Health and fitness goals are achieved one workout at a time, and a better workout will produce faster results. So it makes sense to attack each training session with maximum attention and effort. Having a great workout depends on more than just a positive attitude or chants of "I will have a great workout today" while looking in the mirror. Your actions during the hours leading up to your training session will have a direct impact on your biochemistry, which is directly linked to motivation and performance.Read More
Those who achieve great accomplishments, whether it be in athletics or a significant change in appearance, share several mental characteristics. These overachievers who I refer to as, Physical Elites, have developed a mindset that drives success. Following a good program and eating the right foods is of vital importance, but the mind is key. I'm a firm believer that with the right mindset, you can accomplish great things even if the plan is not perfect.
Characteristics of the physical elite:
- They accept their current state; they don't blame failure on "bad genes" or circumstance
- They seek out physical challenges and are not afraid to test limits
- They see setbacks as temporary
- They train in the present moment and ignore the chaos
- They thrive with structure
- They don't rely on external motivation to initiate action, they act even when not motivated
Knowledge is primary, but the mindset that drives your knowledge is the most important tool for becoming a physical elite.
Do you want to lose body-fat?
Do you want a stronger and more resilient body?
Do you want to improve your health and longevity?Read More
Calorie counting is at the top of my list of bad ideas within the fitness industry. Yet, the practice of "cutting calories" to "lose weight" remains as popular as ever. Unless you are morbidly obese, general weight loss is not a good indicator of an effective exercise and nutrition program. And even then, weight loss tells us nothing about the changes in body composition that are occurring due to the weight loss.Read More
Is your goal to lose body fat, build muscle, and improve your health?
If so, you need to train for strength and limit the endurance (cardio) training.
I love cars so I will use a car analogy to explain.
When you train for strength, you are in essence trying to build a Ferrari 458. The Ferrari 458 is a marvel of engineering; it is beautiful, agile, and an extraordinarily powerful machine that performs way beyond the comfort level of the average driver. The biggest drawback, aside from the ridiculous price-tag, is the rate at which this car burns fuel. A Ferrari 458 averages about 14 mpg (miles/gallon), it is built with precision but energy expensive.
The fitness industry is littered with dozens of unique training modalities that promise to sculpt, tone, and reshape your body into that of a Greek God or Goddess. It is generally believed that if you want a certain "look" you must perform a specific type of exercise. This is why people say things like; "If you want a dancer's body, you should do Pilates." Unfortunately, this is never the case.Read More
You Eat Too Much!
To be more specific, you're eating too often.Read More
My military experience has taught me that the fastest way to adopt a habit is through immersion. Immersion requires a drastic and immediate change of habits.
Anyone who has been through military boot-camp knows what I'm talking about. I remember arriving at Lackland Air Force Base one winter night many years ago, standing outside of the barracks being yelled at by an immaculately clean drill instructor. I remember thinking, "What the hell have I gotten myself into?" Being a military brat, I had an idea of what to expect, but you really have no idea of the drastic overhaul that occurs until you've gone through something like that. By the third week of training, everything was (somewhat) routine, we knew what to expect and how to respond.
So what does military boot-camp have to do with losing body-fat and looking good?Read More
Why We Don'tse "Cardio" Equipment
Strength Studio is moving into a new facility in less than a month, and several folks have asked "What type of 'cardio' equipment will you have?" When I tell them, "We don't use 'cardio' machines," they are puzzled. So for those who may not know, I will address several common questions we receive and explain why we don't do traditional "cardio" exercise.
"No Cardio? How do you train your heart?"
The heart serves the needs of all life sustaining organs and the muscular system. It is the demands placed upon the muscular system that determines how hard the cardiorespiratory system is working. Your heart does not know if you are doing yoga, running up a hill, or performing a set of squats. Muscular effort is mechanical work, and mechanical work is the passkey to all of your metabolic machinery. There is no such thing as "cardio" exercise; all exercise (mechanical work) of adequate intensity is "cardio." In reality, low intensity "Cardio," the way most people perform it, is an introductory form of exercise; it is beneficial for the severely de-conditioned, the elderly, or those who want to kill some time. Plodding along on a treadmill, or sitting on a lifecycle while watching "Ellen" is not an effective use of time.
Health and physical fitness are moving targets that require periodic adjustments.
Here are 3 simple strategies that will help you in the long rung.
Accept your current physical state
Regardless of the circumstances or events that led to your current physical state, that is where you are and that's your reality. This is the place from which you must start. Your past physical prowess(or lack thereof) is not relevant to your current state of being. What may have worked for you back in your younger days may not work now. Start from the present.
Respect Your Joints
You are only as healthy as your joints. A healthy joint is mobile, stable, and pain free. If your current activities are causing painful wrists, shoulders, knees, hips, and/or low back, you need to re-evaluate what you are doing. Joint pain is not a right of passage to a fit body. Joint pain will decrease your level of spontaneous activity which is of primary importance if you want to stay healthy and look good for a lifetime.
You must establish optimal joint mobility before loading the body with stressful activities. Avoid exercises that place excess stress on your joints. Get evaluated by a qualified professional before engaging in activities such as high-intensity strength training, Olympic lifting, and sprinting.
Develop habits that produce measurable improvements
Goals are useless unless they are attached to a behavorial change. I prefer to set habitual goals that cause change. Here are 3 habitual goals that will produce positive physical changes:
“I will eat 3 servings of fibrous organic vegetables along with 3 servings of high quality animal proteins every day.”
“I will eliminate sugary beverages from my daily diet.”
“I will go to bed before 10:30pm every weekday.”
Customize your habitual goals based on your needs.