Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Food Source vs. Food intake

Today's post was actually inspired by an event from my long ago past. Back in 2006 Adam was pretty green in the performance and fitness field, and looking for a job. Even with the incredible amount of knowledge and experience I've gained since I feel as though I had earned a decent grasp of the goods, especially for a rookie.

Anyway, I had an interview at a commercial gym (that I'll keep nameless). Before this I'd never felt odd or out of place in an interview. I used to get nervous but that's about it. Too keep a long story short, cause it's really quite ridiculous. This girl walks up 30 min late, completely unprepared (but she was cute, I'll give her that). She hadn't even looked at my resume(commercial gyms will hire almost anyone that can talk and look halfway close to the part). So in some strange effort to make an interview out of this she starts badgering me with these weird questions that didn't make any sense and I had to come up with some BS answer. To say the least this girl's knowledge of training was idiotic at best, the interview went horrible, I almost stood up and walked out multiple times, and I didn't get the job (imagine that).

Well one of the questions was, "How many calories should a 130lb, 45 year old woman be eating per day?"

I remember it very well cause I'm sitting there thinking that is the dumbest question I've ever heard. I don't remember what came out of my mouth, but I remember thinking, "Are you kidding me?" To this day that question is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard from another fitness professional. All I remember getting out was something about not being able to tell without proper evaluation, like Metabolic testing, body fat testing, or even a food log or something.
But then it gets better. She asks me to give her a number of calories. It's all she wants. This girl literally says, "Just give me a number".

It deserves to be said twice. This is by far and away the dumbest thing I've ever encountered up to this point in my field. This literally rivals Ryan Gerot and I shooting each other with BB guns when we were in grade school. (Don't give me that, you probably did it too).

I said it then and I'll say it now. There is no way to tell exactly how many calories you need without proper evaluation. NO WAY.

We humans are an incredibly diverse group. We're incredibly different in the way we react to food, store fat, use macronutrients, how we age, eating habits, activity levels, lifestyles, stress, etc etc... I'll say it again: There is NO WAY to be able to just throw out a number and think your even close. Charts, ratios, pyramids, all that stuff.....It doesn't work.

It doesn't work 'exactly' like this, but for sake of argument we'll use it.
There are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat. There are 7 days in a week. If you overeat 250 calories/day, you'll gain 2lb in 1 month. 250 calories is not much, you wouldn't notice eating an extra 250 calories in a day (maybe even a meal). But over 6 months that is 12 lbs. One year=24 lbs. Put 24lbs on anyone in a year and it's gonna be noticeable. Try walking around with that extra weight. Would be sure to suck. You'd be slower, less attractive, have less $$$ (new clothes), and more prone to injuries.

The only thing I'm going to say about commercial gym's is this: They are open for $$$$, bottom line. Any and all of them. If there is a training staff, anyone on that staff that has been there for more than 4 years is there for $$$$ too. If they were good enough they'd have gone somewhere else by now, and if they gave a crap they'd have been good enough. So be ware. I've worked with trainers that are about the money, they don't care about you or what you get from your investment. They just want that muuneee.

In my eyes they are the scum of the industry. The ones that give the rest of us a bad name, and make a mockery of what we do. I have no tolerance for these people, they drive me crazy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sad day at High Impact Training

Yesterday was a sad day at High Impact. We lost a very integral part of our success, particularly my training success. See, I had to retire a couple olds friends. They were my first but they'd lifted their last days. It even hurts to say but I had to retire my first pair of Chucks.

As you can see they were well worn.

If you know anything about me, you may know how attached I get with my shoes. It's kinda weird, but you put a lot of miles (experiences) on (with) your shoes. But it does seem almost fitting how the last week/2 years has gone.

I originally bought these shoes in Minneapolis where I had my first job in this exercise industry (the commercial gym will remain nameless). Chucks are great for lifting and I had wanted a pair for a long time, but being as broke as I was these were what you might call a "splurg". I bought them for $25. They were way more than worth it and I've been lifting in them since.

Last week I was in minneapolis and while there I lifted with a friend. Just so happens it was at the same commercial gym where I'd started. This would be the place of me and my chucks first and last lift together. It was a good one. We went out with a bang.

Like I said sad day at High Impact Training.

I'd just like to say, thanks to my chucks. We've had some good times. We pulled 440 the first time for what seems like not too long ago. I'll always remember the early mornings, the foam rolling, the sled pushing, and the weird looks we used to get before everyone saw how much weight we were lifting. Even though you're retired from lifting but I'd still like you in my casual life. Thanks for being there. You'll always be my first pair of chucks.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Age of the 'cop-out"

The Age of the 'cop-out"

starts with the word can't.

Personally I hate the word can't, and hate is a strong word. I hate it when I use it accidentally, when my athletes use it and especially when they are using it reference to an obstacle like a lift. It burns me up. It makes me hurt inside hearing people say they can't. It means they've shut down and given up before they even tried. It's an easy cop-out, and I hear it all the time. If they fail after they say that "they can't" do something it's not a big deal cause in their minds that couldn't do it anyway. It's much more scary to tackle an obstacle with "the best that you have" than it is to sit back and not believe you can in the first place.

In 1969 a man went to the moon. I wonder how many people said it couldn't be done. People used to say no one would be able to break past the 4 min mile mark. Roger Bannister ran a 3:59.4s mile in 1954 and many others have done it since. In fact just 46 days later John Landy broke that record with 3:57.9s. Within that year close to a dozen others would run under 4 minutes. A time that was said to be impossible. Belief is a powerful deal.

People used to say that no man will ever be able to run 100m in less than 10sec. People said the body could not withstand such a feat. As if it would just fall apart. Well, Usain Bolt just did in 9.58s, and he thinks he can break 9.5s, of which may be true. How about that?

Can't.....Such a terrible word. Such a defeated attitude. Such an easy way out. There is no victory in 'can't' because you're already done, out, beat.

The interesting thing is, I also secretly love the word can't. When other people are trying to use it against me. It drives me. I remember a few instances where I heard people say I couldn't do something and I was very young. They said "He can't....". You know what it did? It pissed me off. Looking back it's amazing the people that said these things. But it motivated me in a way that's stronger than anything I've ever felt.

You know what it led to? It lead me to find what I could and could not control and use what I had. I could control my attitude, my presence, my tenacity and I could be resilient. It lead to some great things and taught me a lot along the way. One of which is that, if you have any one of those things, then you are going to do well. You may not be the best in the game but you'll go far, and you'll be proud of it. If you attack every moment with everything that you have.

This one word is powerful. It can destroy and build great things. Be careful how you use it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

If I could only pick 2.....Top 2 exercises

Who would win, Superman or Flash?

Conan the Barbarian or Conan O'brian? Conan

The Rock or Barack?
The Rock Obama

And the real question would be, The Incredible Hulk or Hulk Hogan???

Well that one's no contest. Hulkamania forever

But really, if it came down to a winner takes all exercise, what would I pick? Well this is very tough, and very general, and I actually consider it pretty stupid to boot. Who cares, you'll always be able to use other stuff. But anyway, just because I can I decided to ponder this query. Here you go.

If I had to only pick 2. They would be
  1. Reverse lunge
  2. Renegade Row
Both are ground based, compound movements that use a ton of energy (calories) and are completely functional. Both are great for the core and can be loaded to meet anyone at any level. Don't underestimate their difficulty either. They'll knock the shit out of you.
These two can meet Reggie Bush as well as your junior high athlete.

The reverse lunge is (if done correctly) post chain and hip dominant. Works through a large range of motion of which should stretch out the entire hip region, hip flexors and gluteals. It's unilateral so you're taking care of your bodies asymetries (problems caused over time by repeatedly using only one side of your body, or due to compensations). Balance is going to come into play as well here, of which will improve greatly with strength. Developing strength in this manner has been proven multiple times to improve balance and therefore also decrease injury rates and improve performance. This is why sitting on your wuss bosu ball isn't doing you any good.

This girl does a decent job. I don't enjoy her choice of shoes nor do I agree with the depth but you get the idea.

The renegade row is a true look at bracing through the core, but that's not all it's great for. You're also building strength through your entire back. The pulling motion is excellent for building strength through the upper back and healthy shoulders. Then there is also the stabilization that the opposite shoulder and arm is having to perform. Overall great exercise.

There you have it. Go try em out.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Can you write me a Workout Routine??

To be honest this the reason why I have a Program Design service listed on my website. In order to spread good training habits further than one person at a time I enjoy the gravitation toward 'consultant'. This lets me train many more people, at a distance you could say, and it allows them to train with a program designed specific to their needs for a much cheaper price that they can sustain/afford throughout the year. Unlike the leapfrogging that usually happens with 1-1 training. But this situation happened to be a little different. It was my dad...d-d-d-d

So this is what I get from my mom,
"You're dad needs (I think she said wants but I'm sure she's full of it) a workout routine. His knees and shoulders bother him. Could you make a very short routine he could do that would help?"

At first three things came to mind.
  1. If I write this program it'll never be followed. (stubborn, old farmer)
  2. I'd be making this without a real assessment, and he wouldn't do that either. (stubborn, old farmer)
  3. I wont be able to include any warm-up, or activation activities (cause he wont do them) and it's gonna have to be 3 exercises or less. What am I gonna pick?
Just these three alone are enough to make me puke. I get asked this kind of question daily, and I usually have many reasons why I don't just hand out programs anymore.
  1. They are written with great thought and effort, but never get used. This took me about 10 programs to figure out and it hurt equally each time. Big waste of time.
  2. People are much less likely to devote themselves to such a thing when they don't pay for it. Because psychologically there is no value to it, whether that be a subconscious or conscious outlook.
  3. I spent alot of time, $, and effort earning the knowledge I have and a program should be valued somehow. In this case it's $ for a program that has the potential to help live a stronger, healthier, better life. (Make no bones about it, I'm not in this for the money. I'm in this to help people. I guess part of me would also really like to rid the world of all the a-holes that are the other.)
But this was my dad. So, with this all in mind, I went ahead and gave her the first 3 exercises that came to mind. I figured well, quick and dirty and they'll help. I said, everyday do:
  1. Swings 1x15
  2. pullups 1x5
  3. pushups 1x5
This lady (Mom) is SO cool that she happens to have a whole set of kettlebells (respect) and a swing set outside where the pullups could be performed..............Equipment? Check and Check.

But I decided to change my mind. There was no unilateral work, which is way to important. I wouldn't be around to teach a proper lunge. Adam cannot stand improper lunges. Drives me NUTSO. Plus, 3 exercises was probably too much. So....
  1. Sinlge Leg Box Squat: 1x5/leg (performed barefoot)
  2. Pullups: 1x5
This is something almost anyone can do. Maybe you can't get five pullups that go through a complete concentric, eccentric and isometric contraction but almost everyone can perform the eccentric and/or isometric. Just jump up, hold and let yourself down slowly.

I should be honest though. If I had to pick two exercises based on every exercise that I know I wouldn't pick these, but they'd be extremely close to the top, at least top 5.

Soon, probably tomorrow, I'll give you my two top exercises. Don't be afraid to leave a comment below. I love to hear feed back and check in tomorrow. I'm sure you'll be glad you did.