October has been a good month. Peaked my belt-less deadlift yesterday; and got my first beast press today. I was very excited to get this press.
The video is today's build up (not including the 28KG, 32KG, or 36K) to my first successful 48KG kettlebell press. I thought holding the 68KG would make the 48KG feel light; I am not sure that it helped. And with the 48KG.. wait for it.. third time is a charm. Now the plan is to get stronger and try to make it look & feel easier (because it wasn't this time).
I want to build my belt-less deadlift. Honestly, I figured I would get to a point where I felt it was necessary to use my belt - but so far still feels good without. To further simplify, I drastically minimized my warm-up rituals. In the past it has gotten out of hand; sometimes taking upwards of 30 minutes before even touching a bar. Now, from a deep squat I perform 10 t-spine rotations (20 if tight); and 5 to 10 Dead-stop swings. That's it. I practice the majority of my deadlifts in the garage barefoot. I have been practicing using the StrongFirst PlanStrong training protocols. Depending on the volume for the week, I practice anywhere from 2 to 5 days per week.
I started using the PlanStrong programming for my belt-less deadlift Mid-May 2015. At the time my best belt-less deadlift was 455 (form was only o.k., nothing to brag about). I have chosen to build slow and favored more conservative versions of the programming (sometimes not including any reps above 89% 1RM).
I have completed 5 Preparatory Periods & tried out 1 Competition Period. So far it has been great! Today (at the end of my 1st Competition Period) I tested and got a belt-less personal best of 585lbs. Watching the video is a double edged sword, because I am always hyper critical of myself. The form isn't exactly what I want - but I'll take it for today and am excited to continue to climb.
“Perspective makes all the difference. It’s not what you look at; it’s what you see…"-Steve Maraboli
Most see dirt. A farmer sees soil with opportunity.
Some see failure. A winner sees a lesson.
Some see a plateau. Champions see an opportunity to get better.
Some see impossible. The steadfast see a challenge.
Some say i don't have time. The dedicated say, "I will prioritize the time."
Some say it looks difficult. The motivated say, "It'll be worth it."
Most see how hard it is to start. Make it easy to start.
*If you don't know how, message me. I will steer you in the right direction.
View life from a different angle; it makes all the difference.
My wife found a burger place in Las Vegas, that if you eat a 1 pound burger (patty is 20 oz precooked) - they will put your picture on the "Wall of Fame." Back in my day, I have put some food away. My wife seemed pretty excited to get my picture put on the wall. So I had to come out of retirement. Several years ago, I use to brag about being an amateur competitive eating exhibition champion.
Disclaimer: I am not advocating any of my clients to participate in such an event if their primary goal is weight loss. Also probably not the best nutritional habit if practiced on the regular. Good thing I am not a dietitian (or) Nutritionist. I'm a Strength & Conditioning coach/enthusiast/and practicer (I said "practicer" in my Texas voice- come on, don't be so grammatically serious).
One pound burger, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, egg patty & sweet potatoes fries AND now I am on the wall!
The commercials (&) stores let us know that the holidays are coming. It's the time of the year when you are thinking of spending time with family & friends, turkey feasts, holiday shopping, holiday parties, maybe a mini vacation, holiday desserts, maybe holiday drinks... Then when the whirlwind of the Holidays has past, many folks will set a New Years Resolution to try to make up for their extra indulgence &/or missing exercise. But you CAN break the cycle and give yourself a head-start! Why wait? If you can start establishing your habits now you can: look & feel your best when you see your family and friends; work off some of the holiday stress; work off the holiday calories before they are stored; use the beginning of 2016 as a motivational acceleration to furthering your goals - not as a starting point.
How far of a head-start do you want? You have enough time to make & feel a difference:
You have 6 weeks until Thanksgiving
You have 10 weeks until Christmas
You have 11 weeks until New Years
You have 12 weeks until 2016!
If I can help you please let me know. I could put you in touch with an in person 1-1 training trainer, (I know many good trainers across the country), online personal training (check out: www.alwaysgetbetterstronger.com/programs ), words of encouragement (You can do it!).
The right personal trainer is a great tool for anyone (beginner, novice, intermediate, or professional).
Even if you are a coach/trainer it is easy to go easy on yourself - it's natural to work harder for a coach. Working with a coach is a great way to keep yourself honest, accountable, tighten up your skills, & get better. A face to face (1-on-1 personal trainer) is a great tool if you can afford it. Most sessions are circa 50 minutes. Now to manage the time. The good trainers will be prepared and write out your plan in advance. We will assume they have a good plan; now the limitation to the plan is time. For instance, a sample daily plan could call for: Tension planks, deadlifts, & kettlebell swings. You get the planks done. You notice you are extra tight from your marathon chair sessions at work. This time your body needs longer than your normal to work out the kinks. By the time you prep (mobilize/stretch), practice your reps, then complete deadlifting- no time left for swings. Another example could be, it is Squat or Bench day. You are ready for action, but some guy is curling in the rack (squat rack or bench rack, I've seen both). Time could be preoccupied with "busy work" - but that isn't going to help contribute to our main focus of the day. Waiting for this guy to finish with his curls takes away from YOUR reserved time and puts you behind schedule; you probably won't complete what has been prepared for the day. Or perhaps learning/polishing a new strength skill - maybe you need a little more time to feel out the move. So far I have described some examples with the best case scenario (your trainer is prepared). But unfortunately, my experience of over 20 years in gyms across the country, has witnessed the majority of trainers will "wing it". While winging it - they will aimlessly wander the gym looking for what is open and try to jump on it. And they will go on this wander for your entire session.. "Euh, what's that over there.. hmm.. let's try the upper dorsimus machine!" *Looks around*, we still have 40 minutes, "How about the Leg Press!" "Nobody ever uses the rower, let's grab one!" The have minimal plan they "fill" the time. Regardless of the quality of your trainer's planning capabilities - maybe you are stuck in traffic get to the gym 15 minutes late; now you only have 35 minutes for your session.
Now in contrast - Let's say you have the plan on your mobile device. You have video demonstrations of the exercises. If you can get it done correctly in 30 minutes - fantastic! If you'd rather take your time and enjoy the down time/the "me time" & stretch it to 90 minutes -enjoy: Workout at YOUR pace!
Check out available programs at: www.alwaysgetbetterstronger.com/programs
I have never liked people preaching to me about their nutrition beliefs. I share this in case you are semi-interested in being healthier & perhaps the side effect of dropping a few LBs; if not share this with your hippie friends. Until about 10 years ago - I drank a lot of soda. I didn't count my habit in cans, I counted them in liters. Truck stop gas stations were the best! They keep the 2 liter bottles in the cooler. A quick stop off highway 55, grab a cold 2-liter bottle of Mountain dew and I was ready for class! It wasn't uncommon for me to drink the equivalent of 4 to 6 liters a day (plus several red bulls). When my friends would ostracize me about my beverage selection, I'd object, "Look! The number 1 ingredient is carbonated water - I am basically drinking water hippy!" Now of course this isn't like drinking water - but I didn't want to hear it. For over 20 years I had conditioned my body/brain/person to chug soda. Of course for my workouts I carried my milk jug filled with water around with me because dehydration will negatively impact my gains (water hydrated my muscles!). But when I sat down for a meal I was ordering or cracking open a soda! I knew I was addicted - but I didn't care. In fact, I had no "plan" to quit. I temporarily stopped my soda habit for the pre-contest prep for my first bodybuilding competition. It was the sugar & calories - I didn't want - so I went the "this not that" route and substituted my soda addiction for Crystal light and diet soda (we can save the fake sweeteners are bad for you talk for another time - for this story, it helped me get off real soda). It was a hard switch, going from real soda to diet soda was terrible. It tasted like someone took a soda and diluted it 1 part soda to 5 parts water. But it jump started my weight loss & possibly stopped me from developing diabetes. Six weeks prior to my contest prep I slowly started changing behaviors. First two weeks, cut out drinking sugar (soda & energy drinks). Somewhere I have the exact weight loss written down, but to save me from digging for them, it was in the neighborhood of 4 to 5 lbs in around 2 weeks (nothing else changed). Followed by four weeks of breaking the fast-food & pizza habit (another story, but this was brutal & I lost my pizza delivery friend friendships). Fourteen weeks of strict contest diet later, I was done with my competition (20 week total prep). I was excited to get back to drinking the regular sodas I so coveted. But when I tried they where too sweet. So sweet it gave me a headache and that ruined the fun of it. I took this slight temporary disappointment as an opportunity to kick the habit. Just like anyone addicted to anything I had heard and read all about the downside to the addiction. Most compelling to me was the studies I read that compared sugar addiction to the addiction of drugs (I forget if it was heroin or cocaine - either way.. not good stuff). The studies reported that when "taking" the sugar the same reward centers of the brain where excited [as when taking the drug]. When the sugar high crashed, the subject would become irritable and short tempered [comparable to withdrawals]. Now the subject craved more savory sweets/drinks and they would seek out their next fix. For the record I probably am not doing the articles/scientific studies much justice with my overly simplified explanation. They made other comparisons/references to addiction and addictive behavior. The articles had great content; and I am sure with a few google searches you could find one of the studies. If you don't believe there is science/scientists behind manufactured food, read Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss! But even if you don't want to listen/read that sciencey stuff- it's hard to refute that the extra sugar and empty calories will lead to weight gain. Which can contribute to creeping obesity. This is called creeping obesity because the weight gain is slow and steady and often overlooked. Because it is only half a pound or a pound a year many people won't notice it until 10 years and 10-15 lbs later. Besides the possibility of throwing off your bodies ability to process/deal with sugar, because of the cascading influx of sugar in your system; which can lead to the diabetes - their are many other health complications that can come from unnecessary extra weight. O.k., let me hop off my soapbox. The moral of the story is cut back on the sugar (soda, energy drinks, Gatorade, coffee accessories) reap the health benefits & maybe you'll accidentally lose a few pounds.
For all my friends that don't want to post up on a treadmill all day - I don't blame you that sucks and is boring. Get a pedometer (hey you might have one on your phone). I find for my clients pedometers can be very helpful & encouraging for promoting activity. Often we over estimate our activity level, "Oh, yeah I am running around work all day." But then you check your trusty pedometer and your steps are less than 1,000 in a day. Numbers don't lie. Now I do not think most people mean to be deceptive. Most just go into autopilot and have no anchoring to interpret their movement/activity level. So check it out. If your phone doesn't have one, you can buy one pretty cheap ($10-$20). You can also get one that is pretty fancy and costs quite a bit (your choice, how many "bells & whistles" do you need!?). I suggest get one off amazon, make sure it has many good reviews. Once you become aware of your steps, it often becomes an addictive game to increase/improve. I have had many clients tell me that at night they are close to a certain step count. Maybe 3,000 maybe 5,000 (depends on the person) - but they are 100 or so steps short. It's night time, their activity for the day is pretty much done. But they want to achieve their number... so they find themselves pacing/circling the living room to get their steps in. I think that's pretty cool. Because had they not been aware of their steps for the day, or the fact that they want to achieve a certain step count - they'd probably be reclining on the couch. My pedometer is on my phone, so if I don't throw it in my back pocket I don't measure my steps. But I do try to measure at least 6,000 steps at least 3 weekdays; and I aim for 1 weekend day to exceed 6,000 steps. Accumulated over 18,000 steps (10 miles) today. Walking the battlefield, walking the strip, & walking UP lone mountain.. So the moral of the story is - get your pedometer - throw it in your back pocket (they actually mostly "clip on") and go explore somewhere cool (both ambience & temperature, if you can).
I have 3 openings for online training starting October 12th!
The perfect candidate would be someone who is:
1. Committed to work hard throughout the program.
2. Have access to workout equipment (at home or a gym membership).
3. Previous workout experience is a plus; but not necessary.
4. Has a goal to drive towards (get into a routine, gain strength, add muscle, lose weight).
Reserve your spot today!
DM me (or) check the site for details: www.alwaysgetbetterstronger.com/program
The right personal trainer is a great tool for anyone (beginner, novice, intermediate, or professional).
Even if you are a coach/trainer it is easy to go easy on yourself - it's natural to work harder for a coach. Working with a coach is a great way to keep yourself honest, accountable, tighten up your skills, & get better. You've decided to get a trainer. A face to face (1-on-1 personal trainer) is a great tool if you can afford it. Next you have to schedule a time. If your schedule is very flexible - then, No worries! But for most of us we must schedule around our busy days. From my experience there are 2, sometimes 3 - prime times for working with a personal trainer. Before work, After work, and sometimes around lunch time. Here's the thing, most of the best trainers have regular long term clients at those times. Of course, sometimes you can luck out and take over one of these coveted time slots. But, are you feeling lucky? Well, do ya?
Also with face to face (in person training) you are reserving a specific time slot. Because you are reserving a time, there is typically a 24 hour cancellation policy. If you get called into an unscheduled meeting, have to work late, the kids are sick, car breaks down, (insert other calamity) - you lose the session! Now this isn't a license to become a flake and skip out on your exercise routine. But life happens. With online training - you get your plan - and then it's up to you to fit it into your schedule. Now I would encourage you to try to 'set' a time that works best for your schedule and perform your routine consistently at that time - but if you need to slide a day over, you can. If you need to go after work in lieu of before (or vice versa), you can. You need different times on different days (or) a flexible schedule, a week: Mon, Wed, Fri (&) b week: Tues, Thurs, Sat - simple! I could list more real world examples, but I think you get it = Workout on YOUR time!
Check out the website for more information regarding the online training: www.alwaysgetbetterstronger.com/programs