Thursday, January 29, 2015

5 Great Fitness Books That Will Change Your Life!

  If you're looking for a few great fitness/nutrition books that I highly recommend, then look no further! The following list are books that I've enjoyed, and suggest to all of my own clients. While no book is a substitution for individualized, personalized, one on one personal training/program design, they sure can be a great supplement! The following books would be an excellent addition to any ones library. 

Five Tibetan Rites - Peter Kelder 
 This is a very old book written in the 30's by Peter Kelder. Kelder claimed to have come across a group of monks who had discovered a "fountain of youth". They taught Kelder five basic exercises that were to be performed daily to improve your health and combat the damaging effects of daily life. The movements greatly resemble many found in Yoga and basic martial arts calisthenics. The "Five Rites" could be used as your morning routine. You can easily find some variation online for free. You can also find YouTube videos detailing "The Five Rites". 

The Armour Of War (E-Book) - By. Tom Furman

 Tom Furman has been involved in health and fitness for longer than some of you have been born. The guy is a "no bull shit" kind of guy who stands by no set dogmas and only uses what works. It's not hard to see why I enjoy his work! "The Armour Of War" is Tom's ebook on bodyweight training. It outlines a basic bodyweight program that can be done anywhere at any time and it's almost painfully direct. It's only $10 at his website, pick it up and enjoy. 

Becoming A Supple Leopard - By. Kelly Starrett

 Kelly Starrett is CrossFit's resident mobility guru and runs . The book "Becoming A Supple Leopard" is loaded with more information than most people can handle on the subject of posture, mobility, and movement. It's good stuff, but comes with a price tag of around $70. Think of this a reference text that can be uses over and over again. 

Building The Gymnastic Body - By. Coach Sommer

Gymnastics strength training for adults has been gaining popularity in the past few years, mostly because of Coach Summer. This was Coach's first book, it's large, and loaded with progressions helping guide you towards your goal of performing some advanced feats of gymnastics strength. While gymnastics strength training isn't for everyone, if it does interest you then this would be a great book to start with. There's one problem however ... the book is out of print and they no longer sell it from their website You can find old copies on Ebay or Amazon, it would be worth picking up if you're interested in gymnastics strength training. 

The Primal Blue Print - By. Mark Sisson

Mark Sisson is a former competitive long distance runner who regularly suffered from chronic illness and injuries. He changed his life by following what he calls "The Primal Blue Print", which is a series of life style laws based around a modified "paleo" diet and natural human movement/exercise. This book is a great place to start for anyone looking to make big changes to their fitness and nutrition without all the confusion. It's clean, simple, and easy to read. You can pick it up at their website 

 For more reading you could also check out a few wonderful ebooks authored by your favourite handsome fitness professional ... yours truly! Self promotion, I'm not above it! You can take a look at the ebooks I have to offer by clicking here

- Tim 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Nutrition & Fitness Tips You Can Learn From Your Dogs

Selfie ... he's new at them.

 This is Beans. He's my all time best friend, nap time buddy, part time pain the ass, and over all ... a pretty cool dude. Beans is a small wiener dog (mini dachshund) and there for, he has a long ... long body. This means, keeping him at a healthy weight is important due to the stress added weight can put on his little spine. Basically, it's my job to make sure this little guy doesn't get too fat and my job to make sure he's fed the right things.

 If you've owned a dog you know it's pretty simple to keep them at a healthy weight. Don't over feed them, don't feed them scraps or crappy food, and let them get a little exercise each day. That's it ... simple and easy!

 And guess what? You're not that much different from your dog!

 Sure, they have different nutrition requirements, but the basic principals are the same for you as they are for your dog. If we're looking at keeping your dog happy and healthy for life, then you wouldn't feed your dog Corn Pops, waffles, and lasagna. You wouldn't allow your dog to lay around the house, never get out to the park, or a walk through the neighbourhood. You wouldn't feed your dog seconds (or thirds) of their meals and then throw them a pop tart for dessert when they're done. Also, if you did all these things and your dog was fat, sick, and unhappy ... I doubt you'd be stumped on why your dog wasn't doing so well.

A little added weight on a walk

  So why is it that so many people can't figure out why they're overweight, unhappy, and out of shape ... yet basically live their lives how they wouldn't even treat their own dog?

 If you're looking to make basic changes that will greatly effect your life, take some tips from your dog:

- Eat a little less! There's no need to stuff yourself at every single meal. Eat until your satisfied, stop before you're stuffed. You wouldn't over feed your dog so don't do it to yourself!
- Don't snack unnecessarily.
- Avoid processed crap and junk foods. You wouldn't feed your dog foods that make it sick, why are you doing it to yourself?
- Eat lots of high quality, nutrient dense, whole foods. Vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, real meats, nuts and seeds need to make up the majority of your diet.
- Get daily activity! Try adding a daily routine to your mornings, resistance train at least 3x per week, walk more. Dog's need exercise and so do you.
- Play! Do things your enjoy. This is a big one you can learn from your dog that helps reduce stress, adds joy to your life, and sneaks in a little more exercise while you're at it.
- Nap if you feel like it when times allows. Dogs nap all the time, and why the hell not? Naps help re-energize your body, help reduce stress, and are a great way to help you recover.

There you have it, it's right out in the open and maybe right in your lap as you read this. Your dog could be the key to your fat loss that you've been missing out on all along!

Naps, he's all about them.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A New Year, But Not A New You!

 It's that time of year again! Endless amounts of people take to their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and declare their set of New Years resolutions. Maybe you're one of them! More often than not, one or more of these resolutions have to do with losing weight, looking better, eating well, attaining some kind of new fitness skill / PR. Then it's usually followed up with that oh so original saying (sarcasm) "It's a New Year, Time For A New You!".

 Stop, just stop.

 Yes it's a New Year, but there is no "New You" and you didn't have to wait for the New Year to actually make a change.

 It's great that you're looking to make changes in your life for the better. It's an excellent choice to take control of your life and start training with purpose, eating whole foods, and assessing your weaknesses. But it's going to take more than the year changing over to a new one on a calender to make you follow through on those promises to yourself.

 Ever wonder why so many people say they're going to lose weight, watch what they eat, drink less, and at the end of the next year they're still where they were last time? It's because New Years resolutions don't work and they're just a sexy fantasy. Seriously, do you really think your whole prospective on life, work ethic, and bad habits will all do a 180 as soon as the clock strikes midnight? No, of course you don't! So why lie to yourself? Why wait until midnight on a certain date to start?

 Real lasting changes are made by following small steps, laid out in a realistic action plan, with a clear goal in mind. Bad habits are not cured over night, and new positive habits are not formed in a week. It takes consistent effort, will power, and some times a little sacrifice to create lasting change.

 Every single day you wake up is a chance to start on the path to better habits. Every single day could be a step in a better direction. You don't need to wait for anyone or anything, you can start right now. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are real lasting changes in your life.  Best of all, they don't have to be that difficult and you don't have to set lofty goals at first, start small.

 For example, you need to lose weight but you're diet isn't so great, you're not training often, and you drink too much. Start small by committing to training 2-3 times per week. Plan on having only 4 "cheat/reward" meals a month. Commit to only allowing yourself 4 drinks per week or try 2 weeks without any alcohol. Work towards those goals diligently and meet them. Then step it up a notch. Commit to training 3-4 times per week, only have 2 cheat meals per month, and avoiding alcohol for 1 whole month. Meet those goals, and then set new ones, bigger ones, better ones ... but still manageable.

 Small changes, adjusted over time, make the gap towards your goal a more manageable feat. This makes your goals a reality. This is how you start becoming a much better version of you ... not a "new you". Don't lie to yourself, stop feeling terrible, and start acting on your goals now. Make the changes, put in the work, track your progress, and set small goals. Reach those goals, conquer them, and move onto new things. Do this, and you'll love where you are next year when everyone else is still making excuses and new "resolutions".

 If you're unsure of how to start, where to start, or you need help achieving your goals, there are always options. Seeking out professional advice and guidance from a skilled fitness coach is a great place to start.

"Today is victory over yourself of yesterday. Tomorrow is victory over lesser foes." - Miyamoto Musashi 

- Tim