Your strongest competition is your procrastination

By David Tepera, October 21, 2020

When your eyes open each morning, your first decision will dictate your day. Are you dreading getting up or are you ready to begin your action plans?

Remember, your only competition is your procrastination. That’s a bad habit you must release.

What thoughts are you allowing to take over your mind? It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity we encounter each day, but you can always find the good in every situation.

Why not start making changes today? Put some pep in your step and choose happiness.

For years, I never allow my feet to hit the ground until I thank God for giving me another day to be a better person, father and husband.

As I’m cooking breakfast, I go down the list of all my clients for the day and get excited knowing I’ll make a difference in their lives. I’m sure there are many of you who share the same enthusiasm as me.

It’s time to replace the words “could, should, would” with the words “did and done.” When I was coaching high school sports, I’d tell the players to execute with force, even if you go the wrong direction, you better go 100 percent. Don’t give up.

Look, you don’t stop doing things because you get older; you get older by stopping doing things.

That’s what we love about Ageless Muscle Fitness Center because most clients are in the older population. It’s rewarding to witness people into their 70’s gaining muscle and enjoying life to the fullest.

If you’ve been following my column, you’re aware of my oldest client, Pater. He’ll turn 102 years old on Oct. 23 and is still making improvements with his weight training program.

Whatever situation or environment you’re living, create leadership within yourself, put on a smile and get yourself moving. Quit wasting the day away. You get to make that choice each day. Don’t let others keep you down, so take control of your life.

I just shake my head when I hear people blaming others for their current situation. Yes, we all make mistakes, but those are only lessons. Pick yourself up and bust through another obstacle.

You’re only competing with yourself, so get out there, make a difference, make people’s lives better and punch procrastination in the face.

Your choice is pain of discipline or pain of regret

By David Tepera, October 14, 2020

Throughout the journey of life, we all have felt the pain of regret. We each can make a long list of words we wished were never said, including actions we took or didn’t take.

It’s these regretful times when lessons should be learned. The biggest question is, “Did these negative experiences make you a better person?”

We have many people come to Ageless Muscle because they regret not working out earlier in life. They were just about to throw in the towel when something gave them the courage to try one more time. They come to us with multiple joint problems and body pains.

We let them know that the biggest hurdle was already accomplished by walking in our door. From here, all it takes is discipline to be consistent.

At first, it might seem painful to have the discipline to drive to our gym and train several times a week, but within a month or two, it becomes a passion.

I feel we’ve all have learned the pain of discipline. I’m not just referring to exercise and diet, but other aspects of life.

There are more people who’ve quit college than actually graduate. I know someone who could never hold a job in the home health industry from lack of discipline. She bounced from one company to the other until she was no longer employable.

We’ve all experienced the pain of regret when it comes to relationships. It could be from friendships, coworkers, relatives or spouses. Maybe it’s time to stop regretting and pick up the phone and apologize for your part. I promise, it could be a new beginning to mend broken relationships.

Look, what happened yesterday is gone. It’s up to you to learn from the pain and make today a better day. You might be experiencing depression or anxiety, but sitting there doing nothing will be another “pain of regret.”

Each day gone is another day lost, so let’s quit this pattern of regret. You have the power to make decisions and control your destiny. It’s never too late to find the pain of discipline and create a better life.

Don’t listen to others, follow your conscience because happiness and fulfillment is right in front of you.

It’s the little things that give you an edge

By David Tepera, October 8, 2020

At the age of 59, life has been quite a ride for me.

I’ve been in sports and fitness almost my entire life. I grew up a coach’s son, played and excelled in multiple sports, coached high school sports through the 1990s, turned professional athlete at the age of 55, and am owner of Ageless Muscle Fitness Center with my wife Tina. Of course, somehow I squeezed in 20 years in orthopedics, as well.

Those of you who are of my age, remember growing up and only knowing your friend’s parents by their last names. They were called Mr. and Mrs. Smith, not by their first names. For some reason, this tradition of respect has lost its value. Why not bring it back to our youth?

How rare is it these days to hear the words “ma’am and sir?” Even Tina and I will respond to everyone we encounter, including young restaurant servers. with ma’am or sir.

Our youth have lost respect for elders, bosses, law enforcement, teachers, coaches or anyone of higher authority. What our young people understand is the people I’ve listed have earned their respect. Elders and others have lived and experienced life, and should be treated as such.

Speak to your bosses and coworkers with respect and notice how you’ll gain the edge when it comes to promotions. It’s the little things.

When did people lose common sense when getting pulled over for a traffic violation? You probably broke the law, so give the officer respect and possibly drive away with a warning. But, if you’re an idiot, you’ve lost all chance for an edge.

As a former coach, the players who made the biggest impact on me were the ones who were first in line, kept their eyes on me during speeches and instruction, helped with equipment and supported their teammates. They might not had been the most talented athlete, but they got opportunities because I know they would give me their best. It’s the little things.

After many years of marriage, how many husbands still open doors for their wives? I told Tina it’s my honor to open doors for her and show respect for all women when I open doors for them. It’s the little things that make her love me.

Let’s all start today by showing others respect and courtesy because you never know when the little things will give you an edge.

If you want to succeed, you must take responsibility

By David Tepera, September 30, 2020

Wherever you are in life today, the only way to move forward is by taking full responsibility.

Just because you’re unhealthy with multiple medical problems, is it up to the doctor to heal you? At what point do you accept making destructive decisions of food, drink and others that put you into that condition? Are you expecting more pills and medicine to cure you? Maybe they will, and maybe they won’t. Now it’s time to take control and start a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Is it the teacher’s responsibility to make you learn? I was a high school science teacher back in the 1990s. I could give all the information needed for a particular subject, but unless students wanted to learn, it wasn’t going to happen. I did my best to engage each student and make learning fun.

Is it the coach’s responsibility for you to be a starter on the team? A coach’s job is to motivate, game plan, teach proper skills and create leadership among players.

Unless that athlete wants to grow and become better, he or she must take responsibility to put in the extra effort and work. To truly reach your best athletic ability, it’s up to you.

If you utilize a personal trainer, is it up to them to get you fit? If you’re not gaining wanted results, maybe you should look within yourself. Are you really engaging and putting forth the energy required? Are you only exercising with a trainer or are you taking responsibility and exercising on your own? How bad do you truly want it?

How about your relationships? Are you being the partner you’d want your partner to be? If the relationship is without trust, can you take responsibility and make it secure? As we all know, there’s typically two sides of each story. Someone needs to step up and take over maturity.

Do you still wake up each day dreading the work day? Why and how long have you been miserable? Is it a coworker, the hours or the actual job description? Do you blame others for having another bad day or do you take responsibility and flip your attitude?

Don’t let others keep you down. Be the uplifted person everyone wants to be around. Someone needs to step up and create an exciting teamwork workplace environment.

Now, it doesn’t matter what circumstances you’re under today because to succeed, you’re going to take responsibility.

Are you a fast twitch or slow twitch muscle fiber?

By David Tepera, September 23, 2020

OK, I’m going to try and keep this as simple as possible. Within all muscle groups, there are a subset of fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. What type of exercising you’re performing will determine which muscle fibers you’re developing.

Slow twitch muscle fibers are aerobic which means “with oxygen,” so they are used for long distance exercise. These particular muscles are elongated and small. For example, those of you who enjoy jogging or spend hours of cardio, your body type will be more lanky without much muscle definition, but your cardiovascular system will be in good shape.

To give you a better example, think of an Olympian marathon runner, what body type do they possess? Typically, skinny Ethiopian people are top champions — right? That is definitely the definition of a slow twitch muscle fiber body.

Just know, if all you perform is cardio, your body is tapping into its muscle and causing a catabolic effect, which means your body is burning muscle tissue for energy. It prevents you from building muscle.

Now, what about fast twitch muscle fibers? These fibers are anaerobic, which means “without oxygen.” They are explosive and big. This is what body builder’s muscles are composed of.

Let’s use another example of Olympian sprinters. What do their body types look like? To me, they are like bull frogs. Their legs are huge and muscular. How long do they run? Ten seconds? These runners might take one breathe during the entire race — it’s explosive. Weight lifting is explosive.

If you want to grow lean muscle and have an athletic look, weight training is a must. Applying weight resistance to your body is the only way to grow muscle. This is the exact reason why at Ageless Muscle all our clients learn proper weight training. It’s exciting to watch people into their 70s get rid of shoulder, hip, knee and back pain to grow impressive muscle definition and mass.

Just curious, what type of personality trait do you possess? Are you like slow twitch muscle fibers and just take your time and cruise through each day? Or, are you more like a fast twitch muscle fiber and blow and go a hundred miles per hour? Either one is OK according to your lifestyle as long as you are productive.

My goal today was to give you a better perspective of the body type you’re creating from your workouts. If you ever have any questions, just know, I personally answer each email I receive.

Now, put your training plan together and build the right muscle fibers you want.

Conquer depression, medical conditions through weight training

By David Tepera, September 16, 2020

You’ve read many times about our weight training programs for older people at Ageless Muscle Fitness Center. We truly love changing lives for those who thought it was too late, or they were too broken.

Today, I want to focus on our younger generation. It’s already difficult being a teenager these days, and then the coronavirus shutdown has given many of them anxiety and depression.

My personal thought is we live in a world where people are being over-medicated. Yes, medicine is necessary, but I also know exercise, proper diet and laughter has many curing effects.

The following information in this article is not just about our gym, but for you to seek at other facilities near you.

My 22-year-old son Dylan personally trains and manages our fitness center. Dylan trains people of all ages, young athletes, but his specialty is teenagers with depression, anti-social issues and other mental and physical challenges.

Within a short period of time, it’s exciting to watch these kids come out of their shell, build confidence and start loving life again.

When searching a facility for your teenager or young adult, here are some of my suggestions.

Typically, these young people do not like crowds or large groups. A one-on-one personal trainer will be a must. The training style should be a slow progression through a weight lifting program. It cannot be a screaming loud coaching style trainer who from day one is flying 100 miles per hour. Your kid will hate it.

Also, I’m not putting an age range on trainers for your teenager, but a connection will be needed.

Dylan is a former high school athlete of multiple sports, a Texas Teen Beach Physique champion and a role model for all his clients. He has a gift of connecting with people according to their challenges.

Dylan has learned to become part of his client’s mental world to understand their way of thinking. Dylan uses our weight training program as a tool to get his clients to smile, communicate and build confidence as their bodies grow.

I’m sure each of you reading this knows someone who has tried about every medicine or therapy session possible. Why not give a kid a better opportunity through health and fitness? Maybe, one day they won’t need to seek medicine for every ailment.

We hear it often from our clients, “I’d rather pay you than pay a doctor.”

In work or sports, are you coachable?

By David Tepera, September 9, 2020

Throughout my youth as a growing athlete, I was involved with multiple team sports as well as individual sports. It was always surprising to observe an extremely talented athlete that wouldn’t listen to his coaches.

Remember, I grew up a coach’s son, so respecting my coaches was second nature, as was respecting all adults.

Once I became a high school coach, one aspect of my job was to mentor and help kids grow into young adults. As my father taught me, the discipline in sports helped students to become more successful in the real world. I took this responsibility seriously. I didn’t just lead with words, but with my actions. I jumped in and led all the drills with my athletes.

Yep, there was always those one or two kids who just bucked up against authority. This wasn’t a time to give up on them but to help guide them in understanding the path to winning championships. Most of the time, I was successful, but of course, some just refused to listen and had to be released because they just weren’t coachable. I was saddened not only because I felt I failed them, but I knew they had a rough life ahead.

You see, once you’ve made the varsity team, there isn’t room for bad attitude, slacking effort, being late to practice, disrespect and so on. This is a team sport, and we are all giving our best effort to win a championship. One bad-attitude player can disrupt chances of winning, so if you won’t step up, you must go.

Now, are you starting to make a correlation to your current day situation? For those who work for others, are you coachable? Do you put in the extra effort to be a team captain? Can your employers count on you to get the job done correctly?

Here’s a thought for you, if you owned the company you work for, would you want to hire you? Only you can answer that honestly.

I told the same story to my kids when they were young. I asked them if they are the kids they would want? Believe me, it made an impact.

Look, we can’t change yesterday, so don’t let that impact you anymore. Today is fresh and you get to make the necessary changes now. Step up your game, listen to your employers and understand the rules and regulations. Make sure you not only fit your job description, but attack work to help win championships because you are coachable.

Use your strongest traits to make it in life

By David Tepera, September 2, 2020

At Ageless Muscle Fitness Center, many of our clients are business owners of a variety of sorts. Every one of these clients have different backgrounds, ethnicity, with some from other countries. One thing they do have in common, as of today, is their businesses are successful.

Now, since Tina and I own a family business, I picked our clients’ brains to have a better understanding of their journey to success.

Just like life, it’s a bumpy road out there, but refusing to lose and a hard work ethic will climb you to the top of the mountain.

My client from Vietnam came to America 28 years ago, didn’t know English or have an education, but was good at baking specialty deserts. She went to work at a bakery to learn how to start and run a business and, after 10 years, she opened her own shop, which has expanded to several bakeries.

Other clients are in fields such as medical, engineering, masonry, machine shops, construction and so forth. Every one of these people hit hard times from economy to wrong business decisions. But, they paid their debts and kept pursuing their dreams because this was the strong character they possessed. They had families to feed, so failure was never an end result.

Believe me, we dealt with many obstacles and setbacks at Ageless Muscle, but the desire to help others kept us on the path to success.

So, you’re probably wondering what does any of this have to do with fitness? As I started this article that all these successful business owners are from completely different backgrounds. They range from the age of 50s to 101, but they bring that same work ethic into our fitness center. They never miss a session, give their best, and have a wonderful zest for life.

There’s so much our youth could learn from our elderly. If you want it, learn it and earn it.

OK, where are you today and where do you want to be tomorrow? I told my adult children from youth that starting from the bottom position of any company will help develop hard working skills. It’s these early skills that you keep adding experience on top of, and through time, you’ll start your own business of success.

Now, let’s all of us find our strongest trait and we’ll make it in life. Don’t give up.

The worst thing is not doing anything

By David Tepera, August 26, 2020

OK, you messed up again, so what are you going to do? The worst thing is not doing anything.

There’s not one of us who hasn’t failed a diet or two. Why do you think each new fad diet becomes so popular? Because everyone has failed the previous one, so let’s try the next fad diet. Maybe it’ll work this time. Sorry, but probably not.

Listen, all these crazy diet programs become popular because of genius marketing. I can hear some of you now: “Whatever David, I lost 30 pounds on my current diet program.”

Well, if you’ve found a program that you can stick with for the rest of your life, then that’s fantastic. Just make sure it’s not telling you to eliminate other healthy foods from your diet. We must all incorporate healthy carbs, proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts and healthy fats. Otherwise, your body is not receiving proper nutrition and other health problems are on the way.

Don’t misunderstand the message — at least you’re trying instead of not doing anything.

Now, what type of exercise program are you doing today? Are you still on the path from the new year’s resolution? Don’t worry, I’m laughing with you on that question.

We are in the midst of the summer’s heat in Galveston County and it’s freaking HOT outside, but that’s not an acceptable excuse.

If you can’t afford a gym membership or if you’re concerned with coronavirus, then you make the choice of getting up a little earlier or stay up later to walk the neighborhood. The worst thing is not doing anything.

Most of our clients at Ageless Muscle Fitness Center are in the high “at risk” category, so it’s very private with only personal training. We don’t accept people only wanting a membership. We are not about the money. Our reward is changing people’s lives that once thought it wasn’t possible.

Now, let’s shift to your job, relationships, marriages or business failures. If you’re the one who messed up, what are you going to do about it? Did you apologize and own up to the mistake? If you didn’t, I promise, this situation is going to become worse.

Right now, there’s been quite a few business failures out of our control. Did you put together another game plan? Did you find other business owners in the same position and try to strategize together? You’re not in this alone; seek others and get your life and business back.

Remember, we are all going to make mistakes and mess up but, today, it’s different because you’re going to do get up and do something about it.

What category do you fall in?

By David Tepera, August 19, 2020

Recently, I was having a conversation with a well-known tattoo artist. Our discussion turned to different displays of American flags and patriotism. He gave me a history lesson that I was not aware of, but felt I should had known about the “3 percent.”

For those of you, like me, who didn’t know, there’s a claim that only 3 percent of the American colonists took up arms against the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolution. It was the bravery of those 3 percent that led to our independence.

Now, if you study this further, as I did, there are present-day groups who’ve taken this term in a negative direction, but also, those who made it positive. For me, I want to focus on the good.

What are other areas in life where there is only 3 percent of good and production? When I was in medical sales, the top 3 percent of sales people kept the company profiting and stocks high. Most others were flying below the radar, with some becoming dead weight. Which percentage do you bring to work?

With the current rate of obesity, it seems only 3 percent of the population is extremely healthy. As professional athletes, while out in public, we constantly observe others. We never make judgements but are taking notes of a realistic trend.

I have to wonder about the 3 percent colonists who fought for us. How would they feel to what’s happening in our country now? I still can’t wrap my head around why politicians and media support the destruction and division of our country.

Remember, my late son Army Specialist Dustin Tepera was in the 3 percent, so I might have a different perspective than you. Believe me, we all have different feelings according to our experiences, so I respect yours.

We have a responsibility to create goodness, project love for each other and helping those in need. You have complete control of your thoughts and actions. You make the choice of which person you want to be. It isn’t just the responsibility of one leader or 3 percent of the population. We must all do this together.

Now today, I would like each of you to take an honest reflection of your life. What areas need improving? What leadership qualities do you possess, and do they bring people up?

Let’s all strive to be in the greatest 3 percent this world could ever imagine and come together.

Inspiration in your personal lives and business