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Renaissance Periodization Seminar Review
This weekend just gone we had the privilege of hosting DR. Mike Israetel, Dr. James Hoffman and Dr. Melissa Davis from Renaissance Periodization for a seminar on Sports Nutrition and Recovery. The seminar was over two days and the level of information was second to none. I have attended numerous seminars over my 15 years of working in the industry and I came away with a tonne of information that I can apply to my own training and that of my clients straight away. The content of the seminar also challenged me to change the way I will prescribe and assess nutritional strategies in my own gym going forward. The weekend was absolutely an invaluable investment in my own career and business. Day 1 Day one started with a talk on body image from Mike and this in my opinion was going to be one of the most important lectures of the day. He mentioned that we were the first group to hear this talk – his dog aside, and as I said previously, I think this was one of the more essential talks of the weekend. The subject of this talk is the stuff that ties everything else together. Initially Mike defined body image and how it varies in depth and degree. He talked about the thorny topic of HAES (Health At Every Size) and how it is just plain wrong. The topic of training to attract the opposite sex was looked at too – lets be frank, most people train to look better naked and then the return on this investment was examined further and how much happier being ‘ripped’ will actually make you feel. It is important to establish realistic goals and guidelines with the individual. This opens up dialogue and builds trust between coach and client. Over the years I have seen programs make or break depending on compliance and buy-in. This comes down to knowing what drives an individual and then using these internal motivators to help drive them to their goal. Coaching goes far beyond counting repetitions and working out how many sets to perform. Although some of the content in this talk may be deemed sensitive or un-pc to the ultra liberals today, it was truthful information – and a few swear words thrown in, which I always fucking appreciate. The second talk was from James and it was an introduction to Recovery Adaptive strategies. He started with a great quote from Dr. Bill Sands, ‘It is important to note that recovery-adaptive strategies and techniques are not sufficiently powerful to overcome stupid coaching, bad planning and a lack of talent’. James also looked at recovery modalities and presented a nutrition recovery pyramid – essentially calories being the (obvious) foundation. This is something I have seen in my own training frequently – and especially amongst coaching female athletes – not eating enough calories to fuel recovery or adaptations. It was also worth noting that some folks think too much about recovery and they actually recover too much – to the point they actually blunt any adaptations and this is where MRV, MAV, MEV and MV need to be established. This takes time and careful observation, and is part of the artistry and craft of being a coach. There were plenty of nuggets in this talk around fatigue and differentiating recovering from training and recovering from an injury, again content that will make me look harder at my own programming and specific training phases. After that, it was Melissa’s turn to talk about Diet. The big take away here and something that the RP guys are so good at is structuring a significant maintenance phase in their dieting and even increasing calories slowly after such a phase to stabilise before going again. Melissa went into greater detail on how to do this, how long to take for maintenance and how to re-introduce calories to stabilise before starting another diet phase. This is something that I think does not not get enough attention in other diet protocols and was invaluable information to implement in my own training going forward. We ended the first day with a Q&A session – this was particularly beneficial this weekend as it was a small group in attendance and everyones questions were answered, it was pretty much a personal session with the RP guys. After we broke up for the day the guys came to SDSC to train and this is always a buzz for me. I always get self conscious of the gym as I am aware of the mega gyms these guys get to train in but at the same thing there is something honest and grounded about out place that adds to the charm – its always such a novelty to see guys that I have looked up to and followed online for years, training in our small little spot in Harold’s Cross and it shows how far we have come. I got to work in with James on some squats which was cool! Day 2 Mike kicked off day two (which was probably a good thing as the rest of us were nursing mild hangovers!) and he talked about Nutritional Fads and Fallacies. This was always going to be a topic that I was going to appreciate as I spend a lot of my time trying to debunk methods for members and clients constantly. Often times I joke that we are actually shit filters as all of the information anyone would ever need is online but we merely help distil the relevant information for each individual in order to save time and confusion. Fads are an interesting thing and can grow legs quickly – Mike talked more about why this happens. Essentially people have vested interests (want to make money mainly!) and after their angle is presented on the scientifically peer reviewed source that is the Joe Rogan podcast, things spread like wildfire…. Common fads were debunked and a few of the older coaches in attendance where reminded (and laughed) about the fads from back in the day, such as the anabolic …