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

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!!

Great Time for a Diet!!

May 4, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So we’re home and we’re eating healthy right?! Not necessarily, we certainly have the ability to cook and prepare everything for ourselves, but food is good and it provides comfort. And let’s face it we are in some need of comfort in these trying times.

Some of my clients are struggling with their diminished ability to get out and about/lower levels of activity and their increased intake of food. Input vs. output will catch up to you and quickly if you’re not careful.

So what to do?! Simple, take advantage of the extra time you have and start a diet. You’ll never find better circumstances to control your food intake, prep and meal choices. That being said pick a diet you like and start it. I’m sure most of you have a diet book or two collecting dust on your shelves.

Grab that book or maybe buy a new diet book or find something online and make it happen!!

How we come out this mentally and physically will have a great deal to do with how we take advantage of of the time we have been given. 

Don’t squander this opportunity.

What are you doing at home?

Apr 30, 2020 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

First and foremost I hope that you and your family are well and safe.

What are you doing at home? Let me know!!

Here is my humble home program:

Monday and Friday

Knuckle push-ups 25 reps

TRX rows – 30 reps

Horse stance 1:30 sec

5 sets

Stretch for 35 min

Tuesday and Thursday

Kung Fun training 1 hour

Wednesday 

Kettlebell swings 200x each side

Saturday

Yard work

Just Keep Moving!!

Sep 19, 2019 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So here we are two weeks from my meniscus repair and all seem to be going well. Two days ago I had my first leg work out – five sets leg press topped out at 5 plates. I haven’t had to use crutches and will hopefully be back up to speed in time for the left knee surgery in mid-October.

What I’m getting at here is always keep moving. My work before and after the surgery is just as important as the surgery itself. Good pre-op health and fitness levels are key. This prep work can take on many forms and of course certain populations will have limitations. But do something!! 

Lose weight if you need to, strengthen the area affected (if possible), and the rest of your body while you’re at it. I know that’s a little general but I think you get the idea and if anyone reading this wants advice please feel free to contact me directly. And as always check with your Doctor first.

Then of course once you’re post-op do whatever you can as well, go to PT, swim, walk, lift, Tai -Chi or whatever you are able to do (of course under the guidance of your Doctor/Physical Therapist).

If you have a plan your recovery will be much faster!!

I hope this helps and I’ll let you know what happens with the other knee soon.

Train Hard, Train Safe!!