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”

Cardio for Calories

When most people do “cardio” they’re doing cardio for calories. As in, they are doing it to burn calories, typically to lose weight.

Normally it’s a slang term for cardiovascular exercise, but really I think that it’s just about calories.

We’ve simplified the term into this overarching concept for getting our sweat on, checking our smart watch to see if we’re done, and feeling like we’ve burned off that desert from last night.

Sadly, this process is usually only done on 3 specific machines. You know, the ones found in the “cardio area” of any commercial gym. Yup, the Treadmill, Elliptical and Bike.

*image found on BodyBuilding.com*

For this article I want to focus on the idea of burning calories and what else could be a better option for our “cardio” workout. Continue reading “Cardio for Calories”

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”

The Journey is Always Filled With Failure

I had a great talk with my client the other day where she was feeling super positive. She had a great day, got her workout done early, was eating healthy and had the positive mindset looking towards the weekend. Everything was rainbows and butterfly’s.

But as the incredibly talented Adam Levine says: It’s not always rainbows and butterflies.

A little way through our chat I asked her if she could write down a review of her first month. The ups and downs, what she learned and what she didn’t expect. Things like that. I was surprised when I realized this got her upset. Even though things were going great at this moment, she was upset just thinking about it.

She realized that she felt she would only see the negative. That even if there was good, she tends to focus on the bad and the failure. She was upset that her outlook was that way.

This conversation got me thinking. Why do we focus so much on failure and why do we consider it such a bad thing? Continue reading “The Journey is Always Filled With Failure”

Why Your Goals Overwhelm You

Take a second to think about everything you have to do today.

Seriously. Take a second. I’ll wait…

Got it all?

Did you add the basic things like showering, eating, commuting, cooking? I want everything!

If you really put down everything it’s probably created a little bit of stress. You know you need to do a lot, but putting it all on paper makes it seem like even more!

Now the last thing to check is if your goals made it on that list. Continue reading “Why Your Goals Overwhelm You”

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?”

Life vs Goals – the struggle is real

If you’ve ever had a goal, you’ve probably realized that it’s pretty damn hard to achieve.

You get started, you’re good for a week or two then BAM, life smacks you on your ass and you’re struggling to get back on track.

This is the thing with life and goals, they’re kinda like enemies.

Your goal is the thing you WANT to do.

Life is all the things you HAVE to do.

Your goal is the thing you AREN’T doing.

Life is what you ARE doing.

They are constantly fighting for your time. You try and make time for your goal but life just gets in the way.

This is the struggle of “Lifestyle”. The ideal situation is that the goal becomes part of your life. It fits within your normal schedule and life and it stops interfering.

However, building a lifestyle takes time. It takes the fight and it takes the struggle. Your goal will stay a goal and the thing you’re struggling to do for a long time. But that’s okay.

If you can accept that they are different, that they aren’t friends, that at times they are even enemies, then you can stay patient and let the process take place.

It’s your goal, it’s what you want, so it’s worth the fight.

The good news is that the fight isn’t forever. It’s gonna be longer than you expect or want, but if you keep working it will end. You will succeed.

Your efforts will win. Life will win. Eventually it will no longer be a goal and something you aren’t doing.

Eventually it will just be life.

~ Chad

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?”

Fitspo Doesn’t Work

I recently read an article that the Fitspiration (Fitspo) trend is backfiring.

This is something I totally agree with and mentioned a bit in my last article “Does motivation lead to action or does action lead to motivation?

I’m not able to speak to the mental health issues brought up in the article or the relation to social media use in general, but I do agree with the state this so-called “fitspiration” puts you in.

Fitspo is short for Fitspiration which is short for Fitness Inspiration. The idea is simple: browse images to inspire you to exercise. With 55+ million posts on instagram you have plenty of options!

The ideal formula is:

Look at images -> get inspired -> exercise -> get fit -> look good naked.

The formula seems simple enough, but it rarely works in reality. It usually ends up looking like this:  Continue reading “Fitspo Doesn’t Work”

Does motivation lead to action or does action lead to motivation?

Motivation Fitspiration

I’ve noticed in my social media feeds there are a ton of posts about Motivation. I’m sure my feed is a little biased towards fitness, but still, everyone is looking for motivation.

Whether it’s a #MotivationMonday tweet, #Fitspiration post on Instagram or a motivation board on Pinterest, the options for motivational content is limitless.

But does that motivation ACTUALLY leads to action? Continue reading “Does motivation lead to action or does action lead to motivation?”

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