Archive for category Support

To Push Or Not To Push

Onnit Labs


Push, noun; a vigorous effort to do or obtain something. What a great word.  We probably use it many ways through out the day but when it comes to training or exercise it takes on an entirely new meaning. We push ourselves to get out of bed or meet your trainer after work.  We push our families to make healthy eating choices.  You probably push your children to do well in school. In this case, you depend on your trainer to push you during a workout. If you train with me you’ve heard me use it when you’re reaching your last few reps. Often I hear, “I am pushing! What do you think I’m doing?” as a response.  Of course you are pushing the weight as hard as you can but I am pushing YOU as well.  Trainers demand that vigorous effort to obtain your goals.  Remember that the next time your trainer, or anyone for that matter, says PUSH!

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Right on Cue

Onnit Labs

Personal trainers probably spend 75% of their time using coaching cues to train clients. When someone breaks form, when someone starts to run out of gas, or when trainers notice self-doubt start to creep in we say, “Tighten your core!” or “Beat your last personal record!” Not screaming mind you, but a firm reminder of how that individual needs to tighten up their form or just to give them something to focus on.

Of course, as a trainer myself, I would hope my clients hear my voice in their head when they have decisions to make that could derail their personal fitness/health goals. Before my clients exit the gym I try leaving them with a message so they are able to cue themselves should a moment call for it. For instance, “What do I need to do today to reach my goal?” or “Stay focused and strong!”

In a way it’s almost like a mantra. You can say anything really as long as you make it your own and it works for you. It is important to have a keyword or phrase to keep you in check during that moment when you’re struggling with something that might ruin your progress. Once you find it, use it often and give it your voice. You’ll be amazed how much time you spend using your new mantra. Also, you'll be thankful it’s not your trainer’s voice for once and that you’ve conquered the challenge on your own.

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You Are What You Think

Onnit Labs

Positive thinking has been linked to patients recovering from traumatic surgery faster to acing a mid-term exam.  Not many everyday gym goers appreciate the power of positive thinking.  Instead they simply go to the gym, crank through 45 minutes of cardio, and move on not aware of how really thinking about the benefits of that workout.

I tell people all of the time to move through full ranges of motion during workouts.  Specifically, during core movements, I tell them "Let your body go where your head goes". When you turn your head your body automatically follows.  Next time you're at the mall try to notice what happens when you turn into a store; your head turns then your body follows.
The same principle can be applied to your workouts and overall health for that matter.  Start putting positive thoughts into your workouts like "this cardio workout is going to burn 100 calories and I'm going to feel great!".  Or, you might try really focusing on a certain muscle group you're training. Follow the range of motion and how hard your'e pushing the exercise.  Seriously put some thought into each exercise and watch the power of positive thinking improve the way you feel, look and perform!

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Get the Most Out of Your Appointment

Onnit Labs

You want to get the best workout you can, right?   So, before you meet your trainer at the gym consider these tips:

1) If it's your first appointment with a trainer come prepared. You might have some basic paperwork to complete so show up five minutes early.  Your trainer knows you're coming so hopefully they have the paperwork waiting for you.  Filling it out before your workout saves time for you and your trainer.  Also, if you can, come to the workout wearing the proper can't do many lunges in jeans.

2)  Get some sleep the night before your appointment.  A restful night will not only help you ace that big presentation at work but it will allow you to perform  your best during the workout.  You should be sharp, paying attention to what your trainer is demonstrating and instructing. Plus, your nervous, muscular, and cardio systems will need recovery from your previous workout or night out on the town.

3) During your workout really listen to your trainers coaching cues. Try to learn something from each visit.  You don't need to memorize it but pick up on some of things the trainer says about your form, tempo, and technique. Take rests when you really need one not when you don't want to work hard. If you have to workout on your own at least you will have enough knowledge to go through a safe and effective workout.

4) Post workout is extremely important!  It's where all of your hard work really pays off.  There's more to it though than eating some protein believe it or not.  You should stay hydrated and eat a balanced meal within an hour of strength training and very intense cardio sessions.  Your sleep and recovery routine is just as important as what you put into your body.  Remember tip number two?  Set a timer, turn off the TV, do whatever it takes to get 7-8 hours of sleep.

Follow these simple tips to the "t" so you and your trainer get the most out of your appointment.

Post how these tips have helped you here.

Until next time-Eric

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The Warrior Ethos

Onnit Labs

This video is a thinker. I don't agree with little things here and there but it's a good message.  No matter what you do, perform like a warrior!

What is a Warrior? from Warrior Poet on Vimeo.

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Are you progressing?

Progression is a natural part of life.  We progress from diapers to big boy pants, from soft food to solids, t-ball to slow pitch, kindergarten through high school, even dating to marriage.  By definition, progression is a continuous and connected series.  Even more, progression leads to advancement and growth of a certain task or set of tasks.

We use progression in fitness training as a means to achieve a goal to become stronger, more flexible, etc.  Progression is part of the science and art of personal training and it’s important to recognize when and when to implement it into a program.  Often times I hear a client’s frustration when they have been performing an exercise for a month with no gain.  Gains do not happen until the demand to progress is initiated, i.e., increased weight, reps, an added set.  Once this process happens strength gains occur and the process starts over.

Progression is used not only in lifting a certain amount of weight but in executing a movement as well.  For instance, a beginner exerciser shouldn’t start out with a push up if they’ve never done a single rep.  Instead, one might start with a wall push up and progressively move to an incline push up incrementally decreasing the incline until a floor push up is accomplished.

Add the method of progression to your exercise program and watch your results PROGRESS!

Until next time,


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