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All posts for the month April, 2015

Journey

(Oct 2010)

JourneyJust a small town girl….ok not that journey, but a real every day journey we take on a daily basis. When we decide to start working out, fixing nutrition, or even start a new business, it’s all about getting from A to B to C. It’s not getting to B that is important its how you got there that shapes us all permanently.

 

It’s about that critical first step that I want to focus on. 

 

We often get so excited about what we are going to do when we get to B, and about how many great ideas we have about getting from B to C, that we forget to take the time to efficiently set up the journey to B.

 

The key to success and failure is not the 100 great ideas you have in your pocket once you get there, it’s in figuring out how the heck to get to B from A.

 

No matter what you are doing those first couple of steps are infinitely more important than any of the subsequent ones. The right set up will make all the further steps much easier.

 

How?

 

Set yourself up for success. If you don’t know exactly what you want, how will you ever know when you get there?

 

  1. Start with a goal, set it, understand it, think on it, and clearly define what it is that you want. IE – “I want to be in shape” VERSUS “I want to get down to 9% body fat, Deadlift 400lbs, run 400m in 75s, look, feel and sleep better than ever before by march 15 of 2011..etc.”

 

If being in shape is what you want, decide what that means to you, decide what you want to get out of it, set some smaller goals along the way. 

 

  1. Next find a way to measure progress. Again if you are not seeking and measuring constant progress, even the most dedicated people can get discouraged.

 

  1. Here’s the important part, once you have a very clear idea of what it is you want to do, put together a plan with both short term and long term aspects that can be measured.

 

When we are sick we go see a doctor, when our teeth hurt we go see a dentist. The point is when we are starting something new and are not sure what we are doing, get some help. It may not be for long, but whatever time, energy, and money you spend setting yourself up for success from A to B, will pay back 10 fold, when you get to B and can easily move on to C, D, E…..

 

If you are unsure how to set things up find a professional to help you on your way. Find a good Strength coach to work along with you to set up your program, teach you, and measure your progress. Find a business coach who has had success to help you, drawn upon all their knowledge, experience, and past mistakes so you are off to a running start.

 

We can all use a little help. It’s hard to ask for, but easy to find if we look for it. This kind of help will stay with you forever onward. You may even get the opportunity to pay it forward and use what you have learned to help someone else struggling to find that answer to A.

 

This is one lesson I am still learning, and wish I had learned a long time ago.

 

 

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The Chicken Factor (CF)

(Dec 2010)

Sounds like a constant farming calculus, but I assure you it is a very important training principle.

 

What Is It?

Chicken Factor 2The “Chicken Factor” refers to that weird creeping feeling that starts slow and rises quickly when you are trying to lift something heavy, or when you are half way through a gruelling workout and your legs are burning so bad that you have already starting thinking about reserving a hospital bed for the following day.

 

It’s that feeling when you go for a new PR Power Clean and your body won’t let you get under it, it’s also that feeling that you get when you have to do 15 squats, and when you get to 10 your body says “just rest for a second, its ok”. Most of the time you don’t actually need to rest, the muscle is capable of contracting again, the rest just helps take away some of that temporary discomfort building up.

 

Why Is It Important?

 

This is critical moment where you can let your mind dictate what you are going to do and therefore how much results you are going to get or you can take the reigns, let it burn and get through the set and cause a cascade of adaptation responses that will ensure amazing results and constant progress.

 

We need to overload or put the body in an uncomfortable place long enough so it feels the need to adapt. After all if your body feels that it can do what you are asking it to do, why would it have to get stronger, leaner, or more fit?

 

It wouldn’t.

 

You take charge of your body and show it how inefficient it is.

 

When Is It Important To Overcome the CF?

 

The Chicken Factor makes cowards of us all. When muscle gain or fat loss is the goal, the muscle needs to be under tension for a specific amount of time, under a specific amount of stress to create an optimal internal environment for optimal gains or adaptation.

 

EX – When you are doing sets of 12, it’s important to dig in and finish if you want optimal results. There is a huge internal difference between doing 12 unbroken reps, and doing 12 total reps with a couple pauses. Unless your program calls for pauses like when doing clusters, dig in and finish. It doesn’t matter if you have 12 to do and fail on 10 on your last set, that’s a good thing, your body thinks wow I can’t do that, I better adapt to get better.

 

Stopping a couple of times is not going to help build muscle as fast.

 

What To Do?

 

Chicken Factor 3If you are training, you are doing so for a reason, know that the discomfort is important, and only temporary.

 

If you are doing 15 find a weight that is hard but you can push through unbroken to 15. This pushing ahead is a little stressful to the body, the body adapts to this stress and you get results. Then the next time you push a little harder and get even more.

 

The best part about overcoming the “CF” in the gym is it transfers over to all other aspects of life. When life stresses you out you get many of the same internal response as you do when you exercise. When you learn to relax and get through the stress of exercise your body learns how to better adapt to life’s everyday stressors.

There you have it. Overcoming the common “Chicken Factor” can actually help protect you from life’s everyday stress.

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