What We Can Learn from The Biggest Loser

I was asked earlier this week to register my opinion on this piece that showed up in the New York Times. It’s a follow up on several of the contestants six years after their season on The Biggest Loser and details their struggles to maintain the weight they lost during the show.Here’s the biggest takeaway: as a result of the show, everyone of the contestants suffers from a diminished metabolism. They burn anywhere from 200 to 400 fewer daily calories per day than normal people at their same body weights. Meaning that years later they still struggle to keep off excess weight.Most of… Read More »

What You Need To Know But I’m Too “Nice” to Say…

I am deeply passionate about fitness. I know first hand the transformational power regular, consistent training can have on your life and it is my utmost desire to share that knowledge with as many people as possible.In addition to the gym I run here in Birmingham, I run a loose knit organization of like-minded fitness professionals and enthusiasts called Mental Meat Heads. One of our tenants is to encourage fitness professionals to embrace what we call the 85%. This term comes from the fact that a mere 15% of our population engages in any form of regular exercise and training.… Read More »

5 Things Advanced Lifters Know

Okay, first off I apologize for the click bait title. That was manipulative and I feel a little dirty having done it, but I think this is important information and so, I’m not above a little psychological trickery if it gets you to pay attention.Truth is there are many things advanced lifters know that the rest of us would do well to pay heed. And these five are by no means the most important, but they are important so listen up.1. It’s not about what you do today it’s what you do this week, this month this year. No matter… Read More »


I learned a new word this week – kinesthete.I found it that same book I mentioned in last week’s post. It was in reference to styles of play. Dr. Stuart Brown in his book, Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, identifies eight different play personalities: I haven’t read his book yet but it’s certainly going on my list. I found reference to Dr. Brown’s work in, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, which I heartily recommend.The concept of the kinesthete really grabbed me. Someone who plays through movement. Other styles of play may… Read More »

The Science of Change and How to Make It Work for You

I’ve been listening to this book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, and the authors quoted another group of thinkers who have come up with a formula for change:V * D + FS > R = CYes, I agree. It’s a little weird. A math formula for life happenstance? But give it a minute, it actually makes some sense.In this equation, V stands for Vision. This is the picture of your life after the change. It’s the story of how things will be better. D is Discomfort, how much pain you’re in now.FS stands for First Steps or the initial… Read More »


Do you know what fascia is?It’s pretty amazing stuff – a thin network of connective tissue that surrounds all structures in the body. It separates, or connects, depending on your perspective, all individual structures in the body, all the way down to the cellular level. It’s made up of mostly collagen and elastin. You know how sometimes you wake up stiff? Especially if you’ve fallen asleep in an awkward position on the bus or on the couch? What has happened is that for an extended period of time you’ve held a structurally awkward position, long enough that your body’s ability… Read More »

To Be of Service

Kindred,That’s an old word. It’s root is in kind which in addition to meaning “to be nice” also means “of the same.” It’s the same root from which we get the term kin to mean family or the Highland Scot’s ken as in “you know?” You ken your kin, because you’re of the same kind. You ken?We are of the same. Despite a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, dreams, and desires we come together at Agoge Fitness Systems for one common goal. We all want to get better. Getting better may have different shapes, it might do different things, it might… Read More »

New Beginnings/Nobody Gets Left Behind

New BeginningsIt’s been a minute since I last sat down in front of my keyboard like this. Too long actually, as it’s easy to say I’m too busy or other priorities take precedent.But the truth of that matter is, this is important too.So, I’m making a pledge, both to myself and to you, that Friday afternoons are now for writing. One post a week, be they reflections on the week, items of interest, or things I saw that merit a tad more discussion.Together we can forge a better gym, a stronger community, and a place where anyone who enters can… Read More »

Trainer Spotlight

If you haven’t already, meet Julie Maharrey. Julie is on the powerlifting team, is one of our strength coaches and heads up the yoga program here at Agoge Fitness Systems. Primary occupation: Anatomy instructor at Jeff StateHow long have you been a fitness trainer? about a yearHow long have you been with Agoge Fitness Systems? since 2010What drew you to fitness? I’ve always supported a healthy lifestyle, but it came easy when I was younger. One day in grad school, I hopped on a treadmill to run and met disappointment. The significant delay in impact between my front side and… Read More »


I’ve noticed this new thing in my Facebook feed lately. Friends of mine, specifically female friends of the yogic persuasion, have been posting pictures of themselves in various yoga poses wearing naught but a sports bra and yoga pants. It’s all part of an Instagram project started by two yogis, Thea Pueschel and Melissa Scott, set to run July 1st through the 10th. It’s entitled #noshirtnoshoesnoshame and its purpose is to combat the pervasive body shaming our culture indulges in. At first blush I was like, “Hooray!” I mean, who doesn’t want more female bodies adorning their Facebook feed? It’s… Read More »

Pottenger’s Cats

Ever heard of Pottenger’s cats? No, not Schrodinger’s cat, Pottenger. (What have these scientists got against cats, anyway?) Francis M. Pottenger, Jr. conducted studies on cats from 1932 to 1942. In those studies he tested the affect of raw and cooked food diets on the health and longevity of several subsequent generations of cats. His studies are often cited by those in the Raw Food camp as supportive of the Raw Food lifestyle and the dangers of eating “dead” coooked food. Essentially the results of his studies were that cats fed raw meat (one study) and raw milk and raw meat (another… Read More »

Of Big Rocks, Little Rocks and Exercise

I’m sure you’ve heard this story before, but in case you haven’t I’ll sum it up quickly. A professor walks into his senior level philosophy class the last day of school spring semester. He carries with him a giant, empty pickle jar and puts it on his desk. From under the desk he produces a box of large rocks and begins putting them into the jar. He manages three or four of them before he gets to the top of the jar, then he turns to the class. “Is this jar full?” Most of the class replies in the affirmative.… Read More »