You will suck in the first week back to the gym, and it’s okay

With gyms slowly and surely opening back up in Australia, there are going to be many of us (myself included) who is going to suck when we enter the doors of the gym again.  Joints are going to creak.  Muscles are going to ache.  Lungs are going to feel like they are going to burst.  You will most likely be a little heavier, and move a little bit worse than before.  It’s okay.

I just want to say it’s okay to suck.  It’s okay to go back to the start of the program you started before Rona struck.  It’s okay to just turn back up and just curl (just don’t do it in the squat rack).  It’s okay to feel like a novice again. It’s okay to ask for help.  It’s okay   It’s actually okay not the go back to the gym either, or even find another gym to train at.  Take time to think about what your priorities are, and if the gym is the right fit for you.  You may find it better for your mental and physical health to just walk.  Or ride your bike.  Or just do your exercises at home. It’s okay.

Now, I know this sounds strange coming from a bloke who runs a gym.  After all, making a living from training people is what I have done for last 7 years.  It’s what I love doing, regardless of your skill set, or fitness levels. But this is a time when you have to make you a priority.  So, if going to the gym isn’t a priority after all the fuckery that has happened in 2020, then I am happy for you.

What I want you to know to is not okay is being bullied to return to the gym you stopped going to before Rona hit.  It’s not okay to have not been looked after with various on line training modules, training programs, on line sessions etc.  If your gym postponed your membership, but did nothing to help keep you active and mentally well during this time, before you sign back up, check to see why they didn’t offer anything.  If they don’t provide you with a worthy response, they only care about the $$.  they do not deserve your business.  They don’t deserve your hard earned $$$.

So remember it’s okay to suck.  It’s okay to feel anxiety.  It’s okay to wonder if the gym is for you.  It’s okay to sit back and eat chocolate.  It’s okay to seek out help.

Adrian,

SOS Bega

“Strength. The Secret Sauce”

Can we stop demonising food?

This is a photo of a home made cupcake. It is made from butter, sugar, flour. It has some icing which has been made with colours and flavours. And it tasted great!! As you can see there are 5. In the group, there are 6. Each person had one each, while two other people shared one. It was tasty. Well it was to me, and the others who had them.Now, there are people who will bang on about “artificial” colours and flavours being the devils work. They will tell you that sugar is “poison”. They will also tell you these cupcakes are “bad”, without understanding how they were made. And I get that, but not because of the reasons they are getting carried away with. Yes we eat too much. We aren’t mindful about what we are stuffing in our mouths, on an hourly, daily or weekly level. We simply don’t understand. If home made cupcakes are going to be demonised from our society, we have big issues. We have a society who are walking around like zombies, trying to survive off 4 hours sleep. We have a society that are getting too little Vitamin D. We have a society that sucks in stress, like they are sucking in air. We also have a society that is eating too much ultra processed foods, which are laden with fats, sugars and salt because it tastes “good”.

At the School we focus on the big three rocks. Movement, nutrition and recovery. If we don’t move, we feel like we can’t because of our joints. If we don’t eat wholesome, nutrient dense food, we get sluggish. If we don’t recover and sleep well, we feel like we have to stay inside to get all the work done. We then eat food at our desk, and come mid afternoon, we head to the vending machine for whatever falls out for the amount of money they have. “Hey John. Can you loan me $1? I need that double Mars Bar to get me through”.

If we can fix the world by eating more cupcakes, then I for one would want to try. Bake some and share them at work. Better yet, take the cupcakes outside and make people come to you. Think of it of like the carrot dangling in front of the horse. If we can get people to move a little more, get them outside into the Vitamin D, and get them to engage with other people face to face, instead of behind a screen, or on a phone, I think the world will be a much better place.

Post-Game Nutrition and Recovery – An Article for the Bega Bombers

Post-Game Nutrition and Recovery

You have just played a game of footy. You have most likely ran in excess of 5 kilometres (some senior players can travel up to 18 kilometres in a game).  You will most likely have lost around a kilogram or 2 of body-weight, and sweated around a litre of fluid from the body.  So post-game nutrition is important.  What should you eat post-game?  At the end of the day, we are looking to replenish the body with nutrient dense foods and fluids.

Hydration

Think of hydration like watering the garden.  What does the garden need?  Water.  It’s that simple.  You don’t need Powerade, Gatorade or soft drinks.  You need water.  So, buy a water bottle and take it with you everywhere you go.  For those senior athletes, forgo the beer until you have finished cooling down, had a shower, and eaten.  Your body and your mind will love you more, as will the quality of your game.

https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/factsheets/children/hydration-junior-sport/

Post-Game Nutrition

Here it is all about quality over quantity.  Your body may think that it needs MacDonald’s from the Drive Thru, but what it really needs is nutrient dense, calorie sparse food.  Think Chicken and salad sandwiches (you can make these the night before, and have a little esky to take with you.  Just don’t put the tomato near the bread).  Like pizza?  Well try a thin crust pizza, that is loaded with quality meat and veggies, and cheese. Carbs are also important for recovery, and protein is key for muscle growth and repair.  Supplements are just that, supplements.  They are not required, and in fact, they could harm your overall game.

 https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/factsheets/fuelling-recovery/recovery-nutrition/

https://www.sportaus.gov.au/ais/nutrition

Want do get a better understanding on what athletes actually eat?  Well, isn’t it great when you can find a link that outlines that for you?  Click below and find out.

http://www.lisamiddleton.com.au/thoughts-entries/2016/7/5/eqo28atul5zy32zzb34cb8ui95o92d

Sleep

Sleep is the most underrated recovery tool on the planet, and the easiest part of the whole process.  We should be regularly getting around 8 hours of sleep a night, and if you don’t your body develops a sleep debt.  Think of sleep like a bank.  If you want to perform well, you need adequate rest and recovery.  If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will take it when you don’t want it to.  Ever feel asleep through a movie? Fell asleep at the kitchen table?  These are signs you need to get more sleep.  Want to learn from the best and how they do it?  Click on the link…

https://www.fatiguescience.com/blog/infographic-why-athletes-should-make-sleep-a-priority-in-their-daily-training/

Injury Management

What will be the one thing that will stop you from playing week in and week out?  Well yes.  Technically not getting picked is going to stop you from playing the following week, but we need to think a little bit clearer. What about if you get a bump, or an injury from the week before, or even at training?  Little bumps, bruises, sprains are the little events, that if not managed correctly can lead to bigger problems occurring such as muscle tears, ligament strains etc.  Don’t try to be tough and say “It doesn’t hurt”.  Do you want to walk around like a 3-legged elephant?    The best course of action when you get an injury, is to report it to your coach or manager. They will be able to provide you some advice on how to manage it.  It’s your injury, so it is up to you to do the best you can for yourself and your team mates.

http://sma.org.au/resources-advice/injury-fact-sheets/

Winning and Losing – What is the big difference, and how do we make it better

From time to time I write articles for the local Bega Bombers AFL side.  It’s such a great club, with a strong, moral compass, which is quite refreshing in this day and age.  The Bombers were my first club that looked for my services as an Strength and Conditioning Coach, and as such, I spent 3 years with their seniors and juniors.  This is the latest article.  I hope you enjoy it.

“Winning and Losing – What is the big difference, and how do we make it better”

I know it’s a very strange title, but let’s work with it a little bit.

Have you ever won a game, and thought “How did we win this?”

Let’s reverse that then: “How did we lose that game.  We did everything right.”

Winning at the end of the day on a footy field is all about scoring more points than the other team.  That’s it.  Same rule applies to losing.  Yup. You scored less points than the opposition.  It’s not rocket science, and it doesn’t need to be.  The thing that we need to be very careful is putting winning above everything else.   As a parent, do you tell your children they had a good game, regardless if they won or lost?  Do you tell them what they did wrong, instead of what they did right?  Do you cheer for the other side when they kick a goal, or do you berate the umpire when they get the decision wrong?

This quote from Harry Sheehy sums it up.

If you win, and all you do is walk around with your chest puffed out, telling everyone that you won, and you annihilated the opposition, belittle your opposition, refuse to shake their hands because they are “losers”, do you think you are really a winner?  What about when you lose?  Does mum and dad have to put up with your poor behaviour because you lost?  Do you sit in the corner and sulk?  Do you tell people to go away, and refuse to listen to any type of conversation because you lost?

The Stanford Children’s Health has a great article on what it means to be a good sport.  After all, isn’t that what we want to be?  Don’t we want to have fun, regardless of the score?  Don’t we want to enjoy the fact we are out there playing with our friends, and against our friends.  As a parent, don’t we want our children to understand that winning isn’t everything, and neither is losing?  It’s about the enjoyment.  It’s about the learning.  It’s about the experience.  It’s about the fresh air and sunshine.  It’s about sharing a moment with your child that you may never get again.

At the School, this is what we expect from all our students.  We respect the other players.  We respect those who give up their time to coach us. We sit and listen to what others have to say. We respect the other teams, and we celebrate and congratulate at the end of the game, or the sport we play.  This is why the School got involved with the wonderful Bega Bombers, because this is you do well.  You love the game.  You respect each other, and the opposition, and the umpires and the game.

https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=teaching-children-good-sportsmanship-1-4524

https://www.afl.com.au/afl-hq/laws-of-the-game

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sportsmanship.html

Quality Articles of the Week – 24th of March 2017

This week for me is a special week.  Why?  Because this is the fifth week I have been able to get this blog post out, and I am pretty chuffed about it.  We have found a new Website of the Week (and it will literally be a website you won’t be able not to keep going back to).  I have also grabbed articles on every single aspect of health and exercise, including nutrition and movement.  We also take a look at how important the mind is to exercise, as well as material that will make you think about who we are as humans.

As always, if you have seen an article that you believe should be in the weekly list, please send it through.

Website of the Week

Well this site blew my mind.  Click on the link and type in your subject of interest.  Mine was exercise (well of course it was going to be.  I couldn’t really search on drinking Guinness from a straw while eating caramel cheesecake could I).  The response was jaw dropping.  Everything from hypertrophy, to energy systems, to bio mechanics and insulin and glucose relationship.  Now I have a feeling that I sound a little like Willy Wonka (and honestly that’s not a bad thing), but if you have an interest in learning, then this could definitely work.

Show me – Learn and discover ANYTHING

General Fitness

Why does Greg Nuckols always appear in the quality articles?  Well apart from the fact he rocks a monster beard, is as strong as ox, and would definitely be one of the most well liked people in the industry.  So whenever Greg releases a new article, it is shared.  Shared here.  Shared on my Facebook page, shared in groups.  The quality is always there…

Hardgainers. What we know about non-responders

Such a shame that this didn’t the air play that it deserved.  Maybe they needed to kill puppies in the ad.  Looking forward to seeing more outcomes on this.

Type 2 diabetes has been “reversed” in 40% of patients for 3 months

This is another article that didn’t make it to any news or radio platforms.  Why?  Because good news stories about exercise and its potential benefits to helping reduce cancer.  Maybe the title would have been “Exercise cures cancer”, and people wouldn’t have read it because it is not some new wonder drug, or being flogged by a celebrity.

Exercise induced bio mechanical changes and their potential influence in cancer: a scientific review

Movement Goodness

Dan Pope.  Thank you again.  If people don’t get on this quality (and free material) they have rocks in their heads…..

How to modify the squat to eliminate painful pinching hips

Gold Medal Bodies, or GMB, have been one of my long go-to pages on bodyweight training and what we can do to make our bodies better.  After all it’s not all about curling in the squat rack.  As an adult, we very rarely play, unless it’s sitting down in front of a console or TV.  Let play guide your movement.  It will definitely allow you to recover quicker…

Make play part of your practice

As a coach, we should contact with physiotherapists, osteopaths and others that allow us to put bits of pieces into our rehab bag.  We should have the knowledge and experience to put exercises in play for homework that will allow the recovery to be better…

How good is your therapeutic exercise programming

Damn you Cor-Kinetic and your great articles.  Looks like I had better share this as well…In all seriousness though, we tend to get all wrapped up in rehab, that we firget this one variable….Go on click on the link.

The missing rehab exercise variable

Strength Training

We all hear people that squatting wide is bad.  Squatting narrow will break your back.  low bar sucks.  High bar is terrible.  But what they don’t want to hear is what Greg has to say. Take it away Mr Nuckols.

Squat stance width

Dr Mike tells it like it is.  And you had better pay attention….

Fitness Myths – Magic Exercises

Dan Pope and crew at Fitness Pain Free are smart.  And helpful.

How to modify deadlifts for Lower Back Pain

Everyone wants triceps that hang off the back of their arms, and when they flex them, it’s like a ham leg coming to life.  If you want to get those triceps better, let Dean Somserset clean up your technique….

Want to do dips? Check this first

Diet and Nutrition

Pancakes!!!  Anyone for pancakes???

Simple protein pancakes

Now while this tested on cricket players, there is no reason why it could not be applied to across the board, especially with the pre-season starting earlier and earlier.  The issue is though, we still have coaches who think that water is for the weak…..

Effects of dehydration on cricket specific skill performance in hot and humid conditions

Food.  We all eat it.  We all love it.  Some of us even worship it (settle down Orthorexics).  What we fail to recognise, however, is the very thing that sabotages our good deeds in the gym.  If you struggle with food, then this post from James Krieger could be the very thing….

A lesson in energy density and palatability

There has been some interesting discussion on this recently.  Alex Viada did a post that shook the internet up, followed closely by Kennet Wale.  Then this beauty was released by James.  While I understand the issues surrounding the incorrect use of the word “Detox”, let James take you on a journey for you understand things a little more.

Detoxing is Bullshit (expect when it’s not)

Mental Goodness

I have never suffered from a migraine, but from what I can decipher is that it’s like someone has a bowling ball and they are throwing it around and around inside your skull, while squirrels are busy hoarding their winter nuts.  If you do suffer from migraines, and have no idea what could be causing it, then this could be extremely helpful.

9 common foods and drinks that can trigger migraines

Sports stars.  We watch their every move.  Buy their products.  Ask them to sign our shirts.  But do we ever stop to think about what life will be like for them when they finish?  At the end of the day, it makes no difference to us, we will just head off after the next big thing.  This is a great article, and should make you think about the next time you see a superstar.

Andre Agassi: “One day your entire way of life ends. Its a kind of death.”

Humanity

I am just at a loss why people care so much about what others think.  In the way that I look at the world, if someone wants to do something different, then good on them.  There is no reason for them to be judged, or ridiculed.

All the feminine things men would say if they weren’t judged

This should be at the forefront of people’s thought patterns when dealing with everyone.  We are tending to engage less with the heart and mind, and more in a combative state…

Engage the heart and mind through the connected classroom

Coaching

Coaches.  If you do not know what a sports specific exercise is, you have two choices.  Either understand your sport and read the article, or hand in your coaching certificate.  That’s the only two choices you have.  Let’s hope you choose the first one.

Sports Restrictive vs Sports Specific Exercise: How to avoid damaging our athletes

Spotting.  One of life’s little mysteries in gyms everywhere.  To some, it’s lifting the majority of the weight and claiming your training partner has a new PB, to drinking tea while the bar sits squarely on your partners neck while his struggles to get it off, while you tel them “You got this bro”.  This is a solid article on the ins and outs of spotting, and how to do it safely….

How to spot a client and keep yourself safe

Started Reading

This is such a great book, and one that every coach worth their salt should have read, and have on their shelf.

Periodization Training for Sports

Quality Articles of the Week – 17th of March

4 weeks straight, and on St. Patrick’s Day as well!!!  I can’t believe that I can actually be on time with something.  Time management was always something that I have struggled with for a long time now,  and instead of planning, and doing a little bit, it became an overwhelming task.  We have found a new Website of the Week, as well as articles from across the spectrum of general fitness, strength training, movement and mental goodness, among others.  If you have seen an article that you believe should be in the weekly list, please send it through.

Website of the Week

I always feel better when I can share some of the wonderful local pages that are making a difference in the community that I live in.  This is one of them.  Believe me, when autumn and winter roll along, you will wish you got on Nikki’s website earlier….

Nikki Wagner Nutrition

General Fitness

Now I can hear people from miles away screaming “this is bullshit”, but the facts don’t lie.  Look at the physical inactivity statements for starters.  They tell the story of people who are not moving.  Moving is crucial for brain health, for mental health.

9 research findings that shows education needs sport

I don’t mind the content from Born Fitness.  It is always well researched, and well written.  So, if you are struggling to drop body fat, this could be of great assistance.

Want to burn more fat? Add this to your fat loss plan

First things first.  This does not apply to general population.  Unfortunately, you are not working hard enough.  Secondly, understand that doing nothing does NOT help you get better.  Thirdly, brilliant article..

Quit resting so hard and restore instead

Charlatan.  Scammer.  Liar.  Mentally challenged. And these are the nice things I have to say.  Do not get conned again.  Fool me once.  Shame on you.  Fool me twice.  Shame on me.

Belle Gibson makes new health claims

Movement Goodness

Foam rolling.  Called a gimmick by some, while others use them as light sabers.  To the rest of us, they perform a job, and we nearly always feel better after using one.  But, do you know if they are really effective?  Well the smart people decided to look at all the research and put their thoughts on paper.

The effects of self‐myofascial release using a foam roller or a massager on joint range of motion, muscle recovery, and performance: A systematic review

Pull ups.  One of the great tests of physical power, but what do you do when you have shitty shoulders?  Glad you asked.  Let Dan get you the right information.

How to modify pull ups for painful shoulders

Walking.  The cheapest exercise we can ever do.  You don’t need fancy shoes, or headphones, or Strava, or an elephant.  All you need to put one foot in front of each other.  But yet, it is one of the most underutilised exercise programs on the planet.  It must be because people expect more.

New study shows that more time walking means less time in hospital

Strength Training

Yes, I know.  Girls can’t squat.  Girls can’t do push ups.  Girls.  Girls.  Girls.  Read the article.  Realise how your words and squatting technique can be corrected by, GASP, by a girl….

Squat like a girl

I must say I do like the writing style of Alex.  It really gets the brain working.

Old Man Training – Part 1

Dan Pope and crew at Fitness Pain Free are smart.  And helpful.

How to modify deadlifts for Lower Back Pain

Diet and Nutrition

The protein supplementation market is huge, with figures around the $14B.  So what does it mean if you think protein powder is all the same, and you cough out big $$$ for a shitty product?  Well we now have a place to check their claims…

Top 10 Protein Supplements

I know.  Click bait title.  What are they selling.  There must be a catch.  But there isn’t.  It is just a well written piece on what you should be eating.

3 foods you must eat if you want 6 pack abs

Ah wellness.  The mention of that word has people’s heads falling off.  They think of detoxes.  They think of wellness shakes.  They think of removing toxins from their body by drinking lemon water. Understand that if anyone has the title “Life Coach” get a really good understanding of what their life is like first.

Wellness gurus part of the Australian Health Problem

Just eat your fucking vegetables.  No.  Don’t put them in a shake.  Don’t stir them in water.  Just eat them.  Chew them up nice and good.  They are really good for you, and if you say you don’t like vegetables, then I say you haven’t tried every single vegetable.

What to do when you don’t like vegetables

Mental Goodness

Routines.  We use them to drive to work.  We use them when shopping (if you don’t you should), and when use them at night-time.  But when it comes to exercise, health and diet, we just try any new, fan dangled way.  Put daily consumption of fat in your coffee?  Fuck Yeah.  Too busy to eat properly?  Get on the shitty shakes.  Put some routine into your day, and see how much better you will perform.

The power of routine

Seems like the article above and this one share a common message, albeit being much different.  Planning doesn’t have to be time-consuming.  Pick a date in the future, enlist the assistance of some experts, and work with them to build a plan.  Take into account that there will be bumps and stops on that path, but believe it in.  After all, it’s your path.  No one else’s.

Take the long look: How to plan (very) far ahead in order to reach your goals

Humanity

We hear it all the time “You look slimmer today?  Tell me your secret”, or the old “Hasn’t such and such got fat.  They must have some issues”.  This is a wonderful article..

3 Reasons Why You Should Never Comment On Someone’s Weight

To me, Todd Hargrove is always on the money.  Let him guide you through the maze of experts and gurus.  I do hope you can tell the difference after this.  If you can’t re-read again.

Experts and Gurus: What’s the difference?

Coaching

In a world where people are selling everything to everybody, your profession should stand you above most things.  Like Travis, I have huge issues with those that are using their identity to “sell” products, and not just any products, those that are known not to do anything, apart from take money off you, most times in very large amounts.  Very well written article Travis.

4 things it’s not okay to do as a Fitness Professional

This article came through other means, and it’s a great one!!  If you follow certain people on social media, at the bare minimum understand if they are credible, and have a background (notice I said background, not backside) in what they are talking about.

Fitness trainers, Instagram community and other “wellness” people, we need to talk.

 

Started Reading

This is such a great book, and one that every coach worth their salt should have read, and have on their shelf.

Periodization Training for Sports

Fading away

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“My god!!!  What have you done?  Are you not well?  If you keep going, you will end up in the hospital!!” “Don’t you think you are taking this exercise thing a little too far?  Look at you, you are fading away?”.

Why do people use the phrase “fading away” to friends and family who have lost a significant amount of weight, or have made some serious changes to their lifestyle?  After all, isn’t being healthy, the main aspect of life.  Do you think YOU have the right to make that call.  If you were so seriously worried, wouldn’t you talk to their trainer and ask for their knowledgeable thoughts.  Better still, seek some expert advice from a doctor (No Dr Oz does not count as advice!!!!), or an another health professional, explaining to them the situation.  They may want to reach out to their fitness professional, or even want to see the individual.  But don’t be too judgemental when they take a look at you sitting their in front of them, and question you about YOUR health aspects.  Maybe, just maybe, you are a little jealous of their success and want to bring them down a peg or two?

Most of the time, this person has finally said “enough is enough”, and got a small hold on their life.  They no longer see food as something they shouldn’t eat, or want to waste a day or a weekend recovering from another alcohol and food coma.  They may have had enough of the late nights, lack of energy or had a health scare.  Whatever their reason, we should be embracing it, Embracing their new-found look on life, on health, and on their “why”.

To me, this not only makes the individual feel ashamed, but also may have a longer lasting effect on their goals. To me fading away indicated an illness, a sickness, where anorexia nervosa springs to mind, and should not be aligned to someone gaining muscle and losing body fat. A person who is fading away, most will try to hide their illness.  Baggy clothing.  Heading to the toilet straight after dinner.  They may not be outgoing.  They may not want to talk about what is happening. Take a close look next time you want to tell someone they are fading away.  What can you see?  Can you see dark, sunken eyes.  Can you see clothes not fitting properly, and falling off their body?  Or can you see muscle definition, a change in their food choices and words.  Someone who has lost a great deal of weight, and replaced it with muscle, will be full of vitality, and want to tell people what they are doing, and how they are doing it.

Please keep this in mind next time you want to tell someone they are fading away.  Maybe, it is the mirror you need to look into, and think about what YOU need to change.

Next post will on happiness, and what it is that makes you happy.

Until then, remember, strength is the secret sauce.