Blog

Feb
13
Overcoming Sickness: How to stay on track when feeling 'under the weather'

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Life is unpredictable. Unfortunately, you probably won't feel 100% ALL the time, especially during the flu season. This can be an easy time to throw your healthy habits like sleep, training, and meal prepping on the back burner. Here are some tips for staying on track when your mind and your body are telling you to stay in bed, grab some comfort food, and go back to sleep until you feel better.

Exercise

Is it a good idea to exercise when you're sick? Yes and no. If you can get out of bed and go to work, the answer is probably yes. If you are sick to your stomach and can't keep any food down, common sense would tell you that burpees are probably not in today's forecast. Not feeling like yourself or having a head cold with symptoms "above the neck" (i.e. sore throat, congestion, headache, etc) should not stop you from being active. This may mean that you need to take it easy and modify today's workout or just go for a jog, do some rowing, or push a sled around, but it doesn't mean you should do nothing. If your symptoms are mild, you will likely find that a little exercise makes you feel better, and helps you to get past whatever you are fighting. There have been many studies that show exercise can boost your immune system. Use your best judgement, but don't let that little voice in the back of your head tell you that you can't or shouldn't exercise when feeling under the weather.

Food and Fluids

When we get sick one of the first things we neglect is our nutrition. We either don't eat enough due to a loss of appetite or we resort to comfort/convenience foods that do nothing but set us back. In reality, this is the most important time for us to be eating whole, nutrient dense foods to help our body get back to normal. Even if you are laying in bed all day, you still need a steady supply of energy to fight the sickness. Staying hydrated is also going to play a huge role in recovery and getting yourself past this cold or fever. Ultimately, not fueling your body with nutritious foods and staying hydrating will only make you feel worse!

Sleep

Sometimes getting a good night of sleep when you're coughing, dealing with cold sweats, or just flat out uncomfortable can seem impossible. Simple remedies like a cup of hot tea before bed, a hot shower to mitigate some congestion, a salt water gargle, or even some nasal rinse can help to prep the body for a solid night of sleep. Be proactive! Some trouble sleeping is normal, but also be sure to not over do it and stay in bed for 16 or 20 hours straight. This will only make you feel more lethargic.

Life Will Go On With or Without This Cold

All in all, be realistic. Don't crucify yourself for missing a day or two in the gym. But don't let a little cough or head cold keep you out for a whole week (or two) and completely throw off your healthy habits. You will get better, and you don't want to give up or lose hope all because of a little sickness. Focus on your recovery, do the necessary things to regain your energy levels and get back to being the best version of you.


Nov
22
You're Not Too Old For This Shit

This blog is inspired by many of my clients, past and present. If the shoe fits, feel free to wear it.

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All too often I hear "I'm too old to do that" or "Not too heavy, I don't want to get hurt" during training sessions. The first thoughts that go through my head are always "Well, how do you know until you try?" and "No, if you do it correctly you won't get hurt". There are two ages when it comes to training, only one of which matters. The first one is literally how long have you been on this planet (does not matter)... the other is how long have you been training, and by training I mean with a specific plan of action and under the guidance of a qualified individual (does matter). If your answer to the latter is "not very long", the you are young and have much to learn and to gain. Regardless of your age, the desire to be better each and every day, to progress, to accept new challenges should always remain.

Some of my proudest moments as a Coach and Gym Owner are not watching clients/members hit their first 300 pound squat or deadlift, but seeing them make the decision to grab a 15 lb dumbbell instead of a 10 lb dumbbell without me telling them to. Better yet, hitting their first bodyweight squat, pain free, below parallel, with a braced core, neutral spine, all without me giving them any cues. The changes I see in people just from tasting the smallest amount of success or accomplishment are unbelievable. Often times it is not the coaching, the encouragement from others, or the proper programming, but simply putting for the effort for the first time without the fear of failure or injury. You're never too old to try your best. Effort is always a choice.

If you're thinking to yourself "Well isn't showing up a couple times a week and exercising good enough at my age?" The answer is no. Is going to work, on time, a couple times a week good enough? Is feeding your kids/spouse/animals a couple times a week good enough? How about showering and changing into some clean clothes just a couple times a week? My point here is why do we accept training on occasion (if at all) at a less that optimal intensity as acceptable when our health, our appearance, our mental well-being, and ultimately our lives depend on it more than ever as we get older?! None of the other common sense tasks I mentioned (sarcastically yes) would be passed up because we "don't have time today" or "because I'm too old for that".

Studies have shown that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 12 men will sustain a hip fracture in their lifetime. It has also been reported that 86% of hip fractures occur in individuals aged 65 years and older. Sustaining such an injury can increase your mortality rate dramatically. It just so happens that the best exercises for bone strength are the weight bearing ones... aka weight training. Of course, this is just one extreme example of what training can do for you, but I think it is important to be aware of preventative measures when it comes to our health.

Now... I want you to think for a minute. Try and think of as many friends, coworkers, family members, acquaintances, etc. whom you know that have been injured in the past year or so. Maybe strained their back lifting an odd object, turned an ankle, had chronic shoulder pain that prevented them from doing something, maybe even neck pain or general spinal issues and needed to visit a chiropractor, or maybe even fractured a hip? Next, try to think about how many of these people were injured in the gym? How about in the gym, with a Trainer/Coach, helping them execute their workouts? Ok, now lastly, how many of them were injured, in the gym, weight training, with ME as their Trainer/Coach, (just for fun) ...? Let's just wrap that up by concluding that the odds are in your favor.

While there is no argument here that some training is better than no training, and you don't necessarily need to have a goal of deadlifting 300 pounds, you do need to train optimally, with maximum effort, at any given time when you are in the gym. Be confident more often than you are conservative. Positive attitudes bring positive results. Your body is programmed instinctively to let you know when you are doing something out of the norm. So if you're a little, stiff, sore, or out of breath... it will be okay. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and you will be blown away with the feats of strength you are capable of achieving, regardless of your age.


Nov
07
Social Media and Food

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Let's be real here... we ALL spend a good deal of time on some form of social media platform whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Pinterest, etc. We use social media as a way to share our every day experiences with others. What is one thing we do every day? We eat food. I'm as guilty as anyone for poking fun at "that person" who always has to take a photo of every meal they eat and every fancy cocktail they order at dinner, but let's take a second to think about what this really does for us and how it affects the way we view our food.


Oct
27
What Do You Do When No One is Watching?

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I write this in hopes that maybe just one person will read it and let it ignite their journey towards making a positive change in their life... whether it be health and fitness related, or not. The worst thing I experience as a Coach and Gym Owner is meeting people who don't even know what it feels like to be healthy. If you're not healthy, chances are you aren't happy, and if you aren't happy, you likely don't wake up motivated, hungry to be better today than you were yesterday. I wake up every morning excited to get to work because I love to train and I love to help people. I love being a part of the process of helping people reach their goals, and accomplishing feats that they never thought possible.

Every morning when I get in my car and head down to The Lab to open up for the 4:00-5:00am crew, I click the podcast app on my iPhone and the last thing I was listening to the day before comes on the stereo. Yesterday morning, it was a short motivational talk about "working when no one is watching". Two things came to mind.

1. Every day we make hundreds, probably more like thousands of decisions... Most of which when no one is watching. We decide when to get out of bed, how many times we hit snooze, what to eat for breakfast, what to wear to work, shower or no shower, workout now or later...? Everything in life is a choice whether you view it that way or not. Your weight, your body composition, the majority of your current medical conditions, and your overall health (minus some genetic predispositions) can all be attributed to decisions you have made in your life up until now. This resonated so heavily with me because, in my line of work, every single day I have to find a way to convince people that this is in fact true, and despite your current state, anything is possible. I have to convince them to trust me, and to trust the process, and that making a commitment to make time to eat a certain way and to train a certain way will undoubtedly change their life for the better. Ultimately, these are just simple decisions, and no one can make them but you.

2. Find your "why" and don't let anything stop you from getting where you want to be. Why do you want to change your eating habits? Why don't you make time to train every single day when you know it will make you better? Why do you go to work every day at a job that you don't love? Why do you neglect your own health and happiness for those around you? Why don't you take that leap of faith, whatever it may be? These are some questions that I myself have faced in the past couple of years, and I find that so many others I come across are struggling with themselves. At some point, you have to look yourself in the mirror and figure out for yourself why you are the way you are. Whether you are happy, depressed, overweight, in great shape, stressed, unmotivated, strong, weak, injured, etc... Figure out the reason(s) why. This may require the help of a friend, family member, doctor, therapist, trainer, health coach, etc.. but I highly recommend you figure it out on your own. At the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone, right? Once you have done some self-reflection and really narrowed down the reasoning behind your current state of being, your "why", the next step is to take action, and by take action I mean don't let anybody or anything stop you from getting where you want to be.

Persevere. Be relentless. Don't make any excuses for yourself. Be your biggest fan and your toughest critic. Learn to motivate yourself. Do the extra work. Don't get comfortable. Appreciate the grind. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, WORK WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING.


Oct
17
5 Things To Help Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

If you're anything like me, you often find yourself on the hunt for sweets after dinner, or around lunch time... or maybe all the time? The truth is there could be a ton of reasons why you are craving carbs (which I won't go into for the sake of time), but you don't necessarily need to have a full on "cheat day" to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours. Here are five things you may want to keep in your fridge/freezer/pantry to avoid that late night FroYo run.

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1. Perfect BarServing Size 71g = 330 Calories 18g fat/26g carbs/17g protein (Peanut Butter)Comes in many flavors, all of which are packed with over 20 organic superfoods. Gluten, GMO, and preservative free.2. Lenny and Larry's The Complete CookieServing Size 2oz = 180 Calories/6g Fat/24g...


Oct
09
Grilled Flank Steak Salad

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Smoky Seasoning Blend
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper
*yields about 1/2 cup

Ingredients
2 cups baby spinach or mixed greens
6oz thinly sliced flank steak
1/4 cup sliced granny smith apples
1/4 cup baby bella mushrooms
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette

Rub the smoky seasoning blend on the flank steak. Grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side or until cooked to desired temperature. Let steak rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice the steak thinly and place over a bed of baby spinach or mixed greens. Top with apples, raspbe...


Oct
03
My First Strongman Competition

This past Saturday marked my first competitive sporting event since playing basketball in college. There are definitely some aspects of the weekend I enjoyed more than others, but overall it was a great experience for me and I enjoyed the camaraderie provided by my fellow competitors as well as spectators.

What is "Strongman"?Strongman is a weightlifting-based sport where athletes compete in several events involving different aspects of mental and physical strength, along with speed and endurance. Events vary from one competition to the next and there are age groups, experience levels, and weight classes that decide who competes against who. Some competitions/events are very heavy and favor the biggest and strongest athletes. Other compet...


Sep
25
10 Tips For Starting a New Training Regimen and Sticking To It

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1. Wake up before the sun
The most successful people are early risers. It will take some sacrifice, a little will power, and a lot of determination. You will be better because of it. Starting the day with a sense of accomplishment is something you will find very valuable. The best thing about waking up early to train is that once you do, none of the hurdles you encounter throughout the day will turn into an excuse for you to skip your workout. Rise and grind!

2. Set ONE alarm
Don't start your day off being lazy. If you need to wake up at 5:00am to be at the gym by 5:30am so you can still make it to work on time... then set your alarm for 5:00am. Not 4:45am, 5:00am, and 5:15am. Don't give yourself options. Just go.

3. Drop everything and trai...