Training

Articles about working out.

Super Secret Fat-loss Jutsu

Stardate: 4th June, 2018.

Hi.

I have a secret: a powerful fat-loss secret.

I first discovered it on a journey of cognitive expansion, whilst trekking through the gullies of St. George… dodging the kamikaze attacks of weaponised sandflies… cat-crawling, and clawing my way towards emotive freedom.

Belly scraping alongst the coarse crab grass, I noticed my vibratory resonance expanding.  Out of sorts, but evolving… sweat pouring. 15 minutes of unfamiliar movement felt like:

 

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Gully Movements. Photo by Kerry MacMaster Photography.

 

…War.

Which brings me to that secret I mentioned earlier.

It isn’t exciting.

It isn’t anything that anyone really wants to hear [- as the average dieter *really* hopes that there is a.) a magic regimen/pill/movement, and b.) it’ll be both easy and accessible].

But… it’s real.
Believe me.

My #fatLossSecret?

“Get rid of it!”

Get rid of what?

Comfort.

Stop doing exercises that you’re comfortable with.

“No… Seriously… WTF are you talking about man?”

If an exercise makes you feel silly (- due to your lack of coordination etc), you should make it a mainstay until you get moderately good at it.

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Then.. Get rid of it.

If an exercise makes you feel winded ( – due to your lack of conditioning – ), include it at generally every fat-loss workout… until you get moderately conditioned at it.

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Then… Get rid of it.

Each movement that you believe you “can’t” do (– not due to an actual physiological reason… but because you “hate it”, or don’t excel at it – ) should be included because it will challenge the body more, metabolically, than any exercise in your comfort zone.

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Being inefficient at a movement pattern means more calories get burnt whilst trying to execute it.

And more calories burnt means, potentially, more fat loss.

And that’s kinda why most of us workout.

Please note:
If you’re purely a strength athlete, disregard the above. You actually need to get good at specific lifts and movement patterns. Same with competitive sportsmen. Disregard.

The rest of us though?

Fuck it.

Let’s be silly together.

Off to the gully.

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…grudgingly.

Bless.

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net/forum

 

p.s. things to try:

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On the 12th Pound of Christmas… NSFW

Over the month of December, I gained 12 lbs of fat.

o-SANTA-FAT-570

Fat… Not bloat.

No… I’m not going to make excuses for it. No… I’m not going to blame hormones or the holidays, depression, or stress (- each of which contributed to it). No. I’m just going to talk about what I fucked up where I am… … and what happens next.

Stardate: 3rd January, 2018.

Where I am:

Hi.

I started 2018 in pain. Neck pain, which the chiropractor had rectified since October. Back pain. S.I. Joint pain. Hip/Groin pain (-which, I soon realised, emanated from the same general area as my arthritic hip.. which hadn’t given me any issue for at least one year). Forearm pain. Knee pain. Tricep/Lat-insertion pain. Pain. Period.

You name it, it hurt. All at once. Spontaneously. I couldn’t fathom why. I hadn’t done anything stupid for months. My training was pretty solid… not overkill. I was working less (- i thought). Though a chronic insomniac, my naturally subpar sleeping habits were no worse than usual.

Only one thing had changed in the recent past.

It was my diet.

I’d transcended from low-inflammatory keto-dieting… to full-on Christmas fuckery binge.

Fucking Sugar.

It’s not our friend.

But don’t take my word for it. Speak to my clients.

Half of them are in a similar place right now: The males with joint pain… and the females with unusually painful menses.

And the only commonality between them has been the Christmas binge!

And research supports the link between sugar, binge eating, stress and inflammation. [1][2][3][4]

Numerous studies point to the increase in inflammatory markers, and deleterious effects on health, gut health, and general well-being.

Yet somehow, we calmly overlook this.

Food is supposed to make you feel good after all.

Right?

 

So… what happens next?

I’m calling today my day 0.

I’m modifying my diet: transitioning through lower-carb, to low-carb, to ketosis over the coming weeks.

I’m also going to exercise less hard… which may seem counter-intuitive to many. But, let me explain.

Intense exercise is inflammatory.

Under normal, healthy circumstances, that’s not an issue.

However, under a state of systemic inflammation – adding to that inflammation doesn’t make sense. It can make each of the negative trickle-down effects of the existing inflammatory situation worse. The means sore skin, sore joints. You name it. NOT COOL.

So… yea… back to the game plan:

  1. Fix diet incrementally.
  2. Adjust exercise… limiting truly exhaustive work.
  3. Add natural anti-inflammatories (- bromelain, white willow bark, fish oil, et. al.)
  4. Increase fat intake (see: ‘fix diet’)
  5. Increase fibre intake (see: ‘fix diet’)
  6. Rest where possible.

I may throw in a couple fasts here and there… but not for ‘detoxing’ purposes (-as ‘detoxes’ are bullshit quackery not necessary – like really, stop wasting money on that shit. …rather, I like fasts for the increase in mental clarity, decreased cravings, improved glucose tolerance, and numerous other benefits.

So….

If YOU’ve noticed painful changes in your body after the holidays, maybe your issue is the same as mine.

And, here’s your homework:

  1. Google anti-inflammatory supplements.
  2. Read up on ketogenic dieting, fasting, and intermittent fasting.
  3. DON’T start the gym in January all-out like a crazy person. You can’t undo all the damage you did in a week. Ease into it.

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net/forum

 

References:

  1. Gao, Y. et. al. “Dietary sugars, not lipids, drive hypothalamic inflammation”. Mol Metab. 2017 Aug; 6(8): 897–908.
  2. Giugliano D, Ceriello A, Esposito K. “The effects of diet on inflammation: emphasis on the metabolic syndrome”. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Aug 15;48(4):677-85. Epub 2006 Jul 24.
  3. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. “Stress, Food, and Inflammation: Psychoneuroimmunology and Nutrition at the Cutting Edge”. Psychosom Med. 2010 May; 72(4): 365–369.
  4. Succurro E, Segura-Garcia C, et. al. “Obese Patients With a Binge Eating Disorder Have an Unfavorable Metabolic and Inflammatory Profile”. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Dec;94(52):e2098. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000002098.

Your name: The Workout

Stardate: 12th March, 2016

Hey all!

So… of late, many of my friends and clients have been inboxing me with a particular workout concept.

It’s called the ‘Your Name’ workout… where, as the title would suggest, the make-up of your name determines your workouts: really, each letter corresponds to an exercise and rep range.

There are many variations of it. And, I’ve been avoiding each one LIKE THE PLAGUE! (Lol)

Today, I decided to stop being a punk. I stepped in headfirst. Here’s the version i tried:

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I’ll be honest… Even after I spelled out my full name, middle name inclusive, it was a bit too easy. So, I tweaked it.

Here’s how it went!

“Your Full Name” Circuit:

1st round:
  • Frog burpees: 20 reps
  • 20 crunches
  • 20 reverse lunges
  • 60 second plank
  • 60 second wall sit
  • 12 plyometric lunges
Comments: The frog burpees were extra work I added in there to make the first round of movement a bit harder. A moderate warm-up. Not bad! Everything’s feeling pretty darn good. I’m not feeling those two leg-dominant workouts I did yesterday at all!

2nd round:

  • Full Burpee (with push-up): 10 reps
  • Weighted arm circles: 10 lb kettlebells x 20 reps
  • 15 push-ups
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 60 second plank
  • 25 push-ups
Comments: So… I added weight to the arm circles, and added full burpees on the top end. Jesus Christ. My lungs! Am I supposed to be winded? Maybe I’m supposed to rest between exercises, instead of switching between them immediately, like a madman.
Maybe…
Hell, there’s only one round left.
“Maybe” be damned! I’ve got this!

3rd round:
  • Plyometric squats: 10 reps
  • 30 bicycle crunches
  • 30 tricep dips
  • 1 minute full plank
  • 1 minute forearm plank
  • 10 push-ups
  • 20 ass-to-calves squats x 135 lbs
  • 60 second wall sit
  • 60 second plank

Comments: Ok. Maybe I was a bit ambitious here. I feel like DEATH warmed over. To the challenge, I added plyometric squats, triple the number of dips, and also tossed on a 135 lb barbell for the squats. In my head, I was thinking ‘this won’t be so bad. I squat WAY more than this. Everything else will be pretty straight-forward’.

Clearly, I have no idea what ‘easy’ or ‘straight-forward’ actually mean however.
Did I mention lying on the floor curled up so tight, that I started to fade in to the carpet?
Holy crap!!!
Now… by this time, I’d completed my workout allotment. I’d knocked off my entire name, PLUS extra stuff. A rational-thinking person would have said ‘excellent. I’m proud of me. Time to leave here, to get that smoothie I’ve earned.’
But, like I said: I’m pretty silly.

Enter – the 4th round:

  • 8 ass-to-calves barbell squats with 185 lbs
  • 8 Bodyweight plyometric squats
  • 8 full burpee with push-up
  • 16 quadruped hip extensions (ie 8 reps per side)
and… for Extra credit:
Barbell standing overhead press: 3 sets: 115 lbs x 10 reps each.

My face at the end:
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My thoughts?
Let’s see:

The ‘your name’ workout can be a pretty solid fat-loss/conditioning workout… for both the beginner and intermediate trainee. Well… for the beginner moreso. For the intermediate and up, I’d suggest tweaking it in ways similar to what I did. i.e. Throw in at least one serious strength movement during each round (aside from the warm-up sets).

Additionally, the temptation here would be to half-ass it through the movements.

Don’t.

I know, I know: “It’s hard. I want to get through it as quickly as possible.” – #BlaBlabla

Just don’t.
Injury, with routines like these, is *very* common… particularly when fatigue sets in, as it invariably will. Focus on the quality of movement. Focus on being VERY explosive and landing safely/gently on each rep.

Cover those bases, and you’re on your way!

(Did I mention how fried I was? Holy Crap! and I still have a bootcamp to teach this evening!!!)

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

Fitness: The Power of Words

This morning… I awoke with an overwhelming spirit of “can’t”.

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Stardate: 21st February, 2016

Hi.

Some of you know me: Corey Springer; that insane fitness guy from St. George – “I mean… did you SEE what he made those people do with those tires? Oh hell, are they about to push trucks?!!” – That guy.

Some of you are clients of mine… and aware of my super-long work days: 7-12 one-hour long Personal Training (PT) slots per day, plus 3 hour-long bootcamps per week, plus a couple hours per day of administration and cleaning/upkeep.

Some of you, just see the end product.

Both groups of you miss two things, that I plan on sharing with you today.

And they are:

  1. Despite appearances, I struggle with my own personal fitness… daily!
  2. Sometimes, despite my best intentions, I fail.

Today, I’d like to talk to you about not failing.

Today, I woke with a spirit of “can’t”. For whatever reason, I missed several workouts this week. To accommodate, I’d thrown in some sessions on the days I had bootcamp. So, needless to say, by the end of those days, I was pretty fried mentally and emotionally. Friday and Saturday were like that. Today, Sunday, after my first client – I had absolutely no interest in doing anything exercise-related.

A glass of wine maybe. Some cuddle-time with my daughter and pups, maybe. The cardio I was supposed to do? Hell no.

“I can’t. I am not able.” – These are the words I’d told myself over and over, from the time my alarm went off at 4 a.m… conditioning myself to a day of failure.

And, I would have failed… had I not walked past the mirror and caught a glimpse of the sloped-shouldered, dejected guy there.

It was me… but it wasn’t. The weight of my words bore down on my frame, contorting me into someone unrecognisable. Someone who I, in that moment, no longer wanted to be.

I grabbed my bike. I grabbed my gear. I whispered to myself: “I can.” And, I hurried out through the door. In my haste, I even forgot my water.

2 kilometres in – “OH MY GOD! My legs are burning. How am I going to get home?!”

4.4 kilometres in – “This isn’t so bad. But how am I going to get home?”

7 kilometres in – “My lips! Oh God! I’m parched! But, I’m making it! Why is there so much broken glass on the road? Will I get a flat tire? Is that RAIN I smell?!”

8.9 kilometres in – “I can do this. I can.”

10.94 kilometres – As I live at the top of a hill, I had to sprint the last 50 metres. My lungs were shot. My legs were shot. My legs were shot. Did I mention that my legs were shot?

 

…but I made it.

I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t fed my subconscious different words.

You may have rolled your eyes at this point, if you haven’t done so multiple times before now. I get it. I truly do.

I don’t look like someone who’d understand your struggle. I’m not the fat teen I was (- the fat teen that hardly anyone remembers as being so, because my current persona is so overpoweringly-Mr.-fitness). I’m not the heavily medicated asthmatic teen I used to be.

I’m also not the 20 years old, with no responsibilities.

I’m you: mid-30s, a full time business (-three really); a wife, a daughter, two dogs, and bills that need to be paid every month.

I am your body issues, your deadlines, your logic. All of those things affect my life, as they do yours.

And, like you… I am also my words.

So… Will YOU join me, in changing your defining phrase today?

You “can”.

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

Got 20 minutes? I can give you abs!

Stardate: 30th August 2015

Ok, ok… maybe that should read: “Got 20 minutes, a lack of fear, a vomit bag, a box of tissue for your tears, 2 spare t-shirts, and maybe a change of underwear? Well… yea… I can give you abs.”

G’day all!

I’ve heard the complaints of the masses:

  • “I don’t have time to exercise.”
  • “The gym is SO boring.”
  • “3 sets of 10? Who came up with that shit?”

Today, I’ll let you in on a secret: None of my clients have time for those concerns. None of them are applicable. Each of my clients works in a Type-A-primed, 8am-til-whenever, kind of environment. We neither have time to waste, nor any to spare for boredom.

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We aint got time for boredom!

Here’s how we approach fat-loss:

Exhibit A: Kristin.

Kristin is a lawyer, and competitive olympic lifter, who hasn’t exercised in 8 months… due to a rough pregnancy. This is her 3rd week back with me…having been cleared to exercise just days prior. The first two weeks were mobility, skill tweaking, and conditioning. As a new mother, her time is very, very limited… as I’m sure you all can appreciate.

Her Circuit:    1 round

  • Bike Sprint – 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • deep squat hold – 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • deep squat hold – 1 minute
  • single-arm kettlebell snatch – 1 minute
  • Bike Sprint – 1 minute
  • barbell thruster (ass to calves) – 1 minute (ie squat to overhead press)
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • Barbell front squat (ass to calves) – 1 minute
  • Hyperextension: bodyweight x 30 reps
  • Barbell hang snatch – 1 minute
  • front-loaded barbell reverse lunge – 1 minute
  • Bike Sprint – 1 minute
  • barbell overhead squat – 1 minute

Exhibit B: Kirk

Kirk is an accountant who, one year ago, had a 40 inch waist and zero mobility. After reaching his fat-loss goals with me, his work schedule intensified. So, we’ve had to find ways to use the limited time we have effectively.

His Circuit:        1 round

  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • bodyweight hyperextensions – 30 reps
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • Standing behind the neck press x 1 minute (switched to push-press @ exhaustion)
  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • Standing behind the neck press – 1 minute (switched to push-press @ exhaustion)
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row: 1 minute
  • Brisk 1km run
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row x 1 minute
  • GHD sit-up: 20 reps
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row x 1 minute
  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row x 1 minute
  • bike sprint – 1 minute

Exhibit C: Liam.

Liam works in a quality control setting. That means long hours on his feet, and very odd shifts. Like Kirk, his time is limited. Unlike many others on my roster, Liam sometimes exercises with me in a sleep-deprived state. So our sessions have been optimised to accommodate such..

His Circuit:        1 round

  • half burpee: 20 reps
  • bodyweight plyometric squat: 10 reps
  • push-ups: 10 reps
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • deadlift: 1 minute
  • burpee w/o push-up: 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat: 10 reps
  • push-ups: 10 reps
  • forearm plank: 1 minute
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • alternating arm row: 1 minute
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • barbell squat: 1 minute
  • burpee w/o push-up: 10 reps
  • push-up: 10 reps
  • burpee w/o push-up: 10 reps
  • push-up: 10 reps
  • suspended inverted row: 1 minute
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • half burpee: 1 minute
  • Plate front raise: 1 minute
  • half burpee: 1 minute
  • hang clean and press – 1 minute

Exhibit D:Shane

Shane is a lawyer. His client load sometimes leads to him getting to his personal training sessions late. Optimising that limited time sometimes means scrapping the plan for the day, and compiling a conditioning workout as laid out above.

His Circuit:        1 round

  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric Squat x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minutebodyweight plyometric Squat x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • behind-the-neck barbell thruster x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • behind the neck barbell thruster x 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat x 1 minute
  • kneeling push-up x 1 minute
  • plyometric squat x 1 minute
  • barbell clean and press x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • kneeling push-up x 1 minute
  • barbell row x 1 minute
  • floor sit-up x 1 minute
  • kneeling push-up x 1 minute
  • barbell row x 1 minute

Putting Together a 20 minute Routine For Yourself:

Just how do we go about that? Easy

  1. Assess your skillset. If you aren’t good at olympic lifts, leave them out. Not good at kettlebell stuff unsupervised? Leave them out. Working out at home, and don’t have much equipment? Bodyweight resistance exercises are great, especially for beginners.
  2. Pick 1-2 exercises for each major muscle group (e.g. push-ups for chest, shoulders, and triceps, squats for the lower body, and pulling/rowing exercise for the muscles of the back etc.)
  3. Place a conditioning/cardio exercise between each exercise to keep your heart rate up. You should be able to sustain this exercise for 30 seconds to 4 minutes (e.g. anything from skipping to a brisk walk or run; burpees fit here as well)
  4. Do a light warm-up prior to starting. Nothing exhausting however. Exhaustion before the hard work starts is pointless.
  5. Weight selection, where weights are used: 50-70% of your one-rep max works here. Expects loads of pauses. Don’t let go of that bar however! (NB: DON’T know what a one-rep max is, OR your percentages? Not interested in being that anal either? Pfft… No problem. Pick a weight that you can manage 8-15 reps with. The rest will take care of itself. Trust me)
  6. Post complaints on Instagram @NarkSide. (lol)
  7. Set your timer for 20 minutes. When it goes off, stop. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing. The session is over!

…as is this post. 😉

Yours in health, peace, and fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

p.s.
I’m sure you’re wondering what my OWN conditioning workout looks like… so I’ll share it–> How I approach my own conditioning.

(Please don’t try this. PLEASE don’t try this. It won’t take 20 minutes… or feel good. lol)