Doing the work – do you know what it takes?

After over 10 years of coaching people in fitness and nutrition, I’ve finally realized that I know what I’m talking about. Well, truthfully, it’s that I’m finally confident in saying it. I’ve guided enough clients to the results they want that I am extremely confident with the programs and prescriptions I lay out for them.

However, it’s not usually the prescription that is the problem…

In relation to my last 2 posts, …you’re just not doing it and …straightest road to success I’ve learned that so many people are searching for that perfect answer of how they will get the results they desire.

The problem is that search and narrow focus actually prevents them from getting results.

I’m extremely confident that when I create a program for a client that it will help them reach their goals.

I’ve learned that it’s not that I’m prescribing the wrong thing, it’s that what I’m prescribing isn’t being followed.

Even when it comes to the packaged programs, DVD systems and latests hame gym gadget, for the most part they are going to work if followed. For the most part…

They key element is that they need to be followed.

Are you following me? haha

So if you’re starting to sense the theme of the last few articles, it’s that I’m not really concerned with trying to find the best thing to reach your goals. What I’m most concerned with is making sure you’re putting in the work to get reach your goals.

Are you putting in the effort and doing the work?

And the work isn’t just putting in your reps at the gym, stretching here and there or hitting the pavement every day for your run. Especially if it’s short-term, motivation-dependent work.

The work is putting in the effort when it gets hard.

The work is still getting outside or going to the gym even when you don’t want to.

The work is stretching and rehab every single day.

The work is getting it done because you said you would.

The work is getting back up when you’ve fallen down.

The work is doing whatever it takes to reach your goal.

Over the last two articles I bashed the idea of asking “what’s the best” something to get results. I’m going to give you a better question:

What will it take for you to actually to do the work?

The long term work.

What do you need to be able to truly commit, dig in, fight through the hard times and stick it out to the end?

What will it take to go beyond the original motivation you had to start the race, and fully complete the miles?

Where will you find the support that will pick you up when you can’t do it on your own?

Okay, maybe that was a FEW better questions, but I hope it got you thinking.

I’ll leave you with one more thought:

Whatever your goal and whatever you’re trying to achieve, it’s HIGHLY likely that someone else has already done it. Use them for motivation, guidance and support. Doing something completely on your own rarely works, and there’s nothing wrong with getting a little help and support now and then.

However, if you do use others for support, make sure they support you reaching your goals vs doing it for you.

I love comments, feedback and even questions. Please comment below and let me know if this article has helped you.

Chad

Am I Hurt Or Am I Just Sore? Part 1 DOMS & Inflammation

Am I Hurt Or Am I Just Sore

Am I hurt or am I just sore?

This is a common question you might ask yourself, especially the day after a hard workout or starting something new.

I used to be really bad at answering this question, which says a lot about my background and how far my knowledge has come since I was a 5’2″ high school freshman.

I was having a conversation with a friend about this the other day and we decided that it all came down to the old school mentality our coach
instilled.

Sure we were tough and had a “nose down” type of attitude, but this led to the idea that being sore was some kind of weakness. We ran through a lot of warning signs because… that’s just what we did. A mix of not knowing any better and wanting to be the runner with the most grit, but inevitably the injury team could have fielded a Varsity and Junior Varsity squad by the time conference rolled around.

* For the sake of clarity to anyone who didn’t run in high school, the “top 7” runners on the team were the Varsity squad and the next 7 were considered Junior Varsity, we had a small team – ok back to the post

You do need to be able to recognize that soreness is ok! but only within a certain context…

So what are these so called ‘warning signs’?

You can expect soreness after a good, hard workout or after a mileage increase, and that’s fine but be cognizant about where you feel it!
This comes down to DOMS!

DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, is caused by micro-tears in the muscle. These tears are necessary for building muscle/building better endurance in the muscle. All good things!

However, inflammation is an unnecessary byproduct of this process. Inflammation, essentially your muscles’ response to training*, can cause excess tightness throughout your body and can really impact the flexibility of your muscles and joints during this period.

*A more technical definition dealing with inflammation – biochemical processes release proteins called cytokines as “emergency signals” that bring in your body’s immune cells, hormones and nutrients to fix the problem

So if we think of DOMS as a 48 hour window; any pain past that is a cause for concern. I usually follow this protocol with my athletes:

*Soreness up to 48 hours after: probably not serious unless it is near the joint or throwing off running form – monitor the situation and be sure to take care of yourself! Follow The Art Of Foam Rolling!

If it’s over 48 hours and there is still muscle pain, then it is probably time for a cross training day. I would recommend staying active in your recovery to help speed up the process, however if you’re legs are dead…

There is nothing wrong with an off day or two!

If there is still pain after the next 3 days (the 5th day post initial soreness) of taking time off or cross training — call this the next 72 hour rule — then it is time to go see a chiropractor or physio or sports doctor, at this point there is something wrong and the sooner you find the problem, the sooner you can start rehabbing!

So let’s look at a few scenarios –

INJURY TIMETABLE 1: First workout in spikes
Day 1 – Calf soreness/tightness but overall run goes fine
Day 2 – Calf is extremely sore, achilles tendon feels swollen and running is throwing off your gait – take a cross training day today
Day 3 – Feels a bit better but you still bike for the day
Day 4 – Calf still feels tight but after biking, a light jog and foam rolling you feel a lot better
Day 5 – Back to running!!

INJURY TIMETABLE 2: First big increase in mileage
Day 1 – You don’t really notice it but your legs are overall sore from the mileage so you take a super easy day
Day 2 – Your legs feel better but now you feel the soreness in your shin area, painful to the touch – take a cross training day tomorrow
Day 3 – Running is out of the question today, your shins are hurting when you walk
Day 4 – You don’t feel any better today and even biking is causing your shins to ache!
Day 5 – You feel just as bad as you did yesterday (you spent 3 days cross training and it doesn’t seem to be hurting)
Day 6 – It could be a stress fracture or it could be really bad shin splints, so think about going to see a chiropractor or physical therapist or someone in that field as it could be a muscular problem that can be worked out.

As with anything, listen to what your body is telling you! Do not be stubborn and think,”I’ll just run through it” because that mentality will put you on the shelf for a long time.

Thanks for reading friends,
As Always please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
Coming up in part 2: Rehab and Prehab!

Justin

Marathon Training: Generic Plans Vs A Whole Body Approach Pt. 1

Personalized Marathon Training

As the saying goes, “Marathon training is a cruel mistress”, why else does every marathoner feel the need to tell you about their training regardless if you have asked our not?

It’s a lot of time, effort and sweat equity put into one day, months away, where you will test your mettle on the road…

Which is why you need to be cautious with which marathon training plan you choose!

You need to choose a plan that will work best for you; a plan that will fit within your time constraints but also work with your body and how you as an individual respond to training. However, sometimes it’s hard to tell which plan will work best, especially if you are unsure what to look for!

Take the plan below for instance: Continue reading “Marathon Training: Generic Plans Vs A Whole Body Approach Pt. 1”

Getting started – it’s the only thing that matters

Getting Started - it's the only thing that matters

Getting started on something is usually the hardest part. I believe it’s the only thing that matters!

I actually wrote a similar version of this article about a year and a half ago but just realized I never got around to publishing it…

I apologize because I feel I prevented a learning opportunity for you.

I’m writing about it again now because I had a new realization about this concept the other day. I even did a Snapchat rant about it.

Continue reading “Getting started – it’s the only thing that matters”

Why I Stopped Being A Personal Trainer

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Why I stopped 1-on-1 personal training.

I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing in Mexico with Fitmix25 and what I’m doing with AnthroPhysique. I’ve dedicated my life to these two systems because I deeply believe in their benefits for someone’s health and fitness.

I’ve been thinking about why my belief so strong and what truly is the benefit of these systems?

It comes down to something that happened to me 9 years ago in early 2007. Continue reading “Why I Stopped Being A Personal Trainer”

Introducing Allie Parris

Our team just keeps on growing!

We would like to welcome Allie Parris to our happy growing family:

Coach Allie is a NASM certified Personal Trainer, a Weight Loss Specialist and a Fitness Nutrition Specialist – meaning her approach to coaching centers around not only finding what works best for you, but also teaching you how to understand why it works.

From Allie:

“My approach to training is extremely personal and individualized. I don’t just want to help you lose weight or get in shape. I want to help you understand why the tools I’m giving you work. I think a client should not just receive a program, they should understand why that program is tailor made for them. I want my clients to understand their bodies AND understand how to achieve results rather than just blindly follow a plan!”

Allie Parris - Online Fitness and Nutrition Coach

As a self proclaimed “former crash dieter”, she has experience with just about every restrictive diet there is – giving her the experience to steer you past that frame of mind and into thinking about “how to feed your strength”.

“I came to Allie after working abroad for 6 months and my body type had changed completely. I felt self-conscious and unsure how to even begin this journey of getting my body back in shape. Allie made me feel comfortable discussing my body issues. She was the perfect balance of tough love yet tenderly motivating. Thanks Allie!!”
Rachel L

Allie’s personal journey to better health gives her a unique connection to her clients. Read her story here!

Introducing Our Newest Fitness Coach Britnie Harris

Introducing Britnie Harris Nettles

Anthrophysique would like to welcome our newest Fitness Coach Britnie Harris!

Britnie is an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience working with clients like you! She has a degree in Exercise Science, along with Personal Trainer, Group Fitness, and Life Coach Certifications which makes her a perfect fit for our team.

Introducing Fitness Coach Britnie Harris

Britnie believes in a long term approach to fitness, no quick fixes. She preaches setting yourself up for success, not only for the time being – but for the rest of your life.

“What if instead of relying only on willpower each day to deprive yourself of something, you focus on creating or adding a habit–just one–that will have a domino effect in your life? A habit that is completely in your reach!”

Want to learn more about Britnie’s coaching?

Check out her full bio or sign up for a consultation below:

Snapchat Coaching – Be a Beta Tester

Follow Chad on Snapchat

For the month of February, 2016, I am going to be offering Snapchat coaching to ANYONE that wants it!

What the heck is Snapchat coaching? Let me explain:

First, if you’re not sure what Snapchat is, you may not need to read on. However, if do know it and/or you want a personal coach for a month and are willing to learn new technology, then READ ON my friends!

As an online coach, I’m always looking at how I can best use technology to support my clients. I feel like Snapchat is really starting to take of in the “older” generations now. (25-45+) I also feel like there is a huge opportunity to be able to help someone in a way that other social platforms don’t provide.

To figure this out, I need to test it. To test it I need people. People means you!

For the month of February, I’ll do my best to answer every Snap you send me. Questions about your training, motivation, eating, supplements, ANYTHING. Consider it a one-on-one Q&A.

I say I’ll “do my best” because ONE: my current clients and business are my priority, TWO: I’m not sure how many people are going to take me up on this, THREE: I don’t know how many questions people are going to ask me. Regardless, I’m willing to give it a shot.

So here’s how to get started:

STEP 1: Add me on Snapchat – AnthroChad

Follow Chad on Snapchat

STEP 2: Watch my story every day for general updates about what’s going on and if I’m ever missing questions.

STEP 3: Send me your personal questions

STEP 4: Wait patiently for my answer. If I don’t answer with 6 hours, send it again!

I’m excited, I hope this works and I’m super pumped about how much we can possibly achieve in 1 month!

LET’S DO THIS!!

Chad

Your New Year Resolution Won’t Last! – Here’s why

Your New Year Resolution Won't Last, but that's ok!

It’s January. What that means for a TON of people is that their new year resolution has started.

It’s an exciting time with tons of visions, tons of motivation and tons of goals!

The next exciting time will be when you fail!

I say that failing is exciting because it really can be if you’ve set yourself up for success and planned for that failure. Most people fear the point of failure but guess what – it’s going to happen.

You are going to fail.

I guarantee it and it’s okay.

The point here is to help you realize it will happen and in fact it should! Instead of setting yourself up problems and struggle with failure by avoiding or denying that it will happen, don’t deny it, know it will and plan for it.

How many times have you started something and been perfect at it from the start? Ya, probably not many.

Also, how many times have you really grown or learned from something that was easy the whole time and didn’t push your limits? Ya, probably not many.

When I work with my clients, I always have a plan for when they fail.

It’s never been a matter of if they will fail, it’s when.

I’m constantly pushing them and challenging what they can handle. I’m actually trying to find that point where they’ll fail. From there, we re-work the plan, pick them back up and carry on our merry way.

Your New Year Resolution Won't Last!

So this year, if you’re working on a new year resolution, do yourself a favour and plan for your failure. As the old saying goes: “it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up”.

If you truly want to make this a new YEAR resolution and not just a new JANUARY resolution, plan to pick yourself up. A lot.

Chad

What Makes a Successful Running Coach?

Hi Friends,

A question popped up on a questionnaire I filled out last week: What makes a successful running coach?

I was filling it out to spend two months in Flagstaff while the NAZ Elite crew get ready for the Olympic trials. The question really got me thinking… that’s pretty relative right?

After all, who determines what successful means? Is it simply that you’ve coached runners to new prs? Or maybe all of your runners just enjoy training? Or do you have to be recognized by your peers?

What Makes A Successful Running Coach?

I believe there needs to be a bit of all three to be successful. With that in mind – here are some points I pride myself on that every coach needs to keep in mind:

Your runners need to enjoy training

You must be in tune with your runners, don’t let them burn out. Training can be tough and there are days they might hate you, but you need to know the difference between being tired from the rigors of training and being mentally worn down. Sometimes your athletes will need a day off.

Your runners need to be in the position to run their best every training block

The training must suit their needs, and you must be willing to react and anticipate any problems they may have.

Your runners need to be comfortable talking to you

This means being open with your athletes, don’t just tell them what you think they want to hear. Be honest and be real, because if your athletes can’t talk to you – how will they tell you how they are feeling.

You need to be able to market yourself and expand your coaching presence

This is something I struggle with at times but am constantly working on. A successful coach needs to be able to sell their brand and have your coaching philosophies in front of as many eyes as possible. This means being able to influence runners – experienced and beginners alike.

You must be able to talk confidently about your coaching methods

If you can’t talk confidently about the science or reasoning backing your training then your runners won’t feel confident executing the plan. Don’t just say regurgitated terms, really KNOW why the training works and what you are accomplishing. You don’t have to be a Biology major but you do need to know why you are training this way.

You must be flexible with your coaching methods

Sometimes your methods won’t work like you expected: maybe it’s how the runners are responding, maybe it’s a lot of external stress on the runners, maybe you didn’t execute your end of the plan as well as you wanted. You must – MUST – be able to change your approach! As one of my mentors told me, “let the runners have the glory,

You must be willing to learn

Whether that’s by reading or asking questions, be a sponge and never stop learning – even if you can’t incorporate a method or you disagree with the reasoning behind it. The more you know the more you can be ready for any questions your runners may ask.

You must be willing to move on

Sometimes things just don’t work out – you need to be fluid. Maybe there is a athlete relationship that isn’t working or a way you are explaining things or maybe a way you are marketing yourself. Don’t be afraid to shut it down and move on to something else… don’t be afraid to fail.

Ultimately success can be defined as many things but it always comes down to the runners!

Follow me on Twitter to ask me how I stand up to these points, or if you have guidelines I didn’t cover.

Happy Running,

Justin

Do you even know why you are running?

Think back to your last run

How did it go?

What did it accomplish?

Did you log it?

Why did you run?

Think hard on that last question, most of us runners would have a hard time coming up with an answer – maybe you were just following your schedule or maybe you just thought, “a run sounds nice, lets do that.”

Perhaps you didn’t even think about it before hand, you just ran out the door ready to get that run out of the way!

I run into this mentality with my runners every year, there always comes a point in the season where they reach an impasse and start going through the motions. They might hammer an easy run or stop doing some of the little things we do post runs (I’ll cover these in another blog post soon) and if left unchecked they could start to unravel. I just make sure to remind them of what we are trying to accomplish, our easy runs are helping us recover and when we push too hard we aren’t accomplishing that goal.

That’s not to say that every easy run has that purpose but you – or your coach – need to have a firm understanding of your program.

Even if you don’t know what that particular run is doing for you on the molecular level – it still helps to know the reasoning behind it. Maybe you don’t need to know that the reason why we incorporate long runs into 5k training is because they help your body build bone density and help oxygen delivery to your muscles (those are just a few of the benefits) but you should still know that long runs will help build your endurance and help make 5ks seem easier.

In my experience just knowing why you are doing something can do miracles for motivation, not only on that run but throughout your program.

Does your program call for speedwork, do you know why?
Does your program call for speedwork, do you know why?

 

What if I’m not training for anything specific?

This is a good question because if you aren’t trying to train a specific system why should you care? – the more relevant question becomes:

What do you want out of this run?

Do you want to lose weight? Maybe you just want to feel better or maybe you use running as a stress relief and having that daily run keeps you from going insane.

Then THAT is why you run, and you need to write those words down and remind yourself before every run. Put that statement somewhere where you will see it everyday! When you start to feel the urge to stay inside ask yourself, “why am I running?” – This is how we succeed, this is how we make a lifestyle change!

And who knows, maybe down the line you will decide to train for a 5k. It’s an easy transition and just knowing how to set yourself up for success will put you miles ahead of your fellow beginners… literally and figuratively.

So… Why do you run?!

Let me know @anthrophysique – or leave a comment below!

Go Get After It!

-Justin

Building Up To Back Squats – Simple Steps To Rock Your Squat

Back Squats are a great thing… and one of my favorite exercises.

Back Squat Trio

Back squats can help you with a variety of goals: building strength, increasing muscle, generating power through the lower torso and basic alterations in body composition.

So should a beginner just load up a bar and start squatting?? Ahh…. no.

While back squats are amazing for a surplus of reasons, they are a fairly technical lift. And before you load up a bar, there are a few checkpoints you should tick off…

First:

You should be comfortable squatting, if you have never performed a squat before (insert eye roll here… we squat everyday to sit into chairs/couches/cars!) start with the basics: body weight squats. There are a lot of squatting variations (assisted, bodyweight, single leg, goblet, tempo, box etc) so you should already be a bad ass squatter before you step under the bar.

Back Squat Variations


Second:

Understand bar placement, set up & load. There are two different ways to place a bar across your back: high on the traps and low on the traps. A high bar will produce greater load through the knees where as a low bar will target the hips more. Placing a bar upon your back will also shift your center of gravity. Understand how to maintain bar placement throughout your squat. Many beginner lifters unknowingly cave forward at the bottom of a squat (due to the bar pressing the chest forward) or try to raise from a deep position by extending the knees before the hips, both errors can cause injury – Understand where the bar will want to pull you and how you’re going to counter that pull before loading up.

Squat Set up

Third:

Get mobile! Back squats require more mobility than other weighted squats. As with most squats, flexibility through the hamstrings is needed to prevent rounding of the low back. Ankle mobility is also an asset to ensure the weight is evenly distributed throughout the foot with the majority in the heel, and hip mobility is needed to improve depth – On top of those things, there needs to be mobility through the rotator cuffs and upper back. Without this mobility getting the bar into proper position is impractical.

As always with anything new, start small. Get under the bar (without additional weight), feel comfortable and practice getting the bar to & from the rack. Once you move up to back squats & feel comfortable with them, the results are almost endless: improved functional movement (think of how many times each day you need to squat), increased mobility & balance, more strength.. I could go on.
Back squats are an amazing exercise.. but they’re not for beginners. Just because you can’t currently squat doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Everyone starts somewhere and the results are always worth it.

Happy Squatting 🙂

-Shelby

Why should you pay for a Running Coach?

Runners all over the country are flocking to the roads, and races are reporting a record number of participants. Running as a competition is as popular as ever which means there are more opinions about running and training easily available. Training plans are becoming increasingly easy to find, what was almost impossible 10 years ago is now as easy as googling or browsing Pinterest. Just check out what Chad sent me last week –

chad 5k plans

Those are 5k and 10k plans that came pre-loaded on his phone – running is everywhere! but is it all useful? That is where you need a skeptical eye towards everything you read. Take those plans on Chad’s phone for example, Who wrote those? Whom did they write those for?

This is the problem with these generic plans – many times they are super generic as to appeal to as many runners as possible. Those plans weren’t written specifically for you, with your past experiences in mind. Going with one of these generic plans can be like playing the lottery – every once in a while you’ll win but your chances don’t look great.

This is where having a coach comes in handy, because there are a lot of aspects to those plans that a good coach certainly won’t neglect.

PERSONALIZATION

I’m not saying you can’t have success off of a plan you find online, some of those are written by great coaches who have had a lot of success coaching Olympians and national class runners. However, they didn’t make that plan for you! They didn’t make that plan with your background and your likes and dislikes in mind. You might run a pr but then what? Where would you go from there? Running the same plan over and over again will not get you results, What’s that definition of insanity?

There is another part to that equation: most plans leave out a few crucial details that mean more to your training than any plan would – Mileage and Nutrition. These may seem unrelated but trust me they are and a good running coach can make sure you do these right:

MILEAGE

Mileage is tricky – some people are naturally aerobic monsters and can handle more mileage while other people benefit more from less mileage. Either because they are injury prone or because they just flat out don’t run as well on a high mileage plan. What straight up mileage does, when coupled with the right workouts, is helps with your recovery and builds your aerobic system – easy run mileage is for the most part untaxing on your legs while still making an impact on your runs. It can also help with recovery, without getting too scientific easy runs help signal your body to loosen up and get rid of soreness as long as you stay in your range. ( Check this blog from Chad on why more exercise when you are sore is better than no exercise http://anthrophysique.com/2015/08/27/im-too-sore-to-workout-i-need-a-rest-day/ ) Think about it, your whole plan can hinge on the amount of mileage you decide to take on – Why leave that up to chance? This is why having a personalized plan is key, you will never get a straight answer on mileage from the Internet… trust me I’ve tried.

A plan like this won't be enough for most runners
A plan like this won’t be enough for most runners

NUTRITION

Nutrition is the second aspect to your training that most plans just flat out won’t talk about, you will be burning a lot of calories so why worry about what you eat right? Wrong! Nutrition is arguably more important while you are training – that is making sure you eat the proper nutrients, getting enough protein, taking in all of the vitamins and minerals that require training on a high level. You don’t need a restrictive diet – you really don’t – but you do need a healthy lifestyle. You can still enjoy your favorite foods just make sure you aren’t eating for the sake of eating, you are eating for the sake of fueling for your next run.

Maximize your time by taking out the guesswork, I’m here to make sure you run your best on the right day – with a plan designed for not just short term success but success over the rest of your running career. This is what personalization will do for you, I will take your race and work backwards from there keeping in mind your schedule and your strengths/weaknesses. Think about it in a logical sense; you are investing time, money and energy in a race so you better be fully prepared!

With my plans you will also have the confidence in knowing you will run your best on that day!

If you want to learn more or have training questions in general give us a shoutout on Twitter @anthrophysique and if you want to know what a personalized plan can look like for you, fill out the form below.

-Justin

Why Having A Coach Is So Important?

Online Coaching Client 3

Exercise technique is one of the most misunderstood topics I have seen in the fitness industry. Everyone wants to have the “perfect technique”, but they rely on a medley of unreliable resources: friends, a person at the gym, or youtube videos to emulate their technique after.

Why is that not a good idea?

Well, in short, it is unlikely that the person you are emulating is the same gender, age, height and weight, which should come as no surprise. Variables like limb length, joint depth, muscle flexibility, joint mobility, and adaptation to movements are often overlooked by the average gym goer, youtube viewer, and even many inexperienced personal trainers.

Here is an example. Person A is female, 25 years old, 5’5, and weighs 150lbs. Person B is male, 30 years old, 5’10, and weighs 190lbs. The untrained individual would think their squat technique should look the same – shoulder width stance, knees over toes, torso leaning forward at a 45 degree angle, ect. Think back to your high school human anatomy class, you will remember that women generally have wider hips than males to accomodate for birth. Their femurs point down toward the ground at an angle (referred to a the ‘Q angle’). Although Person A is a bit shorter than Person B, many females have long legs/long femurs for their height. Depending on their genetics/heritage, they may have a very shallow or very deep hip socket which will affect how the leg articulates in a free flowing motion.

With all of those differences why would their squats look the same? Should they look the same? Highly unlikely.


This is why having a well educated coach is so important.

When you are in the gym, you are repeating a motion several times for several sets. Just like any other sport movement, like swinging a baseball bat, the more repetitions you perform, the more ingrained the movement becomes into your daily life. If you have fundamental flaws in your movement patterns in the gym, they will likely creep into your daily life increasing risk of injury. You squat down to pick up the groceries in a similar fashion to a squat movement. You get up off the floor after playing with your dog in the same manner as a pushup, ect. A good coach will be able to pick up on movement faults in your exercises and determine if there is a specific weakness, or just broken down technique.

Now, I can’t sit here and write an article on how to squat perfectly or do the best pushup you can without seeing some video or watching you in person. But what I can do is explain a couple of universally valid concepts that apply to all exercises.

Concept 1: A safe exercise creates stability at the joint (shoulder/hip)
The best way to create stability within the hip or shoulder joint is in a position of flexion and external rotation.

The picture below is of my client of mine. His squat isn’t very deep, so he is probably at a low risk of injury. To the untrained eye, this looks like a pretty standard bodyweight squat. It’s easily something others would emulate in the gym. I use an application which allows me to view videos in slow motion, draw lines, and really understand what is happening during the motion.

Ian - Client analysis

From a coaches perspective, here’s what’s actually going on:

He is sitting down rather than sitting back – giving him less than ideal glute muscle activation. His center of gravity has shifted forward about 4-5 inches putting a large sheer force on his knees. The arch in his foot has collapsed because he doesn’t have the ideal ankle mobility. Simple coaching ques like pushing the knees out so ankles aren’t collapsing, and sit back, not down will enable him to create more tension and stability in his hip joint. That will correspond to keeping his center of gravity over his feet, keeping the foot arch intact, enabling the majority of his technique issues to take care themselves.

Concept 2: Neutral spine means neutral!

The spine is designed to be able to move in all directions. However, according to Dr. Stuart McGill – the world’s foremost expert on spine biomechanics, the greatest contributor to back injuries is repetitive flexion or extension of the spine. Squatting with an arched back, doing pushups where your hips sink and spine extends, or doing a sit up like a pill bug rolling into a ball is a fantastic way to herniate a spinal disk.

Having a neutral spine literally means reducing/eliminating any arch or rounded shapes from your spine and maintaining that rigidity through the duration of the movement

Here is a picture of AnthroPhysique coach Chad performing a bodyweight squat. His back is completely straight, even during a very deep squat motion.

Ian - Client Analysis 2

In conclusion

If you are serious in creating positive change in your own health and fitness, it is critical to enlist the help of a good coach. Having a coach will create a gameplan to reach a series of smaller goals that will ultimately contribute to the larger goal. A good coach will determine different flexibility and mobility weaknesses, muscular weaknesses, dietary deficiencies, lifestyle challenges, and determine the best and safest way to create positive changes. A good coach will keep you accountable and honest, ensuring that your are putting a sufficient body of effort forward. A good coach will show you the right technique for YOUR body to maximize results and minimize injury. Most importantly, a coach will give you the tools to become the best version of yourself.

Your options: Personal Trainer vs Online Trainer?

If the trainer/coach is so important, what are your options? You are essentially left with two options: the in person trainer, or someone you speak with over the phone/online. The most obvious difference in the two besides the trainer’s presence, is price. PTs can cost $100+/session or $1200+/month and require travel to a gym to complete your sessions. An online trainer costs between $150-350/month and doesn’t require you to exercise within the confines of the PT’s gym and schedule. Additionally, with the power of technology, you can share videos of your exercises, while coaches have apps that can break down technique in depth, and can be anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in working with an online coach, or even just having a technique assessment, contact me with the form below.

How well can you really know somebody with online coaching?

Online coaching

Last weekend I got to spend a few days in San Diego, California. What was supposed to be just a weekend turned into a 5 day trip. There’s worse things in life right?!? 😀

As a quick weekend trip I didn’t make a lot of plans other than exploring the city. When my trip got extended, the first thing I thought of was: Who do I know in this area that I can visit? One of the first people that popped to mind was my friend Tahirih.
First, a bit of background:
I first met Tahirih about 2 years ago, I was looking for new coaches and we connected about doing online coaching. She started working with me offering Online Yoga Coaching. Now, 2 years ago Online Fitness Coaching was still a pretty new concept and people didn’t really “get it” – online yoga coaching was an even bigger stretch for people to take.
Long story short, Tahirih moved on from online yoga coaching to exciting new things with her nutritional education and career. We stopped working together but remained connected online and through the social medias.
Back to the present:
I called up Tahirih and asked what she was up to for the weekend and if she wanted to hang out. Finally, we were going to meet in person! I’ve had this experience a few times with online coaching clients but this was the first time I’d be meeting one of my non-local online coaches in person.
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Thanks to the interwebs we’ve Skyped a ton and follow each other on Facebook and Instagram so it didn’t exactly feel like a ‘first meeting’. It’s like we had known each other for years… because we have!
I write this because online friendships, relationships and business interactions are so much more common these days and I like that it’s less of a scary thing. When I started to work online, people I had a hard time understanding online coaching and how it could possibly work. I now have a ton of clients and coaches that I’ve never met in person, but I am still able to know about them and their lives like they are dear friends.
Gone (I hope) are the days where people feel you can’t really connect/work with someone online, because in my experience that’s completely un-true. The internet, social media and technology is bringing the world closer together and it’s incredible what we are able to achieve!
~ Chad