I realized that my slogan is life, health, and hockey. I’ve talked a lot about life and a lot about hockey but I haven’t really touched on health…. because every single person it seems like, has their toes in the health and fitness gig now. I didn’t realize everyone I knew went back for their degrees in nutrition and exercise science but I’m really proud of them.
With the new year well upon us, the topic is all diet and exercise. What are your goals? What diet are you undertaking? What kind of supplements are you taking? What protein powder is best? What leggings do you like? What kind of cardio is the best? What foods will blast away my belly fat? What kind of workouts are going to give me abs?
I’m here to tell you that most of it is bullshit.
Even the “purists” of fitness are all becoming the annoying hipsters of fitness. Hating on everything from protein cookies to jumping jacks (I will, however, say that crunches are so last decade). If you like protein cookies, EAT the effing protein cookies.
I won’t say that the best things I learned in my classes have been “the best cardio is the cardio you’ll do” and “you’ll lose weight if there is a caloric deficit” but they’re up there for sure.
People like to over complicate the simple things because people will pay to hear big words they don’t understand. Like.. ketones, catabolic, protein synthesis, supersets, cardiovascular, anabolic, etc. The word any person without a background in health and fitness should really be focusing on is: balance. The rest is all used to lie to you… the worst is nutrition! All the labels that lie to you so you’ll spend more money. Non-GMO… K, thank you, I know that your cookies do not contain any of the crops that utilize GMOs but ya sure, let’s pay for it to have that label. Hormone free…. it’s against the law for poultry to have added hormones but sure, let’s pay for that label also.
Balance and education is what people need. So without any more venting, here are my top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for anyone trying to get into a good fitness routine. My next blog post will be meal ideas and what we (as a married duo of trainer and pro athlete) eat and practice in our diets. But here we go:
- Drink plenty of water. This is just a no brainer. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated.
- Do the workout that will keep you working out. There’s no reason to get on a treadmill for your workout if you hate running. The only thing that will do is make you hate it even more and you’ll stop working out. Find a fun workout, get on a plan that works for YOU! Preferably not from some cookie cutter trainer that has no idea you roll your ankle easily or have knee problems from a past car accident and can’t build you a workout based on your needs but hands you a super cute and colourful workout list. If you need a trainer or coach, find a knowledgable one who LISTENS to your needs and knows how to work around them!! Also, if you like crossfit, do crossfit. If you love spin classes, take them like candy. If you like home workouts that just burns calories… do that! Do what’s best for YOU not what your neighbor says worked for them.
- Get plenty of sleep. If you don’t function on less than 8 hours of sleep, don’t go work out when you’ve only had 3 hours (shoutout to my client Lauren who was famous for TRYING to do this with me -love ya). Not only are you going to have a bad workout but your body isn’t going to gain anything from that. Over exhaustion leads to more problems and leads to quicker over training.. which comes along with some nasty symptoms. My husband experienced this in college and it’s not a joke.
- Don’t jump in to any fad diets. Adding ketones or drinking keto friendly drinks does not put you into ketogenesis. If you’re really interested in this… give me a shout but a ketogenic diet just has one thing in common with other diets: a caloric deficit.
- DO understand your body. Find out your metabolic rate – your caloric needs. A thousand calorie diet is about what a chubby toddler needs so I’m not sure how long anyone can keep that up for but I’d rather you not have to. Most big colleges in your area will have an exercise science program. Contact them to see if they do BMR testing and usually you can get it done for a relatively low cost (under $100) or even free because their students need to practice. Some of these programs can even do a DXA scan for you which is really cool if you can do that. These same colleges are crawling with eager Exercise Science students who would loooooove to educate you on what your macronutrient intake should be. Usually for free because we love to be punished like that. There are also tools online for this – DM me and I’ll give you lots of free information on that.
- DON’T think lifting will make you manly. I WISH that my lifting would just give me these bulky muscles I’ve been working on for years now but ya know, if you lift you’re gonna get huge. It takes so much work to get big (even with steroids), all lifting is going to do is make you sexier. Trust.
- Abs are made in the kitchen. Your focus in the gym should not be your abs. Plus I’m also here to tell you that abs are hard upkeep. If you happen to have a bit of fluff around your belly think of it as your life. That little bit of fluff is that extra glass of wine with your girlfriends, that little bit of ice cream when you’re binge watching friends, it’s the hot dog at the game, or the chik-fil-a you’ve been craving all week. I’m not saying abs shouldn’t be your goal – but they shouldn’t define your health and fitness journey.
- With 7 in mind, you can’t out train a bad diet. Unless you’re Michael Phelps, or training for a college water polo team, you’re probably not burning enough to eat a whole pizza at every meal. The infamous Dr. Kerksick handed us all a sheet once in class that had every activity you could think of and how many calories it burned per minute. He then had us find a food that we wanted to “burn off” and pick an activity to see how many minutes of that activity it would take to burn those calories. It was EYE OPENING. Saying you’re going to go run off a whole pizza… well, run, Forrest, run!
- Belly blasting foods don’t exist. See 7 and 8.
- Work smarter not harder. Don’t make working out a miserable chore but something you do FOR your body. FOR yourself. FOR your well-being. Your well-being depends on your sanity and your mood as well. Finding a workout you enjoy doing can literally make you a better person. I never feel like fighting anyone after a good workout. A good workout even makes me feel like a better wife and mother. A good workout you enjoy doing ensures that you keep doing it. If you keep doing it and keep a little eye on your diet.. you will reach your goals. If you have more hardcore goals that you need reached faster, get in touch with me or any other good trainer.
I’m not bitter about the fitness industry, I just wish it wasn’t so saturated with the wrong things. Balance keeps you healthy and a caloric deficit makes you lose weight. It’s not rocket science because I definitely wouldn’t have passed all of those courses. There’s a reason Ex Sci is a lot of physiology and anatomy courses, the human body has needs and you need to know them and meet them to see good results. The one thing I hope my clients learn from me is to have a healthy relationship with working out and with food because that is what yields long term results along with happiness and enjoyment of what you’re doing!
all my love,