Hold Yourself Accountable, Give Yourself a Break and Enjoy Life

accountable

Hold Yourself Accountable

When you hold yourself accountable, then regardless what you do, it will be OK.

If you say you want to eat healthy and you decide that eating healthy is eating a cup of spinach everyday… When you do that, then you are accountable.

Wanting to get out and move more, make yourself a deal that for the next two weeks you do (blank) for (blank) long, (blank) times a week.

Do that and you practice being accountable.

Maybe you decide that you need to eat chocolate cake every other Saturday.

Do that and stay accountable.

See the magic? It is all up to you.

You decide on the details and just follow through.

Give Yourself A Break

Maybe you are half way through a new training cycle and miss a workout.

What can you do instead?

Are there stability and mobility exercises you can do, no matter where you are, that support your training?

Are you mentally worn out and really need a day to recharge?

No matter what it is, the point is to give yourself a break. Then the next step it to get back to what you promised yourself.

If you give yourself mini-goals, it is easier than the overwhelming must-do-everything goals.

Maybe you made a goal that was a little too ambitious.

Step back and make it simpler, then get going again.

Make It Fun

Make it fun and you will feel rewarded.

It will be easier to keep going, because you will more than likely look forward to it.

Fun does not mean less challenging!

It just means you get moments of joy out of what you are doing, or who you are doing it with.

Rinse and repeat accountability, breaks, and fun.

Enjoy your training and getting a bit better each day. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Getting Stable First

stabile

Being Stable

Before we do the tough stuff we have to get a handle on being stable.

It’s a no-brainer if we imagine seeing a person who hasn’t been lifting for long. Someone moving with purpose, or with speed and power, trying to life a heavy weight.

I can visualize the back rounding, the knees caving in, and their neck either rounded tight or sticking out at a sharp angle up.

There is a basic lack of understanding and body feel how to stabilize your body in order to lift something heavy, or apply force when moving. Think of the squat jump.

Noodle-like

One of the key focuses we had in our gym, going around and helping our clients get the most of exercise, was to gain and keep stability.

Most of our coaching cues are about stacking the joints, bracing the core to anchor a move and where to look.

All of these things help keep your body in alignment so that when you are moving with force and speed, your body becomes a smooth moving machine.

Watching a professional Olympic lifter is like watching a dance. They keep the bar in one plane, going up and down and they move around the bar.

Considering the weight that they perform with, they have to stay stable and find stability quickly.

If they cave they get hurt.

Starting Out

When starting a new activity or sport, get familiar with the basic moves and try to find stability within them.

That is one reason why they say “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”.

Going slow forces you to find stability in the movement.

This helps ingrain good movement patterns, which will help prevent injury. Once mastered, this will help movement become fast and efficient.

Maybe you tend to “go for it” when starting up? Have you ever jumped the gun with both feet first and tried to ”crush it” on your first attempt? Instead, maybe consider the long game and find stability first.

As you train today check in and look for stability. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Not Knowing is Knowing

knowing

Not Knowing

Knowing that you do not know something is amazing.

It leaves you open to gain more information, any way possible.

In spite of the insecurities you may have, if our desire to learn is stronger you will get better.

Insecurity can block your ability to take in new information.

Then, being right and not feeling like you did something wrong often becomes more important than gaining knowledge.

This is a real bummer.

Unknowingly closing off to new input can stifle your growth and if you help other people, not let you serve them to the best of your ability.

Plus when you know more points of view, and more facts about a subject, it gets easier to see what is missing.

Filling in The Gaps

If you do not know what you do not know, then it can be hard to fill in the gaps.

Listening to what you already know just reinforces those facts and experiences.

Coming across something that is new can help you look at the old in a new light. It lets you shift and maybe make something new.

Art is not the only place where collaboration is king.

In most areas of learning and teaching that collaboration will allow a person to grow faster.

It requires more critical thinking and checking back to evaluate your truths and the fact based truths.

Plus, collaboration can be a lot more fun.

Getting a bunch of people, who are interested in the same thing, together generates great conversation and new ideas.

What is your experience when it comes to learning? Is it true that the more you know the more you realize that you do not know?

How?

Try something new in training and see if it works for you. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Endure For A While

endure

Endure As Long As Needed

Being able to physically endure an activity, for an extended period of time, translates into how much you may enjoy it.

One of the things that I miss, and I am not looking forward to regaining when getting more active, is endurance.

The longer that I can do something, the more fun I find it to do.

If you can run 6 miles and feel reasonable afterwards, then 1-3 miles is a piece of cake.

The first mile feels less like self inflicted torture and more like the start of the run that it is.

Your lungs won’t be on fire, your thighs won’t be screaming.

Energy will just be building and you will feel more and more energized.

What A Feeling

When you have endurance you can also practice longer.

You will not fatigue as quickly, or to the same extent.

Your recovery will be a bit faster as well.

When you are looking to improve a part of being active, to increase enjoyment consider working on improving your endurance first.

Endurance is about how long you can, which applies to more than cardiovascular activities.

It can be how long you hold a plan.

How many times you can jump over the picknick table.

The number of push-ups you can do.

There is a mental game to it as well.

You need to battle the monotony and the inner goblins that may be working against you.

The ones telling you it is OK to stop, even though you feel perfectly fine, just a little uncomfortable.

Play the mental game and improve your endurance to find the fun in the things you do for training. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Busting Out The Stress Buster

buster

Stress Buster

Why you might need a stress buster on the regular.

Managing stress can be about knowing how to recognize that stress is what you are experiencing and taking steps to mitigate those feelings.

Stress, for me, is a perfect example of how feelings can turn into physical symptoms.

If you manage stress well then the feelings of stress are the same as feelings of happiness, excitement, or frustration.

It comes on and you feel it. The emotions act as a pointer to how you are experiencing a situation.

They can help you make a mental note to do more of something, or to steer away from that thing in the future.

Sometimes situations are out of our control, like traffic and poor driving.

You can do your best to prevent certain situations, but when people act unpredictably there maybe very little that you can do.

Stress Busting

Back to stress busting.

Stress, for me, is not usually fleeting.

It pops up out of the blue and gets my mind running, to the point where I have physical reactions.

All of this is hard to derail, or turn off.

I have to find ways to manage this, before I feel stressed.

Otherwise my sleep is poor, my reactions are bad and I stress even more.

I experience Stress less as a train track towards a single destination and more as a roller coster going round ‘n round, stopping every now and then.

I try to do things to ensure the coaster to stays in the starting gate for longer periods of time.

Also, if it gets started, I try to minimize the number of times it goes around.

Bust a Move

One thing that helps me is movement.

Dancing is a great one because there is music and I’m moving to a beat.

I am still trying to find a form of mediation that helps me.

Mindful meditation helped a little, but not in the way I had hoped.

It did not leaving me feeling like I had a reprieve from my mind.

Some moments of stillness , if I am going around the roller coaster.

A way to reset and try and break out of my ruminating.

TV is my “drug” of choice. It helps to distract me, but it does not really add a sense of wellbeing.

It is more a pause button than a reset.

Is stress for you just a feeling, or emotion that comes and goes like other emotions?

Do you need stress busting? If so, what do you use to stay a head of it, or to manage stress?

Break out some moves while training, and reset stress. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Direct Facts

Facts-Pi. from Leiden, Holland [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Going Direct to The Facts

Facts can help you get a message across directly.

One real nice thing about facts is that they just are.

There is no opinion, it just is.

A fact can be as simple as something you quoted, or wrote earlier.

Then later on, someone asks you can I have this because something did not happen.

You can go back in time/your archives and pull from what you had originally quoted.

That becomes a fact. With a timestamp and witnesses, it becomes even more solid.

Facts Matter

Facts matter because they give weight to a point of view.

In the health and nutrition industry it is common to quote a study.

A sensational part, or one sentence, of a study can be used in a popular article as the supporting fact.

If you dig deeper and look at the study, you may find the advice that they are giving to a middle-aged female reader is based of what was found to be true for an early twenty-something man.

The article tries to apply something to a general population, but it may only be true for a few.

The age of the subjects and audience are way off.

In most cases with health and nutrition, gender makes a big difference.

Thst headline, catchy and provocative, really cannot be applied to the people the article was written for.

But only those who care to, and know how to, will read the actual study to learn this.

The rest will be duped into believing, maybe even making choices, based on information that does not really apply to them.

Be Your Own Study

That is one reason why we suggest that you be your own study.

Granted, your study cannot be for only a few days. A little time and effort needs to go into it if you really want to understand the possible outcome.

You do not have to become a complete science geek.

Figuring out a few things that you want to measure is all you need to do.

If I run for 15 minutes will I breathe easier two weeks from now?

What can I measure to determine if I am breathing easier?

If I take the stairs everyday for a month, will I run better?

How will I know that I am running better?

Keep it simple and stick with it.

Experiments are another way to bring a little fun into your life of training. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Being the coach

Training when you're a coach can be a challenge!

Initially, I wanted to coach because I figured it was a good way to get people to train with.

Boy was I wrong!

The problem, of course, isn’t the actual people I’m training.

The biggest problem pretty much any coach or trainer has?

While the training session is happening, it’s your job to make sure they move in ways to make sure they won’t get hurt.

Can’t really do that if your nose is to the ground and you’ve got tunnel vision from exertion.

Of course, things are a bit more flexible if everybody who’s participating are knowledgeable about their own movement.

Also, they have to know what good movement means in a given situation.

So with more experienced participants, the coach is more likely to be able to “lead from the front”.

With less experienced participants, the opposite is true.

With great success comes great responsibility…

Anybody who coaches wants to be successful.

In training studios, that typically means a fair bit of “passing through” people.

People start, decide the training or trainer isn’t for them and move on.

Others start, decide this is the thing for them and stay.

New people come along and fill the gaps.

As more new people add themselves, the coach obviously has more to do to help them.

So…

For a trainer, more success means less time to train for themselves.

This is, most of the time, why some coaches find their own trainers for themselves.

They get to train somewhere other than in their own studio (It’s nice to get out occasionally).

As a trainer, it’s a relief to not have to think about what we’re supposed to do for the workout (though as I’ve mentioned before, it can be difficult to shut up for us coaches…)

It’s also a regular appointment you have to get to (otherwise you’re wasting money).

That is probably the single biggest reason I can think of to hire somebody to help me train.

Others have other reasons.

Whatever it is, it’s probably a good one!

Something to ponder if you’re a trainer and find your own training has been lacking?

Or, if you’re not a trainer, and VPT is your jam, maybe it doesn’t matter at all.

Either way, have a great time training today!

Yes, I want online training!

Finding Fun Each Day

Day- Ricard Rodríguez [CC0]

A Day For Fun

Every day can be a day of fun, if you focus on finding the fun in it.

Why can finding fun each day be so great?

Think about it for a second…tick, tock.

Fun leads to smiles. Smiles lead to feeling good. Feeling good leads to a sense of wellbeing.

Having a sense of wellbeing can give balance to life.

Even if you are working crazy hours, throw in some fun and it does not seem so long or crazy.

Learning With Fun

Whenever I am trying to learn something new, a little fun or humor will help me remember.

If I take things too seriously then I start to get bummed out. At that point I’m just not too much fun to be around.

Having a good belly laugh cheers me right up.

Doing something I think is fun can lead to a good laugh.

Setting myself up for more laughs adds to my sense of wellbeing.

Fun is so subjective that you can totally decide what that is.

You can have fun by yourself, or with others.

Fun does not care, it just is waiting to be had.

Growing up there were two fun things that helped me with my reading.

A “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, and “Mad Libs”.

Mad Libs was a story with blanks in it. You were to add in a word in order to complete the story.

(Google it, if you don’t know. They have on-line options now.)

There were directions on what kind of word you should be adding. A noun, a verb, etc.

You could make up a really funny story, or a very serious one.

Give It Go

You could try Mad Lib for training.

Give yourself general directions like legs, arms, core, front, back, ground, air. Then see what type of movements you choose to do.

Add a little fun to your day when training. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Walk Awake

walk

Walk Yourself Awake

Need to wake up? Go for a walk!

Going for a short walk first thing in the morning gets the brain fired up.

This morning, I went for a 30 minute walk and felt pretty awake most of the day.

I am going to give it a try tomorrow as well.

Get a good nights sleep, take a shower, eat some food and walk.

It also helps me pretend I am walking to work. Instead of rolling out of bed and starting to work.

I have been getting up, showering and having breakfast, but not walking.

It will be interesting to see how well it continues to work.

Maybe I will sleep better, which would be amazing!

Morning Active

Do you like to do activities in the morning that get you going?

Maybe your day already ingrates it in, like walking to work.

Or, being in front of a group of people (kids) and moving around while giving instructions.

Office workers and drivers have it tough.

There is a lot of sitting, unless you decide to be different and set a reminder to move every once in awhile.

Bringing your lunch to work can be a good thing, but it can also lead to eating at your desk.

That is not such a good thing.

Of course, every now and then, it might need to be done…

Most of the time, taking at least 20 minutes to eat your lunch is great break during the day.

Middle of the Day Walk

When I was between semesters of school and working a full time temp job, lunch was my walking time.

I wasn’t really there, at the temp job, to make friends. Plus, the job was mindless.

To stay a wake in the afternoon, I needed to get my circulation pumping.

Granted, at the time my nutrition was awful.

A diet coke does not a meal make!

I was in my early twenties, so give me a break.

Now that I know more it is still a challenge to consistently choose wisely as to what my next meal will be.

As fatigue and tiredness hits, less thinking and more feeling is involved.

Try a walk to wake up, any time of day and see what happens for you.

Train a little, walk a little, and stay awake. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Suitable workout routine

Power vs Endurance vs Strength

I sometimes struggle with dreaming up what I think is the best programming for the week.

When I program, I have to balance requests, goals and individual preferences.

Like this week…

Conflicting goals means I have to keep runners, parkour athletes and strength training in mind.

Running and strength training represent a pretty obvious conflict.

Why?

Improving strength typically means more load, less repetitions.

Improving endurance typically means lower loads, more repetitions.

Runners want improved endurance, whereas strength wants..

More strength.

Since strength is explosive in nature, it’s typically not all that conducive to endurance running.

On the other hand, it can be helpful to be stronger if you’re a runner and want to avoid injuries.

Then we have the Parkour athletes.

Most of them feel endurance isn’t all that important (I tend to disagree).

They also feel strength only matters if it serves to improve jumping and climbing.

Again, I disagree.

Why are they wrong?

I disagree because strength focus for a single or small section of the body leads to imbalances.

Parkour is jump – hinge – and push dominant. If you want to get stronger for Parkour, you’ll be told by some to focus on dead lifts, squats, bench dips and pull-ups (on your way towards the muscle-up). Or, some variation thereof.

It’s a simple list of things to focus on.

Unfortunately, if your goal is to be able to perform for a long time, this is a pretty obvious recipe for imbalances.

Imbalances lead to more injuries,over time.

So how will I balance the three requests?

I have a system…

Endurance is achieved with how the set/rep/rest periods are spaced. I use either a 30/30 model, or a 6 + 1 + 2 minute model.

This way we tax the cardiovascular system in a manner similar to a HIIT based program, without overdoing it.

I then individualize the load for the client by changing the weight used during the workout to match their need/request.

Then we use as many different exercises as we need in order to properly round out the routine.

The goal is to minimize the potential for longer term injuries due to imbalances or overload.

There you have it. The “secret” to how I think when I’m designing a program for your training today.

Pretty easy, innit?

Yes, I want online training!