90s Fitness Star Tony Little Offers Women Workout And Life Advice


I’ve always believed that if I don’t believe in myself, nobody else will. If I don’t think out of the box – I will always be in a box.

Your attitude equals your altitude. I’ve been a personal trainer for over 30 years, and I’ve trained both women and men. I love doing it, because fitness is always a positive – and not negative – experience. I especially love training women because they possess an amazing attitude towards fitness and wellness. Women choose to train in order to enhance their confidence, self-esteem, wellness and, of course, body and mind. For women, fitness goes beyond the physical aspect of working out and looking good. It goes beyond losing weight. Instead, women regard fitness as a lifestyle choice, a road to self-empowerment. It’s all about an ‘I can do it’ attitude that makes women so special, so strong, so beautiful.

I got into the business of fitness by accident, literally (many accidents!). I was hit by a school bus 3 or 4 weeks before the Mr. America competitions – and turned it into becoming America’s Personal Trainer. I was hit by a lobster truck in Miami – and then shot my first exercise video. I was run off the road on Halloween (and hit a tree) – and turned it into over a billion dollar-plus Gazelle Glider success story. These are among my adversities to victories – all because of attitude.

Example: After the tree accident I got over 200 stitches in my face and I was supposed to shoot my first Gazelle infomercial. But the president of the company I was working for called me and said they had to replace me because of my face. Did I quit? Of course not. Instead, I flew to Ohio, met with the president of the company and said ‘this is a great opportunity for us!’ He looked at me in disbelief. I told him that my face was actually ‘a positive’ because people always look for hope – and the accident gave me a totally unique and real way to show people that, due to my commitment to fitness, I never quit. That fitness makes me strong, mentally and physically. So I walked out on that stage with all the people around me and declared ‘it’s not what happens to us that matters, it’s how we respond to what happens to us.’

The rest is history.

There will always be challenges in our lives, but every challenge is a goal: To feel better… look better…get that job…have a strong family…become a child’s role model – and, most of all, to chase that dream – whatever it is – and win it.

Life is short and when you change your mindset, you change your life. Fitness is a prime motivator to your change.

First, obviously we are talking about the goals which women want to reach. Most women are not looking for muscle size or great strength. They are looking for muscle tone and shape, contour and overall wellness. I am not a big believer in heavy weight training for most women’s wants and needs! So I would say body shaping and body sculpting hit the mark in resistance exercise/ I’ve always said it, Exercise technique , whether you’re a man or woman, is the most important. Women need to do perfect form with medium to light weights, 10 to 15 repetitions concentrating on form not weight.

"And do your hard work on the most important thing you own ( Your Body and Your Mind). Take care of it and it will take care of you."

Women are looking at weight loss, sure, but also they are looking at mostly different body part issues than a man. I have found most women are concerned with legs and buttocks (glutes), most men hate training legs.

Women are looking for toned and shapely arms and shoulders, most men want big shoulders and big arms! Women want a firm but shapely chest area with a lift. Most men want a Big Chest with Big Muscular Pectoral….(yes chest muscle).

Women in my opinion want more self-confidence, self-improvement, great body shape, energy and more fitness and overall health and well being, as well as being a role model for their partners and family. Men think of themselves as protective of the family (which I do too) and look for a strong body and mind and the strength to protect my family.

Everybody wants to feel better, look better and be more confident about who they are, but that being said- you have to find the right trainer to guide you to your personal goals. Interviewing a trainer is the same as interviewing an employee for your particular companies. Don’t ever be afraid to ask the trainer questions, you are looking for the right answers for your specific goals and purpose.

In my opinion, I do think a trainer with plenty of experience and proof of results should never be talking in overly technical terms and should be extremely motivational, funny and make your workouts fun. If the trainer has no personality ,it’s hard to enjoy the experience get motivated, and the likelihood of your continuing into the fitness lifestyle might be limited as well as your results.

The following is a list of just some of the clearly credible organizations a trainer might come from: N.A.S.M, A.C.S.M, A.F.A.A, IDEA, ACE, The Cooper Institute, CSCS, NCSA-CPT and NFPT.

Attitude equals altitude. You can do it!

The Quick 10

1. What app do you most use?

I use the camera app most. I am compulsive with taking photos and it’s great for business.

2. Briefly describe your morning routine.

I'm up by 4 to 4:30 AM, then I have coffee, half a chocolate donut, and lots of vitamins. My first workout is at 6:30 AM. I do business until 3 PM, when I do a second workout because I am getting older.

3. Name a business mogul you admire.

Warren Buffett and his son Howard Buffett.

4. What product do you wish you had invented?

Post It Notes, because I am always taking notes so I don’t forget.

5. What is your spirit animal?

Cheetah is my favorite because of its speed and beauty, but they eat Gazelles which have helped by business.

6. What is your life motto?

“You Can Do It. I mean, what is the alternative? You Can’t Do It? No way! I own that trademark in 7 categories.

7. Name your favorite work day snack.

Unsalted Peanuts.

8. Every entrepreneur must be what to be successful?

"Believe in themselves" because not many people will believe in them in the beginning.

9. What’s the most inspiring place you’ve traveled to?

New Zealand.

10. Desert Island. Three things, go.

1. Find a clean water source.

2. Decide which animals are edible.

3. Depending on where you are, find a boat to get off the island.

3 Min Read

Five Essential Lessons to Keep in Mind When You're Starting Your Own Business

"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.

Find A Need And Fill It

I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.

Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.

Have Working Capital And Credit

There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.

I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.

Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.

My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.

Know Your Product Thoroughly

I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?

My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.

My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!

More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.

Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth

I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.

I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.

Delegate From The Bottom Up

I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.

In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.