Welcome to another blog post and this week’s topic was requested by a client…. Can you train too much? It is a great question as the answer may surprise you. I preach the virtues of exercise more than most. It is something I do on a very regular basis and with good reason. I see the AMAZING benefits that exercise makes in people’s lives. Further, a MAJORITY of people are primarily inactive and don’t exercise enough. However, there is a minority of people that can overdo it and train TOO much.
This is easy to do as exercise makes us feel amazing. Not only do we feel amazing once we are exercising regularly but we also start to look amazing. We have a renewed energy, better mood and all we want to do is get more of it. This is when overtraining can occur. I have seen this with my clients over the years that have been inactive and then start training regularly. They just have this thirst for more and as inspiring as this is, I actually need to pull them back.
The reason I need to pull them back is that overtraining can be debilitating and can be worse than not training at all if you go too far. So how do you know if you have gone too far? You need to be tuned into your body and listen to it instead of ‘toughing’ it out and ignoring the signs. There have been many times when I have been mocked and told to ‘eat a spoonful of cement and harden up’ because I have chosen easier sessions or rest instead of training. However, the last laugh is on me because it is this approach that leads to a diminished risk of injury, illness and fatigue. I have also been on the other side of the fence and have suffered due to my stubbornness and ego.
The signs of overtraining are clear if you look out for them. They are:
- You consistently fail to complete your workouts due to fatigue. Once or twice is normal but if a pattern emerges then you are overtraining.
- Despite regular exercise you are actually getting weaker or slower. If you are lifting poorly or runs are taking you longer then you need rest.
- You are actually becoming less lean despite more exercise. Training places a stress on the body. There is a balance between too little and too much. A good training plan places a ‘good amount of stress’, a poor training plan with too much training places too much stress on the body. This increases your cortisol and in turn will increase your insulin resistance. This leads to more fat around the midsection.
- You are getting sick more often. There are so many factors that contribute to a diminished immune system like poor sleep, mental stress and changes in diet. However, if you find that these haven’t changed then overtraining may be the cause.
- Your joints, bones and muscles hurt. This isn’t the same pain as you feel post exercise but rather constant niggles and aches.
- You constantly feel tired and crappy. Exercise creates energy and should have you feeling great, particularly post exercise. If you feel flat, crappy and caffeine dependent then you may have overdone it on the exercise.
There are several causes of overtraining and these include:
- Lack of recovery
- Increasing the frequency of training far too quickly
- You increase the intensity of your session too quickly
- You don’t give your body adequate rest following illness
- You favour one form of training far too much
The good news is that the solution to overtraining is simple. It is REST. This may mean a few days off every week or just including sessions in the week that are a little ‘easier’. You should also have your training program reviewed by an exercise professional so you can see that the progressions are measured and realistic.
I was conducting a consult two weeks ago when I was floored by a question by the prospect. He asked me ‘what makes clients more successful than others with their results’. It was a big question and one that I certainly had some ideas about. My answer was sufficient enough for the prospect to identify with and he committed to training. I thought long and hard after the session and I thought I would convey these ‘success traits’ in a coherent format. I have trained and observed clients for over 6 years and I have seen LOTS of successes but I have also seen clients that didn’t achieve their goals. So, what is the magic formula? I believe it is a combination of the following:
1. You need to WANT it! If you TRULY and DEEPLY want a certain result then you will ACHIEVE it. These results need to resonate with you and get you excited. It needs to be big enough to conquer the inevitable obstacles that will arise. It needs to consume your thoughts, emotions and energy. It will mean constant sacrifices and contentedness with these sacrifices. It will mean discontent with who you are and an excitement for the journey you will embark on.
2. You need to overcome CHALLENGES. We are all confronted with challenges but it is the RESPONSE that determines success. The successful client will meet these challenges head on and will embrace them. They will make the necessary changes but will not deviate from the plan. Injuries, work and family demands and finances will alter the plan but the necessary changes will be made and will not deter the client from success.
3. You need a PLAN. ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. Without a plan then you are working aimlessly even with the best intentions. You need to know when to progress, how to progress, strategies for plateaus and best practice methodology. Too often I see people who are motivated and hungry for success get disheartened because they didn’t work to a plan! They trained with the best intentions but didn’t do it smartly.
4. You need to take RISKS. You will be committing time, money and energy and it will involve you stretching your comfort zone. You will be asked to do things you didn’t think were possible and you need to do these things to reach greater success. You will be amazed about what you are capable of.
5. You need to be EXCITED. It’s related to my first point but you do need to approach the plan with excitement. It doesn’t mean you will enjoy all the exercises or workouts but you will get excited by your progress and the achievements along the way.
I am not saying you need all these things to exercise successfully or just be generally healthy. But, these are the traits I see in people that have achieved MASSIVE success. They have this incredible drive that I find so inspiring.
If I want to get results in anything I do whether it is business, health, nutrition or a type of training then I consult people that have a proven track record and have achieved results in that particular field. I want to see that they have done it themselves and coached or inspired others to terrific results. This has been a method that has helped me enormously in expanding my studio. I have paid LOTS of money for mentors that have built successful studios that generate great results for their clients.
The same logic must apply when choosing a personal trainer or fitness facility. I am entering my first ever kettlebell competition (I am really scared) in May. This will be one of the most physically demanding events I will ever endure. I want to ensure that I am physically and mentally prepared to the best of my ability. I need a qualified and experienced coach that will inspire me to get the best out of me.
Personal trainers are everywhere….. in fact, it is not hard to become a personal trainer so there is more and more entering the industry at a rapid rate. Like all professionals there is a HUGE disparity in quality. There are the rookies that have completed their 6 week course and wanted to become a trainer because the hourly rate was attractive (these people find out that it is HARD work and are gone within 12 months) and then there is the other side of the spectrum. There are trainers that have years of experience, university degrees, a tonne of testimonials and before and after photos and genuinely CARE for their clients.
I own a personal training education business where we up skill personal trainers nationally. I travel the country teaching these trainers and I see both lots of trainers. I also have a team of 8 trainers and I need to discern which category the trainer fits into when recruiting. So if you want to get REAL RESULTS with your training and really achieve your goals then you need to know if you are in good hands.
So what should you look out for……
- Do they GENUINELLY care when talking to you? Are they present in the conversation?
- What is their approach to diet and exercise? Do they look the part? I don’t mean that they need to look like fitness models but they should look fit and healthy
- Are they continually up skilling? Have they invested in their further education? What books are they reading?
- What RESULTS have they have helped their clients achieve in the past?
If a trainer fits these criteria then you are in VERY good hands and you have increased your chances of SUCCESS significantly.
I will unashamedly take the opportunity to let you know that we have an AMAZING team at Coastal Bodies. We have decades of experience, several qualifications and dozens of before and after photos and testimonials. You can see the impressive team here.
Last Challenge for 6 Months
We have our LAST 8 week challenge for 6 months starting on Feb 25th. You would have seen the AMAZING results from the challenge in these newsletters. If you have thought about it for a while then now is your opportunity to get results. Click here for more information.
Females only Pilates Class starting next week
We have a brand new class starting next Tuesday (Feb 26th) at 10 am. It is for females only and is a mat class. The class will run for 45 minutes and conclude with a coffee at our new coffee bar.
Have you ever had that feeling where you are totally starving and the only options are a service station meat pie, a sandwich or a pack of chips? I have often been caught out where I have been hungry enough to eat a horse and will demolish ANY food that is within a 1 metre radius. The main problem arises when the food options are CRAP! I will usually take the option of eating crap rather than being starving if given a choice between the two.
So my solution to this problem…. be prepared! The better prepared you are with your food the better you will eat. It is that simple! I purchased an overpriced food planner from Kikki K (a blank piece of paper will do) that lists all the days and the meals I will consume. Whilst it may sound anally retentive, the process works wonders!
I make sure I have all the ingredients I need in advance for my breakfasts, snack and dinners. I have lunch out and I plan my day to allow 45 minutes eating at one of my preferred eateries (Mad Mex is making a fortune from my right now! A naked burrito with no sour cream and cheese is the da bomb and healthy). The snacks are important as they prevent the temptation from naughty stuff when ordering a coffee like egg and bacon rolls and muffins (yes I am human and are tempted by these wonders regularly). My snack choice is homemade protein balls. They are full of protein and good fats and a little sweet (I have a killer recipe if anyone is interested, just e-mail email@example.com and it is all yours). A handful (yes I said handful) of raw nuts is also a great snack choice.
When it comes to breakfast, you really just need to give yourself the appropriate time. Wake up 15 minutes earlier to make an omelette or eggs and I guarantee you will be alert than if you slept in the extra 15 minutes. When it comes to dinner there are a few strategies I employ. Firstly, have my wife cook dinner (that won’t be happening anymore if she reads this!). Secondly, have some simple options that take 10-15 minutes such as grilled steak, chicken or fish with steamed vegetables. Lastly, cook a big batch of 1 meal and have leftovers in the fridge or freezer (chilli con-carne is my choice here; e-mail me if you would like the killer recipe).
I hope this helps and prevents you from inhaling some crappy food from a dodgy servo or café. I have some great recipes that are easy to cook (even I can cook them and I burn water) if you need some inspiration.
The Fitness world is a buzz with intermittent fasting…… Every magazine, blog and book I read mentions intermittent fasting. It is on the BBC, YouTube and podcasts. This is a big topic that has turned old age theories upside down.
Intermittent fasting is an extended period of not eating or eating very little over a 24 hour period. There are many different types of fast from 16 hour fasts (7 pm dinner and then not eating till 12 pm the next day), 24 hour fasts or restricted eating fasts (for eg. every alternate day is limited to 500 calories).
Anyone that has trained with me or heard me speak in a seminar would have heard me talk about the importance of breakfast. Now we have a theory that does away with breakfast…… I have been reading a mountain of articles and research papers to find out if this intermittent fasting is for real or just another fad in the industry?
So, this is what I have found:
There is more and more research pointing to a myriad of benefits. The research is current so there is still a lot more studies needed to confirm some of the findings but so far it is very encouraging.
The benefits with intermittent fasting are:
1. Weight Loss
It should come as no surprise that one of the main benefits with intermittent fasting is its effectiveness in losing weight. In a study that had overweight adults on a modified intermittent fasting program for 8 weeks the average weight loss was 8% per participant.
Low calorie diets work to a relevant extent but people cannot keep at them for very long. The compliance on intermittent fasting versus low calorie diets is much better. People get accustomed and habituated to the fasting and do not feel hungry.
3. Change in Blood Lipids
Cardiovascular risk factors such as triglyceride and LDL cholesterol decrease with regular fasting.
4. Growth Hormone
Our growth hormone levels decrease as we age. Short term fasting actually slows down old age by increasing growth hormone secretion.
5. Cellular Health
Intermittent health promotes better cellular health by having cells repair and replace themselves.
Intermittent fasting can lead to more fat being burnt during a workout session. Studies have also shown that activity levels have not changed when participants are undergoing a fast.
There are some preliminary studies on the intermittent fasting and cancer reduction. Whilst the studies are not yet definitive it looks like it will be an interesting area of study in the next few years.
There are numerous resources on intermittent fasting and one that I recommend that I found fascinating is BBC journalist Michael Mosley and his journey with intermittent fasting. He stuck to a modified intermittent fasting diet for 5 weeks and lost considerable weight as well as impacting his glucose and cholesterol markers significantly. You can watch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfna7nV7WaM
This week’s blog is somewhat different to what we have shared this year. We have sought to educate you on the Paleo diet, portion sizes, variety in diet, alcohol etc. However, I would like to write more from heart and less from an academic journal for this issue.
You see I can’t help but share how excited I am with Coastal Bodies at this very moment. I am overawed by our clients and the results they are getting and the enthusiasm they have for being healthier.
I started Coastal Bodies 4 years ago after leaving a decent corporate job because I loved imparting my passion of health and fitness and seeing people share that. I never had any business growth plans but only plans to see people get fit and healthy. I have had the great joy in seeing our clientele steadily build as well as the Coastal Bodies team over the years. This has been really encouraging!
However, in the last 3 months the Coastal Bodies community has stepped it up and has really taken it to another level. I see clients totally and utterly commit themselves to our 8 week challenge. We have a closed group on Facebook for all participants and the support each member is giving to each other is brilliant. Members are sharing meals and recipes as well as training plans. Clients are interacting with other clients about their training and how they can improve.
The results clients are getting are also so inspiring! I had three clients train their butts off for the 20 KM obstacle course ‘Tough Mudder’. I was so proud of the dedication and commitment they showed and it made me improve as both a trainer in my own training and knowledge. Clients have done runs or are signed up for them and the body composition changes people are getting are mind blowing! Clients are showing no signs of letting up and this excites me no end.
The enthusiasm clients have for their training and nutrition is infectious and I know both the team and I really feel it. I want to thank you on behalf of the team for this enthusiasm and I am personally looking forward to seeing many more great results in the very near future.
If you are reading this and are not a part of it then I encourage you to be a part of it. You will be supported, encouraged and inspired to improve your health and well-being in a pretty awesome environment.
It’s a condition that is all too common for many of us…the 3pm slump. Surprisingly, making smart food choices can make some dramatic differences if you suffer from the 3pm slump. Firstly, you need to maintain an overall healthy diet – meaning fresh fruits, vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates, nuts and grains, healthy fats, water and all in the right portions. Remember, food is what gives the body energy and without the right foods in your diet, your body simply won’t function at its best. Many people feel fatigued and also hungry when their blood sugar levels become low. So include some complex carbohydrates (such as oats, brown rice, potatoes) in your lunch, as they are slowly digested and help to maintain your blood glucose levels. Also, pick foods rich in protein (such as almonds or low fat natural yoghurt) for a mid
afternoon snack over sugar rich biscuits and cakes. The additional protein will help to stabilise your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller as well as more alert and awake.
Lastly, consider your daily intake of caffeine. Although caffeine stimulates your body and initially makes you feel awake and focused, over use of the substance can lead to adrenal exhaustion, higher secretion of stress hormones and ultimately more fatigued then you previously were.
There are now many drinks available that contain caffeine as an ingredient – energy drinks, coffee, sports drinks and cola just to name a few. However these drinks are not the best options for you, if you are trying to rehydrate your body. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more frequently and may promote dehydration if you are consuming too much of it. Although a small intake (75mg – 200mg) may assist exercise performance, too much caffeine could leave you dehydrated and jittery.
So how much caffeine is ok? An intake of 75mg – 200mg per day (approximately 1-2 cups of coffee) has been shown to have no effect on hydration status. One cup of coffee contains approximately 100mg, whilst some carbonated beverages can contain between 40mg to 120mg of caffeine. The best fluid to keep you hydrated is water as it contains no caffeine and does not have a diuretic effect on the body.
So why is water so important for your body?
- Moistens tissues such as mouth, nose and eyes
- Protects body organs and tissues such as kidneys, muscles and liver
- Helps prevent constipation and promote healthy bowel function
- Allows minerals and nutrients to be transported around the body
- Regulates body temperature
- Allows oxygen to be transported around body and into cells for energy
- Lubricate joints and assist with movement
I have a confession to make…. After years of writing in this blog about why I don’t like ‘Transformation Challenges’ I am now holding one!
So what has caused the backflip?
My reason for not being a fan of challenges is because I see health, exercise and nutrition as lifetime habits that cannot be done in one small intensive block. I still hold this view but can now see that a challenge brings a lot of benefits that don’t conflict with this view.
A challenge inspires you to take a more serious commitment and it can take your results to the next level. You have the incentive of a prize as well as competition amongst other competitors. People are motivated by different things and the pursuit of a prize or competition may be that trigger you need.
A challenge can also provide some variety in your program and can be refreshing if you have done the same thing time and time again. I have clients completing the challenge that have been training with me for years. They like the idea of embracing a new challenge with some new training routines and nutrition plans.
Our challenge in particular is also very educational. You will gain a better understanding of what constitutes a healthy meal, some easy recipes to add to your collection and some killer home exercise routines that require no equipment.
I have seen this with our trainer Jason. He is a young single guy that now knows 30 basic recipes that have him cooking tasty healthy food. This alone has made a big difference to his health and is something he will carry long after the challenge.
I am now making my own healthy snacks such as almond butter cookies, protein super balls and super shakes rather than having to eat the limited healthy options that are available at most places.
I am happy to admit I was wrong and I was too ‘black and white’ in my approach. Seeing people get healthy and amazing results is far more important than my pride. Challenges serve a great purpose and I am happy that we can now provide an excellent challenge to people.
Our challenge has both an online and face to face option so you can be located locally or even overseas. The program is accessible for all so there are no excuses.
We have just booked out our first challenge and we are limiting the next one to the first 30 people. If you want to be in the best shape of your life and take your health to the next level then please check out our challenge website. It is http://www.coogeechallenge.com.au/
Are you finding that getting the right curves and toning isn’t cutting it when it comes to motivation to keep active?
Ever needed an extra reason to exercise? Building up motivation to exercise is one of the biggest barriers to keeping fit and healthy. To wet your appetite for some more exercise let me share with you some of the debilitating secrets of Type Two Diabetes, followed by the top tips to that will help reduce your risk.
Did you know Type Two Diabetes is the fasted growing non-infectious disease in the world in fact it has doubled in prevalence since the 1980’s and is now the leading cause of amputation, kidney failure and blindness. Type Two Diabetes is a disease that creeps on ever so slowly. Gradually the sugar transporting hormones in your body, called insulin, become lazy, your body starts to tolerate sugar less (even if your lips love it) until your cells stop accepting the sugar they need to operate well. Your blood vessels become damaged in turn causing your eyes, your kidneys and even your heart to be damaged.
Now does it surprise you to know that the two biggest causes of Type Two Diabetes are physical inactivity and carrying excess weight? Half of Australian men and one third of Australian women are overweight, not to mention the 38% of Australian adults who don’t do enough exercise. Don’t be one of the statistics; here are the three tips to reduce your risk of Diabetes:
- Exercise most days of the week for at least 30 minute. Try
- Join a Coastal Bodies group class
- Take part in a team sport
- Sweet treats should be less than one a day
- Have your glucose tested next time you’re at the GP