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How To Stay Strong, Motivated And Positive In Tough Times According To An Ultra-Endurance Athlete

On any given day, you can find Tom Jones surfing, practicing martial arts, running, bicycling, stand-up paddleboarding, and now even hydro surfboarding. That’s a sport he knew very little about. In fact, he admits he wasn’t even a strong swimmer, but he trained adding, “that’s what you do if you want it bad enough”.

Tom Jones is an ultra-endurance athlete, certified fitness trainer, kickboxing champion, marathon runner, standup paddled record holder, owner of Quitproof gym and if that’s not enough, he’s training to set a long distance Hydro-foil record in 2021.

The former Marine combat veteran shared his expert advice on how to stay motivated during these tough times as well as some suggested exercises to stay strong and shift your mood.

Q&A with Tom Jones


TJ: I’ll be very honest, COVID really hasn’t changed the way that I personally workout; at least not too much. I pretty much already isolate during most of my ‘personal’ training and workouts. I normally ride my bike alone and if another person wants to ride along, they’re usually 6-feet away from me. Same when I am open ocean swimming. I am alone and when someone wants to train with me, they are 6-feet or more distanced from me. Even before COVID, I’d workout by myself before and after training my clients. Many people might know me now because of Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) which I do in the ocean and of course, normally all by my lonesome. I am currently preparing for a world record Hydro-Foiling event off the coast of California. This is also a solo event on the hydrofoil with a support vessel.


TJ: I motivate people by maintaining a positive attitude. I suggest staying focused and living an active lifestyle in the ‘here and now’, rather than getting stuck in the past with fears and expectations of the future. I encourage individuals not to give into their fears as that tends to derail them from achieving their personal fitness best. Physical fitness success needs to remain strong in their minds and anyone can achieve that by keeping faith in themselves, their God, and by managing and also checking themselves routinely.

I recommend having a specific plan for each day rather than going any which way the wind blows. Make sure to set realistic goals that are achievable each day, as opposed to a plan that’s so big it sets you up to fail. It is paramount to make sure you have a good nutrition and rest agenda, healthy food, the proper amount of rest and most of all, be a champion for yourself and also others during these tough and challenging times.


TJ: There are many calisthenic types of exercises that I have my clients do at home. I customize those programs according to my client’s physical abilities, time availability, and level of experience.

Here are 5 exercises anyone can try at home. Each exercise is :30 with a recommended 3-5 sets.


1. Walking In Place

Beginners – Pace simply walking in place.

Intermediate – Walk in place and bring your knees above your waist

Advanced – Walk in place at a faster pace keeping your knees above your waist

2. Jump Rope

Jump rope as if you have a real jump rope in your hands

Beginner – Pretend jumping rope while walking slowly

Intermediate – Pretend to jump rope at a steady pace

Advanced – Pretend to jump rope at a fast pace bringing your knees above your waist

3. Walking Jab Punch

Beginner – Close your hands into a tight fist and jab punch while walking in place

Intermediate – Jab punch at an upbeat pace while bringing your knees above your waist

Advanced – Jab punch while jogging in place and bringing your knees above your waist

4. Fast Feet With Uppercuts

Form fists similar to the walking jab punch and bend your arms as if doing dumbbell curls or an uppercut

Beginner – Shuffle feet at walking pace, bring your hands up to chest level and alternate hands as if you were throwing boxing style uppercuts

Intermediate – Shuffle feet at an upbeat pace while bringing knees above the waist and throwing boxing style uppercuts

Advanced – Shuffle feet at a fast pace while bringing knees above the waist and throwing boxing style uppercuts

5. Jumping Jacks

Beginners – Stand at the attention position with both arms straight down next to your hips. Now step one leg out laterally while bringing both arms straight above your head together, touching your hands together in a clapping position; alternate legs & repeat.

Intermediate – Do jumping jacks at a moderate pace

Advanced – Do jumping jacks at a fast pace

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