Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Hey everyone, 

Though we haven't seen each other in about 20 years, our next guest writer, Brian VanNostrand and I had remained in loose contact on Facebook. Every now and then, he would send me a message about he appreciated my writing. 

Knowing that Brian was always very smart, literate and funny I held his praise in high regard. When he decided to sign up for the Die Mighty online training program I was beyond thrilled. I was extra excited when I received his blog. 

We can all make change. We can all grab the sword. We can all Die Mighty. We just have to break the paradigms and barriers we can spend years building for ourselves. 

Please comment, like and share if you relate to this or think it can help inspire someone. 

Ladies and gents, here's Brian's guest manifesto. 


A Die Mighty Guest Manifesto
By Brian VanNostrand
English Teacher

I was never good at sports – at least that’s the way I remember things. I wasn’t some kind of cliché; bespectacled and clumsy and always picked last for kickball at recess, but I wasn’t very good either. I suspect my ineptitude at physical games was the result of being overweight as a child, and my tendency to fantasize about the origins of Star Wars characters when I should have been paying attention to what was flying at me in right field. My classmates and (especially) my teammates were always quick to point out my mistakes in the oh-so-gentle way children have of criticizing each other, so naturally I started to shy away from physical games pretty early on.
My parents encouraged me to join different league sports – soccer, baseball, football – I tried them all and dropped them all pretty quickly. I just wasn’t the “athletic type”. 

Now, what I was good at was academic pursuits. As early as I can remember, I was praised for my grades and my ability to comprehend things passed my age. I was highly imaginative, and loved to draw and make up stories, and many of the adults in my life reinforced this by commending me on these pursuits. Because of all this, somewhere along the way, I unconsciously decided that this was what would define me.

I was creative, an intellectual.

Physical activities just weren’t for me. 

Some people were sporty and others weren’t. I knew where I belonged. This pattern, this paradigm, dividing people into these two groups (the physical and the intellectual) unconsciously dominated my thinking for decades. 

Oh, there were a few moments of defection. I briefly played football in the 8th and 9th grade, and lifted weights for awhile in high school, but I really did these things to try and impress girls, and didn’t ever take either very seriously. No, for the most part, I worked on developing my mind and neglected my body. 

And this way of seeing the world persisted for decades. Here and there, I would try and get on a “health kick”, but I always ended up quitting and returning to a sedentary life of bad food and plenty of beer.

I got married, had kids, started a career, and bought a house. These were all good things, but they also made it easier for me to ignore my health.There was never enough time to exercise, I was too busy to diet; the excuses were very easy to come by. 

Then, a few years ago I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I started taking the medication and just kept going, eating and drinking like a sailor on shore leave. My doctor would suggest exercise, and I would agree (“I really should, but there’s never any time…”). Meanwhile a little voice in the back of my head would be muttering, “Exercise? That’s for jocks! Can’t she see we are an intellectual?” 

The high blood pressure diagnosis was soon followed by high cholesterol and another pill I had to take everyday. Still I kept going, pushing on, ignoring what my body was telling me. I would exercise for a little while, then drop it, the old subconscious paradigm still nagging me. 

A few months ago, just before my forty-third birthday, I was prescribed my third and fourth daily medicines. I was despondent now, I thought of myself as an unsustainable organism. I would look at my wife and kids and imagine what their lives would be without me. How would my children remember me when I died of a stroke or sudden heart attack? Something needed to change. I realized I needed to change, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. 
After reading the first few blog posts from Coach Fury, I saw a way I could help myself. I could take charge of my physical life in the same way I had always taken charge of my intellectual life. I needed to see that old paradigm as just what it was – an old thought that I had been thinking for too long. I had repeated it to myself so many times over so many years, and used it to define myself within such narrow parameters that I dragged myself into disease and danger.
I started to see beyond that old perspective, and realized that I could be better; better for myself, better for my wife, and (most importantly) better for my kids.

I want to be healthy for myself, sure, but I also want to show them that the only limits we have in life are the ones we put on ourselves. 

I want to show them that these self-imposed limits are artificial, just a thought we had and have been thinking too long.

We humans are not defined in only one way or the other – we can be all things at once.

I want them to know that I’m in this life for the long haul. 

I’m going to die mighty.  

Along with creating Die Mighty, Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner is a trainer at Mark Fisher Fitness in NYC and is an Original Strength Lead Instructor, a Master RKC Kettlebell Instructor and a Master DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Instructor. Through his leadership roles, Fury travels throughout the U.S. and internationally to teach. Fury has also written for Mark Fisher Fitness, the RKC, DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, Bodybuilding.com, Details Magazine and his own site.

He’s also a big Godzilla fan.

Want to dive deeper into Die Mighty? Fury is available for online training and is teaching workshops.

Show the world you chose the sword with I WILL DIE MIGHTY shirts!

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Hey everyone, 

I present you the first Die Mighty Guest Manifesto! This is incredibly special to me because what the writer, Evan Ganz, doesn't mention is that we've been friends since high school. We spent years skateboarding, collecting star wars toys, seeing movies and going to concerts together.

I'm not going to give any spoilers away, but you are going to hit a very powerful statement in here. When you do, you'll see what Die Mighty is all about. We defy letting ourselves go by taking action!

Please read, like and share. 

Please email me (coachfury@gmail.com) if you'd like to share your Die Mighty story. 

Now without further ado, I present you Evan's guest manifesto. 


A Die Mighty Guest Manifesto
By Evan Ganz
Store Manager at Barnes & Noble

I want to start this out with a little background on how I got here. About 9 years ago I was diagnosed with all the things that men don't want to hear about. High cholesterol, high blood sugar and overweight. I started to treat it with medication, but a move caused me to not find a new doctor and stop taking my meds. 2 years later I had heart failure and was pretty down.

That's when I noticed that Coach Fury was changing his life and using these things called kettlebells so I reached out to him and he guided me through how to properly train. Unfortunately while doing this, my doctor's felt it was best that I have a pacemaker installed. After my surgery, Steve was the only person who reached out to me and inspired me not to give up.
Once I healed I started hitting the kettlebells again, but my range of motion wasn't the same. I decided I can't quit and started running. Within 3 months I ran my first 5k, astonished my doctors by my recovery, and started training for a 10k.

Then I injured my knee and was told to lighten up on the exercise and heal. I made several attempts to get back into training, but just could never get back into the groove.

Then I moved again.

This time I got a doctor right away so I didn't slip. I tried running, but just couldn't get it going. On top of that, I had a terrible year and work and started to feel like I was spiraling into oblivion. Nothing seemed to be going my way and I was feeling down. I was just hoping that things would get better.

Then once again, Coach Fury finds a way to inspire me.

I noticed that he was making some kind of announcement about taking his training to the next level. This couldn't have come at a better time for me.

"Die Mighty" was the call and the kick in the ass I needed. I needed to stop hoping things would get better and start doing.

No Ganz male in my family has made it out of their 40's and I need to defy those odds.
That day I realized I was happiest when I was healthy.

I was happiest when I was running and getting strong.

I was my best at work and in my personal life when I was strong.

Since Steve's call to action, I've started training for another 5k that I plan on running on my 44th birthday. I’m doing it right this time. I know what my limits are and how to properly avoid injury.

I will now be strong!

I will now #diemighty!

-Evan Ganz

Die Mighty shirts are available again! Order now:

Monday, July 4, 2016


A Die Mighty Manifesto           
By Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner
OS Lead Instructor, MFF Coach, Master DVRT, Master RKC

Skateboarding provided me with the gift to view my surroundings with a fresh and different perspective. Where most would see an empty parking lot or curb, we skaters would see hours of endless possibilities. The curiosity, creativity and freedom skating engrained in me, also pervades my interest in fitness.
Though fairly common now, kettlebells were not widely accepted as safe and effective implements when I started. However, I knew there was something to the cannonball with the handle as soon as I picked one up. I saw hours of endless possibilities. The same gut reaction I had to kettlebells would lead me to Ultimate Sandbags, Original Strength, TRX, Indian Clubs and back to barbells among other things.

Curiosity. Creativity. Freedom.

Here’s the thing most “fitness” folks don’t want you to know:

You don’t need much to make progress.

What you do need is a smart plan of attack, intensity and, most importantly, consistency.

With Die Mighty, I meet people with three main factors in mind: What do they have access to? What can they realistically commit to? Can they approach fitness with a fresh perspective?

It doesn’t need to be fancy. It doesn’t need to be pricey. Give me the equivalent of an empty parking lot and a curb and I will design a program that works for you. Could you achieve better results with some gear or a gym membership? Maybe, but ask yourself how many gym memberships or fitness dvds have you left unused? Do you still have a VCR hooked up for those Tae Bo tapes?
As always, I don’t aim to shame. However, we need to be realistic when we get started. You need to be in this for the long haul. We want to DIE MIGHTY! Not have a fairly mighty summer.

Let’s start simple. Let’s start with what you CAN commit to. We can look into gear once you have several sessions under your belt. Let’s dive in and actually get started instead of prepping for a well intentioned future start date. Make no mistakes about it, my approach serves the purpose of excuse removal. Time and money are hot commodities for anyone, especially parents. I do my best to minimize excessive need on either. Excuse removal. No retreat. No surrender!
Hopefully you’ve read some of the other Die Mighty Manifestos by now and you are getting sense of who I am, where I come from and what I have to offer.

Going forward, here are some concepts to ponder as we start training with a fresh perspective.

1.    Running can be great but it’s not the magic bullet to renewed health and fitness that most view it as.
2.    You don’t need to sit in machines to get strong.
3.    What you eat will account for the vast majority of your waistline.
4.    Pain is not weakness leaving the body. Pain is your body telling you you’ve been a dumbass.
As simple as those concepts seem, many people will bash my take on them. That’s fine. People used to think it was cool for Doctor’s to leech folks too.

What will we focus on in Die Mighty?

1.   Breathing well.
2.   Moving well.
3.   Eating well.
4.   Sleeping well.
5.   Being awesome!

It can be that simple. Not easy. Simple. 

Will you approach your fitness with a fresh perspective? Will you find the time? Will you stop making excuses?

Will you choose strength? WILL YOU DIE MIGHTY?!

I am here to help you.

Please like and share if you get the message. 

Thanks for your time. 


Along with creating Die Mighty, Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner is a trainer at Mark Fisher Fitness in NYC and is an Original Strength Lead Instructor, a Master RKC Kettlebell Instructor and a Master DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Instructor. Through his leadership roles, Fury travels throughout the U.S. and internationally to teach. Fury has also written for Mark Fisher Fitness, the RKC, DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, Bodybuilding.com, Details Magazine and his own website.

He’s also a big Godzilla fan. Duh!

Want to dive deeper into Die Mighty? Fury is available for online training and is teaching workshops.