Clark Bartram has inspired millions to live healthier lives through his blogs, articles, television shows and personal appearances. If you are interested in living in your healthiest body, keep coming back.
Let’s face it…The Frog is challenging for most every person who has ever had the nerve to get on it and really give it a shot, and it seems that our 100 yard Frog Challenge has only been completed by one person so far. Why then would anyone want to make it even harder than it already is?
Well, I guess I just enjoy a challenge. After Joel Metzger and I Frogged up the banks of the Mississippi I’ve been obsessed of taking my Frog and training with it anywhere I can, almost like “Where’s Waldo”. I’ve Frogged in multiple States and also in Hong Kong and Mainland China but when I took it up this long ass hill, I quickly realized I may have bit off more than I could chew.
One day while driving west on the 78 Freeway in Vista California I noticed a rather long and steep hill and quickly thought to myself, “I’m gonna Frog up that”! A few days later there I was and quickly thought to myself, “why am I here”? Me and my buddy Tony put the Frog together and off I went up the 275 yard 45% incline.
From the first extension I realized how challenging this hill idea actually was. It takes so much more focused effort because you don’t want the wheels to slide, you have to move steadily, slowly and carefully. All of this taxes your body probably 10X more than on a flat surface.
The beauty of the hill challenge is every single one is different and that makes the opportunities for challenging workouts endless…it’s just really a matter of how challenging you want to make your workout.
I’ve been steadily using The Frog for about 7 months now and no two workouts have been the same, and realizing that hills are an option and hard as hell…it only excites me even more excited to find unique and challenging ways to use my Frog.
When Jack & Jill went up the hill they were fetching a pail of water. When I went up the hill on The Frog I was searching for that same pale, plus some oxygen, and a ride back down.
Over the years my opinion as to how much proper nutrition plays a role living in a lean healthy body has changed. I used to tell people that “eating clean” was 70% of the equation, then later it rose to 80% and now that I have a better understanding of the importance of proper nutrition I’m saying it’s 100%.
I think most people don’t dig deep enough into the true healing power of food, and I think this is a direct result of looking at nutrition simply as a means to an end to “getting ripped” and not how eating clean, fresh, “whole foods” can actually heal your body from maladies that are too often self induced by doing the opposite…eating bad, sugary, processed, packaged junk.
Truth be told, there are countless people living in skilled nursing facilities for illness like diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease and more and not all of them need to be there, they are there because of bad choices. It’s sad but true!
I’ve seen many people, who have been diagnosed with illnesses like adult onset diabetes, because of how they ate, heal themselves by simply following sound advice and simply changing what they ate. Food is a powerful drug that can be used to hurt or heal.
We need to get away from the focus aesthetics in regards to what we eat and get more interested in the cellular response of the food we consume. If you take this approach and think to yourself, “what is happening internally when I eat this?” “How will this affect my health if I eat that?”
Here’s the sad truth however…We live in a day and age where it’s so convenient to eat bad food because there are large, well financed corporations that make sure of that. Call it a conspiracy theory if you want, but slick advertising, nutritionally void “value meals” and the like are making our country unhealthy at a very fast pace and the evidence is all around us.
Just look at people when you are out in public. Be observant of what they are consuming, how they look and notice the energy levels and attitudes. I personally think you can fix a bad attitude with proper nutrition. I really do. I personally believe you can heal many illnesses with whole natural food. I honestly feel you can change, not just your body, but your entire life if you choose to think about what you are putting in your body and understand that nutrition can truly be the key to you living in your healthiest body.
I’ve traveled the globe speaking to people about health and fitness and living in their healthiest bodies and no matter where I am I see one common thread….most people, unfortunately, do not take care of themselves! It’s a fact… especially here in the US where we have EVERYTHING available to us, both good and bad.
I always ask people to raise their hands by saying, “who here feel that they are living in their healthiest body?” If I have a room of 50… MAYBE 2 will raise their hands…and truth be told I’m not always raising mine!
I too have times in my life where I am not being a good steward of my most precious gift, my health. Like an alcoholic we need to first be honest with ourselves when we think about that question.
Let me ask you right now… Are you living in YOUR healthiest body RIGHT NOW? If you said “no” then I say “why”?
It’s important that we understand that we only have one body and that when we fill it with bad food, sugary drinks, drugs and alcohol, negative thoughts and empty calories we are only demanding that it gets worse. The body will only respond to what it’s being fed, and how it’s being treated, that’s it. It may take longer for more genetically gifted people to get fat and unhealthy, but eventually, overtime, even the skinniest person with the fastest metabolism will break havoc on their metabolic system if they treat their body with disrespect. It’s simply a matter of time.
That being said, the opposite is true as well and that is the good news. When you treat your body with respect and feed it and treat it properly…even the least genetically gifted person will begin to see results over time…some longer than others.
It’s pretty simple to figure out but it all starts with a desire to live in a healthier body with the main goal being more efficient as we age. It’s not about looking perfect or being some fitness model, that may be a great ancillary benefit that happens as a result, but it’s more about understanding that if you treat your body with respect and are a good steward over that gift, your body will give you it’s best in return by giving you a longer, healthier and more enjoyable existence.
We started to get worried as we heard that many of the title sponsors were backing out of the event due to inclimate weather. The Houston area had been flooding off and on for the past few weeks so nobody really knew what the turnout would be for this first time event called The American Fit Expo.
We pulled our rig in and began to set up in a small ballroom that hosted a prom the last time we were there for The Ironman event, so again we aeren’t really sure if we would get our money’s taking a chance as a title sponsor for the AFE.
We were situated near two of the biggest names in the industry, Kali Muscle and CT Fletcher and we had another big name right in the center of our booth, our spokesman Mike O’hearn with his sidekick Stryker, so the table was set once the doors finally opened Saturday morning at 10 AM with the sun shining none the less.
The crowd started to pour and we began to notice right away that this event would be different than others. You see…the internet was already buzzing with “The Frog” and people were VERY curious to try it instead of walking right past not knowing what the hell it was.
With a viral video that had received over 1M hits in less than 48 hours of a young man completing “The Jadeveon Challenge” (100 yards non stop on The Frog) people were actually really excited to come by and see this thing in person, however many were still intimidated to try it.
As per usual, I was on the microphone challenging people to come in and give it a try. I had every type of person you could imagine tentatively come in and see what the excitement was all about. There was a blind girl who was a paralympian in Judo, a 6’7’ basketball player, parkour practitioners, fitness models, moms, grandpas, entire families, Ninja warrior competitors and of course a bunch of bodybuilders and fitness models… and here is the exciting part…
EVERY SINGLE PERSON LOVED IT!!! If you need proof, watch any of the two dozen or so exciting and funny video testimonials.
If that wasn’t enough, the human leapfrog himself, Cade Cowdin (former D1 linebacker, gym owner and Frog team member) did one of his jumping exhibitions, which even stopped the great CT Fletcher form his flurry of activity, to give Cade a thumbs up as he stood atop a 75” platform after jumping on it in front of a frenzied crowd of onlookers.
As things began to settle late Sunday afternoon, the promoters of the event approached myself and Rich and thanked us for taking a chance on this first time show. “You guys were the first to step up, you had THE MOST exciting booth in the whole show and we would love nothing more than to have you back because EVERYONE is talking about The Frog. We really do think you guys have The Next Big Thing In Fitness” were the marketing director’s words.
It seems the fitness industry is full of opinions, experts and programs that are suggesting one modality over another.
Machines or free weights?
Fasted morning cardio or traditional treadmill?
Sets and reps?
Isolation or Integration exercises?
How deep to squat?
The arguments and confusion seem to have no end and it’s very easy to see how a novice fitness enthusiast could easily become confused as to what to do.
I’ve been in the industry for three decades and have seen many passing fads with diets, workouts and supplementation and with all that experience I have come to this conclusion…
Do what works best for you!
People always ask me, “Clark, when is the best time to do cardio morning or night, before or after my workout”? My response is always, “when is best for you”?
If their response is “the morning” , then my response would be, “that’s the best time”! Why create another obstacle for someone who is interested in becoming healthier? We have enough to worry about in life so adding a complicated system that doesn’t fit your lifestyle makes no sense to me what so ever. I’ll let the “experts” argue over the little details that really only apply to someone who is really trying to be precise as it relates to their particular goals.
There are some recommendations I do have in regards to time efficiency and getting the most out of your workouts, especially how it relates to how we function as humans. The title of this article is “Isolation VS Integration” , so let me take a few minutes and elaborate on what I mean.
There are tons of machines built that we see in gyms all across the world…
Lateral Shoulder raises
so on and so forth….While these machines are widely used and accepted by most trainers, it’s seldom in life that we are required to do anything functionally that would require total isolation of a single body part.
Our bodies are designed to be integrative in nature…different muscles assist others all in an effort to create balance and disturb strength requirements evenly to be strong and safe.
Think about it for a second… if you are putting away Christmas boxes in the attic storage, you are gonna use your arms, legs, shoulders, triceps, core and so on. When you hold a baby, pick up a heavy object, run, jump or pretty much any human function you are integrating not isolating.
Now, the functionality aspect is one point, let’s look at time. Most objections I hear from people about starting or maintaining a fitness program is, “I don’t have the time”. I get it, most people are limited on time and the easy answer is, “make more time…get up earlier” Well, that doesn’t always work either, so why not just minimize the amount of time you are working out by performing exercises that are integrative in nature as opposed to going from one machine to another isolating individual body parts?
OK, now let’s discuss metabolic efficiency…doing “compound” or integrative exercises will increase caloric expenditure and provide more bang for your buck and get your metabolism working for you instead of against you.
I hope this little dissertation has helped you realize a few things:
- You do have the time if you do the right exercises
- Efficiency is something we all can benefit from
- Not all exercises are created the same
- You should always do what’s best for you, not get confused by “experts” suggesting their way or now way.
- Your body is amazing and will either get better or worse depending on how you treat it.
In closing, my recommendation would be to find time efficient, compound exercises that will not only save you time, but be more effective in producing fast and lasting results.
When my partner, CEO/Inventor of The Frog signed to be one of the title sponsors of the 2016 North American Ironman Championships I was honestly a bit concerned as to how these “elite” athletes and their coaches would respond to our product.
Don’t get me wrong, I know The Frog kicks everyone’s ass that dares get on it, but these are some of the most conditioned athletes in the entire world. These athletes run a full marathon (26.2 miles) bike 112 miles and swim 2.4 miles….that’s conditioning and I was a little concerned as to how the product we love so much would resonate with this elite group of cardio freaks.
As one would expect many of these competitors were a bit weary to try anything that may cause pain or soreness before such an important qualifying event so we then looked to their coaches for validation of The Frog.
The “Coaches Challenge” was issued as Richard and I addressed the athletes from the platform. We asked questions to the coaches and competitors like
“If you had a fitness product that would give you a competitive advantage would you use it”?
“How do you do a dry swim”
“Is a strong core important to your specific sport”?
The energy went fro “what the hell is The Frog”? To, “I need to at least pass by the booth and see it in action”
As a part of the coach’s challenge we offered a 500.00 prize to whoever won a race…Yes, you can race on The Frog! The coaches lined up, took off, got a fantastic workout…dismounted with a smile and said…..
“My athletes will be training on this thing from now on”!
“I can’t believe how hard I’m breathing after such a short workout”!
“I thought this thing was a joke, but I was way wrong”.
BAM! The validation and acceptance we were looking for happened as a result of knowledgeable, fit, passionate people actually stepping up and trying it and not “judging” it while it sat there doing nothing.
The bottom line is when an athlete, regardless of their physical dominance in their given sport, challenges their body in a way not common to their current protocol…they get stronger, more efficient, cardiovascular conditioning and so much more, especially if it’s The Frog were speaking of.
A proving ground is all any up and coming product needs. A place for the real world to determine whether or not said product deserves any consideration from the demographic you are going after. Well, so far, EVERY proving ground we have delivered The Frog to it has risen to the challenge and that challenge is challenging some of the most fit people on the planet. Let the keyboard warriors say what they will, but we are getting from behind our computers and taking this product anywhere, anytime that anyone wants to put it to the test.
Our only question now is…who will be next and will anyone ever get off it after a few short minutes and say anything other than…”shit, that thing just kicked my ass”!
Could that person be you? Only one way to find out….You feeling Froggy? If so, LEAP!
Our western culture has really messed a lot of people up, especially as it relates to “what is healthy.”
Nearly every magazine cover, Instagram model, celebrity diet or fitness fad has many thinking that health is about looking a certain way and that couldn’t be the furthest thing from then truth as far as I’m concerned.
Photoshop, apps to smooth wrinkles and whiten teeth in one swipe, perfect asses and big boobs are all we seem to see these days and it’s a bit frightening honestly because it gives many the wrong image when it’s time to set fitness goals and priorities.
Here is the truth… a perfect body doesn’t exist. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very beautiful people who are totally natural but we don’t often have the privilege of hearing from those people and how they approach life… we are just inundated with unrealistic images and place our hopes and dreams on the desire to one day look like them.
Listen, I’ve seen, known and been around so many models and most are very insecure people and very typically have flaws and issues with their bodies that they would love to improve upon. It seems that the most beautifully fit are the most unhealthy many times.
My recommendation to you would be to set realistic goals, don’t paste an image of a perfect body on the fridge as your “inspiration” but instead, seek living in a highly functioning, healthy body and let the other things fall into place after deciding that “true health” is your first priority.
Truth health, to me, can be defined as having your blood work come back clean, having a great relationship with where you are currently, living a balanced and happy life, appreciating what you have as opposed to what you want.
A healthy body will not always manifest itself into a swimsuit body and a swimsuit body is not always healthy.
Take a step back and re assess WHY you are deciding to exercise and adjust your priorities if necessary and understand that perfection or looking like someone else isn’t what you should be striving for…you should be striving to be the best YOU CAN BE and embrace every flaw you have with the understanding that even the girl or guy on the magazine cover or instagram page must do the same.
Serving Those Who Serve US
“You don’t have to ask us twice”, was the sentiment that both Richard Pearce (Frog CEO and Inventor) and myself felt the moment we were invited to Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota this past March.
Myself, being a former Marine, and Rich one of THE MOST patriotic people I know, are quick to jump at any opportunity to support our troops in anyway possible especially introducing them to The Next Big Thing In Fitness …The Frog!
The greeting was amazing, a 4 Star General, one of only 6 in the Air Force was there to greet us as were every other high ranking officer and enlisted men and women. We felt like celebrities and were treated to special privileges like sitting in the cockpit and climbing all over a B1 Bomber. Talking about acting like little boys, we crawled everywhere possible as our hosts looked on thinking , “Oh God, please don’t let anyone fall”!
Once the intros and fun was done it was time to get to work, First we addressed the crowd of over 3,00 enlisted and officers all excited to try The Frog. After I worked pretty hard to get the energy in the room as high as possible I introduced Richard where he opened his heart and explained that we were there strictly to give back and show them a way that we can help increase the fitness of everyone who would be willing enough to try The Frog.
As with most people who are being introduced to The Frog for the first time, they were a bit reluctant to HOP ON ( cute huh) but once they did…the smiles and excitement raised to an entirely different level.
We had races around the track and on the field at the same time. I was calling the races and honestly I felt like I was at Del Mar race track calling the pony’s …”we got the tall skinny guy making a move, but the big black guy is ahead by a nose” Hey, I was having fun too.
As we were thanked by everyone who attended We stood tall with pride joy in our hearts knowing that were in fact serving those who serve us. Being the generous and caring man he is Rich authorized that 3 Frogs be left in the base gym for daily use.
The event certainly won’t be our last as It’s very important to all of us here at Frog Fitness that we actively involved with events like this one. We will travel anywhere that any military institution or First Responders need us. That’s a promise!
As a fitness professional, who is constantly preaching the benefits of water and proper hydration to my clients, I was shocked when I found myself passed out on my bathroom floor just a few short weeks ago. As I came to, and saw five fireman/paramedics standing over me in my bedroom I was in a panic wondering what was happening to me.
“I’m only 52, I’m in better shape than most 25 year olds”, was my first thought as they began a battery of tests. I refused a stretcher and walked out to one awaiting me in the driveway where they insisted I get in so the could slide me into the back of an ambulance. Mind you, the last time I was taking that ride I was eight and was just struck by a car, so this was all very foreign and scary to me.
A kid, younger than my son, was in training ( a “probee” as they call them) and it was his job to handle my every need as his training officers looked on and watched. The ambulance began to roll as he started to insert an IV into my veins.
Lucky for him, he landed a gig that provided him a patient with veins that would make a road map jealous. I asked “is this your first time buddy”? His simple reply…”yes sir it is” It was then his superiors spoke up and said “ya Jones, you better hit this or you might as well quit” I can’t imagine the pressure this kid felt, but he managed to easily slid the needle into my vein.
I rolled into Palomar hospital on a busy Saturday night only able to look at the ceiling and hearing overhead speakers of all the activity happening around me. Gunshots, stab wounds, broken arms and new babies all swarming around the emergency room causing a 7 hour stay as the battery of tests continued.
EKG’s, MRI’s, CAT scans, Blood and urine tests all to rule out what could be wrong with “America’s Most Trusted Fitness Professional” Clark Bartram.
At around 4AM the verdict came in, they quickly removed the neck brace, IV and heart monitor to give me the news.
The young, handsome Doc who looked like a soap opera doctor, (that made it easy on my wife and daughter) said “Mr. Bartram…you are fine other than being dehydrated! Did you drink any water today”?
Much to my embarrassment my reply was “as much as I tell the whole world, “drink half your body weight in ounces of clean pure water” I drank nearly none that day and to top it off, I had too much coffee that will only dehydrate.
We all know it, we’ve all heard it…water is vital to life. Nearly ⅔ of your body is water, nearly ⅔ of the earth is water, Bruce Lee and the Bible describe how powerful water is and I, Clark Bartram America’s Most Trusted Fitness Professional can testify to the opposite as well, how devastating not getting enough water can be.
What could have been a $5.00 expense for a few bottles of water on that infamous day became a bill of over 15k in ambulance and emergency room bills.
Let my hypocrisy and laziness be a lesson to you to…Drink Half Your Body weight In Water Every Day.