Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Off day? Off week? Off year? I don't mean a day, week, or year off from working out, although it can apply. 

You have had an "off day", perhaps an "off week", and if you are like me, you've even had an "off year".

Everyone has these: your role models, your favorite athletes, even the person you think has their life most together.

Even if you live a healthy and positive lifestyle, you will surely wake up to one of these discouraging types of days.

Just remember nothing lasts forever. 

Bad doesn't last.

Good doesn't even last.

When I'm having a miserable day, I try to excite myself about the next day.

The next day is a new day, and anything can happen on a new day.

Sometimes you just have to grind through a day, or a week, or a year. Just don't make it a lifetime.

Reset each day. Put the past behind you and formulate a plan to avoid feeling dejected.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Figure It Out on Your Own

There's too much conflicting advice out there.

Everyone has their own way of doing things.

And their way may not work for you.

Quit asking others for advice.

Quit stressing and wasting time, over thinking and analyzing what others do or what they suggest. 

Don't always ask for help.

Try to solve a problem on your own.

There are times where help and advice are necessary.

With or without help or advice, you will get by.

You can make a right decision on your own.

You can make a wrong decision on your own.

And you can learn from that wrong decision.

Seriously, mistakes are the best.

Make them off your own decisions, not others.

In fact, you shouldn't even be taking my advice to not take advice.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Don't Motivate Me

Negative people are motivating.
Lazy people are motivating.
People who make lame excuses are motivating.
People who complain are motivating.
People who don't follow through on their promises are motivating.
People who don't push themselves are motivating.
People who put others down are motivating.
Know-it-alls are motivating. 

The people I don't want to be like are the ones who motivate me the most. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

PR Every Day

The gym is an amusement park and your progress is a roller coaster ride.

There will be days you feel up high and invincible.

There will also be days you feel down low and pathetic.

Some days everything feels hard.

Some days your motivation is absent.

Some days you feel you can't do what you did just a month ago.

Some days you feel you aren't getting better at an exercise.

Some days you feel you are beginning to go backwards.

Some days you think "How did I do this before?" or "I'll never be able to do this."

I've been there so many times.

Confidence is low.

Frustration is high.

These are the hardest days to stay the course.

On days like these, it is important to improve upon something, even though it will feel insignificant.

Don't be picky with what it is...

It doesn't have to be hoisting max weight.

It may be cranking out more reps than before.

Or it may be an extra set.

It might even be the use of better form.

Even if the rest of your workout was junk, if you're able to PR in anything for the day, it is a job well done.

The seemingly insignificant daily improvements are what lead to long term successes.

Set some kind of PR today.

Do something today that you didn't do yesterday.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Summer Madness

Rewind three months... 

If you are a college basketball fan, this was one of the most exciting times of the year.

The NCAA Tournament, better known as "March Madness" was soon to take place.

You looked forward to the excitement of daily buzzer beaters and upsets.

You thought your bracket was going to win your pool for sure.

But after Week 1 of the tournament, you lost interest.

The upsets you picked, didn't take place.

The team you picked to win it all was upset in the second round.

The field of 64+ teams was now reduced to 16. 

As a result of how the tournament was playing out, you no longer cared about it.

The excitement you felt weeks earlier was gone by the end of March.

Does the same happen for summer?

Three months ago, you couldn't wait for the Earth's axis to tilt.

But you aren't in the shape you said you'd be in once the calendar struck June.

You had some unexpected expenses come up, and now you can't afford a vacation.

The abrupt change from mild spring temperatures to boiling swampland summer has you pissed off.

Summer has just arrived, but have you already lost interest?

You can still get your "summer body".

The house you hoped to move into got snatched up yesterday, but you can still find a home this summer.

You can still have summer fun.

The hardest, but best time to regain motivation is precisely the time you feel yourself losing interest.

At right about the time you feel you have failed, or that your goal is un-attainable. 

If you can re-motivate at a time when it doesn't seem worth it, you will be suited to find motivation for all seasons.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Do It Right or Do It Again

Today I listened to a podcast that featured a former Navy SEAL. 

At one point in the conversation, he said there's a phrase they use in the SEALS - "Do it right, or do it again." 

I love it! 

Imagine how much time and stress you would save yourself if you fixated on doing things the right way.

Write an acceptable paper for class, or re-do it.

Clean the kitchen to your Wife's standards, or clean it again.

Take care of your health now, or overturn your poor health later in life.

Put down the cheeseburger at lunch, or put down the cheeseburger at dinner.

Learn to lift weights correctly, or learn to lift weights correctly after your injury subsides.

Get your body in shape for summer, or do it again next summer.

Quit wasting your time doing things half heartedly, failing, then having to do them over. 

Do things the correct way the first time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Down 47 lbs. In Less Than Six Months

Bill Ahern began training at my gym in December of 2015. 

As of May 17, 2016, Bill has dropped 47 pounds. Losing this much weight has allowed him to improve across the board - resting vital measurements, body composition, posture, flexibility, strength, endurance, confidence, etc.

Two specific indications of his health improvements that excite me the most...

1. His ability to perform chin ups. I now have to sling a band around him to provide an adequate challenge. 

2. Improvement in his jumping and landing mechanics. He is able to be "lighter" on his feet with jumping and footwork drills.

I do not take the credit for Bill's success - the credit goes to Bill himself.

He is the one that has put in the work, and now is the one to reap the rewards of being stronger and healthier. 

Bill's mindset and habits are the gold standard that anyone seeking a fitness goal should adopt... 

He understands that changes don't happen quickly.

He has made entire lifestyle adjustments, not only adding in exercise.

He doesn't skip workouts.

He pushes himself and takes accountability in his own training.

He is coachable - willing to try anything you offer him, and listens to, and applies your suggestions.

Bill normally gets to the gym 3-4 days per week. When he is away on vacation, he asks that I send him work outs which he does on his own. 

Bill also works out at FXB several times per week, and is very active with his dog in his free time.

Congratulations, Bill, and keep up the great work!


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Best Nutrition Plan to Follow

Nutrition guru's are too easy to find.

Go to any gym in America.

Every fit looking person you see will claim to know the whole ball of wax when it comes to proper eating.

They will also know what the best nutrition protocol for you to follow is. And you will probably take their word for it.

I am not a Nutritionist.

I more closely resemble a scientist, than an expert in the field of nutrition.

I have experimented with, and have self-studied many "ways to eat".

Some ways of eating I have tinkered with.....

Carb cycling
Many forms of fasting
Small and frequent meals
Low carb

What have I gathered through my "research"?

What is the best nutrition plan to follow?

It doesn't matter ---- Discover what is the best for you.

Don't just trust the textbooks, the doctors, or even me.

Think critically and truly understand the human body and how it uses nutrients.

This is how to decide what dietary regimen best suits your goals and lifestyle.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Abandon the Instruction Manual

Life doesn't come with one.

Don't waste your time searching for guidance.

No one has anything figured out. They've only figured out what works for them.

Decide what works for you based upon your own experiences - not others'.

More on this tomorrow....

Monday, May 2, 2016

Train Attitude-Free

Don't think you're better than an exercise. 

If you can knock out 30 push ups on demand, then yes, 10 push ups will be a breeze.

But if your training program calls for you to do sets of only 10 push ups, don't roll your eyes.

Instead, make sure to make each set of 10 as challenging as a set of 30. 

If you believe you've advanced past the point of needing to train any particular exercise, you aren't "advanced" at all. 

If you actually know what you're doing (advanced), you know how to make a set of 10 push ups just as challenging as a set of 30 (examples of how to do this are beyond the scope of this post).

I'm not saying that you only need the most basic of exercises. 

I would even say that as your training age increases, more advanced and more challenging exercises should be introduced and begin to comprise the majority of your training program.

What I am saying is to not have attitude about the "basics". 

Every exercise can be beneficial and challenging if done to the correct intensity.

I don't think a "bad exercise" exists. 

It's your attitude and execution of an exercise that determines whether it's good or bad.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Episode #17 Written Breakdown

This is a deconstruction of the points made in Episode #17. I also touched on this in Episode #15. For reference, you can view these episodes at the bottom of this post. 

Do you hold your arms out when you skip?

Aside from this arrangement looking silly, there are performance based reasons to avoid it.

Shortening The Rope

This is not preferred because with a shorter rope, there is less margin for error with each skip. You will need to be more precise with your timing and jumping height, where with a longer rope, you can afford to be a little off with your jump height and timing. 

Fatiguing The Shoulders

Keeping your arms extended away from the mid-line of your body will be hard to maintain for an extended period of time. 

As your shoulders and arms fatigue, it will be more challenging to maintain a uniform rope length and skipping cadence. Once this becomes variable, you are likely to trip the rope up.

Try holding your arms out for a minute, compared to keeping your arms at your side for a minute. Which feels easier? 

If you are interested in training shoulder endurance, there are better ways to do this other than holding your arms in the described position. When skipping, I am normally attempting to go for longer durations than this position will allow.

Can't Progress

As a result of the first two points, it will be difficult for you to progress past a basic skip if you insist on keeping your arms wide. To be able to incorporate crosses, transitions, and double unders into your routine, you will need to have the arms close to the body.

This is because there is too much distance for your arms to travel when moving across the body (if the wrists are already stationed far away from your mid-line).

Keeping the arms tight will allow you to navigate the arms, wrists, and rope where ever you want (relative to your body), and still maintain rhythm. 

Why Does This Indicate a Lack of Flexibility?

From a relaxed, standing position, identify which direction your palms are facing. If they are facing behind you, they are internally rotated. If they face each other (or face in toward your body) they are oriented correctly.

I notice that people who (at rest) have internally rotated shoulders tend to hold the rope further away from the body.

The reason for this is because they have a hard time externally rotating at the shoulder joint. To compensate for this immobility, they abduct the shoulder to a point where the demand to externally rotate becomes less extreme. 

Abducting the shoulder.

A person having sufficient external rotation has no problem externally rotating from a more extreme position (arms tight to the body, where we want them to be). They are able to keep their upper arm against the body and twist their arm outward to where it needs to be.

If you have proper mobility through the shoulders, there is no need to keep your arms away from your sides. 

If you have to keep your arms out when you skip, you need to become more flexible in externally rotating at the shoulder joint.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

You Don't Care

I know....

It's obvious that not everyone values health/fitness in the same ways.

You may not care about being healthy and fit as much as you think I think you should.

You probably think it doesn't matter that much to be doing things correctly and most effectively.

That just being present is good enough.

Or better than nothing.

"Better than nothing" is pretty on par with doing the minimum.

And doing the minimum isn't "good enough."

You may be able to get by with doing the minimum. For a little while anyway.

But wouldn't you rather thrive than just get by?

I don't mean just in fitness, but also life in general.

Fitness provides you the opportunity to establish habits that will directly benefit your everyday life.

One habit is accountability.

Not the accountability to show up to the workout.

Not the accountability to work hard. You can work hard and still not have a purpose.

It's the accountability to get the most out of everything you do.

You invest time and money to work out with me. Don't you want to make the most of that investment?

You already hate coming to see me.

There's no way for you to escape once you walk through the front door.

You might as well make the hour of agony count.

Make the miserable hour a productive one, not an unproductive one.

Care about your training and your health status.

Pay attention. 

Train, and do things with a purpose.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Learn to Fish

PREFACE: This is a piggy back off of my last post, Don't Come to Me for Results.... As I proof read this, I can see someone taking it as harsh. Don't. This is only another reminder and piece of encouragement to pay attention to what you're doing. To be in the moment as you become healthier. To apply the lessons you learn, and the characteristics you develop into other parts of your life.

"Catch a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man how to catch a fish, he eats for a lifetime."

When it comes to training/working out/exercising, you need to learn how to fish. 

If you spend your training session mindlessly moving your body and weights through space for an hour while I "work you out", you aren't learning how to fish. 

If you're not doing the right things to work toward your goals in the other 165 hours of the week that I'm not around, you aren't learning how to fish. 

If after each attempt or set, you immediately turn to me and ask "How did that look?", you aren't learning how to fish.

Don't just go through the motions as I lead you through a workout. You need to understand at least some of this stuff. Examples....

Not understanding why a particular exercise is used.

Failing to identify active muscle groups.

Lacking respect for proper positions and mechanics. 

Never challenging yourself with progressions.

Reverting back to what feels comfortable, even after you've been taught differently.

Not being able to differentiate pain and training pain.

Never developing intrinsic motivation.

Of course, you do have the right rely solely on me.  

You pay me, so the burden is on me to make sure you are getting more fit and healthy in a safe manner. 

But relying solely on me is only half the equation.

Don't you want to maximize your health and fitness? 

You will, if you agree to take on some responsibility yourself.

If we just go through the motions of training/working out/exercising, we leave a lot that can be gained on the table.

I don't expect you to become knowledgable enough or motivated enough to be able to do this completely on your own. 

There will always be benefits that a trainer or coach can provide.

There will always be times to get help.

If you learn to fish, you will eat for life. If you depend on me to catch your fish, you may eventually go hungry.

Therefore, I encourage you to become more independent and self-sufficient with your training.

All it takes is being in tune with your body and your actions. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Don't Come to Me for Results

PREFACE: In order to see results in aesthetic form, you must spend time developing a foundation of certain habits based around performance, lifestyle, and mentality. Anything less is a use of the band-aid approach - mindlessly treading toward results and forgetting about them once they are reached; not considering how you achieved the results, or strategizing a way to retain them. Results come in many forms. The most powerful results you can get are the ones that don't even show. Pay attention to what you're actually doing. Don't get Band-Aid results.

I hate the term "results". 

It is an overly used fitness-related buzz word. 

"The results speak for themselves."

"I get my clients results".

"Look at those results!".

If you come to me on day one and you are only interested in how I can get you an end result, I'm not going to be much help to you.

I'm not interested in getting you results. 

I'm interested in teaching you how to get better at things. Things that will allow you to get your own results. 

Lots of things happen between "day one" and the day you "see results". 

Some days you get better. Some days you don't get better. But you can learn lessons on both of these days.

If you fail to recognize the small victories and losses, you're doing it for the wrong reasons.

Don't go about the process unconsciously. 

Trust the process (the ups and downs) of working toward your goal. 

Acknowledge the challenges along the way. Take note of how you overcome them.

Do better than you did yesterday. Some days you won't manage to do better than yesterday. So make sure to do better the next day. 

If you do this you will be in a great position to reach your goal. 

Once you reach it, you will have an understanding of what it actually takes.

You will be better. 

You will have results.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Un-Categorizable a question I am often asked, but have never been able to answer well.

As irresponsible as you (probably) think it is, I cannot even describe my gym to you. 

The gym is un-categorizable. Too many forms of exercise take place here, with too broad of demographics (in the form of members) for us to be labeled.  

Is this CrossFit? No.

Is this a Bodybuilding gym? No.

Is this a Weightlifting or a Powerlifting club? No.

Is this a Rock Climbing facility? No.

This gym is uniquely located and contains a unique assortment of equipment. 

Inside, numerous training methods and modalities (that I have determined to be useful, safe, and sustainable) are utilized to pursue goals. 

In order for clients and members to achieve their goals...

A state of the art facility is not required; that's why I'm in a warehouse. 

Extravagant equipment is not required; that's why the contents of the gym are mainly pull up bars, boxes, and free weights. 

Adhering to the latest trends in fitness is not a requirement; that's why my programs abide by the laws of time-tested strength training principles.

My clients and members work toward their goals by being challenged and forced to develop strength.  

By developing physical strength.

By developing stronger confidence.

By developing stronger social skills.

By developing the strength to be more positive. 

By developing the strength to better handle adversity in their lives.

By developing strength in tolerating others. People who are at a different fitness level. People who have different interests in fitness. 

This is why I go by "Drew Murphy Strength". It's a place where anyone who wants to challenge his or her self to get better (through strength) in any aspect of their life is invited to stop by.

I refuse to succumb to the pressure to "categorize" this gym. Quite frankly, it's impossible for me to simplify it down to one single category. That's because certain elements of CrossFit, Bodybuilding, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Climbing - and more are used here. But we do not use only any of these elements. 

If you are interested in challenging yourself to be stronger in any facet of your life, I hope to see you here soon!