Marshall Weber of Jack City Fitness: Getting An Upgrade; How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus

I think the best way to develop good habits is to tell your friends, family and even strangers what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it and when. Accountability is a huge factor in creating change for humans. Our bodies demand social acceptance, and even if it’s telling your local coffee barista that you’re only allowed to visit once a day, the accountability will create positive change. Inversely, creating a tangible ramification for a habit with external accountability also creates phenomenal change. For example, if you want to quit going out to eat at toxic fast food places, tell a friend you’ll pay them $50 bucks if you do. Prompt them to reach out once a week for their potential reward.

As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Marshall Weber.

Marshall cannot start any introduction about himself, or what he stands for, without first explaining that he is a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything he does in life has a purpose for Him, and he enjoys every minute of being a Christian. Thanks to Him, he has accomplished many things and met a vast amount of people along the way. Although Marshall’s journey through life started and continues in Boise, Idaho, his faith and involvement in sport have taken him to many places around the world.

Marshall considers the most important aspect of his personal training regimen the vast diversity of instruction that he received as an elite athlete. While his passion was found in hockey, Marshall received sport-specific personal training from professionals in the fields of football, soccer, basketball, baseball, speed skating, bodybuilding and even power-lifting. When it comes to understanding the client’s physical or mental condition, he has no problem letting them know he understands the challenges they are experiencing and what still lies ahead.

Marshall is seeking degrees in Exercise Science and Marketing, and a minor in Psychology. He is a Certified Personal Trainer through multiple distinctions to bring maximal results to his clients. When it comes to creating a program or performing an exercise, one must keep in mind that everyone is different regardless of what science or statistics may say. Marshall’s knowledge in a wide range of sports and instruction has helped him find correct and safe ways to help individuals of all ages achieve their goals and prevent injury.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Born and raised in Idaho, I am a fourth-generation Boise entrepreneur. At a young age, I had a knack for bending the rules, which I believe helped me in later years think outside the box on how to create an essential business. Being blessed with an athletic prowess for any sport of my choice, hockey was my first love due to its degree of difficulty and physical freedom. After retiring from hockey, I transferred that work ethic and healthy lifestyle into the creation of a company based on my nickname “Jack City”. Taking my years of experience and dedication to hard work into the pursuit of continued education, I unlocked an unheard-of ability to help my community become mentally, physically and spiritually stronger. Coincidentally, my entrepreneurial drive to found Jack City Fitness in 2012 has been followed by the creation of eight subsequent companies, with a wide variety from a Non-Profit to a Brewery.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

John Olver, a former NHL hockey player and world-renowned professional hockey coach (currently coaching the Minnesota Northstar Knights — at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hockey Academy), called me one day and told me he wanted me to help a young hockey player with all the right talents and none of the physical capabilities. This young hockey player, Jack York, had just received double knee surgery and not only needed to increase his performance, but rehabilitate from a potentially career-ending procedure. Without hesitation, I set my alarm for 0400 in the morning and picked him up at his house before school so that he could work out at the local gym with me. During that time, the success that my preceding clients and teams achieved (including Jack York), inspired me to continue helping people and make my primary focus building out the Jack City Fitness team.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

“Those who bless others will be abundantly blessed themselves; those who help others are helped by the Lord.” — Proverbs 11:25. This verse is a sign in the lobby of our facility, which highlights the three parties who made the Jack City dream come true. First, my parents, who not only let me learn the hard way but helped me prevent the numerous downfalls that can come with starting a small business in Boise. Second, Steve Neighbors at Strategic Operational Solutions, who was an acquaintance at first, then a client, and eventually a godfather to the expansion of our then 1,800-square-foot private training facility into a 12,000 square-foot health and fitness powerhouse. Last but not least, my grandparents and the family Avest board, who stepped in with guidance and wisdom when it mattered most. Each of the above blessed my initial success and allowed us to broaden our health and fitness outreach in the Treasure Valley. Strangely enough, the way they blessed me has continued to motivate me to pass on the blessings to other individuals I’ve met along the road.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?

I often hear that my perspective is extremely positive, so to answer this question I’ll have to dig deep as I see things in my past never as mistakes, but only as lessons to better improve future decisions. In our 2015 expansion, we pursued anything and everything in the valley as potential for our larger fitness facility. We didn’t care where it was or what shape it was in. We needed something bigger and we were going to make it work no matter the price. Looking back, if we had rushed the process and signed a lease at any other location besides the one we are in today, we would not have made it into greener pastures. The lesson I have for any business looking to make a major change — make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. And if you’re religious, do it on God’s time, not yours.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

I think the biggest way to emulate success is to stop and reflect and make sure all your efforts are synergized towards one goal. This is something I am continually struggling with. But since one of my weaknesses is working too hard, the best advice I can give anyone who feels like they are a hard-working person is that they need to spend more time not working and actually reflecting on their actions to make sure that it’s taking them in the direction they want to go.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

15 Laws of Invaluable Growth by John Maxwell completely changed the trajectory of how I lead others and myself. To give proper warning, this book has the potential to create life-changing events like moving across the country, quitting your job, or taking your profession to the next level. If you read it, you won’t regret it, but it will spark major change whether you like it or not.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and in all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths” — Proverbs 3:5–6. This verse resonates with me daily, as my primary reason for helping the people in my life is to lead them to true happiness, which resonates in a relationship with God and not tangible or intangible worldly things. Even if they never establish a relationship with God, I pray daily that my actions show His love for them regardless of their beliefs.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

We’re starting three new initiatives at Jack City Fitness. One of them is our new partnership with a local food company, AvaFlavas. Their premade meals will now be available onsite in a vending machine to help with convenience for individuals and their goals to become healthier. The second is the newest small group class we’ve added to our fitness schedule–kickboxing. Everybody loves hitting things to let off some extra steam and get fit! Finally, we’ve started offering the Evolution of Yoga with a fitness class called KinStretch. We are super excited to let everyone know the amazing benefits of KinStretch in comparison to centuries-old yoga practices. All of the above are health and fitness services that are guaranteed to get people the results they need the most.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

If any readers are looking to increase their impact or efficiency, I highly recommend reading and studying the book Atomic Habits. When it comes to your daily habits and routines, nothing should be overlooked or unappreciated, and every action has consequences. Creating good habits is something that takes time — nothing great is achieved overnight. From a practical standpoint, it is more important to track and reward super small process changes than big audacious goals. Start with daily, weekly, monthly rewards and repercussions of your actions. Scheduling a time to review and reflect on what habits need to be rewarded and reprimanded is a great starting point. Reflection is the single most important way to track change and acknowledge the positives being made. Without proper pauses, you can be doing the right habits but getting the wrong results.

If the above suggestion to “schedule a time” doesn’t immediately prompt your mind to go to a digital calendar or a cloud-based filing system, then you first need to get with the 21st-century and remove the excuses about holding yourself accountable that come along with losing or not being in front of pen and pad calendar/files. Google calendar is a great resource for scheduling and OneDrive or Google Drive are great resources for files to document your habits and reflection sessions.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Habits and routines are continually changing for me as I’m trying to improve them relentlessly. The one golden rule to success for me every single day in life is breakfast. It is my belief that breakfast is not only the most important meal but the most important habit you can build into your lifestyle. I don’t care if you’re not hungry or you think you’re not a breakfast person, the benefits of eating first thing in the morning and having that nutrition throughout the day is worth its weight in gold. I challenge anyone reading this to eat breakfast within 45 minutes of waking up for 30 days straight. If your entire life is not improved, email me and we can chat about what to eat as a secondary precaution.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

I think the best way to develop good habits is to tell your friends, family and even strangers what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it and when. Accountability is a huge factor in creating change for humans. Our bodies demand social acceptance, and even if it’s telling your local coffee barista that you’re only allowed to visit once a day, the accountability will create positive change. Inversely, creating a tangible ramification for a habit with external accountability also creates phenomenal change. For example, if you want to quit going out to eat at toxic fast food places, tell a friend you’ll pay them $50 bucks if you do. Prompt them to reach out once a week for their potential reward.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

I think celebrating small victories is a huge factor in creating good habits, so I’ll do my best to share tangible examples in wellness, performance and focus.

A great habit for wellness would be investing in two to three resistance training sessions a week. If I explained all of the benefits that come from lifting weights, and or the diseases and viral infections that can be avoided, you would be utterly amazed. In my 15 years of coaching people on health and fitness, I have yet to find a diagnosis that cannot be improved or removed by the simple habit of lifting weights. To give a more relevant example regarding new widespread viruses, science has proven five minutes of vigorous daily exercise completely removes your chances of a viral infection!

I love tracking performance and my wife says I track too many things. But in agreement with her, I told her I would need to start tracking more to find out if tracking was creating a negative return. She then agreed that I shouldn’t start tracking which checking methods or creating bad tracking habits — LOL! If the above didn’t answer your question, simple tallies or visible markers are the best ways to create performance habits. One of the performance markers that is important for me is drinking water. And in order to track how much water I drink throughout the day, I use a sharpie to make tallies on how many bottles are completed.

For habits that help improve focus, I recommend getting a blood test from your local naturopath to see if you have any hidden food sensitivities. Science has proven that many of the healthy foods or unhealthy foods that you’re eating can have a detrimental effect on your ability to maintain focus for extended periods of time. Extreme food hypersensitivities are prevalent in over 60% of our population, and the majority have no idea. The simple act of getting a food hypersensitivity blood test will, in exchange, increase your focus when you’re able to identify and remove those trigger foods. It’s not really a habit, but it completely changed my ability to focus, so I have to make it the most important factor for anyone looking to achieve better focus. I think a secondary habit to increasing focus is removing distractions and isolating the environment for certain actions to be completed. The mystical creature of being able to multitask is a myth. It’s a very rare gene to be able to do so. After removing distractions, the more unique the location and the more unique the task, the better the benefits you will reap from that isolated location and task. The human brain and body want to complete specific tasks in specific locations, so the more you can adhere to those practices, the better your return on investment.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

For me to increase my wellness habit, I established a class instead of making my workouts solo. By incorporating friends, family and even strangers into my weekly workout routine, I have better accountability because I cannot simply skip.

The best practice for increasing your performance habits would be scheduling time for reflection. If you give yourself a pat on the back and a reward for achieving those performance habits, then you’re more likely to create more performance habits and stick with them. The key factor is finding that time to acknowledge what you’ve achieved and reward yourself accordingly.

As for habits involving focus, I am always improving by creating new environments for specific tasks and avoiding foods that inhibit my ability to focus. Another great habit to increase performance is maintaining adequate blood flow to your brain. After sitting for 20 to 30 minutes, more than half of the blood flow circulating to your brain is cut off. I set a timer in my office, which is a literal time bomb, to let me know when it’s time to stand up and walk around to reestablish new nutrients and blood to my brain, allowing for the highest level of focus possible.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

A great habit that leads to optimal performance at work is showing up early. Simply being able to collect your thoughts and review activities before they start puts you ahead of the competition. Another great habit for peak performance at work is avoiding prolonged sitting, anything longer than 30 minutes. As I explained previously, your brain starts to literally lose blood flow the longer you sit, so you have to set a timer and get on your feet even if it interrupts your work. The last phenomenal habit that leads to optimal performance at work and or at sport is drinking more water. Water is the single most important — and easiest — way to increase overall performance in everything you do. Without water, everything your body and mind tries to achieve requires more effort. A great way to drink more water is to track how much water you’re currently drinking, and then make small steps toward consuming half your body weight in ounces on non-workout days.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

The only way you can consistently show up for appointments early is by planning and prioritizing a proper process. As the book Atomic Habits explains, “ultimately it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.“ As for optimal blood flow habits, I have an alarm clock bomb that I set on my Internet browser that explodes every 21 minutes reminding me to stand up. The best way for my water habit to reach peak performance is carrying around the total water I need to consume for the day. Whenever possible, I purchase a gallon so I’m not having to count my cups per day or remember how many bottles I drink. Even when I do have a water bottle and I calculate with tallies, I still fall short if I don’t carry the cliche gallon.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

Consuming dairy, egg yolks and wheat drastically decrease my ability to focus. Avoiding those foods is the simplest habit for me when it comes to peak focus. Reading in a specific place and always doing work at home in my home office helps me stay tuned in to what’s important when I need to get the job done. Lastly, I frequently monitor my lifecycle and focus apps on my phone to see how much time is being delegated toward activities on my phone and activities with my physical location.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Avoiding my hypersensitivities prior to work or important meetings is crucial for my ability to focus. When it comes to the weekends or on vacation, I make sure to live a well-balanced life and consume what I please since I have less need for 100 percent focus. To reinforce my reading habit daily, I set it in my schedule and make it a priority to go outside and sit in nature, regardless of the weather, to fuel my brain with new knowledge. When it comes to the utilization of the lifecycle app and the screen time app, the proof is in the pudding. You simply input what you’re doing when you go to certain places and it starts to catalog the time you’re spending at each activity. The reports are given on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. I highly recommend using lifecycle and/or the screen time app.

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

I think optimal flow is achieved with the ability to forgive others and yourself for current and past actions. Finding one’s ability to flow is depending upon your perception of your well-being and reality. If you’re continually dwelling on past mistakes you made or other people committed towards you, your daily flow will be hindered. Making sure to learn from mistakes and forgive people for the past not only heightens your achievements but increases your flow to success.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

With all politics aside, the most relevant talking topic would be regarding the most recent Covid pandemic. I pray our community will be inspired to learn true health is not something that you can achieve by washing your hands, wearing a mask or injecting chemicals into your body. As the world continues to grow, and when the next widespread viral infection reaches your neighborhood, think twice about trying to hide from it or changing your habits. Any actions taken with regard to fear of exposure have an astronomically negative effect on your immune system. Most people have no idea the number one side effect of fear is decreased immune system response, just Google it. If you truly care about your family, friends and your neighbors, do what’s right and realize that controlling something you cannot see is virtually impossible. Any actions taken with the goal of preventing exposure to sickness, with fear for yourself or others, actually hurts our community more than helps it. I hope this information becomes more widespread knowledge if there are further pandemics, only with the intention of saving lives, because actions out of fear only compound the negative responses and subsequently the deaths. If you truly care about your health and the health of others, you’ll partake in exercise daily and eat a well-balanced meal. It’s as simple as that.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

This is honestly the hardest question out of the bunch for me to answer! I would have to say Ian Smith because he stood up for what he believes in recently regarding the mandated shutdowns for fitness facilities. I think it takes a lot of courage and wisdom to do what’s right, even when higher authorities are pressuring you to make unhealthy decisions for your community. I’d love to sit down with him and pick his brain beyond the obvious to see what makes him tick deep down inside.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I am active on social media, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, but also you can find some of my content through Jack City Fitness social handles (Instagram/Facebook).

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

Written by

Entrepreneur, angel investor and syndicated columnist, as well as a yoga, holistic health, breathwork and meditation enthusiast. Unlock the deepest powers

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store