You Only Get ONE Body

Age 60 swimming from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf while handcuffed, and pulling a 1,000-pound boat!

Jack LaLanne was famous for saying:  “The only way to hurt the body is don’t use it.”


One question I frequently get asked is, “Sergio, how do you stay motivated to work out?”  I usually answer with, “To me, working out is fun and I always have some sort of goal I’m chasing.”

 Many people find themselves in a cycle. At first, they’re super motivated then find themselves burned out in a week or two.  When I aske what their goals were, 99.9% of them say that it’s fat loss. They then continue on to say,  “But I can’t seem to find the time to workout. What’s the fastest and easiest way to do this?”  The answer to this question is in the four steps listed at the bottom.
I began to dig a little deeper into my motivation for training and began asking some of my more successful clients a few questions.
 1. Why do you workout?      2. Why are you able to stick to it?”
What I found out is that there is always a deeper reason that these “special clients” have. This deeper reason is what sets them apart from everyone else trying to lose weight. One example is Brandon who said he wanted to stop being judge by others simply because his weight. This reason will struck some deep emotions with him and when you felt things were tough he would remember his reason. Once these people find a reason I have  seen them set on a path where working out as well as proper nutrition is a priority in their lives.
 Brandon, puts it best when he said he uses a balance between
 “Rewards and Scare Tactics” to keep him motivated.
When thinking about my own motivations and those of my most successful clients, I have to say the two principles Brandon mentioned using positive (Rewards) and negative (Scare Tactics) reinforcement really helps when used in a systematic fashion.  For myself, I use events (triathlons, sports, certifications, challenges..) as rewards because of the feeling of accomplishment I get rewarded with. The “scare tactics” for me is knowledge of nutrition and health. When I see how some foods can really damage our bodies and well as keep us from functioning at not just an optimal level but at a baseline level.  I don’t just try to eat well to be “super healthy”.  I try to eat well to not be sick!  Obesity is a disease that puts you at high risk for many other physical and mental disorders.. I see being overweight or even having an improper diet as being SICK.  I only get ONE BODY and I am trying to maximize what I can do with it. Since I know this will also help maximize my mind, body, and life!
Below is a great post by Mike Boyle, one of the foremost experts in the fields of Strength & Conditioning and Performance Enhancement, which inspired this post.
Take Brandon’s advice of incorporating “Rewards and Scare Tactics” if you want to start training and eating right. I believe that before you start ANY weight-loss system or approach regardless of the actual diet or exercise these are the most important steps to setting yourself up for SUCCESS!
Step 1Find your “it”. What motivates you?  Be honest with yourself and look deep, what is the real reason you want to lose weight?  Spend some time thinking about this, it will be worth it. Write down why you want to lose weight and find feelings associated with that.  Then, turn this into a goal with a timeline. DO IT!
Step 2Set your motivators, REWARDS (positive) and SCARE TACTICS (negative). What will you give yourself once you accomplish your goal?  Set milestone rewards and think of how you will feel. Remember to constantly have small rewards for the tough times.
Scare tactics: Proactively inform yourself with knowledge about health and nutrition. What is that SNICKERS going to do to you? There is a reason kids get super cranky after eating sugar. What are the long-term effects? Find what “scares you” and have something to lose. Tell everyone about goal, nothing scares you into doing something like public commitment. I’m sure there is more than that in which you can think of.
Step 3Execution: make a plan, how long do you have?  Do you want fast progress that may not be able to be maintained as easily or slower but more long lasting change?
 Change is hard or else you would have done it already but if you set a plan and have Step 1 and 2 covered then you can do it!
Step 4Reevaluate: if you have been trying something and it hasn’t worked then try something new. Whether it’s your diet strategy or exercise regimen. Find an approach that works, milk it dry then see what you can tweak.
As always contact me with any questions, comments, angry letters or  funny stories. Thanks!

Sergio Maldonado

MaxOutPerformance Fitness



Dr. Oz on the state of Nutrition

Nutrition What to Eat Now, Dr. Oz, Time Magazine 2011, Sept Document (1)

In case you have not read it. Dr. Oz offers a reasonably objective look at the state of nutrition. From wine, chocolate, milk, gluten, Paleo and is a calorie = a calorie. I agree when it comes to most of his statements and their can be lots of room for customization in diets.

Just remember MODERATION means moderation of the best stuff! Not moderation of literally everything out there. Mercury is not healthy in MODERATION.


MaxOut Kick-off Event May 8th

MaxOut Kick-off Event

Click Me for MaxOut Info Flyer

Test your fitness with our:

Conditioning Challenge

Outdoor Fitness Activities

Posture and Movement


What is MaxOut?

Our coached small group and semi-private programs will challenge you to optimize your fat loss and performance results.

OUR MISSION is simple: to help you look better, feel better, and perform better EVERY day!!!

Eat real food? That’s crazy!

Steps to Eating REAL food for REAL results

Sergio Maldonado

This program is meant to be used in conjunction with a smart training program designed to maximize fat loss or performance. Everything works in synergy and your results will compound with your effort. Take 45 mins each week to check that you are eating the right foods in your level and see if you can or would like to progress to the next level.

Always give yourself a check to see how you look, perform and feel. If it isn’t fantastic then we need to keep tweaking something.


This booklet is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment.  Programs outlined herein should not be adopted without consultation with your health professional.  Use of the programs and dietary suggestions herein is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.  The author(s) are neither responsible, nor liable for any harm or injury resulting from this program or the use of any diet, exercise, or lifestyle suggestions described herein.

Steps to Eating REAL food for REAL results

This is the most concise version of what you should eat and why that I could come up with. The key is to make it a lifestyle (I know you here this all the time but it’s TRUE). For fat loss I would say its 80-20 or even 90-10, nutrition/lifestyle factors to exercise in fat-loss. Meaning NO PROGRAM will ever trump out a poor diet. You can get fast, strong and skillful with the program but it won’t necessarily get your body fat down to elite levels 8-14% Men, 10-18% women depending on body type and activity.

Bottom line, you will NOT capitalize on your fat loss and performance measures/gains to the extent that you will with a sound nutrition protocol.

You can do all these steps at once or try one at a time a progress, the idea is to make this change permanent.

You really only need to follow steps 1-3, only after if you CHOOSE to do you have to do the following steps or if you are not seeing the desired results. For the majority steps 1-3 works fine as long as you realize your mouth is not a vacuum cleaner.

Step 1)

Food Awareness: know what you are eating! Start a food log, a month a week even a day! From what time you ate, what it was and how much. Everything that goes in your mouth! Either use a small notebook and paper or even better log it in Fitday where you can share the info and get caloric values for a variety of foods.

Why? Simply knowing what you are eating will help you make better choices and give you the awareness of the type of caloric/nutrient density.

Step 2)

Food Quality: read the Core Performance Foods and New Rules Foods and incorporate as many those quality driven foods into your diet and follow the hierarchy of foods. (I will email those recommendations upon request or when you begin fitness program.  Bottom line eat  lean quality meats/proteins and tons of vegetables as well as quality fats such as olive oil, avocado, almonds, coconut oil/milk…

Depending on how you eat now, start with the level 1 reading and recommendations and progress to level 2 and 3. These levels take you through the common “clean” diet (less processed foods, leans meats, fruits, veggies.) Level 2 and 3 involve integrating the Paleo diet (unprocessed food the majority of the time, certain lean meats, veggies, nuts, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.)

Why? Quality in your nutrition should be your first priority. 100kcals of McDonald’s is not equal to 100kcals of lean meat and veggies. It’s more than calories in vs. out!

Step 3)

Food timing: Frequency, schedule,  pre/post-workout. These recommendations can also be found in CH 13 of Core Performance. These include integrating 4-6 meals per day, eating within a half hour upon waking, pre/post-workout nutrition. If you eat twice a day then start eating 3, if you eat three then eat 4. Workout days include pre/post snack = 4-6 meals.

Why? The easiest way you can increase your metabolism is by eating more! The thermic effect of food means you will get a metabolic increase by just eating, eat more often then you increase this effect and are less likely to overeat by eating until you are super hungry. Capitalize on your food timing!

Step 4 )

Food Quantity: The food quantity recommendations that should be followed are in the New Rules chapter 21.  Also you can follow Robb Wolf’s recommendations of 15-17kcals per lb of body-weight to lean out, 18-19kcals to maintain and 20-21 kcals to add mass. 1.0gram protein per pound of bodyweight Males 50-70 grams of quality carbsFemales >50 grams of quality carbs Quality fats will fill in the rest of the calorie deficit

Remember QUALITY first. Again, it’s more than CALORIES in vs OUT.

Why? 3500 kcals per pound of fat is the accepted estimate for how many kcals = a lb of fat. If you eat an excess then you gain and if you create a deficiency through nutrition, muscle mass and exercise you lose.

Step 5)

Continued Education: Continue to educate yourself on proper nutrition to ensure you are fueling your body in the best possible way. Things to learn about are: the glymcemic effect or load of food. What foods are acidic vs. alkaline balancing. The ratio of omega 3 to 6 you are eating. What you are actually eating when anything is in a BOX!.

Real Eating Level 1:

start with the clean diet foods in the pdf’s  read it all or just:

Core P Ch13: headlines and summary

Core P Ch 14: pages2-4 pdf foods

New Rules Ch 21: pages 9-10 for kcal recommendation

New Rules Ch 22: pages 3-14 headlines of food

Real Food Check list:

1.    Eat smaller portions more often (4-6), spread evenly across the day.

2.  2. Your carbohydrate intake should be relative to your activity level. Eat “glycemically correct” carbs, high in color and fiber. Reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates in diet.

3.  Select a lean protein source with each meal, along with some “fabulous” (nuts, fish oils, seeds) fats.

4.  Choose carbs that are rich in fiber.

5.  Drink a pre-workout shooter(3:1 carb to pro) or post workout recovery shake (2:1 carb to pro)

6.  1,000mg of fish oil to balance your omega 3 to 6 ratio and add a multivitamin and antioxidant complex to your daily routine if you are not getting adequate veggies.

7.  Stay hydrated, drink a cold glass upon waking.

8.  Eat breakfast everyday (1 hour within waking).

9.  Eat the rainbow often (fruits/vegs), and the less legs the better (meat)!

10.               Mix foods for variety, nutrient density and glycemic response.

Bottom line: eat lean proteins, TONS of veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Eat with small 2-3 hour breaks in between, eat til you are full and workout hard and often. Sleep, smile and play everyday, just BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.

Nutritional Resources

Robb Wolf – Excellent information on Gluten Free and Intermittent Fasting. Co-creator of the CrossFit Football Diet.

SoCal SC – Paleolithic Nutrition and Eating for Performance.

The Paleo Diet – Loren Cordain, Ph. D.. Author of The Paleo Diet for Athletes

Protein Power – Dr. Michael Eades and low Carb Living and Healthy Eating

Reading list:

In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan

Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

Paleo Diet for Athletes, Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

Core Performance, Mark Verstegan

New Rules of Lifting, Alwyn Cosgrove

Athletic Body in Balance, Gray Cook

Future Food

Here’s some knowledge about food that everyone should know. For further investigation some easy resources are “Food Inc.” Movie and Michael Pollan’s book “In defense of Food…”

Dame you corn (grains)! Making, my veggies expensive…

“There is more in us than we know.
If we can be made to see it,
perhaps for the rest of our lives,
we will be unwilling to settle for less.”

Courtesy of OPT Blog

Some good stuff from Mike Boyle’s blog.  Including HFC and grass fed beef, read on…

Surprise-Suprise High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes More Weight Gain

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 by mboyle1959

Don’t you hate those commercials for high fructose corn syrup. They remind me of a drug dealer giving a kid his first joint free. “Just take a little it won’t hurt you”. A pitiful attempt by the food companies to deceive you. A recent Princeton study reported in The Stone Hearth Newsletter again demonstrated that sugar and high fructose corn syrup are not the same. I don’t know why, but the proof keeps hitting us in the face. Look for high fructose corn syrup on the label. If it is ingredient one or two, skip the product. Amazingly it is the number two ingredient in ketchup. I now buy organic, HFCS free, ketchup.

Grass Fed Beef and The Best Tasting Protein Powder Ever

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2010 by mboyle1959

Check out this excellent piece from the website . The more I read the more scared I get. Our collective ignorance about nutrition is scary. Until last year I was totally unaware of the benefits of grassfed beef. Now I buy my meat on-line. Grass fed beef has the same fatty acid profile as wild salmon. Do you think that the large companies that control our food supply want us to know that? Until last year I thought corn was a vegetable. Now I realize it is a grain and the number one source of calories in the American diet.

If you use whey protein try Mercola Miracle Whey. I was amazed that something so good for you could also taste so good. And, it’s from grass fed cows. I have never had a whey protein that I even thought tasted Ok, much lesss tasted good. You can check. There are no affiliate links. I just want to turn you on to great ideas and great products.

Please, tell all your friends. Reblog, retweet, etc.

Haitian Relief and Bells


Orange Kettlebell Club is throwing a special seminar where all proceeds go to the Haitian relief fund. If you can’t make it, please donate. I will be in LA but this is truly worth it.

On Saturday January 23, 2010 from 12-4pm The Orange Kettlebell Club will be holding a special Kettlebell Workshop. Every penny from this workshop will be donated to the relief of the suffering people of Haiti. We will be covering:
• Kettlebell Grip
• Deadlift
• Swing
• Clean
• Press
• Rack Position

We will go over the elements of the snatch and Jerk.
The Special Price for this Workshop is $100
If you cannot make the workshop and want to contribute you can make a donation here at
The workshop will be tentatively held at:
The OKC Loft
293 Whitmore St.
Oakland, CA 94611
Hopefully we will have too many people and be forced to change venues,,, let’s hope so!

Paleo review: my first week of re-evolution

alright let’s go day by day beginning 1/2/10:

Sat: did good, felt oooook, did the 10 mile’ er with the run group, a little hungry.

Sun: hungriest day and felt really crappy during the lifting session so I cut it short. It reminded me of the crossfit seminar when the speaker described starting the Paleo diet like getting off some drug addiction. He then mentioned he had a seminar where a previous addict agreed(kind of funny). I believe it, I didn’t have the shakes or anything but I felt crappy.

Mon: I decided to eat more veggies throughout the day and bought some bags at Trader Joes, frozen and fresh. I ate at least every two hours, lifting session felt awesome!

Tues: I noticed I am doing a lot more chewing

Wed: Pre-planned meals for the day and had at least two shakes so I could eat while working

Thurs: I did great the whole day, then I decided to make an excuse for myself and eat the pizza in the fridge or it would go bad. Dropped the ball today, it was a horrible domino effect (read on).

Friday: I rebounded from my pizza binge except, between traveling from facilities I had a burrito, poor planning today.

Sat: I was at my parents house and after eating all the carrots and apples I could eat, I had two bagels, dammit.

Sunday: got back on track, no workout today so I ate less had eggs and lots of nuts throughout the day, finished with pasta and meat sauce, again poor planning and excuses for myself.

What I learned: you must pre-plan! I’m learning to cook. Eating out actually isn’t that hard, you just have to love salads and get creative. Pizza is actually a sweet, it tasted super sweet compared to everything else I ate that week. I must eat 5-7 meals in order to feel good with my activity level. I did and do feel cleaner, that’s the only way I can describe it, I feel focused and awake  after meals as opposed to “food coma.” I saw FOOD INC. a must see, which makes me want to breed my own chickens and grow my own plants. An expert in that movie said that the human body was designed to seek “sweet, soft and fat” in terms of what we crave. These are the most energy dense foods and they exist very rarely in nature. It made me notice that about everything of what we as American’s eat  regularly eat fits one of those traits, whether it’s the sugar in your coffee, diet coke, french bread, whatever. Our cravings as humans are designed for survival not optimal health.

Oh ya, I also had a dream about a floating sandwich or I think it was grilled cheese sandwich

So easy a caveman did it, can I?

So I am going on the “Paleo” diet, today is day one of my eating re-evolution. Basically, I eat like early man did pre-agricultural revolution style. Yes, that means no processed foods and no refined grains (wheat, corn, potatoes…). This also includes dairy, so it’s lean meats, fruits, veggies, nuts and anything else Paleo man could have eaten. Here is an from the Washington Post detailing the diet.

So why the hell am I doing this? Basically, I think modern society has failed us and conned us into thinking we need to eat certain food, mostly refined grains (USDA food pyramid) and commercial food business has made us sugar addicts and limiting the true amount of choices we have in “REAL” food. More on this as my journey continues.

In addition, I am experimenting on my self just to see how my athletic performance (weightlifting, half marathon training) changes along with this new fuel. The Paleo diet is taking a diet that I commonly recommend to people I train being the “Clean” diet where it’s basically cutting out processed foods, limiting ingredients on boxes and only having whole grains in moderation.

Shawn of Shawsu has also decided to join the fun. There are also many strength and conditioning experts that recommend this diet namely Robb Wolf who I heard about from Crossfit that prescribes Paleo/Zone in short eat “meat, vegtables, nuts/seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.”

So here we go!