“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
Do This Not That!
This past weekend I was able to travel quite a bit and was going off of very little sleep the entire time. I typically do not do very well when getting little sleep, so you can imagine how I felt when getting only four hours of sleep the night before leaving.
Now I can still function and have a good time but my body feels off and out of sorts. On the morning we left, I grabbed a cup an Americano from Starbucks and got a little jolt of energy as I got on the plain. Although the coffee helped wake me up some, my body was still telling me that what it really needed was more sleep… Not the caffeine I was giving it.
As I was thinking about the signals my body was sending me, I started brainstorming about some other factors that may be affecting each of us in a similar way as we go about our lives. During this brainstorming session I came up with some “do this, not that” scenarios that I would love to share with you. Take a look at what I put together for you below:
Do This: Sleep!
We have read about the importance of sleep, and we all know what a good night (or nights) sleep can do for our body and mind. Each of us are different in the amount of hours of sleep we need a night but a good starting point is usually 7-8 hours per night. Some may be able to function off less while some may need more.
Whatever the case, if you are finding yourself dragging throughout the day one of the first things you need to do is reevaluate your sleep. Then of course, eating the right foods will help with energy as well.
Not That: For many of us, when we get tired the first thing we do is reach for the pot of coffee or an energy drink. Sure this may be a quick fix to our tiredness but over time it will catch up to you.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my fair share of coffee (usually 1-2 cups per day) but it is for enjoyment purposes. If I don’t have coffee it is not the end of the world, and I can still function fine because I usually get good sleep.
What I noticed on this trip is even though I had coffee (maybe even more than usual), my body still wanted sleep because I was not getting enough each night.
So when it all comes down to it, reach for some sleep first then the pot of coffee (screw the energy drinks. You don’t need that stuff!)
Do This: Take care of it now, don’t wait!
We all have something in our lives that needs a “stress reduction.” Figure out what that is for you and take care of it.
Some great stress reduction methods are prayer, meditation, yoga, working out, a short vacation, a cup of coffee or tea with a friend, etc. Find something that relaxes you and start doing it weekly. Better yet, do it daily.
The sooner you take care of the stress in your life, the better you will feel.
Not That: Don’t allow your stress to pile up. I know many people who allow their stress to build up inside then one day will just explode. Sure they feel great after doing this, but then they allow their stress to pile up once again. It is a rinse and repeat affect.
Instead, start taking care of yourself daily so you can constantly be eliminating the stresses in your life. Find a system and stick with it.
Do This: If you find that you are unmotivated to workout or get healthy, here are a few great options: Find a partner, read an inspirational book, set goals and go after them, read motivational quotes, get a trainer, take a before picture, have an accountability partner, email me, etc.
There are plenty of things you can do to get motivated to get fit. Choose one or do them all if you really need motivation.
Not That: Don’t just keep making excuses about why you haven’t started doing something. You can always “start tomorrow” but you only get so many tomorrows. Stop putting things off and get it done.
Work on it one day at a time, making sure that you are getting closer to your goals each day.
Hit A Plateau?
Do This: Find a way to break it.
A plateau should be an exciting time in your fitness journey because it requires some thinking on how to push past it into new and better levels.
Start changing up your routine, find new ways to get stronger, and always push to get better and better. Don’t let a plateau be your stopping point. As Bruce Lee says: “If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else; it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
Not That: Don’t stay there long.
Far too many times when we hit plateaus we find ourselves there for months or years. Maybe you have been stuck at benching 225 for the last several months and can’t get past that point. Don’t just settle with being there forever, figure out a way to break past it, and then do it!
Not Seeing Results:
Do This: As we have heard before: “If something isn’t working, change it.” If you are not seeing the results you desire and it has been a few months (or even weeks), something needs to change.
Start eating real foods, lifting heavy weights, engaging in high intensity cardio workouts, etc. You must start changing things up if something isn’t working.
Not That: Do not just keep doing the same thing over and over.
First off, long slow cardio (ie jogging, elliptical, stationary bike, etc.) is not going to get you the results you are looking for. You should be walking everyday but this should not be your workout.
Start engaging in the right workout and eating right and your results will soar. If you feel you are doing everything right, start changing your workouts up. Maybe do more or less reps than usual or start adding in different exercises.
Over time your muscles learn to adapt to what you throw at them so it is always smart to introduce new workouts every few months.
Tight or Sore?
Do This: Stretch and foam roll!
Whenever I find myself sitting a lot (like when traveling) my hips and back always start getting really tight. In order to relieve this, stretching and foam rolling always helps.
Now I will admit, I hate stretching and foam rolling. That is why I have made it a goal for the next few months and years to stretch and foam roll every single day. Yes, every day!
I want to be limber and am tired of always having tight hip flexors and lower back. Therefore I am going to start stretching for a minimum of 15 minutes each day. I know this will help greatly in many of the lifts that I do (ie squats and deadlifts) and just in life in general.
Not That: Stop avoiding the problem that you are tight and sore. I have avoided stretching for years and it is only getting worse. You must take a stand at some point and start making a change if you are really looking for further your health.
If you are like me and are always very tight, I challenge you to join me and start stretching for at least 15 minutes a day. I know in just weeks I will be thanking myself for doing this.
There is no better time than now to start getting serious about your health. Find the areas you need to work on and start making the change today…
My Workouts Schedule For The Week:
I will be repeating the same workout routine from last week in terms of upper and lower body. This week I will also be performing 6 days of sprints to go along with my lifting. Here is what my week will look like:
Lower Body Day: Tuesday and Friday
Good Mornings: 3 sets of 10 reps
Deadlifts: 3 sets of 10 reps with heavy weight
Squats: 3 sets of 7 reps with heavy weight
Front Squats: 3 sets of 7 reps
Barbell Lunges: 3 sets of 7 reps each leg
Hanging Leg Raises: 12
Ab Roll Out: 10
Decline Weighted Crunch: 12
Bicycles: 40 (20 each leg)
Repeat two times
Upper Body Day: Wednesday and Saturday
Bench Press: 3 sets of 10 reps with heavy weight
Upright Row: 3 sets of 10 reps
Bent Over Row: 3 sets of 8 reps with heavy weight
Dumbbell Front Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps each arm
Rest should be 30-60 seconds between exercises
After completing the exercises above, complete the pull-up/push-up circuit below:
Complete 5 rounds as quickly as possible
Sprints: 6 days
As was discussed in our Coffee Talk this week, I will be doing six days of sprints. Here is what the workout will look like:
Sprint 30 yards
Sprint 40 yards
Sprint 50 yards
Sprint 60 yards
Sprint 70 yards
Repeat 2-3 times
Your rest period is only when you are walking back to the starting point. You will do a total of 10-15 total sprints. Beginners may want to cut this down to one round to start. I will be performing three days of 2 rounds (10 total sprints) and 3 days of 3 rounds (15 total sprints).