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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

Not A Fan Of Daylight Savings Time

daylight

Daylight Where Its Needed

I would like a little daylight in my mornings, and a little darkness in my evenings.

We just had a blizzard the first week of daylight savings time.

Do I need the extra hour of daylight in the evening right now?

Nope not really.

Would I like a little sun earlier in the day?

Yes, I would.

It is easier to get up in the morning and maybe get in a walk.

Cozy Evenings

Cozy evenings are nice. I like cuddling up with some tea or wine watching a show, or reading a book.

That is the evening activity I enjoy.

All of a sudden I now feel this pressure to go out and do something.

All that changed was an hour.

It feels like soo much more.

Starting work in the dark feels a bit lonely.

I do like my solitude, but it feels like everyone else is sleeping.

Even though I know that is not true. Someone has to be making the donuts.

Reverse Depression

I doubt it is a thing, but I feel a little melancholy yesterday and today.

It has been a little stressful with work.

Not feeling that I have enough time, even though I actually spend extra time.

As least for the first time today, I do not feel like my eyes are ready to shut at 5pm.

This was a bit of a self-indulgent rant about losing an hour of time in the morning.

I used to love the idea of “sleeping in” when fall comes around.

Not so much now, since I really do not have a choice.

Where you live, do you have daylight savings time? If so, how do you deal with it?

Move a little, laugh a little, live a little. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Inspiration From Frustration

frustration

Fruits of Frustration

Have you ever felt frustration from thinking you could do, or contribute, more?

Sometimes when you get bored, or demotivated, it could be because of your frustration with how things are done.

I have lived with someone who is always looking to improve systems, for more than twenty years.

When you have an idea that you believe will make life better and no one listens, it can be very demotivating.

One idea for how to cope is to plant seeds of inspiration in those around you.

Find people who will talk about and advocate for your idea.

Slowly, over time, an “out there” idea might get some backing from people who can actually make it happen.

Find Your Friends

Gathering people who share your frustration, or have some of their own, can help to spark creativity.

How can your experiences come together and support each other.

Maybe you have tried to solve things one way, and they another.

Combined the solutions are even better.

Being open to other people’s ideas, while nurturing your own can be tricky. I find this to be more true if the ideas are really different from “normal”.

Compromising your way out of your idea is not a good plan either.

Finding commonalities that you both can build on may lead to something different. Maybe better…

Instead of giving up or getting complacent, try to harness the creativity that can be born from frustration.

While you train, think about it? Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Stronger than you think

You've heard it before, but have you thought about what it means physically?

Maybe you’ve heard this before, but… You’re stronger than you think!

Most of us associate the saying with mental strength.

That’s not the wrong, nor a bad, association.

It’s just…

Incomplete.

Yes, we are indeed mentally stronger than we think.

Parkour, as a sport, is pretty much founded on that principle.

We’re also physically stronger than we experience.

Hysterical Strength

Maybe you’ve heard of cases where humans have lifted something we believe only possible in fantasy.

Stopped a car, pressed a 1500 lbs rock that fell on top of them, etc.

It sounds impossible.

But it has really happened.

So why can’t you simply go over to the weight rack, put on a (quite) a few 45lbs plates and lift them?

On one hand, our brain is pretty impressive.

On the other, it’s also really, really(!), careful about making sure you’re not hurting yourself.

Need an example? How about a time where your range of motion was impacted by an injury.

Without plenty of Physical Therapy, your brain would normally disallow your limbs to return to the position where they got injured.

Although this is a good (great!) thing, it can be frustrating if your performance depends on the full functional range of the injured limb.

Then, because it was injured, it will take a lot of safe repetitions to return the limb to its former functional range.

Your friendly neighborhood protector

This is all due to the brain.

It’s not as if the muscle itself knows it needs to “chill out”.

But the brain thinks it does.

So it “protects” you from getting back into that position again.

Back to that whole lifting a car thing…

Some of the answer has to do with bone strength v.s. muscle strength, muscle strength vs tendon & ligament strength.

Basically, if you were able to always recruit the full strength of the muscle.

One estimate puts the typical muscle fibre recruitment at “maximum effort” – i.e. without going into the hysterical strength range – at 60% for “normal people” and peaking at 80% for athletes. The 80 percenters are athletes who train specifically for maximum muscle recruitment.

For ur mere mortals, the reality of the situation is that our brain worries about us.

Not just about our muscle recruitment ability, but also about what 100% recruitment means to our ability to continue moving/fighting/acting.

The energy required to recruit all of our muscle fibers will drain us. Possibly to the point where we can’t run away or avoid the next threat.

Also, it may cause injury to some of our limbs (pulling tendons off the bone, tearing muscles, etc).

Both of those are things our brain wants to make sure doesn’t happen.

Why?

Because in the wrong situation, that would mean we couldn’t defend ourselves. Nor could we run away.

Not at all optimal!

So your brain protects you from idiotic things.

Until you actually, truly, need it.

Then your body shows you what an amazing machine it is!

How about to increasing your muscle fiber recruitment during today’s training session?

Yes, I want online training!

Push-up progressions

Why not try a push-up negative to test your weaknesses?

I was at the gym, watching a few people work on their Push-Ups today.

It’s always interesting to watch people train, without being the one training them.

I learn a lot from what I see.

Sometimes I learn a new cue.

Sometimes I learn how not to cue.

During my observation today, it wasn’t what the coach said or didn’t say that caught my attention.

It was all about how the student decided to implement the instructions they were given.

The exercise in question is one I love;

The push-up

Even if you know you can’t complete a push-up there are still so many ways to perform a version of it.

My preferred option for people who can’t complete a full one unassisted?

The push-up negative.

Heck, I like using the negative with people who’re basically experts at doing them.

You can learn a lot about how and where you’re compensating by doing an exercise slowly and only working through the eccentric (negative) part of the movement pattern.

Most of us have some form of compensation we do.

Often, it’s momentum.

The slow and negative variant of the exercise forces us to realize that something isn’t quite right (if that’s the case).

But, back to what I was observing today.

When asked to do perform a push-up, the student went looking for an incline.

This too is a fine way to work your way up to being able to do a full body-weight movement.

But I believe the push-up negative is more effective.

So then, while observing, I’m faced with a dilemma.

Do I choose to be “helpful” and step in?

Or do I let the student and assigned coach figure out whatever they need to figure out on their own.

A few years ago, I probably would have “helped out”.

These days I try hard to avoid being “helpful” to other coaches during their sessions.

Unless I’m asked to help, I don’t offer it.

So instead I was enjoying watching the student take herself through the progressions until she hit her current limit.

In this case, that involved changing the angle of the incline until she couldn’t complete the requested number in the set.

It’s not as if she did any damage to herself. Instead, she got to explore what developing her own method means.

It truly was fun to see.

Speaking of slow negatives…

Can you think of something in your training routine today you could do a couple of (really) slow negative versions of.

To see if you learn something about your own strength and movement…

Yes, I want online training!