Your cell phone buzzes.
You look down and see that your calendar is reminding you that it is time to get up, go to the gym and get a training session in.
You take a deep breath, sigh and mutter to yourself, “I can’t believe I HAVE TO go train right now.
“Right there, with those two words, you have already lost your upcoming training session.
With those two words that many of us use on a daily basis. Whether we are actually speaking out loud, or we are thinking to ourselves.
“I HAVE TO get up and go to work/school.”
“I HAVE TO make my breakfast, pack my lunch and take a shower.”
“I HAVE TO work/study all day, go train/workout afterwards and then make dinner when I get home.”
“I HAVE TO spend time with my husband/wife/kids and get to bed so I can just do it all over again tomorrow.”
Does this sound familiar?
Well, I can tell you that by making one simple change to your words and thoughts, you can shift your whole mindset and outlook on training, health, fitness, your job and anything else that is part of your life.
Make the switch from “HAVE TO” to “GET TO.”
Try it out!
“I GET TO get up and go to work/school.”
“I GET TO workout today.”
“I GET TO make a healthy dinner and spend time with my family.”
When you make this simple change to the way you approach your thoughts and your day, everything becomes sooooooo much more positive.
And if that isn’t enough, take a second and think about those who no longer can, or never did have the the ability to “HAVE TO.”
Maybe it is someone who was born with a physical and/or mental condition that doesn’t allow them to do certain things as are typically done, such as go to work/school, workout, make healthy food, etc.
Or maybe this is someone who used to be able to “HAVE TO” do things, and for whatever unfortunate reason they no longer can.
Or maybe, someone made a sacrifice for their country, and no longer has they physical or mental capacity to “HAVE TO.” Or just maybe, someone made the ultimate sacrifice, is no longer with us and can no longer say “HAVE TO.”
“HAVE TO” would not be a part of their vocabulary!
So, today, I’m encouraging you to shift your mindset to “GET TO”.
The next time your phone goes off reminding you that it is time to get up and get after a training session, think to yourself, “I GET TO go workout.”
Because the truth is, you don’t have to do anything in life. You don’t have to be fit, healthy and confident.
You GET TO be fit, healthy and confident.
You GET TO train hard, eat well and become the best version of yourself.
So when times get hard, a training session is just not your first choice, remember, you GET TO do these things.
This is something I’ve been working on for a while now, and something I still find myself struggling with and reverting back to the nasty “HAVE TO” every so often. And this is something that came up again in the book I am reading through right now…Training an Elite Mindset by Brain Cain.
And although this mindset shift is not something that will occur over night for 100% of your thoughts, it is something you can consciously implement and over time it will become part of your daily take on life.
Let others know about this simple, maybe not easy, but simple mindset shift to help them approach their training, nutrition and overall performance with a different, more positive tone.
Thoughts, comments, questions? Leave them below or reach out to me on FACEBOOK, because you GET TO!
Quite a while ago I wrote an article discussing jogging and the impact it can have on your training, health and overall performance and outcomes. The article was good (I am probably a bit biased though) but I wanted to revisit it and update as my thoughts on jogging have changed, ever so slightly.
Check it out…
Sometimes knowing what not to do is more important than knowing what to do. Taking away a negative is many times more valuable than trying to add a positive. A few years ago one simple statement was made that again punched me square in the teeth with this concept.
That weekend I was fortunate enough to make my way to Cressey Performance (my place of internship and a great facility with some really smart dudes and killer athletes).
There I attended a workshop that was presented by Chad Waterbury.
Chad specializes in the nervous system and its impact on performance. We covered everything from assessment to programming, and focused on correcting, priming and building explosive athletes.
When it was all said and done I took a few key things away, but one statement really stayed with me when I left. It is a statement I have heard time and again, and a statement that has been getting a lot of “coverage” in the strength and conditioning world, but it was good to hear again…and the way in which it was expressed was pretty comical.
On the notes for the presentation it read “Jogging attenuates explosiveness,” but when Chad got to this point he said something to the effect, “If you want your athletes to jump lower and sprint slower, add jogging into their program.”
He gave numerous examples ranging from himself to professional volleyball, tennis, MMA athletes and more, stating that when jogging was added into their program, performance, especially explosive ability, was negatively impacted.
I thought about it and had to agree. I also couldn’t help but think of all of the athletes that I work with who experience overuse injuries as a result of pounding the pavement day after day.
But, it is not as easy to say “just stop jogging/running” in order to mitigate the negative effects on explosiveness and overuse injuries (as well as body composition, hormone levels and more).
Rather, I am suggesting that it is how you are jogging that really matters.
This includes running mechanics, the intensity and the distance of the jog, as well as what you are trying to accomplish by jogging.
To actually cover all of the concepts related to running mechanics would take much more than this article, in fact there are books written about it. So I am not even going to attempt to delve into great detail here.
What I will mention is that sometimes changing the mechanics is enough to allow an athlete to continue jogging/running without accruing enough stress to push them past threshold…a good thing.
Some simple changes could be making sure you are striking the ground softly and quietly, keeping your feet in line with your hips (don’t allow your feet to cross over the midline of the body), pitch forward ever so slightly to prevent running in an excessively extended posture, and try to keep your abs engaged slightly to help prevent unwanted rotation.
I will also mention that changing the mechanics will have only little impact on mitigating the negative effects jogging has on explosive ability, body composition or hormone levels.
Whether your jogging closely resembles a drunk baby giraffe trying to make its way across the savanna, or your jogging form is poetry in motion, the energy systems you are utilizing will still negatively impact explosive ability, if you are jogging like most do…read on for this part.
When most of us go out for a jog we are going out to burn some calorie, increase aerobic fitness and simply “get tired.”
Much of the time this leaves us jogging with a heart rate somewhere in the range of 150-170 which for most is the “zone” where the body is in an optimal state to promote and build aerobic characteristics, but is “in-between” zones of recovery and anaerobic (explosive) training.
Aerobic characteristics are not bad as every athlete needs a solid aerobic base, but by placing moderate aerobic stress (neither low or high) on the body it will respond by getting better aerobically, thus “shifting” your explosive characteristics (fiber type and composition) more towards endurance characteristics…not a good thing if you are trying to throw a baseball as hard as possible, shoot a lacrosse ball at a high rate of speed or simply look more like a sprinter than a marathoner.
So instead of trying to go out for a “hard jog” that will help you build a less explosive, weaker and more injury prone body, if you are going to jog, make sure that you are jogging at an “easy” pace, or if you are up for it, sprint.
Easy pace jogging (think of a 4-5 on a 10 scale) can help to enhance recovery and achieve the benefits of aerobic training without compromising your explosive capacity.
And sprinting, well that is explosiveness at its best.
Also, staying away from a hard jog will help limit repetitious impact force, decreasing injury potential. And with jogging at an easy pace, you can actually enjoy your surroundings, which is half the reason we get out and jog…and there is nothing wrong with that!
Along with jogging at an easier pace, you must consider the distance and volume of jogging.
Distance and Volume
This is pretty straight forward…don’t jog for too long of a distance or too often!
Going out for long jogs promotes the body to shift more towards endurance qualities (slow twitch, aerobic qualities, etc.).
Also, long jogs place a lot of repetitive stress on the system which just begs for overuse injuries…think plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, knee pain, back pain, etc.
But this does not mean that you can go out for 10 one mile runs throughout the day and be in the clear. Jogging too often will have similar effects of jogging too long of a distance as it comes down to total volume.
Keep your jogs on shorter side and don’t jog day after day.
Why are you jogging?
If you are going for a jog to get in shape, STOP!!! To run or jog effectively, you will want to be in decent conditioning already, and have accrued some strengthening of the tendons and ligaments before placing excessive force on them.
There are many more effective ways to do this, and enhance aerobic capacity besides going out for a jog such.
These include low intensity circuits (blood flow, corrective, etc.), strongman movements at a lower intensity (sleds, carries, etc.) as well as swimming and other lower impact activities.
If you are going out for a jog to help enhance recovery of a strenuous training session or competition, or if you just want to get out and enjoy nature, I understand. Just remember to take it easy and stay away from trying to set a PR (personal record!).
What To Do
If your goal is to be as explosive as possible, as strong as possible, as lean and injury free as possible, consider scratching jogging from your program, or at the very least, approach it differently than most of us do.
If you do go out for a jog, make sure the intensity stays low, the distance stays relatively short and you are out to enjoy the run and promote recovery, not add more stress to the system.
And don’t get me wrong, an athlete/individual who is physically fit should be able to jog/run, and if it is your sport you obviously need to do so, but if your goal is to be a more explosive, stronger, leaner and more injury free athlete, jogging, especially “hard jogging” is not something you want to be doing on the reg.
And remember, you can perform low intensity circuits, strongman circuits or even better if you are physically prepared to do so, some short duration sprint work to help enhance your conditioning levels and “get in shape.” If you’d like more help with how to do this, simply reach out.
If this opened your eyes, ruffled your feathers or got you thinking “Ooohh, that is why…” make sure you leave a comment or question below and share the info!
10 years ago, one of the most common questions I received regarding performance, training and nutrition was in some way, shape or form involving protein. And today, one of the most common questions I receive is…wait for it…in some way, shape or form involving protein!
So with that, I wanted to reach back into the files and update some of the amazing content I’ve written before (<— I may be just a little biased) to provide a quick, bullet point style overview about the main concepts of protein.
Lets go over the role protein plays in a high performing body, the myths behind protein and its consumption, as well as make a few recommendations.
Is protein important?
– Protein is important, and you may even say that protein is the most important of all macronutrients (fat, carbohydrate, protein, water) when it comes to achieving your over health, fitness and performance goals.
– While I would argue that all are equally important, protein definitely plays a key role in almost every bodily function including building and maintenance of structures (muscles anyone?!), muscle contraction, immune system function, hormone production, nutrient transport, energy and more. So ya, IT IS IMPORTANT!
– Without adequate protein, the body will breakdown stored protein (again, muscles anyone?!) in order to complete the functions previously mentioned…no good if you are trying to build a strong and high performing body.
Will protein alone make my muscles HUGE and my stomach RIPPED?!!
– NO!!! Protein alone will not make your muscles huge. You must apply a stimulus to the body (training) that breaks down the system and requires the body to adapt and grow stronger. Then, protein can be utilized to help repair and grow tissues, including muscle tissue.
– NO!!! Protein alone will not incinerate fat and reveal you washboard abs. While protein is the most metabolically active macronutrient (it takes calories to breakdown and utilize protein vs carbs and fat it doesn’t to any significant degree), protein will only help you lose weight when you are in a caloric deficit. With that said, for many, replacing processed carbs with protein (less pasta and more chicken for example) will help you consume less overall calories as well as consume more high quality nutrients, which will aid in losing the midsection jiggle.
– Protein is a nutrient, not a steroid. While it plays an important role in anabolism (the building of muscle and other structures), protein will not provide you will slabs of rock hard muscle without the hard work…sorry bro!
– Ladies, protein will not make you gain tons of muscle (or make you grow a mustache), and neither will training heavy or intensely! So eat some steak, crush some weight and get off the damn elliptical!
Where can I get protein?
– There are many sources of protein which include animal based proteins (beef, chicken, etc.), fish based protein (salmon, haddock, tuna, etc.), dairy based proteins (milk, yogurt, whey, casein, etc.), egg based protein and vegetable based protein (tofu, soy, protein, etc.) and protein can be found in nuts, seeds and legumes as well.
– You can also use protein supplements such as protein powder.
When should I eat protein and how much should I eat?
– Protein should be consumed with every feeding (meal, mini-meal, snack) and a good way to measure how much to consume is by using your hand. Click HERE for a guide and visual.
– The old standby for how much total daily protein to consume is 1g per pound of bodyweight. A better guideline to follow is one that I first heard from Alan Aragon. Alan recommends consuming 1g of protein for every pound of your ideal weight. That means if you are a 150lb male looking to gain 20lbs, you should be consuming at least 170g of protein daily. If you are trying to go from 200lbs to 180lbs, it is recommended to consume 180g of protein daily. Whatever your target weight is in pounds, consume that many grams of protein daily.
There are so many protein powders. Which one is best?
– Whey stands out as the most versatile protein powder, but is dairy based so if you are intolerant to dairy it can be a problem.
– Casein is another dairy based protein and digests slower than whey making it a decent option when you know you are not going to be eating for a while (before bed, etc.).
– For those who don’t tolerate dairy well, egg or vegetable derived protein powders can be used (pea protein, etc….stay away from soy!).
– No matter the source, make sure that the protein powder is made from whole, natural sources and not loaded with hormones, processed sweeteners or other ingredients that you can’t pronounce. And stay away from weight gainers…just eat more whole food!
– For more details about what makes for a solid protein powder, and some brand recommendations, check out this solid piece from Stack.com…How to Choose the Right Protein Powder for Your Workout Goals
What can I use protein powder for?
– Protein shakes, DUH!…check out this Protein Shake Construction Guide (your welcome!). And just make sure to wash out your shaker bottle!
– Other than shakes, great ways to use protein powder include throwing some in oatmeal, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, putting it on popcorn, flavoring coffee, making homemade protein bars and more.
– *Protein powder is a supplement and should be used as so. Think of protein powder as an additional (and sometimes more convenient) way to positively augment your daily intake, not as the primary source!
So there you have it, a short, a simple overview of protein along with a few tips. This does not even scratch the surface when it comes to protein, but hopefully you can see that protein is important, but should not be mistaken as the “magic sauce” (or powder…see what I did there), or demonized as something that just makes you big and bulky.
The key is to make sure you get enough high quality protein and continue to work hard!
If you found this helpful please send it along to you friends and family. Thanks!
And for more specific help with your nutrition, training or both, shoot me a message on HERE.