The Latest From Top Fitness

Running in the Dark and Staying Safe with Reflective Gear

Posted by in Lifestyle, Reflective Gear | Comments Off on Running in the Dark and Staying Safe with Reflective Gear

running in the darkNot all of us have time to run in the best conditions. Sometimes it’s a little cold, sometimes it’s slippery or wet, and sometimes it’s just dark. That said, though the conditions may not be perfect, you don’t need to miss out on a great workout. The important part is to make sure you’re being safe. You want to take the appropriate precautions and wear bright reflective running gear so you’re seen by passing vehicles.

Reflecting on Our History

It’s natural for us as humans to want to stay indoors as the light dims. Our ancestors would use this time to make a fire, cook food, make sure the camp is secure, and begin to wind down toward sleep. This is why the darkness naturally makes us feel tired; our bodies are programmed to sleep in these conditions. Going for a night run wasn’t usually on the list back in the cave-men times. And highly reflective gear definitely wasn’t available (not that would it protect us from predators anyway).

These days, however, the darkness doesn’t always line up with our schedule, let alone when our eyes want to shut. This can bring a problem for scheduling our running, cycling, or walking workouts. If you’re the type of person who’s at work all day or looking after the kids then the evening, night time or early morning can be the only possibility for exercise. Others may find that they simply have more energy later on or enjoy running at this time.

One of the big reasons that a lot of people are opposed to running at the late hours of the night or early hours of the morning is because of visibility. Not just our visibility, but those of motorcyclists and drivers. You hear the horror stories of a car hurtling down the road and missing a runner by mere inches because they were dressed head to toe in grey or black. Don’t become another statistic in an educational roadside safety course. Make sure you’re covered with some kind of reflective gear.

Exercising in the Dark Hours

Some people swear by it and love getting up early staying up late at night for a run or bike ride. They find it fits in better with their and schedule and lifestyle.

A lot of early morning runners or bikers say that they have the most amount of energy when they wake up. They haven’t spent any effort on work, family or household chores and they’re ready for the day ahead without any brain fog or distractions getting in the way. This energy can also be channeled as a form of transportation to wherever you need to get that day. Instead of taking the car, bus or train, an early morning run or bike ride is great for getting your mental cogs turning and setting you up for a healthy day ahead. Once you’ve got to your destination that’s it; you’ve got your exercise done and dusted for the day and it’s off your mind.

Running at night can deliver similar benefits by using it as a commute home from work. You can use that stress you may have worked up over the course of the day to fuel your workout. After the run, you then feel refreshed and rejuvenated knowing you’ve released your worries. Not only this but it works up your appetite for dinner so that you’re good and hungry when the meal rolls around. Most people find that exercise makes them want to eat healthier so if you’re the type of person who likes to snack on some less optimal foods after a long day in the office then running after your shift can help combat this.

Stay Safe, Stay Reflective

Again, the next step is to stay safe out there. It’s all well and good trying to keep your body in shape with a long jog but that means nothing if you get injured, or worse, killed. It takes a huge amount of time for a car to stop once it sees you. Make sure they have a lot of warning. Reflective running gear massively increases your visibility and is a priority for any outdoor activity.

When you run in the dark you need to be more alert to your surroundings. You need to know what’s happening around you and that means going without music; wearing headphones is a common and dangerous mistake. You also need to be wrapped up nice and warm if the weather calls for it. This can cause issues the further you get into your run as you can overheat or lose too much water from sweating. This is why what you wear makes all the difference. You need to be at the right temperature, be comfortable and also bright and visible to those around you with a reflective vest or some reflective bands.

Running, walking, or cycling at night doesn’t have to be dangerous. It might be the only time you can fit a workout into your busy schedule. Just make sure you’re safe, seen, and prepared!

 

Too Fit Guys – An Interview with Jake and Josh

Posted by in Interview, Motivation, Nutrition, Workouts | Comments Off on Too Fit Guys – An Interview with Jake and Josh

TooFitGuysJake and Josh are the co-founders of TooFitUSA.com, hosts of the Too Fit Podcast, and creators of the carefully crafted workout supplements “Moxie” and “Rally”.  We love that they’re pushing the boundaries of health and quality nutrition in transparent and inspirational ways. These guys are the epitome of committed to fitness and we’re happy that they agreed to interview with us.

TFM:  Tell us a bit about your background(s) as far as fitness and nutrition. What do your training regimens generally look like these days?

Jake:  Well, nothing out of the usual. I grew up playing baseball and football pretty competitively and continued through high school. During high school play, I sustained a couple injuries that led to a handful of procedures and derailed any further plans of playing. However, it was during those surgeries and long hours of rehab that my passion for health and fitness was truly refined. I went on to graduate from Texas A&M University with a degree in Biomedical Science, pursuing a career in medicine. After a few years I realized medicine was not in the cards for me, but the years of study and preparation set me up for success in the world I’m in now. It feels as though Too Fit was waiting for me all along, I just couldn’t see it at the time.

Too Fit Guys USAJosh:  I was very fortunate in that my parents instilled the importance of health and fitness in me at a young age. I grew up playing the typical sports such as baseball, basketball, and football. My parents were and still are very health conscious people. I realized early on how food affected my performance on and off the field of play. I began diving in to sports nutrition and supplements in high school and quickly realized the lack of quality in the marketplace. I began to geek out on nutrition and soon began making my own supplements. I continued to play sports through high-school and ended up playing golf in college where I majored in entrepreneurship and marketing. After college, I played professionally on the mini tours for a few years while still educating myself and learning the science and intricacies of sports nutrition. I quit touring once my wife entered a post-graduate program and I began figuring out how I could combine my love of business with my knowledge of nutrition. Once I met Jake it was clear that our shared knowledge and desire to enhance the way people viewed and consumed supplements would lead us down an exciting and life altering path.

We make an effort to schedule our days where we can work out together and hold each other accountable. This mainly consists of working in the morning hours, leaving our workout time as a treat once the work is done. We focus on the core lifts that improve overall strength and power: power cleans, deadlifts, variations of the squat, bench press, and the Olympic lifts. The work is distributed across 4 days per week, with a push-pull, upper body-lower body, split routine in mind (ex: lower body push: squat, upper body pull: weighted pull-ups). These days are normally followed by a 5-10 minute Crossfit style metcon.

In addition, we incorporate as much diversity in our training as possible. We strive to run at least 2 miles at a high-intensity pace three days per week, yoga as active recovery 1 day per week, tennis, softball, as well as swimming on occasion. We love using training devices such as the Elevation Training Mask, weighted vests, and sleds for resistance running, rope climbs, and various odd object training. Have to keep it entertaining! We tend to get bored easily!

We are currently training for our first 70.3 Ironman in Galveston, TX on April 10. We have been incorporating some more time on the bike and in the pool to get prepared. We also have a decent amount of Spartan races scheduled this year. We are always looking for ways to stay competitive and keep it fun.

Too Fit Guys - Spartan Houston TentTFM:  What has been your biggest struggle/failure as far as fitness and/or business? How did you get through it?

Jake:  At this stage in my life, the 2 shoulder surgeries and 1 knee surgery have been the biggest obstacles as far as sport and fitness are concerned. The only way I worked through them was creating the mindset and craving to play again and be better than I was before. Of course you need a great team of support around you, and a healthy dose of mom’s cooking doesn’t hurt! As far as business, the biggest struggle has been having an idea in your head and trying to turn that idea into reality. Having reality match the depiction in your head is sometimes an unfair judgement, but Too Fit is now something even greater than I could have imagined.

Josh:  Luckily, I have able to stay relatively healthy through my entire sports journey. However, I had plenty of struggles while traveling and playing professional golf. It can be quite frustrating to go from the top 5 after day 1 to missing the cut by a shot after day 2. The thing I love about golf over other sports is that it is all on you. There is no one to return the ball, no team on which to rely, no do over’s. The adversity I faced on the golf course has helped me tremendously in business. The journey has made me realize that a sport or a business does not, and should not, be your identity. Although people may identify you with that sport or business, how you carry yourself and how you treat others is your true identity. Sorry to get kind of deep there but I think it is something that can help others. I really believe in the power of meditation and mindfulness, not the woo woo kind, just focusing on the breath and practicing detachment. It is very easy to become emotional in business, especially when you have poured everything you have mentally and physically into creating something new. The practice of reflection, journaling, and mindfulness has really been a foundation for me.

We also have some really awesome mentors. We are truly blessed to be surrounded by some incredible people and we would highly recommend anyone venturing into a business of any kind to find a great mentor or mentors.

Moxie and Rally Too Fit USATFM:  Why did you guys decide to create Moxie Natural Pre-Workout and Rally Natural Post-Workout?

We have both been avid supplement users since our teenage years and were always looking to gain an edge in our performance. However, we both went down a couple different paths. Jake used to be a supplement junkie of sorts, willing to try anything under the sun. When one of the products ended up leaving 3 athletes dead that he was currently taking, Jake actually put down supplements all together and the research began.

Josh on the other hand, carefully and meticulously studied and experimented with individual supplements for years. Countless times his kitchen has been covered in bulk-ordered ingredients, all in attempt to create the preeminent, most complete products not currently available on the market. Jake soon joined in the fun.

After a workout and over a beer on Josh’s back porch, we vented about our common craving for products that specifically fit our needs and ones that we could trust wholeheartedly. We were also constantly asked what products we would recommend or what we were currently taking by friends and family; we knew they longed for the same thing. Most of the supplement marketplace has been saturated with marketing machines, not health companies putting the consumer first. Simply put, people deserved better.

Moxie PreWorkoutCoupled with our knowledge and backgrounds, we felt it was our duty to create these products that are complete, high-quality formulas, lacking nothing in the way of ingredients or dosages, and make them available for every active individual.

TFM:  What were some of the manufacturing hurdles you had to jump to create this kind of product?

One of the biggest hurdles in this area was finding a manufacturer that provided us with a level of confidence and comfort. We needed to find someone that would be able to deliver the exact product we had in mind. When all of your formulas are 100% unique, like ours, it is a much longer process than running a product that has been made before, which is known as private labeling. Everything must be triple checked. This process took several months of conversation, pricing, visiting the facilities, and finally sampling. We would recommend anyone who is thinking of entering the world of supplements, please vet out your suppliers and do your due-diligence. It will pay off greatly and save you a lot of potential headaches in the end.


TFM:  What do you envision for the future of your products? Would you like to see them in stores? Or are you just focusing online? Do you have more products in mind?

As of right now, our efforts are split roughly 50/50 between online sales and wholesale accounts. In the last two months, we have hit the road on average 2-3 days per week, pounding the pavement, knocking on gyms’ and clinics’ doors, spreading our message, and sampling our first two products, Moxie and Rally. We firmly believe in playing the long game. In doing so, we focus on quality over quantity. We want to truly have an impact on people with our products and want to build a community with our customers. Having said all that, retail is definitely a goal as long as it is the right opportunity. The last thing we want to do is grow to big too fast.

Long-term we will absolutely be creating more products in the Too Fit USA sports nutrition space and potentially products in other categories. Between the two of us, we have new product ideas nearly daily. Now, that doesn’t mean they’re all good! We do have some real game-changers in the works, but we’re keeping those close to the vest at the moment!

TFM:  What does the future hold for you guys? Where would you like to take Too Fit USA?

We are currently located in College Station, Texas, but have plans to move ourselves and Too Fit Headquarters to Fort Worth, Texas this coming summer. Josh’s wife, Caroline, received an offer for a management position for Baylor-Scott and White All Saints, so he has to go! As for Jake, he is third-wheeling it as usual!

Jokes aside, we envision our office space in Fort Worth as a full human optimization pad, set inside a rebuilt downtown building with exposed red brick throughout. Our offices will have standing treadmill desks, places to hang upside and decompress the spine at any time, a full mobility and recovery area with hot-and-cold contrast pools, Normatec boots, etc. Jeff, you and Top Fit Mag are welcome anytime!  (TFM: Thanks!)

Now…Our big, hairy, audacious goal for ourselves and Too Fit is a continuation of what we’re all about: the highest quality products, with proven and sound ingredients, made with transparency and trust, that lead to results people cannot deny. This will eventually lead to a day where people pick up a product off the shelf, and are forced to put it down because it’s not a Too Fit product; they feel like they cannot trust it. It may take 5 years, it may take 10 years, it may take our lifetime, but that’s our mission and it is the driving factor behind every move and decision we make.

TFM:  Great stuff.  To wrap up, what is the best way to see what you guys are up to and to get in contact?

You can find us through any one of our social media accounts. We have pages with a more personal touch, where we provide a glimpse into our daily lives. Then we have accounts where you can follow the company itself.

Our personal account handles (Instagram and Twitter) are @TheTooFitGuys.

Our business account handles (Instagram and Twitter) are @TooFitUSA.

Facebook is a mix of both business and our personal lives and you can find us at www.Facebook.com/TooFitUSA.

We love connecting with people via social media, however, the easiest way to get in touch with us and have a conversation is through email at Info@TooFitUSA.com.

TFM

How to Choose the Right Exercise Regimen for Your Lifestyle

Posted by in Contributor, Lifestyle, Workouts | Comments Off on How to Choose the Right Exercise Regimen for Your Lifestyle

exercise regimenThere are many great exercise programs out there, for a variety of different goals. However not all will be the right fit for you. A good program is only good if it is appropriate for the person using it. Likewise, a good program is not very good if – for whatever reason – it is ineffective for the person using it.

Right for Your Goals

The first step in finding the right exercise regimen is clearly identifying what your goals are. Different programs will provide different outcomes. Your program needs to align with the results that you wish to achieve. Otherwise it will not be a good program for you.

So, what do you want to achieve?

When considering any exercise routine, you should always pair it against this question and make sure the program matches up with what you want to get out of it.

If not, keep looking. Don’t let other people’s dogma influence you. If you’re trying to get muscular and gain weight, you want a bodybuilding program. No matter how much your friend loves CrossFit and wants to recommend the socks off it. Not that there’s anything wrong with CrossFit. For many people it’s great. It’s just not the right solution for people training to get as muscular as possible.

exercise programRight for Your Level

Once you know a program is right for your particular goals, you need to make sure it is the appropriate level for you.

A beginner level program and an advanced level program will look very different and you need to make sure the regimen you are looking to complete is aligned with your ability and experience level.

Within any particular sport or style of training there will be commonly recommended regimens for different ability and experience levels. These are generally developed by industry leaders and experienced coaches. Take their advice and embark on a regimen that is the appropriate level for you.

It’s a common idea to think that doing what the advanced level athletes do must be the best. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that and they will not have done in their first year what they now do in their tenth year of training.

Right for Your Lifestyleworkout-plans

Once you have identified the appropriate level plan that you need, along with the outcomes you are looking to achieve, you need to look at it from a practical perspective.

  • How much time per session can you train?
  • How many sessions per week can you do?
  • Do you have the required equipment or facilities?
  • Do you have the capacity to complete this workload and recover sufficiently?

All of these questions will point you toward or away from certain regimens.

Any routine is only going to be as effective as the compliance you give to following it. If it’s too time intensive, requires special facilities or equipment you don’t have access to, or is simply exceeding your capacity to recover from the workouts, it will not be an effective plan for you.

exercise rock climbingLook at the reality of your schedule. The commitments that you have for both time and energy at work, at home and elsewhere. Consider the facilities, travel requirements and cost of your options. Find the right plan and it will be way more effective for you. Try and stick it out on a plan that doesn’t fit well with your lifestyle and you will always be fighting your circumstances, diminishing your results.

Is It Fun?

Are you going to enjoy doing this regimen?

If you’re not, you will always struggle with compliance. It’s probably ok if you’re a professional athlete. It is your job and there is a lot on the line. You will do whatever it takes to win.

Most of us are not professional athletes unfortunately. We are going to be a lot more engaged with, and dedicate a lot more effort to a routine that we enjoy doing.

Look for a regimen that is fun and rewarding. Exercise shouldn’t be a miserable part of your life. If you aspire to making working out a permanent fixture for the remainder of your life, it’s a good idea to find ways to enjoy it.

Summing Upexercise progams

To choose the right exercise regimen for your lifestyle you need to look at a number of factors including:

  1. Is it appropriate for your goals?
  2. Is it appropriate for your experience and ability?
  3. Is it appropriate for your time and schedule?
  4. Is it fun for you?

If you can say yes to all of these, then you will have found the right exercise regimen for your lifestyle. If not? I suggest you keep looking around for a program that will be a better fit for you.

 

Phil Hawksworth is a body transformation coach and author from the UK. He is currently traveling the world and blogs at philhawksworth.com about fitness, travel, remote working and lifestyle.