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Body Shepherd Personal Training

Body Shepherd Personal Training

By Body Shepherd
As a former morbidly obese man, turned fit-guy-in-his-40s and NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Dan Crask hosts and guides us through mindsets, tactics, and tips in the Body Shepherd podcast.
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The Birthday Episode: 3 Years of Lessons and More
17 years into my fitness journey, I became a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, aka NASM, and started Body Shepherd to help people just like me journey out of obesity and into a fit life. In this episode, I mark 3 years of Body Shepherd by sharing the 3 most striking lessons I have learned so far (spoiler: I'm still learning).  Plus, what I call The State Of The Business – how's Body Shepherd doing as a business in the COVID era? I'll share the gloom and the good. ONWARD.
May 22, 2021
S4E4: My COVID Story • Coronavirus Challenges • Body Shepherd Personal Training
I tested positive for COVID-19. 3 days into having it, I thought to start logging daily audio entries on what it was like each day, and did so for all 10 days of my mandatory quarantine.  I am sharing this because there is so much doom-and-gloom, so many sad stories about people who contract the virus, but that is not my story. I want to share this to give an account of COVID infection that did not go badly or end in death. Perhaps this can ease some anxiety if you or a loved one test positive too. Nothing in this podcast is prescriptive. I'm not a doctor. This is 100% descriptive of what I went through. Always seek medical care first when dealing with any kind of illness, and not a podcaster :) ONWARD. 
May 15, 2021
A 2020 Year In Review + 2021 Announcement
2020 was not the year I thought it was going to be. I'm sure you can say likewise. I have organized my thoughts into several takeaways from this weird year. Join me as I sort through the disappointment, enlightenment, specks of hope, and more. Plus, I'm changing the direction of Body Shepherd in 2021. No more just focusing on overweight/obese people Learn why. Onward. – Dan
December 30, 2020
How To Eat More Vegetables Without Knowing It • A Chat with Alane Boyd, founder of BurgerFit™ • The Onward Expert Series by Body Shepherd
Welcome to Season 4 of the Body Shepherd podcast!  In this season, I am interviewing people I regard as The Onward Experts; those who have an expertise in the different areas of life we are facing in our various points of a journey toward a healthier, fit version of ourselves. EPISODE 1: How To Eat More Vegetables Without Knowing It • A Chat with Alane Boyd, founder of BurgerFit™ Two colliding forces often face those of us who are on a weight loss journey: We know we need to eat healthier, yet the stuff that tastes good is the often the worst for us. That's why when I learned what Alane Boyd was doing with her healthy burger brand, BurgerFit™, I had to get her on the podcast and talk shop. Because BurgerFit seems to be giving us a very realistic approach to eating healthy while enjoying the stuff - BURGERS! - we already love, without sacrificing taste. Alane is one of us. She, too, has been through a weight loss journey, and like me, now resides in the every day processes of maintaining a fit life. BurgerFit was created out of that journey and she has a compelling, meet-you-where-you're-at story to tell. Is all this too good to be true?! Listen and find out.
October 23, 2020
S3E3: STRESS: Facing & Overcoming It In The New Normal • Coronavirus Challenges • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 3 of the Body Shepherd podcast will address the various challenges that we are all facing in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus. If you have been listening to each episode as they drop, thank you! You might have wondered if this podcast shut down or not, and the honest answer is that I just needed some time away to take my own advice from the last episode in this season about finding and leaning hard into a routine. I am back, refreshed and pressing onward. If you are new to the podcast -- welcome. I'm honored that you might even think of hearing me out. I hope to honor your time with value. In this episode, I unload 5 months worth of pent-up thoughts about the one ailment we have all had to deal with, whether we caught the virus or not: STRESS. Stress is the real deal. It has so many negative aspects of it, yet in order to approach it, we have to talk about its sources, and in this episode I decided to drop the filter and just bluntly tell you what the biggest sources of stress are that I hear from Body Shepherd clients, then how to overcome them. If 2020 is anything, it's The Big Reset. To take full advantage of this unique period in life, though, we need to have a tough talk about stress, and this is it. Onward.
September 30, 2020
S3E2: 3 Tips To Make A Quarantine Productive • Coronavirus Challenges • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 3 of the Body Shepherd podcast will address the various challenges that we are all facing in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus. In this episode I want to share with you what I have learned to be 3 tips for helping make one's full life at home - as in during a quarantine or 'safer at home' order - more productive. For over a dozen years I have lived and worked primarily in my home environment, and that means I have systems in place to make it extremely productive. So I want to share with you what I believe are 3 systemic tips to make downtime productive: Routine is your best friend. Embrace your weird. Invest in rest. You have plenty of time so lend me your ear and mind to explain. Onward.
April 23, 2020
S3E1: What If The Gym Doesn't Reopen? • Coronavirus Challenges • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 3 of the Body Shepherd podcast will address the various challenges that we are all facing in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus. In this first episode, I want to challenge you to think about your fitness and weight-loss journey without access to a gym…period. As in, assume gyms don't reopen. Let that sink in. Are you prepared for that? Do you have the plan, the guidance, the equipment, etc. to not lose momentum in your journey? I am here to have a hard conversation with you about this possibility because as we look to other areas of the world where new COVID-19 cases are in decline, their new normal is not one where gyms are attractive or, in some cases, allowed to operate. To be crystal clear: I own two small businesses and so I am cheering on every other small business owner to navigate their way in this new normal. I do not want anyone to be unemployed. I hope I am wrong about gyms reopening. I know too many people who own gyms or earn their livelihood for themselves and their families through 1-on-1 personal training at a gym. Now is the time to be pragmatic and realistic, especially in matters related to your health. Onward.
April 09, 2020
S2E10: Rapid Fire Q&A • Answers To Common Training Questions • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 2 of the Body Shepherd Podcast: Answers to Common Training Questions EPISODE 10: "Rapid Fire Q&A!!" In Season 2, I have taken a single question and devoted an episode to it over the course of the 9 previous episodes.  To wrap this season up, I am devoting Episode 10 (this episode) to rapid fire Q&A! This is a series of questions that don't quite need a full episode, but are questions I am asked often enough to cover in this season. Onward. 👊 P.S., Season 3 is going to be quite different than these first 2 seasons, so be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you are alerted when Season 3 drops later this year.
March 04, 2020
S2E9: What Equipment Do I Need For A Home Gym? • Answers To Common Training Questions • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 2 of the Body Shepherd Podcast: Answers to Common Training Questions EPISODE 9: "What Equipment Do I Need For A Home Gym?" The single-most asked question I get is, "What equipment do I need for a home gym?" And in this episode, I aim to answer that question. Unlike past episodes, this one is a tad interactive, in that I have a news post to go with this podcast that you may find helpful because it provides pictures and direct links to the products I mention, which you can find here. I have had a home gym of varying degrees for 12 years and I try to always only have on-hand the least amount of equipment needed at the lowest cost investment. In this episode, I provide a list of the products I use for my personal home gym that I use for the types of workouts I create to help you get an understanding of what a home gym might include for you. Onward. 👊
February 26, 2020
S2E8: Is Exercise Variety Important? • Answers To Common Training Questions • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 2 of the Body Shepherd Podcast: Answers to Common Training Questions EPISODE 8: "Is Exercise Variety Important?" I have tried hard to avoid a question that has a genuine "yes/no" answer, but here I am: The answer is yes/no.  This is because, yes, you do need exercise variety to hit the various part of the human body effectively. But also, no, you do not need exercise variety when you bring to exercise an emotional and/or psychological need for variety, which is sadly very common.  So let's have a hard, blunt talk about this.  Warning: I lay out some hard truths to hear. If you're in a sour mood today or flirting with a case of The Fuggits, might want to queue this up for another day.  Onward. 👊
February 19, 2020
S2E7: Should I Workout When I'm Sick?? • Answers To Common Training Questions • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 2 of the Body Shepherd Podcast: Answers to Common Training Questions EPISODE 7: "Should I Workout When I'm Sick?" If talking about supplements is the most controversial topic among trainers, whether to workout while one is sick is a close second. Both sides have hard-headed reasons why they believe what they believe and I am no different. Listen to me make my case as to why one should NOT workout when sick. Onward. 👊
February 12, 2020
S2E6: Should I Workout Every Day? • Answers To Common Training Questions • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 2 of the Body Shepherd Podcast: Answers to Common Training Questions EPISODE 6: "Should I Workout Every Day?" Sometimes what hold people back from starting a new fitness journey is the perception that you need to workout every day.  It's a very common question I am asked: Should I workout every day? The short answer is no, you shouldn't do that. But the reasons why are crucial to know if you want to get the most out of your time for your weight loss journey. Onward. 👊
February 05, 2020
S2E5: What Are The 'Unwritten Rules' Of The Gym? • Answers To Common Training Questions • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 2 of the Body Shepherd Podcast: Answers to Common Training Questions EPISODE 5: "What Are The 'Unwritten Rules' Of The Gym?" I believe one of the one of the most valuable things I can offer someone on their weight loss journey is my firsthand perspective and experience of having gone through morbid obesity (and an eating disorder) and into a fit, healthy life. It was accomplished without a background in athletics or sport, so I had none of the background that nearly all trainers have when approaching getting fit. In other words, I was just an average guy who didn't play sports who needed to get in shape or suffer the physical and emotional consequences. Here's the thing: Once I got to the gym and decided to make fitness a cornerstone of my life, I quickly realized that there are certain 'unwritten rules' to every gym, and several that are universal. These can be obstacles that turn people away if they don't know what they are, so in this episode, I will share what these 'unwritten rules' are, and how to make the most of your gym experience. Onward. 👊
January 29, 2020
S2E4: What’s ONE training tip you would give anyone? • Answers To Common Training Questions • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 2 of the Body Shepherd Podcast: Answers to Common Training Questions EPISODE 4: "What’s ONE training tip you would give anyone?" Whether I am just chatting with someone and we are talking about our careers, or if meeting a possible client for the first time, a question I am often asked is, "What is ONE training tip you would give me?" My answer always surprises: "Slow down." Listen to this episode to hear what I mean and, more importantly, why slowing down will give you the best return on your fitness investment. Onward. 👊
January 22, 2020
S2E3: Do I REALLY Need A Goal? • Answers To Common Training Questions • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 2 of the Body Shepherd Podcast: Answers to Common Training Questions EPISODE 3: "Do I REALLY Need A Goal?" "Depends what your goal is" sure seems to be the default reply to any question asked of any certified personal trainer I have ever met.  Is that your experience, too? Yeah, that's what I thought. So, why is is the G-word so entrenched in the lexicon of fitness professionals, and does the non-professional, average Jane/Joe need a goal for everything? Allow me to answer that valid question in this episode. Onward. 👊
January 15, 2020
S2E2: Should I Buy A Fitness Tracker? • Answers To Common Training Questions • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 2 of the Body Shepherd Podcast: Answers to Common Training Questions EPISODE 2: "Should I Buy A Fitness Tracker??" Apple® Watch. Fitbit®. You name see them everywhere: The fitness tracker, aka "smart watch."  So, should you buy one as part of your weight loss journey tools?  Believe it or not, I have a very strong take on this topic because the fitness tracker ends up being a really useful, even systemic, source of data to help you get to your goal faster and more efficiently than past ways. Hear me out. Listen to this and then let me know what you think. Onward. 👊
January 08, 2020
S2E1: When Should I Do Cardio? • Answers To Common Training Questions • Body Shepherd Personal Training
Season 2 of the Body Shepherd Podcast: Answers to Common Training Questions EPISODE 1: "When Should I Do Cardio?" This is maybe the single-most asked question I get as a personal trainer, and it's wise question to ask because when you are training, your body only has so much energy to exert. You want to get the most out of that energy and your time, so knowing when to include cardio in your workout is a great question, worthy of a full answer.  Listen to this episode to understand your options as Dan Crask, lead trainer and owner of Body Shepherd, answers the question, "When should I do cardio?" Onward. 👊
January 01, 2020
Dan's uncensored body transformation story: How Body Shepherd's founder went from fat guy to fit guy
If you want a neat, orderly weight-loss/body transformation story of how someone went from fat to fit, this is not that story. This is the uncensored, long-form body transformation story of Body Shepherd's founder, Dan Crask. The host is the longtime fitness pro, Chris Farrell and this episode was originally recored for the now-retired Fit Dad Life podcast. Chris graciously sent the audio for this episode and allowed it to be published by Body Shepherd. Thank you, Chris! So, what can you expect in this episode? A true story that starts in Dan's childhood, and takes the listener through a lot of ups and downs, right up to the present day…all in less than an hour. Why Dan Crask, founder and certified personal trainer of Body Shepherd, relates to intimately with those who struggle with obesity and all the many challenges that go with it -- including why it's so hard to get out from under the cyclical lifestyle that keeps people trapped in obesity! A patient host (Chris) who you will hear ask if the turning point for lasting transformation happens, over and over and over :) This speaks to Dan's firsthand experience of why it was so hard to change. Yet it is not just a weight-loss story.  At the end of it all, this is a story about sustaining the transformation despite all the history of failure and hurt.  It is also a story that provides credibility. Dan's story provides the foundation of why he is uniquely qualified to help people transform their lifestyles to overcome obesity.
October 01, 2019
S1E12: Supplements • General Nutrition Guidance
TIP: Supplements There may be no bigger taboo topic among fitness professionals than that of supplementation. So, in full disclosure, I am pro-supplements, so long as they are used as true supplements, and not leaned on entirely for results. Here are supplements I use every day and why: Protein. I find it difficult to get all the protein my body needs to grow muscle in my 40s from plate food, alone, so I use NutraBio’s Whey Protein 100% Isolate (vanilla) to give myself protein throughout the day. It’s a great on-the-go tool too. L-Carnitine Tartate. Carnitine is an amino acid that does a lot of amazing things, but the tartate form helps the body tap into stored body fats and use them for energy, rather than immediately available sugars from recently eaten carbs or sugars. Green Tea Extract. There are a ton of benefits to green tea, but in its extract form, I use it for giving my metabolism a spike and also staving off hunger. There are a lot more benefits to green tea extract, but this is what I find useful. BCAAs. Brand Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are used in the construction of protein, and when consumed orally, they can help the body keep muscle intact during a period of time when we are intentionally losing weight but wanting to keep our hard-earned muscle. BCAAs come in some very tasty drink forms these days, so they are also delicious to drink! Vitamins and minerals. These changes throughout the year, but my staples are zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin C. Sometimes I add in Chromium for blood sugar control, especially during the Christmas goodies time of year, but the others mentioned are primarily for my immune system and cell health.
April 15, 2019
S1E11: The Fuggits! • General Nutrition Guidance
Life gets challenging. Maybe life has an especially great moment. Whatever the reason: Food beckons. You indulge…over-indulge. And then it hits: What I call The Fuggits. You have a bad meal, hell, a bad day of eating and you think, “Aww, fuggit…I’ve messed up this much, it doesn’t matter if I just keep eating like this because I failed.” And if you’re as all-or-nothing like I was, that mindset can last months and be the root of a 30-40 lb weight gain. The big challenge is to remind yourself that The Fuggits don’t need to derail your progress! This episode is real talk about THE thing that derailed me early on in my journey, and the thing I see most often in my clients.
April 10, 2019
S1E10: Meal Prep • General Nutrition Guidance
Ever notice that we tend to eat at our worst when we’re totally unprepared to eat? We are busy doing this and that, hunger hits, and the easy options are calorie-dense but nutritionally-vacant. We need to prepare to eat with a prep day. At least one day a week, I cook 2 proteins in bulk so that they are ready for me to pull out of the fridge and eat with an easy to make carb or vegetable. It’s proteins that can take the longest time to make, so I make them ahead of time in bulk. Sometimes I will also cook a starchy carb in bulk, like potatoes or rice, in advance as well. The point is that I am prepared for my meals, and am rarely caught off guard. Listen to this episode to learn all about meal prep.
December 31, 2018
S1E9: Macros • General Nutrition Guidance
We have covered tracking your food, and now it’s time to look at going a level deeper by seeing your daily nutrition goals as a budget. The starting question is: Do you track “macros,” which are the macronutrients of protein, fat, and carbs, or do you just track calories? Macros: Track macros if your goal is to gain muscle. You will want 0.8g–1.0g of protein for each lb. of your bodyweight, and macros can help you do that. Calories: Track calories if your goal is body fat loss.
December 31, 2018
S1E8: Intermittent Fasting • General Nutrition Guidance
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is where each day has an Eating Window and a Fasting Window. Practically, IF has a standard format called the 16:8 model where you fast for 16 hours and eat within 8 hours. I have followed this model for 3+ years. Each day, I eat between ~12pm and ~8pm, and I am in a fasted state from ~8pm to ~12pm the following day. My approach is that I stop eating by 8pm each day, skipping breakfast the next day, and starting each day with lunch. This episode gives you the gist of Intermittent Fasting's many benefits, and how to get started if you want to try it yourself.
December 31, 2018
S1E7: Cheat Day • General Nutrition Guidance
The main reason why “diets” crash and burn is because we totally eliminate the indulgences that we genuinely enjoy, but have abused to the point of gaining too much weight. The better way is delayed gratification. When I began my fit life as a 325+ lb man, I gave myself one day a week to eat whatever I wanted. It was a weekly reward for hard work. And here’s the interesting thing: As I got in better and better shape, I wanted the huge portions of donuts and ice cream that I used to binge on. It takes time, but it started with giving myself a cheat day once a week. So listen to this episode to learn how to implement a cheat day/meal, and use it to let off some steam as you build a healthy lifestyle.
December 31, 2018
S1E6: Weekend Eating • General Nutrition Guidance
The grind of Monday-Friday provides a daily template of routine to keep things somewhat predictable. But come Saturday and Sunday, we can be prone to get a case of the “Fuggits” and just eat whatever is within arm’s reach. The best thing you can do for yourself is to use your voice from within the routine to communicate to yourself on weekends, and remind yourself that you do not want to screw this up! Listen and learn some tips about weekend eating.
December 31, 2018
S1E5: Tips For Eating On-The-Go • General Nutrition Guidance
A need to eat on the go is a must for a lot of people, and if the meal prep in Week 6 didn’t happen or you just find yourself very hungry while out, with no food that you prepared, the on-the-go options become viable. What should we do? Here are some tips: Skip the sides like fries. You will get adequate carbs from a sandwich bun so there’s no need to get even more saturated fat, carbs, and salt from French fries. Go for protein. Instead of that side of fries, order 2 chicken sandwiches or 2 burgers. Protein is more satiating, so you’ll avoid hunger for a longer period of time. Soda is liquid body fat - do you want that? When we drink soda - even diet soda - the liver and pancreas get to work to deal with this new energy source. If there’s no use for that energy (and there won’t be if you’re on the go in your vehicle), the body converts the nutrients into stored energy for later use, aka, body fat. Diet drinks are particularly bad because they trigger an insulin response, but the insulin cannot do anything with the false sugar. Just avoid soda as much as you can - keep it for special occasions. Park your vehicle and use MyFitnessPal to quickly scan the best options. If you stop at, say, a Taco Bell, simply type in “Taco Bell” into MFP, and you will see their entire menu with nutrition information. It will take 3 minutes of your day, and you can choose smarter. Make a list of the options you usually encounter, research the best food options, and keep a note on your phone that lists the best options for your body’s goal(s). The point here is simple: Don’t let your circumstances own you. For road trips, instead of pulling off to hit a restaurant, consider stopping at a grocery store. Pick up a ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken, and eat that instead. I get a rotisserie chicken when I travel, and if I’m the only one eating it, I can get 4-5 meals out of it. Add in some raw veggies like carrot sticks, broccoli, etc. with some low-cal Ranch dressing, and it’s very satisfying.
December 31, 2018
S1E4: Right-Sized Portions • General Nutrition Guidance
Did you know your stomach is roughly the size of your fist? Try it out: Make a fist. See that size? That’s roughly the size of your empty stomach. So when you are adding portions of food to your plate, you can use a fist as a template. Listen and learn more about why right-sized portions are so crucial to the success of your healthy life goals.
December 31, 2018
S1E3: Measure Your Food • General Nutrition Guidance
If you follow Body Shepherd guidance and are using LoseIt™, then you may have arrived here already: You need to measure your food. Or maybe you’re guessing. Either way, it’s important to measure your food accurately with instruments so you know how to accurately measure it with your eyes. I like to measure my food with a food scale and cups for ~3 months, then go for another 6 months or so without a food scale. The food scale and measuring cups are good for training our eyes on what portions look like. Do you know exactly what 4 oz of chicken looks like? How about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter? Measuring will open your eyes to accuracy.
December 31, 2018
S1E2: Eat For Utility • General Nutrition Guidance
If we are honest, the reason why “dieting” sucks so much is because our dislike of food choices associated with “dieting” are not the hyper-flavorful varieties that cause rapid weight gain. And if we go a step further in our honesty, we can see that it is a sense of entitlement to these hyper-flavorful foods that “dieting” removes. This is where a new mindset is required: Eating for utility. This simply means that we need to eat food that serves a practical purpose way beyond our taste buds. We need to eat certain foods because they have protein needed for muscle repair. We need certain fibers because our digestive tract needs to keep moving. We need fluids because our bodies thrive on good hydration. See? Eating for the utility of eating is probably more important than eating for pleasure, and maybe, just maybe, should be our priority style of eating.
December 31, 2018
S1E1: Log Your Food • General Nutrition Guidance
No matter what your fitness goal is, you will eventually hit a plateau unless you log and track your food. We can have success in the gym, but fail in the kitchen, which results in stalled progress. You have to log your food. The good news is that apps like Lose It make this a breeze. Lose It has a barcode scanner to instantly scan barcodes on pre-packaged food, and a searchable database of just about anything you can think of eating.
December 30, 2018
S1E0: Introducing Body Shepherd
Learn what to expect from this first season of the Body Shepherd podcast. This episode sets the tone for this podcast from Certified Personal Trainer (NASM) and Body Shepherd owner, Dan Crask.
December 30, 2018