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Join our 28-day Wellness and Weight Loss Challenge

Complete the form below to receive our 28 day challenge via email:

Join our 28-day Wellness and Weight Loss Challenge

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Terrence Thomas demonstrating a form of dynamic mediation this one of the many techniques you will learn in the 28 day wellness and weightloss program.

Awaken, Thrive, and Conquer Your Way to Physical Excellence

Awaken, Thrive, and Conquer Your Way to Physical Excellence
By Terrence Thomas

Twenty three years of coaching exercise and physical performance has convinced me that to be your best a developmental approach to fitness, exercise and physical performance must be taken. I have created a 3 step system that follows the natural developmental process of human movement and performance. I call it Awaken, Thrive, Conquer (ATC )

These three steps are critical to building a body that not only looks good but also performs at a high level. Before you can achieve optimal physical strength and performance you must first be able to awaken the body.

Awakening the body means having all of the basic reflex patterns and abilities in tact. Many of these basic reflex patterns are developed early in life. I mean really early such and pre birth and during infancy. For various reasons, these fundamental reflex patterns can and often become dysfunctional. For most people a small glitch in one’s developmental reflexes will not be a major cause for concern. However during high performance situation such as in sports or combat, developmental deficits can and often does make a massive difference in safety and performance.

The purpose of “thrive” phase of the system is to bring all physical abilities back to baseline. After the body is awakened, it can now progress to moving and performing at a level that supports life. The thrive phase develops what are known as primal patterns and biomotor abilities. The system of primal patterns was developed by Paul Chek and the gist of it is that there are 7 movement patterns that human beings must be able to perform. They are Squat, lunge, bend, push pull, twist and gait. Gait consists of walking, jogging and flat out running /sprinting. These movements were they to being able to survive and thrive in the wild. The concept of bio-motor abilities was developed by sports scientist Tudor Bompa and they are (strength, speed, power , agility, endurance, coordination, balance, and flexibility).
Primal Squat
The “Conquer” phase of the ATC system is your where all of the advanced methods of exercising and training fit in. This phase is only warranted after you have successfully awoken your body and are thriving. If you try to Conquer while your body is still asleep and not thriving, you will set yourself up for injury and frustration from a lack of progress.

By following this progression you lay yourself a solid foundation for achieving long lasting and sustainable health and fitness. You must first awaken the body and then bring it to a point where it can thrive and ultimately bring it to a conquering aspect where you’re able to execute high performance tasks without destroying the body. This is Physical Excellence at it’s finest. ###

How Your Body Thinks

How Your Body Thinks

By Terrence Thomas

 

Contrary to what you might think, our bodies are absolutely smarter than we are. The sooner we understand that we MUST listen to our bodies, rather than trying to outsmart it, the better off we’ll be. If you don’t believe this to be the case, then I encourage you to do an experiment.

 

Here’s what I want you to do. Hold your breath and see what happens. If you hold your breath long enough, your body will instinctively render you unconscious. In turn, you automatically begin breathing again.  This happens when the innate intelligence of the body takes over to insure survival.

 

The body works on a hierarchy of systems. In other words, the more important functions in the body will always govern and take precedence over less important functions. Think of it as a totem pole. Check practitioners and holistic lifestyle coaches, we are trained to view the body from this hierarchy perspective.

 human_body_systems_pictureZ

For example, breathing is at the top of the totem pole because we can only survive three minutes without oxygen. Therefore, any threat to oxygen intake has immediate precedence over all else. Lower back pain; hunger…neither is higher on the totem pole than breathing. As long as you are focusing on the hierarchy, or the highest priority aspect of your fitness, health and vitality, you will be doing what you need to do to accomplish your goals.

 

In every aspect of your health and fitness journey, there is always a hierarchy of need. At any given time, if you focus on the most important priority, your results are guaranteed.  This is easier said than done because many of the hierarchy systems are not the most exciting, fun or sexy things to focus on.

 

But remember, the road to achieving physical excellence is not just a development in your body. It’s a development in your character, mind and in your ability to be a whole person.

 

Focus on the hierarchy until that hierarchy is healthy and fully functional. Then move on to the next level and you will never go wrong. ###

Strengthen Your Immune System With Food Rotation

Strengthen Your Immune System With Food Rotation

By Terrence Thomas

 

Eighty to Eighty five percent (80-85%) of your immune capacity is in your digestive system.  In the body you have what is known as a mucosal barrier and it starts at your nose and mouth, runs down your windpipe and your esophagus and your stomach and finally through your intestines and out the back end.  Since 80% of that real estate is in your intentional tract, most of your immune system is in your digestive tract.

 

Due to stress, medical drugs, environmental toxins and poor nutrition, the mucosal barrier is highly compromised in most people. The mucosal barrier serves as your first line of defense for your immune system. If the mucosal barrier is compromised within the digestive tract, anything that is introduced into the digestive tract is seen as a foreign substance to the body.  When this happens you get what is known as an autoimmune response; meaning you can become intolerant to whatever is in the digestive tract.

protein

Eating the same foods frequently while having a weak mucosal barrier is how most food intolerances are acquired. To combat this problem, rotate your foods. This will reduce the stress on the immune system and lower the chances of developing an intolerance to any one particular type of food. This applies strongly to proteins because your immune system is primarily protein driven. On day one you can do fish, day two you can have beef, the other day you can do chicken or game and continue on that type of rotation. You could even go as far as rotating vegetables as well, but I would probably start with proteins first and see how you feel.  This will go a long way in helping you balance out your immune system and calm down any autoimmune reactions or any type of inflammatory reactions that you may be having in your body.  Give it a try and see how it goes. ####

 

Playing Catch Up With Your Health Is A Bad Idea

Playing Catch Up With Your Health Is A Bad Idea

By Terrence Thomas

 

This goes back to the old saying; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. As a holistic lifestyle coach, I am often presented with the challenges of helping clients  “play catch up” with their health, and unfortunately, this is one of the primary reasons people hire me.  They are looking for viable solutions to undo years of neglect to their health and vitality.

 

It’s my job to help them cultivate enough life force and energy to regain the quality of life they want. Consider this message a strong admonition to you that it is much easier to put a little bit of effort in over a long period of time rather than trying to play catch up – it just doesn’t work.

 

Things left unto themselves tend to move toward chaos, UNLESS there is energy used to maintain order. Your health, fitness, vitality and just about every aspect of your life is on exception.

eat sleep move

Focusing on the foundational principals: water intake, getting enough sleep and eating quality food. These simple actions if done consistently make all the difference. Food for thought… ###

 

Improve Your Endurance In As Little As Five Minutes

Improve Your Endurance In As Little As Five Minutes

By Terrence Thomas

 

     Here are the cold hard facts. Any training technique that you use to boost endurance will be useless if one critical element is not in place.  It is the easiest, most obvious and the most overlooked aspect of endurance training. This very powerful method for boosting endurance is to improve your breathing mechanics.

     By optimizing your breathing pattern, you maximize your ability to bring oxygen into the body with each breath. Strong and efficient breathing will reduce your lactic acid build-up and you’ll be able to go longer, harder, faster.

endurance

The first step in improving breathing is to bring attention to the primary respiratory muscles. Your diaphragm and deep abdominal muscles are your primary respiratory muscles. If you watch an infant breathe, you’ll see they breathe perfectly. The belly is expanding as they inhale and flattening out as they exhale. They are showing you the ideal breath with should be about 70-80% use of the diaphragm and 20-30% of the accessory respiratory muscles. It is only in the presence of stress that this pattern gets reversed or “inverted”. An inverted breathing pattern is when the dominant muscles of respiration become the neck, chest and shoulder muscles. These are your accessory respiratory muscles, and if they become the primary breathing muscles, you are guaranteed to have health challenges at some point. Some of them include;

 

*Chronic Headaches

*Chronic Neck pain

*Increased likelihood of shoulder injury

*Lower back pain

*Constipation

*Chronic fatigue

*Poor posture, which will lead to multiple orthopedic injuries.

 

It is my experience has been that once the breathing pattern has been inverted, it does take considerable effort to correct the pattern. It is not impossible but it does take consistency to retrain the body into a correct breathing pattern.

 

Here are some quick tips to help you optimize breathing;

1. Do stretching exercises for the neck and chest muscles: This will allow the body to use the diaphragm easier.

2. Practice breathing through your diaphragm lying down. Doing this makes it easier to activate the diaphragm.

If you apply these techniques 10 to 15 minutes a day, set little reminders to focus on your breath during the day and do specific exercises to enhance breathing mechanics, you will be half-way home in terms of being able to boost your endurance. ###

Desire VS. Willpower

Desire Versus Willpower

By Terrence Thomas

 

Tony Schwartz in his book, The Power of Full Engagement, said a very clever thing. We all have an infinite capability of fooling ourselves, but our willpower is extremely limited.

 

willpower

 

I believe that it is important to understand the angle from which we are approaching our goal. Is the mental approach one of pushing away from something (i.e. resisting), or is it a mindset of reaching/striving to achieve your goal. Metaphorically, anytime we desire something we have a stronger drive to achieve it rather than trying to prevent or resist something.

 

There is an infinite amount of energy that we can put towards resisting something. For instance, if you are a smoker, it’s hard to really give up smoking, but if you focus on achieving optimal health and let THAT be the driving factor rather than resisting the urge to smoke, it becomes a different mindset and different energy to help you reach your goals. You are here to achieve physical excellence, NOT to prevent yourself from getting sick or fat or unattractive or whatever the results that you are resisting or pushing away from.

 

Think about what you’re reaching for, put your thoughts into that paradigm and watch your energy, your sustainability and your commitment increase. ###

 

 

 

Why Eating Clean Sucks

Why “Eating Clean” Sucks

by Terrence Thomas

 

Let’s discuss a mental construct that I believe is one of the major causes of yo-yo dieting. The idea that I’m talking is the “eating clean” and I believe has infected the entire health and fitness industry.  Here are three concepts about eating clean that explain how this mindset can sabotage your health, fitness, weight loss, and physique goals and what you can do to make sure you are not doing this to yourself.

 

1. Stop using the term “eating clean”.

The very idea that you are eating clean means that at some point you are not eating clean.  In other words you’re eating in a way that supports health and performance during a certain time and then the other times you are eating like crap. I don’t know about you but that sounds very much like an eating disorder. The mindset behind eating clean is that you are in some way depriving yourself. When the mind is in a dynamic of deprivation, it is relying on willpower to resist temptation. Eventually you will run out of willpower and the natural tendency is to either quit eating clean or go to the other extreme, which is to eat garbage or binge eat. Having “cheat” days are supposed to help deal with the deprivation aspect of “eating clean” but the mental dynamic of resisting or succumbing to temptation is still in play.

 

If you are constantly bouncing from eating “clean” to not eating clean you are on a yo-yo diet. On average, when you ask someone what eating clean means, they say eating in a way that helps them lose fat or get healthy. Why not eat like this all the time or at least consistent enough that when you do choose not to “eat clean” that it won’t totally derail your efforts.  Follow the 80/20 rule. In other words, if your are eating, living and managing yourself in a way that promotes health, fitness and vitality 80 percent of the time then when you should be able to tolerate the occasional culinary, or recreational vice without irreparable damage to your body.

 

2. Send the idea of Bulking up back to the 1970’s. If you want to gain quality muscle that lasts for a lifetime, eat quality whole food all the time. Eating garbage foods and supplements that only make you look swollen and puffy will give you the illusion that you are BIG.  If you want to have a real, bona fide brick shit house of a body, you must feed your body real whole food, train intelligently and consistently. Training intelligently means knowing when to crank it up and push it to the limit but also knowing when to back off.

 

3. Stop playing Tug Of War with our mind.

If you want achieve your health and fitness goals with zero resistance and a feeling of peace, stop creating extremes in behavior. Think lifestyle instead of dieting. Eat real food all the time and sprinkle in some treats instead of eating pathologically strict and then totally flying off the handle and single handedly keeping a local ice cream shop in business.

 

Disclaimer: With that said, I am fully aware of what it takes to achieve extreme levels of fitness, leanness and muscularity. For example if you are a physique competitor and are in pre contest training, you are asking the body to do something that by nature it does not want to do. This takes some specific training, diet, and supplementation strategies to achieve this and when done with a relative degree in intelligence can be done safely and at a high level. The key here is intelligence.  #BeBeautiful #BeStrong  #BeHealthy

How Artificial Sweeteners Make You Fat

How fake sweeteners can make you fat.
by Terrence Thomas

In a mad dash to eliminate all things sugary,  we have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. Here’s  what I mean.

We have been taught to believe that sugar is the enemy and artificial sweeteners are the solution to this problem. In other words we get to taste something sweet without consuming the extra calories and subsequent rises in insulin that leads to the body storing fat. Unfortunately this idea could not be further from the truth and could be sabotaging your efforts to lose weight and/or gain muscle.

Here are the facts: These quotes come from Medical news weekly.

“Our results indicate that this artificial sweetener is not inert- it does have an effect. And we need to do more studies to determine whether this observation means long-term use could be harmful.”  It is my opinion that this statement is being objectively conservative due to the harsh reality that most research institutions are directly or indirectly funded by the very companies that produce these substances. But I digress.

If it tastes sweet you are still going to get an insulin response. This could partially explain why there are more “diet” foods on the market today but obesity rates continue to rise.

“Artificial  sweeteners react with receptors on the tongue that make people think they’re consuming something sweet even though they contain no calories.”

These receptors on the tongue trigger the pancreas to secrete insulin even though real sugar is not being consumed. In other words you are still getting an insulin response but with no nutrition. The publishers of this research did state that the mechanism by which artificial sweeteners affect glucose and insulin levels is not yet fully understood.  With that said, basic physiology tells us that if the body produces insulin and there is no sugar, protein or fat for the insulin to shuttle into the cells, the body is forced to produce higher levels of adrenaline and cortisol. Once this happens you are officially on the blood sugar roller coaster. Here is how it works…

Insulin receptors on the tongue cause the pancreas to secret insulin…But there is no sugar, fat or protein to metabolize so the body freaks out and then secretes adrenaline to release stored glucose and free fatty acids into the blood stream. Then cortisol is released to release amino acids back into the blood stream to be converted into glucose. This is called gluconeogenesis. In other words, you are breaking down protein to compensate for the for the false insulin response.   This happens every single time you eat a food containing artificial sweetener.

Chronic cortisol levels keeps the body in a catabolic state where lean muscle is lost, fats stores are increased and overall metabolism is lowered.  This explanation is why the low fat, fat free, fake sugar products are making people sick and fat.

As stated earlier, artificial sweeteners are not inert in that they do have an effect on insulin production. In addition to this insulin effect, they are also inert in that their metabolites do remain in the body, if not for one very simple reason. Liver detoxification for the majority of people is fair to poor due to poor diet, destructive lifestyle habits and environmental toxins. In other words most people will not have to ability to eliminate the artificial sweeteners from their system.  When you consider that people are consuming diet sodas, protein shakes, chewing gum and adding artificial sweeteners to their food and beverages, people can accumulate massive amounts of these harmful chemicals in their bodies.

Here are a few signs and symptoms that you could be getting sick from toxic overload connected to artificial sweeteners…

* chronic headaches
*joint aches not associated with exercise or injury
* skin problems (acne or rash)
* blurred vision
*sleep disturbances
*weight gain despite eating a low calorie diet
*feeling puffy and swollen.
*dark circles under the eyes

I encourage you to take an inventory of your ingestion of artificial sweeteners. At minimum, I suggest eliminating them from your diet for 1 to 2 months and see if you feel better or notice any improvements in the way your body looks and feels. Doing this could be the missing link you have been looking for to take your body, health and strength to the next level.###

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