Intensity at What Cost?

Intensity

Do you like the intensity of HIIT workouts?

I’ve written articles on Intensity before, but this one is to address intensity for intensity’s sake.

Intensity is where the results are so it’s definitely a good thing. You can’t reach goals without pushing your limits.

Intensity

 

However, I’m seeing so many gyms and routines focused on intensity lately and often it’s just for intensity sake. Everything is made harder just so it’s harder.

#JustAddBurpees

It’s intensity for intensity’s sake and this is how we run into problems. Problems like injuries.

If you’ve gotten an injury from your workout, you’re doing it wrong. You’ve pushed well beyond your capacity and your body couldn’t handle it.

When the only goal is finishing your workout in a pool of your own sweat on the floor, this isn’t a good thing. If the idea is to “crush anybody that tries this” then the workout doesn’t have any other goal. It’s not specific to any person.

Smart intensity knows your limits and pushes on that. It makes it hard for YOU.

Stop focusing on intensity for intensity’s sake. This usually means pushing well past our limits and this type of training often ends with injury.

If you’re going to push, you need to know why you’re pushing and how far to push. You need to know how that pushing will benefit you, not harm you.

~ Chad

Find Your Thing

Find Your Thing

We all have a thing.

A thing is something that we fall in love with or find great pleasure in that helps us reach our goal.

It’s what gets us fully committed to pursuing our goal.

In fitness, it’s basically what helps you take the steps needed to reach your goals.

Your thing might be:
– running
– spinning
– aquarobics
– kickboxing
– zumba
– home DVDs
– bootcamps
– group fitness classes
– having a gym buddy
– personal trainer
– accountability coach
weekly progress photos
– publicly announce your goals

To name a few. There’s a ton of options out there to get you hooked!

If it’s joining a class you can’t wait to go to or making a commitment, all in, to a coach because you know you can’t do it on your own. In the end it doesn’t matter as long as it’s what gets you to reach your goal.

The point here is that there are nearly limitless options so get out there and try them!

My belief here is that:

“everything works for somebody, but nothing works for everybody”

You gotta find what works for you.

What’s your thing?

Find Your Thing

If you don’t know, make a list of what you’ve done. Then make a list of what you haven’t yet tried. It’s likely that’s your thing on the list of “haven’t done yet”.

~ Chad

This Shit Ain’t Pretty

This Shit Ain't Pretty

Building the body of your dreams (the one you follow on Instagram) isn’t easy, it’s not pretty and it doesn’t happen overnight.

I’m so sick and tired of all the crap out there that says otherwise that I wanted to step up and be a voice in the opposite direction.

The truth is, it’s not easy, it’s fucking hard, it takes a long fucking time, and you likely won’t get it on your first fucking try.

This Shit Ain't Pretty

 

Yes, of course, there are a few people that got those AMAZING results you see on the infomercial.

Yes, someone you know lost 40 lbs in 40 days.

However, that’s not normal.

What’s normal is that you’re following a 22 year old fitness model on Instagram.
What’s normal is they’ve had that body nearly their entire life.
What’s normal is that MOST people haven’t looked like their entire life, don’t have the same metabolism and won’t see the same results as them in the same time frame.

What’s normal is:

Most people fail many many times before reaching their fitness goals. 

And if they do it’s not a simple straight line. It’s an ugly, grinding mess that has you feeling like you want to give up over and over again.

So please, please, please, stop believing the bullshit. Stop believing the hype and stop believing you’re the exception.

Likelihood is you’re not the exception, you’re the norm.

It is what it is so accept that reality now and get prepared to put in the work it actually takes. Be prepared for the bumpy road because it sure ain’t pretty.

~ Chad 

 

Why You Should Food Journal

Ever had the feeling that you’re eating healthy but you just can’t seem to get any results?

A client of mine was recently feeling the same way.

He started a photo food journal to track what he ate. He takes pictures of everything he eats each day and shares it with me.

Within a week my client noticed that he was eating better.

A week!

Here’s why:

I’ve long been a fan of a journal when starting to change eating habits. At minimum because I need to see what my clients are eating to be able to help them. But also, because it’s often very eye opening for the client.

I’ve seen it so often, the new client says “but I eat healthy, how come I’m not seeing results “.

I ask them to journal and very often I get the same experience as the client mentioned above. The journal actually opens their eyes to EVERYTHING that they eat in the day.

Sure, the main meals, especially when you at at home are pretty healthy. However, many people don’t realize the frequent snacks, amount of sugary beverages they consume, gaps in their eating, or late night habits.

It’s not just what they eat that they end up seeing, it’s how they eat.

They see their habits.

Food journaling is a great idea if you’re unsure of why you aren’t seeing results or want to know how you can modify your diet.

I encourage you to try a photo journal like my client. You might be surprised by what you find!

~ Chad

Building a 100 Year Body

We are living longer than we ever have before.

Thanks to modern medicine and scientific advancement, reaching 80, 90 and even 100+ is quite common.

One of my biggest fears is that we will live to 100 but our body only makes it to 70. We spend the last 30 years of our lives with minimal function and barely moving. Our life outlasts our body.

This make me think of one of my favourite quotes:

“We don’t stop moving because we get old, we get old because we stop moving”.

What this means for me is that in my fitness and health endeavours, I don’t only want a body that looks good now, I want one that lasts and functions for my whole life. I don’t want to just live to 100+, I want to BE ACTIVE until 100+.

Similar to a recent article I wrote, we need to focus on how our body functions and having a strong foundation in order to do this.

So many fitness programs today are focused on 2 things:
1 – an appearance/aesthetic result and
2 – getting that result as fast as possible

This speed and focus on external image often leads to sacrificing internal systems along the way.

We may look good at the beach, but this cumulative damage to systems on the inside ads up and leaves us limited in function, replacing joints, in a wheelchair or needing to inject hormones in our later years just to survive.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not something I want.

What I want is a 100 year body.

What I want it’s to look good AND FUNCTION GOOD until my last day!

~ Chad

What is Your Mind Telling You?

Mind

What is your mind telling you?

We all have an internal self talk. What’s important is whether that self talk is negative or positive.

Internal self talk is probably the biggest obstacle for most people when pursuing their goals. Any goal that is, not necessarily just health and fitness.

Often, our struggle is because our own mind is getting in our way. If we have a lot of negative self talk, that keeps us where we are and it’s hard to move forward.

Things like:  Continue reading “What is Your Mind Telling You?”

I won’t sacrifice your health for faster “gains”

Gain

Yes you are pursuing your fitness goal with maximal intensity, but is it at the sacrifice of other areas of your health?

I’m seeing this more and more lately so I wanted to address it.

Here’s my perspective:

I’m a Kinesiologist.

For the purposes of this article, all that means is that I study the movement and function of the body and how it works.

As a fitness coach, what this means is that when I create an exercise program for someone, I’m not only looking at their end goal and what they are trying to achieve, I’m also looking at their body and how well it functions.

What I see so much of today in the fitness industry is a singular focus intensity. Everyone wants HIIT workouts that “make me sweat”.

The good news from a coaching perspective is that making a workout hard is easy. I see endless amounts of videos on Facebook and Instagram of people creating insane workouts and super challenging variations of exercises. My personal simplification of it is: #JustAddBurpees

And it does make sense because intensity is how we get results.

It’s easy to make someone sweat and it’s easy to make someone work hard and push their intensity.

However, this often comes at a sacrifice to other areas of health or function in the body.

I see this in high intensity workout programs that don’t address body proper body mechanics and this creates added strain on joints and connective tissue.

I’m tired of seeing olympic lifts for added intensity meanwhile the knees and back are bending in ways that anyone watching knows is not right.

Bottom line, I’m not willing to make intensity the highest priority at the sacrifice of another area of health or physical function just for faster gains.

In my coaching I take the time to build a solid foundation with each client based on their individual needs. I take time to make sure they move and function well and I make sure they don’t develop other health issues just to lose a few quick pounds.

Unfortunately this process takes a lot longer than what we tend to see put in front of us online, but I don’t care.

I won’t sacrifice long term health for a short term result.

My goals is to help you create a body that not only looks good, but will function great for the rest of your life!

~ Chad

Hacking Motivation – how to stay motivated towards your fitness goals

Ever feel like you’re struggling for motivation to get to the gym?

Or you started strong for a few weeks but now you’ve lost your motivation?

Motivation is having a reason to act in a certain way.

The motivation we start our fitness journey could be:

  • wedding in a few months
  • vacation coming up soon
  • doctor recommended
  • frustrated with how you look/feel
  • inspired by another person and want similar results

Regardless of why you start, the key factor is that there is always a reason to get you going in the first place. The problem however is that the motivation you started with isn’t what keeps you going in the long run.

So, how do we stay motivated? How do we find new motivation when what we started with is lost? How do we get back on track?

By hacking motivation.

How do we hack motivation?

Success.

Success is how you stay motivated.

Let me explain.

In all the reasons why we start, there is some goal we are trying to achieve. There is some end point that we are moving towards.

This goal is the initial source of our motivation. However, it can also become the reason we get discouraged.

  • we aren’t seeing results
  • it’s taking longer than we thought
  • it’s harder than we thought

We lose motivation because we aren’t seeing the success we want to see.

Hacking motivation is creating success where it seems we have none.

We don’t feel or see success because of the perspective we have. In most cases, we are purely looking at the end goal or some big picture change.

In relation to our end goal, it may look like nothing has changed or we’re failing.

What we’re not seeing are the small changes and little successes we’ve reached. Our perspective is on what we’re NOT achieving vs what we ARE achieving.

An example:

I want to lose 20 lbs. 3 months after starting I’ve only lost 3. This perspective is frustrating and incredibly demotivating!

By only looking at pounds lost, I lose motivation.

However, if I look at smaller wins or other factors, I might see success.

My success might look like:

  • I’m more active and exercising regularly than I was before
  • I’m eating healthier most of the time
  • I’m actually feeling better and have more energy in the day
  • I’m sleeping better
  • My digestive issues have decreased
  • I’m feeling stronger in my body
  • I’m 3 lbs less than where I started!

By changing our perspective and finding the small wins, we can see the success we are having. By seeing the successes we feel more positive about what we are doing and stay motivated.

If you’re ever feeling demotivated on your health journey, change your perspective.

Find what you are achieving instead of only focus on what you haven’t achieved and you’ll be better able to continue pushing for your goal.

Find the success.

~ Chad

Sound too good to be true? Fill out the form to chat with me.

 

200 calorie Mug Cake for one

Mug Cake

Mug Cake

There is something special about making a cake for one, when you’re in the mood for something sweet and comforting but don’t want it to come at a big caloric expense, try making an individual sized treat!

Most mug cakes are full of sugar, oil and flour or even made with just protein powder making the mug cake taste rubbery; but not this one. Don’t get me wrong if your prefer to up your protein content you could swap out the cocoa powder for chocolate protein powder and should get similar taste.

This mini cake cooks in less than two minutes and is made with simple ingredients you likely have in your own cupboard. The recipe is dairy free and can easily be gluten free if you use gluten free oats.

Mug Cake 1

 

50 g egg whites
50 g banana (or half a banana)
5 g coconut flour
5 g cocoa powder (1 tbsp)
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 cups of quick cooking oats- Gluten free if necessary.

1. Place all ingredients into a bowl or food processor if you have one. I often use a hand blender since it is small batch.
2. Blend all ingredients until the oats looks like they are ground up.
3. Spray bowl or mug with some cooking oil and pour batter into mug/bowl.
4. Microwave for 1:30, depending on your microwave settings.
5. Remove mug from microwave; be careful the mug will be hot!
6. Enjoy with preferred toppings.

Calories per cake: 200
Carbs: 36 g
Protein : 11 g
Fat: 4 g

Mug Cake 2

 

Check out some of my other concoctions by following me on Instagram.

~ Stefanie

Why I Don’t Do Static Stretching

Static Stretching

Static stretching has long been abandoned as a pre workout warmup but should we also abandon it post workout? There is a lot of evidence that supports the idea that we should!

Now when I say static stretching I am referring to exercises such as bending over and touching your toes where you aren’t moving or exploring range of motion. We often go through these stretches with no real purpose and no real minfulness for the task at hand. Static stretching will increase your flexibility sometimes but it is not the most efficient in increasing your range of motion or teaching your body efficiency in the running motion.

Mobility exercises like the ones I have talked about in previous posts, often involve exploring the running range of motion such as the couch pose pictured below.

Static Stretching

There are also dynamic stretches that explore your sport specific range of motion – think of a dynamic warm up! You have leg swings, hip flexor pulses, fire hydrants and many other variations that work on activating the muscle as well as increasing mobility. I’m a big fan of working in the running specific range of motion and doing everything you can to improve your overall efficiency.

Then there’s yoga as well which takes all of these elements and incorporates core strength and breathing – I love yoga because it forces you to think about what you’re doing while you breathe and while you move. It’s not about sitting in a stretch and lengthening that muscle it’s about building strength in motion and building range of flexibility in all three planes of motion.

Is static stretching going to hurt you? Not necessarily but there is some evidence that excess stretching can lengthen the muscles too quickly. The point of this post is that there are a lot better ways to get more bang for your buck when talking about injury prevention and increasing your range of motion.

I will continue this idea in later posts but for now if you have any questions you can always reach out to me on Twitter, Instagram or drop by my Anthrophysique page.

Happy Running,

– Justin

Are You Focused on a Goal or a Lifestyle?

Lifestyle Focused

Lifestyle has been a pretty popular word for a long time already, but it seems to be popping up more and more for me lately. Maybe that’s because it’s my main focus.

I’ve realized that all of my programs, coaching, workouts and focus is around living a healthy lifestyle. I’m not focused on short-term anything and I won’t even give that to my clients when they ask for it.

Something I just learned with a client is that you are either goal focused or lifestyle focused. They are very different and they require very different approaches to training.

You are goal focused if your normal process is:

Something motivates you, you set a goal and you go after.

I think this is most people.

While the motivation is high or you are seeing results, you go hard.

However, at some point the motivation withers away, the results slow or you reach a certain level of results and just stop. (I may write another article about this last one)

Anyway, the only focus here is some end goal. It’s what gets you going but what’s crazy is that it’s also what stops you in the end.

Someone who is lifestyle focused is more concerned about the process than the end goal. In a sense, the end goal is almost unreachable or it’s so long term that it isn’t about actually getting there, it’s just about the process of moving in that direction.

Being lifestyle focused means you are focused mostly on being consistent. There are good times and bad, there are ups and downs, there are successes and setbacks, but overall your key focus is consistency.

Not just consistency in a week or month, but consistency over a long period of time.

To me, you are consistent if you do exercise and eat healthy at least 5-6 days per week, 50-52 weeks per year.

It may seem like a high standard, but it’s the difference between someone who lives a healthy lifestyle and someone who intermittently pursues a goal whenever their motivation is high enough.

So ask yourself, are you focused on a goal or a lifestyle?

There’s a difference.

If you want to build a healthy lifestyle, I can help.

~ Chad

2 Years Later – A Running Coach’s Retrospective

February 6th marked my 2 year anniversary coaching (coachiversary if you will) with Anthrophysique.

It has been a crazy journey from college coach trying to figure out his options to online running coach with a clear plan for the future. I have learned a lot, from my first series of blogs to my first full time athletes, I’ve worked hard and didn’t necessarily see the results right away but you have to stick with it and keep grinding – Running and life often require the same principles.

Online Running Coach

 

The main principle being hard work, and what it means to actually work hard – it’s a subjective idea! Your ideas of hard work may seem like a breeze to someone else and vice versa. When I started my coaching I thought I was working hard but there is such thing as being busy for the sake of being busy, it’s the same idea in running – at a certain point you have to take that jump in effort to see more results. Continue reading “2 Years Later – A Running Coach’s Retrospective”

You Already Know What Quitting Looks Like

I’m going to keep this article simple.

I get so many messages, emails, comments, etc. of people and clients who are frustrated with a lack of results, or the time it’s taking to reach their goals.

I laugh because to me it seems so obvious. If you’re putting in effort and constantly assessing and adjusting then the results WILL COME.

It’s only a matter of time.

Too many people quit before they get a chance to see what happens if they don’t give up.

 

The thing is, you already know what quitting looks like.

That result is guaranteed.

~ Chad

1 is greater than 0

1 is greater than 0

I’ve used this statement for years with my clients and I’ve been seeing it pop up a lot more lately.

The idea is simple:

1 is greater than 0 means something is better than nothing. No matter how small that something is.

When it comes to goals, my clients often get stuck on the size of it. They get overwhelmed with the distance they still have to go.

What happens is we feel we need to achieve a certain amount in order for it to be worth it or considered a success. We feel it’s all or nothing.

In other words, we set the bar really high.

  • We forget that something is better than nothing.
  • We forget that one workout is better than no workouts.
  • We forget that a 5 minute walk is better than staying on the couch.
  • We forget that 1 good food choice is better than no good food choices.

We also believe that 1 isn’t enough. That the one small thing will never get us to our goals.

To a certain degree this is actually true. The 1 thing won’t get us to our goal. But, that’s not the point.

It’s not about reaching the goal. It’s about the direction we are going in.

Doing nothing keeps us on the current path. The current course. The course that is NOT leading to your goal.

Doing the 1 thing is taking the 1st step that starts you in a new direction.

It’s not really that it’s 1 step, it’s that it’s the FIRST step.

It’s 1 thing in the direction you WANT to go and that is always better than doing nothing.

The added benefit is that 1 thing usually leads to a 2nd thing. And on and on it can go. At least this way there is a chance.

Reaching your goals doesn’t come from the 1 thing. It comes from the accumulation of all the 1 things over a certain amount of time. There literally is no other way.

So, if you’re stuck in a rut, hit a plateau or feel like you’re never going to reach your goal, stop looking at the finish line. Start looking at your current starting point and figure out 1 thing you can do to move in the right direction.

No matter how small of a step it is, take it!

It’s only 1, but it’s better than 0 and it’s the ONLY way to get to 2.

~ Chad