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Surviving Cheat Day

It was Saturday. Gorgeous, about 70 degrees and radiant sunshine. I spent the morning at the gym, training clients and blitzing a short workout. On the way home I ran some important errands and made it home by noon– Not bad for a Saturday! Everything I needed to do for the day was completed and the day was only half-way through.

photo from Buy-Beer.com http://www.buy-beer.com/bbq-beer-chicken/beer-butt-buddies2/
photo from Buy-Beer.com

Even better, I had most of the day to eat and drink whatever I wanted….Cheat day had arrived.

There is nothing wrong with a cheat day, mentally they provide a break from a strict diet and let you relax and unwind. Physically cheat days can provide a much needed refueling for the body and boost various hormones such as T-3 and T-4 that can be down regulated if you are constantly dieting.

Cheat days kick ass. In disciplined dieters they improve compliance and provide a mental and physical break from dieting– As long as they’re kept within reason. Unfortunately, reason wasn’t present yesterday. Two pizzas, chicken wings, plenty of beer, a trip to a vodka bar, and hefty forth meal left me in a greasy stupor.

I drank like a fish and ate like it was going out of style.

Where do all of those calories go?

Eventually carbohydrate storage reaches capacity, leaving excess sugars to saturate the blood stream and  join the party around your love handles. If alcohol is involved that will halt all fat burning even further, promoting further fat storage. Eeeek. That’s the perfect storm to blow up quicker than a Kardasian wedding.

The Solution

There is a way to minimize the damage on these gluttonous days as I learned from Tim Ferriss’ book The 4 Hour Body. The goal isn’t to burn massive amounts of calories on cheat cheat; instead, prepare your body to receive and utilize the excess sugars you’re consuming.

Ideally, you will take more of these excess sugars and calories and have them pushed into your muscles rather than your waistline.


Glute-4 Activation.

What is Glute-4?

Glute 4 is a protein responsible for insulin related glucose transport into cells. Muscular contractions stimulate muscle cells to translocate to the surface of the muscle, making them more receptive to insulin and stocking the muscles full of glycogen from those carbs you just ate.

Cool, so what do I do?

As close to your delicious meal, whether it be pizza, doughnuts, or whatever else you are craving you must force major skeletal muscles to contract to stimulate glute-4 translocation. And it doesn’t take nearly as much activity as you think.

Here are a few good options:

1.Bodyweight squats 20 reps. Quarter squats are fine, full are better
2.Push Ups (or wall push ups, you can do these in a bathroom stall, oh boy!) 20 reps
3.Band Pull aparts 20 reps
4.Isometric Quadriceps extension: lock your leg and flex as hard as you can for 20-30 seconds. This one can work (or use other muscles) while you are seated if you are out to eat. This way people won’t think you are as weird as me.

**You can do these things in private if that makes you feel more comfortable, but you probably shouldn’t care so much what others think, especially as it pertains to your health and lookin good neeeked 

These exercises take all of a minute or so to perform as close to your cheat meal as you can, as well as 60-90 minutes post-meal. This way you are activating the biggest muscles in your body to be more receptive to the surplus of calories floating around in your blood stream to lead to bigger muscles, rather than a bigger waistline.

Wrap Up

So there you have it. It’s not necessarily a good thing to go as crazy as I did and eat/drink 10,000 calories . Just know there are strategies to minimize the damage while maximizing the fun, even while trying to look your best


Ferriss, Timothy. The 4-Hour Body. New York: Crown Archetype, 2010. 100-120. Print.


Precision Nutrition Certification Review

Like any certification the number one question I have received after getting my PN1 is “Was it worth the Money?”

To make it easy the answer is yes, yes it was. The Precision Nutrition Certification strikes gold for coaches looking for top-notch results with their clients. The PN system delivers what few other certifications and educational courses can: Up-to-date information and a delivery system to implement change in your clients.

The Breakdown

Precision Nutrition Certification Review

Precision Nutrition contained two distinct portions of this certification. The first portion of the textbook and lectures was based on nutritional science. This portion covered topics such as cell structure and function, energy transfer and metabolism, energy balance, macro/micronutrients, special populations, and hydration status.

The information is up-to-date, and extremely thorough. Precision Nutrition does a phenomenal job breaking down difficult topics such as the Krebs cycle with both in-depth explanation, workbook questions, and video lectures to fit all learning styles.

The Best Part

The scientific based parts of the certification are great, but the practice, coaching, and implementation are even better. The practice portion of the certification contains extremely thorough client prep and information collecting, how to interpret this information, nutritional supplementation information, setting realistic and achievable goals, and how to provide continuing education and support for clients.


Advanced Strategies

Because PN does such a great job analyzing behavior and making change stick, advanced strategies are much easier to master. PN covers the following topics in-depth, providing calculations and estimations based on individual goals and body types for the following:

  • Carbohydrate cycling
  • Calorie cycling
  • Athlete sports nutrition as it relates to immune function
  • Nutrition for injury and rehabilitation
  • Supplementation to speed healing of injuries
  • Plant based diets
  • Eating disorders
  • Nutrition and cardiovascular disease
  • Nutrition and diabetes

These advanced strategies are an awesome addition to any repertoire of nutritional knowledge bombs. They might not apply to the majority of clients, but they are extremely thoroughly and helpful to the advanced clients that do dictate the strategies.

Why It’s Better

The Precision Nutrition Certification is NOT the only nutritional certification available to fitness professionals, but it does offer an entire section based on implementing change with clients. Too often certifications leave the coach with a wealth of information without the tools to successfully carry out the strategies into practice. This is where the PN system separates itself from the others. Dr. John Berardi has the hands on knowledge and experience from years of working with clients ranging from elite professional and Olympian athletes to non-athletes and average-joes.

If you are a fitness professional looking to take your business to the next step then I strongly recommend the PN1 Certification and Precision Nutrition.

For more information go check PN out at http://www.precisionnutrition.com/ and explore the wealth of information they have to offer. Specialized programs such as PN Lean Eating as well as Scrawny To Brawny programs are available to guide you towards your specific goals.

For information on how I implement the Precision Nutrition System with my clients please contact me through my newsletter and pick up your free gift here ==> Hook me up!

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

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