April 21, 2022 3 min read

When was the last time you really thought about why you are going to the gym, why are you paying that personal trainer, why you just bought that new and improved smartwatch to track your fitness?

How long have you been trying to lose those extra pounds and when you do they just come back a month or two later? If you do not have immediate answers to these questions then I propose you change your thought process about your fitness. Really look at what you are doing at your gym and why you are doing it. Is it just to impress the mirror or that scale you step on? If you just answered yes, then that is why you are failing.

I have been in the fitness industry since graduating from physical therapy school in 2000. I have been the owner of Excel Fitness Center for 16 years. All this time I have been teaching my clients to change their thought process about being fit.

When clients come to Excel, I have them thinking that they are training for the go. They are training to be ready to handle all the obstacles that life may throw at them. We are not having them just push a weight around to “tone” their triceps. We do not have them do the same circuit of exercises every time they come in. In fact every session is different for every client, every time they come to Excel.

Why? So they are ready for everything. If I am training a client who has a grandson, I want them to feel comfortable and capable of picking their grandson up or playing tag. I want my client, who is a collegiate diver, to be able to go play ultimate frisbee with his friends. I want them to always be ready to go. I want them to push their individual fitness levels and feel confident doing it.

I hold myself to this same standard. I push myself to stay fit for many reasons. If my daughter wants to have a handstand competition or challenges me to a burpee test, I do not want to say no because I am worried about hurting myself, I just want to go and enjoy the moment with her. If my wife wakes up one morning and says this year we are going to take on the Spartan National Race Series, I just want to ask when does it start. When my friend calls me up and asks if I want to climb Mt. Whitney, I just want to say yes and not worry about getting in shape for it.

I want to be ready for the go and I want my clients and now you to be ready for the go.

The best part of training for the go; when you train for the go the show happens. When you train for the go, your core gets stronger, your stability and balance will improve, you will feel more confident and you will start to do more. As you move more, you burn more calories...weight will come off.

In my experience, training for the show does not mean you will be ready for the go.

Training for the show will not have you ready to take on an OCR race, or a 50k trail run, or your local 5k charity event.

If you feel you are in a rut with your fitness, look at how you are training. Are you training for the Go, or have you just been exercising for the Show.

BeExcelled, Mark Neilan

About Mark: (IG mark_neilan, excelfitnesscenter) Mark is a DPT, owner and founder of Excel Fitness Center, is married and father of two. He has competed in eighteen marathons (PR of 2:50:09). He finished Jesse Itzler's Hell on the Hill race 6x to date. In 2018, Mark was the first to complete 29029 Everesting and finished 2nd overall in the Spartan Age Group National Series. In 2019 Mark went on to finish 2nd in his AG in the Stadium Series and was the third competitor left standing at the Last Man Standing Ultra after running 84 miles. In March of 2020 he ran in the Antelope Canyon 100 and finished 6th overall, and followed that up by completing 100 miles at the 2020 Last Man Standing Ultra Race.

2021 was another Ultra year finishing the Leadville 100 mile trail race. Over the past 11 years Mark and his wife have raised $500,000 for the Semper Fi Fund.

For 2022 Mark has already completed the Long Haul 100 in 21:45:37 and the Rocky Racoon 100 mile trail run in 19:27:53.