I first met Rog at an industry conference in the US last summer. It was good to meet people in the industry outside of Japan and confirm that, contrary to my suspicion, internet people are actually real. A likeable fella, I invited him over to Japan to stay if he ever had chance to visit, which he did just last week. Continue reading
In the article What is the Value of an Online Diet Coach? I talked about the specific benefits I think working with an online coach holds vs one you can hire locally.
This article focuses more on the specifics of what I personally do and my thoughts on what I feel a good coach does. Continue reading
The online diet coach/trainer is a new concept. There are very few online coaches, each with their own methods. I can’t speak for them. I only talk here about my own views.
Most personal trainers you’ll meet at your local gym want you as a customer for life. I don’t. I think that is a shitty business model. – Keep you confused, never explain things fully, always make it seem difficult so that you feel that you need them and keep coming back… Reminds me of the Hostess industry here in Japan where the hostess will drag out the relationship for as long as possible to get the most money from the client before she either sleeps with him or he gets bored and moves on…. It has to end somewhere and invariably that ending is not a happy one. Continue reading
***** Republished and Updated for the New Year 2013.
Lots of Useful Links Listed at the Bottom *****
A Little Story: All around the world people are waking up hungover, gulping down gallons of water, looking at the holiday damage in the mirror and thinking, “Gotta get in shape!” [You have that moment this morning too?] The problem is though people’s intentions are good, the plans they make are doomed from the start and I don’t want yours to be.
A very good friend of mine, Keith, spent years trying many different diets before eventually losing 100lbs (45kg) made the following observation.
“There are two voices inside every fat mans head. They both whisper in your ear, and they both screw with your dieting, only in different ways.
“The ‘skinny man’ is the one that orders you to get your arse off the couch and exercise 6 days a week, eat only broccoli and chicken breast and not touch a drop of alcohol.
“The ‘fat man’ is the one that decides you you’re not making progress, convinces you what you’re doing is futile anyway, and makes you say “Ah screw it!” eat a whole pizza and quit your diet.”
Both these voices will screw things up for you, the former less obvious than the latter, so today I would like to talk about how the ‘skinny man’ does this.
In most gyms you go to nowadays you will find a few of the membership take steroids. It’s a fact of life. Though sometimes it’s obvious, rarely will anyone admit using them so you end up guessing who is on them.
The unfortunate side of this is that many members look up to these guys at the gym. They may ask about training or diet advice, or simply copy what they do, inevitably leading them down a path of frustration. Why? Steroids allow people with even the shittiest diet and training routines to gain muscle and lose fat. – Their advice is irrelevant and their size doesn’t make them qualified to give it to a natural trainee. Continue reading
Let’s say your rich uncle dies and leaves you his Gallardo. On your first track-day you get spanked. To make matters worse it’s by guys in cars half the price. They are laughing. Do you get out your spanners and start fiddling with stuff in the hope this will make it faster, or do you learn how to use what you are given?
Same logic doesn’t seem to apply with dieting. Have a look at the following comment:
“Hey, so I’m going to lengthen my fasting window and add in a couple of 24 hour fasts and go all paleo for my carbs. Do you think this is a good idea?”
Is this person looking to experiment with the method out of curiosity to compare results with the ones that have already had, or are such ideas spawned out of frustration with their own lack of results and nutritional understanding? Having patience is not as fun as thinking up wild ideas of course.
Sometimes you may need to deviate from the standard plan. If you’re going to do that though, then you need to have a little wider understanding.
“Can I lengthen my fasting window?” “Can I do fasted training without BCAAs? I’ve heard they spike insulin and are bad for the fast.” Two consistently reoccurring questions. A few points need to be considered. Continue reading
Patience for a Kendoka: Waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Shot by George McCall. kenshi247.net
Patience. When to wait and when to make a change? As a coach this is the hardest part of the job. Everyone wants results now. There’s pressure to make the change, but you can’t bow to it. You have to stay objective. Have to choose the right moment. – That’s what the client pays for.
Lack of patience leads to rushed decisions. Left to their own devices many do stupid things. Throw in a couple of 24 hour fasts, add in come “metabolic conditioning” work, throw in some more lifting days, go “all Paleo” for carbs. The list goes on.
- Patience, unless on a strict competition deadline, is your friend.
- Rushed decisions can cost you hard earned strength and muscle mass, at the minimum.
I can’t give you definitive rules on when to make a change. Regarding the value of patience, alll I have for you is a client story of mine and a quote from a coach with way more knowledge and experience:
A couple of weeks back I stumbled upon a truly great article on StartingStrength.com. Though generally I settle for sharing good articles on my Twitter feed and the Facebook page I think this one deserves special attention calling to it. Enter Michael Wolf….
Strength & Barbells: The Foundations of Fitness
If I had a dollar for every time a client or athlete has asked me why they have to do heavy squats and can’t they just do lunges instead, or the same question phrased slightly differently and with a different alternative exercise, I’d probably have enough money to equip the black iron gym I’ve been trying to open. If I added to that the number of times I’ve seen similar questions asked in the forums, I could probably even afford the rent. Continue reading
Update 4th Nov. 2012: Matt’s Travel Success (Bottom of post, click)Borobudur, Java, Indonesia 2004
So you’ve built up a good physique or are looking your best; have you ever thought twice before booking a vacation?
Did you double-check that the place had a gym, perhaps even turned down the opportunity of travel because you didn’t want to ruin it?
I can relate to that. I used to be like that. Truth is, though I traveled a lot* when I was in my late teens and early twenties, (*volunteered in east India for 3 months, traveled across south-east asia, Japan to live, Australia’s east coast, back to India twice again, China) by the time I was 25 I was so heavily brainwashed by commercial bodybuilding marketing bullshit that I had become reluctant to go away anywhere for fear of losing definition and muscle. I thought I had to train 6 days a week and eat six times a day. I even cut two wonderful motorbike trips through the mountains (picture at bottom) short so that I could get back in time to get my “shoulder day” in.
I understand your fear perfectly, but I no longer think that we have to make the choice between being a ripped granddad or an interesting one. Here’s the approach I take now to “maintain” while being away. Continue reading
Greetings from Phi Phi island. I’m on official business investigating the effects of two weeks of island life on body recomposition. It’s a tough job, so consider yourselves lucky that I have volunteered to take the bullet on this one.
I was recently asked to do a podcast by a couple of trainers that know me through the Fitocracy network. Continue reading