Daily Dose of Coach #190: Think on This

 

"Average never inspired anyone."

When is the last time something average inspired you? Average is commonplace. Average is meeting the standard. Average is showing up to practice, working hard, doing what the coach says, and going home to never think about your sport again. Average is showing up to work, doing your job, doing what your boss says and going home to prepare to do it all over again. There is honor in average. Doing what you are supposed to do is respectable. But, it's also boring. Boring doesn't inspire. I'm always inspired by that crazy person who decided they are going to take it 10 steps further. Their burning desire to achieve and willingness to win outweighs any reality that exists. They may not set out to inspire, but they do set out to be great. And true greatness is in what we can inspire others to do.

Daily Dose of Coach #189: Goblet Squat Execution

Last week I wrote about how to prepare to do your goblet squat . This week I want to give you some fine points on it's execution.

One of the main things we need to understand is that the goblet squat is more of mobility exercise than a strength exercise. So if we are performing it in any other manner, you're just not getting the total benefit.

Whether you are using a dumbbell or kettlebell, try following these guidelines.

  • Hold the kettlebell on the horns right in front of your chest. If you're using a dumbbell, hold it in a vertical position close to your chest.
  • Position your feet at the distance you found in the goblet squat prep video
  • Keeping your head and chest up, squat as deep as possible while maintaining good form.
  • You want to get your elbows to the inside of your knees. If need be, you can use your elbows to push your knees out to help align them over your toes and create more space to squat.
  • Try to get comfortable in this bottom position. You want to be able to sit in this position for a few seconds like the video above. In this position, your torso and shins should be at the same angle.
  • Inhale at the top and hold that breath through descent and bottom position. Exhale as you come out of the squat to the standing position.

Daily Dose of Coach #188: How to Start Eating Better

Alexander Pope said, "Not to go back is somewhat to advance. And men must walk, at least, before they dance."

Change in nutrition is the same thing. The hardest question to hear, yet simplest to answer from a new client is, "What diet should I go on?" It's hard to hear, because the mindset is in the wrong place. It's easy to answer because the answer is, start with one thing .

I've learned a lot as a coach about how people work. Going from a diet of primarily fast food, convenience foods, wine, diet soda and 1 glass of water a day to eliminating carbs or eating a Paleo diet just isn't going to happen. Instead, the goal is just looking to fix basic nutrient deficiencies.

I usually start by asking three questions. These are things they eat or do habitually on a daily basis:

  1. How much water do you drink a day?
  2. What is one thing you can completely cut out of your diet?
  3. What is one thing you could modify?

If they don't drink water, or enough water, I always start there. It's a simple way to get some early success and make the client start feeling better all the way around.

The second question could be soda, sugary drinks, more than two alcoholic beverages per night, fast food for lunch, snacks from the vending machine. I ask them if they are willing and able to eliminate this one thing. And if need be, I help them find a healthier replacement we can both agree on for them to try.

The third is something they can modify. This could be, instead of drinking two glasses of wine a night, they could go down to one (you've got to start somewhere right). Instead of eating nothing for breakfast, they could make a simple breakfast smoothie. If they have a problem with fast food, help them find a "healthier" option.

Then we commit to at least one of these things for the first seven days. If they are successful, we'll add another and so on.

The goal is changing the mindset. It's teaching to eat well so that the body gets the proper nutrients and starts functioning at a higher level. When you add this with a well thought out and progressive training program, they work hand in hand.

If you're just starting out, or need to get back to eating well, ask yourself the questions above. Start with and commit to one positive change and go from there.

Daily Dose of Coach #187: Another Cardioish Go-To Workout

The last go-to workout I wrote on here got a lot of, "I'm going to try that," action. You can find that workout at this link . So I'm going to post another one I like to do in a pinch. This isn't as intense as the other one, but I like it because it involves one of my favorite movements, the swing.

Here it is:

600 Jump Ropes

50 Kettlebell Swings, done all at once if possible (50lbs+ Males, 25lb+Females)

2 Mile Bike

Depending on what bike you use, the resistance may be different. The one I use I keep it at level 8. You want a resistance that's challenging, not one that feels like you're pedaling downhill.

500 Jump Ropes

50 Kettlebell Swings

1.5 Mile Bike

400 Jump Ropes

50 Kettlebell Swings

1 Mile Bike

And there you have it. You should be looking to complete this workout in under 40 minutes. A good wrinkle in this workout is to use an Assault Bike instead of a regular bike. By wrinkle I mean, added intensity.

Give it a try. Let me know how it goes.

Daily Dose of Coach #186: Today's Approach

Former Duke Basketball player, Jay Bilas, wrote in Toughness, a story about preparing to run the mile for the annual team conditioning test. Like most basketball players, he hated distance running. But, Bilas was a competitor. He trained for it by doing extra distance running around the Duke golf course.

When test time came, he ran a 5:40 mile, his best time ever. But, he was not the fastest. He was destroyed by his teammate, Mark Alarie, who ran a 5:11.

Taken back by Alarie's performance, Bilas asked how he pulled off this incredible time. Alarie said, “For me, the mile is only how much pain I can endure.

While Bilas trained to be more comfortable with running the mile, Alarie took the approach of going through and enduring the pain of the mile. Bilas wrote, “He trained not to run the mile more comfortably, but to be more productive. He decided he was going to be in just as much pain and discomfort, but he was doing it to get more out of if.”

This is what training is. It's about pushing past that threshold you were once before. Most people will work hard with the intention of getting the same job done with greater comfort. Instead of taking this approach, your mindset should be to approach everything you do, not with the intention of comfort, but to improve your own capacity.

Success in anything can be defined as how much, how long, and how willing you are to get there.

Alarie learned this type of perseverance by pushing his younger brother Chris (who had cerebral palsy) around in his wheel chair. He took him everywhere. He said, “There was never a time I thought I could give in, that I was too tired, or it was too hard. Chris couldn’t even get out of his chair and I wasn’t going to run down a court because it was too hard? No way!”

Like Alarie, we all have reserves that we are often unwilling to tap into. We approach our days, our jobs, our training, our practice’s with the attitude of “just get through it.”  We are just satisfied with surviving another day.

Don’t think this way. Choose to endure. Choose the harder path because it’s the right path. Choose to be productive over being comfortable. Squeeze everything you can out of what you do to make yourself better.

Daily Dose of Coach #185: Think On This

"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who can never repay you." John Wooden

Of all the quotes of the great John Wooden I think this one sums up what he really wanted to teach about character. Maturity gives us the realization we aren't the only person the world revolves around. Our well being, our feelings aren't the only ones that matter. There are so many ways to give to others. And giving without any thought of return is the best way to do so. Try to find ways to live out this perfect day. Give this quote to your children, your family, your team, your students. And teach them by being the example of what that looks like.

Daily Dose of Coach #184: 15 Healthy Snacks to Easily Pack

Between breakfast, lunch and dinner can be a struggle. For those of you who spend the majority of your hours at work, travel or need some sort of idea on what you should be grazing on between meals, here's a quick list of 15 healthy snacks that are easy to pack and portable.

  1. Nuts and Seeds
  2. Sweet Peppers and Hummus
  3. Edamame
  4. Tuna in a Pouch
  5. Fresh Cut Fruit
  6. Hard Boiled Eggs (my fav)
  7. Grilled Chicken Slices
  8. Good Beef Jerky
  9. Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese
  10. A Scoop of Protein Powder in a Sandwich bag and a Mixer Cup
  11. A High Quality Protein Bar
  12. Celery Sticks with Peanut Butter
  13. Whole Fruits that Travel Well (bananas, apples, grapes, oranges)
  14. Cheese Sticks
  15. Baby Carrots and Hummus

Daily Dose of Coach 183: Goblet Squat Prep

I love the goblet squat. It's a great entry way into teaching people correct squat form. One of the questions I get about goblet squatting is regarding leg and foot placement. Meaning, should I be in a narrow or wider stance?

Using the body rock technique above, you can determine the width of your stance that allows you to keep a back flat through the movement. To do this you can either have someone observe you or video it with your phone.

Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders, knees under your hips and ankles dorsiflexed. Put your stance in a hip width or narrow position.

Push you butt back towards your heels while trying to maintain a flat back. The distance you are shooting for is the knees behind the hip crease. If you are unable to keep your back flat through this range of motion in a hip width stance, slightly widen your stance and try again. Eventually you find a stance that allow you to keep your back flat through this range of motion. When you find this, this is the stance you will use in your goblet squat.

 

Daily Dose of Coach 182: Getting Your Kids to Eat Better

"That's why when I have kids, every time I drive by a fast food restaurant, I'm going to punch my kid in the face. Then they'll never want to come."

-Morgan Spurlock, Super Size Me

Let me first start off by saying, by no means, have I figured this out. As soon as my kids were old enough to get in the fridge or grab stool and climb into a pantry, they started sneaking all the bad foods I was trying to hide.

Like most parents, I break down because of time constraints, convenience, and sometimes I give up because they ask so many times I just say "Take it!" But as I'm toasting chocolate chip Eggo's and pouring syrup on them to give my kids for breakfast, I can't help but think I'm not teaching them or doing them any good nutritionally.

So here are a few tips that I thought could work in helping your kids (and actually you too!) to eat better.

1.Don't buy crap food. A basic rule of thumb is, food in the house is food that will be eaten. If you have Oreo's and Ice Cream in the house, like bloodhounds, your kids will find it no matter where you try and hide it. Worse than that, you will eat it just so they don't find it.

2. Give them water and stop buying juices. Those big bottles of red juice that say 100% vitamin C don't tell you they give you 300% sugar for the day. Make water their main beverage. Sports drinks like Gatorade only if they've earned it with a lot of actual sweat, and soda is always a no go. I tell my kids soda is poison water. It's worked thus far.

3. Make breakfast nutritional. I know this is the hardest meal to prepare. It's really easy to throw 10 cardboard pancakes in the microwave, throw them down on some plates and pass them out like a lunch lady. But because of the importance of breakfast in things like energy, brain function and even focus, it's important to get this meal as nutritious as you can. Eggs, whole wheat toast, some cheese, water or milk is a good way to start. As they get a little older you can introduce them to the breakfast super shake as a part of their meal as well.

4. Pack whole foods in their lunch . I remember eating Little Debbie Swill Rolls, Lunchables, and washing it all down with a 16oz Coke for lunch. It's a wonder that diabetes didn't strike me in my teens. Instead of bad snacks, granola bars and highly processed foods, replace as many things as you can with whole foods they will eat. If they like any fruits and veggies, send them. Send a banana, grapes, sliced apples, broccoli, baby carrots, sweet peppers or anything else of this nature they will actually eat.

5. Teach them about food plates. Something I did when my kids were young was teach them about what a food plate should look like. You can use the simple resource by the USDA . Or, in my opinion, can use a better version offered by Precision Nutrition in the article in this link .

Daily Dose of Coach 181: Tolerate Repetition

"The discipline you learn and character you build from setting and achieving a goal can be more valuable than achieving the goal itself."

-Bo Bennet-

Maria Sharapova, the former number one tennis player in the world and multiple Grand Slam champion, spoke about one of the most important things she learned as a young girl. As a child, her mother would read passages from books and novels that were over hear head. She would also make her spend an hour memorizing poems every night. She hated it at the time. She would think, "when am I going to use this." But she realized as she got older that " discipline never comes easy and you have to build it's foundation and build it's trust with the people that help you with it."

Sharapova believed this discipline came into play as a tennis player. She began to understand that whether it's a good day or a bad day, discipline beats everything.

Her interviewer, Tim Ferris, said he noticed three particular patterns of parents or children who were exceptional at an early age. First, parents talked to them about subject matter, at least part of the time, that was over their heads. Second, they gave them a lot of exposure to books. And third, they helped them develop a tolerance for repetition.

I thought of this to be of an invaluable lesson for myself, and especially as a parent. Discipline in anything and learning to tolerate the monotony and dullness may be one of the most difficult, yet separating skills when it comes to success.

Today our minds are distracted by a million things. We have to constantly be entertained or doing something to stimulate ourselves. I feel this hinders our ability to focus and be in the moment. And as technology continues to consume our lives, our children are even in a worse situation.

To be great at anything you have to build the muscle of discipline and learn to tolerate repetition. Anything you can do for yourself or teach your children this will help pay huge dividends in the end. Sharapova said, "It's the persistence you are building. There are projects we love but then there is the tedious work that you have to get done. It's in the numbers, or repetition, that when you eventually get there you start to feel it and don't have to think. And that's done in time. That mental persistence, you can develop at an early age."

Daily Dose of Coach #180: Think On This

"Only 3 percent of people have clear, specific, written goals and plans that they work on each day. I have found that the top 3 percent earn and acquire, over time, on average, ten times as much as the bottom 97 percent put together." Brian Tracy

Having written goals is one of the most powerful things you can do. A common theme among the most successful people I've studied and have known is they write their goals out, every day. Yes, it is monotonous and yes, once you write them out for a few days you should start to have them in memory. But, the point is to drive those goals into your subconscious mind. With time, you start to become clear. All the decisions you start making during the day will gravitate towards achieving these goals. These decisions will ultimately lead to the most important thing, action. If you've never tried doing this, I highly recommend it. I try to write my top 10 goals out everyday. I'm not perfect, but when I am, it's amazing how clear I am and what I get accomplished.

Daily Dose of Coach #179: The Post Workout Window?

The Post-Workout Window?

I was joking with an athlete and her father earlier this week about the importance of workout nutrition. I blasted her with some Bro-science and the post-workout or "anabolic window" spiel.

The anabolic window is that proposed 30-minute time period where all the gains supposedly happen. This, of course, only happens if you chug down 30g of protein and some carbs in that crack of time, right? Not necessarily.

My goal with this post is to help you understand that post workout nutrition is important, but you don't have to immediately get in your car and drive to Smoothie King or go home and eat a steak before that 30-minute window to Planet Gain's closes.

Yes, it is important to eat properly after a high intensity workout. Your main goals are replacing glycogen, decreasing protein breakdown and increasing protein synthesis. Research suggests that there is an anabolic window, but it spans more like two hours, rather than 30 minutes.

I've found post-workout nutrition to be one of the easiest things to get people to buy into. Most people can wrap their heads around taking in high quality protein and carbs after a workout. It makes sense to them. They just got their butt kicked in a workout, they're muscles are fatigued and drinking this shake will help them recover and build all the muscles they just worked on. Seems legit, right?

But, what is more important is eating balanced meals throughout the day. The protein shake is great, but it's not a miracle worker. If you eat crap all day and slap down a protein shake after your workout, your muscles aren't going to recover and grow the way you think they're supposed to.

To gain the full benefits of workout nutrition you need to eat a meal containing both carbohydrates and protein 2-3 hours before your workout and the same 30 minutes to 2 hours after your workout. You don't have to ditch the shake. Shakes are good for many of us who can't get enough protein through our normal diet.

By eating this way you can guarantee your body will have the proper nutrients to recover, repair and rebuild muscle tissue, as well as replace glycogen stores. Continue to respect the anabolic window , but remember, that window counts on what you eat the rest of the day as well.

Daily Dose of Coach #178: My Cardio Go To

I'm not much for doing continuous exercise for 30-45 minutes. Like you probably feel, it bores the pants off of me too. So about a year ago I started doing a cardio workout that challenged me in all types of ways. It wasn't as boring and something I could try to improve each time I did it.

Yesterday, I made the mistake of doing it a couple of hours before trick or treating. Walking around just wasn't as enjoyable when you're legs still have a burning sensation. If you do this workout at a good intensity, you're more than likely going to want to sit down and get your legs up for a while. At least I do.

Here's the workout. The goal is to get it done in under 40 minutes. My record so far is 37. I'm sure many of you could exceed this. Make sure you start a clock right before you start so you can measure the time it takes you to complete.

Round 1:

1000 Jump Ropes

50 Calories (Level 10) on the Rower

1 Mile Run (Treadmill)

Round 2:

600 Jump Ropes

50 Calories (Level 10) on the Rower

.5 Mile Run (Treadmill)

Round 3:

300 Jump Ropes

50 Calories (Level 10) on the Rower

.25 Mile Run (Treadmill)

If you're interested in what kind of stats you may get out of this, my Fitbit measured approximately 637 calories burnt, 11 minutes at peak heart rate level (85%+ Max Heart Rate), 28 minutes at the cardio level (70-85%), and 2 minutes in the fat burn level (50-69%). It also gave me 4,127 steps for the day.

Give it a try. Let me know how fast you do it.

Daily Dose of Coach #177: The Bench Press Set Up

Many of you in both my online and personal coaching program have expressed interest in improving your bench press. In this video by Cal Dietz, author of Triphasic Trainng: A sytematic approach to elite speed and explosive strength , gives an excellent way to set up and improve your bench press.

He explains that routine and getting the glutes involved are critical in improvement by helping create greater bar speed.

60 Second Rundown on Bench Press for Athletes

Daily Dose of Coach #176: Happy Halloween Candy

It's not even Halloween and I'm already filling the ill effects of high fructose corn syrup indulgence. I'm not sure why, but every year there are more and more options for kid's trick or treating events. Yesterday was our first. As we left with pails of candy, my son was so gracious to offer me all of his snickers. It all went down hill from there.

Over the next few weeks my wife and I will spend much or our day rationing out and hiding candy from the kids. We will also be fighting our natural urges of grabbing boxes of Nerd's and bags of Skittles for absolutely no reason other than it's there. It's a battle. I'll even justify the binge by saying "We need to get this out of the house in any way possible."

I don't want to be a downer on your Halloween festivities, but knowing this helped me think about how much candy I was going to eat over the next few days. For the most part, you should only take in about 50g of added fructose per day. Added fructose includes substances like high fructose corn syrup found in all those candies, juices and many other processed foods you may not even consider.

Here's a quick breakdown of a handful of Halloween candy. These are all the bite sized versions:

2 - Snickers 8.5g sugar

1- Box of Nerds 12g sugar

1 - Bag of Skittles 14.5g sugar

1 - Twix 8.5g sugar

This 52 grams of fructose can easily be taken down in about 60 seconds. Throw a roll of Smartees on top and that's another 25g. Add this number to the rest of the processed sugars you may be eating that day, and you're talking some high sugar numbers. This is actually not so uncommon. The average American adult gets about 20% of their daily intake from added sweeteners!

I think it's important to understand that indulging every now and then is okay. It's Halloween after all. But it's also important to understand just how little of this we should be ingesting daily. Eating more than 50g a day on a consistent basis can lead to some serious health problems and metabolic diseases. Getting natural fructose from whole foods like fruits don't have the same negative affect on our body as their man made counterparts. So choose wisely.

It's also good to teach your children about sugar and how to eat it responsibly. Most kids could live on a diet of Snickers and Smartees. Without being a complete Halloween Scrooge, try teaching them some lessons on how sugar affects their body. I tell my kids vegetables build muscles, sugar eats it (it's not true, but it works...sometimes). Try rationing it out as much as possible. Let them have one piece a day. Or my favorite, use it as a bribery tactic when you need them to do something and don't want to yell at them 100 times to do it.

Happy Halloween!

Daily Dose of Coach #175: Think on this

"The struggle ends when gratitude begins." Neale Donald Walsh

If you're like me you hate to lose. It's difficult to understand how one finds the silver lining in getting your butt kicked, especially if it happens over and over again. As a father, it's interesting to watch how my young children deal with loss. Once the game is over, instead of it ruining the rest of their night, they are chasing the first butterfly they see, or running across the field with a big smile on their face and open arms to hug their little brother. When I want to analyze the game, they just want to move on to the next thing. Their memory is so short. How I envy this mindset.

I read funny blurb on the advantages of a losing team: 1) There is everything to hope for and nothing to fear. 2) Defeats do not disturb one's sleep. 3) An occasional victory is a surprise and a delight. 4) There is no danger of any team passing you. 5) You are not asked 50 times a day, " What was the score?" ; people take it for granted that you lost.

Loss and failure happen. Be grateful for the experience, learn your lesson, chase a butterfly for a while, give someone a hug and move on.

Daily Dose of Coach #174: 156 Pounds in 365 Days

An article recently featured on Yahoo Lifestyle profiled a young man named Gunner. He shared his story on how he lost 156 pounds in one year. You can see the article here . I've also highlighted some of the things I thought may encourage you in your journey to a lifestyle change.

 

  • Was overweight and lethargic most of his life. Realized he needed to make a lifestyle change to accomplish his goals.
  • At 24, made a decision to live a healthier and more active life. He realized the only way it was going to happen was with putting in the effort.
  • He began by attacking with a persistent mindset.
  • He walked 3 to 4 miles per day and lost 40lbs in the first four months.
  • Lowered calories as much as he could in a healthy way, stopped drinking soda and eating bad carbs.
  • Rules: no sugar, no bread, no salt.
  • Diet was mostly chicken, rice, eggs, protein shakes and salads.
  • When he hit a plateau, he went vegetarian and did some intermittent fasting.
  • He then added weight training in to his program.
  • It took four or five months from there to see any visual changes.
  • There's nothing magic about accomplishing this goal. The only thing you need is a clear mindset, patience and consistency.

I hope this has encouraged any of you who have been struggling with change. It's possible. You just have to have a reason greater than your excuses, decide to do it, be consistent, be patient and be relentless about achieving your goal.

Daily Dose of Coach #173: Technique - The Farmer Walk

If you train with me there's no doubt you do farmer walks or some version of them.

This post will focus on the how top properly execute a basic farmer walk (carrying weight in both hands at your side). But before we move on to that, let's re-talk the benefits and why we do farmer walks. First, it's one of the simplest and safest exercises you can do. It's literally picking up something heavy and walking. Second, it helps build capacity and grip strength at the same time like not many other exercises can do. Third, it builds a strong foundation buy building both core and shoulder stability. And finally, once you start carrying some serious weight, it gives you a whole new appreciation for just how strong you actually are.

And if you're interested, let me also share with you some strength standards. A challenge I do involves carrying their body weight (for males) on a hex bar as far as possible in 20 yard increments, meaning they have to turn back around at 20 yards. Females do the same carrying 75 percent of their body weight. Typically 100-120 yards have been the farthest I've seen this weight carried. Dan John has game changer standards where males carry their body weight per hand, and females carry 85 pounds per hand.

But, like all great exercises, if they aren't done correctly they are just another pointless way to make you tired, hurt or both. To perform a correct farmer walk, do the following:

1. Pick up the dumbbells or hex bar using your legs and hips. When picking up the weight extend through your hips and exhale, stand tall and move your body into correct posture. Think of the walk as a moving plank. You want to maintain a neutral spine.

2. As your walking, squeeze the bar or dumbbell handles. This will help increase tension in the core. Pack your shoulders down and back to maintain posture.

3. Remember it's a farmers walk not farmers jog. When the weight starts getting heavy, you'll see people move in to a kind of half run, half jog movement. You can move your feet quickly, but take small steps. If you are using heavier weight this is more important, longer steps can get the weight swinging and harder to control.

3. When turning around take it slow, this is the hardest part for most people. If you are holding a hex bar, because the weight it farther away from your center, as you turn the momentum can cause the weight to swing a bit and make it harder to control. So turn slowly and controlled as possible.

4. Start with carrying for 40-100 yards. A good starting point for males is males can use a 50-100lb dumbbell range while females can use a 25-60lbs range.

Daily Dose of Coach #172: The Cool Factor

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This post is a little different than the ordinary. It speaks of success in life and sport, but not my typical mindset stuff. I've often said, you can get pretty far in life by just being "cool." By cool, I don't mean acting like your something that you're not, or being arrogant. It's actually quite the opposite. Being cool means being enjoyable to be around, having some charisma and making the people around you feel better.

As I'm writing this, I know my wife is going to tell me to take my own advice. Personality wise, I'm a driven individual who is naturally introverted. But, when it comes to work or needing to get things done, I can throw out some charm and extroversion. My personality score using the DISC test concurred.

We've all been around those individuals that are hard to be around. We've worked with them, we've played sports with them, some of us probably live with them. When I speak to young trainers I try to help them understand that by just being cool will get you farther than anything else. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of terrible trainers who are cool that have more clients than really good trainers who think they are smart and awesome.

I ran into an article the other day called, 11 Habits of Ridiculously Likable People. You could replace "likable" with "cool" and get the same article. You can read the article in the link or I've written out the 11 below. If you are doing these, more than likely you're going to get others to like you. And when others like you they do things for you, they buy from you, they promote you, and support you in many ways.

These are all communication skills. So anyone can improve and become better at them. Yes, your personality is what it is, but you can always work on improving your cool factor by getting better at the list below.

Likeable people....

  1. Are genuine
  2. Ask thoughtful questions
  3. Don't pass judgement
  4. Don't seek attention
  5. Are consistent
  6. Use positive body language
  7. Leave a strong first impression
  8. Greet people by name
  9. Smile
  10. Know who to touch (and they touch them)
  11. Balance passion and fun

Daily Dose of Coach #171: Fat Burners

You may have heard the term "fat burning supplement" or even used some of these products. Many years ago, some of these products like Ripped Fuel and Hydroxycut included powerful stimulants like ephedra. Ephedra was eventually banned in supplements in 2004. These days, you'll find substances like caffeine, green tea or green tea extract, Taurine, Yohimbe, Guarna Extract, or any other ingredients that fire up the "fight or flight" system.

That is, in fact what these supplements do. They enlist these fight or flight hormones which release fatty acids in our body for energy. I get the question all the time, "do fat burners work?" The answer, like with many supplements is, "If you use them correctly."

I don't recommend supplements with have "fat burning effects." But if you decide to take them, here's what you need to understand. These supplements don't work unless you are taking them with exercise. Many people think they can take fat burners and their fat will just be released and disappear. The supplement will kick up the fight or flight system hormones and fatty acids will be released, but without muscle activity, this released energy will have no where to go. Instead of being used, the fatty acids find their way back to the same old fat storage areas they were before.

It's also a myth that these supplements create energy for you. They don't. They actually just borrow it. When this energy is done being borrowed, you'll be left with less energy than you had before.

If you are going to use a fat burner like caffeine, make sure you take it before or with exercise. This way you'll give those released fatty acids a place to give energy to your working muscles.