Fitness Coaching and Personal Training

Anthony Gillespie

05/07/2013

Healthy fats, bad fats and evil fats

I have been doing a bit of reading on this controversial area. Saturated fat has been painted as the bad guy for a long time, even saturated fat that comes from super natural foods like coconuts and avocado. My initial reaction is, ‘how could mother nature have given us something bad?’ I have always liked the very simplistic, ‘eat as close to nature as possible’ advice which would seemingly cause some problems due to the aforementioned ‘bad guy’ status of saturated fat. So, what to do? I think in the search for the right answer we like to look for a blanket statement that covers what we should do so we don’t have to think so hard anymore! Unfortunately lazy thinking usually leads to gaps in knowledge, some of which may be critical to health. This article from the Harvard School of Public Health looks at this subject in great detail and with some pretty solid references too. Although having read it I still have some reservations about what to do. Let me know what you think. p.s. My gut feeling is that trans fat truly is the evil one, with saturated fat still having a few questions marks hanging over it’s head. I would say good old unsaturated (poly and mono) fat untouched by heat or any chemically altering process, is perhaps the pure and chosen one!
03/07/2013

Managing back pain

It can be one of the most debilitating things. When your back is giving you grief there is not a lot of ‘training around it’ you can do. You have to address it for there to be any progress in any part of your life. Sounds melodramatic but I know because I have experienced being flat out on my back a number of times over the years and when you endured that more than once, you suddenly get really motivated to fix it! Why did I have my problem? Well it was combination of things, including years of playing one sided sport which led to muscle imbalances of a chronic nature and an attitude of ‘head in the sand’ that led to regular re-injuring, i.e. not acknowledging the fact that I was de-trained and asking bigger questions than my body could answer. So how have I dealt with? I saw multiple specialists until I got one who knew how to treat me and that happened to be a myofascial expert in Sydney. He was able to get me out of pain with some basic but extremely effective hands-on treatment,  but the only way that I have been able to stay out of pain is implementing smart progressive overload strength training (i.e. knowing my limitations!), implementing a preventative maintenance plan including regular massage and chiropractic or osteopathic care and I would also say eating a better diet. Getting inflammation out of the body is a critical part of the equation. The above links are all people I have used, referred to […]
24/06/2013

100k’s on a cold morning…

Congratulations for another great event on a cold June morning raising awareness and cash for a great cause! Well done to David Wilson’s team who raised some serious money for MS and nice work from Best Practice riders Anne, Michelle, Merve and Katrina who showed their support not to mention fitness in riding the annual Brissie to Bay ride 2013. All part of the ‘useful fitness’ thing folks.                
14/06/2013

Nutrition. Keep it simple!

It is easy to overthink this nutrition thing but the guidelines and strategy in this article help cut through the white noise of the numerous weekly magazines and television shows telling us something different every time. I love this post because it puts a visual to the instruction rather than a calculation. We tend to work by looking not adding up numbers when we choose food so you should find this really helpful when it comes to planning your meals. This article also addresses body types and each should eat appropriately. We all know there are those that can seemingly eat anything and have it not have any obvious adverse affects and those who just need to virtually look sideways at a doughnut and put on a kilo. Don’t you hate that?
05/06/2013

What you eat is a big deal!

A lot of you will know that I have been banging on about nutrition for sometime and to be honest I have done enough study on it to be almost another degree. I have tried every system out there to teach it too. There are some good ones and some not so good. One system that I will not name seemed really good at first. The principles were in alignment with what I knew to be true from other verified sources but it had one major flaw. “It’s this way or it’s nothing!” This strident approach might work for a small minority but unfortunately it was just a little too militant in it’s teachings for me. So in my quest for more useful information for you my clients I continued the hunt. Luckily I came across and studied these guys I have been referring to for a while now. Check this article by founder John Beradi which clarifies the whole philosophy succinctly and explains how intermittent fasting, paleo and vegan can sit nicely in to this approach. It is a system I now confidently hang my hat on. Check it and let me know what you think. I am a do what I do kind of guy and leading by example, which is why I am inviting 7 other guys with an inkling for change and high achievement from July 8 to join me in doing something cool over an 11 week time frame. It is not just for anybody but 40+ years of age bloke, good to get on […]
03/06/2013

Can you trust yourself?

When it comes to changing our life, we often make some pretty big statements. The question is can you trust yourself? Or do you feel like, even as you are saying it, that you are not quite believing it? This habit of being unreliable to yourself and may be even others has been instilled over time. I don’t believe it is a character trait or an all encompassing truism carved in stone, never to change. I believe, like anything that this habit of being trustworthy or not , can be trained. What little stories you run in your head about yourself define you. So if you aren’t happy with what you are currently producing, change the story. But start small. In personal training we see it often. Someone starts with all guns blazing only to trip up after the reality of change and what is really required, hits home. It is why our philosophy of change is built around attacking one small thing at a time. People need little victories to build upon so that confidence in themselves can grow. If you want to be someone who knows that when they say they are going to embark on a 6-12 month exercise and lifestyle change program, that you will actually do all the things needed to succeed, then you need to start practicing by delivering on little promises to yourself and others. For example, you might say to your wife that you will do the washing up after dinner. Then just make sure you do that. May be then step […]
27/05/2013

Move…. use it or lose it.

The third aspect of a complete program besides thinking and eating, is moving. It is like the third leg of a 3 legged stool. You will not get what you are looking for with out it. This is my main gripe with the so called weight loss industry. They seem to address the eating side quite well (some of them at least) but neglect the critical elements of ‘forming the habit’ and teaching the importance of movement. If we are talking ideal world and ‘best practice’, we need to consider the hierarchy of priority when it comes to movement. It is fine to bang on about how good Cross Fit,  for example, might be [and when done well I have no doubt it is] but you must consider your starting point and how you might need to build to more and more challenging forms from a simple base. The best place to start is with an assessment of where you are at. This is a place though where there is a potential to get bogged down. Let’s flag any major risk factors, deal with those the best we can and then go about making progress. In a general sense, a great place to start is with the core. Learn how to control your centre and you reduce risk of injury straight away. We believe Pilates, yoga and specific exercises aimed at this aspect are great first steps. Secondly, there is a priority when it comes to cardiovascular function. It is the engine that dictates the length and quality of your […]
27/05/2013

Eat….your diet matters!

I like to talk about good, better and best when it comes to eating. ‘Good’ is doing your best to eat healthy foods. ‘Better’ is achieving a bit more of that than you did before. ‘Best’ is eating 6 small meals a day, organic foods where ever possible, high quality proteins at each meal, 11 serves of vegetables & 2-4 pieces of fruit through out the day, whole grains only etc.  and any other lofty goals that you can set. Keep in mind that ‘best’ will vary somewhat on opinion and should not be confused with ‘perfect’ as that does not exist. Our philosophy with clients is to aim for small but relentless progress in all aspects of improving health and food is a big one. It is perhaps 80% of the fat loss equation, as it has been shown in many studies that even great exercise programs will not shift excess fat if diet is not addressed. So if you are eating Macca’s every single day because you ‘earned it after your 20 mins on the treadmill, then aim to reduce that to 5 days a week. When this is your new habit, cut it back to 3 days in the week and increase your fruit intake by one (or one extra piece per day). Small and achievable steps is the key. Even if fat loss is not your goal, the energy and vitality you get from eating natural foods will power your exercising goals and help you have clearer thinking which we all know is base of all […]
27/05/2013

Think…..motivation is key.

I guess you have heard somewhere along the line that we only use 10% of our brains. Was it Einstein that said that? Or was it really a misquoted statement from William James, one of the so called fathers of modern psychology. It doesn’t matter I suppose but something that I think we can all agree upon is that the mind can be a supportive ally or a self destructive enemy. At Best Practice we like to emphasize the importance of ‘how you think’. If you can harness your motivation you can achieve anything. If there has been one factor that has stood out from those who have achieved great things and those who never quite got it, it is this. One of the ways smart people learn is by watching others who are doing well. Case in point the Okinawans of Japan. In this super interesting article, inspirational author Craig Weller looks at the importance of find meaning in our lives. You will enjoy this one.