Strength is about more than you realize

Over the weekend I had a couple people reach out. One I’m 90% sure is a scammer, though I guess I’ll know for sure after today. The other had called me up on the phone.

For the record, though I still accept phone calls, I much prefer you reach out about my 1 week personal training free trial membership by text.

It was a bit hard to understand this guy over the phone. Being in the car with 2 young kids makes phone calls tough. So over the phone, we scheduled an early morning session that would have occurred this morning.

Now before I do the first session, I send a reminder text that has my personal training studio’s address, letting them know I’ll assess their movement etc.

He asks “This is for aikido right?”

If you’re familiar with my story, you might know I have a background in martial arts. Purple belt in Tae Kwon Do, a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate and a green belt in Judo. I originally started strength training as a complement to my martial arts training before heading completely in that direction, eventually having to stop martial arts in order to do personal training.

Aikido for those unfamiliar is the martial art that Steven Seagal uses. And though I sort of teach a martial art, no I don’t teach Aikido.

I don’t teach any of the martial arts listed above. The “martial art” I teach is strength. All-purpose functional strength.

Strength in itself can be viewed as a method of self defense. As strength coach famously quipped, “strong people are harder to kill”.

For the record, I love martial arts and hope to enroll my daughters in them when they’re a little older. Though in some cases their application to self-defense is questionable, I highly believe in the personal development and self-discipline aspect of them.

I remember when I was deep into my martial arts training I was having a conversation with one of my friends who was a blackbelt. He had made the observation “Just knowing, makes it all worth it.”

Strength works much the same way. When you’ve achieved a certain level of strength, you get an “I got this” level of confidence.

I remember a couple years ago, my sister had called me up because she was at a UPS store and the guy working there didn’t want her husband lifting the package he was sending. My brother in law has a back injury sustained from racing and taking turns faster than a roller coaster. He was likely sending some kind of motor out.

So my sister and her husband collectively roll their eyes, and call me up to help out. I get there, and they tell me the situation.

So I reach down to pick it up and the UPS guy stearnly says “lift with your legs!”

I looked at him, laughed, said “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine” and picked it up with one hand. I’ve picked up heavier weights with my pinky finger and wrote on a piece of paper with that same hand when I was performing at the Strongman Spectacular.

In other words, I got this.

When you’re strong you start asking different questions. You start wondering what other things are you capable of.

And it opens doors. For me it allowed me to go down the road of the performing strongman, something I never would have dreamed of.

And I’ve seen the transformational effect it has on my personal training clients. Though many times people hire me to help them lose weight and tone muscle, strength is a foundational part of their programming. And even though they lose the weight, they are actually more excited about the strength they’ve gained, then the fat they’ve lost.

One of my more recent sign-ups for personal training had sent me some before and after pictures, she took on her own.

As you can see, she burned a significant amount of body fat. That’s noticeable even with full-length clothing on so I decided to showcase it, and asked her which results she was most proud of.

Notice, not even a mention of losing weight. She’s excited about the strength and it’s carry over to life.

And that’s really what’s it’s about. It’s about life improvement because life is for living and you should have the strength and health to live it to its fullest. That’s why my tagline is “Strength for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

If you need help with this and are interested in the trial, you can call me but I prefer text. Either way the number is 973 476 5328. But don’t come looking for Aikido.


Eric Moss is a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.

How to train abs without training abs

Brace yourself, this may be a long read.

Earlier this morning, one of my personal training clients had remarked that he felt his abs becoming more solid. Being one of the more recent people to sign up for my personal training program he is new to my philosophy and was surprised by the fact this phenomenon because we rarely do direct abdominal training in my personal training studio.

In fact, I often get questions about abs because it’s oftentimes a confusing area. Magazines, late-night infomercial products and Instagram influencers all seem to make the same promise of getting the much sought after six-pack.

The Before and After pics from the Amazing 12 body transformation program perfectly showcase the chiseled midsection it produces.

Their abs are well defined even though crunches, sit-ups and (insert popular ab exercise here) aren’t part of this program.

Just for the record I’m not currently accepting people into the Amazing12. I hope to be able to start January first, but my personal training clients get first priority.

So is there a need for direct ab work? Most of the time no. Sometimes yes.

If a person’s abs are getting left behind or it remains the weak link then sometimes yes. As an example mothers who have given birth via c-section sometimes have issues with this. Sometimes it’s just not kicking on at the right time (tested with FMS) and I’ll have to give some corrective exercises.

Sometimes it’s just been a long time since they were worked to any significant degree. In that case it just might need some extra attention.

So what exercises do we do for abs? Well here’s a quick list of “ab” exercises commonly seen in my personal training studio.

-Turkish Getups

-Swings

-Overhead pressing

-dead lifting and farmers walks

-Chin ups and vertical pulls

What most people think the abs are meant for is forward flexion ie bending the torso forward (think like a crunch). And yes, this is one role of the abs but a big one is also resisting unwanted movement.

As an example, in the case of an overhead press done with one hand, as the weight goes up overhead it is attempting to topple you over. The abs assist the lower back by locking everything in place.

In the case of the chin-up (assuming you are able to do one) your abs seem to naturally light up when done correctly. This prevents you from going limp when you are hanging. Done correctly (by correct I mean safe and effective) you’ll be solid as you go up over the bar. If you aren’t yet strong enough for a chin-up (9 out of 10 adults aren’t able to do one) then train the vertical pull like it’s a chin-up by forcefully tensing your abs, attempting to shorten the distance between your sternum and your belt buckle and drive your elbows down. Progress that correctly and you’ll do chin-ups in no time.

In the case of deadlifts and farmers carries the abs build internal pressure to keep the spine safe via bracing.

“Ok so they get worked in other things, but wouldn’t focusing be better?”

Not necessarily. For one every minute spent in training abs could also be spent doing something else that is better.

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it
everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

The One Thing

Besides that many times working the abs integrating them into a movement can actually work them better. During movements, multiple muscles play roles in either moving, or stabilizing to enable movement. Assuming you have a low enough body fat percentage, this means you’ll not only have visible abs, but abs that are useful in preventing injury and making you strong over all.

If you need help with this, I offer a free trial membership of my personal training studio on Main Street in Boonton. Just send me a text at 973 476 5328.


Eric Moss is a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.

Carriage Bolt, unbraced bend- Feats of Strength

As you probably already know by now, in addition to being a personal trainer with a studio on Main Street in Boonton I’m also a modern-day performing strongman. I had started a series called feats of strength Friday where I perform a feat of strength each Friday until life returns to normal.

I just realized I hadn’t posted this on my website last Friday. Whoops!

I hope you enjoyed this!


Eric Moss is a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.