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How To Cut Through the Crap

One of the most common questions I receive is, ‘how do I know what I should be doing?’

There are thousands of fitness ‘experts’ out there, thousands of programs, fitness products, opinions, and methodologies. All have fervent supporters and ‘success stories’ filling Instagram and infomercials with the promise that you can achieve the same results.

How can you possibly differentiate between the myriad of options and opinions? How can you tell what is legitimately based on real science and what is no better than Gwyneth Paltrows vagina rocks? (Yes, she wants you to put jade eggs in your vagina to ‘clear your chi pathways and solve every other health concern you have…).

The good news is that you are reading this. And I think over the years I have established myself as someone you can trust to cut through the bullshit and deliver information based on, you know, science and stuff.

Sorry, I have no vagina rocks to sell…

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock (7532627e)n Gwyneth Paltrown Goop and La Perla celebrate the Opening of Goop Gift, Farmshop, Los Angeles, USA – 30 Nov 2016n WEARING LA PERLA

For me the answer to this question is relatively simple. I do recognize that almost two decades in this industry, thousands of clients trained, a master degree in human movement, and more certifications and courses than I can remember taking does give me a bit of an advantage when it comes to sorting out the good from the bad from the ugly.

How do I do it? How do I quickly look at a program or idea and judge so quickly it efficacy and legitimacy?

History and experience.

And I think that EVERYONE can do the exact same thing if we just put a little bit of logical thinking into it.

You have been bamboozled to believe newer is better and the advancement of science has given us lordship over the needs of the human body beyond what Mother Nature could ever possibly understand. Obviously the latest tech gadgetry will allow us to surpass our genetics. The latest supplement will lead to performance increases no human in the history of time could have ever dreamed possible!

It’s smoke and mirrors.

All you have to do is put a little bit of thought into it.

How was, how IS, your body supposed to move? What was it designed to do? How has it been crafted to interact together? This is not as complicated as it seems and I think we all have the innate ability to understand this.

man athlete running by the sea at sunset outdoors

Just. Think. About. It.

We lift things up. We carry things. We pull things. We get up off the ground. We throw things. We move from one place to the other. That’s it. That is everything we do.

We lift things. At one time it was logs, dead animals, plants, logs, stones, and whatever else we needed for survival. Not its our kids, groceries, coolers of beer, and that new Ikea couch that you have yet to assemble. We bend over, squat down, and step into lunges to lift things up.

We carry things. Once we have picked something up we most likely need to move it somewhere. Why else would we pick it up? Well, unless it’s a puppy. Then you picked it up just to hold it because, puppies! Carrying things is something your body excels at and it structurally designed to do. On your head, shoulder, back, hip, or in your hands or arms, your really, really efficient at carrying things around!

We pull things. Now you’re visualizing ancient humans dragging a deer carcass, which probably was something we did, but not so much in modern times. You still pull things. Like dragging that new Ikea couch to a different part of the room or your lazy cold kids up the hill in the snow before they slide back down to have you do it again. Or, you pull YOURSELF. Climbing a tree or getting up and over a fence…lol…I know, most people can’t do that. It’s actually a huge problem. You SHOULD be able to do that. Hence the purpose of this article…

We get up off the ground. That’s right. We stand up. From the ground, from bed, from a chair, from that fancy new Ikea couch. We get up. It is absolutely amazing to me and truly, horrifically, scary to me, how many people struggle to simply stand up. We have a couch in our studio that people complain constantly is too low and they can get up from it. Holy crap people. This is a huge problem. Not being able to get up off the ground should send tingles of fear throughout your body! Not being able to get up off a couch? You should really do something about that.

We throw things. There you go again with your picturing ancient humans. Yes we threw spears at animals, I get it. We don’t today. Today we play sports or toss our keys over to someone. It is actually a little harder for me to think of examples of this action and this is a problem because the transverse plane action of throwing requires full body coordination and stabilization that is vital to your health (twisting and moving your arms powerfully is super important and no one does it!).

We move from one place to another. Walking, jogging, running, sprinting, climbing, swimming, and jumping are all basic human movements. It is how we get from here to there and from there to over there and from over there back to here. We MOVE. We have gait patterns and a host of movements that we are literally built to be able to do. Like, literally, the very structure of our bones, the placement of muscles and tendons and ligaments, are all there to allow us to get around.

And this is the secret to how I cut through so much of the bullshit.

Is your training program designed to enhance and strengthen the way we are supposed to move and to make you better at accomplishing the things we do?

Sitting on a machine is not going to do it. Isolating your biceps for a huge pump is not going to do it. Bouncing around on those fucking stupid shoes with springs on the bottom is in no way related to how your body was built to work. The leg press machine is going to fuck your back to shit because the movement and position of your body doesn’t exist anywhere except on that machine and your physiology was not designed to work like that. The lat pulldown machines is a ridiculous way to train back muscles that were actually designed to pull you up not pull something down to you. Treadmills make no sense as we were not designed to run on the spot. Ellipticals? Wtf.

I could literally sit here all day and trash 99% of the fitness industry bullshit. But I have better things to do.

What I am attempting to get you to understand is that when you look at your exercise program or a piece of equipment, can you plausibly see how it could relate to how you actually were designed to move?

Does it use the whole body as a coordinated unit? Does it relate to one of the actions I described above? Does it involve all or at least most of the major muscles? Will it force you to move in a way that just might be useful to you?

Like walking through Ikea, lifting that box, carrying it somewhere, opening it up, having the dexterity to assemble it, dragging it to the best position, and then being able to get on and off of it?

-Coach Taylor

Do NOT Eat Every Three Hours!

Does Eating More Frequently Speed Up Your Metabolism?

Eat small meals frequently throughout the day to make sure you keep your metabolism moving as quickly as possible.

Make sure you NEVER go longer than three hours without eating.

Eat negative calorie foods to help lose weight.

You have heard this advice before. Every weight loss show, every fitness magazine, and every article on GOOP espouses it with religious fervour. Deny this scripture at your own peril!

If you want to lose body fat you HAVE, you HAVE to eat regularly or your metabolism will slow to a crawl and you will resemble the Pillsbury doughboy by the end of the week and your scale will explode in protest! Every trainer and every nutritionist out there will spend a good percentage of their time making sure you understand this.

I used to believe this too and for more than a decade I lived by it and coached the same message.

The idea is this: food has a thermic effect, which essentially means that when you eat food your body goes to work to digest it and this added activity increases your metabolic rate.

This is true.

Perusing the literature on the topic is challenging because it is extremely difficult to measure and so has very rarely been studied properly. Most of the data we have is from rodent studies and unfortunately if you are reading this you are not a rat.

A general overview of what is out there appears to lend some support to the idea that the thermic effect of food accounts for between 2% and 20% of your daily calorie consumption. That is a huge fucking range. On a 2000 calorie a day diet that is between 40 and 400 calories.

[Side note: this is all also assuming that calories are easily measured and how our body uses calories is easily measured, which is one million percentage NOT the case…]

Based on this idea eating during the day mean you expend these calories to digest. So the theory goes that if we eat frequently our metabolism will keep humming along digesting all the food and we will burn more calories. Yay! No doughboy in the mirror and the scale will be happy.

[Side note: you don’t weight yourself thought right? Because you have read all of my stuff and know the scale is fucking stupid.]

There is a missing link that is seemingly ignored in this whole equation. In order to get the digestion process humming along you need to eat food. Food has calorie in it. Eating enough to really crank up the metabolic process takes more food. This means more calories.

You cannot eat enough food to decrease your overall calories because the act of eating the food to increase your metabolism means you are ingesting more calories. It is a vicious circle!

What is one to do?

Eat negative calories!!!

That’s right, there are idiots our there who think there are negative calories. The idea here is that some foods are so low in calories that you burn more energy digesting them than they actually contain. This has led people to believe that consuming these foods will help with fat loss and weight management.

The easiest way to answer this is simple: it’s not fucking true. Negative calories don’t exist.

No, eating a lot of celery wont drop off the pounds and rev your metabolism to the roof.

Like, how much celery could you even eat? Even if negative calories was a thing and you just ate celery, there is no way you could eat enough to meet your daily requirements not to mention the fact that you wouldn’t be getting enough carbohydrate, protein, and vitamins and minerals to stay alive.

This is the most preposterous idea in the world of nutrition.

When you are constantly focused on eating all the time in order to ‘speed up your metabolism’ you just end up eating more. Then all of the dieters who want to keep their calories low choose food options that leave them feeling hungry and unsatisfied and the resulting evening food binge becomes the norm. But hey, that yogurt you ate for your 3rd snack after your second meal was ONLY 45 calories – yay you!

And the real truth of the matter is that it is very difficult to affect the number of calories you burn in a day. A plethora of research over the last few years has demonstrated that our metabolisms are essentially genetically fixed. Couch potatoes in rural America burn about the same number of calories as hunter-gatherers in Africa who are active all day. Our metabolisms seem to be pretty fixed.

[Side note: the idea that adding a pound of muscle means you burn 50 calories a day more is NOT true…busting myths left right and centre here….]

What about the idea that going too long between meals slows your metabolism down? This idea to I believed for much of my career. The quick answer is simply that it won’t.

As I just described above, your metabolism is barely affected by food consumption. In many studies on fasting in humans it has been verified time and again that our metabolisms DO NOT slow down when we have long durations during meals.

I don’t know how to describe this any better. The facts are simply that your metabolism does not slow down, in fact it doesn’t change, when you have 8-48 hour gaps between meals. That’s right, 48 hour gaps between meals. Two days. Holy shit.

Anecdotally, with the hundreds of people I have coached through intermittent fasting protocols, I can tell you that adding fasting periods daily results in the following: increased energy, increased mental alertness, decreased body fat, less fixation on food, more enjoyable meals.

Terrible, right?

What about hormone crashes? You have to eat more frequently to keep your blood sugar up! If you are feeling groggy and slow the best thing to do is eat something! Get some sugars into you for energy.

Actually, no. This also is not true. In fact, there is a growing body of research that fating windows actually improve hormone activity and response in the body. Research with diabetics and fasting is actually showing IMPROVED blood glucose (blood sugar) balance.

What has been found to increase energy levels during those mid-morning and mod-afternoon slumps?


Exercise. Movement. Going for a walk. Doing a workout. Walking some stairs. Physical activity increases energy. Weird eh? Burning energy increase energy? It appears so…

Something else to think about. Have you ever raised kids? Or raised a puppy? Infants and puppies need to gain weight and there is only one strategy to do this. Feed them frequently. Every 2 or 3 hours.

Uh-huh. That’s right. When we want to make them gain weight we feed them as frequently as possible. And their metabolisms are through the fucking roof already as they are growing like crazy!

Yet for some reason as adults, with slower metabolisms, we feel that the same feeding schedule is necessary to maintain or lower our weight. Slightly backwards thinking.

The idea that eating small frequent meals is good for us by keeping our metabolisms moving faster and balancing our hormone levels is completely false. We need to move people towards a style of eating and living that our bodies were designed to follow. Today, this is referred to as intermittent fasting.

I am growing to dislike that term more and more as it is become a catch all fitness phrase attached to weight loss. It isn’t. Our bodies were designed to eat food sporadically and to have long gaps without having to focus on digestion. I have written about this a lot.

You should NOT be eating 3 meals a day plus 3 snacks between meals. It is NOT making you healthier, in fact, it is doing the opposite.

-Coach Taylor

The Secret Exercise to Drop Fat and Boost Performance

Something I have seen time and time again throughout my training career is the idea that a specific exercise, training tool, shoe, article of clothing, or type of food is in any way related to fitness success or sports performance.

Recently, one of the awesome members at my brick and mortar fitness studio returned from a game of golf with family. She doesn’t golf often so it was a surprise to her fellow players when her drives kicked them all in the face. Instantly the questions began,

“What have you been doing to increase your distance so much?,” “how are you getting your hips to move so well?”

The million dollar questions!

Attentively they all eagerly awaited the secret in hope of replicating the same thing for themselves. My client did her best and after years of training with us suggested some exercises that we do on a regular basis that seemingly relate directly to the improved skills. Her intentions and heart were in the right place even if the advice was somewhat misguided.


I don’t believe even she knows the real reasons for her newly acquired skills of envy and in reality that is why she hired us!

This situation plays out time and time again on golf courses, soccer fields, at dinner parties, and any other gatherings every single day. Maybe it isn’t about golf.

‘You’ve lost weight, what’s your secret?’

‘You are so strong, what’s your secret?’

‘You look amazing, what’s your secret?’

‘You are so much faster now, what’s your secret?’

That is what everyone wants, right? That’s secret. What new super food did you begin eating to shed fat? What exercise did you do that made you improve so much? What equipment did you buy? What shoes did you buy? Is it that new moisture wicking fabric?


Usually at this point the person coughs up a couple of things and the interrogator rushes out with credit card in hand eager to acquire their new secret weapon, or they instantly start doing whatever new exercise they have been promised will lead them to ultimate glory.

Within a week it’s over.

The new product is either still in the package or was tried twice before beginning its new life as a collector of dust. While the exercise seems promising, the week just got way too busy and they didn’t get a chance to try it. And really, it is kind of complicated and they already have a program that they saw online once from a insta coach and they are already pretty close to giving that a try and don’t want to mess that up with this exercise that doesn’t seem to really fit into that program…

And just like that it is over.

There is the odd exception, however, where someone really does take it to heart and uses their new product, consumes the new super food, and really does the exercises everyday. This person is in for a real moment of heartache when they realize that after 4 weeks of adhering to the secrets nothing has changed. I mean, they have this new pain in their lower back, their grocery budget is higher, and their new fancy product looks well used, but they don’t feel any different, or look any different, and they certainly aren’t faster or driving a ball further.

What the fuck.

They tried so hard for like, a whole few days and spent all this money.

Time and time again, over and over and over the story goes. Honestly, the number of times I have seen this happen would be impossible to count but if I was paid for each one I would be writing this article on a beach in Zanzibar.

Why is this such an epic fail? Why does what works for my client NOT work for you?

The real secret is…

There is no secret. There is not single thing. There is no fast answer. Never. Ever. Ever. Never.

That athlete hawking those fancy shoes? Their success didn’t come from their footwear. Their success came from years, decades, of diligent training, epic failures, world class coaching, and competitive experience.

That super food didn’t do anything. My client has put in countless hours being diligent about eating a real food diet, avoiding excess, minimizing poor food choices, and listening to my advice. Yes, they add in the super food because it IS healthy. But it is actually the generally most of the time healthy food choices over many months that is creating the result you are lusting after with envious eyes.

That exercise is doing nothing. I mean, it is doing something, in conjunction with all the other exercises my client does. While she adheres to a comprehensive program designed by professionals with the goal of increasing overall mobility, strength, and movement. Is that exercise pertinent to the new found skill you are seeing? Yes, yes it is. But it is a part of an overall program. In and of itself it is completely useless for fat loss or making you stronger or move better or perform better.

This is the cold, hard, truth, because that is the only thing I know how to deliver.

There is no secret.

There is no super food, no amazing product or article of clothing, or any one single exercise that is going to smash your performance through the roof or drop your body fat percentage.

Everything always, ALWAYS, comes down to one thing and one thing only.

So, maybe there actually is a secret?

Then this is it: Regular, consistent exercise and healthy nutritional habits over long periods of time.

The cold, hard, secret.

-Coach Taylor

Did you know that I have an online training platform? If you want to escape the modern fitness industry and experience meaningful change to your strength, health, and life, you should join me!

The New Weight Watchers App for Kids

So the world of health and fitness is all in a tizzy recently with Weight Watchers launching a new app designed for kids with the intent of using their famous points system to teach them supposedly good food options from poor food options. As I no longer read the daily news and follow very few blogs or accounts online, I am not sure how big a backlash this will be or how extensive it will be. I have discussed it with some of my contacts and a lot of the parents I work with on a daily basis plus have dived through a few articles on it.

What does Coach Taylor think? Here comes the honest truth that might surprise some people out there.

You know me, I am not afraid to shy away from controversy if it is based on reality, which is something that is sorely missing from so much of society today. Reality, not controversy!

I am going to take one for the team here. I am going to say what need to be said. Because apparently no one else is willing to.

The truth is: I like the premise of the app, nay, I love the premise of the app.

Yeah, that’s right, I fully endorse telling kids that vegetables are good for them and cereal, cake, donuts, candy, and sugary drinks WILL FUCKING KILL THEM.

Now before you stop reading and go straight to sending me hate mail, stay the course and finish this blog, I mean, you’ve already committed a full minute of your life, which in modern times is akin to an eternity, so what is a few more minutes?

To be fair the food choices within the app are NOT GOOD. Butter and all fats are not bad for you. There needs to be a better indicator of this and a differentiation between good foods and bad foods that is based on more current research. In general thought it is not horrific. The focus on weight loss is probably a bit too strong and BMI is notoriously misleading.

The critics came out fast against the app. Parents groups and dieticians from all over have come out slamming the app and starting petitions to have it banned. The criticism was the usual rhetoric:

“Stop body shaming kids”

“Kids this age shouldn’t be on a diet”

“Telling kids foods are bad leads to a negative association with food”

“This ranking system will create eating disorders and disordered eating”

“This system will cause body dissatisfaction”

“Classifying foods as good or bad associates food with morality”

“Eating healthy is more expensive and this system will marginalize the poor”

The list of critiques goes on. But it is the same arguments that have been levelled against EVERY program or strategy aimed at dealing with the insanely huge problem of childhood obesity. And it is an insanely huge problem. When there are children as young as 6 suffering from type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome – we have a HUGE fucking problem. The groups protesting this app seemingly want to stick their heads in the sand and hope that the problems go away.

Well they aren’t going away. They are getting worse. We have to do SOMETHING about it.

The solution from the critics? Always the same. Encourage healthy eating, use positive rewards; parents should set a good example; tell them it’s ok to be obese; tell them all bodies are ok; make positive behaviour changes, make food affordable, change the living conditions.

How has that been going for everyone?

Encourage healthy eating? We have been for decades. Broccoli over cookies when they are both in the house? Hmmmm……Parents set a good example? 90% of parents have no fucking idea what healthy eating is, our culture is totally fucked there, so how is that supposed to work? It’s ok to be obese? No, it isn’t. All bodies are ok? No, there is a line where your high body fat is not ok. Make positive behavioural changes. What the fuck does that even mean? Make healthy food more affordable than McDonalds. It is, you’re just choosing the wrong stuff. Change living conditions of obese children. Um, OK, what are you going to do? Intern all the obese kids at government sponsored weight loss, I mean healthy positive living, camps?

Listen. I am NOT saying that the new weight watchers app is a solution to the issue. It really isn’t. Trust me, this app will be like every other program out there, it is going to dramatically help some kids and it is going to cause issues for some other kids. It is not the devils creation come to demonize all the kids today and shame them into the couches of therapists.

Weight Watchers is merely leveraging our already EXTREMELY fucked up relationship with food that is society wide. This app isn’t causing the problem, this app is merely a symptom of the problem.

But at least they are trying to do something.

The problem is you.

Yeah, that’s right. It’s you. It is most members of our society, it is most parents out there, it is the school system, the medical system, and just about every other aspect of modern western society.

We already live in a diet society, in a body focused society, in a weight loss society, in a body shaming society. It’s totally fucked but this app won’t make it worse.

As a culture we glorify shitty food, we glorify alcohol, we glorify parties, we glorify indulgence, we glorify ‘treating yourself’, and we glorify disordered eating. You can’t escape it anymore than you can prevent the Canadian winter from rolling in come December. Why?

It’s everywhere. Every TV show, every book, movie, commercial and magazine is filled with the message of indulgence. Every kids event is filled with the message of indulgence. Sport event? Here is the tray of cookies. School fundraiser? Let’s sell chocolate bars! Camping trip? SMORES! The weekend? Pizza! Birthday party, anniversary, graduation, anything? Cake, chips, candy, cupcakes, rice crispy treats. Breakfast? Cereal. (Yeah, I am on a never ending crusade against cereal).

Now everyone is thinking, ‘but Coach Taylor those are events to be celebrated and enjoyed!’ Yeah, true. And therein lays a deeper issue far more insidious than the Weight Watchers app. You.

Parents and educators and coaches. You are doing far more damage to little minds than the Weight Watchers app. You are associating positive life events with food. This is the flip side of the dieting culture and the part that EVERYONE ignores.

We only freak out about telling kids no and creating negative associations with shitty food. No one bats a fucking eye creating POSITIVE associations with shitty food. And when you call people out on this people fucking freak out because, ‘you have to indulge sometime,’ ‘you have to still live a little,’ ‘you have to enjoy life still.’

All true. But since when did those things have to equate to eating shitty sugar laden concoctions. You know that there are other rewards in the world besides food.

Because the truth is that in modern western civilization there is ALWAYS a birthday party, or school event, or holiday, or get together, or trip, or sporting practice, or something, that is associated with shitty fucking food.

And then it gets worse.

Love it or hate my friends, we all become our parents. I have noticed this more and more as I age. You start to hear your parents voice come out of your mouth, realize you are talking like them, feeling the way they feel about things, and moving like they move. We become who are parents are, not what our parents said.

So now comes the really hard to hear part. The reason you are more to blame than weight watchers.

Remember a few years ago when you stopped eating gluten? You know, just before you signed up with your friend for that supplement product. Which you don’t do now because it doesn’t fit with your paleo lifestyle. And you love being paleo way more than you liked low carb even before the gluten free days because, bacon. All of this is better than those nasty shakes with the green powdered vegetable concoction. Shit, that stuff was gross. And, I mean, paleo is OK but the damage eating meat does to the earth is just so bad, right? Thank fuck they make the Beyond Meat burger now! Maybe going vegetarian would work because then you could fit in wine, because wine = life.

Continue reading The New Weight Watchers App for Kids

How Costco Represents Everything Wrong With Western Culture

It used to be a typical weekend activity for me for a large portion of my life, the foraging trip to Costco. Everything you need under one large roof and in such mass quantities that the cost of good purchased is perceptively lower than obtaining products elsewhere. We would roll into an oversized parking space grab an oversized cart and meander the typical route through the store starting past the electronics and finishing at the register just before passing by the indoor version of a food truck. Along the way sampling everything at the little sample counters, discovering all sorts of new products and revelling in the glory of the amazing deals filling the cart. It was often a trip shared by various family members and the social aspect truly solidified the good feelings associated with the trips.

This is modern hunting and gathering. This is how Costco has become the behemoth that it is today, through leveraging our very genetically crafted patterns evolved to sustain the lives of ourselves and of our tribal groups. Such a masterful culmination of decades of consumer research combined with deeper understandings of evolutionary biology and modern psychology has resulted in the ultimate marketing machine.

And it is insane.

Costco is a representation of almost everything plaguing our ‘modern’ western society.

We gave up our membership three years ago and I haven’t set foot in there since. I intend to never pass through those always-open doors ever again. I don’t miss it and surprisingly my life has not degraded into total chaos lacking the essentials of life. I don’t miss it.

Yesterday I was picking someone up from our local branch and sat in my vehicle pondering this modern mecca and observing the comings and goings of the patrons. This article began to form in my head and with an upcoming holiday weekend based on the mass consumerism endemic to our culture (because yes, Easter has become just another mass-market selling opportunity. Sorry to my religious readers, of you still embody the spirit of the celebration I hold you no grievance, however, you are the minority) and I needed to get it all out.

The same pattern was repeated over, and over, and over again during my thankfully brief observational study. The majority of the people I saw were overfat, those that weren’t almost all had readily observable movement and mobility issues, gait patterns were slow, plodding, and poor, and dour expressions were the norm. I felt like I was just a few degrees away from observing an episode of The Walking Dead.

Yes. Some GROSS generalizations in the preceding paragraph but they were accurate for the majority of the subjects I observed. ‘The majority’ intrinsically implies that a large percentage of the people I saw did not fit the aforementioned description. So do not comment or write to me stating that this isn’t true of everyone. I get it.

The zombie like adherence to this modern cultural phenomenon is indicative of how so many live their lives today.

Now let’s get to the meat of this article and go through just what exactly it is about Costco that is so representative of the issues plaguing this ‘modern’ western culture.

[Side note: I keep putting ‘modern’ in quotes for a reason. We use the term modern with the implication that it is somehow better than cultural practices that existed before. I do not hold this viewpoint. While there are many amazing aspects to society today there are also many aspects that I truly believe are horrific and that we are losing some of the very essence that makes us human. An article for another day.]


Mass consumerism

For most of the people on the planet, homes are quite small and are often shared by immediate and extended family. That is if there is even the ability to HAVE a home and not be forced to rent or lease space to live and/or the land most people reside on. In Canada and the US almost everyone lives in, what would be considered throughout the rest of the world, massive and luxurious dwellings that are essentially empty. If you are reading this and think I am wrong you need to do a little learning into the rest of the world.

What has always blown my mind is the amount of STUFF that we have. We have so much stuff that these huge dwellings we have are absolutely packed with it. Rooms are filled, closets are filled, garages are filled, everywhere, stuff. And it gets crazier.

Like this fucking really blows my mind. We have so much stuff that we can’t even fit it all into our homes. Storage businesses are a huge and growing market. We have so much stuff that we have to go rent even MORE space and then pack that full of stuff to. What. The. Literal. Fuck. It’s actually insane.

And Costco is right there to help us fill it all up. More is better. More is cheaper. Value. Why buy one when you can have three. Last years version is done, you need this years version. It’s better. People will like you more. You wouldn’t want anyone to see last years Christmas wreath on your door would you. Horrific.

We buy and we buy and we buy. Then we store it. Or throw it out. Spring-cleaning is common here. A way to unload all the stuff you have collected so you can fill it up with newer, better stuff. Costco’s business is reliant on this. If you aren’t buying in bulk then they will go out of business.

But, Coach Taylor, I go there for food, which you have to buy on a regular basis. True. This is true. And Costco obliges. A dozen eggs? Nah, a tray of 36 eggs. Franks hot sauce? Here is the oversize bottle in a two-pack. Why buy a measly little ice cream when you can get 4 litres of it for the same cost! There are some very interesting analysis of the actual cost of Costco food that show the actual cost of the food when accounting for waste and loss (like when you don’t eat all 4lbs of strawberrys and trash (sorry, you compost, right?)) is not any cheaper at Costco than at any other grocery store.

Costco feeds mass quantities and the mantra of buy more. It is the corporeal representation of mass consumerism.


Animal Meat and Agriculture


This is going to hurt some of you. I am not sorry. You shouldn’t be sticking your head in the sand. Open your eyes my friends.

People always say to me: ‘oh, but I get my meat from Costco, it’s so much cheaper.’ Yeah, it is. Do you know why it is so much cheaper? Do you know how they get it cheaper? ‘Well they buy it in bulk and pass the savings on to us.’ True! Do you know how they get that much meat to keep all of their locations fully stocked all the time?

Have you seen a commercial beef farm? Have you seen the chicken farms? Have you looked at the photos of pigs who live in a steel cage on their side their entire short life? Oh, is that too hard to hear? Too fucking bad.

If you buy your meat at Costco you are a primary contributor to the horrific and abusive treatment of millions of animals. You just are. And you can pretend it doesn’t exist all you want if it makes you feel better at night on a stomach full of steak but that doesn’t change the fact that Costco is right up there with the fast food industry and horrific treatment of animals.

Yes, I used to buy meat there all the time. It was cheaper! And yes, I am getting quite preachy now. Because I have learned and am making every effort to change my habits. To be a better human. I love meat and I think it is good for us. But where it comes from and how we raise it are vitally important.

I won’t dive too much into agriculture here but it is reminiscent of the same types of things I am talking about with raising animals. The environmental damage that modern agriculture creates is completely ignored by most of us.

Please read Michael Pollens book, The Omnivores Dilemma, before lashing out at me over these topics. Learn first, then we can discuss.




I don’t think I am going to spend much time on this one. The plastic. Plastic on plastic on plastic. And I get it; it’s not ONLY Costco here. But just take a walk down the enormous aisle and see the sea of bulk packaging.

Remember, this article is about Costco being representative of everything wrong with our ’modern’ culture, it is not about how Costco is so bad and everyone else is better. Amazon, grocery chains, and most retail is just as guilty, sometimes more so, Costco just represents it all so well!


Socialized homogeneity


Oh, I am sorry. I don’t mean to offend, I really don’t. But when you mass consume products at Costco do you somehow think you are unique? That you are displaying your own individual style? You and the 100,000 other people who bought the same Christmas wreath this season.

What ever happened to making our own decorations? Going to local artisans and contractors for furniture, tableware, decorations, and the like? Costco. Costco is what happened. We get spoonfed what to watch, how to dress, how to decorate, what season it is, how to setup our yards, and what is ‘in style.’ Then you have to buy it to display how on trend you are. Otherwise people might judge you!

The same goes for food. The pre-made party snacks, dips, crackers, displays, and other fare that that is purchased and then re-heated at home so you can be the consummate social entertainer. But you didn’t make any of it. You didn’t create it. You don’t know who did make it, prepared it, grew it…there is no connection to it.

It has made us a culture of the same. Drop yourself into almost any city in the US and Canada and you would be hard pressed to know where you are if you landed in the shopping districts. It’s all the same restaurants, the same stores, the same layout. It is all the same. Our houses are decorated with the same things, the food we eat is the same, the media we consume is the same. And then every year you have to repurchase everything to keep up with the trend, which was given to you by those awesome designers and buyers at Costco.


Gluttony and Mindless Eating


You wander through the store. You eat a sample of this. You try a morsel of that. An hour later you don’t remember it. And people get crazy. Butting in line trying to get their hands on the food before there isn’t any left (you think it’s an accident that those little sample tables only put out a little at a time?). And people wait. They sit and spend their valuable time standing there waiting for some stranger to heat up something our of some package that was put in there by a combination of other strangers and machines. All for what? That mouthful of hotdog with a new relish? The frozen quiche? What. I. Can’t.

Then comes the register and checkout point. The smells of the hotdogs, fries, gravy, poutine (it’s Canadian and I am not proud of that), and pizza, all accompanied but magnificent soft drinks in voluminous sizing. And cheap! Why wouldn’t you have a dog, fries, pop, and an ice crème at 3 in the afternoon after eating all the samples and before you head home to make an epic meal from all the purchases you just rang through the register.

The wanton gluttony and the mindless eating is so pervasive in our culture and Costco has capitalized this right into billion dollar profits. Food is produced to maximize calories and minimize satiety so you can eat more, consume more, buy more and get an awesome dopamine high in the process.


You Are The Cattle


I hated this at Costco. The system. You walk in and they check your card. Then you walk the way they tell you (lol, have you tried going through Costco the opposite way as everyone else? Can be quite a fun time) like a perfect little school of fish swimming down river. Then through the checkout partitions (where you wait in yet another line) reminiscent of every slaughterhouse in the world. And then the coup d’état, that fucking person making yet ANOTHER line so that they can scan over your bill on the way out. Oh man I hate that part of it all. Something viscerally enrages me being monitored and supervised like that.

You are cattle. Our entire culture treats us this way and Costco leverages it under the guise of a better shopping experience for you. Making it more efficient for your benefit! We have been lulled into a feeling of heard mentality and barely anyone is even aware of it. We have allowed this to happen and are headed to our own slaughter.

Most people go through life a mere member of the flock doing our best to stay in formation (studying bird flocks and fish schools is oddly fascinating!), fearful of what might become of us should we step outside the norm. We allow ourselves to be dictated to and give it no thought.

Why is this important? Because it makes us mere consumers that can be manipulated, controlled, and sold to.When we give up our freedom of thought and we don’t reflect on the WHY of the things that we do we end up victims of the marketing machine.

And that is exactly what our culture does and exactly what Costco leverages.

As Katy Perry succinctly serenades us, “I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything.”

What Does This All Mean


All three people who are still reading this might now be wondering what the fuck this has to do with health and fitness. Coach Taylor has gone off the deep end, or as my wife tells me, has gone full hippie.


I have always been fiercely independent and I regret the years my eyes were not open to this. I am not perfect. I am not asking anyone to be perfect. But I want everyone to take a step back and really think about things. To contemplate the why. To ask yourself what you really need.

To explore what is really important in life.

And how does this affect your health?

It is because these fixtures of our modern culture all lead to everything that is destroying our health. Eating too much, mass produced food, packaged and highly processed food-like things, stress and anxiety, and environmental degradation. These things directly impact our physical health and our mental health.

Costco perfectly highlights it all. Aisle upon isle of mass produced goods. Packaged and processed shit storms left right and centre. Gluttony. Over-consumption. Stress inducing lines and parking lots. I could continue this list all day.

It is important to ask questions of yourself and your life: what do you really need? Are there better ways to procure what you need that support your more immediate surroundings? Are you over-consuming?

Intrinsic happiness for a fulfilling life comes not from consumption but from participation. Our culture has been foregoing this for decades and Costco is the modern success story of all of it.


-Coach Taylor

Why I Love Fasting (And Why You Should Too)

WARNING: This is long. This is important. You MUST read it. It will be vital to your life. So get a nice cup of tea, kick back, and dive in!!! 

I love fasting. You should love fasting. You should be fasting. Every human should be fasting.

Blog complete.

Lol, right. I mean that truly is all that I want to say and all that needs to be said. However, I recognize this would never be taken seriously because people want evidence! Where is the study? The fact that the vast majority of people have no idea how to interpret nor comprehend studies has no pertinence on the matter.

So I will endeavor to deliver an explanation of my opening statement, nay, of my opening conviction, in the hopes that you can garner a new understanding of why this topic is so very vital to you.

But if you don’t feel like reading at the moment, let me give you the conclusion now so that you can get on with your day: you need to have fasting periods in your life as a regular part of your health plan.

There you go. Objective completed.

For the rest of you, here we go!

I am going to present to you in this article an overview of the primary benefits related to fasting and health. The goal is that you will finish with enough information to guide your own personal inquiry. You should not believe everything I say, in fact you should not believe everything ANYONE says. You should be a competent investigator when it comes to your health. Read, learn, read more, and then formulate your own conclusions. While I am not going to include a list of journal citations (AHA Coach Taylor! I knew it!!! This is all just your personal opinion!! No citations? Then you haven’t done your home work!), I am going to provide a summation of the existing literature. I read journals and expert information on this daily but I believe spoon feeding lists of references simply leads to blind faith followers. That is not my style.

I want you to question me. I want you to doubt me. I want you to go out into the world of information and prove me wrong! This is how I ensure that my arguments are sound.

Ok, ok…I am getting on with it…

Let me first say that I hate the term intermittent fasting. Why? Mainly because it has become far to ‘catch=phrasey’, as most things in the fitness industry do. Over the last five years it has become another ‘diet plan’ or something that ‘you do’ and the true importance of fasting for your body is now overshadowed by the never-ending quest for weight loss.

There is also a complete lack of English comprehension at work here as well. Even if I chose to keep the term ‘intermittent fasting’ it is readily apparent that most people have never read a dictionary.

16:10, warrior fasting, 5:2, eat stop eat, alternate day. All labels within the fitness community for different fasting protocols. Everyone is seemingly oblivious to the fact that by following a schedule you are no longer doing anything ‘intermittently,’ right?

Weight loss. Fat loss. The two primary tenants of the modern concept of fitness. EVERYTHING is related to these concepts and if your diet and/or exercise program is not demonstrating how to lose weight it is relegated to the dustbin of failed promises. Yes, there is the other side of fitness, ‘how much can you lift, bro?’, however, those people are so enchanted by the mythology of eons past I don’t even attempt to explain to them the ignorance of their thinking

The FACTS are simple: fasting is essential to your health and is the easiest way you can make positive changes to your life immediately.

Please note that for the duration of this article I am simply going to say fasting and will be desquamating the term ‘intermittent fasting’ forthwith.

This is the point where dieticians and most of the medical industry will begin to freak out. Their outdated beliefs that we must eat every three hours to balance blood sugar and that breakfast is a vital component to ones health are so ingrained into their DNA that the mountain of evidence and information contrarian to said beliefs are completely ignored. It is disheartening and actually a little bit scary.

The peer-reviewed, longitudinal evidence available on the effects of fasting on human (and actually on all animal) health is voluminous and categorically affirmative. In my five years of studying the results of fasting on biological organisms I have yet to find a negative outcome in the literature. As stated above, PLEASE go out and find the evidence otherwise because I want to ensure I am not missing something!

Typically when people attempt to point out that the outcomes of fasting protocols do not show strong evidence, it is because they are fixated on weight loss.

It is true, ‘intermittent’ fasting as a mechanism of weight loss has mixed evidentiary findings. I would say in my learning that it is pretty evenly divided between the findings that the protocols are effective as a weight loss program and the findings that the protocols are not effective. One very strong finding here is that almost overwhelmingly the data suggests that the protocols studied so far are no more effective than other weight loss interventions. Essentially, if the goal is weight loss the fasting protocols do work, but so do many other weight loss interventions.

This brings me to the essence of this article.

I am not writing about weight loss and I firmly believe we have to take that idea out of the discussion of fasting. Well, actually, I firmly believe that we have to take weight loss completely out of the discussion for everything fitness related but that is an article for another day.

Because when we look at fasting through the lens of every single scientific field that has invested time into researching the effects on biological organisms (yes, that includes you, you beautiful homo sapien you!) the results are truly extraordinary.

Improved health, increased longevity, decreased disease risk, improved immunofunction, and improved cognitive health are just some of the verified outcomes.

It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?! And isn’t that what every health program promises? Yes. Yes it does. So what makes this any different? How do you know this is for real?

Simple. Neither myself, nor anyone discovering these findings, is trying to sell you something. Because there is nothing to sell. There are no products, supplements, or specialty foods required. There is no money to be made. And this opens the door wide open to explore actual evidence with no ulterior motive of profit gain.

Trust me, that sucks. I have spent a decade and a half watching sham snake-oil sales people and idiot fitness people make fortunes, while I stay true to my ethics and make ends meet. I’m ok with it. All I truly care about is improving the quality of people’s lives.

What then is the purpose of this article?

I want to provide you a stepping stone to further learning. I am going to give you a very brief overview of my learning to date and all of the areas that fasting has shown positive results for human health. You have two options from there.

First: take what I say as factual, trusting that I have done my research and will continuing to follow all of the latest information as it becomes available. Then you can focus on incorporating fasting into your life. I will talk about strategies for this at the end of the article.

Second: begin your own learning. Use these areas I am about to highlight as a starting point to begin your own investigation into the history and benefits of fasting. Question everything. Hunt for a variety of sources. Ensure you are investigating a variety of fields of study.


Here we go! The primary benefits of fasting I have gleaned from years of research, self-experimentation, and observational information from clients I have helped to incorporate fasting.

  1. History


In the history of the planet earth it has been the rare exception that any species or organism has had access to nourishment (food) easily and at all times. Life itself is a constant struggle to obtain enough resources to live. The physiology of animals and plants has been completely evolved around the procurement of resources to sustain us.

Only humans through the use of technology and highly evolving intelligence have been able to surpass this limitation. And only in the last 100 years have large numbers of our species been able to have unlimited access to food. Today, modern western societies and increasing numbers of other societies have access to a large variety of immediately accessible food whenever it is desired.

Of course we over eat. We are genetically built to consume and store as many calories as possible. It is how we ensure long term survival – store as much as you can when there is plenty in order to give yourself the best chance of surving the periods of scarce resources.

We are living in a time, however, that food is always available. Not just available but actively pushed on us. Our bodies were not designed for this and as we continually eat we eschew the mechanisms our bodies have to keep us healthy.

Only recently have we begun to understand that these mechanisms are not just about keeping us alive in times of scarce resources but they are actually essential to our health. Our bodies need times of scarcity in order to function at optimal levels. When we eat too often this break never occurs.

While this article is not going to dive too deeply into WHAT we eat it is important to also note here that until around the 1950’s highly processed food that was able to last for weeks or months did not exist. Later we will briefly discuss the importance of what you eat but it must always be remembered that did not evolve to eat 90% of what you currently find in most grocery stores (not to mention about 99% of what you find in convenience stores…)


Eat your breakfast! It is the most important meal of the day! Say’s all of the corporations who want to sell you cereal. There is actually a well documented history of the rise of the cereal companies and I highly recommend you look it up. Although it can be a little bit scary!

My point here is that there are many ideas that have become common place in our modern times, which run completely contrary to the actual history of humanity. I do not want to get all ‘conspiracy theory,’ however, it is important to note that if you dig a little deeper into the history of our food and our food supply almost all of our food habits and food supplies have been crafted, created, and manufactured intentionally to increase profits. Seriously, I am not making this stuff up.

The truth is that for the majority of the existence of humanity we have eaten once or twice a day, typically around mid-day, and experienced times of feast and times of famine.

The idea of three meals a day plus snacks in between is a VERY modern creation and is beginning to show its horrific effects to our health. It is going to be a very hard battle to fight any kind of change to this ideology and I personally believe it is a losing battle. There is too much vested interested in having us consume as much food as possible.

It must also be noted that feasts and treats were VERY different than what we currently experience. I have written a lot about this and delved a little deeper in my article, ‘The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You are Still Over-fat,’ so I will not go too deep here.

Feasts were rare. Special occasions and after harvests. Obviously, harvests were annual so this was beyond our control. Feasting would have been during celebrations like weddings, specific holidays, or other communal gatherings and would have been very infrequent, most likely only a few time a YEAR.

Today we feast almost daily. Weekends are a constant feasting period and in between there are birthdays, work parties, congratulations you went to sports practice today and deserve a huge meal times. It is constant.

Treats have NO meaning. Cookies, cakes, ice-cream, donuts, pastries, candy, and all of the other shit crap non-nutritive food didn’t even exist before the 20th century! Today they are consumed almost daily. We are especially bad at stuffing this crap down the throats of our children because apparently if they go longer than a day or two without it they will be emotionally devastated and their lives will be terrible.

What does this have to do with fasting? As I will touch on later, when we have fasting periods (as we should) daily there is an even greater importance needed on food quality and there is far less room in our diets for this non-food shit.

Let us dive into the documented benefits of fasting from different disciplines.

  1. Autophagy

In 2016 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discovery on the mechanism for autophagy. Why is this important? Because I want to highlight how new this information is. While we have discovered A LOT about science and nature in the last 400 years, we are still not fully versed in the functioning of our physiology. This concept was hinted at in the 1960’s but wasn’t actually elucidated until the 1990’s!

Autophagy is a term for the underlying mechanisms with our bodies that is a fundamental process for degrading cellular components and then recycling those components. Essentially, it is the garbage truck system of your body and is responsible for cleaning up the degradation of cellular components, which includes things like bacteria and viruses.

Thanks to Ohsumi and others following in his footsteps, we now know that autophagy controls important physiological functions where cellular components need to be degraded and recycled. Autophagy can rapidly provide fuel for energy and building blocks for renewal of cellular components, and is therefore essential for the cellular response to starvation and other types of stress. After infection, autophagy can eliminate invading intracellular bacteria and viruses. Autophagy contributes to embryo development and cell differentiation. Cells also use autophagy to eliminate damaged proteins and organelles, a quality control mechanism that is critical for counteracting the negative consequences of aging.

Disrupted autophagy has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and other disorders that appear in the elderly. Mutations in autophagy genes can cause genetic disease. Disturbances in the autophagic machinery have also been linked to cancer.”
- (Visited March 14th, 2019)

Did you read that? If not go back and READ IT. This isn’t some random theory spewed off from an over zealous celebrity on GOOP. This is real science that won a Nobel Prize. This process is already recognized as vitally important to our physiology and we are just beginning to learn about it!

You want to do everything you can to keep this process functioning at optimal levels. How do you do that? There are only two known ways:
1) Exercising with rigorous intensity
2) Fasting periods of 16 hours or longer.

Two things that are vital to your health. Do them.

  1. Brain Health

Periods of fasting have been associated recently with reduction in risk of many cognitive issues currently plaguing our population. Research is ongoing in the fields of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, and other areas. So far all of the research is demonstrating positive outcomes for those with fasting periods. Obviously, with these types of conditions longitudinal research will take time but with all of the other benefits, why bother waiting?

The brain itself has been shown to have positive effects from fasting periods which many people associate to the other demonstrable benefits of fasting, which include: better sleep, better focus, increased attention spans, clearer thoughts, and improved memory. There are many mechanisms being investigated at the moment and it is unknown at this time the exact physiological process that is creating these results.

  1. Improved Immune System

Improved functioning of the immune system has been observed as a result of fasting and current research is being conducted with AIDS patients as well as cancer patients.

Again, the exact processes are currently not known, however the outcomes are all positive.

As far as I can tell, the following is mostly anecdotal, but it is prolific enough that I do think there is something worth noting. Decreases in sickness and illness are very commonly reported from those who fast and I have personally observed this myself and with my clients. It does stand to reason that if fasting has positive effects on the immune system we would be less susceptible to these types of illnesses.

It is unknown if these outcomes are resultant from fasting itself or other mechanism that themselves are improved as a result of fasting, for example our microbiome, which we will discuss shortly.

  1. Inflammation

Multiple studies have linked fasting to decreases in body inflammation and inflammatory response. It is widely accepted that chronic body inflammation has very deleterious effects on the human body so any mechanism of reducing this should be explored rigorously. Again, the exact mechanisms are unknown at this time but the correlation is there.

  1. Cardiovascular Health

There is small amounts of data on fasting and cardiovascular health and to my knowledge there have not been any specific studies addressing this. However, there are many research summaries that have found links as well as fasting studies that have found links.

The fact that fasting has been linked consistently with reductions in bodyfat, blood pressure, and improved blood triglycerides is undoubtedly underlying the reduction in CVD risk.

  1. Improved Blood Sugar Balance and Hormone Level

A common fear amongst medical practitioners and dieticians is that prolonged fasting period will wreck havoc on blood sugar levels and the levels of other hormones, such as IGF-1. This in turn could negatively impact both healthy people and those with diseases such as diabetes or metabolic disease.

However, all current research as demonstrated improvements to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as reduction, if not complete reversal of metabolic disease. Hormonal research has also found the fasting protocols lead to an improvement in the bodies hormone balances.

  1. Other Medical Issues and Lifespan

It is FAR to early to think that fasting is a cure for major disease, however it must be noted that there is a growing body of research demonstrating reductions in incidences of cancer and reductions in incidences and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Again, this is not yet a viable treatment option but the correlations are beginning to be observed.

It has been known for decades that a reduction in an organisms overall calorie intake is directly related to increases in lifespan. A 30% reduction in overall calories over the course of an organisms life statistically leads to a 30% increase in the organisms lifespan. This has held true across all organisms studies. Fasting invariably leads to long term reduction in calories so it is not surprising that this is correlated to increase life span.

  1. Gut Health and Microbiota

Like autography, our understanding of our gut microbiome and our gut health is still in its infancy. To date however, all data in this field continually supports the idea that the bacteria living inside of us and all over us are VITALLY important to our health.

As I write this article, yet another article, published in the Journal of Physiology, links our microbiota with health benefits, in this case, reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.

Our fascination with sterile environments and our war on all bacteria is linked to dozens of modern health issues such as increases in allergies, increases in disease, reduced immunity, and a host of metabolic disorders. This is just to name a VERY few.

Fasting protocols have consistently been found to have positive effects on our microbome and on our gut health. As I shall discuss shortly this is most likely from two factors; giving our body a beak from constant digestive work, and creating a focus on healthier foods by limiting available eating time. Again, this research is still very new and the next few years will be very exciting!

  1. Matches Our Physiology

As I have stated, there is no organism on earth that has constant and easy access to a source of sustenance. Life is essentially a battle to obtain enough food to keep us alive so that we can procreate. Yes, humans have developed beyond that into future planning and philosophy, however, our genes and our cells do not know this. They are still operating on the premise that the purpose of life is to consume as much food as possible to prevent starvation.

Because of this fact our bodies have a host of mechanisms to deal with periods of low to no food availability. The keto club LOVES to talk about ketones, which is just one of many tools our body has at its disposal to protect us from starvation. This system flips us over to a fat metabolism in order to keep us alive and this is why people love the idea of it. Burning fat as fuel? I can finally get those abs! Our bodies also will down regulate our metabolism and they will shut of different functions in an effort to preserve energy, to name but a couple of others. There are a host of possible routes our bodies can take to protect us.

The purpose of this article is not to discuss the efficacy, nor the intelligence, of attempting to manipulate these systems as a means of conceivably obtaining some kind of culturally mediated aspiration, but is being written to discuss the benefits of fasting protocols for your body. The question of IF we should manipulate these systems can be left for another day.

The last decade has shone a new spotlight on how our bodies truly work and what has been uncovered is that because the rigours of life have created the multitude of protective systems, our bodies have actually come to need periods of eating restriction. We are literally built to function without constant food ingestion. With the richness of modern culture attempting to prevent any type of starvation because of the fact that we are able to constantly have food (unprecedented in history), the idea that constantly eating must be better for us took a strong foothold.

It is now quickly being understood, however, that this is not the case. Example after example, and data point after data point, is demonstrating that our physiology does its job the best when we eat less frequently.

Our physiology is literally designed for this. The grand experiment of constant eating has been an abject failure and we need to move forward armed with a better understanding of how we actually work.

  1. Your Teeth

As of yet I can find no empirical research on this topic so this fasting benefit is a mixture of anecdote and knowledge within the dental health world.

Anecdotally, everyone reports how clean their teeth feel. I have noticed this myself somewhat dramatically. It feels like you have had them cleaned everyday! One of the first things I notice on days with no fasting is that my teeth have that fuzzy feeling to them.

Well, just brush them! Sure, that is possible! Let’s say you subscribe to the three meals a day plus two snacks so typical of modern dietary recommendations and typical of just about every single fitness ‘expert’ out there. That would mean you are brushing your teeth five times a day. Find me the dentist who recommends brushing your teeth five times a day is a good idea. It isn’t. Over-brushing can lead to a host of tooth and gum issues.

And let us not ignore the demands of the amount of time this would eat up combined with the necessity to pack your dental tools with you constantly.

Our teeth don’t want to be covered in food constantly any more than the rest of our digestive system wants to be constantly working.

  1. Time

The last couple of benefits are going to discuss the psychological aspects of fasting.

The first of these is time. Time to cook, prep, pack, carry, and ingest food on a five meal a day basis. Anyone who has attempted this will be the first to tell you how impossible it is for anyone living in our western culture.

Yes, all you fitness buffs out there and wananbe figure and fitness models, I get it. You fucking get off on filling up your perfect little containers with your perfectly portioned little snacks and meals. Cool. Go for it. But please recognize that the rest of us have no interest and most likely no time to do this. Oh, and it’s completely unnecessary but if you disagree with me on that you have learned nothing so far reading this article.

Cooking three meals and prepping snacks for just yourself is time consuming and those who prepare food for their families or others know even more how much time this can take. And then we must also consider the amount of time for shopping, planning, prep, cleaning of dishes and pans and containers, to name just a few other aspects. The fact is that eating this way is very time intensive.

No wonder we have turned to fast food, pre-made meals, boxed and shipped to us meals, delivery, and restaurants. Our modern lifestyles simply do not afford the time to truly prep constant food supplies in a healthy way unless you are able to make that the primary part of your day.

Fasting periods eliminate much of this. Prepping one or two meals a day is far less work and allows the ability to get back to other essential aspects of taking care of our health like cooking. Couple that with creating meals that lend themselves to being eaten multiple days and we can essentially be in the kitchen every other day if that is all that is permitted. Or you can spend a Sunday afternoon preparing a few meals that can be quickly cooked or reheated during the week leaving most of the week free from food preparation.

There are dozens of ways that time is saved by adding in fasting to your life and a quick search of the internet will provide countless blogs with tips, tricks, and advice.

  1. Fixation on Food and the Psychology of Fasting

This is a very common criticism of adding fasting to our lives. The argument is that by skipping some meals we will be so hungry that we will become completely fixated on eating all the time, or that this will develop disordered eating patterns.

Even if this were the case that fasting makes us fixate on food (which it does not), how would this be any different than eating five times a day? People are already constantly fixated on food. When is the next meal? When is the next snack? What time is it…oh shit….I was supposed to eat eight almonds and six pieces of celery ten minutes ago….I’M GOING TO GO CATABOLIC – MY METABOLISM IS CRASHING! Lol. Seriously, you’ve thought this before. I know it.

The truth is, for myself and everyone I have seen go through the transition ot adding fasting, that you focus on food FAR less as time passes. Instead you begin to spend your extra time doing non-food related things and do not fill the time constantly pondering the next meal. If you eat good food you aren’t hungry, ever, and eating becomes a very pleasurable experience instead of just cramming food into your mouth because the clock says so.

We are already fixated on food. Fasting decreases this over time.

And what about developing disordered eating patterns? ALWAYS someone throws out how terrible this would be for people dealing with anorexia or bulimia. The answer to that is, as far as I can ascertain, unknown. If you have seen some data on that please send it my way. But this argument is indicative of so many problems within the world of health and fitness. I am not writing this to deal with psychological issues of a very small minority of the population, I am writing this to the vast bulk of the population who are not anorexic or bulimic. Those people should be in the care of practitioners trained to deal with them and should never be assisted by personal trainers and fitness coaches.

To date I am unaware of anyone who has attempted fasting and then become anorexic or bulimic. So I do not think this is something that need be of concern to 99.9% of people reading this article. If you do deal with those conditions or know someone that does, seek proper help for that!

For the majority of people I talk to and coach the common psychological roadblocks are simply culturally mediated. You have been trained your entire life to ‘eat three squares a day!’ and to, ‘never miss breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day!’ (You can thank Mr. Kellogg and a fancy marketing campaign for that last one. Oh, you didn’t know that cereal companies are largely responsible for many of our modern eating habits? Hmmm.) I hear constantly, ‘oh I could never do that, I just get too hungry!’, or my personal favorite, ‘my blood sugar would get too low if I did that.’

This makes me LMFAO (laugh my fucking ass of…it’s a thing…) for real. I promise you that 99% of people who complain about their ‘blood sugar being too low’ have no fucking idea of how their blood glucose levels actually work, how hormone regulation works via negative feedback loops, nor have they enough scientific understanding to even begin attempting to explain how their physiology works in conjunction with food ingestion.

Yes, many people feel hungry when they start to add fasting periods. Of course you will! You have spent decades eating all the time and changing those habits is going to be noticed. Maybe for a while, although my experience is that these feelings disappear within a week or two. And yes, you might feel low energy at times. But guess what? You were already feeling low energy periods BEFORE fasting and you were masking that behind stimulants. You felt low energy so you turned to sugar and caffeine to pick you up. Try some meditation or a 15 minute nap and see just how easy it is to get through those periods WITHOUT eating food.

Fasting periods do not lead to more fixation on food nor to psychological issues like anorexia and bulimia any more than our modern eating habits already do. These issues aren’t mediated by food timing but by a much larger host of issues that are irrelevant to when you are eating.

To date all I have seen are positive outcomes from a psychological perspective from those who adapt fasting periods long term into their lives.

  1. Fasting Makes You Eat Better

Modern food timing is insane. Eating 8 almonds for a snack in the afternoon to ‘keep your blood sugar up’ (LMFAO – that is one of the stupidest expressions out there that people toss around all the time), or to ‘increase my energy’, makes absolutely no sense. Tired in the afternoon? Did you get enough sleep the night before? Do you exercise? Are you stressed? Are you bored? Those are the most likely contributing factors to the ‘afternoon slump’ and not anything you did or didn’t eat.

When you add fasting into your life the number of meals you have to get in the calories your body needs to function becomes even more vitally important. There is less and less room for bags of chips, chocolate bars, ice cream sandwiches, Halloween candy, and all the other shit we stuff our face with mindlessly that have nothing but deleterious effects on the body. You have to make sure that you are getting everything you need.

Yes, this can be a challenge at first. Most people have no idea what they actually need to be eating and you are going to have to learn. I don’t apologize for this nor will I write an article to make this easier. I firmly believe that it is everyone responsibility to learn for themselves what healthy food is and what we should be eating.

[*** Fine. In order to prevent the bombardment of questions pertaining to this I will tell you how to source what you should be eating. Read: Food, What the Heck Should I Eat, by Dr. Mark Hyman. No, this isn’t a clickable link, search for it yourself and stop being a lazy fuck.

Buy this book, read it, do what it says. Done.]

The truth is that meals and eating are far better when you have to get all the calories and nutrients you need in smaller windows of time. Because you have to EAT. You need to get in fat, and fibre, and protein, and everything else. There is no room for chicken breasts on a bed of lettuce with a couple of almonds and a vinaigrette on the side, there simply isn’t enough nutrition nor enough calories in that meal (and shouldn’t this say something about the typical diet foods we are all conditioned to believe are the ‘healthy’ options?). You have to eat meals with more calories. Fattier cuts of meat, full fat dairy, butter, nuts, potatoes and sweet potatoes, legumes, rice, breads, and a host of other foods that are typically avoided because people think they are unhealthy.

Trust me, eating high quality food that actually is full of calories and nutrition is awesome. Getting over our cultural fucking fixation on how low we can get the calories in something like it is some kind of coveted gold standard (have you seen a yogurt commercial?) is something we all need to strive towards!

You don’t have the room in your diet to fit in the garbage that Costco calls food. Additionally, you will be full and satiated and after a while won’t crave the mindless packaged shit we all love to stuff our mouths with.

There we have it. A decent summation of the benefits of fasting to your life. Again, please, go out and discredit anything I have written with solid empirical resources. Be a good learner and put in that work. Don’t take what I say verbatim unless you already know my writing and content and have a high level of trust with me.

I want to add two additional points here.

First, it is extremely vital that when you begin to add fasting to your life it is imperative that you focus on quality food and that you get adequate nutrition. The idea here is not to starve yourself or to dramatically decrease the number of calories you eat. This is not a diet or a diet program. The goal is to get the number of calories you need for optimal health in smaller windows of time. I firmly believe that one or two meals a day is ideal, however, as I will list later, many other protocols work and are successful.

How do you know you are eating enough calories without weighing and measuring everything (check our episode 45 of my podcast for a detailed discussion on why calculating your macros is stupid)? Pay attention to your body. After a couple of weeks with fasting protocols in your life you should not feel hungry, you should feel alert, and you should have lots of energy. If you don’t then you need to eat more. If your clothes start to get tight then you need to eat less.

Second, I want to address a conspiracy theory. And while I am not a crazy conspiracy theory extremist, I do believe that there is something that warrants serious thought.

Why is their so much push-back and resistance to the idea of fasting, from the medical community, from the pharmaceutical community, and from many large institutions, companies, and organizations? It begins with a complete lack of understanding of human nutrition to be sure, however, I believe there is more insidious reasoning at work.

What if everyone did this? What if everyone ate one or two meals a day and only of non-processed and packaged food? What if people were healthier and the obesity epidemic disappeared? What organizations, companies, and industries would be devastated? Would disappear?

I have always believed in questioning everything and coming to intelligent conclusions based on continually asking questions vs. merely following the status quo. So take those questions I just posed and dig a little deeper. Do some research and analysis on the history of food, the history of food systems, and the modern industrialized food systems, and then ask yourself those questions again. I have done this and it shocked me even though I have always thought myself to be well versed on the topic.

I will leave it at that.

To conclude I want to present a brief overview of the best way to begin fasting and how to begin incorporating it into your life by looking at my experience and the experiences of the people whom I have coached through this process.

I began fasting after the evidence of its efficacy became overwhelming. Like most people, my first question was, ‘how do I start?’ I went through all of the same thoughts and feelings you are probably having right now.

I will be hungry. I can’t not eat breakfast. My blood sugar will crash. Etc., etc., etc..

My solution was to simply pick a protocol and dive right in.

I began with one 24 hour fast every week. I would have dinner on Thursday night, and then fast until dinner on Friday night. Typically Friday is a busy day for me so I figured I wouldn’t have a lot of time to sit around and think about food and that the day usually goes by pretty quickly so that would help make it easier.

The first couple of weeks were challenging but definitely not as challenging as I had anticipated. A few headaches were had and some mild hunger pangs happened during the first two or three Fridays. Interestingly, the hunger pangs were always at typical meal times, breakfast and early afternoon. I now believe that was far more psychological than physiological.

After those first few weeks it was easy. Honestly, it was literally easy. Then it started to become something I looked forward to every week. Getting over the feelings that I ‘should’ be eating was the biggest challenge. Thursday night it felt – weird – not eating dinner. Like anything, however, you adapt quickly.

I believe I did this for about a year and as I delved deeper into the learning I wanted to incorporate more fasting. Sometimes it is like tattoo’s, once you start you want more and more. I loved the feeling of being fasted so I wanted to incorporate more fasting to have that feeling more frequently.

I opted to try an experiment with what is commonly referred to as Warrior Fasting. This means eating all of your calories in a four-hour window everyday. You fast for 20 hours and eat within that smaller window. For me this meant eating dinner and then a smaller snack or meal in the evening. Dinner is usually around 630/7pm and then the rest of the food around 10/11pm.

The challenges here was my love of breakfast and getting over the long instilled idea that eating at night, or even worse, before bed, was one of the worst things you could do. The idea was to experiment with this style for two weeks and see how I felt.

That was over 9 months ago now and the result? I would NEVER go back to any other system of eating. Ever. You couldn’t pay me to. I don’t miss breakfast at all. I thought I would but I really don’t. Every once in a while we have breakfast as I don’t believe you should follow a set schedule all the time (more on that later) and everytime I do this I comment the entire day that I don’t feel as good as I normally do.

I feel sharper, more alert, have more energy, and get more shit done, than I ever have. I feel ficking awesome. I love it. I love food, I love cooking, I love spending an evening meal with my wife everyday. I love everything about it.

3 months ago I embarked on a year long Health Odyssey which saw me overhaul much of my diet and many habits as well as add in many new habits (Read about the Odyssey on my Facebook Page and in my Facebook Group). The first six months of this style of fasting I was eating a nutritious and delicious dinner meal but my next group of calories was terrible. Chocolate, chips, cinnamon buns, and a host of other terrible shit non-food that I so dearly love and used to fill the sadness I have not yet kicked at the sudden loss of my mother 6 years ago. That is a story for another day.

Before I overhauled the types of foods I was eating, while I definitely was feeling a lot different, I was buying larger clothes as the shit calories were bulking my gut to balloon-like proportions. Sadness effects us all differently.

Since the beginning of this Odyssey and some dietary changes I am developing a serious problem. I was complaining about this to my wife just the other day. I told her I might have to go back to my old habits and scrap the Odyssey.

Why? My pants are starting to fall off and so many awesome shirts that I have purchased in the last couple of years are beginning to look like drapes on me. My body fat is dropping. My goal is not aesthetic at all but the accumulation of visceral fat was leading me to a road of horrific health consequences that I know enough should be avoided.

Additionally, the food changes have increased my energy, alertness, thinking, industriousness even further. Something I didn’t really expect. This is a perfect example of how important it is to still focus on healthy food even with fasting.

It is an alarming trend within the fitness industry that I see regularly. The idea that you can eat whatever you want, fast, and lose weight. This is NOT THE POINT of fasting. Fuck. If you are interested in ‘eating whatever you want and losing weight’ then I am sorry you have read this far. You have wasted your time. It is imperative that you focus on healthy, whole foods. Period.

What do I eat? Read the book I listed above. That is my food guide. I have coupled this with two years of culinary learning and can say that my wife and I rarely eat out because there are no restaurants in our town that make better food than me. Check my personal instagram if you want to see the meals I eat (taylorsimon_renaissanceman). That is my dinners or main meal.

Here are some examples…..

I have always loved eating at night. My grandmother would have snacks and read until very late hours and my entire life night time snacks have been a highlight and a bonding experience with my family. It is something I really love. I have changed what I eat.

Instead of chips, chocolate, snack food, ice crème, cinnamon buns, and whatever other junk I used to gorge on, I now eat far more nutritious food that I truly love. Most common (not exclusively) I create a small charcuterie board. A couple of different cheeses, dried fruit, fresh fruit, two or three different nuts, seeds, crackers (made myself), and olives or pickles. Yes, all of that. Other times I will toast slices of a sour dough baguette with butter and put smoked salmon on them. A couple of times a month I will make popcorn in oil on the stove and drizzle with melted butter and salt. Every night with a big glass of kombucha an more recently with milk kefir that pretty much tastes like a milkshake.

Looks like this…

Sounds pretty terrible right? It is all real food. Reputably sourced. Hand prepared. And my clothes are starting to drop off. And I eat this sometimes at 10:30pm then go to bed right after. And I sleep like a baby waking up refreshed and happy.

Healthy food is great food, not just for you, but for your enjoyment and taste as well

I would never go back to my old style of eating. I feel awesome. I am far healthier. And life just feels amazing.

These same results are exactly what the people I coach every single day report as well. Some people have a little bit harder time with the initial adaptation phase, however, if they eat better quality food and stick it out, the result is always the same.

And over the long term we are all setting ourselves up as best as we possibly can to maximize our potential for positive long term health.

This is important because these habits aren’t a 100% guarantee you won’t get cancer, or alzheimers, or some other issue, as there is nothing that can give you that guarantee. But these habits are part of the arsenal you can employ to give yourself the best chance possible to avoid so many deleterious health outcomes.

Finally, here are the most common protocols that people follow and where I think most people should start.

PLEASE note: there is something that I love about the term intermittent fasting. It is the word ‘intermittent’ itself. You have to pay attention to this word as it is key.

For all biological organisms there are times of food scarcity and there are times of food plenty. It is never consistent. I do not believe fasting should be consistent. It should have undulations just as our food sources would have had throughout our evolution and before modern food industrialization. We would have had periods of feasting and periods of close to starvation. When you add fasting it is ok to have week with no fasting and periods with 24, 36, 48, or even longer fasting periods. In fact I think it is imperative that is fluctuates like this.

Don’t get stuck on one pattern and adhere to it with religious fervor. Allow for this idea of changing things sporadically.

That being said, here are the most common systems and the ones I like:


The first really researched protocol on humans was this style. 5 days regular eating with 2 days only eating 500 calories. While the results were present I have found this style to leave people very hungry on those low calorie days as the body never really adapts to the fasting. I have seen very low adherence to this long term and think it should be avoided.

24 Hour

This is where I began by incorporating one 24 hour fast every week. I think this is the second best place to begin for most people, however, I actually like it best as a starting place. I think there needs to be an element of challenge, discomfort, and difficulty to give you something to overcome. This leads to the best change of habit outcome.


By far the most common method. Fast for a 16 hour period and consume all of your calories in an 8 hour period. How easy is this? Eat dinner at 6pm, then skip breakfast and eat lunch around noon the following day. Most of the fast you are sleeping! It does not have to be those times it is merely important that you get a full 16 hour fasting period.

Beyond these protocols it is up to you. As long as you have a minimum of 16 hours fasted you will be ensuring that all of the benefits previously discussed will become a part of your life. Experiment with it as time goes on to see what works the best for you!!!

Remember that there is no ‘right’ way or ‘only’ way. There is no mandatory system you must adhere to forever. Our food resources have never had that kind of regularity before the early 1900’s. Find YOUR way.

I have taken the time to write this because I truly believe this is one of the most important things you can do for your physical health and for so many other aspects of your life in general. Will there ever be widespread adoption of fasting? I am unsure but I am very doubtful. Our modern western cultures are too focused on obtaining pleasure and avoiding discomfort to explore anything that might be perceived as difficult. While the long term effects of fasting are more pleasurable than the immediate gratification of stuffing our faces with sugar and treats it is s tough sell in this modern age.

If I have inspired even one person to make fasting a part of their lives then I will feel myself accomplished. Everything I do is for the love of my fellow humans. To cut through the marketing bullshit that s our lives and help steer them on a course to the best possible health. I will never quit in this endeavor and will always bring the best of my learning to those who are interested.

Much love to you all,

Coach Taylor

Everything You Need for Optimum Health Is Older Than Your Grandma


This is a longer article. It’s going to take a good ten minutes of focused attention. Come on – you can do it!!!! Because this is a vital message.

Everything you need to know about health and fitness happened before 1920. Everything since then is stupid.

I have spent the last few years learning. Deep learning. Most of 2018 I stopped putting out any new content and focused solely on being a student. And it was glorious.

It was also disheartening, scary, thought provoking, eye-opening, and interesting. I wouldn’t say my philosophies or techniques changed. I think I have always known the right path to human health, as I believe that all humans instinctively know deep in our genetic code.

I have spent a lot of time in the modern world of health and fitness, I have learned all the ‘new’ techniques, studied every diet and nutritional strategy, and sometimes been woo’ed by the idea that modern knowledge and technology has somehow created a superior way to care for our health.

This is not true, however.

Everything we need for our health and fitness was being practiced from about 1920 and earlier.

[Side note: modern medical technology is amazing. This is not what I am talking about. If you have been in a horrific accident, developed cancer, have a genetic disease, lost limbs, or a suffer a variety of other ailments that have killed humans in the past, like plagues, bacterial infections, and pandemics, then relying on modern medicine is an amazing aspect of the modern world.

But modern medicine is horrific at prevention and constantly either ignores fitness and nutrition or gets lulled into peddling garbage as doctors are no longer trained in anything other than treatment. I have great respect for aspects of modern medicine, however, this does not mean that it is perfect or that it is missing some huge and very vital components of health. ]

Lol, I do not know how to make this post less ‘boring’ and to get everyone interested enough in the topic to soldier on to the end! Because this is probably the most important information I have ever presented to the public.

This is how I train, how I coach, and how I instruct my team. Everything I am talking about is the culmination of two decades of intense study and learning in the world of human health and fitness. It isn’t going to be flashy or glamorous but it is going to be important.


Nothing is Better Than the Old Ways

Yeah, I said it. I fully believe that everything you need for your health and fitness was around before, let’s arbitrarily say, 1920. Nothing. Nothing that has been developed since that time has improved the health and fitness of the human body.

Now, before a bunch of indignant armchair warriors rise up in arms against me, listen. 

  1. Our understanding of the physical sciences has dramatically improved. This has led to the development of a lot of terribly shitty fitness. Body-part splits, selective training, separation of energy systems, and a host of other issues. We have become so enamored with the increasing detailed knowledge base that training and nutrition has become cumbersome and overly specialized. We forgot that the human body works as an integrated unit.
  2. We have really cool looking equipment made out of insanely advanced materials. Cool. We don’t need any of it. It’s all unnecessary. Does that mean that all of the new fangled equipment should be thrown in the garbage? Well, I would argue yes….however, I believe some of it can find a place in your training if you really cannot let go.
  3. Our food systems have been completely decimated and bastardized since the advent of mass production and refrigeration. This is beyond the scope of this article but there is A LOT of very good information out there if you dig in a little.

There. Band-aid ripped off.

Oh but what about how much better athletes are today? Modern athletes would crush athletes from the early 20th century!!! True!


ARE YOU A FUCKING ELITE ATHLETE? No? Then what the fuck is your point? I am not writing about training elite athletes and this is an entirely separate article I could write – STOP TRAINING LIKE AN ELITE ATHLETE UNLESS YOU ARE ONE. We have put elite athletic training up on some pedestal like it is the epitome of health and fitness. It isn’t. Athletes are not healthy. They are impressive but they aren’t healthy. They push their bodies far past the point of good health. They also dedicate their entire life to training. They have hours of practice, training, recovery, and fitness daily. They have entire teams of coaches, trainers, physiotherapists, doctors, massage therapists, chiropractors, psychologists, and athletic therapists supporting them. Because they need it. To handle the beating they put their bodies through.

You are not an elite athlete and you shouldn’t train like an elite athlete.

What do I mean by nothing is better than the old way then? That is literally the entire point of this article.

We need to regress fitness and nutrition to a very different time.

  1. Training wasn’t for decreasing fat and getting jacked biceps.

There was a time when the purpose of physical training was merely to make the body strong and resilient. When was this? From about the early 20th century and going back roughly 4000 years…

There were exercise programs and there were exercise tools. But they were very, very different than the disaster I see today. And for most of human history our lives themselves kept us strong and mobile with the need to grow, raise, and prepare food, look after our homes, and care for our families. Our lives were very physical.

Fitness equipment was first and foremost the body itself. Climbing, jumping, sprinting, and obstacles made up the majority of training. Yes, there was training equipment and we are starting to bring back some of these classic methods such as the mace, stones, and Indian clubs. But note something about these tools: they only existed for two reasons, 1) as weapons, or 2) as tests of strength to assess someone’s ability to handle weapons.

Training was designed to improve strength, resilience, balance, and movement. The goal was always to develop a stronger human capable of doing a variety of things. To be able to handle life.

The outcome goal was to be fitter and stronger, period.

And the training program was not really designed. When formal training programs were instituted it was typically simply a block of time dedicated to working on the body. It was varied, it was intense, and it was doing whatever was available at the moment.

There were no 10% monthly improvement goals, no rest days built in, or recovery weeks. The purpose of training was TO DO REGULAR TRAINING.

Training was for the sake of training. To keep the body ready to handle whatever it needed to handle.


  1. It wasn’t about more weight and it shouldn’t be now

There is a limit to how much weight you will ever lift. At some point you will hit your max ever and for the rest of your days it will be a constant downhill slide. How’s that for motivation??!! So why are we so fixated on always, always looking for more?

The same goes for all you ‘cardio’ junkies. There is only so fast you can go on a bike, so fast you can run on a treadmill, so long you can ruin yourself on an elliptical trainer. At some point you can’t or won’t go longer or faster. Then what? A life looking back at what you USED to be able to day.

How motivating.

I have the discussion frequently with people; it shouldn’t be about how much you can lift, it should be about how much do you need to lift.

What are your goals? What are the activities you do in your life on a regular basis? Do you NEED to be able to deadlift 300lbs? No? Then why put yourself at risk of injury trying to get to 300lbs? If you want to be able to pick up a cooler of beer to take to the cottage what you need is to be able to pick up about 40lbs, at a weird awkward angle, carry it beside you and then lift it into the car at yet a more weird and more awkward angle. Barbell deadlifts do not prepare you for that.

‘But coach they make the muscles strong, so then you can do those things!’ Do they? Do they really? There is a big difference between a strong muscle and strong muscle that can actually DO stuff. How many people have I seen over two decades who can deadlift 400lbs and then torque their back to shit picking a case of water bottles out of the car?

One for sure. Me. Lol.

Training historically was never about how much you could lift. It was about what you could do and how long you could do it for. 1RM might be great at a powerlifting meet today but when you had to swing weapons for an hour in a battle or spend half a day chasing prey, or spend a whole day gathering plants or fishing, a good combination of strength and endurance was far more important.

And to all the fitness people out there, AND ESPECIALLY to all the trainers and coaches out there…listen up. And listen hard.

YOU get off on how much you can lift, on the thrill of picking up a bigger dumbbell, on adding another plate to the bar. You talk about it with all your friends, post it on Insta, and add it to your CV like it’s important for some reason.

Are you listening hard?

You. Are. A. Freak. YOU are the abnormality. Not your clients. Not the people sitting on the couch. It’s you. It’s you who is different. Because the VAST MAJORITY of people Do. Not. Give. A. Fuck. about how much they can lift. Oh I know, ‘Mary Sue was so stoked last week when she grabbed that bigger dumbbell!’ Ok. Check with her again in 3 years if that is still her guiding force.

Oh. And most of your clients are abnormalities too. They are the people who are actually doing something for their fitness. A small minority of the population. And know why most of them won’t be training in 3 years? Because they don’t give a fuck about how much weight they can lift.

It doesn’t matter how much you can lift. It doesn’t matter how much endurance you have. It matters that you have the strength and endurance to be healthy and to do the things you like to do.


  1. Machines Didn’t (Shouldn’t) Exist

Machines came about during the first world war. A man by the Name of Alexander Mackenzie became interested in helping the men wounded and maimed in the first world war live better lives. The birth of physiotherapy followed.

For my purpose here we will simply need to understand that he began to create machines to figure out how to help these men get stronger because they could no longer do proper fitness training.

Somehow we have come to a place where machines are considered normal for exercise. It is the expectation that a gym be filled with torturous looking constructs of steel with an array of cables running through pulleys that require months just to understand. Why? Why are we there?

I often am presented the argument that machines are more effective and that they are safer. No. And No.

More effective? More effective at what? Yes they can isolate a specific muscle and strength just that one place in that one specific range.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO DO THAT? It’s weird. It literally makes no sense. Oh, and IT ISN’T HOW THE BODY WORKS. Our body is an interconnected system that balances and supports itself in a beautiful symphony of movement. Exercise machines completely destroy all of this.

Safer? How are they possibly safer? I think they are the opposite of safe. They fuck up your basic movement ability leaving you are way higher risk for issues in your everyday life. You know, like when you carry groceries, or your kids, or have to lift that pesky cooler of beer into the car…

Life doesn’t happen in controlled predictable ways moving through set ranges of motion. Training it that way leads to far more harm than it does good. Exercise machines are stupid.

And this included the exercise bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, and whatever other new contraption your local gym has installed to keep you interested. They are all stupid. They are all stupid. They are all stupid. Am I being clear enough?

Want to have some fun? Grab a couple of machine junkies, either cardio or weight machines, and get them to push a heavy sled, toss some battle ropes, sprint up a hill, or jump onto a box 50 times. Just see how hard that is for them. Watch them suffer.

Trust me, it’s fun!!!!

Because those machines are NOT getting them fitter, they are masking how unfit they really are. Or letting them hide behind poor movement and injury. If you can’t jump on a box or push a sled or carry a heavy kettlebell across the gym floor but you can elliptical then you are hiding. You have to get yourself to a point that you can do those things or your movement will degrade to the point you won’t be able to do anything.


  1. No one separated ‘cardio’ and ‘strength

I am not going to spend much time on this. Why? I have ranted on about it enough in my career and frankly the whole idea of doing this is so fucking stupid that I am totally in shock that it is even debated anymore, or that it is still a thing.

Your cardiovascular system and your muscular system do not work independently of each other. That is literally basic physiology. Like, that’s basic biology most high school students could explain to you. Muscles need oxygen when they work, therefore, the heart and lungs must work to get oxygen to the muscles.

There is your reason.

Now, all of you researchers out there, stop being idiots. Stop basing your research on either strength training or ‘cardio’ training. Enough is enough. The body works as a unit, let’s start studying it as a unit.



  1. No one went for a jog or took up running

Why? Because it’s stupid. Lol. But it is. Walking and running are activities with a purpose – to get us places, to get away from something that was going to eat us, or to catch something we wanted to eat. If we didn’t have to do one of those things then you minimized these activities.

I am not going to dive into the history of the running movement. Look it up if you like. I can’t spoon feed you everything.

Our bodies are designed to run and to sprint when we need them to. And they are fucking fantastic at it. But they were not designed to run, and run, and run, and run, and run. Nor were they designed to ONLY run.

We ran sometimes (see above reasons for running) but then we also lifted things, threw things, built things, gathered things, moved things. And stuff. We did all of those things with stuff as well.

Not today though. Today ‘runners’ are about as annoying as vegans. They are a self-righteous group of people who don’t actually understand what it is they are doing. Do you know the stats? 80% of runners have pain or injury at any given time. What? But no one see’s an issue here? You shouldn’t be this injured or in pain.

Running is a limited range of motion activity that decreases markers of cardiovascular health, wreaks havoc on numerous body systems, and completely throws off proper movement patterns.

CAN you run? Sure. I think everyone should do some running, especially sprinting! However, it should be a small percentage of your overall movement and training. You know, like what it was designed to be.

We were NOT meant to run hundred of kilometers a week. We just weren’t.


  1. Nutrition was easy


Before the 1920’s nutrition was easy. Everything was local, naturally raised, pasture fed, non-processed, seasonal and fermented. Restaurants barely existed, food manufacturing was in it’s infancy, and people ate well. (Let’s ignore the issues with poverty and access for this article please). Literally, you couldn’t eat poorly.

Cakes and cookies etc. existed but they were rare and expensive. So you had things like that as a treat on very special occasions. There were no hydrogenated oils. No chemical stabilizers.

You had to cut and prepare all of your food. You had to know how to cook. You prepared food as a family and as a community.

You ate once a day, maybe twice on average. This would have been a pre-1900 and really pre-industrial revolution which is where we begin to see the advent of breakfast and scheduled eating. Before that we ate like all other animals on earth: when food was available and when we had time. Typically, lunch was a large meal. There were no scheduled snacks and breakfast pretty much didn’t exist. Look it up, this is real history. Now we call it intermittent fasting but it is really just the way we evolved to live.

Fast food, deep fryers, and packaged food didn’t exist.

Food was seasonal. In off seasons (like winter in Canada) we relied on fermentation to have food supply. This kept us stocked up on good bacteria and our micro biomes healthy and happy.

Done. There it is. Everything you need to do to eat healthy. Eat like we did before the 20th century.


  1. Sacrifice, hardship, and pain

I think this is the most important thing we need to consider.

Our modern culture is fixated on ease and on taking away any kind of hardship. We create products and systems to minimize pain and discomfort. Everything with health and fitness is designed to be easy, quick, simple, painless.

This is not normal.

Pain is real. It sends signals we need. When you learn to play the guitar it hurts. But your fingers build up callouses. The same as doing pullups. At first it hurts. Your poor little modern baby hands will hate it. But you keep going and you will build callouses. And then it won’t hurt as much.

Hardship is real. Historically people trained because life was training. Life was hard. Everything was physical. You didn’t get to go to every party. Vacations? What the hell are those? Is that when you are off to war for a couple of years in a foreign land? Which is also why you were training with those heavy maces, consequently. You had to work the farm, build a barn, fix your house, care for your animals, grow your food.

Sacrifice was part of life. It just existed. It didn’t matter if you didn’t feel like feeding the livestock that day. It didn’t matter if you wanted to do something else. No one cared. It was life. You didn’t get to do what you want whenever you wanted to. Sometimes FOREVER. For your whole fucking life.

We are built to deal with these things. This is what makes us strong and resilient. And while you may think this is a strange thing to add to this article, I am telling you that this is the most important part.




Life itself was training before the early twentieth century and early, to the dawn of humanity. Literally just staying alive and feeding ourselves required an enormous amount of physical labour. There are lessons we must take from this to live a healthier life now.


  • Do physical activity every single day
  • Fitness should be based on whole body training
  • Fitness should be ancient tools or just your bodyweight
  • Mix it up with different activites: run, sprint, climb trees, swim, swing a mace, carry heavy things all over, throw stuff, roll around on the ground, act like a kid, hang upside down.
  • Deal with the pain and discomfort, it makes you stronger
  • It is a challenge. It isn’t easy. But you have to do it. You have to schedule it. You have to suck it up. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not. Do it. Or you are an asshole.
  • Eat once or twice a day
  • Eat less red meat, more poultry and seafood
  • Eat veggies and fruits and whole grains
  • Eat eggs
  • Eat fermented food everyday
  • Always be learning new skills


That is the roadmap for you to be healthy, strong and fit for the rest of your life.

And that, my friends, should be the goal.


-Coach Taylor




Fitness Should Be A Chore

I can feel the fitness industry cringe as they read the title of this article.

There will be a backlash coming for sure. “How could you say that Coach Taylor? We have to make fitness fun and exciting for people to keep them interested and help them change their life!”


After 15 years working full time in this industry I would just have one question to all of those who disagree with me: how is that working out for you?

Seriously. Let’s just try for one second to look at the ACTUAL statistics instead of further diving into the magical unicorn wonderland that exists inside the heads of all the well meaning but grossly maligned people working in the fitness industry.

Obesity is on the rise.

Participation in fitness programs is stagnant.

Diabetes is on the rise.

Heart disease is not disappearing.

Joint replacement surgeries, bariatric surgeries, and other medical procedures related to poor fitness are all on the rise.

Depression is on the rise.

I could continue this list for most of my morning. However, I believe I have made my point.

The entire fitness industry has acted with alarming repetition for the last 4 decades. Fun. Interest. Excitement. The keywords that guide every fitness program and are puked out of the mouths of almost every speaker at every conference I have ever attended.

The thought is that we need to entice and coax people into a fitness environment that they enjoy and find fun in order to get them healthy and exercising. The whole industry does everything they can to make sure people have a plethora of options so that they can choose something that work the best for them. If we can help people find that one thing that they love doing then all of their health and fitness problems will be solved!


Not only do we want to make sure you love what you are doing, we also know what is best for you and will spend exorbitant amounts of time coercing and convincing you that you will love it too!

Three weeks! That’s all it takes to make a habit! You just have to stick it out for three weeks and then you’ll also love getting up at 5am, chowing egg whites and cabbage before heading to the gym to throw some iron around! Don’t worry you’ll love it! Look at me, look at me, look at me!!! See how much I love it!!!! And have you seen the latest half naked pic of me on my Instagram feed? Don’t I look awesome? Don’t you want to look awesome like me?

All you have to do is find out what you like doing that fits within the same things that I do and tough it out for three weeks and then fucking BAMMMO… will also be living inside my magical unicorn wonderland!!!!!!

Again fitness industry….how it that working out for you?

We need to flip the script. To change everything. To completely revamp the message and the practice.

I have evolved. And now you all need to live inside MY magical unicorn wonderland.

Lol, that’s a joke for all the idiots who are going to message me later about my huge ego and how I have no fucking idea what I am talking about. Don’t bother, there is a very high likelihood I don’t much care about your opinion.


I am old. Very, very old. I am pushing towards 40 years old and have been doing this full time as a career for over 15 years. Literally, when this became my career the majority of today’s fitness trainers and coaches were averaging in age around 5 to 10 years old. If you survey fitness professionals with more than a decade of full time experience and are around 40 years of age or older I would suspect they would tell you the same thing I am about to tell you.

I don’t know for sure though as it is a tough group of people to question as they are more concerned with actually working to make peoples lives better and aren’t answering the latest insta story survey question.

Alas….I digress again.

Fitness should be a chore.

No, wait. Let’s make that a more assertive statement.

Fitness IS a chore.

I hear the chorus of voices now, ‘but I love fitness, it isn’t a chore at all!’ I hear you. You just might think that.

Did you know there are actually people who LIKE gardening? Who LIKE cleaning their house? There are even humans that exist who LIKE cooking their own food!

But for the vast majority of people all of those activities are chores.

They are all activities that HAVE to get done in order for us to live and be healthy. We let farmers do our gardening. We either force ourselves to clean or join the growing trend of hiring house cleaners so we can avoid that as well. And most people wouldn’t know the difference between sautéing, steaming, boiling, or roasting their veggies anymore. Because that is just so much work.

These three examples are great to elucidate the fact that fitness led the pack many decades ago of things that are vital to humans that we will not do if given the chance.

And I truly believe that it is destroying us.

The great social experiment has to end. We have tried. We have tried to convince people to exercise. We have tried to make it fun, inviting, and entertaining. It hasn’t worked.

Now more than ever we must change the entire way we perceive health and fitness. Because we are on a treacherous path that is getting worse and most people have their heads stuck in the sand.

People don’t open their own car doors anymore. Chop or prepare their own food. Walk anywhere. Fuck, grocery DELIVERY is becoming more popular. We are so lazy now we can’t even be bothered going to a store to collect the food that has been grown, harvested, and prepared already for us.

We are moving less and less and less. If you truly look at how much you move in a day and go even deeper and look at the quality of that extremely small amount of movement I believe most people, including those working in the industry, would be truly shocked. It is horrific. It is scary. It needs to change.

And we need to change our entire collective attitude about it.

Fitness is a chore.

We need to coach it as a chore.

We need to treat it like a chore.

We need to market like a chore.

It needs TO BE a chore.

I am going to let you in on my philosophy of physical fitness:


I.Do. Not. Care. If. You. Like. Your. Fitness. Program.


I don’t care if it’s boring, I don’t care if it’s not exciting, I don’t care if you have done that exercise twice this month already, I don’t care if you don’t like getting up early, I don’t care if Netflix just released a whole season of Stranger Things and you need to binge it right now.

I. Do. Not. Give. A. Fuck.

What I do care about it that you are able to move better tomorrow. I care that you are able to wipe your own ass when you are 70. I care that you can take that dream vacation to Europe and you don’t have to spend it riding around on a bus merely looking at landmarks as you pass by. I care that you don’t have high blood pressure. I care that you don’t develop type 2 diabetes. I care that you can take our dog outside and enjoy watching them frolic in the grass while the sun warms your face and you sip a freshly ground coffee.

How much you ‘like’ getting to that place is irrelevant.

We live in a culture of excess and comfort that is beyond anything humans have experienced in our thousands of years of evolution. And if we continue to view our fitness as something that we don’t have to do simply because we don’t like it and it makes us a little uncomfortable then we must prepare to build more braces, commit to more surgeries, and get a drug plan subscription in order to keep our hearts still beating.

It is a truly horrific path that we are walking down.

And I won’t be a part of it anymore.

If you can find physical activity that you love and you get excited for I think that is truly awesome. Keep it up!

But for the other 90%…

It’s over. Your lazy, excuse fueled, bullshit rhetoric of why do choose to let your bodies die a slow death while you agonize over the atrophy of decay that is so visceral you can smell it, just won’t work on me anymore.

I am here to help those who want advice and who want to make their lives better.

I am not here to be your entertainer, your friend, your confidant, your motivator, or your therapist.

I am here to be your health and fitness coach. I will tell you exactly what you need to do to ensure the best chance of a long and active time on this earth.

I don’t care if you like it. I only care that you do it.

And if you do then you will be in a position to truly make the most of this precious thing you have been granted that so many are deprived of: Life.


-Coach Taylor

Fitness Professionals or Porn Stars, the (supposed) Leadership of the Fitness Industry

**Repost –> original post was hacked and deleted!!!!!**

**Update – February 15th – ISSA is STILL running the ad**

I can’t let this go. I just can’t. I was getting ready to go to bed as was about to read a cute article on the joys of owning a dog, which I thought would be a great way to send myself off to sleep.

And there, right in the middle of my article, between cute pictures of puppies being cute, was this image.

What is there even to say?

What is this ad? What is its intent? What are its implications?

Why am I so infuriated with this?

***Caution. I curse. And as I get fired up it gets worse. If this offends you REALLY shouldn’t follow my stuff. ***

Because this is a beautiful representation of everything that is wrong with the fitness industry and that the supposedly ‘reputable’ certification organizations are doing a severe injustice to everything true professionals are trying to accomplish.

This post is singling out the ISSA because of an egregious marketing campaign but it is simply a convenient and current example of an underlying cancer that eats away at the heart of an industry I have dedicated my life to.

Search Google images for personal trainers and you get images like this….An exact representation of what society believes personal trainers to be and exactly what I fight every day to change!!!


have publicly and privately endorsed the ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association), I have advised dozens of people to do their certification, in fact my entire staff are (sorry, WERE) required to complete the ISSA designation.

I was even able to let go of other issues with the ISSA. Like, in 2015 when one of their public directors, John Rowley was quoted in an article as saying kettlebell swings are a waste of time because it uses momentum and doesn’t train the legs, a completely ridiculous statement that demonstrates a complete lack of basic knowledge of the exercise.

The ISSA defended his stance because the media gave him glowing reviews. Because that means that he is obviously qualified. I think the media also gives Dr. Oz glowing reviews….. They list him as the director of wellness for the ISSA yet seem to think his opinions do not reflect on their organization.

I was willing to let that go.

I was.

But now this.

This ad.

Are you cut out to be a personal trainer.


With a racy image of an anonymous female mid-section in low rising shorts or pants and a sports bra.

Because that has what exactly to do with being a personal trainer?

Now I am going to make some comments which the ISSA will deny before they backpedal and cry that this isn’t what they meant. At this point I have come to expect this from them. I have come to realize that they are more concerned with publicity than they are with authenticity. That social media clicks are more important than helping to create a better health and fitness industry.

What does this image and slogan have to do with being a personal trainer?

The slogan on its own I could live with.

Are you cut out to be a personal trainer.

Should mean: are you willing to study, learn, educate, and better yourself everyday in order to better serve the people who hire you to make their lives better? Are you willing to spend late nights researching, to invest time and money in conferences, clinics, seminars, and mentorships to ensure you become a consummate professional?

Those things make show you are cut out to be a personal trainer.

But pair that slogan with this image?

Oh I get it ISSA!!!!! Are you CUT out to be a personal trainer?? Cut. Like as in lean, like the woman’s abs in the photo. I get it. They are cut. It’s a double entendre. I think every adolescent boy and grade 7 English student gets it.

How much did you have to pay the copywriter for that one?

So your implication then is that to be a personal trainer you have to be cut, lean, skinny, or match whatever physical characteristics you deem to equate to health that you have chosen this week.

No, you argue? That isn’t what you meant? Please then, enlighten me?

Oh you were just having fun? Trying to be a little puny? (See what I did there?) Because I don’t think it’s very fucking funny.

Not at all.

I think this plays right into the pornification of the fitness industry and exacerbates huge issues currently plaguing the fitness world.

You are objectifying women’s bodies to play into an asinine belief that to be a fitness professional all that is important is what you look like.

And sorry, if you argue that you are more than that you need to go look at your ad.

I didn’t see anything professional about it. I didn’t see any implication about the hard work being a true health and fitness professional takes. I didn’t see anything speaking to the years of learning and education it takes to be entrusted with the health and wellness of people. People paying you money to be a professional.

When was the last time a physiotherapy or medical school advertised their educational offerings with a half naked woman as their featured ad?


Oh they don’t because that would be ridiculous? Because they are professionals?

So then even taking away the sexist and overtly sexualized nature of your ad you are implicitly stating that personal trainers are not professionals. Again, fighting against everything I have dedicated my life to change. You are cementing the belief that personal trainers are not professionals but merely a group of narcissists more interested in displaying their abs than their knowledge and experience.

And there you might just be on to something.

The world of personal training and fitness coaching is everything you are implying with this vomit inducing marketing campaign. You hit it right on the nose. You explained it perfectly.


Google image search for ‘female fitness coach’


And I expected, nay, I HOPED for more than that from you. Because at the root of it, the reason I used (not the use of past tense, another great use of the subtleties of the English language) to endorse your certification was because it has the best information of all the certifications available. It is the most current and progressive material combined with actual testing that isn’t just multiple choice but includes methods to assess actual application of knowledge and principles.

And then you go and belittle everything that you had the potential to be.

Your ad is sexist, irrelevant, and damaging. I. Am. Appalled.

I may just be one random little coach in a small Canadian city but I promise you ISSA, I am not the only person offended by your antiquated and misogynistic marketing ploy.

Sex sells, but this isn’t the porn industry.

Shame on you.

-Coach Taylor

The most important thing I have ever written.

How the Fitness Industry Destroys Itself; and How To Fix It

A Manifesto

By: Coach Taylor Simon

Prefer an audio version? CLICK HERE 


This has been percolating a long time in my head.

The fitness industry is broken. It defeats itself. It stands in its own way and prevents some truly passionate, educated, and intelligent individuals from being able to truly make the health of our entire population better.

The health and fitness industry struggles to help the population at large deal with the continued epidemic of lack of activity combined with an indulgence of poor nutritional practices. We blog about it, post about it, make TV shows intended to inspire people to change their lives, publish hundreds of magazine every month filled with information to assist people to make positive change.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 10.29.59 AM

And all the while it is the fitness industry itself that is the problem.

Yes. It is us. It is the gym owners, bloggers, personal trainers, fitness coaches, strength coaches, aerobics instructors, crossfitters, nutritional coaches, figure models, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts who are the real culprits behind the lack of efficacy in delivering the right message to the population. The message that could actually make everyone live a healthier life.

We like to sit on our high horse and blame Dr. Oz, magazine publishers, and a plethora of others for creating the issues. And don’t get me wrong; magazine publishers don’t give a fuck about your health. They just want to increase readership using the same tactics CNN utilizes to maintain viewership – sensationalization. And Dr. Oz – not much to really hash out there – if anyone still listens to any of his advice there is nothing that is going to get through that wall in their head.

But the age of the Internet should have taken away control from the mass media and allowed professionals to deliver true health information.

Alas, it has not.

Personal websites, Instagram, and Facebook pages of the vast majority of individuals and businesses in the fitness world do nothing but spew out a constant barrage of self-indulgent images and information that is so obviously a narcissistic need to garner support to bolster personal egos and feelings, that we are no better than the media conglomerates doing whatever it takes to make a buck.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 10.31.50 AM

The fitness industry itself does not even know what health is. The so called ‘fitness professionals’ have completely lost the definition of health. Somehow we have perverted what the word health is. There is an overriding belief that the measure of health is somehow related to appearance.

This could not be further from the truth. You cannot judge a person’s health based on their appearance. Period. Yes there are some outward indicators that can speak to the health of an individual. Jaundice is visible, anorexia is visible, morbid obesity is visible. But the real things that matter are not visible. Blood pressure, VO2 max, respiratory function, strength, mental health, stress, cancer, diabetes, and just about every actual health issue we should be concerned about is not readily apparent based on what we look like.

Yet consistently EVERYTHING in the fitness world is based on what we look like. Magazines, modelling, and celebrity aside, it is the fitness industry itself that perpetrates this delusion. It is the majority of personal trainers, fitness business owners, group exercise instructors, yoga and Pilates instructors, sport coaches, and strength coaches that cause the very problems they pretend to want to solve.

Where does it come from? When did we lose what the true meaning of health really is?

Focus on the aesthetic is nothing new. Since antiquity we have talked about the human form. However, this discussion was always combined with a focus, an association, on work and performance. The appearance of the body was idolized as a way to demonstrate

Mosaïque_des_bikinis,_Piazza_Armerina (1)the physical feats of what the body was capable of accomplishing. It wasn’t until the rise of bodybuilding, which began around the year 1900 that the focus of what health was began to shift towards purely the aesthetic. Even as late as the 1950’s the majority of what we idolized as healthy were the strongmen and athletes, who did not poses the aesthetic of 6 pack abs and stick thin limbs.

Between 1900 and the late 1950’s we shifted from valuing strength and function to valuing leanness and thinness. After that, the population became less physically active and a larger percentage of people had the resources to access as much food as they could consume and the size of people began to swell. This further continued the shift towards focus on physique over strength and health as the bodies of people in developed countries drifted further away from a perceived notion of health based on aesthetics.

In 1963 we saw the formation of the first diet program, Weight Watchers, which is still one of the largest health organizations in the world today. I mean, just look at the words in the name, weight watchers. A focus on what you weigh, as if that had anything to do with your health. By the late 1970’s and early 1980’s we see the emergence of facilities catering to physical fitness for the general population with the advent of the gym.

Understand that gymnasiums have existed since the days of the Greeks and from 1700’s to the 1900’s gymnasium facilities existed based on German and Nordic models. But as the Western population grew and our daily activity decreased to levels of inactivity never before seen in large human populations in the late 20th century, more and more people began to seek out facilities to partake in physical exercise.


Welcome to the rise of the modern gym. And who opened, designed, operated, and grew this flourishing gym business? The bodybuilding community did. Almost everything in modern fitness stems from the bodybuilders of the late 1960’s through the 1980’s. And today what we epitomize as ‘fitness’ are bodybuilders, figure models, and other physique focused groups.


We are only now slowly seeing a shift away from bodybuilding style training; however, it isn’t a shift in the right direction. Today, 2016, we are slowing starting to move away from the aesthetic focus. Instead we are now idolizing only the most elite of the elite. American Ninja Warrior, the Crossfit Games, and The Biggest Loser.


All impressive feats and all out of reach for the vast majority of the population. They promote such an elite and physically demanding approach to fitness that anyone not properly prepared for the rigors of participation are doing more harm than good to their health.

The new attitude that fitness is only effective if you barf during training and cannot walk normally for days has combined with the bollocks belief that the leaner the body is the healthier it is. This has created an even larger misconception amongst the population as to what true health and fitness truly is.

I had hoped that the rise of the Internet would help to counteract this. That we could move away form pure focus on the aesthetic and move towards a focus on physical fitness that actually was focused on improving health.

It has not. Instead we continue to put those with very specific physiques on a pedestal as the perfection of health. And the supposed leaders of the fitness industry who have pledged to help the population become healthier, merely continues to ingrain and persist the notion that fitness = appearance.

Don’t believe me?

Check out various covers Men’s and Women’s Health Magazines from 2015. Note the name of the magazines, Men’s HEALTH and Women’s HEALTH.

health covers






health covers 2






There is a lot of debate and discussion amongst the fitness community that these publications need to change and stop canonizing these images as the epitome of health but then the same fitness community DOES THE EXAcT SAME THING.

The majority of people who think they are helping to make us healthier and fitter are actually driving the majority of people away and perpetrating the very false beliefs they fervently rally against.


Go through the images, posts, and publications of various well-known fitness names and business on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. What do you see?

gym selfie

brit fit


Before and after photos, weight loss challenges, photos of very lean individuals, success photos in clothes that don’t fit anymore, and picture, after picture, after picture, of wannabe ‘health professionals’ showing off their bodies.

We idolize everything we are supposed to be trying to change.

Every selfie of your abs, every snap of you without a shirt on, every post of your plastic containers of perfectly measured organic, gmo-free, gluten free, paleo approved, low carb, low cal, free range, local diet, is teaching people that there is only one way to be healthy and only one way to measure what healthy is.

Every fitness program, every fitness challenge, every fitness business, every fitness inspiration story celebrates the same thing. Getting smaller, losing weight, looking a certain way, and fitting into a false notion of what health is.

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Before and after photos. Transformation challenges. Skinny jeans programs. Weight loss competitions. The message: skinny is healthy, being smaller is better. This idea that the measure of a persons health is in anyway related to what they look like is fucking preposterous and yet everything the fitness industry does is built on the back of doing everything possible to fit into an aesthetic ideal.

The fitness industry today is a narcissistic fantasyland of people who think they are helping to motivate the population to health and fitness but are actually driving the vast majority of people away.

Most of these fitness people truly think they are helping. I guess I can’t fault them for that. They want to help and they are going about it the best way they know how. The way they learned, from the people before them, who did the same thing.

Those people learned from the people before them. It all stems back to the rise of modern fitness, which as we discussed, is based on the ideals of the bodybuilding world that created the gym world that made fitness and health what it is today.

The part that really nauseates me is that the vast majority of these ‘fitness professionals’ who truly believe they are helping people have not and are not, required to learn anything or garner the pre-requisites necessary, to be qualified educators and coaches.

Being able to get yourself lean and have a muscular physique DOES NOT qualify you to assist others to do the same. The fact that you LOVE fitness does not mean you have to try and make everyone else love fitness. Your ability to stringently monitor your nutrition is not an indicator that you are exemplifying the best strategy for diet that all humans should adhere to.

The problems facing the fitness industry are resultant of two factors:

  1. Most fitness people are narcissists
  2. Most fitness people in the industry do NOT have the requisite knowledge of physiology, biology, psychology and motivation to be responsible for others health and fitness

(It might look like we are about to head off on a tangent as you continue on – but bear with me – this is all going to tie together at the end!!!!! We are going to explore point number two and then bring it back to point #1)

I have been in many debates with trainers and coaches over the years concerning the fact that personal trainers and fitness coaches step out of their scope of practice ALL THE TIME.

The fact that the vast majority of personal trainers, fitness coaches,

group exercise instructors, and others involved in the fitness industry DO NOT have anywhere near enough education and experience in physiology and biology is not the point of this article. It is not the primary issue confronting us. It’s horrific, yes, but it is not the root of why the fitness industry really fucking sucks.


So much of the fitness industry’s focus is on motivation. That we should be talking to our clients to understand their needs, to understand the issues in their lives, to delve into the real reasons behind their fat gain, to source out the issues with their personal lives and how it is affecting their health.

#sorrynotsorry for the following caps…


We are fitness professionals. We build fitness programs. We teach fitness techniques. We monitor progress. We motivate people to try their best during a workout. We give guidelines for nutrition and what to eat.

That. Is. It.

Sitting with your crying client to try and understand what is happening in her personal life or in her past and how that is affecting her ability to commit to the fitness program she is desperately trying to stick to IS FAR BEYOND YOUR SCOPE OF PRACTICE.

Trying to employ tactics to increase adherence to a fitness program and motivate people to train more regularly is BEYOND YOUR SCOPE OF PRACTICE.

Your job is to provide exercise knowledge, physiology knowledge, support during training and programs, cueing, and long term tracking of progress towards the client’s goals.

That is it. That is all we are supposed to do.

And we aren’t even very good at that in the fitness industry. We literally do not even have standards across the industry to ensure that the basic aspects of what fitness professionals are supposed to do are done adequately and with integrity. We are really quite bad at even what should be the core of our profession.

We vehemently skewer and gorge dozens of other professions for overstepping their scopes of practice. We lambaste doctors for giving fitness advice. We bicker amongst ourselves at who is allowed to teach certain fitness techniques. Personal trainers lament that group exercise instructors attempt to teach advanced exercise form. Group exercise instructors are aghast that personal trainers start their own bootcamp programs. Everyone in fitness explodes when chiropractors or massage therapists give exercise advice.

And then we go and pretend like the most important part of our job is the work of a trained therapist, counsellor, or psychologist.

And because we feel qualified to dispense this kind of advice and information without a proper understanding of human psychology and behaviour and without ANY formal training in the field we are actually doing FAR MORE harm than good to the population.

(HERE WE GO! The moment you have been waiting for – where the fuck am I going with all of this??)

The narcissistic atmosphere of the fitness industry and the focus on the aesthetic has combined with our lack of understanding of human psychology and motivation to destroy our ability to improve people’s health and fitness.

You think you are motivating people when you post an after workout selfie in your sports bra.

You think you are motivating people to want to exercise when you snap a video of fitness advice in front of a mirror with no shirt on with your abs popping.

You think showing the progress of your glute development on your Instagram account with your ass at eye level to the camera will make people want to deadlift.

You think posting photos of your perfectly portioned meals for the week in their perfect little plastic containers is helping teach people how to eat well.

You think a Facebook post talking about how hard you work and how difficult all of your choices to be a fit person are is encouraging people that they can make the same decisions.


Dead fucking wrong.

All of these things that fitness people do that they think are motivating others to make changes and be to be healthier and fitter, aren’t. All this talk about making sacrifices and that you must suffer through the hardships in order to be healthy does not make people want to make changes.

The truth is that all of these things are DEMOTIVATING people to be healthy. They are turning people away from the fitness industry.

All of these things are driving the majority of the population into the arms of Dr. Oz, the food babe, David Wolfe, and the rest of the ‘health’ charlatans.


We spend so much time denouncing these people without ever realizing that the reason they have amassed such a huge influence is because WE HAVE DRIVEN THEM THERE due to our lack of understanding of human psychology and motivation and a narcissism that underlies the very core of the fitness world.

It is time for the fitness industry to become an actual profession, to grow up, to mature and until we do there will be no change.

What actually happens when we post half naked selfies, constantly promote health as a specific body image (almost always young and very low fat), and talk about how much hard work and sacrifice people will have to make to be healthy and fit?

We turn them off.

The best way to learn this is to read, The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly41-vHbuLMFL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ McGonigal, Ph.D. It is a fantastic introduction to the world of human motivation.









Remember in the 90’s when anti-drug campaigns were all the rage? Did you know that they actually increased marijuana use?! How? They kept talking about how many other kids were using marijuana, especially all the star athletes and popular kids, and to just say ‘no’ when they approached you.


So they told you all the popular people are smoking pot. Leading to everyone to the realization that way more people were getting high and that those kids were popular. And humans want to be a part of the popular group. Off went many more kids to take a toke.

That’s real psychology and motivation at work.


We know that people like to be comfortable and minimize work. Yet we spend countless hours telling people how much work they will have to do and how many sacrifices they will have to make in order to achieve the ultimate fitness goal of leaner limbs and 6 pack abs. Guess what? This drives people away from wanting to take up exercise or change their diet. They want to be comfortable. They don’t want to do hard work.

And then we report over and over how only 10% of people exercise regularly, and more and more people are becoming obese, that most people don’t exercise and everyone eats unhealthy food.

Do you see it? Do you see what we are doing?

We are, AT SCALE, telling people that most people don’t exercise, don’t like exercising, and are eating whatever they want. We then tell them that to be a part of the minority of people who are different is going to be hard work, require a ton of sacrifice, and be uncomfortable.

Do you see it?

WE ARE DRIVING THEM AWAY. People want to belong to the group. To do what everyone else is doing. We live in a culture that loves to believe in individuality and that everyone is unique. Unfortunately, this is just not true. People actually want to fit in, not stand out, and be a part of the group. That is basic human behaviour.

And off goes the fitness industry doing exactly the opposite of what we need to be doing to actually having an impact on the health and fitness of the population.

I recognize there are many other issues contributing to the current health issues of our population. Mass media messages, schools, and other cultural and institutionalized processes also play a part. Those are beyond our control as fitness professionals. But how we teach people about health and fitness is within our control.

And the modern Internet age SHOULD be allowing us to get the real message out.

Yet the vast majority of fitness wannabe professionals are actually pushing out a constant barrage of messaging that is driving away the majority of the public.

And I very much believe it is as much a result of narcissism as it is the result of lack of understanding and education (not school based, you don’t need University to be educated).

Fitness professionals need to educate themselves on the topics of biology and physiology. They need to understand what they are doing and stop simply copying what other people are doing. Teaching fitness isn’t about grabbing exercises off YouTube or from another persons program and giving it to a client.

Fitness professionals need to stop trying to be psychologists and therapists. This is way beyond our scope of practice. Period.

Fitness professionals should not be posting picture of themselves. Obviously a professional profile photo is just fine. But fucking stop it with the shirtless pics, the sports bra and booty shorts Facebook banners and Instagram posts, the close-ups of your ‘glute progress’, and the diatribes on your perfectly portioned meals for the week. THAT IS NOT WHAT A FUCKING PROFESSIONAL DOES. PERIOD.


It IS NOT motivating people to want to achieve what you are doing. It is you showing the fuck off and hoping someone tells you how awesome you are, how great your story is, and how well you are doing. FUCK OFF.

Go ahead and have your own personal accounts to fulfill every little narcissistic cell reverberating in your body, all the power to you. But if you want to be a professional, if you want to help make the term fitness professional MEAN something, you need to act like a professional.

I cannot remember the last time I saw a doctor, lawyer, or physiotherapist post a picture of themselves without a shirt or in a skin tight sport bra and short shorts talking about how their progress is coming along or showing off the #gainzbro.



What can we do? Where can we go? What should we be doing?

My business and practices over the years have been guilty of many of the things I am speaking out against. But we have learned. We are changing. We are making new commitments.

What is fitness? What is health?

There are 3 common definitions of fitness.

  1. The condition of being physically fit and healthy.
  2. The quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task.
  3. An organism’s ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment.

(Source: Google definition search: fitness)

Understanding these definitions of fitness can guide the future of the industry.

Number 1 is not definable. To be physically fit and healthy. What does that mean? How do you measure that? It is so variable and esoteric a concept that we should not pay any attention to it.

Number 3 is our biological imperative – our ability to stay alive and reproduce. That is not resultant from the fitness industry – that is modern technology and society itself. It is not a concern of the fitness industry.

But the second definition; the quality of being able to fulfill a task or a particular role, that is the real purpose of the entire health and fitness industry. We now calling it functional fitness and it’s a growing trend. You will hear statements like, ‘being in shape for what you want to do.’ That is looking at fitness as a measure of the ability to perform a task or activity specific to the person at that time.

We need to be able to fulfil a particular role or task.

Play with our kids. Compete in an event or race. Balance our blood sugar so as to not die of diabetes. Decrease our blood pressure to prevent a heart attack. Have endurance to explore new places while travelling. Be an athlete. Maintain flexibility and mobility into old age. This list could go on indefinitely.


These are real health and fitness goals. These are the things that will actually make the population better. That will actually improve the quality of people’s lives.

If people want to be able to call themselves a fitness professional they need to be promoting REAL health goals and outcomes.

No more before and after photos. No more celebrating weight loss. No more photos of people in their early 20’s with under 10% bodyfat (which isn’t healthy by the way), no more focus on how many inches people lose. We need to change our focus on the outcomes that REALLY MATTER.

Where are the photos of Sally who trained 200 times last year, Ed who met his goal of training 4 times a week, of Sue who competed in a sport tournament, of Paul who hiked with his grandkids last weekend, of Barb who no longer has diabetes, of Phil who improved his cholesterol and blood pressure, Anne who is not battling anorexia anymore, or Chris who improved his vo2 max over the last three months?

You know – all the things that ACTUALLY make your health and fitness better. That ACTUALLY makes your life better – forever. Not just for your vacation next month.

We are changing our direction. We are leading the change.

At my business, Taylored Training, we will only be promoting the measurable things that are within our scope of practice that will lead to long-term positive health changes.

Two things are our primary focus going forward and what I believe what the entire fitness industry needs to focus on.

Frequency of activity and level of effort during activity.

Firstly, frequent activity. The human body was meant to be active and moving daily. And it is meant to be able to move and work vigorously. Those are the variables.

Encourage people to be active as frequently as possible (our members average 4.5 training sessions a week) and when they are engaging in activity to exert an effort level of 80% of their personal maximum.

Do they have to be active in a gym or fitness facility? No. They can play sports, hike, bike, surf, run, walk, whatever. Unfortunately, the truth is that our modern culture is necessitating the use of fitness facilities and coaches. The lack of physical activity in our daily lives and the pressures and commitments on our time have led us to the point that participating in a structured fitness program is no longer a hobby for the few.








My father hates this fact but it is now necessary for people to partake in a structured and rigorous physical activity program. It is not a hobby anymore. Modern western culture is so devoid of physical activity and effort that we must now recognize the need of a formal exercise program.

Secondly, we must ensure people are working at 80% of their personal maximum. It is well documented that the perceived exertion scale, is quite accurate at measuring how hard we are working. And setting a standard on this means that everyone from a couch potato to extreme athlete can adjust their effort according to their ability. And this allows the individual to adjust the level of exertion based on their current state of health and physical ability.

Both of these fitness and health goals also come without an expiration date.

MOST fitness standards all have an end date. Weight loss, inches lost, a special diet, a race or even, and even fitting into clothing, a vacation or trip, or a figure show, all have end dates.

Then what? Where do we go from there? “Just pick another goal!” is the shout from personal trainers. No. That doesn’t work. It might for the small percentage of the population who love fitness and exercise, but we need to talk about the general population. And they have very few, and very limited goals. We need to be setting goals that last for the rest of our lives.

The target of regular frequency and high levels of effort never end. They are goals that are set for life. All other goals, such as the ones I just mentioned, can be achieved and worked towards with a focus on frequency of training and effort during training. Because when it really comes down to fitness programming and training, those are really the most important variables anyway.
Workout frequently, and workout with purposeful effort.

I hope that this message reaches many people. I hope it can start a new conversation and a new dialogue.

I want to see the fitness industry mature, to grow up, to change to what it can be. We have the most important job on the planet.

We are at my business. Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 11.28.12 AM






Personal trainers, group exercise instructors, fitness coaches, and many other members of the fitness community are more important than doctors, politicians, and the pharmaceutical industry.
Those professions are very important as well. They are necessary.

But it is the fitness industry that has the most power to affect change for the entire population with the lowest cost and effort.

We have to  mature, educate ourselves, and work together. When we do that, when we drop the ego, when we banish the narcissism, then we will truly be the force that changes the world.


-Coach Taylor