Planned cheat meals vs. “mulligans”

I get a variation of this question from clients about once a week: Hey Coach, I'm starting to dread the weekends, mainly because of cheat meals. Sometimes I go overboard when I start eating and they become full blown cheat days. It's like a slippery slope once I eat something like pizza or ice cream. It can get so bad that I can't be remotely sure how much I eat that day to even begin to log it,...

Let the training speak

The day was cold and rainy and too much like autumn for June. It was the anniversary of Anthony Bourdain’s death. I miss Bourdain. I feel like I knew him—or at least I identified with what he was about. He was a late bloomer with a sharp wit and curious mind who didn’t hit his stride until his forties, when he accepted his demons and went all-in on his talent. That spoke to me. How he never...

Before & Afters: Age, Context and Survivorship Bias

I spent years as a coach for an online macro coaching company. Here’s a dirty little secret. They stay in business by sheer numbers. They have to recruit new people to sign up continually, so the coaches find ten shining examples of clients who have great-looking transformation profiles. - from "If You Want A Body Like Mind, Don't Do What I Do" I missed this article when it came out, even though...

Should your coach *always* be able to explain themselves to you?

Awhile back, I happened upon a post from a colleague: “If your coach gives you something to do but won’t tell you why when you ask, get a new coach.” I understand the point: your coach should show they’ve got some reasoning behind their decisions. Most of the time, this is good advice. Our industry is built on a foundation of bro-science, assumption, tradition, and — of course — bullshit. I’m...

Should you use lighter weights and higher reps?

This week, I want to field a question I've received a few times recently: Why does it seem like all the fitness influencers are recommending using lighter weights? Maybe a better question is this: why would heavier weights be more popular? Heavier loads (1-6 reps) are ideal for developing strength. They can also build size (hypertrophy) if you accumulate enough "productive reps" aka reps at or...

Injuries and fitness goals are about knowing your options

  Getting hurt sucks: Perhaps it's something going pop in your back mid-rep. Or a niggling pain in your shoulder that gets progressively worse. (Serves you right for trying to work through it.) Or even a non-workout related injury that still forces you to hit pause. All of the above suck royally, each in their own way. How much they suck depends on a lot of things outside of your control....

How getting diagnosed with ADHD redefined discipline for me

A while back I was diagnosed with ADHD. The biggest take-away was hardly an "a-ha!" moment: basically, I can't multi-task effectively. Now, yes, the research shows that no one can, really, but turns out I struggle with it even more than most. This is especially true with things that are mentally taxing and need a lot of focus, like writing, designing programs, or even thinking through a complex...