If you know me you know I’m a stretching fiend. Staying flexible is so important whatever your fitness goals may be. Stretching out after a workout will help keep you injury free, improve your range of motion, improve your posture, … Continue reading →
There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning. Jiddu Krishnamurti
Self teaching is one of the richest tools one can utilise in life. Whether it be from books, articles, attending seminars or getting amongst the big wide world.
Fitness and health is one of those chameleon industries , it’s forever changing. As a health and fitness teacher and enthusiast it’s important to stay on top of the game and create on going learning in my life on a daily basis.
So today I wish to share with you my top dogs for daily inspiration and enriching the mind.
These two gems are worth their weight in gold; Robb Wolf and Abel James.
Robb Wolf who is a genius in the Paleospehere has a written a book called ‘The Paleo Solution’, has done countless interviews with some hot commodities in the fitness industry and has a brilliant podcast which is available via website or on itunes for free.
I plug into on a daily basis http://robbwolf.com/podcast/ This guy knows his stuff!
And Abel James who I have just recently begun listening to his show ‘The Fat Burning Man’
on itunes http://www.fatburningman.com/.
Also another super knowledgable guy who knows thing or two.
The DISC profile is a tool I picked up originally from my Sydney Mum, Lisa Williams. She taught me a lot of brilliant ways about effective communication but this skill set has really stuck with me. I find it extremely useful and sometimes actually quite funny in a playful way as I try to guess people’s personality types when I first meet them.
Read the info below and see where you feel you fit in and others you know. Perhaps you fit into more than one category depending on what hat you have on E.g work hat, social hat, your house hat, mad hatter?
The more you practice and understand how each type works you can alter your approach to get the best response by them.
Give it a whirl!
Some extra’s I have tucked away in my mind and deep in the heart of my geek books at home….
D = Dominant director
Decisive, driven and powerful
Highly task and goal orientated
Entrepreneur risk taker
Argumentative attitude and overcomes authority
Greatest dislike: Being taken advantage of
Be brief, direct and focus on business. Take a ‘no fluff approach’ with these types and to win respect.
I = Influencer or interactive innovator
Social butterfly and loves to be the centre of attention (may sound like someone you know? )
Super optimistic and enthusiastic. Great inspiration to others
Impulsive and emotional
Big facial expressions and hand gestures
Greatest fear: rejection
May miss important facts and details
Motivated by flattery, praise, acceptance.
Thrives in a friendly, open environment free from rules and regulations.
S = Steady relaters
Good relaters, team players, understanding and predictable
Don’t like to rock the boat and veer away from confrontation at all costs
Loyal team member and likes to ‘keep the peace’ – good at reconciling conflict
Resists change, needs to know what they are doing in advance
Greatest fear: Loss of security. Confrontation
Works well with routine and responds well to planning.
Don’t push these guys in order to get a response. Give them plenty of time to adjust and plan ahead and they’ll be happy as Larry. Wait…who’s Larry?
C =Compliant or cautious thinker
Accurate, analytical, give me some hard cold facts
Precision and detail orientated. Highest standards to a ‘T’, we can call these guys the purrrfectionists
Defines the situation, gathers info and tests information.
Greatest fear: Criticism
Needs clear-cut boundaries
Prefers not to verbalize feelings. Will give in rather that argue
Shines to high quality and independence
When presenting your case make sure to present all detail and facts in order to win this one over. In return: message to all the C’s – don’t get bogged down with too much detail, aim to be more decisive and be confidant in taking risks!
There is no such thing as discipline. There is only love. Love is the most powerful creative force in the universe. You are the result of what you love most. You either love finely etched muscular abs more than donuts or you love donuts more than wash board abs you could do your laundry on. It is as simple as that. Don’t beat yourself up that you have no discipline or further drown yourself in a sea of refined carbs. Admit that you like crappy food more than you love strength. Or ask yourself this, what do you really love? Self-esteem is the reflection of self-judgment. One of the best ways to raise self-esteem is to make truly loving choices that lead to increased strength of body and mind. For example, if you truly love yourself in the gym, you choose the full squat with chains over the leg extension machine. At the restaurant, if you truly love yourself, you pass on the heavenly smelling basket of bread and creamy butter, and ask for some more limes for the water.
Limes alkalize your body which in turn helps your bones, muscles and your ability to deal with stress.
When you are faced with difficult choices, ask yourself, in context of course, what would a loving expert recommend? For example, when working chest, would a loving strength coach recommend the pec deck, or full range dumbbell presses. When choosing desserts, would the loving nutritionist recommend a bowl of berries or the triple decker brownie submerged under melting vanilla ice cream.
Guys read this. Its brilliant AND it applies to everything.
When you try to make a change in your life, create a new habit, set a resolution … are you usually good at it, or does the change fail after 2-3 weeks?
Some people are better at it than others because they’ve learned some simple strategies for changing, but also because they’ve built up their change muscle.
What’s a change muscle? It’s the muscle we use for creating changes in our lives, and like our physical muscles, it is weak if you haven’t trained it.
I started training my change muscle in 2005, when it was weak and I could never make any lasting changes. I felt helpless, and didn’t know what to do. I felt like I couldn’t ever make changes.
But I’ve learned in the years since that the change muscle is like other muscles: you might be weak at first, but you get stronger with regular training.
Imagine trying to lift a barbell with 350 lbs. of weights on it. Even lifting it 6 inches off the ground would be a nearly impossible feat for people who haven’t trained their muscles to lift heavy loads. You’d struggle and nearly burst a vein, but you wouldn’t budge the barbell. But … if you started with just the barbell (no weights on it) and began lifting that, you’d be much more likely to succeed. Then add 5-10 lbs. on each side, and your muscles will grow stronger. Keep adding a little at a time, and soon you’ll be able to lift the 350-lb. loaded barbell that once seemed impossible.
Your change muscle works in the same ways. As I’ve been learning about growing physical muscles, I realize how many parallels there are with growing the change muscle.
Principles of Growth
The principles for growing your change muscle are similar to growing regular muscles:
Start small. If you try to lift too much weight at first, you’ll have bad form and injure yourself and won’t last long. But if you start with just the barbell (or other light load), you can learn how to lift and you’re much more likely to stick with it for awhile. The change muscle is the same: start with one change, just 5 minutes a day. You will want to do more, but if you do more, you’re much more likely to fail in the long run.
Train regularly. Some people will go to the gym for a week, then stop, then start again in a few months. This is a waste of time, and no progress will be seen. You have to do it regularly to see progress. Same with the change muscle: do it daily, just 5 minutes a day. You’ll get stronger and stronger with regular training. Don’t start big, then fail after 1-2 weeks, then start again later. Regular repetition is key.
Increase load gradually. If you don’t increase the weights, you don’t get stronger. But if you increase too much, you’ll get injured. With your change muscle, increase your daily training by 5 minutes each week — so 5 minutes a day the first week, then 10 minutes a day the second week, etc. You’ll be amazed at how strong your change muscle gets with gradual progressive loading.
Rest, & cut back on other work. Most people don’t understand the importance of rest when it comes to training. We train, then rest, and we grow. If we don’t rest, we hurt our progress. Growing the change muscle is the same — you need to train (just 5 minutes a day at first), then rest. Meaning don’t try to make changes all day long at first. Don’t try to make your first change as you’re traveling and taking on big projects and also taking classes and making three other changes at the same time. You’ll overload yourself. Make one change, and let yourself stick to your regular routine/load the rest of the day.
Fuel the growth. Aside from rest, fuel is one of the most overlooked aspects of muscle growth. You need sufficient calories for growth, otherwise all the training in the world won’t get you anywhere. So what fuels the growth of the change muscle? Motivation. Find as many ways to motivate yourself as possible: make the change enjoyable, get a partner, join a class, blog publicly about it, join a forum, create rewards, celebrate small victories, create a chart to see your progress, etc. The more, the better. Most people underfuel their change muscle.
So how do you get started training your change muscle if it’s weak and undertrained? Just like you’d get started with strength training — start with bodyweight exercises, and just a few per day.
Here’s what I’d recommend:
Pick an easy, positive change that you can do in 5 minutes. Want to garden? Just 5 minutes of gardening a day. Want to declutter? Eat fruits and veggies? Jog or swim? Meditate? Just 5 minutes a day.
Focus on enjoying the new habit. If you enjoy it, you’ll want to keep doing it for longer. If you’re doing it to “improve” or because it’s “good for you” or you “should”, you won’t stick with it for long.
The focus is on doing it regularly, not on growing it quickly. Do it daily, at the same time every day.
Cut back on other changes, so you can put all your energy on this one change.
Fuel your change with as much motivation as humanly possible. More is better in this case.
Grow it gradually by adding 5 minutes to your daily training a week.
You’ll be amazed at how much progress you make over time, as your change muscle grows stronger.
We tend to blame our failures on our lack of discipline, but we’re not undisciplined … we’re just undertrained. Grow your change muscle with smart principles of growth, and soon you’ll be a hulking beast of a change master.
For something we do every night and takes up 1/3 of our life, the art of sleeping does not come so easily to some. It really does feel like an art form. Forever striving for perfection.
If you or someone you know struggles/ has struggled with sleep, please read this article. I have been struggling with sleep lately as alot of people do (especially you flighties!)
This article is super informative and breaks down the stages of sleep and why we need them on order to function at our best. It also has some hot tips for getting better quality sleep. Which we all can do with!
Enjoy! and If you have any comments please share. Its always good for others to read too
When you walk into the gym and see the token men with dumbbells staring at their reflections, women on the cross-trainer’s with their ipod on. Ok this may be a generalisation but you get the picture right? Where do you fit in to this scene? Do you find yourself joining one of these crew or do you rock in with a training plan? I hope you find the later!
Many people throw on their training gear, do up their laces and trundle off down to the gym with no aim whatsoever.
‘My health magazine told me too’
But why are you there? Do you want to feel better about yourself? Lose some weight? Change your body shape? or perhaps just get some blood pumping to make you feel alive. Whatever your cause is make sure you know it and know how to get there in order to make it STICK.
Being February already there’s a good 50% of you who’s New Years resolutions have fallen to the wayside due to lack of planning. Lack of inspiration. Im pretty certain your health needs are still there since January 1st! So take a long hard look at yourself now. Are you one of the aimless gym goer’s? Where are you? Where do you want to be and how are you getting there? In order for you to make these changes you will need to be VISUAL, STRONG, CLEAR AND CONCISE.
‘I want to become more flexible so when I exercise moving my body feels easier. And when it feels easier I enjoy moving more’
So get out your diary, your whiteboard ( I have a giant one in my kitchen – 2 infact!) and write yourself a plan.
Work out with a buddy
If your not sure what your doing or how to get there invest in a good qualified trainer to help
Pick a time of day to exercise and stick to it
Doing these simple things can make all the difference. I want to see you in the gym doing your own thing – not everyone else’s thing.
Body is WIPED. I feel like i could lie down for 2 days and recover. But alas I pulled it together to complete week 3 and everything that goes with it Yes! end of week 3!! woohoo!
The reward = a nice looooong steam room date. So so good
A note on recovery time and treating yourself for all your hard work.
It is just as important to make time to recover from your workouts as it is to actually do them!
Your body needs a 48 hour rest window from any hard strength training workout to mend fully and come back even stronger! If you workout muscles that are still sore and in need of repair, chances are your efforts will not be as good had you waited that extra day. And you want to put in 100% max effort each time.
Instead its a great chance to do some light cardio and stretch, stretch, stretch! This will actually help speeed up your recovery by promoting new fresh oxygenated blood to your muscles.
As you become stronger and are able to lift heavier weights your body needs longer to recover. So effectively you can workout LESS to get your desired results! But don’t go and start categorizing yourself in this box yet ( i can hear all the excuses now) It takes awhile to get to this level!
Treat yourself to little pampering. Whether it be a massage to workout all those knotty muscles, a sleep in, sauna, or it may even be a dinner date with a friend and your cheat meal.
Can I train a different muscle group on consecutive days?
Yes technically you can. Although there are also hormonal and chemical changes happening all around your body in this process that will benefit much more from total rest. If your just starting to train I would advice taking the rest day. if your quite advanced in your training and know how quickly your body adapts then use that as a guide too.
Sleep, eat well, drink water
You’ve heard it all before and it sounds terribly familiar. Well good! SLEEP your full quota of 8 hours in one hit ( try sleep right through as opposed to breaking it up) Your body does most of its restoration during this time.
EATHEALTHY and nutritious foods! No brainer really. If your stuck with this (and don’t be ashamed if your are) feel free to contact me for suggestions .
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER 1ltr per 25kgs of body weight to be exact. Oh and another liter if your working out to replace fluid and electrolytes ( the natural salts your body needs)