Barry doesn’t know that he can’t get on the couch.
This is Barry. 72 knee-high LB’s of wrecking ball fun. He’s that guy who’s everybody’s best friend; he breaks up fights at the dog park (does it all the time). If he was a person, he’d be that one guy who’d witness a total stranger get beat up at a kegger, help him up, and offer him a ride home with a pit stop at Taco Bell.
Unless you try to take his ball. Or you’re that min-pin that lives at the end of the block (hates that guy). Then he’s an unstoppable force of nature. Nothing but slobber and power. He also doesn’t think that he can get up on the couch. Not as in he’s not allowed to, he is allowed to with permission, he actually doesn’t think he can. Never mind that he’s actually done it repeatedly, effortlessly, when we’re in the middle of playing ball and the ball lands on the couch; then he’s Trinity in the Matrix.
Still when he’s actually thinking about it, he can’t. Because he doesn’t think he can. He’ll prop his front feet up and stare at you with those giant black saucer eyes (His other talent is making you feel guilty. Oh, and snoring.) and you have to help him up or it’s the end of the world.
I have this whole job where what I do, other than wear stretchy pants, all day is to convince people that they can do what they don’t think they can. You can do more than you think, I promise it’s in there. Get up on that couch! Wait, maybe that came out wrong….
Started listening to books on tape (I just realized how old “books on tape” makes me sound. I meant to say “audiobook”.) since I fall dead asleep if I try to read in the evening. Best sleeping pill ever. So I set myself up with an Audible account; because I want to learn stuff. Listening to the book “Outliers” while I do my back squats. Great book so far!
Anyhow, Malcolm Gladwell talks a lot about the “Primacy of Talent”, basically the idea of being born with talent as a barometer for success in life. He argues that this is largely a fallacy. I don’t know if that’s true or not, I’m only on chapter two; but what I can talk about is my personal experiences. In my career, I’ve gotten to manage trainers as well as clients. Like any other job, some were great, some were bad, some were very bad. Funny how we remember the exceptions best. I specifically remember the excellent as well as the bad ones more clearly.
I remember a couple of specific trainers that weren’t particularly good at training. They didn’t quite grasp providing service to another competently. Nice enough people; terrible trainers. They sucked at it, and as their manager, I ended up dealing with the dissatisfied clientele. That in and of itself wasn’t weird, or even uncommon. But what was uncommon was the fact that despite this, they were pretty successful trainers business-wise. They always met their sales goals despite constantly having to reload clients. Why? They were consistent in their practices. They constantly did their emails and phone calls and were always hustling on the gym floor; like they were running for office or something.
You might not feel like you’re particularly talented athletically. You might not know what hypertrophy means (I know a guy who can help you with that), and you may not know where to start. Here’s what you do. You show up. You come back. You come back again. You don’t skip. You get help. Do what a crappy-good trainer does, you become successful by faking it until you make it. You’ll get better at your lifts, you’ll get better at cardio, and you’ll get better at getting a sweaty sports bra off without dislocating your shoulder (I heard that’s a thing).
I’ve recently renamed my weekly “cheat meal” post to “Fitness Mouth.” Why you ask?
Well, I think it is short sighted to call it a ‘cheat’ meal. Its food, that’s all. I also think that we, as a society, are way too caught up in food and what it means.
We need to change the way we think about food.It is bad for your brain to think about food as a cheat or a reward or something we need to ‘restrict.’ If you eat in a way that makes you feel good - great. If you want to eat something that is not in your usual plan, that’s great too. We need to focus on our all-around well-being and not be so laser focused meal by meal.
Amelia Earhart (not the 9News lady, I'm sure she's nice) was often asked what she ate on her long trips. Many surmised that she must have had laid in tons of supplies. Nope. Her meals were fuel…simple stuff. Once she landed, she may have relished a fuller plate just as much as she enjoyed a shower or a good nights’ sleep. She used fuel for food, not for pleasure. I bet she never heard of a ‘cheat meal’ – it’s just not how she thought about food.
You literally cannot live without food. Yes, you will need to make sure you are consuming the right kinds of foods to reach your goals (I know a guy that can help you with that). The things you put in your mouth are (mostly) fuel. Some foods may taste good, but leave you feeling blah after eating. Bad fuel. Get more foods in your mouth that will make you feel good and give you energy. Good fuel. You need to fuel that big, beautiful body you’re hauling around. I promise you can make it taste good.
How many times have you heard yourself say: “I was good today I’m going to reward myself” or “I was so bad all weekend I’m only eating salad all week.” This methodology is wrong; and it can lead you down a very dark road of attaching your self-worth or the very existence of happiness to what you're eating. Do yourself a favor and do not take that path. It's dark, don't go there. You are what you eat, but that has nothing to do with your self-worth as a person.
You can’t use food as a reward or punishment. You're not a puppy. Although you're probably very cute as well. You need food to live, it's science, the indisputable kind. Imagine rewarding or punishing yourself with breathing. You need air to live, you can’t reward or punish yourself with it.
Remember, this is not an end goal, this is a lifestyle; as in your whole LIFE. There are so many amazing foods out there, so many amazing flavors and textures and smells. And what beats a great dinner with great friends? But it's called an "occasion"; as in occasionally. It has way more worth anyway when it's a mere occasion. Occasions don't ruin your diet, or your health. Except when that occasion becomes the norm. Then I must come and fix you.
What am it getting at? Glad you asked. I don't use the phrase "cheat meal". “Fitness Mouth” now refers to a meal I eat for the experience, to let my hair down, not necessarily my whole-body needs. Which is fine, but not a sustainable, day to day way to eat.
Food is fuel. Fitness Mouth is something different.
Let’s talk about it. Still not sure about what to put in your mouth? I’m here to help.
(no, these people are not sleeping.....)
Exercise is boring. The way I’ve seen most people do it. You’re killing me...
So, here’s the thing. You’ve got to be active in your exercise. Obviously physically active; although I’ve seen plenty that aren’t (that’s a whole different hilarious post). What I’m talking about is being mentally active. You’ve got to involve yourself mentally in the exercise.
How do you do that? Well, you must pay attention. Take a minute and get into your zone. I bet there are some workouts that fly by and seem effortless and others where you feel every step. I’m willing to bet that the ones that fly by are the ones where you’re not thinking about other stuff.
Let it go, Elsa. You’re not helping yourself by thinking of all the “other stuff.” Clear your mind and engage in what you’re doing.
Know what else helps? Stop dreading it. Exercise is good for you, enjoy it. Take advantage of the fact that this is the ONLY thing you should be doing for the next few minutes. Commit to this singular act and let it take over. I give you permission to like it.
And I give you permission to take pride in your taking care of yourself. Just don’t post about it non-stop. You’re not Yeezy.
I take yoga from time to time (I like to stretch while wearing expensive clothing). With pretty much every instructor I’ve had, they’ve always focused on being present in the practice. In what you’re doing at that moment. Where your hips are. Is your spine straight. What your breath is doing. Where your center is, etc. When I did track and field, my assorted coaches always talked about being active in the moment. Mostly by telling me to get my head out of my ass (always speak to your audience). I did hurdles, so it was especially critical. As it turns out, hurdles sometimes move.
How is that any different from your exercise routine? Droning on for an hour on autopilot IS boring. Get involved with what you’re doing. Think about how you feel that day; better or worse than the last workout? Are you sleepy? How is your posture? How is your body moving? Are you stressed from work? What is your body telling you?
You’re working on your body and your health, right? Get involved with it! I promise you a couple of things: 1. You’ll enjoy it more.
2. Most importantly, you’ll get much better results.
Need help helping yourself? I know a guy (and a lot of great yogis!) ...
One of my most favorite things about my job is that I get to meet people from every walk of life.
I love to observe the differences as well as the similarities of human behavior.
I’ve certainly learned a lot about life from these people that I am in service of. The thing that I’ve consistently observed is that sometimes people that have attained incredible success in other aspects of their lives: career, relational, financial, spiritual, etc., have struggled when it comes to their fitness goals. Why?
I’m going to get personal here for a minute. I’ve had some challenges in my own life. In my case financial (I’m a prodigy at everything else). I found myself feeling like I couldn’t get myself out of the hole I ended up in. At the height of my frustration, it occurred to me that I needed an outside point of view, accountability, and just some education.
I went online and found myself a financial coach. Not gonna get into details, but what struck me most was the parallels in the concepts. In my industry, we use what we call the FITT principles to define a fitness strategy. Frequency, Intensity, Time (duration), and Type. As my coach went over the concepts that would help me stabilize my financial ship, I realized the parallels in concepts to get to where I want to be. Different words, same meaning. She used words like Discipline, Consistency, Planning, Anticipation etc.; all the same concepts.
I don’t know about you (I DO know about you) but I have that instinct in the back of my head, whenever things get hard, to just say “F it” and ignore it. Tell yourself it’s not worth it. But you must ignore that voice and do the work. Easier said than done, right? I know.
So, if you find yourself having this instinct, or thinking you don’t know where to begin, you must swallow your pride and GET SOME HELP! If you have trouble with you career? Get some help! If you’re having trouble getting in shape, staying in shape or don’t know where to start; if you need Fitness Please! Turns out I know a guy.
In my 16 years of practice I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur in the art and science that is Excuse Making. The average adult pulls from years of experience and knowledge to come up with PhD level excuses; SARS, ISIS, OCD, ADD, IBS (OK, you might have something there), BMI, Ebola, Carpal Tunnel, or Kickball accident (I really got that one). If you’ve been off your fitness game there could be guilt, shame, sloth and a bunch of other yucky feelings surrounding that.
I’m here to tell you that there are very, very few reasons why you can’t work out and about a bajillion why you should be getting your Fitness Please! on the regular. I’ll run you through a few of my favorites excuses here. And then, for fun I want you to tell me the worst excuse you’ve ever given. I love them! I like to judge by content and creativity. Let’s hear ‘em!
I just don’t have the time...I’m so busy. These days we all claim to be overscheduled and overcommitted. You must make an active decision to include exercise as part of your day. Think of it this way, do you even think about whether you’re going to shower as part of your day? You don’t, you account for it as part of your day, right? I’m not talking about Sunday, or those of you who work home (I see you and we should talk about personal maintenance. Another time.) Do make time to hit the snooze button in the am? For happy hour? For The Bachelor (it’s 2017, hulu.com, c’mon man)?
You have to make time to exercise. And the first step is making it a higher priority, like your shower. You don’t even think about showering each day, it just gets done. It’s a higher priority. Need me to call you at 6 every morning and get you up? We can discuss that too. The perception is that you need to clear hours of time to make sure that you get some exercise in. The reality is that even if you’re crazy busy, you can fit in an effective workout in 20 mins. There are much more efficient (and enjoyable!) ways to reach your fitness goals than hamster-wheeling it at the elliptical with an US magazine. Have questions on how to do that? You’re in luck, I know a guy...
I can’t workout right now, I’ve got this bad back, knee, wrist, elbow, ingrown toenail, whatever. A few years ago, I went to a beer fest at a ski mountain. Got some great pow. ON MEMORIAL DAY. In shorts and a T-shirt. That day, I saw road biker, and a fly fisherman, and a golfer, and a jogger, and some girls in bikinis (that’s neither here nor there, but I saw them). I almost got choked up, I love my state! Point is this: Colorado is awesome. Almost everyone I know here does some sort of recreational activity; that also means almost everybody gets hurt doing said activity. Of course, then there’s the weekend warriors. I’ve bashed my head pruning tree trunks, sprained my shoulder laying pavestones, and had my knee rammed into by a 70 lb bulldog travelling at a high rate of speed (bulldog speed, but still).
We’ve all been hurt. I got you. I work in unison with some amazing chiropractors and physical therapists that can help get you back to fighting shape. Activity with care is what’s gonna fix those broken wings and teach you to fly again (love also helps, I hear). I’ve worked with plenty of folks who came to me less than 100% and they all came out better for it. Don’t put off what 99% of your body needs because 1% is in bad shape.
I want to get into better shape before I call a trainer. Ok, seriously. Can we be real for a second? This is crap and you know it. It’s like when you floss your teeth only before you see the dentist, or when you clean the house before the cleaning person comes. Why do we do that? Because we’re a bit embarrassed. Because you don’t want this person to see where things really are. Of course, you know they see right through this. So do I. That’s ok though. I truly understand where this is coming from.
There should never be shame or embarrassment with seeking help. I’m not here to judge you (unless you think sriracha is “hot” sauce). I’m here to help you, guide you, educate you. You go to the dentist because they can help you with your goal: A not-disgusting grill. You get help with cleaning your house because you got some brunching to do. A trainer is there to get you where you want to be: Putting on a gun show in front of your ex, putting on those jeans that didn’t quite fit but you keep anyway. That’s hope right there. Hope I can work with. Call me. Text me. Mostly text me, I’m busy. But call (text) me.
Your turn: Tell me a story. Tell me your best get-out-of-working-out story. I love this stuff.
“How much?” I’ve heard that question throughout my career. “How much is it gonna cost me?” It’s a perfectly rational question. It's a good one; here's another one:
Would you buy a car sight unseen based on the price?
Of course not, you'd (hopefully) want to know the number of doors and seats, the tire size, is the radio bumpin? Hundreds of questions to answer while figuring out if it's the right car for you. You want to know that it's the right match for you, based on your needs and goals. What is the value?
So, let's talk about value: There are many ways to reach your goals and many ways you may already be on your way. What are you needs, what are your goals? In my experience, I find that a lot of the time, people aren't sure what their goal may be. Most people settle for an arbitrary on-the-fly answer: "I want to be toned," "I want to lose 20 lbs,” etc. That's OK! That's why you're talking to me!
Here's the value you can expect from training with me:
See what I mean? It's a little more complicated than sessions and prices.
I will promise you this: if you are honest with me, I’ll be honest with you. Invest in your fitness and I’ll invest in helping you reach your goals.
But Steeeeeeve…. you still didn’t tell me how much….
You’re right. Training costs will vary based on your personal needs. It's called personal training. It’s that simple. Let’s start the conversation. And just for fun, let’s do some comparisons:
Everyone wants to look good, right? You might think nothing of dropping $30-$50 bucks to get your nails and toes done. What's a cut and color run these days? At the end of the month, what have you spent on grooming? $150/month? $250?
Maybe you like a good happy hour. Even the savviest of Happy Hour shoppers could spend at least $20 at a post-work mini binge (Please tell me where that is!). Throw in a nosh and a nice tip (because you’re a nice person) you could rack up around $100 each month. No problem.
How about your coffee habit? Gotta have the pour over or the nitro brew every day? That will cost you. And coffee ain’t cheap. Even picking up one a day and you could be in for well over $120 a month.
Now my question for you is…. What's it worth, your health? How many 2 for 1 wells, wines, and drafts are you willing to invest in your health?
Reach out, let's have a sit down and talk about it over a nitro brew maybe.
Hello fitness enthusiasts, and fitness NOT-enthusiasts,. I’m here to help.
I’ve been training in Denver for 16 years (!), working hard to make my clients feel good; I am as passionate as ever at bringing fitness to you. All you have to do is ask, a please also helps.
Over the years I’ve worked with all types of you. The you that was all fired up in the New Year; nice outfit! Only to fade out before you cut off the tags. The you that spent hundreds, no, thousands on supplements, equipment, and memberships. The you that never seems to have the time. The you that starts over again and again. And the you that can't seem to shake off that old injury. It’s okay. I’m with you - whichever you that is. I got your back. We’ll achieve together.
Let’s get back to basics. I want to bring you simple and easy ways to achieve fitness that fits into your busy day.
" Working out is like walking down the street naked; you're exposed to the world." - JB
One of my specialties (and favorite things to do) is to train people with disabilities or chronic conditions. It reminds me that all of our training, all fitness protocols deal in generalities. Everyone is different. Maybe not vastly different, but different, until we start cloning (next week's talk). Anyhow, one of the things about him is that he has a physical disability that affects his ability to stand among other things. So what do we work on? Standing, that's what. It can literally be life or death for him (Side Note: Shovel your walk jerks!); so standing up is what we do. Not squats. Not lunges. We work on standing up and sitting down, and standing up again (and biceps curls, because biceps, son). Everyday that we work on it is an entirely different experience. There are days that go well, and then there are the other days. You know what I'm talking about: The Other Days. The last time we worked on it was one of those. It can be very difficult to watch somebody struggle to do something that most of us take for granted. A thing we don't even think about, this man breaks into a cold sweat thinking about. As he struggled through his repetitions, he felt the need to apologize. "Sorry Steve, I can't get it today. This is probably getting really old, huh?" I said no, not at all. I said: "This is why we practice here. The gym is safe; it's a lab setting. You have a brace on the wall, you have a soft landing, you have traction, you have me, we're supposed to look like an idiot here, so we get it right in the real world (I speak in run on sentences or not at all).
Note: At the bottom I've attached a like to a Ted Talk about knowing your own body's data. How you are different can be profound.
Glute up (that's a verb now)
A comment I hear a lot when I'm training is: "I look stupid doing this", or "I feel like people are watching me". Couple of things: 1. The point of the gym isn't to look cool (that's my job), it's to better yourself, right? The very definition of irony is that the best way to look idiotic in the gym is by trying to look cool. Look silly getting that exercise face on in the gym so that you don't look silly on the beach or when you're finishing up that half marathon. That is what the gym is for. Not gonna lie, walking around the gym side stepping or lunging does indeed look silly (and I know better ways to glute up, ask me). Zumba...even the word is silly, and you wear special pants that make you look like you went to Brazil this one time. Silly, but it gets people in the gym working harder than they would reading an Us magazine on the elliptical. 2. Most typically the ones that are watching most are the ones that are trying to figure out what to do, and does that glute me up? Do the best you can looking like an idiot and get those Glutes Up (I'm trademarking that).
Take care of yourselves (and each other), talk to you soon.
I’m So Glad The Football is Over...
Why? I can’t do anymore wings and beer! Seriously, it’s the only time I eat that combination (mostly the wings part, because beer is a love affair), and for good reason. Every Sunday during football season, my colon gets jacked up (Jacked up for your Denver Broncos!). But now it’s over and I can finally let my colon take it’s regular, non-inflamed state. I’ve been reading a lot lately about Intermittent Fasting; which basically means that you eat within a defined window within a 24 hour day. As in, 8 hours a/day from 10am to 6pm. There appear to be a multitude of reasons for doing so. Weight loss, increasing your metabolic rate, fat specific breakdown, and maybe even the mitigation of cancer among others.
I think of genius things at brunch...
Over brunch the SLF and I decided to lab rat ourselves to see if we could resist murdering each other over that time (so far just one biting incident; flesh wound). So to see what it’s all about the SLF and I decided to try a 16 hour fasting routine through for 30 days.
Hungry gives you weird dreams..
So we’re about a week in. The biggest thing about the process is that you definitely have to do some planning. For my part, I found myself running out of time to eat; (My clients typically hate it when I’m mowing down a Hot Pocket in the middle of their HIIT session) so I definitely found myself short of calories the first couple of days, so I went hungry the first couple of days. Not dying or anything, I tried that once, right after college (another time for that story); but, I slept like the dead. If the dead had really weird dreams. SLF also reported really weird dreams the first couple of days, and we both had minor headaches, but probably from abandoning the morning coffee ritual. But so far, it’s not bad, and the first observation is that it makes you eat purposefully, mindfully; as opposed to eating absent mindedly, or without purpose (a fatal mistake if you’re trying to manage your weight). Since you have a limited time to eat and it’s typically within your working hours, you definitely have to redefine what it is that you’re going to eat. It’s actually a little more fun because if you only have a few hours to eat you have to make it count (i.e., garden salad ain’t gonna get there). It definitely took this first week to get a routine going, but I think we have a good thing going. I’ll keep updating with our progress. You should join us!
Be mindful with us...
I tell people that maintaining a diet is a lot like managing your checkbook (if you still had a checkbook). If you don’t pay attention, you can Starbucks Venti Triple Mocha your way right out of cash. The same is true of your skinny jeans, you’ll Starbucks yourself right out of them. You don’t have to get extravagant necessarily with what you’re including and not including (you do have to be reasonable, though), however, the best and easiest thing you can do is to pay attention. Do you need help in being mindful with your diet? You should join us in our experiment. I’m here to help, free of charge even! If you’re interested, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll happily help you set some goals, help answer questions, and even do some complimentary measurements to help you get on your way to your best you. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!