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The Guide to Eating Out in Texarkana Without Ruining Your Diet

By Ryan Williams

As someone who worked in the food industry for 6 years before joining The Plex, I feel I have a bit of insider knowledge on how to navigate eating out while trying to watch calories.

I have done the meal prepping thing and know how it can lead to burnout after a few weeks.

I also know cooking every meal is difficult to fit into a busy schedule.

Sometimes, whether it is convenience or just wanting to eat something different or social obligations, eating out is a part of almost everyone’s diet.

A lot of times that can be associated with less healthy options since you don’t have full control over the ingredients in your food.

However, I am here to tell you eating out should not discourage you while trying to lose weight.

And it should not even derail your progress if you know how to do it properly.

First off, I want to say this is a random list and no sort of ranking system.

I simply picked 13 various, popular restaurants from fast food to fine dining in the Texarkana area.

Most larger chains offer nutrition info on their website and for the mom and pop places, you can usually guesstimate using an app like MyFitnessPal or other nutrition calculators.

So beyond this resource, it is not difficult to plan your meals while eating out ahead of time.

Let’s get into it.

On The Border

I spent 2 years here and know what a guilty pleasure it can be to go out and have a couple drinks and eat chips and queso like it’s your last meal.

However, if you are trying to keep your calories in check, I’d recommend the…

Mexican Grilled Chicken

It is a Mesquite Grilled Chicken Breast topped with pico and their fresh salsa.

Keep the cilantro-lime rice and sautéed house veggies that come with it and you have a delicious, high protein meal for only 620 calories.

I can’t tell you to get a margarita on this list, but if you do, get a Herradura Margarita. Thank me later.

Texas Roadhouse

I may catch some heat, considering this is a steakhouse and I am recommending chicken, but this guide is about keeping calories down and not what the best thing on the menu is.

Portobello Mushroom Chicken

I promise not all these selections are going to be a variety of chicken breasts with various toppings, but the Portobello Mushroom Chicken is hard to beat. 

It is a marinated, grilled chicken breast topped with a portobello mushroom sauce, jack cheese, and parmesan. It comes in at 430 calories and almost 60 grams of protein. Stick to steamed veggies, corn, or green beans for your sides and keep this entree under 600 calories.

Try not to eat all the rolls!

Ironwood Grill

Honestly, Ironwood has several different options to keep your calories low, but for me, I like getting some fresh, high-protein Ahi Tuna when I can so go for the…

Sesame Ahi Tuna

They give a delicious, hefty 8 oz serving of seared ahi tuna with a sesame sauce running you around 350 calories and 60 grams of protein. 

Choose the grilled veggies and sautéed mushrooms for your sides and you’ve got a savory, protein packed meal to keep you full for hours.

Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant

Mexican restaurants can be difficult to navigate healthily, but long-time Texarkana staple, Zapata’s has you covered with…

Mahi Mahi Grilled Fish

It consists of grilled Mahi Mahi with Mexican rice and a cup of tortilla soup. 

As good as enchiladas smothered in queso sounds, this dish will satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings without you needing a siesta right after it.

Julie’s Deli

Another staple in Texarkana, Julie’s has been known for top notch ingredients and friendly service for as long as many can remember. 

What started as a sandwich shop has blossomed into a full-on bakery, market, catering business scooping up Best of Texarkana awards year after year. 

This will be dated as it is a current special but I would go with…

Moroccan Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This will run you somewhere around 600 calories, leaving some room for a piece of strawberry cake afterwards 😉

When Tex-Mex, fried chicken, and burgers are not doing it for your taste buds, come try this delightful African dish.

Naaman’s BBQ

Now to disclose a little bias, I worked at Naaman’s for 3 years while I was in college but I truly believe it is some of the best BBQ around. 

Darby, the owner, has put his heart and soul into every detail from the meat to the atmosphere. If you want to satisfy your BBQ desires, ask for a

1/3 lb. Meat Plate with Lean Brisket and Cole Slaw and Green Beans

Asking for lean brisket is going to seem a bit sacrilegious to some but a third pound of lean brisket is only going to run you around 250 calories. Add in a couple of lower calorie sides and you can enjoy some of the best BBQ in the nation for under 600 calories.

Benchmark American Brasserie

If you want to go out for a nice, fine dining option, look no further than Benchmark. 

Jason and Rebecca Williams are a culinary powerhouse and deliver an incredible French-American dining experience every time you go.

Their menu is always revolving with new, creative dishes but currently I’d go with the

Canard de Cassis

It is a seared duck breast topped with a sweet & savory red currant sauce, served with pommel dauphinoise and garlic-herb tai-color carrots.

Don’t let the big, French words scare you. 

This dish is sure to impress while staying under 700 calories.

Reggie’s

It may lead to a hard time from your buddies if you go out for lunch and order it, but when you are a man on a mission, you’ve gotta make sacrifices. Order a…

Bun-less Bacon Cheese Burger

Cutting out bread can save you a couple hundred calories leading you be able to enjoy a burger and fries for what I am figuring is roughly 700 calories.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

1 Grilled Fish Taco, 1 Grilled Shrimp Taco, and 1 Shredded Chicken Taco.

You don’t have to order rice and beans every time you have Mexican food. So if you are a hungry guy like me, order you these 3 tacos running between 220-240 calories a piece. 

If you are a lighter eater, opt for only 1 or 2 tacos. 

And if it is the weekend and you want to drink, swap a taco for a frozen margarita for roughly 50-100 calories more.

Chick-fil-A

We all know how busy Chick-Fil-A stays. Texarkana loves it some of God’s Chicken.

If you want to treat yourself to Chick-Fil-A and stay on track, try the…

Cobb Salad

Even with fried chicken and a dressing, you can keep it around 600-650 calories as long as you don’t drown it in ranch!

Chipotle

Similar to cutting out the bun when you have a burger, cutting out the tortilla can save you 200-300 calories when it comes to Tex-Mex. Chipotle even offers a nutrition calculator as you add on your ingredients on their website.

I get the…

Carnitas Burrito Bowl

which runs me around 700 calories.

A little caution: as much as I love guac, sour cream, and cheese, you may have to do some choosing as they can all rack up some calories, so I usually only add cheese.

Slim Chickens 

Another fast food option with beloved fried chicken is Slim’s.

If you want to get your fix, I recommend the…

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

This wrap will only run you right under 450 calories. 

So you can enjoy a delicious wrap and fries for about 700 calories.

Fuji Kim’s

When it comes to sushi, and eating Japanese food in general, there are some critical things to know to keep the calories low.

For one, I would suggest filling up a bit on some miso or mushroom soup or perhaps some high-protein edamame before the entree. 

There unfortunately isn’t a way to keep fried rice low calorie aside from portion control and if you crazies start trying to make it with cauliflower rice, I’m calling the cops.

When selecting sushi, stay away from tempura as good as fried shrimp is in a roll.

Try to opt for a Cucumber Roll or Spicy Crab Roll and you can still enjoy your sushi for under 700 calories.

Now that you have all this information, it is important to note that despite me giving advice on how to eat healthy, I stray away and binge eat and slip up all the time. 

So if you slip up, enjoy it, forgive yourself, and get back on track with the next meal.

Furthermore, we only have one life so I definitely encourage living a little and eating foods that make you happy, regardless of calories from time to time.

Look up menus ahead of time to have a plan before you go out to eat.

Don’t feel obligated to make a happy plate.

They make to-go boxes for a reason.

I hope this guide makes staying on track with your health and fitness goals easier!

The Privilege of Pain

Pain is never talked about as a desirable aspect of life.

As a matter of fact, most of us us tend to avoid it.

However, pain is one of the greatest privileges we have on this earth.

There is no growth without pain.

There is no self-discovery without pain.

You don’t find what you really want in this world without going through what you don’t want.

Those toxic boyfriends or girlfriends you had in the past were the pain you had to endure to fully appreciate the right one when they came into your life.

You can’t really develop real confidence without pain because overcoming pain allows you to believe in yourself.

In the gym, you can’t build your muscles, increase your cardio, or improve your flexibility without going through a bit of pain.

That is why I say pain is a privilege.

Because it is the stepping stone for all the good stuff in life.

So don’t run from that argument with your spouse. See how it can improve your communication and overall relationship.

Don’t be discouraged when times get tough in life, it is just making you stronger for the next challenge.

And, certainly, don’t get lost in comfort. Nothing beautiful or meaningful came from comfort. 

Almost all of us are guilty of binging Netflix,or eating unhealthy from time to time, or just being plain lazy.

But you have the ability to self reflect and find where you could be challenging yourself to become stronger.

Honestly, any facet of life, whether it be health, wealth, emotional, mental, physical or other, you must strain in order to grow.

And beyond all this, pain is unavoidable.

The thing is, you can choose whether you want it now or later.

Hard choiceseasy lifeEasy choiceshard life.”-Jerzy Gregorek

You can avoid the pain of getting your heart broken and never try to have a serious relationship, but you’re gonna suffer later because you’re lonely.

You can grab McDonald’s on the way home from work and skip the gym, but you will have to pay for it later. 

You can agree with others on everything to avoid conflict, but you will get run over and never respected.

So now that you have considered this, what kind of pain do you want?

What price are you willing to pay now to have it better down the road?

Do you want the easy life now or later?

It is a decision we must make everyday.

Choose wisely.

Meditation: How to Unlock your Best Self

By Ryan Williams

There is a ton of buzz around meditation and 

if you are anything like me when I got into it,

You are probably overwhelmed by all the information out there.

However, it does not have to intimidate you.

Naval Raviakant said it most simply,

“Meditation is the art of doing nothing”

I’m aware to a lot of people that may not sound very enticing,

but I will explain why this unlocks your highest self.

MEDITATION CULTIVATES SELF AWARENESS.

Whenever you are meditating, 

You are simply:

-Sitting in a comfortable position

-observing your thoughts, sensations of the body, etc.

-letting them pass without judgement

-that’s literally it

It sounds very simple and it is.

Similar to how eating healthy and exercising is simple and is all someone needs to do to get fit, but it still requires work.

You see, meditation is work.

And perhaps, the most important kind of work

Because it is self therapy. 

To quote @Naval again, “Instead of paying someone, you listen to yourself.”

We get so lost and anxious in life because we are not paying attention to ourselves.

We are not paying attention to this moment.

I know we are all guilty of being at an event or being  with someone we love

And not being fully present because we are too worried about our future or still stressing over our past or thinking about all the things we need to get done tomorrow.

Meditation teaches you to be present. 

It teaches you to be self-aware.

“Awareness is the power that is concealed within the present moment. That is why we call it Presence. The ultimate purpose of human existence, which is to say, YOUR PURPOSE, is to bring that superpower into the world.” -Eckhart Tolle

Awareness is an absolute must for happiness. 

If you are not present, you are not fully appreciating life. 

Presence allows you to be a better spouse because you notice all the good in your partner. 

It allows you to be a better friend because you can fully listen and give constructive advice from being aware of your own experiences in the world.

And most importantly, it allows you to be the best you because you are totally immersed in life and all that it has to offer.

It allows you to live every minute.

Meditation forces you to look at yourself and your thoughts.

This is a scary thing because all of us, at some point, have carried around something we did not want to share with anyone else, whether it be something we did, said or thought.

Furthermore, the second we wake up, we are struck with stimulation.

Social media notifications, emails, missed calls, text messages… 

They all start piling up on us throughout the day and we never take a second to just do nothing. 

We never give ourselves space to think and organize our ideas.

Meditation is like pulling out the Nintendo 64 cartridge, blowing on it, and putting it back in and everything works again.

Meditation is a different experience for everyone.

There are so many ways to do it, it’d be foolish to say it isn’t for you.

You can do plain, sit and observe meditations, guided meditations, mindfulness meditations…

Walking or long drives can be meditating for some.

The point of it is to just let it be whatever experience it is meant to be for you.

And let whatever benefits you get out of it be enough for you.

Do not concern yourself for not doing it for long enough or not practicing often enough.

It is always available to you.

If you are interested in trying a guided meditation, I would recommend starting with  Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Abundance Challenge.

I hope this opened your eyes to meditation. I could go on with more benefits like how it reduces stress and anxiety or how it literally reshapes your brain,

But I wanted to keep this short, sweet, and digestible.

Have a lovely day!

Namaste.

Follow Your Fears

By Ryan Williams

Advice is incredibly abundant in this world.

Everyone has a list of values and beliefs they have developed based on their experiences and influences in life.

With those values and beliefs, we all construct our own subconscious manual for how we direct our own lives, as well as what to tell others when they confide in us.

Some of the most frequent advice you’ve probably heard (and maybe even given yourself) are things like…

“Follow your dreams”

“Follow your passion”

“Do what makes you happy” 

etc.

While this advice comes from a good place, it will keep you from experiencing the greatest joys in life if you don’t follow the advice from the title of this article.

FOLLOW YOUR FEARS

Now, what on earth do I mean by that?

Well for starters, let’s acknowledge the fact that fear is very healthy, and it has served us as humans for a long time. 

Before we had the security we have today, humans developed the fight or flight instincts to know when they might not be safe from predators. 

Nowadays, we don’t have the same sorts of concerns, but that fight or flight response

still influences our life. 

Remember, fear is instinctively there to protect us.

It is worth being fearful of drinking and getting behind the wheel, or taking caution when there is a threat for natural disasters.

But the fear I am talking about is when we fear challenges in life instead of fearing things for safety reasons.

Fearing starting something new because what if I fail?

Fearing becoming someone new because I will have to give up my old identity.

Fearing starting that side hustle that could potentially allow you to quit your job because what if I start it, tell my friends, and then it crashes and I have to explain myself?

Fearing leaving that toxic relationship you’ve stayed in too long because what will people say?

When you get those uncomfortable feelings, step back and try to see what your fear is telling you.

Often times, fear is the breadcrumbs that lead to a new path in life.

If you didn’t follow your fear and go talk to that girl, you wouldn’t have met your wife.

If you didn’t follow your fear and go to the gym, even though you were nervous about people looking at you funny, you never would have lost that weight and started feeling the best you’ve ever felt.

If you didn’t follow your fear, you would have never had that difficult conversation that made your relationship stronger than ever.

All I’m saying is fear is often times an indicator for exactly what you should do next.

Overcoming fear is one of the most empowering things in this life.

It is one of the greatest confidence builders because it creates resiliency and essentially adds to a list of accomplishments you can look back on and be proud of yourself for.

When we are unconfident, it is often times because we haven’t earned confidence yet.

You must go through things that are difficult or that scare you at first in order to grow into your greatest self.

Steven Pressfield writes in his book The War of Art, “… the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul.”

So write that book.

Ask that girl out.

Start that side hustle.

It just may be the greatest decision you ever made.

One trick I learned from Tim Ferriss’ blog a while back is the idea of imagining the worst case scenario whenever you are fearful.

Many times when we feel like we are overthinking, we are actually under-thinking it.

The worst case for asking the girl out is she says no and you feel a bit embarrassed for a brief moment and you may or may not see her in public again down the road. 

So that’s the risk in the equation.

The potential reward is she may just be your favorite person and the one you spend the rest of your life with.

When you put the risk to reward in to perspective, it almost makes the initial fear seem silly.

Maybe give it a try next time you are feeling some healthy fear pop up.

Think about all the things you’ve accomplished in life and all the things you pushed through that ended up paying off.

You couldn’t have achieved those things if you avoided fear and remained in your comfort zone.

You can do difficult things now and have an easy life later or you can do the easy things now and have a hard life later.

The decision is yours.

Now go follow your fears, kids.

How to Harness the Power of Momentum

By Ryan Williams

Momentum is a universal law that most of us learned about in physics class.

The scientific equation is simply mass x velocity = momentum

Think of a snowball rolling down a hill. 

If you rolled up a snowball the size of your fist in your hand then pushed it down the hill, it will start out fairly slow.

Then before you know it, it starts picking up more snow and becomes bigger and bigger (higher mass)

Then it rolls faster and faster (higher velocity)

After a little time, that small snowball has become a massive force with no way of stopping it until it hits the bottom of the hill or a tree on the way down.

Momentum is often expressed as “mass in motion”

Things that are not moving, or are resting, have no momentum.

And when they start to move, the momentum is very slow and takes time to build up.

Momentum plays a part in our own lives on a practical level too.

Think about starting anything new in your life…

A new job…

A new school…

Having your first kid…

A new relationship…

All of those things started at zero.

You had no momentum.

You had to START.

Starting is the most crucial element of building momentum.

Because momentum is a universal law.

It works regardless of what it is applying itself to.

So if you start a new job, you have to develop new relationships, harness new skills, figure out new routines until you finally hit a groove and everything happens effortlessly.

If you start a new relationship, you have to figure out how the other person ticks, how to handle them during certain circumstances, their mannerisms and humor. 

Then, a year down the road, things are easy because you know everything about them and have built rapport.

So think about the goals or habits or things you want to create in life for a bit.

Is it losing weight?

Or writing a book?

Or overcoming a fear?

Is it something you’ve dreaded and put off?

Or is it something you are already in the middle of and sometimes grow discouraged.

Now what are the small steps you can take in achieving those things because I am about to tell you why those are very important.

Any meaningful pursuit is going to take a considerable amount of time.

Therefore, you must learn to celebrate your small wins.

If something takes you a year to do and you only celebrated on day 365 when you completed it, you wasted 364 days not counting your wins along the way.

So set that big goal and find the smaller goals on the way that you can celebrate and keep momentum going.

Now, let’s assume you are struggling with keeping momentum or would like to start over on a pursuit that you previously failed at.

You know it is not a straight shot to the goal.

There will be bumps in the road to slow your momentum.

You need to plan for these things in advance.

Say you are trying to lose weight.

You know there are certain events along the way that will try to stop your momentum.

Whether it be social events, willpower, getting sick, whatever….

Make plans for how you will handle those possible momentum stoppers.

Sometimes life hits you with unexpected curveballs you can’t foresee, and those instances honestly require mostly resilience.

BUT…

Planning for things you CAN foresee is within your circle of control.

So go ahead and figure out your response to these trip-ups ahead of time.

Protect your momentum.

DISCLAIMER:

Remember, momentum works regardless of how its utilized.

So negative momentum is definitely a thing.

If you have found yourself in a rut, that is typically just negative momentum playing out.

And if you are not careful, negative momentum can steamroll its way into every area of your life.

So not only do you have to stop that negative momentum, you also have to start in a new direction, which requires tremendous effort.

And I don’t say that to discourage you because it can be done.

There is a fine line between a rut and a groove.

And the only difference I have found between the two, is how much you like being there.

So if you are in a rut, figure out:

  1. How can I stop this negative momentum
  2. Once you have stopped it, or are in the process of stopping it, how can you start positive momentum
  3. Figure out the small wins and goals to accomplish on the way to build that momentum
  4. Figure out the next big goal so that you can keep that momentum even after you accomplish your first big goal

D) Is very important because you may have found yourself accomplishing a worthy goal and find yourself saying “now what?”

It happens with new retirees all the time.

So make sure you have the next big thing lined out in your head so you don’t find yourself asking “now what?”

So the TL;DR version of this article:

-You must START if you wish to build positive momentum

-Count your wins to keep momentum rolling

-Plan for bumps along the way

-Figure out what is next so you can roll your big wins into the next one

-Beware of negative momentum 

“The only difference between a rut and a groove is how much you like being there”

And that is The Power of Momentum.

Use this power wisely.

How to achieve any goal (seriously)

By Ryan Williams

I am writing this post because it is the New Year.

I know many people have some ambitious goals.

Not just fitness related either.

Yes we run a gym but we want you to become your best self, regardless.

Whether than means becoming a better salesman or losing 20 pounds,

This system works.

I’ve spent years trying to tackle new goals,

And this method is the best I’ve found.

So let’s get to it…

  1. Figure out your ONE TOP PRIORITY goal

Yes, just one goal.

Start writing now if you’d like.

But write all the goals you have.

Lose 20 pounds.

Read 10 books.

Meditate 3x a week.

Whatever they are, you have to pick ONE.

It’s going to hurt to pick one, because we are human and we care about lots of things.

The main reason we do this is FOCUS.

You can try to do several goals at once, but you will only be giving a fraction of yourself to each.

Ask yourself this question…

“What is one goal, that if achieved, would make the next 365 days the best 365 days?”

It doesn’t have to be figured out today.

Meditate on it.

Pull out your notes in your phone when you find clarity.

Write it down if you keep a journal on you.

Then after you go to bed, wake up and look at your list and ask…

“If I achieved this goal, by what percentage would my life improve?”

We are picking ONE BIG GOAL.

Once you pick your goal,

2. Build your system to achieve the goal.

This part is easy.

Just ask yourself,

“If I could only do 1-3 things to achieve my top priority goal, what would those 1-3 things be?

Why do this?

It erases the fluff.

We take advantage of the 80/20 rule.

80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.

So what are those things that deliver the most results.

If you are a salesman and your big goal is become the top salesman in the company,

your process might be:

-Make 50 calls every day

-Read 1 sales book every month

-Go to one sales seminar every quarter

If you want to lose weight it may be:

-Drink one gallon of water every day

-Workout 3-5 times per week

-Sleep 7-9 hours every night

Figure out where you can get your best results from the least amount of effort.

Next

3. Block off time for your goals everyday

You can’t expect to achieve your goals if you never make time for them.

If you are just waiting to see what time you have left at the end of the day, you’ll never get results because there is no consistency.

Whatever you can realistically squeeze in every day whether it be 1 hour or 4, schedule it.

Then with some of this time…

4. Evaluate yourself weekly

You can’t improve very much without measuring.

Plus when you check in every week, you get to see how far you have come.

You are also zooming out a bit.

Sometimes you fall off for a day and feel like you have messed everything up.

But what about for the week?

Or for the month?

Count those wins.

They add up fast and you will have to rely on them when you aren’t feeling your best.

And perhaps your original 3 tasks weren’t the best options.

This weekly assessment allows you to tweak your process when needed.

Test.

Discover.

Adapt.

And last but not least…

5. Write down your goals like they have already happened

Don’t ask me why this works…

But it does!

Every goal I have done this with, I have achieved.

A couple years ago I had gotten out of a long term relationship and had some time to process it.

I sat down and wrote everything about the wife I WANTED.

But I wrote it like she was already in my life.

I wrote things like…

-My wife has beautiful brown hair and eyes.

-She supports me and all my crazy dreams

-She is easy to get along with and always down for adventure

And wouldn’t you know…

I am marrying her this year.

I am not saying this to brag on my fiancee (But you can’t rack up too many points, fellas)

*humble flex, here she is*

I am simply saying magic happens when you speak as if your dreams are already yours, 

Time just hasn’t caught up yet.

And that’s it.

Contact me in a year if this process worked for you.

And if your goal is fitness related, click here.

Thanks for reading, folks!

Now go forth and do great things!

What is HIIT? And why should you add it to your routine?

The most obvious place to start with explaining HIIT training is to define it.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. 

It has become a very trendy topic in the last few years because we all continue to get busier and busier with our daily lives. 

It has gained its popularity because HIIT is one of the most efficient ways to workout.

The way it works is taking multiple exercises and doing them in intense bursts, typically between 30 seconds to a minute. 

You then follow up with a short rest or lower intensity to workout for a shorter interval, typically 15-30 seconds

So a HIIT workout could look a lot of different ways considering you can do it with basically any exercise but an example would be:

Jumping Jacks for 30 seconds

15 second rest

Push Ups for 30 seconds

15 second rest

Body weight Squats for 30 seconds

15 second rest

Mountain Climbers for 30 seconds

15 second rest

And then repeat the cycle 5 times.

You can count that these are only 3 minute cycles and, if you did 5 rounds, it would only take 15 minutes.

And that’s it!

That’s all HIIT is.

It has unlimited variety as you could do this with sprinting and walking on and off, swimming, biking, functional training, or whatever form of exercise you please.

The benefits include:

  • Burning more calories, faster
  • Increased Metabolic Rate (more calories burned while resting)
  • Reduced heart rate& blood pressure
  • Burns fat
  • Builds muscle(assuming you are doing some form of strength/functional training)

So if you have an interest in receiving any of these benefits, then HIIT is probably for you!

In addition to these benefits, HIIT is a natural way to get in some cardio because you are working as hard as you can in these bursts of activities. 

This is going to cause you to breathe heavy and sweat plenty.

All in all, depending on how you do HIIT, it is a great tool to add variety to your workouts and challenge yourself.

We currently offer 3 complimentary HIIT classes per week, and are launching a new one Friday called Finish Line Friday to finish your week off strong!

To see our class schedule click here.

I hope it helps you HIIT your fitness goals…hehe…sorry…that’s all I got.

Have a great day!

The 2021 Blueprint for Health and Happiness

By Ryan Williams

I never set New Year’s resolutions.

To me they are overrated.

There is a reason why 90% of resolutions fail within the first two weeks.

It’s because everyone is focused on the wrong thing. 

It’s NOT about goals.

It’s about the journey.

It’s about the systems you put in place. 

I strongly suggest grabbing a pen/paper.


Then write down what systems you are going to implement.

This will get you MUCH farther.

So, let’s start thinking about our systems…

The first half of fitness and health is EXERCISE.

When it comes to exercise, there are three main pillars to think about:

Strength Training. 

Flexibility

And Cardio.

You can’t go all in on one and neglect the other’s and expect to be your healthiest self.

Strength or Resistance Training simply entails strengthening your muscles by lifting weights, using resistance bands, or doing push ups and similar body weight activities.

Strength training has the obvious effect of making you stronger and fitter.

However, it also supports bone health, boosts energy and mood levels, and speeds up the rate at which your body burns calories.

You ever see lean, shredded gym rats that you know for a fact have never stepped on a treadmill?

It is because of their higher muscle mass causing their body to burn more calories.

So if you are looking into losing some 2020 weight, don’t neglect strength training because it will just make weight loss easier for you.

And if you don’t know where to start with strength training, we have excellent personal trainers on staff to show you the way.

Next is flexibility. 

This is probably the most neglected of the three pillars.

The flexibility pillar of fitness is incredibly important to maintain your range of motion and refrain from having injuries.

To satisfy this area, yoga or a simple 5-15 minute stretch routine before you workout will suffice. 

Regardless of which method you choose to maintain and develop your flexibility, it is great for improving your posture and mood, decreasing soreness, and enhancing physical performance.

The Plex offers complimentary yoga classes to help you with this, otherwise, there are plenty of great stretching videos available on youtube.

Last, we have cardio.

This is simply increasing your heart rate and oxygen intake.

You can train for cardio purposes through running, walking, dancing, boxing, swimming, or a variety of other sports.

Cardio is going to increase blood flow to the brain, increase lung capacity, and aids in weight loss.

It is often looked as as only a weight loss mechanism, but there is a grocery list of benefits for your heart, brain, lungs, and circulation.

So make sure you figure in some form of cardio into your plan for 2021.

And that covers fitness!

Strength Training.

Flexibility.

Cardio.

Not so scary or difficult, right?

Now think about what systems work for you…

How many times a week can you realistically shoot for to target these three areas?

Don’t worry so much about losing X number of pounds.

Focus on how many times you need to strength train, stretch, and do some form of cardio in a week to meet your weight loss goal.

Personally, I would recommend aiming for 2-5 times a week on strength training with a stretch routine catering to whichever muscle groups you plan on targeting prior to your workout.

Then shoot for some sort of movement everyday even if it is just walking your dog.

If you can go for a run a time or two a week, do it.

If you like swimming, come swim in our lap pool.

If you like boxing, come take our fight club class.

It doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult to plan out what works for you.

Now exercise is half the battle.

The other half is nutrition.

We are talking about systems so we need to think about what works for you.

In Dr. Tim Reynolds’ new book, Living Every Minute, he says,

“Create a plan that allows you to eat healthy during the 85 percent of the time when it really doesn’t matter what you eat. By healthy I mean lean meats, complex carbohydrates, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Then enjoy and don’t worry about the other 15%. Eat guilt free.”

That’s the 85/15 rule.

You can’t set up a successful nutrition plan if you are over-restricting what you can eat. 

You have to allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love.

And ideally, you find foods you love in the healthy category that you should be eating from 85% of the time.

I won’t elaborate too much but, whether you plan to meal prep, cook every night, eat out, or a combination of the three, the 85/15 rule applies.

With eating out, I will say looking up menus ahead of time, especially if they have nutrition info, will be great way to stay on track with your nutrition.

You need to be thinking long-term.

What is a plan you can sustain for life?

Not just what fad diet can I lose 20 pounds on real quick.

Because if you can’t sustain it, you won’t keep the weight off anyway.

You ever hear that money quote…

“It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep”?

Same concept.

It’s not what you lose, it’s what you keep off.

In addition to your nutrition, proper water intake is going to be a key component of your system you are creating.

The benefits of drinking water are numerous, but the main ones I want to highlight are water helps flush your system of waste and toxins, lubricates your joints, and helps with delivering oxygen throughout your body.

In addition, if you are trying to lose weight, drinking lots of water is very filling and will help keep snacking and overeating from sabotaging your progress.

The standard for how much you should be drinking is to take your body weight in pounds, divide it by two, and drink that many ounces of water.

So if you weigh 200 lbs., divide it by two (100), you should be drinking AT LEAST 100 ounces of water per day. 

This is what you should strive for minimum, but it is a very accomplishable daily goal.

Finally, if you are going to be putting in all this work into exercise and nutrition, the last thing you need to prioritize is SLEEP.

You probably already wish you were getting more of it, but if you are going to get back in shape, your body is going to need the extra rest to recover properly.

If weight loss is a goal of yours this year, sleep is essential in curbing hunger. 

If you are consistently only getting 4-5 hours of sleep per night, your body is going to want to consume extra food to try to make up for the lack of energy you have.

A proper 7-9 hours of sleep will give you adequate rest so that your body isn’t starving all day.

Furthermore, if you are taking strength training seriously, your body NEEDS sleep to heal your muscles.

Your muscles are literally tearing whenever you train them, and that sore feeling a day or two after a workout is your body trying to heal those tears and become stronger to withstand the next time they are stressed out.

And if you are not sleeping enough, your body will not heal those muscle tears properly and it will be difficult to recover.

So figure out what you have to do to ensure you are getting in bed early enough to get 7+ hours of sleep every night.

AND THAT’S THE BLUEPRINT!

To recap:

Exercise

-Strength (Train 2-5x per week)

-Flexibility (Yoga and/or stretch routine before lifting)

-Cardio (Move every day and find cardio you like and can sustain)

Nutrition (Exercise the 85/15 rule, and proper water in take every day)

Sleep (7-9 hours per night)

Not bad at all, right?

I think this is doable for almost anyone.

If 2020 wasn’t the year you’d hope for, I’d bet your health had a direct effect on it.

There is a lot going on in the world right now that we can’t control.

But one thing we can control is our health.

It is not something you can cheat.

It takes deliberate effort and execution.

It takes patience and persistence.

But I can promise you it is well worth it.

Having your health in check spills into every other area of your life.

It pays, perhaps, the highest dividends of any pursuit you choose to take on.

If 2021, for you, is a year to bounce back, this blueprint will guide you into better health and happiness.

If you’d like to see our wonderful facility and how we can help you with your fitness dreams, click here and take the first step.

Thank you for taking time to read and Happy New Year!

How $1.83 Can Completely Change Your Life

It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not.

$1.83 is all it takes to improve every aspect of your life.

It will improve your health.

It will improve your sleep.

It will improve your marriage.

It will make your relationships better.

You’ll have more energy with your family.

Your sex life will improve.

You will make more money.

You will be more productive.

You will respect yourself more.

Others will respect you more.

All for $1.83 per day.

I’m not joking. 

Let me explain.

Your health is where everything begins in life.

It doesn’t matter how rich you are,

If you have poor health, you are still poor.

It doesn’t matter your social status.

If you have poor health, it means nothing.

It doesn’t matter what a beautiful family you have started if you never have the energy to make magic moments with them.

Getting your health in-check spills into every area of your life.

It makes you more effective, more ambitious, and, most importantly, more confident.

All it takes is $1.83 per day.

A monthly membership at our gym is $55 per month on a 12 Month Contract.

That averages out to $1.83 per day.

That gets you started.

The magic happens the moment you step into the gym.

You can get in shape at any gym, but the odds are in your favor at The Sportsplex.

We are a community of driven individual of various stages of life and fitness.

We have trainers to help you get started and stay accountable, group classes to integrate you into the community and make it more fun, and a laundry list of amenities to make your fitness journey an enjoyable one.

Invest less than two bucks a day in yourself and make a commitment that will improve every area of your life.

If you are ready to make this commitment, click here and let’s completely change your life.

3 Tips to Get Over the Dread of Going Back to the Gym

Look, we’ve all been there.
Especially this year when we didn’t have a choice but to be stuck in our homes for an extended period of time.
You sit out of the gym for a little while, and you feel how out of shape you have gotten and you know it is gonna be tough to get back to where you used to be.
It is daunting.
It is stressful.
You wish you could hit the easy button and transform to where you were before Covid or high school or whenever it was that you felt good.
Or maybe you never had any guidance growing up and you don’t feel like you have EVER been in very good shape.
Well, I won’t lie to you…
It will take work.
It will take consistency.
It will take time.
But you can stack the odds in your favor.
That’s why I’m bringing these 3 things to your attention!

The first tip is Group Exercise.
Exercising with other people takes the “work” out of working out.
You are surrounded by good energy.
You have people all around you with similar goals.
Them being there helps you push through the workout.
And by the time you get through, you can’t even believe it has been an hour.
And oftentimes, you wish it was longer!
At the Sportsplex, we offer over 70 Complimentary Group Exercise classes per month for our members to take advantage of.
So you don’t have to walk into the gym and see 100’s of machines and feel overwhelmed.
Ease into it with group workouts.

Next, we have Personal Training.
Sometimes it is just difficult to hold yourself accountable when you are starting out.
You haven’t re-established your identity as a gym goer and healthy eater yet.
All you need is a little help.
We have trainers that will set you up with workouts that will whip you into shape and meal suggestions to get your nutrition to where it needs to be in order to meet your goals.
If you struggle with staying committed, a trainer is all it takes to push you to keep the promises you made to yourself

Lastly, Treat Yo Self.
Staying committed to a gym and diet routine is difficult if you don’t like any part of it.
How about you start rewarding yourself?
We have saunas and a steam room for you to relax and unwind in after you get done with your workout.
Think about the reinforcement your brain gets if you treat yourself every time you workout with 20 minutes of quiet in the sauna every day.
It will start to crave going to the gym.
Once you hit that point, how easy will it be to keep up?
Pretty easy if you ask me.

And that’s it!
3 ways to make the gym less dreadful to get started or started back up.
I hope this has been helpful.
If you want to come to try us out, click here.

Fitness is a lifestyle,
Not a hobby

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