One on One w/ Fitness Expert Michael George

George_Michae%20colorhead[1]1 Recently I interviewed Fitness Expert & Author Michael George on keeping fit in an unfit economy.

About Michael

Michael George is transforming the health and fitness industry with his innovative training philosophies and inspirational voice.  As one of Hollywood’s most sought after Celebrity Trainers & Fitness Experts, his intention is to strengthen the spirit along with the body. He is the author of, Body Express Makeover: Trim and Sculpt Your Body in Less Than Six Weeks   and the creator of the Revolutionary 2-IN-1 Training System.  Body Express Makeover is a complete coach in and among itself and focuses on Core strength and balance, motivation techniques and commitment, while highlighting his unique 2-in-1 total body exercise programs that can be done in as little as ten, twenty or thirty minutes a day.

In addition to being a leader in the fitness industry an author Michael is a recognized fitness personality who has starred in several exercise videos including the B-Fit video series and the Fast 10 DVD series. He has also developed his own cutting edge “Body Express Makeover” coaching software. Michael has hosted/ co-hosted several shows and has appeared on numerous national television shows such as a featured guest on ABC’s “The View”, Fox and Friends, Entertainment Tonight, VH1, E, Extra, Fit TV, Home and Garden channel and CNN. He has been interviewed or featured in over 100 magazines/ newspapers internationally.  Michael is also a highly regarded Fitness Spokesperson for numerous companies such as Kraft, Subway, Natures Plus, Balance Bar, Unilever, Nike, Ready Pac and Pod Fitness to name a few.

Michael has transformed some of Hollywood’s most dynamic A-list celebs like Reese Witherspoon, Toby Maguire, Julianne Moore, James Spader, Meg Ryan Christian Slater, Sela Ward, Matt Dillon, Slash, Dennis Quaid and even professional athletes like boxer Fernando Vargas. These celebs, athletes and numerous high powered executives gravitate towards Michael’s training routines and principles because they work effectively and efficiently.

Here’s what he has to say.

1. When tightening one’s budget getting rid of all the unnecessary expenses
is the first thing that hits home. Many people feel that a monthly health
club expense is an unnecessary expense. I beg to differ. Barring the basics
like food, rent/ mortgage, insurance, auto payments and other can’t do with
out monthly expenses if you can somehow keep your gym membership you there
is a strong reason why you should.

You have no control over outside issues/ events primarily the economy.
However, you do have a certain degree of control over your health and your
attitude. Exercising regularly is vital to both. Take out your fear, anger
and frustrations over your economic condition at the gym and see how much
easier it is to face each day.

2. If a gym membership is out of the question use the outdoors as your gym.
Take hikes or long walks. Borrow a bike from a friend and go for a ride.
Jump rope and use low cost resistance bands to do your strength training.
You can also use your body weight as resistance for lunges, squats, bench
dips, push ups etc. Use exercise DVD’s at your house and share them with
friends. You can also trade exercise DVD’s for variety.

3. Get involved with more low cost interactive social activities like
walking groups, tennis, volley ball, bad mitten, swimming exercise classes
or what ever activity you enjoy.

4. If none of the above are options call your health club and tell them
about your situation. Ask them if there is anyway you can work out a short
term arrangement with them. Trust me if you are having financial concerns
others are too. All smart businesses are offering some type of program to
help retain business in this tough economy. If they say they can’t do
anything then leave them your phone # and tell them to call you when they
are ready to work out an arrangement with you. Trust me they will be calling

5. Lastly, remember that this to shall pass. The economy will turn around in
time. It always does because it is cyclical. Don’t focus too much on the
negative or the short term. Try to focus on the positive and the long term.
How sad would it be if the economy turned around and became more robust than
ever before and you gained 30 pounds in the few months of your life when the
economy was being restructured? Have faith that all will be okay. We
manifest what transpires in our lives. Manifest hope and strength through
taking care of yourself.

Thanks Michael!

Natasha Linton

NYC Personal Trainer




Being Risk Adverse May Make You Success Adverse


Here is my first guest/article contributor of the year

Mike Mahler.

Not gonna say much, read for yourself. It’s a great story.



“Mike Mahler is an expert in the challenging field of sports
His unique and innovative teaching tactics
guarantee high retention of these one-of-a-kind
workouts. His extensive knowledge feeds a powerful
passion to explore the human body with safety and
If you get a chance to train with him;
do so or regret it”.

– Frank Shamrock, 5-Time UFC Middleweight Champion

About Mike Mahler Click HERE

“Zajonc insisted that we delude ourselves when we think that we evaluate evidence and make decisions by calculating rationally. “This is probably seldom the case,” he wrote back in 1980. “We buy cars we ‘like’, choose the jobs and houses we find ‘attractive,” and then justify those choices by various reasons.”–Daniel Gardner in The Science Of Fear

Human beings are incredibly adept at rationalizing any line of behavior.  We decide what we want (whether rationally or emotionally) then go into lawyer mode amassing the support material necessary to justify our actions.  We are incredible defense attorneys when it comes to what we want.  The problem is we’re often not honest about what we want and further, what we think we want isn’t the real thing.

People email me all the time asking for business advice. They want to get into the fitness business but always have an array of excuses why the present isn’t a good time.  They desire motivation to jump into the business and hope I have the magic words to thrust them into action.

They’re deluding themselves about what they really want:  They don’t really want to get into the business, it’s just the passing thought excites them.  If they were ready to make a change and jump in, they’d do it without rationalizing why.  People ready to make a change, make the change, then rationalize why they made the change, not the other way around.

People make dramatic changes in their lives when they’re fed up internally or feel forced by external circumstances.  They prefer to stay in their comfort zone, reinforcing all their reasons for avoiding change.  Big changes typically occur dramatically, not gradually:  one day you’re working in some office, bored out of your mind, and the next week you’re engaged in the business you’ve always dreamed of doing but were simply not committed to pursuing.  One day, you’re fifty pounds overweight, and the next year you’re lean and in shape.  A year isn’t a long time–big changes can happen within a year given determination and tenacity.

Major life changes are often thrust upon us.  For example, fitness has been my passion for many years:  I got hooked in 1992, and spent most of my time test driving fitness programs and reading every training book and magazine I could find.  (I continue these practices, reading twenty or so training books a year, and too many articles to count.)  Fitness was my passion, yet didn’t become my occupation until 2002.  From 1996 to 2002 I worked at various jobs I couldn’t care less about.  Why?  Because I was influenced by others, neither prepared to take charge of my life nor make my own decisions about what I wanted to do.

Every time I considered quitting my job and plunging into the fitness business I found many reasons to justify staying put.  I refer to this period of my life as a time in which I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do, but in reality I was doing what I wanted.  Truly, if it hadn’t been what I wanted, I’d have taken the steps to change.  While the job was boring, it was easy, providing me a comfort zone and a steady, every-two-week, paycheck.  Why would I give that up to take on the risky proposition of self-employment?  I didn’t give it up and it wasn’t until I got fired, felt completely fed up, that I decided I was finally ready to push forward and not look back.

I feel irritation around risk-averse people who lack the courage and tenacity to do what they really want with their lives, yet I know the reason I feel irritation is because I used to be those people and they remind me of a part of myself I don’t like.  I know what it’s like to stay in the comfort zone, performing meaningless work day after day.  I’ve been there, I know what it’s like to know what you really want and still find excuse after excuse to stay put.  I’ve been there and my discomfort reminds me it’s easy to return there.

We each have an inner coward (for lack of a better word) discouraging us from risk taking and life’s other active engagements.  This coward has a subtle, albeit extremely persuasive voice, but if you give in you’ve done so of your own volition.  No one makes you live a life of passivity (certainly not in America where possibilities are endless) and if you don’t fight the voice of the “passive way”, you’ll find your life becoming ordinary, i.e., never leaving the comfort zone.  No, living it up two weeks of each year on your scheduled vacation isn’t enough (try as you might to make those brief vacations distracting) and “living for the weekends” is nothing less than pathetic.

In their formative years, businesses typically display innovation, courage and persistence. Over time, they tend to stall as the people running them become more comfortable and risk-averse.  Gather seven people, all sharing the same belief system, in a meeting room together and you’re guaranteed a non-innovative time!  All they do is reinforce their mutual beliefs and nothing original comes of it. This happens with companies and organizations all the time.

When I entered the fitness field in 2002, I decided to focus on kettlebell training.  Sure, I’d written training articles for magazines and websites that were conspicuously not about kettlebells and I also did online consulting without using kettlebells, yet the majority of my income came from kettlebell workshops.  No one else at the time was making their full-time income as a kettlebell instructor nor was anyone presenting kettlebell workshops.  Kettlebells were a ground-floor opportunity but there weren’t many people to invite to the party!  Probably there weren’t more than one hundred people who owned kettlebells in 2002.  Most of my early seminars brought less than four hundred dollars (which is the cost of a single registration these days.)  My first workshop in 2002, in Los Angeles, a whopping three people attended.

I didn’t make much money back them, but it was an exciting time, the first time in my life I was making money doing something I was excited about.  Over the next few years the business grew and in 2005 I took a huge step forward, enjoying ample income ever since.  It’s a blessing doing that which you love and making a great income at it.

Over the years, I’ve become more efficient, gradually shifting from a workshop-emphasis business model to a product-focused business model, resulting in a welcome passive income–this means I make money while not actively “working”.

I love the passive income business model but if you’re not careful, it recreates the comfort zone.  I’m not materialistic by nature, so I’m unmotivated to work hard in order to buy fancy cars and big houses.  The house we live in is fine and the same Honda Civic I’ve been driving for years still gets the job done. Thus, materialistic goals are useless to urge me out of my comfort zone.  In early 2006 I fell into a comfort zone and knew I had to change things around.

In 2006 I decided to break with Dragon Door and go off on my own (in a previous article I discussed the reasons why, so I won’t bore you with the details again.)  Once I was on my own, I learned more about marketing my own company and taking further charge of my destiny.  It was another exciting time, resulting in more professional and personal growth.  In spite of all this, in getting the business on track I fell into another comfort zone.

I decided to break out of the comfort zone by taking on a bigger project :  The Boys are Back in Town workshop, where I teamed up with long-time friends and colleagues, Steve Cotter, Steve Maxwell and Nate Morrison, in presenting a two-day workshop in Las Vegas. The four of us had worked together at Dragon Door but never collaborated on a workshop of our own in which we did everything from promotion, to registrations, to instruction.  This was our opportunity to present a workshop of our own ideas without any restrictions.  It was also a chance to create an unprecedented offering…

Someone I go to for business advice is my friend, Tim Larkin.  In addition to his self-defense expertise, Tim is a marketing master and he recommended I video tape the Boys are Back workshop and produce a DVD set for sale.  It was a great idea and it paid off handsomely.  More importantly, it provided an opportunity to create an exciting offering:  Not only would our workshop attendees benefit from this great seminar but they’d also receive the ultimate souvenir of a DVD of the workshop itself.  No more information overload wherein you go home retaining only 10% of the information presented.  Now, the possibility of 100% retention became reality, since you can watch the DVD set as many times as you wish.

I paid for the production of the DVD myself and also gave every attendee a free copy of the finished product.  This offer was not included within the promotion copy when people signed up, so they had no idea beforehand. When I announced at the workshop that we were taping the event and everyone in attendance would get a complementary copy, people clapped in excitement.

While the workshop was a huge success, the accompanying DVD set proved to be a bigger success and remains the gift that keeps on giving.  The combination of workshop plus DVD is an incredible offering; something I think will become a standard in the fitness industry.

The Boys are Back in Town project was exciting and took me right out of my comfort zone.  It in fact, catapulted me out of my comfort zone.  It’s a hard project to top but that’s exactly what I must do to remain outside the comfort zone.

Given the success of The Boys are Back in Town workshop, logic dictates I simply replicate the original workshop. After all, why mess with a winner?  If the first one succeeds, the second one will be a bigger success, especially given the success of the DVD.  Yet doing the same workshop over again doesn’t excite me. For one, kettlebells are no longer the obscure training tool they used to be.  While they’re not yet a household name, there are now many more people training with kettlebells and innumerable kettlebell instructors presenting workshops and making DVD’s.  In fact, I’d guess there are more kettlebell instructors and DVD’s than trainees!

Kettlebell-focused workshops, when promoted properly and with a great line-up, are a sure success but it’s time to go beyond kettlebells, and I wanted a seminar with a diverse line-up that no one had ever done before.  Kettlebells would be a part of it, not the focus.  After all, kettlebells are an incredible training tool, and you can get a lot out of kettlebell-only workouts, but you’ll get greater benefits combining kettlebells–correctly–with other training tools.  Top strength coach Louie Simmons says if you read only one great book, that is all you have, but read that great book and several other great books and you have that much more to work with.  This is precisely the case with kettlebells:  kettlebell-only training is great, but kettlebells combined with other solid training tools is even better.  This is what all top strength coaches do with kettlebells:  they integrate them into their systems, not making kettlebell training their only system.

I wanted to present a workshop to take the trainee to the next level.  A workshop providing new information to not only upgrade your kettlebell workouts but additionally introduce you to extremely effective training and nutrition information.

This is how the Collision Course workshop came to fruition.  It’s truly a collision of diverse instructors.  What all the instructors have in common is their use of kettlebells.  While this isn’t a kettlebell-focused seminar, it is a seminar of expert instructors who use kettlebells effectively within their unique training paradigms.  As a result, they each know how their respective systems uniquely benefit kettlebell training and vice versa.  Established kettlebell trainees will benefit immensely from this seminar as will those new to kettlebells–and even those people who couldn’t care less about kettlebell training.

When I perused the course’s final line-up I got really excited.  This is an unprecedented course which I’m not only looking forward to presenting but also looking forward to attending since the information and experience are incredible. Additionally, 10% of the revenue is being donated to a great organization, Kids Kicking Cancer–you can’t beat that icing on the cake!

As excited as I am about the seminar, it’s a riskier production than any workshop I’ve done before.  In fact, I have to convince everybody there won’t be information overload and they’ll be able to put what they learn into action.  With people losing their jobs and homes left and right it seems a less than ideal time to promote an expensive workshop, but waiting for the ideal time is a long wait, making it likely that nothing ever gets done.

Whatever the reasons, registrations came in a lot slower than previous events, like The Boys are Back in Town.  While The Boys are Back in Town sold out within a month of being announced, the Collision Course workshop took a lot more work on my part to get even close to filling up. However, as we get closer to the event in October it is almost sold out. While it will not be as profitable as The Boys are Back in Town on the front end but I’m committed to seeing this project through and I know the DVD set will succeed on the back end.  Is this guaranteed?  Of course not!  There aren’t any guarantees:  this DVD set could be a big flop.  Not because the content isn’t great–it is–but simply because people don’t care.

Do I have regrets?  Absolutely not!  I don’t want others taking risks, then me following the paths they’ve blazed.  No way!  I’m the one blazing the path and taking the risks!  Without risk there’s no chance of big success.  Risk is what brings the excitement to life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’ve no doubt the registrants will be blown away.  The people who’ve decided to wait for the DVD to come out will kick themselves when they see what they’ve missed.  Yes, the DVD is valuable but nothing takes the place of live instruction in a room full of other serious trainees.  The people attending the workshop and receiving their free DVD benefit the most–as they should–since they’ve risked the time and money and time to attend in person.

Life is an obstacle course of comfort zones and just because you’ve broken out from one comfort zone doesn’t make you free and clear.  Comfort zones creep up on you when you’re distracted and before you know it, there you are, comfortable, again.  In order to escape the comfort zone, you must take on discomfort–and that means risk!  And risk means things won’t always go your way.  Destiny favors the bold, but you may have to exhibit boldness for a good long while before the payoff.  Detach yourself from the anticipated fruits of your labors for just a moment and realize that risk taking in itself is exciting.  Risk taking in itself is the juicy fruit–not the paper you’re vying for.

Wherever you are in life right now, it’s exactly where you want to be. (Yes, there may be an exception–or two–don’t flood my email box with complaints describing your unique situation.)  The bottom line?  If you’re not doing what it takes to improve your current unhappy situation it’s because you don’t want to. There’s always something you can do to make things brighter–the key is you actually have to want it.


Natasha Linton

NYC Personal Trainer




Trouble Areas 101

 by Natasha Linton

as seen in mamawantsasixpack.wordpress.com

            Some of the common trouble zones on the body for both men and women are arms, thighs, abs, and butt. First, if you’re on a mission to make these areas trouble no more, remember this, ignore any advertisement that promises that you can still get the body that you want or get great abs without having to do anything at all. It does not work that way. You’ve got to do work.

Some important keys to reshaping that body that you want are:

·         Exercise and good eating habits should always be kept together. You can join a gym exercise at home to a workout DVD, or take up a new activity such as walking.

·         Engage in some form of resistance training (body weight, kettlebells, dumbbells).

·         Eat lean, eat often and drink water.

·         Find some time in your schedule for the gym or for exercises you can do at home even without equipment. Do not let anything stop you. There will be setbacks. Keep motivated! Keep Moving! Keep Committed!


Natasha Linton

NYC Personal Trainer






Hey there,

When looking for fun, easy, and healthy recipes check out foodfit.com.  On the site you can find recipes for different occasions, seasons, and cuisines.

Here is a recipe I recently found from the site.

Grilled Salmon with Mango-Avocado Relish

(for when in season)

Preparation time :   15 minutes

Cooking time :   8 minutes

Serves : 6


For the mango-avocado relish:
1 1/2 avocados
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups diced mango
1/3 cup diced red pepper
1/3 cup chopped scallions

For the salmon:
1 tablespoon canola oil
6 salmon fillets,4 to 5 ounces each
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions
For the mango-avocado relish:
1. Remove and discard the pit and skin from the avocados and rub the flesh of the avocado with some of the lime juice to prevent it from discoloring.

2. Chop the the flesh and toss it with the remaing lime juice, mango, red pepper and scallions. Store the relish in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

For the salmon:
3. Preheat the grill.

4. Brush the fillets with oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

5. Broil the fillets for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning only once. (Thin fillets take less time, thicker fillets take more.)

6. Placed the fillets on warmed plates, spoon the relish on top of the fish and serve.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 salmon fillet with relishAmount /Serving
Calories 232

Protein 24 g

Total Carbohydrate 12 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Soluble Fiber 1 g

Insoluble Fiber 0 g

Sugar 7 g

Total Fat 10 g

Saturated Fat 1 g

Monounsaturated Fat 5 g

Serve over a bed of Braised Fennel. Serve with Red Wine Sauce.
Happy recipe searching! 

Natasha Linton

NYC Personal Trainer




20 4 20 – Goes Live 4/1/09

SP-280-0121Hey Guys,

Check out this amazing group created by one of my readers and fellow blogger Carole Hicks. She started the group 20 4 20. This was created to get 20 people to lose 20 pounds together. This has gotten great response. April 1 is the start date.

A great way to ensure success at weight loss is to follow the buddy system. You can grab a friend and go to the gym together , call each other up to remind one another to workout today, do outdoor activities together, or even join a sports club together.

What are friends for?

For more 20 4 20 information visit: http://muffintopless.wordpress.com/

Catch her radio interview:


Date / Time: 4/3/2009 2:00 PM EST

Category: Women

Call-in Number: (347) 426-3761

Natasha Linton

NYC Personal Trainer