The 2017 year has come and gone and we’ve all seen the highs and lows. The question is did you learn just as much from either of those experiences? Welcome to 2018 and let me recap some of the great moments I was privy to in 2017. COGO Fitness + Performance celebrated its 6th year in business and what a steep climb it has been. The difference though, this last year I was honoured to have worked with special populations. I got to work in a great clinic with some wonderful clients that gave me the opportunity to share some of my knowledge and experiences as well as learn new technologies that are here to help neuroscience.
I also worked on adding a new conditioning coaching certification under Joel Jamieson at 8WeeksOut. I was also invited to a great workshop within the same certification where I met some very interesting coaches from around the world and learned a ton about myself, my business, and my dreams; this also gave my wife and son an opportunity to join me on a family road trip, and let’s face it, who doesn’t love road trips. I also began my Precision Nutrition Coaching level 1 course which I hope to finish in the next few months; I’d gladly recommend it to all of my colleagues in the industry. I’ve added all of this continuing education in hopes to bring more value to my clients, personal and online. On that note I’ve started to grow my online training, I can’t speak enough of my online clients as I see some real perseverance, I tip my hat to you all followed by a big internet hug.
As I welcome 2018, I think back to 2017 bringing me the greatest birthday present a father could ask for, the birth of my son. We share a birthday, smiles and facial expressions, more importantly I feel we share the same silly sense of humour. I work harder and laugh more because he’s in my life, and what can I say, having the love of my life at my side helps me get up in the mornings and want more for the both of them. I find that 2017 has helped me become more imaginative in my craft once again. Keeping with my philosophy on training but opening doors to so many facets of training to try and improve my clients health with the help of science. With the recent holiday trip I was able to introduce my son to my parents which was huge since we live continents apart, nonetheless, being back in Chile over the holidays with my wife and son, and meeting new family was a beautiful experience I believe will be cherished for the rest of our lives.
I decided to put a different spin on accountability within my profession and clients this last year, I feel that my industry falls short because we are so bent out of shape when it comes to only training and what we eat. Unfortunately science tells us differently and learning from some great mentors I went back to the books and began relearning my schooling. Aside that, I truly feel that we aren’t actionable enough when it comes to laying down the roadmap for our clients and it goes beyond exercise and food. If you allow me a moment on my soapbox; you’re just not digging deep enough into why your clients can’t stay accountable. Well we’ll leave that for another day, for now let’s keep reminiscing on 2017 and see how COGO Fitness + Performance is going to improve in 2018!
I can tell you that one improvement this year is going to start with the inception of Versa Movement Collective, a new company and incredible project that I’m working on with some fantastic health professionals who I now call friends. You can find us on all social platforms and at www.versamc.com to find out more about us. This is the company which will stop separating our professions individually, rather we bring forth a holistic approach to an individual’s improvements in their respective sport or general lifestyle. At the moment we’re specializing in golf as well as long distance runners due to two of our team’s professionals, but as we grow we would like to invite top professionals from all sport disciplines. For now we are working towards finding a facility, continue our VMC Education videos on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook to add a little knowledge to those interested in adding to their programs; and mainly starting to create the buzz that there’s a new Sheriff in town.
2017 was about building foundations and education from school, mentorships, workshops, etc. I’d like to take a small moment to give thanks to a very special friend of mine, a mentor, and part owner of BioPod (please checkout this product, it is at the forefront of ecosystem technology). He flies in from all over the world to impart business wisdom where he can, and I believe it has made me a better business owner, friend, father and husband. I’d love to thank my wife for putting up with me working from home as she is on Mat leave, in my underwear at times, and my moods, as well as the odd pot shot from the cheap seats. What I’m truly thankful for, is that I get to see my little monster man grow up while I work from home.
2017 helped me to mold values into my company. My love for what I do and my love for my clients past and present, is beginning to define itself in what I do, my training and my approach to how I treat others. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself, do you want to be loved and respected by someone that puts so much time into your health, or do you want to simply workout. I personally feel that 2018 is the year where developing long lasting relationships will not only sustain my business as well as my life, but also grow substantially in regards to understanding my surroundings and the people in it. I’ll stop there, but with open arms I’d like to welcome you all to 2018, let’s leave the resolutions aside and become resolute towards the things and those we love the most.
Hey 2018! Stay healthy my friends…
Your Coach, Franco Gomez
VERSA MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE; my new journey, and although I’m writing from the COGO point of view, I wanted to share a new experience that I’ve taken on; a new business, new friends, and a new journey. I’ve always been a fan of people, companies, or entities that inspire change. Think back far enough and you’ll remember names that were part of many revolutions, whether revolts against empires or technological advancements that moved the world forward. Wherever you look you will always find a name, a person or a community that’s come together to make a difference in this world. I believe the choices we make are etched in history, it sounds bold by saying this considering that you might think I’m just a drop in the ocean; but I believe it. I believe that the way you speak to someone, your mannerisms, your voice and your posture can inspire a bold courage in people. It can change someone’s outlook and more importantly it can move a community into talking about what it is you did for them. It can inspire a journey, and all it took was a conversation.
I met one of my partners for Versa Movement Collective in 2013 after my motorcycle accident. It’s interesting but our city had just experienced a flood a month prior to that event. I was just starting a conversation with the love of my life, and my business was in a very uncomfortable stage where you’re trying to move forward but the catch 22 of needing money to make money, to put money into a business; that was learning the hard truth about business. The storm hit Calgary that late spring and it didn’t stop, the water came and our city came to a resounding halt. Nat and I would ride our bicycles in areas downtown and it looked like the zombie apocalypse had hit it as the streets were bare and some of them underwater. We lent a hand here and there when we could and in the midst of things we got closer then we had expected; it was the best rollercoaster life ride I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
The first night of that years Calgary Stampede, I’m out for a ride on ‘The Black Mamba’ (my Harley Night Rod) visiting a friend’s bar in town, and on my way home I get bumped off the road and into the back of a parked taxi. In one second the lights went out. I remember waking up on my hands and knees, blood coming down over my eye from a cut on my brow, and my arm hanging as it was dislocated. I remember my legs hurt as well as my knees but I thought at least I’m standing. I grabbed my right arm and put it back in, a very painful process I might add, and after the chaos of cops, ambulance, firefighters and the nurses that were around the corner just happening by, I headed to the hospital. My dear old dad sleeping in the chair next to my hospital and me thinking how the hell did I end up here, either way, it was time to move forward.
I remember looking at a business card the doctor gave me in the hospital, telling me I was going to need physio at some point. So as it happens I met my first physiotherapist, he was very knowledgeable young man and very attentive, to be honest, regardless of having been my first ever physio visit in my life I was very impressed with the treatment. This physiotherapist is not my business partner though, No my business partner stepped in when the other headed to help out in the Sochi Winter Olympics. Equally knowledgeable, excellent treatment, and the conversation seemed unforced and comfortable. We spoke science and training, and shared stories of athletes we were working with here and there. We even began referring back and forth over the next few years, he was such a professional it came natural to work with him. So I have to say I was more than pleased to hear the message on my phone asking for a business chat and a coffee this past summer.
After banters, and meetings, and really working on our company’s vision, we realized it was time to invite a third partner; someone that could bring business development to our team. I was pleased with my second partner, great experience in the fitness community with her own franchise at one point, I felt she could bring some clout to our game. And so, this is how a conversation led to the birth of VERSA MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE. We are not a Physio company, we are not a training and performance company. We are not a fitness company or a personal training company. We are the start of your journey, we want to be a huge part of your experience from the moment you walk in to see us, to the moment you step onto the pitch, the ice, the road, or your office. We want to complete the holistic circle of what health really is. When I was approached for the first time, and after the proposal was on the table I said one important thing that I hold dear to my heart. “I’m in on one condition, we’re not just another physio clinic with training services, or vice versa; this city has enough of those.” We are a human performance company, and like that the wheels were in motion.
I was introduced to two top professionals in their field; Jay Miren a Golf Performance professional with more experience in his field and assessment technologies that I truly believe Calgary will have its first golf tour professional in no time. Then I met Malc Kent of MK Performance, a running coach whose knowledge of the sport and his clout within the industry is unsurpassed. Having worked at EXOS and consulted with NIKE as well as Red Bull he brings a myriad of training methodologies for the long distance running game. Again I believe we may begin building Olympic calibre distance runners, especially when living so close to the mountains; personally I believe it’s time we up our game in Canada. Now as the company grows we are definitely looking to expand our team with proven professionals that will add a compliment to VMC, but for now I believe we have a great foothold in the door.
Now we can take performance to the next level, we can take an individual and walk them through their journey by helping them with injury prevention, skills, and strength and conditioning. I know right now you might feel a little vulnerable and think that this might not exactly fit in with what you do. Maybe this might sound intense and all you want is a physio, or maybe you just need some personal training. Well don’t forget that this is your journey and we want to be your guides. You want to succeed in your local squash tournaments, then there’s still a need to experience our expertise. You still need to look at your movement efficiency, your mobility, your strengths, speed and conditioning. We also want to look at your week in review, your work, your eating habits as much as your sleep habits. Life is holistic, it’s a circle that needs to stay closed and we want to teach you how.
Imagine if you will, if I was to draw a circle on a board, and I asked you a slew of questions but we’ll keep to the simple ones. First you went through our TPI, or FMS and/or SFMA assessment; and you were also capable of doing our VERSA Conditioning test. Now we came into the room and we erased the first line off that circle; the first line was for a lack of mobility in your shoulders and ankles, then we erased a little more because your ergonomics began to fail under duress in the conditioning test. Then we took more off because your sleep habits were very erratic.Your diet wasn’t bad but it could definitely have some improvement due to your daily activities, so a little more came off the circle. You look at the board and you don’t see a circle anymore. The circle’s been broken, and it gives us a starting point to work from. When we say we want to improve your life, as you can see we actually mean it.
At VERSA MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE we don’t look at you from a fitness point of view, or a physio point of view. I personally don’t look at your programming from an exercises point of view. As a team we want to know more about you and what are the cause and effects that make up your daily life. It is the only way to help improve the woman on the golf course, the kid stepping on the ice for his Junior A tryouts, or the law office about to enter this summer’s corporate challenge. We want to take a comprehensive and systematic approach to an individual’s improvement, teaching them the very foundations of what our company stands for. There is a science or method to our madness, and as you can see journeys start in different ways. Mine was different then my partners, not better and not worse; just different. Imagine wanting and believing in something so badly that you know if given the chance you could change the world. You could inspire change in a mindset that needs change, you can become that revolutionary company and hope to sit alongside the Apples and Googles and all the inspirational leaders you looked up to. Welcome to VERSA MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE, this is my journey, we want to know yours…
Your Coach, Franco Gomez
The mats are soft and padded but like an eraser rubbing it’s way across paper, I try my hardest to turn and gain the advantage. The gi gets heavier as you struggle and heave at each other increasing the vat of sweat building up on your body. And the eraser gets harder to move and I’ve got a 27 year old, 6’ 1 – 175Lb kid trying to twist me, and yank at my joints. He presses his weight on me when necessary to pancake me down, and it feels like all you could hear in the dojo is the heavy breathing of a 44 year old man. It’s loud and laboured and it’s the only survival I have left in this rolling session. 3 – 5 minute rounds and an average of 3 – 5 opponents; survival is the key word in this sentence. Not because my life is at stake but more so because as much as I was lucky to have a natural affinity to the sport, I feel slightly outmatched from a few different perspectives, and all that’s left is a broken ego. What can I say, boys will be boys, gracefully entering their forties
So let’s have a closer look at these perspectives for a moment, first off there’s a massive age gap, which benefits my opponent based on a comparison of heart rates, resting heart rates, and heart rate variability which are major components that aid the much younger opponent. Give hm 6 inches in height and 10 pounds and I have a problem! Here’s the thing though, give him the weight and height difference, even out our skill level (he happens to be a higher grade) and give me back 15 years and this young lad has a challenge on his hands. Needless to say, I was chocked out twice, and experienced a few armlocks. But he was kind enough to share some insight on my jiu jitsu skills and strategy on my way to the next opponent, so all was not lost.
One in particular that I recall was in regards to my breathing and the lack of control I was experiencing. Of course this young man doesn’t know that I’m a trainer and that I understand what the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing are. Or that I also know that I need to work on my own strength and conditioning, specifically conditioning. Maybe spend less time on the laptop and more time on technique, breathing, my autonomic system, and yes, I get it, my conditioning needs more work.
I know that at 44 years of age, I’m not at retirements door but there’s definitely a change in my body type now (my fault), and there’s a definite change in my metabolism (age), and here’s the big one which I can’t bore people enough about. There is a definite change in my recovery time and it doesn’t help that once again, my conditioning needs more work. Now we’re not just talking about recovery heart rate after intense training, but more so recovery the day after. It’s interesting but as of late I’ve been hearing the same tale of the tape. Old friends approaching me because they want to get back into shape again, they walk around in pain, or can’t play a simple game of basketball with their daughters; some entering their forties and others already there.
You hear the traditional expressions, ‘boys will be boys,’ ‘men are all boys inside,’ ‘boys never grow up.’ We do grow up, as kids though we just enjoy playing hard, we taunt each other and tease, then we get older and the jokes get wittier, and still think we can roughhouse the way we used to. Well we still can, we just don’t get out of bed with a spring in our step the next day like we used to. Our hormones start to change, for example we produce less testosterone, our muscles begin to atrophy a little, our V02 max decreases which means we have less conditioning performance, which also means we recover slower from training and sports.
Yet we still want to hike a little faster, ride a little faster, and play a little harder. Ok maybe this blog is a little bit more about self realization, and the understanding that there is the ever fragile male ego in contention on top of the performance aged disabilities. That’s right, we seem to forget that inside all of us men, there lies that daring boy waiting to peak his head and challenge us to do the unthinkable still. And we take these challenges without a care in the world, even with families to take care of, or jobs that we need to punch into, and any other general responsibilities life has us doing. At some point we need to take a step back and realize that our game has to get smarter, not harder.
My body’s a storyboard of injuries, let’s do a top to bottom and I won’t delve into every adventure attached to the injuries because some come with R-rated stories and it was in a different time of my life. Let’s begin with the scar on hy head, the one above my mouth and the bridge for front teeth. The rubber neck, the shoulder dislocations that are in double digits. Broke my left elbow and left wrist, and cracked six knuckles in both hands with dislocated thumbs. The scar in my back, both knees with sprains and tears, ankle sprains and turf toe (I hate turf toe). And the coup de grace, right achilles tendon rupture. I know, you’re thinking how is this guy still prancing around, but I am and enjoying my life with family and a new business on the horizon.
The difference these days like I mentioned earlier, is I need to play a smarter game. I do this by listening to my body when it comes to training and sports. There’s no medals to be won, only pyrrhic victories with scars and pain to remind you of your squandered youth. Rest is a welcome sight, training my mobility and core strength within a session is now a must, and not at the end of a program if I have time to get to it either. My training is full body and sport specific so I have enough juice in the tank to grapple with the young fellas. And let’s not forget that there’s a brand new little man in my life now that I love to roughhouse with, which means if he’s half as crazy as I was growing up, I’ve got my hands full.
Finally there’s my wife as well. Let us not forget that us men in our forties, are performance through and through, and I don’t just mean weekend errands. That’s right guys, you can’t just sit on your laurels and hope that the memory of your slimmer sexy physique is what keeps the wives happy. Our performance doesn’t just stop on the court, the turf, or the mat. No, we also need to perform in all aspects of our lives, don’t forget the saying, “happy wife, happy life,” and yes read into that statement as much as you need.
We want to be boys and we want to play hard all of our lives, and no one can tell us differently. But humans like life, we are ballistic and dynamic, we’re also static and sedentary, with ups and downs and it moves some of us to be adventurous or relaxed. I’m not saying we need to stop playing sports, or training too hard, rather we need to play smart, we need to listen to our bodies and rest when needed, and we need to have the energy to perform in the right moment. Personal training has become popular once again to those in these same predicaments, I train men in their forties and a little less to feel young and proud and energetic so that longevity becomes important once again. You now hear the term ‘dad bod,’ and although funny sounding it comes with a little sting. A small reminder you’re not the man you used to be; but maybe, just maybe, you can be that man once again. With him brings the boy you and everyone loves, who knows, maybe tonight instead of a beer and watching a game, head upstairs a little earlier and; well, you get the picture…
Stay healthy my friends!
Your Coach, Franco Gomez
It’s interesting to see how the world has changed, and more so how we’ve achieved such a digital impact in our lives. When asked, “why train clients online?” The answer is really a no brainer. We now live in the digital era, if we’re not on our phones, our ipads, or in front of the television, I feel we may be lost. Unplugging seems foreign to us since our lives are carried in a smart device in our pockets every day, and everything we need to find is at our fingertips. These days we can find reputable courses online, I know, I’m finishing one through Joel Jamieson on Bioforce Coaching Conditioning, and then finishing my Precision Nutrition Level 1 coach, and after that I will do my NSCA-CPT. Online training just seems like the viable step forward.
These of course are just examples of what’s offered to trainers let alone what’s out there for different demographics or disciplines. The days of sitting in class to continue your education are slowly starting to become less and less. Now hold on! I’m not saying that they will disappear entirely, I think that there is a large need for classes, just on the experience alone. I’m just saying that we are witness to a new era which takes advantage of this wonderful digital era. It’s fantastic to see the exponential amount of data that can be taught online. I don’t have to go buy a cookbook on italian cooking when I can find a recipe in seconds on my phone. Also a major factor that has helped both the buyers and sellers is drastic price drops due to the lack of overhead.
When considering that the average personal training session costs $65 – $85, in comparison to online training which averages between $150 – $350/month. This avenue just seems the logical direction for clients when considering training especially in this day’s economy. Remember though that when it comes to training there is always a value that’s put on the table. Just because I train clients online does not mean that all they get is a program for the month and see ya later! Absolutely not.
There are nuances to creating the online experience, The program has to fit their assessment, there are quarterly milestones to meet, their daily work and life schedule needs to be considered for stresses. I have to know how they eat on the regular, I need to know if they had a surgical procedure, or if they’re weekend warriors and had an accident and modifications are need to be placed in their program. I have to have video links in place for each exercise, I also need to have a program description and notes so that they understand how to work single sets, supersets, tri sets, etc. I also need to place a weekly communication system with all of my clients so that they can let me know what they’re experiencing throughout the program, positive or negative.
Remember that any type of training out there is simply answering questions or solving a problem. “I am a hunter and I run out of steam on my hunts.” “my son made the Colts as a linebacker, and the coach mentioned he needs to improve his speed and power for the season.” “I am a mom of 3, I have a membership at big box gym, and I want to learn how to use the weights…” My favourite of course is,”I want a trainer but I can’t afford afford $70/session!” As you can see, you can plug me in as an answer in each of these individuals lives as their online trainer. And to be honest these are true examples of past clients.
The truth about these clients lies deeper than just the superficial need though. I don’t just get plugged into their lives as a service because they just need a trainer. The hunter wants to feel strong for his family again, he wants to feel confident in his 40’s in front of a mirror. The linebacker needs confidence and sport specific aggression, he wants to be mentally tough and be able to take hits mentally and physically. The mom wants to lose weight, she wants to get strong and sexy, and she wants to outlast her 3 boys at play time. And of course my favourite was the odd student I get, she wants to keep things affordable and learn how to train.
That’s right, just on the comparison above and value proposition for services, online training became popular with me because the online training experience could be just as valuable as the personal training experience at a fraction of the cost. Of course there’s more to it then just cost, you also have to consider your schedules. I have a certain hour window that I work in due to the fact that I want to spend time with my family, especially my little monster man before he goes to bed. Therefore there are times that my clients won’t be able to see me, aside the odd exception if it’s just an assessment. Or better yet how about when my clients or even I go on a vacation. If I go, then I reach out to the trainer my clients and I trust, if the clients go on vacation, they’re on their own.
Finally my favourite which is attached to value, is the individualization of programming and support. We don’t build cookie cutters! We build templates though and that’s because it helps us program much more efficiently and in a timely fashion. If you can build a program within 15mins then you’re doing great; don’t forget that’s one client, now add 20 more and look at the time you’ve spent programming. As a trainer I like the idea that I can solve problems, I don’t just count reps, I try to understand my client from within so that their program not only improves their lives but also compliments it.
To say that I care about each client individually is an understatement; I love my clients. I get to know their families, see their kids grow up, I experience the highs and lows. And when a bad economy says goodbye to some, they extend their hellos via social media to congratulate me on the birth of my son. They are no longer my clients, rather they are my friends, with an open invite to their cabin in British Columbia. It’s that little device in your pocket that connects you to the world, old friends, lost loves, science, history, recipes, education, etc. Online training is here to stay, it brings people together, it educates, which is my number one goal, and you get to keep me in your pocket at all times. So, why train clients online? The cost is minimal, and the value and benefits are endless. If you’re curious about online training and have lots of questions for me, feel free to contact me
firstname.lastname@example.org or go to my contact page.
Until we meet in the matrix;
Stay healthy my friends…
Your Coach, Franco Gomez
When it comes to the art of the recovery in regards to training, we seem to try and push ourselves as if we don’t have any limitations. We watch movies with training montages and our brains are jumping out of the chair well ahead of our bodies to start the particular Seal training we just finished watching. Unfortunately there are consequences that correlate with this newborn passion, and that is the ultimate physical and mental crash. Ok so here’s the thing about this particular subject today; it will involve some science so that you’re able to understand and succeed in your own personal training journey. But I’ll keep it plain, and simple, and to the point.
First off I dedicate this to my A-Types, you know who you are. You are the weekend warrior who’s up at 5AM hitting the same cardio routine for the last decade in hopes to stimulate that personal high. You work just as hard as you train and the go hard or go home attitude is ingrained in your genetic make up. After work you’re at the gym pushing the same workout because it’s hard and it’s efficient, and time could be money in your field of practice. On the weekends you let off some steam by engaging in your favourite sport and you train it or play it like the scouts are still scoping you out in the stands. That’s ok though, you’re tenacious and you’re dedicated, and you do this because you enjoy it and it keeps you alive; we should all take a page from your book.
The second person I want reading this is the trainers coming out of school, whether it’s with a Kin degree or a certification of sorts, either or we’ve been culprits in this crime. Not to say that there is a large margin of education because that’s another subject in itself, but also even more inexcusable is walking out with a degree and forgetting your training 101; the acute neural adaptation you were looking for when your hockey players were puking in a can.
There is one caveat to consider though. When training bootcamps, crossfit classes, clients that travel for work, or the busy lives of the general population, overtraining is much harder to control. So there is forgiveness for trainers in these aspects.
Ok let’s consider both cases; the A-Type as well as the newbie trainers and I’m going to bunch them both in together in this blog; One group I’ll teach you a thing or two about training, and the other group, will get a quick reminder on a few things you may have forgotten.
The purpose for training at it’s core is to increase your base performance in all aspects of your life. This goes to your daily life as well as your chosen sport or affiliation; whether you’re shovelling the snow, or you’re trying to increase your speed on the track for the 100m dash to represent Canada. Training at it’s simplest breaks down the body to repair it as a much stronger, and stable structure. But, there is the point of diminishing returns and it usually happens on average between week 3 and 5, considering that we’ve put the client through a physically and mentally demanding stress. For the A-Type, he continues to train yet doesn’t understand why he’s not getting stronger, or can’t run or bike longer distances. He doesn’t see that a nagging lower back injury may have been due to the continual stress at a high intensity during what he sees as an efficient program.
On the other side, we have the trainer that’s hit a plateau. I’m not talking about his own personal goals. No, I mean their clients plateau. Why hasn’t Sally so and so stopped losing weight, or how about Ricky Roo is benching less than week 4? If the trainer’s client is an athlete then this situation is inexcusable, because whatever type of periodization they choose, whether linear, undulating, or phasic, to name a few, there is always a supercompensation curve to be considered. This means, at what point are you choosing to push your athlete into the proverbial hole to pull him back out again in a safe and healthy manner?
Now the regular joe’s a bit tougher because there is a ‘life’ to consider. Joe doesn’t have the time to put towards training, his 40 plus hour a week career, his kids in sports, his wife, and any other extra curricular activities that fill up his week. This brings me back to my school days where I had one of my teachers once tell us not to bother with periodizing general clients because life will always get’s in the way. But she added that if you understand the science of training you’ll know when to push and when to pull back.
What my A-Types don’t know and some Newbie trainers forgot, is that while we look at the body as the machine that’s being built, it is also the central nervous system (CNS) that is being taxed quite heavily. In actuality, consider the human body to be like a Lamborghini, and I choose the Lambo because as it is exotic, fast, and beautiful; in more ways than one it is not unlike the human body, a wonder in itself. The Lamborghini will still be beautiful on the outside if it has an engine that doesn’t run well because the computer is fried. This correlates to a fit person who doesn’t understand why his body aesthetically looks great in front of the mirror but can’t lift the same weights or give the same performance while training for a Spartan race. Simply put, the Lamborghini won’t run if it’s pushed at 220 miles/hr everyday all day and the human being will stop functioning properly if he trains 7 days a week at full speed 2 hours a day; both their computers will crash really hard!
So looking at recovery, you could consider separating your cardio from your weight training. Give yourself 1 to 3 days off complete rest where you don’t step foot in the gym and rather enjoy your life a little. Make sure your sleep habits improve, in other words if you get ready for work, then why not get ready for bed. Research is starting to show improvements in health just by getting better sleep. Surround yourself with less blue light in your life i.e. smart phones, ipads, laptops, and of course TV. Continuously reassess your lifestyle and see where you need to make improvements. Remember that when it comes to your lifestyle it’s a great idea to be a little introspective and look within, as it is all part of your recovery, even analyzing the way you eat on the daily. And finally at the end of your 4 week phase, of whatever periodization you choose, give yourself 3 – 5 days of active or passive rest. This will give your body and nervous system time to heal and be able to ramp up the intensities for your next phase. Remember that there’s a big difference between training hard and training smart.
Active recoveries usually require fun activities, yoga, walks, light hikes, etc. It’s a great way to continue working after your last phase. Passive recoveries usually mean that competitors edge, like a fighter who’s a week out of his main event, they usually don’t enter the gym at all. They need that rest because they’re usually pushing themselves at 110% in their last phase so they need to completely shut down. They need to use this time to meditate, sleep, yoga, anything that gives their body and brains that time to relax and reset. This my friends is the art of the recovery, one of the many facets behind the sweet science of training. I’m scraping the surface to give you a glimpse into what it is you should slowly start to incorporate to your programs and training. Life is too short to wake up one day and realize you spent so much time in the gym and didn’t really achieve anything. What’s more upsetting is finding out after all that time you were doing it all wrong.
Enjoy your lives my friends, train hard but train smart. Kiss your loved ones, and enjoy a beer along the way. Strive for better, and aim for a better version of you always. Until we meet;
Stay healthy my friends…
Your Coach, Franco Gomez
Today I’m going to talk to you from an inspired entrepreneurs point of view. I recently got back a couple weeks now from an epic road trip with my wife and son. And at almost 6 months my son handled the ride like a champ I might add. Interestingly enough it wasn’t the sort of epic road trip like the ones I took with my mates back in the day partying through the mountains with our final destination being Vancouver for shopping, drinking, eating and of course chasing the fairer sex. Those were adventurous days where the word responsibility didn’t really exist in our vocabularies. As long as we barely made the rent and had room for beer in our maxed out credit cards, the rest was just us being Marines, improvise, adapt, overcome!
This time around, our road trip was epic in many other ways, my wife and I got to see each other reacting to minor pressure, navigating through freeways, setting up campgrounds, dismantling campgrounds, where to eat, change the baby, feed the baby, soothe the baby, and keep on keepin on. Accompanied by an array of playlists on the noise box setting the moods for conversations and laughter. I love road trips for these very reason though; you open up different avenues of conversations and dig deeper into your relationship, and coming out more in love on the other end… Well at least on my end of course.
We packed the van on a Friday morning and headed out, first stop; Flathead Lake Big Fork Montana. People have referred to Montana as God’s country, aside the smoke, it was a friendly atmosphere, an amazing lake to share with the ones I love the most. We get out of the van and sitting right where the tent goes was a couple of deer as our welcoming committee feeding on the shrubs and dipping their lips for some lake water. I knew at that moment that this was going to be a magical roadtrip. We left the next morning rebounding for a night in Lake Easton Washington, towards Grayland State Park where we spent the next three days chilling out in Westport on the Washington coast. Every day was something interesting and new to do but I’d have to say my favourite was kite flying and crabbing.
Now, I love my wife for amongst other things, her tenacity. When she wants to try something new I follow along for the ride because whether it’s hit or miss, it’s always an adventure. She wanted to fish for crabs and after an evening debacle of searching for equipment, the next day we headed to rent the equipment, got the fishing license, got our grocery store raw chicken thighs and off to a pier we went. She marched so proudly and ready to hopefully hit the record books and get her picture in the Westport Gazzette holding 50Lbs of the largest crawlers she could wrangle; the day went a little differently though… So here I am enjoying a day on our very own pier in Westport, brown bagging a super duper can of Banquet Coors in one hand, and holding my little monster man in the other. As I wait for the festivities, instead I get to watch my Nat screaming after her first catch but realizing she has to actually pick them up to put them in the can and they have long reaches!
First catch of the day, she catches one large Dungeness crab! She’s excited and screaming from happiness as well as fear. But it was worth trading the baby and beer to help her get that delicious creepy crawler in the can. Unfortunately she caught one and we forgot that our camping pots wouldn’t fit our ocean dinner, so as a gesture of kindness we gave it to the nearby couple and headed out for some delicious sea food. I think that will be an experience we will always remember. Next time though, we’ll have the big pot ready to go!
The second most favourite thing we did was fly a kite, and actually teach Nat the nuances of how to fly the kite. What some of you don’t know is that part of my upbringing was in Chile and every Sept 18th, as part of our day of independence the children build kites by hand, get our special string and it’s off to war! Kite battles; cutting each other’s string and sending your cousins racing down a hill to fist fight over fallen kites. What can I say a bloody nose or black eye was worth the keepsies! In the midst of those savage years though, there’s definitely one thing I knew how to do and that was fly a proper kite. So off to Ocean City State Park we go!
The day was sunny and there was a pacific wind hitting our faces with gusto, we parked the van right on the beach and began the process of preparing our little dollar store kite for his maiden voyage. With stringers and rainbow colours I took it out of the van and, I dub thee, Pride Kite! Without very little assistance, the powerful wind carried it high flying that rainbow coloured flag, I made the kite rise so high as I slowly gave it more line. He climbed and climbed, and I’d tell Nat to pull for a good climb as the nose aimed upwards, and if it starts to nose dive just give it more slack and let the wind do it’s job.
We were so happy, as my son sat in the bjorn relaxing and enjoying all the different and new sites he was experiencing. As I took pictures to record the moments I asked myself, “how can I strive to make our lives better then this simple yet beautiful moment?” I’ll answer this question in a moment.
As the day ended, the last two days of our road trip was for the workshop I was headed to so we headed towards Seattle; our final destination, a campground in Bellevue Washington just outside the big City.
I’ve always said that being amongst my peers, has always made me a better trainer. But this trip made me want to be a better trainer, a better entrepreneur, and more importantly better husband and father. I had recently taken on a coaching certification to add to my repertoire and because of it I was recently invited to this workshop where I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Jamieson the author of MMA Conditioning.
Amongst the professionals I was privy to, were Luka Hocevar who helped us with business and marketing advice as well as being the owner of Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance. Nate Green who was once a team member at Precision Nutrition, who helped us with business and marketing as well by putting mirrors in front of us to take hard looks at ourselves as individuals. And as an added surprise we were introduced to Dr. Gerry Ramogida, Chiropractor for the Seattle Seahawks and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Talking about the science and benefits behind joint pumping and how to apply tem with our clients whether performance or gen pop.
So going back to answering that question as to how will I improve the lives and experiences of my loved ones. I have to say, I can’t take myself too seriously as a trainer, enjoy my relationships and look forward to the experiences I will share with my clients. Empathy is a word I’m starting to understand, and revamping my clients entire training experience is the start to continuity and longevity to their education as well as our training relationship. I’m not trying to be rich, I’m loving my career path, and I’m passionate about my continuing education, because I’m passionate about teaching. I come home from work not worried about company politics now, rather I look for my wife and my son so that I can hold them, kiss them and hug them, and I know that this is the start to to improving their lives as well as mine.
I talked with my wife all the way back home reminding myself what was said, what was important to look at, or where drastic changes need to be made. The more I repeated the conversations I began to believe the changes that needed to be made in my life for my new business to succeed. Oh that’s right; I forgot to mention that I’m entering into a new partnership where our focus for all of our clients will be an entirely holistic experience from walking through our doors to possibly never leaving us, so watch out Calgary; we’re setting the bar extremely high. But I’ll leave that for another blog. I will leave you with this little question to ask yourself if ever you’re stuck where you are. “If you had a choice in life, would you take the safe ’good’ route and future if it meant doing something you didn’t enjoy. Or would you sacrifice the safe route to be great at something you love, knowing that the only way you’ll succeed beyond a safe future, is by working harder than you’ve ever had to…?”
…Think about it..
To yours and mine my friends,
Your Coach, Franco Gomez
In the past I’ve taken the time to spew some science and educate not just my clients but any of those that will listen out there in the internet world. I’ve spoken about principles and shopping for the right trainer, I’ve even gone as far as chatting about millennials and the downfall of society (as I sit here and chuckle at the ridiculousness of that comment). Well today I think I will take a step back and introduce myself, my personal journey thus far and where I hope to end up some day.
As a lot of you know I didn’t actually start in this industry where I can help people pattern their minds and their bodies towards the positive. Although I almost went in this direction back when I was 26, I took a temporary position leaving university for a few weeks back to welding, the starving student excuse served me well of course, and ended coming back to school 10 years later. Looking back now I don’t regret not taking the honest leap when I had the chance, but mainly because I know that my mindset wasn’t there. You see, when it comes to taking these sort of leaps in life, they demand the courage to fail, because let’s face it, you’re going to fail a few times than naught. And I know now I wasn’t willing to fail, I was afraid to lose the money and the toys, and pampering myself, and everything that came with it.
Although failure, is the symbolic falling off the horse, and the old cowboy asking you if you’re going to get back on again. It means that even if there is a downturn in all aspects of your life, what are you going to do with your time to move forward again; what are you willing to do to get back on that horse. Will you use up that time to add some education, find a seminar, or simply start to read the things you love, to make you better at what you do?
Well in my case I like things the hard way I think, because I should’ve gone back to oil & gas to raise the money I needed to pay off school and probably re-enter school for a business education. Nope! I prefer to hustle and grind and try to find business where I can get it, and rest on my laurels when it came to my education. I was the rabbit, and never the turtle taking my time up the hill and learning along the way. Well, 6 years later and a few ups and downs, as any business should, including running my own facility which was awesome in my eyes but again still lacking success. At this point you may ask why I’m still grinding it out?
A major reason is my change in headspace, my mentality towards my business, my new family and my need to hustle. Now I understand the word ‘hustle,’ as it’s used when it comes to building a business. Mainly because entrepreneurs need to work twice as hard to make their paychecks in comparison to the regular joe clocking 40 hours. I’ve taken the time for continued education, put time to understanding different facets of training which I felt I’m missing, focusing once again on the client and building the systems around them to improve their experience with me.
I’ve looked at my assessments and included heart variability, conditioning, injury prevention, mobility testing and body composition. I consistently and continuously educate my clients to no end in regards to building milestones, for themselves as well as their families. I’ve actually gone back to my basics by increasing clientele and improving my personal training on an individual basis. I even created for the first time the Online Performance Coach. My way of being right next to you virtually on your smart device; programming, videos, assessments, and continuity for progress all at your fingertips and at the fraction of the price of personal training.
If there’s one thing that I’m really trying to improve is my level of communication and how I address my clients, putting forethought before action. But more importantly really listening to people, and actually becoming empathetic to the needs of the client. Hustling in my life means blocking time, working on 3 businesses, ensuring my clients are always taken care of, and more importantly holding my baby boy and my beautiful partner. That’s right; we can work as hard as we want on our businesses or careers but we’ll never gain on our road to success if we forget why we do it. Although I’ve found inspiration over and over again, the people that inspire me the most is my wife and my little man.
I was chatting with my lovely wife today and we were laughing about the fact that every time I’ve put my gym in someone else’s space, there’s been a fallout, whether I was collateral damage or a lack of integrity within a contract dispute. The thing is, everytime someone out there wanted to pull the rug from under me, I got back up stronger and hustled my way back much more successfully. That’s because as we say in Spanish, I’ve got “ganas.” I have the, ‘want,’ I also have the reason and the will.
This my friends is just my will to better myself, my clients, my passion for what I do, and my love for my family. If you want to get to know your trainer then this is me in a nutshell, I will always find the answer if I don’t know it, I surround myself with exceptional professionals to compliment my business as a service to my friends and clients alike. I focus on the assessments to plan out programming because it is the responsible manner of doing things. I always individualize as it is the professional in me and it is what the client requires.
But most importantly, I put my family first, and I can’t stop loving my partner and hugging my little man.
It is a pleasure to meet you all…
Your Coach, Franco Gomez
Trainers; Sales or Science…
So I find that this is a subject that gets beaten way too much, but unfortunately for you guys it’s one that’s close to my heart. I’m very passionate about what I do for a living, I don’t put up with bull***t from clients that want something but forget that work is involved. Ask my clients and the ones that have been with me for years will tell you that I don’t mince words, I don’t allow cheating, and I never let you talk more then work.
I want results for my clients and I’m not fluffy so I understand that there is a certain amount of work that needs to get done, there is an amount of weight that needs to get pushed or pulled, and there is an aerobic threshold that needs to be surpassed when conditioning in certain classes. Furthermore there is a scientific approach to the way I train personally, online, athletically or in fitness classes, so NO, I don’t put up with B.S. in my company… As you can see there is not much salesmanship there.
There is only passion, science, and a true caring for my clients and that is why I’m proud to say they’ve stuck with me through thick and thin; a better community I couldn’t ask for.
In my tenure as a trainer I’ve seen guys walk up to people in the middle of treadmill sprints just to sell them personal training. I’ve seen trainers do beginning and ending group hugs, without the clients knowing that the trainer had literally set up his bootcamp exactly how the guy 2 spaces down did because he lacked knowledge in training. I’ve even seen a trainer turn on youtube to copy a program 5 minutes prior to his class arriving; their class being completely full… These guys could sell a rust bucket with holes in the desert and not even pull off a sweat during the lie. So I ask you at what point do you invest in the science over the sale?
I’m writing this particular blog today because I’m happy to say that there are so many knowledgeable coaches in the world having been around for decades and starting to post their work on social media. These are individuals that continuously push the envelope of education and never stop debunking the salesmen out there. At the end of this blog I’m going to add the names of a few of the trainers I recommend picking up some of their literature and reading or simply following them on social media. You will be impressed with the amount of education offered on a daily basis.
I can leave you with one simple question, do you prefer sales or science? It’s simple question in the sense that sales means you may be getting duped into buying training that’s a lemon. It may all be HIIT training and everyday something different because some idiot told them that muscle confusion and high intensity will help their clients lose weight. Well unfortunately training is a bit more complex than that, just as their clients are. I understand when it comes to classes it’s hard to periodize our clients, or is it? I’ve figured out ways to produce success via the same principles taught to me in school, and through continuing education so it’s not that hard actually it just takes a little dedication.
Ok so now you see why I’m a terrible salesman when it comes to training; I’m tough, I care about my clients safety, I care about their goals through scientifically proven methods, and I’m passionate about this industry and where it’s headed, so salesmen beware. If you ever have a question about training, look me up and I may be able to answer it. In the meantime, here are a number of great trainers or authors to look up..
Mike Robertson, Eric Cressey, Brett Contreras, Tony Gentilcore, Mike Boyle, Charlie Weingroff, Calvin Dietz, Dr. Stuart McGill, Joel Jamieson, Tudor Bompa, Greg Everett, Dr. Quinn Henoch, Max Aita, Chad Wesley Smith, Kelly Starrett, Dan John… and the list goes on and on and on.
Educate yourself, so that you can educate others…
Your Coach, Franco Gomez
This weekend I had an epiphany. I’ve come to the conclusion that although I feel I’m focused in my daily life, I’m not because I’ve not been present. Sometimes we go through our daily lives pushing a cart everyday, and everyday seems no different from any other. But there’s that nagging voice in the back of your head that repeats itself constantly, telling you to pay attention to the little things, or the person in front of you for that matter. By the way, that’s your conscience reminding you to be present. Ok so by this point you’re wondering how the hell is this health related?
Well, let’s break it down together. If you head to the gym daily, and do your hour of training and somewhat follow a program, and somewhat pay attention to the exercises, and somewhat pay attention to the females or males around you, and somewhat push yourself, etc, etc. I promise you, you will somewhat fail in attaining anything. Let’s refocus this subject and see if we can’t realize our potential together. Understanding how to be present in your daily life will improve drastically all facets of your daily routine so let’s see where presence is needed.
Being present when you’re at work will help you focus better to improve your performance, your responsibilities and tasks amongst your peers and coworkers. Presence of mind and body will improve your love of life, your relationships with those you care about and rebuild areas that need work. Remember that there is no reinvention or improvements within your own lives if you’re not present enough to realize what personal changes need to be made. On a personal note I realized this weekend that I was focusing on things that brought me no gusto, no benefit, no charm. I was a hamster spinning my wheels and it was my conscience that started to bother me, and remind me that there were things in my daily schedule that were being left unfinished. But the worst of this wasn’t that I was slowly leaving things undone and lacked presence of mind to continue and finish. Rather, I was forgetting about the most important person in my life and she really needed me to be present…
Lacking presence and not paying true attention to the ones you love sometimes will hurt them; they feel unappreciated, unnoticed, or worse, unloved. Of course this isn’t the case, but we fall into these little traps that push us off of our holistic journey, and squirrel! See, I just did it again. Pay attention to your cooking, you’ll learn to love it. Pay attention to your loved ones, they will feel loved and appreciated and part of you. And pay attention to your health, from the gym, to the kitchen, and of course never forget the bedroom. That’s right! Be present in the bedroom, your significant other will love you for it, and combine it with a great sleep and you will achieve a holistic presence.
So let’s go back to the gym and revisit the scenario with presence. You have your program in hand, and you analyze the exercise, the sets, and the reps. You look at your last days notes and realize you can do a little more. There’s pretty girls, or boys walking past you and some may smile so be a gentleman or lady and smile back. Then turn to your bar, you’re present now, you’re focused and whatever happened at the office that day or what you’re going to cook after your workout does not matter. All that matters is that the reps that approach, will get you that much closer to where you want to be in your life. Your success in your life may be deemed by how many people you touch; how can you touch anyone if you’re not present. Until next time; be present, and stay healthy my friends…
Become Like Water…
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” Bruce Lee
It’s been about 12 years since I stepped foot on a mat, whether it was for Brazilian jujitsu, Japanese jujitsu or Muay Thai training. Now in that time I never really count the once in awhile here and there because that’s not real training, nor a distinct dedication to the arts. In 2004 I left Perth Australia with a heavy heart, a lot of training under my belt, a few competitions and some lifelong friends. She was a beautiful country with truly blessed experiences that brought me back to where I felt the most comfortable and confident in; on the mat.
I think of the above quote and I realize that interpretations can be made from many directions, but I choose to compare it to my own journey. Life is about transitions, going with the flow, not stifling your creativity or listening to those that will stop your growth. We’re a river that gets veered by rocks and trees and all other types of obstacles in life. Sometimes we hit a dam and our lives become pooled, stagnant and the flow simply stops; but our passion like a wave can get stronger, the river rises and we break those dams.
Needless to say I’ve been training a year now in full contact karate doing Renbukai under Kyoshi Verlin Koch. Our school is also affiliated to Koryu Uchinadi, a functional style of karate with it’s style more focused on self defence. Now here’s the part that you hear so much slack for on the internet; I also do ‘online’ BJJ training due to my life’s time constraints… Like I said, never let the naysayers get you down, and just keep flowing in the direction that brings happiness to your life. Martial Arts makes me happy, and some day I’d like to create a fantastic venue where strength and conditioning is paired with martial arts, but first my river needs to keep flowing, keep learning it’s route and creating new routes.
I need to keep learning the martial arts I love, keep learning self defence, just keep learning. It’s so enriching to become inspired again, understanding positions, techniques, movement. Transitioning movements from exercise to a specific sport I love. I’m 43 years old and I’m willing to start from square one and pour myself back into the same journey I was in 12 years ago. Funny how rivers fork like a parallel universe and yet we can find that path once again; never say never.
If someday I have children, the purest advice I can give them is never stop learning. Never close your mind to a subject. Don’t let a peer reviewed article tell you it’s the way, there may be ten saying otherwise. Be the journey you want to be, be the inspiration you need to be; become like water my friends…