Have you ever thought of going Vegan?

Nov 18, 2019 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

It was recommenced to me recently that I watch a Netflix documentary – The Game Changers https://gamechangersmovie.com . I was reluctant and said I would watch this movie with a piece of steak in my mouth.

Within the first fifteen minutes I was starting to think that I may seriously try to become a Vegan. I really can’t do any justice in trying to reiterate the powerful appeal that this movie has to move the needle with diet and overall health but I do highly recommend that you watch it.

I am currently on day three of my new dietary experiment. I have noticed that my gut is going to need a little time to adjust to this new fuel source. Some minor bloating and a few rumbles, fortunately nothing too bad and as I understand it is quite common while adjusting.

My energy levels are high and my strength is good…I am lifting heavy (as much as my 48 year old body can handle lol) and will be at my martial arts school tomorrow…I’ll let you know how it goes.

It has been fun and interesting shopping for foods I would normally never even know existed or ever eat. Over the weekend I bought oat milk, cashew cheese, lentils and tofu. I don’t know if this will be sustainable but I am giving it the old college try.

I can’t say that I would recommend this to my clients but I would definitely recommend watching the moving just at the very least to gain a better understanding.

I’ll let you know how I am feeling in a month or so…

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

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!!

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

Getting a Proper Spot

Jul 13, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

This seems to come up every time I’m on vacation and visiting a new gym to for a workout while catching some RNR. I’ll be in a new gym and won’t know anyone, not a big deal I know what I’m doing and I’m going to get my lift on to look buff on the beach (ok we all do it…don’t judge).

Anyway lets say I need a spot, the two exercises that come to mind for me where it’s most important are the bench press and the squat. Now how do I find someone to give me a good spot at a new gym where I don’t know anyone and certainly can’t tell who knows what they’re doing?!

It’s not as bad on a bench press, maybe you’re spotter helps too much (usually the case) or hopefully not the other option and leaves you languishing with a bar on your chest, but eventually most folks will pull that bar off your person and you can get onto your next set.

Of greater concern for me is the squat, case and point I was front squatting yesterday (gym and beach I am visiting will remain nameless) and needed a spot. You are literally putting yourself at great risk if you are going for a one rep max and don’t know who is spotting you. Make sure that they do, and if in doubt just wait till you’re in an environment where you know who can spot properly and who can’t.

That being said, I found someone to spot me, I had no idea if they knew what they were doing or not and that being the case this was a weight I knew I could handle. Long story short, I explained to said spotter that I was front squatting, at the end of my set – a double, he expressed surprise because he thought I was going to do a push press when I started the lift – the front squat and push press do have a similar start but I explained to said spotter what lift I was doing.

His follow up question to his realization that I was not push pressing (225lb. would have been a great push press), was why do you squat with bar in the front. This person/spotter did not look like a totally green gym newbie (that’s why I asked him for a spot), but obviously didn’t know what he was doing when it came to spotting; so again be careful when you’re not on you’re home turf and don’t know who is spotting you.

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

Second Update On the Knees…

Feb 14, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So here we are a week and a day later after my synvisc one injections in each knee (http://www.synviscone.com). I have gone from barely being able to walk to light leg training yesterday. The first couple of days I really had trouble walking, my knees felt tight and inflexible and I could not kneel.

By the weekend it was starting to get better and again yesterday I trained light legs – front squats, leg extensions and leg curls.

I will start back to my martial arts training this Friday and that will be the true test.

The ultimate benefit may yet to be revealed, but as long as I’m not having surgery I’m happy!!

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

Oh Those Knees!!

Feb 7, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Quick update on my knees, I just had two injections in each knee of Synviscone http://www.synviscone.com, it is an attempt to prolong the life of my knees. It basically cushions and lubricants the knee(s).

The injections aren’t the most pleasant of experiences but it was tolerable. I had the injections done yesterday (Tuesday – 2/06/18) and I admit I had trouble walking out of the Doctor’s office, but I am feeling much better today. I have been icing and they prescribed a steroidal anti-inflammatory.

I am hoping to start my martial arts training this Friday and will be squatting again next Tuesday., basically back to full activity by next week. Ironically I hit a 315lb. squat the day I had my injections.

That being said, why did I get the injections if I was able to squat 315lb.? I have had meniscus repairs in each knee and my right meniscus is currently frayed/fraying. I really don’t want to deal with another surgery so I am taking a preemptive strike.

I’ll let you know how the lube job went ASAP…

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 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!!

What is in your gym kit?

Jun 12, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

I’m curious what is in your gym kit? I’ll go first…

Ok so of course I have weight belt, it’s a wide back valeo belt. I have a set up straps for heavy pull days, knee wraps for heavy squats and leg presses and I also keep a pair of minimalist shoes in my bag for squat days. I have chalk but rarely use it, it’s just too messy.

Another necessity is music, I have an arm band for my iPhone and a set of wireless earphones.

This has been my standard kit for years and it has carried through many a workout.

So I ask you…

What do you bring to the gym to get your lift on?!

What are you up to?

May 18, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

It seems an age since I have written a blog post, so I thought I’d check in with the JETT Nation and see what you’re up to.

I personally have been trudging along with my recovery from multiple foot surgeries (two neuroma surgeries on each foot). My last surgery was January the 13th, 2017 and my current rehab routine consists of trying to walk barefoot when I can and slowly testing the waters with my martial arts training. I have been able to resume weight lifting an am making good progress, and the elliptical doesn’t seem to bother me as far as my cardio is concerned.

It’s nice to be back in the game even if not at 100%, I am trying to remain as active as I can while convalescing but I truly think it will take a full year to get back to where I was before all the issues with my feet started.

Enough about me…what is the JETT Nation up to these days? Are you running, lifting, riding, swimming, becoming a yogi etc., let me know I would be interested to hear as I am very much living vicariously through the physical experiences of my clients these days.

Even if your not following a fitness routine I’d love to hear from your and maybe I can help change that. Especially if you are dealing with injuries, not only because that is one of fortes but because I have lived through many injuries in my day an my own issues have led me to better help my clients over the years.

I hope your Spring is going well and that you are Happy and Healthy!!