March 27, 2014

Your toughest competition is yourself

Training last night consisted of hitting an easy opener in a loose bench shirt.

I did this in case I discover that I'm having an off day during warm ups, the day of the meet.

Let's just say my opener in the last night's loose shirt is still more than what won last year’s world meet.

Also, at this point in training, with the meet date quickly approaching, it is important not to over train and have my central nervous system shut down.

It looks like I will peak just right.

With your help and support, Gold medal here I come.

That was my lifting update for you, now for the quote of the day. 

 Quote: " I view my strongest competition as myself. You're always trying to top yourself, rather than worrying what other people are doing"  by: John C Riley.

John C Riley is an American actor, and while I don't normally like to quote and actor, I totally agree with this statement.

I am always competing against myself whether it is in the gym, at work, or in a competition. I want to best my previous performance. My workouts consist of weekly PR's, at least that is the goal. I strive for a personal record as small as half a pound. Yup you heard me half a pound. One week it may be a 5 rep max, the next a 4 rep max and so on. I always try to keep pushing.

If you are training just to be more fit you can apply this to your workouts as well. Each work out attempt one more rep, or half a pound more. If you are a cardio enthusiast then try to beat your time by a few seconds or go a little longer if you are a time person. Whatever the case may be simply push yourself a little bit.

OK OK now you going to say, "Let's see Jim apply this to diet" 

 You know every day when you wake up you have a goal to keep to your diet. Make this a competition to get through the day without cheating on your diet. If you do cheat, plan on doing better the rest of the day, and the next. 

If you're one of those people that never cheat, like me when I first went on a low-carb eating plan, you are still in a competition of maintenance. You will have family and friends telling you, that you are doing fine and it is OK, to cheat a little, the competition is still within yourself to adhere to the principles you set for yourself.

Tip: I have noticed lately how important it is, when I train people to teach them to stay tight. Sometimes especially when training a teenager it is even more an issue of coordination. Sometimes they grow out of their body, meaning they lose some coordination due to growth spurts. It is important to keep this mind with teens as they go through these growth spurts.

March 25, 2014

Reflection is Key

Reflection is key

" The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection."- Thomas Pain
"Thomas Pain was an American Political Activist. One of his principal contributions was the powerful, widely-read pamphlet Common Sense (1776) that advocated colonial America's independence" (Thank you, wikipedia)
He literally had a common sense approach to things. I find personal reflection extremely important. I even apply it to diet and exercise.
As for my diet, I often take the time to review and reflect what made me successful in staying on course or why I may have failed in my attempt to be consistent with my diet plan for that day. 

Sometimes it is due to poor planning on my part that I may fail, other times it is even simpler than that. LACK of willpower. Yes, willpower is sometimes a challenge even for me and I have been eating clean for a few years now. 

My exercise schedule is constantly changing as I reflect on my goals. Each training cycle involves a time for reflection on how successful it was or was not. I make a point to speak to my training partners all the time. I also engage in discussions with the people I train. I am consistently asking them how they feel certain exercises are affecting them and what they thought of their training sessions.

I was thrilled to hear one of my younger trainees recently say how he has gotten stronger in the two months since he started working with me and that he has seen greater gains in that short time than he had in the past year and a half working with his team at school. 

This shows his reflection on his training and in this case it was very uplifting for him. Sometimes this is the true benefit of reflection. The boost in confidence in knowing that what you are doing is successful.

Tip: Set aside time each week to reflect on your diet and exercise program and it will benefit you in many ways.