Principles of Strength Training

Hey Ya’ll,

Today’s post is an introduction to all things strength training. After recently consulting with a friend about best practices in developing strength, I want to break down the most basic principles in an easy to read manner for you! I’ll be diving into the dork-hole that you are probably now familiar with having stuck with me for this long.

As I dive in, I want to direct you to the NSCA protocols for strength training as it serves as a great introduction to progression for movement, intensity, duration, time and type. It dives a little deeper than other certifying agencies and there are some hugely important things the other guys left out…
1) Defined movement patterns – A lot of other certs rock the old school train of thought (training your chest vs. training your pushing pattern). Not that it is bad by any means but the NSCA describes the movement patterns for strength training in the ‘functional’ capacity and more conducive to how strength training is looked at these days.
2)Provided movement patterns with sample progression/regressions of movement.

3)Each strength training program should be tailored to the individual’s experience – the NSCA packet respects the use of different protocols for different levels of experience. It all comes down to the individual’s movement strength through movement.

Specificity of Movement

Something many protocols miss out on is expression of the appropriate weight/load used. The strength training protocols used in nearly every program out there base your strength training off of estimated 1 Rep max – which means that for each exercise performed, you would have to sit down and figure out what your estimated max is for each movement. Which becomes time consuming, unrealistic and can vary day to day by up to 18% depending on the person’s expertise, exercise level, stress level and overall consistency in the gym. The application of true 1RM testing is dependent upon the goal of the individual. You should be asking yourself these questions for every self-evaluation you program into your workouts:
  • What tests directly apply to the goal I am trying to achieve as I train for strength?
  • What specific goal can I accomplish through strength training in order for me to get there safely and quickly?

Select a few quick tests that will have a direct carry over to your goal. If you need to develop your vertical jump capability, a bench press test is not going to have a great correlation. Strength movements you might select to test/train are power cleans, back/front squat or bulgarian split squats. When you train for a specific goal, the gains you make are movement specific. So if your forearm curl strength propels off the charts but your goal is to run a marathon all you’re doing is trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

Velocity Based Training

For a lot of individuals who walk into the gym with specific performance goals, a principle that has resonated for a long time in with strength training is the principle of velocity based training. Velocity based training protocols for strength have been around for a long time but has had a hard time catching on in the general public due to limitations of tech…you will have a hard time figuring out how fast you move the barbell, how much time you spent on the ground during a plyometric movement, etc. It’s not a new idea but you basically calculate your speed of movement. There is a direct correlation between movement speed and that individual’s current ‘estimated max’.
On the graph above is a basic Force x Velocity curve demonstrating the protocols for strength in VBT. The idea is that in a given set of repetitions, your goal is to keep the velocity of your movement consistently in the targeted velocity zone. Velocity of movement has a direct correlation and provides a much better point of reference for programing that day’s maximum effort than a 1RM test performed a while ago or

Weight Loss and Metabolism Part 3: Strength Training

Hello Friends,

Quick update on all things Stella…In the midst of a crazy week – all good things – one of those ‘testing’ weeks for me as a business person.  Had a couple of interviews. One was for a position to train 10 females taking a weight loss pill, the other a nice chat with a local physical therapist. I am really good at discovering the scope of different companies through research and asking good questions…but I have failed myself when it comes to describing the benefits of my business while in the ‘office’ setting. Going to set out to set up three similar discussions per week until I own it. Which is progress! I have set aside a load of time for practice and will talk to different groups in the area to get some time face to face with folks.

If you know anyone in the Salt Lake area looking for a personal trainer, spread the word of Stella Fitness!

That said, you came here to figure out how to lift weights for fat loss.

I’ve been excited about this one for a while! Not because it is the most efficient means of burning Calories but it also lends a lot of flexibility in how you approach your strength training sessions. Let’s get a few of the common misconceptions and FAQs out of the way…

  • A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat.
  • Lifting weights will make your muscles grow if you train them to grow. Conversely, if you lift weights to get strong and stay lean, you should lift in that fashion.
  • If your goal is weight loss and you weigh in to find that you gained a few pounds this week, it is not because you lifted weights and put on muscle.
  • Your fat does not ‘turn into’ muscle. Fat undergoes oxidation and leaves your system as carbon dioxide, acetyl-CoA and energy. Muscle tissue grows through forced adaptation during resistance training. And it is very difficult to achieve both of these at the same time unless you are willing to work!
  • Your body is more adept to building a certain fiber type – so when you see people looking for ‘lean muscle’, they are typically referring to developing a lower bodyfat percentage with slightly defined features, brought out more through weight training combined with a healthy, nutrient specific diet.
  • Spot-toning does not burn fat in the specified region of your body – but it does make that specific muscle grow larger, thus allowing it to be more defined as you lose bodyfat.
  • Burning 1,000 Calories in an hour is BS unless you weight 250+ or have the metabolism of a hummingbird
  • When finished with a particularly intense weight training session, your body will require more Calories in order to get back to resting levels (the effect can last for up to 36 hours, burning an extra 150 Calories!)

I am a firm believer in the idea of making use of your body in all the ways it can move. You have to prepare your body for the unexpected, and that requires testing its limits every now and then. My idea of strength training isn’t purely deadlifting with a barbell, swinging a kettlebell or hitting the leg press every day. Strength training is what you do to INCREASE YOUR BODY’S CAPACITY FOR MOVEMENT…pushing, pulling, squatting, hinging, carrying heavy stuff, walking/running and rotating. Your body is meant to move in all of these ways. They are fun, challenging and you should track variations of standardized workouts.

When it comes to strength training for weight loss, choose a movement from the following list:

  • Push
  • Pull
  • Squat
  • Hinge
  • Carrying stuff
  • Running/Gait/Core
  • Rotating

Create a circuit from the movement categories and turn it into a game. Maybe your goal is to do 10 reps of each movement for three rounds. Maybe it’s a quick hitting burst of as many reps as possible of one specific movement, 5 minutes at a time. These circuits can range anywhere from 2-60 minutes depending on the specifics of the program and the time you have allotted for exercise. The more intense the workout (ie, weight and rep scheme), the shorter the time frame exercising will be. The idea in these workouts is to get your heart rate up and keep it up. Anyone who has run through an intense, short-rest period strength session can attest to boosting your body’s metabolism and skyrocketing Caloric expenditure. Not only that, you will get really sweaty, really fast.

Below I have attached a few of my favorite strength workouts:

Upper Body Push+Pull Death: 1 Set of 20 reps of each exercise at an intensity that you fail near 20 reps. Maybe leave 2 reps in the tank for each exercise. As little rest as possible between exercises. Set a stop watch for 45 minutes and don’t stop moving until your time is up.

  • Pushups
  • Pullups/Lat pulldown/Assisted Pullups
  • Dumbell Push press
  • Dumbell Swing
  • Dips/assisted Dips
  • Inverted/suspension Row
  • Incline dumbell bench press
  • Dumbell 1 arm row
  • Seated Military press
  • Seated Row
  • Chest Flies
  • Reverse flies
  • Machine Push
  • Machine Pull

Bodyweight 7s: 7 Rounds, 7 exercises, 7 reps each. GREAT circuit for a park or while you’re on vacation (no excuses).

  • Squat Jumps
  • Pushups
  • Lunges (7 each leg)
  • Pullups/Assisted pullups
  • Burpees
  • Side jumping ‘Skaters’ (7 each leg)
  • Full Body crunch

Carry, Thrust, Pull, Run:3-5 rounds of the following exercises

  • Farmers carry (100-200 Feet)
  • Dumbell Thrusters (10 reps)
  • TRX Weight Pull (10 Pulls – attach a few 45# plates to a TRX, place them on the ground, stand a few feet away, and pull the crap out of the weights with your whole body)
  • Run 1/4 of a mile

 

That’s all I’ve got for today folks, let me know what you think!

Grazi,

Goose

 

I Made a Surprise Visit Home and Freaked out my Family

Heather and I are having a blast out in Utah. Seriously – when they say happy wife, happy life – it rings true. She is loving her new position and it’s been a while since I have seen her this happy. She says her new command is a lot less stressful, they play sports everyday before work and she’s never felt support in her career like she does at this place. So I guess this military thing is starting to treat her well. Oh and she advanced on her last exam too!
Abby and Zeeq love it out here. Zeeq freaked out tremendously the first time hail came pouring down from the sky, just as expected. Abby is as relaxed as ever, watching her younger brother anxiously horde all of the toys he can.
I’ve got my little personal training business started, have done pretty well for not having known a single person in this state before making the voyage to Salt Lake. In some way, shape or form, other folks have given me the courage and confidence to step WAYYYY outside my comfort zone and pursue this thing on my own. And for that, thank you for helping to teach me how to best guide your program, coach you through your daily stresses as well as serve as a beacon of support when I was running around with my head cut off. My parents got remarried last month on June 17th, so that was exciting. Kind of a funny story actually.
My older brother Tony and I planned this whole thing where I didn’t let anyone know I was coming to town (not even his girlfriend, Rachel, whom he lives with and I’ve always considered my sister). I flew in on a Wednesday and he picked me up at the airport. Got in safe, no issues with the flights. Rachel works at a restaurant and was set to get home around 11pm. Tony and I go out to trivia and decide to surprise her. So we come up with a genius plan. I hid in the trunk and he would tell her to come outside to help him carry in some stuff. Well, as she opens to the trunk, I see a look of horror on her face when – a glint in her eyes told me she thought Tony didn’t know there was a person in his trunk. She FREAKED out and then realized it was me. Then she laughed, we laughed and had a merry reunion.
A couple days pass and I’m going out to lunch with my brothers and their significant others, we walk a block over to the courthouse and see my mom, dad and grandma pull up to the curb. They park, get out of the car and begin to mozy on into the court house. I hang back and let the brothers greet them. They all start to walk in together as I decide to sneak up on them and sort of mold into the group to see how long it would take mom and dad to notice that their ever-elusive son was around. I am pretty sure I made eye contact with my dad five times. I creep up next to my mom and grandma, joining in on their conversation. Mom didn’t realize for a while that the voice she was talking to was the son she thought was in Salt Lake. But the moment she did, tears started flowing. She screamed like she was being attacked, my dad started freaking out thinking mom was hurt until he had a moment of clarity and realized I was there.
rascalfamilypic
Don’t drink GooseJuice,
Mike

Weight Loss and Metabolism Part 2/3: Cardio for weight loss

Is buying a treadmill going to help me lose weight? What about a bicycle? Should I do cardio before or after I lift weights? What about body wraps, will they help me shed the unwanted pounds?

 

Having worked in gyms for the last ~10 years, you see and hear a lot of things from all walks of life, many vouch the effects of a specific movement, idea or fad that will promise the ULTIMATE EXTREME FAT BURNING EXPERIENCE!! You see sweatsuits and facemasks (you might as well just breathe through a straw), bodywraps and shoes that promise a tighter ass. You get barraged with folks asking about the newest supplement and you see Johnny in the back of corner of the gym hogging equipment with 3 towels on each machine in the vicinity going from 30 cleans to 60 box jumps before deadlifting 300 pounds for 21 reps.

Here’s what we’re going to do. Let’s disregard all that. Because I’d rather not have you confused by ridiculous marketing promises that fail to deliver anything other than broken minds and bodies.

To make this simple, let’s categorize your cardiovascular program based on your experience. Scroll through the categories below and use it as your guideline. For reference of intensities, I am going to use the following Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale as our measure of exercise intensity during your workout. No need for heart rate monitors, fancy gadgets or rectal thermometers, let’s go by how hard you FEEL you are working.

RPE scale

Beginner – You haven’t exercised for > 6 months or you have been exercising less than 150 minutes a week. You have limited experience weight training and have yet to become familiar with the gym, exercise names and movements. You have led a mostly sedentary lifestyle for the last few years but are ready to get your butt off the couch and start…TODAY!

Congrats on your decision !

If your goal is weight loss and/or health improvement, the recommended amount of activity for exercise is at a minimum of 150 minutes at a moderate intensity per week. Mind you – there are significant increases in weight loss and health risk improvement with  greater than 250 minutes per week.

Your cardiovascular routine should be focused on achieving a constant heart rate that has you working and sweating – but not so high that you’re unable to talk. You should focus on one activity that you can safely perform for anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes at a time (low impact exercises include walking, an elliptical, a bicycle or swimming are great places to start).

As you work, your sentences might become broken as you spend time getting your heart rate to climb. But you’re not feeling faint, dizzy or coughing up a lung every time you hit the gym, pavement or pool. Your RPE as a beginner should be a relatively slow climb from 12-16. In your exercise log, you should be tracking your distance and time. Week by week, you want to progress your cardiovascular exercise in one of the following parameters – frequency, intensity, time or type (the FITT principle). For example, this week you turn on your walking app. You take 30 minutes and end up walking 1.75 miles four days this week. If you were increasing frequency, you would increase your exercise to five days the following week. If you were increasing intensity, you would try to go two miles each time you walk. If you were to increase time, you’d bump it up to 35 minutes per workout. And if you were to change the type, you decide to try your hand at swimming instead of walking.

Beginner summed up –

Get moving for >150 minutes per week (or greater than 250 minutes per week for serious results) at an intensity anywhere from 12-16 on the RPE scale. Each week, increase at least one parameter of the FITT principle. Continue your progress and make it sustainable – Increase by no more than 10% by week and keep at it for 4-6 weeks. Until you become…

Intermediate – You have been getting your heart rate up and sweating for >150 minutes a week regularly. If you hit the gym for weight training, you generally have some ideas but not much of a plan to follow. You are able to walk/run a few miles and have been a regular exerciser for over 6 weeks.

My advice to you is to start working cardio intervals. The benefits of interval training are amazing! You burn more fat in a shorter time, a lot of it being as you recover from exercise. It can be very time efficient, so if you’ve got 20 minutes, you can bust out some interval training. These sessions can be much shorter because you’re really going to push your RPE.

Choose your favorite (or least favorite because you like a challenge) activity for cardio. Let’s use walking as our example. You are now at the point where fast walking is literally a walk in the park so you want to begin a running program. A great place to start is a 1:2 work to rest ratio. In this example, you run at a good pace for one minute, followed by rest/walking for two minutes. Your rating of perceived exertion while running is 16 and drops down to a 10-12 by the time you finish your 2 minutes of walking/rest. You perform another set. This time, your RPE goes up to 17. You recover. The next set your RPE goes up to 18. You recover…rinse and repeat.

My recommendation would be to start with no more than two days a week of interval training – which allows the flexibility to increase it over time. You should still perform at least another two days per week of longer duration, lower intensity cardio because there are still great benefits of long duration cardiovascular exercise when it comes to burning Calories. As you progress, you increase the intensity of your running by upping your speed or time in the high intensity zone, decreasing your rest periods, increasing the number of sets or including different types of cardio exercise.

Intermediate summed up –

Interval training is best at decreasing your waist line. If you are looking to slim down your cookie pouch/beer gut, start working in some intervals. Keep track of your sets, rest periods and intensity by using the RPE scale. Modify and mess around with your work to rest ratios in order to vary intensity.

As you get tired of hitting the pavement, you  want to find other ways to implement cardio for fat burning. You’ve become more familiar with the basics of weight lifting because you’ve done your research…you become…

Experienced – You are a regular exerciser. You sweat in the gym, you go hard and you regularly get into some mental battles. You are familiar with a reasonable amount of gym terms, flow of workouts and have spent 3-6 months lifting weights and implementing cardiovascular exercise.

My recommendation for you is to work your strength circuits into high intensity interval sessions. Your emphasis should be on keeping proper form while hitting different planes of movement. If you want a heck of a workout, are looking to build strength and improve your endurance, turn your movement and strength training into intervals. Some folks would call it Crossfit. Which, in a sense, it can be. High intensity training has been around forever. And it’s the most effective method of fat burning there is. These circuits usually end up at the end of your workout, due to an increased amount of fat utilization post-strength training. It will truly challenge you, keep your strength up and have you walking out of the gym feeling like you just moved a mountain. Because maybe you did…

Work in circuit fashion and push yourself. Movements involved should include any and all of the following throughout your weekly workouts:

  • Push – pushups, bench press, overhead press, dips
  • Pull – pullups, rows, hi-pull, cleans
  • Squat – goblet squat, back squat, split squats, lunges, stepups
  • Hinge – deadlift, kettlbell or dumbell swings, hip thrusters
  • Rotation – Ball tosses, pallof press, battle ropes, chops
  • Gait – sprinting, jogging, sled work
  • Carrying heavy stuff – farmers carries, waiter carries, briefcase carries, awkward objects

Some of my favorites:

  • 3 – 5 rounds of : 10 Dumbell Thrusters x 50 yard Farmers carry x 25 Max effort rope slams
  • 10-20 minutes, as many rounds as you can : 5 Pullups, 10 pushups, 15 squats
  • 3-10 rounds of Sled suicides w/ 1 minute rest between sets

Experienced summed up –

Stick to functional movements you are familiar with. Your body has grooved a pattern for how the movement should feel. These workouts are fun, challenging and a great way to push your body for drastic change. You want your heart rate to be elevated and your RPE to approach the 16-20 range for the ‘work’ periods. One of the biggest benefits of this style of training is the amount of energy your body needs after you finish. You can burn up to 150 Calories after you finish! Sitting around, after your workout. Burning Calories without moving? Count me in! Not to mention the testosterone release, growth hormone release and inevitable hair you grow on your chest.

 

Overall, programming your cardiovascular exercise around what ‘level’ you belong to is a sure way to keep you healthy while losing weight. I’ve seen a lot of folks get discouraged, injured, frustrated and quit due to biting off more than they could chew early on. Start moving, move more week by week, be consistent and your metabolism will follow. If you have any questions, comments or favorite training circuits, let me know!

Peace like Geese,

Goose

 

 

 

Weight Loss and Metabolism Part 1: Nutrition for Fat Loss

Hey!

Today begins a 3-part series introduction to fat loss. (Edit from the fuure: The blog gets a little long mathy/sciency, be ready to calculate some numbers to figure out what your metabolism looks like)

The purpose of my focus for the next month is going to be focused on weight loss while kick starting your metabolism.  Here’s my personal experience. My initial motivation when I started training was to look like Rocky. I was a pudgy little athlete who had no idea how to pick up weights but I could have probably beat you in video games. I decided one day I wanted a shredded physique with abs that could take a punch. The drive to become ripped and see abs sort of became an obsession. It started innocent enough – eating healthy foods, more protein, lifting weights, doing cardio. I kept finding myself staying strict but never saw the ripped obliques, the awesome serratus anterior definition and had the hardest time figuring out how to drop bodyfat.

I like to experiment. I’ve gone paleo, I’ve done intermittent fasting and I enjoy being a lab rat. And here are some pictures of when I got skinny. And below that is how I figured it out.

It is a confusing world out there. What to eat, when to eat, how to eat. The world is a clusterf*ck of confusing discussion and broscience. For each article out there touting the effectiveness of a specific diet, there’s an equally confusing article describing the ill effects of adapting that same diet.
Cut the BS. I’m tired of the 21-day fixes. The gluten-free diets. The cayenne pepper and sugar water is not sustainable and most of all, not going fix your relationship with food.

Nutrition and diet begins with your goals. Your body. What are you doing to it and where do you want to go with it? Are you looking to lose weight? Put on muscle? Or a little bit of both?

It starts with metabolism. Simply put, metabolism is the act of your body breaking down, storing and using nutrients. Your metabolism is specific to you – each individual has a different metabolism than the next and a lot of that is dependent on the food choices we make. Some people are seriously sensitive to sugar, some to eggs. Some people can’t handle fiber well while you see others eat McDonald’s cheeseburgers for a shredded 6-pack. Each person breaks down and utilizes energy in a unique way. That said, there are some nearly universal truths when it comes to life and metabolism. Your first step begins with what you take in…

How to Calculate your Energy needs

A few different factors come into play when you are calculating the number of Calories your body needs. They include gender (males burn more than females due to different muscle mass and hormone release), age(younger folks burn more than older) and activity levels (The more you move, the more your body needs). The three ways you burn energy are through your basal metabolic rate(your body’s energy needs purely to sustain life –  60-70% of your daily expenditure), the thermic effect of food (the process of digesting food – 10-15% of your daily expenditure) and the energy expenditure of your physical activity (30-40% of your daily expenditure).

To calculate your body’s energy needs, start with the following equation: 

MEN:

BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

Women:

BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)

The number you come up with is an estimate of your total Caloric needs if your body was at rest 24/7 and ate zero food. In order to get a realistic estimate of your daily total, use the number you got and multiply it by one of the following factors:

Sedentary. Little to no exercise Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.2
Mild activity level: Intensive exercise for at least 20 minutes 1 to 3 times per week. This may include such things as bicycling, jogging, basketball, swimming, skating, etc. If you do not exercise regularly, but you maintain a busy life style that requires you to walk frequently for long periods, you meet the requirements of this level. Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.3 – 1.375
Moderate activity level: Intensive exercise for at least 30 to 60 minutes 3 to 4 times per week. Daily calories needed=BMR x 1.5
Heavy or (Labor-intensive) activity level: Intensive exercise for 60 minutes or greater 5 to 7 days per week (see sample activities above). Labor-intensive occupations also qualify for this level. Labor-intensive occupations include construction work (brick laying, carpentry, general labor, etc.). Also farming, landscape worker or similar occupations. Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.7
Extreme level: Exceedingly active and/or very demanding activities: Examples include: athlete with an almost unstoppable training schedule with multiple training sessions throughout the day or a very demanding job, such as shoveling coal or working long hours on an assembly line. Generally, this level of activity is very difficult to achieve. Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.9

When you get your number, write it down. This is the estimated amount of Calories your body consumes on a daily basis. If you eat more than that number, you will gain weight. If you eat less than that number, you will lose weight. I recommend a deficit or surplus of 500-1,000 pounds per day for weight loss as well as weight gain. Keep track.

Macronutrients!

Macro-nutrients are the substrates plugged into processes that allow you to eat, sleep, breathe and move. They make up the Calories we put in our bodies, each with a specific purpose when it comes to your daily movements and processes. When your body demands energy, your body runs through either Anaerobic metabolism (doesn’t use oxygen) or aerobic metabolism (uses oxygen). Carbohydrate, fat and protein are the only truly useful macro-nutrients that can be plugged into either of these processes. (another macronutrient does exist – Alcohol. It can be used but since you are reading this, you need to know that alcohol use is counterproductive to making your body a fat burning machine).

Macronutrient can measured in Calories – our favorite unit of energy.

Protein – 1 Gram = 4 Calories

Protein simplified is the basic building block of cells in your body. Your body doesn’t to use protein as a fuel source. It can, but it is only responsible for 5-10% of your energy expenditure on a daily basis. When your body does use it too much as a source of energy, muscle will waste from your body and will have a negative effect on recovery as well as bodyfat. Overconsumption can also have a bit of an impact on the kidneys, so don’t adopt a protein only diet.

Protein is in charge of repair when muscle gets broken down, has a great ability to help you feel full and is VERY important when it comes to recovery. The recommended amount of protein (on the high end) for individuals is anywhere from 1.2-1.7 grams per kilogram of desired lean body mass (NSCA). There have been studies that show supplementing your protein around your workout increases fat free mass (muscle and lean tissue) compared to ingesting at different times or all at once. So after you crush a hard HIIT/strength session be sure to nab a shake or some kind of fast-digesting protein (whey and egg protein are the best – do a google search for proteins high in leucine).

Carbohydrate – 1 Gram = 4 Calories

Carbs simplified are your main source of energy. Carbs break down into sugar. The two types of sugar we store are in our muscle (called muscle glycogen) and in our liver as glucose. When you go through a tough strength workout, your body utilizes the muscle glycogen first. It runs through either anaerobic or aerobic metabolism then sends a signal to release glucose after the glycogen stores begin to get depleted. There is a saying that resonated with me throughout school when we were understanding the Krebs Cycle – ‘Fat burns in a carbohydrate flame’. Simply put, you should consume carbohydrate relative to your day’s activity levels. If you hit a hard training session earlier in the day, don’t be afraid to eat a crap ton of fruit, veggies, sweet potatoes, etc.

Carbs are hugely important in recovery. After exercise, you should concoct a mixture that contains a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein. Carb choice post-workout should be something high in the glycemic index – some type of simple sugar that your body will easily absorb. My recommendation would be to blend some fruit, throw in a scoop of protein powder and chug. That or a glass of chocolate milk.

Fat – 1 Gram = 9 Calories

Fat is the most calorically dense macro nutrient of the three. It contains the most Calories per gram, meaning that it’s easy to take in a lot more energy with a higher relative fat consumption. With that said, fats are generally in charge of hormone release, assist greatly in energy expenditure and are vitally important in carrying out an efficient metabolism. There is a great push toward eating Omega 3 fatty acids – fats that actually help in burning fat, lowering blood pressure as well as cholesterol. Keep track of fat consumption – when you have a rest day, lean toward a higher fat, lower carb diet for the day.

With all this information, my brain starts to fatigue. It gets much deeper. But I don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole. If you take home one message from the former, ALL OF THIS MATTERS!

In summation, the following are some action points I have set up to help you lose weight and fat.

1)Calculate your body’s energy needs. If you goal is to lose weight, choose a Calorie count 500-1,000 Calories per day less than your calculated energy demands.

2)Log your food for a least a week. Quantity, quality and Calories need to be known. If you don’t want to count Calories in the long run that’s ok. But you HAVE to hold yourself accountable for a period of time in order to see change.

3)Energy expenditure on a given day  should dictate carbohydrate and fat consumption. If you are going to be hitting the gym hard, a higher carb, lower fat day is necessary. If you are taking the day off, go for lower carb consumption and a slightly higher fat count for the day.

4)Be consistent. Plan your foods, plan your days and be prepared. I had a client who lost half of her bodyweight because she didn’t allow herself any excuses. She literally carried around cans of sardines in case she had to go somewhere or do something unexpected! Think about the excuses you can make and prepare yourself to battle the excuses relentlessly.

5)Be realistic. Sure, you can lose 50 pounds in 25 days in theory, but should you? Prepare for the long run and keep your focus on the next day/week/month of programing!

Comment, ask questions and hit me up with suggestions!!

3 Travel Workouts in 30 Minutes or less

Hey everybody,

One thing that happens in life for anybody that I work with is travel. People go places. They get caught up in work. Or vacation. Or just need to get away for a little while. And it’s amazing!!!

spartan race.jpg
Looking for your next adventure? Take part in an obstacle course! Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, GoRuck…

I am a huge advocate of adventure, seeing new places and travelling to far away lands. Which is why I always do my best to program for people movements and exercises they can do without too much equipment. If your biggest barrier to exercise is not having a gym – you need to find yourself a new program! You can move, exercise AND  find fun/active things to do no matter where you are!

With that said, a bunch of people have been clamoring for the best ways to continue with health progress while abstaining from completely giving in to the temptations of eating out, having one too many brews and getting into trouble with your trainer.

The basic movements we perform in a well rounded exercise program include activities that you should be performing as living, breathing, functioning human beans: Push, pull, squat, hinging and being a machine.

Without further ado,

WORKOUT 1 – Death March

Rep scheme is rounds of 10 reps, then 9 reps, then 8 reps and so on until you finish 1 rep of each exercise!
Bodyweight squats
Pushups
Squat Jumps

Burpees

Bodyweight Lunges

WORKOUT 2 – The Breathless Wonder
Find some space to run – can be a track, can be a field. Somewhere relatively level.
10-20 Chest to floor pushups
30 Strides sprinting
10-20 Jackknife situps
30 Strides sprinting
10-20 Elbow Plank to Pushup position
30 Strides sprinting
10-20 Crab bridges
30 Strides sprinting
50 Jumping Jacks
30 Strides sprinting
WORKOUT 3 – Never Lose Those Gainz!
***This one requires a stretch band with handles***
3-5 rounds of the following exercises, one right after another:
Band Squats (1 minute)
Band Bent Over Rows (1 minute)
Alternating Lunge Jumps (1 minute)
Band Bicep Curls (1 minute)
Hollow Hold (1 minute)
Rest (1 minute)

With all of that combined, find some exciting stuff to do while you adventure! Give back, get in nature and explore!

hiking america.jpg
Find a good hike!

Put the 400m Sprint into Your Program

400m run. It’s a doozy. It’s intense. But before I expand, check out video of this 400m relay. Amazing finish, Phil Healy takes on a soon-to-be Olympian ‘From the depths of Hell’.

400m isn’t the worst if you’re just cruising. But why would you want to just cruise, ever, when you run? You want it to be over as fast as it can be done.

And that’s why you do it. If you play a sport that last longer than 10 seconds, if you want to improve your work capacity or if you want to be a better athlete, it’s nearly mandatory to work running into your program.

Why putting the 400m run into your training program will be the best addition: 

oxidative capacity of energy systems

The time frame you are working during the 400 shows a benefit in nearly every energy system in your body (assuming the time for one sprint around the track lies somewhere between 45 seconds-3 minutes). Fast glycolysis and oxidative energy systems are both kicked into high gear. Fast glycolysis is in charge of any activity lasting longer than 10 seconds but less that 30 seconds and primarily uses muscle glycogen as fuel. The oxidative energy system is in charge of exercise that lasts longer than 3 minutes and primarily uses fat as your fuel.The 400m run is an activity that hits the sweet spot between the two energy systems.  By combining both energy systems, you are getting the best out of your body for any competition that lasts longer than 10 seconds.

How to implement the 400 into your training program today:

By changing up the work:rest ratios you can fine tune the 400 to improve your work capacity.

Work to rest ratios are calculated by taking the time it takes for you to complete one 400m run. For example, if your work to rest ratio is 1:2 and you run the 400m in one minute, you’ll rest two minutes. A few examples of work to rest ratios and which you should use are detailed below.

  • If you are an athlete who generally fatigues throughout the competition or  find yourself gasping for breath earlier than you would hope to, you’ll want to work the 400m with a higher work to rest ratio. A work to rest ratio of anywhere between 1:1 and 2:1 helps improve the oxidative component, training your body to clear lactate more efficiently  with regard to how much time you need to recover. As you improve this component through training, you’ll find that you’re able to last longer, take shorter rest periods and see your heart rate recover quicker with this ratio.
  • If you feel you are slow and less explosive toward the end of competition (if you want to improve sprinting speed at the end of a marathon, bull people over in the fourth quarter, etc.), you are going to want to use a lower work to rest ratio. By using a work to rest ratio as low as 1:6, you allow your muscles to fully clear the lactate accumulated. This training interval improves your speed and power with a full clearing of lactate. So you’ll be stronger, faster and more explosive for activities that last longer than 10 seconds.
  • If you are looking to improve your sprint speed combined with endurance, a ratio of 1:2 to 1:4 is recommended for the 400m. This is the starting point I would use for the majority. If you are an experienced athlete and know where you need to improve, use either of the above examples to fine tune your ratio.

 

In summation, the 400m is brutal if you go all out. But that’s why you’ve gotta do it.

Peace like Geese,

Mike Goose

CHOP SHOP Inaugural Workout

First workout in the Chop Shop. Died.

Warmup/movement prep: 1×10 each

A1 Inchworm

A2 PVC Pass through

A3 Bottom of squat hold

Agility: 10 minutes

Foot ladder drills – in/out, forward back

Hopping drills – Lateral shuffle for power, power hops

Strength:

5×5 Back Squat

3×10 Each rear foot elevated Squat

3×10-15 Hip Thruster

3×10 each Single leg deadlift

Finisher:

10-8-6-4-2

Deadlift, Ball slam, Overhead carry w/kettlebell

Home Gym Must Haves

What’s up Gaggle?

Just received a huge shipment from Hawaii…THE GYM IS HERE.

CHOPSHOP

It’s pretty awesome for a little home gym. From $12,000 eccentric-only squat machines to Ab twisting rockers, there is a crap ton of stuff out there that can really clog up space when you’re crunching for space.

The must-haves for your home gym:

1a)Squat rack, barbell and weight set – Necessary if you are looking to build strength (which you should be!). My favorite piece of equipment in the gym is a good barbell. Something about gritting your teeth, stepping up to the metal, knowing it’s just you and the weight on your back and whatever fortitude you can muster. Every single reputable trainer in the world knows how valuable a good barbell can be for you. Push, pull, squat, lift, press, rotate…it might be the most versatile piece of equipment in the gym.

1b)Foam roller – Favorite recovery tool. You can use the foam roller to increase flexibility, joint range of motion or just as a tool to get the knots out. Everybody should be using one and if you’re not you should. I’ve used mine on occasion to shut my body down if I’m feeling rambunctious at night. It soothes and relaxes your muscle, decreasing tone and tension. Please get one, your body will thank you.

2)Kettlebells – What makes a kettlebell special isn’t that it’s been shown to burn the most Cals in an hour long workout – what makes it special is the fact that it takes up less space than that box full of batteries, mementos and random stuff every household has. It is compact, fun to use, gives a crap ton of variety and is cool for being nothing more than a chunk of metal with a handle.

3)Pull up bar – One of my favorite move for developing upper body strength. Pullups/chinups/neutral grip pulls are the best exercises for developing the upper back and arm strength. One of my favorite -isms in the training world comes from the weight lifting world…you can’t shoot a cannon out of a rowboat. Want to get better at pressing? Develop your back. Period.

4)Adjustable Plyo box – For me this one holds a spot close to my heart. Might not be necessary but this thing is cool. With three different heights on the box, you can use the thing for stepups, plyo jumps and it works as an amazing seat for when you get light headed after a heavy set of squats. I’ve always put an emphasis on power output and one of the most important exercises for developing power is definitely jumping.

5)Dumbbells – To me, dumbbells provide a lot of training in a more chaotic environment. They force you to stabilize unilaterally, bringing out the weak points like no other tool in the box. I like the utility of dumbbells but if you get a full set, it can take up a crap ton of space. So if space is really a limiting factor in you spot, nix the dumbbells and make use of the kettle bells, pull up bar and rack.

 

This is my space. Feel free to say your piece on stuff I left out…like a forearm curl bar

 

Dealing with Setbacks

Every few months I find myself asking the same questions…
 
-What if I had stuck with my plan?
-What if I hadn’t let myself get out of that routine?
-What if I had kept working on my nutrition program like I had a few years back?
-How do I keep myself honest and up front with my goals, setbacks, progress and where I am trying to go?
 
All of these and variations of these questions have been at the back of my mind for the last couple of weeks. Since starting Stella Fitness, I find myself looking at my life and trying to see where I can improve. Where I can grow and what I can do to pick myself up from where I currently find myself. Combined with that – I think there is a common perception about the health and fitness community itself that us trainers live and breathe for exercise. We are critical of how we look – sometimes at the expense of our physiological demands. The thing is, I’ve a hard time with my own health and fitness. There’s this misconception about personal trainers and how we eat perfect, sleep the perfect amount and live to train. This perception that we’re infallible and can’t do anything wrong because we’re physical specimens.
 
BS….

It’s so easy to sit on the couch and watch TV.

It takes so much less effort to go out to eat than it is to cook that healthy meal at home.

Counting Calories? It sucks.

Each and every one of these questions run through our minds. Personally, I love eating boatloads of crappy foods every now and then. I just took to logging my food only to find out that I am pretty much depriving myself of nutrients throughout the week – until the weekend comes along and I crush it. Not a cheat day – a cheat weekend is more like it. And every time I stuff my face with bread or sweets, I always get down on myself or try to ‘make up for it’ with a kickass workout. Truth is, you can’t make up for it. You can only learn from it.

So I take a look back at myself. I run through all the pictures of me sporting a 6-pack. Veins ripping up my ‘tight core’, shoulders that look like they were carved from marble, a shoulder-waist-hip ratio that I’d kill for today.

Then I think about it.

I’ve done it before. I can do that again if I want.

It’s not something that my genetics is limiting.

There’s so much stress on the physical self in this career. And it can really be intimidating – but that’s why I love it. That moment you are able to crush that intimidation with a compassionate kick in the ass…worth every second. A lot of people fail to say ‘I am proud of myself’. And that’s where a true professional comes in.

Realizing that you don’t need to be perfect. That your greatest desire is to learn and grow. To push your limits further than you have before. You’re going to lay a perfect brick each and every time you strive to put up a wall. You want to live with action and passion. You want to learn through action. You want people to love you for who you are and what you do. And even though your friends, family, clients and all those faces behind Social media will judge you when you take off your shirt, that’s ok. You are who you are and you are proud.

This weekend was full of reflection. One of my closest ‘clients’ recently came to me, tail between the legs after putting on some weight after dropping a significant portion. The thing that hit home to me in our discussion was how easy it is to beat yourself up. There isn’t a day that goes by where you tell yourself to put that food down. There isn’t a moment where you try to trick yourself into thinking a donut is healthy for your body. When we were talking, there was disappointment, frustration and regret in his voice. In my mind, the only thing that mattered was that he had done it before. There was hope and he needed to realize it. And this time it’s going to be done the right way.

There was a moment when we spoke that told me he was ready for change…nothing more than a quick quip.

After we spilled our frustrations, regrets and self-hate, we defined what our outcome was going to be. We know where we are going and what kind of dedication it will take. We talked and decided on a program. We’re not going to be perfect. We’ll never be. After he received the program, all that was said in the moment was the following:

Ok, I’m in.

A tone of finality. A tone of focus. A deliberate case of affirmation.

He had forgiven himself for the relapse and is ready to attack it again. And there was something more to it than just a moment of readiness. There was something in it that inspired me. I knew he was ready to do it again. And this time, he seems hungry. He’s ready for the battle.

There are moments of weakness. There are moments of clarity. And when those two moments meet, you’ll feel vulnerable. When you realize the change you want to see, you have all the power in the world and there’s no stopping you.

It’s not going to be easy. It takes dedication. And bravery like you’ve never known before. But know that for every moment you struggle and fret and want to quit, there is someone out there cheering you on, working hard FOR YOU because YOU motivate them.

To all my clients, fellow trainers and fitness enthusiasts…thank you.

Goose out