If you know me well enough, you know that I’m not one to talk about myself or toot my own horn, but today is different, I’ve got to share this with you… This past weekend, my wife (so weird to say) and I jumped over to Chicago for the weekend to see Pearl Jam play at Wrigley Field and to explore the Windy City for the first time.

Yes, Pearl jam was amazing and Chicago is awesome.

Aside from exploring the city and experiencing Pearl Jam at Wrigley, I had the pleasure of hanging with two of my favorite people in the fitness industry, two dudes whom I have the utmost respect for and look up to, Tyler English and Jason Ferruggia.

If you don’t know of these two, I suggest you get to know ‘em and connect with them both here.

Tyler English Facebook / Twitter

Jason Ferruggia Facebook / Twitter

Not only are they good people, they take the same approach as I do when it comes to your health and strength; NO BULLSHIT.

Tyler English is a Professional Natural Bodybuilder, Real World Strength Coach, Two-Time International Best-Selling Author, Entrepreneur and Transformation Coach, and just wrote and released the Men’s Health Natural Bodybuilding Bible.

Jason Ferruggia is the Trainer to the Gods, King of the West, author, old school hip hop head, entrepreneur, die-hard NY Yankees & Giants fan, and Lord Chief Rocka of the #RenegadeNation.

The weekend concluded, we were back in DC and it was back to health as usual when I got an email from Jason - check it out below.

To say I was honored is an understatement.

When you read the email below, I want you to think about your own goals

- Have you set up a realistic time frame to achieve your goals?

- Is the effort that you’re putting in consistently progressing you towards your goals?

- Do you have a coach who has “been there, done that” and is helping you eliminate the guesswork?

- Do you have a support system? read this

Going forward, you have three options;

1. Get started on your goal by joining me at Ambitious Athletics

2. Hook up with Jason in the Inner Circle, or

3. Pick up Tyler’s new book.

Dedicated to your health,

Carmen Sturniolo

From: Jason Ferruggia <info@jasonferruggia.com>

Subject: How Carmen gained 12 pounds of lean muscle

Date: July 23, 2013 12:38:45 PM EDT

To: Carmen Sturniolo <carmen@ambitiousathletics.com>

I was in my favorite US city, Chicago, from last Thursday to Sunday. Friday morning I tried to meet up with my buddy, natural pro bodybuilder, Tyler English, for a workout but we just couldn't get the timing right.

Instead I walked across the street from the W hotel on Lakeshore Drive, where I was staying, to Ohio Street beach and did a conditioning session. There's a big cove of Lake Michigan right there where tons of boats come to hang out on the weekends and people go to swim laps. In waist deep water I ran sprints for 30 seconds then swam for 30 seconds. I alternated this on and off for 20 minutes until I was properly gassed.

If you have bad knees and have access to it, running in shallow water is a great, low impact workout.

After a couple hours at the beach Jen and I showered up to go meet everyone at Wrigley for the Pearl Jam concert. One of the people we met up with was Dave Jarzebowski, a long time Renegade Inner Circle member, who I have had the pleasure of meeting when he came to train with us a couple years back at Renegade Gym.

Dave looked significantly bigger, which made me proud. He also looked happier and less stressed; two things I place a great a focus on and discuss often. We talked about training, his daughter Alice and how he was liking the recent move to the Windy City.

I also had the pleasure of meeting up with Carmen Sturniolo, another long time Renegade Inner Circle member, who I had previously met when he attended a workshop at Renegade Gym last year. He's one of the coolest, most down to earth, classiest cats you'd ever wanna meet. So to see him looking so much bigger and achieving his goals made me very happy.

With a Big Show slap to the chest and a grab of the traps I asked Carmen, "how are you so massive? You look great, man."

Jen echoed my sentiments and Carmen told us he's been crushing food and training hard, following all of the principles laid down in the Renegade Inner Circle. He said he'd gained 12 pounds since we saw him a year ago.

And he wasn't an ounce fatter as far as I could tell. That's 12 pounds of lean, hard earned muscle. Now, to some of you who are used to reading supplement ads that doesn't sound like a lot.

But ask yourself when the last time you packed on 12 pounds of muscle was. Are you significantly bigger than you were this time a year ago?

Or are you just spinning your wheels like everyone else?

And keep in mind that Carmen is 31 and has been training for a while. With insane dedication and no over-thinking or wasting time, 12 pounds of muscle in 12 months for an advanced trainee is AMAZING.

He was able to do that because he didn't piss away 12 months second guessing everything or trying 99 different systems like most people do. He stuck with one thing and got the job done.

That's how you make progress.

Relentless dedication, Jason Ferruggia Strength & Conditioning Specialist