All posts by David

Growing up with a father who was a high school football coach, I was around sports my entire life. Even to this day, at the age of 55, I'm a professional physique competitor. So, as you can read from my blog, I see the world as one big sports arena that teaches us all lessons on life. Enjoy, because today, your life will change.

To make progress, you should be measuring

By David Tepera, January 15, 2019

Recently, we were invited by our friend Jerome Karam, the owner of World’s Gym in Texas City, to attend a free seminar by former Mr. Universe Lee Labrada and his son (and IFBB Pro) Hunter.

I was intrigued since Lee was our Houston hero in the body building industry throughout the 1990s, plus he holds over 22 body building titles. Since Lee is my age, I followed him over the many years to learn more about the sport.

Tina and I spent several hours with the Labrada duo discussing everything from weight training to nutrition. This was extremely important to us since we offer these services to all our clients.

But, what struck me the most was how well in shape Lee was, along with the muscle size that he still possesses. Being a motivational speaker, I had a few questions for the 59-year-old former Mr. Universe.

Me: “Lee, what became your motivation to pursue body building as a pro? It’s a hard road and only a few truly make it to the top level.”

Lee: “David, I started weight training to help rehab from a high school football injury. I quickly gained muscle definition to which I realized I was better at lifting weights than football. I won my first contest as Teen Texas and was hooked. My drive to push my body to its limit, to be better than others, a never-quit attitude, had helped me to become a world champion.”

Me: “We’ve just started the new year, and most everyone’s resolution is to improve health. What’s one piece of advice you can give my readers?”

Lee: “First of all, you should always be measuring something. If you’re trying to lose weight, measure your fat percentage. For me, I was working on muscle growth, so I constantly tape measured my biceps and legs. Look, even changing your food portions is a means of measurement. Most people use the weight scales for measuring, but if you’re weight training, the scale can be deceiving for fat loss.”

Now, after a few informative hours with Lee, we both agreed that our society has gotten out of control with obesity, and it’s our responsibility to use our platforms to help others seek a healthier life.

We exchanged books, took some pics, shook hands and agreed to continue our journey to impact this world. So, a big shout-out to Worlds Gym for helping me connect with one of my body building idols.

Learn to ride the waves

By David Tepera, January 9, 2019

Back in the 1980s, in my early 20s, I chose to take up surfing because it seemed really cool, I loved the ocean, and thought the girls would dig it.

I didn’t think it would be too difficult since I was a competitive swimmer and former water polo player. So, I borrowed a friend’s board and headed out to Galveston seawall along pier 39.

Before I dove into the water, I watched the other surfers hoping to learn some tips and tricks. Feeling confident, I plunged in ready to show off my skills and be king of the waves.

Well, as you can imagine, it didn’t turn out the way it played in my head. With each crashing wave, I slipped, tumbled and choked on water. I couldn’t believe that “me” a strong swimmer was getting his butt kicked by the ocean.

But then it happened, I clumsily rode my first wave along the shore. The feeling of accomplishment to conquer and tame the ocean was addictive. At that moment, surfing became my passion for years.

Within a short time, I became a seasoned surfer learning the importance of waxing for grip, the difference between long and short boards, and to hang-10 under a rip-curl.

How many can relate other moments in life similar to my surfing experience? Remember the feeling of your first birdie or parring a hole, riding a wheely on your bicycle, first home run, or hitting a 3-pointer?

From all the examples I listed above, how many times to did you crash and burn before accomplishing any feats?

For all you sales people, how many times did the gate keepers prevent you from meeting with the top brass? But with persistence and creativity, you found a way to land the business.

A hundred doors of opportunity might slam in your face, but all it takes is one big break to change your life. Remember, your biggest successes came from multiple failures. If you want it, never ever give up because with persistence, you’ll learn to ride the waves

New Year, new level

By David Tepera, January 2, 2019

OK, here we go, another new year full of hopes and promises. Believe me, I agree, we should set higher expectations of ourselves and give it our all.

Tina and I just returned from a Christmas cruise out of Galveston. There were more than 3,700 people on the boat, and we were a little shocked that most people were way out of shape. We stood out amongst the whole group, with tons of people asking questions because we were at a level they’ve never seen in person. Tina and I were very gracious, approachable and offered all the advice necessary.

Now, this isn’t a bragging moment for us, it’s a realization that there’s really a serious problem with American diet and exercise.

Once we returned home, Tina and I took the kids to dinner and had a discussion about taking our lives to another level. We are a family of physique competitors and people need our help, but we have to be leaders in all aspects of life. This isn’t just our bodies, but the way we apply ourselves towards everyone.

Even though my kids, who are 20 and 18 years old, are very kind and respectful, I want them to be leaders amongst their peers, plus anyone they come in contact with.

So, the Teperas’ new year’s resolution is to take our lives to another level by helping others.

What about you? What is your current status in your environment? Are you satisfied with your job, as an athlete, student, parent, employer, religion and so on?

Do you just want to be on the team, or do you want to be a starter? Are you working to improve your skills, giving up partying, studying or going to night school, being more understanding or changing social circle?

Here’s a list of some things that will prevent you from reaching another level: taking things personally, holding on to the past, over-stressing, poor diet, complaining, gossiping, stuck on Facebook and other social media.

Of course, these are my personal opinions, but I’m hoping to create some constructive thinking.

You’ve already decided to make this year better than the past. I’m on board with you. Let’s all continue to improve. Make set-backs and failures be a teaching moment. Learn from these mistakes to better ourselves.

Remember, 2019 is the year you’re going to stay focused and take your life to a whole new level.

Christmas blah, bloated and broke

By David Tepera, December 26, 2018

Well, you’ve made it through a long month of Christmas parties, gifting and lack of exercise. Yep, right now, you’re probably feeling a little blah, bloated and broke. Don’t feel alone, even as a family of professional physique competitors, we’ve battled the diet challenges all month, too.

I know there’s still one more week of celebration with New Year’s around the corner, but it’s time to get your bodies in motion again.

Being in the fitness industry, we typically see people registering for gym memberships in January, along with every quick weight loss program imaginable. Then finally, people start signing up for personal training by February and March due to the lack of success on their own.

I’m not referring to anything negative about this process, it’s just the way it has always been.

The good news is people are truly sincere about enhancing their lives to become healthier. I applaud your efforts because it is life changing.

Remember, the journey to a healthy life is a marathon and not a sprint. When you go all in too quick, you set yourself up for failure. I always tell my clients not to beat themselves up for falling off the wagon. Just pick up where you left off and keep moving.

It takes three to four weeks of steady training to get your bodies adjusted. Then, starting around the fifth week, changes become visible. All of our clients notice muscle gains and fat loss around that time.

What’s most important is to stay focused and determined because your body will keep improving. Yes, if you skip an entire week, it will be a set-back, but don’t give up. Your body will bounce back, plus you’ll feel better about yourself.

Here are some of the benefits for weight training alone; lean muscle, stronger bones, metabolism boost, better immune and cardiovascular system, and most importantly – anti-depression.

I’ve heard repeatedly from people whining about not having time or can’t afford a gym membership. My response “exercise is free”. Back in the day when time and finances were difficult, I would jog throughout my neighborhood for cardio, put cans of food in pillowcases to use as weights, load books in my backpack to perform sets of pushups, plus lay on the floor while watching tv and rep-out tons of sit-ups.

So, to me, there are no excuses, just be creative and have fun.

Now, let’s all get rid of the Christmas blah, bloated and broke feeling, and start ramping up for an amazing 2019.

Discipline, dedication and desire is the only answer

By David Tepera, December 19, 2018

There’s no secret, America is plagued by an obesity epidemic. According to statistics, 67 percent of people will never use their gym memberships, and 80 percent of you will fail new year’s resolution by February.

Back in the 1960s and 70s, local gyms were scarce. There once was a perceived thought that weight lifting was unhealthy, and bulky muscles would slow down athletes. Thank goodness Arnold Schwarzenegger came on the scene because he put weight training on the map. He has spent his entire life changing the health and fitness industry. Now, gyms are popping up everywhere, just like donut shops.

Even though the fitness industry is a booming multi-billion-dollar business, there’s a problem. We are bombarded with false promises, fads and magic pills. Admit it, you’ve been suckered, too.

I’m not one to throw stones because throughout the years, I’ve wasted money on plenty of products. But, that’s where I gained knowledge of this ridiculous fad marketing.

Besides my reader base, our personal training clients range from fitness competitors to serious medical conditions. They need the best advice possible. Our company not only helps patients get lean muscle, but a variety of doctors are signing up for our style of weight training, too.

Believe me, there’s really only one true way to reach health and fitness, and that’s from discipline, dedication and desire.

Yep, there’s plenty of you who’ve lost weight on fad diets. How’s that going for you now? Guess what? You created muscle loss, and sadly — weaker bones. Now, don’t misunderstand me, a healthy diet is more important than any other part of fitness, but not these so-called quick weight loss programs.

This isn’t just my professional opinion, there’s plenty of studies and documents to support this.

Listen, no matter your age, you must add weight resistance into your routine. It’s the path to slowing our aging process. The majority of our clients are from the ages of 40 to 70. After five weeks of training, their bodies are gaining muscle, plus their energy level is growing. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of our business.

The new year is coming, and most people are gearing up to improve their health conditions. Just know, weight training has a long list of benefits beyond stronger muscles.

So, throw away the false promising fads and get your butt in the gym.

Christmas parties about more than just eating

By David Tepera, December 12, 2018

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been bombarded with questions regarding Christmas party eating. Most people are trying to keep their diets in check, but the variety of foods has become challenging.

My advice is to enjoy the holiday festivities because this is that time of year where we have the opportunity to taste many homemade desserts. Now, don’t make a meal out of sweets, only sample the ones you want.

When it comes to slices of pie or cheese cake, I always share with another person. To be honest, I typically share several slices. Since I do all the cooking in my house, it’s not too often I get the pleasure of other people’s homemade delicacies.

Remember, it’s not what you eat, it’s how much you eat during these parties. But, if you feel that you’ve indulged too much, then on the following day, perform extra cardio work, plus reduce carb intake significantly. I promise, you’ll feel less bloated as the day goes on.

Recently, I attended an annual Christmas party given by two animal rescue organizations in Friendswood. I did my fair share to indulge all the tasty treats, but the best experience was meeting the special people who volunteer to help needy animals.

There was David and Vicky, who not only change the lives of countless canines, but gave a financial donation to the PTSD Foundation of America through my book.

A wonderful lady named Karen has literally hand-raised hundreds of kittens, vetted all their needs, plus found loving families to care for them.

The list is too grand because everyone at the party had a special connection for a passion towards animals. These particular gifted people are just to name a few.

Really, my message today is to look beyond the wonderful foods at Christmas parties, mingle with strangers and find the uniqueness we all possess. There’s good in all of us, so this is your opportunity to make new friends.

Now, next time you attend another Christmas party, enjoy the tasty treats, and bring a gift of joy, happiness and love. Remember, it’s more than just eating.

What scents bring you happiness?

By David Tepera, December 5, 2018

One of my kinesiology clients is a local high school head basketball coach. He invited me to attend one of his rivalry basketball games, so I did.

It’s been several years since my son Dylan graduated high school as an athlete, plus over 20 years since I coached high school sports.

At the game, you’d hear the squeak of sneakers from a sudden stop, referee whistles, crowd cheers, music and much more. But, what captured me the most was the scent of the freshly varnished gymnasium floor.

Remember, besides being a former coach, I also grew up a high school coach’s son. My whole life has been surrounded by a variety of sports.

That varnished floor took me way back to my childhood getting to hang out with my dad. So, I ran through all the scents that brought me into a happy place. I missed the sun melting wet grass on the playing fields, the stench of chlorine from all the years of water polo, including the leather smell from the balls I used in a variety of sports.

Besides sport-related, what other scents bring you back to happy times? What about baby powder? We loved the innocence of soft baby skin as they smiled into our eyes.

How about all the crafty people? Do you walk in a lumber yard and get excited smelling the fresh cut pine boards? You know that you’re about to attempt building a master piece of a fence.

I love the scent of nurseries while picking out this year’s flowers, shrubs and soil.

I recently visited a friend’s mother’s house who was cooking homemade fried chicken. I fought back tears because it reminded me of all the wonderful memories of my late grandma Tepera.

Look, we all get bombarded with negative people and situations each day. It’s part of life that we must learn to accept and deal with. My only resolution to eliminating these factors is replacing them with happy thoughts. Now, I try to incorporate scents into these thoughts, plus it takes me to a higher level of happiness. I truly hope I’m making sense of scent. OK, corny joke.

Take a moment and really put some thought into the scents with the most wonderful memories. I promise, in a short time, the list will become endless.

So, take a deep breath, and realize what a wonderful life we truly possess. All you need is to open your mind and take in the scents of happiness

Maybe it’s time to upgrade your life

By David Tepera, November 29, 2018

While in college, I trained and competed in my first triathlon. As a former water polo player and competitive swimmer, the swimming portion came easy. I was a decent runner, so keeping up with the pack was doable.

Now, where I lost all opportunity of winning was during the 50-mile biking event. Being a poor college kid in the 1980s, my bicycle was bought at a garage sale for only $50. At that time, I didn’t understand the importance of a quality bike in order to compete.

Since the biking event was last, most of the strong competitors flew by while leaving me in the dust — as my chain made horrible rattling noises.

It was at that moment I realized, that if I want to truly compete as a triathlete, then I would need to invest and upgrade my bike.

This experience followed me into my adult life and career. There’s been times where I felt stagnant and not getting ahead. I knew the only way to make another leap forward was to improve me personally.

How about you? Do you feel stuck-in-a-rut? You fight the daily grind, but you just can’t seem to catch a break.

Just like me, this is your wake-up call. It’s time to make an upgrade. This could pertain to night school, changing your social circle, seeking religion, joining a gym or a help group. The list is endless according to your situation.

Now, notice I didn’t refer to anything materialistic when it’s about upgrade.

We all prefer to fly below the radar so no one takes notice, but maybe it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and focus on you.

We are fortunate to live in a country with countless opportunities and unlimited resources. A good friend of mine is in her late 50s, and just went back to school to work on a PhD.

Forget what other’s think. This is your life, so take back control. We all know our weaknesses, so get out there to overcome them. That’s the beauty and reward of success, it takes hard work and perseverance.

It’s in you. You’re smarter than you give yourself credit for. Find a way, and make this the day to upgrade your life.

Thanksgiving a time for family bonding

By David Tepera, November 22, 2018

As most of you know, I was fortunate to be one of the assistant football coaches during the 1990s state championship runs at La Marque high school.

There’s no secret, a lot of these players were from different neighborhoods that had rivalry issues. But, through an amazing football program from head coach Alan Weddell, all these players came together to build a winning brotherhood.

One of the best parts of the whole experience was not only players bonding, but coaches, parents and the entire community. Every game was sold out with standing room only crowds, reporters from all over the area, along with police escorts to and from games. We all felt like rock stars. It was one of the most memorable times in my adult career.

Whenever a group of people come together with a common goal, a championship can be won. We must find a way to release our differences, have each other’s back and fight our way to the top.

This week, there will be many of us celebrating Thanksgiving together. If you’re like our family, there will be relatives and friends coming from all over to gather during this special holiday.

This is a time for people to forget their political views, discrepancies and all other differences. Believe me, there’s no winner in these debates.

For me, I only get to see some relatives once a year, so I take this opportunity to love and cherish the moments. I’m looking forward to seeing Tom and Jean from Philadelphia, along with my sister Karen and her family.

Our only goal is to reflect over past memories while creating new ones. It might be hard to think about, but it’s possible this could be the last year to see each other, so make it the best.

Maybe, it’s time to shut the TV off to play board games, teach the young’ns how to shuffle bones, play cards and so on. These types of activities force people to interact, smile, laugh and have a good ole time.

Think about it, don’t let this special holiday be a time of turmoil, make it an opportunity to express love and togetherness.

Don’t forget, ask a lonely neighbor or coworker to come join in on your celebration.

So, remember, just like my football team, leave the differences at the door, come together for family bonding and make this Thanksgiving a state championship victory.

We must all learn to fly

By David Tepera, November 14, 2018

Not too long ago, I was riding my bicycle along some wooded trails. By nature’s luck, I got to witness a young bird learning to fly for the first time.

This little bird was perched on a limb with its mother nudging it to leap. It was obvious the young bird was scared as it fought and struggled to stay in the tree. Finally, after a few minutes, the bird leaped with wings uncoordinatedly flapping as it crashed to the cushioned grass below.

I watched as the bird gathered its bearing and attempted to fly again. It barely cleared the grass line to only make it a few feet. With each attempt, it flew a little further. But, after several tries and many failures, the bird glided to the next tree.

It was an exciting experience because I knew I was witnessing a choice of survival. It wasn’t long before the little bird was soaring in the wind, and had overcame the scariest moment of its young life.

Isn’t this little bird in all of us? Aren’t we scared to take a leap, get out of our comfort zone and possibly fall on our face?

Are you disappointed that you’re not where you were expecting to be at your age? Do you regret not trying out for the team or participating in an organization? At some point in life, we all dread not going out on a limb and leaping.

But, just like the little bird, with each attempt, you’ll fly a little further until you soar to the next destination.

July 2018, I took one of the biggest leaps in my life. I resigned from the medical industry to start my own business. I was scared because I have the responsibility of some serious bills, plus taking care of a family.

I decided to not try it part time, but to go all in and give it 100 percent full effort. Yes, at first, I was barely making enough money to survive. There were other medical companies wanting to hire my services, but I knew deep in my heart to keep pushing forward.

With each week, I flew a little further, and within a few months, I was picking up speed as I soared with the wind.

Even though I work seven days a week, my business partner Tina and I celebrate our continual successes. As the business grows, we get to change other people’s lives to where we know that we’ve made a difference in this world.

Bottom line, it’s OK and normal to be scared, but take the leap. When you crash to the ground below, it’s not as hard as once thought. Before you know it, you’ll learn to fly.