Posts tagged exercise motivation

Tough Love From Back Spasms

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The other day I was all excited about my workout. I couldn’t wait to take a trip to Muscleville, population me.

I’m just a few sets in to my very first exercise and it happens. Stinking back spasms.

Not sure if you have ever had back spasms before but they are not much fun. The bad part is that is was completely my own fault that I got them.

If you were making a formula to give yourself back spasms, I came up with a pretty good one. First you get about 4 hours of sleep the night before, then, you drink lots of coffee to make up for that, do NOT rehydrate with water, eat not so great foods, sit a lot working on a project, rush through your warm-up, and then go too heavy too fast doing squats.

That will pretty much do it if you are looking to experience some sympathy back spasms with me. And I knew not to do all of these things, but I still did them. Do you ever get yourself in those situations where you know better, but do it any way?

The first lesson here is to always prepare for your workouts. If you are tired, dehydrated, your nutrition has been terrible, you’ve been sitting all day, and you halfway go through your warm-up chances are good you could injure yourself.

The second lesson was what I did after I got the back spasms. I obviously was finished with my heavy squats and deadlifts for the day, but that did not mean my workout was finished. I found some things I could do (wall sits, bodyweight squats, rear foot elevated squats) and not be completely miserable. Then the next day, I found upper body exercises I could still do.

When you have an injury, you can choose to give up or adapt. I always choose to adapt and you should too. It’s not time to throw in the towel because you are uncomfortable or it’s too hard. What CAN you do? Put the focus there.

Maybe it is time to clean up your nutrition, decrease your stress levels, or improve your sleep quality. If your lower body, upper body, or core is injured find what you can still work on and do that! Studies show doing something works 100% better than feeling sorry for yourself.

If you need help on finding what exercises you can still do, some lifestyle changes you can make, or anything else feel free to reach out to me. Don’t give in, awesomeness is still attainable at all levels of life.

The Beast Within (Motivation)

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My pastor had a message yesterday about The Beast Within. Part of it was about that little voice inside that feeds your addictions. The voice that makes you buy M&Ms at the checkout lane or fill your drink cup with ice cream at Jason’s Deli. Have you ever seen that move before? It’s pretty impressive.

But I prefer to think about another entity that is inside of all of us. I’m talking about the concept that there is another person inside of you. This is the person that is able to go further than you thought possible, overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable, and give you hope when things look hopeless.

Check out this video from former Tennessee Vol football player Inky Johnson:

https://youtu.be/mlPES2LXiF0  

Inky used that motivation to become a scholarship football player at Tennessee with plans on making it to the NFL. His chances looked good until he got injured making a tackle. The play almost killed him (nerve damage and internal bleeding) and would result in a paralyzed right arm and then end of his football career.

That is when he discovered just how much the person inside could handle. A great message with several other nuggets to keep you motivated. Definitely worth 3 minutes of your day.

Building Block 1- Lessons from a Ginger Hulk

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My wife and I took the train down to New Orleans for a wedding a few years ago. The train is a pretty awesome way to travel if you aren't in a hurry by the way.

 

We get there pretty late, by my standards any way. It was about 10pm, so it was pretty dark out. The place we were staying at was one of those deals where you pay on-line, the person sends you a code, and then you get the key to your place out of a lock box when you get there.

 

I put the code in this stinking thing about 10 times and nothing! I was a little tired and admittedly a lot hangry, so my mind was not right. It is always good when you have to preface things like that, isn't it?

I gave the code one more try and then I kind of blacked out. When I come back to reality I am holding a lock box that was bolted into a concrete wall just seconds before.

 

In the middle of my Hulk Lock Box Smash I start wandering around and I see another lock box a little bit down from where I was standing. You can probably guess that the code worked perfectly on that one. That made for a slightly awkward moment for me and the other lock box owner...

How scary would a ginger Hulk be by the way?

 

Do you ever feel like you are just beating your head against the wall with your exercise plan? You keep trying the "code" that works for your friends, people on the Internet, and every celebrity. I will let you in on a little secret.

 

Not everything works for everybody.

 

Sounds pretty obvious, but that truth evades many people. Just because someone you know lost 50 pounds and kept it off doing Crossfit, Zumba, Body Pump, boot camp, etc.. does not mean it will work the same for you.

 

There are several facts that go into, but when you are choosing what workout to do consider a few things:

 

Consistency- Can I see myself doing this on a regular basis for at least 1 month? Consistency is a huge factor that can make or break your success rate.

 

Lifestyle- Will this fit into my work/family/home life? If it conflicts with more than one area of your life, it is going to be tough to establish a routine.

 

Enjoyment- Are you going to be miserable the ENTIRE time you are doing this plan? If so, don't do it! There are hundreds of ways to get in shape without having to hate your life the rest of your time on Earth.

 

Intensity- Can you safely work out harder without injuring yourself? Does your workout include progressions and regressions (ways to make it harder or easier) so you can continually get results at your level?

 

Be willing to try multiple things before you can find the plan that can give you long term results and that you will actually look forward to doing. There is a plan out there for everyone, it is your job to keep searching until you find it.

 

We do a pretty darn good job at Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp of helping people achieve these factors. If you would like to come see what we do, I am offering a free week to the first 5 people who e-mail me and ask for the free week. My e-mail is HuntsvilleBootCamp@gmail.com.

Our Tighten and Toning Camp starts on Monday and you can start with us, all it takes is an e-mail.

It’s just too much!!!

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I was a chaperone for a church youth trip this past weekend. We took the kids to a conference called Motion that was held at the BJCC in Birmingham. It was amazing, overwhelming, and I don’t think I slept more than 6 hours total the whole time we were there. Sleeping on the ground is rougher than I remember. Hashtag feeling old.

Something one of the speakers said really stuck with me He said that knowledge is doubling every 5 years (some sources say every 18 months). So every 5 years the amount of knowledge the world knows DOUBLES. I think that is so crazy!

Like many things that is a two-edge sword. On one hand that means everything you need to know about health, fitness, nutrition, exercise or anything you want to learn is out there for you.  On the other hand, there is a lot of garbage out there.

In your every day life think about how often you are bombarded with TV commercials, plugs on Facebook, radio ads, and Spam e-mails for weight loss advice, products, and services. I Googled weight loss yesterday and it came back with 270 million results.

How do you know what is legit? There are a few things that have always worked and will continue to work forever. The basics are not sexy or exciting but they are effective.

Are there great supplements out there? Absolutely.

Are there weight loss systems that help people? Yes!

Are there diets that work? Every day people are successful with any number of different ways of eating. But ask yourself these questions first before you try something crazy: -Could I work out harder and be more active (especially outside of your workout) overall?

-Could I eat more foods that I prepare and eat out less?

-Do I take in a lot of empty calories? (junk and processed foods, soft drinks, alcohol)

-Does my body need more sleep at night?

-Is my stress level too high?

That is a very oversimplified list, but if you answered yes to the majority of those I would start there. Exercise, proper nutrition, recovery, and stress management are building blocks of your health. If one of them is off, it negatively impacts the rest of them.

Where do you need to start? Pick one building block and start there. Over the next few e-mails I will break down each of the building blocks.

Let’s get back to the basics, so we don’t have to sift through all the confusion that is out there.

The importance of Your Future Self

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Daniel H. Pink recounts an experiment that tested people’s ability to invest in their future in his book “To Sell Is Human”. Yep, I’m using that book again, it’s a good book. They tested the subjects by having one group look at an image of themselves now and then talk to a digital representation of the researchers.

The researchers asked the subjects if they received an unexpected present of $1000 how would they spread it around. The options they could pick from were:

-Use it to buy something nice for someone else

-Invest it in a retirement fund

-Plan a fun and extravagant vacation

-Put it in a checking account

Everything was the same for the other group, except they were shown an image of themselves at 70 years old for one minute before they were asked the question. You can probably guess that the group that was shown an image of their future selves saved more. They put more than double into retirement than the other group did.

A similar thing happens with health and fitness. It is tough for younger people to picture themselves ever having to change what they eat or their activity level. Remember when you could eat donuts, mac and cheese, and pizza every day and still look the same?

Young people are not the only ones. Very few of us take the long-term approach to health and wellness. Not sure about you, but I plan on being around for awhile and I want to be strong and healthy that whole time.

Every day I get the opportunity to make deposits in my account through what I eat, how much I move, how much I sleep, etc… I can also make withdrawals with those same choices.

Take some time and think how you want to look, feel, and move at 50. 60. 70. 80 and beyond. Let that guide your daily choices. Not what you want next week or next month.

Keep making those deposits, minimize the withdrawals, and let’s plan on being those old people that work circles around these other whippersnappers.

Endurance Training Class is back!

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I don't know about you, but I plan on being around for awhile and I plan on being active for the rest of my life. So the older I get, the more I value endurance.

When you hear the word endurance, what do you think of? Running is my guess. That is part of the equation, but not the whole thing. It is about your heart, lungs, and muscles all being able to do what you want them to do for as long as you want to do it.

That is why we are bringing back our Endurance Training class! It will be a 6-week series on Saturday mornings 7:30-8:30am from August 5 to September 9, 2017.

This class will help you:

-Complete 5ks, 10ks, mud runs, and beyond

-Improve your breathing

-Get stronger and fitter

-Get leaner

-Have more energy

-Feel better overall

How awesome would it feel to get up a flight a stairs and not feel completely winded? Wouldn’t you love to be able to go hiking, biking, swimming or just being physically active with your family and not be held back by your current fitness level?

This class was a ton of fun and people saw excellent results last time, so I can’t wait to offer it again. There is a bit of bad news.

There are only 15 spots available and they are on a first come, first serve basis. You can reserve your spot below:

Endurance Training

PS-There are two payment options after the registration. The shirt option is $89 and includes a tech shirt with our popular Run HSV logo on it. If you just want to do the training, the 6-week series is only $75.

 

Lessons from a crepe myrtle (weird, but worth the read)

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All fun and games until they are viciously attacking your sidewalk

It's been a life long dream of mine to write a fitness post crepe myrtles. Today that dream comes true.

 

There is a crepe myrtle in my backyard that has been plaguing me. It looks awesome, but it drops its petals on my sidewalk, they stick to the bottom of my shoe, and then I track them into my gym.

 

So I started off solving this problem by continually sweeping out my gym. Take that myrtle! As you can guess, that didn’t really solve the problem. I was sweeping those petals out every day.

 

So I really got smart and swept the sidewalk where the petals were sticking to shoes. Listen I didn’t graduate high school with a 2.3 GPA by being a dummy. But guess what? The petals just kept acomin down and that became my new daily sweeping chore.

 

But if I really wanted to solve the problem, I should the sweet spot where all this is coming from right? By trimming up the branches that hang over the sidewalk I could prevent all this from happening.

 

There is one caveat for that though. It is not my crepe myrtle. I can trim the ones that I can get to, but there are some that I can’t. I will just have to make it work.

 

I am a little slow in learning this stuff, but I see the same thing with people with their nutrition and exercise habits. People that try to exercise like crazy to overcome a poor diet.

 

Then they switch to strict nutrition habits, but then the exercise habit starts to fall off. It becomes too much to handle.

 

So how do you get to the sweet spot of exercise and nutrition? By changing your mindset.

 

Don’t try to outexercise a bad diet. That is impossible.

 

Don’t put yourself on some crazy, restrictive diet that makes you miserable. The sort term results you get are not worth it because it is not sustainable and you will gain all the weight back.

 

The sweet spot is found where you find some form of movement that you enjoy and you can stick to. Then you find a way of eating that nourishes your body, makes you feel good, and actually tastes good! When you add consistent, effective exercise to consistent, effective nutrition you start seeing tremendous results. And these are long term changes that will stick around.

 

Then there is the things that are out of your control, like rogue crepe myrtles, thyroid issues, or genetics. If you can’t control it and nothing you can do will change it, then it is time to let that go. You just do the best you can with what you got.

  Don’t get down on yourself and don’t use it as an excuse to quit. Just do your best and keep your focus on what you have the power to change.

Is it possible to go 21 days without complaining?

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I was speaking to a group at a college a few years ago and I came to the potentially dangerous "Are there any questions?" part of the talk. I have had some blush inducing moments there, so I always get a little nervous.

 

But this time, it was not blush inducing. It was more anger/frustration inducing. He actually had a comment and he said "Well, this is good information, but we can't all be successful."

 

What??? Why not? It drives me crazy when people say stuff like that. You may not be able to get 6 pack abs when you are 60 years old or run a 5k in 15 minutes, but you can do better than you are now. You can improve at any age if you are willing to put in the work.

If you start with that attitude, then I guess you are right. You won't be successful if you are walking around with a self defeatist attitude all the time. Things are not that bad, buck up buttercup!

 

My wife is a nurse and she mainly deals with older patients. But she met a patient one time that had let herself go to the point that she will probably be bed ridden for the rest of her life. This person is not that old, but she is facing what I would consider a nightmare because she neglected her health for so long.

 

Don't you think she would trade anything she has to be in a body that could move? A body where she can take care of herself? I'm sure she wishes she would have taken a few more walks and made better food choices, while she still had it in her to do so. I feel so horrible for her because she is a prisoner in her own body and it was totally preventable.

 

Don't let that be you.

Are you healthy enough to move? Then you can be successful and you can reach your goal. Someone in a hospital bed is wishing they could do the things that you take for granted. Stop doubting yourself and start helping yourself!

 

Here is your action step. Go 21 days without complaining about anything that relates to your health and fitness.

 

As a way to keep yourself accountable, use this technique I learned about from minister Will Bowen. Put a bracelet (or a rubber band) around one wrist. Every time you complain, you move the bracelet over and your complaint free streak starts back to zero.

Are you up for the challenge? I hope so because it will absolutely be worth it.

Two Any Time Anywhere Workouts

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On Monday I challenged you to get in 90 workouts in the time remaining in 2017. But we all know there are times where you get in a pinch and can’t get the workout in you want.

 

I wanted to give you 2 workouts you could use for those emergencies. These will all be 20 minutes or less, require no fancy equipment, and can be done in smaller spaces.

 

 

The 90 Workout Challenge

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Happy Half A New Year! Can you believe we are halfway through 2017? I have to be honest, I’m a little bummed I’m not typing this from my flying car that steers itself.

 

But the beauty of today is that it can be the start of something great. Look back to what your goals were at the beginning of this year. How are you progressing on them? Are you halfway there?

 

If so, awesome! If not, it’s not too late!

 

Just think of this as your reset button. This will be a way to either stay motivated or to get you back on track.

 

Your goal is to get in at least 90 workouts in the time we have left this year. That is a little more than 3 workouts per week, so it is completely doable. You have to be intentional about it though.

 

We all know that there will be stretches where you won’t be as active as other times. School starting back, football season, holidays, fall break, etc... That is all coming up on the horizon, so you need to have a plan in place ahead of time.

 

If you have an exercise class, group, or partner that you already meet with, that is ideal. The added accountability will come in handy. But what about on those days when your car breaks down, the kids are sick, you are working overtime, you go on a work trip, or any other scenario that is trying to mess your groove up?

 

I got your back my friend! On Wednesday I will send you a few options that you can do any time and any where. These will not require fancy equipment, a gym membership, or tons of space.

 

Hope you have an awesome 4th of July!

 

PS- If you want to get a jump start on those 90 workouts, Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp is hosting a charity boot camp to benefit Operation Stand Down. They support local, homeless veterans. Check out their needs list, bring a donation, and let's have some fun!

Men, women, and children of all ages and fitness levels are invited to attend. It will be from 8-9am on July 4th at Weatherly Elementary School at 1307 Cannstatt in Huntsville.

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