Achieve Fitness Blog

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Weight Off Your Shoulders

Posted by Ted Andrews on

As a coach it is awesome to see when Achieve members and athletes want to go hard and push themselves at the gym! Seeing people test their limits and accomplish feats of strength, movement, and fitness they never knew possible is inspiring, humbling, and invigorating. In short, it’s why most coaches get into, and continue with, the profession. However, there are times and scenarios when we want to pull back, take it “easy,” and NOT push for a PR or the max weight manageable on a given day. Some of these situations I’ll discuss include the first time (or two) going through a new program, when already excessively stressed/injured/ill, after a particularly exhaustive training program or cycle, or prior to an athletic event.
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In Defense of Diets

Posted by Maureen Harris on

Please Proceed to Baggage Claim

The word “diet” carries some pretty intense baggage.

Many people love diets and proudly hashtag away their diet of choice on their #foodstagram posts or yell from the rooftops how a given diet has changed their lives.

Others flatly declare that diets don’t work. End of story.

Some of us may wear the word “diet” like a cloak of comfort, not because diets are comfortable, of course, but because diets may be familiar. Or because the notion of going “off” a diet carries with it the fear of 30 lbs of overnight weight gain. For someone’s who’s been dieting since middle school, a diet may feel like a well-worn pair of slippers. Being a dieter has become part of that person’s self-identity. The diet becomes all-consuming, and it’s no longer an intentional, strategic, short-term activity.

For others, being perpetually on a diet is the channel through which they focus their feelings of inadequacy. For one of any number of reasons, a person may feel flawed and in need of fixing. Diets may seem like the solution. It’s unfortunately extraordinarily common for people to believe that they will only be pretty/likeable/lovable if, and only if, they lose 5 (or 10 or 50) lbs, and chasing diets seems like the appropriate means to go about working on that perceived obstacle to being whole or enough.

For some, the notion of a diet stirs up nauseating feelings of being imprisoned by “shoulds” and “can’ts”.

Others may have had dangerous dips into disordered eating or eating disorders, and the idea of any kind of regimented eating invokes terror of relapse into self-harming patterns.

Some people have a visceral rejection of anything that involves an imposition of rule or restriction.

Maybe you can relate to some of these feelings?

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That's A Bit Of A Stretch...

Posted by Sarah Polacco on

We often receive questions about a specific stretch to help with either a sore muscle or a problem area. However, a stretch is not always the answer to your problem. While proper stretching can feel really good and help with flexibility, it may not be the cause of the problem you are facing.

My first piece of advice is to always talk to a coach about what the exact issue is. Simply asking about what a stretch for your quad would be, does not paint a full picture of what is going on. If possible, talking face to face is best because we can discuss in more detail and try things out. We want to know things like, was there a certain incident that occurred or has this been a slow-moving issue? What movements bother the area? How long has this been an issue? Is this a chronic or an acute issue? What have you tried before?  

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Aligned To The 9s!

Posted by Emily Beinecke on

At one point during my undergraduate career as a softball player, lifting heavy weights felt like a chore. The question perpetually floating in my mind was, “how can I survive a team lift without hurting myself? And how can I still manage to hit those higher weights in my lifts?” In learning how to develop proper movement patterns, and promote those patterns by establishing proper alignment and bracing, this is no longer a question that resonates with me as it once did. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what a dead lift, or bench press should look like, the problem was that I didn’t fully conceptualize the proper mechanics of my long levers or understand how the right alignment should feel in leveraging weights. In short, I allowed numbers to take precedence over learning good mechanics (and putting my body in a position to learn those mechanics). So I want to address some of the common ways in which we lose leverage in our movement patterns, and explore tools of conceptualizing the technical components of those movements in order to better generate force.
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Finding Your Training Patronus

Posted by Ted Andrews on

The tale of Harry Potter provides many important real world lessons. The stories illustrate the importance of friendship, courage, taking a stand for what you believe in even when faced with immense challenges, intelligence and wit, and the power of remembering and honoring lost loved ones, among many other amazing takeaways. One in particular, that will be highlighted here, comes from Harry’s battle with the dreadful Dementors, watchdogs of the wizard prison Azkaban.


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