An Epic Battle

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Every single day you are engaged in an epic battle.  It’s really one for the ages and you’re fighting a foe that is nearly invisible.  Impossible to kill.  Once you think he is dead,  he comes right back to life like something from a horror movie.  Don’t believe me?  Let me enlighten you…

There is a little voice inside your head trying to convince you not to do something you know to be good. “Don’t workout” it says. “Don’t take a cold shower,” the voice shouts. “Don’t bend down to pick that trash up, you’re tired and it’s not even yours,” it murmurs. Does any of this sound familiar? Of course it does. It’s a battle that we all face daily. In fact, it’s really a negotiation. We all negotiate with our mind every single day of our lives. “I really don’t want to go do that, but I really should.” “Well, we could do this, but I’d rather do that because it’s easier and I’m scared.” The voice never ends. It never stops. It’s the voice that keeps you safe, but simultaneously keeps you from reaching your potential. I’m going to offer some advice…don’t negotiate with your mind.

If you embark on the journey of negotiating with your mind, you will end up with analysis paralysis and accomplish nothing. Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” (or just don’t do it) is particularly helpful here. If something that needs to be done, or needs to be left alone, I suggest against negotiating with your mind. Instead, trust your instinct. Trust what you know to be true in your heart. Don’t eat that meal. Don’t drink that extra drink. Do that extra rep in the weight room. Bend down and pick up the trash. Play with your family. Visit your relatives. Do you very best. And remember, the path of least resistance makes all rivers and most people crooked. Don’t negotiate with the voice in your head. Take control of it and make it work for you.

The Constant Battle

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Every single day you are engaged in an epic battle.  It’s really one for the ages and you’re fighting a foe that is nearly invisible.  Impossible to kill.  Once you think he is dead,  he comes right back to life like something from a horror movie.  Don’t believe me?  Let me enlighten you…

There is a little voice inside your head trying to convince you not to do something you know to be good. “Don’t workout” it says. “Don’t take a cold shower,” the voice shouts. “Don’t bend down to pick that trash up, you’re tired and it’s not even yours,” it murmurs. Does any of this sound familiar? Of course it does. It’s a battle that we all face daily. In fact, it’s really a negotiation. We all negotiate with our mind every single day of our lives. “I really don’t want to go do that, but I really should.” “Well, we could do this, but I’d rather do that because it’s easier and I’m scared.” The voice never ends. It never stops. It’s the voice that keeps you safe, but simultaneously keeps you from reaching your potential. I’m going to offer some advice…don’t negotiate with your mind.

If you embark on the journey of negotiating with your mind, you will end up with analysis paralysis and accomplish nothing. Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” (or just don’t do it) is particularly helpful here. If something that needs to be done, or needs to be left alone, I suggest against negotiating with your mind. Instead, trust your instinct. Trust what you know to be true in your heart. Don’t eat that meal. Don’t drink that extra drink. Do that extra rep in the weight room. Bend down and pick up the trash. Play with your family. Visit your relatives. Do you very best. And remember, the path of least resistance makes all rivers and most people crooked. Don’t negotiate with the voice in your head. Take control of it and make it work for you.

Addicted to Our Problems

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We live in a therapy culture. We are taught to talk about our problems so we may find a way to resolve them. Problems, problems, problems. We have become addicted to our problems. People feed off of them. They talk about them to friends, family, co-workers. Problems are talked about so much it would be safe to assume that people are becoming much healthier emotionally compared to our ancestors. Is this the case? I don’t think it is.

I disagree with the “professionals” that talking about your problems is healthy. I don’t want you to think that I am a proponent of hiding issues or living in denial. I do think that acknowledging problems is important, but not as important as being focused on your desired outcome. Energy flows to where focus goes. If your focus is your problems rather than your outcome, your problems run your life. Spending too much energy on problems is not healthy-it’s toxic.

I don’t talk about my problems much. I readily acknowledge that I have various health issues including spondylitis and asthma. However, I don’t focus on it or talk about it much. My problems are not a part of my identity. I do not let them control me, or the emotional states I live in. Yes, they do exist. No, I am not better talking them to everyone. Nor is anyone else better off having heard what ails me.   I do not direct my energy to what I do not want.

I believe the ancient stoic and Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius gave us sound advice for dealing with problems, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” The Stoics school believed in maintaining tranquility throughout life. They did not believe this was possible if your thoughts and actions were focused on problems instead of your desired outcome. Stoicism is a philosophy worth looking into. I believe reading Seneca or Marcus Aurelius, two men of great wisdom and power can help you navigate the road of life with a little more perspective.

Do You Have These 4 Areas of Life Mastered?

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How is your life going? Are some areas good and others…not so much? Did you know there are really four aspects of life that you must master to have a truly incredible life? Right now you’re thinking, “Sure. Sounds too simple.” Indeed it is simple to have an incredible life. It’s not easy, but it’s not complicated either. Here are the four areas of life that you must acknowledge and control to truly have an incredible life.

Mental Life- The mental part of your life life relates to your belief systems and the way you make meaning of the world. Your mental life is the philosophy you have about life, business, family and everything else. The mental world is how we all make meaning of what happens and how we determine what to do. The easiest way to identify your mental world is think about the thoughts you produce daily. “He hates me.” “She thinks I’m ugly.” “I’m so smart.” “Everyday above ground is a good day.” All of these thoughts reflect what’s going on with you mentally. Your philosophy about everything in life all comes from your mental life. Mentally, you must develop a success philosophy that will produce thoughts and therefore habits which will serve you.

Emotional Life- Emotions are really just chemical reactions in the body and brain, but they have a tremendous impact on the quality of our lives. Emotions can be affected by the thoughts you produce, but emotions can also occur independently. In fact, when we think about the quality of life, what we are really talking about is how much time you spend in positive emotional states. Happiness, gratitude, ecstasy are all states of emotion that most value and wish to spend time in. The elephant in the room that few are willing to say out loud is that your emotions are in your control at any given time. You get to choose what emotional states you live in. Emotion comes from the root motion- meaning that by changing your physical state, changing the foods and drinks you consume and spending time being mindful of emotions that arise in your mind, you can have complete control over your emotions. The key is to remember that you CAN be in control of them, but to do this you must be mindful of what emotions you are experiencing and take action to shift your emotional state to one that you value.

Physical-
We live in what we perceive to be a physical world. Everything, everyone, our bodies present in a physical form. This is easy to understand, but it’s worth noting that most people do not have control over the physical aspect of life. The current epidemics of obesity, heart disease, prescription drug addiction suggest that mastering the physical world is far from complete for humanity. Though we have discovered secrets of the universe like electricity, gravity, radio waves and x-rays, bacteria and other planets, there are many more physical aspects to life that people have yet to discover and understand. For the purposes of this article, however, I suggest that you start by getting control over this aspect of your life first. The reason being, is that your physical life controls so much of how you view the world. Your health, energy level and vitality directly effects your mental and emotional world- and by changing yourself physically, you can have a positive or negative effect on the quality of your life. Start by getting fit, gaining strength and developing the capacity to produce more energy. (Energy is not something you have, it’s something you produce.)

Spiritual-
This area of life is by far the most misunderstood. The word spiritual usually brings about thoughts of religion. However the word spirit comes from the root “spiritus”, meaning breath. Spirituality really predates any religion and it’s root meaning shows how truly the important this part of life is. Spirituality deals with our consciousness and its contents. To understand spirituality, you must recognize that you are not your thoughts. You are the one who is producing them and listening to them. Your spiritual world reflects your ability to ability to separate yourself from your thoughts and feels as well as recognize there are other states of consciousness available to you through meditation and mindfulness. Some call this prayer. Some call it something else. What it really is though is the ability to recognize and connect to an infinite energy and intelligence that is apart from the thoughts your mind produces. To become spiritual then, you must first recognize that you are separate from your thoughts. You are something else entirely. You are a “spiritual” being, one that is able to change your consciousness and self reflect.

Mastering these four areas of life is so difficult that I feel it’s safe to say most never achieve it. Worse, most don’t even recognize there are different aspects to life. Some say, “there’s just life.” That mindset fails to recognize that just like a stew, life can be boiled down to it’s most simple ingredients. Start by acknowledging these four areas of your life and you can begin to work towards changing them in a positive way. Every area of your life should work to serve you, not hinder you in living in an incredible state most of your life.

Here’s to your incredible life,

Sean

13 Mind-Blowing Facts

Life is incredible and the universe is truly remarkable. In case you forgot that, here are 13 facts that will blow your mind and perhaps remind you how wondrous this experience really is.

1.Time is not universal. The passage of time on a fast moving object has a different effect than one at rest.

2.What we call gravity is caused by the bending of space-time. The size of the Earth and the speed at which it moves causes a distortion space and time, (similar to large ball sitting on a sheet, causing the sheet to sink down. The sheet is space-time.)

3. You are not the thoughts in your head. You are the one who listens to them and you can choose which ones to listen to.

4. All matter is energy. The entire universe is energy that is constantly moving.

5. Your level on consciousness and the philosophies it produces will determine your happiness in life.

6. Humans are the only life we know of to date that can study itself.

7. Jellyfish can live forever by reverting back to an earlier stage of life after becoming sexually mature.

8. Your values and beliefs alter your reality of the world. That is why two different people can look at the same object and see something different.

9. There are trillions of stars in the universe. Our sun is just one and it will burn out eventually.

10. A new study has found the brain’s information storage capacity may be around a quadrillion bytes. We actually take in information faster than we can recall it. That’s why we “forget” things.

11.Stress and fear are the same emotion. Stressed? It’s because you’re fearful of something.

12. The human body is comprised of 37.2 TRILLION cells.

13. The emotion of love is driven by the release of dopamine and seretonin. You can control your emotions by changing your physiology.

Let’s Talk About SEX!

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Sex.  Every species’ biological imperative.  We don’t talk about it as a society like we really should.  Governments ban sexual images, companies perpetuate them, we try to keep our kids away from them and there’s an abundance of sex related movies, tv shows and Internet material.  Depending on you point of view, we either live in a highly sexual culture or one that is highly suppressive towards the subject of sex.  Most adults want sex, men believe they don’t get enough.  Women want it as well, although a higher percentage of women claim not to need it as often to be happy.  There is a direct link between sex and happiness. Here are some interesting statistics to consider:

From a 2011 study on sex in  Personality and Social Psychology Review:

“Over half the men in their national sample reported thinking about sex every day, whereas only one fifth of the women reported thinking about sex that often.”

“… found that “husbands continued to prefer intercourse more frequently than wives”. In fact, wives consistently reported that they were quite satisfied with the amount of sex they had in their marriages, but men on average wished for about a 50% increase.”

From the Paris Review (2014):

“Forty million Americans describe themselves as sex-starved. According to Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers and chief scientific consultant to the dating site chemistry.com, it is often a question of mismatched libidos—an adventurer paired with a traditionalist, for example.”

“Studies show single Americans are having sex especially rarely.  Some have blamed Internet porn; the American sex therapist Ian Kerner theorized that everyone was too tired.”

“In a survey of five thousand Americans, 70 percent said they experienced sexual boredom in their relationship, but eighty percent of married couples said they would remarry the same person.

Women get bored sexually with the same partner much sooner than men. According to one study, women experience “a catastrophic decline of interest” after three years whereas men show a much more gradual erosion.”

Men and women approach the idea and subject of sex very differently as seen from the excerpts.  There also exists a very strong correlation between physical fitness level and sexual activity and desirability. Study by Penhollow and Young (2004) found frequency of exercise and physical fitness enhanced attractiveness and increased energy levels. They write that those who exercise are more likely to experience a greater level of satisfaction and a positive perception of self, which may cause them to believe they are more desirable and may perform better sexually.  Both male and females who are physically fit are also more likely to describe themselves as more sexually desirable— thus improving their self image and the likelihood they engage in sex.  Lesson: the more fit you are, the better and more often you have sex.

Sex, despite it’s negative association with STD’s and adultery can offer a whole host of healthy benefits.  The act of sex releases many hormones that contribute to overall well being, such as oxytocin.  Sex also releases endorphins which can improve mood and block pain.  Moreover, every time you reach orgasm, the hormone DHEA increases in response to sexual excitement and orgasm. DHEA can boost your immune system, improve cognition, keep skin healthy, and even work as an antidepressant. Therefore, the added health benefit is that you will feel—and look—younger, longer.

I’ve touched on the relationship between Fitness and sex, but sex itself can be considered aerobic exercise, burning up to 200 calories per session. Among other benefits, women who engage in regular sexual activity with their partners have higher levels of estrogen, which protects against heart disease. Research has found that men who have sex two times per week have fewer heart attacks than those who do not. The hormones released during sex cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and it engages almost every muscle in the body. After sex, blood vessels dilate and blood pressure is then reduced. This change in blood vessel constriction may also help with tension headaches.  NOTE— Those with unhealthy or uncontrolled blood pressure issues should be wary.  Consult your doctor often and always to see if you are healthy enough for sex.

So there you go. A little talk about sex.  Did it make you uncomfortable?  Did you maybe learn something? Do you want to go the club and lift weights to increase your desire and attraction level?  Good.  That’s the point of all this— to get you thinking about all aspects of your life and how health plays the ultimate role in your success in those areas and, in case you needed a reason to stay fit…now you have it.

Stay strong,

Sean

Improve Your Health With These Lifestyle Hacks

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(Disclaimer: Although we love to pretend, we do not live in a free country. There are powerful forces that love to intervene in every aspect of our lives. That is especially true when it comes to your pocketbook and your health. Please do not misconstrue the following as medical advice. So, to protect myself I will state the obligatory, “consult your physician before engaging in any diet or exercise program”. That said, be your own advocate. Do your own research. Ask your own questions. Do everything possible to better your life. As far as I know, you may only get one.)

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If you followed the last 50 years of government advice regarding diet and exercise, its almost a certainty that you have a chronic illness, fatigue, a high body fat percentage and you have no idea what your body needs in terms of real nutrition and physical activity. Don’t worry. It’s not completely your fault. After all, we remember that awe-inspiring food pyramid telling us to eat five to seven servings of carbohydrates and walk 20 minutes a day as part of “balanced” diet and fitness plan. I have bad news for you: both of those recommendations are probably not suitable for you. What should you do? Say, “Screw it”, sit on the couch and pound some cola and chips while watching reality TV (also known as cable news)? NO! You care about yourself and your body and are dedicated to improvement. So, if you’re looking for some tried and true life hacks to kick-start your health and physical fitness, the following tips are for you.

1.  Intermittent Fasting (IF): The old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day turns out to be an old wives tale. In fact, new research shows that skipping breakfast altogether may turn out to be the single best thing you can do for your health. Dr. Joseph Mercola and others have done a great deal of research about this subject and I suggest you do your own. Fasting has been used for centuries as a way to detoxify the body and lose weight. This tactic is well known in the Paleo community, but it can also be used to build muscle mass and cut body fat. Many athletes and bodybuilders are beginning to embrace IF. Actor Hugh Jackman, when asked his secret for getting so lean for the X-Men movies, stated that he only ate between 10am and 6pm. Essentially, he skipped breakfast, worked out in a fasted state and then stopped eating food after 6 pm. He fasted for 16 hours, ate for 8. He did not cut calories. He actually ate more while he was trying to pack on lean mass. This is the approach I use and it has worked very well for me.

How does it work? Skipping breakfast and doing exercise in a fasted state trigger the body to release growth hormone to preserve muscle tissue. Additionally, the body is signaled to mobilize fat tissue to burn for energy. Most breakfast foods are high in carbohydrates, which triggers the body to release insulin. While insulin levels are high, the body will shut off growth hormone production. If your muscles and liver have enough glycogen stored already, that high insulin will cause your body to shuttle glucose from those carbohydrates into your fat cells. So what if you just skip carbs in the morning and opt for eggs? I’ll address that next, but I suggest unless you have some medical condition that prevents you from trying intermittent fasting, try it. Who knows? You may reverse unhealthy conditions in your body and you might feel better.

2.  Carbohydrate Cycling or “Backloading”:I’ve already suggested skipping breakfast and especially high sugar, high grain foods in the morning. There are those who do not eat any sugar or grain whatsoever, and they have changed their lives. Personally, I have followed a no starch, low sugar diet and I have been able to effectively manage an autoimmune disease without any painkillers or prescription drugs. However, if you are an athlete who needs to refuel your muscle tissue or you just have to have some carbs to feel whole, try eating them only on certain days and eating them later in the day, after exercising.

Carb Cycling: By skipping carbohydrates for a period of time and then spiking your intake of them, you can refuel your glycogen stores allowing your body to perform at a high level while stripping off body fat. This is carb-cycling. Essentially, skip carbs for a number of days to mobilize fat stores to be used as energy, and then fill up. You will learn how many carbs and what type your body likes after just a few weeks.

Carb Backloading: Another approach is to eat your carbs later in the day. This essentially allows your body to slip into ketosis, maximize fat usage through the day, and then reefed at night. John Kiefer has published two books and other articles examining how the body can transport glucose without raising insulin levels in the body. By eating carbs later in the day, after exercise, the body can take in carbohydrates to refuel without the body’s insulin level skyrocketing.

If you need carbs in your diet, you may consider looking into these two life hacks.

3.  Eating More Fat: If your have not read Wheat Belly by William Davis M.D. or Grain Brainby Davis Perlmutter M.D., you really should. Both books present a compelling case against high carbohydrate consumption and also for why people may not be eating enough of the right fat for optimum health. Grain Brain further argues that most bodies, and especially the brain, prefer to burn ketones for optimal health. The brain needs enough fat (butter, avocado, fish oil, heavy cream, nuts) to function and repair itself properly. Both books suggest that Alzheimers and other brain abnormalities could really be a form of diabetes, caused by excessively high blood sugar levels.

The takeaway? Fat is not the enemy. Fat doesn’t make fat. High blood sugar and insulin levels are most likely the culprit. Also, it is no coincidence that after the government’s “war on fat” occurred, the level of obesity and autoimmune disease began to skyrocket. Changing your diet will change your life. Embrace fat or be fat. Pun intended.

4.  Hit it and quit it! How long are your workouts? Do you spend hours at the gym or on the bicycle or treadmill? Raise your hand, and say, “Hi, I’m ___________your name here_______ and I’m wasting time.” You may have been led to believe that the time you put into an activity is more important that the intensity you use. The opposite is true. Just as productivity is more important that activity, intensity is more important than duration. Running is more effective than walking. Smaller rest periods are more effective that sitting on the leg press or preacher curl machine with your smart phone for 5 minutes between sets. The book First 20 Minutes by Gretchen Reynolds is a great resource for those who want to learn more about why exercise intensity trumps exercise duration. For now, as a multiple health club owner, and personal trainer, I will tell you those who train using drop sets, supersets and high intensity interval training (HIIT) see much better results than those who workout without a plan and take a nap between sets. In fact, while I suggest changing routines every 6-8 weeks to shock the body into change, I never recommend people stop using high intensity principles.

Note: Please don’t confuse HIIT, drop sets and supersets with Crossfit. Some preach Crossfit, and I applaud anyone who sticks to a plan. However, the amount of injury, chronic fatigue and overtraining I see from crossfitters lead me to suggest using it as a part of a training routine, not the entire thing. Think Bruce Lee here. Take the best from all disciplines. Don’t be a fanatic without regard for the results.

How It Works: With Cardio: Instead of walking on a treadmill for 45 minutes, begin to walk for 30 seconds, then sprint for 30, then back to walking. Continue to do this for 10-20 minutes. You’ll save time and increase results.

With weight lifting: After doing squats with, let’s say 135 pounds, drop the weight down immediately after the first set to 100 pounds and perform more reps. This is a drop set. A superset would be performing bicep curls on the machine and then immediately performing another bicep exercise. It’s also possible to move onto a completely different muscle group. (For example, doing bench press followed by pull-ups.) Embrace intensity over duration. Save yourself some time. Don’t workout for longer than 90 minutes. Ever. 45 minutes is much better. See more results. Enjoy life more!

5.  Wear a Watch During Your Workout And decorate your house with wall clocks. I believe firmly in being consciously aware that time is ticking away. We all have the same hours in the day. The bum and the millionaire get the same time during the day. What makes the difference? How people use and don’t use their time. Time is really the only asset we have that doesn’t depend on something or someone else. During your workout, being conscious of how you are using your time. Capitalize on it. This will help you be more productive. Personally I like to wear a Casio G Shock with a stopwatch so I can time my workouts and rest periods. Sometimes I’ll even wear an expensive watch to remind me that lost time is lost money and that craftsmanship matters in life and the marketplace.

At home, decorate with clocks. They look nice and they will keep you on track. Once you begin to maximize your time, you’ll find you begin to resent the people and things that waste your time. This is good. Don’t waste your time. This is especially true when eating and getting exercise. Most importantly, don’t waste time being ignorant. It’s your responsibility to yourself and your family to become educated and independent. Do your research. A mentor once said, “Poor people have big TV’s. Rich people have big libraries.” I believe this is also true with healthy people. You only get so much time in life. Don’t waste it!

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Gym Fashion Faux Pas

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With so many fitness apparel stores available to consumers now, it ‘s a wonder that so many people just don’t seem to care what they wear at the gym. Do you think no one is looking at you? They are. And they are wondering what makes you think it’s okay to show up to a training session looking like that. Here are the top Gym Fashion faux pas.

1. Men in spandex pants

Yes, we still see this from time to time and all we can ask is, “why?” With all the cool workout gear for men to wear, why on Earth would a guy still wear spandex at the club? It shows the curves we don’t want to see and frankly leaves too little to the imagination. Go get some Underarmor and Nike pants. They are better for training and you won’t be offending anyone. You’ll thank us when you do.

2. Men in Stringer Tank tops
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Dude, we can see your nipples! Seriously, are you a bodybuilding from 1992? No. So, please go put on a tee or appropriate tank top. Not to mention, the lack of material you’re sporting doesn’t keep your sweat puddles off the machines. Please, we beg you, use them for cleaning rags and don’t sport them at the gym

3.Wearing Jeans (or any other non-workout attire)

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Everyday I see people in the club wearing jeans, loafers, flip flops and boots while working out. C’mon. Those clothes are not meant for training. Plus, what does it say about your mindset if you’re working out in loafers and jeans. Invest in a couple fitness outfits and start to dominate your workouts. We guarantee showing up in the same clothes you just came from on the job will not help you. Plus, it looks like you don’t care. Jeans are also terrible for upholstery.

4. VPL on Women

Yes ladies, we can clearly see the outline of your underwear because your pants are so tight. If you prefer to wear tights while working out, please make sure your undergarments are appropriate as well. Visible panty lines are not hot, and you wouldn’t want it at the office, so why would it be okay in the club. Invest in some Lululemon underwear. They are invisible under clothes and they look great also.

5. Clashing Colors

Are you really wearing an orange shirt with brown shorts at the gym? What about that highlighter color shirt with red pants. Honestly, do yourself a favor and look great at the club. Have a couple matching outfits. It will do wonders for your mindset and everyone around you will respect you for dressing up to train your butt off.

6. Wearing Garbage Bags or Sweatsuits

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Are you trying to cut weight for a wrestling meet? No? Then don’t wear a garbage bag at the gym. Ever.

7. Leisure suits

Unless you’re 65 years old and your name is Vinny, Sonny, Bobby or some other name from Godfather or Goodfellas, you shouldn’t be wearing a leisure suit. Also, they don’t mix well with the sweat you create at the gym. Enough said.

8. Crop Tops on Men

Hideous. Seriously guys, no one cares that you might have a six-pack if you have it on display all the time. And if you don’t have a six-pack, you really shouldn’t be wearing crop tops. Spare us all from your happy trail. Thank you.

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Why Do You Work Out?

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When people begin a program, whether fitness, education or work related, I’m always curious as to why they do it. I believe that most people do things because they are told it’s either a good idea, it will be fun, it will give them pleasure-all bad reasons in my opinion. The reasons why you do something will likely determine the outcome (results) in what you do. Like I’ve said, most people don’t have strong enough reasons to complete something, or they are only doing it because….you guessed it, “everyone else is.” That’s probably the reason of all to do something.

So what makes a reason strong enough or too weak? Let’s take health and fitness, a field in which I know a little something about. Take a minute and think about why you exercise. Why do you when go to the gym? What do you do when you get there? If your answer to these questions sounds like “because I need to lose fat” and “I walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes”, then I can tell you right now, you better get some stronger reasons or your results will be mediocre at best. If you are doing something because you feel you “have to”, you have some work to do. So let’s get to work. I want you to do the following:

-Think of an image of your ideal body

-Write down a description of what your absolute ideal physical body looks like

-Write down 5 compelling reasons why you MUST achieve what you wrote down.

Let me give you an example of 5 compelling reasons why I lift 5 days a week and regulate the amount of carbohydrates, alcohol and caffeine I consume. Here we go!

1. I lift weights vigorously 5 days a week because I want to be a beacon of physical strength and energy.

2. I watch what I eat because I want to see my children play with their children when I’m 80.

3. I want a physique that people admire and women desire.

4. I absolutely refuse to be a frail ‘old man’.

5. I want to be a source of strength so that I may serve people to the best of my ability.

Ok, maybe those reasons may seem a little crazy to you, or make you smile because you find them silly. There’s no denying that my reasons to get my butt in the gym are strong. What could be a stronger reason that wanting to see my grown children play with their children? The point here is, get JUICED about your reasons! Your reasons should run deep and strike an emotional chord with you. They should make you smile. Maybe they should make you cringe. Your reasons should associate so much pleasure with going to the gym and so much pain from not going, that it no longer takes any effort to go exercise and transform your life.

Now here’s your homework: write 5 reasons why you do what you do in 5 different areas in your life; physical, emotional, work related, relationships, and diet. Get strong reasons and get strong results!

Here’s to your health, Sean Covell

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Do You Want to Live Forever?

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Live Long… And Be Strong!

When we talk about quality of life, emotional state and physical well being are usually part of the conversation. But, when it comes to living a long, hospital-free life, there are a few indicators to look for the next time you’re in the gym. Here are FOUR areas to consider when determining where you might need to work physically to ensure a long life.

Grip Strength

A person’s grip may be a significant indicator in longevity and disease in humans. Numerous studies show as a person ages, the slower their grip strength declines, the higher the likelihood the person will live longer and have less hospitalizations. When training, add some emphasis to how hard you are squeezing the weight. Some great exercises include: reverse wrist curls, farmers walks with heavy dumbbells, deadlifts, the gripper and pull ups. Incorporate these exercises into your weekly routines and add some months onto your life calendar.

For more info:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3337929/

Leg Size

A British study has shown a link between people with skinny legs and heart disease. That’s right, the skinnier your wheels, the more likely you are to develop cardiovascular problems. In the study, those participants with thighs between 55 and 60 centimeters (22 and 24 inches) received a protective effect against heart disease, the study reports. However, the protective effects of leg size diminished once someone’s legs were over 24 inches.

Next time you are in the club, make sure that training your legs are a priority! It may save your life.

For more info:

http://news.discovery.com/human/health/thighs-heart-disease.htm

Excessive Cardio

Too much long distance cardiovascular exercise may do more harm than good. That’s not good news for all the folks who consider running their only exercise. After studying 40 elite long distance athletes, researchers found:

Right ventricular (RV) function diminished after races

Blood levels of cardiac enzymes (markers for heart injury) increased

The longer the race, the greater the decrease in RV function

12 percent of the athletes had scar tissue in their heart muscle detected on MRI scans one week after the race.

Instead of only doing cardio, consider short interval training combined with some strength training.

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/01/25/cardio-may-damage-heart.aspx

Eating Less

Wait, what? That’s right! There’s mounting evidence showing a link between caloric restriction and improved insulin sensitivity, improved immune system and decreased inflammation. Severely cutting calories just two days a week may result in significant changes in blood markers showing reduced inflammation, insulin sensitivity and a whole host of other positive health effects. Pick two days a week and reduce the amount of food you ingest. Another easy way to fast is to embrace intermittent fasting, where a meal is skipped (often breakfast), or all food is consumed during a certain 8-10 hour period. This allows 14-16 hours where the body is taking in no food. Bottom line: eat for fuel and don’t overdo it with your meals. It can damage your body and reduce your lifespan

For more info:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dawson-church/kickstarting-your-longevi_b_8096262.html

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