How To Gain Confidence in any Lift

How to gain confidence in any gym exercise.

One of the biggest keys to performing well in the weight room is confidence. When you’re confident you’re less likely to be affected by limiting beliefs.When it comes to gaining confidence when performing a lift, the best solution is to do that lift more frequently. If you don’t want to do the lift multiple times per week, you can try a high set, low rep workout. This is the closest thing to training frequently.

The key to making the high set, low rep approach work is by choosing a weight you’re comfortable doing. I’ve had good experience with this approach when using it for speed squats. You can use a normal tempo when doing this. The concept is simple. The more you do something, the more confident you are in doing it. The more confident you are in doing it, the more competent you’ll be. This is why many have gotten good results using Pavel Tsatsouline’s grease the groove technique.

I wanted to work these principles in a recent squat workout I had. I have decent competency with the squat but I wanted to take it to another level. Below is a simple squat workout I did which follows the high rep, low set training approach. The reps were at a regular tempo.

Squat Workout

  • Back Squat: 20 sets of 2 at 225 pounds. 1 minute of rest in between sets.

I chose 225 pounds because that’s a weight I can do easily. In context, my squat max is currently 385 pounds, beltless. You can adjust the weight to fit your strength levels.

  • Suitcase Carry: 4 sets of 30 second carries. 2 sets for each arm. Rest 1 minute in between each carry

I added the suitcase carry because it’s a great exercise to build core strength. It also teaches you how to brace your abs, which is crucial when squatting.

  • Extreme Supported Squat: In order to do this find something to hold onto. Once you do, you’ll sit yourself in a bodyweight squat slightly below parallel. Set a timer for 5 minutes and hold yourself up as much as possible. During the 5 minutes you will slowly lower yourself in the squat. You can drop once time runs out.

I learned about this through Sports Chiropractor Dr. Tommy John. The benefit of this is that it builds strength endurance, which will lower your risk of injuries. I notice that my knees feel great every time I finish the slow eccentric squats.

*Warning: The extreme supported squats feel miserable while doing them.

Closing Thoughts

The workout above is something I did for my squats but you can apply the same principle to any lift. Beyond lifting, you can apply it to any movement or life skill you want to gain confidence in.

Video link to Extreme Supported Squat demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67hA3uLnYIM

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Quote of The Week- Mind and Body

How the mind can limit or propel us in our fitness journeys.

“ Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind that you have to convince “- unknown

Your body is capable of more than you think, you just need to let your mind get out of the way. How can you explain a mom who can lift a car to save her child’s life? In a lot of those stories, it’s just a regular person who isn’t following some crazy strength training program. Even if she was, there’s no strength training program than can prepare you for such an incredible feat of strength. This is prime example of how the body is capable of incredible things.

To get great results in fitness, we often have to overcome a mental barrier. That mental barrier can be many things including, you doubting your ability to achieve a physical transformation or it could be that you think a physical task is impossible.

A great example of the mind allowing the body to do great things is endurance athletes. Running ultra marathons are obviously strenuous in the body but I believe the mental battle is even more difficult. Imagine starting a marathon and constantly thinking about how long you have to run and how uncomfortable you are. Imagine having to battle your thoughts as well as the obvious fatigue in your body. Think of how difficult it’d be to complete the task.

For all you lifters, imagine getting ready for a lift and picturing yourself failing or thinking about how heavy and overwhelming the weight will be. Maybe you’ll perform great due to the fear of failing. You might also be too crushed by your doubts and fears to have a successful lift.

Your Mind is Your Ally

On the flip side to this, your mind can be your biggest ally. One example is just from my personal experience. I still remember the days that the thought of me being able to squat 300 plus pounds sounded insane. All of that changed when I changed my environment. I went to a gym where many people were squatting in the 300s and 400s, and they weren’t all massive beasts. Seeing this opened my mind to believe that squatting more than 300 pounds was normal. I never looked back since.

Your mind can either be an ally or enemy in your fitness journey. If you choose to make it an ally, there are many things you can do to make it possible. As mentioned earlier, one way to make your mind work for you is to surround yourself with people who have what you want to achieve. Be around people stronger, faster, or healthier than you. The list goes on depending on your goals.

Another tool you can use is positive affirmations affirmations . By repeating positive affirmations, you’re sending a message to your subconscious mind to help you achieve your goals. This works because when you say these affirmations, you’re constantly getting a mental picture of your success. How can you have fear and doubt when you keep seeing yourself achieve something.

In addition to the tools above, I also recommend meditation . Meditating teaches you how to observe your thoughts but not be attached to them. This comes in handy anytime a possible detrimental thought comes when you’re trying to achieve something. In addition to thought detachment, meditation teaches you how to be present. Being present is the key to achieving peak performance. When you’re present, you’re only concerned about what you’re doing. You don’t care about every little detail. The example I gave earlier about the mom is a good example of someone who’s fully present. That mom who’s trying to save her child isn’t concerned about how heavy the car is or whether her bones might break. She’s focused only on the task of saving her child.

I hope this post will help you move past your mental barriers so you can achieve great fitness results. When we’re in control of our minds, we can do amazing things.

Fitness Quote of the week- Quality over Quantity

(Short post) quote on choosing quality over quantity

“ Don’t count the days, make the days count “- Muhammad Ali.

This quote can be applied to your workouts. Focus on the quality of your workouts rather than the quantity. You’ll get further with a few a high quality workouts each week than several sloppy workouts.

When you focus on quality over quantity, you’re present to your workout. When you’re in your workout, you have the opportunity to learn something new. You’ll also enjoy it more because you’re feeling the whole experience.

By focusing on the quality of your workouts, you’re less likely to get injured. You’ll respect your workout recovery so you have quality workouts.

Having this approach will also bring a shift in mindset that will help you in the long run. When you’re focused on the current workout, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll achieve your fitness goals. You won’t be thinking about what could go wrong in the future. By not focusing on those thoughts, you’ll be more resilient and confident in what you can do. Our minds are our biggest obstacle if we let it.

Quote of The Week- Importance of Challenges

The importance of challenging yourself in fitness.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”- Fred Devito

This is straight to the point. If you want to achieve any meaningful fitness transformations, you’ll have to challenge yourself. You’ll have to do workouts that scare you a little and make you uncomfortable.

Many fitness gurus will try to sell you on a miracle diet or workout to get quick results. This isn’t reality. Anyone you see with a great body or lifting big weights had to put in the work to get there.

Doing heavy compound lifts is challenging. Saying no to delicious junk food is challenging. Sprinting up hills is challenging. These are the types of things that will transform your body.

Fitness is as much mental, as it is physical. Your body won’t be the only thing that transforms when you challenge yourself physically. Your mind will too and you’ll develop that fitness mindset.

Bruce Lee Philosophies in Fitness

How Bruce Lee’s philosophies can apply to fitness.

Bruce Lee is an icon.  He was more than an actor. He was one of the most influential martial artists in history. He was an incredible athlete and had quotes that will inspire anyone. I’m a big fan of his teaching and have applied some of them to my approach to fitness and life. Today, I’ll be talking about how his philosophies apply specifically to fitness.

” Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do “

You can have all the fitness knowledge in the world but you won’t be able to transform your body if you don’t act on it. Do your research and then put it use at the gym, playground, home, or wherever you workout. The only way to learn if something works is to do it. In a way, fitness is an experiment. You try different things and see how your body responds. That’s how I’ve approached the different training methods I’ve studied.

” I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times “

If you want to be great at anything you have to do it repeatedly. Someone who focuses on 10 different lifts will be good at those lifts. Someone who focuses on 5 will be great or even elite at those lifts. This philosophy also applies to other areas of fitness and sports. By focusing on so many things at once, it’ll be hard to get great at any of them. I personally like to work on different aspects of fitness but when I really want to improve in a specific area, I put other things in the back-burner. The idea of this quote explains why Easy Strength is such a great strength building program. This quote can also apply to the fitness affirmations that I love to use. If I have 1000 affirmations, it’ll be hard for my mind to know which ones to focus on. Some might even contradict the others. That’s why it’s best to focus on a few affirmations.

” Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own. “

In fitness there’s so much information available regarding different training methods and workout types. This quote is saying you need to filter through the information and use what will help you achieve your specific goals.

” If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them “

Aim high when setting your fitness goals. There’s no excitement in setting small goals and being satisfied by achieving them. By having big goals, you’re more likely to achieve memorable results and develop the fitness mindset. This is what this quote is about. The fitness mindset will help you in all areas of your life.

” In The Middle of Chaos Lies Opportunity “

This quote applies to today. With gyms and other places closing down as a result of the pandemic, we may feel limited. One positive is that we have more time to work on areas of our lives that we never took the time for. In regards to fitness, I’ve been working on my mobility as well as weak areas in my body. This is the perfect time to work on your weaknesses or develop new abilities, so a better version of yourself will be ready when the world opens up again.

This quote also applies to challenging workouts since they cause so much stress. When you throw yourself into the fire of a challenging workout, you get the opportunity to learn about yourself and your body. You get to find out your strengths and your weaknesses. When you know your weaknesses, you know what you need to improve on. That’s why self-awareness is so important.

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How To Use Fitness Affirmations For Maximum Results!

The best ways to put fitness affirmations to use in order to get results.

” Constant Repetition Carries Conviction “- Robert Collier

As you know by now, I’m a big believer in the power of  affirmations. I’ve been using them for years with my fitness journey and in other areas of my life. They have helped me tremendously. Today I’m sharing the different ways I use them for the best results.

Written Affirmations: They say people are more likely to achieve a goal when they write it down. That’s why I write my affirmations. I write and reread them throughout the day. This method almost worked too well once when I almost did a deadlift without knowing how much weight I had actually put on. The funny thing was that the weight was an amount I affirmed that I could lift. The affirmation was written ” I deadlift ( Insert weight ) pounds comfortably “. This experience reinforced my beliefs that affirmations are very powerful. I shared the details in a post I wrote talking about how powerful the mind is. I’ve also heard positive things about writing and rewriting your affirmations.

Mirror Work: This is another way I’ve used affirmations for fitness. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post . Any time I used the bathroom at my gym, I’d stand in front of the mirror and look my self in the eyes. Then I would say affirmations to myself as a way to pump myself up. I put energy in my affirmations so I could really feel them. I did these in private bathrooms so I wasn’t distracted by people walking around me.

After Meditation: One of the best times to use affirmations is when you’re in a deeply relaxed state like after a meditation session. This is when you’re the most susceptible to suggestions, meaning you’re more likely to believe your affirmations as facts. This why people in relaxed states are easily hypnotized.

Voice Recorder: One of the best ways to program your mind with affirmations is by using a voice recorder. I do this by recording my affirmations and putting it on repeat. Imagine how your belief system would change if you were hearing your affirmations all day.  You’re being told how strong, lean, and muscular you are. While you’re working, going for a walk, brushing your teeth, etc. You’ll be basically brainwashing yourself to achieve your goals. Doing this will make the work necessary to your goals feel natural and almost effortless.

I just shared some ways I use affirmations for my fitness goals. There are many ways to use them. You just have to find what works best for you. Anything is possible with belief and action. The majority of the time, your beliefs will push you into the actions that support it. Results don’t happen overnight so patience is key. Keep working on your mindset and reap the rewards !

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The Best 5 Fitness Quotes

The best 5 fitness quotes to fuel your journey

To make the most of your fitness journey and get the best results, you need to be internally motivated. I believe that your source of fuel needs to come from within but sometimes you can use external factors as extra motivation. During my fitness journey, I’ve seen myself get a boost in motivation from quotes related to fitness. These were most influential during the early stages. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite fitness related quotes. I hope they’ll be helpful!

” Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor. “- Alexis Carrel

This quote represents the work ethic it takes to transform your body. In order to transform your body, you’ll face challenges. You’ll have good and bad days. If you want to make lasting changes, expect to be uncomfortable. This is how you develop a great body and the fitness mindset.

 

” We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”- Aristotle

This quote represents the importance about consistency. If you want to make lasting changes, you’ll need to be consistent in your work. If you want to be great at a movement, you need to practice that movement consistently. When it comes to fitness, focus on your habits. Your habits will define who you are. When you have good training habits, you will get impressive results. When you have bad training habits, you’ll get lousy results and even injury.

 

” I hate every minute of training. But I said, don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”- Muhammad Ali

This is how a champion approaches training. They’re willing to go through hell in their training to get their results. Your workouts don’t have to be miserable but to make lasting changes you have to challenge yourself. You have to be uncomfortable at times. Seeing this quote reminded me of the rewards that come with the hard work I’m putting in. Anyone who’s achieved a high level of success in fitness has put in hard, sometimes brutal work. For every tough workout you’re doing, think of the amazing results that are coming.

 

” No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training… what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”- Socrates

This quote is arguably my favorite. It represents one of my biggest motivators for my fitness journey and a big reason why I created this page. The human body is amazing. It’s capable of more than most people could imagine. You just have to put in the time and effort to get there. Why settle for average when you can have amazing?  If you’re going to do a fitness journey, aim high. This approach to fitness will also trickle down to other areas of your life.

 

” I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. “- Michael Jordan

This quote represents the toughness you need to show when you face adversity in your fitness journey. Jordan was willing to fail many times in his career, so he could learn how to succeed. In your fitness journey, there will be times you feel like you failed. It could be due to cheating in your diet, getting injured, or failing a rep in one of your lifts. Rather than giving up, you use the failure as a learning experience so you can succeed next time.Everyone that has achieved success has faced some bumps on the road.

These quotes all have a similar theme. Show up and put in the work to get results. It won’t be an easy road but it’s all worth it. What are your favorite fitness quotes?

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Deprivation Increases Capacity

How having less available can help us grow.

We’ve been given a challenge and opportunity.  It’s time to see what we’re all made of. The great Strength Coach, Dan John recently posted a YouTube video that helped put things into perspective. The title of his video is Deprivation Increases Capacity. He talked about how having less resources forces us to adapt and step up. It forces us to work harder. In today’s current climate, a lot of us can feel limited. This is the perfect time for us to step up and see what we’re capable of. It’s what the fitness mindset is all about.

There’s a lot of uncertainty and things that we can’t control right now. One thing we can control is how we approach our fitness and our personal lives. It’s time to embrace this challenge we’re facing and use it as an opportunity to grow in all aspects of our lives. This is what the fitness mindset is all about.

One change I’ve made in my fitness routine is increased workout frequency. I’m training five or six times a week with the off days being for active recovery. One thing that has helped me deal with everything going on is meditating.Meditating has helped me stay grounded during this time. I recommend it for any. Your mental health has a direct impact on your physical health. What changes are you ready to make?

It’s time to approach life with courage and toughness!

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The Grind Continues!

How to adjust now that most gyms in the country are closed

What are we going to do now that the gyms are closed? Unless you have the luxury of a home gym, you’re going to have to make some adjustments. Since fitness is a lifestyle, we gotta continue the grind. It’s time to test the theory that the world is your gym!

I’m going to miss hitting the weights but part of me embraces this challenge. Since you have the fitness mindset , I’m sure you do too. For all you cardio junkies, you won’t have an issue getting in some good cardio outdoors. This post is more for my fellow lifters. Let’s make this work. Let’s approach our new training approach with the mindset that we’re still trying to get stronger.

How To Still Get in Good Workouts

High rep work: High rep bodyweight exercises are very underrated when it comes to strength training. It won’t beat heavy weight training but it definitely has it’s benefits.One of the main ones is stronger joints and tendons. By strengthening your joints and tendons, you’ll be better equipped to handle weights when you get back to lifting. I’ve even heard stories of people having impressive weight lifting numbers just from high rep bodyweight exercises.

Remember Your Movement Patterns: One way to reduce weightlifting rust is to find ways to replicate the movement patterns you already do in the gym. Bodyweight squats for front and back squats. Push-ups for the bench press. Get a broom and practice your deadlift technique. As long as you continue the movement patterns you did in the gym, the transition back won’t be as bad. Don’t be surprised if you make some progress!

Train your fast-twitch muscles: If you’re a strength and power athlete, you can still train your fast twitch muscles with just your body weight. Fast twitch muscle fibers are the ones most responsible for muscle and strength growth. You can train these with plyometric exercises including jumps, sprints, and explosive push-ups.

Yoga: Here’s your chance to give yoga a shot if you haven’t already. Since you’ll still be training hard, yoga will help with workout recovery. It’ll also help you keep your stress levels in check during these challenging times. I reccomend the yoga App, Down Dog.

Be Creative: When you don’t have access to weights, creativity will be big. I recently found some old tires and microwave in my backyard. I know there ways I can use these items for some resistance training. Check your surroundings and see what you can use as a workout tool. 

I’ll continue looking and finding ways to make progress during these challenging times. Weights and equipment are great but everything starts with you. You’re your own source of strength and power. The grind continues!

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The Power of Self-Awareness in Fitness

How self-awareness will help you achieve your fitness goals faster

As I take time to reflect on my fitness journey, I realize that one of the keys to the progress I’ve made is self-awareness. Self-awareness is crucial to your success in fitness and all other areas of your life. For the purpose of this page, we’ll focus on fitness.

When you have self-awareness, you can be honest with yourself. Self-awareness will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness will help you see areas in which you can improve. Self-awareness is beneficial for the mental and physical aspect of fitness. 

The Mental

Fitness is as much mental as it is physical. That’s why I’m a big fan of fitness affirmations. To amplify the power of affirmations, you’ll need to find out what thoughts and beliefs are holding you back. This is where self-awareness comes into place. A lot of times we’re not aware of limiting beliefs till we do some reflection.

If you feel stuck at some point in your fitness journey, it might be because you have a certain belief holding you back. Maybe you don’t think you’re worthy of attaining an attractive body. When you have more self-awareness, you see how dumb a belief like this is. If you put in the effort through proper exercise, diet, and sleep then you deserve to have an attractive body.

You might even be afraid of getting hurt in your pursuit of strength or athleticism. This belief could come from injuries you’ve had in the past that have nothing to do with your current position.As someone who’s had previous injuries, I had to do some self reflection to see how those experiences are currently limiting me. My reflection helped me see that those injuries were a result of bad decisions and that I’ve learned from them. As a result, my confidence during workouts increased and so did the progress.

The Physical 

Self-awareness is also important in the physical aspect of fitness. Being self aware in the physical aspect means taming your ego. How can you get stronger if you don’t know your weaknesses? When you’re self aware in the physical aspect, you’ll look see what body parts are holding you back during your lifts.

Being self aware can help prevent injuries as well. When you have self-awareness you can be honest with yourself about your form when performing a lift. You can make the necessary changes to your form so you can lift the weight properly and reduce your risk of injury. When you’re self-aware, you know how your body is feeling on a particular day and you can decide what level of intensity is appropriate for a particular workout. 

How To Increase Self-Awareness in Fitness

Yoga: Improved self-awareness is one of the many benefits of yoga . This is especially through when it comes to your body. Another name for this is body awareness. Doing yoga gives you a strong sense of what’s going on throughout your body, good and bad. 

Meditation: Meditation is a great tool to improve self-awareness. Not only does it help reduce stress hormones and improve nervous system health, it also makes you aware of your subconscious thoughts. These are the thoughts that drive your daily behavior without you being aware of them.

Written Thoughts: I’m a big believer in taking some time to write down your thoughts. It helps you see what’s necessary for your personal growth and for the achievement of your goals. When it comes to fitness, it’s only necessary if you find yourself in a rut. I’ve found that when I feel stuck in my fitness journey, writing down my thoughts have given me new life. This can be used for those who don’t want to sit down to meditate. Don’t worry about this if things are going smoothly. 

Self-awareness is important in fitness and in every aspect of your life. When you improve your self-awareness, you improve your chances of getting what you want out of life.

 

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