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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, and follow me on Instagram at @mike_ercolano.

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“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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