Planning what you do throughout your day, and doing it!

If you're like most people you wish there was just more time in every day for a little you time. Planning what you are doing throughout the day especially during free time can be a simple way to be the most productive version of yourself. The more you do and the more active you are the better you actually feel. The more you sit around the more lazy you feel. Next time you feel like sitting down to watch and hour of tv try getting up and doing something around the house, go for a walk, try the DIY project you just saw. When it comes to exercise try to plan for a specific time, then when that time comes don't think about it, just do it. It doesn't have to be long. Pick 2 or 3 exercises for example, push ups, squats and lunges. Do 25 or 50 of each a few at a time and that is all it takes. You'll feel accomplished and energized afterwords I guarantee it! 

The best way to fat loss you've never tried

Countless number of people have tried fat loss programs where they are spending 60 minutes on a cardio machine at their local gym and expecting the pounds to just start falling off. What seems to happen to many is that the pounds don't come off, they are tired of doing the same old thing for so long day in and day out, and probably even some joint pain in the knees, ankles, hips or lower back from all the long cardio workouts.

The truth is as you get older your metabolism slows down and that is just a fact of life. Slower metabolism means less calorie burn. So the question becomes how to increase your metabolism? The answer is exercise! But not the exercise you think of when you're looking for fat loss. I'm talking about weights and using your muscles and spiking your heart rate. The next time you're in the gym and are about to hop on a cardio machine try this short workout instead of that 60 minute run you were about to do...

  1. Warm up with 2-3 minutes of a steady pace
  2. for 10-15 minutes do 30 seconds really hard/fast! then 30 seconds really easy/slow every minute

This would be considered HIIT training or High Intensity Interval Training. Its purpose is to spike your heart rate and use short 100% effort bouts to stress your body repeatedly. If done correctly and with enough intensity this short 17 minutes of exercise can burn more calories than that hour of running you were about to do. The reason is because your body has just been stressed at high intensities and in order to repair or return to 100% it consumes or BURNS MORE CALORIES EVEN AFTER YOU'RE DONE EXERCISING. Like magic. 

To increase this effect add weights to the equation. Pick 2 or 3 large exercises that target different areas of your body and multiple muscles. Now do each of those exercises at a steady state for 30 seconds each without resting until you have completed one set of all of them, take a short 30-60 second rest a repeat. Or you can do it just like the cardio above. Example

  1. Squat -- 30sec
    1. rest 30
  2. push up -- 30 seconds
    1. rest 30
  3. lunge -- 30 seconds
    1. rest 30
  4. repeat X3-4 times

This will keep your heart rate up and at the same time build muscle to boost your metabolism. Give it a shot and see what you've been missing!

 

Calling all developing athletes...you should be stretching!

Lets just get this out of the way, even though this article is specifically about developing athletes everyone should be stretching! OK now, as an athlete who is striving to develop through intense training your body is going to be stressed in all sorts of ways and injury is the last thing anyone wants to happen. Unfortunately just that happens all too often and young talented athletes are left sidelined for what can be several months at a time. As someone who has suffered a severe injury before, I along with all of us at RSC want to help kids in every way we can to prevent this.

Before any activity weather its a game, practice or weight training stretching should always take place both at the beginning and the end. This will prepare your body for the movements you're about to do and lower your risk of injury.

So your growing larger in size constantly, training in your sport and possibly training your body to be stronger with weight training. The stronger your muscles get the tighter they also get, think like a rubber band. Every muscle in your body is meant to pull any two points on any two bones closer together. Each can only be stretched so far before "failing". Muscle failure in a way means injury (broken rubber band). The muscle failed to keep its two ends close enough together so the muscle was damaged and this results in injury. When developing athletes are getting stronger by the week those same muscles get larger and tighter (bigger rubber bands). After a period of time the athlete may over-reach or slip just one time and exceed the stretch handled by that now shortened muscle.

Every day of training those limits of your body are tested and any day no matter how intense the level of competition you are at risk of injury. Try to begin and end any exercise with a good 5 minutes of stretching along with doing it on your own here and there. Do this and you'll be doing everything in your power to keep playing the game you love for a long time with no unexpected setbacks.

 

Honey Sriracha Lime Chicken

Honey Sriracha Lime Chicken

I have a handful of quick go to recipes I throw together quickly for busy nights during the week.  This takes about 30 minutes start to finish.  It tastes awesome and is a great healthy option for busy nights during the week.  

 

Ingredients

1 red bell pepper

1 sweet onion

2 table spoons of honey - I use a local honey from the public market

3 tablespoons coconut aminos or braggs liquid amino

2 tablespoons olive oil

zest and juice of two limes

3 garlic cloves, peeled

2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 table spoon of kerry gold grassfed butter 

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)

I mix everything together in a ziploc bag. If you have time and want to marinate the chicken ahead of time with even better.  I cook this all in a frying pan and steam some vegetables with it to complete the meal.  

Adult Program Testimonial

Check out what one of our Remote Coaching Athletes has to say about the programming his experiences at RSC.  

I worked out rather often in one form or another since I was 14 years old. This got much more intense as I entered college and participated in Division 1 Track & Field. The discipline helped me develop functional strength, with a goal oriented focus. However, being able to do a single leg deadlift isn’t what gets you attention on college campus, huge biceps do. Fast forward a few years, and I was no longer participating in organized sports. However, I still worked out 4 – 5 times per week. Left to my own devices, I chose to concentrate on ego building exercises, and left the squat rack alone.  Fast forward about 10 years, and I eventually left everything alone. I quit working out and slowly lost all the mass that I packed on over the past several years.

Last fall, I decided to get back in the gym, and I went often. Sometimes as often as 7 days a week. I was able to make some decent gains, but things were different. I was 15 years past my peak condition and didn’t have the same discipline to get me where I wanted to be. With the goal of running a Spartan Race in a few months, I reached out to Relentless Strength & Conditioning.  Again, I already had the motivation to go to the gym and work hard. That wasn’t the problem. I bring this up because I didn’t need someone to count my reps for me, I needed someone to make sure the reps counted. I told Andy about my goal, and he was more than happy to help me out. He mentioned that it’s important to have a goal, but this is about more than just one race.  It’s about leading a lifestyle that will enable me to complete this race, and be healthier going forward, both mentally and physically.

Over the next several weeks, Andy designed programs that were aligned with my fitness goals as well as my time constraints.  Like I said before, he made the reps count. He was also available to augment my program based on other challenges I faced. For example, trying to work out in a packed NYC gym. He’s always quick to respond whenever I sent him a text about certain equipment not being available, and offering suitable alternatives in return.

With Andy’s help, I was able focus on impact, and develop that same functional strength I once had in college. This not only helped me complete the Spartan Race, which was a huge accomplishment for me, I was also relieved of lower back pain that had been nagging me for years. My flexibility also increased, and it made everyday movements much easier to accomplish. I just felt better overall. Work was still stressful, and I had a newborn daughter to care for, but my mood and energy level was much better than it had been over the past several years. To his earlier point, it was about more than just one race.

As a new father who’s constantly chasing an extremely active baby around, this lifestyle change couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s also great to know I’ll be able to actively participate with her once she starts engaging in organized sports as well.

 

Food for Life

I get asked A LOT how and what I eat.  Basically what it comes down to is I eat real food and I try to make sure it's always quality food. The base of it would be considered clean eating or a paleo style diet with some variations I add that work for me. I've put together two sample days of how I eat.  One is a training day the second is a non training day.  It goes through what I eat start to finish, I've found this works awesome for me.  Hopefully you'll be able to pick up something from this that will work for you.  Let me know if you have any question or if we can help at all. Thanks, 

RSC Coaches 

Training Day - 4 litres of water

4:45 Pre Workout

Coffee Scoop of Earth Fed Muscle Primitive Protein - Drink throughout workout

6:30 Post Workout

3 - 5 farm fresh eggs

2 - 3 strips wegmans organic turkey bacon

1 sweet potato OR 2-3 cups sauteed kale

9 - 11:00

Mid Morning Snack

Shake:

2 Cups good belly probiotic - coconut flavor - Wegmans organic section

2 Cups Kale or Spinach - can be fresh of frozen your call depending on the consistency you want.
1 Cup of frozen mixed berries - wegmans family pack
1 Huge spoonful of seeds - I use a mix of chia, flax and hemp

1/2 a banana

1 large scoop of Naturo Sciences Natural Greens - Complete Raw Whole Green Food Nutrition with Super - I get it on Amazon. I've tried a bunch I like this one the best, especially for the pric

Usually some raw vegetables as well, carrots, celery, bell peppers are the ones that I have most often or an apple.

12:00 Lunch  

Salad - This isn’t a low cal diet salad, this is food for fuel and athletes

3 Cups Wegmans Organic Super Greens Mix

1 Cup Chicken Breast

½ Cup Organic Corn

½ Cup Organic Black Beans

½ Cup Bell Peppers

¼ Cup Organic Raw Cashews

½ an Avocado

Red Hot or Oil and Vinegar as dressing

3:00 Snack Depends on when I'm eating dinner, most nights I’m working till at least 7 so I usually have a mini meal

Sweet Potato and Chicken Breast are the most common

Can also be another coffee protein combo, a couple hard boiled eggs and more veggies

7:30 (approx) Typical Dinner

Mahi Mahi  with 1 tbsp olive oil, lots of garlic, 1 tbsp of honey, 2 tbsp of coconut aminos, ½ tbsp of Kerry Gold Grass Fed Butter, Himalayan Pink salt (1 serving has 84 minerals, you need to get this) and pepper

3 - 4 cups of steamed vegetables, usually brussel sprouts, broccoli or asparagus

Based on feel and my calorie count for the day - Unbleached Organic White Rice or Quinoa

8:00 Desert

1 cup full fat cottage cheese

2 cups of fruit - I usually do grapes, strawberries and raspberries

Here is a Non Training Day - 4 litres of water

6:00 Breakfast

Coffee Scoop of Earth Fed Muscle Primitive Protein - Drink throughout workout

Shake:

2 Cups good belly probiactic - cocnut flavor - Wegmans organic section

2 Cups Kale or Spinach - can be fresh of frozen your call depending on the consistency you want.
1 Cup of frozen mixed berries - wegmans family pack
1 Huge spoonful of seeds - I use a mix of chia, flax and hemp

1/2 a banana

1 large scoop of Naturo Sciences Natural Greens - Complete Raw Whole Green Food Nutrition with Super - I get it on Amazon. I've tried a bunch I like this one the best, especially for the pric

Or I may not have anything but coffee and protein until 10 or so

10:00 am ish Snack

2-3 farm fresh eggs

½ an avocado

2 - 3 strips wegmans organic turkey bacon - may skip this, depends on how I feel and how hard my workouts have been that week

Lunch

1 can of albacore Tuna

½ an avocado

¼ Organic raw cashews

All mixed together

Snack

Depends on how I feel, here are some samples:

Sweet Potato

Hard Boiled Eggs

Chicken Breast

If I skip breakfast I have my shake now

Dinner

Paleo Style - High quality Grass Fed Meat and veggies, Chicken Stir Fry (I make my own curry that is pretty good, I’ll get that recipe out)

Desert

1 cup full fat cottage cheese

2 cups of fruit - I usually do grapes, strawberries and raspberries


 

Take Action

 

Does this sound like you?

 

Feeling a little stuck a rut and no idea where to start?

 

Take Action.

 

When I was in my early twenties I learned to love reading. This was a complete and utter reversal to how I felt about reading as a student. In college I was a history major, which means I was forced to read a huge amount. To be honest I didn’t enjoy it all and I did the bare minimum.  However, the summer before my senior year I had one of those lightbulb moments. The realization I came to, was when you’re not being forced to read for a paper or a test, reading can be very enjoyable.  Yes, I was slow to the game and many learn this earlier in life but it was a game changer for me. I still remember the first book I couldn’t put down. It was Lance Armstrong’s autobiography “It’s not about the bike”.  He was at the height of his success and I was intrigued because of how dominant he was.  

 

From then on I was always looking for good books.  Mostly nonfiction and biographies, I developed a love of learning I never felt as a student. It wasn’t long before I was devouring any content I could on coaching, fitness and health.  About three years ago I discovered podcasts and audiobooks, specifically audible.com.  Again, game changer, major game changer.  I have a podcast or book going every single opportunity I can. To the point it’s obsessive and probably annoying if you have to live with me and hear them constantly.  My wife will verify this.  

 

When I started a business I started “reading” different types of business and entrepreneur books. Now when I say I read that book, it’s a 95% chance I listened to it on audible but it’s 2016 and I genuinely believe listening to books is the same as reading.  I read countless books in college I can’t tell you anything about, not even the title. This isn’t a debate on comprehension and the difference between listening to a book and reading it.  This is about what I have learned.  

 

Take Action.

 

It all started with the podcast Barbell Shrugged.  That was probably the first podcast I became truly obsessed with. Like so many I would eagerly await every Wednesday for the release of a new episode.  I would read the books they guys at Barbell Shrugged recommended, I would Google the guests they had on the show and discover new podcasts. As I listened to different podcasts I started to put together a list of books I wanted to read.  

 

It’s been well over a year since I created that list. A few of the books I read were “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill, “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink, “The 10x Rule” by Grant Cardone, “Jab, Jab, Right Hook” by Gary Vaynerchuk. I know these are all trendy books to read right now but it doesn’t make them any less valuable.

 

Every book I read I loved, it didn’t matter if it was about success, business, marketing or leadership. They were all great and motivating. What I kept taking away from them was Take Action.  

 

That brings me to my point. It doesn’t matter what you want to do, you need to Take Action.  For me it started off as becoming the best possible coach I can be.  From there my “Take Action” was turning my love of health and fitness and genuinely wanting to help people into a business.  It is so easy to say I’m going to start on Monday or it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start when you take on a new challenge but you can not let that stop you from Taking Action.  

 

Here is how I Take Action.  First, I set a goal and I reverse engineer the goal.  What will it take for me to get to the end result? I did a blog on goal setting and the steps to achieving a goal, you can read that for more information on reverse engineering your goals.  

 

Next, I do something everyday that will move me closer to my end result.  I don’t worry about doing things perfectly anymore. I prioritize what I need to do that day and I don’t worry about anything else. I don’t worry about perfection. What I’ve realized is what you think is done perfectly one day you will look back on two weeks later and want to make so many adjustments to. Nothing is done perfectly. It might be the best you could’ve have done when you started but it won’t be perfect. Just get something done.  

 

Let’s take getting started on a health and fitness journey.  Just show up.  Go to the gym, everyday for a week.  You may not have the best workout everyday but you will be substantially better at the end of the week then you were when you started.  Keep it going and before you know a month will have flown by and how you feel will be exponentially better.  Eating well is the same thing. Fad Crash diets fail because it’s too many changes at once. It’s not a lifestyle, it’s a band aid on an issue that may need thirty stitches.  Take Action towards a healthy lifestyle.  Maybe it’s as simple as cutting back how much soda you drink for a week.  Week two add a second item, limit the deserts you have to once a week.  These are small sustainable action steps that can be built upon week after week.  


Building a healthy lifestyle is the same as building a house.  You start with building a foundation you know is going to hold firm over a lifetime. Everyone is different and has different points to start at. Figure out where you are, what you want, and what changes you’re going to make.  Then do something. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be something.  If you do something moving you towards your goal everyday eventually you will immersed in the compound effect. The compound effect is simple, small actions building over and over again having a large end result. On the flip side doing nothing or making the same negative choices over and over again will also add up over time.  At some point you have to decide when you are going to Take Action.  We are truly here to help anyone who is committed to healthy lifestyle. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need to help Taking Action and getting started on your health and fitness journey.

Everyone Should be Strength Training.

I truly believe everyone should be doing some type of strength of training, and strength is the foundation of all programs at Relentless Strength & Conditioning. It doesn’t matter if you’re a young kid learning proper movement patterns, a college athlete preparing for your season, or an adult looking to improve your quality of life. Everyone should be building strength. To put it very simply, strength is the foundation of daily movement.  

Why we believe everyone should be strength training.

First off, it will improve your day to day life. At some point each day, whether or not you even realize it, you are required to squat, push, pull or perform a hip hinge. I’m not talking about with a barbell either.  I’m talking about picking up your kids, bending down to load the dishwasher, or push the grocery cart around the store (and if you eat like I do that gets heavy fast). Any of these activities sound familiar?  How well do you perform those movements? Do you have nagging low back pain every time you bend down? Poor muscular strength can seriously impact your quality of life.  The reality is thirty minutes on the elliptical isn’t going to help you get out of bed as you get older, building strength will.  

What strength looks like to us.  

When we say everyone should be strength we’re not talking working to a one rep max every day.  For everyone it will be different.  It could be as simple as body weight movements such as air squats and pushups ,but the ability to move ones own body weight can not be ignored.  When working with athletes and adults at RSC we use a really simple progression and screening process to see where an athlete is at.  To introduce strength training we start with bodyweight movements. For squatting we start with air squats, then we use kettlebells, typically a goblet squat, and lastly we get to a barbell.  This is an extreme oversimplification but the point is strength comes in many forms and is suitable for ages and abilities.

For athletes it’s a no brainer.  

Want to get faster? Great, get stronger. There is a time and a place for footwork drills and speed ladders but if you're looking to improve your speed and quickness - which the majority of people we work with are - strength training should be your main focus. Strength exercises like power cleans recruit fast twitch muscle fibers which will lead to an improvement in overall speed and power.  We are not anti footwork drills and speed ladders by any means but they are complement to our programs, not the main focus.  One way we incorporate them at RSC is to take an X-WOD approach, combining strength movements with plyometric and footwork drills to improve an athlete's speed. 

Injury prevention for all.

Beyond building speed, strength reduces your risk of injury.  This is a huge reason why everyone, not just athletes should be strength training. Especially adults. For example, if you have a weak posterior chain and abdominal muscles you’re likely to develop back injuries and chronic back pain. Or, weaknesses in your rotator cuff will lead to shoulder injuries.  Targeting these areas through compound lifts such as deadlifts and presses will drastically reduce your chance of injury.

As most of you know, muscle mass starts to deteriorate as you age, especially after 40. You also lose your ability to use your muscles efficiently as you  age. This gives you a greater risk of injury during daily activities. Strength training can maintain the muscle mass you already have and reverse the process of age related muscle inefficiency.  

In Conclusion.

The bottom line is strength training will improve your overall quality of life, both physically and mentally. Strength training is fun. There can be a lot of variety to it, the results can be instant (you’ll feel stronger each week), it’ll decrease your stress and boost your mood.  

Interested in learning more about strength training, or general fitness? Contact us today with any questions, and we'll also give you a free sample workout. 

Goal Setting, it's a game changer.

I feel like it's been trendy that past few years to say you set personal goals. So trendy I feel like the process and value can be a little lost. Personally I am a huge believer in setting goals but it's the process I love.

All types of goals are beneficial; long term goals, short term, health based, athletically, socially, anything. You can not go wrong when start to map out what you really want to achieve but you need to understand how to get there. Making changes is hard, you need to know how to set yourself up for success and break down your goals into daily habits. 

I get asked a lot about how I set goals. Specifically setting goals on improving nutrition, body composition, and improved athletic performance.  Below is some information I've put together for people over the years and how I set goals with my athletes. Try it yourself and embrace the process. Small daily changes add up over time. 

Reverse engineer your goal, start with the end product and mentally go through each step on how you are going to get there.  

What's the big goal?


How will you know when you've achieved your goal? Be specific, not how will other people know, how will you know?

What are you going to do celebrate achieving your goal?

How long will it take?

What changes will you have to make?

How are you going to break these changes up daily, weekly, monthly?

    Daily:

    Weekly:

    Monthly:

What can you today to get one step closer to your goal?

No one is perfect everyone has a bad day.  How will you stay the course when you have a bad day? 

 

Here are some tips I've put together to help people in the past.  These tips are geared towards the most common questions I get asked but they could be applied to anything.  

Nutrition

Start Small - Depending on your nutrition level and your eating habits I usually start people off with one change at a time. 

Preparation - This is key. Especially if you have a crazy schedule or work long hours.  Again, it’s about setting yourself up for success that is key.  I prep snacks, lunches, and often breakfast ahead of time once or twice so I always have go to quality food readily available.  

Find 3 - 5 go to dinners you can cook easy that you like and are really healthy. For me it’s a quick fish and vegetables or quality grass fed steak with vegetables.  

If you have a sweet tooth start swapping chocolate/sweets up for quality fruit instead. Organic dried mangos are my preference but any will do. I eat a lot of berries, Aldi and farmer’s market are great ways to get lot’s fruit for a good price.

Use my fitness pal app- Doesn’t matter how you eat, clean eating, paleo, If It Fits Your Macros, flexible dieting etc. putting everything you eat into an app and keeping track of your calories helps keep you accountable.  It’ll also make you start to re-think some of your choices when you see the number of empty calories in certain food choices.  

Plan ahead - plan out your meals for the week, plan out your grocery list. Goes with preparation, you're less likely to fail when you have a plan.

Fitness

Get a workout partner to hold you accountable. Set 3-5 times a week to train with them. Schedule the training in advance weekly so you know when you have to be there. To be honest, ideally this person works harder than and you are trying to keep up with them.  

Get out of your comfort zone, sign up for something that scares you a little. Make sure it is something if you don’t train for you’ll fail at it.  I’m talking something you have to take 2-3 months to train for minimum.  Tell all your friends you’re going to do it, signing up for something out of town works as well. If you’re spending money to make it into a weekend and traveling you're likely to take it more serious.  Examples - Spartan Beast Race, Marathon, Crossfit Competition, Triathlon.   

Work with a trainer - Sometimes people need to hire a coach to get through a plateau or rut. I’ve done it multiple times, usually once every few years I hire a coach to help me and hold me accountable.

Progress Monitoring

This can be challenging.  I believe the way you feel is truly the best progress monitoring tool out there.  But I do understand people want tangible or measurable benchmarks for progress.

Aesthetically - I think measuring lean body mass is a better measure of progress rather than weight loss. (LBM = BW − BF- Lean Body Mass equals Body Weight minus Body Fat)

Fitness - Bench Mark workouts can be a good way to measure your growth. Get a baseline, train for two - three months, then retest them.  

Nutrition - Myfitnesspal - app is great for this. I like it because it forces you to pay close attention to what you are eating.  There "healthy" items out there with no so healthy amounts of sugar in them.  You can see on a daily basis if you’re hitting your daily calorie, macro, and micro-nutrient goals.