Mental Meat Heads 2: Why?

Over the past few years I have traveled extensively. In fact I’ve seen more of the country in the last two years than I have in the preceding 39. Aside from a break out trip my junior year in high school when I traveled all the way to the then Soviet Union, I really didn’t get out much. I’d go to Middle Tennessee to visit family, Atlanta to party and the Gulf to vacation. Rarely did I venture more than 200 miles beyond the border of my state.

It’s not that I’m excessively reclusive, I just happened to be content doing what I was doing where I was and didn’t feel the need to venture beyond that. Well, that and ten year drug habit can squash your exploratory tendencies. The couch is so comfortable, there’s food in the fridge and hey look! Spongebob is on!

So, I didn’t get out much.

But then I cleaned up and started my business. I started going to workshops and seminars. The first I actually won admittance to. It was Zach Even-Esh’s initial Inspiration Contest. Zach’s gym is in New Jersey. That meant not only travel, but getting far outside my comfort zone.

That meant exposing myself. That meant going somewhere else, on someone else’s turf and being judged. I mean, after all, this was a strength workshop, it meant working out with other guys I didn’t know. How would I measure up? What would they think of me? If I was the weakest guy there, would they still like me? Or, horror of horrors, would they make fun of me?

As the date of my flight got closer I got more and more nervous and then it was here and I had to get on the plane. What else could I do? I’d already bought the ticket.

It turned out to be the best move of my career. That weekend launched Agoge Fitness Systems, it planted the seed that became my own gym and built the foundation that Mental Meat Heads was built upon.

I made some great friends, many of whom I’m still in touch with today.

In fact when I look back on the trepidation with which I initially faced the trip I’m kinda ashamed. I mean, how poor is my opinion of my fellow human beings? I would never treat someone else so poorly, why would I expect others to treat me that way? That was just my Fear talking, and Fear never seems to get things right. He’s too busy being afraid to actually see what’s going on.

Since that first trip almost six years ago I’ve made several more. Most of them in the last two years. I’ve been to New Jersey three times; St. Petersburg, Florida four times; Sacramento, California; Asheville, North Carolina; and Sarasota, Florida — all for workshops. I became so convinced of the power and importance of these gatherings that I started hosting them myself.

So far, my little gym in Birmingham has played host to two, including the first Mental Meat Heads. Hosting, however, is a whole other experience from attending. I learned a lot both times, one of the most important lessons being that Birmingham is not the easiest destination to travel to. We’re not a major hub for most airlines, so that means connections and transfers and layovers.

To ease this hardship we hit upon the idea of a traveling workshop. The idea was to maximize the connections I’ve made over the years and get other gym owners in major cities to play physical host to our workshops. Hence, Mental Meat Heads 2 in Indianapolis.

Next month, two of our most dynamic presenters, Jason C. Brown and Chip Conrad (and me) will be in Indianapolis presenting for the Mental Meat Heads 2 Workshop and Symposium. Symposium is such a cool word we just couldn’t help but use it.

If you’re a fitness professional or a passionate enthusiast, heck, if you’re brand new to this whole strength and fitness thing and want to make sure you start off on the right foot then this workshop is for you.

Most workshops concern themselves with How. How to swing a kettlebell. How to perform an Barbell Clean and Jerk. Even, How to write effective programming or How to optimize your business. And trust me, there will be plenty of How. As fitness people we love to get our hands dirty, to refine our techniques or learn new ones.

What’s different about Mental Meat Heads and what makes it different from any other workshop you’ll attend this year is that we also will talk about Why. Why do we workout? Why is it important? Sure the short answer is a tighter butt and a slimmer waist, maybe even bigger chest and biceps…but Why that? What purpose does this all serve and How can we all be better by knowing it? (Yeah, I know I got off the Why kick, but these are important questions!)

Mental Meat Heads seeks to take fitness to the next level. We all know that fitness makes better people. I’m proof of it and I’m sure many of you are as well, but How? By knowing the Hows and Whats and Whys, okay maybe by first just asking, we can gain insights that take us even further making our lives and the lives of those around us, richer, fuller and better — one rep at a time.

Mental Meat Heads 2 will be held September 21 and 22, 2013 at Fitness by Design in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can register and get more information at

To our perfect imperfection,


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