Daily Dose of Coach #282: The Basics for Athletes at Any Level

My friend, former intern and current strength coach in the Cleveland Indians organization, Ryan Faer sent a tweet I thought that nailed it with regards to an athletes priorities.

What are three things that can help ALL athletes of any level?

1.Sleep

2.Hydration

3.Nutrition

The “big three” help support elite athletes in the pursuit of marginal gains & optimal readiness; they are also effective means to attain major gains in developing athletes.

Too often we get too caught up in all the pretty stuff. As an athlete, don't move on to anything else until you have these basics down.

Daily Dose of Coach #281: Water and the Waitline

When it comes to weight loss, this is numero uno in getting started. It's not calorie counting; it's not eating less crap food, it's simply the delicious and perfect chemistry that water is.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Drinking 16oz of water before a meal will not only keep you hydrated but fuller. This is one of the first tasks I try and have weight loss clients master. It's simple, doable and immediately effective.

2. Switching from high-calorie drinks like soft drinks, juices, beer and wine can lead to a considerable calorie and sugar reduction. Start by replacing one thing you drink consistently with water. Studies have shown that people who drink mostly water have a 9% lower calorie intake on average.

3. Drinking water can raise your resting energy expenditure. This is simply how many calories you burn at rest. Drinking 16oz of water has been shown to increase REE by 24-30% within 10 minutes and last for up to 60 minutes. The benefits may even be more significant if it's cold water. This is from burning calories to raise the water to body temperature.

4. Drinking water increase energy levels. Instead of reaching for that diet Mountain Dew at 2 PM when your head is about to fall through your desk, try drinking 8-16 oz of water. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired and fatigued. Drinking water consistently throughout your day will not only improve energy levels but improve your performance in the gym as well as brain function at work or school.

So how much water should you drink? If you're an absolute water hater start with 4 (8oz) glasses per day. You can start with one 8oz glass in the morning when you wake up and one 8oz glass with each meal you eat.

Typically, you will get the benefits of water for weight loss if you are consuming 4-8, (8oz) glasses per day. I would recommend staying closer to the 8.

 To get the big benefits of water, Drink 66% of your body weight. This means if you are 200lbs, drink 132 ounces. This breaks down to about 8 of those 16.9-ounce plastic water bottles.

Just make sure you are always around a restroom.


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Daily Dose of Coach #280: A Few Ways to Improve Your Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian Deadlift is one of my favorite exercises for not only strengthening but lengthening the posterior chain. By lengthening, I mean increasing mobility and dynamic flexibility of the hamstring and low back.

The first way to improve the RDL is to make sure you are going through a full range of motion. 

Sometimes I have beginners go through a shorter range of motion (just below knees) before they learn to drive their hips back (hip hinge) and keep their back flat. But as they continue to be able to control this movement, I have them increase their range of motion (plates to the floor). 

Shortening your RDL's, like any other exercise, is just failing to strengthen and lengthen those muscles through a full range of motion. Start with lighter weight and learn to control this movement through a full range. Once you get the technique down, you'll notice that by adding weight can actually "auto correct" your form and improve that loaded stretch.

Second, learn first to shift your hips back, then your knees, to clear space for the bar. When an RDL is done correctly, the bar path is straight down. This happens because the butt is driven back into a hinge, and while the knees are only slightly bent, the posterior weight shift of the body will push the knees back to clear space for the bar. 

Too many times, I see people bend the knees and then try to drive the hips back. This not only kills the hip hinge but forces the person move the bar forward as they are moving towards the ground. Not good for the back, and does nothing for the hamstrings and glutes.

Third, finish the movement. Upon bringing the bar back to waist level, finish the movement by driving your hips through the bar (by squeezing your glutes) and pulling your shoulders back. This ensures you are completing the exercise by properly firing in the hamstrings and glutes

Daily Dose of Coach #279: Think on This: Destination Vs. Champion Mindset

"The quality of a persons life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless of their field of endeavor." Vince Lombardi

Mia Hamm is a two-time gold medalist, world cup champion and one of the most well known professional women's soccer players to ever play the game. Below she shares some severe lessons for success and being champion.

“Let me tell you now all those lessons I’ve shared—work harder than anyone else, be a team player, celebrate your victories—will pay off whether or not you ever win a medal. Olympic or otherwise. If you go for the goal, like we do on the national team, you’ll always be reaching for a higher place. Each victory is great in and of itself, but champions are on a never-ending quest.” 

A lesson I've learned is that the difference between those with a destination mindset and a champion's mindset is the champion always continues their mission to improve.

Victories are celebrated but soon forgotten. The lessons and confidence they've earned are applied to what comes next in their life. Improvement isn't an option; it's how they continue to live.

So many times I've seen people work hard for a short amount of time and achieve an impressive goal. However, after the goal is achieved, those lessons and confidence are not transferred to anything else in their life. They go back to the same comfort mindset they were in before. This eventually becomes a pattern in their life. They binge and retreat, binge, and retreat.  

For the champion's mindset, achievement is never a destination. Improvement and an attitude of persistence, determination, desire to be the best and willingness to act on it with a tenacious will are what separates them from everyone else.

Daily Dose of Coach #278: Mike Tyson and Publix

I always watch closely how the bagger thinks through putting the groceries in the plastic bags at Publix.

It's my general rule to carry all the groceries into the house at one time. I notice if groceries are bagged correctly it's much easier to make this happen.

In general, the best baggers are looking at what's coming across the line and determining what fits best with what and how to use the least amount of bags possible.

In the end, you have a tightly packed cart with lots of groceries and minimal bags.

The not so good baggers don't pay attention to what is coming down the line and start throwing items into any bag it will fit in. I've also noticed that at least 50% of the time, this person is either talking about break time or complaining about something at work.

I've often said that when a young athlete comes to me to begin training, I can tell within the first 10 minutes if the kid has a shot at being great. If you have been around, studied and observed successful athletes you'll notice they approach everything differently. They are determined from the beginning, have a genuine excitement, are focused, courageous, don't mind making mistakes, always asking for more, and are fanatical about the details. They would be great baggers at Publix.

In the book, Iron Ambition, My Life with Cus D'Aamato, Mike Tyson talks about the stairway that went up to his Cus D'Amato's gym (Tyson's first coach). Cus used this staircase to determine if the kid was going to be a great fighter:

"The gym was up three flights of rickety stairs. If you stood at the bottom of the stairs, you could see all the way to the top. It was like you were climbing a stairway to heaven. Once you got up to the top, there was a big hole in the door, patched up with mesh wiring, and there was a huge watchdog that would smash up against the mesh barking like crazy.

Cuss always said he could determine a lot about the character of a kid who made that trek up the stairs. He even called that walk, 'The Trial.' If the kid came up alone and wasn't deterred by the dog, and pushed the door open and said he wanted to be a fighter, Cuss knew he had something to work with.

But, if someone brought a kid there, it was a different story. I knew I had my work cut out for me. Because that fellow didn't have the discipline or the desire strong enough, at the time, to come up there by himself, open the door and say, 'Hey, I want to be a fighter."

Your approach to everything you do is being observed.

The greatest athletes I've worked with and studied focus fiercely on the details. From the time they walk into the gym to the time they leave. Everything they do has a purpose that is leading them to a greater goal. They work with intent, are present in the moment.

One day, you're going to have to walk up a metaphorical set of D'Amato's stairs. Your character will be judged on how you walk up those stairs and decide to open the door. Learn that if you want to be great, you have to do things with courage and focused intent. And in many cases, you'll have to do it on your own.

I always choose the line at Publix based on the bagger. You are chosen at some level every day. Learn and practice what approach it takes to be the best choice.

Daily Dose of Coach #277: Why I love Dunkin Donuts

Okay, I knew this would grab your attention.

You may be thinking, "Why in the heck would this guy write about Dunkin Donuts?"

Let's start with the fact that it is one minute from where I work. During long hours at work I can quickly run up there and grab a coffee, and I'm not going to lie, I've had a donut or two. Boston Creme happens to be my favorite.

But it's not Dunkin Donuts that I love. It's the convenience of being able to grab something quick to satisfy hunger pains or a get a quick re-load of caffeine.

As a trainer and someone who coaches nutrition, I realize that this is probably not the greatest choice. But I'm human. And I'm sure you can relate to a time or two when you found a place like Dunkin Donuts to hit the spot.

But, because most of these unhealthy conveniences are within our grasp, planning to satisfy your hunger when outside of your kitchen is critical.

Here are some suggestions to quickly throw into your bag to bring to the office.

-Hard-boiled eggs

-Greek Yogurt or Yogurt Parfait

-Veggies with Hummus

-Sweet Potato

-A can or bag of tuna with crackers

-Protein bars

-Fruits - Banana's, apples, pears, peaches grapes, oranges, berries etc.

-Dried Fruits

-Veggies like baby carrots or mini-red, yellow and orange peppers

-Nuts like almonds or pistachios

-Protein powder (just add water)

-String Cheese

-Dark Chocolate

-Beef Jerky

Convenience is nice, but there's a price to pay when it comes to eating conveniently. That payment is with your health and against the goals you are trying to achieve.

All you need to do is plan ahead. Most of these items I suggested above are easily thrown in a bag and ready to go.

Daily Dose of Coach #276: The Most Difficult Lift (for most people)

Overhead pressing or shoulder pressing is one of the most commonly compensated lifts I see. By compensated I mean arching of the low back, bad mechanics of the scapula and looking like they're naturally trying to turn the lift more into an incline press than a straight overhead press.

Continuing to overhead press with these types of mechanics is going to lead to eventual breakdown somewhere. This breakdown can occur in the low back from the constant extension (shear forces leading to destructive movements in your spine) or the shoulder joint.

 I've seen it tried to get fixed in many different ways. The most popular one I've seen is the elastic band rotator cuff strengthening. The problem is, as with many "shoulder warm-up" exercises is they don't address the main issue which is overall movement quality. During standing overhead movements familiar cues of firing your glutes and bracing your core may clean up some of the movement, but it's not only difficult to maintain, but poor mechanics will eventually find their way to another area of the body.

Whenever I look to research things of the shoulder, I look to the "shoulder guy" in my industry, Eric Cressy. In his article, Why You Struggle to Train Overhead - And What to Do About It. Instead of addressing your shoulder issue with an elastic band he gives six video exercises you can incorporate into your daily warm-up to begin building, not only your quality range of motion, but overhead stability as well. 

Daily Dose of Coach #275: Steve Nash's Advice to Kids

Former NBA point guard Steve Nash was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame this past weekend.

Nash was a two time NBA MVP and known for being one of the most intelligent and craftiest point guards to ever play the game.

Nash's relentless work ethic and love for the game is what he attributes all of his success too. He often says, "He was never supposed to be here." Nash didn't even start playing basketball until he was 13 years old. Growing up in Canada, the sports he played as a young child were hockey and soccer.

In his Hall of Fame speech, Nash gave some advice to his four children sitting in the crowd along with the rest of the world watching. These were his words:

"For all of you kids out there, just like these four (speaking of his kids), find something you love to do. Do it every day.

Be obsessed. Balance can come later. Use your imagination.

Put pen to paper. Declare your intentions. Set small goals. Knock them off, set more goals.

Gain momentum. Build confidence. Outwork people. Play the long game.

You don't have to be the chosen one. The secret is to build the resolve and spirit to enjoy the plateaus. The times you don't feel like you're improving and you question, why are you doing this. If you are patient, the plateaus will become spring boards.

Finally, never stop striving, reaching for your goals. But the truth is, even when you get there, even when you get here standing on this stage, it's the striving, fighting, pushing yourself to the limit every day that you'll miss and you'll long for.

You'll never be more alive then when you give something everything you have."

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Daily Dose of Coach #274: Think on This: A Tiger's Approach

"All is well that begins well." John Maxwell

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "all is well that ends well." And though this statement is accurate, how we start something, and especially how we approach it with our mind, has a huge impact on its success.

In 1996, Tiger Woods turned pro. Shortly after, he had his first interview at his first pro tournament. While fielding questions he was asked, "What would make this a successful tournament for you?"

Tiger responded, "A victory; nothing less. In my life, I've never gone to a tournament without thinking I could win. I've explained that to you guys before. It's just the mindset I have."

Tiger went on to use this mindset to become the most celebrated golfer of all time. And though he has struggled in his recent comeback. I am confident he still arrives at each tournament thinking he will be the victor.

How do you approach a challenge? Do you start with a positive mindset, thinking you will be able to overcome and win any battle put in front of you? Or do you focus on how strong the opponent is, how hard the task will be, or with a mindset that you'll just show up and hope for the best?

All is well that begins well. Before you start your next challenge, get rid of any negative thoughts that may come your way. Focus only on what you can and will do, not on the obstacles thrown in front of you. Confidence in yourself and your abilities goes a long way.

As Mark Twain said, "All you need is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure ."

Daily Dose of Coach #273: 6 Ways Training Improves Success

Training your body has an amazing and powerful effect on sustaining the characteristics of a highly successful individual. If your goal is to be the best at what you do, to become the most valuable person you can grow in to, why wouldn’t you take your health, energy, and confidence more seriously?

Here are six ways training can improve success:

1. Training Improves Levels of Energy:  Health is energy. What is the real point of health? It is efficiency. It is your physical body performing at it’s highest levels to create and sustain the energy to deliver your purpose to the world. Thomas Fuller simply stated, “The difference between men is energy.”

2. Training Improves Focus and Concentration:  Recent studies have shown that even one bout of exercise (even better than caffeine) can improve your mental and cognitive performance throughout the day. The long-term response enhances brain chemicals critical in expanding new nerve connections and brain tissue in the area of the brain for higher learning.

3. Training Improves Sense of Achievement:  Successful people thrive on getting things done and personal achievement. In all aspects of their life, they compete. After completing your training, there is always a sense of accomplishment. Over time, persevering through a training regimen will do wonders for your confidence and your overall desire to improve will be apparent.

4. Training Improves Physical Appearance: Training improves body image and physical appearance. Feeling attractive never hurts when speaking of confidence. Though confidence is much more than looks, how you perceive your body changes your presence. 

5. Training Improves Transitions in Mindset:  Success, focus, and perseverance can bring high amounts of stress. At the highest levels, it can be unbearable, even lethal. Training, like mediation, gives the mind a break. It can improve anxious, cynical, and depressive thoughts by releasing chemical substances resulting in positive feelings and helping to relieve stress.

 

6. Training Improves Your Attendance: People who train are generally more healthy than their counterparts. By building immunity and decreasing your chances of significant health risks, you show up more often. You not only show up, but you show up with energy and purpose. The more days you show up, the more impact you make, the more successful you can become.

Daily Dose of Coach #272: Picking a Great Coach

In the book, The Little Book of Talent, the author wrote a chapter about five ways to pick a high-quality coach. As I navigated through the section, I found these traits to be true in any of the excellent coaches I've had and known over the years.

1. Find a Coach Who Doesn't Remind You of a Courteous Waiter: Great and courteous waiters are nice to have at a restaurant, but not so much as a coach.Great waiters focus all their efforts on making you as comfortable and happy as possible. They take care of everything and tell you not to worry about anything. If your coach does this, he may be nice, but in no way are you getting better.

2. Find a Coach Who Invokes a Little Fear In You:  The author wasn't talking about someone you cower down to or who bullies you. He was talking about someone who you have feelings of respect, admiration and even a small amount of healthy fear. You know this coach is going to hold you to a different level of accountability. They only care about your actions and not your words. They are honest with what they tell you. This truth may hurt, but it's with all intention of making you better.

3. Find a Coach Who Gives Short and Clear Directions: The worst coaches are those who talk too much. You can go through a whole practice or session and get nothing out of it, but a headache. Great coaches give short and clear directions. Their purpose isn't about making you feel how smart they are, but guiding you toward a target. The author wrote, "Coaching is about creating a connection and then delivering useful information."

4. Find a Coach Who Teaches Fundamentals:  Fundamentals are the core of your skill and must be mastered to be great. The greatest coaches aren't interested in the fancy pants crap. They understand what it takes to be a master. They build your foundation of skill and character on the fundamentals and are relentless about perfecting them.

5. Find a Coach Whose Had Experience and Results: The author's original 5th quality was, "Other things being equal, pick the older person." I changed it because I believe age doesn't always bring results and experience. I've met some coaches in their 20's who are great, and some in their 60's who are not. Older and more experienced coaches who have gotten results were usually learners and risk takers early. They have more knowledge and wisdom to bring to the table. If they've got results, and have the four characteristics above, they are probably a the best choice.

Daily Dose of Coach #271: Getting Back on Track

It's much easier to fall off the wagon than get back on it. Especially when dealing with nutrition.

And personally, nutrition is much more of a fall-off, get-back-on experience than one smooth ride. I'm sure you can relate.

Once I feel I'm off, meaning I don't think twice about eating ice cream every night, or have no conscious about what I'm putting into my body, I remind myself of the "one thing" rule.

The one thing rule is, choosing one thing to change for the week. It could be replacing ice cream with Greek Yogurt and fruit. It could be drinking 16oz of water when I wake up. It could be adding one portion of vegetables to lunch and dinner. It could be going back to my breakfast smoothie, rather than just grabbing something when I run out the door.

Have you fallen off the wagon? Don't let the thought of having to re-engineer your diet stress you out. Just choose one thing.

As you practice this small habit, you'll notice as you improve, other areas of your nutrition will start to correct as well.

What's the one thing you can change this week?

Daily Dose of Coach #270- Think on This - 10 Pages a Day

"Don't say you don't have time to read. You don't have time not to read, look at it that way." Mike Boyle

In 2004 I committed to a personal growth plan. This plan involved reading one book a month in professional or personal development. I would spend about 30-minutes, every morning, before work reading, reflecting and recording any insights I felt valuable.

This, by far, has been the most important decision I ever made with regards to my career. As the years went on, I began to slowly separate myself from other people who were showing up to work every day just as I was.

It wasn't because I had any particular talent or ability. In fact, many of the people I worked had more advanced degrees in higher education than I had. I was merely more committed to furthering my development at a small level, every day.

Last Wednesday my friend Mike Boyle made an Instagram post on reading 10-pages a day. He wrote, if you read ten pages a day, that's 300 a month or 12-books per year.

It reminded me of the power of small commitments. Anyone of us has time to read 10-pages a day.

Jim Rohn said, "Personal development – the never ending chance to improve not only yourself but also attract opportunities and affect others."

Give it a try, you won't be disappointed by the results.

Daily Dose of Coach #269: Time Isn't the Problem

One of my primary goals in my personal training program, as well as my training app, is to make it as convenient as possible for people to train.

Instead of having one or two times to choose from, there are multiple times during the day. With my app, you can choose whatever time of the day you want to train, and your program is waiting right there for you.

The reason is to help eliminate the time excuse. However, time is rarely problem. Yes, many of you can argue who have kids who play sports, businesses to run, or the multitude of other things that fill your calendar. But time isn't the problem; your level of commitment is the problem.

Nothing exists without commitment. You can try to motivate yourself all you want. You can keep telling yourself you'll start on Monday. But with each attempt, you'll increase the stress, guilt and discouragement as it continues to widen the gap between your motivation and action.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "There is no strong performance without a little fanaticism in the performer."  Sometimes to get things done, you have to become a little fanatical, a bit crazy about your commitment. Some may label you these things as you do what they aren't willing to do. But in the end, you may inspire them to get off their butt too.

Daily Dose of Coach #268: Try this 24 Hour Rule

One of the most challenging things about leadership is maintaining a positive attitude during difficult times. But this is an essential trait of the greatest leaders I've ever known. No matter how bad it gets, they were confident in the fact that they would be able to pull through.

Author Jon Gordon summed it up when he wrote, "If you are complaining you're not leading. If you are leading, you're not complaining."

Imagine how many times we've given away our position of positive influence because we chose to complain instead of helping provide solutions for change.

At the core, this is what leaders do. They deal out hope, figure out solutions, and inspire others to act. Complaining is the easy way out. Solutions take energy and courage.

Try not complaining about anything for 24 hours. When you are about to open your mouth to whine, cry or bitch about something; stop yourself. Instead, think about it as a challenge and write down three solutions. I think you'll find your attitude and leadership will take a positive and productive turn.

Daily Dose of Coach 267: Think on This: Rest, Don't Quit

"If you're tired, learn to rest, not quit." Banksy

Maybe my mom was right after all. Perhaps, as a kid, when she’d tell me it was okay for me to rest instead of thinking I need to work hard on something, it was wisdom flying over my head.

Maybe she wasn’t just concerned about me overworking myself. Perhaps she knew that I might actually be better if I took some time to rest, sleep in, watch a movie, do nothing…

After 40 years of life, I’m only now starting to understand the value or rest. My identity has always been wrapped in my work ethic. I took great pride in it. But, I’ve also learned that this constant stress and pursuit has ill effects.

For example, I’ve always got up early. But for most of my adult life, I’ve tried to be up before the sun, many times struggling to wake up to a 4:30 AM alarm to get ahead of the day. This is something I could control. It was a way for me to gain a competitive advantage. After all, that’s what all successful people do right?

But living on 4-5 hours of sleep eventually catches up to you. I began to notice extreme bouts of fatigue. Hormonally, I was more than likely a disaster. When I met with a Doctor last year, all we spoke about was sleep. He encouraged me to find a way to get 7-8 hours, and he guaranteed me I’d be feeling like my old self again.

Low and behold it worked. And though I still struggle with learning to take a break, especially mentally, I took steps to make rest a priority rather then something I am forced to do.

The great Vince Lombardi said, "Fatigue makes a coward of us all." This includes all types of fatigue, mental, physical and emotional. Fatigue plays with your mind; it questions whether you can do it, it makes it easy to quit.

A good strategy is to think of work, or stress and rest, or recovery in a one to one ratio. Whatever time you spend at work, try to get at least that amount of time in rest. This is the balance of high performers.

Learn to stop. Learn to rest. Learn to take time away from work. Learn to take short walks in fresh air. Learn to sleep more. Learn to nap. Learn to put your phone down for a few hours. And learn to walk away, give things some time before you give up on them.

Daily Dose of Coach #266: Random Thoughts on Pre-Season Basketball Training

For the past few days, I've been entrenched in the game of basketball. Some people may think that my favorite part about traveling to a country like Greece is partaking in what this beautiful country has to offer, but that's not 100% the case.

What I enjoy most is observing the game at this level, especially in the practice setting. I love seeing the process of the coaches plan at work, new and old players coming together as a team, skill and competition drills I've never seen before, and of course, learning what is important to their club with regards to strength and conditioning.

With this, I have some random thoughts on preseason basketball training. In this frame of time you get players you know and don't know. You get players in shape and completely out of shape. You get players who buy in immediately while others take some time. But either way, the goal is to get them to the season physically prepared to play and injury free.

By no means are these reflections new or revolutionary. But concerning pre-season at elite levels, these thoughts should hold true.

RT#1 - Initial evaluation, structural efficiency testing, pre-screening and interviews regarding off-season training are critical. These include as many metrics as you can collect as possible. And even though where a player tests may give you an idea of their off-season training plan, it doesn't always tell the full story. This is why I think an honest and non-judgemental interview process is vital.

RT#2: Not all players come equal. Age, shape, size, training and injury history all play a part in how training should be introduced into pre-season training. For instance, a veteran player going through 2-a-day practices often needs more therapy work. Training for these athletes can include more FMS weak link work, short stints of intentional strength, power and core work. Younger athletes may need to learn and be introduced to new lifts and education on the training process.

RT#3: Team conditioning can be accomplished through drills in practice. I don't see too many elite or professional teams running suicides and 17's. I also believe, if possible, monitoring heart rates of all players during practice can give you more information about when to break than anything else. Individuals who need extra conditioning can have this scheduled as a part of their program.

RT#4: On the same note, movements such as lateral shuffles, crossovers, skips, footwork can be accomplished in a solid pre-practice warm-up. These don't necessarily need to be drilled as intervals.

RT#5: Strength work should be scheduled, systemized and individualized for each player on the team. These are customized off evaluations and interviews.

#RT6: All medical staff, PT's, AT's, and strength coaches must be on the same page with regards to the goals of the program.

RT#7: If possible, nutritional counseling should be provided. You'd be surprised at the lack of basic knowledge players at elite levels hold. Nutrition can go as far as being individualized for each player to help accomplish body composition goals, to providing pre and post workout nutrition, training tables, and hydration.

RT#8: Practicing, teaching, and evaluating recovery starts on day one. This is an area of training largely overlooked. Education on sleep hygiene, physical and mental recovery principles and how to put these into practice is essential to keeping your team healthy and physically prepared year round.

Daily Dose of Coach #265: Travel with a Plan

There are plenty of reasons not to train. Traveling accentuates these reasons.

Whether on vacation or business, most people find it nearly impossible to stick to a plan. In the process, substitute all they've worked for with lots of bad food and relaxation.

Not to say there is anything wrong with this, but if you're on my email list, I'd say there's a good chance you take your health and fitness more seriously than others. If there's an opportunity you can get something done even while in relaxation mode, you'll do it.

I've found the easiest way to make this happen is just like anything else, have a plan. It can mimic or be a lighter version of your training plan at home. Or if you travel often, you can have a base plan that you follow each time you go.

Here is a base seven-day plan you can use. The goal here isn't to spend your entire time in a gym or training. Max, these workouts will take is 20-30 minutes. This will help you get your fix, get something done and you'll feel great about the rest of the day.

Monday (or Day 1): Weight Training 3-4 exercises 2-3 sets of 10

Tuesday (or Day 2): 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio. Go for a walk. See some sights where you are traveling to

Wednesday (or Day 3): Body weight 3-4 exercises of 2-3 sets of 10-20

Thursday (or Day 4): High-Intensity Interval Cardio. 3-6 sets of :30 on 1:00 off.

Friday (or Day 5): Weight Training 3-4 exercises 2-3 sets of 10

Saturday (or Day 6): Yoga, Stretching, Dynamic Flexibility 3-4 exercises 1-3 sets of :30 seconds in duration

Sunday (or Day 7): Do nothing or 20-30 minutes of low-intensity cardio. Go for a walk before anyone one wakes up. Take in the morning air and be grateful for where you are.

Daily Dose of Coach 264: Pre-Workout Nutrition

The reason you eat before you workout is to help you sustain energy, improve your training performance, hydrate, preserve muscle, and speed the recovery process, post-training.

Protein before you workout will help you with preserving muscle, reduce muscle damage, and gets amino acids in your blood for immediate use.

Carbohydrates help fuel your training, preserves stores of muscle and liver glycogen and stimulates the release of insulin (improves the synthesis of protein and protein breakdown).

Fats help slow digestion and provide some vitamins and minerals essential for performance.

If you have two to three hours before training you can eat the following:

For males, 2 Palm Sizes of Protein, 2 Fist Sizes of Vegetables, 2 Cupped handfuls of Carb-dense foods like fruit or brown rice, two thumbs of fat dense food (nuts/avocado) and 16 oz of water.

For females the same but one serving of each and 8-16oz of water.

If you only have an hour before your workout, you won't have much time to digest your food. A shake or smoothie may be your best option at this point.

A good example of a pre-workout shake would look like this:

1 Scoop of Vanilla Protein

1 Fist full of Spinach or Kale

1 Banana

1 Table Spoon of Peanut Butter

8 oz of Chocolate or Vanilla (unsweetened) Almond Milk

Keep in mind the following:

1. These are basic guidelines for people who are going to do 45-minutes to an hour of training. If you are preparing to go on a 10 mile run the amount of carbohydrates you will need will be different.

2. Know how your body responds to food. Don't eat foods that upset your stomach. No need to eat a great pre-workout meal that stops you from working out.

Daily Dose of Coach 265: Good Morning From Greece

Good morning everyone. Last night I arrived in Greece and posted the picture above.

Greek salads are probably one of my favorite things to partake in when visiting this beautiful country. And if you are a fan of fresh vegetables and olive oil, you can see why.

This is my third time in Greece. This time to work with two or three of the athlete's I've been blessed enough to get to train.

But, when I get a moment to myself, I like to reflect on how fortunate I am to do what I love to do and the opportunities that come with it.

I'm pretty sure I was made to do what I do from a very young age. I've never considered doing anything else. Many people tried to change my course along the way. In fact, the first mentor I had told me, "You'll never make any money in this, you might want to consider something else."

I was told when I arrived at RDV Sportsplex in 2001 that they did not train athletes there. Three years later we opened up a 7500 square foot sports performance center.

My passion was always so great, I didn't even understand why they would say those things.

My first mentor didn't understand it wasn't about the money for me; it was about making a difference. And that has never changed. When someone told me a facility like the RDV Sportsplex didn't train athletes, all I could think of is, "Why not!?!"

It's unfortunate that people can get in the way of your passions. I believe this happens more often than not. It's never an easy road to follow, but if there is something you love to do, don't give up. Don't let people who have no passion discourage you. Don't let the realists give you every reason you should go another way.

I love what baseball manager Roger Hornsby said, "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. "

Find a passion like that. Be so in love with it you don't even know what your critics are talking about. Keep with it, and you never know just where you might end up.