Category Archives: Fitness

It was hard to get here, but harder to stay here

By David Tepera, September 11, 2019

My 18-year-old daughter Daylyn has had a rough go over the past several years.

Her volleyball career ended the summer before her sophomore year in high school because of an extensive corrective knee surgery. Daylyn had the same procedure on the other knee the following year before her junior year.

Since the recovery time took many months, and her physical activity was limited, Daylyn had put on some significant weight.

You have to remember, Daylyn lives in a house with professional physique competitors. Among Tina, her brother Dylan and I, it’s an environment of extreme health and fitness.

There were times when Daylyn felt like an outcast when we were out in the public eye. We never made an issue of this because she is a beautiful young lady, but it created some depression.

Now, fast forward to this past summer before Daylyn’s senior year of high school. On her own, Daylyn started a new journey of exercise and diet. She didn’t ask any of us for advice. Daylyn wanted to control her own destiny, and believe me, she did.

Well, her senior year has started, and Daylyn lost 62 pounds. Yes, she did that within three months.

Recently, Daylyn and I were discussing her mental journey of achievement because she is able to keep the weight off through a healthy diet.

Daylyn’s response to me was, “It was hard to get there, but it’s harder to stay there.” I explained to Daylyn that is true in every sense of life.

If you own a successful business, you must stay on your game to stay at the top because competitors are trying to take it away from you.

How many of you courted your spouse to win them over and fall in love? After many years, marriage can be challenging, so you must continue to keep it exciting.

When you’re a starter for a team, remember someone is working to take your spot. You better keep upping your skills, or you’ll sit on the bench.

The true message today is to never get complacent and be on cruise control. You worked hard for your accomplishments, so work harder to stay there.

How do you see yourself?

By David Tepera, November 9, 2018

Being in the fitness industry, I’m surrounded by all body types. This is from the morbidly obese to the almost severe anorexia, and, of course, all the in-betweens.

But, what doesn’t surprise me anymore is how almost everyone is not happy with their bodies. Believe it or not, people who compete in physique and bodybuilding competitions are the worst when it comes to self-body shaming. A lot of these competitors develop a condition known as muscle dysmorphia.

To us, we see huge well-developed muscles. To people with this disorder, they see themselves as having small underdeveloped bodies.

Also, what happens to some extreme competitors, they look their absolute best on the day of the show, but quickly lose discipline, eat everything in sight, and completely fall off the wagon when it comes to training.

Because of these extreme conditions, Tina, Dylan and I keep our bodies within four to six weeks of competition year-round. We don’t allow ourselves to be depressed over a few pounds of extra body fat. We know, within a few weeks, along with discipline, we can be competition ready.

Now, how about you? Do you find yourself constantly body-shaming? Listen, women, it’s normal to carry extra weight around your butt and hips. Guys, as you get older, it’s normal to carry weight around your midsection.

I tell all my clients, our goal is to add lean muscle mass, increase metabolism, and improve cardiovascular function. As we accomplish these goals, the fat will burn its way off.

Really, the most important process of exercise is to help live a more energetic life. It’s a fun world out there, so get out of the habit of running to the couch each night. Yes, we are all exhausted from a hard-day’s work, but through time, your body and mind will crave exercise.

By now, if you’ve been reading my column long enough, you learned how exercise is an anti-depressant.

I’m only 57 years old, but I know for a fact, if it wasn’t for a healthy lifestyle, I would not be here today.

So, tonight, when you’re about to get in the shower, take a hard look at yourself in the mirror. Make a commitment to never say another negative word about your looks. Find the beauty that you possess because I guarantee, you are the most magnificent, incredible amazing person you know.

All you need to do is smile, laugh, love and take care of yourself. That’s how I see it.

Find your passion

By David Tepera, October 17, 2017

In a few weeks, hundreds of athletes, my training partner Tina and I will be competing in an international world physique competition. Even though we’ve been training for countless months, the last six weeks requires total dedication and focus.

Our lives have been more than just weightlifting, it’s a complete lifestyle every hour of the day. To be a champion, timing of certain complex carbs, proteins, water and sodium is a must. The entire preparation is to be at your best on game day. Our passion to win has completely consumed us.

My question to you is — what’s your passion? What makes you wake up every morning to be at your best? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to reach the ultimate goal? Do you truly want to be a champion or just receive a participation trophy?

We all have a desire to go beyond the norm, but the will to sacrifice can be most challenging. Are you willing to get up early mornings and stay up late to study, learn, educate or train? Can you give up bad habits, partying and break away from those who hold you back?

We all have different lifestyles, but you honestly know that so much more can be accomplished by eliminating negative factors.

Isn’t today the day you’ve had enough? Tell yourself, “that’s it, I control my life, so get out of my way because I’m not going around you.”

We are all put on this earth to make lives better and to be a productive and kind citizen. I don’t care what your current status is because you know deep in your heart that it can start changing immediately with a determined mindset.

Yes, I’m being very direct today, but sometimes, someone needs to get in your face and tell you, “wake up.”

Listen, this is your day. Let passion consume and boil inside of you. Feel the intensity growing to become what you truly desire to be. You’re already a champion, so let that warrior out and bust through this life to kick some butt. Stomp your feet, pound your chest and shout at the top of your lungs, “I will be what I was destined to be.”

Daily life is your workout

By David Tepera, September 12, 2017

Lately, I’ve been really studying people’s actions and postures as they go through daily life. I’ve come to the conclusion that most people, if not all of us, seem to perform tasks with as little effort as possible.

For example, when you bend over to pick something up, do you bend your knees and go into a squat? Or, do you just reach down sticking your booty up in the air? Besides looking funny, it’s not doing your back any favors.

When carrying something heavy, do you let your shoulders slump over with arms fully extended? Or, do you keep your posture up straight and hold the item close to your torso?

From those two examples just listed, if you would pick up and hold things properly, it would strengthen muscles and develop a stronger core.

Bending with your knees develops stronger leg and butt muscles. Keeping a straight posture while holding items correctly develops stronger shoulders, chest and biceps.

This doesn’t just happen in daily life, I see it all the time in the gym. Most people have horrible postures while picking up weights and dumbbells. Most injuries in the gym are due to poor posture and incorrect lifting habits.

If you frequent the gym, have you noticed the lazy inconsiderate people who leave their weights on the machine? I have a real issue with this, but that rant is for another day.

What’s the speed of your pace while walking? Are you one of those slow-moving people who shuffle their feet that I always get stuck behind? Or, do you have quick steps because you’re trying to get from point A to point B as fast as possible?

You’d be surprised how daily living can be turned into a workout. Even your metabolism would kick-in and burn more fat.

Start paying attention to yourself. I promise, you’ll catch all the obvious mistakes and realize you have lazy habits. Believe me, I catch myself all the time, but I’ve become aware and I’m doing my best to correct it.

Now, let’s all do our best each day and strive for a healthy active life.

Getting back to normality is a must

By David Tepera, September 6, 2017

There’s no secret: in some way, Hurricane Harvey affected everyone in Galveston County. Of course, the storm created havoc across the state and beyond, but today’s focus is on you and family.

All of our lives have been disrupted and getting back to normal will take time, more for some than others.

I was having an interesting discussion with Natasha Reyes who owns Fit Life Fitness in League City. Natasha was kind enough to give me a key to her gym in order to continue training for an upcoming competition.

Natasha’s gym sustained minimal rain damage and was ready for business. Natasha was feeling a bit torn to announce Fit Life was open to all her clients and members. She knew people were busy picking up the pieces to put their lives back together, and the gym would be last on the list of things to do.

So, our discussion became about helping people get back to a normal life. Believe me, there are countless people who utilize a gym as part their daily routine. When you haven’t worked out in a few days, you become unbalanced physically and mentally. It’s difficult to explain unless you’re one of them.

Natasha quickly realized people needed the therapy of her gym and opened immediately. You see, her clients and members are like family. She even had a company serve breakfast to the community at Fit Life.

OK, so what point am I trying to make in today’s column? A storm can disrupt our lives, but getting back to normality as quickly as possible is a must. You must start with all the little things like drinking a cup of coffee in the morning and reading The Daily News. At least your day started normal, then go from there, according to your lifestyle.

A storm can break us, but as we are witnessing, we will all come back stronger. Just like a broken bone, the body will form a callous around the fracture in order for it to be stronger than before. That, my friend, is each and every one of you.

It’s a glorious revolution to witness people coming together as one. The human spirit has a natural compassionate ability to come to aid in emergency situations. We recognize politics, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and race are not on the table when saving lives. We are not just Texans or Americans, we are of one human race.

Now, as all of our new journeys begin, punch destruction in the face, and strive each day to find normality. You got this!

No time to exercise?

By David Tepera, July 11, 2017

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me, “I don’t have time to exercise.” I try not to roll my eyes because we all know it’s an excuse. I’d rather someone tell me they don’t want to exercise, then I will be more agreeable.

My first question is, “What’s your favorite TV show or shows?” My follow-up statement: “There’s your exercise time slot. Tape the show, and get to the gym.”

Look, if you’re working, have a family, business owner or caring for someone, then yes, you are busy. But, isn’t that all of us? We’ve all found a way to fill up our days and nights. It’s what you chose to fill in those hours.

A new study shows healthy people save a least $2,500 per year over unhealthy lifestyles.

Also, unhealthy people will call in sick for work more often than others and require more doctor’s appointments.

How much do you spend on medication due to health issues? Be honest.

I’m not shaming any of you. We all have bad habits, and demons that haunt us. If you’ve read my column long enough, you know I’m realistic, and my goal is to wake up some of you. I stopped judging people over a decade ago.

Here’s the misconception for people when it comes to gym time. Most people are shocked I spend less than an hour in the gym, especially since I’m a professional physique champion. This includes weight training and cardio, but really, I rarely perform cardio in the gym. I prefer riding my bike on the weekends or evenings now it’s summer season.

The trick to staying healthy is consistency. It’s a rare day that I’m not exercising in some sort of way. When I do train, it’s full-on commitment and concentration. I’m not one who is socializing — until I’m finished. My body gets warmed up and it’s “go time.” I keep my head phones on and bounce from one exercise to the other.

The gym is your time to step away from the grind. When I was married, and the kids were toddlers, my gym time was 5 a.m., then back home to wake everyone up. I didn’t take any time away from my family.

We all have different schedules, find what’s best for you. I know tons of people dedicated and have great workout ethic.

Let today be the day to start a healthier lifestyle. I promise, you’ll develop more energy and love life more than you could imagine. It just works.

Who makes you better?

By David Tepera, June 17, 2017

Almost two months ago, a friend of mine, named Tina, was contemplating whether to compete in her first women’s figure contest. After a brief discussion, we agreed for me to help her with training and diet to see how her body would respond.

To my surprise, Tina’s work ethic was top-notch. She gave 100 percent effort and detail to each weight lifting session, along with dieting. So, it was no surprise, Tina was on track to be in competition condition within deadline.

Because of Tina’s dedication, I decided to join her and become training partners during weight lifting sessions because I, too, am competing in the same show.

I’ve trained hundreds of people, but this was the first time someone helped me reach another level. Tina and I both agree, we both make each other better when it comes to elite training.

Now, of course, this made me think about all areas of life for each of us. Who in your life makes you better? It could be a coach, supervisor, pastor, friend or spouse.

My dad, who was a high school football coach for 30-plus years, said it best. He told me that his coaching style was to help players to become successful in life. I’ve had the pleasure of many of his former players telling me that exact message.

I truly believe for partners and spouses to reach ultimate success, you must support and push each other through adversity with passion.

Never settle for the status quo. Remember, this world is constantly changing, so failures and successes are up to you.

Think about your involvement in others’ lives. Do you make their lives better or not? Are you considered needy or supportive?

I’m sure most of us know people who only want partners to pamper them, but bring nothing to the table themselves. Keep in mind, relationships are partnerships, not one-sided.

Besides constantly loving and inspiring my children, I have the humbling platform of being a columnist and motivational speaker to help countless people.

So now, it’s time to step up our game in life. Be the person you want others to be, and let’s make each other’s lives better.

Local father-son duo win fitness competition

Hi Fives: Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2016 

Congratulations to David and Dylan Tepera for taking first places in each of their divisions in a recent NSpire Sports League event. NSL is a world-wide competition that promotes healthy bodies.

David won two events in the men’s masters beach and athletic physique body categories, and Dylan won the teen beach body category.

What made this competition special for the pair is the fact David and Dylan were not just the only father and son duo, but at the age of 55 and 18, they were the oldest and the youngest competitors.

David and Dylan will be representing Galveston County come March 18, along with others, at Fit Life Fitness in League City.

What are you waiting for?

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 

Every one of us has goals or life experiences we would like to accomplish. But for some reason, we continue to give excuses that keep us from pursuing them. What are you waiting for?

Typical excuses include; my kids are too young, after kid’s college, when I retire, next year, I need more money, I’m too old, too fat, yada-yada-yada.

Listen, none of these are acceptable because real goals require small steps and planning. So really, the right time is now.

If you need more money for a purchase or dream vacation, then write down all of your spending. How much more money could you save by cooking instead of dining out or cutting back on alcohol and tobacco?

A friend of mine went through a divorce and became a single parent. The extra expense and responsibility of young kids forced him to give up drinking alcohol and cook balanced meals. He told me that for the first time, he was able to start a savings account.

Look in your closet. I’m sure there are clothes and shoes never or barely worn. So, stop buying more clothes and rotate your wardrobe more often. Ok, I know there’s a lot of people upset with me right now. Sorry, don’t let your spouses read this article.

The beauty of goal setting for losing weight and getting in better shape is that you can start immediately. You need to accept that you’ve been lazy and undisciplined, but don’t beat yourself up over it. We’ve all had our share of bad habits and self-destruction.

After work, before you go home, drive straight to the gym. Have your workout clothes and sneakers in your car. We all know that once we’re home, there are too many excuses that keep us from going to the gym. Don’t let those excuses have a chance.

If you don’t have a gym membership, then go for a walk, run or bike immediately after work. Once you’ve prepared and eaten dinner, you’ll become too lazy.

So what are you waiting for? Tomorrow is too late. Start the road for accomplishing goals today. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you. It’s your life and you deserve it. You’ve earned it.

Keep it simple, stay consistent

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Through the years, there have been many people asking me for advice with diets, exercise and stress relief. I typically guide them in the proper direction, according to their situation.

So, I chose to combine all three categories and try to give some ideas that each of you might be able to take away.

Listen, the best advice is to keep your life as simple as possible and stay consistent.

There’s no secret, diets and exercising can add stress when you’re determined to change your life. But, don’t be so drastic because you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.

Don’t worry about elaborate dishes, casseroles and multi-foods. Just make a simple one protein, one carb and veggie dinner — something quick and easy. It really comes down to the seasoning to make it delicious.

When exercising, find the one cardio you enjoy the most. For me, it’s riding my bicycle. I look forward to getting on my bike and enjoying the sunshine.

Most importantly, you must find a way to remove certain unnecessary stresses in your life.

You don’t have to be as extreme as I have been, but over the past few years, the following has made my life much easier and happy.

I downgraded my house to a small three-bedroom in a nice neighborhood. The extra money helped buy my son a car.

The yard is of moderate size, which is easy to maintain. I do all the yard work myself for the exercise and can complete it in less than an hour.

My social circle is very small, but I really spend most of my spare time doing hobbies I enjoy. You must find a hobby or interest to help feel accomplishments and relieve stress.

Years ago, I got rid of all my man toys. No more unnecessary expenses and responsibilities of a motorcycle, boat and sports car.

I cook six days out of the week with the types of meals described earlier. The one night a week we dine out, we cherish the elaborate meals of different restaurants.

Bottom line, write down all the stresses you face. I’m sure you’ll discover a lot of negative influences that aren’t necessary. Start the process of elimination to create a life of simplicity and consistency. You’ll feel much better — I promise.

Inspiration in your personal lives and business