Trainer Tells All Parts 1 and 2

I was cleaning out my email this morning and came across this piece from 2010. I thought it was still pretty valid and although I don’t recall the source, I could have written most of it since it’s all things I too have learned.

Enjoy!

Part 1:

 

I was riding my mountain bike yesterday and all of the sudden it just came to me. I just started thinking about how many things I’ve learned through my own personal working out (since I was a kid and playing competitive sports) as well as being a trainer (since 1998). So today I just wanted to share some of the things this 36yr old has personally learned about all things health and fitness….in no certain order….

  • Pushups are the best upper body workout designed….no machine can replace that…you don’t need any equipment and you can do them anywhere.
  • It’s easy to become a certified trainer (as I have seen overweight people become certified)….it’s not easy to work as one full time (hence a high turnover rate in many clubs)
  • Diet is 85% of where results come from…..for muscle and fat loss. Many don’t focus here enough.
  • Working out too much doesn’t lead to good results….hence most people are still struggling after years of hard effort and little return.
  • Most people do not lift heavy enough to make stronger muscles.
  • It’s never too late to build muscle….and is more important as we grow older.
  • The only real cure is prevention….don’t get sick in the first place otherwise you may be in for a long road back to health
  • If you eat whole foods that have been around for 1000s of years, you probably don’t have to worry about counting calories
  • Sugar is not our friend
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup is making people fat and sick
  • The biggest 2 threats to our health are inflammation (silent and chronic) and insulin resistance
  • Our dependence on gyms to workout may be keeping people fat….as walking down a street and pushups in your home are free everyday…but people are not seeing it that way.
  • If I had to pick one sport for a child to start with it would be gymnastics, the strength/speed/balance/body control they will learn can be applied to any sport down the road.
  • I hate to jog….I love to run
  • Never listen to any advertising telling you what is healthy….as they are just trying to sell you something
  • There is no such thing as spot reduction…but there is a great business in selling that concept (Ab-reclining chair anyone?)
  • The fittest people I know keep active daily doing what they enjoy
  • Fitness and Muscle magazines never got me any real results
  • Supplements were are waste of a lot of money for me
  • The best performance enhancing thing I know of….is a cup of coffee 30min before a workout/playing sports.
  • To build muscle, throw away your Whey protein and eat more steak and eggs
  • More people are taking muscle building hormones than will ever admit to you
  • The best way to lose weight for most is lower carbohydrate eating/cycling
  • I was skipping breakfast long before I ever found out about intermittent fasting (IF)
  • It’s a lot easier to stay fit and strong….once you get there
  • Meat and Fat are my friends
  • Muscle size does not tell a person’s real strength
  • Muscle size is mostly glycogen and water
  • Whole foods can never be replaced by a multi-vitamin
  • Most people need some Fish Oil to control inflammation
  • Many brain functions may be vastly improved with a diet of no sugar/higher fats (esp DHA from fish/fish oil)
  • Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day
  • Eating 6x a day provides no metabolic advantage for losing weight than 2-3x a day…it’s still about calories and blood sugar/insulin control
  • Mainstream media is 5 years behind research studies….research studies are 10 years behind what people are already doing for health and results
  • The eat low-fat advice was the biggest health disaster in the last 30 years
  • The greatest learning experience was helping people with autoimmune/arthritis to get healthier…..I never got more appreciation for my own health and how important prevention really is.
  • The saddest thing to see is someone crippled by a potentially preventable disease while they are young which keeps them from doing simple daily activities and on multiple medications
  • I was 215 lbs in college and thought I was big and had muscles….now at a much leaner and defined 185lbs I know I was more fat than muscles back then
  • I can still keep up with the 21 yr old hockey players…..I just am a little more sore the next day now….
  • Mountain biking is fun….snapping off my derailer and making it a single speed is even more fun
  • The smartest trainer I know does not have a website or best selling ebook….as he is too busy training real clients
  • Apple Cider Vinegar is the only medicine I take if I feel sick
  • I can go up and down up to 10lbs in a week depending on glycogen and water balance
  • The first big amount of lbs you lose in the first week dieting is mostly water
  • If you want to get better at running….you run…..at biking…you bike…….at a sport…you play that sport
  • I know a professional athlete making millions and a star on his team…yet he can’t do a pullup…but he doesn’t need to
  • There is no one right way for anything…..as 20 different ways can get you results…
  • 80/20 rule is so true…..80% of your results come from just 20% of the exercises, 20% of the food in supermarkets, and spending 20% of your time working out.
  • Results are just the simple yet important things done on a consistent basis
  • Losing more than 2lbs a week is probably not all fat
  • Gaining more than 2lbs a week is probably not all muscle
  • All diets fail over the long run….but lifestyle changes last
  • All diets books are saying the same thing in general…they just make a new way to present it
  • Bill Phillips was a marketing genius
  • There is nothing new in health and fitness…..just ideas that resurface that are long forgotten
  • Fads are created to sell more specialized equipment/gear, lifting/throwing something heavy and running fast has been around for 100s of years and still works
  • Want a strong “core”? Lift something heavy over your head and walk around trying to stabilize it…the motivation to not drop it on your head will work wonders
  • There should be a law against selling any dumbbells less than 5lbs….or ones in neon colors
  • If your trainer can not get you to lose weight, fire him/her. You are not paying for his/her company or excuses….go find someone who can deliver or knows how to get results
  • Squatting to parallel will only give you weak hamstrings and lead to more knee issues….you should be able to go down like you were going to pick something off the ground….as that is the reason our bodies were designed to squat
  • The best thing anyone can do for their health/results is to just try new things…see how their body adapts and responds…and learn how to take total control no matter life may throw at them in the future
  • Blogging is more effort than I would ever imagine….but I enjoy sharing what I know
  • If you like what I write…the best thing you can do is help spread the word…so others can start improving their health and fitness too

 

Part 2:

 

So in no particular order, here are some more thoughts…as the trainer tells “more”. Hope you enjoy as much as my first article from long ago!

  • Here’s the secret to lasting weight loss…find an enjoyable way to eat less (without feeling deprived and giving up) and move more. Done. Send your check to…..
  • Anyone who tells you that their/some way is the “only” way, is already wrong.
  • Most out there really suffer from “paralysis by analysis”.
  • There are 100s of forums filled with millions of people who are mostly just debating weight loss and muscle gaining, while there are people who don’t even have a computer getting real results.
  • I’m happier now living a more flexible/enjoyable lifestyle at a leaner 185lbs than I was trying to maintain my 215lbs in college.
  • There is more to life than going to the gym and tanning.
  • If you want better food choices at restaurants and the supermarket, stop supporting crappy ones. Vote with your fork (and wallet). Companies will give people what they want if the masses demand it (as that is their business model).
  • P90x workouts are probably fun and motivating…although most people I know don’t want to spend an hour doing a workout 5x/wk…so they just let their DVDs collect dust.
  • Many people I know with fantastic physiques also have low self-esteem and depression issues (as they are too tied to what they look like for happiness, and nothing is ever good enough).
  • I like to keep life simple, and try to eat “real food” most of the time….and not worry about being perfect.
  • If you are not happy with yourself right now, getting more muscle or a leaner body will not solve it (although nothing wrong with wanting to look good, just don’t obsess over it as see the previous bullet point above).
  • I still get a chuckle when exercise companies send me 150+ page catalogs filled with the latest and greatest training tools (why do we need all this?).
  • If you think you need to be HUUUGE to act tough, remember Bruce Lee at 145lbs could whoop most anyone’s butt over 200lbs.
  • Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, don’t allow your happiness to be based on the judgment of your own cover
  • Science and research seems to prove 2 things on a consistent basis, what my grandma already knew is true and we really don’t know much about how the body works.
  • Why is spanking a child considered abuse, but letting them become overweight and sick is not?
  • When did kids get to eat what they wanted all the time? When I was a kid I was not crazy about eating pork chops and veggies, but the other option of going to bed hungry was not a good choice either!
  • The fact that kids need “planned activities” to get out of the house is sad, as back in the day we just rode our bikes around the neighborhood until the street lights came on.
  • Kids and grown ups don’t want to “work out”, but they both want to go out and “play”.
  • Getting very close to 40, I only really am concerned about being able to lift things and move my own body without injury….not going to worry about exercises to isolate my calf muscles.
  • There is no profit in getting people healthy and keeping them that way without prescription medications or diet books/pills.
  • All so-called “public service messages” based on fear marketing of something from drug companies (you may have xyz disease!) are just fancy sales pitches for you getting treated with their meds…and it is working.
  • It is amazing when you decide to take care of yourself and not depend on anyone else, how easy and rewarding it is.
  • The real calorie difference between walking and jogging a mile, is about 30-40 calories/mile. If you run 5 miles a day but eat 10 miles worth after, what good is that?
  • So many people want to make dieting and fitness an “all or nothing” full time focus, no wonder so many people burn out.
  • If I can train at home and get results with only using bodyweight and resistance bands, you don’t have an excuse.
  • I canceled my gym membership again, because I’d rather go play outside.
  • I canceled my gym membership again, because I needed the personal reminder that eating is where most of my results come from.
  • I canceled my gym membership again, because exercise can happen anywhere.
  • I canceled my gym membership again, because walking on a treadmill watching TVs on all different 24hr news channels was not relaxing at all…and more stressful.
  • Do pushups (and/or pullups) during every commercial break watching TV, Hershel Walker did growing up.
  • Less is more, hence why I have deleted most of my internet explorer bookmarks and RSS subscriptions.
  • Knowledge without action is useless.
  • I’ll never buy another running shoe ever, and will never need an ITB or knee brace either.
  • I’ve read about as much as I care to about exercise and fitness, I get it. Time to explore other passions in life.
  • I knew a trainer friend who was 225lbs ripped walking around daily. Then had gallbladder/liver issues. After 4 weeks he was shrunken down to about 180lbs and wasn’t eating much. Once he felt better, he was back up to 225lbs again in another 4 weeks. Just saying, appearances don’t tell everything.
  • I suggest getting Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” simple little book as a fun daily reminder of what to eat.
  • I don’t like labels on how I eat (low-carb, Paleo, etc), as I change it daily depending on how I feel and recovery needs. I am in full control of my choices daily….and never tied to just any one way.
  • People who exercise can enjoy their vices.
  • People who flex in the mirror at the gym in my opinion probably really just need a hug.
  • If you still need to count calories, you are probably not eating the right foods in the first place.
  • Yes I could train someone on a “Bowflex” to get results with the right eating and workout, it is not that hard.
  • Because I can’t say it enough without people saying how wrong I am…eating more meals during a day does NOT speed up your metabolism. Sorry, just relaying the facts as I see them.
  • Exercise (especially glycolitic/resistance training based) is key to “lasting” weight loss success, and doesn’t have to be excessive either.
  • I’ll give you my strategy in life….sleep, eat light, workout, eat what I want, sleep, fast, eat less than the day before, sleep and repeat. Mix in some fun lifestyle activities and not stressing about stuff and you have a pretty good plan in my book.
  • I bet if we burned all the diet books out there, people may be able to start to really think for themselves and get results.
  • Learning how to eat is a lifestyle endeavor, as our bodies and needs change as we go…and so we must know how to adapt.
  • I’m going to make myself a dip/inverted row stand for commercial breaks (not that I watch much TV, but will keep it around the house for fun)
  • Losing weight and building muscle is not that hard, just look at some of the people who do it (not rocket science).
  • Unless someone has kept the weight off for a couple years, no one should be listening to anyone bragging about “quick” weight loss (aka Hollywood and other celebs). Most gain it all right back.
  • If your mentality is “I need to lose 30lbs, how do I do it?”, then you are already setting yourself up for failure.
  • If your mentality is “How do I lose a couple lbs a week?”, then you are setting yourself up for a life of success. (apply same strategy to putting on muscle if that is your goal)
  • Thinking you can just magically put on 30lbs of “lean” muscle (not to be confused with just “weight”) in a couple months, is a slap in the face to all the people before you who did it the slow and steady way.
  • If your muscle disappears if you take a couple weeks off the gym, it wasn’t really muscle in the first place.
  • I get it that training to run a marathon is motivating for people to get back into shape, but people need to also understand that excess exercise does damage to your body and can waste muscle (when it is the only training you do). My advice to a person getting back into shape? Train for and run a 5-10k instead, and don’t forget resistance training to keep those muscles around.
  • I stopped taking fish oil, once I stopped eating fatty grain fed meat all the time…and added in more sardines and herring. I feel much better.
  • Autophagy (recycling at the cell level) may be the key to lasting health/longevity over 40+, and the only way to turn it up is with a “low food” stress on occasion.
  • Being “fit” is too many people’s obsession, and no one really knows what it means in the first place.
  • Most guys want their body to look like Arnold in “Conan”, most women want a guy’s body to look like Brad Pitt in “Fight Club”.
  • The top bodybuilders are still pretty damn strong…which means they are not always doing sets of 20 reps with light weights.
  • Walking around in sandals and barefoot (in house) is the easiest way for anyone to get the muscles in their feet strong again (and even help correct posture issues).
  • If I were to start another training studio (which I am not) it would still be like the one I had long ago…a small room with only resistance bands, bodyweight straps and dumbbells.
  • If I can’t remember the workout in my head during training, it is too complicated for me.
  • My motto nowadays in regards to training can be summed up in 3 quotes: “Go hard”, “Don’t do stupid sh*t” and “Don’t get injured”….usually #2 and #3 go hand in hand.
  • I eat ice cream, pizza and burgers on occasion. I make no apologies for it, and neither should you.
  • It never made sense to me when trainers telling their overweight clients to eat 2500+ calories a day (for women, 3500+ for men) and workout 4-5x a week. Why not eat less and workout smarter?
  • During tougher times throughout my fitness trainer career I have survived for weeks on rice, corn, beans, milk and eggs….and it wasn’t that bad.
  • I don’t want to be called an “expert” anymore, as that term has dropped in quality over the years since the explosion of the internet.
  • Cultures of people who live long and healthy have varied diets, but usually 2 things in common….they eat real food, and they eat much less than most everyone else.
  • I don’t do fancy marketing or sales tricks (even though I know most of them all), I just try and be someone that I would want to listen to…as I hate being sold to all the time.
  • Most people probably have to spend alot of money on supplements, diet books and/or exercise programs before they “really get it” and know how simple it all is. I know I did.
  • I use the 80/20 rule when it comes to all things health and fitness…I will focus on the 20% that gives 80% of the results and not get obsessed over the other 80%. Then I have plenty of free time to go live life before it passes me by.
  • The more times I watch “Fight Club”…the more I appreciate the deeper message, and it is not about fighting.
  • If I can’t enjoy a beer with friends after doing something fun and active, I probably don’t want any part of it.
  • Sometimes people wonder how the heck I can eat the amount I do and still stay lean…give you a hint, I focus on maintaining muscle with simple resistance training….and I take days off with intermittent fasting.
  • Knowing my own tendencies and body type is important. I like to workout hard/explosive, run/skate fast in spurts and eat big meals when I am hungry. Once I tailored my lifestyle around that (including knowing when to plan in recovery), I have never been happier and still get the body composition I am after.
  • Workout days I like to put in more carbs (esp after a workout). Other days are more protein. I don’t do well trying to do high carb/protein together.
  • If you want to look like a professional athlete, do what they do for 8 hours a day…if you want to look good and still keep your day job, workout and eat smart.
  • Most Hollywood stars take 4-8+ months to get ready for a role and look good on camera. So why do most people think they can get it done in 2-4 weeks?
  • I enjoy eating, and enjoy it even more after a hard workout. I don’t snack, as that is just torture for me (I get really hungry from it).
  • You can get lean and fit eating fast food burgers and snickers bars when the total daily calories are low enough, but I can’t give you any guarantees on your overall state of health as skinny people get cancer and heart disease too.
  • Doctors who are not telling their patients to get off their butt and eat less/move more to improve their health are just being cowards. Time to stop worrying about people’s feelings and tell it like it is!
  • Don’t blame the fast food industry for obesity, as I drive past 20 fast food chains a day and don’t stop in each one. It is still a personal choice on what to eat, no one is holding a gun to anyone’s head.
  • The best way to be healthy is to understand what you are eating and it’s impact on your body. Ignore that and all bets are off.
  • The best way to win the long term “war” on obesity and disease, is to get people to “wake up” and become aware of their own choices. We need to embrace the positive solutions of eating and exercise for health and prevention. If we don’t save ourselves, no one else will do it for us!
  • “This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.” (Fight Club)…lets get living!

 

2 thoughts on “Trainer Tells All Parts 1 and 2”

  1. Awesome notes!!
    Ya, life is too short not to eat a DQ Blizzard every once in a while –
    but as I get older, (i’m 47 now) I am going to concentrate more on the simpler things – yoga, walking, resistance training – and will probably start leaving some of the harder cardio stuff behind – only have 1 body – want it to last as long as I can

  2. It’s funny how much harder it is to get over that “once in a while” the older you get. Good luck on staying fit and feeling young!

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