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My favorite book of the year!

I was trying to find a book that would really help simplify health and fitness and get to the core of how to build muscle and lose fat. I believe I found it! Bigger Leaner Stronger
by Mike Matthews is a great book and made me realize how important nutrition is as well as the fact that if I really want to build muscle I need to start lifting heavier. There are several great tips throughout the book and I actually read the book in one setting and listen to the full audio a couple of times to reinforce some of the ideas within the book. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a great read or audio!

If you have any questions or any additional comments about the book please comment below. I hope it helps you the way it has helped me.

Work out plans for men

Work out plans for men are all over the internet but there are a couple that I highly recommend. It all depends on what your end goal is but here are a couple that I’ve done and have seen great results with.

Jim Stoppani’s shortcut to size (I completed the full workout): it is a great variety of weights and splits throughout the week. This is one of the best work out plans for men because it really focuses on packing on muscles and developing size. I can say I added over an inch on my arms in a short period of time and all of my lifts went up dramatically.

P90x: I’ve done all of the different days within P90x and it’s a great workout.  I have not completed the program in 90 consecutive days. But I’ve done several of the workouts and I’m especially impressed with ab ripper x, which is the workout for abs.

Jim Stoppani’s shortcut to shredded: I’m currently doing this work out and it’s great. I will warn you though it’s not easy what so ever. It does require you to reach fatigue and then push beyond it. It’s guaranteed to bring you out of your comfort zone.

Crossfit: In general crossfit is a great work out plan for men as it causes you to stimulate muscle growth as well as increase cardiovascular exercise as well! I believe the most important thing with crossfit is getting a trainer that cares and is willing to show you how to do proper form. I’ve witnessed people that are just starting out put on way too much weight with improper form. This is a recipe for disaster. It’s a physical therapist main stream of revenue :)!

Kettlebell workouts: Kettlebell work outs are great and leave you sore for several days at a time. This is another workout that I really stress using correct form or not doing it at all. Start out with light weights and build your muscles up before you try anything too strenuous on your body!

These are some of the many work out plans for men. I hope you have a chance to check these out. Let me know if you have any more ideas!

Top tools to success in Fitness Challenge

I have to admit I’m a sucker for little ways to make fitness a little more enjoyable and easier to track. I have a couple of tricks and tips for making fitness fun and easy that I would like to share with you…

Bodyspace: I have to give big props to for building an incredible mobile app. I’m not sure when this app finally got good, but I recently downloaded it and love it! I tried it a long while ago and it wasn’t quite working for me but it appears that they have it dialed in now! It’s great because you can follow along your workout, track things on the spot and it even has descriptions of how to perform the exercises. LOVE IT!

Lose it: I love this app but have to be honest, I’m not the best at tracking all of my food. It’s really easy to do but when you’re eating 5 to 6 times per day it can be a burden to always keep on top of it. Check it out at My goal is to review this app every Sunday and do my very best to make sure it’s fully updated! It really helps you realize how much or how little you are consuming.

It’s ABOUT TIME! Finally wireless headphones are on the scene that work really well and sound excellent (maybe I’m just behind in technology). I have been lifting with headphones that ALWAYS get in the way for years, and Soundpeats
have solved this issue. I have the Soundpeats and my brother just got the Powerbeats2. Both are great options!

On the go protein shakes: Costco is definitely saving my bank account. I get the Premier Nutrition High Protein Shake at about 2 dollars a pop. It beats paying $4 at stores for solo drinks. Plus these drinks are such a good way to ensure you’re getting enough protein each and every day!

I would love to hear if you have any recommendations. I’m trying to keep it simple but these are a couple of ways that I’ve made my fitness challenge easy and more fun at the same time!

2015 fitness challenge is getting set to kick off

2015 has arrive, and another fitness challenge is on the horizon. This year is the year! I believe I say this every year but I feel that I’m more ready than ever to see what kind of results I can produce. I’ve done the hynesfitnesschallenge, in 2011 (no results), 2012 (ok results), 2013 (excellent results), 2014 (ok/not great results), and now this will be the fifth year here in 2015. To date 2013 was hands down my best year. I look back on this challenge and it’s starting to make me wonder how I can be in great shape in May and slowly fall off all the way until December.

Current status: I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been at about 250 lbs. Turning into a bigger man with a 8 to 5 desk job. I’m in ok shape, my lifestyle is somewhat active, and energy level is mediocre.

Why will this year be “the” year: Well first and foremost I now live on the beach in LA, so I’m in a most more fit area than Seattle. There is basically a month of winter here which consists of a cold 50 degrees (still feels nice to me). So I’m surrounded by people that love to stay in shape, and getting outside is easy to do on the daily!

At this point I know what it takes. I’ve started to hone in on my nutrition and I’m a member at two different gyms. I have my workout and nutrition planned out and it’s not as overwhelming as it used to be.

Also, this year I have challenged the master. I challenged Kurt Hynes to see who can have the best transformation and we put some money on it as well as a creative bet. So I have the ultimate motivation of taking down the reigning champ!

If you want to get in on the Hynes Fitness Challenge you can go to it’s a ton of fun and will help keep you motivated when times get tough. Plus it’s a way to compete and possibly win some money! If you have any questions let me know!

What do I have to do to workout in the morning!?!?

First of all, I used to be a morning person. I was a full functioning human as soon as my alarm went off and I used to loathe the snooze button. To be honest I really never knew that the snooze button was an option. I would wake up perky and set to take on the day.

But now… It’s not unusual to hit that snoozer 5+ times. So how can I battle this downfall to my success? I’ll share my 3 tricks but I would love to hear more suggestions as my ways don’t always work.

1. Put my alarm out of reach. In order to shut off the loud WAAA WAAA WAAA I have to get out of my comfortable, warm bed and put my body in motion.

2. I have my workout clothes laid out. While I have stubbed my toe on my workout shoes in the morning it’s a reminder that it’s time to get after it.

3. Go to bed by 10 pm. Like many things in life, preparation really takes the stress out of the actual event. By going to bed by ten I can still get about 8 hrs of sleep and get a workout in before work.

StrengthForce waking up

If you have tips or suggestions I’m all ears!!

Fitness put bluntly…

What if…

What if instead of thinking about working out you actually worked out…

What if you took all that time complaining about not being in shape and you spent it working out…

What if you took every dime you ever spent on desert, coffee, and candy and spent it on vitamins or supplements or even healthy food…??

What if I’m too tired to workout turned into I’m too tired of not living life full of energy…

What if instead off coffee your body was charged throughout the day by the almighty drug, Endorphins…

The 3 main keys to fitness are no brainers… If you are out of shape it’s because you are lazy and need to get your stuff together. I believe everyone on the face of the planet knows what you have to do to get in good shape.

1. Eat well

2. Exercise

3. Drink lots of water

Hynes Fitness Challenge 2014

This year the expectations are at an all time high! I’ve done this fitness challenge for 3 years, and am now entering the 4th year of the competition. A quick break down… 1st year – bad results, 2nd year – decent results, 3rd year good results, 4th year is to be determined but I’m expecting great results.

I have to start off by saying it’s pretty bad to see that I start all of the years out of shape and then end up in better/great shape. After this 4th year competition I’m making it a goal to really stay in shape year round instead of fluctuating so much. I realized this when I took this years before pics and look really out of shape whereas about 8 months ago I was close to the best shape of my life. While the transformations are fun to see it’s ridiculous to get in much worse shape throughout the year.

So, I’m pumped for this year. I have the knowledge and the know how to get in great shape and now it’s time to get the party started.

3 keys to health and fitness success

This year was an exceptional year as I was able to combine exercise and nutrition. The first year I did this challenge I lacked commitment on both exercise and nutrition. The second year I was very good with cardio, not great at lifting weights, and my nutrition was mediocre. This year I did a good job with cardio and weight training and nutrition! It’s amazing how long 90 days can seem, but then when I look back it feels like time flew by.

This years top 3 keys to success…

1. Consistency/habit building: Consistency is hands down the easiest concept on paper and it makes sense that if you are consistently striving for a goal that you can achieve what you are pursuing. The strange thing about consistency is that it takes a lot of upfront work but if you remain focused then momentum can build and eventually your goals become easier. What am I talking? What’s an example…? Well, the biggest area that I realized habits are instilled is with nutrition. My diet was deeply involved with foods that simply aren’t healthy for the human body. I was eating a lot of fast food, chips, and the amount of food I was consuming was beyond my necessary needs. So, I started to really focus on eating vegetables, healthy snacks, smoothies, water and six evenly spread out meals. Every book you read will tell you these tips are key to looking and feeling great, but… let’s be honest this is not easy to implement. When you have a choice between a one minute stop to grab a fast and easy cheeseburger or you have to go home steam vegetables, cook chicken, wash dishes, and finally feed your hunger 25 minutes later the choice is much more difficult. Have no fear thought, because the best part about building habits is that good habits can form and before you know it they are hard to break. In the middle of the fitness challenge I no longer wanted any fast food and deserts actually seemed like a ridiculous food to consume. I looked at deserts are just gross sugar and butter and goal defeating.

2. Accountability: This year one of the best tools I used was a calendar and stickers. Yes that’s right, I went back to my kindergarten days of gold stars, and smiley faces. I tracked cardio, abs, weights, crossfit and yoga. This may seem silly but it made me want to never skip a day. I started out waiting until I completed a workout to post a sticker. This gave me a sense of accomplishment. In the second week I actually posted my stickers for the day in the morning so that I knew what I had to accomplish for the day. At first I didn’t like this because I felt like I was ruining the thought process of EARNING a sticker. But then what I realized is that if I put a sticker up there was NO WAY I would want the SHAME that came along with taking a star down. One, it brought a little pain to take the star off, and two, it’s hard to scrap the sticker off and leaves a blemish on my calendar. I only ended up taking stars off three times and there were several times where I pushed through fatigue because I knew what I had to do to be successful.

3. Nutrition: I believe that nutrition is by far the most overlooked element of looking and feeling good. I see people that are in the gym day in and day out and they never ever seem to look like they are in good shape. It’s obvious that these people are not putting in half the effort for the diet that they are at the gym. This is sad to see. They literally dedicate hours upon hours to the gym, and want results, but just are not disciplined enough to take their lives to the next level. The easiest idea to understand is that you are what you eat. You simply can’t eat cheeseburgers and milkshakes and expect to be in good shape. I was able to eat whatever I wanted and remain in great shape throughout high school and college but I WAS RUNNING AROUND at TOP SPEED for over 2 hours per day (basketball and track). If you live a normal lifestyle this just isn’t feasible!! So if you are really interested in getting in shape stay disciplined for at least 3 weeks and I promise your eating habits will suddenly become easier.


High in protein foods

When people are looking to build muscle they are always seeking high in protein foods. Protein is considered the building block for muscle and helps with muscle growth. The main question that many people ask is, what are the best high in protein foods that I should be eating? I believe best is a relatively vague term, but I translate best into best tasting, most conveniently/easily prepared and affordable. While there are literally hundreds of options, I like to make sure I have variety. Variety makes gaining muscle and eating a lot more enjoyable. I make sure that I’m eating enough protein and at the same time not too much protein! The rough estimate for how much protein you need to consume (when bodybuilding/weight lifting) is between 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.

Example: If your weight is 200 pounds you should consume 200 to 300 grams of protein per day.

While there are hundreds of options I have certain high in protein foods that I recommend because of taste, and ability to easily cook up a delicious meal.

What are the high in protein foods you recommend?


1. Chicken: 30 grams per 3.5 oz.

Chicken is one of the easiest go to high in protein foods as it tastes great and delivers a heavy punch in the protein category

Ways I like to eat it:

a. Breast

b. Deli Slices

c. Ground

2. Beef: 7 grams per oz. approximately

Ways I like to eat it:

a. Top Sirloin

b. Strips

3. Fish: 22 grams per 3.5 oz.

a. Salmon

b. Tuna

c. Catfish

d. Swordfish

4. Turkey: 28 per 3.5 oz.

Ways I like to eat it:

a. Breast

b. Deli slices

c. Cubes

d. Ground

5. Buffalo: 26 per 3.5 oz.

Ways I like to eat it:

a. Ground:


1. Beans: 7-10 grams per half cup


1. Milk: 8 grams per cup

2. Chocolate Milk: 8 grams per cup

3. Cottage Cheese: 15 grams per half cup

4. Eggs: 7 grams per egg


1. Almonds: 8 grams per ¼ cup

2. Cashews: 5 grams per ¼ cup

3. Peanuts: 9 grams per ¼ cup

4. Mixed nuts: 8 grams per ¼ cup

5. Walnuts: 7 grams per ¼ cup

Protein Supplements:

1. Muscle Milk: 24 grams

2. Protein Shake with milk: 42 grams

3. Protein Shake with water: 32 grams

4. My Favorite Protein Shake of All-Time: 50-75 grams


These are a few of the high in protein foods that I recommend and eat on a weekly basis. What are some of your favorite high in protein foods that you recommend?


The above measurements were found from personal experience and found at


Resources mentioned

2013 Fitness Challenge – WINNER!!!

And the 2013 for the fitness challenge is… Drum roll please… dadadadadadadadadadadadadad boom cha… Mike!!! Tears, hugs, and high fives, along with champagne and a speech!!! Ok… not quite…. maybe more like a simple email went out to a couple of coworkers and one person said congratulations, But it definitely made me realize how competitive I am as I felt way too accomplished ahah. I knew I worked hard this year and I’m very happy that it paid off. Not only did I win some prize money but I won a lot of bragging rights. Come to think of it I need to rub it in a little more to my coworkers. It’s all in good fun.

Winning the fitness challenge was a lot of fun but also a lot of work. A lot of people ask, How do you win the fitness challenge? It’s all based on outward appearance and transformation from beginning to end. At the beginning of the challenge I was very out of shape but by the end I was almost in the best shape of my life. I was doing soccer, hot yoga, running, lifting, walking, crossfit, ab workouts and really got after it. The difficult part for me was still getting a six pack to really shine through. I believe it was mainly due to nutrition. But at the end of the day I won!! What a great year.