Liftlazy Whenevercast: Looks Aren’t Everything

Sure they're attractive, but can they teach you?

Sure they’re attractive, but can they teach you?

 

Download mp3 file (4.8mb)

The takeaway points:

  • Everyone can learn something from somebody.
  • Looks alone do not determine the proficiency, ability or skill level of a trainer.
  • Looks may on the other hand give you an idea of the activities that trainer may participate in (and thus specialize in teaching).
  • If you’re hiring a trainer to “kick your ass”, save your money and start a fistfight with strangers instead.
  • If after a few sessions you realize that your personality and your trainer’s personality are not meshing, then consider a different trainer.
Posted in Whenevercast | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Liftlazy Whenevercast: Looks Aren’t Everything

Liftlazy Whenevercast: Cookies And Happiness

cookies

Download mp3 file (732kb)

The Takeaway Points:

  • Eat what you want, adjusted for the way you want to look and feel.
  • Don’t overthink it too much.
  • My brain-to-mouth filter has become largely useless in public.

 

 

Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Liftlazy Whenevercast: Cookies And Happiness

Holiday Recovery (4th Of July Version)

Image courtesy of coolmaterial.com

Image courtesy of coolmaterial.com

Okay, it’s July 5th and you’re probably full of hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips and beer (if you’re vegan, then I’m sure you’re full of beanburgers, kale chips and fermented wheatgrass). And there is a big chance that you’re feeling regretful about all the awful, horrible eating you did over the last few days.

Eh. whatever. You’ll be fine.

I’m telling you the truth when I say that temporary indulging is not going to set you back unless you allow it to. A few hundred or even a few thousand extra calories consumed over 72 hours is not going to make you into a fat mess (that’s what you’re thinking, not my words) unless you make a choice to avoid physical activity and continue eating more than your body can consume.

Post-holidays is not the time to start some goofy crash diet or to spend 3 hours in the gym as penance for everything you ate. Neither is it the time to get depressed and give up on exercising because you fell “off the wagon” and sabotaged your progress thus far. Both of these extremes are counterproductive and the result of emotion dominating over mathematics, thermodynamics and logic. Overexerting yourself at the gym is just going to make you sore and more prone to avoid subsequent workouts. Avoiding the gym is just going to spin you deeper into self-sorrow and guilt.

All you have to do is just go back to you normal system of eating within your body budget and being moderately active every day. In case you don’t believe me, take the following example:

A person eats 2000 calories per day. During the holiday weekend, they eat an extra 750 calories per day for 3 days. This results in an extra 2250 calories over the weekend. If the person normally is at metabolic equilibrium at 2000 calories/day, we can calculate that the extra calories can be balanced out by an extra 200 to 400 calories per day. This means that in 5 to 11 days you’ll be back to where you were before the holiday binge. No crazy diets, no insane workout schedule.

(For those who may be wondering how much 200 to 400 calories equates to, its roughly 30 minutes of fast walking or swimming depending on your weight and body composition.)

Don’t feel bad, don’t repent, just go back to your normal workout and move around a little more. Be patient, be persistent, and you’ll be back to your old self (or better) way before the next holiday rolls around.

Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Holiday Recovery (4th Of July Version)

Liftlazy Whenevercast: I’m Gonna Hover

0ce5ce64587a0322e7fd3cf573ac1f15

gym_fails_8 Image courtesy of nedhardy.com

f880ffc04c99c560997f5261bc529b8e

 

Download mp3 file (6.1mb)

The Takeaway Points:

 

  • Self awareness and courtesy are two sides of the same polite coin.
  • No points are awarded just for showing up.
  • Your face reveals how focused you are.
  • Jackassery is not gender specific.
  • Always give people an out…if they don’t take it, then commence loitering.
  • Christopher’s inner dialogue can’t be shown on network television without heavy editing.
Posted in Whenevercast | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Liftlazy Whenevercast: I’m Gonna Hover

The “Friend”

The Takeaway:

  • Friends to workout with are great, until they start giving you bad advice.
  • Someone who has spent 2 months more at the gym than you is not necessarily an expert.
  • Never assume you know more than a stranger. They can surprise you.
  • Sometimes you have to let those who think they know what they’re talking about continue to live in their own alternate universe.
  • If you have a friend who acts like the person in the example, do what I always recommend and DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Friendship does not equate to blind trust.

 

Download mp3 file (5.2mb)

Posted in Whenevercast | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on The “Friend”

Why Whenevercast?

johann_lemmingsphone

Download mp3 file (4.9mb)

The takeaway points:

  • I’m here to give you information that goes beyond what any clickbait workout slideshow can ever offer.
  • Your needs are specific to you, not your friends, not what’s trending, and not what’s always your favorite.
  • I’m right 99.87651% of the time. But still, verify everything you hear from me and any other fitness professional you may listen to.
  • Lemmings don’t actually jump off of cliffs, but the concept is part of our lexicon plus I was able to make a catchyphrase about it.
  • Liftlazy Whenevercasts are a free service brought to you by experience, knowledge and the Quit Whining Foundation*.

 

 

 

 

*Not a real foundation, but it should be.

 

Posted in Whenevercast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Whenevercast?

Liftlazy Whenevercast: Have A Goal

gym stupidity, gym meme, workout, handstand, cavemancircus

And not a single person yelled out “I hope you break your neck!” Maybe the world is getting nicer. Image courtesy of: cavemancircus.com

Download mp3 file (2.9mb)

The Takeaway Points:

  • Have a goal in mind when you exercise.
  • Perform movements that move you towards that goal.
  • Repeat as required until you’re at the goal.
  • If you only workout for enjoyment, fun or relaxation then ignore everything I said.

Addendum: That is not me in the photo. In reality I’d be the guy running up to kick the dumbells out from under that guy.

Posted in Fitness | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Liftlazy Whenevercast: Have A Goal

Liftlazy Whenevercast: The Practicality of Healthy Eating

pineapple

This time, the question was “Is healthy food worth the time and expense?” Instead of just getting my viewpoint, I asked fellow fitness professional Ash Talbot to record her own take on the topic. So this time you get a dueling Whenevercast at no extra cost, which considering that these are free makes perfect sense.

Ash’s Viewpoint (download mp3 file at 3.9mb)

Chris’ Viewpoint (download mp3 file at 5.8mb).

Posted in Food, Whenevercast | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Liftlazy Whenevercast: The Practicality of Healthy Eating

Know-It-All Defense

The popularity of fitness has created a lot of misinformation, which thanks to the internet, is distributed at a rate that boggles the mind. This article is a defense against some of the more common inaccuracies.

Rookie at the  Gym - Meme

For years, talking to people about exercise and fitness has been a hobby of mine. Not in the professional sense like what I do 5-6 days a week as a trainer. I mean in the “I want to see what people think they know and then challenge those assumptions with pure logic” sense. Mind you, I never do this with people who are upfront about needing help or during the course of a friendly conversation. This is reserved for the ever-increasing number of spandex-clad know-it-alls that are running around our nation.

The statements that follow are common misconceptions that get repeated over and over simply because some people are too lazy to think critically and do their own research. Well, I did the research for you so there’s no more excuses for not knowing. Really, most of this is common sense so it’s not like I had to go into a laboratory and run experiments to discover anything. Anyway, feel free to use the responses below the next time someone saunters up and delivers a gem like…

I’m doing a lot of crunches so my abs will show.

You have abs. Trust me on this, they’re there. But you can’t see them if you have a layer of fat between your eyes and your abs. So crunch away, buy all the goofy gadgets you want but you won’t see crap until you do something to eliminate the excess fat. You have to obey the laws of thermodynamics and create a caloric deficit to reduce body fat, then you can see the abs. Theoretically, by focusing on caloric intake/deficit/surplus, you can get better results than someone who does abs daily.

 

I don’t do weights because every time I do I get bulky.

Oh please. I would love to live in a world where just placing my hands on a barbell would result in me turning into The Hulk. Somehow I have to lift heavy things on a regular basis, consume exhausting amounts of food and avoid excess high intensity cardio but these people just smell iron and sprout muscles on top of muscles. Newsflash = You aren’t bulky, probably never have been bulky, most likely never will be bulky. What you see and feel is excess blood in your muscles following a resistance workout. That goes away after a day or so and you’re back to your normal self. The only way to increase your muscle mass permanently is to lift consistently and eat a lot of food to sustain growth. One set of lateral raises ain’t getting the job done.

 

I’m doing supersets/HIIT/Crossfit/whatever trendy phrase is popular.

Do research before proclaiming what kind of exercise you’re doing. Drop-sets are not supersets and eccentrics are not pause-reps. HIIT doesn’t mean jumping on a plyo box for 30 seconds then taking a 5 minute break to watch the game. Performing a clean and jerk doesn’t mean you’re doing Crossfit. All exercise programs are variations on movements that have been done for years. Knowing which ones you’re doing and how you’re doing them is critical to you getting the results you want. After all, just saying you’re driving to California and while heading east will not get you there.

 

I don’t squat because it damages your knees.

Your squats damage your knees because your form is ugly. Correct your form so it’s beautiful and the risk of damage goes away…plus you’ll look good doing it.

 

I don’t run because it damages your knees.

If you run like you’re on a trampoline, or there’s an earthquake going on that only you can feel, then chances are you are going to damage your knees, ankles, shins and hips over extended periods of time. If you fix your form so that you are using minimal energy to move forward, the risk of damage goes away…plus you’ll look good doing it (heard that before?)

 

I’m wearing a belt to protect my back.

Belts are intended for providing a secondary abdominal wall for people performing maximal lifts. Wearing it to protect your back is ineffective and counterproductive. Besides, if you have a belt on to “protect your back” while curling 10lbs per arm, you look ridiculous. This is not me being judgmental, this is me being honest. Besides, if you thought that curling a grand total of 20 lbs unprotected was enough to cause major back trauma, you weren’t healthy enough to be in a gym, and probably not healthy enough to be standing upright (logic hurts). Learn how and when to use a belt properly and it can definitely help your performance on heavier lifts.

 

I’m healthy because I eat clean/Paleo/Atkins/vegan/lacto-ovo/whatever dietary variation is popular.

You can eat the healthiest food known to mankind and still be sickly if you do not consume enough to support normal bodily functions. Starving on organic foods is almost as bad as gorging on processed foods (you’ll both have health issues, although they’ll be different in nature). You are healthy because your body has all the nutrients it needs to keep things running. You are healthy because you limit artificial ingredients, not because you limit calories. Don’t lose sight of the purpose of food, it’s simply body fuel.

 

I workout for 2 hours everyday.

No you don’t. You may be at the gym for 2 hours but you aren’t exercising for all 2 of those hours. Between the water breaks, watching TV to catch up on news or sports scores, the disguised flirting with people you find attractive and the time it takes for you to figure out what you should be doing, you’re probably at most exerting yourself for half the time you’re actually present (to be honest, it’s probably more like 25 to 35% of the time). That’s how a 15-30 minute workout can be superior to a 60 minute workout if all the excess distractions are removed.

 

There you go. Next time someone says something that makes no sense, you can respond with real information. Logic and facts always win, even it makes the loser feel bad.

Posted in Exercise | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Know-It-All Defense

Knee To Know Basis

You hear it from trainers and doctors, see it on television and in magazines. Weak knees, knees at risk, no strength in knees, etc. The solution? Strengthen your knees. There’s only one problem with that.

You can’t make your knees stronger.

The muscles surrounding your knees, well that’s a different story.

If you look at a picture of a knee joint, you’ll see it is free to flex in only one plane of motion, like a door hinge. That makes sense because it is technically categorized as a hinge joint. But unlike a door hinge, there is no bolt that holds both pieces together. Our knees are held together by a labyrinth of ligaments and tendons, some of which are well known due to their frequency of injury (ACL tears anybody?). Since our knees have the potential to get injured so easily, we often want to find a way to protect them. I’m not referring to athletes who play high impact sports, or acute injuries like ligament tears, but the average person who might hurt their knees going up stairs or making a turn on an uneven sidewalk. Unfortunately the advice we get is worded completely wrong, which usually results in us not getting the results we should.

When your doctor or trainer says “You need to strengthen your knees”, what they really mean is “You need to strengthen the muscles around your knees”. Remember the door hinge? The whole idea of a hinge is to swing freely, just like our knees. But the easiest way to open a door is from the handle, which is about as far from the hinge as you can get (try swinging a door open with one finger near the handle, then try the same thing near the hinge to see how important leverage is). Likewise in our legs, the only thing that can start or stop the movement are the muscles that connect to the femur, tibia and fibula. The knee joint itself is powerless to do anything!

Armed with this information, a person will dutifully go out and do leg raises, leg extensions and maybe even some leg presses to make their knees stronger. They’ll avoid squats since those damage your knees instantly and nobody who’s ever squatted has been able to walk afterwards*. After a few weeks of doing these exercises they may feel a little bit stronger and go back to their former activities. But their knees still hurt, or make noises, or click, or just feel weak.

The reason for this is something that we’ve discussed before, which is displaced emphasis. When the word “knee” was said, the person fixated on the actual joint while doing exercises rather than the muscles around it. Leg extensions were performed with feet locked in dorsiflexion and tensioning of the knee. Leg presses were done by pushing through the toes with hands on the knees to “help”. All of these actions displace the emphasis off the quadriceps and hamstrings which are the prime movers for the knee joint.

If you want to “strengthen your knees”, ignore them. Focus on the quadriceps and hamstrings while relaxing pressure on your knee joints. Never ever ever everrrrrr apply any force directly through the knee joint itself unless you really do want an injury. Don’t know how to keep the force out of your joints? I’ll describe three common exercises, what you should be feeling and how to position your body to get the most out of them.

Hamstring Curl: The prone (face down) version works best for this scenario. Ensure that your hips are flat against the pad and there’s no space between your pelvis and the pad. With the lever pad on the back of your calves, relax your feet completely and squeeze the back of your thighs with the emphasis on your hip/butt region to start the flexion motion. Don’t try to start the movement from behind your knee. Perform as many as are required without letting the weight stack touch between reps.

Leg Extensions: Slide back on the seat until the back of your knees are against the leading edge of the seat pad. With the lever pad against your shins, grasp the handles to pull yourself down firmly against the seat, relax your feet and squeeze the tops of your thighs until your shins “float” up to the horizontal position. Don’t try to start or slow the movement by clenching the knee joint, especially if you’re attempting to do negatives/eccentrics.

Leg Press: Place your feet wherever you want based on what you wish to accomplish (feet high = more hip/glutes, feet low = more quads). Position your back tightly against the seat, dig your heels in and squeeze your thighs to start the motion. Do not put your hands on your knees to help move your legs. As you perform the reps, imagine your hips as a shock absorber on the eccentric, not your knees. Again, do not use your knees to slow down, reverse, push or lock-out.

Again, this article is not intended for people who have legitimate tears or ruptures in knee tendons. While the listed exercises might be included as part of a rehabilitation program, the intent is for reasonably uninjured people to increase the stability of their knee joint without inflicting unintentional damage. After a week or two of doing the exercises as described, your knees will feel a lot…stronger (sorry, had to say it).

 

*If you believe that, I’d like to talk to you about some Kansas beachfront property for sale.
Posted in Exercise, Form | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Knee To Know Basis