Permission to Reduce Your Stress – 10 Ways How

By now things have had time to simmer. To sink in. Realities. Potentials. What ifs and If only’s.

People are mad, scared, tired, frustrated, and are feeling forgotten – and that’s okay to feel that way.

However, like any other time we need to remember to stick to the one main principle that we always know to be true – we are in control of our thoughts and actions. 

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The Not So Motivational Talk You Need

Whether or not you are a fan of Nike, we all need to heed their slogan a little bit more.

Just. Do. It.

What is this? Drill Sergeant Mike coming on strong now? No more empathy, compassion, and love? Not so fast…this is where many go wrong.

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Stop Mixing Things Up in Your Workouts

 

Muscle confusion isn’t real. Your muscles don’t have brains. They cannot be confused.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to do the EXACT SAME workout every single day; or every single Monday do the same upper body workout. However, weight training, like anything else that you want to get results from is a skill that must be honed.

By switching things up and doing some crazy funky combo exercises that you see on social media, you might look cool (or not) but you also might be wasting your time and delaying progress.

Our bodies don’t register exercises as “squats” or “bicep curls” – they register them as “quads lengthening, hamstrings shortening under tension, quads contracting…” or “bicep shortening, triceps lengthening, bicep isometric contracting…”

These various muscular contractions while under load (using weights) are what stimulates muscles to develop (through a much more complicated process).

If you are constantly mixing things up, and trying to do 3 exercises in one all the time (see BOSU step up to bicep curl to shoulder press to RDL to backflip) you are not focussing on improving your neural connections between your brain and your muscles, thus creating a better “mind muscle connection”.

Don’t believe me? If someone is injured and they go to a physical therapist, the PT will give them a set of exercises to do 2-4 days per week, for multiple sets and reps over and over again – why? Because this is what will build up that area and strengthen the area wherever the injury was aka BUILD MUSCLE.

The best way to build muscle (tone up) is to practice getting better activation and stimulation of the intended muscle group with slight progressive overload each time you hit it. Thats a mouthful.

Essentially what that means is if you want bigger biceps, then keep it simple and hit those bicep curls with pure focus, slow and controlled contractions, and FEEL each rep in the muscle.

If you want to grow your booty, then stop doing a million different banded step over kick back variations, and focus on hip thrusts, lunges, and deadlift variations and squeeze the hell out of your cheeks.

BUT MIKE, THAT SOUNDS BORING DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER!

I get it, I am guilty of getting bored on programs where it is the same workouts every single week.

But here’s the thing, you can still mix up minor variables without changing your entire plan.

You could change:

  • The tempo at which you lift
  • Your rest periods
  • Your grip, or the cable attachment you use
  • Where you hold the weight (front squat vs. back squat)
  • The incline of a bench
  • The implement you use (barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells)
  • The order in which you hit the exercises

All of these could be changed in various ways to “mix things up” without completely changing your workout to the point of only hitting squats once a month.

Focus on feeling each lift, press, pull, squat, lunge, etc. and you WILL get the results you are after.

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Stay healthy my friends,

 

Conquer Your New Years Resolutions Once and For All [VIDEO]

Just about 2 weeks in to our New Years resolutions! Hope you are all sticking to them.

Even better, I hope you didn’t wait until New Year to make a positive change in your life, but you started well before NYE.

Check out this quick video that I made with my awesome client, and friend, Jon over at ISG Advisors.

(if you are receiving this blog via email, open the post in your browser to view the video)

Change Your Mindset; Never Fail Again

We are just over a week into New Years resolutions, hopefully yours is going strong – if you made one. One of mine has been to actively learn more. Through books and podcasts, I am trying to vary my learning between exercise, nutrition, and mental health/motivation education.

This week I started reading Tom Venuto’s “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”. So far, it is a great, no non-sense approach to creating the body that most people are trying to uncover. 

Last night I read a section of Tom’s book that really stuck with me. To paraphrase, when people create goals (New Years Resolutions, year-end goals, etc.) and they don’t accomplish them right away, or don’t see progress toward the goal they will often think or say “I have failed”, and give up on their goal.

Instead, think of it this way; You didn’t fail. You succeeded at producing a result. Make appropriate changes, and keep on fighting toward your goal.

How should you apply this? Maybe your goal is to lose 50 pounds this year. Say after 2 weeks of hard exercise you jump on the scale and see no weight change. 2 weeks FOR NOTHING!

Not so fast.

First, maybe your body composition changed (2 weeks would be pretty quick), or more likely, you maybe could’ve been a little bit better with what you are putting in your body.

In the above situation, you would phrase your 2 weeks not as “I have already failed, I suck, I give up.” but as “Okay, 2 weeks down, my result was no change in weight. What can I work on more this week to improve my progress?” Maybe you rocked going to the gym, but still struggled with your food choices and quantity.

Keep hitting the gym next week, and maybe focus in on your nutrition a little more. Then re-test your methods. New result? (Yes/No) You either keep truckin’, or change your methods again.

Now, it is pretty well-known that it takes time and effort to see lasting results in the health and fitness industry, and you can’t keep scrapping your entire game plan each week if you hit a little bump in the road. Think of it more as a scientific experiment, or use the scientific method.

First, we create our “hypothesis” – If I workout 3 days a week and eat in a caloric deficit 6 out of 7 days per week, with one little cheat day here and there, I will lose 50 pounds by the end of the year.

Then we set up our methods – 60 minutes, 3 times per week, plus 2, 30 minute cardio sessions. 2000 calorie diet per day, with a focus on proteins, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains.

Next, we “run the experiment”. After 2-3 weeks maybe test the results. Say no weight loss has occurred. Maybe check body fat? Or measurements? If still nothing, re-evaluate your methods. Maybe you didn’t stick to 2000 cals per day, or maybe you missed out on the gym 2-3 days.

What ever it was, you did NOT fail – you just found a result of your current actions.

Test, re-test, re-evaluate, make a little tweak, and keep on fighting toward your goals.

Failure is NOT an option.

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Stay healthy my friends,

 

Un-Miked Friday: What Drives Me to (Help You) Succeed?

Un-Miked, like uncensored or unplugged, or something like that…oh well, I like it.

Anyways, today is a shorty but a goody. I have been asked two questions numerous times:

1) How did you get into your field, and how do you keep going?

and

2) How can I be successful at (weight loss, muscle gain, eating healthy, gaining energy, etc.)?

I love what I do. I love helping others do things they never thought they could do. I love seeing people’s faces when they overcome a challenge. I have a strong passion for what I do, and I want to be the best at it. I am always thinking 5 days, weeks, even 5 years down the road! But most importantly, I focus on what I can do, in the 24 hours in a day, to make myself – and therefore, my clients – better today!

This is the same principle that I wish all my clients would follow. What are you doing NOW to set you up for success LATER? Not – what can you do LATER, for success LATER? If you are only focusing on the future, you will miss out on the changes and work you can do right now.

I had a very special and awesome professor in college who used the line, “we don’t need to reinvent the wheel”, many times. So, without writing more, I will leave this video here for you to watch.

Know that 100% of what is said in this video by Mr. Thomas represents 100% of how I feel everyday – and how I wish you all could feel when it comes to finding success not only in the New Year, but right NOW!