Thursday, May 25, 2017

Boot Camp Nutrition

Here ya go!
Boot Camp Nutrition Guide

Again, lets us know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

IAV 2017

Are you ready to jump start your New Year?  IAV 2017 is the best way to do it.  Here is what's in store:

  • Homework assignments (scored for points)
  • Re-test workout (scored for improvement)
  • Gym membership boosted to unlimited for 6 weeks***
  • Free T-Shirt!
  • Six Cash Prizes
  • Tester Workout
We listened to you and made some changes to the IAV Challenge. This year IAV will be more performance based! You will still have nutritional guidelines to follow and your coach will check in on you, but the food log is optional this year. What isn't optional is the homework assignments and flash challenges. 

Here is how you can win: Overall Points scored, Percentage of Weight Loss, and Best Performance.
If you are a gym member, you can sign up for this challenge. If you are a veteran and need a push, sign up. If you are new and want to challenge yourself, sign up. Ask some of the participants from last year. This challenge rocks! Need more info? Ask a Coach!  SIGN UP HERE

The Details:

6 Week Challenge:Open to 75 athletes (current clients at Versus Indoor and Outdoor.)
Cost: $95 a person
Kick Off & Benchmark Location: Versus Gym in Oak GroveScaled to ALL LEVELS of Fitness – no experience necessary!

The Challenge Includes:

Tester Workout
Weekly Homework
Optional Food Log Review
Nutrition Seminar
Team Accountability* 
Workouts with your team/coach
A Challenge T-Shirt

Dates You Need to Know: 

Friday, January 20th: Registration closesSaturday, 
January 28th: Tester WorkoutFriday, 
January 27th : Challenge T-Shirt Size DeadlineTuesday, 
January 31st: Make Up WorkoutSaturday, 
February 18th: Nutrition WorkshopSaturday, 
March 4th: Finale Retest Workout

Challenge FAQs:

What are the additional (at home) workouts like?  The workouts will focus on strength, endurance, and body weight resistance workouts. These are scalable to all levels.

What if I already train 5 days a week, is this challenge for me?  That depends – do you want to reach your goals FASTER? Then, YES!

How do I know which workouts to take on?  Your assigned coach will help you through all workout questions.

I can’t make the benchmark day, can I still take on the challenge?  YES! We have a scheduled make-up benchmark date. If you cannot make the make-up benchmark date your I Am Versus coach will schedule a time with you.

I just started Versus, can I take this challenge on?  Absolutely. In fact, we recommend it. Athletes of all levels take on this challenge and everyone gets results.


I am Versus from Versus Strength & Conditioning on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Are you Captain Fantastic?

 Are you Captain Fantastic? 

My wife and I decided to rent a movie via "On Demand" last night.  Side note: being able to rent movies from your couch is awesome.  Who remembers the Block Buster video days?  Man.....
Any who, we rented "Captain Fantastic".  Rotten Tomatoes gave it a good review and so did viewers so we decided, what the heck, lets give Viggo Mortensen a shot.

 Overall, the movie was pretty good.  There was some foul language and one full frontal male nudity scene (Viggo does this all the time!!!!) that we didn't really care for.  Other than those 2 takeaways, we enjoyed the movie.  I really liked one concept in particular.

Viggo, IMO,  was a huge fan of Plato.  One of Plato's thoughts about early education was of the that for the first 10 years, there should be predominantly physical education.  Basically, every school must have a gymnasium and a playground in order to develop the physique and health of children and make them resistant to any disease.

I believe that your body is a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  That is my personal believe.  During the movie there were multiple scenes where Viggo takes his kids on a run up a huge hill, teaches them some basic self defense/fighting skills, and practices yoga/meditation with them.  When I saw those scenes, I thought to myself, "That's pretty cool."  I know... deep thoughts right?  But honestly, giving your body a dose of physicality everyday is a "pretty cool" concept.

So watching this movie and those scenes in particular made me want to challenge myself/you.  Can you do something physical every day?  I'm not talking about 60+ minutes of activity.  I'm talking about performing a stretch in between commercials or downloading a tabata app and doing what the screen tells you to do for 8min.  With the new year approaching, how cool would it be if daily physical activity was your goal?  I think that would be a great way to become Captain Fantastic and take care of your temple.


Monday, September 26, 2016

The Wagon Wheel

Nutrition can be confusing.  I started "googlin" popular diet plans to follow and man... there were a ton.  Here is some of what I found.

In 1820, Lord Byron popularizes the Vinegar and Water Diet, which entails drinking water mixed with apple cider vinegar.

In 1925, the Lucky Strike cigarette brand launches the "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet" campaign, capitalizing on nicotine's appetite-suppressing superpowers.

In 1930 the Grapefruit Diet—a.k.a. the Hollywood Diet—is born. The popular low-cal plan calls for eating grapefruit with every meal.  Grapefruit does have a weird ability to blunt an insulin response!

The Cabbage Soup Diet promises you can lose 10–15 pounds in a week by eating a limited diet including cabbage soup every day.  This one seems to come and go... little devil!

In 1963 Weight Watchers is founded by Jean Nidetch.

In 1975 a Florida doctor creates the Cookie Diet, a plan where you eat cookies made with a blend of amino acids. Hollywood eats it up... literally.

1977 Slim Fast.
1979 Dexatrim launched.
1982 JANE FONDA!  Not a diet but gotta mention her right?!
1980's have way too many to list.  Liquid diets, don't eat carbs and fat together diets,  swim and eat veggies diet... not kidding!
1990's is home to the LOW FAT craze.  Fat was the enemy.
1992 The Atkins Diet!
1995 The Zone Diet! Blocks on blocks on blocks...
2003 South Beach Diet!
2006 The Master Cleanse!
2011 The HCG Diet!
2012 The Paleo Diet
2013 Intermittent Fasting
2015 Flexible Dieting/Macros

Others I may have missed, Sugar Busters, Nutri-System, and heck... folks go on Survivor/Naked and afraid and get lean!!!  Maybe not healthy, but they most certainly get lean.

I don't remember who told me the wagon wheel concept, hence the picture of the huge wheel at the top, but I never forgot it.  What lies at the center of the whole nutrition, diet, clean eating gig?  In my opinion it is two things: Good Health and Good body composition.

If we don't all agree on that, cool, its just my opinion.  But at the center of the wagon wheel, if you will, lies good health and good body composition.  What is the best way to get there????  This my friends is a grrrrreat question!

Enter Yoda speak- Many spokes the wheel has, to the center they all do lead!  (sorry, haha.)

I have personally witnessed people lose weight on a good bit of the above mentioned diets.  Family members of mine lost tons on Atkins.  My wife got SUPER lean on a low fat approach.  I lost 40ish pounds (229 to 181lbs) on Paleo.  A member of ours lost 70+ using Intermittent Fasting principles.  And I bet a ton of you out there have seen success either in yourself or others with Weight Watchers, South Beach and Atkins.

So whats the "right way"?  What makes these plans and others I may have forgotten work?  Success leaves clues, so lets take a look!

Successful Traits
  • Food Amount
  • Food Type
  • Food Timing  
Food Amount is a huge driver in getting to the center of the wagon wheel.  Its not the only thing, but its big thing.  What we recommend and what all these successful plans recommend is 80-90% whole foods: Meats, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds.  These whole foods are low in calories but high in nutrients.

Food Type is another important factor when traveling to the center.  If you are counting macros and hitting your numbers, great!  But how are you doing it?  Are you eating powdered donuts to get in your carbs?  Are you always drinking shakes to get in your protein?  If you are, you are missing the fiber and micro nutrients whole foods contain.  The instagram account you follow probably doesn't show you the 90%.  You get the flashy 10%.  The boring 90% allows for better control of blood sugar, hormonal levels, and avoidance of foods that give us issues (allergies, gut issues, etc) by monitoring Food Type.  I can't stress how important food type is if you want to be healthy.

Food Timing is yet another way to get to the wagon wheel center.  I'm not going to get into this today because it can get really crazy.  We tend to refer to this as "Space Math".  If you are having trouble eating whole foods, why would you need to start counting carbs, carb cycling, back loading calories, bulk dieting, leaning out etc?  It is not what you know, it is all about what you can do.  So don't worry about the space math, worry about Food Amount and Food Type.

At Versus our stance is "There are many ways to good health and good body composition."  We have seen many plans work over the years.  What works best for you?  Take a look at it and I bet you will notice the food type is HIGH QUALITY and the food amount is monitored in some way.  Again, what we focus on is whole foods and their amount. If you are eating 80-90% whole foods by counting your macros or doing South Beach or going on survivor then you are well on your way to the center of the wagon wheel.

Lastly, what plan do you think you can stick with?  Do you think it is realistic to weigh and measure your food with a food scale every meal for the rest of your life?  Do you think entering food into my fitness pal for the rest of your life is doable?  Do you think living out of a drive thru is healthy?  You MUST find something you can stick with.  What we have found is whole foods are tasty, loaded with nutrients and dominate all of the successful plans throughout the years.  Why not give them a try for a week or two?

Remember, its not what you know, its what you can consistently do.

***forgive the typos! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Meet Coach Matt

Matt Lee started as a Boot Camp member exactly 1 year ago today!  In celebration of his anniVersusAry (haha) we did a short "Meet the Coach" interview today.  Here is the result of our intense interview session:

  1. Where am I from?
         I grew up in Covington, Louisiana but I've been in Hattiesburg longer so maybe I am from here now?! 
2. What brought me to Versus?
         I guess it would mainly be the people there. Its a very fun, supportive community. Everyone is working hard and just trying to survive the workout. And because you do that together, a bond is formed. It is really unique. 
3. Why a Versus boot camp?
         There are a few reasons for why that happened. First, I know Steve from way back on the mean streets of the wellness center basketball courts. Haha! I knew he was a good guy and I trusted that the program was legit. But I'm pretty sure it was because my wife got tired of hearing me whine about being sorry and out of shape. She told me (made me) to sign up and at least get started and see where it goes. And for all my guys out there... don't be scared. It not just for the ladies. It will kick your butt!!
4. Favorite exercise?
            That's easy!! Anything and everything involving the PROWLER!!!
5. Least favorite food?
             It used to be Veggies of any kind. Now that I have made the effort to change there are some really great ones out there if are willing to stretch yourself and try. So, now it would be anything thing that makes me feel awful during a workout. Good fuel in = great output!
 6. Favorite clean food?
             Right now its the Clean Kitchen sweet potato lasagna. So yummy!! But also, any kind of meat works and love some avocado!
7. Favorite cheat meal?
             There are two. I still have a soft spot for ice cream. And if is January or February, this Louisiana boy has to have some king cake!
8. What would I say to someone scared to try Versus or any other fitness avenue?
           Don't be! Remember no one is perfect the first day or ever. Everyone is at a different spot on their journey. Do what you can, where you are and you are awesome! I always hear people say. " I need to get in shape and then I will come try it" As someone who was out of shape, it's not true. We are here to meet you where you are and bring you to where you want to go. That's what we do! One of my favorite lines that I have heard is " you don't have to get cleaned up to take a bath"! Think about that. You don't have to get in shape to start getting in shape. Just start! 
9. Nike or Under Armour?
             Under Armour. I love the way their clothes fit my body type. They have also come a long way on their footwear too. 
10. James Bond or Jason Borne?
             First let me say that Jason Borne movies have the best chase scenes ever! I'm literally exhausted when they are done. But, there was never anyone smoother than Sean Connery. EVER. Ill take effortless, smoothness (and all those cool gadgets) any day!!

Matt currently coaches 4 classes for Versus and also offers 1 on 1 Personal Training.  His classes are:
1.  Thames Elementary AT Class 5am
2.  Cross Point Boot Camp 6am Monday and Wednesday (NEW CLASS)
3.  Cross Point AT Class
4.  Petal Relay Park Boot Camp 9am Monday and Wednesday (NEW CLASS)

If you would like to sign up for Matt's new boot camp class or would like a free trial click HERE or contact him via email at:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Year end review 2015

I started my day by coaching our 5 AM crazies!  The workout (in my opinion) was really tough.  Prowler pushes, rowing, running... ALL super tough stuff.

Now, I'm sitting on my couch with my legs propped up on my coffee table.  My dog Brody is sitting right beside me.  We are admiring the soft glow of the Christmas tree lights.  Someone told me once, "Dog's only see in black and white.”  No color vision needed to enjoy this atmosphere B-Man.

Almost every year I sit down and write a review of what took place at Versus.  Here is what happened in 2015:

2015 was an awesome year.  I will only speak to the gym/business side of things because... well... it’s the muscle palace blog!  However, Kellar and I did add one little addition to our lives... RYAN!

Versus continues to grow.  Thanks to every one of you out there, we have added almost 100 members since 2013.  We've also added barbells, weights, ropes, bikes, rowers, and some other cool stuff.  We also added new coaches, classes, and outdoor locations.  Last and certainly not least, we added a completely online nutrition program with Versus Clean Kitchen.

None of this would be possible without the most important addition: People.  Versus indoor and outdoor is packed with awesome members.  Our business is healthy and strong!

-I am beyond humbled.-  I cannot say thank you enough to each and every one of you.  I hope we provide a service that you are proud to be a part of and are happy to pay for.    

People are awesome!  I have learned so much from every single person involved with Versus.  I know that I haven't met each and every one of you, but I've still learned something from you.  What have I learned?  I've learned our little community fights to keep Mississippi from being "the fattest state in the nation".  I've learned small groups of like-minded people really can cultivate change.  I've learned there is no limit unless you create it.

  • Can we make Hattiesburg the fittest city in the state?  Yes.
  • Can we change minds and make exercise as automatic as brushing your teeth?  Yes.
  • Can we help thousands of people become healthy, fit and well?  Yes.

I've learned a "gym" that started as a free boot camp at Wesley Hospital has no limits.  In my opinion, we have transcended the term gym.  Thanks to all of you out there we truly are #notjustagym.

If you are reading this, I want you to be part of our little community.  You might think, "I can't do all that stuff."  Don't let that train of thought keep you on the couch.  We will meet you where you are!  Let’s be honest with one another.   I don't think there's a single one of our clients who comes to Versus perfect.  Some are in bad health, some have preexisting injuries, or have a unique situation or set of circumstances.

Ahhhhhh, perfection... Life doesn't work that way does it?  We all have our "stuff".

Versus Strength and Conditioning is here for the not so perfect.  We don't ask you to get all of your stuff sorted out before you come.  Because the truth is, there will always be new stuff when the old stuff is sorted.  We want to help!

Rather, we help you get in shape even when the conditions aren't perfect.
If you are sitting on your couch waiting for life to be juuuuuusst right... well... Trust me, you will always be waiting.  Conditions will never be perfect. 

So what do you do?  Get off of your couch, come try a class for free and take the first step to getting your health back.  Versus Indoor, Outdoor and Boot Camp are gearing up for the New Year.  Put your "stuff" aside and sign up!  Or you can stay on your couch and wait for things to get "perfect".

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Holiday Gauntlet

The Holiday Gauntlet

  I recently ran in my second Spartan Race. I highly recommend the experience to anyone. It is especially fun with a group of friends. The race was an 11.5 mile obstacle course. At then end you are physically, mentally, and a little emotionally drained. Believe me, it was a lot of fun but you are a little beat up by the end. The kind of beat up that will make you just want to sit around and do nothing for several days.
     Well, that’s kind of like what the holiday season is like and down south it is a full swing! The holidays usually run from a couple of weeks after Halloween until about the day after the Super Bowl (that's almost three months!). 90 days is way more than 11.5 miles! Only these "obstacles" are a little different. Instead of these obstacles being fitness related, these are walls and pits to try to trip up your fitness journey. Obstacles like parties, kid's school functions, travel, cold weather, getting sick, and tons of FOOD!! All of these obstacles are not bad things but they can distract or deter your fitness goals. The holidays foster a spirit of giving to others. Which is a wonderful mindset that we could probably use a little more the rest of the year. BUT, I challenge you to not forget about yourself. Remember the time and investment you have put in on this fitness journey. Think about how much healthier your are this year as apposed to last year. Think about how much healthier you will be next year if you stay on the path!  Yes, it is ok to be a little selfish about the path you have chosen to go down to become a better, healthier version of you!
    You might be saying things like; "that's easy for you to say coach!", or " you don't know my family" , or " we are going to be all over the place from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day!" Well, guess what? I have the same problems, crazy schedules, and definitely the crazy family! So, now that we are on a level playing field, how about a few ideas to stay on track.
    First, keep working out! If you miss a class, don't miss the next one. If you have to travel, ask your coach/workout partner to send you the workouts that you are missing so you can maybe squeeze a few in on the road. If you get sick, get well, then get back at it. If you have to miss for a school function ask your coach if there is a make up class you can jump in for a day. Get your work in.
    Second, when it comes to meals this time of year, make a plan ahead of time. If you can handle having a few bites of the bad stuff during the holidays, go for it!  If you feel like you can't, bring a healthy dish. There are always meats and veggies every holiday meal. If you are traveling, make a healthy menu request/substitute. You never know, you may start inspiring some family members to start asking questions about your healthier lifestyle.  I know for me, if people are asking me about it and watching me... it is easier for me to not make mistakes. 
    Third- I know that the holidays can be emotional for many people. Make a mental game plan for when things get a little tricky. Make a plan to have an outlet besides food!  Can you use something other than food to remove some holiday stress?  Take a walk.  Go to the mall and buy those smaller clothes that FIT YOU NOW.  Take a ride to Starbucks for your favorite, black, holiday brew. Have a buddy that can keep your accountable if things get iffy. You CAN HANDLE it! You need to be PRO-active! 
    BUT, and please remember this part, if you have a few slip ups don't beat yourself up! Jump back on the wagon and start plugging away again! Remember all the reasons WHY YOU started this journey.  Everyone must refocus from time to time.  It will always be a constant flow of "in the zone" and "I just want to quit". But don’t quit! You are worth it! I hope you all have a great holiday season! 

 Happy Holidays!
 - Coach Matt