Gronk Fitness Mindset

Gronk Fitness: Mindset is Everything | How to Get Your Mind Right

All kinds of fitness information is readily available, and we’ve shared plenty of tips, tricks, and suggestions for learning how to make the most out of your home gym and steps to reach your health and fitness goals. One of the most important pieces is how we use that information, and our mindset to carry us to our goals! Today we’re sharing a great article from the All Pro team over at Gronk Fitness Products, sharing their top tips on keeping your mindset right!

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What’s good Gronk Fitness,

Mindset. Your mindset may very well affect everything you do in life, including your relationships, your work goals as well as your athletic goals. And while a positive mindset will help you reach those goals, a negative one will unquestionably impede your progress.


Most of us tend to think of the body and the mind as two different things, and yet they are always connected. You’ve surely heard of the phrase “mind over body”. Well, this is definitely true to an extent. That’s because your mind does have power over your body, but only when you are able to control it. If you cannot control your mind, your mind will start controlling you.

Now, we all have negative thoughts at times. Having said that, whether we allow our body to suffer the consequences of those bad thoughts is an entirely different matter. You see, the body always does what your mind commands, consciously and subconsciously! You are surely familiar with those commands in a conscious level. However, it’s your subconscious that can often have a terrible effect on your body, shutting it down and preventing energy from reaching different spots.

Just think about this for a second. If your mind is stressed out, confused and out of options, your body becomes confused as well. It becomes chronically tight, prone to injuries and pain. That’s because the connection between your brain and your body is not something arbitrary. On the contrary, it’s your nervous system that makes the connection real.


  1. Meditation – What is meditation? In its simplest form, it means clearing your mind of all thoughts. Can you think about nothing for the next 30 seconds? If you can’t and if you find different thoughts creeping into your mind, then you are simply too tense, too stressed out and anxious. Meditation will help you expel dark thoughts, clear your mind and reset your mindset.
  2. Stretching – Sometimes, there are literally energy blockades around your body which do not allow your energy to flow freely. It could be a tightened muscle, a pulled tendon or even poor blood flow in a certain area. Dynamic and static stretching can help improve your mood and mindset by loosening up the joints and enhancing your vitality.
  3. Focusing – Focusing is much different that meditating. With meditation, you clear your mind of ALL thoughts. Focusing is different in the sense that you only clear irrelevant thoughts. So, if your dream is to become a better basketball player, you need to start focusing on that goal. Even when lifting weights at the gym, you do it to enhance your body, build functional muscle and become better…at basketball. Focus on that. Dwell on it. Think about it and it will become a reality.


Well, it depends. Clearing your mind can take as long as a few seconds…or it could take months or even years. It highly depends on your character and your life. However, even if it takes months or years, do not despair. Setting aside 5 – 10 minutes before your next training session or your next game to get your mind right will have an IMMEDIATE effect on your performance.

Remember! Even a 5% improvement is an improvement. More often than not, that 5% is what you need to become the best version of yourself, unlock your potential and beat the competition. Take it one day at a time and don’t lose sight of your goals. After all, those who fail are those who give up. It’s not often that someone will keep trying session after session, day after day, year after year and experience zero progress.

As long as your mind is set, your body will follow. Besides…the only limits that exist are the limits that you set for yourself.

Published originally on the Gronk Fitness Products Blog.

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Golden Home Fitness

Your Brain on Exercise: New Science of Mental Health and Why it Matters

Let’s talk about mental health. Recently it was reported that 1 in 3 college freshman are reporting symptoms consistent with a diagnosable mental health disorder, and 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in a given year (1). While this recent headline focuses on college students, mental illness impacts all, and is especially consequential in later years, with the highest rate for suicide in women between ages 45 – 64, and for men, ages 75+ sees the highest rate, with ages 45 – 64 just behind, and is the group with the largest percentage increase (2).

Among the 44.7 million adults in 2016 with any mental illness, just 43.1% received mental health treatment.

Mental illness costs the U.S. economy $193.2 billion in lost earnings every year, and adults with severe mental illness die, on average, 25 years earlier than others, the majority of which are due to a treatable medical condition (3). Additionally, among the 44.7 million adults in 2016 with any mental illness, just 43.1% received mental health treatment (48.8% for women and 33.8% for men). For young adults, of any gender, age 18-25, just 35.1% received care. Across age and gender, the percentage is even lower for those whose race/ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino (31%), Black (29.3%), or Asian (21.6%), compared to 48.7% for those identifying as White (4).

What’s clear then, is that there is an enormous number, to the tune of 25 million people, who either cannot access quality mental health care because of cost, availability, or other limitation, or who, because of the stigma surrounding mental health treatment, do not seek care. This includes various forms of talk therapy, support groups, medications, and more. For these 25 million people, lifestyle interventions including, and certainly not limited to, exercise are an essential starting point for improving quality of life. For the rest of this article, we’ll dive into why and how exercise and physical activity can be an effective intervention in improving function and life outcomes for those with mental illness.

Most people generally understand that by exercising, they feel better, but it goes much deeper than that. In a meta-analysis recently published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, they looked at 11 studies with 455 adult patients with clinical depression, and found that with an average of 45 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise performed three times a week, over an average of 9 weeks that there was a significantly large overall anti-depressant effect (5). These outcomes even held when participants could do whatever form of exercise they preferred!

“Resistance exercise training significantly reduced anxiety in both healthy participants and those with a physical or mental illness, and the effect size of these reductions is comparable to that of frontline treatments such as medication and psychotherapy.” – Brett Gordon

So aerobic exercise helps, but what about lifting weights and other resistance training? A recent meta-analysis published in the journal Sports Medicine, across 16 studies with a total of 922 participants, sought to answer that question. Study author Brett Gordon reported that “RET (resistance exercise training) significantly reduced anxiety in both healthy participants and those with a physical or mental illness, and the effect size of these reductions is comparable to that of frontline treatments such as medication and psychotherapy… RET is a low-cost behavior with minimal risk and can be an effective tool to reduce anxiety for healthy and ill alike” (6).

Additionally, many antipsychotic medications, particularly atypical antipsychotic medications, are known to lead to weight gain. Consequentially, those with schizophrenia have an expressed need for exercise interventions, and generally respond very well, with improvements in weight control, fitness level, ability to tolerate exercise, blood pressure, and energy levels! These improvements have been seen with as little as 30 minutes of brisk walking 3x per week, and could be done all at once, or split into 10-minute increments (7).


“Great, exercise helps, but how and why?” Funny you should ask, as an article from the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry seeks to answer just that! They propose that exercise induces an increase in blood circulation to the brain, and by influencing the HPA (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal) Axis. This works to improve the physiological response to stress and also likely is boosted by signals sent to other regions of the brain that control several factors, including mood and motivation (limbic system and hippocampus), fear response (amygdala), and memory formation (hippocampus) (7).

On the cutting edge of understanding mental health and the role of exercise lies systemic inflammation, and in particular, a molecule called kynurenine. Systemic inflammation has been shown to be a biomarker for, and possibly influence the onset of, depression and other mental illnesses (8). During conditions of high inflammation, the essential amino acid tryptophan (yes, the one people talk about when you eat a large portion of turkey, which is more of a myth with a hint of truth, but that’s for another day) is broken down into a molecule called kynurenine, instead of it’s normal product, serotonin. This leads to a build-up of kynurenine in the brain, which is neurotoxic and is associated with depression and schizophrenia (9, 10).

Kynurenine: tryptophan metabolite, molecular model. Atoms are represented as spheres with conventional color coding: hydrogen (white), carbon (grey), oxygen (red), nitrogen (blue)

So where does exercise come in? Exercise stimulates more significant expression of the enzyme KAT (Kynurenine Aminotransferase), converting kynurenine into kynurenic acid (Kyna), which has neuroprotective effects. In addition to the effect of exercise to reduce systemic inflammation, exercise also directly impacts the brain through this pathway and is an especially important intervention for stress-induced depression, which has a tight link to kynurenine build-up (11, 12).

Lastly, regular exercise over time builds up a resiliency to kynurenine toxicity and stress-induced depression by improving the ability of skeletal muscle to express the enzyme KAT. One study found that while those with a history of training did see greater KAT expression, it took only 3 weeks for sedentary adults to see improved KAT expression, among other benefits (13)!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, I hope you’ve gotten some value from this, and if you did, pass it along! This is an important topic, and information can help people more than you know! Feel free to reach out with comments or questions, and if you’re in the Greater Boston area and want to get started exercising with a professional coach at your convenience, we’ll schedule you a complimentary workout!


Golden Home Fitness

The Missing Keys to Efficient Fat Burning at Home

We can all agree: everyone seems to want more time, or to make better use of the time we have! In the quest to be more efficient, many people understand the power that a regular exercise routine can have on their energy, focus, and productivity throughout the day. As a result, there is an endless number of programs and apps that offer a workout in 7 minutes, 10 minutes, or even less, and while some of these are great, and doing some exercise is always better than doing nothing, we’re focused here on how to train and live optimally! Why settle for anything less? We’ve discussed how powerful of a productivity hack doing your exercise at home can be, and today we’ll take it to the next level for how to optimize even further with circuit training!

In a recent article, Coach Mike Urso discussed the difference between “working out,” and “training.” In essence, working out is a somewhat random assortment of exercises while training is planned and structured per training goals, and an individual’s own physiological ability to perform the plan successfully while recovering adequately between sessions.

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How do you make circuits?
Do you pick exercises out of a hat? Do the “Deck of Cards” workout or follow whatever you just found online?

While these add a great flair of excitement, if you have fitness or performance goals, shouldn’t be the bulk of your training (if your goal is just to have fun, then, by all means, have a blast! Note: Training can be fun too, and even doing the same style activities, the mindset just adds a layer of thinking through how what I do today fits into a larger plan).
Using the surprise elements to spice up a finisher at the end of a workout is great, especially when you’re mentally and physically exhausted. 

Alternatively, if you’re traveling, or especially tight on time, this can be an excellent way to get something in. Remember, if doing that means you will do it, and if not then you’ll watch Netflix on the couch, then do what you gotta do! But we’re talking about training optimally today.

Here’s an overview of three powerful ways to group exercises to optimize your training time:

These are a great way to improve training efficiency while increasing the metabolic effect, or calorie burn from your workouts! The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published a paper demonstrating that using supersets compared to traditional linear training resulted in greater caloric burn and EPOC (1). EPOC is the “afterburn” measure of how much extra energy you’ll continue to burn for as much as 10-72 hours after your workout.

The term superset is often used to denote performing any two exercises back to back, resting only after completing the second exercise. The classic definition, and what we’ll focus on today, is expressly that of pairing opposing muscle groups, or an “antagonist” superset. When you perform an exercise, use a TRX Row, for example, your back muscles are what’s known as the prime mover. Working opposite to your back is your chest muscles, the antagonist as your back muscles contract and shorten, your chest muscles relax and lengthen. For example, by pairing a TRX Row in this example with a push-up variation, there is a slight performance-enhancing effect for both exercises. For this kind of superset, typically you’ll rest a minute or less between each exercise, with no lengthened rest after completing the two, continuing into the next set.

Giant Sets:
This technique essentially aims to fill the rest time with complementary and accessory exercises so you can get in more total work in over less time. Generally choose three to four exercises, beginning with large, demanding movements, and progressing to smaller movements, such that the last exercise is almost an “active rest,” to prepare yourself for the next set. For Example, you could perform Bulgarian Split Squats, followed by a Kettlebell Swings, then Single Leg Glute Bridges, and lastly Band Pull-Aparts.

Timed Circuits:
Lastly, we’ll talk about timed circuits, or what most people think of when it comes to circuit training. Here are three ways to organize your training:

AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible): Choose a set of exercises, let’s say four, and you then are challenging yourself to see how many rounds you can complete as possible in a given time. This is great because if you know you only have 10 minutes to workout after your warm-up, just set a timer for 10 minutes, pick a few exercises, then challenge yourself! This is great for tracking also because you have a score you can work to beat for the next time you do it.

Rounds For Time: Essentially the opposite of the AMRAP, you’ll be setting a finite amount of sets or reps to complete, then recording how fast you finish that work.

Intervals: You’ll pre-determine your amount of work and rest (can be the subject of another article) and use a timer to tell you when to go and when to stop. This is especially good to eliminate the tendency to rest for too long and waste valuable minutes.

Don’t want to think about all this? No fear, that’s why we’re here! Let’s get moving, and we’ll schedule a complimentary workout for you with a coach to get you some momentum, just fill out the form below and we’ll reach out! If you’d like to learn more about how to train in-home, check out our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts!

Start Training, Stop “Doing Workouts”

You’ve been working out consistently for a while now, but nothing seems to be changing. The scale still reads that same obnoxious number that disgusts you. Your clothes don’t feel any looser, in fact, your pants seem to be even harder to button than before you started working out!

Like many others, you’re showing up to the gym and going through all the necessary motions. Classes, cardio, some strength training mixed in. Mentally you feel better, but why isn’t your body changing?

When it comes to planning for the result you want, there’s an important part of the puzzle that you need to consider. Are you following a training program or are you just doing workouts?

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When you’re just doing random workouts (and believe me, I’ve done it…a lot) it’s extremely hard to hit your goal, because although you feel like your sweating and burning calories, there’s no real progression planned or tracking involved. This leads to a lot of random results unless you’re a total beginner, which in that case you will see some changes over the first few weeks, but even then you will plateau eventually.

Planning your training program in phases is an effective way to avoid those randomized results. As good as we think we are at multitasking, we work best focusing on one thing at a time. For example, if we plan on only getting stronger for 4 weeks, we can actually get stronger, instead of trying to get stronger, burn fat, tone our arms…you get the idea. We spread ourselves to thin and get sub-par results by focusing on too many things at one time. Get good at one thing, then switch gears. Get good at that, then switch gears again.

Here’s an example outline of 3 months of training phases:

  • Month 1 – Muscular Endurance – All exercises are 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps – Little to no rest
  • Month 2 – Hypertrophy – All exercises are 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps – Short rest periods
  • Month 3 – Strength – All exercises are 4 to 5 sets of 3 to 6 reps – Longer rest periods

Month 1 the focus is to build endurance. Once we have that work capacity built, we can move to Month 2 and build more muscle. After you’ve added more muscle, month 3 is focused on strength to make that new muscle stronger. Wash, rinse, repeat.

You should keep most all of the movement patterns the same. Here’s what will happen: you’ll make continued progress over all three months by putting some structure into your workouts that switches phases each month. Too often I see the same guy on the bench press for 3 years still pressing 135 for sets of 10 reps and to no surprise, he looks exactly the same and hasn’t made any progress. Don’t be him.

  1. Define your outcome – What do you want to achieve? (ex. lose 15 pounds)
  2. Build your program phases – M1 Endurance, M2 Hypertrophy, M3 Strength
  3. Switch Gears – *And this is the most important part! Follow your program for each phase and switch gears.

Hopefully, this helps you add some structure to your random workout routine! For more guidance specific to you, and to experience the difference first hand, fill this form and we’ll call you to schedule a complimentary training session!

This article was originally published on and has been re-published here with permission from the author, our Director of Training, Mike Urso.

6 Steps to Burn Fat and Build Muscle (Sustainably) by Exercising at Home

You’ve heard it before a million times: magic pill blasts fat like never before, the one weird trick to achieve the body of your dreams, feel better than ever with this easy shake detox, consume nothing but our magic tea to feel the fountain of youth, the perfect workout, the secret to vitality, and so on… While there may be some truth buried under a few miles of their marketing budgets, most of these claims are facetious at best, manipulative at worst, and indisputably misleading. As we’ve discussed before, exercising at home can be a real game-changer; it has been just that for many of our clients, trainers, and friends. From saving time and money to convenience and comfort, exercising at home can enable people to live a healthier and more full life.

Here’s the Secret to Burning Fat and Building Muscle at Home: there isn’t one. Across the board, there are universal principals that everyone must adhere to. If those principles are violated, the quick fix may do as it says, fix something quickly, though temporarily. These 6 steps will enable you to take control of your own health and maximize the limited time and energy you have. A reference guide summarizing this process can be found at the bottom of this page; you can keep it around your home or on your phone as a reminder!

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1 – Put it on your Calendar

Make an appointment and hold yourself to it; if you’re working with a coach they’ll make sure you remember! When you’re training at home, it’s easy to let “I’ll start in 3 minutes as soon as I finish this…” turn into 30 minutes later, and then you no longer have time to do what you planned.

2 – Eliminate Distractions

We’re all human, and when working out at home, a small lapse in focus can quickly turn into a full conversation with a family member or roommate, a nap, or a Netflix binge. Get ahead of these distractions proactively, for example, silence your phone, alert those you live with, and use the TV for music or make the remote inaccessible, to start.

3 – Have a Plan for Success

When you’re at a health club, it’s easy to look around and pick what you want to do. At home, you’re going to need a plan. Know what exercises you’re going to do, in what order, and how much of each to avoid natural lulls. Hire a coach or use one of the many great programs available for free.

4 – Movements Over Exercises

Barbell bench pressing every Monday or always using the same cardio machines? Just because your home or office gym doesn’t have the same tool doesn’t mean you need to scrap what you love. Focus on the intent of the exercise (the movement pattern) such as performing weighted push-ups or using dumbbells.

5 – Varied Progressions

Dumbbells not heavy enough? There are options for progressions other than just weight! Changing the position, range of motion or speed, performing drop sets, using thick handle attachments, and more, all allow continued progress.

6 – Work Hard and Recover!

No one ever improved their fitness just because they went into a health club. Results are the effect of sustained hard work followed by recovery, and fortified by quality nutrition, over a significant period of time. This is true in a gym, at home, anywhere – now go get it!

Let Get Moving! We’ll Schedule Your Complimentary Workout

To build a solution more tailored for you, schedule a strategy session with a coach by reserving one of the remaining spots! Just want to get more information? Fill out the form below to download your complimentary copy of our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts, with the full explanation of why and how to exercise at home, with specific programs for what to do, with no more equipment needed. Want to get moving right away? We’ll schedule a complimentary workout for you to feel what it’s like to exercise with a coach in the convenience of your own home!

6 Steps to Burn Fat and Build Muscle (Sustainably) by Exercising at Home - Reference Guide

4 Reasons to Exercise Outdoors this Summer

Summer is a great time for the beach, good times with family and friends, vacations, and yes – exercising outdoors! Especially if you live in the northeast with brutal winters, the summer is a wonderful break from the frigid conditions in the winter. Not only does exercising outdoors present an opportunity for a fun change of pace, but there are several advantages too!

1. Vitamin D

On the aggregate, research shows that more than 40% of America is Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is essential for optimal functioning and evidence supports that deficiency may increase risk for several chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer. If you don’t work a job where you’re outside much of the day, exercising outside is a great way to get that essential vitamin D. This could include going for a run, taking a yoga class outside, doing calisthenics in the park, or working with a coach! (1)

2. Heat Exposure*

While the benefits of short duration extreme heat exposure, such as sauna use, are well documented, there is also benefit to more “moderate” heat exposure. Recent research from the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that, independent of exercise, repeated exposure to heat closer to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (compared to the 180 to 200 degrees in a sauna) can elicit improvements in the function of your mitochondria! This means an improved ability to generate energy in your cells, leading to greater health and in particular reduced risk for diseases related to aging. When combined with exercise, these effects are seen at an even greater level! (2)

3. Variety

This is very important for two reasons: fighting boredom and continued progress. When you’ve been doing the same thing for some time, a natural complacency sets in. Even if you’re practicing good training principles of periodically varying exercises, intensity, duration, planes of motion, range of motion, etc. (if you aren’t, address that first, but that’s for another article)! When you’re outside, you have the opportunity to literally go outside the box – all those machines and weights you had inside aren’t around, so what do you do? Getting out of your comfort zone is key to sustaining progress over years and decades of continued training. When you’re outside, you might find that training with odd objects, calisthenics, running, or other modalities suited for the outdoors challenge and invigorate you in ways you never knew!

4. Fun!

While all exercise can be fun, and everyone has their own preferences, there’s something extra special about moving around outside that brings out the kid in you! Even if you’re just doing the same thing you always do in a gym, exercising outdoors brings a whole new energy. If you enjoy running, it’s no secret the amazing views and scenery you can feast your eyes on that have eluded you all winter! The whole category of odd object training like tire flips, sandbag exercise, battle ropes, sled pulling or pushing have a kind-of inherent fun that’s best captured in the sun.

The videos above show a few of our clients training while having some fun in the sun!

Interested in training outside but don’t know where to start or need to be held accountable? Hire a coach! We offer concierge wellness services that come to you! Leave your contact information to stay connected or give us a call today at (844) 704-9477 to reach out directly.

*Disclaimer: Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, sunburn, sun poisoning, melanoma, and dehydration are very real concerns that must be kept in mind in the summer months. For a more complete guide on staying safe in the summer heat, check out this detailed guide from Consumer Reports on safety in the summer sun when exercising.

Written by Will Hansen, NSCA-CPTGolden Home Fitness Director of Operations

Research Referenced: