Do You Have a Big Enough Reason to Exercise?

add exercise to your calendar

The other day I sent a message to one of my clients who sees me every two weeks for a single session. I was checking in to see if he wanted to workout and offered him three times over three days. Here was our exchange:

Steve: I have to pass this week, sorry.

Me: No problem. Wherever you are do your best to get to the gym or do something active! :-)

Steve: I will try.

Me: Try? Hahaha. No, no… Calendarize it! :-)… 

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The Better Way to Squat

320px-Squats

When did you first learn to squat?

Do you remember your first visit to the gym? Did you follow instructions from a fitness magazine or a personal trainer?

Well guess what? You don’t know squat, Jack!

The truth is that you didn’t learn how to squat from a personal trainer, a YouTube video, or a glossy men’s health and fitness magazine.

You learned how to squat so long ago that you don’t remember — as soon as you started to walk you learned how to squat.

At the beginning you might’ve fallen down on your butt, but with a little bit of practice you figured it out on your own.

Just look at how a baby or a little kid squats all the way down, butt almost touching the ground (this is sometimes called the ‘rice-patty’ squat). They ‘sit’ naturally in a squat, knees out to the side to accommodate their balance…. 

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How to Defeat Analysis Paralysis — At the Gym and in Life

12well_physed-tmagArticle

One early Saturday morning I went into the club where I train my clients and had an interesting conversation with someone I’ve worked with at the gym. I asked Jena how her deadlifting was coming along, since I had taught her this lift a month earlier.

She said it wasn’t going that well so I asked what was going on. She said that she hasn’t been working out very much. Again, I asked why.

What she told me surprised me but it wasn’t anything I haven’t heard before. She said she would workout, but felt that she didn’t know what she was doing, whether she was doing the exercises correctly, and that she was ‘researching’ instead if training.

Jena was exhibiting a classic case of ‘analysis paralysis’.

This reminded me of a great article by James Clear called, “6 Truths About Exercise That Nobody Wants to Believe.”

One of the most important messages in the article is to prioritize volume before intensity when starting to train. You might be asking yourself, ‘What does this have to do with Jennifer’s situation?’

When you learn a new lift at the gym — let’s use the above example of the deadlift — you can’t be expected to lift very heavy in a highly technical lift until you have mastered the lift. In the beginning, it’s all about a lot of repetition at low weight to improve technique and your ability to manage heavier loads over time…. 

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Sweat Your Tabata Ass Off!

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Woke up feeling refreshed this morning. I took my dog, Buster, out for a short walk and to get a double espresso from one of my favourite coffee shops in the neighbourhood, Jet Fuel.Buster and espresso

We’ve been experiencing a ‘humidity-wave’ in Toronto this year, and on Monday the single largest rain fall in Toronto’s history caused major flooding, damage, a complete subway shut down and power outages.

Suffice to say, the heat and humidity suck my energy and willpower to workout. It was getting hotter and more humid by the minute and I was starting to drag, but I wasn’t going to bail – at least the gym is air-conditioned.

I was planning to deadlift this morning, but I could not face wearing knee-high socks and long pants (to protect the skin on my legs when the bar travels up my shins). The thought of that was making me sweat…. 

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How Do I Get Muscles Like That?

Back and shoulder muscles

One night after playing volleyball, I took off my shirt to change and one of my teammates pointed towards my shoulder and asked, “How do I get muscles like that?”

His question made me think. People will ask about things they want that they see in others, but they have no real desire to take action to get what they want themselves.

Back and shoulder musclesI could’ve answered my teammate in an unforgiving fashion, something like, ‘Do you lift weights? How many days a week do you work out? Do you eat five or more meals per day? Do you know how much protein to eat to build muscle? Do you know how to lift properly? Do you have a long-term strength training program? Do you even know what the muscle is that you’re pointing to is called? Have you ever hired a personal trainer?’ Instead, I answered him in a general way, saying there is no single answer and results comes from many habits practiced over a long period of time…. 

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