Tag Archives: mental strength

You don’t need to be the best, just be better.

Handstand press ups*, pull ups, pistols and sprinting.
 
You could forge a strong, lean, athletic body with those 4 simple movements.
 
A bouns is that they all can be done away from a gym and without any kit, well less for finding somewhere to hang to do pull ups that is.
 
*What many see as a handstand push up is actually a headstand push up as the head touches the floor shortening ROM, a true handstand push up would have your head pass the line of you hands (think hands on boxes with a gap for your head).
 
Given the endless amount of options we have to crave body out of fine marble the big question is this; why do so many struggle?
 
Well my friends there is one answer possessed by this weary soul.
 
It’s not the only answer, however for many it’s the right one.
 
Are your ready for it…..
 
You simply don’t want ‘it’ enough.
 
The ‘it’ can be anything to you however the simple truth is that you just don’t want to achieve success the badly.
 
I know right, what a dick.
 
You are a literal miracle of creation as are many others and if you take just one minute to look around you you’ll see just how many people have taken this for granted and wasted the gift they were given.
 
How can you tell?
 
Poor posture, sloppy movement, obesity, ill health (from lifestyle choice, not unfortunate circumstance or medical issue).
 
People pissing away their lives is everywhere to be seen.
 
Yet even in knowing this and instead of taking some responsibility for their own self they make excuses, dillydally and just generally let themselves rot away all under the guise of –
 
“If only I had XYZ/perfect set of circumstances things would be different.”
 
No, they wouldn’t be different because you’d not change.
 
If you haven’t changed yet why would you change now?
 
Typically two answers become relevant to this ^^
 
1 – Fear (they got scared in to change)
2 – Th pain they currently live with finally because too much
 
The truth is that no one likes to be told they’re only folly and yet it’s not that they’re unaware of it’s existence, they just choose to be ignorant and find any/every excuses to justify their weakness and fragility.
 
Given the above an dhow easy it is to make change to yourself, why don’t you do it?
 
Remember you don’t need a gym (as shown above).
 
You can buy some kettlebells, sandbags or even weights for you own home (you don’t need a full kitted out gym, just enough to challenge you) and proceed to do 15-20min daily practice/movement.
 
15-20min a day, everyone who isn’t an invalid has time for that, what they lack is the desire.
 
Give the above some consideration.
 
Reflect on your excuses, then take a look at yourself in the mirror and say these simple words:
 
“I’m done listening to & believing your bullshit. From now on I’m going to do better. I’m going to be better. I may never be the best, but I will be better tomorrow than I am today.”
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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A Habit for Every Mood

Habits are funny things.
 
Much like anything we have one for every mood or situation.
 
Some make us feel good, others motivate us and a few do nothing better than punish and stall of progress.
 
Over they years I’ve become more adept at finding out a persons reason why they have these little patterns.
 
Personally knowing has always been a priority.
 
It’s just my inherent personality trait, some call it being nosey and others say far worse, yet knowing has always been that insatiable lust of mine.
 
To not have considered every option, sacrilege.
 
It probably came form being an only child and spending countless hours alone quietly playing with the same few toys and each time comping up with a new story.
 
Of course without knowing more there was only so many situations I could pull from thin air because truly original ideas are few and far between.
 
Habits, much like knowledge, don’t just come thin air for the most part. You’ll find we either pick them up from watching others or then being suggested to us.
 
After all a habit was once a choice you consciously made.
 
Might not be what people want to hear however it’s the truth in the largest majority of situations.
 
In regards to your habits do you know which ones you have for which mood?
 
Take 5min to make a list.
 
What is your immediate reaction in the following:
 
– Happy
– Sad
– Angry
– Confused
– Tired
– Focused
 
The list can be longer and for any mood/emotion you can think of and I bet you will have a habit for each, be that to get you in to or out of the desired emotional state.
 
Once you know what habits are anchored to what emotions you can begin to understand why this is and start that lengthy and often painful process of letting go the ones which are detrimental and creating new more productive ones.
 
While this is simple it won’t be easy.
 
Growth never is though.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Nom Nom Nom

Is there a food that you just can’t live without?
 
Many have at least one.
 
Some have a fridge full, that must be consumed under various circumstances or when certain conditions are met.
 
To some this may be called addiction, others it’s meal prep.
 
Depending on how you view things.
 
Consistency of the foods we eat isn’t actually that hard to achieve, if you think about it logically you’ll find people stick with select foods day in day out.
 
The difference is often the quality of food.
 
Taking this in to consideration you can swap one food habit with another, if only it was that easy.
 
Which realistically it is, however if you’re not willing to let go of a food or something that is perhaps not the most optimal choice for your health, you may want to question why.
 
Plenty of people understand what they should do.
 
Especially in regards to nutrition, yet they don’t.
 
Why?
 
Emotion, that is the reason, or at least what it boils down to in the end.
 
Becoming married to a certain food, or even stye of eating can be quite detrimental.
 
If you have the ability to have something just because you want it, and yet can as easily go without then I’d say you’ve found that place where you’ve got all your plates spinning well.
 
When someone says “I have to have….” alarm bells ring.
 
Less for medical reasons no one needs to have anything. Want to have, perhaps.
 
Self control, will power, what ever you call restraint, it’s being mindful and aware of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and more importantly being okay with it.
 
By okay with it I mean this in regards to accepting any or all potential consequences that come with said choice.
 
It is common we will tend to leave ourselves ‘outs’.
 
Reasons for our choices that make us feel less bad about the choice we made food wise, yet if you end up feeling that way do you ever stop to ask why?
 
Hopefully you’ve noticed the common theme.
 
Asking why, being able to understand, learn and grow from each choice and layer you peel back in regards to delving in to your depths.
 
A little bit about how I eat.
 
I just eat based on what I feel I need, the mythical ‘listening to my body’ kind of thing.
 
There are no set times to eat.
 
No set meal frequency or specific meals/macros to be hit.
 
I’ve done my time playing with those factors to see what impact they had, which can be described as minimal.
 
Some days I will not eat until the evening, not because of some protocol telling me to, merely because life gets in the way and food waits until later.
 
No I didn’t get hangry because I’m not 6months old and still clasping my mothers tit for sustenance.
 
While food can indeed affect your mood, you have to understand that you will be aware of this impending shift and if you choose to be ‘hangry’ then it’s a choice you’ve made willingly.
 
Yep, that’s why people get pissy and then say “I haven’t eaten.” as if it exonerates them.
 
Umm, no, you know you’re hungry and you’re using that as your excuse to be a prize bell-end, congrats you’ve unlocked an achievement.
 
Now I’m sure some will be running to PubMed to find all the studies on low blood sugar, fluctuating concentration levels and a whole host of other information to justify them being a little bit of a dick when they get hungry.
 
Please feel free to do this, just understand it still doesn’t change the fact that if you know you’re hungry and choose to be a dick, you’re choosing to be a dick, end of.
 
You will often find the only people capable of such things are those privileged enough to do so.
 
People that don’t have a choice just get on with it.
 
How do your nutritional habits affect you?
 
Take some time to sit and reflect on this.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Struggle Struggle Struggle

Motivation.

It’s quite an interesting word really.

We will often hear people talk about how to stay motivated when things get tough, or how to reignite a lost motivation and anything that is of a similar disposition, and while the intentions are good it is a sad truth that it rarely helps, if at all.

Talking a good game to achieve that instantaneous boots in moral is easy.

People can get a similar dopamine hit from merely talking about what they re going to do, in fact if you take the time to dig in to the science surrounding it you’ll find that the brain scans etc are almost indistinguishable in terms of response, meaning from a glance (without knowing exactly what to look for), you’d not see any really difference.

Same goes for the biochemical responses, to a degree.

That’s a rather fascinating little thing to know, however don’t take my word for it, please delve down that rabbit hole.

Anyway, back to motivation.

Aiming to sustain it, reignite it, or draw on some special reserve is largely a fruitless endeavour because it isn’t motivation that keeps us going, it’s resilience.

It is easy to see how people think it’s that people are highly motivated, however this not really how it works because you will find that the aforementioned is more akin to gasoline and added to the fire for that initial oomph in to action and after that you’re going to need something more substantial to keep that furnace going.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you what that ‘thing’ is to you because I’m not you.

For me it’s a simple case of enjoying the struggle and having go fight my way through a tough challenge because once I come out the other end of it all I will know a lot more about myself.

This is what sustains me through the resistances I meet when pursuing a goal.

It’s a conscience choice to keep moving forwards, that’s all.

If you can make yourself doing the thing you need to do, then in the end you’ll find what once seemed like an insurmountable task wasn’t really that bad, even if the struggle is real it’s better to embrace it every step of the way and just do what needs to be done, than it is to rely on bursts of motivation.

Of course this is only one perspective.

Having lofty goals can be a good thing, you’d be surprised that if you are to ask for the Moon how often once all was said and done it would be given to you.

Aim high, fight on, enjoy your motivation while it’s there just don’t rely on it and prepare for the struggle.

Once you come out the other end, it’ll all be worth it.

Enjoy,
Ross

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A little lesson in effort.

Morning All,
 
When was the last time you really put any effort in to something?
 
I’m not talking about ‘kinda effort’.
 
The on being referred to is that which makes you so uncomfortable you don’t even want to start it because you know it’s going to be a struggle each and every time.
 
This is the kid of effort that changes you fundamentally as a person when you come out the other end.
 
A level of effort that make soy want to quit daily.
 
That is what I mean.
 
If you can’t think of the last time you experienced something like this then perhaps you’re coasting.
 
There can’t be peaks without valleys.
 
If you never have that gut wrenching dread of something you need to be doing then the chances are you’re not truly challenging yourself.
 
Of course this is not to say you won’t have those ‘good times’, you know the ones, where everything falls in to place and it’s all to easy.
 
That my friends is a peak.
 
You’re reaping the rewards from he fruit of your labour and because of the effort you put in, each bite of success tastes all the sweeter for it.
 
That is what we strive.
 
Many had a taste of that in it’s lowest form when they started going to the gym, lsat some weight, got hot and finally overcame a fear.
 
After this though people take their foot off the gas because they’re now happy, content, a cog in the machine of mediocrity, as it were.
 
You can spot someone of this ilk because they will get very offended by reading something like this and say arbitrary things such as:
 
“If you’re happy that’s what matters.”
 
“You shouldn’t care what anybody else thinks.”
 
Blah blah blah.
 
Mediocrity, that is what that is, big firmly in the comfort zone that sucks everyone in and won’t let them leave because if someone was to break out and start to better themselves and achieve more they’d make everyone else feel bad, and we can’t have that in our sensitive modern world.
 
Life is struggle.
 
Life is suffering.
 
Life is meant to be tough so that when the times are good you appreciate them so much more and become truly thankful for that which the mediocre take for granted.
 
No one owes you a damn thing, remember that.
 
So my good people who read these little rants, when was the last time you put in a real effort in to something?
 
The kind of effort that changed you at your core.
 
The kind that made you a better human.
 
The kind that makes life so much sweeter in the end.
 
I humbly ask you to leave a comment below, an honest comment, not one that you think sounds like what you should say, a comment that is what you want to say no matter how un-PC it sounds.
 
I look forward to reading them.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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One move to rule them all

The kettlebell snatch, what a great move.
 
Do you know if there was only time and space enough to do one movement several times a week this would be a high contender.
 
Here is why:
 
– Epic cardiovascular hit
– A true test of mental fortitude
– Power, Strength, Endurance & Muscle is the consequence
– Nothing in the posterior chain gets missed
– Posture, core and grip strength are built
– It’s fun, plus you can get in some quality work in sub 5min
 
What is not to like about a movement that can do all of that in such a short space of time.
 
You will also find that depending on the style of technique used it can affect the results you get, commonly you will find two main styles.
 
 
 
The first will yield slightly more strength, the second more CV due to it being a movement of efficiency.
 
Personally I’d advise you utilise both.
 
If you have never done this before than I would suggest you hire a coach to teach you, someone from StrongFirst (or RKC) or an active Kettlebell Sport competitor would be my recommendations for a high quality of instructor.
 
For the sake of thought theory, let us say that you’re going to do the above movement because you life dictates that all you can do for a period of time, say 50 days straight.
 
Yes, I said 50 days straight.
 
How can you train everyday and not tear up your hands or injure yourself?
 
That’s easy, you wave the volume of each session along with the length and you may also do well to see each day as a practice rather than a ‘workout’ because people seem to link the latter word with killing themselves; this is not conducive to long term progress.
 
Here is how you can structure a short cycle of days that repeat.
 
Day 1 – Long Session, 45min, light bell, aim for 200+ reps
Day 2 – Short Intense practice – 5min, AMRAP
Day 3 – 30min session, heavy kettlebell ladders 1-2-3-4-5
Day 4 – Short Intense practice – 10min, AMRAP
Day 5 – 20min Session – medium weight/volume (tech work)
Repeat
 
Also, don’t be afraid to have a session that consists of singles and perhaps doesn’t go beyond 25 reps each arm, it’s okay, technical sessions such as that allow a great amount of recovery while still keeping your body in the groove.
 
You don’t have to kill yourself each time you go in the gym, maybe once or twice a week going hell for leather is good, any more might not be conducive to long term health of performance.
 
Essentially you auto-regulate the training and go by feel.
 
Can you periodise it, yep, that will take some planning though and while that is my person approach some people don’t have the inclination to do such things. As such you’d do well to have a training diary and simply track what you’re doing.
 
Follow a Heavy-Light-Medium-LIght-Repeat approach.
 
Try the above for 50days, trust me, it will be worth it.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Three important lessons you can learn from athletes & apply them to your life.

Morning all,
 
It’s fair to say we admire athletes.
 
Not simply for the way they can bring people together with their astonishing achievements or world record breaking efforts, it’s also because they’re humans, just like us.
 
They might be faster, stronger, more dedicated and generally better in every aspect, however they’re still human 😂
 
As such here are three things you can take away from them and apply to your life for the better.
 
1 – They do what they need to do regardless of how they feel.
 
Athletes don’t make excuses, not really, they just get on with the task as hand, unlike you.
 
Nothing stands in their way of achieving their goal, now before you start saying “I have a job, house etc etc”, did you know that until they make it BIG, so do they.
 
The difference is that they kept moving forwards, even when life problems cropped up, they still struggled on.
 
This is a lesson you’d do well to listen to and apply.
 
2 – They always have a plan.
 
Now this plan might not be of their of imagination, it might be something of a coaches/mentors design.
 
The point is this, the have one and as such also have answers for when the plan starts to fall apart or needs adapting.
 
Average people don’t have a plan, they try and wing it, unsuccessfully I might add.
 
If you can’t create a plan yourself, don’t stress, ask someone for help, get yourself a mentor/coach, in the long run it will be worth it, trust me.
 
If you want people to put their faith in you, you must also eb willing to put your faith in others.
 
3 – There is only the next mission.
 
Now I could have used the word goal, however goal is meek because everyone has a goal, several in fact, of which many go unachieved.
 
Athletes have a mission, one that is fuelled by a passion and drive that is above and beyond what many can comprehend.
 
They just do things because it’s just what they do.
 
It’s all they know.
 
Taking a page out of this book and developing your own indomitable spirit is something that would benefit you in a multitude of ways ranging from more conviction in your decisions to an unwavering resolve to stick with something, for better or worse.
 
If you take these simple lessons and apply even on to your life, you’ll be several steps ahead of a great many people, just have some faith in yourself and do it.
 
Bonus lesson – They know when enough is enough.
 
Now it would be great to think that we can overcome any limitation, any barrier, break any & all plateaus, however that is just not true, it’s a fools dream.
 
This also relates to being at the top too.
 
Even the worlds best athletes know they have limits that they will not exceed, this is where they have a large support network of coaches, mentors, friends and close family to help them see the perspectives that they might be blind to themselves.
 
Sometimes a dream might just not be in your grasp, however that doesn’t mean you give up entirely, you just accept that enough is enough and rather than giving up, you refocus and look towards the next mission.
 
You might be the one to do it all and change the world, even with such an achievement there will be a limit to how long you can stay their, int he end you will need to accept enough is enough and step down.
 
Just like a world champion that retires so the new blood can come through, they don’t disappear, they just change their place in the play and become the mentor/coach.
 
Giving up never did anyone any good, however neither did trying to achieve something that was never in their reach to begin with or holding on to a glory longer than they should.
 
Learn to accept what is, what isn’t and what will never be.
 
Smile at these things, embrace or let them go.
 
All glories must fade, enjoy them while you can and let go when you must.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Tough Love –

No programming jargon today.

It’s time for some tough love.

You ready?

Nobody cares as much as you think they care. Really, they don’t because how you look, how strong you are, how fast you are, how much you’ve achieved is just not that important to them. They only really care about themselves.

Have you ever been in the gym and felt that people were watching you?

The probability of this being true for longer than a few seconds is incredibly low.

Believe it or not they’re not judging how much you’re lifting, or how much excess fat you have, they’re there for the same reason as you – To shift some unwanted love handles, feel better physically/mentally & get shit done.

We’ve all been in a place where we think all eyes are on us.

It’s rarely the case.

Such thoughts will only serve to bind you in invisible chains.

Don’t misunderstand me though, I understand that for some people this ‘social anxiety’ is truly crippling and for them even stepping foot outside is a struggle and for those people I can only extend my hand and wait for them to take hold when ready.

As for everyone else, you probably don’t have social anxiety, you’re just a bit awkward, perhaps because you spend too much time on the internet and social media.

Did you know that excessive amounts of time on the inter-webs lead to increase chances of mental instability, body image issues, the inability to converse and much more.

Now before you gather the mob to hint me down you need to realise that most of the problems the majority of people face are self imposed.

F-E-A-R guides them.

When working with people (depending on their needs and genuine level of distress), I try to get some unnderstadnign what fear is:

False – Evidence – Appearing- Real

So in a gym situation – you walk in and you feel everyone is watching your every move from start to finish.

Initially people may indeed see who’s walked in, then they get back to their focus (what ever that is).

If you start lifting you may again have a few people watch initially, then they will get back to their of session.

The funny thing is one people start to let go of the fear that they’re always being judged, they become far less stressed.

*If you feel you’re always being judged this may stem from he fact that you yourself watch other people with an err of judgement in your eye – not gospel, however it is common as we can only base others potential behaviour off of our own learned ones.

I often speak of writing things down, you should try it.

Once you see on paper what your fears are they’re not quite as scary as you might think.

Try it. Write down you fear and the potential outcomes of that fear, then how likely those outcomes are.

You’ll soon find your worry is potentially unfounded 🙂

Letting go of our preconceived ideas, believes and thoughts is hard, however it’s worth it.

The hand is held out if you need it.

Enjoy
Ross

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The real reason you should write your goals down.

Most people know they should be writing down their goals.
 
Typically because of the following reasons:
 
– Accountability
– It’s a useful reminder
– This helps formulate an action plan
– The process allows for the overarching goal to be separated in to smaller more manageable chunks
 
What most people don’t know is the real reason it works os well.
 
If we write our goals down and achieve them, be that the main goal or the mini goals we set, each time we tick something off as achieved Dopamine is released.
 
What is it?
 
Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters in your brain that affects your emotions, movements and your sensations of pleasure and pain.
 
This is often why people get addicted to things, it’s the dopamine release they experience, it keeps them coming back.
 
There you have it.
 
That’s the real reason you should write your goals down.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Three things you need to stop immediately.

If you do I can guarantee you will feel much better.
 
1 – Worrying about he number on the scales.
 
In fact throw them out, literally. They serve no purpose other than to keep you in a narrow mindset and hold you back, remember a low umber on the scale doesn’t mean happens or health (physically, mentally & emotionally) it can often mean the opposite, sadly.
 
2 – Stressing over what you think other people are thinking.
 
I have some news for you, you don’t know what is going through other peoples heads, no, really, you don’t, so stop stressing yourself out about it.
 
Chances are they’re not looking at you, it’s just something you’ve conditioned yourself in to thinking.
 
How do I know this? Talk about irony.
 
I used to do it and in fact I still do it from time to time, trust me, people are rarely thinking about what you think they’re thinking about.
 
3 – Changing for everyone else.
 
It’s human nature to want to please others, however it’s not something that should cause you internal strife.
 
A lot of people want to change, which is not necessarily a bad thing, however it’s the reasons they want to change that could be very questionable.
 
Changing for reasons other than your own is a sure way to failure because the changes may not be something you want.
 
Take for example fat loss. Good for health, potentially yes, good to do so that others accept you or you attract that certain special someone, no, 100% a terrible idea.
 
Social pressure is a massive influence on people these days and the more you try to fit in with the crowds externally, the worse you end up feeling internally, then you look back when you’re a little wiser and realise it wasn’t worth it.
 
Make changes for your own personal reasons and you’ll be far happier for it.
 
There you have it.
 
Three things to stop doing.
 
Will this happen immediately?
 
No, probably not, however the first step in changing a behaviour (if it’s what you want to do), it acknowledging it, then accepting it, once they are achieved you can start towards the pace you want to be in, physically, mentally and emotionally.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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