Thursday, March 11, 2010
One of the secrets of professional athletes is their use of Sports Psychology. To think like a winner. This is one of the most important aspects of training and depending on the coach, they will say it is the most important. This is also the aspect that is most ignored by the regular gym go'er or Average Joe and Jane.
A lot of business people or people looking to become a success read books on Sports Psychology. Thinking like a winner just means thinking like a successful person, going out there and creating your own future. It's why some athletes do so well in the business world even if they aren't educated.
So what does this mean? There is a lot of things that lead to your failure in your weight loss or in the gym that was is already a pre-learned response. If you were good at something, you were rewarded with "congratulations, or good job, or you're really good at that, you're a natural." Now if you didn't do so well in something maybe you were received with, "You suck, or that is not your subject I guess, you're not much of a golf player or math student or what have you, and finally you are a failure."
So what happens then? You have a learned response where now you associate yourself being good at one thing, and bad at another thing. That it's innate and uncontrollable. I'm good at math bad at English. I'm good at tennis bad at violin.
None of this is related to effort. Now if you were conditioned another way. You did something and you were met with, "Oh great effort." You did bad at something, "Try harder next time and you will succeed." Then you will no longer associate yourself as being good or bad at any one thing, that all things are based on your level of effort and hard work.
Now the first girl will go her whole life thinking she will either be good at something or bad at something and she will have very little control. It is what it is as a lot of people annoyingly say.
The second girl will go her life thinking if she tries hard enough she can succeed in anything (which is more true than you think if you factor in the 10,000 hours it takes anyone to master anything). Even in studies, sometimes brighter students who categorize themselves do worse than students who base their success on effort. Especially in moments of great pressure or stress when the brighter student sometimes crumbles or feels their vulnerability because they aren't perfect at something. It's why the people with the highest IQs don't always make the best scientists, or even do well in strategy games. It's why someone can come from moderate circumstances to a great level of success even if they had little natural ability, because they worked hard and based their success on their effort.
Which brings us back to your success and failure in your work outs, fitness, and in a greater sense life.
If you are a person who tries this exercise or that and doesn't feel you are good at it, you will end up sticking to the easy things, a treadmill of some sort and see very little results.
A person who tries something and finds it challenging will light up and revel in its uncertainty and complexity and will work hard enough to succeed.
If you're ever feeling like, I suck at this, I am not good at this, I am only good at running but my muscles are too weak to lift, then you will surely fail.
If within your inner dialogue you don't speak in terms of activity or success and failure, but in terms of effort, then you will surely succeed.
I never find that money is the reason people get personal training or don't get it even though they say so. I have had some of the richest people use money not to get training, and some of the poorest people buy personal training in spite of financial limitations. It's all on how they speak to themselves, their inner dialogue. This may not work I'm just not good at it, I don't want to risk the money. This will work if I try, I will invest in myself. Successful people go seek out others who will help them succeed, even before they become rich or successful. You take these people and take all their money or success away and they will find a way to get it back. Think like a winner! You're body will surely thank you for it.
Eventually you will get to a state of minimal effort for maximal results, but that's for another time.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
In my years of wrestling and kickboxing and every other sport, I have always heard my coaches repeat to me over and over one thing, GET IN YOUR ATHLETIC STANCE SAM! It's what is generally known in the world of Sports Performance as the UAP or Universal Athletic Position. It is the only stance a human being can take where they can generate the most amount of power with the least amount of strain onto their being.
It is the position outfielders in baseball squats into when they are trying to read where the player will hit the ball. It is the position a basketball player gets into before he shoots. It is the position that all football players start in. It is the position wrestlers will hand fight in. It is the position kickboxers take before driving a knee or throwing a knockout punch.
And it is the position you will need to develop strength. It will also be the key to your weight loss or any other athletic goal. You look at lifts that use the UAP and what do you have? You have the squat, the dead lift, the thruster, the push press, the clean, the snatch, kettebell swings, clubbell swipes, box jumps, power jumps, etc.
Any other exercise is inferior and should be used as a compliment to exercises in the UAP family. This is another secret athletes use in their training that a lot of regular gym go'ers do not know about. These lifts use more muscles at once, burn more calories, and produce more results. You ever seen a middle weight boxer, wrestler, or even a middle weight Olympic lifter? All of them will have shredded abs and a lot of them don't do any ab exercises. They get it from all their UAP movements. It forces every part of you to be lean, strong, and highly efficient. It is the reason athletes can lift tremendous amounts of weight beyond their own body weight yet the normal Joe strains his back lifting something light off the ground.
Add this into your work outs.
About the Author:
Sam Y. is a Personal Trainer, Coach, Performane Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Enhancement Specialist, and holds multiple certifications. He is also an avid Martial Artist, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing, and MMA. He is also the author of the popular fitness blog All Out Effort as well as the popular martial arts blog Inner BJJ. You can find him in the Los Angeles area personal training his clients, or at home annoying his wife, or on Facebook at his personal fitness page.
Monday, February 22, 2010
What separates man from animals? It is functional strength. Functional strength is the strength that allows human beings to use their hands (and sometimes feet) to manipulate objects or tools in a way no other animal can. It's what allows us to swing a bag, mountain climb, even surf.
It is our ability to use our appendages and lift heavy objects or our own body weight. It's the reason why some say gym strength doesn't always mean the person is strong. Or that big muscles don't = big strength. Functional strength is what makes someone fit, someone healthier, someone burn more calories, and it's something that will never develop with just doing cardio.
When you use machines, they do half the work for you and never force you to use your grip strength. So though you may develop big muscles over time, it will not translate over to sports or overall fitness. It's why a big guy can do a heavy shoulder press yet can't do a hand stand. He can't function.
One of the first things I notice with my beginner clients is their grip strength. Seems their wrist and their grip is always the first thing to tire out so they are not able to do more of the complex exercises that involve free weights. The second thing that usually gives out is the neck (that's for a later post). So that functional strength is one of the first things beginner clients need to work on.
This is another argument for free weights, intensity, body weight exercises, and to start thinking about your own strengths and fitness levels. If what makes us human is our ability to manipulate objects with our hands and feet yet now we have to rely on machines to do that for us, then what are we really good for?
This is what separates athletes from people. This is the knowledge that separates sports trainers from personal trainers.