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Your goal is to get in top shape. You are serious about your workouts. You eat clean, too. However, no matter what you do or try there are 10 or 20 pounds of fat that are just standing on the way between the body you have now and the body you’ve always wanted.
In this article, (and in the video below) I will share with you the top 3 barriers that stand on your way to getting the body they’ve always wanted.
The irony is that most people would think that their diets or their training plans aren’t working. The biggest barriers that keep people from succeeding actually have nothing to do with diet and working out. And, as long as they are not addressed, no matter what you do with your nutrition and training you will most likely not succeed.
Here is a good test for you: When you look 6 months or a year out into the future how do you see yourself there? Do you see yourself having the body you’ve always wanted, or do you imagine yourself having the same body you have today?
People fail because they don’t see themselves having the body they’ve always wanted. What that means is that on a subconscious level they don’t believe that it is possible for them.
Until you change this image in your mind, until you begin to consistently see yourself in future situations with your new body your chances for attaining that body will remain slim at best.
Beliefs shape our reality. If they are empowering our reality will reflect that. If they are disempowering our reality will reflect that as well.
All kinds of negative self-talk are examples of disempowering beliefs. Here are some examples of disempowering beliefs:
I am not capable of attaining the body I’m imagining
I don’t have what it takes to achieve that
I can’t resist food
I don’t have the willpower it takes
I don’t believe I can do it
I don’t look good either way
I’m not worthy of looking good
I’m not worthy of being liked
For as long as you maintain these (or similar) disempowering beliefs you will keep sabotaging your efforts. You have to put in a very serious effort into replacing these disempowering beliefs with new and empowering beliefs.
How do you replace disempowering beliefs with empowering beliefs?
Here is the formula:
Actions create results which create our beliefs!
To put it simply you have to set small attainable goals and then you have to begin taking decisive action on these goals. This way you will begin creating results in the right direction. And, these new empowering results will begin to replace your disempowering beliefs with empowering beliefs. It sounds simple but the more disempowering beliefs you’ve nourished and let flourish over the years the more effort it will take to get rid of them.
So, start to work on knocking down this barrier immediately!
Your WHY’s keep you motivated. The bigger the WHY’s the bigger your motivation. And, trust me, there will be times when no matter how mentally strong you are you will have to have a lot of motivation and willpower to continue pressing on.
Most people who fail to get the body of their dreams don’t have big enough WHY’s – they haven’t taken the time to create a strong list of reasons why whey want these results for themselves.
If you aren’t currently clear on your WHY’s take the time to ask yourself, “Why do I want to have a fit and awesome body?” Give as many answers as you possibly can think of. Is it for your loved one, for your family, to gain more confidence, to get a modeling gig, to have more energy and feel better about yourself? All of these could be legitimate reasons for you.
Until you take the time to figure out your powerful WHY’s you will almost always find it extremely difficult to continue when those unsurmountable walls rise in front of you, and they always will – at one time or another.
If you continue to blame your lack of success with getting the body of your dreams to your nutrition or training, while ignoring to address the three barriers I told you about, you will most likely continue to suffer disappointments.
If you, however, take the time to work on your mental image of yourself, on your beliefs and on your WHY’s there is no doubt in my mind that you will soon find out that all the other factors are also working for you and that your body is slowly evolving into the body you’ve always wanted for yourself.
Here are your action items for the day (don’t put this off!): After you finish reading this text take the time to list all your WHY’s on a sheet of paper.
Next, create a plan, consisting of small measurable goals, which when reached will give you the results that will help you replace your old disempowering beliefs with new and empowering beliefs.
And, finally, believe that it’s possible for you. Start picturing yourself with your new attractive and fit body.
If you are engaged in body building for the sake of becoming as big and as muscular as you possibly can then I’m sure you’ve noticed that 1) Your confidence isn’t growing as fast as your muscles are; 2) Very often it seems like it’s a lot of work and the results are disproportionately low to what you put in as effort;, and 3) Even when you achieve good results oftentimes you don’t feel satisfied. It’s like it’s never good enough.
In this article (and video), I will give you 3 reasons why you may be feeling this way, and why building huge muscles for the sake of being huge should probably not be your main goal:
The truth is that we build muscles for reasons that we aren’t even conscious about – admiration and respect from other men, domination over other males, and status. The bigger you get the more you think that you are invincible and there is no other male that can stand on your way.
The problem is that usually competing for domination and status among other males doesn’t work with striking bodybuilding poses. It does take actual skills in physical fights. And, big muscles have nothing to do with fighting skills, fighting skills have everything to do with fighting skills. So, if bodybuilding is your main thing and you ignore the manliness aspect you may find yourself in trouble.
Muscle dysmorphia, also called bigorexia or megarexia is a medical condition that’s the opposite of anorexia. It simply means it’s never enough. You are always too small, too skinny, too ugly, underdeveloped.
Think of it this way. If your arm is 15 inches your goal is to grow it to 17 inches. When you get to 17 inches it’s not enough. You’re still small and now you want it to be 18 inches. Does that sound familiar?
In my observations, most guys who are fixated on building excessive muscle mass suffer from muscle dysmorphia. I used to suffer from it.
And, it’s not easy to cure yourself of this – 1) You have to acknowledge that you have it, and 2) You have to learn to accept yourself the way you are.
You have to eat all the time not only to grow new muscle but simply to maintain. Feels like a job and your day revolves around your food. Your vacations, travel, enjoying evenings out with friends – everything is difficult because you have to eat every 3 hours.
You have to eat 5-6 times a day, there must be a large amount of protein in each meal, it’s difficult to prepare, it costs a lot in money, in time, effort, in missed opportunities and life in general.
And, the moment something happens and you aren’t able to maintain that schedule your hard-earned muscles start to go away.
If it’s so difficult, if it’s so unnatural, if you have to work so hard at it – without getting paid – why do it then? A lot of it is going to go away one day anyway.
I did bodybuilding for 23 years, 9 years as a competitive bodybuilder. It took me more than 27 years to learn what I know today – why I did bodybuilding and the high prices I had to pay in work, effort, money, missed opportunities and missed life.
So, if you’ve never thought about it, I want you to take a few minutes and think about why you are doing bodybuilding.
Once you know the answer, think about whether it is worth the cost that you’re paying for the return on investment you are getting.
I’m sure you’ve seen somebody do pull-ups with such an ease and grace that you were simply amazed. And, you probably thought, I’d love to be able to do pull-ups like him.
And, that thought made you feel bad because you are painfully aware that you can’t do even one pull-up.
Okay. Here is the thing: If you have two arms you can learn to do pull-ups. Period! I don’t care if you are a female or male, small or large, young or old. All you need to do is learn the skill.
And, I say “learn the skill” because the pull-up is not an innate capability, like the push-up – push-ups are fairly simple: go down, go up. All you need is the strength. The pull-up is a learned skill, which goes way beyond just being strong.
Think about it this way: To hit a tire with a sledgehammer you have to have two arms and the ability to swing a sledgehammer. That’s your push-ups.
To play the piano you also have to have two arms, right? But, that’s not enough – you also need to acquire the skill. So, think of the pull-up as learning the piano, only learning the pull-up is much, much easier.
Ok, then, but why is it so difficult for us to learn to do the pull-up?
Here are the two main reasons why:
In the first case here is how we think: “To learn to do a pull-up I have to train my biceps and my lats.” And, we end up doing isolation exercises.
The problem is the pull-up is a complex movement pattern and it requires that we train the entire body exactly the way the pull-up is done. Which simply means you have to train the pull-up by doing pull-ups. There is no other way around it!
In the second case, we use pull-up assist machines and rubber bands instead of gravity. There are 3 big problems with assist machines and bands:
1) they provide too much help and at the wrong times;
2) they don’t train some of the muscles we need for unassisted pull-ups – like the core muscles for example; and
3) transitioning from assisted to non-assisted pull-ups is even harder than starting from scratch.
So many people have told their stories of being able to do 8-10 pull-ups with minimal assistance but as soon as they try unassisted pull-ups they feel like their muscles are frozen.
Ok. So, this is why you can’t do the pull-up, but how do you fix that? Here’s how…
I personally have a pull-up bar on the door to my home office. Several times a day as I go through the door I do a few pull-ups.
This is it. If you do these 3 things there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you will learn to do the pull-up.
Anyone can learn to do pull-ups – ANYONE! And, that includes you. You just have to commit to it, be diligent, and put in your time and effort – just like I did.
I’m leaving you with this message. There are two types of people in the world:
those who talk about things,
and those who make things happen
Which type of person are you?
If you are still reading, I think I know the answer. And, I know you know it, too. So, get to work and make this happen. And, I’m here to support you every step of the way!
There is a particular reason why fat people are fat! It isn’t slow metabolism. It isn’t the lack of exercise. And, it isn’t eating too many carbs or too much fat. Although, these are all good reasons they none of them is the chief reason.
I’m so excited to talk about this issue that honestly I don’t want to give out the true reason here – you will have to watch the video above.
In the video, besides naming and explaining the true reason why fat people are fat, I also talk about my experience with this problem.
At the end give two steps that any person with chronic weight gain / fat gain problems can take to turn things around. Hint: it starts with you and your mind! And, it has a lot to do with taking responsibility and quitting being (or playing) a victim of your circumstances.
It’s never a great idea to eat what you want but it is possible – without gaining any weight.. or fat, just to call it what it is.
During my competitive bodybuilding years, I used to eat six times a day and I used to carefully measure everything I ate. It was cumbersome and boring.
Then one day I decided that I wanted to be able to – at least sometimes – enjoy foods that others enjoyed, too.
So, I searched the web and found something that looked promising. I tried it and it worked. It’s called Intermittent Fasting (I’ve written about it before).
In this video, I share exactly how and when I fast.
Althugh, I still eat healthy whenever I want I allow myself some indulgences. Not only is it not affecting my body fat level but I actually stay lean while maintaining the muscle mass I had before I started. My strength has gone up. And, I feel great.
I want more people to know about Intermittent Fasting. It allows freedom. It is liberating… and it’s healthy.
Have you tried Intermittent Fasting? Let me know in the comments below.
This is the last video of the 4-part video series on Relative Strength and the exercises that we use to test for it – and to develop it in the first place.
In this video, I discuss the hip drive movement, expressed by the one-legged full squat – aka. Pistol Squat.
This is PART 3 of the “Relative Strength benchmark exercises” series. In it, I discuss The Push – the handstand push-up – how to get into an inverted position safely, and how to progress to your first handstand push-up if you can’t do any.
In this video, I talk about the pull-up as one of the three main Relative Strength benchmark exercises. I also explain the ways to progress to your first pull-up if you can’t do any.