Is your Internal Voice Leading you to Success?

I listened to a podcast yesterday (link) and it triggered some thoughts for me. The topic of this episode was how our perspective dictates our results. Although it was business focused, of course I filter it through a fitness mindset and how it can be helpful to my clients and readers.

Listening to the podcast got me thinking about some of the conversations I’ve had with my clients about their internal talk. That voice that they hear every day telling them what they can or cannot do.

You see, whenever we start a fitness journey we all set this external goal we want to achieve. We want to lose x amount of pounds or inches. We want to fit into the dress or bikini. We want to tone our arms or waistline. We want to expose those abs that we’ve been told we have. The list goes on and on about all the things we want to achieve. Externally.

However, have you ever really looked at the internal thoughts that go along with those goals? If you say “I want to lose 10 pounds” out loud, what does the internal voice say immediately after? Is it supportive or protagonistic? Does it say “yes you can” or does it come up with 20 different ways you can’t? Continue reading “Is your Internal Voice Leading you to Success?”

It Depends – The Answer you Should be Looking for

As a coach I get questions on a daily basis. The fun part is my answer is almost always the same.

My answer is: It depends.

Here are some of the most common questions:

Should I have protein after my workout?
Whats better, morning or afternoon workouts
How many calories should I be eating each day
How much weight should I use in _____ exercise
Is it better to go heavier and do less reps or go lighter and do more
Should I be taking a pre-workout supplement
Should I be taking a post-workout supplement
My friend told me HIIT is the only way to see results, should I be doing more of that
My friend got great results doing X, should I be doing that too
I need to do more cardio if I want to lose weight right?

Well, that last one often gets a “no”, but otherwise the answer is still always the same.

It depends.

For me there is no one size fits all approach to anything. Consider your own area of expertise for example. When it comes to getting specific about something I’m sure your answer will always be dependent on other variables.

In fitness and health it’s the same. It always depends on at least 2 things:

1. Your starting point and/or current fitness level

2. Your goal or what you’re trying to achieve

In simple terms, origin and destination. Like navigation directions in your car, there are often many paths to get you somewhere, but at minimum those paths will depend on where you’re starting from and where that somewhere is. They will also depend on any obstructions that come up in between.

In fitness and health it’s the same process. A good coach is going to take into account your current fitness level, your goal, and consider the path you’ll take and any obstacles along the way. Otherwise, you’ll just be getting a very general and broad approach usually based solely on your goal.

In fact, this is what you typically get when you’re clicking on or buying those “Shred fat now” “6 weeks to 6-pack abs” “Instant fat loss” programs. They create a plan focused solely on a goal. But there’s no consideration of your starting point, your fitness level, your motivation, your accountability, your knowledge or experience. There’s no consideration to anything else your success will depend on.

So next time you’re clicking that ad, reading that article or asking your coach for a specific recommendation, understand that to truly get an accurate answer it is going to depend on a few factors. If you don’t get “It depends” as your first response, I suggest you keep looking.

What’s something you want to know? Put it in the comments below and I’ll help you figure it out!

~Chad

I’ve had a setback

Let’s have story time shall we…

In the past 6 weeks or so I’ve been going hard in the gym. I’ve been testing out some new workouts and ideas I have and pushing my limits. It’s been great!

For 6 weeks I’ve been going hard, feeling good, and seeing progress.

Then last Friday hit.  Continue reading “I’ve had a setback”

Running Through It: Kellyn Taylor’s Breakthrough Marathon

I talk about NAZ Elite runner Kellyn Taylor’s recent Breakthrough at Grandma’s marathon on this week’s episode of my Podcast, Running Through It. She dropped 4 minutes off her marathon PR and 2 minutes off the course record. Kellyn’s Coach, Ben Rosario, is a friend of mine and one of my primary coaching mentors; so I asked him about Kellyn’s training. Continue reading “Running Through It: Kellyn Taylor’s Breakthrough Marathon”

Summer Running: Where The Pace Doesn’t Matter And The Effort Is King

Summer Running

Summer Running can be tough, it can be harsh and it will be unforgiving.

Growing up in St. Louis, and now living in Kansas City, you learn to cope with the ridiculous humidity that comes from living in a midwest river town. Running was always done in the morning and if you slept in, you were better off waiting until sundown to fit your miles in – we’re talking over 80% humidity in St. Louis most days.

Summer Running

Continue reading “Summer Running: Where The Pace Doesn’t Matter And The Effort Is King”

Cardio for Calories

When most people do “cardio” they’re doing cardio for calories. As in, they are doing it to burn calories, typically to lose weight.

Normally it’s a slang term for cardiovascular exercise, but really I think that it’s just about calories.

We’ve simplified the term into this overarching concept for getting our sweat on, checking our smart watch to see if we’re done, and feeling like we’ve burned off that desert from last night.

Sadly, this process is usually only done on 3 specific machines. You know, the ones found in the “cardio area” of any commercial gym. Yup, the Treadmill, Elliptical and Bike.

*image found on BodyBuilding.com*

For this article I want to focus on the idea of burning calories and what else could be a better option for our “cardio” workout. Continue reading “Cardio for Calories”

Learning From Lebron – “Be Better Tomorrow”

LeBron James

I’ve grown to really admire LeBron James over the years, but what happened this past Friday night after a heartbreaking game 1 loss really cemented him as the leader we should see in ourselves.

JR Smith had just made one of the biggest mental lapses in the history of the NBA Finals, making a crucial rebound and then running out the clock instead of passing it to a wide open LeBron in a tied game with 4 seconds still on the clock. LeBron, after being relentlessly questioned by the media about Smith’s play just stood up and said, “be better tomorrow”.  Continue reading “Learning From Lebron – “Be Better Tomorrow””

Do you Workout Because you Want to

Do you workout because you want to or because you have to?

This is an important question to consider because it can make a huge difference in your outcome.

In my experience I’ve seen a lot of people working out because they have to. They come to my gym or contact me online to start a workout program because it’s something that needs to be done. Either they are fed up with how they feel or look, or worst case scenario there’s been a health scare and their doctor basically demands it. In both cases they are doing it because they no longer want to be in their current position.

They’re doing it because they have to and in a way, it’s not really their choice.

This option does work for a while because anger, frustration, and fear are all great motivators. We’re angry at our bad habits or poor condition so it’s time to change. We’re scared of the health risks so it’s time to change. Our current situation has to be different, so we HAVE to change.

But being healthy because you have to creates resistance. Continue reading “Do you Workout Because you Want to”

The Journey is Always Filled With Failure

I had a great talk with my client the other day where she was feeling super positive. She had a great day, got her workout done early, was eating healthy and had the positive mindset looking towards the weekend. Everything was rainbows and butterfly’s.

But as the incredibly talented Adam Levine says: It’s not always rainbows and butterflies.

A little way through our chat I asked her if she could write down a review of her first month. The ups and downs, what she learned and what she didn’t expect. Things like that. I was surprised when I realized this got her upset. Even though things were going great at this moment, she was upset just thinking about it.

She realized that she felt she would only see the negative. That even if there was good, she tends to focus on the bad and the failure. She was upset that her outlook was that way.

This conversation got me thinking. Why do we focus so much on failure and why do we consider it such a bad thing? Continue reading “The Journey is Always Filled With Failure”

What Is Mobility?

Mobility over flexibility, I’ve had that simple motto for a while now,  meaning as runners we need to focus on our overall mobility in the running range of motion over general flexibility… but what is mobility?

Mobility – The ability to move freely and easily

Essentially mobility is everything to running. Your ability to move freely in the running plane of motion is incredibly important and this mobility can be hindered by:

Tight muscles

Lack of local flexibility

General form issues (side to side movement)

Hip flexibility (ability to drive your knee upwards)

Upper Body

Flexibity, “your legs follow your arms”

Torsion of your torso (think twisting side to side)

Simple right?

So let me explain “mobility over flexibility”

Is flexibility important? Absolutely, but flexibility for the sake of flexibility isn’t optimizing your time. Static stretching will make you flexible but your dynamic flexibility hasn’t changed much. So working on flexibility using dynamic poses is far more successful, reaching down to touch your toes isn’t exactly a running specific motion right? Therefore, mobility is localized flexibility in relation to your running form, you need flexible hips and glutes because those muscle groups are directly responsible for knee lift and drive.

Chad and I have talked about this before but how you work on your mobility is extremely individualized. We all have our own tight muscle groups and past injury history. A good mobility plan will take that into effect and use it in reference to your running form.

Take a look at my video below where I take you through an initial running form consultation and show you what I look at when I look at mobility in general.

 

Here are the 3 methods of increasing your mobility, and then you will individualize within these methods:

Running Form Drills (as demonstrated in the video above)

Mobility exercises (these were popularized by Kelly Starrett and are hyper-focused on individual muscle groups)

Myo-fascial release (foam rolling and other methods to release muscle tension and allow the muscle to function properly)

I hope you could learn something from that but if you have questions go ahead and ask them in the comments of this article and I would love to answer them.

You can also reach out to me on Instagram and Twitter or maybe I answered your question on a recent episode of my podcast Running Through It.

Happy Running,

Justin

Why Your Goals Overwhelm You

Take a second to think about everything you have to do today.

Seriously. Take a second. I’ll wait…

Got it all?

Did you add the basic things like showering, eating, commuting, cooking? I want everything!

If you really put down everything it’s probably created a little bit of stress. You know you need to do a lot, but putting it all on paper makes it seem like even more!

Now the last thing to check is if your goals made it on that list. Continue reading “Why Your Goals Overwhelm You”

Is Your Focus on Success or Failure?

You started working towards your goal but you’re failing.

You’re trying hard but every day is a struggle. You’re finding it hard to just keep up with life let alone find time to workout, eat healthy and update your journal/log.

In fact, most days it feels like more stress than something that helps.

What’s the point if it’s just making things worse?

Sound familiar?

These are the thoughts we have when we’re focusing on failure. We’re focussed on the struggle, how hard it is and how far away our goals are.

We missed another workout. We had another bad meal or binged last night. The list goes on and on for all of the things we’re failing at.

But what if we changed our perspective? Continue reading “Is Your Focus on Success or Failure?”

Life vs Goals – the struggle is real

If you’ve ever had a goal, you’ve probably realized that it’s pretty damn hard to achieve.

You get started, you’re good for a week or two then BAM, life smacks you on your ass and you’re struggling to get back on track.

This is the thing with life and goals, they’re kinda like enemies.

Your goal is the thing you WANT to do.

Life is all the things you HAVE to do.

Your goal is the thing you AREN’T doing.

Life is what you ARE doing.

They are constantly fighting for your time. You try and make time for your goal but life just gets in the way.

This is the struggle of “Lifestyle”. The ideal situation is that the goal becomes part of your life. It fits within your normal schedule and life and it stops interfering.

However, building a lifestyle takes time. It takes the fight and it takes the struggle. Your goal will stay a goal and the thing you’re struggling to do for a long time. But that’s okay.

If you can accept that they are different, that they aren’t friends, that at times they are even enemies, then you can stay patient and let the process take place.

It’s your goal, it’s what you want, so it’s worth the fight.

The good news is that the fight isn’t forever. It’s gonna be longer than you expect or want, but if you keep working it will end. You will succeed.

Your efforts will win. Life will win. Eventually it will no longer be a goal and something you aren’t doing.

Eventually it will just be life.

~ Chad

Not sure it will work?

not sure it will work

Have you ever hesitated to sign up at the gym, download the app, purchase the equipment, or hire the trainer because you’re just not sure it will work?

not sure it will work

You’ve already tried so many things, is this just going to be one more thing that ends up in the same place? Failure.

Truth is, everything works. Every workout program, every diet, everything. Continue reading “Not sure it will work?”