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Well, if you are reading this on Friday, you are essentially in the thick of things.  You’ve gone to your company holiday party, and if you are anything like me you’ve walked out telling yourself, “I’ll just get back on track by going to the gym tomorrow.”  Tomorrow comes, and by the time you leave work you have three plates of cookies, and a bottle of wine.  The point is, tomorrow turns into a scene out of Groundhog Day at this time of the year.  If you are going to start the New Year off with a bang, it’s crunch time to get things under control.

The Gingerbread House

Making a gingerbread house has been tradition for many families.  The problem is, all of the gingerbread men and women you’ve already eaten before you even lay the foundation.  Instead of keeping all of those Christmas cookies on your kitchen table, take them to your closest homeless shelter, nursing home or hospital.  Not only will this save you from mindlessly eating them every time you head to the kitchen to pour a glass of wine, but you will be giving them to people who would really appreciate them.  I am not saying to donate ALL of them, because you should enjoy at least a few of them.  However,  it’s not the moderate amount of cookies that will do the damage, it’s polishing off your second plate of dessert at Christmas dinner after a week of over indulging before hand…. Not to mention the leftovers!

Stocking Stuffers

Remember just a few weeks ago getting up from the Thanksgiving table feeling like you would never eat again?  Well, lets learn from that experience and not do that again!  I want you to enjoy the holiday season, but enjoying it to much will create a mountain of regret that you’ll have to climb to get back to your pre-holiday body.  Fill your plate with all of that great holiday food, but don’t let your eyes grow bigger than your stomach.  Take small portions, and give yourself 15 minutes after your done to go back for seconds.  Giving yourself a small time period like this will allow your body to tell you if you should get seconds or not.  Chances are, after 15 minutes you will not be hungry anymore, and you can get up from the table feeling satisfied, not stuffed.  If you are still hungry, start with the healthier options first when going for seconds.

Mike Ercolano is a fitness professional, with 12 years of experience in the industry.  For any questions or comments, you can reach him at mike@ngtcrandolph.com and on Instagram at @mike_ercolano.  Please subscribe to this blog to support Mike, and his vision to change the fitness industry,

50% off a 1 Month Online Membership

If you are looking for the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one, look no further. Being in the fitness industry for almost 12 years, and owning multiple gyms and training facilities, I’ve developed a proven system to help improve your health and fitness needs. You don’t ever need to step inside my gym to get this system right at your fingertips. I will put together a workout and meal plan for you, that will be delivered right to your email. The best part about this, is that it is completely customizable for each individual. Take advantage of this opportunity now, as it won’t be 50% off forever. (Normal price – $99).

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Regardless of what you celebrate, this time of year is filled with peace, joy, love, and weight gain.  It seems like every article, blog, and Facebook post you read right now is titled, “Surviving the Holidays.”  I am here to tell you that I don’t want you to simply survive the holidays, but I want you to thrive through them!  The holiday season is a time that is filled with conflicting messages.  The corporate heads want you to believe that it is filled with magic and joy, so you can fill their stores… and cash registers.  The fitness industry wants you to believe it is a time of year that will destroy your goals, and you need to do everything that you can to “survive” them.  What I believe in is that it is a time of year where we get to experience our friends and family the way we should be all year around.

Oh Holy Night

Hanukkah has eight nights, Christmas has the eve and day, and there is always Festevus for the rest of us.  The common theme that all of these holidays have, is they are based around getting together with friends and family to eat, drink, and overindulge with your loved ones.  Whichever night you celebrate, it is a given that you will consume a ton of the delicious traditional food that defines your family.  These nights should be enjoyed and thoroughly cherished.  The first step in this guide is to love your friends, family and loved ones.

The 12 Days

The couple of weeks leading up to and surrounding the holidays are the ones that will wreak havoc on your diet.  Between work parties and gathering with friends, this is the most crucial time for you to ensure you hit the New Year running, and not limping through the starting line.  It can be real easy to fall off track during this time period, which is why I recommend to take the extra time and effort to track your meals.  I believe that this should be done all year around if you are serious about hitting your physical goals, but lets be honest… does anyone keep an accurate food journal ALL year round?  I would argue that it may be the most effective way to achieve your results, however it is also one of the most tedious.  If there is going to be a time of the year to practice this habit, there is no time better than the holiday season.

Part two of My (not so cliche) Guide to Surviving the Holidays, will be posted on Friday.  As usual, you can reach me by emailing me at mike@ngtcrandolph.com.  You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter with the handle @mike_ercolano.

50% off a 1 Month Online Membership

If you are looking for the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one, look no further. Being in the fitness industry for almost 12 years, and owning multiple gyms and training facilities, I’ve developed a proven system to help improve your health and fitness needs. You don’t ever need to step inside my gym to get this system right at your fingertips. I will put together a workout and meal plan for you, that will be delivered right to your email. The best part about this, is that it is completely customizable for each individual. Take advantage of this opportunity now, as it won’t be 50% off forever. (Normal price – $99).

$49.99

With this third and final installment of Cheaters Welcome, I am going to reveal my final two steps to changing your mindset to achieve the body transformation that you deserve.  If you have read my first two posts, you understand that changing your body comes solely from changing your mindset.  Without the proper mindset, the only outcome is one that will lead to disappointment, and ultimately failure.  I have seen it many times with my members at Next Generation Training Center.  They decide to make a change, but the definition of that change is defined by what they see in the media, and not what is applicable to their life.

Step 4: Ignore Trends

Trends are only trends, until the next trend becomes a trend.  Now that is a tongue twister for you, but it couldn’t be more true.  In my 12 years in the fitness industry I have seen everything from no carb diets to high carb diets, from detox teas to multi level marketing shakes, and I will be the first to tell you that I have tried them all.  The problem with that last statement, is that I have tried them all because none of them were good enough to stick.  When something seems to good to be true, it probably is, and that is the problem with all of these “quick fixes.”  Health and wellness isn’t meant to happen in a short period of time.  It is supposed to be a lifelong commitment to yourself.  Can you make significant change in a short time?  Yes.  However, if you want that significant change to impact your life in the long run, you need to establish habits that can be done on a daily basis.  Trends don’t equate to habits.  There has never been a successful trend or diet.  The only way to see real results in the long run is to eat a balanced diet, move more, sleep more, and drink enough water.  No diet, or product has ever yielded long term results.

Step 5: CHEAT!

“If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”  Have you ever heard that statement before?  It is meant to be a sarcastic way of justifying cheating, however I firmly believe in this rule when it comes to your diet.  By cheating, I do not mean that you eat “perfect” all week, just to completely over-indulge on a “cheat meal.”  There are a couple of problems with that scenario.  The rule of the forbidden fruit applies to this “cheat meal” strategy.  If you know that you can’t have it, and will only “allow” yourself to have it once a week, only when you’ve been “perfect” all week, it makes the craving and need for it seem amplified.  Let’s use pizza as an example.  If I know I am only “allowed” to have pizza on Sunday for lunch, I am going to think about it all week as I eat my chicken, brown rice and broccoli out of my Tupperware.  When Sunday finally comes, instead of eating two slices of pizza, I eat four because I have been thinking about it all week.  Since I only allow myself to eat one cheat meal a week, I now have doubled the amount of what I ate during that one meal.

A better approach would be to allow yourself to eat the things you enjoy whenever you want, in moderation.  Now, that doesn’t mean to eat pizza everyday.  However, what it does mean is if your family orders pizza on a random night, I give you permission to have a slice or two.  You don’t have to wait until Sunday to have the leftover pizza that your family didn’t eat, because you’re only allowed one cheat meal a week.  It will not destroy your results, as long as you make a good decision with your next meal.  Always remember that you do not get fat off of one slice of pizza, and you don’t get skinny from eating one salad.  Life is to short to cut out the things you enjoy, and it’s not considered cheating if you have a polyamorous relationship with your diet.

If you haven’t noticed already, I like to take a different approach to fitness then most gym owners do.  I got into this business to help as many people as I can, and I’ve realized that the solutions don’t always happen within the four walls of my gym.  Please subscribe to my blog to continue following my thoughts on fitness, wellness, health, and business.  If there is anything I can do for you, please send me an email at mike@ngtcrandolph.com, and follow me on Instagram at @mike_ercolano.

50% off a 1 Month Online Membership

If you are looking for the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one, look no further. Being in the fitness industry for almost 12 years, and owning multiple gyms and training facilities, I’ve developed a proven system to help improve your health and fitness needs. You don’t ever need to step inside my gym to get this system right at your fingertips. I will put together a workout and meal plan for you, that will be delivered right to your email. The best part about this, is that it is completely customizable for each individual. Take advantage of this opportunity now, as it won’t be 50% off forever. (Normal price – $99).

$49.99

In the first installment of Cheaters Welcome, I gave you my first step to making positive changes to get you on the path to a successful body transformation.  In today’s world, it’s difficult to overlook the constant reminder that body image is what rules our Instagram, Facebook, and Television.  When you make a decision to better yourself, it is very difficult to not judge yourself based off of what you see everyday.  The media pummels you everyday to the tune of six pack abs and booty goals.  The best exercise that you can do to change your body, starts with between your ears.

Step 2: Smile 🙂

Fitness is hard, there is no doubt about that.  However, we make it harder by setting standards that we can’t live up to.  When you take the approach that you need to change your entire life to achieve your goals, it is inevitable that you are setting yourself up for failure.  Fitness is supposed to be something you enjoy, not dread.  You don’t need to hit the gym 7 days a week to see results (unless that is what you enjoy!). The most important change you will make, is to always smile.  Have fun with your training, have fun with your fitness, have fun during the whole experience and journey!

Step 3: Move A Little More

Step 2 and Step 3 can essentially be combined into one.  You don’t need to dread going to the gym to get real results.  If going for a walk is your thing, then grab the hand of a loved one and go for a walk.  If you want to take a hike on a beautiful Sunday morning, leash up your dog and find your favorite trail.  If sports are what you enjoy, get together with your buddies and get a pick up game of basketball.  Even playing with your kids after school is considered fitness.  The point is to just move more, and move often!  Don’t get caught up in the grind of hitting the gym everyday.  Get outside, do something fun with friends or family, and always remember Step 2… SMILE!

If you haven’t noticed already, I like to take a different approach to fitness then most gym owners do.  I got into this business to help as many people as I can, and I’ve realized that the solutions don’t always happen within the four walls of my gym.  I will be putting out my last two steps to transforming your body and mind in my next publication.  That will be released by the end of this week.  Please subscribe to my blog to continue following my thoughts on fitness, wellness, health, and business.  If there is anything I can do for you, please send me an email at mike@ngtcrandolph.com, and follow me on Instagram at @mike_ercolano.

50% off a 1 Month Online Membership

If you are looking for the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one, look no further. Being in the fitness industry for almost 12 years, and owning multiple gyms and training facilities, I’ve developed a proven system to help improve your health and fitness needs. You don’t ever need to step inside my gym to get this system right at your fingertips. I will put together a workout and meal plan for you, that will be delivered right to your email. The best part about this, is that it is completely customizable for each individual. Take advantage of this opportunity now, as it won’t be 50% off forever. (Normal price – $99).

$49.99

“How about a real challenge?!?” And that’s how it all started. Six months ago I was in a friendly 6 week long fitness challenge with my business partner, Rich Mejias. We were three weeks into the challenge when I received this text message from him. Being the competitive, never say no to a challenge asshole that I am, I answered back with “bring it!” What followed next would put me into a tailspin of emotions, mostly surrounded by the dreaded feeling of regret. Rich simply responded back with, “The Boston Marathon.” 

Now if you know me at all, you know that running isn’t on my list of strengths. In fact, I fucking hate running! I apologize for the vulgar language, but I want to express the magnitude of how much I hate it. As soon as I realized what I had agreed to, I started thinking of excuses as to how I could back out. All of those excuses were squashed with the thought of fraud. If I backed out, I would be a fake. A liar. Someone who preaches one way to live, but lives another way. For someone who’s mantra is to live outside of your comfort zone in order to grow, it was my duty to accept the challenge. So I accepted it knowing that failure was a very real possibility, but failure was not an option.

When I was going though this internal struggle, I learned something new about myself. I learned that my convictions towards personal growth are strong. I instantly became more self aware, which grew with every step that I took during the training process. I’ve always struggled with insecurity. However, by accepting the challenge to do something that I never thought was even feasible, my self esteem grew.  It had nothing to do with completing my training runs.  It was something that was on a deeper, more spiritual level.  Everyday that I strapped on those ugly ass running shoes (I mean come on, can’t anyone find a balance between comfort AND style?), I felt myself grow as a person.  The days that I grew the most, were the days that I felt the worst.  Adversity plays an amazing role in self development, and I essentially plunged myself down the adversity toilet.  Little did I know, this would just be one of many lessons I would learn along this journey.  Sometimes you need to put yourself in a position of failure, in order to succeed in another area of life.  

Yesterday marked my two year anniversary as a business owner.  Well, I should say, as a successful business owner.  I did own another business before Next Generation Training Center, however it was an epic failure.  This story I’ll save for another time, because today is all about reflecting on the good, and a few lessons learned along the way.  I can’t give you everything that I’ve learned, because I would have nothing to write about after this, and my mission to sit at home and do nothing but blog would be out the window.

As I was going through my day yesterday, I kept receiving messages from LinkedIn congratulating me on my work anniversary.  I just dismissed it as that was the day that I created my account.  The amount of emails, texts and notifications from various social media outlets I receive on a daily basis would make you think I am actually an important person on this planet; so when receiving all of these messages I didn’t think twice about it.  Until it dawned on me… holy shit, today is the two year anniversary of Next Generation Training Center in Randolph, NJ.  Maybe this is a good example of why my marriage didn’t last very long… hmm… now it makes sense.

When I finally realized that it was our anniversary,  I went through an immediate emotional roller-coaster.  How could I have forgotten this?  I should have realized it, and congratulated my staff for being rockstars at what they do.  I should have thanked all of our members who have made this possible.  What kind of terrible business owner am I?  Well, when I figured out that I can accomplish all of these things through a simple video posted to Facebook, the big picture became more focused.  Most small businesses fail within their first 18 months.  We are now on month 24.  We’ve accomplished something that only two out of every ten small businesses do.  That’s nothing short of inspiring.

Once the regret of forgetting wore off, and I cancelled my order of flowers for everyone (that’s what you’re supposed to do when you forget an anniversary, right?) I learned a valuable lesson.  If you don’t slow down on occasion, if you don’t stop to look around and take it all in, you will lose perspective of how successful you are.  Success is something that is ever evolving, always changing, and never fully accomplished.  However, it is also accomplished everyday in all of our lives.  I know what you are thinking, what the fuck is Mike talking about with this confusing contradicting bullshit?  Well here it is, in plain English, if you woke up today, you have the potential to be successful.  It is as simple as that.  You just have to CHOOSE to be successful.  You need to realize that success is a term that is defined in an infinite amount of ways.  A successful mindset breeds success, and you can say the same thing about a negative mindset.

Being caught up in the daily grind of multi-tasking and trying to get “stuff” done can easily take over your life.  In fact, I fell victim of that and it made me forget my work anniversary (thank God for LinkedIn).  I’ve learned that it’s important to slow down and reflect on your daily success.  Will I ever be happy with where we are at the moment?  No.  I always want to improve, grow and make a bigger impact.  However, that doesn’t mean that at this moment we are not successful.  Remember, success breeds success.  When you reflect on it daily, you will bring more of it into your life.  Don’t ever stop moving forward, but don’t forget where you are at the moment.  It’s hard to accomplish more, if you don’t realize your success now.

First blog post

January 23, 2017 — 7 Comments

My very first blog!

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