We’ve all got it: those few extra pounds we wish we didn’t. In a day and age where “body positivity” is being thrown around as a defense for obesity, it’s almost taboo to even touch on. But let’s face it – most of us are overweight, and all the trends are only pointing away from us as a culture finding a solution. When getting your favorite fast food DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR is as simple as a few taps on your phone (because drive-thrus are neither quick nor convenient enough anymore), the never-ending pursuit of accommodation is what continually feeds the “NOW-NOW-NOW” immediacy we’ve come to require as a people.
That sums up the whole issue in a nutshell, doesn’t it? If getting IN shape was as easy as getting OUT of shape, we’d all be walking around like marble statues. Countless hopeful gym newbies sign up with some New-Years-Resolution-Get-Fit deal at their local big box gym, but fall off by the time Valentine’s day candy goes on sale in mid-February. Why? Because fitness is a process, not a purchase.
My own fitness experience follows along that story line too. With fitness videos that work you out in 90 minutes getting replaced by the NEW and IMPROVED version that does it in 60 minutes, then again replaced by the 20-minute version, what’s the message there? That all I need is 20 minutes of jumping around a few days a week to look like the guy on the cover of the fitness magazines? Count me in!
The moral of the story here is you have to mentally prepare yourself, more so than physically, for ALL of the effort it takes actually to commit to change. It’s more than a diet; it’s more than jumping around for 20 minutes, it’s more than mindlessly throwing weights onto bars and moving them around for a little while. It’s taking the time to research and understand just what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It’s a mental switch you flip that says, “OK, yes, I’m doing this, no matter what it takes. And I’m not stopping until I get where I want to be.” That’s the hardest part, folks. We get frustrated and discouraged because whatever “it” is, “it” doesn’t work for us. So, we give up. We continually make excuses and rationalize our way out of following through with these commitments and promises we make to ourselves, and until we’re MENTALLY prepared to follow through with them, we’ll just end up spinning our wheels.
Don’t quit because the “gains” aren’t just rolling in. Don’t get discouraged because the scale doesn’t immediately say what you want it to say and the person in the mirror doesn’t immediately look how you want them to look. It’s ok to not go 100mph right from the start. It’s ok to not even EXPECT yourself to go 100mph right from the start. You’ve gotta crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run. Commit to the change, however large or small; it’s all significant. Remember, the keyword is COMMITMENT. Not 50% effort, not 90%, but ALL in, FULLY committed. Start your healthy lifestyle by just committing to healthy choices, and I promise those decisions will take you exactly where you want to go.
Triathlon is a very unique sport. Not only does it place a high demand on the mental aptitude of its athletes (being an individual sport at race time), but it also constantly requires a high level of performance in training across three separate sports, which include the swim, bike, and run. The physical and mental feats that come with the achievement of goals in the varying distances of triathlon from sprint distance to Ironman distance are only accomplished in racing through proper periodization, muscular development, corrective exercise, joint and ligament demand adjustments, and mobility training. What may have been missing from that bunch of athletic endeavors? Well, it was the swimming, biking, and running. Stick with me now, as we explore the developmental process of a triathlete and how The Frog can play a crucial role in the building process.
The well-built Ironman triathlete will be able to maintain a solid structure throughout his or her season, relying on a core foundation of bone, joint, aerobic, and muscular support. This is what is referred to, as the “base” of a training cycle and it’s something an athlete can always fall back on. This cycle begins at various stages, depending on the athlete and the goals set in place, but in any manner, EVERY well-balanced athlete (professional and amateur) will begin by building or reviving (more for professionals) a solid base. It can take 3 years to do this properly, but once it’s done the aerobic capabilities are considerably higher from where an athlete has come, noting that endurance athletes can take up to 7 years to reach their true potential. So where does The Frog fit into base phase? I’m glad you asked! Since base phase is full of aerobic workouts that don’t tend to place extreme stressors on the body, just those that will help to make slow and continual adjustments to physiology (some faster than others), it’s a great time to incorporate a strength training program. Beginning with muscular endurance, which is [an] initial phase of base training that includes high repetition exercises and low weight, slow adjustments, paired with corrections, can be made as an athlete advances in his or her season. The Frog is a great tool for identifying movement inefficiencies in this initial phase, as exercises like the squat with The Frog can help identify any improper knee movement patters, forward leans, or back arches, for example. Even if these are assessed and undefined, showing that an athlete is strong, balanced, and needs no correction; the squat is a critical full body exercise perfect for the endurance athlete. As the season continues, the squat can be increased in resistance to carry into low repetition, maximum strength training late in the base phase…as the resistance can be adjusted on The Frog to fit multiple training criteria.
Core training plays an immense role in a triathlete’s strength training routine. “Core Killers” are something that can be sprinkled throughout the season and used at various resistances as well, depending on if an athlete is in a base or build phase. As a matter of fact, all of the moves that can be safely conducted on The Frog engage the core in some way, shape or form, which is perfect for building muscles affected in unpredictable and predictable situations, such as those that are brought by a complex and ever-changing sport. I should also briefly explain that a build phase usually occurs when an athlete is working into a key race or building towards peak fitness levels. This phase usually includes mobility to prevent injury, explosive power, and maintenance, while avoiding heavy weights and too much time in the gym, which can lead to unnecessary fatigue because intensity is increased across all three sports in this phase, something The Frog has no issue adjusting to. Back on track with core training, maintaining an upright structure for several hours on the run and an “aero-friendly” position in Ironman is critical to longevity and efficiency of the triathlete. Often triathletes get very wrapped up in the swim, bike, and run aspects of training, but using tools like The Frog for core training at proper times within their schedule can help build the solid foundation on which they may swim, bike, and run. It’s named core for good reason! Squats, Leapers, Core Killers, and even squats…they all stabilize…and they’ll all have your core thanking you later.
On a final note, before I sum up this very brief calamity of words about triathlon programming, mobility is one of the most important aspects of sport from my coaching view. There are very advanced demands placed on athletes across all sports. Athletes that are able to move through complex and even simple ranges of motion will find themselves in a camp with the least risk of injury, best quality of life, and highest levels of personal performance. The ability of The Frog to allow the triathlete’s body to reach full hip range of motion, ankle flexion (commonly “locked up” with athletes!), and eccentric movements of the shoulder, is a free and critical aid that comes with almost any usage of The Frog, not allowing for restriction or reversely helping identify where restrictions exist. Personal trainers and coaches will rejoice when identifying these movement patterns as they help their athlete move forward in performance. The fascia is an amazing piece of the human body and taking care of it’s health is just as important as swimming, biking, or running…arguably even more important, depending on an athlete’s goals.
As the multitude of uses The Frog has continues to grow, I believe that the everyday and advanced triathlete has everything to gain from using this incredible tool. Whether it be in the beginning phases of training with high repetition and low weight exercises or the explosive and short build phase exercises, the complex movements that The Frog offers the whole body, through several ranges of motion, is bar none for available exercise equipment and aids at the moment. The Frog brings forth muscle activation at its finest. The consistent use of a Frog in the triathlete’s yearly plan has the potential to spur advancements in performance across all three sports. Edge-up the competition, train with a Frog.
Best in Training, Racing, and Health,
Over the years my opinion as to how much proper nutrition plays a role living in a lean healthy body has changed. I used to tell people that “eating clean” was 70% of the equation, then later it rose to 80% and now that I have a better understanding of the importance of proper nutrition I’m saying it’s 100%.
I think most people don’t dig deep enough into the true healing power of food, and I think this is a direct result of looking at nutrition simply as a means to an end to “getting ripped” and not how eating clean, fresh, “whole foods” can actually heal your body from maladies that are too often self induced by doing the opposite…eating bad, sugary, processed, packaged junk.
Truth be told, there are countless people living in skilled nursing facilities for illness like diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease and more and not all of them need to be there, they are there because of bad choices. It’s sad but true!
I’ve seen many people, who have been diagnosed with illnesses like adult onset diabetes, because of how they ate, heal themselves by simply following sound advice and simply changing what they ate. Food is a powerful drug that can be used to hurt or heal.
We need to get away from the focus aesthetics in regards to what we eat and get more interested in the cellular response of the food we consume. If you take this approach and think to yourself, “what is happening internally when I eat this?” “How will this affect my health if I eat that?”
Here’s the sad truth however…We live in a day and age where it’s so convenient to eat bad food because there are large, well financed corporations that make sure of that. Call it a conspiracy theory if you want, but slick advertising, nutritionally void “value meals” and the like are making our country unhealthy at a very fast pace and the evidence is all around us.
Just look at people when you are out in public. Be observant of what they are consuming, how they look and notice the energy levels and attitudes. I personally think you can fix a bad attitude with proper nutrition. I really do. I personally believe you can heal many illnesses with whole natural food. I honestly feel you can change, not just your body, but your entire life if you choose to think about what you are putting in your body and understand that nutrition can truly be the key to you living in your healthiest body.