Tag Archives: Adaptation

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!

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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

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15 Minute Travel Workouts Part 2

Top 5 Travel workouts with access to a hotel gym

Hey Tribe,

Last week I sent you 5 CrossFit workouts in 20 minutes or less that can be done without access to a gym.

As promised, this week we have 5 fresh workouts that can be done with access to a gym.

Remember to always warm up and stretch out!

Have a great holiday weekend!

Warm up: 50 jumping jacks, 50 high knees, 10 squats, 10 pushups. 

Cool down: 30 second pigeon stretch each leg, 30 second hamstring stretch, 30 second wall stretch each leg.

  1. 21 Thrusters, 21 pull-ups or lat pull downs, 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups/lat pull downs, 9 thrusters, 9 pull ups/lat pull downs. Short and sweet. Pick a pair of moderately heavy dumbbells. Example, 35s for men and 20s for women, but scale the weight according to your own strength levels. Bring the weights to your shoulders and drop all the way into a full squat. As you drive out of the squat press the weights all the up until your arms are straight. After you get through 21 reps, move on to either pull ups or lat pull downs on the machine depending on your strength levels and whats available at the gym. After 21 pull-up/lat pull downs go right back to thrusters for 15 then pullup/lat pulls for 15. So on and so forth down to 9 and 9.
  1. 5 rounds for time: 1/4 mile run on the treadmill, 15 dumbbell deadlifts, 15 Pushups. After your quarter mile run grab some moderate to heavy dumbbells. With a straight back push you butt towards the wall behind you as you hinge over at the waist with a slight bend in your knees. Once you dumbbells get below your knees come back to a standing positions. Repeat 15 times. Then, in a push up position keep your butt flexed and core engaged as you lower yourself into a pushup with you elbows pointing back for 15 reps. Do knee pushups if your form is going to shit with standard ones.
  1. 20 minutes, as many rounds as possible of: 16 sit ups, 12 lunges to over head press, 8 bent over row or seated machine rows. After your sit ups grab a pair of moderate weight dumbbells and bring them up to your shoulders. From there, step into a lunge and push yourself back to standing. From there press the dumbbells over your head until your arms are straight. Alternate legs each time. After you finish 12 lunges to press lean all the way over at the waist with flat back, slight bend in your knees and row the dumbbells up to you waist like theres a string pulling your elbow up to the ceiling.
  1. 15 minute EMOM (every minute on the minute) Min 1. 15 box/bench jumps, Min 2. 15 goblet squats, min 3. 15 pushups. Set the clock for 15 minutes. On minute one perform 15 box or bench jumps as fast as possible. Rest the remainder of the minute. Exactly on minute 2 grab a moderately heavy dumbbell and hold it evenly with both hands to your chest and perform 15 full depth squats as fast as possible. Rest the remainder of the minute. Exactly on minute 3 perform 15 pushups as fast as possible. Rest the remainder of the minute. Repeat this circuit 5 times for a total of 15 minutes.
  1. For time: 25 pull-ups/lat pull downs, 50 dumbbell deadlifts, 50 push ups, 50 squats, 50 Dumbbell overhead press, 25 pull-ups/lat pull downs. After your pull-ups or lat pull downs depending on strength level and whats available to you grab some moderate to heavy dumbbells. With a straight back push you butt towards the wall behind you as you hinge over at the waist with a slight bend in your knees. Once your dumbbells get below your knees come back to a standing positions. Repeat 50 times and rest as needed. After your 50 deadlifts, move on to 50 standard or knee push ups depending on your strength level. Once you finish the pushups, go right into 50 air squats bringing your hips below your knees and standing all the way up. Once the pushups are done, grab a slightly lighter pair of dumbbells and bring them up to your shoulders. From there, press them all the way up over your head until your arms are straight and back down to your shoulders for 50 reps. Last but not least, back to pull ups/lat pull downs for 25 more reps and you are done!

Boom! There you have it folks. This time of year consistency is the main priority. You can get back to being epic after the holidays are over.

Justin Schollard

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Always trying to perfect the deadlift.


Want to know how to get your body to change?

Collage of varius Gray's muscle pictures by Mi...

Image via Wikipedia

Give it a reason to!

By our very nature we’re adaptive creatures. Its a survival mechanism. Our bodies are designed to conserve energy and acclimate to our surroundings. This means that the more lean muscle we have the higher our metabolic rate, requiring our bodies to expend more energy in order to maintain that extra muscle. Given our current state of evolution our bodies are constantly fighting to keep our caloric requirements as low as possible since it wasn’t until the last couple thousand years or so that we had food so abundantly without having to go to such great lengths to obtain it, and it wasn’t until the last hundred years that we took it to a whole new level by refining and processing our foods rendering them devoid of any substantial nutrition. Now 2,000 years might seam like plenty of time for our bodies to evolve into not defaulting to love handles so damn easily, but if  you consider that anatomically “modern” humans originated over 200,000 years ago, it’s a little easier to understand how it might be a few more years until our bodies can properly metabolize pancakes. Even if they are whole wheat.  It also helps us understand the fitness law of  “use it or lose it” which basically means if you’re not giving your body a reason to keep that lean muscle then atrophy will be taking place to some degree or another.So, if you or someone you know has recently suffered from the “I workout but I just don’t see results”  blues. Chances are your body has simply done what it does best; Adapted! Think about it, if you’re not getting the results you want its most likely a reflection of your training. Now granted we all store body fat differently depending on our unique genetic disposition but I’d be willing to bet my breakfast muffin (just kidding) that if you’re current routine isn’t shedding those extra pounds or building that extra muscle for you its because your body’s current level of conditioning has adapted the amount of work you’re doing and therefor has no reason to release that stored fat (energy) or build extra muscle (requires energy). Here are some ways to tell if you need to step up your training:

  • Are you sweating within the first 10 minutes?
  • Are you exhausted by the end of your workout?
  • Do you take breaks because you NEED to rather than want to ?

If you answered YES to these questions then Congrats! You’re on your way to achieving fitness greatness (assuming you’re not going home to a bowl of ice cream of course..)If you answered NO to any of these then it’s probably time to reassess what you’re doing in relation to where you want to be. If your goal is to simple keep moving and you don’t care so much for aesthetics then fine, I get that, stick with light to moderate functional exercises. BUT, if you want the body, you need to do the work. period.

If you found this post useful please “like” it.

To your health,

Justin Schollard


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