Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dedication to Success

Not sure if it should be 'Dedicated to Success' or 'Dedication to Success' but I do know this, you need it (some sort of dedication) to reach true success. There are obviously all types of success, and as I've written before, my definition of success could be far different than yours, but in short success has a basic meaning that we all understand.

I was finally able to watch some of the 2009 Track and Field World Championships before they ended today, and if you want to talk about the dedication to success, these athletes train day after day to get to and compete at a world class level. For most of them training is their career, and it's not over when the world championships are over or when the Olympics are over, they get right back to training.

I was in awe of the events I watched, even of the replays of events I missed, and the still shots wins and losses. The focus, desire, and pride of each of these individuals was so evident, in their posture, in their pre-event mental zone, when they won or didn't win. In the pole vault, the second after the men's gold medalist cleared the bar, he knew he won, and smiled the entire fall. When both the USA's mens and womens 4x400m relay teams not only placed first but created extreme distances from themselves and the second place teams, it was like watching an impossibility, but that's what they set out to do.

On the flip side, when the refs called a foul on the long jump, or when the USA's womens 4x100m relay team fumbled the baton and were disqualified, a look of disbelief instantly came over them, everything they'd been working toward now needed to be worked at again.

When I was a track & field athlete and a swimmer, the pressure to perform seemed far greater than any soccer game I ever played in. Most of the events I did were individual events, a team didn't directly rely on me, so once I was done with a throw, or once I touched the wall in swimming, the results were final and your reaction was real-time. There was no hiding your excitement (who would) but there was also no hiding any disaapointment you might have also experienced (there was tons of that at times.) There were some events you were expected to win, your team was counting on you.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened had one meet, in either sport, gone a little differently.

If I didn't hit my head and nearly knocked myself out in the water...

If I never sprained my ankle at the start of my last season...

Would my definition of success be different than what it is today? Perhaps. I don't know...I never will.

I have no idea where I'd be today if the ifs didn't happen, but I do know where I am today because of the ones that did happen. There's a different type of success in my life now than there was then, but success is still there, and it's still something I work toward every single day. There's not a moment in time, where I'd wish all the challenges would go away. It'd be too easy then, and there'd be nothing to work toward.

We experience success because of the tasks we've accepted. All the things I've done in life may not have resulted in a positive outcome, but the experience has taught me to apply what I've learned in the next scenario that arises.

Build upon what you know, and what you've learned and apply it toward your success.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Who's To Blame?

It's easy for everyone to point the finger at someone else.

It doesn't really matter if we're talking about healthcare, youth obesity, or if it was you or your sibling that broke your mother's favorite vase.

Blame isn't an attraction factor, and is often always someone else's fault.

It's easier to point blame at someone else rather than admit you've made a mistake yourself.

But here's the part we all ought to remember, no one is perfect. I don't care if you think you are, we all have a fault or two, or twenty. We're all bound to make a mistake, or two, or twenty. When it comes down to it, the only time your mistakes are really bad is when you haven't learned from one and it happens again.

So where's the blame lay in the health and fitness world? It's all over the place. infomercials are telling us to buy the new latest and greatest gadget that will change our lives forever, doctors are telling us to do more cardio, tells those with an athletic build that they are overweight and possibly obese, and well everyone has a conflicting view point so it's easy to blame everyone else since there are so many options that you don't know what to do.

I'm sure you've also either used the excuse or at least heard, there just isn't enough time, working out costs too much, I'll get back at it next week. Really the only excuse that I'm willing to accept is that you don't know what you're doing. There's too many conflicting view points.

On that topic I will say this, even if you don't know what to do, find someone good who can tell you and show you, but then stick to it, stick to the plan, follow the workout, make good food choices. Some programs are far more effective than others, but the key to most of them is being consistent and compliant. It's really that simple.

There's no blame to be seen if you really give it you're all. You'll see the results for yourself.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What Motivates You?

I've previously talked a lot about motivation. All the way from wanting to be the best that you can be, to being competitive, to just doing it because you can.

There comes a time in all training programs where you might start to doubt what you're doing, whether you'll actually reach you're end goal, or if all the sacrifice is really worth it.

Are you kidding me? So my new friend and awesome Coach, Dos, grouped me into a group of Hot Fit Chicks Today. When you say it outloud, it sounds funny. When you think about it, we're lifting heavy shit, we're really fit, we're still feminine, and it's awesome!

If that isn't motivation to keep at it, make point, and help to change the mentality of women's strength training, well then I don't know what it is.

I do know, that I spoke in great detail with Rachel Cosgrove a few weeks ago, in fact I'm doing a whole skinny jeans transformation challenge over at Urban Athlete because of it. I talk with Holly Rigsby, the Fit Yummy Mummy, on a regular basis. And I get emails and messages on a daily basis from women and men, telling me how great my strength is.

Part of me has wondered...

Then the other quickly stepped in. I've trained really hard (as have my friends and colleagues) this is not joke. It's time for women to step up to the plate, to recognize their potential, to believe in themselves, to know that everything they do with their strength and conditioning program will directly effect their everyday life in a positive way.

I could speak about it, until I'm blue in the face. That's not going to do it. You have to try this. You have to get out there, and you have to challenge yourself. You have to want to be able to get through every day just a little bit easier. You have know that it's all within your potential.

I have my mentors, I have my role models, I have my coaches, yet each day the people that motivate me the most, are the people that I help to realize all this, the people I help to become stronger and notice their potential. Talk about motivation!

Realize your potential.

Be strong.

Put forth the effort.

Recognize the benefits.

Become who you are.

Be motivated to get the job done, challenge yourself to do it, and if you need a little nudge, you know just where to find it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kettlebell Training Complexes

I'm a huge advocate of quick and effective workouts. There's nothing worse than having a really hectic schedule and trying to figure out a way to get in a 60 minute workout at the gym. It's just not possible for most of us (or necessary for that matter.)

Kettlebell Complexes are a great way to get a lot of work done in just a little bit of time.

Check out this Kettlebell Complex, Snatch-Windmill-Walking Lunge. Once again full body movements in my workouts. Gets the job done much faster.

I've got a ton more of these coming your way, keep checking back often.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Dreaded Factor

All nutrition, exercise, fat loss, strength training programs require compliance. It's really quite simple, most things will work if you follow and stick to the plan. There are some options that are far greater than others, but that's not what this post is about.

This one is about Compliance and Sabotage.

I think it's safe to say that we're all in agreement that in order to see results you need to follow the plan.

The part we often overlook is the sabotage part. There are two sides to this one too, which makes it even more dreaded.

The first is yourself. For whatever reason, things are going really well, then all of a sudden you fall of the wagon, start slipping on your nutrition, skip a day at the gym. These are things you can fix. Hold yourself accountable.

The second is those around you. It sounds crazy, but I'm sure you've all been out with friends and they give you crap for ordering a salad when everyone else is ordering a burger, or that you chose water over beer. Worse is when you get a mouthful for wanting to hit up the gym before meeting up. These are people who for whatever reason aren't wanting you to succeed. Perhaps it's because they don't think they can do it themselves. While you're on this mission you might need to limit your interaction.

All of the programs I listed above require a supportive environment. It's tough to do that when those around you give you crap for wanting to make a healthy change in your life.

Stay compliant and you will see results.

Avoid sabotage and you'll see those results faster.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Kettlebell Training on the Beach

I find myself kettlebell training even when I'm the road. Then again that's pretty easy to do when you've established friendships in most the cities you visit on a regular basis.

This past weekend I met up with my friends Ryan, Wil, and Megan out in Hermosa Beach, CA for a nice little kettlebell workout on the beach. (Well we were actually there for the Perform Better Summitt.) Nothing too fancy. This video is more or less the warm-up. The actual workout was a partner workout with a combination of kettlebell snatches in a descending ladder and various animal crawls. The kettlebells we had access to were a little on the light side, so this workout was mostly just to get us moving after being on a plane for 5-6 hours.

It's always great to throw in a little fun time when you're away for work.

Had a blast guys, thanks!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Are You Being Lazy?

Yep, I said it. Sometimes there's a fine line, and to be honest, you should probably get rid of the excuses and get some work done.

What are some obstacles?

Time, Money, You're not sure what to do, Lack of Equipment

Ok, right there we have enough excuses to cover all the other ones. Let's start marking them off the list.

Time. Everyone has enough time to train. This is by far an accurate statement. The days of spending 90-120 minutes at the gym are over. We're looking at fast and efficient, full body, 30 minute workouts. Everyone has 30 minutes a few times a week.

Money. This is a simple too. Not enough money to train with someone all the time, work with someone 1-2 times, have them write a program for you and follow it. Visit them again in 4-6 weeks, get a new program. Now all you need is discipline.

Not sure what to do? Same as above, work with a professional 1-2 times, have them write the program that you'll follow.

Lack of equipment. This is one of the worst excuses next to time. There are 100s of bodyweight exercises available to you. Just the other day I did 10 different push up variations and I know there are a whole lot more! Lack of or no equipment should not be an issue.

I didn't include discipline in the first list but since it came up. Just be disciplined. Anyone can do anything for a set period of time. Give yourself a 4 week goal, that's one month. By the time you reach a month you'll be used to the schedule of working out, and you won't want to give it up.

Turn the TV off, commit to a plan, and see results.