June 29, 2012

12 ways to stay motivated.

Rant and Tip for June 29, 2012

Quote:  “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar

HAHA Personally I think this quote is pretty funny and yet true. People do say that their motivation does not last. Isn’t it interesting that  no matter how hard we try to keep ourselves motivated something always seems to steel our thunder. Life will seem to just get in the way and then bang our motivation to get our diet right or are exercise regimen in place is shot. I think maybe we should put together a list of ways to keep you motivated.
  • Put a picture of yourself on the refrigerator door, either as you are now, or the way physical shape you want to get back into.
  • Workout with people who are not going to tell you that what you just did is good enough. Find someone that is not afraid to tell you to push harder.
  • This one you hear all the time, Do not shop when you are hungry.
  • Buy the new outfit you want to fit into and hang it someplace you have to walk by it everyday.
  • Tell yourself you are worth the effort.
  • Write down your goals and post them prominently someplace you look at often.
  • Schedule your exercise time like you would a Doctor’s appointment, only a lot more often.
  • Put your diet for the day to paper, or on FitDay or FatSecret. Print it and bring it with you!
  • Go to bed in the clothes you will work out in the next morning. Her your already dressed might as well hit the gym. Listen ladies do not go worrying about makeup and getting all beautified for the gym. To be honest I laugh at the women who show up all dolled up. I mean really are you there to work out or pick someone up.
  • Create rewards for achieving your goal. The reward can be a massage, a new workout outfit, a new CD, a session with a personal trainer, or a new piece of sports equipment - whatever you really want.
  • Get rid of the concept in your head your exercise needs to be a full hour. Just get you body moving any amount of exercise will help and the more you get to it, the more you will end up doing.
  • Create a mini competition at the office with some friends and discuss daily and progress. A little rivalry goes a long way.
Yesterday was back day for me and it was a great workout. DOMS is kicking my butt right now and I love it. Today will be a heavy arm day. I need to hit the triceps BIG. I need them to be screaming at me tomorrow. I am careful with biceps since the tear of the long head bicep tendon.
Have a great workout!
Tip: Well after all the motivational stuff above, let’s just call it a day.

June 28, 2012

Always aim for achievement and forget about success.” – Helen Hayes

Rant and Tip for June 28, 2012

Quote:  “Always aim for achievement and forget about success.” – Helen Hayes    
I think what Helen was saying here is to always strive for small achievements. Like small goals and the success will come. If you apply this to your diet, then you need to take pride in each ounce or gram you lose. These grams and ounces add up to pounds and kilos. By aiming for those small achievements you will be successful. The same applies to your exercise regimen. Attack the program with baby steps. To many times I have seen people jump into an exercise regimen after having not worked out for years. This always leads to a severe case of delay onset muscle soreness or DOMS. They are sore for days and decide they will never do that again. 

Many trainers are aware of this and if they are good trainers take this in consideration when they implement a new program for someone. At the same time a trainer needs to push their clients to the next level or there is not growth and hence no need for the trainer.

My diet is tight right now. For a while there my veggie intake was a little on the low side. I have increased my veggies and I love my spinach salads the last few days. Our bodies need the macro nutrients in vegetables to sustain a healthy body and the dietary fiber to keep the digestive system cranking along. Be sure to get your fibrous vegetables in. They will help you stay healthy and keep things moving if you know what I mean.

Today is back day, oh how I love back day. The call of the day is:

Wide grip lat pull downs - 3 sets 8
Seated rows - 3 sets 8 and Single arm rows 3 sets of 8
Close grip lat pull downs - 3 sets 8
Shrugs - 3 sets 8
Weighted or not I prefer weighted hyper-extensions - 3 sets 8

Have a great workout!

Tip: I will go as heavy as I can handle while keeping good form. It is very important to make sure when doing the lat pulls and the seated rows to pull your shoulder blades together. If you are unable to do so then lower the weight a bit.

June 27, 2012

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones

Rant and Tip for June 27, 2012

Quote: “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”  Chinese Proverb

This is true with any objective you have to accomplish. It takes small steps to create big changes. You cannot expect change to occur overnight and you cannot expect to be successful out of the box. It takes time and effort, whether it is your diet or change in body composition. You need to work at it and many times it is the baby steps that get you to where you want to be. The great wall of China was not built in a day.

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I am asked many times what supplements I take. When I won my first National event I was introduced to SSP Nutritional Supplements. SSP stands for Speed, Strength and Performance. This stuff is the bomb; they sell a package of 3 supplements that give you everything you need. If you buy the system you will not need anything else. On the surface the product looks expensive. However when you breakdown each part of the System it is very affordable. The System consists of a pre, post and maintenance supplement and they all are designed to work with each other to help you achieve your goals. From the Powerlifter, Runner, Professional Athlete to the weekend warrior you cannot go wrong with SSP. Give it a try and if you use code 3020 you can get a 10% discount.

I got to my squats yesterday and feel great today. I am following a 5 set of 5 cycle to get to the point of hitting 380 for 5 at the end of 16 weeks. This should put me right where I want to be for November. My trainee is doing great and she is learning a lot and pushing hard. At the end of the 5 sets of 5 time permitting leg curls are the call. I did not have time to get them in however my trainee did. She pushed hard and even included a negative in her workout. The other thing I like to do is over load the bar and lift a heavy weight to get my central nervous system use to it. If you do not attempt heavy lifts you will never lift anything heavy.

Have a great workout!

Tips: Create a Ritual - Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.

June 26, 2012

The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. – John F. Kennedy

Rant and Tip for June 26, 2012

Quote: The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. – John F. Kennedy

The above quote is for all of us, even those of us who feel we are already in shape and those who just happen to have one of those gifted metabolisms, that allow them to eat anything. As we get older our metabolisms slow down and when this happens those years of poor eating habits will catch up with you. You see many folks who hit there late 40’s and early 50’s and all of a sudden they hit a wall. They start putting on weight, lose muscle tone and everything just seems to go south. This has a lot to do with lower testosterone levels as we get older and the fact your metabolism slows down. As the quote above indicates, now is the time to get your diet, and fitness plans in place. It is much harder to pull everything in line once the storm hits.

I didn’t get to squats yesterday and have altered my schedule to get them in today. I did get a lot of stretching in yesterday. Done properly even stretching can produce a sweat. I am working with Cindy Stone of Sonshine fitness. I had an assessment done on the flexibility of my back and found that my upper back is extremely tight and this is hindering my arch. She is helping me correct that issue and increase my arch which in return will increase my bench. Yesterday while setting up I thing I also figured how I can get my traps up more on the bench. It involves my set up and I will continue to work on that as well.

I thought I would address the Avocado today. Although this food is a fruit it lacks all the sugars that must fruits have. Instead it is loaded with Omega 3 fats. Avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas and are high in vitamins, B, E, and K. They are also high in fiber and 75% of that fiber is insoluble. I personally like to just cut it in 2 and eat it with a spoon. It is a great way for a person who eats low carb to fuel their workouts.

Have a great workout!

Tip: How to open or peel an avocado.
Grip the avocado gently on one side with one hand. With a large, sharp knife in the other hand, cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed. Open the two halves by twisting them in opposite directions to expose the pit. Next is to remove the pit. This can be tricky but can be done with a spoon or a large knife. I prefer the knife method but you need to do it safely. First in your non-dominant hand place a folded kitchen hand towel in your hand, this is to protect your hand from a missed stroke with the knife. While holding the half of the avocado in the toweled hand take the knife and with a quick stroke tap the bottom edge of the knife into the pit. The pit will stick to the knife and can easily be pulled out.

June 25, 2012

It's always too early to quit!

Rant and Tip for June 25, 2012

Quote:  “It's always too early to quit.”

Truer words have rarely been spoken. To many times we allow ourselves to quit before we actually start to see success. Success comes to those who never quit, whether it is in the heat of competition or being able to stick to a new diet plan or lifestyle change.  I have said this many times before that to maintain any weight loss or be able to stay fit requires a life style change. Once you accept this and you make a pact with yourself you will be successful.

I had the pleasure of working out with John Bogart, he is a world record holder in the International Powerlifting Federation. He is another man who knows how to work a shirt. He also will be able to keep an eye on all the rules that apply to USAPL lifts. My lifts went well and I attempted 455 but failed at it. I am confident that I will get it next Sunday.     
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                I would like to talk about the stabilizing muscles. These muscles are the secondary muscles that are used in a lift. For instance many people when they work out will concentrate on a specific muscle and isolate it by using a machine. When we do this we neglect the stabilizing muscles and we rob ourselves of truly getting stronger. Don’t get me wrong, machines definitely have their place and yes I do use them. However, there really is so substitute for cold hard steal, or in the case of many gyms today rubber coated steel. When we lift a dumbbell or a free bar for squats, benching or deadlift we hit those stabilizing muscles as well. If we stand or sit on a ball while doing our biceps curls we can hit our abdominal muscles as well. I guess what I am saying here is don’t be afraid to break away from your comfort zone.

Last subject today is about supplements. Last year when I won the American Challenge SSP nutrition sent me a sample box of their supplements called the system. SSP stands for “Speed, Strength and Performance” This is not just a supplement of bodybuilders and powerlifters. I thoroughly enjoyed these supplements and felt great taking them. If you're a serious athlete, or a weekend warrior looking to maximize your workouts, this is a solid pre, post, and growth workout mix. It blends a wide variety of nutrients that optimize strength, speed and recovery. I honestly believe it is among the best nutritional supplements on the market. SSP is a complete supplement system.

When you first look at the cost of the system, it looks to be on the expensive side. However keep in mind you pay for what you get and when you add up what you pay for a pre, post and maintenance supplement the combined cost is very comparable and fair. Try SSP using the discount code 3020 and get a 10% discount on your purchase. After you first month supply is completed send me an email and let me know what you think and I can feature you here on my blog.

Have a great workout!

Tip: If you find your workouts have stalled. Do not be afraid to try a good supplement. Sometimes we just cannot get eat enough of the good nutrients that we need to see the gains we are looking for.

June 22, 2012

“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”

Rant and Tip for June 22, 2012

Quote: “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” - Howard Ruff

I really like this quote and have to admit to having never heard it before I read it this morning. This is a true testament to planning. I have found the only way to be successful in your lifestyle change is to plan for it. Plan you meals out for the day and plan your exercise schedule down to the time you will be working out. If you do not you will definitely get side tracked. It happens all the time.

It you do not plan your meals throughout the day you will most likely find yourself eating something you really do not want to. OK maybe you want to but you know you should not. When your meals are planned you will have all you need for the day and this will take away the need to just eat something because you are hungry. I speak this from my own experience. There have been times where I did not plan well and I ended up eating something I really did not want to. However I did eat it to keep from going into a catabolic state.

Exercise is really a matter of having a plan as to what form of exercise you plan to do for the day. Will it be strength training or cardio, or a combination of the 2 for the day? If you are strength training you also need a plan as to what you are going to do for that training session.

Sunday I will be training in the bench shirt again. I have to get to the point where benching in the shirt is second nature. Bench Press Nationals are August 25th and I plan on being ready and I need to be flawless. Today though I think will be another squat day for me and for my friends that will be training with me board presses will be the call of the day.

Have a great workout!

Tip: Do not just plan your meals and exercise out in your head, right it all down so it becomes engrained in your schedule as well.