What I’ve Been Reading, Why You Should Start(why you should even care)

What I’ve Been Reading, Why You Should Start(why you should even care)

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I know, this may not seem like a big deal to you… but…

I was hit by a stroke of “inspiration” to write this post the other day after perusing through some emails between a friend of mine and myself, and noticed he’s sent out an email entitled “What I’m Reading” to his nutrition clients.

At first I was like, “why the heck would he share that, nobody really cares, do they?”

I know some of you might not care about WHAT I’m reading, and I’m going to share with you anyway, and that’s fine, but you should read on to see WHY I’m reading them. (I’ll give you a hint, it’s not my first time through these books!)

So, while I’m sitting here enjoying my cup of coffee and burning some hard earned coin to help warm my old bones, I can shift my focus away from such silly things as my toes being cold or contemplating what I’m going to eat for lunch toward more productive things.

So, why all about these books then, eh?books-1002123

First off, this post has nothing to do with the actual books!

Jim Rohn always talked about growing your library and gaining new skills…. sales skills, job specific skills, personal development skills, physical skills, cooking skills, you know, skills. His reasoning is that(at the time) we were approaching a new millennia where new frontiers that had never been made available to us before are available at our finger tips(and fast). And that so succeed, at anything really, you need to grow your skillets and knowledge to get ahead and become successful.

So really what it does have to do with is making you(and me) better.

“They” say knowledge is power, and the more you know…. I’m calling bull on that, because you can know and not do and the knowledge does nothing, it’s the application and understanding of the knowlege that makes the great people great. It has nothing to do with regurgitating “facts” or “statistics” or whatever, you need to internalize what you read to get a good understanding of what is written down in black and whit right in front of you, otherwise they’re just words on a page.

And that is the reason I read(and the reason for this rambling session)

Over the past year I’ve filled up my Audible library with countless personal development, fitness, and nutrition books, again, not in the hopes of being able to spit out facts at people(you know how much everyone loves those people) but so I can apply what I learned into practice, make adjustments, learn from mistakes(the right way), and move forward better than I was yesterday, last week, last month, or last year…

So if you want to get good at something, I mean really good, this is where your focus needs to be, in exercising the most important tool you have – Your Brain.

Here’s my current selection of literature, to give you an idea of the randomness I’ve been using to develop my person.

  1. Fat Loss Happens On Monday – Dan John & Josh Hillis
  2. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg

Now, obviously the first book is very industry specific, and is usually what most people focus on when they’re in a specific job type thing, but the second… that’s for yours truly.

You see, I’m probably one of the most disorganized people there is… I mean, I know where my stuff is(mostly) and I try to get a lot of things done, but sometimes I just end up becoming my own worst enemy because of several things, and that’s where this book has started helping me out. It’s a work in progress, trust me, but it helps me analyze myself(not easy) and start implementing steps to improve(slow and steady) in a way that the principles stick.

This is the ultimate goal.

Not just to know the stuff, but to apply it, otherwise why did you read it in the first place? Really…

This brings me back to my original point.knowledge-1052010

How many times do you think I’ve read these books?

Once…

Twice….

I’ve read each one of these at least 3 times, and plan on reading them more as time goes on…

The first time through you may not pick up little nuances, you know those things that will help you have a break through? Those little nuances…

It might be the state you’re in or you’re focused on a specific idea or thought so much you missed something right after, or even the fact that it may apply now where as before you weren’t ready for the bit of wisdom imparted to you by the author.

Whatever the case is, it’s important you don’t just read a book once and put it down forever.

I’m reminded of an old martial arts saying that’s been quoted by Bruce Lee and some other sorta famous people…

Fear not the man who had done 10,000 different techniques one time, fear the man who has done one technique 10,000 times.

The point being, the more practiced the skill, the more effective(deadly in the above example). This is how you should treat anything you do, as practice, and the game is life. There’s no timeouts, no do-overs, very few breaks, but a huge reward for succeeding. Wether you’re trying to lose some weight(practice cooking), get stronger(practice movements), learning to defend yourself(practice techniques), or get a new job(practice necessary skills), the key is to be disciplined, doing what’s needed when it’s needed and sticking to the plan. Even bad plans if stuck to produce better results than a good plan not followed.

The next step for you my good reader is to go out, buy a book in an area you want to improve and read it, read it again, and read it again until you have the material down so well you can’t get it wrong and watch yourself grow into a new, better person.

Stay Strong My Friend.

~Justin

P.S. Here’s a list of books you should check out:
(I’m sure there’s more I’ve forgotten/haven’t read, if you have some favorites, comment below)

Fitness
Fat Loss Happens On Monday(from above)
Intervention – Dan John
Simple and Sinister – Pavel Tsatsouline
Boxing WOD Bible – P. Selter
Paleo Workouts for Dummies – Pat Flynn
Training for Warriors (series) – Martin Rooney
Enter the Kettlebell – Pavel Tsatsouline(pdf is available FREE online)
Power to the People – Pavel Tsatsouline(pdf is available FREE online)
Relax Into Stretch – Pavel Tsatsouline(pdf is available FREE online)
Athletic Body in Balance – Gray Cook
Can You Go? – Dan John
The Gray Cook Lecture Compendium -Gray Cook(Audible)

Business/Personal Development
The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster – Darren Hardy
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Jack Trout, Al Ries
Zero To One – Peter Theil, Blake Masters
Trust Me I’m Lying – Ryan Holliday
Anything written by Tim Ferriss
Growth Hacker Marketing – Ryan Holliday
The Content Code: Six Essential Strategies to Ignite Your Content Your Marketing and Your Business – Mark W. Shaefer
Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger
The Like Switch – Jack Shafer, Ph. D. Marvin Karlins
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business – Gino Wickman
Traction – Justin Mares, Gabriel Weinberg
48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene
Free – Chris Anderson
The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason

Other Books(for thoughts and things)
The Black Swan – Nassin Nicholas Taleb
Antifragile – Nassin Nicholas Taleb
Facing Violence – Rory Miller
The Book Of 5 Rings – Miyamoto Musashi(pdf is available FREE online)
Relentless – Tim S.  Grover(Michael Jordan’s Personal Trainer)
The Professor in the Cage – Jonathan Gottchall

Build Muscle… with Kettlebells???

Build Muscle… with Kettlebells???

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.

The Program:

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

The “Workouts”:

Monday20150814_125647

Double Clean & Press Ladder(x1, x2, x3, x4, x5) “Superset” Double Front Squat (x3)

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)

Tuesday

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)

Wednesday

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)

Thursday

ATT_1439577639568_20150814_125708Double 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.

Friday

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

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Oh yeah, here’s the other links as promised:

KettleBear Program –http://firebirdperformance.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/kettlebear-program.html?m=0
Prometheus Protocol – http://www.chroniclesofstrength.com/the-prometheus-protocol-how-to-effectively-and-efficiently-put-on-muscle-mass-with-kettlebells-4/