5 Reasons to NOT Train with Me

A bit tongue in cheek, but here are 5 excellent reasons why you should NOT train with me:

1)  If the price of your gym membership is the only deciding factor in where you train, please go to a commercial gym.

2)  If you do not care about ever achieving your fitness goals or getting results from your training, please go to a commercial gym.

3)  If you do not appreciate hands-on instruction and lots of personal attention and accountability, please go to a commercial gym.


4)  If you do not care about learning correct movement, form, and exercise technique, please go to a commercial gym.

5)  If you have no interest in experiencing the powerful results conferred by properly designed training programs based on years of experience and learning, please go to a commercial gym.

5.5)  If you are perfectly content with being mediocre and never, ever challenging yourself or pushing your limits, please go to a commercial gym

If however, none of the above fit or describe you in the slightest, than I implore you to experience the difference here at Warrior Fitness Gym and come train with me.

What Business Am I In?

The text for this post came from a speech I gave last week to my BNI (networking) Group…


You may think you know and understand the business I am in, being that I own a gym.  Perhaps you think I am in the business of helping people lose weight, or get in shape (whatever that means).  Or, maybe the business of helping people get stronger or improve athletic performance.  You would be wrong.  Certainly those things are components of what I do, but they are not the complete picture.

Without stepping on the toes of my friends in the financial planning and life insurance industries, I will unapologetically tell you I am in the business of Long Term Care.  How can I say that?

Fat loss, muscle gain, increases in flexibility, mobility, and performance are not end goals, in and of themselves.  They are ALL merely byproducts of better movement.  Whether you are an athlete, martial artists, soccer mom, or business man, and everyone in between, better movement will always equate to better performance, better body composition, and better health.

Exercise Improves Life

Exercise improves all facets of life.  People who exercise regularly are better at their jobs, kids do better in school, they get sick less often, and in general have much higher levels of energy and health.  Exercise does not just improve your biceps, it improves your brain.  That pump you feel in the muscle when doing a curl is caused by blood flow.  That blood flow is not isolated, that is physiologically impossible – it increases all throughout the body, including the brain.  Think about this – your head is roughly 1/8 of your entire body.  If you simply sit at a desk and work with your mind all day long, no matter how smart and productive you may be, you are only using approximately 1/8th of your entire potential.  Descarte was wrong – the mind is not separate from the body.

I say I am in the business of long term care because I teach you much more than mere fitness.  I teach you how to train for life.  People do not stop moving because they get old.  They get old because they stop moving!

Warrior Fitness is not a set of disparate parts cobbled together, but a system based on my life long experience as a physical culturist.  To be able to recreate what I have put into it, you would have to study Japanese, Chinese, and Russian martial arts, strength training, bodyweight exercise, Kettlebell training, oldtime strong man training, sports science, yoga, qigong, etc…

I have put in all the work; done all the research, experimented with the protocols and the programming.  I have given my clients, both locally here at Warrior Fitness Gym, and worldwide the product of it all– a fully developed, cohesive  system  of training the body, mind, and spirit for health, fitness, and performance –  Warrior Fitness


The Worst Reason Ever

The other day my daughters and I were sitting in a local diner having breakfast.  As we sat there looking at the menus and discussing  what we were planning to order, my 4 year old looked at her older sister and said – “Hey!  Get your elbows off the table!”

“No way!” replied my 12 year old, “why should I?” [Read more…]

The Most Powerful Form of Training

Look at this guy – he’s a beast!”

“You’re an animal!”

“He’s got beast strength!”

In the fitness world it’s become very common to refer to extremely strong and capable individuals as “Beasts” or “Animals”.  We use these terms to separate them out from the regular crowd, to distinguish their strength as something more than human.  These people push past their puny human limits and transcend into the realm of beast-like strength. [Read more…]

Why I Hate Kickboxing

For months now people have been asking me to implement a Kick Boxing program at Warrior Fitness Gym.  I’ve been resisting the pressure mainly due to one important factor – I hate kick boxing. 🙂

Allow me to clarify.  I hate what real kick boxing has devolved into, the dreaded “cardio” kick boxing.  To me, cardio kick boxing is almost worse than Zumba as far as fitness goes. [Read more…]

Time to Reorganize Priorities

I spent all morning today running around with my 4 year old doing a bunch of errands.  We went to Story Time at Barnes & Noble (she loves that!), then to the bank, to the post office (where I shipped out one of the last paperback copies of Warrior Fitness: Conditioning for Martial Arts!), then off to go food shopping.  Finally we made it back home where I got lunch ready, chicken nuggets for her and a protein shake for me (recipe here!).

Now, aside from telling you about my morning, you may be wondering what my point is here.  At each one of the stops we made I did some people watching and listening.  At B&N, while listening to the story teller read Good Night Moon, I overheard 2 moms having a conversation about Weight Watchers and how they both needed to lose weight.  There was some talk about eating healthier, but the main focus seemed to be on how they could cheat – and they hadn’t even started yet!!  All this while both were sucking down some serious calories from their Starbucks mocha-whatevers with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.  Since I was curious, I engaged them in conversation and asked if they were going to add exercise in to help them with their goals.  They both agreed that it would be a great idea, if only they had time.  They seemed very convinced that they were way too busy with everything going on in their lives and would just have to “do the best they could”.  I wanted to pursue the conversation more, but the story was over and Juliana was ready to go play with the legos and trains, so we walked away.

Stephen Covey Quote

This got me thinking – why do people TALK about being healthy so MUCH, yet put so little actual value on their health and fitness that they can’t make it a priority in their lives?  We all KNOW so much about how to be healthy, but knowing is not enough.  We all want so much to be healthy, fit and strong, but willing it is not enough.  There is simply ONLY ONE WAY to become fit, healthy, and stong, and that is DOING IT!


“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”  – Zig Ziglar

Make your fitness a priority in your life.  Sooner or later if you don’t make time for being healthy you will be forced to make time for being sick.  Take charge of your own fitness today.  Make it part of your weekly schedule.  Get it done.

Remember – what gets scheduled gets done.  What does NOT get scheduled falls by the wayside.  Don’t just talk about it.  Become it!


Why Should YOU Train Like A Warrior?

Upon hearing the name of my gym, Warrior Fitness Gym, and my 30 year martial arts background, many people become hesitant and ask me, “Do I need to be a martial artist to train with you?  Do I have to be a warrior?”  The answer to the first question is no and the answer to the second question is yes.

You do not have to train martial arts to join my gym, in fact the majority of the clients who train with me at the gym are not, but yes, you DO have to be a warrior!  The definition of warrior that I am using here is –  “One who is engaged aggressively or energetically in an activity, cause, or conflict.”

Your activity is fitness training.

Your cause is to be the strongest, healthiest, best version of yourself you can possibly be.

Your conflict is fighting against mediocrity, laziness, and the pull of simply going along with the herd.

Good enough is NOT good enough, good is the enemy of GREAT!

If you are not a warrior, don’t worry.  I’ll make you one.

Why should you train this way?

Quite simple.  You are dissatisfied with the status quo.  You want something different, better, more effective, and quite frankly much cooler and more kick ass than traditional boring fitness workouts.  You want to walk tall and stand out from the crowd, not be lost in the masses as another wall flower.  You want to become the most powerful version of yourself possible and you will fight hard to do it.

Warrior training is the essence of fitness.  Remember that sports were created as a way for warriors to practice and hone thier skills in times of peace.  Almost all physical training that has stood the test of time was once warrior training.  In essence, training like this will bring you back to the root of what fitness training really is – training for battle.  Yes, even if you never engage in combat, this type of training will prepare you to face any challenges life may throw at you.

My recommendation?  Train with me.  Train like a warrior.

Jon Shizen


Top 7 Exercises for Warriors

Here is the list I put together of my Top 7 Exercises for Warrior Training.  Not that these are the ONLY exercises you should do or would ever need but, if I were forced to narrow down my selection to my top 7, these would be my picks.

The great thing about this list is that if you were to just do these 7 exercises combined into a progressive training program, you would get amazing results of strength building, metabolic conditioning, fat loss, and endurance.  The side benefits would also include greater core strength, agility, and coordination.  So go forth and add these to your training program!


1. Clubbell Mills / Reverse Mills

2. Jumping

Burpee 4

Any type of jumping is not only excellent conditioning for explosive strength, but also mandatory for a warrior.  You must be able to leap out the way of a sword strike or over an obstacle!  So, whether it’s box jumps, tire jumps, broad jumps, lateral jumps, etc, they are all important and necessary training.

3. Pull-ups

Warriors need pulling strength.  Get on the bar, the rope, the tree branch, or even the monkey bars at the local playground and start pulling!  Change up your grip each set.

4. Push-ups

Most people consider push-ups a basic exercise and only know a handful of variations.  I consider push-ups an amazing developer of whole body strength, coordination, and agility with almost limitless variations – ask my clients! 🙂

5. Tire Flips

Whole body strength and power plus the added satisfaction of flipping a 400 lb tire.  Simply badass!

6. Ground up lift

This can be any lift from the ground up to overhead.  Use a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebell, sandbag, keg, small child, whatever!  Clean and press it.  Snatch it.  Jerk it. Turkish Get Up it!  Just lift it!

7. Sledge hammer swings


These are simply awesome for conditioning, developing striking power, and super-transferable nonstop core power.  Plus they are fun as hell and great for stress relief after a bad day!

Bonus exercise – KB Swings

You are your weakest link!  For most people their posterior chain is a weak area on the body.  This exercise will fix it.  Oh yeah, if you still think you need to do more cardio, try banging out a few hundred reps of these bad boys!


What exercises would you include as part of your top 7?  Drop a comment below!

Martial Power


  • Ready for a 6 week program that will explode your development as martial artist?

  • Ready to take strength and conditioning to a whole new level?

  • Ready to become agile, mobile, and hostile?

  • Ready to blow away all your former training plateaus?

  • Ready to build insane mental toughness and work capacity?

Then the Martial Power Coaching Program is for you!  Spots are limited so ACT now!

Stay The Course

Stay-the-CourseOver the past few early January 2013 evenings I’ve been thinking deeply about my mission in life.  Some of my thoughts formed themselves into the lines below as I sat writing in front of my computer.

My goal here is to reach out to all those people who never quite manage to keep their resolutions and to help them.  They begin an exercise program, a diet, a martial arts class with the best of intentions, but somehow lack the ability to Stay the Course.  This is my advice to them, and to you too.

I haven’t really written any poetry since college when I took a few poetry courses, so bear with me!


Stay the Course

The road is hard and fraught with pitfalls,

Stay the course.

Intense effort, concentration, and focus are sometimes required,

Stay the course.

You will fall, get distracted, wander off the path every once in a while,

Stay the course.

The greatest part of it all is the journey, not the destination, revel in it and

Stay the course.

Redouble your efforts, push hard, live like a champion and,

Stay the course.

Do not allow your will, momentum, or motivation to falter,

Stay the course.

Seek guidance from others farther along the path than you.  They will assist in helping you to

Stay the course.

Do the work, reap the rewards.  Consistency is the key,

Stay the course.

Know that difficulties and doubts will arise along the path, keep moving, they will evaporate as you

Stay the course.

Understand the rhythm of your own body – some sessions breaking limits, some days moving lightly,

Stay the course.

Open the body. Breathe deep.  Stretch.  Feel your life force pulsing inside.

Stay the course.

Results come from constant effort, you must

Stay the course.

Nothing comes from quitting.  All that effort is wasted.  All steps in vain.  Therefore always

Stay the course.


I don’t think this poem is quite finished yet, there’s still more percolating around in my mind on this subject.  I have a feeling that I will be adding lines to this over the next few weeks as the thoughts crystallize.  But for now, it is an unfinished work in progress that I want to share with you.

Let me know what you think – drop a comment below or hit me up on the Warrior Fitness Facebook page!

Don’t quit.  Keep going!

If you need help, ask.  Whether you are local to Hainesport, NJ and want to train at Warrior Fitness Gym or you are far away and need online coaching.  Ask.  That’s what I’m here for.



7.5 Steps to NOT Achieving Your Fitness Goals in 2013

How to NOT Meet Your Fitness Goals for 2013….

I hope you all brought your sense of humor with you into the New Year.  Here are my 7.5, obviously tongue in cheek, suggestions for NOT meeting your fitness goals in 2013.  If you read carefully you may find hints as to how to properly go about it… :o)

missed-targetStep 1 – Move from workout program to workout program like a sugar addled child in a candy store.  This will insure you do not do one thing long enough to see an actual result.

Step 2 – Spend inordinate amounts of time boring yourself to death on cardio machines while tranquilizing your mind by watching TV while doing it

Step 3 – Make sure you do not change your diet to match your new found training regimen.  Eat all the carbs and processed foods you like.  Nutrition makes NO difference if you are exercising.

Step 4 – Do it yourself!  With no discipline, accountability, and support structure in place you are guaranteed to fail.

Step 5 – Hire the cheapest trainer you can find cause they have the LEAST amount of experience

Step 6 – Whatever you do, do NOT lift heavy weights!  You might accidentally challenge your body and engender a metabolic response.  Careful!

Step 7 – Do NOT initiate proper warm-up and cool down protocols in your training, they are for sissies!

Step 7.5 – Make sure you go as hard as possible at EVERY session.  Do not give your body a chance to recover.  C’mon, it’s not like growth happens during the recovery process or anything!

Happy New Year from Warrior Fitness!!