Step Into My Office – David’s Story, Part I

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In this two-part series I want to share with you one of my client’s stories. His name is David, and his story is not only inspirational, but one that you may also relate to. As a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area, who specializes in working with baby boomers and seniors, I get to work with a lot of different people. I’m happy that I got the opportunity to work with David!

One day as I was finishing my work day and about to head out of the gym I saw a gentleman who I always say “hi” to on my way out. This day, however, was different as I was leaving. When I greeted him today he stopped me and told me to step into his office, which happened to be two chairs side by side in the gym. I took a seat and we began to chat.

The man, who I came to learn to was David, was covered in sweat and started telling me about how he just finished his “death march” on the treadmill. His voice was deep and as he laughed I knew that he had a great heart, he was just missing something. He began to share with me how he had been doing the treadmill on a daily basis, as well as when he used to train in the past. He trained in the past and had a personal trainer who had given him a great workout, but he couldn’t put it all together. He couldn’t keep the workouts consistent and couldn’t seem to get the weight off.

He told me that he wanted a workout that wouldn’t kill him, or leave him feeling like that’s what was happening. He needed a workout that would help him become consistent. While his desire wasn’t to have 6-pack abs, he would still be happy if he had them. His desire was really to go hunting and hiking with his uncles, cousins, niece, and nephew. I explained to him the time commitment working out would take in order to get to where he wanted to be. He needed to commit to getting at least 5 hours of exercise per week, and that we would work up to that, so the 5 hours wouldn’t kill him, but it would provide a nice mix of mobility work, cardio, and weight training. I also said he would need to keep a food log.

David asked if I’d be available in the morning, because he’d like to give it a test drive for a month. I told him that there were no test drives; he had to be 100 percent committed for a full month. I told him he would be happy with his results, and if he wasn’t then he could quit and just give up on life. As a personal trainer I knew that if he stuck to the commitment that he would be happy. He said he’d meet me at his office (the two chairs in the gym) at 5:50 the next morning.

David showed up and we took his weight and measurements and got to work. David weighed in that morning at 327 pounds. Would he remain at that? Only time would tell!

He loved the mobility work that we did and after finishing the first session he said he felt amazing and could get used to doing it. I gave him a copy of my Boomer Fitness workbook, which features all the stretches and exercises. I told him it was his job to show up 10 minutes before his session to do the stretches. The next day I smiled as I walked in and saw David warming up with his stretches. When I saw that, I knew he was committed!

We then started in on the weight and I noticed hi was doing a lot of clock watching. When I asked him was going on he replied, “Kid, I love you, but I hate you and I’m counting down the minutes.”

Day after day and week after week went by. At the end of the first month David had dropped 10 pounds. Then a curveball hit him. He had a degenerative disk in his neck that was pinching a nerve and giving him horrible pain. He went to the doctor and found out he would need surgery, as well as a two-month break from working out. David was fearful that he would take a step back, but how long would that step back be?

READ PART 2 HERE

Facebook FAQ Part III – Continuing with Mobility Work

Picking up where we left off from the last two blog posts, we will look more at mobility workouts. Many people are unclear about what mobility work is and why it’s important. Whether you are a personal training client of mine in the Vancouver, Washington area, or you follow me on Facebook, there are benefits to mobility workouts that everyone needs. It is especially important for seniors and baby boomers to make mobility work part of their weekly routine.

Mobility, by definition, is the ability to move. As they age, many people complain to me that it seems more difficult for them to move. They don’t have the mobility they once had. Well, that’s because they are no longer doing the things they once did. As many people age they become more sedentary. When that happens, they will begin to lose their mobility. Doing mobility work each week is not only going to keep you more mobile, but it’s going to make it easier. The best way to have mobility that is free and easy is to do the work to help your body get there and stay there. It doesn’t matter how old you are, either, because mobility is something you can work on and achieve at any age.

When it comes to mobility work, follow this workout plan:

Monday – Mobility/Workout 1

Tuesday – Mobility/Cardio

Wednesday – Mobility/Workout 2

Thursday – Mobility/Cardio of choice

Friday – Mobility/Workout 3/Cardio of choice

Saturday – Cardio of choice

Again, when we are discussing cardio as we have in prior posts, it is important for you to do activities that will get your heart going. This can include walking, jogging, biking, hiking, row machines, or any other activities that will get your heart rate up more. Here are some specific mobility work examples:

1)    Piriformis stretch

2)    Glute stretch

3)    Spiderman stretch

4)    RDL

5)    DB Row

6)    Step-up

7)    Push-ups

8)    Lateral lunge

9)    Leg Raise

10) Bird dog

11)Side plank

You will want to do all of your mobility work in 2-4 sets, with 8-10 reps, or if you are doing  static hold go for 20-40 seconds. Be sure to add in the day one mobility work, as well as the day two mobility work. For the resistance training, you will want to do:

1 round week one 15-20 reps

2 rounds week two and three 15-20 reps

3 rounds week four and five 15-20 reps

During week 6-8 do three rounds, bringing the rep range down to 10-15 reps. Also, focus on bringing up the intensity. You can do that by increasing the weight you are using, but always keep form in mind, as it is priority. If you can’t control the weight or maintain form, then do not increase the weight.

Following this three part series will help keep your mobility in a range that will have you feeling great and doing things with ease. It’s never too late to get started with mobility work, so make it part of your workout plan today!

IF YOU MISSED PART 2 CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

TO GET YOUR COMPLETE BOOMER FITNESS PROGRAM CLICK HERE

Facebook FAQ Part II – The Specifics of an Outline

In the prior post, I discussed how you can go about getting started down the path of health and wellness. I laid out what it is that you need to start with so your exercise routine will be on the right track right from the beginning. In this one, part two, I’m going to take things a little bit further and go into the specifics of an outline for you all.

Every baby boomer or senior citizen I work with comes to understand the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and what exercise can do for you. Working out regularly can do for your body what nothing else can. There is no doctor or magic pill that is going to help you get stronger and healthier. Eating healthy and exercising regularly is the only way that you will achieve this. That goes for the clients that I work with here in personal training in the Vancouver, Washington area, as well as the many people I assist online and on Facebook.

Print this outline of a workout and hang it somewhere you will see it each day, so it serves as a reminder of what you need to be doing to be healthy. First you need to start with your weekly workout schedule, which looks like this:

Monday – Mobility/Workout 1

Tuesday – Mobility/Cardio

Wednesday – Mobility/Workout 2

Thursday – Mobility/Cardio of choice

Friday – Mobility/Workout 3/Cardio of choice

Saturday – Cardio of choice

Again, it is important to remember that cardio exercises are those that are going to get your heart beating faster. The government recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of such moderate physical activity each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Moderate physical activity includes biking, walking, the elliptical or row machine, or step machine. A vigorous activity would be running.

Here’s what your workout 2 will include:

Mobility

1)    hamstring stretch

2)    IT band foam roller

3)    Low back stretch

4)    Split squat

5)    Shoulder press

6)    Pull down

7)    Rope to neck

8)    Kettle bell dead lift

9)    Y, I, T,

10)Anti-rotational

11)Plank

Do all of your mobility work in 2-4 sets, with 8-10 reps per set, or if you are doing a static hold aim for 20-40 seconds. Be sure to add in the day one mobility work as well. For the resistance training, do:

1 round week one 15-20 reps

2 rounds week two and three 15-20 reps

3 rounds week four and five 15-20 reps

During weeks 6-8 do three rounds, bringing the rep range down to 10-15 reps. You will also want to bring up the intensity. You can bring up the intensity by increasing the weight you are using, but always keep your form in mind, as it is important to have the right form. If you find that you can’t maintain the form then don’t increase the weight.

Once you get started with this workout outline, you will be surprised at just how great you being to feel. Stick with it and over time you will become healthier, stronger, and feel great. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area and need a personal trainer contact me. If you are not in the area, be sure to follow me on Facebook for fitness tips and information that every baby boomer can benefit from!

If you missed part one CLICK HERE

To get your specific workout line GET IT HERE NOW

Staying Successful While Traveling During the Holidays

If you are like millions of others around the nation you will end up doing some type of traveling this holiday seasons. Most people seem to, whether it’s in the same state or around the country. We live in times when families are spread across the nation, prompting holiday travel from sea to shining sea. Whatever you do, don’t let your holiday travel become an excuse for not staying on track with your fitness goals and routine!

Pushing your fitness plans aside while you are traveling will only leave you with regrets when you turn home, if not beforehand. Like many of you, I will do some traveling this month as well. I plan to head back to Wisconsin for a visit, attend a fitness seminar, and I’m always involved in travel away from home for my National Guard duties. Also like some of you, I could make a lot of excuses for not keeping up with my fitness routine during the travel. But I will not do that and for many good reasons.

Staying the course and keeping up with your fitness routine will keep you feeling good, help you avoid weight gain, and help you lose weight if that is your goal. It’s going to help keep you fit, trim, and energetic. Keeping up with it during travel may require being proactive and creative, but it is something you can do and be successful at. Here are some tips for doing just that:

  • Locate a gym. Look ahead at where it is you will be going and locate a gym before you ever arrive. Most will allow you purchase a day or week pass to work out there. If you are staying at a hotel they may also have a gym right there on the premises. Know ahead of time where you will be working out.
  • Go with friends. If you are visiting friends or family find out where they work out and hook up with them. This will give you a chance to try something new and will make locating a place even easier.
  • Plan ahead. Know ahead of time what you will be eating so you can maintain a healthy diet. If you will be going to restaurants take a look at the menu online and plan ahead so you will know what healthy dishes you can order. Locate grocery stores where you can pick up healthy food options. The more you can map out ahead of time, the better off you will be.
  • Block out time. If you really want to maintain your fitness routine while traveling you will need to schedule the workout time. Literally put it on the calendar and block out the time to get it done. Do whatever it takes to keep it a priority and on your schedule.

Always remind yourself while you are traveling of the importance of staying on track. Write your goals and successes down if you need to. Carry them with you, so you can always pull them out each day and be reminded of all are working for, and have put in time for thus far. Whether you are one of my personal training clients here in the Vancouver, Washington area, or you are a reader from around the country, you can maintain a successful fitness routine while traveling. Just keep these tips in mind, make it a priority, and never look back!

 

 

Holiday Weight Gain is Bull Shit – and Totally Unacceptable!

Yes, I said it. And I’m going to challenge you on it. You know what I mean. The very idea that just because it is the holiday season you have to succumb to the idea that you will gain anywhere form 4-10 pounds. That’s what is reported as being average during this time of year, right? Well I say enough is enough. That’s not acceptable. Let me explain why!

Just a few pounds you say, so it’s nothing to worry about? Not so fast! Some people may gain 4-5 pounds, but others may gain more like 8-10 pounds or even more. Just depends on how much you are willing to abandon your healthy lifestyle goals and eat to the point where you just put your health on the backburner. I say right now, on this holiday season, that this weight gain madness comes to a screeching halt. Here are some reasons why:

  • If you are like most people you will never lose whatever amount of weight is that you gain this holiday season. Rather, you will keep compounding it year after year. Right now you are still probably batting some pounds you gained from a holiday binge three years ago!
  • Most people tend to rationalize that they will go on a new diet and fitness plan at the first of the year. They figure they will lose whatever weight they are gaining at that time. Nonsense! The majority of people who start New Year’s fitness routines drop out just weeks later, walking away with that extra weight gain still on them.
  • The extra weight you gain during the holidays will put more stress on any health conditions you already have. This includes things like diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions. There is a 5 percent increase in the number of heart attacks experienced by people during the holiday season, and more fatal heart attacks on Christmas and the day after Christmas. Your body doesn’t need the added stress of holiday weight gain.
  • People tend to never lose the additional weight, so they create an “identity” and just use it as an excuse. They may chalk it up to getting older, start cutting back on how active they are, and will lose additional health as the years ago by, due to their inactivity.
  • You are a leader and it is important for you to be aware of the message and example you are setting for others in your life. Maintain your health through the holidays and others will often follow suit.

Deep-fried turkey fire balls, flammable Christmas trees, toy hazards, seasonal car accidents, and decorating disasters (think Chevy Chase movies here), provide enough stress and danger in your life at the holidays. No reason to add to that with additional weight gain!

As a personal trainer I work with people from all around the Vancouver, Washington area. When I explain my thoughts on holiday weight gain they say my initials (BS) stand for more than just Brian Stecker. They say they want to enjoy their holiday and don’t want their spirit ruined. They may even call me Brian “Scrooge” Stecker. I know this may be an intense idea, but I am going to provide you with a series of actionable strategies you can use over the next 6 weeks to safely get you through the holidays, help you avoid the holiday weight gain, and keep you healthy and fit.  My advice comes from 10 years of training and includes solutions that will keep you fit, and enjoying the holidays!

 

Reaching For Your Dreams – Age No Barrier

This past week there was something really inspirational that was on the news. You may have been one of the millions that saw it as I did. I’m talking about Diana Nyad and how she accomplished a goal at the age of 64. For those who feel that you reach a point where it is too late to reach for your dreams, she serves as an example that it is never too late!

Nyad was big news this past week because she did something that nobody else has done before. She swam the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. Did you get that? At the age of 64, she swam 110 miles in order to set a record. She’s the first person to do this and yet she’s a baby boomer. No protection from the elements, bitten numerous times by jellyfish, and hungry, she finished the goal she set out to do.

Her message to people is that they should never give up. She didn’t, and neither should anyone else. She also demonstrated that you are never too old to chase your dreams. You only have one life to live, making it crucial that you go after that which you dream of. She had a dream of making that swim and she did not let her age become a barrier to her achieving her goal. Another one of her messages is that many things in life, such as what she accomplished, is not a solitary act. While she gets the credit for the swim, she actually had a team of people who were providing her the support in order to make it possible.

While Nyad had a team of 35 people, some people need merely to work with a personal trainer or coach in order to reach their goals. Many people don’t realize it, but we are often the biggest obstacles we face when wanting to achieve something. We have a goal in mind, but we talk ourselves out even going for it with piles of excuses. We place limits on ourselves that don’t need to be there.

The negative self talk that floats around in the heads of most people, including my personal training clients, has probably stopped you from achieving many goals. You have to believe in yourself and in your ability to accomplish things in order for it to become a reality.

Perhaps you are reading this and your own dream comes to mind. Maybe it has nothing to do with fitness, but rather with finances or business. Your dream may have been something more related to personal issues, spirituality, or romance.

It’s never too late. Whatever your dream was is still waiting for you. You may think that at your age you have lost the ability to achieve that dream. You may think you are too old now. But let me remind you that a 64 year old woman just swam 110 miles in shark and jellyfish infested waters in order to make her dreams a reality. She did it in 53 hours, after she had failed at attempting it on three other prior occasions.

So what is your dream? What’s stopping you from going after it?

Forget the excuses. Instead, put a plan into action and make it happen. You can do it. I believe in you and you will achieve your goals!

 

Balance for Baby Boomers: Why it’s Important and How to Improve It

If you have ever had a problem with balance you know how serious it can be. In fact, it is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that a third of all adults over the age of 65 fall each year. These falls can lead to serious problems, including hip fractures. Focusing on one’s balance is a good way to help lower the risks of these falls.

The risk of falls aside, not having good balance can do numerous other things as well. It can make it more difficult to walk upstairs, get up out of a chair, bend over without getting dizzy, and just being able to walk steadily. Balance is what keeps you safer, as well as feeling better as you move around.

In my field, as a personal trainer for baby boomers in the Vancouver, Washington area, I am always happy to help my clients address their balance issues. Having poor balance is a bad thing, but the good news is that there are things you can do to improve your balance. Here are a few points that I always share with my clients:

It is important to exercise regularly. This exercise needs to be on your feet. What this means is that you should get out from those machines that have you sitting down. If you are sitting on an exercise bike you are not doing anything to help your balance. Choose exercises that will get you standing up and moving around, such as using the treadmill. Also, consider taking Tai Chi. It is a mild form of martial art that has worked wonders in helping people to improve their balance.

Doing unilateral movements, those which have you use just one side of the body at a time, can also help improve balance. There are various squats and leg lefts that you can do to make balance improvements.

You may have been shying away from them before, but now is the time to get to know free weights. By using free weights you will strength train and improve your balance.

If you are unsure which ones to do always work with a personal trainer who can develop a plan specifically for meeting your goals. My Vancouver, Washington baby boomer clients benefit from better balance as a result of the personal workout plan that I create for them. Whether you are in my local area or beyond, make it a priority to work on your balance. The benefits are long lasting and important for every baby boomer!

Dig Into Strength: How Baby Boomers Can Improve Strength

Do you have difficulty walking up the steps? What about making dinner? If you find these things a lot more difficult than you used to it is time to take action. Believe it or not, you can get your strength back, even as a baby boomer. You do not have to take a loss of strength sitting down. Now is the time to stand up and fight… now is the time to dig in!

As a personal trainer in Vancouver, Washington who helps numerous baby boomers I address the strength issue on a regular basis. Yes, it’s true that if you do not work at it you will lose strength as you age. In fact, you will lose about 30 percent of your strength in the years that follow turning 50 years old. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get that strength back, but it takes you being proactive in making it happen.

Many people think that you only hit the gym and lift weights if you want to be a body builder. Not so! The strength training that you will do in the gym will help you be able to climb those stairs better, or make it easier to tackle making dinner. You can use free weights, elastic bands, or exercise machines. The key is to have some resistance, because that resistance is going to help you build and maintain your muscle mass.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to increasing your strength:

  • Make sure you start with mobility. Without first focusing on improving your mobility you will find it difficult to take on the next step of strength training. Once you have addressed the mobility issue you are ready to move on.

 

  • Get a program to help you increase your strength level. The key here is that you have to make sure it is focusing on your weak areas. If you cannot identify them work with a personal trainer so you get the results you are after.
  •  

    Use a progressive overload approach, which will keep your body from bulking up or getting bigger. Instead, you will set goals of getting stronger and focus on meeting them.

 

  • Take action. This is the most important part. You can talk all day long about what needs to be done and why, but it will be worthless if it is not put into action. If you want to see results you must get a program and put it into action.

Getting older does not have to mean getting weaker. You can stop the loss of muscle and gain some strength back again. But you have to be proactive in making it happen. Whether you work with me, through my Vancouver, Washington personal training for baby boomers, or you do it with someone else, your strength training goals can be achieved. They also make a big difference in your quality of life, making them a goal worth fighting for!

A Big Announcement!

I have a big announcement to make and I hope that you are all as excited about it as I am. Drum roll please… I’m doing a show!

That’s right, I have decided to participate in the upcoming Las Vegas Classic bodybuilding show. This is big news, right? Of course it is and it’s going to be great! The show takes place in Sin City, otherwise known as Las Vegas, on November 2, 2013. That means I have less than two more months to get busy preparing for this challenge. But I’m excited and ready to meet it head on.

You may be wondering why it is that I have decided to get involved in a body building show. After all, my career is that of a Vancouver, Washington-based trainer who specializes in working with baby boomers and senior citizens. Well, I have several reasons for wanting to get involved in this bodybuilding show, which include:

  • Inspiring my clients. That’s right! I want to be an inspiration to all my personal training clients. I think that one way to do that is to be in the Las Vegas Classic bodybuilding show. That’s because it will require me to work hard, achieve milestones, stay committed, and to achieve a goal that I have set. I am always harping to my clients about setting and achieving fitness goals. With this, I’m taking my own advice.
  • Gain understanding. Since I’m the personal trainer many people feel as though I don’t have a clue what they are going through on the other side of the table. Well this is going to give me an idea. A real good idea! With the training I will be doing for this bodybuilding event I will get a good taste of what it is that you all go through during training and setting goals. I believe the experience will help me in my personal training further down the road.
  • Personal reasons. I do have a few reasons that are personal and close to my heart. Some of you who personally know me may know these already. If you don’t that’s okay, this will leave you intrigued, and that’s a good thing! But just know that I do have some personal reasons as well.

An important thing for me to note here is that I have hired a coach to work with to train for this event. I heard many of you just say “why” in unison. There are a lot of reasons. Just like how you hire a personal trainer so you have someone to hold you accountable, identify and improve weak areas, focus a plan to reach the goal, etc., they are the same reasons that I am working with a coach for my training. Oh, and stay tuned because you will have the chance to win some prizes as we get closer to this big goal of mine! I look forward to sharing my experiences with you once I have been in the show.

 

How long will it take me to get the body I want? I want this yesterday!

By the time people make contact with me, they have already decided that enough is enough.  They’re tired of looking in the mirror and seeing a frumpy person looking back at them.  They’re tired of feeling lethargic.  And they are sick of being in a state of unfit!

So it never surprises me when people ask me, “How long is it going to take me to get the body I want?  I want this yesterday!”

 

We live in a society of instant gratification.  If you want something, you can go and get it.  After all, that’s what the commercials and advertisers tell us daily, right?

Most of the time, that is the case.  The thing is though, when it comes to your goals concerning getting the body you want and getting the fitness you want, it takes time.  Ask yourself this key question, “Did you get to your current state of being a few – or a lot – of pounds overweight overnight?”

“Did you get yourself to your current state of being so unfit overnight?”

The answers will always be NO!

It takes time to put on weight.

It takes time to lose fitness.

It takes time to become unfit.

None of this stuff happens overnight.  And none of it can be fixed overnight.

And that is why you need to really accept this reality.  The reality is that all damage that takes time to create, will take time to reverse.

If you want to reverse a trend of weight gain and lose the weight, it will take time.

If you want to reverse a trend of unfitness and gain fitness, it will take time.

The moment you accept this reality is the moment you can set yourself on a path to reversing it and getting the results you want.

Understand it will take time, and then work with your personal trainer to achieve those goals you want.

If you go down the path of wanting the instant results, the instant gratification – the great results with little effort and in next to no time – you won’t get the results you want.

Accept that it takes time to do damage.  Accept that it takes time to reverse damaging trends.

And you will be well on your way to achieving the body and fitness goals you want!

Talk to your fitness trainer about what your goals are, and ask them for a realistic time frame.  You must be realistic when it comes to what you can achieve and the time it will take.  Don’t set yourself up for crazy expectations that are unrealistic.  You cannot lose 30lbs in one month.  You cannot get the fitness you want in just one week.

It will take you some time.  When you learn this and take it onboard, you will be in the right frame of mind to stick to the plan your fitness trainer sets for you – and achieve your goals in the time needed to achieve them.

So relax and understand this.  Be easy on yourself by being realistic with your goals.  As Pantene said, “It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.”

 To speed up the time in getting the body you want CLICK HERE