Michael Buckley

I recently had an opportunity to speak with the handsome, passionate and charismatic personal trainer Michael Buckley.

By: Joshua Conner

Michael Buckley is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer who manages both online and in-person personal training programs and a writer, based in New York, New York. Buckley has appeared in ebr, BMWFitnessWorld.com, and the Bodcast. I first became a fan of Buckley, from when he appeared as Harley in the Cyberchase For Real segments of Cyberchase. I am inspired by Buckley both personally and professionally. Personally, I am inspired by his amazing physique, brilliant writing and how creates a dialogue on mental health. Professionally, I am inspired by how Buckley has diversified his brand.

What would be the title of Buckley’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“The title of my life story, that’s a good one, I guess a work in progress would be the title. I guess the person playing me would be either Bradley Cooper or Chris Evans,” said Buckley.  

2018, 2012 and 2011, were pivotal years for Buckley.

“My most memorable year, 2018, was pretty big, I made some big changes in my business. I’m actually launching a new company, and I have a business partner, so that’s pretty big. I moved into a new apartment, I started my new business online, and I also started doing corporate wellness gigs. Professionally, as far as it pertains to what I’m doing right now, 2018 was pretty big.
I guess maybe 2012 when I started my personal training business.  That was a really big year. I guess I have a follow-up. These were the years a lot of positive changes took place. I had the year 2011, where I worked a traditional job. I worked for somebody else, and I had to go to an office. I ended up not really enjoying that kind of work. That was an important lesson to learn.
I was also fired during 2011, at the end of the year. It actually ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to me, in terms of getting a wake-up call. I came to a realization that there are so many things that we can control and so many things that are out of our control. I thought I was supposed to do a job because that’s what you do get a job. I tended to give up on or at least diminished a lot of things that I wanted to accomplish in my own life. I realized that there is no set way to make a living.
I tried playing the game, that most people play, you know, get a job, you have a steady income. There is that illusion of stability. What I learned is that stability is kind of an illusion, and that just a more traditional job, there is no stability and everything is uncertain to a certain extent. You might as well, pursue things that you are actually interested and passionate about,” said Buckley.  

What is Buckley’s underwear preferences?

“Well, definitely boxer briefs, because I work out a lot, so I need something that covers my thighs. I need the boxer briefs, to hold my boys in place, while I’m going down at the gym. For the brand, it’s actually not a fancy one at all, but I actually like the Champion brand, athletic underwear. They fit me, they’re comfortable and they are not to tight. They also are sweat-absorbent,” said Buckley.

How did Buckley come up with the hashtags, #FitAsABuck, #BuckYourself, and #getbucked?

“Well, it is one of those things that when I was a kid, it was very easy for the other kids to find a not so clever name to make fun of me. So the potential for puns was something that was pointed out to me, very early in life. I kind of went from that, from there,” said Buckley.  

What is Buckley’s opinion on how mental health is treated in this country?

“My mom has bipolar disorder, she was diagnosed when I was in high school. She was misdiagnosed as clinically depressed, which means her medications were kind of off, for a good part of my childhood. My mom was a teacher, and as a teacher, she had a really good health insurance plan. She actually had great drug coverage, to cover the cost of her medication. She was so afraid of the stigma attached to mental illness, she actually paid out of pocket,  to fill all of her prescriptions. She was so afraid of being discovered,  and people would say that I don’t want this crazy person teaching my kids or whatever stigma there was around that.
She ended up running into a rough period and ended up giving up her teaching career. She started working with the stigma initiative. She then advocated for stigma-free laws in New Jersey and surrounding areas. It was legislation to protect people, their employer can’t hold it against them, if they come forward, as having a mental health issue.
So, I think a large part of mental health is linked to the spirit. I think we need to remove the stigma from it because I think there are a lot of people that probably end up deeper in the hole, that they need to be. They are afraid of coming out and speaking openly about the mental health issue. We all need to take care of our mental health, I think it’s something that is often overlooked.
That’s actually part of what I am doing in the fitness space.  There is a physical consideration, everyone needs to exercise. Your body needs it in order to function, at it’s best. I check the boxes, for the physical part, but there is also a mental health component to having a healthy life.
I’ve had my own struggles with anxiety. I’m a very pleasant person, but I’ve had my struggles with anxiety and depression. I’m not afraid to say it, I think it’s something that’s really important we need to speak more openly about. That will allow people that God bless them, don’t have to share in that struggle, to maybe understand a little bit more, and have a little more empathy. I do think we need to enact legislation to protect people so that they don’t hesitate coming forward if they have mental health issues.

Extra content: I asked Michael Buckley what is his favorite inspirational quote and if he could have a conversation with anyone, who would it be and why? Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @MrJoshuaConner to find out.

You can follow Michael Buckley on Facebook @BuckleyBodySolutions, Instagram @therealbuckley and check out his website buckleybodysolutions.com

Anthony Ferkel

I recently had an opportunity to speak with one of Generation X’s handsome & motivational coaches Anthony Ferkel.

By: Joshua Conner

Anthony Ferkel is a NASM certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. Ferkel inspires me both personally and professionally. Personally, I am inspired by Ferkel’s physique, style, and his didactic Instagram posts. Professionally, I am inspired by how Ferkel has diversified his brand and how he uses his platform to spread positivity.

What would be the title of Ferkel’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“The title of my life story, it would be either show love or something about love, yeah, one of those two. Who would play me, I have to think about that one, let’s see, the guy who played in the Matrix movies, Keanu Reeves,” said Ferkel.

If Ferkel’s mantra was a hashtag, it would be #goodattitude.

“Good attitude, because a good attitude is just so important in so many ways, you know. Having a good attitude is, important because you can’t have a good lifestyle without a good attitude. Then surrounding yourself with people who have good attitudes, because people who don’t have good attitudes can really be toxic to you. So #goodattitude,” said Ferkel.

What are Ferkel’s underwear preferences?

Boxer briefs for sure and Me Undies,” says Ferkel.

What does Ferkel enjoy most about being a personal trainer?

“Just that every day is different, and every client is different, so you never get bored. I think that’s the biggest thing, you know, I’m a people person and I like being around people.

Ferkel also operates a health and wellness website with his fiancé Kimberly Cohen, called K and A Fitnessen. What is one sentence would he like people to use to describe it?

“To inspire people to do better and be healthy,” said Ferkel.

How did Ferkel get involved in Jade Recovery?

“Life is about who you know, my fiancé is friends with the husband of the owner of Jade Recovery. I meet him a few years ago, and he knew I was more than a trainer. He knew that I wanted to do life coaching, nutrition, and mental health. He just told me about jade recovery and brought me in. He said that I could definitely use you. Then, he started having me write the curriculum, working in traumatic brain injuries and mental health. Everything is related, it’s not just about training, it’s not just about emotions, it’s just all connected,” said Ferkel.

If Ferkel could leave one quality to his son, it would be joy.

“Honestly, I think if I could leave him one quality, it would be joy. Personally, I believe you need to get joy, from a higher power, and if you have joy, you can encourage, inspire, motivate, and lead people without having to say anything. They just look at your life-like wow, I want to be like that. So joy, it’s more than happy, joy is just that inner peace. I think joy would be that one quality,” said Ferkel.

If Ferkel could have a conversation with any three people died or alive, they would be Denzel Washington, King David, and Margaret Thatcher.

“If I could have a conversation with anyone, one would be Denzel Washington, because just the fact, he’s successful, he’s an actor, but you can see he has a good head on his shoulders. I think we would just talk about life. I’ve always looked up to King David in the Bible. Just because, King David has been through all walks of life, he went down the wrong path and he turned his life around. I just think it would be unbelievable to meet him. I would love to meet Margaret Thatcher and have a conversation on leadership,” said Ferkel.

Extra content: What was Anthony Ferkel’s most memorable year? You can find out by following my Instagram & Facebook page @MrJoshuaConner.

You can follow Anthony Ferkel on Instagram @AnthonyFerkel, @anthonyferkelfitness & @kandafitnessen

Gregg Avedon

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Men’s Health Legend Gregg Avedon.

By: Joshua Conner

Gregg Avedon is a NASM personal trainer, nutrition specialist, model, author and photographer based in Evergreen, Colorado. Avedon inspires me both personally & professionally. Personally, I am inspired by Avedon’s connection to nature, style, physique & his great flex Friday social media posts. Professionally, I am inspired by how Avedon continues to reinvent himself and how he graced Men’s Health numerous times.

What is a day in the life of Avedon like?

“I wake up everyday around 5:30 in the morning and the first thing I do is make coffee and take care of my new puppy. Then, I head out the door for my first clients of the day for personal training. So now, I’m living up in the mountains, so it takes me a little bit of time to get down from the mountains, and it also depends on what the weather is. If it’s snowing, then of course I’m navigating the snow, on the way down the mountains.

First thing I do is, I head to the gym, I have my first round of clients and then once I have a break, I train myself. I do cardio, and then I train my second round of clients. Then, I head back home, and I take care of whatever, I need to do when it comes to like: writing programs, nutrition plans, working on new books, or my website, basically taking care of business in my office at home, then it’s dinnertime. I try to at least take one walk everyday. I try to do like a 3 mile walk, if I can especially, being out here in the mountains. Whether it’s a hike or just walking around my neighborhood. Aside from that, then I try to get to bed before 11 pm,” said Avedon.

Avedon then explained how his days are different if he has a modeling job, because he spends most of his time on road and preparing for the job.

“Everything is sort of geared towards the job that I am working on, even my prep. People tend to think I’m a fitness model, when I’m really more of a fashion model. I’ve been a fashion model, my entire career. With the good fortune of working with Men’s Health, and working with other publications, where you see my body, but mostly, most of my stuff is fashion. So the jobs, that I do are more where I am clothed, so it’s not like I’m having to dial in and prep nutritionally, to do my jobs.

Although, you know, I always want to feel my best, and look my best.

So I’m always gearing up, when I have a job to keep it clean, I think if you do that, you look clean overall. In your: eyes, face, skin tone and your energy levels. When I go on a job, off course you’re dealing with travel, it’s usually a 6 am call time and a catered breakfast, but I keep everything pretty simple when I am on a job. I rarely if ever will go out to dinner, so when I work a long day, they’ll cater lunch, so I usually have a salad for lunch with whatever source of protein they may have. Dinner, I always go to the grocery store, get a basic salad,  some fruit, maybe yogurt and then I have dinner in my room,” said Avedon.

What would be Avedon’s spirit animal?

“My wife has told me that my spirit animal is the wolf, and the funny thing is one of the first dogs we had; she was a white Shepard, and she had very wolf like qualities. She has very long since passed, we lost her about 10 years ago, but I do feel like she is always kind of looking out for me. If you want to say a spirit animal, I feel her presence in a lot of ways. I would say you know a wolf in that regard. Just that she’s looking over me, guarding me and keeping me safe.

Last year, maybe about 8 months ago or so, I posted pictures of me with a wolf. In Colorado Springs, there is a wolf sanctuary, so I went out there. I actually had the good fortune of hiking with the wolves. It was just an incredible experience,  in the mountains. It is incredible, super intimidating at first, they are just way bigger than you could even realize and powerful. It was an awesome experience, that was something that, I probably wouldn’t mind doing again. I made friends with the owners of the wolves and everything, and continue to stay in contact with them, it was pretty cool,” said Avedon.

One of Avedon’s mantra is, “In my life, I have learned, that there is more wisdom in nature, than all the greatest minds combined. A simple complexity of a leaf, is as miraculous as a Continental Divide.”

“Just the power in that, in the grand scheme of things. That God, is in everything, he’s the creator, it’s absolutely amazing,” said Avedon. Avedon’s favorite quote however, is by Henry David Thoreau. Avedon really likes how Thoreau is connected to nature.

“He felt like a day was not truly complete, without walking in nature,  which is often how I feel. So there is sort of kinship that I always feel with Thoreau. The quote is, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined,” Henry David Thoreau,” said Avedon.

What is Avedon’s underwear preference?

“I’m so simple, basic briefs & Hanes is the brand I get 9 out of 10 times. They fit, they support everything, that’s why I don’t like boxers too much, they don’t support me as well. Basic white briefs, is honestly my go to,” said Avedon.

How does Avedon feel to be considered a Men’s Health Legend?

“I’m super grateful & of course humbled everyday, because we are all in this journey together. I’ve had the good fortune to be in the right place, at the right time, and being prepared for when the opportunity happened for me. It’s just been an incredible journey. I just have a massive sense of gratitude, because it gives me a voice. It gives me a voice to reach lots of people, and sort of my whole standard is to get results and being consistent. It’s not rocket science,  you know, everybody has the ability to make massive achievements. If somebody asks me, Gregg, how can I get on the cover of Men’s Health,  I encourage them and I am always willing to help them.

For me, it’s just a humbling experience. I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity to do as many covers, and have the relationship with Men’s Health that I have,” said Avedon.

Extra Content: How does Gregg Avedon want to be remembered? You can find out by following me on Instagram & Facebook @MrJoshuaConner.

You can follow Gregg Avedon on Instagram @greggavedon & check out his website goliathplan.com