December is here before it’s June

…just a taste so i want more

It’s been just over a year since I became a certified personal trainer. Becoming a personal trainer was never done so I could become a personal trainer full time, or even train individuals on a part time bases, well, other than maybe one or two. The reason I decided to do this was to become more knowledgeable about anatomy, exercising, fueling, etc., and to help those with whom I train with. I am fortunate enough to get to train a bunch of great individuals, at the dojo I train at, two times, sometimes 3 times a week. Looking back, maybe I should have taken the group fitness trainer certification.

Rewards

I look back at the last year and the people I train and it amazes me. I look at the work they do now compared to a year ago and the progression is incredible. My workouts become tougher and tougher and I have to do that, even though I can see eyes glaring at me, because my students have become that much more fit.

I guess you can almost call this an art. I’ve taken bodies and have sculpted them over the months to something different than they were a year ago. My students are the clay and I am the sculptor of that clay, the sculptor of their bodies. I remember one night where I created a workout that was fairly tougher than the ones we have been doing and thinking it was too much, I’ve gone too far. Going through the workout I would monitor the faces, the expressions of pain, of agony and of frustration. I thought to myself that I have taken the workout to too high a level and it was too much. I was thinking of scaling it back half way through. But I didn’t. I kept going knowing that they could do it, they could finish this workout because it was achievable and the drive was there.

We made it through. Yes, we. I feel very much part of the workout even though I’m not participating. I can vicariously feel the pain and the frustration of my students. We made and and we grew from it.

That’s it. That’s the reward I get when I do this. Seeing my students double the amount of pushups they can do. Doing 45 second intervals full out over and over. Doing all this and not complaining but instead thanking me for doing this for them. I’ve had students tell me that feel fitter and that they can do more throughout the day without feeling tired. Maybe it’s selfish of me, but that’s what makes me feel good about training.

Do I feel good? Yeah, I do, but I tell them that they should thank themselves and they should feel good about pushing themselves to places that are uncomfortable and painful and then doing it again, and again and…

The downside

I’m not sure that this is really a downside, maybe. It’s hard for me to watch people workout and not push themselves. Do they know that they need to? Are they uneducated with respect to exercise? Are they afraid? Are they lazy? Probably yes to one of these. It’s tough to stand by and not jump in and say something. I try not to jump in because it can be a delicate area of discussion telling someone they need to work out to the point they feel exhausted and almost want to puke. Usually I don’t say anything unless I’m approached and asked. Then, you can’t shut me up.

Maybe that’s just me though. But I do know there is a lot of lack of understanding of exercising. The other day at work I was talking with two people who were complaining that although they workout they just can lose the weight. I see these two working out at the gym we have at work and it’s apparent that they don’t have the understanding they need. They are doing the same thing every time and the effort is maybe 50 to 60 percent output, never 100 percent. I tried to get a conversation going by saying ‘hey, did you know I’m a certified personal trainer?’, but no one bit. That’s ok though, we have all been there and I think you tend to find these things out when there is a desire to. Some day.

Another one

Over a year, over 140 blog posts. What lies ahead for me? I don’t know. I’ve always been interested in becoming certified in plant based nutrition but I don’t have the time at this point. This is something that is close and important to me. Just like exercising, there is a lot of misinformation regarding plant based eating. I can talk to it somewhat, but I find that people listen better when they know you are qualified in the area you are talking. Maybe later this year when things quiet down a bit. We’ll see.

I do know this though that there will be more posts, more training and more learning.

Oh, and yeah, more handing out ass whuppings.

Yours in health,

Darryl

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read my blog. I am truly lucky.

One big, one small

Like water on a stone.

 

Our body may look the same on each side when we look into a mirror, but the reality is it isn’t. Most of us have a dominant side that is stronger and has better coordination than our weaker side. I think we all know that one side is stronger than the other, but that difference can impact you especially if you are someone who plays sports. Think how someone’s soccer game could improve if they could kick equally with both legs.

How

Over the years we develop this difference between sides mainly due to convenience. When you pick up something heavy you use the dominant side, the right side if you are right handed. When playing sports we tend to use our dominant side. Of course we do, we want to do well and if we use our weaker side we would probably end up losing at that sport. But even doing small things with our dominant side like picking up a bag, gardening, writing further develops that neural connection that our dominant side has and perpetuates that disparity we have.

The big one is when we exercise. Most people tend to do exercises that combine both sides, things like barbell bench press, squat machine, cable rows all things that use both the dominant and weak side together. Usually these exercises are done to fatigue, but fatigue of the stronger side.

Training

When training, try to use dumbbells, and single leg/arm movements. When you do this the tendency will be to start with the dominant arm / leg but I want you to start with the weaker arm or leg. Complete your target reps with the weaker side and do the same number on the dominant side. This will over time bring balance to both sides.

Try exercises such as dumbbell arm curls, dumbbell tricep extensions, single legged lunges. For exercises that have to have both sides working together like pull ups, stop once you feel your weaker side fatique. Again, this will over time bring balance to both sides.

Daily

You can accelerate the balancing between both sides by trying to do daily activities using your less dominant side. When using the remote use your weaker side. Brushing your teeth or hair use your non-dominant side. While this will not build strength or increase muscle size it will help build and reinforce the neural connection to the muscles on your weaker side. This in turn will help the body recruit more muscle fibre when you are working out, helping to increase the strength and muscle size on the non-dominant side.

Something else you can do to help accelerate the removal of the disparity between both sides is to measure your progress. Write down your progress in each workout and actually measure your upper arms, forearms, upper legs. This will help to show you the progress you are making as the disparity between both sides starts to shrink.

Normal

It’s normal to have a difference between the two sides of our body. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. It’s going to take some time, but most things do. Be patient knowing you are starting to close the gap, and on your way to being able to diminishing that weaker side of your body.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

move strong, and move forward

Don’t heed the advice and don’t pay the price.

Your body needs this. Some ‘experts’ recommend reducing it. It’s responsible for how you perform and many other things. It can even affect your mood.

Over the last number of years experts have been proposing low carb diets to lose weight. Eating lots of protein and drastically reducing carbs was seen as the way to reach your weight loss goes. But, your body needs carbs and will get them any way they can, even at the cost of metabolizing muscle to produce carbs. Let’s look at why we need carbs.

It’s required

Energy. The body mainly uses glucose for energy when working out. Your body has a limited store of glucose, or glycogen, and if not replenished it will get depleted. What happens when our glucose gets depleted? Ever hear the phrase ‘hitting the wall’? That’s what happens. You have no energy, you are dead tired. But what happens if you keep exercising at a somewhat moderate to intense level? Your body will convert what it needs to, to glucose. This usually happens with the conversion of muscle to glucose. All that hard work you did to create the muscle is now being lost as that muscle is being consumed by your body. Hard to believe.

Post workout. The same goes for post workout. Your glucose and glycogen stores are depleted because you killed it at the workout. What do you do? You go for a big protein shake, right? No, don’t do it! Your body needs those stores filled up again so your body can continue to work. Believe it or not, if you don’t replenish your glycogen/glucose stores your body will not have enough to digest that protein and guess what, you got it, your body uses muscle for it’s energy source.

Well being. Low carb diets can make us miserable, negatively impacting our mood. That’s probably why so many of us love carbs, it makes us feel good. Without getting technical, eating carbs is believed to increase the amount of serotonin, the feel good chemical.

Intelligence.  Living on a low carb diet can impact our ability to concentrate making it harder to work, harder to learn and harder to do anything that requires concentration. The brain requires it. Low carb diets also impair our brain functions.

 

Your body needs it

Your body needs carbs, the good carbs. Slow digesting carbs such as grains, oats, green vegetables, pasta, sweet potatoes, etc. Stay away from simple carbs like things containing white sugar. That stuff is nasty for you. Try to keep the percentage of carbs you eat at around 45% – 50%.

If anything, your mood will thank you for it.

Yours in health,

Darryl