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Emboldening fitness enthusiasts to take action and turn life's potential into progress.

Everything you aspire to achieve is framed by your health and your sense of purpose. Because by staying fit, you sustain the energy and health to pursue a flourishing life. And by knowing what your purpose is, you know where to put your focus. My calling is to uncover the frameworks and lessons fitness enthusiasts can draw from working out that will help them reach their next level, and I founded Bounce Pep to help them apply those insights. 


Mark Johnson
Founder of Bounce Pep | Japan Master of Health Literacy
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Purpose | Standards | Goals | Priorities | Milestones

Experience this 3-day VIP retreat in majestic Kyoto and learn to apply fitness-inspired principles to get focused on your goals and take action to make your life more impactful.

Personal Priority Prober

Isn't it about time to wasting your time?

Download this simple Excel sheet to diagnose where your time is going and what your actual priorities are. This is the first step towards turning wasted time into worthwhile time.

You can't manage what you don’t measure.

Use the Personal Priority Prober above to calculate how much of your time you could use more purposefully and productively.

Whether you never seem to have enough time, or you frequently have too much time on your hands, it’s certain that you spend time doing things that lead nowhere. Being busy for the sake of being busy leads to burnout and resentment. On the other hand, having too much free time leads to having negative thoughts and coping with boredom through self-destructive behavior.

Busy work and distractions are equally capable of cluttering your time. Remove the clutter, and you gain clarity.

BELIEF | A Fitness-inspired Guide to Taking Action Now Despite Your Resistance

This free "action book" explains WHY you resist doing the things necessary to level yourself up and HOW to overcome the problem.

Stop believing in what you can’t do.

Do you feel that your life isn't having the impact on the world that you want it to? It's a strange feeling to be successful yet feel as though you're not thriving. But there's reason for optimism, because if you’re already a go-getter at the gym, you can apply the lessons for making an impact there to building a flourishing life outside of it.

Growing up, I was always the smallest, scrawniest kid and a target for bullies. But my father, Bill Johnson, knew who I really was. He made me stand upright and take my hands out of my pockets, and he would take me places where I was the only kid in a space full of adults. It was his way of showing me that I belong, regardless of my small stature. He was preparing me to transcend expectations and make an impact.

In my first position after college, I was working in international affairs for the Shiga prefectural government in Japan. Whenever the governor was scheduled to speak to foreign guests, I would coach him through the delivery of his speeches. I would accompany him during official visits by diplomats, politicians, and government ministers from other countries. It was invariably the case that I was not only younger than everyone else but also the only one who looked liked me.

20 years later, when I finally decided to get in better shape, I had no knowledge of fitness, no experience, and no muscles to speak of. Physically, I was still that scrawny little guy. I had never even set foot inside a gym. I should have felt like a complete fish out of water, but, crucially, I had no belief that I couldn’t do it.

Ever since, I’ve been connecting the dots between training at the gym and pursuing success at anything else in life. I share those insights and help other fitness enthusiasts who have broader aspirations outside of the gym discover how to tap into their full potential.

YOU BELONG AMONG GIANTS, not looking up but looking across. Embrace what makes you different, stop worrying about fitting in, and take your place. You are the author of your own story, and now is the time to transcend expectations.

If you believe in what you can’t do, you won’t do it. So, set the outcomes aside and decide to first elevate your beliefs about who you are and the impact you can have on the world.

There is no boogeyman except the one staring at you in the mirror.

4 Ways to Level Up Your Taste Buds

Take this free challenge and stop craving junk food so often. Download the guidebook and start improving your palate.


Training reveals frameworks for achievement that you can apply now. But first, you must be aware of them. Bounce Pep’s mission is to help you discover how your workouts reveal the roadmap to elevating other areas of your life.

Mark wants you to go from having mere hopes and dreams to pursuing them like there's no tomorrow. You can learn and apply the fitness-inspired approach to taking committed and purposeful action to achieve everything you're worthy of.

Everything you do at the gym is practice and preparation for life outside of it.

The Top 5 Persuasive Powers of Your Best Body

The Top 5 Persuasive Powers of Your Best Body

Like it or not, there are times when you need to sell yourself, especially when you’re in business or even when you want to attract someone romantically. One of the more insightful books I have read is Pre-suasion by a guy named Robert Chaldini. It’s enlightening for business owners who need to acquire clients as well as anyone who otherwise wants to influence people’s perceptions and decisions.

The main idea is that you can predispose people to be receptive to persuasion by using psychological cues that unconsciously affect what feels most salient and important to them at any given moment. When you do this effectively, they think what you want them to think before you ever ask them to think it. Hence, you “pre-suade” them.

That got me thinking about the ways that keeping a nice physique cues people to think favorably of you. I emphasize that you need to be in visibly great shape because, frankly, human beings love eye candy. If you work out all the time but not intensively enough to have transformed your physique, your appearance alone will not have as much persuasive effect as it would if you were clearly a physical specimen.

It’s smart to be aware of these persuasive powers because, regardless of whether you’re selling anything or trying to influence people’s decisions, life is easier for you when people presume great things about you. So, let’s consider how your best body can set the table for a favorable response from others, even before you’ve ever interacted with them.

1 | Proactivity

No one gets in excellent shape by accident, so when people can see you’re physically fit, it tells them that you’re proactive. This primes them to believe you’re someone who does what needs to be done. Obviously, you don’t want to be seen as a procrastinator, and a nice physique is like a billboard signaling to everyone that you embrace responsibility. This weakens the natural inclination some would have to distrust you.

2 | Discipline

Maintaining an impressive body requires that you train frequently and consistently. Even people with no interest whatsoever in fitness know this, and when they see you, they perceive you to be highly disciplined. This is all the more so because most people struggle with being disciplined, especially when it comes to doing something arduous and non-compulsory. Discipline is a universally respected character trait and, as such, is arguably the most deeply persuasive power on this list. It signals that you’re reliable under challenging conditions and over the long haul. 

3 | Confidence

Having strong muscles, joints, and bones makes it easy to support your own weight. This manifests as good posture, which is underappreciated for its influence on social interactions. I say this because most people don’t work on improving either their static or dynamic posture. A straight back and shoulders. A long stride. A gaze set forward instead of down. These fundamentals of good posture project confidence from a mile away. Picking up on your confident air, others will be more primed to listen and cooperate with you.

4 | Competence

Directly related to no. 3, the fact is that being in good shape does genuinely build your confidence. It is not merely a projection, and a bonus is that people will be more receptive to you because your confidence hints that you’re also competent. They can see that your efforts have achieved an impressive outcome. With no other evidence to the contrary, the impression is that whatever it is that you do, you do it well.

5 | Energy

The energy you invest in training creates even more energy for you because it both increases the number and grows the size of mitochondria, the power plants of most cells in your body. This makes you significantly more energetic than the average Joe and Jane, and energy is magnetic. It draws people to you because it radiates positivity. Donald Trump torpedoed Jeb Bush’s presidential candidacy simply by labeling him “low-energy” in a live debate, but you need not utter a word to effect the opposite impression of yourself. An abundance of energy shines like a beacon to others around you.

This is knowledge you can apply to improve the outcomes of your interactions with people, but there is a caveat. While they’re more likely to presume good things about you because you look great, it’s up to you to demonstrate those finer qualities. Ultimately, the proof is in your behavior, and you must follow through. Here’s a hint: when you’ve already made a favorable impression, much like a top-quality steak about to go on the grill, it’s more important not to mess it up than it is to make it better.

Sayonara until next time.


*This message has not been authored in whole or in part by any artificial intelligence tools.

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The Spotter’s 4C Framework for Networking

The Spotter’s 4C Framework for Networking

Have you ever thought about how spotting someone can help you understand relationships better? One of my recent talks on the Bounce Pep Channel was about spotting and networking, so I wanted to write about it in more detail for my readers. By the way, if you’re not subscribed to the Bounce Channel, you’re missing out on valuable insights, so get subscribed and stay inspired.

Spend enough time in the gym, and you’ll see someone spotting another person who’s lifting. You may even have been a spotter for someone before. The two primary reasons for spotting someone are to help them complete their most challenging reps and prevent them from injuring themselves while doing so. Safety is paramount, especially when lifting heavy weights. No one wants to fail the last rep of a bench press, for example, and have all that weight come crashing down onto their chest.

As a spotter, you operate in a spirit of goodwill. You’re there as a helper, and you show care and compassion to the lifter. Care, because you want them to overcome their plateaus and achieve gains. And compassion, because you don’t want them to injure themselves in the process. Your focus is on what the lifter can achieve.

This has two downstream effects. The first is that you establish or strengthen a connection with the person you’re spotting. He or she allows you to connect with them by trusting you. In fact, the spotter’s help and the lifter’s trust are key components of the next effect, which is a sense of community. People in healthy networks, like healthy communities, help and trust each other.

To summarize, we can say that spotting shows caring and compassion, and it builds connection and community. This is the spotter's 4C framework for networking that can help anyone become a person of influence.

Here’s the bottom line if you want to be a better networker: it’s about how you can help. A lot of people hate the idea of networking because they believe it’s contrived, robotic, and transactional, and it is when the person initiating it is not doing it to help someone else. If you approach networking as a mere means to get what you want, you will never be great at it because the other person has no reason to be interested.

Be a helper first, and the other person is more likely to want to help you out in return. When help becomes reciprocal, it establishes and expands networks. So, now that you understand the 4C framework, go out into the world and make it work for you. 

Sayonara until next time.


*This message has not been authored in whole or in part by any artificial intelligence tools.

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Using Resistance to Sharpen Your Focus

Using Resistance to Sharpen Your Focus

I was doing walking lunges a few days ago, starting with just my body weight, and it was smooth sailing for the first set. Then I grabbed some dumbbells for my working sets, and things quickly got uncomfortable. The additional weight transformed the experience, and in each set, the closer I got to failure, the more I had to focus just to keep my balance, much less push up away from the floor. 

If you bench press, you can almost certainly press 30 kg while simultaneously thinking about dinner, the weather, or some other irrelevant matter. It’s easy, leaving your mind with plenty of mental bandwidth to wander. But press a much heavier amount of weight, say 150 kg, and nothing else matters in that moment. It’s because heavier weight necessarily sharpens your focus. 

The caveat is that you must commit to it first. When you lie down on the bench and worry yourself to death about how heavy the lift will be, it only compromises your commitment. You psyche yourself out before you even start. That is why you must commit, whether it’s easy or hard, before you attempt the lift*. 

You can break a heavy lift into four phases: you commit, start lifting, overcome resistance, and follow through. Commitment itself requires some level of focus. Then, as you progress through the lift, and the heavier the resistance, the more intensely you fight to overcome it. You invariably find that the amount of resistance you face and your level of focus are positively correlated.

In life, focusing can be hard. Many times, you have to attend to mundane matters that deliver no sense of personal fulfillment. On any given day, there are countless opportunities for your mind to wander, not least because the world is full of distractions whose purpose is to keep you entertained and comfortable. And not just you. We all sometimes seek an escape from the real world. 

But your time is limited and invaluable, and comfort itself becomes a problem when it lulls you into being complacent. You cannot be complacent and focused at the same time, and if you want to sharpen your ability to focus on getting important things done, embracing discomfort is a powerful approach. 

Think of discomfort as a heavy weight. It’s any matter you must tackle that requires a degree of struggle. But discomfort does not necessarily come from the difficulty of doing something. Many times, it’s due to unfamiliarity with it. Changing your behavior or attempting to do something new, even when it’s objectively simple, can require a mental shift that feels unnatural. Overcoming your internal resistance is the real struggle. 

When it’s hard to focus on something that must get done, think back to your bench press. Committing to fighting through discomfort will be key to sharpening your focus on any endeavor. The fact is that not everything you must do to elevate yourself or impact other people will be pleasant or easy. Do what others don’t and won’t do. Commit first, and your focus will follow.

Sayonara until next time.


*In a real lifting situation, for your safety, have a spotter on hand to help if there’s a risk of dropping the weight on yourself.

*This message has not been authored in whole or in part by any artificial intelligence tools.

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