Category Archives: RATED M

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Formula for Success

goal“If you take your eyes off the goal, for even a second, doubt will rush your mind like a band of brutal thieves.”

Doubt intends to kill your dreams, destroy your desire, and beat you down with fear.  Evidence of this is obvious in the most trying times.  When we are hungry, when we are tired, when we are angry, when we are in despair…

arnold Be Hungry

When you are hungry, let that hunger be your purpose.  It is a burning reminder in your gut of what you want to accomplish. When you are tired and your eyes grow heavy, don’t be the martyr the world excuses you to be, no one owes you anything. If there is something you want, you stay up one more hour and you go out and get it!

Be Productive

train like you want itAnger?, rage? Make it productive, and focus the intensity of this moment into success instead of resentment.  No one can control your emotions but you.  And when you are in complete despair — Stop. Shhhhh. Be still, and listen.  You are more than “just being”. You have the potential to be even more than your desires. You have the ability to accomplish things you havent even dreamed of …yet.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes by way of the late Henry Ford.  He reminds us that we can decide what happens next… he said “he who thinks he can, and he who thinks he can’t, are usually both right“.

Go Beyond 

“Attaining the goal isn’t success.  Success is found in the pursuit, attaining your goals is the icing on this cake we call life.”

Work harderLastly, it isn’t enough to just dream. I love visualization. Wondering what if, thinking just maybe…  Hoping, even praying, for that desire of your heart.  Instead of praying for “the goal”, pray for the opportunity to make a way for your goal. The satisfaction of accomplishment comes in the effort – the blood, the sweat, the tears, the years, in pursuit of the “goal”.  Attaining the goal isn’t success.  Success is found in the pursuit, attaining your goals is the icing on this cake we call life.

“Vision without execution is just hallucination” Henry Ford

Equation for Success

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #LiveWithFire

If you Run from the fight, you might miss the Glory!

The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences! 

Bonnie and I were both brought up in the south, and for many of us that means that we were in church everytime the doors were open.  One of the phrases you hear a lot in the church is “we really hate SIN”.  Don’t tune me out, I’m about to make a point.  As much as church, Bon and I in our adult lives spent a lot of time in the gym as well.  One of the phrases we hear all of time at the gym is “I love my workout”.  So “we hate sin and love our workouts” hmmm

Hate Sin?  Not at all.
We love sin, its exciting, feels good, it’s attractive, it taste good, it’s a total rush…  No we don’t hate sin.  What we hate is the consequences of our sin.  Sin can lead to drug addiction. divorce, obesity, disease, or even death – not to mention total seperation from the Dude who created you.  (another blog, another time).  But to say we hate sin, well, that just isn’t true – but to truly hate the devastating affects of sin is such a huge reality it isn’t a lie to say “I hate sin”.  Hold on, here it comes…

Love your workout? Not truly… 
Right now I am doing 315 pound shruggs.  I think I just popped every vertebrae in my back, just ripped a callous, my legs are trembling and I have sweat in my eye and a charlie horse in my calf.  Love my workout? …not so much.

HOWEVER, I absolutely love the consequences that I experience from working out.  Health, aesthetics, energy, increased self esteem, confidence, the ablility to defend myself and my family against danger, and vitality are all considered bliss – directly related to the suffering and drudgery of the afformentioned workout.  Knowing the amazing results of hard training, I can honestly say, “I love my workouts”!

The same way a person who has been caught up in SIN becomes so hurt and disgusted with that lifestyle, another can honestly say they love working out becuase of the amazing results and positive influence, that it can acutally be said, “I love my workout”

In short...The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences! 

How do we change our belief system to be able to honestly say… “I love training”?

1. Set goals and BELIEVE you can attain them.

2. Visualize the prize (end game) seeing the goal as if its complete.

3. Make a plan that is realistic and effective to meet your goal.

4. Grow a pair.  Dont be afraid to “gut it out”. Know it will be worth it.

5. Start over a million times – but dont quit, not even once!

“TRUTH” – A Closer Look at Metabolism

When it comes to metabolism, the health and fitness community has redefined this term from its original definition.  This can be both bad and good.  Good as long as we all have a good understanding of how the word is being used in regards to transforming our bodies, bad when we use half of a clinical definition and half of the “en vogue slang” definition.. as this leads to using excuses in regards to weight loss.

Clinically, metabolism  is defined as  the  processes in any organism for cell growth, reproduction, response to external stimuli(environment), survival strategy, sustenance, and cellular maintenance.  It includes building up of the cell or organism (anabolism), and the breakdown of substances primarily for energy expenditure (catabolism).

By far, the number one excuse I hear when training a client for weight loss is… (drum roll… wait on it… waaaiiiit) yep’ you guessed it… “I just have a slow metabolism)  

Let’s Dig In
What they are really saying is “Steve, I’m eating more calories than I burn”.  The words that actually come out of their mouths are,  “I barely eat anything at all, and I still can’t lose weight”… Of course  I reply in compassion and love and say “so, if I drop you off on a deserted island with no food, and come back in two weeks, you will be the same weight or even a little heavier?”  At this point, If they don’t walk out of my office shooting me a bird then I know I might be making headway.

Allow me to give you a real world look at metabolism.  If two people are walking on a treadmill at the same speed and incline, and they weigh exactly the same, the amount of energy required to move their masses is significantly similar regardless of a fast or slow metabolism.  The deviation of calories burned would be negligible.  You might ask, what about heart rate?  I’ve heard many clients say, “the girl next to me burned a thousand calories in spin class and I only burned 250.  Is it because I have a slower metabolism?”  Of course not.  So what is going on?

Heart Rate Monitor vs Calories Burned
Heart rate monitors are being used as calorie counters because heart rate is a decent measure of effort.  However, it is only accurate in regards to the law of averages.  Heart rate monitors use certain statistical data based on age, weight, sex, height, and heart rate, to give the user an average number of calories expended as compared to other people who are statistically similar.  This is not accurate for people with higher than average (tachycardic) or slower than average (bardycardic) heart rates.

For example, if I sit on the couch with my twin brother (hypothetical brother) and we are both the same weight, as we sit,  our average caloric expenditure is going to be relatively the same, regardless if I just drank coffee and my heart is beating faster than his.  A faster heart rate doesn’t magically make an individual burn more calories.  Yes, on a miniscule non-significant scale their will be slight deviations in our basal metabolic rate, but negligible when compared to actual movement, and calories burned.  Movement will require the expense of a certain amount of energy, regardless of the “metabolism” of that mass.  It takes energy to move, period.

Thyroid Myths
What if I do have a thyroid problem?  If that is the case, the amount of calories it takes to move a 200 pound mass still doesn’t change.  You may be prone to move your mass slower,  or require more rest,  but the mass times the distance,  still dictates (more or less) the amount of energy required to move.  Science doesn’t discriminate.  Calculating the metabolic differences in individuals with slower metabolisms is miniscule when looking at the bigger picture.

When a client tells me they have a slow metabolism, knowing it or not,  they are usually referring to their basal metabolism.  Basal metabolism can clinically be defined as  the amount of energy needed to maintain essential body functions, such as respiration, circulation, temperature, peristalsis, and muscle tone., usually while at rest.  The “en vogue definition” and the way I see this term abused,  has come to mean something entirely different.  What is meant by “metabolism” is simply this “metabolism is the measurement of how prone we are to do work”.  

Indeed, certain processes in humans exist at different rates.  One person’s hair and nails may grow faster than another. Thus, increasing that individual’s metabolism – but this would lead to insignificant variation in caloric expenditure throughout the day. Persons with lower metabolisms will burn just as many calories when there bodies are in motion as another. The problem being,  people with slower metabolisms are less prone to desire to move, workout, or take part in physical activities.  They are more prone to a sedentary lifestyle that leads to even more weight gain.

Even at rest,  if someone with a slower basal metabolic rate does not exceed their caloric expenditure,  weight gain will not occur. If they eat below their caloric expenditure they will lose weight.  It’s just science.  So, if you have not lost weight in the last week, (regardless of your math and how great you think you eat) your average consumption has equaled, or exceeded, your expenditure.

Stimulate Your Metabolism
We can alter your metabolism two primary ways.  Chemically, with food and drugs, or mechanically, with movement or exercise.  Both will produce the breakdown of substrates and cells for energy (catabolism). For instance, after sleeping all night, when you wake, your body is in a fasting state and your metabolism is at an all time low. We need to either break the fast (breakfast) or start moving (morning jog).  Either one of these choices are very effective in stimulating your metabolism (being prone to to want to move).  If our goal is weight loss, feeding ourselves to increase our metabolism may be counter-productive.

If you are one that is struggling with your metabolism, please just start moving.  The best way to stimulate your metabolism is to just get going.  Movement is addictive and coupled with eating less, movement is the most effective way to lose weight and change your life style forever. Let’s  get going!!!!

Majoring in the Minors

Yesterday I saw this young guy with a completely trashed car that barely ran, and he put at least $2000 dollars worth of “spinner” rims on it?  I even saw someone wearing target jeans, and when I looked down they had on $200 dollar shoes?…  Okay, bad example, cause I do that… but you get what I mean.. right?

What does this have to do with fitness?  (Insert soap box)  I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve been at the gym and have seen the meticulous biomechanical strategies that some people come up with to make their lifting routine more effective, or the countless times I’ve listened to people who are extremely overweight, discuss food on a totally microbiological level.  Instead of looking at calories, they are “buggn” about if it is free range or not.   I am not arguing that biomechanics and microbiology doesn’t have a place in training and nutrition, but by god-man,  look at the bigger picture.

I call this “majoring in the minors”.  As a trainer, blogger, or just exercise enthusiast, it is so vital that we realize the importance of fundamentals.  My back ground is very clinical, but I have never deviated from the application of fundamentals.  I am not saying that details are not important, however, $2000 dollars worth of wheels and tires on a $300 dollar car is a waisted investment.

Biomechanics: When you evaluate your body and decide you want to tone and tighten specific areas, start with the basics.  There is no need to do complicated movements when your time and energy will be better suited using fundamentals.  i.e. you want to tone your glutes.  Let’s begin with squats,lunges, and maybe straight leg dead lifts.  Why begin with 1 legged Romanian dead lifts or cook hip lifts, when simple basics will reach deep fibers at rich angles and are superior to intricate complicated movements.  Do these other exercises have their place?… Of course, but after exhausting the basics!

Take home:  When you sit on a machine for the first time, do it as designed.  Do not begin to invent your own way or make up a complicated movement to target some erroneous area of musculature.

Nutrition: Many people, in there quest to find the “right diet”, dissect micro-nutrition to a fault.  At the end of the day (listen Paleo Freaks) no matter how clean you eat, if your caloric intake exceeds your out put, you are going to store energy.  Your body prefers to store energy as fat because, for the same amount in grams stored, your body can yield twice as much energy from fat as glycogen or lean muscle.  This my friends is MACRO-nutrition.  It is the science of metabolism of  four general substrates: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, and Alcohols.  If you are eating more calories than you burn, regardless of your “blood type’, “zone”, “points” or any other thing else you measure… LISTEN… YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT!

Take home: Before you get involved in vitamins and minerals, the ph of your blood, even the glycemic index of foods, first figure out how many calories you burn per day, and eat less than that.  It’s just science.  Anyone who challenges this statement (Dousch-tard) would be saying, “if you are dropped off on a deserted island for two weeks, with nothing but water, and luckily found, you would have not lost any weight”. 

Fitness is simple guys… Our industry makes it complicated.  Quit  looking for the magic bullet, trying to find the “little pill”, or doing the perfect gluteal exercise for 30 seconds every morning.  You give me fundamentals, hard work, and discipline… And I’ll give you your magic bullet!

“The magic bullet IS fundamentals, hard work, and discipline.”

Train Hurt or Go Home! (or should you?)

No matter how careful you are in the gym, sooner or later you will be faced with some sort of achy extremity or throbbing appendage.  What you learn next could redefine how you train during injuries.

I got caught in an arm bar last Monday night at the Forge, where I am learning mma.  Yes, apparently I suck; however, after being caught in this rather precarious maneuver,  I thought my elbow had been broke.  Not so much from my arm going numb, or the excruciating pain in my elbow and shoulder, but mostly because of the huge tearing sound that made my opponent let go and say “did I break it”.  Not exactly what you want to hear.  Now the critical point… Am I just “hurt”,  or am I “injured”.  If I’m hurt but not injured, should I continue fighting or should I rest?  How do I know?

Let’s define the difference between hurting and injuring your body.  Here is my own rough definition:  when you are “hurt”, your body has sustained some sort of benign pathology, or an ouchee, that is sensitive to movement or touch.   The integrity of the tissue is usually not compromised to the point where continued movement will cause more or excessive damage to itself or surrounding tissue.  In other words, you’re ok; it just hurts like a bitch.  And then… and then… there is injury.  I don’t like any of the definitions I googled, so let’s look at some cinnamon’s (ha-I crack myself up) destruction, ruin, impairment, mischief… If tissue is destroyed or ruined, it could be said to be “injured”.  I’m not Webster, but let me make this clear.  When part of your body is compromised to the point that further use is unavailable, or attempting to use said body part may cause more damage, I would define this as an “injury”.  Now knowing these terms, how do we distinguish between being hurt, and being injured, without diagnostic equipment like an X-ray or MRI, or one of those cool scanners that “Dr Bones” had on Star trek?

To determine if you are injured or just hurt, in most cases, you can do a quick field assessment to get a rough idea if you should continue training/fighting/playing.  You must take into consideration your pain threshold when assessing your status.  For instance, if you’re like me, you could have a paper cut and think you need stitches or, on the other end of the spectrum, be like my father in law who could have a bone sticking out of his leg saying, “it just a little bump”.   If the pain was acute from a blow or a spasm, or a movement you just did during exercise, you may need to rest at least a day, as pain, adrenaline, and activity can mask your diagnosis.  Even if the incident is acute, you can still use these principals as long as your better judgment prevails.  This assessment is most accurate for a potential injury sustained over time, when the origin of when the pain began is rather ambiguous.  Usually if you sustain an acute, “potential injury” during training, it is usually best to stop the training session at least for the day, observe the pain pattern, and -of course- ice immediately.

If you find yourself hurting, and wanting to determine if you should train through the pain or not, try these simple rules… Read the rest of this entry

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