Can I get a meal plan with that?

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As a trainer/coach we learn about the basics of Nutrition.  We also know that with some certainty if you are ever going to get serious about reaching your goals that 75-80% of your efforts have to be focused on dialing in your nutrition.  If you have read any of my previous articles or are a part of our newsletter, I speak on the importance of nutrition often.  I probably release more content on nutrition information whether from me or someone else than on exercise.  This is because I understand that this is what’s going to really get the job done.

If I am coaching someone and trying to get them to make changes in their lives, but I never address their nutrition other than saying; “Eat healthy foods.” Or, If I am supposed to hold you accountable for your workouts everyday but I never check on your nutrition.  We may have a great relationship and even be good friends, but as your friend I want you to get the results you are looking for.  So, It’s my job and yours! To hold you accountable for your goals and this includes your nutrition.

Now, let me tell you what it doesn’t include.  I am not a licensed Nutritionist or Dietitian.  What are those?  They are professionals who are trained to provide individualized meal plans for those with specific dietary needs.  So they can make adjustments for diabetics, certain medications, daily activity etc.  They then write exactly what they think you should eat, down to the snacks!  This is what most people think is the answer, and for some it may very well be.  For most, changing habits and developing a better relationship with  food and why you make the decisions you do can go a lot further in the long term.

We used to work with a dietitian who prescribed all of our clients meal plans and while they were awesome to work with this is what I found out.

  1. Only one client followed the exact meal plan to the T and he only did so for the first two weeks.  Later, after some more research learned that only 3 out of 10 people actually follow a meal plan.
  2. They tend to include foods that the client doesn’t even like, so again they would not follow the plan.
  3. They did not help produce the results the clients were looking for, and not context was give around the reason why they ate as much as they did or what they ate.

Again, this is not to say that a well structured meal plan won’t work for those that need it. As a trainer/coach we focus on and have seen greater results in performance and appearance by simply working with and actually coaching others on how you can “have your cake and eat it to.”  Without actually having cake all the time, of course.  We focus on creating better habits and increasing awareness around the decisions you make from a place of education.  Personal Trainers cannot prescribe individualized meal plans unless they are licensed to do so.  This is true in most states. Examples of healthy foods recipes, etc are fine but we cannot say “go eat this at this time.” I see a lot of trainers and coaches shy away from even providing guidance, but do you want results?  You better square up your nutrition!

So remember, ultimately the information is out there to be found on how to eat to maintain your goals.  Your health and your fitness, even your results are a reflection of your efforts toward them.  If you are aware then you will progress, if not you will be right where you are talking about your goals and your dreams.  This is also fine if that’s what you want.  If you are reading this though, I bet it’s not. Always be learning and look to those with experience to help guide you to a sustainable path.   HERE is a great article from a mentor of mine on prescribed meal plans and personal trainers.  Have a look!  I’ll talk with you soon.


Eventually You Will Fall

One day I had an elder gentleman who fell down say “It’s not big deal, but don’t worry one day you will fall down too. Everybody does.” Now I haven’t  had the pleasure of just eating the ground underneath me due to a fall like this gentleman did.  He did have a pretty good attitude about it I thought, I also thought that he is absolutely right.  One day you are going to fall.  I immediately started to think, how is it I’m going to get up?  I always relate these questions to mine and others health and fitness.  Being able to get up from a fall is something that life will eventually demand of you.  Sometimes you will need some help as there are a lot of reasons that people fall down, but true accidents and not a medical problem can be handled differently.  So, I like options.  If I were to fall what are my options to be ready for that when it happens?  To me these options to get yourself up off the ground when you fall and are capable to are The Bur pee and The Turkish Get Up.  Let’s break those down a bit as see how these exercises can not only make you strong and very fit, they can also be considered tools to get you off the ground if and when you fall.


This is a full body loaded or unloaded exercise where you start on your back and go to a standing position.  Just a week ago I saw an individual perform this movement after breaking her arm.  Now you can tell she didn’t train this movement but was able to go from her back to standing with one arm in a single stable position and the other helping to facilitate the final movement. Here is a video of what it should look like.


The big transition comes from going from your butt to a kneeling position.  There are two ways to accomplish this.  There is a hip extension on the bent leg, then swing the straight leg back until the knee is on the ground and you are in a kneeling position.  There is a second option for those that don’t have the coordination for an extension of the hip and being able to move to a stable kneeling position.  Both examples are below.  The second option puts what would be your straight leg bent behind  your other then you just simply sit up to the kneeling position then stand.  To get back down to the ground the movements are done in reverse.  The Turkish Get Up builds balance, coordination, and bilateral strength.  It’s not something that you can or should do very fast, in my opinion.  It can be done with no load or loaded as heavy as you can go. Now, that you have a pattern for getting up off your back.  Let’s talk about when you fall on your face.



Yep the Bur pee!  No body likes it and it doesn’t matter what form of fitness you practice it’s always there.  Don’t you think that’s interesting?  If every aspect of sport has the bur pee or a variation of it.  Wouldn’t it make sense that it is a staple exercise?  Think about football players, when they get tackled they have to be able to get back up off the ground quickly.  It’s fairly simple, you fall down to the ground, then push yourself up off the ground and stand up.  I like to add a jump at the end just to celebrate that I was able to get up. Then the process repeats itself. Check out the video of the Bur pee here.
Some things worth talking about are the beginning of the movement, which when you add speed can look pretty intense specifically going down into the plank/push up position.  This is find within some context I believe.  For most instances you should reach your hands in between your feet, drop your hips down similar to a squat and then kick your legs back to land in that strong push up position. In the military we called these squat thrust, even upgraded them to an 8 count push up which was much worse than just a bur pee, trust me.  This exercise can be used as a stand alone or in combination with whatever you want and it will immediately create a significant metabolic event.

These two movements will not only increase your strength but also help improve  your conditioning.  Keep it simple if adding these into your workout program.  A good example would be a ladder of Bur pees 1 on minute 1, then 2 on minute 2, 3 on minute 3 and so on. The Get Up can be broken down into smaller movements to get you stronger example: kneeling to standing 3 sets of 4-6 reps each side or lying to sitting  same rep range. You will accumulate a lot of work over 10 minutes and that may be all you need for now.  Give either of these movements a shot and while they may never prevent you from falling, you’ll have the confidence knowing that if you ever do, you can get up.