Five Random Things

I’m a nerd.

That’s right.  I’ll admit it.  More specifically, I’m a fitness nerd.  When I’m not spending time with my family or working in my gym, I’m usually geeking out with some book or articles on training and trying to figure out how I can get better at it.  Given this, I thought it might be a cool idea to post some random thoughts I have going through my head throughout the day.  Enjoy!

People don’t understand breathing and how it relates to lifting.

If you read any fitness magazine or listen to any inexperienced trainer, they’ll always tell you “inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.”  Their reasoning behind this is that it will lower the peak blood pressure and thereby eliminate the possibility of a cerebrovascular accident.  The problem with this way of thinking is that it greatly overestimates the likelihood of an event like this (they are very, very rare) and it greatly underestimates the possibility of an orthopedic injury (which is way more likely).

Avoiding the Holiday Stretchy Pants

Elf

 

The holidays are right around the corner!  Whether you are ecstatic about eating your Grandmother’s famous homemade noodles and mashed potatoes or dreading the pumpkin pie that you know you can’t help but consume even though you are trying to stick to a program, there are a few simple rules that can help you keep yourself in control while allowing you to enjoy some of your favorite holiday foods!

The first rule of thumb is to eat 1-2 hours before attending holiday parties.  Have a protein and veggie packed small meal before leaving your home.  This will help you avoid snacking!  It’s nothing for individuals to consume between 2,000 and 3,000 calories during a holiday meal, but doing that along with snacking on plates of cheese and crackers (or other tasty not-so-spectacular foods) can increase that number drastically.  Another simple way to keep away from sneaking those bites of food is to stay out of the room they are occupying.  Most family and friend holiday get-togethers I have attended have food items in one area.  Stay out of that room!  If you must walk into it before dinner is served, walk straight through. Don’t stop to survey and under no circumstances should you ever congregate to visit in that room!

Negative Self Talk – What is it good for?

omg.body-weight-scale

At our gym, we set measurable goals to help keep clients on track and working toward something tangible. Most of our adult clients have fat loss goals. Because of this, we measure their body fat percentages about every 8 weeks. Whenever measurements come around, without fail I hear, “oh man, already? I don’t even want to know” or “I’m so nervous; this could be either really bad or really good” or even worse, “This could ruin my day.”  I’ve seen clients nearly in tears to turning cartwheels (yes, literally) in the gym, solely based on the calipers.

10 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Training

 

Here’s ten things you can add to your current training to continue making progress and avoid injury.

Enjoy!

1.  Add in some grip training.

In most pulling movements; like deadlifts, pullups, and rows, grip can be the limiting factor.  We usually incorporate rows and chin ups with Fat Gripz and thick bar horizontal pullups for extra grip training.  Adding some grip training will improve most of your pulling movements, but it can also be very tough to recover from.  So, doing it the day before deadlifts may not be a great idea.

2.  Groove your squat pattern.

Our clients perform some sort of squat every time they lift.  It could be anything from a bodyweight or PVC overhead squat in warm ups to goblet squats to back squats.   The more you practice these, the less you’ll have to worry or think about technique while doing a heavy lift.

Easy Tips to Find Motivation


Motivation

Staying motivated is at least half the battle when it comes to staying active. If your brain isn’t on board, it is hard to make the body follow suit. Thankfully, there are some easy steps you can take to make that workout seem a little less (mentally) daunting.

  1. Just put your shoes on

And while you’re at it, walk out the door.  Just do it. Stop hemming and hawing, stop thinking, stop justifying.  If you spent half the energy getting out of a workout into the workout instead, you’d already be another day ahead.

2.  Set Realistic goals

And make them measurable. Goals such as “I want to walk 10,000 steps” or “I want to lose 20 pounds” or “I want to strength train 3 days a week” are all good, measurable goals. If you have a nebulous goal, it’s hard to create a concrete plan how to achieve it. Once you set your goal, write it down somewhere! Or, likewise, sign up for that race or event. Get it on the calendar and you’re less likely to blow it off.

Ten Common Mistakes I See People Make In The Gym

I’m about to enter my 11th year in the industry (woah).  Given this ,  I seen about every mistake a person can make in the gym.  Here’s a list of the ten most common ones that tend to hinder people’s progress.

1.  More Is Better

Quite frequently I have people come in the gym who want ask “Can I train every day?”  The answer is typically a resounding no.  Their thought process is that if three days per week is good, then 7 days per week must be awesome!  I will inform them that their body needs to recover properly.  You don’t get better by working out; you get better by recovering from working out.

Work + Rest = Success

And yes, I know competitive weightlifters train up to 13 times per week.  You aren’t them.

Summer Produce – What to do with it all!

Now that we’re well into August, summer produce has been at full tilt for a couple months. We’ve been spoiled with delicious offerings from Mother Nature and, every now and then, need some new ideas for what to do with it all! If your counters are overflowing with these summertime picks, read on.

 

toms

Tomatoes

These versatile fruits come in a myriad in colors, shapes and flavors. Come late summer, my counters overflow with them! It’s easy to chop them up with peppers, garlic and onions for a fresh salsa. You can cook them down slowly into a hearty soup or homemade pasta sauce. They’re also delicious roasted in a low and slow oven and put on top of sandwiches or salads

Zucchini

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

 

6pax

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.