For Some Reason I Still Enjoy This…

For Some Reason I Still Enjoy This…

I woke up this morning feeling like I was hit by a locomotive
(or a bus, maybe even a dump truck, not sure what exactly)

I know, not the best way to start off a post about “fitness” stuff… In fact, I sometimes wonder to myself “why the deuce am I even training anymore if I feel like this”(from time to time). And I think the answer always comes to me as quick as does my kids urge to have to go to the bathroom as soon as we get in the car for a nice long trip.

I keep doing “this”(this being training of course) because even though it takes me a minute to get moving and do some mobility stuff in the morning, I know things could be far worse.

For example, I could feel like I did when I trained martial arts only with no strength & conditioning back in good ol Hartland before my friend Master Ian Jensen discovered Pavel. Sometimes I think I’d like to curse him for introducing me to those nasty little buggers (like during my training yesterday or this morning) but I know I used to hurt much worse after training sessions before the Kettlebells rolled around.

I used to have trouble lifting my shoulders above my head without pain… seriously, taking those puppies through just about any range of motion(even unloaded) was something I cringed to think about, now, it’s only every so often.

I also remember how much my knee(it’s arthritic) used to bug me and cause me to not be able to walk up the stairs in my house without some type of choreography.

I remember a lot of things that used to be worse.

So the question is…

Are you avoiding training because of a few times of being “a little sore”. I’m not talking about the way some trainers beat people up so they can’t sit on the John for a few weeks at a crack after every session… I’m talking about that slight achy feeling that prevents you from doing some stuff, but allows you to otherwise function normally.

If so, consider the following.

How long will this last?(really) My achy shoulder and sore… well, everything, is already starting to dissipate and will likely be gone by the time I’ve had my breakfast. However, the pain I used to live with was for days at a time, and that my friends, is just not acceptable to me.

How long will eventual chronic issues last if you aren’t proactive/treating them. We all see the older folks walking around with severe joint and muscularskeltal issues(posture like a ?, in a wheel chair, using a cane), and you always have to wonder… could that have been prevented. A lot of times using reasonable fitness training could have kept joints and therefore muscle health in tact, even at a more “distinguished” age.

Just to give you a quick idea of what this training has done for me over the past 8 or so years, when I was 22 I was told that I would need to have surgery on my left knee before I was 30… that was 10 years ago. Will I have to eventually, probably, as I feel it limits me in some ways to where I won’t push myself when I normally could because of that slight fear hanging over my head “what if…”

But in the end, having done nothing vs the barrage of crap I put myself through at least 5-6 days a week would have been much, much worse for my overall health and wellbeing, and that’s not a lie.

So make the right considerations when you’re looking at wether or not to stick with something because a little bit of “perceived pain” in the short term because the long term goal will be worth far more than you can ever imagine.

I’m going to leave you with a quote from Eric Thomas that I absolutely love:

“Pain is temporary, it may last for a minute, or a day, or even a year… but eventually, it will subside. But If you quit however, it will last forever”

Stay Strong My Friends.

~Justin

Do It Anyway, Feel Like It or Not

Do It Anyway, Feel Like It or Not

This goes against what most of us naturally do…

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.

Stay Strong My Friends.

~Justin

Don’t Settle

Don’t Settle

Don’t Accept Good Enough.3484457206_f75b936449_b

I was checking out this little podcast the other day hosted by Tim Ferriss, maybe you’ve heard of him? If not you should check him out, he typically has several interesting guests from Arnold to Tony Robbins, Kevin Costner, and many more…

Anyway, this particular podcast was on gymnastics strength training, mainly because it peaked my interest for the rings aspect, but I got so much more.

Right off the bat, several good quotes and thoughts for pondering, this alone made it worth a listen!

One of the many great quotes was “You find it acceptable you can’t lift your arms over your head anymore?” I kind of sat back, chuckled along with the podcast guest(who’s laugh was more out of disbelief than anything) and then thought to myself “Holy crap! People actually think like this!!”

And by people, I mean all of us…

My mind immediately jumped back to a time when I had another fitness instructor come to me for help on getting fit(funny right, no, this actually happens a lot!). The first warning sign should’ve been the words that came out of their mouth “nobody knows I’m doing this, and I don’t want anyone to find out.”

Hold The Phone.

Why is this a warning sign you may wonder… well, this could be for a few different reasons…

1.) They were embarrassed they had to go to someone to get back to somewhere she once got on her own. And I get that, but I’m open about the fact that I personally go and “get trained” by someone else on a somewhat regular basis, after all, if you’re not learning you’re not growing.

2.) They didn’t want anyone to remind them of their failure in case it actually happened.(and sadly, in this case, it did)

Now, this person set an ambitious goal, lose 60 pounds in about 5 months. The biggest problem here was not the goal, it’s never the goal that’s the problem… This came down to commitment, to taking personal responsibility to do what was required to lose that weight.

The initial attitude leading up to everything that caused the condition this person was remedying all stemmed from one thing, they let “good enough” be, well, good enough.

It’s like being up sh*t creek without a paddle, sitting back and hoping the current(which brought you here) would somehow magically reverse and take you back to a happy time and place where everything was perfect(probably never happened) and you get everything you want with no extra work, period.

Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.

Back to this example and why the podcast reminded me of something I’d almost entirely forgotten about(after all, my memory sucks, this is why I have notebooks!)

When we were going through the initial screen I do with all my new clients we had to stop before the first movement(an overhead squat with a wooden dowel. They couldn’t get their right arm over their head… in fact, they couldn’t even get their elbow past their shoulder!

What happened next floored me..

(I’ve paraphrased the actual conversation)

Them: That happened about 6 months ago.
Me: Anything specific that caused it?
Them: No, it just stopped working one day, and it hasn’t worked since…
Me: Did you to to the doctor to get it checked out?
Them: No

And basically overnight this became reality for them…

Don’t think I’m trying to demean anyone or say they’re a terrible human being or anything like that.

What my point is is this – we get to busy, too busy, and things that should take precedence fall by the wayside and get forgotten about without a hint of trying to do anything whatsoever to make a change.

Now, for this individuals full time job, they didn’t “need” that mobility, nor for their chosen fitness classes they ran due to the seated, pedaling nature of it.

The sad truth of all this is that we have a willingness to accept bad things as they happen to us and not do anything to get us out of the situation. You can look up all kinds of “reasons” this, go to any motivational speaker’s YouTube or talk to a psychologist and you’ll get a boat load of information, but it can be broken down quite simply into a single statement.

6745856509_ab796acc4f_bYou Have To Have Standards

“If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.” – Tony Robbins

Everyone has standards, and when it comes to our body, most everyone sets them low.

Something I heard a while ago is that if you really want something to change, you need to make it a must. After all, everyone has wants and needs, but not everyone has musts for themselves in the areas that count or could make a difference.

I’m far from the person to get all preachy about this whole thing, mainly because I am too hard on myself and don’t set my standards high enough most of the time. I realize this, and typically get someone else involved to start pushing me to change.

However you look at it, whatever words you want to use to describe it, you have to raise your standards or nothing will change.

If you’ve got nothing else from this post, take away the above statement. You’ll improve in your business, personal, spiritual, hell, any area of your life you want to improve will happen because of a change of mindset. An unwillingness to accept the fact that when things happen you have the power to change them and the excuses(“reasons”) you’ve been telling yourself are truly the only thing stopping you from improving… but you have to have standards or none of it matters.

 

Motivation means nothing without the right mindset, you can be motivated but telling yourself the wrong story about why you are where you are and nothing will change… you can be motivated and have a terrible strategy that doesn’t match your standards, and if you’re state(physical/emotional) is down & drab motivation won’t save you…

So, how do you get out of the killer mindset and find your way?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What am I going to focus on?
    -Focus = Feeling
    -Past/Present/Future
    -Self or others
  2. What does it mean?
    -Is it the end or the beginning? Are you being punished or rewarded?
  3. What are you going to do?
    -Are you going to give up or move forward?

Once you can truthfully answer these questions it will be much easier to get in the right frame of mind and stop just accepting things as they happen to you. You will start thinking of new, creative, ways to have a breakthrough and continue to push yourself to new levels. If you chose not to, and are happy being content with an attitude of mediocrity, more power to you… but at least you have the tools you need to push through and explore your potential if you so choose.

Stay Strong My Friends!

~Justin