Training Metrics Worth Tracking

When it comes to training metrics I like to consider a blend of lifestyle, appearance, and performance related information. Regular physical activity has a myriad of benefits that will impact many facets of your life. There are visual elements like body fat and weight loss, performance outcomes such as improvements in technique and strength, and lifestyle factors including mood and sleep.

Let me explain a few metrics that are worthy of your attention. It is likely that you’ll have a balance that is unique to you and your specific goals. Remember that any metric that you track won’t be worth anything if you don’t make the changes necessary to progress. You’ll be left sitting on a bunch of useless information that you don’t care about. read more

A How-To Guide For Calculating Your Nutritional Needs

Let me preface this article by saying that I am NOT a licensed dietitian. In the ensuing text I will detail the specifics of nutrition as it relates to maintaining, losing, and gaining weight.

This information is taken from the accepted evidence supplied by the NSCA and CISSN. Be sure to consult a licensed professional before undertaking new dietary practices. I will not give you a specific meal plan nor tell you how to eat for your body. This is out my scope of practice. I want you to have the best information to make the most accurate, evidence based decisions possible.

After reading this I hope you can walk away with the education and the confidence to calculate your own nutritional needs and structure an eating regimen that caters to your lifestyle.

Now…Let’s roll.

Energy Expenditure

Energy requirements will depend largely on factors including genetics, bodyweight, body composition, training program, and age.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the largest contributor to your total daily energy expenditure, accounting for 65-70% of daily energy expenditure. This is a measure of the calories required for maintaining normal body functions including respiration, blood circulation, and gastrointestinal and renal processing.

You may see BMR and resting metabolic rate (RMR) used interchangeably. They are slightly different, but for the sake of this article I will use RMR moving forward. Essentially, BMR is measured after an overnight fast (12-14h) with the person resting supine and motionless, but awake. The RMR is used more frequently because of its ease of measurement. No overnight fast is required, yet it will read 10-20% higher than BMR due to the energy expenditure from recent food intake or physical activity done earlier in the day.

The second biggest component of energy requirement is the energy expended during physical activity. This will vary considerably and increase with intensity, frequency, and duration of exercise. Non training activities such as doing the dishes or yard work will also contribute to energy requirements. Typically 10-20% of total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is from physical activity.

Lastly, the thermic effect of food (TEF) accounts for the remaining 10-15% of TDEE. This factors in the cost of digestion, absorption, metabolism, and storage of food in the body.

The Cunningham Equation

If you take away just one thing from this article it should be this equation…


LBM or Lean Body Mass is calculated using kilograms. Subtract your body fat percentage from your current weight to find this.

Using myself as an example:

Weight: 205 lbs / 2.2 = 93 kg
BF: 14%
14% of 93 = 13 kg
RMR = 500+22(80) = 2,260 kcal

RMR should then be multipled by an activity factor from 1.2 (sedentary) to 1.9 (heavy physical activity).

This gives me a calorie range from 2,712 – 4,294 kcal.

Okay! No more math. That was exhausting.

Here’s a general recommendation for calculating your activity factor…

1.1-1.2 (Minimally active, <1000 steps/day) 1.3-1.5 (Moderately active, train 2-3x/week, 4000-6000 steps/day) 1.5-1.7 (Highly active, train 4-5x/week, 8000+ steps/day) 1.7-1.9* (Demanding physical job, train 5+/week, >10,000 steps/day) *Unless you are an olympic athlete or do extremely demanding work and exercise then you probably don't fit into the category. read more

6 Ways To Maintain Your Fitness Over The Holidays

Ahhh…Yes. The inevitable stretch run of holidays that usually starts at Halloween (if you count that as a holiday) straight through to the new year.

Although I’ll argue that this is the best time of year, it can also be rife with anxiety and concern surrounding your health.

Candy at Halloween, Mom’s renown pumpkin pie, Aunt Becky’s Christmas cookies has my waistline absolutely furious. There certainly won’t be a lack of delicious treats vying for your attention.


And, honestly, I see nothing wrong with some indulging over the holidays. It’s only natural. If you’re anything like myself, however, you might want to maintain some sembelence of fitness without having to miss out on these holiday favorites. read more

Monthly Review (November)

November has been another great month for training, learning, and growing. Sprinkle in Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah this week and I’m feeling full and grateful for the things going well in my life.

I have a nice laundry list of content to share with you from this month. Some fitness related and some completely irrelevant. I’ll let you decide which is more important.

I’ll lead with the some fitness first because, after all, this is a fitness blog.

At Home Exercise: Hack Squat

So I recently purchase these squat wedges from Prime Fitness. They are an exceptional tool for a trainer because it allows for exercise modifications. They can help me bridge the gap with clients and modify lower body movements like the squat and lunge patterns according to morphological differences. This will then help me coach to more quad dominant exercises with more forward knee travel…blah blah blah. read more

Brand New To Resistance Training? Follow These 8 Simple Rules For Beginners

Resistance training may just be the most potent, anti-aging mechanism that we have available to us.

It helps lower risk factors for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even boosts cognitive performance. The known benefits are remarkable, yet plenty of the population is left in the dark unequipped with the tools to start a resistance training program.

This article is for the skeptics. Or better–the uninformed beginner who has no clue where to start. I’ll share some basic information with you that I certainly wish I found earlier in my career. read more