Kids with ADHD and Autism NEED More Exercise

Kids with ADHD and Autism NEED More Exercise


Health professionals these days are placing more and more children on the autism spectrum – in fact, in the 1970s and 1980s, about one in 2,000 children were thought to have autism. Today, it’s estimated that one in every 150 children are on the spectrum. To a large degree, this massive rise is a mystery scientists are still trying to figure out. Read more about the topic here:


Whether or not you think the numbers have really increased this much in recent decades, or if we’re just over diagnosing conditions like autism and ADHD these days, a new report by ParticipAction (—a Canadian national non-profit set up to promote healthy living and physical fitness—says kids with both autism and ADHD have the most to gain from increasing their physical activity. The research—headed by a team that included paediatric neuroscientists, clinicians and practitioners—found physical activity in children with these conditions is highly connected to their brain health. Specifically, exercise helps them with depression, anxiety, as well as sleep disorders. Sadly, the report also noted that only 35 percent of children ages 5 to 17, are getting the exercise they need. It is thought that this is part of what’s making these children even less focused, more moody, and more prone to depression and anxiety.



We Believe its Never Too Early to Start Working Out!

Though working out looks different at the age of 5 than it does at the age of 25 or 65, it’s never too early, or too late, to start developing the 10 general physical skills—cardiovascular respiratory endurance, stamina, speed, strength, power, coordination, balance, agility, flexibility and accuracy. These skills will make sports and life easier, and will help you live a long, healthy life. As for children, specifically, here are 7 more reasons you should get your kids going with an exercise program sooner as opposed to later!


  • HABIT:Starting early establishes the habit. By the time your kid is 18, working out will be so second nature to him/her, it will be easy to maintain the routine and lifestyle well into adulthood.


  • OBESITY: Children who are active for 60 minutes each day are significantly less prone to obesity. If your children and teenagers train with us, they’ll be surrounded by health-conscious people who are excited about eating healthy, which we have seen rub off on our younger members in a healthy way over and over.


  • GOOD GRADES: Physical activity is connected with improved behaviour and focus at school.


  • BRAIN HEALTH:Anaerobic activity in children is connected to an increase in the size of essential brain structures and neural connections.


  • MENTAL HEALTH: Physical activity is linked to lower rates of depression and anxiety in children.


  • BODY IMAGE:Fit children develop more self-confidence and have a healthier self-image.


  • SOUND SLEEP:In adults and children alike, exercise is linked to better sleep!


If you have a child(ren) you think could benefit from starting a fitness program with a professional coach, dont hesitate to contact us now. Its never too soon to focus on your health.

Aging Doesn’t Have to Mean Declining: If You Strength Train, That Is


We dont quit playing because we age, we age because we quit playing.” George Barnard Shaw

When you think of your grandma, you think of her as being old and wrinkly with white hair, frail and weak with hunched shoulders and a curved spine. Although you can’t know her health numbers by looking at her, her bone density is a fraction of what it once was, and she suffers from a phenomenon called sarcopenia, meaning she has lost muscles mass and strength. Read more about sarcopenia here: (

Now I’m not promising we can help you avoid greying hair and wrinkles but the other stuff can be avoided and it will go a long way in keeping your quality of life where you want it to be for as long as possible. Aging does not have to go hand-in-hand with frailty and broken bones, nor does it have to mean a decline in strength or muscle mass. Strength training is at the heart of maintaining both your bone density and muscle mass and strength.



Here are 8 reasons why it’s ESPECIALLY important to strength train in your later years, and it’s never too late to start:

8. Don’t Break a Hip

The National Osteoporosis Foundation says bone density loss generally happens to both men and women in mid-life. For a woman, it often speeds up during menopause, as her estrogen levels drop, and by the time she’s 65 years old, if she has experienced a fracture in her hip, she’s five times more likely to die within a year. Strength training helps prevent bone density loss, and might even help build new bone. Check out this study for more about strength training and bone density:(


7. Keep Getting it Up

In short, strength training keeps testosterone levels higher, both in men and women. It can even increase testosterone levels, so certainly incentive for men who have felt themselves decline in that regard.  Read more: (


6. Metabolism on Fire

Remember when you were a kid and you could eat anything you wanted and not gain a pound? I’m not saying your metabolism will improve to be that of a 10-year-old kid, but there is evidence that strength training helps your body’s metabolic processes, which essentially means it keeps your body running more effectively. A more efficient body means fighting off things like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.


5. Lift that Couch at 75!

One of the worst parts of aging seems to be losing the ability to do things you used to be able to do, like carrying groceries up five flights of stairs or moving a couch so you can vacuum underneath it. In short, if you want to stay independent and continue to look after yourself when you’re 80, you need to maintain your muscle mass and strength. Check out this study that shows that weight training does exactly this: ( Simply put, the study concludes “Progressive strength training in the elderly is efficient, even with higher intensities, to reduce sarcopenia, and to retain motor function.”


4. Who Wants to be Happier?

Dr. Wayne Westcott( has done several studies on psychological changes associated with resistance training, studies that have shown that strength training helps with depression, physical self-concept, tranquility, positive engagement and overall mood in adults and older adults.


3. Stop, or Even Reverse, Type 2 Diabetes

Westcott also says that people with appropriate body weights, as well as moderate to high levels of muscular fitness, are at a low risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. On top of this, many studies have shown an improvement in insulin sensitivity and glycemic control after people start weight training. For motivation, check out this story in the CrossFit Journal of how this man reversed his diabetes through fitness: (


2. Who Wants to Live Without Pain?

Many people just accept that aging comes with weird aches and pains, and often chronic pain. Improving your strength also goes a long way in helping with things like lower back pain, as well as arthritis and fibromyalgia.


1. Look Better, Feel Better

Real simple: A more efficient, strong body with more lean muscle mass just looks and feels better than being frail or overweight. Look good, feel good! Even at 70. That’s our hope for you.

Contact us now, no matter how old are are, and how old you feel right now!


The Importance of Recovery – Part 2

PRs Slowing Down and Youre Feeling a Plateau? Fix Your Recovery! Part 2

In Part 1, we talked about warning signs that your body isn’t recovering well. In a nutshell, some of the big signs include: performance plateau or decline, trouble sleeping, resting heart rate changes, feeling low or depressed and uncharacteristic muscle soreness (DOMS). Obviously there are others, but those are some of the most common red flags. Even if your recovery is decent, it can probably always be better. If you’re working out as hard AF and want your fitness to improve your life, you might as well be diligent and recover as hard AF. Although Mat Fraser maybe doesn’t post shots of him on Instagram meal prepping or getting a massage, you better believe he’s doing those things. If you think any of the above symptoms could be related to your recovery, consider some of the following solutions:


Prioritize Sleep

If you’re in the detrimental poor sleep cycle and you can’t shake it—meaning, you’re not recovering, so you can’t sleep, then bad sleep makes recovery even worse—then it’s time to take sleep seriously for the sake of your mental health, hormonal balance and muscular recovery. You’ve all heard the magic 8-hour sleep number. Truth is everyone’s magic number is different: Could be 7 hours for you, could be 10 hours.

Some sleep tips include:

•Go to bed (even if you can’t fall asleep right away at first) and wake up (preferably early) at the same time every night for two weeks. Resetting a consistent rhythm has proven to be best for quality sleep.

•Make it as dark as possible: Try black out blinds, and definitely make sure there are no screens or lights on, even lights from alarm clocks!

•Wake up with the sun if possible

•Adjust the temperature. Fresh air and cooler temperatures have been shown to improve the quality of your sleep.




Stop Skipping Cooldown and Active Recovery Days

Many people I work with have a “go hard or go home” mentality. Active recovery—be it a hike or a swim or a mobility session—and cooling down after a workout are important, not just for the mind but for muscular recovery. If you feel your legs cramping after 150 wall balls, don’t run out the door right away only to sit at a computer for five hours. Take 10 minutes to do a light bike, roll out, and stretch. Same goes for active recovery days: If you’re sore, moving at a low intensity helps flush out your body and decrease the DOMS.

Here’s a great article about foam rolling and why it’s good for recovery:



Continue to Dial in the Diet

If you’re not eating well, let’s just keep it simple for now: Avoid sugar and processed foods. Try the Whole30 Diet ( or the Plant Paradox diet ( for 30 days and see how you feel. Then report back to your coach for life and we can talk about how to dial it in further. And if you think you’re already eating well—lots of protein, healthy fats and vegetables—it might be worth considering a food sensitivities test if you feel your recovery still isn’t great. It can tell you what foods your body just doesn’t like: Sometimes foods you least expect—even healthy foods like eggs or broccoli—are causing you inflammation. Tweaking your diet and removing foods that make you inflamed can make all the difference in your recovery. Also consider WHEN you eat. If you’re not eating some carbs, protein and fat within 30 minutes after a hard workout, start doing that.




People tend to be attentive to hydration levels on game day—“I am doing a half marathon today so I better drink lots this morning”—but day-to-day hydration is often overlooked. Not only does drinking enough help recovery, it also helps efficient nutrient uptake, helps lower stress on the heart, and improves skin tone and hair quality. You’ve all heard of the pee test: If your pee is clear to pale yellow, you’re probably hydrated enough. If it’s dark yellow, drink the water! If you can’t get yourself to get that much water down, add a lemon or cucumber, or buy a soda stream if it’s the bubbles that you’re after.



Stop Slouching

Might sound strange to put this in the recovery tools, but bad posture, be it sitting or standing posture, can lead to back pain, neck pain, making your body feel like it isn’t recovered and ready to train. A good chair is a great place to start, especially if you sit all day at work: Invest in an ergonomically correct one. If you have a hard time sitting up straight, place a foam roller or lacrosse ball in your back to give you a tactile reminder to sit up straight. If the foam roller or ball falls, you know you started to slouch. As for standing, make an effort to stand with equal weight on both feet, and don’t let yourself lean on objects for support.



Some Substances are OK

Though we’re not here to tell you to pump yourself with all sorts of supplements, there are some good ones that have shown over and over to help with recovery. Here are three to consider:

Fish oil: Fish oil is one of the most proven substances for recovery. It increases recovery by decreasing inflammation in your body, decreasing muscle soreness (DOMS), and boosting your immune system.

L-Glutamine: An amino acid, glutamine removes waste products like ammonia from your bloodstream, helps with both brain and digestive function, and ultimately helps recovery from physical stress.

 Magnesium: First of all, magnesium is great for sleep. But it also helps improve muscle function, helps maintain electrolyte balance and reduces fatigue. Combining magnesium with zinc is something else to consider, as zinc also helps boost the immune system.


Like diet, its best to trial and error and see what works best for you! And dont hesitate to reach out to us for more help.

The Importance of Recovery

PRs slowing down and youre feeling a plateau? Your recovery could be to blame! Part 1

If you speak to any CrossFit Games athlete, they will probably tell you the biggest factors that affect their performance (especially in competition) are: Mental Game and Recovery.

All of the athletes at the Games are incredibly fit and capable, but it’s those whose bodies and minds hold up over multiple workouts who come out on top at an event like Regionals or the Games. And you better believe they actively work on both of those components—mental training and recovery—of their game.

Today, we’re going to address one of them: Recovery! Now I know you’re not a Games athletes, BUT recovery still matters, even if you’re an accountant who goes to the gym recreationally three days a week and plays hockey on the weekend. Recovery matters…more than you probably think. Sure, you might be able to get away with performing well after one night of bad sleep, or PR-ing a workout when you’re hungover once in a blue moon, but imagine an entire week without sleep: Could your perform well then? Or what about a month of binge-drinking every night: Think you could PR then? Although you hopefully haven’t ever gone a week without sleeping, many of us are still chronically under-recovered. Don’t mistake under-recovery for overtraining. For most people, under-recovery is more a result of poor lifestyle and nutrition choices than training volume.Think this might be you? In this—Part 1—we’ll consider symptoms that tell you your recovery is out of whack. In Part 2, we’ll look at potential solutions to the problem. Here are some signs and symptoms that your recovery might not be on point:

You Havent PRed in Months

If you don’t find your numbers going up, especially if you’ve only been committed to your training for a year or two – once you hit five years, plateaus do become normal and part of the process, but in your first year or two of training, PRs should happen quite regularly if you’re coming to the gym regularly and following a consistent program.

DOMS All Day Everyday

Obviously you’re going to be sore from doing 100 pull-ups if the most pull-ups you normally do is 25 to 30, but if you’re feeling DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) more than you used to, or after a training session you know your body shouldn’t feel sore from, it could have something to do with poor recovery.

Resting Heart Rate

Is your resting heart rate higher (or lower) than it used to be? If you’re not recovering from training, or from other physical or mental stresses, you might notice a rise in your resting heart rate. If the problem isn’t dealt with—as the body gets more and more worn down, you might experience a decline in your resting heart rate. Knowing your resting heart rate is certainly a good thing to keep track of, so you can then note changes if and when they do occur.

Are You OK?

If you’re feeling uncharacteristically blue/low/depressed and people keep asking you if you’re OK, it could be something diet-related that’s stopping you from recovering properly to the point that it’s affecting your mood.

Tossing and Turning in Bed?

Did you used to be a good sleeper, and now you find yourself unable to fall asleep, or you wake up and can’t get back to sleep? Again, this might have to do with your recovery: In this case, perhaps your adrenals aren’t recovering enough. It could also have to do with stress: Too much cortisol in the body will certainly negatively affect your sleep.

If this sounds like it might be you, check back in for Part 2 – Solutions to help your recover!

How to Conquer Back Pain Once and For All!



Possible Solutions to Your Chronic Back Pain

So you feel like you have tried everything: Ice, heat, epsom salt baths, muscle relaxants, physio, acupuncture, IMS, massage, but nothing seems to work! Your chronic back pain keeps coming back and knocking you down and for a day, a week, a month at a time…Sound familiar?

Many times people with chronic back pain never bother to really look into the source of the problem, so their undisclosed injury never really gets better. Here are some suggestions that might help you deal with that nagging back pain once and for all:

8. Seek a True Diagnosis

If you’re in the group who has had back issues on and off for years, it might be worth getting an MRI to see if there’s something going on in there that you don’t know about. Maybe your back pain isn’t stemming from your rib that slips out of place from time to time that allegedly causes your muscles to spasm, after all. Maybe you have a bulging or slipped disc you need to deal with…If it’s not going away, consider an MRI.


7. Check Your Sleep

Sleeping injuries are no joke. Sleeping in bad positions, or with bad pillows, can cause legitimate injuries.

As for positions, it’s pretty well-known that sleeping on your stomach can cause neck pain. Others have back issues when they sleep on their backs unless they put a pillow under their knees. (Read more here: Everyone is different, so no one size fits all, but it’s worth experimenting with sleep positions.

As for pillows, selecting the appropriate style might also have something to do with whether you’re a stomach, back or side sleeper. Expert consensus is that back sleepers should sleep with thinner pillows, so their head doesn’t get thrown too far forward, while side sleepers are better off with larger, firmer pillows to fill in the distance between the ear and outside shoulder. And if you’re a stomach sleeper, a thin, almost flat pillow is probably best. Some recommend no pillow for stomach sleepers.


6. Dont Sit for 8 Hours Unbroken

Often times back pain simply stems from—or at least is massively aggravated—by sitting too long. Set a timer to remind yourself to get up once an hour if if helps, but the point is, if you’re someone who sits all day at work, it’s important to stand up and move around. Spending five minutes foam rolling and stretching multiple times a day might also help. Another option a couple of my clients have had success with: A standing desk. It’s not for everyone, but it is an option.


5. Decompress

Many things can cause your spine to compress, the main reason being degenerative disease.  We have two pieces of equipment in our gym that may help with that compression.

  1. Inversion Table
  2. Reverse Hyper

It’s not a quick fix but it may help. If you aren’t familiar with either, ask your coach for life and they can help!


4. Hire a Coach

This is where we come in. Our coaches can help you figure out if there are any muscle imbalances or muscle tightness, that’s contributing to your pain. Are your glutes or abdominals just really weak, or your hip flexors or hamstrings really tight? Sometimes back pain stems from somewhere else in your body that needs work. We’ll provide you a plan of attack to iron out weaknesses that might be contributing to your undiagnosed pain.

Along the same lines, here are some things you can try doing at home if you think your weak glutes or weak abs, tight hamstrings or hips are leading to your back pain.

 Weak Glutes:Do 50-100 glute bridges, 50-100 clamshells on each leg and 50-100 bird dogs every morning when you wake up.

Weak Abs: Spend 5 minutes in a deadbug, bent hollow or hollow hold position every morning. Focus on building as much tension in your body as you can as you hold the position.

Tight glutes/hamstrings/hips: There are tons of great stretches out there. Kelly Starrett is one health professional who does a great job breaking down the importance of stretching, flexibility and mobility. His videos are easy to find, but here are three good ones that address these areas of the body:





3. Fix Your Posture

Often times undisclosed back pain comes from poor posture, and I’m not just talking about slouching. The problem might even start at your feet. Being pidgeon-toed or having tight ankles, for example, can lead to less than ideal posture, and ultimately hip or back pain.


2. Are You Wearing Proper Shoes?

Although those stilettos are sexy, they might be causing your back pain. The same is true of flip flops and sandals. If you’re in pain and wear the wrong shoes, it might be worth considering prioritizing health and pain-free living over fashion…


1. Lose Weight?

Is the pressure you’re putting on your back from being overweight the main source of the problem? It could very well be. Contact us and we’ll help you with your exercise and nutrition. We’ll get you exercising regularly as well as food prepping and fuelling your body with the right foods for you—to help you improve your body composition so that your body starts functioning more optimally. Sound good?


Reputable Supplements

Select Your Supplements Wisely

If youre into self-improvement and optimizing your health, youre probably willing to spend a little money on supplements: Anything that can give you that edge, right? On the other hand, its fairly common knowledge that the supplement industry is somewhat fraudulent. Do the products youre buying really deliver on their grandiose promises, or have you just been throwing money down the drain for placebo effects, or no effect at all? Supplement companies and products aren’t created equal, so here are some common RED FLAGS to take note of when deciding what protein powder or pre-workout you should buy:

Deceptive Labelling

It’s not uncommon to come across two seemingly-identical products on the shelf, with the exact same labelling. But for some reason, one is half the price of the other. Usually, the consumer picks up the less expensive one, only to discover the fine print when he gets home. Turns out the product he purchased provides 10 days worth of product, meanwhile the other bottle that cost twice as much contained 30 days worth of product. Stick to companies who label their products clearly.

Shoddy Science

Science and data impresses most of us. Supplement companies know this, so theyll do anything to make it look like their products are backed by science. The problem is, sometimes the science they use is unproven. Or theyll say vague things like “based on scientific research.”What research? What study? Dont be lazy: Spend some time and do some research to look into the validity of their claims. Specifically, look for peer-reviewed research with legitimate data.

Familiarize yourself with the Ingredients

Its not uncommon for a company to release a product claiming to be something like an endurance substance that improves performance.It might say its full of calcium carbonate, so the consumer assumes calcium carbonate must be good for improving endurance. (Calcium carbonate is actually just Tums and likely wont improve your endurance!) Familiarize yourself with the ingredients of any product you buy and look into what these ingredients really are. (Also, avoid products with added sugar!)

Embellished Promises

Stay away from products that claim to produce health miracles. If a product says it can cure tumors, be suspicious! Although in the USA, the FDA requires companies to refrain from making claims that they cure diseases, sometimes these regulations are ignored. Breaking Muscle explained more about this in an article here:

The supplement industry is here to stay, in all its often flawed glory. Its up to you to tread carefully and discover the good products out there. Read the labels, research the product, ingredients and company, avoid the common pitfalls and red flags, and trial and error your way to discover what works for you.

Find Time for Food Prep

Three common excuses people give when I ask them why they don’t food prep are:

I like variety. I cant eat the same thing for lunch every single day.

I dont have the time to devote an entire day to food prep.

I dont like cooking.

I dont have a big enough freezer.

All of which are, of course, lame excuses to mask their laziness…


Instead of coming up with excuses about how time-consuming and boring you think food prepping is, and how much of a mess you’re going to make in your kitchen, stop for a moment and consider about the benefits you will experience from becoming more prepared with your meals: Your health will improve, you might finally reach your body composition goals, and your performance at the gym will definitely sky rocket. And you’ll probably save money, too.


The truth is, Im more and more convinced that prepping food ahead of timebe it dinners or just lunches for the weekis at the heart of getting people to stick to a healthy diet.


Without prepared meals ready in your fridge or freezer, it can become so easy during your always-stressful work week to stray from your intention to eat well. And before you know it, you find yourself ordering take-out or eating nachos and salsa for dinner because it’s the only thing in your fridge that looks even moderately edible.


One of the biggest barriers against wanting to live a healthier lifestyle is the lack of preparation,reiterated Beth Warren, R.D.N in an article in “Self”about food prep.


So it’s time you become more prepared. And when you do, you’ll probably find food prep doesn’t have to be as hard as you think.You don’t even need a whole day. Not even half a day, really. You need time to grocery shop, and then 1 to 3 hours maximum, and you’ll have healthy meals for an entire week or two.


And to make it even easier—if you’re new to food prep—here are 5 tips to help make the experience more enjoyable and efficient:


  1. Get a big freezer:

A big deep freeze might be the best investment you’ll ever make…

Food stored in the fridge for days doesn’t taste as good as freshly made food, nor does it last as long. Go ahead and keep a couple of days worth of meals in the fridge, but freeze the rest to preserve the taste and the shelf life.

Freezing also helps if you’re someone who wants more variety and you don’t want to eat the same thing five nights in a row. With a freezer, you can start stock piling meals and then cycling meals from this week with meals from last week and even last month.


  1. Blanch Your Veggies (meaning plunge them into hot, then cold water).

Blanching veggies kills enzymes that cause them to wilt quickly. Blanched veggies stay fresher and crispier longer—especially if you’re going to keep them in the fridge for two to three days.


  1. Streamline your TUPPERWARE:

If you’re someone who has collected various styles of tupperware over the years and can never find the lid to fit the bottom (probably the same type of people who can never find the pair to their socks), do a complete tupperware overhaul and replace all your tupperware with one style and one size of containers, so all of the lids fit all of the bottoms. It will save a ton of frustration.


  1. Bring-a-Friend:

Make food prep a social event and food prep with a friend. You’ll be surprised how much faster it can be to have two chefs feverishly working together. Faster, more food, and more fun.


  1. Look Ahead to Next Week:


For the sake of saving time later, let’s say you’re making sweet potatoes, roasted veggies and chicken for this week’s lunches. Make extra sweet potatoes that you can pull out next week and pair it up with whatever protein you’re batch cooking the following week. Same if you’re making meatballs this week. Cook extra beef that you can throw in next week’s giant pot of Chili.


At the very least, give it a try. Devote 4 hours a week to food prep, see where youre at in 2 months time and then report back.


5 Tips when Choosing a Personal Trainer in the Cayman Islands

Let’s face it, trying to find a personal trainer ranks up there with some of life’s most difficult decisions.

Choosing a college…starting a family…what to watch on Netflix this weekend?

A good personal trainer should always be a good listener, explain why you are doing specific workouts/exercises and will always prescribe a plan that will help you reach your fitness goals. Daunting as it is to choose a trainer, there are a few key areas to help you start your search.

1. Experience

Experience is an important factor in choosing a trainer, but first you have to define the specific experience needed for YOU. Because a trainer has been “in the business” for years doesn’t mean they’ll know the area you’re looking to improve. Instead consider some other forms of experience:

Look for experience showed by happy reference-able clients. Each trainer should have stories of past clients they helped.
Ask yourself, has this trainer worked with people who look, act, or sound like me?
Look for experience outside the fitness environment. This could mean a trainer who has proven success in business, academics, military service, or personal endeavors. Top performers tend to bring their work ethic and attitude to all areas of life.
Look for shared experiences or similar backgrounds. A trainer who happens to be a mother of 3 children can offer invaluable experience to a new mother who is nervous about returning to training.

2. Knowledge

Experience can take many forms, but you want to make sure that your trainer is in fact knowledgeable. The best trainers are lifelong learners and their resume should speak to that. If you are having a hard time locating their credentials, it’s important to ask. Most trainers will open the floodgates about their inspirations and influences. Some leading questions could be:

  • How did you start your fitness journey?
  • What are your biggest influences in health and fitness?
  • What certifications do you hold?
  • Do you recommend any websites or articles where I could learn more?
  • systems or progressions do you use to help clients achieve their outcomes?

3. The 5 Chimps Theory

In zoology, you can predict the mood and behavior patterns of any chimp by which five chimps they hang out with the most. What does this have to do with choosing a trainer? It means find a trainer who you want to be like. Consider what personal characteristics would best help you on your fitness journey:
Do you need a trainer who is serious and intense? Or are they quirky and can always lighten your mood? Keep in mind that you aren’t selecting the trainer you WANT, but the trainer you NEED!

Once you feel that a trainer has a background that aligns with your goals it’s time to explore how they engage with you.

4. You’ll know how much they care!

The initial meeting is the perfect time to gauge your trainers level of caring. A good trainer takes interest in your needs and listens to your concerns. They inquire about your health and fitness background as well as relevant personal information. Expect questions about injuries, conditions, and athletic background as well.

The trainer/client relationship involves more than planning a workout routine. It involves building trust, addressing challenges, and working together towards a recognized goal. Now the trainer should set clear expectations for what you can expect from training. The approach they use should have a clear progression and benchmarks to track your progress along the way.

5. Persistence trumps Intensity

As author Derek Sivers says, “If more information was the answer, we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” Most people have an idea of what they SHOULD do, but generally struggle with what they WILL do. When you begin a new routine, adherence is key. For your first month or two, your trainer should be helping you develop habits around fitness and other healthy practices. When you choose a trainer consider the factors that will encourage your training as well as remove potential roadblocks.

Is it a convenient commute to the gym or park?
How often will you be able to meet? What times?
Is this a price that I am able to pay for each month/week/session?
Is this an environment that is safe and comfortable?

It’s easy to find an excuse why you shouldn’t call, but let’s face it, you’re still reading this for a reason. You’re reading because you care. Because you have a goal. Because you’re ready to do what it takes.

So instead of justifying why you can’t right now. Why it’s not a good time. Why next month would be better. Think about what your life would look like if today you made the choice that changed everything.

If you are ready to take the next step, Schedule your Free Consult here >

Why Heart Rate Matters

Check out this these details that look at stress response in relation to heart rate:

Heart Rate and a Persons Response to Stress

60-80 beats per minute: Normal resting heart rate for most people

115-120 beats per minute: Fine motor skills deteriorate

120-145 bates per minute: Optimal for complex motor skills and reaction time 

145-150 beats per minute: Complex motor skills deteriorate

170-175 beats per minute: Loss of peripheral vision, loss of near vision, cognitive perception deteriorates, loss of depth perception auditory 

175-200 beats per minute: Loss of gross motor skills, irrational fleeing, fighting or submissive behavior.


Basically, what I want you to take from the above is there’s a relationship as the heart rate moves further away from a normal resting heart rate and the control of certain physical and cognitive qualities.

I’ve definitely witnessed this decline at the gym! It starts with movement quality deterioration as people get deeper and deeper into the hole during a workout, and it goes further downhill from there…

I couldnt see. I thought I went deaf during that workout.

I couldnt even think straight, I was so messed up!

The second thing I want you to take from the above is that the more cardiovascular fitness you have, the more you can prevent this physical and cognitive deterioration from happening, not to mention the better you will move and the better your decision-making will be while under duress. The point is conditioning the heart can help prevent detours into sloppy town, and help you produce a higher relative output for longer.

And, of course, the more fit your heart is, the better you will be at life. I know I’d trust a cardiovascularly-fit fireman, who runs up 10 flights up stairs to rescue someone from a burning building, to make a good decision than an unfit, and likely flustered, individual with a 200 beats-per-minute heart rate panting uncontrollably.


This brings me to the my next point:

The importance of preserving the workouts intended stimulus during each training session.

The what, what? What stimulus? I thought we just did random stuff everyday?

Basically every workout has a specific intention. Sometimes we want you to work at a nearly max heart rate for 30 seconds, and then take a full recovery before repeating more 30-second high-intensity intervals. Other times, we want you conditioning for 8-10 minutes at a relatively high heart rate. And other times still, we want you to work continuously for 30-minutes at a functionally-feeling heart rate in the 120 range.

All of the above workouts train your cardiovascular system in different ways, and all have merit.

That being said, if you choose to ignore the workout’s intention resulting in, for example, you taking 20 minutes to complete a workout that’s supposed to take 5 minutes, then you’ve essentially missed the purpose of the day and won’t reap the benefits of the short, hard, fast workout of the week.

Usually this happens because someone wants to lift a heavier weight than they should—to keep up with the person next to them or to complete the workout as prescribed. But choosing to go heavier than you should just means you’ll slow down to the point that the workout becomes a strength working instead of an 8-minute conditioning workout and you miss the intention of the day. And because of it, your poor little heart won’t see the gains it should.

Though I see this most often with people putting too much weight on the bar, another common mis-step I see is people choosing the wrong gymnastics progression to preserve the intention of the day.

For example, let’s say we give you the option to do 3 muscle-ups or 6 pull-ups in a 15-minute AMRAP conditioning workout with muscle-ups/pull-ups, rowing and KB swings. You can do a muscle-up so you decide to go for the muscle-ups. But you can only do about one muscle up every minute and need ample rest in between. In order to preserve the intended stimulus of the workout—15 minutes of conditioning——you should have chosen to do the pull-ups instead the muscle-ups as pull-ups will allow you to complete more work at a higher heart rate. Instead, the workout becomes a muscle-up skill workout for you sprinkled with some rowing and KB swings.

There’s a time for skill work, there’s a time for strength work, and there’s a time for conditioning. We’ll make sure you work on them all, but when it’s time to work the heart at a specific intensity in a specific time domain, do you best to select wisely so you preserve the workout’s intended stimulus.

If you’re unsure how much to lift or what gymnastics movement to select, ask the coach for advice. That’s what we’re here for.   And if you want to see what your heart rate is you can always try out our demo heart rate monitor on the MyZone system or pick up one of your own from the pro shop.

Barbell Rules

If you’re like me, you don’t like power trip rules. In other words, rules just for the sake of having rules. So annoying, right?

I’ve always believed rules should be in place for a logical reason, and when the reason is explained clearly, I then respect and embrace following that rule.

When it comes to barbell etiquette, we have some important rules we want you to follow—not because we’re on a power trip to tell you what to do—but to keep you and our equipment safe.

Here are 10 barbell etiquette rules we absolutely need you to understand and embrace:


  1. No Close Standers Allowed

I often see people standing intimately close to someone as he or she is setting up for a big lift. In a weightlifting gym, the rule is you’re only allowed to stand on a platform if you’re about to lift the barbell on that platform. What we’re saying is, if you’re not about to lift the bar, move out of the way. Akin to this, never walk in front or behind another lifter. It goes without saying, this is for your safety and the safety of the person lifting the barbell. Human and barbell collisions are to be avoided at all costs.


  1. Strip Gingerly

When you’re stripping down your barbell, don’t let the empty barbell smash to the ground as you aggressively rip the 45 lb. plate off the bar. Instead, place one hand on the barbell as you remove the weight and gently lower the empty barbell to the floor. Letting the barbell smash to the ground is hard on the barbell, meaning we need to replace them more often, increasing our costs and ultimately your rates.


  1. Keep the Metal to a Minimum

Adding steel upon steel is not OK. The general rule is, if you can throw some rubber on the barbell, please do. For example, instead of putting three pairs of 5-lb. metal plates on the barbell, put on one set of 15-lb. rubber plates instead. Similarly, hogging all the 15 lb. plates, instead of throwing on a pair of 45 lb. plates, isn’t cool to the rest of the people in the class, especially during a big class. Apart from the equipment hog aspect of the rule, dropping barbells loaded with metal is harder on the barbells.


  1. Collars are Cool

Always use collars, especially when you’re going overhead. Sure, collars aren’t always necessary for a heavy set of deadlifts during a strength session, but if you’re at shoulder height—fronts squats, back squats—and especially going overhead—shoulder press, push press, jerk, snatch, overhead squat, bench press, COLLAR THAT BARBELL UP! It goes without saying that weights flying off barbells is dangerous for you the lifter, and for those walking by or spotting, who could end up with a weight dropped on their foot.


  1. Do Not Drop:
  • Empty barbells, or barbells without rubber and collars on them
  • DBs (unless they’re below the height of your knee)
  • KBs
  • Metal plates
  • Babies

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but let’s protect our equipment. And our babies.


  1. Dont be Shy

If you’re lifting heavy and there’s even a chance you could fail the lift, don’t hesitate to ask for a spotter. If you’re comfortable ditching a bar off your bad during a back squat, then double check and make sure you have TONS of space behind you.


  1. Stop and Listen

When a coach comes over to offer feedback or advice, stop lifting and listen, even if you’re in the middle of a conditioning workout.


  1. No Plate Collectors Allowed

Plate collectors are those who can be found with a set or two of 5 lb. and 2 lb. plates strewn about haphazardly about in their general lifting area. This is a tripping hazard, not to mention you end up hogging equipment. If you’re not currently using weights, put them away until you need them again.


  1. Respect Percentages

Even if you think it’s “too light,” the percentages programmed for the day are there for a reason. Follow them, or if you’re confused, speak to a coach first before going “off program.”


  1. Ask!

If you’re confused about what you’re suppose to be doing, how much you’re supposed to be lifting, or you have any questions at all, don’t guess. Ask. You’re paying good money to be here, so don’t be afraid to use the coaches.

Don’t forget that the Spig’s & Squints Barbell Club starts up in April!