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!!

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!!

What are your stats?

Sep 25, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Dear All,

Sorry it’s been an age since I’ve blogged, but I thought I’d get some feedback from your guys.

Here are my stats currently:

Age: 47

Height 6 feet

Weight 176lb.

Bench: 225lb.

Squat 315lb.

Kung training: 2-3x a week

Stretching: 2-3x a week

Cardio: When I can get it, admittedly lacking in that department currently

So not it’s your turn…

What are your stats and what are you up to physically?

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

JETT

How is your Stamina?

Apr 5, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What type of exercise do you engage in? Weights, Yoga, Pilates, running, elliptical and the list goes on. Is one better than the other?! Tough question, with no easy answer. The answer may be in another question – How is your stamina? Whatever type of exercise program you follow does it provide you the ability to sustain prolonged physical effort?

If you do lost of cardio you will have a well developed cardiovascular system but may not be able to lift heavy weights; if you only lift (body building/split routines) you can lift heavy weights but will have almost no stamina. The Yoga and Pilates genre is great for flexibility, some strength and slightly better when it comes to stamina but not great.

So what is the approach needed if you want true stamina beyond just being able to run/do cardio mile after mile?

Well from a class or group exercise standpoint it would have to be crossfit. It’s a perfect blend of strength and stamina work. However there is a steep learning curve and chance of injury. But the answer was aforementioned – you need a blend.

Good examples of athletes that have the “blend” are boxers and MMA fighters. They have a great combination of strength and stamina. Surprise, surprise I have been doing martial arts for 30 years.

My current program is 3-4 days of martial arts training, 2-3 days of cardio and 1-2 days of lifting but when I lift it is a non stop burn, sort of like a MetCon in crossfit but longer and I hope safer.

I’m not advising anyone to fight round after round, but do you have the stamina to do it? Strive for that type of stamina and I promise you, your level of fitness will be superior!!

The knees seem to be in good order…

Mar 6, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Here is quick update on my knees. I have started back with my martial arts training and all is going well, actually no aches and pains at all so far.

I recently changed my whole workout routine and will be avoiding heavy squats, with a much greater focus on functional movements and calisthenics. This type of training is surely still a test of my knee(s) integrity but more from a volume standpoint. That being said, I have been sore and tired after these workouts but again no issues with my knees.

I also just started my “kick/punch” training (12-15 rounds of heavy bag work, with both punches and kicks) and so far the knees feel good as well.

The only thing I haven’t tried is running, my cardio work has been all elliptical. Running in my last bout of knee issues was absolutely the main driving factor. Seeing as how this current regimen is working, I don’t feel like rocking the boat so l’ll stick with the current regimen.

Long story short it seems that the Synvisc One shots (http://bit.ly/2oz6x7P) are working.

Knees good, me good, all good!!

Time to Change it Up (No resting on your laurels)

Feb 23, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So as I was training one of my clients the other day, it hit me that I may actually not be able to keep up with him/my programming. It was certainly bitter sweet seeing one of “pupils” doing so well but this also came on the tails of starting to feel winded while training martial arts and a realization that I can’t rest on my laurels.

It then dawned on me that since my last 10k race and my knee issues I have done zero cardio and only split routines for weight lifting. This would be great if I was a bodybuilder doing mass work in the winter but it doesn’t do much for my physical fitness and martial arts training. Am I in shape, yes certainly, am I fit…I think not currently.

That being said today was day one of my new training program and programming will be roughly as follows.

Two days of lifting focusing are minimal rest, lots of calisthenics, kettlebell work and functional movements.

Here is an example:

Warm-Up

Rope
Band
Halo
Squats
Side shuffle
Grapevine

30 Push-ups*
50 Squats*
1000 m row

3 Rounds

Chins 5 sets (3 overhand 2 underhand) of 10 sets with 30 bicycles in b/w

Complete in 50 min

*with weight vest

Other days will be filled with cardio – elliptical, some running if my knees can handle it, and as much stretching as possible (at least 3 days a week), I really want to finally achieve a lotus position.

I will also try to maintain my current Kung Fu training at 3-4 days a week.

I’ll keep you posted…

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

The State of the Union

Jan 30, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Here is the “physical” state of the union for Mr. JETT aka – Eric Toussaint

Height: 6’0

Weight: 172

Age: 47

Bench press: 225lb.

Squat 315lb.

Weight lifting 3-4x/week

Kung Fu training 3-4x/week

Stretching and rolling 2-3x/week

Goals for 2018

More cardio – has to be elliptical, right knee meniscus issues

Restart my ground fighting training

What are your stats and goals, I would love to hear them…

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

The Current Status (Hope for the Injured)

Nov 15, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

It’s been a while since I have blogged, so I thought I’d give you a quick update.This will hopefully give some hope to those recovering from injuries.

So if you follow my ramblings you’ll know that I recently had a couple of foot surgeries, two in each foot in November 2016 and January 2017. The feet are doing well all things considered and I have entered into my first race since the “incident” The Turkey chase http://turkeychase.com on November the 23rd (come and run with me!!).

This is the first running I’ve done since the surgeries and the comeback has been a little trying but I’m confident that I’ll be ready for the event. It may not be my fastest 10k, but surely I will cross he finish line.

I have also started back at martial arts training and have also started teaching again. I will teaching the kids class on Fridays at 5PM which I love!! Bring your kids www.taiyimkungfu.com !!

With this uptick in my movement based training (I have been lifting weights steadily after stopping everything when I had the surgeries since March) my right knee has been a little unhappy. I have had meniscus repairs in each knee and in both knees developed popliteal cysts (very common with meniscus tears). My surgeon removed the cyst in the left knee but not in the right knee, and at times the cyst in my right knee will fill again, causing a tightness, general discomfort some pain.

It’s a simple fix, all that is needed is to drain the cyst. Recently I started training a very gifted orthopedic doctor – Dr. Gobind Sahi http://advancedorthopc.com/specialists/dr-sahi.php , (go see him if you have any orthopedic issues, he is amazing!!). I let him know about my issue and he was able to see me and take care of my cyst issue with great care and speed. I was in and out of his office in less than a half hour.

I need to rest for two days and will be back to full speed by this Friday, thank you Dr. Sahi!!

If there is a will, there is a way, don’t let injuries stop you from moving forward. With the right doctors, the right care, and the willingness it can be done.

I hope if you are injured that you get back up to speed ASAP. If you are having trouble navigating these waters please contact me. I specialize in post-rehab, and for what I can’t do for you, I will refer you to the experts I have met and made relationships with over the years.

Stay in the fight, good luck and Godspeed

The Manhattanization of the Independent Personal Training Industry

Aug 13, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

There has been a change taking place within the industry and it has come to my hometown or should I say the hometown of my business JETT Training llc. For as many years as I can remember I have run JETT Training within the walls of Fitness First in Bethesda, MD while paying a fair and actually quite modest “trainer fee”.

This pass month – June 2017 with very short notice Fitness First was forced to close. Seeing the change in the winds I always kept my foot in the door at a gym a few miles north of Bethesda, Team Eckenrode Gym and Fitness. This is currently my new venue and I am very happy with the owner and the management.

Now to my point, as the rapacious development efforts in Bethesda are coming to fruition, Fitness First was squeezed out. When development of this type takes place the only types of gyms that can afford the new high rent are corporate gyms. Corporate gyms as rule do not allow independent trainers.

So where do the independent trainers go to practice their trade. I am extremely fortunate to have found a home at Team Eckenrode http://teameckenrode.com, however there are those of my colleagues that are still undecided, and others that have decided to become trainers at corporate gyms. I really don’t recommend the corporate gym option for several reasons. Your clients will no longer be yours, they will belong to the corporate gym and if you leave you can’t take them with you as there will be a non-compete and a proximity clause. You will also be working twice as much for half the pay (best case scenario if you are lucky).

That being said independent trainers as in most big cities are forced to exist in the nooks and crannies of the industry. Small boutiques studios, friends and or colleagues that own Yoga and Pilates studios, martial arts studios etc. There is no formula here and most of these relationships/studios are hard to find and tend not to be as well equipped as actual gyms. But if there is a will there is a way, and there are many a trainer that have had great success with this approach. The other option is to do strictly in-home training, which works quite well but many training hours are lost in transit.

On the client side of this equation, it can be a tough transition if the new venue of choice doesn’t offer all the amenities that they were used to in a gym. There may be no classes, no childcare, no towels etc. There can also be geographical challenges, I personally stand to lose five to six clients as a result of my change of venues. However this phenomenon is nothing new and many clients are already used to not having everything under one roof and are already taking an a la carte approach to their fitness needs or as I call it the “Manhattanization” effect on the fitness industry. What does Manhatanization mean, well to the gym industry it is what happens in all the larger cities, as mentioned earlier the independents exist in the nooks and crannies and clients have their fitness needs met in an a la carte fashion.

I think at the end of the day, independent trainers need to always be on the look out for places to train their clients because nothing is forever and your base of operations could change at anytime. If possible try to find a gym that is independent friendly and tell every trainer you know to join ASAP, there is strength in numbers. That is the situation I am in now and if the owner decides to close up shop the 50-60 independent trainers have a strong chance of rallying together to finance a new gym/base operations. Don’t wait until you have no options, always have a back up plan and talk with your colleagues about how you would handle a forced change of venue.

I will also add in this bit of advice always treat everyone in this manner – “I may work for you one day, and you may work for me one day”. You never know what the future holds and the more friends you have in the industry the more options you will have.

Good luck and God bless to all you independent trainers out there!!