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January 10, 2010

The Energy Vampires

Pssst……Have you ever been around negative people?

You know the ones that suck all the energy from you and everyone around you.

That one person who has a problem with you but rather than confronting you talks to everyone else around you but you.

I would love to know on the comment section below how you deal with “Energy Vampires”?  I would also like to know do you agree with me firing these clients or should I just leave them alone and let them bring down everyone in the gym? Please comment below as I need your help on this.

Below I am going to share with you why I  don’t mind “firing clients” every once in a while (It has happened only 3 times in the past 11years).

Honor & Integrity


First let me explain our  motto here Fitness Concepts:

1) Have fun: This is something my mother taught me. ” Do what you love and you never have to work another day in your life.” I absolutely LOVE what I do. I get to change my clients lives through exercise and better nutrition. My clients live a healthier, happier lives and they are forever grateful. To me that is so empowering. I was talking to my friend Dr. Unger the other day (Dr. Unger is a top metabolic doctor in the area) and he said ” Sam your role in the patient care is just as important as ours”.

2) Deliver excellent results: That’s the bottom line. That’s where the rubber meets the road. At Fitness Concepts we not only assign you to one of our excellent personal trainers but I also will personally teach you nutrition(which accounts for 70-80% of your results). Our clients also have a scheduled appointment with my staff to weigh and get their body composition tested every week to make sure they are on track.

3) Provide excellent service and always over deliver: We at Fitness Concepts provide complimentary bottles of water and towel service, send out weekly educational blogs to help you stay motivated and on track,  provide you with the best equipment that money can buy, maintain our equipment impeccably to assure our clients get the best possible service.

4) Always strive to improve our service and product: All Fitness Concepts clients have my email address and phone number in case they have any questions or concerns about anything that pertains to their program. We always welcome any suggestions to improve our product.

5) Make money: Did I dare say that? Don’t we all have to make a living? The reason we have been SUPER successful is because we deliver RESULTS.  We are not the cheapest  but we are the least expensive(not the same thing).


Now let me explain to you why we have to “fire” clients  or “refuse services”  every once in a while

1) If a client comes in one day and just doesn’t have anything positive to say about anything and anyone it could be just that they are “having a bad day”. We all have bad days and that’s very understandable. But if they are having a “bad everyday” and draining the energy from our staff and other clients then that particular client is not a good match for us because it violates our motto of having fun at work.

2) Can someone get excellent results and service and still not be happy.  ABSOLUTELY!!! I had a client that lost over 60lb and  totally changed his health and physique but still managed to complain about every little thing (music in the gym, someone was busy and forgot to say hi as they walked in, pricing,  etc……)  to everyone else around but me. The funny thing is that he/she once told me that they have tried for years to get in that kind of shape with no luck and that Fitness Concepts was one of the better investment he/she has made. You see even when our 2nd motto is to deliver excellent results that might not be enough.

Never Satisfied


3)  Even if you come in under budget and over deliver, this client just isn’t happy with any of his trainers or results(They would probably complain if it was free).  I understand that not every person is a perfect match, but come on!!   He may have something in  mind that they just can’t communicate, and when you don’t deliver this idea that lives in his head, he’s disappointed.  Even if they have gotten results they still are complaining that something isn’t right.

I am not a mind reader!!

4) As a business owner all I can do is to make myself very accessible to all your clients. After all everyone of my clients gets my biweekly blog posts to educate and motivate them(if they need to talk to me all they have to do is push reply).  I am always in the gym, my personal cell phone number is on the front desk on my business card and I am always available to meet with my clients to answer their questions and/or concerns. It is very frustrating as a business owner to find out that a client is not completely satisfied with your services through other clients. The only way I can make sure my clients are happy is through communication.

But hmmm……….NO, ,NO, NO I remember  that movie w/ Mel Gibson


We strive to have a very upbeat and friendly atmosphere at Fitness Concepts. Click here to see hundreds of written testimonials

A client who constantly berates you or your business is not a client that should  be at the gym.  So why do they come??  That client like a tornado will suck up all the positive energy.


For some reason in today’s society no one wants to confront you and tell you their true feelings. Instead they expect you to read their mind. If you don’t read their mind most people rather not say anything, or talk to others about issues that they have with you.

Let me ask you a serious question? If I had an issue with you or your business wouldn’t you want me to come to you regarding the issue and give you a chance to correct it? Or would you rather me talk about my issues with everyone else but you? (Please leave me your thoughts on the comment section below the blog)

These people know your job better than you
Losing weight is easy. Building muscle is even a simpler concept.   Just pick up the weights and start lifting, once that gets easy move on to heavier weights.
Why should I pay anybody for that?
Any one can do it!!  My cousin Vinny can show me that.   In that case I should hire that client to train me.  Or better yet their cousin Vinny!
Not Being Upfront and honest

Trust and integrity are a vital element to any good business relationship. Finding out a client hasn’t been upfront with you is a huge disappointment. Actually their complete honesty is in fact crucial to their success and health.
My personal satisfaction is getting everyone to their optimal shape and health.  Seeing them blossom, this effect seems to be a domino effect and my clients share positive results in other areas of their life!!  This is what drives me and I love it!!   My own health and sanity are at stake when I go round and round with a client trying to help them and they aren’t being straight and upfront with me.



Firing a client may be an uncommon step for most businesspeople, but if a client is causing me, my staff & clients as well as my business undue hardship or loss, it is probably time to say goodbye.

I would love to know your input in dealing with “The Energy Vampires” on the comment section below.


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August 25, 2009

Blast From The Past, Tell Us What You Do To Unwind?

Disturbing News in Chino Hills
We already know that many people are under severe stress due to the economic state of our country. Being a fitness professional I am always educating my clients about the benefits of exercise and better nutrition. We all know that exercising releases endorphins and enkephalins which are the natural pain killers and feel good hormones.

In the last few weeks I was very disturbed about the murder-suicide news that happened in our back yard.  I mean how can someone do such a thing. I can’t understand it no matter how much I try.

It hits extra hard when it’s so close to home. It makes me wonder one thing. Would the husbands have committed such a crime if they were exercising regularly?

I know whenever I am stressed a good workout will definitely put me in a better place. No matter what we should never let our financial situation get in the way of our relationship with our spouse and children.

After all we live in The United States of America the greatest country in the world where anything is possible.

Please read the below stories and leave me a comment about your thoughts in this matter. I am very curious to see if everyone agrees with me that exercising is the best thing for stress relief.

Sadly…..August 2009 In Chino Hills

A fight between a married couple on a Tuesday evening turned deadly when a husband shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself, sheriff’s officials said.

The couple’s adult daughter was at the house, she was not injured, she ran to a neighbor’s to call 911.

Deputies found Victor Pinon, 50, and his wife, Elizabeth, 49, dead inside the home.

The daughter told deputies her parents had been arguing when her father grabbed a handgun and shot his wife. He shot himself seconds later.

Neighbors in the quiet community said they were shocked by the incident.

According to news reports the husband was very helpful and the wife was always smiling.

The couple’s daughter lived with them. They also had two older daughters and one older son, Estrada said.

The Pinons one-story house is nestled in a suburban community with walking trails and exercise parks.

He must have been severely stressed to do something like that.” A neighbor said….

Sadly….. Last month in July  2009

Less than a month ago and barely three miles away, sheriff’s deputies contend Jacobson killed his daughter and then himself on July 25 in their quiet, upscale neighborhood.

A 49-year-old Chino Hills man apparently murdered his 7-year-old daughter and then committed suicide in their home while his wife was visiting relatives, according to San Bernardino County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.

Karl Eugene Jacobson and Kadee Jacobson were found dead about 9:30 p.m. Saturday in separate rooms of their home along the 3600 block of Daisy Drive, San Bernardino County coroner’s officials said this morning in a written statement.

Jacobson’s wife discovered the bodies when she returned home about 9:30 p.m. according to sheriff’s homicide detectives.




Do you think that exercising could have prevented all this? Think about it for a second

Do you think that after a good workout these men would reacted the same?

I guess we would never know BUT I will always wonder.

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

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August 11, 2009

My Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

Anytime the topic of discussion in my blogs, articles or newsletters has turned
to my own personal grocery shopping list, there has always been a spike in interest.


It seems that many people are not only curious about what foods a
bodybuilder eats to maintain single digit body fat, but they also want to be
taken by the hand and told exactly what foods to eat themselves while on
fat-burning or muscle building programs.

Of course, I can’t tell you what YOU should eat because I don’t know your
likes and dislikes, not to mention whether you have any intolerances, allergies
or foods you don’t eat for ethical reasons, etc.

What I CAN do is show you what I eat, which has helped me keep my body fat
under 10% all year round and peak in the low single digits when I want to
get cut for competitions or photo shoots

I decided to put together four separate “top 10” lists of healthy foods to feed
your muscle and burn fat.

Exact quantities and menus are not listed, just the individual foods, and of
course my food intake does vary.

I aim to get as many different varieties of fruits and vegetables as possible
over the course of every week and there are a lot of substitutions made,
so you are not seeing the full list of everything I eat, only what foods I eat
most of the time.

I also want to point out that while I don’t believe that extreme low carbs
are necessary or most effective when you look at the long term, research
has shown that there are some definite advantages to a low to moderate
carb and higher protein diet for fat loss purposes.

These include reduced appetite, higher thermic effect of food and “automatic”
calorie control.

Personally, I reduce my carb intake moderately and temporarily prior to
bodybuilding competitions. Specifically, it’s the foods that are on the starchy
carbs and grains list that go down during the brief pre-competition period
when I’m working on that really “ripped” look.

I keep the green and fibrous veggie intake very high however, along with large
amounts of lean protein, small amounts of fruit, and adequate amounts of
essential fats (“LEAN, GREEN and MARINE!”)


This list reflects my personal preferences, so this is not a prescription to all
readers to eat as I do. It’s very important for compliance to choose foods you
enjoy and to have the option for a wide variety of choices.

In the past several years, nutrition and obesity research – in studying ALL
types of diets – has continued to conclude that almost any hypocaloric diet

that is not completely “moronic” can work, at least in the short term.

It’s not so much about the high carb – low carb argument or any other debate
as much as it is about calorie control and compliance. The trouble is, restricted
diets and staying in a calorie deficit is difficult, so most people can’t stick with
any program and they fall off the wagon, whichever wagon that may be.

I believe that a lot of our attention needs to shift away from pointless debates
(for example, low carb vs. high carb is getting really old… so like… get over it
everyone, its a calorie deficit that makes you lose weight, not the amount of carbs).

Instead, our focus should shift towards these questions:

* How can we build an eating program that we can actually enjoy while still
getting us leaner and healthier?

* How can we build an eating program that helps us control calories automatically?

* How can we build an eating program that improves compliance?

Here are the lists of foods I choose to achieve these three outcomes. This eating
plan is not difficult to stick with at all, by the way. I enjoy eating like this and
it feels almost weird not to eat like this after doing it for so long.

Remember, habits work in both directions, and as motivational speaker
Jim Rohn has said, “Bad habits are easy to form and hard to live with and good
habits are hard to form but easy to live with.”

These are listed in the order I frequently consume them. So for example, if
oatmeal is on the top of the list, it means that is the food I am most likely
to eat every single day.


My 10 top natural starchy carb and whole grains

1. Oatmeal (old fashioned)
2. Yams
3. Brown rice (a favorite is basmati, a long grain aromatic rice)
4. Sweet potatoes (almost same as yams)
5. Multi grain hot cereal (mix or barley, oats, rye. titricale and a few others)
6. White potatoes
7. 100% whole wheat bread
8. 100% whole wheat pasta
9. Beans (great for healthy chili recipes)
10. Cream of rice hot cereal


My Top 10 top vegetables

1. Broccoli
2. Asparagus
3. Spinach
4. Salad greens
5. Tomatoes
6. Peppers (green, red or yellow)
7. Onions
8. Mushrooms
9. Cucumbers
10. Zucchini


My top 10 lean proteins

1. Egg whites (whole eggs in limited quantities)
2. Whey or Casein protein (protein powder supplements)
3. Chicken Breast
4. Salmon (wild Alaskan)
5. Turkey Breast
6. Top round steak (grass fed beef)
7. Flank Steak (grass fed beef)
8. Lean Ground Turkey
9. Bison/Buffalo
10. Trout


My top 10 fruits

1. Grapefruit
2. Apples
3. Blueberries
4. Canteloupe
5. Oranges
6. Bananas
7. Peaches
8. Grapes
9. Strawberries
10. Pineapple


Note: I DO include healthy fats as well, such as walnuts, almonds, extra virgin
olive oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil (supplement – not to cook with), avocado
and a few others.(including Udo’s oil)

Also, I do eat dairy products and have nothing against them, nor am I lactose
intolerant. I simply don’t eat as much dairy as the rest of the stuff on my lists.
When I eat dairy, its usually skim milk, low or non fat cottage cheese, low or
non fat yogurt and low or non fat cheese (great for omelettes).

Last but not least, I usually follow a compliance rate of about 95%, which
means I take two or three meals per week of whatever I want – stuff that is
NOT on these lists – like pizza, sushi, big fatty restaurant steaks, etc –
whatever I want (contrary to the persistent rumors, I’m not some cyborg
or “food neurotic” that never enjoys a good restaurant meal…
believe me – I DO!)

I hope you found this helpful and interesting. Keep in mind, this is MY food
list, and although you probably couldn’t go wrong to emulate it, you need
to choose natural foods YOU enjoy in order to develop habits you can stick
with long term.

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