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A Love Poem to Our Clients

Valentine’s Day is here.

Christian and I were talking about what we love about having you as our client.

We came up with many things.

We talked about how you get frustrated  and how we get frustrated when you struggles to hit your goals. But also how you persist and the successes you have had when you refuse to quit and stay the course no matter what. These breakthroughs make any roadblock seem petty. Henry Ford said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”  I am proud of you for being a champion.

We talked about sliders, weight vests, suicides and the fun and crazy workouts you have done. We spoke about the different events we’ve have had and how you have helped our family grow. I think what has brought us the most joy is knowing the special place you hold as one of the members of our Cruz Country family. I know that sounds sappy but we really mean it. You allow us to live our dream of coaching and helping you become the best version of yourself. Like with any relationship it won’t be easy but definitely worth it. We thank you for the opportunity.

Christian was inspired to compose this poem for you. The truth is I have never seen her write a poem. So I am excited that this was the first and it is about you. It speaks to the joy, love, and fulfillment we get by having you in our life. Happy Valentines Day and know that our love extends daily to you.

From the bottom of our hearts.


My Love For You

My love for you each and everyday grows
Which is why I make you do burpees
And remind you of the foods that are foes.

It grows when you cry, whine and pout
Which is why I just smile and say another set
And encourage you to stay on the fitness route

It grows when you get fitter and stronger
Which is why I surprise you with weight vests
And make you do animal exercises longer

It grows when you lunge perfectly til the beep
Which is why I say keep it up and get it done
And remind you of the benefits you will reap.

It grows when you call, text, email, facebook me
Which is why I always comment and like the posts
And write inspirations that I hope you will see.

It grows when we laugh and smile as a family
Which is why I love talk about your fitness success
And await your daily attendance much eagerly.

And most of all it grows because I get to see
Your struggles and fears, goals and triumphs
And get to be part of the love story of thee.

– Christian Cruz

Have a blessed and loving day.


Armando, Christian, & the Cruz Country Team

PS – FREE GIFT: Get your Travel workout Video.



Being Positive Makes You Fail?

So the other day the esteemed Paul Mort, politically incorrect fitness business coach and overall good guy, whom I recently met in California, posted this comment on Facebook.

Here is a sneak peak of an article I wrote. ‘Positive thinking makes you Lazy and Broke’ ‘Put my most negative, angry self up against a room full of positive thinking, happy clapping bullshitters with big cheesy smiles and I will beat them hands down.’

I consider myself to be a positive person. So initially I thought that Paul was being his usual controversial self.

After some reflection I was glad he posted this because it made me reflect what I believe. It made me ask, ‘what makes the difference when I am successful and when I am not.’



Here is what I came up with.

Positivity is not bad.

Comfort is the enemy.

Comfort is the reason that many athletes lose their edge as they become successful. They are no longer fighting to make it. In a battle, the guy that will usually win is the guy that is fighting for his life. If you view life as roses and pixie dust, what incentive do you have to do something better. The same could be said for feeling hopeless. Ever met anyone that feels that no matter what they do it wont make a difference? They lack drive.

So while I don’t agree with Paul’s statement 100% I do believe he has it right.

If you want to succeed you must have drive, a strong enough reason why. Stephen Pressfield talks about resistance being the culprit as to why people don’t succeed in his book “War of Art”. Your mind, your body, your practice will always seek the path of least resistance, which includes all the reasons why you shouldn’t taking action.

Stephen said that amateurs wait for inspiration.

Professionals, get to work every day.

They do, they take action.

They grind it out.

So if you want to make sure you succeed you must have a strong enough why. For some that may be anger about your current situation, for others it may be that they are excited about the possibilities. At the end of the day don’t be stagnant, don’t be comfortable. I had a mentor that said, “If you ain’t moving you are dying.”

I realized the times I am most successful and productive is when I am up against the ropes or when someone says I can’t do something. Some of us need that kind of stimulus. If that is you, use it to your advantage.

Get uncomfortable, get angry and press on.

Choose a race to train for, a competition, a photo shoot. Do whatever it takes to keep you motivated and chipping away at it daily.

Your Turn…

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Paul, why or why or why not?

Leave a comment below.



PS – Thanks Paul for the swift kick in the…




Life is a Storm

I just got back yesterday from California. I was invited to speak to some of the worlds top fitness coaches and trainers. There were trainers from all over the US, England, Australia, Persia, and Ireland. 

In my presentation I shared a monologue of the Count of Monte Cristo.

Click the video below to watch it.

YouTube Preview Image

What is this monologue all about?

Your life will never be perfect.

Just like the weather you will have the good and the bad times. What separates you from others is what you do when the bad times come.

Do you hide during bad times, or do you face it head on?

Shout “Do your worst, for I shall do mine.”

Become unstoppable, relentless in all you do.

Don’t stop.

When you fail get back up and keep putting one foot in front of the others.

Make this week amazing!


Learning for a Lifetime

As a kid you I couldn’t wait to get out of school so I could just start doing and not have to worry about studying. That couldn’t be further from reality, at least in my case.

As I grew older I realized that learning is not a degree or a destination but an evolution of the person. I would say that the rate at which you choose to grow through focus, dedication and application is exponentially proportional to your growth or evolution as a person.

My goal is to be at least 1% better than the day before. In fact as my friend and fitness guru Pat Rigsby said, “If you can grow daily by 1%, in 1 year you will be 365% better than the year before.” That is pretty powerful.

Learning is not always in the form of sitting down and reading a book, though that is great. Learning starts with a mindset. You must be open to your environment. Nature is a great teacher, so are the people around you. Never think you are too good that you can’t learn from someone else. Sometimes learning how not to do something is just as valuable as knowing how to do it.

This weekend I have the privilege of getting to speak at a conference with some of the worlds top fitness trainers and coaches. I will be speaking to personal trainers that are great at what they do but want to be better. Some for the money but most because they know that when they become better at their craft everyone wins. Not everything in life is a win-win situation but as a coach I believe I have a win-win situation.

Below are 4 points I will be sharing with these trainers in my presentation that I know will benefit you. By the way, I will be speaking at the conference but as soon as I am done I will be back in the audience ready to take notes. I am there to learn as much as I am there to teach.

4 Keys to Minimizing Risk and Creating Opportunity

1. Know your purpose.

Your purpose is what drives you, it is what guides you to your ultimate reality. Know what it is and follow it.

2. No such thing as a magic pill.

As humans we seek the path of least resistance. There is no such thing as a magic pill that will take away all your problems. The key to success then is not the absence of problems or obstacles but how you deal with them. Henry Ford said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you have taken your eyes off your goals.”

3. Establish your rules.

Create rules to live by. It will help you stream line your decisions. Rules will enable you to act more productive stead of pondering on what you should do.

4. Be flexible.

Flexibility is good for your body but also good for your game plan. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned and those that can adapt the quickest and act again are the ones that will be successful. There is a direct correlation with successful business owners and their speed of implementation. Take quick action today.

Apply these 4 lessons to your life today to minimize risk and improve your opportunities…



Bacon, Coconut Water & Dates

After lots of talk about my experience running the 6 hour race (See “Inspired to Insanity” or “6 Lessons from a 6 Hour Race”) I had some questions as to what I ate and drank for 6 hours.

This is an interesting question and I battled over what I should consume because I don’t like most sports products. I feel they are just too processed. I set out to find what in nature would work. Below I have what I used. On future race I will continue to experiment with real foods.

Pre-Race Meal

*   4:00 am – 2 eggs and 1 banana
*   4:00-6:00 am – 1 liter of coconut water

The race began at 6 am.

Throughout the race I consumed the following:

*   5 liters of coconut water with an added pinch of sea salt for every 10 oz
*   1 date with almond butter
*   5 strips of Grass fed free range bacon strips

That is it.

The best was the bacon. By the way this was my wife’s suggestion in her infinite wisdom. The salt and the fat I think helped give me my second wind and break out of the funk I was in. The date with almond butter also added good fats and real sugars. It was hard to consume because it got stuck on the roof of my mouth making my breathing more labored. That was fine considering I wasn’t running that fast. Not sure if I could do that in a marathon. Finally the coconut water is key. I like it better than any Gatorade, Powerade, or other sports drink. It is not too sweet, natural, minimally processed, and no sugar or chemicals added.

Do you have any suggestions for me to try?

Criteria I use to decide what I use for fuel.

Is it in or close to its natural state?

Is it food?

Any added chemicals?

Is it portable/easy to carry?

I look forward to your feedback and suggestions.





Upside Down, Inside Out

Yesterday I had the privilege of going to a 3 hour acro-yoga workshop with my wife. If you are not familiar with acro-yoga, it is a physical partner practice that blends yoga, acrobatics, and thai massage. This workshop was filled with season yogis. Now bare in mind my wife have each done yoga maybe 1-2x’s in our life. I thought it would be a good way to spend time with my wife and learn something new.

First let me say that we each enjoyed it but I believe we enjoyed it more because we got to spend more time together and connect in a new way.


5 Lessons I Learned from Acro-Yoga

1.  Acro-yoga and relationships only work if there is communication

2.  In acro-yoga the better your body awareness the better you move. Some rings true for our daily lives. Know your body.

3.  Breathing is the base of any yoga practice. Apart from the obvious focusing on our breath is important to help you focus, relax, and be powerful.

4.  Sometimes life feels as if it is holding us upside down. In acro-yoga being upside down is a position to relax. When life hangs you upside down, take that time to relax and refocus before moving on.

5.  Try something new. Sharing a new experience with your significant other opens the doors to new possibilities.

Below I posted a promo video of Dice & Briohny our instructors for the workshop.
*Briohny was 5 months pregnant during our workshop and she could still do what you see in this video, impressive.

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6 Lessons from a 6 Hour Race

What did I learned from running in a loop from 6 in the morning until noon? This past Sunday I ran the Vista View 6 hour race in Davie, FL. It was one of the coolest, painful, and eye opening experiences I have been a part of.  I wanted to share some life lessons I learned that can help you over come obstacles and live a more successful life.

Lessons I Learned Running for 6 Hours:

1.  Sometimes the best preparation is belief.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post (Inspired to Insanity) inspiration and belief are powerful drivers. The most I had run in the past 4 or 5 months was 80 minutes. I was not running consistently because of a calf injury. Now here I am attempting to run for 6 hours after listening to talk given by ultra-marathon man, Dean Karnazes. Logically it did not make sense but I knew that this was more about my mind deciding.  At about the halfway mark my body started cramping and shutting down. I just kept putting 1 foot in front of the other because I decided that I would finish no matter what. (Preparation in the long run is the way to go but sometimes you need to go for it.)

Create a belief, decide what you want, then go after it.

2.  We are capable of more.

When we put our minds to it, I believe we are capable of just about anything. This experience showed me that I am able to push past my comfort zone, pain, physical and mental barriers. Life gives us daily tests that are not always pass fail. With each test we are re-enforcing, callusing that decision. Each test is an opportunity to get more experience points and strengthen your beliefs.

Today is a great day to go a little further than we are use too. Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and explore the other side. There is a great quote I read that said, “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.” Go to that place of pain and like it.

3. Persist and get your second wind.

This was eye opening to me. I mentioned that at about 2 hours and 45 minutes my body was fighting me, wanting to stop, cramping. I forced myself to keep going. After about 2 hours of this my body snapped out of it and I got my second wind. When I started the race I was running each lap in 9-10 minutes. Then my body started crashed and I was running the loops in 17-19 minutes. When I got my second wind about 5 hours in, I started running 11-13 minute loops.

Life is about persevering. No matter how bad things get if you are strong and patient enough you can weather any storm.

4.  Survival is not enough.

What becomes more apparent to me now is how many people go through their days with a survival attitude. No I am not talking about cops or people who risk their lives. I am talking about people that just look forward to getting the day over with or just get to the weekend.There is so much that each day has to offer. Don’t let those opportunities pass you by because you are just trying to survive. Live each day fully. You are in control of how you perceive your circumstances. Don’t believe me? Youtube a man named Nick Vujicic, then tell me that perspective doesn’t make a difference.

Running for 6 hours gives you lots of thinking time. I was able to really see how each runner out there had a glorious story they had created for themselves by placing one foot in front of the other. Don’t survive grow.

5.  Your support can determine your success.

These ultra-marathons races may seem self-centered, individualistic but that is further from the truth. Most runners will tell you that the fans to the other competitors to the support crew  has an impact as to whether they will be able to finish or continue. Who are you surrounded by? I know that on race day if it wasn’t for my father being there I don’t know what I would have done. He ran by my side holding water and encouraged me to take it one step at a time. I know that because my wife told me to go for it because she knew I could do it even though I was ill prepared made all the difference. Do you surround yourself with people that will support your, coach you, cheer for you in the good and the bad?

To be successful in any endeavor create that nucleus of people that wont let you quit. The people who expect you to succeed.

6.  I need to run more.

The final point I learned is obvious. I need to run more if I want to compete. Not so apparent is that I need to run more for me. Running I feel for me is truly an expression of my spirit. I love running. What you need to decide is what is your “running”? Is it singing, painting, swimming, what ever it is do it and do it often. Create that space for you, where you can explore your core. I know that sounds a little out there but I find that most people are afraid of finding their true self. As Marianne Williamson famously said, “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…”

Will you search for your light today?

Yes this was early in the race.

Yes this was early in the race.


Many blessings and I hope you enjoyed taking this journey with me.




Your Signature Move

The other day a friend sent me a video of entertainer, funny man, and speaker Jason Hewlett. He was talking about your signature move.

Jason talks about Michael Jackson.

What is his signature move? Yep, the moonwalk.

Jason’s signature move was his amazing ability to contort his face and impersonate people.

I thought about the significance of the signature move. Both MJ and Jason’s signature move allows us to recognize who they are, similar to a corporate logo. But the underlying thing here is their passion. When they are most congruent with themselves or when they are the best versions of themselves they are performing, connecting, and sharing their story.

What is your story?

I feel invigorated that I have been able to share my story through my passion.

My passion is coaching people to live the best versions of themselves. I do it through MENE (mindset, exercise, nutrition, and education).

When I was a kid, most people thought of exercise as something jocks or PE teachers did. Most parents want their kids to become engineers, lawyers, doctors, accountants. In other words to get a real job. My parents were the opposite. They always encouraged me to pursue what I love to do first. Don’t do it for the money, they said, do it in spite of the money. Said differently, what would you love to do if you didn’t get paid to do it?

So what happens if you didn’t have parents that supported you?

What happens if you hate what you currently do because you are not truly doing your dream job or pursuing your passion?

Are you up a creek without a paddle?


You have a decision.

I believe it is never too late to create the life you want, the legacy you want.

Clearly define what it is you are passionate about then apply your signature move.

Listen I get it. It may seem impossible.

You are married, you have kids, you feel too old, you don’t have enough time. What ever your excuse is, remember, it is just that – an excuse. I never said it will be easy but let me reassure you it will be worth it. Any thing worth living for is hard work. Let me repeat that.

“Anything worth living for is hard work.”

I have touched on this before. But if you are not living out your passion you are probably not living to your best. Steve Jobs said, “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”

Contemplate these questions then do the thing that scares most people. Take action. Do something today that leads you toward your passion and live the life you deserve.

The time to live is today.


Resolutions Gone Bad

Have you ever played a game that no matter what you did you would win?

How do you think you would feel?

I am guessing pretty good. Empowered. Excited even. We love winning 🙂

How about the opposite?

What if you played a game that in order for you to win the stars, planets, and galaxies had to align on the first Sunday of the month?

How do you think you would feel losing every day?

Probably not so empowered. Probably a little frustrated and I would even venture to say that eventually you would dread looking forward to the next day.

I think we can all agree that the first scenario is the one we’d all choose. Here is the interesting statistic. Rarely do people choose option 1 in the game of life. In fact it seems people are determined to play option 2.

With the new year here many people make resolutions.

So the question becomes how can you make resolutions that empower you and give you an opportunity to win?

How can you create a situation that more closely resembles option 1?

The best part of this is that there is no one answer. It is going to be specific for you. I encourage you to take some time and ask yourself these questions. I want to see you empowered and growing daily.