NEW Rules For LIFE

“It’s Not The Daily Increase But Daily Decrease. Hack Away At The Unessential”

– Bruce Lee

The past year (2012) life has gotten more hectic for me than perhaps any other year ‘ve experienced. More work, more travels, more expenses, more product creation, more following “the rules” and naturally….. MORE stress.

About 3 years ago my family and I moved from the town we grew up in to a town my wife would always visit as a kid. She would take me here through the summer with our kids and we’d go to the beach. After every beach trip, the kids would fall asleep in the car and we’d take a quick ride through town and I fell in love with what I saw. We would drive around and see if any homes were for sale.

In short time we put our house up for sale, the same house you saw in our early Underground Strength videos from the garage and the backyard. It was a house that we put our ALL into…. it took a year to move in because we had so much work to do and we literally tore down every wall minus the hallway ceiling to fix that house up.

I thought the renovations would never end, it reminded me of the movie, The Money Pit, with Tom Hanks. We sold the house almost immediately after we had it listed, and when it was time to move out, I remember walking out onto the back deck and being a bit saddened to leave it all behind. All the work we had put into that house made me a bit attached.

I had the memory of planting a tree in my front yard and wrestling that heavy thing into the ground that took every ounce of strength I had. I remember looking out my front door the night the tree was planted and it reminded me of how my Grandfather would water ALL his trees around his house every evening, the majority of them fruit trees.

I felt a sense of pride that night, looking out my front door onto the tree I had planted. I remember crying as I looked out at the tree, as if I had planted something to be proud of. As if I had planted a new seed in my life….

The time in that house went quickly. Life was good. Very good.

After I had left my job as a teacher after 11 years, our decision to move came about. Everyone was telling me to go back to teaching….

“Do it for the benefits!!”

“Do for the pension!”

“You’ll have security, Zach!”

They ALL thought I was crazy, leaving a job while at max pay and THEN buying a new house! The comments given to me were all about being realistic and daring NOT to go outside the boundaries they all thought were the “norms”.

My wife was nervous as I was on a one year leave of absence from teaching and she was concerned about the typical stuff everyone else concerns them self with when someone solely relies on their income as a full time entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs think differently than the “normal” population.

With confidence in my ability and work ethic, I had no doubt I could make it ALL work. We moved to this new town and I felt as if we had begun a new chapter in our lives. I was excited as was my wife and the kids. I was most excited to get away from the old town, the type of things that I saw in that town and how it would be a negative place for my kids solidified my decision.

My kids’ well being was all I cared about. It’s ALL I truly, deep down care about to this day. My strength comes from them, not from how much weight I can lift. My focus was on more family time and making up for my days of working 6 am – 1 am every weekday as well as on Sundays. Those days left a scar on my heart which is why I am so adamant of having breakfast with them every day.

How do you make up for lost time?

You don’t.

It’s Gone.

For…. EVER.

As of this writing, my family and I are almost 3 years in our current home. It’s a beautiful place, but there is something missing.

That something is more time with my family.

Between commuting to The Underground Strength Gym, working on more and more new projects, and then again, MORE projects, trying to satisfy everyone else…. Time gets lost…. For EVER.

I am not happy at all with these mistakes and the responsibility is mine. Period. End of story.

Through running my gym, especially the past few years, I realized how time is not respected by others, unfortunately. MANY athletes don’t show when they say they will show up, Parents don’t stick to their schedule or their word and the value placed in achieving success is greatly misunderstood.

GREATLY Misunderstood.

I’ve begun to make considerable steps towards changing things.

“Things” are being removed.

“Things” are being simplified.

I realized that by following the so called “rules” in many areas of my life that I’ve lived up to the expectations of others and least of all, my own expectations.

I spent time and energy with people who say they are friends but truly are not. Remember, what a person says is NOT what truly counts, it is what he / she DOES that proves their true character.

I’ve wasted energy on helping others achieve success when it only took away from giving to those I truly loved and cared for as well as those who truly love me and truly need me.

I bet you’ve done the same on at least one of the above mistakes that I’ve made as well. Well, it’s too late to go back and fix the old, that time is gone, forever.

The mistakes I’ve made are MY responsibility, 100% on my shoulders. Same goes for you, you can’t blame anyone but yourself for your mistakes.

My training will be simplified as well.

– A few Barbell lifts

– A few Kettlebell lifts

– A few Bodyweight Exercises

The basics never let you down. They never will.

Over a decade ago, Alwyn Cosgrove spent many hours on the phone with me when he was undergoing chemo and radiation. Although it was considered business coaching, it really wasn’t about business. It was all about LIFE.

Back then, long before the 4 Hour Work Week and anyone else was telling me or you to focus on simplicity, lifestyle design and the perfect day, Uncle AC was telling me all about it because he was truly LIVING it.

What’s Old Is New Again? Perhaps we need to recall the story of Acres of Diamonds. That’s an OLD story that hits home BIG time with me.

The recent hurricane in my area hit home for me quite intensely. I didn’t think I would get emotional about it, but when I saw stuffed animals and kids’ small beds piled on sidewalks as garbage, it HIT me.

The recent shootings in a Newtown, Ct elementary school struck a deep nerve with me, as I taught for 11 years, 10 of them in an Elementary School. I love my own kids more than life itself and couldn’t dare imagine what parents are experiencing from that event.

Things come full circle.

Time goes too fast.

My plans on doing certain things have changed, some plans are being left in the past while others will come about when my gut instincts tell me to do so.

You will see and hear others speak about world domination in their industry and being the best, second place is first loser and bla, bla, bla. Others cry how they were the first to do this or the first to do that. That’s the problem. Stop worrying about everyone else and start focusing on YOU and the few that you truly love and care about.

As of now, I am working on a deadline for my new book, to be published through Dragon Door. After that deadline, I will have NO deadlines. Things will get done when they get done.

In the world of running an internet business, everyone is always running against the clock, following the “rules” and the expectations of others.

“Launch your product on Tuesday only, never on Monday!”

“Hold a sale for the holidays!”

“Hey Zach, aren’t you holding a Black Friday sale? Everyone else is!”

“Get that e mail out every day at XYZ time or the world will end!”

Follow the rules above and you’ll be just like everyone else. In fact, you won’t even be YOU anymore, which is the ultimate slap to your own face.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it”

~ Bruce Lee

My e mails will be sent out when they are sent out….. morning, noon, evening, night….Whenever they get done, they will get done. Slaving to the beat of someone else’s drum is NO way to live.

New projects will mostly be shared inside The Underground Inner Circle, and if they are released outside of the membership area, they will be launched on any day of the week, whatever day that project is finished.

My focus is to kick ass on a select few things that I love that allow me to be a better father. That’s MY world domination. Nothing complicated or crazy. Just simple goals for a simple man.

Time for me (and perhaps you, too?) to remove the useless and anything that stands in the way of my simple goals.

I hope this Blog helps you in some way, because as I write each and every time, be it a blog post, e mail, book, etc. that is always my goal: To help YOU somehow, someway.

YOU took me from $5 / hr backyard trainer to where I am today. Sure, I did the work, busted my ass and DID it, but it is You who has shared my e mails, blogs, videos, products, interviews and more with your friends, family and colleagues that multiplied the effect of what I share.

I’m still gonna kick ass for you, just don’t expect me to follow the norms of the fitness industry or whatever “industry” I am pigeon holed into.

I prefer to simply be my own man, my own “industry”.

I’m just a simple man, a guy who loves to train hard and loves everything that being STRONG represents, and, most of all, I’m just a MAN who wants to be a better father. That’s what will ALWAYS be at the top of my list.

I hope you can understand.

Thank you for reading, watching and listening all these years. It means the world to me.

Live The Code & HUGE Thanks For Believing In Me ALL These Years as well.


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  1. says

    Amen Zach! My daughter was just born this past Friday and everything you say here really hits home and putting my life and my family before all is where I go now. You helped me at the cert get more family time and I thank you so much!

    • admin says

      Mike!!! Corona!!! Bro, that is f**ing awesome, you’re the straight UP, MAN! Much love, homie!!!! Congrats on your beautiful baby and family!!!

  2. says

    Funny this comes up. I just started running my own gym out of my garage. I have a fitness product that I am finishing up and is taking forever. Even the gym is taking forever to get going but the bottom line is I have two little ones at home and would rather spend my time with them. “Daddy sit with me and snuggle.” Hell yeah I will take that over racing to my basement to write some emails. I will finish what I started, my gym will be filled by many one day and most of all I will not have sacrificed seeing my kids grow up because of it.
    This one hit home. Good stuff

    • admin says



      GARAGE GYM: open up shop 3 or 4 x week. That’s it

      If they can’t make it on those days oh well

      INTERNET PRODUCT: Finish it by Friday at 4 PM

      If U want, do an pre-sale and then upgrade it for FREE when you add on the details

      Hack away the BS and get it OUT there!

      Make sure you’re on

  3. Josh says

    Best article I’ve ever read, I’m going to look back at this often so I can take all the information out of it I can. Thank you Zach! Be a simple kind of man!

  4. says

    Z, I am in full agreement with you. I broke the mold in my area too.
    Most of the trainers and coaches I know are trying to have the biggest gym with the most members in the city.
    I couldn’t give a rip less about that, I refuse to be a slave to my business.
    I still love what I do each day and value the “dedicated, coachable few” that I train. Some of my people have trained with me almost from the very beginning, over 7 years ago.
    The time I spend at home with my wife (my kids are now grown) is very important to me.
    We are able to do things that matter with our time.
    There are no plans to expand my gym or add a gazillion members.
    If anything, I will focus on my online business and keep my time freed up so we can have a life, a real one.

    • admin says

      Frank, I BIG time respect that brutha, MUCH respect to you!!! I love seeing how you’ve grown through the years yet still kept it to YOUR rules!

  5. Mike Vertucci says


    I read your emails everyday and followe the website as well. Like you, I struggle with constantly wanting to better myself each and everyday and often leave the person who needs my focus the most come in second. I appreciate this post and will take this to heart. You are right, NOW, is the time! Thanks again.
    Mike V.

    • admin says

      Mike V – we ALL know what to do, we need to DO it and organize life in such a manner that others don’t rule it for us

      Get after it, homie!

  6. Dustin W. says

    Damn! I was pumped and excited for you through the whole blog, and then you drop the video at the end!
    I have to tell you that this hit me hard. Working on the business and sticking to what I have dreamed it to be has not been easy. It goes against everything people believe works. Against what is considered right in the sense of business(at least the training area).
    I stick to my guns and accept nothing less of myself or my business venture.
    I will bleed and I will succeed!
    Skynyrd has a special place in my heart. Although a metal fan the song “Freebird” always makes me tear up. After a six month deployment I flew home with a one way ticket. I was going to drive from Wi to CA by myself. Mom was freaking but I had to do it. It was a start of something although I had no clue what it was. As I drove away from my family (all in tears) and friends I could barely see the road I was crying so hard. I turned on the radio and “Freebird” was just starting. “A sign!” That song has made me think about who I was and my reason for existing.
    I have seen evil! I have felt it’s grasp around my throat! Sink further into darkness. My wife is my light, and my children bring happiness to my world. It took a long time and a lot of physical and spiritual bleeding to realize that what is important is around me.
    Screw what everyone tells you you need to do to be successful in life. If you have the love of others then the money comes without you trying.
    Take care!

    • admin says

      DW the VW

      I would just train peeps 3 x week for now, inside another location where you can have your own Section of Strength along with some outdoors stuff

      Remember, DeFranco started in a storage closet inside a Racquet Club

      It was 400 sq ft

      I met him first time there, it was legit, I am sure he misses the simplicity of that place :)

  7. Nick says

    Zach this post really hit home for me, sometimes we get to caught up with what everyone els is doing. It’s time to set a few goals that will really make a difference and give those goals everything we’ve got. No more wasting time!
    Thanx for the inspiration, Keep kicking ass!

  8. says

    Hey Zach,
    i admire all you do and all you beleive, as though they were my beliefs. I have followed you and used your programs for the last 4 years or so. I started my own training facility after moving from Long Island, NY to Michigan about 4 years ago. I have been working long days and weekends, for all that time, i do about 60 trainings a week, doubles, triples, and some quadruples. I admire the man you try to be, i strive to be a ggod man and great Dad, too. I ahve a 5 year old and a 3year old, and i dont get alot of time at home with them either. I promised my wife when i decided to do this that, she could be a stay at home mom, because frankly i wouldnt want anyone else to raise them. Your blog has struck a nerve in mme too, but i dont know how to make the transition from all this training to getting home.Im feel for you and your family and the devastation of the storm, my family in NY suffered too. You words are deep and meaningful to me, and i just wanted you to know that you have helped me not only get stronger, but to become a better man to my wife and a better Dad to my kids! May God bless you and your family everyday!! Peace and Thanks, Man!

  9. Emily says

    Thank you so much for being a light in this industry, Zach! I am a trainer turned stay-at-home-mom and I would not trade it for the world. Though I still love fitness and miss working with others, my two sons are my world. It all comes down to your definition of success and what kind of legacy you want to leave… We just moved to Germany and I have had many a revelation since we got here in August. I don’t want to miss one second with my family if I can help it, especially after the tragedy in CT. Thanks so much for your motivation and encouragement!

    • admin says

      Emily, you’re awesome, thank U :)

      Are you in Germany for family / military?

      I am excited U enjoyed this blog as a Mom, means the world 2 me!

  10. Mike Guardiola says


    Beautiful! Like you, I drop anything and everything for my wife and my little man. I’ve noticed over the years of following you that this is the ilk of people that comment and visit The Underground. Ever evolving into a better human (being), not a human (doing).
    This is the stuff that America, and the world for that matter, should be pouring energy into. I can count on opening your emails and getting positivity and no whining! As always you inspire. Peace, and God Bless everything the Underground stands for.


  11. says

    This is awesome man!! To be in your position of impact is a dream of mine and to see you really lay down the reality of what it takes to be there is the best! This was my biggest fear of getting “busier” and to hear you lay out how your standing up against it is encouraging bro! Thanks

    • admin says

      William, being busy and working hard is a good thing, BUT, set the rules, the ground work and learn to get more done in less time, like training :)

      When these things r not in check, they shift your business to a place you don’t feel good about, in turn, it f**ks UP life a bit, to say the least!

  12. says


    HUGE respect from VT. This post came at the perfect time in my life when. I too am considering a lot of changes and relished I’ve made some mistakes. You’ve inspired me to buck up and get back to doing thing my own way.

    Thanks again for everything Zach. Good luck in your simplifying.

    Ps. Love the Bruce Lee quotes. :)

  13. says

    Dang man- epic post. This is one of the best I have ever read- by anyone, anywhere. Keep doing what you are doing, incredibly inspirational.

  14. says

    Hi Z, very heartfelt blog post my man! My wife & kid & my family are MY World & like you, I do what I do for them. I dont care about making huge amounts of money as long as I can provide for them, feed them, keep a roof over their heads, spend lots of time with them & know that they are happy.

    I follow your blogs & read all your stuff & support you not because you are successful, have a great gym & can lift heavy etc, but because you are a man of integrity, honesty & always puts his family first which is is of major importance to me. Because of those traits I see coming from you I completely, 150% trust you in everything you say & do.

    A great quote from Pres. David O Mckay “No other success can compensate for failure in the home!”.

    You inspire me to live the code! Thanks big Z.

    • admin says

      Ricky thnx bro and I LOVE that quote!!!

      This lifestyle does NOT mean less success, less money, etc.

      it just means MORE setting the rules myself, focused around the kids :)

      U KNOW it! BOOM!

  15. Sibghatallah Imdad says

    This is great stuff. the select few things that you say to concentrate on are in fact the most important things. you’re really helping me out with my life man. it seems as though whenever my life is going to shit you’re there to bring me to my feet again.

    • admin says

      Sib – it’s all about how we react to life that determines the outcome

      Make sure NOT to rely on others to help you, focus on helping yourself first

  16. Strongnella says

    Hey Zach, I gotta thank you for all the great info and being a constant source of inspiration. Thanks to you I’ve managed to build up my own garage gym it will soon be packed full of savages. Much love big Zach!

    • admin says

      Oliver we LOVE U and we LOVE your boy, Mo!!!

      That’s why we PUSH him so hard every workout!!! HUGE thanks for believing in us and trusting us!

  17. Dennis says

    Trimming the fat, and making the right sacrifices is what it is all about. A lot of times I find the hardest thing for me to sacrifice is my own prideful ambitions, they tend to get in the way of the people that matter the most to me. If I die today, will I die knowing I gave it my all in my relationship with my Wife, my Kids, my closest Family members and friends? Only I know the answer to that question..and it is definately a no. There are many times I stayed at work late “getting that last thing done” and coutnless other ways I allowed my own selfish ambition to steal time from my Family. Good on You Zach for making the changes you are, take care of your Wife and Kids, because at the end of the day…you have to go home and live with them. Your relationship with them is far more important than any coaching relationship you have with the underground.

  18. Doug Holland says

    I love your last email to coaches Z and this post is the icing on the cake Bro!

    Very well said. I owe it to you bro that I am keeping things simple.

    My website, membership, training, and schedule will be the best for my family. I will not deviate. Taking your cert, as well as operation thunder and watching the coaches conference gave the clear line of demarcation I was looking for.

    My family is now fully evolved in the youtube video production and mailing campaigns. We also go door to door together handing out brochures and my kids and wife built a cool board that sits in the number one health food store in our area.

    My family is now working out hard in the gym as we train together. Its so much fun! What a blessing.

    P.S. Simple eye makes one powerful

    Big D

    • admin says

      Big D – you’re awesome, what an awesome family U have, helping U grow the biz together.

      That makes ALL the difference, brutha!

      XXL on the way! They do NOT have XXXL :(

  19. Jason I. says

    As a new dad, and in the initial entrepreneurial stages of starting my own fitness business this article hits home. As a state employee, “benefits”, “pension”, “security” are all familiar words brought up to me every time I bring up the topic of doing my own thing and throwing up the middle finger to mediocrity. I am long ways from where I see myself going but your passion and honesty help fuel the fire! Keep killing that shit!

  20. Shabeer Mahomed says

    Hi Zach.
    I find yr writings very inspirational indeed.I must take a peek at it before I start my day .Doing so always gives me positiveness throughtout the day.
    Many Thanks Best wishes and God bless
    Shabeer Mahomed
    South Africa

    • admin says

      Shabeer from South Africa, ur the man, homie! I am psyched that you get fired up from my work! Thanks for being here and trusting!

  21. Dustin M. says


    You know, as soon as I read “New Rules for Life”, I was thinking to myself “What is Zach-Attack up to now?”

    I read the blog post, and BOOM—Ahh, Zach-Attack is attacking life in a BIG way. Much respect to you, bro!

    I just got married to the most awesome lady I’ve ever known, my wife Leah, and every morning I been waking up feeling “different.” I have the DESIRE to be a great husband, to provide for her in every way. When we have kids, I want them to have great opportunities! This blog made me think…hard. We all only have one life. Now it’s time for me to step up even more, and attack my goals like there is NO tomorrow!

    New goals for me:
    Better Job Now.
    Finish writing my book.
    Accomplish my strength goals now and forevermore.
    Open my gym and turn weaklings into Men of steel.

    Zach, you have the Underground Nation’s full support, brutha.

  22. Tom S says


    I haven’t visited your blog in a while, but I am glad things are going well for you and your family.

    I believe we can all sum up how life should be with one word – BALANCE.

    Many times in life, myself included, we forget where our priorities should be.

    Lately, I have come up with something called the Four F’s, (No, not the four dot tatoo guys in the 70’s got on their arm for chasing women, lol).

    They are — Faith, Family, Friends, and Fitness.

    Not to get too religious to folks in here, but isn’t always obvious, when you see folks that are really grounded in their life and seemed to have things in order, FAITH is always first in their life, followed by your Family (Spouse, kids, relatives), along with a good group of loyal Friends.

    The Fitness part can be part of ourselves or put ourself First, but really if we put God First, ourselves, our spouse, kids, friends, etc…you notice work doesn’t even hit the top four of what’s important.

    But, unfortunately, because we all have bills to pay, kids college, savings, etc… we obviously have to work to make ends meet.

    So at times, work can consume us, other days it’s family, other days it’s helping friends, etc….

    In the end, if you follow the Four F’s as aforementioned and keep the one word of BALANCE always on your mind and try your best to adhere to finding it, all usually works out and life becomes less stressful and more fun for yourself and those around you.

    Take care man and as always, great post……HOOAH !!!



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