Sep 27, 2018
Alex Bernier is a workout mentor and strength coach specializing in posture, performance, body composition, and chronic pain. He became a mentor to many over the years, but will always remain a student.
"It's a powerful word, and I can still hear my coaches asking me to jump on the ice when I was younger, or the blast of the gun at the start of a race. So, I have these sensory queues attached to the word and if I say it to myself it creates something in me, that 'inner fire' I guess."
What type of diet does Alex follow for his health?
"I eat food. I observe it's impact on my body and performance, and then adjust. The one constant variable in the last 6 years has been large quantities of meat (red meat). I go on carnivorous streaks, which so far has had the most upside out of any variation of I guess you could use the word 'diet', or I like to say 'nutrition strategy' because a diet has rules and has guidelines. But, you never really know how the body is going to react, and that's been my experience working with people... everybody reacts completely differently to the same strategy.
I have other foods sometimes either by choice or because I get invited somewhere and I don't need to be rude. I don't freak out about it because my body can adapt. How good is a diet that only works in the absence of it's enemies? I want to be more than a good peacetime general, if you know what I mean.
I like to stress it once in awhile to strengthen my digestive universe, sometimes for extended periods of time to see how things change. But, I always pass this threshold where I know that I have to go back to my baseline, which is zero carbs, and then I re-introduce gradually, and watch it all happen."
What type of fitness routine does this strength coach follow?
"I've always been an athlete. As a kid I played ice hockey, and it's a pretty physical sport. So, when I was a teen I started working out in order to keep up with the body checks and all the rough playing because you get pushed around especially if you're playing with guys one or two years older than you, which (at the time) makes a big difference. I've always been into squats and chin ups.
I've had the opportunity to work with tremendous strength coaches who have given me so much insight, sometimes for free, so I try to pay it forward. I like explosive jumps, strongman training, and sprints, but that's me. That's my body. That's what I have found over the years to make me feel best, but as a professional I have to find that solution for the person. So, it might not be what I'm doing, which is why I keep informed on all the other systems out there."
How does Alex Bernier find peace of mind in the troubled times we all inevitably go through?
"It's actually advice my father gave to me. 'Everything ends.' So, the good and evil, the fun, the sad, life is a series of cycles. Some are long, and others are brief. So, grounding myself allows me to mitigate the influence of my state of mind on time. You know? If you're having a good time, then time flies, and if you're stuck in a low point it seems to take forever. If you ground yourself, then you're able to sort of pass through that and find the right solution to whatever your problem is, or it'll help you enjoy yourself in that moment before you realize it's going to be over."
Alex adapts & overcomes in much the same way he finds peace of mind.
"I ground myself in the moment first. I use my breath as a queue. Just be conscious of the inhale and the exhale. My best execution happens when my mind is still, not anxious in the future, or depressed in the past. Then I break down the problem into parts and address it one piece at a time, unless it's an immediate danger where you have to fight or flight. Most problems are just smaller problems compounded together. So, if you break it down and address smaller, baby, problems one at a time the mountain doesn't seem as high as it did initially."