Try Adding Some Humor to Your Day

As of late I have been trying to purge negativity from my life.  I am a pretty fun loving guy and joke around a lot but I still feel that I often focus too much on the negative.  Most of the time its things I have no control over or things that are 10-15 years in the future that I worry about, stupid I know.  With all that said I had the pleasure of listening to Ron Culberson speak the other day; taken straight from his bio "Ron Culberson, is a speaker, author and humorist who helps staff and managers achieve success through the philosophy of Do it Well, Make it Fun."  His whole message is to not take life so seriously, especially at work.  You can still be extremely successful at your job and in life while not taking it so seriously or being negative.  Take a look at the video to get a feel for what Ron's message is all about.

It was funny that at the same time I heard this speech was at the same time I decided to make this change of eliminating as much negativity as I can from my life.  One thing that really rang true when listening to Ron speak was he told a story of when he was talking to a terminally ill patient.  The patient said "Where does the time go?" His point in telling this story was that time just doesn't fly when your having fun, time flies in general.  I don't know about you but that really hit home with me.  Our time on this earth is extremely limited and I plan on working hard but be assured I'm going to have fun and joke around while I'm doing it.  So enjoy yourself at work today, there is always a day to make the journey funnier.

These guys have the right idea...

3 Awesome Things I've Learned...

I’ve been in the strength and conditioning field for a very short time; luckily I have luck on my side and ended up surrounded by very smart people.  Whether it’s coaching, watching my colleagues coach, reading, or training myself I consistently learn something new every day.  With that said here are 3 awesome things I’ve learned both as a coach and as someone who trains.  

  • Keep things simple…

If you’re an inexperienced lifter or you’re dealing with an inexperienced athlete don’t try and get to crazy; you’re not and their not as advanced as you think.  Squatting (bodyweight, goblet, barbell), deadlifting (kettlebells, trap bar, straight bar), and pressing (pushups, bench press, overhead press) are the best ways to gain strength, power, and body awareness.  If you are just starting out or are coaching someone who is just starting out you will be much better off refining these motor patterns, using progressive overload, and coupling them with unilateral movements like split squats, stepback lunges, bowler squats, single leg balancing.  I don’t care if someone is 8 years old or 50 years old these movements form the foundation for athletics and everyday life and should be learned proficiently.  Things like powercleans or Turkish getups are awesome but they are advanced.  I see absolutely no need to give them to someone who cannot squat, deadlift, or do a pushup correctly.  Milk the simplicity of the other exercises for all their worth; you or your athlete will be better for it in the long run.

  • Get Experience Under the Bar…

In one of the first conversations I ever had with Sarah was her telling me I need to compete in powerlifting.  Her reasons were it would help me learn more about strength and conditioning and it would make me a better coach.  I wasn’t quite sure how competing would do both those things but I started training for powerlifting anyway.  Time has gone on since then and looking back I completely understand what she was talking about.  You cannot be a coach or a trainer unless you get experience under the bar.  I was re-watching the EliteFTS BIG seminar with Jim Wendler the other day (which everyone should watch) and he said two things that really stuck with me.  Keep in mind I’m paraphrasing here but he said something along the lines of “I have authority on the subject (strength training) because I’ve had a bar on my back, not because of a certification I have or something I read” and later “everything you want to know about lifting can be learned through training”.  These are bold statements but they are absolutely true.

If you’re a coach you need to try everything out, you need to get some scratches on you or no one will take your advice.  It’s like a tennis player telling you how to improve your golf swing because they read an article about it once, doesn’t make any sense.  And if you’re just trying to train stop reading internet articles all day long and go put a barbell on your back and squat it, go pull something heavy off the ground and then press something off your chest or over your head.  You can listen all you want to this guy or this girl but the truth is you will NEVER know what works until you do it yourself.  Get under the bar!

  • Don’t Ever be Content and Always Have Fun…

This is where I feel people lose it.  No one should be content whether it’s your knowledge base, your numbers, the money your business brings in, your teaching abilities, it doesn’t matter always strive to be better.  If you’re a coach you shouldn’t ever come to a place where you say “I know everything I need to know” because you don’t.  The greatest strength coaches in the world still educate themselves and then apply it.  This is what’s going to make you and your athletes better.  If you’re just a person trying to get stronger that’s great but once you hit a specific goal, don’t stop there, make a new one.  I’m not saying don’t be happy about what you’ve done because that’s ridiculous.  You should be happy about what you’ve accomplished and you should reflect on those achievements but strive for more.

This leads into my next point of having fun while you’re doing all of this.  There hasn’t been one day where I haven’t had fun training or coaching.  Are there days where I’m tired and don’t necessarily feel like going to train?  Yeah, but by the end I had fun and am glad I did it.  And as far as coaching or teaching for that matter, if you’re not enjoying helping people get better and realize their potential than you need a new career.  That has been the best part of coaching and teaching for me is that I can truly have fun.  I can joke around with the clients and athletes and I can help them reach their goals.  People want to be so serious and mope around all the time, I don’t get it.  We have all had some bad stuff happen in our lives but its our ability to overcome that makes life great. Life is truly short and we need to enjoy it and have some fun while we’re living it.  With that said, I’ll leave you with this… because it’s funny!

Outdoor Training

For the record, I love Fall. It's hands-down my favorite season. Crisp and refreshing weather (but not too cold), pumpkin spiced ales are a-brewing (or pumpkin spiced lattes, depending on who you are), Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and some may even argue that football season makes things more enjoyable.

Fall is also a perfect season to train outside. There's just something about breathing fresh air and having the sun shine on your body that makes training outdoors far more vivifying than remaining indoors.

This past weekend, a couple friends and I went to a local field to get in a training session, and it was awesome. We primarily used a 100lb sandbag and the prowler to get some work done, and just did whatever we felt like doing that morning. For those that have never trained with a (shifting) sandbag, it makes any movement you do ten times harder than using a fixed weight such as a dumbbell or barbell. Take a look at the video below:

Here's a quick recap of what we did:

Round 1: Repeat AMAP in ten minutes A1) Zercher Squat to Stepback Lunge (2 of each movement) A2) PUPP until it's your turn again

Round 2: Repeat the circuit three times B1) Suspended Row and Hold 4x :5 B2) SB Walkover w/two pushups each side (3 passes) B3) SL Slider Hamstring Eccentric 5x :6ecc/side

Round 3: Repeat until you're done (you'll know when you're done...) C1) Prowler Push to Reverse Drag C2) Sandbag Over-Shoulder Carry, 50yds/side C3) Sandbag Bear Hug Carry, 100yds **We then finished up with some alligator crawls just for kicks.

This workout hit the entire body and was challenging, yet didn't leave us exhausted at the end nor did it affect anything we wanted to do later that day (or negatively affect our training sessions once Monday came around). And, more importantly, it was FUN. After all, that's what training should be, right?

For those that have never trained outside, or, at the very least, completed hill sprints, I highly encourage it. You won't regret it.

A Little of This, A Little of That

For anyone wondering, Steve is okay, but still pretty sick. So, it looks like he won't be making his next blog post until Monday at the earliest. In the meantime, I'm taking the path of least resistance and offering up some great reads from other sources:McDonald's Happy Meals get a makeover. I, personally, have an enormous problem with McDonald's and feel guilty anytime I stop there to get a black coffee (the ONLY thing I ever allow myself to consume from them). So, I don't know if this effort makes me feel better or worse about them... probably worse, when you consider "Take Home Point" #3. Here's another article from NY Times.

Wost Call Ever? I don't know about all that, but it's definitely a bad call:

Great article on how calorie counting is ineffective and outdated. Weight loss depends a great deal on QUALITY of food consumed - if you eat nothing but unprocessed, nutrient-dense food you can eat as much as you want and will look great - that's the approach I took to losing my "baby weight." But, on the other side, we currently have a client who has lost 38lbs by monitoring caloric intake.   Alexander Ovechkin being himself, I suppose: