Time to Make Real Wellness Changes

Now that the resolutions for the New Year have been honored or forgotten, it is truly time to make some changes. Don’t wait for the weekend, the new week, the beginning of the month, nothing else. Start now.

Change Decision Making Concept

Time To Change

There is room in every area of your lives to incorporate something to make you a better, more efficient, timely or productive person. But nothing will make a more global, noticeable, positive change in your life than to learn and practice better nutrition, right now. Learn, practice, experiment, apply – enjoy.

What you do to incorporate positive changes toward what you put into your body, as equally as what you keep out of it, will affect everyone’s life you come in contact with on a day to day basis. Family members will benefit but so too will friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. You will exude a glow and a confidence that everyone will want a piece of, and you’ll be eager to share.

DAILY REGIMEN

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Start with a daily breakfast regimen that makes you, forces you, to put instant energy into your body. Coffee is not breakfast. Toast is not breakfast. Neither are energy. You want real food that takes real thought and real time to prepare and enjoy.

Eggs on a slice of whole grain toast with avocado will instantly perk you up, fill you up and send you off with good, clean energy and focus. Skip cheeses, sauces gravies or condiments. Use olive, coconut or real butter as oil sources.


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Oatmeal with walnuts, dried cherries or fresh fruit and prepared with equal parts applesauce and water will not only fill your belly, but will satisfy your sweet tooth as well. Both these meals can be shared with other family members and in sharing you’ll receive the added benefit of knowing you contributed to someone else’s well-being as equally as your own.

LUNCH WORTH SAVORING

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Your lunch can and should be your largest meal of the day. Fill it with a great, green salad and some protein source to top it, like chicken, salmon or turkey, and you’ve got the makings of a great afternoon. Stay out of the fast food lines, stay away from “diet” drinks that only make you fatter, thirstier and more insulin dependent. Learn to appreciate and request tea. Keep the salad dressings to a minimum, just enough to add flavor, always some left over instead of a “double,” and toss the croutons, crackers and breads, opting instead for an apple or unpackaged add-on. Eat it slowly, with attention to all the different flavors popping from walnuts, tomatoes, and colored cabbages and enjoy the time, rather than racing to be finished.

Now, take a walk. You have time. If the weather is uncooperative, find stairs. Walk. Do it daily.

DELEGATE DINNER

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This is the one meal most people skip most often, choosing instead to graze into the night on the crap that makes you fat. Stop now.

Plan your meals. Delegate responsibilities. Involve everyone in the family so they will appreciate the time, effort and end-product; and reap the benefits of time, talk and food well spent. Use a wide variety of fresh foods, vegetables, moderate starches and good protein sources. Stay away from fast or fried foods. Let everyone top their own foods rather than saturating salads or vegetables with dressings or condiments.

SNACK SMARTLY

The best snacks will be the ones you have to prepare with care and a little attention; apples and peanut butter, almonds and cheese, hummus and whole grain crackers; all require minimal preparation but will be more rewarding than any packaged, processed snack. A couple pieces of dark chocolate with grapefruit slices, pieces of turkey with lettuce or spinach; avocado and tomatoes. Is your mouth watering yet? So simple, so nutritious, so beneficial to your psyche in knowing that it was a good choice.

Start making more smart choices at all your meals. Start thinking about what you’re going to eat, how you’ll prepare it, who you’ll share it with; and you’ll be on a path to many better things, from the way your skin and hair shine, to how you feel and how well you sleep. Make changes. Adapt. Learn. Grow. Give. Now.

AB$, ABS, AB$

absAB$, ABS, AB$

How many commercials have you heard already this year that relate to “6 pack abs”? car commercials, credit commercials, vacation commercials, commercials that have nothing to do with exercise or appearance, week one of January, every year, everywhere. They regard 6 pack abs as some nirvana that, when reached, will fill the emptiness you don’t see in pursuing said result; and the real multitude of work, money, sweat and sacrifice it takes to even come close.

They promise them fast, easy, effortless, “results in record time.” And every year, a new group of recruits buy the lie. They purchase the supplements, they buy the exercise videos that stay unopened, they do the exercises, once; the learn that the “one simple trick” is anything but “one”, or “simple”, or a “trick.” The only trick is the one one they just played on you.

Yes, abs are nice, great, fantastic, beautiful and sexy. Just look to your favorite social media to see all the angles of abdominals; women in their teens, 20’s, 40’s, post-baby, pre-marriage; 300 lb. men with abs, 90 lb. boys like beef jerky rather than beef cake, all showing off their abs in contorted poses against mirrored selfies, sporting that hardest won and most prized trophy of fitness – “ABS”. Nothing wrong with that.

But just where else can you show them unless you walk around in a midriff all day at the office, or work in a gym? How else can man or woman show off that greatest attraction asset that everyone wants but only few have? You look foolish enough pulling up your shirt in a mid-winter Michigan gym. Exposed in a locker room selfie the begging question so often is, “what contest will you be in?” Are you a lifeguard? A model? An actor? Or just a poseur?

Why are having abs the benchmark of any fitness regimen, and now nearly every advertising comparison? Because if you care enough about yourself to have abs, it means you’re also eating right, sleeping right, training right, and looking good. Abs take work to accomplish and involve many areas of discipline, not jut “the 6 best exercises.”

DO YOU REALLY WANT ABS?

Here’s the recipe:

  1. A high protein diet
  2. intermittent fasting
  3. scheduled eating
  4. access to the best quality foods
  5. no alcohol, fast food, processed food, or pop
  6. discipline like you’ve never experienced, if you’ve never had abs
  7. consistent training from many angles
  8. a bodyfat scale
  9. a mirror
  10. a strong will
  11. honesty

DIET

This will include the first five ingredients. The best quality protein comes from grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, unbleached eggs, wild salmon, and the highest quality products you can afford. If you buy little quantities, you have no choice but to appreciate what you eat, how you prepare it, and how you parse it out over your given meals.

Intermittent fasting is simply not eating for extended periods of 12-15 hours, 2-3 times per week. Start with a 7 p.m to 7 a.m. regimen, then extend your time to after-morning workouts, and right up to lunch where you’ll have a great plate of optimal foods, green carbs, tea or water.

Scheduled eating is having food prepared for your consumption, at hand, and ready when you are, so you are not forced to substitute with fast, easy, or processed foods. The cleaner your diet, the more readily your body can metabolize it, classify it into protein, carbohydrates and fat, and distribute it where needed for energy, repair, and performance.

Alcohol, on a diet, is like putting sugar in your gas tank. The body cannot metabolize the good food until the blood chemistry is clear of the alcohol. So the whole metabolic process is slowed until the poison leaves the system, usually up to 48 hours. So even if you wake to a good meal after a night of teetotaling, the nutrition you’re giving your body is slowed down because of the foreign substance that dilutes the chemical process and makes even the best meal sub-par because alcohol is in the system. The hidden sugars, yeasts and toxins found in beer, wine and mixed drinks are very often the culprit in accumulating bodyfat in general, and bellyfat in particular.

TRAINING

The next two ingredients go hand in hand. As long as you are consistent in your training, working diligently with focused attention and an attitude of “do it and get out”, you will be able to sustain a high energy level throughout your workouts and look forward to the work to be done each day because you’ll have a consistent plan and a dedicated intent.

In order to get the lean look of sculpted abs, you’ll have to turn up the discipline even more. Every single bite you take that leads you away from lean, is twice the work to get back to where you were before you gave in to it. Keep that in mind, any time you fall back one step, one drink, one meal, it takes two to catch up; one for the step backward, and one more to move beyond.

Your approach must be to be try new, harder variations on the exercises and routines because your ability will mature and the things that were first hard to accomplish, will no longer even be satisfactory. So the angles will have to be varied, the reps, the combination of movements and the intensity with attention to details must be fully engaged. You cannot just go through the motions. You must make sure every movement is felt, and hitting exactly in the toughest spots that you wish to respond.

TOOLS

A good bodyfat scale and full length mirror are tools you should have access to. This is not something to laugh at; many people are afraid to look in the mirror or step on the scale to measure progress. Knowledge is power. If you know you weigh more, look fatter, thicker, going in the opposite direction of your intent, you know things need to change; and by the same token, if you see improvements, even on a minuscule scale, you see that you’re going in the right direction and with a little more visualization, willpower and determination, you’ll get there.  Every athlete keeps score. If your sport is fitness, measure your progress and keep score of results.

MINDSET

The last consideration is your mindset. Move confidently in the direction of your desires and you will get the results you want. If you falter, reassess and continue with more conviction. There is no secret, no trick, no pill or no piece of equipment that can get you there better and faster than your own brain. Use it.

Simple Structured Training 11 – FOREVER




      “When I say always I mean forever and that’s a mighty long time…” – Prince

“Whosoever Does Not Lose His Place Has Duration.

Whosoever Does Not Perish In Death Lives.

  1. SELF
  2. FAMILY
  3. SOCIAL

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FOREVERLAND

You will never “lose your place” as long as you keep adapting, experimenting, believing, trying and applying. By having an open mind and great faith, you will endure. We need to be fully engaged in the welfare of the body we’re given to fulfill our space in life. Doctors, therapists, Holistic practitioners, trainers and “club pros” can educate, instruct, manipulate and advise, but it is up to each of us individually to create ideal states and environments for our bodies to endure. By defining our influences we retain our own longevity.

Did you ever wonder why teachers don’t seem to age? Because they continually embrace changes and new ways of looking at old things. They never “lose their place” because their set point continually adapts. Their “place” is a connected progression of points along a timeline and their lives are “youth-filled. ”  They have “duration.”

DO NOT LOSE YOUR PLACE

“Whosoever does not lose his place” is the man or woman standing tall in their bodies. When we choose responsibility for our health, we seek knowledge of how to best maintain it on each level. To keep our “place” is to admit responsibility for the honor to be as healthy and active participants as possible in this life we’re granted. We “lose our place” by giving power to those ready to tell us what we wish to hear and take money for all the things we don’t need, the quick fixes and band aids that mask healing. We relinquish our own power over duration. “Duration” means going the distance, but it also means having the strength in reserve all along the way for performance, healing and sharing. We will last when we put ourselves first, and in so doing, “live.”

“Whosoever does not perish in death lives.” Do you know anyone who has died in mind, body or spirit before leaving earth? Those who have lost their will, who have given in to disease and inactivity and therefore, “perished” by choosing not to live fully?

To “not perish in death” means to live in every moment of every day, even if it’s spent reading a book under a tree. Refuse to buy in to disease, thinking science can “fix” you. Medicine should be the last refuge, not the first. Diet pills, invasive surgeries, and the “healthful” fixes that are performed with you in a chair or on a gurney are not really doing anyone any good except the person performing the “fix.” You stay youthful by doing youth filled activities and practices. A baby eats, sleeps, plays, bends and eliminates instinctively when it needs to. At what point did we lose that common sense?

Remember to balance the Family, Social and Self aspects of living by participating in each sector. Your influence toward health can reach others in the oddest ways and places. Family activities can involve anything from biking to cooking healthy meals. Your social life can contain events and activities that enhance your memories rather than rot them away! The things you do for your self can be the reflection that others need to see in themselves; and therefore the mind, body and even soul will grow in influence, importance and “duration” and will not “perish in death,” but live in posterity as those examples tumble down generations.

FOR EVER

The morning light was enough to determine the outside temperature, dictating what clothes we’d wear, which were usually the same clothes as yesterday, stacked in a heap on the floor.  We’d bound to breakfast, happy, well-rested. We’d had dreams to recall and cereal, toast and orange juice before we could leave.  We’d care about how the day was headed, often from plans made with three friends the day before.   If nothing panned out, we still chose activity over anything sedentary. Driving in a car for any period was devastating. Going shopping, excruciating. Inventing games was a pastime, and daydreaming, a prerequisite to play.

When we ran it was effortless, it was fast, it was often, and it was painless. We ran every day and we ran everywhere.  We ran forever. Or rode. Bikes were just an extension of our arms and legs.  We biked for miles and in sprints between each other’s homes, going extra fast when dinner was on the table.  We ate regularly scheduled meals and ate all that was in front of us, down to the last nasty lima bean.

At 11, we didn’t know yet what we couldn’t do, so we tried most everything.  Fearlessly. Superman and Spiderman, Wonder Woman and Tarzan were our heroes.  We viewed things from a perspective higher than life because we were on top and above it.  Our heroes were athletes and icons who never did wrong. We all aspired to be someone great.

Everyone knew where each friend was on any given day.  Play was embraced as much as eating or sleeping. Dinner was that inconvenience between innings. And when we played good, that play looped over and over in our consciousness until the next great memory came along to replace it.  The more we played, the better we slept, and the better we slept, the brighter each day looked.

As men and women we tend to recall our years as boys and girls.  We remember moments and liken them to a feeling we’d experienced as children or teens, somewhere on a playing field.  The way we ran, the way we felt, the way we moved so free and easy, was taken for granted. We played with no end in sight. And we never got tired!

The benefits gained from sports stay with us for many years.  The memories and visualizations reoccur in boardrooms, when managing projects, initiating ideas, creating metaphors for superiors to believe in, or recollecting victories, and reminiscing with teammates who’ve now become neighbors and friends and coaches and partners.

As grown ups we try to pretend there’s no time for recreation, or we go to extremes when we find a space of time only to end up sore and aching for weeks instead of invigorated because we’d overdone it or done it wrong.

Young men and women should learn proper body maintenance regardless if they’re athletes or not, as long as we live in a gravity-based world.  When future generations live in space or spend extended times there, you can be sure that they’re doing weight training here on earth.  It will be and should be a way of life for everyone, now. Proper instruction at an early age contributes to a person’s self esteem, medical health, confidence, security, safety and their chances of participating at team sports by constantly proving what they can do, and ingraining it in themselves as part of their makeup. When you show someone how to pick themselves up off the floor, they’ll be down there less often.

By learning basic exercises for the core and the body parts, lifelong health, vitality, energy, flexibility and the pursuit of many varied adventures and challenges will ensure fulfillment on many levels that technology cannot. Human performance is absolutely remarkable.  The feats that still astonish are physical.  Men, women and children of every culture indulge in sport at some time in their lives.  We even realize how important and beneficial it is for the handicapped to compete in a safe and natural way. Training can be done in a 4 x 4 bedroom or a 4400 foot mountain meadow.  It can be done in seriously intent concentration or unbridled, abandoning joy. The benefits are endless.

 GET THE WHOLE BOOK Simple Structured Training HERE

Simple Structured Training 10 – SYSTEM

  “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; 

        not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole Franc

“Whosoever Asserts Himself Has Will Power

Whosoever Is Self-Sufficient Is Rich.”

  1. TIMELINE
  2. WORKOUT
  3. GOALS

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THE SYSTEM

A system is a set of components to draw from and adapt as a way of accomplishing measurable goals through proven means to reach an expected outcome.

To “assert” yourself is to go to the field or the gym alone, and perform your workout, without worrying how much anyone sees you sweat or hears you scream. You build “will power” by going against it when you don’t feel like training, and train anyway. By “asserting” yourself time and time again, facing the same challenges in the discipline you’ve chosen, your “will” soon takes that insurmountable weight, that monotonous run, that impossible pose, and conquers it through perseverance.  As you get stronger, so too does your will and as your will gets stronger, so too do you.

To grow “rich” in self-sufficiency is to face the many trials of training and continuously prove to your mind that “you can, you can, you can,” erasing all doubts with results. To be “self-sufficient” is to know how to make up a workout with little or no equipment, but still make the exercise challenging. By exhibiting “will power” and becoming “self-sufficient” you develop a system, a workout repertoire, a health regimen, and the ways and means for you to improve your game and your life.

A system gives you guidelines to follow, to check and balance your training on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. But it is not set in stone. Adaptation must be allowed to compensate for changes that occur along the way.

You use a system for eating, for training, for rest. You need to follow some type of guidelines for a certain period of time, then keep what works and discard what doesn’t. The system is simply your way of gathering results to make your training, body, life and sport measurably better. The system always works toward improvement, despite having to break things down to get to there.

Following a system means facing the day with the knowledge that you will do something to work on your fitness on that day, and that what you set yourself up to accomplish will be done. Day 2 builds on day 1. You find you did too much or not enough, and then find the balance of what can be done on the next workout. When you go back the next week, increase the duration or the intensity. Duration will increase stamina and endurance, while intensity will increase size, shape and speed. Both duration and intensity are necessary to get the most out of your workouts, but must be done with balance.

THE TIMELINE SYSTEM

 Draw a timeline. Write, “YOU ARE HERE”, on the far left end of it.  On the right side of the timeline write, “GOAL”. Write it in big, standout lettering. Make it noticeable. One word, “GOAL”. At half the distance between the two ends write, “CHECKPOINT”.

Record your current statistics at the left end under “YOU ARE HERE;” what is your current weight, strength, weakness, limitation and whatever else you feel will nail down exactly where you stand on this date, your initial starting date. If you’re 40 pounds overweight, admit it; inflexible, state it; or if you are already exercising once or twice a week, record the good with the bad. Make it an absolutely critical assessment.

At the checkpoint, record, right now, how much you feel you can honestly move toward your goal in that allotted time. Unrealistic goals don’t happen. Make it a practical, reasonable, tangent idea or vision you can hold on to and reach. If that checkpoint goal is possible, than the end goal becomes even more possible.

The “End Goal” is the one you can exaggerate because what often happens is you surpass it prior to the actual date.  If you work with conviction and perseverance toward that end goal, 10 out of 11 times, you reach it. All you need to add is your willingness through “self-sufficient willpower.” Assert your will to be better and you will be better.

THE WORKOUT SYSTEM 

 Do 2 sets of 11 repetitions of multiple joint warm ups such as Dips for chest, Lunges for legs and Pull Ups for back. Then, pick a major exercise from each body part section.  Choose a multiple-joint movement, such as the Bench Press for chest; the Squat for legs or Barbell Rows for back.

4 sets of 11 repetitions to build, with a compound, multiple joint movement

Perform 4 x 11 reps of this first compound movement, as heavy as possible with strict form. Form shapes the muscle, not the weight. Do the first exercise with a weight heavy enough to challenge yourself for 11 repetitions.  If you make 11 reps, add weight the second set, subtract weight if you don’t. If you make it to 11 reps again on the second set, add a little more weight for the third and fourth sets, again, only if perfect form and control are held throughout the repetitions.  Each week, the starting set weight can be increased as well as each subsequent set. This means progress.

When you get sloppy, stop, drop weight, or rest for 20 seconds and then complete the set. Always get all the repetitions regardless of how much weight you must drop to get there. This is a way of telling your muscles you are not giving in or quitting. Persevere and the next time you’ll take less stops to get to 11. You should push to finish but don’t let the movement get sloppy or ruin good, strict form. Soon, there will be no stops and you’ll be adding weight. You’ll know then the System is working.

4 sets for the same bodypart from another angle

Now choose a second exercise that incorporates the same body part, but from a different angle; Incline or Decline Bench Press for chest; Leg Press or Lunges for legs; Seated Pulley Rows or Pull Downs for back. This is your second movement from a different angle for 4 x 11 repetitions. Use the same guidelines to add weight each set.

3 sets of a specific movement to shape and refine with added concentration

The third movement will be more specific to the particular bodypart you’re working.  Specific movements target the one muscle group and usually involve single-joint exercises, isolating the muscle so that only that muscle is doing the work. Dumbbell Flies or Cable Crossovers for chest, with arms in a slightly bent but locked in position so the pectorals are engaged in the movement exclusively; Leg Curls or Extensions for legs, where the quadriceps and hamstrings do the majority of the work; and Single Arm Dumbbell Rows, as an example, though working any part of the back usually requires other joint involvement due to the large range of motion necessary for proper back training.

THE GOAL SYSTEM

When beginning a strength training program, the first goals usually involve disciplining your body to go to the gym a certain number of days in a row and doing certain required movements a certain number of times. Once you become familiar with the workout regimens, you start adding weight or repetition goals, performance goals, timed goals, nutrition goals and aesthetic goals.

The experience of feeling the changes your body is going through accelerate the type and number of possibilities, hence goals, you set for yourself. Momentum creates outcomes often over and above the original plans and motivation comes easier when visible results are confirmed and felt through feedback by yourself and others who notice the transformations taking place. The mind feeds on positive reinforcement, enabling the body to transcend any limiting ideals that may stand in the way. You can pat or smack a dog. He’ll stretch to receive one thing while cowering from the other.

We are the same animals when noticing if anyone notices, or shirking away when wishing to be avoided or invisible. Please yourself first, then notice the pleasant effect it has on others.

The rewards found in goal achievement should first and foremost be for the self-development and preservation of you and your body toward your goal or sport. The recognition of others is secondary and should never be the means for what we set out to achieve, doing things to spite or disprove an opinion not of our own. Passion and energy drive the athlete, while anger and envy are the brakes that literally break the athlete’s drive. Fire is beneficial only when it is controlled, directed and properly utilized. With goals, the metaphoric fire burns clean and steadily, consuming only what it needs rather than everything in its path, which ultimately leads to distinction instead of destruction.

 GET THE WHOLE BOOK Simple Structured Training HERE

Simple Structured Training 9 – SPORTS

 “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

“Whosoever Conquers Others Has Force.

Whosoever Conquers Himself Is Strong.” 

  1. SUITABILITY
  2. TEAM
  3. SOLO

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ACQUIRING FORCE AND STRENGTH

“Whosoever conquers others” in sport, is the definition of competition. To rise victorious in games of skill, precision, timing and split-second decisions are what make up a great part of our world culture. It is war without death, achieving in the spirit of sportsmanship by holding your foe in gratitude and mutual admiration when the battle is done. Sports performance hinges on the training done off the field and the ability of the athlete to bring that training to the game. It means possessing the energy, endurance and strength required for extended durations of concentrated effort, determination and focus. This is the acquisition and ownership of “force.”

To conquer with force is to out-distance, out-think, out-train, and out-play your opponents with a tenacity that wears them down while winding you up. “Whosoever conquers others has force” means that it is something you come to the table with, you don’t find it on the field or on the way to the game. You arrive with the force necessary to get the job done. “Whosoever…HAS.” That force may come in adrenaline, belief, vindictiveness or pure brute strength, but the force that wins the contest is an intrinsic component established with practice and preparedness as physical as any piece of equipment, as obvious as a helmet, as recognizable as the number on your back. To have force is to consistently demonstrate the mind/body/spirit resources the event requires.

“Conquers himself,” means knowing the strengths, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies that make you unique. To conquer yourself is to take that leap into the ultimate plane where you know and are capable of your job and perform it with a flow to make it appear effortless. Conquering yourself is taking any weaknesses and squeezing them out of your body and mind so only strength survives. As an athlete in any sport, even for everyday fitness, you must conquer the mental demons that plague acceptance on so many levels. Past performance does not equal future performance. If you recognize a failure from the past and then work optimistically to build both mental and physical strength to avoid that happening again, you’ve squeezed out a weakness and gained positive programming to realize what’s possible in future endeavors.

To conquer oneself is to be strong in every aspect of discipline, from the mental to the physical to the spiritual, and smart enough to recognize and admit when one is on the way to breaking down. This preserves strength. Strength holds one end of the body to the other, the mind to the feet, the heart to the hands. In all sports you must have a strong determination, a strong physicality, and an inner strength that comes as confidence in knowing your preparations were thorough and complete. “Whosoever conquers himself” has already won over the greatest opponent.

MENTAL/ PHYSICAL/ SPIRITUAL

Believing, visualizing, adopting a positive attitude and creating a beneficial scenario to foster an ideal environment are the mental aspects.  If it turns out your belief doesn’t bear fruit, you must reevaluate your route, your approach and your capabilities. By thinking of how long you have before a specific target date, and by breaking the training into achievable increments, keeps your training in perspective and allows more force or more rest as needed.

Concentration and focus must be strengthened like any other characteristic and not just by repeatedly performing the necessary actions. The concentration necessary in an optimal golf swing can be learned in the guided, centering practices of Pilates sessions in addition to repeated drives. Training outside of your sport is imperative to bringing the optimum benefits from varied disciplines to the whole gamut that is your game.

The physical lies in proper rest, nutrition, recuperation and execution of movements in practice. By compensating with adjustments for energy levels and the reality of variables not written into the regiment, the tone is set for the injury-free training found in focused attention.  Every aspect you incorporate into your physical make-up in training – strength, flexibility, balance – is called upon on the playing field at the most unexpected moments.  A well-trained body doesn’t get simple injuries while walking out to the field or warming up.  Injuries come from poor preparation, inattention, physical weakness, or freak accidents when more force is exerted on appendages and joints than they are capable of withstanding. To the opposite effect, if the physical is over-trained, it can also lead to accidents, mistakes or injuries through overzealousness and loss of control, hindering not only the athlete but also jeopardizing the whole team.

The spiritual contains all the other aspects within it. The spiritual is the underlying awareness as all this preparedness unfolds for you. You know when you’re treating your body good. You also know if you’re abusing it. So you should learn how to use it in a positive fashion so it continues to grow, adapt and react naturally. Spirit may show up as intuition, as gut-reaction, and as a sixth-sense that will be listened to only if the awareness of it is trained along with the physical aspects.

Knowing yourself, your limits, your capabilities and knowing when to push the boundaries are evident in spirit.  Sometimes spirit itself takes over and raises the whole level of performance to something magical that will forever be a barometer for future measurement. It’s as important to train the spirit to avoid its breakdown, as it is any other part of preparation.

Spirit encompasses attitude, beliefs and physical preparations. Spirit lifts you when you’re down and sustains you when you must go on. Spirit is exhibited when the miraculous play happens out of thin air. It is the thread that weaves each aspect to the other in an impenetrable, invisible bond.

SPORTS ARE EVERYWHERE

Get out of the “safe zones” of training.  Try new exercises, sports, activities.  They need not be “extreme sports.”  Croquet requires skill, strategy, patience and a level of competence, it’s competitive but also relaxing and fun. Feel the weight of your body shift, your balance, your timing, in something as mundane as bowling, as frivolous as badminton, as passive as bicycling. Train away from your strengths.  Train your weaknesses.  Strive for as few weaknesses as possible, rather than growing one “great” strength.

Within a weightlifting exercise, explode in a hard contraction after a slow, steady, full extension of movement. Strength is the basis for power and endurance. Use as many muscles in training as are used in the event, including mental. Most of all, examine the sports you participate in or would like to compete, with critical attention to how the body moves, what the motions are, how much strength is required and the space your position occupies. Then visualize yourself in that position and watch how quickly your body adapts in reaction to the plans set by imagination. Competition, no matter how many players are on the field, comes down to one person who ultimately wants to win, you.

There is beauty in the physical plane.  Through our physical nature we transcend earth and achieve the spiritual.  All athletes in all sports experience it at some time in their lives.  The best achieve it most often.  Breaking tackles or cracking home runs, slam dunking, spiking, pinning, acing, slamming, scoring, outracing, hanging ten – everyone has had this feeling, this transcendence.  An undisturbed, focused concentration, devoted to the higher development of the physical body, should be no more or less intense than attempting to elevate the spiritual. When this attention is directed toward a particular sport, the results are often higher than original expectations.

GET THE WHOLE BOOK Simple Structured Training HERE

Simple Structured Training 8 – FEEDBACK

          “We only learn our limits by going beyond them. “

“Whosoever Knows Others Is Clever

Whosoever Knows Himself Is Wise.”

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  1. ATTENTION
  2. EVALUATION
  3. REACTION

FEEDBACK

To know an opponent is often an exercise in futility. You can watch past performances, read statistics, watch them train in the gym or on the field, but you will never know all they have to offer. There will be that unknown piece of their makeup that can’t be visibly seen or measured by observation. You can’t gauge their passion, drive, desire or preparations. As hard as you may try to learn about an opponent, there will be a limit and a certain degree of mystery.

The same holds true for that person knowing you. There is a depth to each one of us that can only be called upon from our own minds. There are resources within us that we cannot explain how they’re summoned. Oftentimes we surprise ourselves with our performances.

To know a teammate in terms of trusting what they’ll deliver in speed, talent or assistance is good to speculate upon, but to really know their capabilities is immeasurable. To “know others is clever” and as much as can be found in the efforts to study them is a valuable asset to any competitive training program. But time better spent is in learning about ourselves through testing, feedback, evaluation and  retesting.

The key in studying feedback is the “wisdom” found in “knowing oneself”. “Whosoever knows himself is wise” means you’ve paid enough attention to the aspects and variations in your own training to know your capabilities under various circumstances. Knowing yourself through continuous trial and effort brings a sense of confidence to the field that regular practice alone cannot. By knowing the depth and intensity of your own training brings courage in attitude and assuredness to performance.

Simply charting your progress against the goals you’ve set is feedback. Recording what you plan to do and then writing what you’ve accomplished is the reality check that makes you above average. By seeing in black and white, where you started, where you’re at, and where you’re headed has a compounding effect that leads to positive approaches for future endeavors. When you see that you could only do 2 push-ups or pull-ups when you began, and now record sets of 11, 22, or more is a stimulus to reach higher yet.

WHAT IS FEEDBACK?

The feedback of a workout regimen involves many aspects to consider. One must know why each move benefits the body, how much to do, when to back off, how to cycle the training, what foods to eat and an ongoing list of checks and balances to evaluate how well the approach is working. By using, utilizing and applying this feedback on an ongoing basis, the athlete learns about himself and the wisdom becomes his own.

By observing these same aspects of role models to emulate performance, makes the athlete clever in recognizing what can be borrowed and what should be left alone.  We learn not only by doing, but also by observing. If someone is where you want to be, you model them until you know what it takes to be in that position, then, you pass them. When you are humble enough to respect your own weaknesses, you begin to know how to work with them to delete them.

Feedback is essential because it helps to gauge our progress within a given exercise. Does your back hurt? Are you feeling the movement more in the shoulders than the pectorals? Are you having more pains since beginning workouts? What are you doing wrong? Weight lifting programs are supposed to make you stronger, feel better, shape faster, and perform longer at higher intensities. If these things aren’t happening, then you must ask, “why?” That is feedback.

Feedback is a measurement. It could be as vague as how you feel, or as specific as a millisecond of time. It is a way to gauge progress or lack of it. Feedback is another way of paying attention to how your body is performing. It can be witnessed by outside observers, but it is best evaluated by your own personal measurement. Feedback builds with Specifics and holds you accountable for your own progress.

THIS IS ONLY A TEST

The following tests and charts are standard ways to test strength and flexibility with common measurements that anyone can have access to. It is important to try as many of these as possible, just to get a baseline measurement for where you stand. A common cycle is to do the test at the beginning of a new regimen, then again after a 6-week cycle to gauge improvements. Tests can be done more often, but should at least minimally be performed every month, or each time a training style is changed or new exercises incorporated.

We will often weigh ourselves every day and sometimes more when on a new diet, but never take into account if the other aspects of our health are helping in a measurable way. Knowing how to test speed, strength and flexibility are essential to our fitness ability. Do not avoid knowing these crucial factors and working to improve them.

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Simple Structured Training 7- SPECIFICS

“One weakness can cripple you, whereas one strength won’t save you.” Tom Typinski

“Whosoever Has Little Shall Receive:

Whosoever Has Much, From Him Shall Be Taken Away”

  1. INTENTION
  2. VARIATION
  3. REPLICATION

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  BE SPECIFIC

“Whosoever has little” describes the new athlete, recreational exerciser, fitness enthusiast, or weekend athlete, who receives by seeking information and shortcuts to their goals. The more you can narrow down exactly what you want, the sooner and more directly you can move toward it. You move toward it with Specifics.

To bring out an exact detail of a physique, you learn and apply the exercises that target that area, specifically, with priority attention and energy. To focus on an exact aspect of triathlon training, in one event over the other, you would focus on biking, swimming or running faster or more efficiently. And to get to those requirements, you would apply Specifics.

In the “whosoever has much…” aspect, does it mean those strengths you’d worked so hard to build will be “taken away?” Not at all. It means to have much strength and specific training, from him shall it be shared across the individual’s spectrum of training. The mind and body will borrow what’s necessary when called upon and if it is there in reserve, it can be “taken away.”

The person with the greatest resources to draw from is the one to go to when gaining knowledge toward what you may be presently lacking. “From him it shall be taken away…” and by giving, he too will gain; he will see the effects his training has on another person’s body and the knowledge and resources of both will be increased by this giving away. You cannot have success without failure first. You must have trial to have error. And Specific knowledge is most valuable when put to the test across its widest spectrum.

“Specifics” detail the necessary changes and inclusions, from determining exercise order to food intake, from the cycles of training to crosstraining preferences. Knowing the specifics of your sport will help determine the best training to design to give you the best results in the shortest amount of time.

INTENTION/ VARIATION/ REPLICATION

Your Intentions must be true to what your body is capable of achieving. Your actions must also mirror your intentions.You cannot lose 50 pounds by eating junk foods.Variation is the key to getting the most from your body without creating imbalances or overtraining. By opening your spectrum of training, you open the body to new realms of possibilities. With variation comes invention and resourcefulness.

Replication allows the body to act and react without thinking, and therefore without doubt. A well-rehearsed repertoire of physical movements is no less spectacular than a classically trained virtuoso. Replication of specific movements create neuropathways of familiar territory for muscles, nerves and adrenaline to be primed and ready over a given course of actions.

The three sides of the trine must be balanced. Your intention must be present with each variation of an exercise and with each replication of movement. Again, it is wrong to favor one type of training over another. You can enjoy one more, but not to the point of neglecting the other forms.

If your Intention is to excel, and you practice with Variations of movements in optimal Replicated patterns of rehearsal, your results will equal your Specific intentions.

S.P.E.C.I.F.I.C.S.

S EASON  – These three month segments can be adjusted to any particular sport, so your body will be prepared for the regularity and discipline this system offers.

P ACE – The rate at which you train should be specific to your sport. Long gone are the days of football players running two-mile runs instead of sprints.

E NDGOAL– By beginning with the end in mind, you clarify all the aspects of what it will take to ultimately reach your appointed destination.

C OMMITMENT – This must be evident every day, through every type of training. You must be ready to execute your plan to claim your results.

I NTENSITY – You cannot go through the motions of a workout and expect to achieve any noticeable gains. All efforts must be focused and driven by intensity.

F IELD – Where do you play, how far do you run, what do you carry and what do you push? Hard ground, soft turf, track or concrete? Train accordingly.

I MAGINATION – Even before you can do it, what would you like to do? What do you see yourself doing? What, ultimately, would you like to accomplish? Imagine.

C IRCUITS – Training more than one bodypart, or one from multiple angles at one time pushes the mental and physical aspects to extremes that can’t be reached by singular exercises alone.

S PORT – The second most important aspect of how and what type of training you’ll undertake. Narrow your necessities and emulate as many aspects as possible.

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Simple Structured Training 6 – SPEED

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Goethe

“What Is Empty Shall Become Full.

What Is Old Shall Become New.”

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  1. SYNCHRONIZATION
  2. ALIGNMENT
  3. EXPLOSIVENESS

FULL SPEED

Empty” is the aspect of your training that, once filled, will take your body to new levels of performance. “Empty” is ignorance or complacency in what’s working and settling for mediocre performance, rather than seeking better methods to get more from your body with less effort. The emptiness is emptying your mind of expectations and letting the natural flow of speed occur.

“What is empty shall become full” means, whatever is lacking in your ability to generate optimal speed is simply missing right now in one form or another of your training. One works on the weaknesses to build strength, and to make the strengths, stronger.

Slowly, “what is empty” begins to fill to the best of your training. “Full” is a confident state of knowing you’re ready to play the game, you’ve gone above and beyond normal preparations. “Full” is knowledge and application to the eyelids.

The “old” ability to run naturally is renewed by understanding that speed comes from alignment, momentum, acceleration, endurance and strength while enveloped in a relaxed state. “What is old shall become new” means, injuries, ignored abilities, techniques, and training each become new as soon as the correct attention in optimum amounts is given to them.

Emptiness is the absence of strength in the back of the legs that’s necessary to transfer the coiled energy of the compressed hamstring into the stride of the thigh by equally pushing with the back and pulling through the front of the legs. “Full” is training the back of the legs where speed originates, more than the front, where momentum is carried. Make the “old” methods of strength training your “new” route to speed.

THE NEED FOR SPEED

Speed should be practiced more than any other aspect.  It is the leveler for all athletes in all sports. The faster you are, the better your chances of athletic success. Train for speed just like you do for strength, in increments of controlled challenges, finding the exercises that work best and practicing them with objective evaluations on form, flow and force.

Sprint training goes hand in hand with weight training for speed. The exercises done in the weight room complement the running drills. Stronger legs with more muscle release more power. Muscle endurance coupled with core training allows stronger lifts. Stronger lifts translate to greater ground force capability which means more speed.

Speed has many aspects to it. The ability to change directions and keep speed has to do with body angle, acceleration, footspeed, balance, and the churning of the arms and legs in efficient movements. Speed comes in short, explosive bursts, and it comes in long stretches of sustained endurance, as well as various speeds between. Like strength, you want to be faster and stronger, for longer periods of time, in a consistent and dependable fashion. Stride length, ground force and footspeed are the mechanical keys to improving speed. Train for speed in repetitive bursts of movements in a variety of directions with many durations.

 Find where your speed is and work on it. Some are sprinters and some are middle distance runners. Whatever distance you need to move faster in, can be improved upon. Something suits you. If walking is your “modus operandi” you can quicken your step, lengthen your stride, engage your hands, and cut your time with conscious practice. And reap greater rewards for it.  Whatever form of movement you choose to improve – any distance, speed or plane – there are literally hundreds of leg exercises to suit and enhance form, pace, explosiveness and directional stability.

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CARDIOVASCULAR CAPACITY

“What is empty shall become full,” concerns the initial limiting component for speed, cardiovascular endurance. Cardiovascular endurance must be improved for maximum speed. The main component to make the fastest cars faster is oxygen. An athlete must utilize oxygen by pulling in and using as much air as possible, while expelling it in an efficient manner. Picture the swimmer, whose one wrong breath means a mouth full of water rather than a breath of air. Breathing efficiency is as vital as mechanical efficiency in running. With constant practice and attention to “feeling” the effects, both become natural, fluid and flowing.

Cardiovascular endurance is one of the easiest components to train. Consistent practice allows the lungs to grow in their capacity to contain and use oxygen. The best way to increase cardiovascular ability is to simply practice it daily and work at it until you’re proficient. And then continue to work at it. The more proficient you are in using oxygen without using it up, the longer you can perform your activity with less depletion of resources.

SPEED SUMMARY

If you are already fast, comfortable in your style and mechanically efficient, than work on your speed by finding exercises and practicing them with objective evaluations on form, flow and force. Form means control while still exerting stresses over the muscle groups adequate to cause breakdown and in turn, regeneration. Powerful, ballistic training incorporates a high level of stimulation to the nervous, strength, stability and speed systems; and increases control, confidence, core and velocity. Muscular power is determined by how long it takes for strength to be converted into speed. The ability to convert strength to speed in a very short time allows for athletic movements beyond what raw strength will allow, and the ability to generate a large amount of force quickly.

Flexibility is required both for injury prevention and to enhance the effect of the stretch-shortening cycle.

Pace applies to any distance, short or long. It is the control of leg frequency and limb synchronization while accelerating or slowing down. Pace is quickening or slowing in accordance with the demand of the task, while conserving energy when possible in order to apply extra force when necessary. By properly pacing your body, you will get more from it for longer periods of time. Pace means knowing when to take longer strides or shorter steps to reach the desired destination. Pace is spreading energy over longer runs and turning it up when explosive acceleration is necessary.

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Simple Structured Training 5 – SYMMETRY

    “To be what we are and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life. “

           – Robert Louis Stevenson

“What Is Half Shall Become Whole

What Is Crooked Shall Become Straight.”

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  1. BEAUTY
  2. DURABILITY
  3. USEFULNESS

THINK LIKE DA VINCI

The Vitruvian Man is the epitome of proportion and symmetry. Its model, made famous by Leonardo Da Vinci, has been used for centuries in art and architecture.  The top to bottom, left to right, and front to back proportions are equally balanced. No one part overpowers the other. All components blend to comprise a whole that is durable and useful as well as beautiful.

Symmetry is found in nature, in science, in religion, in philosophy, in music, in art and in the human anatomy. Clothing, architecture, automobiles and landscapes each share symmetrical beauty, efficiency, durability and usefulness in balanced designs. The honeycomb is one of the strongest constructions in nature. It is symmetrically balanced and beautifully executed, while being both durable and useful in function. The most beautiful faces are the most symmetrical. We are drawn to this symmetry. Beauty pleases us. In practicing our activities we must be aware of this symmetry to enable us to create useful, durable, and beautiful bodies.

 “What Is Half Shall Become Whole,” is attained by being mechanically correct in your movements. Being correct means letting the left and right side equally pull or push through the exercise, isolating the muscle in the movement without cheating or accommodation. The body will become symmetrically balanced by letting the muscles move through a full range of motion over various planes of movement with different degrees of resistance, explosively when necessary, yet always with control; and with focus going to the side which needs it most instead of allowing the stronger side or larger muscle group to lead. By balancing the stresses throughout the body and across muscle groups, we can alleviate neck, shoulder and back pains in simply sharing the loads across our bodies and redistributing tension by stretching and opening up pathways for blood-flow and gravity to do their jobs.

Symmetry is to not carry your weight or your height too high or too low and to have your weight proportionate to your frame. It is alignment through the spine, by elongating it after a full day’s compression. An hour’s worth of free-hand exercises in a gym can have you standing straighter, no matter how much time you’ve spent on your feet. Simple stretching can bring you back into balance and is as beneficial to your mental state as it is invigorating to your physical state.

Most of our lives are spent in favor of a few positions spread over many hours throughout days and within weeks of activity. We may drive a lot. We may sit a lot. We may stand a lot. Our bodies tend to slouch into patterns when they get fatigued or even when they’re at rest. So it is important that we manipulate them into the most mechanically efficient strengths to compensate for posture and gravity.

When the body is taken care of, top to bottom, left to right, front to back, inside and out, “What is half shall become whole,” means the alignment of the system is working in tandem and not one singular area is doing more than its share of work. By reinforcing posture, balance and uniformity in our workouts, the benefits to our everyday symmetry come automatically.

“What is crooked shall become straight,” is the undoing of the overextended, forward thrust of our days, as our lifestyles dictate through driving, computing, counter jobs and the plethora of work that requires forward slouching for long periods of time. It is the lengthening of the posture and the upright structural alignment found by opening up the collarbones and shoulders, pulling down the shoulder blades, alleviating tightened lower backs and hamstrings, and initiating energy from the abdominal core. Disproportionate, slovenly, slouching, misaligned or ugly bodies turn us away, while beauty draws us in.

The body moves best in mechanical alignment. Therefore, exercising should be done, for the most part, at right angles, the way the joints hinge, rather than laterally across the tendons and ligaments. By forcing our bodies to concentrate on proper alignment when exercising – with chin up, scapulae down, abdominals, lower back and hip flexors tight during standing movements – we incorporate and take with us that alignment to our everyday lives, until eventually the correct posture at work replaces the detrimental stances that hurt us in the first place.

S. Y. M. M. E. T. R. Y.

S TRETCH – a single or series of direct movements which bring release to muscle tightness

Y OGA – a mind/ body connection that brings symmetry to the brain as well as brawn

M ECHANICS – alignment and positioning of body to apparatus or endeavor

M AINTENANCE – a vigilance to prevent misalignment and ensure readiness to performance

E QUALITY– training every part of the body rather than just the favorite parts,  equally

T ONE – firming the muscles evenly, not just working, but tensing them

R ANGE OF MOTION – the most important aspect of fully utilizing and stimulating muscle

Y AXIS – the alignment of the spine which hinges the mirror image of symmetry

PULLING IT TOGETHER

By attending to all the aspects of SYMMETRYStretches, Yoga, Mechanics, Maintenance, Equality, Tone, Range-of-motion, and Y-axis imaging – you make “what is half, whole …and what is crooked, straight.” You balance not only your body, but also your lifestyle. You harmonize with the natural processes of nature, which dictate wholeness through a broad spectrum of stimuli and responses to an agile strength, built on form.

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Simple Structured Training 4 – STRENGTH




“Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.” – Andre Gide

Therefore, What Exists Serves For Possession.

What Does Not Exist Serves For Effectiveness.

deondriea-definedlife

  1. LOAD
  2. DURATION
  3. INTENSITY

STRENGTH STAYS WITH YOU AS LONG AS YOU STAY WITH IT

What exists serves for possession.” Strength, like knowledge, cannot be taken away. It may change in effectiveness when not practiced on a continual basis, but as long as regular attention is paid to it, strength stays, expands, sustains.

A strong woman, a strong man, a strong child, or a strong senior has something immediately evident that the normal person lacks.  There is a pride to the carriage, an alertness to the demeanor, a gleam in the eyes, an assuredness no one else can claim or deny. This inner strength is almost like an invisible suit of armor, which is felt in the solidity of the body, the tying together of the upper torso to the core and the core to the legs. A strong body is animalistic in gait, upright and poised with a grace from feeling each muscle work together in stride; more a confidence than an arrogance, more a knowingness that your makeup is not “average,” and that your body possesses more than what’s seen by the physical eye.  You hold a secret that’s tested daily, and only you know the immensity of that training in terms of pounds and sweat. Strength is capability.

In terms of efficiency, you build strength in order to make your work easier. To be stronger in the lower back and abs for a runner only makes the rest of the body work less when each part is doing its share of work. “What exists” is always present to draw from, it is in your possession and stays in your possession. But you must work to keep it.

Efficiency of movement comes from having adequate strength. Lateral movements are quicker, reflexes are more reactive, vertical leaps are effortless, covering horizontal distances are easy strides because everything from the shoulders, chest and arms, to the abs, quads and calves are efficiently propelling the body forward in practiced momentum. You tire less while covering more ground when the whole muscular system is strong, while endurance and stamina stay peaked because energy is evenly utilized.

The “effectiveness” in “what does not exist” is the level of having too much strength, uneven strength, and egocentric-strength attained by too much lopsided training which takes the body overboard by being stronger than it needs to be in visible areas and weaker where primary strength is necessary. This actually inhibits motion, movement, agility, flexibility and strength itself. This is how strength can be a weakness.

At this point it is wise to do more stretching or cardio, or try a different priority in exercise order, a completely revamped repertoire or even a different discipline altogether, rather than repeatedly weight training in the day to day exercises which initially caused these imbalances. When form is compromised to complete a lift or repetition for the sake of saying “x” amount of weight was lifted, true strength is not shown nor grown. In fact, neuropathways are now confused from this convoluted attempt at getting the weight to the point of where your mind was stronger than your body in attaining a “successful” lift. This is what happens when weaknesses are not addressed and allowed to stay weaknesses.

The point of “what does not exist” is that in strength training, it is futile to do or attempt more than the body is ready to handle. Sloppy lifts and inconsistent form take away from the body and its core strength. Working up to heavier and heavier loads is what’s intended, but if that 330 lb lift is not coming in any particular movement, or the 6 minute mile run stays out of reach, it’s to the athlete’s “effectiveness” to not go there and to realize that that’s the limit his body needs to reconcile at that plateau.

If it doesn’t “exist,” if it’s not in your genetic or physical makeup, it’s not necessary to go there and sometimes dangerous to continue trying. In Basic terms, one must use proper form and techniques to get the highest result out of strength training, but also the intelligence to know when to back off because the body is not ready or doesn’t necessarily need it. This in turn makes your mind stronger in decision-making and reinforces the strength of your will.

However, do not use new challenges as excuses to not attempt the movements that are necessary to take your training to the next level. You can ease into anything. You can try things out. You can ask for instruction or research the proper forms of movements. Do not shy away from that which may bring you the most benefit. Leave your comfort zone often to broaden its scope. It all adds to your strength.

S.T.R.E.N.G.T.H.

S UPPLENESSthe adaptability and compensation of muscle groups in        accommodation.

T ECHNIQUEthe form you use to perform the lift, not the amount of weight you use.

R ANGEto work the muscle from one insertion to the next, completely and equally.

E NDURANCE being stronger, longer; utilizing oxygen and brain power to continue.

N EGATIVESare used in “feeling” as yet unattainable lifts, to enable “muscle memory.”

G OALSare checkpoints on the path to success, done in stages of 3 periodic increments.

T ENACITY – is to stick to the plan without doubt or distraction until it’s dominated.

H EALING complete rest to allow the regeneration of new muscle cells and strength.

Strength is created by adding resistance, progressively, over a full range of motion. Simply adding repetitions to movements, rather than weight, will increase the strength of the muscle. With strength comes stamina, then endurance. Endurance means staying stronger, longer. When athletes stay strong, they play their best game, for more of the game. A golfer who stays stronger plays the last 6 holes often better than the first 12. Strength is cumulative, when one area is strong and it ties to another and yet another equally strong bodypart, the result is compounded from the sum of its parts. By having a strong heart, the whole body benefits. By having a strong core, the whole body benefits. By having strong belief, faith, trust, and attitude, the whole body benefits. There is literally no end to the amount of training you can offer your mind and body. And every endeavor has a beneficial effect. Strength is a many-splendored thing.

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