Tag: bodybuilding


Best Books Ever

A dear friend asked me to create a list of recommended current books to read. I loved doing it. He looked at that list and said he hadn’t read any of them, and had only heard of one of them. With that in mind, I thought you might like to see the list. Here you go…

Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Incredibly terrific. It’s “Fantastic!”


The Walk by Philippe Petit. Riveting. Unique. Made me hyperventilate.


I, Mammal by Loretta Breuning. Enlightening. Read all of her books.


The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth. Fun, funny, flippant. It will spin your writing into a spell generator. (“Spell” as in “I’ll put a spell on you!”)


The Book of est by Luke Rhinehart. Hypnotic. Loved it so much I published it.  🙂


Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder by Samuel Wilson Fussell. Wise, well written and deeply revealing.


Making the American Body by Jonathan Black. Entertaining.


Mark Twain: Man in White by Michael Shelden. Love Twain.


The Shack by William Young. Novel.


Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang. Hilarious and empowering.


The Power of Neuroplasticity by Shad Helmstetter. Simple yet beautiful.


Lincoln: Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan. Love Lincoln.


Thomas Jefferson: Art of Power by Jon Meacham. Fascinating.


Bill Veeck by Paul Dickson. The Barnum of baseball.


Chronicles by Bob Dylan. Reads like a folk song with Dylan style.


The Most Contented Man by Joseph J. Vitale. My Dad. 🙂


Stuntman! By Hal Needham. Lively read.


The Einstein of Money by Joe Carlen. Insightful.


Not Impossible by Mick Ebeling. Inspiring.


The Power of Impossible Thinking by Yoram and Cook. Life changing.


The Spiritual Journey of Joseph L. Greenstein by Ed Spielman. Astonishing.


And any book by Joe Vitale... 🙂

Ao Akua,


PS – I love books. Feel free to leave a comment telling me about your own favorites.

Member BBB 2003 - 2015

Member BBB 2003 - 2015



When I attended my fourth transformation camp with legendary Body-for-Life fitness icon Bill Phillips, I briefly told the group (at Bill’s invitation) about the power of “I AM.”

Afterward, Bill told me, “We could do an entire seminar on just ‘I AM’.”

Here’s why Bill is right:

Receiving fitness award from Bill Phillips

Receiving fitness award from Bill Phillips

Anything you say after the words “I AM” creates your future.

You can say, “I AM broke” and your mind will create that reality.

You can say “I AM alone” and your mind will mirror that affirmation, too.

You can say “I AM ill” and your mind will manufacture a life to reflect your statement.

You might think that you are simply speaking what you are observing, but in reality you have created your current reality by your previous “I AM” thoughts, and your current “I AM” observations are creating the future you are about to experience.

Hang on.

This will get clear in a moment.

By the same token, you can take the same two words and attract something positive.

“I AM wealthy” will begin to create a life that attracts wealth.

“I AM loved” will begin to attract a life where you are loving and loved.

“I AM healthy” will begin to morph your body into one of health and fitness.

In other words, your new statements of “I AM” will begin to attract and create a life that will match it.

At first it might feel awkward, or even a lie, to say “I AM wealthy” when you don’t yet see wealth, but it’s those previous “I AM” observations about lack that created the current lack.

Stick with me.

This technique can transform your life forever.

Why do these two simple words have so much power?

Neville signed message to you

Neville signed message to you

Neville Goddard, one of my favorite mystical teachers, wrote:

“I AM wealthy, poor, healthy, sick, free, confined were first of all impressions or conditions felt before they became visible expressions. Your world is your consciousness objectified. Waste no time trying to change the outside; change the within or the impression; and the without or expression will take care of itself. When the truth of this statement dawns upon you, you will know that you have found the lost word or the key to every door. I AM (your consciousness) is the magical lost word which was made flesh in the likeness of that which you are conscious of being.” ― Neville Goddard, Your Faith is Your Fortune

In other words, you have already been practicing this technique of reality creation.

Whenever you said or thought, “I AM losing” or “I AM struggling” or “I AM not popular,” you were creating your own reality, not just observing it, albeit unconsciously.

All of your self negations, or statements of negativity, or lack, were actually attracting the very life you were complaining about.

It probably felt like you were just commenting on “what is” but in reality you were affirming what will be.

Neville also wrote —

“Chance or accident is not responsible for the things that happen to you, nor is predestined fate the author of your fortune or misfortune. Your subconscious impressions determine the conditions of your world. The subconscious is not selective; it is impersonal and no respecter of persons. The subconscious is not concerned with the truth or falsity of your feeling. It always accepts as true that which you feel to be true. Feeling is the assent of the subconscious to the truth of that which is declared to be true. Because of this quality of the subconscious there is nothing impossible to man. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and feel as true, the subconscious can and must objectify. Your feelings create the pattern from which your world is fashioned, and a change of feeling is a change of pattern.” ― Neville Goddard, Resurrection

The secret to creating a new reality is in first noticing what you are saying right now after “I AM” and then noticing how you are feeling.

If you don’t like either, you can change them.

As Neville pointed out, your subconscious/unconscious will ignore the outer and focus on the inner: your predominant thoughts and feelings.

It will then go about creating a mirror to what you are doing inside yourself.

Obviously, it would be wise to start speaking what you prefer and feeling it as already real.

My latest book

My latest book

Instead of letting your thoughts and spoken words be about what you don’t want, think and speak what you do want, and feel as though it is already real right now.

Speak as if what you desire is here: “I AM happy” versus “I WANT to be happy.”

The first phrase will begin to attract that reality now; the second phrase pushes it off in the distance and leaves you in a state of “want.”

You don’t want to want; you want to be right now.

As Neville said –

“Dare to believe in the reality of your assumption and watch the world play its part relative to its fulfillment.”  ― Neville Goddard

The power of “I AM” is not new.

Every great New Thought teacher from Joseph Murphy, Walter C. Lanyon, Walter Devoe, Lillian DeWaters, Emmet Fox, Ella Wheeler, Christian D Larson, Edna Lister, Wayne Dyer, Joel Osteen, Oprah, and Thomas Troward have written or spoken about it.

What might be new is actually using it with conscious intent.

For example:

I AM a strongman!

I AM a strongman!

The other day, when I went into my gym for an upper body weight lifting session that I had learned from Bill Phillips, I told myself “I AM strong!” and “I AM a strongman who can lift more than ever!”

Those two words helped me have one of the most intense workout sessions of recent memory.

They triggered an inner strength that attracted an outer strength.

And all I did was leverage the two most powerful words of all time: “I AM!”

Try it.

I AM confident you will love it. 🙂

Ao Akua,


PS – Need more clarity? Check out Miracles Coaching and my free books (three volumes so far) from my Miracles Coaching secret sessions:

Vol 3 of "The Miracles Manual" now available for free. Just click image.

Vol 3 of "The Miracles Manual" available free. Just click image.


Obstacle Immunity

I used to hate exercise.

Even though I’ve worked out with legends in fitness, and personally met icons like Frank Zane, Lou Ferrigno, George Foreman, Floyd Patterson and others, I never liked exercise.

I even own one of the largest and most well stocked private gyms you’ve ever seen, which includes famed bodybuilder Steve Reeve’s personal Universal machine.

I used to smoke cigars in it.

If I could pay someone to exercise for me, and still reap the benefits, I’d do so.


But personally training with Body-for-Life fitness legend Bill Phillips has changed all that.

I now look forward to getting my workout done every morning.

These aren’t walks in the park, either.

My 25 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio takes all I have.

And the 45 minute weight lifting is something I almost hate to do but love having done it.

I’ve learned that I may resist it or resent it, but I never regret it.

But the best thing of all?

I’ve created something called obstacle immunity.

I learned the phrase from the book, Spartan Up! by Joe De Sena.

Inspiring, challenging book

Inspiring, challenging book

De Sena created and runs the incredibly intense obstacle courses/endurance runs/insane peak performance events called “Spartan” that about half a million people have voluntarily entered.

Crawling up greased walls, running through mud, sprinting over rugged hills, dodging fires or any number of totally unexpected obstacles is what Spartan is all about. And penalties for not completing an obstacle are fifty burpees (fifty!), the most intense body weight exercise ever.

Spartan is designed to challenge you beyond what you think you can do.

It’s Hunger Games without the politics or the killing.

But it’s still intense.

De Sena says when you achieve athletic success in the unpredictable wild environment that his creative mind conjures up, you develop a resiliency to anything life can throw at you.

Your inner strength becomes almost super human.

I’m not suggesting you enter a Spartan race or Mud Run or CrossFit gig (unless you are inspired to do so), but tackling something as challenging as a burning morning workout sets my mind’s resistance meter to high.

If I can complete such a self-directed rugged workout, then I can do almost anything.

I leave the gym ready to handle life.

And the thing is, life is then much easier.

I don’t know Joe De Sena, or even anyone who entered one of his Spartan events, but his book validates what Bill Phillips and my trainer Scott York have said for years: getting that morning intense workout done gives you “a win” that makes you feel you can handle anything for the rest of the day.

As Bill Phillips, Scott York, Joe De Sena and even my father all say, exercise is medicine.

Too many of us want the easy street.

And we want it now.

I’m all for an easy life, but I’ve discovered life gets easier when you choose tough physical challenges and use them to fortify your mental ability to handle the rest of life.

I know the thrill of challenges -- 8 certificates, 3 medals, and 1 honorable mention

I know the thrill of completing challenges -- 8 certificates, 3 medals, and 1 honorable mention

When you take on a physical challenge, and you learn to endure struggle by controlling your mind and delay gratification, the result is a type of unshakeable bliss and inner self-confidence you will never forget.

Plus you develop an internal ability to handle adversity.

You create “obstacle immunity.”

You will be almost unaffected by any problem, issue or challenge you may face.

Your ability to handle stress will have increased.

When you set out to attract your goals, you will not be easily disheartened or discouraged when you face any blocks along the way.

This can help make you feel that anything is possible.

Any dream.

Any goal.

Any intention.

And guess what?

Anything really is possible.

Arguing for limitations is just, well, arguing for limitations.

I think Spartan Up! is incredibly wise, inspiring, and challenging.

Read it.

And then go do something big that will build inner strength.

What are you doing to challenge yourself?

What can you do right now?


Ao Akua,

Hercules Joe

PS — We all need help in going for our dreams. Consider Miracles Coaching.

Membr BBB 2003 - 2015

Member BBB 2003 - 2015


Transformation On Demand

How do you transform?

How do you make such a dramatic change in your life that the new you is clearly different than the old you?

How long does it take?

Is it even possible?

Some people have to hit bottom before they change. Some never do. Others do it spontaneously. Still others do it intentionally.

I’m interested in the last group; those wonderful souls who choose to transform. If you’ve been wanting to make a change in your life, this subject might interest you, too. So let’s explore it.

Three weeks ago today I completed the Bill Phillips Transformation weekend. It’s a three day kick start on a twelve week program to transform your life, focusing on your health. I love the program, have already had dramatic results,  and see principles in it that you can use to transform your life in any area.

Let’s talk about it…

Bill Phillips and wife Maria

Bill Phillips and wife Maria

I’ve been a fan of Bill Phillips since he started the famous Body For Life fitness contests back in 1996. I entered and completed five of them in a row back in 2004 and 2005. It took discipline and commitment and I gave it my all.

I lost 80 pounds, received five certificates of completion, and won an honorable mention for my success. I’m still proud of those five certificates of achievement. I’ve showed them off to everyone who visits my gym, including actor/bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno.

The Great Lou Ferrigno in my gym

The Great Lou Ferrigno in my gym

When I met Bill Phillips the first time years ago,  I told him how he influenced my life. He flattered me by saying he had studied my marketing materials and that I had influenced him, too. It was an unforgettable moment for me.

My 5 Certificates of Achievement for entering five consecutive Body for Life contests in 2004 and 2005

My Certificates of Achievement for completing five consecutive Body for Life contests in 2004 and 2005

But that was almost ten years ago. Bill Phillips moved on. I grew older. I lost touch with him and his wisdom. As I approached the age of 60, and felt my body age and my waist line grow, I wanted his help again.

I had tried low cal, no cal, low carb, no carb, high protein, veggie, juice, HCG, cabbage, low Glycemic, blood type, kitten food (kidding) and other diets. They all work in the short term.

But as Bill Phillips says, dieting is like holding your breath. When you come up for air, you’ll devour everything in sight.

Been there.

Not good.

Or healthy.

I knew you had to change the inside before your outside would change. After all, that’s the core of my message these days. For that reason, I’ve gone through a long list of self help processes, including personal work with the amazing Morty Lefkoe.

And now I wanted and was ready for the complete package. I wanted the dramatic and long term results I had gotten on the Body for Life program, only with any updates in transformation since those days long ago.

So I did the only logical thing: I Googled Bill Phillips.

Bill Phillips showing you can eat well and still be fit

Bill Phillips showing you can eat well (here devouring a turkey burger) and still be fit

Turns out Bill is doing great, looking great, and still inspiring others through something he calls Transformation Camp and the Transformation Challenge. It didn’t take me long to decide to register for his three day weekend and be trained personally by him.

Bill trained Clint Eastwood, Sly Stalone, Whoopie Goldberg, the Denver Broncos and other celebrities and athletes. Having the chance to train with him personally would be worth whatever the investment. I’ve met movie stars and super stars and worked out with their celebrity fitness trainers, but I was more excited about being with Bill than anyone else.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

Bill is warm, wise, relaxed, supportive, inspiring. He loves scientific research and quotes it as easily as others quote sports scores or jokes. He’s also a great storyteller, and openly shares his personal struggles.

For example, Bill had a near death experience when he almost drowned in Hawaii. It shattered his world view. It triggered a quest for him to study esoteric literature and ancient spirituality. He traveled around the world, visited healers and mystics, and probed for the secrets of the universe.

He also fell down the stairs in his home and broke both his legs. That experience caused him to put all his life research and life experience – everything from fitness and spirituality to psychology and metaphysics – into an entirely new program. It’s what he today calls Transformation.

Maria Phillips lost 65 pounds

Maria Phillips lost 65 pounds

Bill’s insights are mind opening:

  • He said focus on process, not perfection.
  • He said he doesn’t care to avoid death, that he instead wants us to live long enough to complete our life mission.
  • He said he’s seen dramatic transformation right after people take total self responsibility.
  • He said he’s seen 225% better results in achieving goals when people have group support.
  • He said lives transform after people experience forgiveness and let go of resentment.

Of course, Bill’s seen these transformations firsthand and been the catalyst for a staggering amount of them. Not a few hundred, but a few hundred thousand.

His earlier book, Body For Life, influenced a million people. His later book, Eating For Life, is still a bestseller. His latest book, Transformation, is picking up where his earlier work left off.

Bill Phillips latest book

Bill Phillips' latest book

I’m used to Bill’s evidence based approach to proving his methods. I still recall flipping through the pages of his popular magazine from a decade ago, Muscle Media. It was packed with pages and pages of before and after photos of people who had dramatically transformed their bodies and their lives, in only twelve weeks. Bill’s gym in Denver, Colorado also has before/after pictures.

The evidence that change is possible is overwhelming.

Today Bill focuses on a more all encompassing transformation. Health and fitness are still a focus, but not the only ones. He’s less concerned about muscle building and more focused on inner life building. His whole being approach to transformation is about taking control of your entire life, not just what you see in the mirror.

And today Bill is offering it on a smaller scale. Once a month he personally trains, inspires, and guides thirty people in his Transformation Center in Denver. Every weekend camp sells out in advance. Besides the three day intensive, Bill’s team offers ongoing support by email and on Facebook for another twelve weeks.

It’s clear to me that Bill is on a life mission. He doesn’t appear to care about financial reward. He cares about you. And me. He’s donated over two million dollars to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This is a man who cares about people.

And that’s why I joined his Transformation Camp three weeks ago. I’m going to respect the privacy of the thirty people in the weekend with me and Bill. I’m not going to describe our experiences. They were personal, and my group is now a support team. I love them.

Let’s just say that when I walked in the door for the first day of Transformation, and was met with Bill’s sister making me pancakes, I knew I was in the right place. (They were protein pancakes, tasted delicious, and the recipe is in the book, Eating For Life.)

Bill Phillips and my new book and new music

Bill Phillips and my new book and new music

But let’s go back to the questions I asked about how people change. Since the other questions were answered in this post, let’s just look at the key one: How can you transform?

There are five key steps to transformation:

  1. A decision. You “demand” transformation by choosing it. Your conscious intent to go in a new direction redirects your life flow and aims you where you want to go. It all begins here.
  2. A plan. You control circumstances when you are prepared for them. Having information on what to do, how and when, will guide you down the path to transformation.
  3. A vision. A clear picture of the end result you want will help you attract it into your life. A great way to accelerate that transformation is to step into the end vision and live from it right now, today.
  4. A why. The more reasons you have for wanting transformation, the better and faster will be the results.
  5. A support team. When someone believes in you, odds are you will boost your own opinion of yourself. When you are in a group of people who want your transformation as much if not more than you do, you will go in the direction of speedy transformation.

Finally, let’s hear from Bill Phillips —

“No matter who you are, no matter what you do, you absolutely, positively do have the power to change, and no one can take that away.”

The path is clear for you or anyone to begin their own transformation.

It all begins with step one — a decision.

What’s yours?

Ao Akua,


PS — I fully endorse Bill Phillips and his Transformation Challenge. I am not an affiliate for anything he offers, but I fully recommend all of it. For more details, go to http://www.transformation.com/ or send an email to [email protected]

PPS – Here’s a bonus for you. It’s Bill Phillips giving some advice. Enjoy.

Member BBB 2003 - 2013

Member BBB 2003 - 2013


Arnold's Goal Setting Secret

Recently I posted the following on my Facebook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/drjoevitale:

“Action attracts motivation. Get moving and you get motivated.”

That insight was driven home while I was reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography, Total Recall, a book I love. Even at over 600 pages, I’m reading every word of it. There are lessons on life, fitness, marketing, achievement, politics, service, and so much more. It’s fascinating. You might say — as Arnold often does about life — it’s “Fantastic!”

I LOVE Arnold's book!

I LOVE Arnold's book!

One of the methods Arnold uses to achieve such legendary success is setting goals. Nothing new there, but do you do it? And do you do it the way Arnold does?

Arnold declared he would be a famous Hollywood movie star while still a youth in Austria who couldn’t speak English. (!)

Talk about thinking BIG.

Throughout Arnold’s incredible book I see the reoccurring theme that big goals lead to big results.

Arnold doesn’t appear to have deadlines on the goals (unless it’s something like a bodybuilding contest with a specific date already attached to it). Instead, he has the goal in his consciousness and simply works toward it, trusting it will manifest in its own good time. This is different from what most people do: most set goals with drop-dead deadlines.

Not Arnold.

Judging from his astonishing life and all his record-breaking success, his goal setting process works.

What I’ve also noticed is that once he stated a goal, he began to move toward it. He started to take action. Lots of action. He’s one of the hardest working people I’ve ever heard of. When he saw his calves were weak, he started doing 1,000 calf raises exercises per day.

One thousand.

A day.

Talk about action!

Why is this photo here? See the PS below.

Why is this photo here? See the PS below.

There’s a real secret here: action leads to motivation, and motivation leads to action.

You can test it out for yourself.

What do you have to do or want to do?

I need to write a blog post here for you every few weeks to stay current. I don’t always feel motivated to do so, because I don’t always have something to say when I first start writing. But my intention is to do my best to stay current, relevant, and interesting to you.

But how do I do that when I don’t feel motivated?

Here’s my secret: I simply go to my computer, fire up my blog, and start writing.

Yes, even when I have no clear idea where I’m going.

I take action anyway.

I know motivation will catch up later.

Same thing happens when I write songs. I may have no idea for a song and little motivation to write one. But I know I want to have one written.

So what do I do?

I start strumming my guitar.

I take action.

Yes, I love to have motivation first. But you don’t have to depend on it. You can call it out.

I just finished reading Neil Young’s autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, and learned that’s how he writes most songs: pick up a guitar and start playing. Invite the songs to arrive with action.

He invites the muse with action

He invites the muse with action

Hare’s what I invite you to do:

1. State a goal. Just declare it. What would you love to have, do or be? (Be honest.)

2. Decide to go for it. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to attract it? (If not, you haven’t stated the goal you really want.)

3. Take action. Whether you feel like it or not, just start moving. Let motivation catch up. (What can you do right now?)

All of the above requires a certain level of faith.

You have faith that stating a goal is going to make a difference.

You have faith that your decision is going to stir energies seen and unseen in the universe, in and around you.

You have faith that your actions will lead to the expected results.

You have faith that all of this will work out for your highest good, and in its own sweet time.

That said, it shouldn’t surprise you that the title of one of my next books is Faith.

Meanwhile, here’s another example for you:

After the completion of my fourth album, The Healing Song, I sat and felt at peace. I was relaxed, felt good, but didn’t have any motivation or goal to create any more music. As a result, no new songs came to me.

My fourth music album

My fourth music album

When Daniel Barrett came by my studio for our twice weekly sessions, I told him how I felt. I said I think my music is over, as I don’t feel inspired or compelled or motivated to record any more.

As we explored the issues and my concerns, I suddenly felt I could do another album. I grew excited about it. I then declared, “I want to create one more CD by the end of the year. Let’s record five new songs.”

This was a pretty bold goal, especially when I had just said my mental well was dry, and the end of the year is only a couple of months away, but Daniel went with the energy and agreed we could do it.

In fact, he upped the ante and challenged me to create ten new songs for it.

I then declared that I would make it so. I made the decision.

And guess what?

There's that car again! See PS below.

There's that car again! See PS below.

As a result, a song came to me later that day.

And another the next day.

And a third a few days later.


There were no songs before the goal, and three songs after it?

Hmmmmm. Maybe there’s something to this goal setting secret.

Note the insight:

Goals trigger action.

But you don’t need motivation to take action; you can start doing and the motivation will catch up.

Let me sum it up like this:

I love Arnold's book so much I hunted for a signed one

I love Arnold's book so much I hunted for a signed one

Goals are how you start a fire within yourself. You might be feeling “blah” and have no desire for much of anything but living in the moment and vegging. But let an inspired idea become a goal and suddenly you ignite the pilot light in your soul. Now you have direction, purpose, and energy. The goal triggers the release of new powers, and even begins to attract opportunities and more to bring the goal into reality. Welcome to the world of miracles.

Is this exciting or what?

Arnold knows this.

I know this.

Now you do, too.

What are you going to do with it?

Ao Akua,


PS — The car photos above are of a pristine 1955 Mercedes-Benz Gullwing 300SL, one of the most collectible cars in the world. I saw the listing for this one and felt inspired to announce it as a new goal.  No deadline. No pressure. Just thinking about it is stretching my wealth comfort zone, as these cars often sell for over one million dollars. But that’s the whole idea: to stretch. Wouldn’t it be cool if that amazing car (or something even better!) was mine in the next few months (or sooner)? So here I am, publicly sharing it with you. I have no idea when it will appear in my life, but I’m open and ready for it. After all, I do know how to attract cars. Now it’s your turn: What do you want to attract into your life next? (Be honest!)

Member BBB 2003 - 2012

Member BBB 2003 – 2012