Archives for January 2022

4 Simple Things To Help Every Exercise

Too often people miss some of the important things that can turn an exercise from just something to do, to something that helps you reach whatever goals you have in mind.

I see it all the time – so I decided to record a video!

In this video, you’ll learn 4 simple things that will help you get the most out of literally any exercise there is.

Stop wasting time and start getting everything you can out of what you’re already doing!

Also, I’m sure you know that Monday was Dr. Martin Luther King Day. What a lot of people don’t realize is that…well, let me put this bluntly, he was NOT as universally beloved in his time as we’d like to tell ourselves he was.

Of course, we tell ourselves that because, among other reasons, it makes us feel good to think about ourselves as people who would have recognized that what he spoke of was true and noble.

Having said that, I thought of honoring Dr. King in this way:

Look at your current beliefs and the way you think about things such as race and economic disparity in our country. Now place yourself back in 1963 and honestly assess what you would have thought of Dr. King as if you haven’t lived the last 59 years.

I don’t ask you to do this to make you feel good or bad. I ask you to do this to more deeply understand your beliefs, how history will treat them, and how we can do our best to make this country a better place for everyone right now.

And if reading this, or the thought of doing it, is upsetting or angering to you I ask you to explore those thoughts and ask yourself why the mere suggestion to examine your own beliefs and values brings on those emotions.

This is the most important work we can do for ourselves.

Mitch Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness

P.S. On a lighter note, I have a podcast! If you’re interested in how to write for businesses (I focus on fitness businesses in the podcast although what I talk about is applicable to every category) take a listen. There are 2 up and they’re both only about 8 minutes.

Just search my name, “Mitch Rothbardt” in just about any podcast app out there, except for Google for some reason.


A brilliant article I read and VEGGIES!!!!!

Earlier this week I read an article in the New York Times that spoke brilliantly on the immorality and damage our society’s unrelenting focus on the scale inflicts on people, particularly women.

Rather than take much time telling you about it, I’ll just urge you to read it. Especially if you:

  • Let your scale dictate your mood.
  • Still think there’s a direct relationship between scale weight and health.
  • Believe (even subconsciously because that’s where much of this occurs) that your value lies in being as small as possible, or at least smaller than you are now.

You can read the article here:

Diet Culture Is Unhealthy. It’s Also Immoral.

Please let me know what you think about it. Whether you agree or disagree I’d love to know your opinion. This is incredibly important stuff.

Lastly, every other week we get a box from Imperfect Foods. They offer fruits and vegetables from local farms and purveyors that would otherwise get thrown away due to minor cosmetic imperfections, as well as various grocery items.

We get all sorts of things from them and have always been happy with their products.

If you use this link you’ll get $20 off of each of your first 4 orders. (That’s $80 off!!!!)

Imperfect Foods Discount

Mitch Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness

P.S. The article – Diet Culture Is Unhealthy. It’s Also Immoral.

Imperfect Food Discount – Imperfect Foods Discount

This is NOT a “Make 2022 Your Best Year Ever” post. 😬

Well, here we are. The last day of the year.

I’ll be honest. New Years Day scares the crap out of me.

Every year. 

Why? I can’t stop thinking about all the crap that’s going to happen and what’s going to change in 2022, and it scares me.

Is anyone I know going to die?

Are my parents going to be ok?

Is something awful going to happen?

Puppy is like 15 years old. How will she be after another year?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is known as catastrophizing. That’s when you automatically assume the worst possible outcome of an event. The funny thing is I NEVER do this except when I’m looking far into the future. Weird, huh?

On a daily basis, I’m actually one of the most optimistic people I know. Why the difference? I don’t know. I plan on talking to my therapist about it when I see her in a couple of weeks. (Not a joke.)

In any case, I need some help from you to get me through this. I need you to let me know what you’re afraid of happening in 2022. It doesn’t matter what it is. Let’s do this together. I promise this will remain just between you and me. I’m serious about this.

It doesn’t matter if it’s outlandish and doesn’t make any sense, like a zombie apocalypse, or if it’s something that’s probably going to happen that you’re just dreading with every drop of your life’s essence. The only thing that matters is if thinking of it, you feel Dread’s icy fingers wrap around your stomach and squeeze just hard enough to let you know how much worse it can get.

Sorry Subscriber. I know this probably isn’t what you wanted to read this morning. I don’t know how many people are even going to help me with this, but I’m doing it for a reason.

To put it bluntly, we need to feel this stuff and acknowledge it. Everything we see at this time of year is about going into the new year and “kicking ass” and “setting big fat hairy goals” and having your BEST YEAR EVER!!”

That’s great and all, but what if that’s not what you’re feeling?

What if you’re full of worry and dread?

Does acting like you feel awesome help?

Does thinking you’re the only one having these feelings help?

Absolutely not.

It’s only when we acknowledge what really on inside that we can process that messy bottom-of-the-compost-bin mush of stuff and maybe – just maybe – really have our best year ever instead of just pretending we’re on board.

That’s why I need you. I can’t be the only one worried about 2022, right?

Just hit reply and let me know.

Mitch Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness

P.S. If you know anyone else who has these feelings can you please forward this to them. Just knowing there are others who feel this way can make a big difference in someone’s life. All it takes is a couple of clicks.

Do this for a better 2022

Well, here we are – almost through another year. 

12 months ago, we were hoping to leave 2020 abandoned in a New Mexico desert without food, water, and shelter. We hoped that’d be enough to render it impotent, over, deceased.

Now it feels like 2020 emerged with a smile on its face and its arms spread wide enough to squeeze us until our eyes bug out.

As we say goodbye to 2021, and hope for a better 2022, I have some advice. 

Normally I refrain from giving advice without asking permission first. If you’re wondering why, think about the last time someone told you you “should” do something when you didn’t ask for their opinion.

Did you take their advice?

Probably not. (For more on this, look up Motivational Interviewing.) Asking someone’s permission won’t guarantee they’ll take your advice, but it makes it more likely they’ll at least listen.

Anyhoo, since I can’t ask you personally if you want my advice on how to feel a little better heading into 2022, I’ll just say that if you don’t want it, delete this email and move on with your day. I won’t mind.

Moving on, my advice that may help as we move into the next phase of whatever-this-is can be summed up in three words:

Assume Positive Intent.

When we “Assume Positive Intent,” we believe that another person is acting to the best of their ability and/or that they mean well in their current circumstance.

Here’s an example.

We’ve all been cut off in traffic. It’s not fun. It’s dangerous and it’s almost always upsetting. Our initial reaction usually involves screaming and calling the other driver names.

We tell ourselves that when the other driver cut us off, their intention was to upset and maybe even injure us.

Why not tell ourselves that the other driver may have been hurrying to the hospital or was late for a flight because their child was sick that morning?

Heck, maybe they just made a mistake that had nothing to do with us and if they knew how it affected us, they’d feel bad and apologize.

Doesn’t that feel better? 

That’s what happens when you assume positive intent.

You put yourself in a more consistent and positive frame of mind. Why make a conscious decision to feel angry and disrespected?

For examples of what happens when we assume negative intent, please see Q’anon followers and people that think Anthony Fauci should be arrested for some reason. Is that what you want to be?

I hope this helps a little. I know it’s made a world of difference in how I view the world and go about my life, even if I have setbacks every now and then. It’s just too easy to be angry all the time.

Mitch Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness

P.S. We are hardwired as humans to always look for danger, which is why assuming negative intent is more natural and satisfying in the short term. It’s time we evolve and become better. 

P.P.S. If you want to read more about Motivational Interviewing, check this article out.

I highly recommend it if you talk to people – and we all talk to people.

The most important thing you can get from a workout

Being a personal trainer for 12 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. In that time, I’ve realized an important thing:

The most important thing you can get from a workout if the desire for another one.

Last week, Rodolfo asked a simple, but complex, question:

“How much should I be working out per week, per session to get the most benefit from it? What’s the latest consensus/your opinion?”

Here’s my answer:

Whatever you can do consistently and with good effort. The key point being “consistently and with good effort.”

The desire for another workout builds consistency and consistency builds results.

Real results.

Not “lose 10 pounds this week” results, but “I’ve fallen, and I CAN get up and just move on with my day” results.

“I’ve reversed my diabetes” results.

“I can get on the floor to play with my grandkids” results.

“I’m recovering from my tweaked back in days, not months” results. 

You see where I’m coming from?

OK. I know you want something a little more solid here and I’ll give it to you but understand that what I’m giving you is general advice and doesn’t account for your own

  • schedule
  • goals
  • condition
  • likes
  • dislikes
  • And dozens of other factors that play a part in how often and what you do for exercise.

1. Shoot for an average of 20-30 minutes per day of moderate exercise like a brisk walk.

2. Shoot for an average of 60-90 minutes twice per week of more intense exercise like strength training. 

Focus on strength training because if done with proper intensity, it improves your cardiovascular health while cardiovascular training does NOT improve strength,

Strength training also gives you the results I talked about above. Cardio won’t help you get off the floor if you fall.

Could you do more? Yes.

Could you do less? Yes.

If you want more dramatic results, you’ll likely need to up the amount and intensity of what you do.

Why focus on strength training when I’m recommending only 60-90 minutes per week vs. 20-30 minutes per day of cardio?

Because strength training requires more recovery.

I hope this helps. I know it may seem complicated, but remember these tips:

1.     Let consistency and effort be your guide.

2.     Don’t worry about other people. Do what works for you.

3.     Don’t let the fitness industry confuse you into believing things need to be complicated.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’d be happy to help you.

Have a great day!

Mitchell Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness

P.S. I’d still love to hear from you if you have any questions or want me to cover a particular topic. Reply to this email and let me know.

P.P.S. I’m working on a couple of things outside of the gym, so 2022 is looking to be an exciting year! That being said, if you have a small business, work for one, or know someone who does, I’d love to talk with them. Just a few quick questions. I’m not selling anything. Just trying to do some research. This doesn’t have to be fitness-related.

P.P.P.S Over the years a lot of people have told me about friends or relatives that want to become personal trainers. I’m always more than willing to talk with and help them with any questions they may have. I had a lot of help when I was starting out and would love to pay it forward.

Hello Again: The Pandemic and Gyms


How are you doing?

I know I haven’t written lately…well for the last 8 months or so.

Honestly, this past year and a half has kicked my butt more than just a little bit and I’ve spent a lot of time just trying to figure out how Castro Valley Fitness and I fit into all this.

It’s been tough on all of us.

The good news, though, is that I’m back. I don’t know what I can commit to as far as writing, but I hope to be in touch at least 2-3 times each month.

I’ll be giving you hints on:

  • How to get the most out of your workouts
  • How to improve your chronic pain
  • Nutrition tips

But most importantly:

How to make fitness work for you! 

So, what inspired me to start writing again?

Well, in my opinion, the fitness industry’s reaction to the pandemic has been…well…disappointing.

Another way to put it would be self-serving.

Still another would be toxic.

See where I’m coming from?

Frankly, my relationship with much of the fitness industry isn’t great. I don’t believe an industry that makes over $800,000,000,000 (that’s billion) a year making people feel bad about themselves is an industry I want to be part of.

Not in that way, in any case.

I was hoping that the pandemic would cause some people to re-think their approach. 

Maybe realize that the relentless focus on weight loss doesn’t work.

Maybe stop telling women their main value to society lies in being as small as possible.

Maybe realize that most of what the fitness industry talks about isn’t really healthy at all.

At the beginning of the pandemic there was one question on everyone’s minds, “Are gyms essential businesses?”

My answer was a surprise to many people in the industry.


They’re not.

Health is essential.

Fitness is essential.

Good sustainable nutrition is essential.

Pre-pandemic, the fitness industry as a whole, espoused none of those things.

What did it focus on?

Making people feel terrible about themselves so they could sell more stuff.

Sure, they SAID they focused on essential things, but in reality…not so much.

It’s no wonder that when people asked if gyms were essential, they didn’t know the answer.

And the fact they didn’t know the answer? That was all the answer we really needed.

After all, no one needs to ask if food is essential.

Maybe, if the fitness industry ACTUALLY focused on health instead of the inessential garbage it focused on, the answer would have been different.

But after decades of…

“Lose 40 pounds this month!”

“Don’t ever eat carbs again!”

“Use this trick to get 6-pack abs next week!”

People know this industry is full of s**t.

The best part was when the industry started telling everyone how gyms needed to be open for everyone’s mental health after being one of the main drivers of women’s poor mental health for years. 

“Forget everything you’ve ever accomplished in your life, if you gained 5 pounds over the last decade YOU ARE A FAILURE! No cookies for you…EVER AGAIN!!!”

After everything we’ve gone through over the past 18 months it seems like the fitness industry would have learned something, but no. We’re now inundated with gyms trying to inspire people to lose their “Covid 19”. It would be pathetic if it weren’t so predictable.

This is what I’ve been fighting against for years in an industry I want to be proud of.

Fitness is for everybody. Every. Body. 

That is the belief I’ve built my gym on. You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to be in shape to get in better shape.

There are lots of ways that every single person can feel good.

There are a lot more goals than “losing weight”.

And for most people there are a lot impactful, empowering, helpful, and healthy goals than “losing weight”, too.

I’m here to help.


Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness