I was asked a simple question today by a coworker that I though would make a good introduction to Brick Barn Fitness. First a little background. I perhaps like a lot of people have been more than a little frustrated with my current cycle of diet and exercise. It seemed to be getting me nowhere, I had just completed training for 1 1/2 years to complete a half marathon. I had expected to lose fat, I had lost weight, but I had lost muscle and perhaps a little fat. The half marathon was not fun, the training was okay and I enjoyed running, but I knew for sure I would not be interested in a marathon. One and done as they say.
I started lifting weights again, going back to a favorite program of Body Beast, but was having a hard time getting re-motivated to do a program that didn’t bring stellar results the first time. I pretty much resigned myself to my current situation. Over the course of a couple weeks two of my friends posted the same link. The REAL Worldwide Epidemic is NOT Obesity by Paul Nobles. I was hooked, I read it over and over, convinced of the simple truth behind the statement
“”The fittest amongst us make maintaining and building muscle a priority most of the time.
I read and studied the article, daring myself to believe again that perhaps there is a method, a system that could help me accomplish my goals. Not just in weight loss, but being active and living an active lifestyle, to be strong and enjoy movement. I joined Eat to Perform three years ago on August 15 2015. I haven’t lost any scale weight. And I haven’t lost any fat. I have however put on muscle and strength has increased from 40 pound dumbbell deadlifts to a 370 pound 1RM deadlift as an example. I’m still following the tenants of ETP for nutrition. I have however, moved toward an exercise prescription that I believe will be the final key to my long journey of physical fitness. Which bring me to the question from my co-worker.
If I could go back three years and make the choice of joining ETP over again would I?
Fair question. Fair perhaps from my co-workers perspective of watching me struggle over the past three years of increasing weight, then strength, going through short fat loss cycles, getting stronger, increasing weight, then strength and going through another cycle. I’m sure from her perspective it probably appears to be the worst type of Yo-Yo program in existence. It’s not. and I tried to lay out some of the amazing things I learned from ETP and continue to learn from Paul, Brad, April and others of the ETP community.
You can’t hate yourself lean, it must come from a place of love
Food is the answer, learning how to properly fuel yourself is critical
Sleep is more important than exercise. Get a healthy amount each night.
Exercise to get better at exercising
Moving is the answer
“Moving is the answer” became a frustration for me as I began to reach some limits in strength. The exercise programs I have been following provided programming, but not guidance. Guidance for me specifically. What should I be doing? Is what I’m doing the most beneficial for me? Is what I’m doing helping me to reach my goals of mountain climbing, skiing, and yet be strong enough to pull someone out of a canyon if needed? Once again, I went in search of an answer from T-Nation, CrossFit, Wendler 531, and many others. All good programs, all important knowledge, but not guidance.
It was through a link, I don’t even remember how I found it, but Training vs Testing by James Fitzgerald caught my eye. Once again I read and re-read the article confident now that I can recognize true principles when I see them, I reviewed all the videos and publications I could find written by James Fitzgerald. I signed up for and am in the process of studying for their CCP certification of coaching. There have been tons of coaching “pearls” in the class so far, but none more important to me personally than
Programming begins where ability ends
Assess don’t guess
Reach a point where challenges are less than capabilities. Then change the challenges
When I complete my coaching certification I hope to share my experience and help others overcome their frustrations by writing individualized programming based on priorities, goals, and current ability to help build balanced fitness for anyone who desires to reach their maximum physical potential whatever that might be.