Friday, October 31, 2014
One show I've got into lately was the CW superhero TV series Arrow. It's been one of the best shows I've seen in a while and because of the rise of Superhero films the last few years, it's only fitting to put them on TV as well. This was on Netflix so I really had a chance to get into it, no commercials so I loved learning about the characters and the stories that unfolded. If you haven't read or heard of the Green Arrow, it's about a rich kid who becomes an Archer much like Robin Hood but with a twist. One thing hit me with this show is not just the action, the drama or him shooting these kick ass arrows but the training scenes; they're very unique in the way where you never see this type of training on practically any TV show, we're talking Ninja Warrior type stuff, Handstand Push-ups, Win Chun, Combat Training it's very unusual but awesome.
The training scenes bring a different element to a show where it's not like a Rocky montage but what a hero literally does in his time while going after the bad guys. Normally you'd see anything close in a cartoon which exaggerates everything but in a full on TV show with real people it's practically realistic maybe not completely but it's there in some form. A lot of what this guy does on the show is mainly bodyweight and handles his strength in a very unique way. The way he was taught to train his hands before he even pulled a bow was similar to what shaolin monks would use in their training. Archery is a very old school skill set that dates back to the Remote Past where guns didn't exist and the Bow & Arrow was the number 1 weapon of its time, forget swords and spiked maces, the arrow was a weapon for elite fighters of war. To even train for the strongest bow takes years of not just practice but also pure hardcore strength that needed exact progression otherwise in battle if you missed too many times you would be kicked out. You had to learn how to handle a target from practically every angle, not just straight into a bulls eye like in a contest, you needed precision and accuracy from as many targets as possible. Some of the strongest men of the time couldn't pull back a heavy bow, those that could, had powerful tendons, super strong shoulders and an incredible pull back that envied many men.
The way to sum up Green Arrow is if Robin Hood had Batman's money and unique tools. Although in the cartoons those two are part of the Justice League only one of them has actually killed. Batman is one of the top superheroes of all-time period but he also doesn't have the warrior's side to kill if needed and that part of him can be argued, however with Arrow; he's got some legit reasons in the show and comics and like the story of Robin Hood, steal from the rich and give to the poor. Each person that he has taken a life from has a purpose to it and although I don't condone superheroes killing, I could understand the need to.
I love some of the training Stephen Amell does on the show and although he did a completely different type of training for the role, the fact of the matter is, he's not this overly muscle bound looking bodybuilder, he looks like a real athlete that can do some pretty gnarly stuff. He looks like what a superhero should be, athletic, strong, agile and flexible. It's an inspiration to see a realistic physique and not something grotesque like Ronnie Coleman. I'm not surprised if there were things he used to help build his body and I don't care, fact is he's got something awesome to use and I much prefer a physique like that with the strength and athleticism to back it up. Check out the show on Netflix if you haven't yet or get the first 2 seasons on DVD. It's worth a watch.
Happy Halloween everyone, have a blast, dress up with your most kick ass costumes and get some great candy for the night, watch a horror flick. Be awesome
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Most don't look at training or working out as a sign of excitement especially from an internal stand point because you're sweating, moving from place to place in the gym and doing some weird ass aerobics class (you see those new kangaroo jumpers they use). Now this doesn't just happen in the gym, it happens at home, while you're out swimming, at a park practically anywhere and one of the reasons most don't excited is because they don't explore themselves internally; using their imagination to create a workout or routine that fires every muscle in the body, picturing something happening while holding a stance or posture. You can go through the motions and still get some kind of result but it won't be the result you want, why not explore your imagination to make the workout interesting. Create scenarios, do pull-ups and each time you come down, picture as if a fire is trying to burn you alive. When you do squats, picture as if something was coming at you and you have to duck to avoid it. When you lift weights like a bench press, picture as if it wasn't a barbell with plates on it but I really heavy beam and in order to live you have you have to push that beam off of you. Now some of these don't need to be that drastic but you get my drift.
There are certain exercises that are just so tedious boring (in my Thaddeus voice from Your Highness) that it's hard to believe that some of these things were created to get results. Seriously if you're going to take an exercise that could be effective but it's so dull, why not add a little zest to it. You can practically turn any exercise into a mighty training tool yes even some of those machines but I prefer old school lifting and bodyweight style training but anyway, if you can make a simple exercise fun and enjoyable, you're no longer working out, you're creating mighty training tools to get the results you want. You have a brain, so why not use it to your advantage and turn it into an awesome exercise that looks the same to everyone but you. You have the right to feel excited when you train, it should never be a punishment but a rewarding experience that could change the very landscape of what you have been taught. The way certain people teach is a bit cold-hearted and try to be all hardcore and act like a want be badass (have you seen those exercises some of those trainers teach, holy shit they're god awful) but that's not a reflection on you, it's on them and you deserve to get awesome results and have the time of your life, trainers are supposed to help you train so one day you won't need them anymore but yet they'll reel you in just so they can take more money from you but the real deal gives you the tools you need so you can be successful on your own.
It sometimes can be a drastic change, at times it's easy to change but overall going from dull and boring to adventure is one hell of an experience and you have an opportunity to make it happen. I've seen people come and go from the gym and around certain areas like a park or field and you can just sense the fire that's inside them but others just go through the motions acting like there's no care around them and to me that's just sad. Ever felt that excitement as a kid when you played tag or being in the sand, opening your mind like it was the easiest thing in the world, what happened to you bro/girl? Oh yeah that's right you grew up and felt that opening your mind to an adventure was just a child's thing and you overanalyze everything. Stop and smell the roses everyone, there's a whole world you can create and it's all in your mind and you have a power in you that is just bursting to come out. Be adventurous, have a blast with what you do, laugh and when you train, have a little fun with it, be creative and let the inner kid in you out to play because this world is messed up as it is and the few of us that choose to live with happiness and lightful in a dark world find it different in our minds and we utilize it to help make the world a better place.
There's potential in all of us and there's always going to be something we're terrible at but on the other side of the coin we are incredible at something and when we find it, it makes us whole and we do the best we can to ascend that ladder of success using what we're best at. Some don't know what they're good at yet but it's there and you have the power to find it. When you do, hold onto it and never let go. Use your potential to reach new heights and be successful at it. It doesn't matter if you want to get strong, do cool stunts, create a business, write a book, train others no all that matters is you find what you're best at and if it makes you happy, run with it and never look back because you have the potential to change the world just by doing what you're best at and you progress within your own style because nobody can force you to make your potential run any faster, we run at our own speed and we grow the way it is meant for us as an individual.
Happy Thor's Day everyone and have an awesome day. It is the night before Halloween so get your costumes ready, do what you need to do and have a blast the next night.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
In the last 30 years or more, we have devolved in terms of how we use movement as a practice for everyday life. Back when I was a kid in the early 90's we ran around the yard chasing each other, crawling, jumping, playing tag and being free. We swam when we went to the pool, we jumped off docks at the lake, climbed a few rocks to get to a place where when it was windy the water would splash up on us. Indoors there was a lot of crawling, squatting to play with the toys and (I was older when me and my friends did this) played silly sports games that were just intense and had to use every muscle in our bodies in a very tiny space. You can't do that from being on a treadmill or a machine, it's flat out impossible in my book. The few however that have continued to grow have taught people how to move with efficiency and using the muscles and tendons/ligaments in a natural manner although structured to learn but teach how to use our instincts.
Some say we are descendants from Adam & Eve, others believe we came from hunter/gatherers of those who lived in Caves and apparently there those who believe that we just miraculously evolved out of nowhere to learn the understanding of Agriculture, Farming, Supply Shipping and whatever else that created this Civilization of the Remote Past. I'm not religious whatsoever but I'm not going to bring down someone's beliefs so they can think what they want. Quite frankly you can have your research and stating what is factual or what's myth and what you can gather from bones and artifacts the truth of the matter is no matter how you look at things it all comes down to one word: Survival. In the remote past it wasn't always having civilization and crops to grow to have food and the only water you had was in a river/lake. People needed to eat, drink and keep warm so they had to come up with a way to keep going and sometimes on a daily basis fight to get the best out of the things needed for a tribe or single person. These were the first geniuses of our ancient world because if they hadn't come up with a way to survive, they'd be dead period. Our ancestors needed to do a ton of things in order to survive for instance; crawl under low places, jump from one spot to another to avoid whatever, swim to catch fish or save a life of a tribesmen, run as fast as they can muster to avoid predators or chase after one and lift things to carry back to camp such as maybe firewood, rocks to cover up something or to use as a weapon. They relied on their instincts and had to move with such power and strength and they never were even taught it (not like today) so what we learn today is more structured to how our ancestors survived but it's got more of a twist.
As a human species we are practically the most adaptable on the planet. We can never be strong as a tiger or gorilla, fly like bird, run like a cheetah or fish like a bear, hell even have the stealth of a Crocodile but we can adapt to practically any environment using our bodies to crawl, jump, squat, shift from one side to the other, going backwards just as efficiently as moving forward and our brain capacity amplifies that of any animal. This is how we are supposed to move our bodies; did I forget to mention we also can lift heavy objects in our time of need and/or carry them. Our DNA has us using our Physiology and Structure to move in a state of instinct and whether we are taught this or that it will come down to our instincts and not only the fight or flight mechanism but our brain can send energy to our system that has thrown that form of adrenaline within us. It is our nature to move and we as a species have lost touch on how to make our movements not just more natural but useful and utilizing our potential for real world strength and stamina.
Like I said before we have the ability to adapt more than any other type of animal. We can cover areas from quite a distance, have incredible strength, run for miles on end and our ability to adapt when we need to sprint like hell for whatever reason and our awareness is very vast and cunning. We are wasting our potential by sitting on our asses and looking at violence and sex and many other things on a daily basis and it's become a horror basically. Move around your house, go outside and play around, jump on one leg, crawl under a long part of a tree, run on a track, lift rocks/logs or anything that is heavy that you can handle, go swimming in the lake or the ocean, Squat to pick something up or sit in that position to play or whatever. The point is to use what nature was intended for you, I don't care if you believe in god or whatever but nature is nature and you are part of it, use it to your potential and it doesn't matter where you live, learn to adapt.
Have a great Tuesday everyone, be awesome and get up and move.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Normally I would write a review on fitness or a few exercises I really enjoy hell even give you a scoop on a product I've used but today is about being a total geek. In making this exception it's clear to say that this was one of the best experiences of my life. This event was in Spokane, WA which is about 45 min. from where I live here in Hayden, ID so it was not too far away. For me it was one of those once in a lifetime opportunities that I chose to experience and bought a ticket back in I think June or May. I've never been to a Comic Convention and always heard how awesome they are in some areas around the country like Comic Con and Wizard Cons. It's a bit hard to describe and the venue was rather big but the series of booths and celebs was actually fairly small but on the other hand there was a ton of great collectibles, classic/modern comics ranging from $1-$1000 for a single copy, toys, games, artistic pictures from illustrators displayed to me there was magic in the room itself.
When I first got into the room the first thing I saw was the 1966 Batmobile from the campy TV show back in the 60's which is considered one of the greatest iconic cars of the last century. I looked at it and I was just breath taken by it because as a kid my mom taped the reruns and I got to watch a few episodes plus having the movie now on Blu-Ray made it that much more exciting. Despite the campy jokes and the weird costumes and the colorful words for punches they used, the batmobile was the greatest symbol of the Caped Crusader. The guy at his table asked if I wanted a picture with it, I hesitated because I thought it be rather expensive like 50-60 bucks but it was far less so I jumped on it (not literally). Not only did I get my picture taken but I got to sit in the damn thing and it was one of the most electrifying experiences ever, I played it cool but inside I was screaming "Holy shit, I'm in this freaking car, this is so awesome." Talk about your introduction to a Comic Convention.
After my little run with the car (again not literally), I started making my way around the series of booths containing practically everything from collectable toys to very rare comic books and even saw the Delorean Car from the Back To Future movies, wish I took a picture but something inside of me compelled to say no (I wanted to punch myself). People from all walks of life were sharing their artwork on display and not just of comic book characters but those from sports, TV shows, movies and other areas of the media. There was even a booth of fans that were Trekkies of Klingon donating their stuff to Hospice which was really cool in my mind and they were nice people despite giving me a small hard time because I wasn't a trekkie, I'm a born and bred Star Wars geek dammit. The T-shirts they sold were amazing and not just your typical run of the mill comic and nerd shirts, some of these shirts lit up in the dark when music hit, I thought about buying one but they were around 40-50 bucks and I was on a budget. So all in all these booths all had something awesome to display, even some of the very racy stuff that had a burlesque theme to it but I'll let it leave to the imagination. Pretty cool though if I say so myself.
The celebs they had there were awesome. I first got my ticket because it said Stan Lee was going to be there but it turned out he was only there the first two days and I went on the third because that was all I could afford at the time. That was disappointing but some of the others made up for it, even William Shatner Captain Kirk himself was going to be there but like Stan was there only the first two days and I kept thinking to myself "God Dammit stop torturing me you bastards" but again some of the others made up for it. There was Denise Crosby of Star Trek lore and starred as the mom of Pet Semetary, a legendary horror movie (got to shake her hand when I went up to say hi), Dirk Benedict who starred on The A-Team and a couple others but the ones I really got to see were the voices of Winnie The Pooh and Goofy of the last 25+ years so that was a treat and it was incredibly awesome when I met Bill Farmer AKA Goofy and he did the voice when I shook his hand. These two cats alone have over 500 Voice roles added to their resume that have been featured in Video Games, Disney films, DC Animation, iconic Disney TV shows such as Darkwing Duck and The Rescue Rangers and many others. I was just in awe and they were very nice guys.
The artists at this place were people I've never heard of and only known about their artwork because of the comics I've read or whatever but these men and women did some incredible pieces and I just happened to buy about 3 pieces of their work that I thought were just powerfully done. One was a picture of The Avengers that is just beautifully crafted and the guy even let me have an autograph as a bonus for buying it from him that was really cool of him. Another was from an artist named David Wong and it was a last piece in his book that you can take a picture out. It was an incredible and awesome looking picture of Spider-Man and it is a true treasure to hold. I interacted with him the most because he had this great sense of humor and energy to him that was just fun to listen to. He's 49 and looks 33 and was pretty built for a small guy so we had a small chat about weights and out past of lifting. Great guy and his work is just beautifully made. The one piece of Artwork I did get that just drew me to it the moment I saw it was a picture of Deadpool in a San Jose Sharks uniform particularly the uniform of Sharks captain Joe Thornton number 19. It was great interacting with these guys and although some were tired as hell because of the travel and getting their stuff going, I did my best to give them acknowledgement and giving them some positive energy sent their way.
When it comes to Comic Convention, the real fun is not just seeing the artists, celebs or people wo ran the booths and their glory put on display; it's normal everyday people who go and dress up and put on some crazy ass costume that you can't help but take a picture of. They call this Cosplay, these young men and women had incredible and quite frankly very beautiful get-ups so I took plenty of pictures of different people but my personal favorite is the one you'll see here in a sec. There were people dressed as the Avengers, Nick Fury, a Knight, a sexy Alice, Harley Quinn, The Riddler, Joker, Punisher, Green Arrow I can go on and on but you get the picture. I don't think I saw a bad costume on anyone, even the little kids had great costumes but the one I should've taken a picture of was of this guy dressed in full gear like Yogurt from Spaceballs he was just awesome in that thing. There was even a young lady maybe in her mid-late 20's who dressed as Ariel from the Little Mermaid with the outfit and the Red Hair she was gorgeous and to go with it she had a bad ass tattoo of Darth Vader on her right arm. So the one pic I'll put up for you guys is of the Captain America & The Punisher fighting. These two guys were just awesome and nice guys too.
So to put an end to this long ass article; it was an experience I'll never forget and although I went alone I didn't feel alone because interacting with the people there made me feel great and happy because there was no judgment, just plain fun being around different people of different backgrounds sharing a common bond of being at a place we all enjoyed and having a great time. Talking to David Wong was just awesome, he told a few stories that were just hilarious and he took the time out of his time being there listening to me and my little story of bending bars, lifting heavy stuff and he connected with me on that and sure he may not remember the conversation or me at all if I saw him again but it felt great just to be apart of that. I showed him a couple pictures of my bends and he wanted to shake my hand for my accomplishment and that felt really good to me. It really was one of those once-lifetime things I chose to do for myself because I never got to do stuff like that when I was a kid, sure I went to things like wrestling matches, Disney On Ice, Sharks games, Baseball games and even went to the Sony building in San Francisco where it was a Video Game type of convention but never a Comic Convention so it was a lot of fun and I would go to more of these if I had an opportunity.
I may be 30 but when it comes to stuff like this, I'm like a little kid again and just eager to make the best of it all because although thousands of people go to these things every year, even more never get a chance to go even once so I made a choice to do it. If there's something you love and you had an opportunity to go somewhere where it not only displayed it but gave you added inspiration to add to your craft than do it and never for a second let that excitement leave you because it's not everyday you get a chance to have that. You guys are awesome and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read this, it was long but it was well worth the write up because I wanted to share my experience with you because you give me the inspiration to write cool stuff like this or anything else I write. Have a blast, make everyday exciting and welcome to a new week, be awesome and love one another.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Almost sounds like a super power that a hero uses don't you think? Believe it or not it's just another term for deep breathing but amped up a bit. When you breathe deeply and correctly, it's not just filling the lungs with air and having a calm effect at the end, it goes beyond that. The power of deep breathing enhances your body and mind in many different ways from having a clear mind, decompressing the stress on your body and delivering powerful quantities and qualities of natural strength, awareness, flow of movement and opening up the Chi or life force that makes you feel alive with vigor, vitality and pain-free. Some people have trouble breathing deeply due to some illness that they were born with or have a defect in their structure of the organs however; if you look at some of the old-time strongmen like Maxick, The Mighty Atom, Charles Atlas and a few others who were told that because of their fragile capacity they won't have a chance in hell having a healthy life but yet these very same individuals became powerful men of strength, health and fitness.
One of the key elements to understanding deep breathing or in this case Super Breathing is its ability to heal the body and mind in a way that is difficult to explain. When the body is at ease and your breathing is a factor of the healing process just about whatever it might be, you're finding that the cells and blood flow run much smoother and help you rejuvenate at a fast rate. I'm not saying you'll heal like Wolverine or Captain America but the rate you can heal at if your body is using as less tension as possible because too much tension causes inflammation, shallow breathing, compression of the shoulders & back and overstress causes the cells and blood to block their ability to run on their natural flow of generating growth and powering up the internal organs. When you can command your body to relax and open up from the inside (not physically split open, this isn't a horror movie) you're giving your body the juice it needs to bring powerful vitality to everything the inside produces and this natural process can help you stay young, active, produce natural hormones in both men and women and can help heal your body from previous injuries.
The power of your breath has another important aspect that many neglect to understand and that is its ability to produce natural strength levels that you may have not noticed before. A lot of people all over try to tell us what's so different and labeling us to a high degree when in fact there are plenty of things that make us the same for instance; we all have muscles that fire up in our body when we do something extraordinary or just plain putting effort into something, we all have a way of generating strength within some form of degree and we all have the ability to become super strong in some shape or form. By breathing and using the mechanics of your muscular system, you can become crazy strong. With infusing your mind and body and the way you handle the breath you can generate instant strength that can almost be tripled within seconds. This is a foundational concept of programs like CoreForce Energy, Advanced Hypnotic Training and how you can release Chi from practicing various energy arts in Qi Gong, Tai Chi and other forms.
Another great thing about the ability to deep breath is when your mind is a complete ease and the clarity you can produce can have a profound effect on the way you can enhance your learning abilities whether they are exceptional or not, your ability to think better, making decisions without stressing out and your ability to handle situations. Opening up the mental aspects of deep breathing allows you to take in more power and vitality to your brain which can unlock your ability to remember things you haven't thought of in a very long time, greater use of using visualizations, oxygenate the brain and perform tasks with a greater rate of success. So as you can see, deep breathing is not just about binging more life to your body and mind, it's about bring the quality of how your life proceeds with added abilities that can aid you in what makes your life strong, vital and important. It's our livelihood that we breathe with power and flow. Breathe and breathe with life and attitude because how you breathe determines the way you live life.
Happy Thor's Day everyone and be sure to pick up Super Power Breathing by Paul Bragg on your way out of this article. Flow through your body using Mike Fitch's Animal Flow program, you'll have fun, exciting workouts and you'll be breathing like crazy after a few moves. Have a great day, be awesome and send me a shout. I'd love to hear from all of you.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
The most important aspect of life is the breath. We can go for weeks without food, days without water but can only hold our breath for no more than a few minutes. One of the key points in life is how we breathe. Some are shallow breathers and have trouble going through life because of stress or having negative impacts in their daily routine. Others who breathe deeply have greater power internally and their mental state is balanced and emotional balance as well. One of the oldest exercises in existence is the ability to breathe deeply and not just in a workout but throughout the entire day no matter what you're doing. To really get in tuned with your body it starts with your breathing. When you add in mental techniques you have a rich outlook on how you release incredible strength and power without needing to get psyched up or mad at something that just adds tension. There's an old saying by Martin "Farmer" Burns; "Deep Breathing Exercises Alone, Can Make Many A Weak Man Strong And Many A Sick Man Well."
As we go through our lives one of the most common things that happens to us is building tension in the body and it comes at times where it is not needed. Our shoulders shrug up, we become stiff in many places including the back, neck, knees, arms and wherever you can think of (get your mind out of the gutter) so what do we do that is another common theme when it comes to tension; we take the easy route by popping muscle relaxers and other pills to help us relax when we can learn to use our natural way of healing by breathing. Sure some people have trouble because of Asthma or needing to be on a respirator but even with that unless you have a severe case almost 99% of the population can learn to breathe deeply and release tension naturally. Sometimes we create tension just by thinking and stressing ourselves out. We're all human and there are those who a stressful job, has to take care of kids, deal with certain people and just flat out have something negative going on that causes the tension which can lead to weight gain, inflammation, bad posture, heart disease; you'd be surprised what comes up when shallow breathing and mental negativity plus stress is in play.
When it comes to strength, I'm not just talking about lifting heavy weight or doing an incredible feat with only your body but the type of strength I'm talking about is when you learn to breathe in certain situations and the way you handle yourself through your breathe by moving with the breath, you can develop incredible power and speed that is unbelievable to the human eye. When you open the chi in your body (life force) you put incredible strength into how you physically do things, you think clearer, your awareness shoots through the roof and your imagination opens new doors and by doing this is by breathing and doing so using techniques that require you to move with your breath or the way you stand/sit/lay down ect. The strength you can have has a superhuman element to it and the old-time physical culturists, hindu wrestlers, yogis, the great scientific minds and others knew this long before it became a mainstream thing. It doesn't matter if you're an athlete, scientists, stock boy, waitress, construction worker or someone in law enforcement if you learn to breathe with power and deep understanding you can change the very landscape of how your life can be great. With Deep Breathing, your attitude changes, you become mentally aware, you have more energy and your quality of life adds up. That's the true strength.
Deep Breathing exercises are a powerful de-stressor because they open up the flow of energy within the body and when you practice regularly, you can sleep better, strengthen the internal organs and have a more relaxed state. You can do things quicker, your mind is sharper and the release of endorphins increases by ten fold. Whether you move or hold certain postures, the better your quality of breathing you will have a more charged system that takes out all the crap that is blocking you from having a quality life. Get into the habit of deep breathing and see what changes occur as you practice it consistently. Research on what can work for you and help you live better and healthier.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Anyone with a brain has been in a bar at some point in their life whether it was for a few minutes or a few hours. So if you have or had, notice the most common set at the bar table; the plethora of drinks to choose from. You can have practically any type of drink you want whether it's one type or a mess of them in one shot (not just a shot of tequila). Now I'm not encouraging anyone to drink because quite frankly I don't drink at all and can go my whole life without taking a sip of anything again. The reason I'm putting this out is because although it's not safe to kill your liver but on the plus side there is a creativity to mixing things and having a blast doing it. Ever see the movie Cocktail with Tom Cruise? Classic. It's a bartender's job to not only make the drinks but have a certain flare to it, now some guys are very dull and just bore the hell out of themselves mixing stuff up but then there are those who flip the bottles in the air, putting some zest into their craft and even have a presence felt across the room because his way of creativity is very powerful.
When it comes to fitness, there is creativity being made all over the place but how you choose to use that creativity is a whole new ball game. There are a ton of exercises to choose from and you don't need to do 100's of them in a single workout, matter of fact pick a few of your favorites and play around with them and put some zest into them. Use your imagination. Make yourself powerful from the inside. The fun of mixing things together and putting body language and energy into them makes an exercise go from dull to awesome in the blink of an eye. When you mix things up that include strength, flexibility, endurance, tempo, speed and imagination you're creating a type of training that brings everything together and brings out results. Now you can just do exercises that are only for strength, flexibility, endurance or whatever and can still be creative but why settle for one thing when you can have the whole package. Think of a great dancer; it's not just how they plant their feet and turn and spin, it's how they bring out that passion and fire within them that gives them the power to make people see from every angle of the room and putting powerful art into their dance, the way they kick and spin is different, their feet move with grace and strength and their structure changes. Mix exercises that you love and put together a workout that is fun, exciting and make it unique.
One of my favorite things to do is combine programs together to make an interesting workout, take for example Animal Flow and Combat Conditioning in a certain sequence:
4 step Beast Walk
Switch To Crab and move 4 steps
Go into Tablemaker and hold up to 30 seconds
Come down and go into an overhead leg lift
Bring legs back down and go into V-up
Come down and go into Crab Reach
Switch to Beast and push the legs out into a push-up position
Do 5 push-ups
Jump legs in till you are a deep squat position and hold for one minute
This sequence in one set can be your whole workout for the day and it hits every muscle in the body. Just so were clear I came up with this sequence at the top of my head just now. There are other combos and programs to choose from, at times I like to mix energy drills with DDP Yoga to give it more flare and a challenge. Keep the body moving and not spending a ton of time doing it unless you're really into it and it feels great. Give it a whirl and use your imagination no matter how crazy it seems because remember, those who invented the best things we use today were at first thought were crazy and unimaginative. Be creative.
You have one body, one life and it's all yours. Make the choices that would make your own destiny and however you choose to do things, one way or another there will a positive or negative sides towards it and people will criticize you no matter what you choose. If you want to be fit and healthy, make the choices to make that happen and not just for the outer appearance, make the choice to be healthy and fit from the inside as well building emotional power, spiritual strength and a rightful attitude towards life. You can have the most beautiful looking body but if you have no personality or a loving attitude than what's the point, same can be said if you have a great personality and a loving attitude but you're letting your body wither and fade so to get the full benefit of being fit and healthy it's both using the mind and the body as if they were the same thing. Be awesome and find your creativity and live with power and a smile.
Friday, October 17, 2014
The most famous duo in the history of comics bar none IS Batman & Robin. They have been icons for decades and have taught us all in many ways how Batman (Teacher) and Robin (student) have learned not just how they feed off each other but how one learns from another and not just be a sidekick. A teacher gives information in a manner which the student learns to find the answers. No teacher reveals all their secrets because in order to become your own person, you have to find something within yourself and plus you can't exactly be like your teacher, you are unique and it doesn't matter if you're better or worse the point is you're different. These two caped crusaders are a spitting image of the leader and the follower and it happens in every aspect of the world not just superheroes, so how does this apply to fitness?
Let's face it, Batman is the man when it comes to superheroes, he has no powers and no superhuman strength yet he's smart, cunning, risk taking and knows how to kick ass when he needs to plus he never kills. Most who know of him go nuts over him but more tend to be like Robin than they want to believe or even realize. You see in fitness a trainer tries to find someone to train or follow their system and it's not always about a trainer, it's following a system from a single person or group of people that want people to follow and believe in. Someone who studies a system of training and follows the person who created it and believes in him/her is like Robin; eager to walk in their footsteps and befriend them so they can learn from their idol(s). Robin wasn't always eager to follow Batman, he needed convincing and guidance to bring himself to not only be Batman's golden boy but also a friend/brother/partner in crime. When we see someone we want to emulate, we don't always jump in and act on worship and asking for guidance, sometimes we have to be lured in and see certain things they want us to learn but it takes a little time and before you know it, we are at their feet just waiting to taught something and become the best we can be. Some leaders are not like that at all, they can be downright mean and only care about themselves and don't care who follows them as long as they keep on coming. When the student gets better or in this case a trainee gets better at certain exercises, gets fitter, stronger, more flexible whatever somehow they will either keep following the same type of people or become greater than their teacher and move on as an individual.
If you have ever read about the story of Robin or have seen a few cartoons here and there, you'll see he becomes Nightwing. His own man, out of the shadows of Batman who has similar skills but more unique and has a style all on his own. Like I said before you can't be exactly like the teacher (Batman) because let's face it no one can come close to Batman not even a fraction but yet you can be different and even better in some ways because you have a different mindset, looking at things from another angle, you have been trained well but you cannot be the same exact person because nobody is exactly the same. You have made a great leeway and have been trained by the very people that came into your life, it's time to venture out or you can keep going as a follower and never leave, it happens.
You have the power to become your own Character. Someone who is different, has a story of their own, has different ways of seeing the world and things will happen for you one way or another but the way you choose your path is your own cross to bear. Some people want to be like Batman and be able to do all these incredible things, seek out those who have wronged and bring them to justice; others want to be like Robin, someone who lives in the shadows of his teacher and wants to learn from them and follow their path in his image (plus, who wouldn't want to be sided with Batman). There are those however who want to become their own character, live their story on their own terms, teach if they wish to and seek out others in their own unique way. We are all individuals who have an origin and in the fitness world we learn from others and we teach others on how to get fit, strong, looking awesome and becoming better as a person. How will you play it out and what path are you willing to go down to?
It's Friday and that means the weekend is near (or starting now for some). Have a blast everyone, have fun, be awesome and keep in touch. Share, comment, pin and let me know what you thought of this article.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Say a young teenage kid just turned 16 and has a full license to drive and up right in there gets a car because they told daddy they wanted it. The kid hasn't had much driving experience and has that thrill of getting into a car and wanting to drive fast, smooth out the drift and believe their invincible. That's the attitude of most people in the fitness industry, they believe that if they take something or follow some idiotic program promising them muscle in a ridiculous amount of time they will get the muscles they "wanted." That's the type of people I call the "I want it now" folks, you know those mindless yaps who have no interest in making an effort to get truly strong and healthy for themselves; they want a body now and they're willing to risk their health just to look good without considering the consequences. The magic pill that will turn them into supermen or that little itty bity program that turns women from an overweight sappy housewife into a picture-perfect goddess in 6 weeks or less. Jesus Christ how low can you go?
Ever read those obnoxious magazines? I'm not talking about just the muscled ones but those moronic diets they put in US Magazine or the latest trend that will have you shed 20 pounds in less than 2 weeks if you eat this one thing. Even those online marketing pitches that just want to make you cringe. The type of bullshit that leads people to believe that without effort they can look like the superheroes they see on TV or in the movies. I'm a superhero fanatic and always look forward to seeing the big cats of the big/silver screen in action but I also know when to be realistic and do my research. It doesn't matter if it's in a magazine or in an online scheme there's going to be some shmuck ghost writer who never touched a weight or moved his body in any form that builds the slightest amount of muscle in his life will make you a sheep to a Shepard promising you guarantees of beautifully sculpted muscle and being able to achieve it inside of a few weeks or less. To me that's a low blow to us guys who help you find programs that are not only real but deserve more recognition than the latest diet that some celebrity endorses or building a superhuman body that isn't realistic.
When people take the easy route; they get excited, jump right into some program that looks incredibly awesome with promise of having a body that a supermodel or bodybuilder would envy and within a few weeks or less what commonly happens? Someone gets injured or gets burnt out and then quits and actually believes all programs are like that because it didn't work out for them. I've been down that road myself where I wanted to have a bodybuilder's body and read up on all the workouts the best bodybuilders produced and yet came out looking like someone ran me over with a mac truck and ended up looking more like Allen Covert in Little Nicky (bad reference I know) than Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando. Ever see those yahoo Crossfit guys and ladies, they look extremely fit and they look like the superheroes you see on TV but what you don't see is the nagging injuries that are wasting their life force more than gaining it. Being hardcore can only last for so long and when it comes to Bodybuilding, most don't realize it takes years to get to where those guys are at, if you had good genetics you'd be lucky to even stand up to the bottom of the Mr. Olympia barrel let alone the top guys. Quick fixes are for those who have no spine to make the effort that can not only be healthy and fit but keep it so without damaging the joints and ligaments that could plague them later in life.
There is a hidden truth in the fitness world that most refuse to accept and it is called consistency. When you find a program that delivers results and gives you an idea to build a foundation on and progress at your own pace, with consistency you will have found the one true thing that never gets around the average person. I personally don't believe in the hype or the belief that I will have the perfect body inside of a few workouts a week, if I see something that interests me and shows something that seems like fun and enjoyable I do it and I get it. I have exercised every single day for nearly 10 years straight and have been in fitness for nearly 18 years and I will tell you that if you can't enjoy and challenge yourself on a consistent basis than someone is leading you on and are taking advantage of you. I've trained on some of the best and worst fitness programs there is from weightlifting to gymnastics, bodyweight training to odd object lifting, strongman to kettlebell training and even had a small stint doing powerlifting type stuff and the one thing that has kept me on my toes and out of taking a day off is the value of time and consistency in what I want to do. It takes time to learn things, the mechanics, the way your body handles things and that no one person can do the same exact things. Don't accept a quick fix, be different and break a few rules in a positive and healthy way. Have fun and learn from guys who have done realistic, smart and use of consistent training that builds real muscle, doesn't take a mess of time and brings out the strongest version of yourself.
Happy Thor's Day everyone. Never settle for the easy way to train, train smart, train hard and have a blast doing it without getting injured, taking drugs and following your instincts.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
In this day and age there are school shootings, kids getting fatter everyday and it's become somewhat of a concern in some countries including our own when play has become very strict. I can deal with structuring and teaching kids to be careful but you can't take away too many things otherwise you're treating them like they don't have a right to just have fun. In Australia, a teacher or set of teachers have restricts kids to not do cartwheels while during recess; I don't know if that's true but even if it was it's not awesome or funny to take away an activity that brings such joy. Do kids get hurt sometimes yes and it does suck sometimes but the other kids shouldn't suffer because it happens every now and then. There's always been violence in the world especially in the home and it's sad when kids are getting beat up or slapped around because of stupid things what does that tell you about the parents. I've been hit a time or two and for very dumb reasons and it's one of the reasons why I vowed to never hit my future son/daughter in any manner because I don't promote physical/verbal or emotional abuse and it's not worth it trying to teach the kid discipline. We have more food varieties than ever in the last century but yet because of cheap prices and an overwhelming idiotic way to pay hardworking people we have become a nation of junk food addicts. Making healthy choices isn't east but it's not impossible.
I've been around kids my whole life ever since I was brought to a day care when I was 6 months old. I'm still friends with the family that raised me to this day and throughout that time I've seen a ton of kids come and go. Some of those same kids had incredible parents but others not so much. Some parents have just let go and can't keep themselves in god shape to even help raise their kids. Out of shape, overweight, skinny and other things but still if you can't keep yourself healthy, how you are supposed to help your kid be healthy. Just because your kid can physically run around doesn't mean their mentality isn't at stake. I've had my fair share of run ins with my dad and he wasn't always healthy either. I'm not saying all parents have trouble with kids it's the toughest job in the world whether you're a single parent or two parent family. The point here is, if you want the best out of your kid's life, don't just put a roof over their head and feed them whenever you need to or they need to but also bond with them, talk things over with them, discipline them in a healthy way and share the little things in life with them without hidden agendas, bribery or force them in more than a number of ways otherwise they will figure it out and can resent you for the longest time.
One of the healthiest things you can do for your son(s)/daughter(s) is to play with them, exercise with them disguised as play. When you create something that's productive and offers not only a form of discipline but structured to value teamwork, punishment without the violent side of it and sharing a common goal of getting kids on the right track in life. It doesn't matter if you get them to do animal movements, push-ups for talking back, playing tag, grounding them adding an exercise for that punishment or whatever it's better than taking the easy route by slapping the kid around or spanking them or just taking away their favorite things. Back to bonding; when your kids exercise with you, it forms a powerful entity when those endorphins kick in and taking all that energy out in a healthy way because some kids are not so easy to calm down, they're hyper, can't stop moving and you're more exhausted trying to chase them around. When you need to get serious do so but don't do it out of anger or frustration, be bold and honest. Have fun with your kids, let them open up their imagination with you alongside them. You only get so many years with your kid so make the best of them even when times are tough and tension arises, make the choices because it will have an impact on their life one way or another.
I have never worked out with my parents and playing wasn't always easy to come by but I loved going on trips, going to ball games, spend summers in Tahoe, watch something hilarious and laughing it up with either one so it was a lot of fun but I always wondered what it would've been like to play tag and being chased, race them or whatever. I'm not saying every family should wear spandex pants and bandanas and chase each other moving like a wild ape while shouting their sounds around the neighborhood (although that would be quite hilarious in itself) but the point is, to get the best out of yourself and kids is to bond in some form that is accepting, loving and helping one another. Sure kids need space very now and then and want to be with friends or significant others when they get older but yet there's that power of family that just sticks with you and a greater appreciation for each other that many families will never understand. Keep your kids fit and healthy but do the same for yourself yet if you do it at the same time it can bring many other benefits of not only raising awesome kids but also giving them hope and faith in each other with not only physical health but building brain power, emotional balance and structure that helps them in their own lives. You have the power to change their life.
Be safe and healthy everyone. And to all you kids out there, have fun, listen to your folks, do the best you can on your homework and keep being awesome. You guys rock, don't ever forget that. Be awesome.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Many systems of training would have you believe that in order to exercise like them they treat you like a little puppet; they've put the strings on you making you dance and twirl and got you in the palm of their hands. They don't care about your freedom, they mostly just want your money and don't give a shit whether you live or die. Sure they'll train you but also drain you just so they can keep going to the bank. I do understand people need to make a living but there's a fine line between someone being an asshole and one that is compassionate, willing to help you achieve your goals the best way they can teaching you their style and helping you adapt to yours. That's what me and a few others believe in, we want to help you succeed and show you how to take your fitness to a whole other level with intensity and adventure because that's what it's all about. No more being someone's puppet, you are your own man/woman to make the decisions you want to make.
One thing I have always emphasized about training is the ability to have fun. Sure you can be serious about making goals and challenging yourself but if you strict yourself to feel like it's more punishment than adventure than what's the point. The way we connect our minds and bodies together is through the way we think and putting it into the physical. Our imaginations help us find that line that will make us or break us in our training. When I see something I believe can benefit me and utilize my imagination, I believe in it whole heartedly. Recently I got the Animal Flow workout program created by Mike Fitch and I've done some of the moves before by just watching and imitating but when I finally got it and started practicing them, it's a whole new look at training. There are times when Bodyweight Exercise gets a bad rap because you can't get strong unless you lift weights or it's an endurance thing or better yet it's a beginner's type of training; hate to burst your bubble people but you haven't seen bodyweight training like this before. The way you move your body in multiple directions, switching from move to the other and combine movements in a sequence can take down even the strongest of men. It's fun, interesting and it's unique which I like because too many people show the same type of training but this is way different.
The moves you will learn in Animal Flow will not only make you strong and flexible but give you that athletic prowess that feeds on speed, coordination, awareness and how you use your body in various motion. There are a lot of boring stretching programs and some strength training programs that just dull and generic when this takes out all of that and be able to move however you want and get both a stretch and build strength at the same time, when that happens it's a sure fire to work. It doesn't matter if you're in a sport or just want to get in shape, just a few minutes of this training will have you breathing hard, sweating like crazy, moving with grace & agility and open up your body in a whole new way. When it comes to progression, its right up there with some of the best I've ever seen. He takes the ABC's to a whole other level and it makes you want to move and do cool stuff.
From some of the advanced movements it looks like Animalized Breakdancing and to me that's just insane and fun to look at but I'm one of those guys who likes to move and just flow through my own way which he also teaches. We've all seen some form of breakdancing and not just spinning the head on a piece of cardboard but combining moves that involve hand balancing, jumping, switching from one form to the other, dancing and utilizing the imagination to move in a very unique way. In this form of training he breaks down bit by bit on how to work the moves efficiently using hand placements, using the legs to switch and stretch the body while holding a certain position. Once you understand how to use the moves you can combine them however you want and that's what I love is to be able to learn cool exercises and mold them into my own style instead of being told to train this way or that way. Flow in your own way, practice making the moves your own, learn how to get them down to the point where it's not even like working out but playing and having a good time while building a body you can be proud of or be able to move like an animal in the wild being free and happy to do as you wish.
Hope everyone had a kick ass weekend and welcome to a new week. Less than two weeks and I'm off to Spokane, WA for the first PAC Con (Washington's version of Comic Con) and getting my geek on seeing celebs, grabbing a few comics maybe and have the time of my life. Be awesome everyone and have a wonderful Monday.
Friday, October 10, 2014
In a lot of ways, fitness can help you find the very best systems suited to your goals and needs for whatever you choose to do whether it's to build size, gain strength, muscle, lose weight, burn fat or whatever the case may be. However; there are things in the fitness world that make people very confused about what can work for them because you have some quack trainer telling them to do this or that and maybe some giant bodybuilder with 24 inch arms telling someone how to lift a bunny weight for that "Contraction" to pump the muscle. It's tough figuring out because although we have "evolved" as an industry it's also becoming frustrating and mind numbing and too many people make things complicated when in fact it's simpler than most want you to believe.
Let's face it, with all the chrome and fern gyms and all the "glitz and glamour" of training, the fact is when you lift heavy things you get stronger period. The problem is most don't understand how to work up to lifting heavy things; they either can't do it or they can and if they can't most quit and think they're too weak. When I say lifting heavy things I don't always mean barbells and dumbbells; there are other things to lift like logs, heavy cables, odd objects, hammers, your bodyweight, and farmer's walk with various objects like kettlebells, lifting heavy clubs and many other things. When you lift a heavy object it takes a lot of effort and engages more muscles than you would think. It's not the same as if you tried to curl a 50 lb. hammer as oppose to a 50 pound dumbbell because the balance is different, the grip isn't the same and one has you engaging more muscles so which one makes you stronger? Most aren't taught how to use proper progressive training because it differs for other people, you can't teach the same progression system but you can however teach how to adapt to that lift and show them how to get stronger using what works for them. Sorry if I'am confusing you but what I'm pointing out is if you want to get strong, you simply lift something heavy it doesn't matter if it's a squat or a bench press, deadlift, pull-up, pushup, handstand or lifting an anvil; when the muscles are engaged using a resistance that hits the major groups of those muscles engaged and then some with the understanding of how that lift is made you are building strength.
Let's talk about balancing for a moment and not talking about that stupid thing with the squat on the stability ball or those idiotic tricep kickbacks while on one leg on the Bosu Ball; I'm talking balancing while engaging the stabilizing muscles and using various muscle groups for a particular lift. Balance is a whole other ball game if you have to engage the muscles in an awkward and unusual way meaning yeah it's cool to press 300 lbs. overhead with a barbell but how lifting that same weight but it's a stone or a rock. When you lift odd objects such as rocks or kegs hell even a log or small beam, your balance is going to be very awkward and in order to pick it up let alone press it or carry, you have to shift your hands different, your grip won't be even and you have to move the legs a bit to get a jolt while squeezing the abs to protect your lower back. You know how they say lift with the legs more than your back, well that's more of a vague look at what you need to do. I have lifted heavy boulders, carried many pieces of wood, hell I've had to carry a cooler a good distance that had the handles in a wide arm position and practically carried it in in the range where the bottom of it was touching my thighs and it was heavy as hell so don't tell me I don't know how to handle an odd object. Don't ever mistake that you can do cool things with barbells and dumbbells and expect to lift a narrow rock or a piece of furniture the way because you aren't. Lifting in this manner doesn't just engage muscles, it hits the whole system from the muscles to the joints, tendons and ligaments and because of the shifting you have to balance differently on a more frequent basis.
One of my favorite ways to do resistance training is using rubber cables like you would use from Lifeline USA. Unlike a dumbbell where the weight stays the same when you lift it it's very different compared to a cable where you lift it, it's attempting to bring you down and the weight becomes heavier the more you stretch it. When you pull/press or squat on a cable you're not isolating the muscles needed for that particular lift but you're engaging more muscles because it takes more effort on the stabilizing muscles needed to make that lift go. Say for example you have the TNT Cables and you have a fairly good amount of resistance that's tough for a few reps and wanted to do rows so you get into position that's needed for that exercise, still think you're only working your back and arms? Wrong, you're not only hitting those muscles but you're working the legs, hips, abs and chest because the other muscles are to help you stabilize the position and so you're hitting multiple muscle groups which in terms helps get stronger. I'm not saying lifting cables will make you lift super heavy weights but they teach the muscles what is needed for that particular lift and helping them remember which ones to engage in. Weights can be very expensive so why not go for the cables, they're easy to travel with, they don't take up much space and they're easy to adjust to the amount of resistance you want use. So what are you supposed to lift? Lift heavy things and learn the mechanics with good technique and understanding of the muscles needed and with odd objects, learn how your body balances in awkward positions and get a feel of where to shift and learn how the muscles are engaged in something you don't always find in a strict weight going up and down.
What a beautiful Friday and hope everyone has a great weekend. Keep in touch and share this article on twitter, facebook, google+ or whatever suits and shoot me a comment and let me know what you think. Be awesome and get stronger my frends.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Within each of us there is energy that charges our system and gives us strength to do things we normally don't use. This is what' called Adrenaline where you're so hoped up either in some situation or your body just raves up everything and becomes a wrecking machine. Normally this lasts for a few seconds and usually happens when danger occurs or in certain sports and even when given an adrenaline shot (ever see Pulp Fiction). However even with all of that, that part of us is in our system all the time but it's not easy to unlock it. There's also what's called Chi which means life force or what some would call Nerve Force where the body is racked with energy due to using the mental aspect to obtain the physical. This type of energy is practically the same thing but on another level. To unlock it takes practice but it is possible to achieve a level of energy that can instantly increase our strength, speed and movement within just about any angle using a few techniques and opening up our minds to be congruent with the body.
It's not always easy to tell but when your energy doesn't align and it's low or not used well you are weak in many areas and not just physical. Your mental state isn't in the right place and things aren't flowing as well. You're frustrated, mad, angry, confused or anything negative and your focus just isn't there. It happens to all of us and it's nothing to be ashamed about but you can however learn to open up and let everything flow by the way you breathe, the way you think and the way you move; actually when you can harness all three and they're in unison you become stronger, more focused, heading towards your goal and you can whisk your way around any corner and move with great efficiency and agility. When the mind and body flow together you are a stronger person both physically and mentally. Adding in the emotion of your energy creates a chain reaction of increasing your strength more so than just infusing the mind and body.
In CoreForce Energy, it teaches not just being crazy strong or how to open up your energy but it also teaches you how to harness your muscles to the degree where at just about any angle no matter how cool or weird looking you can stay strong and have everything flowing. Now I'm not saying you'll lift 1000 pounds or become a contortionist hell you won't fly like superman but yet you can have strength within the snap of your fingers when you learn the techniques and exercises that are in stored in the course. Think what it would be like to move like Neo in the Matrix or close to it, harness the strength that can go up even by 1% that most scientists say can't be achieved. What about moving with such grace and agility yet still have a knockout punch and take down the biggest of men. I didn't believe it at first until I actually learned the techniques, open up my imagination and begin to believe that something was happening with incredible crystal clear sight.
Some of the greatest minds in history used their imaginations because there is a whole other world that we can't explain. All of us see something different in our minds, it could be similar to someone else's but in the end as an individual we have different outlooks, different ways of seeing the world and what we use to make us successful. In the physical world we can only do so much and we're told we can only be this strong or run at a limited speed even at a full sprint and we've been told we can only use an extremely small percentage of our brain capacity (which is said at max 5%) however, what if we can unlock that 1% that has run a little faster, make us slightly stronger and open up our minds that are in our control and create mental clarity and focus that is so strong it makes others envy would you want that? Just a 1% increase of our brain power can jump start a major breakthrough in the human physiology, anatomy, mental awareness and seeing the world in a whole other way that is better and revolutionary and evolve with greater opportunities. We have only scratched the surface to how the brain is built and wired yet we have an extremely long way to go. However, what we do know and what we can learn can impact us in a way that hasn't been seen before. CoreForce Energy is part of that breakthrough that is built upon the principles of opening up our body's energy from the inside and tapping into the power of our minds and unleashing it into the physical realm.
Happy Thor's Day my friends and become a stronger individual from within. Be awesome and have a great day.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Monday, October 6, 2014
It's important to have a discipline mindset and a foundation where you learn the basics and understand the mechanics but too many people restrict themselves both physically and mentally to a certain system where they believe it's the only thing in the world and everything else is crap. I get it that you would like to do one particular system of training and if it makes you happy awesome but I feel for others it's a thing where they're told this or told that and if their system doesn't work for them they're horrible people. It's not good for your health to be restricted to something when you may want to explore something else and use it to what gives you the best results you wanted to achieve. You are a human being, not a puppet on strings and you certainly don't need to be confined to a cage where you're extremely limited. You have options and it's up to you to find which ones suit you the best. It's all about being your own trainer.
Some people take pride in punishing themselves to make themselves feel better or if they don't do it they're going to hate themselves. It's not just pushing yourself to your absolute maximum it's the mentality that if you punish yourself in your training something good will happen. Don't ever punish yourself; you don't always need to be hardcore and lift this heavy or do this many reps and sets all the time. Also at the same time don't punish yourself by restricting your progress because if you aren't hitting your goals don't hate yourself for it, change it up and find the solution not a problem or excuse. I have punished myself a few times in my training because I felt like if I can't keep up with this guy or do what he says in terms of what is this ideal way to train I'm no good but I take a step back and realize that by punishing myself I'm making things worse for myself so why do that when you can do things that can make you happy and give you reason to train with heart, passion and to feel invincible.
Back to restriction; another thing to look at is in training a lot of trainers have these rules and feel like if you don't follow them according to their standards you're not worthy of their time and you just suck and don't deserve anything worthy, bullshit. One thing I learned in the near 10 years of following physical culture, chi kung and energy practices in my training is that you can have all the books and DVDs you can get your hands on and you can find the best systems but in the end it comes down to what takes you to the next level from a mental stand point and making progress on your own terms. You know your body better than anyone and it's up to you to find what can help you be pain-free, gain muscle, lose weight, burn fat, achieve great flexibility and endurance and in order to do that you have to throw the rule book out and train the way you want. Learn what you want to do, you're in control of what works and what doesn't. It's important to learn basic holds and movements from others but do them according to your body's structure and alignment and pace yourself within your own level. I've learned my training craft from the very best I can find and it's helped me learn who I 'am through my movements, my breathing, my thinking and the way I align my mind and body to do what works best for me. I don't have rules, I have freedom and that's what it all boils down to. Be free to do what works best according to you.
The best training system(s) is what makes you happy to do them and they work for you. You get something out of it no one else can and you're not uptight about it. I don't worship every system I've come across and I certainly don't agree with everything I've learned from everybody but what works for me makes me happy and relaxed mentally to do them. You have a right to be happy and doing what gives you the best out of what you put in. It's not even like working out it's more of like playing around, having fun and taking it to another on your own terms and pushing yourself when you're ready not when someone else tells you to. Train with an attitude and don't let others tell you how to feel. You want to get results and in order to do so it starts with having an attitude and taking the chance to make it work for you, if it doesn't happen after a while, most likely that system isn't for you so you change things up, find exercises or workouts that are interesting to you and that help you progress at your own pace. Don't put yourself in a position where you feel like you have to do this or that and it's going to make you feel like crap later and you're fighting the whole time, train yourself to be happy and when you do train do it with the best of YOUR abilities.
Hope you all had an awesome weekend and welcome to a new week. For most Mondays suck but they don't have to be and it's important to start a new week with an attitude of kicking ass and doing it with a smile. Be awesome and have a great day.
Friday, October 3, 2014
Within the fitness food chain there's a source of many levels of different styles and forms in exercise and workouts. Some people do the cardio machines, lift weights, go to aerobics class, do those weird ass kangaroo bounces with those shoe springs and there are forms of fitness that are not normally associated with the gym. Within bodyweight exercises a lot of people see that as toe touches, jumping jacks, military push-ups, basic squats, planks, burpees or whatever and you see these in the gym every now and then but the key to remember is that bodyweight training within the right system are extremely important for any workout routine. If you take a look back in history say 100 or more years ago; Barbells and Dumbbells were in the early stages of the major weightlifting world but the main type of training these old-timers used were Bodyweight exercises and why is that?
In another lifetime, using one's own bodyweight was a main source of health, strength, conditioning, flexibility and even looking the part. The reason why was because back then, gyms weren't as mainstream as they are today and if any young man or woman who weren't doing farm work, working in the coal mines or oil rigs hell even the railroad or skyscraping in the big cities they couldn't always afford a weight set so they had to learn to use their bodyweight in great many ways. Training in this manner teaches how to master your body from all sorts of angles the body is able to manage or develop. Think about it; if you mastered lifting your own weight that's a great amount of strength to withstand even in the most basic positions. There a lot of programs out there today that do work but very few teach how to go to a level of physical strength that is beyond the basic components. You do need a foundation and progress to a different level otherwise how will you achieve a higher status of mastery. Mastering the basic exercises doesn't mean how many reps and sets you can do and although that's awesome what more can you do; how about changing the tempo, speed, holding and slowing down the movement. Say you can do 250 push-ups in a single workout or within a few sets of up to 25-50 reps at a time, great now how about you change things up a bit like doing them on your fingertips or getting in the push-up position and go down for a ten count and up a ten count. You are taking a basic exercise and using the body on a whole other level that is not just using external formalities but building an internal strengthener.
I'm all for pushing the body to its maximum capabilities, it's a test of your mettle of how the body is taken to a higher level however; with that being said I also believe in testing the body in doing exercises that are a little out of the norm and building that relaxed strength and moving at a much slower pace or holding a certain position that is difficult. It's creating that internal power that you don't always get from just a regular routine. Holding certain postures or creating dynamic resistance to get that heart rate up in another way. Its power beyond the typical strength and endurance concepts you're used to seeing. I've done well over 500 push-ups in a workout and for nearly an hour I did over 1000 squats but yet I can also do the exercises in a much slower pace like doing 15 count push-ups and going so slow in the squat it not only gets me breathing more but it also creates a sensation in my body I can't experience any other way. I'm mastering my body in a different way that builds energy from within. The next time you hear that "Bodyweight exercise is only good for endurance" bullshit, have that person tested on that theory by having do exercises at a much slower pace or holding a posture for say like 3 minutes max; they won't be giving you a hard time and they'll either run away or won't have a clue what the hell hit them.
Are bodyweight exercises good for only smaller people like gymnasts? Fuck no, it doesn't matter what size you are, you can do bodyweight exercises. For big men, this is extremely important because if you master your body at a much larger size, you're doing something most can't even fathom. Say you want to do 10 pull-ups but you're a big guy say around 220 lbs. or more, is it possible? Of course it is as long as you understand the mechanics and how your body to weight ratio works in unison with the muscles needed to do that many pull-ups. I'm over 250 lbs. and I can do around 12 pull-ups if I chose to do so and that is exceptional for a man that size. If you are a big person and still want to do hard bodyweight exercises you can do them if you practice and learn how to use the muscles for that exercise. One of the greatest lifters of all-time Doug Hepburn was the first man to bench press over 500 lbs and was well over 260 lbs. but would you believe he was also an exceptional hand balancer? How about wrestler The Great Gama who was 5'7 and well over 250 lbs yet was capable of doing reps in the push-up and the squat in the hundreds, how about Bud Jeffries; at around 6'and 280 plus lbs. he can do push-ups that make smaller guys look like chumps from clap push-ups to one-arm and beyond. There are possibilities and don't think for a second that you can't achieve something because of your size. Make it work for you and don't try to surpass someone else, learn to surpass yourself and build strength that reaches your potential.
Have a kick ass Friday, have a wonderful weekend and be awesome.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
My friend and esteemed colleague Niraj Naik – a pioneering brainwave entrainment and meditation expert has collaborated with John Vincent – an expert hypnotherapist and change expert trained directly under the father of NLP, Richard Bandler and world renowned hypnotherapist Paul McKenna.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Some people just love to get in the gym and just hammer out the weights and use their Bosu Balls, run like a madman on the cardio machines and just crank out rep after rep on those "machines." I love training hard too; getting out and hitting tire with my Epic Sledgehammer, play with Battling Ropes, and move like a wild animal and just go raw with my favorite exercises but yet I understand the importance of recovery. Unless you work all day in construction or at some heavy duty job or having to survive in the wilderness; you can't train that hard all the time without suffering some sort of consequence like an injury or being burnt out or whatever. It's great to push yourself but it's also important to let things die down a bit and let your body repair itself.
My type of recovery training is to practice forms of Chi Kung to train my internal strength and use more of a flow of movements and holds that unleash that electrical vibration in the body not just outside. A lot of us can be filled with tension that deprives us from doing things that are fun and enjoyable. Tension can be used in a positive way depending on the situation but the negative side of it is it can cause damage to your body like inflammation, tendonitis, back pain, knee problems and it can take a toll on your emotional state as well. Exercise done right releases endorphins and is often a stress reliever which is why daily exercise is good for the body but like anything else if it's not balanced than you're in for a rude awakening which is why a lot of people quit after a week or 2 of training because they pushed too hard and not enough recovery time to balance it out. You don't have to do Chi Kung to recover but you can do other things that balance out your body's nervous system. Go for a walk, stretch your body and loosen up the joints, do deep breathing exercises for a day or before/during/after your workouts, do meditation; there are so many things you can do but it's up to you to find that balance.
Now contrary to popular belief you don't always have to do workouts that only go 3-5 times a week and not do anything on you're off days. In this day and age, very rarely you find people in fitness who never take a day off. I have not taken one day off since I started training for rehab way back in 2005 around august. When I tell certain people that they often think "how can you do that everyday and not be burnt out, don't you get injured?" The truth is, I train hard when I can but when I need to back off I do which I'm currently doing right now. There's no such thing as a day off because you're constantly doing something every single day and it doesn't always require training in the gym or doing a few push-ups at home. Here's the thing, there are times we can get so sore from a workout or we become sick and need to take care of ourselves, what to do then? How about say you're sore from head to toe and you still want to get in a good workout, why not go for a brisk walk for about 30 min., go swimming and just tread water or swim a few laps so the muscles are loosened up, stretch your body to open up the channels within your muscles. What about being sick with the flu or you can hardly move feeling like a crowbar is hitting your body; well you do a fast or eat very lightly, lay back and flex the muscles in various places to bring blood flow to the body, you can also do light stretching, kick back and do some deep breathing exercises (trust me it's not easy to do when you're stuffed up but breathe from your diaphragm and not your nose) and mentally picture yourself feeling better and visualize healing yourself. You don't always need to move to train your body.
A lot of us struggle to relax and go with the flow. It happens to me quite a bit and I get really tense sometimes and jittery. I'm known to be a night owl so sleeping at night isn't always simple to do like in my current situation where my body is just going nuts and my sleeping patterns are way off so I'm training myself to not fight and just relax and flow while listening to my body. Relaxing isn't easy for some people because they're so stressed from their job or something is wrong in the family or your mind just runs at a million miles an hour and it's causing you frustration. We have 24 hours in a day and so if you have time to ease down even if it's for a few minutes believe me you'll see a whole new look at training the body in a different perspective. Watch something funny, chill out and forget about the negative bullshit for a bit. Destress yourself with intent. I'm not always talking about positive thinking or be one with the universe but train your body to ease down when you make the effort to and let your body repair itself, sleep when you need to so the muscles can have time to rebuild and grow. Balance yourself according to your needs and recovery just as efficiently as you train hard.
Welcome to October everyone. Have a happy Wednesday and be awesome.