Yesterday I asked you guys, are you prioritising your health? Not one person out of 600 commented on instagram, and not one out of 776 on facebook commented either. So kudos to you guys, I’m guessing y’all are in great shape? Im so happy for you. Now while all of you were prioritising your health and smashing life, my health was teetering.
Ive been a personal trainer for 5-6 years now, and finally went private back in October. Fully independent baby.
But I’ve burnt out twice already. The first time was in late November. I had no clients, naturally, and I was busting my gut to bring revenue into the business. I built my new client base fairly quickly, but something was about to happen.
Illness would strike. I had the worst case of flu in a long time. But guess what? Did I rest? Or did I continue trying to get clients? I still worked, and I was getting sloppy and making mistakes. One mistake still stands out, I undersold a 12 week package by over 50%, which I honoured by the way. This flu would last about 3 weeks, all because I was too stubborn to take time off and worrying about serving other people.
A blessing in disguise happened in December. My gym had a leak which just couldn’t go on anymore. They shut the gym down for around 2-3 weeks while they relaid the floor. I got some good down time, and was feeling good, ready to take on the January New Year’s Resolutioners.
Back to the grind it was. My client base was getting even bigger. Session after session after session. I was proud, but feeling the strain. My body would pick up random injuries out of nowhere. And insomnia would strike again. Ive been living off 3-4 hours sleep for the last 2 months.
And I was starting to really not like my job. Sure the moneys good, and I’m helping people, but I felt like absolute crap. I burnt out again. Twice in just 5 months. This is getting ridiculous. I was a walking zombie like the walking dead.
I had to have a hard long look at myself. I googled personal trainer burnout stories. I wasn’t alone. 100s, if not 1000s of stories line the internet. I had to make a change. Personal trainers were quitting their thriving careers left, right and centre. This couldn’t happen to me. I love this too much.
The first change was to revamp my own training and nutrition. So I pulled the trigger, and hired my first online personal trainer named Thomas Snyder. I needed someone else to handle this while I take care of my business. Guess what, I slept like a baby that night.
Secondly, I revamped my personal training business. I reduced my hours to a maximum of 6 hours per day. I have also stopped letting clients dictate my hours which meant my schedule was all over the place. I no longer do more than two back to back sessions. And I will now have a 30 minute gap before I do another client or two.
I haven’t even put this into practice yet, but I did mentally. And guess what? My sleep has improved already. Its funny what a bit of psychology can do for you.
Now throughout all of this, I was still training, and still eating healthy. I dread to imagine what some of you who go to work, get home, sit on your butt eating junk food, are going through. But if my story is worth anything, this should seriously give you a wake up call. That good old kick up the butt.
You may think you’re prioritising your health, but you’re probably not. The END. Follow @Michael_David_McIntyre on instagram or Michael David McIntyre on facebook to see if these changes made any difference to my life and see what you can learn from my story.
Suffering burnout yourself? Please share your story in the comments. You’re not alone. If you’re smashing life, great, but share anyway, it may help a friend who is suffering in silence.
This is a common question I get from clients, so I’m going to answer it for all of you,
Good nutrition can help your body perform better and recover faster each workout.
Eating a proper workout meal will not only help you maximise your performance but also minimise the damage you do to your muscle.
Each macronutrient has a specific role for exercise performance.
Eating protein before a workout prevents muscle breakdown. People make the mistake thinking they have to destroy their muscles. You don’t. You stimulate them, get out the gym, recover with rest and nutrition and the muscle comes back bigger and stronger. Do this consistently, and you’ll see an increase in muscle size.
Your muscles will recover faster as they haven’t broken down as much, and you should also feel stronger in the gym with increased muscle performance.
When exercising, your muscle use glucose from carbs for fuel. This glucose can then be stored in your muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. For short and high intensity exercise such as one of my personal training sessions, glycogen stores are your muscles main source of energy.
Now the longer the exercise goes on (think hours), your limited glycogen stores will start to become depleted, and your output and intensity start falling.
While glycogen is used for short term and high intensity exercise, fat is the fuel for longer and low to moderate intensity exercise. Since my hour session includes weights and cardio, it is advisable to have some fat in your meal too.
Timing is Key
When you work with me, it should be clear what a good balanced meal looks like. If you don’t, you clearly haven’t read the nutrition advice I gave you. A good meal will contain all 3 macros, so should have a healthy balance of protein, fats and carbs.
So if you’re eating balanced meals already, well done. Now this is where timing is key.
Do you think it would be comfortable to eat this meal, and train hard 30 minutes later? What about an hour? 90 minutes?
I don’t know your answer, but I couldn’t. I would most likely be sick.
I could probably train pretty comfortably 2-3 hours later however. So there’s part of the answer to the question.
Now, what if you can’t get a full meal in 2-3 hours before working out.
What if you only have 60 minutes?
You can still get in a decent preworkout meal, but it would make sense to make the portions smaller. You’ll also want to eat foods that are simple to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein.
This will prevent any stomach discomfort or being sick all over your gym.
Now that’s out the way, lets look at some examples for every scenario you may find yourself in.
Examples of What to Eat Before a Workout
If your workout starts within 2-3 hours
if your workout starts within 2 hours
if your workout starts within an hour or less
The Missing Link – Stay Hydrated
We’ve spoken about food, but make sure you drink water. Being dehydrated just a little bit leads to a reduction in performance. An easy way to know if you’re hydrated is to refer to this urine chart.
To maximise your training performance, its important to fuel your body with the right nutrients. Protein helps improve muscle growth, prevent muscle damage and promote recovery. Carbs help maximise your bodies ability to use glycogen to fuel short and high intensity exercises. Fat helps fuel your body for longer exercise sessions.
You should also eat the right meal for the right circumstance. Remember timing is key.
Good hydration is also linked to better performance.
Liked the article? Why not leave a comment, and give me some ideas on your own pre-workout meals?
Know any friends who are confused about what to eat before a workout, be sure to share it with them in email or on social media.