One of the first fitness marketing books that I ever bought when I got into the field was a collection of interviews done by some well-known trainers. One of those guys was Stephen Holt. Before all of this internet marketing and blogging madness, my goal was to be a “Personal Trainer of The Year”, Stephen had achieved that.
I posted this question on my twitter and facebook pages the other day…
‘What articles can I blog about today?”
The 1st answer was “Do high rep leg workouts really lead to more muscle growth?”
You know the good thing about having your own site is the ability to throw up these occasional rants about a wide variety of topics. Between my twitter, facebook page, fitness discussion forum and email, I get hit with a bunch of random topics on a daily basis. Sadly, I don’t have time to address then all in a big long article. So I’m going to address a few of those topics within this article about things I like and dislike(in no particular order).
Things I Like
Moderate Intensity Cardio- I’ll let everyone else debate about the benefits of low intensity cardio or intervals. I like both of them but I can’t do either every day and if I’m trying to get lean I need to do cardio at least 4 times per week. Jack the height up on the treadmill and speed walk to the point that you’d have to sprint if it was any faster.
Bodyweight workouts-I just released my 12 week bodyweight workout program and I’ve been doing them on “off” days from the gym to continue to burn fat and when I have 10 minutes in-between things. That’s the advantage of bodyweight workouts right? You want to be able to go into your basement when you have 10 minutes and get a great workout. Click here to check bodyweight fat loss system.
Whey Protein And Natural Peanut Butter Shakes- I love them as meal replacements. You get the healthy fat from peanut butter and we all know about whey protein. It just fits. If you have access to a blender and can’t get a meal in then this works, well.
Cordyceps-This fungus from mushrooms has long been known to increase energy in endurance athletes and I can’t say that I noticed it. What I have noticed is that my stress is reduced and I can breath alot easier. Plus when you look at the research you do find that it’s excellent for clearing up the throat.
Things I Dislike
The “shakes are insulinogenic” theory- While some people will follow a certain strength coach to no end, this theory has more holes then the swiss cheese that you shouldn’t eat. Every single thing you can put into your mouth(even chicken) causes a insulin response in the body. The degree of that response obviously varies(carbs increase it more). My protein doesn’t contain dextrose or high fructose corn syrup and has 1-2 grams of carbs. So don’t be afraid of your shakes, they won’t make you fat. Doing cardio once a week will.
(That’s the most absurd thing I heard all week)
The idea that whey isolate is superior- If you don’t do well with lactose then it’s great but other then that save your money and read this article about whey concentrate vs whey isolate.
People that cook with olive oil- Ok that might be harsh of me and you might not know that the health benefits get cooked out. Just please take a tablespoon of olive oil a day, it can do wonders for your health and can really help you lose fat.
People that knock celebrity trainers- Listen, I might not agree with what Tracey Anderson or another celeb trainer says but to knock them doesn’t make sense. It makes you seem unprofessional and doesn’t make you look better or smarter then them. Put your energy to something productive.
Ok now I can breath…..
I met Jen on twitter and after talking to her I came to realize that she had a different thought process when it comes to training and nutrition then most women do not to mention that she took the overall at the 2009 NPC Michigan Novice in figure.
1) Tell us more about yourself. Who are you? How long have you been training and what are your goals and aspirations in the fitness industry? You recently won a high level figure competition right?
I am a personal trainer who started an in-home personal training business in the Metro Detroit, Michigan area called “Made Fit.” It is the parent company for my other businesses “Brides Made Fit” and “Moms Made Fit.”
I started my business with my fiancé and partner, Chris Sonjeow, to make health and fitness more accessible, convenient, and attainable for people. Through personal training and my weekly videos on my website, MadeFitTV.com, my goal is to reach out to people across the country – and world – with helpful information, tips, and advice.
I have 5 years of experience in the health and fitness industry through working in gyms to competing in figure shows. My client base targets people of all ages and goals, ranging from corrective exercise, to body-building, to weight-loss.
As for achievements, my personal and most recent one would be winning the Overall Title at the 2009 NPC Novice Michigan Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure & Bikini Championship in March in Detroit. But I feel a sense of accomplishment and gratitude everyday when I watch my clients work hard, see results, and reach their goals. They inspire me!
2) How would you describe your training leading up to the contest? In any type of physique competition plan the competitor aims to “bring up” a certain area or two. Did you specialize in any area?
Training for any body-builder, figure, or fitness competitor generally requires 8 to 15 weeks of solid and strict preparation. Daily nutrition, strength training, and cardiovascular frequency must be accounted for at all times. The programming of these factors all depend on the competitors’ individual body type, training history, and current fitness-level.
For me, I have been training hard for years, so it was my nutrition plan that lasted 12 weeks. I had a pattern of high, medium, and low carbohydrate days and measured out every serving based on my specific program. My strength training consisted of a split routine, where I trained two muscle groups per day twice a week, adding in some total body days depending on that week’s rotation. It is good to note that some competitors may train differently – this is just what works for me and gets results for my specific body type.
The areas in which I needed to devote special attention to was definitely my legs. Genetically, my chest, back, and arms round out pretty well during my intense training. However, I wanted to make sure my legs were exceptional – so I had to work harder on those! I incorporated many heavy deadlifts, leg presses, and squats in the first half of my training. The month or so leading up to show time, I lightened up on the weight, increased the reps and sets, and added in a lot of plyometrics.
3) What was your cardio like going into the contest? 2 hours a day or did you do some progressive cardio?
Heart rate training played a huge role in my cardiovascular conditioning for endurance and fat-burn efficiency. I trained through running, walking on inclines, stairclimbers, and cycling to mix it up (and keep from getting bored!) Cardio training in the first few weeks was about 4 hours a week. On the final month, I was training anywhere from 5 hours to 7 or 8 hours a week.
Because the cardio is so time-consuming and excessive, I would set my alarm and do 30 minutes in the morning before work and before I ate anything. After training a few clients, I would hit the gym in the midday to lift and finish out my other 30, 45, or 60 minutes of cardio, depending on the day. Some days I would return at night, too!
4) How many weeks out did you start when you began your diet? What was it like the beginning then what did it look like in the end?
When to start the competition nutrition plan all depends on the competitor. Usually, it’s anywhere from 8 to 15 weeks out. Generally, you should be prepping in the off-season by eliminating, or drastically minimizing, junk food, fast food, and processed food. This is so you’re not depending on playing catch-up during your show prep time. Energy and discipline is so precious during this time that you can’t waste your efforts on trying to lose weight or stay away from those foods – your head should only be focused on your carb rotations and workouts and nothing else!
Show diets consist of carbohydrates low on the glycemic index, lean cuts of meats and fish, protein isolats, and absolutely no sugar! To start, diets are relatively higher in carbohydrate rotations and servings, winding down to very little two to three weeks out from show time. If you happen to encounter a competitor during this time… steer clear! Mood swings are inevitable!
5) What are some of the things that you noticed about yourself, your diet and your training as you began to lean out and get that rock hard stomach?
As hard as you train in the months leading up to your show, the final week can make or break you! Dropping your water at the right time is what gives competitors that lean look because it brings the skin close to the muscle. There are many ways of prepping the final week out and it all depends on the competitor, who’s coaching them, and how bad they want to win. I see a huge transformation my final week – even final days – out from my shows. As taxing as it is mentally and physically, I know that it is so worth it for those few moments on stage!
“I’m open for interviews these next 2-3 weeks”. I knew it was my shot. That was the message that Dave Tate, CEO and founder of EliteFTS posted on his facebook and twitter accounts. Could it be real? The man that I had tried to get in touch with time and time again was finally open to interviews. I shot him a message not knowing what his response would be, after all, how many times do you get the chance to connect with someone that you admire in both training and business?
Dave ended up saying yes and what happened after that was 60 minutes of Dave giving me knowledge after knowledge about a wide variety of topics including:
-Bench pressing for pec development and why it might not be the smartest idea.
-How natural athletes can bring up their weak points (especially their hamstrings and back).
-The early days of EliteFTS
-Why passion is the biggest thing you need in life an business.
( I was also fortunate to receive a copy of Raising The Bar, Dave’s newest book. It gets my highest recommendation for anyone looking to improve as a person and businessman.)
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