A Different Reason To Exercise

 

Here’s a list of some of the more popular reasons to exercise:

  1. Help to prevent the onset of Type II diabetes
  2. Helps maintain weight loss
  3. Boosts HDL or “good” cholesterol
  4. Decreases triglycerides
  5. Helps to prevent strokes
  6. Helps to prevent certain types of cancers
  7. Improves sleep
  8. Improves sex life
  9. Improves cognitive function

Given this, Why do people quit?

The latest IHRSA stats show that 30% of fitness goers drop out in the first six weeks.  An average gym will only 13% renew of their members from year to year (NPT renews 84% – and that includes athletes who go off to college and/or move away).  It’s my opinion that most of these failures are the result of a failing business model of renting equipment – by that, I mean pay a monthly fee to use equipment, buyers remorse from high pressure sales, and not getting the results because these gyms hire unqualified trainers with online certifications who give out cookie cutter programs.

Why High Intensity Interval Training is Worth Your Time

 

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How much time do you clock on the elliptical or treadmill trying to obtain your fat loss or fitness goals?  What if I told you there could be a better (and shorter!) way?  High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) includes short blasts of maximum effort followed by recovery periods. All the cardio blast you need without the hours staring out into space on the stairmaster.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like to run. I like the wind in my hair, the sunshine, the runner’s high, the whole bit. But for reaching fat loss goals, there may be a better way. It really boils down to increasing your resting metabolic rate (RMR). I know we’ve talked about that on here before but as a reminder, RMR is the rate in which you burn calories at rest throughout the day.  If you can increase your RMR, you’ll burn more calories daily. How do you increase RMR? Build muscle.

What If I Trained A Superhero?

So, I was watching “The Dark Knight” this week and it kind of got me thinking.  How would I train a superhero?  By superhero, I mean the Batman or Ironman types, not the mutants.  These are just normal (but rich) dudes who decided they wanted to fight crime.  So, lets’ just pretend for a minute that Bruce Wayne called and asked me to be his coach.

Fitness Avon

Let’s go over some thoughts I have about it.

 

Recovery

Recovery would be a huge issue for Batman (more so than Ironman because of the suit).  I’d probably track his recovery with one of the Heart Rate Variability (HRV) monitors on the market.  Simply put, heart rate variability is the difference in the amount of time that passes between each beat.  This gives us a peek at what the autonomic nervous system (especially the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system) is up to and tells us how much stress (both physical and mental) the athlete is under.  Mike Robertson wrote a good post about it here.  By monitoring the stress levels of the hero, the coach can adjust the intensity of the training session accordingly.

5 Simple Rules to Follow At Mealtime

It can be overwhelming and difficult to know just where to start when you want to lost weight/bodyfat.  Try these simple rules at meal time to help move you towards your goals.  They may not be fancy or cost a ton of money, but they work every time!  Sidenote: Healthy eating and exercise are both 100% important in the quest for your ideal body composition.

5 Simple Rules to Follow At Mealtime

Nutrition Avon

Schedule yourself twenty minutes, at least, for meals.

This can seem like an eternity if you are used to eating on the go – especially if you’re someone who attempts to maximize your workday by working through lunch.  The communication between our gut and our brain is a little slow. When we eat quickly, we are much more likely to eat far too much in the twenty-minute time period it takes for your brain to realize its’ content.  Make sure to wait before going back for seconds or finishing the food on your plate.

15 Mistakes In 10 Years

Avon fitness“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” 
― Albert Einstein

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I got my first personal training job.  Looking back on my career so far, I think I’ve accomplished quite a bit.  I’ve had clients/athletes get drafted to the NFL, sign free agent contracts to the NFL, become an olympic hopeful, make it to the big leagues, and lose thousands of pounds and get fitter and stronger that they ever thought possible.  I’ve been published to some pretty mainstream sites (like here and here).

Sure this looks pretty good, but I’ve also made plenty of mistakes and had many failures along the way.  The purpose of this post is to bring them to light so that others don’t make the same colossal failures I have.  Here’s 15 mistakes I’ve made in ten years:

2014 Arnold Amatuer World Championships Write Up And Videos

This past weekend I had the privilege of being a part of Team USA at the Arnold Amatuer Strongman World Championships.  It’s pretty cool to think about stepping on the field and competing against some of the best amateurs the world has to offer.  I believe there were 35 competitors from 15 different countries.  All the events were very heavy, as you would expect, and bordering on the limit of my abilities.  Here’s how it went:

210 Pound Dumbbell Clean And Press For Reps

The dumbbell felt pretty good.  I was consistently hitting 3 or 4 reps in training and was hoping for 5 or better at the show.  I ended up locking out 4 but was unstable on the 4th so only credited with 3.

Indiana State Strength Clinic Write Up

isu strengthAnother day, another clinic!  This time we were at Indiana State University for their one-day Strength and Conditioning Clinic.  Since Jason was very familiar with where we were going and who we were going to be around all day, I had a good idea of what to expect.  Even so, it was very well executed with a variety of speakers and topics. I was impressed!

Let’s get into it.

David Feeley – Inseason Training

First up was David Feeley, the director for strength and conditioning Ball State football. He spoke on in-season training and what works for their team. He emphasized that, while you may have the best plan in the world, the Head Football Coach, the Head Strength Coach and the Athletic Trainer must all be on the same page when it comes to that plan.  The ebb and flow of training in a demanding playing season requires a good deal of flexibility and the ability to completely throw away said plan and try a different one. (I think this is something every coach can learn from and relate to, myself included!)

Things To Look For When Hiring A Trainer Or Coach

Probably don’t hire the weekend certification guy…

One good way to make sure you keep accountable to that New Year’s resolution to get in better shape is to hire a trainer or coach.  Hiring a trainer can be a very worthwhile investment that will help you stay accountable and get results faster and safer than going it alone.  The problem most people face when hiring a trainer is finding one that is a good fit for them.  It’s important to realize that fitness is one of the least regulated fields in the country.  There is no governing body that says who gets to be and trainer and who doesn’t.  Pretty scary, right?  So given this, I’m going to give you 10 questions to ask when hiring a trainer. 

The Why And How Of Warming Up

Warming up (sometimes called movement prep by those who wish to be fancy) is the act of getting ready for movement.  Warming up is critical for having a good training session.

Can you get by without one?

Maybe.

Can you get by with just doing some static stretches, bodyweight squats, and pushups?

You probably won’t die, but you may be inhibiting your awesomeness.

If your goal is to be a badass in the gym or on the field, then you’d better learn the why and the how of warming up!

Warm Up 101

A proper warm up will:

  • Efficiently increase core body temperature (makes muscles move better)
  • Activate the nervous system
  • Increase adrenal hormones (gets you “woke up”)
  • Decrease viscosity of synovial fluid (makes joints feel better)
  • Lengthen, strengthen, stabilize, and balance muscles
  • Prepare you for upcoming movements