What Paying Taxes Can Teach Us About Fat Loss

DATE › April 17, 2017
CATEGORIES › Blog, Fat Loss
Taxes are due tomorrow, and you should know that the American tax system is by and large the most painful, inefficient, and confusing way to pay taxes in the industrialized world. Most everybody hates Tax Day in America, because paying taxes is time-consuming (and costs you money, if you pay a tax professional to help you). In Estonia, Japan, the UK, Spain, Denmark, and in many other countries, by comparison, paying taxes is a breeze, and might take as little as 3 minutes. If you lived in those countries, you might not even see a tax return, as the government

TED talk of the month: teaching kids how to deal with setbacks

DATE › December 18, 2014
by Jae Chung I was talking to Lance one day about some particularly impressive client -- I don't remember, exactly, but maybe this client had just deadlifted 600 lbs. or something like that. I casually said, "I'll never be able to do that." I'll never forget what Lance said to me then: "That's a fixed mindset!" I opened my mouth to argue with him, then closed it when I realized what he was saying. Sure, maybe I'll never deadlift 600 lbs. Maybe my genetics and my prior injuries (not to mention a lack of work ethic or dedication) do, in

Why Calorie Counting Doesn’t Work

DATE › October 23, 2014
CATEGORIES › Blog, Fat Loss
I have always hated counting calories, whether it's to lose weight or gain weight. First of all, it's tedious. Second, when I am ready to eat, I don't want to bother weighing and measuring my food first -- I just want to eat! (Also, remember that when you eat fewer calories, your body tries to burn fewer calories, too, which can lead to a frustrating cycle of eating less and less while not losing much weight.) I've never advocated that my clients count calories, either. Instead, I encourage them to shift their diet toward more healthy foods -- whole, unprocessed

The IFAST community gets better and better

DATE › October 16, 2014
Thanks in large part to Kirsten's efforts, the IFAST community keeps growing -- and keeps getting better. We have a new Facebook page that current IFAST members can join. It's a place to share videos, congratulate each other on PRs, and all that fun stuff. The best, though, is ogling pictures of Ty wearing the new pink ladies' tank top that we just got in stock. I think Ty would shoot me if I post it here, so you'll just have to join the Facebook group to see it! Other event highlights: Next Girl's Night Out: Friday, October 24th at

TED talk of the month: What makes us get sick? Look upstream.

DATE › October 9, 2014
CATEGORIES › Blog, Good Reads
I love this TED talk because it touches on a lot of issues that are related to what we do at IFAST. Rishi Manchanda, a physician practicing in South Central LA, argues that we more "upstreamists" -- for example, community health workers, who can do things that doctors and nurses typically can't. For example, if a patient has mold growing in her apartment, and that mold is causing infections or allergies, the community health worker can help find the mold and get the problem addressed with the landlord. The word "upstreamists" comes from the often-told parable about finding a bunch

Heard around the gym this week: Rodney M, Cathy R, Ann M edition

DATE › October 2, 2014
I'm finally getting back into the swing of things after my two-week vacation to the Rocky Mountains. We took tons of photos and will be posting them online, probably sometime around 2018. (I'm not great with social media.) Here's a sample of some of the funnier things my clients have said this week, making me feel welcome in my first two weeks back: Rodney M: I made sure to give Lance a hard time when you were gone on vacation. Me: Yeah? Rodney: Yeah, I was just joking, but I said, "You ain't nothin' compared to Jae." Me: Hahaha, what

My favorite book of all time

DATE › September 25, 2014
CATEGORIES › Blog, Uncategorized
I just finished re-reading The Brain That Changes Itself. It's a book I've recommended to numerous clients, because it is a book that is relevant to everyone. TBTCI is about neuroplasticity, or how the brain can adapt and change. Obviously in young kids, the brain is constantly learning new things. But even in older adults, the brain is much more malleable than researchers thought a few decades ago. It may be harder for an adult to learn a foreign language, or pick up a new sport, or learn a musical instrument, or change ingrained habits, but it is possible. The

An ode to split squats

DATE › September 4, 2014
CATEGORIES › Blog, Coaching
I love split squats. They bring out some of the most creative complaints, expletives, and comments from our clients. Just ask Cathy, aka "The F-Bomb Train," who lives up to her nickname even when split squats aren't on her program, but especially when they are. Even my most mild-mannered clients get in on the action, like Karen K, who wins the award for "most smiling during her workout," but still grimaces and drops some choice four-letter words during split squats. I also got a text today from Jane T, who said simply Well today is Thursday and my legs still

Client PRs: Trap bar madness (videos)

DATE › August 14, 2014
CATEGORIES › Blog, Client Spotlight
Two big PRs to share today, both on the trap bar deadlift. I love the trap bar because it's often one of the first exercises that allows our clients to start lifting heavy weights. And heavy weights are sexy. And good for you. Michelle deadlifts 150 lbs. (and makes it look like a warmup) First, Michelle E. casually deadlifted 150 lbs. for the first time this week. She makes it look easy. I didn't want her to be nervous, so I didn't tell her I was going to record it (but I did get her grudging permission to let me

Random thoughts post

DATE › July 24, 2014
CATEGORIES › Blog, Diet and Nutrition
Come on out to our 6th Anniversary Party this Saturday, July 26! You can train during our normal hours (8 AM to 1 PM), cheer on our powerlifters 1-4 PM, and then eat, drink, and party 4-7 PM! Last year's party was a blast, and this year we have more than twice the number of powerlifters for our meet! I am so excited I am using lots and lots of exclamation points! A bunch of clients have been complaining about their lifting calluses. It brings tears of joy to my eyes, because when you are lifting often enough (and heavy