Archive for December, 2014

Ok team…

The trigger has been pulled and I am officially registered for the 2015 Louisville Ironman!  I have to tell you I am totally nervous with panic and excitement.  This race will mark the single biggest fitness achievement I will have made up to that point.  To help make this a reality, I have been working with a strength coach Pat “I have the clipboard” Mahoney at The Lab Gym.  That’s him over there to the right.  Pat hPatas been exactly what I needed to help bring my strength, endurance and overall fitness to a much higher level.  Nutrition is a key focus and getting back to my Paleo regime has helped to bring my overall feeling of healthiness back in check.  I have felt stronger and more energized working out than I have in a long time.  (I even took a bicep selfie because I was feeling good about my arm workout…lame I know but…).

I have said this before and I will repeat it…working out in the morning does so much good for your energy and overall well being.  I don’t have specific scientific data to back that up but I know how I feel.  And depending on your goals, working out at different times may benefit you also.  All I am saying is that I have a better, more productive day working out, running, or cycling in the mornings.  Plus your body is a fat burning machine when you wake…no better time to stoke that furnace than first thing out of bed.

With the huge race schedule planned, 10 races in 10 months (read about it at…it will be imperative that I am able to dial in every aspect of what I do to make sure I am prepared and injury free.  I am reflecting on the huge accomplishments that were made in 2014 and preparing for 2015, it is amazing at how what I thought were my goals have either been achieved already or simply don’t look daunting anymore.  Don’t get me wrong…I am terrified as I prepare for the Ironman…I mean seriously scared.  But as I hovered over the submit button for the race for like 2 hours, I reached out to my training partners, friends, and family.  No one, and I mean, no one expressed doubt in my ability to achieve this.  My friend Dan said I was crazy (he’s a triathlete too) but he means that in its “crazy awesome” and he is shooting for that goal too.  My wife Karin, the saint of all patient saints, was the first to say, “You can do this!”  My other training and business partners all resounded with, huge texting hi-fives and encouragement.  That is half the battle for me.  Knowing people believe I can and will support all of the crazy training I will have to do!

I don’t know what the future brings, but I do know this…after being given the gift of being able to get healthy and have the ability to train and realistically work towards goals such as the Ironman, you have to grab every opportunity to work on yourself and become the best you that you can be.  This journey that I have started documenting and will document through the next 10 months is not just me trying to get to the Ironman, or the other guys involved with dEVOLVE Fitness reaching new health goals and bringing healthy awareness to others.  This is a journey of self discovery in all three areas of mind, body and spirit.

I am excited to share this adventure with everyone.  I know the other guys Tony and Mike are excited as well.  This really has been 30 years in the making and we are dedicated to sharing the good, bad, ugly, raw and exhilarating aspects of the next 10 months.

I hope you follow along maybe just maybe…we can inspire you to push yourself to the next level of a better, awesome you!


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Athlete profile – Jeff Barnes

Posted: December 2, 2014 in PFG profiles

I apologize for the time it has taken me to get this inaugural athlete profile posted.  Jeff was kind enough to participate and I did not get this posted as soon as I would like.  But, if you have not figured it out yet, this is the first of what I hope is many athlete profiles I will post.  Athletes of all walks, disciplines, and levels of fitness and competition.  What I always found inspiring to myself were the average guys, the guys like me that figured out how to balance life and training to achieve a heightened level of fitness.  Whether that is just losing weight or training for an event.  I rarely looked to elite athletes for inspiration, rather I looked for inspiration in those seeking to better themselves not for recognition but for themselves.

Now let me clarify, I do listen and seek advice in nutrition, training, equipment from many experts and elite athletes, but my goal here is to highlight the people who work and train just as hard under the radar.  These folks are just as heroic to me as any Tour de France winner or Olympic champion.  So here we go:

I met Jeff through an obstacle course race team about 2 years ago.  We had both joined this team online and discovered we lived near each other.  Through that we have become friends and participated in a few races together, but more importantly I have seen Jeff grow as a person and an athlete through his efforts.  Whether he admits it or not, he has become a force in motivation and inspiration for many.  Currently leading the Illuminati OCR team, his efforts have led to hundreds (seriously) of people getting involved in fitness in one way or the other, and at the very least, bringing like-minded folks together to make fitness and training fun. (And he just recently squatted a ridiculous 515#!!!)

Name: Jeff Barnes
Hometown: Mt. Vernon, IN
Occupation: Healthcare IT Consultant

Hobbies: Lifting, Running, OCR, writing.

When did you start your fitness journey? I was born into the martial arts. My dad was an 8th degree Grand Master in Tae Kwon Do. I have always been in the martial arts but often times overweight and not in shape. In 1995, I was a heavy weight kickboxing champ. Later in life after opening my own schools, worked a full-time job and struggled with weight. My father passed away five years ago; when he passed my health took a nose dive. Next month represents my second year in changing my health and starting good fitness habits. I bought my first pair of running shoes from Ultimate Fit and haven’t turned back.

Why do you train? I am still looking for the body image I want. I am strong, I can run, but still carry excess weight. Slowly but surely, I will get there. Diet and consistent training is the key.

What do you hope to accomplish with your training/fitness? Next year I want to compete in NAS Strongman Nationals, and I want to run a sub ten minute mile for a 5k race.

What do you think a healthy lifestyle has added to your life? Happiness, experience, great memories… I am not sitting in my lazy boy waiting to die. Now, I go out and make things happen, I enjoy my body and challenge it to do things others think are crazy.

Cheat food? Chips and Salsa

Music or no music to train? Five Finger Death Punch… nuff said

Injury setbacks? This year has been the year of setbacks. I have had ankle and Achilles issues. Make sure you get to the doctor and get examined. I went recently and found some interesting lab results. I am now addressing those. Amazingly, I feel so much better.

Biggest race accomplishments? Dances with Dirt Devil’s Lake 50K

Mantra? #DFQ

Next race or fitness goal? 600LB Deadlift/600lb Squat/400 Bench

Advice to beginners? Do something, whatever it is, get out there and just try it. Who cares if you fail, failure IS the journey.

One fun fact no one would guess about you! I have written several books (fiction and nonfiction) and working on my next Novel

So there you have the amazing Mr. Jeff Barnes!  I am serious when I say this dude is a force!  Not only in his kind nature, but in his work ethic to train and motivate others to be the best “you” they can be.  It is a privilege to know and race with this guy.

Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”