What if I told you that nutrition accounts for 70-80% of our clients’ results?
Well, science has proven this to be true, again and again. (I have included a link at the bottom of this post to a study done on post-menopausal women in case you want to make sure I’m not full of bologna) If you want to lose fat, build muscle, and feel better, then your nutrition is going to play a huge roll.
We specialize in helping people with busy lives to execute, so they can reach their goals.
Here is a practical way to make a healthy breakfast for the entire week with less than 10 minutes of prep time. Watch the video below:
If you found the post helpful then please share it on Facebook. It is our mission this year to help thousands of people to live healthier more empowered lives and we can’t do it without your help.
What comes to mind when you hear these words? For many, it would elicit a feeling of excitement to know you will be getting in your workout, making you stronger, fitter, and healthier.
For most however, the experience is vastly different; panic, stress, dread, intimidation, fear, and even some eye rolling would ensue.
Why is it that the latter of these two scenarios is such a common experience for so many people?
We call it “Gymtimidation,” and we define it as what it sounds like; feeling some level of intimidation about anything tied to the gym.
There are so many who would identify themselves as having this perception. You are not alone. We know you want to enjoy going to the gym, and as the Lake Norman areas #1 gym that specializes in helping “non-gym people,”we are here to offer some helpful suggestions that will help you be a “gymtimidation over-comer”!
Gymtimidation #1: I need to be more fit before joining a gym
1) This is probably the most common false belief we hear.
“I’m not fit like everyone else is, I can’t do a push-up, I have over 100 pounds to lose,” and the list goes on and on.
Here is the truth about this situation….I would gather to say that about 80% of people walking into a gym are not walking in on a winning streak with exercise.
People of all sizes and shapes are there for a reason. They want to look and feel their best. It would be like cleaning your house before the maid comes over….that makes absolutely no sense! as Nike says,” just do it”!
If you wait until you look “better” before stepping into a gym, you will never go. Time will keep passing, you’ll still have the same fitness goals, and none of them will ever be accomplished because you’re believing a lie!
2) Also, please be encouraged that your worth as a person is NOT determined by your fitness level. Keep in mind that in other arenas of life, you aren’t a beginner, you don’t struggle, and your identity is probably better tied to those areas than the fact that a push-up is difficult for you.
I hope this helps you to keep a proper perspective while you tackle what can be a very fun and rewarding journey if done correctly.
Gymtimidation #2: Everyone will be looking at me/judging me because of my weight/shape
Let me first say this….there may be others at the gym that are in what you would call “pristine shape.” However, they did not get there overnight.
3) Remember that they most likely began just like you. It may have taken them years to get where they are now.
Everyone and anyone can relate to your journey. You are in the beginning phase of that journey, and nobody is judging you because you decided to take your health seriously and do something about it.
People are happy for you, people are excited for you, and anyone you ask for help with something would be more than happy to help you. And if they aren’t, just remember: those that judge, don’t matter, and those that matter, don’t judge.
4) Wear comfortable clothing- don’t try to fit into old workout clothing because “you’ll get there soon.” Buy some clothing that fits comfortably and you can move around freely in. You would be surprised how much better you feel.
5) Join the gym with a friend, that way you have a cheerleader by your side.
6) Wear ear buds and play music that inspires you to move and feel good.
7) Join a smaller gym so you get to know the other people that work out around you, which will help ease you into a comfortable setting.
8) Don’t compare your “insides” to everyone else’s “outsides.” Just because someone looks a little fitter than you doesn’t mean they have every aspect of their life in perfect order. We are all works in progress.
9) When we talk about Gymtimidation we are really talking about a form of fear or anxiety. I have learned much about the nature of anxiety, and the biggest takeaway is that I am most anxious when my thoughts are hyper focused on myself.
My thoughts may sound something like this “this person is sooo much fitter than I am.” “if only I looked like he/she does then I would feel better about myself,” “I never end up sticking with a program so what’s the point?!?”
Step #1 to get over this you need to change the channel! Stop obsessively playing out every negative thought in your mind because I promise it will NOT serve you.
Step #2 is to take the focus off yourself and put your focus on how you can be useful and caring for others. For example, you can meditate on goals like “I am going to take care of my health and fitness so I can be a better mom/wife/employee/friend, etc. The healthier I am the better I feel about handing my responsibilities in life so that I can serve others.”
If you are of a specific religious belief, you can focus on the fact that you are taking care of the only body that God gave you.
You can also be of service in the gym as well. Help clean up after class or your workout by racking weights, spray down the bench you just used, let others work-in (alternate usage with you) on a piece of equipment, and smile and nod with those you make eye contact with.
As you take the selfless approach your fears and disconnectedness will fade into the background as your worth as a human is elevated exponentially.
Gymtimidation #3: I won’t be able to keep up with everyone during the classes
To be honest, there may be some truth to that. You probably won’t be able to be at the level that a lot of people around you are at. But, that’s ok! The truth is, you don’t NEED to go at the same pace or be lifting the same weights in order to get a great workout in when you are just beginning!
10) Go at your own pace! Nobody is competing with you! If you feel like you need to take a few more seconds than everyone else, don’t be ashamed to. You will do your body (and psyche) a favor by waiting to catch your breath.
You will most likely be sore when you first begin anyways, so why not let your body dictate your pace and not your fear of falling behind. Again, it’s not a competition. It’s a workout.
Soon you will see that your rest time is shorter, your muscles not as sore, you are able to breathe better, you are lifting more weight, etc…..progress takes time, so don’t be so hard on yourself!
Gymtimidation #4: This will be the most boring part of my day
It’s crazy to us how many people actually think this way because of past experiences they have had. I agree, sitting on a machine and pushing a weight up is probably not the most entertaining thing in the world.
Here are a few things I recommend to jazz things up:
11) As listed above, listen to music you love that you can rock out to and bring a friend. Maybe take dancing/singing breaks and have fun with it!
12) Make a weight circuit for yourself… do 4 different exercises back to back so you aren’t sitting on a machine blankly staring into space when you are done.
Maybe choose 1) burpees, 2) dumbbell lunges with press, 3) dumbbell deadlift, 4) pushups (so many different ways to revise if you can’t do them from your toes or knees). Repeat it 3 times, or set up another station. People will probably ask to join in!
13) Challenge yourself-keep track of your previous weights and if able to, up your weight/change up your sets /reps, etc. so it’s not the same thing week after week
14) Take a class-a group fitness atmosphere is really a lot of fun. You get to know the people within the class and form friendships. Whether you’re dancing, strength training, stepping, whatever you choose to do….move, and enjoy it!
Gymtimidation #5: I won’t know what to do/how to do it!
This one can be tough because I would say the MAJORITY of people walking into a gym have absolutely no clue as to what they are doing. You wouldn’t believe what I have witnessed all in the name of getting results!
I say this not to poke fun or put down, but really out of a genuine concern for those who really need help in performing exercises safely and effectively.
15) It really is this easy… ask for help! That is what the staff and trainers are there for. Lay down any pride, and reach out to a professional. They can show you the correct way to perform an exercise, and which exercises would be best for your goals, past injuries, current aches and pains, and overall wellness.
It doesn’t matter what shape you are in, or how much weight you need to lose. There are exercises that are appropriate for every population of people you can think of and they can be revised/individualized to fit your needs. So, ASK! You will be SO glad you did!
16) Allow me to take a moment to shamelessly promote our $2500 Grand Prize Body Transformation Challenge, if you haven’t yet found the right fit where your fitness needs are being met. We specialize in helping those who don’t specialize in fitness. We would be happy to give you all of the details if you click on the link below:
Gymtimidation #6: I have never seen the results I’m looking for in the past, so what’s the point?
Ahhh the big one. Maybe this one isn’t so much a “gymtimidation,” as it is a discouragement that seems to be confirmed over and over again to the person.
Let me be clear. The reason you have been let down is because you have not been on the correct plan.
No matter what the reason is, there is a solution. I think the reason is somewhat intertwined within the aforementioned areas, and some of the solutions hold tightly to those as well. In addition to them, I want to talk about something very practical that will skyrocket you to your goals.
17) You must, and I mean MUST, lift weights. I am not talking about lifting so much you can’t walk for the next 2 weeks. I am not talking about looking like a bodybuilder (unless you want to, of course), and I am definitely not talking about spending 3 hours in the gym at a clip.
What I am talking about is lifting weights that will put lean muscle on your body. Let me explain something to you. Muscle=Metabolism. You do not increase your metabolism any other way as quickly as lifting weights.
This tactic is also seriously bolstered if you keep your rest times to a minimum between sets. Think no more than 60 seconds. Research shows that diminished rest times increases growth hormone production, leading to more muscle and less fat.
18) Stop evaluating your progress by looking at the scale. As you build muscle and lose fat, you may weigh close to the exact same amount! For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds and lose 10 pounds of fat and gain 7 pounds of muscle, you will now weigh 147 pounds.
It would appear to you that you only lost 3 pounds after working your butt off!
Actually, your whole body composition has completely morphed and you have obliterated 10 POUNDS of fat on your body!!! However, so many people throw in the towel because of what that stupid scale says.
Do yourself a favor and get a body fat analyzer. At least you can track your actual body composition and not be deceived by what a useless number says.
19) This would go along with the above solution, but track your progress by how your clothing is fitting, how you are feeling, how you are progressing in your workouts with your ability to do more, breathe better, etc.
Even if you haven’t arrived at your goal in the time you think you should have, you are at least moving in the right direction!
Think about how much healthier and stronger you are, how much better your quality of life will be as you age, how your risk of all kinds of diseases is melting away, and how much your self-esteem has been shifting. Being a certain size in life is not the most important thing. Remember that.
It’s our world and we are immersed in it daily, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The people we serve in our fitness community don’t always come to us with that same love or passion for fitness, so they trust us to do our homework and provide them with the right environment to reach their goals.
What I am going to show you is the outlook that we believe every patron of a gym environment should absolutely consider if they want to get the best possible results in the shortest amount of time, while enjoying the process to its fullest and staying safe from injuries that will derail them from those precious goals.
My challenge is to see where your current fitness facility fits in on this scale. How do they rank in these vital categories of serving those in search of fitness, fellowship, and fun?
Some will do great and some…
Well, not so much…
Of course if you aren’t a member somewhere, then this will serve you all the more with your search.
Here we go:
1) Does this guy and his friends go to your gym, and take up all the space in front of the mirror checking out their abs, and kissing their biceps between sets?
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against those that are extremely muscular, but if you are part of the rest of humanity, then this guy using the word “bro” like it’s a punctuation mark, probably makes you feel a little out of place.
I asked one of our members, who came to us very out of shape what he liked about Raw Fitness and he said,” I feel comfortable here. You guys have everything from newbie to ninja.” I chuckled, but I got the point.
2) Is there a high premium put on strength?
Just because you use weights does not mean that you are strength training.
Doing high repetitions of lighter weights works ok when you first start exercising because it is a new stimulus.
The weights should systematically get heavier because strength is increasing. In order for that to happen for someone who isn’t a newbie, you need to do heavier sets of fewer reps.
For example, doing 4 or 5 sets of a weight where 5 reps are challenging will make you much stronger than doing 3 sets of 10. Contrary to popular belief, it is also one of the best means to achieve muscle tone without bulk.
Here’s Neghar Fonooni. She is a popular figure in the fitness world site france viagra. In this video she is deadlifting 210lbs for 5 reps at 125lbs of body weight.
I would hardly classify her as “bulky”
Believe it or not, changing what you do every time you come in the gym isn’t good either. You won’t be able to record the size of weights you used last week so you can go progressively heavier. Your body won’t pick up steam as it adapts to the progressively heavier stimulus.
We have clients doing something different every day of the week but have them repeat the same Tuesday workout for 3 weeks in a row, while they watch the weights increase and their body fat decrease.
On the flip side, if you never change your program, this is just as bad. It will be “plateau city” all day long.
Bottom line: If you want to get and stay lean, then going back and forth between a treadmill and a row machine will only get you so far. Getting stronger will provide the best results and help them to stick because a body that is strong requires a faster firing metabolism to exist.
3) Was my movement quality assessed before I was told to exercise?
Here is the cold hard fitness fact that every knowledgeable fitness professional cannot ignore.
Every client is different. Period.
Some people have nagging injuries that need to be worked around.
Some people can bend over and touch their toes, and for some, there isn’t enough stretching in the world to get them there. Each will have different needs when it comes to deadlifting or swinging a kettlebell, for example.
Some people have great shoulder mobility (it can move through a healthy range of motion) but have poor shoulder stability (the ball and socket have trouble staying in sync with one another, or the shoulder blade wings out wildly during movement, making things like pushups super hard).
Some people are just the opposite and can’t scratch their back or correctly press a weight overhead without arching the heck out of their low back to make it happen.
Try and reach your hands as close to each other as you can, reaching behind your back. Perform with both the right hand on top, and then try with the left on top. Were they similar or different? If they are different, I doubt very highly that you were born with 2 asymmetrical shoulders.
So if they aren’t the same now, should I be handling weights the same on both sides without any corrective measures?
I’ve screened thousands of people using a system devised by a physical therapist called the Functional Movement Screen. It is used to check the integrity of the 7 main movement patterns that make up all of human movement.
There is only one thing I can tell you for certain; everyone has their own individual issues that need to be tended to or injury rates go through the roof.
This shouldn’t be done only for those with a personal trainer. We do a ton of group fitness and we know our clients’ limitations and present modifications for them when necessary.
There are other assessment systems that are probably worthy of using outside of the FMS as well. That’s just the one we like.
But the fact I hope you hold close to your heart is the question, “Was I assessed for limitations and asymmetries before I was given an exercise prescription?”
Hurt clients get terrible results and injuries aren’t very fun. If you’re in an environment like this, you probably know a bunch of clients that have plenty of pings and knocks.
4) Does the staff care more about my fitness or their own personal achievements and physique?
Most people get into the fitness industry because they like working out. I started the same way. There is certainly nothing wrong with that.
However, to really create the environment of change, the staff should care more about helping people than they care about themselves.
Here is the litmus test: Do they chronically post pictures and videos of themselves on social media? Are they wearing revealing clothing to show themselves off?
I’m sure they are a very nice group of girls, I just wouldn’t let them train my dog, let alone a client with a shoulder injury.
The true barometer of a good coach or staff member is that they are enamored with the results of their clients/members and not overly impressed with themselves.
This is a people business, thus you must care about people on a deep level to help them to achieve more.
Don’t get me wrong. We shouldn’t be hypocrites, we should be fit ourselves, but it shouldn’t own the meditation of our heart over serving others.
In fact, in my experience of training trainers, the ones who are overly obsessed with their own bodies need to spend more time studying functional anatomy and less time molding their own. Dealing with the human body is serious business.
5) Is the facility littered with big fixed plane of movement machines (Freemotion, Nautilus, Hammer Strength, etc.) or do they carry more functional equipment like kettlebells, TRX, bumper plates, and sandbags?
The research is clear at this stage of the game. Sitting down on some machine that only works isolated muscles at a time is a waste of time compared to the big bang for your buck exercises that your whole body is engaged in like squats, deadlifts, Pull-ups, Kettlebell swings, Turkish Get-ups, and the like.
6) What is the coach to trainee ratio during group fitness classes?
To the untrained eye, having a group of 20+ people working out may look ok, but to an experienced coach, it looks like a burning building about to crumble.
Now I’m not saying that everyone does everything incorrectly, however many trainees need to be coached up for them to get the full benefit of the movement and not hurt themselves. There are always plenty of form “fires” to put out in a group setting.
The goal is to have every rep be a masterpiece. We have found that when group sizes get much over 12, there is chaos.
7) Does my gym get a lot of members off of Groupon or deal of the day sites?
This is an easy one.
If you do a Groupon, you can get dozens of new people starting up over a very short period of time. However, it now makes it impossible to assess people or get to the heart of their goals.
It also forces class sizes to not only be way oversized, but it also has them full of new people who need lots of coaching.
The spine needs to remain neutral, shoulders back and down, the glutes and core need to be engaged, weights need to be squeezed tightly to cause more stability in the shoulder.
No one knows this stuff when they are new. If I have 8 new people in one class and no assessment, then I am rolling the dice with everyone’s health.
Groupon is a great way to succeed if money is your top motive, but if doing what is best for the client is your best motive, than that option should be off the menu.
8) Am I measured regularly to assess levels of muscle, body fat, and total body weight?
This is the one that I want to grow in our ability to execute. (Yes, we in no way claim to be perfect) We do an OK job, but there are some members that we could be more consistent with.
How can you possibly know whether what you are doing is working, if you aren’t testing to see progress? Blindly taking action may lead you in a ditch. We would recommend someone get measured every 4-6 weeks at the longest.
If the numbers don’t move in the right direction, then you need to change exercise, or nutrition, or recovery methods.
9) Is motivational and nutritional support provided?
If I client is with me 3-4 hours out of their week. That means there are another 164-165 hours in the week they are not with me. This is often where the battle is won or lost.
They need coaching on how to eat correctly and they need encouragement to keep their mindset right through the often turbulent waters of their lives.
This is the job of the coach. At the end of the day, no one is paying me “dollars for workouts,” but instead, paying me dollars for results. If they aren’t getting those results, it is my fault and I need to take ownership of it.
I know I got a little long winded, but we believe that everyone should enjoy a healthy empowered life. I designed this to be a guide for you to get what you pay for, wherever you may live. There are a lot of great fitness professionals that I have met.
Hopefully you are served by this info well.
If you found this helpful at all, comment or share the post, like our Facebook page Raw Fitness NC, or sign up for our newsletter. We would love to interact with you!
Either you think jumping over fire and crawling through mud is the most ludicrous proposition on the face of the planet,
Your ears instantly perk up and your intrigued at where to sign up.
My challenge is for you to give us the next 3 minutes to read this post and I can guarantee that some of you who are in the former will get switched into the latter.
Here are the top 3 reasons running an obstacle course race this year will make you a better version of yourself:
1. Turn your FITness into FUNction
Remember those monkey bars you loved hanging all over when you were a kid? Getting across them was a badge of honor back in your playground days and now you have a chance to do all of that fun stuff again!
Scaling a cargo net, conquering a wall, and jumping over huge mud puddles not only brings that inner kid back out, but gives your fitness full throttle function!
Wanna flip a big tractor tire? Cool, we can do that by building up your deadlift.
Wanna ring the bell at the top of that rope climb? Awesome! We’re gonna carve out those arms so that they don’t just look pretty, but you’ll be able to utilize the upper body strength you need to do just that!
You may not be too concerned with how much weight you can lift when it comes to sheer numbers, but trust me, if you want a reason to get strong – this is it!
2. Create A New Community of Conquerors
Throughout this process, you won’t be alone. You’ll have other warriors alongside you while you’re training and while you’re racing! When the mud gets thick and the walls seem daunting – you won’t have to worry – you’ll have someone right by your side to help encourage and push you through every step of the way.
OCRs are great breeding grounds for building brotherhoods and sisterhoods of people passionate about challenging themselves, being held accountable, overcoming obstacles, and inspiring others! Chances are by the end of this experience, you’ll have at least one new friend you know you’ll be able to count on when life gets “dirty.”
3. Gain Grit and Practice Persevering
OCRs aren’t just about how physically strong you are. In fact, a lot of the race will come down to how mentally tough you can be. The mind has a way of playing tricks on you, especially when you’re under duress and it’s easy to want to throw the towel in and say “I … Just… Can’t!”
Thomas Edison once wrote that failures oftentimes come to those who gave up simply because they couldn’t persevere – their victory was so close, and they gave up not realizing just how close they were! This is why OCRs are so amazing. I promise you after running through the mud, crawling through barbed wire, up and over walls, nets, ropes, and whatever else they throw at you – you’ll begin to think you’re not good enough, that it’s too much, and maybe that you’ll never finish- but, trust me- you somehow find a way.
And this gives you practice for real life situations when you’re stressed, fearful, tired, or overwhelmed; you just have to tell yourself, “I can find a way; I’ve got to fight; I know I can do this!”
You’ll gain mental strength when you complete an OCR, which is more valuable in my opinion than that sweet new shiny (but kinda muddy) medal you’ll be wearing around afterwards!
I’ve been accused of having gym owner ADD when it comes to gym equipment.
And, I won’t deny the allegations, lol.
I am constantly looking for a better way to get client results. So I may or may not have invested in every piece of functional gym equipment under the sun.
In this blog post, I am going to cover my 4 favorite cutting edge fat loss tools and techniques that we use on a consistent basis and why. I will even break down some of the exercises we use with each, so you get a good understanding of what they are capable of.
I have to admit #4 is by far my favorite.
Anyways, here we go:
1) Old reliable, the barbell.
If you thought I was going to pick a piece of cardio equipment, then this is definitely the post for you because STEADY STATE CARDIO CAN’T OUTPACE RESISTANCE TRAINING FOR FAT LOSS!
Some of you might be more shocked than I was when I found out the guy who sings this song looks like this!
Squats, deadlifting, bench pressing, and overhead pressing recruits and builds some major lean dense muscle (which raises the metabolism at rest where we burn approximately 70% of our calories).
I especially love barbells for complex training. If you are unfamiliar, a complex is a chain of exercises performed one right after the other. They work wonders for boosting growth hormone and shedding fat.
Check out this video for a killer barbell complex:
2) Prowler Sled
This is the perfect blend of total body strength combined with hardcore metabolic cardio training.
Just pushing it with arms extended alone will get your heart rate up and recruit every major muscle in your body. Shoulder stability, core engagement, glutes, quads, hammies, calves; you name it, it’s working.
Check out this great prowler circuit you can do with a prowler and a heavy rope:
3) The Ultimate Sandbag
So, you can do basically every exercise you can do with a barbell with a sandbag except it recruits MORE muscle because the sand shifts around, creating a further challenge to stabilize it.
I specifically like the Ultimate Sandbag because my members have been able to tear apart every other kind of sandbag due to usage.
There are a ton of exercises you can do with it, but here is a video of one of my faves. Notice my heart rate is being projected on the wall behind me. Check out how fast this shoveling drill gets me going.
4) The Kettlebell
Here are a few reasons why I loooooove this piece of equipment when it is put in the right hands.
1) The kettlebell is an ancient Russian weapon against weakness.
2) They are easy to find the exact right weight I need without having to put on or take off plates like a barbell. At Raw Fitness, we have kettlebells from 8.8lbs up to 48kg, which is 107lbs.
3) They look cool. Hey, I’ve got to keep it real, right?
4) The mass is off center, which makes my muscles have to work harder to keep it stable, thus creating a superior metabolic effect.
5) The swing is the thing! Watch this brief breakdown of the kettlebell swing which has been scientifically proven to have a crazy metabolic effect. It also really gets the glutes going too, which is one of our specialties at Raw Fitness.
6) The Turkish Get-Up is one of the most functional exercises on the planet when performed correctly. Here is a video of me doing a get up with the 40kg KB that my most awesome gym members chipped in to get me as a Christmas present! (Thanks again guys, it made my day in a big way)
Just doing 3-4 sets of 1 rep/side will get you muuuuch stronger in just about every other lift there is, and they are super fun when you get the hang of it.
So that’s it folks, we use many other tools here as well, but I wanted to give you some insight on our top 4.
Do you have fitness goals, yet lack the motivation to take you where you know you really want to be? Perhaps you haven’t dug deep enough to create the necessary emotion to drive you to change.
Check out this video for the first step in your journey toward a health and fitness level that can improve just about every area of your life. After you’re done watching, take a pen and paper and write down what you come up with, this is extremely important!