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

Not seeing results? Step your game up!

Okay, this post may be a little bit of a rant…

I’ve been working in gyms and with clients for around 15 years now. Needless to say, I’ve seen a ton of people working out and putting in efforts to change their bodies.

Kinda…

I say kinda because I think there is a difference between working out and putting in the effort.

Let me explain.

You can see this in certain types of people:

The people who leave the gym looking just as good as when they came.

The people who constantly complain about their workout or how hard it is.

The people who stop with 10 seconds left in their circuit and start drinking water.

The people who leave their water bottle at home so they have to walk to the water fountain every couple of minutes.

The people take 15 seconds to transition between every 30 second station of a workout.

If you identify with any of these, please read on 😛

I would say that all of those people are working out. They’re at the gym, they’re doing something and they can even take a selfie to put on Instagram and prove it. haha

However, I wouldn’t say that they are putting in the effort.

They’ve got step 1 down and show up, which is important, but they’re lacking on step 2. Step 2 is putting in the effort to make it worth it.

To show up at the gym and just go through the motions isn’t going to get you results. I see too many of these people first complaining about their workout and then complain about their lack of results.

Unless you’re a body builder; if you rest for most of your workout, don’t own a water bottle or suffer your way through every workout then I have very simple advice for you:

Stay home!!

Seriously, you’ll enjoy life much more and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying life. Just don’t complain about your lack of fitness or that you have a body you don’t desire.

However, if you don’t like that advice then you might be ready for the tough love asvice:

It’s time to step your game up!

Stop complaining, suck it up, bring a water bottle and finish your workout as strong as possible. Just like you always get the last few drops put of your wine bottle, empty your own tank in every workout.

If you’re gonna do it, do it! If you show up, give it 100% and be proud of your efforts.

So if you’re not seeing the results you want, it’s time to step up your game.

If you feel you are giving it your 100% every time and you’re still not seeing results, message me because you’re in a whole different category! (this article doesn’t apply to you)

Chad

Beating The Marathon Taper: PR When It Counts

Marathon Taper Madness

The Marathon Taper — or as I like to call it Taper Madness — is a tricky concept to understand.

Complicated by symptoms of: feeling antsy, restlessness, having an overall energy surplus, being fixated on your race, day dreams about heartbreak hill, and just a general anxiety about training — ok a few of those may just be me.

It is not made any easier by the fact that not everyone will respond the same way to a traditional taper. A traditional marathon taper being cut back on the mileage starting a few weeks out from the race and then a few short and quick workouts marathon pace workouts to keep your legs fresh and race ready.

This brings me to this weeks 5 Minute Barrier; I’ll give you a few tools to beat Taper Madness and recognize if a traditional taper is right for you.

Thanks for watching and don’t forget to thumbs up that video and give me a follow on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat if you liked this info and want more!

Justin

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

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”

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!

Fitness apps – tracking your sleep

This past weekend I had one of the best sleeps I’ve had in a very long time!

I went to bed at 2am and woke up at 10:30 am. Nothing in between, just a solid 8.5 hour sleep with some vivid dreams. It was great and I felt rested.

While laying in bed for a little while longer I did what we all do and played on my phone for a bit. One item of playing was a notification from the S Health application on my phone. I’ve been using it a little bit for tracking water intake, caffeine intake and sometimes take my pulse. A pretty cool app.

About a week or so ago I saw that the app could track sleep so I figured I’d check that out too. You can put in a goal of when you want to go to sleep and when you want to wake up.

During the week my sleep is pretty regular so I put my bedtime as midnight and my wake time as 6:20. So, each day during the week I crushed it. I was getting badges and awards all over the place because I consistently went to bed at that time, give or take and hour, and got up at 6:20 every day.

This time however, was Saturday. I wasn’t working so there was no alarm set. I went to bed later and got up later.

As I said, it was one of the best sleeps I’ve had in a long time. When I entered my data however I got this:

Screenshot_2015-10-24-13-42-20

It was considered a “poor” sleep because I didn’t got to bed nor get up at the times listed in my goal.

Maybe there is a way to have a separate weekend goal but I’ve only been using this feature for a few days and didn’t really dig into all the options.

Either way, I still have the same issue of: how can the app really know how good my sleep is? All week I’ve been reaching awards by the apps standards yet still feeling tired. However, when I sleep well and finally feel good, my sleep gets rated poor.

This is my point for the whole article.

I really appreciate apps and technology and what they’ve been doing for our lives. Just the other week actually I had an incredible experience of Facebook notifying me and my friends our “safety status” because we were in the affected area of hurricane Patricia. However, I still have a hard time getting on board with most apps because of how limited they are.

For something like sleep, and any other health variable as far as I’m concerned, there are many factors that will affect the quality. Basing everything on when you go to sleep and when you get up really doesn’t tell you much. It’s kinda like saying I’m unhealthy because I weigh 200lbs or because my BMI is over 27. One metric can’t give me that conclusion.

When you’re only looking at one small piece, you’ll never understand the whole puzzle.

So Galaxy S Health sleep app, and fitness apps everywhere, thanks for being a fun toy that allows my inner nerd to feel incredibly special while quantifying my life, but I don’t think you’ll ever truly know how well I slept last night. Thanks but no thanks.

~ Chad

Accountability – how Gary Vaynerchuk got serious about his health

Accountabillity

One of my mentors: Gary Vaynerchuk recently figured out how to get serious about his health. It was all about accountability.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve talked about and written about this topic so much that I’m beating a dead horse. However, I just read another article that inspired me to hit the topic again.

I strongly believe that it’s the key to success so I’m going to continue to beat that horse till the message gets across!

The article I just read was by Gary Vaynerchuck and he posted it on Medium. I’ve been following Gary, his YouTube show, his books and all of his advice for years. He’s a very smart guy. So when he decided yesterday to write an article called “How I Finally Got Serious About My Health” I jumped on it! Continue reading “Accountability – how Gary Vaynerchuk got serious about his health”

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

Introducing Our Newest Fitness Coach – Shelby Stover

Shelby Stover - Online Fitness Coach

The Anthrophysique family is growing again!

Introducing Shelby our newest fitness coach:

Shelby Stover - Online Fitness Coach

It’s an old motif –

The best coaches are the ones who have had to work the hardest to achieve what they have.

Shelby had done just that, a life of working long hours and not taking care of her diet led to an unhealthy lifestyle, however she decided to change that. This was not a rapid change but a long journey that consisted of a few wrong turns along the way – she was trying to change her life without the guidance of a coach who could have warned her not to trust everything you read on the internet.

She’s arrived at that lifestyle change and learned a valuable lesson in the process – The Simplest Approach Is Often The Best

She believes fitness should be fun and balanced and smart all while you work hard and achieve your goals.

“If you’re looking for an easy road or training program that will have you reading a book while you ‘workout’ than I am not the coach for you; but if you’re looking for someone to help you work hard, smash your goals and help you have a few laughs along the way then give me a shot!”

Shelby is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (NCSA), Certified Pole Instructor (Vertical Dance), Nutrition Coach (Precision Nutrition), Personal Training Specialist (CanFitPro), Pre & Post Natal Specialist (CanFitPro), Team Coach (TRX), Cycling Instructor (CORE Cycling)

If you would like to learn more about Shelby, or contact her for a consultation – you can find her team page here: http://anthrophysique.com/our-team/shelby-stover-online-fitness-coach/

 

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

getting_back_on_track

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

getting_back_on_track

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bullsh*t! you say.

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

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

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

Here’s the deal:

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

Then what?

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

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

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

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

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

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