Lost Motivation to Exercise? This is Why:

I was talking with my coaches the other day about ideas to help people get started. We got into talking about things like intro offers, New Years resolutions, bikini prep and wedding dress goals. I was saying how these are key times where lots of people use that motivation to get started, but it’s also where most people don’t stick to it.

I told my coaches that the reason people don’t stick to it is because the motivation they start with won’t last. It’s our jobs as coaches to help our clients continually find the motivation that keeps them going.

What I’ve learned over the years is that motivation doesn’t last. The things we wanted when we were younger, we don’t really want any more. The things we want now, we may want in the future.

This is either because our goals change, or we actually get the thing we wanted.

Let’s say I want a sweet car that’s lowered and has a loud stereo. (Cough cough, yes, I did want that when I was younger) However, this isn’t something I want today. I don’t want it anymore because I actually got a car like that at one point. I reached my goal.

The same is true with my motivation to exercise.

When I was younger, I wanted to gain more muscle and weight because I wanted to be huge. I thought it would be cool to walk around and be this big jacked dude. It was a key reason as to why I lifted weights, trained regularly and ate what I ate.

Today however, my body goals have changed. Today my goal is more about just staying healthy and my definition of fitness.

Another common one I see is the “wedding dress” goals. I’ve had plenty of clients that went strong for 3-6 months and achieved their goals for their wedding and fitting into their wedding dress.

Can you guess what happened after the wedding?

Unfortunately, many of them stopped training. They achieved their goal, never set a new one and lost motivation.

The point here is that it’s not uncommon and nor is it a bad thing to “lose your motivation”. In my experience it’s completely normal and part of the process.

They key is that you’re constantly adjusting your goals and adapting your motivation.

Trust me, the motivation you start with won’t last. But it doesn’t have to. It’s a continuous process of constantly re-assessing your self and your goals and finding a NEW motivation.

Being motivated to get started is important, but finding new motivation to keep you going is key!

~ Chad

How Many Miles Are Enough For Me?

What's the right mileage for you?

I want to stress that we are all individuals — in that vein there are no magic bullets, no quick fixes, no secret recipes to success. We all have a different training style that suits our body, personality and mental strength.

So a question I’m always asked is:

“How many miles are enough for me?”

 

What's the right mileage for you?

 

It’s a question that has been hotly debated for years! Should I train low mileage-high quality or high mileage-low quality?

To be honest the best answer is found somewhere in between.

In my mind the perfect training plan has you smartly increasing your mileage with a solid mix of high intensity and low intensity.

That’s why mileage is tricky…

Finding what works for you.

So how many miles should you run?

There are runners who are built to run 120 miles per week but there are also runners who can only handle 30 without coming up injured! Those 30 will need to be at a hard pace to make up for the lack of quantity but if done right those runners can still run incredible times.

In a perfect world where every runner is built the same and races happen in a vacuum. But it doesn’t…

I would argue that high mileage (done right) can lead to a bigger improvement than a more low mileage plan. This has to do with the improvements that only happen on a molecular level when you spend hour upon hours on your feet. (I would also argue that there is a mental toughness component that comes from taking yourself to the wall on your mileage training, but I will cover this in a later article.)

We all have a personal peak mileage and a personal peak race — it’s important to find out works best for you individually.

The Aerobic base

Authur Lydiard is the man who popularized building a big aerobic base before moving into more specific training. He coached a group of New Zealand runners, headed up by Peter Snell, that would go on to dominate the world stage. This is when a man by the name of Bill Bowerman brought Lydiard’s training philosophies back to the University of Oregon and the rest is history.

Think of the Lydiard system as a pyramid — the base of that pyramid being the amount of easy runs you put in. That base allows you build the rest of your pyramid, the bigger the base, the bigger the pyramid… hypothetically.

For years this “revolutionary” approach to distance running is how we coaches trained our athletes. Of course there was still a love for the old method that primarily relied on interval training multiples days a week… but the damage had been done and “periodized” training was here to stay.

In my own experience this can be modified a bit and if you’re more of a Jack Daniels (not that Jack Daniels) or Joe Vigil descendant like me than you would know that this philosophy isn’t the end all be all. I feel like the best set up for a training cycle is a steady diet of mileage, tempo runs, and mile pace work to build efficiency .

However, there is no denying that with just easy running alone and spending time on your feet then you will see a big benefit to your general aerobic system as well as:

increased bone density

increased capillary density

tendon development

improved Vo2 max

mitochondria recruitment

improved running economy

usage of fat as fuel

development of slow and medium twitch muscle fibers

mental clarity

mental strength

Mileage has it’s benefits but ultimately it comes down to what your body can handle. This depends a lot on your genetics but with the right amount of experience, trails and testing you can do a lot to optimize your performance.

Trial and error and research and obsess and learn and pass on to others…

So back to your question, “how many miles are enough for me?”

To be honest I don’t know — because I don’t know you, yet! However, I can tell you that more mileage is better than less and there’s no way of knowing until you get out there. With the right plan and progression you should be able to find your ideal mileage within a few weeks.

-Justin

If you have any questions or need help on your training journey, you can add me on snapchat, instagram or twitter — How can I help?

All About Proprioceptors And How They Can Benefit Your Running

All About Proprioceptors

Our bodies are awesome!

Think about it!

We have sensory nerves throughout our body that send feedback to our brains about where we are in space.

These sensory nerves, called proprioceptors, tell our brain about the terrain we’re running on, as we’re running, and our body makes the appropriate adjustments.

If you want to learn more about proprioceptors and see how you can better implement them into your training – check out my latest 5 Minute Barrier;

Thanks for hanging out friends!

If you want to follow along on my journey follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Anchor!

-Justin

Saturday Series – The Day 1 Mindset

If you’ve ever started a new fitness routine or diet strong only to fall off the wagon after a couple of months, this new mindset is for you!

The Day 1 mindset is the simple belief that: every day is day 1.

Day 1 is typically the first day of doing something. After day 1 you continue on with day 2, day 3, day 4, etc. Simple right?

It’s kinda like you start something one day and then continue on forever. With the all or nothing mindset, this is what you’d believe. You get one chance to start and then from there it’s 100% forever. If not it’s all over and you’re back to nothing.

By adopting a day 1 mindset, you start to build the belief that every day is a new chance to start over.

It focuses on building the getting started muscle and helps you realize that every day is a new day to pursue your goals.

Any time you strive for a goal it’s going to take many twists and turns and ups and downs to get there. Reaching a goal is never a linear path. There will be setbacks, struggles and failures.

Building habits and momentum is great, but it’s not JUST the momentum that will get you there. Even if you’ve done something for 21 days in a row and supposedly built a habit, it’s still hugely beneficial to see the next day as day 1 again. The focus shifts from “not breaking the streak” to “today is another chance to keep going in the right direction”.

 

Just because you succeeded at something yesterday, doesn’t mean you’re going to succeed at it today.

 

This may sound daunting at first because getting started is the hard part, but you’ll notice a change after a while. You’ll start to see that day 1 gets easier and easier. The momentum you build helps solidify this belief. Eventually, if or when you miss a day, the next day is still day 1 again and it’s not as hard to get back on track.

 

If you can realize that every single day is a brand new day and a brand new chance to take one more step forward in the right direction, then you truly have the day 1 mindset.

 

You lose the fear of failing because the next morning it no longer matters.

I challenge you to give this a try for the next 30 days. See every day as day 1 and let me know if it starts to get easier.

~ Chad

If you liked this, I recently wrote another post on the same topic. Even further back in time, I wrote an article about the All-or-Nothing mindset which is worth a read as well 😉

 

An Industry Built On The Learning Curve – Or At Least My Version Of It

The Learning Curve Of Fitness

Let’s start with Wikipedia:

A learning curve is a graphical representation of the increase of learning (vertical axis) with experience (horizontal axis).

The Learning Curve Of Fitness

A learning curve averaged over many trials is smooth, and can be expressed as a mathematical function.

The term learning curve is used in two main ways: where the same task is repeated in a series of trials, or where a body of knowledge is learned over time.

… the term has acquired a broader interpretation over time, and expressions such as “experience curve”, “improvement curve”, “progress curve”…

Thanks Wikipedia!

My interpretation of this learning curve is that in the early stages, or when one is a beginner at something, there is a steep increase in learning and progress. However, over time that progress reduces and eventually flattens. This flat portion can also be known as a plateau.

Now, what is the timeline in which someone reaches that plateau are we’re talking about here?

In my experience of coaching fitness, the flattening of the curve usually happens within the first 1-3 months. As in, clients can see rapid results for the first 1-3 months and then those results slow down or stop.

Whether this is in increased strength, increased endurance, increased power output, weight loss or reduced body fat percentage, the results slow down rapidly or even stop all together.

Now that the baseline knowledge is out of the way, I want to apply this to my industry: Fitness.

It is my opinion that 90+% of the services and programs that are out there are targeted and marketed directly at this learning and performance curve. They are built within the range of achieving the most success from their customers.

Where do we see this?

  • 30-day challenges
  • 8-week bootcamps
  • P90x – aka 90 day DVD program

Do a search on Intagram for Fitness Inspiration, Workout Motivation or Booty Challenge and you’ll find thousands of accounts with 6 pack abs and peach booty’s with links to their DVD or downloadable programs.

(and no, “peach booty” isn’t a typo)

You’ll also see dozens, hundreds or thousands of people who have had success on that program. However, often those numbers only represent a fraction of the people who actually followed the program. So if you see 100 success stories, it’s likely that thousands of people tried the program. If you see thousands or success stories it’s likely that hundreds of thousands tried the program.

I have no scientific data to prove this, but from my experience observing clients over the past decade, I would bet that at most 10% of the people that do a program get the results you see advertised. That leaves 90% who didn’t even make it that far!

Heck, if you’re still reading this you probably ARE one of those 90%!

My question is always: what data or percentage of success stories would we get if we expanded that out to 4 months, 6 months and 12 months after the program. How many people STILL have the success once the 4, 8 or 12 week program is done?

As I said, the programs are built to fit WITHIN the highest growth rate of the learning curve.

After the program, let’s look at:

How many people have built a habit?

How many people have created a new lifestyle?

How many people actually learned what’s next?

I don’t have exact numbers on these things either, but I’m not sure anyone does. Honestly though, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that no matter the program, 100% of people will experience a flattening of their learning curve at some point in their progress.

100% of people will hit a plateau at some point in their training.

It’s totally unavoidable.

The thing I encourage you to think about from this article is whether or not your program, plan, system and/or training considers and addresses this fate.

Is what you’re doing ready for the inevitable plateau and are there resources available to take you past it?

Or is it designed to end before your plateau and then leave you hanging when you get there?

Deep right?!?

The good thing is that millions of people get 1-3 months of success usually within every calendar year. ( Can you say “new years resolutions” anyone?) Every year people are stepping up to the plate and taking a swing at their health and fitness goals.

The sad thing is that millions of people only get 1-3 month of success usually within ever calendar year.

They then enter a perpetual cycle of programs, challenges and bootcamps with the promise of the quick results we all desire so badly.

If I can leave you with one thought after reading this article it’s this:

The next time you consider and fitness program that lasts less than 90 days, think about your learning curve. I guarantee you that you’ll hit a flat point and plateau. Ask yourself:

How does this program address that inevitable fate and how will it take me past it?

Once you have the answer, you’ll know if it’s really worth your investment.

Thank you for getting this far and reading my article. I love feedback and interaction!

Did you like this article? Did it trigger any questions? Please comment below and let me know what you think.

Also follow me on Snapchat for more frequent ideas and insights.

Chad

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

Welcome To The Anthrophysique Running Club

Anthrophysique running club

Hi friends,

Do you have trouble finding running partners? Are you a busy adult that has to fit their runs in at odd hours? Are you looking for a community to share your accomplishments and meet new friends?

You aren’t alone, trust me!

It can get tough having to constantly push yourself and not having anyone to hold you accountable.

I can’t tell you the amount of mornings that even I have woken up sore/tired and wanting to push my run off. Luckily, for the majority of my running career, I have had coaches and teammates who were relying on me to be there and ready to roll.

Imagine what would have happened if I didn’t have those built in obligations!

That’s kind of our mission here at Anthrophysique, everything comes down to accountability – you can have the best training in the world but if you don’t have the motivation to follow the plan it does not do you any good.

There is a great quote from USA Olympian Breaux Greer, “Even Spartacus needs a coach” – basically meaning every leader/coach/”motivated individual” needs someone to hold them accountable to their actions and motivate them every now and then.

This is the thought process that compelled me to start the Anthrophysique running club, this is a virtual running club designed to help you follow through and accomplish your goals – whether you are just starting a couch to 5k porgram or you have been running for decades.

Partnering with Strava you will be able to post about your runs, keep track of your minutes/miles/kilometers/hours or whatever you measure your workout in, ask the club about their runs, and pick up a tip or two about your training.

We’re here to help you; find inspiration to get out the door, ask for help, brag about your latest run, find inspiration from future friends and above all else – have fun while hitting your goals.

One thing is for sure, at the AP running club:

You Will Never Run Alone.

Come see what it’s all about!

Justin

Don’t forget to follow what I’m doing on Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter!

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”

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

Screw the new years resolution – why starting in December is a better decision

Getting in shape is one of the most common new years resolutions.

It’s very well known in the Fitness industry that January is the busiest month of the year. The gym owners know it, the marketers know it, the newly hired staff know it and even the “regulars” know it.

Even YOU know it.

Answer this honestly:

How many times have you started a new fitness goal in January?

If it’s more than once, this article is for you. Read on.

New Years Resolution 1 Continue reading “Screw the new years resolution – why starting in December is a better decision”

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