You Never Regret A Workout

This morning, I woke up with a humdinger of a cold. Puffy eyes, scratchy throat, stuffy nose, the works. I looked and felt like death warmed over and ran through an entire tissue box in the span of about ten minutes. Is there anything more annoying than the start of a cold? I think not.

In the nights prior, I had scheduled a workout for that morning. It was supposed to be my longest run to date and I had been working towards this distance for about two months now. Running is definitely not my forte, but I had started to develop a “like” for it and was actually making headway on my long distance goals. I must make a note here: though I am talking about running, I am certainly not the coach to go to for running advice; please see Justin for all your track needs 🙂

Unfortunately, this cold had blocked any possibility of me feeling my hair in the breeze this morning. There was no way that I could make it five minutes on my run without stopping to blow my nose. It basically gave me every excuse to forgo any sort of exercise, adjust my alarm, and grab at least an hour more of sleep. I was achy, sickly, and just all around gross and no part of me wanted to exercise.

But as I started to readjust my eye mask I remembered an old saying that always pops into my head in these types of situations; you never regret a workout. And it’s true, isn’t it? Barring any sort of physical injury, no one ever finishes a workout and says, “What a waste of time.” Because working out isn’t a waste of time. It’s a positive step in every facet of your life. It improves your mind, body, and soul and it always starts or ends your days right. While the minutes leading up to a workout can be filled with dread, the moments after a workout always bring a sense of accomplishment and those lovely exercise endorphins that we all love and treasure.

That saying, “You never regret a workout,” prevented me from going back to bed. It helped me lace up my sneakers, blow my nose about four million times, and head to the gym. Did I do a hard work out? Not at all. I lightly jogged on the elliptical for about 30 minutes (don’t worry, I wiped it down with disinfectant afterward). While it wasn’t the most taxing workout, it was physical activity and I felt great afterward. It didn’t magically eliminate my cold but it did give me a happy feeling that stayed with me for the rest of the day and for that I’m grateful.

So just remember, in those times of doubt, those times when every part of your body is telling you to just skip the gym and stay home, I want you to focus on the accomplishment you will feel after you complete your exercise, the euphoria that comes with crossing something off your to-do list. Everyone, say it with me: YOU NEVER REGRET A WORKOUT!

Introducing the #APLifestyle Challenge

We announced recently that on Monday February 10th we will be starting the #APLifestyle challenge.

The “challenge” part of it is that every day we will post fun things you can do to build a healthy lifestyle in 2014. These won’t be complex workouts or meal plans, they will be simple task and activities that you can do to build a healthier lifestyle.

There will be a wide variety of  things you will do including activity, nutrition, yoga and even mental health.

We believe that to build a true AnthroPhysique Lifestyle (#APLifestyle), you need to incorporate all aspects of your life: work, relationships, activity, nutrition, play, spirit, etc. The end results is creating the body you were born to have.

We want to show how small daily practices can go a long way to building the ideal healthy you.

There is however 1 caveat to the “daily” part of the challenge. We won’t be posting anything on Sunday’s. As part of our lifestyle, we believe that you should take 1 day to disconnect from work and the technological world and use it to reconnect with you and nature. So, Sunday’s won’t get a tweet from us but the standing challenge will be to disconnect and get outside.

Participation in the challenge is very simple. Just follow the hashtag #APLifestyle on Twitter. Each day we will post a simple activity, tip or challenge that you can do throughout the day. When you’re done the task simply tweet: I successfully completed the @AnthroPhysique #APLifestyle challenge today!

To let us know you’re going to join us and to help spread the word, please get started with: I’m starting the @AnthroPhysique #APLifestyle daily challenge next week. Join me to make 2014 a very healthy year!

Our goal this year is to help as many people as possible have a healthier lifestyle. Please help us with this fun daily challenge!

Is blogging like fitness?

Okay, so waaayyyyy back in October, exactly 3 months ago, I wrote my last blog post.

It was a post about Why it’s SO EASY to fall OFF the fitness wagon. I went on about how most fitness programs focus only on what you should be doing and not how to build habits first.

The great thing about what happened next was that I, Chad Williams, fell off the blog wagon. Big time. For 3 months!

“But it was christmas, and new years, and holidays right?!?!”

Excuses.

Why I think my failure is a great thing is because it actually highlights the value of that post. The value of building habits.

It was written about building FITNESS habits, but for me, I already have habits in that area. Where I don’t have habits is in blogging.

Whenever I went to blog last year, I wanted it to be the BEST BLOG POST EVER!!! I thought that I could go from a person who rarely writes anything to a Nobel prize winning blogger over night.

They give Nobel prizes to bloggers right?

Anyway, it’s like my clients who want to go from zero workouts per week to 5 times per week! It’s not going to happen. I basically set myself up to fail.

So how do I change? How do I get better? How do I build a habit?

 

Enter the Challenge!!!

I like building habits. I like learning how to do something I’m not good at. It’s why I help coach others to do the same thing in fitness.

The challenge I’m putting out there is for myself. The challenge is that I’m going to commit to at least 1 blog post every single Wednesday for this entire year.

1 blog post per week minimum. That’s it.

Should be easy right…

My guess is that it won’t be. My guess is that it’ll be hard at times, but that’s the point. You don’t grow if it’s not hard.

The key is that I’m starting small. 1 per week minimum.

Also, I’m getting in touch with reality around my writing skills. I’m not a world class writer and it’s not reasonable to think I will write the BEST BLOG POST EVER every time I touch the keyboard.

Some of my posts will (of course) be great, but others won’t be my best work. However, that’s not the point.

The key will be being consistent. In 6 months from now I’ll be a better blogger because of it.

It will for sure beat 6 more months of doing nothing! (can you relate?)

 

The extended challenge!!!

Because I’m a coach, I cannot help myself to challenge others. That said, I’m extending you to join me in this challenge.

Pick an area in your life you want to improve. Comment below to let me know what that is and what you can commit to weekly with me.

Each week we can check in together and build some new habits this year!

See you next Wednesday!

Weekly Challenge – Fitness

Squat hold

Happy Monday!

It’s been a few weeks since we did a Fitness Challenge so let’s get right into it!

This week’s challenge is a Squat hold. A squat hold is simply that: holding a squat position for as long as possible.

Squat hold

Any time you can, stop and hold a squat. Try it in the elevator, at your desk or in line at the grocery store if you’re daring enough.

Start Now! Get up from your desk and try holding a squat right now as long as you can. How long did you get?

 

*image source

Weekly Challenge – Nutrition – Gear up your Greens!

20130906-164334.jpg

I recently visited Amsterdam for the first time. What an incredible city to get lost in. The biking, the canals, the food! I had a few recommended lunch and dinner spots written down from a couple foodie friends. One being a new salad bar. Salad bar? Sounds kind of like something you find in the food court of the shopping mall right? Wrong. It was one of the best lunches I’ve had while in the city. This leads us to the nutrition challenge for the week.

Time to get creative with your greens! Why? Because a salad can be so incredibly satisfying (and beautiful) if you know how to build it.

Greens (aka Leaves)
The base which should make the bulk of your green salad. Spinach, romaine, rainbow chard, kale, or a lovely mix from your local farmers market. Up to you, go wild.

Note: If you’re using a more bitter fibrous green such as chard or kale, I like to cut off the ends, roll up the leaves, and chop horizontally to create thin strips of greens. Give the greens a little massage in some olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. A lovely salad base!

Veggies
This is where you get creative with colour and texture. Try shredding the starchier veggies such as carrots, purple or golden beets, summer squash, and sweet potato. Shredded zucchini and fennel are delicious too. As for your juicier veggies, try dicing cucumber or quartering small cherry tomatoes.

Fruit
If you enjoy a little sweetness in your salads, having it come from fresh fruit is a healthy option. Low glycemic fruit such as berries, diced pear, and shredded apple are great options.

Grains
Grains are a nice option for adding bulk to a salad, especially if you are enjoying your salad as a meal. Millet, red quinoa, wild rice are personal favourites, but any gluten-free grain could work. Try cooking a big batch at the beginning or mid week and keep in the fridge.

Protein
If you are choosing an animal source of protein, it is important to go for free-range and organic to ensure you’re getting a good source. The same goes for those that enjoy adding cheese. Try organic goats feta, as this can be easier to digest for some versus cows feta.When it comes to plant-based protein, try sprouted beans such as chickpeas, mung beans, adzuki beans, and lentils. They are incredibly satisfying and filling.

Healthy Fats
The cherry on top! I’m a big fan of the healthy fats, but in moderation and try not to skimp on quality so that you know you’re getting the highest amount of essential fatty acids. Some sources are diced up avocado, chopped nuts (lightly dry roasted or sprouted raw), or a homemade dressing made of extra virgin olive oil or unrefined sesame oil.

Note here: Most salads can keep well in the fridge, just wait to toss in the dressing until you are ready to serve.

Make sure to share some of our favourite flavour combinations in the comments below. The possibilities are endless all year round. Light and cooling in the summer, hearty and cozy in the winter.

Weekly Challenge – Fitness – Testing Week

Happy Monday!

Our Weekly Activity Challenge is changing slightly. It will now be called the Weekly Challenge and will include fitness, nutrition and other activities like yoga.

The key focus of the fitness challenges is that each week you get a new activity to focus on to build your health and fitness. At Anthrophysique, we’re big on measurement and like to make sure all of our clients are getting results.

Approximately every 3 months we will be testing our benchmarks workouts. These were established a few months ago, and I’ve added links to the benchmark workouts below.

The focus this week is to go through each one of the benchmark workouts to re-assess your fitness. Find your old score and compare that to what you achieve this week. If you didn’t do the benchmark workouts last time, this will be your first chance to get a baseline. In 3 months you’ll be able to test it again!

Here are links to all the benchmarks:

Benchmark #1
Benchmark #2
Benchmark #3
Benchmark #4
Benchmark #5

Throughout the week, test each one of the benchmark workouts. Please post your results in the comments and let us know if you’ve improved or not!

Weekly Health Challenge – Go Ahead, Try Something New

Happy Monday!
If you didn’t already know, we’ve added two new services lately. Nutrition coaching and Yoga coaching. With that, we’re adapting the Weekly Activity Challenge to become a Weekly Health Challenge. We’ll switch it up each week between, activity, nutrition and even yoga challenges.
This week, Jennifer is giving us a nutrition challenge! Take it away Jennifer:
Continuing with Chad’s theme this week of getting out there and trying a new sport, I thought I’d bring that into today’s post.
Photo 2013-07-19 9 54 13 AM
When life gets hectic we tend to reach for those quick and easy (usually processed) options. Too often I hear “Cooking just isn’t exciting to me anymore” or “I’m lacking inspiration or motivation in the kitchen”.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve definitely been at that point myself. You’re staring at the pantry in the kitchen or the produce section of the grocery store and wondering what the heck to make. What I find really helps, is simply telling myself to try something new each week. This doesn’t need to be drastic, just think about how you can substitute something in to a meal that you’ve never tried before. Or, pick one recipe from your favourite food blog or cookbook and just try it out. With a whiteboard pen, I’ve been writing a “Recipe of the Week” on the mirror in my kitchen!
Some examples – do you have oats in the morning? Why not try millet, quinoa, or simply adding in soaked chia seeds or some hemp seeds? Do you have a salad for most of your lunches? Why not think up a new dressing that you can prepare and keep refrigerated for the rest of the week. How about for dinner? Head to the local market, have a conversation with the fisherman, and try a new type of fish that you’ve never tried before. You may be surprised, and even inspired to keep it going next week.
This week, I tried out a new juice recipe and it’s now becoming one of my all-time favourites.
So go ahead, try something new.  What new grain, juice, dressing, veggie, or healthy dessert will you try this week? Post it in the comments!

Weekly Activity Challenge – Sports

sports

Happy Monday!

In my part of the world, Vancouver BC, it’s the middle of the summer and the weather has been great lately. I’d like to try and encourage you to get outside for this challenge, but it’s not mandatory. Indoor activities can be just as great.

The challenge for this week is to try new sports or games. Each day, get outside and play something. Frisbee, paddle board, throw a ball, ride a bike, soccer, etc. The key is to try something new that you’ve never experienced before.

 

sports

 

 

Sports are one of the best ways to apply your fitness abilities.

What’s your favourite sport?

 

*image from Google image search

Weekly Activity Challenge – Side Planks

Happy Monday!

Time for a new challenge. This week I’ll keep it short, because it’s very similar to last week.

This week we’re going to focus on side planks.

Yup, it’s that straight forward. You’re going to do a plank, but on your side.

Focus on the balance, do it from the knees if you need to, and you can even put your opposite hand down for more support. The key is to keep the supporting shoulder actively pushing away from the floor at all times. Don’t let your shoulder sink down.

See how long you can hold on each side. For an extra challenge, don’t relax between sides, just switch from one side to another.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Planking

Planking

Happy Monday!

Planking has become an internet phenomenon where people take a photo of themselves doing a plank in random places. A quick google search had me find this photo of a world  record of the most people planking simultaneously.

Planking

However, when I speak about planking for exercise, this isn’t exactly what I’m talking about.

The exercise of planking involves you keeping your entire body OFF the floor by supporting yourself on your elbows and toes. It’s the focus of our Benchmark #2, and you can find the video here.

For this week, the goal is to do 3 sets of planking each day. Hold a plank for as long as you can, rest for a minute or two and then repeat for 3 sets. This will help you build up  your stamina for the next Benchmark assessment.

Please share your results, and even a photo, in the comments or on our Facebook Page.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Sit Ups

Sit ups

Happy Monday!

Did you have a good weekend? Was it full of sweets, treats and wine???

Well, mine was… HA!!

Good news, this week’s challenge can help counter the negative effects. Today we’re going back to basics with the well known, well practiced, and potentially most loved exercise of all: sit ups! 

Sit ups are a great exercise for strengthening the core and helping reduce lower back pain. Of course it’s also good for building up those 6-pack abs for beach season! Here is a quick video for proper technique.

The challenge this week is to see how many sit ups you can do in 2 minutes. Start slow, pace yourself and see how you do. Each day, do 2 minutes of sit ups and see if you can improve your score over the week!

If you find that your back gets sore from doing sit ups, that’s a fairly normal response. It’s often due to the ab muscles being weak. It doesn’t necessarily mean that sit ups are bad for you.

If you run into this, my suggestion is to take a break and reduce your sets. It should improve over time as your core gets stronger.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Burpees

Happy Monday everyone!

Well, you knew it had to come eventually. Our challenge this week is going to focus on Burpees!

Everyone loves Burpees!!

In case you somehow don’t know this amazing and most loved exercise by millions… here’s a video demo.

The beautiful thing about the Burpee from an exercise prescription viewpoint is it’s ability to challenge your cardio-respiratory systems. Basically, it’ll jack up your heart rate and breathing rate very quickly because of the large amount of work being done. That being said, the best way to do this challenge is with a quick burst of speed. This might be the shortest daily challenge we do, but you’ll see why when you try it.

The challenge for this week is to see how many Burpees you can do in 1 minute. That’s right, 60 seconds and you’re done! Because it’s so short, make sure you really challenge yourself and don’t take any rests. You don’t have to fly through the movement, but try not to rest at any point for the full 60 seconds.

Please post your daily results into the comments below.

Do you love Burpees?

Weekly Activity Challenge – Balance

Balance

Happy Monday everyone!!

It’s another new week which means it time for another new Weekly Activity Challenge. This week we’re going to focus on Balance.

Believe it or not, balance is a key element of staying fit. As we get older, the ability to keep your balance is more and more important. When in your senior years, loss of balance is often linked to many injuries that occur. It’s important to build and maintain your balance as much as possible to prevent this in future years.

The challenge this week is to balance on one foot as often as possible. Like some of the other challenges, the key is to find as many places as you can to practice. Some ideas are: brushing your teeth, washing dishes, waiting in lines, waiting to cross the street and even while working at a stand up desk if you have one. Or, you can challenge yourself to see how long you can stand on one foot for.

Good luck!

How long can you stand on one foot? Is it different between each leg?

Weekly Activity Challenge – Walking On Your Hands

Happy Monday!

Our challenge this week is going to focus on walking on your hands.

This doesn’t mean that you’re just gonna kick up into a handstand and start walking around all over the place. However, if you can, that’s awesome! For beginners, walking on your hands usually means doing a Bear Crawl exercise. See video below.

Walking on your hands is a great way to build upper body strength. Even if you have the ability to do the full handstand version, the bear crawl is a great exercise to help keep the shoulders strong. When you’re starting, keep it short as your wrists probably won’t be used to it. Go for a minute or  two and then try again later in the day.

How far can you walk on your hands? Have you ever tried?

Weekly Activity Challenge – Testing Week

Happy Monday!

The key focus to the weekly activity challenge is that each week you get a new activity to focus on to build your health and fitness. At Anthrophysique, we’re big on measurement and like to make sure all of our clients are getting results.

As I mentioned in the very first challenge, we’ll be testing our benchmarks workouts every 10 weeks. Believe it or not, it’s been 10 weeks!

benchmark workouts

The focus this week is to go through each one of the benchmark workouts to re-assess your fitness. FInd your old score and compare that to what you achieve this week. If you didn’t do the benchmark workouts last time, this will be your first chance to get a baseline. In 10 weeks you’ll be able to test it again!

Here are links to all the benchmarks:

Benchmark #1
Benchmark #2
Benchmark #3
Benchmark #4
Benchmark #5

Throughout the week, test each one of the benchmark workouts. Please post your results in the comments and let us know if you’ve improved or not!