What is fitness to you? I think when people think “fitness”, they think “exercise”. They think of running, lifting and sweating. They think of Fitness Magazine, with fit bodies and flat abs – but I think most people go down a LONG list of other things and activities before they get to diet, water and sleep.
Fitness isn’t an exercise. It’s a lifestyle. Fitness is truly a way of life, it’s not just what you do in the gym. This includes how you eat, how you sleep and how you move throughout the day. ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) describes fitness as a 5-part package. In order to be fit, you should be able to check off all 5 elements of fitness:
- Cardiovascular Respiratory Fitness
- Muscular Strength
- Muscular Endurance
- Good Flexibility
- A Healthy Body Composition
How do you stand up to the ACSM guidelines of being fit? I’m 4 out of 5 (flexibility being my weakness – but I’m working on it!).
I’ve seen a lot of body builders who couldn’t run a 1/4 mile and runners who couldn’t lift a weight. I’ve seen fit looking people have heart attacks because their bench press was more important than their heart’s health (and their love for unhealthy food was untamed). I encourage you to LIVE fit to BE fit.
As you work hard to get fit and stay fit, you purposefully do things to improve these 5 elements of fitness. This means you stop looking for the easy way to do things and look for ways to fit more healthy activity and fuel in your day. You go to bed earlier, you stay more active, you stretch, you drink a lot of water, you eat healthy, you manage your weight and you challenge your body’s strength, stamina and muscular endurance. You don’t just exercise – you LIVE IT!
“Why her? Why does she look so good? Why does it seem so easy for her? We do the same workout and she drops fat like it’s nothing. I workout harder. I’m stronger. I’m faster. I’m better. Maybe it’s her genetics. Maybe she has a faster metabolism. Maybe it’s her supplements. Do you think she is doing steroids? Do you think she has “help”? Maybe the doctor is giving her something to help her get faster results. Maybe I need to see my doctor. Maybe my body just doesn’t work like hers. Maybe it’s my thyroid. Maybe I’ll never be able to look like that.”
This is one downward spiral fueled by an unrealistic negative mindset that is focused on blaming on ANYone else but yourself. We can’t judge a person by what they do in the gym. It’s an hour a day. Have you ever thought that it could be what she is doing the other 23 hours a day that’s getting her the results you want?
I see this in boot camp all the time. People do the same exact workout. They get the same information, yet one person loses 30lbs and gets shredded while their BFF leaves the same weight as they started. Did the BFF lose fat and gain muscle? Probably. But did they radically change like their friend? No. Why? It wasn’t what they did in the gym. It was what they weren’t doing when they left.
Think of it this way. We all know going to church won’t get you to heaven. There have been plenty of criminals who have gone to church. They might have even served as a deacon. They could have had the best intentions. They might have gone down to the front, or raised their hand, to say they wanted to change. They might have cried buckets of tears in complete misery with how they were living life, begging God to help them to change. They could have attended every service, gone to every Bible Study, and did everything other church members did, but their life would NEVER change if they didn’t change the way they lived OUTSIDE the church. That would require surrender. It requires discipline. It requires perseverance. It requires a lifestyle change.
Transformation requires DOING not just HEARING. We teach our fitness competitors the SAME stuff we teach our boot campers and clients. Some reach their fullest potential and some never even scratch the surface. Why? Like with church, the “message” is the same. My pastor is giving the same message to 4 different services, and hundreds of people. Each time his words penetrate our hearts and we take it home and practice it (practice also means we try and fail, and we keep trying anyway).
Our life is not the same as it was the first time we showed up. Our lives are being transformed – and we are not alone. I’ve seen radical life changes – HUGE transformations. So why isn’t EVERYONE that goes to our church having these same awesome experiences as we are? Because the keep going right back to the same way they are living, without applying what they are hearing. They expect to magically be transformed by the one-hour spiritual workout a week – and they fail.
I’ve gone to church all my life. I failed in life when I quit applying what I’ve learned at HOME. It’s not what I do at church or the gym that transforms my life. My workouts are almost the exact same now as they were when I was 20lbs heavier. What changed is what I was putting in to my body on a daily basis. It’s the consistency of eating clean and denying the flesh what it craves (chips and salsa, cookies, overeating, snacking, etc). If I eat junk, I’ll look like junk. If I eat too much, I’m going to weigh too much. If I eat clean, I will look lean. If I eat healthy, I will feel healthy. What I put in my body (and soul) absolutely has a radical affect on my life.
If you want to transform your life – whether physically or spiritually, you have to quit feeding your flesh (quit literally feeding your body the things it wants opposed to the things it needs – both physically and spiritually). You need to do more than rely on a Sunday message or a motivational mantra. It takes more than “good works” or a good workout. It takes a life change – 24 hours a day. Will you fail? Heck yeah – and you will STILL be SO much better off trying.
No more complacency.
No more pointing the finger.
No more excuses.
This workout requires NO weights. The only thing you would need is a pull-up bar (or some bands for pull downs if you can’t do pull ups). Do the following 3 circuits with no rest between exercises. Complete 3 rounds each with no rest before moving to the next circuit. Only rest for a brief rest between circuits for optimal calorie and fat burn.
Like the workout? Be sure to Share, Pin, Instagram and all that jazz! :) ENJOY!
Strength + Cardio = Scardio!
Why do your cardio and strength separately, when you can do them together and burn MORE calories and get FASTER results?! Full body conditioning workouts not only sculpt your body, burn fat and tone muscle but they get you in the best shape – AND they save time!
There are 2 ways to do this workout. For more cardio, do both the upper body and lower body back-to-back and then repeat the both circuits 3 times. For more strength, do each circuit separately, doing upper body for 3 rounds, then doing lower body for 3 rounds (how it’s written below). Either one will burn a ton of calories and tone! Try them both and tell me which one you prefer! :)
TIP: Click on the links to see video instruction.
SET YOUR TIMER: 60 seconds cardio, 30 seconds strength
I use the Gymboss Interval Timer, which lets you set up various training intervals!
60s MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
30s FORWARD LUNGE LEFT (with or without weight)
30s FORWARD LUNGE RIGHT (with or without weight)
30s HAMSTRING CURL (bands, machine or ball)
30s SQUATS (with or without weight)
X 3 (no rest until all 3 rounds are done)
Be sure to subscribe for more workouts!
Dumbbells or Barbell
Kettlebell or Dumbbell
Resistant Band (I use Bodylastics)
This workout has 4 couplets. Do each exercise for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. I use the GymBoss Interval Timer for my workouts. Do each couplet 3 times through before moving to the next couplet. You can rest 60 seconds between couplets. If you stick to the interval times, you can do the whole workout under 30 minutes.
Click on the exercise to see video instruction. Remember! No REST besides what your interval times gives you and the 60 second break between couplets! Get ready to SWEAT!
This workout is part of LiveXFit show, Episode 21, on liveexercise.com, available on Roku and Samsung TV.
Joyce Meyer said, “Every time you feed the flesh, you strengthen it. This is good if you are trying to build a good habit, but detrimental if you are trying to stop a bad habit. The way to “kill the flesh” is to starve it; to stop feeding it.”
What a simple concept: Starve what you want to die, feed what you want to live. In the context Joyce was talking about, she was addressing feeding our physical desires, not necessarily just our stomach. Our body has physical desires. It lusts, it hungers, it wants to sleep, it wants to be lazy. Sometimes it wants to get angry, it wants to cuss, it wants to be get its way and if we LET it get its way, without practicing self control, the flesh will kill you.
So how do we subdue the flesh and grow the things we want to grow in our life? The same way we kill something or grow anything – it depends on how we feed it.
Trust me, if you don’t feed a plant it will die. If you don’t believe me, I’ll show you the plants on my back porch. However, the plants in my yard are thriving. Why? Because my lawn people take really good care of those plants. They feed it fertilizer, they get rid of weeds that may choke out any life, and they give it regular attention.
Our fitness is the same way. It requires attention. The more we feed it, the more it will grow. This means we need to attend to it regular. It also means we need to pull anything out of our life that might choke out our progress. And, it means we need to starve our bad habits (poor eating habits, laziness, business, etc) that will make it more difficult to succeed.
You are in control of your flesh. You decide what lives and what dies.
You are what you think:
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, (this means you decide what you want your mind should be on, think on those things, meditate on them, focus on them, fix it and keep it there. However, we can think on better things, healthier things, greater things…) “but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5
What have you been allowing yourself to set your mind on that doesn’t belong? Decide now to not meditate on those things and replace those thoughts on the things you want to grow in your life. :)
While you may read this title and clearly realize this is not how the world normally works, many people often live life by doing as little as they can get away with – and there is no better example than with fitness.
People typically decide to start with the bare minimum. They may start exercising 2 days a week, to see if they can get results on a minimal investment. Of course, two days a week is enough to improve physical health, but it normally isn’t enough to see major results. Most people want twice the results with half the effort. Then they are let down and they realize they are missing something.
After they realize the bare bones minimum doesn’t work, they may up going to 3 days a week. Then, when that doesn’t work, they add more cardio more workouts.
When someone is working out as much as they can, they finally may get to the point they realize they may need to change how they are spending the rest of their time out of the gym. This is when they may decide to add protein shakes or supplements. They may even be ready to give up some of their bad eating habits.
I’m not suggesting fitness is no fun, and that you are to be miserable or starving to get big results – but, what I am suggesting is not trying to see how much you you can get away with. Instead, see how much you can do right. Sadly, we have the tendency to have the same mentality with our marriages, friendships and jobs too.
Let’s decide to see how much we can do RIGHT this year, instead of how much we can still do wrong and get away with it. Because, I tell you the truth, we rarely will be able to get away with much without consequences anyway. So, instead of adding guilt and shame to your pile of mess ups, just minimize your mess ups from the get go! :) You are worth the effort, worth the investment, worth the results!
Does someone become an olympic athlete by practicing the most difficult trick? No. A gymnist will start with a forward roll on the ground before they advance to cartwheels, round-offs and flips. They have to do what they CAN do first. Then they advance, onc small challenge at a time.
This is how our workouts are. If someone can’t do a military push up, they start on their knees. They may not even complete the movement in full range, but they do what they can, going deeper and deeper (with better and better form) each time they “practice it”.
If I had a dime for every boot camper, or member, who said they never DREAMED they’d be doing what they are doing now – I’d be filthy stinkin’ RICH! Sadly, many people don’t even begin to try because they don’t see what’s possible. All they see is the impossible.
Be encouraged! Don’t think about all the things you CAN do, just do what you can – and eventually, over time, you will be doing things you never thought possible!!
Happy 2014 everyone!! I hope you enjoyed my 31 Days of Motivation. More motivation to come!
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Calvin Coolidge
TD Jakes once said (in a church service) “there is probably more talent in this audience than is on this stage, but they lack commitment”. I think of all the people I know who could have been pro athletes or music super stars, but are secret hidden talents because they lacked commitment and persistence.
Some of the best champions are not THE best, they are just the ones that refuse to give up – and the same goes with fitness. There are people who are in the gym DAILY and trying to watch what they eat DAILY – and even though they fail, their determination not quit brings them to success eventually. Better yet, they can be MORE successful than the toughest chick in the gym, or the most disciplined competitor, IF they are more consistent and committed.
BE ENCOURAGED!! Persistence trumps one day of strength. Never give up.
Bring Your Gym Bag, Your Muscles AND Your Brain
When I show someone an exercise, I believe it’s important to tell that person what we are working, why that exercise is working that muscle group, and how they can make the most of that particular exercise to get the results they want. Not only will they understand the importance of that exercise, and know how to do it correctly, they will be more motivated to do it when they understand what it will do for them.
Sure, I could easily just point to a machine and have them go through the motions. Shoot, if I did that, they’d HAVE to keep coming back to me for help. Maybe other people consider that good job security. Some trainers have the mentality of, “don’t teach them anything, or they might go off and do it themselves”. But, if I just told people what to do, although it may change their body, it won’t change their mind.
Here’s my philosophy. People need a mind make-over. People need more than guidance, they need education. They need to make better decisions when no one is around to tell them what to do. The more a trainer empowers people with knowledge, the more lives they can change. The more success stories, the better their reputation will be – that THEY were the one that helped so many people reach their goals.
Sadly, some people just don’t want to learn. Often times people resort to short cuts or programs that tell you what to do because they don’t want to think for themselves. While joining a program that directs you is a good thing, beware of spending hours being told what to do without learning anything. Don’t be afraid to think, to try to understand, to invest time and energy in learning.
We are supposed to LEARN from our hard work. Dedication and discipline is supposed to challenge us, grow us and teach us how to persevere and overcome obstacles. Don’t look for short cuts, look for the right path – no matter how long or hard it looks. The right path is where you will learn the most, and you’ll learn how to stay on track once you get there!
Don’t look for shortcuts, sometimes the hardest routes teach us the most!
14 Quotes to Motivate You to Work Hard in ’14!
- The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work. Thomas A. Edison
- Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. Peter Drucker
- Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich
- Enjoy your sweat because hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but without it you don’t have a chance. Alex Rodriguez
- Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. Sam Ewing
- Talent in cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. Stephen King
- Young people are threatened… by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire. Pope John Paul II
- For every two minutes of glamour, there are eight hours of hard work. Jessica Savitch
- All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work. Thomas J. Watson
- You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. Alan Alda
- Temporary success can be achieved in spite of lack of other fundamental qualities, but no advancements can be maintained without hard work. William Feather
- No great achiever – even those who made it seem easy – ever succeeded without hard work. Jonathan Sacks
- Opportunity looks a lot like hard work. Ashton Kutcher
- A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell