Daily Dose of Coach #252: The Veggie Struggle

Getting the right amount of vegetables in your diet can be a struggle. The goal for men is 6-8 fist-sized servings of vegetables a day and woman 4-6.

Vegetables are something that I'm not good at. For one, I did not grow up eating, so I never became apart of my diet. Second, like many of you, I don't find them the most satisfying thing to eat. And last, trying to get my kids to eat vegetables is like pulling teeth. So preparing two different meals isn't always the most convenient thing in the world.

But just like the old, I don't have time to workout excuse; this is the same thing. What is important is what gets done. And vegetables are an essential part of health and a healthy diet.

So I wanted to share with you some simple ways I try to get 6-8 servings of vegetables in a day. I'm not always great at this, but this is my base game plan. It doesn't involve lavish recipes or ways to prepare them. Like everything in my life, I try to simplify it as much as possible.

Breakfast: I add spinach or kale to a morning smoothie. Or, sometimes I add chopped tomatoes, mushrooms and or onions to my eggs.

Snacks: Celery sticks, baby carrots, sweet red, yellow, and orange peppers. Sometimes I dip them in hummus. Sometimes I eat them with nothing.

Lunch: I try to have some type of salad for lunch. I don't take the time to make them, but buy a lot of premade salads. I try to vary between spinach, kale, and lettuce. I also try to get as many vegetables as I can within the salad.

Dinner: I'm a big frozen veggie person. They are not only great for quick add-ons to your meals, but also work as ice-packs for my kids when they slam their heads and knees into things. I add olive oil and maybe some vinaigrette to foods like broccoli or mixed veggies. This helps with adding a little taste.

Eating Out: Wherever I eat out, I try to get a meal that can supply at least one fist-size portion of vegetables. Even if you order a cheeseburger, the lettuce, and tomato count.

So there is my very basic way of trying to get my 6-8 servings of veggies a day. I'd love to hear how you get your veggies. I'd be happy to learn how you make this less boring, more fun, and more tasteful.

Daily Dose of Coach #251: Passion in the Details

Last Friday I finished up the day working with a couple of athletes. One girl in particular has been making some great strides. Her father, who is a friend of my family, walked over to us to say hello.

As we were speaking, I began to talk to him about the all the small improvements I've observed his daughter has made. I could feel something change inside of me as I was speaking about this. That something was just the excitement in those small details I was relaying.

He jokingly said, "Are you trying to sell me, because you don't have to."

I responded by letting him know, "Sometimes I can't help getting excited about seeing small improvements in my athletes. I just want to show and tell someone, and you happened to be standing here."

I've been lucky enough to be one of those people who found my passion early and went with it. As cliche as it might sound, I "followed my heart."

I don't think Harold Thurman Whitman was wrong when he said, "Don't ask yourself what the world needs--ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

There are three ways to know you're alive and working in your passion. The first is you have a strength for what you do. The second is that what you do with these strengths helps make a difference in the lives of others. The third is when you do what you do; you feel most alive. You work with and have a purpose.

The fourth I'd add involves the story above. Your passion comes out in the detail of your work. These minuscule things may bore the pants off of others but light a fire in you that you want to share with the world.

Hope you all have a great week!

Daily Dose of Coach #250: Think on This - Find Your People

"You will be too much for some people. Those aren't your people."

One of the first times I heard this advice was from a guy named Ryan Lee. He went from a personal trainer working crazy hours, at the point of burnout to a millionaire marketing specialist.

My Daily Dose of Coach was born out of his strategy of speaking to and providing valuable content to my clients, friends, and family, daily.

But you have to be okay that when you do things at certain levels, it's not for everyone. That goes for many different arenas. Lee said, if people unsubscribe to your list, they're not your people. And that's okay. My friend Charlie Weingroff likes to spin it by saying this; "The JV team plays on Thursday."

When I first started doing my emails I had a lot of people unsubscribe. And it pissed me off. As I look back on my old emails, I can see why they would. I didn't really know what I was doing, and they sucked.

But just like anything in life, it was narrowing down the list of people who I shared similar values and passions with. These are my people.

Anytime you start with a group of people; you can't expect everyone to follow. Especially if you set high expectations, speak in truth and are more interested in making progress rather than pleasing everyone.

Don't let people walking away get you discouraged. Keep believing, focusing and developing what you do. As you improve, you will attract more people who share the same values, mindsets, and beliefs.

Daily Dose of Coach #249: 5 Ways to Know Your Program is Working For You (Besides the Scale)

Many of my personal and online clients become obsessed with their scale.

But, the scale rarely tells the whole story. As you stand, staring at your feet in disappointment, there may be plenty of other breakthroughs that may currently in the works.

 Here are five ways you will know you are making positive changes that your scale might not be telling you.

1. You have more energy. Movement creates energy. Eating better creates energy. Your brief caffeine highs are being replaced by steady energy from your sound diet and drinking water.

2. Your clothes are fitting differently. Whether your goal is to make them looser or tighter, you begin to feel the difference. You don't have to struggle with pulling your pants up. It's just one smooth move. Or, maybe you tried on an old suit for the first time, cross your arms and feel like you back is going to bust out like the Hulk. That's muscle, a good thing and maybe time for a new suit jacket.

3. You feel more confident. This comes for two reasons. First, you are beginning to feel better about how you look. And eight to twelve weeks into your consistent program you'll be sure to start getting compliments from other people wishing they were as committed as you. Second, you are accomplishing something towards your health every day. Whether it's getting your workout in or eating well, you are performing goals you've set out to do. And there is nothing better for self-confidence than that.

4. You're getting stronger and gaining more endurance. You're waking up less sore. The weight you've been using all of a sudden feels lighter. You can add an extra set or new exercises for a greater challenge. Your range of motion through specific exercises are improving. You're recovering faster. Day to day activities is becoming easier like carrying the groceries, walking up stairs, or picking up your kids, or smashing a baseball.

5. You get mad and feel "off" when you miss a training day. It's become more of a lifestyle than a chore. When your routine is interrupted, you are not happy. You start planning ahead even more. If you travel, you make sure you have everything to keep your routine alive and well.

If you aren't seeing the mass (meaning weight) results you want to see, continue to focus on proper nutrition and consistent DAILY activity (whether it be training, more movement throughout the day, or just getting up and going for a walk in the morning or after dinner).

Don't measure everything by your scale. The journey of fitness and performance is packed with lots of different ways to get a win. Focus on wins and stay consistent.

Daily Dose of Coach #248: Difficult Days

Watching the World Cup may give you a notion that "devastating injuries" last only a few minutes as the athlete rolls around on the ground in what appears to be a career-ending situation. But we've come to know this in America, as the "flop."

 But real injuries happen. Pain happens. Sorrow befalls. And these episodes arrive to shake and inconvenience our plans and lives.

Last week, I had a short conversation with an injured member of our gym. A painful hip injury sidelined her from all those things she loves to do. An avid runner and weightlifter, she explained that it's not so much the pain, but lack of being able to pick up a barbell or go for a run that hurts the most.

This is a common theme. Injuries can be more difficult on the heart than on the body. They can take something away from us that we truly love.

I encouraged her letting her know that what she's going through is just a place in time. This is not a perpetual state. No phase in life is permanent. It's just what it is for now.

With proper care, the body heals. With time, the body improves. Most of the time it takes longer than we wish or anticipate, but patience is vital. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Patience and fortitude conquer all things."

Maybe you're going through a difficult time. Perhaps it's an injury. Maybe it's a more severe loss. No matter the loss, this is where you are. There's no way around it. You must accept, grieve and continue to try and move forward.

If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk then crawl. And if you can't crawl, sit and be patient until you can make your next move. This goes for all things in life. All suffering and all pain have a window.

Remember and repeat the words of the great poet and playwright William Shakespear, "This, too, shall pass." Not as fast as for the World Cup athletes, but it will pass.

Daily Dose of Coach #247: Think on This - Sculpting Greatness

"Those who are satisfied with their accomplishments tend to remain as little as the things they do."

We often get the two words, content and satisfied confused. Content is a state of being, defined as a "state of peaceful happiness."  Being content is something we achieve by pursuing the best in ourselves in everything we do.

While contentment is a state of being, satisfaction is more dynamic. And for those looking to create greatness in their life, satisfaction is never accepted.

Though the two words are different, they exist within each other. We have an innate desire to improve and pursue. People who achieve the awesome s#%& are unable to quench this satisfaction. They are continually seeking improvement. It's this pursuit that gratifies.

Michelangelo, the Italian sculptor, painter, and poet is most known for his painting of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. But one of his most prominent sculptures, and often called his best work, is the statue, Moses.

A story is told that when he completed the statue some 400 years ago, he cried like a baby saying, "Why dost thou not speak!?" Michelangelo expected this statue of cold white marble to come to life. He was so mad at his perceived failure that he struck the knee of the figure with his chisel. To this day if you look close enough at the statue, you will see a dent in the knee of Moses. Though he had created a masterpiece, he wasn't satisfied, and he left a mark of frustration to prove it.

Your work is never done. Never be satisfied, only content in your constant pursuit of improvement.

Daily Dose of Coach #246: Post Fourth of July Nutrition

There's nothing like screwing up a solid week of clean eating like throwing a holiday right in the middle of the week.

As you wake up this morning hopefully not too tired from fireworks and extracurricular activities. That being said, your nutritional focus should be to get back on track.

A rule of thumb I use with my personal and online clients is, always follow a not so healthy meal with a healthy meal. And especially after a day of celebrating our independence, maybe today, try two on the healthy side.

A healthy meal looks like this: one or two palm-sized portions of lean protein. One fist size portion of vegetables. One cupped handful portion of smart carbs, and one thumb size of fats.

I like to cover this in the morning with a nutrient-packed shake. This simple formula will get you back on the track and have you start thinking you're a healthy beast once again.

-1 or 2 Cups of Spinach or Kale

-1 Cup (8oz) of Almond Milk

-1 Scoop of Whey or Plant Protein

-1 Banana

-1 or 1/2 Cup of Frozen Berries

-1 Tsp of Chia Seeds

Hope you all had a great Fourth of July! Now back to work.

Daily Dose of Coach #245: Technique - Two Four Point Plank Variations


The four-point plank is the standard plank exercise. Done correctly, this tried and true exercise has been shown to actively recruit many core muscles including the rectus abdominus, internal obliques, erector spinae, multifidus, latissimus dorsi, and glute max and medius.

However, as one continues to perform this exercise, it can become less challenging over time. So instead of trying to break the new world record for longest plank held of 10 hours, 10 minutes ( see video here ), try adding these variations in time frames that fit your programming.

-Long Level Posterior Pelvic Tilt Plank (pictured above): Start in regular four-point plank but move your elbows closer together (6 inches) and move them up to nose level. Keep arms and hands in a neutral position (thumbs up). While performing the plank, squeeze the glutes to achieve a posterior pelvic tilt.

-Pull Down Plank: This plank sets up exactly as the standard plank. Elbows directly below the shoulders, hands in a fist and holding neutral spine. The difference here is when the clock starts, with the forearms still in contact with the floor, pull the elbows down and back. The shoulders may move just slightly over your elbows but don't go too far. Try to maintain that pull down action through the duration of the exercise. For even more intensity add a forced exhale as you pull.

Daily Dose of Coach: Dr. King on Tools

As a coach and someone whose around sports and fitness, I live in a world of people comparing, measuring, and analyzing. And in my position, I'm apart of that process.

I'm helping people measure themselves against standards, benchmarks and what others in their similar situations are achieving. This criterion can be valuable. It gives us a place to go, a vision to see, something to endeavor.

However, each of us is set up differently. Some people were set up to be the standard setters in certain things; some were not. There are anomalies, but those are few and far between.

Be that as it may, the comparison game is still alive and well. Many times when we think we're an apple compared to an apple, we may be more of a tomato. As much as we want to be that apple, the tomato was our draw. In the gym, my friend Don Z likes to remind me, "Some of us were just made to do certain things."

The problem arises when we try to use our shortcomings as excuses and thus turn into limiting beliefs. I've found that belief if much stronger than reality. Everything we accomplish, no matter our circumstances, no matter how many times we've failed, starts with rock-solid belief.

In 1956, Dr. King did a sermon on leading hopeful lives. He encouraged the congregation to pray, " Lord, help me accept my tools. However dull they are, help me to accept them. And then Lord, after I have accepted my tools, then help me to set out and do what I can do with my tools."

The tools you were given are everything you need to succeed. Your path will undoubtedly be different than others. Don't bend to discouragement and limiting beliefs. Accept, develop and embrace these tools. The apple, the tomato, the disadvantaged, the oppressed can all change the world.

Daily Dose of Coach #243: What Age Can My Kid Start Weight Training?

Typically, I'd say most kids should start actual weight training around 13 to 14 years old. However, this is case dependent. Some kids mature faster both mentally and physically than others and can start somewhat earlier.

For kids 10 to 13 years old, this is a good time for them to focus on fundamental movement skills, motor skills and learning the movement patterns that will be used in weight training. Using soft resistance like medicine balls and bands is an excellent way to begin strengthening these movements.

If a child has gone through this process of learning fundamental movement skills and has been introduced to basic speed and power training, they will transition much better to introductory strength training phases. I've found that there has to be a specific maturity and developmental capacity for a child at this age to understand instruction and get the most out of training.

The key to strength training at this level is developing and refining the movement patterns. These children are not yet lifting like adults. They should be doing high repetitions with lightweight focusing on technique and grooving the basic lifting patterns. Most changes that happen to children at this level are not going to be morphological. But strength gains will come from within their nervous system.

With developing young athletes, one phase depends on the exposure to the previous. This is why I tell over-rambunctious parents to, "be patient." There's not only the progressive training journey but the physical maturation of the athlete as well.

The goal is to match up proper training with maturation levels. And similar to developing specific motor skills at an early age (running, skipping and jumping) the adolescent athlete benefits from early exposure to strength training. This helps them transition into the demands of high school and elite level sports.

A child who has a great training base will be more apt to excel in the weight room through their high school and college years. It also helps with decreasing chances of injury while elevating their sport-specific skills above their competition.

Daily Dose of Coach #242: A Quick Grocery Shopping Guide

Am I the only person guilty of walking into a grocery store at the end of my day, with no idea what I'm going to buy, and have basically nothing left in my house to eat (or anything I want to, at least)?

My quick grocery store instructions are usually diapers, something to eat for dinner for my wife and I, something to eat for the kids (because, of course, they won't eat what we eat) and depending on how hectic the day was; wine.

In the back of my head I know we need much more. How about vegetables and proteins? How about good carbs and something healthy to snack on during the day, so I'm not starving by dinner? How about anything that saves me from showing up to this store five more times during the week?

I struggle with the same things many of you do when it comes to grocery shopping. And like anything else, it's all about preparation.

Sometimes I get this right and knock it all out in one visit per week. I follow what I've learned as a nutrition client and Precision Nutrition Coach. I have meals I can prepare. I have healthy snacks I can grab. I drink lots of water and hammer protein shakes.

But it's easy to get off track. So to help you out, I've provided a link to Precision Nutrition's Supermarket Survival Guide . I refer to this often when I grocery shop and it's something I try to help my nutrition clients with.

It has everything from how to prepare your list, to options for fruits and veggies, lean protein, good fats and quality starches. It also provides a label reading checklist and what to look for and avoid.

Hope this helps!

Daily Dose of Coach #241: Squat Vs. Deadlift

Here's a video by Grey Cook called Squat Vs. Deadlift. I get plenty of questions regarding the differences and which is better.

Grey explains these differences in some geeky detail. He also talks about why the hexbar deadlift is used to squat your deadlfit. The hexbar, like the squat, places more load on the knees and and ankles. It's also safer than the barbell deadlift because it places less load on the lumbar spine. It has also been shown that peak force, speed, and power were higher with the hexbar than the barbell. I tend to program more hexbar because of the safety factor, but there are definite and other quality benefits to the straight bar as well.

If you get a few minutes, check it out.

Daily Dose of Coach # 240: 15 Minutes a Day

Yesterday I ran into an Instagram post of David Goggins doing push-ups in the airport. He said his goal was to do 1000 push-ups every day over the next 30 days. I guess if you're going to do that many push-ups in a month, you need to get them in where ever you can.

The point he was making is one I write about often. The use of, or the waste of, time. I have conversations with people all the time that say they don't have time to workout, eat better, read more, improve a skill or anything else that improves themselves.

Most of the time we're looking at it from too broad of a perspective. When we say, we don't have time to workout we are thinking of driving to a gym and dedicating ourselves to a workout program. When we say eating better, we think meal prepping all day Sunday and eating broccoli and chicken at every meal.

Instead, think of improvements in 15 minutes per day. Author Morten Hanson wrote about the power of dedicating 15 minutes a day to a skill. His research has proven it's the constant and brief efforts that count. The key to it is sticking to the "power of one."

You cannot master a skill if you're trying to do this with ten other things. Choose one. Hanson encourages everyone to ask themselves, "Which skill, if I improved, would lift my performance the most?" Then he says to focus on that skill for 15 minutes a day.

Whether its a skill to improve your health, nutrition or personal development, give this a try.

I bet you can carve out 15 minutes a day to walk, write down the foods you want to eat for the day, work on a weakness in a sports skill, stretch, read or anything else that could dramatically improve something you currently struggle with.

Goggins finished up his post saying, "No one cares if you succeed or fail, it's truly up to you. There are no tricks or shortcuts to any of this, it all comes down to self-discipline. It's you against your mind. Your mind will always tell you that you don't have time. The one thing we forget is that we are in charge of what we tell our minds, not that other way around."

What skill do you need to devote 15 minutes to every day?

Daily Dose of Coach #239: Think on This - Screw the Competition

“Focus on running the race rather than winning it. Do those things necessary to bring forth your personal best and don't lose sleep worrying about the competition. Let the competition worry about you." -John Wooden

This may be one of my favorite John Wooden quotes of all time. Coach Wooden was known for not scouting other teams. Instead, he focused on preparing his teams to do what they did on almost a flawless level.

He believed it wasn't necessary to worry about what the competition was doing. He wanted his team to be so prepared and so sound at what they did; all adjustments would have to be made by the opponent.

Today, no matter what you do, it's easy to get caught up in the comparison game. Social media presents a highlight film of other people's successes that can sometimes leave us feeling like we're not doing enough, or even good enough.

That's bull s#$t. Each one of us has something completely different to offer and in our own unique way. To paraphrase coach Wooden, focus on the necessary things to bring forth your personal best, don't lose sleep over anyone else.

It's never a matter of what this person or that person is doing. It's only a matter of what YOU are doing. How are you developing your unique abilities and strengths? What are those little things you're doing every day you won't get credit for until its game time?

Comparison is a trap that can lead to you doing things entirely outside of who you are and even feelings of depression and unworthiness. Don't get caught up in that BS.

Just do what you do. Do it smart, do it diligently, do it consistently, do it honestly and if other people want to worry, let them worry about you.

Daily Dose of Coach #238: Peformance Training Made Simple

It's essential to have a clear understanding for myself, my athletes and for their parents what the real and simple goal of performance training is.

Working with large numbers of athletes over the years, I think the picture sometimes gets blurry. This happens because of performance demands placed on, especially young athletes, where unrealistic growth in performance is expected in short periods of time.

The overall goal of performance training is to enhance physical qualities so that the skills of the athlete's sport are displayed at a higher level. Sound training allows the athlete to tolerate training loads of thousands of hours of coaching and development. This includes developing physiological reserves, strengthening the body to withstand training, practice and competition without getting injured, and ensure the athlete can continue to develop and stay on the field.

While it's easy to get caught up in the numbers of strength, speed, and power, it's much more important to look at the durability of the athlete. How has their training allowed them to improve their skills? How has their training allowed them to enhance the level these skills are put on display?

All athlete's need time to develop from a performance and skill side. I've found it best for the development of the athlete when the two work hand in hand. When one understands the other and especially when the performance side clearly understands it's role as developing a durable, robust and conditioned athlete for their sport.

Daily Dose of Coach #237: Bad Nutrition Days

It's been awhile! Almost a week since I've written my daily email and I have to say I'm glad to be back.

I'm also glad to be back to my nutrition routine as my weekend of "camping" at Disney inspired me to write this post about bad nutrition days.

I've been on a pretty solid streak of lousy nutrition days now. It's to that point where I find yourself eating anything that's in front of me and not giving one damn about it. I'm sure you've been there and understand what I'm talking about.

My steady diet of beer, hot dogs, donuts, sugar-filled coffee, hamburgers, candy, pretzels and cheese, marshmallows, chips, and cookies would make any camper proud.

However, I do have to brag a little and let you know that I tried to eat at least one banana for some quality carbs in the AM. And I tried to drink at least one glass of water a day. Okay, nothing to brag about, but I'd say my previous nutrition coaching was at least speaking to me a little through the debauchery.

My nightly stomach aches let me know that, previous to the last few days, my diet had been solid. But the point is to drive home that bad nutrition days are okay. I would go so far as to say, sometimes they're good.

Sometimes I have ice cream at night. I tell my wife it's good for my soul. She says the same thing about wine.

The key word here is sometimes, not always.

There are 365 days in a year. You are allowed to have more than a few bad nutrition days. Even if you're trying to lose weight, training as an athlete, or just trying to get your health in order, bad days happen and sometimes can help you keep your sanity.

The goal is small improvements over time. I want you to look back over a year and see how those small improvements helped you make big changes.

Today, I'm back on it. Maybe you've started this week off eating like @#$#. That's okay; maybe you needed it. Get back on track, work on small improvements in your diet over time and try to have significantly more good days than bad.

Glad to be back with you all!

Daily Dose of Coach #236: Fueling the Basketball Athlete Through AAU Season

Basketball travel season is about to kick into full gear. As travel and tournament schedules get crazy, it's important to understand how to fuel and hydrate the body to maximize performance. This requires high energy output and can be difficult to maintain without proper nutrition.

It's easy to hit fast food joints and make quick decisions about what to eat between games and practices. But understanding how to fuel the body properly can make all the difference in the world.

One problem is matching the need for high levels of energy output with low appetite. I've found this to be a problem with young athletes as they are moving from games to practice to more games. They miss a lot of meals because of this. And having to get up early to eat breakfast and eating dinner late at night doesn't help.

Here are a few ways to combat this balance of high energy needs, little time to eat, unconventional times to eat, and low appetites.

  •    First things first; Do your best to hit three square meals. This means breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Those these may fall at the strange times during a busy AAU schedule, try to eat this at each meal: 1-2 Palm Sizes of Lean Protein, 1-2 Fist Sizes of Vegetables, 1-2 Cupped Handfuls of Carbohydrate dense foods, and 1 Thumb Size of Fat. A typical breakfast could look like an egg omelet with vegetables, potatoes, and fruit. Make sure these larger meals are not eaten right before a game. Try getting them done 1-2 hours before.
  •    Packing snacks. It's understandable that not all meals may be met and met perfectly. So keeping nutritional snacks in your backpack is always a good idea. I remember being at these tournaments at eating skittles and snickers from the concession stand. This is no good. If you want to be a great player, you must learn to prepare at all angles. Pack food like pretzels, nutrition bars, apples, bananas, trail mix or mixed nuts.
  •    Drinking Some of Your Calories: During times of high output, it's never a bad idea to carry a sports drink or two with you. This can help give you a quick boost of carbohydrates, electrolytes and keep you hydrated. If they bother your stomach because of sugar content, I recommend doing half sports drink, half water.
  •    Proper Hydration: Dehydration can do everything from decreasing the speed of your movement to reducing reaction time, to slowing your decision making on the court. And if you are playing major minutes, it's vitally important that you stay hydrated throughout the day. You can drink a combination of sports drinks and plain water throughout the day. I recommend at least 16oz of water with every meal if not more. Also, make sure that you are drinking plenty during the game. In that backpack that holds your snacks carry a refillable water bottle and sip on it throughout the day. You don't want to water-log yourself, but to perform at your best you need to stay hydrated.

Daily Dose of Coach #325: Drinking is Not About Healthy Vs. Non Healthy

I deal with people who enjoy adult beverages. Some are super embarrassed to tell me that they drink two beers a night because they're afraid of looking unhealthy or uncommitted. Some could care less and let me know that Monday will be tough because they usually partake in overindulgence on the weekend.

Either way, I think it's important to understand that alcohol consumption isn't about being healthy or not healthy. I know plenty of "healthy" people who drink in moderation.

Moderation can be defined by the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee as up to seven drinks a week with no more than three drinks per day for women. And for men, fourteen drinks per week with no more than four drinks in a single day. This seems a little aggressive to me for moderation. I'd advise you to maybe not think of yourself as the average American and tone that down a bit.

A drink is defined as 12oz beer, 5oz wine, 3oz of fortified wine, or 1.5oz of liquor.

In an article I read by Camille DePutter at Precision Nutrition; she made the excellent point that alcohol isn't making healthy or unhealthy choices, it's merely about trade-offs. She explained this using the following scenarios:

  •    Saying "yes" to six pack abs might mean saying “no” to a few drinks at the bar.
  •    Saying “yes” to Friday happy hour might mean saying “no” to your Saturday morning workout.
  •    Saying “yes” to marathon training might mean saying “no” to boozy Sunday brunches.
  •    Saying “yes” to better sleep (and focus, and mood) might mean saying “no” to your daily wine with dinner
  •    Saying “yes” to moderate alcohol consumption might mean finding a way to say “no” to stress triggers (or human triggers) that make you want to drink more.

Only you can determine what you're willing to trade. Another option is lowering the amount of alcohol you consume to decrease the consequence of that trade-off. Whatever it is, understand there's always some health trade-off when it comes to alcohol.

Daily Dose of Coach: #324: Technique - The Lunge

The lunge is a staple lower body, unilateral exercise that all healthy athletes and adults should be able to perform.

It can improve strength, range of motion, and enhance performance and activities of daily living.

It's also an exercise that can be quickly eliminated from programming where unilateral dysfunction or pain in the joints of the lower limbs exist. However, many times it's just labeled as an unsafe exercise, which is wacky.

No matter what age, all healthy humans should be able to nail a lunge from the ground up and the top down. It's one of those movements that you'll find yourself in more than you realize and sure helps to be able to get in and out of with some strength and power.

For this post, here's how to perform a top-down forward lunge like a champ. This explanation is the same whether performing with dumbbells in hands, barbell on back, or body weight only.

  •    Begin standing with feet hip-width apart.
  •    Take a step forward with one leg slightly longer than a walking stride
  •    Maintain good posture thinking about driving your head through the ceiling.
  •    Your back heel should naturally come off the ground if you've stepped far enough in front.
  •    Lower your body at the hips until both knees are about a 90-degree angle. This can be accomplished by staying just above the ground (or you can also gently tap your back knee to the ground)
  •    A proper step and keeping good posture will ensure that the front knee stays directly over the ankle joint. In general, you want to avoid letting the knee get too far out in front because of sheer forces that can be placed on the joint.
  •    When returning to starting position, think "push the ground away" with your foot and return to starting position. 
  •    As you drive back to the starting position, do your best to maintain a stiff upper body not allowing your back to go into extension to assist the movement.

Daily Dose of coach #323: Posterize Rejection

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Michael Jordan

When difficulties or unexpected change arrives, our initial response is looking for the easiest solution. This is human nature to choose the path of least resistance. It attempts to regain a place of comfort. The best thing that can happen when thinking like this is rejection. These rejections will hurt. But what you will learn in the process of overcoming is what changes your life.

It reminds me of growing up on the mean streets of Colorado and playing lots of outdoor basketball. I was always one of the smallest kids. I didn’t hit 6 feet until I was in college. I quickly learned taller stronger kids had the advantage in this sport. As a small and skinny kid, I felt like I had two options: learn to shoot from really far away or drive to the lane and pass, or else, get my shot blocked into someone else’s yard. In taking this path of least resistance, this is what I did. The results were, I didn’t grow as a player and limited myself.

It all changed when I decided I wanted an opportunity to keep playing after high school. I set up a meeting with the college coach, and in our 5-minute meeting he told me I was too small, he’d never heard of me and laughed at me out the door. I walked out disappointed but more motivated than I’d ever been in my life.

My assistant high school coach told me if I wanted any chance, I had to be able to get my shot off faster and had to get stronger. I made three focused decisions. 1) I was going work tirelessly to figure out how to get my shot off, whenever I wanted to, against anyone, at any time. 2) I was going to harden and strengthen my body to the point that I was doing the punishing. When I took it to the basket, I wanted my defenders to take the worst part of it. 3) I was going to be the aggressor. I was going to dunk on you if I could.

My focus helped me become good enough where I was eventually asked to walk on my college basketball team. It wasn’t the path of least resistance. I got rejected a lot. I was told to give it up, a lot. It took a concentrated effort of 1000’s of hours in the gym, the weight room and playing with people much better than me. When I made the team the first thing I did was thank the coach for telling me, two years before, that I was too small and unknown to play for him.

Rejection is a great thing. It will help you focus and concentrate your mind on exactly what you need to do. It enables you to realize that nothing in this world can be taken for granted, that you have to work for and fight for what you want. It forces you out of your comfort zone. Not only that, but it motivates you to prove yourself, your abilities and brings out your competitiveness.

As one door slams in your face, it opens up opportunities for so much more. It gives you a chance sharpen your focus but also to prove yourself and other people wrong. As the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, says in the quote above, “If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Or as he did many times in his career, posterize rejection.