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Beyond Surface Level: How to Offer More than Just the Façade of Excellence

Training is substantive. It’s all about sustaining effort over time to produce real results. So when we see someone who’s a physical specimen, we find it impressive because we know it’s not merely a façade. The occasional hater might make a snide comment, but even they understand that weights don’t lift themselves.

So today’s Pep Talk is about substance and facades. Substance is the essential nature of something, whereas a façade gives the impression of authenticity despite there being none. A typical facade we see is people driving expensive automobiles. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having an expensive car, but when the person has little savings and can barely pay their bills, it’s a deception. The truth is that they’re managing their money poorly and struggling to make ends meet. Faking it prevents them from making it.

Of course, substance can’t be faked forever, and illusions are exposed upon scrutiny. You’ve probably noticed people who dress in designer outfits frequently, ostensibly to be more physically attractive. Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with wearing designer clothes. But a lot of people who believe they look great in fancy clothes don’t look so appealing when they’re butt naked. That’s because they want the outfit to make them look good, not the other way around. Getting in better shape would improve the person's body and make even cheap clothes look good on them, but it’s a transformation many people can’t imagine for themselves.

When you’re genuinely impressive, the impressions you give to others are substantive because you’re putting in the work to be a better person. Your behavior and habits when other people aren’t around or aren’t looking are intentional and constructive. You’re mindful about not being distracted. You’re doing things to produce excellent outcomes that can’t be rightfully discredited or taken away from you.

And those are all reasons you should be training regularly. Working out gives you the practice and preparation you need to think and act substantively in other endeavors. It gives you a template for building and sustaining productive habits. Many have tried, but there’s no faking substance.

Sayonara until next time.

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The Invaluable Asset: Leverage Your Time

I think about time often because I know it’s not promised to me. It’s not that I believe I’m on my way out any time soon, but I’m keenly aware that I have an expiration date. We all do, in fact, and it’s coming faster than most of us realize. And that’s precisely why I don’t like to waste time; there are still a lot of things I need to achieve before I take my last breath.

My message to you today is that whether you have little time left or plenty, it’s your quality of time that matters most. How you spend your time is simply what you do with it, but quality means how you experience it. If you’re like me, you aspire to experience joy and fulfillment as much as possible.

In those regards, the first requirement is that you stay healthy so you have the vitality you need to act with intention. That means working out, eating right, and getting good rest, because it’s harder to feel joyful or be productive when you’re totally out of shape or in poor health. Working out in and of itself effectively develops your faculty of intention because it’s a purposeful action taken by your own decision.

Speaking of purpose, the next requirement is that you know what yours is. Though taking action is important, being busy is not necessarily the point. After all, an unintentional person can easily keep themselves busy with distractions. What matters is that your thoughts and actions are meaningful and not merely a segue into another day, week, month, or year of mindless routines.

When you know what your purpose is, work at it often and with focus. Don’t stop yourself by manufacturing reasons not to do what must be done. It may seem like a mountain to climb, and you may be full of doubt. But if it’s truly your purpose, do the things that matter most sooner rather than later.

Time is leverage. Why? Because your efforts need time to compound into the outcomes you’re anticipating. So remember that though time is eternal, your ration of it is limited, and the faster you do the things that matter, the more time they have to start working.

Sayonara until next time.

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Overcoming Mental Roadblocks: When Desires and Beliefs Conflict

Being stagnant in life, and knowing it, is no fun. It can be crippling to a person’s self-esteem. But even so, a lot of people get stuck going nowhere and simply accept it. This is why I root for people who are trying to change their lives for the better. At least they’re trying, after all.

But I’ve also observed many people attempt to transform themselves only to give up before they build any positive momentum. It happens all the time, particularly when people try to get in better shape, and there’s no single reason for it. Some just aren’t patient or persistent enough to give their efforts time to work. Some are unable to rein in their unhealthy dietary habits. Others have altogether different reasons for falling short of their aspirations.

Typically, what the person will do is rationalize their failure. “I just couldn’t make the time to do it.” “It was way harder than I anticipated.” Some even find a way to blame their spouse or kids. People can get quite inventive with their excuses, but the truth is that when a person wants to do something badly enough, they’ll do it. I posit that the real challenge many people face is overcoming themselves.

So, what’s really going on here? Many times, a person’s desire is not aligned with what they believe about themselves. And since many beliefs are unspoken and unconscious, the person doesn’t even realize it’s the reason they can’t follow through. They stay trapped in a paradigm that doesn’t serve them well. Here are a few examples of how a person’s subconscious beliefs can clash with their aspirations:

Linda’s Aspiration: I want to get in better shape and improve my figure.

Conflicting Belief: This body is what I deserve.

The Gist of the Conflict: Linda can imagine herself being out of shape.


Randy’s Aspiration: I want to be wealthy.

Conflicting Belief: There will never be enough money.

The Gist of the Conflict: Randy believes money inevitably runs out, so he spends everything he makes, no matter how much he makes.


Gustavo’s Aspiration: I want to change careers.

Conflicting Belief: I can’t start over from scratch.

The Gist of the Conflict: Gustavo believes time is not on his side.

At Bounce Pep, we emphasize the idea that the first step towards changing your behavior is often to change what you believe about yourself. So many people skip that part of the process because they’re unaware it’s even necessary, and they block the blessings they seek. We tackle that problem by getting a person to explicitly define their identity because doing so can reveal the paradigms holding a person back. I have found that most people never purposefully define the kind of person they aspire to be, i.e., their identity.

The shape that you’re in is a direct reflection of certain attributes of your identity. What are you, and what are you not? What can and can’t you accept? What do you value? If you’ve ever struggled with mental roadblocks to getting in better shape or pursuing any other aspiration, those are questions that deserve answers. More importantly, you deserve answers.

Sayonara until next time.

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Avoid Fitness Sabotage: Why You Can't Outwork a Poor Diet

People love food, and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s seasoned to be tasty. It’s readily available. And much of it is quite cheap. Those all sound like positives, right? The problem is that so many of the foods people eat and drink are too sweet, too salty, calorie-laden, don’t sate hunger, and fail to fulfill their nutritional needs. This is especially counterproductive for people who are trying to do the right thing by exercising regularly to stay healthy and strong.

Much of what people eat and drink is more "edible concoctions" produced by industrial processes than food. I’m referring, of course, to ultra-processed foods that are intentionally formulated with chemical additives to enhance flavors and encourage binge eating. Fast food and even many plant-based concoctions are included. Generally, ultra-processed foods are not something a person can or would make in their own kitchen. They’re mass-produced to sell to the masses.

UPFs are so prevalent in people’s diets now that they make up the majority of calorie intake in both the UK and the US. So, instead of eating mostly whole, fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, chicken, fish, and meat, many of them are fueling their bodies primarily with edible concoctions full of ingredients they can barely pronounce and don’t understand. I wouldn’t doubt that this is true in other countries as well.

But this Pep Talk is not for the masses. We already know that the masses are not committed to staying in shape. Today’s message is for those of you who put in the time to exercise consistently and frequently.

Remember this first principle of fitness: you can’t outwork a poor diet.

Nevertheless, people try to all the time, and it comes down to a failure to delineate what should be treats enjoyed occasionally from healthy dietary staples. In other words, they consume treats as staple parts of their diet, which inevitably sabotages their efforts to stay in shape. We can see this with professional athletes who believe they can eat as much of anything they want early in their career, only to realize later in their career that their poor diet has measurably and prematurely diminished their athletic performance.

But enough about the problem. There are some surefire ways to improve poor dietary habits, and they’re not difficult, especially if you’re serious about prioritizing your health and fitness.

(1) Buy fresh, raw food at the grocery store and prepare meals in your own kitchen.

(2) Drink more water and fewer artificially sweetened beverages.

(3) Add more fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and beans, to your meals.

(4) Stop eating everything deep-fried you can get your hands on.

(5) Remember that alcohol is toxic to your body and moderate your intake.

(6) Cut down on eating sweet and salty snacks you find in the inner aisles of the grocery store.

The framework above is neither complicated nor extreme. I don’t believe in telling grown men and women what they can’t eat, and I don’t believe that approach is realistic for most of you. Sometimes I too enjoy eating or drinking something that’s not beneficial to my health and fitness. You can eat whatever you want, but just be intentional about the proportions of what you’re consuming and how frequently. This is why I recommend that you "cut down" and "moderate" where it makes sense. The key is to keep treats in their proper place.

UPFs may be tasty, plentiful, and cheap, but I encourage you not to think of them as real foods that nourish your body. If most of your diet consists of quick, edible concoctions and sweet drinks, start doing the six things above to retrain your palate and eat in a way that aids your efforts at staying fit for life.

Sayonara until next time.

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Why Doing What Others Don’t and Won’t Do Is a Winning Formula

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: to be the total package, you must do what other people don’t and won’t do. Doing what the crowd does won’t make you an impressive person. If you don’t care about being impressive, then you can stop reading now. Otherwise, this week’s Pep Talk is intended to reinvigorate your commitment to leveling yourself up.

No one can force you to exercise regularly and vigorously. You may have someone who pushes you in some way, but the decision to follow through is your own. So, how are you able to pull yourself up off the couch and move when so many others find themselves stuck there? It’s because you know in your soul that you deserve more out of life, even if you’re too humble to verbalize the thought. You’re supposed to be your most energetic, healthy, attractive, and mentally sharp self, and you can’t accept being otherwise.

Those expectations put you in the minority. They generate impulses to be the kind of person who gets it done. Lifting those heavy weights, biking all those miles, and eating more nutritiously don’t just happen. You decide to accept the challenge and manifest better outcomes. Most people want no part of it, and it’s no wonder that so many of them are in poor shape, sickly, or both.

Broadly speaking, most will passively accept what life gives them due to their expectations. This is an observation, not a criticism. They don’t believe achieving substantially more is in the cards for them, and the exceptional outcomes of a high achiever seem like an impossible dream. Even if they’re dissatisfied with where they are, the courage and ambition to reimagine and reinvent themselves just aren’t there. It requires shifts in mindset and behavior, for which they’re not willing to face the discomfort.

If you’re keeping yourself in great shape, whatever your reasons are, keep doing so. But don’t limit your aspirations to your health and fitness. Apply this winning formula elsewhere in your life. If there’s some higher or deeper level you want to reach, do the things most people don’t and won’t do.

Sayonara until next time.


Download your copy of the Be The Total Package:

Be The Total Package eBook – Bounce Pep

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The Mental Framework for Overcoming Low Motivation

Discussions about staying motivated are age-old in the realm of physical fitness. A lot of people who wish they were in better shape just can’t seem to muster the drive to exercise frequently, if at all. "How come I can’t stay motivated?" they ask, believing they must be flawed because they’re not perpetually excited to exercise. Eventually, when they give up altogether, a lack of motivation is what they attribute their decision to.

On the other hand, I figured out pretty quickly after I started training that motivation is optional if I’m truly committed. To be sure, my motivation is usually high, but I haven’t relied on that to keep me consistently working out. Why? Because I don't think I have a more advantageous option than working out.

Not working out has zero upside. Furthermore, I’m not interested in relying on pills, treatments, and surgeries to improve myself and sustain my health. The longer I can keep myself out of pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals, the better. I’m fine with having a routine checkup, but I’m certainly not going to elect to ingest a chemical or get operated on for something I can accomplish naturally and safely through my own efforts. That conviction that working out regularly is the best and most preferable option available is what produces my commitment to doing so.

The truth about motivation is that it can be fickle, especially when it involves sustained effort over a long period of time. I’m not knocking the value of motivation when I assert this. It’s just how it is. Let me assure you that no matter how much you hear me ranting and raving about staying in shape, I have days when I’m less motivated than usual to follow my own advice. So, we’re all human. There will be days when we feel invigorated and days when we don’t. “Feel” is the operative word because motivation, in simple terms, is driven by our mood on any given day.

Here’s a first principle: our commitment cannot be subordinate to our moods. This goes for fitness and any other area of life. If we’re really committed to doing something, we get it done come hell or high water, notwithstanding circumstances beyond our control that prevent us from doing so. And if we must postpone it, we make up the time and effort at the next opportunity to do so.

That said, there’s a mental framework that can be applied to overcome low motivation.

Acknowledge your resistance
Take action anyway
Shift mood
 Affirm commitment


The two most important steps are at the beginning because they shift momentum. The first is to acknowledge the resistance you feel due to your low mood, and the second is to take action in spite of it. Acknowledging means to feel for the purpose of becoming self-aware, much like seeing yourself from the third person’s point of view. That allows you to transition from feeling the mood to thinking about it, so your objective mind can take control of your behavior. Without fail, it will remind you about the commitment you made, and that will spur you to take action.

The beauty of this framework is that the next three things happen mostly involuntarily. If you relate this back to working out, you’ve probably experienced how your mind starts to focus once you start working out. At some point during the session, your mood begins to shift in a more productive direction. And then, when your workout is done, dopamine does its job and makes you feel better about yourself for exercising discipline. Hence, your commitment is affirmed.

You need not capitulate to low motivation. There were important reasons why you made a promise to yourself. So apply the framework and keep the promise.

Sayonara until next time.

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Use Progressive Overload to Build Your Muscles and Your Life

Train long enough, and you’ll know that it can become difficult to increase your strength and muscle mass unless you force the issue. That’s the whole idea behind progressive overload: by pushing your limits, you force your muscles to adapt to greater demands and keep growing. The objective is to create tears in your muscle fibers, which will be repaired by growing back a little larger than before while you sleep and recover.

There are many ways to induce progressive overload. The most straightforward way is to incrementally raise the amount of weight you lift from week to week or from month to month. You can also reduce the duration of your rest periods between sets so that your muscles fatigue faster. Keeping the weight the same from week to week but increasing the number of reps per set will also induce progressive overload, as will slowing down the pace of your reps to increase time under tension. Personally, two of my favorite techniques are supersets and drop sets, which almost literally beat my muscles into submission.

All of those training tactics are capable of inducing the progressive overload you need to keep leveling up your strength and overall build. The main prerequisites are that you have to want it and be willing to overcome discomfort. And make no mistake about it, when you’re progressively overloading, things get uncomfortable pretty quickly.

And that brings me to the point of this Pep Talk. Everything that we do in the gym is preparation and practice for life outside of it. Think about it for a moment, and you’ll recognize how the concept of progressive overload can be applied to other areas of your life.

There is so much more to learn, no matter how smart or accomplished we are as individuals. Even the most brilliant of us possess but a tiny iota of all the knowledge available. Remember that the total package comprises health, constructive relationships, wealth, knowledge, and purpose, so there is always some area we can improve in. We just have to be willing to stretch ourselves.

Speaking of knowledge, the point of having and expanding it is to apply it to something useful. That’s the only way to truly learn something. By doing so, any one of us can grow our capabilities and discover new opportunities to improve ourselves.

So don’t think progressive overload is only about growing big muscles and strutting your stuff. It’s also about continually striving to be a better person and improve your life. In the process, you can be an asset to others and make a positive impact on the world.

Sayonara until next time.

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Build Real Confidence in Your Fitness: Hold Off on Shortcuts and Supplements

Real confidence comes from competence, and when it comes to training, competence comes from putting in the reps. There is no getting around this. The idea of fitness without time and effort is a contradiction in terms.

 Yet, I still find that people just can’t help themselves. They want to believe in quick solutionsmagic pills, secret elixirs, miracle diets, advanced treatments, and even surgical procedures. Impatient for results, they allow sensational marketing and absurd promises to seduce them.

We offer various fitness accessories and digital products at Bounce Pep, but we don’t make implausible claims about what they deliver to the customer. There is no long-winded gibberish or smoke and mirrors. Our course never downplays the importance of committed, consistent effort towards staying in shape. And while my coaching program helps the client be efficient regarding fitness, I don’t promise any shortcuts, and that’s on purpose.

A major benefit of putting in the reps is the satisfaction of knowing you do what other people don’t and won’t do. Putting in the reps is precisely what produces superior outcomes. Quick fixes and shortcuts rob you of that benefit and usually don’t even deliver what they claim to. There are no substitutes for commitment and time spent working at it, so be skeptical about purchasing a product that promises results with little or no effort on your part. And remember that supplements and gadgets can help you on the margins, but the bulk of your results come from plain old, sustained effort.

Speaking of supplements, many people start using them early on, without knowing whether they are harmful or ineffective, and believe that they’re a necessity. Instead, I encourage you to give simplicity a chance. At least in the beginning, forego the supplements and get a solid sense of what you can do with your own God-given faculties. Just eat nutritious food and drink plenty of water to power your workouts.

I want you to build real confidence in who you are and what you can do. You may still decide to take supplements or get a treatment later on, but you should know what you can do without any crutches first. That is part of discovering yourself.

Sayonara until next time.

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Apply Your Knowledge

Training gives me abundant opportunities to apply newly acquired knowledge quickly. There have been many times when I’ve seen a YouTube video or read an article and learned about a new lifting technique or other ideas to broaden my repertoire of exercises. Once my curiosity is piqued, I’m always eager to get in the gym and try it for myself.

Personally, I don’t feel that I’ve truly learned anything until I try it and see if it works for me. I can read books and watch hours of videos about working out, but until I actually move, lift, and create some muscle tension, I won’t create any value from my knowledge. After all, my muscles won’t miraculously grow if I put in no effort to make them do so.

Yet, people often casually say they’ve "learned" something without ever having done it. Just as training doesn’t work that way, neither does much else in life.

So, what are you doing with your knowledge? It doesn't matter how much information you’ve absorbed, how much you’ve read, or how many courses you’ve taken. Until you apply it, your knowledge is untested. It may make you a walking encyclopedia, but it produces no tangible accomplishments for you.

If you get clear instructions and all the detailed blueprints to accomplish something and still don’t do it despite wanting to, it’s time to ask yourself some frank questions. Is it that you don’t believe you can do it? Are you afraid of what you might lose? Are you unwilling to struggle through the learning curve? Might you be deprived of ambition?

It’s your application of knowledge that contributes to you being the total package. When you want to find out what you’re made of, just go for it. Approach it as though you’re training at the gym. Make mistakes, take your lumps, and keep getting better.

Sayonara until next time.

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Identify and Act

The eighth and final maxim in Be The Total Package is a wake-up call. Too many people have no idea why they can’t commit to getting in shape despite having the desire to do so.

It’s easy to wish and set grand goals for your fitness. In the beginning, when you’re full of enthusiasm, it may even be easy to start. It’s what happens after you start that reveals the truth about who you are.

Are you intentional about your health and fitness or haphazard? What’s for sure is that who you are makes all the difference. Only after you identify can you build and sustain constructive habits.

Of all the maxims, this is the most important. It’s the one that will guarantee the outcomes you desire if you follow through on it.

Don’t wait any longer. Download your copy of the ebook and discover everything.

Be The Total Package eBook – Bounce Pep

Sayonara until next time.

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If You’re Moving, You’re Looking Good

You may not be confident enough to get in the gym and work out in front of other people. You might feel unattractive or out of place. While I empathize, those aren’t good enough reasons to neglect your fitness, and the seventh maxim in Be The Total Package is going to help you overcome them.

You’ve got to move, if nothing else. It’s time to find reasons you will rather than reasons you won’t. That’s why I share an anecdote in the seventh maxim about a Chinese couple at a party many years ago who taught me an unforgettable lesson.

Of all the maxims in Be The Total Package, the seventh is the most straightforward, and there’s no way to get around it. Whether you accept it or not, it's universally true, and nothing will happen to improve your fitness if you don’t apply it.

Download your copy of the ebook today and discover everything.

Be The Total Package eBook – Bounce Pep

Sayonara until next time.

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Motivation Is Optional

Yes, optional. Wild animals already know this, but I made it the sixth maxim in Be The Total Package because there are so many people who need to hear it. At any given time, one’s motivation could be high, low, or somewhere in between. We all struggle with motivation at some point.

This is why I introduce a first principle of fitness in the sixth maxim. It is foundational and more fundamental than motivation. No habits of fitness can be established unless one has at least an intuitive understanding of this first principle. And once you know this, you know exactly how to overcome bouts of low motivation.

Sometimes it’s not easy, and that’s the point. Nothing is proved by doing only what’s easy.

Download your copy of the ebook today and discover the secrets.

Be The Total Package eBook – Bounce Pep

Sayonara until next time.

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