The Hierarchy of Health, part 1

So, you didn’t exactly ask, but that’s never stopped me from sharing my opinion before.Here is the hierarchy of good physical health. These four things, in order of importance, will keep you on the road to good living.1. Sleep2. Hydration3. Nutrition4. ExerciseWhat’s that? Not the order you expected? I’m not surprised. We live in a culture that’s all about the doing. Work harder? Work smarter? It doesn’t really matter as long as you’re working. So when we approach our health and fitness we approach it from the reverse order. Over the next few weeks I’ll take some time to address each level… Read More »

The Strangest Secret

The third of Agoge Fitness Systems’ Core Values is “Never stop learning.” I try and embody that principle everyday. Given the nature of my work and the length of my days, I’m not the reader I once was. Samantha can tell you that once my head hits the pillow I’m not long for this world. I’m usually asleep in a matter of minutes. When I do try and read, especially at the end of a day, I rarely get two or more pages in before the print starts to swim and I get drowsy. My solution has been audio books.… Read More »

Eat More Fat

Eat fat to lose weight. For any of us who were of a cognizant age during the 90’s this is a very difficult concept to swallow. We grew up listening to Susan Powter screaming at us to “Stop the Insanity” and Dr. Dean Ornish telling us to “Eat More, Weigh Less.” The key to 90’s dietary logic was that fat made you fat and that to lose weight you could eat all the carbs and protein you wanted – just cut out the fat. Only, we kept getting fatter.Sure, I lost weight during the 90’s on a low fat diet.… Read More »

Failing to Plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail, or so they say.I am as guilty of this as anyone, especially when it comes to my diet and nutrition. These days I’m usually up at 4:30 am and in the gym by 6:00. Given my commute and the sloth-like pace with which I attend my mornings, I rarely have time for more than the obligatory grooming and making coffee before I’m out the door and heading to work. My first cup (travel mug @ 16 ounces) contains a healthy dose of either coconut milk (the canned stuff, unsweetened but with lots of… Read More »

Hubris

hu·brisˈ(h)yo͞obrəs/nounexcessive pride or self-confidence.synonyms:arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, hauteur, pride, self-importance, egotism, pomposity,superciliousness, superiority; More(in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.Ouch.Thinking you’re more than you are is not so painful. Being shown that you’re less than you think you are, is.But it’s a good hurt, right?Good in the sense of​ it’s being the first step toward facing reality. Good in the sense of course correction and truly becoming the best you can be. It also sucks. It hurts and it’s embarrassing. No one likes to be informed that they’ve been a fool.I have been a… Read More »

Your Weakest Link

We’re only as strong as our weakest linkA few weeks ago, I wrote a post about this concept. I wrote “We’re only as strong as our weakest member,” meaning that we take care of our own. It’s the job of the stronger, more knowledgeable, advanced member to take care of and look after the weaker, less experienced, newbie. We look after our own and strive to bring everyone up regardless of where they started from.Once you’re a part of us, you’re a part of us. Today I want to apply that same concept to you, your body, and your training.… Read More »

How Many Days Per Week Should I Train?

How many days per week should I train?This is one of the more common questions I get asked.It basically means, “How often do I need to come to the gym in order to see results?” As you’ve probably anticipated, my answer is not the simple one you’re looking for. I get it. Life would be so much simpler if I could just answer a question like that with a straight forward “four.” The answer is clear and defined. Easy, right? Now all you have to do is figure out how to get those four sessions in every week. And many… Read More »

The Power of Coaching

“The trainer who trains himself, has a fool for a client.” – Dan John Everyone needs a coach.In the athletic world coaching is a foregone conclusion. No serious team, from little league all the way up to the majors, no serious athlete from kids gymnastics all the way up to the Olympics, would consider approaching their sport with out the constant guidance of a coach. It is well understood that a coach provides objectivity and feedback otherwise unattainable to an athlete in the midst of their sport. One cannot effectively do and observe at the same time. At best neither… Read More »

What We Can Learn from The Biggest Loser

I was asked earlier this week to register my opinion on this piece that showed up in the New York Times. It’s a follow up on several of the contestants six years after their season on The Biggest Loser and details their struggles to maintain the weight they lost during the show.Here’s the biggest takeaway: as a result of the show, everyone of the contestants suffers from a diminished metabolism. They burn anywhere from 200 to 400 fewer daily calories per day than normal people at their same body weights. Meaning that years later they still struggle to keep off excess weight.Most of… Read More »

What You Need To Know But I’m Too “Nice” to Say…

I am deeply passionate about fitness. I know first hand the transformational power regular, consistent training can have on your life and it is my utmost desire to share that knowledge with as many people as possible.In addition to the gym I run here in Birmingham, I run a loose knit organization of like-minded fitness professionals and enthusiasts called Mental Meat Heads. One of our tenants is to encourage fitness professionals to embrace what we call the 85%. This term comes from the fact that a mere 15% of our population engages in any form of regular exercise and training.… Read More »

5 Things Advanced Lifters Know

Okay, first off I apologize for the click bait title. That was manipulative and I feel a little dirty having done it, but I think this is important information and so, I’m not above a little psychological trickery if it gets you to pay attention.Truth is there are many things advanced lifters know that the rest of us would do well to pay heed. And these five are by no means the most important, but they are important so listen up.1. It’s not about what you do today it’s what you do this week, this month this year. No matter… Read More »

Kinesthesia

I learned a new word this week – kinesthete.I found it that same book I mentioned in last week’s post. It was in reference to styles of play. Dr. Stuart Brown in his book, Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, identifies eight different play personalities: I haven’t read his book yet but it’s certainly going on my list. I found reference to Dr. Brown’s work in, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, which I heartily recommend.The concept of the kinesthete really grabbed me. Someone who plays through movement. Other styles of play may… Read More »