Not Even I Can Help You
We’re definitely underway the new year and almost at the end of the first month, and you have to ask yourself, where are you in your pursuit of health, success and happiness? I hate to compete with all of you, but I’m a little harder on myself and quite competitive. So I’ve already lost 12Lbs, and about 3% bodyfat and yes I did it healthy, with good eating and exercise; also let’s not forget a gorgeous wife to partner with me for support. By the way that’s how much damage you can do to a month of eating BBQ and drinking beer in Chile. Also let’s not forget the exciting new projects and prospective clients for COGO Fitness + Performance as well as Versa Movement Collective, I know, I’m a grinder but if you can’t grind doing what you love, then what would you do it for?
Now let’s talk about where you are so far since at this point the drop off rate at all major big box gyms rounding into February is sadly and statistically already about 4%, with another 14% dropping out by February; are you in that group? And have you been sincere to what you want, starting out this year? This is why it is extremely important for you to honestly state that if you’re not sincere to your pursuits, not even I can help you! Here’s the thing, and yes there is a thing; As a client of mine you’ll undergo what I like to call ‘your week in review.’ This small innocuous yet simple questionnaire is loaded with both barrels aiming at the man or woman in the mirror (sorry Michael).
I know you’re wondering how does a week in review help me break down your health in a nutshell and how am I even able to help you? You’re probably asking yourself, does this guy like his business or better yet, does he even get sales with blogs like this one?! Well I do, and I definitely do, and my client retention lies partly within these questions, your answers, your accountability to your answers, and finally the quality of attention and training. Here are a few things I need to understand before moving forward with assessments, movement screens, and programming:
1. How many hours do you sleep?
2. What time do you shut off all blue lights prior to sleeping?
3. What time do you wake up and how? These few to start to assess the quality of your sleep
4. Then I want to know what you ate the day before? At what times you ate? And the quality of foods? And trust me yesterday was a bad day for EVERYONE!
5. I need to know what your family life schedule is like? The quality of time spent, and family stresses as it dictates a measure of your happiness. Supremely important info in regards to your body’s hormonal activity
6. I then ask what does a work week look like? Hours? Occupation? How many hours do you stand, versus sitting? And what kind of daily stress do you endure?
7. Finally I ask you, how long you’ve trained in the past? How long you’ve stuck to it? And where do I fit into this picture called your life; if I even do?
‘Where do I fit into this picture called your life?’ That’s right, that last one sadly is important, because as you know for some trainers retention isn’t just based on the quality of training however knowledgeable or valuable. It’s actually rooted in the fabric of someones life and how we as professionals fit in it. I promise you that when you’re searching for a training professional, first have a look at your life and ask yourself these questions. It’ll be the sincerest moment you have to stop and really think about what needs to change to improve your quality of life.
I can ensure you that I’ve told clients in the past that if they cannot fix these previous questions, not even I can help them. Don’t forget that training albeit good for you, is a stressor to your body. Here is the kicker though; all of those questions above live symbiotically with training so for those that do want to make a change, “I can actually help you.” You just need to start with awareness and accountability and you need to be sincere in making the small changes necessary to each one of those questions; consider it a step program of sorts. Let’s take the time and do this exercise together like I’ve done with so many of my clients, for Online as well as Personal Training.
1. You average 5-6 hours? Let’s hit two birds with one stone. Let’s start by looking at the second question and let’s shut down the blue lights in your house 2 hours before bed; That’s TV, laptop, iPad, and or smartphone. On top of this let’s spend time with family, let’s dim the lights in the house a little and build some quality habits. Okay that’s 3 birds with one stone and no I’m not crazy, because what I’m trying to do is send you to bed happy, with your cortisol down, and melatonin up. You’ve stopped emitting daylight through your devices, you’ve spent quality time with your family and you’re about to have incredible sleep! Last but not least, get yourself an incredible mattress because if you’re still feeling pain the next day after a decent sleep, then that means it’s time to trade in that old mattress. This last one is in lieu of how you awake, are you relaxed and calm or does the stress kick in? All important factors to consider in regards to your sleep quality the night before.
2. So now you’ve awoken, what foods start your day? Are you fasting, do you drink water, coffee, cereal, eggs, etc? These are all factors that entail a hard look at what begins to fuel your day. At what times do you eat, and what do you generally eat, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years is that humans are creatures of habit and will eat the same omelette day in and day out. Also have a look at how many hours in between are you eating and why? Do you tend to over eat with larger protions? Do you graze? Are you into intermittent fasting or do you eat every 2-3 hours? these are necessary info for us to begin to analyze if food is a problem or not applicable to your training life.
3. I look at your life and I know that I was able to add to it’s quality with the first answer but to be more in depth, are you a family man or woman, or single living the life? If so how much quality time are you spending with your kids? This is actually an important factor that can go to the center of your everyday happiness, your hormonal homeostasis, your psychological balance and much more. I won’t go too deep into this answer, but the impact your family life has on your happiness and outlook on your personal health is massive. Do a little research and you will begin to understand how healthy an individual is when spending quality time with their loved ones, and I’m not talking about watching TV together either; I’m talking about QUALITY time. If you’re single you night enjoy the drink or night life way too much and that also has an impact in your sleep and therefore your happiness.
4. Finally I ask about your work life, as a trainer I can’t ask you to quit your job because then I wouldn’t have one either. But I can ask you to figure out ways to improve it. Believe it or not finding out your self worth as far as your occupation is concerned, hitting up a few headhunters and getting out there brings forth renewed self confidence in your career. Sometimes it could mean better time management at work, more planning towards projects to act efficiently, and or may open more avenues within your position or career; even simply asserting yourself within your position. I know you’re thinking what do I know as a trainer, but let’s not forget I spent 17 years in oil & gas and construction projects around the world so I might know a thing or two about all of these subjects that may require change.
Ok I know you’re thinking that we didn’t touch on your past training experience, athletic background, etc. The truth is if I can’t help you have a deeper look into what your week in review looks like and how we can begin to want to make changes, your training background helps me only in semantics. When I ask about your week in review, I’m looking at your life in review, and I do this because you’ll need to have a hard look at what it will take for you to take that first step and stay accountable to yourself, and through each step after that. Remember that training is a commitment, and an investment in the most valuable commodity you have, and that’s your health. If you can’t be sincere to the improvements needed in your life, I say it again; not even I can help you.
Take that first step, and along that road; stay healthy my friends…
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…
Oh, What a Year!
Well the end of the year is here and with it comes the snow, and the drivers and the shopping and all the festive activities that bring a little insanity to our lives. This year I’m not going to quote recipe books or the latest diet, I’m not going to tell you that the new year is approaching and I have a fitness deal in the horizon (which I do). Instead I thought I’d talk about a great year I had with possibly more downs then ups, yet my focus never fails on the things that are important to the people you love and the career path I chose to follow. COGO Fitness has hit every wall on the way to find a home for my wonderful clients and friends this past year. Just when you think we found a home, we hit an unsuspecting glitch; with four locations in just over a year.
Alright, I know you’re thinking that may have sounded a bit negative regardless if it’s true, so let’s start over and reflect with gratitude instead.
This end of year let’s look back on the year we’ve had. My ups and downs with this company do not necessarily mean I’ve lost sight of what I want for COGO Fitness, or for my clients and friends. What I have lost sight of though in all the confusion this year was who COGO Fitness is, or what I want for for COGO Fitness? Understanding this, is where I can begin to niche myself in our new facility, and offering the services that I feel will help grow this company to the next level.
First off let me say that in the past six years I’ve enjoyed training all the clients that have come through my door. But to be honest to my own self, I’ve especially loved training youth athletes. I believe my passion for training athletes is what’s made me a better trainer with the general population. My constant learning of a new mobility drill, or training movements that offer pain relief and strength to older populations are just the little things that scratch the surface. My emphasis on joint preservation and managing risk to rewards all comes from training athletes. I’d say that this avenue in my life makes me grateful for those young faces that have stepped foot through my doors as they made a better trainer out of me throughout every session.
In the new facility, I’ve chosen to continue with my classes, but there will be changes in where I’m headed for the future. I decided it’s time to be that stepping stone for youth athletes before they hit college or possibly the bigs. I think to myself, why not work really hard to build around the very thing that gets you up in the morning. This year I was proud to train my rugby player, my downhill slalom racer, and a CAN-AM competitor with the police who by the way blew the doors off in competition by surpassing every goal we set for her. I got to work with FEMSPORT competitors and see them medal in an ever growing community of strong women. And I’ve now started to push forward with my Online Performance Training, slowly getting it off the ground for clients across Canada.
Here’s the thing though, you may think those are many disciplines and why not stick to just one? Well, what I love most is getting lost in research for every discipline. Every discipline demands their own programming, exercise selection, recovery, periodization, and functionality of movement in regards to the sport; I just got excited just saying that mouthful! Finally, just to add to those disciplines I’m hoping to join the Alberta Weightlifting Association this year as I will be starting my A.P.E. WC which is the Athletic Performance Evolution Weightlifting Club in Calgary. This project has been sitting on the burner for a couple years and with the new facility, it’s an exciting time in my company. It also sounds like we may have a few interested parties to join our little club and see if it grows from there, now that is something I’m thankful for.
Last but not least, I’m grateful for the beautiful woman that stands next to me everyday. She trains with me sometimes, and always has advice or a hand to lend when I need it. She keeps me honest, and she’s proud of me and she’s my Nat. Now she carries our little bundle of love that’s due in March right around my birthday; how could I ask for more, my family is about to get bigger, which means more love in our house.
The COGO Fitness + Performance community like my family was built with love first, how we feel, how we perform, how we motivate and inspire are all by products of hard work. But it comes from a foundation of gratitude and love. This year I want to thank all of you who were part of my 2016 journey, I apologize for the inconveniences along the way and I hope to see you all in 2017 even if it’s to checkout the new facility and say hello. I can’t promise there might not be pitfalls along the way, but I can promise you this; you’ll always have a home to train in with me, and even though I’m a little hard or tough on you at times, please know it comes from a place of love.
Stay healthy my friends… and have a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!
I’ve been training a young lady since the end of last January, and let’s call her Mrs. X for respect and anonymity. As with all my clients, I’ve been monitoring her fitness progress levels such as strength, endurance, power, etc; areas most trainers tend to keep an eye on. Mrs. X on the other hand, she monitors her training through BMI, measurements and body composition areas where most clients are commonly interested in. We both have our methods and similar goals as to what we want from each other, but both of us working for her goals and interests. For example maintaining a strong fitness for future competitions in obstacle/strength type games is definitely one of her main interests. Her goal is also to place not just compete, so her specific demands are met with specific adaptations in her training.
After our last session together, she mentioned she got some professional pictures done and that she was quite happy with her progress but would definitely like to see better results on the body composition side. As stated earlier she started training late January of 2015 and since then has lost 25+Lbs, is down to 21% body fat and looks amazing. Some might say that those numbers are realistic and fantastic from the general population’s point of view. From my point of view, she’s using 210Lb squats as her working weight, up over 40Lbs from where she started. Mrs. X can freely do sets of 6 to 8 dead hang pull ups and maintain a 5km run under 30 mins. She has begun to shave seconds off her sprint all in her preparation for the Toughest Competitor Alive which is a Fire/Police type game of a decathlete type sports. Not to mention that this summer she won individual’s silver medal at FEMSPORTS as well as a team silver.
As a trainer I’m always adamant about training for realistic goals in mind and the body composition will follow. What I’m trying to say is that I never promised her she’d lose 15Lbs in 12 weeks using an 800 Cal diet, complimented by some ridiculous interval training routine like you see being promoted in social media. She might succeed in losing the weight but most likely rebound back to the same weight, if not double the weight she started at like in many cases out there. Sustainable fitness isn’t something that happens over night, and isn’t a 12 week program or a miracle diet. Sustainable fitness is a way of life that demands you stay the course through three major factors; Programming, Diet, and the most important one of all, Mindset.
Fitness programming based on health issues, biomechanics issues, and yes let’s not forget goals is usually the first step. The next one is your diet, and here we repeat ourselves over and over as trainers and members of the unified health and wellness fraternity the importance of complimenting your training with a great daily diet. The last is the most important one of all and that’s your mind set. We can train all we want but sooner or later we slip if we don’t coach our minds to autopilot when it comes to schedule, dedication, discipline and of course accountability. I think back to 70’s bodybuilding or some would call it the golden age of bodybuilding and most pros, Arnie included never had to lose more then 10-15Lbs to cut down for the Mr. O’s. This means most competitors of that era walked around with an average of 12-15% body fat. The same goes for professional athletes within different disciplines, I’m sure they’re not looking in the mirror looking for flaws in their physique; the training, the diet, and the mindset sustains them a physique that suits their particular sport.
The reality of ‘Sustainable Fitness’ is to put these steps into play and ‘commit’; yes I said the one word that is not ‘option.’ I know, millennial’s are cringing as they read the word ‘commitment,’ but it is the only way people like most business not unlike my own will move forward in pursuit of those enigmatic goals. If there’s a business coach that tells me that for a $10,000 2 week course he’ll double my income in a month, I’d say show me the execution of your program! How does it work and what systems did you implement to make that sort of return, but more importantly; is it sustainable for growth.
Training works the same; we push the envelope in the gym while training smart, and compliment the systems implemented by eating well. This is all wrapped up neatly into a mindset that was prepped daily prior to starting to train in our session. Sustainable fitness puts people in a position to dedicate themselves to a journey. Sustainable fitness is not a quick fix or the diet of the month. It is a lifestyle not a session or a program, and the physique we crave is simply the byproduct of hard work over a period of dedication, commitment, hard work and accountability. Maintaining 3 very important factors to remember; Intelligent programming, goal oriented but sustainable diet, and a strong disciplined mindset. I’d say that’s a recipe for success; in the meantime Mrs. X will surpass her goals and compete at a very high level while still balancing a demanding career, 2 kids and a husband, and let’s not forget dealing with me on trainings day!