Anybody starting to get their Christmas lists together? Check out some of the new covers for the holiday season for the ever popular TrainRite Exercise & Fitness Journal! All the same features as the traditional weight lifting log book, but with some fun new covers!
Over the past year or so that I've been creating and selling Fitness and Nutrition Journals for myself and others, I've received a lot of great feedback! I want to personally thank each and every one of you who took the time to contact me and let me know how it's working for you, asked me questions about the best way to use the journals, or just general thanks and positivity. If you haven't yet, or have any questions, email me anytime - email@example.com. As I've said before, my original intentions were never to sell these things, they were for me! I had goals that just weren't being met by "showing up". I needed to plan things out, and periodically review my progress. As people saw me using them, my progress and results - I kept getting asked where they could get them, and so TrainRite was born.
There are a ton of other options out there for basic weight lifting, fitness and food journals. 99% of them (trust me, I've tried many), have SO much wasted space and just general 'filler' that I'd never use. I personally wanted a small physical book to log my weight/reps, my newest 5k run time, my weight, along with my complete exercise regimen somewhere in the book so I'd always know what I'm working that day. That's it! A few journals I've found are actually very similar to mine. Simple, easy to use, compact and so on. The key difference I strive for is listening to your experience and evolving into a product that's better for everyone - not just me.
In the next month or so I'll be rolling out a different version of the TrainRite Exercise and Fitness Journal
So what's new? Based on feedback I've received:
- Keep it compact. Somehow more compact than the original, this version is also more a ‘traditional’ book shape making it strong and sturdy
- More sets. Many of you animals wanted more than 4 sets per exercise as in the first journal, so you’re in luck – this book’s got 5!
- More logging for cardio or classes. This version has 3 spaces per workout for cardio or other non-weight training activities.
- We like notes. A space for notes! ‘Nuff said.
And as always...
- No frills, no wasted pages.
- Waterproof cover and backing
- 10 exercises per workout
- 90 workouts worth of logging
- A planning chart for creating 12 unique workouts that is always with you
So stay tuned!
I like when the media attempts to coin new terms. "Decision Fatigue", as this Globe and Mail article calls it, is the idea that in any given day you only have enough energy to make a finite number of "tough decisions", before you just do what you would normally just...do. The types of "tough decisions" they mean mostly relate to making smarter choices for your health; I'm going to the gym and I’m not going to have that treat that I want to eat right now. It's an interesting hypothesis, and I don't really know what to make of putting a definite limitation ones ability to overcome being tired. What did certainly catch my eye though is how I initially interpreted it: consciously deciding you're too tired to get out for a run or make it to the gym well before it's actually time to do it. I do this. All the time. Especially when I'm not training very hard or out really of my groove - as is currently the case.
For myself and those of you like me, there's really only one solution. Grab a bag a Ruffles' Sour Cream 'N Bacon chips (my fav), and settle into the couch for the night. Yes? Of course not. It takes real grit to just get out there and do it. Hell, do it half speed. Take longer breaks between sets. Just get out there and do it. I've actually been following my advice this week (before I even happened upon this article), up at 4:30am every morning for the gym and a couple 5km runs in the evenings. You know what? The worst part was really just the thought of going out and doing it. When I'm finally in the gym or mid-run, it feels really good! When it's over I feel great and I'm ready for the next one.
You can take the points from this article, and they may be very valid for you, but really the biggest challenge for most people is fully committing to something and getting over the various daily excuses that stand in your way. When you fully commit to something, be it healthier meals or a rigid fitness routine, the route to get there is yours for the taking.
Check out the article here, of course I fully support the planning and scheduling advice!
Ever have a hard time focusing on a single muscle when performing compound exercises? I’ve skimmed over the Sissy Squat in the past when trying new variations of quad exercises, but I’ve been finding it hard to target my quads when doing barbell squats. I just added this movement to my quad workout: now immediately after a set of squats, I grab a plate and superset 12-15 of these. What a difference!
For this exercise you’ll need a fixed piece of equipment to hang onto. Try a squat rack. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, grab the rack and point your toes. Now leaning away from the rack, perform a typical squat movement. For added resistance, hold a plate against your chest with your other hand.
For a great Frankenstein walk - try this Quad routine:
3×12 Seated Double Leg Extensions (superset with another muscle group) 3×12 Hack Squat Machine (superset with another muscle group) 3×12 Seated Single Leg Extensions (superset with another muscle group) 3×12 Deep Barbell Squats superset with 3x15 Sissy Squats (no rest between) **I always try to superset with another muscle group to maximize a workout
Matt for TrainRite
I just added this bench press variation into my workout routine: the Neck Press If you're like me who constantly has a tight chest, you will FEEL this exercise - and feel it quickly. This is not an ego boosting, heavy-as-you-can-go movement: GO LIGHT to start. Trust me, you'll feel it. I use this exercise before I do my regular sets of bench presses.
Take your basic bench press, but slide you body down low on the flat bench to allow you to lower the bar over your neck, rather than your chest. Bring the bar down slow, just until it touches your neck, pause, and bring the bar back up to your starting position.
Try this chest routine:
3x12 Neck Press superset with Pushups to exhaustion (no rest between) 3x12 Bench Press (superset with another muscle group) 3x12 Smith Press (superset with another muscle group) 3x12 Flat Bench Cable Flyes (superset with another muscle group) **I always try to superset with another muscle group to maximize a workout
Now tell me you don't feel that? You won't be able to lift the same weight after the Neck Press x Pushups, but still try to safely lift heavy sets to finish the workout. Keep your rest times short as you can.
Matt for TrainRite
This thing took a week to plan, but I really needed to try something new. It's good to change up the routine often, but I like to plan mine out well in advance so I run them for quite a while. Lots of variation, and I play with different set and reps depending if I do a heavy or lighter weight that week. It also forces me to research new movements and different ways to do an exercise. I did a quad/chest day this morning and I'm in tough shape!
So a friend of mine so politely suggested that maybe I should post more often. I like hearing suggestions from fellow readers and anyone really, so I figured I could start today. I’ve been asked this question fairly often, and this was actually her suggestion to me: What does your typical day look like as far as exercise and meals go? Well my dinner tonight isn’t really typical - I’m expecting to eat as many wings and drink as much beer as I can handle on a “school night”- but the rest really is. On a typical weeknight for dinner I’ll more than likely have some sort of meat (lean steak, chicken breast/thigh, salmon etc.) with salad, steam veg or similar.
Portion control isn’t really my strong suit, so I try to eat before 6:30pm so I don’t feel so full for the early morning workouts.
5:30am Workout: Glutes, Chest, Core (all superset)
Barbell Step-ups – 110lbs x 20, 17, 16 (these are the worst) Pec Fly Machine – 190lbs x 12, 12 ,12
Glute Kickback Machine – 170lbs x 12, 12, 12 each leg Incline Dumbbell Press – 2x70lbs x 10, 10, 9
Barbell Hip Thrust - 185lbs x 12, 12, 12 (looks so suggestive…) Cable Press - 110lbs x 12, 12, 12
Leg Raise with Dumbbell - 25lbs x 12, 12, 12 Torso Twist Machine - 190lbs x 15, 15, 15 each side
Horizontal Sit-up - 45lbs x 12, 12, 12 Sitting Oblique Twist (with Plate) - 25lbs x 25, 25, 25
Finished it off with a 5K run! Now I’m ready for Wing Night!
Before Workout (5:15am) – 5g BCAA, 1 scoop protein powder
Post Workout (7:00am) – 5g BCAA, 1 scoop protein powder
Breakfast (7:30am) – Overnight Oats
Snack (10am) – Broccoli & cauliflower
Lunch (12:30pm) – Pulled Chicken Lettuce Wraps (I made tons - I'm eating this all week)
Snack (2pm) – Hardboiled egg & Tandoori Masala Roasted Chickpeas
Dinner (6pm) – Wing night…. So wings and beer! (lots)
I found this great article written by Michelle Armstrong of The Oakville Nutritionist describing how it’s in our nature to make excuses for things we consider to be hard today in modern life. Take a look – it’s definitely a worthwhile read. Excuses are something I've always struggled with; the whole “I’ll just start tomorrow” excuse kept me smoking for much longer than I should have.
When it comes to your own health and fitness, being “healthy” isn’t really that much work. Why do people think you have to be fanatic and eat only the most tiny, bland meals to be “healthy”? We all know we can’t just sit on our asses all day, that’s unhealthy. Our bodies are designed to be active, not sit in a chair all day (as I am currently doing). We’re not designed for a five-dolla-footlong for the majority of our meals either, much to the chagrin of my office cohorts.
I know everyone is sick of hearing about health and fitness fads and diets, I know I am. I’ve also been on the receiving end of many eye-rolls when I’ve spoken about my fitness regimen to friends and family too, haha. But really, if we all know it’s a necessary part of life, why the hell do we make it seem so complicated?
My basic rules:
- Get moving. You don’t have to be a gym rat. Just get your heart rate up each and everyday
- Make your own and eat a variety of foods. Leave the boxed processed foods for rare occasions and of course keep portions in check.
- Manage your stress. Spend time doing things that make you feel good! I like building things J
Here are my reasons for leading an active life-style:
There’s just one – It just makes me feel good. You’ll never see me smile as wide as when I’m playing hockey, in a good groove running or at the gym, mountain biking, and so on. It’s a sort of therapy for me; it must be all of the endorphins. That’s why I do it. So why is that a bad thing? It also really makes me appreciate those nights when I do go out for wings with the boys, or have a day where I just lay around. See – the reasons aren’t complete vanity, haha.
PS - don't smoke
Well, I haven't posted in quite a while so I wanted to post a quick update. August was a great vacation month of travel, food and wine. I even did my first portage trip at Algonquin National Park here in Ontario. Great times!
I came back from a pretty lax August, to a very intense September. We've had big changes at work that always seems to stress everybody out (even though we're fairly protected, and heavily unionized). I still have a job - booya! I started my training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in the first week of September. I didn't realize how intense it was until I was a week or so into it. I have had very little time to post, so I'm trying to make an effort today to do so.
For the training I started eating 6 small meals a day. Running almost every day really prevents me from having the giant meals I enjoyed in August. It's a weird transition; it almost feels like too much food but it's in such small quantities that it isn't. Constantly eating fools my stomach into thinking it's full. I like this alot, and so does my stomach when I head out for the 5am runs in the morning. It does require quite a bit of meal prep because 4 of the meals are while I'm at work.
I'll just put my September calendar below. The workouts I'm doing are a stark contrast from my last routine. I'm focusing on the running, and thus I'm just trying to maintain muscle, and keep strong the ones I need to run properly. I'm still very sore - especially after the long run Sundays. I'm used to running 5-10kms, so it's quite an adjustment. You might laugh at the calendar - but this is something I need to make sure I actually do it. Now do you see to correlation to making the log books? Comments always appreciated!
Hilarious sprints-day GPS map (below)
Enjoy some August photos below - and guess what I made 56 bottles of? So good!
Algonquin & Cottage Weekend:
Well my first set of TrainRite 90-Day workout books are almost gone, so I've begun design on a new one. Thanks so much to all who have provided me feedback – the first version was really a trial to see if others found it as useful as I do. So far I’ve received quite positive feedback, so the new version will be pretty similar to the current one, with a few minor modifications. The biggest change will be that I’m trying a heavier paper to keep the book stiffer, and even more durable. That being said, if anyone remembers the storm we had in Toronto recently that flooded the city – I was caught outside in that. My own TrainRite book did get wet, but fared quite well considering I looked as though I just walked out of the shower. I’m impressed on the durability! I’ll be changing up the colour to a stealthy black for this version too. I’m starting production the new versions next week (hopefully before I run out of the current ones). Of course this version will also ship with the planning chart I've included with each order. people love this thing!
If you’re still on the fence about buying one – here’s your chance to get one of the new logbooks FREE!
I want 5 people to test it out for me – so email me NOW if you’d like to try one out free. firstname.lastname@example.org
The rest of you…buy one now! :)
This is my final week of the challenge I began on June 10th. While there definitely were some challenges (took 2 weeks off in the middle due to illness), I definitely made some progress. I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be by the end of this, but all in all I’ll take the progress. I’ll outline below some thoughts I have on the experience, and I plan on beginning some new training when I get back from some much needed vacation! Results: definite muscle development in shoulders/back, and <12lbs.
Positives: - The planning was key, I used a solid plan with defined rules. This is the only way this type of thing would work for me. I need something to reference. My TrainRite log book is my bible! - I was actually developing muscle while keeping a strict diet, and was increasing my weight almost regularly.This is extremely hard to do while trying to lose fat, and tells me I was probably taking in more calories than I should have while cutting. - New 5KM run PR @ 18:08!!! Setbacks: - illness really hurt me for 2 weeks, I wasn’t able to keep my routine or meal plan in check. - Cheats: I don’t do well with them, I tend to stretch them out for more/longer than I should. Next time, I’ll avoid this altogether. This is likely why there was little visual fat loss in the toughest area: the gut! - Fat loss seems insignificant, again – need to go with no cheats and firm portion sizes. I started straying towards the end with all the delicious summer BBQs :)
Now, time for a vacation!
Great Dr. Drew podcast this week regarding Health and Fitness. I’ve cropped out the best part.
Anybody who knows me well knows I love me some good podcast and talk radio in general. I started listening to the Adam Carolla Show back when he was on radio, and followed him to his new podcast empire. My favourite Adam Carolla material is back when he was on Loveline with Dr Drew – their “chemistry” was phenominal. Adam holds nothing back, even reads his past social insurance statements in a series of episodes. Hilarious. Loveline also taught me quite a bit about myself, and others. Topics vary between everything from mental health to physical health (think dude who thinks it’s normal to dig up a human skull to place in his aquarium, to girl who calls in to find out if her rash is razorburn or herpes). Adam is so funny – this link (www.lovelinetapes.com) has the best archive of episodes.
So the audio I've posted here is from the two current hosts of the show – Dr Drew and Mike Catherwood. I don’t listen to the show anymore, but I do listen to Dr Drew’s podcast. I really enjoyed this section of the podcast when they talk about the simplicity of nutrition and workouts – take a listen!
On how often to workout: “The overwhelming majority of people (need to devote) 3 days a week… You can pare it down to like 4 exercises…deadlifts, chinups or pullups, dips, and maybe some overhead pressing work” -MC
“People waste so much time – they ask me how to train their biceps, and I’m like “how many chinups can you do?” He’s like “I can’t do any”. I’m like “listen, you shouldn't be doing any barbell curls until you can do chinups to like, at bodyweight, a grown man should be able to do 15 chinups.” -MC
"Find an intention, make a goal, and follow it. People get so crazy and mixed up they want to be able to run a marathon and (bodybuild) to benchpress 350lbs…. The two don’t mix." - MC
Drew: “How ‘bout diet, what are the basic diet tendants?” Mike “Uhhhh…people eat too goddam much. Too many calories, with too little nutrients. That’s the biggest problem with Americans today”
"Here’s the big thing: it IS inconvenient. To be truly healthy you have to focus you have to pay attention. Don’t confuse diet foods with health foods, and vice versa. There are things that are very healthy, that are not good for a diet. There are things that are very good for a diet, that are fuckin’ unhealthy. And don’t confuse the two. Low fat yogurt with a bunch of sugar that’s only 90 calories may be great for some chick that doesn’t eat a lot and wants to stay skinny, but it’s not very healthy. Half a bag of macadamia nuts is very dense and healthy, but it’s a terrible thing if you’re on a diet because it’s going to be around 3000 calories." -MC
Finishing the week strong, after a very slow start... Has anybody else come down with this dirty summer cold that’s been floating around the city?? I’ve missed so many training sessions this week. Today is my first day back, and I’m trying to condense the muscle groups that were missed in the past 4 days or so into today and tomorrow’s routine. It felt good to rest a few days, the cold really knocked me on my ass.
It actually feels nice to switch it up a bit from my typical training style of 2 muscle groups per day, superset with one another (mostly to save me time in the morning in an attempt to get to work on time! ;) ).
Lats/Chest Wide grip pullups, 4 x exhaustion Bench press, 4x20 Lat Pulldown Machine, 3x12 Incline press, 3x12 Pushups, 3 x exhaustion
Bis/Tris Barbell curls, 4x20 Skullcrushers, 4x20 Alternating dumbell curls, 3 x exhaustion Dips, 3 x exhaustion Cable curls (bar), 3x12
Legs/Various Leg press, 4x20 Lower Back Extension, 4x20 Glute kickback, 3x12ea Decline bench dumbell pullovers, 3x12 Hamstring curl, 3x12ea
Core/Shoulders Cable crunch, 4x20 Smith shoulder press (heavy), 4x6 Hanging wipers, 3x15 Double cable lateral raise, 3x12ea Decline bench swiss ball swing, 3x25
Just a quick update (full results here): Well, after one week I don't expect to see much of a change, so here's a quick summary.
I followed my workout plan down to a tee, and did 3x5Km runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Friday, you’ll notice, is also leg day for me… causing the run to be a little on the slow side (poor hammys!).
At mealtime I did fairly well too – adjusted to the side-plate portion size and tried to avoid just piling high instead. This needs work haha. Luckily much of my meals have been veg and chicken so I don't feel so bad. Here's another example: shallot, mushroom, and herb scrambled eggs with tomato and avocado. So good.
Saturday Cheats: glass of Red, and mom’s Rhubarb pie. Def worth it!
Adjustments: I don’t think I felt anything need fine tuning quite yet. I may not run on Friday’s and shift the days to Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday… it’s really awkward to run right after a leg workout!
Results: I’m not expecting any real results photos-wise, but my weight did drop. This is NOT a typical drop, likely due to me cramming as much dirty food in my face as I could right before I embarked on this journey!
Starting Weight: 176.2lbs
Week end: 171.8lbs
So recently I decided to start a 2 month shred challenge for myself, to try and cut down some of the extra weight I’ve put on this spring. I tend to… how you say…. “eat like an asshole” when I decide to have dirty cheat meals, and then these easily turn into “cheat weekends”. Recently I've had a lot going on so these have been pretty abundant. Last November I did a 6-week challenge, and my reward was our family Christmas trip to Mexico. That challenge was really effective, I cut down to 158lbs with some great definition - I was really pumped with the results. I didn’t really take any photos for that challenge, as it’s somewhat out of my comfort zone. Also, our travel agency unfortunately cancelled the trip via email on Boxing Day (Canadians - never book with Nolitours!!), so I didn’t feel any satisfaction for of it. This time I’ll be posting weekly “selfies” to showcase the results I’m seeing. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve come out of my shell a bit with the photos.
- Generally a low carb, low sugar diet. On run days I’ll have a higher carb intake (usually through oats and fruit) - Nothing with added sugars (this includes dried crans and sweet rice cakes) - No breads, pasta, rice - Snacks: fruit on run days only, vegetables otherwise - 3 runs per week - 6 workouts per week - Meals on side plates only - No alcohol - No snacking on almonds as I get out hand with these. I’ll use them as part of meals only. - Any cheating will be fessed up to
I've just begun a new workout routine utilizing my TrainRite logbook. Love this thing; I never have to think about what I have to workout each day – I did all the pre-planning. I actually began this regimen a while back, but due to a neck injury and illness I never got into the full swing of it. Now that I’m 100%, I’ll use it for the entire 62 days. 6 days a week and one rest day. Here’s the breakdown:
Sunday: Rest Day Monday: Lats/Bis Tuesday: Legs/Core Wednesday: Chest/Tris Thursday: Various*/Core Friday: Legs/Shoulders Saturday: Back/Core * “Various” refers to exercises that use a multiple muscle groups, or muscles I couldn’t classify with the other days
Cardio: 3 runs per week – Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (generally quick 5km runs)
Supplements: - Protein shake immediately before and after workouts - 5grams Creatine on workout days (taken with the aforementioned protein) - 10grams BCAAs, daily - Daily men’s multi vitamin - Daily fish oil
Exceptions: - 1 Cheat item per week (NOT a whole meal) - 1 alcoholic drink per week *I’ll adjust any of these that I deem effective or not as I go.
Keeping Track: Call me lazy, but I’ve found that the best way for me to track my results are weight and photos. A lot of people do measurements, but I don’t really think it’s necessary for me. Does anyone else have a method they’ve used before?
So here we go! Today is Day 1 of my challenge. This time I have a trip booked Aug 11th, which gives me 62 days. The last challenge I did was extremely strict, this time I’m going to give myself a few rewards along the way.
If you have any comments or suggestions I’d love to hear them! I’ll keep track of my progress here, but I’ll also post weekly updates.
Thanks for tuning in!
Day 1: Monday, June 10, 2013
Hi all, So I've added a new section to pay my gratitude to all TrainRite Logbook customers!
A few photos have been trickling in and I think it's great! Keep 'em coming if you're a customer and you'd like to be featured on the page. I'm always amazed to see where my orders come from; Canada, USA, Singapore, Finland... all over.
Here it is - a big thanks to everyone!
I wanted to share one of my 4 leg-day routines. This is my attempt to cure my chicken-leg syndrome. I superset each leg set with a core routine. I've just started, so I can't comment on the results. One of the trainers at my gym mentioned I need to consume a ton of calories to put good mass on my legs... but I'm not prepared go that route yet.
SUMO SQUATS - 8 x 20
BULGARIAN DUMBBELL SQUATS - 3 x 12 (ea)
WALKING DUMBBELL LUNGES - 3 x 20
SEATED CALF RAISE - 3 x 12
We've all heard that in order to get the most out of your workouts, they should be anything but 'routine'. Varying your workouts by trying new exercises, varying sets and reps, increasing and decreasing rest periods and intensity are all great was to do this. So what if you're like me? Lack of time to research, plan and tweak new workout sessions used to be my largest hurdle for making new strides in personal fitness. So I wanted to share exactly how I do accomplish this, and I think it's worth a look for anyone who feels like they're own workouts are getting stagnant. Yeah, you know who you are... doing the same routines daily for months isn't working. I did that for almost two years with no results or reward. I want to state up front that there are a myriad of ways to effectively train your body and create an effective workout. This is just one way I've found to be effective for myself.
First things first, I'm at the gym by 6am to get my training in before work. I'm in no shape to be dreaming up new routines. So yes, in order to follow what I'm going to tell you here you will need to put in some hours on a Sunday or a slow day to plan ahead. What I do is I plan workouts on a two week rotation. I go to the gym usually 6 days a week. So basically up front you'll plan 12 days of workouts (6 days x 2 weeks). Now if you go to the gym 3 or 4 days a week you only have to plan 6-8 days worth. The key is to I rotate through this routine for up to three months - and probably even longer. If you do a great job of researching new exercises and don't repeat any, you'll only really be doing the same exercise twice a month! Sounds like it's worth a day or two or up front planning right?
The picture I posted is my current workout routine - and due to an injury I haven't really been able complete it a month straight - but I'll post any updates in how effect it is over the next few months. I should note as well that I do some outdoor runs around 3 times a week on top of this (hence the early morning workout sessions). I choose 2 muscle groups per session, 5 exercises each. The sets and reps vary.
I know I'm shorting you on some of the details - if you want to know more about my regimen, please comment below!
Self promotion alert: This workout will perfectly align itself with a TrainRite logbook. Get one, try it out. I can't stress enough how taking the time to plan out your fitness activities has been the key to my own results.
Get your logbooks here: