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Coaches Corner: Should I gain, maintain, or minimise the damage?

by Shaun Kober
December 31st 2020
00:28:30
Description

I've had so many great conversations with friends and colleagues about what we see happening in the fitness industry, and thought to myself, "I wish we would have recorded that."
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what does it mean to live life to the fullest train to your potential and perform at your best leave nothing on the table. That's a non negotiable is that I strive to be better every day because if I'm not on top of my game, how is anybody else gonna follow me down the road? Keep demanding more of yourself to live up to that potential and to stay hungry. Training is progress. You know when I look at the word training, I think of steps, baby steps to get somewhere that you want to be and that is basically your life journey. That's a mindset in itself, man, it's like it's not just about I know that for you, a lot of that's about the physical but we're constantly in training, whether it's growing our skill sets, whether it's growing up physical bodies, whether it's growing our relationships whatever and all of that is a training ground and that kind of goes back to the mindset that we just talked about. You underestimate yourself and you don't even start. But then once you start, you often surpass what you thought you could do perform at your best mate. That's that's sort of what life is all about. You don't have the knowledge and have the fitness, the healthy ambition and drive that no matter what comes along.

When that next phone call comes, I can just say yes, I don't have to worry, just go and do it. You're what is up guys, Welcome to this coach's corner episode with myself and J. L. T. I'm Sean Cobra of the live train performed podcast. J LT is from Storm Force Fitness. We had an 80 minute conversation where we discussed a number of things and I've split that conversation up over four episodes. This is the third installment. So if you haven't listened to episode one and episode two, please go back and listen to those because if you don't listen to those, then a lot of the stuff that we say in this third installment won't make as much sense. Alright, so in the first episode, we spoke about some of the common issues that we see when clients start working with us. Uh in the second installment we discussed a number of different approaches. We had gold based approaches, uh process based approaches and identity based approaches. In this episode we discuss how to manipulate training and nutrition dependent on where you are in the year.

So as an example, there's going to be times when you're looking to maintain where you're at, there's going to be times where you're looking to make gains and there's going to be times when you're looking to minimize the damage. Now these episodes are dropping during the festive season. So this makes sense to me to look at minimizing the damage where we understand what our values are and then we have these rules and regulations around our movement around our training, around our sleep around our lifestyle etcetera to stop us from sabotaging all of the hard work that we've gone through to get us to that point. So kick back relax and see if there's any tips and strategies that you can implement during this festive season. Let's get this episode underway if you say maybe, but again, if you're working with a coach, one of the three key habits I need to instill, where can I start? So it might be, you know, we talk about things like a liter and a half of water if you can drink a liter and a half for probably three times as much as you're in Thailand, but for us, normal people over in England, you know, lead 2.5 is a good place to start.

Um, the sleep thing, can I spend eight hours in bed, even if sleep is not perfect at first I'm in bed for eight hours. You know, we'll work on the rest as we go. Three key habits like that done for Even just three things like that, done for 30 days, you will feel drastically different and as you said, before what often happens and there's no way for you or I to prove this to clients, they just have to kind of have a bit of faith is that you will feel different and you will want to do more after a week of drinking enough water and sleeping and you know, I wrote a sleep book precisely about all of this stuff and even a little without getting to science, you know, the difference between sleeping for eight hours a day and four hours a day for just five days, It can change your insulin sensitivity by like 40%. So you know when we start, you know, you want to hear about the keto diet, you want to hear about, should I eat carbs and all of this sort of stuff. If you're not sleeping then if you're sleeping well, then always to put it, it's not quite as simple as this, but you can eat and process more carbohydrates.

If you eat them, process those carbohydrates better, you can train harder, you can do the program and so on and so forth. But it all starts from getting to bed for eight hours and just that little habit. You know, nobody is saying that sleeping for eight hours is going to turn you into a fitness model. But what we do know is if you're not sleeping like that, unless you're taking drugs and stuff to help you is very, very unlikely that you will become a fitness. I saw something the other day. I can't remember what it was. I think my friend sent me a meme or something um, was on their stories or something like that. But it was basically um sleep is an investment in your productivity the next day and I was like, that's fucking brilliant. It is honestly, I I we all know sleep's important. Like I don't think anyone needs to be told that, but it's only when you actually see some of the statistics and how like I said, that's five days of only sleeping deeply for four hours. Some people have been doing that shit for 35 years. Like you can only imagine the toll it takes on a cellular level and energy and digestion and all that stuff and it is quite mind blowing.

But again, you you won't believe it until you do it and yeah, but Oh man yeah dude, like think about this, if you if you don't exercise for a day, you're right. If you don't eat for a day, you're probably still alright. You don't drink water for a day. You're probably gonna be hurting a little bit. You don't sleep for a day. You're in trouble. You extend that out to a week, You don't exercise for a week. You find you don't eat for a week and probably going to be a little bit of trouble. You don't drink, you probably dead. You don't sleep for a week. You're fucked. Yeah. Yeah that was a good, I don't know if it was a book or something I read but it was along those lines about the longest time anybody has been known to survive without food. Water and sleep and sleep is like 11 days. Whereas food obviously not healthy but you can do it for months. People have been stuck on the rubble in an earthquake for 60 days with no food or water and still survive but sleep, You've basically got 11 days in your fuck.

So that alone just you know our bodies and do what is important. So I'm sure those 11 days like fucking after two days of no sleep, it would be a pretty shitty existence. And you probably wouldn't be a lot wouldn't want to be alive. Anyway. So there was a game show, I think you did a game show like this is probably one of these japanese things. It was like who can stay, who can stay awake the longest. It's like that two days of that shit. I was I'm tapping out Dude, I remember drink like five L of milk man. I remember this would probably like 10 years ago now. It was like a radio show that was like hold your wee for a wii and someone died man, someone fucking died because they held their peace for too long. Like it's that's that's part of biology, right? Like your body requires sleep restoration recovery. Like it requires food, it requires oxygen. It record all of these things are essential. I find it funny that we even have to talk about this shit like go outside and get some fresh air, you know talking to and sunshine unfortunately and and think about breathing properly, oxygen is fairly important.

Did you know that? Yeah, you know that the diaphragm is a muscle and most people don't know how to engage that muscle. It's like trying to flex your bicep, but not being able to do anything else. Honestly, what I'm going to tell you today, I'm not even going to pretend that this is this is magic stuff like this is to get you to the start line that you should already be. Yeah. You know, it's like most people are constantly living their life trying to get to the start line and then falling back and then trying to get there again and falling back. And it kind of makes me sad when you think about it too deeply, which I do a lot. A lot of people are spending their time on this planet well behind what is even at basic level, like, you know, back in, even my grandparents day, they got up early, they got up with the sunrise, they were outside a lot, They get good clean food. My grandparents were farmers, so they were active at least seven or eight hours a day. Uh you know, structured exercise in some ways.

It wasn't even a thing because they didn't really need it. But now we've just, we've fucked ourselves so much that a lot of coaching really, and probably the first three months is just getting you to what should be a, it's just undoing the shit, just undoing the shit man. And dude, like I literally just wrote down healthy organism is an adaptable organism and you know, going back to what we said earlier, you know, people are constantly looking for the sets the reps, exercise, exercise, order, exercise selection, fucking rest periods, all this shit, man, it's like how much is sleeping, you know how much sunshine are you getting? You know what type of food, how much, how much energy you're putting into your body in what ratios and you know what what nutrients are you missing? Like let's talk about hormones, let's talk, you know, there's there's so many different things, man, and like I said, a healthy organism isn't adaptable organism. So if you're fucking if you're and if your car is running on fumes and you've got fucking, you know, no engine oil, you've got no brake fluid, you've got no power steering fluid, you're, you know, one of your fucking spark plugs isn't firing.

You know, your your tires are flat, you know, all of these things, man, like If you're just trying to put your foot on the accelerator to get to where you want to go faster, it's not going to fucking work, it's gonna blow your engine up. It's the same thing with our bodies, man, we've got 11 different systems of the body, right? So you know, we need to optimize all of those systems, we need to get everything running optimally we need to get everything running efficiently so that they can all the systems can do their job so that when we do go and add stress to the body by training our bodies in a good state to be able to go, hey, that was difficult. I need to be able to deal with this better next time now I'm going to make myself bigger, stronger, faster, leaner, smarter. You know, I think that's a fucking important thing, man. And you know, it's a, it's a big piece of the puzzle that a lot of people are missing. Yeah, something you said about the car, it brings up another question that people ask themselves. And I think, you know, if you want to talk specifically about the whole festive season and stuff like that, it's, it's asking yourself what cost you are willing to pay and when you want to tell you this costs because it's like a car.

Yeah. You know, you can disrespect your car, you can rag it around and not have the mot done on it and not have the annual check I've done and everything else because you don't want to pay. But the odds are, you are going to pay and you're going to pay a lot more later on. This is a, this is a human problem is we only see like the current cost even like, you know, we talk about the festivities, it's well if I don't get absolutely trotted four times this week, all the christmas parties then I'm missing out. People are gonna think I'm this, people are gonna think on that, you know, ask your granddad who's on his deathbed, do you, does he remember that The people he had a Christmas party with and he was 22 and he won't, you know, but He may have paid the cost 30 40 years later from that kind of attitude. You know, a lot of drinking bad food and so on. You pay a much bigger cost later on whether it is medication or lack of a lifestyle because you know, your bones and joints and everything is screwed. Um So yeah, you want to get into the sort of festive season stuff.

Yeah. Yeah, it was it was a good transition. I think that was um again, I think that's another good point as well. Like, you know, we are in the festive season by the time these episodes drop and you know, we're not saying that you can't fucking have a couple of drinks with your friends, you might get fucking slashed one night, who cares? Right? As long as as long as that's, you know, the exception rather than the rule, like everything's got. Again, it's the opportunity cost, it's the, you know, the cost benefit ratio, you know, things have a certain value and you know, if I'm with my friends and family for christmas, I'm gonna fucking drink beers all day, I'm gonna eat food, I'm gonna do whatever I want, Okay, but that's because I look after myself the other fucking 80% of the time, 90% of the time, right? Because then that gives me the leeway to enjoy myself and you know, go to and go to these celebrations and you know, go through these festivities and essentially do what I want because I'm not doing whatever the fuck I want most of the time in saying that I do do whatever I want most of the time because they're in line with my values, that means that you know, I'm going to make sure I move every day.

I am going to get some training in, I am going to get some sunshine, I am going to do some meditation, I am going to do some personal growth and development. I am going to, you know, I am getting good sleep majority of the time, you know, it's what you do the majority of the time that adds up and I think that's an important thing, like you know, you need to, again, it comes back to comes back to those approaches, you know, one, what's your identity, who do you want to be, if you know who you want to be, act as if act as if you already that person, you know, so um I do want to be a healthy fit, um mentally strong, physically strong human being, that contributes to society and that's what I do every single day. But then when I want to, you know, enjoy a couple of drinks and have some food and um enjoy the company of my friends and family and things like that and enjoy the celebrations. Then I can do that as well. It's so important that one guy I've been thinking about remember robert off the need is I think his name was a guy do Yeah, for anyone listening, he basically, I met him a tiger muay thai and I used to see him walking around for hours on end backpack on sweating his ass off.

He was very overweight when he got there and to cut a long story short, he's, he's done like a lot of people tried this weight loss program, trying this diet and so on. Didn't really work for him. And then one day basically everyone was going to go out to Thailand and essentially act like a fighter would Now obviously when you're massively overweight, you're not gonna be doing tank runs and running up hills and you know, doing those aspiring and stuff like that. But he would just ask himself what would a fighter with a fighter would do their cardio. So for him that was walking around listening to podcast for an hour or two and he did his pad work and you know, he looked like a fighter would and sure enough he lost a crap load away, he got much better technically, you know, is he now a UFC champion? No, but he is a shitload closer to what he wanted to by asking yourself or what would a fight to do, what values would fight to have and that's always what you need to do what you say, nobody is saying you don't need to drink and nobody is saying you can't eat ice cream and everything else, but if you don't have values you won't have limits either.

So I often talk about like runners, you know, professional runner will generally have what they call like A B and C races. So it's like my races obviously the top level, it's the olympic final, it's the world Championships, it's the euros or whatever, but then they will have other races where maybe they're not pushing themselves as hard and there may be playing a little bit with pacing and so on and so forth and I think it's quite a good analogy to have over christmas is I'll be corners with you. I was absolutely tweeted on last saturday night we had our work christmas party which is like my that's my race, there are no rules in that race. We are, you know, we're going for it. I regret it the next morning but it's it's one night it's not going to affect me because the next one the next day or the day after a 100% for those listening, we're recording this on Tuesday and I had my end of year social with the rugby team on sunday night, but I didn't get home till 7 30 in the morning, it's still paying for it today.

I think this is like the biggest thing that I didn't realize you drink, Oh, I saw you eat yeah of sandwich or something. I'm like, I don't know what you think is going on here. But you know, again, this is the social media generation where a lot of these influences will put up, you know, their photo shoot pictures, they will put up their perfect meal. There's been, you know, the right light and it's easy to think that's what they do all day every day. And it's not some, some do, but generally I found those people are fucking miserable. Uh, and they will have like a lost month every year where they disappear or social media, you'll find that the photos they're putting up very similar to the ones they put up six months ago in season when they're having all the photo shoots and yeah, dude, like that's that's a, that's a good point as well. Like that's, that's the all or nothing mindset. You know, everyone has this fucking all or nothing mindset with everything that we do, but it's just about recognizing that and then going right, I'm not going to go all or nothing. I'm going to like you said, when you know what your values are, then you know what your limitations are?

You start setting those rules and regulations for yourself and that's so much more powerful than having someone else like me or you say, yeah. You know, you can only have three beers on christmas day or you can only have one ice cream this week or whatever. Like you need to fucking set those rules yourself but you need to act in line with what your values are and you need to have clarity on what those values are. I think that's an important distinction with the food. And I see a lot of people going oh I just eat whatever I want and I think you kind of cover this before. It's like yes they are eating whatever they want but what they want has a limit because they know where the threshold is to get results. And it's a it's a similar vein of thought to when we say about oh I don't need to count calories I just you know I just eat what I want and I know what to eat and it's like yeah but you only know what to eat because you probably count the calories before and therefore you now know by sight what you can do. So again we'll go a little bit of topic. You don't have to count calories but you do need to learn by sight how much you can eat.

You know it's a it's one of these distinctions that often gets lost and that's often what sense people like I said to kind of write the star very much off on the wrong direction because they don't understand you know Alan cosgrove is a another another good friend of mine and he said um I forgot what's gonna say now I've lost my train of thought, remind me what are you talking about? The education, education around calories values um To go back to to go back to what you're exactly what you're talking about man. Like again people look at me and they're like oh you drink beers and you do this and I'm like man I fucking had KFC on sunday night like after a massive night on saturday got home 7 30 in the morning, right massive night, everything goes, slept all day when God KFC for dinner on sunday night woke up two o'clock in the morning fucking shit myself just felt rubbish man, you know? So I got into the gym on monday and I trained didn't have it myself cause I knew that my body was under stress dealing with the alcohol dealing with shit food, you know?

But I still got in and I got some form of movement in that was going to allow my body to rest recover. Um And then I was fueling that by eating good quality foods you know in the right ratios with the right nutrients so that I could feel better again, you know and that's the thing man, it's like I need to educate myself on that stuff first and then I need to one connect the dots with it and be aware of it and then to I've got the information I know how it feels and like you said it's not, you know, do you think I want to fucking eat vegetables and salad and shit all the time? No, but I know how it makes me feel and after a massive night on saturday and then KFC on sunday night, like I felt shit man, I was like, you know what, I need, I need some fucking vegetables, I need some sunshine, I need some movement, I need some meditation, you know, I need to do these things that I know is going to shift the needle in the right direction and allow me to reduce my stress and allow my body to recover and then adapt in a positive manner, A massive education portion on that.

A a a lot of this stuff, You will only learn what feels good for you by doing it. I think as coaches, we can't expect people to know this stuff because they just haven't done it again on a client side is like, you need to sort of trust your coach, you need to feed back those things like if you have had a rough week, whether it is stress or drinking or whatever and let them work with that to determine what's the right way to play the game this week. You know, that that's something that is a major thing at christmas is going all right, there's nothing wrong with having a three course meal and a bottle of wine for christmas, but understand the game you're playing that day. So maybe you might fast for the day, you know, that's what a lot of people didn't manage your calories that way. In terms of training, maybe you say, look, being honest, I'm gonna be out a couple of times a week, I am going to be eating more calories. So again, think ahead and so maybe december, I tend to use that as a, like a bulking period.

It's like if I'm going to be eating more calories, I might as well, you know, I'll do some more high volume training. I'll try and make the most of those calories and and play it again, rather than just treating it like a battle, it's like actually make the most of the situation and you could, it's always like, you use the right fraser is showing up. It's like, what's the optimal way that I can show up? It's the difference between ideal and optimal. It's like you might not be able to do the ideal right now, but there's always an optimal decision that you can make, okay, I've only got 20 minutes to get to the gym because I've got to leave the house at seven because I'm going out in the pits. It's like, okay, feed this back to your coach design a program right? For 20 minutes you're gonna work your ass off, you're gonna, your intensity is going to be twice as high as it is training for an hour. But you have still trained, you're into insensitivities up your the chain of what we said earlier, you've still got to the gym. Uh you know it is all about like you said about adaptation. It's that is really the key is not just saying well I can't implement the plant or just fuck it off until january because this is what does my head and I wrote a post about this the other day is when you look at the people's year is a big picture thing.

Often december is just right off Then. It was not only a writer but you also may be gaining. I think I read somewhere the average person in in the UK I think gains between 10 and £12 over Christmas. So the chances are it's going to take you january and february to get back to november's levels. So effectively we lost three months of the year already and then, you know, a lot of people I'm talking in UK to. And so august is often like the big summer month I'm going on holiday, I'm drinking again, I'm eating and barbecues beers with the lads every week, maybe twice a week. Same thing happens as weapons of christmases end up gaining weight in august now, september october again it's back to the start line. Now when you look at that, we've lost six months of our year. That's one of the reasons you're not getting results because for six months a year you are literally treading water because you just, you completely sack off the plan. This goes back to what we're talking about earlier with the all or nothing mindset man, you know, most people like, oh well I can't do this and I can't do that, so everything's gone and it's like, no, like what can I fucking do to minimize the damage going back to What you said earlier when I went around Thailand, right?

Like I wasn't training, um I'm actually tore my hamstring playing rugby tournament, like the first weekend of that trip, um you know, I was fucking driving around everywhere I was hiking, don't get me wrong, I took 110,000 steps over the course of a week, so that was recovery from my hamstring, right? But I wasn't training man and I wasn't eating the way that I normally eat at home and I wasn't sleeping, I didn't have my sleep routine, um you know, I didn't have my structure, so that kind of threw everything out, but you know, I was still managing what I could, that didn't mean that I, I can't train today, so now I may just eat whatever the fuck I want, I was still managing things as I was going and, and I was in that mindset of, well what can I do to manage this and minimize the damage and that's the thing, that's gonna be times where you're, I mean, fuck man, I'm in, I'm in a maintain stage or maintain phase for like 6 to 8 months of the year, Where I'm going, you know what?

I enjoy training because training makes me feel good. Um but I still enjoy having a pizza on a Wednesday and a couple of beers on a Sunday and what's the rugby or whatever. So that's a maintain phase, right? I can give myself a little bit of leeway, I'm doing the right thing, 80% of the time. Then, you know, there's gonna be times where I've got a rugby tournament coming up where I'm like, all right, I'm gonna start tightening the screws, I'm gonna start dialing everything in now. I'm going to reduce, you know, my alcohol, I'm not gonna have pizza on a Wednesday night, my training is gonna be fucking dialed in. I'm gonna be managing how many calories I'm eating and in what ratios and micronutrients and all that type of stuff. And I start tightening those screws, right? And I might only be in that face for like a month to three months of the year, right, my commitment levels at like an 89 or 10. So then, you know, my, my um, my screws are tightened my nutrition on point, my sleeps on point in my, you know, everything is on point, but then it's gonna be other times where, you know, I'll go back to Australia for a month and I'll have ANZAC day with the boys knowing that I'm gonna be drinking beers and knowing I'm probably going to be going out for burgers and um shit like that.

So then it's like, all right, I'm going to minimize the damage. You know, I can be a little bit looser with things, but it's not fucking all or nothing. It's like, what can I do now? That's going to minimize that damage. I think that's an important point for a lot of people and you know, tying back into what you just said, man is like, you need to plan ahead if you know that december is going to be, it's festive season, every fucking year doesn't change, right? You know what december is going to bring? So plan ahead, man. Like if you know that you've got something coming up, you know, you've been dieting for six months, you go, all right cool, I'm going to lead into that, you know, going into christmas new Years, I'm going to reverse diet for like 6 to 8 weeks so that you know when I do eat fucking 3.5 1,004,000 calories on christmas day, you know, it's not a massive excess and my body is going to be able to adapt to it. I'm not fucking blooming out. So prepare ahead man, like are you gonna be eating tomorrow? Yes, everyone fucking knows that eating tomorrow. You know, it's not a surprise when you need to fucking eat plan ahead. It's not that hard.

And that rounds out this third installment of this 85 minute conversation that I had with john Locke, Talk of Storm Force Fitness. Stay tuned for the fourth and final installment of this conversation. Any five star ratings and reviews are much appreciated. Guys, have a very happy New Years and I will see you guys next year. Much love peace.

Coaches Corner: Should I gain, maintain, or minimise the damage?
Coaches Corner: Should I gain, maintain, or minimise the damage?
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