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“The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions, running down their friends, side-stepping responsibility, and pushing their luck!” ~Author Unknown

Men, it’s time we had a talk, mano a mano.

No pulling of punches; it’s time to get right to the point.

American men are soft. Worse. They’re weak. Worse yet. They’ve volunteered to be soft and weak. In large part, the diseases they carry in their bodies are self-inflicted.

Make no mistake about it, any able-bodied man’s current level of fitness, (good or bad), is a mindful decision. It’s a deliberate act; a purposeful choice. Every indecision is a decision.

Your body, right now, is largely a reflection of your decisions. Your habits have created your physique. And your health choices have set you up for success or failure.

Before I continue, I’ll confess this article is a bit out of character for me.

Normally, I’m very pastoral in my approach to the discussion of men’s health.

But in this article, I’m shelving that for some tough love, straight talk, and honest conversation.

As expected, I’ll be talking about your health, wellness, and longevity.

Specifically, I’ll be discussing your fat percentage, your strength levels, and your power of choice.

And you do have a choice, up until you don’t — when disease removes your choice. You get to choose yo
ur choice, but you don’t get to choose your consequences.

That said, I’m compelled … I have a sense of duty … and I accept it’s my responsibility to do what I can to jolt men out of their sedentary lifestyle.

…So… if you are a overweight, out of shape, or weaker than your should be, take what I have to offer you today, not as a rebuke, but as a wake-up call.

In the words of Euripides,

“Do not consider painful what is good for you.” 

Take a look at the pitiful chart to the right.

It’s from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx

When 74% of men are overweight and heading toward obesity, there’s simply no excuse for that.

Really. NO EXCUSE.

No amount of rationalization or justification … no amount of work, timing issues or finance excuses cut it.

Exercise can be FREE, mister.

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Or it can be as upper bracket as the EZIA Athletic Club, charging $120,000 initiation fee, and a $5,000 annual renewal. http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2015/09/21/nantucket-gym-with-initiation-fee/pmPyzoEPxVdU277nhm81eL/story.htm

Whatever your finances, don’t ever use that excuse again.

Whatever your workload or stress levels, don’t ever use it as an excuse again.

And whatever your relationships consists of, don’t use them as an excuse to not workout — ever again.

It’s time to MAN UP and take charge of the only body you have.

You are going to need your body for the rest of your life.

So how do you want to live in it? Vibrant, strong and healthy?

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Your only other option is sickness, disease and becoming dependent upon someone else taking care of your most basic, physical needs.

Edward Stanley is credited with saying,

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”

I’ll take this a step further. Here’s what I truly believe:

Those who refuse to prioritize exercising do not respect their body for the gift it is.

Say what you may, if you are not taking care of the only body you’ll ever have, you don’t really appreciate what you’ve been given.

If that’s you, then you need to admit it for what it is: You’ve taken your body for granted.

And if you are overweight, out of shape, or not as strong as you should be, then I can’t talk you into changing the course of your life fast enough.

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If your blood work is off, if you are pre-diabetic or Type 2 diabetic, if you feel rust developing on your joints and are hurting …

… if you can’t walk up a couple flights of stairs without becoming winded, if your waistline continues to expand, and your weight along with it,  …

… and if you don’t have the energy throughout your day that you should …

… then sir, what are you doing?

Why are you taking your health for granted? When did you decide to stop caring? At what point did you decide to go AWOL?

Look, I know this is hard. I know it feels like verbal jousting.

But I’ve decided to have this talk with you today because I understand the pressures you are under.

I fully understand the stresses of living.

I know what it’s like to raise 4 children into adulthood. I know what it’s like to open three Training Spot locations — one on Main Street in Huntington Beach, one on Gothard, and one in Costa Mesa.

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I know what’s it’s like help my wife create The TakeDown ChallengeTM, and the TakeDown LifeStyleTM programs — programs that are expanding across the nation at breakneck speed.

I know the daily grind of being in the trenches, facing boiler pressure situations. I know the endurance it takes to stay in the game as long as I have — now 40 years later.

I also know, that through all those years, I’ve never gone 30 days without exercising my body.

No matter how hard the job, no matter how tight the money or how strained the relationships with employees, clients, and family members, I have always prioritized my body by way of exercise.

I don’t say it to brag … I say it to give you an example.

I encourage you to follow my example. Of course, I’d like to help. But you’ve got to want it.

Frederick Douglass understood that when he said:

“The lesson taught at this point by human experience is simply this, that the man who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to say down. Personal independence is a virtue and it is the soul out of which comes the sturdiest manhood. But there can be no independent without a large share of self-dependence, and this virtue cannot be bestowed. It much be developed from within.” 

The question, then, is, do you want to get up and change your life?

If you’ve continued to read this far, I’m assuming you do.
Then let’s start at the beginning and determine, (at least on a visual scale), your percentage of body fat.

Take a look at these 3D, 3-directional images I had created for this article.

It assumes a 5’10” man in his mid-thirties.

Take a good close look at them and see where you feel you best fit in, based on how you look in the mirror.

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Now that you have a decent idea of where you fit in, take a look at the chart below, and find your age and compare it with the percentage of fat from the images above.

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If you are a 5’10’, 35-year old male, with 24% body fat, you are way past the ‘ideal’ body fat percentage.

You’ve eaten your way through the ‘average’ percentage of males your age, and you are now creeping into the ‘above average’ portion of this chart … and you are heading straight into the overweight/obesity region fast as a bullet train.

If that’s the case, it’s past time to change your life.

You should do everything in your might, right now, to get in shape as fast as humanly possible.

Don’t you dare delay — start today! Step out of your house and walk 15 minutes in one direction, and then turn around and head back.

Do it every day. Get leverage on yourself. Take charge of your health. Once you have any momentum, then build upon it.

Got the walking part down? Start a jogging program. Mix some body-weight exercises into the jog.

Hit the weight room, and do your muscles some good.

Resolve to change your life. Develop a few iron-clad qualities. Mold your character. Create positive virtues. Forge an indomitable will. Dig deep and find new courage.

Plant an acorn, and let it grow into an oak, knowing you’ll face the storms. Stay resolute.

Find someone who’ll agree and support you.

Don’t make excuses, and don’t stop once you’ve started.

Take to heart the words of Henry Ward Beecher when he wrote,

“A man is not a man when he is created; he is only begun. Difficulties are God’s errands and trainers, and only through them can one come to the fullness of manhood.”

If you ask me, errands and trainers sound like a good workout.

If you could use a good trainer, and good workouts, don’t hesitate contacting The Training Spot.

I assure you, you’ll be thrilled, or we’ll refund 100% of your investment.

All it takes is the hardest thing you’ll do in the process … make a phone call.

I hope you will,

Paul Fetters

P.S. Concerning your current level of strength, how many pushups can do you right now?

I have my own criteria and opinion, but I’ll set that aside, give you a break, and tell you what the U.S. military and Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness and Lifestyle Approach says you should be able to do.

Heck, even the New York Times will give you an opinion: A 40-year-old man should be able to 27 pushups. A 60-year-old, 17.

The Canadian standard: Performing 36 pushups is considered excellent for a 29-year-old, 30 pushups for 39-year-old, 25 pushups for 49-year-old, 21 pushups in your 50’s, and 18 pushups up to age 69.

The U.S. Military requirements: Air Force – 45 pushups in one minute to graduate basic training, with 75 pushups giving you in the highest category. Navy – 42 pushups for 17 to 19-year-olds. Cost Guard – males under 30 must do at least 29 pushups. Army – 40 pushups for those 30 years of age and under.

If you’d like to know how many pushups I did on 3 medicine balls for our Pushup for Charity event, simply leave a message on your Facebook page, I’ll answer your question.

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