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Monday, April 30, 2007

The 3 Biggest Training Mistakes!

Here are the 3 biggest mistakes made over and over again (along with quick tips on how to fix those mistakes!)

Mistake #1

Training only your favorite body parts

If you only train your favorite body parts - you are doing your body a grave disservice. In addition to creating an unbalanced and out of proportion physique, it leads to overtraining, stubborn injuries and most importantly a slower metabolism.

When you workout in all facets of conditioning your body is running at peak levels. Your metabolism is stoked and running hot because you are requiring it to function in many planes of movement, working various muscles all over the body and essentially requiring it to work harder than it would if you only trained 2 of your favorite body parts over and over.

Mistake #2

No Workout Variety

If you always complete the same exercises and routine over and over, your body gets used to it. It doesn’t have the need to build new muscle. It becomes complacent.

Your body is only going to build enough muscle and get strong enough to complete the exercise as required. If you do the same 8 exercises over and over again you will never make any progress. Even if you add weight and make the exercises harder your progress is still limited because your body only has to produce enough strength to lift that extra 5 pounds.

Now if you want to consistently be progressing and challenging your body then you should be adjusting your workouts frequently. An example would be to change your workouts up every 3 weeks. You can still work the same muscle groups, but choose different exercises that target those muscles.

If you don’t believe me try a forward lunge for 4 consecutive workouts and then switch to a lateral lunge for the next 4 workouts and see if you notice a difference between the two exercises. They are essentially working the same muscles, but differently and your muscles will most definitely recognize that.

Mistake #3

Damaging Post-Workout Nutrition

This is the biggest mistake that can be easily corrected!

You only get results from exercise AFTER you are done with your workout! And if you don’t consume some type of post workout drink, your will suffer in your recovery and your progress will be slower.

The research is abundant with studies showing an intake of carbohydrates and protein together within 1 hour after working out greatly enhances recovery, increases protein synthesis and replenishes glycogen. The key is to digest quick digesting nutrients so that the recovery process can begin immediately.

The best way to do this is by consuming a high quality post-workout drink with the proper carbohydrate to protein ratio. If you are choosing just a high protein drink without enough carbs, you are consuming the wrong drink.

Prograde Varisty Post-Workout Drink is the perfect blend of carbs/proteins and it’s fast absorbing so it will feed your muscles the necessary nutrients you need to start the recovery process and prepare you for your next workout.

Another thing that bugs me!

I've been complaining a lot on here lately but I see way too many things that bother me to not say anything about. I forgot something on my list of things that bug me about commercial gym trainers.

I saw it today and it reminded me. Almost all of the trainers make people stretch after every exercise. This is why I don't get doing that.

When you stretch a muscle statically (holding a position for an extended period of time) the muscle relaxes. That takes the strength right out of the muscle and it's harder to lift the weight you are capable of lifting which ultimately hampers your training and results.

So that bugs me.

Talk to you soon,

Dan Grant

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Just a tiny little rant today!

I'm in Orillia, ON, Canada for my brother's graduation from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) school and my family came along too. My parents drove with my grandparents but I opted to fly down later with my sister. So anyways, long story short...I asked what kind of snacks they had on the way down.

They then told me with huge confidence that they were healthy snacks. I said great. But I was feeling a little hungry at the time so I asked if there was any left. There was and what they showed me was not exactly what I was picturing.

It was a mini bag of Doritos. "Why is this healthy," I asked. "It's ONLY 100 calories...AND 0 trans fat." I'll talk later about this new trans fat craze that's been tricking people into making things sound healthier than they are, but for now I just want to finish my thoughts with what I think the mindset of nutrition is in the world today.

We KNOW that chips do not have any nutritional value. They aren't good for us, plain and simple. Why is it all of a sudden healthier if it's in a super small bag. I understand that portion sizes could come into play as an argument, but why are you putting it in your body in the first place? I asked how many 100 calorie bags where eating on the way down and I was told 8 between 3 people. Over 250 calories per person of unhealthy calories.

I'm not a big calorie counting guy because what I teach with nutrition is fairly simple. Stay away from sugar, processed food, drink a ton of water, eat good protein with every meal and snack, and eat as many veggies as you can. That's really the basics behind it.

Well, I'm off to the OPP museum. I hope every one has a great weekend coming up.

Get Strong,

Dan Grant

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Athlete Performance Project

Coming May 14, 2007 to Thunder Bay is a Youth Athlete Camp I will be conducting called The Athlete Performance Project.

For more information with a cool little video click HERE. Make sure you got those speakers turned up.

Only 12 young athletes will be allowed in and it will be on a first come, first serve basis so call me today at 624-7533 to reserve a spot before they disappear.

"You're in Training NOW!"

Be Strong,

Dan Grant


Monday, April 23, 2007

Diets Don't Work...No Way!

Listening to the radio in my car this morning and they announce a study from UCLA. The study followed people for 2-5 years after starting a diet. Guess what?

Nearly ALL of the people in the study gained ALL of their weight back. Here's the deal. Start focusing on lifestyle changes and STOP looking for a quick solution because that obviously doesn't help you in the long run.

Just my thoughts for the day,

Have a great and healthy day,

Dan Grant

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Things I've Seen From Club Trainers That Bug Me

1. Drinking coffee while training a client at an early morning session. Bugs me.

2. Having conversations with other people while training a client. (sometimes totally walking away for up to 5 minutes).

3. A lot aren't even qualified to be there. People just believe that they are and don't look into it. They trust the club WAY too much.

4. They take clients from machine to machine for an hour. I know there's a lot of different ways to get results but this is the most frustrating thing I see. Why is someone paying a trainer $50 bucks to take them from machine to machine. It's friggen really hard to hurt yourself one those things and in my opinion you should rarely be using them anyways.

5. They yell at the top of their lungs to get a 50 year old lady to push out one more rep of shoulder presses. EASY fellas, she's doing her best.

6. Watching a client do 30 minutes of slow cardio. That's called being a thief.

Remember, this is just some stuff I've seen in my career. There's some more I'm sure. I'm just saying look into the qualifications of the trainers at your club. Don't pay them till you find a trainer that is focused on your goals and your fitness and doesn't just go through the motions with some cookie cutter program.

I do have to thank the clubs, though. They've given me a lot of clients so I guess I can't complain too much :).

Be Strong,

Dan Grant

Monday, April 16, 2007

No time to Workout? Here you go...

Here's a quick body weight only workout to give you a solid workout if you only have 10-15 minutes.

Squats (or Squat Jumps) x 15
Pushups (or Explosive Pushups) x 15
Plank x 30-45 sec.
Moutain Climbers x 30 each leg
Hip raises x 15

Repeat that 3-4 times and see how you feel.

Have a great day!

Dan Grant

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Feel Your BEST!

I wrote a newsletter a while back on how to feel your best instantly. It was about being grateful for everything good you have in your life. It was the most responsive newsletter I've ever sent. So many people loved it.

Recently, however, I've finally realized a way to feel your best that might not be as instant, but is definently a truly amazing feeling.

If you've ever read my 'About Me' on my website you'll know that 4-5 years ago I got diagnosed with and anxiety and depression disorder. I had it for probably 6 years before it even got diagnosed. It SUCKED! Plain and simple. I was 15 when I first started noticing problems. Most people wouldn't listen to me. They figured I was just going through that 'phase' when teens just don't care and whatever.

Deep down I knew I had a problem but I was really scared of telling people. And when I told my family I thought something was wrong I was told to 'relax.'

Even after I conquered my depression I was worried about letting it 'out of the box.' Well recently it all made sense and a dream came true. People read my 'About Me' section and started telling me about their depression issues. Powerful stuff, it really is. Well, today, I helped someone conquer their depression. We talked, I explained my experiences, and they told me theirs. She felt AWESOME after, and obviously so did I. We will continue to talk and truthfully, I was having a bad day before this happened and I've never felt such a satisfaction in my life.

I've been helping people change their lives for awhile now but I NEVER realized how powerful it actually was until today.

If you wanna feel your best do this: the best feeling in the world is helping someone change their life for the better. It really is.

If you can help somebody out, DO IT.

That's why I got into this profession. And that's why I'll be in it for a long time.

Happy Easter Everybody,

Dan Grant

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Great Nutrition Debates

The "Great" Nutrition Debatesby Dr John M Berardi, CSCS

While displacement foods (unhealthy foods that fill us up, knocking healthy foods out of our diets) are probably at the root of many of our health and body composition crises, what I call "displacement debates" have also become a real problem in today’s information age.

For example, the average North American barely knows what a carbohydrate, protein, or fat is, yet when they hear well-respected experts at the ADA recommend high carb diets and the highly (though not universally) respected Atkins group recommend low carb diets, they get so confused and frustrated they ultimately do little or nothing proactive to improve their health.
This argument is an example of a displacing debate: an academic argument that pushes the more important problems out of the public discourse. For the average North American, following either the ADA recommendations or the Atkins recommendations would go a long way toward improving their health. But instead of suggesting that people just do something, these groups continue to bicker about who’s right at the expense of an ever-growing obesity rate.

Below I’ve presented six of the interesting displacing debates I’ve heard argued lately. Hopefully by discussing them I can put to rest the idea that these issues are of critical importance to your overall health and body composition. I’d like you to understand that these represent small, fine tuning details which are only relevant to a small percentage of the population, if that. On the whole, these debates do more to confuse and paralyze people than to encourage them to take their health into their own hands.

The Top 6 Displacing Debates

1. Fruit is Bad Now?We all know fruit provides fiber, vitamins, minerals, and low glycemic index carbohydrates, so it should be no surprise that many experts recommend eating a few servings of fruit each day. Heck, this notion has even been turned into a clich├ęd rhyme:

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away!"

Yet some experts out there actually suggest that fruit might be bad for us! That’s utter nonsense. So, imagine you’re someone with a lifetime of eating habits that are less than optimal (for some of you, it might not be so hard to do) and you’re exposed to this debate. What do you do? Well, nine times out of ten, you figure that if there’s a chance fruit is bad for you, you might as well stay away from it — probably better to reach for a Big Mac instead. After all, it does taste better.

What to do? Eat the damn fruit – but, as with everything else, don’t overeat!

2. Raw? Organic?Speaking again of fruits (and vegetables), it’s recommended that the average person consume two pieces of fruit and three servings of vegetables per day as a bare minimum. I recommend 10-15 servings per day. Yet most North Americans (athletes included) consume far less than the standard recommendation of five servings of fruits and vegetables.

However, rather than simply recommend more fruit and veggies (no matter how you can get them, for any fruits and vegetables are better than none), experts spend their time fighting about canned fruits and veggies vs. raw fruits and veggies. And then they fight about raw fruits and veggies vs. organic fruits and veggies! Sure, I agree that raw, organic fruits and vegetables are best since they probably have a higher micronutrient count, but let’s face the facts: any fruits and veggies are better than none!

So again, imagine you’re someone with a lifetime of bad eating habits and you’re exposed to all this bickering. What do you do? Well, you'll probably avoid the fruits and veggies, wait for the experts to finish dueling it out, and reach for a Snickers bar instead.

What to do? Get sufficient fruits and vegetables in your diet before worrying about whether they’re organic or not. Once you’ve done that, worry on.

3. Raw Milk vs. Regular MilkWhat about milk? In my opinion, it’s not necessary, doesn’t always "do the body good," and should be minimized in the diet (although I see no need for total elimination unless you’re lactose intolerant).

However, if we could simply get more people to drink milk instead of sugary soda, we’d have less obesity and disease. But instead of focusing on healthy behaviors, experts will bicker on and on about regular milk vs. raw milk. Of course, all this does is serve to draw negative attention to milk and away from the other healthy decisions people could be making.

Sure, if it were possible to get raw milk that was guaranteed aseptic, it would be better than processed, pasteurized milk. But faced with the confusion, what do you, the hypothetical sub-optimal eater, do? Well, nine times out of ten, you avoid both kinds of milk and drink another Coca-Cola instead.

What to do? Limit milk, and drink calorie-free beverages like water and green tea instead.

4. Tap Water vs. Bottled WaterSpeaking of beverage consumption, people are dehydrated because they drink too little water while drinking too many caffeinated, diuretic drinks (coffee, soda, and alcohol). Dehydration leads to all sorts of health problems for the inactive, not to mention the decrements in athletic performance seen in dehydrated athletes.

But rather than simply promoting the heck out of water consumption, experts will bicker on and on about tap water vs. bottled water. Sure, good quality bottled water is usually a better choice, but don’t be one of these people who stay away from tap water, forget to pick up their bottled water, and simply remain dehydrated.

What to do? Drink sufficient water first; worry about the source later. (Of course, you may want to avoid drinking out of puddles next to pig farms in Uganda.) Put a water filter on your tap or buy one of those filter jugs you store in your fridge and be done with it.

5. Glass vs. PlasticAnd how about the bottles the water comes in? That’s right, the glass vs. plastic debate. Just the other day, I was recommending that a group of my athletes pick up some Tupperware so they could whip up all of their meals and shakes in the morning. It’s easy to make a good food choice during the day when you’ve got all your good food with you, pre-cooked, pre-wrapped, and ready to be eaten.

After the talk, one of the athletes came up to me and told me he avoids Tupperware altogether because of the potential leeching of xenoestrogens into his food. When I asked what he uses to store his food in, he told me he doesn’t even preplan his meals. He also told me he needed to lose fifteen pounds and that he was overweight because his nutrition sucked!

Buddy, I agree that glass containers may be marginally better than plastic, but for the love of God, pick up some plastic if it'll help you plan your meals! And this was a world-class athlete! You can imagine how the average guy fares!

What to do? Plan your meals in advance, storing them in woven baskets if necessary. Buy the best containers you can afford. If you can get the glass versions, great; if not, the generic plastic ones will do just fine.

6 . Free Range vs. Extremely Limited Range MeatMost weightlifters eat lots of protein and that’s no mistake. One of the best ways to get all that protein is by eating a lot of protein and micronutrient-rich lean meat. Protein supplements are okay to supplement your diet, but real food should be your nutritional mainstay and there’s nothing better than good ol’ fashioned lean meat.

Since eating more protein can increase metabolic rate, improve your weight loss profile, increase protein turnover, accelerate exercise adaptation, and (when replacing dietary carbohydrate) decrease the chance of cardiovascular disease, it should be clear that most people would do well to increase their consumption of lean meat.

So imagine the dismay someone might experience when hearing that the experts are now bickering about the type of meat we consume. Many experts muddy the waters when discussing free range vs. grain fed meat, telling people that grain fed meat (the only kind you can find in many grocery stores in North America) is full of toxins, bad fats, and hormones.

Sure, free-range meat is probably a better choice, although there’s little proof the supposed toxins and hormones actually get passed on to us. But again, imagine you’re someone with a lifetime of eating habits that are less than optimal and you’re exposed to all this bickering about lean protein. What do you do? Well, when you’re afraid of the meat you have access to, you shy away from all types of lean meat and reach for another bagel. Bad choice!

What to do? Find the best meat you can by going around to various grocery shops and butchers. Owners of health food stores may also be able to help you locate the best stuff. But don’t be afraid to eat the meat you find in your grocery store — the reports of your impending death are greatly exaggerated.

These are just a few of the displacing debates gaining momentum in the nutrition world. Do your best to get past the marginalia, to get past the differences between all the new programs, and try to discover for yourself the basic principles all the successful programs seem to be built upon. Most importantly, when faced with a choice between two good options, one of which may be marginally better than the other, but both of which would be an improvement over what you're currently doing, just pick one and go with it. You can optimize later, as long as you make an improvement now.

There's no debating that.


If you enjoyed that article or are interested in maximizing your nutrition I highly suggest you check out this site,

Have a great week,

Dan Grant

PS - Sorry I haven't posted in a while. It's been busy and getting busier. I will be posting more soon. Thanks everybody :).