When it comes to achieving success, all the training, nutrition, and skills in the world won't save you from a failure of mindset. I've seen on many an occasion and personally experienced mindset failures that cost the winning shot, a personal best, and numerous other achievements. Whether you're a runner, a weightlifter, an athlete, a leader, or just stepping up to the plate to make a big decision, proactively spending the time to find, develop, and access the right mindest, also called your flow state or the zone, is invaluable and will pay huge dividends when it comes to crunch time!
Despite being absolutely critical to repeatable successes, learning to tap in to your flow state might just be the most neglected trait and state that we have at our disposal. For this reason, I believe that every person, but at least, coaches, parents, teachers, and leaders should equip themselves with the skills to develop flow state capacity in those in their care.
You can start your journey into mindest with a simple query on wikipedia for: Flow (psychology)
Until next time,
BE FIT. BE STRONG. BE BETTER.
When it comes to supplements that claim to improve muscle mass, or fat loss, or performance, or any number of other things, consumerism is not your friend. The shelves of local stores and the online marketplace are just littered with supplements and for each of those supplements you can find a barrage of ads, statements, and articles that claim they're just what you need. The only problem is that you're not like everybody else, you're barely similar to anyone else, so why would any of these supplements be right for you, right now, for what you want, and most importantly for what you actually need? Those are the deeper questions we most often fail to ask ourselves. Because of the sheer amount of products, ads, and misinformation out there, we continually take mental shortcuts to cut past the overwhelming amount of information that would otherwise require a lot more care and mental processing. We tend to simply match what we think we need with what we think we are trying to achieve and "beep" tap that credit card one more time.
Unfortunately, these shotgun decisions and additions in our search for attainment come at cost. It's a tit-for-tad kind of cost accumulation that is usually hard to account for by any measure other than time. Over time this over consumption of supplements chips away at the homeostasis of our biological processes and systems and gradually contributes to various malfunctions which show themselves to us as "health issues". These health issues can present themselves as Digestive Problems, Adrenal Fatigue, Injuries/Inflammation, Metabolic Disorders, etc.
So what are the best supplements? IMO, the best supplements are those that are:
1. complimentary and secondary to your primary health goals (will not aggravate underlying health focus [what is your primary health focus?])
2. highly specific (not extensive mixes/combinations),
3. short/defined duration of use (for a very specific time period [what is that period?] or only when necessary [why is it necessary?])
In that order.
If you do not have any particular health goals, you should seek a professional first to determine what they might be for you. Even a individual who is/feels totally healthy should have some defined health goals even if those are merely preventative rather than curative. After all, the idea is to prevent disorders - diseases - disfunctions before they need curing so that you can keep your focus on optimizing instead of recovering.
So the next time you see an ad for that "IT" supplement that's going to make your dreams come true, first, and at least, take the time to go through the criteria above.
Until next time,
BE FIT. BE STRONG. BE BETTER!
You could say that I've been inside the fitness industry for an appreciable amount of time and in that time I've had the opportunity to follow many of the industry's trends. I may not have adopted all of them for myself, but I did pay attention to them as they came and went and re-pacakaged themselves. Spoiler alert, most new fitness trends are just recycled past practices.
Let's look at a quick snapshot of some past fitness trends:
1982, Jane Fonda and Aerobics (skip forward and you still have similar classes, just under a "new term of the day", Group Fitness)
1983, The 20 Minute Workout (skip forward and you have "more results in less time" based workouts like HIIT, F45, Metcon-GT, etc)
1984, Jazzercise (skip forward and you have zumba and other dance aerobics classes)
1987, Buns of Steel (skip forward and you have the likes of hour glass workout, similar concepts but with different body image reflecting today's society)
1989, Richard Simons Sweating to the Oldies (skip forward and we're "dancing our way to fit" with zumba, socasize, hip-hop dancefit, etc)
1990, Thighmaster (skip forward and you have a myriad of new machines, gadgets, and exercises all working the same muscles in pretty much the same way)
1991, Bowflex (skip forward and you have a variety of multi-unit gym stations and options for the gym and your house)
1994, AbRoller (skip forward and you have a myriad of ab machine variations and other new gadgets all just new takes on old concepts)
1995, 8 Minute Abs (skip forward and you have new exercise combinations, short classes, or portions of classes devoted to "core" and other specific areas)
1999, TaeBo (skip forward and you have the likes of box-fit classes, 9 round gyms, and a resurgence of boxing as an activity and sport)
As you take a closer look, you can see that most of the recent and future trends are simply revisions of earlier practices. We've simply re-worked and repackaged old practices. With this in mind, we can understand that the future we are trying to anticipate will be a lot more like the past than something totally new that we couldn't have imagined. Yes it's true that today we have and use, phones, and watches, and internet programs, and machines, that we didn't have in the past, but if you look at the big picture of what we're actually doing with all of these new additions/changes, and how much of a deviation they are from the things that we were doing in the past, you realize that it's almost insignificant. For this reason, when trying to envision the next trend that will come out, or contemplating how long a new style of gym or class will be around, I think it is a lot more fruitful to look at our history to see what worked, for how long, and it what new ways it may reappear based on the recent changes in technology and society.
So what can you expect...you can expect may of the new style franchises and gadgets to appear, blow up, and then disappear again, only to get repackaged and reintroduced years down the road...you can also expect that moving weights, playing sports, and simply moving the body through various forms of exercise (running, biking, swimming, dancing, etc) will continue to persist as a simple reflection of our society at any particular point in time...lastly, you can expect technology to keep improving and augmenting all of the above, sometimes in ways that seem so drastic that we feel that they're must have or must do, but upon closer inspection really aren't and don't fundamentally change what you will be doing from what you were doing.
If there's one takeaway, it's that what we liked doing in the past is the best compass for figuring out what we will like doing in the future.
Until next time,
Be Fit, Be Strong, Be Better!
Almost everyone I know is plagued by at least a few "bad habits". Bad habits usually turn out to be impulsive choices and destructive decisions. Maybe you like to snack on junk food instead of choosing to eat real food, or you continually come up with excuses why spending a mere 30min extra time at work that would instead allow you to get active with your friends/family is a better decision, or you like to stay up late watching tv instead of going to bed early to get quality sleep. Whatever your bad habit is, isn't as important as what you do about it and that's wherein the problem lies.....most of us just can't seem to do anything about it that works and sticks. There's the obvious causes, lack of motivation, lack of energy, lack of accountability, and so on and so on, the list of obstacles and your sheer ability to drum up ever more excuses will always impress you, console you, and then quietly sabotage you. The problem is in the approach, the way in which you look at the problem from the start. Today I'm going to use the example of a lack of physical activity. Normally if you've come to the conclusion that you "need" to get more physically active, you will first default to the most socially dominant verb used to define activity, today that seems to be exercise.....from there you will default to the most socially dominant form of exercise, today that seems to be the gym.....and finally from there you will look for the most effective form of gym exercise (because we all want the "best" and no one cares about what's most appropriate), which today will probably lead your search towards taking something like a HIIT class (high intensity interval training class where you'll burn the most calories and "therefore" reap the most benefit). None of this is your fault, all of this processing happens in your head almost instantly based on thousands of inputs you receive daily from your surroundings (all forms of media influence and then the people around you regurgitating that same media influence). The good news is, you can do something about it!
1. The first step to any decision that doesn't need to be instantaneous is Pause, with a capital P. Yes, I said pause...take a pause so that you don't allow your automatic response system to take over and to give you answers based on what you've absorbed from your surroundings instead of from a minute of your own, calm, thoughtful insights. In today's rush rush world, this kind of thinking is almost non-existent.
2. The second step after you've paused and disregarded what your first inclination was (exercise...gym...what ever the best gym exercise is that I've come or come into contact with) will be to work backwards. So instead of what, where, how, we're going to start at how.
3. The third step starts at how. By pausing, disregarding automatic inclinations, and reflecting on how, then where, and then what (which is a given and usually a rephrasing of the problem. ex. I need to get active = what will I do to get active) you will think of ways that you can address the how with what's most innate. The key here is to take 3 of those innate answers and start with your favourite one. The other 2 answers are backups for inevitable days when obstacles or excuses prevent you from employing your first option. Through this method of rotating options, you will also learn which one works best for you. In this example, your answers might look like this:
How will I get active = WALKING to a new location ( the where) around my house/place of work every day, OR = DOING as many pushups, situps, and burpees as I can do in 15minutes at home (the where) every morning before work, OR = going to shoot a BASKETBALL at a different local court (the where) with my kids/friends/partner/solo, 2 times a week after work and once on the weekend.
If you choose to walk every day but one day it's raining and "you just can't take an umbrella and walk in the rain, god forbid", then you can choose one of your other 2 options....maybe just do some pushups and situps for 15min at home, or go to an indoor basketball court you've never been to.
4. Once you're getting active regularly and for a period of time that you're impressed with, then and only then should you start considering moving on to other interests to fulfill the same purpose. Usually these other interests are less innate and more complex/demanding and therefore have a greater likelihood of failure or drop-off. If you do drop-off, simply pause, and start again!
That's it, that's all!
Until next time - BE BETTER!