If we were to ask another how would they define success in life, their definition would likely be reflective of their priorities. I love this question in part of meaningful conversation and with getting to know someone as it gets down to matters of the heart. I don't mean that in a judgmental way, and that's not the point of the question. It merely opens the window for others to get a glimpse of what things matter most to us.
If we define success through status, our answer may have some connection with accomplishing a certain degree of higher education, or perhaps achieving a particular level with our work / career.
If we define success through money, our answer will have some connection to wealth and finance.
If we define success through fame or popularity, our answer will have some connection to how well known we are by others in the public.
I could go on, but you get the point.
The purpose of this post is not to tell you what your answer should be with how you define...
For the past decade I’ve been primarily focusing on coaching middle age and older adults and without question, the most common issue that gets brought up in PAR-Q’s (physical activity readiness questionnaire) is suffering at times with some degree of low back pain.
Now this probably won’t surprise anyone, but have you ever stopped to wonder why low back issues are so common once we get on the south side of forty? I mean it’s not like everyone injured their back in an accident or suffers from a degenerative condition.
How do we explain the commonplace for low back pain with some many individuals who never had issues when they were younger? Well, I believe there’s a simple explanation for this, but it may not be what you think.
We can find clues in looking at how most people go about treating their low back pain. Whenever I ask individuals about their previous solutions, I hear all kinds of things from getting chiropractic care to inversion tables,...
Walk into most any health club or big box gym in your town and you’ll find the ab machines are one of the most frequently used pieces of equipment. They’re not popular because they work so well at producing a flat stomach, as these machines are massively ineffective for that objective. The machines are popular because a lot of people assume they will work for that objective. I mean after all; most have a picture of the abdominal muscles being targeted right on the equipment instruction placard.
In today’s post I want to discuss with you why I’ve never had a stationary ab machine in any of my personal training gyms, and why I never will. Also, why I won’t ever program these exercises for my middle age and older clients who are on remote personal training programs at the larger health clubs.
Now this isn’t to say these machines won’t apply resistance to the abdominal muscles and they're completely ineffective. I’m simply saying, if...
In my twenty plus years as a fitness professional I’ve watched literally hundreds of clients set out to accomplish a body transformation. Some were successful, others not so much. But in the majority of cases there came a point in their program, usually within the first 30 days, where you could predict with pretty good probability whether their goals would be met. Now, you may think it would be because of work ethic in the gym, discipline with staying strict with their diet, motivation, etc. While these are all certainly helpful, it wasn’t the common denominator with success.
One of my mentors, legendary strength coach Dan John, has a saying that I believe sums up the common denominator with success in a body transformation. It goes like this…
“Little and often done over the long-haul.”
He should know as he’s been gaining wisdom and honing his craft in gyms for as long as I’ve been on this planet. It’s been my experience that...
Anyone who has ever dieted and cut out processed sugars will tell you about the mood changes, irritability, headaches, and other not-so-fun side effects. The fact of the matter is when you consume excess sugar over long periods of time it’s going to uncomfortable when you cut it out.
Not only are you dealing with drug like withdrawal symptoms due to sugar affecting the opioid receptors in the brain, but you’re also dealing with the side effects of detoxification. In short, there are a host of physiological changes going on throughout your body when you start removing this very, very addictive substance.
While there’s no way to avoid all discomfort with beating a sugar addiction, you can most definitely reduce the symptoms with a well thought out strategy and become victorious. In today’s post I’ll provide you with some tips and help you to improve your chances of sticking with it until you see success.
Over the past twenty plus years I’ve been...
When I’m consulting clients on their fitness and body composition goals the subject of alcohol invariably comes up. In all fairness, it needs to as alcohol is too important of a variable to not address. I’ve found individuals who do consume alcohol will fall into one of three different categories.
The first category are those individuals who tell me upfront about the couple glasses of wine enjoyed each evening at their “happy hour,” which they boldly declare they have no intention of giving up, nor should I even bother to ask them to.
Well, alrighty then and fair enough. I simply let them know they shouldn’t expect to see much in the way of getting leaner and firming up and continue the discussion. No sense dancing around it or teaching someone who doesn’t want to listen.
The second category are the ones who tell me they occasionally have a drink, but they’re open to adjusting consumption or quitting altogether for a period to see the...
I received a great question this morning on cardio that I wanted to share on the blog. I think it addresses one of the biggest misconceptions there is about cardio workouts for weight loss….the faulty belief that more must be better! This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Before we get into why, here is the question I received.
“Shane, I’m doing steady state cardio on the elliptical trainer for thirty minutes and jogging on the treadmill for twenty minutes, each morning, Monday through Friday. After initially seeing a few pounds of weight loss I’m now not seeing any change on the scale or in the mirror. What would you suggest I do differently?”
There’s a lot to unpack here, but the short answer to the question is to stop doing the thing that’s not working! In this case, 50 minutes of steady state cardio, five times a week for the objective of fat loss. If more is not the answer, which it’s not, the only other option is to do...
Would you be surprised if I told you that sleep deprivation is one of most common tell-tale signs of metabolic dysfunction, I look for with individuals who workout and eat healthy, but still find themselves gaining weight? It’s true. While the tendency is to over analyze on the calories burned / calories consumed side of the equation, the opposite is also true. There’s a tendency to underestimate the importance of things like sleep.
Understand that if you’re looking to have a leaner, more toned physique, factors outside of your food choices and workouts will play a significant role as well. Yes, things like resistance training definitely help improve body composition, but working the muscle is just the first step. The rebuilding, recovery, and fat burning processes occur after your workout, mainly while you’re sleeping.
So, to put it bluntly, if you’re not getting adequate sleep you can forget about seeing much of a change in your shape. Well, hold on,...
There’s more and more research coming out all the time on the role Vitamin D plays in metabolic and immune functions. Now let me start by saying I typically don’t read too much into studies where scientists isolate an individual vitamin in attempts to demonstrate a particular benefit. This is what I often refer to as “nutrition-ism” where food manufacturers pay big bucks to have researchers attempt to demonstrate a health benefit with their processed food product.
The whole processed food industry is suspect in my opinion anyways. Just like the whole idea of “fortifying” or enriching foods with vitamins, minerals, and fiber can make low quality food products appear healthy when they’re anything but. They’ve been duping us with food labels for years when it comes to vitamins especially.
Have you ever really studied a food label for something like crackers? Supposedly, we can get 90% of our Vitamin C needs in the example below,...
In today’s post I want to encourage all of you who are parents struggling to raise your children in a time when their “influencers” are less likely to be teachers and coaches and more likely to be people they follow on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. The unfortunate and sad reality is not everyone who is an influencer is influencing in a positive way.
To put in bluntly, when it comes to subjects like morality, discipline, delayed-gratification, selfless acts of service, healthy eating, and physical training, the good role models are few and far between.
No surprises here, as the money is the flushest where promoting the antithesis of a lot of these words is the message. If it seems like an uphill battle, it is, but I’ll boldly declare to you today that it’s NOT one to be surrendered and certainly NOT one where you’re left powerless.
In fact, I’m going to build on the statement I made in the headline of this post and straight out tell you...
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