KC Craichy’s SuperHealth Podcasts: Performance For Everyone Functional Fitness

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Posted on 4th November 2011 by admin in Super Health |SuperHealth Podcasts

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KC Craichy talks with elite fitness expert Andy O’Brien about the importance of functional fitness for everyone’s performance.

Audio Transcript

KC: Welcome to Living Fuel TV. I’m KC Craichy with my special guest, Andy O’Brien. Andy, welcome.

Andy: KC, thank you.

KC: Andy is an elite strength and fitness coach out of, where in Canada?

Andy: Calgary

KC: Calgary, Canada. He runs a 40 million dollar training facility in Calgary, Canada. He is a trainer of champions, literally. And it’s sure awesome to have you back with us.

Andy: My pleasure, it’s great to be here.

KC: Yes. Today, let’s talk about what the viewers can do. You work with elite athletes who are trying to go from an incredible place that a lot of us will never get to, to a place where no one’s ever been.

Andy: Yeah.

KC: But fitness matters. Strength and fitness matters to everyone. We know people that do resistance training, their bones are stronger. That’s actually better for bone health than calcium supplementation.

Andy: Um-hmm.

KC: We know that basically all of the results of exercising if it were upheld, that people would pay any price for it. But people aren’t doing it because they can’t drag themselves.

Andy: Um-hmm.

KC: In another segment we talked about how you really have to get your metabolism back on track to get the energy levels to be able to go to the gym to workout. But you know you don’t have to live in the gym ,do they?

Andy: No, you really don’t. And that’s where I think you can get the most bang for the buck. If doing things right nutritionally, your body is going to be able to adapt to every movement that you have. Whether you’re playing tennis, whether you’re playing soccer, whether you’re going for a walk, or going for a run or going to the gym. You’re gaining some physiological benefits from that if you put the nutrition in your body to allow yourself to adapt to those activities. If you’re not, a lot of people they spend so much time in the gym and they drag themselves in there everyday, and they train and train and train. And all of us know these people. Very often, they don’t quite get the adaptations that they need and the changes that they want. And it’s because they’re not really taking care of things on the nutrition side. So, if you’re really looking after your body from a nutrition perspective, you’re going to be able to meet those demands a lot easier, and you’re not going to have to spend as much time in the gym.

KC: Well, Monica, you know, we have a trainer come to Monica once a week. A really hard workout, and the kids also, once a week, and she recovers nicely during the week. She sometimes does some walks or runs or whatever during the week. But really the strength and fitness is one day a week. And she’s in the best shape that she’s been in since she won first in swimsuit at Miss USA.

Andy: That’s fantastic. That’s amazing.

KC: So it’s about committing a small block of time. You can really get a lot out of that,can’t you?

Andy: There’s no question about it. I think it’s not necessarily about the volume of the work that you do, I think it’s the quality of the work that you do. And then the things that you do away from that time, that are really going to help you adapt. And every time you work out, you’re trying to signal your body to create adaptations to burn fat, to build muscle, to become healthier and to release a set of neurotransmitters, what we call it, little chemicals from the brain that speed up your metabolism. So if you’re providing yourself with the right type of fuel and you’re doing the right type of things from a health perspective, you’re going to be able to maximize all those adaptations from every little workout. So once, twice, three times a week is going to go a lot further than even five or six times a week if you’re not doing those little things to maximize the adaptations you’re trying to put forth.

KC: We’ve all seen people doing an hour, hour and a half on the treadmill, and for some reason they don’t look healthy.

Andy: Exactly, exactly.

KC: I mean, something’s up with that.

Andy: You see it all the time. Really, a lot of times we tend to think about body parts a little bit too much. We think about cardio, and then we think about, okay here’s are your biceps, here’s your back, here’s your legs. Really what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to signal a response from your body. An overall, global, metabolic response. We’re trying to get your nervous system to say, “OK, I’m trying to move here and I need to adapt, and I need to change my body so I can be more appropriated towards these movements.” And so I think that’s the part that not a lot of people understand. That’s where the nutrition can really provide a benefit, and when you understand the role that the nutrition plays, you really get into understanding the nervous system and understanding the whole metabolic process in the body.

KC: We talked about how not even really most of the elite athletes even get nutrition, and a lot of the strength and fitness coaches, unfortunately, are staying with the old dietetics kind of approach that really is trying to get everything from food. But we know you can’t have a team of organic chefs even give you everything that you need.

Andy: Of course.

KC: So you really got to, you really have to take it on yourself to figure this out. But interestingly, these athletes, a lot of these guys still think you have an hour and a half after you workout to do something nutritionally. But the more you look at the literature you see that the window is closing back, even to 15 minutes.

Andy: Of course.

KC: You know, to cut off the cortisol, and to block the oxidation and so on. So I think that you’re absolutely right. People can gain tremendously by understanding the nutrition piece and not trying to take off too big a chunk.

Andy: Exactly, it’s really not about quantity. Like you said, the traditional models to look at, amount of calories, amount of protein, looking at all of those traditional numbers without understanding the micro nutrients, the antioxidants and getting a bit of a feel for how to control the timing of the eating which is really, really important. And again, that’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a hormonal and metabolic response that’s going to make your body healthy. And that’s really where the nutrition can play a big role, from a timing perspective and from the micro nutrient and antioxidant perspective.

KC: You said something huge there. Most people listening or watching right now don’t get that piece. I’d say most people in general don’t get that piece. They think they need X grams of protein a day. But what you really need is what comes out of the protein.

Andy: Exactly.

KC: Or you need X grams of carbs per day. People have transformed sugar from a micro nutrient to a macro nutrient which is a lot of the problem to start with.

Andy: Absolutely.

KC: So you have these global nutrients, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, even fiber. But at the end of the day it’s what your body can extract from that and use in the body.

Andy: A hundred percent.

KC: In a very efficient way. So I’m working on something. I believe I’ve shown that you can actually live on the micro-nutrition if you can deliver it in the right way. So, if you have someone, let’s just take an example of someone in a hospital bed. Right now they’re giving them glucose. So after 48 hours the standard of care says they’re going to change from glucose to protein based infusion. Some people live on the glucose, and they just waste muscle. This is a microcosm to what happens to a lot of people that are working out. They think they can just do the carbohydrate thing, and carbo load the night before, and all these other things. And somehow at the end of the day they’re going to create muscle and all the hormonal processes you just talked about.

Andy: Yeah, it’s really interesting. I think that hormonal piece is very poorly understood, especially as it relates to nutrition. One of the things we try to tell our younger athletes is there’s a real surge of sugar in the modern day diet in our society because everything’s about making it quicker, faster, a little bit more simple, cheaper. And really start gravitating towards less whole foods and a lot more sugar oriented foods with not a lot of nutrients.

KC: Wow. I’ll wrap this segment up because we’re going to go to another one. In saying that the Peak Performance Institute in London said that athletes are the fastest growing population of the malnourished.

Andy: Wow. Wow.

KC: Because of the reliance on some of these global nutrients. But anyway, fascinating stuff. We’re going to come back to you again. Hope you enjoyed it. Here’s to your super health and have a great day.

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