Coach Taylor Radio Episode 5

Welcome to episode 5 of Coach Taylor Radio!

We are currently in the process of redesigning the site and adding some functionality – hence the delay in this episode!

This episode I cover:

1 – The 3 best exercises ever. If you could only do three exercises for the rest of your life, what should they be?

2 – How to build a better ass. If shapely glutes are the goal, what is it going to take?

3 – Foam roll away fat. The stupiduty of TV. Dr. Oz recently was under fire but he isn’t the only offender. You can’t believe everything you hear on TV. No, you cannot foam roll away your fat.

4 – Hiring a personal trainer. This can be a huge investment and your future health depends on the choice you make!!!!!

Coach Taylor Radio Episode 4

Welcome back to Coach Taylor Radio!

Here is episode 5!

This weeks topics:

Diversity in your workouts – do you change your workouts too often? How much diversity is too much? Could you be stopping your own success?

Should everyone do every exercise – are there some exercises that certain people should take out of their programs forever? Is there a best exercise?

and finally….

Top factors preventing YOUR fat loss!  - what are the top three things I have seen time and again that stop people’s fat loss goals dead in their tracks?

Thank you all again for taking the time to tune in! As always – questions and comments are welcome as I love this all being interactive! Hit me up on facebook, twitter, instagram or go old school and email me – taylor at tayloredtraining.ca

Coach Taylor Radio Episode 3

Welcome to episode three of Coach Taylor Radio!

This week I am getting crazy and putting in 4 topics!

First – answering a lisetener question – how much water should you drink?

Then I talk about the changing face of athletic training. This is a must listen if you or someone you know does any kind of training for sport – recreational or competative!

Your core is next with a discussion of Hollowing vs. Bracing – not more sucking in your stomach to protect your back!

Lastly, we talk about specificity of exercises – is there one proper way to do an exercise?

Coach Taylor Radio – episode 3!

Here we go!

Questions? Want me to talk about something? Drop a line on FB or email: info at tayloredtraining.ca

Coach Taylor Radio – Episode 2!!

Welcome to Episode 2 of Coach Taylor Radio!

Had a great response from last weeks episode – including a few listener questions! Keep those coming!

This week on episode 2

  • Training young athletes

 

  • Running for fat loss

 

  • Top 3 things you need for success with your health and fitness program

 

Without further adieu – episode 2!

Welcome to Coach Taylor Radio!

Welcome to episode 1 of Coach Taylor Radio!!!

What is Coach Taylor Radio?!

Starting this week, I will be releasing a weekly streaming radio show for anyone who wants some real, no crap, no holds barred health and fitness information. Each episode will cover a variety of topics chosen from the deep recesses of my brain or from questions sent in to me.

Episode one has a brief introduction before I discuss the following topics:

  • How low should you be squatting?
  • Is barefoot better than shoes?
  • Why does eating healthy make you a leper?

For now you can stream the show via this site. In the coming weeks it will be posted on an all new Coach Taylor Radio site, as well as be available for download. Additionally, it will be available via itunes to stream and subscribe.

Now there is no need for any quiet time! Listen as you commute to work or need a work break ! And as always – I would love feedback and questions!! I just may answer some in future episodes!

-Coach Taylor

It’s Not Your Program – It’s You

This might come across a little harsh and I would like to say that I am sorry about that – but I’m not.

The fact is that when you are working with great fitness professionals and you are not getting results the problem isn’t with with the program – the problem is with you.

Yes – with you.   

I am going to use my fitness facility as the example here. This way I know that what I am talking about it true. We only build and offer our members world class programing based on the most cutting edge research and practices within the fitness world. We don’t build some programs better than others. One member isn’t on a pretty good program while another member is on an AWESOME program. We don’t hold out the good stuff for members who pay more or have been with us longer.

No, all of our programs are custom designed to the specific individual to maximize their results.

Our group training classes are an even better example of what I am talking about. Everyone does the same workout. There is no difference between programming for group coaching participants – instead we build wicked programs that kick everyones ass.

Why then do some people get better results than others? Why do I hear people bemoan on a regular basis how they aren’t happy with their results and wish they could get results like (insert someone else’s name here). If the programming calibre is the same across the board, then what is it? What is the differentiating factor between people following a fitness program?

The answer is that it is you. It is the individual. It is about how much you put into it.

The people who are getting the best results are the people who work the hardest. Who do the last rep. Who put in the extra effort. Who don’t try and slowly move between sets to get a little extra rest. Who don’t whine and cry that it’s hard and their muscles hurt.

I see it everyday. People on the same program getting vastly different results. I watch those people and see the difference in intensity levels that they put out. And believe me, there is a huge difference. Just showing up to the gym doesn’t mean you did a workout. Just because you go through the motions and ‘do’ the workout doesn’t mean you DO the workout.

There is a huge difference between doing your workout to get through it and doing your workout with purpose. With intent. You have to WANT to work hard. You have to sweat. You have to sacrifice. You have to hurt. You have to get out of you comfort zone. Plain and simple – you will get out of it what you put into it.

So the next time you are looking at someone and thinking how you just wish you could get the results they seem to achieving you have to realize that it is not their program that is getting their results. THEY are getting their results. Period. They are busting their ass and putting in the effort, in and out of the gym.

Every single time I watch people not achieve the results they want I also see that they aren’t really working that hard. They half ass reps, they ‘mostly’ follow their diet, and they ‘almost never’ miss their workouts.

Want their results? Do their work. It is all about what you are willing to put into it.

-Taylor

What My Parents Taught Me

My recent blog on why we work in fitness got me thinking a little further.

Over the holidays my parents spent a month with my wife and I. Don’t worry, not as stressful as it sounds, we actually like them being around. After working on some health and fitness goals with them, I wanted to share some thoughts with my fellow fitness pros.

Maybe some out there won’t agree. I really don’t give a shit. I have been doing this over ten years, have built up an amazingly successful fitness business with my wife, obtained a masters degree, and hold more certs than I can remember (literally, sometimes I forget them). The fact is, what I am about to say really is the truth.

Fitness professionals worry too much and we set highly unrealistic expectations of our clients. We expect them to be us. 

Let’s think about that for a second. Who are we?

We are fitness geeks. We live, breathe, and study fitness. It’s what we do. It’s our passion, our hobby, our career. We read fitness books, blogs and magazines. Our Facebook lists are filled with other fitness people and fitness fanpages. We travel to fitness conferences, visit other gyms – for FUN – and socialize with other fitness professionals and enthusiasts.

We think it is totally normal to not eat cake at birthday parties, to skip nights at the pub. People don’t like coming to our parties because the food is healthy and we don’t really drink much. Vacations filled with fitness classes and workouts being planned around hotel fitness facilities is totally NORMAL for us.

We really are fitness geeks. 

Well guess what: to the other 99.9% of the population we are freaks. We aren’t fun. They think we just need to live a little, relax and eat some poutine. They can’t understand that what we do, we do because we love it. We aren’t being forced. We choose this lifestyle and we like it.

They don’t get it.

I think a lot of the frustration many fitness professionals and enthusiasts have is the fact that we spend so much time trying to get our clients to be like us. When they aren’t – we get frustrated and angry.  

And really, the truth is, they don’t need to be like us. They really don’t.

This is what I recently realized even more during my parents visit. They have not taken care of their health and fitness over the past few years. So of course during their stay my wife and I started planning out  nutrition programs and workouts for them (we are fun to visit, really!).  

Then it hit me. Ten years of being a fitness coach all fell into place. 

They don’t need a nutrition plan. They don’t need a regimented and periodized fitness program. Not only don’t they need it, they won’t do it. Ever. No matter how encouraging we are or what strategies we come up with.

Sure, they could make some better nutrition choices and they definitely need to do more exercise. But they aren’t us. They don’t want to be. My dad wants to eat his two pieces of toast with butter and a coffee for his signature nighttime snack. He has been doing it for 20 years and that might take some time to change.

What I realized is that they need a basic fitness program that is fun and keeps them fit enough to enjoy life. They don’t need to be us.

They want to be able explore on vacation, go for walks, keep their blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels and play with their grandkids. They want to be mobile and happy. That’s it. That’s what they want. And as fitness professionals we should strive to meet those goals. Not attempt to make them bodybuilders, figure models, or athletes.

Obviously, it is important to take care of their movement, joint range of motion, and strength. We want to make sure they are eating a healthy diet so they are around with us for a long time and not reliant on medication to stay alive.

The thing is they have been with us for almost 60 years and they are doing alright so far. Whatever they have been doing can’t be so bad. Is it perfect? No. Are they as fit as they should be? No. But we can work with that.

Let’s be honest. They are set in their ways. Some things I am not going to change. They grew up drinking fruit juice and thinking it was healthy for them. It’s a generational thing. I am not going to get them to give up their orange juice (about as much a chance as they had telling me what to do when I was 16. Lol). So instead, I helped them find reduced sugar options with a little more fiber and a little less sugar.

Little steps. They can do that.

And I realized there is no need for a 12 month periodized program that will turn them into athletes. They don’t give a shit about that. It’s too complex. They will be bored. And I guarantee they will never follow it. 

But a few days a week spending 30 minutes on a TRX and doing some pushups, amongst other body weight exercises and some fun mini circuits they can do together is fun. They will do that. Just enough that they will get stronger and be able to easily hoist the grandkids up.  They will be happy, feel good, and enjoy life. Why isn’t that good enough?

See, I think that most fitness professionals are way too extreme. We expect too much. Well, perhaps I should say the younger fitness professionals. When you look at us over 30’s who have been doing this a long time, well, we are a little different. And when you look at the top pro’s – the Gray Cooks, the Cosgroves, Mike Boyles, and Dr. John Berardi’s, THE people in the biz, you see a really different outlook. One I have adopted myself.

If someone has a specific condition or if someone truly wants to have a six pack or participate in a specific sporting event of course this is an exception to this rule and it’s time to get serious.  But for the majority of your clients, for the majority of the people who come to us, relax a little. They want to feel better, they want to drop a couple sizes, they want to play with their kids and be able to have some fun on vacation.

So don’t look for ‘fitness professional perfection’. Focus on making your clients happy, keeping them fit, sneaking in a few little things they won’t even realize that will improve their health and quality of life. It’s realistic and it’s doing what we are supposed to be doing – making people happy and healthy.

New Year’s Message to My Collegues

It’s that time of year in the fitness world. New Years Resolutioners are slogging it out to the gyms and fitness facilities don’t even need a sales staff; they can just leave blank contracts on the front desk and let people sign themselves up.

It’s about as much support and assistance as they are going to get for the rest of the year anyway…but I digress.

As I was training a few clients the other day I suddenly had an epiphany that I felt needed to be shared with the fitness world at large.

‘Tis the season.

The fitness season.

This time of year I think fitness professionals lose their focus – lose their direction – lose the WHY – of what this season is all about. Gyms are packed, new clients abound, classes fill up and waiting lists burst binders.

And while we are an altruistic group – generally speaking – we as fitness professionals get caught up in the spirit of the season. It’s like Christmas for us! The aspects most trainers, coaches, and instructors hate – sales, marketing, contracts etc. – are essentially taken care of for us (more like bobbing for apples then hunting for food).

In the fitness industry the Christmas season is full throttle. Sign up clients, get contracts, work for referrals, start new programs and max out capacity. There isn’t much room for anything else.

Watch the bulging little eyes of the salivating fitness staff just about anywhere.
And this is when I think we forget who we are and what we do.

To be fair, this is an issue I think is truly apparent ALL YEAR but this season seems to really highlight it. As I was standing listening to a couple of clients it really struck home with me.

Why are we fitness professionals? Do we ever really sit back and ask ourselves this? Or has it all become a business, numbers, income, sessions, packages, roll calls, heads in class?

Yes, we all have a couple people with great results; those few shining stars who you have helped to great success. I don’t want to be inundated by comments saying, ‘well what about Joe,” “Sara had her best year ever.” Yes, there are always individual examples, we all have those. I am not talking about that. Let’s all just take a second and step back.

We can get so bogged down in the day to day worrying about the business. We stress so much when our clients have one ‘off’ meal or perhaps skip a workout or two. We expect perfection all the time, we expect our clients to love this as much as we do.

We all know the mundane day to day stuff I am talking about. And we get so lost in it. I think we forget to step back every single day and think about why it is we do what we do.

Step back and think about what we really do. I mean really think about it. Not just the generic, “I like to help people,” rhetoric most fitness people love to throw around.

We change lives. Sure, that might include building a washboard stomach and dropping dress sizes, but the important thing to focus on is we change lives.

We watch people become more confident. We see them enjoy life more. We watch them start to travel and enjoy life. Successful clients start trying to do things they have never tried before and they love it. They change careers and they get job promotions.

The success we facilitate makes people love themselves. We change lives not just physically, but in every aspect of what makes people love themselves. We help people wake up in the morning and love themselves. Love being them. Love being alive. There is nothing greater we can do for any people. We make peoples’ lives better.

So this January, I want you to step back and think about that. Think about why we really do what we do.

Just for a few minutes every day don’t think about strategies to commit people to their diets, how to decrease their blood pressure or the fancy new program that you can’t wait to unleash. Forget about the marketing strategy and ignore the sales pressure. Let go of the anger in the overly packed gym you are trying to snag a bench and a dumbbell in. Forget about the other fitness people spewing out advice. Let go of the Internet debates and controversy. Don’t stress over which debate on proper squat form has the best evidence or makes the most sense to you. Try to stop strategizing about how to afford that new revolutionary piece of fitness equipment you have to have.

Step back.

Remember why we do this. Every single day find someplace quiet or put on some headphones with your favorite track and focus on it.

We make peoples’ live better; every aspect of it. We help people live their life. Love themselves, their family, their friends, and everyone else in their lives.
Why do we do this? For that small smile on our clients lips when they realize that they are happy and they can’t wait to wake up in the morning and see what their future holds.

Women Can’t Do Pullups

 

Recently the New York Times published and article with this purposely controversy raising title – Why Women Can’t Do Pullups (read the full article HERE).

 

Lazy people everywhere rejoiced at yet another excuse to be lazy and fit people everywhere locked and loaded their weapons to go on a rampage at the injustice of this claim.

Women can’t do pullups. Really? Hmmmm. Here is a video we threw together randomly one morning….  Women Pullups

At first my fit minded feeling was straight indignation at the authors of the so called scientific journal article where the information was published. My second set of nasty thoughts was aimed directly at the author of the article and lastly I wished destruction upon the media outlets publishing such crap.

As I am inclined to do, however, I decided to research before rant.

The article claims researchers recently released data supporting the idea that women, even fit women as the news article highlights, can’t do pullups. I contacted some of the people I know who are much better researchers than I and asked if they could find this article, because of course the newspaper article didn’t bother to ACTUALLY CITE A SOURCE. No, that would be fair and honest reporting.

What we were all able to find was an article from the same researchers at the quoted University with similar details that the news article reported. Why am I using such ambiguous terminology? Well, because the news article doesn’t really match the research article.

This is when I realized that the research article was in no way intended to be used in the manner that was used/butchered in. Odd, it seems that a reporter misled the public by manipulating research to create controversy. Strange.

You see the actual research article is from the year 2000 (I like how science fiction-y and impressive that sounds in an oddly Orwellian way), which is actually 12 years since publication and most likely about 14 years since the research was actually performed. 14 years?  I hadn’t even graduated high school yet. A lot has changed for me since high school, and I know a lot has changed in exercise, fitness, and strength training since then too. I mean, 14 years ago women were still lifting little 5lbs weights and doing step aerobics to the caressing lyrics of Mariah Carey.

So researchers didn’t ‘just discover this.’ Reporter lie = busted.

When reading the research paper I was quickly flabbergasted by the fact that the research was conducted in an effort to discover if pullups were a useful test for the military or fire services to help determine the fitness level of women. The results of the research – pullups are not a good test because most women can’t do a pullup.

The researchers wanted to determine if a standard exercise program involving the muscles needed to perform a pullup (lattisimus dorsi and biceps) would lead to women being able to actually complete a pullup. So 20 (not 17 as the newspaper article reports) women with little to no fitness training were given a 12 week exercise progam including such things as lat pull downs and bicep curls. They trained three times a week for 12 weeks with University students and their diet was not monitored.

Results – only 3 of the women by the end of 12 weeks were able to perform a pullup.

Thus, even fit women can’t do pullups.

Oh, now I see, that makes total sense.

Train for 12 weeks in a half assed manner, don’t actually do the exercise you are being asked to be tested on, eat what you like, and surprise of surprises, the chances of doing a pullup are less than 25%.

Therefore even fit women can’t do pullups.

Let’s break it down.

Even the researchers commented that the training program wasn’t designed to make the women capable of performing a pullup. No. Their goal was to see if moderately fit women could do a pullup after a general strength training program. Their goal wasn’t to see if women were capable of completing a pullup. They wanted to know if it was fair for the military or fire forces to use pullups as an assessment tool for women applicants who were moderately fit.

So in no way was this a test of whether women COULD perform pullups.

Of course most of the women in this study couldn’t do pullups at the end of the study. THEY DIDN’T EVEN DO ANY PULLUPS DURING THE TRAINING!!!! I am actually surprised that any of them could do a pullup afterwards.

From a fitness perspective all we can discern from this 14 year old research done haphazardly on a whopping 20 people, is that if you do a training program without pull ups, you most likely won’t be able to do a pull up at the end of 12 weeks.

Mind blowing stuff.

I would actually like to see this same protocol used on men in exactly the same manner. Because after 10 years in this business I would say that the same fitness level and training on men would lead to exactly the same result, because guess what, moderately fit men CANT DO PULLUPS EITHER.

So please don’t berate research or trash science. This is a clear cut case of a bored reporter attempting to make a name for herself by showcasing a clear lack of knowledge about fitness and lack of educational ability to actually read and understand scientific research. Should we be more mad at her or the New York Times for allowing such misconstrued bullshit to get published? I am not sure.

The thing is, I can’t change the fact it was written or published. I can’t help convince all the lazy bastards out there using this crap as an excuse to never try and achieve what they are capable of achieving. All I can do is show those who are ready to see what they can accomplish the path to greatness.

Because women can do pullups. I see it every single day.

Runners and Cyclists – Read This!

This is something that I have to drill into endurance athletes brains all the time. Yet for some reason it doesn’t seem to matter how much drilling I do the message gets lost.
Endurance athletes – you need to strength train

 

Yes I recognize that you do endurance activity so the idea that heavy squatting and deadlifting doesn’t seem to make much sense. Or flipping big tires around a parking lot. Or spending entire workouts doing just short sprints instead of going on another long run.

 

The fact is, however, that in order to improve your endurance activities you need to be doing all of the things I just listed above. The reasons are many and I am going to refrain from delving too far into the detailed physiology of it mostly because you will all stop reading!

 

It comes down to metabolic efficiency. All the endurance athletes out there have heard of VO2 max. This is essentially a measure of how efficient your endurance system is and how well you can get oxygen where it needs to go.
So step one with improving your endurance activity is to improve your VO2 max. And the best way to do that is with short burst of high intensity. Sprints. HIT training. That’s right, short high intensity bursts improve VO2 max far more than running, cycling, or swimming further. Research has shown hockey players and 100m sprinters have some of the highest VO2 max test results in the world.

 

This means that adding in short (10 seconds is a good length) bursts of close to max exercise with 30 second rests in between each set. Do this 10 times with an activity that you are comfortable and familiar with. How hard is hard enough? If you could go longer than 10 seconds – wasn’t hard enough.

 

The second thing we will talk about is muscular strength. You need to make your muscles strong. This improves stride length, cycle power, swimming strength and pretty much anything else related to endurance activities. You want your muscles to get stronger.

 

You will be able to exert more power, your joints will be better protected, you will recover faster, you won’t get as sore, and you will have some wicked muscle definition to show off at parties.

 

This is where people falter. They start strength training and they go way too light with way too many repetitions. The goal here is to increase strength. In order to increase strength you have to work to muscular failure in the 6-8 repetition range. So grabbing 20lb dumbells and cranking out 20 reps is not going to make you stronger!

 

You have to use enough resistance that your muscles fail in the appropriate rep range. While you might  think this doesn’t make sense because the reps are so low that is not the case. When you do a lot of high rep work (ie. Run, cycle, swim) you are actually DECREASING your strength. So when it comes to a conditioning workout to enhance your endurance activity you want to be working the aspects of your physiology that those activities are not working. Like your strength!

 

Don’t be afraid of muscular failure. You need to push your muscles to that point with enough resistance that you cant get passed 8 repetitions. That is where you will increase your strength. And increased strength makes you stronger, faster, and enhances your recovery. Yay. Who wouldn’t want that?

 

The moral of the story is you train for your sport when you are doing your sport. When you are looking to use your time in the gym to enhance your abilities in that sport, make sure you are training the aspects of your physiology that are being ignored during the rest of your training!

 

-Strength Coach Taylor