The Showcase Magazine - Articles


By Ed Halper, M. Ed.

My wife, Laurie and I purchased what was then Distinctive Bodies in June of 1998, re-branding it as Mountain Fitness. In 20 years of working with clients and in my own training, I have always used (partly in jest) little catch phrases that have helped with motivation. I'll explain them now.

   YOU CAN'T GET TO 10 UNTIL YOU GET TO FIVE: This can be applied to bench press reps, pull-ups, pounds lost, or miles run. Ten repetitions of your body weight on the bench press is pretty good, and laying under the bar, that can seem daunting. Just think of getting to five with the bar hitting your chest, hold it up momentarily, and get another three. Eight down, hold up for another second, and power through the last two. A set of 10 just got broken down to five, three, and two, and you got it!

  YOU LOOK GOOD, YOU FEEL GOOD: This can be broken down into physiology and psychology. Physiologically, as your body begins to mold into shape, you drop a little weight, and getting up and down stairs is that much easier. You're not out of breath as easily, and you have more energy through your day. Your posture improves as you lose some of that middle, and knee and hip pains start to lessen. You sleep better because your body is physically tired and needs to re-charge.

   Psychologically, you start to feel better as your pants get looser and you start to fit into things that have been hanging in the closet for a long time. Maybe you dress a little better now, too, and people see a difference in your presentation. You're happy because household chores that used to be very difficult are that much easier. Perhaps imperceptibly, but your mood changes and you project better to others. They, in turn, are nicer to you, as negativity breeds negativity, and positivity breeds positivity. You look good, you feel good!

   IT'S EASY TO LOSE 20 POUNDS, IT'S HARD TO LOSE 10: Unfortunately, I've seen it a hundred times. Someone has a wedding coming up, they go on a drastic diet, and drop a bunch of weight in a short period of time. They become proselytizers for whatever liquid, no fat or no carb regimen they followed, and swear they'll never revert. Then comes a birthday party (with cake), a vacation, and an anniversary meal. Soon the 20 is back on, in flabbier form, with more likely to come as frustration sets in. I always say, "Try to be 10 pounds lighter by your next physical, and the doctor will be impressed. By your next physical, have another 10 off, and you're on your way!"

   JUST USE YOUR OTHER ARM!: This is said with humor when someone thinks an injury will stop them from engaging in any form of exercise. In my old Krav Maga class, we had a "free for all' scenario once, and one of the participants thought he broke his hand (it looked that, way, too!). The ever-positive instructor saw it as a teaching opportunity, and said "This gives you a chance to use your other arm!"

   IF YOUR ABS ARE GOOD, THE REST OF LIFE'S PROBLEMS WILL EVENTUALLY WORK THEMSELVES OUT!: Again this appeal to vanity is said in jest, but good abs will solve a great deal of life's physical problems, preventing things like lower back issues and "gut fat," a leading cause of heart attacks.
No guarantee on the rest of life's challenges, but a good set of abs can't hurt, anyway!

    All of these little motivational tools have provided some laughs through the years, and gotten our clients (and myself) through many workouts! 

   Laurie and I have transitioned the club into the able hands of our good friends, the husband and wife team of Malcolm Rowley and Zi Le Wu.           

I met them both in our Krav Maga class years ago, and they both became members of the club soon afterward. Malcolm has been a trainer here for several years and has built up a solid base of training with adults and teens.  Their kids, Thelonious "T", and Portia, are Watchung Hills H.S. students and nationally-ranked Taekwondo competitors. I will still be staying on as a Trainer at Mountain Fitness for, hopefully, many years, and

Mountain Fitness' friendly vibe and commitment to the community will continue for many years to come. Use the motivational tools mentioned above, and work towards whatever goals you have. "You look good, you feel good!" 


Ed Halper has a Master's degree in Education (concentration in Physical Education) from Trenton State College (1991), and is a Certified Personal Trainer through SCW. He is recognized as an IDEA Master Trainer.