Posts tagged getting in shape

Lessons from Joe Rogan and Skydiving

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I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast yesterday and he started talking about the importance of doing things you are not good at. He said it was crucial to become a beginner at something again.

That seems like a rough way to treat yourself, but I completely agree. It is good for you brain and your body to try things that are out of your comfort zone.

Never was this more alive to me than when I went sky diving for the first time last weekend. Check out that picture! Here is another one:

The most nerve racking part, when your toes are hanging off and you are 14,000 feet up.

It was definitely out of my comfort zone, considering I don’t like heights or flying. But when your wife surprises you with the opportunity on your 40th birthday, you jump at the chance. No pun intended.

And it was amazing! That first picture is from the free fall, where you are flying through the air like Superman. An unreal feeling that I wish everyone could experience.

Was it comfortable? No. Was I nervous? My palms still sweat thinking about it. But I am so glad I did it. My life was literally in someone else’s hands and that someone was a stranger!

Stretching and growing isn’t easy, but it is worth it to get better. I had a speaking engagement a few days later and my wife asked me if I was nervous and I said, “I just jumped out of an airplane, this does not worry me now.”

What are you afraid to do because it is not in your comfort zone? Are you afraid to try something because you are afraid to fail? Don’t be! Look at it as a win, win. If you succeed, awesome! If you don’t, you learn from it.

Your homework for the weekend is take some time and figure out what you need to do to stretch and grow. Lift heavier weights? Try your first 5k? Learn how to swim as an adult? Take up kayaking?

Find something you are a beginner at, stick to it, and continue to challenge yourself! The hardest part is the beginning when you are not good at something. Persevere and you will so glad that you did.

New stuff is happening!

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I've got some really exciting news to announce. We are changing the 830am class to 9am! We have had several people inquire about the time change and now it is happening.

Many people were not able to attend because their Mother's Morning Out drop off time was at 830, so they were unable to attend. Now they can! Thank you for that feedback, we aim to please.

The 9am class is a little different than the other time spots and locations. It is a small, but mighty class 🙂 We have access to a gym, so we do a lot of TRX and kettlebell workouts that are very effective for all fitness levels. This class meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

 

Here is my son using the TRX if you have never seen it before

 

Alos, we are running a New Member Special for all class times and locations. $99 for a month of unlimited classes. A huge savings and I guarantee you will be blown away with workouts, support, encouragement, and fun you get for that price.

We have 530am classes in Harvest, 530pm classes in Monrovia, and 530am/9am/530pm classes in south Huntsville. We would love to have you join whatever location suits you the best.

 

Take advantage of the Mew Member Special here --->Special Deal

New classes start on May 30th, see you there!

The Cardio Fountain of Youth

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In a recent study published in Cell Metabolism researchers may have found the key to slowing down the aging process. It is not a pill, potion, or surgical procedure. The key is good old exercise.

 

In particular the key is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The study reported that the subjects who were in the 65-80 years old group increased their mitochondrial capacity by 69% through HIIT biking. What this fancy talk means is that this type of exercise stopped the aging process at the cellular level.

 

Pretty cool stuff, but how does that effect you? If you go to our boot camp, you are already doing this type of training! If you are not, I wanted to give you a few tips to add HIIT into your training regimen.

 

Let’s go ahead and start with the bad news first. HIIT is hard. Always gotta add those disclaimers.

 

HIIT is simply alternating high intensity exercise with low intensity exercise or short rest breaks. Where you take it from there will vary based on personal preference and your fitness level.

 

In the study they used biking, but you can do walking, running, swimming, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, weights, bands, and just about any exercise method you can think of. When you are first starting out, I would recommend short bursts of the high intensity part and longer rest breaks or low intensity portions.

 

A famous (and famously hard to do) training protocol is the Tabata method. This is 20 seconds of all out effort (think running as fast as you can) and resting for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds. It is pretty rough, but if you are pressed for time it is a great option.

 

That is just one way, but there are tons of ways to work this into your program. Give it a try and have a great weekend!

Everybody is a hottie to somebody

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I was reading about how the beauty standards have changed so dramatically over the years. I believe it is what most 39 year old fellas do in their spare time. So I made a little list of some of the highlights of the more popular trends that have been in:

 

-Pale skin is in! (I missed my era) -Perfume over bathing -Full figured always in (except past 100 years, starting mainly in the 1960s) -Wigs -Blondes were out at one time. Can you believe it? -Max Factor makeup setting the beauty standard with his Beauty Micrometer. You needed to have a nose the same length as the height of forehead and your eyes should be separated by a space the width of one eye. But if not, it could be corrected with Max Factor Make Up!

 

Check out this picture of the Beauty Micrometer. Looks cozy.

-Plucking -Plastic surgery, Airbrushing and Photoshopping -Tiny waists -Dark skin is in -Big booties -Big boobs -Big hair

 

Meanwhile, in modern day Africa being overweight is considered a positive thing. There are even businesses in Nigeria that help people put weight on. While in in the modern day fashion world, “plus sizes” are considered sizes 6-14. What the what?

 

My main point in this: you do you. Are you comfortable with your hair, looks, body, etc…? Good! You are on the right track.

 

If you are not happy with any of those things, why? Look at that list above. At one point in history all shapes, sizes, and looks have been considered beautiful. What changed?

 

Trying to fit the mold the media has made is simply impossible for many people. Thankfully I was born with an LA face and an Oakland booty, but not many are. Most people’s genetics will not let them be 5’10” and a size 2 with big boobs or have the Kardashian look.

 

My secondary point is that everybody is a hottie to somebody. Feel free to write that one down.

Pink has a great attitude on this subject

 

Trying to achieve those bodies can lead to eating disorders, negative body image, depression, and potentially passing those down to their children. I think it is awesome when people are doing their best to improve their bodies, when it is done the right way.

 

Looking better, feeling better, and having your body perform better are all things that improve your life overall. It seems silly, but if you have ever been overweight and/or out of shape you know it effects your life on a daily basis.

 

My advice is to focus on the process. What can you do today to eat a little healthier, lift a little heavier, run a little further, push a little harder? Don’t focus on that 50 pounds you need to lose, focus on exercising 3 days a week for 1 month or preparing at least one healthy meal a day at home. Take a holistic approach to getting better by taking into account your sleep, recovery, stress levels, mobility, and supplementation along with the exercise and nutrition you are improving.

 

Focus on these types of things and everything else starts to fall into place. Embrace your unique body, focus on the things you like about your body, and don’t let anyone tell you how you “should” look.

Your spark can become your flame

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Sometimes all it takes is one little spark to ignite a flame. It's the same way with getting started on a healthy lifestyle. One action step at a time. Picking out a specific action and making it a habit. Think about what you would like to change the most. -Your weight? -Your endurance? -Your strength? -Your eating habits? -Your energy level? What is one thing you can do this week to ignite that fire and start conquering your struggles? Here are 20 examples of what that one thing could be:

1. Get the junk food out of your house 2. Set an alarm and 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

11. Turn the TV off and go to bed an hour earlier 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. Take a picture of yourself and do your measurements so you can track the amazing results you are about to achieve 20. Cut ties with a negative person (AKA energy vampire) in your life The list could be thousands of things, but I want you to think of one specific thing you will commit to TODAY to take action on. Pick something you know you can do, keep at it until it becomes a habit, and then target your next goal.

Let's get this fire started.

The dangers of that peanut butter life

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Most of these posts I write are lessons I am trying to teach myself and I think others could benefit from. Today’s post is no different.

I have two examples of how hidden calories can become a problem. The first one is one I did to myself, the second was one that I did to my wife.

Both of them involve... peanut butter.

Did that sound really dramatic? I hope so.

I noticed this week that I have a habit that could be dangerous if I was trying to cut down on my caloric intake. Every time I make my son a peanut butter sandwich I give myself a bite of peanut butter for the effort. That can add up considering that 2 tablespoons of peanut butter is 200 calories.

I also make my wife protein shakes on a regular basis. She asked me how much peanut butter I used and I realized it was way more than she does when she makes her own.

Maybe an added 100-150 calories here and there does not sound like a big deal, but it can add up. Especially if you do it consistently over time. An extra 150 calories per day would lead to a 15.6 pound weight gain in a year.

Three things to learn from my mistakes.

First, is to watch out for the BLTs. The Bites, Licks, and Tastes that you put into your body. All the little bites you take when cooking, licking spoons, and other taste tests you do count.

Second, is that it matters who prepares your food. That is why it is crucial to prepare your food as often as you can. Restaurants do not have your waistline in mind when they prepare your food. Their main mission is taste, so calories can pile up pretty quick.

Third, is that small changes can work for you or against you. I mentioned above about how they can work against you. But those same pounds you put on, can be taken off by eliminating 150 calories/day. You could eat 150 calories less, burn 150 off, or a do a combo of the two.

PS- Peanut butter is still delicious, I regret nothing.

Cut The Bull Sit!

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Are you sitting down? I have some news for you. Stand up!

A recent study of older women (average age of 79) published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who are sedentary have shorter life spans and are more likely to have high blood pressure, a history of chronic disease, lower physical performance scores, and are more likely to have experienced a fall in the past 12 months. The researchers found that the most sedentary women were biologically 8 years older than their actual age.

Another study in the same journal studied dementia risk in sedentary people. They studied people who were carriers of dementia markers and those who were not. The subjects with the markers for dementia developed dementia more often, but being sedentary greatly increased the risk of getting dementia for those who did not have the markers.

On a non-scientific note, I was talking to a physical therapist about the types of patients he sees. He said that 90% of what he sees is posture related ailments, the majority of them from sitting.

This is scary stuff! But it also means we can take control of our health by addressing the problem.

The first step is obvious- avoid sitting all day long! If you have a desk job this can be a challenge, but make it a priority to get up and stretch, walk around, etc… at least once an hour but the more often the better.

The second option is to address your desk area. There are stand up desks, adjustable desks that go from standing to sitting, sitting on and exercise ball, practicing good office ergonomics, etc…

The third thing to do is to address your posture. This might mean being more aware of your body position or doing more stretches and foam rolling to problem areas.

The fourth thing to look at is your leisure time activities. If you are sitting all day at work, then coming home and sitting on the couch or in front of a computer the remainder of the day that will catch up to you one day.

If you need more in depth instruction on some of these things or you would like someone to come speak at your office and address these topics, I highly recommend Dr. Nancy Harden from Flexibility For Life. I call her the Muscle Whisperer, she does pretty amazing work.

Are you making deposits or withdrawals?

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It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day grind of your life. Going to work, errands, social commitments, TV, etc... all take up time, energy, and focus. This leaves you with very little left in the tank to do something very important.

 

It is absolutely crucial to think about your future.

 

Will your future self thank you in 20 years for what you are doing now? That steady diet of fast food will probably get a now, while putting all that money into a 401k would get a yes.

 

Thinking long term also helps you avoid getting caught up in short term fad diets and fad workouts. Are you really going to NEVER have a piece of bread again? Is that crazy workout where you keep hurting yourself going to be part of your routine in 20 years?

This hits home for me because I keep getting hurt doing jiujitsu. Some little stuff like broken toes, up to bigger stuff like tearing a ligament in my knee a month ago. Well someone tore it for me, but I was there when it happened 🙂

 

My choice now is to quit or change the way I train at jiujitsu. The way I have been doing it is very physical, never wanting to tap out, and win at all costs mentality. Don’t think 60 year old me will be able to do that. I am choosing to train smarter, not harder.

 

The same thing applies to the way I treat my body overall. Performing more mobility/stretching, getting more sleep, cutting down on caffeine. These are all things I am doing now that will pay off in later years.

 

A big goal for me is to be that spry old man that can run circles around the whippersnappers in the neighborhood. I want to be strong, fit, and pain free for as long as I possible can.

 

Look at the choices you are making as bank transactions. Are you making more deposits or withdrawals in your long term health account?

Self Delusion is good for you

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I was listening to author A.J. Jacobs talk about his creative process when he is writing. He is a really interesting guy and goes all in with his book projects. One of his books is his saga of trying to follow every rule in the Bible for a year and another one where he read all 33 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

 

You would think a guy like that would have no trouble with writer’s block, but it happens to him quite frequently. He has a simple, but effective technique he uses to combat writer’s block.

 

He just sits down and starts writing.

 

The writing could be complete nonsense, but the physical act of writing gets the creative juices flowing. The old fake it until you make it technique.

 

He based his actions on this quote by Habitat For Humanity Founder Millard Fuller:

 

“It is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking, than it is to think yourself into a new way of acting.”

 

That is a great point! Your mind will eventually catch up to your actions, but you have to start first.

 

Science has proven that if you are upset, but if you can force your face into a smile it will trick your brain into becoming happier. Or if you are feeling insecure in a situation, ask yourself “What would a confident person do?” Then do whatever you come up with!

 

This all sounds crazy, but I have seen it come true over and over with exercise. It’s been proven both with myself and with my boot campers. I tell my clients, to just show up and the magic will happen. If you make it to the workout, you will make it happen.

 

Try asking yourself questions that are framed by your goals. Questions like “What would someone who loves to exercise do here?” or “What meals would a really fit person prepare today?”

 

It's only crazy if it doesn't work.

Why you need to struggle

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I was reading an article about why Japanese children do so well in math compared to other countries. The reason was not what I thought it would be.

 

The kids do so well in math because their teachers allow them to struggle the longest with problems.

 

That sounds kind of counter productive at first, but it makes sense. It is hard to watch kids struggle! Have you ever watched a small child “help” with dinner, tie shoes, dress themselves, or learn how to walk? Your first instinct is to help them out and do it for them. You don’t want them to suffer through the process.

 

But the struggle is vital to make change and progress. Otherwise they will never learn to do things on their own.

 

We need to struggle to move forward. And that is especially true in exercise.

 

You have to continually struggle to get better, the workouts should not be a breeze every time, and some days you may even wonder why you try. Those feelings are natural and happen to everybody.

 

The one thing you must avoid is comparison to others. No one knows what all you have going on and vice versa you knowing about them. We all struggle in different ways and handle the struggles in our own personal manner.

 

Next time you are struggling, embrace it and don't give in. The struggle is helping you reach your goals, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.

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