Wednesday, August 27, 2014

4 Tips To Choose An Excellent Personal Trainer/Fitness Coach


  The fitness world is loaded with "trainers" and "experts" all pulling for your attention and business. If you're looking for help with your fitness goals, there's no shortage of options! The problem is, which trainer/coach/teacher do you choose? Bargain shopping isn't the answer, and neither is choosing the most expensive option. You could find a grossly under qualified trainer, teacher, or coach charging the lowest rate or the most expensive rate. Both have their pros and cons, both draw in different types of clients. Regardless of what they're charging, here are some simple guidelines for choosing a quality teacher, coach, or trainer. 

1. Who were their teachers? 

  Who were their teachers? What were their qualifications? What have their teachers done and who have they taught? Ideally, your teacher should have studied under legitimate professionals who have a track record of delivering legitimate information and producing quality teachers. For example, my teachers include world class full contact bare knuckle Karate champion (1967) Shigeru Ishino, who I hold a 1st degree black belt under. I've also worked with and been certified by world renowned kettlebell/movement expert Shawn Mozen and top Yoga expert Mark Laham. These are just a few of the teachers who I have worked with, each one of them with a track record of not only producing great teachers, but they walk the talk and live what they preach. 

2. What have they done, or, what can they do? 

 What has your teacher done? What skills have they acquired? What abilities do they possess? Or, what has your teacher done or accomplished before in the past? How can you expect to learn how to become a world class power lifter when your teacher has never even competed in an event himself/herself? Would you rather learn from someone who has been there and done that, than someone who knows the theory of what it takes? Of course you would! I'm not saying that the trainer from your local gym doesn't know what he/she is talking about, I'm saying that if you're given the choice between teachers, experience is paramount! Choose a trainer who has experience in the area that you're looking to improve upon and make sure they can produce results consistently with their students and not just themselves. Which leads me to my next point ...

3. What can their students/clients do?

 Without a doubt, above all else, this is what you should look for when looking for a trainer, coach, or teacher. Your teacher needs to be able to reproduce results in multiple students consistently. Regardless of their speciality, their methods need to work with people from all different backgrounds and produce results at a very high percentage. If you're teacher doesn't have plenty of testimonials to prove their methods work, or if they can't show you what their students can do ... walk away. 

3. What are they working towards? 

 What are they working towards? What is their idea of fitness? If you want to learn how to move better, reduce pain and inflammation, and learn how to integrate fitness into your daily life ... then why would you higher a trainer who specializes body building or physique competition? The same for the opposite. If you want to become a body building champion, why the hell would you higher a movement specialist or yoga instructor to get you to your goals? Find out, clearly, what your trainer/coach is working towards. Find out what their ideals are and what's their personal take on fitness. Find out how you'll be training, what their approach is, and what kind of training modalities they favour. If it doesn't jive with what you're looking to accomplish ... then move on and look for another one. 

4. Who are they truly serving?

 Who are they serving? Quite simply, are they looking to serve themselves, or are they truly serving the client. A good teacher, always ... F#%KING ALWAYS, has their students best interest in mind at all times. This means, they'll work around your schedule, make up sessions for you, take time to text or call you to set up workout times when you're slacking. They take pride in your accomplishments, tailor ever single program to each individual client and are always learning more in order to better serve their clients. They charge reasonable rates, or they're flexible with payments from students in order to make sure your training stays on track. In short, their clearly not in it for them self or their ego. If you're trainer charges too much, doesn't deliver solid results, won't reschedule, doesn't follow up, doesn't address your needs and problems, doesn't tailor programs specifically for you, forces you through dangerous workouts etc. Then they're simply in it for themselves ... this is all too common in the fitness industry. 

 Regardless of what you're looking to learn, these are 4 basic rules to follow when looking for a quality teacher in any field. Keep them in mind, do your research, and find yourself a quality teacher! 

- Tim 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Here's a wonderful recipe introduced to me by the coaches at . If you're craving something rich and delicious, but you're not trying to ruin your nutrition programming, then these paleo chocolate chip cookies should do the trick! They turn out soft and chewy, and don't involve any of the junk you'll find in regular chocolate chip cookies. It's best if you only have one or two at a time and not get caught up in eating too much paleo baking. The majority of your diet should come from fresh veggies, fruit, and meat ... but a little treat here and there is ok! Just try not to eat the whole batch in one sitting!

  Here's what you'll need ... 

- 1 cup of coconut flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of real maple syrup
- 2tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1 large dark chocolate bar (75% or higher)

Here's how to put it together ... 

- Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees
- Chop up your chocolate bar into small pieces/chunks and set it aside
- In a large bowl, mix together your eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla
- Once you've mixed the eggs, coconut oil and maple syrup, add your coconut flour, baking soda, and chocolate chunks into the bowl
- Mix everything together well until it forms a smooth cookie dough
- Roll the dough into small balls and place on greased up cookie sheet, you can use butter or coconut oil to grease the cookie sheet
- Press each ball down lightly with a fork
- Bake in the now heated oven for 10 mins, don't allow the cookies to burn
- Remove them once they've browned and let them cool
- Eat and enjoy!

- Tim



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fitness Essentials: Sifting Through Garbage To Find The Gold

        "It's not the daily increase, but the daily decrease. Hack away the unessential." - Bruce Lee 

  The world of fitness is a vast and confusing place. Every single day we're bombarded by countless new workout fads, "miracle supplements", and new pieces of fitness equipment that keep getting stranger and stranger. Seriously, have you seen those kangaroo boots? WTF?

                                                              Yep, these exist ... 

  It's not hard to see why so many people end up frustrated with a serious lack of results. After all, you're being hit with wave after wave of misinformation and contradicting points of view on a daily basis. "Trainer X" preaches a program that is in direct contradiction to  "Trainer Y". You read an article on how fats like butter are actually healthy for you, but your doctor is telling you to reduce your fat intake to help lower your cholesterol.How in hell are you ever going to get the results you want when you're not even sure where to start or what information to put into action?!

 My suggestion to those of you struggling with all of the "info" out there today is this ... stick to the basics and strip away the rest.

- Eat a lot of veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and other plant life

- Eat quality protein with each meal (chicken, beef, steak, pork, fish, eggs, duck, lamb etc.)

- Cook at home so you know what's going into your food

- Eat when you're hungry, stop before you're stuffed

- Avoid processed foods, grains, sugars, and deserts

- Drink lots of water. Avoid soda, fruit drinks, and too much juice.

- Keep alcohol to a moderate amount, avoid beer and stick with spirits mixed with soda water or water

- Always warm up before your workout.

- Stretch often.

- Workout, at least 3 times per week using resistance training. This can be your bodyweight or using weights. If you don't know how to use your bodyweight, check out "The Bodyweight Solution" for ideas and instruction.

- Base your workouts around total body, multi joint movements. It doesn't even need to be complicated. Make sure you're squatting, pulling, and pushing at the very least. There's multiple variations of these exercises you can use, choose a variation or weight that's tough for you. Which brings me to the next point ....

- Master a certain weight, or movement and then move on to a more advanced movement or weight. Try setting up your workout with your three basic movements (squat, pull, push) 3-4 sets, 8-10 reps, 60 seconds of rest between sets. Perform all the sets and reps for one exercise before moving onto the next exercise. Once you can do 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps without too much trouble, it's time to move onto a greater weight or harder bodyweight progression.

- Move quickly at least once a week. This means run sprints, jump rope, or do tabata intervals with burpees or battle ropes etc. Just make it short, and make it intense.

- Get quality sleep, rest, don't over train. Listen to your body, if you're tired or stressed just relax.

- Move often. This means walk places, take the stairs, hang from bars or sit in your squat position. Play sports, play with your kids, or play with your dog. Who cares! Just move.

  It's really that simple. The basics always remain true, and some of these would just seem like common sense ... something that's not always so "common" these days. No one got fat from eating real food, moving more often, challenging their strength, and avoiding shitty food. Keep it simple.

  If you want to get lean, build strength, improve your movement, and be healthier, just follow these basic guide lines. Everything else out there is icing on the cake, it's fluff, it's all adding onto these basics. Stick with your basics, and then develop on them. In time you'll be able to make your program as intricate/complicated or as basic as you like.

- Tim



Monday, August 11, 2014

Quick Thoughts: Everything In Moderation

We have a society that enjoys living by the "if a little is good, then more is better" mentality. This is a flawed method of thinking when it comes to most things in life, including your fitness program. We need balance, we need moderation in almost every aspect of our life in order to be truly healthy. For example ...

 Not training at all leads to becoming weak, stiff, over weight, poor posture, lack of mobility, a host of illnesses and inability to efficiently move your body.

 Training too often and obsessing over your program can lead to over training, avoiding social situations, basing your life around your workouts, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and an unhealthy obsession with training.

 We need night/day, hot/cold, work/rest ... yin/yang. We need balance. Everything has a balance, your training should as well. Think about focusing on making your training about longevity, sustainability, and movement. Make it about balance. Make fitness fit into your life, and not the other way around.

- Tim



Monday, August 4, 2014

Quick Thought: Congruency In Training Methods

Quick thought I had today, or really I've been thinking about this in many ways for a while.

 When we look at any discipline (dance, martial arts, or even fitness) we'll see methods, practices, and movements that show up in all of them. Things that are congruent, things that are essential. 

 I personally think that those movements, practices, and methods make up the basics for human movement and should be looked at carefully. Time doesn't lie, if it reins true in multiple methods of movement or exercise, there's probably a damn good reason.

 For example, squatting, pushing, pulling, midline stability and back bending can be found in just about every method of combat or movement. Don't believe me? Take a look. Base your training around this sort of thing in order to build a base, get stronger at them, then build on it. 

- Tim