Debunking myths about strength training

In a world where there’s so much information out there on the internet which means there’s a lot of good information but also misleading information.  Strength training is a big topic and I still see stuff out there that is either outdated information or just plain wrong.  So I’m going to highlight some of the common myths about strength training.

1)Strength training will make me bulky

-It is true that strength training can build muscle mass and depending on your body type(ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph) that you can build more muscle mass then the average person. HOWEVER, bulking in general terms doesn’t happen through only lifting weights. Nutrition plays an even bigger role.  There are many people that lift weights and are thin because of nutrition habits.  Lifting weights alone will not make you bulky.  It’s the foods that you are eating that can cause someone to get bulky.

2)Strength training  is only for younger people

-While lifting weights is great for people that are younger for physiological development, I’d argue that lifting weights becomes EVEN MORE important as we get older.  Metabolically, your body is slowing down.  You are losing muscle mass every decade after the age of 40.  You are losing bone density.  You are losing strength and balance.  All of which strength training can actually help reverse!!  Can you believe that?  I call lifting weights the key to maintaining your youth as you age because of all the studies that have shown a decrease in all risk-cause mortality in individuals that lift weights weekly!

3)Strength training will make my muscles tighter

-Strength training has actually been proven to improve mobility.  I’ve worked with individuals in their 70-90s age and seen them improve their flexibility without hours of stretching.  How is that possible you might say?  Most of the time, when people are “tight” it’s not because the actual muscle is shortened.  The tightness can be caused by the central nervous system which could be for a variety of reasons(Sport specific tightness, anatomical structures, etc).  With corrective exercise through strength training, you can teach your nervous system to loosen up certain muscle groups once other muscles are stronger and basically recalibrate your neuromuscular system to help reduce muscle stiffness.

4)Strength training is primarily for men

-This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Both men and women benefit from strength training.  Women actually have more to lose than men for those who choose not to strength train.  Primarily for three reasons, they don’t produce nearly as much testosterone as men, the anatomical changes that occur after pregnancy, and menopause. These all have put women at a higher risk for losing bone density, bone fractures, atrophying of muscle mass, losing strength and balance, and increased risk of injuries.  Strength training can reduce the risk of all those things significantly!!

5)Strength training is only for people with experience

-It is for all levels of fitness.  Strength training is for everyone at any age.  If you’ve never exercised before, it’s a good idea to hire a personal trainer like my staff at my gym.  Getting a physical assessment and creating a personalized exercise program from a personal trainer will ensure that you don’t injure yourself because of doing the wrong exercises the wrong way.

As always, if you have any questions and or need extra assistance starting your fitness journey.  EA Fitness and Performance is ready to help you.

Coach Evan

Have a plan when you eat

You are probably thinking that this is going to be about meal prepping but it’s actually not.

It’s more about what order you should eat your food when you are eating.  It may sound strange but the order in which you eat your foods can have a profound effect on how your body responds in the way of digesting it.

Research has shown that the most that is affected is your after meal blood sugar.  Other factors come into play as well but this what’s been studied the most.

What the research has shown is those who consume the protein dense foods first before the rest of the food have a lower blood sugar after.  The conclusion to this effect is that protein digests the slowest out of any macronutrient so by consuming protein first, it slows down the absorption of rest of the meal and thus, minimizes the effect on blood sugar.

Personally,  I follow this protocol for every meal but I structure it in a different way.  Below is the hierarchy in which I consume my foods.

  1. Protein – this helps minimizing the effects on blood sugar for after the meal

  2. Fats – Fats are also slow digesting so this will further slow down absorption of other foods in the meal.

  3. Vegetables/Low-Glycemic foods – Vegetables are high in fiber which minimizes the production of the hormones including ghrelin that are responsible for telling you that you are hungry.

  4. Fruits -Although have high fiber, they are considered high glycemic but by this point, I’ve consumed foods that are both slowing down the absorption of the fruit so it won’t have a huge impact on blood sugar levels.

  5. Refined Carbohydrates(If any) – I always leave the least nutrient dense foods last because by this point, I’m feeling pretty full so there won’t be much room to consume the refined carbohydrates!

In my opinion, the whole food diet approach is the best approach to eating since it will ensure I eat adequate amounts of protein, healthy fats, and fruits/vegetables to meet all my nutrient needs on a daily basis with minimizing exposure to preservatives and other additives that are harmful.  Of course, there is room for flexibility around holidays and special gatherings but its really about what you are consuming 80% of the time.

As always, if you have any questions that are fitness and health related, I’m here as a resource to help you get healthier!

Coach Evan

Invest in your health

I love to use the analogy that your body is like a car.  It has certain things you need to do in order to make sure the car runs smoothly. If you start ignoring your oil changes,  ignore the check engine light, ignore that odd clunking sound your car makes, it eventually is going to manifest into big problems that may lead to your car not operating properly.

Your body is no different.  Below are the minimum basics that everyone needs to do in order to maintain a healthy functioning body.

Strength Training: 2-3x/week
Cardiovascular exercise: 1-3x/week
Sleep: 7-9 hours/day

Eat adequate amounts of protein, vegetables, and fruits(varies person to person)

If you don’t do these things regularly, you are putting yourself at risk of various health complications later on.  Especially if you are a person who might be genetically predisposed to certain conditions.

You live in your body 24/7.  You spend more time in it then anything else you do.  That’s why you need to invest into it in order to make sure your body functions the way it needs to and the way that you want to.

If you want to live longer to spend more quality time with loved ones, you need to invest in your body.

If you want to continue to do the hobbies that you do regularly without having to worry about physical limitations, you need to invest in your body.

If you want to perform better in your career and enhance productivity, you need to invest in your body.

If you want to not worry about not being able to do things later on because you are getting older, you need to invest in your body.

Just like with anything, the longer you invest, the better long term results you will ultimately get.

So invest in your health, your future self will thank you for it!

Coach Evan

How To Stay On Track

The single biggest obstacle that people face when they are in pursuit of trying to reach their fitness goals is staying on track.  People are generally solid for 6-8 weeks and then a lot of the time, they will fall off for various reasons.

It could be that the program itself isn’t sustainable.  It could be that maybe they injured themselves which killed their drive to continue.  It could be that they went on a vacation for a couple weeks and have trouble re-focusing on their fitness goals.  It could be that they are busier than normal.  There are more but you get the point.  It usually only takes one thing to throw someone off track then they are back to square one.

It all comes back to the beginning and setting the expectations for yourself.  When you are setting your goals, it’s important to outline potential obstacles so you can know ahead of time how to overcome them before they actually happen.  It’s also important to realize that unexpected things will happen that might make you adjust your routine but it is essential for long term success to learn how to navigate around those scenarios.  This is life and that will never change but we need to continue to move forward despite that.

If you are a person that has struggled with ups and downs that has prevented you from reaching your fitness goals.  It’s probably time to look into hiring a coach that will help you with the following:

1)Help you get clear with your goals

-Understanding why your goals are important to you so you are more likely to stay focused even during tough times.

2)Help you get clear with obstacles

-They can help outline any issues you may run into and how to overcome them

3)Accountability + Support

-They can help hold you accountable to your goals and give you the support you need to get through the tough times!

4)Make the process more enjoyable

-Having a relationship with your coach can make your fitness journey more fun of a process rather than a chore!

As always, if you have any questions on health and fitness.  Feel free to reach out to us!

Coach Evan

Plan for a guilt free holiday season

It’s that time of year again.

Lots of holidays and festivities filled with opportunities to eat sweets and over indulge in those delicious meals.   I’m not here to pass judgment on people wanting to consume all those goods that come with the holiday season but growing up it was always an excuse to over indulge.

It seems to be a recurring theme for most of us that fall into the trap.

What if there was a way that you could enjoy the goods of the holidays but not gain a ton of extra weight?

Here are some ways to combat the weight gain over the holidays:

1)Consume protein and vegetables FIRST before eating other foods

– The combination of eating the protein which takes longer to digest along with the high fiber profile that vegetables have will help curb cravings and hunger to reduce the chances of overeating.

2)Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water

– When your body is in a dehydrated state, your body can trick itself into thinking that it’s hungry when in reality, you are just dehydrated!

3)Limit amount of alcohol consumed

– This is a big one.  Alcohol has lots of negative effects on sleep quality which directly impacts your glucose levels which can lead to weight gain.  On top of that, we don’t always make the best judgements when under the influence when it comes to food.

4)Consider starting a fitness program

– I hear it all the time, “It’s the holidays, I’m too busy to start a routine.”  When in reality, we will ALWAYS be busy at some point.  Learning how to work on your health even through busy times  not only will help you not gain unnecessary weight during these times but will also help with your long term fitness goals if you aspire to achieve great health for the years to come!  Like I said, we are always going to be busy but its a choice of whether you want to learn how to navigate through it or not.

Definitely consume the treats you’d like and not feel guilty about it but try to use the above strategies to make sure you don’t overdo it.  When it comes down to it, balance is what we need during the holiday times.

If you struggle during the holidays with your fitness and you want to change that,  feel free to reach out to me and I’d be happy to chat with you!
Evan

5 things you need to do to stay young

Every day we are getting older and there’s nothing we can do about that.  What we can do though is do things to help keep our body operating at an optimal level.  These are the 5 things you need to do to stay young.

 

1)Sleep 7-9 hours per night

-As we know, sleep plays a big role in the body’s general ability to recover physiologically from daily activities.  For those looking to reduce skin wrinkles, getting adequate sleep actually helps your skin’s collagen repair to keep the tight look that everyone looks for!

 

2)Strength Training 2-3 times per week minimum

-Every decade after the age of 30 you are expected to lose 3-8% of your muscle mass and more than that after the age of 60.  Individuals that have a low skeletal muscle mass index have an increased risk to falls, injuries, and cognitive decline!  Strength training can prevent the decline of muscle mass which is why it’s important to strength train on a regular basis!

 

3)Consume 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables every day

-This is the daily minimum recommended intake for fruits and vegetables.  Essential vitamins and minerals are in them that help improve your immunity, reduce risk of cancer and other diseases, improve digestion, and more!  It’s even better if you can “eat the rainbow ” by mixing the colors of the fruits and vegetables you consume to intake more variety of phytonutrients that all have different health benefits.

 

4)Consume high protein source with every meal

-Protein has a lot of functions in the body that are an integral part of muscle repair, hormone production, enzymes, and appetite control.  All things that are important help maintain optimal physiological functions!

 

5)Stay busy

-The saying goes, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”.  Whether it’s with physical activity to keep your body strong or reading to keep your mind sharp,  Make sure you are doing something every day to ensure that you are maintaining your body for the years to come!  Humans are not meant to sit for long periods of time with nothing to do!

So follow these 5 things if you truly want to keep your body young and resilient for the years to come!

As always, if you want any support or have questions related to fitness, I’m here to help!

Coach Evan

3 Reasons why community helps you reach your fitness goals

‘Today I wanted to highlight something that is very underrated when it comes to setting yourself up for success when pursuing your fitness goal(s).

Community.

And here are 3 reasons why.

 

1)You become the 5 people you surround yourself with

-So if you are surrounding yourself with people that don’t have any intention of becoming healthier anytime soon then this in turn, puts you in a hard position to reach your fitness goals. When you join a small gym(like mine), you are really joining a community of people that have similar goals as you might have and are willing to support you to make sure you reach your fitness goals. You will meet 5+ people that you will see on a weekly basis so you will be spending a lot of time with them and in turn, setting you up for success.

2)Accountability

-When you have a community of people that are like-minded as you, they will also help keep you accountable to make sure you are taking consistent action week after week to ensure you are staying on track.

3)Makes your fitness journey more enjoyable!

-This is an important part of the process is to be able to embrace it and enjoy it. Celebrating the wins along the way, pushing each other, and having fun while doing it are just some of the benefits of having a community along with you on your fitness journey!

Something I take pride in at our gym is doing community events. Whether thats going out skiing together, going out to eat, going to the ax pit to throw axes, or anything that gets us outside the gym because I realize how important it is for my clients to have a sense of community so I can ensure that they are maximizing their experience at my gym.This is why joining a small gym is so powerful for individuals looking to lose weight, get stronger, feel better in their clothes, and just be healthier.

So if you are thinking about pursuing your fitness goals, consider joining a community!!

 

Your Shoes Are Causing Foot Issues

We live in a society where wearing shoes in public places is normal and probably for good reason since it would be not hygienic. Walking barefoot on public grounds/floors would be a recipe for athlete’s foot and plantar warts. So it’s understandable that we walk with shoes on for most of the day.

However, that doesn’t go without consequences. 87% of humans will experience some form of foot issues at some point in their life. Part of the contributing factor is your shoes for two reasons.

1) The width of your shoes

Most of the shoes out there are too narrow which bring your toes closer together then they are supposed to. This can lead to bunions and other anatomical deformities in the foot that can cause injury and make your feet less stable on the ground. Below is a picture of how spread apart your toes should be!

2) The cushion in your shoes

The more support your shoes have, the less your foot muscles have to work when you are walking, running, or lifting.   Which can be good in some cases if you are dealing with acute foot issues. However, like any other muscle group, they need to be trained.  Shoes often become a crutch for foot dysfunction which doesn’t just lead to foot injuries but also knee, hip, and back issues potentially.  A recent study actually showed people who experienced plantar fasciitis actually had signs of tendonosis of the plantar fascia when evaluated which means the discomfort might have been caused by  the tissue degenerating and becoming too weak to support the foot.

So what should you do?

Well first, get a wide toe box shoe that allows you spread your toes and perhaps purchase a toe spreader that you wear 30 minutes per day to get your toes aligned in optimal position.  The second thing you should do is incorporate foot strengthening exercises that include:

**Do 3 x 10 reps of each 2-3x/week

Towel curls – put towel down on hard surface and use your toes to curl up the towel as much as possible

Bodyweight Squats(Barefoot)- While performing the squat, think about grabbing the floor with your toes and maintain the foot tension throughout the movement

Calf Raises(Barefoot)- Feet relatively close together, press through pads of feet to elevate heels off the ground and think about grabbing the floor to maintain foot tension throughout the movement

If you are experiencing tightness or discomfort in your feet I recommend using a lacrosse ball and rolling out the plantar fascia area for 5 mins per foot before performing the exercises!

If you want to learn more about what you can do to improve your foot health, you know where to find me!

Coach Evan

References:

The Foot Collective

https://www.facebook.com/thefootcollective/posts/your-toes-should-be-the-widest-part-of-your-foot-most-shoes-compress-your-toes-t/258432711272010/

You don’t get what you want, you get what you need

This is famously from Tony Robbins who is a world renowned motivational speaker who has millions who follow him including celebrities that look up to him for personal development topics.  One of the things that stuck out to me is when he said, “We don’t get what we want, we get what we have to have.”  It’s so true though.  Life habits are about what we decide to prioritize.  Whether that’s spending time with family,  working long hours to achieve financial freedom, and or exercising on a regular basis to get healthier.  

We go to work to earn an income because we need to provide for ourselves and our families.

We go to the grocery store every week because we need food and water to live.

We make time for our life partners because we need to nurture our relationships with those we love.

It’s all about what we decide to prioritize that actually happens.  Unfortunately, health for a lot of us is put on the back burner for a multitude of reasons. “I’m too busy”, “I can’t afford it”, “now isn’t the right time”, and other reasons.  Ultimately, it’s because in those moments they don’t feel it is needed to make time for their health.

At the same time I’m sure you all have heard people say:

  • “I want to lose weight”

  • “I want to have more energy”

  • “I want to get stronger”

  • “I want to feel better in my clothes”

  • “I want to be healthier”

I’m probably missing some but like I’ve already talked about, wants are a different category then needs.

Wants = Would be nice to have, not necessary though.

Needs = I don’t have a choice, I need this.

It’s important to understand the differences especially if you are actually looking to accomplish any goal honestly.  If you just want something, on days that you are busy or don’t have the bandwidth to do what’s necessary, you’ll let yourself slip.  If you need something, you will make it work in my schedule regardless of how you feel.  It becomes a non-negotiable which will lead to success.

If you are having trouble navigating through your health whether its because of work, family matters, or any other obstacle, I’d love to chat with you to help get you on track!

Dedicated to your Success,
Coach Evan

Where my passion for fitness came from

In this article I thought it would be good to highlight why I am as passionate about health and fitness as I am today.

People are often surprised when I tell them a little bit about my story because they assume that I was always a fitness guru but that is far from the truth. In high school, my older brother would always ask me if I was going to workout with him since he was involved with sports as well and I usually gave him the same answer which was “I’ll think about it” which really just meant no. Junior and Senior year I started to lift more but then once I started college then my consistency went down the drain because I just thought of training only for sports performance and not for general health.

I wasn’t strong and was always lean so the thought of continuing to workout on my own in college wasn’t attractive to me at all. Nutrition wise, I would say I ate OK. Definitely not consuming near enough protein and fruits/vegetables though. I ate whatever I wanted and didn’t focus on my eating habits. This all resulted in me not feeling great about myself and sometimes pretty depressed because I didn’t have the energy, the body, the confidence that I always wanted which was a result of me not taking action.

I graduated college and right after that I hit a low point of my life in terms of how I was feeling about myself. Physically I was weak. Mentally I felt weak. It was just a really dark time for me. In my darkest moment, I had a decision to make. Either choose the path of continuing to feel bad about myself and do nothing about it. Or I could choose the path of transforming my body and my mind through health and wellness. As you can see, I choose health and wellness.

Boy, was it the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m glad from that moment on that I would be serious about consistently taking care of myself and making my health non-negotiable in my daily routine. Exercising 4-6 times per week and eating a nourishing diet which has changed more than just my physical well-being. It’s COMPLETELY changed my mindset on life. I no longer had limiting beliefs, I had way more confidence in myself and felt like I was finally in control of what happened in my life from many different perspectives. Which is such a great feeling and it all happened through just taking my health more seriously. This is where my passion for helping others with their health stemmed from.

Having good general health is more than just losing weight and other physical markers of progress. It’s about the feeling you get when you finally feel in control of your body. You have more energy. You feel stronger both physically and mentally. You can continue to physically do the things you love to do. Your day to day performance both at work and with your personal life get better. I could keep going but you get the point. Your health is your key to overall happiness. That’s where I come in because I understand struggles that my clients go through whether they have stubborn weight that they need to lose or if they physically are declining and need to get stronger so they can continue with day to day activities. I LOVE helping people reach their health milestones because I know the positive impact it makes for them in their quality of life going forward. That’s why I’m in this industry. To help people live healthier and happier lives.

So if you have a friend or family member who you think needs a little extra help with improving their health, I would love to chat with them.