Wednesday, January 25, 2017

How Ryan Became a New Person!

Hi Motiv8ers,

Today I want to share a Motiv8ers story.  Ryan Shonts story.  Ryan attends the 7:30am Ramsey SET and every day that I see this guy, I am so inspired by his determination to get into the best shape of his life.

Below is Ryan 5 months ago.
Now here is Ryan today, 30 pounds lighter and finishing his first ever half marathon.

Motiv8ers, Ryan is on a journey.  A journey to become a whole new awesome person that can do anything both physical and mentally that he sets his mind to.  But he didn't start out that way.  He had a life changing experience while out on vacation that shifted his mindset towards his health and now he is on a journey to becoming the healthiest person he can be.

Check out his story below:

"Prior to joining Motiv8 I thought I lived an active lifestyle; I would hike the Barton Springs Greenbelt, ride my bike, go for a swim, or walk around town lake on the weekends. In retrospect I was living a pretty sedentary lifestyle; fitness and eating well were not a huge priority in my life. The active things I would do were more of a leisure activity or opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. We are all busy, going way too fast, wrapped up in our day to day lives; working long days at the office, running errands, keeping up with a social life, and for those of you with kids - I don't know how you do it. 

I love to travel, I use it as a time to check in with myself, meet interesting people, and be exposed to other cultures. I went to Ireland in August which opened my eyes to many things; most importantly, I want to be able to travel, explore, hike, and climb for a really long time. There were so many tourists in wheelchairs or overweight or with other health problems that were unable to see so much of Ireland's historical landmarks and nature. I realized that there are hundreds of reasons for the current circumstances of these other tourists; but I made up my mind that I was going to be proactive about my present and future health. 

I live a few blocks from Ramsey Park and had seen the Motiv8 group a few times. I decided to do a little more research on other gyms, trainers, and programs; I finally committed to joining in mid September. My first workout was tough, but all the other Motiv8ers were positive, encouraging, and on a similar journey to the one I am on - the pursuit of a healthier life. I love a good challenge; to  improve, to become more efficient, and faster. Why would I not treat my health in the same way? 

What I didn't know during that first Motiv8 SET in the middle of September was that I was going to do a lot more than go to a "boot camp" a few times a week. Ty and the 7:30AM Ramsey group have become a part of my daily routine and lifestyle, we show up, we sweat, we make funny noises, we laugh; we get stronger, happier and healthier. Starting my day with Motiv8 means I am beginning the day doing something for myself. I focus on my mind and body, I don't worry about what happened yesterday or what my outlook calendar and inbox have waiting for me. I start my day with a challenge for myself, a community, and the intent to improve. Whatever happens for the rest of my day I can feel good knowing that I started out the day with a decision invest in myself. 

Motiv8 has been instrumental in helping me with my fitness and diet goals; always offering helpful tips on how to improve form, eating, and overall wellness. The biggest accomplishment and benefit that Motiv8 has helped me with is a holistic approach to my health. Outside of our workout, I try to implement as many of Ty and other motiv8r's tips as possible. Other than going to SET 4-5 times a week the biggest change I have made has been my shift from eating processed foods, boxed meals, and other easy, fast prep foods. I stick to a vegetarian diet, focused on whole foods and simple ingredients; keeping track of my calories, making sure I have the proper nutrition to fuel my workouts. 

With all of these changes I began to notice that I had more energy, consistently throughout the day and that my body wanted to do more. Avoiding the processed foods eliminates the "haze" or "food coma" feeling. Showing up for SET keeps me accountable and Ty constantly changing up the workout routine keeps me engaged. I have more energy during and after work to go for a walk or other light exercise and attend social events. On the weekends I still want to do all the outdoorsy things I enjoy; I have even started going for 30 minute jogs. 

I have enjoyed seeing all of the progress I have made in my health in just 5 months and learning what motiv8's me. I look forward to seeing what I can accomplish in the future and enjoy getting to motiv8 others along the way."  Ryan Shonts

Motiv8ers when I met Ryan 5 months ago he couldn't run the full warm-up lap without having to walk.  Also, we had to give him many modifications for many of the exercises in boot camp.  The workouts were hard for him and he had to take a lot of breaks.  But, from that first workout I could see the determination in his eyes to get healthier and day after day he showed that grit to not fall back into being his past self.  He was determined to create a whole new Ryan Shonts.  Over the next 5 months Ryan did every thing right and his results speak for themselves.  Here is what he did every week.
  1. He came to at least 3 to 4 Motiv8 workouts a week.
  2. He worked hard on his diet and took to heart that in order to make a change, and see change quickly, you have to make your whole diet from real whole foods.  Your diet has to be clean.  Whole plant based foods were key to his success and he slowly over time eliminated the processed foods.
  3. He did low intensity Cardio on his own outside of SET to help burn the fat and he did it consistently 2 to 3 times per week.
  4. Every day I noticed that he was mentally making the effort to improve each day.  On his first day he started with 10 pound weights.  Now he is easily using the 20 pound weights and having a great time.  And, he conquered his first Half Marathon this past weekend.
Ryan is the perfect example of Loving the Process and allowing himself to let the program make him a new person.  He didn't resist it.  He generated the Motiv8ion to show up every day and he followed the process. Ryan dude keep up the good work and embrace this new person you are becoming.  We are so proud of you.

Motiv8ers if this blog has Motiv8ed you post below and ask any questions you might have about Ryan's process to getting super healthy.  Also reach out to your Motiv8 Coach for help as well.  Remember we are here for you! And, remember if you are new to any workout program.  The first few weeks are tough but hang in there and just show up.  If you consistently stay at it your body will quickly respond in a positive way and you will begin to get stronger and healthier.  Just make sure to stay Consistent.  That is KEY!  =)

CONSISTENCY is the key word!

Motiv8ers that is all for today.

Stay EPIC and Don't Forget to be AWESOME!

Post below if you have questions and give Ryan a huge high five when you see him.

Thank you Ryan for being so AWESOME!

Coach Ty Out!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How HIIT Training Changed Me!

Whats up Motiv8ers,

Last week Coach Joe talked about putting more focus on the process versus the goal to help you learn to love life more versus always struggling and stressing over trying to hit your goals. And, the week before that I talked about allowing yourself to commit and actually do the process versus resisting it and creating excuses about why you can't start.

Crew if you haven't read those blog posts yet please do.  They are so inspiring.

Today I want to talk about my story on how I surrendered to the process and how doing that, helped me come out of my latest 100 miler and 100k successful, happy with my results, and injury free.

But first, I want you to watch this quick video.  Her name is Gemma Dawkins and her words are so motiv8ing and hits this topic on the dot!

 Motiv8ers one of my long term goals is to one day run the Hard Rock 100 miler in Colorado.  It is considered to be the hardest mountain race in the United States and it excites me every time I think about it.  The thought of pushing myself to my limit on one of the hardest races in the world just sounds so EPIC and I can't wait to run that course.

But, in order to get into this race you have to run a qualifying race so you can put your name in for a lottery.  But not just any race, another 100 mile race that is almost just as hard as Hard Rock.  So in the beginning of 2016 I signed up for the Run Rabbit Run 100 miler in Steamboat Colorado.  This would be my first attempt in trying to get into Hard Rock.

This race was held in September of 2016.  So plenty of time to train for it.  That gave me 9 months to get ready.  I totally had this.  So I put the training plan together, started laying out the travel plans, and put my support crew together over the months that followed.

But as I traveled through the months I began to face a problem.  I just didn't have the personal time to put in the training.  Motiv8 wasn't even a year old yet and between coaching clients and handling the business side of things with Motiv8, I just didn't have the time to put in the miles needed to train for this race.

This problem really put me in a negative place.  So much so that I gave up on my goal.  3 months before the start of the race I gave up and told everyone I wasn't going to do Run Rabbit Run 100.  I told myself, and everyone else, that Motiv8, my clients, and my passion, which is my business, needed my full attention.  I just didn't have the time to put in the miles.

For three weeks I was depressed.  I didn't show it to others but I was.  I even tried to hide the depression from myself.  Told myself that giving up this goal was a good thing.  But it just kept eating me up inside.  it was driving me crazy that I gave up on this personal goal.

At the end of the third week though I had two people reach out to me.  My girlfriend Alicia Ballew just looked into my eyes, noticing how stressed out I was, and said ,"You need to run that 100 miler no matter what. I think it is stupid that you gave up on it."  Then later that day Jeremy Gosnell, my business partner, came to my 5pm Zilker SET and said, "Ty you have to do this race and I'll help you.  Just tell me how I can help"  These two people shocked me because they kinda agreed with me when I made the decision three weeks ago but their shift in mindset stirred the fire in me.

So now I have a little less than three months to train.  I asked myself, "How am I going to get ready for a 100 miler without being able to put in the miles?"  There just isn't enough time to get ready and I haven't really done any training yet.  This problem was still frustrating the hell out of me because I wasn't going to change my schedule any to fit in the personal runs.

What was I going to do!?!?!?!?!

Well I asked myself what can I do?  What exercise was I getting in?

The answer to that was. HIIT TRAINING!  And I was getting a lot of it.

I coach five Motiv8 SETs almost every day and I came up with the idea that if I hit the HIIT training workouts hard with my clients maybe I can make my body strong enough, through the strength training,  to be able to handle the 100 mile distance.

This idea sounded crazy but in that moment I let all my stress go and I fully committed to hitting the workouts hard every day and I  made the commitment to myself that no matter how ready I was I going to show up to that starting line and give it my best effort.

I allowed myself to let my insecurities go and just allow myself to follow the process that I give my clients every day.  The Motiv8 Training Program!  =)

I started the process.  I made the noon Motiv8 workouts the workouts I would work the hardest at.  I found the heaviest weights I could find and I started smashing the workouts hard.  I had two races coming up to test out my new training plan.  The Tejas Trails Colorado Bend 60k and the Reveille 60k.  I went into both races with no expectations because the most mileage I had done per week is just 30 miles.

The first race was Colorado Bend 60k and I finished that race in 8 hours and 57 minutes.  The slowest 60k I had ever ran.  Years before I ran it in 6 hours and 20 minutes.  But I came out of that race injury free and feeling ok. Which gave me hope for my 100 miler.  Then I did Reveille Peak 60k three weeks later with a little bit more running training and a lot more strength training and I did 7 hours and 47 minutes.  Over an hour better then the last one and my legs felt great after this race.  No soreness or pains.  Which means my plan was working.  I didn't have really any leg speed during these races but through the strength training I was becoming very durable and I was still injury free.  Which, gave me a lot of hope for my 100 miler.

On September 16th 2016 I tolled the line with some of the best ultra runners in the world and I went for it.  I started the Run Rabbit Run 100. I went into this race thinking I was greatly under trained but to my surprise that was hardly the case.  Mile after mile went by.  Up a mountain then down a mountain.  20 miles went by then 40 miles then 60 miles.  My body was holding up.  After 60 miles I was just waiting for my body to give up on me but it never did.  My legs held up, joints held up, and there was nothing stopping me from running when I needed to run.  Yes it was painful and really hard but I could still run. Unlike the 100 miler from the year before where I suffered from an IT band injury for 50 miles.  It was so painful.

My support crew was there every step of the way and I found myself in the last 10 miles of the race running 8 minute mile pace down the side of a mountain with my pacer Leslie Elliot.  It was ridiculous!  I finished that race in 29 hours and 17 minutes conquering my goal time of 30 hours.

A training regiment I thought would never work totally got me into the best shape of my life.  And I did it all with the Motiv8 HIIT Training!  Here is the finish line pictue with the best crew ever.  Love those guys.

Ok so that race was a success, which had me wanting to put it to the test again with the Bandera 100k race that just happened this January 8th.  Here was the plan:

1. Do at least four Motiv8 HIIT Training workouts a week with my clients and work really hard!
2. Do at least three running workouts a week on your own or with the Motiv8 Running Crew.  One Speed or Hill workout, one easy run but kinda long, and a long run on the weekends.
3. Make sure to eat at least 3500 or 4000 calories a day from real whole plant based foods. No processed foods.
4. For recovery, since I don't get enough sleep, I focused on making sure I had a window of at least 12 hours of not eating so my body had plenty of time to repair itself.  Digestion takes up a lot of the body's energy and and when it is digesting it isn't repairing.  So I made sure I had at least that 12 hour window in my day so my stomach could be empty and my body could work on other things.  Ask me more about this in SET.
5. Make sure I get in at least one Yoga session or see Dr. Dave, who is a Sports therapist who works out of our indoor space, a week to help my body stay in alignment and workout any tightness. 

I put this plan to the test at the Bandera 100k and it totally worked.  I went into the race injury free and finished the race injury free, which is a huge accomplishment in itself.  Finished the race in 11 hours and 24 minutes which was a 51 minute PR from the last time I did this race back in 2014.  Here is a pic at the finish line with Motiv8 Crew and my support crew.  Love these guys!


The difference between this plan and in past plans, is that in the past I would back off on my strength training so I wouldn't sabotage my runs during the week and I would focus more on making sure I hit a certain mileage goal each week. With this mindset towards training I would always have some type of injury during the training process.  Which was so frustrating.  With this new plan the focus is on strength training and making sure I get in those good quality runs making it quality over quantity.   The focus is on the workouts not on the amount of miles put in each week.  this new mindset has made me stronger then ever and has left me injury free for the past 8 months!  Which is unbelievable!  =)

So Motiv8ers there is two points in this story.  First one is the easiest.  HIIT Training totally works.  It can make you so crazy strong.  My journey has shown that. It will help you get strong enough to do anything you put your mind to.  Even a 100 mile race.  =)

The second point is to not put all your focus on the the end goal.  As you could see above it gave me so much stress and heart ache.   Once I finally gave up on the goal and just said what ever happens happens, I began to enjoy life and that is when the success came.  I allowed myself to follow the process laid out in front of me instead of creating excuses or forcing something I couldn't do.  Setting a goal helps you find the process but I learned to love the process more then trying to hit the goal.  And you might find the goal comes much easier when you are enjoying the process!  =)

Motiv8ers today all you have to do is step up to what ever is stressing you out. let that stress go.  Leave your insecurities at home.  Walk out that door and just follow the process that you know you should follow and learn to LOVE IT!

Love the Process!

This is what it takes!

Motiv8ers if you have questions post below.  If not I will see you at your Motiv8 SET!

Time to make a new you!

Love the Process!

Coach Ty Out!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Focus On The Process, Not The Finish Line!


This time of year we all tend to start thinking about what we want our end result to be.

Maybe we have an idea of what we will look like for spring break or we envision having enough energy to conquer a busy summer full of plans.  Or maybe we even just want to FINALLY make that change that we've been telling ourselves could get us to "who we want to be".


It's easy to think you are separate from other people, that your struggle is unique and different.  We are all taught to accept our differences from one another.  There are times however when this mindset can make us feel like we aren't capable of having what others do.


It's tempting to figure that some people are just naturally gifted.  It's convincing to look at someone and think they have it easy.  It's even been said..."they don't have to work for it, like I do" or "they've always been that way".


I'm here to tell you that it's NOT true.  Nobody is ELITE!  We may all have different origins but our focus is always to better ourselves!


When I struggled with my weight and my depression I used to make rationales all the time as to why I couldn't get what I wanted.  My excuses usually were placed in some outside factor that I didn't have control over.  This made it easier for me to tell myself that no matter how hard I worked I couldn't have what others did.  I would tell myself that they were the "elites" and I was just a "normal" person.


So naturally, given this mindset, I took the position of "Why bother?"

But there were BIG issues with my outlook.  Comparing myself to others was just the start of it.  But why was I giving SO much creedence to "genes" and "talent" and "luck"?  Why were my comparisons always so focused on one end of the spectrum versus the other?  Why is it because I couldn't see myself being a 2:10 marathoner or 18 minute 5Ker I figured it wasn't worth trying to be a runner at all?  Why is it that I looked in the mirror and told myself I just didn't have the genes to have a nice body or that I just wasn't lucky enough to be as happy as others?

But we do this all the time!

The fact of the matter is we are all living unique lives with inconceivable circumstances.  Our gifts as well as our limitations are as exclusive to us as our eye color or our artistic ability.  We aren't only valuable if we can run a 5 minute mile or can wear a size 4.  But we CAN make the most of the circumstances in our lives and strive for optimizing our experience with what we've been given.

As I've gotten to know more and more people in fitness and running I've had some BIG realizations and probably the most important is the idea that MY experience is completely relative to anyone else's!  This was reinforced for me recently when I had a client tell me, "I never knew you struggled with your weight, I just figured you were always this way".  My how the tables had turned!

I've met some incredible athletes and even had an opportunity to workout with or even race some of them.  Being around these "elites" and learning that they struggle with their own limitations I can tell you 100% that I SEE the same frustrations, the same setbacks and the same disbelief when they achieve personal records.


It's not just what I can see now though, here's what I didn't SEE when I brushed them off as "elites":


  • The dedication to a clean and healthy diet that happens behind closed doors during 90% of meals.
  • The workouts so grueling they resulted in puking, passing out, falling down or groggy early mornings after.
  • The consistent behaviors that made getting to the workout and staying true to daily habits a foregone conclusion rather than a sporadic coincidence.
  • The sacrifices made to nights of debauchery with friends so that they were rested, fueled and mentally focused for the next day's workouts.
  • The mental anguish and debilitating doubt of oneself that comes from defeat in competition.

We romanticize the elite athletes among us as "superhuman" and sometimes we even criticize them if they don't show outward displays of joy, elation or amazement at their achievements.  But here's the thing I've learned, they have fallen in love with the process it takes to get there.  When things get hard they tell themselves "This is what it takes" and they keep pushing forward even when they can't see a vision of success right in front of them.


Your motivation should never be a body, a reward or even recognition from others.  We find our trophies in the habits that make us a better person.  Everything else is just veneer!

See ya soon!

Coach Joe