Want to know my honest opinion? Going through the process of losing weight SUCKS! I believe it is one of the hardest things you can do in your lifetime, and most people are not prepared for the challenge. It’s not because you lack information — it’s because you are waiting for someone to tell you how to do it. But you already know.
Just think about all the diet and exercise books that come out each year; each promises you a new solution to weight loss. I’m not saying these books have nothing to offer, but most of us already know the answer to the problem: eat healthier and move your body!
I don’t mean to be dismissive of how hard it is to lose weight. I speak from experience — weight loss is the number one reason I entered the health and wellness industry nine years ago. I have lost 50 pounds twice in my life, first in 1995, then in 2005. Currently, as a model for Scout SF, it is still challenging for me to maintain.
Losing weight is more instinctual than scientific, and you already know what to do. But here are my top five truths to follow to lose weight and keep it off. I truly believe that if you follow these recommendations you too will be successful. Take one day at a time, and they will turn into weeks, then months. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.
We’re not counting calories so much as we are creating awareness. It is laborious and takes brutal honesty, but it is highly effective. And, you must do it for at least a week. Not just the things that are healthy, but everything you put in your mouth.
Avoid alcoholic beverages like the plague. Secondly, eliminate foods high in sugar. Lastly, no fast food. Notice I didn’t tell you what to eat. I believe most of us already know and just won’t comply. Trust your instincts. You already know what’s healthy and what’s not.
See a personal trainer. Don’t trust your instincts in this area. Professionals know best!
Please be aware that weight loss is EXTREMELY demanding with plenty of ebbs and flows along the way. What is your WHY? And how much does losing weight REALLY mean to you? If you aren’t mentally tough, and aren’t willing to become mentally tough, you will fail.
7-8 hours per night. Period. No shortcuts here.
My core belief around weight loss is that anyone can do it.
Yes, I truly believe anyone can lose weight and get the body they desire. Will it be challenging? Of course. Will you want to quit? More than likely. Can it be done? Absolutely! If you believe in yourself — and COMPLY!
When most of us think about the words “strength training,” we envision an exercise being done with resistance, like dumbbells or barbells. Squats and shoulder presses are examples. In the fitness community, we call exercises like these that are done with an external load “absolute exercises.”
On the contrary, “relative strength” training is training that uses one’s bodyweight only. You might think of push-ups and sit-ups as examples of relative strength training. And like most absolute exercises they tend to put the body in more linear positions.
Now while I use both methods of training to support your goals, I feel that both methods don’t allow enough multiplanar movement. Multiplanar movements are more cylindrical in nature and involve twisting and turning like ballet.
And the best way that I have found to accomplish this sort of training outside of sports like baseball, basketball and football is called, “Animal Flow.”
Animal Flow is ground based, bodyweight training that includes reactionary components like vision and audio. If you have ever done a bear crawl or crab walk you have done Animal Flow. But what you might not have realized is these are not the only “animal” movements out there.
Check out the video below of me calling out a “flow” to a client. Pay attention to how she must look, listen and be totally “present” to execute the moves. And how her body moves in circles more so than straight lines. Now imagine doing this for an hour. It’s harder than it looks! Enjoy the 1-minute video!
In today’s fitness industry, I find that there are far too many ultracrepidarians. An ultracrepidarian is a person who gives his/her opinion or advice on matters outside one’s knowledge or competence.
Now before you go judging these practitioners, ask yourself if you have ever given advice in an area that you weren’t competent? Chances are you have. Same for me – it’s a natural tendency for many of us.
But this can be an extremely dangerous for a personal trainer or anyone in the health and wellness industry. Provide the wrong advice and someone could end up hurt or injured.
That’s why I push myself to read voraciously and attend conferences frequently. I want to give you researched information on a variety of topics that you can trust.
Case in point-my new love affair with breathing. Not a sexy topic on the surface, but when you start to “go down the rabbit holes,” you begin to look at the movement much differently.
For starters, our connection to the present moment begins with breathing. It is a “movement” that is done 18k-22k times per day and doing it properly can lead to greater stability, mobility and strength.
So, there you have it. Breathe better and gain greater satisfaction in your life. Understand better and make a difference in the lives of others.
Thanks for reading, and please send any questions you have my way.
P.S. If you would like to learn more about breathing, purchase Practical Solutions for Back Pain by Dana Santas. I have worked with her personally and use several of the techniques in her book in my practice.
The beginning of the new year has been somewhat traumatizing for me. I am suffering from jolts of electricity shooting up my spine at a moment’s notice. My chiropractor believes it is a result of my pelvis and neck being out of alignment. And, as a result, I have not worked in over 2 weeks. Not the way I wanted to begin 2019.
I have been anxious, sad and disappointed in not getting off to the running start that I had envisioned for the new year. I was somewhat relieved when a close family member came to visit from Virginia, but the visit was not enough to completely take my mind off the helplessness I had been experiencing as of late.
And, it wasn’t until this morning (I am writing this blog on 1/9) that I used the words “really scary” to describe my discomfort to my wife. She immediately lifted her head and replied, “I had no idea that you were feeling this way.” Wow! I thought for sure she knew how devastating this experience has been for me.
This conversation caused me to reflect on my behavior and come to grips with what I had recently learned about vulnerability from Brene Brown author of “Daring Greatly.” Brown succinctly describes my attitude and that of many others as, “I want to experience your vulnerability, but I don’t want to be vulnerable.”
How is my wife or anyone else going to fully understand me if I am unwilling to be vulnerable? Below are 5 ways to be more vulnerable in 2019 so that you can connect better with family, friends, and co-workers.
- Get over shame. You are not your failures.
- Get over scarcity. You are enough.
- Get over perfectionism. You are going to make mistakes.
- Get over judgement. You are exacerbating disconnection.
- Get over comparisons. Your uniqueness is powerful.
Last, I offer the most powerful sentiment Brown shared in the book. The quote is a conclusion that Brown came to with the help of her husband after watching Ellen DeGeneres act silly and goofy while dancing on her hit TV show. And that is, “you can be loved for your vulnerabilities, not in spite of them.”
What my new title, Master Trainer, means for YOU!
After nearly eight years in the health and fitness industry, I earned the title of Master Trainer by National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) on August 26, 2018. I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment and I want to thank you for allowing me to work with you. If it weren’t for people like you I wouldn’t have made it this far. I have put more time, energy and effort into this career than ever before and have loved every minute of it.
When I ask myself “why” I decided to become a Master Trainer, two things come to mind: One, I take my job seriously. And, two, improving the quality of life of another human being through strength and conditioning is no small task. I must be able to apply my knowledge of the human body and exercise science in a unique manner for every individual I train.
So, what does all this mean for you? How is it going to improve your training sessions, and make your overall life better? First, your sessions are going to be more personalized. I combine everyone’s physiological factors (age, RHR, blood pressure, body fat %, activity level, past injuries, etc.) with a program that complements your current state of health. Being able to design a unique program is an arduous undertaking and one of the biggest challenges facing trainers. It requires years of study and plenty of practice. But it makes all the difference in the safety and results that you receive.
Along with improved personalization, your programs are even more efficient than before. Workouts are not just flung together. Exercise selection, sequence, intensity and tempo are some of the variables a trainer must consider. Not to mention factors such as exercise mode and spacing. I put a great deal of thought into all these things to design the best workout for you.
The best part of becoming a Master Trainer was having a Grand Master shadow me during a training session. This process taught me how to write a more effective program for a client. I can’t tell you how helpful (and intimidating) it was to have my work critiqued in this manner. While online testing and video allow for corrective feedback, these methods are inferior to hands-on training and real time feedback with a mentor who can expound on a topic to assure accuracy. It allowed me to see my blind spots and move past them much faster. And because of this training, I am more effective and the programs I write for you are more effective.
To be a successful (Master) trainer, who creates masterful programs, it is important to practice every day and never stop learning. Passion for ongoing education and passion for the success of my clients in turn guarantees my own success. Here’s to our continued success together and thank you for your dedication to the healthiest life possible!
Yes! 50-75 years olds are athletes. They are fitness athletes, lifestyle athletes, and competitive athletes. I train some of these amazing athletes in the Bay Area and have been doing so for the past eight years. Would you like to see these athletes in action AND do you know the 5 Mistakes The Best 50-75-Year-Old Athletes Never Make?
Meet Lloyd. Lloyd is 71 years of age, Chairman of the Board of a local bank that recently went “public” on the NASDAQ exchange, and one hell of an athlete. In addition to being able to jump rope with the best of them, Lloyd can complete 10, 3-min rounds of “mitt work” with only one minute of rest in between!
And it’s not a gender thing either.
Meet Kathy. Kathy is a 69-year-old retired female executive who drives a half hour each way to the gym and has been doing so for nearly 20 years. She recently enlisted my services to “hit the mitts,” and was totally shocked by her stellar performance. I on the other hand, was not. You see, this same woman can do 27” box jumps!
Watch Kathy crush this box jump:
Here are those 5 Mistakes that Lloyd, Kathy, and other 50-75-Year-Old Athletes Never Make…
- They Don’t Go to the Gym Alone—“Hire a coach. Olympic athletes at the top of their games have coaches….do everything you can think of to find the perfect coach and trust when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” -Jen Sincero, You Are A Badass At Making Money
- They Don’t Put Goals over Values—”Values are desired qualities of ongoing action…values describe how you want to behave as a human being…Goals are desired outcomes…what you want to get, complete, possess or achieve.” –Russ Harris, The Confidence Gap
- They Don’t Compare Themselves to Others— “It’s none of your business what other people are doing. All that matters is that you’re enjoying yourself and pleased with what you’re creating.” -Jen Sincero, You Are A Badass
- They Are Not Passive Observers—“Live in the active voice. Write the script of your own life, and in doing so, you will have greater impact on the world around you…have a do something mindset.” –Tom Kelley and David Kelley, Creative Confidence
- They Don’t Quit—”Talent is how quickly your skills improve when you invest effort. Achievement is what happens when you take your acquired skills and use them.” –Angela Duckworth, Grit
Now is the time for action! Age is really just a number. Are you 50-75 years of age and want to learn the proper way to train yourself like an athlete? If so, give me a call (510-381-0240) to book your free consultation and let’s avoid Mistake #1 – Don’t Go To The Gym Alone!
Let’s face it; we are not spring-chickens anymore. We should spend more time using physio balls and foam rollers to aid in recovery after a workout. And before our workouts, we should warm-up our muscle joints and tendons properly. However, we are typically anxious to get to the strength and conditioning part of the workout session.
Today we are going to discuss the warm-up portion called the dynamic warm up. Many of the moves look similar to the exercises we do in the strength portion of the workout, albeit, with a load (kettlebell, dumbbell, barbell).
A “dynamic” warm-up consists of “moving” while stretching your muscles and not sitting or standing in one place. Dynamically warming up means that we get a chance to develop better coordination, core strength and integrated movement between upper and lower body. Dynamic stretching requires movement without compensation through all three planes of motion.
This warm-up allows me to get an overall impression of a clients’ functional status. And, being a “functional” (purposeful) trainer, this means more to me.
A “static” warm-up is the opposite. You are stretching, but not moving. Standing or seated toe touching is a classic example of a static stretch. Research now indicates this type of stretching is best suited for the end of the training session.
#1 – Do any of the movements cause you pain? If so, send me a message and I will help you improve your efficiency. (Never continue to do an exercise that causes you pain. There is always a workaround for that movement.)
#2 – Are you able to perform all the exercise with a full range of motion? If not, what’s keeping you from doing so? Do you feel tight in certain areas of your body? Send me a message and I will advise you on how to loosen up that muscle.
#3 – Were you able to perform every movement without resting? It’s ok if you can’t because at least you know you are working at or near your cardiovascular threshold. As time goes by, keep track of how many you can complete without rest. This helps you gauge cardiovascular improvement.
Watch the best video I have ever been involved in to see a magnificent display of grace, athleticism and coordinated movement by one of my favorite clients, Erin C.
As Promised… Here Are Your Upper Body Self Myofascial Release Exercises.
As we discussed in our previous blog, fascia is the term used to describe all of the soft tissue found throughout the body that keeps our bodies together. Last time we foam rolled the fascia of your lower extremities and this time we will focus on foam rolling your upper body, in less than 10 minutes. Check out the videos below.
LATS ( Latissimus Dorsi) – Self Myofascial Release – The largest muscle of the upper body is the “latissimus dorsi” or “lats” for short. This slanted muscle originates along the spine from the mid back and goes all the way down to the iliac crest (highest point of your pelvis.) It inserts just underneath your shoulders. A thin, yet powerful muscle used extensively for swimming, pull ups and seated pull downs.
Watch Preston demonstrate this LAT rolling exercise: CLICK HERE
T-SPINE (Thoracic Spine) – Self Myofascial Release – The “T-spine” is the region of your spine that begins just below your neck and continues until reaching the beginning of your lower back. Known for rotating the trunk, the “T-spine” is the most mobile area of your back and consists of twelve vertebrae. The vertebrae increase in size as you go down the spine. These vertebrae help house the spinal cord and are known as “kyphotic” because they curve outward.
LUMBAR ( Lumbar Spine) – Self Myofascial Release – The lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae in the lower back that sit on top of the sacrum. They don’t allow for as much movement as the thoracic spine because they must withstand a lot of pressure from our bodyweight and heavy lifting and carrying. This area of your back curves slightly inward and is referred to as “lordotic.”
Watch Preston demonstrate this Lumbar Spine rolling exercise: CLICK HERE
PECS ( Pectoralis Major) – Self Myofascial Release – Originating on the clavicle and sternum, the “pecs” flex, adduct and medially rotate the arm. They are most commonly thought of when pushing or doing a bench press. The pecs are being discussed in this article because when we medially rotate the arms to type while seated at our desk or standing on a mobile phone, these muscles shorten and get tight.
Watch Preston demonstrate this Lumbar Spine rolling exercise: CLICK HERE
Contact me to discuss a personalized foam rolling program or schedule a free personal training session. Send an email to email@example.com or call 510-381-0240.
Have great day!
Got Fascia? Of course, you do and so does everyone else in the world…
Fascia is the term used to describe all of the soft tissue found throughout the body. It includes ligaments and tendons and is wrapped around every bone, muscle, organ, nerve, vein and artery in the body. Because of fascia’s closely-knit interaction throughout our bodies from head to toe, it is considered our most perceptual organ. It literally keeps our bodies together. Learn how to properly “foam roll” the lower extremities fascia in less than 10 minutes by watching the videos below. And don’t forget that proper nutrition, hydration, posture, exercise, and stretching are also important to fascial health.
FEET – Self Myofascial Release – Known as “plantar” fascia, this long sheath of tissue located from the bottom of the heel to the metatarsals is the first area of the body you should foam roll. We are ground based animals, bipeds, and we place a tremendous amount of stress on our feet. Therefore, it is paramount that we take care of them. Purchase a lacrosse ball to prevent your feet from becoming sore and roll them daily. Roll the ball slowly between your first and second toe all the way down to your heel. And then do the same between the second and third, etc.
Watch Preston demonstrate this foot rolling exercise: CLICK HERE
CALF MUSCLES – Self Myofascial Release – The second most important area to release tension in is the calf muscles. This is especially true for business professionals. Why? Because most business professionals wear shoes with a heel, men included. Heels elevate the foot off the floor which contracts or draws the calf muscle closer together which causes tension. This tension must be released. In doing so you will prevent injury, run more efficiently and squat better. You should use a foam roller to do so. My favorite is the “proper foam roller.” You can buy it here.
Watch Preston demonstrate this calf muscle rolling exercise: CLICK HERE
LATERAL THIGH MUSCLES – Self Myofascial Release – TFL or Tensor Fascia Latae is located in the same place as the change pocket in a pair of Levi’s. The muscle works synergistically with the glute medius and glute minimus (butt muscles) to adduct and medially rotate the femur. Adduction occurs when you do things like jumping jacks or a warrior pose. And medial rotation is synonymous with pigeon toed. Use your foam roller on both areas for 30 seconds each. Roll slowly and repeat 2-3 times. The IT Band is going to be rolled simultaneously with the TFL. And it too should be rolled for 30 second intervals 2-3 times.
Watch Preston demonstrate this lateral thigh Muscles rolling exercise: CLICK HERE
INNER THIGH MUSCLES – Self Myofascial Release – There’s even a group of muscles referred to as Adductors. I won’t go into the individual names here, but just remember they are responsible for the same movement as the TFL, adduction. You will need to turn your roller vertically to roll this region of the body. Start at the inside of your knee or VMO and roll slowly. If you’ve ever seen someone with very defined thigh or quadruped muscles you probably noticed what looks like a tear drop on the inside of their knee. This is the VMO. Start here and roll slowly to the midline of your body gently massaging the groin muscles.
Watch Preston demonstrate this inner thigh rolling exercise: CLICK HERE
We hope you enjoyed learning about these lower body self myofascial release exercises. Stay tuned in (aka stay subscribed) and we will send you follow up information about upper body self myofascial release exercises.