Jenny Craig Took My Money!

Jenny Craig Took My Money

I figure no better time to share this story than on Mother’s Day… lol. She drives me crazy sometimes, but I DO LOVE MY MOM!

The other day, my mom, sister and I drove past a Jenny Craig and my mom says ‘Oh, Jenny Craig! They got my $300..’ I can’t remember the exact conversation, but it went something like this:

Mom: ‘Oh, Jenny Craig! They got my $300.’
Me: ‘And their stuff didn’t work?’
Mom: ‘Well, turns out you actually had to do what they told you.’
Me: ‘HAHAHHA! Omg’
Mom: ‘Yeah, I was hoping maybe if I just paid them, I’d instantly become skinny.’
Me: ‘………. is this real life?’

We all burst out laughing, of course, but the reality is, I feel like people actually think like that sometimes! That if they pay for a meal plan, or buy the newest workout, or a gym membership or personal training they will instantly become fitter or stronger. (I am even guilty of this too sometimes.)

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Buying whatever it is, is only the first step, and it’s a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-INSERT a MILLION more O’s-ooooooooooong road ahead. With more steps than you can imagine after that initial purchase.

Hate to break it to everyone, but losing weight/getting healthy/getting stronger is an everyday uphill battle. It might seem depressing, but if you truly want to make a long-term change to your health, you have to be willing to make long-term changes to your habits. 

Money can’t buy you healthiness 🙂 LOL


Mornings Are The Secret

Mornings, The Secret to Managing Your Schedule.

I am a morning person. I am also constantly on the hunt to maximize/manage my time better. So when I came across the book ‘What Successful People Do in the Morning’ I figured it would be the perfect read.

Turns out, it was a GREAT read. Here is a quick synopsis for you:

Mornings are the key to taking ahold of your schedule. If we use them wisely, we can build habits that allow us to live happier/more productive lives.

At 4pm when you tell yourself you’re ‘going to read that book’, or ‘finally finish that online course’, or ‘go to the gym and get a great workout in’, chances are there are a MILLION reasons not to.

  1. You’re too tired. You just worked your butt off for 8hrs. You had to make 456 decisions – all of which do take a toll on your energy. Answered 62 emails. Talked to 2 unhappy customers. Sat through 3 team meetings and your family called you 6 times to talk about dinner on Saturday. Now, you’re tired, grumpy, you’re brain is fried and just wanna sit and watch some ‘Shameless’ to ‘unwind’. Totally understandable.
  2. You’ve got more urgent things to do. Timmy ruined his backpack today at school and needs a new one for tomorrow. Your family told you you’re in charge of dessert on Saturday so you have to figure out what you are going to make and get groceries. Your dog also ran away, so you gotta go find him.

Do you see the trend? The problem is that once you start your day, other people’s priorities often ‘invade’ your day. (This ‘invading’ is not a bad thing, it’s just the reality of having great relationships and people who count on you.)

However, YOUR priorities and happiness are also important. To ensure you have better control over your priorities and days, successful people get things done in the morning, when they have the most control over their schedule.

 

The items you should do in the morning is are the things that are important, but not urgent. Things that nourishes your career, your relationships or yourself. Things that you WANT to do, but can never find the time to do.

Bad Examples: Laundry. Laundry will get done regardless of when you do it, because you need clothes. Cleaning – same deal. You’ll do it because you have to eventually. It’s not something you’ll avoid for too long.

Good Examples: Work on the business you’ve always wanted to start. Read the books you’ve been trying to read for the last 4 months. Make the lunch you’ve been telling yourself you will make each day. OR, our personal favourite, WORKOUT! Get yourself into the health/shape you’ve always wanted.

The good examples are things are hard to do, but you KNOW that when they are done repeatedly, over a long period of time, the results will be substantial and you’ll thank yourself later for getting up those few hours earlier. (The key to not waking up miserable btw, is getting yourself to bed early.)

 


Training Log: USPA Nationals July 8th

This post is the first of a few over the next 9 weeks, and may be a bit long – so thank you in advance if you read the whole thing.

Continuing the theme of giving back which we mentioned was our focus this year – I’ll be breaking down my training in as much detail as possible, so if you’re looking for a new program, or just interested in learning more about powerlifting and strength – read on.

I also have 4 other of our team lifters running this program along side with me. If you want in – email me.

———

Yesterday (monday) I started my training program for USPA Powerlifting Nationals on July 8th, in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’ll be competing as a 198, classic raw (knee wraps), in the Open age category.

Last week I tested my maxes, then took a deload week. My maxes were 562lb squat, 390lb bench, 705lb deadlift for a “1657lb total”. I put this in “” because they were not done on the same day.

The current All-Time Total Record (Canadian) at 198lbs is 1791lbs (Amit Sapir). I feel that this is within reach if I do everything right over the next 9 weeks.

Normally I use Instagram as my “training log” – meaning I post a video (usually my top set for the day), and a short write up so next time I go to do that same lift, workout, or day – I can easily scroll back and find what I need.

I’ve decided to post my training here each week for the next 9 weeks – for anyone who wants to follow along. The individual workouts will be on my Instagram as usual, but my weekly layout will be posted here.

The rep schemes for the next 9 weeks are as follows:

Overreaching / accumulation phase:
Wk1
: 3×3
Wk2: 4×4
Wk3: 5×5
Wk4: 6×6

Peaking Phase
Wk5:
3×5
Wk6: 3×4
Wk7: 3×3
Wk8: 2×2

Wk9: Deload (recovery phase)

End of Wk9: Compete

The first 4 weeks are an old school method used by many top lifters in the 80’s & 90’s – building from a 3×3 to a 6×6 with the same weight (an increase of 27 reps). The next 4 weeks are the peaking phase where we drop reps and increase intensity, followed by a deload week, then a contest.

The first 4 weeks will build work capacity and muscular size, which have a huge impact on making 3rd attempts at a meet.

We’re also moving away from the standard rep schemes (3×10, 5×5, 4×6..etc), instead were using total reps (example: 60-80 total reps). This allows the lifter to regulate fatigue through training, and adjust the intensity (weight) day to day. If it’s a movement we want to go heavy on, we may do 8 sets of 8 (64 total if the reps are calling for 60-100 total), or we may do 6×15 (90 total) if we want to pump blood while reducing the intensity (weight).

SQUAT

Squat training is broken up into two workouts per week – one light and one heavy. During our light days, the bar weight stays the same, and you will be performing 2-4 sets of 10 to start the workout. This is to allow you to work on technique and build work capacity. This day will also be done raw or in sleeves.

Our heavy day is done in wraps (if you don’t compete in wraps and you’re missing reps, reduce the weight by 5%).

My squat numbers for the next 9 weeks look like this:

wk1-4: 502lbs

wk5: 3×5 @ 521lbs
wk6: 3×4 @ 540lbs
wk7: 3×3 @ 565lbs
wk8: 2×2 @ 584lbs

BENCH

Benching is also done as a heavy day and light day. On heavy days, we work up to our programmed numbers, then move into heavy tricep and chest work. We only train chest directly once per week (on this day) with 6-8 sets of 10-20 reps. The rest of our pressing work is focused on building strong triceps and back.

On light days, we work up in a closegrip bench to above 90%, with a variation of chains, bands, or boards. This is to overload the triceps and build lockout strength. We still hit 2-4 sets of 10 on competition grip or illegal wide bench to keep the pecs stimulated and work technique.

Main movements for this training cycle will be JM Press, french press, and heavy pushdowns to build the “medial” head of the triceps (lockout strength).

My bench numbers for the next 9 weeks look like this:

wk1-4: 340lbs

wk5: 3×5 @ 350lbs
wk6: 3×4 @ 365lbs
wk7: 3×3 @ 377lbs
wk8: 2×2 @ 394lbs

DEADLIFT

Deadlift is pretty straight forward. Our programmed numbers will be done in competition stance (sumo or conventional), and accessory work will be targeted at weaknesses. We only deadlift once per week (depending on fatigue and recovery towards the end of the program, I may skip a deadlift day or two as I perform better when I deadlift less often).

My deadlift numbers for the next 9 weeks look like this:

wk1-4: 606lbs

wk5: 3×5 @ 636lbs
wk6: 3×4 @ 655lbs
wk7: 3×3 @ 685lbs
wk8: 2×2 @ 715lbs

This is shaping up to be the hardest, and most intense training program I’ve ever started.

I find that if I focus too much on the end goal (hitting the total), my training suffers because of the stress I put on myself.

This time around I’ll be focusing day-to-day, doing what needs to be done. The plan is set, the numbers are doable, and all that remains is to hit each day with intensity. Small improvements over time = results.

I hope you gain some knowledge from this, and can take the ideas and implement them in your own training. As always, if I can help in any way – email me.

– Dan


Your Cardio Doesn’t HAVE to Suck

Cardio and I have had a love/hate relationship over the years. Previously as an aerobics instructor I LOVED my cardio. I would be teaching step 6-10 times per week, running 5-15Km every other day, doing box jumps, jump squats and burpees in every workout. Eventually, I realized that my body was pretty broken.. My knees were in constant pain, I had to take the stairs sideways and my low back ached 24/7.

When I got into weight training my cardio went out the window. Those aches and pains left, my hunger decreased and overall I felt lighter and better. But I knew I still needed a bit of cardio to keep my heart healthy and my mental state satisfied (there is certainly something calming about a good cardio session).

Anyways, over the years, I have found a few ways to make cardio more enjoyable. Below are a bunch of tips to keep you craving cardio.. Yes, ‘craving’ it. Hahah!

  1. Get a good audio book. Every time you do cardio, listen to that book. Make sure it’s a good one, otherwise this tip does NOT work. Make sure it’s a book that keeps you on edge and wanting more. (Download the ‘Audible’ app for a huge selection of books.)
  2. Find a good podcast. The beauty of podcasts is that they are FREE and there are sooooooo many topics out there. #ohyeah Same thing as above, listen to that podcast every time you do cardio. You can basically learn something new while doing cardio! It’s the best self-improvement 2-for-1. 🙂
  3. Watch Netflix! Download the Netflix app and get yourself into a good show. Make sure it’s a dramatic juicy one that you can get ridiculously addicted to. Only let yourself watch it during your cardio session. Bike, step or walk on the treadmill to that juicy fake drama. You’ll literally start loving your cardio sessions. 
  4. Do something you enjoy. Cardio doesn’t have to be mindlessly running on a treadmill or step mill. Go for a swim, play tennis with a friend, go to a hot yoga class (PowerYoga is a killer every time) or attend our bootcamp classes – had to put a shameless plug in here somewhere lol. You’re guaranteed to get a good sweat going with one of our trainers kicking your butt…
  5. Do circuits with a friend. You can do them together OR you can coach each other through them. If you pick a 10 minute circuit, get one person to do it while the other person cheers for them and paces them through the workout. Once done, switch roles. It will only take 20 minutes total and it’s like having a free personal trainer. OR if you’re both competitive, make little competitions. Say ‘OK 1 minute on the clock, let’s see who can do the most wall balls. OK, now burpees. Now thrusters. And now rowing.’
  6. Get a dog! This might be a big one, but if you’re thinking about it, just do it. It was one of the best choices we made. The dog FORCES you to walk, every single day. Multiple times. Sure it’s a pain to get started, but once you’re out walking, you feel so good and how awesome is it to see your dog happy and running around. You WON’T regret it.

Good luck! Feel free to comment if any of these strategies worked for you!

Katy


Maintaining Bodyfat %

This is a guest post from one of our members – Tallyson Neves.

Tallyson is a competitive powerlifter in the 165, 181, and 198lb weight classes. He recently did a big weight cut, with an effort to lower his bodyfat % while maintaining strength.

Below are some of his best tips or advice/rules for people to follow when talking about weight loss or maintaining your physique. I wholeheartedly agree with his statement of “to achieve what is promoted in the main stream media (having a six pack), will take a great amount of commitment and sacrifice,” (sacrificing the foods you “want” for the ones you “need”, and staying committed to the goal you set for yourself). Read More