Motivation – Where do you get it?

Motivation is defined simply as: the reason to act.

Seems pretty basic right? If I have motivation, I have a reason to act. If I’m lacking motivation, I don’t have a reason to act and therefore I don’t.

So how does that play out in real life and the world of fitness?

I’ve been spending more time on Twitter lately and it’s been a very interesting experience. I like doing searches to see what kind of things people are saying about fitness, health, nutrition and motivation.

If you do a search for “need motivation” for example, you’ll see people posting every 10 minutes or less on average. Now, this isn’t fitness only, but it still relates.

If you start doing searches about needing a personal trainer, it seems one of the top reasons anyone wants a personal trainer is because they’re lacking their own motivation and need someone to motivate them.

Some examples:

Motivation 1 Motivation 2 Motivation 3 Motivation 4 Motivation 5

What these are essentially saying is: I don’t have my own reason to act so I want you to give me one.

I see a major problem with this kind of thinking: The motivation is NOT IN YOUR HANDS. In this scenario, the motivation would be in the personal trainers hands. THEY would hold the stick, not you.

If they’re the ones holding the stick and pushing your forward, how are you ever going to build your own motivation? For the rare person, they do build their own motivation, but for most they don’t.

Now this doesn’t mean personal training is bad, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m trying to express is that if you feel you need motivation, getting someone else to push you isn’t going to work in the long run.

What you need instead is to develop your own motivation.

Yes, it’s that simple!

… In theory.

Ever heard someone say: “that’s easier said than done”? Ya, it fits here too.

Building your own motivation can be hard and can take a while. Some days it will be high, others it will be low. Some weeks will be awesome, some will suck. It’s the nature of learning anything, there’s ups and downs.

So the big question should be: How do I build my own motivation?

I know for sure that there isn’t some magical equation that will work for everyone (sorry), but I think there is a guideline we can follow.

Here are 5 steps to building your own motivation:

  1. Vision – create a strong vision of your goal and where you want to end up. Make a vision board, change your screen saver or post pictures around the house. Having a clear vision of your goal will help inspire you on low motivation days.
  2. Belief – build the belief that you can. Start slow and start small. Small wins over a few weeks does wonders for self confidence and believing you can succeed.
  3. Consistency – following through on your goal is huge. Now this is normally where people feel they need the motivation to do this step, but this step can be how you build motivation. Even on the days you don’t want to, follow through with your plan. (this is where it’s very important to start small)
  4. Reminders – review your vision and goals daily. You’ll need constant reminders to stay focused and not lose sight of what you’re trying to build.
  5. Expect setbacks – failures, road blocks, set backs and struggle are all part of growth. It’s literally impossible to have growth without them. So stop pretending you’ll be perfect and be okay with the fact that you will have setbacks on your journey.

The final thing I’ll say about building motivation is that it’s often best to reach out to others for support. Even the best of us can use a hand here and there.

Support in my mind is someone who will keep you accountable to your own goals. Someone who can support you to build your own motivation, not be the motivation for you.

I hope this gives some insight into motivation, how we perceive it and where I personally think it should come from. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below.

Chad

Introducing the #APLifestyle Challenge

We announced recently that on Monday February 10th we will be starting the #APLifestyle challenge.

The “challenge” part of it is that every day we will post fun things you can do to build a healthy lifestyle in 2014. These won’t be complex workouts or meal plans, they will be simple task and activities that you can do to build a healthier lifestyle.

There will be a wide variety of  things you will do including activity, nutrition, yoga and even mental health.

We believe that to build a true AnthroPhysique Lifestyle (#APLifestyle), you need to incorporate all aspects of your life: work, relationships, activity, nutrition, play, spirit, etc. The end results is creating the body you were born to have.

We want to show how small daily practices can go a long way to building the ideal healthy you.

There is however 1 caveat to the “daily” part of the challenge. We won’t be posting anything on Sunday’s. As part of our lifestyle, we believe that you should take 1 day to disconnect from work and the technological world and use it to reconnect with you and nature. So, Sunday’s won’t get a tweet from us but the standing challenge will be to disconnect and get outside.

Participation in the challenge is very simple. Just follow the hashtag #APLifestyle on Twitter. Each day we will post a simple activity, tip or challenge that you can do throughout the day. When you’re done the task simply tweet: I successfully completed the @AnthroPhysique #APLifestyle challenge today!

To let us know you’re going to join us and to help spread the word, please get started with: I’m starting the @AnthroPhysique #APLifestyle daily challenge next week. Join me to make 2014 a very healthy year!

Our goal this year is to help as many people as possible have a healthier lifestyle. Please help us with this fun daily challenge!

Is blogging like fitness?

Okay, so waaayyyyy back in October, exactly 3 months ago, I wrote my last blog post.

It was a post about Why it’s SO EASY to fall OFF the fitness wagon. I went on about how most fitness programs focus only on what you should be doing and not how to build habits first.

The great thing about what happened next was that I, Chad Williams, fell off the blog wagon. Big time. For 3 months!

“But it was christmas, and new years, and holidays right?!?!”

Excuses.

Why I think my failure is a great thing is because it actually highlights the value of that post. The value of building habits.

It was written about building FITNESS habits, but for me, I already have habits in that area. Where I don’t have habits is in blogging.

Whenever I went to blog last year, I wanted it to be the BEST BLOG POST EVER!!! I thought that I could go from a person who rarely writes anything to a Nobel prize winning blogger over night.

They give Nobel prizes to bloggers right?

Anyway, it’s like my clients who want to go from zero workouts per week to 5 times per week! It’s not going to happen. I basically set myself up to fail.

So how do I change? How do I get better? How do I build a habit?

 

Enter the Challenge!!!

I like building habits. I like learning how to do something I’m not good at. It’s why I help coach others to do the same thing in fitness.

The challenge I’m putting out there is for myself. The challenge is that I’m going to commit to at least 1 blog post every single Wednesday for this entire year.

1 blog post per week minimum. That’s it.

Should be easy right…

My guess is that it won’t be. My guess is that it’ll be hard at times, but that’s the point. You don’t grow if it’s not hard.

The key is that I’m starting small. 1 per week minimum.

Also, I’m getting in touch with reality around my writing skills. I’m not a world class writer and it’s not reasonable to think I will write the BEST BLOG POST EVER every time I touch the keyboard.

Some of my posts will (of course) be great, but others won’t be my best work. However, that’s not the point.

The key will be being consistent. In 6 months from now I’ll be a better blogger because of it.

It will for sure beat 6 more months of doing nothing! (can you relate?)

 

The extended challenge!!!

Because I’m a coach, I cannot help myself to challenge others. That said, I’m extending you to join me in this challenge.

Pick an area in your life you want to improve. Comment below to let me know what that is and what you can commit to weekly with me.

Each week we can check in together and build some new habits this year!

See you next Wednesday!

Why it’s SO EASY to fall OFF the fitness wagon.

Do you have fitness habits?

As in, do you exercise on a regular basis, consistently throughout the year?

No? Don’t worry, most people don’t.

Are you the type of person that has tried many programs, had many gym memberships, read every diet book there is and still isn’t’ getting the results you want?

When September, January or some special vacation roles around, you get motivated, inspired and back on track. But then something happens. Usually in the 3-6 week range…

You lose motivation.

You stop enjoying what you’re doing.

You stop. Period.

Yes, it’s happened. You’ve fallen off the fitness wagon. Again.

So what’s the difference between you and that one friend you have? You know, the runner. The one that’s ALWAYS out there doing something?

Why do they seem to always continue on and you don’t?

What I’ve found in my industry is that it’s all about products that tell you what to do and why you should do it.

6 Pack Abs! 

Lose 10lbs in 10 Days!

Burn up to 60% of you body fat! 

It’s all about results, which is great, but do they actually work? How many people actually get the results they’re claiming?

Likely, these are the programs you’ve already tried…

These programs are only good at producing results IF you’re the right type of person, IF you follow them perfectly and IF you actually finish them. However, most people don’t finish them.

Why?

They don’t have the habits.

The dictionary defines habit as a regular tendency or practice.

Is your fitness a regular tendency or practice?

It’s tough because the problem with all the fitness programs out there is that they don’t teach habits. You have to ALREADY have them to succeed.

True, SOME people do develop a habit and on a rare occasion go from couch potato to lean mean fighting machine. But that’s rare.

So how do you actually build habits you ask? Good question!

Here’s 4 key areas to start with:

1. Progression
2. Motivation
3. Accountability
4. Consistency

These are the tip of the iceberg and each point goes very deep.

Stay tuned for my next emails where I’ll dig into each area and provide you with the tools you need to build strong fitness habits.

— Chad

Weekly Activity Challenge – Testing Week

Happy Monday!

The key focus to the weekly activity challenge is that each week you get a new activity to focus on to build your health and fitness. At Anthrophysique, we’re big on measurement and like to make sure all of our clients are getting results.

As I mentioned in the very first challenge, we’ll be testing our benchmarks workouts every 10 weeks. Believe it or not, it’s been 10 weeks!

benchmark workouts

The focus this week is to go through each one of the benchmark workouts to re-assess your fitness. FInd your old score and compare that to what you achieve this week. If you didn’t do the benchmark workouts last time, this will be your first chance to get a baseline. In 10 weeks you’ll be able to test it again!

Here are links to all the benchmarks:

Benchmark #1
Benchmark #2
Benchmark #3
Benchmark #4
Benchmark #5

Throughout the week, test each one of the benchmark workouts. Please post your results in the comments and let us know if you’ve improved or not!

Weekly Activity Challenge – Stairs

Weekly Activity Challenge - Stairs

Happy Monday!

This week’s Activity Challenge is all about stairs!

Aside from just walking, stairs are one of the simplest ways to build a great base of fitness. They can also be an incredible way to get a killer workout for the legs and butt. If you’ve ever gone quickly up a flight of stairs, you understand what I’m talking about.

This week, I want you to try and take the stairs as often as possible. Avoid escalators and elevators when possible.

This should be really easy if you only have to go up 3 or less floors. If you’re going up more, just stop a few floors early and take the stairs for the rest.

A lot of people often tell me that they already take the stairs in their house many times a day. This is great! However, it’s what you’re life already calls for. For this challenge, I want to you to go above and beyond. Try and add a few more trips than normal, or turn it into a 5 min workout session where you go up and down as many times  you can.

If you don’t take the stairs too often, start slow. And don’t be surprised if you butt hurts a lot the next few days!

Weekly Activity Challenge  - Stairs

 

Start NOW!

Stand up, find some stairs and go up and down for 5 mintes. Was it tough?

Measure how many flights of stairs you do throughout the entire week.

As always, post your results, comments or questions below.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Farmers Carry

Weekly Activity Challenge - Farmers Carry

Happy Monday!

This week’s Activity Challenge focuses on carrying heavy things.

If you’re a mom, you know the power of carrying a ‘heavy thing’. At first, those little bundles of joy are cute and you just can’t let them go! However, seemingly overnight, they’re 15, 20 then 25 pounds. You’re carrying them everywhere, which is tough, but you notice your arms are starting to look hot!

Or, if you grew up on a farm, you carried feed, dirt, fertilizer all over the place. Your arms got strong just from day-to-day life. Have you ever shaken a farmers hand?!? That’s strong!

Now, we’re not looking to create farmers hands here, but it’s nice to have strong arms and be able to carry things when you need to. Nowadays it’s probably bags of groceries from the car to the house.

As humans, we have a huge anatomical advantage when it comes to being able to take stuff with us. First of all, we walk on only two of our limbs, which leaves our other two open for new activities. Second, we have opposable thumbs which better allows us to grip stuff. Put those together and it’s like we were designed to carry stuff! Amazing!

For this Weekly Activity Challenge, the goal is to carry heavy things any time you can. If you own a dumbbell, bring it with you to work. Or, grab some water jugs, grocery bags full of cans, a backpack full of books or some free weights and just walk around for a few minutes. Try this a few times a day or build it into a workout.

If you’re not used to carrying things often don’t be surprised if your hands seem tired the next day. That’s a sign of challenge and that you’re pushing yourself!

 

Start NOW!

Stand up, grab your kid or something heavy and walk around for 5 mintes. Was it tough?

As always, post your results, comments or questions below.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #5

Weekly Activity Challenge #5 - burpees

It’s now week 5 of the weekly activity challenge, which means we’re doing our last benchmark workout. If you’re just tuning in, check out the previous 4 weeks  for other challenges you can try out this week. These Benchmarks are activity challenges that we will test every 10 weeks to see your improvement.

This is number 5 of 5 to test your baseline fitness.

 

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #5:

30 seconds of burpees, 30 seconds of rest x10 sets

– count how many burpees you can get in each 30 second set
– range of motion and proper technique is more important than speed
– if you need more than the 30 seconds of rest, take it

Try this workouts once per day if you can, or at least 3 times throughout the week. If you try it every single day, don’t be surprised if you’re scores drop a little. This will be due to sore and tired muscles.

Please post your scores in the comments section for each time you do it. I also recommend a Workout Journal for your own records.

Have Fun!

5 Mistakes You DON’T Want To Make When Starting a Fitness Program

April Fitness Program

Most of the people that come to me are just starting a fitness program. They’ve started a routine in the past, but have failed. Many times. Sound familiar? It’s usually due to one of the reasons below. Here are 5 mistake to avoid when starting a fitness program:

1. Wait till next week

Waiting till later perpetuates the problem. Most people who aren’t working out, aren’t because they keep putting it off. Today turns into later, which turns into tomorrow, which turns into next week. Stop NOW. Start exercising NOW. No, seriously, STOP! I want you to literally stop reading this, stand up and do 10 squats. Ready, GO!

BOOM! Isn’t that awesome. Now, keep reading because you still need to be careful of #2.

2. Start too fast

Not in a “doing 10 squats before you finish reading an article” sense, but in a “not taking time to rest” sense. Many people start a program and workout EVERY DAY. Without rest your body is going to burn out and at some point FORCE you to rest. This is demotivating because you feel like you can’t do it or you’re injured and will now be set back. It’s okay to have rest days.

3. Not having a plan

Let’s say you were going somewhere you’ve never been before. Would you just jump in the car and start driving? No, you’d get the address, look it up on a map, find the route from your house to the location and THEN get in the car. Many people just run to the gym because that’s where fitness ‘happens’. Without a plan, this is useless. Create your own, find a program, or for best results hire someone to create a program that’s for you. No matter what, having a plan is going to get you there faster than just randomly exercising or driving about.

4. Have ‘Athletes Brain’

This is for all you folks that used to workout or used to play sports. It’s probably been years, but for some reason your brain believes that you can still do all those things you used to do. However, because it’s been years, your body can’t. Physically you are unable but your brain says otherwise and try’s to tell your body to shut up! I call this athletes brain and it’s the surest path to injury. If this is you, you need to learn to tell your brain to shut up and listen to your body for once.

5. Go solo

You’re excited, you have a goal and you might even have a deadline. You’re ready to rock, so you do just that. However, soon there will be bumps in the road or it will start going steeply uphill. The going gets tough. If you’re on your own at this point, it’s a real struggle and it’s easy to lose motivation. Having someone on your side can be there to support you in those tough times. A friend, family member or coach can all be great resources to help ensure you complete your goals. Get someone on your team from the start and set yourself up for success.

To wrap up, there are 5 key things to avoid when starting a fitness program: Wait till later, Start too fast, No plan, Athletes Brain and Going solo.

I want you to do something RIGHT NOW to help you get goingI For those of you that didn’t stop and do the squats earlier, do them now. Once you’re done, grab your calendar, plan your next workout session and then pick up the phone. Call someone that can help you and let’s do this!

Please comment below on your experience of these 5 items and what you’re doing NOW to avoid them.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #4

weekly activity challenge benchmark #4

Wow, it’s already week 4 of the weekly activity challenge! I’m shocked at how fast time is passing and also realizing how easy it can be to put things off till later. If you’ve been procrastinating on your workout routine lately, these challenges could be the perfect tool to kickstart your progress! Check out my previous activity challenges over the past 3 weeks to see what you’ve missed or what else you can be doing.

Currently, I’m outlining the “Benchmark Challenges”. These are activity challenges that we will test every 10 weeks to see your improvement. During these 5 weeks, you will establish your baseline fitness to get a clear picture of where you’re starting from.

Today is Benchmark #4!
 

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #4:

Max handstand hold; 1:00 rest x3

– time each hold separately so you have 3 scores at the end.
– do theses against the wall
– if you can’t get into a handstand, try walking your feet up the wall to a challenging height

weekly activity challenge benchmark #4
*from pure2raw.com

 

Try this workouts once per day if you can, or at least 3 times throughout the week. If you try it every single day, don’t be surprised if you’re times drop a little. This will be due to sore and tired muscles.

Please post your scores in the comments section for each time you do it. I also recommend a Workout Journal for your own records.

Have Fun!

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #3

Weekly Activity Challenge - Benchmark #3

Welcome to week 3 of the weekly activity challenge! These challenges will highlight some form of activity or workout you can do throughout the week to stay active. The challenges will vary from walking, to stationary holds, to workouts and other types of activities that we do naturally as human beings. You can try them every day if you’d like, but I’d recommend at least 3 times throughout the week.

Every activity challenge will follow a few key principles:

  • They can be done at home or outside.
  • They won’t require any specialized equipment, just things you can find at home.
  • They will be based on natural human movements and bodyweight exercises.
  • Should take less than 60 minutes to complete, most will be less than 30 minutes.
  • Can be done every day.

For these first 5 weeks, I will be outlining out “Benchmark Challenges”. These are activity challenges that we will test every 10 weeks to see your improvement. During these 5 weeks, you will establish your baseline fitness to get a clear picture of where you’re starting from.

Time for Benchmark #3!

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #3:

400m sprint; 400m walking recovery x5 sets
– time each sprint separately so you have 5 scores at the end.

Weekly Activity Challenge - Benchmark #3

Here in Vancouver, it’s a beautiful sunny day, so what better timing than to get outside for some runs. I highly recommend being outside and on a track for this Activity Challenge. It will provide the most accurate measurement. A typical high school track is exactly 400m around, so run one, walk one x5.

Another way to measure this is using a GPS device or iPhone App like MapMyFitness or RunKeeper. You can also use a treadmill but I’d say that’s last choice.

If you are a beginner, please take this easy. The goal is to run the 400m as fast as possible, but for some this may mean walk breaks or even walking the whole thing. That’s okay, that’s just your starting point and means there’s plenty of room for improvement!

Try this workouts once per day if you can, or at least 3 times throughout the week. If you try it every single day, don’t be surprised if you’re times drop a little. This will be due to sore and tired muscles.

Please post your scores in the comments section for each time you do it. I also recommend a Workout Journal for your own records.

Have Fun!

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #1

Weekly Activity Challenge - Benchmark #1

Today I am introducing a new component to my website: the weekly activity challenge. For the next year (at least) I’ll be posting a weekly activity challenge on Monday’s. This will highlight some form of activity or workout you can do throughout the week to stay active. The challenges will vary from walking, to stationary holds, to workouts and other types of activities that we do naturally as human beings. You can try them every day if you’d like, but I’d recommend at least 3 times throughout the week.

Every activity challenge will follow a few key principles:

  • They can be done at home or outside.
  • They won’t require any specialized equipment, just things you can find at home.
  • They will be based on natural human movements and bodyweight exercises.
  • Should take less than 60 minutes to complete, most will be less than 30 minutes.
  • Can be done every day.

For the next 5 weeks, I will outlining out “Benchmark Challenges”. These are activity challenges that we will test every 10 weeks to see your improvement. In the next 5 weeks, you’ll be establishing your baselines to get a clear picture of where you’re starting from.

Today, I’m introducing Benchmark #1.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Benchmark #1:

As many rounds as you can in 10 minutes of:
1. 6 Push Ups
2. 8 Squats
3. 10 Sit Ups

Weekly Activity Challenge - Benchmark #1
Click on exercises for a video demonstration

For 10 minutes, you will continue to cycle through exercises 1, 2, and 3. Count how many fully complete rounds you can get, plus any additional reps.

For example: If you complete 6 full rounds, plus the push ups and half the squats, your score would be: 6 rounds + 10 reps. Now, when we test this again in 10 weeks, if you score 6 rounds + 15 reps you’ll know exactly how much you’ve improved!

Try this workouts once per day if you can, or at least 3 times throughout the week. If you try it every single day, don’t be surprised if you’re score drops a little at first. This will be due to sore and tired muscles.

Please post your scores in the comments section for each time you do it. I also recommend a Workout Journal for your own records.

Have Fun!

Plank Challenge – vBlog #8

Plank Challenge

This weeks fitness challenge is a front plank challenge. I’m challenging you to see how long you can hold a front plank for every single day. If you missed last week, I offered a walking challenge that’s worth checking out.

As far as the plank goes, it’s a pretty straight forward exercise that you can do anywhere. All you need is you and a floor. So yes, literally anywhere. Here is an extremely exciting video I made of the front plank.

In this video blog post, I offer up a plank challenge to see how long you can hold it every single day. I suggest doing it at least once a day, but aim for 2 or 3 at various times throughout the day for maximal benefit. A good starting point is around 30-60 seconds if you’ve never done a plank before. If you have 1-2 minutes is a nice average. However, advanced athletes can hold for 3, 4 and even 5+ minutes!

The plank itself is an amazing exercise. It provides great benefit to the core helping you develop a strong posture. You’ll feel it in you abs, obliques, erector spinae muscles in your low back, and also in your legs and arms. It truly is a full body exercise.

As always, I encourage you to track your progress. Keep a journal for yourself and I welcome you to share your tracking with me so I can see what you’re up to. Otherwise, please post questions or comments below and good luck on the plank challenge!

Walking Challenge – vBlog #7

walking challenge

Think you can handle a walking challenge? It may seem silly, but truth is people are walking less and less these days. We now spend a majority of our time sitting, so we’re not getting all the benefits of a basic human function: walking.

In this video blog post, I offer up a walking challenge of at least 5 miles per week. The average human walks around 3 miles per hour. If you walked for 15 minutes per day, you would easily reach 5 miles per week. However, it wouldn’t be a walking challenge if I didn’t push you a little further. In this walking challenge I propose 35 miles per week. That’s 5 miles per day! This would require about 1.5hours of walking per day. Now, if you have a handy little tool like a FitBit, it can track your total activity throughout the day.

As always, I encourage you to track your progress. Online tools can be great. I personally use Evernote because it can track way more than just my fitness. If you too use Evernote, I welcome you to share your tracking notebook with me so I can see what you’re up to. Otherwise, please post questions or comments below and good luck on the challenge!

Motivation for your Resolutions

Okay, so it’s been a little while since I did my (weekly) video blog, but here’s my first for 2013. It’s almost February, so where many people start to struggle around now is motivation.

A lot of people know what to do. They have to routine, program or class that they go to, so it’s fairly well laid out before them. Even with that though, the hardest part is usually just getting to the gym in the first place so they can follow the program or join the class. Once there it’s easy, but how the heck to you get there? How do you motivate yourself to get out of the warm cozy bed or off of the comfy couch with potato chips on your lap?

I want to know how you stay motivated to stick to your fitness resolutions? Some people hire a personal trainer or an online coach like me, others place bets and some have photos of the body they want plastered everywhere. What do you do? Check out my video, comment below and let’s share some motivation ideas for our new years resolutions.