Category Archives: Lifestyle

How To Crush 2017

“There is no other road to to genius than voluntary self effort”

– Michael Gerber

I’ve heard it all. The same ol’ story that leaves us with the same ol’ results. All valid mind you, your daughter absolutely needed to get to her music lesson, your wife or husband was actually sick and left you with all the house choirs, that email you’ve been waiting for actually did come in just as you were walking out of the door.

Basically, life happens and will continue to happen. The choice we all have is whether life is happening with us or to us. You may not like to hear that, but it isn’t just coincidence that some of the most powerful and busy people in the world like Barak Obama, Tony Robins and Steve Aoki prioritize exercise into their daily routine.

I believe that their ability to achieve greatness and most importantly sustain it is in large part due to their adherence to health and fitness. So, how do we, the average person find time to make health and fitness a priority in our life? I believe the real question is about energy; what produces it and how we can cultivate it?

First of all, the ego craves the status quo, and if left unchecked will continue to make self limiting, fear based choices that suck the energy right out of us. Until the ego is checked and under control, we will jump from excuse to excuse as to why someone is able to achieve physical, financial and spiritual success but not us. Trapping ourselves right where we are.

It’s the story that we tell ourselves about who we are and what we’re capable of that creates the self limited belief system that forms the basis of our decision making. Even when we know we need to change, that we hate our current circumstance and want to be better most of us just won’t make a move because no matter how terrible it is, its what we know, and that’s comfortable. When opportunity presents itself we suddenly catch a bad case of performance paralysis and stand blinking like deer in headlights unable to take a chance.

Change is hard. Trust me I know, but it also happens to be the only constant in life. So, if we’re to succeed at anything we must become pros at spotting when its time to make a move and take action.

We get stuck in our thinking that we can’t be more because that would involve doing more, and who has time for that? How am I supposed to carve out an hour a day for exercise when I barely have time to do all the other things in my life? Fair question, and if you can honestly say you spend zero time on social media, binge watching television or other idle/ low value activities then touché, you got me there. However, we both know thats probably not true.

The American dream has created a culture that idolizes hard work, pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and burning the midnight oil. Its not surprising then that few of us want to admit that we spend on average 20-50% of our day on mindless entertainment. Nobody is saying you shouldn’t enjoy a good television episode after a long day. Hell, that’s one of the pleasures of life, but that episode, cheat meal, glass of wine or any other indulgence will be ten times more enjoyable when you’ve taken care of your health and well-being first.

So often I’ve hid from doing what was necessary in order to become the man I knew I could be. I had no other reason than simply believing the story I was telling myself that I couldn’t pile anything else on to my already busy schedule. Only after taking action did I find that in fact choosing to do more was the very thing that expanded my capacity to be more. This is one of life’s paradoxes and this realization only comes after I got out of my own way and drop the self limiting beliefs that plague so many of us. Good ideas are a dime a dozen, but life meets you at action.

Once we commit to being more, huge obstacles suddenly fall seamlessly into place and clear our path to greatness. It seems counter intuitive but structure and commitment is what sets us free. Conversely, avoiding structure and avoiding commitment keeps us trapped in the throws of life unable to break through.

When we prepare our meals in advance we no longer waste our time and energy hungry and scrambling last minute for food. When we create a schedule for ourselves and time block what matters most to us we no longer mindlessly engage in low value activities. This creates the freedom to flourish personally and professionally. Things like exercise become non-negotiable. If you continue to let life happen to you then your inner dialogue will always be correct; you don’t have time, money, energy etc.. Basically, you can not be the person you know you should be because you’re still doing the same things that keep you the person you are.

As Lau Tzu said “When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.”

Spending your day visualizing health, happiness and abundance for all, doesn’t mean shit unless you take that first step. There’s nothing magical about it really. It’s pure logic. Whether you’re an athlete or a couch potato the journey to greatness only varies by scale. There is always the next level, the next step and it’s up to us to not succumb to complacency and fall into the never ending rat-race where the average person spends a lifetime woking 60 hours a week so they can impress coworkers and neighbors with their car, house, wardrobe etc… Even if it means they gain weight rapidly due to lack of sleep, high cortisol levels from stress, too many stimulants and unhealthy foods that just turn into a means of satisfying hunger rather than nourish their body.

100,000 years ago if you were lucky enough to be born bigger, curvy,  stronger or well endowed you had a good chance of procreating and passing along your genes to the next generation. It was survival of the fittest in it’s most raw form. Now a days things are a little different. Its no longer simply physical prowess that determines your future lineage, its mental. And the part that is physical only applies to our overall state of health and well-being with the slight chance that we’ll ever need to use our physicality in a survival situation. So, if its all about health then why bother achieving the upper echelons of performance? Because of the simple truth that it’s always better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have.

There’s arguably no bigger turn off than a macho douchebag picking fights with smaller guys and therefor nothing more satisfying than that smaller guy surprising everyone with his strength and ability to defend himself. Just as with keeping our minds engaged with books, blogs and seminars so too should we adopt a general physical preparedness program to our routine that keep us ready for life’s unknowns.

Now get out there and crush it.

Justin


Add 2 Years to Your Life

How many hours do you sit in a day?

  • 1 hour in the morning while you get ready for work
  • 30 minutes in the car to work
  • 8 hours while you’re at work
  • 30 minutes on the drive home
  • 1 hour at the table for dinner
  • 2 hour the couch while you close out the day?

Crazy when you think about it that way, huh? That’s 13 hours!

If this sounds anything like you then I’m going to make the assumption you’re in a little back/neck/hip pain.

Rarely is back pain ever caused by the back itself. Pain in your back is a symptom of poor hip/shoulder mobility and movement patterns. If the muscles in your hip (mainly hamstrings, quadriceps, Gluteus, adductor and flexers) are stiff or inhibited then your lower back is recruited by your brain to pick up the slack.

The number one cause of this is prolonged sitting. Dr. Peter T. Katzmarzyk, lead researchers on a study to determine the effects of prolonged siting and sedentary behavior that was featured in the July 10th, 2012 issue of the Wall Street Journal. He estimates sitting for 3 hours or more a day can decrease your life expectancy by 2 years. Even of you’re physically active, eat well and do not smoke or drink.

By my estimations this is nearly the entire developed world. Myself included. Siting inhibits your glutes, which are the main muscles responsible for extending your hips when you run, walk, stand, lunge, jump, kick etc.. So when you sit on these poor guys all day your body, the clever creature it is starts recruiting other muscles to do the job. Over time this leads to a cascade of postural issues and cause pain when you do just about anything but sit so sitting becomes the dominate position your body feels best in.

Since we know that movement is the number 1 thing we can do to heal and rejuvenate our body it would make since then that the opposite is also true. A sedentary lifestyle will slowly kill us.

The best thing you can do for your hips and back is to be active and move every hour. give your mind and body a quick reset from your work and hop up, do a set of 20 lunges, walk around the block and stretch your legs every hour or so. A little goes a long a way and can significantly decrease your changes of falling victim to a sedentary death trap.

Try it for a day and see how you feel. I’m willing to bet you’ll feel an improvement after just one time.

Let me know how it goes!

qvZeNs0GsbobpzAyvKnvhDMktzZ1wsOJAPR75j1T-J4


Hormones: Testosterone

Hey Tribe,

Here’s a quick lesson on testosterone. I’ll be posting brief breakdowns of the role and responsibilities of a few key hormones over the following weeks.

Let me know what you think!

Although women produce a small amount of this hormone by their adrenal glad, this is predominantly the hormone for muscle growth in men produced by the testes. It also helps define sexual characteristics as well as burn fat.

According to a study in The Journal of Applied Physiology called “Influences of testosterone on muscle mass and protein synthesis” – Testosterone directly stimulates protein synthesis resulting in muscle growth. Around age 40 tends to be when men experience large declines in testosterone production under normal circumstances resulting in higher body fat and lower muscle and bone density.

All is not lost though! Low carb/high fat diets and weight training promote higher than average levels of testosterone. Cholesterol in food is directly responsible for the production of testosterone. Much like GH we can naturally increase our levels by getting good sleep, keeping a cool-calm-collected demeanor, eating a high protein/fat/low carb diet and hitting the weights.

 

Justin Schollard

o2yu8iuaihm5j0zohy-qsvu8ucnikdls1v8j83ey8e


3 things the fittest people in the world do.

 

10384036_789487857772299_2134392239843045686_nWhen it comes to health, fitness, appearance, strength, endurance or any other aspect of exercise it seems like everyone is an expert with no shortage of opinions. Some right, most wrong. Its all too common for the mediocre athlete who most likely surfers from fits and starts to cast judgment on those who have achieved the body they only dream of. We all do it. That moment when we see or read about someone who has unreal strength, flexibility, definition, skill etc. and that little voice bounces from one excuse or another as to why they have it and we don’t. “They’re paid to be fit”, “they just have good genetics”, “He/she looks ripped but I bet they’re not strong”. The list goes on. 5% of the time that may be true, but time and time again I’m reminded of the level of work that goes into transforming oneself physically and Ive noticed a few things over the years that almost everyone who’s reached that level have in common.

  1. They view exercise as something they “get” to do rather than something they “have” to. Is it just coincidence that some of the most in-shape people I’ve ever seen just love working out? Was it the love of movement that got them there, or the results that kept them going? Its a chicken or egg question but when you adopt the mindset that movement is fun and expressing yourself physically is your equivalent to a monk meditating then you may find yourself prioritizing the gym a little more. If you consider what the average american does after they’ve clocked out of work (Netflix and chill?) then its no wonder why so many of us see the gym as a necessary evil rather than a welcomed retreat. This distinction alone is what separates the high physical achievers from the New Years resolutioners yo-yoing throughout the years and always seeming to be getting geared up for their next big run at a getting healthy. If you view an hour at the gym as some how taking away from your life then I would challenge you to examine how much time is spent on non nurturing behavior. For example, binge watching TV, drinking too much alcohol, social media addiction, pointless internet surfing etc. The reality is that like begets like, and the more productive you are in one area of life the more productive you are in all areas. Ask yourself this: Am I where I want to be? If so, great! If not, could you link that back to inconsistency? Chances are yes. So lets make a commitment that is realistic. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can go from 2 workouts a month to 20, but what about 8? Next month 10, then 12. You get the idea. Make it achievable and prove to yourself that you can keep your word. Look for the good in exercise, not the bad. Inject the world with your positive energy and make friends with the gym. Look at the coaches and members as your crew aboard the same ship. Any issues you might have are only as big as you make them and sharing an experience with a room full of like minded individuals can be powerful, if you let it.
  1. They plan ahead. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Don’t let your week just happen to you. Think about everything that might come your way. Its amazing how stress suddenly ceases to rule your life when you’ve anticipated a potential roadblock. For example, you know that it take 45 minutes to commute in the evenings because of traffic so that means you must leave at 5:15 pm in order to make the 6 pm class but you’re STARVING! Luckily, you spent your Sunday preparing for the week and have your favorite protein bar or trail mix in the car waiting for you so that by the time you get to class you’re fueled and ready to go. You can imaging how miserable you’d be if you didn’t anticipate your calorie needs and found yourself feeling fatigued. I’d bet in that moment not going to class seems like a reasonable option and is why I can’t stress enough the importance of preparing yourself for success. Simply bringing water and healthy snacks with you on a daily basis can mean the difference between feeling like working out or feeling like skipping yet another one. Spend the time necessary to make yourself invincible to life’s inevitable surprises and you will find yourself without a good reason to skip a workout.
  1. They keep an open mind. Its humbling whenever an elite member comes to me asking for help on something that in my mind they are actually better at than me. The moment you think you got it all figured out is the moment you stop learning. The endless pursuit of knowledge if the defining factor between the great and the average and the only road to mastery is through voluntary self effort. To be great you must drop preconceived notions about what is bad for your back, what is too much training, too little training, right supplements, wrong supplements etc. Ask, experience and learn for yourself. Obviously I am bias to CrossFit because to me it is the most encompassing full body training program that I’ve come across. However, I’ll be the first to tell you it is not the end all be all. Even Rich Froning, 4 time CrossFit Games champion plays roller hockey and flag football on a regular basis. Don’t be so stuck in your ways that you can’t let yourself try new experiences or ask for help on something. The best athletes in the world have coaches. Not because they can’t train them selves, but because they know two heads are better than one and by simply having a discussion with someone can unlock the next level of their development. Just yesterday we took the SRX staff and members rock climbing. It turned out that 3 of our coaches and one of our members were actually really good and were able to teach the rest of us some basic techniques that showed us immediate improvement. For some members this meant skipping their regularly scheduled workout for something a little more un orthodox but it demonstrated to them how their CrossFit training transferred directly to rock climbing and how rock climbing can help their regular fitness routing. Take any opportunity to learn a new skill. Only after you try it will you see how it applies to areas of your life you otherwise would never have considered.

Bottom line; keep it fun, plan ahead and stay open minded. Once you get your head straight everything else falls into place. Remember, time is going by wether you workout or not. In 10 years there’s nothing you can do about being older, but who you’ll be when that time comes is totally up to you.

Justin Schollard

www.justin-training.com

www.srxcrossfit.com

 


Busy is the new lazy

How many times have you heard the excuse that someone is “too busy” for.. fill in the blank. I know in the past I’ve been guilty of it and always for reasons I could justify by listing off all of my responsibilities. In these situations most people will simply agree that yes, indeed you’re too busy and therefor seise to bother you with future invitations because they know you’ll likely decline.

Inevitably you’ll be watching television one day or surfing the web, probably wasting the precious time that you just told someone you didn’t really have and you’ll catch a glimpse of someone who’s “made it”. Top of their field, calling shots, and wait.. they seem to actually have a life as well? How could this be? You ask yourself. How can someone find the time to actually achieve the success they want, manage their personal lives and still enjoy the things that make them fulfilled? This is when we usually start saying things like “oh, well Im sure their assistants do everything and he just signs off”, or “she probably just inherited a bunch of money”. Maybe, but not always. The truth is its a choice! With that said, do things beyond our control happen and therefor we must take immediate action to resolve it? Absolutely, but in my experience of working with extremely high achieving people over the past 10 years as a trainer here in LA I’ve noticed a few things that separate the ones who talk about it from the ones who be about it:

If you want something you must make the decision to have it. That body ain’t gonna trim its self down. Evolutionarily speaking we’re designed to do the opposite: Pack it on while times are good! These days the good times rarely end and leave far too many of us over weight and running the risk of health complications. There is no shortage of people who want a strong healthy body but continue to find cleaver excuses for why now is not the time to start the process. No money for a gym membership, no time, recovering from an injury etc..  Yet, others continue to find time week after week to do the things they know are necessary for their health, and in my experience its these people who have the most legit excuses NOT to be in the gym. I’ve often found great inspiration from my clients who under tremendous work and/or family pressure make the choice to get in the gym and keep themselves healthy. High level executives, t.v. directors with a spouse and children, VPs at Morgan Stanley, politicians etc… The list goes on. Power houses of productivity who rise before the sun and finish their workout before most people’s alarm clock goes off because they know that whatever momentary measure of comfort they receive by convincing themselves that they’re “too busy” to be healthy will be overshadowed by the guilt of knowing they could’ve tried harder.

I’m speaking in terms of my experience in health and fitness but I believe that the way you anything is the way you do everything. You can draw a parallel with just about every aspect of life. When we really sit down and examine ourselves we find that our excuse-fantasies rarely match up to the reality of our current situation. Maybe you don’t have an hour for exercise everyday but you certainly have 20 minutes. Some of my best workouts are when I know I better make it count because I only have 20 minutes! Maybe you can’t afford a gym membership but you certainly could go on youtube and find a homework channel. Often I’ll do this with yoga because there are some great 20 minute yoga workouts on youtube and I know I’ll never go to a class.

The bottom line is that if you find yourself hiding behind the busy excuse then you’re really just dodging out of a full and engaging life experience.  Once we can truly understand that no one else is going to make this happen for us and we are exactly who we are as a result of our choices, then we can move forward with clarity toward the kind of future we want to create.

Busy seldom means productive. If you need more time then start respecting the time you do have. One way to do this that I’ve been practicing for some time now is not responding immediately to every message that lights up my phone. Rarely is anything a true emergency. Let them wait for an hour while you take care of yourself. People will then become much more respectful of your time and efficient with their messaging knowing that you refuse to engage in email ping pong. Put yourself first and watch as other adapt to your self empowering choice. This is your life and time flies so don’t hold back.

Now, I plan on seeing you all at the gym bright and early.

Justin Schollard


%d bloggers like this: