Volume 2, Issue 4: Building Momentum
Do you know those seasons where things are just clicking? I’m in one of those. Since winning Silver Best of Madison, I’ve delivered on my prediction that it wouldn’t affect me as a trainer (win or lose); meaning I wouldn’t over-think a win or dwell on a “loss.” On the other hand, I’m experiencing extra “buzz” around my growing brand. I’ve added a few new clients and a 4-person small group to the weekly schedule. Others are showing interest and conversations with all kinds of members at Pinnacle are all contributing to momentum in March - that’s a win! My goal is to help people pursue a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. For some people, that means hiring me as a trainer. For others it’s signing up for online personal training. For others it is taking aspects of this newsletter and putting it into your own personal training. As a subscriber to the Training Desk, you’ve opted into some of my premier content and I sincerely appreciate your attention. While I have zero expectations that you read it all (or always) or share it, you should know that the momentum I’m feeling now is from increased visibility (Madison Magazine), clients talking to others about their training (many of you!), and building my brand on Instagram and other platforms. Consuming social networks can be like drinking out of fire hose, so that’s why I’ll say it again: I sincerely appreciate your attention.
When I was doing my masters work at UW, I became very interested in corporate wellness. As I look at the health and fitness landscape of our country, I see two things. First, the “health care” system is reactive and doesn’t often pay for preventative medicine. Second, looking at population health the data is clear: the top causes of death are modifiable behaviors. Those two observations lead me to the idea that to make a difference in the health of our culture, we need to lean on the allied health professionals; doctors simply don’t have the time and often the expertise. Personal training is simply not feasible for most people. I believe the solution starts at work. Most of us spend one-third of our days at work. Additionally employers have incentive to help us be as healthy as possible. That was a long introduction to the idea that I ten minutes of exercise could contribute to the 30 minutes of exercise recommended by the National Exercise Guidelines. I called that number TMBs: ten-minute bouts. Well those TMBs are the subject of a new study that says maybe bouts even shorter can also contribute to your health. It is important here to distinguish between ‘health’ and ‘cardiovascular fitness.’ Healthy behaviors like taking the stairs, parking further away, and using a push mower are good for your ‘health’, but will only provide minimal contributions to your cardiovascular system’s ability to function properly and at high levels. I think studies like this are good to get people thinking and talking about exercise and even physical activity. But it continues to cloud the discussion which is already confusing at best, discouraging at worst. Let’s not win the race to the bottom. THe guidelines are good - shoot for 30 minutes of exercise five days per week. More is better. If you’re doing too much, trust me I’ll let you know.
This is just another (quick) article on how technology is advancing health care and consumers’ ability to participate in their health in new and relatively cheap ways. I’ve said it for a year now: pretty soon a $400 Apple Watch will be no longer a luxury but rather a legitimate and justifiable health device that can assist diagnosing serious health conditions. Cardiogram is leading the way here.
Hearts get ‘younger’ even at middle age
From the article: “Think of the heart muscle as a rubber band, Levine says. In the beginning, the rubber band is flexible and pliable. But put it in a drawer for 20 years and it will emerge dry and brittle.” I say it to all of my clients an at every orientation for new members: cardio is king. No one is dying of small muscles or not enough flexibility. It’s our hearts that are failing. Cardiovascular function is king. And if you think that ship has sailed, think again.
Everyone can appreciate this section:
Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first group engaged in a program of non-aerobic exercise — basic yoga, balance training and weight training — three times a week. The other group, which Onsry was in, was assigned a trainer and did moderate- to high-intensity aerobic exercise for four or more days a week.
After two years, the group doing the higher-intensity exercise saw dramatic improvements in heart health.
The result? "We took these 50-year-old hearts and turned the clock back to 30- or 35-year-old hearts," says Levine (lead researcher). I think if I want to be known for one thing, it’s that cardio is king. Strengthen that heart. It’s a long-term game.
Last week on the vlog: Something is better than nothing
Episode 10 of Training Daily was all about something being better than nothing. This year I’m putting more effort to strength training than ever before, and strength training is a long game. For me it’s been a big challenge since it’s so much “slower” than the running and HIIT workouts that I so enjoy. Some days it feels very easy to skip. But something is better than nothing.
This week on the blog: Workout Refresh
As I mentioned, I have a new 4-person small group on my schedule. The single reason these ladies signed up is because they needed a workout refresh. They’re getting it! In fact, they’re probably reading their first Training Desk newsletter - welcome ladies! Back to the point: always audit your health and fitness and know when it’s time to (significantly) switch things up. It’s honestly one of the biggest parts of my jobs. The body does a fantastic job of adapting to the stress you put on it. If you fail to change that ‘stress’ then the body is no longer forced to work for it. That’s when the physiological changes stop. That’s when you plateau; that’s when health improvements stop. That’s when you change it up or hire me.
As always, thanks for reading and happy training!