Posts tagged sticking to exercise

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.

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.

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.

 

 

How the sausage is made (weird motivation)

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If you want to become a vegetarian, I recommend you look into how sausage is made. You will probably become a vegetarian that day.

Nobody wants to think about the "behind the scenes" type of stuff that goes into making something. I went through a sausage making experience with my business this week.

I put out a video on Facebook this week called "Who we are and what we do" that explains kind of how boot camp works. This video was a little over one minute long. So that is how long it took me to put it up there right? Not even close.

That one minute video took me so many takes for so many different reasons. I stuttered, started talking nonsense (more than usual), I filmed half my face, and the list goes on and on. It took me 45 minutes to get one minute of content.

Then all you have to do is upload it right? Yep, that is if your internet is working. Anybody else have issues on Wednesday? Good times.

When I finally got my internet back and got the video uploaded, I worked on getting captions put on the video. Did you know that 85% of videos on Facebook are watched with the sound turned off? Now we both know and that is why I spent another 30 minutes figuring out how to put captions on the video.

What is the moral of this story? Other than hire someone who knows what they are doing.

The main point is this:

Even though it seems like it takes forever to see a tiny bit of progress, you are still moving forward! It is still working. You are doing something right, don't give up now.

Don't get discouraged because you "only" lost 4 pounds and it seemed like it took forever. 4 pounds of fat is about the size of a 2-Liter bottle. That is awesome progress!

 

Next time I do a video, I will be able to do it faster because I found out that a squat rack makes a great camera holder. And I will be more efficient at putting the captions on the video.

You keep at it too. I've seen it happen over and over for people. They are plugging away, plugging away, and then the weight and inches start coming off like crazy. That happens because they stayed the course, found out what exercises worked for them, what types of foods their body thrives on, and never gave up.

You can do it too, keep making sausage.

The Importance of Challenge Workouts

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Something we do in our boot camp classes are personal challenge workouts. In the first week, we will see how many repetitions we can do in one minute. Then in the last week, we will test again to see how much we have improved.

 

Last camp we did pushups, squats with weights, and shoulder presses. I was amazed at how far people came in just a few short weeks! Many people doubled what they could do in that first week.

 

I encourage you to do some sort of challenge workout. You can do this with the exercises I mentioned above, see how fast you can do a mile, how much weight you can lift, or any number of things that go along with whatever goals you are working on now.

 

There are three main reasons challenge workouts are an important part of any program.

 

1. You will see how far you have come

 

Sometimes we can get caught up in the workout grind and forget just how far we have come. You need that reminder, especially if you feel like you have not made any changes. It isn’t getting easier, you are just getting better.

 

2. Gives you a goal to work for

 

One of the best ways to stay motivated in your training is to have a performance goal in mind. Most of us have aesthetic goals (lose weight, drop dress size, etc...) but do you have a performance goal? If you don’t have one, get one!

 

3. Gets you out of your comfort zone

 

You don’t realize how much you are capable of. Part of getting results is moving the bar of what you think your threshold is. When you think your body can’t go any further is when you need to push a little bit longer. This helps your body redefine your stopping point. It is not comfortable, but it is worth it.

 

What will your challenge workout be?

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.

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?

It’s that time of year…

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Did you know that now is when you see the most dramatic drop off in gym attendance every year? For whatever reason the third full week in February is when most resolutions are over.

If you have given up on the goals you have set for yourself, it’s not too late! There is plenty of 2017 to go, you just need to recalibrate.

Your first step is to find out what went wrong. Did you choose a goal that just sounded good, but not one you were committed to? Did you set too many goals? Did you have the right goal, but it turns out you hate working out?

It could be several different reasons why things did not work out. No pun intended.

Your second step is to figure out a new game plan. Don’t think about having to commit to the rest of the year. Set a goal for the next 4 weeks. As legendary SEAL Joe Maguire says, “Don’t look forward to the pain.” More on that in Friday’s e-mail.

Your third step is to figure out the most enjoyable way you could reach your goals. What types of exercise do you actually enjoy? Roller skating, yoga, swimming, hiking, lifting weights, shaking weights? Pick something you look forward to.

The fourth step is to do the same thing with food the next four weeks. Find some healthy foods that you like. They are out there I promise, you may have to do some experimenting. Or if you prefer you can start with the food first, then try the exercise in the fourth step.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to make you miserable. On the contrary it should make you feel energized and excited! You just have to find what works for you, even if it isn’t the typical “go to the gym, eat foods you hate but are super healthy, and look great but hate your life” tract that people get stuck on.

 
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