How to Get Motivated

Pro-level athletes are not more motivated than you are.

Olympic athletes don’t just “want it more.”

The best CrossFitters in your gym has the same struggles with motivation that you do.

The difference? They know how to get motivated (and what to do when they don’t feel motivated at all).

Ask anyone at the highest levels of fitness: Sometimes they don’t feel like working out. And those folks with ripped abs? They want a slice of cake.

So why do they work out anyway? Why do they stick to their meal plan when things get tough?

Here’s how to do it—and the great news is that you can use the SAME strategy they do.

  • Get a coach. You need to be accountable to an objective third party. Your wife will let you off the hook. Your coworkers don’t actually want you to succeed. And your friends don’t want you to change at all.

You need someone to:

  • Remove the guesswork
  • Get you results FAST (you’ll see why in the next step)
  • Hold you accountable. You can “ghost” someone over text, but you can’t miss appointments.
  • Provide a “pain” for failure. That means you have to pay for coaching. If you don’t, there’s no real penalty for failure … and you’ll backslide.
  • Get a really fast result. Our brains are wired to reward quick wins and novelty. If we don’t see results quickly, we lose motivation.

It’s key for someone to say, “You did really well at X”. Apps like Strava and Garmin Connect are great at giving you little rewards when you accomplish something for the first time. But a coach will take care of this for you, too.

  • Set up a short-term “challenge” for yourself … but have a plan for after the challenge ends.

A six-week sprint is great for motivating yourself. But most people drop off the edge when it ends, and many actually wind up worse than ever. In my experience, people who do short-term diets (like intermittent fasting or keto diets) usually gain back the weight they lost and far more. The unsustainable nature of the diet, plus the long-term damage to their metabolism, actually leaves them less healthy.

You can do these things; don’t get me wrong. Get the surgery if that’s what it takes. But have the second step all lined up and ready to go before you take the first.
Again, a coach can build this plan for you.

  • It will eventually become habit. It won’t always be hard to go to the gym, or shop for groceries, or prep your meals. It WILL get easier, but only if you keep the habit going. Usually it takes around 90 days for our behaviours to become habits and then a few more months for our habits to become “just what we do.”
  • Track everything. Track your workouts.

Note your personal bests.

Track your food intake.

Note your wins.

Track your sleep.

Note how they all tie together.

If I sleep less, I want more caffeine. When I drink more caffeine, I want more sugar. 

When I eat more sugar, I lose motivation to work out. When I don’t work out, I get more stressed. And when I get more stressed, I sleep less.

Then I get dumber, fatter and sad.

(That’s just me…but I know some of you can relate.)

  • Use your tools to plan.

For example, instead of just putting today’s food in MyFitnessPal before bed, enter all of your meals in MyFitnessPal in advance. Then add or subtract carbs, fats and protein to make your macros, and voila – you have a food plan for the next day!

Trust me: It’s far better than cramming dry Rice Krispies into your mouth at 8 p.m. because you’re not hitting your carb goals. Uh, at least that’s what my friend tells me …

  • Check your progress.

Look, you’re not going to have a personal best on every workout. But that matters zero percent. What really matters is consistency. People who show up every day, even if they put out 50% of their best effort, get better results than people who crush it once a week.

The people who “sprint and crash” usually get amazing results, and then they get fat again. Or they get strong, and then they get injured. The people who just show up for their appointments get strong, lean and happy for life.

I want you to know this: The days when you feel the LEAST motivation are the days you’ll get the BEST results.

Consistent, imperfect action always wins.

Inspiration provided by Chris Cooper at Catalystgym.com. 

Eliminate shoulder pain once and for all!

Shoulder pain is one of the most troubling ailments that can interrupt any avid gym goer.

Exercise should be a place to relieve stress, build, confidence, and of course improve your health. Dealing with one more painful problem to work through is probably not going to be a big motivator for you.

The good news is that you don’t to make training with shoulder pain a part of your life. In fact if you dedicate yourself to the process you can eliminate shoulder pain once and for all.

Let’s talk about where this shoulder pain can come from, address what actions need to be taken and the potential irritants that should be avoided. Finally we’ll take a look at some movements that can help mobilize, activate, and strengthen your shoulders. Dedicate part of every workout to improving the functionality of this crucial joint and you will change your athleticism and quality of life.

“It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.” -Julius Caesar

Poor technique may load up the shoulder joint in a way that it cannot stabilize. This could cause strain and overuse of muscles around the shoulder. One common example of this is an overworked pec minor and underworked rotator cuff. This leads to rounded shoulders, and weakens the ability to stabilize the glenohumeral joint during pushing and pulling movements from the shoulder. By stretching the pec it will allow your shoulder to sit in a more stable position. By activating and strengthening the rotator cuff and scapular muscles on the back of the shoulder you ensure healthy, balanced stability and function.

Overuse could be another culprit of shoulder pain. Whether your volume (total amount of reps) or frequency (sessions each week) is too high or you are simply trying to lift too much weight can all cause problems. If you go heavy or perform maximal effort sets you may need up to 5-7 days to fully recover. If you work at lower intensity you may be able to work this muscle group 2-3 times a week. Find the right balance of volume and intensity to ensure consistent progress in your lifts.

If you are constantly running into the same shoulder pain issues then technique may be the true problem. The shoulder is the most freely movable joint in the body. This puts at the greatest risk of injury when it comes to repetitive movement with poor form. Even one session with a coach or trainer can revolutionize your upper body pressing ability.

Finally if you experience pain when performing a certain movement it may simply not be a good fit for you. There are infinite ways to scale the load and form of resistance to provide your body with a similar stimulus to the painful movement. Perhaps the most commons movement replacements are those that replace a fixed circuit movement such as a barbell bench press or overhead press with single arm variations using dumbbells or kettlebells. Training the arms unilaterally allows you to have more “play” in the shoulder and adopting a movement pattern that better suits your body. No compromises in strength or performance are necessary.

So let’s move on to some strategies to actively prevent your shoulders from injury. Through activation, self myofascial release, strengthening, and stretching.

1. Activate

Activating the muscles for a workout or “prehab” helps your body prepare for the more demanding movements it is about to perform. It will both aid performance and mitigate risk of injury. When it comes to the shoulders

To help activate your shoulders before a workout perform these 3 upper body exercises, band pull aparts, scapular pushups, and face pulls. Perform 3 rounds of this circuit with 10 seconds rest between each movement. Keep the band resistance light enough to move with a slow controlled tempo but make sure it still challenges you. You should feel the blood flow and a warm sensation in the shoulder joint by the end of this circuit.
Perform 3 rounds with :10 of rest between movements.

    • A1. 15 Band Pull Aparts
    • A2. 10 Yoga Push Up
    • A3. 15 Band Face Pulls

2. Roll Out

Self Myofascial Release (SMR) is a fancy name for “rolling out.” The goal is to mobilize soft tissue allowing greater range of motion and improved muscle function. You can use a foam rollers, lacrosse balls, tennis balls or any other device that allows you to access the desired body part at pain level you can withstand. Focus on breathing and eliminating abdominal pressure while you roll out to ensure the tool can work its way into the muscle.

Rolling out helps our body get “unstuck” from tightness due to sitting and positions we spend long amounts of time in. It is important to move and mobilize our tissues as often as possible to mitigate this tightness. Imagine if you were going to run a marathon with a rock in your shoe. You would never run 26 miles with that rock digging into your foot each step of the way! There’s no reason to treat your shoulder in that manner either. Stop pushing through the pain and fix the sticky points.

3. Strengthen

Like an muscle group it is important to strengthen the muscles of the shoulder. The exercise you choose should strengthen the weak muscles that are necessary for optimal shoulder stability. Performing these strength building movement for 5 rounds alternating back and forth between movements

3×8 Bottoms Up Kettlebell Press: Take 3-4 seconds to lower the weight from the top position. IF you struggle with balancing try working from a kneeling or seated position, train one arm at a time, and keep the kettlebell light.
3×8 alternating Turkish Get Up: Try breaking this complex movement into smaller pieces or work with a coach to master the technique. Your shoulders will thank you!

4. Static Stretching

Part of your cool down routine should also include some static stretching. There are many debates around when and how static stretching should be performed. One study has shown that static stretching can improve flexibility by increasing passive fascicle length. Performing a static stretching routine after your workout or anytime that is not immediately preceding an event requiring maximal force production by a muscle.

Stretch the primary movers of your days workout-chest, lats, and traps are some of the key muscles to stretch since a heavy bout of training will leave them tight and could cause a temporary imbalance if not addressed. Hold stretches for about 30 seconds to ensure your brain sends a signal to your muscles that they need to stop firing and allow lengthening to occur.

If you have questions about building strong healthy shoulders don’t be afraid to get in touch with one of our coaches. We will find a safe and effective program to meet your needs!

The 4 Best Lateral Movements to Include in your Training Regimen

Lateral movements often get overlooked, but these kinds of movements are actually the best way to prevent injuries and increase your athleticism. Lateral movements are the side to side movements you see in sports and are key to a healthier you.

Things like running, walking, cooking, weight lifting-these all happen forward to backwards. This is where we spend most of our time and can actually create deficiencies in our joints and muscles when we only train these movements on a regular basis. Lack of training lateral movements can result in knee injuries and other various sprained or torn ligaments.

The best way to avoid these deficiencies and strengthen any underused joint or muscle is obvious: train lateral movement.

Add these movements on to your weekly workout routines as a pre workout warm-up or post workout cool down. It will do wonders for your fitness training and longevity.

Here is a great place to start. Try to complete three rounds of 12-15 reps of the following:

Side Planks

Trains the obliques or the “sides” of your core musculature. Planks are a static movement. The goal is to resist breaking the side plank position. Whether you are positioned on your elbow or stacked on an extended hand, focus on maintaining a solid midline and touching your top hip to the ceiling. This will prevent any sagging on the working side. Hold for 10-15 seconds, gradually increasing as it gets too easy, repeat for 10-12 reps.

Side leg raises

These can be performed laying down or standing. If you’re looking for extra points, try these standing to challenge your balance. Standing on one leg, while activating your core, gaze straight out at a fixed point. Once you feel balanced, flex your foot (toes towards the shin, and pointed forward) and raise your heel as far up as you can until you feel a contraction on the outside of your hip. You can use a wall or chair for some extra balance. This exercise trains the outsides of the legs, strengthening and protecting the ligaments and muscles around the knee and hip joints.

Side Lunges/ cossack squats

This exercise helps with knee and ankle mobility. It trains outsides of legs, balance, stability, and ankle mobility. Begin with your feet together and step out with the right leg into a wide sumo stance. Begin to sit back putting all of your wait on your right leg as you send your weight down and back. Go as far as is comfortable. You can drive out on this leg back to a neutral standing position, then repeat on the left, or you can gently send your weight through the middle and lunge into the left side. This variation would be more like a cossck squat rather than a side lunge. Do what you are most comfortable with. While completing this movement, notice if your knee is tracking in line with your toe. If you can’t see your big toe on the inside of your knee, chances are you’re letting your knees cave it, which would not be great for your knee joints. When in doubt, grab a coach to get this one dialed in.

Lateral Box Step ups

Trains legs, core, outside of knees, insides of knees, ankles and balance. Stand on the side of a lower box, adjusting the height as necessary. Balancing on the outer leg, use your inner leg (closest to the box) to drive your weight and step up and onto the box, leaving your outside leg to float at the top, then slowly lower onto the outside leg and step down off of the box. Start at a low height and work up to a place you feel challenged, but secure.

Lateral movements are important to incorporate into your workout routines. If all else fails, grab your weightlifting partner and turn up the Cotton Eye Joe.

Happy side stepping!

Why you should love the Lunge

Lunges, split squats, and other unilateral leg movements are tremendous tools for building a strong, functional, and balanced body. Yet they tend to take a backseat to the more popular lower body exercises like squats and deadlifts. Let’s explore some of the benefits of lunges, common faults, and some popular variations so you never miss a lunge day again!

Lunges are a fundamental human movement pattern and take many different forms. The movement is generally defined as a split legged stance with one foot planted in front of the body and the other extended behind the body. From this position the athlete can raise or lower their body while stepping forward to the lead leg or returning to the rear leg. Lunges require leg strength, core strength, balance, and coordination. They can be performed as a bodyweight movement, under an external load, or explosively as a plyometric exercise. There are really an incredible number of ways to perform this exercise. Depending on your goals there are many ways that training lunges can be beneficial.

If you are looking to improve balance and coordination you could train lunges with a loading pattern that increased the demand for midline stability. Lunges performed with a barbell overhead or a single dumbbell or kettlebell loading one side of the body will achieve this. Due to the stabilization and core strength required to complete a lunge variation of this sort there is a huge transfer and application to sports and life. Ensure that the load demands don’t force you into a compromised position and that you have the necessary mobility to handle the movement pattern (AKA ask coach if you’re not sure)!

To develop greater strength and enhance muscle growth select lunge variations that allow for greater external loading. A reverse lunge is a popular option for this as it allows the weight to remain in the lead leg ensuring proper form and engagement of the posterior chain. Reverse lunges can be performed with dumbbells held at waist level or a barbell in the back rack position to go hard and heavy. A good rule of thumb is to keep the majority of the load in the front leg as you perform the movement. Select a load that allows for a controlled descent to the floor allowing the knee to kiss, not crash into, the ground.

To prevent injuries, increase range of motion, and correct imbalances the Bulgarian split squat or Bulgarian lunge is an excellent choice. This exercise is performed by working one lead leg at a time with the rear foot elevated on a platform 4-6 inches higher than the lead working leg. This movement optimizes the hinge position of the hips and is greater for activating the gluteus muscles. A popular loading pattern for this lunge is with dumbbells held in suitcase fashion. Make sure to select the appropriate box height to elevate the rear leg to prevent the spine from hyperextending at the end range of motion. Take care to stabilize the lead leg and focus on balance to reap the benefits of this killer lunge variation.

If you want to learn more about the best training movements be sure to discuss your goals with one of our coaches!

How to Make Huge Changes in Your Life

… Start by making tiny changes in your life, one at a time.

In 2003, Sir Dave Brailsford took over the British Cycling Team. He wasn’t a professional coach, and he’d only been an amateur cyclist.

Instead of trying to rebuild the perennially weak cycling team from scratch, Brailsford implemented a business strategy called the aggregation of marginal gains. He simply tried to improve every aspect of the cyclists’ lives—training, nutrition, sleep, and equipment—by 1%.

He didn’t go out looking for new sponsors; some bike companies even refused to sell to the team because they were so bad. Instead, he first improved their seats to make them more comfortable. And he didn’t implement a radical diet change or workout regime; he simply improved each by 1% at a time. When a new tiny gain had been realized, he asked himself, “How do I improve this feature by 1% NOW?”

In 2008, the British Cycling team won 8 gold medals, 4 silver, and 2 bronze: More medals than in its entire history combined. Then Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, two members of the team, won the Tour de France four times combined over the next decade.

Aggregating small wins WORKS.

You don’t need a radical new keto diet. You don’t need a “detox” (they’re fake anyway). You don’t need to start jogging five miles every morning. You just need to take one tiny step.

Working from home most of the time means every food is available all the time, and it’s all amazing. I knew I needed to get my nutrition back in line for my brain’s sake … and my body’s. But this year, I didn’t jump right back into the Zone or count macros to balance out my blood sugar. This year, I just started writing it down.

I started recording my food. Guess what? I immediately started thinking more before each meal. I didn’t track calories or macros. I literally just started journaling my food. That’s it.

If your diet is already solid, you can start by just doing 10 squats. Call it a day. Try for 11–or 10 push-ups the next day. But don’t think about that yet: just move.

Having a coach. you just have to show up, and the coach tells me what to do. Maybe that’s your first small step: Sign up for a free No-Sweat Intro and let us tell you what you should do first. Or just do one squat and start tracking your food. After 365 days, if you improve by 1% each day, you’ll be over 30 TIMES more fit!

https://CollectiveFit.as.me/FreeCall

Butternut Squash Soup

 

One of my favourite winter soups is Butternut Squash.  Super easy, minimal ingredients and flavourful.  My twist on this is Coconut Milk – Link HERE

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash (cubed)

1-2 Tbsp. Avocado Oil or Grass Fed Butter (for sautéing)

1 Large Onion (your choice white or yellow)

3 Cloves of Garlic (crushed)

1″ Ginger Root (minced)

1 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar

1-2 cups Homemade Vegetable Broth or water (varies on cooking method)

1/2 tsp. Smoked Paprika

1/2 tsp. Chili Powder

1/2 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt

4 oz. Coconut Milk

Directions: InstantPot (can use stovetop as well, pretty much the same except cook time)

  1. Add avocado oil or butter to InstantPot for sautéing onions (8-10 minutes), at about the half way point or when they become translucent, add salt and balsamic vinegar to help caramelize the onions
  2. Then add the garlic, ginger, paprika and chili powder – stir for about 1 minute
  3. Finally add vegetable broth or water and butternut squash
  4. Set timer for 10 minutes on high pressure
  5. When finished, let natural release for 5 minutes, then quick release
  6. Smash up the butternut squash, then add coconut milk slowly
  7. Use hand blender right in the pot to smooth it out and blend it all together (or regular blender)
  8. Depending on how thick or thin you like your soup, add more coconut milk or water

If using stovetop, the process is pretty much the same, except for the cook time and stock or water needed.  Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do!

Stop Setting Goals And Start Building Systems

If you find yourself setting a goal, formally or informally then you’re off to a great start! After all, having a goal is better than no goal. Having a goal that you write down even further increases the likelihood that you’ll achieve it.

Goals can have a downside though. One downside is that they cloud your vision to other potentially great opportunities that would benefit you. The other downside is that if you miss out on your goal you might feel like the time and effort you put into achieving that goal was a waste.

So what should you do if not set a goal? I want to challenge you to stop setting goals and start building systems!

At least that’s what Scott Adams, the creator of the popular comic strip Dilbert would argue. Scott has always made it a point to approach life with a systems manner of thinking. This approach allowed him to build valuable skills and networks that he was able to tap into later in life. One great example of this is through his blogging. Scott was able to pay the bills as a cartoonist, but started his own blog and regularly posted despite the fact that he wasn’t earning money as a blogger. Eventually his blog writing got him some regular features in the Wall Street Journal. After being recognized as a writer in the Wall Street journal he began to receive book deals and speaking offers that were far more lucrative.

Scott didn’t set out to be paid as an author or public speaker. He started by regularly showing up for his daily practice of blogging. He chose to put his efforts in developing a skill set even if he wasn’t sure how that could be used in the future. Imagine how his path might have differed if he had set a goal of becoming a speaker? It would have probably looked extremely different from the system of daily blogging.

So what are the differences between goals and systems?

Goals
Merriam-Webster defines a goal as “the end toward which effort is directed.”

Systems
A system can be defined as “an organized set of doctrines, ideas, or principles usually intended to explain the arrangement or working of a systematic whole.”

You’re probably already thinking about areas in your own life where you’ve focused on one particular goal. Maybe you achieved it or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you’re still pursuing it.

Think about how you could develop a system that improves your health through a system for eating or getting daily exercise, improving your finances, or building relationships in your work or personal life. What are daily actions you can take that will move you forward no matter what?

We can help, book a call with one of our coaches today – https://CollectiveFit.as.me/FreeCall

Trust the Process (Prescription)

You know that little 5 minute speech that the coach gives at the beginning of class? When they talk about the workout and how it should feel. That’s a pretty important part of planning out your workout for the day and will help you select the weights you use, reps you shoot for, and how to pace yourself in conditioning pieces. If you’ve ever felt a bit lost during this portion of class then this article is for you!

Let’s dive into how to approach some different types of workouts to better understand how the stimulus of each workout should feel so you scale appropriately for you. Of course, our coaches are always available to answer your questions!

One of the simplest ways to look at each workout is based on the energy system involved.

The 3 main energy systems in our body are:

  • Phosphocreatine System
  • Glycolytic System
  • Aerobic System

The differences between these systems are based on the source of energy or “fuel” for the activity. These systems are always functioning in our bodies at all times, but depending on the type of activity we’re doing one energy system may be the predominant fuel source.

Training these energy systems improve our ability to use fuel more efficiently, recover more quickly, and improve our overall health as a side effect. It’s important to know what the result you are trying to achieve is for each workout. This makes sure that you get the most out of your efforts without burning yourself out!

The Phosphocreatine system is associated with short intense efforts, usually lasting 10-12 seconds or less. Most dedicated power and strength pieces fall into this category.

An example of a workout item that targets this energy system could look like:
Build to a 3 Rep Max Back Squat with 2:00-3:00 rest between.

Another example could be:
Every 2:00 for 5 sets perform :10 second max effort assault bike sprint.

Notice how in the second prescription we chose a time domain rather a set number of calories on the bike. If the assignment was 10 calories every 2:00 you might see very different time domains based on the athlete. It might take one person :08 seconds to complete 10 calories and another person :30 seconds. This would change the energy system being trained, the rest interval, and totally change the dose response of the workout.

The glycolytic system is associated with medium to high intensity efforts that can last from :30 – :180 seconds and will taper off drastically based on how well trained an individual is. These usually show up as higher rep weightlifting sets or interval style workouts. Efforts in this energy system rely on glucose (blood sugar) to fuel the effort. They also generate lactate that the body works to clear in order to continue the effort. Adjusting the amount of time you rest.

One example of an interval workout would be:
4 sets of 10-12 reps of Bench Press with a 40X0 tempo followed by :90 seconds of rest.

Another example would be
Every Minute On The Minute for 8 rounds perform :40 seconds of Russian Kettlebell Swings.

Aerobic workouts cover the broad spectrum of workouts remaining. Most efforts lasting longer than 3 minutes will put you in an aerobic state. If you’ve ever “come out too hot” in a workout you have probably approached the workout as a glycolytic piece and when your body could no longer sustain the effort you switched to an aerobic approach.

A classic benchmark workout that require an aerobic effort would be:
Cindy, Complete as many rounds as possible in 20:00 minutes of
-5 Pullup
-10 Pushup
-15 Air Squat

If you are not able to sustain that number of reps or continue completing the movement safely for 20 minutes at a steady pace then you can explore scaling the movements, repetition numbers, or shortening the time domain.

Each day’s class might contain one or more elements of these types of training. There may also be a skill component to a workout that may not be targeting a response from any of these energy systems and is instead geared towards improving movement patterns and transferability of key skills.

Questions about scaling? You know where to find us!

Book A Call

8 Delicious and Functional Fall Foods

With Halloween right around the corner and Thanksgiving and Christmas following close behind it’s a great time to start thinking about the change of the season. The last 3 months of the year present a great time to come together with friends and loved ones. The pinnacle of these gatherings is often the food and treats that are shared.

For some folks, the buffet of rich foods and desserts can be a real challenge. Know that it’s okay to indulge in some of your favorite treats. Just focus on filling up with delicious foods that also have health benefits first and staying active. Let’s fork up 8 Delicious and Functional Fall Foods that you should focus on eating!

Turkey
Pumpkin
Squash
Apples
Cranberries
Pecans
Brussel Sprouts
Beets

Turkey
Turkey is a very rich source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6 and the amino acid tryptophan. It also contains zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12. The skinless white meat of turkey is low on fat and is an excellent source of protein. Don’t be afraid to double down on turkey if you’re missing out on other healthy options at the table.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin is rich in potassium and vitamins A, C, and E. A serving of pumpkin also contains more than 20% of your daily recommended intake of fiber. This fun fall food can be prepared in a variety of ways so try to keep this dish simple and not too sweet by doctoring it up with freshly ground cinnamon and a little sea salt. And no, a pumpkin spice latte does not count!

Squash
Squash a tremendous source of beta carotene, manganese, and antioxidants like vitamin C. It’s also a great source of potassium that is associated with lowering blood pressure. A roasted acorn squash with a little grass fed butter and some lean protein can be a simple and delicious harvest dinner!

Apples
Apples are a fan favorite when it comes to fall foods and a fun fall activity. They are a great source of Vitamin K, potassium and immune-boosting Vitamin C. “You also get plenty of dietary fiber (pectin) from this delicious fruit that can help you feel satiated. Eat this fruit whole, add it to a salad, or make it the foundation of a healthy dessert. Bonus points if you pick your own!

Cranberries
Cranberries are a fall superfood high in vitamins, fiber, minerals and antioxidants. They are also correlated with reducing the incidence of urinary tract infection and contain immune boosting properties to boot! Rather than buying pre packaged cranberry sauce try making your own with fresh squeezed orange juice for a healthier alternative.

Pecans
Pecans are a great source of Vitamin E (which is both immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory) as well as B-vitamins and magnesium which are essential for a healthy heart and muscle function. A handful of pecans make a great snack but some pecan themed desserts can be loaded with sugar so proceed with caution.

Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable that contain potassium, iron, and heart-protective B vitamins—including B6 and thiamin. Brussel sprouts also contain prebiotic which feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. You can’t get enough of this crispy crunchy veggie!

Beets
Beets are a go-to fall food when it comes to fiber, iron, potassium and folic acids. This superfood can be prepared in a variety of ways from roasted beets and beet chips to a nice cold glass of beet juice to help you detox.

There you have it. 8 delicious and functional fall foods that you should aim to incorporate into your diet this season. Have more questions on how to get in the groove with healthy dietary choices this fall? Get in touch with one of our coaches and we’d be happy to help!

The Beginners Guide to Stability Training

Stability training is an important and often overlooked element of training. Whether it’s your first day in the gym or you are a veteran athlete you can benefit from stability training. Our bodies are forced to accommodate the demands of sport and life. To prevent falling, maintain balance, and moving our bodies and external objects through space requires stability and motor control over our muscles and joints. Improving one’s ability to stabilize is an essential skill in life!

So how do you get started at training this essential skill? Let’s answer some of the common questions around what stability training so you can start training it today.

One. What is stability training?

Two. How Should I incorporate stability training into my workout?

Three. What does stability exercise look like?


One. What is stability training?
Stability training can be defined as maintaining control or a joint movement or body position by coordinating actions of the surrounding muscles and central nervous system. It can be achieved using bodyweight movements or through some form of resistance training such as with free weights. When most people think of stability training they think of someone balancing on a Bosu ball or foam pad waving their arms around trying to maintain balance.

Stability training doesn’t actually require any special equipment and for most people, it’s actually totally unnecessary. In fact, all that training on an unstable surface does is limit the ability to add intensity or load to train the working muscle groups.

Which brings us to question number two.

Two. How Should I incorporate stability training into my workout?
The most effective way to incorporate stability training into your training is actually through strength training on stable surfaces. Through resistance training with free weights and bodyweight movements you can improve the strength and endurance of the most commonly underworked stabilizers and core muscles. Training unilateral (1 arm or 1 leg) movements will ensure that you minimize any imbalances that may occur with a typical barbell or machine training.

Focus on balancing in different positions as you move your own bodyweight through space is a great way to assess your athleticism and identify areas for improvement.

Three. What does stability exercise look like?
Stability exercises could include movements like single-leg deadlifts and lunges and will help strengthen the muscles that stabilize the knee joint. Using dumbbells or kettlebells for movements like bent-over rows or pressing movements will help improve stability and proprioception. Using basic jumping and plyometric exercises with a focus on “sticking” the landing position is also a great way to improve balance and stability.

Stability training can help us all enjoy a better quality of life. From playing with our kids to playing recreational or competitive sports it can improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

If you’re looking for a training routine that works for you, book a no sweat intro today!

No Sweat Intro