Monthly Archives: June 2016
Let’s talk about the reason, you know, the reason we do what we do. Everyone has a reason, usually they are linked in with emotion and feeling, even if people won’t admit it.
I would like you to ask yourself this questions:
“Currently I feel…. Because of….”
“What would make me happy is….”
“Achieving my goal would make me feel….”
“To achieve my goal I must….”
What is the last word? Happy, Accomplished, Proud, Worthy? What ever it will be it’s not a bad thing because it will give you purpose. I have found over the years that people don’t want to be honest about why they want to achieve their goal. They tell people what they think they want to hear for the fear of being judged, or that it is wrong to selfishly want something. It isn’t, so long as what you want doesn’t involve causing other people pain or suffering.
Once you’ve asked those questions sit down and write your goals and what behaviour you need to do to achieve said goal, along with how you will feel once you achieve it and how you currently feel. Do this in 300 words or less and put it it a place you will see it everyday to help keep you on track.
Understand how you feel, be honest and gain purpose, focus, perspective and the motivation you need.
Did you know that there is technically no need to hire a coach, although t’s highly recommended. You can in fact be your own coach, all you need is the right tools, knowledge and application of them to make the life style changes you need.
There will be 3 things covered in the next few posts to help you achieve this, be sure to check back for more. We all know that there must be a goal but often the means of HOW to achieve this goal are not really taken in to account, this is where our first strategy comes in to play.
1 – Outcome & Behaviour Setting
The title might seem confusing but the overall premise and application are quite easy. First up you need to set your outcome, then the behaviours you will undergo that week to achieve said outcome. Now this will be done on multiple endeavours each week, however you also make this a long term goal setting process as well.
– Outcome: Lose 10% Body Fat – Write specific date to accomplish task, this is the end game.
– This Month I will: Attend the gym consistently, Track my calories accurately, Keep a consistent diary.
– This Week I will: Do 2 Strength Sessions, 2 CV sessions, achieve a 3500-5000 calorie deficit, track my progress.
– Today I will: Update my nutrition calorie tracking and achieve a 350-500 calorie deficit through food, perform 60minute of productive exercise in the gym and track the estimate effort and caller expenditure, eat 4 meals consisting of whole foods.
The structure is simple, as you can see. All you need do is write your Outcome followed by the 3 actions for behaviour – Month/Week/Day and stick to them. Take some time and write out the first desired outcome, then update the monthly/weekly/daily behaviour as needed.
Have you ever really listened to your body? I mean really listened to it? Do you even know what it’s saying?
The skill of listening to your body is not an easy one to master, it takes time, effort and most of all patience to learn your own language. If you really listen you will know if you really do have that extra rep or if you need a de-load, perhaps it’s a case of some more sleep. Whichever it is, listening t your body will reveal all.
How can you learn what your body is really telling you? Unfortunately there is no easy answer, it simply takes time and practice. A great way would be to meditate, to become aware of all your thoughts and deal with them one at a time, then, once you have control over the mind, or at least acceptance of your thoughts you can start to listen to your body and how it feels.
The best way to start meditation is to find a place outside you can go alone and start to focus on your thoughts and absorbing everything around you and become aware. After you become aware you can start to hear what your body has to say, you might find out you’re not fatigued from too much training but rather not enough sleep because of a mineral deficiency. As crazy as that sounds it’s more true than many would ever want to believe.
Try this for me today. Take 5min and simply sit and try to see what your body is feeling, the little aches it has, the stiffness, the hunger for certain foods (not ego craving, actually craving). It will take time but once you start being able to listen to your body you will find you now just when to go all out and when to back off, thus finding yourself imbued with a new sense of self.
The other day I gave wrote three tips for improving one’s bench press, today it will be the deadlift, after all, there is nothing more impressive than loading up 5 plates a side for reps.
Tip 1 – Pull Out The Slack
If you’ve watched any top deadlift champion you will noticed they all seem to pull against the bar first, some do it with straight legs, other do it in a rock bottom position. It doesn’t matter which they do because they are all doing it to achieve the same thing, taking the slack out of the bar.
When you pull the bar off the floor it typically bends, every bar has some give in it, you must pull this out and stay tense to get it off the floor, if you don’t it will feel like the bar isn’t moving because you’ve not initiated the first pull correctly. Practice by getting tense and pulling agains the bar to feel the slack come out, once it is it’s time to drive the floor away and get your hips through as fast as possible and lock out a new PB.
Tip 2 – Keep Your Head Neutral
It’s fairly common for people to crank their neck back and ‘look up’ and while in theory this will help keep your back straight, in practice it doesn’t work so well. When you set up you want to keep your head neutral and slightly tuck your chin. That doesn’t mean looking down, your eyes can look up while your head remains neutral you know.
By keeping a neutral head position you will in effect lengthen your spine, this will help prevent rounding of the lower back and also allow a stronger neural connection, meaning you can lift more once you get this technique down.
Tip 3 – Lots of Single Arm Rows
A great many people will complain about their grip being the limiting factor, now while they are not necessarily wrong, they are not really sure of why their grip gives in. They think it’s because the grip is weak when more often than not it’s actually their upper back that is weak and as a result the brain says “Wait… we have a weak upper back… we can’t really lift this I don’t think. Better loosen the grip to prevent the stronger muscles lifting it and safe myself from injury.”.
The single arm row, or the Kroc Row is a great way of building an impressive upper back and as a result increasing your overall deadlift because your brain will now allow your to grip harder than before.
Use those three tips to improve your deadlift and start breaking your old PB’s.
Bonus Tip – Front Squat Crossover
Deadlifts can be very taxing to the body. Even reduced weight speed reps can take their toll. The front squat is a great exercise not only for building legs but also upper back strength and postural strength (through the upper thoracic). This is a must do accessory movement to your deadlift. The front squat also has a lot of crossover to your back squat and even your pressing movements as it teaches you to stay tight and breath in to your diaphragm properly.