Daily Dose of Coach #412: Can You Do This?

I often say if I was stranded on an island and I could only do one exercise, it would be the Turkish Get-Up . It incorporates just about everything essential in fundamental human movement from mobility to strength to coordination.

Physical Therapist and movement guru, Grey Cook, in an article named The Great Equalizers, wrote:

"The Turkish Get-Up challenges three levels of competency or capacity, and it will usually expose them in the order they need to be corrected. Let’s consider these three points as equal contributions of a complete physical perspective or the three equal slices that make up the complete circle.

Minimal movement competency—fundamental mobility and stability

Minimal physical capacity—strength, endurance, coordination

Technical competency—education and execution of a movement skill

In the video in this link , you'll see this woman doing a TGU with a shoe on her fist displaying movement competency, physical capacity, and technical competency.

If you're interested in just how well your body is functioning, grab a shoe, drop down to the floor and do a Turkish Get-Up with a shoe on your fist.

Do 2-3 repetitions each side. Go slowly through each step.

Notice the differences in how your body moves on one side compared to the other. If you can't keep the shoe balanced on your fist, notice at what part of the movement it falls to the ground.

Let me know how it goes.

Daily Dose of Coach #410: The Perfectionist

"Perfectionism is not the same thing as trying to be our best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth; it's a shield ." Brene Brown

I used to think it was cool to call myself a perfectionist until I realized that being a self-proclaimed perfectionist doesn't get you anywhere or make you sound cool at all.

Now it just kind of makes me cringe when I hear the words, "I'm a perfectionist." Those words are usually followed with an excuse why something isn't getting accomplished. And that's all it is, an excuse.

There have been too many times when I haven't launched or didn't even start something because I was too busy being a "perfectionist. " This is so dumb.

The definition of a perfectionist is: "refusal to accept any standard short of perfection."

This could be confused with having an attitude of excellence. But excellence and perfectionism are entirely different. A better definition for perfectionism would be "refusal to start something, because of the delusional idea that I am or can get anything perfect."

In other words, perfectionism is procrastination. When you think you have to have everything perfect before you begin, it's just fear talking you out of it.

There is a distinct difference between an attitude of excellence and perfectionism. You build excellence in humility, while perfectionism is built in arrogance.

Becoming excellent takes volumes of effort, lots of failures, and persistence. In other words, you have to start, stop, regroup, and start over many times.

Perfectionism is an arrogance that you can get things perfect, and everything will be perfect that you do. Lack of persistence is disguised by claiming all must be perfect.

Think about this the next time you call yourself a perfectionist. Just get started. Make mistakes. Learn from those mistakes and continue to take action.

Daily Dose of Coach #409: Athletes, "Out-Do" Others in This

Young athletes love to boast and post about the "grind" and "hard-work" to their friends and especially on social media.

Here you'll see videos of them doing drills, working out, or pictures and videos of something showcasing their efforts.

That's great! But if you really want to separate yourself, out-do others in the small and boring things that don't get as much love as the "grind.”

Strength coach Eric Cressey posted a few weeks ago, "If teenage athletes want to take a big step forward in development, it would be wise to "out-sleep" and "out-eat" their peers. These two things are powerful magnifiers of everything they do in skill development and strength and conditioning.

It may not be as cool to focus your efforts on eating well and getting more sleep. But it's a game-changer. As a young athlete, these may seem unnecessary. But early commitment to these will yield big results in what you are trying to achieve as an athlete.

Not only this, but it will help you start to develop the habits of a high performer NOW! Not a few years down the road when you realize just how important they are.

Let everyone else "out-do" each other on social media with the "grind" posts. You focus on nutrition and sleep, magnifying your abilities and developing the habits of an elite performer.

Daily Dose of Coach #408: Carbs on the Go

I'm sitting in a trendy little coffee shop right writing this. After that, I'm going to attempt to uncover my best breakfast option. I like to try to include 1-2 servings of protein and some quality carbs to get me started.

However, that can be difficult on the go. So, this post is to help you navigate those situations.

Most of us don't have trouble finding carbs. But when in a time crunch and all you have is a local convenient store (or in my current case, a cafe' with a giant candy bar), there are a lot of options (mostly bad ones).

I've listed some ranked carb options. Grabbing one of these may help you not hit that mid-morning or afternoon sugar crash. You'll see I have seven good options and, at the bottom, three bad options.

Do your best to stick with 1-7!

-Best Option 1: Fresh Fruits - Banana's, Apples, Grapes, etc.

-Best Option 2: Fruit Salads - Many stores will have small plastic containers of chunks of fruit, like pineapples, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries.

-Best Option 3: Dried Fruit - Get the unsweetened assortment

-Best Option 4: Pretzels- Newmans or Snyders Organic Pretzels if you can find them.

-Best Option 5: Crackers - Whole Grain and or Organic

-Best Option 6: Granola Bar- Go with the oat-based assortment

-Best Option 7: Sports Drinks - Yes, there is a lot of sugar, but these tend to pick you up in a sugar crash pinch and are better than the rest of the options.

-Bad Option 1: Chips - If you have to. There are a lot of different chip options these days. Skip the Doritos and Cheetos. Look for something that at least looks healthier.

-Bad Option 2: Candy Bar - I've been known for saying snickers are just as bad for you as some "nutrition bars." Not sure if that is 100% true, but I guess as a last resort, this works.

-Bad Option 3: Pastries - Oh, how a cream cheese bear claw will improve your day. Once again, if all the fruit, chips, crackers are sold out, either make the pastry choice or just suck it up and don't eat anything. Just act like you're doing that fancy new fasting diet.

-Sugar Candy- At this point, you mine as well grab a 44-ounce soda and wait for your sugar crash.

Let me know of any other simple and quick options you use.

Daily Dose of Coach #407: Grip Strength and Hurricanes

As Hurricane Dorian starts up the Florida coast, I'm writing this from the comfort of a Walt Disney World Hotel. I guess our escape of Dorian and these few days of uncertainty had led to a bit of a staycation.

My escape reminded me that I need to renew my nutrition certification. And in going over the material I came across one of my favorite parts of the textbook.

It reads, "It means that if your grip is strong, you're probably strong. If you're strong, you probably have lots of lean body mass, strong connective tissues, a good dense skeleton, and motor control to recruit all these things. If all that stuff works well, the rest of your systems are probably working well too."

What a fantastic passage. Grip strength rules. It is the end of our strength. Pick heavy things up. Be able to hang from or pull yourself up on a bar. Grip strength is a better predictor of healthy aging than your cardiovascular strength (VO2 max), your flexibility, and your balance!

And if you happen to be in a hurricane or have to pick trees up with your bare hands in the clean-up, grip strength becomes a superpower.

Daily Dose of Coach #406: What Football Taught Me

"You have to play this game like someone just hit your mother with a two-by-four." --Dan Birdwell

This was an interesting weekend.

Between watching updates on Hurricane Dorian and the start of the football season, it's been a bit quite a mix of emotions.

Football season is my favorite part of the year. Though I played many sports, nothing quite captured my heart like the gridiron game.

I post this every year on the first week of football because I believe so much in what this game gave me and taught me in the six years I got to play.

I grew up in a small town in a graduating class of 26--the total school population was a whopping 120.

I played eight man football my first three years in high school because we only had about 16 kids on the roster. We were very competitive in our class most years, and I played quarterback, running back, receiver, punt and kick returner, and my favorite; corner back.

From the ages of 12-18, I was lucky enough to put pads on. And just as millions of others who've played this great game, football taught me a lot about myself and life in general.

Here are six lessons the game of football taught me. Some are serious; and some are humorous. I hope some of you will be able to relate with me to bring back some old memories of your own in playing this great game.

-1- The Absolute Pleasure of Playing the Game

I've played every sport. Nothing compares to being out on the field playing football. There was not a more fun sport to play.

The lights, the smell of the grass, the feeling when your team makes a great play, the feel of making a big hit or getting up after a big hit, crossing the goal line with the football in your hand, and of course the pure adrenaline of just playing the game.

Nothing pleasures the senses and is more enjoyable than playing the game of football.

This taught me to seek what I loved to do in life and never settle for anything else.

-2- Mental toughness

My sophomore year, I played in my first high school playoff game. We traveled to a small town to play a team who came out in all black looking like a bunch of big a$% grim reapers.

On the first play from scrimmage our toughest, strongest, craziest player got trucked on a college sweep shattering his rib guard and leaving him lying lifeless on the field.

He was a tough kid so eventually (to my surprise) got up. We, however, ended up getting blown out.

This one blow taught me a lot about how mental toughness can be cracked with one big hit.

This can happen in life. You have to be prepared for that day when you get hit so hard you think you have to give up. You can't give up.

-3- Brotherhood:

My junior year, we were one of the top-ranked teams in the state.

But after our first game, tragedy struck. Our center, a 16-year-old junior named Phil, was killed in a car accident.

In a difficult week to follow, we had to face our rival the following Friday. This team had beaten us for years. But this year was different. I've never experienced a group come together like we did that Friday night.

When won 7-6, I remember dropping to my knees with my teammates and bursting into tears.

We came together and won a tough game both physically and emotionally for Phil and his family.

This taught me about the importance of not just building a great team around you, but the strength of a brotherhood.

-4- Assertiveness:

Football taught me a lot about assertiveness and aggressiveness. It taught me to be the one who delivers the blow, not to be the one who takes it.

I specifically learned this lesson my junior year in the playoffs when standing in the hole and waiting for a gigantic fullback to plow me over instead of being the first to initiate contact.

I'll never forget that hit. I got absolutely blasted. I took this philosophy into my basketball career and decided I would drive to the basket with such aggression, if I was fouled, they were going to pay for it.

I also take this as a philosophy in life. You have to be assertive. You have to be the one who hits first. "Attack is the best form of defense."

-5- Perseverance :

Football is a game of inches, and those inches are difficult ones.

It taught me to get back up after getting plowed into the turf. It taught me to recover after making a mistake. It taught me to play with pain. It taught me to regroup and it taught me that success is perseverance.

Practice sucks, training sucks, two-a-days suck, but a victory makes it all worth it.

There is no greater lesson then the lesson of perseverance. To be successful in anything you do, you have to keep pressing forward. You have to keep getting up when you get knocked down. You have to stay committed to achieving your goals.

-6- Controlling Emotions and Fear :

I wasn't a big kid. As a freshman, I was 5'3" 110 lbs and my senior year I was only 5'10" 150lbs.

As a smaller dude in a game of bigger dudes trying to kill you, it was easy to let fear creep into my mind.

I specifically remember the bus rides to the field as a time when I really had to begin to control the emotion of adrenaline and fear.

Football taught me a lot about "getting it together," positive self-talk, and courage. What a game.

Take some time to reflect on some of the lessons you've learned from the sports or activities that have helped make you who you are today. And if you in Florida, stay safe!!

Daily Dose of Coach #405: Good Morning Protein

I 've experimented with a lot of breakfast foods. Some, because I was too tired to make anything and just did the old "grab and go."

Sometimes I didn't eat anything to see how long it would take before I crashed (bad idea).

Many times I've made the standard breakfast of oatmeal, fruit, milk or almond milk.

But my favorite and most effective is my protein breakfast. This consists of almost entirely protein and fats with some carbs.

Why? Because having a substantial portion of protein for breakfast helps control your appetite all day long.

While carbohydrate dominate meals will satisfy your appetite for the time being, protein will keep your hunger satisfied through the day. This helps with getting those drastic cravings that make you want to eat bad cabs and sugars.

Protein does a lot of things for our body. It helps build and repair almost all the tissues in our bodies, as well as helps to synthesize important hormones, boosts our metabolism, and, as stated above, helps us feel more satisfied in our meals!

Experiment with it and see if it changes your hunger cravings throughout the day. My go-to is 3-5 eggs and 1/2 avocado. That's anywhere from 18-35 g of protein, plus a little fat and fiber from the avocado to help curve those mid-morning or mid-day hunger pains even more.

If you don't like whole eggs you can try a protein shake, protein pancakes or waffles, egg white scramble with some fresh veggies, Greek Yogurt with fruit and nuts, smoked salmon or turkey on toast, few strips of regular or turkey bacon, or throw some peanut butter on some toast and wash it down with a glass of protein-rich milk or chocolate milk.

Give it a try. And if you have any other breakfast protein options, I'd love to hear about them.

Daily Dose of Coach #404: Secrets Of The Lean

Here's a great article I'd like to share with all of you. It's by the Poliquin Group called, "9 Secrets of the Effortlessly Lean."

I bullet pointed the 9 secrets, but when you get a chance, read it. There's a lot of excellent and simple info on shedding and keeping off body fat.

· - Maintain muscle mass through training and diet. Never do slow cardio to reduce body fat.

· - Avoid "deadline eating" in favor of a sustainable lifestyle change

· - Focus on the food quality rather than quantity

· - Eat to fight stress. A high protein, low sugar diet will elevate your mood and reduce stress hormones like cortisol that makes your body store fat.

· - Know that hormones matter more than calories and use it to your advantage

· - Figure out a way to eat, so you enjoy your food instead of obsessing over off-limit food or getting sidetracked by the minutiae of your diet

· - Be consistent. Eat the same basic stuff day after day, year after year, instead of continually overhauling your diet and lifestyle.

· - Take responsibility for your results.

· - Believe and commit

Daily Dose of Coach #403: The Enemy of Next

"Staying the same is the enemy of next." Kevin Eastman

Anyone I know who has accomplished a goal, feat, or major accomplishment understands the importance of next.

No matter failure or success, those who live with a what's next approach, have their mindset on constant improvement.

I like to say, "you're either getting better, or getting worse." This means there is no in-between. There is no staying the same. You are either progressing or regressing. And, it's impossible to get to the next level without this desire to change.

This applies to me as someone who has failed and continued to move forward in business, to a kid who, despite their best effort, did not make their team.

You learn from this. You figure out what is missing. Your next step is improvement in that area.

The greatest competitors take two, three, and even four steps to take themselves to even higher levels.

While others are wasting time away, saying the same (even if they are good), those with the next mindset have a plan for improvement and are executing daily.

You can't change the circumstances around you. You can only change your focus, effort and, consistent execution.

Or as Leo Tolstoy said, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

What have you learned from your failures and successes? Who is helping you be honest with yourself? How important is it to you, that you are willing to make the changes to get to the next level?

Don't get comfortable in your success. Don't lament in your defeats. Get over yourself or get over your losses and focus improvement through what you will do next.


Daily Dose of Coach #402: Protein Tips for Athletes

Protein is often a hot topic with athletes and parents, especially when it comes to increasing muscle and gaining weight.

Here are a few tips for you if these are your goals.

Tip 1: Athletes need to eat more protein than the average person, especially when trying to increase muscle mass. Current recommendations suggest 2.2g/kg body weight or 1g/lb of body weight.

Tip 2: Stick with the "anabolic window." This is the window of time (30min-2hours after a workout) that supposedly the muscle are more greedy for amino acids. I say supposedly because research as never really confirmed this. However, it works as a great reminder to hammer some protein down after a workout, so just do it.

Tip 3: Eat Quality Animal and Plant Protein. The higher the quality of protein, the easier it can digest. The easier it is to digest, the better the delivery of amino acids to provide growth. High-quality protein has a good ratio of essential amino acids. High-quality animal and plant proteins are organic or grass-fed lean meats (beef, pork, wild game), free-range poultry (chicken, turkey, duck), fish and seafood, free-range eggs and egg whites, cottage cheese or strained greek yogurt, quality protein powders, cooked lentil and beans, tempeh and tofu.

Tip 4: Get a high-quality protein powder. Protein powders are great for making shakes that are easily taken in after a workout or as a mid-day snack. Look for powders without too much junk in them, like sugar and artificial flavors. A few good ones are All Natural WheySmooth by dotFit, Whey Isolate by Thorne Research and Performance Nutrition, and proteins+ by Genuine Health. If you really want to step up your muscle-building regimen, take amino acid or essential amino acids during and after your workout.

Tip 5: Eat at least two palms of protein with each of your meals every day. Also, add organic milk, chocholate milk, and or Greek yogurt to your protein shakes.

Daily Dose of Coach #401: As Far As Supplements Go...

Here's a very typical conversation with a new online or personal client. Their goal could be to lose weight. It could be to get into better shape. Or, it could even be an athlete looking to start a strength program.

New Client: "Now that I'm ready to get started what supplements do I need to take? Protein, that's important, right? Creatine? Should I take a pre-workout? Aren't those bad for you? What about fat burners, my aunt takes those and swears by them?"

Me: "Unless you have the basics down first, none of them."

My online nutrition coaching calls this mowing the lawn with your house on fire. It's easy to get lost in all the nutrition and supplement information out there and focus on the wrong things. Instead, let's address the most critical issues first.

Here are five things to nail down first before jumping on the supplement ship:

-1- If losing weight is your goal: Eat slowly, until 80% full

-2- If gaining weight is your goal: Eat regularly and enough to support your activity, consistently

-3- Eat good quality food, consistently

-4- Be active, regularly

-5- Do the right things, consistently.

So before you go spending a ton of money on supplements because the kid at GNC told you this is the hottest supplement out there, nail the basics first.

Daily Dose of Coach #400: My Simple Muscle Building Go-To

Here's my simple formula for building muscle (training only/not diet):

Two Days Per Week

Full Body 6-8 Exercises

70-80% RM (Repetition Max)

2 Sets to Failure

Tempo - Slow so muscle tension is always maintained (3-5sec down, 1 hold, 3-5sec up)

Rest Between Sets: As long as you want

If you're to focus on one thing, let it be intensity. Meaning go to failure in each set.

Two full-body strength training days may not seem like much, but commit to it for eight weeks, I think you'll like the results.

Daily Dose of Coach #399: A Competitor Story

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Competitor didn't start as a gym; it began as a concept and then into a program.

I developed this program for my first gym. I wanted it to deliver, not just from a programming side, but from a grit side, all those things that live in a competitor.

A few years back, I was the director of the best gym I'd ever been a part of, Competitor Gym. The culture and concepts centered around what I had learned through the years and experience of training adults and athletes who wanted to get the best out of themselves.

One of the most difficult days of my life was walking away from that gym. It wasn't about walking away from a job, but the people, the relationships, knowing every day you have a place to go to make a difference in others lives.

I spent six months not knowing how I was going to continue to my career path. Sometimes questioning, should I make an exit from this industry and try something new, something safe, something that could provide more security for my family?

The answer came from an unlikely place: a CrossFit affiliated gym and motivated entrepreneurs, Marty and Elisabeth Priest.

Never in my life would I have thought I'd be in a place that had CrossFit going on. But I was allowed to revitalize what I had done and put it back to work within their gyms.

Marty and Elisabeth are competitors. They owned gyms, they succeeded, they failed, but through it all, had an unyielding positive attitude. It was contagious to me. They are leaders, and always in it for the right reasons.

Our partnership turned into Elite Wellness Performance and with the help of so many other people, has now become Competitor Performance Academy.

Competitor didn't start as a gym. It began as a concept and then into a program.

And now finally into Competitor Performance Academy.

This has been a 20-year run for me. I've succeeded. I've failed. I've won friends. I've lost friends. But, I've never given up on using fitness and performance help change the lives of others. Besides my children, it's my legacy.

It has been done in a few different locations, with different names, but the competitor in me and my desire to build it in others has never changed.

The Competitor story continues. Competitor Performance Academy will be the go-to for elite performance in Orlando.

Thank you for all those who have believed and continue to believe in me. And if you get a chance, come by and check us out!

Daily Dose of Coach #398: Crazy Positive

"So often what people say their problem is, really isn't their problem. Their problem is their attitude which causes them to handle life's obstacles." John Maxwell

One of the most essential characteristics of a leader is optimism.

The leader has to believe with all their heart that the mission is going to be achieved. If there is any inkling of negativity, every person that follows them becomes a passenger on a trip to nowhere.

Research has shown that optimism is a competitive advantage. In a study conducted at Duke University by Manju Puri and David Robinson, they found that optimistic people work harder, are paid more, win at sports more often, are much more successful in getting elected to office, and live longer.

In the book by Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs , the author talked about Job's Reality Distortion Field . He was continually inspiring his team to push further, to achieve almost impossible things and meeting ridiculous deadlines regularly.

What Jobs did was lead his team out of thinking pessimistically, or in many cases realistically, into overbearing optimism. Because of his belief, he created one of the most successful company's ever and changed the world.

To achieve the unthinkable, you can't think like everyone else. You have to believe without a shadow of a doubt, you can accomplish it. If everyone thinks you're crazy, you're probably on the right track.