Archive for March, 2016

How to stick to a habit using paper clips

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clippy-microsofts-talking-paperclip-is-back

Do you remember that annoying Microsoft Word paper clip guy? His name was Clippy I think or I may be making that up.

Just to put your mind at rest, this has nothing to do with him. These paper clips can actually help you.

This is based on a story I heard about a stockbroker named Trent Dyrsmid. He was a brand new stockbroker who got very successful, very quickly. Everybody was shocked at how fast he was able to grow his assets, so they all wanted to know the secret of his success.

Trent’s technique was pretty simple. All it took was 2 jars and 120 paper clips. His explanation was straight forward, “Every morning I would start with 120 paper clips in one jar and I would keep dialing the phone until I had moved them all to the second jar.”

Many of us are motivated by visual stimuli. That is why this strategy works so well. One look at your jars and you know where you stand.

You can use this with your health and fitness habits or whatever you are trying to get better at. All you need to do is pick your habit, get 2 jars, get paper clips, and then start moving clips from jar to jar.

Some examples could be:

-Trying to establish the bait of keeping a food journal. You know you eat 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. Your goal is to log in every time you eat, so you need to move 5 paper clips per day. -Eating vegetables 3 times per day, move 3 clips -Getting up and walking around every hour at work (8 hours=8 clips) -Doing a squat challenge where you have to do 100 squats a day? Knock out 10 squats/10 paper clips at a time throughout the day.

There are tons of ways you can use this to increase your level of success. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

7 Important Habits for Women

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7-habits

Stephen Covey famously wrote about 7 habits people should adopt to become highly effective people. I want to totally rip off his idea and share with you my 7 Habits of Highly Buff Women.

Tips that aren't complicated, but will guarantee your success if you put them to the test.

 

1. Develop mental muscles

People that get the most out of their workouts are enthusiastic; they actually want to be there! Excuses don’t apply to them. Why are you working out? Find a compelling reason that will drag you back into the fight when things get tough.

 

2. Have a game plan

Have you ever gone into a gym and found that you wandered around, puttering from machine to machine? Stop wasting your time! Always come with a plan of action for when you get to your workout.

Either get a trainer or get an effective workout program on paper/in your phone for you to follow. That will prevent you from skipping out on those hard exercises, keep you from wandering around with a blank stare like most guys in Victoria’s Secret, and will maximize the time you spend in your workout.

 

3. Use proper nutrition

You can’t outrun your mouth. The oldest mistake around is assuming what you do during your workout gives you free will to eat whatever you want. You absolutely HAVE to eat properly to get results. Your workout is one hour a day, what you do in the other 23 hours will determine your success.

 

4. Always use proper form

Form is everything when it comes to exercise. Always know what muscles you are supposed to be working, so you can concentrate on using them the whole time as opposed to just trying to go through a movement. Proper from leads to fewer injuries and better results.

 

5. Keep showing up

Consistency is the key. You have to make exercise and nutrition a habit and a part of your everyday routine. Working out really hard for one month and then taking the next month off will not get the job done.

 

6. Be well rounded

Your body is used to that strict routine of 100 Thighmaster squeezes, 12 minutes on your Shake Weights, and 10 minutes on your machine that you strap the belt around your waist and it shakes the pounds off. You have to change it up because your body needs different stimuli to change.

The body can adapt really quick, so change something in your program at least once every six weeks. Lift heavier, rest less, go further, go faster, etc...

Your body needs strength, cardiovascular, and flexibility training. Make sure your program incorporates all three.

 

7. Bring the intensity

Take a look at someone’s body you admire and want to look like. Chances are they work extremely hard to look like that. Going through the motions and having an “I don’t like to sweat” attitude will not get you the results you want.

You’re stronger than you think, don’t be scared of pushing yourself!

I Hate Vegetables

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hate-vegetables

Not many people know this, but I am an expert in not eating vegetables. I did not start consistently eating vegetables until I was in my late 20's. Unless you count occasionally eating the celery that comes with hot wings.

 

We all want the best for our kids, so my wife and I have been giving my son vegetables his whole life. Poor kid.

 

One day he did not feel like eating those vegetables, not that I blame him. I was forced to go into motivation mode and eventually got him back on track.

 

Then I realized that I should be giving that speech to myself. How can you expect a kid to do something you are not willing to do yourself?

 

Kids watch what you do more than they pay attention to what you say.

 

I became determined to eat vegetables and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. More energy, felt better overall, skin looked better, lost a lot of belly fat, etc... plus I felt like a better role model to my son.

 

Here are few things I did to start eating more vegetables that might be helpful to you fellow vegetable haters

 

1. Get the day started right

I love eggs and I eat them nearly every day. I get some frozen vegetables, heat up some coconut oil, cook my vegetables in the oil, then throw in some eggs for a delicious meal. You will feel like a superior being when you have vegetables with breakfast.

 

2. Experiment

Get crazy baby! Go into the produce aisle and try something you can't even pronounce. Figure out what cooking style tastes best for you: grilling, sautéing, boiling, raw. Try different spices as well.Here is a secret I found out. Not all vegetables are terrible! Who knew?

 

3. Pre-made saves the day

If you don't have time to rip up heads of lettuce, chop vegetables, and all of that jazz govern stores can help you. They have vegetables already cut up, lettuce leaves that are salad ready. Two things I would avoid though are the pre-made salad kits (with all the cheese, croutons, etc...) and iceberg lettuce (not many vitamins and nutrients in that pale mess).

 

4. Get the salad bar and actually get some salad

I went to Ruby Tuesday's after church on Sunday not long ago and got the salad bar. Great salad bar, but I saw some people pull of a pretty impressive feat.

They were able to get a giant plate of food from the salad bar and not get one vegetable. It was amazing!

There was cheese, bacon, pasta salad, the mayo filled fruit salad thing, croutons, and salad dressing. Pretty impressive, but kind of defeats the purpose of getting the salad bar.

 

5. Make it a priority

This is the most important thing I did. Whatever you make a priority you will accomplish. Simple as that. Want to eat more vegetables? Commit to it! If you don't make it a priority, then you will continue to eat vegetables sporadically or not at all. I know from experience.

 

6. The Green smoothie

There are tons of recipes out there for green smoothies and I think it is the easiest way to work them into your routine. Most of them you can't even taste the vegetables.

Here is one that I really like:

-1 cup of water

-1 cup of mango

- 1 frozen banana

-1-2 cups of spinach

Put in water, then fruit, then greens, blend it all up. Sounds disgusting, looks more disgusting (don't put it in a clear container), but actually tastes good. Great way to start your day with some vegetables.

Not for the overly sensitive

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Own-it

This post might sound a little harsh, you might get mad at first, but stick with it and I think it will really help you.

If you are overweight, out of shape, not where you want to be in life, broke, etc... it is on you. Some of us have had more opportunities in life than others. Some of us have had bad things happen to us. It's all about how you respond. I love this quote from the picture above:

"Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different results, make different choices."

I speak from little experience on this. I've been overweight, I've been depressed, I've been in jobs and relationships I didn't want to be in. I justified each and every one of those situations, so I didn't have to get out of my comfort zone and change.

It was easier for me to blame my circumstances, other people, genetics, the economy, etc... Two words allowed me to change.

Own it.

Take ownership of your life! Don't wait on someone else to change your life, it's not going to happen.

Your family can't do it, the government can't do it, even your super, awesome coach can't do it.

Other people can inspire you, motivate you, and help you along the way but you have to do it. What you do with the tools and the opportunities are on you.

Are you overweight? Own it and start doing something about it.

Are you out of shape? Own it and start fixing it.

Always tell yourself you are too busy to exercise and eat right? Own it and you will realize you do have time.

The sooner you own it, the sooner you can conquer your obstacles. Don't play the victim, it only digs you into a deeper hole.

Plus being proactive makes you feel so much better! It's in your hands now, you are not helpless any more. Just remember the Triple A saying.

A- Action

A- Alleviates

A- Anxiety

In case you missed Monday's post, it had 20 ways to start taking action to alleviate some of your anxiety. Don't get mad, don't get upset, just work on getting better every day and you will get there.

Get a jump start on your results

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jump-start Are you in a rut? Are you overwhelmed?

Does it seem like you have so far to go, what's the use in even trying?

I've been there my friend, it is a hard place to be in.You know how you get out of that place?

One action step at a time.

Below are 20 examples of what that one thing could be.

1. Get the junk food out of your house

2. Stand up for 5 minutes every hour

3. Avoid fast food this week

4. Eat one healthy meal today

5. Take a 10 minute walk

6. Use a foam roller for 10 minutes

7. Floss (it adds 6 years to your life)

8. Stretch for 10 minutes

9. No liquid calories today (soft drinks, alcohol, coffees, etc…)

10. Commit to one workout (I know a great boot camp if you need it)

11. Turn the TV off and go to bed on time

12. Take 10 minutes of absolute quiet by yourself to de-stress

13. Find someone who will keep you accountable (friend, trainer, group)

14. Go buy some new workout clothes or shoes

15. Write down your goals where you will see them daily

16. Rather than creating excuses for not getting healthy, create a plan

17. Start a sleep routine you will do every night

18. Eat a vegetable you've never tried this week

19. Do your measurements so you can see how far you are about to go

20. Get negative people (AKA energy vampires) out of your life

Pick out one thing from this list (or come up with one that resonates with you) and do it today. Sometimes all it takes is a little positive momentum to start something great.

Being an optimist can kill you

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Unknown

In my last post, I talked about the importance of relentless positivity. How it can bring you from darkness into light and take you places you thought you could never go.

 

There is a downside if you take what I’m saying the wrong way. I am not saying to be the stereotypical eternal optimist. The guy who thinks everything is sunshine and roses.

 

In Jim Collins’ book Good To Great he talks about an interview he did with a former prisoner of war Admiral Jim Stockdale. Admiral Stockdale was imprisoned by the Vietnamese army for 8 years, tortured more than 20 times, and was in as hopeless a situation as you can imagine.

 

How did he survive? Here are Admiral Stockdale’s own words:

 

“I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

 

Now that is s strong Why to get you through the day! Collins then asked him who were the ones who failed to make it out.

 

“Oh, that’s easy. The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

 

You can not depend solely on a positive attitude to put food on the table, help you survive, or even get you through a test you haven’t studied for. You have to put in the work!

 

Take a look at your situation now. What do you most want to change? Lose weight, go up a flight a stairs without breathing hard, get off medications, not feel so exhausted all the time.

 

Whatever it is, it is still very important to believe you can change the situation but you must take action. Keep your relentless positivity, face the brutal reality of the situation, and then do whatever it takes to overcome those hurdles.

Unknown-1

Relentless Positivity

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Joe Martin Fitness-01

We all know Will Smith as a huge success in everything he has done. It's not by accident. The guy has an enormous work ethic and is one of the most positive people in the world.

 

I highly encourage you take 10 minutes out of your day to watch the video at the bottom of this page some time, it is powerful.

We are surrounded by negativity and things that depress and discourage us. You have to find things that inspire you and make you want to do more with your life.

 

Two few quotes from the video I really like and live by are:

 

“If you are not making someone else’s life better, then you are wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other people’s lives better.”

 

“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is that I’m not afraid to DIE on a treadmill. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, but if we get on a treadmill together, there are two things: 1- You’re getting off first OR 2- I’m gonna DIE It’s really that simple”

 

Do something every day to make your mood and attitude better. Pet a dog, wrestle with your children, sing, listen to music, get around positive friends, read a book. I take time out of every day to make sure my attitude and mood are right. It is one of the biggest reasons I have had any success in my life. I am not the smartest, most talented, etc... But I am relentlessly positive, I love helping people, and I am a hard worker.

 

Those are the things I have control over, so I maximize them. It is a waste of time to worry over things you have no control over anyway. My focus is always on ways I can build myself and others up.

 

I could focus on the fact that I have poor organization skills, get really anxious in front of large groups, don't like to be the center of attention. These are all things that do not lend themselves to being able to lead groups of 50 women in an exercise class. I focus on the fact that I can change every one of those 50 people's life by somehow organizing them, talking to that large group, and being the focal point.

 

Focusing on how your schedule, genetics, health issues, etc... are holding you back is not getting you anywhere. What do you have in your life that you can build on? All it takes is one thing.

 

Low self esteem and a poor attitude are a big reason people continue to be overweight and out of shape. If that is you, the first thing you need to fix is your attitude.

 

You will be amazed at the energy and enthusiasm you will have when you begin living a life of relentless positivity. Feed yourself something positive for breakfast, lunch, and dinner today.

https://youtu.be/Y3CRdPHDCC0

You eat this 60% of the time? (homework)

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processed-foods

Studies over the past few years have shown that Americans are eating more and more processed foods. Do you ever wonder what processed foods are?

 

Here is the USDA definition- any foods other than raw agricultural commodities and can be categorized by the extent of changes occurring in foods as a result of processing.

 

The Joe Martin simplified version- stuff that come out of a box or a bag.

 

These studies show that 60% of the foods we eat every day come from highly processed foods. And another 15% of the calories come from moderately processed foods.

 

Hey I get it. I'm right there with most people when a busy week hits and you don't have anything to eat in the house, having something that can be ready in 5 minutes is perfect. Of the processed foods 68% were ready to heat/ready to eat. It's all about convenience.

 

My homework for you this week is to start knocking that number down. Your goal is to cook and eat one additional healthy meal this week.

 

That is it. Do that every week until that one extra healthy meal becomes your new normal. Then you add in a 2nd meal. Keep repeating this process until you get to a number that is a good combination of healthy eating and that fits into your busy schedule.

 

Start the habit, establish the habit, build on the habit. Sound doable?

The Elevate Workout

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Elevate-Workout-1  

I'm really excited about this weekend because our boot camp family is marching in the Saint Patrick Day's Parade! Always a good time with great people.

Got an e-mail about the parade telling people to make sure they are wearing sunscreen. When you have a high concentration of gingers you can't mess around.

So I will need to get my workout done early that morning so I can be ready to look good in my gold pants. If you are looking to do a quick, effective workout this weekend I have a good one for you.

I call it Elevate because it sounds like a fancy restaurant.

You need an elevated surface of some kind for this one. It can be a bench, box, fireplace, whatever you can find.

You will do each exercise for 30 seconds, then rest 30 seconds. Go through the whole list 3 times.

Here are your exercises:

1. Bulgarian split squats (Right leg)

(Start off with a nice long stride with one foot up on the bench. You can either have shoelaces down on the bench or you can put your toe on the bench. Push that back knee towards the ground like you are doing a lunge, then push through your front heel to stand back up)

2. Bulgarian split squats (Left leg)

3. Feet elevated pushups

If you get too fatigued, go to regular pushups or hold the pushup at the top to avoid breaking your face.

4. Step ups (Right leg leading)

5. Step ups (Left leg leading)

6. Hip thrusts

This one looks pretty bad if anyone happens to see what you are doing, but it is an amazing exercise for your glutes and overall strengthening.

Put your shoulder blades up on the bench, feet are on the ground, knees bent. You will let your hips drop down then push up, squeeze your glutes at the top and then repeat. Add weights to make it harder.

7. Run or march in place with high knees

8. Burpees

For a low impact option, squat down and place your hands on the bench or step, jump or step your feet back so you are in the pushup position, jump or step back to where you started, stand up or jump up to standing position. Make it harder by going flat on the floor.

The Danger of Facebook

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danger facebook

If you are looking for a new book to read, I would recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.

 

Really interesting book and it makes me feel like I should be wearing cool glasses and wearing a tweed jacket with elbow patches.

 

One of the stories was about the smartest of the smart kids and what happens to them at the top Ivy League type schools like Brown University.

 

Kids that have scored higher on the math and science portion of the SATs drop out of Science and Math majors at a higher rate at the top schools, than kids that go to other lesser known schools even though these kids scored lower on the math and science portion of the SATs.

 

What went wrong? These kids clearly have the smarts to get through these classes. It has to be something else right? It is something else.

 

They compared themselves to others.

 

These were kids who were at the top of their classes in high school and were really smart. Then they get to the high level schools and they aren’t surrounded by smart any more, they are surrounded by brilliant.

 

It makes them feel dumb by comparison and they drop out. Even though they are really smart kids!

 

More and more studies are coming out that Facebook makes people more depressed and less satisfied with life.

 

"Comparison is the thief of joy." Theodore Roosevelt

 

This also happens in fitness all the time. It is one of the main reasons I started a fitness class for women only.

 

I worked in gyms for a long time and I would see women walk in all the time that I knew would never come back. I knew they would never come back when I saw “The Look”.

 

The look of “I don’t belong here”

 

The look of “I can never look like her”

 

The look of “I am not as pretty/fit/strong/skinny as her”

 

The look of Comparison

 

Our boot camps in Huntsville, Harvest, and Madison provide a safe place where women can come be their best at any shape, size, or ability.

 

No matter what shape, size, or ability you are exercise is for you. You do belong, you do matter!

 

The only person you need to compare yourself to is you. No one else matters.

 

Are you doing your best? Do you keep showing up? Are you doing what you can to maximize your results?

 

Those are the things you need to worry about because those are the things you can control. And those are the things that will get you results.

 

Do your thing, you're pretty awesome if you think about it.

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