As we start to close out 2015, it is an exciting time to look to the new year to start a new you.
At least, that is what majority of people do, as they try and hit the “reset” button on their journey towards fitness.
People normally spend these remaining weeks to go crazy and eat as much as possible, cause when that new year comes around, they know it is game time.
They are dreading that “reset” button, and just engorging in every last cookie they can…. I know I do ;-P
The only thing that is wrong with this concept, there is no “reset” button. We don’t work like that, and just because we fell away from our goals in march, doesn’t mean we should wait till the new year or new Monday for that matter. We should chalk that day up as a loss, learn from it and move on.
We don’t work like that, and just because we fell away from our goals in march, doesn’t mean we should wait till the new year, or new Monday for that matter. We should chalk that day up as a loss, learn from it and move on.
This mindset can be a hard one to change, especially for us stubborn headed people (raises hand slowly). We know what it takes to make those lasting changes, and make a real impact in your life, and today we are gonna give you some steps to change YOU for the better in 2016. That is exactly what you want isn’t it? Of course it is.
This isn’t quick fixes, so let’s kick that in the uprights and call it out. Any “coach” who sells you that or has the magic potion, is just trying to make a quick buck and when you see it doesn’t work, they are already long gone. Not here, we want you to succeed, and invest in you! So no more jumping on the get quick results schemes, and let’s make a real change in your life.
This real change isn’t going to be a walk in the park though, you will have to find your “why”, have a long-term vision, and be consistent in yielding those results.
No pressing that reset button 1000’s times and saying; “it isn’t working”. Keep with it, evolve with your training and regiment, and it WILL happen.
You will look back at this journey, a year, 3 years, heck even 5 years down the road, and be glad you took this road, instead of the ‘ripped in 60days’ routine. NO MORE QUICK FIXES. OK!?!?!
So here we go with the ways to really step your game up and make 2016 your best year yet!
1. Set 4 – 90 Day Benchmarks: Look at your end goal, got it? Now take it in 90-day chunks and break it down to 4 different cycles, focusing on 1-2 things per cycle, but don’t drop the cycle before, add to it. This 90 day time period, by research, and then trial and error on our own part, is the PERFECT time frame to really set things in stone for yourself. This will also help you stay the course and not think “I have a year to reach this goal”…. No you have 4 separate deadlines to help you keep on track and on pace. This is your year remember. Make it happen!
2. Have 3 HIGH Return on Investments practices to support each of these 90days. – These are simple habits that have huge benefits and keep momentum flowing. Here is also where most “trainers” or “quick fix” schemes get it wrong. Someone fresh off the couch can’t take the kitchen sink being thrown at them, and expect a high success rate. Maybe for the trainers pocket book, but not for the client. Remember that our habits are deeply rooted into us, and takes time to break and the fear of venturing out of our comfort zone also scares the tar out of us. So keep it simple the first month, like:
A. No more soda, drink a gallon of water (add lemon for flavor)
B. Every meal, include a chunk of protein more like 3oz of chicken.
C. Keep training consistent at 45mins, 3x a week, even if it was a crap session.
Do it for 90 days, add to it the next phase.
3. New activity every 90 days – seeing the pattern yet? Add one thing extra that keeps you moving and is fun. This will make the next phase a lot easier and you’ll look forward to those days you do this fun time. It can be something like, hiking, walking your dog, indoor rock climbing, those new jump houses, racquetball, maybe you wanna take up trail running, who knows! Don’t let your comfort zone be a limiting factor. Explore, have fun with life!
4. Commit to a Nutrition Coach or have a solid Nutrition Plan – NO MORE DIETS! 2016 is your year for a new you! No more diets, let’s change our eating habits to sound eating principles and let the kitchen do the bulk work for our goals. Our friends at Dynamic Nutrition are really good at what they do, and they take the guess work out of this portion. They are worth a shot. Here’s a little list to follow if you do it on your own:
A. Make sure your eating habits support your 90-day goal – DUH
B. Make it work for your lifestyle! Don’t go crazy here. Make sure it is sustainable, or you’ll stress out and do more harm than good – Hence Dynamic Nutrition Coaching
C. Be consistent with your commitment in your eating habits. Don’t do fads, or fasting diets… eat, but eat with a purpose that supports your plan.
5. What you think about, regarding your health and fitness, need to be changed – This is where we come into play or a book called the Positive Dog. You gotta change your mindset when it comes to how you look at things. What you believe ultimately shapes who you are. So if we change that mindset, SLOWLY, you’ll change yourself for the better. How do you do that? Take 1 thing you can let go of, that is within your comfort zone, and add a new positive thought or outlook on? Do this each 90-day phase, and add 1 each time. Phase 1 – 1, phase 2 – 2, phase 3 – 3, phase 4 – 4 in the end you will have changed 10 things. Pretty awesome right?
6. Know that it is going to get uncomfortable for a bit, so get comfortable with it – Remember this isn’t a quick scheme, so as your body changes, your mind, hormones, stress, energy, will all play tricks on you as it starts to correct its course and change for the better. Stay with it! This is your bodies way of staying in your comfort zone and you are stronger than it, so kick it in the face and take control. Don’t quit, we are here to help you! Once you are passed those little humps though, results come flying in.
7. Hire a coach – No not kidding. You need a support system. You need accountability. Your coach, a good one, will kick the living tar out of you when you step out of line. They are your rock and mentors that will help guide you along the path. They should have thought-provoking advice and be able to give you the right dose response to get you back into gear. Even coaches need coaches. If your coach doesn’t have a coach, don’t hire him or her.
Last but certainly not least. Take action in 2016, heck tomorrow! Even if it is a tiny step. Babies don’t sprint from the get go right? Nope. So why are we trying to do that with our health? Know those baby steps are leading in the right direction and you are taking control of your health and life. We are here for you! Hope to see you with us in 2016.
Kristin Gemme, USAW L1 Sports Performance Coach at Crossfit Relentless in West Hartford, CT Certified Physician Assistant in trauma/surgical critical care and urgent care in Hartford, CT
This piece is targeted for the weightlifting coach; but is also an important read for the athletes as well. It can be useful as an athlete with mobility restrictions to understand why certain modifications are made to their training program, and can help alleviate some frustration.
We expect a lot out of our bodies. We treat them like machines throughout our lives, asking them to perform incredible feats of strength, impact, and repetition. All of this can ultimately lead to acute and chronic injuries, scar tissue formation, contractures, poor movement and limitations in mobility. So how do you train? How do you lift, move, and progress? The answer is multifactorial. Focusing on mobility in the downtown between training sessio¬ns is obviously important and must be done in order to stretch out and re-gain lost mobility. As a weightlifting coach, you want your athletes to move a barbell and train through all the different lifts effectively. That is the goal. But not every client is going to step onto your platform with that ability. Instead of watching them painfully struggle, trying to move the barbell into position, potentially harming them more, it is your job to modify. Understanding the wide variety of movements that can be performed that have the same, or similar training stimulus is crucial to your client’s safety and ability to progress.
Before you ask a new client to snatch and clean and jerk, they should have a movement and mobility assessment. This assessment includes having them perform a set of strict press, front squat, and overhead squat. The following is what you should be assessing for during each movement.
Strict press: Can they hold the barbell in a front rack position? Can they move the barbell in a straight-line overhead and finish with shoulders and elbows locked out and head through? Can they hold the barbell at the proper grip distance?
Front Squat: Can they hold the barbell in a front rack position and drop into a full squat? How is their bottom position? – hips, ankles, knees, and spine. Can the client maintain the front rack position throughout the entire movement? Is their spine rounding, or can they maintain a strong back?
Overhead Squat: Can they hold a barbell in a snatch grip over the head? Are shoulders stable? Are the elbows locked out? Is the spine protected? Can they maintain this position throughout the entire movement from top to bottom?
If your client can perform all of these movements safely and without pain, then they are good to jump into learning the progressions of the Olympic and accessory lifts. If they have limitations, this is where you need to adjust. You should never say to yourself or to a client that because of this mobility impairment that they just wont do x,y, or z…
I can’t repeat this enough- Understand the training stimulus of the lifts or movements that they are currently unable to safely perform, and find an alternative that will provide that same neuromuscular training stimulus until they are able to improve their mobility. In some cases, the mobility needed to perform classic lifts, will never be reached- but it doesn’t mean that they cannot train.
To share a few examples: Clients that are unable to correctly hold a barbell due to shoulder or elbow issues, may need weight broken into two independent sides. This is where kettlebells and dumbbells can be utilized. Are your client’s limited with their hips and dropping into a squat is ineffective? Try having them learn the split snatch. There is a long list of alternative options for athletes as they progress.
Finding the correct modifications for your clients will keep them moving, getting stronger, and progressing into more traditional positions and lifts as their mobility improves. Don’t set them free to figure out how to mobilize on their own, either. Prescribe them certain mobilizations to perform before and after a training session and a list of them to do at home. The key to change is consistency. Lifting weights one day a month will not make you stronger, and this is the same concept as mobility. Body work and mobilization needs to be programmed and performed daily in order to see quantifiable change.
Not being able to do the movements that “everyone else” is doing can be a frustrating and demoralizing thing for clients. They may feel inadequate or like a bad athlete. It is up to you as a coach to help them understand your plan and that they are getting a similar training stimulus as other athletes that are performing traditional clean and jerks, snatches, and squats. Helping them understand the process and giving them mobility homework will keep them mentally on the road to success and will give them satisfaction with their training program.
It is important to remember that while you are coaching traditional Olympic and accessory lifts; you need a solid base of knowledge of how the body moves and what is happening to the body during the different lifts. The old saying “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” is appropriate in the world of weightlifting and coaching.
Everyone has at some point in their life. Even coaches, elite level athletes, or those people who have knock out bodies that everyone longs for. Our friend at Dynamic Nutrition, Kylie, does a spot on job talking about her own image issues and what it is YOU can do to overcome these problems.
I walk into Chipotle wearing my bright blue DN spandex shorts. Not my preference when going into public but I just got done training, it was late, and I needed food! So I am standing in line scrolling through instagram, still on a high of finally feeling like I killed a workout hitting 85-90% snatches with ease. Perhaps it was yesterday’s refeed, my change in macros, or the couple of extra pounds I weighed that day. But I was just thinking to myself that I felt great in the gym and that I am happy with my decision to add more calories back in knowing I may not lose weight but instead get stronger. And more importantly, I feel good about my body and I am ok if I don’t lean out more right now. Then I scroll across a picture ‘About Time’ posted from a recent photo shoot I did with them and four others. The five of us were standing around stacks of tires laughing and pretending to have an intriguing conversation as the photographer took 100 pictures. Of course my eyes dart to my body first. Dear God. I immediately screen shot it and send it to one of my close guy friends that I train with and has become part of my support system when it comes to Crossfit, or even life for that matter. My text was “how does one not hate this photo haha”. The “haha” put in there to try to fool him into thinking that that I wasn’t internally melting. I could hardly look at it without questioning my everyday eye site. How could I look like this here? Do I look like this every other time I take my shirt off and I just don’t know it?! Couldn’t someone have told me to suck it in?
So I text my friend and he states that I am built more for performance and I look my best when in movement. He is right and I know he is. I know that I can move a bar in olympic movements like no one’s business. I know that I just pulled a double workout and felt great. I know that my gymnastics movements are getting better no matter how slow it may seem on occasion. I know that I may not be known for having abs, but I am known for always smiling and being able to pull off white shorts. So even though the picture had upset me, I was able to move on because I am not just my ability to pose for a camera. I reminded myself of the positives that I just had that day, of how I normally feel about my body, and that everyone can take a bad picture.
So if you ever wonder if us coaches go through the same shit that you guys go through, the answer is yes. We are human too! I have been through a lot of ups and downs through competing in figure and rebounding off of that. I am in a happy place with my body and I am the healthiest mentally and physically I have ever been! But does that mean I don’t dislike pictures of myself or how I look in the mirror some days? Hell no!
If I told you that most of what I do is give out macros, I would be lying. I do more counseling than anything else. Having clients overcome mental barriers, whether in regards to consuming more calories than they ever thought possible or developing a more positive body image, is what makes my job the most gratifying. Even though I am a nutrition coach, I have been there before. I understand what it feels like to dislike what you see in the mirror, but I also know how I overcame those feeling to my current situation of loving all that my body can do and the great feeling of having the confidence to rock a savage swim suit! But I can’t promise that you won’t have bad days. We all do, no matter where we are on our journey’s, but WE are here for YOU. I am lucky to have great people in my corner for those random times I need an emotional pick me up or a dose of reality. But perhaps you don’t feel that you have that. That is what we are here for. We aren’t just a company that gives you a prescription and walks away. We coach and we give a shit about you! So whenever you are ready to take that step, you let us know. We will have your back.
KYLIE IS ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS! YOU WON’T REGRET TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR BODY WITH HER FOR THE NEW YOU OF 2016
Original post can be found here at our friends Dynamic Nutrition.
When we take a look at what we see other people doing, in a variety of different fields in fitness, we can clearly see that chaos is going on in their program, or they are following a program that elicits the muscle to look a certain way but does not perform well under high demand. Even worse, the muscle performs under high demand, but the surrounding tissue is completely ****ed, AND secondary muscles are not even firing off. This drives us up the wall! We have even seen people say or THINK, because they saw it in some muscle magazine or youtube video it is the right way of doing something.
Insert prime example here:
Israetel et al(2015) actually defines periodization very well: “The logical sequencing of training variables for the purpose of eliciting maximal adaptations, reducing injury rates, and peaking the athlete for best performance at a particular time of his/her choosing. The final product of applied periodization is a properly constructed macrocycle of training that leads to beneficial results.” -Simplest way to understand this, prioritize training for the best results, both in short, medium and long-term planning.
What you saw in the picture above, was NOT even close to what real training looks like. That was someone who saw something in a magazine and decided it was “best practice” versus solid backed science.
Speaking of, solid backed science, the philosophies and theories we utilize here at Barbell Beast are nothing but that. While we don’t have one specific cookie cutter way of doing things, that is a good thing, because we do actually customize YOUR program to YOUR needs.
An example way of understanding how we work and why you want periodization over randomization is as simple as cycles and building blocks. Think of this like a funnel filling up a jug of water. You start with a broad general base, working on multiple facets to develop a healthy baseline fitness; this is also “rookie training” and set the stage for what needs to be worked on next. The areas we look at in the basis of any athlete are; strength, speed, power, aerobic, and anaerobic ability. As we progress through the training program, things become more focused on said sport the person is looking at or is participating in. Developing a more sport specific style training regiment, and then finally as we near the end or “game time” we get very specific with what we are trying to elicit, whether explosive power, raw strength, endurance etc etc. This really is dependent on the specific demands of the athlete’s chosen endeavor.
The great thing about all this, and utilizing this method, no matter where you are in your journey, we can easily fit you into this mold and continually progress you, even if you just want “general fitness” as your goal.
Our friends over at Dynamic Nutrition are always spreading the truth and speaking from years of not only first-hand experience but of years of studying the deep dirty science of nutrition. Mike has written articles and talked about pre-workouts extensively in the past, but just recently posted a fantastic video about pre-workouts in a brief sense. Watching this video has re-iterated with us that we only want our clients taking BCAA’s prior to working out (dependent on nutrition coaching from Dynamic Nutrition) and MAYBE a little bit of caffeine if really needed. Don’t get us wrong, we love caffeine, but it is a drug and we will talk about that on another post. But for now, the topic on hand is pre-workouts and are they really worth it?