Free weights or machines?

Different pieces of fitness equipment are designed for different purposes. Use the machine, free weight, etc. that best meets your objectives. However in my opinion the dumbbell and the barbell reign supreme. Below I am going to list some advantages to compare and consider between machine and free weights.

Advantage of free weights:
1. Dumbbells and barbells are more effective in developing the smaller synergistic (helping) muscles and stabilizer muscles.
2. Greater overall strength can be achieved using dumbbells and barbells
3. Other aspects of fitness, including size, flexibility, reduced body fat, and muscle toning are achieved more efficiently through the use of free weights.

Advantages of machines
1. Machines are easier to use and faster workouts are possible.
2. Some machines are more efficient in isolating a muscle or muscle group for more efficient overload.
3. Correct form can be mastered better as your body form usually is more guided through the machine design and structure.


How our mind works

For those who know me well enough know that I am always in search for the most advanced techniques and best approaches which help people to transform and grow to their best self, be it physically and emotionally.

In the past last years I started to dig deeper in the psychological aspect of fitness. The more research we did (my team and myself) the more we are learning how beneficial is to harness the psychological aspect. In simple terms emotional fitness. Mind body connections sounds better?

You cannot win you war against the world if you can’t win the war against your own mind.

In our mind there are so many things going on at the same time. Here I am going to dive straight into the key factor which is fundamental when it comes to train our mind. It’s like when we are training a muscles to get stronger and better through repetition and intensity.

This is neuro-plasticity. In simple terms it is our learning process.  Let’s keep it simple Neuro = Nervous system. Plasticity = moldable.  This is how our brain change throughout life. Adapt, learn and even recover. As a matter of fact, every time we learn something new, we are harnessing the power of neuro-plasticity.

Have you ever had a teacher assigning a quiz to you but you only know 2-3 answers at the time? How did you study? You may have had flashcards and practiced over and over until you could recall all of the answers. For example capital cities names. Naming the Capital city as soon as you saw the city name. There you are exposed to stimulus, accurately with enough repetition and intensity to change or re- write brain function. This is learning.

This does not only applies to our psychological skills but also to our physiological skills. Do you remember the first time you tried to ride the bicycle? First you had training wheels then when you practiced enough you were able to ride the bike. The process of learning to ride a bike is a physical process. Just like learning information it takes repetition and intensity.

This is what my methods foundations are about. Be it Routine Setting, Physical Fitness, Performance, Stroke Recovery Rehab, Depression Treatment, Anxiety, Emotional Fitness and other Fitness related case scenarios which we face on a daily basis.  The ability to figure it out, understand the problem and design the best approach to address the problem is the key factor for good results.

This is why I am a firm believer of radical open mindedness as there is no one size fits all approach in fitness and although these training strategies mentioned above are excellent strategies one needs to adapt the correct approach and intensity to one present fitness and emotional level and design a tailor made program catering to ones needs with frequent follow ups. Although we have to accept the reality, that only a limited number of innovative clients would accept this approach.


This is what I do

What comes to your mind by the fitness? Well if it’s not much maybe you did not give much thought about it during your life or at this point in time. It is easy to relate your answer to your present fitness state. If it is just to look and feel good well you can consider my present perception to fitness and what’s my take on this.

When someone is considering either to start to introduce himself to fitness or even take it to the next step it has to be a holistic approach in relation to your emotions. More often than not if someone for example is overweight and is getting fat, fat is not the problem to the contrary what many think. The fat is the symptoms of the problem. When I work with my clients and get into a deeper level of understanding the real problem usually the problem would be an emotional problem. It would be no sense to just start training and nutrition without understanding the problem and addressing the real issue.

More often than not it would be an emotional problem derived from one of the following:

1) Career, work and business

2) relationship with family, partner or colleagues

3) Health itself and Physical appearance.

There are two Primary key factors we need to address:

  • Know exactly why and how you are doing what you are doing. This is like anything else in life. The human mind is not designed to keep doing something not knowing why you are doing it and not knowing how to do it for a long time. Maybe for a couple of months but then it will lose focus. So it is very important to get to understand the real problem and to get to know your real why. Then design accurately your how. This is where a Trainer/ Life coach comes in.
  • Progress brings happiness right? This is in all aspects of life. If you harness both your physical fitness and your emotional fitness simultaneously there you will be on the right track for a proactive approach even on the hardest of times that life will throw at you at some point in time. This will eventually make it possible to progress to come in place with those little daily wins which you will be able to make on a daily basis by mastering your physical and psychological fitness at your best possible. This will transpires in your best performances in your day today life.

You might ask: “So what do you do exactly?”

Among other things my work is not only to train your body. It’s to help YOU understanding the problem and design best approach possible, together we will re-wire your brain to be the best you can be.  Be it an Executive level CEO, a pizza maker or an Engineer working at the highest level of your industry.

Hope you found this for your help and thanks for following. If you found this interesting I would appreciate if you would share it with three of your friends and let’s make people understand what fitness is really about.


Mind like a Muscle

The mind is like a muscle. Learning new things everyday on topics that expand your mind and develop your skills and improve your health.

Every day is a new opportunity to bet better. To make better choices, which will in time make it a better life. Every day is a new opportunity to take responsibility for our actions, to ask yourself honestly, can I do better?

So you might ask from where should I start? I suggest to start to improve yourself first. Be it your body and be it your mind.

Exercise in relation to Emotional Health

People who have good emotional health are aware for their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They have learned healthy ways to cope with the stress and problems that are a normal part of life.

However many things that happen in your life can disrupt your emotional health. These can lead to strong feeling of sadness, stress or anxiety. Even good or worked changes can be as stressful as unwanted changes. These things include:

Being laid of a job.

Getting divorced or married.

Suffering an illness or an injury.

Experiencing money problems.

Dealing with death of a loved one.

Having or adopting a baby.

If you are running a successful business with high expectations.

The body responds to the way you think, feel and act mind/ body connection.

Improve! Change! Deeply understand the very root of your emotions and understand why you are having them. The mind is the weakest part to start with.

Exercise promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation and new activity patterns that promote feeling of calm and wellbeing.

Develop a strong mind and you will develop a strong life. A strong mind is built from feeding it with positive thoughts and learning new things every day, not every now and then, not for a little while. Every single day. A strong mind is built with daily gratitude. When you are grateful for everything you do have you have no room for negativity. No room for anxiety. A strong mind is built with goals. Goals that give you reason to get out of bed and attack the day.

A strong mind is knowing that you are responsible for your life, your results, your success and your failures. A strong mind is built with learning. Learning new things everyday on topics that expand your mind and develop your skills. GROWTH is the key to life. If you are growing and challenging yourself every day you will lead a happy life. If you are not, you will suffer. THE MIND IS LIKE A MUSCLE. It gets stronger when you embrace challenges, when you push it to the limits, When you learn what works and apply that to your life. A strong mind is one that surrounds itself with the right people.

Reflect deeply set clear goals, make a plan and execute.


What Your Scale is Really Telling You

A lot of people still focus on their body weight and are just obsessed to drop in weight and reach a target weight that only god knows from where they got this target weight.


I have seen ladies 160 cm height and weighing around 62 kilos and looking a bit overweight and are size 10 whilst others with the same weight and height, but look really fit and size 8. What we have here is the same height and weight but different body composition. I mean it’s useless to be 54kgs skinny fat with no body at all. Apart from the fact that skinny fat it’s not healthy, in my opinion is not nice neither.

Years ago people focused on weight nowadays we focus on the body composition. Whilst I obviously do consider the weight especially in obese people and overweight individuals one cannot ignore the fact that so as to have capable gains one has to have a good body composition so as to have a good Basal Metabolic Rate. Without a healthy Basal Metabolic Rate one cannot keep his fitness level in the long term. Rather on reducing weight only we need to check at least every four weeks if we are losing fat, maintaining an adequate water level or improving it if there is any water retention issue and increase our muscle ratio so as to improve our BMR.

Sometimes it’s a bit funny with the comments people keep making such as in case of woman : ” I do not want to build any muscle and look like a man” No worries you will never will until you will not start taking testosterone obviously. Only in that way would that be possible because females have 20% testosterone level less than man and so they never can look like man. On the other hand there also guys that tell me that they do not want to look like huge bodybuilders. This is also a might as a man who trains for fitness and lift weights and eat clean and stay away from steroids can never look like huge bodybuilders. So rather focusing on what not wanting to be, my advice would be focus on what you want to be!

You need to picture yourself in the physique you desire whilst being decisive and realistic.


Most Important Fitness Goals

fitness goalsGoals are one of the most important things in life. In my opinion one cannot live without goals, as life is all about setting goals and doing your very best to materialise them. In all aspects of life we have goals. We can even set goals subconsciously in all aspects of life. Be it relationships, family, life, health, fitness etc.
Without goals there is no reason and there is no life let alone energy and focus for improvement in reaching goals. In fitness, goals are simply important especially to be consistent. To be consistent in fitness goals, one should be consistent. Through my experience into fitness and every day meeting people from all walks of life I can say that goals vary from one individual to another. Although goals vary from individuals to another there are always common goals.

What I am going to explain here is what in my opinion really keeps someone going and be consistent into fitness. This is what I was doing these last 10 years and I am still doing this.
I like to split goals in two types of goals, short term goals and long term goals. I always create a roadmap for 1 year (long term goal) then a 3 months goal (short term goals) monthly (shorter) and weekly (even shorter).

As you may already guess the one year goal would be to improve my fitness level and after consulting with some friends of mine in my same industry I set clear and realistic goal that I have to reach by end of year.

The 3 months goal would be to follow a 3 months planned and structured nutrition and training plan along with cheat meals and rest days. The monthly goal is basically a part of the 3 months goal and the 1 week goal is a part of the one week goal.

Just keep it simple.



real results getting better is getting better!

It’s been a while since I posted my last blog. At the moment I am focusing on team building here at my fitness centre as the more time goes by, the more I am realising and appreciating the importance of a good team!.

Needless to say these amazing results over here are not only backed up by myself. Over here we are growing and getting better in  what we do, step by step, and learning from each other everyday.  We are hungry to learn, keen to get better, grasp and take note of the benefits which experience is giving us every day over here!

Team building is very important so as to maintain consistency and good communication. Every day is an adventure which we all take very seriously and live it as part of our life over here. Lately it’s been very busy and the Club (Mariano Club) is getting bigger and better day by day; and so is the team. Today I had a friendly workout as that’s what I call it , when I train with a friend of mine who happened to be one of my colleagues.

Chatting and training sometimes is fun, especially when you have been training with that person for a long time. Ok, there are those days when I want, or rather need, to train alone and there are various reasons for this, such as to unwind, to focus, or even to be even more focused and push harder. This morning was chatting and training.

Jake and I have known each other for years now and we became colleagues around two years ago. We work together and both do our best to help clients. There are times where we do not agree on everything and there are times that we communicate without even a single word, it’s like we have the same line of thought. Today whilst we were doing our workout we were discussing the progress of our client Diane Parnis whom Jake has been following and still is.

The result speaks for itself and for us these results are the motivation which gives us even more motivation, practically every single day.

Time to go for my second part of the day; consultations…

*good Team * Good results.. This is what we do! It’s REAL..

Fat Loss Results

Fat Loss: One of the most common problems amongst clients

When I opened my Fitness Centre and new clients started to enrol in my programs, I quickly understood that the most common problem faced by many is that of Fat Loss. I researched as much as possible and learnt a lot about this aspect of fitness.  I did this so as to be able to help my clients as best as possible in obtaining the results they aim to achieve. With time and through experience I have developed effective principles which ultimately help people to lose weight.

First it is important to set goals which do not have weight-loss as the main aim.

Sometimes the scales will not always show a decrease in weight even though you are following a training and nutrition program. This might result in you seeing the scales as your enemy and you are very likely to lose your confidence. For this reason it is better to set goals which you can have control over. Once you have decided on a goal then declare it, work hard for it and when you have reached that goal, set another. Remember you cannot expect your weight-loss journey to be perfect. If for some reason you find yourself off-track just get right back on. Don’t let yourself sabotage the rest of the day, week or month. It’s like getting a flat tyre – you fix it and move on not slash the other three!

To lose weight you are going to have to make a number of life changes. Make sure you have the support you need. While you do not need to publicly showcase your journey, it is important that you share your struggles and achievements with people who you trust and who care about you. Another important aspect which many people often forget is stress management! When we are stressed our bodies find it more difficult to burn fat. Find an outlet where you can relieve your stress such as kickboxing, yoga, sports or even simply writing in a journal. The important thing is that you relieve pent-up tension and energy. This is something I give a lot of importance to as from experience I feel it plays a substantial role in real transformations and nowadays this is what gives me satisfaction rather than my competitive results!