Today's will be my last regular column for Dayton Most Metro, though I hope to contribute from time to time if I have something meaningful to say. Thank you, fearless reader, for putting up with a column that was supposed to be about fitness but quite often was about whatever I couldn't stop thinking about. I came back to the Dayton area somewhat grudgingly last year. I think it's important for me to admit that. I came back for family considerations. I didn't come back because this is the place I would have chosen. And yet I've already managed to form deep and meaningful friendships … [Read more...] about Signing Off
I dress pretty much like a child on most days. Take a look at a school bus stop near you, and then take a look at what I wear to work every day. You'll struggle to notice a difference (other than the balding hair line and aging face). Despite my propensity for dressing like an adolescent, somewhere along the line I got subscribed to the J Crew catalogue for men. Maybe they felt sorry for me. I was flipping through the catalogue and I happened upon this bit of copy that I haven't been able to get out of my head: Stretch Jeans That Don't Look Stretchy That's the title. And there's a … [Read more...] about J Crew, Stretchy Jeans, and Donuts
Fitness is full of meaningless platitudes, and I try to avoid trafficking in them as much as possible. So when I use social media to post some turn of phrase, I try my best to ensure that there's meat behind it. We have a chalkboard at Present Tense Fitness that I use to convey different messages. Sometimes it's just exposition like, "hey we're doing this thing on Sunday." Other times I just try to write something that's been on my mind. This week I changed the chalkboard to say "You're quite likely exponentially stronger than you perceive yourself to be." I posted the picture to … [Read more...] about On strength: Just Go and Learn To Be
Your first session with a personal trainer should not leave you wrecked. Ever. I'm beginning to realize why so many people are nervous before coming to see me. It can take people six months before deciding they want to train before they actually walk through our doors in the Oregon District. Why? Fear. I can't tell you how many times I've worked with clients who tell me that they did a session with a personal trainer that nearly killed them. There's no excuse for this, and the only reason you should walk away from an initial personal training session feeling destroyed is a … [Read more...] about Should You Be Scared to Train?
Last week I published the first part of an email conversation between local yoga practitioner Anna Shearer and me. This is the second half of the conversation, in which Anna asks me questions about my recent experiences working with her on the yoga mat. While I've done yoga before here and there, the one-on-one practice I've started with her has been the most consistent yoga I've ever attempted. So she had a few questions for me about that... Anna: What preconceived notions did you have about yoga before you started practicing it? Jason: Probably the most important preconceived … [Read more...] about A Lifter and a Yogi Walk Into a Room (Part II)
I've written in this space before about the false choice between strength training and yoga. Today I want to report back that I've been putting my money where my mouth is. Yes, I've been on the yoga mat with some regularity lately. I've been trading strength training sessions for yoga sessions with local teacher Anna Shearer, who offers one-on-one private yoga at my gym. (She also teaches classes around the Dayton area.) We've been talking about what we've been learning from one another, and because we thought it might be a good idea to capture some of those discussions we decided to … [Read more...] about A Lifter and a Yogi Walk into a Room (Part I)
I've been thinking a lot about food lately. Like, a lot about food. My inability to consume enough calories is the one thing holding me back from achieving my strength goals. Caloric and sleep deficits are the biggest complaints that college strength and conditioning coaches have about their young athletes, according to my deeply unofficial poll. I'm starting to understand why. Let me say that I recognize that my inability to eat enough food is a profoundly unimportant obstacle in the scheme of the universe. With so many people suffering from obesity on the one hand and malnutrition on … [Read more...] about Eating well can be hard. How to make it easier.
There are two things I do as a personal trainer that you can implement immediately in your own workout regimen. I take detailed notes, and I increase weight incrementally. The first will just cost you the price of a notebook (Moleskine baby!), and the second might prompt you do join a different gym or to make purchases to round out your home gym. The Power of Notes I've not always been a good trainer. For many years I would say I was very bad. But I managed to get results for clients despite this because I've always taken good notes. That means I know exactly how many sets and reps … [Read more...] about Embrace Incrementalism
If you want a different body, then you have to make the time to build it. Sometimes I think I get my messaging wrong when I try (mostly in vain) to get people off the sidelines and into the fitness game. I spend a lot of time pushing back against the idea that fitness is complicated. There's a lot of noise out there about what works and what doesn't, but there's a remarkable consensus from people who know what they're doing around what needs to be done to make a body stronger, leaner, and more mobile. Especially in the very beginning, you need to learn basic movement patterns like the … [Read more...] about Make Time, Take Time for Yourself
People who've never worked out before often assume that the sole reason for stepping foot into a gym is to "lose weight" or change body composition. While those might be benefits for some (assuming they're also getting enough sleep and eating well) I would argue that the first priority for most people who are new to fitness is to learn how to move. Good movement is the foundation for increasing workload because you'll be able to work harder and longer over time by avoiding injury. Sure, you can walk into the gym today and make yourself sweat, but if you're not also learning how to move … [Read more...] about The Most Important Move You’re Not Doing: The Hinge