Quality Articles of the Week – 24th of February 2017

Quality Articles of the week 24th February 2017

Back on track for the week.  We have found a new Website of the Week, as well as articles from across the spectrum of general fitness, strength training, movement and mental goodness, among others.

Website of the Week

Now who in their right minds wouldn’t want to read about getting stronger?  As I thought, everybody.  Now what about including a little bit of science in there?  Yup.  Mention science, most people drop their hands, like some miracle has occurred.  At the end of the day, there are three ways to learn.  Your gut feel.  Bro-science, or real science.  I know which one I would choose all the time.

Stronger By Science

General Fitness

Trackers.  We have seen their sales sky rocket, but what do they do?  Well most track movement (or lack thereof), calories burnt, sleep, among other things.  But do they work?  Well, it depends.  It will depend on your mindset.  It depends what time of device you use, as well as what you want it to do for you.  Take a look below.

Science: Your new fitness tracker will not work miracles

Don’t squat below parallel.  Get those knees in line with your toes.  Myths, or truths?  Take a read.

Squat myth – Knees should never go past your toes

This questions get bought up whenever someone misses a couple of sessions, so instead of me re-inventing the wheel, why not just share this…

Do you lose fitness faster than you gain it?

Shoes.  There is an absolute killing happening in the industry.  Different colours.  Different requirements.  Pronation.  Neutral.  But, in all honesty, does it really matter?  Well glad you asked.

Active Voice: In Pursuit of Injury-free Running — Does Footwear Matter?

Movement Goodness

We have heard it time and time again, lengthening the muscle.  Rub it is gets longer, but does it?  If you want to know the answer, then click on the link.

Can Massage Therapy Lengthen A Muscle?

Between Cor-Kinetic and MTDC, my learning experience is going through the roof.  This is an interesting read, and I think a lot of people will really be in tune with this type of analogy.

Are painful FLARE UPS to exercise just like SUNBURN? (and why might we need analogy anyway?)

Strength Training

If you are running on a treadmill, and not doing any weight training, then time to change up a couple of your running sessions, to lifting….Go on, you know you want to.

Trying to Shed That Belly? Step Off the Treadmill and Grab Some Weights, Boys & Girls! 19x More Visceral, 1.5x Higher Subcutaneous Fat Loss W/ Resistance Training in Youths

Machines.  I used to have a real set against them.  I still do against the Smith Machine, especially when trainers are trying to teach people how to squat.  Now I still have some issues, but I can appreciate what they can be used for, and how well people can use them.

Rise of the (Weight) Machines: Why Exercise Equipment is Not As Bad You’ve Been Told

Greg Nuckols.  Winner of the best beard award for strong as fuck guys in 2016.  Educated, clever, and awesome content keeper, and sharer.

Training to Failure, or Just Training to Fail?

If your Overhead Squat position sucks (yes, it’s like this is written just for me), click on the link, and get educated.

Improving Overhead Squat Movement

Diet and Nutrition

How do Examine do all this content for free?  Why?  Because they care.  They care about people learning.  They care about getting the right information out there.

4 science-based “superfoods” you should consider eating

James Fell.  Well done.

How To Lose Over 7 Pounds With No Effort

This will come as no surprise.  Transformation challenges.  30 day fitness challenges.  Going cold turkey off one particular food group because a celebrity chef says so.

Why so many people regain weight after dieting

Vitamin D.  Are you deficient?  How do you know?  Well let Professor Close give you all the correct information.

You are Vitamin D deficient – or are you?

This is probably the greatest heading I have ever read.  KISS.  Not the band, but the acronym for training and nutrition.  Keep It Simple Stupid.  Thank you SBS.

Training and Diet are Simple Because Your Body is Complex

Mental Goodness

If I would have had a name for mine I wouldn’t have used a name such as Clive.  I would have chosen something much more vulgar.  This is a great article.  I hope it helps you.

I named my anxiety Clive and it changed my life

Do you visualise? Have you tried it in the past and failed?  Maybe you have never tried it.  Time to get reading and see how it can work to your advantage.


Morgan Freeman.  Thank you.

Courage is the key to life itself


If I can get out of bed and put my shoes on at 105, the world will be a great place….

Lessons on Aging Well, From a 105-Year-Old Cyclist

There are times when we need to admit we were wrong.  It gets tougher the longer it goes on for, so its always refreshing when you hear of someone like a Nobel Prize winner admit his failings.

“I placed too much faith in underpowered studies:” Nobel Prize winner admits mistakes


This is a very good question, as it’s a concern that I share.  We can provide all the exercise progression and regressions, show them how to perform, how much rest, but yet, we are unsure.  If you provide programs to clients, this will come in handy.

Do patients perform home-exercises correctly?!

Sporting parents.  Your children playing sport is not about you… .

10 tips for sport parents

Do you schedule deload weeks?  What about using the finishing of a training block prior to competition instead of a deload?  Thought you may find this interesting….

Training Cessation as a Method of Tapering for Strength

The heading says it all…

Parenting- Discovering which activities your kids are passionate about s their job not yours

Started Reading

This has been sitting for a little while now for me to plough through.  If you want a book ot learn more about how to split up training programs for your sports, then get this book.  It will answer many questions.

Periodization Training for Sports


Quality Articles of the week (actually 3 weeks, but no one is counting…hopefully) 17th February 2017

Well hasn’t February rounded us up nicely.  Halfway through the month.

I became a year older (don’t think wiser though), become a grandparent, and seen my baby brother get married.  Oh, and there was also a think called retirement thrown in as well.  It was a tough thing to think about.  Throw away a lucrative fortnightly salary, to become my own boss, and take the School into the next level.  I am indeed excited that that step has occurred.  Now enough with the blabbering, get onto the content!

Movement Goodness

MTDC has been listed in the past as the website of the week and for good reason.  Their content is sound, has plenty of base level and advanced thought processes, and can get the message across easily.  If you want to move better, then head to this page to read about repeated motions.

5 reasons why you should be doing repeated motions

Strength Training

Bret Contreras. PhD.  Voted best beard of 2016 (well not really, but that beard is definitely rocking).  I am always blown away by the level of information Bret produces.  This one is definitely up there.  If you have a trainer or a coach telling you that you can only squat one way, then please, and with my permission, send this article out.  Some people learn.  Some people are stuck in their own little way.

How femur lengths effects squat mechanics

Yes.  I know that MAS shouldn’t be in strength training.  But, if I don’t have a speed heading, then where am I to put it Dear Liza?  Maybe under coaching, but lets be honest, not many people get down that far…….

Maximal Aerobic Speed

Lars Avemarie to me is the Spock of all things health and fitness.  Always learning.  Always sharing knowledge.

Strength and Conditioning Hypertrophy Notes

Diet and Nutrition

5 a day?  What the fuck is 5 a day?  Ohhhh you mean fruits and vegetables?  Sorry.  My bad.

How to eat your five a day on the cheap

We all think we can tell when we are really hungry, but how do we know for sure?  Well, click on the link and find out…

Are you really, truly, hungry?

Examine once again are my go-to resource.  I have learnt so much in my time reading and researching it blows my mind that the majority of their content is free.

What should I eat for Weight Loss

Soy is bad!!!  It’s worse than sugar!!!  Burn the farmers crops!  Quick Ma.  Grab my pitchfork. Nutrition zealots are as bad, if not worse, than movement zealots.  i am glad research such as this gets out there.

Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: results of a meta-analysis

I am all for restricting calories when done the right way.  But, did you know that it can be quite harmful, especially when you do it day after day, week after week?  Let Authority Nutrition provide you some guidance..

5 Ways Restricting Calories Can Be Harmful

The folks over at Precision Nutrition are pretty smart.  They want people to have the right information, instead of being lured with the promise of quick and easy fixes.  Here they take a look at the Ketogenic Diet, or KD for short.

The Ketogenic Diet: Does it live up to the hype?

Mental Goodness

If this doesn’t change what you think about movement, nothing will.

Predictive Coding: Why Expectation Matters for Movement and Pain

Sleep deprivation. We all have had it. So, if we have all had it, what can it do to us?  Click the link.  Read the link.  Get to sleep earlier…..

How Sleep Deprivation Decays the Mind and Body

Now.  This will indeed make you think.  Think how often you have had a week or two of shitty, interrupted sleep, only to get a sore back?  The linkages are there.

How your sleep patterns could be contributing to your back pain


Iceland.  A place where there is Ice and Land.  I wonder how they got the name??  What they have also done is found a novel way to reducing teens abusing substances.  Marvelous idea really.  But because it’s Iceland, and not the US or the UK, we aren’t listening. Such a pity.

Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse – but the rest of the world isn’t listening

Don’t you just love the helpers.  Don’t cry.  It will get better.  Don’t worry.  It will go away.  How about just loosen up?  Yup, gets me annoyed as well….

Stop telling me to loosen up

I love the content that Martin Rooney and the Training for Warriors group puts out.  It makes you think about your little place in the sun, and how you can make it better, and involve others as well, so that can also share the goodness.  This story does all that.

6 Lessons From A Battle With Cancer


This will get the tongues wagging no doubt.  Instead of going off half cocked, read the article.

Strength and speed isn’t your greatest asset

Science for Sport is such a great resource for all coaches.  If there is anything you want to learn, then go to their page, type in the subject, and I have no doubt they will have something for you.

Heart Rate Variability

We all have to learn.  With learning comes mistakes. However, what mistakes would you wished you hadn’t made?  Are they similar to the ones here?.

8 Coaching Mistakes I Wish I Never Made

Started Reading

This has been sitting for a little while now for me to plough through.  If you want a book ot learn more about how to split up training programs for your sports, then get this book.  It will answer many questions.

Periodization Training for Sports

Finished Reading

Just do the dishes.  Don’t think about your TV program.  Don’t think about your cup of tea you are going to make.  Just focus on doing the dishes.  This is the third time I have read this book, and I continue to pull things from it.

The miracle of mindfulness

Welcome to 2017 – The first of the year – 27th January 2017

Well hasn’t January just flown!!! Seems like 2 days ago I was saying goodbye to 2016, and now we are nearly at the end of January.   Next week I will be another year older (and hopefully wiser)

This week we have a new Website of the Week, and some sensational articles from places that you probably wouldn’t expect them to be.

Website of the Week

I have shared several articles from Dr.Freedhoff, so I thought it was about time I gave his website the huge thumbs up.  If you want to gain a better understanding of the nutrition world, as well as obesity, and exercise, Yoni is one of my go to resources.

Weighty Matters

General Health and Fitness

How do you learn about your chosen field?  Do you (1) just follow the what you have been taught previously, never reading anything new, or do you (2) continue to learn and educate yourself?  I know several coaches and trainers who can’t get out of their head out of what they have been taught, never wanting to think any other way is better.  Always learn.  You will be better off (as will you clients).

A weight-loss expert changes his tune: Focus on enjoyment, not perfection – Dr Yoni Freedhoff

Bryan.  Educator.  Strong as.  Bulldog lover.  Not a bad guy from all accounts.  Be like Bryan.  Teach people to become better.

8 Sneaky Reasons You’re a Fat Loss Failure

More studies.  More learning.  More people still stuck n the n=1 scenario.

Cranberries to prevent urinary tract infections: Another alternative medicine zombie that’s impervious to evidence

Now you know how I mentioned Yoni before?  Well here is one of the reasons….

A must read guest posting an apology

Yes I know.  I am doing myself out a job, but let me tell you the reason why.  We get all caught up in the New Years Resolution time warp, where we think we need to get started right away.  All our intentions are right, but it’s all the timing and delivery.  Sure.  There are some trainers who will just take your money, and don’t worry about your mental well being.  All they see is the $$$ signs.

Reality Check: Just Paying a Trainer Won’t Get You Fit

Movement Goodness

GMB.  Great website.  Great content.  Great coaches.

5 Strategies to Make Training with Your Kids Fun and Effective… for Both of You

Which sports can I do that will have the greatest affect and effect on my longevity and health?  Well glad you asked…..

Health benefits of specific sports

Shoulders.  Damn fine pieces of machinery when they are working well.  Bloody bastard of a joint when they aren’t…..

Comprehensive Capacity: an alternative to the kinesiopathological model for shoulder function

Strength Training

Hypertrophy.  Go on say that 5 times fast!!!  If you don’t know what it is, let alone how to pronounce it (hahy-pur-truh-fee), this article will indeed get your learning up.

Hypertrophy – The breakdown

This is going to upset the apple cart……The baby will definitely get thrown out….

Body part training splits are dead

Strength and Conditioning Research.  Sign up.  Up your knowledge base.

Why are strength gains velocity-specific? (strength is specific)

Diet and Nutrition

Train.  Eat the house.  But what to eat?  Do you eat the doors and windows?  Get the right information here.

Avoid feeling famished when you ramp up your workouts

Examine.  That’s all.

High-carb, high satiety?

Protein shakes.  Are they good?  Are there different types?  Well glad you asked.

Everything you need to know about protein shakes

LCHF.  Ketosis.  Performance.  These words gets bandied around as the next best thing for performance.  Read the article.  Form your own conclusions.

The High-Fat Diet for Endurance Athletes, in Three Graphs – Don’t believe the hype

Do you know what metabolic damage is?  Read the article from Precision Nutrition.  You will be better off.

Metabolic Damage

Mental Goodness

If all you worry about fixing is what is urgent, then you need to find what’s important.  It will change your thought process..

5 Ways to Focus on What’s Important, Not Just Urgent

Now this sounds of a little bit of woo, but read the article, and draw your own conclusions.

Optimism linked with living longer and warding off cancer, stroke, infection, heart disease

When Navy SEALs talk about life, we should listen.

Simple is not easy


If people share this study and claim that autism is caused by vaccines, punch them in the throat.

16 years ago, a doctor published a study. It was completely made up, and it made us all sicker

Do this in this time.  Divide up your day.  Don’t waste time.  Set aside this amount of time for lunch.  Time management is a great idea, but what happens when you start to get stressed out….

Why time management is ruining our lives

Be a decent human.  Listen more.  Talk less.

A Genuinely Touching Story Proving There’s Nothing More Important Than Kindness


This will cause ripple across the coaching and training community.

You don’t sell quick fixes. So why are you buying them?

Boom!!!!  Mike dropped

Evidence Based Coaching

Does Cold Water Immersion work?  One way to find out.

Read the link below.

Cold Water Immersion

Interesting name for a title.  If you are a coach, you will understand

Creating Hunters

Move aside Herbalife, there is a new player in the marketplace…

Performance Enhancing Drugs

Should we prescribe exercise as a preventive therapy?  Why not I say…

Prescribing exercise as preventive therapy

Started Reading

If you are an aspiring Performance Coach, then you need to buy this.  I am up to Chapter 9 – Fine Tuning motor control, with tags everywhere!!

High-Performance Training for Sports

 Finished Reading


Endurance Training – Science and Practice

Week ending 24th July 2016

Wow.  The second installment already.  How the time flies.

This week I have taken the liberty is sorting them into sections:

  • General health and Fitness
  • Mental health
  • It’s all about building habits
  • Strength training,
  • “How to”
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Movement and mobility
  • Miscellaneous section.  After all, the world can definitely do with more miscellaneous.

General Health and Fitness



Mental Health



It’s all about building habits



Strength Training


“How to”


Diet and Nutrition







Movement and Mobility








Hiccups – Do you get them, and how do you get rid of them?

Now that I have set the hook, I will tell you what I am on about.  No, it has nothing to do with training your dragons  Well I don’t think it does.  As a matter of fact, no it doesn’t but just in case someone doesn’t get the reference, here is Hiccup.hiccup_and_toothless_by_grzeboable-d7qcq0q

Now, to get back to the subject, I am referring to exercise hiccups.  Habit hiccups.  Goal hiccups.

hiccupI was introduced to hiccups by one of my students during her weekly sessions, and to me, it’s probably the best description I have heard.  It is only a small thing, but it can turn into such a larger issue, especially if it is not addressed.  Same goes for these ones.  You can’t just ride them out, they must be addressed.

How do you address them?  Well, to me, it’s exactly the same way we deal with them in real life.  You move through them, and with them.

For exercise hiccups, find an exercise you really love, like I love my mum.  Yup.  I am a mummy’s boy.  It’s the bonus prize for being first born.  And it’s okay if you love bacon too….mum

For me, that exercise would be squats.  As soon I get put that bar on the rack, I know that whatever worries I have will soon be washed away by the endorphins of movement.

20131217_140328You just need to pick something you love.  The trick is don’t go too hard.  People indicate that 1 minute a day of movement is not enough to form a habit, however, if that person isn’t doing anything, then that 7 minutes per week of exercise will be better than none.  And honestly, can anyone remember when they just exercises for a minute?  That’s right.

The next hiccup is habit.  We know that humans are creatures of habit.  As soon as Noah allowed people to sit down on the cruise, and served those paleo chips and cookies, the world was a worse place.  Now, before you get all excited that I am saying that sitting and chips and cookies are bad, that is not what I am getting at.  I am getting at the fact that, from the dawn of time, we have relaxed.  Relaxation is good.  It relieves stress.  Allows us to recover and to refocus our energies. But, like everything, too much of a good thing, is well, not good.  So what do we do about it?  Same thing as the exercise hiccup, but with the focus on a habit you like.  It could be eating kale (I don’t know why, but hey, if that’s your thing, then get into it).  It could be making a huge batch of fresh blueberry pancakes, or making up a batch of your favourite stir fried vegetables.  You could even throw a shrimp on the barbie….

shrimpOr if you like ribs…..flintstones_ribs

We could also focus on the habit of sleep, and allow ourselves to get to sleep earlier by turning off the electronic devices.  There are many ways that we drop off our habits and hiccup, but it doesn’t mean we have to stay there, continually hiccupping until we have lost all understanding of movement, exercise and food choices.

Goal hiccups are the ones that tend to get people the most riled.  They set goals at the start of the year, and work towards them.  It could be fat loss, or a performance goal.  Week after week, measurements are taken, lifts and times taken, until all of a sudden, we seem to be going backwards.  We are not making our targets, and instead of backing off and listening to our body, we push on, doing even more damage to our bodies, and more importantly our minds.

Even if you take one minute out of every day to get the brain and the body working as one, you will slowly remove the effects of the hiccup.  All it takes is one minute.

Have you really sat down and wrote down what makes you happy?  What does your happiness look like?  Next blog post will be all about happiness, and how we can get happier.

Until then, remember strength is the secret sauce.  Make sure you take your dose daily.

Fading away


“My god!!!  What have you done?  Are you not well?  If you keep going, you will end up in the hospital!!” “Don’t you think you are taking this exercise thing a little too far?  Look at you, you are fading away?”.

Why do people use the phrase “fading away” to friends and family who have lost a significant amount of weight, or have made some serious changes to their lifestyle?  After all, isn’t being healthy, the main aspect of life.  Do you think YOU have the right to make that call.  If you were so seriously worried, wouldn’t you talk to their trainer and ask for their knowledgeable thoughts.  Better still, seek some expert advice from a doctor (No Dr Oz does not count as advice!!!!), or an another health professional, explaining to them the situation.  They may want to reach out to their fitness professional, or even want to see the individual.  But don’t be too judgemental when they take a look at you sitting their in front of them, and question you about YOUR health aspects.  Maybe, just maybe, you are a little jealous of their success and want to bring them down a peg or two?

Most of the time, this person has finally said “enough is enough”, and got a small hold on their life.  They no longer see food as something they shouldn’t eat, or want to waste a day or a weekend recovering from another alcohol and food coma.  They may have had enough of the late nights, lack of energy or had a health scare.  Whatever their reason, we should be embracing it, Embracing their new-found look on life, on health, and on their “why”.

To me, this not only makes the individual feel ashamed, but also may have a longer lasting effect on their goals. To me fading away indicated an illness, a sickness, where anorexia nervosa springs to mind, and should not be aligned to someone gaining muscle and losing body fat. A person who is fading away, most will try to hide their illness.  Baggy clothing.  Heading to the toilet straight after dinner.  They may not be outgoing.  They may not want to talk about what is happening. Take a close look next time you want to tell someone they are fading away.  What can you see?  Can you see dark, sunken eyes.  Can you see clothes not fitting properly, and falling off their body?  Or can you see muscle definition, a change in their food choices and words.  Someone who has lost a great deal of weight, and replaced it with muscle, will be full of vitality, and want to tell people what they are doing, and how they are doing it.

Please keep this in mind next time you want to tell someone they are fading away.  Maybe, it is the mirror you need to look into, and think about what YOU need to change.

Next post will on happiness, and what it is that makes you happy.

Until then, remember, strength is the secret sauce.

Positivity – Is it all worth all the hype and work?

We all see them.  Those positivity freaks, who ALWAYS seem to be generally happy about their life?  Are you generally positive, or do you believe that those people that are mostly positive aren’t real?  How do you deal with little things that happen?  Drop a spoon on the ground, and lose your shit?  Or just pick it up, put it in the sink, and get anything another one.  After all, it’s just a spoon.  Do you look at the scale, and see the number revert to something similar from last week, and want to cry.  Maybe you just shrug it off, and understand what sort of week you have had, and how that reflects that number, and start to develop small changes for next week? I can be one positive charged individual, always attempting to lap from life’s positive drinking fountain, but I can also be a moody, self absorbed dick, when I let things, and people, get me down.

To me, a positive person is one that continues to look on the brighter and lighter side of life.  They encourage and brighten up others day, and doesn’t allow negative thoughts stay too long.  We all have shitty days, but a positive person knows that others are having a worse day. Positivity 3 It takes some time to be continually positive, even on a daily basis, as well as in training.  There are times when you feel like you are going backwards, and every time you do something you feel worse.  There are no longer big additions of weight to the core lifts, but little incremental ones.  Instead of getting down on yourself, tell yourself that these days are always around, and improvement is around the corner.  Also remember where you came from, and how this weight was just a mere dream previously.   It applies to anything you want to measure.  Your weight, your running times, your calorie count.

Try to have one day a week for the first month, thinking of nothing but being positive.  Wake up and tell yourself that today is going to be a great day.  Someone takes your car parking spot think to yourself that there will be a better one nearby.  If you forget your lunch, treat yourself for lunch.  Forget to pack your exercise clothes.  Grab an old podcast (for me it’s Zach’s discussion with the Ultimate Warrior) and get outside and enjoy the Vitamin D.

It is so easy to allow everything to get you down.  After all, isn’t the whole world conspiring against you, and giving you nothing you want?  It’s someone else’s fault you don’t get what you want, and how everyone just gets everything.  To me that’s a defeatist attitude, an attitude of a spoilt brat.  Take some responsibility for your actions, and what you have.

If you surround yourself with negative, difficult people you are more likely to become one of them.  If you don’t believe me, try it for a month.  Head into work, and have lunch every day with the most difficult and pessimistic people in your workplace.  They aren’t difficult to find.  They give off this presence, very similar to bad breath and body odour.  If you let it, it will envelope and develop you.    Same goes for your social media feeds.  If you are continually looking at death, how shitty the world is, especially from a religious or racial view point, it will get you down.  There is no doubt about it.

While my news feeds aren’t covered in unicorns and ice cream (mmmmm ice cream, f%^k you dairy free month), I specifically look for good news stories, ones that warm the soul, tickle the heart and allows a glow to appear over your body and mind.  For me, this is what life is about.

shinyhappyhealthy - Positivity Below are some examples are those that are my friends, mentors and pages who I look for those moments of goodness. Russell Hannah.  All round good guy. https://www.facebook.com/Russellchannah https://twitter.com/russandcrew

Brad McLeod.  Ex Navy seal, and creator of Seal Grinder PT.  If you want to get the best of your body, then this page could be it. https://www.facebook.com/mbradmcleod https://www.facebook.com/SEALgrinderPT https://twitter.com/bradmcleod

Another Navy Seal, Mark Divine, also brings his knowledge and understanding of positivity here.  Another one of those “good guys that can kill you with a stare” type of people.


Zach Even Esh.  The man!  The beast!  The master of bodyweight training and leader in “f%^king your mind set”


Les Brown.  If you don’t know who Les Brown is, take a look at his page and understand.  He will make you understand how to become a better human, in your words and thoughts.


Tony Robins.  No introduction needed.


ET the Hip Hop Preacher.  His catch phrase “Thank God it’s Monday” resonates all across the globe come Monday morning, and for good reason.  Monday is a day that most people hate with a passion, but for ET, and others like myself, it’s a day to start your week off on the right foot.



NDCQ.  NDCQ stands for “Not Dead.  Can’t Quit”, and should be the “go to” line for everyone who struggles with their life.



Dean Somserset wrote a pretty decent article also (yeah it could be better than mine, only because of Stephen Hawking), and it can be found here: http://deansomerset.com/positivity-mindset-goal-attainment/

Next post we will talk about your why.  To us at the School, your “why” is, and should be, your main focus on life and your goals.  Without your why, goals are just words.

Move more, feel better.  Feel better, move more.  Move more, feel better.

Remember.  Strength is indeed life’s secret sauce.

Motivation and the mind. How to control the voice within

There you are. Looking at the bar. You have squatted this weight before. You know you can do it. But, in the back of your mind there is a voice, and that voice is telling you can’t. Every time you shoo that voice away, it comes back, stronger than last time, telling you it’s too heavy, and reminds you of the many efforts you failed. What do you do? Take it off the hooks and squat, reminding the mind that you are boss, or do you hoist the white flag?

Your mind is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. It will deal with many pressures, provide you with guidance, and let you know what you can do, and even prompt you to go harder than ever before. However, your mind will also be your biggest worrier and the one part of your body that can wreck your efforts. How do you make sure that YOU rule your domain, and your mind doesn’t? Two items that are used at the School is recording your efforts and positivity.

First of all, record those efforts. Write down your reps, sets and the weights you used. Write down your sprint times. Record your efforts on your bike, speed, total kms, average speed, top speed, average cadence. These records will help you understand what you can and can’t do. If you don’t write these things down, how will you remember next time? Rely on your mind? What happens if you failed at 80kgs, do you think your mind will remember those failed attempts? Of course it will!! However, if you give it a positive reinforcement such as looking at a number on a piece of paper, that is the thought your mind will use. Always be positive when writing your efforts. Jot down little points to refer to as to why you missed a big lift, and review them before trying again.

Can't get lost

Second is a phrase called positivity. Don’t look on failure as a bad thing. Everyone fails. Most every single day. Try to get the next green light and you don’t. Guess what you failed, but you know it’s not the end of the world. The sun will come up. Same goes if you don’t beat your time, lift more weight, or drop a deadlift. There will always be another opportunity. You just have to focus on the positives. Think about why you dropped the weight? Was your grip strength off? Did you approach the bar, same as last time?
You will know pretty quickly as to why you missed. But your mind, if you are negative will provide a raft of information as to why. Not enough sleep, too heavy, grip sucks, legs hurt, bike’s shit, as well as many other useless reasons. If you remain positive, those thoughts will not be allowed to hold for very long. For example, if your grip sucks, work on it, so it becomes a positive and not a negative. If you have a bad night’s sleep, work on getting to bed earlier the night before you next train

Conquer the mind

Where your mind is boss is when food comes into play. How many times has your brain told you “It’s okay. You have been good. Go on, have that chocolate bar”. Okay, put your hands down. It happens to me too. In fact, I would say there hasn’t been a time where it has happened to nearly everyone. Well okay nearly everyone that likes chocolate. If you don’t like chocolate choose your own “happy” food. This is where mind is king. The ability to quickly persuade you into doing something that you know you shouldn’t, and then later rather than sooner, chastise you for doing it. It’s a bastard. You need to be strong, have those goals written down, and in places where you fail the most. On the fridge, in the gym, at work, and even in your wallet. Review them whenever you feel temptation pressing you to make the wrong decision. This will allow your mind not to play a part in the decision making process.
Be mindful too of how the mind relays information. If you see a friend who is doing well, and if you are a negative thinker, your mind will tell you they aren’t working hard, how you could do better and how they cheat most days. If you are positive, most of your thoughts will be good for that person, and you will want to find out how they are getting their results.
How to be more positive? Do you have a positivity switch that can be flicked? Be prepared for the School’s next blog post.

“You want to be strong? Then you must learn to deal with your mind. The body will follow where the mind leads.”

This is the School of Strength motto. The mind is boss. Learn to shut it up.