Sunday, September 28, 2014

In Defense of the Endurance Athlete: You may be SUPER strong, but YOU are still an asshole.

True Dat.

Cross fit women at the top of their game. Most women that do Cross fit do NOT look like this, Training to reach THEIR goals.

Olympic marathon runners. Most women who run marathons do NOT look like this.
Training to reach THEIR goals.

Not training to reach HER goal.

I just went for a nice long run, and passed probably another 50 people running. They were minding their own business grinding out the long hard miles listening to their music and getting it in while most people are still sleeping off the hangover from yesterday’s football festivities. I get done with my run which ended up being about 12 miles. I’m feeling good about it because I haven’t run that far in a very long time. I also woke up feeling bad about myself because I got down on a big ass midnight snack last night. So I feel like I have already accomplished something today and now I need to keep that momentum going for the rest of the day. So I take a shower and I sit down at my computer with a cup of coffee to read some fitness and nutrition articles on Facebook. This FYI is what I do with most of my spare time when I’m not working, working out, or eating. I have liked every fitness website out there and this is my happy place…well most of the time.

And HERE is where I’m about to piss A LOT of people off. And you know what, NOT ONE SHIT will be given by me!

So I’m feeling good about life and I open up Facebook and surprise surprise my feed is full of selfie pictures and videos of people and their max lifts in their underwear followed by yet another narcissistic asshole…in their underwear…who has written another article bashing runners. I have read THOUSANDS of articles about how long steady state cardio is bad…you are consuming muscle for fuel, you are ruining your metabolism, you are scrawny, stupid, unattractive, you will never reach your goals, you are working harder not smarter and you are going to get injured…You should probably just shoot yourself in the face and get it over with!

Not one of these people writing these articles gave a shit if it offended me or the MILLIONS of endurance athletes out there. Ever since Cross fit has come on the scene, the bashing of endurance athletes has gotten even worse. Why do people doing steady state cardio offend you so much? Maybe, just MAYBE their goal isn’t to do 10 muscle ups or dead lift 500lbs. Maybe their goal is to be fast. And why do you care what other people are doing anyway? How does it affect you? That is just one more person you will be stronger than...YAY YOU! Guess what, I have read several books about running and cycling and they don’t want you to put on any weight, muscle or fat, if your goal is to get faster. Because that is just more weight you have to carry up a hill.

I have been a runner on and off my entire life. It has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs the whole time. I have had heartbreaking soul crushing injures. Some brought on by running and some brought on by living. Doing ANY sport over a lifetime will do that. Correct me if I’m wrong but, isn’t gymnastics a big part of the cross fit system? Um…no injuries or eating issues in that sport. And let’s talk about the POWER sport of football. No injuries there. Why aren’t there thousands of articles written about what complete idiots these people are? You know why? It’s because endurance athletes don’t care what you are doing. They are focusing on themselves, not your selfie. I can’t recall one article written by an endurance athlete bashing anybody...ever. Do you remember the one time somebody published an article saying that Cross fit is dangerous and causes injuries??? Those big strong tough guys got their boy panties in a wad and sued. BABIES! Imagine if a runner sued somebody every time a negative article was written about them.

I’m a personal trainer and I have been bullied by these assholes my entire career. I know what science says. I also know there is an article that contradicts every article out there. Remember when eating fat was bad? I know how to do things the right way. This is the first approach I take with all my clients. The route backed by the MAJORITY of science. Lift weights, do some cardio and eat a balanced diet…Everything in moderation. Well guess what? That works for about 1% of my clients and it sure as shit doesn’t work for me. Because we like, like most of America, like to eat. We all know that diet is the biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to reaching their goals. If we could all eat well, then the scientific approach would work for everybody. But based on the obesity rate in the U.S., I’d say we are failing.

After I tore my calf muscle last year, I swore off running and all steady state cardio except indoor cycling. I’m a cycling instructor and it is what I love to do most when it comes to my fitness career, so I will never stop that shit unless there is a gun to my head. So, I started lifting weights 5-6 days per week. I followed a workout programmed by another trainer that focused heavily on Olympic lifts and many other Cross fit principles as well as several body building programs over this past year. And guess what? I got strong, injured and fat. I put on a ton of muscle, but I also put on fat because I continued to eat like I did when I was an endurance athlete. I tried to clean up my diet, but even when I did that, I still ate too much healthy food. And I was miserable counting calories and being obsessed with every macro I put in my mouth. I thought about food 24/7. I like most people would do well for a week or two and then fall off the wagon and binge.

I have so many amazing clients that are beautiful inside and out that are struggling to lose their final 2-10lbs to reach their goal weight. They do nothing but talk shit about themselves our entire session because they think they are fat. My response is almost always the same to these people. “You look amazing, you work really hard in the gym, you eat well most of the much of your soul and happiness are you willing to sacrifice to lose that final 5 lbs? How much of your life are you going to waste obsessing over getting the perfect body? And guess what, as soon as you lose that weight, you will find another flaw to obsess about. It’s ok to have a glass of wine or a piece of cake. What’s the point of having the body of your dreams, if you are totally miserable to get it? And …….FYI, you are an asshole when you are hungry and nobody wants to be around that shit!”

I would like to preface my next statement with this is NOT what I tell my clients to do and I WOULD NEVER tell them to do this. What seems to work for me as far as MY goals go, is to do 1.5-2 hours of running, cycling, and other forms of cardio 5-6 days per week and lift moderate weight 3 times per week. I usually do most of my cardio training fueled by coffee and no food in the morning. I will eat a protein bar (200cal) and then lift later in the day. I don’t really eat all day until I get home somewhere between 1:00-3:00pm. AND THEN IT IS ON! I eat until I pass out around 8:00pm. I wake up at 3:30am and the process starts again. This was my regimen when I was the happiest with myself and my body. Yes I worked out long and hard, but I was fast, ate whatever I wanted and my clothes fit. I felt happy and healthy.

I have a client that is 75yrs old. We have done the same 3 workouts for 5 years with the exception of some mobility work. His goal is to carry his own groceries into his house, and that is how we train. I have had other clients whose goals are to get a faster time in their next race, so we train for that. I have clients that want to be stronger, so we train for that. The bulk of my clients train because they want to look good in their clothes and be healthy as they age...that is the bottom line. Most of them don’t give a shit about being a fast runner or squatting 500lbs. So I train them for that. IT IS NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL APPROACH! Every client needs something different. And I would never EVER push my training style on anybody else ever. More and more trainers out there seem to be training their clients the way they train themselves and I don’t think that is a good thing. Their goals are probably NOT your goals.

SO now I’ve gone and done it again…pissed some people off..again. But you wouldn’t even know my opinion on this if you hadn’t written so many highly OFFENSIVE articles abusing people for basically working really hard to accomplish THEIR goals. I’m giving them a voice and I make no apologies.

The bottom line is that I really don’t care what other people do when it comes to working out or how they live their lives. It has ZERO affect on how I live mine. We all have inner demons we are battling every day. I will continue to train myself based on what works best for me and I will continue to train my clients on what works best for each one of them. I will go back to ignoring all the selfies, boasts and bashing of endurance athletes on Facebook…but today was not that day.

I hoped you enjoyed watching the Tour de France this year…what a bunch of LOSERS! And don’t even get me started on the Olympic marathoner’s…I mean, get a life people.

ALSO…I got up at 6:00am, drank a cup of coffee, ran 12 miles, drank another cup of coffee and then spent and hour and a half writing this post. No food yet and it’s 12:00pm. There is somebody out there that is highly offended that I have consumed muscle for fuel. Well guess what, it’s my muscle and I’ll eat it if I want to! go write an article about it. OR you could stop being an ASSHOLE and keep your negativity to yourself…how bout that???