personal trainer

Stress plus rest equals growth: Why I’m taking a year of rest

Last week, I was having a conversation with a colleague about my lack of motivation for blogging, writing, and side-hustling in general.

“It’s not that I don’t like doing it, and it’s not like my life has gotten exponentially more stressful or busy that I don’t have time to sit down and write,” I explained. “It’s just that when I get home I’d rather chill out with my fiancée and watch Netflix, or relax in the hot tub with a glass of wine instead of sit at my desk on my laptop. And now on the weekend, I’d rather peruse wedding and home furnishing boards on Pinterest instead of writing a blog and posting comments for an hour or two after breakfast like I used to do.”

Am I losing my motivation? Am I becoming one of those boring people who waste time instead of putting every extra second into trying to find a way to either make more money, serve others, or have a higher purpose?

My colleague offered some suggestions to help get me back on track, such as reaching out to do more coaching or teaching. They were good suggestions, but none of them felt right to me. (more…)

How to apply Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success principles to running

johnwoodenbrirunI like to listen to fitness, health and business related podcasts when I’m on the treadmill and getting ready for work in the morning, and one name in particular kept coming up on several of my favourite podcasts that warranted an online search to see who this wise and influential person was. This person had clearly impacted and shaped the lives of the podcast hosts and guests, so I wanted to know what he was all about.

If you’re a basketball fan or participate in sports of any kind, you may have heard about John Wooden. Wooden was an English teacher, American basketball player and coach who, during his time as head coach of the basketball team at UCLA, won 10 NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including a record seven in a row. No other team has won more than two in a row since.

It’s no wonder he was named national coach of the year six times and is one of the most revered coaches in the history of sports.

As a strength and conditioning coach, I’m always looking for tips and tools to not only help my clients reach their full potential in whatever health and fitness goal they want to achieve, but also to help develop myself to become a better coach and athlete.

During his years spent as an English teacher and coach, Wooden developed a guide to help his students and players become the best version of themselves that he called “The Pyramid of Success”. (more…)

Fitness Friday: “Toning” workouts and a running injury returns

fitnessfridayHappy Friday, friends!

As I explained a few posts ago, I finished my 8-week muscle and strength building program (which did help put on some baby muscles!) and started the Tone It Up Bikini Series this week.

I was skeptical about the Bikini Series workouts, because they looked like fluffy women’s fitness magazine workouts with lots of body weight exercises and strength training (or “toning” moves, as they call them) with tiny pink dumbbells. Now, that’s not going to do a whole lot to build muscle or make you stronger. But it’s a good place to start of you’re a beginner and not ready to get into true strength training. While online videos and DVDs are fine for body weight and light dumbbell exercises, I think proper strength training requires the assistance of a personal trainer or coach to ensure you’re performing the exercises correctly, so a) you don’t injury yourself, and b) you actually benefit from the moves. That said, there’s certainly a place for lighter, Pilates-type exercises. They do a good job of working your core and your ancillary muscles (triceps and biceps, etc.), and are particularly great if you’re rehabing an injury and can’t do heavy lifting or more intense exercise.

Anyway, here’s what my week of workouts looked like: (more…)

The 3 biggest road blocks to weight loss and how to break through them

adkarI want to lose weight/run faster/get stronger, and generally I know what I need to do to achieve that goal (eat less, move more, lift weight, run fast), but I just don’t know how to make it happen with everything going on in my life.

Does that statement ring true for you at all?

If so, welcome to step three or four of Prosci’s ADKAR process for managing change!

In my other life (the one outside of fitness and health blogging and personal training), I’m an internal  communications and change manager professional for a large organization, and was thinking the other day how a model we use for managing change within the organization — called ADKAR — could totally be applied to fitness and health. (more…)

Why mindset is the key to achieving your health and fitness goals

Mindset: The key to achieving your health and fitness goalsI listened to a fantastic episode of Nia Shanks’ Lift Like A Girl podcast the other day where she interviewed Carrie Campbell, a counselor and personal trainer with the Mindset Performance Institute (MPI) about how importance mindset is when it comes to changing habits.

The thing I’ve struggled most with as a newbie personal trainer is how to get clients to follow their programs. Even though you can create the best exercise program designed to fit into a busy schedule and can provide simple nutrition guidelines that include foods the client enjoys eating and meals that are easy to prepare, it can still be hard to achieve compliance. And it’s not the fault of the client, by any means.

Think about it: How many of us already KNOW what we need to do to lose weight or get fit? I’d say most people know they need to eat more vegetables, drink more water, eat less sugary processed food, get more sleep, and exercise regularly. I’d also say most of us even know HOW to do it – stock your fridge with veggies, cook more meals at home, carry a water bottle around with you and set a timer on your phone to remind you to drink, turn off your electronics an hour before bed, and go to the gym three times a week on your way home from work.

So why do we struggle to follow through?

According to Campbell, it’s because we’re not doing the pre-work we need to do to get to that point of adapting to a new habit. We need to change our mindset first before we can change our habits. And to change our mindset, we need to understand why we do the things we do. (more…)

#WorkoutWednesday: Become a stronger & faster trail runner with this strength circuit

Today I’m featuring part III of the strength training workout I’m doing as part of training for the Finlayson Arm 25K trail race. I’ve already shared the workout I do on Mondays, which focuses on upper body and core as it comes after my long run day, and the workout I do on Wednesdays, which incorporates upper and lower body supersets using heavier weights as well as core work. Today I’m sharing Friday’s workout, which incorporates both upper and lower body supersets. I use light-to-moderate weights for this workout, and will follow it up with an easy 10-12 km run either right after strength training or later in the day.

ultrastrenght3 (more…)

{thinking out loud Thursday} How I got buried in debt and why I can’t pull myself out

Just taking my $17,000 Jeep off-road through some mud... smart...

Just taking my $17,000 Jeep off-road through some mud… smart…

I can’t recall the last time I didn’t stress about money.

Ever since I got my first credit card in my twenties, along with a $17,000 loan to buy a car (to this day I have no idea why my bank agreed to give a university student who worked in a coffee shop that large of a loan), I’ve struggled to get by. Before then I had no problem saving up to buy things I wanted, including a trip to Thailand. I never shopped or spent money on frivolous things. But once debt from my car and student loans piled up, several relationship break-ups requiring moves and all the household purchases involved with that occurred, plus a new-found love of running and triathlon (shoes and spandex isn’t cheap), I’ve never been able to dig myself out — despite several rescue attempts from the bank of mom and dad and consolidating everything at my bank a few times. (more…)

1 simple tool to help you stay motivated and on-track with your health and fitness goals

Though a fitness partner can help, this tool works well, too.

Though a fitness partner can help, this tool works well, too.

Trying to break bad habits and implement new, healthy ones is no simple task. Not only does it take an excruciatingly long time for a new behaviour to become a habit, but it may also feel like a constant uphill battle to get where you want to be.

For example, you may want to lose weight and get fit, but in order to do so, you will need to make a variety of changes — both small and large — to reach your goal. Doing one small thing, such as cutting out pop or skipping dessert twice a week, is definitely a good start; but you know that if you want to achieve the “get fit” part of your goal, you will need to add in more exercise at some point as well. Sometimes when you take a step back and think about all the things you need to do to reach your goal, you feel overwhelmed and hopeless, which can lead to roadblocks and speed bumps along your path to health and wellness.

Luckily, you don’t have to focus on all those goals and tasks at once to stay motivated. Forget “keeping your eyes on the prize” — simply keep your eye on one or two small things each day to stayed focused and motivated. (more…)

5 awesome (and free!) fitness and health podcasts to listen to during your long run

fkgolfcourseWhen I was training for the Squamish 50K two years ago, I started listening to podcasts to pass the time on my long training runs. Since I was running trails for 3-plus hours at a fairly slow pace, I wanted something I could focus on instead of how tired I was feeling and how much my feet hurt. Not only did those long runs feel like they went by much faster while listening to podcasts, but also I learned a ton of stuff; everything from what the latest research and trends are in strength and conditioning world to how to start a fitness business to what it’s like to go vegan and complete an ultraman.

If you’re tired of music blaring in your ears during your long runs or just want something informative and interesting to listen to on your commute to work, I highly recommend checking out these awesome (and free!) fitness and health podcasts. (more…)

Strength training. You’re (probably) doing it wrong.

IMG_3505Before I became a certified strength and conditioning specialist, I thought I had pretty decent form when lifting weights and  doing core exercises at the gym. I’d been studying the instructions in fitness magazines and following along carefully to workout DVDs for almost nine years, all the while thinking I was working the muscle groups I was trying to target.

Nope.

When I was studying for my CSCS exam, I got schooled by another trainer at a private gym where I was volunteering and job shadowing last summer. Turns out I have a wicked anterior pelvic tilt (meaning my hips tilt forward, like I’m trying to sit all the time), which made me botch up most of my core and hip exercises and was probably the reason to blame for my tight calves. (more…)

%d bloggers like this: