Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Filtering by Category: "365 Days"

Day 353 - Body Beast Bulk Back Review

Quote of the day:
"If you care at all,you'll get some results.If you care enough, you'll get incredible results."
-Jim Rohn

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 352 - My Unusual Heart...

There is something I have been meaning to share with all of you for some time now, but I wasn't too sure how to approach it, so I will be as open about it as I can, and hopefully it can educate all of you.

I have been diagnosed with Atrial Flutter. I am not entirely sure what caused this, or how long I have potentially known about it. I have my own theories and hypotheses based on my own life experiences, but I will keep those to myself as they are just that, hypotheses. I will, however, give you the story of what I know up until now.

A few years ago, every one in a while, I would notice my heart doing funny things when I would be at rest. If I was sitting down, relaxed, watching tv or something, I randomly feel these 'flip-flops' with my heart, like it would skip a beat. Fine. Not a problem. They would usually be very short episodes, and I would forget about it just about as quickly as they would happen.

Around the time I was first noticing these incidences was about the time I was training for my first half marathon, so I was in some of the best shape, cardio-wise, I had ever been in, so I just figured my heart would skip a beat because my resting heart rate was so low.

The incidences began to happen a bit more frequently, but still not alarming to me. It wasn't until about a year ago now, at the start of 2012 that I decided to just casually mention it to my doctor during a physical. She checked me out, listened to my heart, explained that I may have a "pause" that can be perfectly normal, especially in healthy individuals, and sent me for some tests. I had various tests done (ECG, ultrasound, etc.) and went and saw a local heart specialist. After seeing him, I had more tests done, all the while being reassured that my "pause" was fine, safe, and normal. I took a stress test, I wore a holter monitor for two weeks, all the while still exercising and training without any problems at all.

After my test results came back, I sat down the heart specialist again, and as it turned out at the time, I was safe and healthy as could be. I learned along my travels that people's hearts are actually more abnormal than most think. I also learned a heck of a lot about the pacing and electrical work of the heart (it really is quite an amazing piece of machinery!).

All of the tests I had done have shown that my heart is healthy, there are no structural abnormalities or problems, I just seem to have this random beat every so often. In speaking with my dad, turns out, he started having similar experiences around the same age I was when I first started noticing them (27 years old). This leads me to believe that this 'thing' really is just a genetic fluke basically.

For months I went about my daily life, training, exercising, doing the things I love with 'episodes' here and there, but knowing in the back of my mind that I am safe and it is normal, helped me not worry about the problem.

However, for the past few months, my random heart "pauses" seem to have changed a bit, and I now have episodes from time to time where my heart not only "pauses" from time to time, it also skips and races a bit. It is not painful, but noticeable. It almost feels like my heart is a bowl of jelly and someone just shook the bowl. Hard to describe, but definitely a weird sensation.

I decided to go get things checked out again, so back in I went for more tests, and back in to speak with the heart specialist again. My newest round of tests has shown that I have what is known as Atrial Flutter. You can read all about atrial flutter on the linked Wiki page, but I will say that I have been reassured by the heart specialist yet again that this is actually quite a common, and safe condition, especially someone young and fit as I am.

So what does this mean for me now?

Well, naturally, I am heading for more tests in the coming weeks. Whenever you are dealing with the heart, doctors like to make sure they know everything there is to know about your heart, so that it keeps on tickin'. I will have a chest x-ray, stress test, another 72-hour holter monitor, etc. My doc even wants me to wear my holter monitor when I go for a run so that he can see what my heart function is like while exercising.

From there, I am going to take my test results and go see a specific cardiologist known as an Electrophysiologist. Basically, they are cardiologists that specialize in the internal electrical work, especially with abnormal heart rhythms. After I see the electrophysiologist, I will then update you on where and what my next steps will be.

I am scheduled to run Tough Mudder in May with my wife. I am still going ahead with this, as I have been cleared to exercise, but I will be opting-out of the electrical obstacles. When speaking with the heart specialist, he said that getting zapped at this event is not necessarily dangerous to my survival, he said that at this point in time, I should not be messing around with the electrical systems of my heart.

What else can I take from all of this?

The original heart specialist I saw has remarked time and time again how fit I am, and how much that has helped this whole situation. When I have episodes of "fluttering" with my right atria, it is possible for that section of my heart to race at a pretty high rate. Because I am fit, my heart itself has no problems taking on that kind of heart rate.

Secondly, because of my health, I am at a much lower risk of blood clotting. When I have these episodes, there is the potential for pooling blood in my heart, which can increase the risk of clotting, for older or unfit individuals.

In fact, when I have been in for my stress test, I get a good chuckle out of doing the stress test. If you have ever done a stress test before, you walk on a treadmill at increasing pace to deliberately stress your heart to a certain heart rate. Last time I was there, the test took far longer due to the fact that the test is designed for folks who aren't in as good of physical shape. The test I took, I was not allowed to run, only walk faster and faster. I actually reached a point where I could physically not walk fast enough to keep up with the pace of the treadmill...yet my heart rate had not reached the desired 175bpm or whatever I was aiming for, my heart was just too efficient!

I am still ok to exercise! I have to admit, that was one of the first things that always goes through my mind when I am in speaking with the specialist or anyone surrounding my situation. I have grown to love exercise and training so much throughout my life and I honestly can't see myself handling not exercising very well. I have been told, however, to not completely push myself to the limit (aka, Insanity) but regular exercise is fine, at least until I get everything sorted out.

So, I will still continue to train for my Tough Mudder in a few weeks. I will participate (skipping the shocking obstacles). Following Tough Mudder, however, I will most certainly be heading back to my own Body Beast concoction with just moderate cardio exercise thrown in, and will go take all of my required tests, and see the required specialists to make sure I am cleared to continue!

As always, if you have any questions regarding any of this, please let me know or comment below. You may have a question regarding feeling something similar, so it never hurts to ask, and it NEVER hurts to get things checked out, so if you have any problems, go see your doctor.

I will keep everyone updated as the rest of this story unfolds, so stay tuned!

Quote of the day:
"There is little you can learn from doing nothing."
~ Zig Ziglar

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 351 - P90X2 Chest, Back, and Balance Latest Numbers

I had a request the other day to post my numbers from Chest, Back, and Balance. Since I already went ahead and typed the numbers out, I figured I might as well put them in a blog. I am not bragging, because I am sure there are many of you out there who could best my numbers, but I know some of you folks like to compare your numbers to others to either feel better about yourself, or see how far you can push yourself if you try. Either way, 

here are my numbers from my latest round of Chest, Back,and Balance (some modifications): 

Pull-up X -16 reps

Plyo stability ball push-ups - 24 reps

Core crunch chin-ups - 13 reps

Push-up side arm balance on med balls - 18 reps with leg raise when balancing

Levers - 8 reps

4-ball push-ups - 34 reps

Chin pulls - 16 reps

The impossible - 14 reps

L pull-ups - 8 reps

3 ball plyo push-ups - 18 reps

Vaulter pull-ups - 16 reps

Elevated stability ball push-ups - 22 reps

In & Out pull-ups - 12 reps (I do plyometric pullups, alternating between close grip and wide)

Swimmer's push-ups 18 reps

4 grip pull-ups - 12 reps (3 "rounds)

Double wide push-ups - 34 reps

Double wide pull-ups - 10 reps (ZERO kipping)

Chattarockers - 12 reps

Towel pull-ups - 12 (some kipping)

Med ball push-ups - 17 reps (I just do 1-ball pushups, no plyo)

Quote of the day:

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will."

-Vince Lombardi

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 350 - Motivation Saturday

Quote of the day:
"You must have long term Goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures."
~Charles C. Noble

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Day 349 - The Truth Behind Calorie Labels

It really does make you wonder how far off your calorie counting is or could be. You may not realize it, but being off by 500 or so calories a day can add on some major pounds! I always try and recommend to people that they cook for themselves as much as humanly possible, but not only that, try and stick to real, whole foods with minimal ingredients. It is much easier to try and calculate how many calories are in an apple than a frappuccino at Starbucks...

Quote of the day:
"Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can."
-Lowell Thomas

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 348 - Weekly Newsletter

Hey Everybody!
Welcome to the month of April! Can you believe we are already into the second quarter of 2013? March was a great month for me, not only personally with my training, but it was also my most successful month as a Beachbody Coach yet. I have to thank all of you, and welcome those new team members. This company truly is great to be a part of, and it is growing fast!
This week's topics:
1. If you haven't already, I highly recommend joining our Accountability Group. This is a great place for people to post their workouts as well as any questions/advice they can give. Studies have shown that most people are successful staying active in a group atmosphere, and although many of us prefer to exercise in the private confines of our homes, it is still nice to be a part of a group with like-minded folks who want to motivate and inspire each other.
2. My March contest is over, and I want to congratulate Ben on winning a 2-week supply of Shakeology. Ben, I have mailed your Shakeology to you, hopefully you receive it by the end of the week! Keep an eye out for more contests in the near future!
3. The price of Chocolate and Greenberry Shakeology has officially increased as of April 1st. The bright side here is that ALL flavors and forms of Shakeology are now the same price, so for those of you who are interested in the Vegan formulas don't have to worry about paying extra as they are all the same price. Not only that, but just as before, the cheapest way to get Shakeology is with the Coach discount, so if you are considering purchasing Shakeology, speak to me about becoming a Coach. I have heard upwards of 75% of Coaches out there are Coaches simply for the discount alone! If you would like to request a sample (I still have some regular Chocolate samples) then e-mail me and I will send one out to you right away!
4. During the month of April, the Insanity Challenge Pack is just $180 (regular $205). Keep in mind that although the Challenge Pack alone is a $25 savings, you are actually saving over $90 compared to if you were to purchase all of the Challenge Pack items individually. Not only that, but Beachbody is continuing the promotion that if you purchase a Challenge Pack, you have the option to upgrade to "Coach Status" absolutely free ($40 savings). That is over $130 worth of savings!
5. I have officially passed the 1 Million Youtube Views mark! I want to thank all of you who have supported me by watching my videos.

And 2 favors that I ask:
1) If you like the hard work I put into writing my blogs and videos, PLEASE help me out by sharing them.  Click the share links below them and share them on FB, Twitter, etc.  It really helps me get more exposure and grow our team!
2) Also, as always, remember that the way I benefit from being your coach is that I earn a commission from any Beachbody products that you purchase, as long as you buy them through my site, tylerrobbinsfitness.com. It helps with the amount of time I spend answering all your questions, writing my blogs, filming my videos, and helping you out. Thank you! I really appreciate it!

Everyone have a great week!

Tyler Robbins

Quote of the day:

"If you want it badly enough, there are no limits on what you can achieve."
~Brian Tracy

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 347 - Speed and Agility Program Design

In order to design and plan a speed and agility training program, many variables need to be addressed on many different levels. The variables are:

Exercise interval - duration (time) or distance

Exercise order - sequence in which a set of reps is executed

Exercise relief - work to rest ratio

Frequency - number of training sessions in a given time period

Intensity - effort at which each repetition is completed

Relief or recovery interval - rest period between reps and sets

Repetition - movement technique

Series - group of sets and recovery intervals

Set - group of reps and relief intervals

Volume - amount of work (reps x sets) completed during a specific training session

Short-Term Planning

Fatigue is a natural occurring process of the human body that can effect performance long before complete failure happens. Individuals should use speed-endurance training to help train multiple metabolic systems in order to improve fatigue-resistance. As the body becomes better at being fatigue-resistant, special speed and agility skills can therefore be performed with greater efficiency.

By using short, intense, exercise, an individual can target phosphagen energy systems and improve their recovery. Phophasgen systems are used in virtually all athletic movements as they are vital to explosive actions and movements. These types of short, intense efforts should be completed early on in a workout before other fatiguing exercises.

Medium-Term Planning

Proper planning and design needs to be implemented into medium-term exercise program design. Research has shown that recovery efforts or growth from one form of exercise can inhibit or hinder the recovery of another form of exercise.

Long-Term Planning

As an athlete progresses through their training program, the speed or effectiveness of their progression may alter the direction of their future training.

Quote of the day:

"How long should you try? Until."
-Jim Rohn

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 346 - Methods of Developing Speed & Agility

Primary Method

Many skill-specific activities should be started slow so that proper mechanics can be learned. Once the proper mechanics begin to take hold, then an individual can increase speed to that, or exceeding that, of game speed.

Some mechanics we take for granted and may learn on our own throughout life, such as running or throwing a ball. Unfortunately, there may be flaws with the technique since some individuals may not have be given proper coaching on the specialized technique. In this case, proper technique can be introduced to the individual to help perfect form.

Secondary Methods

Secondary methods involve sprint resistance and sprint assistance:

Sprint Resistance - Also known as an overload effect, the idea is to use resistance in some form to improve explosive strength and stride length. Examples of resistance that can be applied in such a situation would be gravity (running up a grade like stairs or a slope) or such apparatus such as parachutes or weighted vests.

Sprint Assistance - By using assistance techniques such as running downhill or a high-speed towing apparatus, the aim is to maintain proper running form but increase stride frequency.

Tertiary Methods

Tertiary methods are broken down into mobility, strength and speed-endurance categories:

Mobility - Athletic tasks require specific ranges of motion (ROM). If an individual does not use their full mobility at a certain joint or limb, they can impact performance or even increase their likelihood of injury. For example, someone who is running, if there is not enough mobility at the hip joint, there could too much braking effect caused by the foot strike on the ground. Proper stretching and flexibility should be used by all to maintain proper range of motion.

Strength - In order for individuals to improve their speed and agility, their resistance training program should include explosive, quick movements. This does not necessarily mean that only light weights with high velocity should be used. Resistance training that targets a wide range of muscular fiber types should be employed.

Speed-Endurance - To train for speed-endurance events, athletes must use a wide variety of training styles including short-duration intense training as well as long-duration, less-intense exercises.

Quote of the day:
"It is better to travel well than to arrive." 
~ Buddha

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 345 - 1 Million Youtube Views!

Quote of the day:

"Success does not come to those who wait, and it does not wait for anyone to come to it."
~ Author Unknown

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 344 - Liquid Calories

The other day's blog, I discussed calories, and more importantly, how calories are digested and used in the body. When it comes down to it, all of us need calories to survive as they are the "energy currency" in our bodies to allow us to do stuff. Calories allow energy actions in our bodies to be performed such as thinking, breathing, pumping blood, digesting food, walking, etc. 

The problem most people run into is that they ingest too many calories, which are then stored as body fat as an evolutionary "backup plan". You see, our ancestors didn't always have a KFC sitting on the nearby corner, so they actually had times of famine. Our bodies store adipose (fat) tissue for when we are in need of energy when those hunting and gathering times aren't so good.

People have to ingest calories in order to survive. Foods tend to contain other things in them such as nutrients that make them ideal for our calorie consumption. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats are all nutrient dense. What this means, is that healthy foods give you the most "bang for your buck". You want to aim to get as many nutrients and vitamins in your body through natural sources as possible, while keeping your calorie count low, in order to maximize your metabolism and keep your weight down, while maintaining good health.

Liquid calories can therefore be a major pitfall for a lot of the population. Virtually all sources of beverages that people consume (other than water) have high calorie counts, with very little nutrient payoff. Take sodas for example, most of these beverages can contain anywhere from 8-10 teaspoons of sugar....per can! Visually picture yourself scooping 10 teaspoons of sugar into a can, then filling the rest with water. There doesn't leave much room for water, let alone any vitamins or nutrients.

Believe it or not, sodas can actually play a part in a person's diet, that is if they are a highly active person. Take, for example, a marathon runner. If they were to drink a can of soda before a race, that sugar would be digested and burned off in no time from their high activity level. Most people, however, sit down and enjoy a can with a high-calorie meal while watching tv. Those calories coming from the sugar in the soda are either used right away for high-energy activity (which they aren't) or are packed away for future use (aka, body fat).

Alright, fine, let's give up soda. Many people have taken this pledge (including myself) to give up soft drinks, so now what? I find milk to be a good alternative, but watch your nutritional labels. Milk is high-calorie because it contains fat and protein as well as natural and added sugars. You may be surprised at how much sugar is in your glass of milk. Look at the sugar count per cup (250mL), in grams, of milk, and you may be surprised how much is actually in there. Not only that, as you get closer to skim milk, or in other words, less fat, companies add in even more sugar in order to make sure the taste stands up. I personally like to enjoy either 1 or 2% milk in moderation as milk can provide a lot of vitamins and nutrients such as calcium!

Alright, so milk is a nice substitute for soda, but keep it in moderation. How about fruit juices then? Many companies are jumping on this bandwagon so to speak as they are finding the need to produce what the public is asking for. I will just come out and say it, fruit juices can be just as bad, if not worse than sodas. They can be very high in sugar with potentially little to no nutrients left. The act of processing fruit juices to get the product to your grocery shelf can remove many of the nutritional benefits of the product, not to mention the removal of fiber, which is helpful in slowing the digestion of eating fruit whole. Try and stick to real fruit juices that have no added sugars, and often times, you can "cut" the juice by filling half a glass of juice with the other half water and still enjoy the flavor, minus all of those extra calories.

Coffee is actually zero-calorie. There are numerous health benefits to drinking coffee that have been reported in the recent past. Let's face it, coffee is one of the most widely-consumed beverages in human history, so it is no surprise that it is also one of the most widely-researched (pros and cons). I could write an entire blog on coffee consumption, which I can in the future, but for now, you can make your own conclusions on this. Chances are, if you are currently a coffee consumer, I may not change your mind either way, and vice versa. Just keep this in mind, coffee can suddenly become very high-calorie by adding too much cream, sugar, or flavored coffees to the mix. If you can handle black coffee, that is the best, but I understand some people like to add some sugar and (I recommend) milk to help the taste, so 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee in the morning will not make or break your diet assuming you are ingesting a well-rounded diet throughout the day.

Alcohols, like soda, are nutritional bombs. Just to give you an idea of calorie breakdowns, and where our dietary energy comes from; fats are 9 calories/gram, proteins and carbohydrates are 4 calories/gram, and alcohol is 7 calories/gram. Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are generally packaged with nutrients and dietary benefits when they are consumed, whereas alcohol is essentially useless in the body and is just used as energy. Yes, like coffee, there have been many studies done on alcohol trying to prove or disprove its need in the human diet. I will say that there appears to be some health benefits to having a drink now and then to help relax, and lower blood pressure, but many people do not stick to their daily recommended intake. Not only is alcohol itself high-calorie, but most people do not drink alcohol on its own, they mix it with sodas or drink it as beer or wine, which can all heighten those calorie counts.

I find it so discouraging to see some people that are trying so hard to exercise and eat somewhat respectively, but then literally pour away their potential health benefits and gains by consuming large quantities of calories through needless liquid sources. The human body has evolved to feel "full" from eating solid foods. We do not get that same response from drinking our calories, which I think plays a part in the consumption of large numbers of calories being consumed. If people were to make a switch to drinking just water, milk (in moderation), and tea (zero-cal green teas, etc.), they could literally cut hundreds of calories out of their diets every day which that switch alone can account to pounds lost over months and years!

Quote of the day:

"The first requisite of success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem without growing weary."
~ Thomas Edison

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 343 - Motivation Saturday

I have an online friend who is dealing with an injury right now and is in need of surgery. He is pretty down about having to take a bit of time off doing what he loves doing - exercising. I sent him this to help cheer him up. It is a great message from Tony!

Quote of the day:
"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice."
-Wayne Dyer

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 342 - Agility

In the international community, agility is often defined as an individual's collective coordination abilities. In more specific terms, it encompasses an individual's ability to use speed, power and coordination to cover dynamic, power, and fine motor skills. The NSCA defines some agility terms below:

Adaptive ability - adapting to an action or sequence in anticipation to changing conditions.

Balance - static and dynamic equilibrium.

Combinatory ability - coordinating body parts or a combination of body parts to created a coordinated action or movement.

Differentiation - accurate, economical adjustment of body movements and mechanics.

Orientation - spatial and temporal control of body movements.

Reactiveness - quick, well-directed response to stimuli.

Rhythm - observation and implementation of dynamic motion pattern, timing and variation.

To generalize, agility deals with an athlete or individual's ability to control acceleration, maximum-velocity as well as multidirectional skills.

Skill Classification

Skill classification can be broken down into 3 categories; General vs. Special Skills, Closed vs. Open Skills, and Continuous vs. Discrete vs. Serial Skills.

General vs. Special Skills

General agility tasks target the development of one or more basic coordinative skills. Special tasks would then unify or combine general skills or tasks into more specific movements. Special skills are more related to specific practice specificity for an action or sport skill.

Closed vs. Open Skills

Closed skills are those in which there are predetermined and unchangeable variables. In these types of training modes, the athlete or individual has predictable or stable environments. Examples of a closed agility skill would be a timed T-test or agility drill. An open skill would be one that has unpredictable or unstable factors involved. Examples would be real-time sport games or practices such as a football running back dodging a defender or a baseball player fielding a ground ball.

Continuous vs. Discrete vs. Serial Skills

Continuous tasks have no definite beginning or end. Discrete is the opposite of continuous as they have a very defined beginning and end (100m sprint). Then, serial tasks are a number of discrete tasks completed in sequence.

Change in Velocity

Many sports or athletic activities require a specific change in velocity. Sure, there are many variations dependent on the type of sport or activity, the number of players in the field of play and even differences in playing surface but all changes in velocity have a few things in common.

I find velocity changes to be one of the most important and crucial tasks to perform in order to be considered "agile". Changes in velocity typically involve an initial velocity, a deceleration, and change in direction, and then another increase in velocity (acceleration).

Quote of the day:

"Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration."
~ Evan Esar

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 341 - Weekly Newsletter

Hello Everyone!

Wow, the last week of March, 2013 is Marching right along...see what I did there?

Personally, I am in my 2nd week of my Tough Mudder Training. My wife and I are training hard to compete in Tough Mudder Toronto on May 11th. I actually got out for my first run of the season last Saturday. It is the first run I have gone on since World's Toughest Mudder back in November. It felt great to get back outside running again!

You can definitely tell Spring is in the air. There may be snow on the ground for a lot of us still, but there is more sunshine and daylight during the day, and I know it has really improved my own mood and energy levels, I hope it is doing the same for all of you!

Topics to cover this week:

1. For you Facebook users: I have an accountability group started on Facebook. You can find us here. This group is a great way to post daily accountability, ask questions, and help motivate each other to stay active! Anyone can join, so meet us there!

2. Shaun T's next program has been announced. It is called "Focus T25". It is a 5 day-a-week program, each workout lasting just 25 minutes. You can find the first trailer for it here.

3. Just a few days left of my Facebook Contest. All you have to do is "Like" my Facebook Page, and "Share" my daily photo. Every time you share the photo, you are entered for a chance to win a 2-week supply of Shakeology!

4. I am anticipating I will hit the 1 million Youtube views milestone sometime this weekend. I want to thank all of my supporters who have watched and enjoyed my videos!

5. There are just a few days left in March to take advantage of Beachbody's Promotions. Remember, you can get both P90X and P90X2 Challenge Packs for $180 (over $80 savings). Not only that, but the P90X Challenge Pack also comes with P90X Plus, so you are saving over $160!

6. Also just a few days left to take advantage of the current Shakeology Pricing before prices go up April 1st. If you "lock-in" at the current price with "Home Direct", you stay at the current price for life (of course you can cancel at ANY time without penalty!). Here is the current Shakeology pricing structure (message me for details):

Shakeology (30 servings) Retail Price: $119.95 ($129.95 vegan)
Shipping: $9.90
Total: $129.85
Price per serving: $4.33 (before tax)

Shakeology Retail Price: $119.95 ($129.95 vegan)
Shipping: Free if you order on "Home Direct"
Total: $119.95
Price per serving: $4 (before tax)

Shakeology Coach Discount Price: $89.96
Shipping: Free
Monthly Coach Fees: $15.95
Total: $105.91
Price per serving: $3.53 (before tax)

7. This week's blogs:

Why I Love Beachbody Coaching
Motivation Saturday
Plyometric Safety Considerations
Movement Mechanics
Running Speed

Everyone have a great week, please do not hesitate to let me know if you need something. Talk to you soon,

Tyler Robbins

Quote of the day:
"Do not let it be your aim to be something, but to be someone." 
~ Victor Hugo

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 340 - Running Speed

The mechanics involved in human running is substantially different than when walking. When human beings walk, the body rotates through various positions including balancing on one leg, while the weight shifts from one leg to both legs, to again on one leg. There is a cadence that rotates through these general positions.

Running, on the other hand, is more of a ballistic action with the body continually launching its weight from one leg to the other. The speed at which someone runs is directly linked to the stride frequency to stride length relationship. For example, when comparing novice to elite sprinters, studies have shown that elite sprinters achieve greater stride length and can increase it further up to about 45m from a static start of a race. Compare this to novice sprinters who peak their stride length around the 25m mark of a race from a static start.

When comparing novice to elite stride frequency, elite sprinters can achieve faster slightly higher frequencies (~5/second) and maintain that pace for a longer period of time compared to novices. When you think about the mechanics behind sprinting, it is easy to understand that a sprinter that has a high turnover stride (stride frequency) and is pushing off for more power (stride length) will elicit a greater speed.

One thing to understand, however, is that due to varying leg lengths amongst different individuals, stride length is difficult at times to train. Stride frequency, however, can be trained effectively to increase running speed.

Sprinting Performance and Stride Analysis

Below is a summarized list of the major muscular requirements during sprinting:

1. As the back (recovery) leg swings forward, eccentric knee flexion controls its forward momentum, prepares it for an efficient foot strike.

2. Muscle action then shifts from eccentric to concentric action and continues to the support phase (leg beneath center of gravity) which transfers power to the leg.

3. During the ground support phase, the high joint angle at the planted foot allows for stored elastic energy. Eccentric knee extensor activity also allows the quads to store and recover elastic energy.

4. There is a triple extension from the ankle, knee, and hip all at once allowing for propulsion and drive forward.

Training Goals

To maximize sprinting speed, I have listed a few training goals below that can help in running efficiency:

Minimize Braking - By aiming to plant the supporting foot directly beneath the center of gravity and maximizing the backward velocity of that leg during the propulsion phase will minimize the braking effect of forward momentum.

Fast Foot Strike - By increasing stride frequency and backward propulsion, you minimize the amount of time the foot has contact with the ground, therefore minimizing the braking effect of forward momentum.

Quote of the day:
"Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil."
~ J. Paul Getty

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 339 - Calories

We live in a society that is constantly swayed by trends. Recently, one major trend that is taking over is counting calories. You would be pretty hard-pressed to go somewhere without seeing some sort of mention of calories. Restaurants print them on menus (not always accurate, only an estimation), food companies print them on packaging, diet and exercise claims on the radio, tv, and in advertisements all claim to "burn more calories". The problem with mostly all of this is that majority of the population never stops to think or understand what these numbers or claims mean. Unfortunately they just get caught up in the trends.

I have made a list of calorie claims, myths, truths, and partial-truths below to help my readers understand how to decipher what they see and read out in the world today.

1. Calories Fuel Our Bodies

The term "calorie" was first coined in the 19th century for steam engine heat conservation. Basically, a calorie is a unit of energy required for 1 gram of water to heat 1 degree Celsius. It was in 1890 that the USDA first brought this term over to the food industry. Scientists would literally take a piece of food and light it on fire to see how much it would heat water. Some of you may remember doing this in science class, I know I do. The term "calorie" in the food industry should actually be "kilocalorie" as the calorie count you see on food packaging refers to the amount of energy required to heat 1kg of water by 1 degree Celsius, but everyone usually drops the "kilo" because we are all lazy...

There is also one problem here, our bodies do not have little fires raging in our cells to produce energy, we break down macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) to use their chemical energy. Also, instead of one enormous chemical plant, we have billions of little energy producers in our cells called mitochondria that are much more efficient. The problem that many people think and feel, is that all calories are created equal, when this simply is not the truth, which leads me to #2.

2. All Calories are Created Equal

When we eat stuff, i.e. food, the chemical makeup of that stuff must be broken down into smaller chunks to be absorbed, transported and utilized by our bodies. This is not a passive process which means that we need energy to digest, or in other words, we require energy to produce energy. (Takes money to make money right?) To assume that all calories are created equal is just silly.

Carbohydrates are the easiest macronurtient to digest and therefore has the highest yield. Carbs, also known as sugar, is nature's form of jet fuel for our bodies. The problem is, our society seems to pack more and more and more sugar into everything, leading us to the point where we would never come close to burning off as much of that energy as we take in, leading to adipose tissue (body fat)...but that is a different blog topic altogether. Anyways, carbs return about a 90-95% energy yield per calorie. What I mean by that is, for example, every 100 calories of carbs you take in, it requires 5-10 calories of energy to digest.

Fats actually have a slightly higher energy yield than carbohydrates, ranging in the ballpark of 95-96%, but this should not be alarming as our diets require much less fat than carbs. What this means is that in 100 calories of fat, it takes about 4-5 calories to digest.

Protein has the lowest energy yield, which can actually be very beneficial for weight loss. Only about 70-80% of protein calories consumed are returned to the body when digesting proteins which isn't all that surprising as the body greatly prefers fats and carbs for energy whereas protein is mostly used for tissue repair. Regardless, proteins are highly recommended throughout the day for those looking to lose weight or are highly active.

3. You Are What You Eat

We have all heard this term before, but don't think that everything you put in your mouth stays in your body and is digested. Just keep in mind, there are things that come out the other end - and that will be as far as I go with that! When you eat your food, your teeth chew it up, then the juices in your stomach break things down further into a paste. This paste then travels through your intestines where the nutrients are absorbed through the spongy walls. For most people, however, 5-10% of this paste just keeps passing on through and is expelled as waste.

For the most part, fat digests easily and passes through the walls quickly. Animal protein sources are absorbed better than plant-based sources. Then we come to carbs. Glucose and starchy carbs (i.e. chocolate, potatoes) are absorbed rapidly, whereas high-fiber carbs like in fruits, vegetables and grains take their sweet time passing through your system. Not only that, but fiber seems to prevent your body from absorbing certain calories and can even lower cholesterol levels. An equivalent amount of broccoli compared to an equivalent piece of chocolate may register as the same number of calories in a laboratory, but that does not mean that they act the same way in your body. Studies have shown that individuals with high-fiber diets have close to 20% of their daily ingested calories move through their digestive system without being absorbed. Less calories this way can lead to less body fat!

4. "I'll Just Burn it off at the Gym"

Many people grossly over-estimate how many calories they actually burn during a workout. Everybody has heard someone say (while reaching for a second helping of dessert), "Oh, I'll just burn it off later when I am (insert weak excuse for an exercise here)." Truth is, even the craziest of fitness nuts only burn, at most, 30% of their daily calories in working out each day.

Most of our calories burned on a day to day basis come from doing things like digesting food, thinking, breathing, repairing a cut to your leg/face from shaving, etc. This is known as our resting metabolic rate, which means you are burning a ton of calories even when watching tv! There are other daily activities can also contribute to our daily caloric expenditure that are known as non-exercise thermo-genesis (N.E.A.T.) such as walking up the stairs, walking your dog, having sex, etc.

I know what you may be thinking, "Hell, I don't need to exercise then!" Keep in mind that exercise causes a whole list of benefits too long to list in this blog, so I highly recommend you continue (or start) to exercise 5-6 days a week. Not only that, but a properly designed strength and conditioning program consisting of cardio and resistance training will raise your resting metabolic rate, mentioned earlier, so that the rest of the day when you are not exercising, you will burn more calories than the average person!

The best scenario in this case would be to exercise often, but to also make small changes in your life that can result in bigger changes over the long-haul. For example, if you live or work in a multi-storey building, take the stairs more often rather than the elevator. Park at the back of the parking lot when shopping to force you to walk a bit further, etc.

5. "Big" People Have Slower Metabolisms

There are many studies that show that thin people may potentially absorb and burn dietary fats quicker than their "bigger" counterparts, but this topic is definitely false. When referring to the "resting metabolic rate" (RMR) discussed in #4, studies have shown that the average man requires 11 calories per pound of body weight for their RMR, even if they sat in front of the tv all day. If you do the math, you would quickly discover that the bigger you become, more calories are actually required to maintain your current weight.

6. Low Calorie Foods Help You Lose Weight

This seems to be a very hot-button issue as of late. Many people seem to think that eating "Low-Fat" or "Low-Calorie" food substitutes will help them lose weight. It looks and sounds good on paper! The problem here is that companies often remove fat from products, but replace with either sugar or artificial sweeteners or in high-sugary foods, they remove natural sugars and replace with zero-calorie artificial sweeteners. The problem arises when those "zero-cal" sweeteners hit the bloodstream. A long story short, the body thinks its taking in sugar (and calories) when in fact the artificial sweeteners are useless which causes a blood-sugar dip causing you to crave guess what, more sugar!

More and more studies are coming out detailing how individuals who frequently consume things like "Diet" sodas and low-cal foods are actually gaining weight in the process, oh, the irony! The ideal situation here would be to remove soda from the diet and replace with another zero-cal beverage...water!

Quote of the day:

"It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise."
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Day 338 - Movement Mechanics

Force is the product of mass times acceleration. Force is an especially important skill for athletes to improve. It is one thing to be strong at a specific movement or action, but if you can create a lot of force with that strength, then you can take the step from being a good athlete to being a great athlete. A couple of terms relating to force:

Impulse - change in momentum resulting from force (force x time)

Power - rate of doing work (force x velocity)


Most athletic tasks require fast rates of force development (RFD). Force development for someone who is running, for example, is the ground contact time or push-off phase. Whether someone is sprinting or distance running, the RFD should be as quick and as forceful as possible to make the most out of every stride. The rate, amplitude and direction of force is important in any movement but improving an athlete's RFD can have tremendous benefits.


The ability to achieve high movement velocities requires skillful force application across a spectrum of power outputs and muscle actions. To achieve desired power levels, an individual's resistance training program should involve a wide variety of concentric and eccentric muscle actions while using a wide range of loads and velocities.

Practical Implications

The fact of the matter is that the forces that can be created by our limbs may change depending on the angle of the limb as its velocity and force is altered.

Training activities aimed at improving the stretch-shortening cycle performance should not only involve skillful multi-joint movements, but to also exploit the elastic-reflexive components of the muscles and tendons. In order to facilitate progress, work bouts should be short with longer periods of rest to allow ample time to recover.

Another aspect that I have discussed in my blogs before, but find that it is also applicable here, is power training for aerobic events such as distance running. Marathon runners are definitely not thought of as "power athletes", but using power training in their regimen could help reduce the amount of time that their feet are in contact with the ground, not to mention improving horizontal speed and velocity which can therefore improve running economy.

Quote of the day:

"A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams."
~John Barrymore

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Day 337 - Plyometric Safety Considerations

Whenever someone is exercising or performing physical activities, there are inherent dangers that accompany said activities. Plyometric exercise is no exception to this, and may even have more potential dangers involved, but usually only when certain guidelines are not followed. I have detailed some of these guidelines below and given some insight into each.

Pretraining Evaluation of the Athlete

Every individual that wishes to begin plyometric exercise should evaluate their current health and fitness status to determine if they are an appropriate candidate to follow such an intense training regimen.

Technique - Individuals should be not only physically mature, but mentally mature enough to be able to follow instructions to follow correct form and technique. For example, proper technique should be followed to maintain control of the body's center of gravity. A specific example of this would be the body's shoulders staying in line with the knees when performing jumping type exercises.

Strength - For lower body plyometrics, the NSCA recommends that an individual's 1RM squat should be at least 1.5 times their body weight in order to be strong enough to perform plyometric exercises. For upper body, the bench press 1RM should be at least the individual's body weight.

Speed - Again, for lower body plyometrics, the NSCA recommends that an individual be able to 5 reps of the squat with 60% body weight in 5 seconds or less. Upper body speed should be able to perform 5 bench press reps of 60% body weight in 5 seconds or less.

Balance - Plyometric exercises are not always done in a vertical plane, as some plyometric and agility exercises require lateral or horizontal displacements. An individual should have a good level of balance and spatial control over their body so that they reduce their risk for injury when exercising. An example of a balance test would be an individual balancing on one leg for 30 seconds without falling.

Physical Characteristics - Joint disorders, back disorders, or other disorders that affect an individual's ability to control their limbs in a controllable manner could increase the risk of injury. Not only that, but the NSCA recommends that individuals that are over 220 pounds may be at an increased risk of injury due to the immense stresses and strains placed on the body.

Equipment and Facilities

Going beyond the physical demands required for plyometric exercise, certain equipment as well as the area used should be of ideal conditions that are detailed below.

Landing Surface - As shock-absorbing as possible such as a grass field, suspended floor, or rubber mats are the best choices.

Training Area - This category is entirely dependent on the exercise being conducted. Bounding drills may require large horizontal spaces, whereas standing power jumps could be done in a small relative space.

Equipment - Boxes or platforms used for depth jumps, jumping on or off of, should have non-slip surfaces to prevent slipping and injury.

Proper Footwear - Cross training shoes are the best fit for plyometric exercises as they generally have more support for lateral movements of the feet and ankles.

Depth Jumps - This exercise in particular warrants its own category because a height of 48 inches (1.2m) is the recommended maximum height from the NSCA as jumping from a platform any higher than this could cause injury.

Quote of the day:

"Success is something you attract by the person you become."
~ Jim Rohn

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Day 336 - Motivation Saturday

Even Shaun T has problems with that workout!

Quote of the day:
"It is surmounting difficulties that makes heroes." 
~ Louis Pasture

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Day 335 - Why I Love Beachbody Coaching

As of April 1st, I will officially be a Team Beachbody Coach for 6 months duration. To be honest, and for those of you following me for some time, you should know that I have been eagerly waiting for this opportunity for years now. I have been blogging and Youtube-ing for years, not only for the joy of helping others, but also because I truly enjoy and believe in Beachbody products and the company's philosophy.

Today I figured I would discuss what I consider to be the greatest reasons or "perks" to being a Beachbody Coach. I am being 100% honest with you in my reasoning, and here's why:

Although there are lots of cynical people out there labeling Beachbody as, "Just another pyramid scheme", or "A scam!", there is lots to enjoy and love about the company. People oftentimes feel as though they don't want to get 'hooked' into becoming a Coach and if I even bring up the idea that they should become one, then some folks get their backs up.

I want to stress this fact first and foremost. Beachbody Coaches make 25% commission on all 'sales' that they make. Having said that, having Coaches signed up 'beneath' them does not make them any commission at all. Instead, there are bonuses based on volume points, etc. (it can be confusing and requires a much more detailed discussion), but the fact of the matter is that a Coach technically makes more money or commission off of a paying customer than they do off of a Coach who joins their team.

What I am saying is that I do not wish to try and 'hook you' to join my team and Coach under me in order to make more money. I offer Coaching positions to those who I feel would benefit from the opportunity the most! Regardless, here is my list of reasons why I have loved Coaching so much, so far:

1. 25/25 - As a Beachbody Coach, yes, you make commission off of sales. You earn 25% commission for every sale you make to a regular Beachbody customer. Not only that, but you also get a 25% discount on all purchases you personally make. If you are a regular customer (Shakeology is a BIG example of this), then becoming a Coach can actually save/make you a lot of money.

I can not tell you how many folks sign up to be a Beachbody Coach simply for the discount, but then go on to learn more about building their business and turn it into a nice side-income. As family and friends around you start asking about how you are getting so fit and healthy, you can then share your experiences with them regarding what you have been up to!

2. Beachbody Events - I have only been to one Beachbody event so far, but I have also been actively following past events that some other Coaches have attended and am simply amazed at the overall happiness and enthusiasm found at these events. Take the event I went to just last weekend in Toronto, for example. I cannot describe to you the feeling of being in a large room with so many other like-minded individuals who are passionate and interested about the same things you are - helping others achieve their goals!

Sure, there are plenty of Beachbody events being held that are open to the general public, but I would say majority of the events are only accessible to Coaches and their families. Not only that, but by helping others achieve their goals and stay motivated, there are prize trips and events that can be won and paid for by Beachbody!

3. Meet Such Amazing People - I have had the absolute pleasure of meeting so many fantastic people who have changed their lives, simply from working out at home using Beachbody products and leading healthy lifestyles. Some of these people I had the opportunity to meet and hear their story from the Toronto event, but I also hear and get amazing feedback from folks online who connect with me through Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

I actually had a very nice couple approach me at the Toronto event thanking me for all of my Youtube videos. I guess they watch all of my videos prior to starting a new workout to they know what they are getting themselves in to! Oftentimes we get very close-minded in the lives we live, only interacting with a close-knit group of family and friends through school or work. It is such an amazing experience to meet and interact with folks from literally, all over the world looking to get fit and healthy!

4. Motivate Others - Related to #3, I get comments and e-mails all the time from folks who thank me for helping them stay motivated. To think that I am helping people stay motivated and inspired to lead healthier lives is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. To be able to share my ups and downs with all of you has been a blast these past few years, even prior to becoming an official Beachbody Coach.

5. Motivate Me - Honestly, as cliched as it sounds, all of you motivate me to keep going and stay active. I am just like all of you. There are those days when I just dread the thought of pressing play and working out, but I get to it because of #4. I like to stay accountable and keep my integrity, and there is no point in me preaching to all of you eat healthy and stay active if I am not doing it myself! Not only that, but the positive words of encouragement keeps me plugging away, staying healthy and active.

If you are passionate about helping other people lead healthier lifestyles, and believe that Beachbody Coaching is right for you, e-mail me so that you can join my team today!

Quote of the day:
"Life's problems wouldn't be called "hurdles" if there wasn't a way to get over them."
-Author Unknown

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com

Day 334 - Weekly Newsletter

Hello Everybody!

Spring is here! Although if the weather near you is anything like it is near me, then you certainly aren't feeling very "spring-like" just yet...I am supposed to have my first training run of the year this coming Saturday, yet there is still PLENTY of snow on the ground. I guess I will be sticking to sidewalks that are plowed!

How is everyone making out with your health and fitness goals? Considering today is the first day of Spring, that means that the really nice summer weather is right around the corner. Again, if it still snowy where you are like it is for me, then you aren't feeling very "spring-like", but trust me, it's coming!

Lots to cover this week, so let's jump right in to it!

1. I had a blast at the Beachbody event this past weekend in Toronto. It was great not only working out with Shaun T live, but getting to meet him as well as getting a photo done was very cool. You can read all about the event here. Which brings me to #2:

2. "Focus T25" - This is the name of Shaun T's new workout program. He briefly talked about this at the event, so now you can go read more about it, and sign up and be notified with any news.

3. I have been contacted by Beachbody for a testimonial regarding my Body Beast Final Results. I have signed and sent in my waiver, sent in my before and after photos, etc. I now just have to wait to hear back whether or not Beachbody wishes to use my story as part of their promotional materials in some way.

4. Youtube - according to my official Youtube analytics, I have just over 10k views left before I hit the illustrious 1 million views mark. If you could please help me out, and go check out some of my videos. Maybe you have a favorite that you want to watch again, or maybe there is a video on my channel that you have not seen before. Either way, any help is greatly appreciated! (sharing with your friends is also appreciated!)

5. Facebook Contest - Just over a week left of my Facebook contest. I am posting a photo every day, that if you "share", you have a chance at winning a 2-week supply of Shakeology for FREE! Easy to enter, easy to win. Check it out here.

6. Shakeology Price Increase - Also, just over a week left to take advantage of the current Shakeology price. The price is going up April 1st, so if you wish to "lock-in" at the current price for life, you must get signed up prior to then on a "Home Direct" plan. For those of you who are already on Shakeology Home Direct (or more than 1 order of it), signing up as a Beachbody Coach is still the most cost-effective way of being on Shakeology Home Direct. Sure, you have a nominal monthly Coach fee, but the 25% off all purchases still makes this the cheapest route to take. If you are at all interested in either signing up for Shakeology or becoming a Coach for cheaper Shakeology, e-mail me back for more information.

7. March Promotions - Lastly, there is of course, also a little over a week left to take advantage of the March promotions being held at Beachbody right now. There are some great savings to be had. If you are interested in Shakeology and/or Coaching, a Challenge Pack has the greatest savings to get you started the right way. Also, if you wish to purchase a Challenge Pack, let me know, and I can show you how to sign up to have the Coach Fee waived ($40 value).

This past week's blogs:

Plyometric Program Design
Motivation Saturday
Plyometric Mechanics and Physiology
Plyometric Age Considerations
LIVE Beachbody Event Featuring Shaun T
Muscles Remember Past Glory

Everyone have a great week, and of course, let me know if there is anything I can help you with!

Quote of the day:
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
~ T. S. Eliot

Check out my new Website: tylerrobbinsfitness.com