It’s interesting that in this day and age we still look at athletic accolades in any sport like they were brought upon with will or heart. As if will itself guided an inhuman response to the increased performance of this individual. Sadly though we are also being berated with fallen heroes in this respect, such as the influx of PED’s in the cycling world, the fight community, both in MMA as well as boxing. It almost seems like what we used to look at in wonder in the athletic world, now seems to be replaced by Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s). As if Will or heart just isn’t enough anymore; anything that will take the athlete one inch further, make them a half a second faster, and so forth. It almost puts this next BLOG in the right place though when I ask, was it heart or cardio?
Let’s understand that I’m not attacking this generation of athletes regardless of the scandals that have surrounded them. Whether you look at baseball, Tour de France, or the myriad of weightlifting athletes or countries banned from Olympic competition this past year. I’m just trying to prove my point, that although we’d like to see the underdog come out on top with the will to beat his record time or the enhanced opponent in front of him/her, the reality is that at any stage of an athlete’s career, it will be his properly conditioned body that will take him further.
Cardio comes from the Greek word ‘Kardiac.’ Another way of reading this is “heart” in English. That’s right, maybe it’s not the valiant effort that pushed certain athletes over the pinnacle rather it was their conditioned heart that helped them. Now please don’t mistake me when I generalize cardio, by thinking that all athletes should be running on the treadmill or riding a stationary bike or any other apparatus you can think of. I am saying that every athlete should take their conditioning, sport specific of course, very seriously; it can be the deciding factor at the right moment in their careers.
So let me digress for a moment. I’ve been privy to conversations with coaches in the past that have let me know that their teams’ failures are because of the lack of heart on the ice or pitch. Or recently a coach mentioned that someday he was going to try these exhaustive exercises he’s prescribed to his athletes and see how tough they really are! Well, one coach is running his athletes into the ground as punishment for losing and not having the hearts to win which contradicts the science behind recovery and in season maintenance training. While the other is throwing together exercises that he thinks might improve his athlete’s conditioning without forethought or even asking why? These are examples of people that should stick to the sport specific aspects they actually are really good at, such as drills and techniques for their particular sport, and let the professionals step in and teach the strength and conditioning factors involved in said sports.
There is one caveat though and I include myself in this boat, there are a lot of strength and conditioning coaches that lack the understanding of how to properly condition athletes in many sports. I add myself in here because there was a time early in my career as a strength coach I was trying to find my bearings and allowed certain influences dictate my philosophy on what conditioning truly should be. As time passed I realized that I took for granted what I’d learned in school and later realized that the basic pillars of understanding training in all of its aspects were right in front of me; energy systems! Sometimes we focus so much on the newest and latest that we forget the basics. Mike Robertson once said recently in his Physical Preparation podcast, “you have to learn Bompa before you learn Issurin.”
A truer statement could not have been said better. I learned the hard way that to truly better these athletes and improve my performance as a coach, I needed to go back to the basics. Therefore I needed to understand that if you want to condition your athletes to the best of your abilities, you need to:
1. Breakdown the sport they play
2. Breakdown their position
3. Breakdown their playing time
4. Finally; understand the energy systems involved in that sport
That’s correct, The most important factor is understanding the energy systems involved in that sport. Here is a question to most MMA coaches, and I don’t want to pick on you specifically, but I feel that this is an ongoing problem. To simplify, in MMA, you stand, kick, punch, grapple, and groundwork, correct? Then why in the world do you persist in training HIIT or circuits on a constant basis? MMA coaches, if your fighter loses, it’s not because he lacked heart. He might not even lack the skills needed, but he did lack the right conditioning (cardio). So, I guess, in this respect, he did lack heart.
I’m 45 years old and I’ve recently just walked back into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after a 4-month break and I’m positive that a 20-year-old kid off the street in shorts and a t-shirt will give me a run for my money on the mats just because my conditioning isn’t there. So when someone says to me, I got no heart, they’re correct, but give me a little time strength and conditioning, combined with BJJ practice, and the kid in shorts and a t-shirt better pack a lunch.
When confronted with the question, “was it heart or cardio?” I have to say yes, to both as they are synonymous. PED’s aside, you take two athletes competing for the same accolade, both in perfect conditions, perfect skill levels, in a perfect environment I might say the winner showed more heart or let’s call it will. The rest of us though, need to up our conditioning, but we need to train smart and understand our sport. Because if there’s one thing that truly sucks, is injuries and in most sports, this happens in lieu of bad conditioning coaching.
My friends, if you take your training seriously and would like advice on how to up your game, feel free to contact me; firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to help you get to the next level of your sport. Until next time;
Stay healthy my friends, and work that heart muscle!
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
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
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
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!
Oscar Wilde once wrote,”Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”
I stop think; what were the self image problems of that time in comparison to today to make such a bold statement?
As I scour the internet for a good article to read in relation to training, movement, and health I see a lot of “Laudanum” being sold everywhere I stop! That ever potent snake oil sold by a new age snake charmers and I think to myself; wait this isn’t the wild west! This isn’t the 19th century where alchemy competes with real medicine!
Nope, this is the the 21st century and yet the snake charmers of today aren’t much different, they’re self helpers with no back up proof trying to give you the the answer you want rather then the one you need.
The truth is the brands representing protein powders, fat burners, and any other ridiculous diet of the week limiting you to 800 Kcal/day, is not sold because there’s too many frauds in this world that are willing to sell you these products. NOOOO! It’s because there’s too many people willing to buy said products or services believing that there’s an easier way then training, eating right, and getting a great sleep!
It’s because there’s too many out there who are still looking for the ever elusive fountain of youth that’s filled with six packs and biceps; I don’t like mine so let me try that one on for size! Looking at this situation in our society, I’d say Oscar Wilde was on to something. I’d say whatever was going on in his world probably wasn’t too far from ours.
Looking back at my company and clients, it’s taken some of them a long time to realize after training for years with me that there’s more to reaching your goals then a bootcamp 2 or 3 times a week. There’s a discipline that follows the training;
1. there’s a good diet
2. portion control
3. breaking bad habits
4. creating good habits
5. sticking to your programs
five examples of factors involved in getting you closer to that fountain you see on the magazine racks at the grocery store, or trolling through the internet.
There’s words we cringe at in this millennial era; commitment, accountability, discipline… So on and so forth. But words we forgot were instilled in us through our parents. These aren’t words that we should run from, because these were values that were passed down to us to make us better reflections of ourselves.
At the end of the day I can’t look elsewhere for what I want, or what I want to look like. I have to dig deep within myself and venture the long hard path to achieve that holistic happiness we search for.
I run because I train for a race, I improve my cardiovascular endurance and burn a load of calories. I lift weights because I want strong muscles, tendons, ligaments, and core; so that I can stand tall and live healthy. I sleep like a bear so that I can continue training the way I do and recuperate faster. I eat with the intent of enjoying my meals, fuelling my workouts, feel healthy and at 42 keep the weight down as well. I don’t do this for any other reason, but ironically enough, the other reasons people look for just happen as well because I do these things.
I am myself, everyone else is taken…
Be happy with you, inspire others to be themselves, have a few beers on the way, and stay healthy my friends.
Ok so I have been a little quiet again, the holidays are around the bend and things are busy with my work in town and up north. I’ve got a trainer down, my little Chelsea May is still healing up, but I gained a new fellow Ron Luciuk who’s taken the reins quite nicely. Bill Stevenson is still plugging away downtown at the Chinese Cultural Centre trying to make it grow and I’ve been building the gym in our downstairs where I’ve been greeting our new youth athletes, 3 so far and slowly growing. If it keeps up I’ll have to leave my northern job!
On another note our website is going through some revamping for the new year, starting with us going back to www.cogofitness.com, and we’re working on getting a new online training platform which will allow training and all the quality and experience we bring without the monthly cost that goes with personal training.
We will be promoting our New Years Limited Offers as gift certificates for you and your friends to attract some new clients starting with our biggest referral yet. For all of our existing clients; bring a friend that signs up for 6months 3x/week, you each get the bootcamps for $120/month! That means we will discount your classes accordingly to match the $120/month for 6 months!!
Our January/February pricing for a 1 MONTH TRIAL is now $65 for all NEW members! come check out our Accelerated training Classes for 1 Month, and see how much you will enjoy us.
This is your opportunity to join a preprogrammed, progressive style of training that incorporates movement and core as the basis for SAFE equipment based training. We use barbells, bumper plates, Kettlebells, TRX, plyo-boxes, Dumb Bells, and much more!
Don’t be shy, today is the first day to be a better you. I hope to see you all soon, until then;
Stay healthy my friends…
Are you tough enough?
In the past I introduced this Blog with the Smart Principle; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. The truth is I’ve noticed with certain clients just want to jump in the water with both feet never testing it, never asking questions, never considering the consequences of what a hardcore attitude might do to your body or your mind. On the other hand I have those that want more than they’ve put in and start to wonder if the training is even worth it. As trainers this can become quite frustrating considering that we lay out guidelines, support, education, and the training. There’s an old African proverb that says, “Never test the depth of the water with both feet.” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007)
In Kouzes and Posner’s The Leadership Challenge it talks about experimenting and risk taking, but I’ll get to that in a moment. First I’d like to start by asking you that simple question, “How’s that new years resolution working out for you?” I’m guessing that there are a high percentage of you that have fell off the wagon, or have become too busy, or never really saw the results they assumed they would achieve in such a short period, and finally you’re just bored of the same routine since January. So back to Kouzes and Posner, where they state that to create a climate in which the norm is to experiment and take risks, it is essential for leaders to:
Generate small wins
Learn from experience
Generating small wins is an excellent way to begin tracking your performance and goals in your every day life, whether family, work, fitness, etc. Again, this is where SMART can come into play, and helping you refine those small wins; setting milestones is a small step-by-step process for progression. Unfortunately we live in a society that caters to the, “Go big or go home,” with that said 90% are sitting at home! Remember that achieving those small wins will result in success.
Learning from our experience is crucial to our mental toughness, our resilience to obstacles, and to our eventual success in any of our goals set. As humans we are programmed to learn from childhood on until the imminent. Unfortunately taking another shot at society, we often find ourselves being lazy and letting someone else take over the reigns; let them learn it, let them do it. Well now they’ve just become your boss, beat you in a race, or achieved their fitness goals before you! My question to you is, “will you quit because you were beaten? Will you quit because you never reached those goals?’ You have to ask yourself , did you learn anything? Are you mentally tough enough to persevere? Do you lack the fortitude to continue?” I say you are, I say you can learn to be; you are smarter and you can become tougher just by taking that small step forward you never did before. You can pick yourself up and continue, because it is instilled in us the will to live, to move, to run, to jump, to love; so what’s holding you back? You have a resolution to continue, one small win at a time. Track your progress people, you will have something to work for always.
Stay Healthy My Friends…
Simple Rules To Programming
Interesting isn’t it but with the inundation of workout fads, DVD’s, magazines, phone apps and philosophies it’s hard to understand why it’s still not a simple task for the general population to figure out a program. Ok so everyone wants the secret to the six pack, or those elusive wonderfully tight glutes, and even a pair of great biceps!
The reality is that in this article you will get a little of what COGO Fitness + Performance’ training philosophy is and for those that want a hand learning a little about how to program on your own. Before I start I want to dispel a few things that people constantly use in training and where we at COGO differ. Generally people like to train body parts where we prefer to train movement. People train core with crunches, sit ups or V-twists we prefer planks, anti-rotational cable work, or hip dominated med ball work as a few examples. The reason we stay away from specific body part training is because the human body doesn’t move in one plane rather many planes of motion. Also to add insult to injury (no pun intended) working one body part at a time generally causes imbalances in muscles and joints that lead to overuse injuries such as tendonitis, crepitus, impingements or joint ruptures.
Ok ladies and gentlemen, here are a few rules we use at COGO Fitness + Performance to program for you, but more so influenced by how a body moves, and the technique necessary for this movement:
1. Big muscles before small muscles, for example back, chest, or legs come before your biceps, triceps, or calves
2. Joint mobility/stability (depending on the joint), core stability and muscular strength and flexibility, which means full range of motion in all movements.
3. CORE, CORE, CORE, CORE and stop doing CRUNCHES!!!
4. Hip hinge movements such as squats, deadlifts, reverse lunges, etc.
5. Knee stability such as a split squat
6. Vertical push or pull such as shoulder press, single arm kettlebell press, pull ups, or different pull down variations.
7. Horizontal push and pull, like a bench press, or cable row
8. All upper body push/pull variations vertical or horizontal must be led with a scapular retraction or in layman terms, squeeze those shoulder blades low.
Well there you have it, turn some of those workouts into a superset, and you now know our secrets, or do you? the hard truth is there’s obviously more to this depending on mobility issues, sport specifics, or simply what your goals are that you want to achieve. In the mean time I hope that this might be a good start to learning how to program, rather than running your old high school program for the guys or being so confused in the gym that you run to the nearest Zumba class for the ladies. We at COGO Fitness want you to ask as many questions as you can because the more we teach the more education you’ll want; we don’t benefit from keeping secrets rather we benefit from sharing what we know. Remember that performance is for life and in the mean time;
Stay healthy my friends…