Walk the walk

Walk the walk

Eric Falstrault

This is not and won’t be my regular blog post about strength training or nutrition. However, it will be something that I hope will shake you to the core, help you get out of that hole you are stuck in.


I posted a before and after picture on Instagram, which was mine, done on a 5 months’ time period, from last February to late July. Little did I know that Men’s health would stumble upon it. They contacted me to get all the details of what I have done to get in such shape. Here is the link to the interview.  However, they left out what I believe is very important, some of the tools I used to improve my overall strength and conditioning.


That’s exactly what you are about to read, especially from the perspective of the trainer, the one that is supposedly the motivator and the great knowledgeable mind behind all the logistic of program design and nutrition protocols. But sometimes, doing it for ourselves is much harder than one would think!


I hate to admit it, but the saying can become very true, very fast.


’’The cobbler's children go barefoot’’


Last November, we were on a family vacation in Mexico. All went well, until we got back. I started to feel bloated all the time and my sleep was the biggest problem, I just couldn’t sleep anymore. When I say nothing, it was maximum an hour a night, and that’s when I could sleep, because some nights were just sleepless. It kept going, even though I tried almost everything to make it better. Holidays just made it worst, but I didn’t give a shit and just kept eating and sleeping or trying to chill when I could. I just basically felt like shit and looked like shit, and I just didn’t care.I never was one to be out of shape (round is a shape…). I guess that’s what I lead myself to think. Although I believe that every personal trainer and coach out there should be in top shape, we coaches are not immune to bad health, circumstances and temptation.


The problem is I knew the longer I would wait, the worse it was going to be to get back into it. I say it often to clients and I know all the tricks and tips to get back in it fast, but my mind didn’t give a damn. In fact, my thoughts and thinking process were at their worst and I didn’t like it. Something was wrong.

Holidays came to an end, and the pounds kept piling on, I decided it was enough. All the symptoms of intestinal dysbiosis were there. After a few weeks on ProbBio 5, Colonik defense and oregano oil caps, my digestion improved dramatically. The little nutrition clean up also made a great impact, but still not what I was expecting. I felt better, slept relatively better, but not like it should be.


Last time I did somewhat of a transformation was last year. Did relatively well, but my bodyfat got stuck at around 17%. Life got in the way and I just cruised through summer by getting leaner but probably not where I should be. This time around, I did my bodyfat in February, June and July only. I used the metabolic analysis from Charles Poliquin to assess everything and like it always been, my priorities are mainly lower body. I use Poliquin’s method and principle from as far as I can remember and it always served me well with my clientele. After the gut protocol, I jumped right away on Estro control and zinc, which is my personalized protocol straight out of the metabolic analysis. In a matter of weeks, I slept much better and felt a lot more energized.


The thing is that in February, I felt different (not in a good way) mentally speaking. After almost 25 years of lifting weights, it has become a job. I call bullshit those who say that they enjoy working out as much as when they started. I would give you the same bull but I won’t. Let’s be honest, after a long while, you do it just because you know that if you let go, you face dire punishment the moment you go back. You can’t let go for too long because you pay the price. Even though sometimes life gets in the way, or there are days you don’t feel like it and just want to lay down and do nothing, you know without a doubt that as soon as you are done with your lifting session, you’ll be more than rewarded with a great feeling of accomplishment and wellness. The trouble is to get to the end of the session.

I was missing something.


I love helping people, it is a true passion. I started making programs to all kinds of people when I was 16 years old. I was the familiar face in the gym since I was there 7 days a week, at least 3 hours every single night. The passion of helping people get better and become a better version of them never left me. However, keeping ourselves motivated after spending hours in the gym makes it challenging.

I knew I had to do something besides weightlifting. I needed a challenge and something to get my head out, a change.


Martial arts always were a great escape for me. Problem was that having a busy business makes little time left for ‘’me time’’. One mistake most trainers do is not taking enough time for them and not taking care of their own health. (Raising my hand shamelessly).


If you can’t go to the mountain, bring the mountain to you…


I asked one of my Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) athletes Emmanuelle Ethier if she knew someone that could come and give private lessons to me and my staff at the gym. A week later, I met Andrew, who was able to come at the exact time that I wanted, my downtime around 3 pm. We started with 2 classes a week to now a full 6 days a week.


The tribe is growing with lots of our clients that saw us and wanted to join the fun.


When I started in February, I felt like a truck ran over me, and it was only the basics. My neck was always an issue with weight lifting and it flared up a few times in jiu-jitsu but today, no more issues with neck and shoulders.


I still do my weight lifting workouts 3-4 days a week but since I fight almost everyday, I do weights in the morning and BJJ in late afternoon.

Here is the workout I used in one of the phases


Day 1

A1 Weighted Pull ups with the Gi (BJJ kimono) x 6 tempo 5010, rest 60 sec A2 Fat gripz benchpress x 6 tempo 5010, rest 120 4 sets

B1 Prowler high rows x10 tempo 30x0, no rest B2 dips x10 tempo 30x0, rest 60 sec 4 sets

Day 2 would be legs, like front squats, and olympic lifts, like hang cleans and deadlifts. I repeat day 1 and day 2 twice a week. Here is what the schedule looks like.


   Monday

   Tuesday

   Wednesday

   Thursday

   Friday

   Saturday

   Sunday

   Am Day 1

   Pm bjj

   Am Day 2

   Pm bjj

   Rest

   Pm bjj flow

   Am Day 1

   Pm bjj

   Am Day 2

   Pm bjj

  Bjj only

   rest


Our rolling sessions aren’t just techniques and practice. We get at least one shark tank per week. Those sessions are increasingly difficult. One person goes in the middle and every minute, one person steps in to fight. So a new person, fresh and rested comes in every minute and the one in the middle stays for the whole 6-8 minutes or depending on how many people are fighting. Everyone gets their turn in the middle. One hell of a workout, I can tell you this much.


One thing I learned, and the message I want you all to get: find your passion! I am truly grateful to be able to work and make a living from my passion, which is strength and conditioning. But I needed something for me, something that can drive me forward and motivate the hell out of me! Fighting is what I need. The chess game involved in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is the bonus. I like the tactical aspect of it and it makes me step out of my daily grind, I just don’t think about anything but my next attack or defense if I am getting chocked the fuck out.


Passion is a powerful energy. Feed from the energy and focus that this passion gives you and you’ll be able to transfer it in anything you do.

@atp_labs

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