What Are You Afraid of?

When it comes to your fitness goals, what are you afraid of?  Are you afraid you won’t know how to do the exercises?  Are you afraid people will laugh at you?  Are you afraid you will fail and the weight won’t come off?  OR… maybe, just maybe you are afraid of success.  Maybe YOU WILL reach those weight loss and other fitness goals and you are worried about other things like people treating you differently or that you won’t be able to stick to your regimen.

Whatever is scaring you, please don’t be.  Try and use that fear as motivation.  Let it feed you.  Use it to prove to yourself and no one else that you can succeed.

As we start September, I have no doubt that people will use this month to get started at the gym, or go back if they have been taking a break. Don’t be scared.  I have news for you, you’re not that special.  Unless you drop a dumbbell on your foot and scream, no one is paying attention to you.  You won’t be laughed at.  And if you are, tell them to F off!  You are there for the same reasons they are!  Everyone had to start at that point.  You’re learning.  As you keep going, you will get better.  But the point is that you need to not be scared.  Ask for help.  There are always trainers around who can help you.  Maybe you can get a free session, or just ask for 10 minutes to go over a certain exercise.

Bottom line –  nothing will happen unless you confront that fear.  So grab the bull by the horns and get after it!  Those goals are yours for the taking!



Machines vs. Free Weights

So many people will head to the gym for a workout and crank out a few sets on the machines.  They sit at the ‘pec dec’ machine and knock out a few sets of chest flyes or sit at the leg extension machine and work their quads.

Well as I asked in my last post, why?

I’m not knocking you, I’m just curious.

I’m curious for a couple reasons.

  1. Why are you sitting down to work out just before or after a full day of sitting at your office desk for work?
  2. Are you pushing yourself doing these machines?  Are they helping you reach your goals?
  3. Seriously, why?  There are so many better ways to work out.

Ok, that last one is a little bit in jest, but not completely.  So many times I will see people use the machines incorrectly.  I mean, if you don’t know how to do something, just ask!  Or read the machine!  It tells you what to do.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen people use that pec deck machine who think they are so great using so much weight that they can’t keep their back secure against the seat!  They are leaning forward!

Or how about that leg extension machine, why is it so beneficial to just sit down and extend your legs?  What are you a 7 – year old sitting on an over-sized chair?

Look, as I said the machines do have some benefits for some people.  Maybe you’re rehabbing an injury.  Heck, maybe you are just having an off day and want to workout.  A quick workout now and then isn’t terrible.  But if you are someone who is relatively healthy or even really working to reach all your goals, machines aren’t always the way to go.

Why not?

Because you don’t engage your core.

Core is gold. When you have a solid core, all of your lateral mobility will be so much better.

So maybe try using some cables or dumbbells.  If you are standing up or even using a bench, you will get much more benefit from your work outs.  After all, isn’t that what you want?




What is Your Why?

When it comes to your fitness or exercise routine, what is your why?  Why do you work out?  This is such an easy question, but it can also be very complicated.  Not to mention, I would bet that many of us don’t think about why we work out.  We just go to the gym every week and do the same routines.

But our why keeps us focused.  Maybe you had a health scare.  Maybe the doctor told you had to, or your significant other.  Maybe you just decided you wanted to look better for a vacation.  That vanity is just as good a reason to exercise as anything else. As long as you know your reasons.

When you know your why, it doesn’t just give you a reason to reach your endgame, it gives you a reason to make exercise a habit in your life.  Habits are easy. So many times I have heard people get upset when they have to skip a gym day.  I love it.

In terms of goals, think about the word SMART- Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely.

Don’t tell yourself, “I want to lose some weight.”

Instead say to yourself, “I want to lose 10 lbs by the time we go away for New Years.”

When you give yourself the specific number and time, it allows you to not just prepare, But it gives you a measurable time period.  You won’t want to quit on yourself and you will keep working until you reach your goal.

Writing your goals down is a great way to help as well.  Writing them down, is just another step in the planning process and when you put it down on paper it makes it more realistic that you will do it rather than just think about it.

So as you start to think about your goals, write them down.  Really think about why you want to achieve them!

Good luck!



Sandler Strength and Fitness!

Hi there!  Welcome to my fitness blog!  My name is Ken Sandler and I am a certified personal trainer living and working in Gaithersburg, MD.  I’m really excited that I am starting this blog.  I thought it would be a great way not to just give some fitness and nutrition tips, but a way to help you if you had any questions about starting a fitness program or working out.

I have been a certified personal trainer for only 2 and a half years.  This is a brand new job for me as I got laid off from a career in TV production several years ago.  After taking some time off, I got certified as a trainer.  I almost felt like it was just a calling to me. It was a sign to change careers, and I couldn’t be happier.  Why a trainer?  Because I have always enjoyed the gym and working out.  The time I was laid off and not working, my gym time was my solace.  It gave me mental strength as well as physical in knowing that things would change.  That’s kind of the point.  We never know what we have in store for us.  Doors close and others open.  For the first time in my life I felt a sign from above that it was time to move on from TV and do something new.  Start fresh.  We all get opportunities every day.  It is just a matter of if we take them or not.

So let’s start out with some fun.  Simple question — what is your favorite form of exercise or favorite exercise to do?  It’s summer, so maybe you bike more.  I would say for me, that I am a gym rat, so I love lifting weight and putting it back down.  I think goblet squats may be becoming a big favorite of mine.

Thanks so much for reading!  As I said, as I write more, I will offer a bit more advice and give tips on many other things!

Your fitness goals are all in reach, you just need to go after them!  Good luck!


Workout Update!

🏋️‍♀‍💪Quick check-in time … how are your workouts going this week?! 🏆Mine have been pretty good! I have lifted twice, ran once, and took a boot camp workout yesterday morning! Today I did 4×15 incline chest press, reverse lunges and supported rows, then some core work. It felt good.

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You Can Only Be You!!

I have had at least two clients/consults over the last couple weeks who have discussed their health , nutrition and fitness goals with me based on what others are doing and have done. Just remember, you are you. You are different from your friends and family. Just because that diet or workout plan worked for them, does not mean it will work for you. Especially if you are new to a healthy lifestyle, I think you need to worry less about ‘macros’ (my spidey-sense says you probably have no idea what that even means) and more about eating real, nutrient dense foods to fuel your body. You can try whatever diet you want, but remember, it’s not sustainable. You can’t (and won’t eat like that forever). Just because your friend does Olympic lifts in the gym or benches a ton of weight, or yes, has a 6-pack, make sure you can do basic lifts first.
If you want results, you need consistency. That’s it. Create a consistent exercise routine and workout schedule. Eat real foods about 80% of the time. I promise you, if you do that, you will get the results you are looking for. Not overnight, but over time.

Final Four Weekend!

  This weekend marks one of the biggest and most fun events on the sports calendar.  The men’s college basketball tournament Final Four!  Do you follow college hoops?  Who’s your team?  Even if you don’t, you probably understand the meaning  of making it to the national semi-finals of college basketball and being one of four teams left standing competing for a national championship.  The amount of work it takes to play strong basketball over this three weeks is astounding.  Yes, perhaps it takes some luck, too, and some great talent, but all four of the teams that are left standing are dedicated.  They know the effort it takes to win.  

   Even the underdogs.  That’s one big reason we love the tournament.  We love seeing those lower seeded teams upset the better teams.  That only proves that there is not just good talent all throughout the country, but the amount of effort it takes to not quit and nit get down when the chips are low.

   This is what I want you to think about as we start this month of April.  What can you do to prove ’em wrong? More importantly,  what can you do to prove to YOURSELF that you can succeed??  There is nothing better than proving to yourself that you can do that something you didn’t believe you could do.  You do that thing and you feel like a champion!  You’re standing taller with pride.  Your smile is just a bit bigger.  And when someone tells you you shouldn’t or couldn’t — is there a better feeling than that ‘mic drop, ‘take that!’ ‘ feeling?  I don’t think so.

   As we start April, think about the goals you have for yourself this year, not just in your health, fitness and nutrition, but everything.  Think about how you can prove to yourself that you can succeed.  Create those steps you need to get there and take action!  That’s what it’s all about!  You start taking the action you need to reach your goals, and you will get there.  

  You’ll have your ‘One Shining Moment.’

And please don’t forget, if you do have questions or are looking to start a fitness program or nutrition coaching, I am here to help you.  I will create a program suited for you and your goals.  your first 3 45-minute sessions, only $99.  It all starts with one phone call – you and me discussing your goals and what you are looking for.  Now is the time!  Please call me or send a message and we can get started immediately!

Have a great day!

Ken Sandler

When You Lift, Do You Only Do the Stuff You Like?

First off, I have to say thank you guys so much for reading and keeping up with my blog! Holy cow! It has been so cool getting email notifications every day that new people following me, liking my posts, etc. Thank you so much!

I found this article and think it was worth the read.

I think this is an interesting study with some interesting words. I think there is no question that we tend to avoid exercises (and other things) that we avoid doing. I mean how many of you can say you’ve done burpees on your own during the lockdown? LOL, I have, but that’s beside the point. I think it’s one thing to avoid an exercise we don’t like, but it’s another to avoid those that we don’t do well. There are certain moves the body makes that we need to make sure we are able to do so we can move in a healthy way. So you don’t like burpees, fine. Please make sure you do some other type of conditioning. But you hate lunging? Sorry. But I would do my best to find a type of lunge that works best for you. We would go slowly until you learn and excel at the move. Let’s face it, we all hate stuff until we are good at it. Thoughts? Please comment!

Tip: Only Do Exercises You Like | T Nation (t-nation.com)

It’s NOT Ok to be Lazy!

If you’re like me, you have a profile on Linkedin. It’s an ok website. I think it needs to be more professional, but it’s become more like Facebook with people posting selfies and political opinions. I use it, like I try to on my other social media sites to promote my business and offer Health and fitness tips. I’m Ken Sandler. Please feel free to find me and connect.

The other day I saw an article that pissed me off.

I mean really pissed me off.

It bothered me because as a health and fitness professional I am trying desperately to keep people moving and healthy.

You can go check it out. It’s titled, “Stop the guilt of Pandemic laziness.”

I can’t imagine encouraging people to be lazy.

Even if I weren’t a fitness professional, even during my darkest depressed times, I was NEVER lazy. Did I move as much as I should? I worked out and moved every day.

I think what pisses me off most of all with this article is the timing.

Last year when the Pandemic hit, we were all thrown for a loop. No work. No school. No gym, no places of worship. We got lazy. We lost our basic routines. We started staying up later. We stopped working out. We learned not just the name of our Uber Eats driver, but about his whole family. We started binging shows on Netflix that we had no idea what we were watching. IF this article or words like this came out last April, May, or hell, even June – I get it. That laziness was ok then –


How can anyone STILL be ok with being lazy?

People are working again, slowly going back to the office. Kids are slowly going back to school, and yes since I try to focus on fitness in the blog – gyms are open again and people are working out and exercising!!


Look, I am not saying make sure you get back to the gym 7 days/week for 3 hours to make up for all of the time you missed last year.

I’m saying it’s time to STOP being lazy!

I’m saying it’s time to stop using the Pandemic as an excuse for everything wrong in your life.

I’m saying it’s time to start over. It’s time become who you were last year before the lockdown started.

If you are working and starting to live your life again, why can’t you workout again? Why can’t you work on that project you keep meaning to start?

Netflix will be there. You wanna relax and watch TV – go for it.

Just don’t call yourself lazy.

How can I help you?

As a coach, I can help you reach your goals – fitness and nutrition. Let’s find time to talk and see how I can help you.

Now is the time.

Ken Sandler


My A-ha Moment About Running

Thanks so much to all of the new people who have found my blog! Thank you for reading and following! Please enjoy! I hope that all of you get some good fitness insight and just have a little fun while you read. I do enjoy writing. I need and want to write more and more often. But what do you all say when we talk about exercising – “I don’t have time!” What do I tell you? – “You need to MAKE time! You make time foe the things you want to do!”

I do believe all of the that. I truly do. I need to schedule more time to write. But I do get busy, like all of you. The other side is – I have writer’s block. I need to get better at finding good health and fitness topics to write about and do so on a more regular basis.

But I do have something I want to discuss that has been affecting me for a bit longer than I realize, yet is also so not a big deal, and is something I am working hard to #getbettereveryday on.

It’s my running.

I run on the treadmill 3x/week. It’s cold here in MD. I don’t run in the cold so I am using the treadmill to just keep working – working on my speed, time, and my overall effort.

But I’m not a runner.

Remember those people when we were in college who said “I’m not really a smoker. I only smoke when I drink?”

That’s how I feel about my running – I’m not really a runner except I do local 5ks and run on the treadmill trying to improve my time, speed and effort.

Dammit! I’m a runner.

I do love it. I just throw on Disney + and run. As I said, my goal is always just a 5k. I’m done a few farther runs, but I’m happy. Takes me just about a half an hour.

But what always gets me is how I feel afterwards. When I have kicked butt and reached my goal time or distance, I feel great. I am pumped for the rest of the day!

When I don’t (which is more often than not because I am always working to improve my speed, so obviously using more energy to go faster) – I am bummed for the rest of the day. I feel off. I feel so disappointed in myself for not reaching my goal.

I get close to the end (lately has been that 20 minute mark) I have to push myself as far as I can go – I tell myself one minute at a time. Then I walk/run the rest. What really bugs me is when get to my time goal (lately 25 minutes before I walk) once, I feel like I should be able to do it consistently, but I’m not. I’m not quitting. I’m still working. It’s all about effort.

But it also shouldn’t depress me for the rest of the day.

That’s what I need to remember. I still had a good workout. I will get another chance later in the week. But I just want the consistency. I’ll get there. It has just taken me longer than I thought it would.

It’s funny, when I turned 50 last year, it dawned on me that when I start running 5ks again – I’m in a different age bracket! Oy! How depressing! But I will not fail. I may be old – but I will not let the age get to me. I still have a few weeks before I start running outside again, I will be ready to fly when the time comes!

By the way – resistance training does not treat me this way! I lift weight and always feel awesome!!

Stronger to the Core Challenge!

💪JOIN MY 5-DAY STRONGER TO THE CORE CHALLENGE! 💪 You have a muscle group that helps you breathe … stand tall … walk … hug your loved ones … and yes, even look good in a swimsuit! But during our day-to-day lives, it often gets overlooked! NOT ANYMORE! We’re going all-in on your core in my brand-new 5-day Stronger to the Core Challenge! 👉 Click the link to join the FREE 5-day Stronger to the Core Challenge https://www.landpage.co/f8a9783a-6193-11eb-bdef-526304e5053e 🎯 This challenge is focused on the easiest and best ways to strengthen your core muscles – which stretch from your glutes to your shoulders. This is so important because these muscles play a BIG role in your results. ● Total body strength ● Balance ● Digestion ● Circulation ● Stress This challenge is FREE and will provide you with support, accountability, and above all, practical core-changing tips and assignments. Make sure you sign up today! https://www.landpage.co/f8a9783a-6193-11eb-bdef-526304e5053e

Ken Sandler


Intermittent Fasting

Get some fact-based information about this eating plan and see if it’s the right choice for you.I know many people are looking at IF and other diet options and trying them out. Remember, whichever option you choose, it’s about eating real, whole, non-processed foods the majority of the time. If you need any help with your fitness or nutrition, please contact me! I will help you by creating a program just for you to lose weight, build muscle, or just get back into the shape that you want to be. It all starts with one phone call! Please message me or leave a comment and we can schedule a time to talk and help you really figure out your goals and what you want to achieve! I have a few slots open this week – so lets get started! Thanks!



Intermittent Fasting – IDEA Health & Fitness Association (ideafit.com)

Those Healthy Habits!

Weight loss and good health are all about more than just exercise and clean eating. They are about creating the habits that you want to lead that healthy life you are looking for. Habits are easy. We don’t think twice about brushing out teeth in the morning, or even stopping off at Starbucks for a morning coffee. When you create good, healthy habits, you get the health and weight loss results you are looking for.
This is how I help you as a coach. Yes, I will create a workout program for you, but we work on your habits together. We take it step by step so you learn to do these new habits that you want to achieve.
You can do this. It all starts with one phone call. Let’s make time to talk and discuss your goals, what you want to achieve, and how you can get there. Let’s make 2021 awesome. Please leave me a comment ‘tell me more’ or send me a message and we can get started. Thanks!

Ken Sandler



Healthy Habits for Life: 10 Non-Diet Tips For Weight Loss | Weight Loss | MyFitnessPal