Is your goal missing a PLAN or ACCOUNTABILITY?

By: Coach Vince

Most people know what they want when it comes to goals at the gym. The classics of wanting to lose weight, get stronger, be healthier, etc.  If knowing what you want typically comes pretty easy, then why do most people fall short of getting what they want?  The reason we fall short of reaching our goal can be boiled down to one of two things: not having a PLAN and/or no one to hold us ACCOUNTABLE.

Let’s face it, goals worth setting in the gym and especially in life will most likely be a challenge. If they’re not a challenge in the beginning, then certainly at some point you will be faced with adversity on achieving your goal.  Plans that have the most success have a few things in common. They are: 1. Specific, 2. Measurable, 3. Attainable, 4. Realistic, 5. And have a Timeline established. 

Throughout the time you have given yourself to achieve your goal, the Plan will be the road map that keeps you on track and helps you get back on track if you drift.  If there is no Plan, no road map to guide you, you can see how easy it is when things get difficult or you lose your motivation to never reach that goal.  Lucky for you, you have a great Coaching Staff here at Reviver that would thoroughly enjoy helping you come up with your Plan to achieve your goal. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and set up an appointment. But what if making the game Plan isn’t your problem…

….. then most likely you struggle with the “C” word (ok ok, get your mind out of the gutter). The “C” word I’m referring to is Consistency.  NEWSFLASH you don’t have to be perfect, you just need to be good more times than you’re bad. On our own, unless you’re a robot, consistency is hard.  I believe that most people struggle with consistency because they don’t have someone holding them Accountable.  When I say “someone”, I don’t mean just anyone.  If you are trying to lose weight, I don’t recommend your Accountabili-buddy (a made-up word that I love to describe the person who is in charge of holding you accountable) being the person you’re trying to lose weight with.  There is undoubtedly a moment in time where one of you will be weak and want the pumpkin spice latte (p.s. you know who you are) and try your best impression of a sales person on your friend to get one as well.  This way if they get one and you get one, it cancels itself out and it’s like neither one of you got one. Am I speaking to anyone right now, is there anyone that can relate?  Your Accountabili-buddy needs to be a person that has no problem helping you stay on track and preferable is a buddy that doesn’t struggle with the thing you do.  I know what you’re thinking…if they don’t struggle with what I struggle with then they don’t know how hard it is for me?  That might be true but the purpose of the buddy is not to understand the struggle (if they do that’s great) but to help hold you Accountable.  That is why coming up with a Plan is so important.  You (and hopefully a Reviver Coach if needed) came up with the Plan. You said it was attainable and realistic, so the buddy is just merely holding you accountable to the Plan you set forth for yourself.  Lucky for you we have the greatest Community here at Reviver.  If you need an Accountabili-buddy please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone you see you at Reviver and start reaching your goal today!

How Much Is Too Much?

I wanted to take our first opportunity in this month’s newsletter to chat about something that is so incredibly important: the “how much is too much” question. I’m probably asked exactly that a few times daily, and it’s a FANTASTIC question. So here is part 1 of 2 in a series to hopefully shed some light on this question for you:

It’s a matter of tissue CAPACITY…

I’m taking this concept directly from a brilliant Physiotherapist in Australia–Jill Cook–who describes rehab and injury in terms of this “tissue capacity”. Essentially the concept is this:

Your musculoskeletal tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones) all have a sort of ceiling for what they can handle. Push past that ceiling, and that’s where the injury zone is. Muscles and ligaments (e.g. think quadriceps or ACL) most commonly suffer injury when that ceiling is smashed into and forcefully/quickly exceeded (e.g. quadriceps strain/tear or ACL tear). Tendons, on the other hand (think biceps tendon, achilles tendon), are more commonly injured gradually and over time as that ceiling is exceeded less aggressively but very repetitively on many occasions (ever heard of “tendinitis/tendinosis” or “tendinopathy”?). But regardless of how injury occurs and to what structure, the main mechanism that causes it is exceeding the CAPACITY that your tissues have to accept, move, or absorb the loads that are placed on them.

That being said, the answer to the “how much is too much question” is always the cliche, “it depends”. How much is too much to squat depends on the capacity of your spine to stay braced and stable, your glutes/quads/hammies to control the down and up phases of the movement. How many is too many pull-ups depends on the capacity of your rotator cuff to maintain a stable connection of the bones in your shoulder, your lats and teres’ muscles to control your bodyweight through the up and down phases of the movement, and the capacity of your forearm and gripping muscles to maintain a solid grip on the bar. I’m sure you’re getting the point…

That’s a lot of words, but here’s the takeaway and the good news: the whole point of training (and physical therapy for that matter) is to develop and improve your body tissues’ capacity for more or different kinds of load. And we know that training our musculoskeletal system does a great job at this. By stressing your body just underneath that capacity ceiling, and by challenging that tissue capacity ceiling, we can very effectively RAISE it.

This is why tracking your numbers (your PR, your 1RM, your mile run time, your 20 mile bike pace, your AMRAP of push-ups or pull-ups) is so crucial. To develop a more resilient, higher-capacity body…you have to develop a better self-awareness.
Simply put: if you don’t know your ceiling, if you don’t know that 255# is 35# more than what you’ve been able to handle in the past for a front squat or deadlift, if you’re just guessing – then consider this a wake up call. It’s time to get in the game and start tracking your metrics.

Because if we want to have strong, resilient, versatile bodies–bodies that can still do pull-ups at 70 years old, that can pick up and throw our kids in the air without pain, that can run a sub-7 mile for years, that can compete with the best of other CrossFit athletes–then we have to start with self-awareness and knowing where our current capacities are at…so we can make them better every day!

In the next part of the series, I’m going to cover a couple more pieces of information that will be helpful to understand “how much is too much”. Cheers, and have a great month ReviverTribe!

 

-Doc Seth

Move Beautifully

By: Coach DP

“Make it look pretty!”

If you’ve had me in class before this is a phrase you’ve probably heard on more than one occasion. Its one of my favorite cue’s and one of the things I consistently remind myself of.

Good movement is attractive. Plain and simple. Once we start to view gym activities simply as human movement, it’s not a stretch to assume that the natural elements of beautiful movement are equally relevant to fitness programs and their specific movement conversations. One very basic idea of human movement is this one of “aesthetics” that I’m referring to.

It’s in your DNA to move attractively. It’s also in your DNA to seek out good movement.

Whether you’re a coach or not, you’ll be able to see quality movement in others. A dumpy squat is a dumpy squat whether or not you know what a squat looks like. It’s the reason we think ballet, jungle cats, gymnasts, high flying skateboarders, and Coach J are impressive in their expression of movement. The good news is since this is so natural and intuitive you can rest assured that our standards of human movement aren’t a matter of a coach’s opinion, but of the ways our bodies can and should move in the world.

Next time you are in the gym, ask yourself; “Am I striving for beautiful shapes, and efficient movement? Or am I just flailing through space hoping the clock beeps and I can sit down.” I’ll keep cuing as long as you keep putting the effort in to “look pretty”.

Make it look beautiful, athletes!

Welcome Bonnie Karas-Foltz

We are super excited to welcome Bonnie into our Reviver family. Her accomplishments as an athlete and experience as a coach are extremely impressive. If you haven’t had the chance to meet her yet, we highly recommend stopping by her Bike Lab when she’s in the building and saying “Hi!” Here is a little information on her background, education, and what BK Training Systems is all about:

Education:

  • Oakland University, Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology, Minor in Communications

Certifications:

  • USA Cycling level 2, USAT Triathlon level 1
  • USAT Youth and Juniors Certified Coaching Program.
  • USA Cycling Certified Coaching Programs.
  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer
  • American Red Cross Lifeguard Certified
  • CPR/AED/First Aid

Accomplishments:

  • Over 30 years experience in working with injury prevention and pre-habilitation with high performance athletes.
  • 7 time All-American Collegiate Swimmer
  • USAT All-American Triathlon
  • National Champion Olympic Distance and 70.3 Distances
  • Saginaw Swimming Officials Hall of Fame
  • Michigan Masters Swimming Coach of the Year 2015 http://www.michiganmasters.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/WaveEater_3-2016.pdf
  • ITU World Age Group Champioships

Services:

  • Local bike fitting, One-on-one swim instruction on pool deck, Online coaching, Regular group swim workouts on pool deck, Regular track or group run workouts in person, Training Peaks scheduling.
  • General Info: Performance Cycle Lab Training Sessions offered with Power Based Wattage analysis done on Compu-trainers in cycling lab.
  • Power Testing Analysis: Baseline Wattage Training Zones established along with Heart Rate Training Zones
  • Resting Metabolic Rate and V02 Testing with Korr Cardio Coach Plus.
  • Video Analysis of Swimming, Cycling, Running
  • Organized Group Swim, Bike and Run Training Sessions with a Certified/Elite Coaching Staff.
  • Custom and Periodized Block Training Programs for Cycling (Mtb, Track, Road and Cyclo-Cross), Triathlon (Sprint-IRONMAN Distances.) Running and Swimming
  • USAT Certified Training

Chew.Your.Food

By: Coach Sammie

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about how he hates to chew his food. He wished that he could drink a protein shake for every meal just so he could avoid the waste of time it took to chew. As I stood there shaking my head at the non-sense that was coming out of this mouth, I realized that while I knew why it’s so important to chew your food, but maybe some people out there don’t. Maybe they just see it as an inconvenience, maybe they don’t understand the significant role it plays in digestion, absorption, and metabolism. So I thought I’d share some reasons why you should CHEW YOUR FOOD:

  1. LET ME BREAK IT DOWN FOR YOU – Chewing breaks down large food particles into smaller ones, it even starts to liquefy food, making it easier for the stomach to continue with the digestion process. Digestion uses a lot of energy in the body and can be very demanding, especially when food is improperly chewed and therefore harder to digest. When food is chewed, the stomach becomes much more efficient in breaking food apart faster to continue into the intestines.
  2. SOAK UP THE GOODNESS – In order for your body to absorb nutrients and energy from the food you eat, it has to be broken down properly. Chewing makes the absorption process easier as the food particles pass through the intestines. Saliva is produced when chewing and saliva contains digestive enzymes which aide in breaking down food and increase absorption of nutrients.
  3. PROBLEM SOLVER – Chewing prevents improperly digested food from entering your blood and causing a wide range of adverse effects to your health, especially your gut. If large particles of food enter your stomach, it may remain undigested when it enters your intestines. There, your gut bacteria will have to break it down which can potentially lead to gas and bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, and other digestive problems.
  4. YOUR WAISTLINE WILL THANK YOU – Research shows that the longer you chew your food, the less you are likely to consume. Partially because it takes more time to eat, therefore limiting your intake, but it also can affect your neurological response to what you are eating, making you feel fuller while eating less. This can help to control weight gain and even lead do weight loss.
  5. SHOW ME THAT SMILE – The bones holding your teeth get a ‘workout’ when you chew, helping to keep them strong. The saliva produced while chewing is also beneficial, helping to clear food particles from your mouth and wash away bacteria so there may be less plaque buildup and tooth decay.
  6. MAN THAT TASTES GOOD – The faster you eat and less you chew, the less likely you are to taste the food you are consuming. By slowing down and taking your time to chew your food, you are able to savor every bite and really enjoy what you are eating. And who doesn’t want that?

— hope that made you all hungry, no go eat some food… and don’t forget to CHEW!

3 Quotes That Improve My Quality Of Life.

By: Coach Vince

  1. “Only YOU can awaken YOU.” – Tony Robbins

Motivation, inspiration, love, happiness, enjoyment, etc. are available to you when YOU are ready for them.  Ever since social media became a part of our everyday life, it has become easy to scroll through and look how “good” everyone else has it. Most people look to others and/or situations to fulfill their happiness, joy, etc.  And it is because of this that most people are left feeling disappointed. YOU are responsible for your own happiness/fulfillment. YOU awaken YOU through gratefulness, thankfulness, and envisioning your goals as completed. Here are some of the ways I implement this philosophy into my life.

I start everyday with things that I am grateful for, whether they happened a day ago, a week ago, or are planned for later on that day.  I then think thoughts about how I can spread my gratefulness to others and  my desire to want the best for them.  This comes from the old quote, “it’s better to give than receive.”  It’s easier for you to be at your best, if you want the best for others.  I finish with three goals that I want completed and imagine them as completed. I imagine how I will feel when it’s completed, how it will change my life, how it will change my family’s life, and/or how it will change someone else’s life.

I challenge you every morning for a week to wake up and let your first thoughts be about 3 things that you are grateful for.  Pay attention to see if you care more, love deeper, forgive easier, and enjoy the moment more.

  1. “Every time you eat or drink you are either feeding disease or fighting it.” – Heather Morgan

I love this quote because it is very matter of fact. I’m a very matter of a fact kind of person. Everything that goes into your mouth sets forth a reaction throughout your body.  Your gut, brain, muscles, etc. all react in a positive or negative manner.  The more negative reactions you have the quicker and sicker you become. But the great news is…the more positive reactions you have the healthier you become.

I challenge you over the next week to pay attention to how are dealing with disease; are you fighting it or feeding it?

“Exercise is the most underutilized anti-depressant.” – Bill Phillips

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “I feel so much better,” after someone has come in to exercise.  I love how exercise can have so many benefits from of course the obvious strength gain, fat loss, and health markers but also self-esteem, sense of accomplishment, and my favorite part, relationships with other like-minded people. When you exercise, you are more likely to eat better, sleep better, and manage stress better, which of course leads to a happier/healthier life.

I challenge you over the next week to make exercising a priority.  Plan your week out by putting exercise days/times in first and planning everything else around that.  Pay attention to see if planning exercise first makes it easier to come to the gym so you can reap all the benefits.

Rate of Perceived Exertion

By: Coach Jeremy

Rate of Perceived Exertion or RPE is a scale used to gauge how hard you’re working. This 1-10 scale can be used when prescribing exercises / workouts to ensure the individual or group is getting the correct intended response from the training at hand.

0-1: You’re barely moving

2-3: Very easy effort – could do this for an extremely long time

4-5: Easy to moderate effort – you can still talk here but getting warmer and probably starting to sweat

6-7: Moderate to hard effort – you feel like you’re pushing yourself but still able to focus on the movement you’re performing

8-9: Very Hard effort – talking would be challenging here – movement quality is degrading as you wish this was over

10: Maximum effort – all out, emptying the tank, as hard as you can push

As you can see, there are several ranges of effort that you can be working in – now I want to go over some common ‘parts’ of the training you see here at Reviver and which RPE level is most appropriate for each.

Warm-Up: This should be done between 2-5 RPE level. The goal of the warm up is to practice movement quality, activate muscles, increase blood flow and breathing, and get warm, duh!

Accessory Work: Think Trap 3 Raise, Good Mornings, Bent-over Rows, etc. This stuff should be performed in the 3-6 range.

Strength Training: You’re money will be made in the 6-8 range when it comes to the bigger lifts (i.e. Deadlift, Back / Front Squat, Pull Ups, Olympic Lifts, etc). You want to push yourself, but insure you can still pay attention to your movement quality. Remember, you’re only as strong as the range in which you train!

Conditioning: Very similar concept to strength training – looking for the 6-8 range here and for the same reasons. Generally speaking, the longer the workout the lower the RPE level should be and vise versa.

Another way to break this down is in these four categories:

  1. Warm Up – we already discussed this
  2. Practice – this is when you’re learning a new movement / exercise / skill or trying to improve upon the movement quality of a skill you already know. During this type of training you’ll want to make sure you’re staying in the 2-3 range – you should not be breathing heavy, you should not be gritting your teeth, you should be able to focus 100% of your efforts on the movement.
  3. Training – this is when you’ve already gotten damn good at a particular movement and you’re trying to increase your strength for that movement. 6-8 range is appropriate here.
  4. Testing – pretty self-explanatory, a 10. You’re maxing out or trying to test your abilities with a particular lift or workout. It should go without saying, but you should NOT be testing a lift or workout that you have not already put in the time to learn and can perform it consistently well.

One last thing – lets say the workout calls for 5×5 Back Squats. This would be considered Strength Training and the intended effort would be 6-8 on the RPE scale. But lets say you’re not very experienced with the Back Squat and haven’t quite perfected the movement. You have two options: 1). Do the Back Squats, but stay in the 2-3 effort range so you can practice the skill, or 2). choose a different movement, one that you do have experience with, and then train that movement at 6-8 effort.

I hope this helps – please feel free to reach out with questions or comments!

 

Calibration

By: Coach DP

Do you find it odd that when something is true we can assign meaning, analyze, and then evaluate it, but when that same thing is even just a little bit off, it’s not even slightly useful for the same tasks? I do.

How useful is a calculator that’s off by “just a little” when doing your taxes? It’s all-the-way useless.

It’s like the whole set-your-clock-five-minutes-fast trick. The most useful clock is the most accurate one. If the time on a watch is extremely accurate, it’s extremely useful. Conversely, setting your clock five minutes fast in order to increase productivity or “guarantee I’m on time” usually results in two things. First, the clock’s owner knows the time is inaccurate and, second, the clock’s owner often has to do more work calculating how much time they really have to get to work.

I’ll be the first to tell you that class at Reviver isn’t the seventh game of the World Series (although sometimes when Vince says “HI!!!!!!!” when you walk through the door, it does feel pretty special…….. thanks Vince!) but since we are here and working hard, we might as well get some accurate information about our work. If you choose, you can then assign meaning to, analyze, and evaluate this info. It’d be tough to improve on an effort that can’t be accurately measured, right? So, in order to have something to measure against, we assign specific range of motion standards, rep schemes, and loads. Except, once you cut a rep short, (say not squatting to depth or missing the lockout on a push up) the statement of what occurred in that day’s training isn’t true anymore. Not only is it not true, it’s not even measurable anymore.

When the integrity of the information is lost (even just a little), we lose everything. What does it mean when you run a 400m run in one minute and fifteen seconds, but only go to the corner (rather than the full distance)? Who knows, should we measure that distance? Should we take a mental note that you have a hell of a 389.63m run time in you? It doesn’t seem worth it to run all that way for zero information in return.

Movement integrity is an all or nothing game. When your chin doesn’t get over the bar, well, I don’t even know what to call that…. A pull u? A pu up?? My message here is to calibrate your watches with movement integrity. Even if it’s for nothing more than selfishly getting some useful information out of your effort that both you and the coaches are able to use in the future.