One of the biggest lessons Fitness has taught me is when you pay close enough attention, you notice you can’t even “Give Back” unselfishly, because when You Give, the Universe will always return the favor with the exact Intention you put into the giving in some form.

If that makes sense at all, You have witnessed how powerful and domino-like Giving can be. I have countless stories which align with this truth in myself and watching our gym members, but here is one that stands out in my mind related to Giving Back, Gaining, and my Fitness journey.

When I was Personal Training in my basement about 10 years ago, I worked with this One Individual literally twice, for Free.

They were instantly hooked on Training as they had never really been pushed before and experiencing high intensity weight training was just a perfect fit. They not only excelled exceptionally fast adding 50 pounds to their squat in a month, but they also started studying to be a Personal Trainer.

Within a two year time frame, this Individual ran with the Spark that was also once shown to me. I watched this person move on to become a Personal Trainer, who in line Sparked two individuals to find their passion and become Trainers themselves!

Each Personal Trainer will move on and help a LOT of people as I’ve never met a Trainer in my life who didn’t feel fulfillment by helping.

So how does this help me besides that feeling of Making a Difference? I can count 7 Gym Members RIGHT now that currently go to my gym because of the One person I had worked with A DECADE AGO…

That’s hundreds of dollars a month… Every month of the year… For 2-3 hours of total time… And… So many people were helped in the process. It’s like a Win-Win-Win, best case scenario, and started with Giving.

I have seen this transpire on SO many different occasions. Arnold says, “There is nothing more fulfilling than helping people”, and I believe he’s right.

I’ve taken this thought SO far that I ended my “Paid Personal Training career” within Badger Fitness a few years ago. With no doubt, I could be a Trainer within my gym and bring in $7-$8,000/month. However, I have found so much value in this, both Fulfillment & Monetary, to deeply understand the Universe will pay the Gym that same amount, or more, if I just help people with no expectation and pure intention. Some would argue it’s just Faith within, but it’s really just me witnessing the circle of life over & over.

I’d Love to hear how giving has helped you in some way so PLEASE…

Badger Fitness – Madison WI

Alcohol & Gym

Gosh… Drinking alcohol can be LOADS of fun but how much can it affect your Gym Goals?

Are Gains disappearing?!

I’d like to start with this Fact: You can drink alcohol on occasion, even weekly, and still make great progress in the Gym. Now, don’t use that as an excuse to pound a bottle tonight because all decisions do equate.

I’m going to skip repeating scientific data on this one and give you the Real. We all know alcohol dehydrates and can play a factor in hormones. But When and How does it actually affect Your Gains?

The amount of information we take in on a daily about Fitness is enormous. And to top it off, we now have “drink wine every day and lose weight” fads that add to the never ending state of confusion. People will inevitably be searching for the secret fuling these fads because some find it impossible to see the same principle in which drives your body to change is the same for success in literally anything: Hard Work

It is summer… 150 calories/Shandy

I’m going to break down how alcohol affects different goals…

Losing Fat & Alcohol Consumption

I feel like losing body fat and alcohol consumption are the least compatible of all goals. It’s actually pretty hard for your body to turn Alcohol into fat, but it does a fantastic job at halting Fat burning. Tracking Macros is essential for the majority of us for maximum Fat loss, and alcohol makes it tricky(er). We see things marketed like, “only 4 carbs…”, which confuses most people because they’re not taking into account the 7 calories per gram of alcohol. This leads many to over consume, and most lose the will-power of moderated eating when alcohol is in the system.

Gaining Muscle/Strength & Alcohol Consumption

To gain muscle you need two things over time: Resistance Training & Plentiful Food. Too much alcohol the day before you train can affect your intensity in the gym which will affect progress. So if you’re training and can actually tell you drank the day before, you went overboard. This amount changes person to person but my personal threshold is 3 drinks. Can you still gain muscle training hung over? Yes, but not as much as possible, and it’s not very fun. On top of affecting intensity, it can have a noticeable 24 hour effect on your diet as well. I know the nights that I drink too much, my diet is definitely affected that night, and the next day as well, which I have found common in most people.

One side note story about this… When I was 18-20 years old I drank, a lot. I’m downright embarrassed by this, but it was a regular thing to drink to the point of illness Friday & Saturday night nearly every week… However, when I was 20 years old I met my first serious training partner, Sam, and I vowed to myself that I would quit drinking for a couple months out of sheer instinct. My results were INSANE, and that summer I had put on 15 pounds of muscle, which was at a rate faster than I had ever gained before. So science aside, I’ve personally felt how excess alcohol can kill the Gains with building muscle.

Athletic Training & Alcohol Consumption

The effects with alcohol and performance have been touched on slightly, but athletic requirements vary so much from sport to sport that I felt it needed it’s own space. With any training, if you are working out and can tell you drank the day before, you went overboard. You may still train/play well, and a personal conversation you need to have to yourself is, “How important is this to me?”. If your sport is the most important thing in the world, then save the booze for the celebration. If you’re playing in your sand volleyball league where it’s more of a social event, it’s a different story. Sports where body composition is important like MMA or boxing, you may want to pay closer attention to your consumption to stay the closest to your in-season shape.

Bringing it all together…

So yes, alcohol can indeed be a part of your Fitness journey as long as it’s under control. However, if you’re shooting for the stars, it needs to be honed in on. Taking a break for a week or month may be a great idea if you feel it’s holding you back. I attest from taking 5-6 month breaks during Bodybuilding show preps from alcohol altogether makes my overall diet and training much easier to stick to.

Be honest about two things: “Am I making progress and do I believe alcohol is holding me back?”

With those things answered truthfully, you can now make a conscious sway to move you closer to who you want to be.

I know there are so many facts left out, but I wanted to avoid writing a book, and just dive into what happens with too much alcohol and Training for most of us. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank You for taking the time to read our work!

Badger Fitness – Madison Wisconsin

Continue reading “Alcohol & Gym”

Cleanest Gyms?

I want to present a unique gym cleanliness theory developed over the course of 16 years of Training, over 14,000 gym hours, and scrubbing the toilets at Badger Fitness over 1,000 times (like, literally).

It’s embedded in our brains that weight lifting oriented gyms are probably the dirtiest of all gyms. Maybe this is the cause of movies or fitness commercials who showcase them wrongly. I argue that well managed weight lifting oriented gyms are the cleanest gyms on the planet, and here’s Why.

Gyms who focus on the Iron are always started by the same type of person: Someone who is VERY passionate and is in it for the Love first, and making a profitable business second.

Madison Gyms looking SO clean.

Weight Lifting oriented gym’s number one priority is: Your Progress, with $$$ coming after.

Every Main stream gym on the planet’s number number 1 focus is: Capitalizing as much $$$ as possible per square foot.

How does this come into play with cleanliness? Space. Weight Lifting requires SO much more space per member compared to cramming a bunch of cardio or group training with 40 people together.

Just 8 squat racks take up a lot of room!

With less people volume, the gym is much easier to keep clean and social distancing is kind of an all year round natural deal in the majority of situations. When you’re using a barbell in almost any exercise you do not want people close to you unless it’s a trusted spotter that you asked.

When you have cardio packed close together it makes it tough.

With all the research available, spacing people out seems to be the most vital aspect of contamination, and you are forced to in a weight lifting oriented space.

So there you have it… This is literally the only time in history where it’s advantageous to have a weight lifting gym as far as the “perfect capacity”. So much Love to you all who make it incredible!

Your comments, likes, and shares keep us going!

Badger Fitness – Tony Meives – Madison, WI

Keto … Explained

The Ketogenic diet is a Low Carb, High Fat, and Moderate/High Protein macronutrient mixture.

Since Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy, this allows the use more Fat for fuel once One reaches a state of Ketosis. I feel like Ketogenic Diets are often extremely misunderstood and most people are on them for the wrong reason but at the same time are vital for particular cases… which is Why I must write about this!

Ketogenic diets are known to help tremendously with seizures caused by Epilepsy. They can also be important in our military personnel who may be stranded in the wild. Humans that are already physiologically adapted to very little carbohydrates would do much better if “thrown in the wild”.

Whey is a great Keto option. Here’s Pure Choice Whey out of Badger Fitness in Madison Wisconsin!

Most people gravitate towards this diet method for the wrong reasons which the #1 that I witness is the instant drop on the scale. You will lose fat, if you’re at a calorie deficit. However, the sudden drop people see is not entirely fat, and the majority can easily be water + glycogen (the stores of energy in your muscle from carbs).

This brings me to the main point: Sustainability

For the sake of the average person’s tolerance and will power, Ketogenic dieting is sustainable for very few. More often than not, weight that was lost is gained back, sometimes at rapid speeds.

There is one body type that I believe Keto can be absolutely a necessity for, and that is Endomorphic. Long story short, people with Endomorphic body types have a REALLY hard time naturally dropping body fat. This body type can typically hold muscle VERY well, so lowering carbs will have a lesser affect on muscle loss in this situation. Muscle retention is a HUGE positive in losing body fat.

People with the opposite body type, Ectomorphic, should NEVER Keto diet in my opinion. Being extremely Ectomorphic myself, we lose muscle WAY too fast. Keto can still be done without losing much muscle with this body type, but it truly is an art and most people are not advanced enough nor have the proper guidance to do so. Plus, why the heck would you want to lose fat with barely any carbs while you could get the same or better results eating carbs and have a more positive carry over when you’re not “dieting”?

In the end, Keto is not some magic formula and we don’t suggest it unless you are Endomorphic or if it helps with any ailment. My suggestion is never choose a diet that eliminates (or nearly) any macronutrient or something that can’t be sustained long term. Because, why suffer to only go back and forth?

Need some direction? We’d LOVE to help. Click the picture below, sign up, and we’ll give you a FREE Personal Training Session.

Gyms Reopen Wisconsin


Will it be safe to do so?… Glad you were wondering!

Your gym is probably one of the cleanest businesses in Wisconsin right now. EVERY gym owner I know is improving sanitation and preventative cross contamination to levels that would be considered ultra crazy only 1 year ago.

With Phase 1 allowing 25% capacity, Badger Fitness is in GOOD shape. Thankfully, weightlifting in general requires a little more room and since we’ve always geared our layout towards that demographic, it naturally set us up in a great opening position.

I predict a natural slow come back for the average gym go’er, but I know many of us reading this place the gym in a higher ground of priority and are SO excited to get back.

Many gyms such as Badger Fitness in Madison, WI plan to restrict new memberships to “long term only” to ensure we can operate at the safest levels possible.

Doors will be propped open, sanitizer will be everywhere, and just by witnessing our opening this morning I can tell our members are doing their part in keeping appropriate distance. At this point, it’s not just about doing what’s right and safe, but also going beyond that measure for people’s comfort.

Things to expect at Badger Fitness:

– Infinite amounts of Love & Support.

– Katie is stepping up to the plate for her first full time position as a Trainer and is FINALLY accepting clients.

– Kaade started a Men’s weight training group that I already know is going to be maxed within these first two days.

– I, Tony, will be spending my first couple work hours each day on our sister brand, Pure Choice Whey, while Katie takes the gym’s first set hours starting today.

Seeing all the smiles as a few people walked in this morning was refreshing. Even waking up this morning felt different for SO many who have been working from home or not at all these past 62 days. It was such an incredible opportunity for self reflection and enforced appreciation for “the little things”. I have SUCH high hopes for people to make some incredible progress.

See You SO soon, and let’s do our part so we can stay open!

Abs … How?

There isn’t one person who EVER stepped foot in the Gym, who doesn’t want a flat stomach or be able to see abs AT LEAST once in their life.

I can see why as it has a Universal appreciation anywhere in the world. The Novelty of this achievement is admired no matter One’s intelligence, ethnicity, or anything outside their control.

Many have tried, failed, & Succeeded.

So what separates One who achieves this feat? I have seen this transformation hundreds of times, many from people who do not have favorable genetic predisposition.

The two things that separate One from attaining this goal, is Persistence & a Burning Desire. So basically… Never Giving Up.

Work ethic and consistency are a must and can easily be heightened with the right gym.

There is no doubt, genetics will play a role in how fast you are able to climb this mountain. However, focusing on things you can’t control is a complete waste of energy and it encourages what I call, “Mrs. Pout-fire”.

There is a lot you can control…

1) Daily Activity – Get a Fitbit. Track steps. Move more. Go for walks. Do laps in your house like a crazy person who needs to reach their step goal. The point is, movement adds up fast and can easily be as effective as Cardio itself. However, this does not replace cardio and I know FEW individuals who are able to get their abs dialed in without it.

2) Nutrition – The most important factor is that your weekly caloric intakes need to be at a deficit. Meaning, if you go overboard one day, you CAN make it up by cutting calories back on those other days. One reason I like this approach is because it allows a little more enjoyment on the weekends IF you can be more diligent during the week. This could look something like this:

Average Daily Burned Calories: 2650

Sunday – Thursday: 1,900 calories

Friday – Saturday: 2,800 calories

Daily Average Calories: 2,157

Deficit = 493 calories/daily

3) Lift weights – Muscle is huge in fat loss as it IS the furnace. The more muscle you can add and/or retain, the better. It allows you to keep your calories as high as possible. Some studies have concluded every pound of muscle added will burn about 50 calories per day. That means you can eat more and burn it off!

You probably are already aware of where your faults lie. Own them. Many people get in natural denial when it comes to their faults in pursuing fitness goals and it only gets in the way and feeds ego. I find it to be a brewery of excuses.

Since this feat can take anywhere from 1 month to several years, One must be ready to set realistic short term goals. The direction must be forward, with an understanding that there will be hiccups along the way. Like, no matter what, S&%T will happen.

So yes. It is possible. Action trumps all.

When the s%$t does happen, align with your goal. Thoughts will carry action if you care. So… Go to or find Your Gym and make it happen.

Did you find Value in this? We’re always honored for anyone to take a second and share this info with the world! We’re always striving to be the best gym in our are so let us know anything we can do to help!

– Tony from Badger Fitness

Gym Success = Finding Your Place

Finding your Gym may be the BIGGEST factor on your success in the gym.

Most people join the closest gym to their home, but that is rarely the best option, unless you have a membership for something extremely general like a treadmill. However, when One finds an incredible environment, driving past 10 gyms to get to that gym IS WORTH IT. Why?… Progress happens in multiples.

I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing countless times where someone steps foot in the gym, and I know they’ve found their place in harmony.

Majority speaking, this usually isn’t the person’s first Fitness venture, but something about this new found source of energy through envirionment that they didn’t know existed allows them to take their body and mind to a place they never have been able to reach. After this moment is felt, there is no turning back.

On top of building muscles many didn’t know existed and feeling a source of strength that wasn’t even considered possible in the past self, stress itself in all areas of life become more manageable. At this point, a “healthy” addiction has set in. Thank Goodness for it.

Work gets a little easier, relationships start mending, and smiling is more frequent & genuine.

Ninety-Nine percent of the time One comes to the Gym for 1 reason: To look better.

What keeps them coming back is the value placed in feeling incredible. Accomplishing big feats in life whether it’s education, fitness, career, or hobby is one thing. Enjoying the process is another and The True Win in Life. The right gym helps you with just that.

Finding a Gym which allows you to unleash Your True self will help you in every aspect of your life, which I can say with certainty as I’ve witnessed it in person Hundreds, maybe Thousands, of times.

If you have found Your gym, Incredible!

If you have not, take a deep look in what inspires you. Try looking past an initial instinct of intimidation that is made up in your own mind. Any great gym has members who want you to crush it, win, follow through, and give back to the same incredible energy that kept you there.

Did You find value in this? I’d be honored for you to comment, share, or PM me with ANY & ALL questions.

– Tony Meives

“Men take on the nature and habits and the power of thought of those with whom they associate in spirit of sympathy and harmony” – Napoleon Hill – 1937

Gyms & Coronavirus

How the Gym Industry may being affected.

No doubt, we’re in one of the most interesting times in our generation. The gym is a safe haven and outlet for ultimate happiness & therapy for SO many of us, so NO WONDER why you may be concerned.

How do I believe this will affect your gym?  That answer depends entirely on your gym’s primary focus point. Overall, I KNOW that the greatest fitness centers will be left standing and I believe all will be providing unreal service based on a new sense of Thankfulness.

To think… Only 2-3 years ago I had my 6 month old at the gym rolling around and it was no big deal. In 2020… Yeah right.

Will this ever be acceptable again?

The main concern moving forward through 2020 as we gyms “hopefully” begin to reopen, are the unknown restrictions placed on all facilities. Will there be allowed 10 people per floor again? Will attendance be a ratio of floor space? Will the stigma of Covid, aka Gym killer, scare the majority of people from ever coming back?!

No one knows…

Restrictions will be in place for fitness facilities and there is already talk of larger franchise gym owners planning to follow a 500 square feet per person rule. These kind of guidelines would be extremely tough for class studios who’s attendance can reach 40-50 in a 2,500 square foot space.

I could write several pages on this, but to sum this up… The fitness facilities that will be greatest affected by Corona Virus in 2020 are the ones that have the most traffic per square foot. This brings to mind clubs where waiting for equipment is common, or packed class studios.

I believe sanitation of all facilities will be permanently affected, for the better. I think the coming months will be the most extreme but there will be an ever lasting affect on overall attention & efficiency of all fronts of cleanliness & cross contamination in every business.

I, myself, wonder how the extremely affordable ($10/month) gyms plan to make it in 2020 as they rely heavily on extreme volume. I’m expecting price increases in many gyms for new sign ups in the coming months to make up for the difference in volume, but we will see!

One BEAUTIFUL thing I think we’re about to witness is the level of appreciation for the gym increase to a level which will in fact produce massive results, making up for time lost. I can NOT WAIT to see people under the squat bar, putting in the work, and seeing members Live through Iron. Can’t You see it?! I can literally smell it!

I think we can all agree on one thing… that we’re excited for “normal” life again, but in a gym, with the same camaraderie that kept us coming! Thank You for All of Your support along the way, and if you have ANY questions, concerns, or just want to drop a line, we’d love to hear from you.

– Tony Meives