If you don’t believe this, or understand it, think about how the opposite applies. It’s very difficult to act like a failure and succeed.
Think about it. Try acting like you aren’t dieting and try to lose weight. Try acting like you are weak and get stronger. Try acting lazy at work and see if you get a promotion. How you act determines how successful you can become.
If you want to get stronger, do things that require strength. If you want to get healthy, act like it. If you want to get a promotion, show your employer you deserve it.
You will never get maximum results doing the bare minimum. If you are taking shortcuts, the only one you are ultimately shorting is yourself.
You don’t have to have expensive weight equipment to workout. There are many household items you can use for added resistance in a home workout routine. Here are 5 household items that can enhance your fitness program.
1. A Gallon of Water
One gallon of water weighs 8.33lbs. Pick up 2 gallons and you instantly have a set of eight-pound dumbbells. Exercising with two gallons of water not only adds 16lbs to your workout routine, but it also challenges your balance as the weight of the water shifts around with each you movement. Since you can pick up a gallon of water anywhere, getting familiar with working with water gallons can give you more options when on the road or away from the gym.
2. Stair Step
Athletes have used stair steps for cardio and conditioning training for years. Running stadium steps proved to tone the legs and glutes, burn a ton of calories and challenge the heart and lunges like no other exercise. Even if you don’t have a few flights of stairs available, you can do a lot with just a single step. Performing a Step up lunge on one leg, for 15-20 repetitions each, is great for toning the glutes and thighs.Box jumps can be performed on a stair step to increase power production, as well as READ MORE…
Joyce Meyer says “Where the mind goes, the body follows” and this is so true. If you want to lose weight, you have to first believe you CAN lose weight. If you want to be a professional athlete, you have to become one in your head first. If you don’t believe you can do what you want to do, it will never happen.
Muhammad Ali said, ”I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” What he is saying is he was told himself he was the greatest even BEFORE he felt great, BEFORE he was great, BEFORE he succeeded. I think we can all learn something from that statement. We have to tell ourselves who we want to be and what we want to become. Sadly, we normally do exactly the opposite. We constantly tell ourself that we are a failure. We say things like, “I’ll never be able to do XYZ”. Guess what? Your body listens to what you tell it and if you keep telling yourself that, you will never be able to do XYZ.
Ask yourself today. What are you telling yourself? Are you talking about being successful, strong, honorable, good, kind, loving, loyal, patient, forgiving, determined, steadfast – or are you constantly reminding yourself of your failures, shortcomings and inability to change? Choose your words carefully.
Food For Thought
I found this super interesting today and wanted to share this with you. Whether you are a Christian or not, I think you will find this text super interesting. ”Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a NEW person by changing the way you THINK. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” Romans 12:2.
I find it super interesting that this scripture didn’t say you need to renew your heart or change the way you feel, but it said transformation begins with a renewing of your mind and changing the way you think. If we want to think correctly, we need to read scripture and understand how God thinks. Then, and only then, can we begin to be transformed and know God’s will for our lives, and act in a way that is pleasing to Him – and this most definitely overflows into our work, our fitness, our marriage, our relationships.
How often do we make decisions based on how we feel. We don’t “feel” like working out. We don’t “feel” strong enough to lift that. We don’t “feel” like loving that person. We don’t “feel” like we can do this or that. Obviously God wants our heart to change, but scripture points to the real heart of our problems and failures – and it all starts in our mind.
I encourage you today to set your mind on what is good and positive, and practice pushing out negative self-defeating thoughts.
Think of the truth behind this statement, “scar tissue is stronger”. Our body is so smart. Our body does develop calluses just anywhere, it builds tough skin where we need it most. We have calluses on our feet and our toes to protect our skin from tearing or blistering, so we can go the distance. A guitarist has calluses on their finger tips, making it possible to play songs for hours and hours. I have calluses on the palms of my hands from lifting weights, which allows me to lift heavier and work harder without hands giving out before my muscles do.
Basically, calluses are nothing more than scar tissue on top of the skin. Anywhere the skin has been invaded or broken, new scar tissue is laid down to mend that area and make it stronger for the next attack. As you hit the gym and work hard to eat healthy every day, it will be the difficult days that make you stronger – not the easy ones. No matter what challenge you face, whether in the gym or in your personal life, celebrate it – and realize it’s an opportunity to strengthen your body, mind in spirit.
Where is your primary focus? Is it on how much you hate working out. How much time it takes and how little time you have? Do you focus on how far you have to go? Is your goal so far away that it drags you down? Maybe your focus is on others, and how great everyone else seems to be doing, and how much further ahead they are.
Where your focus is, is what you will see. What you see, is who you’ll be. In this quote Alphonse (1800′s French novelist) shows his focus is not on the thorns, but the roses. Instead of looking at a rose bush as having flaws in the thorns, he sees how awesome it is that a thorny bush could have such beautiful flowers.
We should learn from Alphonse, and realize we have a choice of what we see based on what we focus on. We have a choice to be appreciative of everything that is wonderful, and overlook the thorns in our life. When we look past the thorns, we see less thorns in others too. Our whole view changes.
Try, with all your might, not to think about how hard dieting is, how challenging your workouts are. Try hard not to focus on your own shortcomings and focus on all the good that is blossoming in you. Fitness grows strength, beauty, confidence, health, physical improvements and improved performance – and that’s just the physical. If you focus on your spiritual growth, and all your gifts and talents instead of your limitations, you will realize you are like a beautiful bouquet to your peers – beautiful, with a sweet aroma to anyone who gets close.
Get the Fertilizer Out
In many ways, we are all thorny. We all have our hurts, our struggles, our selfish ways, our prickly personality – but, we all have our own roses too. It just depends on how we care for ourself – and it’s difficult to want to take care of a thorn bush, if that’s all we see. However, if we see ourselves for who we really are (a prize rose bush), you will be more apt to treat it with care. Another words, you must love yourself – and that’s difficult to do if you cannot see the good in you.
We need certain things to really blossom – just like roses. We can’t expect to act beautiful if we deprive ourself of life’s water, food and proper care. If you neglect your mind, body and spirit, like if we neglect caring for a plant, you will be nothing but thorns, with little flowering, and little life, left in you. This will make it even more difficult to love yourself. However, if you take the time to care for your body, you will blossom SO much and you will begin to see your value – and the last thing anyone will ever see are your thorns.
If you look in the mirror (and look inside) and all you see is thorns, here are a few tips on how to care for a dying plant (which totally applies to our life too):
1. Strengthen your roots. If you are dying inside, you may be rooted in the wrong soil and need to be transplanted. Nourishment comes from your roots. Are your roots in unhealthy soil? Are your roots strong, or are they so shallow that you’ll blow over with the first big wind? For me, roots are God first, then family and friends. That is my foundation. Without that, I am weak and cannot weather any storm. “Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.” (Colossians 2:7)
2. Cut away the dead stuff. One way to get stronger roots is to prune the tree. The weaker the roots, the more cutting you have to do. Another reason for cutting away the dying stuff in us is so nourishment is confined to only what is healthy in you. There is no need to nourish the parts of you that are already dying, or unhealthy. In the fitness world, you may need to cut away junk food, unsupportive friends, laziness and doubt. In life it may be friendships, bad habits, things that steal your time, selfishness or an unhealthy lifestyle that need to go if you want to get healthy and really blossom.
3. Live in right environment. Even if you have the right soil, and you get rid of the bad stuff, you will never blossom without the right environment. As you know, certain plants do not do well in direct sunlight. They need a filter. We too need the right environment to grow, and often times need to be filtered from this harsh world. If you are not sure what that looks like, then think of a time in your life that you were the healthiest. If you don’t feel you have every been healthy, look at other people you respect (not the ones who may look successful, but the ones how have peace and joy – because money doesn’t last, but joy can continue with or without money). Then plant yourself near them, or in a similar environment, and get the same nourishment they get.
4. Care for yourself daily. If you take care of your roots, you trim away the yucky stuff and you make sure you are in the right environment, that still isn’t enough to get the results you want. Sadly, many people do this in fitness. They join a gym, cut out all the junk and get in the right circles, but they don’t consistently take care of themselves. They are hit or miss with their workouts, they are hit or miss with their eating, and they are hit or miss with their commitment. The same way a plant needs consistent loving care, YOU need consistent loving care. If you don’t consistently get the nourishment you need, you will first lose your blossoms, then you will go limp and weak. Then you will begin to dry out and shrivel up. However, I think we all know, even if you have little life left in you, it is never too late to revive your life.
We all are born with the same potential. What you do with your life is up to you. You have the power to decide. Will you be a living thriving strong grounded flowering life, or a dying malnourished thorny bush?
How do you keep your eyes on the prize when it seems SOOO far out of reach? How do you keep showing up to the gym, day after day, when it seems improvement is so slow? How in the world do you keep depriving yourself of chocolate, or overindulgence, when the scale seems to barely budging every week? I will tell you. It’s less about the path, and more about the destination.
There is no way to really have peace during trials if you aren’t sure of where you are headed. There is no way you can motivate yourself without a reward. This could be in reference to a battle with your weight or just ‘yucky life’ stuff. Either way, you MUST know, without a shadow of a doubt where you are headed, and that you are on the right path. If not, you will live in despair, with hopelessness, guilt, shame and/or disappointment because you are not where you know you should be.
I can’t take A1A to California. It’s impossible. A1A runs north and south, not east and west. So, if I want to get to California from Vero Beach, Florida, I have to map it and follow the right paths given to me. Can I go off course? Sure, I can make some pitstops. I can veer off the route to explore on the way there – BUT how often I get off course, how often I stop and hang out, and how often I get lost will only prolong my arrival to my final destination.
So, what am I trying to say here? We need to learn to celebrate life on the way to where we are headed. We need to learn to be patient. If you don’t know for sure if you are on the right path, then you need to stop in your tracks and think about where you want to end up. Once you decide where you want to be, you can begin to map out the course. However, if you are choosing the course (and not the destination), you better look to see where that course is taking you – because, chances are, it’s not where you want to end up.
“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”
I believe many people choose the course that looks the the best, without any thought of where it leads. Thomas Merton said it best when he said, “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” This is the epitome of what I’m trying to say here. If we want a specific result, we need to look at the desired result and work backwards. We choose the wall, before we start climbing the ladder.
If you know in your heart you are doing the right thing, you are on the right path (no matter how difficult), it’s a lot easier to have patience with the process, and enjoy the journey. If you know in your heart you aren’t on the right path, it’s not too late to turn it around and reroute your life so you are back on track.
“For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many…but the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
I believe that the biggest rewards have the narrowest, toughest path – but they are also the straightest path (getting you to your destination the fastest AS LONG AS YOU STAY ON COURSE).
Just the fact that the narrow path is normally difficult is why it’s not a path well traveled. People avoid it. Christians talk about the narrow path to heaven, but it applies to many areas of our life. Even if you don’t really want to hear biblical principles for spiritual reasons, you can still learn a LOT from scripture – and I PROMISE it will give you excellent direction for your life. For instance, there is a narrow path to a good lasting marriage. There is a narrow path to taking care of your body and staying healthy. There is a narrow path to a successful career. There is no easy wide well-traveled paths to greatness. The path exists, but it rarely takes you any where good. Like the verse says, if “the gate is wide, the way is easy and it leads to destruction”. Scripture warns us ahead of time of the warning signs, “BEWARE of the easy road”. Instead, many of us still try that path anyway. Like we don’t believe God – but you know what they say “if it’s too easy to be true, it normally is”.
However, people still tend to take every other path first before they finally decide to give it a go. The take diet pills, they try to work off the body fat with exercise to avoid discipline in the kitchen. They try everything, and normally try the “narrow path” only when they’ve exhausted every other route that leads to a dead end. In fitness, the right path is hard work and self-discipline. You can’t do what you want, and eat what you want, and get to where you want to go in the time you want.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, or enjoy the journey but, like TD Jakes said “Greatness costs what it costs“. You decide what’s more important. Do you care more about enjoying the path, or enjoying the destination? If your destination is great, then it costs what it costs and you will gladly pay the price because you know it will be worth it.
Celebrate your trials. Celebrate your progress, no matter how slow or difficult, not because of where you ARE – but because of where you’re GOING.
If you weren’t a grumpy dieter before Halloween, being around that much candy can turn any dieter into a wicked witch in a hurry. If you aren’t grouchy from being around it, you are grouchy from guilt of giving into it. Either way, with a rise in diet and fitness awareness, it is very likely there will be a lot of witches working front door this Halloween.
If you struggle with your weight here are 10 tips to keep the candy off your thighs and grouchiness out of your heart! <3
- Buy candy you personally don’t like.
- Don’t over buy, to avoid leftovers.
- Eat a healthy big meal the night of halloween.
- Walk with your kids (don’t drive them),
- Look up the calories for every bite you eat.
- Have healthy snack alternatives nearby.
- Cut up a Designer Whey bar into bite size pieces for your own treats (pictured right).
- Chew gum, not candy.
- Do an extra cardio, and plan an active day following Halloween.
- Set candy rules for everyone in the house, including you.
You know, it also wouldn’t kill you to just give the candy away. One of the biggest problems wives have is feeling like they need to keep treats in the house for their husband or kids. If you are dieting and don’t want to “punish” your family, remember, candy is just not healthy. Even if the rest of your family is not overweight, that still doesn’t mean having candy in the house is good for them. Know your limits, and do what is right for your family too. Some families aren’t tempted to abuse candy in the house, while others…well, not so much.
One of the most deceiving things going on in the gyms today is belief that people can work off what they eat and drink. People show up day after day, working very hard in public to show the world they can be a champion in the gym. However, it’s what they do in private that is losing their fight with fat.
Muhammad Ali recognized the importance of what you do “far from witnesses”, and realized he could never win the fight in the ring if he didn’t win the fight with himself first. He had to fight laziness and mediocrity. He had to fight fear and doubt. He had to convince himself that he could be the champion he desired.
“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”Muhammad Ali
In order to be the future champ, he had to be the champ in his workouts before he even faced his opponent. He had to go a few more reps and a few more steps past what his body wanted. He had to care for his body, which probably meant anything from a painful ice bath to getting the rest his body needed even when we didn’t want to take it.
He also recognized that it wasn’t always the big things in life that could bring a man down, it often was the small things that could trip a man up. The same goes with fitness. Your success can easily be tripped up by a few extra calories. The difference between getting thinner and seeing abs is the difference between stopping when you feel better, and continuing on past better to be your best. It is rarely the one hour workout (a mountain) that brings someone to quit, it’s the daily struggle to maintain a healthy diet, to keep showing up to the gym even when the results seem SO slow, that wears a person down.
“My only fault is that I don’t realize how great I really am.” Muhammad Ali
This quote may seem pompous, but it is a very true statement for most people. Most of our boot campers, and most of our members, do not realize how truly great they are. They often don’t believe in themselves as much as we believe in them. How can we believe in them? Because we have seen people JUST like them, who have the same set of excuses, fears, struggles and weaknesses, succeed. Once you realize how great you really are, you can do anything.
What I ask you today is this: Are you winning your fight far from witnesses, behind the lines, in your kitchen, in the gym and out there on the road? Or is you best effort what you want people see in the gym?
Grab a plyo box, bench or aerobics step and get ready to get your heart pumping! This is a great workout to put with an upper body strength program, like chest day, or you can even add it to a light cardio day to boost calorie burn and intensity.
Do the whole workout or break it up however you like. Do one or two rounds between each circuit of exercises or do one round each time you change exercises. There is no wrong way to add a BCx Blitz to a workout.
To make it even easier, here are 2 different examples of how you can add a simple routine like this to your existing program.
Conditioning Chest Workout:
4 Sets of Bench Press
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz
4 Sets of Incline Press
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz
4 Sets of Pec Deck or Incline Flies
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz
Fat Burning Cardio Workout:
10 Minutes of Cardio
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz
10 Minutes of Cardio
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz
10 Minutes of Cardio
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
We’ve all heard the saying “no pain, no gain”, but what is pain really – and do you really have to experience pain to get the gain?
Personally, I think pain depends on the person. When Steve was trainer ABC’s weight loss reality show, Fat March, some of the contestants thought they were having heart attacks when their heart rate increased. They had never experienced cardio before and it was painful to them. Many of them had lived their lives as comfortable as they could – to the point of putting a refrigerator in their bedroom so they didn’t have to walk all the way to the kitchen for a coke. However, if you’ve ever done an intense workout, you know what it feels like to tax your body. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Is it bad for you? No. Does it feel good? Not to me! Does it feel good afterwards? Absolutely!
When this mantra was posted on Detour Bar’s facebook page, someone wrote: “if you’re working out to the point where it’s either painful or you experience post-workout exhaustion… well, you’re doing it wrong and you’re not eating right… this isn’t motivational, it’s just plain dumb.”
The Pain that Drives You
First, let’s talk about emotional pain. Pain isn’t always a muscle burning, heart pounding, or a joint aching. Sometimes pain is the feeling you have when you struggle to fit in your plane seat. It can be the painful realization you are no longer fitting in your clothes. It could be the bad report you get from your doctor, as he tells you your unhealthy lifestyle is going to kill you if you don’t do something about it. Pain can be the looks people give you, or the rejection you have received. Pain could be the shortness of breath you get from just going up one flight of stairs. Pain can be loneliness, depression, heaviness or despair that is driving you to get healthy.
Just getting to the gym can be a pain, the painstaking effort it takes to just get to the gym – to pack your gym bag after a really long day and keep showing up, even though you are too tired, too stressed or too busy. It could be the embarrassment and wake-up call you get when you are the last to finish a workout, and you realize just how out of shape you are. It could be the flighting moment of doubt or defeat in yourself – when you realize “this” is not going be easy, BUT you know if you stick with it, it will be worth it. All of these definitions of pain can drive you, if you choose. Or you can latch on to them, and let them define you.
Now, let’s talk about physical pain. Does it take literal pain to get ahead? The answer is: that depends how you define pain. My workouts are painful – not the bad kind of pain, but the good kind of pain. Some people may disagree. Some people may do the exact same workout and enjoy the muscle burn. To me, I’d define that as pain. My workouts can be unCOMFORTable, but that’s because I’m pushing my body. I have spurts of breathing so hard, it’s uncomfortable. Sometimes my muscles are burning so much, they feel like they are going to burst into flames. Even my runs can be a bit painful, especially if I run after leg day. Do my workouts hurt? Yes. Are they hurting my body? No. BUT, if I worked in my comfort zone (always trying to stay comfortable), I would never get stronger, never get faster, never get better.
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
Even if the workout is easy and relatively comfortable during the workout, sometimes you experience pain after the workout. Sore muscles, fatigue, or normal wear and tear on a 42 year old body can be uncomfortable too. Sure, I could quit and say this is for the birds, but am I really going to let a little bit of discomfort stop me? Nope! Why? Because I focus on the reward more than the work. And you know what? The more I train, the more the definition of pain changes.
Now, pain is the feeling I get when I overeat or neglect my body. Living unhealthy would be very painful to me. If I didn’t workout. I would just trade good pain for bad pains. Instead of sore muscles, I’d have sore joints and ailments due to weak and tight muscles. I’d have painful feelings, insecurities and stress due to letting my body go.
As we age, everyone will experience pain at one point or other. You decide what kind of pain you want to experience – destructive pain, or constructive pain. You can let past painful moments drive you to improve. You can let the pain you may experience during a challenging workout remind you that you are changing.
Whatever your definition of “pain” is, let it drive you, not beat you.