The Greatest Fitness Book Never Written…

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I was talking with a friend the other day who also works as a trainer and we were talking about the reoccurring cycle we see throughout the year. January brings a renewed interest in fitness and wishes to shed the gains of the previous year. Most clients stay strong through the month before easing back off  when the excuses begin. Typically beginning with the Superbowl, moving into Valentines Day, bring on lines like, “It’s just one day, it won’t hurt,” even though those leftover wings and dips, chocolates and sweets carry on for the next week. Add the cold weather factor this time of the year when it’s easy to hide these slips under a few stylishly planned layers until “Holy crap it’s almost spring break!!!” Clients reengage and promise to commit once again to logging their meals and following through with their solo workouts and cardio during the week. It’s no different than cramming for a test in that this maximized effort is for a short term purpose. Working to fit back into that swimsuit rather than working to stay in it. By this time of the year we’ve seen Spring Break, St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness, Cinco de Mayo and other “It’s just one day or one week, I’ll get back at it as soon as (fill in the blank)” pressures come and go and many clients find themselves frustrated to be right back where they were before the new year began. These frustrations lead to misguided beliefs that they don’t have the ability to reach their goals because “it runs in the family”, slow metabolism, low testosterone, thyroid and other self-diagnosed “reasons”. Some even shift the responsibility on to us, the trainers, blaming the style of training because Joe and Jane Blow did something else and they look great. No, Joe and Jane set goals, DESIRED to reach them and did not quit even once they got there.

I wrote back around the first of the year about making resolutions stick. It’s equally frustrating to a trainer to see clients struggle with these things throughout the year and especially year after year as it is for the clients themselves  It would be very easy to say “Quit putting crap in your mouth,” but it’s deeper than that. Most people simply attack goal setting in the wrong way or too ambiguously, setting themselves up to fail. Others wish and want to achieve their goals, but they don’t DESIRE to achieve them. One of the greatest books on setting, attaining and maintaining fitness goals won’t be found in the health, sports and exercise, or even the self-help section. You’ll find it in the business section.

Think_and_grow_rich_original_coverIn 1937, Napoleon Hill wrote the book, and later video, “Think and Grow Rich”, containing the 16 “laws” of achieving success, modeled after individuals such as Andrew Carnegie, Edwin C. Barnes and Marshal Field. Success in a fitness and wellness program are said to be 80-90% nutrition and the rest hard work and rest. But, without starting on a firm foundation, you lack the inner voice reminding you what you are doing this for. That voice that doesn’t let you skip a workout or tells you that this weekends drinking binge and gastro-disaster are ok because you can make up for it next week. To truly succeed, you need more than wishes and wants. It has to be bigger than just reaching a goal. DESIRE is about the climb, reaching the top and remaining the king or queen of the mountain. Only when we get to  and remain at the peak can we look out for that next summit that is just a little bit higher to set our sights on next.

Hill writes that “the method by which DESIRE for riches can be transmuted into its financial equivalent, consists of six definite, practical steps…” These steps translate directly into how we set our goals for fitness and wellness. It begins with fixing in your mind exactly on what it is you are trying to achieve. It is not enough to simply say “I want to get in shape.”

First: Be definite on your goal.

Second: Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the results you DESIRE.

Third: Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the results you DESIRE.

Fourth: Create a definite plan for carrying out your DESIRE and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

Fifth: Write out a clear concise statement on the results you intend to achieve, name the time limit for them, state what you intend to give in return and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to reach the goal.

Sixth: Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before going to bed, and once when you wake in the morning. As you read this each time, visualize yourself already having achieved your goal. Feel and believe to yourself how you would feel as if you had already achieved your goal. This psychological imprinting is the crucial difference between your wants/wishes and true DESIRE.

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Bonus – BURN YOUR SHIPS and Create a BURNING DESIRE: Hill tells the story that “A long while ago, a great warrior faced a situation which made it necessary for him to make a decision which insured his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his armies against a powerful foe, whose men outnumbered his own. He loaded his soldiers into boats, sailed them to the enemy’s country, unloaded soldiers and equipment, then gave them the order to burn the ships that had carried them. Addressing his men before the first battle, he said, “You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice, we win or we perish!” They won.

Make your goals public, whether that be with your spouse or family, co-workers, Facebook etc. Share your statement above with them as well as your progress along the way identifying trouble areas and upcoming potential to slip and fall. Establishing partners in accountability holds you to your DESIRE, effectively eliminating sources of retreat before reaching your goal.

– Michael

10 Keys to Performance

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By Jon Gilson of Again Faster

Crossfit is extraordinary in its breadth. The physical tasks we undertake are remarkable for their constant variation and immutable intensity.

To the beginning Crossfitter, the sheer size of the curriculum can be daunting. You’ll learn Olympic lifts, gymnastics, sprinting, kettlebell swings, medicine ball work, basic nutrition, and a hundred other things. Crossfit has combined these modalities and a good dose of creativity to develop an inclusive model of fitness programming. 

In an effort to make Crossfit a little easier to deal with, here are the things you need to know to become an elite athlete. Everything else will come with time.



1.) Virtuosity: Do every rep correctly, every time. Virtuosity is the pursuit of perfection. Become a stickler for form, and you will reap the benefits of Crossfit extremely quickly.



2.) Consistency: Get out of bed. Go to the gym. Get in the habit of showing up.

3.) Intensity: Strive to minimize the amount of time you spend resting in the middle of each workout. The less you rest, the stronger you’ll become. Your workout times will plummet, and your health will skyrocket. Go hard!



4.) Nutrition: Eat enough calories to support vigorous exercise. Not eating is not a solution. Avoid alcohol, starch, and sugar like the plague. Eat lean meats, vegetables, low-GI fruits, and good fats. Fat is necessary for athletic performance–get it from almonds, avocados, olive oil, and fish oil. The best way to maintain a good diet? Clear all the crap out of your cupboards, and never ever buy it again.

5.) Sleep: Sleep is essential to your athletic development. When you sleep, you heal. Progress is a constant give and take between breaking down and building up–exercise breaks you down and sleep builds you up. Give your body the fuel it needs to heal–lean protein and fat immediately before bed will keep you in a good physiological state to burn fat and build muscle all night long. Sleep at least 8 hours every night. Make it a priority.

6.) Rest: Don’t exercise every day. You’ll burn out. Schedule rest days after every two or three days of heavy training. You can speed up healing with ice, compression, mobility work, and good supplementation.

7.) Instruction: Spend money on quality trainers, reading materials, seminars, and certifications. A few hundred bucks here and there will accelerate your gains much faster than advice from the counter guy at Gold’s. 



8.) Comfort: Stray from the known path. Approach new skills as an opportunity to learn, not an opportunity to fail. The best athletes in the world spend all day working on their weaknesses, not reinforcing their strengths.



9.) Goals: Write everything down. Set goals and work to meet them every day. Look back over your progress, and change what needs to be changed.

10.) Stress: Your body doesn’t distinguish between training stress and life stress. Minimize life stress to maximize your progress.

None of this is earth-shattering. Incorporate these tenets in your training, one by one. Follow them 90% of the time, and you’ll find yourself at the top of the scoreboard each and every week.

Against the Grain Living: Advice For My Kids…

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Advice to My Kids

By Leo Babauta

I have six lovely children — one of them now an adult, and a couple more almost there — and I give a lot of thought to what I think they should know as they grow up and go out into the world.What could I best teach them to equip them for life? This is what I’d like them to know:

You are good enough. Most people are afraid to do things because they are afraid they’re not good enough, afraid they’ll fail. But you are good enough — learn that and you won’t be afraid of new things, won’t be afraid to fail, won’t need the approval of others. You’ll be pre-approved — by yourself.All you need to be happy is within you. Many people seek happiness in food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, partying, sex … because they’re seeking external happiness. They don’t realize the tools for happiness aren’t outside them. They’re right inside you: mindfulness, gratitude, compassion, thoughtfulness, the ability to create and do something meaningful, even in a small way.

You can start your own business. As a young man, I thought I needed to go to college and then be employed, and that owning a business is for rich people. That was all wrong. It’s possible for almost anyone to start their own business, and while you’ll probably do badly at first, you’ll learn quickly. It’s a much better education than college.Everything useful I’ve learned I didn’t learn from college … I learned from doing.

That said, I’ve had some amazing teachers. They’re not always in school, though: they’re everywhere. A friend I met at work. My peers online. My mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts. My wife. My kids. Failure. Teachers are everywhere, if you’re willing to learn.

Spend less than you earn. Thirty percent less if you can manage. Most people get a job and immediately spend their income on a car loan, high rent or a large mortgage, buying possessions and eating out using credit cards. None of that is necessary. Don’t spend it if you don’t have it. Learn to go without, and be happy with less.

Put away some of your income to grow with the power of compound earnings. Your future self will thank you.

Learn to love healthy food. It’s all a matter of adjusting your tastebuds, slowly and gradually. Learn to cook for yourself. Try some healthy, delicious recipes.

Learn compassion. We start life with a very selfish outlook — we want what we want. But compassion is about realizing we are no more important than everyone else, and we aren’t at the center of the universe. Someone annoys you? Get outside of your little shell, and try to see how their day is going. How can you help them be less angry, less in pain?

Never stop learning. If you just learn something a little a day, it will add up over time immensely.

Have fun being active. Sure, there’s lots of fun to be had online, and in eating sweets and fried food, and in watching TV and movies and playing video games. But going outside and playing with friends, tossing a ball around, swimming, climbing something, challenging each other … that’s even more fun. And it leads to a healthy life, healthy heart, more focused and energetic mind.

Get good at discomfort. Avoiding discomfort is very common, but a big mistake. Learning to be OK with some discomfort will change your life.

The things that stress you out don’t matter. Take a larger perspective: will this matter in five years? Most likely the answer is no. If the answer is yes, attend to it.

Savor life. Not just the usual pleasures, but everything and everyone. The stranger you meet on the bus. The sunshine that hits your face as you walk. The quiet of the morning. Time with a loved one. Time alone. Your breath as you meditate.

Meditate.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They are some of the best teachers. Instead, learn to be OK with mistakes, and learn to learn from them, and learn to shrug them off so they don’t affect your profound confidence in who you are.

You need no one else to make you happy or validate you. You don’t need a boss to tell you that you’re great at what you do. You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend to tell you that you’re lovable. You don’t need your friends’ approval. Having loved ones and friends in your life is amazing, but know who you are first.

Learn to be good at change. Change is the one constant in life. You will suffer by trying to hold onto things. Learn to let go (meditation helps with this skill), and learn to have a flexible mind. Don’t get stuck in what you’re comfortable with, don’t shut out what’s new and uncomfortable.

Open your heart. Life is amazing if you don’t shut it out. Other people are amazing. Open your heart, be willing to take the wounds that come with an open heart, and you will experience the best of life.

Let love be your rule. Success, selfishness, righteousness … these are not good rules to live by. Love family, friends, coworkers, strangers, your brothers and sisters in humanity. Love even those who think they’re your enemy. Love the animals we treat as food and objects. Most of all, love yourself. And always know, no matter what: I love you with every particle of my being.

Against the Grain Lifestyle – Creativity…

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Ever wonder what makes those wacky, creative types tick? How is it that some people seem to come up with all kinds of interesting, original work while the rest of us trudge along in our daily routines?Creative people are different because they operate a little differently. They:

1. Are easily bored

A short attention span isn’t always a good thing, but it can indicate that the creative person has grasped one concept and is ready to go on to the next one.

2. Are willing to take risks

Fearlessness is absolutely necessary for creating original work, because of the possibility of rejection. Anything new requires a bit of change, and most of us don’t care for change that much.

3. Don’t like rules

Rules, to the creative person, are indeed made to be broken. They are created for us by other people, generally to control a process; the creative person needs freedom in order to work.

4. Ask “what if…”

Seeing new possibilities is a little risky, because it means that something will change and some sort of action will have to be taken. Curiosity is probably the single most important trait of creative people.

5. Make lots of mistakes

A photographer doesn’t just take one shot, and a composer doesn’t just write down a fully realized symphony. Creation is a long process, involving lots of boo-boos along the way. A lot goes in the trash.

6. Collaborate

The hermit artist, alone in his garret, is a romantic notion but not always an accurate one. Comedians, musicians, painters, chefs all get a little better by sharing with others in their fields.

7. Are generous

Truly creative people aren’t afraid to give away their hard-earned knowledge. The chef can give you the recipe because she knows you won’t make it like she does anyway.

8. Are independent

Stepping off the beaten path may be scary, but creative people do it. Children actually do this very well but are eventually trained to follow the crowd.

9. Experiment

Combining things that don’t normally go together can result in brilliance or a giant mess. Trial and error are necessary to the creative process.

10. Motivate themselves

There does seem to be a spark that creative people share, an urgent need to make things. They are willing to run the inherent risks of doing something new in order to get a new result.

11. Work hard

This is probably the most overlooked trait of creative people. People who don’t consider themselves to be creative assume that people who are creative are magical, that ideas just pop into their heads effortlessly. Experienced creative people have developed processes and discipline that make it look easy.

12. Aren’t alone

The good news is that it’s possible for everyone to be creative. There are creative accountants, creative cooks, creative janitors, creative babysitters. Any profession or any hobby can be made into a creative pursuit by embracing and using creative traits.Do you consider yourself creative? (Say yes.) Finding something you’re really passionate about will help you take a chance and might just result in something wildly creative.

By Kim Phillips at 12most.com

Please show your support…

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I gotta give mad respect to my buddy Michael who honestly is one of the nicest, hardest working people I have ever met… Please show your support as he climbs back in the cage at Bellator this month… Get ’em Joker!!! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michael-The-Joker-Guymon/148673655221176

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Don’t touch that dial…

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For anyone who missed the radio broadcast on Thursday night, here is the podcast link. Big thanks to Karen and the gang for a great night on the air!

He Said, She Said Radio Broadcast – 1/10/13

The Top 10 Resolutions AGAIN This Year Are…

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1. Lose Weight

2. Getting Organized

3. Spend Less, Save More

4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest

5. Staying Fit and Healthy

6. Learn Something Exciting

7. Quit Smoking

8. Help Others in Their Dreams

9. Fall in Love

10. Spend More Time with Family

Here we are, almost a week into 2013 facing some of the same problems as last year. Making resolutions is the easy part. Taking that first step, not much more difficult. But, how do we make them stick? Why do we fail? How do we ensure that we don’t end up making the same resolution again next year? I find that from my past successes and maybe more often than not, failures are a direct result of overgeneralizing my resolutions, biting off more than I could chew in my expectations and LACK OF PLANNING…

I can personally look at this list and say that every one of them are on my list this year with exception for smoking, but that was on my list for many, many years before I finally succeeded. Now, repeating  resolutions is not always a bad thing as many of these common goals are relative to each person and the state they are in at the time. Getting more fit last year may have been being able to run a 5K and this year it could be a half marathon. Helping others with their dreams and spending more time with family can always be areas for improvement. But what about when we hit those walls. When it starts getting hard and we’re tempted to give in and cheat or worse, give up. That one goal, isn’t always just one goal. What hits me the most looking at this is how many, if not all of these fit hand in hand, kind of a “chicken or the egg” type of deal.

Now this may be an extreme situation, but it’s not that unrealistic. If I wake up on New Year’s Day and say that this year, I’m gonna spend more time with family but am not organized with my time because I am too busy focusing on helping others follow their dreams because I think that person might be the one I’ll fall in love with this year, I’m probably setting myself up for failure. Now if I’m also overweight and a smoker, it’s more than likely going to have an affect on my ability to fall in love and enjoy life to the fullest leading me to also love myself less and have less motivation to stay fit and healthy and more motivation to spend more on temporary fixes such as food, alcohol, shopping etc and as a result, saving less. Ya getting dizzy yet? Is it any surprise why we find ourselves in the same place year after year?

This is why planning is so important. Best place to start is a simple tool we learned in school, our 5 W’s and an H. Write your goal down and answer Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

– Who do I want to spend more time with? Who else do I know who wants to lose weight and can work on this with me? Who do I know that is organized or on top of their finances and could help me learn to be better? Who am I going to tell about my goal so they can hold me accountable?

– What do I want to organize? What do I want to save for? What exciting thing do I want to do? What could get in my way and cause me to fail? What can I do to prevent this?

– When am I going to start? When do I want to accomplish this by?

– Where am I gonna put all this stuff? Where can I help others in their lives?

– Why do I want to do this? (For myself or for someone else? It makes a difference.) Why did I fail last year? Why am I still putting it off a week into 2013?

– How am I going to know if I’m doing it the right way? How can I sidestep those temptations before they arise? How will I know that I have reached my goal?

Here is a great set of tips from Psychology Today with 12 great tips to get past your barriers and make your New Year’s resolutions stick.

1. Resolve to do something that is truly meaningful, measurable, and achievable.

2. Keep perspective on what is important.

3. Check the strength of your commitment.

4. Plan for success.

5. Exercise self-efficacy.

6. Watch out for the Wheedler.

7. Follow a “do it now” philosophy.

8. Reward yourself.

9. Avoid blame.

10. Make accepting a discomfort part of your change plan.

11. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

12. Take a global approach.

Happy New Year y’all. Let’s make 2013 the year to go Against the Grain and break the cycle of our past!!!