Training the Olympians
Strong & Healthy Woman Program
This is an amazing 6 week journey in learning the fundamentals of strength training, nutrition, and fitness. There is no where else you will receive the hands on and detailed instruction. 6 weeks of group training 3 x per week and nutritional coaching and goal setting is all included with this program!
NEXT KICKOFF October 8, 2016 10:30am
This is the last Kickoff of 2016!
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Seriously Stop it already. Stop quitting. Stop telling yourself the story of why you can’t achieve your goals or why this is too hard, or why this isn’t for you. You know that voice that takes over when you start that new exercise program and it says, “ This isn’t for me, (after the first week) I just need to walk a little more first or maybe start riding my bike”. The truth is we all know that won’t happen. Sure you will quit, because quitting is what you do, but that walking thing you are going to start doing instead, that isn’t going to happen, well at least not for long. You have made quitting your habit. As my 6 year old daughter says when she does something she is good at.. “This is my jam”.. You have made quitting your jam.. You are exceptional at it. You can be reading this and saying, this guy is an A—hole. That could be very true, but if it pisses you off then I encourage you to take a deeper look as to why. STOP creating that same pattern so your story can be, “I have tried EVERYTHING and NOTHING EVER worked!” Yep, keep quitting, keep making that story true so you can sit with it and be the victim of how workouts, coaches, trainers, doctors, and nutrition programs have all failed you. Lets get real here… I am sure you have “tried” lots of things, but have you mastered anything? Have you really put your entire being into something with the attitude of conquering it? I am sure you have credit card receipts to show for all the money you have spent on just about everything that didn’t work, but that is about it. If totaled credit card receipts and unused supplement bottles, dusty treadmills in your garage, and unused memberships aren’t proof, you don’t know what else is. I mean you really have tried everything, but have you persevered?
Perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Read it again. Seriously, read it 4 times.
Steadfast: Firm in Purpose, Unwavering faith, Adherence, Firmly established
Purpose: The reason for which something exists Determination, resoluteness,
Adherence: Steady Devotion
This could go on and on, but the point is, quitting after 1 week or 6 weeks of something that you really never gave your entire focus to really doesn’t count in the field of persevering or having a purpose. Really it doesn’t even count because you quit before it began. You went through the motions to see if something would happen to you rather than making your entire being, be completely about going after your goal with purpose and steadfast focus(see definitions above). It’s like purchasing that membership or hiring that trainer and not showing up consistently was magically going to transform you. I mean really showing up consistently with a positive mental attitude, doing all the required outside work recommended. Following the nutritional guidelines and getting clarity when you had questions rather than making up your own rules. I mean going after it like you needed this to survive. Becoming a student of the process you are undertaking as if you are going to have to teach the subject as an expert. Are you owning your experience or are you a bystander letting the process kind of happen to you. There is a big difference in the mental approach.
Shit gets hard sometimes, that is the truth, but quitting every time things become difficult is a sure way to keep your story true. You know that one that says I have tried everything and I can’t get results. The cliché of get comfortable with being uncomfortable is the truth if you really want to see results in life. It goes for fitness, weight loss, career growth, being a better spouse, parent, or whatever your goal is. All of the awesome success stories we admire in history and all the great movies have the common theme of persevering and overcoming the odds. Think about every awesome movie that inspires. I think about movies that have inspired me over the years from Rocky, The Karate Kid, The Pursuit of Happyness, and dozens more, add your favorite to the list. Each one is a story of the internal battle of persistence and dedication. We all see it on the screen, yet can’t see that each of us are capable of making the decision not to quit and persevere. That is really the difference. Quitting is a sure way of making sure success will not happen. Yet somewhere there is a part of brain that will make you believe that you will find an easier softer way, where magically quitting will make everything better, or it will just make everyone else wrong, and you justified.
When it comes to fitness, I have seen programs that are really not all that great, and yet yield amazing results because they stuck with a plan consistently. They focused on it and gave their full attention to being committed to the process and the goal. It just takes a singleness of purpose and the belief that there is no other option except to be All IN. As the saying goes, if you want to take the island, burn your ships at the shore, there is no going back. It just takes the wake up call to feel the realization that you haven’t seen your goals because you are quitter. If you are OK with that then cool, own it and don’t stress yourself out with not achieving something you won’t put the work in to receive. If you are looking to change this pattern, get to that point where you know you need to quit because it sucks so bad, and then do the what you haven’t done before… Don’t quit. It’s like the Seinfeld Episode where George’s life became amazing because he decides to act in complete opposite of what he would normally do. IF you want a quick reference or a laugh, or if your a Millennial that doesn’’t know what Seinfeld is watch the video.
How Not be Quitter
I wish I had the exact answer to this, but here are some things I know have helped me when I have wanted to quit.
Surround yourself with people that will call you out and hold you accountable. Let me be clear, make sure these friends aren’t in worse shape than you are. They won’t be able to help. Make sure the people you choose to have around you have a history of success with health and fitness if fitness is your struggle. Having your de-conditioned friends support you is like trying to quit drinking and expecting your drinking buddies to help you stay sober. It ain’t going to happen. You getting better while they are staying the same doesn’t do well for them, though they may not mean it, they will make sure you stay at the same level as them. Along the same theme, avoid joining a gym with a group of your friends that are in the same situation as you and have a history of quitting. Instead of motivating each other what ends up happening is the person that loses steam first will drag everyone else down with them. When one person misses everyone else has a reason to miss.
If you don’t have people in your life and you are training at a gym Ask the gym staff for accountability. If you are at a gym that is worthwhile the staff is there to help you through this, if they don’t help you, find another gym. Nowadays there are more than enough to choose from that will help. You aren’t paying for a gym membership, pay for structure and accountability and get the service you need.
Write out your goals in detail. Don’t just stop at listing out the goals, write out why you want to achieve the goals. Go even further and write out the consequences of what will happen if don’t achieve them! Read my last blog post on goals to get a deeper understanding of how to look at your goals and the questions to ask for more clarity. I promise going through this process will help!
Master Sleep. Yes this goes for just about everything in life. Poor sleep will make life suck in many ways, not just exercise. One of the ways that you can master sleep is to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time every morning. Yes, this includes the weekends. This habit has changed my life more than anything I have ever done. It takes commitment, because I don’t really stay out late on the weekends, but honestly the value of having consistency in my life out weighs staying up late. If there is a special event on the weekend and you stay up late, wake up at your normal time the next morning. This habit of consistent sleep patterns will carry over to being more consistent in other areas of your life. If you are saying to yourself, I won’t try that, then just stick to what has been working for you so well up to this point in achieving your goals(sarcasm). It takes focus, but start with mastering sleep before making the effort to master exercise.
Wake up Early and Be Grateful. Ok, it sounds like I’ve gone off the deep end now. Waking up early and going to bed early are game changers, but the most important part of getting up early is take time to start your day with getting grounded. Many times goals fall by the wayside because we just aren’t set up for success. If there is disorganization going on internally, adding one more stressor or additional responsibility to your life isn’t going to work. Lots of times those internal negative voices that are allowing you to quit are just noises that need to be shut off before they get started. Starting each day with feeling the emotion of gratitude is literally better than any drug you can take. I came across this 5 minute video on Youtube when I got started with this practice and it rocked my world (in a good way). It was short, it was energizing, and it got me to actually FEEL gratitude. I reflected on some amazing things in my life and I remember having one of the greatest days I had in awhile. I have continued to practice this and it has been amazing. Things I have struggled with for years have become effortless. If this meditation doesn’t resonate with you, search for one that speaks to and gets you to feel gratitude. YouTube, itunes, and Google are at the tip of your fingers ad I am sure you can find a meditation or guide if you are looking for it. Gratitude is more than a list, it really is getting in to the feeling and emotion of it. Don’t ask me exactly how this works with the brain, but it truly will make the things you have struggled a lot easier without trying.
I could go on longer than I already have, but focusing on the actions above can be such powerful tools in your war against mediocrity aka.. being a quitter.
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Here is the truth, You probably just don’t want it bad enough. Think about something you have achieved in life that took substantial effort. I mean something that you really wanted and had to work for to accomplish it. Seriously take a minute before you read on to reflect on this. Maybe it was your college degree that you had to pay for and work a full time job in order to graduate. Maybe it was that job you applied for, then reapplied for, and then interviewed for, and no matter what you kept going after it. You applied for months, you prepped yourself, and pumped yourself up for it, you sent follow up emails, and if you didn’t get the job then it didn’t stop you from going after it and reapplying again until you got hired. Maybe you started a business, or you consistently gave all you got to get a promotion at work and continue to thrive in your career. How about that girl you had a crush on and pursued and knew that you had to win her heart. We all have stories of success in our lives that started from a thought. While you were going through it, it was like you were on autopilot, it didn’t feel like work, you were just going after something you needed to accomplish. You were in the zone. Once that thought was in your head you just kept doing the work and accomplished it no matter what the obstacles. The thought of all the things that could go wrong didn’t deter you, and even if things went wrong you kept moving forward. If you had a party to attend the night before that big interview you would have declined because you knew how important it was for you, and it didn’t even upset you that you missed it. You had your eye on the prize, there were no distractions just the vision you were after. There was none of the talk that you “have to go to an interview and it sucks”. No, the attitude was I GET TO GO TO this awesome interview and I am excited to get that job. There are probably some areas in your life right now that still demand that same attention, focus, and habits of success. It is just part of you and who you are. So why doesn’t that happen with your fitness and health goals?
HEALTH AND FITNESS ARE BURDENS
Unfortunately, for many people the above scenarios of success are not how people view their fitness and health goals. I know because I have been in this field for 2 decades and have struggled with certain fitness goals myself and I have seen the success stories and the failures. I can’t tell you how many times I hear people say I “have” to go to the gym with their entire body language is slumped, eyes are down and it is like they have been sentenced to jury duty for the 3rd time that year. It’s like that interview scenario above to land that killer job. If they really wanted that job with every part of their being it is a pretty easy decision not to drink like a fish the night before… Why? Well they know that taking such actions aren’t going to benefit them at all and most likely take them out of the running for that highly competitive job. Why is it that when facing weight loss or health goals people will say things like, “I really want to lose weight, but we had this party to go to and they had the best deserts and I couldn’t resist”. No, just say what you mean, you really don’t want to lose that weight, period. The reason… it is only important if it doesn’t interfere with your social life, or sweet tooth, or (fill in the blank). You are just content with where you are. I am a firm believer if you want to hit a goal, you do everything to achieve it. There is a singleness of purpose and all your habits must support it. Most people squeeze by on the bare minimum and they will only do so much to achieve a goal they have set for themselves. A business trip turns into an excuse to eat horribly for a week, an important call is a good enough reason to miss a training session. Nope, don’t worry to make up that training session that was missed, you will just start over again on Monday, because as long as it doesn’t interfere with other things you will do it. Don’t be upset about the results you don’t achieve with the work you didn’t put in. So why is it so hard to just commit?
IT’S JUST NOT BAD ENOUGH
Usually when you are really disturbed, pissed off, or disgusted with yourself, you will make a change. It’s the truth with any big changes we need to make in our lives. Without that, there is no stimulus to change. It just isn’t bad enough. I was reflecting on a few things that caused me to make some of the biggest changes of my life and I was either really upset or really disappointed and it hurt! In 2010 I was working a job for a company putting in over 60+ hours per week. I was hustling my ass off. I had a 4 month old baby and a wife at home to support. I met the owners to get my quarterly bonus that was based on a percentage of revenue. My agreed upon bonus was roughly $8000. I was told they couldn’t afford that amount, but they could give me a $3500 bonus. I took it and told them I understood if the company was in a tough position. The next day the owner pulled up in a brand new BMW. Talk about disturbed. I was irate, I was hurt, I was angry, I felt like a punk. I had talked and talked about opening a gym for years, It was always a someday thing, but now I had a 4 month old baby at home and felt like it was impossible to make the jump. How could I quit? It made no sense. Sure, I wanted to start a gym for the past 10 years and it was all I talked about, but now was not a good time! Well, I took a huge action and a leap of faith because I knew I had to do whatever it took to support my family. I quit my job with no money and the result of that jump was Evolution Fitness. At times I don’t know exactly how I got here, but I just had to keep doing what I was doing because failure wasn’t an option.
More recently I had a big shift and change happen with my fitness and health. Back in January I decided I wanted to run a mile because I hadn’t done it in a very long time. The result….. I barely survived the run, I was healed over in pain and could barely breath. The worst part was, I wasn’t running, it was a light jog.. I was embarrassed for myself, I was disturbed that I could barely put together a mile as a 40 year old man that has been a trainer for over 16 years. Sure I could lift a lot of weight and swing the heck out of kettlebells, but I could not move my body and make it do what I wanted it to. My conditioning sucked. I saw a huge area in my health that was lacking in a big way. It was eye opening, I was embarrassed for myself and it really upset me. I couldn’t just write it off anymore unless I just wanted to lie to myself. I knew I had to start slowly, but I started to improve my running so I set a goal to run a 1/2 Marathon. It gave me structure and something to aim for. If I didn’t feel so humiliated by my fitness and health, I wouldn’t have done anything about it. The fact was it hit me hard enough to make me want to change, I felt it deep inside of me. I really hope that things like this happen throughout my life. It takes a disruption to cause change.
ARE YOU DISTURBED ENOUGH?
What will it take for you to see a situation for what it is and make it so you can’t lie to yourself about it. When you are upset enough about something you will find a way to make it happen. You won’t have time, money, or work as an excuse not to achieve it. I really wish this gift of desperation, being disturbed, or embarrassed, on everyone that is searching to achieve something greater. Think about it for a few moments. Write out the following questions.
What do you want to achieve? What is your vision?
What is pissing you off?
What is it that you want to change in your life?
Why do you want to achieve it?
What are the consequences of not achieving it? Is it affecting just you or others?
Dig deep. Write out all the things you are missing out on by not hitting your goals.
In my job change years ago I did this drill and it shook me. I knew if I stayed there I was going to continually work harder, be away from my family more, and never afford the life I wanted to create for my family. Family, yes my family. It wasn’t about me. It was about my family. It had to affect my family to shake me. As I saw my 4 month old baby and thought about her future, I knew to my inner core my bosses didn’t give a damn about my family’s needs or my dreams. It was about them and their needs. I had a vision for my family and I knew they weren’t going to help me get there. I needed to get pissed off and that did it.
If this drill doesn’t work then take a different approach.. If you are wanting to lose weight, go buy some clothes you know you want to fit in, or grab some clothes you use to fit in and go and try and put them on. See how they feel on you, don’t sugar coat it. Really be true to yourself if they can’t fit. Don’t just take them off immediately, feel it, really feel it. If you are truly OK with it then move on, if you are not pleased keep the clothes on a bit longer. Do some everyday activities in them to really make you upset. If weight isn’t your goal and better fitness is your goal then go run a mile and try and do it in under 10-11 minutes. If you haven’t trained in years drop and do 50 (Real) pushups and and 50 deep body weight squats for time. See how you feel, see how you feel the next day. If you feel defeated, so sore you can’t move, or weaker than you would like to admit, then internalize it. Really feel the shitty part and use it to motivate you. I know when I was healed over after that mile run I was miserable, I was upset, because if I ever needed to run for my life I knew I couldn’t. That was the truth and I owned it.
BE YOUR HABITS
Habits are crucial to change. I’ll never forget a member of the gym I was a part of years ago. He saw an amazing transformation. He had the stories of not having time to workout for years, until he had a heart scare and woke up in the ER. He had tons of money and success, but not health. He started getting to the gym at 5am every day to do light cardio and return in the afternoon 3 days per week to do weight training. One day I saw him at the gym at 5am like normal. He came in, read the paper for about 5 minutes on the bike, and then just sat down for a bit. He said hi to some people and started to leave. I joked with him about having a short workout. I’ll never forget what he told me. He said he wasn’t feeling great that morning and knew he shouldn’t train, but he didn’t want to break his habit of waking up and coming to the gym. To him, he had to keep his ritual of waking up and driving to the gym. At the end of the year this man lost close to 70lbs and looked like he had trained his entire life. I didn’t realize how awesome this was. He was invested, he was committed, he was ALL IN. There were no sob stories of not being motivated, or how can I get the best results with the least amount of time. No, he was clear he had to change his thought process and change his life. He did the same with his nutrition. Guess what… He didn’t lose any business or money either because he focused more on his health. THIS, is the secret to change. Creating new habits and incorporating them into your life. The word incorporate means to take in and make part of the whole. It doesn’t mean something you do when you feel like it or when it is convenient. Ask yourself if you truly incorporating your habits into your life or are you just doing them because you have to or because you want to avoid (fill in the blank). An example I see all the time are those on a diet and counting down to their next cheat meal. This isn’t incorporating this is merely surviving and tolerating your current situation. I do know people that have tried just about everything to lose weight and there are situations that may be out your control with hormones and health. If this is the case then this is where habits are even more important to live by enjoying the journey of living a healthier life comes in.
I am not sure what this young mans story is, but this short video is awesome. It is inspiring, it is full of action, it is free of excuses, it is determination and persistence. It is focus it is failure isn’t an option. It makes me feel like I could be doing more.
Enjoy the Journey
Of course many of us set a goal and look to the future. Seeing where we want to go is huge. The most important part of the process is having a vision worth going after. One of the things I am really embracing with my goals now in business or athletics is enjoying the journey. It has been a powerful shift. While building Evolution I had such focus that it took me over 5 years to actually take a step back and take a breath to actually enjoy what was created. I always thought that being proud the accomplishments was counter productive. Once one goal was achieved I immediately set another one without taking a moment to enjoy what was accomplished, I didn’t want to get too sure of myself. I realize now that I robbed myself of a lot of fulfillment. I am currently training for my first triathlon. I am learning how to swim with correct form for the first time in my life. It has been the biggest physical challenge I have taken on as an adult. The first time I swam back to back 25 yard Iaps I felt like a dog that was thrown in the pool and just praying for the edge. The best part was being able to laugh at myself, and enjoy the moments of being a beginner again. I actually have been able to enjoy the challenge, embrace it, and yes laugh at myself. On your journey to whatever your goal is, I encourage you to enjoy the moments of being new, enjoy the little successes and use them to build upon, look at the little set backs as a way to refocus and not defeat you. Take them in and realize that when you get through these obstacles and build little successes you will be able to use your experience to help others.
In the world of strength training there are so many different sources of information on best practiced methods. When it comes to training athletic performance it is important that the appropriate exercises are chosen for the athlete. The main focus for the athlete is improvement in their given sport not becoming a better in the weight room. Most of the time it is focus on the fundamentals and basics in the weight room not the fancy plyometrics we see on youtube. Here is an article we wrote for TriSports University on the best exercises for Triathletes. These have the biggest bang for the buck and best carryover for endurance athletes. Read more here at Trisports University..
Core training and functional training have been the rage words over the past decade. With all the rage it seems as if many people writing articles on the topic don’t have the basic understanding of what it is. Standing on a Bosu ball while playing catch may have some outlying benefit, but research time and time again has shown it doesn’t make your core stronger. Core training really could mean full body strength from your knees to your chest and how all the parts work together. Functional training could also mean a ton of different things based on how you want to function. Functional Training for an endurance athlete is different than functional training for strength athlete which is different than functional training for the desk jockey. Though entire books are written on this concept I wanted to highlight one way we like to train these concepts.
Kettlebell training has taken the world by storm, and if used appropriately with proper form they can be a life changer. The kettlebell swing can help increase gluteal and hamstring strength as well as improve power development, and core/trunk strength. We specialize in utilizing them and feel they are one of the best all around tool to train this concept. For general populations they can be the only tool they need to improve full body strength and fitness. For strength athletes and other athletes they are definitely invaluable as an accessory tool to teach healthy movement and teach power development within a short time.
Weighted Carries are functional training. How many times per day do people tell you, “man I really need to increase my functionality standing on unstable objects while lifting weight?” I am assuming probably never. How many times have people said, I get tired carrying my kids or grandkids, or I was at the airport and carrying my luggage hurt by back. So my question is why don’t we train carrying things? There are numerous different variations of carries. You can bilateral carries or unilateral carries. We will post a blog soon on all the different carry variations for your enjoyment! Here is a video of a more advanced concept we use with our more advanced trainees.. This is a kettlebell complex combined with weighted carries. If you are new to training I wouldn’t jump into this, but this should give you a taste of the awesomeness of carries. The benefits to the “core” and “functionality” are by far the best benefit with the shortest amount of time needed to see results!