Monday, December 30, 2013

Time For A Fresh Start

            Hope everyone had a great Christmas and had tons of fun, food and love from relatives and friends. To me this was one of the best holidays yet; got to spend time with the people I love and spend time with the most kick ass friends. The holidays is not always about finding gifts for the kids or getting something you've been wanting all year, it’s about connecting and giving back to the people in your life that gives a beautiful meaning. Now that it’s over and the New Year is just a couple days away, it’s time to reflect and build new chapters, learn different things.

            A common thread of the New Year is what people call Resolutions or better yet, change or create something huge that will only last you less than 2 weeks. To me, Resolutions is complete bullshit. In the fitness world, most really put it out there and believe just because they can jump into something it’s going to stick with them like going to Crossfit when you haven’t even done any technique yet nor do Insanity/P90X workouts instead of building up and progressing. I like to look at it as New Years Goals. Start small, if you’re new to exercise for example, do little things here and there. Start at 1 min. of exercise and build up to it, find exercises you’re interested in and have fun with them. Too many people want to jump in and try to lose 20 pounds like it was that easy.

            It’s about progressing and building a mindset where it’s not a punishment, it’s an adventure and exciting with knowing how to set your limits and challenges. When people jump into advanced type training, it’s exciting that they get to do all these cool things but when they actually do them, it will hit them like a strike of lightning and they’ll realize how crazy it is and that it can cause pain or even worse an injury. Think of it this way, in math would you jump from arithmetic to calculus just like that? No, you need to go through certain steps, like climbing a ladder; you don’t just climb 4-5 steps at once, its one thing at a time. It’s the little things that create the biggest gains. Sure it’s fun to be hardcore but you got to earn it and experience a small struggle to get to where you want to go.

            For some, exercise may not always be a priority, you might want to add something to your business as a goal, make little changes in your household and find what you can improve on as a family. I have a few goals but it’s important for me to not jinx them, I’ll tell you this though; A goal of mine is to save money and buy an Epic Sledgehammer because as an athlete and a Physical Culturist, I’m always looking for ways to improve my body by conditioning it in different ways using something heavy or light or even just my own bodyweight. I find things that interest me and create new ways to have fun with those interests, it keeps my mind sharp and it helps me focus on what I want. Another would be to increase my intuitive powers through meditation and being aware of what’s around me by feel and more.

            You may not get any of my goals and nor will I mostly get yours but one thing is for certain and that we strive to be better at certain things in our lives and it could mean anything. Make this New Year your bitch, take it one day at a time and before you know, you will have accomplished something you've never one before. Find things that interest you, experiment, have fun and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The BIG 500

For those that haven’t read or counted, this is officially the 500th article written for Power & Might. For some 500 doesn't seem much in certain standards but to most, 500 is a golden number among elite groups of people in popular culture such as sports, exercise, books and in Television. In sports like baseball you hear the gold standard for a big-time power hitter is 500 homeruns. In Exercise there are 500 reps of an exercise like squats and push-ups, in weightlifting there’s the 500 lbs. mark in top lifts like the Bench, Squat & Deadlift. This number is significant to me because it marks a long and enduring journey to get better and provide quality articles for you guys.

            I’ve been honored to have had some very distinct and incredible guest writers throughout the years and although the number is small, it still has had a big impact on this site. From Strongmen, Martial Artists, Expert in Isometrics, World Renowned Physical Culturists and a young man that is making his mark in Physical Culture faster than most I've ever seen. You guys are my inspiration and tremendous athletes in your own way. Thank you for all you've done and continue to do. I've been friends with every one of these people and I’m grateful you took the time to help build this site because I love helping others out and give them exposure in another way.

            Some people look at my site as just a series of articles but to the untrained eye, they go far beyond that. I take a different approach to how things look to me and I know for damn sure I've offended someone but you know what so be it. The evolution of Power & Might is a great one. I don’t like boasting about what I do but I’m damn proud of what it has become and what will continue to grow in the future. This site gives you a variety of choices from top quality experts in their field and it provides insight that a lot of other sites are too damn scared to write. Some are controversial, some are funny, some are spiritual and others have a mystery to them that only those that read them can recite them in their own way. I don’t look for people to read and follow my advice, I want people to read these articles and find their true calling within themselves that give them the strength to follow their own path. Yes I’ am opinionated but it’s because I see so much out there that isn't written and needs to be.

            500 entries is a lot for one site and yet it continues to evolve and at times take on a life of its own. I want to inspire future writers whether they write blogs or books or whatever and help them find the one thing we all strive to get; seen. I’m no millionaire by any stretch, I’m not a professional athlete or a celebrity but what I’ am is a man who loves to train and share various philosophy, spirituality and exercise that gives even the weakest person hope that there is something you can do to make your life better. I can write up anyway I want but the true inspiration I get is from people of all walks of life all over the world, that’s what I strive for is to help you be better than yesterday and help you on the road to your own success.

            Thank you all for who have read, listened, commented and shown love for this wonderful place. It is a safe haven for anyone who is willing to take a chance and become stronger, healthier, more vibrant and do it with heart, love and admiration to be the very best that you can become. Keep your dreams alive and do what’s best for you my friend no matter how big, small, easy, hard or tough it is, you have the power to make things happen. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Up Keeping Your Conditioning

            When you find different ways to condition your body, it’s important to keep them going until you move on to the next method. However, some of us like me can’t always keep up with what we want to do or get bored easily so now what? We improvise and become creative. When I say upkeep I don’t always mean tuning your exercises or routine but my way of up keeping is to train as daily as possible whether for 5 min. or 1 hour. It keeps you on your toes and you feel a sense of accomplishment.

            Make your goals interesting, don’t always be a straight arrow and generic with “I’m doing this to lose weight or doing that to build strength” and my personal favorite “Just to look good the season.” Those are great goals to have but there’s more to them than meets the eye. Go after your goals but put in a little extra something that keeps your goals interesting like adding an animal exercise for fun or slap in some isometrics that you always wanted to learn. I always believed in the value of having fun and challenging yourself with a smile because most look at it as punishment when in reality it’s all in their head. If you’re not having fun then your goals won’t be that satisfying or worth it.

            Whether you practice one method or many, it’s important to keep yourself progressing. The upkeep of exercise is not always what you have to do on a certain day or you have to do this or that at a specific time. Make it a habit to keep up with yourself, that’s the secret to up keeping your conditioning is by up keeping yourself. I practice a lot of things so I have many ways to keep up with my mind and how my body reacts to what I want to do. For some they focus on one method and believe it’s the end-all be all which is great for them but that’s only part of the puzzle. Training is like a puzzle, in your mind there are either so many pieces to put together or you have chunks of pieces and you have only a few to put together either way there’s something to put together. You can create your own puzzle, no one can build it for you, the question is what do you want to put together that creates what you want?

            There are 24 hours in a day yet most people don’t realize they can get in a kick ass workout in under less than 10 minutes, why because they don’t have the ambition and the motivation. It’s sad because if only they knew that even one small workout or spreading your exercises throughout the day can have a profound effect even on the toughest of schedules. Learn to remind yourself that it’s OK to not have a hardcore workout and train 4-5 hours a day, that’s impossible for most people, hell to me that’s way too much, put in a few minutes here and there; on a break, do a few push-ups and squats, got kids, play with them that’s a lot of exercise in itself and before you conk out on your bed do a couple minutes of stretches, it’s about working on what’s best for you. Make the time even if it’s a small chunk of your day.

            Start with 1 min. if that’s all you have, build it up by 30 seconds each time you train and before you know it, you’d have done 15 min. worth of exercise throughout the day. It’s not complicated, make it work for you and you will find it easier to get things done. Now get to it. Want to know what’s funny, if you read this, you can certainly do a few exercises. Watch your favorite TV show and do some exercise during the commercials, doesn't have to be a lot of reps, do what’s comfortable. Keep up with yourself, don’t try to keep up with everyone else.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Taking It One Day At A Time

            For most in life it’s easy to jump in and make big changes but yet it can bite you in the ass if you’re not careful. In the world of fitness, many want results fast and they want them NOW!!! Sure it seems like a great thing to do at the time but yet it’s about control and bringing little things together that actually take up the big picture.

            What most don’t have is patience and don’t put in the little efforts that create something huge later on. A jet cannot fly without an engine, a deal in a business meeting can’t go down without those little tweeks to get the job done and in fitness/strength training you have to have a relationship between your goals, what you would like to have done and bring it all together in harmony. Granted some like myself aren’t always into routines but I do however believe that if you want the best quality training, you got to align yourself with the right mindset.

            It’s about harmony and building up certain challenges and taking them down a notch. It’s like a beautiful relationship with your significant other, there will be times where it’s all loving and ditsy but yet there will come a time where you face some fights and need to make for them; balance it. Put together what you want to accomplish and be prepared to be thrown a curve every now and then. Be bold and daring but at the same time, let things work for you otherwise some things will just walk all over you.

            A very important thing to remember; everything happens for a reason. There’s just that spark that hits you like Zeus’s’ thunderbolt but there are things that may not always be in your favor, be aware of that, things will work the way they’re supposed to. Be aware of how you do things and find your way to accomplishing your goals and making things happen for you. Training is all about practice, finding who you are and learning what you’re capable of. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when things go right, it feels like magic but if it doesn’t then you either modify it or switch to something else. Either way you will find something that hits and it’ll be noticeable once you see it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mixing Muscle Control Into Your Workouts

            The Art of Muscle Control was a staple for many of the old time physical culturists such as Otto Arco, Maxick, Sandow, John Grimek, Saxon and also the mighty George Hackenshmidt. When you think into the muscles and learning your own physiology, you’re finding out how your own body works in ways no one else can. In your workouts where you’re lifting maybe heavy weights, pull-ups, kettlebell snatches and/or working with Sledgehammer; mixing in Muscle Control can give you that extra edge in the flow of blood moving into the muscles and keeping them fresh and going just a tad longer.

            I've been experimenting with this lately because I want to find out how I can last a little bit longer or flow better in my workouts so after I do a set of an exercise say swinging the mace 100 times; I would superset it with a muscle control exercise. There are many ways to do Muscle Control but my style isn't just flexing and relaxing it’s moving through an entire range of motion, this style is called FMT a.k.a Focused Muscular Tension kind of the Charles Atlas Tension exercises. There are a series of exercises in FMT and all of them require a focus on the muscles being worked so not only am I building certain muscular power in my training but also keeping my mind focused and breathing deeply so that when “Resting” I’m really adding more flow to my muscles by giving them oxygenated blood. This is one way to look at building your Chi or life-force in your body so you can keep your body going more smoothly, more focused and not just resting the muscles.

            Deep Breathing is a key factor in any exercise because it can make a huge difference in how weak or strong you are. Correct Breathing with natural flow of your body’s movements creates a much more complete image on how you build muscle, utilizing the stabilizers and where you’re focused in. If you plan on doing this, experiment with your own style of muscle control, mix things up to get a feel for what has you flowing and keeping that “Strength/Endurance” factor that helps you down the road to burning fat, building natural and functional muscle and tendon strength.

            When I say mix up I mean keep doing what you've always planned on training but after each set do a Muscle Control Exercise and mix those up and try different ones. This is after you've mastered the Muscle Control Exercises in and of themselves because if you haven’t you’re not going to find that same effect that controls the flow of your muscles and the blood you want flowing. At first these exercises may be a bit unusual and feel a bit weird but keep practicing, find the ones that keep you interested and fresh.

            This is the beautiful part of Physical Culture where you learn how to listen to your body and find different exercises that build a puzzle of how you want to build your body without the need of those crappy supplements and steroids that eventually destroy your body more than give you that life-long process of health, super strength and crazy vitality. Be bold, be different, utilize what works best and throw out what doesn’t. It makes life interesting, more open and more beautiful. Take it in and experiment with it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Experimental Meditation

          One of the greatest minds in all of history; Albert Einstein, he had developed one of the greatest theories and a part of that discovery is through the power of meditation or what he called “Thought Experiments.” Because of this, he was able to tap into a world no one else can imagine and began to create things back then that people would consider insane, crazy and downright “not there in the head.” If Einstein were alive during the Salem Witch Trials he would've been burned at the stake I have no doubt about that.

            This isn't a new idea. Meditative practices have been going on for countless millennia and there’s always different ways to practice. In China, they mediate through Qi Gong, in Japan they call it Ki and in India they call it Prana. Many different cultures have developed ways to open the world from within. There’s never one way to meditate and great powerful minds like Einstein proved this. When you get in tuned with your mind, you open a new world you've never seen before. Sometimes it’s blurry at first because it’s hard to picture but when you are relaxed and you breathe and begin to picture what you want, you begin to see things that only you can understand when no one else does.

            In fitness, mind and body work in unison but yet most never understand this. Does a carriage need a horse to move? Does a car need gas and oil in order to run? How about your brain charging specific muscles to make a lift or any particular exercise? The mind is always first in line and the body comes second. It’s part of the definition of the Mind/Muscle Connection. If you’re looking to make a specific goal or want to lose weight, gain muscle, lift heavy weight with ease; you’ll want to think into it first and see it right in your mind’s eye. Build that power within you, feel the vibrations of those cheering around you, feel the rush of your muscles that make a lift seem like nothing, picture as if your goal is already done and the rest is helping you get there without resistance.

            You have a whole other world in your mind. For some it’s scary, freighting and you don’t always know where you are but for others, it’s beautiful, you’re happy, you have a sense of love and passion and there’s something wondrous about it that only you can see, feel, touch and smell. You can make the world the way you want it to be. Now it may not always run in your favor but in order to love the world, it’s important to love who you are and not just your physical form but your inner spirit, that child who wants to learn about everything and feel that no matter how things turn out, you have deep warmth for who you truly are.

            Meditation is a powerful practice. Picture what you want, see things happen and believe everything happens for a reason. Meditations can be through sitting, lying down, moving but you learn what works best to get you in that peaceful state, that warmth of strength and power that dwells within you. Experiment with different ways, use what comes best to you and learn the value of seeing a world that only you can see and protect it in your heart, soul and the deepest parts of your spirit.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Bridge Worth Crossing

When most people think of the bridge they seem to believe it’s just a neck exercise when in fact it goes far beyond that. There are different variations of the bridge which I will discuss in a little bit but they all have one thing in common, it’s a full body workout that will stretch you and the isometric benefits some of them have is incredible.
Like I said it’s not just an exercise for the neck, it can get you breathing harder than being on a cardio machine bar none and its more accessible as well as you can do it pretty much anywhere with a limited amount of space. If you’re an athlete, bridging can give you significant power in your suggested sport for a few examples….
Baseball: You need strong and supple hips and core power to swing the bat or line up the drive to throw the ball.
Football: You’re defending or holding off the line and think of being able to drive the legs powerfully and with speed.
Wrestling: Bridging is the king in wrestling circles for many reasons. Think of your throwing your power when you drive your opponent into the mat, being able to kick over out of a pin or use your neck to slip out of a hold. It’s not jut building a strong neck; it gives your whole body a boost.
Basketball: Now most would never associate bridging with basketball but it has its benefits. Bridging helps build explosiveness and isometric strength so when you jump for the ball to block, rebound or when you getting ready to drive through the lane that explosiveness will come into play.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Cold Shower Effect

            Recently I just got back into testing out cold showers because of the pop up articles about them lately. Right now it’s to mostly help my recovery from intense workouts and build up my immune system for the winter months here in Idaho. It gets down to as low as 8 degrees at night and the highest this week has been no more than 25-30 so safe to say it gets fucking cold.

            As I experiment with this and so far I love it, it’s one of the best methods to increase your health and vitality. The shock of the water hitting your body can be a bit dramatic for some people but what that’s doing is amping up the heat in your body and move it towards the organs and keep them strong and healthy. When you have strong powerful organs especially the heart and kidneys, you are charging up your body like never before. Think about it, this intense form of therapy can actually make you stronger and more mentally tough.

            One of the very best benefits of cold water therapy (especially for us guys) is the increase of our metabolism and testosterone increase. When you are in a cold shower and it’s hitting you all over the place you have no choice but to breathe hard. Breathing deeply and hard like you are training increases the chance of burning off fat and as you as your body tries to stay warm it’s burning off more calories which can lead to weight loss, bodyfat decrease and at best bring your testosterone up a notch which helps increase lean muscle and take away the fat we don’t want. Screw steroids and PEDs take a cold shower damn it and be a man.

            That old saying from Farmer Burns “Deep breathing alone can make many a weak man strong and many a sick man well.” He made that comment more than 100 years ago and it’s as true today as it was back in his time. When you breathe deeply, you open the lungs and you increase your capacity to sustain great energy and stamina. When you hop in that cold shower and you’re forced to breathe deeply, it becomes apparent that your body is not only getting stronger it’s getting stronger from within which is more important than always focusing on the outside. Deep Breathing allows you to keep going in your activity or whatever you’re doing throughout the day. It builds that inner power within you to live life with peacefulness and bliss.

            Cold showers isn't a new thing, it’s been around since the dawn of man, jumping into cold lakes, rivers and bathing in the treacherous winters has been the stuff of legends. In Japan, masters and students would stand under a waterfall that is ice cold to help cleanse their spirit, in Finland they would sit in the sauna for a time then immediately go out and roll in the snow and jump in the freezing lake. Athletes have used ice baths to help their recovery from workouts and decrease the chance of soreness.

            It’s important to keep natural remedies as possible in this pharmaceutical and technological world of ours because when it comes to the human body, it’s one of the most fascinating elements in our universe and however it was created, we must protect it from harmful affects which are practically everywhere so do the best to your abilities. Be open to becoming a little more natural, you’d be surprised what can happen when you put it into a positive realm.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Super Size Your Fitness

            Now you might be thinking “Why the hell would you make a McDonalds reference in a fitness article?” Well because I can and more than that I’d like to look at things from another perspective. Super sizing a workout doesn't always mean move a bunch of heavy stuff around or add sets and reps an all that junk, I want you to look at Super Sizing as a point to amp up your game a bit, do something a little bit heavier than your last workout, change the tempo a bit or change exercises and hit them hard.

            Jump starting your metabolism is a great way to help burn off fat, build lean muscle, getting your organs in fantastic condition that can wear off diseases and help you from getting sick easily. For some it’s not always that simple. For most in our 20’s we can jump start into overdrive rather quickly and get great muscle but for older folks it’s not that easy. Unless you've been training your whole life and know the ins and outs but the majority haven’t or stopped for a period of years. Super sizing your training doesn't mean you jump into some advanced program where you’ll end up more injured than getting results, it’s about progressing and starting small and going a little higher each time until you’re at that Super Size level.

            Here comes my McDonalds reference that should shed some light on how training works. When you order a Big Mac and a Super Size meal, most people get that because they’re hungry but what they don’t realize is how to use small chunks that makes the meal more realistic to eat, some will just scarf it down, start sweating a little too soon and they’ll feel tired and a little sick afterwards. Exercising is practically the same thing, you do too much right off the bat and your body can’t always take right away and you’re feeling groggy and in pain. When you take small chunks of your workout and mold them into something a little more each time you’re actually getting more out of it. Train within your limits and challenge yourself every once in a while. This is not saying to go to McDonalds and challenging how many burgers and fries you can stuff that just makes you an idiot.

            The most important thing to remember when you Super Size your workouts is know when to back off. I get it that it gives you an adrenaline rush at times and you can do it often but there has to be some form of control and discipline otherwise you’re setting yourself up for an injury and that can ruin your chances of getting the results you want. Learn how to step back, recover, do little things here and there and then get back up to it. Super Size your mind and body by controlling and learning your limits and use your recovery time to reflect on what you can do better next time or pick up the pace a bit more. Remember, small chunks can make all the difference instead of just going straight to the moon, you have to get into space first but before that, you need the rocket to launch.