It Depends – The Answer you Should be Looking for

As a coach I get questions on a daily basis. The fun part is my answer is almost always the same.

My answer is: It depends.

Here are some of the most common questions:

Should I have protein after my workout?
Whats better, morning or afternoon workouts
How many calories should I be eating each day
How much weight should I use in _____ exercise
Is it better to go heavier and do less reps or go lighter and do more
Should I be taking a pre-workout supplement
Should I be taking a post-workout supplement
My friend told me HIIT is the only way to see results, should I be doing more of that
My friend got great results doing X, should I be doing that too
I need to do more cardio if I want to lose weight right?

Well, that last one often gets a “no”, but otherwise the answer is still always the same.

It depends.

For me there is no one size fits all approach to anything. Consider your own area of expertise for example. When it comes to getting specific about something I’m sure your answer will always be dependent on other variables.

In fitness and health it’s the same. It always depends on at least 2 things:

1. Your starting point and/or current fitness level

2. Your goal or what you’re trying to achieve

In simple terms, origin and destination. Like navigation directions in your car, there are often many paths to get you somewhere, but at minimum those paths will depend on where you’re starting from and where that somewhere is. They will also depend on any obstructions that come up in between.

In fitness and health it’s the same process. A good coach is going to take into account your current fitness level, your goal, and consider the path you’ll take and any obstacles along the way. Otherwise, you’ll just be getting a very general and broad approach usually based solely on your goal.

In fact, this is what you typically get when you’re clicking on or buying those “Shred fat now” “6 weeks to 6-pack abs” “Instant fat loss” programs. They create a plan focused solely on a goal. But there’s no consideration of your starting point, your fitness level, your motivation, your accountability, your knowledge or experience. There’s no consideration to anything else your success will depend on.

So next time you’re clicking that ad, reading that article or asking your coach for a specific recommendation, understand that to truly get an accurate answer it is going to depend on a few factors. If you don’t get “It depends” as your first response, I suggest you keep looking.

What’s something you want to know? Put it in the comments below and I’ll help you figure it out!

~Chad

I’ve had a setback

Let’s have story time shall we…

In the past 6 weeks or so I’ve been going hard in the gym. I’ve been testing out some new workouts and ideas I have and pushing my limits. It’s been great!

For 6 weeks I’ve been going hard, feeling good, and seeing progress.

Then last Friday hit.  Continue reading “I’ve had a setback”

Summer Running: Where The Pace Doesn’t Matter And The Effort Is King

Summer Running

Summer Running can be tough, it can be harsh and it will be unforgiving.

Growing up in St. Louis, and now living in Kansas City, you learn to cope with the ridiculous humidity that comes from living in a midwest river town. Running was always done in the morning and if you slept in, you were better off waiting until sundown to fit your miles in – we’re talking over 80% humidity in St. Louis most days.

Summer Running

Continue reading “Summer Running: Where The Pace Doesn’t Matter And The Effort Is King”

Learning From Lebron – “Be Better Tomorrow”

LeBron James

I’ve grown to really admire LeBron James over the years, but what happened this past Friday night after a heartbreaking game 1 loss really cemented him as the leader we should see in ourselves.

JR Smith had just made one of the biggest mental lapses in the history of the NBA Finals, making a crucial rebound and then running out the clock instead of passing it to a wide open LeBron in a tied game with 4 seconds still on the clock. LeBron, after being relentlessly questioned by the media about Smith’s play just stood up and said, “be better tomorrow”.  Continue reading “Learning From Lebron – “Be Better Tomorrow””

Do you Workout Because you Want to

Do you workout because you want to or because you have to?

This is an important question to consider because it can make a huge difference in your outcome.

In my experience I’ve seen a lot of people working out because they have to. They come to my gym or contact me online to start a workout program because it’s something that needs to be done. Either they are fed up with how they feel or look, or worst case scenario there’s been a health scare and their doctor basically demands it. In both cases they are doing it because they no longer want to be in their current position.

They’re doing it because they have to and in a way, it’s not really their choice.

This option does work for a while because anger, frustration, and fear are all great motivators. We’re angry at our bad habits or poor condition so it’s time to change. We’re scared of the health risks so it’s time to change. Our current situation has to be different, so we HAVE to change.

But being healthy because you have to creates resistance. Continue reading “Do you Workout Because you Want to”

Is Your Focus on Success or Failure?

You started working towards your goal but you’re failing.

You’re trying hard but every day is a struggle. You’re finding it hard to just keep up with life let alone find time to workout, eat healthy and update your journal/log.

In fact, most days it feels like more stress than something that helps.

What’s the point if it’s just making things worse?

Sound familiar?

These are the thoughts we have when we’re focusing on failure. We’re focussed on the struggle, how hard it is and how far away our goals are.

We missed another workout. We had another bad meal or binged last night. The list goes on and on for all of the things we’re failing at.

But what if we changed our perspective? Continue reading “Is Your Focus on Success or Failure?”

Not sure it will work?

not sure it will work

Have you ever hesitated to sign up at the gym, download the app, purchase the equipment, or hire the trainer because you’re just not sure it will work?

not sure it will work

You’ve already tried so many things, is this just going to be one more thing that ends up in the same place? Failure.

Truth is, everything works. Every workout program, every diet, everything. Continue reading “Not sure it will work?”

Training for Longevity

Longevity

Training for longevity is a topic that has been popping up in a lot of conversations for me lately.

Longevity in a fitness sense is about having a high quality of function and ability throughout your entire life.

I believe our current generations will be living a long time. With the advancements we have in medicine, science, surgery, etc, many of us will likely reach 100 years of age and beyond!

That’s pretty fucking cool, but it’s also pretty fucking scary if you think about our current lifestyles and training methods.

I’m worried that we will make it that far in age, but I’m not sure our bodies will last that long.

One of the scariest things to me is the idea of living till 100 but having my body give out when I’m 60, 70 or 80.

I don’t want to be alive the last 20, 30, 40 years of my life unable to truly live! 

One of my favourite quotes is: Continue reading “Training for Longevity”

An Argument for Average Fitness

Average Fitness

I recently read an article by Mark Manson called “In Defense of Being Average“. (worth a read!)

The premise of the article is that we tend to idolize and make heroes of people (or characters) who embody perfection. We think up heroes like Batman and Superman, and idolize Greek gods and Spartan warriors. We’re always looking up to those that are the best at what they do.

The same is true in fitness. You can tell by the endless amounts of Instagram posts of “Fitspiration” focused on peach booty’s and 6-pack abs. It’s perfect images of perfect body’s in perfect lighting and perfect poses.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to look at for sure, but what does that do for our expectations of OUR fitness? Continue reading “An Argument for Average Fitness”

I Don’t Wanna – Lacking Motivation

“I’m tired.”

“I’ve had a long day.”

“It’s late and I need to rest.”

“What’s one missed day…”

Ever had these thoughts?

Ever been lacking motivation?

These are the thoughts we have on the days we don’t wanna.

We have a goal. We’ve been working hard for it. But today is harder than most.

Then the justifications come.

“Today I feel like I deserve a break.”

“Today I think rest is what’s best.”

“Today I just don’t have the motivation.”

I saw we, because it happens to me too. Many of my clients have thought I’m immune to these days somehow, but it’s just not true.

These days exist for most of us so don’t use it as another excuse and think you’re special.

The difference between success and failure for reaching our goals is the decision we make on these days. The difference between success and failure is how we end these days.

Did you give in, buy the excuse and take the rest day you “earned”?

Or did you buck up, dig deep and make it happen anyway?

We all have days we don’t wanna, but it shouldn’t affect the actions you take.

If you truly want to reach your goals, you know how this ends 😉

~ Chad

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 

 

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