Monday, August 30, 2010
There you will find my write up from this weekend's Midwest Peformance Seminar along with lots of other cool stuff.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Too many times trainers are so interested in keeping their clients entertained that they lose sight of the end goal. They forget that it's about the program, not the workout. They are so concerned with doing the latest gimmicky thing to impress their customers that they forget about what is important. What's important is getting results, not being flashy.
Don't get me wrong, keeping your clients interested is definitely important, but it is also important to have a program in place that is both scalable and produces results.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Every program should start off with a proper assessment. If you don't have a starting point, you'll never know when you've made progress. At Nunn's Performance Training, we do a movement screen (overhead squat and single leg squat), bodyfat test (or circumference measurement), bodyweight measurement, and a nutritional and lifestyle analysis. Most fitness centers will do a pretty good job of the bodyfat, bodyweight, and lifestyle analysis, but they neglect the movement screen part. This is mainly do to ignorance on the trainers part. They probably don't understand the process of the screen or what to do with what they find during the screen. During the movement screen, the trainers responsibility is to identify movement dysfunction so they can put a proper plan in place to address this and minimize injury to the client. When doing the screen, the trainer should be identifiing which movement patterns they will have to regress for the client. It is important for the trainer to realize that our job is first and foremost to NOT INJURE PEOPLE! If a client is injured, they cannot train. If they cannot train, they cannot get results, and anyone in this business will tell you that getting results is where the money is.
Here's an example of what a trainer may find during the initial assessment:
Notice in this picture, the client presents a posterior pelvic tilt. She may be asymptomatic at the time, but it doesn't mean that she won't be in the future. When the hips tuck under like that, the ligaments in the lumbar spine are stretched and more likely to cause pain and injury (i.e. herniated disc and/or stenosis). Initially, squatting would not be a good choice for someone who presents this.
The posterior tilt is just one of the many things that can be found during the screen.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Anyway, I figured with this post, I would give the readers a bit of insight as to where to I get my information. At least online anyway. It's also important to note that the best way to learn is to actually get in the gym and do it!
Blogs I Read
Strength Basics - This blog has lots of useful information that includes book, article, and equipment reviews. It's also updated daily, which is a good thing.
Mike Robertson's Blog - Plenty of good info on corrective exercise and strength training here.
Diesel Crew - All around awesomeness.
Eric Cressey - Lots of good information on corrective exercise and strength training. Especially things baseball and shoulder related.
Thomas Plummer - Mainly a fitness business blog. The best thing about this one is that he doesn't censor himself, and he's not afraid to step on toes.
Elite Fitness Systems - Not really a blog, but a good resource none the less. They update the site with new articles several times a week. I may be a bit bias to this one myself.
Strength Coach - Strengthcoach.com is a pay site, but the $9.95 per month I pay to belong to it is well worth it. Not only to you get access to some of the top strength coaches in the country, but the weekly articles are also great.
Exrx.net - There are some pretty knowledgeable people on this forum. There's also a place to log your workouts for comments and suggestions.
Marunde Muscle - Some of the strongest men and women on the planet post here. Who else would you rather have answer your questions?
These are just a few of the places I get information. It's also important to remember, like I said earlier, that the most important place to find information is in the gym. Also, I should point out that I am not an affiliate of ANY of the websites. I do not receive any compensation from you clicking the links. My motivation for posting them here is to share information.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The firefighter not only needs to devote time to improving operational skill but also must focus on improving operational strength, conditioning and/or nutrition. As with any professional athlete, a professional in the EMS community is obligated to maintain a certain level of “Operational Fitness”. By implementing the latest cutting edge training methods and fundamental scientific principles, the Firefighter Strength and Conditioning program focuses on enhancing athleticism for today’s Firefighters.
Click here to see the beginning of our progression for training firefighters.
WHY CROSSFIT SUCKS!
Ok, before all the cultists start jumping all over me, Crossfit isn't THAT bad. It just many flaws. Too many for me to recommend anyone doing it. Here's why I wouldn't recommend it:
No Progression - And sadly, no regression. Crossfit doesn't have a progression or regression protocol for it's "coaches" to follow. They just expect everyone to be proficient at the olympic lifts from day one.
Doing Technically Challenging Lifts While in a State of Exhaustion - Many times the workout of the day (WOD) will have an olympic lift preceded by some long run. It may be like: run 200 meters then clean and press 135 pounds as many times as you can in 60 seconds. My opinion, pre-exhausting yourself before doing a technically challenging lift is a recipe for disaster.
Unqualified Coaches Teaching These Lifts - To be a Crossfit "coach", you must pay $500 for a one day workshop. In this workshop, you spend the day learning to teach the methods and lifts in the Crossfit program (I use the term Crossfit program loosely, but more on that later). Granted, they do have some of the best in the business at these workshops (Mark Rippetoe and Louis Simmons), but you can't learn enough in one eight hour workshop to be proficient at teaching these lifts.
No Program - The slogan of Crossfit is "Increased work capacity over a broad domain." To me, that sounds like be mediocre at everything and good at nothing. It seems as though the WOD's are just made up on the spot with no thought given to periodization. I think the people who write the WOD's focus on the workout and not the program. The workouts just focus on being hard. It's important for people to realize that just because something is hard, it doesn't means it's effective.
Like I said earlier, Crossfit isn't that bad. I am all for anything that gets people off the couch and moving. I just fear that, with Crossfit, the risk far outweighs the reward. The reason I made this a double post was that Crossfit really targets the Police/Fire/Military crowd and I felt as thought the two were pretty closely related.
Friday, July 9, 2010
My first reason goes back to the time when a guy named David Marmon hired me to be his graduate assistant. I remember my first day on the job; I wanted to get my workout in. Like a typical meathead, I went out and did some crunches, bench press, and bicep curls. After my "gettin' swole" workout, I sat back down in the office expecting some praise and admiration for my superior workout skills, he greets me with "Why do you train that way?" I was dumbfounded. I thought I had all the answers when it came to things like getting stronger, fitter, leaner, and all around being more awesome. He followed that with, "We train movements, not muscles." I guess the idea of training movements, not muscles kind of stuck with me (even though we still did situps in our programming at the time). Train movements not muscles.
So, taking the train movement not muscles approach, is bringing your sternum closer to your pelvis a movement you want to get better at? Think about it. When you squat, what are the coaching cues your hear? Chest out. Back flat. Hips back. Right? Same thing with deadlifts and many other exercises. Chest out. Back flat. The spine evolved to handle weight in the chest out, hips back position. That's why we coach it that way. Why would we want to get better in producing force in any other way?
Monday, June 28, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
4:30am - My alarm goes off on my Blackjack and I stumble out of bed, quick shower and breakfast, and begin getting ready for the day.
5:00am - Arrive at my facility and begin getting my programs ready for the day. I typically train between six and ten groups everyday. I try to get most of the programs written for the day at this time.
5:30am - 10:00am - Groups begin to arrive. The first group of the morning is a semi private group of three women with fat loss goals. From 6:30am to 10am, I see a variety of people from soccer moms wanting to lose weight to fire fighters wanting to get better at their jobs.
10am - 2pm - This is usually my down time. I use this time to grab lunch, workout, do boring business stuff (profit/loss sheets, marketing, attend business coaching classes), follow up with sales leads, and do continuing education.
2pm - 6pm - This is when most of my adult fitness clients begin to make their way over. Again, most of these are in groups of 2 - 5, but I do have a few one - on - one clients at this time.
6pm - 8pm - This is the prime time for training athletes. I have two AAU basketball teams and a few groups of mixed athletes (mainly football and soccer).
8:30 - 9:30 - I arrive home and eat a late dinner with the wife. We usually end up discussing what went on in her day (she enjoys that). Then, we'll usually head to bed about 9:30 or 10 and get ready to do it again tomorrow!
So, that's it! Like I said this job has a lot of long days, but when I see the look on a client's face when they've lost 50lbs or shaved .5 off their 40 - time, it makes it well worth it! They important thing is, you have to want it.
Monday, May 24, 2010
2. People need more anti rotation and anti extension work. This is also a major cause of low back and knee pain. Without a strong "core", the spine will have to bare most of the stress on the body. This isn't good. Do more planks, bridges, rollouts, and pallofs.
3. It's all in your head. I just read this article on Tnation, and it really goes along with the things my training partners talk about all the time. Mind games. Many people will quit mentally before they quit physically. For example, when doing a heavy yoke walk or walking a heavy squat out of a rack, it literally feels like the weight is CRUSHING you. The trick is, to have that feeling of THAT weight on your back and not care.
4. Bad programs, not bad exercises. I didn't come up with this term. I can't member who did. But, it can be applied to anyone who asks questions like: Is squatting going to hurt me? Benching? Crunches? Here's how I answer: If you have poor hip mobility, don't squat. If you have extremely long legs in relation to your torso (basketball players) don't squat. If you find your self in the seated position for most of the day, don't bother with bench or crunches. Simple enough?
There you have it. Sorry, I know 4 is a weird number. I'm out of time. Gotta go make some kids faster!
Monday, May 17, 2010
It wasn’t until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can’t be as bad as that workout.
I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain correctly. Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego. I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn’t ready for and spent a few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork. Try to lift what you’re not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson in restraint and self-control.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Reading this article made me think about the fact that people do the same thing with exercise. They make things way too complicated. Here's a sample dialogue I recently had:
Lifter: Should I be looking straight or up when I deadlift?
Me: Squat down to the bar, pull it in to your shins, arch your back, and stand the weight up. Just do what feels natural.
L: But, looking several feet in front of me at the floor feels natural and (insert guru's name here) said I shouldn't do that.
Me: (Inserts face into palm) Like I said, do what feels natural.
I was trying to be polite with this guy. What I really wanted to say was, "Just shut up and pick up the stupid bar!" My point is, don't get so caught up in the little things that you miss the big picture. I can't remember who said it, but one of my favorite quotes on the matter is "Stop majoring in the minor things"
Funny video from the article:
Monday, April 26, 2010
Our programs are basically divided up into four phases. They are: General Physical Preparedness (GPP), Hypertrophy, Strength, and Power. Let's start with a brief describtion of each.
GPP - GPP is basically what it sounds like. We are getting you physically ready to DO WORK! With most beginners, this will consist of a bodyweight circuit like this:
Do as many rounds as you can in 30 minutes:
Bodyweight Squats x 20
Pushups x 20
Pullups x 20
Split Squats x 20
From there, we would progress to a plate circuit like this one.
After that, we would go to a blast circuit like this one.
The length of time an individual would stay in this phase is dependant upon his or her fitness level. If the individual has a very high fitness level, they may only stay in it for one week. More deconditioned people may stay longer.
Hypertrophy - Hypertrophy means an increase in cell size. Basically, we are trying to increase the individuals muscle mass. Each workout will typically have anywhere from 6 to 8 exercises while doing 40 - 60 reps of each one. (4 sets of 12, 5 x 10, 6 x 8, ect.) The exercises are all multi - joint or compound movements like pushups, overhead press, pullups, squats, deadlifts, ect. as we are generally limited to an hour with each client. We must get the most "bang for our buck"....Sorry, this means that we rarely do bicep curls.
Strength - Strength is exactly what it sounds like. We are trying to get the person to move more weight. The benifits of being stronger are tremendous. Not only when will being stronger help you at your daily activities, it will allow you to use more weight while doing GPP work and therefore burn more calories. The exercises during the strength phase will be similiar to those in the hypertrophy phase, but the main difference will be that the sets and rep schemes will be significantly lower. (5 sets of 5 to 5 sets of 1)
Power - Some people call this reactive training, some call it plyometrics. Whatever you call it, the main idea is that we want you to produce as much power at you can as quickly as possible. We will typically use some sort of bodyweight squat jump or medicine ball toss during this phase. The weight used will be between bodyweight and 20% of bodyweight.
So, a beginner will go through this program by spending anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks in each phase. It'll look similiar to this:
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
America as a whole has gotten freakin' soft! In my high school American History class, we learned about men who threw tea into rivers and got ripshit pissed about taxation without representation. These men lived off the fruits and vegetables that were grown in their gardens and killed cows and chickens for their meats. The leading cause of death at this time was influenza, not cancer, not heart disease, and not obesity. The average female in the 18th century ate 5,000 calories per day and was not overweight! What's the difference? We have moved from a indutstrial and manual labor based workforce to a technology based one. Basically, we have developed the techology to make things very easy and cheap. Ever wonder why most sweet food is made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and not sucrose? Since 1957, HFCS has been a man made sweetening compound that is much cheaper to produce than any other natually occuring sugar. You would think that this would throw up some red flags to some people at the time. Fortunatly, it did. Unfortunaly, noone listened. Check this out:
Jack Lalanne was way ahead of his time.
More evidence of the softening of America. Here's the actor who was
Friday, April 9, 2010
Here’s his post: http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/blog/REAL+Mini+Marathon+Training?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook
I feel like the fitness industry focuses way too much energy on the coolness factor and not on getting results. I know that standing on a Bosu Ball and doing rows looks cool, but it’s not going to do diddly poo for your fitness program.
Here at Nunn's Performance Training, we are the epitome of coolness. Check it out:
Hope you are catching the sarcasm.
Stay cool brah!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
• Metabolic Syndrome
• Type II Diabetes
• High Triglycerides
• Increased Body Fat
• Cardiovascular Disease
Need more evidence, here it is:
Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes: Epidemiologic evidence.
Metabolic effects of fructose and the worldwide increase in obesity.
Soft drink consumption and obesity: it is all about fructose.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The truth is, there is no such thing as a quick fix. If you attempt to use one of these training systems, one of two things will happen:
A. The program is extreme enough to elicit these results, but it's not sustainable. So, as soon as you stop, the weight comes right back.
B. You won't get the results you were looking for and about half way through, you'll quit.
Either way, you lose. Also, have you ever noticed the disclaimer at the bottom of the advertisement? It always reads, "Results not typical"?!?! I prefer my method of training where results ARE typical. Check it out
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The 4 Stages of Mental Mastery
by Chris Shugart
4 People, 4 Stages
Seventeen year-old Jason bench presses four days per week. He does three sets of everything to "hit all the chest muscles" including flat, incline, decline, flyes, dips, and push-ups. His chest workout takes two hours to complete. Meanwhile, his entire back workout consists of three sets of pulldowns.
Jason is in stage one: Unconscious Incompetence.
Martin needs to lose 40 pounds. His love handles spill over his jeans and he's beginning to look eight months pregnant. Not a good look for a 35-year-old male. Martin hasn't seen a woman naked for a while.
But Martin is no idiot, and he's not lazy in the gym. He reads articles about diet and nutrition; he knows all about calories, macronutrients, TEF, satiety mechanisms, and the insulin index...
...but he eats tacos, french fries, and ice cream anyway.
Martin is in stage two: Conscious Incompetence.
Larry is in Hell. And Hell, for Larry, is his local Olive Garden, sitting with his wife and family.
In front of him is a basket of steaming hot, butter-glazed breadsticks. Unlimited breadsticks. All-you-can-eat. And Larry has been known to eat a lot of freakin' breadsticks.
To his left is the dessert menu, a laminated fantasy list of culinary porn. Across from him is his wife... who will no doubt order from that dessert menu after she deep-throats a whole basket of those glorious, garlicy breadsticks.
Larry lifts weights and eats right to support his goals. He's lost 20 pounds of lard and he plans to keep it off. But shit, those breadsticks are speaking to him! And what is that on the dessert menu? Black-tie cheesecake with a crust made of chocolate chips? Are you fucking kidding?!
But Larry will resist the fat-soaked flour and sugar-bomb dessert... barely. He's in stage three: Conscious Competence.
John is on vacation. Five days in Ochos Rios at an all-inclusive resort. Sweet.
After check-in, John heads to the gym to check it out. He'll need to train three times while on vacation to keep up with his schedule. This doesn't bother him. In fact, he's looking forward to it. What would bother him is missing a workout.
Next, he and his lovely companion for the week hit the buffet. John loads up on chicken breasts and vegetables and skips the mountain of "all included" desserts. This doesn't bother him either. He's anxious to see how the Jamaicans grill up his chicken. And after that long plane ride, he's salivating for something green and perfectly steamed.
John is in stage four: Unconscious Competence.
The 4 Stages Defined
Sometimes called the "Learning Ladder," the four stages illustrated above are borrowed from the field of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). This concept has been applied to everything from success in business to success with bedding supermodels. Here's a breakdown:
Stage #1: Unconscious Incompetence – You're doing something wrong and you don't even know it. Blissful ignorance.
Stage #2: Conscious Incompetence – You're doing something wrong, you know it, but you either can't or won't change.
Stage #3: Conscious Competence – You're doing something right or productive, but it's a struggle. You make the right choices and do the things that will lead you to your goal, but it's a daily mental battle.
Stage #4: Unconscious Competence – You're doing everything right without really having to think about it. The right actions and decisions are now second nature.
Explication and Application for Physique Transformation
What can we learn from each stage? How can we progress to the last, most desirable stage? Let's find out.
Stage #1: Unconscious Incompetence
You're screwing up and you don't even know you're screwing up. Well, ignorance may be bliss, but it's also limiting and even destructive.
In the context of bodybuilding and physique transformation, this is often a newbie error. In the example above, 17-year-old Jason is just ignorant: He trains his chest and "mirror muscles" a lot more than he trains his back. He just doesn't know any better.
It's a common mistake, and most newbies learn pretty quickly to correct it. But there are exceptions...
Here's a guy who's been training for over a decade... and is still doing things incorrectly or suboptimally. In some cases this is caused from ingrained habits or the fear of stepping outside the comfort zone.
For example, the newbie-vet may always start his chest/back workout with the bench press and always use a narrower grip because he's a triceps bencher. It would be best if he sometimes began his workout with back training and switched up his grip. But he does it the way he's always done it. It's a habit he doesn't even realize he has, and it could be holding him back or causing imbalances.
This behavior is reinforced because he can bench a lot more with his grip choice. He's comfortable and emotionally safe; his ego is gratified... but his chest development may be suffering since the close grip isn't optimal for pecs. All of this, however, is below his level of conscious awareness. He's stuck in stage one, even though he's been training for years.
The cure for unconscious incompetence is often a combination of several things. Education can cure some of it. If you're going to lift weights your whole life, crack a frickin' book occasionally and read this site.
There are 40-somethings out there training the same way their coach showed them in the 8th grade. Unless your coach's name was Vince Gironda, there just might be better ways to train for your current physique goals.
Next, seek an outside push. Get a coach and do what he says. Or adopt a program that's very different than how you've been training: different exercises, different sets and reps, etc.
Force yourself out of your comfort zone. You can't grow and progress without challenge and pressure. A diamond without pressure is a piece of fucking coal.
Even the best coaches, trainers, and nutrition experts in the world seek the teachings of others. Funny how Charles Poliquin and Dave Tate are open to the info and coaching of others in the field, while some shipping clerk on a forum thinks he's a training expert with nothing else to learn. And by "funny" I mean pathetic and sad.
For physique transformation and aesthetic bodybuilding, the cure for unconscious incompetence may involve a photo or video. How many times have "big" guys seen a photo of themselves and suddenly realized that half of their bigness is really just fatness? It's a harsh wake-up call, a cruel but beneficial slap in the face.
Stand up now and take an unflexed, non-sucked-in pic of yourself.
Hint: If you are, at this very moment, thinking of a dozen excuses why you're not going to do this, then what is that telling you?
The lesson here is to force the awakening. Step out of the comfort zone, learn something new, and apply it. There's no excuse for unconscious incompetence.
Stage #2: Conscious Incompetence
You know you're screwing up, but you screw up anyway. In the example in the intro, Martin knew what his problem was and he knew what he had to do to fix it... he just didn't do it.
This is perhaps the most common stage. For example, fat people generally know why they're fat. No one really thinks that fast food and junk food is good for them. Ignorance isn't the issue. Most fatties are conscious of their problem and the things that cause their problem, but they're incompetentbecause they choose not to do anything about it.
This isn't just a fault of the typical, electric scooter riding, Wal-Mart land whale. It can affect the avid gym-junkie as well. He may know that a deep squat is the best exercise for his particular goals, but he doesn't do it often. It's hard, and he's embarrassed at the load he has to use compared to the half-squat in the Smith machine. He's consciously being incompetent.
He may also know that a properly formulated post-workout drink would greatly accelerate his progress, but he chooses to spend his money on video games and $4 Starbucks coffees instead.
Conscious incompetence is often justified by the individual who's choosing to screw up. He can't squat because he has a bad knee. After all, he tweaked it once playing freeze tag in the first grade. And he can't buy a post-workout drink because it's too expensive. Apparently, $4.25 is fine for a morning coffee, but $2.06 is way too much for a workout drink that would accelerate his gains.
This is known in the field of psychology as rationalization: the process of creating false but plausible excuses to justify negative behavior. I prefer my definition: self-bullshitting.
So how do we fix conscious incompetence? I think this is the biggest issue in the fields of health, fitness, and bodybuilding. How do we help people do the things they already knowthey should be doing? It's like a Zen koan or something.
The solution is probably book-length, but a good first step is to understand the concept of rationalization since this is the most common roadblock. Once you see yourself rationalizing – making excuses to help yourself feel better – it's hard to un-see them. Learning to recognize this ego-defense mechanism was the single most important factor in helping me win the battle against obesity back in college.
The second part of the solution for many people is anger – self-directed anger. Those who fail to achieve their goals are often too soft on themselves. They console themselves, make thin excuses, and reward themselves at every opportunity when they don't really deserve it.
Boo fucking hoo. Get over yourself and get pissed. Recognize rationalization, accept that you're consciously making bad training or dietary decisions, and get mad. Only then can you make it to stages three and four.
Stage #3: Conscious Competence
You know what to do, and by golly you're doing it. But man, it's difficult. Every friggin' day is a struggle. You have to really concentrate and work at it.
In our example, we talked about Larry, the poor schmuck stuck at The Olive Garden and trying to order the salmon and veggies while breadsticks and dessert carts are being rolled out in front of him. Larry resists, but it's not easy. He secretly hates those people who "just don't like sweet desserts." He likes desserts, a lot, but he chooses to reach his fat loss goals instead.
Larry is competent. He's making the right decisions, but he has to be conscious of it; he has to work at it. Hard.
Most experienced Testosterone readers probably find themselves stuck in the stage of conscious competence. And that's not a bad thing really. They aren't failures at all, but the daily grind and struggle make it easy to slip back to stage two.
Time is often the cure. Avoid shitty foods long enough and you won't want them anymore. Sometimes this can be done in as little as 21 days: a time period most behavior experts agree it takes to kick a habit.
With diet goals, that means that cold turkey is best. Let's take that 21-day example literally (although there can obviously be differences among individuals and individual habits). Okay, so if you avoid fried food for at least 21 days, you'll begin to lose your taste for it. But what if you have a cheat meal of fried food once per week, you know, 'cause you "deserve it" and it "replenishes glycogen or somethin'"?
Well then, you never reach 21 days of cold turkey, do you? In fact, you reinforce the negative behavior by making it special – a reward for being good all week.
Don't worry, he's just restarting his metabolism and filling his glycogen stores.
The alcoholic doesn't kick booze by rewarding himself with a 12-pack every Saturday. Food addictions work the same way, which is why I now disagree with the idea of all-out cheat meals.
Compliance to a training regimen can work the same way. Not many people enjoy leg training right away... or even a few years later. But you do it long enough and suddenly you don't want to miss a leg day. This is often related to the second progression method: reward.
It's simple: We're likely to repeat those behaviors that reward us. Once a woman grabs your ass and gives you a subtle compliment like, "I want to leave scratch marks on here, stud-boy," well, suddenly squats, deads, and lunges aren't that bad anymore. You've been rewarded, and you aren't about to atrophy those glutes by skipping leg training day.
The more we do things right, the more rewards we receive, and the longer we keep doing things right. Time and reward: the keys to making it past stage three.
Stage #4: Unconscious Competence
Now you're a "natural." You do the right things almost instinctively.
Our example guy, John, has no problem training and eating right, even on vacation. He prefers it. Bad foods not only hinder his progress, they make him feel awful. He'd rather feel good (reward). And he'd rather not miss a workout; he loves working out! Missing a workout would be punishment.
But John isn't thinking about any of this. He's unconsciously competent. He's making the best decisions because hard training and good dietary habits are who he is now.
To outsiders, he's a natural; maybe they even think he was "blessed with good genetics." But the truth is that John worked his butt off to reach level four. His behaviors, his patterned responses (sometimes called "engrams") are now part of his identity, his personality. He doesn't struggle to make the right choices, he just does... easily.
Hopefully this article was a "thinker" for you. It didn't say to train a certain way or adopt a certain diet, but it gives you some things to think about and apply to your own goals.
You may be consciously incompetent in some areas of your life and unconsciously competent in others. Recognize that and seek to progress from the lower stages where applicable.
The four stages of the learning ladder can be applied to any aspect of your life. It takes work to reach level four, and mental work can be harder than physical work. But it's also the missing element in most people's game.
Stage 4 is waiting.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
1. In the book Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques: Volume 1, the authors state that individuals with congenital hypermobility are more likely to suffer from panic attacks and anxiety. This reaffirms my belief that yoga instructors are complete whack jobs.
2. People still don't get it. I just signed up a new client who pronates her feet, and her knees valgus when she squats. Her chiro's remedy for this was to assign some band resisted plantar flexion exercises. I'm pretty sure my jaw hit the floor. I referred her here. The biggest problem with most people is they try to compartmentalize everything to fix it. The body was meant to work in a synergistic fashion. Our bodies do not function in isolation and our approach to training should reflect that.
3. People don't like change. If you tell a serious lifter (or anyone for that matter) that everything they are doing is wrong, you'll turn them off faster than a light switch. Subtlety is the key here. Encourage people to make small changes, not big ones.
4. People in the fitness industry are pretty weird. Having spent all of my adult life in the industry, I'd have to say that the fitness has some pretty weird folks. Don't believe me? Do a google image search for personal trainer and see what pops up. It isn't pretty. Makes me wonder what kind of people get into this profession of mine!
5. It takes a lot of guts to start your own business. Seriously, if you are just starting a business then it most likely will not have any "business credit". This means that you will sign a personal guarantee on everything. It's usually a pretty intimidating proposition.
6. Not only does it take guts to open a business, most of the people will try to talk you out of it. This kind of goes along with #5. Everyone and their brother will try to talk you out of it or tell you the horror stories. I heard everything from "You're a good trainer, but are you sure you have the business skills?" to "You'll never make any money in this economy." I say screw them! If you have a solid business plan, have done good research, and hired an accountant, you should be good to go. Go get 'em!
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” - Mark Twain7. On February 27th, 2003, Mr. Rodgers died. It was a sad, sad day in the neighborhood.
8. Being overweight causes more than just cardiovascular problems. In a study done here. The researchers found that being overweight causes people to have a greater risk of rotator cuff tendonitis. Also, in a study found here, researchers found that they could reduce the occurence of knee problems by having their subject lose weight.
9. In 1938, Adolf Hitler won Time Magazine's man of the year award. Seriously?! Check it here. I bet they wish they could take that one back!
10. High intensity resistance training paired with weight loss will improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Well duh!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This is actually a line I've heard several times! People are always in search of the "perfect" time to start a fitness program. It's always "I'll start when my kids are back in school." Or "I'll start when work slows down." The bottom line is there is never a perfect time to start your fitness program. There will always be obsticals. The kids will always get in the way. Work will always be busy. There may even be a little snow on the ground (insert sarcastic gasp here). Whether your goal is fat loss, getting stronger, increasing muscle mass, or just looking better naked; the perfect time to start your program is, and will always be, RIGHT NOW!
"The most important key in achieving great success is to decide upon your goal and launch, get started, take action, move." - John Wooden
Thursday, January 21, 2010
To further prove my point, I would like to show you this. The study was performed on cyclists and compared chocolate milk to a carb replacement drink (I’m assuming it’s something like Gatorade or Powerade) and a fluid replacement drink (pedialyte?). Here’s another article in which the author compared chocolate milk to Biotest’s Surge Recovery Drink. For recovery and price, chocolate milk won on both occasions. The only area where Surge was superior was convenience. Most people don’t like carrying milk around in their gym bag.
Here’s another way to look at it: These two didn’t have Biotest or Waxy Maize and they seemed to do just fine!