Why You Should Food Journal

Ever had the feeling that you’re eating healthy but you just can’t seem to get any results?

A client of mine was recently feeling the same way.

He started a photo food journal to track what he ate. He takes pictures of everything he eats each day and shares it with me.

Within a week my client noticed that he was eating better.

A week!

Here’s why:

I’ve long been a fan of a journal when starting to change eating habits. At minimum because I need to see what my clients are eating to be able to help them. But also, because it’s often very eye opening for the client.

I’ve seen it so often, the new client says “but I eat healthy, how come I’m not seeing results “.

I ask them to journal and very often I get the same experience as the client mentioned above. The journal actually opens their eyes to EVERYTHING that they eat in the day.

Sure, the main meals, especially when you at at home are pretty healthy. However, many people don’t realize the frequent snacks, amount of sugary beverages they consume, gaps in their eating, or late night habits.

It’s not just what they eat that they end up seeing, it’s how they eat.

They see their habits.

Food journaling is a great idea if you’re unsure of why you aren’t seeing results or want to know how you can modify your diet.

I encourage you to try a photo journal like my client. You might be surprised by what you find!

~ Chad

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #5

Weekly Activity Challenge #5 - burpees

It’s now week 5 of the weekly activity challenge, which means we’re doing our last benchmark workout. If you’re just tuning in, check out the previous 4 weeks  for other challenges you can try out this week. These Benchmarks are activity challenges that we will test every 10 weeks to see your improvement.

This is number 5 of 5 to test your baseline fitness.

 

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #5:

30 seconds of burpees, 30 seconds of rest x10 sets

– count how many burpees you can get in each 30 second set
– range of motion and proper technique is more important than speed
– if you need more than the 30 seconds of rest, take it

Try this workouts once per day if you can, or at least 3 times throughout the week. If you try it every single day, don’t be surprised if you’re scores drop a little. This will be due to sore and tired muscles.

Please post your scores in the comments section for each time you do it. I also recommend a Workout Journal for your own records.

Have Fun!

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #4

weekly activity challenge benchmark #4

Wow, it’s already week 4 of the weekly activity challenge! I’m shocked at how fast time is passing and also realizing how easy it can be to put things off till later. If you’ve been procrastinating on your workout routine lately, these challenges could be the perfect tool to kickstart your progress! Check out my previous activity challenges over the past 3 weeks to see what you’ve missed or what else you can be doing.

Currently, I’m outlining the “Benchmark Challenges”. These are activity challenges that we will test every 10 weeks to see your improvement. During these 5 weeks, you will establish your baseline fitness to get a clear picture of where you’re starting from.

Today is Benchmark #4!
 

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #4:

Max handstand hold; 1:00 rest x3

– time each hold separately so you have 3 scores at the end.
– do theses against the wall
– if you can’t get into a handstand, try walking your feet up the wall to a challenging height

weekly activity challenge benchmark #4
*from pure2raw.com

 

Try this workouts once per day if you can, or at least 3 times throughout the week. If you try it every single day, don’t be surprised if you’re times drop a little. This will be due to sore and tired muscles.

Please post your scores in the comments section for each time you do it. I also recommend a Workout Journal for your own records.

Have Fun!

Plank Challenge – vBlog #8

Plank Challenge

This weeks fitness challenge is a front plank challenge. I’m challenging you to see how long you can hold a front plank for every single day. If you missed last week, I offered a walking challenge that’s worth checking out.

As far as the plank goes, it’s a pretty straight forward exercise that you can do anywhere. All you need is you and a floor. So yes, literally anywhere. Here is an extremely exciting video I made of the front plank.

In this video blog post, I offer up a plank challenge to see how long you can hold it every single day. I suggest doing it at least once a day, but aim for 2 or 3 at various times throughout the day for maximal benefit. A good starting point is around 30-60 seconds if you’ve never done a plank before. If you have 1-2 minutes is a nice average. However, advanced athletes can hold for 3, 4 and even 5+ minutes!

The plank itself is an amazing exercise. It provides great benefit to the core helping you develop a strong posture. You’ll feel it in you abs, obliques, erector spinae muscles in your low back, and also in your legs and arms. It truly is a full body exercise.

As always, I encourage you to track your progress. Keep a journal for yourself and I welcome you to share your tracking with me so I can see what you’re up to. Otherwise, please post questions or comments below and good luck on the plank challenge!

2013 Evernote Fitness Challenge

2013 Evernote Fitness Challenge

I have teamed up with Evernote again this January to create a New Years Fitness challenge. You can check out the full details on Evernote, but here is the gist of it.

The Challenge: Create your own Evernote Workout Journal

Get your workout on in as many creative ways as possible and use Evernote to snap as many photos as you can, logging your day-to-day progress. Here are some ideas for photos you can capture using Evernote on your mobile device:

  • Show us how you’re working out at home: lifting cans, doing push-ups with kids on your back, walking the stairs with your dog, etc.
  • Show us your favorite outdoor workout spaces such as the park, trail, hill, or monkey bars you use.
  • Show us your favorite gym equipment.

To help you track your progress, save my document, “Creating an Evernote Workout Journal,” to your Evernote account.

Tracking what you do and your results will help keep you motivated throughout the Challenge and the New Year.

Be sure to share photos the Evernote Facebook page and my Facebook Page and Twitter using the hashtag #evernotelife and @evernotelife @anthrophysique.

Get started now and let me see what you can come up with. What kind of cool places have you already worked out?

What’s your plan?

Ever heard the term “Planning is the key to success” or “Failing to plan is planning to fail”? I have. Probably a million times too! But do I always do it? Not always. Life’s too busy right?!?

In my experience, the sayings are true and planning can play a big role in your success. One thing I often recommend to my clients is that they plan out their meals in advance. Especially when it comes to whatever meal is the hardest for them to make. Mine is dinner.

Last week, my wife put together this little plan:

We’ve been eating out a lot so it’s time to get back on the horse. A big step for eating better is to make your own meals.

For me, I could eat meat and a vegetable as my meal and I’m good to go. For my wife however, she likes more than two ingredients in a meal and has a desire for things to actually taste good. (weird right) So, along came the plan.

From the plan, we went and did a grocery shop to make sure we had everything we needed. Since then, it’s been as easy as: look at the plan, grab the ingredients, cook them, and eat them. Simple, easy, and actually fun.

We’ve been making dinner together, eating at home and feeling way better. We’ve had to modify our plan a few times, but it was just a matter of switching out the days and re-arranging. In 1 week, our plan has proven extremely successful and it has made dinner a much more enjoyable meal.

Do you plan your meals? If so, how has it changed your life? If not, how would it change your life if you did? 🙂

Please share you your plan on my Facebook page. You can find the one I posted above right here.

Announcing AnthroPhysique’s Weekly Activity Plan

AnthroPhysique’s specialty service is creating custom workout programs for individuals to follow on their own. I like to focus on helping people develop a lifestyle of activity that doesn’t always have to be a “workout” you’d do at the gym, but can include running, hiking, swimming or cycling. The key is to stay active on a consistent basis. Today I’m very excited to announce a new service I am offering.

Not everyone needs or wants a custom program and not everyone is interested in a personal coach. Many just want a little guidance of what to do. Some people do a similar workout all the time, so it’s nice to change it up and put a little spice into the routine. For this reason, AnthroPhysique is announcing the official launch of our Weekly Activity Plan.

The Weekly Activity Plan is exactly that. It’s a schedule of activities and workouts that will be release each week. The activities will range from gym workouts, to home workouts, to playful activities outdoors. The focus will be directed towards the average 30 – 50 year old professional person that is already consistent with some form of activity. Weekly plans will consist of 3 – 5 workouts depending on their intensity and focus and can be done on any day.

The distribution of the Weekly Activity Plan will be through this Shared Evernote Notebook. For simplicity, you can subscribe to this notebook through its RSS Feed and get the weekly updates in an RSS feed reader like Google Reader or Feedler RSS Pro for iOS.

 

For those of you that take on this challenge, and start to incorporate some or all of these workouts into your lifestyle, I highly encourage you to track your results in Evernote and Share your notebook with me. You can share it privately with me to coach[at]anthrophysique[dot]com, or you can share it publicly with a free account. Either way, I’d love to see how you’re doing with the activities as it will help me improve the program as you grow.

The plan has already started, so check out the notebook and send us your results! If you have questions or suggestions about the workouts, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

 

Evernote Workout Journal

One of the main things I do with Evernote is logging mine and my clients workouts. The best part of using Evernote for remembering your workout logs is the search capability.

I used to use paper journals to keep track of workouts. I’d even get specially formatted workout journals from online or local book stores. They were great for logging specifics of workouts each day, as well as having ‘benchmarks’ in the back of the book. However, even with good formatting and organization, the problem was always in searching for workouts.

The reason I log workouts is so I can compare my results. If I was going to do a workout with squats for example, I’d want know what my results were from the last time I did them. This was always a major pain in paper journals. It meant flipping through hundreds of pages or even multiple journals, if I had them near by. This was particularly so if I wanted a results from a few previous workouts.

Using Evernote has simplified this entire process. First, it is very easy to log my workouts. Second, all my workouts now stay in ONE journal that I can access from anywhere. Third, searching for the last time I did a certain workout or exercise couldn’t be easier.

Here is how I set up a Workout Journal in Evernote.

Step 1: Create a new synchronized notebook called “Workout Journal”

Step 2: Create a new note for each workout.

Step 3: Naming the note.

This is a key component, especially for when searching through workouts at a later date. I use 2 elements in my naming scheme. #1 – Details of the main component of the workout. This could be something like “Circuit”, “5K run” or “Back Squat x3”. #2 – The date. My notes are ordered by date created, but I like to have the Month and Day in the title for quick reference when comparing two workouts and the time I took between them.

Step 4: Logging consistent details and results.

Over the years I’ve come up with a very consistent way of writing out my workouts and how I log results. This too can become key when searching and comparing workouts later. For example: writing “situps” in one workout and “sit ups” in another will not allow me to compare those two workouts in a search. Create consistency with your naming scheme.

Step 5: Search and compare; this is where the magic happens! Once you have logged a bunch of workouts, being able to search through them and compare your results lets you track your progress over time. Below are some screen shot examples of comparing running workouts with a search of “Run” and “800m Run” more specifically.

“Run”
 

“800m Run”

These types of searches will also work if I want to find a workout I did back in “January” or compare specific strength workouts like “Back Squat x5”

If you want to track progress, you need to compare. Searching specific words and filtering your results is the key. This is why I love Evernote!

Do you have a workout journal already? Are you using Evernote? Send us your shared notebook link, pictures or feedback in the comments section.

How do you log results?

Measurement and logging is sometimes a tricky thing with my clients. The first question is always “What do I measure?”. This is followed by others: How do I measure it, How often do I measure, and How do I actually log it?

This last question is what I want to look at today. How do you log your measurements and/or what tools do you use? Some people like spreadsheets and make charts, others have piles and piles of tiny scraps of paper, and some create journals. You can get journals from book stores, creating your own or order custom ones like Sports Journals.

Being an online company, I like to stay digital and paperless as often as possible. I utilize Evernote to share programs with my clients and they can log their results right in the shared note. It keeps everything in one place and can be easily referenced through the search feature.

However, I’m always looking for new tools and options. I wanted to send it out to the world and see what types of tools you use to log your activity and workouts. Are you paper or paperless? Is it computer based on mobile based? What is the main reason you use what you do? I’d love to hear your feedback so please share in the comments.