A Year In Review: Gratitude, Thoughts, Reflections, and Revelation

In a few short days, we’ll stride into 2013.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I secretly thought writing this post would never happen, for I just knew the Mayans were onto something. I guess they weren’t.

Today I want to cover many of the interesting things that have happened in the last year, some people I’ve met, as well as how my thoughts are constantly evolving when it comes to the fitness lifestyle.

First we’ll cover the year, in short, and then some of the most popular posts on JCDFitness, my reflections on the past year, revelations, and finally, some questions on how I can help you in 2013.


Before I begin, I first have to say a hearty thanks to you for reading. This site has been up and running since October 2008, and I’m incredibly grateful for those of you who’ve been with me for so long.

I’ve come a long way as a writer, coach, and thinker since my early days of posting on forums, and writing random blogs about recipes, and such.

Fitness has given me a purpose in this world, and while I may not be the best writer, I’m happy I have the ability to communicate regularly with those who are looking for guidance in this crazed fitness space.

There’s quite a bit to read here today, and I’m incredibly thankful that you choose to read my work whenever I write something new.

Exposure and Stuff That Happened

Here’s a rough timeline for all that’s occurred within the last year.


Roger Lawson and I started the FitSmart podcast. We have an entire collection of podcasts up on iTunes, as well as housing them on our collaboration website FitSmartCrew.com. (But… we’re currently moving them to a new server, so some episodes are lost in cyberspace)

Alongside writing, podcasting is something I really enjoy doing. We have chatted with Jen Sinkler, Lou Schuler, and have an awesome podcast soon to be out with our friend Bret Contreras.


This month Roger and I were both featured in a Forbes online article titled The Internet Versus Your Gut: Personal Training Goes Digital. For both Roger and I, this was the biggest piece of exposure we’d experienced to date. I remember mama Deen calling me from work screaming, “How did you do this? Everyone at work thinks you’re famous!”

While I’m far from famous, that day was certainly a special one and I’ll never forget rising around 9 a.m. in a half-waken state to see Ed Zitron tweeting the article.

I opened my laptop and clicked on the link. I jumped out of bed to dance a jig.

Maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal, but it felt good.


In May, I went to the usual fitness summit held in Kansas City each year. This year I got to meet Rob King, Jen Sinkler, Dave Dellanave, and many other wonderful fitness people I usually only get to mingle with on the internetz.


I had an article featured on Livestrong for the first time. It’s funny, because the article is about cardio, a topic I typically hate. However, this one is all about finding the right type of cardio plan that suits YOU as an individual.

Also, if you check out my profile, you’ll see an old picture, and an old bio with my real, full name as opposed to my initials. Please, no funny jokes about the actor, or the sausage company.


This was a big month for me on many levels. For one, I finally released the project I’d been working on for about 6-7 months prior, LGN365. Then I had my first guest article published at ZenHabits.net titled Building Your Strength In The Present Moment.

Leo Babauta later released SimpleFitnessHabit, in which I got to contribute to, alongside Roger Lawson (see a pattern here, people?) and Leigh Peele.


My friend Roman wrote a post I had no idea about until I saw it called Young Gunz: 7 Fitness Dudes You Need to Know About. I was pretty humbled to be on the list, and rather flattered Roman used my Mad Broscientist™ image for the blog. Also, Roman wrote the foreword to LGN365, in which I am forever grateful.

Roman and I have become real good friends. Some of our texts are hilarious, and I should probably make entire blogs about our conversations alone.

Note: my correspondence is on the left. I’m shooting some video for a project I’m working on due out this late spring.


JCDFitness turned 4. I got a call from Alan Aragon and he told me he made it through my product and really enjoyed it. Then he asked when I was releasing it. “Well,” I said, “I did back in August.”

We both chuckled and talked some about other random stuff for an hour. Then a few days later, he wrote a little review of the fitness course. It was aptly titled Bullshit Marketing Vs. Honest Marketing & The “Zero Launch” and I think it fits well.

As you probably know, I am not averse to marketing. In fact, most of my college studies are in marketing/advertising. If I had graduated, I’d have a degree in advertising with a minor in marketing.

I even wrote a pretty thoughtful post at The Personal Training Development Center about my views on marketing, and how it should be done. I called it Personal Trainer Marketing: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

As a result of Alan’s blog on LGN365, the LGN365 support forums on Men’s Health were born. So if you’re already a customer, or someone just wanting to check out some other’s progress/feedback, that’s a good place to start. Of course, if you need support, you can always email me directly.


I had the chance to contribute to a book that came out on December 24th. Adam Bornstein is the author, and it’s from the Men’s Health Big Book series titled Getting Abs: Four Weeks to a Flat, Ripped Stomach!

While I had the chance to contribute, Men’s Health also featured the workout I submitted for the book in the November issue of their mag!

I’m also somewhat known for writing about (and some say coining the term) the so-called Former Fat Boy Syndrome, and I was interviewed online at Men’s Health along with BJ Gaddour here: Are You a Former Fat Boy?


On the 24th, the Men’s Health book came out.

You can find my contribution on page 375.

A few days ago, Jeremey DuVall, wrote an article for Men’s Fitness and asked me to contribute to the 8 Amazing Fat-Burning Intervals article.

Lastly, I was asked to give my 2 cents on the Huffington Post Live a few nights ago. I had to miss the first part of a dinner party we had at the house, but it was all good. If you’re interested in seeing me chat a bit about New Year’s Resolutions, check out the recording.

Top 3 Posts From JCDFitness in 2012

I’ll let you in on a secret.

I hate my writing. I hate reading what I wrote 2 months ago. I hate going back through old versions of LGN365. I hate even reading my old tweets/FB updates.

Perhaps I’m hypercritical. But I always remember that I’m not in this to become a great writer – I’m doing this to communicate my ideas and to help others.

In saying that, here are what I believe to be the top 3 posts from 2012. If you think something else should go here, please let us know what your favorite article was in the comments.

1. Why Getting Jacked, Strong and Lean is Never Enough: How To Manage Your Fitness Expectations

2. How A Dating Coach Can Help You Build Muscle, Strength and Gain Confidence

3. Fitness and the Internetz: Battling Objectivity, Rationality, and Even Our Own Psychology

A Time To Reflect

So that was a lot more than I expected 2012 to be. Honestly, when looking back to this time last year, I had no idea I’d get to even contribute to a magazine, much less be seen on the Huffington Post.

I knew that the day would come, but didn’t know it would happen so fast. As for now, I’m continually writing for various outlets, and keeping my nose to the ground so-to-speak.

I can’t express how grateful I am. Thanks to those who helped me along the way. You all know who you are.

I made a vow to not travel one bit in December, and I haven’t left the city limits. It feels so good to be grounded.

No stepping onto a plane. No long road trips. Just home. I’ll be traveling a good bit again this year I imagine, and I plan to finally start traveling outside of the US as time and opportunity permit. Possibly Germany this Spring, and I hope to hit up Japan with RogLaw too.

This last year has been extremely good to me – not only in the exposure, but also in the friends I’ve made.

This past Thanksgiving, some friends from Boston came to Nashville for 5 days to celebrate. Those friends are people I’d have never known if it weren’t for the awesome-sauce we call the Interwebz.

In fact, I’ve made a ton of friends because of the Internet and for that I’m grateful. In September, Jahed Momand paid a visit for a long weekend. We squatted every day, drank, went out, and talked about life, lifting, philosophy, nanostructures, etc.

In fact, I have conversations with him and Matt Perryman almost daily. Those very conversations have opened my mind to thoughts and ideas I’d never known otherwise. We mainly chat about the psychology, and neuroses related to the typical fitness enthusiast, as well as how it affects the veterans.


This past year I’ve learned a lot about the fitness lifestyle, and myself. I wouldn’t be lying to admit I feel the more I discover, the less I really know.

I don’t agree with certain nutritional protocols I used to adhere to. I no longer promote certain training styles, for various reasons (mainly experience and anecdote).

In the past, I was adamant about certain ideas being backed by research, and I loved to prove my point by pulling a study on PubMed.

Buuuuut in hindsight, I’m seeing how irrelevant some of those studies can be. I’ve realized that not every single situation is so black and white.

In fact, most of us do best when we reside in the grey – somewhere in the middle.

Oftentimes simple is better.

Long story short, I will continue to evolve, always growing and learning.

What Do You Want?

I want to know what you want more of at JCDFitness.

Do you want more videos?

More articles (long vs. short)?

More podcasts?

You tell me how I can help you in 2013 and I’ll do my very best to make it happen.


  1. Dane says

    DUUUUDE!! You’re a frikken LEGEND! I stumbled across your website about a month ago, and, wow what a pleasure to read. You have this uncanny way of connecting with the reader, I don’t know, but you have to give yourself credit for your writing style – I mean, you’ve been blogging for 4+ years now, surely your writing must be pretty damn awesome!

    What else would I like from you? how about a research review similar to AARR? Ha that’d be an awesome feat. But honestly man, Just more of what you’re already doing. If I had to think of anything, I’d say more podcasts (just because I love podcast ha). But you’re a stand up guy, can definitely tell you’ll go a long way. Your heart for helping others is second to none, something the fitness industry needs more of.

  2. Razique says

    Great post I really enjoy sir. I often check on your website as I like to promote your articles. It’s nice to see people evolving, questioning what they use to see as an only true. Reminds me some Layne videos “now..I don’t care, what my experiences has showed me” and I think you are really starting to move to that mindset. History has proven relying on the guts is sometimes the best thing to do within that grey zone a studies on 4 rats would never solve.
    Have a great day :)

  3. says

    What a year! I only just found you a couple/few(?) months ago, and glad I did.

    Top of my mind, one of your questions. When I first found your blog, I thought, man, this guy rights long posts. But after reading it, I thought, well, that was pretty good. Then I kept reading and as I got to know your voice and style, I knew just to wait till I had some real time to read your posts, not just the time standing in the checkout aisle. :-) So, as far as longer or shorter, I think that’s up to you, but I think this length suits you especially given the amount of thought you obviously put into them, and your frequency of writing.
    What else would I like to see? Do you have a link on your blog to your podcasts? I’ve never noticed it, so I didn’t know that you have those out there. I will have to take a look. But, I love the psychology behind the fitness enthusiasts. It makes for very interesting reading and I think you have an edge there. Way too many people write fitness blogs that are “random” (like your early posts you alluded to), and full of recipes and stuff. That’s ok, but what you write here is more sophisticated and meaty. I’d say just keep it up.

  4. says

    Wow, that’s quite a year JC! Congrats on everything. You totally deserve it. You already talk a lot about mindset sort of stuff which is why I dig your work. I’d love to hear anything about the differences you’ve noticed in the clients, whether your own or other people’s, that were successful vs. those who didn’t stick with their fitness goals.

  5. Sean says

    Loathing one’s own work is actually the chief characteristic of a good writer, in my opinion. Without that tendency to dissect your work with a critical eye, how would you ever improve upon anything? Looking back on old material and lamenting the way it was written is only natural.

    As far as what I’d like to see more of, I really hope we see some more of the Fitsmart podcasts in the year to come.

  6. Clement says

    Congratulations on your success, JC. I’m one of the readers who’s been fortunate enough to have followed your blog through almost the entire way. You’ve certainly earned it, due to your attitude and personality towards making this work.

    I’d like more articles and podcasts on the psychological side of fitness and content targeted towards effortlessly achieving that fitness model look that caters towards your target audience. If also like to see more content on advice you would give to people, such as me, who are keen to follow in your footsteps. Of course, we don’t want any spoon feeding, but I’ve really picked up a lot of ideas from your articles!


    • Shawn Cheyne says

      What a year JC. You have taught me that there is more then one way to achieve the goals you want for yourself. I love the guidance you give and how you are so open to helping others. As for what id like? Well all the things you mentioned!

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