could depend on the team to get me through any obstacle. We were going to crush this race.

Team Superhuman Spartan Sprint 2013

That first Spartan Race was inspiring in so many ways. I watched my teammates push through the pain, never quit, keep going despite the seemingly never-ending onslaught of spartan torture. Kirk had prepared us well- each and every one of us made it across the fiery finish line. It was an amazing experience, and I knew that was the first of many Spartan Races to come.

Spartan Beast South Carolina 2013

Somehow, by the end of the year, I managed to earn my Trifecta by completing the Spartan Sprint, Super, and Beast. I failed obstacles. I did plenty of penalty burpees. I fell from near the top of the rope climb in front of spectators. But through it all, I wasn't afraid. I gave it my all. I knew that Team Superhuman had faith in me, and I had learned to have faith in myself.
In one racing season, the girl who had never ran a single race ever had defeated the Broad Street Run AND the Spartan Trifecta- all thanks to Team Superhuman. With my new-found confidence, this year I will attempt a double Trifecta. I know that Team Superhuman believes in me, and thanks to them, I believe in myself.

General bad-assery

I still workout with Kirk and Team Superhuman, and rarely miss a workout. It's what I love to do, and where I love to be. Some days are tough, and I might get down on myself a bit for not being fast enough or not being strong enough, but the team is always there to help me forget the negative thoughts, and to inspire me with their own greatness. I love watching others set personal records, master new skills, build their strength. And of course I can't complain about my own gains.
So here is my big shout out to Team Superhuman- thank you for all you have done for me, and I look forward to whatever challenges are in store! (*cough* Team Superhuman Hunger Games part 2 *cough*)

About six months should I was fired for the second time in my life. Since I'm now 38 years old, I think this a decent accomplishment for me. My entire working career has been spent in and out of various jobs as a cook, maintenance worker and exterminator.




By far the greatest job I ever had was as a bug guy. Why did I love this? Because all day long, I was on my own. Sure I had to answer to my boss, but making calls on treatments was mine. It was freedom. I didn't mind driving, the work was a lot if fun and my customers were great people.

Everyday I was somewhere different. No stuffy kitchen or shop to report to all day long. It was heaven. However things change.

Fast forward several years and I'm running my own fitness classes at a local karate studio. When I decided I wanted to become a billionaire, the first step was how do I get there? I changed my life with fitness, and decided that was my direction. I'm working a crappy day job and growing a small following for my fitness classes at night. My goal was to have my own facility. The studio I trained my class at was limited in space and equipment.

However when you are building a business there are delays in goals, set backs and personal complacency, you just get comfy and stop challenging yourself.

I suffered from all these things and more.


There are also things beyond your control that will really challenge your fortitude and passion. One of those is being fired.

But, being strong in the force I saw that new management was in control at the karate studio where Team Superhuman was born, and my time there was limited.

Sure enough, I was fired. Not due to incompetence, but more like creative differences. This termination taught me how to be resourceful in a pinch.

It forced me to finally move into my own facility, to take the step of growing the Superhuman Empire and my vision of fitness and place it in my hands. It was tremendous freedom, but spine numbing anxiety as well.

At the time the firing went down, I was pissed, bitter and resentful. It forced me to ask others to help me see my dream through. And I did ask. And amazing people came through, and Team Superhuman exploded.

It taught me to have more confidence in myself and my vision.

I learned PECO is horribly incompetent.

I forged relationships with some kick ass people.


It taught me it's not over until I say it is. I am actively pursuing my goals and vision. It may take my entire life to see it through, but honestly, I have nothing better to do. Getting fired was a great life lesson and I'm grateful for the experience.


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Being Superhuman isn't just about physical accomplishments with your fitness, running 5k's or Spartan Races or other feats of physical awesomeness. There's more to becoming Superhuman, it's a movement, a lifestyle. 2014 will be here in a flash, and it's the time of year where many if us reflect on the past year and look forward to accomplishing new goals in the new year. Sadly, these resolutions go unfulfilled, and dreams and goals put off for another year.


But 2014 will be different for you! You are on your way to being Superhuman! Here are 20 ways to make 2014 a Superhuman year for you.


1. Goals

If you were planning a cross country trip, wouldn't you plan how you will reach your destination? What about your vacation? I'm sure a lot of planning goes into any trip you plan. So why not plan your life the same way? Your goals for the year? Each month? Each week? Plan your life. You have one shot, make it worth it.



2. Fitness

Are you were you want to be with your fitness? If so, what do you want to accomplish now? Learn new workouts? Start a marathon training program? A triathlon? Go bigger, never rest on your accomplishments.

Perhaps you are not fit. It's time to get up and get active. Stop waiting for tomorrow, or Monday. Start a fitness program, take a class. Set a goal of losing 10 pounds and running a 5k. Keep your fitness goals tied to events more than a weightloss number.

3. Give Back

Take the time once or more a month to give back. Wether it's in your local community or through financial donations to a cause you feel strongly about, or donating time to a local animal shelter. It's an amazing feeling, deep in your soul to give back to others.

4. Courtesy

I'm amazed at how rude people can be. I can't be the only one who's been a victim of the jerk who slides in the door at the gas station, just a split second before me and can't take 3 seconds to have the courtesy to hold the door open for me as I'm walking behind him. Hold doors for people, say please and thank you to everyone. When you take your significant other out to dinner, pull the chair out for your date. I know it's elementary but this lost art seems to be dying in society today.

5. Break The Rules

Rules are meant to be broken. Some of the greatest creators, inventors and business people made epic strides in their lives by breaking the rules. Don't break the law, but as the old saying goes, “Rules are meant to be broken” is true. Break the rules to meet your goals.

6. Laugh

Laughter is truly the best medicine. Always find the humor in all situations. I highly recommend laughing atleast 100x a day. I don't care if it's a radio show, TV program or just a website that provides you with a good chuckle. Laugh. A lot.

7. Don't Take Yourself So Seriously

People will laugh at you. Your goals, your dreams, your shoes. It's inevitable. The key to this is not take yourself so seriously. Through out life there will be someone who laughs at you or behind your back. Don't sweat it.

8. Eat Good Fuel

This is always easier said than done. However, it doesn't need to be a diet. It's a lifestyle. If you eat 5-6 small meals a day, drink 2 liters of water daily and save the cheat meal for the weekend, you are already way ahead. You don't need a diet, you need a lifestyle.

9. Don't Gossip

Really…don't do it. It will always come back to bite you in the ass. It makes you a better person.

10. Fail

Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Our entire scholastic career we are taught not to fail. In business, fitness and life failure is a necessity. It's how we learn. But that's the key, learn from your mistakes. Failure is a good thing, don't be afraid to fail.

11. Learn A New Language

You can simply and easily learn a new language in 30 minutes a day with a free app called Duolongo. I have been using this app for several months with my daughter, and both of us have excelled at learning and understanding German. Learn a new language helps keep your brain healthy.

12. Apologize

Saying your sorry is another one of those elementary things we should already know. But sometimes we let pride get in the way of an apology. Perhaps you said something to a loved one and you regret what was said. Own it, apologize for your wrongs. And you know what? Sometimes we need to apologize when we think it's not our fault. Be the bigger person and do it.

13. Kill Fear

Fear is irrational. Fear nothing. Tackle everything in life with an unwavering amount of courage. Let go of fear.

14. Find A Mentor

Life and goals can be so much sweeter with the aid of someone to guide you. Mentors can be found in books, on the web or in your community. Whatever you want to do in life, there is someone who did it first. Success leaves tracks, figure who's where you want to be in life and study how they did it. Having a person in your corner to help you avoid pitfalls and give you advice is a huge key to success in any endeavor.

15. Just Say No

I had a really hard time years ago saying no to people or things in my life that wasted my time, money and energy. Guilt killed me, and I would always say yes to everything. No more. My time is valuable, and I refuse to spend it doing things or hanging out with people because of obligation. Say no.

16. Turn Off The News

The local and world news is chocked full of death, depression, fire, and all kinds of other horrors. It's a downer. A huge steaming pile of negativity. Stay away from the news. If you want to know what's going on in the world, get an app an peruse the news at your discretion. But don't dwell on it.

17. Keep Learning

The amount of free information to help further your education or help you learn a skill is amazing. The internet has a wealth of websites, blogs and books that can help you do and learn anything. Take advantage of this miraculous tool.

18. Meet New People

One of the most rewarding experiences in life is to meet new people. Make a goal to meet 10 new friends in 2014.

19. Memories

Life is about memories. I believe once our journey on this earth is over, the one thing we take with us is our memories. Have less stuff and create more memories.

20. Keep It Real

Be you! Don't be afraid to keep it real. Tell the truth, speak your mind and be honest!



Thanks for reading! I would greatly appreciate you sharing this post and commenting below on how you will keep it Superhuman in 2014!



Grade school teaches us that failing is a bad thing.  Being an entrepreneur teaches you the exact opposite.  Over a year ago, I left the comfort of a full time job for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship.  Fortunately I had the luxury of going to part time at my work and shifted my concentration on my fitness business.

I have no formal business schooling and have learned much of what I know through seminars, books and the TED website.  Of course there has been plenty of trial and error.  One thing I have learned, and have had to accept as fact is there will be failures.  These failures come in all sorts of ways.  Relationships, finance, product development, marketing and social media are just a few things I have failed with.

However, I am not a failure.  Failure is an event, not a person.


One of the hardest things I had to learn is that failure is a good thing, in fact, it’s a necessity in entrepreneurship.  The key is to fail forward.  Learn from your mistakes and become better.  Every failure leads you closer to success.  Believe me, there will be many instances where you want to give up.  When things look darkest, that is when you have to reach deep into your soul and push forward.

Legacy is one of the greatest things that motivates me.  What am I leaving behind for my children.  My parents were hard working blue collar people.  Now, in their 70’s they have very little to show for all the years of hard work.  It is my strong conviction that if I am going to work my fingers to the bone, it will be for my benefit, and the benefit of others, not the benefit of my boss.

So, if your are an entrepreneur, and find that failing is a hard pill to swallow, you are not alone.  Remember, failure is a good thing, keep failing, just make sure its forward.