New Years Resolution Club Part 5: Get Others on Board

Part Five: Get Others on Board

Here you were thinking that I had given up on writing the whole new year’s resolution series any further. Well you were wrong. Maybe, just maybe at this point you have still been in there. This is the year you have made it stick. Now it is part of your day, part of who you are. Well, it is time for the next step and often the most difficult one. Now it is time to get others on board with you. Here are a few pieces of advice to use for the people that you have convinced to join you. Even if you are already in shape this is how you can help others start on their own fitness and healthy journey.

Teach them right from the beginning

It is easy to start off wanting to be that full blown rocky training montage out of the gate. This is not the real way that things work. Instead when someone comes to join you for their first time focus first on technique. Make sure that they are doing the movements correctly and don’t load them up until they are able to do the movements without a load. Lay a good foundation with movement and they are more than likely to be successful in the future.

Have them do less than you expect

If they really have the desire to work hard the first time out be careful because they are going to be sore from the work that they do. They are going to be cripplingly sore if you even make them do more work than 2 or 3 sets of exercises with an external load. Think back to when you first started squatting, how sore and for how many days were you after you did that workout? How much do you think this soreness will get someone to want to come back and train again? If they are a masochist then I guess you made a trainee for life. Otherwise, they might not want to join you again. Take the time and make sure that you have them do less than you would think.

Warm up and cool down

You might be able to yolo it in to your workout, but a new trainee is going to need a little bit of time to get ready to roll. Do some easy steady state cardio (go for a walk), don’t just start off with work that might be hard for them (like jumping rope). Start with simple movements like arm circles, trunk twists, and hip swings. Then slowly work in to bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and pushups (be prepared to modify each of these). At the end of the workout take longer than you would think on the cool down where you go for another easy walk and then do some simple but effective stretches. Take your time again, and start with simple versions of stretches. For example start them off with a simple hip flexor stretch on a bench and then later introduce them to the couch stretch.

Teach them to understand progression

IT is one thing to just put on a training video or follow someone else’s program. It is another thing to learn the principles and start to apply them on your own. Your goal is not to create a drone or sycophant. You want to help someone learn how to make their own program and how to make it better with time. You don’t have to get in to the complexities of conjugate training or undulating load periodization right out the gate, but you do want to teach them the basics of progression. How they will get better at the things that they do the most frequently (specificity). How if they quit training they will lose what they have gained (reversibility) and so on. Help them learn how to put together their own program and test it to see how well it worked. That way at some point they can help pass on this same information to others.

training with charlie and noah
The two guys from the power lifting team that were nice enough to hop in with us on the pull ups. This picture is a year or so old now.

Summary

If you have made it far enough that you feel both confident and competent at what you are doing then it is time to start helping others. Be ready that most people who start with you will quit. They will never want it as badly as you want it. Accept this, but know when you light the spark in one person it makes all of the ones that quit on you worth it. Part of life (in my mind) is to help others, what better way can you help someone than to help give them a higher quality of life and health from having known you? Good luck on helping others on their journey.

Advertisements

Which lifting belt should I buy?

A good friend of mine asked me a question about this earlier this week so I thought I would put together a basic video of what to look for in a lifting belt and such. Here is the link to the video:

Places I would suggest buying a lifting belt from:

elitefts.com

inzernet.com

https://titansupport.com/

There are also many other places to buy from, this is simply my short list of what companies I know do a great job with their equipment.My belt is a 10mm, the thicker belts are 13mm and there are even thinner 6.5mm that still do the job pretty well.

Also I didn’t get in to velcro belt due to the fact that I don’t use them, they can have issues with maximal lifts, but some folks do like using them for deadlifting and strongman events. As always you pay for quality and aim for a velcro belt that also has a clasp to keep it in place. I had a few blow out on me when doing maximal lifts in the past. Just to be clear I’m not talking about rehband spinal support (type of lifting girdle) that can be useful for stone lifting and other dynamic loading events http://www.rehband.co.uk/blue-line-back-support.

New Years Resolution Club Part 4

Part four: Making it stick

At this point it is a few weeks in to your new years resolution. At this point your excitement might be waning, because let’s be honest here, results come slowly when compared to the immediate gratification that we can get from social media and otherwise these days (like blogging!). This is the point where you need to do what you can to make this a habit that sticks for you. Here are a few tips that I have for making this a long term habit that just becomes part of your life. This will seem a little scattershot as you read through, but I hope that you get something out of this.

Who you are/ Identity

If you are reading this you probably know a thing or two about me. Turns out being a person that frequently works out and lifts weights is something people think I do. This happened to me near the tail end of high school and has stuck with me since. This has a positive effect on the days when I’m not that interested in training in that in the back of my mind is my self-talk of who I am, and that is a guy who trains. Is this stupid self-talk or falling prey to social pressure to live up to other people’s expectations of myself, but it does work.

If you make training or being active part of your lifestyle the momentum of this can carry you through when you are tired. When you are known as the people that always go out hiking, to the gym, or cycling, etc. that is going to help you be more active. This takes a long period of time to accomplish, but you if you make it to this point it is safe to say that you are going to be ok.

Lifestyle not a training program

Monday is a day you squat. All human beings should squat on Monday. I don’t care if it is a holiday, your birthday, or the zombie apocalypse, you squat on Monday. Well at least in my warped view of the world this is true. This is because this is part of my life. Some people get up every morning and then go for a run or hike. No questions asked. Could be rain, sleet, or snow but those folks will be out there getting after it. Think of trying to install your training in to pieces like this. You have the days of the week that you are going to train in one way shape or form. Don’t think of it like your training program, instead just think on Wednesday you deadlift. Take your time and build your program in so it is part of your life.

Lifestyle not a diet

I don’t drink sugary sodas. This is part of my lifestyle. This is not meant to be some weird humble brag, instead take a moment and find what part of your diet is your lifestyle? Do you always eat dessert with each meal? Do you have to have chocolate every day? Do you not eat vegetables because you don’t like the taste? Take and work hard to slowly ingrain a new nutritional habit to your lifestyle slowly and then take away the negative behaviors. Do people get annoyed that you don’t eat fried chicken and live in the south? Yes, but who cares? Eat what you want, but if you want to be healthy you are going to have to make some decisions that involve sensible portions and frequent exclusion of calorie laden foods.

picture with alvin
This is the Alvin of Lore on my blog. Final got a picture of he and I. Seriously look at the size of his bicep vein.

 

Summary

There are an innumerable ways to change your diet. Don’t get lost in the weeds by trying to do everything all at once. Just slowly modify it with time in ways that you can consistently execute it. The same holds true for the way that you train. Pick something you can stick with for the long haul and aim to slowly increase the duration and intensity. If you keep working diligently in with each part of your life you will find that this becomes part of who you simply are. Your goal should be to keep working hard and make this an engrained part of your very being. Good luck on your journey and I hope that you are still on board when I put this up. If you have any questions or comments please do so below.

No More Heroes

I was lucky enough to get to go to a bachelor party of a good friend a little while ago. We went to a cabin in the woods, played games and had a great time. At about hour 12 of our relatively PG-13 rated (for language) escapades we started to have a conversation about the end of heroes.

It essentially started as a conversation about village idiots, and how we as a culture are always looking to tear down our heroes quickly. How you will find different athletes, artists, and politicians who might do great in their area, but have some type of major flaw or break in their performance. Just looking for one chink in the armor to tear them down. So why put these people on a pedestal in the first place? Why even try to deify them and build them up to be something great? Why invest your hopes of a better person in any one other than yourself? We mulled this over and talked back and forth on this for some time. After thinking about this later on that night I came to a bit of a conclusion.

I pose this statement: We don’t need heroes, we need to be heroes.

If you are a constant force for good, doing the right thing (the hard thing) people will know what you stand for. If you are consistent and work hard, people will know what you stand for. You just need to go out there and be the best that you can be. This isn’t that big of a deal, it is just working hard to be your best.

I enjoy seeing folks wearing super hero shirts training in the gym. Nothing like working hard trying to channel your own inner batman when you are training. But why stop there. Batman wasn’t the greatest training and Instagram hero. He is supposed to be the greatest detective. That means not just developing the body, but the mind. Taking the time to be disciplined in all areas of your life that you are exposed to.

We obviously just got done with an election. A number of people are happy about the results and a number more quite unhappy. I’m not here to push politics, but let’s be honest. One person, much less one political party is not going to save the world. Yes, they can do some things that are quite good for society and they can also do things that can harm it, but at the end of the day it takes all of us to truly have a positive effect on change.

This requires uncomfortable things like conversations (not rants or speaking in monologues) with people that have different opinions than yourself. Think about it, when is the last time that someone called you a derogatory name and you stopped what you were doing and thought: “you know they are right, I am a piece of *%$&#, I should probably change.” Sit down and really try to understand the other side, not a strawman argument of themselves, but really who they are and what they stand for. I refuse to think that significant portions of the population of this world are horrible people, are there serial killers out there? Yes. Are there other types of monsters? Yes. Does this make up over 10% percent of the population? No. We are all flying in a spaceship spinning around a massive fusion reactor, which is spinning around a galaxy that is speeding through the universe. One rock from space that is just a fraction of the size of the moon hits our spaceship and we are all done.

If your side “won” then good for you, but don’t just sit back and expect them to fix everything, get out there and do something to make it a better tomorrow. If your side “lost” then don’t just complain, but figure out what you can do to truly help out. If you didn’t vote for anything, then find something to stand for or at least help out where you can. It’s easy to put the burden on someone else to solve all the world’s problems, but the way in my mind to make change is to get out there and push it yourself.

In my office I keep up pictures of a few different fictional and real life heroes of mine. I do this as a means to motivate and remind myself of the values that I hold deeply and will fight to uphold. This is for inspiration not for deification. I use this a means to inspire myself to work harder and become a better version of myself. I think it is important to take positive role models for their individual behaviors, but not as an end all be all. Find some aspect that you aspire to emulate and find a way to remind yourself to follow this path day in and day out. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and work hard to be your own hero and help others find a way to become their own too. I debated for a while whether or not I should ever post this and I hope you got something out of this.

dragging sleds