Recipe: 6 Ingredients To A Better Sports Drink

Recipe: natural sports drink

Why are we still buying Sports Drinks?

Look on the label of your favorite Gatorade and you will see ingredients such as Water, Sugar, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Monopotassium  Phosphate, Gum Arabic, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Glycerol, Ester of Rosin, and Yellow 6… because… what sports drink shouldn’t be fluorescent Orange?

I first heard about making your own post run drink from Roger Banister’s book, The Four-Minute Mile, where he describes finishing a run at the local pub and dissolving a few salt tablets in his water in front of a very confused bartender.

Since then we have had many variations on the sports drink, from what could probably be called salt water to the notorious Gatorade itself. Unfortunately, the industrialization of products such as Gatorade and other sports drinks leads to this long list of otherwise non essential ingredients to make their product look artificially appetizing, as well as prolonging its shelf life.

Well, last week I had had enough and I decided I would try my hand at making my own sports drink, sans the bright Orange coloring… sorry. Continue reading “Recipe: 6 Ingredients To A Better Sports Drink”

Why “I don’t have time to exercise” is BULLSH*T! – Read this and get 30 minutes of your day back

I’m a fitness coach. Every single day I help clients reach their fitness goals. Can you guess the #1 excuse I get when people aren’t keeping up with their programs?

Yes, yes you can. You can because you use it too.

“But Chad, I don’t have time to exercise!”

BULLSHIT I say!

And here’s why… Continue reading “Why “I don’t have time to exercise” is BULLSH*T! – Read this and get 30 minutes of your day back”

How to get back on track after 2+ weeks off

25 minute home workout

Hello, my name is Chad Williams and I have a confession:

I haven’t worked out in over 2 weeks!

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking: “but wait, aren’t you supposed to be a coach?” “shouldn’t you be leading by example?” “how do you get other people to workout if you don’t do it yourself”.

Or, you might be thinking: “Thank god, he’s human too!”

It’s actually that last thought that is the reason for this post.

A lot of times I get comments from clients, or when I tell people what I do, that I’m some super human that works out 8 days a week and sleeps on a treadmill to keep my body in shape. There is an immediate higher standard that I get held to of persistent, consistent exercise habits that no other human being could possibly reach. It’s the standard of fitness coaches, trainers and athletes.

If you have that type of belief, then it’s a major reason you aren’t reaching your goals. You don’t think it’s possible. Let me help you change that belief…
Continue reading “How to get back on track after 2+ weeks off”

Getting Back on Track – You know what to do, you’re just not doing it.

getting_back_on_track

When you think about exercise or your diet do you find it really difficult to get back on track?

getting_back_on_track

Have you ever had the though: “I know what I SHOULD be doing, I’m just not motivated to do it”?

This is a very common topic that comes up with our clients and I wanted to share it with you. Most of our clients know what they should be doing:

  • I should be working out more
  • I should get up early and do it first thing in the morning
  • I should just get rid of all the snack food in the house
  • I should do a grocery shop every week so the good food is ready
  • I should write out exactly what I’ll eat in the week so I don’t have to figure it out at dinner time when I haven’t eaten for hours and am HAGNRY!!!

I bet you’ve thought most if not all of these.

So what gives? If we all know what we should be doing, why aren’t we doing it?

The answer is simple: you don’t know how.

Bullsh*t! you say.

“I know how to do it, I’ve done it before. Heck, I’ve done it many times, It’s just hard to keep at it”.

I’ll agree with that. You likely know how to start, but you don’t know how to keep going.

You don’t know how to keep at it long term otherwise you’d still be doing it.

Here’s the deal:

Building habits are harder than you think. No matter what changes you make in your life, there will come a time when it gets hard. With health and fitness you get sick, the kids get sick, you travel for work, you take a vacation, you get so busy you miss a week, etc, etc. Something gets in the way.

Then what?

Do you have the tools to get back on track no matter what? Do you have the drive, motivation, passion, knowledge of what to do next?

What I’ve found most people need to build is the strength to get back on track when times get tough or they fail. To this day, it’s still something I have to continually work on.

The moral of the story here is that it’s not going to be something magical about the program, workout, meal plan, diet, etc that’s going to get you back on track, it’s building the muscle of taking that first step. Over and over again.

For the first few months, think of every day as Day 1. 

You’ll need to take that first step every day, over and over again to not only get you back on track, but keep you there.

A great first step I recommend you take is getting some guidance. Click the button below to request a free consultation and we’ll help you get started.

Do you know the most important part of a workout routine?

When you think of workout routine, what specifically do you think about?

Squats, sit ups, cardio, weights, group classes, personal training?

Do you think about warm ups and cool downs or leg day and abs day?

When most people think about a workout routine, they think about the exercises they’re going to do, how long it’s going to last or how many reps and sets they should be doing. Of that, what’s the most important part?

I believe that it’s none of them!

For me, the most important part is the ROUTINE!

It’s not about what’s in the workout, but the fact that you have a consistent routine of workouts each and every week.

This is where I see so many people struggling and where I spend a lot of the time during initial coaching sessions with my clients.

As I mentioned in The Perfect Program, it’s not about what you’re doing, but that you’re actually doing something.

The first and most important step of any workout routine is just making it a routine. 

A key element to building a successful workouts routine is to take time each week to schedule when you’re workouts will be. You’d be surprised at how many people skip this step and think they’ll just be able to magically fit exercise in their week somewhere.

You may even be one of “those people”!  😉

Set yourself up for success by scheduling your workouts every week. Then push yourself to make it happen. The good news is that after a few weeks, or possibly months is some cases you’ll be starting to form a solid routine with your workouts.

Once you have this most important piece down, then you can worry about reps, sets and which muscles to work on which days.

Are your workouts a consistent routine in your life? If not, what’s your biggest struggle?

How to Better Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Can you reach your fitness goals in 28 days?

28 days ago I wrote a post about how long it takes to build a habit. I summarized an article mentioning that it takes on average 66 days to form a new habit. MUCH longer than the commonly accepted 21 days.

The main point of the post for me was that habits can take a long time to build. There isn’t often a quick-fix that lasts, so to truly make a lifestyle change you need to embrace a longer timeframe for changes to stick.

You need to “stick to it”.

Recently I had a great conversation with my wife over dinner about business. Yes, it was our date night, we went out for a fancy dinner and we talked about business. What can I say, we’re entrepreneurs!

We love business, we love what we do, so we love to talk about it. The main thread of our conversation was that it takes a consistent effort for an extended period of time for things to really pay off.

When you’re first getting started in any endeavour, business, fitness, nutrition, etc. you usually want to get results as soon as possible. You work your ass off (with fitness goals you hope you’re working your ass off!) and you expect results. You put in long hours, you push your limits and you give your blood, sweat and tears to it. Some days you get huge success and some days you get huge failures.

Weekly, and often daily, you question whether it’s even possible. Sometimes you feel like you’re doing everything you can yet you’re still not getting the results you want. 

You know this feeling right? You’ve been there at some point for one of your goals I’m sure.

At some point you want to quit.

It may have been weeks, months and sometimes even years. It’s been hard, but that’s actually a good thing.

Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

The things we value the most in the world are the things we’ve worked our butts off to achieve.

Sure we want things to be easy. Sure we just want to kick our feet up and spend some time on the beach. But even that enjoyment doesn’t usually last. If something is always easy, we get bored.

It’s the struggle, the challenge that brings us the most enjoyment. 

So, anything worth having will take effort to get. It’s going to take persistence, consistency and sticking to it. From day one, embrace the fact that it will likely take longer than you plan to reach your goal.

I encourage you to apply this to your fitness goals. The time is going to pass anyways, you might as well spend it putting in some effort to get what you want.

Stick to it no matter how long it takes.

Have you ever pushed through the struggle and reached your goal? Share your experience in the comments below.

 


 

Do You Suffer From Athletes Brain?

Athletes Brain is a term I’ve come up with for a common scenario I run into. At least I think I’ve made it up… Please correct me if not!

I use it to reference a time where people think they can do more than they are physically capable of. Or more specifically, their brain remembers what they used to be able to do but their body can no longer do that. Their brain remembers when they used to be an “athlete” of some sort, but their body is no longer at that same level.

It comes along with common phrases like:

“I used to be able to do that”
“I used to be able to lift more weight”
“I used to run way faster”
“But I should be able to do way more than this”
“Oh my god, I can’t believe how sore I am after such a simple workout”

As you can see, the theme is that the brain is still in the past. Your brain remembers everything you used to be able to do and for some strange reason your body isn’t doing it any more.

Your brain says “yes” and your body says “no”.

Guess what, your body wins.

The challenge with this scenario is that it can be frustrating as hell. I just want to be back where I used to be. Why can’t I be there now? I don’t remember it being this hard.

Fact is, in the past you worked really hard to get yourself to a certain spot in fitness or sports. You pushed, you overcame obstacles and you got results.

But then you stopped.

For whatever reason your life changed course and you stopped pursuing that path.

Maybe it’s been months, maybe it’s been years. Either way, it’s been a while. When you don’t keep at it, you don’t keep the results. As my university professor used to say: “If you don’t use it, you lose it”.

Your body has become de-conditioned and it now has to start all over. Although unfortunate and often frustrating, it is what it is. The only way to move forward is to accept it and just do what you can.

If you suffer from Athletes Brain, you’re going to have to tell your brain to shut up. Just like your parents when you were 16, it doesn’t know what’s best for you!

You need to get your brain to stop talking and start listening. Listen to your body and just do what it can. It may mean you start a little slower, but the good news is that won’t last.

You’ll start seeing results pretty quickly even at a modified level. If you don’t believe me, you might be suffering from All or Nothing which is a cousin of Athletes Brain.

Your body will actually re-gain a decent level of fitness pretty quickly. Within a few months (yes months, not weeks) your athletes brain will regain it’s value. Your body will have re-built a foundation and now you can use that same brain to start pushing yourself again. You’ll use it for good instead of evil and launch yourself into success!

Have you ever had Athletes Brain? Did it frustrate you and cause you to quit? Share your experience in the comments below.

HIIT Workouts – the pro’s and con’s

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts seem to be a lot more popular lately. Well, maybe it’s not that they’re more popular but the term “HIIT” itself is more popular. For me it’s been popping up a lot more so I figured I might as well write a post about it 🙂

A couple examples of HIIT programs are:

  • P90x
  • T25
  • Bootcamps
  • CrossFit
  • Tabata

In a basic sense, HIIT workouts alternate between periods of high intensity with periods of rest. The length of each period can vary greatly depending on who’s writing your program or hopefully what you’re training for.

HIIT workouts can have a lot of benefits too:

  • Improved anaerobic capacities
  • Improved aerobic capacities
  • Shorter workout times to fit busy schedules
  • Sustained increase in metabolic rate for longer periods after workouts
  • Reducing risk factors of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Improving Insulin sensitivity
  • Generally less boring than sustained state workouts

As you can see, there are many reasons to use a high intensity workout in your routine. In fact, I’m always looking at how I can help my clients increase the intensity in workouts, ONCE they’ve reached an appropriate level of fitness.

My main concern with any workout program is to make sure that it’s appropriate for the desired goals and current fitness level of the individual. All too often I see something like a HIIT workout being given to a client who’s not ready for it. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. Just because it CAN have a ton of benefits doesn’t mean it the right thing to do.

I say CAN have a ton of benefits because sometimes I feel it may not be worth it. There are risks that come along with intensity and it’s important to make sure your body is ready for the challenge.

Some of the cons of HIIT workouts are:

  • Increase toxicity in the body
  • Extreme muscle soreness
  • Risk of injury

These risks are generally greater for anyone just starting into a fitness routine. If you’ve been consistent with a routine for a while, then a HIIT workout program might be a great option for you.

It’s the intensity itself is the main risk for beginners.

By pushing your body too fast, too far, too soon you’re setting yourself up for failure. Injury is the biggest concern because usually your joints aren’t strong enough and your technique isn’t solid. As you push intensity, it’s going to challenge anyone’s technique. Poor technique at a high intensity is a recipe for injury.

Also, high intensity produces a lot of metabolic breakdown of muscle and fat tissue in your workout. This can lead to extreme muscle soreness lasting many days and potentially challenge the body’s ability to effectively filter the toxins out of your body leading to major health risks.

I don’t want to stop anyone from using a high intensity routine, I just want to inform people so they know when to use it.

In my opinion, intensity is where the results are. I’m a strong believer in the value of high intensity workouts.

That being said, intensity is relative. If you’re starting from couch potato status, walking or cycling for 30 minutes is an increase in intensity. There’s no need to be doing 400m repeats on day 1.

As always, progression in your workouts is going to be your best bet for long term success.

What HIIT workout programs have you tried and what have been your results?

Is Your Workout All or Nothing

I work with a lot of clients who really struggle to be consistent with their workout routines. Actually, for MOST of my clients, the #1 thing we focus on in the beginning is developing their consistency. I’ve written about it recently.

A big struggle they have comes from a belief that seems very common.

I call it that All or Northing belief.

The basic principle is that my clients believe they need to be all or nothing. As in, when they workout, they need to do the whole workout, at 100% capacity for it to be worth it. Otherwise, what’s the point. There’s some level that they SHOULD be able to achieve and if they can’t then there’s no point.

Have you ever thought this?

You had a 60 minute workout planned, you only have 30 minutes so there’s no point. Right?

Many people think they need to do the program 100% to get results. They need to be able to get a personal best or put in their best efforts for it to be worthwhile.

If they’re sore, they need more rest.

If they don’t have enough time, they need to do it later.

Often, these are really just justifications for why you can’t do it now. The problem is that this creates negative habits that get harder and harder to overcome as time goes on. You get so used to putting it off that you really struggle to get up and do it when the time is right.

You end up doing nothing.

To get a different perspective, let’s do some simple math:

If you have three 60-minute workouts in a week and you do none of them, how much time have you spent working out?

Right, ZERO!

Now, if you have three 60-minute workouts in a week but you run out of time in each one and only do half, how much time have you spent working out?

Right, 90 minutes!

Now, go ask a 5th grader: which is bigger; 90 or 0?

Right, 90!!

My point here is that you’re going to be better off in the long run even if you only do half of your workouts. Half the time or even half the intensity. It’s not worthless if you can’t do the full thing.

JUST DO IT.

Besides, reduced capacity workouts are actually a great thing for your body and mind. It can help the muscles recover and you get a sense of accomplishment, not failure.

Doing 50% of a workout still feels like you at least did something.

Doing 0% of a workout feels shitty.

If you’ve ever run into this thought pattern, break it immediately by doing something. As I wrote recently , the perfect program is the one you’re doing. Stop thinking you need to do it all or nothing and just get out there and do what you can.

Have you ever done this? Share your experience in the comments below.

The Perfect Program

When you start a new fitness program, you probably want to know the best way to get the result you want right?

Of course!

It seems reasonable: You have a goal you want to reach, you’re not sure how to get it, so you ask if anyone can help you get there. Or maybe you do a google search.

The good news is that there’s a ton of options out there. The bad news is how do you know which one is right for you?

Which one is that perfect program?

Which one is going to get you the results you want the quickest?

Unfortunately, everything out there seems to claim it is the best: 6 minutes this, high intensity that, “The #1 secret you’ve been missing…”, “6 pack shortcuts” and “The ultimate fat burning program”.

If you follow their plan, you’ll look just like their models!

We’re taught to believe that the perfect program exists. And we’re taught to believe that the it’s the perfect program itself that will get us the results we want.

There is a little bit of truth in this. A good program that fits your needs is important, but that’s not usually the problem.

When I start coaching someone, the problem isn’t that they aren’t doing the RIGHT program, it’s that they aren’t doing ANY program. Or at least they can’t stick to any program for a reasonable amount of time.

Let’s say I create the perfect program for you. It targets everything you want to target and will get you all the results you want to get. Sounds pretty sweet right?

Now what if you don’t do that program?

If you’re not doing it it doesn’t matter how good the program is. It’s useless.

It doesn’t matter how perfect the program is, you’ll never get any results if it just sits there collecting dust.

For most people starting out, the perfect program is the one you’re actually doing. It’s the one that progresses you effectively, meets your needs, and helps you achieve success so you’re motivated to keep pushing yourself further.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

When you’re getting started in a workout routine, often it’s less about WHAT you’re doing and more about the fact that YOU’RE DOING IT.

Once you’ve built yourself to a point where you’re exercising consistently (3+ times per week for at least 6-12 months in a row) THEN you can become more concerned about the specifics of the program. At that point your body is adapting to the program you’re doing so you’ll need a smart, targeted plan to help you reach the next level.

When the level you’re trying to reach is Level 1, worry less about finding that perfect program and focus on just doing something.

Do you have experience with this? Share your story in the comments below.

– Chad

Head Fitness Coach and Founder