Fitness Industry

Why Variety Is The Perfect Plan

In today's society driven by social media, filtered selfies, never ending marketing, and contradicting dogmatic beliefs it's no wonder people get lost in the world of nutrition in hope to look like the model from [fill in the blank with your favorite instagram account].

People everywhere are telling you they have found the perfect plan or cure all to get rid of stubborn belly fat. Paleo, vegan, ketogenic, as well as all the pharmaceuticals you're being advertised to buy... The list goes on and on.

I don't like to speak in absolutes. There are many factors, variables and exceptions to every rule. The fact of the matter is there is no plan or quick fix that works the the entire human population. Period. If someone is telling you this they're likely are trying to sell you something.

All this chaos started about half a century ago with the low or no fat diets based off anecdotal evidence. We've since come to realize these claims hold little merit. There is little evidence actually proving fats or cholesterol derived from our diets translate to body fat or cholesterol levels in our blood. In fact, we need fats for a ton of daily functions such as fuel our brain, create cell membranes, sex hormones, and more.

Then we came to the conclusion carbohydrates were the root of all evil. And though you may lose weight for a few weeks or months by cutting back, it can actually cause a ton of long term damage, especially for women.

This is when many people simply say the hell with it. I'll just eat as little calories as I can stand and I will lose weight and be healthier. Right? Not so fast, that causes a whole other host of problems.

The fact of the matter is the human body is very adaptive and can survive in some of the most extreme conditions but doesn't mean your body is healthy. Not sick and healthy are not interchangeable terms. Fitness and health is not black and white, it's a spectrum.

Do not risk your health in pursuit of the abs seen on the cover of the magazines. A lot of the times the models you see do a ton of harm to their bodies to reach that point and only look that way for a few days a year.

Next time you find yourself reaching for magic pills, powders, or potentially poisonous potions. Ask yourself a simple question, " will this make me healthier?" If you're even considering it, the answer is likely no. Aim for longevity by eating real, earth grown nutrient dense whole foods.

Having well balanced nutrition includes eating lean meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and fruit. Highly refined foods aren't bad but should be consumed in moderation.

Be careful with all the extremes you see today. Always air on the side of BALANCE.

What is the perfect plan? Variety.

Is "Fit Shaming" A Thing?

It shouldn't be a thing!

Unfortunately, it is a thing but people that have accomplished a high level of fitness need to get over it. 

Having a fit body is still revered in society. I've seen it first hand. 

Having a fit body gives you confidence, provides the ability to move pain free, and grants you many health benefits. Individuals that are experiencing weight issues often have negative self images, adverse health conditions, and in some cases a pessimistic outlook on life. Society sees fit people as attractive, energetic, successful, and focused. Someone who is undertaking body weight struggles are viewed as lazy, unhappy, destructive, and unkept. 

I find that to be unfortunate because most of my best friends are not gym rats like myself and they are amazing. They are some of the smartest, most beautiful, honest, and driven people I know. Yes, they have a personal battle with health and fitness. Who doesn't have some sort of personal struggle? They are still worthy of love and respect. 

From my point of view "fit shaming" is pointless. It is making a claim about something that is petty. Which is insulting to the millions of Americans struggling with body weight struggles, obesity, and societal standards. 

I understand that in certain circumstances being fit will be weird to some people. I hear negative comments all the time but I deal with them the correct way. 

"You're obsessed!" Yes I am. I love the way this lifestyle makes me feel and the opportunities it gives me outside the gym. 

"Meal prep is a waste of time!" I like to etch out some time on a weekend day to prepare for the week so I don't have to think about what I should be eating next. 

"Lifting heavy is bad for you!" Losing muscle is bad for you. You can lose up to 15% - 50% of your muscle mass between the ages of 25-40. What do you think will happen when you lose half your muscle mass?What are you doing to slow this down?

"You have a lunch bag everywhere you go?" Well if there were more quality options for me to eat then I wouldn't have to. 

"Muscles look gross!" I can take my groceries in the house in one trip. Equal trade out. 

Will people look at fit people weird? Of course. Will fit people fit in with all crowds? No, people judge subconsciously all the time. Are people going to bounce their own insecurities off of you? Heck yes. Give them a little grace. 

What they are experiencing on a day to day basis is far worse than you hitting personal best in the gym and training for an hour to two hours a day. 

When you accomplish a high level of fitness you need to understand a couple things. Everyone won't understand you and everyone won't accept you. But you will be okay. 

I'd like to live in a world where people were not judged on their appearance but by the content of their character. Our society doesn't seem to be moving in that direction. My best advice is to continue to love yourself and don't allow others to decide your value. 

Why Your Trainer Should Be Online

When someone mentions personal training a few things come to mind. Being at a gym with an individual who walks around helping others perform workouts. Having someone with you to motivate you to do tasks that help you reach a goal. And hiring someone to help develop proper technique in certain movement patterns.

Do you need to have a face to face trainer?

Most people do not view personal trainers online as a very effective or sufficient way to achieve their health and fitness goals.

What if I told you that having an online personal trainer would be just as beneficial if not more than a personal trainer at a gym?

If you are pondering this question, then allow me to give you an insight as to why good online coaching could be useful for you. 

1) Scheduling
If you have ever had a personal trainer, then you would understand why scheduling can be a pain in the butt. When you have a personal trainer in the gym, you have to schedule a time slot in order to meet with them. What happens if the trainer does not have your preferred time? You essentially have to schedule around them and settle for a less desirable time slot. With online training, you do not have to settle for a time slot or stress about when to meet your trainer. You simply fit it into your own schedule.

2) Attention
Did you ever notice that no matter the gym, your time slot with a trainer is 30-55 minutes.  That means that you only have your trainer's attention for 30-55 minutes. Usually, the only time you see or hear from your trainer is within that period of time. You pay anywhere from $45-150 per session and only get 30-55 minutes of inspiration, education, and communication. 

With online training, your coach is with your every step of the way. Communication is the core of online coaching.  There are no time restraints or times that you cannot call on your coach to help you with any questions or concerns about an exercise, nutrition matter, or motivational pitfalls.

3) Crutch-less
Hmm. Crutch-less. What does that mean? Well, in order for me to tell you, I have to explain it.

Let's say you go to the gym to meet your trainer, Sue. Sue takes you through a warm up and progresses you through your workout. That is great but what happened? Sue most likely took you to the machine or through an exercise and showed you the right way to do it. She would in turn ask you to mimic what she demonstrated. Which is great. But did you think about doing the exercise correctly or did you rely on Sue to tell you how you did? Hmm.. most people probably would say that they relied on Sue.

During my time as a personal trainer at a gym, my clients relied on me to show the them machines, count for them, and perform the exercises even though we had done the exercise multiple times. That is what I call a crutch. Most clients rely on the personal trainer to be their crutch. 

Technology has progressed in such a manner that really aids online training. Online training has bridged the gap with ways to correct technique and form issues with the ability of sending video. A good online coach will ask you to video certain movements so they can help with form. It provides a good framework to correct technique but also provides you the ability to look back and make some self corrections and also see progress over time. Online coaches can't count for you or show you where certain machines are located but you will find your way with practice. Online coaching provides a crutch-less atmosphere where the client has to rely on memory, and over time develops a mind-muscle connection. Great virtual coaches provide clients with videos and descriptions of every exercise, and eventually you will remember the terms and cues on how to perform each exercise without having to look at the video reference. In time this will give you a great deal of confidence. 

4) Stress Free
When you have an online coach developing your weekly exercise routine and meal plan, it can alleviate a lot of unwanted stress out of your life. Taking the guess work out of achieving optimal health and fitness is half the battle. Great virtual coaches provide you with a plan so you are not left to wonder what do each day. They list out every thing for you to help ease your mind. You don't see a face to face trainer daily so often times you are left without a plan for the days that you do not see them.

You deserve to have a great coach who provides constant lines of communication, a personalized plan, and a positive environment to help guide you down a path to a healthier lifestyle.