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

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 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:

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.

Personal Training – Why it doesn’t last

personal training

In the last decade I’ve worked with clients in bootcamps, sport specific training camps, personal training, CrossFit, small and large group classes and remote coaching. With this experience, I now look at personal training in a new light, and better understand why it doesn’t last.

To me, personal training is a dependancy relationship between the client and trainer. Most people hire a trainer because they feel like they can’t work out on their own otherwise.  They need a trainer to push them or they won’t do anything.

Sound familiar?  Continue reading “Personal Training – Why it doesn’t last”

Motivation – Where do you get it?

Motivation is defined simply as: the reason to act.

Seems pretty basic right? If I have motivation, I have a reason to act. If I’m lacking motivation, I don’t have a reason to act and therefore I don’t.

So how does that play out in real life and the world of fitness?

I’ve been spending more time on Twitter lately and it’s been a very interesting experience. I like doing searches to see what kind of things people are saying about fitness, health, nutrition and motivation.

If you do a search for “need motivation” for example, you’ll see people posting every 10 minutes or less on average. Now, this isn’t fitness only, but it still relates.

If you start doing searches about needing a personal trainer, it seems one of the top reasons anyone wants a personal trainer is because they’re lacking their own motivation and need someone to motivate them.

Some examples:

Motivation 1 Motivation 2 Motivation 3 Motivation 4 Motivation 5

What these are essentially saying is: I don’t have my own reason to act so I want you to give me one.

I see a major problem with this kind of thinking: The motivation is NOT IN YOUR HANDS. In this scenario, the motivation would be in the personal trainers hands. THEY would hold the stick, not you.

If they’re the ones holding the stick and pushing your forward, how are you ever going to build your own motivation? For the rare person, they do build their own motivation, but for most they don’t.

Now this doesn’t mean personal training is bad, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m trying to express is that if you feel you need motivation, getting someone else to push you isn’t going to work in the long run.

What you need instead is to develop your own motivation.

Yes, it’s that simple!

… In theory.

Ever heard someone say: “that’s easier said than done”? Ya, it fits here too.

Building your own motivation can be hard and can take a while. Some days it will be high, others it will be low. Some weeks will be awesome, some will suck. It’s the nature of learning anything, there’s ups and downs.

So the big question should be: How do I build my own motivation?

I know for sure that there isn’t some magical equation that will work for everyone (sorry), but I think there is a guideline we can follow.

Here are 5 steps to building your own motivation:

  1. Vision – create a strong vision of your goal and where you want to end up. Make a vision board, change your screen saver or post pictures around the house. Having a clear vision of your goal will help inspire you on low motivation days.
  2. Belief – build the belief that you can. Start slow and start small. Small wins over a few weeks does wonders for self confidence and believing you can succeed.
  3. Consistency – following through on your goal is huge. Now this is normally where people feel they need the motivation to do this step, but this step can be how you build motivation. Even on the days you don’t want to, follow through with your plan. (this is where it’s very important to start small)
  4. Reminders – review your vision and goals daily. You’ll need constant reminders to stay focused and not lose sight of what you’re trying to build.
  5. Expect setbacks – failures, road blocks, set backs and struggle are all part of growth. It’s literally impossible to have growth without them. So stop pretending you’ll be perfect and be okay with the fact that you will have setbacks on your journey.

The final thing I’ll say about building motivation is that it’s often best to reach out to others for support. Even the best of us can use a hand here and there.

Support in my mind is someone who will keep you accountable to your own goals. Someone who can support you to build your own motivation, not be the motivation for you.

I hope this gives some insight into motivation, how we perceive it and where I personally think it should come from. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below.

Chad

Step-by-Step Guide to Picking the Right Trainer or Coach

Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Right Coach

There comes a time in most people’s fitness journey when they realize a benefit of hiring a professional for help. We go to a mechanic for our car, or a builder for our house, why not get a coach for our fitness?

If you’ve been to a gym, there’s probably at least a half-dozen trainers to chose from. Not to mention the option of an online coach!  🙂

Each option is going to have different levels of education, experience and specialty. How do you know which one is right for YOU? Follow the simple steps below to help ensure you find the right trainer/coach for the job.

*Disclaimer: I believe there is a difference between a “trainer” and a “coach”. I use the terms interchangeably in this post but I will outline the difference in next weeks blog.

 

Step 1: Determine your goals

No matter what, a trainer or coach is there to help you achieve YOUR goals. Determine what you want to do and achieve. Is it weight loss, weight gain, general fitness, body building, or sport performance? Knowing what you want to get from a trainer is the first key to finding the right one.

 

Step 2: Determine your starting point

Now that you know where you’re going, where are you starting from? Are you a beginner or an advanced athlete?  Do you need to learn how to use the machine or how to maximize your workouts? These will make a difference in who can best help you.

 

Step 3: Education.

What is the education your prospective trainer/coach? You want to match the goals and starting point you determined in the first 2 steps with the education of the coach. If you’re wanting to learn how to use the machines in the gym, or a few more core exercises, any trainer with a certificate will do. If you’re looking to rehab an injury or do sport specific training, you’ll want someone with a kinesiology degree.

 

Step 4: Experience

As with anything, the experience of trainers and coaches will vary greatly. Everyone needs to start somewhere, and starting is how we will gain our experience. The questions for you are: how simple are your goals and how much are you willing to experiment. If your goals are simple (like learning new movements) a newly certified trainer can be useful. However, if you’re looking to takle a goal you’ve been struggling to achieve on your own, you’re going to want a coach with years of experience working with many clients. They’ll know how to navigate your struggles and help you through them.

 

Step 5: Measurement and Assessment

You now know where you are and where you want to go. The final key to the puzzle is finding someone that will provide regular assessment and measurement of your progress. If you’re not constantly testing your body and performance, how do you know if you’re going where you want to go? A good coach will constantly assess you and calibrate your training as needed.

Finding the right coach is important to your success and enjoyment of reaching your goals. Follow these steps, interview a few coaches to see where they fit and then give it a go!

If you’ve enjoyed this content, please share!

What’s your story? Have you worked with a trainer or coach before? What has been your experience? Please post in the comments below.

 

What You’ve Never Been Told About Technique

Technique - AnthroPhysique Online Fitness Coaching

Technique, are you confident that you’re doing your movements correctly?

Is doing movements with correct technique paramount to avoiding injury?

The biggest argument I usually hear for technique is it’s importance towards safety and avoiding injury. Your Physio will ask you to keep your scapula in a certain position and your Personal Trainer will prevent you from letting your knees go past your toes so you don’t get hurt. Does it actually work?

Technique - AnthroPhysique Online Fitness Coaching
Good Technique? Safe?

Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, says in this video that the fear of doing things incorrectly is overblown to it’s reality. Technique is important, very important, but it’s not a guaranteed prevention of injury. Nor is it guaranteed that if you DON’T have perfect technique you WILL get injured.

Here’s my thoughts:

Our bodies are very versatile. We adapt to different climates, diets, and even physical demands. Our body can withstand a lot of abuse or damage and still continue on. This doesn’t mean that we disregard all safety, it just doesn’t always have to be the primary concern. Life happens.

To me, technique is more about improving the efficiency of a movement or skill, it’s not just a preventer of injury. When learning a new movement or skill, we’re bound to have poor technique at times. As we improve our technique, we improve our efficiency and can get better results.

What we’re NOT told abou technique is that if we spend all our time focused on it, we can actually LIMIT our capacity for improvement. If you try to execute perfect technique all the time, you’ll never be able to perform at your full capacity. As we reach the upper limits of our capacities, technique is likely to decrease slightly. Even top level athletes won’t have perfect technique at their maximum output.

I believe that it is very important to be aware of your technique and how you’re doing things. This will help you get better and more efficient at your movements. However, it will NOT guarantee that you don’t get injured. Pushing yourself to the next level is going to require your technique to break down and fail. The key to safety and injury avoidance is having a progressive training program and a good coach. They’ll know how to keep you safe while pushing you to the next level.

Do you agree with the above? What have you heard about Technique? Please post your thoughts and feedback to comments.

Motivation for your Resolutions

Okay, so it’s been a little while since I did my (weekly) video blog, but here’s my first for 2013. It’s almost February, so where many people start to struggle around now is motivation.

A lot of people know what to do. They have to routine, program or class that they go to, so it’s fairly well laid out before them. Even with that though, the hardest part is usually just getting to the gym in the first place so they can follow the program or join the class. Once there it’s easy, but how the heck to you get there? How do you motivate yourself to get out of the warm cozy bed or off of the comfy couch with potato chips on your lap?

I want to know how you stay motivated to stick to your fitness resolutions? Some people hire a personal trainer or an online coach like me, others place bets and some have photos of the body they want plastered everywhere. What do you do? Check out my video, comment below and let’s share some motivation ideas for our new years resolutions.

My Evernote Story

Two weeks ago, Evernote blogged a video of me telling my story of how I use the App. I was excited to see it go live since it had been filmed a few months before. I really enjoy using the program and being an Ambassador for others to get value from it as well. Here is the video:

It’s seen over 3000 views already which is pretty exciting! Let me know what you think in the comments below or if you have any questions about how I use Evernote.

The Challenge: a coach’s view

If you haven’t already seen it, last week Jane posted her first article on this blog. It will be a weekly chronicle of her experience of working with me and persuing her fitness goals. We originally got together to discuss an exchange of her helping me with my social media and me helping her with her fitness goals. During the meeting, I challenged her to an idea, if she was willing, to have her share her experience with the world!

From my standpoint of being an ‘Online Fitness Mentor’ it’s really tough at times to explain how my process works to prospective clients. It’s a pretty new concept to most people and one that many haven’t yet experienced. I figure this experiment will give some people the opportunity to experience online coaching vicariously through Jane.

Full disclosure: Yes, Jane is working for me and helping me with social media and reaching out to the world. I found that I just didn’t have time to be consistent with it, and needed to hire someone for help. However, for this challenge, she has been given full freedom to write whatever she wants in her posts. It will not be edited in any way because I want people to see the entire process through her eyes.

Is it going to be tough for her? Definitely. Is she going to want to quit? Most likely. Will she have good days and bad days? Days with huge progress and days with minor set backs? I can guarantee it. Will she also get support through the whole thing? 100%

My job as her coach is to see when she’s struggling and help her through that. Being online, I will help her find her own strength, and not just pull her along for the ride. I’ll try and expand my view of ‘dragging services’ in a later post.

I’m very excited for this process. I’m confident that jane will be able to express an honesty that not everyone can. I know that I’m looking forward to her post each week and really hope you are too!