Strength isn’t About Size

06 Oct

250LBS on Lat Pulldown. Struggling to pull the weight, he throws himself back. I’m cringing. Just waiting for the cable to snap…

He does it all wrong so why does he keep doing it?

One of THE biggest issues I see in the gym is people using WAY too much weight. They aren’t even doing the exercise properly! There’s no sense in doing an exercise poorly with a lot of weight. You’re not impressiong anyone. You’re just increasing your chance of getting injured.

Using a lot of weight doesn’t make you strong. Especially if youy aren’t moving it correctly. You’re just repeating a bad habit. After a while you’re going to get really good at doing things wrong. Don’t mistake using a lot of weight for strength. If you’re not doing it right, that strength is for nothing.

It’s like learning how to play a sport. Weight training is no different. You need to be able to do it well in order to get the best results. Why do we keep doing it wrong?

No one likes admitting they are wrong! People who have no experience should learn from someone who does. I don’t mean an internet personal trainer. Someone in the flesh who has at least ten years experience. If you don’t know who you’re handing your health over to, then you’ll get hurt. Educate yourself on the basics of exercise. If only for your personal safety.

Quality over quantity. Do an exercise with proper form with a weight you can handle. You’re more impressive when you can actually do things right. Breaking your back in the process is not part of the plan. Lifting heavy doesn’t make you strong. Strength comes from developing good exercise habits. When you continue to do something well, you’ll keep it doing it well as you increase the load.

Keep that in mind.

 

 

 

 

Fitness Is More than Physical

04 Oct

     We confuse fitness and wellness with being physically strong. What about the rest of you?

Many people come across as physically fit, yet are emotionally and mentally unwell. Physical fitness is the outcome of being mentally and emotionally well. There are aspects of your life that may be out of whack, so to speak. Perhaps you have an emotional problem stemming from poor relationships. Maybe you don’t have a good relationship with yourself. Emotional disturbances have a distinct impact on physical well being. You can run ten miles every day and think you’re in good shape. If you’re running away from yourself than you may find yourself emotionally & physically spent. You may burn out.

We’re often too hell bent on acheiving physical wellness that we forget to take care of everything else. Stress is a major factor that impacts emotional health. Exercise is an added stress. We add stress on top of more stress, then you’re a big ball of stress. Again, you can be in good physical shape but are you really? You can ignore the emotional and mental stress so long before it manifests itself physically. Are you sleeping at night? Are you able to focus at work? Is your digestive system out of balance? All these symptoms can be underlying emotional problems. Your body is literally in a fight or flight state. This impacts the nervous system and in turn your organ function.

Think of your body as a chain. There are links in that chain to help keep the connection strong. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual are all links in that chain. If one of those links is broken, then as they say, “You are only as strong as your weakest link.” What’s the disruption and how can we address it? You will never reach your peak of physical wellness unless all the other links in the chain are strong. Don’t ignore what’s going on inside. Whether it’s emotional or mental stress, how you manage it can make a great impact on your physical fitness.

Fitness is more than physical.

 

Why I’m Perfectly Okay with My Imperfect Body

24 Sep

I feel pretty good today. I did a great work out and I feel strong and… a little bit hungry now.

I consider myself pretty blessed to not excessively worry about what I eat or how my body looks. You may look at me with disdain and think, “Yeah right..” The truth is in the course of my day, I maybe spend a few minutes in the mirror. I look at my hair and see some grey coming in. I brush my hair and tie it in a braid. Nowhere in the course of my day do I ever spend saying negative things about my body. Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments. In general I have learned to control my thoughts and put my body in to action. Exercise always helps refocus that negative energy. By the end of the work out, I feel a hell of a lot better. Does it rid me of my cellulite? Nope. Nor do I expect it to.

My life has always been centered around exercise. I’ve worked out for close to twenty years. It damn well feels amazing to feel strong and healthy. I feel like I can take on anything. I wish every woman could feel that way about herself. The truth is those little things get the better of us sometimes. Those stretch marks, those wrinkles, the cellulite on our hips are all very much a part of being female. I can work out for three hours a day (and most days I do) and still there’s no ounce of perfection about my body. Do I feel better about the body I have? Absolutely!

I don’t expect to rid myself of my flaws. I show off my arms with pride even if they still jiggle a bit. Lots of me jiggles a little bit despite the fact I’m in great shape. That’s just the way my body goes. I’m pretty much okay with that. I don’t look at these so called flaws as a bad thing. It certainly will never keep me from loving life. I refuse to let that happen. How silly to let a bit of body fat ruin my otherwise good time. If you are one of those women who takes care of her body and works her rear end off and still has those jiggles, I say own it! Love it! Keep working hard and don’t let anything stop you.

   Loving your body starts with loving the person inside that body.

 

The Science of Maybe: Why Diets “should” or “could” work “sometimes”

24 Sep

Here are some real time headlines:

“This Popular Diet Could Sabotage Your Health, According to a Nutritionist.”

“8 Healthy Vegetables That Can Sometimes Harm You”

“10 Affordable Superfoods You Should Be Eating Everyday”

       You notice a trend here? The following titles were from articles posted on the internet. Yet, they all “maybe” have advice that “could” work.

     Keto, Micro, Macro, High Carb, Low Carb… I can’t even keep track of the number of so called “diets” that “may” work to help you lose weight. They all have different information that often contradict each other. I call it the “Science of Maybe”. It’d probably take me forever to research all the thousands of diets that claim to be the answer for weight loss. If you had a thousand different solutions to one problem, you’d have a hard time picking the right answer. No wonder people are confused!

     I do not advocate one specific way eating. If it works for you and you are happy, healthy and energetic then stick with it. If it doesn’t work for you and you’re tired, miserable and unhealthy then maybe you need to consider an alternative. Changing your eating pattern requires time, energy and persistence. You’re not going to get it right the first time. Take yourself off diets and put yourself on to common sense. I always say, just because it’s trendy that doesn’t make it true!

Proper eating habits take more than just investing in a quick fix. It’s like homework. You have to do the work in order to get the grade. If you do the work poorly then you’ll get poor results. If you put consistent time and energy in to getting it right, then you’ll get good results. Remember, this is a life time of homework on your part.

Eating well and exercise are life long habits that require tinkering to get right. Once you do get it right, then you’ll feel great. If you have to deprive yourself or starve yourself to lose weight, then I encourage you stop. If you go on and off diets consistently then it’s time to get off the diet train. Success only happens when you put the time and energy in to it. This requires long term effort and a dedication to getting it right.

   Take yourself off the diet train and get back to common sense.

Exercise and balanced eating WILL work.

Invest in what works for you instead of what “could” “maybe” “sometimes” work for you.

Top Ten Things You Don’t Know You’re Doing Wrong in the Gym.

22 Sep

Top Ten Things You Don’t

Know You’re Doing Wrong in the Gym.

1) Not Cleaning Up After YourselfThis is a big one! It’s bad etiquette if you sweat all over the equipment and don’t make an attempt to clean it up. No one wants to sit in a pool of your sweat. Use a towel and spray to clean off where your hands touch. If you have a tendency of sweating a lot then bring your own towel. There’s nothing worse than leaving a trail for people to follow. As well when you leave your weights all over the floor it creates a tripping hazard. Put them away!

2) Making too Much Noise: When you are done using the free weights, don’t slam them on the floor! It takes just as much control to put a weight down than it does to lift it. Exert some control and return the weights safely to the ground. If the weight is too heavy then get someone to spot you. An annoying habit is to grunt and groan while you’re lifting weight. It either sounds like you’re trying take a poop or give birth. No one wants to hear you grunting, groaning or moaning. P.s. You may need to learn how to breathe properly while exercising. Proper breathing mechanics aid in lifting heavy weight.

3) Using WAYYYY too much weight Normally the reason why you’re grunting and groaning so much is probably because you’re trying to lift too heavy. Lift what is appropriate for you. Practice doing the exercise with proper form before adding too much weight. Then as you get stronger and lift heavier, you’ll do the exercise properly.

4) Exercising Poorly–  #3 and #4 Go hand in hand. If you’re using way too much weight and doing it incorrectly, you’re going to hurt yourself. Even if you’re doing much less weight and executing the exercise improperly, you can hurt yourself. Always ask a professional if you need help!

5) Talking Way Too Loud on a Cell Phone-  Is the gym really the place to conduct a private conversation? Not really! I’ve seen people walk up and down the gym floor talking on the phone. You can’t get anything done this way. Not only that, it’s bloody annoying especially when you’re holding up a piece of equipment. Take the conversation to an appropriate location or call them back later.

6) Occupying A Machine Too Long– I think most people are pretty polite about waiting. If you’re occupying a machine for an extended period of time, then you’re probably holding someone up. Keep it reasonable. If you notice someone is waiting then consider sharing the machine so you’re both able to use it.

7) Giving Out Advice If you give someone advice and they hurt themselves, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE. Don’t offer unsolicited advice. Often people have a medical history and/or injuries that you don’t know about. My suggestion if someone approaches you and asks what you’re doing, my recommendation is to encourage them to talk to a professional. It’s for your safety and theirs too.

8) Stinking Up the Gym– Please make sure you wear clean clothes to the gym. Put deodorant on! Refrain from dousing yourself in cologne before or after a work out. You’re just covering body odor with cologne and it often smells worse. It’s really a nuisance for those exercising around you. Please make an effort to have proper personal hygiene.

9) Missing the Toilet  I can’t tell you how many times a day I have to clean the floor under the urinal. It’s not fun and it’s not pretty. I think it’s inconsiderate to leave bodily fluids on the seat of a toilet or on the floor. It’s disgusting for the next person as well.

10) Interrupting Someone’s Appointment to ask a Question-  I don’t think people have ill intentions. Quite frankly when a trainer is working with someone else and you feel the need to ask a question, it’s very rude. A trainer is hired to give time and attention to paying clients. If you want the same time and attention then you’ll have to pay for it. Don’t approach a trainer when he/she is working with someone else. Hold your question for later or find another staff member who can help you.

 

Why A Fad is Bad

19 Sep

We often participate in what we think is good for us because a lot of other people are doing it. Just because it’s trendy, doesn’t make it true.

What does “Fad” mean?

I looked at the Merriam Webster Dictionary online.

Noun (1)

FASHIONSTYLEMODEVOGUEFADRAGECRAZE mean the usage accepted by those who want to be up-to-date. FASHION is the most general term and applies to any way of dressing, behaving, writing, or performing that is favored at any one time or place.  the current fashion  STYLE often implies a distinctive fashion adopted by people of taste.

    You’ve probably heard the same old story. “My wife goes on these diets and loses a ton of weight then she gains it all back.” Typical story of a “Yo-Yo” dieter or what I call “Fad Follower Syndrome.” All of a sudden a certain way of being, doing or acting suddenly becomes popular amongst the masses. There’s a danger in following what is popular vs. reality. The reality is fad diets don’t work because they aren’t designed to work long term. They aren’t supposed to be sustainable because people want to lose weight fast.

I’m not a “diet” person nor do I encourage a certain way of eating. One way of eating doesn’t work for all.

I was inspired by this article: https://www.msn.com/en-ca/health/nutrition/jillian-michaels-slams-fad-diets-and-urges-people-do-not-do-keto/ar-AAxGi8P

I am not a Jillian Michaels follower. I agree on this particular article. “Keto” diet is very popular right now. People ask me about it. My suggestion is before investing time and energy in to any diet plan, DO YOUR HOMEWORK! I do not believe in diets. The word “diet” has a negative connotation. I look at eating as a long term wellness plan. It must, must, must be paired with exercise. Especially if you want long term success.

A “FAD” is simply another word for “money making scheme” for someone who has a vague idea about exercise. Don’t be suckered in to it just because it sounds AMAZING! I have seen this over and over again. Don’t be a “Fad Follower”. Instead invest time and energy in to long term success. Health is more than just a passing craze.

What would I recommend the next time you come across the latest “Fad Diet.” Don’t buy into it. Unless you really like spending all your money on things that don’t work, then I highly recommend it.

Instead of being a follower, be your own leader.

Wellness is a practice. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Why Your Age Doesn’t Define Your Dreams

12 Sep

I read an interesting story about a 103 Year old Australian Dancer.

Eileen Kramer is a great story of pursuing a dream and living your passion. I can’t stress this enough to those of you who think age is a limitation.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/australias-103-year-old-dance-eileen-kramer/9216140

     My experience working with older clients has provided me with a unique perspective. Vital, energetic and full of passion this population is. Just because someone is older doesn’t mean they don’t have dreams. You can decide to hike mount Kilimanjaro like the gentleman I featured in the picture above. He was only 90 when he did it!

I think when you stop dreaming and stop pursuing, that’s when you start to age. There’s nothing left to accomplish so you might as well sit around and get old. Right? Absolutely wrong! It doesn’t matter what age or stage of life you’re in, you have the ability to try something new.

Mary is a client and she’s 75. She started learning to play the Ukulele this year. “I always wanted to learn.” Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? I encourage you to break the age barrier and do it! Our society has forged the wrong idea about what aging looks like. I makes me angry because people believe it.

     Take a note from Eileen and keep at what you love.

Pursue what makes you happy.

Happiness has no age limit.

The Feminine Filter: What You Say is Not What We Hear

07 Sep

As women we think differently and feel differently.

When someone makes a negative comment we truly take it to heart. It impacts us emotionally and physically. Women overcoming eating disorders can pinpoint the exact moment someone made a mean comment. This sparked a negative spiral in their life. Many females who suffer from low self esteem can pinpoint exactly when and where something was said. We need words of support and encouragement.

The one thing I tell most men is that as women, we probably already know what’s wrong with us so stop pointing it out.

Here’s some real life examples:

 

“I can’t get her back in the gym. I keep telling her she needs to go.”

What we hear is, “I’m not good enough.”

 

“I tell her she needs to lose weight and she’ll feel better.”

What we hear is, “I’m overweight and I’m too lazy to do anything about it.”

 

Telling someone what to do usually has the opposite effect. Honestly speaking, no one wants to be told to get in to the gym. They especially don’t want to be nagged about it. What we need is emotional support and encouragement. Standing and pointing the finger and saying “here’s what I think you should do” comes across as judgmental and critical.

 

What we want to hear is:

“I’d love for us to be active together.

If there’s something you’d like to try,

I’m happy to help you get started in any way I can.”

Getting healthy is not an individual effort. It’s important for your partner to feel emotional support coming from you. It helps when it feels like you’re in it together. I hope that encouraging your partner helps her reach her true potential. Your words have power. Use them for good!