Have you ever started a new strength program because you looked at it ahead of time and it was mostly just a max effort everyday that promised to get your lifts up 400% in a month? Yea well this was pretty much my experience with drop sets. I wasn’t thinking ahead at all on this one, kind of like not preparing your food before the week starts and you fly off the rails with your diet, but that’s much easier to remedy with resources like Quick Paleo Meal Prep. That short book will outline every necesary aspect of your diet whether your a strength training athlete or a desk jockey 90% of the day, and I trust it completely. But that story is for a later time, let’s talk about why not to be stupid when programming for yourself.
LEARN FROM MY EXAMPLE PLEASE
This is how I got started on this journey to the level of wrecked that I am right now. I was listening to a Barbell Shrugged Podcast; however, before I go any further you need to know I support these guys completely and it was my own ignorance that did me in, so I was listening to the podcast on how to get stronger and the lessons they’ve learned from an average of 15 years lifting. This was mistake number one when I look back, I was one fifth of their training age and I was not even close to being on par with their numbers in olympic or power lifts so the arrogance with which I listened like I was on their level is astounding. They talked about how they all loved the concept of drop sets, drop sets are when you build up to a 2-10 rep max in a given lift and then drop to 90% of that max and you work with that weight. This is incredibly smart because instead of following numbers you plugged into a spread sheet at the beginning of the month when you were at your peak, you’re working on what your max is THAT DAY and not pushing yourself at the same intensity month after month, which would be unsustainable. But I soon found it’s just as unsustainable to train for PURE STRENGTH EVERY SINGLE DAY. By the second week of my training the wheels were coming off FAST, I was out of energy at the end of the weeks and would not want to live life on the weekends outside of bed. Clearly I was pushing the boundaries of what should be done and should have realized myself for what I was at that point, which is a NOVICE at best when it comes to lifting. I’ve been lifting for around 7 years but that’s nothing compared to the guys I was aspiring to be, so no wonder I was running myself into the ground like a mad man!
Training split went something like this:
Monday- Squat, build to 1-5 RM (rep max) then worked at 90% of that broken into a few sets to total 20 reps (this was the same for the rest of the days)
Tuesday- Overhead Press
Wednesday- Rest (ish)
Saturday- Long and slow cardio, running, biking or hiking with a weighted pack
I’ll post the revised training tomorrow and what I have adapted to ensure longevity with progress that won’t wreck me.
Analyze what you’re doing now in your training for your specific goals, if you feel great and are making progress then continue on! If you usually get 2-3 weeks into a program and need to take a week to a month off then it’s time to come up with something that won’t kill you slowly!
thats the million dollar question (almost literally) isn’t it? People attempt many things with the hopes of coming out on top, and when met with the failures over and over most tuck their tail and settle for less than they’re capable of. I’ll tell you now that the only key that I’ve found for success in anything is diligent preparation for the goal and planning your strategy ahead of time. It’s just like preparing your food to ensure you won’t slip up on your fitness goals, and if this has been a challenge for you then I encourage you to check out Quick Paleo Meal Prep, this book offers a guide to laying out a foundation of diet for your goals and gives examples of moving forward. And like preparing food for proper diet, preparing yourself for success is the only way to plan for achieving the goal.
This is the only suggestion I have for anyone who is looking to do anything great. When you think about the great victories of war or athletes who’ve dominated the global arena, the one thing they have in common is preparation. Michael Phelps didn’t just hop in the pool a year or two before the Olympics and had the thought “eh, I’m built for this and it’s fun so let’s go for it and see!” NO, if you read his book No Limits, he goes over the amount of preparation it took to do what he did. From his diet to his sleep cycles he had a plan for every aspect of his life to get the goal. Not having a plan of action is sometimes worse than having a plan to fail. If you don’t take the time to sit down and put into words what it’s going to take to reach your goals, whether it’s business, fitness, spiritual or whatever. If you can’t take the time, or just don’t think it’s important, to put a plan together to acheive your goal then you shouldn’t expect the victory. Preparation is one of the top keys to success in my opinion, without it you’re flying by the seat of your pants competing with people who are dedicated to a goal. And the person with dedication and faith in their plan will apply more effort with more intensity than the one who decides on a whim that something “would be a good idea”. Preparation in your diet will produce constant and predictable results, which is why the top bodybuilder and other athletes use this process with intense dedication. Preparation in business is also a recipe for success. The one who’s laid out the plan with all variables in mind and willing to apply the practices, with intensity, to build something is like a train on the tracks. There’s only one direction for that person, they’re not going to deviate from the plan and they have prepared for the things they could predict so they move with haste and confidence. Preparation is a powerful tool and I encourage you to put it to use in your life in some way shape or form. If you’re a bodybuilder who already preps their food then prep yourself mentally for the workout. If your in business and have prepared a plan of action then prepare yourself for contingencies if something you hadn’t thought of before happens.
Discover a goal for yourself if you don’t already have one you’re pursuing. Sit down and put into words what you’re going to do to acheive it and the price you’re willing to pay. Preparation for the worst ensures the best outcome.
RESOURCES Napolean Hill, Tony Robbins, Barbell Buddha
Change is required of all of us if we are to become anything more than what we are. And the things that require lasting change really aren’t what you’re expecting at all. Like making a few changes in the kitchen to work on looking and performing better. Which by the way of that is your goal, then I would highly recommend getting your hands on Quick Paleo Meal Prep as a guide to the gains! For now let’s talk about what it’s going to take that doesn’t involve a kitchen to get you on the path to achieving what you’re wanting.
MAKE THE CHANGES MEASURABLE
There’s nothing more frustrating than to begin on the journey and feel like you’ve been grinding for ages, only to find out that you haven’t made much progress in the area that you’re working towards. If you don’t know where you’re going or what it will take to get there then you need not start. Making the changes measurable means that if your goal is to create an email list of 20 subscribers per week, then you’ll need to find what your average is now and what it will take to get there. A number is much more quantifiable and traceable than a feeling or an instinct. Simply setting a goal to “look good” won’t get you the results effectively and efficiently, and unless you have plenty of time and energy to waste then you need to do things as effective and efficiently as possible. Instead set a goal of “I weigh x now, and I want to weigh y.” This goal will easily be tracked as you weigh yourself at the same time and following the same routine every morning. We can go over the importance of weighing in on the morning and after rituals at a different time, for now let’s focus on making lasting change!
SET UP REWARD SYSTEMS
I’m not sure about how you handle things, but I know that I love to be rewarded for doing the right thing, and if being rewarded and getting closer to my goal happens at the same time then rock on! So don’t be afraid to set aside a short “rest” or break period. Stefan Pylarinos exemplified this best lately, he set goals for himself to make more money and acheive health goals in a certain time, and the reward was a few weeks in Paris, not a bad trade for making more money and getting healthier. Now you may not be able to afford to do this yet but take time to reward yourself for your hard work, otherwise you’ll begin to hate what you’re doing and it won’t be enjoyable anymore. And the second what you’re doing stops becoming fun is when you start seeking other interests. So if your goal is to lose weight, then set one or two meals aside each week to reward yourself for staying on track! Not only is this a great motivation, but will help your body with a caloric reset and burn fat more efficiently. If you’re growing a business, then take a few months to make sacrifices and reach the income or audience growth you want and take a week off to celebrate AWAY FROM YOUR AREA! I emphasize getting away because you associate work with your habitat, and if you stay in that habitat you will naturally be drawn to work, so get away. I hope these examples are helping!
MAKE THE CHANGES SMALL
Making the changes small makes them achievable and will build success momentum. If you think you can add 30 lbs to your bench in six months then add 15-20. Don’t set lofty goals that are seemingly impossible to reach from where you are. Set a goal that’s monumental and set other tiny goals to stair step your way there if need be and all you can do is think big. The overarching theme is that you don’t want to discourage yourself and make it seem like you’re the problem. Most of the time people people try to build a sky scraper with their tiny toolbelt, and after a year of failure they say “it’s impossible!”. It’s not impossible, it’s just that they weren’t equipped to handle it. If they started with building a bird house, dog house, play house, apartment, office building and then took on a sky scraper they would look at it with a completely different set of eyes and scope of what to do. All I’m saying is the person you are now may not be capable of making 1mil per year or squating 1,000 lbs. but with practice and study you can become that person!
Make a small goal that will get you closer to what you’re wanting to acheive. Whether it’s monetary, emotional, spiritual or physical just make a small goal and acheive it to build your success momentum!
RECOURCES Stefan Pylarinos, Tim Ferriss, Elliott Hulse
there has never been a party like a crockpot party! I’ve spent the past few months slaving over the stove at least twice per week to keep up my prep. So introducing the crockpot back into my life has set me free!! Not to say that meal prep outside the crockpot is bad, it tastes better without the crockpot and flavors are more controlled that way. And if you’re interested in stepping up your prep game, check out Quick Paleo Meal Prep! But this was a breath of fresh air to me 🙂
Set It And Forget it
That was the most appealing part of the crockpot in my opinion, I have so much going on that the thought of carving out an hour and a half twice per week was terrifying! So now instead of stressing about what I’m not getting done while I’m cooking, I can be working on it while my food is prepared for me! I can’t think of a more win win situation. As I was putting all the ingredients in the crockpot my mind paralleled this with outsourcing of responsibilities. We all have such busy lives, and if you’re runnin an online or physical business you need all the time you can get! So the more you can distribute the work means the more you have time to get done. It’s the same with the crockpot, I give it the orders of “I want this prepared by this time with this result”, and I come back at that time and it’s ready and I got what I needed to do done! SET IT AND FORGET IT :))
Outsourcing For The Common Man
Now you may be a stay at home mom whose running an online business or a husband whose running a multi million dollar headquarters, either way outsourcing saves. If you’re a stay at home mom then it makes sense not to waste time responding to emails about nothing or answering the same questions from different people, so why not take a miniscule pay cut and free up 5 hours to actually BE A MOM. You can look up great sites to help with getting emails taken care of, and set limits like “if it won’t cost me $50 then YOU handle it”. This is a small example but it can free you up to do the important things. The sites I’ve had the most success with are odesk.com or elance.com. On those sites you can find office assistants, writers, designers and much more that will work for $4 per hour most of the time. So the choice is yours, stay buried up to your neck, or free yourself and continue to make money!
If you’re a stay at home parent or someone whose bogged down with 40+ emails per day, then check out odesk.com to find a helper. Give them instructions to handle your email and customers with amounts up to $??. I can assure you that you’ll love the freedom this gives and you’ll get a system started that completely frees you 🙂
Ever feel like you’ve fully prepared for a situation, like in wrestling or mma, you’ve watched countless amounts of footage on the oponent. Yet somehow despite your best efforts you wind up coming in short. The same could be said for your diet, even though it won’t gauruntee your victory, having food prepped and ready will put you in the top 20%. Which is why I recommend Quick Paleo Meal Prep as a guide to start or improve meal prepping. But again don’t depend on one thing to gauruntee victory.
Exhausted All Options
This phrase is over used in the fitness and business community. I believe if one has truly exhausted all options then there would no longer be a problem. In our day and age of technology and information at our finger tips, it has never been easier to find the solutions to whatever problem is facing us. Whether it’s how to get stronger while cutting weight, or how to provide better services, increase client satisfaction and charge more all at the same time, with proper thought and research almost anything is possible. It’s only when you choose to close your mind to new options that the field of vision for solutions narrows.
How To Think Different
First things first, if you say in your head that it can’t be done and you’ve tried everything, you’ll fail every time. Instead think to yourself how can this be accomplished? A better question yields a better result. And more importantly, if you know someone for whom this problem would not be a problem at all, think about how that person would approach what you’re doing. If you don’t have the answer then you’re probably not the best person to keep asking. There has been so much accomplished and done for others that it would be arrogant to trust in your own will for the solution when it’s been done for you. Again don’t look at the wall of china as an immovable fixture. Instead if someone were to pay you and your family an unlimited amount of money for the rest of their lives if you would move the Great Wall three feet to the left, you’d find a way. However if you say to yourself “it’s impossible” then it is.
The next time you catch yourself thinking “this is impossible” or “I can’t do it”. Ask yourself “how could this be done?” Or “how could I do this like “insert persons name”. It’s only impossible if you accept it as so.
we’ve all got ’em, whether it’s the habit of doing 1,000 push-ups before you go to bed every night or watching 3 episodes of your current binge on Netflix, for better or worse they’re there. There could be good habits like prepping your food for the coming week so you don’t mess up your clean eating, this is covered in great detail in Quick Paleo Meal Prep, it’s been a great resource to stay on track with whatever fitness goals are most important. But habits are the things we use to determine whether we are productive individuals, or lazy bums. Which does your routine or habits say about you?
WHAT DO YOU DO?
This is a simple question but can have some pretty profound impacts on outcomes that require short decision making time. For example if you’re faced with the question of being given a decent meal now or waiting to see if there’s a better option, and your habit is to rest and do nothing whenever possible, then odds are that you’ll choose the latter. Now this could be a good thing and you get better food, or you could get nothing. The main message here is that when you look at your daily habits are they productive? And by productive I don’t mean stuff “gets done” but is it getting done with purpose for a greater goal that you’re striving for? Sure Netflix will solve the entertainment void, but instead of wasting 45 minutes at a time why not have it playing in the back ground while you research how to get a business started or find a new gym or fitness plan. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and set your mind up to be productive instead of complacent.
THE HABIT OF EARNING
We all have things we love, personally I love chicken pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce and Sons of Anarchy, these two things make me happy. However neither of these things are getting me closer to anything other than an early case of diabetes (which I ponder the risk vs. reward occasionally). Instead I suggest making habits of EARING these guilty pleasures. I don’t believe in a masichistic lifestyle that’s absent of simple pleasures for the sake of saying you did it when no one else would, and no one enjoys listening to that person anyway. So indulge in what you love, but first set up a way to EARN it first. In my example of SOA and pasta, I read 30 minutes of something to grow myself personally or however before each episode. And for the pasta I will do some form of high intensity workout from around 8-12 minutes to prepare myself for the greatness.
What is one new habit you could start to earn your simple pleasures or be more productive. Start with one and continue, think of it as adding water to a cup of oil until all the oil (bad habits) is replaced with clear water (new helpful habits). Like always, you’re capable of more than you know!
We all have kinks in our armour that we are aware of, whether it’s emotionally, physically or mentally no one is completely immune. Realizing this truth alone will be enough to catapult you far enough, but if you’re wanting to reach every bit of your potential then that requires change. And the best change is usually with your diet, we are only well from the inside out. The book Quick Paleo Meal Prep is a great resource to get your life back in line with your goals, by making failure impossible by removing the bad choices. Once you’ve realized these shortcomings then you have taken action, you will be amazed at what you’re truly capable of!
LOOK AT YOURSELF
Too often we are afraid to stand in front of a mirror for longer than ten seconds for fear that we might notice all our imperfections. Instead of seeing these things to work on as “flaws”, look at them as an item on the to-do list. Do this with your physical body first, and then you will learn how to spot things as something to work on and not a disaster. Once you’ve mastered this I would suggest taking time out to look at what most of your days consist of. I know when I did this I realized I was wasting 60% of my day with nothing…it was a sad reality :/. But you have the opportunity every day to look at the last few days, and analyze the choices you made and how that helped you or if it did anything at all. I know this sounds strange, but to know where to start you have to know what needs fixin’.
You wouldn’t want to pay for a brand new engine in your Ferrari if the only problem was it needed a new fan belt and that’s it.
Now the worst thing you could do is see the things you need to work on worse than they are. Tony Robbins’ quote has stuck with me since the first time I heard it, “See things as they are, don’t see them worse than they are.” So what I’m trying to say is accept where you are and be prepared to make changes. Simply looking at yourself and walking away to do nothing is the sign of giving up…period. Make a plan to change one thing at a time until you’re noticeably different. If that means shaving off your love handles then great, if that means adding an inch to your biceps so you feel proportional then great, if that means cutting out two episodes of Netflix before you go bed to start an online business then great! Just do something to get the thing done!!!
This afternoon or whenever, take 3 minutes to look at yourself in the mirror. Sounds simple but people have been known to cry after just one minute. Look at who you are physically and as a person. Acknowledge the good and write down the bad, this will be your list. Work down the list one at a time, with patients and joy, you’ll be amazed at the changes you can make!