The next Step in the 3 S's of Success!
Since I was young, I was huge sports fan. Baseball was always my first love, and I always had dreams of relieving my hero Derek Jeter as the starting shortstop of the New York Yankees, but what I loved most in sports was the feeling of giving your all towards a goal. I love learning about people or teams that have accomplished the highest of honors in their sports and how they knew they could do it because they said it everyday to themselves, their coaches, and everyone they knew. They put their goals out to the world, and they didn't stop till they did it. There was no better example of this than Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez in the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janiero, Brazil.
In this video, Laurie Hernandez, the youngest teammate on the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team is setting up for her routine on the balance beam. She gets announced, presents herself to the judges, then does the best thing someone can do. She says out loud "I got this!", and begins her nearly flawless routine. With all the training and practice she did to get herself their over the years, right before the biggest moment of her gymnastics life, she goes all in, stating "I got this" to the whole world. What a great moment for her, and for our country! This brings us to our second step in our 3 S's to success: Speak it!
The simple act of sharing yourself is your access to producing results in every area of life. Right now the dreams closest to your heart are probably confined to a small conversation you have with yourself-not really letting it out in the world where it really matters. Unfortunately, as human beings we´re programmed to avoid this type of communication precisely when it can make the biggest difference. We don´t like feeling vulnerable and exposed, so we tend to keep the really important stuff tightly sealed and away from others. So why do you keep your goals to yourself?
Because there is a chance you might fail.
The fear of failure is the most paralyzing thing for most people. This fear has caused more people to stay in jobs they hate, relationships that make them miserable, and have unhealthy stress than anything else in the world. It can keep you standing at the edge of success, with everything you want staring up at you, but the fear keeps you on the edge, and you don't make the jump. This is why speaking your goals is so important; it's the beginning of the jump.
When you speak your goals, outloud, it starts to mold into a real thing. Having a goal is fine, but speaking your goals outloud is an action. You are doing something, and every little thing you do that involves this goal is great. The keys to speaking your goals is you have to speak it to yourself and to others. There is actual proof that when you speak to yourself and state what you are going to do, and what you are going to accomplish, you have a greater chance of succeeding. Once you tell yourself, tell others. Tell your closest friend, tell your mom, tell your dog, tell anyone that you have a goal and you are going to accomplish it. When you do this, you will gain two things. 1.) Confidence in yourself as you speak it everyday. 2.) Will have people in your life supporting you in this journey.
Lastly, you need one thing to truly master this process when you speak out...conviction! The fear will make you waterdown your speech, because specifics make it much more real. I have met many clients who have said they wanted to lose weight, or build muscle, but then they tell me immediately that "well, I really just want to be healthy." Okay, that's great. Health is good. But what do YOU really want? If you want to lose 15lbs because you feel better in a size or two smaller, or you want to build muscle because you love to hike and you have a big trip coming up, Awesome! But you have to SPEAK IT SPECIFICALLY! When you speak to yourself about losing weight, don't speak in general terms. "I want to lose weight" won't work, but " I will lose 15lbs and drop two sizes" is specific. That works!!
So please, tell yourself, tell your friends, Tell me or a coach who can help what your specific goals are, and keep speaking it until you finish it, and see how great you feel. And if you need a little extra confidence, when you finish speaking your goals, take a sheet out of our Olympic Champion Laurie's book, and tell yourself "I Got This".
In the late spring of 2006, I packed all my personal belongings into my old Saturn SL1 (which had about 80 hp on a good day) and started on the long drive from Port Charlotte, FL to Schenectady, NY. I packed my final bag into the backseat and I got out the map to reexamine my route north (75 to 10, 10 to 95, etc.). I figured that the whole trip, if I didn't stop, was going to take about 23 hours. I got through the southern states pretty easily and was cruising by the time I got to Washington D.C. I was revved up and excited to get back home and I figured since I got this far just cruising, I could ramp it up and get back faster, so my foot got heavy and I started accelerating, passing cars as I headed towards the signs for 87, the final stretch. I was feeling great because I was going to be back early; I could unpack and meet some friends. It was going to be awesome. I was feeling so good that as I was passing cars on the left, I ended up passing the exit as well! I ended up having to go through Philadelphia and jump on two different highways before I could find my way back to the road I needed. Luckily I made it safely home about the same time I had originally estimated; I just added a full tour of the City of Brotherly Love.
If you are asking how this road trip relates to fitness, I don't blame you, but look at it this way. Everyone who starts some sort of exercise program has a goal or destination. This goal is going to take some time to achieve and you are going to have to map out a plan to reach it. Many people still start a program with intentions to achieve something and then just wing it. For example, start on the treadmill for 10 minutes; do some arm curls; go use the band for something because that guy in the Under Armour shirt used it. Imagine being in Port Charlotte, wanting to get to New York with no map (this was before I knew the genius of GPS) and just start driving around until you get to the city. How long would it take you to get there? It's the same with having a fitness program, and this is why many people struggle with the same goal for years! They don't have a plan. You need to get your road map out.
I understand that you have a goal and you want to get to it fast, so you go as hard as possible with your workouts; push it to the limit and your co-workers will ask if you're okay because you are painfully shuffling your feet around the office the next day after your workout from the day before. Is this the right approach?
The answer is—it depends.
I know, total cop out, but let me explain. A vital part of striving towards reaching a new level in your fitness is pushing yourself hard and staying focused. HealthPlex fitness pro, Amy Jones, has used the analogy of a "light switch". When it is time to go for it, you turn your switch on, and you're on. You give it a heightened focus, plan down to a T, and make big strides towards improving fast. One of the best examples I've seen of turning the switch on is a future bride preparing for her wedding. Talk about an event you want to look your best at.
Another example is marathon runners. They will go off food before they go off their running program before a big race. These are examples of accelerating your progress, but this doesn't mean you should train like this every time you step into the gym. Unless you have no other responsibilities except training, eating, and sleeping, it is mentally and physically draining to keep this intensity up 365 days a year. You will lose motivation, stop making gains, or lose your focus and go off-course. This is a big reason why most people stop exercising after 6 weeks of starting. The go too hard, too fast, drain all their energy, and can't get the focus back.
Health and fitness is not a quick fix, no matter what goal you have. It can be the most influential aspect of your life. Here are some key tips to getting in top shape properly:
1.) Know your calendar. Mark down events and times of higher demand or stress and you can plan out your training more easily. I know that when I work with parents of young kids in December, I know they have so many holiday parties, concerts, shopping nights, etc. and that it's probably not the best time to ramp it up. Know those key dates and plan around them.
2.) Take 6 weeks to ramp it up. Between work, school, kids, and other responsibilities, it is tough just to find time to get training in. The worst thing is for your workout to add stress to your life. That is why it is best to ramp it up within a timeframe. I have found that 6 weeks is a good time period for most people to really push the intensity and focus in their training. Most of the challenges and programs we offer at HealthPlex are 6 weeks long for this reason.
3.) Set a deadline. Just like the future bride mentioned earlier who knows that she needs to reach her goal by a specific date, putting a deadline to your ramp up will keep you focused during this time. Even if it is not a major event, put down a date and hold yourself to it. If your goal is to get back into your old jeans, put a date down and try on the jeans on that date.
4.) Plan your down time. Even when you are not ramping it up, you still need to train. You can still make gains while in your down time, but you should know your training program well so you don't fall into the trap of winging it. This is a good time to try something new. If you are looking at building strength up, try a kettlebell class, or learn how to use suspensions. Enter into a light competition, such as a 5k or a summer softball league. Enjoy this time to stay fit so you can ramp it up when you need to again.
In my experience as both a fitness professional and a human with goals, I have learned that you have to ramp it up and push yourself if you are going to break through barriers and make big gains. However, I have made some bigger gains during times when I was on cruise control because I tried something new or found something to add that helped me the next time I ramped it up.
In Dan John's new book Intervention (which I highly recommend) he refers to these workouts as park bench workouts and bus bench workouts. When on a park bench, we take time to enjoy the view, without much agenda or deadline. When on a bus bench, we are on a deadline, and we need the bus to come at a specific moment to keep on track.
Follow this track, plan ahead, and be fit for life!
Last year, our training team at Healthplex Fitness Center had the great honor of attending the Perform Better Functional Training Summit in Providence. About 30 of the World’s most brilliant minds in the fitness industry were there discussing fat loss, nutrition, athletic conditioning, corrective exercise, and building a successful career. The highlight for me came on Friday night at the group social. While I was talking with a colleague of mine, I turn to my right and see a very recognizable man walking toward me. He saw the RKC instructor logo on my shirt, stuck his hand out and said “Hi, Dan John, its great to meet you. Congrats on your RKC.”
As a young RKC instructor, meeting Dan John was like a musician meeting the Beatles in the 60′s. He is the best of the best in the strength world. His book, “Never Let Go”, is a must read for anyone with any interest in the world of fitness (I read it twice). After talking with him for a little while, I asked him after all his years of experience, is there anything that you consider good advice for EVERYONE!
“Do what you say you’re going to do!”
In the spirit of the new year, everyone take’s a moment to analyze the past and plan for the future. One of the first thoughts that comes to most mind’s is “I want to be in better shape.” Great, you made your choice! You are getting back in shape…but how? What’s the first step? What do you do after that?
In this age, we are blessed (and cursed) with new information about fitness every day. This has caused people to develop exercise A.D.D. We want to achieve everything all at once, so we create a vague, one-size-fits-all training program and lose focus of what the goal initially was.
“Do what you say you’re going to do” is a program where you… DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO.” It would be great to lose fat, gain strength, increase endurance, add muscle, get better posture, and eliminate that pain in your hip, back, or neck in one program. The fact is, unless you are a fitness mutant, it doesn’t work that way.
Here is any easy way to start your new program…
1. Write down your goal.
2. Track your progress consistently.
3. State your goal to yourself everyday.
4. Tell yourself you can do it everyday.
5. Keep the goal the goal until it is accomplished.
Set next goal. Repeat 1-4.
If your goal is fat loss, focus on fat loss. If your goal is to get stronger, focus on getting stronger. If you want to learn kettlebells or TRX, do it. The key is staying consistent to one plan and giving it everything you got until you demolish it, leaving no room for questions.
Remember, the fastest way to reaching the goals you set is…DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO!
Good luck to everyone on their new fitness goals and have a very happy and healthy New Year!
By Michael Kurkowski, RKC,CK- FMS, NASM-CPT
HealthPlex Fitness: The Functional Movement Experts.