Compared to What

Compared to What

Life has its ups and downs.

Once in a while we all go through something tough. That could be a death of a loved one, sickness, injury, divorce…Whatever.

And sometimes that can lead to a dark place.

A place of pain and heartache.

There are instances when people get to such a dark place in their lives that they never bounce back. They’re so devastated that they don’t ever try to get back to being themselves.

I empathize with that.

I get how a painful situation can push people to the point of no return.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Of course there is a period where we need to be upset and grieve. That’s part of being human.

But there comes a point in every situation where we have to make a decision.

We get to a point where time has passed and we must decide on whether we will continue down a dark road of depression, and never really accept what has happened, or we can choose otherwise.

We can choose to learn from our situation, and make the best of what we have.

That’s the beauty of being human. We are given the power of choice.

And when we make choices that put us in a better place mentally, physically and spiritually we tend to overcome ANY obstacle that comes our way.

Let’s take a look at former Rutgers football player, Eric LeGrand for example.

If you don’t know Eric’s story, he was a college football player who had a bright future ahead of him. During a game vs. Army in 2010, Eric encountered a big hit while making a tackle on a kickoff and fractured several vertebrae in his cervical spine which left him paralyzed from the neck down.

20 years old with tremendous ability and a bright future ahead, no longer has the use of his arms and legs. The doctors told his mother that he will never breathe again on his own.

Eric isn’t only now breathing on his own, but he is making more and more progress every day on his quest to walk again. He is now a motivational speaker and even won the ESPY Award for Perseverance in 2012 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year as only the third recipient ever of the Warrior Award.

This is someone who could have given up. Someone who could have said “why me” and really who would have blamed him? He could have chosen to not go through with therapy and let his injury get the best of him.

But he didn’t.

Eric LeGrand MADE A CHOICE to devote his life to walking again on his own, and inspire millions of people around the world in the process.

The moment that Eric woke up in the hospital and looked at his mother, he mouthed the words “I’ll be back”.

He knew that this would not be the end of the road for him.

When you talk to people he knows, hear him speak or look at his social media, you’ll see that he is one of the most positive people in the world. He is always smiling and speaks of his injury as a blessing, because it has given him the platform to help others.

I tell you this story to not only inspire you, but to share with you one of Eric’s sayings that I always turn to when I go through a difficult point in my own life.

And that is, “compared to what”.

Eric says when he is in pain or frustrated with the repercussions of his injury he says to himself “compared to what”.  He says he looks at difficult times that others are going through around the world, and realizes that no matter how bad you have it, someone else out there is going through something worse than what you are. He mentions people that don’t have a home and says that at least he has a roof over his head and a family who loves him.

Considering the severity of Eric’s situation, it gives me chills to know that he has the ability to look at his circumstances in that regard.

Eric’s story helps me look at the things I have gone through and realize that other people are out there suffering. That doesn’t mean that your situation should be overlooked by any means. It means that we need to accept our problems for what they are, learn from them, make the best of them, and move forward, because we aren’t alone.

Work on what you are going through, instead of being a victim of it.

No matter how bad or how painful a situation may be, ask yourself “compared to what” because someone out there right now is going through something that may be even more difficult.

When we start to look at life through this lens we realize that we can get through it, and we will get through it.

If we choose to.

I type this article with tears in my eyes. Not due to the unimaginable fear, pain and worry someone must face when suffering an injury of that magnitude. But due to the inspiration he has given me and millions of people around the world.

For being strong enough to play the hand he was dealt without pessimism and show tremendous amounts of courage.

I hope that you can use Eric’s story to help you through whatever it is that you are going through. Because although you may feel like you can no longer go on, just ask yourself “compared to what” and remember Eric LeGrand’s story.

Put forth the effort and mindset it takes to move forward with your life.

Remember that pain is part of life. At one point or another you will feel the inevitable pain. However SUFFERING is a choice.

Learn from your pain and grow through life, but refuse to suffer.

If there is anything I can do to help in any way, please feel free to comment below.

Thanks for reading, guys.



Love him or hate him, it’s safe to say that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of the greatest boxers of our time, if not ever.

You may not agree with his antics, or his actions outside of the ring. You may not even agree with his fighting style because let’s face it, his fights aren’t what you would necessarily call exciting.

But one thing that is undeniable is he is now 50-0. Fifty fights and zero losses. I don’t care what any of his critics say, that is pretty damn impressive.

After watching his recent fight with Conor McGregor, I noticed a few things about Floyd. Again I can’t say that I am a fan of his, however his skill is unquestionable and there are some valuable lessons to be learned here.

Lesson # 1

To be great, self belief is necessary.

I know what you’re thinking, he is one cocky son of a bitch. Call it what you like, there is no denying that Floyd Mayweather has more belief in himself than any other current fighter.

In order to get to 50-0 and be in the conversation about being one of the best of all time, Floyd has never showed any doubt in himself.

If you want to achieve greatness in your life, you need to have strong belief that you can achieve anything. No you don’t have to talk trash the way Floyd does when he’s trying to sell a fight, and you don’t need to put others down. But you do have to have a sense of confidence about yourself if you’re ever going to reach a level of greatness.

Michael Jordan, Steve Jobbs, Muhammad Ali… They all believed in themselves and in their mission. Without the belief that they had in themselves I highly doubt these men would have ever accomplished what they had .

Lesson # 2

To achieve greatness you must have an unrelenting work ethic.

Floyd Mayweather spends hours and hours mastering his craft. Putting in this type of work certainly does not come easy. He’s human, so there are days that he’s been tired, sore or just having a bad fucking day. But for twenty years the guy has put in the work, regardless of his circumstances.

His motto is “hard work and dedication” and that has helped lead to 50 victories. His conditioning has been second to none for the last twenty years, which is a direct reflection of his work ethic.

If you want to get to the next level and achieve greatness in your life, then you can’t be afraid of hard work.

Passion for what you do isn’t good enough. You have to master your craft, by putting in hours and hours of hard, gritty work.

There is a price to be paid for greatness, and the check is written with blood and sweat.

Lesson # 3

To achieve greatness, you must have a singular focus.

Floyd Mayweather is a boxer. He has mastered the art of boxing at such a high level that he has barely been in danger in fifty fights.

Throughout his career, Floyd did not say he wanted to also be the best actor of all time, or the best rap artist.

He boxed, and focused solely on that.

We often get distracted in what it is we want to do. I have come across many people who one day want to be a lawyer, then the next week want to be a cop, then an entrepreneur.

Fast forward 5 years and these people are still having the same conversations. Still unsure what it is they want to do with their lives. If they would have just made a decision and went all in then there’s a good chance that they would have gotten to the next level.

You want to start a business? Go all in!

You want to lose 50 lbs? Go all in!

If you say you’re going to lose 50 lbs, but also want to gain 30 lbs. of muscle, and also want to run a marathon, how the hell are you ever going to get anywhere?

Just DECIDE on what it is you want and then never look back. Greatness is never achieved through multitasking.

For more on this topic I HIGHLY recommend the book “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.

People who try to do too many unrelated things will never achieve the level of greatness that Floyd Mayweather has. Forget about the money and fame, that’s not what I’m talking about.

I am talking about the kind of greatness it takes to achieve fifty professional victories and zero losses.


I’m talking about the drive to train everyday at 3 AM.

If Floyd focused on more than becoming the greatest boxer ever, he would have been mediocre.

Don’t waste your time trying to do too many things. Pick the one thing that you want to do and become fucking great at it.

Put in those late nights and early mornings and achieve what those who are unwilling will not.

The only way to get to the highest level possible is to focus on YOUR one thing.

The jack of all trades and master of none lives a life of mediocrity. Don’t settle for being basic. Focus and achieve the level of greatness in which you are capable.

Instead of arguing over the things you disagree with about Floyd Mayweather, learn from what he has done right. Learn from the things that have gotten him into the conversation of being the greatest of all time and one of the few athletes that has earned over one BILLION dollars over the course of his career.

You don’t get to that level without the belief, work ethic and singular focus that Floyd Mayweather has shown over the years. Understand that, and start to apply these values into your own life.

I guarantee that if you do it long enough, you will be in a better place in one year from now.

Give it a shot and go be fucking great.

Do the Work!

Do the Work!

Over the years I have toyed with many types of training templates. From bodybuilding splits to powerlifting, from Strongman to HIIT, I have spent countless hours playing around with many different training modalities. Only to try and configure the best training program around that produces the best results.

What I have found is that every style of training can work if you use it properly. The style you choose should depend on what your goals are.

If you want to be the next Mr. Olympia, well you should be following some kind of bodybuilding split.

If you are a college wrestler and want to get strong as hell without putting on additional bodyweight we need to take that into consideration.

If you are a regular dude that wants to get jacked and shredded but still have the ability to play some pick-up basketball you can do that too.

Your goals will dictate your programming.

However, I am about to share with you the type of program we use at Tutela Training Systems in Clark, NJ that have proven to produce incredible results time and time again.

But first let me kick it off with my story and how I developed this system and got into training in the first place.

Ambition to become the king of arm wrestling

My training career truly started when I was 13 years old. I was challenged to an arm wrestling match back in the 7th grade by a kid named Mark. Mark was probably about half my size, but the kid used to destroy everyone in arm wrestling. I took the challenge and he literally laughed at me mid-match, right before he nearly ripped my arm off. All the kids that surrounded us laughed hysterically, which left me humiliated, pissed off, and more importantly, determined.

The next day I walked my ass down to the Modell’s about a mile from my house and purchased one hexagon 20 lb. dumbbell . 13 years old and about 140 lbs, I was barely able to carry this thing back to my house. And naturally, I did the one exercise that I knew, for probably about 20,000 reps.

The bicep curl.

I was determined to never lose another arm wrestling match in my life. I challenged Mark almost every day at school, and took beating after beating. Until, 8th grade came around and about 9,000,000 bicep curls later, I was finally able to beat that SOB!

That was my first taste of getting stronger and seeing first hand results.

Welcome to high school football

The summer going into my freshman year of high school my friends talked me into playing football. Only a few of us 8th graders were committed to the 8-AM workouts at the field house that summer.

This was my first experience in a true weight room environment and it was incredible.

Like all typical teenagers, I was immediately attracted to the bench press. So, I benched, I curled, I squatted, leg pressed, deadlifted and cleaned, with what was probably the worst form anyone has ever seen. Luckily, despite the fact that I had no clue what I was doing, I never got injured and actually saw some results. That summer I grew from 150 lbs-165 lbs.

Making the game

After four years of lifting for high school football, I started to get even more serious with my training after football my senior year. The first book I bought on training was Triple H’s “Making the Game” where it took you through his workouts with all kinds of exercises and pictures.

I spent hours in the gym, literally 3 or 4 a night.

I knew very little about training at that time. So what I did was follow a typical bodybuilding split. Monday chest and tri’s, Tuesday legs, Thursday back and bi’s, Friday shoulders, arms and calves.

Any of you that have been following me for a while know that I wouldn’t typically recommend this type of split for any genetically average hard gainer like myself. But initially I did make some progress, until I eventually plateaued and couldn’t get any bigger or stronger.

During a family get-together that year I was talking training with my cousin and mentor, John Alvino, who is one of the best in the strength and conditioning business.

I remember being so excited and proud to tell him about all of the work I have been putting in.

When I did his reply was simple.

“You gotta stop wasting your time.”

I was shocked! What the hell do you mean?! I have been putting in hours almost everyday!

“Come to my gym on Monday” was all he said.

The start of a new career

The name of my cousin’s training facility was called Iron Athletes. As soon as I walked in I was immediately hooked. He had all types of equipment that I had never seen before.

Naturally our first session together was leg day. And naturally, I puked all over the place and nearly passed out.

Regardless of all the puke and outer body experiences I loved training there. The atmosphere, the music, the guys pushing you…everything about it. I knew that this is what I wanted to do.

While training at Iron Athletes I started training more like an athlete, using less isolation movements and more multi-joint stuff. Military presses, squats, deadlifts, bench presses and all kinds of assistance exercises that I had never used.

Over the summer I went from 175 lbs. to 190 lbs! I was also the strongest I have ever been in my life, benching 305 lbs, squatting 400 and deadlifting 425!

It wasn’t until then that I learned the benefits of combining powerlifting, bodybuilding, bodyweight and strongman training. This combination known as powerbuilding gets you big as hell and brutally strong!

The birth of Tutela Training Systems

After working under John Alvino for nearly three years I decided to open up my own training business. So in March of 2009 I opened up TTS as a contractor at a private gym in Clark, NJ.

From 2009-2012  I became obsessed withnot only getting people bigger and stronger but getting them shredded. During this time I played around with a lot of metabolic conditioning stuff. If you’re unsure what that is, Met Con is strength training exercises put together in a circuit to create more of a conditioning effect.

Typically we did 3 full body days per week.

Although these workouts are extremely effective for getting people lean, they are also pretty taxing and become tough to recover from when you do them long enough.

I found that most guys who are more advanced and already strong don’t typically enjoy this style of training; however beginners and women tend to love it.

This is due to the fact that advanced trainees have more strength and muscle, which requires a greater demand for oxygen. This makes it much more taxing with a much greater conditioning effect for advanced guys and girls.

The biggest bang for your buck

The way I train myself and most of my clients and athletes now after opening my brick and mortar location in 2012 has been proven to give us all the biggest bang for our buck!

That is using an upper/lower split most of the time with a powerbuilding type of template. On off days you can do your conditioning work. You can use met con, HIIT, sprints or play a sport or martial arts on your higher intensity days.

On low intensity days go for a walk, bike ride, hike, swim or do some type of low level activity to break a sweat.

These days I typically strength train 3 days per week. One week is upper, lower, upper and the next week is lower upper, lower.

I do martial arts twice per week, sprint once per week and do something with low intensity once per week.

I also walk everyday first thing in the morning every day on an empty stomach to get my head right for the day and to burn some fat.

I have used this split for myself and for many clients over the years and have had tremendous success.

Putting it all together

As you can see from my training experience throughout the years, I didn’t do everything right. I actually had no idea what I was doing at first. But I did the work and saw results.

Once I stopped seeing results I tried something new, then I saw more results. One that stopped I tried something new, and saw more results!

My point is if you’re constantly looking for the next best thing, you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t. You’ll waste more time and energy looking for the best training program rather than just putting in the damn work.

The time may not be perfect, you may not be sure what to do, you may think there is a better way… but if you just stop thinking and DO THE WORK you’ll find that is what actually produces results. Regardless of how shitty your program looks on paper.

Because if you have the best training program on paper but always second guess it and change what you’re doing your results will suffer.

Just get in the trenches and start doing SOMETHING!

That’s the only way you’ll find out how to achieve real-world results.

I hope this helps guys.

Drop a comment below or shoot me an email to let me know what you think.

Have You Discovered How To Win?

Have You Discovered How To Win?

Some people are natural winners. They are talented, make the right decisions and always know to work hard enough to put themselves in the right position to capitalize on the opportunities in front of them.

Others make poor choices. They make excuses and point their fingers at everyone else around them as to why they aren’t getting what they want out of life. They have poor values and only care about themselves with total disregard to the people around them.

Then there are those who have NOT YET discovered how to win. These are good people. People who care about others and are as kind as could be. Yet they just never seem to get ahead. They are stuck in a never-ending rut, and regardless of how well intentioned they are they just never seem to be able to take that step in their lives that can propel them to the success they deserve.

Winners win, losers lose, but those who have not discovered how to win are somehow trapped in this grey area of a life of mediocrity. And in my opinion that is due to several reasons.

They say YES too often

Remember that whenever you say “yes” to something you are saying “no” to something else. Even though your “yes” may be well intentioned, you may be saying “no” to something that is essential to your success.

For example, you may say yes to picking up a friend from the airport, but since you have to pick up your friend you skip out on starting the project you have been planning. Skipping that project just once can lead to you skipping it again and again. This snowball effect leads to you never getting your important work done.

You develop a habit of putting others before your own personal dreams or goals.

This may seem selfish, and in a way, it is. But it is imperative to your own success and happiness.

I am not saying that you can never do favors for people. You certainly should always be willing to lend a helping hand. However that should not come at the expense of you holding yourself back. So be sure to prioritize and make time for you.

Then only say yes to things that are important to you.

They give in to instant gratification

Cookies are awesome. Ice cream is awesome, as is pizza, burgers, fries and alcohol.

But if we give in to eating something just because it tastes good, with total disregard to our health then you will never be truly happy.

If you are happily married with children but you decide to risk that to bang hookers on the weekend then you are acting solely out of impulse without any thought of the consequences.

You have to keep your thoughts set on the bigger picture and what will ultimately make you happy. Not just react to fill an emotional need. If you keep your eyes on the prize and keep your actions aligned with your values then you will most likely come out on top more often than not. And I don’t mean on hookers.

They start their day on someone else’s terms

Many people wake up and the first thing they do is check their email, text messages and social media.

They immediately start their day by being reactive rather than proactive. Instead of taking time to better themselves first, they spend time reacting to their ex-girlfriend’s Instagram picture of the new guy she’s been banging.

That ain’t gonna do shit for your productivity.

Having a morning routine has literally changed my life.

Meditating, walking, reading, journaling and reading my goals first thing every morning has kept me focused and starts my day off with a few small victories. Doing so builds momentum for the rest of the day.

You need to make time for the shit you say you don’t have time for.

No time to work out? Bullshit.

Wake up an hour earlier and get it done! Even if it’s a 15 minute workout. Push-ups, sit-ups, body weight squats and burpees in your living room or backyard for 15 minutes is much better than doing nothing.

Start your day on YOUR TERMS without checking your phone.

You will soon realize how life changing this can be.

They aren’t aware of their true purpose

I have worked with a lot of people over the years. Some of the best people I know that can’t seem to get ahead are those who have never put any real thought into what their true purpose on this planet is.

They work, raise a family and prepare for retirement and death.

There’s no vision, no goals and no happiness.

I am not saying this is an easy task, nor am I saying that this means you have to quit your job (if you enjoy it) and start your own business in hopes that you found your passion.

I’m saying to spend time thinking about who it is you truly want to be. Write down your goals and ask yourself why that goal is even important to you in the first place.

You want to make more money? Well how much more? And WHY? To buy a cool car?

Or will money give you the opportunity to start a new business venture that will give you a platform to help more people?

You need to be specific and you need to know why. Putting the time in to think differently than everyone else will give you the passion and that burning desire to pursue your dreams, instead of just going through life’s motions.

Because going through the motions is the best way to achieve a mediocre life. And like Ray Lewis said, “I don’t know no man who’s ok with being just basic”.

Don’t be ok with being basic.

Find what lights your fire and put your time into becoming the greatest you that you can possibly be. Money is great, but it isn’t everything. Robin Williams is a perfect example of that.

What makes you tick? What makes you jump out of bed in the morning?

Figure that out and you will be destined for greatness.

I’ll catch you guys next week.