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Exercises You Should Be Doing: Wall Press Single Leg RDL

http://www.tonygentilcore.com/feed/ - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 13:12

Before we get to today’s “Exercise You Should Be Doing,” a quick parenting tip:

If or when your two year old wakes up from a nap and says his tummy hurts, and even if he seems in good spirits, don’t assume he’s just hungry (like I did) and then proceed to take him out for ice cream because it’s Easter.

Cause inevitably, what’s going to happen is what happened to me two hours later…..

…projectile vomit E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.1

Onward!

Copyright: tankist276 / 123RF Stock Photo

Wall Press Single Leg RDL

Who Did I Steal It From? – I honestly can’t remember, but my inclination is to say Chad Rodgers of Show Me Strength.

Or, I don’t know, maybe it was Jesus.

What Does It Do? – Well, before I say anything on that front I should probably show you what the heck it looks like, huh?

 

Pretty fancy.

I’ve long championed the notion that the single (or 1-Legged) RDL is fairly advanced exercise as it requires a hefty dose of “things” to pay nice together:

– Lumbo pelvic stability
– Core control
– Stable spine
– Balance
– Hip extension
– Lat activation
– Stark’s shaking hands with Lannister’s

Many trainees are unable to perform a traditional single-leg  RDL without my corneas resisting the urge to jump out of their sockets, which is why I’m such a stern fan of more “intermediary” variations such as the one that’s highlighted today.

It provides the support/balance many people need, albeit allows an opportunity to load the standing leg making it more or less a “fake 1-legged” version.

Key Coaching Cues: It takes a bit of trial and error and finesse to get the feel down, but one cue that helps a lot is to push the back foot INTO the wall while also pushing BACK with the standing foot.

This way you elicit a bit of a “wedge,” and thus more full-body tension.

From there, simply push the hips back towards the wall. I like to remind people they’re not lowering the weight with their arms, but rather pushing their hips back.

Continue as such until you feel the bulk of the pressure in the hamstring.

NOTE: The other advantage of this exercise is you can go heavier compared to traditional single leg RDL variations.

So, meatheads will love how this torches the hamstrings.

The post Exercises You Should Be Doing: Wall Press Single Leg RDL appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

Categories: Feeds

Alwyn Cosgrove's Rest-Pause Program

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 10:47
This program was based on a study that burned 450% more calories post-workout than a traditional workout. Are you ready to feel the burn?
Categories: Feeds

Refueling and Recovery for BAMF Wrestlers

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:38
In the final part of the #BAMF Wrestler series, Steve "Kono" Konopka and I answer questions about post-match recovery, supplement suggestions, and refueling. Sleep, cryotherapy, contrast showers, foam rolling, vitamin C, beetroot powder, and protein powder are just a few things we suggest.
Categories: Feeds

5 Reasons Your Workouts Aren’t Working

If you train long enough, chances are there will come a point in time where your training isn’t going well.

And while there are a lot of things that may be more important in life than our workouts, at the same time, it really sucks when it feels like you’re spinning your wheels in the gym!

In this article, I want to give you five of the biggest issues I see when a client or athlete of mine isn’t having success.

Now if you’re a trainer or coach and you’re crushing it in the gym, maybe this doesn’t apply to you – and that’s cool.

Bookmark it and save it for another day.

But chances are whether it’s you or someone you train, this article can benefit someone you know – right now, today.

So let’s jump in and talk about five reasons your workouts aren’t working!

#1 – You Don’t HAVE a Workout

Let’s start with one of the simplest reasons you aren’t seeing the results you want in the gym:

You don’t have a workout.

Or to be more clear, you don’t have a program.

There’s a lot more to seeing success in the gym than just showing up (although that is key – but more on that in a minute).

You need to have a focused plan of attack, a goal, for each and every training session you go through.

Maybe it’s using exercises to help you shed body fat.

Maybe it’s increasing your strength on the squat.

Or maybe it’s improving your speed and agility.

The fact of the matter is it doesn’t matter what you’re training for, but it needs to be clear that you’re training for something in particular!

Once you’ve decided what you’re training for, the next step is to find a progressive way to build on that same theme going forward.

Maybe it’s lifting heavier weights.

Maybe it’s decreasing the rest between sets.

Maybe it’s layering in more complex moves or advanced techniques.

Make it a goal to have a focused plan of attack not just for the session at hand, but where you want to go in the weeks and months to come.

It’s a blend of art and science, but as the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

#2 – You’re Not Consistent

As much as I love giving my podcast away to you, selfishly, I learn a ton from them as well.

In a recent episode with Steve Calarco, he talked about an acronym he often uses with his clients and athletes – ACE.

  • A – Accountability
  • C – Consistency
  • E – Effort

While there’s a little bit more to it than just showing up and “putting in the work,” a big part of long-term success is simply showing up and putting in the work!

Consistency and work ethic are two of the great equalizers in the world.

There will always be people who are smarter, better looking, or have better hair (as evidenced by Jim Ferris and Mark Fisher).

But consistency and work ethic are two things you can control each and every time you step into the gym.

If consistency is a struggle, one of my favorite methods to generate accountability is to use the “Chain Link” effect. Jerry Seinfeld is someone that used this method to get him in the habit of writing jokes every day, but you can use it for any habit or goal you want to achieve.

Let’s say your goal is to workout at the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Now using either a regular old-school calendar or one of those big “Year at a Glance” you put on the wall, start putting a big fat “X” on any day you take action.

The goal is to make a chain link either vertically (in the case of a goal that repeats on certain days), or horizontally (for a goal that repeats daily).

And while I’ve used this habit myself to give myself a visual reminder to stay on task, we also use it at at IFAST to keep our Instagram account lit.

(If you like this method, be sure to check out James Clear’s book Atomic Habits for more great info on building better habits.)

#3 – You Keep Changing the Goal

Dan John is one of my favorite authors of all-time for many reasons.

First, he’s a strong mofo who has always walked the walk.

Second, he’s one of the best story tellers I’ve ever seen or heard.

And last but not least, he does an amazing job of keeping things simple and to the point.

So with all that being said, here’s one of my favorite Dan John quotes:

“The goal is to keep the goal, the goal.”

How many times have you been guilty of program jumping?

It’s okay to raise your hand – I’ve been guilty of it myself.

One month I want to improve my movement quality.

The next month, I’m tired of the extra 5-10 pounds I’m carrying around, so it’s time to lean out.

And the month after that, I’m tired of being soft and weak – it’s time to get in the gym and get STRONG like bull!

Do you see where I’m going with this?

It’s impossible to see any sort of measurable growth if you’re constantly changing the metric by which you measure growth.

Stop and read that last sentence one more time – and then stop moving the goal posts.

Coming back to another podcast, Ryan Patrick talks about the concept of using 90-day sprints with his clients and athletes.

They sit down on Day 1 and hash out a specific and measurable goal the client wants to achieve.

They formulate a plan.

And for the next three months, they dial in their focus, crank up the intensity, and get to work!

If you’re not seeing the success you want, ask yourself if you’re constantly jumping from goal to goal.

And if so, find one thing you can focus on for the next 90 days, and then commit to it with everything you’ve got.

Chances are you’ll not only achieve that goal, but be even more motivated to continue this trend going forward.

#4 – You NEVER Change the Program

Let’s be honest: Change is hard.

From 2000-2005, I competed in competitive powerlifting, averaging two meets per year.

And from 2002-2005, I had a very set lifting schedule – it looked something like this:

  • Tuesday – Squat Day
  • Thursday – Bench Day
  • Friday/Saturday – Deadlift Day
  • Sunday – Accessory Bench Day

Even after I stopped powerlifting, that was still my routine for at least the next 5 years.

And that in and of itself isn’t the problem – having a routine is definitely a good thing.

My issue was that there was so little variety in my programming it eventually started to beat me up.

I’m a big believer that one of the best things you can do for your body is find ways to constantly change your exercises.

While the big rocks can always stay (i.e. squat day is still squat day), find different ways to get that same stimulus.

Front squat for a couple of months.

Swap in a safety bar a couple of times per year.

If the low back is feeling beat up, go with a belt squat instead.

Like Dan John said, the goal is to keep the goal the goal – so if you want to build a big squat, that’s awesome!

But if you haven’t rotate your exercise selection since George W. was in office, it may be time to freshen things up a bit!

#5 – You Can’t Stay Healthy

This final point goes along well with my previous one.

Many of the people that I coach both online and offline have struggled with injuries at some point in their career.

Sometimes it’s a freak accident.

Sometimes it’s an alignment or positional issue that’s driving things.

And sometimes, it’s just poor training and coaching that they’ve received in the past!

One of my biggest selling points to my clients and athletes is that my programs will get you to where you want to go in the safest and most effective way I know how.

Could I get faster gains if I threw caution to the wind?

Hells to the yeah!

But I also know that nothing slows your roll in the gym (or in life) worse than getting injured.

This is something I feel truly separates the pros from the wannabes in our field.

Don’t take this the wrong way, but getting stronger, building muscle, or shedding body fat in the short-term is easy.

The real question becomes, can you do this for an extended period of time without someone getting injured?

I’m a big believer that the biggest, fastest and strongest humans achieved these feats by training consistently for an extended period of time with little (or no interruption).

So if you want to get the most out of your training sessions going forward, dedicate yourself to getting healthy once and for all.

Your body will thank you!

Summary

So there you have it – 5 reasons your workouts aren’t working.

What else would you add?

Or is there anything specific I can do to help you get back on track?

If so, leave me a note in the “Comments” section below. I ‘d love to hear from you!

All the best,
MR

BTW – Having a qualified coach is one of the surest ways to help you get (and stay) on track.

If you’d like to work together, just head up to the top right corner and fill out the “Work with Mike” form. I’d love to learn more about you, and see if we’d be a good fit for each other!

The post 5 Reasons Your Workouts Aren’t Working appeared first on Robertson Training Systems.

Categories: Feeds

Fitness and health pros: How Precision Nutrition coaches (and how you can coach this way too).

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/feed - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 23:01

Here’s an inside look at how Precision Nutrition coaches clients, including our client-centric philosophy, habit-based methodology, and full client curriculum. I’ll even pull back the curtain on ProCoach, the program that’s allowing health and fitness pros around the world to coach the way we do. 

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Today’s article is really exciting because I’m going to pull back the curtain and show you exactly (with, in some cases, screenshot-by-screenshot detail) how Precision Nutrition coaches clients.

I’ll also reveal how we mix world-class curriculum, elite-level coaching skills, and cutting-edge technology to get unprecedented client + business results.

Finally, I’ll share strategies that you can use immediately, in your own practice, to maximize client numbers and income while still maintaining control of your schedule and helping people get the best results.

Before digging in, however, I wanted to let you know that our industry-leading coaching platform — Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach — is opening soon.

Tested with over 100,000 clients, ProCoach makes it easy to deliver research-proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching to anyone who needs it… from paying clients, to family members, to co-workers, to loved ones.

It’ll help you grow your business while working less, getting better results, and living life on your own terms.

Want to coach in-person? Online? Or a combination of the two? Whatever fits your ideal lifestyle, it’s all possible with ProCoach.

To understand ProCoach you first need to understand why it was created, and the key problems it helps health and fitness professionals overcome.

JB shares his early coaching struggles and how PN went from 20 to over 100,000 clients with ProCoach.

Want to know exactly how ProCoach works? Then check this out.

See how other health and fitness pros are using ProCoach with their clients.

 

Want to learn even more? Join the Presale List Today

 

In summary, ProCoach delivers — to your clients, on your behalf — a total coaching solution, complete with daily lessons, habits, check-ins, and more.

Plus, as their coach, you’ll support them by answering questions, offering encouragement, and tracking progress through special ProCoach software.

The good news? On Wednesday, June 5th, we’ll be opening ProCoach to our Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates around the world.

When you enroll, you’ll be able to use this ground-breaking software and curriculum in your business — with your clients — and easily, quickly, effectively deliver the habit-based coaching you learned in the PN Certification.

You see, everyone knows that habit-based coaching is more effective and has longer-lasting effects than typical diets or meal tracking. But not everyone knows how to do it effectively. We do, and today…

I’d like to show you how we coach. And how YOU can coach this way too.

In today’s article we’ll discuss how you can:

  • Dramatically increase how many clients you can coach.
  • Assess nutrition-coaching clients efficiently.
  • Build a habit-based curriculum for each client.
  • Deliver new habits, lessons, and assignments.
  • Monitor consistency and adherence.
  • Track physical, mental, and behavior changes.
  • Provide accountability, mentorship, and support.
  • Set clients up for long-term, sustainable success.

So let’s get started.

(By the way: This is a long post with a lot of detail. So please set aside some distraction-free time before digging in. Maybe even read it in two or three parts. You’ll be happy you did.)

Client-centered coaching: Shush your “inner expert”.

The history of fitness and health is littered with hard-ass authoritarian coaches.

Taking a page out of the military, these coaches deliver a series of no-pain, no-gain boot-camps where clients are given tough love and are taught to pay for their laziness and dietary transgressions with push-ups, cardio, and burpees.

This style of coaching features the coach as: Expert, Drill Sergeant, and Dictator. In this model it’s their job to tell clients what to do.

Sure, some coaches are at least polite about it. But, no matter how nicely they command, this approach remains coach-centered. It’s all about the coach and what they know. And it’s the opposite of client-centered.

Of course, as a great fitness / health coach, you probably are an expert. You have well-informed ideas and opinions on nutrition, movement, stress, and sleep. But…

There’s one thing you’re not an expert on:
Your clients’ lives.

Each client is actually the expert on their own bodies and their own lives. They live in their bodies and experiences 24/7. You don’t.

That’s a critical distinction. Because…

Your clients have their own abilities and reasons for change.

They have their own limits, beliefs, preferences, backstories, and motivations. Some of these will be so far outside your personal experience that you couldn’t possibly have “standard” advice for them.

But that’s okay. As a change-based, client-centered coach, all you have to do is slow down and…

Quiet your own “expert” voice.

Ask questions. Listen deeply to your clients’ stories. And build your coaching approach around what you hear.

In doing so, you’ll actually uncover your clients’ unique abilities, reasons, and motivations (which will often be very different from yours). These will become your secret weapons.

Now you can help clients identify their own individual limiting factors. And then — more excitingly…

You’ll be able to help them propose their own solutions to their own problems.

We believe what we hear ourselves say.

So if you help clients produce and describe their own solutions, they’ll feel empowered, and embrace the solutions without you having to nag or boss them around.

This is a foolproof recipe for sustainable, long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t about coddling or being too nice or acquiescing to client demands.

Rather, client-centered coaching is about collaborating with clients and creating action plans based on what they feel they can do, not what you think they should be doing.

Let’s explore this methodology a little more.

Clients change by doing and experiencing.

These days, there’s a lot of emphasis on setting goals (e.g. lose 20 pounds) and then following a program (e.g. a diet plan or workout DVD set) to achieve those goals.

How’s that working?

On the goals side of the equation, we’re taught to think about what we want to accomplish. Then we’re supposed to make the goal specific, measurable, attainable, etc.

What happens once we’ve done all that? When we’ve set the ultimate goal?

For most people, not much.

That’s because goals aren’t achieved through the mere act of setting them. And goals aren’t achieved through sheer force of will.

On the program side of the equation, we’re taught to seek out a “Do this, don’t do that” program, summon up our motivation, and then turn our lives into “achieve that goal at all costs” projects.

We’re to become single-minded, unthinking, obedient little goal-chasing machines.

As you’ve probably seen…

This goal-focused approach fails most of the time.

Particularly when competing priorities come up and we haven’t built the necessary skills to be flexible and adaptable.

Then, since we haven’t “met our goal”, we feel bad. We think we’ve failed. We get frustrated and ashamed.

We might even give up. Or put that goal on the back burner till next January 1st, when we vow to take a crack at it again.

Based on my experience, success actually follows a different process.
  1. First, you break down the things you want to do into specific skills.
  2. Next, you develop those skills through intentional daily actions.

The formula pretty much looks like this:

Practice daily to build skills.
Build skills to achieve goals.

Some people call this approach habit-based, others call it practice-based. They’re one and the same, and are based on current research around skill acquisition and change psychology.

Growth and development come through daily habits and supporting experiences.

Here’s an example of how this works:

Goal: Eat better consistently

Let’s say you want to lose weight. You know that to lose weight you’ll need to eat better consistently. So that’s your real goal: Eat better consistently.

But you don’t have all the skills to do it just yet. So you have to break it down into…

Skill: Hunger and appetite awareness

Which skills are required to eat better consistently? We’ve identified hunger / appetite awareness as the most important initial skill for making progress.

But that’s not quite a concrete thing you can do. So you have to break it down into…

Practices: Eat slowly, and stop eating when satisfied

We use two daily habits to build the skill of hunger and appetite awareness.

Habit 1: Eat slowly.
Habit 2: Eat until satisfied, not stuffed.

This takes a month — two weeks for clients to learn, practice, and repeat each of the two habits. At the end of a month, clients have two very important habits that they can now use for the rest of their lives. They’ve learned it by doing it.

Not surprisingly, clients usually lose weight during this time. Because, of course, they’re learning to eat a bit less and adjust their intake according to body signals.

Even better, they’ve built two new habits that they can use for the rest of their lives, no matter what else happens.

Here’s how we present habits (and track their completion).

This approach is the perfect antidote to “program-thinking” in fitness and health.

Instead of a meal plan to follow, which is a very short-term (and limited) solution that never really addresses core problems, this approach is progressive and helps clients build transferable skills while stair-stepping their way to real change.

If you integrate this style of coaching with your clients:

  • They’ll accomplish goals more quickly (with less effort).
  • They’ll have an easier time maintaining results.
  • They’ll be able to do it within the context of a real human life (with its distractions, complexities, and surprises).

Here are some practical ways we implement this in our own coaching program.

The habits of Precision Nutrition Coaching.

Precision Nutrition Coaching is a one-year program that uses a client-centered, habit-based approach to help clients lose fat, gain strength, and improve their health.

Here’s an outline of the habits we recommend in our women’s nutrition coaching program. (Keep in mind, this is just one example; since we’re client-centered, we tailor habits to clients’ needs, gender, goals, etc.).

Weeks Habit 1-2 Take a 5-minute action 3-4 Eat slowly 5-6 Stop eating at “80% full” 7-8 Eat lean protein with each meal 9-10 Eat at least five servings of colorful fruits / vegetables 11-12 Make smart carb choices 13-14 Eat healthy fats 15-16 Plan PN-friendly meals 17-18 Record what you eat 19-20 Create & use a sleep ritual 21-22 Drink only calorie-free beverages 23 Break week 24-25 Use a targeted recovery strategy 26-27 Eat whole foods only 28-29 A little more, a little better 30-31 Protein & colorful plants at each meal 32-33 Practice 80% full 34-35 Do a 5-minute mind-body scan 36-37 Take a fitness information vacation 38-39 20 minutes of de-stressing 40-41 Create and practice your fitness mission 42-43 Choose your own adventure 44-45 Prepare for your final photo shoot 46-47 Celebrate your progress 48-50 Spread the love, pay it forward

Some of these habits (like “Eat slowly” or “Eat healthy fats”) are more straightforward. Others (like “Celebrate your progress” or “Pay it forward”) might be more open-ended.

The order of these habits, of course, isn’t an accident.

This is a carefully planned, cumulative client development experience.

We start simply and concretely, with clear and specific early habits that help our clients build a foundation. Over time, as clients develop skills and independence, we give them more freedom and opportunities to explore and expand their horizons.

Each habit builds on the previous ones.

Clients are able to do habits more effectively because of the skills they’ve already built. Which makes them feel even more successful and empowered.

They might start out tentative or nervous, but by the time they get to the final habits, they’re rocking ‘n’ rolling.

Here’s how our nutrition coaching software works.

Every day, clients:

  • Receive an email with what’s on deck for that day.
Example of the daily emails clients will receive.
  • Log in to a personal home page for more detail.
  • Read a lesson (which supports the habit).
How lessons and habits are presented on a client’s “today page”.
  • Mark whether or not they’ve read their lesson for the day.
Example lesson for a client to read.
  • Practice their habit for the day.
  • Mark whether or not they’ve done their habit for the day.
Example habit / practice for clients to follow.

Then…

Every week:

  • Clients measure and record their progress. This can be body measurements or other indicators (such as energy levels, mood, or habit consistency).
One of the progress checks that comes every few weeks.

Every 2 weeks:

  • Clients get a new habit to practice.
Example of a new habit / practice, which a client will get every two weeks.

Every month:

  • Clients upload more progress indicators such as photos, body measurements, etc.
One of the progress checks that comes every few weeks. How do we support clients’ new habits?

Habits are supported by lessons.

We ask clients to practice a new habit for 2 weeks. During this time we share short lessons and assignments that help them understand the habit more deeply and implement it within the context of their lives.

For example, here’s a list of the lessons we use with the habit “Eat at least five servings of colorful fruits and vegetables.”

Lesson 1: How to get your colors.

Lesson 2: Just add vegetables.

Lesson 3: How to prep and cook your vegetables.

Lesson 4: The waste-not game.

Lesson 5: Greens supplements and powdered veggies.

Lesson 6: Tomato travels.

Lesson 7: Who’s your farmer?

Lesson 8: What’s for breakfast?

Lesson 9: PN Coaching movie night.

Lesson 10: Are you over-processing your fitness?

Example lesson that supports the habit “Eat at least five servings of colorful fruits and vegetables.”

Most habits offer Level 1 and Level 2 options.

Clients can make a habit as easy or as challenging as they like.

For newer clients, this takes away the fear of “doing it right” or “having to do too much”. Even the most intimidated beginner can usually find a habit level that works for them.

For more experienced clients, a bit of difficulty or a tougher game to play keeps them interested, challenged, and growing.

For example:

Level 1:
If you’re new to eating our plant friends, feel free to mix up veggies and colorful fruit. Keep it simple and just get in the habit of eating the rainbow.

Level 2:
If you’re already a produce-eating ninja, then use this habit to polish your plant consumption skills. Here are some things to try (choose one):

  • Improve your overall consistency.
  • Try more servings, especially of colorful vegetables.
  • Try new vegetables.
  • Try a new way of prepping or cooking familiar favorites.
  • Aim for more dark leafy greens.
  • Hit up the farmer’s market and try something in season or something organic.
We don’t just give our clients habits.
We build their skills.

Over the course of each program, we help clients build dozens of skills through very specific and well-defined daily habits.

Each habit is decided upon using our “Five S Formula”.

Simple.

The best habits are small daily actions that can be done in the context of real life.

If you ask yourself or your client, “On a scale of 0-10, how confident do you feel you could do this habit every day for the next 2 weeks?” the answer should be a 9 or 10. Anything lower and the habit is too challenging or intimidating.

Segmental.

Most goals are too big, or complicated, to try for in one go. Most skills are the same way.

So you break them down into defined and organized segments. Just like when learning / teaching complex exercises, you need to chunk bigger things into their component parts.

Sequential.

Once you have segments, you have to practice those segments in the right order.

If you do “thing 4” before “thing 1” you’re less likely to succeed. So start with thing 1, then do thing 2, then thing 3, and so on.

Do the right things in the right order and success is a reliable outcome.

Strategic.

Being strategic means being purposeful.

Strategic habits create a set of smart, deliberate decisions that leverage your strengths to help you address the thing that’s in your way right now.

Focus on that one thing — and only that thing — and a difficult process becomes easier and faster.

Supported.

Nothing worth doing can be done alone.

Habits work best when they’re supported by some form of teaching, coaching, mentorship, and accountability.

Habits are good.
A curriculum is even better.

The habit-based approach is awesome. However, if you — or your clients — have ever tried a habit-based program or app on its own, you probably got stuck with questions like:

  • Which habits?
  • In what order?
  • How do I actually do the habits?
  • What if this habit is too hard or easy for me?
  • Why can’t I do four habits at once?
  • And so on.

That’s why we focus on a habit-based curriculum.

A curriculum is a set of strategic, logical lessons and activities that go in a particular order, step by step.

It’s a purposeful program, plan, and progression based on the best practices of client learning, engagement, and development.

The PN Coaching curriculum, at a glance.

While the order of the habits above might seem a bit random, each one is carefully placed in a particular sequence based on very specific learning objectives.

To check out detailed curriculum guides, including a lesson-by-lesson breakdown:

Habits and lessons are cumulative and coherent.

Each habit / lesson builds the skills for future habits / lessons.

Then, later habits and lessons return to themes and ideas from earlier ones.

Everything is connected to everything else in a logical progression.

For instance:

Week 4:
The “Notice and name” lesson covers the importance and basic process of self-observation and self-awareness.

Example of the “Notice and name” lesson.

this leads to…

Week 14:
The “Experiment day: Snapshot” lesson, a very simple self-tracking exercise that looks at a few items throughout the day like energy levels, mental state, mood.

Example of the “Experiment day: Snapshot” lesson.

which leads to…

Week 17:
“Record your intake” habit

Example of the “Record your intake” habit.

and eventually…

Week 29:
The “How to listen to your body” lesson, which helps clients analyze patterns in habits.

Example of the “How to listen to your body” lesson.

Week 35:
The “Your schedule doesn’t lie” lesson, which helps clients keep a time diary.

Example of the “Your schedule doesn’t lie” lesson.

Week 38:
The “Time bandits, time warriors” lesson, which helps clients review time use and what it says about priorities.

Example of the “Time bandits, time warriors” lesson.

And so on.

As you can see…

It all fits together. It’s progressive.

Just like any other subject, you start at the beginning.

When learning math, students learn what numbers are, then how to count them, then how to add and subtract them, and so on… before they can start doing calculus or algebra.

Notice also…

“Anchor habits” come first.

These are things you can do anytime, anywhere. They’re foundational behaviors.

For example, for fat loss, the two anchor habits are “eat slowly” and “eat to 80% full”. These trump all other habits.

When clients get stuck or overwhelmed with new habits, they can simply return to these “anchor habits”.

Concrete, practical, prescriptive habits come first.

“Do X in Y way” habits lead the way.

While clients can still customize all habits to their needs and nutritional levels, early habits focus on clear, unambiguous basics.

Then, we start loosening the reins, allowing more open-ended habits and interpretations of them.

For example:

  • Early, concrete habit:
    Eat 5 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables each day
  • Somewhat open-ended habit midway through:
    Use a targeted recovery strategy
  • Completely open-ended habit near the end of the program:
    Pay it forward
Example of habit progression.

In addition, we like to mix things up. For example…

We mix up “hard” and “easy” habits.

Not all clients will struggle with the same habits. However, some habits tend to be harder than others.

We carefully dole out “hard” and “easy” habits so that clients aren’t constantly asked to do difficult things.

We also mix up “new stuff” and “review / consolidation” habits.

For example:

  • Habit:
    Eat whole foods only (a “stretch” habit, fairly difficult, requires learning new things) is followed by…
  • Habit:
    A little more, a little better (relaxing the control, scaling back expectations, allowing client to choose the next actions and simply improve slightly on what is familiar).
Clients are presented with new habits and have opportunities to improve on existing habits. Some habits are “stretch habits” or “experiment habits”.

(Rather than “forever” habits.)

These are presented as “things to try” for 2 weeks, rather than “you should always do these as specified, forever”.

For example:

  • Eat mostly whole foods.
  • Drink only calorie-free beverages.
Example of a “stretch” habit and an “experiment” habit.

The idea here is for clients to:

  • Try something that pushes their boundaries for 2 weeks.
  • Expand their skills and repertoire while doing so.
  • See what they learn and discover about themselves.
  • See what they like, need, and/or want through this process of experimenting.
  • Add this information and insight to their understanding of their needs.

At the end of the 2 week “play period”:

  • Clients decide what was most interesting, valuable, and useful for them.
  • They decide what pieces of that habit to keep.

Stretch habits in particular are great opportunities for coaching and collaboration.

  • For Level 1 clients, stretch habits get them outside their comfort zone.
  • For Level 2 clients, stretch habits encourage them to “up their game”, improve their execution and/or variety, and refine their skills.
A new kind of personal: Building your Owner’s Manual.

What’s interesting about this habit-based approach (supported by daily lessons and assignments) is that it’s personal in a unique way.

When most coaches think “personal”, they think about telling clients what to do based on something physiological.

For example:

  • You weigh 180 pounds, so start eating xx grams of protein.
  • You have xx genotype, so avoid xx foods.
  • You just finished working out, so eat exactly xx.

And while there’s nothing wrong with suggestions based on known physiology, it’s still a coach-centered approach.

A client-centered approach recognizes all this physiological information while also taking into account what clients can reasonably do within the context of their lives.

We call this process “Building Your ‘Owner’s Manual”.

One of the “Build Your Owner’s Manual” exercises from the program.

Throughout our coaching, we ask clients to track their progress, gather data, and reflect on thought exercises. The purpose of this is to write an “Owner’s Manual” — a collection of information and analysis about their lives, bodies, needs, wants, and real-life-tested experiences.

The Owner’s Manual:
  • collects information about the client,
  • asks the client to test hypotheses and collect data for making decisions,
  • increases the client’s self-awareness and self-knowledge, and most importantly,
  • puts the client in charge (which makes them take responsibility and reduces their resistance).

Each client creates their own Owner’s Manual by answering several sets of questions online throughout the course of the program. This process helps clients:

  • Take responsibility for themselves — their thoughts, their beliefs, their stories, their environments, and most importantly, their behaviors. (No more coach-blaming or “This diet / workout plan didn’t work for me!”)
  • Feel empowered by and invested in the idea that they now have a set of “handling instructions for their bodies”. (No more “one-size-fits all” programs.)
  • Test hypotheses, gather data, and draw conclusions, just like scientists. (No more blindly “just following the rules”.)
Example of “Owner’s Manual” questions.

This is a very different kind of personal.

A good Owner’s Manual empowers clients to make informed decisions about their own needs, wants, and priorities (instead of you telling them what to think or feel or do). It’s client-centered coaching at its best.

Of course, none of this eliminates the need for:

  • Guidance and support.
  • Strategies to get through blocks and setbacks.
  • Problem solving and goal setting.

Indeed, that’s what what coaching is actually for.

Unfortunately, a lot of coaches spend too much time trying to measure adherence, trying to put together one-off education sessions, and doing a host of other tasks that should be automated.

This robs them of valuable time they could use to do what humans do best…

Build accountability, support, and relationships.

Automated lessons, habits, assignments, accountability checks, and progress checks are awesome. In fact, they’re the cornerstone of our very successful program, which produces results like these:

And these:

And these:

However, both research and experience show:

People do their best when they have strong, supportive relationships with a mentor or coach.

Having a ready-made curriculum (a clear, strategic, purpose-driven progression through client development and learning) frees coaches up to do the relationship-building, supporting, guiding, helping, and coaching that clients deserve.

Sure, if clients are ridiculously motivated and relentlessly tenacious, they might be able to figure everything out on their own without a coach or mentor.

Maybe.

However, most people need some amount of support. And that’s okay. It’s not a sign of weakness or incompetence. In fact, it’s the way most humans do most things.

The individual hero who accomplishes big things all by themselves is a myth.

That’s why, as a coach, it’s important to provide the following to your clients:

Encouragement during the courage phase.

The “courage phase” is the gap between when your clients commit to something and when they have the skill to actually do it.

At first, clients are committed but not capable. That’s scary and takes courage.

At times like this, it’s important to get enthusiastic support from coaches or mentors who’ve been through the process themselves.

A known cadence of accountability.

We all know accountability — regularly checking in with someone — is important. The social commitment helps us stick with what we started.

But accountability works best if it happens at regular, expected times. Whether through an app, in a group, or one-on-one, accountability should have a known cadence (i.e. weekly, every other week, etc).

Access to a respected coach.

Most people don’t want “a coach”. They want a leader, an expert, someone they trust and respect.

Most people don’t want someone in their face “coaching” them 24/7. They just want the security of knowing for sure that someone is there if they need them.

A positive progress focus.

Comparing clients to some superhero ideal doesn’t work. It makes them feel inadequate.

Which is why it’s important to seek out any and all positive progress. Bonus points for celebrating that progress when it happens.

Even if clients aren’t seeing physical results yet, if they’re showing up, good things are happening. By identifying and celebrating that, the physical progress will follow.

Proactive obstacle identification.

It’s not all high-fiving and progress celebration. Sometimes real challenges come up. People need strategies to move past these inevitable obstacles.

What’s better than solving the problem? Avoiding that problem in the first place.

Experienced coaches can give clients a heads-up about what they’re likely to come up against. That way clients know what problems to look out for, and they’re less likely to get derailed.

Help when stuck.

Even with the best daily habits, ongoing progress tracking, accountability, and proactive obstacle identification, sometimes clients get stuck.

That’s when an expert guide can help. Someone who’s “been there, done that” and knows how to navigate.

In our coaching programs, this is where our coaches really shine. They’re available to provide careful, patient, empathic coaching to clients as they go through the full journey.

But here’s the thing… this is only possible because we’ve automated so much.

The habits, lessons, assignments, consistency trackers, and progress reports are delivered reliably in a way that can scale. So coaches aren’t wasting time doing “admin” work.

Now they’re free to do what only a caring, empathic human coach can do: connect.

Here’s one of the ways our coaches connect with their clients.

As a special bonus: Coaches can take on more clients this way, helping more people than they ever thought possible.

You see, when I started doing online nutrition coaching, I soon realized that I could only handle 25-50 clients at a time while preserving quality control. Most of my time was wasted on admin tasks.

However, with automation, Precision Nutrition now coaches about 5,000 amazing clients per year with 20 full-time Precision Nutrition supercoaches (and an awesome group of part-time interns and mentors). That’s an average of about 250 clients per coach.

It’s the best of both worlds: 10 times the clients with even better results because of our proven, progressive, and change-promoting curriculum.

Client list within the ProCoach dashboard. Tracking, feedback, and oversight for coaches.

So far I’ve talked a lot about the client side of things. Let’s look at the coach experience.

How do our coaches onboard, monitor, and provide feedback to clients?

Over the last 15 years, we’ve spent millions of dollars building our coaching software and curriculum — Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach — with the help of world-class researchers and dozens of full-time ninja programmers.

ProCoach is designed to:

  • Triage and assess new clients quickly and efficiently.
  • Deliver habits, lessons, and assignments from our curriculum.
  • Monitor consistency and habit adherence every single day.
  • Track physical, mental, and behavior changes every week.
  • Set clients up for long-term, sustainable success.
  • Help you attract new prospects and clients with photos, data, testimonials, and straight-up, irrefutable, hard-data evidence of success.
The home page of the ProCoach™ dashboard. We start by getting to know our clients.

When clients enroll, we ask them lots of questions about themselves. We want to know as much as possible so we can best help them.

  • What do their lives look like?
  • Who are they as people?
  • What are their goals?
  • What are their biggest challenges?
  • How much do they know about nutrition right now?
  • How much of that can they actually do?
  • Do they have any injuries or other limitations?
  • Etc.
Client intake questionnaire. Then we track our clients.

Not only do coaches get the confidence of knowing their clients are well taken care of, they can also see their progress through a special dashboard that allows them to track their entire client list at a glance.

Client list within the ProCoach dashboard.

The client list gives coaches overview stats on each client, including:

  • where they are in the program,
  • how consistent they’ve been, and
  • how their body has changed.

But that’s just the beginning.

We keep learning about our clients as individuals.

Coaches can also drill down to each person’s client details by clicking on their name.

Client details page within the ProCoach dashboard.

There, coaches see photos, important details about clients (from their intake questionnaire), and how they’re doing in the program. Coaches also get access to pretty much everything they’ve done (or not done) in the program to date.

We keep an eye on how clients are doing.

Once a coach’s client list gets longer, they keep close tabs on their communications with each individual with this real-time feed of messages and updates.

Real-time feed of messages and updates.

Each client’s “Progress” section records whether the client did their habit and completed their lesson for the day.

Lesson and habit adherence are tracked on the client’s “my progress” page.

Responses to their assignments and lessons are also recorded in the “Archive” section.

Lesson and habit archive.

Of course, coaches get access to these adherence and consistency data through the Client List and Client Details areas of the ProCoach dashboard, as well.

We help clients assess themselves.

Along with the lesson and habit completion information, the system collects such other assessments as:

Progress updates.

Every few weeks clients are asked to report body weight, girths, photos, and other progress indicators. Also included are questions about whether they felt like their behaviors for the last week or so matched up with their goals.

Example of a behavior based question.

Surveys.

Every few months, clients are asked to fill out a quick survey. One is a psychological assessment evaluating their mindset and resiliency. Another asks important questions about how they feel about their progress so far. Another asks them to rate the program.

Example client surveys.

Coaches can easily access all of this within the ProCoach dashboard area.

We stay in touch.

Finally, there’s a built-in messaging system within the ProCoach software.

Through this system, clients can reach out to coaches and vice-versa. It’s like email but it’s all contained within the ProCoach software.

Imagine having all of your client’s details right there in front of you as you emailed them: their body stats, progress, latest messages and lesson responses, photos… everything.

Each time a coach is messaging with a client, all of that client’s data will be up on the screen at the same time. Coaches don’t have to rely on memory.

Everything coaches need to know is all right there for them, literally at their fingertips.

Messaging system within the client detail page.

In addition to the messaging system, there’s a built-in feedback system. So, when a coach reviews a client’s progress updates or assignments, they can send feedback or encouragement that’ll be delivered to them via their coaching homepage.

Coach feedback on a lesson in the “today page”.

15 years ago we set out to build a nutrition coaching platform and curriculum to deliver client-centered, habit-based coaching in a way that’s awesome for both clients and coaches.

Today, we now have efficient tracking, seamless oversight, and easy sharing of feedback.

By automating as much as possible, coaches can work with more clients, deliver better results, and spend less time on recordkeeping.

Help more clients with our software’s reliability, scaleability, and automation.

So far I’ve talked a lot about automating certain tasks so they’re done reliably and in a way that scales.

But what does that really mean?

Reliable

You’re able to deliver the same high-quality coaching experience to every client regardless of what else is going on… in your life or your clients’.

This is hard to do when your coaching is one-off or when you have more than one employee.

Scaleable

You’re able to coach 5 clients, 50 clients, or 500 clients.

(And going from 5 clients to 500 requires very little additional effort.)

We’ve used ProCoach to help over 100,000 clients over the past 15 years. So I think it’s safe to say that scalability is well-proven.

Automated

You’ll be able to deliver nutrition habits, lessons, and assignments on time and on track, no matter what else you’re doing.

Whether we’re sleeping, busy, out of town, in bed with the flu, stuck in traffic or on a plane somewhere above the Pacific ocean… it doesn’t matter.

Our system will take care of your clients regardless, and make sure they get what they need.

Daily, weekly, and monthly check-ins are completely automated too.

In the end, I think Precision Nutrition Coaching is so unique because it does what nothing else out there can do:

It uses high-powered technology (ProCoach) to automatically deliver a progressive and carefully curated curriculum (built right into ProCoach) that’s supported by live coaches.

Want help doing this yourself?

With this article, I tried to break down each component of Precision Nutrition Coaching to give you an inside look at exactly how we use all three elements:

  • software,
  • curriculum, and
  • coaching.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how we coach as well as how you can use some of these elements in your own coaching.

If you’d like some support with this, we can help.

As I mentioned, Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach software has been specifically designed to help you use client-centered, habit-based coaching in your own business.

ProCoach will help your business.
  • Add habit-based nutrition coaching to your existing services, easily.
  • Add a totally new, and highly profitable, revenue stream, immediately.
  • Market and sell your services to clients and prospects, effectively.
  • Take on more clients, while offering high-quality coaching and attention.
ProCoach will help your clients.
  • Assess new clients quickly and efficiently.
  • Deliver habits, lessons, and assignments from our proven curriculum.
  • Review every client’s consistency and habit adherence at any time.
  • Track every client’s physical, mental, and behavior changes every week.
  • Set clients up for long-term, sustainable success.
  • Attract new clients with photos, data, testimonials, and straight-up, irrefutable, hard-data evidence of success.
Ready to build a thriving coaching practice?

Tested with over 100,000 clients now, Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach makes it easy to deliver the sustainable, research-proven nutrition and lifestyle coaching discussed in this article to anyone who needs it… from paying clients and patients, to family, to co-workers, to loved ones.

Want to coach in-person? Online? A combination of the two? Whatever fits your ideal lifestyle, it’s all possible with ProCoach.

With the ProCoach curriculum, coaching tools, and software, you’ll be able to turn what you learned in the Precision Nutrition Certification into a thriving practice, getting better results with dozens, even hundreds, of people while working less and living life on your own terms.

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save 30% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

On Wednesday, June 5th, 2019, ProCoach becomes available to all Precision Nutrition Certification students and graduates.

If you’re interested and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list. Being on the presale list gives you two special advantages.

  • You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition, we like to reward the most interested and motivated professionals, because they always make the best students and clients. Join the presale list and we’ll give you 30% off the monthly cost of Precision Nutrition’s ProCoach.
  • You’re more likely to get a spot. Remember, last time we sold out within hours. But by joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.

If you’re ready to help more people live their healthiest lives, grow your business, and worry less about time and money… ProCoach is your chance.

The post Fitness and health pros: How Precision Nutrition coaches (and how you can coach this way too). appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

Categories: Feeds

Why the “pause-button mentality” is ruining your health and fitness. ‘Getting a fresh start’ isn’t the magic bullet you thought it’d be.

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/feed - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 23:01

“I’ll resume healthy eating after my vacation… once the baby is born… after Dad gets out of the hospital… January 1… Monday.” While this kind of “pause-button mentality” seems reasonable, it could be ruining your health and fitness. Here’s why, and what to do about it.

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There’s a question that’s been finding its way to me a LOT lately — from Precision Nutrition Coaching clients, Certification studentsProCoaches.

“Why don’t your programs offer a ‘pause’ feature?”

After all, what’s the harm in letting clients/patients take a break from a nutrition and fitness plan when they’re:

  • leaving for vacation,
  • completely swamped at work,
  • pregnant, or just after delivery,
  • injured, or
  • caring for an ailing family member?

For a client, the thought process boils down to:

If I miss some workouts, eat the wrong things, skip the homework… I fail.

Aren’t I more likely to succeed if I take a break, just until I have the time to do it right?

This is what I call the ‘pause-button mentality’.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I think it’s normal — even commendable — to want to do your best. To consider taking time to regroup and then resume (or start over) when life feels easier.

At the same time, this completely natural and well-meaning impulse is one of the fastest, surest, most reliable ways to sabotage your plans for improved nutrition, health, and fitness.

Here’s why — and what to do instead.

Starting fresh after you lose your way is a really comforting thought.

That’s probably why New Year’s resolutions are so popular, especially following the indulgence-fueled holiday season.

Give me that cheesecake. I’ll pick my diet back up on Monday!

In fact, we’ve learned in our nutrition coaching programs that the idea of a do-over is so alluring you don’t even need a mess-up for the pause-button mentality to take over.

Every January, we welcome a new group of clients. Every July, we take in the second, and final, group of the year.

In July, six months in, just knowing that there are new clients starting the program fresh in January makes some July clients “itch” for a new beginning, even though they’re already making progress, changing their bodies.

If only you’d let me start over, I’d really nail it this time!

But here’s the problem: The pause-button mentality only builds the skill of pausing.

Whether it’s tomorrow, Monday, next week, or even next year, hitting that imaginary pause button gives you some sense of relief.

It allows you a little respite from what can be a really tough slog.

(And the middle is always a tough slog, it doesn’t matter what kind of project you’re working on.)

This perceived relief is compounded by the illusion that if we “start fresh” later we can find the magical “right time” to begin.

Listen, I get it.

It can feel absurd to try to improve your eating and exercise habits while you’re in the midst of chronic stress / looking for a job / starting a new job / going on vacation / caring for aging parents / raising small children.

That’s probably why there are so many 21-day this and 90-day that. What adult has more than 90 days to go after their fitness goals with an all-out effort?

But what do these intense fitness sprints teach you?

The skill of getting fit within a very short (and completely non-representative) period of your life.

What don’t they teach you?

The skill of getting fit (or staying fit) in the midst of a normal, complicated, “how it really is” sort of life.

This is why the yo-yo diet thing has become such a phenomenon.

It’s not about willpower. It’s about skills.

In most fitness scenarios, you learn how to get fit under weird, tightly-controlled, white-knuckle life situations.

You build that one, solitary, non-transferrable skill — to slam the gas pedal down, drive the needle into the red, and squeal down the road for a little while, burning the rubber off your tires until you (quickly) run out of gas and crash.

What you don’t build is the ability to get fit under real-life conditions.

That’s why it doesn’t stick. Not because you suck.

But because the natural and predictable consequence of having a limited skill set is short-term progress followed immediately by long-term frustration.

What will be different next time?

I remember having lunch with a colleague who swore up and down that his low-carb diet plus daily running was the secret to staying in shape.

I had to follow up with a painful question: “Well, why aren’t you actually in shape?”

After a long pause: “Uhh, I’ve had a hard time sticking with it. We just had our second child. The holidays just ended. I just switched jobs.” He trailed off…

“But, once everything settles down, I’ll get with the program and get in shape again! I guess I’m just on a little break.”

This story illustrates the point perfectly.

Here’s someone who’s built his fitness on a house of cards. He knows only one thing: How to get in shape by following a very challenging program when the conditions are perfect.

And whenever life isn’t perfect, which is most of the time, he hits the pause button. He waits for a better time. (All the while losing the health and fitness he previously worked so hard for.)

That’s why, when our clients ask to press pause, we usually ask them:

“What will be different when you come back?”

Nine times out of 10, the honest answer is nothing. Nothing will be different.

Life is just… happening. And it’ll happen again in January, or after the baby is born, or after Mom gets better, or at any other arbitrary point you pick.

And what then?

I’ve wanted to press “pause” myself.

If you’ve ever felt like pressing pause, or you feel this way right now, it might help to know I’ve felt exactly the same way.

A few years back, my wife and I decided to renovate a home. During the reno, we lived in a tiny apartment above my in-laws’ garage. At the time I was also starting up Precision Nutrition.

Every day we’d wake up and get straight to work. At the end of the day, we’d drive 1 ½ hours to the new house to chip away at the reno. Then, late at night, we’d drive 1 ½ hours back and fall into bed. Repeat.

At first, I thought there was no way to exercise. My schedule was completely packed, I had nowhere to work out, and my eating was less than ideal.

But after a couple of weeks I realized that something was going to be better than nothing.

The renovations would continue. Running a business would only get more demanding. And we were planning to have our first child.

I realized I couldn’t wait. I couldn’t press pause. Because, if I didn’t continue, there’d never be that “perfect time” to hit play again.

I needed to find a way to squeeze in some kind of workout, however quick, easy, and unglamorous.

Let’s accept that life has no pause button.

The key lesson here is that, like it or not, the game of life keeps going.

There is no timeout.

There’s never going to be a moment when things are magically easier.

You can’t escape work, personal, and family demands. Nor can you escape the need for health and fitness in your life.

Here’s a thought experiment:

What if you tried to hit pause in other areas of your life?

Imagine you’re up for a big promotion at work. For the next two weeks, all you want to do is focus on mastering an upcoming presentation, and winning over your boss.

Trouble is, you’ve got two young children at home who tend to grasp, koala-like, onto your legs and demand your full attention.

Honey, you say to your spouse, I’m just gonna press pause on being a parent for now. I’ll be staying at a hotel. Don’t contact me.

I don’t know about you, but that would NOT go over well in my family.

You can’t really press pause — and you definitely can’t hit reset — on being a parent. (You’ve thought about it, though. I know you have.)

Just like you can’t stop showing up for work and expect not to get fired. Or “take a break” from being married and not wind up divorced.

Generally, when it comes to life, we know we’re not always going to be on our A Game. Sometimes we’re superstars. Most of the time we just do our best.

We muddle through. We keep going.

So why do we expect it to be any different with fitness?

In my case, above, I hired a coach and we came up with a simple workout program that met these criteria:

  • No more than 3x a week.
  • No more than 10 minutes per session.
  • Has to be done upon waking up, right next to the bed.
  • Requires no equipment.

I did that for about 6 months. Was it the Best Workout Ever? No! Did I end up, after 6 months, fitter than ever? Heck no!

But was it better than hitting the pause button and doing nothing? You bet!

See, perfectionism is not the point.

“Completing” a program, PN Coaching or any other, is not the point.

Being the “best” for a tiny window of time is not the point.

The point is to keep going. Sometimes awkwardly, sometimes incompetently, sometimes downright half-assed. But to keep going nonetheless.

As I often teach our new clients:

The “all or nothing” mentality rarely gets us “all”. It usually gets us “nothing”.

That’s when I propose a new mantra:

“Always something”.

Instead of pressing pause, adjust the dial.

Nowadays I like to think of my fitness and nutrition efforts as a dial.

There are times when I want to dial my efforts up, and times when I want to dial them down. But I never want to turn the dial off completely.

Here’s how this plays out in the context of my life.

Sometimes, say when I’m training for a track competition or concentrating on a particular goal, my fitness dial might be tuned to 9 or 10 out of 10.

Channel 10 means I work out every day. Every meal is planned and carefully considered. I think a lot about fitness. And not much about anything else.

Work, family, hobbies… they’re all in maintenance mode (with the permission of the people this affects, of course).

However, as I write this, my life involves the following:

  • Settling into a new home.
  • Conducting major home renovations.
  • Raising 4 children, one of them still a baby.
  • Running a growing business with nearly 100 team members.

So these days, the dial rarely goes past 3 or 4. I work out, maybe, three days a week. And most of my meals are just “good enough”.

(For the record, I’m totally cool with that. There is no guilt about having my dial set a little lower. What’s most important is that the dial is still set to “on”.)

The important lesson: There’s a big difference between tuning your dial to 3, 2, or even a 1, and turning the whole thing off.

And when you realize how doable — and effective — channels 3 and 2 and 1 can be, you see that there’s never a good reason to hit “pause”.

nutrition routine progressions

overall wellness routine progressions

I get it. It’s easy to discount the lower channels. Especially when you’ve done more in the past. But remember your new mantra…

“Always something.”

Precision Nutrition Coaching graduate Susan Olding was dealing with a family crisis during the program: Her dad became ill and eventually passed away.

Susan could have given up when her dad was sick. Asked for a pause. And no one would have blamed her.

Instead, she challenged herself to embrace imperfection and do something every day:

Each day, I asked myself: If I can’t do what was asked of me, what can I do? What can I manage (physically, emotionally, mentally) now?

Then I went and did it.

Meanwhile, I also tried to add spontaneous activity into my days. I paced the hospital halls, parked at a distance and walked to the hospital door. I went for evening walks.

Anything to stay active.

I remember Susan telling me about the random sets of squats she did in the corner of her dad’s hospital room while he was resting.

Susan’s takeaway:

Perfection never happens in real life.

We’re always going to be doing the best we can with what we have.

And that’s okay.

We can still make progress toward our goals and still improve our health and our fitness – whatever’s going on in our lives.

That progress doesn’t happen if you “press pause” and wait for a better time.

It doesn’t happen if you say “I’ll squat again once the Dad situation resolves itself”. Or if you ask for a re-do next week, next month, next year.

“Fitness in the context of real human life”.

That’s one of our mottos here at Precision Nutrition.

It’s what I think we’re the best in the world at: Helping clients be healthy and fit in the context of their real lives.

Not while pretending to be someone they’re not. Not by signing up for a 12-week boot camp with daily workouts and restrictive diets.

But by living their own lives and practicing “always something”.

In my opinion, pressing pause is buying into an imaginary ideal: a “perfect” time when everything will fall into place; a beautiful, linear trajectory from total suckiness to apex awesomeness:

you suck - you rule graph

Asking for a restart because you don’t want to mess that line up is deluding yourself that somehow, next time will be easier. Next time will be perfect. No interruptions, no distractions… no… life.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect time.

We may have magical moments, of course. Short periods of time when things seem to “click” and come together.

But then the dog poops on the rug. Or the kid throws up on the couch. Or both… and then one or the other tracks it all through the house.

You keep pressing pause, and your progress looks like this.

no progress over time graph

Or, worse yet, you end up flatlining, stuck on a never-ending (maybe eternal) pause.

What to do next.

Fitness in the context of real human life is just like the rest of life.

We’re all just doing the best we can in challenging, complicated circumstances. We are all living messy, imperfect lives. We are all human.

If we can just keep moving forward, no matter what happens, no pause buttons, no do-overs, we win the game.

Here are a few strategies for getting out of the pause-button mentality and into a more realistic, effective, sustainable way of thinking.

1. Try the dial method.

Think of your fitness like a dial that goes from 1 – 10.

If you were to dial it up to “10”…

  • What would your workouts look like?
  • What would your nutrition look like?
  • What other actions/habits would you practice in that scenario?

If you were to dial it down to “1”…

  • What would your workouts look like?
  • What would your nutrition look like?
  • What other actions/habits would you practice in that scenario?

Giving thought to your life right now, where is your dial set?

Would you like to make any adjustments?

Could you move the dial up a channel, or even half a channel?

If so, what would that look like?

On the other hand…

Should you move the dial down a channel so you can stick with health and fitness even during a difficult time?

2. Aim for a little bit better.

An all-or-nothing approach usually doesn’t get us “all”. It usually gets us “nothing”.

You know what actually works?

Small improvements done consistently over time work — we have proof in the over 100,000 clients we’ve helped through Precision Nutrition Coaching method.

You might be trying to make a meal out of hospital cafeteria food, or gas station food, or airplane food. You might be spending hours awake with a newborn in the middle of the night, or stuck in yet another full-day meeting.

These aren’t ideal scenarios, but they’re not necessarily hopeless either.

Look around. Get creative. See if you can find some small — maybe minuscule — improvements.

3. Anticipate, strategize and plan.

Since we already know that stuff is going to go wrong, the best thing we can do is anticipate and make plans for how to deal when they do.

A simple way to do this is by answering two questions:

  1. What’s likely to get in the way of what I hope to accomplish?
  2. What is something I can do today to help me keep going when I face those obstacles?

For some people, that might be a Sunday ritual where they prep food for the week so they won’t be scrambling for healthy meals on busy weeknights. For others, it might mean having a healthy meal-delivery service on speed dial.

Don’t be surprised and dismayed when things go haywire. They will at some point. Just arm yourself with the best tools and strategies so you can stay in the game when you’re thrown a curveball.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—in a way that helps them make consistent progress even when life gets complicated—is both an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 33% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019.

If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.

  • Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 33% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
  • Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.

If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

The post Why the “pause-button mentality” is ruining your health and fitness. ‘Getting a fresh start’ isn’t the magic bullet you thought it’d be. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Just an Old Guy Fighting for Cool

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 01:14
I went to the Arnold this year, and though I have berated guys in the bodybuilding industry for a very long time about how they dress, I wasn’t about to show up looking like my friend, who was the valedictorian of our high school graduating class, wearing 25-year-old Levi jeans, white New Balance tennis shoes...
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Under The Bar: They are NOT Angry Birds! The Monster Within Special Education

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 01:10
Special education is an unfunded federal mandate. Contrary to popular belief, it is not funded by the feds at 100%. Not even close to a third. Cutbacks and downsizing are hitting education hard, and it’s directly impacting student delivery in the classroom.
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Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read: 4/20/19

https://ericcressey.com/blog - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 09:02

I hope you had a great week. In case you’re looking for some recommended reading while you’re sipping coffee this weekend, here’s a good collection:

Overcoming the “Best Coach on Staff” Problem – This might be my favorite blog post that my business partner, Pete Dupuis, has ever written. This is a problem that just about every gym faces as they experience growth.

5 Simple Hacks You Can Use in the Gym Today– Here’s a collection of programming and coaching strategies from Mike Robertson that you can immediately apply in the gym.

5 Reasons for the Increase in Lat Strains in Baseball -It’s early in the season, but we’ve already seen several noteworthy lat (and teres major) injuries in professional baseball. Here are some reasons why.

Top Tweet of the Week

Young athletes need to be given opportunities to fail in training without significant consequences. Beyond the obvious motor learning benefits, it keeps them humble and hungry.

— Eric Cressey (@EricCressey) April 13, 2019

Top Instagram Post of the Week

        View this post on Instagram                  

I intended to take this video as a example of how going to one-arm pressing can be a great way to train rotary stability while preserving a training effect with less external loading. When I watched the video, however, it actually served as a reminder that I need to keep my head on the bench when I’m pressing – and this is probably part of why my neck gets cranky sometimes. You’re never too experienced to use video to fine-tune training technique. #alwayslearning #cspfamily

A post shared by Eric Cressey (@ericcressey) on Apr 13, 2019 at 9:11am PDT

Sign-up Today for our FREE Newsletter and receive a four-part video series on how to deadlift!

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Overview of Chad’s BJJ & Lifting

http://www.jtsstrength.com/feed/ - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 08:53

Take a look at how Chad is combining BJJ and Lifting in his current training structure.

The post Overview of Chad’s BJJ & Lifting appeared first on Juggernaut Training Systems.

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An Easy Lunge Regression

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 01:10
Frequently, athletes understand the lunge movement but do not understand what should be moving and what is the primary goal. You can fix this by regressing the athlete and utilizing these tips to help them better understand the proper mechanics of the lunge.
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LISTEN: Table Talk Podcast Clip — Playing the "Autism Card" in Public

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Sat, 04/20/2019 - 01:00
When a stranger asks the guardian of a child with autism to calm down their kid, should they say, "Sorry, my kid has autism"? Dave Tate and Sheena Leedham share their perspectives on what to do in that situation.
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When Did Everyone Become Allergic to the Eccentric?

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 09:36
Nobody wants to watch their favorite athletes practice what they do best. But if you want to be the Michael Jordan or Reggie Jackson of powerlifting, you've got to work on the eccentric.
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Live and Coach Your Why

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 08:35
My why is to improve athletes through and of the human body and mind by giving them all a well-thought-out program to make them faster, stronger, and more resilient. What's your why? And why?
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Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 4/19/19

http://www.tonygentilcore.com/feed/ - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 07:59

Copyright: wamsler / 123RF Stock Photo

BUT FIRST…CHECK THIS STUFF OUT 1. (Even More) Complete Shoulder & Hip Blueprint – 2019 Locations & Dates

Philadelphia, PA: April 27-28th (<– Next weekend, always room for more).

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: May 25-26th

Sydney, Australia: July 13-14th

Melbourne, Australia: July 19-21st (<—  Includes bonus “Psych Skills for Fitness Pros” pre-workshop with Dr. Lisa Lewis).

This workshop will piggyback on the material Dean Somerset and I covered in the original Complete Shoulder & Hip Blueprint.

With this iteration, though, we’ll be going a bit deeper into the coaching and programming side of things:

  • How to program around common injuries.
  • How to “connect” the appropriate exercises to the client/athlete.
  • How to really add value with your assessment process.
  • How to squat and deadlift like a boss.

Find out more details HERE.

2. Strategic Strength Workshop – Boston, MA

NOTE: Early Bird rate for this event is $100 OFF the regular price and the deadline is only  a few weeks away.

Luke and I did this workshop last summer in London and figured it’s only fair to bring it State side.

Combined we have 30+ years of coaching experience (I.e., one Mike Boyle or Dan John) and this workshop will be two days where we uncover every nook and cranny as it relates to how we assess our clients/athletes and how we best prepare them for the rigors of every day life/sport.

This will be a unique opportunity for people to learn from myself, but especially Luke, who is one of the best and brightest coaches I know. This will be his first time teaching in the States.

For more information and to register you can go HERE.

SOCIAL MEDIA SHENANIGANS Twitter

STOP telling your clients/athletes:

– They’re broken.
– They’re dysfunctional.
– They need to be fixed.

INSTEAD:

– Focus on what they CAN do.
– Show them there’s work to be done, but be emphatic on showing them success.
– Use more positive verbiage.
– Don’t do kipping pullups

— Tony Gentilcore (@tonygentilcore1) April 16, 2019

Instagram

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Heaviest pull in about two months. . 550×1. . There is no spoon.

A post shared by Tony Gentilcore (@tonygentilcore) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:53pm PDT

STUFF TO READ WHILE YOU’RE PRETENDING TO WORK Create the Perfect Meal – Dr. John Berardi

It’s no secret that a well-balanced meal (typically, not always) contains the “big 3″….protein, carbohydrates, and fat. But how much of each should you eat? More importantly, how do you take all three and go about conjuring up a meal that doesn’t taste like cardboard box sprinkled with sawdust?

Thankfully the people over at Precision Nutrition made a nifty infographic to make things easier.

10 Overcomplicated Things Trainers Say – Nick Tumminello

“Think trainer, speak client.”

Do You Find a Way, or Find a Way Out?  – Tony Bonvechio

Why do a herd of buffalo run TOWARDS a storm rather than away from it?

You need to be more like a buffalo.

The post Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work: 4/19/19 appeared first on Tony Gentilcore.

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Andreas Saltas on Training, Rehab, and Becoming the Bodmechanic

Andreas Saltas is a licensed Physical Therapist practicing in the state of New York. He attained his Bachelors Degree in 2009 studying physiotherapy at the Institute of Lamia in Greece.

Andreas achieved his dream of working with both professional bodybuilders and powerlifters once he moved back to the states. But in addition to that, he has now also broken into the NFL, working with players from the NY Giants and Buffalo Bills.

Andreas is a guy who I enjoy learning from, as he’s a creative thinker and definitely not afraid to think outside the box when it comes to training and therapy.

In this show, Andreas and I talk about how a massive motorcycle wreck and his comeback from it was the driving force behind him becoming a physical therapist, his holistic approach to assessing and treating his patients, and the differences he sees between powerlifters, bodybuilders, and football players, and how he treats them differently as a result.

 

Show Outline

Here’s an overview of what we covered in this week’s episode:

  • Show Intro
  • Interview with Andreas
    • How Andreas got interested in physical therapy, and why a horrific motorcycle accident changed and shaped his life forever.
    • His overarching approach and philosophy when it comes to treating his patients.
    • How Andreas goes about progressing and evolving the programs he gives his clients and athletes.
    • The major issues he sees when treating his powerlifters and bodybuilders, and why bodybuilders are actually the harder patients to treat!
    • His evolution into treating NFL players, how they’re different from “lifters,” and why he enjoys treating them so much.
    • What a typical day looks like for Andreas.
    • The BIG Question.
    • A really fun lightning round where we talk about work and life in NYC, the books he’s reading right now, some tips and tricks on social media, and the real deal story on how he became “The Bodmechanic.”

 

Related Links

Connect with Andreas

Books Mentioned

 

The Physical Preparation 101 Training System

Are you a fitness coach or trainer looking for ways to improve the results you deliver to your clients?

Want to create consistently better training programs and learn the exact exercises and strategies to improve your clients’ and athletes’ performance?

The Physical Preparation 101 Training System unlocks the secrets to optimizing performance and improving movement through my unique, cutting-edge training philosophy.

In this series, you’ll learn:

  • The nuts and bolts of program design
  • The single-biggest issue you will see related to core exercises and breathing – and how to fix it!
  • How to train others to squat safely and effectively – in the first session
  • How to stop lower back pain in its tracks by using a specific deadlift progression
  • And much, much more!

You’ll also receive sample programs and templates to help you build great programs with AMAZING results – consistently.

Are you ready to take your fitness training and coaching programs to the next level? Visit PhysicalPreparation101.com to learn more and get started NOW!

 

Help Me Get to 100!

As I mentioned in the show, I’d really love to get to 100 5-star reviews of the Physical Preparation Podcast.

If my show has created value for you (either now or in the past), please take 30-seconds out of your day and head over to iTunes and please give the show a 5-star review.

I’d appreciate it more than you know!

The post Andreas Saltas on Training, Rehab, and Becoming the Bodmechanic appeared first on Robertson Training Systems.

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Nutrition for Physique and Performance

http://www.jtsstrength.com/feed/ - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 15:17

Training hard in a well structured plan is very important but if you aren’t fueling your body properly and paying attention to your recovery, getting the results you’re after will be nearly impossible. We’ve put together some of our best content regarding Nutrition and Recovery to help you reach your goals.

In regards to Nutrition to fuel performance, Calories should be your #1 Priority:

There is much debate about Protein, how much do you need and what kinds are best:

The hardest training requires the right fuel, Carbs The Training Fuel:

The Keto Diet has become wildly popular in the last few years, but is it right for athletic performance?

The best designed training plans will have different phases dedicated to different goals, and so should the diets to compliment them:

While it may be tempting to cut a lot of weight, it can present problems if you try Losing All Your Weight At Once:

The post Nutrition for Physique and Performance appeared first on Juggernaut Training Systems.

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Elite Baseball Development Podcast with Ryan Flaherty

https://ericcressey.com/blog - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 11:36

We’re excited to welcome Cleveland Indians utility player Ryan Flaherty to the podcast. A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Lumberlend. Head to www.Lumberlend.com and enter the coupon code CSP to get free shipping on your order of two or more bat mugs.   

Show Outline

  • How being a multi-sport athlete from Maine had a profound impact on Ryan’s early athletic development.
  • How Ryan’s recruiting process led him to Vanderbilt to play for Tim Corbin
  • How he transformed from a gangly, undrafted high school senior into a SEC standout as a freshman.
  • How Ryan’s early struggles in college led him to became a utility player
  • Why the versatility a utility player adds to a MLB lineup is so crucial – and how Ryan prepares for these demands
  • Why third base was the most challenging position for Ryan to learn as a utility man.
  • What Ryan’s routine is when he does not start, but needs to be ready to strategically enter in later innings.
  • Why Ryan could be a managerial candidate after his playing days due to his appreciation for the behind the scenes influence of coaching in the game of baseball.

You can follow Ryan on Twitter at @RFlaherty3, and on Instagram at @RFlaherty27.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Lumberlend Co. If you’re looking for a unique gift for a baseball fan in your life, you’ll definitely want to check this out: they’ve hollowed out the bat barrel and created a cool drinking mug. You can customize these with colors, names, logos, and photographs. They’re also an officially licensed MLBPA product, so you can get your favorite teams and players incorporated into the designs. I’ve used these as gifts with great feedback, so I’m confident you’d experience the same. The crew at Lumberlend is offering free shipping on two or more bat mugs with the coupon code CSP at checkout. Just head to Lumberlend.com to design yours today.

Podcast Feedback

If you like what you hear, we’d be thrilled if you’d consider subscribing to the podcast and leaving us an iTunes review. You can do so HERE.

And, we welcome your suggestions for future guests and questions. Just email elitebaseballpodcast@gmail.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

Sign-up Today for our FREE Baseball Newsletter and Receive Instant Access to a 47-minute Presentation from Eric Cressey on Individualizing the Management of Overhead Athletes!

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Meet Report: Taking Third Place at APF Women’s Pro-Am

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:23
I told Dave to listen carefully because this is the only time I’ll ever say it, but this was a pretty good meet. I'll take a 50 lb meet PR.
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Discipline in Training and Life

https://www.elitefts.com/education/feed - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:20
As someone who often trains alone, I tend to have time to reflect on things between sets. It's in those moments that I see connections between training and everyday life. Here are a few ways that training and life are closely woven together, particularly in the area of discipline.
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