Squatting Your Way To A Bigger Bench

We’ve all seen the guys in the gym with the massive upper body and the little skinny chicken legs. Guys, if this is your, please read carefully: I’m writing this for you. I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind this. Maybe you can’t see their legs in the mirror, courtesy of the strategically placed dumbbell rack, but surely you  are aware that you have them. Maybe leg day is just too hard? Maybe you think the girls are only interested in the gun show? (I can tell you right now, we think you look like a bobble-head). The sad thing is, if you just took a little more time on some squat, deadlift, and lunge variations, that elusive PB on the bench press might all of a sudden come easily.

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What is personal training, anyway?

Personal training: when you pay lots of money for someone to stand next to you and tell you to do things that are hard. That’s what my clients tell me, anyway. Anyone can do that, though. Is it doing you any good?

Good personal training is really what you’re after. Note: this is not is NOT someone you like (or you want to like you) standing next to you counting your reps and then moving you to the next machine. Good personal training IS supervised sessions that fit into a progressive plan, resulting in you achieving your goals. You can bet that a good trainer will be a lot more concerned about how your moving than how many you’re doing. Continue reading

Precision Nutrition Qualified!

After finishing the textbook yesterday and reviewing the Unit 1 video lectures (all the science ones), I bit the bullet last night and had a crack at the Precision Nutrition Exam. It took me a little longer than I had thought, about an hour and a half, but I came through with flying colours and I’m now a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach! Woo hoo!

I’m pretty excited, and I haven’t been this motivated or felt this passionate about my job in a long time. Even better, I think I’m less likely to lose my drive for it again anytime soon, thanks to the enthusiastic online PN community. Not only has this helped me tons with my ability to plan and coach the nutrition side of health, performance, and body composition (the Precision Nutrition lingo), but the whole course has really inspired me to continue to grow and refine myself as a coach.

If you are interested to learn more about the Precision Nutrition system, you can check them out at www.precisionnutrition.com. I’m also going to be looking for a few people on whom to trial my new skills, so if you are interested in making in a change to your health, performance, and body composition – please get in touch (I’m only going to do a few freebies and some of the spots are already taken, so be quick).

Step by Step

Why the big picture isn’t always the important one…

Yesterday in a conversation with my mother, I was reminded how important it is to stay focused on what you need to be doing right now to keep yourself moving towards your goals. My mom has just started on the processes of getting herself back in shape, and has a million questions about everything. It’s great – I love the passion and excitement that come with making positive changes. But it’s important to remember to not get too wrapped up in the big picture.

Don’t get me wrong, the big picture is what it’s all about. Anyone who ever accomplished anything great has had long term goals, and they are exciting. But they aren’t so great if they are distracting you from doing the little things that will actually, one day, with a lot of hard work, get you there.

How to not get distracted by that awesome “someday” when you’re going to be a superstar hottie? Continue reading

It’s got electrolytes! …So?

Based on my continued Precision Nutrition education…

If you’ve ever seen Idiocracy, you know that in the future, people appreciate electrolytes a lot more than they do today. Sure, we have Gatorade. But they have Brawndo.

While these people clearly don’t know much, they obviously know that electrolytes are important (even if they don’t know why). If only they could figure out how to use the internet to find this post, where we explain the basics behind the brawn.

What are electrolytes? Do you even know?

Electrolytes are ionized forms of certain mineral in our diets. When dissolved in water, sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium each carry an electrical charge, thanks to the gain or loss of an electron. Sometimes called salts, electrolytes are present in both intracellular and extracellular (vascular and interstitial) fluids. In order to maintain optimal physiological function, we need to maintain a correct electrolyte balance. Continue reading

Low GI: A Low Priority?

I’m not sure exactly when “Low GI” really caught on in the world of fad diets. The theory itself was developed 30 years ago, and has been the basis of many very popular diets such as Atkins, South Beach, and the Zone. But is a high GI rating really a high dietary risk?

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly and significantly a food can raise blood sugar. The index dates back to 1981, when it was created as a proposed management tool for diabetics. Though the relationship between GI levels and health problems has been widely researched, there is still much debate in the academic world as to how closely linked a high GI diet is to obesity and lifestyle diseases. Continue reading

The Supermodel Liquid Diet

When I was a kid, I hated drinking water. As far as I could tell, it had no nutritional value. After all, it tasted like nothing and was clear. How good could it be? About the only benefit I was aware of was that you had to have eight glasses a day to look like a supermodel.

Well, those girls might have been on to something. Yes, being well-hydrated does wonders for your complexion. Now it turns out that it might also do wonders for your body fat percentage. Continue reading