Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fitness/Nutrition Mistakes to Avoid

Fitness and Nutrition Mistakes to Avoid

The fitness industry is full of myths, misinformed information and gimmicky programs that people buy into on a daily basis. From P90X to the NutriSystem diet, these gimmicky programs get people to buy into a short term approach to fitness. These systems are great if you stick to them but just like any fad, most individuals fall into the trap of yo-yoing their way through these different programs. Fitness NEEDS TO BECOME PART OF YOUR LIFE! This is not a short term project that you just do for a few weeks or months. It needs to become who you are as a person if you truly want to feel good, stay away from deadly diseases, and take advantage of everything around you.

Here are a few fitness and nutrition mistakes people are making on a daily basis:

1. Fad Diets. Ok, diets might work in the short term but who wants to count points or eat boxed foods the rest of their life? No one! You need to change the way you eat. Learn to make healthy choices when you go out to eat, learn how to grocery shop and learn how to cook healthy. I like this quote when it comes to nutrition: “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” So if you do not have your refrigerator and cupboards stocked with good, healthy and fresh foods, you will not make healthy decisions. If you do not prepare your snacks and lunch before you head out for your day you are more likely to make a bad choice throughout the day. So learn to make the change and be healthy all the time. A diet might jumpstart your fitness regimen but slowly get off of it and live the healthy way.

2. Crunches are good for your abdominals. “Repetitive flexion, extension, and rotation of the lower spine puts tremendous pressure and force on the low back skeletal area,” says Dr. Stuart McGill, a low back specialist from the University of Waterloo in Canada. If you continue to bust out hundreds of crunches a day, do not be surprised if one day you blow out a low back disc. The “core” region of your body integrates from your thighs to your rib cage and everything in between. You should not perform exercises that isolate just your abdominals. You need to build a strong core structure by firing your entire torso region together. Side planks, front planks and bridging are all great exercises that produce stability throughout the torso.

3. Long slow distance training for fat loss. You see this at every gym you walk into. People on the treadmill, bike or elliptical going at a slow to moderate pace for 45-70 minutes thinking they need to be in a “fat burning” zone so they can lose weight. Well this is not the answer for fat loss. You might lose some weight at first and see some results but you will plateau fast. Now if your goal is to complete an endurance event (triathlon, cycling or marathon) then yes, you need this type of training and that is a whole article in itself. But keep that as your goal, not weight loss. Interval training is the way to go if you want to see rapid fat loss. An interval is when you work for a specific amount of time and that work is followed by a short rest. You can use any piece of cardio equipment for this protocol. Try performing 20 intervals where you work for 20 seconds and then rest for 40 seconds (make sure to warm-up properly before starting this workout). You need to push yourself during these types of workouts. The intensity needs to be high but know the intensity and level you need to be at.

4. Buying into fitness infer commercials. Again, like diets, these programs are not a long term approach. How can you miraculous change your body in 90 days? I hate to break it to you, but it just doesn’t work like that. Unless you plan on working out 2 hours a day and eat perfect, it doesn’t happen that fast. “If a program seems too gimmicky to be true, then it probably will not be the answer,” says Mike Boyle, internationally known strength coach. It seems that every time I turn on the T.V. there is some type of gimmicky product being advertised. The “bender ball”, “slendertone”, “hip hop abs”, or P90X. These programs might get you motivated and get you active but they will never last more than 6 months. Plus, they might even be bad on your body. Put exercise into your schedule. Make it a lifestyle habit and watch your life soar.

If you want a fit and healthy lifestyle it needs to be just that, a lifestyle. Ingrain these principles that were discussed into your daily schedule and you will see the benefits. Fitness is for everyone! So go out and make it happen and get active!

For more information, contact Justin at

Friday, August 7, 2009

A great read!

I read this article by Todd Durkin and it instantly hit the spot! Talk about firing you up. Whether you are in the fitness industry or any industry for that matter, you can take these things and use them to GET BETTER! Isn't that your goal everyday? I know it is for me. Not just a few days a week, EVERYDAY! Enjoy this great read from Todd Durkin....

Do Your Job…Better! 10 Ways to Add LIFE to Your Client &
Your Career By Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS

Nothing bothers me more than poor body language during a training session. Drinking or eating during a session, sitting down while someone is doing floor work, crossing your arms when a client is grunting through his/her last few reps of a grueling workout, or just not having the positive energy to deliver an experience that is memorable. These things make me sick to my stomach. The more trainers that I speak with around the country and the more business managers and owners I speak with, the more I realize we have a problem in this field with some trainers that just don’t “bring it” every day. Here is the deal: If you aren’t bringing it every day, do yourself a favor, do your clients a favor, and do your business a favor, try a different business. Right now, our country faces one of the greatest challenges we’ve seen in a long-time. We’re experiencing a depressed economy, foreclosures, bankruptcies, lay-offs, and a ton of trickle-down stress that can negatively affect relationships, mental health, and physical health. There is so much negativity out there that it can be downright depressing. Do not let this be you and do not let it affect you! We need to step up our game and YOU be the one that is a “game changer.” In the name of this industry, we all need to feed off each other and be a beacon of light that infiltrates energy, positive attitudes, and a “Can Do” belief that anything is possible to our clients and our teammates. Walt Disney says, “Everything speaks.” What you wear, what you say, your body language, your energy, your session, the music, the cleanliness, the colors, the smell, the service, and the experience that you deliver all tell a story. What is your story‌ What area(s) can you improve on to keep bringing IT every day‌ My friends, training is not just a job—it’s a calling. If training is just a job that you show up for and count your hours and your pay-check, you are definitely in the wrong field. As passionate, motivated trainers that are looking to get to the next level, here is what we need to do our job…and do it BETTER: · Work harder. Sorry, there are no short-cuts to success. If you want to be a great trainer, it’s probably going to be harder than you think. Attending conferences, constantly reading, always learning, and doing things way beyond the hours you are being paid are all the price you pay to be a standout. · Be enthusiastic. John Wooden says that if you want to be successful, you must be “hard-working and enthusiastic.” This starts with a friendly greeting when the client walks in the door, keeping your energy up during the day, being engaged with your clients at all times, being an attentive listener, making your clients smile, and simply being excited about even just small accomplishments your clients achieve. · Deliver great customer service skills. Trainers, we need to step it up here. You can be a great trainer, but if you are not sound with your customer service, you will be stuck in constant mediocrity. Calling people by their names, answering the phone by the 3rd ring, stopping and sincerely thanking your clients, writing them notes, or sending them occasional gifts or tokens of appreciation goes such a long way. I was recently at a Thomas Plummer event and he said something fantastic: “Welcome to my house, these are my guests, I expect you to treat them with respect and to dress for them professionally.” He went on to say, “If you don’t abide by this, you should be fired. While employees may be replaceable, guests are NOT!” · Thank your clients. I will say it again. Be sure to thank your clients and let them know you appreciate their business. Your clients are very savvy how and where they spend their money and they choose to spend it with you. What are you doing to keep them from going somewhere else‌ · Dress to impress. Do you dress professionally‌ Are your shoes clean‌ Are you nicely groomed‌ Do you look like the true professional that you really are‌ · Body Language that speaks. Are you in the game‌ Do you lean in when speaking‌ Do you lean in when listening‌ Are your eyes ALWAYS on your clients‌ There is NOTHING more important than your client when you are with them. Show it!!!!!!!! · Do something…for someone else. Try being a “servant” everyday. Be a servant to your clients, to your employees, and to your employers. When you come to the game with an attitude to give and to serve, it pays big dividends. · Embrace criticism. That’s right. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Ask your clients what you can do to better assist them; ask your boss how you can do a better job as an employee; ask your employees what you can do to be a better boss. Either way, embrace the feedback and be open and willing to improve based on what you hear. · Bring the ENERGY. This is what it’s all about. Everything you do creates an energy. People come to you or your business for the energy you provide. I liken it to a light-house. If your “light” shines bright, many ships will sail towards you. If you are dark, quiet, and “a-drift”, no one will ever find you. Light it up and shine bright! · If you want more money…work harder. Why is it that people feel “entitled” today‌ Whether it be clients, employers, or employees, people often feel “entitled” to more money, more success, more this or more that. I don’t get it. Nothing replaces hard-work, going above and beyond, and creating your own success. It’s the extra work, the extra effort, and the “And Then Some” attitude that will ultimately lead you to greater compensation opportunities. But the bottom line is that you must work for it. The attitude should not be “I expect more money and then I will work harder.” It should be, “I will work harder and then I can expect more opportunities to earn money.” · Create the experience. I love this statement for training businesses, “We are the best part of your day every day!” If you do the little things it takes to be successful and really focus on creating a great experience, success will be created. I can promise you this, if you can do these aforementioned items (10 items + 1 extra!), you WILL create more success as a trainer. This will result in better results for your clients, your business will improve, and the overall experience for your clients will improve. At Fitness Quest 10, I always say to our staff that we need to be an “island in a sea of depression.” What I mean by this is that I want our clients to know that they can always come to us for a consistent experience that delivers a positive energy, a great session, and a home away from home. I want our business to be the “best part of your day every day.” What is it that you want‌ If you continue to focus on getting 1% better every day in all that you do, pretty soon, you will be not only a darned good trainer, you will be a great business and you will create profound results and experiences.

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is a personal trainer & massage therapist who motivates, educates, and inspires people world-wide. He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, and nutrition to help transform people’s bodies, minds, and spirits. Todd trains dozens of NFL & MLB baseball athletes and provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences world-wide. Additionally, Todd is the Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council. He has appeared in 60 Minutes and been featured in Sports Illustrated, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Self, Shape, and the NY Times and Washington Post. You can sign up for his FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the “TD TIMES”, at or

Past writings