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I am Thankful for you

Michael Buckley

If you are reading these words, I am thankful for you. If you are reading these words and I work with you, I thank you. If you are reading this and I have worked with you at any point, I am thankful for you. If you are not reading these words and haven’t unsubscribed from this email list, I am thankful for you.



In a sense, every day is Thanksgiving for me. I make a gratitude list every day; sometimes it’s just 3 or 4 lines, sometimes it goes on for pages, but I always do it. I have so much to be thankful for: my family is supportive, hilarious and loving, I run a successful business in an industry I love, my clients are all really cool people, I live in the greatest city in the World, I am a father to the sweetest little dog in the world, could go on and on and on.


A mindset grounded in gratitude is the most powerful tool in building a happy, successful life. I urge my clients to make gratitude lists as part of their training programs.

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5 Biggest Fitness Industry Lies

Michael Buckley

What if I told you…?


Everything you think you know about exercise is wrong.

You can lose weight with minimal exercise and without giving up the foods you love.

You can have a 6-pack in 6 Weeks.

All you need is this one thing.

You can meet all of your fitness goals.  All of them; you will lose weight, you will look amazing in a bathing suit (you should expect to look like the AFTER picture below… but better), you’ll be lean and/ or jacked, ripped or toned.

I know the secret to manifest every wish, fantasy, dream, and “wouldn’t it be cool if—” you have ever had, you’ll kiss the girl or guy or both, you’ll get a deal (from Mark Cuban!) on SHARK TANK and become a billionaire and you will always be able to find a parking spot. A good one. You can do or be anything you can imagine!

It’s easy!




Sorry. Can’t do it. Can’t be like so many (most?) of the people in the fitness industry.


The truth is, most of the people trying to make a buck in the fitness industry are a bunch of filthy, fucking liars. I am trying to make a Buck (YOU CAN ACTUALLY BUY MY SHIT HERE) but I won’t lie to you.


I can’t lie to you. When you lie to people to get their money, you can only sell them something once.


I want you to be Fit as Buck. Fit as Buck is a lifelong pursuit. I want you to buy my shit forever.


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Michael Buckley

I know Halloween is just one day, but, with easy access to all of that candy around a before, during and, immediately after Halloween (at dangerously cut-rate prices), what starts as a Halloween backslide can lead directly into a Thanksgiving gorge-fest (“no point in getting back on plan now, Thanksgiving is coming, makes no sense until the Monday after”) that seamlessly segues into an all-Winter food bender/ sloth-fest, “I’ll just wait until January to get back in shape.”




Halloween doesn’t have to haunt you for months, especially if you follow these 3 Tips on how to avoid the candy crush, so you can keep crushing your exercise and nutrition goals.

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Michael Buckley

Have you ever heard the expression, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? What a load of crap! Let’s take a look at the first phrase in this sentence, “sticks and stones may break my bones,” I guess that makes sense if you have extra brittle bones or if the sticks were broken off of an oak tree but, even then, it would be hard for a human to swing an oak stick with enough velocity to do much harm. And stones breaking bones? I’m not buying it. A well-flung rock will cause some damage for sure (as would a smackdown from The Rock) but a stone? The first part of this cliché is garbage.


But it’s the second part of the phrase that’s really problematic. I broke my elbow when I was 15. I wore a cast for about a month, it healed, there’s no evidence today that it ever happened. But some of the words that people have said to me? Some of those hurt… a lot, some of them still hurt to this day (although less so) and the ones that have lost their potency still linger; I’ll never forget them.


Words matter. As a personal trainer or coach, the job is to advise, strategize, and motivate others. I am a Sherpa for my clients’ fitness journeys. Much of this is done, through my words. As an expert in the fitness field, my words carry a lot of weight. So, I need to choose them carefully.


Here is a short list of commonly-used fitness phrases I have stopped using and, that I wish my peers would stop using as well.


5)    “You can’t outwork a shitty diet.”

You can if you’re Michael Phelps. But assuming you aren’t Michael Phelps, here’s the problem with this phrase:

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Read This Before You Join a Gym

Michael Buckley

There are so many kinds of gyms; fancy gyms, meathead gyms, powerlifting gyms, CrossFit gyms, cycling gyms, boxing gyms, ballet barre gyms, small gyms, personal training gyms, Pilates gyms, yoga studios, gyms with pools, rowing gyms, gyms with daycare, gyms for women, gyms for men, gyms for both, chain gyms, boutique gyms, gyms for dogs, gyms with valet parking, the choices can be overwhelming.

So how do you choose which gym is right for you? I can help.

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Fitness is a Choice (and you should choose it)

Michael Buckley


It’s not something you do for 90 days or 6 weeks.

It’s a way of life, a part of who you are, because your body, this temporary vessel that houses your thoughts, your being, your soul, it’s yours forever. And it’s the only one you’ve got.

So why not commit to taking care of it?

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Is Cardio Making Me Fat?

Michael Buckley

You eat healthfully; a diet built around lean proteins and fiber and greens. You know losing fat is a matter of burning more calories than you take in and according to the calorie counter on the Stairmaster at the gym you are burning about 300 calories in 35 minutes. You feel like you’re busting your ass. When you get off the Stairmaster, you’re drenched in sweat, your face is red, and you are huffing and puffing like Darth Vader. Yet you are gaining weight? So what gives? You couldn’t figure it out. Then you saw an ad for an at-home workout program that told you, “Cardio is making you fat! Do this instead. Buy this program!” That can’t be true, can it? CAN IT?  Why are you gaining weight? Is it all that cardio?

And if it is cardio that’s contributing to your weight gain, what can you do about it?

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Liquid crack

Michael Buckley

A pre-workout energy drink almost killed me. Okay, it wasn’t going to kill me, but it did send me to the hospital in an ambulance (because I thought I was dying.)

I was young, I was naïve, and I was always exhausted. So, I started using a pre-workout energy drink before my workouts.

And it helped. I was able to work harder for longer and they made me feel like I could do anything.

I was killing it in the gym… until I wasn’t. So, I started searching for pre-workouts with more caffeine per serving. And I was able to keep crushing my workouts. Until, I wasn’t. So, I started doubling up on my pre-workout drinks.

And I started crushing again until…

I almost died.

After an especially-challenging, energy drink-enhanced, chest workout, I found myself spending the night in an emergency room in East Lansing, Michigan, hooked up to an IV drip of Ativan.

So, naturally, that was the last time I ever used a pre-workout or energy drink to get through a workout. Right?


I’m going to be honest with you. Sometimes I need a little something extra to make sure I get my workout in. In an ideal world, we would all sleep a perfect 7-9 hours with the perfect number of complete REM cycles to leave us feeling fresh, sharp, energized and ready to seize the day (and crush our workouts!) But we don’t live in an ideal world and, when it comes to exercise, consistency is EVERYTHING.

So, what steps can be taken in order to avoid using or, worse, relying on pre-workout energy drinks to make sure you get your workout in? And, short of that, if you do need an occasional boost,  what can you do that won’t prompt a trip to the emergency room?

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Michael Buckley

We’ve all seen ads for “miracle” fitness products that sound too good to be true. “All you need to do is buy the Super-Duper Ab-o-Matic and all of your dreams will come true. Once we process your credit card information, you are guaranteed to lose 15 pounds of fat and gain 10 pounds of lean, toned muscle IMMEDIATELY. No need to spend hours at a time in the gym. Eat what you want. But wait there’s more—we guarantee that in just 90 days you’ll meet the man or woman of your dreams, add a zero to your net worth and inspire awe and envy in everyone you meet. Literally everyone.”

Sound too good to be true? As a rule of thumb, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true.

That being said, there are some fitness products that are worth purchasing...

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How Much Weight Should I Lose Before I Start Exercising?

Michael Buckley

Getting your diet in check will be essential in helping you lose weight. Initially, reducing your calories will be the component that causes you to shed pounds. Exercise, of course, can help you widen the gap between calories in and calories out, and, technically, you could create a calorie deficit through diet alone. But you don’t want to simply lose weight; you also want to keep the weight off and if that’s your goal, you are going to have to include exercise at some point. So, at what point in your weight loss journey should you incorporate exercise?

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What kind of protein shake should I drink after my workout

Michael Buckley

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need to use a post-workout protein shake at all.

In an ideal world real food trumps a shake. But we don't live in an ideal world.

However, I know all too well how hard it is to squeeze in a workout and then move on with your busy day and you might  have to use a protein shake to make sure you get some amino acids into your body right after a serious session. 

But with so many options on the market, what kind of protein should you be looking for? How many grams of proten should it contain? So many choices. 

Relax. I can help.

Here’s what to look for in a protein shake…

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Too tired to workout? How to push through fatigue and get it in

Michael Buckley

In the case of feeling fatigued but not completely run into the ground, it is best to hit the gym. If you haven’t gotten enough sleep, you don’t have to have to train like Rocky training to fight the Russian running around like a madman in the barren wilderness of Siberia. Push yourself but be kind to yourself; if you’re not as strong as you usually are, rest assured, that not every workout is created equal. Why are you tired? Do you have a touch of insomnia? If so, one of the best ways to address insomnia is with consistent exercise.

Here are my tips to ensure you get the best possible workout when you're tired...

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Managing Expectations

Michael Buckley

Progress happens incrementally, little-by-little and my clients get stronger, better and closer to their goals every week, all of them. Acknowledging the little victories along the way is essential in building the consistency needed to meet those big benchmarks. Folks want results and sometimes you need to force them to hit pause and reflect to realize that results aren’t just something that happens in the span of the 6 weeks between the “Before” and “After” pix in an advertisement for a “miracle supplement.” (Don’t get me started on that crap. That’s an entirely different post.) The results of our efforts (and without effort there are no results) are usually right there in front of us on the daily if we take the time to recognize them.


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Michael Buckley

Here are a few questions for you: are you weighing yourself every day? Twice a day? Once in the morning and once before you go to bed? Are you weighing yourself at the same time every day?


If you answered yes to any of the above, STOP DOING THAT! It’s not going to help you meet your goals.


So how should you be tracking your progress? I can help.

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How much cardio should I be doing?

Michael Buckley

Your body is an incredibly efficient and versatile machine, so it adapts to steady state cardio rather quickly. As your body adapts to a particular activity (like running on an elliptical machine) it becomes more efficient in the way it expends energy to perform a task it once found grueling (meaning you will burn fewer calories performing that task.)


The antidote to overcoming a plateau like that is to increase the intensity of your workout program.


The good news is that even if you are pressed for time, you can still take your cardio up a notch so you can burn more calories without taking your caloric intake to an unsustainable level.  Working with intense intervals for abbreviated periods of time will improve your cardiovascular conditioning and endurance more than doing moderate traditional cardio over a longer period of time and you will burn more calories in less time working this way.


But… Cardio alone isn’t going to solve your problem.


The answer to “how much cardio should you be doing?” is actually…

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HELP! I’m trying to lose weight but exercise makes me hungry

Michael Buckley

Almost anyone will experience an increase in appetite when they drastically change the intensity of the fitness regimen, even if you are already in excellent shape. It’s not surprising that you’re experiencing a marked increase in appetite as you have shifted from being more or less sedentary to full throttle in a relatively short period of time. What you are experiencing is to be expected but there are some tips I can offer to help you work around it.

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