Friday, 18 November 2011

Off-Season for TrainWithMe Athletes

It's that time of year again!

Most TrainWithMe athletes begin their off-season training in a week from now. All of our athletes are ready to get back in the gym and on the field after a well deserved deloading phase full of mobility work, stretching, rehab work, proper eating, ice baths, physiotherapy appointments and much needed rest.

This coming off-season is going to be extremely effective, sport specific and gruelling. The athletes will be met with a variety of challenges which will prove to be demanding-physically and mentally. The expectations are much higher this summer and I am positive that all the athletes will meet their goals and surpass my expectations.

The OVFL (Ontario Varsity Football League) crew will be starting their off-season training in a week. The  boys have gone through a few phases of in-season work to this point,  since most of their high school seasons were still underway. After picking up a couple high school championships in the Junior and Senior division and also racking in every MVP award to be had, the members of the University Prep group now join their OVFL counterparts and will undergo some serious off-season training to prove to the province and their coaches that they are ready. 

The CIS crew still remains spread out all over Canada and the United States. A huge shout out goes to Sean Smith & Kevin Aleinik of the McMaster University Football team, playing in the Uteck Bowl today. These two TrainWithMe athletes look to become National champions in their rookie year. Sean Rudy laces up the skates this weekend in a back to back series against Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota.

The CIS crew will reassemble in the early part of May to begin their off-season training. The atmosphere and hard work that these athletes bring to the program is by far one of the most inspiring things as a strength coach. These athletes ALL have huge goals this summer, and we plan to meet them head on. While the lifting and on-field programs will be essential to the CIS crew, they will also be implementing a lot of pre-hab and injury prevention techniques and focusing heavily on proper nutrition and mobility work-the things that make a complete athlete.

Finally, the University Prep crew will be assembling in early may as well. This group is comprised of elite high school athletes set on playing at the University level. These athletes will undergo a very dynamic and new type of training that most are not used to. The goal of this program is to provide these up and coming athletes with a training program and environment that mimics the one they will be part of in a couple months. These athletes will NOT be the rookies going into training camp that look awkward and misinformed in the gym and throughout workouts. Our University Prep group are some of our most talented and hard working athletes and will look to push the barriers and compete with our CIS group.

BIG things to come for all TrainWithMe athletes this off-season. Excited to give everyone a preview of the off-season training soon enough. Until then, our athletes will keep getting bigger, stronger, and faster than YOU.

Make sure to check in soon for a couple huge updates. Most notably:

-"Varsity Fit Program"- A year long program set out for University aged women to get fit in a dynamic and creative way. Time to forget the countless hours on machines and treadmills in the gym and get on a program that allows you to train like an athlete yet get all the effects of your yoga sessions, spin classes and body sculpting classes without waiting in the huge lines and paying ridiculous amounts of money.

-"8-12 Hour Workday Program" - A program set out for our working class clients. This program will focus on minimizing the notion that to be fit you must spend hours in the gym daily and all week long. The program will be focus on the important aspects of overall health and still challenge you to train like an athlete but perform as a businessman/businesswomen. Better health equates to better cognitive function, less stress, better overall performance and a better lifestyle.

Be sure to check out the website often!


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Protein Supplementation-Is it even necessary?

I have received plenty of emails and questions involving supplementation-but primarily whey protein. I will cover this ONCE. This is a highly debated topic and one that is in the midst of a lot of debate amongst researchers and athletes. 

If you interview most athletes and ask what their go to supplement is, protein is generally the number one answer-but is it really that necessary? These same individuals that swear by it and drink 2-3 shakes a day are also the same people that could not state one fact about what they're actually putting into their bodies on a regular basis. These are also the people who have been on "hardcore workout plans" for months and have not had any significant results in the gym and wonder if they are just on the wrong set of supplements this month-GET REAL!

The world of supplementation has it's ups and downs. Without getting too much into the marketing side of supplement companies, I will just touch base on the fact that most supplements and the industry in general is complete BS. Half of what you are putting into your body is an additive, a "filler" of sorts-and mostly simple sugars.  Whether it works for you on the other hand is a whole other story. On numerous occasions I hear athletes complain about bloating, heart rate increases, nausea, headaches, acne etc...
Yet they continue to take it because they are positive it is getting them bigger, or they cannot live without the "pump". The obscene amounts of money spent each month on these supplements could be put towards something as simple, effective and ESSENTIAL as food.

"I take 2-3 protein shakes a day"
"I'm just going have this protein shake and then hit up a workout"
"I'm going to drink a shake real quick, don't have time for a meal"

All of the statements listed above are things that can be overheard in locker rooms and varsity gyms daily. I am not here to deter anyone from taking a shake-but I am just going to throw out a few things you should all consider.

Protein requirements vary depending on several key elements:

-Carbohydrate Availability (Need more of it if Carb intake is low)

-Dietary Protein Quality (Focus on protein from primary sources such as meat and fish-plant dominant protein provides the body with a smaller source)

-Exercise Intensity & Exercise Duration

-Exercise Type (highly active individuals and high intensity endurance athletes need more protein generally)

-Training History (Inexperienced/new athletes-need more protein due to high tissue breakdown)



Quick Set of Pro's for Whey Protein Supplementation: 

-Easily portable & Non Perishable
-For SOME individuals, it is very hard to eat the amount of protein they need to consume in food.
-Highest source of BCAA's (branch chain amino acids)
-High % of Leucine and Glutamine.
-Rapid Absorption Rate
-Helps Insulin Activity

Long Set of Con's 

-Since whey protein is an animal based product, the conditions under which the animals were raised influences the product directly.  (Especially in the United States of America)

-Dehydration is more likely. Increased protein promotes more frequent urination. Due to the fact that protein is broken down into urea (toxic) and eliminated through urine.

-Real food provides the proper balance of all amino acids, costs less and gives greater nutrient value as well as tastes better.

-Excess amino acids may be stored as fat

-Protein supplements raise protein intake while decreasing dietary fat- minimizing calorie intake. Great? No. As fat is directly correlated with testosterone levels, a driving force in male athletic performance.

-And the list goes on and on.....

Most athletes are taking this as a way to get big-this is totally the wrong approach. As stated in the pro section of the article, some athletes need to take it this way because eating the amount of food necessary to help with muscle repair and providing the proper amount protein for muscular growth would be impossible. This is for athletes who train numerous times a week, at a high rate-and may also be playing and practicing at the same time.

Example:  (Referenced from Nutrition Professor at Queen's University)

Leucine (a main amino acid present in protein powders) is essential to create an anabolic, muscle building environment. To build and repair at a high rate, the amount of leucine must be between 8-16 grams daily. If you were trying to do this through eating, you would have to eat...

1.5 pounds of chicken
3 pounds of pork
16 eggs
1/2 pounds of raw cheese

Whereas 3 ounces of high-quality whey provides 8g or more of leucine.

The main point being: If you want to get big, EAT!

The debate is constantly moving from one side to the other. This is why it really comes down to personal preference. The main take home message is that as an athlete you need to eat a lot, and need to eat well. Especially in times where you are training at a high intensity numerous times a week. You can combine this with a shake. Also take into account that whey protein is a dairy based product. Most individuals are very sensitive to dairy products and thus the feeling of bloating and stomach pains. There are many different sources of protein-egg protein, almond milk, lactose free and so on. Be sure to stay away from isolates and be sure to look into what you are buying. I am in no way advising people to stay away from protein shakes, rather than advising people not to depend on them as your ONLY source of protein.

For repair, growth and performance look into buying some of these simple & cost effective alternatives:
EAA's (Essential Amino Acids)
Glutamine powder
Simple Sugars (Dextrose for example)
Drink lots of water
EAT protein rich food  (Chicken, Lean Steak, Beef, Fish, Nuts, etc...)

Remember that the people who you see and admire most didn't get big, strong, fast and successful because they crowded their lockers with supplement bins and visited the local supplement store every second week. They put in hard time in the gym and on the field, took proper care of their nutrition and worked their asses off. Stop worrying about the minor things.


Monday, 14 November 2011

The Beginning

Big News, Big Steps and Huge Announcements on the way!

1- is currently up and running. It is still heavily under construction but looking great.

2-This blog will be used for any short question & answer purposes. If you have any questions regarding training, programming, nutrition, supplements or comment on the post and I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible. This blog will also contain specific information for athletes, my training, diet, and any other trainwithme news.

3- For any questions or topics that I feel can be expanded upon-I will post those in the articles section on the website. This will provide an in depth look into the top and most controversial topics in the strength and conditioning business/athletics and training.

4-I would like to throw a big shout out to my Mom & Dad (My accountant and my Business Manager hah) Without these two the program and the company would of never taken off like they have. The website, the ideas, the support-thank you & love you both. And I would like to thank all my athletes and the parents who have built this thing from the ground up. All the boys at trainwithme turned heads this summer and this season, and there's no going back.