Marco- & Meso-cycles, training like a Pro-Athlete

A macrocycle is the board view of the full year of training, also know as an annual training plan consisting of a Pre-season, season, off-season. A mesocycle is a training phase within that annual training plan which usually refers to target for phase (i.e. endurance, power, etc). The goal being to peak at each high point of competition. 

My big sport these days is climbing. As a rock climber, I have a very defined outdoor season. It usually starts mid to late March and ends in late October or early November. This allows me to look at my 12 month calendar as a professional athlete would. My pre-season starts in January and goes until my first big climbing trip of the year in April. This year, that trip is Red Rocks which is near Las Vegas. I will have four climbing days down there and goal is to send a route called California 12a (rated 5.12c). In order to do that, I need to be able climb out from under a roof and top out on it. In my first mesocycle, I am focusing my endurance. Just spending as much time as possible on the wall without coming off. After about 6 weeks, I will switch to more of a power endurance training which will consist of more bouldering and over hung climbing. Meanwhile, I am also play a full 90 minute soccer match once a week and going to a hot yoga at least once a week. All of this is on top of what I normally do for work which is teach a 30 minute cardio class 3 times per week. Plus any weekend adventure which are usually either snowboarding or snowshoeing on one of the days. 

My second mesocycle will be from when we get back on April 10th to my first trip to Squamish. Typically, I go over 4th of July weekend. My project up there is a route I’ve only been on once, called Mrs Negative (5.12a). It’s a similar style route to California 12a, but not as over hung. My training will vary a little bit between these trips because I won’t be climbing in the gym, but instead I will be climbing outside most weekends. Short trips, but out climbing on the wall most of the day which will be great power endurance training. I am doing my sport, known in the Exercise Science world as Sport Specific Training. From July to the last trip of year (not sure when or where yet) will be more sport specific power endurance.

Right after my last trip, begins my off-season. For the last 6 years, I have taken at least 2 months off of climbing after each season. This is really important, it allows not only my body to rest, but specific my fingers, tendons and joints. In the past, my mid August I use to always injury a finger or two by straining a tendon from over training. I would climb at least 2 days a week in the gym year round plus climbing on the weekend all spring, summer and fall. It was only a manner of time before something would start to hurt. Then, I would have to tape my fingers to mask the pain in order to keep climbing. I use to run through several rolls of tape every year. When I started take an actual off-season, I stopped getting hurt. The season ends late October or early November and I take the rest of November and December off. This completes my macrocycle just like any pro-athlete would. Once January rolls around again, I start all over.

Are you training for an event or sport? Need someone to take a look at the whole big picture of your training? Then set up a Private Training session with me for a program design and I will make sure you can continue to peak in your sport. - Jason 

Product Review: C2 Elite Half Zip & Performance Tights

Recently, I went on a run wearing C2’s Elite Half Zip and their Performance Tights. It was a typical rainy Seattle morning which made for perfect conditions to try out something new. The temperature was 56 degrees that morning. I took off to run a lap around Greenlake with a client.

I choose to review the Elite Half Zip because I wear pull over shirt/half zip type shirts all the time. Especially during the colder months. I wore the half zip over a standard dry fit shirt that I would typically wear under a half zip shirt. The first thing I noticed was it comfortable. I asked for a Large and it fit well. Not too loose and definitely long enough for my torso. For a run in the fifties, it was definitely warm enough. It didn’t make me feel too cold or too hot, it just felt normal so it will definitely be a part of my regular rotation. 

I wanted to review the Performance Tights because I do wear run tights and it is always good to have more layering options, especially in the winter. The material is different then the typically type of tight I currently own. It is a little thicker and fuzzier. When I put them on first thing in the morning, they were totally comfortable and when I saw it was rain out that morning, I was glad I was wearing them. Running wise, they felt great. I didn’t notice them, no itching or anything like that, which is what you want when it comes to any sort of athletic gear. The only downside was that they were too warm. Once I got about a mile into my run, my legs were burning up. They would be much better in 40’s verse in the 50’s. 

Overall, I really like both products and I will continue to wear them.  5 Stars

Product Review: Fuel100 Electro-Bites

For the past week, I have been using Fuel100’s Electro-Bites prior to my workouts. Each package contains 23g worth a bites. One serving is one package and each are 100 calories, 4.5g of fat, 220mg of sodium, 55mg of potassium, 14g of carbohydrates, 3g of sugar, 0g of protein. The major ingredients are organic coconut oil, organic agave syrup, potato starch, sodium, magnesium and potassium. I have several different flavors including pumpkin spice, simply salty, salty vanilla and apple cinnamon. There tagline is “developed for endurance athletes.” Meaning that if you going for a long run or a triathlon or hiking a mountain, then this is the product for you. 

I had a package before teaching bootcamp, running stairs, running a lap around Greenlake and a holistically workout. I had mixed results, both good and bad. So I broke them down into positives and negatives.

In the positive category, the energy boost was good. I felt like I could run, jump and crunch with no stomach issues. This is really important because you need to know how your stomach is going to react to certain while mid exercise. Typically gels don’t work for me because they sugar is too strong. This was the right balance of sugar and easy digestible carbs. Also, there are no fake sugars or sugar alcohols which is important for digestion and eating holistically.

In the negative category, the salty flavors were not very good. They were more difficult to consume than I thought it would be because there were so many little bites. I felt like they just got heavy in mouth. I don’t think I would enjoy them on a long run. 

My prognosis: A great source of energy, easy to digest, but too salty for me. If you are a person who likes salty food then you will love Electro-Bites. I think most people will like them and they are worth trying because they work, but they are just not for me so I give them 3.5 Stars. 

Macronutrients Based on Your Body Type

When it comes to nutrition, we categorize people in 3 different body types. Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. Ectomorphs are naturally thin with skinny limbs, Mesomorphs are naturally muscular and athletic and Endomorphs are naturally board and thick. We all know people in our lives who fit into these descriptions. I’m an ectomorph which means my nutritional needs are different than my buddy Eric who is a mesomorph. If you looked at the two of us, it would be obvious that he needs to eat more than I do because he weighs more me. However, volume is not the only differential. The amount of each macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates and fats) varies between the different types too. One thing to keep in mind before I break down the percentages is these are the recommended starting places. They are not set in stone. You should adjust anything nutrition program based on your body’s feedback and your results. This is why one-size fits all diets don’t work. There is no room to adjust based what you are seeing and feeling. Instead we use outcome-based decision meaning, let the results tell us how to adjust...

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Breaking Down the Pull-up

When I ask my clients what their strength goals are, the most common response I get is I would like to be able to do a pull-up. Being able to do a pull-up is a great measure of strength. It is a benchmark for a lot people. I've broken this down into 3 easy steps.

Step 1 - Negatives

The best way start developing the strength need for a pull-up is start with doing negatives....

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5 Reason to Start Running Stairs Today

A year ago, started running stairs on Wednesdays with my buddy Eric. We are out there almost every week and only miss if it is crazy raining or one of us is traveling out town. There has been many times where I didn't want to go, but since I was meeting Eric out there, I showed up. Once we got going, I was glad I went. Here are the 5 biggest benefits to start running stairs.

1 - Great for developing leg strength....

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5 Ways to Make Exercise a Priority During the Holidays

With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, it can be easy to get out of your exercise routine. Every year I hear people making excuses and rationalize it as, “I’m busy, I have a ton of family and social obligations, I’ll get started in January, etc…” Here are 5 way for making exercise a priority during the holidays.

1 - Schedule it

The hardest part sometimes is just showing up....

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Product Review: Xshot Selfie Stick

I know you're asking yourself, why is a fitness blog reviewing a selfie stick? Seems kind of strange, but it actually has a practical purpose. One of the more difficult things for me to do is to record videos doing or explaining exercises by myself. So when the opportunity came across my way to review some products, I choose the Xshot Selfie Stick to see if it would help make recording videos easier...

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5 Habits to Improve Calorie Control, Nutritent Timing & Food Selection

There are a couple of things over the years that found work really when my clients are trying to lose weight. When I got my Precision Nutrition certification these 5 habits were pointed out and totally made sense to me because I have been using them in some form all along. I wanted to share them here because they are a great way to get started when you are trying to change your food habits.

 

1 - Eat Slowly and Stop at 80% Full

You meal should take roughly 15 to 20 minutes...

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A Book That Influenced Me "Start With Why"

Start With Why by Simon Sinek is a book that has really influenced me in terms of how I deliver my message. Sinek explains how to inspire with ideas. The golden circle, the celery test and split are the three main ideas in the book. The one that stood out the most to me was the golden circle. He uses an explain of how some companies start with their product. In my industry, that would be, “we offer private training, group classes and nutrition coaching.” Then they say how their product works. “We use best possible functional training equipment and strategies.” Then they finish with their why, “We believe in achieving optimal human performance.”...

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