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!

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!

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!

Winging It vs. Preparation

winging-Jonathan Wilkins [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Winging It

The Figuring out when winging it is the way to go, versus getting prepared.

Some people only believe in preparation, while others go for winging it the majority of the time.

From what I have read and discovered myself; If you are hoping for a certain outcome, preparation is the way to do.

If you do not really care about what the outcome is, then winging it can work just fine.

In some ways, winging it can add to the adventure and lead to some amazing outcomes.

A lot is left to chance and circumstance, but as long as you are not married to a specific outcome, that is part of the fun.

Preparation

Preparation is important if you have a specific goal in mind.

You can gather information, make a plan, and execute your plan.

More than likely, you will get pretty close to the goal that you want to achieve.

All that matters is being realistic about the goal and about the amount of time you expect it to take to get there.

Even when preparing leaving room for adjustments is important.

If you have training goal, tracking your progress and reassessing weekly or biweekly will allow you to either push your progress, or pull back and add recovery ias needed.

Once you commit to a training program it is important to stick with it until the end.

There will always be good and bad weeks.

If you abandon ship and start a different program mid-way, your outcome becomes a little more unpredictable.

If you have milestones that you are not hitting and you have time, then you may want to consider a program switch.

But if you are training for one event within the year and there are other events beyond that, in your future, stick with the original program.

The only way to know if it will work or not is to see it through to the end.

Amateur

This is easy to say as an amateur. There is not a livelihood on the line, or future opportunities.

It is my ego that is mostly driving me.

Sometimes our ego can get in the way of what is practical and helpful.

Insecurity can kill momentum and do it impossibility fast.

It convinces you the best move is to jump ship, or retreat.

Finding a way to work through insecurity.

To get to a headspace where you make a balanced decision is important. It doesn’t work well to wing it in those situations.

What has your experience been? Is winging it your preferred way to experience life, or is it all about preparation? Why?

Train a little, laugh a little and have good day. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Slow Down, Speed Up

speed-Wallpoper [Public domain]

Add Speed By Slowing Down

Have you ever done something so fast that you made mistakes?

Mistakes that made you have to redo what you just did, or set you back more than when you started.

Speed seems like a good idea, until you get in your own way.

You start cutting corners without really thinking about it.

It becomes easy to look too far ahead and miss what needs to happen next.

Being motivated by what you want to achieve is a good thing, but realizing it is the process of getting to make it happen, that makes it happen.

Math

I was the math student who always wrote down the answer, but did not write down how I got to the answer.

Whenever the teacher would ask, I only wondered why it was important.

Wasn’t the answer being right or wrong all that mattered?

As I got older I learned with time that it was the steps to get you to the answer that were the most important.

They reveal whether you truly understood the process to get to the answer.

Of course, it was a surefire way to know that you were probably not cheating.

Having the process broken down made it easier for the teacher to provide feedback as well.

If something did not add up, they could point to the part that caused things to go sideways.

Movement Application

Not only does going slow build strength and control, it also lets you ingrain a movement pattern.

Going slow is less impact on your joints as well, which will help you to stay active for longer.

It is a great complement to other sports.

A quick and simple exercise is to take the basic movements of your favorite activity, then slow it down.

Pretend you are pushing through molasses.

Imagining resistance to your movements, creating tension in your muscles.

After you have this down, start to speed up while trying to keep the fluidity, agility, and mobility of your movements.

My guess is, after awhile you will be moving faster, even faster than if you would have gone for speed from the start.

Add a little slow-mo to your training today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Point A to Point B

point A

Getting to Different Points

How you get from point A to point B and how much you move can affect your wellbeing.

One of the easiest ways to stay in good health is to integrate movement into your every day.

I have not paid too much attention to this in my life, until now.

We have often lived in places where I have had to use public transportation and walk to work.

Every day I had physical activity that was simply part of my day.

I have also lived in places where I drove to work and had to get exercise outside of my everyday commute.

My current situation of working remotely and commuting from my bedroom to bathroom to living room is the most challenging.

Homebody By Default

Being a homebody by default makes working from home even more of a challenge.

At the end of a long work day, the last thing I feel like doing is leaving my home.

I want to have nice meal, read a book, watch TV and hang out with my cat.

There can occasionally be days between when I go outside.

Figuring out how to get myself outside and moving has been a mind bender.

I do get a little stir crazy after awhile.

Re-thinking Breaks

Maybe if I re-think my breaks. Think of them more like recess in school, I will venture out.

After all, my favorite parts of school were PE and recess.

Getting out on the play ground was the highlight of my day.

Running around playing on the monkey bars and trying new tricks was my comfort zone.

The classroom was not where I felt at home, it is where I felt out of place.

I felt much more myself and able to learn and perform doing physical activities.

It was where I built my confidence.

Right now, I am not accessing that confidence.

I think it is time I went out for recess!

How about you? Does our life integrate physical activity into it? If so, how?

Take an opportunity to train today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Settling in For the Long Haul

settling

Settling For Not Settling

Settling in for the long haul does not mean becoming complacent.

It means that you settle on not settling.

If you do not want to settle, you can for instance go really hard at running and in a handful of years, your body won’t let you continue running.

How to not settle? Ignoring your body when tells it is not happy with the way you are training.

When your recovery choices do not let you continue to do the activities you enjoy doing.

How does being competitive add to this drive, lack of recovery, and long term damage?

If you are worried about how well you are going to place, and not how well and for how long you can perform it, then you will be more willing to cut corners.

One Time Too Many

I remember doing a half marathon and how that felt afterwards.

Even with months of training building up to the race, it did not feel great on my body.

5K’s were fun but I’m not built for speed.

I did not want to focus on getting faster.

I settled on 10K’s. I was thinking that those were my sweet spot.

Not so short that you felt you had to always run faster, and not too long so my body rebelled.

The training was more doable in a regular life, and recovery was better.

It has been awhile since I ran regularly and I do miss it.

What I do not miss is the “I have to!”.

Running on my own had its good moments, but sometimes felt like a big chore and a checkmark, instead of fun activity.

I enjoyed training with other people so much more.

The social side of things made the time fly by sooo fast.

Find What Keeps You Going

Over the years as you are exposed to different forms of training, you find different movements that feel better for you.

Those are the things to put in your repertoire of daily movement.

Simple ways to get your circulation moving.

To keep up lubricating your joints and your range of motion.

All the things that can make your life better, or worse, as you age.

Think back to what you have done over the years and make mental list of all the things that made you feel better.

Any movements that did not seem to wear you down.

Chew on those thoughts during your training breaks today, if you like. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Figure it Out With a Little Test

figure-Flickr user redjar [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Figure out what needs improving with a little test.

Wondering what to do next?

What might be a challenge that will get you motivated to keep improving?

Maybe doing a little test will give you the data to figure out what will be that challenge.

On Friday you get to do a progress test, but maybe you have something different you specifically want to test.

Consider adding that to Friday, or maybe on Saturday.

More is not always better. Sometimes it is faster, or sometimes is is slower.

Maybe it is doing a handstand because you want to measure your shoulder and core strength.

Some many possibilities.

All About You

This little test will be all about you.

Made for you, by you.

Be creative and apply a little thinking.

Consider writing down some notes one day and coming back to those notes the next.

Does that measurement, or goal, still work for you the next day?

If it does, then start to devise a way to test for it.

Have fun and remember, there is no failure or not being good enough.

We are simply looking for places and ways to improve.

To do that you need to find a bit of what isn’t working, and some of what is.

Give it a try during or after training today. Cheers!!

Notice: This Friday we will be conducting a fitness test during your workout.

Yes, I want online training!

Loosening Up After A Steady Work Day

loosening-lululemon athletica [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Loosening Up

Loosening up after a long steady work day does not mean trowing back a couple of beers…

Instead, I’m referring to moving around with purpose.

Even if you trained in the morning, when you have a tasks during the day that require extended periods of stagnant work, consider moving around a bit.

Each day I turn off my work computer, I feel wiped out.

All I want to do is have a nice meal and chill out.

When I do loosen up a bit, I can feel the clicking and hear the popping of joints and ligaments getting back into place.

Twisted Pose

Do you find yourself, during different moments of the day, coming back into your body and wonder why you are holding a certain pose?

I know I take on this one arm hunch. My left shoulder rolls forward and I hunch down, twisting to the the right.

It is almost as if I am folding in on myself.

To correct it in the moment, I sit up straight and roll my shoulders back.

At the end of the day I still feel tightness in my neck and shoulders.

Bend A Little

Adding a little post work active joint rotation might do the trick.

I do not mind doing them, it does not take long to do, and it feels good.

That will be my plan.

What do you do to shake off the workday?

Find a way to train today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Practice Movement To Keep Moving

moving-Ben Sutherland [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Moving Practice

Practicing movement can be what helps keep you moving.

I saw a great video of a group of seniors in China who meet outside to practice movement.

This group were doing calisthenics and gymnastics way into their 70’s.

Not just touching toes, but doing splits. It was amazing and bizarre to watch.

The strength they exhibited, along with flexibility was very unexpected.

It gave me hope that even if I never reach that level there is the possibility to be amazing.

Start off Small

Small in this case means pushing you to your limits, where you are at.

Not measuring your ability against anything outside yourself.

Finding inspiration, like the Chinese seniors, is a great way to be motivated as long as expectations are kept in check.

I know that most likely I will never be as flexible and strong as the people I saw, but I will be the most that I can be.

Why do I think it is important..?

Because it will help with balance and staying mobile for a long time.

Mobility and Longevity

Watching my parents navigate the world, I see how important it is to have confidence in moving through an environment.

How you experience life can shift to be more cautious just through your movement style.

Confidence in movement can help you stay connected to that feeling of confidence.

Which can allow you to advocate for yourself in situations you come against.

In what ways do you find mobility, flexibility, and strength enhance your life?

Will you training today give you a boost of confidence?

Yes, I want online training!