Community Health Opinion

Bar Talk with Eric Bartosz: Are You the Best Version of Yourself?

Bar40 Eric Bartosz Nov 2020 Rail Trail headshot

Eric Bartosz of Center Valley is the creator of the BAR40 program and author of the book, ‘BAR40: Achieving Personal Excellence.’ In his new column, he explains how anyone can reach their peak potential in order to become the ultimate version of themselves.

Est. Read Time: 4 mins

First off, great to meet you! (Even if it is in the most socially distanced of ways through this column.) Secondly, if you’ll stick with me for a few minutes, I’ll briefly share a bit of background on what this new column is all about and why you may want to become a regular reader of it.

Bar40 Eric Bartosz Nov 2020 Rail Trail headshot

Eric Bartosz of Center Valley is the founder of BAR40 and author of BAR40: Achieving Personal Excellence.

As you may or may not realize, Josh Popichak is the creator and publisher of Saucon Source. I’ve long been a fan of his writing, going back to the Patch days, and his ongoing commitment to delivering current news to the Lehigh Valley community with a specialty in hyperlocal stories you won’t find elsewhere. Aside from Josh’s credentials as a newsman, he happens to be an all-around great guy which makes any chance to grab a cup of coffee a welcome opportunity. Recently, we were doing just that, catching up over a coffee at the Bagel Basket and our conversation wandered to Covid topics. From your own experiences, I’m sure you can relate to this being a common discussion detour since mid-March! We were talking about some of the main challenges we are all facing together (but often separately) in dealing with life in 2020 but we were also going over some details of an upcoming episode of his podcast ‘No Rain Date’ in which I was scheduled to be a guest in order to talk about the BAR40 methodology of reaching peak potential and living your best year ever.

For background context, BAR40 is a program I started in 2015. To summarize, it’s a 52-week system designed to help anyone reach their peak potential and become the ultimate version of themselves. Some of the core components of BAR40 include diet modifications and enhancements to help you look, feel and perform your best; a customized fitness program and specific exercise preferences tailored to meet your goals; goal setting (and achieving!) strategies; and personal accountability tools to help ensure that habit formation and elimination are taking place to keep your goals on track. Even though BAR40 had been around years before anyone ever heard of Covid-19, the fact that it’s a program designed to help build a framework in your life for personal success and act as a roadmap for living your best year ever has made BAR40 (and the book) very popular in the last six months. Based on the many conversations I’ve had with people about it, the reason behind the widespread interest is clear. Covid has impacted all of our lives and structures in almost every imaginable way. It has upended our routines across the board. We are now working from home (or ‘living at work’ depending on how you look at it). Our kids are now our officemates, often in shared workspaces where they are learning to learn in a new virtual environment. Most of our activities are cancelled or postponed, and many of our social interactions now take place in Zoom rooms. Add into the mix the constant news and social media drumbeat of Covid-related statistics and it’s a perfect storm of relentless uncertainty that leaves us all searching for something constant that isn’t subject to Covid interruption. BAR40 checks off that box and allows anyone to regain a sense of control in creating weekly routines that not only get results but also– maybe even more importantly–provide that psychological need so many of us share to bring some consistency back into our life.

With this in mind over coffee, Josh brought up the concept of having an ongoing column in Saucon Source that ties into these core areas of BAR40 and provides ongoing relevant and useful content that will help provide insights and strategies aimed at helping you live your best life. Think of it as a 2020 version of personal coaching.

To get back to the beginning, if this sounds like something that would be of interest to you for continued reading, than be on the lookout for upcoming columns that will be much more focused on actual content: things you can take from page to practice. Rest assured, I’m forward-focused and this will be the only column dedicated to background! 

Wishing you a safe and happy Thanksgiving,


Eric Bartosz is the founder of BAR40 and the author of the internationally-acclaimed book BAR40: Achieving Personal Excellence. Eric lives in Center Valley with his wife Trish, daughter Riley and pug Piper, and serves the community as an Upper Saucon firefighter, a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley and a local race organizer. Eric is a 20+ year runner and racer and can often be found logging miles on the Saucon Rail Trail.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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