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.