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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

Breaking the Cycle of Insecurity

Stardate: 21st August 2015

Hey all!
Sometimes, I find myself wondering what the conversation would be like… if the current me, met an older version of himself.

I experienced what I believe that would feel like, just a few minutes ago… when I received a message from a friend of mine letting me know that he’d read an article of mine on Barbados Today, today. He’d admitted that he’d read it a while ago… but that it had ‘just popped up’ in his feed last night… and it’d spoken to him.

I have to admit: It spoke to me as well.

Here it is:

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A few years ago, I had the pleasure of running into an old schoolmate of mine. He’s always been in ridiculous shape, having been a serious sprinter since high school. That night, however, I realized that he’d made the transition from fitness enthusiast to trainer. He was working with his client outdoors. His shirt was off, and he looked phenomenal.

Honestly, my first thought was: “If he and I were standing shirtless, side-by-side, and a chick was asked to pick one of us, based solely on our physiques, she would pick him without a second thought.” A minute of insecurity? Maybe. Maybe it was less than 10 seconds of it. But it was enough. Immediately, it made me think of some of the thought processes I’ve encountered with many of my clients.

Many of them see someone who, their minds tell them, is “better” than they are. And, immediately, they fall into a downward cycle: Why me? Is my girl/guy checking him/her out? Why is he/she with me? Why do I even bother coming to the gym? I’ll never look like that.

I’ve heard them all, and many more. Truthfully, I’ve never been able to relate fully. I’ll tell you why: I believe that comparison, self-evaluation, categorization, and self-quantifying are natural parts of the human psyche. Furthermore, acknowledging and embracing such (as opposed to denying, demonizing, and battling that moment of comparison) lends a person the ability to move past it.

For me, those couple of seconds of insecurity I felt, led to three distinct thought processes:

  1. An honest appraisal of my body-type.
    My buddy was always in shape (and will probably always be in shape). He doesn’t watch his diet, and has never needed to. He is pure ecto-meso. Me, on the other hand, I’ve always been ‘softer’, even when shredded. My body-type is closer to meso-endo. I have to watch what I eat, and I have to keep my activity level high. Standing next to him reaffirmed my life choices and diet choices for the past decade.
  2. An honest appraisal of where I was physically.
    I was carrying 20-30 lbs more muscle than my peer – possibly more, I was put together “better”. Then why would I feel self-conscious? I’ll tell you why:
  3. “I can be better.”
    For some, this thought exists in the back of the mind like poison: slowly seeping into unconscious thought, eroding self-perception, self-esteem, and self-worth. But, do you remember what I said about acknowledging it? Let’s bring it to the forefront. I did and, immediately, poison became a positive.

    I CAN be better, and will be.

    There will always be someone whose very existence challenges your sense of self. The truth of the matter is, you CAN be better. But, and this is the most important part, the person you need to be better than isn’t the phantom that you allow your mind to create.

    It isn’t the guy/girl your significant other thinks is attractive.

    It isn’t your subordinate, who happens to be more qualified than you on paper.

    The person you need to best is you.

    Every day, every week, every year, strive to be better than the person you were before.

    Life isn’t a competition. But if it were, past you would be the person to beat.

    Make it happen!

And, he’s right: The person you need to best, is you.

Today, I’ll aim to be a better me than I was yesterday.
Will you join me?

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

http://www.GetNarked.net

14-days-til-Crop-Over Fat-Loss Diet

Stardate: July 18th2015

Good morning all.

Barbados’ “Grand Kadooment” carnival is a mere two Mondays away. Many of you aren’t ready. I know. I see you. You’ve been trying, failing. Spinning your wheels. I know the struggle, friends. I’ve lived it.

It’s not too late though. We’ve got some tips and tricks to bring you down 5 to 15 pounds. Are you ready?

Okay. Here are the secrets. For the next 13 days, we’ll be eating like this:

  1. 10 calories per pound of bodyweight (9 calories per pound, if your waist is over 35 inches… as a large percentage of that weight will be fat; which burns very few calories at rest).

    For a 170 lb (fe)male, that’s 1530-1700 calories per day.

    You can opt to spread this out over 3 or 4 meals over the course of the day… five if you’ve the time, inclination, and/or usually have the urge to snack late at night.

  2. 0.75-1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

    For the 170 lb (fe)male, that’s 128-170 grams of protein per day.

  3. Increase calories consumed from healthy fats to 20% of daily calories.

    For a 170 lb (fe)male, consuming 1530-1700 calories per day, that’s 34-38 grams of fat

  4. Restrict starchy carbs and sweets to 50 grams total… consumed immediately after exercise.
  5. All other calories? Allot that to green and cruciferous vegetables!!

  6. This may be a no-brainer but: EXERCISE DAILY GATDAMMIT!

    It doesn’t need to be anything over the top. I’d alternating between a high-intensity, short-duration exercise on one day, and a long-duration low-intensity exercise on the other.

    That could be as simple as 50 burpees on one day, and a 1 hour walk on the other day… alternating from day to day til Crop-Over.

    If you’re already moderately active, try adding a new activity for one or two additional days per week. Bootcamp is a good choice.

    < — See Previous Article, “BootCamp or Nah?” –>

  7. Increase water intake by 1.5 litres. Furthermore, pop in to the supermarket, and buy thirteen 1.5 litre bottles of water, so you have no excuses!

    Whatever you do, DON’T restrict your water intake. A lot of people are still of the opinion that drinking water makes you hold water, and feel bloated. It is actually the opposite.

  8. Keep an eye on your sodium intake (- we’re aiming at 2000-3500mg per day max). But DON’T make the mistakes of obsession over sodium… or cutting it out altogether.

    Many people make the mistake of cutting sodium, in the misplaced belief that it’ll help them shed weight on the long-term. Risk that, and you risk cramping up before you even dance to your first song.

  9. On day 14 (i.e. Kadooment day), stick as closely to the plan as laid out… Have your drinks, etc. But stay hydrated. It’ll make the day after WAY easier

Need further help pulling it all together?

Let’s get that flat stomach!

Oh! BTW!!! I’ve been negligent.
For this, I apologise.

I mean, seriously, how could I NOT share the biggest thing we’ve done this past summer with you?

BAM!!

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

BootCamp, or nah?

Stardate: July 11th 2015

Hi all.

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So… as many of you would know, I operate some pretty brain-bending bootcamp classes. We get clients from all over the world; from all age groups and interests. It’s fun. It’s hard. But, did I mention, how fun it is?

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Before we get side tracked with the fun element, let me slip in a disclaimer:

Boot camp
noun
  1. a military training camp for new recruits, with strict discipline.

    • a short, intensive, and rigorous course of training.

Bootcamp is HARD. Yes, there are multiple levels of difficulty with each of my classes. Yes, there are multiple variations of each exercise, to accommodate (basically) all levels of fitness and/or injury. BUT… it. is. hard! Make no mistake about it. Often (- and because we don’t mask the difficulty in our pictures and videos on social media), people shy away from trying it for the first time, because ‘it looks too hard’.

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So how do you decide if bootcamp training is right for you? Let’s find out!

Bootcamp Benefits:

  • Accelerated fat-loss: If you’re already active, but you find that you’ve stagnated, the always-new stimuli (-and high intensity) inherent to bootcamp WILL put you back on the right path. And, while we’re on the top of new stimuli:
  • A good bootCamp is never boring: This is super-important for the average exerciser. So many people fall short of their ultimate health and aesthetic goals because of boredom. I mean, crap… how many months would you last doing the same thing, over, and over, and over? Me? I’d last 3 weeks. Trust me. I haven’t been on a treadmill in YEARS, for that reason. Bootcamps are my only form of cardio, outside of walking the dog, and sex.I’ve digressed however.
  • Community Support: A well-structured bootcamp is a family. It is the support system that many people lack in their lives. Where else in life will you find people who will celebrate you overcoming struggles, or hold your hand whilst you try to? Almost nowhere. Trust me.
  • Guilt-free introspection: BootCamps are competitive, but supportive. This balance allows one to push oneself, comparatively, against others… whilst objectively deciding what areas you need to improve on. It is a mirror that doesn’t scream back at you “you’re fat”.
  • It’s fun!!! – Where else can you push trucks, climb trees, swing from things, flip, cartwheel, crawl, jump, roll, and shamelessly get dirty? Seriously. BootCamps are SO much fun.

Don’t take my word for it though.

Try one today.

Here are a few videos from ours.

I challenge you to be successful.

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

New Year, New…

Stardate: 2nd January 2015

Humans are creatures of extremes. When the new year rolls in, we polarize: One group makes insane resolutions, while the other group rolls its eyes at the resolutions made by others.

And, while the latter is understandable (as one simply does not suddenly grow wiser or dedicated between the 31st of December and the 1st of January), January 1st is truly a powerful catalyst for change. Small, quantifiable changes though… this is important. For example:

  • – Start the year with the people who matter. Don’t beg for friends. Reach out to those who have been there for you, and those who have taken the time to reach out to you. Don’t meander through pointless relationships. *You* matter.
  • – Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Write up a schedule for your week, and dedicate two 30 minute slots of it to exercise… and stick to those slots. If you’re able to fit other random 15-20 minute slots in at any time, do so. But, those two 30-minute slots are the most important. Never deviate from them. They add up.
  • – If you feel as if you don’t fit somewhere, you don’t. Anyone who tells you this feeling is in your imagination, is someone who values your company over your feelings. Think about it.
  • – Dieting isn’t complicated. Humans are. Put equal amounts of protein, vegetables, and fruit on your plate. The end. Nothing complicated about that, at all. No, you won’t have low blood sugar. No, you don’t need to ‘reward’ yourself with cheesecake. No, you’re not going to get sickly-looking. No, to whatever your next made-up question is.
  • – Stop making excuses for yourselves. When you mess up, accept it. Failing is fine. Blaming the universe, your mother, your sister, and global warming isn’t however.
  • – Where possible, walk and climb stairs. If you have to be seated for extended periods of time, stretch at regular intervals. The work (or whatever it is that requires that you sit for hours at a time) isn’t going anywhere. Your back, and productivity thank you in advance.
  • – Worry less about what people think and say about you.
  • – “Worry less about what people think and say about you.” – I had to type that twice. Personally, I know that a lot of people believe that I’m an asshole. And, again personally, I acknowledge my streaks of asshole-ishness. Personally, I also acknowledge that people immediately discard the myriad of good that I have done, and continue to do from day to day. Those whom I’ve helped aren’t immune to that either. And, were I to concentrate on the negative that people have to say… I’d probably kill myself. And, I swear, I’ve thought about it more than a few times over the years… but then I get a message from a random stranger that reads something like: “Thank you for your posts. Thank you for sharing your struggles. Thank you for the free fitness challenges and feedback that you’ve hosted monthly. Thank you for always helping people who reach out to you… and some who don’t directly. You’ve changed my life”. And that post pulls me back up. I’ve digressed a bit, but that brings me to another point:
  • – Surround yourself with positive, smart(er), creative, similarly-minded people. Stagnation is the worst feeling in the world.
  • – Eat less sugar and processed shit. If you can quit both altogether, do so.
  • – Communicate with your family at least once per week. Put that in your daily calender. It’s important. Trust me. Also:
  • – Use your calender. Time is your most valuable resource. If you don’t control it to some degree, you’re wasting it. Lots of you claim to want to achieve things. But I’d fathom that 90% of you don’t have a real quantifiable plan. And, I don’t say this to be patronising. I say this, because it’s the truth. If you have a schedule, you can free up more time for new experiences, for family, for fitness and for yourself… The things that matter.
  • – Travel if you can. It’s a big world. Plenty to experience… and experiences tends to stretch our mind and perspective.
  • – Learn to cook at least one new thing.
  • – Read at least one book.
  • – Learn a new skill. Burpees are a great one to have. But pottery isn’t bad either.
  • – Say ‘thank you’, more.
  • – Laugh more. Cry when you feel the need to.

If you add only one of these for 2015… I think it’ll be a more productive year.

new year

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net