This is the time of year when you see countless runners hitting the pavement as the weather gets warmer and the sun is brightly shining. The time has come to shed the layers of winter sweaters for tank tops and shorts. It is the time of year when you notice that you have perhaps taken on a ‘hibernation strategy’ over the winter season and have added a little extra body fat that you now would like to drop. Or perhaps you are a new runner who has been anxiously awaiting a chance to run outside now that our winter season has wrapped up.
This is the time of year where you see countless “learn to run” clinics being advertised. Seems like the right approach; sign-up for a running clinic, learn how to run, and drop that weight while enjoying the warmer spring weather. Seems like a great strategy – but perhaps you might not realize that your running clinic is far from what you actually need if you want to learn how to run.
Here’s a scenario for you:
You want to get in ‘better shape’ (aka drop some body fat and get lean) and you decide you want to strength train to accomplish that goal (ps this would be an awesome strategy!!) I advertise a clinic to help you squat. Perhaps you have even recently entered a squatting competition and need to squat for 10min straight, so you think you will join a squat clinic, learn how to squat, hit your goal AND get in better shape and ready for summer.
So you come to my squat clinic, I tell you about how I have squatted (which is a lot in my life…) my experience squatting, what I think about when I squat, what clothes I wear when I squat and what shoes I wear when I squat. My “training program” for you is going to consist of the following:
session #1 – we are going to squat for 1min.
session #2 – we are going to squat for 2min.
session #3 – we are going to squat for 3min.
session #4 – we going to squat for 4min.
session #5 – we are going to squat up and down a hill
In my hypothetical squat clinic I’m not going to show you how to properly squat (where your feet should be, how your body should move through the squat, what muscles are the primary movers in the squat, recovery techniques or the biomechanics of the squat movement) no – that would be crazy. We will be in a group, we will have some laughs, you will buy lots of gear from me so you have all the right attire when you squat, but no, I’m not going to show you how to squat.
If you want to join my squatting clinic then I need to ask you an important question.
WTF are you thinking?
BUT more importantly, for those who see the comparison here to most running clinics, why is it acceptable for running clinics to bypass the part where they show their participants HOW TO RUN.
There is technique involved in squatting as there is with running. I’m not a running coach, so I’m not the person to be teaching you how to run, but I do know some fantastic coaches who do and they would all say the same thing:
You must train to run. One comes before the other.
It wasn’t until recently with our studio expansion that I have watched some of my training clients run in our conditioning studio. These are all veteran runners who have completed multiple marathons, 1/2 marathons, triathlons, warrior/spartan races and short distance runs. What I was most surprised to discover was that these members (who have all attended running clinics) had improper running technique (I’m not going to lie…it was pretty bad). They always have excessively tight calves, hamstrings and quads after their runs. After watching these veteran runners sprint down the turf I realized where the huge disconnect was happening. They hadn’t been taught the proper technique behind one of the activities they love to do the most in their running clinics.
People sell themselves short when it comes to taking care of their most precious tool – their body. If your body is hurt, if your body is tired, if your body is not moving in a pain free optimal way – than you need to fix it. If you like to run I think that is great! But trust me, you will enjoy it more when you know HOW TO RUN and do so without the pain.
See Jane run.
See Jane run with horrible running form in high heel running shoes.
See Jane the next day barely able to move because her calves and quads are so tight she can barely walk.
Jane needs to help.
Myself and our TT team are always reading, researching, collaborating, and constantly learning as much as we can to improve our programs, coaching and results. Recently I read a blog post that included this picture of a woman from the U.S. by the name of Deb Hunter. The blog post (included in our reads for the week) was one of my recent favourites for a variety of reasons. For those of you still obsessed with the scale, look at this picture. You can’t argue results.
So in an attempt to always explore and question what I read and to say thank-you and congratulations on her training success, I contacted this woman and became friends with Deb on facebook.
In our chat the other day she said: “Hi..glad to share… hope it helps some women to get healthy. I eat a ton of meat and the fat content keeps the cal count high,so on average I do eat about 3000…more often closer to 4000. I eat really low on the carb side..by choice. It is WHAT you eat that matters, not counting calories. If you feed the body what it *needs*, it’s satisfied, but those feelings of “I am going to starve to death on 500, or 900..etc. calories” is right! Your body thinks it is starving and will store everything until it gets real food!!…makes sense huh?. BTW.. I lift weights…as much as possible, would everyday if I could, and highly recommend it!! – Deb Hunter.
Deb is a great example of a few practices that are a huge part of our TT training philosophy and should be of yours as well if you are interested in moving better, feeling better and getting results.
1) Screw the scale. My fav quote from this blog post was, “Losing weight is not what you want and pursuing a number on your scale is not the path to success. It will drive you insane, though. But that’s probably not your goal.” I’ve seen it drive people batty. Don’t be one of those people who are mislead by the ‘almighty scale’.
2)What you eat is critical to your success. Should you start eating 4000 calories and only meat and fat? NO, not necessarily, because everyone requires a different structure to what they should specific eat. What you need to do is work with a coach that will help you build a nutrition plan that is best for YOUR body, YOUR program and YOUR goals.
3) Women need to strength train. Deb is in her mid fifties, and some trainers would have her pumping the pink 5lbs weights, but that is NOT effective.
One of my favourite fitness quotes is, “Train hard in the gym, even harder in the kitchen”. Getting lean isn’t about eating less or training more it’s about training and eating smart. That is the secret to success, just as Deb Hunter!
How many training or nutrition programs have you started on a Monday? How many holidays do you have to ‘get through’ until you actually commit to a nutrition and training plan?
A common obstacle we encounter is the ever popular, well “I’m going to start after……(insert a holiday)”. So curious as to how many 6 week blocks there are without an occasion like Valentine’s day, Pancake Tuesday or Easter, I recently checked out the calendar to find a clear 6 week stretch that doesn’t include a holiday that “requires” you to eat junk food or more specifically chocolate.
Guess what I found?
That 6 week stretch is nearly impossible to find. Don’t believe me? Check it out!
- January 1st – New Year’s Day
- February 14 – Valentine’s Day
- February 20 -Family Day
- February 21 – Shrove/Pancake Tuesday
- March 12 – March Break Week
- April 8 – Easter Sunday
- April 9 – Easter Monday
- May 13 – Mother’s Day
- May 21 – May Long Weekend
- June 17 – Father’s Day
- July 1 – Canada Weekend
- August 6 – Civic Holiday Weekend
- September 3 – Labour Day Weekend
- October 8 – Thanksgiving
- October 31 – Halloween
- December 24 – Christmas Eve
- December 25 – Christmas Day
- December 26 – Boxing Day
- December 31 – New Year’s Eve
I was at Loblaws today waiting in line to purchase my groceries. I overheard a conversation between two strangers chatting about aging. The woman in the next line was explaining to the man in front of me that “things start to fall apart when you get old”… ‘It’s just what happens to your body”…So of course I looked over into her basket to see it filled with jelly beans, pop, cookies and crackers.
So my inner dialogue (which I kept to myself) responded that if you spend 60 + years eating what’s in that basket and not working out and taking care of your body, yes things will definitely start to ‘fall apart’.
I’m turning 32 next week (Taylor this weekend!). For me I’ve learned that age is just as irrelevant of a number as the number I see on the scale. It’s a number, but not a number I pay much attention to.
At 32 I’m in the best shape of my life and with the help of a great family doctor I have taken control of some health issues that have been troubling me for the past couple years. I feel fantastic and have set some pretty awesome fitness goals for 2012.
For me, age and weight are truly JUST NUMBERS, but unfortunately for most, these numbers seem to have a negative effect on how so many people feel about themself. We don’t use the scale to measure success with our clients, because it is misleading. How our clients look and feel is far more important to us, and to them.
Similar to the lesson we teach our clients in staying off the scale to measure their success, I think there is a huge lesson that I have learned when it comes to appreciating the numbers when it comes to ‘getting older’. Rather than being scared or nervous about getting older, it is an exciting time; not only to celebrate with family and friends, but also to look back at what accomplishments you’ve made.
I am absolutely amazed every day at our studio with the incredible energy, spirit and strength of some of our clients whom some might consider “old”. Our Taylored Training members have blown the traditional sense of this word and what people expect of those who are “old”, out of the water!
A great TT story: One of my clients had fun with some of our members recently asking a group of TT members how old they thought she was…haha, well I can tell you that their guesses were about 20 years off! Same with all the guesses we have had about one of our first Taylored Training members – Joyce.
So as I approach my 32nd birthday people keep asking me how I feel about turning 32. Well, I feel pretty awesome. The lesson that I have learned: Taking care of your body with proper fuel, amazing training and surrounding yourself with positive people makes you feel great – at any age!
“I’m not interested in age. People who tell me their age are silly. You’re as old as you feel.” Henri Frederic Amiel
1) Get a pen, a pencil, laptop, Ipad, phone…whatever you need.
2) Write down your fitness goals for 2012 – ALL OF THEM!
3) Yes. Do it!
4) Set dates on when you want to achieve your goals. Be specific as possible.
5) Bring these goals into your next training session – we want to see them ASAP to start a plan on how to get you there.
6) Get Excited. You SHOULD BE! Your list of goals WILL happen with the right plan, the right attitude, hard work and dedication.
You can achieve any fitness goal that you want, if you want it bad enough. I see it happen every day at the studio: losing over 100 pounds, completing a TT challenge, decreasing pain from an injury, being able to do a chin up or a pushup, feeling great in a bikini or being able to lift a PB for a certain exercise. These are all amazing accomplishments from some of our TT members.
The only thing standing in the way are the excuses (and trust me I’ve heard them all) on why you CAN’T.
People sometimes laugh at “new year’s resolutions’, but I think if they inspire people to better their health and fitness, that is never a bad thing (even though you are still the same person as you were yesterday in 2011).
Instead of making resolutions, focus on making SOLUTIONS to eliminate the excuses that you make.
Here’s my advice.
Set your fitness goals. Forget the excuses you always tell yourself. Make SOLUTIONS to achieve everything you want in 2012 and beyond. And find the coach you need to help you get there.
Happy New Year! Bring on 2012!
Meet my client Danielle. She’s been ‘training for two’ for the past few months as she is having her second baby in the New Year.
I made a video of her training, as I think Danielle is a fantastic representative for strong, fit and dedicated women (whether you are pregnant or not!).
One of our friends Erin said it best when we trained her while she was expecting her first child, Jude. She said the way she figured, she had to train for her delivery just like she had to train for her other fitness races she had completed (marathon runs, adventure races. etc.). Her due date was her ‘big event’, and her training with Taylor prepped her for the day she had to ‘deliver’ her results (yeah, that’s right, pun intended!).
The video I made of Danielle, I specifically entitled, “training for two”, because I think that so many times we hear both men and women making the joke about “eating for two”. You know… eating ice cream and junk food, putting on extra pregnancy or ‘sympathy pregnancy weight’ for the guys. Sound familiar?
I can’t think of a better time to focus on the complete opposite of what mainstream convention tells us we should do. It is the best time to stay 100% committed to eating healthy nutritious food and working out with a specifically designed program.
When I first found out Danielle was pregnant (as I’ve done with all our members who are expecting) I sent her a link to Dr. Cassandra Forsythe’s page. Taylor and I met Cassandra at a fitness business conference in Providence RI a couple years ago. One morning at the conference we started our day with a conditioning class complete with battle ropes, planks, pushups and multiple Kettle bell exercises. Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy class (actually I do recall a certain husband of mine making a sprint to the bathroom about half way through). Cassandra was pregnant at the time and I was impressed by her work in that class; she was one tough, fit, pregnant chick! She would frequently look at her heart rate monitor to make sure she wasn’t exceeding her desired heart rate, she took breaks as she needed, but she didn’t hold back in that class!
Her blog is a great resource for any expecting moms who want to feel comfortable and confident in continuing their fitness while expecting.
At Taylored Training we have trained quite a few moms during their pregnancies and we have had fantastic success (measured by how these moms feel both during and after their pregnancy).
If you are expecting or plan to be in the near future here are our recommendations for working out:
1) Find a good coach who will build you a program that is both safe and effective for your pregnancy, taking into account our fitness level prior to your pregnancy as well as any past pregnancy complications.
2) Don’t start new fitness modalities during this time like running, kettlebell training, boxing etc. Please note: Danielle has been working with Kettlebells for quite some time, so we chose to continue her KB training while closely monitoring that her heart rate doesn’t get over her desired rate during her sets while taking adequate rest between her sets (at this point in her pregnancy she takes about double the rest time she would typically take between sets).
3) Don’t push it when you are sick! When you aren’t an expecting mom, typically fit individuals can recover quite quickly after being sick. However, when you are pregnant, take more time to recover after having a cold or the flu as your body just simply needs more recovery time.
4) Eat healthy whole food. Make sure you still always focus on getting in plenty of fruits, veggies, lean protein and healthy fat. Consult your doctor for additional specific supplements and make sure you always have a good pre and post workout snack including carbohydrates and lean protein.
5) Listen to your body. Take time to get lots of sleep, eat good food and regularly workout. You will feel better and feel confident about your body (that goes for everyone!).
While working out at Taylored Training, you never know what the topic of conversation might be. It can range from world politics, to fitness education, to making fun of Taylor, or a discussion on the latest episode of the ‘Walking Dead’ and how we are really creating an army in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
No matter what, we always try to have a good time and it amazes me how interesting each and every topic can always be.
I was talking with one of my clients last week who smoked for a number of years. We were chatting about how much smoking was accepted and done by most people in the 60’s and 70’s. Taylor and I had recently checked out an episode of the t.v. show ‘Mad Men’ and noted just how socially acceptable smoking was in the 60’s. My favourite scene included a woman seeing her doctor for a physical, who of course was also smoking during the entire appointment!
It has taken until this past decade for smoking to become a social taboo, (I think I would be safe in saying that) and widely known as a serious detriment to our health and those around us. Smoking is of course now prohibited everywhere, forcing smokers who continue their habit to do so outside in faraway designated places.
People of my client’s generation (she is in her 50’s) did not know just how bad smoking was to their health and once they did know it took them years later to actually kick their addiction. I’m happy to say she is one of those people who successfully quit smoking, and she regularly says that our workouts make that seem like a piece of cake….(no pun intended).
So we wondered, can the same be said for the over consumption of high fat, highly processed sugary foods? We all know they are of determinant to our health, yet so many still aren’t ready to kick the addiction even though it is well researched that it is detrimental to our health.
Consider even the social taboo of ‘second hand smoking’. If you knew parents who smoked incessantly in their house and exposed their children to second hand smoke, wouldn’t that make you mad? Or if you had a friend with a partner who smoked, wouldn’t you urge them to make their partner quit so they wouldn’t have a risk of lung cancer?
Well, it makes me mad that parents expose their kids to second hand toxic food, and friends and family get frustrated with our members choose to improve their diet and make healthier food options.
Food that is highly processed, full of sugar and unhealthy fats are unhealthy- we all know that. I think these foods are just as addictive as cigarettes and there is actually substantial research to prove it.
You get hooked, you can’t stop wanting it, you can’t imagine giving it up, and must deal with the consequences later. Sounds familiar to me…as it did to my client who use to smoke.
My client told me that quitting smoking was an incredibly challenging thing for her to do. But she did it. She was successful, and is SO thankful for choosing a lifestyle that will ensure that she has many years with her kids and grandkids.
So I wonder in the big picture of things.
In 10-20 years from now, will we see this way of eating as we do smoking? Will it take us that long to realize that we are hurting our bodies just as much with an addiction to ‘junk food’ as we did lighting up?
I hope so.
What will you choose to do?
Do you want to lose 10 pounds? How about in a week? Sounds pretty awesome – don’t you think? Well I can definitely tell you it is possible. We blog a lot about not using the scale as a form of progress measurement, but we still know most of you do…yes we know.
So here’s the thing. Let’s say you weigh 180lbs today and your goal is to drop the quintessential “10 pounds” and make it to 170lbs. Maybe you have a Christmas party coming up and would love to drop that ‘last ten’.
Well in a recent blog by personal trainer and business owner Rachel Cosgrove, Rachel explains how she was recently able to lose 10 pounds in a week!
(Click the link below to find out how. I know you’re curious…but come back to get where I’m going with all this)
So here’s the thing. We all want to feel better about our body. When you come out of the shower and look in that mirror you want a tight, lean body- one that you can feel proud of whatever it is you choose to wear. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. We should take pride in bettering our health and fitness as well as our body image.
What I do hope this blog will teach you is that weight IS irrelevant in this process. It is a deceiving measurement that people rely on way too much.
I’ve had clients admit that they wake up in the middle of the night and take their weight, or that they have had a bad day completely because of what their scale told them that morning. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment!
If you want to truly see changes I urge you to take some pictures, and not in your winter snowsuit…..Surf through your drawers today and find your bathing suit. Have someone take front, side and back pictures and look at those pictures. First off always appreciate your assets and your best features you want to enhance. Think about your training program and your nutrition plan and how you can make change to enhance your results and work with a coach to do so. Retake those pictures every month until you hit your goal. This is truly the best way to appreciate your body and appreciate your results when you train hard and work hard.
I see so many of our members transform their bodies through hard work and dedication. It is not JUST the physical changes that amaze me, but the way their confidence positively changes as they walk through the door. I can see this transformation when their workout attire changes from baggy shorts and t-shirts to tight workout clothes that show off their hard earned physique – they are proud of what they have accomplished and that is fantastic!
Stop using the scale to measure your success it will be one of the most important changes you can make on the way to achieving your fitness goals.
Having been involved in the fitness industry since my teenage years), there are things I see every day that make me cringe. Uneducated trainers, poorly designed programming and sleezy fitness sales tactics are just a few…BUT when it comes to a topic closest to my heart I must say it all comes down to nutrition practices and specifically what we feed our kids.
I don’t have kids. But I do have fantastic nieces and nephews, and while I know that might make me vulnerable for criticism in providing commentary on nutrition practices for children, just hear me out.
I recently attended a birthday party for my nephew. There were lots of kids, laser tags, gifts and loot bags, all the key components to a great birthday party, but when it came to the food, I have a hard time not being critical of the nutrition choices parents make.
Why is having greasy take-out pizza and grocery store cake “what’s normal” to provide our kids when they have special occasions? Why and how can we change the way our kids see food, value food and how can we teach them what and why it is important to eat quality food.
I hear it all the time from our members who start changing their dietary habits and eating real food (food that doesn’t come out of a box). Their family and friends ask them questions like, “what is there left to eat?” or my favourite “well that isn’t healthy to eat like that forever”.
Ask me to send you our Taylored Training Nutrition guidelines and I will. Simply send me an email at Whitney@tayloredtraining.ca Done. But if you really want to know what is in our guidelines, we include REAL FOOD, no packaged food, just real food. Simple, but apparently it is challenging and controversial for most to try.
Isn’t it unfortunate that eating real food such as fruits and vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats is now considered abnormal?
This problem has gotten so bad in the U.S. that the American National Institute of Health is recommending screening for children starting at the age of 9 for hyperlipidemia, a condition of having fat in your blood usually meaning you have high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. What is it caused by? In most cases it is caused by lifestyle habits including not exercising and obesity. If the thought of nationally screening 9 years for this condition isn’t scary, I don’t know what is.
For parents who are in complete and total control of their children’s nutrition and act as their role models, why then are we malnourishing our children? Why do we feed them with chemicals, artificial products, and copious amounts of sugar and excess fat? Why don’t we take every opportunity to change the way they see food and why don’t we see every time they eat as an opportunity to have quality real food that will give them energy to do the activities they love to do.
Do I think kids shouldn’t have cake and cookies? Not from a package, no. Why not take the time to have them help you make oatmeal cookies? Or help them change the way they know “traditional dessert” and create new alternatives at the dinner table like yogurt and berries after supper?
You might be thinking…this is extreme, what about ‘special occasions’ like birthday parties, friend’s birthday parties, anniversary’s, movie nights, P.A. day’s, school trips, holidays, and vacations?. Hmmmm…seems like these ‘special occasions’ aren’t so special and infrequent. These happen more frequently than once a month, so it’s time to change the way we teach our kids about food and celebration.
I encourage you to read one of Dr.Yoni Freedhoff’s latest posts on his blog http://www.weightymatters.ca/2011/11/why-cholesterol-screening-for-kids-is.html perhaps it will help you to understand why this is such an important topic and pressing issue.
I encourage you to honestly answer the following questions that he presents in his article:
- How many meals out a week (including cafeterias, take out and restaurants) do you and your family eat?
- Who, if anyone, is cooking?
- How much juice do your kids consume?
- How many sweetened beverages?
- What are their patterns of eating like?
- Do they struggle with any disordered eating?
- What are their usual meals for breakfast, lunches, dinners or snacks?
- How often do they exercise (and what do they enjoy doing)?
- What does their parental healthy living role modeling look like?
- How many hours of screen time?
- What time do they go to sleep?
- How is their body image?
- How is their self-esteem?
And lastly and most importantly to answer, what is your body image and what are your eating habits like? Who do you think your kids’ role model will be? And how will that affect their long term nutrition habits?
I think it’s time we all start to take responsibility for the health of the children in our lives before it’s too late.
Perform Better’s First ‘Meeting of the Minds’.
As many of you know, Cassie and I just returned from a week in Phoenix Arizona where we attended a fitness meeting with some of the Fitness industries most influential practitioners, business owners, business analysts, coaches, researchers and trainers.
The intent of the weekend was to discuss the future of our industry and where it is headed. It is invaluable as a trainer and business owner to attend these meetings to ensure that our business approach, our philosophies, our programming and our coaching are on par with those whom I consider to be the best in our field.
The future of fitness is:
1) Getting off machines! We need to move our bodies. Gone are the days were we are strapped into machines to isolate bodies parts. We know that is not the most effective way to train the body and this has always been our program philosophy at Taylored Training.
2) Enjoying freedom of movement within your workout and using equipment like dumbbells, TRX, kettlebells, ropes, medicine balls.
3) Training semi-private and/or small groups. We have been doing so for almost 2 years and we have seen incredible results, support and the development of some incredible friendships!
4) Ensuring a healthy and pain free body using techniques like foam rolling, dynamic warm-ups and well-designed training programs.
5) Including nutrition programming into training programs. That is why we feel it is necessary to have our clients follow both training and nutrition programs and why Vanessa and I have been working towards completing our Fitness Nutrition Certification which we both finished this past month.
I return back to the studio with confidence that we are providing our members the best quality of fitness programming that is in line with practices from some of the best trainers in our field. Thanks to the Perform Better Team for another fantastic event.Next Page »