Archive for December, 2010

Forget What You Know. Learn What You Need. Change What You Do. Now With Links!!

Comrade, I Have New Hero. His Name, Pavel Tsatsouline.

pavelETKI picked up a kettlebell and it may turn out to be the best thing I have done in years. Well, that and going Paleo along with my discovery of High Intensity Training. You can’t help but love Pavel, and you can check out a review of his Enter The Kettlebell here.

It’s tricky trying to accept things that we believed to be unalterably true. Sometimes it’s almost impossible especially when you have spent half your life telling other people the wrong thing. But we are all here to learn, to adjust and to judge what is the best for us.

As Pavel says, “If you don’t have good judgement, why don’t you stay on the machines you big sissy?”

Eating 5 or 6 smaller meals is physiologically better. Not true. It may help you to snack less since you have no time to do it, but it’s not based on scientific evidence. It may help with digestion, something which I am sensitive to but as long as the caloric amount is the same, the time doesn’t matter.

Spending time on cardio machines is hurting you, not helping you. That’s because the calories burned vs time spent is pitiful and it’s making you hungry so you overeat. Try higher intensity, shorter duration instead such as Crossfit inspired Olympic Lift workouts.

Want 10 reasons why that elliptical 30, 45 or 60 minutes is no use? Here you go.

How about the myth of skipping meals slowing your metabolism? More bull. Just check out any writing about IF (intermittent fasting) to find out why skipping meals can be good for you once you get the refined carbs out of your life.

BMI? Bullshit Medical Information. I know this being a muscular dude, but it’s true for everyone.

Let’s not forget the overwhelming evidence that carbohydrate not fat is the reason for the obesity epidemic. There is too much info to list here but authors like Gary Taubes, Mark Sisson and good link pages like this are a great place to start. Any information on the Paleo movement will help, as may reading the free version of “The Vegetarian Myth” over at Amazon.

You can also go to Whole 9, paleohacks (for great tips and general info from Paleo people) or The Paleo Diet.

Sadly, starting here may lead you on a journey that makes you uncomfortable, frustrated and confused. Keep at it, and slowly but surely you will come to see the new truth about fitness… The so called experts don’t always know what they are talking about but the truth is out there.

Eat bacon!

How Great Are You? The Winners Paradox.

I’ve been there. I have been the guy on top, the winner, the best at that time. I have also been the runner up, gone home without the trophy, been hurt, knocked around and beaten down but I am proud to say that I never stayed down. There is a philosophy of winning that goes against the notion of the top prize and that is to say that in order to win, you don’t always need to come first. It is true, there will be a winner, of that there is no doubt, however on any given day there may be one person out there who is better than you. So how do you reconcile that loss with your psyche? How do you continue to rise after each fall and as a coach how do you help your athletes to realize that winning isn’t about winning at all but about striving to be the very best you can be with no regrets? It is paradoxical to say that winning isn’t about winning. After all, there is a trophy and a payday for the winner, there is a place in history for the winner. Nobody knows who came second to Lance Armstrong during his 7 Tour De France wins, nobody remembers who lost to Michael Jordan during his 6 NBA Championships and you would be hard pushed to find anyone who could tell you the runners up who followed Michael Schumacher to the podium during his 7 Formula 1 World Championships. However, in the end, there can be only 1 and that leaves no room for error. So in order to keep ourselves motivated, in order to make sure that we have something against which we can measure ourselves winning becomes secondary. It takes a back seat to the individual struggle and victory over ourselves. There is a saying I used to repeat to my rugby players and to my gymnastics athletes that there is always somebody somewhere who is working hard enough to beat you and it is your duty, your responsibility to yourself to disappoint them. But it doesn’t always work out that way and when it doesn’t, there is only one thing that matters. The ability to look yourself in the eye, to look at your teammates, parents, children and friends and tell them that you did everything you could. There is no greater pain in the world than knowing that you could have done more. But in contrast, there is nothing that will comfort the sting of defeat like the knowledge that you worked as hard as you could, and gave it everything you had.

You may not think that you are a hero. You may not think that what you do on a daily basis matters in the grand scheme of things but you are wrong. Each time you do anything that challenges you, each time you take part in a project, a game or a workout that pushes you, you are taking stock of yourself and either building yourself up or tearing yourself down. From a fitness perspective, every time you cut your workout short you hurt yourself both physically and psychologically. Each time you finish the last set and wonder how you made it through you add to your stock as a person. You owe it to yourself to do your best, if for no other reason that at the end of the day you can look at yourself in the mirror and be proud. So pick yourself up one more time, push through the pain one more day and trust that in the end, victory will be yours.

Believe me, you don’t want to be in a place where you can’t look yourself in the eye because if you can’t be proud of you, nothing else matters.