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re·bound verb \ˈrē-ˌbau̇nd, ri-ˈ\

Rebound: Return, bounce back, setback, backfire, move backward. 

Stev Pfiester, Light Heav WeightI recently took 18 competitors from my gym, Max Fitness, to compete in the NPC Southeast Classic. The goal was hitting the stage. Not winning a trophy, but using the stage to make us push harder and be our best.

The goal was made, and the goal was met!  What we do now defines what we learned on our journey to accomplish our goal.  In the “realm” of goal acquisition, focusing solely on the goal can be a tragedy.  What I mean is, the goal is just that: “a goal” – a means to an end.  How we develop, the wisdom we gain, and the way we develop along the way is the real reward for meeting our goal.  Goals are not the real rewards.

Team max

Josh GayLets think backwards for a second.  By creating a goal to shoot for, you are inviting some level of adversity into your life.  How much adversity we will endure is measured by how grandiose the goal.  The “Goal” only gives reason to validate and hold accountable our hard work, our long suffering, our perilous effort to make our bodies fitter, our will stronger, our bellies hungrier.  I have never seen anyone train harder than when they were stretching themselves to reach a new goal. These guys did just that. Josh Gay‘s 60-day before & after picture shows just how hard they worked. Then, they hit the stage, and celebrated, and then they went home…

Score! Now What?

CruiseWhat happens after we reach our goal?  It is good after hard training to back down, enjoy the “win” and celebrate the goal acquisition. For me, it was going on a vacation (cruise). We hit the keys, then Mexico and then headed to Disney shortly after we got home. Yes, there was a lot of food involved. But, at some point, we must get back in the game.

We don’t pay off credit cards just to go on some huge spending spree waisting our money, discipline and hard work. It is ok to go charge a dinner, but then we pay it off immediately to avoid getting in the bad position we were once in. Whether the goal was physical or financial, it’s important to remember what you learned along the way and how you felt while you were working so hard.

Sloppy Joes Key West

The best way to prevent rebound is to give yourself a marked amount of time to enjoy your hard work. But after that time is finished, it’s time get back to work. It’s time to make new goals – both long and short term.

bench pressBefore you even reached this goal, you should already dream about what is next. Don’t take your eye off of the immediate prize.  Don’t focus on your future goals until you accomplished the one set right before you.  However; you should already be thinking about what is next.  This will prevent your downtime from turning into a complete train wreck and a complete rebound.

Doesn’t matter if we are talking about finance or weight loss, enjoy your success but don’t throw away your investment.  Remember what you learned along the way.  This is what makes you better, stronger, and more patient.  Make some goals, so you can push your limits!

Geared Up & Ready

Even something like a new pair of shoes can get you motivated to get back in the gym and hit it hard again.  I got these new Reebok ZigCarbons and love them. It was just what I needed to want to do cardio again.

Reebok ZigCarbon

My next new gym toy is Reebok’s Bose Headphone set. They help get my mind focused, shut out distractions and make the most of my time at the gym. Totally what I needed to tune back into my routine.

Reebok Bose Headphone Set

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Formula for Success

goal“If you take your eyes off the goal, for even a second, doubt will rush your mind like a band of brutal thieves.”

Doubt intends to kill your dreams, destroy your desire, and beat you down with fear.  Evidence of this is obvious in the most trying times.  When we are hungry, when we are tired, when we are angry, when we are in despair…

arnold Be Hungry

When you are hungry, let that hunger be your purpose.  It is a burning reminder in your gut of what you want to accomplish. When you are tired and your eyes grow heavy, don’t be the martyr the world excuses you to be, no one owes you anything. If there is something you want, you stay up one more hour and you go out and get it!

Be Productive

train like you want itAnger?, rage? Make it productive, and focus the intensity of this moment into success instead of resentment.  No one can control your emotions but you.  And when you are in complete despair — Stop. Shhhhh. Be still, and listen.  You are more than “just being”. You have the potential to be even more than your desires. You have the ability to accomplish things you havent even dreamed of …yet.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes by way of the late Henry Ford.  He reminds us that we can decide what happens next… he said “he who thinks he can, and he who thinks he can’t, are usually both right“.

Go Beyond 

“Attaining the goal isn’t success.  Success is found in the pursuit, attaining your goals is the icing on this cake we call life.”

Work harderLastly, it isn’t enough to just dream. I love visualization. Wondering what if, thinking just maybe…  Hoping, even praying, for that desire of your heart.  Instead of praying for “the goal”, pray for the opportunity to make a way for your goal. The satisfaction of accomplishment comes in the effort – the blood, the sweat, the tears, the years, in pursuit of the “goal”.  Attaining the goal isn’t success.  Success is found in the pursuit, attaining your goals is the icing on this cake we call life.

“Vision without execution is just hallucination” Henry Ford

Equation for Success

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #LiveWithFire


Next time you gain ground and next time you find yourself making any headway, no matter how insignificant, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT to keep it!

i will fail



Feed with Purpose

In a “perfect world”, I’d be 6’2″ and ripped no matter what I ate – and I could beat up any 0ne I wanted. Oh yeah, and all slower cars would never ride in the left hand passing lane. BUT, we don’t live in a perfect world. So how does this relate to PFOOD?

In a perfect world, everything we put in our mouths would serve a purpose in regards to our body’s needs. Our body looks at food primarily as a fuel source, but also as building blocks to restore degraded tissue.  Lets “digest” this for just a second. Everything we eat should have purpose, either to help fuel or rebuild the body.  So the questions we must ask are “What are we fueling for?” and “What tissue is being broken down?”.

Our bodies need the proper fuel if we want to perform at our best.  If it’s just another day at the office, and you are eating pancakes and Big Macs you may not even notice the havack you are reaping deep inside. But, when you call on your body to perform at its best, you’ll probably see that Big Mac for a second time.  Ewwwww! We must decide what our goals are.

Short example: If you’re running at a moderate pace for an extended period of time, and your reason for doing this is to lose stored fat, you might be better served running on an almost empty stomach to force your liver to make glycogen out of previously stored energy (fat).  However, if your goal is to do wind sprints to work the legs in an explsoive way and increase your performance in regards to speed, your body will be better served with energy that can be used for this purpose, like carbohydrates.  (and I’m not talking about donuts and snickers bars)

Exercise degrades tissues.  All tissues and organs of the body are affected in some way, even bone.  It is super important that we feed these tissues and organs what they need to not only repair, but also to “rebuild even stronger” post workout.

One of the reasons we train, and compete is to get better.  Apart from skill aquisition, our perfromance will not increase unless we “rebuild the body”  This subject is immence and can be discussed for a very long time, so lets keep it simple.  Refuel your body with what it needs to repair and rebuild the tissues you want to make stronger and healthier.  If you want to restore fat, eat fat.  If you want to restore muscle, eat lean protein.  Without a doubt, timing your feeding of certain substrates is of the utmost imortance.  See PfitPfundamental blog: Fat vs Muscle Part 1

The above was just a quick explanation as to why I added more carbohydrates into my diet.  I have been focussing on creating more explosive power and less focus on leaning out.  It’s a sacrifice, but my body needs the calories when I am fighting so I wont “gas” out and fatigue.  My purpose for fuel has slightly changed.  I need the extra glycogen to fuel me when I am grappling but the risk is.. unused fuel will get stored as fat.

Here’s how I’ve been fueling up lately…

Try some of the Beyond Raw supplements from GNC
and take your training to the next level.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

STEVE EATS: My Meal & Supplement Plan

When it comes to taking your training, performance and physique to a higher level, nutrition, training, rest and supplementation are critical.  The amount of information that is available for these “critical” corner stones of fitness is immense.  I feel it is important for people who are serious about changing there lives and becoming more fit to have a forum that will share basic principals that are tried and true.  No doubt there are many different philosophies on training that actually work.  Just like there are many types of diets and nutritional supplements that are proven to bring about results.

What you must do as a “seeker” of a more fit life is look at all these ideals that actually work, and look at everything they have in common.  I trust the Beyond Raw line for two reasons. The science behind the products is extensive and sound but, mostly, I trust it because I tried the supplements and they gave the results they boasted.  With this in mind I thought I would share my current diet.

This is not an experiment, this is my actual diet I am using as I train for a crazy upcoming schedule of tournaments.  Bodybuilding, 1/2 iron man, and a MMA tournament. As I get closer to each event I will tweak the diet, but the core of this eating program will remain the same.  The only fluctuation in this that isn’t written below is my coffee intake.  Lets just say that it’s absolutely ridiculous.  I also included how I would change the intake for a female trying to lean out and maintain muscle mass.  Check it out, I hope it is helpful.  Feel free to change protein sources, and switch veggies around as long as the nutritional profiles are similar. Enjoy….

NOTE: This is not a prescribed diet. I am not a dietician. I am just sharing with you how I eat to get the results I want for my body.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

Beyond-Raw Journal “FINALE”

Who wants to try something new when it really counts?  That’s exactly what GNC and FitFluential asked me to do.  GNC asked me to use this amazing new line of products they call their “Beyond-Raw” line to get ready for my next event.  Normally I would accept and try anything with no reservation… EXCEPT this time I really needed to be in tip-top condition.  Not just for photos, but Bonnie and I and a group of nationally recognized trainers were leading a Fitness Retreat in Cancun Mexico (pictured below) for Fit Studio and My destination wellness.

As a trainer,  on-lookers compare what you are saying by living it.  In other words, our words are validated by our physiques.  There are no excuses when you talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.  So I had my reservations.  I didn’t want to be judged a hypocrite if this “stuff” just didn’t work.  I know how to dial in my training, and I know how to tweak my diet down to the last calorie.  I can cut 12 pounds of water in 6 hours… but what was I thinking when I told GNC -DAN to send the Beyond-Raw supplement to Florida?  It was on.  Didn’t help that I was starting this “experiment” at the heaviest and softest I’ve been in over 6 years.  Or that I only had 2 months to drop about 20 pounds or 6% body fat.  But a deal is a deal… It had better work.

The first month I cut back on the calories and began the supplementation and immediately I lost about 5 pounds in the first two weeks.  I was floored.  I was thinking to myself, this is a cakewalk.  AND THEN…. n o t h i n g… for the next month.  I couldn’t get the scale to move.  I resorted back to a body composition report and realized… my body fat was indeed decreasing as I lost 3 more pounds of fat but gained 3 pounds of muscle.  I’m almost 42 years old.  I haven’t gained muscle in over 6 years.  I redid the body comp every day for a week because I thought I was dreaming.  I dropped from almost 13% body fat to 9.1 in less than a month. This gave me a fever to push as hard as I could.  The discipline to eat and supplement perfectly was effortless because I was seeing my body respond daily.  Don’t get me wrong, after the initial loss, I was discouraged, but after the body comp showed the mass gain… I was sold out for the “Beyond Raw” line.  I wanted all I could get.

The question is,  after your training, after your nutrition, how much can supplementation really do???  Listen; genetics, training and nutrition can only take you to the edge. When you are ready to jump, you better be packing “Beyond-Raw“.

Before & After:
Here are my “RAW” pics – and a couple photos from a photo shoot I took the same weekend as my after shot.

Here’s what I did:

I started my day, training or no training,  with one scoop of RE-GROW.  In short, this protein is formulated to increase lean muscle anabolism and decrease  lean catabolism.  If we can train hard and not break down muscle, and still stimulate growth… then I want more.

Next I would take Re-Fine before training.  If I wasnt weight training I’d take Re-Fine before conditioning, even if it was yoga.  What I loved about this pre-workout thermogenic is I was able to stay focused during the rush.  Didn’t notice the fat loss until it mattered most.  From 9% to 6% it was completely apparent.

I used the Re-Power as a recovery drink.  The BCAA are made to absorb fast and preserve muscle, and prepare them for the next bout of intense training.  It is one of those supplements that you can feel working to repair muscle.  The last supplement was the most confusing for me, and the one that forced me to do a little research to understand the mechanisms at work.

Re-forge is taken at bed time. Anyone who schools themselves on rest and repair is aware of how important our endocrine function is at night.  This is when our body is re-pairing and re-building the cells that we spent brutalizing all day.  Re-Forge is what is responsible to encourage our body to release the right hormones and enzymes to maximize repair and lean muscle growth during our sleep cycle.

So there it is… My Journey that took me “Beyond-Raw“.  The before and afters were for me only, but a picture is worth a thousand words.  When you have gotten every ounce of muscle out of your training and nutrition, i hope you do your self a favor and try “Beyond-Raw”  it’s truly “BEYOND-RAW

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you Run from the fight, you might miss the Glory!

The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences! 

Bonnie and I were both brought up in the south, and for many of us that means that we were in church everytime the doors were open.  One of the phrases you hear a lot in the church is “we really hate SIN”.  Don’t tune me out, I’m about to make a point.  As much as church, Bon and I in our adult lives spent a lot of time in the gym as well.  One of the phrases we hear all of time at the gym is “I love my workout”.  So “we hate sin and love our workouts” hmmm

Hate Sin?  Not at all.
We love sin, its exciting, feels good, it’s attractive, it taste good, it’s a total rush…  No we don’t hate sin.  What we hate is the consequences of our sin.  Sin can lead to drug addiction. divorce, obesity, disease, or even death – not to mention total seperation from the Dude who created you.  (another blog, another time).  But to say we hate sin, well, that just isn’t true – but to truly hate the devastating affects of sin is such a huge reality it isn’t a lie to say “I hate sin”.  Hold on, here it comes…

Love your workout? Not truly… 
Right now I am doing 315 pound shruggs.  I think I just popped every vertebrae in my back, just ripped a callous, my legs are trembling and I have sweat in my eye and a charlie horse in my calf.  Love my workout? …not so much.

HOWEVER, I absolutely love the consequences that I experience from working out.  Health, aesthetics, energy, increased self esteem, confidence, the ablility to defend myself and my family against danger, and vitality are all considered bliss – directly related to the suffering and drudgery of the afformentioned workout.  Knowing the amazing results of hard training, I can honestly say, “I love my workouts”!

The same way a person who has been caught up in SIN becomes so hurt and disgusted with that lifestyle, another can honestly say they love working out becuase of the amazing results and positive influence, that it can acutally be said, “I love my workout”

In short...The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences! 

How do we change our belief system to be able to honestly say… “I love training”?

1. Set goals and BELIEVE you can attain them.

2. Visualize the prize (end game) seeing the goal as if its complete.

3. Make a plan that is realistic and effective to meet your goal.

4. Grow a pair.  Dont be afraid to “gut it out”. Know it will be worth it.

5. Start over a million times – but dont quit, not even once!

Fitness: Love it do ya?

We have all come across those, “beefers”… you know,  those crazy fanny pack wearing’ freaks that actually love the brutality of lifting weights, or those skinny little 1/2 dead marathon runners that get this euphoric “runners high” at mile 19.  All I get at mile 19 is a cab and a five guys burger.

Ok  seriously though, haven’t we all heard of people who boast of loving their workouts, even loving the actual burn they acquire while gutting out a few more reps?  Better yet, have you ever talked with a runner that actually cant wait to wake up and get their run started at 4 am – and worse, they love the way the concrete massages the bottom of their feet over the next 9 miles?

No friends, I’m serious… these people exist, they dwell amongst us, you hardly see them because they are at the gym about 4 am.  Secretly, I think they are all 1/2 “Vamp”… but that is another blog for another time.  Let me help to break this down for you, even if you are one of the creatures of early morning to which I am referring. Talking to exercise zealots, I often hear much of the aforementioned subject matter and I have to call Bull.

If you say to me “Seriously Steve, I even  love the pain I get when my calves are on fire during calve raises”!  Reeeeeeeeeeeallllyyyy??? (in my best Jim Carry)… Even a sadist doesn’t inherently enjoy pain.  The pain is only a conduit to a belief system and it validates a feeling, thought, hope, or memory that gives them so much pleasure that they associate the discomfort of training, to the positive feelings the training brings about.

Follow me through another example.  allow me to use my own story.  I havealways been one who struggles with my weight.  Mostly because I used to love love love to over eat.  I mean it was so bad I would back up from the table, take a deep breath, loosen my belt, and go back in for thirds.  How did I get over this?  I changed my belief system.  What if I told you now, I actually like the feeling I have when I am just a little hungry?  Well, I do.

After a bodybuilding show, I could gain 20 pounds in just 2 weeks.  I would binge eat and destroy all of my hard work from the previous 6 months.  Yep, destroy it all in 2 short weeks.  Believe me that is a lot of food.  Now knowing the destruction that my body deals with from gorging my stomach and organs at each meal, and the associated bloated feeling, tight clothes, nauseous, and laziness that comes with that type of binge and full feeling, it isn’t too hard to see why eating lighter and stop-eating-before-I-am-stuffed, begins to actually feel better than being full.  I now associate feeling tighter, skinnier, and attractive with a slight hungry feeling.

My pfiesterism is “fit feels better than food taste“.  And for me its true.  It didn’t happen overnight, but indeed it did happen.

Look for my next blog on learning to love your workouts and change your mindset.

I Love Joe & Joe Loves Me!

Not the man, the drink! It’s my only real vice. Here’s why Joe is such a good friend…

I found this great article in Muscle Mag on the #1 stimulant in the world. Passing along!

Caffeine and Sports Performance

“Research provided by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has shown that ingestion of 3-9 mg of caffeine per kilogram (kg) of body weight one hour prior to exercise increased endurance running and cycling performance of well-trained, recreational athletes in the laboratory. This correlates to approximately 2-6 regular size cups of coffee.The common explanation to why endurance is improved with caffeine is that muscle glycogen is spared. Glycogen is the stored energy in the muscle tissue that is broken down during exercise. Studies suggest that glycogen sparing may occur as a result of caffeine’s ability to increase fat availability for skeletal muscle use.

Improvements have been shown in athletes that perform short-term intense (near maximal) exercise lasting approximately five minutes. The reason may be a direct effect of caffeine on muscle contraction during anaerobic exercise.” Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA   

ources of Caffeine Caffeine Content
Plain, brewed 8 oz

135 mg

Instant 8 oz 95 mg
Espresso 1 oz 30-50 mg
Plain, decaffeinated 8 oz 5 mg
Green tea 8 oz 25-40 mg
Black tea 8 oz 40-70 mg
Soft Drinks
Coca-Cola Classic 12 oz 34.5 mg
Diet Coke 12 oz 46.5 mg
Dr. Pepper 12 oz 42 mg
Mountain Dew 12 oz 55.5 mg
Pepsi-Cola 12 oz 37.5 mg
Sunkist Orange 12 oz 42 mg
Energy Drink
Full Throttle, 16 oz 144 mg
Red Bull, 8.5 oz 80 mg
SoBe No Fear 158 mg
Chocolates or Candies
Candy, milk chocolate 1 bar (1.5 oz) 9 mg
Candy, sweet chocolate 1 bar (1.45 oz) 27 mg
Cocoa mix, powder 3 tsp 5 mg
Puddings, chocolate, ready-to-eat 4 oz 9 mg
Medicine: Over the Counter
Excedrin 65 mg
Bayer Select Maximum Strength 65.4 mg
Midol Menstrual Maximum Strength 60 mg
NoDoz 100 mg 32.4 mg
Pain Reliever Tablets 65 mg
Vivarin 200 mg

 Read the rest of the article


So, you wanna start a diet and get skinny.  Well hooray for you, good luck with that… nooo, don’t get mad… Just say’n…
 OK, I’m sorry.  My sarcasm stems from years and years of trying to drive this “how to”, point home.   After 3 health clubs, 2 weight loss reality tv shows, thousands of twitter and Facebook friends, and most importantly… my own life, this is what I’ve learned…

How do we bear down, draw a line in the sand, and say NO MORE?  Wellllll…
The truth is, almost all cold-turkey diets don’t last!

Here is what I mean… 

This is what I call “the evolution of a diet”.

1. First, we try purge our house of everything tempting, unhealthy, or non-conducive to a new diet.  (most of us now will polish off  the rest of our ….fill in the blank… , beer, ice cream, Doritos..  instead of throwing it, or giving it, away)  

2. Then we research and grocery shop for the “healthy alternatives”.  Try to fill our houses with healthy foods and snacks. (shopping for any and everything that we can eat a dump truck load of and not get fat, instead of realizing, we must learn to eat a little less of everything)

3. Research diets.  (Monday, we are going to get a shot of, only god knows what, and eat 500 calories)

4. Join a gym.  (We might even hate working out, but all the magazines say we need to workout because lean muscle will burn calories while I sleep)

… Are you getting the point yet?  This is a recipe for disaster.  Yes, more than likely you will lose weight, maybe even hit your goals, BUT, you will have to change your belief system about food and activity if you ever plan to keep the weight off.  98% of all people, even if they hit their goals, will gain their weight back, and then some. 

So what should we do:

Here are some very realistic ways to begin to develop a lifestyle change that will lead to a healthy and successful diet conducive to weight loss and fuelling our performance in or out of the gym.

Week one: Educate and become aware.  

As you are eating this week, research your calories;  become aware of everything you are putting in your mouth.  Decide what really taste good, and decide what you might be able to do without.  Also become aware of when you might be eating for taste or actual hunger.  Sometimes we just have to suck-it-up-just-be-hungry !

Week two: Purge the naughty.
 Only purge the things that you deem a waste.  The foods and candies that you know will destroy every attempt at a healthy diet.  Continue to research healthy alternatives or substitutions for some of your vices.  Try not to binge other foods as a replacement.

Week three: Actual “diet” begins. 
I would be surprised if you havn’t noticed a slight change in your waist and a bump in your mood, but even if you havn’t… “STAY THE COURSE” It’s about to get fun…  Week three you must begin to look at the amount of food that you are consuming and compare it to what you are burning.  This means math… I know I hate math too.  The Harris-Benedict Formula will give you an estimate of your Basal Metabolic rate (calories burned at rest).

BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.76 x age in years )
BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )

Multiply this times our activity level and we can get a close estimate of calories burned per day.

Little to no exercise Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.2
Light exercise (1–3 days per week) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.375
Moderate exercise (3–5 days per week) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.55
Heavy exercise (6–7 days per week) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.725
Very heavy exercise (twice per day, extra heavy workouts) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.9

As long as you eat fewer calories than that number, you will lose weight.  Unless you weigh and measure your food (not forever… just until you get a grip on portions and calories) you will never know how many calories you are taking in.  After you determine calories out and calories in, you can determine if and how fast you will lose some excess body weight. This is the week you must begin to decrease your portions.  Change the way you think!  That slight hungry feeling is your body wanting to be skinny, it is the feeling of your beautiful body burning gobs of fat.  Please embrace that small hunger feeling, do not chase it away with a burrito.

Week four: proteins, fats, carbs… 
now the most delicate part of this “blog Vomit”.  How do I make sure I’m losing fat and not muscle?  You have to determine where the calories you are eating are coming from.  There are a lot of great sites online for this, but you must still know your portions to get correct data.   My suggestion for anyone starting a diet and isn’t sure… if you are trying to decide between High protein, or low carb’s, or no fats, let’s just start with equal amounts (in calories) for all of these. In other words, 33% of your calories coming from every substrate except, of course, alcohol…  so on a 1200 calorie diet, you could eat 400 calories of protein, 400 calories of carbs, and yes… 400 calories of fats.  Don’t make this crazy hard, or what I call majoring-in-the-minors . Its’s just one meal at a time…

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