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!

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!

Food + Training = Winning Combination

Fresh Food for everyone!

Today I learned the value of having eaten enough food before training.

As in…

I learned how difficult it can be to perform at your best, if you don’t eat enough.

Especially during an evening training session, like what I experienced today.

Truth is, when the wife’s away, I sometimes forget to eat.

Today was one of those days.

I got up.

Fed the cat (she’s a demanding beast!).

Had a cup of coffee and started working.

At 2pm I realized that I had not eaten anything since yesterday at 4pm.

It dawned on me that this probably wasn’t a great idea if I was planning on training tonight (I was).

Then it dawned on me that there was nothing in the apartment to eat.

Thank goodness for Amazon PrimeNow, living in a bigger city and GrubHub!

In spite of consuming 1/2 of the hearty delivery of Thai curry, I still got a mild headache within minutes of completing my first warm-up tonight.

I struggle with energy if I have to exert myself after not eating for almost 24 hours (imagine that!?!).

Of course, I’m not that smart either…

For 2 hours tonight, I tried to run and jump on stuff.

I did OK for the first hour.

Of course, that has more to do with the class format than my (not so) excellent energy management skills.

Then the day of not enough food, but training caught up with me.

By the time I was 1/2 way through the second hour, my energy levels were dropping precipitously.

Thankfully I had an ego protecting “out” tonight.

Christine would have to walk from the train station to the apartment at about the same time as the second class ended.

I had to leave to pick her up. For her safety of course! And I’m a chivalrous guy.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Make sure to get enough food when training.

Ever notice how your food intake affects your training?

Tell us about it in the comments section!

Yes, I want online training!

Move An Object, or Move Your Body…What is Strength?

Object-Redclown at English Wikipedia [Public domain]

Move An Object

Is being able to move a heavy object a true sign of strength?

For awhile I got caught up in the idea that lifting heavy things is what would give me strength.

Deadlifting, squatting, and bench pressing did lead to more overall physical strength.

I could do 11-12 pull ups, and about 15-20 push ups.

My mobility and agility were not as balanced as the strength I had gained, so in some ways I would say I wasn’t strong at all.

Move A Man

It was very motivating to think about being able to carry and save my husband, dog, and cat in a fire situation.

In my head, I would play a scenario of how I could get them all to safety in one go.

When I was doing hallway runs with a heavy sand bag, I thought “now this is functional fitness!”

But, I only got to 100lbs. I could not have carried my husband anywhere.

I could have managed the dog and cat.

Lifting weight did make me feel strong, but I was not doing much body movement exercises at the time.

I wish I had done that. Being able to confidently move your body through space is a very big power booster.

In gymnastics I always felt so heavy.

There was too much of me to move around.

Point of View

The idea that I was too big made it hard for me to pursue athletic movement like gymnastics.

I enjoyed dancing a lot more.

One thing I could do was jump.

Which was funny because I was not a basketball or volleyball player.

My small stature did not make me the go-to-person in either of those sports.

I think being shorter gave me the element of surprise when it came to jumping and leaping in dance.

It was a surprise at how big I could make a movement, so that seemed grand.

Compare me to a taller person who can really jump and then I imagined the “oh now I see” comment.

When the realization that I really did not jump all that high hit them.

But, when moving I did feel strong.

I think I felt even stronger than I when deadlifting double my bodyweight.

What do you think? Do you feel stronger when moving your own body, or when moving a stationary object?

Why?

Move, train, and dance a little. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Get Sorted

User:Dcoetzee, User:WDGraham [CC0]

Getting your week sorted out and ready to go is one way to take any stress down a notch.

When life is real busy and you feel like you are chasing after things to get them done, take control by sorting out what you need to do.

There are many ways to sort things out. Finding the one that works for you is all that matters.

For people who can afford it, it is hiring someone who is in charge of scheduling your time.

Might sound crazy, but sometimes this is what is needed to allow enough brain power so you can focus where your talents lie.

Someone who likes to schedule people either really love to be in control, or are looking for a way to a better job.

Either way they need to, or will do, a good job.

For us average “Pats”, we do our own scheduling.

Tools To Use

A couple of tools that I find useful are sorting my emails, using a calendar for reminders, and looking ahead to the week, or next day.

I usually have a lot of emails to sort through in the morning.

Some of them I need to take immediate action on, others I can categorize so I can take action on them later in the day.

I search for the emails that need to get done asap, act on them and then file them away.

That is how I know they are done.

I split my day up with different tasks to help me work through the emails that got categorized.

The calendar is something I use as a reminder to check on order delivery times.

That way when I enter an order, I can add a reminder for a day a week or two away to help me to keep track of the order.

A Look Ahead

On Sundays I like to look ahead at the week and see what is coming up.

The calendar reminders are good for this as well. They work as a tracking sheet for me.

The real tracking sheet is a simple exported Excel spreadsheet of all our orders, with notes on them.

That way I have one easy reference place to see things that are coming up.

It is also a way to communicate with other people about the status of orders for the week.

What tools do you use in your life to keep things sorted, and to de-load stress in your life?

Enjoy your time training today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!