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The Breaking Point


On the left: Kalin Before Lion Pride Boot Camps
On the right: Kalin after 3 months of Lion Pride Boot Camps

There is a point in some of our lives where we tell ourselves that enough it enough. We become sick of who we are or what we are becoming. We know that if we continue down that particular road, nothing great will come of it. In the fitness industry, we see it all the time. The point where people have physically taken themselves to a point they don’t want to be or continue to go. Some get tired of it, workout a few months and then go right back to their old ways. But there are the others who reach the breaking point.

Kalin Dudley, a Lion Pride Boot Camp athlete, was one of the few who reached his breaking point and did something about it. “I was officialy obese” he says. He was weighing in at 250 lbs and 30% of that was body fat. As a husband and soon to be father of 2 twin boys, Kalin took control and still continues his journey with us. His results? Within a couple of months Kalin was down 20lbs and took his body fat down to 22%. As an owner of his own business which he runs at home, Kalin found himself in a continuous state of laziness which usually lead to boredom eating. Now, he has lots of energy which in turn has increased his activity levels too! “It has truly been a life saving decision” Kalin says. And as a soon to be father, he won’t be the only one thankful for making the change.

OTL couldn’t be more happy for Kalin. He has been such a great attribute to the OTL community and we are honored to help him continue his path to a longer and healthier life.

An update:  Kalin is 3 weeks into the Pump and Shred program with OTL Coach, Coach Courtney Carlisle. His results are sure to continue as he dives head first into making a change with his nutrition for life!


If you would like to know more about or sign up for Lion Pride Boot Camps, Email us now: info@otlfitness.com


The Neglected…

When you go to the gym there is a plethora of things to do. From box jumps to clean and jerks, how do you pick which one to do next? Even with all of these other great movements, there is one we all seem to neglect. This oh so simple exercise is so great, one sport pretty much requires that the greatest athletes who participate in it also become a master of this exercise. One long piece of string attached to two handles has endured the times but is far to often over looked. So ladies and gentleman, let’s get together and bring the JUMP ROPE back to life.

Conditioning, speed, weight-loss, agility, coordination and really nice calves are a few of the benefits of jumping rope. So if people who use it can benefit in those areas, how come more people don’t use it? Simplicity, that’s what it is. The jump rope is so simple that people believe it is not effective. In a world of efficiency, it is crazy to believe that we look for the most difficult ways to get fit. From machines that need instructions just to use the, to one and a half hour long DVD workouts, our mindset when it comes to fitness is, the more and crazier it can be, the better the results will be. Where has simplicity, efficiency and effectiveness gone?

If you want to get stronger, find a coach who will introduce you to barbells and kettlebells. By introduce I mean someone who will wed you with those things. Getting stronger means getting under a barbell and putting in work. No need to go crazy on the next state of the art machine. Just simple be coached to lift and train properly. You want conditioning? Go to a track and run sprints or grab a jump rope and start jumping.

Don’t get caught up in machines and madness Keep it simple, keep it smart, and keep it effective.

The Losers Limp

 keyth on rings


The “Losers Limp” is a term from a speech given by Zig Ziglar. It is a description of the moment in time when a player on defense is being outrun by the ball carrier on offense in football. The “Losers Limp” comes in play when the defender realizes he has been beaten by the ball carrier and instead of just taking the loss, he acts as though he has pulled up and begins to limp off the field, giving him the excuse of getting beat because of this short lived muscle pull. As the player returns to the field on the next play we realize this pull was more of an excuse than an actual injury.

The Losers limp is prevalent in all realms of life and it is not really an injury, but an excuse. Everyday people all around the world have their own losers limp as they find a way to get out of the challenges in life instead of facing them head on. The life of setting goals, and chasing dreams is not one everyone is ready to take on. Hardships will come and only a few will be physically and mentally ready to take on those battles. But the few who decide that nothing can stop them will reap tremendous results.

In relation to your fitness, what is your Losers Limp? Maybe is sounds like, “I don’t have enough time” or “I don’t know what to do/where to start”. Whatever it may sound like, you must realize it is only an excuse and you must rid yourself of it before you can truly reach your goals.

If you are having trouble getting past your limp, feel free to contact us and let us know how we can help you get past the limp and start sprinting towards your goals.



Help Your Coach Help You

court and rania


Help your coach help you

How an open line of communication with your coach can help you get results

By: Coach David de Leon

As coaches we try to ask all of the right questions and give all of the right advice, but sometimes it is hard to keep up with everyone. Unfortunately athletes sometimes think we see and know everything so they hesitate to inform us about how they feel and what they want to accomplish. Want your coach to give you that extra help/advice? You’d better fill them in and help them help you.

I believe it is a coaches responsibility to know as much about their athletes as possible, but let’s be honest, as hard as they may try, things will always go unseen. But before you begin to place the blame on your coach, or anyone for that matter, ask yourself this, have you taken the time to speak with your coach 1-on-1 in order to discuss where you currently are, your short term goals and your long term goals? If your answer is no, the time to do that is right now!

Having a 1-on-1 meeting with your coach should be done once at least every 3 months. This not only gives you a plan of action, but it also puts you and your coach on the same page. Once you have had that meeting with your coach, it is their job to continue to check in, but it is still your job to continue your line of communication with them in regards to how you feel, how your eating has been, and if you feel as though you may need a little extra work throughout the week. Communication in this situation is key.

An open and honest line of communication holds both you and your coach accountable for your progress. If you have had trouble staying away from those sweets or have had pain during exercise, both of which are factors that can take away from your ability to see results, then those things must be discussed at the appropriate time. Trust me; a good coach knows if you have been eating poorly whether they bring it up or not. It shows not only in physique, but in your performance as well. Never be afraid to be honest. Your coach will not be mad at your slip ups unless of course you do not let them know.

To end, if you want the best out of your coach you must take it into your hands to keep them updated as to how you are feeling, where you are and where you want to be in both the short and long term with your fitness. We [coaches] can do a lot, but reading minds is not one of our abilities. Keep an open line of communication, be honest and reap the rewards of results!


13 Things Great Coaches Never DO

 great coaches


13 Things Great Coaches Never Do

A post about inspired by a LifeHacker article

By: Coach David de Leon


1) Text during class

This is a topic that all who know me know I feel very strongly about. As the head or assistant coach, you are saying that you have chosen to dedicate your time, attention and knowledge to your athletes. They pay your bills in order to receive the knowledge you have in your head. Do not disrespect them by texting while you are coaching.


2)  Sit down while they are coaching

Sorry, last time I checked we were in the fitness industry. If coaching for a few hours a day makes you so tired that you must sit down while coaching, then maybe you need to get back to the fitness part. Sitting is sloppy and lazy. Why any coach would feel it is necessary is beyond me. If you think you have a great reason why coaches should sit down, comment below and let me know.


3)  Try to raise up by putting down

I have seen and heard coaches call their athletes all types of names or use negative reinforcement thinking it will positively affect that athlete. This is not 1950’s PE class, we know now that negativity does not bring about positivity in others. Use your coaching skills to coach and cue. Motivate your athletes and educate them in order to make them better.


4)  Do not read or attend seminars in their field because they think they already know it all

The fitness industry is notorious for know-it-alls. Coaches get a cert and boom that is it. From that point on they never again need to attend another coaching/training seminar because it would be impossible for anyone to give them information they don’t know. Coaches, do yourself a favor and spend at least 30 minutes each day reading about different programs or styles of training. Even if you don’t agree with it, that is absolutely fine! But expand your knowledge base and know what others in the industry are doing.


5)  Try to diagnose an injury

We are not doctors. Build a relationship with a local chiropractor or physician, preferably one that also trains the way you train, and send your athletes there when they experience pain. Pain is a red flag, do not act like a doctor and prescribe exercises for pain, it is NOT your job.


6)  Say the word, “good”, even when a movement still looks awful because they aren’t really sure how to correct it. (Remember the words: Better, Same, Worse)

The word good is the most overused word in a coach’s vocabulary. What does it really mean? When I hear it I think, “well it wasn’t great, but it will do”. Coaches should always remember the words: Better, Same, Worse. Those 3 words can easily get the point across. From there a coach can cue what was better, what looks the same and how to fix it, and re-cue in order to get it away from worse. Good is a cop-out, be better than that.


7)  Answer Their phone during class

I only list things that I have heard or seen happen. Answering your phone during class should be an automatic reason for an athlete to leave your gym and for you to be fired (unless it is a family emergency). One word: Unprofessional.


8)  Allow their athletes to be in control of the flow of class

Your job as the leader is to direct the flow of the class. You set the energy and tone in the beginning of class and continue to do so as the class goes on. When you are talking and demoing, everyone should be listening, not talking to one another. When you are ready for things to happen, they should happen because you give the direction, not because someone feels they should jump ahead.


9)  Allow athletes to perform half decent movements because the movement is almost good enough and don’t want to seem too demanding

If you have movement standards, and you all should, make your athletes hold up to those standards. Speed is not the important part if the movement looks bad. A standard should be designed in order to get the most out of each athlete in a safe manner. Do not let your athletes be pressured by time in a workout if they are not yet capable of performing the movement properly. Step up and correct bad movement, it is your job.


10)  Allow a new PR because well, it was close enough.

Would you get on an airplane if the engineer of that airplane said, “well we didn’t get everything made perfect on this aircraft, but it’s close enough”? If your athlete is going for a new pr whether it be a 1, 2, 3 or 20 rep, make them get all of the reps. It is only fair to your programming and to their advancement as an athlete. Almost NEVER counts.


11) Teach advanced movements to beginners without first properly teaching mechanics and technique.

No new athlete should be performing advanced lifts under load such as snatch on their first day or in their introduction course. Occasionally you will run into an athlete who just has all the mobility and strength to perform advanced movements. But even then, assess the athlete and progressively allow them to load over time.


12)   Allow new athletes to begin programs without first properly assessing their movement patterns, basic strength, stability and mobility.

Coaches are sometimes too quick to allow beginners to start training. It is very important that all new athletes are assessed in order for you to properly prescribe movements for where they currently are. If you are allowing athletes to begin training without assessing them, their longevity in training will be greatly diminished. Assess first, prescribe workouts second in accordance to their limitations


13)  This one is just one I like…Never play Brittany Spears. Ever.

Must I even elaborate?

Put That Fitness To Use!

chris poppe and 5k


If you are an athlete at OTL, I want you to quickly add up the hours per month you are in the gym. Now multiply that by 12 to get a rough estimate of hours per year you train. Put that number on a piece of paper. Now add up the hours per year you spend outdoors hiking, biking, playing catch, competing in local 5k’s, 10k’s or even marathons. I am going to assume that your hours per year training highly out number the hours per year actually doing. What do you think about this? I don’t believe it is a bad thing to train often, and it most cases the training greatly out numbers the work, but personally I would like to spend a lot more time outdoors and would really love to see all of you do the same. So why is it important, and what can we do?

My number 1 hope for all OTL athletes is to be injury free, have full range of mobility, to have the strength to perform daily tasks safely, and to be able to run, jump and fall safely. However, I believe it is essential for everyone to find something outside of the gym to participate in that demands some type of athletic ability whether it be for fun or for competition. Why, you ask? Because it is a great way to gauge your current fitness level, it gives you a goal to strive for, it brings out whatever competitive drive you may have, and most importantly it gets you around a community of other like minded individuals.

We here at OTL are fortunate to live in Austin, Texas as it is the home to many things outdoors. With the activity level of our city, there is really no excuse why you cannot go put your fitness to use. But, if you are still having trouble finding something, here are a few I can think of off the top of my head….

1) Find trails in Austin or your surrounding area for hiking/biking

2) Go to lake Austin or Town lake and rent a canoe, paddle board, or kayak and explore the waters

3) Take a trip to Hot Lava obstacle course on Burnet Rd. You just have to go to find out….

4) Run Lake Austin Trails.

5) Take a swim in Deep Eddy or Barton Springs pool

6) Sign up for a local 5K that benefits a charity you like

7) Compete in local CrossFit competitions that match your current fitness level

Those are just a few of the things you can do to get started. I am sure you have a list of things you can think of as well. So, to help your OTL friends and family out, comment below and share your favorite things to do outdoors. Even better, find a partner within OTL and get signed up for a local event! The last thing you want is to be in great shape, and never use it to enjoy all life has to offer.

Have a great day, enjoy the cool weather, and lets get our bodies moving!


PS…Pictured above is Chris Poppe. Before his move to Houston, Chris came to OTL wanting to get back to his old high school running days. He had put on over 30lbs since then and was far from his goal. But, he signed up for local 5k’s, then some outside of the city, then one in St. Louis and in no time he not only hit his goal weight, he was hitting 5k pr times as well. Set your mind to what you want, and make it happen.

2 Magic Pill(s) To Start Your Fitness Journey

magic pill


We all want the magic pill affect. We want to be able to consume something, and instantly get results. That way, ladies and gentleman is, 1) non existent 2) Does not last 3) A lazy way out of hard work.

Since those things do not exist, I have thought up 2 “pills” of information that can help you begin your fitness journey. They aren’t large in size, but for some reason many find it hard to swallow. It’s too hot, I’m too tired, I don’t know how to do it, are a few of the reasons people refuse to swallow the pill. But for those who are ready to grab that glass of water and take down the pills, here are the first two you should take.

1) Pill 1: Create a plan of action: Purchase a calendar and write out what your entire normal day looks like. From the times you eat, to the times you watch TV, write it all down for 3-4 days straight. Once the days have passed, review the calendar and begin to realize how many WASTED hours are on the calendar. Since “not having time” is one of the biggest and lamest excuses, you can immediately eliminate it once you see you DO have the time. Begin to insert times to train during the hours you wasted watching the ridiculous things that make up national television. Yes, it is easier and more comfortable to sit on the couch, but when you turn 70 expect to not be able to play with your grandchildren and be the grandpa/ma who wore out the old recliner because he/she didn’t have the ability to move freely (Yes, things just got real).

2) Pill 2: The First Step: Let go of the assumption that you have to go out and be hard core. Depending on who/what you are influenced by, you may have the assumption that your fitness has to be hard core and crazy intense all day every day. This notion if far from the truth. If you are new to fitness, DO NOT kill yourself on the first day. It will only make you so sore, you will be back on the couch never wanting to get up again. Baby steps are the best steps when starting out. That could mean simply walking/jogging mixed in with body weight movements (push ups, sit ups) in the park or in your house.

The 3rd pill, which wasn’t mentioned in the title, is consistency. Give your body 2 weeks of training no less than 3x/week and allow it to adjust. It will hurt, and it may not be as comfortable as your couch, but you will adjust and you will make leaps and bounds in your fitness. Erase the excuses, and let’s get started.

3 Excuses For Not Joining The Gym

3 Excuses people use for not joining the gym, and all 3 are awful.

Whether you are a gym owner, a coach or a friend who has tried to recruit a friend to start working out with you, there are a pile of excuses you are bound to hear. The crazy part is, when people make an excuse, they use things that 99% of the population also have to deal with. But when they explain they are sure to say it in a way that makes it sounds so stressful.

I am going to quickly call out 3 common excuses I hear at least once a month from people not just living up to the fact that they are lazy.

1) “Oh I am so busy with work I couldn’t possibly make it”. Yeah? Weird, because no one else who comes to the gym has a busy schedule.” Yes, this one is you Mr. “I think I work harder/longer than anyone else on the planet”.

Let me start with 2 personal examples of athletes at our gym. Although I know ALL of our athletes have busy schedules, these are 2 that stand out.

Example 1: Surgeon/Practice owner/On Call surgeon. Times per week he attends class, 3. Number of times he has shown up after a 10+hr surgery, countless. Complaints he has made during workouts from being “so busy at work”, none.

Example 2: Nurse: Directly from 12 hours shift to workout. Times per week she attends, 3x/week or more. Yes, she is tired, has dealt with the public for 12 + hours and has dealt with those who are sick, but puts in the work and doesn’t make any excuses.

Yes, work is busy for everyone, but give me a break. Don’t let the thing that supports you financially also be the thing that sends you to your grave. Everyone (well almost) has a job that demands attention and time, using it as an excuse is weak.

2) “I don’t have enough time for that”. This is very close to example 1 except they just don’t have time in general. What is funny about these excuse makers is they are usually not WILLING to get up early to get their workout in. It usually sounds like this, “Oh I don’t have time during the day, and I’m not really a morning person.” So you do have time, you are just a little lazy and would rather sleep in than become healthier and more fit? We all have 24 hours in our day. Some of us just know how to take advantage of each hour better than others do.

3) I just can’t afford it. PLEASE STOP ME FROM GOING CRAZY! Now let me first say, there are some who are in legitimate financial binds. I understand. But then there are those who would rather spend their money on going out for drinks, on restaurants, on clothes or 1,000 channel cable (and the only watch 10).

Just last week a good friend of mine contacted me about signing up. The issue: affordability. So he being a friend, I asked him what his lifestyle currently “required” that was costing him money that he didn’t need to spend. The first thing he mentioned was his cable bill. He had the top of the line cable contract which was costing him around $150/month. Realizing he rarely watched T.V. he cut back his cable and started classes. When people are SERIOUS about making a change, they will always find a way.

The point I am making with this write up is we all have reasons for not doing something. But I have seen and heard all the excuses people can give. Truth be told, if you want it, you will make it happen. If not, you will make an excuse. So which will you choose?  A life of excuses? Or a life of making changes in order to fit in the things that can change your life?

What is the WORST excuse you have ever heard from someone not wanting to workout?

PRIDE Boot Camps Start Strong!

The first ever PRIDE Boot Camp was held this past Wednesday. Coach Courtney Carlisle took the new crew through an awesome 1 hour workout geared to increasing cardio, strength and athletic ability. The camp, which takes place in the Brentwood neighborhood in Austin, Texas is our first, but won’t be our last.

Of The Lion Fitness plans to open 5 Boot Camp locations this year throughout Austin, Texas. In the process, we will be pooling prospects for future coaches with PRIDE Boot Camps. If you or someone you know may be interested, please email us your resume so we can have it on hand.

Thank you to all who have signed up for PRIDE! Don’t forget you receive $15 off of your next month for every new referral you bring on to the PRIDE crew, so tell your friends!


Surprise Yourself

The past few weeks have been weeks of huge accomplishments. From hand-stand push ups to first time pull ups OTL has seen a lot of development in a lot of athletes. But what does it take to accomplish these goals and why is it they are coming so “easily” for some of these athletes? Let me break it down…

Those who have shown huge progress and who have already reached goals such as doing a pull up are all doing 1 thing that most don’t. They show up early and practice, and when they are done they stay late and practice some more. We have had 2 ladies quickly reach their pull up goal and beyond. These ladies are in different classes, but both did the same thing, they practiced. Class is not always set up for YOUR goals. They are set up for the whole. We cannot program workouts for each individuals specific goals. This being said, it is up to YOU to find a way to practice.

Congrats to those of you who have already reached goals you set at the beginning of 2013. The credit goes to you and your willingness to do what others are not willing to do.