Category Archives: Show me yours
Every so often, I like to look back over what I’ve accomplished.
It reminds me of how far I’ve come and inspires me to keep going.
And every so often when I look back, I remember goals and dreams that I may have had to let go by the wayside.
Goals and dreams that I actually still want to accomplish, but have for some reason had to put on hold.
Goals and dreams that if I ever want to accomplish I, at some point, need to buckle down and just do them because they aren’t going to accomplish themselves!
I’ve become slightly obsessed with bodyweight training. I think it is something that anyone at any level can do while still being super challenging even for the advanced lifter.
A few weeks ago I took a workshop with Max Shank that went over Front Levers, the Planche, the Human Flag, Handstands, Back Bends and even more.
It was wonderful!
There are so many ways to regress and progress bodyweight moves to make them work for everyone.
Which is why I was super excited when I saw this Bodyweight Training Book and Video bundle on Mark Sisson’s (The Primal Blueprint) twitter the other day.
Bodyweight training books and videos!!!!
There are a few exercises that everyone seem to want to get better at…
And push ups is one of them.
A little bit ago I mentioned that you can improve your push ups by doing different variations of push ups.
Below is a quick workout that will help be able to do more push ups; HOWEVER, you need to focus on form and not just busting out as many reps as you can.
That may mean you have to really regress your push ups to continue moving with good form, especially as you get further into the workout.
You want QUALITY reps.
This workout will also help you balance out all of the pushing with some exercises to improve posture and activate your back muscles (which in turn, will actually help you with your pull ups as well!).
And in case you need a review of the basic push up and some regressions and progressions, check out this Push Up Form Post.
Make sure to record all of your numbers from the workout. While testing can be a great way to see progress, so can recording your numbers from your workouts.
If you do more push ups or a harder variation of push ups next time, you know your workouts are working!
I think champions are defined not by how often they win, but by how they go out and compete and how they handle failure.
Do they play to win no matter the situation? Do they blame everything but themselves when they lose? And do they bounce back after failure?
Last night, I saw the champion in Shaun White and thought to myself, “No wonder this guy has been at the top and so dominant for so long.”
A big THANK YOU to everyone that has shared, commented, liked and been a huge support in the launch of Redefining Strength.
And now to announce our winners of the Redefining Strength Launch Contest!!
Winning 4 FREE Weeks of Online Trainings is…..Jodi.
Winning $100 Off Online Training (or Redefining Strength Products) is….Kim.
Winning $50 Off Online Training (or Redefining Strength Products) is….Jess.
I will email you three today and we can discuss further your goals and current program to draft up some great workouts for you!
For anyone else interested in Online Training, E-books or The Redefining Strength Elite Workout Library, we are offering some great deals during the rest of January.
For the rest of January, the Elite Workout Library is just $25 and with the code: RSLAUNCH, you can get 25% off of Online Training and/or any E-Books in the Shop.
Thank you all for your support! And Congrats to our winners!
Get ready for a great breakfast hash recipe tomorrow!
AND if you want to be able to do more push ups and missed it on Social Media yesterday…Check Out my post “Do you want to be able to do more push ups!?!”
The other day I encountered the fitspo below.
I had mixed reactions to it.
One reaction was, “Yea f@#! all those people who don’t believe!”
Another other was, “Yea but that is crappy external motivation. You have to do it for you.”
And a third was, “How long does that motivation truly last? I mean it doesn’t help you find your internal motivation and confidence…”
While beating the odds and defying others expectations can fire us up, it isn’t truly lasting motivation.
It isn’t motivation we can count on.
Because even though it motivates, criticism isn’t positive.
It plants a negative seed in our mind. It plants doubts and fears even if it drives us to prove them wrong.
And in times of doubt, those seeds will grow, potentially causing us to fail.
True success depends on us being positive because plateaus and hiccups and even failures are going to happen. Wanting to defy someone else’s doubts isn’t going to keep you going when the going gets rough.
Because wanting to defy someone else’s doubts is almost like admitting you have them too. When reaching your goal means believing in yourself, knowing you can do it, even when setbacks occur.
I heard a quote awhile back about how successful entrepreneurs must be eternal optimists.
The same could be said, in my opinion, about anyone who is successful at reaching their goals.
This eternal optimism is a key trait that helps them to persevere as the inevitable complications appear when they start to build their vision into a reality. – Marcos Galperin
Believing, hoping, KNOWING, you can and you will make yourself and your world a better place.
Knowing you will do what it takes to reach your goal.
Knowing that even when life/people/whatever get you down, you are going to get right back up and persevere.
Success isn’t about not getting knocked down. It is about getting back up and never giving up.
People may make fun of you for your external optimism. People may put you down and tell you that you can’t. People may doubt because they never had the positivity and drive to do it themselves.
But it doesn’t matter what other people think. It doesn’t matter if you prove them right or wrong.
It only matters that you BELIEVE you can be better…That you want to be better. And that you never give up on your goal.
And when I say this, I say this as a person who knows it isn’t easy to pull yourself back up. As a person who has fallen more times than I can count. As a person who has always gotten back up no matter how bruised, bloodied and destroyed I am.
Because even though I may be bruised and battered. Even though my self-confidence and attitude may seem like they are in the gutter….I always believe I can make things better.
Somewhere deep down inside there is always that burning flame, that drive, to make myself and my world a better place.
And while I may mope around for a day after a big blow, after I feel my world seems to be collapsing around me, there is always that glimmer of hope.
A glimmer of hope shining not from without, but from within.
That external optimism, that eternal belief that you CAN, which simply makes failures a learning experience NOT the end to your goals and dreams.
Be thankful this week for all those failures. For all those times you managed to pull yourself back up.
Be thankful for all those bad times because those bad times showed you how strong you could be. Those bad times that showed you that somewhere, deep down, you really do believe in yourself to be able to get back up.
Be thankful this week and remember that you are your own best fitspo not some stupid picture telling you to prove someone else wrong.
Because let’s face it….
I often talk about being patient with yourself and not expecting perfection. I often talk about not worrying if life occasionally gets in the way and you “slip up.” I often talk about how you need to indulge and recharge every once in a while.
But there is also a flip side to all that.
While achieving your goals isn’t about being perfect day in and day out, you do have to be CONSISTENT.
The more consistently you work toward your goals day in and day out, the quicker you are going to reach them.
Often clients will get frustrated when they feel like they’ve been “good” yet they aren’t seeing great results.
Most of the time when they break things down though, they realize that “yes…they have been good, but not good for a long enough stretch in a row.”
Not “good” consistently.
I’ve often mentioned the 80/20 rule…80 percent of the time you do the things you should while 20 percent of the time you indulge in those not so healthy treats.
Eighty percent of the time is pretty darn consistent. Honestly, it’s more consistent than most people are . Twenty percent adds up very quickly.
80/20 doesn’t mean you can be good one week and then the next week slip back into old habits. It doesn’t mean you can be basically good during the week and then do whatever you please on the weekend. It doesn’t mean you can just excuse every little slip up!
80/20 really means consistently doing the right thing. It means creating habits that lead to change. And habits honestly take about 21 days to create.
That means for 21 days you have to follow the lifestyle that you truly want if you want it to create results and ingrain habits. It means you have to be consistent to adhering to the lifestyle you want.
I mentioned a bit ago that there are points where you will find you NEED to adhere more strictly to a diet and exercise program. That you shouldn’t feel like you are restricting yourself all of the time, but that there are times where it is ok to be super clean.
And one of those times is when you are trying to ingrain the habits.
I tell clients all the time that the hardest part is reaching their goal, not maintaining it.
Because once the habits are truly instilled, you won’t have to think twice about living the lifestyle you want. You won’t constantly be draining your self-control tank to eat clean and workout consistently.
So I would like to present a challenge….
Set aside 3 weeks right now. Don’t wait for the New Year to lose weight or have to worry about dieting over the holidays.
Take three weeks right now and be consistent in your healthy lifestyle. Take 3 weeks to do the right thing day in and day out.
Be strict for three weeks, ingrain those habits and realize just how much easier it is to get results when you are CONSISTENT!
Dedicating 21 days is really all it takes. Just three weeks to make a HUGE change.
Start next year off right….Create those habits NOW!
I want to start this post by giving a BIG shout out to Jodie for completing her first half marathon this weekend.
She overcame huge hurdles on Sunday to finish 13.1 torturous miles. And her victory, her determination and perseverance in the face of some pretty sucky circumstances inspired me to write this post.
Take a second right now and think about your training, be it training for a race, a sport, life (actually most importantly life) or a powerlifting competition.
How often do you train in pretty comfortable circumstances? In a warm gym. Or on a route you know and may have even run before. With music you like to listen to that motivates you. Following your normal routine surrounded by people and places you are fairly familiar with.
Most of us probably always train in pretty comfortable surroundings following our own basic routine.
I mean why wouldn’t we? I know I generally do.
But guess what…A lot of unexpected crap can pop up when it comes to competition. We all acknowledge this, yet rarely do I really ever hear or read about people TRAINING for the unexpected crap. High level athletes, yes, but weekend warriors, no (and the crazy part is, those of us training for LIFE, for HEALTH, encounter more unexpected stuff than anyone else, yet we train for it the least!).
And when it comes down to competition time, guess what matters more than all the hours you spent strengthening your body?
How strong your mind is.
While training, even under ideal circumstances can still make you mentally tougher, it doesn’t necessarily make you ready to handle crappy situations when they pop up unexpected during competition.
Because unfortunately, they sometimes do. And when those situations arise, it doesn’t matter how strong our body truly is. All it matters is whether or not our mind can carry us through when the going becomes so much worse than we could have foreseen.
This past Sunday, Jodie had the perfect storm. Mid-race, on a course much tougher than expected, Jodie’s ipod died. Just completely shut off.
And when you’ve trained day and in and day out with your music that is a huge blow. Who would ever expect your fully charged, brand new phone to suddenly shut off!?!
Mentally the shock of something like that happening can be a death blow. Especially when you still have 6 more miles to go and the last few are on a hill that people the day before kept complaining and whining about.
But Jodie pushed on.
Then what do you do if your body chooses that day to rebel? You’ve trained hard for months. You are physically strong enough, but your stomach just doesn’t seem to care.
What do you do then when you have no music to distract you (like you’ve had ever run for the past few months while training), your stomach is telling you to stop and your body is fatigued from unexpected hill after hill?
It all comes down to how strong your mind is.
And all I can tell you is, I ran with one strong lady on Sunday. Up a hill that felt like it lasted for an hour, Jodie pushed through finishing her half marathon with no music and a body in rebellion.
She was a bit disappointed when we finished because she wanted a bit more out of the race. And then she turned said to me, “I think I should have trained on more hills.”
While yes, a bit more hill training could have made that last hill feel a little less awful, I don’t think hill training was what was missing from our program.
The hill did deliver a blow, but the real battle started when her music shut off. All she then had were her thoughts and a mind that now had nothing to distract it from the pain building in her body.
It made me realize that what had been missing from our training was a true mental test.
I never once thought of having us run without music. I never once thought of creating a ridiculously, outrageously hard unexpected route.
I never thought of having her train in a way that would mentally make her suffer more than her body was.
I did everything to prepare her for the route we thought we knew we’d be running and the circumstances we thought we’d be running under.
Heck, the only mental training we really did was the few times I forced her to run sore just in case her body didn’t feel perfect the day of the race. That way at least she’d know that she’d done it before feeling worse.
Anyway, the point is, it really doesn’t matter how much you train if your mind isn’t going to be prepared to handle adversity. And while I was so proud of Jodie for the mental strength she displayed, a bit more mental training could have made yesterday a walk (ok maybe a run) in the park for her even with all the crap that popped up.
And just because you aren’t training for a race doesn’t mean you can skip the mental training.
Adversity doesn’t just pop up in competition. It happens in everyday life.
We are truly only as strong as our minds believe we are. It’s as simple as that.
So while I’m not suggesting you force yourself to go outside and deadlift in the snow to prepare for unforeseen circumstances at a powerlifting competition, I am suggesting that you occasionally force yourself to train in circumstances that challenge your mental strength.
What I am suggesting is that, while you may get into a routine and generally train in that routine, you every so often force yourself to deviate from that routine just so you know that you don’t NEED the routine to succeed.
Like maybe if you always run with music, you try a few runs without it just in case your iphone decides to stop functioning mid-race…
Training can’t just strengthen your body, it must also push your mind.
Because as I said before…
YOU ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS YOUR MIND BELIEVES YOU ARE!
Congrats again Jodie. I want to say how proud of you I am for finishing that half-marathon strong!
I firmly believe that age is just a number and that at any age you can feel great and be in shape – You can be a BEAST at any age.
I don’t think getting older has to mean feeling crappier, being less coordinated and suffering from illness and injury.
I think the key to staying young is to always keep learning. And that doesn’t necessarily mean reading text books or taking educational classes.
I think some of the most beneficial LEARNING we can do is the learning of new physical skills. And I don’t think learning new physical skills is just important because of all of the health benefits of exercise (which by the way…are quite numerous).
Learning how to do a new activity not only makes our body stronger….not only helps keep our mind young and agile….not only improves our coordination….not only improves our mind-body connection…
Shoot learning a new activity KEEPS US YOUNG!
It gives us control not only over our body but also over our mind.
I think about every time I’ve learned a new skill – Olympic lifting, Powerlifting, Kettlebell Sport…Heck even boxing…actually, especially boxing….
Every time I’ve learned a new skill, I’ve learned to control my body in a new way.
Part of that physical control and strength that I feel, part of that feeling of being better in tune with my body, has to do with a better mind-body connection. And for that matter, more confidence!
That mind-body connection, that confidence in my ability, keeps me active. But not only does it keep me active, it keeps me MOVING WELL.
MOVING WELL, FEELING GOOD, is truly how we define youth.
And the craziest thing is that we tend to STOP LEARNING new skills as we age.
We become more set in our ways and tend to stick to our routines and our comfort zones.
When we really should almost be putting ourselves out there to learn MORE as we age because it keeps us young.
So you know how you really wanted to try Zumba at the gym? You know how you really wanted to try powerlifting, kettlebells or boxing?
You know how you were afraid you would be clumsy or bad or uncoordinated and slow?
Well sure. Most of us are awkward when we first try to learn a new skill. BUT only through learning a new skill can we create a better mind-body connection so that we are MORE COORDINATED.
Age is just a number and you really can teach an old dog new tricks.
And the best part is, the more that “old dog” learns, the younger that “old dog” will really feel!
So stop thinking your age is holding you back.
Let yourself try a new activity and learn a new skill. It may just be what you need to feel younger and move better just like the Man Bicep Mom!
P.S. If you are looking for some extra glute activation exercises, check out this new Redefining Strength post!