Planning for the New Year

Dec 28, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What is your exercise plan for the New Year? Do you have one? Is it even on the radar? Well this is a great time of year to start planning or revising your exercise goals for the coming year.

Maybe this will be the year you start exercising, maybe this will be the year you set higher goals, or possibly start a new sport or exercise pursuit.

I personally will be continuing to strengthen my right knee/leg (just recently got a partial knee replacement). I will also be focusing on improving my kicks as well. I got a new set of kicking targets that I am having fun with.

I plan to keep with my lifting routine of three times a week, cardio at least two times a week, long stretch routines twice a week and martial arts training whenever I can, weather permitting (my school is still closed due to Covid-19). In a perfect world I do martial arts training two to three times a week.

I also plan to start using the Lose It app again to better track my input vs. output.

Other than that I will just keep keeping on…because that is how to get it done, consistency and persistence are always the way.

Let me know what your plan is, I’m curious to know.

The Iron Neck

Dec 21, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So here I am checking in again about the Iron Neck. First and foremost, training your neck is a tricky business and I would seek a professional’s advice.

 I recently purchased the Iron Neck starter, and found that it didn’t provide the resistance I needed, but I realized immediately that this product had merit. I promptly returned the starter model and purchased the Iron Neck pro.

I am happy to say that this model/product is pretty amazing. You can train your neck with a series of exercises without any flexion or extension for those with neck injuries, or anyone wanting to strengthen their neck it is innovatively incredible. 

I am a big fan of the Hammer Strength four way neck, and still use it whenever possible, unfortunately my current gym doesn’t have one. I use 45lb. plate for extension exercises as a poor substitute but at least it’s something. My point is that at least for me I use Iron Neck in addition to exercise where I can actually go through a full range of motion with negative resistance. I like using a harness for lateral flexion and extension, however some folks might advise against weighted extension exercises for the neck (tread carefully). Just yet another reason why the iron neck is such a great option for those trying to train their necks with minimal risk.

So on the whole I love this product and use it regularly.  It is not my sole means of training my neck but is a great addition to my tool box of exercises.

Thank you Iron Neck and keep up the good work!!

JETT

Training The Neck?!

Nov 30, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Do any of you train your neck??

I actually apparently have “broken” my neck at some point during my life. I suffered a compression fracture at C3 in what I have narrowed down to two possible incidents, the details of which are not relevant. Irrespective my neck does give me issues on occasion and in the past ten years I have had 3 “episodes” that required physical therapy.

What I have found that is that is that if I keep my neck strong I am much less likely to need physical therapy. On a quick FYI  note, if you’re in the same boat I wouldn’t recommend doing 20 plus front flips at jump zone (the cause of last episode and physical therapy bout.

That being said here is what works for me. My favorite neck piece is the Hammer Strength 4 way neck. I usually would throw it in on my leg days, 4 sets in each direction. 

The more low tech options I use on occasion are a neck harnesses, and a wrap around weighted neck strengthener. Both of these are great options for home use and I relied heavily on both during the lockdown.

My lastest foray into neck training is the Iron Neck, I just bought the Iron Neck starter and am actually in the process of returning it. The starter model just doesn’t provide enough resistance. I have the pro model on the way (unfortunately for about $300 more) and will be testing ASAP.

I let you know how it goes…

So I’m curious, what do you do for you neck? Let me know…

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

-JETT

What are your must haves for your exercise routines?!

Oct 22, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Everyone has their kit, gym bag, equipment etc. that they need and use regularly. Personally if don’t have just what I need or am used to using I am ornery.

If I’m lifting I will always have my belt, straps, elbow compression sleeves, knee wraps, bar clips and flat soled shoes. I may not use all of them for every workout but they are just must haves.

If I’m practicing martial arts I like wearing wrestling shoes and knee braces. If I am practicing sticking and kicking, I of course need one or more heavy bags. By far my favorite heavy bags are the long Century Wave bags.

When doing cardio, which after all my knee surgeries is mainly the elliptical or the bike, I need my iWatch, iPad, iPhone, and AirPods or some combination of them.

I am also usually always listening to music, AirPods make it possible to not have your iPhone close to your person (I’m sure there are Android options as well – I just happen to be all in with Apple products). 

And maybe most important items (especially these days), my water bottle and a mask if at the gym. I like the hidrate spark 3 water bottle and I am currently using the Under Armour mask.

I’m curious what does your kit look like?

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

JETT

Testing out some new neck training equipment

What do you do to help get you through your workouts?

Oct 5, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Having been an exercise enthusiast all my life there are times when it can be a bit of a grind. So what’s to be done to help with boredom or need for motivation?

My first go to is of course music…if it drives I listen. Have a play list ready, and work on updating it every so often to keep it fresh.

On occasion I might try a new supplement or revisit an old one. I’m actually about to try Animal Paks again.

New fitness gear and clothing are great go to as well. New outfits, especially new t-shirts are top for me. Then of course any new fitness gear is epic, I am now trying out some new neck training equipment.

I also like to use fitness trackers, and diet apps they are great ways to track progress and viewing the results of your efforts. One of my favorites is LoseIt.

And last but not least I like doing research – getting books on exercise theories and techniques and checking out YouTube.

What do you like to do to keep yourself motivated I’m curious let me know.

Train Hard, Train Safe

-JETT

What is enough?

Sep 17, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

How much exercise do we need? You hear it all the time one hour of cardio day, make sure to lift weights, stretch, and so on.

Well I’ll just let you know I do, and it’s not necessarily what I recommend as everyone is different but here it anyway.

I like to lift three days a week, I usually will train a three day split routine that I vary every six weeks or so. 

I train martial arts two to three times a week, which is a challenge these days as our school is still not open unfortunately.

I will stretch on average two days a week, I could use more!!

Cardio will usually be two to three days a week, that has been a little less since I am still in physical therapy for my partial knee replacement but can do about twenty-five minutes on the elliptical so far.

Is this enough…I don’t know but its a routine I like and it makes me feel good and that is as important as anything else.

Let me know what you like to do?!

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

JETT

Getting a personal trainer during Covid-19

Sep 9, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Obviously the state of play for personal training has changed for personal trainers and their clients. My clients are in three camps – Some train at parks or tracks, some are doing virtual workouts and a very few are coming to the gym. These are established clients and the transition has been fairly easy.

The bigger question for me and the industry is what to do with a new client that doesn’t want to go to the gym and really wants the in-person experience. Well it seems straight forward, just take it outside. But what happens with winter coming?!

My answer is to to make your move now; get your clients up and running outdoors and start gently easing them toward the idea indoor/virtual workouts. This goes for your current clients that are training outdoors as well. In a few weeks you will have established a nice working relationship with your new client(s) and then you can start to move forward with the winter planning.

Start by explaining to them that with just a few pieces of equipment that their homes can be workout ready with very little effort. This shouldn’t be too hard as they are already used to going minimalist by now anyway. Also encourage them to start ordering equipment now; it’s hard enough to get home exercise equipment these days and will only get worse with the colder months coming soon.

Get your clients acclimated to this shift now and you should be set for a strong fall and winter.

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

The New Knee

Aug 31, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

It seems that my favorite thing to blog about are my knees. So here’s the latest update. I just recently 7/27/20 had a Mako partial knee replace in my right knee (https://bit.ly/2YQGk76). 

Within the past year I had both of my knees scoped to repair the meniscus. I was down to fifty percent of my cartilage left in my right knee and the medial aspect was bone on bone. The pain that it causing just got to a point where I had to make a move.

It’s been a little over a month and my physical therapy is going well and I have no more joint pain. Of course I was in a lot of pain for the first week and physical does hurt but less and less every day.

I’m told that I should be able to get back all the range of motion I had with my real knee and am looking forward to getting back to my martial arts training and hopefully squatting again some day.

So far so good…I’ll keep you posted as I am more able.

Train Hard, Train Safe!! 

It’s not worth it, be safe!!

Aug 26, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Hello fitness community! I hope everyone is safe and well.  I am writing today with few thoughts on gym safety during Covid-19 for the personal training community.

Is your gym doing enough?! To me enough is requiring social distancing, wearing a mask at all times, and cleaning regularly and often. All three of these safety steps are critical.  

Let’s talk about mask wearing while working out.  Let me first define what I mean when I say wearing a mask – wear it correctly! Not under your nose. And definitely not under your chin.

Unfortunately I have watched first hand as gym owners get lax on the rules, and members, for all intents and purposes, end up with their masks becoming necklaces.  The result, in my humble opinion, is a potentially very dangerous environment. 

Obviously, heavy breathing comes with exercise, which makes it all the more necessary to make sure your mask is covering your face. Is it uncomfortable at times?  Quite frankly, yes, but as human beings we are quite adaptable and if you ease into it you should be ok. I liked this article’s (https://about.underarmour.com/news/2020/06/expert-advice-wearing-face-mask-while-working-out) explanation of “getting used” to wearing a mask.  

So let’s be clear – it is safe and possible to workout (even intensely) while wearing a mask! As personal trainers, we need to dispel the myths that this is dangerous and ensure our clients are following all of the CDC guidelines to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.  We are after all promoting a healthy lifestyle.   

I unfortunately had to leave a gym recently because it was not following recommended guidelines. Everyone has their level of comfort, but remember if you catch Covid-19, you could spread it to your clients, your family, and who knows who else. We should all be taking every precaution possible. If you’re in an environment that isn’t being safe then just leave, it’s not worth it. Your clients will respect you for your decision and if you have taken the path that most trainers have these days you probably are seeing most of your clients virtually anyway.

I hope this helps…train hard, train safe!!

Are You Exercising?!

May 13, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Be it an albeit obvious subject for a blog post considering its source, it’s still a valid relevant question. We are in strange times and it’s extremely easy to let healthy pursuits fall to the wayside.

Just because you are stuck at home is no excuse to side step the attentions of your physical well being. There is always a way to make it work and in many ways we are now afforded with much greater control over our day to day and even hour to hour activities.

Do a little research and get it done!! Start a new exercise routine, start a new diet (check with your Doctor if you have any health concerns with any new program you are about to begin). Just do something!!

If this isn’t convincing enough take a look at this article I came across and pay close attention to what exercise does for your immune system https://www.norwalkhospital.org/newsroom/article-listing/adults-exercise-and-covid19.

Pandemic or not, exercise is something everyone needs!! Take advantage of the time you have and establish healthy habits.

Be well and be safe!!