Showing up and doing work even if we are; Tired, Emotional, Have a Headache, Sick(a sneeze or cough kind of sick, not death stuck on the couch sick…)
Let me be clear about this, I am not talking about going into an “all out” battle against you and the clock or one upping your old Personal Best, don’t even push yourself, just do the work you had planned and go home. I’m also not talking about training with a serious injury… still train smart, the idea is get the work done.
Punch The Clock.
The benefits of this are (at least) twofold.
1. You Improve Your Discipline & Resilience
2. You Don’t Fall Behind On Your Goals
THere’s probably more reasons, but hey, I think these two are good enough for 99.999% of us out there.
I’m not asking you to do something I’m not willing to do myself, I’ve had plenty of days in the past few years and even recently where I can barely drag myself out of bed, but somehow I mustered up the strength to get through the session.
From experience I can say this made me a stronger person, and I’m not talking about just physically…
So next time you find an “excuse” not to go in to the gym remember, there are people out there who:
Have less time Have less money Have less health Have less limbs (no joke…) Have less _________(fill in the blank)
That show up, put in the work(in spite of their circumstances) and they Just. Keep. Moving.
Some of you may have seen the Instagram post from last week of just water bottles with the question of “what the heck do these have to do with kettlebells?”
And if I had to guess at your guess you probably thought the water bottles were a representation of the amount of hydration you need throughout the day if you’re training hard(I mean there was a lot of them…).
However, if you guessed that, I’m afraid you’d be wrong.(Nice try though)
The water bottle is a handy little tool we use to create some more tension while doing a military press. The Spark in the background doesn’t hurt either, but for the purpose of this little post, we’ll focus on our ol friend the water bottle!
When you do the one arm press it’s a lot of stress on just one side of your body, this causes a slight “imbalance” in muscular tension on the non pressing side, so we fix that. How? By grabbing the water bottle and squeezing it, you know, like Mindy from the Animaniacs when she found a new “pet” to torture(remember that show? Thought not, oh well…)
This builds massive amounts of tension on the opposite side of the pressing arm and gives a nice audible “crunch” sound so you know the timing of said tension, and your breath, is spot on with the start of your press. Honestly, you could probably use this principle for almost any one arm exercise…
By creating more tension throughout your body you actually get a little more “power” than if you would just try to “lift” the weight without bracing the rest of your body for the load.(you know, squeeze the thighs, brace the abs, cramp the glutes) On top of the extra horsepower you’ll gain, you reduce the risk of injury due to lack of stability in the shoulder.
I picked up the water bottle trick from my friend Ryan Toshner some time back and have used it with great success. It has helped not only in my own training, but many of my students push past what they could do previously. Hardstyle Planking is another way to work this same type of tension principle, a little trick I picked up that from my team leader Ric Garcia at my StrongFirst cert, and has also worked wonders for the press as well as the squat, swing, pull-up, heck, everything!
These are just a few of the several tricks I have in my arsenal, and I have so many in fact, I may actually chose to hand out tricks instead of treats this year for halloween… we’ll see how generous I am.
Since we’re on a “strength” cycle currently(trying to improve our personal bests) I figured this was appropriate…
Like I said, there are so many tricks to creating tension I couldn’t possibly fit them all in one post.
So I won’t even try.
I’m going to sprinkle them throughout several posts over the next few months, so keep an eye out if you want some more tips on how to push past a barrier and crush your old “best performance.” Until the next one, keep working that press and see if you can’t push beyond your current limits and smash your old record!(I’m going for 5 reps with the 32kg myself)
You probably have this concept of “intense” training as a 45 minute to hour torturous burnout session with things like 1,000 burpees, 500 pull-ups, more burpees, holding planks for 3 minutes instead of resting, thousands of other random “things”… all the while, you’re getting further away from your goals.
The thing most people don’t realize about intensity is it’s something you can do in a very short amount of time while getting much better results(than the aforementioned “HIIT” style classes)
Enter Metabolic Training
Let’s set the scene…
I have a friend who wants to come and “just work out” with me one time(key is usually the “one time”, sometimes it’s twice…) and I tell them we’re going to do a little warm up and then train for 20 minutes… to which they respond “that’s it?” Yes, “that’s it”…
But what they don’t realize is it’s not the amount of time, it’s how you do it. So maybe they shouldn’t have ordered an “ass kicking workout” off the bat and stuck with the more reasonable things I normally have people do.
Anyway, I typically put them through a quick metabolic training session and… oh, what? Metabolic training? Well, I guess I should clarify!
Metabolic training is done using complexes which are a series of movements done in succession that make you feel like yesterday’s lunch is going to come back up on the floor in front of you, they also have this nasty little habit of leaving you feeling like someone sucked the air out the room… and that’s just the first set!
The strange thing is the complexes don’t “look that bad” at first glance(some of them can be literally only 2 movements back to back).
Basically, you put together a series of movements that, on their own, really wouldn’t be that bad to do, but once you put them together(in the correct order with the correct movements) they have this fantastic ability to make you feel like death within seconds of starting the second movement of the sequence.
Don’t worry, that feeling is not for nothing, it’s just your body creating growth hormone, the thing required to help tone/build muscle, in addition they melt body fat like butter in a hot frying pan… the other plus side is they’re typically quite short sessions, less than 20 minutes(20 is the max I would recommend for a majority of human beings).
Here’s an Example of What I’m Talking About:
Dan John(a fantastic strength & conditioning coach) came up with this little combo.
This is probably one of the most grueling training sessions you’ll ever do… notice I didn’t say “workouts you’ll ever do”, and there’s good reason.
Part of understanding intensity is understanding how to use it effectively.
Here’s what I mean.
If, for example, the above “Armor Building” complex is just impossible the second time through, you went to heavy. Congratulations, you’re eyes were bigger than your strength, go lighter. If you breeze through it like 15 or 20 times in 20 minutes, you went WAY too light, go heavier. The ideal is 5-8 times in 15 minutes.
Want more of a metabolic hit(for more fat burning) add in some swings and hope for the best.
This training is not for the faint of heart.
We typically do this once a week with my group classes and private training clients, the only exception is my athletes I train – even then it’s a max of 3 days a week(for very short cycles).
Here’s the mistake most “Trainers” make with their clients – They Think More Is Better.
This could not be further from the truth… More is only MORE, and nothing else. It is also the leading cause of disfunction of movements, injuries, increase in body fat percentage, loss of strength, as well as the cause of certain metabolic and health disorders that were not commonplace in the general population(usually just professional athletes) until things like “Interval Training”, Crossfit(the bad coaches), and other similar training methods came about stating in the last few decades.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat…
You don’t always have to create intensity through things that will injure you or otherwise. Here’s a few examples of other ways of varying “intensity”:
On The Minute (or Every Minute on The Minute)
Pick a lift or movement to do, let’s say push-ups, and set a timer to go off once every minute. Perform a set of let’s say for this discussion 8 push-ups, rest for the remaining part of the minute and repeat for between 10-15 minutes. There’s your “upper body” training for the day(trust me, it’s harder than it sounds…)
As the weeks progress, again for this example, add repetitions on making sure there’s still time for rest after their complete.(this too can be done with too much intensity and often becomes a struggle, it shouldn’t be) As the movement gets easier pick a more advanced version to do instead, drop the reps down, and continue on.
Interval Rounds(done properly)
Set a timer for one of the following time schemes: Low Intensity(45 sec work:15 sec rest, 4-5 rounds should do it), Moderate Intensity (30 sec work:10-15 sec rest, depending on your level… about 5 or 6 rounds should do it), High Intensity(20 sec work:10 sec rest, do 5-7 rounds of the same movement)
The rest in between “sets” of rounds should be at least a minute, 2-3 minutes, at least 3 minutes, respectively.
Don’t rest using planks or other silly intense exercises between…. rest means rest. That doesn’t mean stop moving, however, keep moving my pumping your arms back and forth, walking around, easy bodyweight movements or stretching, just don’t stop moving – your heart will thank you later.
Speed of Repetitions
One totally overlooked way to increase intensity by the general population is to use an old bodybuilding trick that not only builds strength, if done with the correct reps/weight/sets it also builds muscle too. Tim Ferriss even dedicated a section of his book “The Four Hour Body” to this very method under “Occam’s Protocol”.
Basically, pick a lift (we’ll say barbell curl) and instead of trying to crank out as many as you can in a certain time – Slow. It. Down!
By controlling the “tempo” of the movement you increase the Time Under Tension effectively creating a bigger “load” on the muscles without increasing the weight. This also helps to clean up technique(I’ve found) because you’re more focused on moving smoothly through the motion. This can also, if done properly, prevent injuries in the future.
Here’s what it would look like:
Grab the bar into the starting position. Start the lift and either have a clock in front of you or count your Mississippi’s for anywhere from 2-5 seconds(longer is crazy intense, but you’re welcome to try it…) until you reach the top of the movement. Once there, pause for one second, and lower slowly.
There’s honestly so many variations on this your best bet is to play with different timing on each lift between training sessions. Oh, one more thing, PICK THE APPROPRIATE LIFT & WEIGHT FOR THIS!! Do not do this with deadlifts(unless you hate your back), also, don’t use close to your max – start light an work your way heavier slowly, it’s harder than it seems.
The optimal range for strength using this is anywhere from 3-6 reps, muscle size is typically 8-12 reps, but these are generalizations and most people respond different to the variations. Side note, these “tempos” are often written out such as (2:1:2) or (5:0:5) or (2:1:4) and so on. The first number is the start, the second is the top/bottom of the move, and the third is returning to the start position.
The big thing you should take away.
Intensity is what you make it. It’s individualized. My level of intensity might be a higher or lower threshold than yours, but that’s honestly okay.
It’s all about pushing yourself to the next level without pushing yourself over the edge. There’s a fine line that needs to be walked, so be reasonable and don’t push yourself to the brink every time you train, reserve it for every so often and work to improve slowly, the results will come faster than you think.
Have A Strong Day!
If you’re interested in more ways to bump up the “intensity” of your training, feel free to reach out firstname.lastname@example.org or keep an eye on our Facebook Page for workshops and events.
Over the past weekend of training with my Hapkido Instructor (Master Dan Piller) we had a chance to explore what makes us, well, us….
(at 9,000 ft above sea level!)
In other words, we explored what makes us stand apart from the crowd of martial artists all claiming there’s is the best…
This, of course, was meant to apply to Hapkido and particularly how Master Piller(and I agree with his stance on this) likes to see things done. In short, the idea behind the art(and the main principle) is that anything you do should be able to work on a non-cooperative(typically stronger/meaner) opponent – i.e. train for reality.
I found an inextricable link between what I do as a martial artist and what I do as a fitness professional.
The idea behind the training.
I’m a firm believer in one thing, no matter what you train or do, have some damn principles – and you need to stick to them.
In martial arts, I mentioned it above, in fitness, it’s almost identical. Train For Reality.
Here’s my “Principles” behind what I do:
Hapkido: The Way Of Coordinated Energy(the literal meaning of the art) is based on the principles of Yu(The Theory Of Flowing Water), Won(The Theory Of The Circle), Wha(The Theory Of Harmony).
The reason these aspects are so important to our art is simple – anyone can do a “technique”, however, the technique done without all 3 of these principles applied to it is much more likely to fail than if they were applied(especially against a larger/stronger opponent or attacker, remember, reality).
“It is better to practice a single technique 1,000 times than practice 1.000 techniques only once” is a great quote from my Hapkido instructors manual. And if you read between the lines, you should find a simple fact that is not so obvious to most people…. each repetition should be better than the last in some way, striving for perfection one step at a time.
I like to think of this as “Mindful Repetition”, keeping in mind the idea that “Practice Makes Permanent”(or “Perfect Practice Makes Perfect”).
I could honestly go on quite a bit more than most of you would care to read…. so let’s move on to the next set of principles…
Fitness: **Important Reminder** Fitness(as defined by Dan John) is the ability to perform a task. It is NOT an indicator of health or any such nonsense, in fact, some of the most “Fit” individuals are the least healthy(look at NFL players after they retire if you’re still missing the point).
From this point we should determine some simple things – throwers are fit for the task of throwing(not swimming), just as swimmers are fit for the task of swimming(not throwing), well, you get the point. Keep this in mind no matter what you’re “training” for. Oh, and if you think you’re going to be able to “Train For Anything”, I refer back to Dan John who reminds us that if you’re going to prepare for anything, you might want to prepare for building a spaceship out of dental floss, or fighting off a great white shark with a plastic knife.(I’ve paraphrased this of course, if you want the actual quote, check out Dan’s book “Intervention” or check out any of his blog posts on various, well known & respected, fitness web sites)
With that out of the way, the first, and in my opinion, most important, thing you need to establish is what do you want to be “fit” for…
In other words, you need to find something that fits with your overall vision/goal.(this applies to martial arts too…)
Once you have that established, create a plan and stick with it… please, no “prepare for anything” nonsense… I think we covered the reasons why already…
If you don’t know what to do – Here’s what I suggest: TRAIN TO GET STRONGER.
This involves much more than you think… First, you learn HOW to move, THEN move with heavier weights, progressively, and eventually work up to more complicated versions of the movement(or more difficult bodyweight movements).
Also, sometimes you need to be resourceful… I hear things like this all the time from friends/aquaintences who like to opt out of improving themselves physically when they really need it(even though in reality they don’t want to put in the work…. you know who you are)
“But I don’t have access to weights…”
To which my response is:
You can apply this ‘principle’ to training without weights as well with bodyweight training. It’s a great way to get stronger, it’s easier on your joints, and it teaches you how to create tension once you start progressing to the difficult versions of the movements.
In fact, I hear this type of thing from people all the time when it comes to conversations about fitness and mind bogglingly(at least to me) self-defense. They’re called excuses, and they won’t lose those 5 pound, tone your muscles, or protect you in any way, in fact they accomplish nothing – they especially prevent you from having a set of principles to live/train by, so let’s dispense with them already, okay?
Sometimes, you just need to start where you are to get where you’re going(so please, don’t tell me you need to lose weight before you start working out…)
Back to the idea of Mindful Repetition
Keeping in mind “Practice Makes Permanent”.
If you want to continue to train, become stronger, faster, whatever – you need to focus on technique…. there is no exception to this rule, and it’s why professional athletes are professional and amateurs are, well, amateurs.
The person who spends their time on how they do things is always going to be a better(i.e. more fit for the task) than someone who is JUST DOING THINGS. Talent without skill is useless, yet skill without talent is invaluable to your goals. Talent will always take a backseat to skill(again, mindful repetitions).
Before I go off on another tangent, I’ll wrap up with this….
No matter WHAT you do, the principles you apply need to focus on pursuing perfection.(AGAIN – mindful repetitions. If you aren’t progressing, you’re moving backward.)
This “principle” thing is also a great way to figure out if something is actually worth doing.(or at least if the people helping you are aligned with your overall vision/goal)
-Starting a Martial Art? What’s the instructor/organization’s mindset for the long haul?(do they stop training you at black belt? It’s sad, but it happens all the time)
-Switching career? Is there room to advance within the company?
-Looking for a “personal trainer”? What’s their ability to help you progress after you’ve met your initial goals? Can they make suggestions? Can they help you plan/execute?(you’d be surprised how many can’t even accomplish their own goals, or have none…)
These are the type of questions to ask yourself before starting in on something significant, which, in my mind, is anything you do with your time. We only have so much to dedicate to doing things outside of just making a living, it’s hard to find balance(a constant struggle of mine).
After all, why would you want to take up your precious time doing something that doesn’t directly improve you? Remember, anything worth doing, is worth doing well. And if you keep that mindset, the sky’s the limit my friend.
You shouldn’t have so much anxiety about “working out”… all that anxiety is preventing you taking action on what really matters… Stop talking about what you should be doing and get to work.
Life is a lot simpler when you realize this – There is no set way to work out. That’s why there are so many programs out there people are getting results with, so find the one that works for you…
Stop giving attention to the small things that don’t really matter and start giving your attention to the things that really do…
You didn’t get your meals in
You didn’t get enough sleep
You didn’t take your supplements
You are 1/2 a chicken breast short for the day
You didn’t… whatever
The anxiety you’ve created has detracted from anything you could’ve possibly gained from the action of actually doing the activity. I’ve said before how unimportant things like even having a gym membership are – because you can get started with just you! That’s the beauty of calisthenics training
Trade in your 20 minute abs program for some fundamentals
Every champion understands one thing… The most powerful tool you will EVER have to be successful in anything you attempt or do in life – is your mind.
It doesn’t matter if you missed that meal, didn’t sleep last night, are still sore from yesterday, aren’t feeling it today, you have a headache… it’s all excuses to prevent yourself from doing what needs to be done.
I have a lady who trains with me that will take her kettlebell to work if she misses a workout and work on swings, squats, presses between patients! Because she is committed to this thing she has started and isn’t so concerned with “I didn’t make it to the gym” or whatever other of the million excuses she could use to do nothing all day.
In the end it comes down to a commitment to the activity, not the grand scheme or end goal, but to just stay consistent in your endeavor to be stronger, more fit, healthier, whatever your goal may be. If you don’t think you have time, money, knowledge – go talk to people who have succeeded where you are trying and see how much time they have or how much money they had to invest when they stared or if they knew as much then as they do now. In most cases they stared in the same place you did, we all did to some point… most of the time you find out they actually started with less!
Here’s ALL you need to do for working out or training
(whatever you want to call it)
MOVE – Squat, push, pull, hinge, carry
Be Mobile(increase movement)
Gain the ability to Move Yourself(not always heavy stuff)
Eat Real Food
Learn to Breathe (properly)
Forget all the external conditions and input from people who don’t really know…they’ll tell you “you need this supplement” or “this is the workout you need”. Most of these guys/gals wouldn’t even use their own programs/advice for themselves, so why would you use what they’re selling? Personally, I jump in and work out with my clients on a regular basis(or do the workout earlier/later) just ask anyone who trains here – I practice what I preach, not just ask them to do something I’m not willing to.
When it comes down to it, think Nike – JUST DO IT. Stick with what you know first and expand. You can accomplish anything you put your mind to, so make sure whatever you do increase your knowledge. Think about weather it sounds too good to be true(because if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is…) and use reliable resources. If it doesn’t make sense to you DON’T DO IT until you find someone who can explain it to you in a clear and concise way, if nobody can… then it’s definitely not a good idea.
Any questions or comments I’d love to hear from you, you can also join our mailing list to get exclusive offers and new programs when they open up(before everyone else!). Just punch in your info below with a comment on how I can help!
Building Muscle is typically NOT associated with kettlebell training…
But it’s not always the tool, it’s how you use it. That being said, you will not be looking like Arnold or Kali Muscle using Kettlebells, but you can get an athletic, toned physique that will perform as good as it looks!
Now, I’ve seen variations on this that you’re welcome to try(Pat Flynn’s Prometheus Protocol and Andrew Palmer’s KettleBear program, links below) but I would like to throw in my own variation of this. There are similar protocols, but you have to be smart about how you go about this whole “fitness training” thing.
I feel there needs to be a certain variety in what you do, well… as much variety as should be in a program… The other programs focus on just a 2x per week training, which is good for beginners, but by adding in strength movements on the other days of the week there is no “imbalances” in the program, thus rounding it off, so to speak.
Monday & Thursday are going to be the days where you are working for “Hypertrophy”(building muscle), so if you are new to training or haven’t done a “weight lifting” program before, I would start with just these two days and focus on stretching and some “light cardio”(brisk walking/hiking) the rest of the week. Monday use a weight that is 85% of your “1 Rep Max”(1 RM), in other words – something you can lift about 7-8 times with good form. Thursday pick something slightly heavier, like 90-95% of your 1 RM – a weight you can lift 3, maybe 5 times with good form.
If you lack “variety” in your equipment use a different tempo for the movement – (4:1:4) instead of (2:1:2), to get more time under tension which effectively “increases” the weight by putting more load on the nerological/muscular system. You can also up the reps (stay between x4-x6) or add a few sets on. One method Pavel Tsatsouline refers to in his book “Power To The People” is one where you focus mainly on “strength” by staying between (x4-x6) reps and working until “failure”. When I say failure, I do not mean getting sloppy type of failure, I mean working to the point where you could probably get one or two more reps, but they wouldn’t look pretty after that… One caveat – the rest periods should be shortened to (x30-x45) seconds to generate the proper Hypertrophy response.
Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday will be “Strength Days”, think of them more as “practicing” than “working out”. You will want to stick with about 85% of your 1 Rep Max here. I caution you not to work to the point of exhaustion as on Monday & Thursday, you do not want to tax your nervous or muscular system as much – it will undo all the work you have just put in
Repeat this entire thing 10 times(i.e. do the ladder twice) Resting 60-120 sec between movements.
(Superset = Immediately Following, not taxing the same muscle group immediately after… this term is often, well, almost always misused/misunderstood)
Deadlifts 3-5 sets of (x5)
Bent Rows 2 sets of (x5)
Push-ups 2 sets of (x5) slow(4:1:4 tempo)
Hanging Leg Raises 2 sets of (x15) use progression found in Convict Conditioning
Kettlebell Swings 1 set of (x75)
Front Squats 2 sets of (x5)
Military Press 2 sets of (x5)
Windshield Wipers 2 sets of (x6) per side
Kettlebell Swings 2 sets of (x50)
Double Clean & Press 10 sets of (x3)
Double Front Squats 10 sets of (x3)
Rest 60-120 sec between sets, complete all 10 sets of one movement before moving on to the next.
Full Body Calisthenics Day
Push-Ups 2 sets of (x5)
Pull-Ups 2 sets of (x5)
Pistol Squat(progression) 2 sets of (x5)
Full Bridge 2 sets of (x5)
Hanging Leg Raises 2 sets of (x15)
Kettlebell Swings 2 sets of (x50)
Finisher – 3 rounds: Mountain Climbers (x30 sec) immediately followed by Hard Style Plank (x30 sec)
Saturday & Sunday
Active Rest Day – Hiking, Biking, Brisk Walks, any form of long low intensity cardio is ideal. My favorite is Hiking – it gets you outside, allows you to take in new things(not the walls of your cubical!) gets you in touch with nature, and allows for the greatest range of motion to keep blood flowing through the muscles you’ve just tortured throughout the week!
The Tough Part – Diet
The hardest part about the diet isn’t necessarily eating clean, or not eating too much, or worrying about getting X amount of protein in or whatever, it’s eating that much damn food in one day!
To gain muscle you are going to need to eat like a horse!
Here’s a few guidelines to stick with:
1. Eat Clean, Eat Often, Eat Lots– To the point of discomfort, seriously…
2. Take QUALITY Multivitamin & Fish Oil (Advocare is a good choice)
3. Drink a gallon of milk a day(if you do dairy stuff)
4. Do a Protein Shake 15-30 min after workouts, 20-25 grams is plenty & make sure there’s a decent amount of carbs
5. Eat a high protein, high carb meal about 30 minutes after consuming your shake(stick with things like brown rice, potatoes, and whole foods – this meal is very important.)
IF you are like me and have the metabolism of a greyhound – seriously, I take in over 4,000 cal/day and still don’t put on much weight, not even fat… you may want to look in to a few other methods…
1. Flexible Dieting(going to be trying this one myself soon, I’ll let you know the results)
2. Get Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Body and explore his diet options
3. Eat everything that isn’t nailed down(this works well for bodybuilders!)
4. Don’t Skip Your Veggies!!! Broccoli is your friend!!!
Honestly everyone is different, so it’s pretty hard to say what will or won’t work for you diet wise, but I can guarantee you the exercise part will be successful.
Want more programs like this?
Or maybe you’re looking for something different… either way check out our programs page. If you are looking for the fastest(and longest lasting) results check out P.F.T.R. to see if there’s any spaces open, it’s almost GUARANTEED you will hit your goals with this method. Otherwise, drop me an email below and we can chat
Progress. It always seems slower than most of us would like.
This is why it is important to constantly re-evaluate your goals and plan to achieve them to make sure you’re on track. One way to do this with anything fitness related is to follow simple progressions, and not to rush it. The push-up for example is something most don’t think of this way, but there are a ton of crazy, cool things you can do with calisthenics in general. One hand push-ups would be a desired end result, but you don’t start there… you start with wall push-ups. You may be wondering why, and it’s simple(this will lead into my ultimate point soon…). Even though you can crank out 5, 10, 20 in the standard position doesn’t mean you’re ready to move on(close grip p.u.). There are certain muscles and patterns that need to be developed before moving forward, so if you skip a step, you will find yourself hitting a wall.
Fitness in general works the same way. Most of us want to have the beach body, 6 pack, and toned like those Jersey shore guys. The only problem is it never comes fast enough! So stepping out of the world of “I got this body in 8 short weeks” and back to reality. Not all of us drew from the same lottery that is the gene pool and gained the ability to drop weight like a ton of bricks off the Empire State Building.
Here is a great system that my Dad & I came up with, my Dad named the steps:)
Just starting out your fitness journey, great things lay ahead. Spectacular goals that, with proper coaching, will be all yours in a (relatively) short time!
You have started to get the hang of things, dropped most if not all of the unnecessary weight from your frame and added some functional, lean muscle. This is the point where most people have precieved they have accomplished their goals and stop from there. But wait… there’s more! You have to maintain what you have, and let others bask in the glory of your great accomplishments!
Cute right, I love how my Dad worked that in, he is genius! Back to my point… This is a level most people don’t get to, I compare this to a black belt in any legitimate martial arts school. You know the one’s where they make you work for it, not just hand it to you. Just like the 1 hand push-up would be a great goal to have, what about 1 handed handstand push-ups, or plyo push-ups and all the fun variations, you get the idea. This is the level where you take your new-found strength and play with it! Do something new & exciting, take up rock climbing or biking or obstacle course races. Seriously, the sky is the limit. The only person stopping you IS you!
Never stop, quit, give up, or doubt what you can do.