Thursday, April 30, 2009

Only Thursday?

It has been a busy day - let alone week.
We are in the process of being nominated for Fitness Facility of the Year. Now, other places may be BIGGER, some even have NICER SINKS in their locker room, but WE have the BEST TRAINERS, period!
Tomorrow is the FINAL day to vote for the 2009 T-Shirts. We are rolling out some new advertising in our local community to celebrate the 1 year mark of our "New" facility. Perhaps, most important is that we are knocking on the door to the "Hibachi 10."

In February, my TEAM and I traveled to Virginia for the 2009 IDEA Personal Trainers Conference. Basically, a collection of the best and the brightest sharing with one another. If you don't go to this conference each year you either:
a) are too smart to possibly learn anything from the 100's of top professionals
in our industry.
b) are too dumb to realize that "the best teachers
always remain a student."

I don't accept another excuse as these events are scheduled 12 months in advance and have attendance from around the globe!

Moving on...while in Virginia on our last evening, the TEAM & I went out for Hibachi. We sat around the table eating, drinking and having a great time. One of my employees said "We should do this again!" So I created the "HIBACHI 10". Every time we gain 10 NEW Clients we go out for Hibachi "Business Expense".
We put up a dry erase board in our staff room that reads HIBACHI 10. Every time a new client signs up we mark a notch. Since March 1st we are @ 8 with 3 evaluations scheduled for next week as of this morning! Call it the Law Of Attraction or whatever you will but we think - talk and joke about it each day. I'd say it helps!

As some of you know; I have been working in a Master Mind Group for the last month (a select group of 16 Top Fitness Professionals from around the U.S.) We exchange info and ideas and function as a TEAM to bring about the greatest in each other. It has been very rewarding thus far.

This weekend will bring me to my old "stomping grounds" of Long Branch, NJ. The NJ Marathon Weekend will take place and 4 of our Clients & Friends will be competing. Good Luck to Kelly, James, Lori & Barbara.

Frank Pucher

Monday, April 27, 2009

13 Weeks Out

I picked up some new running shoes last week and I figured it was time for me to start putting them to use. Besides, the weather was amazing, my bike was in the shop and the clock is a tickin.

Last weeks training was as follows:

Sunday: Rest Day
Monday: 40 minute run & strength train
Tuesday: 2 hour bike indoors
Wednesday: 45 minute swim & 40 minute run
Thursday: 2 hour bike indoors & strength train
Friday: 1 hr bike indoors
Saturday: 90 minute run outside (nice warm Florida like weather!)
Sunday: 50 minute run outside, again a nice warm day.
-Overall I felt good this week. I would have like another swim but my schedule didn't allow for it.

The coming week, I will try to focus on my swim a little more. Maybe 3x this week with some more strength work. I plan on running the Long Branch 1/2 Marathon Sunday as a "quality training run" and perhaps run around 1:35-1:40.

Frank Pucher

Sunday, April 19, 2009


My friend Rachel and I spoke of the top 10 reasons for doing an IRONMAN. No doubt she will explore the Spiritual and Emotional side of this experience. I have chosen to play Yang to her Yin and will offer another side. Here are my top 10 reasons for doing an IRONMAN.

10) I love the smell of Chlorine on my body.
9) Perfect excuse to shave my legs.
8) The strange stares you get (after the race) sweaty and covered with numbers.
7) Because my running shoes may be tax deductible.
6) The look of my eyes when I take my goggles off after an hour swim. Chicks dig THAT look.
5) I can shamelessly order “Extra” rice when I go out for Chinese food.
4) Perfect hobby for filling the “gaps” of “free time” in my life.
3) Who doesn’t want to eat 7 POWERBARS in 1 day?
2) Keeps me fit for College Reunions; when people say “you haven’t changed a bit” I reply “I dropped a few pounds.”
1) Spite; I’ll be damned if they can do it - and I just watch!

Frank Pucher

14 Weeks Out

Last weeks training; a comparison guide for my friends and the curious.

Sunday: 80 minute run, very windy - felt OK.
Monday: 40 minute run, ran in "old" running shoes w/o my orthotic. Bad idea for anyone & bad idea for me. My arch has been aching since.
Tuesday: 90 minute bike indoors & strength training.
Wednesday: 1 hr swim. My farthest-furthest? swim ever. Felt surprisingly good-well?
Thursday: 90 minute bike indoors & strength training.
Friday: 40 minute run w/ new running shoes & orthotic. Arch still ached-hurt?
Saturday: 90 minute run. Felt really good and arch appears to be getting better. I also dropped my bike off for repairs/tune up. Next weekend I'll venture out on my wheels.

It was a pretty good week for the most part. I am glad I got some more running in. I do wish I had an extra swim day, but work has been really busy. I'm going to aim for 2 days of swimming, 3 days of cycling and 3 days of running next week.

One final thought. For many years I've been asked by people who know me "any marathons coming up?" or "you still running?" Lately; I've been asked "how's the triathlon training coming along?" A stranger (to me) approached me at lunch the other day and asked "are you that Triathlon guy?" I smiled and said "Yes I am!"

Frank Pucher

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fill in the blanks

Try this great exercise that can be used for most goals in life.

I will accomplish my goal of ___________________, if I do the following 5 things right:

1) _________________
2) _________________
3) _________________
4) _________________
5) _________________

You do not need help setting a goal; simply write it down. It can be any goal in any area of your life. However, if it's Fitness related....We can help with the other 5.
Speak to your trainer and together we will fill in the blanks.

The Team @ Fitness 121

Sunday, April 12, 2009

15 Weeks Out

Last weeks training; a comparison guide for my friends and the curious.

Sunday: 3.5hrs on my bike trainer, consuming water every 15minutes, Gatorade on the 30 & Powerbar 1 per hour. Lot's of VH1.
Monday: Swim 40 minutes, nothing fancy. Felt good, first day in pool in 2 weeks. Strength work in the p.m.
Tuesday: Bike 1.5hrs indoors. Felt OK.
Wednesday: Run 1hr outdoors, cool/windy. Felt good.
Thursday: Bike 1.5hrs indoors. Felt OK, again. Strength work in the p.m.
Friday: Swim 40 minutes (short on time today, wanted 1hr). Felt good.
Saturday: Wind/Rain and needed day off.

Overall, the week was good. I would have liked another run along with some more stretching time, but I'll take what I can get. I have changed my lunch routine this week also, more chicken and rice (I need more calories than my salad was providing). Like my training, my diet will go according to how I feel.

Next week I need to drop my bike off for some serious maintenance work. Handlebars, wheels and gears all need "fixing". I'll perhaps focus more on my run next week as (Ironically) I'm starting to feel less comfortable in that discipline.

Frank Pucher

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


By now, most "Resolutions" have gone by the waist side. I suggest some "Devotion" instead. Beginning today, Devote yourself to these 3 simple things.

1 - What you do...Cardiovascular and weight training…You need both to preserve and improve heart and lung health (cardiovascular) and build and maintain healthy tissue (muscle, skin, bone, organ function). The answer to how long depends on how hard and how smart you work. Every "body" is different; speak with your trainer about how you can improve your current program.

2 - What you ingest...You say you "love" food? Good, now learn to love good food. It’s too hard to eat well you say? Then please don't complain about your body. Eat a balanced diet. Consume more fruits and vegetables than you are currently. If nothing else, drink more water. I can't make it any more simple.

3 - What you think about… We are but products of our own continuous thoughts. Whatever we choose as our focus, becomes our reality - eventually . See yourself as healthy, and energetic and the picture will aid you in your endeavors. Most people fail to change their lifestyle simply because they feel it is too far out of their reach. You must first see it and believe it FOR YOURSELF if you are to achieve it. Around my neck is a TAG that reads "Move in the direction of where you want to go, if you do - you will."

It's perhaps the most valuable lesson I have ever learned. Try it for yourself. Start today.

Frank Pucher

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Overthinking the Journey

My 1st IRONMAN is 16 weeks away. Truth be told; I’m nowhere near ready. Or am I? Other friends and competitors are snickering and bickering about my training and their own. Who read this? Heard that? Learned X? About training etc.

I've come to the conclusion that there is a sizable segment of triathletes who tend to over-think the sport, most of whom seem to be stuck at work perusing “perfect training” on their computer. Apparently, their chosen occupation is not challenging them enough. Over-thinking things is, after all, still easier than actually having to do said things. And so it goes…when all is said and done, more is usually said.

Triathlon is not an easy sport to master. The same could be said for every other sport out there. But this doesn't mean that it's completely abstruse or takes a genius to get to the top of the heap, else you'd see more scholarly types contending, that is if scholarly can be confused with genius? I've known some pretty dumb guys who have done Ironmans and none of these dudes can extrapolate or modulate or conjugate or triangulate or remunerate or complicate, let alone enunciate, yet all of them know precisely what it takes to reach a level of success that few souls will ever experience (thanks, in part, to the attrition rate and an adapted ability to calculate.) I could name names, but then that would only help to aggravate those in the know who claim that such a victory is not just a matter of applied science, but luck as well. Luck of genetics, luck on the day, luck that no one better had entered.

I'll admit that luck plays role in life and in sports, even more than an understanding of science does, but most of that luck can be controlled by simply doing what needs to be done. In the case of triathlon, this means running, cycling and swimming, and lots of it.

As an athlete, it's easy to assume that the more information you can gather the better you'll perform. But alas, things don't necessarily work that way. The last thing you want to do is clutter your brain more than it already is (even, as it is in my case, if it's empty.) After all,
the brain---your central thought-processing unit---is the REAL motor behind your performances (and sometimes your failures.) It's what sets your dreams and desires into motion (or, perhaps, it simply mulls over them until it's too
it's what decides what you're going to do every minute of every day; it's what clings to old wounds and/or happy memories; and it's what runs the rest of that amazing, wonderful body of yours. The more stuff it has to sort through, the less likely you are to succeed...or find peace. As an athlete, all your brain needs to know is what it knew when you were a child: keep it fun, try to beat your friends (and enemies) and attempt to do it again tomorrow. Simple as though it may sound, this capability seems to be lost somewhere along the way to adulthood, especially when performance is on (the) line.

Frank Pucher

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy Birthday

It has been 15 years (this April) since Fitness 121 first opened it's doors. Back then we were the 1st Personal Training facility in Livingston. Since that time we have had many, many changes:

4 paint jobs
3 complete equipment swaps
3 carpet re-lays
1 flood
1 move to ROSELAND
15 different T-Shirt designs (& counting!)

Since the beginning, I've been motivated by a simple vision:

"To make fitness fun; in a safe & efficient manner."
I learned early in my career that my clients can exercise anywhere, but the choose to remain with me because they know that "their goals, needs & limitations" are important to me as well. This lesson has been passed down to each member of my TEAM over the years. It is the reason why today we train more sessions each week than any facility in the area. In fact, it is our commitment to excellence in both service and program design that I'm most proud of.

Today, Fitness 121 isn't just a place where I work, it's a place where even I get to improve myself and live out my dreams. None of this however would have been possible without the help and support of many, including; My wife Francesca who has helped turn my dream into a reality. My brother Gary who has become more than just a business partner, but an OUTSTANDING Fitness Professional as well. All of our clients who inspire both me and my TEAM to keep changing and continue learning. My TEAM both present & former; "you have all played a roll in my development and no matter where the road may take you, I will forever be grateful for the time we spent working together." My Banker, Lawyer & Accountant who always take care of the "tiny details" that I simply have no interest. Finally, I wish to thank my parents who always keep me grounded while lifting me up at the same time.

The coming year will be very exciting, despite the economic climate, I expect to have our finest year ever. My optimism is based on this simple fact, our current TEAM is the BEST collection of Fitness Professionals to be found. All of them are deeply committed to customer service excellence and is well skilled in the finest training techniques available. I plan to expand our TEAM this year by recruiting and training the Best Fitness Professionals in the area. In doing so, we will continue to offer more value & better service than any Fitness Studio or Big Box Health Club at any price.

Back in 1994, we were simply the 1st. All these years later we are simply the best!

Frank Pucher