F.E.A.R

break-bad-habit

Face everything and RESPOND

Most of us develop habits by REACTING without knowing what is causing us to react. React enough times to a stimuli (sight, smell, sound, thought, etc.) this physical response will become unconscious and that’s what we call a HABIT.

Habits can be formed in as little as 3 consecutive days/times of the repeated CUE-URGE-ACTION-REWARD cycle.

For instance, every time you do “x”…”y” happens. It’s called the Cue/Urge/Habit/Reward cycle.

Your brain is wired to pursue things it sees as a rewarding event (dopamine and the opioid centers of your brain). So if after every stressful day at work you hit a pint of Blue Bell..over time the stress required for this habit becomes less and less. This leads to weight, eating, and many other issues.

To reverse these habits (food, drinking, drugs, etc.), you must first be AWARE of your triggers and your thoughts & emotions around those events and occurrences.

It takes a habit to break a habit (and I am not talking about replacing one addiction with another!)

First you have to develop a competing thought:
“Instead of, I AM SOO stressed I need my Ice cream.”
It’s
“I am SOO stressed I need to go blow off some steam by going for a walk around the block.”

This emotional learning overtime, will then lead to a competing behavior over time, and now you have broken your habit.

You can apply this strategy to any are of your live where you have an unwanted habit that you cant seem to break.

Have questions? Shoot me an email:
coachjeff@tfwstockyards.com

Talk soon!

Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets

In this world there are two common mindsets that most of us fall into: fixed or growth. One will keep you right where you are in life, and the other allows you to achieve whatever levels of success you ever so desire.

The question now is to figure out which mindset you align with, and how to start making steps in the right direction.

Let me start this off with a quote from former U.S. President  Henry Ford “Whether you think you can, or you can’t your right.”

Now, lets define what each mindset means and entails:

FIXED MINDSET: This is someone who looks in the mirror and says, “This is my body, this is my life, and I have to live with it”. They fear change, they don’t believe that can accomplish certain things, they just take the cards that the universe has “dealt” them. These individuals don’t set goals, they blame all of life’s problems on everything and everyone else, other than themselves. Think of someone who works a job they hate, just to earn money to spend on the weekends, rinse, repeat. This person is not grateful, usually bitter,  and unhappy.

GROWTH MINDSET: This is someone who looks in the mirror and regardless of where they are at in life’s journey or a fitness journey they say, “I have tons of potential, I can achieve anything I believe I can do, nothing will get in my way, I create my own destiny, who am I today and where I go tomorrow is a summation of all of my life’s decisions, and all up to me.” This person doesn’t accept anything in life until it’s what they desire and are going after. This person doesn’t fear change, they are courageous and seek change and obstacles because they know each obstacle they overcome whether in life, or training, they become stronger and build character-which moves them to the next stage in their journey. This person sets ambitious goals, holds themselves accountable and lives a life of happiness and freedom because of this. Think of someone with great levels of success, who is humble, caring and happy.

The great thing? IT’S FREE, the mindset you choose is FREE and up to you. Now, it’s okay if you are a person of a fixed mindset, because I believe most of us grow up that way due to one reason or another, and I am of no exception.

The solution? You have to starting viewing life as a play or movie, and you write the script. YOU! So if your unhappy at work, if your unhappy and unsatisfied with parts of your life, start ACTING how or who you would like to become.For example, if you are just unhappy in general: Smile more, or do something small each day you enjoy, like reading a funny article, watching some YouTube clips to laugh, go for a walk after dinner, etc.. It’s about making small steps to the growth mindset. Focus on a small area of your life you would like to change, and start viewing in the since of “I have 100% control over this, and it’s all about how I view it.”  Once, you make one change, you will gain momentum and confidence to make more positive changes.

Remember: SMALL STEPS! Focus on ONE habit or area of your life at a time. Small hinges, swing the big doors. A little on top of a little after while = A WHOLE LOT! 

If you wish to take the fast track to getting a growth mindset, to feel more confident, to become more outgoing, live a healthier life and become who you truly want to be, then I extend an offer of our Ultimate 7 Day Trail at Training for Warriors Stockyards!

You will get a full week free access to all of our classes and programs. We as a company have helped tens of thousands already lose fat, build muscle and feel better about themselves again!

If you want to accept this offer, fill this form out here so we can schedule a time for you to come out to our facility and do a Strategy session in which I will help you uncover your goals in life and health, go over our program in detail and set a program start day for you.

Talk soon,

Coach Jeff 

21 Universal Rewards of Exercise

Aside for proper, wholesome nutrition; most people are out-of-shape because they don’t exercise enough. Do yourself a favor and print this list and post it where you’ll see it every day. When you need motivation or encouragement simply read over this list and feel your motivation soar.

I’ve often wished that I could give each and every one of you a personalized pep talk to get you up off the couch and into the gym, day after day. So here’s my pep talk in bullet form – 21 rewards that you will gain from regular exercise. 

  1. You’ll reset your body: Exercise has been described as a giant reset button. A good workout will block appetite swings, improve your mood and even help you sleep. 

  2. Your clothes will fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, causing your clothes to not only fit better but to also look nicer. Also exercise ensures that soon you’ll be trading your clothes in for smaller sizes.

  3. You’ll be less stressed: You have enough stress in your life – it’s time for a break. A good workout invigorates your muscles, leaving you relaxed and less stressed.

  4. You’ll have more energy: WebMD tallied research studies and concluded that 90% of them prove exercise increases energy levels in sedentary patients. Next time you feel fatigued, fight it will the most powerful tool available: exercise.

  5. You’ll be stronger: Exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, two things that you use throughout each day. When you exercise consistently you’ll be pleasantly surprised when difficult tasks begin to seem easy.

  6. You’ll be less likely to binge: Exercise has a powerful anti-binge effect on the body. This is due in part by an increase in sensitivity to leptin, a protein hormone, which has an appetite-taming effect.

  7. You’ll burn calories: You know that excess body fat is made up of stored and unused calories. Fight back by burning loads of calories with fat-blasting workouts.

  8. You’ll be more confident: Who doesn’t wish they walked and talked with more confidence? A consistent exercise program will do just that. As your body becomes more fit, watch as your confidence sky-rockets.

  9. You’ll have fun: Believe it or not, exercise can be extremely enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run around as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find a mode of exercise that gets you excited.

  10. You’ll reduce your blood pressure: Exercise has been proven more effective than medication in reducing blood pressure to normal levels. A single workout has been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day and regular exercise reduces overall blood pressure in the long run.

  11. You’ll lose the jiggles: Regular exercise tightens flabby arms, legs and waistlines. So wave goodbye to the jiggles with a solid exercise program.

  12. You’ll increase insulin sensitivity: Researchers at Laval University in Quebec discovered that exercise improved insulin sensitivity dramatically. Peak after-meal insulin levels dropped by more than 20 percent after as little as 3 weeks of consistent exercise.

  13. You’ll sleep better: Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep? Exercise is a powerful sleep aid. Your tired muscles encourage your body to quickly fall asleep so they can get their overnight repair work done.

  14. You’ll lower your risk of heart disease: Regular exercise strengthens your heart and makes it more resilient against disease. A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for heart disease, so rest assured that consistent exercise is your ally against disease.

  15. You’ll feel great: Vigorous exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) into your blood stream that dissolve pain and anxiety. You’ve probably heard of ‘runner’s high’, this can be achieved by any great workout.

  16. You’ll lower your risk of diabetes: Studies show that exercising as little as half an hour each day can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes. If you are at risk of diabetes, or already have diabetes, regular exercise is the most effective treatment for reversing the disease.

  17. You’ll meet cool people: You could benefit from a group of new, energetic friends, right? Gyms, bootcamps, workout centers and even the jogging trail are all great places to connect with fun new friends.

  18. You’ll improve your BMI: You know that maintaining a healthy BMI is key in disease prevention. Exercise is the best way to keep your BMI under control.

  19. You’ll increase your endurance: Do you ever get out of breath when walking up stairs or through the mall? Regular exercise builds your endurance for everyday activities.

  20. Your doctor will be impressed: How many times has your doctor given you the lecture about losing weight and exercising more? Exercise regularly and get your MD off your back!

  21. You’ll look amazing: Are you happy with the shape and size of your body? Regular exercise works wonders on your physique. Within a few weeks you’ll see shape and tone in all the right places.

What are you waiting for? Strap on those workout gloves, lace up those shoes, crank up the tunes and lets get going!

Not part of a solid training program? Come try out Training for Warriors Stockyards, located in Haltom City, TX with our Ultimate 7 day Trial Kick-starter Program!!

 

Talk soon,

Coach Jeff

To have or not to have my “rest”day

For most, Sunday is a day “off” from the gym, maybe even Saturday as well if you’re following the typical M-F workout; leaving Saturday and Sunday as rest days.

I’m totally okay with that…as long as your on track with your fitness goals: your losing the inches and the body fat % that your aiming for, the scale is moving in your favor, your strength is improving and overall your feeling better about fitness and movement in general.

If not… why are you not working towards those goals everyday? Yes, over-training is a thing, but a very difficult “thing to achieve” for most individuals. So what the means is: Attempt fitness 6-7days a week until you feel you’ve reach a good even pace. Even then I don’t really recommend going a complete 48 hours without any exercise or fitness.

Here’s an easy way to do that:

Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Workout 2
Wednesday: rest and recovery or work on core,mobility and conditioning
Thursday: Workout 3
Friday: Workout 4
Saturday:rest and recovery or work on core,mobility and conditioning
Sunday: Workout 5Restday

Rinse and Repeat, and modify as needed for your goals, abilities and progress. I usually like to follow the first 3 weeks of the month are ramping-up the volume and intensity of the workouts (for a progressive overload effect) and then de-loading the 4th week.

This approach helps to minimize over-training and injury while simultaneously producing high levels of strength, lean mass gains and body fat reductions and a consistent and repeatable basis.

How was your fitness in 2015???

With only a few weeks left in this calendar year, I wanted to challenge all who read this blog to really look back on the successes and failures of their fitness endeavors in 2015; in hopes of making your past year’s weaknesses into the new year’s strengths.

Here’s a few key areas to keep in mind and to make note of as you reflect:

Small side note: This exercise will be much easier if you write down and track your goals and progress. The real question is why you wouldn’t be doing that in the 1st place if your health and fitness is really that important to you 😀

  • Did you achieve the goals you set out for?
    • If yes, then what strategies lead to your success?
      • You will want to repeat those best practices in 2016 for further successes
    • If no, what habits do you think you need to change or adopt to get you closer to your goals in 2016?
      • Be real with yourself!
        • Being in denial about things or failing to recognize the realities of life will only have your spinning your little fitness wheels with more lack of progress and frustrations in 2016
  • List 3 BIG things you would like to change about yourself in 2016
    • Make your goals diverse, and not just based off the scale or aesthetics, no one wants to continue to watch the scale for progress…
      • Example
        • Goal 1: Be able to perform 10 perfect push ups each day
        • Goal 2: Limit fast food to twice a week (down from 5)
        • Goal 3: Fit into my 30” favorite pair of shorts for summer
    • For each goal, write a down a realistic set of steps and habits you will need to adopt and put into practice over the new year to obtain your gials
    • Now, keep a journal or a log to follow your steps and to hold yourself accountable to those steps
      • It’s easy to hit the ground running in January, but lose steam in the following months
      • This is why you need to be able to physically see your goals and why those goals are important to you – to keep you motivated through the less-than-motivating times

Just remember, this is a conversation with YOU! All I ask is that you be real with yourself: real with WHAT you want and WHY it is that you want those said goals. If you can’t be honest with yourself about what you really want, how can you expect to construct a path to get you to your goals in a consistent and effective manner?

Be the best you in 2016!!!

A few quick exercise tips for FAT LOSS

If your goal is fat loss, then you need to focus on intensity = Intensity when you lift and intensity when you’re doing any time of conditioning: running, biking, swimming, battle ropes, rowing, etc.

The harder you work in a given amount of time, the more metabolic demand you place on your body’s systems. Not only that, you will continue to burn a copious amount of calories post-work out compared to it’s “steady state” exercise partner.

Take away: If you’ve hit a wall with your fat loss, or you’re looking to really see that chiseled 6 pack, then you need to focus on working harder within your workouts. How would one do this you may ask. Here’s a few small adjustments you should make to you’re routines to increase fat burning:

1) Decrease rest time: perform multiple exercises back to back with minimal- no rest. When you do have scheduled rest breaks, aim to keep them under 60 seconds!
2) Use multi-joint total body moves: Think Olympic and power-lifting moves that involve every muscle fiber in your body from head to toe: Dead lifts, cleans, snatches, thrusters, etc. Your body works and operates as one unit. If you want to get the “best bang for your buck” in each of your work outs, then aim for exercises that tax your whole body
3)Tempo variables: Use ALL the different tempos schemes you can. Your body will respond to, and adapt to very differently with the varying speeds you train it with. These are neruro-muscular adaptations. So work with slow and moderates tempos, use pauses at the bottom, middle and top of your lifts and don’t forget about explosive (but with correct form) and fast reps as well. Your body can only move as fast as you train it!

Now I challenge you to implement one or all of these to the next month of your training program and reap the amazing benefits!

Hey you! You working hard, or hardly working?

I just don’t get it… This is not a gripe nor a “put down” post, rather; I hope this gives insight and puts a different perspective on working out for you guys and gals:

It’s in our nature to seek out creature comforts and find comfort-ability at every chance we can, but the gym is the ONE place this should not be the case. Why? Because you are there to do all the things you don’t do doing during the day. You are to move and position your bodies in ways you normally do not.

How else are you going to get stronger, move faster and lose weight if you take the habits from outside them gym and apply them inside the gym?
For instance: performing tons of seated exercises..ummm you sit all day at work and in your commutes to and from work.
Walking on a treadmill or performing snails-paced cardio for hours… You move slow all day, all week, all month, for goodness sake, MOVE FASTER!

Come on people! I know you’re going to gym to change something about your bodies whether your willing to admit it or not. So why not put in the efforts that are going to go you there?

You don’t have to be highly educated in human movement or exercise science to just take a step back and look at what you do in the gym, and reflect on the results it is or isn’t producing for you.

Let me tell you this: EVERYTHING WORKS…for a little while. So don’t keep trying to ride out the same routine you started when you first got your gym membership and saw the initial weight loss and strength gains; you’re body has long since adapted.

Add these tweaks to your program:

  • Increase intensity (faster speeds and increased incline/resistance for cardio & more volume and load with strength training)
  • Change that tempo! Speed up your movements for once, then after a couple weeks, go to really slow tempos.
  • Keep rest times short or non-existent. Avoid getting caught up in useless gym chatter or messing with your phone or other tech devices. Just by shortening your rest break you smash through plateaus that have held you back for months. Use a watch, phone or gym clock to help track this. Shoot for 30-60 second rest intervals.
  • Use standing and pulling exercises more than seated and pushing exercises (2:1 ratio, 2 pulling moves for 1 pushing, 2 standing moves to 1 seated)
  • At the end of the day, just work hard.

If you’re not sweating… I am sorry… You are NOT working out, you’re just moving and staying active, two completely different ball games. Which game are you playing at the gym?

Want to make progress in the gym? HAVE A PLAN!

Seems intuitive and simple right? If you want to make consistent progress and achieve a goal or a specific task in the weight room, then you should have a clear path or plan to get there. Why waste time, money and energy if your not putting those efforts in the right places to get you closer to where you want to be? Seems a little…insane wouldn’t you agree? To keep showing up to the gym day after day, week after week, sweat session after session, and yet you get no closer to where you want to be. And in fact, it’s been weeks, months or maybe even years since you last remember basking in the emotions of moving more weight, hitting higher reps, running faster for longer, seeing a lower % of body fat or getting to a smaller (or bigger: a smaller % of people) number on the scale.

Take heart and if you’re serious about achieving those goals, then take time to prepare a proper plan to get there. Stop making gym efforts in vain and start moving towards the person you’re striving to become, one work out  at a time!

To be successful, you need a plan. Yet, what I see as a professional in the health and fitness industry is a severe lack of planning: whether that’s in reference to nutrition, workout programs or sleep and mood monitoring. I rarely see gym goers wielding a journal  to log the basics of a work out: Exercises used, load/reps/sets, rest times, and effort levels.

I wonder how these individuals know they’re making progress. Do they recall some of the above information from say, a work out 3 months ago? Or how about even last week? How do you progress  program forward if you don’t know where you’ve been. And if you don’t know where you’ve been, then how the heck are you going to know where you’re going? Simple: MAKE A PLAN.

I can recall on many occasions greeting a member as the enter our facility and promptly asking something like , “Hey Mrs. Jones! How are you today? What are you focusing on today?” … Long pauses are never a good sign  “Oh, um…just going to do a little cardio and abs I think.”…You think?!? Come on PEOPLE!

Stop being one of those people that don’t know where they are going in the gym and lets get your back on track to your goals. Use the example below to start planning today!

Example incoming:

Sunday 8/23/2015

Sleep: 7 hours, feeling really rested!

Mood: Optimistic and energetic

Nutrition: Protein oatmeal 2 hours before workout with 32 oz. of water

Routine: Total Body

Warm up: Foam rolling quads, glutes & 5 mins on elliptical @ 65% effort

  1. DB Squat, Curl, Press: Set 1= 25 lbs/15 reps 45 sec rest Set 2= 30lbs/12 reps 60 rest – Moderate intensity
  2. Ball Crunch: Set 1= 25 lbs/15 reps 45 sec rest Set 2= 30lbs/12 reps 60 rest – Moderate intensity

Cool Down: Static Stretch- Quads, calves, lats

Now imagine you take the example above, and used it over the course of a couple weeks worth of different work outs: you would have a good collection of data to reflect on to use to create future workouts that will greatly enhance the effectiveness of your future work outs in relation to getting you to your goals in safest and most effective way. This in turn will get your results, keeping your motivation and momentum high!

Happy Planning!

Calories in, Calories out…Does it all even matter?????

Of course calories matter! I wanted to briefly touch on calories. In a broad sense I describe why an individual should know at some given points in their training cycles roughly how many calories they are taking in, vs the ones they are expending through daily activities and exercise.

  1. Even though knowing how many calories you eat and drink each day vs the ones you expend through your daily lifestyle and exercise activities isn’t the end all be all in moderating weight loss or weight gain, BUT it’s one of the best measures we to do so currently
  2. First thing is 1st, now that you know that calories do hold some importance in the realm of all things health and fitness, get started tracking!
    1. If your tech savvy, then looking in apps like:
      1. My Fitness Pal
      2. Lose It!
    2. If apps aren’t you’re thing, then start keeping small journal, noting and tracking items like:
      1. Date, Time of feedings
      2. Quantity & quality (calories and macros)
  • Water and other fluids consumed at each meal and throughout the day
  1. Can also log and track mood at each meal as well
  2. Now that you’ve started logging and have a few days of data under belt, it’s time to make sense of all these numbers you have in front of you
    1. Let us focus on the TOTAL calories consumed each day
      1. Add up all the calories consumed each day
      2. Calculateyour metabolic rate to figure out what your DAILY CALORIC NEEDS ARE.  (this will also factor in your activity levels ) Use this website:
        1. http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/
  • Now, if you’re looking to lose weight, then a safe amount to aim for is 1lb of fat a week. So there’s approx. 3,500 calories in a LB of fat. So take your DAILY CALORIC NEED and subtract 500 from it. This is the amount of calories you need to “aim” for each day, for weight loss
  1. If you’re looking to gain, then it’s the other way around, you need to add about 500 calories to your daily maintaince level to help support lean muscle gain. Even though you’re adding bulk to your diet, don’t take this as the ticket to load up on empty calories from fast food or junk foods. Stick with lean mats, good fats, whole grains, and plenty of servings of fruits and vegetables each day
  2. Now the hard part. You must decide on what needs to be changed about your current food choices and eating habits.
    1. I recommend circling or highlighting what you would like to change in your food logs, and then choose ONE habit at a time to focus on and master.
    2. Once you can complete that habit each day for TWO WEEK, then shoot for another habit.
    3. If you mess up its okay, try again the next day; but don’t take on too many habits at once. I know you want to do all the right things, right now, but you’re setting yourself up to be overwhelmed and to do “drop all the balls” instead of making consistent small progress

Quit making excuses…please…Making excuses does not produce results

noun
plural noun: excuses
1. a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.

Guys and gals, let me tell you that I work without a lot of different people on a daily basis and I can say that excuses ARE NOT like butt-holes, because people have many many many excuses… especially when in it comes to the health and fitness arena.

I’m going to BRIEFLY discuss a couple common reasons I feel people are excusing themselves from a consistent progress and/or justifying why they are not or have not achieved their goals and to becoming the person they WANT to be.

  1. I  just don’t have enough time Jeff!
    1. Okay, I get it, you’re a single mom with 3 kids and work two jobs; of course there’s always extreme cases where the “no time” excuses COULD be legit (even then you can make it work) but more times than not, it’s just a plain ole’ excuse in my books, and here’s why –> There’s 168 hours in a week. To lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle or just improve overall fitness, you’re looking at investing only 5 HOURS a week on a CONSISTENT basis to lifting and doing some cardiovascular work… so that leave’s you, oh…. 163 hours! Just take some time to think about that one the next time you drain 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there on Facebook or Instragram and then complain that you have stubborn weight you can’t get rid of because you don’t have the “time” to workout.
  2. Lack of a plan
    1. Just Google “workout plan for…” and you’ll find hundreds, thousands even of programs and workouts geared towards weight loss and muscle gain. Even though these programs are not individualized to you and your specific needs and goals and at times might require items or equipment you don’t currently have access to; it’s a platform to work from, and something is always better than nothing. And if you are serious about wanting to change yourself for the better, live longer and achieve the goals you have set for yourself, then I recommend investing in a health and fitness professional to design and guide your work outs or to just follow a simple program you find online. If all else fails, get good at the basics, on a CONSISTENT basis. Meaning, do 100 body weight squats, 50 push ups and a 2-3 minutes worth of core work like bridging and planking. If you were to just do that every day for a month, you would see IMMENSE changes in your body and mood, trust me.

Take some time today and figure out if your using either of the excuses above. Don’t let these rather small obstacles get in the way of you and your goals!

I have worked in many different jobs from being in the health and fitness industry, service industry and outside sales that entailed traveling on a regular basis. Regardless of my circumstances of long hours at work, being on the road and only having a resistance band to work with, and having to help raise a daughter, I always found time to make sure I kept my health a priority and so should you! WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY ..

Happy Lifting!