I am a very hard worker….But I’m also extremely lazy.
Yup. The two can go hand in hand.
I know myself.
I know what I will work hard for and what I’ll be lazy about. Because let’s face it, there are things in our life that we are just too lazy to put forth effort for even if we have a desire to achieve.
And cooking for me is one of those things that I’m super lazy about.
When I get on a roll working at home, I don’t want to stop what I’m doing and cook. Or when I get home at 8 or 9 at night, the last thing I want to have to do is make dinner.
Is it that I don’t have time or even the energy? No.
It’s just that I’m lazy.
And I know I’m going to be lazy.
Anytime I don’t have food just lying around on a busier or longer day, I will be lazy and eat out or munch on snacks that won’t really give me the nutritional balance I need.
So I PLAN for my laziness. I plan so that I can be lazy instead of trying to force myself to not be lazy.
Sort of sounds like the opposite of what you are usually told, right? Aren’t we supposed to change bad habits?
Well yes. But you also have to KNOW YOURSELF.
And I know that I get lazy about cooking on busy days or even simply days when I get in a groove doing work.
Even when I try to change that fact, I find it doesn’t take much for me to fall back into bad habits.
So instead of even risking being lazy, I PLAN AHEAD.
I cook for a number of days when I’m not busy – When I know I’ll have the energy to cook. And that way, I always have food on had even when I’m too lazy to cook.
I even go so far as to chop up vegetables (or at Trader Joe’s even buy their pre-cut organic broccoli) when I cook for the week knowing that I may not eat them if they aren’t already cut.
But as I said…I KNOW MYSELF.
For me, meal prep is essential. Having food prepared and ready to go that I can throw together makes things so easy that I don’t struggle to stick to my routine.
For me, spending a couple of hours cooking up everything for the week is way more efficient, and allows me to be way lazier, than having to cook a new meal every time I eat.
So if you are lazy like me, instead of trying to force yourself not to be lazy, why not plan for it? Why not cook so that you don’t have to stress about eating well when you are busy or tired?
Making new healthy lifestyle changes EASY to stick to really help you be consistent and achieve results!
I’ve harped on this before, but it is worth discussing again.
If you don’t measure, you will never know if you are progressing.
Because often we are too close to see results.
You see yourself every day and may overlook the subtle changes that are occurring.
You see the bad workouts where you don’t have any energy and don’t make any progress and therefore you forget the 6 days before where you did lift more or run faster.
You feel yourself still getting so exhausted by that same workout, but you don’t realize that you are actually pushing harder and doing more.
You DON’T see all the good things, all the progress, because you are so caught in the day to day.
That is why you have to take measurements…Not every day or even week, but every few weeks or months.
Those measurements will help show you all the small forward progress you are making each day. Even on days when you don’t feel like things are going right.
And when you take measurements, don’t measure in only one way.
Choose a few different things to measure to show your success. Because even though your scale weight doesn’t budge that doesn’t mean you haven’t lost fat!
For instance, if you want to lose weight, don’t just weigh on the scale and use that as your only measurement. Take circumference measurements as well.
And I even like to set a few performance as well as “habit” goals as well. These goals let you celebrate other successes that LEAD to you achieving your ultimate goal of weight loss.
For instance, if you set a goal to do more pull ups, you will be working out hard to achieve it. And those workouts to help you do more pull ups will also help you lose weight.
So even if you don’t see huge weight loss one measurement period, if you see yourself getting stronger, you know you are doing all the right things.
Same goes for “habit” goals. Habit goals are goals that you set based on simply DOING the right things. If you do the meal prep you set out to do or workout the number of times you plan to, you record it and even celebrate your success.
Because DOING the right things WILL ADD UP.
Plus it lets you know that you are truly following through with your program. (Often we “think” we are doing the right things when actually we aren’t truly sticking to our program. And then we wonder why we aren’t achieving results. These habit goals make sure we are ACTUALLY doing the right things!)
So if you want to succeed and SEE that success, make sure to start measuring!
There are going to be days when you just don’t care. When you just don’t feel like working out or eating well.
When you are completely stressed out, busy and unmotivated.
The question is, “How do you keep moving forward toward your goals when you just don’t care or have the time?”
Because the thing is, this lack of motivation…life getting in the way…it happens to everyone.
The thing that makes the biggest difference is how you handle it.
You can either give in and let the stress and bad mood derail all of your hard work or you can force yourself to push through. And when I say “push through” I don’t always mean going to the gym and getting in an intense hour-long workout.
Sometimes pushing through means picking one thing to focus on OR it means doing just a little of each.
Maybe it means you stick to your clean eating program but just don’t make it to the gym that night.
Or maybe it means doing an unscheduled short workout or even less intense workout because that is all you have the motivation for.
The point is to do something and not just allow excuses to derail your progress.
SOMETHING. Not the best thing or exactly what you planned to do or…Just SOMETHING.
Walk around the block. Eat that healthy dinner but have that cookie you wanted.
Find a balance.
There are going to be days when you are stressed out and life gets in the way. And you can’t control or even plan for them most of the time.
All you can do is take them in stride and make the most of them. Do little things to keep yourself on track.
And those little things may just get you motivated enough so that you do exactly what you are supposed to do.
For example, if you tell yourself you are even just going to stretch out and do a quick little workout, you may find that once you are dressed and moving, you want to do the longer workout you had planned.
Or maybe the 10 minute walk you set out as the compromise, since you didn’t want to do your workout, turns into a 20 or 30 minute walk.
The point is, if you can make yourself do something, that something will keep you on track and even help you find motivation to continue pushing forward.
Anyway, the point is MAKE YOURSELF DO SOMETHING….Because every little something really does add up!
You can work toward your goals alone. You can rely only on yourself for motivation.
You CAN go it alone.
BUT the question is why would you want to do that when there are so many amazing people out there to encourage and support you?
A bit ago I wrote about cutting out the crabs from your life – about cutting out the people who don’t support you and try to hold you back.
That post wasn’t about cutting out everyone and going it alone. It was actually about finding a new SUPPORTIVE community.
You should be selective about who you have around you and value the people who lift you up and make you better.
But you SHOULD find people to surround yourself with that will support you.
Because the journey is better together.
When you need advice or feel like you don’t know your next step, it’s nice to have someone to turn to.
When you don’t feel like sticking to your plan or have a rough day and need motivation, it’s nice to have someone to turn to.
When you’ve had setback and hit obstacles, it is nice to have someone to turn to.
Someone to turn to who’s gone through what you’ve gone through. Someone who understands the difficulties and can help you stay motivated and moving forward. Someone who supports your goals and will try to push you forward.
Someone who wants to share in your highs and your lows and BELIEVES IN YOU AND WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
Find people who support you unconditionally.
And by “unconditionally,” I don’t mean they won’t ever question or push or force you to think. Because unconditional support doesn’t mean they believe everything you do is perfect. It doesn’t mean they don’t tell you when you are being stupid.
Actually unconditional support means they care about you enough to help set you right!
It means they are going to question and challenge. They are going to make you think. But they are doing it to make you better, not to drag you down.
And this unconditional support network can come from anywhere. It can be a group we join, a community on an app we use. It can be a blog, our family, our friends.
It can be online or offline…Heck you can have numerous support groups for different things!
The thing is…It’s better together!
Get the support you deserve to help you move forward with your journey!
Now the question is, who is in your support network? What online/offline communities are you a part of? How has this community helped push you forward?
So I’ve done a few posts over at Redefining Strength, which I think are pretty helpful….
In case you didn’t see them (and in case they will help you since I know they answered a number of questions I’ve received recently), I’ve posted them below!
This first post “10 Hanging Core Exercises” is because I get asked for “ab exercises” all the time and honestly crunches really give you very little bang for your buck.
Hanging core exercises on the other hand work on your grip strength, lat strength and core strength. They can help you work toward all sorts of exercises such as pull ups, L-sits and front levers.
They are a compound movement and have some functional benefit…unlike crunches.
For 10 of the Hanging Core Exercises I use most often, check these out!
And while we are discussing core strength, I think it is important that we cover BACK PAIN. One of the best tools to alleviate back, hip, neck and shoulder pain is the PEANUT.
The Peanut is a cheap, homemade tool made out of athletic tape and tennis balls. Here are instructions on how to make and use the Peanut to alleviate your pain! (Can I also just say…It isn’t freaking easy to use spray paint!?!)
And the last two posts I want to point out are on Rotational Exercises and the Dip.
The 10 Rotational Exercises post came up because all too often people are only training in one plane of motion…And then they wonder why they get injured lifting something in everyday life. It is because in everyday life we lift awkward crap in every plane of motion. And if we want to remain injury free, our workouts need to reflect that. (Plus…still on my whole “strengthen your core thing” rotational exercises are great core moves!)
And the Dip post is for all of you women out there asking me how to get sexy arms for tank top, strapless dress and bikini season. The Dip can be a great compound movement to strengthen and tone your entire upper body. Don’t waste your time with isolated movements like the tricep extension! Work numerous muscles at once. And if you are already doing push ups, the Dip is a great vertical push exercise to include in your routines!
And if you can’t do a full dip, the post has some great ways to regress the movement!
It can be very hard to hold yourself back when you feel like you could do more….when you have done more before.
But just because you CAN do something, just because you’ve even done it in the past, doesn’t mean your body is ready to handle it right now.
For instance, I was gym-less for about a month and, on top of that, I’d been focusing on breathing squats and upping my weights with that. I hadn’t done any type of deadlift but supplemental single leg deadlifts for numerous months.
While I’d been working on leg and glute strength, I hadn’t done any conventional deadlifts for a very long time.
So yesterday when I decided to do conventional barbell deadlifts for the first time in many months, I knew I had to take my time and start with less weight than I wanted.
Even when the weight felt easy, I knew I had to take things slowly.
Because while my muscles may have been strong enough and I had even lifted double the weight I was using for double the reps, it really won’t benefit me to just drastic increase the weight after not having done much weight or even that specific movement for a few months.
My body needed time to readjust to the movement. (Plus what would be the point of making myself so sore I threw off my other workouts that week and then couldn’t go harder the next week?!?)
And I considered all of this and chose to use lighter weight even though I’d been doing heavy lifts so my connective tissue was prepared to handle heavy loads.
I took it slow. Because there is no point to push too far too fast.
So just imagine if you hadn’t ever lifted before and you jumped straight into heavy weight.
While your muscles may be able to lift the weight, your body, your connective tissues, may not be ready to handle the load.
And pushing too far too fast will only lead to injury.
So why not take it slow and be able to build up with no setbacks!?!
Is being able to think you are gnarly cause you lifted a ton on your first attempt really worth it?
Or is it more worth it to remain injury free and end up being able to lift even heavier weights in the long run?
I think lifting more weight in the long run and remaining injury free is worth the wait. I think it is worth taking things slowly and not giving into pride.
But maybe that is just me…..
Next time you feel the urge to do more, think about why you really want to do more.
Is it because of pride? Is it because you don’t feel tired enough right then and there and have to “feel” like you did enough?
Is it because you are more focused on being sore than on progression?
Because the thing is…Small incremental changes over time will lead to bigger and better LASTING RESULTS.
Do you find you struggle with being patient and taking things slow?
I think every holiday should be celebrated with a special workout…And of course food…But definitely a special workout.
Ryan and I every Fourth of July have gone out and done workouts outside at playgrounds.
This year we had our own indoor playground as well as a ton of friends around to play with us!
Celebrate your fourth in style and try our 4th of July Team Workout Challenge!
TEAM WORKOUT CHALLENGE
Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete as many rounds of the exercise as possible in the 5 minutes. Try to get a team of 3-5 so that you can alternate turns during the 5 minutes. Only one team member may work at a time. Record your score.
5 minute Rower (record meters completed by team)
5 minute Bag Pulls (record number of pulls…This can also be back rows)
5 minutes Stagecoach Battling Rope Waves (record the number of waves that go all the way down)
5 minutes Partner Sled Pull (your partner stands on slider and you walk backward pulling them. Each 50ft length is one rep)
5 minutes Monkey Bars (every length you complete is a rep. You can also replace this with a hanging ab exercise or even an inverted row.)
5 minutes Slam Bagz Burpees (every burpee is a rep…Press the bag overhead then bring it down to the ground and jump back then jump back up and press overhead)
5 minutes Sledgehammer (count the number of slams…Can also be med ball slams if you don’t have a hammer)
How’d you do!?! Share your scores below!
Here are our scores:
1st Place Team USA with 2,079.5 points
2nd Place Team Cougars with 2,019.5
3rd Place Team Musketeers 1,868
4th Place Team Giraffes 1,845
5th Place Team Pup ‘n Suds 1,639
And I’m also proud to announce that one of my good friends has joined me at Redefining Strength. Jeff has launched his own training program The Resistance Training!
He is absolutely amazing and I can’t be happier for him. I’ve never had someone smile so nicely at me as I just wanted to roll over on the ground and not move for the next hour.
He tailors all of his workouts to meet your specific needs and he knows how to push you just the right amount to get results.
So if you have a chance, check him out!
This month has been a whirlwind – A crazy, hectic, AMAZING time that hasn’t left me near as much time to post as I would usually like. And I’m sorry if I’ve been a little MIA and slow to respond.
But I’m excited and proud to announce that I’m officially opening The Redefining Strength Fitness Studio in Costa Mesa, California!
Before I say any more about the studio, I need to first thank all of the WONDERFUL and AMAZING people who I have in my life who’ve supported me on this new journey.
When going after your dreams, you know there are going to be people who will put you down and try to hold you back.
And you can’t let yourself listen to them. You can’t let the doubts creep in.
Going after your dreams is going to be hard. It’s going to be stressful. There will be setbacks and days you want to quit.
But no matter what, you can’t give up.
And there will be those amazing friends and family members around you to help keep you moving forward. They will question you. They will force you to work.
They will not blindly follow and agree…And that is what makes them so amazing and supportive.
They will be pushing you forward and making you better.
So before I say anything more about the studio, I want to thank all of you amazing people. I couldn’t have done this without all of your enthusiasm, encouragement and love.
SO THANK YOU!
AND NOW….The Redefining Strength Fitness Studio!
On this wonderful Monday on the last day of June, we are officially open for business! We offer both in-person small group and personal training sessions as well as online training.
We use battling ropes, sandbags, slam bagz, monkey bars, climbing ropes, sledgehammers, tires, kettlebells, sliders, slide boards, rowers, pulley systems, resistance bands, barbells, landmines, dip bars, pull up bars, sleds….And so much more in our training.
If you are looking for a personal trainer in Orange County (or small group training!), check out Redefining Strength! I can guarantee you’ll love it…Not only because I’m amazing, but because the people that I work with are the most friendly/supportive/amazing/hardworking/WONDERFUL people in the world. :-P
I’m so excited for Man Bicep’s new home and all of the great information and posts I can now provide all of you Man Bicepers with!
I was talking to Shannon the other day about soreness and what being sore really means.
Because currently SORENESS is the measure of whether or not your workout was tough enough. It’s like soreness has become the GOAL of the workout…not deadlifting more or doing more push ups.
If people don’t get sore after a workout, they all too often think it wasn’t hard enough. That they needed to work harder or do more.
But that just isn’t true.
Honestly, you SHOULD NOT be sore after every single workout.
Because soreness doesn’t truly measure how TOUGH the workout was or even how beneficial it was. (And every workout SHOULD NOT be the toughest thing you’ve ever done anyway!)
I believe that soreness has become a measure for how good our workout is because we don’t track or progress our workouts.
When we don’t have a clear progression and track our results, we don’t have any idea of whether or not our workouts are working.
So we figure that, if we aren’t sore, we didn’t push hard enough that day because we don’t truly know what HARD ENOUGH is.
HARD ENOUGH is getting results.
Are we constantly moving forward?
Soreness doesn’t mean we are moving forward, but in many cases it is the only measurement we have.
And the problem with that is, soreness doesn’t equal growth. It doesn’t mean we are getting closer to our goals.
It just means we did something that broke our body down.
It could mean the workout was super hard. Or it could simply mean that the workout was different. It could also mean that your recovery (nutrition, sleep and such) aren’t on point making you more sore for longer.
So while it could mean we are moving forward, it doesn’t have to mean that.
Soreness isn’t progress. Recovering from the breakdown is what leads to results.
Hard workouts without recovery mean you are constantly breaking your body down without ever letting it grow and repair so it can become stronger.
STRENGTH COMES FROM RECOVERY NOT FROM SORENESS.
SORENESS DOES NOT EQUAL PROGRESS.
It just means you did something to break your body down.
It isn’t a measure of success. It doesn’t mean you are gnarly. It doesn’t even mean your workouts are WORKING.
It just means you did something to make yourself sore.
And if you don’t recover, if you don’t have a clear program, all that hard work that made you “sore” will be for nothing more than to feel sore.
So stop thinking of soreness as a sign of success. Stop focusing on making yourself sore from every single workout.
Stop freaking out the next day that you didn’t work hard enough because you aren’t sore!
SORENESS IS NOT A GOAL!
Track actual results and seek to grow better with each workout NOT just simply get sore.
If you want to get sore, just go out and do the hardest moves you can every day in random order, never repeating the same workout twice. Then you can always be sore and never get anywhere!
So I’ve eaten meals with a number of clients recently and all of them have said basically the same thing to me:
“Don’t look at what I’m eating!!”
My answer is usually, “I don’t care! I’m not judging.”
Because it’s true. I’m NOT JUDGING.
You can eat whatever you want.
The only time I’m going to care or comment is if you ask me a question or ask me for help reaching a specific goal. (And yes, if you ask for my help and then complain that you aren’t reaching your goal when you aren’t truly following my advice…Then yes…I may be judging you…)
Otherwise it is your life and lots of different things work for lots of different people!
They say it in a joking manner…But there is an insecurity behind it. And, all of these clients who think they are worried about what I’m thinking are actually more insecure because of how they are judging THEMSELVES.
How much of that fear of judgement comes from the fact that we are judging ourselves and not happy with the verdict?
We often make excuses for our behavior if we think those around us won’t approve instead of just going about our business because it is how we do things and how we want to live our lives.
We don’t want them to judge us because that would only reinforce what we are thinking.
By excusing our behavior, we think that, to some extent, we will prevent judgement.
But while we “think” we are trying to prevent judgement from others, we are actually trying to quiet down our own internal judge.
Because let’s face it most people don’t care about anyone but themselves….And I don’t mean this in a negative narcissistic way…I just mean that the little flaws we see, the judgements we are making about ourselves, no one else even cares about because they are more focused on themselves and their life!
So the question then is….Why are you judging yourself?
If you don’t like your decisions, why are you making them?
We should feel confident and support our own decisions.
If I want to eat bad, even if no one else is, I’m going to eat bad! And I’m not going to excuse it or feel guilty about it.
I’m going to enjoy it!
And if I’m going to feel guilty about it, why would I do it?!
Because my guilt is truly what I’m excusing…I’m trying to make myself feel ‘ok’ about the decision almost by getting support from those around me and reassurance that they aren’t judging.
If they aren’t judging, maybe I don’t need to judge myself, right?!?
No one can reassure you but you.
And when you start realizing that the judgement of others isn’t what you truly fear, you can start to analyze why you are judging yourself.
So next time you feel like you need to excuse your behavior to someone, think about it first.
Do you really need their approval?
Why are you excusing the behavior? Do you fear judgement? Or do feel guilty and are truly judging yourself?
And if you are judging yourself, how are you going to change your behaviors so you don’t feel guilty…So that you can love yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin?