One of the most common complaints I hear, and biggest challenges to health and wellness, is back pain. Back pain is pervasive in society today. But if you can fix it, you almost guarantee adhesion to your training program, and ultimately success in every desired outcome.
I would have to say that the number of people contacting me with back pain has risen dramatically in the last 12 months. Often they come saying they want weight loss, athletic performance or toning. However, this is quickly followed up with their challenges. And one of the most common challenges… back pain!
"But in my experience, most [back pain] can be fixed through proper and informed movement."
I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years with back pain. And having worked closely with physiotherapists and massage therapists, I’ve discovered there are many causes. But in my experience, most can be fixed through proper and informed movement.
Personal trainers are professionals in their field — in the field of health and fitness. And like any professional, when you spend enough time in the field, you see themes arise and learn the intricacies that go with being in the trenches day in and day out. Due to the nature of personal training, the relationship between trainer and client can become quite personal. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to tell you everything. Here’s what they won’t tell you.
When I first started, and even to this day to a certain extent, I was very hesitant to tell people anything that might make them feel bad. I wanted them to feel comfortable and good about themselves. Almost out of a personal need, I developed a very supportive coaching style. While this was fundamental in developing a reputation as a “good” coach, it sometimes came at the expense of getting consistent results.
"[Personal trainers] want to help you become a better version of who you...
It’s okay not to be 100% healthy, 100% of the time. For most of us, some of the most enjoyable things in life are a little bit unhealthy. Take eating pizza and drinking beer while watching the footy, or sipping cocktails by the pool in Bali; some of the things we enjoy are a little bit unhealthy. But the unhealthy habits some people have are just down right crazy!
I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect. I myself have unhealthy habits, starting with dessert. When it comes to dessert, my favourites are ice cream, chocolate and chips. The trigger for me is the finishing of dinner. And that’s an important association to make — what triggers your behaviour. Whether your habit is what I would consider as quite normal, like mine, or just a tad crazy, like I’ll explain, recognising your trigger is all so important.
"This is all about putting the mindset shift ahead of the physical shift. And this is the way it should be."
I’m used to hearing of...
Pioneering humanitarian Florence Nightingale once said, “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.” This statement, no less true today than it was in the 19th century, should remind everyone that if you want to succeed, excuses have no rational basis. Sure, we all make them, especially when it comes to working out. Although deep down we all know we’re supposed to exercise, it’s always easier to come up with a reason not to do it.
Why are there always seemingly insurmountable obstacles that keep getting in the way of our fitness goals? It’s true that for many people, life often gets in the way; work, eating, social commitments that we’d rather do, and other activities always take precedence. But the fact is that what most people just need is a paradigm shift in their thinking. What you think of as hindrances, you can turn into advantages. We tend to make excuses because most of the time we just don’t want to...
This week I’m giving you a recipe from Mind Your Body. Despite what the name might suggest, the Chocolate Hazelnut Bowl recipe is full of super healthy ingredients — good for you in more than one way!
Of the 130+ recipes in the Mind Your Body academy, this is one of my favourites. It is super quick to make, really tasty, and best of all, very healthy! And some of the ingredients are considered superfoods, which means they contain high levels of much-needed vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants.
"Smoothie bowls can be quick and easy ways to get valuable nutrients into your body."
If you’ve ever struggled with trying to get a flat tummy; or you’ve ever thought a flat tummy just isn’t possible for you — maybe because you’ve blamed your genes, child-birth or a cesarian, then I have some really good news for you!
"There isn’t just one strategy that will help you achieve weight loss and a flat tummy. All five are important."
I’ve been helping people get flat tummies for years. While my experience has spanned the world of athletic performance and injury rehab, one of the most common desires I hear, and take great pleasure in helping people achieve, is a flat tummy. My own partner, Holly, is one of them. After four children in five years together, and five cesarians by 32 - yes, 5 (ask me more in the comments) - I’m working with her because she wants to get her flat tummy back.
Sure, scars make a difference. It makes it hard to achieve a flat stomach when you’ve got a scar that folds the...
This isn’t an article to make you feel bad for not exercising. That just isn’t my thing. This is an article explaining why you might have found it hard in the past to find time to exercise. And it may just uncover some deep-seated habits that have held influence over other, possibly least expected, areas of your life too.
"Regardless of how rich and successful, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day."
I look at those people like Richard Branson and Tony Robbins and I think, “How do they do it? How do they find time for everything in their life?” It’s not like they have any more hours in their day to me. Well maybe Tony does. He seems to be super-human. But how do they fit business, family, friends, functions, events and even philanthropic work into their busy day, and still have time to look after their health?
Of course they outsource. You simply couldn’t do what they do without outsourcing. They have massive companies comprising thousands of...
Have you ever had enough of feeling fat, unattractive, tired and miserable? I have! Picture this… You’ve finally had enough. You reach that critical pain point. That point where there’s enough pain to drive behaviour. So you get all motivated to go out and buy new runners, exercise clothes, and maybe even equipment. Sound familiar?
I’ve been here plenty of times. I was a chubby kid. And just before I turned 14, I went on this health kick. I left grade 8 a chubby little boy and returned a completely new person. Not only did I look like a different person, mentally and emotionally I was a different person. That 6-week Christmas school holidays changed the course of my life forever.
"...regardless of what your goal is, there is a journey you must take to realise that version of yourself. Your goal might be a stepping stone ten days, ten weeks, or even ten months into the future of that journey."
While I’ve never gone back to being clinically...
Developing motivation can be a tricky and complex process… if you don’t know how to do it. And like I always say, everything comes down to having a series of frameworks that operate within a system. With an effective system, it’s actually really easy.
I’ve spent years researching, putting into practice, tweaking, modifying and implementing strategies to develop motivation. Some of that has cost a lot of money and most of it has cost a lot of time. But I’m obsessed. It’s one of the areas of psychology that intrigues me the most. One of my favourite classes in my psychology course at university was titled, “Learning and Motivation”.
Combining my love of fitness and psychology has been very well received. There’s so much demand for the knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated. The three characteristics I hear people say they struggle with the most are:
That’s fair enough. Those three...
The term “functional training” has become quite a buzzword in the fitness industry. And as a result, it can be open to a wide range of interpretation. The true meaning of functional training is to perform exercises that lead an individual to perform the activities of everyday life more easily. In my interpretation, it is to practice fundamental movements and become proficient at them.
I believe I’m a very humble and modest guy. But I’m going to put my modesty aside for a moment and say, “When it comes to human movement, I know my $h!+”. Seriously, I know how to break down movement. You just need a system. And from my time at the institute of sport, I created a system. I created a list of regressions and progressions for each of the six fundamental human movements. And in total, there were over 250 exercises — about 50 exercises for each basic movement pattern.
I’ve just introduced two words — functional and fundamental, but they...
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