EP 19 – Does cardio make you fat, want to be a trainer?, in season vs. off season, bulking vs. cutting, sauces!, should workouts destroy you, death of bootcamp

Does cardio make you fat, Want to be a trainer?, In season vs. off season, Bulking vs. cutting, Sauces!, Should workouts destroy you, Death of bootcamp


 

Welcome to episode 19 of Coach Taylor Radio!

This episode I open up with a general discussion about everything fitness going on over the last couple of weeks! If you haven’t checked out my YouTube or Facebook pages, head over there if you want to join the conversation!

This episode….

Does Cardio Make You Fat?

  • Some serious misinformation going on over the last few weeks on cardio – I endeavour to clear it up for you!

Want to be a Trainer?

  • I have been getting asked a lot recently about how to go about becoming a personal trainer or fitness coach – this episode I point you in the right direction and answer that question

In-Season vs. Off-Season Training

  • While you might think this is only relevant to elite athletes, you might be surprised! If you or someone you know participates any kind of seasonal sport or activity – give this a listen!!!!!

Bulking vs. Cutting

  • Traditionally this is for bodybuilders and fitness models, however, it ties in directly to a lot of questions I have been receiving about getting leaner and losing bodyfat

Sauces

  • When it comes to eating healthy people really believe that food has to be bland and boring. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Sauces are an easy way to add flavour and spice things up, but are they healthy??

Should Your Workout Destroy You?

  • This is a huge debate in the fitness world but what are the facts?

Death of Bootcamp?

  • Once the height of the fitness popular world, Bootcamp programs are embarking on a long slow death. And I could not be happier!!!

There we have it – episode 19! Hope you enjoyed it and I was able to answer some questions for you!

As always – please feel free to drop me a line with any questions, comments, concerns, or any topics you would like me to cover in future episodes!

If you want to check out this podcast on Itunes – just search ‘Strength Coach Taylor’.

-Coach Taylor

You’re Probably Doing Lunges Wrong

I really believe that lunges are one of the most fantastic exercises out there, however, I believe that they are also one of the most improperly performed exercises.


 

Scroll down to check out an awesome (yes, because I made it!) video going through how lunges SHOULD be coached. Or if you can’t wait – Click HERE.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 12.22.04 PM


 

I think I can understand where the bad cueing and coaching came from. A couple of decades ago lunges somehow became a ‘women’s exercise’ and were relegated to cardio based aerobics classes. It still isn’t often you walk into a gym and see the squat racks filled with strong people doing lunges.

Because it is necessary to keep cueing easy in a group setting, it just seemed safer to tell people to keep a straight back. And this has left us with a butchery of a VERY effective exercise.

The ‘straight back’ idea somehow became ‘upright posture.’ I understand that a neutral spine (maintaining the normal curve) is important. But I do not believe that a vertical posture is right!

Think athletic stance – forward lean, weight distributed through the whole foot, shoulder width stance, and proper stride length. This is a powerful position and makes best use of the glutes, quads, and core.

When we take the posture vertical we lose a lot of this strong, powerful position, and can overly load the spine. Not what we are looking for.

I use lunges with all of my clients, yes, even those with knee and back issues. How? By using a better position than what is typically seen.


For those of you who like science and numbers – check out this blog. I co-wrote this with my staff physiotherapist. While it is a response to women and whether they should do lunges – it is a great science based article explaining the reasoning behind my belief in a non-vertical stance lunge position.

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Click HERE to read blog 


For the more visual among you – I put up a YouTube clip explaining it all!


I really think that lunges are a fantastic exercise that should be included into any great strength and conditioning program. Making sure the form is on point is the best way to really maximize the benefit of this truly powerful unilateral exercise!!!

As always – if you have questions or comments I love to hear from you!

-Coach Taylor

The 6 Best Ab Exercises You Probably Aren’t Doing

I have been getting a ton of feedback after my video showing everyone how your abs and core REALLY work. Everyone wants to know, if I don’t like crunches and sit-ups, what do I use to train clients?

So here you go! The top 6 ab/core exercises that I am using day in and day out with my clients!

If you prefer reading then here they are as a list:

  1. Ab-roll outs
  2. Farmer’s walks
  3. Landmine press
  4. Stir the Pot
  5. Reverse woodchops
  6. Pallof holds

For descriptions of each and to see how they are done – check out the video!

Some of you will be asking, ‘but I don’t feel my abs burning during these exercises?’ No, for most of them you probably won’t.

I do not believe in any ab isolation exercises. Check the abs on my two staff in the video – guess what? They do not use any ab isolation exercises!

Seeing your abs is all about getting your body fat down, which is mostly mediated by your diet! Not by what stomach exercises you throw into a program. In fact, most ab specific exercises are REALLY terrible calorie burners. And frankly, when you want to see your abs you want to be crushing calories and revving up your metabolism!

These exercises challenge your abs and core in positions and motions that those muscles are meant to be working in.

Remember, your spine wasn’t meant to be crunched repeatedly and your ab muscles weren’t meant to do that crunching! Your core musculature is meant to keep your spine erect and supported. So you should be training them that way!

And to add a little extra to the list – my 3 top exercises of all time for a strong core? Squats, deadlifts, and step-ups! All with as much load as you can safely manage!

If you didn’t catch my video explaining how your abs and core actually work – check out my YouTube channel!

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-Coach Taylor

Questions or comments? Feel free to drop me a line or comment below!

The 5 Stupidest Things in this Anti-Cellulite News Segment

I was simply going to make a Facebook post about this. But it kept getting longer and longer. So blog it is!

While purusing my usual fitness blogs and feed this morning I came accross this little gem of a video. I mean, I know it is Fox News and they are notorious for showing terribly inaccurate bullshit science, but I was still flabbergasted by this one.

Maybe not even so much at Fox News as I am blown away that a so called ‘professional’ physical therapist would actually go on national television and put his name behind such blatant scientifically inaccurate BULLSHIT.

Getting Rid of Cellulite.

Here is a link to the segment in question so you can see for yourself.

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We have a cultural need to villify cellulite and call it ‘unsightly’, as the news host states in the video, or, as she goes on to mention, ‘even the most beautiful hollywood celebrities SUFFER from it,’ ‘it look’s like gravy.’ [emphasis added by me].  We tell young girls and women as they age that it makes them less attractive. This is great for people marketing products to get rid of cellulite.

The truth?

Creams, exercises, products, and special foods DO NOT GET RID OF CELLULITE.

Cellulite is simply the way your body stores body fat. Some people the fat is stored closer to the skin so you can see it, other people have fat stored deeper under the skin so you can’t see it. Period.

This is why you will see some obese people with perfectly smooth skin, while at the same time you will see professional models with barely any fat that have visible cellulite. If you don’t think that is true you don’t understand photo editing :) Trust me, I am a published photographer, I have seen this over and over again.

The only way then to get rid of cellulite is to decrease your overall body fat. The only way to do that is to eat well and exercise. Period.

But we are forced to listen to this stupid garbage from pseudo-professionals that are marketed directly at the uneducated consumer. I do not mean consumers are stupid – simply that most people watching this news segment are not formally educated in biology and physiology. That is OK! That is what professionals are supposed to do – interpret the science.

What has me so riled up from this news segment? Let’s see….

1. They state that cellulite is there because the muscle underneath is not active. 

False. I don’t really have much to say about this. Because it is simply not true or based on any science at all. Bullshit.

2. You must release muscles first before you can activate them. 

True-ish. Tight muscles can impair muscle function. Loosening restrictions in the muscle can improve it’s function. This, however, has NOTHING TO DO WITH CELLULITE.

The physical therapist then goes on to talk about the muscle being able to actively lengthen and shorten to work properly. Ok. True-ish. But again, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CELLULITE.

Stop throwing around science terms to attempt to legitimize the bullshit that you are spewing.


 

Want to hear the truth about cellulite? Click the picture to listen to my podacst Episode 12 – where I discuss cellulite!

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3. Doing wide stance squats will get rid of cellulite. 

No. It won’t. The physical therapists referes to the squats in the clip as inner thigh squats. WTF is that. Wider stance recruits more glutes – that is science. The inner thigh muscles might work a little harder but they most certainly are NOT the primary muscles involved.

Oh – and when asked if you should add weight to these squats – ‘only every other day’ is his recommendation. Argh. Doing a ton of ‘inner thigh squats’ with bodyweight every day will NOT get rid of your inner thigh cellulite.

Go ahead. Try it. Let me know how that works out for you.

4. Push your knees outside your feet during a wide stance squat. 

This is just fucking stupid. This is everything that we tell our clients NOT to do in order to make sure that don’t ruin their knees.

Please, DO NOT push your knees outside of your feet during ANY sqauts and especially when you are in a wide stance position.

5. Tight hip flexors ‘shut down your abs, thighs, and glutes.’ 

Turns them off? How the fuck did you walk into the building to film this segment then? If all those muscles are turned off your spine would collapse and you wouldn’t be able to walk anywhere. Seriously.


 

What do I see during this segment?

A physical therapist willing to say whatever is necessary to get on TV. Maybe he is friends with Dr. Oz…..

I also find it funny that all of the areas just happen to be the ‘problem spots’ women are told they have. You know, abs, butt, thighs, back of the arms, and back of your legs. What a great way to appeal this segment to a large audience.

*slow clap*

Here is the facts. Cellulite is fat stored under your skin. If you don’t want cellulite you must decrease body fat. And for some people this will not matter because your body fat is stored very close to the surface of your skin.

No amount of foam rolling, muscle release, or muscle activation will do anything about any cellulite you might be able to see.

And finally, be very careful with what you see on TV. Go share this with anyone you know who just might be doing these things to decrease cellulite. And throw out their cellulite reduction cremes as well!!!

 

-Coach Taylor

Ep 18 – IIFYM, Cardio in AM or PM, Too much protein?, What protein is best, Open vs. closed grip, Some people can’t GAIN weight

IIFYM, Cardio in AM or PM, Too much protein?, What protein is best, Open vs. closed grip, Some people can’t GAIN weight

 

Welcome to episode 18 of Coach Taylor Radio!

This episode is 100% listener generated questions! I always like taking feedback from listeners because generally if one person out there has a question, many others have the same question!!

IIFYM – If it fits your macros

This is one of the industries hot topics at the moment and seems to be gaining in popularity. I am putting together a dedicated blog on this topic which I will publish soon! For now, you can listen to me chat about it!!

Cardio: AM or PM?

So many rules abound in the health and fitness industry and I feel like 50% of them revolve around cardio training. More on that in future episodes, this week I want to talk about doing cardio based workouts in the AM or PM and what is better.

Can you eat too much protein?

Many people work at limiting carbs and replacing them with protein – but can you have too much of a good thing?

What protein is best?

The question I was asked was are there good vs. bad protein powders and the answer is definitely yes. Also touch on different types of protein (ex. animal vs. powder vs. plant etc.) and if some are better than others.

Open vs. Closed Grip

In episode 15 we talked about grip strength and how important it is. What type of grip you use can have a huge impact on this! I talk a little about it in this podcast and for those of you who prefer visuals here is a little video clip for you!

 


As always – thanks so much for listening! If you have any questions, comments, or feedback I would be happy to hear it!!!

-Coach Taylor

Can youth weight train? Obviously.

I am somewhat aghast that I am writing about this…again. But, alas, the misconceptions and downright fictional ‘truths’ seem to abound and voices of reason attempting to teach facts are all too often lost in the background noise.

Is it safe for youth and teens to train with weights?

For some reason this question abounds. There is overwhelming evidence both researched and anecdotal answering this question I am dumbfounded when I am asked.

The answer?

Yes. It is perfectly safe.

A few of our young athletes training - with weights!!!
A few of our young athletes training – with weights!!!

Not only is it perfectly safe it is much safer than if this population did not strength train! That’s right, NOT strength training is far worse for youth and teens than getting their bodies stronger actually is.

I am going to attempt to keep this article short. Attempt.

Here are the main arguments people give when they spew off the dangers.

  1. It will stunt their growth and ruin their growth plates.
  2. It will wreck their joints
  3. It isn’t safe to be lifting too much weight

 

Let’s break it down (go back and read those last three words again, I busted out a sick hip hop beat and rapped that when I wrote it – I would like if you did to).

Continue reading

Think You Understand Your Abs?

There is so much misinformation out there when it comes to training it is amazing anyone actually does anything.

The ‘core’ and ‘abs’ is probably one of the best examples of how a lack of basic physiology knowledge contributes to REALLY shitty training.

Here is a video – yes a little longer than I intended – that will show you HOW the ab muscle works and WHAT it is supposed to be doing!

 

Why is all of this important? In order to know how to train yourself, or for you trainers and coaches out there, your clients, it is extremely important to understand how things work.

Once you understand how the muscle functions and what it is supposed to be doing then you are in a far better position to know what advice you should be taking and what you should throw out with the latest Kanye mag. Just not worth your time.


 

Here are the 6 key points you need to know:

  • Feeling a muscle burn doesn’t mean the exercise is good.

That’s right. Just because you feel an isolated ‘burn’ in a muscle doesn’t mean it is a better exercise. In fact in my training with clients there is almost NEVER an isolated burning feeling. I do not believe any of your muscles are meant to work in isolation.

As we have seen in the video and I describe below, most ab exercises actually overwork the hip flexors. The reason you feel the burning in your abs is because you are isometrically flexing them – holding them tensed.

This is NOT how they are designed to work. So just stop it.

  • Your abs are not supposed to be ‘crunching’ your torso

More detail in the next point – but I really want to emphasis that your abs are not designed to crunch or to do a sit-up. These are just shitty exercises that over time have come to be associated with ab training.

Will these exercises ruin your life? Probably not. Could they? Yes. Over enough repetitions crunches will ruin your spine. Will you ever do enough? Maybe yes, maybe not. If you want to risk it, go for it.

Check out the work of Dr. Stuart McGill. He is THE MAN when it comes to spine health. Want to learn the science: here is an awesome 12 page article by Dr. McGill – there are very few pictures.

Dr. McGills article 

  • Your abs actually work as anti-extensors/rotators and to stabilize your spine

Really should check the video for this point. The gist of it is that your abs job is to stop you from twisting around too far and bending too far backwards. Additionally to this, they are there to stabilize the spine during movement, you know, like walking, throwing, swimming, and getting up out of bed.

  • Your abs are designed to stabilize during movement

Planking is good. But it isn’t the best. There is no movement to it. And your abs are designed to stabilize during movement. This is why we use a variety of carries and anti-rotation exercises to train the core.

Overhead carries and cable chops are some of the best!

  • Most ‘ab’ exercises are actually overworking the hip flexors

Easy to see. What is moving: the hip joint or the torso. Think you are training your abs? Look at the body move.

If the distance between the ribs and the hip bones barely moves but the hip joint itself gets larger and smaller – BAM! – more hip flexor than ab muscle. Your abs feel it because they are holding a flexed status.

  • Do you want to be training your hip flexors? NO.

We spend WAY too much of our lives sitting. Seriously. Work. Car. Eating. TV. Watching sports. You name it – we are always sitting. This is very bad for you.

This flexed hip position wreaks havoc on your hip flexors. Why o why then are you working those hip flexors even more when you train? Argh. Stop it. Overworking the hip flexors exacerbates so many hip, knee, and back issues. It is terrible for you.

Get rid of anything that overworks your hip flexors.


But you want a sweet set of sexy awesome abs you say?

Anti extension/rotation, lots of carries, deadlifts, squats, and stir the pot is everything you need to achieve that goal. Well, and you have to have great nutrition to slop off all that fat covering your abs.

They say the proof is in the pudding.

Well here is one of my clients who used to have a soft pudgy mid-section. I think you would agree things have changed. And guess what? No crunches. No hip flexor dominant exercises. In fact we NEVER do ANY ab specific training.

Boom.

-Coach Taylor

 

Ep 17 – Fitness and pregnancy: what you need to know, 1 arm back rows, what is facia, making muscles long and lean

Ep 17 – Fitness and pregnancy: what you need to know, 1 arm back rows, what is facia, making muscles long and lean


 

Welcome to episode 18 of Coach Taylor Radio!

Exciting episode ahead! I have an awesome interview that I think needs to get shared everywhere in the fitness world! But first!

One arm back rows

Let’s talk about 1 arm back rows! This is one of the exercises I really feel needs to be changed in the fitness industry – particularly the way it is coached!

Here is a quick video going over it in more detail:

 

Facia and elastic tissue

Not something many people think about but it is very very important!!! I believe it is the most overlooked aspect of most training programs. ESPECIALLY as we age! What is it and why is it so important?

Here is a video clip that shows just how it works. BEWARE!!! This video is made using human cadavers!! But it is a great look at the science behind why the facia is so important.

 

RANT ALERT 

Just a brief rant on how to make your muscles longer and leaner :)

 

Exercise and Pregnancy

To finish of this podcast is a fantastic interview with Dr. Shawna Johnston. She is not only highly credentialed but she is also very dedicated to her personal fitness. As a doctor, educator, and mother of three time is a precious commodity. She has learned over the years, however, just how important fitness is and never makes excuses. She is an inspiration!

This interview goes over exercise and pregnancy. Should you exercise? Is it safe to begin exercising? How much should you eat during pregnancy? What does the science say? What about exercise post C-section? Can exercise be harmful during breastfeeding?

Just a few of the topics Dr. Johnston answers for us in this interview.


 

Thank you so much for listening! As always, if you have questions, comments, concerns, or if there is something you want me to chat about in the future – please feel free to drop me a line!!!

-Coach Taylor

Exercise: You’re probably doing this wrong

I am a firm believer that there is usually no single ‘right’ way to do things in the world of fitness. As I showed in a recent post, there are definitely some things that just aren’t worth the risk, however, usually there is some grey area.

I want to tackle the one arm back row.

It is a staple exercise in gyms everywhere and I really feel like it is not done right!

Here is a clip going over everything! If you prefer text then keep reading!

Typically, the one arm back row is held to very strict form. You will hear trainers and fitness pros everywhere tell people to stop twisting their back and to keep their body still while they row.

This is crazy talk. I think this exercise is totally butchered.

Continue reading

Ep 16 – Eating for AM workouts, why you need a coach, ketogenic diets, tricep dips, and my ultimate favorite exercise equipment

Eating for morning exercise, why you need a coach, ketogenic diets, triceps dips are bad, and my favorite exercise equipment


 

Welcome to Episode 16 of Coach Taylor Radio!!

For those who are waiting to chat about exercise and pregnancy – you are going to have to hold out one more episode! I have a special guest coming on to chat about how to train while you are pregnant!


 

First up this week – eating for early AM workouts. Yes, a lot of people train at 6am – but what should you eat (or should you eat!) before training at this time

Why you need a coach – I strongly believe that everyone does better with a fitness coach. I will tell you why!

Ketogenic diets – you might know them as low carb diets – just wont seem to go away. I have a (moderately) long segment on the pros and cons of this nutrition strategy. More importantly I talk about the science behind it all!

Tricep Dips – had a popular video on this earlier in the week – this segment delves a little further into the science and details of why bench dips top my list of exercises I think need to be banned!!!!

Lastly – my absolute favorite piece of fitness equipment. I am not going to tell you what it is, you are going to have to make it to the end to find out :)


 

Once again, thank you everyone for listening. I am dedicated to helping you steer through the crap of the industry and hope that I am helping you in your fitness programs or helping those other trainers and coaches out there become better at what they do!

If there is anything you would like me to discuss in the future please do not hesitate to drop me a line!!! I love making things as interactive as possible!

-Coach Taylor

Strength and Fitness Coach