By Mark Alvisi, Co-founder Sano System, Author and Former Mr. USA
When most people look at my photos and read about my career achievements, they must think that my life is one hundred percent focused on the gym. While exercise and fitness certainly are major parts of my life, my true passion is learning.
Born of Italian parents who migrated to the United States, from an early age I was taught the qualities of discipline, integrity, confidence and to always strive to work hard and be the best that I could possibly be. From as early as I can remember, I’ve been enthusiastic about sports and exercise, but the spark was really ignited when I was twelve years old and discovered bodybuilding magazines. I idolized the guys I saw on those pages and wanted to achieve the same results for myself. The road to getting there began at a young age and progressed as I started weightlifting in the army. After finishing my military career, I started working out at a local gym in Florida where the head trainer encouraged me to start competing. I knew that my dreams were on the verge of coming true, but that it was up to me to do the work. It was in those early days of my career that I realized something important: achieving my personal best was a whole-body quest that involved more than just looking good on the outside. If I wanted to reach my aspirations and more importantly, feel my best, I would need to transform myself on the inside before I could reach my goals on the outside. This realization inspired what would become my ultimate goal of achieving wellness from within.
“No matter what your goals are, we all share the common desire of wanting to feel good physically and emotionally.”
To become like the guys I’d looked up to in those bodybuilding magazines back when I was a kid, I adopted a new lifestyle, where fitness was just one of the key components. I set out to give myself a complete re-education, something entirely different than what I had learned before in all my years focusing solely on physical fitness, from gym class to the army.
The more I concentrated on this new way of living, the more dramatic the results became and the more alive I felt. There had been times in my career where my physical body had been in excellent shape, but I didn’t feel my best inside. When I began learning about the power of nutrition and supplementation and building my understanding of whole body wellness, I became the best version of myself, and it felt great. My newfound passion for learning about the power of the body ultimately made it possible for me to win my first competition in 2001 and eventually go on to reach my ultimate dream of winning the Mr. USA title in 2009.
Since then, I have put my knowledge to use as an entrepreneur, starting as a pioneer in health food delivery services, where I learned even more than I could have ever imagined about food ingredients and how food is manufactured. From there, I went on to open two separate vitamin and supplementation stores which gave me the opportunity to work with hundreds of clients and continue my education as I learned about the different vitamins and minerals and the role they play in the body. The common thread that runs through everything I’ve done is teaching people how they can achieve their goals of being in the best body of their lives, inside and out. When working with my clients, I encourage them to set goals that go beyond just losing weight or building muscle, but focus on creating a new lifestyle where they can operate at their peak performance in anything they do, whether that’s performing as an athlete or simply feeling their best in their daily life.
No matter what your goals are, we all share the common desire of wanting to feel good physically and emotionally. My knowledge on nutrition, exercise, supplementation, and the human body has shown me that complete wellness is something that is within anyone’s grasp. My experience in working with real people who want to reach their health and fitness goals has revealed that optimal body performance is easier to achieve than most people realize and that the first, and most important, step in transformation is education.
The Sano System Philosophy
My philosophy on health is simple: wellness comes from within. The word Sano translates from Italian to English as healthy. Creating a healthy system was my goal. And If you’re like most people, you want solutions for how to have more energy, better sleep quality, improve your digestion, and balance your weight. Do you also want to enjoy an improved mood, a better complexion, pain-free joints, and feel full of confidence? These are the things that most people desire for themselves, but they don’t know how to achieve them.
We are bogged down with so much misinformation on health and wellness that it’s difficult for the average person to make sense of all the latest studies, or succeed with any one of the new quick-fix health trends that we are bombarded with daily. In fact, most people assume that when they fail at meeting or sustaining a health goal that it’s because they don’t have the willpower it takes. The truth is that we simply don’t have the right knowledge base on what the body really needs. What we’ll learn in this book is how to cut through the clutter, get the clear and straightforward information that we need to feel our best, and create a positive, lasting lifestyle that focuses on nourishing the body as a whole.
“The truth is that we simply don’t have the right knowledge base on what the body really needs.”
There are three core components of wellness: proper nutrition, supplementation, and regular exercise. When we focus on these fundamental areas, we can all achieve the results that we crave for ourselves. With the right understanding of the body, anyone can create a lifestyle based on these core components of health.
Whether you are training as an athlete, are working towards specific health goals, or just want to feel great about yourself every day, it is this knowledge base that makes reaching ideal health attainable for anyone.
If the idea of transforming your lifestyle is intimidating, remember that it doesn’t happen overnight. We don’t need to start with a perfect body or be a fitness expert. We also don’t need to buy expensive products or high-end exercise equipment. Our bodies are our greatest asset, and the desire to learn how to nourish it to achieve maximum health is all that we need to transform our bodies from the inside out. Together, we will start with the basics of a healthy body and begin a journey of learning how to live a whole-body lifestyle.
My hope is that this book will provide you with an education and base of knowledge that you can use to make the few key changes that will transform your entire body and the way you feel about yourself. It is my personal goal to positively impact people’s lives by teaching the principles for feeling as though you’re living at your peak every day.
Through education and understanding the three components of a healthy body – nutrition, supplementation, and exercise – anyone can lay the foundation for embracing a lifestyle based on wellness from within.