1. What is No-Mind?

No-mind (mushin or flow) is a state in which you suspend all thoughts and judgments and focus 100% on the present moment: right here and right now. In short, it is a state of absolute presence.

For example, when doing back squats, just do back squats. When doing deadlifts, just do deadlifts. When running, just run. When cooking, just cook. When brushing your teeth, just brush your teeth. When meditating, just meditate. When sleeping, just sleep. Please see this post.

I strongly encourage my trainees to practice no-mind when they are training.

2. Do I have to be a Zen Buddhist (or Buddhist in general) in order to follow your programming?

No. My workout programming is completely independent of Zen. Regardless of your religious or spiritual background, if you diligently follow my programming, you will get solid results over time.

3. Do I have to meditate daily or weekly in order to follow your programming?

No, but I strongly recommend it. Here are zazen instructions.

4. Are you former SOF (Special Operations Forces)? Have you served in the military? Why do you refer to SOF (particularly SEALs) so often?

No, I am not SOF. I have not served in the military. I am just a civilian who is interested in hardcore, rigorous self-improvement and self-mastery, and I have learned a lot from SOF on these matters.

5. Do I have to be an advanced athlete, or a military service member, in order to follow your programming?

No, I can program workouts for anyone, including total fitness novices and overweight people. I will calibrate the workouts to your fitness level.

6. I primarily care about aesthetics. I just want to look good. If I follow your programming, will I get the aesthetic results?

Yes. If you follow my programming and eat Paleo (or Primal), then you will get the aesthetic results over time.

Aesthetics follow from functionality and performance. So, if you want to look good (e.g. like many professional or Olympic athletes), then train like an athlete and perform functional movements.

7. I can train only twice or thrice a week for 30-45 minutes. Can you still program effective workouts for me?

Yes, I can program effective workouts that take 30-45 minutes. And if the workouts start taking too long, let me know and I will revise them accordingly.

8. I have an old injury that hasn’t fully recovered. Can you still program effective workouts for me?

It depends on the injury. In general, if it is minor or moderate, then I can still program effective workouts, which may resolve the injury. But I am not a doctor or physical therapist.

If the injury is severe, then you should see a medical professional.

9. What do you recommend for nutrition and recovery?

For nutrition, I recommend the Paleo/Primal diet. If you sign up for monthly programming, I will send you a list of things to do in order to recover optimally.

10. How does your programming differ from CrossFit (i.e. constantly varied, high-intensity, functional exercise)?

First, my programming is systematic and progressive, not constantly varied. If you do metabolic conditioning workouts, they will be systematic and progressive.

Second, I emphasize strength to a much greater degree than does typical CrossFit programming.

For my general thoughts on CrossFit, please see this post.

11. How does your programming differ from SEALFIT?

First, SEALFIT workout programming is largely based on CrossFit, whereas my programming is not.

Second, my workouts tend to be shorter and less brutal than SEALFIT ones, although I can program long, brutal workouts.

12. How does your programming differ from Military Athlete?

The Military Athlete operator sessions use “fluid periodization,” in which you do 3-4 week phases (or mesocycles) on each of the following fitness attributes: strength, work capacity, stamina, and (sometimes) endurance.

I do not use fluid periodization. For some trainees, but not all, I use the NASM Optimum Performance Training (OPT) model.

In addition, my workouts tend to be less brutal than Military Athletes ones, although I can program brutal workouts.

13. Why should I pay at least $100 per month for your monthly programming?

This is not Walmart Fitness or Cut-rate Fitness. This is NO-MIND FITNESS. We seek to improve ourselves in a hardcore, rigorous manner, and we pursue the highest levels of self-mastery.

Paying $100+ per month for NMF programming is a great deal considering how much value you get if you squeeze every last drop out of the programming: strength and conditioning results, health results, aesthetic results, motivational/attitude results, etc.

Many people, especially celebrities, spend or would spend much more than $100 per month to get the overall results that you can get with NMF programming.

Please see the table below. This assumes you hire a personal trainer in a gym and do 12 training sessions per month (three sessions per week) with him or her.

Training sessions per month Price per session Price per month
12 $50 $600
12 $75 $900
12 $100 $1,200
12 $125 $1,500
12 $150 $1,800
12 $175 $2,100
12 $200 $2,400

So doing 12 sessions per month with a conventional personal trainer costs $600-2400 per month.

In comparison, the basic NMF programming package costs only $100 per month. In general, I program 12 resistance workouts per month (three per week) for you.

Furthermore, in the medium- and long-term, you will likely get superior results from my programming than you would with most personal trainers.

Finally, almost all my long-term trainees have gotten significant promotions, new jobs, salary increases, or business success.

I do not guarantee these professional or financial outcomes but if you take NMF programming very seriously, you may very well achieve these outcomes.

For further justification, please read this post.

14. Do you offer refunds for monthly programming or initial assessments?

No. There are no refunds for initial assessments or monthly programming, whether you pay monthly or pay upfront for multiple months. So if you sign up, make sure you are decisive and finish what you start.

In addition, payments for monthly programming are non-transferable. If you sign up for X months of monthly programming for yourself (not for someone else) but you later decide to quit, then you cannot transfer those payments to someone else’s programming.

Similarly, if you sign up for X months of monthly programming for someone else but he or she later decides to quit, then you cannot transfer the payments back to yourself.

15. Can I use my monthly training session (at no additional cost) sometime next month or in the future?

No. You must use your monthly training session within one month after your monthly payment. Otherwise, the training session expires.

For example, if you pay on March 15, then you have until April 15 to use that training session.

So you cannot skip one month’s training session and then apply it to the following month, i.e. do two training sessions (at no additional cost) that month.

I will ask you if you want to do a training session on certain days, but it is ultimately your responsibility to schedule training sessions with me.

16. I’ve paid for X months of programming upfront, but for various reasons, I need to put the training on hold. Can I continue training sometime in the future? Will you give me credit for future months of programming?

Yes, you can continue training in the future. However, I strongly discourage quitting and strongly encourage you to continue training, even if it means scaling down your training regimen. I can always modify the programming to accommodate your preferences, needs, and time constraints. Just let me know.

Yes, if you have paid upfront but decided to put the training on hold, I will give you credit for future months of programming. These credits expire 12 months after payment.

17. Why do you refer to your clients as “trainees”?

I have trainees, not clients. The word “client” connotes that you are paying me in order to do a bunch of work for you (e.g. do your taxes or represent you in court). But this is not the case. Rather, you’re paying me to train you and program workouts for you, i.e. prescribe work for you to do. You must actually do the work in order to get the results. In short, you must earn the results. You will get out of the workouts exactly what you put into them.

18. I’ve signed up for monthly programming and, so far, your workouts are too easy. I want to be challenged. Why should I continue to follow your workouts?

The workouts start easy (especially if you’re deconditioned, i.e. out of shape) and ramp up in terms of difficulty. After a few weeks or so, the workouts will be hitting you much harder. I guarantee you.

Just consider these remarks by some of my trainees who have followed my programming for at least several months:

“It's hard to believe that I actually finished this [bodyweight workout], but I broke up the exercises a lot to help myself get through it… In general the upper body stuff is incredibly difficult right now and the lower body stuff is hard but a lot easier to push myself through.”

“I'm ready for the new phase. This last week [bodyweight workouts with a 25lb weighted vest] was a killer. I'm eager to see what you'll come up with for next week.”

“I failed again on one of the press sets... In general, all the weight exercises are getting very difficult.”

“By the way, holy shit are deadlifts taxing [5 rep-max of 335lb]. I want to keep testing my [5 rep-max], though, so I plan on continuing to progress. But holy shit.”

If I really wanted, I could program workouts from the start that would totally hammer you and leave you barely able to walk for several days.

However, this approach is stupid and dangerous. It will not optimize your strength or conditioning in the medium to long-term. Instead of hammering you upfront in order to prove a point, I would rather build you up over time and then give you workouts that hammer you, when you are truly ready for them and you can recover from them much more easily.

Overall, think of my programming like a marathon. When you’re running a marathon, you do not want to exhaust yourself after the first four miles. You want to pace yourself and run at a steady, moderate pace so that you can complete all 26 miles. Similarly, when you’re following my workouts, you do not want to start too intensely or heavy and end up overtraining, hitting a plateau prematurely, or getting injured. Instead, you want to start light and easy and keep progressing over time. You want to make progress for as long as possible.

Furthermore, consider the following quotation by Jim Wendler (a former powerlifter who once performed a 1000lb back squat) from his book 5/3/1:

“Start Too Light. My coaches emphasized this to me when I was in high school, but unfortunately, I didn’t listen. Hopefully you will. Starting too light allows for more time for you to progress forward. It’s easy for anyone—beginner or advanced—to want to get ahead of themselves. Your lifts will go up for a few months, but then they’ll stall—and stall, and stall some more. Lifters get frustrated and don’t understand that the way around this is to prolong the time it takes to get to the goal. You have to keep inching forward. This is a very hard pill to swallow for most lifters. They want to start heavy, and they want to start now. This is nothing more than ego, and nothing will destroy a lifter faster, or for longer, than ego.

His comments apply not only to barbell strength training but also to strength and conditioning in general. Start light and easy. Increase the intensity progressively.

Last revised 10/19/2022