Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Get your workout done anywhere and anytime with these great bodyweight exercises!

Many people desire a healthy, lean body, but for some it’s really difficult to get proper gym time during the day. The reasons are many. Some mothers must look after their children and cannot leave the house for a session at the gym. Others simply don’t have time and get home late from work in the evenings. Some people may not be able to afford a gym membership fee. The list goes on and on.

Fortunately, there’s a number of great body weight exercises that you can do, in the comfort of your own home, without having to visit the gym. These exercises may be done literally anywhere and anytime, and don’t require massive machines or equipment or large spaces in which to perform them.
 
When I design a workout, any workout, I always break it down into major body groups and select exercises to target each group. This makes it easy to perform a workout that systematically targets the entire body. It also makes it easy to remember what to do and how to do it.

The groups in which I split the body are thus: Back, Chest, Arms, Shoulders, Core (middle or abs), Upper quadriceps, Hamstrings and Calves. The body weight workout below has been designed to target each of these major muscle groups for a total body workout.

#1: Back

A great exercise for the muscles of the back is the body weight pull up. Grab a sufficiently strong and sturdy bar with your hands approximately shoulder width apart, and from a hanging position, pull yourself upwards until you can reach over the bar with your chin. Lower yourself downwards until your arms are fully outstretched and repeat.



The pull up is a difficult exercise to begin with and if you’re unable to perform a pull up as of yet, try these other back exercises to help you to strengthen the muscles in your back. When you've lost some fat and built some back strength, try a pull up again, and if you still fail, don’t give up. Continue losing weight and building strength and eventually you’ll find a pull up as easy as 1-2-3. Even if you manage just one rep initially, that one rep is already a huge success. Next time, attempt to perform two reps, then three and so on.

When you eventually reach a point where you can comfortably perform 10 to 15 pull ups, increase the intensity of the exercise by adding some light weights to your feet, by widening your grip on the bar, by performing more repetitions, or all of them together.

Other great exercises for the back include the superman and one arm rows. To perform a superman, lie down flat on your belly with your arms outstretched in front of you. Now lift your hands, arms, shoulders and legs up off the ground. It’s almost as if you’re trying to fold yourself backwards. Move as far as you can and at the top of the movement, hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds. Then lower and repeat.



For one arm rows you’ll need some form of weight. If you’re at home, you can easily create such a weight for yourself. You could use a can of beans (which is also at just the right size for an easy grip), or if you want more weight, put a couple of cans in a bag and use the bag as your weight. You could also use bottles filled with water or sand, or even a bucket filled with stones, cans, water or sand. The possibilities are endless and you can easily create extra resistance with just a little creative thought.

With your weight in hand, stand against an elevated platform and put your one leg and one arm on the platform. A stool or a chair or the side of the bed will work wonderfully here. Now with the other arm, pull the weight up towards your chest, while keeping your shoulders and back perfectly still in position. Only your arm should move and your back and shoulders should be kept parallel to the floor. After a couple of reps, switch sides and do the same exercise for the other side of your body as well.




You can increase the intensity of one arm rows by performing more repetitions, or by adding extra weight.  

#2: Chest

The muscles of the chest may be given a great workout by performing push ups. But don’t think push ups are just a simple little exercise, there are many variations of the plain push up that you can use to really target the chest.

First up is the plain push up. Lie down on the floor on your stomach and place your hands underneath your shoulders. Now push your upper body upwards, while keeping the rest of your body absolutely straight, as straight as a plank. At the top of the movement, lower yourself down again, but do not lie down on the ground. Your chest should not reach lower than the width of a coffee mug from the ground. From that position push yourself upwards again and repeat.



It is important to keep your body straight throughout the movement. If you lower your middle, you risk lower back injury and you take away the focus of the exercise from the chest. If you raise your butt into the air, you also take away the focus from your chest and instead place it on your shoulders. You should also not let your chest touch the ground, as this could lead you to possibly lie down to rest. If you rest during the movement you won’t be able to activate muscle growth of your chest sufficiently. The exercise will then be wasted.

Other variations of the push up include, wide push ups, diamond push ups, uneven push ups and spider push ups. Click the links to see an example of all the variations.

If you initially struggle with a push up, you can decrease the intensity of the exercise by placing your knees on the ground. As you progress and grow in strength, you’ll find that you can do push ups from your feet, instead of your knees. Eventually you’ll have built enough chest strength to be able to really up the ante. This can be done by increasing the number of reps performed, by placing your feet up higher on a stool or chair, or by adding weight. Weight may be added by filling a backpack with items like water bottles or cans of food and then wearing the backpack while performing your push ups.

#3: Arms

Arms are divided into biceps and triceps. To exercise your triceps I recommend bench dips or overhead extensions if you’re unable to perform a bench dip at this point in time.

To perform a bench dip, sit with your back against a chair and press up on the chair with your hands and arms behind you. A couch, a bed or any other sturdy stool will also do. You are in essence lowering your lower body downwards in front of the chair. The farther you extend your legs in front of you, the more resistance you add to the movement and the more intense the movement becomes. If you’re able to place your legs on a pedestal or stool in front of you, you’ll create even more resistance and intensity.

Lower your body downwards in front of the chair, until your arms are bend at a 90 degree angle. Then lift yourself upwards again. Try to keep your elbows as close to your body as possible. The more the flare outwards, the less emphasis is placed on the triceps muscles.


If you’re unable to perform a bench dip as yet, strengthen your triceps muscles by performing weighted overhead extensions. Grab your weight again (can of beans, bottles of water or sand, etc.), and then, starting with one hand only, lift the weight up, over your head. Now, with an extended arm, bend your elbow to lower the weight until your arm is at a 90 degree bend. From there lift the weight up again until your arm is outstretched once more. Switch sides and perform the same for the other arm. As you progress and become stronger, increase the intensity by adding more weight or by performing more reps.



After a while, give the bench dips a go again, and see if you can do perhaps one or two reps. Then build from there exactly like you would do for pull ups.

To exercise the biceps, you’re going to have to use your weights again. With a weight in each hand, stand with your arms relaxed to your sides. Now curl the weights upwards towards your shoulder, being careful not to let your elbows move away from your sides and not to throw the weights upwards. The movement should be slow, methodical and controlled. Also, if you move your elbows, you take away the focus of the exercise from your biceps and place it on your shoulders so be careful and make sure your form is correct.



Increase the intensity of these biceps curls by increase the number of reps performed or by adding more weight, or by doing both.

#4: Shoulders

To exercise the muscles of the shoulders you need your weights again, the same weights you used for your back and biceps. Stand up straight and with the weight in hand at shoulder level and push the weight upwards over your head. From the top lower the weight again until your arm reaches a 90 degree bend, then push upwards again.




You can increase the intensity of the shoulder press by adding more weight or by performing more repetitions.

If you’re up for it, and you’re strong enough, you can attempt to do a handstand push up. Face a wall, and then perform a handstand against the wall. Do this by placing your hands on the ground and throwing your legs up and over against the wall, to end up in a handstand position. Now, lower yourself until your arms reach a 90 degree angle. From the lowered position, lift yourself up again.


Please be careful when you attempt the handstand push up. If you’re not strong enough, rather lose some more fat and build some more muscle lest you risk falling on your head.

#5: Core muscles

Two great exercises for your abs include vacuums and good old crunches. To perform a crunch, lie down on your back and bring your legs up. Now crunch forwards by lifting only your shoulders from the ground. You should feel a nice burn in your abs.




A vacuum is performed by pulling air into your lungs, and then squeezing your ab muscles tight, and pulling them inwards as you exhale. It should almost be like you’re trying to touch your abs to you spine. Pull them in deep and then hold the position for 10 seconds or so. Relax and repeat.


What’s really great about vacuums it that you can do them literally anywhere and discretely enough so others won’t notice. Perfect for the office or on the daily commute to and from work.

#6. Upper quadriceps and glutes

The best exercise for building quad and glute strength and size are squats. Squats are very easy to do. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your toes pointing slightly outwards. Now lower yourself while keeping your back perfectly straight. Lower yourself until your knees are bent approximately 90 degrees, then push back up again.




You can easily increase the intensity of your squat by doing more reps, placing your feet a little wider apart or by adding weight. To add weight to your squat, you could use your bottles or cans or perhaps even use a chair, lifted up over your head. As soon as you start feeling stronger and more able, go ahead and increase your squat intensity.

Follow up you squats with lunges. Take a large step forwards, then lower yourself until the knee of you back leg almost touches the ground. Then, just before it actually touches the ground, push back up again and take another step forward and repeat. Increase the intensity of your lunges by dangling weights from your hands.


#7. Hamstrings

A great exercise for the hamstrings are hamstring presses. Lie down on the ground, with your legs up on a stool or chair or bed or couch or something similar. Now, lift one leg into the air, and with the other leg, press down on the chair so as to lift your pelvis off of the floor. Do a number of reps like this, then repeat with the other leg. Increase the intensity of the movement by placing a weight on your pelvis.


#8. Calves

Round off your total body workout with the good set of calf raises. Stand with your toes on an elevated platform. A set of stairs will be ideal, however a pavement curb, or a brick will work just as well. Lower your heels down the step and then from that lowered position, lift yourself up on your toes, without using your hands to pull you upwards, or forwards. Repeat until you feel a nice burn.



You can increase the intensity of calf raises by increasing the amount of repetitions you perform or by adding weight. To add weight to your calf raises, do them one leg at a time, so that you lift your entire bodyweight with one calf. Then switch sides and repeat.

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I recommend that you perform your bodyweight exercises back to back, without resting between body groups. This will give you a good cardio boost as well as exercising your muscles. When you do your total body workout, do it in the following manner: Start with your back, then chest, then shoulders, then arms, then core, then upper quads and glutes, then hamstrings, then calves and then core again. The exercises you would do back to back would therefore be: Pull ups (or one arm rows), supermans, push ups, shoulder presses (or handstand push ups), biceps curls, triceps extensions (or bench dips), crunches, squats, lunges, hamstring presses, calf raises and then vacuums.

One routine through all the exercises counts as one set and you are to perform three sets. Take a minute or two to rest between sets and catch your breath, but no more than 3 minutes. You’ll be able to work through a set quickly and easily if you gather all the equipment you’ll be needing and placing them in close proximity, so that you can easily move from one exercise to the next.

As far as repetitions go, always try to do the maximum amount possible until your reach a point of failure, where you can’t do even just one more rep. Then move on to the next and reach failure again. Pretty soon you’ll start to notice that you can do more and more reps before failing. Please don’t limit yourself to, say 20 reps, because this will limit your performance and progress. Always push to do as many as you can, up until failure is reached.

And that’s it folks. A great, full-body, bodyweight workout that you may do in the comfort of your own home, and which should not take more than 30 minutes to complete. All you need to do now is keep you diet in check, and the fat should melt away like the snows in spring. You can check out my post on how to lose fat without dieting for a nutrition starting point.

Stick with this workout and eat healthy foods and you’ll soon see a major difference! Best of luck!

Until next time friends, STAY TRUE AND TRAIN HARD!



Monday, November 17, 2014

Take action!

(That's right, become a star by taking action!)

So perhaps you've sat down and determined that you’re going to lose fat and build some muscle, perhaps you've even gone out and found more information on different programs and what types of diets to follow. Maybe you've even ventured into a gym to check out the vibe. But somehow, you just don’t get far enough to lose all the fat you want to. In spite of all your efforts, you remain the same every single day.

What’s the deal then? How come you don’t get to lose the fat that you so earnestly desire?

The fundamental truth, the first step of first steps towards building the body of your dreams starts with taking action. Whether you want to know it or not, no amount of research or of speaking with people nor all the fitness gadgets or all the apps in the world or any piece of equipment will make you lose fat. The path towards the first ounce of fat you want to lose needs to start with you taking some kind of action to make it happen in the first place.

All the things around you, are just that. Things. You’re the one who provides the energy required to make it all happen. Without you all these things are just inanimate objects, there to lie around and gather dust. And because they’re inanimate, they can’t make you lose fat if you don’t supply the energy required to make them work. You need to take action, you need to get on them and you need to make it work.

I've met many a person who knows it all. They know all the diets, all the workout programs inside and out. They know exactly what they need to be doing. They've got the latest pair of Nike training shoes and the most up to date fitness fashions. They’re outfitted with the latest fitness gadgets. They’re subscribed to many a social platform where they kindly dispense with fitness advice to any ear willing to hear them out. Yet in spite of all that, they remain the same people year in, year out. Not losing any fat, not gaining any muscle.

People have a false idea that if they buy all the merchandise, download all the apps, input their data diligently and post and speak to others as much as they can, they'll lose fat and build muscle. But faking it won’t help you to make it in this case. Unfortunately dear friends, you actually have to get up off the couch (or the chair or wherever you’re sitting) and start to do something. Anything, it doesn't matter. You must get into the habit of taking action. It is only by taking action that you’ll be able to make it work.

Naturally, this leads us to the next logical question: How do I take action?

A quick and simple answer is to just do it! But still that does not answer the question.

The process of taking action starts in the conscious mind of every person. Something or someone plants the seeds of desire in your mind. You may call it inspiration if you want. How does this happen? Well suppose you see a close friend or a relative who lost an enormous amount of weight and now looks very fit and healthy. Or suppose you go to the gym and see that one guy or gal with the body that you’d like to have. Or maybe you want to be able to fit into a size 10, instead of your usual size 20. Whatever the reason, the outcome of the occurrence is that you start thinking to yourself: “Gee, I sure wish I could look like that!” That is when the seed of inspiration in your mind starts to germinate.

Over the next couple of days, the seed starts to grow. Your inspiration changes into desire. Instead of thinking to yourself that you’d like to look like that, you start to believe that you can look like that. This feeling becomes an intense burning desire. And the more and more you think about it, the more and more the little seed in your mind starts to grow and take form and you start to desire that leaner, fitter healthier body more and still more.

But now, this burning desire stands before a very large, sturdy, thick, impenetrable steel gate. That gate is known as DECISION! That’s right. Even if you have the biggest desire in the world, nothing is going to happen until you decide to do something about it. You must make a decision. You must cut off from the rest, make a decision and burn your bridges as it were. You need to step through that gate because it you don’t, you’ll never improve.

Many people get stuck at this point. And this is valid not only for losing fat and gaining muscle. People who desire to quit smoking or drinking find themselves at this same point. People with the desire to quit their jobs and start their own businesses find themselves here. People who want to travel the world, or have children, or get married, or whatever it is they want to do that’ll be a life changing experience find themselves here. And this is the most difficult part of the process.

What makes it so difficult is that once you decide, you essentially cut off all other possibilities and lose the current way of life you've been living. For many that is just too much to handle. Many people have a fear of change and of losing options and also losing their current way of life. Let me explain. A person who wants to get married and now stands on the precipice of decision, must cut off from the life he/she had before. That means that this person will be bound to one partner and must honor a commitment made in front of God and the law. To some this may mean a loss of freedom (What if I meet someone I like more and can’t get out of the relationship?), or a loss of their way of life (We need to move in together, what if I don’t like it?). In the same vein, deciding to lose fat and build muscle may mean a loss of the pleasure of eating whatever you like. A loss of lounging around the house in front of the TV. A loss of comfort. That, for some is just too heavy to handle and they can’t seem to get themselves to open the decision gates and step through. Some people would rather remain exactly where they are, in their current zones of comfort, than make a decision to make a change. They are too afraid of losing what they currently have and too afraid of what making a decision might require them to do.

For these people, it’s not very difficult to decide to buy all the health and fitness related stuff they can however. They go out and buy shoes and clothes and equipment and books and download apps and all kinds of things designed to help them lose fat and get healthy. But, you see, while they’re thinking that they’re making a decision to get healthy, they’re actually only making the decision to buy and download stuff. No decision has been made to lose fat. They’re only bluffing themselves. And so they’ll always remain exactly the same.

Some people actually go ahead and make the decision, but then when they see what’s required and what they have to cut off from, they quickly retreat behind the gate again. These are the people who start with a program, follow it for a week or two, lose some pounds, but then give up and gain it all back again. And what’s even worse is that these people go around telling everyone that the program they were using didn't work, and that it’s a scam or whatever. These are the people who would quickly spit out that they've tried everything out there and nothing seems to work for them. But they haven’t really tried anything at all! They've not made the decision and are now giving legitimate programs a bad rap.

How can we get through the decision making process to go ahead and make ourselves fit, healthy and happy then? To help you make a decision you’ll need something that’ll pull you through the gate. Call it an incentive.

Incentives can be quite powerful and can lead to immediate decision and action. If the doctor told you today, that if you don’t make a change you’ll die within the month, will that affect your ability to make a change? You bet! You’ll be all over that like white on rice, immediately. This is an extreme example, but it illustrates how an incentive can pull you through the gates if you struggle to make the decision.  What can we do if we don’t have an incentive as powerful as this?

To help you overcome the precipice of decision, the first thing you need to do is to look forward. And to help you look forwards, you need to dig into the desires that brought you to the point of decision in the first place. How did it make you feel when you desired a healthy body? How does it make you feel when you see yourself as if you already achieved your goals of being fit and healthy? What would you feel like if you did nothing and saw yourself exactly the same a year from now? Will that make you feel embarrassed, ashamed, disappointed, angry or depressed? Or maybe all of them? Compare these negative feelings with the good vibes you’ll have if you achieve your goals. Which would you rather feel? Good or bad?

I’d venture a guess that you’ll want to feel the good feelings. You see, your desires can be a powerful driving force in your ability to make a decision. By making the feelings you’ll feel upon success and failure as real as possible, you can actually convince yourself that you need to make a change right now! This can help to pull you through the gates to make a positive change in your life.

The second thing that’ll help you to make a decision, is to realize that in order to make a change, you’ll have to cut off some of the older unhealthier habits you engaged in. This will be necessary for change. You’ll have to forego some sweets and snacks, eat at defined times and become a little more active. If the thought of having to let go of all of this fills you with fear, think of the good things which will take the place of these unhealthy habits. Instead of lying around, you could be out there meeting new people, hanging out with your friends and building great and fulfilling relationships. You could even meet you dream guy or girl on one of these outings, imagine that! Instead of feeling sluggish and bloated you could have tons of energy! With this you could get that promotion at work, earn more money and live a better life! Or you could even do things which you normally couldn't, like play sports, go on roller coasters, skydiving, bungee jumping, travelling or spending quality time with your children on the beach! With enough energy the possibilities are endless!

So what I’m trying to get at here is that even though it may be hard and difficult to let go of bad food and bad habits, you can make it easier to make a decision when you think of how you’ll be able to replace them with these great, motivating, fulfilling, life-giving and happy activities when you create your new fit and healthy body. Take some time now and go into a quiet place. Close your eyes and think of all the things you did that were making you unhealthy but which you know you like. One by one, think of them and then say goodbye to them. This may be an emotional experience, but stick with it and systematically resolve to say goodbye to these demons that wreck your life. When you come out of this meeting with yourself, breath in deep and fill your lungs with the air of possibility. You are already no longer the same person and on your way towards improvement and victory!

Now that you have the desire, and with that the ability to make a decision, nothing stands in your way of taking action. It is indeed within reach so go for it! Don’t be like the others who pretend to keep fit and healthy, but always stay the same. Become a part of the Action Club and enjoy the benefits of your new fit and healthy body!

Action starts with a small seed of inspiration, which grows into desire and steps through the gates of decision. Once you've stepped through the gates, close them behind you, look forwards and progress. One step at a time.


Until next time friends, STAY TRUE AND TRAIN HARD!




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to set great goals that increase your chances of success.

The chances of you succeeding in your health and fitness endeavors are affected with the first utterance of the words "I want to lose weight". These words, always the first step towards building a healthy and fit lifestyle, are your goal. This is the outcome you want to achieve after all is said and done. 

The chances of you achieving your goal/s, may be significantly improved if you take the time to sit down and properly plan and develop your goals. Why? Well, studies have shown, that those who sit and plan and write down their goals, are more likely to follow the process through. That's because properly developed goals play a role in your motivation and willpower. When you're motivated and your willpower and levels of desire run high, you're more likely to achieve success. The great thing about success, is that success breeds more success. Therefore, as you progress and achieve more and more success, your desire, motivation and levels of willpower will improve more and more. Once the success cascade has started, it's difficult to stop it. Setting goals and writing them down is so effective, it has been shown that those who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them!

Furthermore, clear, concise goals make it easy to measure and stack up on planned performance against actual performance. This makes it easy to identify where you're making mistakes and where you need to make adjustments. Corrections and adjustments may therefore be made immediately and not some time afterwards when it is already too late.

Wouldn't you want to improve your chances to reach your goals? Wouldn't you want to make it more likely that you'll lose all the fat and build tons of muscle? You can get all the great benefits as described above from your goals if you take the time to make them proper S.M.A.R.T goals.

What are S.M.A.R.T goals? S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound which is exactly what your goal/s should be. Setting goals that conform to the criteria above dramatically improves your chances of achieving success and victory.


Let’s look at two examples of goals: 1. Lose weight and 2. Lose 8 kg in 10 weeks by eating healthy balanced meals, drinking enough water and exercising at the gym every second day.

Goal #1, is vague, not time bound and therefore no good. It looks like New Year’s resolutions for most of us. And, honestly, do we ever reach those goals? No, most of the times we don't. Did you know, that only 8% of those who make new years resolutions actually achieve them. Why is this? One of the reasons is definitely weak, unclear goals. Those poor devils who never achieved their New Year’s resolutions were, in truth, doomed from the start because they did not spend any time developing solid goals. Vague goals ensure mediocre adherence, and this has been shown and proved in many studies as well as in my own personal experience. 

Now Goal # 2, on the other hand, conforms to all of the S.M.A.R.T criteria. It is an example of a good, clear goal.

Specific – lose 8 kg in 10 weeks by eating healthy, balanced meals and exercising every second day at the gym (this goal may be made even more specific if you plan and note all your meals and exercises well in advance; I’ll show you how in sections to come). Very specific in terms of what is planned. The actions and endpoints are clear and specific.

Measurable – because your goal is to lose 8 kg in 10 weeks, you may track your weight loss as well as the time elapsed. Progress may thus be measured by daily or weekly tracking. Just like we discussed at the beginning of this post, accurate measurement of your progress makes it very quick and easy to see where you've come, how far you have to go and if you need to make any adjustments. Another great thing about measuring your progress is the boosts to your motivation and willpower when you see the pounds dropping day after day, week after week. This is what I call the success cascade. As soon as you achieve one small victory, the elation and euphoria motivates you to achieve even more.

Attainable – losing 8 kg is not unattainable if you weigh 90 kg or more and have 8 kg of fat waiting to be lost. It may therefore be an attainable goal. Adjust your goal according to your needs, body and circumstances to make it attainable. If your goal is to lose 50 to 100 pounds (assuming you have 50 to 100 lb to lose), break your goals up into smaller chunks, say 10 pounds at a time and try your best to achieve these smaller S.M.A.R.T goals. This will eventually lead you to your 50 lb overall goal.

Realistic – it is indeed possible to lose 8 kg in 10 weeks. To make this goal a reality a loss of 0.8 kg per day is required, which is indeed very realistic and attainable. In perspective, by cutting out one 340ml (11 oz) can of soda per day, we may lose up to 1 pound in a week! Imagine that, one whole pound just by cutting out one soft drink and replacing it with water! Just think how easy it really is to lose fat then. Many lb’s may be lost by replacing only some sodas with water and some sweets and snacks with healthy foods, and all of this even before stepping into a gym or doing one exercise! (here is a great post on how you can lose lots of lb's before going on a diet or even stepping one foot in the gym)

Time-bound – losing the 8 kg in 10 weeks certainly makes this goal time bound. A period of 10 weeks have been allocated for this plan. The time allotted for the process also signifies an end to the journey. This brings an all-important point of closure and a sense of accomplishment. At the end you can revel in your achievements and look back over the entire journey. Reflection will help you to discover your strengths and weaknesses and to identify what did not work well and how you can go about to make it better. Remember that this program is not a one-time affair, this is a process to follow every day from now on until the end. Reflection will help you to refine it and make it better.

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If you're unsure of how to set S.M.A.R.T goals, or if you don’t know what goals to set for yourself or how to do it, the following tips will help you to set great, solid goals. If your goal/s can answer these questions below, then you know that you've got some great S.M.A.R.T goals and that your chances of achieving them will be significantly improved.

What is it that you specifically want to achieve?

Are you looking to simply lose fat or do you want to build muscle as well? How much fat do you specifically want to lose? 5 kg, 10kg? How much muscle do you want to build? Do you want to improve your health so that you need not depend on expensive medication anymore? Which medication and for which disease? Do you want to be able to wear size 6 jeans, or size 12? Do you want to lose 4 inches around your waist and thighs? Do you want to see your abs? Or do you want to fit in a particular itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikini?

These are the types of questions you must ask and answer. It’s really important that you be very, very specific when deciding what it is that you want to achieve. You must write down the specifics, whether it is a number or a specific event. A number can be 5 kg’s, or 2 cm’s from the waist, or to drop 2 clothes sizes, or even to increase you bench press by 10 kg’s (22 lb). An event may be that moment when you’re not dependent on medication anymore, for instance. In a case like that, another specific number then becomes 0 pills or something similar. Try to be very specific, the more specific you can be, the easier it becomes to measure your progress, to know exactly where you stand and to know where you have to go. Remember the light at the end of the tunnel? You must know what your light is.

If you’re uncertain about how much you should weigh, consider some healthy advice I once heard from a gynecologist: Take your height in centimeters, then subtract 100 from that and the number you’re left with, will be your ideal weight. So, if you’re 1.74 meters tall for instance, your ideal weight should be 74 kg’s (163 lb). (That’s 1.74m x 100cm per m = 174cm, then 174 – 100 = 74, therefore ideal weight to be 74 kg) Use this ballpark calculator to set up a great, specific goal for yourself.

By when do you want to achieve it?

Here you must give yourself a time limit. For fat loss, a good time limit may be selected if you work with about half a kilo of fat loss per week. To lose 5 kg therefore, should take you about 10 weeks then. Half a kilo of fat loss per week is quite safe and not very hard to do, but you can bump up that fat loss to about 1 kg, even 2 kg per week if you work hard and keep your diet clean. The time horizon may then be shortened to 5 weeks, or even 2. The point is that you must have a time value connected to your goal, so that you know by when you can expect achievement and bring closure to the journey. A time limit also enables you to calculate what your progress ought to be. If you want to lose 5 kg in 10 weeks for instance, you know that a fat loss rate of half a kilo per week will get you there. Whenever you take follow up measurements you’ll be able to see whether you’re on track or not.

How are you going to measure your progress?

It is important that you be able to measure your progress in a concrete, realistic manner. For fat loss, a scale reading may be used. If you want to fit into a pair of jeans, then a tape measurement of your waist and hips may be used. If you want to build muscle and strength, then the amount of weight you use in your workouts may be used. All of these give you a concrete number, a real thing that may be used to compare with follow up numbers. This allows you to see your progress, side by side. You simply cannot measure your progress by just looking in the mirror every day. Your judgement may be biased and you’ll never notice whether you’re making real progress or not. There are just too many influences that skews your judgement. Take care to ensure that your measurements are free of bias and unfair judgement. It’s hard to unfairly judge follow up numbers when they show clear progress.

Is this goal of yours realistic and attainable?

You must actually be able to achieve your goal. It does not help if you set a goal that you’ll literally never be able to achieve. Your goals must be realistic and doable. An unrealistic goal is for someone who weighs 50 kg with a body fat % of 7 to lose 10 kg. This goal is unrealistic and impossible, except if you want to become anorexic. Set goals that you know you’ll be able to achieve. If your subconscious mind knows that you've set a goal for yourself that you’ll never achieve, it’s going to sabotage your efforts right from the start. This means you’re definitely going to throw in the towel at some point. If your subconscious knows you can achieve a specific goal, it’s going to help you to find ways of staying on track without you even noticing it. Get your subconscious on your side by setting attainable, realistic goals.

Finally, to put the cherry on the cake so to speak, it’ll be extremely advantageous to physically write down your goals. Studies have shown that when we write down our goals, we are 42% more likely to achieve them. I can attest to that personally from instances in my past. I focus more on the outcome when I write down my goals and it seems somewhat easier to achieve them as well. In the same vein, writing down your goals by hand seems more real than typing them out on a computer or other device. That makes the probability of achieving them even higher. When you physically write down a goal by hand you send a message straight to the subconscious mind of your intention. It’s almost as if there is a link between the subconscious and the ink on the paper, via you physical body. This process recruits more of the subconscious to help you think of ways to achieve your goals and for boosts in motivation and willpower.

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Take some time right now to write down your own S.M.A.R.T goals, in large, bold letters, and then stick them on your fridge door. Take some time to add some decorations and inspirational messages, make it real. Stick your goals up in all places where you know you cannot miss them. A goal that is always in your face will leave its imprint on your mind and keep you on track during every moment of this program. Remember to make them S.M.A.R.T goals by making sure they answer the questions above. Goals like this increase our chances of achievement and helps us to conserve willpower and boost motivation.

I hope this post will help you to help yourself with your health and fitness endeavors. Remember that it all starts with goals. And your can significantly improve your chances of reaching your goals, if you take the time to develop them properly.

Until next time friends, STAY TRUE AND TRAIN HARD!



Training thresholds - The minimum amount required for healthy living



[This post is quite lengthy, but the contents is very useful and informative. Make yourself a cup of green tea, sit back and happy reading!]

I initially thought of calling this post "The lazy exerciser's guide to losing fat and living healthy," but then I realized that no one can call anyone lazy if they're actively trying to make improvements to their health and fitness. No, calling someone lazy when they're trying to improve themselves would be a wet slap in the face. But, in essence, that is what this post is all about. How can one improve their health and fitness in the most laid back manner possible? What is the absolute minimum effort required to become fitter and healthier? How can one gain, without any pain?

Questions like these lead us to the concept of training thresholds. A training threshold can be seen as the boundary of a circle, the inside of which denotes an area of progress. Everything outside the circle boundary can be seen as our comfort zones. Outside the circle, we never progress. Outside we can only stay the same, or digress. In order to progress physically, we need to step within the circle for a limited amount of time or, in other words, we need to cross the threshold.

Whenever we're inside the circle, whenever we cross the threshold, we place ourselves outside of our comfort zones. Our bodies always want to stay within the comfort zone, because that means less stress and trauma to our systems. To counteract the influence of stress and trauma, our bodies start to adapt to the stimulus beyond the threshold. This adaptation process is how we get fitter and healthier. Soon, the body is able to handle this stress and trauma, and what was once a threshold area, is now another level of normal comfort.

So what would be the minimum requirements for crossing this threshold, for how short a duration do we need to stay within the threshold area and how intense should our level of activity inside the threshold be to take us out of our comfort zones and into an area of adaptation and progress?

Fortunately, the minimum requirements to cross the threshold is indeed very minimal. Contrary to popular belief, you really don't have to sweat buckets in order to look and feel healthy and fit. For improvement we need to overload our bodies for a very short time and then allow it to adapt. That is, sustain a level of activity or movement above that which is normally comfortable for a minimal period of time and then rest long enough afterwards for the body to adapt and grow. This concept of overloading makes it easy to see exactly what qualifies as exercise and what does not.

According to the concept of overload, sitting in front of the TV does not constitute an activity beyond our comfortable levels. Reasons being that the activity does not overload our systems, or push us through the threshold. But, off course, you knew that already. So let's take an activity like walking for example. Many people go for a walk to remain active and maintain a reasonable level of health and fitness. If you never walk more than a few hundred meters a day (from your front door to your car, from your car to your desk, then back to your car and then back into your comfy chair in front of the TV) then a brisk walk around a couple of blocks will be a system overload, an activity that pushes you through the threshold and into the progress circle. This brisk walk is then your minimum requirement for overloading your system, causing your body to adapt and grow.

For a person who walks several miles a day, a few blocks will not be a sufficient amount to cross the threshold. Their bodies have already adapted to the stimulus of a few miles a day and can easily handle the walk around the block. Such a person must either increase the intensity (i.e. walk faster, jog lightly, wear ankle and wrist weights, etc.) or increase the duration within the threshold circle (i.e. walk for 30 minutes instead of 10, etc.). Only then can they overload their systems for adaptation and progress.

These examples show you how you can identify an activity that overloads the system and place you inside the threshold circle for improvement. Fortunately, you don’t have to think about whether an activity is enough for adaptation every single time, there are a number of basic physical parameters one may use to see whether the threshold is crossed or not. This leads us to the minimum threshold requirements for health and fitness improvement.

Aerobic fitness (read cardio) can be improved with only 20 minutes of effort at a heart rate of 60 to 80 % of your max heart rate. What is your max heart rate? It's not necessary to concern yourself about what your max heart rate is, what you do need to attempt is to keep your heart rate between 130 and 150 bpm (beats per minute) whilst partaking in cardio activities.

How can you determine what your heart rate is? Well, you can measure it by placing your fingers on your aorta in your neck, or on your wrist and then counting the beats in a 15 second time period. Multiply that number by 4 to get your bpm. Otherwise, you can invest in a heart rate monitor, a small device used to measure your heart rate. Also, many cardio machines these days have on-board heart rate monitors. You simply place your hands on the sensors and the machine will measure your heart rate and display it on the screen.

Which exercises can you do to increase your heart rate? The options are legion, but I include some of the most commons sorts. If you have access to a gym, then a minimum 20 minutes of cardio that'll elevate your heart rate to between 130 and 150 bpm can be achieved by walking on a treadmill, with the platform tilted so as to make it seem you're walking uphill, or making use of a stationary or recumbent bike, with some added resistance to the pedals, or by using an elliptical trainer, rowing machine, stepper, Stairmaster or Jacob’s ladder machine. An extremely good form of exercise for increasing your heart rate is swimming. If you have access to a swimming pool, go ahead and make liberal use thereof. Swimming has no impact on your joints, you can involve the whole body in the activity and the cold water will help you to lose more fat due to heat loss than what would otherwise have been with cardio machines.

If you don’t have access to cardio equipment like these mentioned above, then go for a brisk walk around a couple of blocks, or jog lightly. You could go for an uphill trial hike or ride your bicycle. And just as well, you could go for a swim, if you have access to a pool. There really are so many, many options available. Use your heart rate monitor, or measure your pulse to determine whether you’re progressing or not.

Muscle may be built by engaging in resistance training activities in which you move slightly more weight than 60% of your one rep max. What is a one rep max? It is the most weight you can move in just one repetition. If your one rep max for a bench press is 100 pounds for instance, then training with just 60 pounds will make you develop and tone your muscles. There is also one other means of developing muscle with minimal effort, and that is training to failure.

Failure is that point where you cannot move against the resistance even one more inch. It is the total fatigue of all muscle fibers in a given muscle group. How does training to failure help? When all the muscle fibers in a muscle group becomes fatigued, the body senses that it needs stronger fibers to handle the stress. The process of muscle hypertrophy then kicks in when you rest to strengthen the muscle tissues so that you’ll be able to handle the stresses better next time around.

It is much quicker and easier to train to failure, than it is to train at 60% of your one rep max, but it’s also more painful. You only need one set of an exercise if you train to failure, whereas you may need up to three sets of an exercise if you use the 60% method. Training to failure also enables you to do a body weight workout at home in as short a time as 15 minutes. In fact, just yesterday afternoon, my wife and I trained our legs by doing simple body weight squats and lunges back to back, until we couldn't walk anymore. It took us no more than 10 minutes and as I write this post today, I can definitely feel that I trained my legs yesterday.

So there you have it, the minimum requirements for health and fitness. You can improve your health fitness by engaging in just 20 minutes of cardio activity, which increases your heart rate to between 130 and 150 bpm every other day, and training to failure for about 10 to 15 minutes, using simple body weight exercises in the comfort of your own home, every other day. Cardio and exercises are performed one after the other so that you don’t do both at the same time.

These minimum requirements for aerobic fitness and muscle development will push you through the threshold and into the circle of adaptation easily and you’ll be able to improve in no time, if you perform these in conjunction with a healthy eating plan and adequate water intake.

Now that we know how little is required to make a health and fitness improvement, we can move on to another concept called progressive improvement. The human body has the amazing ability to adapt to the stimuli surrounding it. While this is great for survival, it does not bode as well for ongoing improvement of health and fitness. As you cross the threshold and step into the circle, your body adapts to the stimuli until eventually it becomes a normal activity. This is known as hitting a plateau. Further engagement in the same level of activity does not produce any more meaningful results, because it is no longer an overload to your system. To be able to improve further, we need to progressively increase the intensity and duration of our training activities, in small increments, to get fitter, leaner and healthier.

So, if you started off by swimming three laps in the swimming pool for cardio improvement, you’ll have to add one or two more laps for further improvement. And eventually, you’ll need to add more and more to that as well to make sure the body keeps on adapting and improving. This is what progressive improvement is all about. If you get to the point where you’re able to swim 15 laps for instance, and that is the point where you’re happy with your look and fitness level, then no further progressive increases are required. You can stick with 15 laps and simply maintain the state you’re currently in.

In the same vein, if you want bigger and stronger muscles, you’ll need to progressively increase the weight you use, in small increments. However, if you get to a bench press with 200 pounds for instance, and at that point you’re satisfied with your state, then remain at 200 pounds and simply maintain your level of fitness and your look.

With all this being said, increasing intensity, duration, frequency and rest (up to a safe point) will increase the rate at which fat is lost and new lean muscle is developed. In other words, the more you elevate your activity level above that which is normally comfortable, the more you do over and above the minimum threshold requirements, the faster you'll be able to lose fat and build muscle. So, if you’re looking for the absolute minimum required, then you've come to the right place, but if you want more and better improvements than what the minimum requirements deliver, then you’ll have to find yourself a program that increases intensity, duration, frequency and rest.

Keep in mind though that at a certain point, too much exercise, too intense, too long and with too few periods of rest in between is just as detrimental as living an unhealthy lifestyle. Too much training can lead to over training, a state in which the body releases cortisol and adrenalin to counteract the immense shock placed on your system. Cortisol has been shown to break muscle tissue down and over training may weaken your immune system and interfere with your sleeping patterns. So be careful, don’t train too much.

Knowledge of the minimum threshold enables the person with little available time, or the person who wants to improve health and fitness without too much pain for gain to do just that. This post can also be read in conjunction with my other post on how to lose fat without going on a diet orstepping one foot in the gym for nutrition tips that'll help you to lose many, many pounds of fat without breaking a sweat.

I always recommend that people engage in some form of activity, and now that you know what the minimum requirements are, you have no more excuses for improving your own levels of health and fitness. It really is so very easy to do.

Until next time friends, STAY TRUE AND TRAIN HARD! 




Monday, November 3, 2014

Staying positive and motivated, from beginning to the end!

In my last post I described why it is that people don't commit to a nutrition and training program and why they quit so often and so quickly. The problem comes from to a decrease in our desire for change. Desire fades because we reach a point where it's easier to convince ourselves that the current condition we're in is tolerable, than it is to go out and take action. When desire fades away, so too does motivation and willpower and pretty soon we're not committing and following through anymore. Eventually, after enough time, we quit completely.

Desire stems from the feelings we feel when faced with a certain situation. I'd like to use a concept from the wonderful work of Mr Tony Robbins to explain the feelings we feel about practically every situation in our lives. In his work, Personal Power II® , Mr Robbins explains that the feelings we feel are either negative feelings of "pain", or positive feelings of "pleasure" and that we would do anything to "avoid pain and gain pleasure". Feelings of pain and/or pleasure are the major drivers of human behavior.

Pain and/or pleasure drives our behavior in such a way as to develop the desire to take action. We either want to feel the pleasure of having a beautifully fit and healthy body, or we want to avoid the pain of being overweight, ridiculed and possibly developing life threatening diseases, for instance. In either case, we develop the desire to take action in order to gain a feeling of pleasure or to avoid a feeling of pain.

As soon as we have the desire, we automatically have the motivation and willpower to go out and take action to influence the way we feel. If we want to keep ourselves motivated and want to cultivate willpower to push through difficult times, we therefore need to keep our desires for change alive and kicking. We need to fuel the flames of desire throughout the process from start to finish. Does this make sense to you? Because desire brings motivation and willpower with it automatically, if we keep the desire alive, we also keep our motivation and willpower alive. We must therefore do everything in our power to ensure our desire never fades away.

Fortunately, there are a few simple, very easy actions to perform that'll help us keep our levels of desire sky-high through and through. In this post we'll discuss three powerful techniques so that we'll never have to worry about losing our motivation and willpower ever again. Then, finally, we'll be able to commit and finish the programs we start and build the bodies of our dreams.

Technique #1: Visualization

When a powerful desire takes a hold of you, you'll immediately notice the effects. You'll notice your heart beating faster and a funny uneasy feeling in your gut. It's almost as if you cannot wait to get started, as if everything is moving too slowly. You feel like you just want to get things done and get them done right now. You instinctively look for the next steps to take and desperately want to get things in order and get them done. A strong desire feels as if an invisible force is pulling you forwards. You almost don't have to do anything. It's like your body is moving along automatically, without you at the wheel.

As you experience this desire, you can already see in your mind's eye how you lose the pounds, how your clothes fit better and better and how you're able to wear smaller sizes. You can see how your muscles are bulging and can almost feel the ridges of your new six pack underneath your shirt. But what's more, you begin to experience a glimpse of the intensely pleasurable feelings that having a sexy, lean, toned body will give you. You start to see how others admire and desire you and you begin to see the influence you have on them. You become excited at the prospect of being successful, of losing a lot of fat and of building tons of muscle.

The opposite could also be true. You could see in your mind's eye how you won't be dependent on medicines and drugs to stay alive and healthy anymore. Images may appear where you're no longer ridiculed and mocked for being fat. Just as positive feelings of pleasure drive desire, so too is desire awakened by the need to avoid feelings of pain.

These feelings and the images in you mind's eye must be cherished and saved. This is an important step and should not be though lightly of. As soon as your feelings create desire and you notice the desire grabbing a hold of you, make careful note of how you feel and what you see in your mind. Take a moment then and revel in these feelings. Don't be shy, really dig into these images and imaginations of what can be and try to involve as many of the 5 senses as you can. Imagine the future as if you have already achieved that which you desire.

Sit back and relax, with your eyes closed, and allow the possibility of tomorrow to flow over you. See everything in as much detail as possible. Feel everything, hear everything and if you can, taste and smell it even. Add as much detail as possible and try to make these images as real as you can. The more senses you can involve, the more real the future will become and the stronger your desire will be. Remember how these images make you feel, write them down even, if it'll better help you to keep them closer.

Now, whenever your desire starts to wane and fade, use the visualization technique to re-ignite the flames of your passion again. How will you know when your desire starts to fade? For one, it becomes increasingly difficult to say no to the wrong food, or to get up to work out. Secondly, you'll start to say things to yourself like: "What's the point? Why must I do this? I'm OK with myself. There's really nothing wrong with me. I can live with myself like I am right now. I cannot enjoy my life if I have to diet and train the whole time. There's still enough time, I'll go tomorrow. I'll just have this piece of cake now and then after that I'll go back on the diet again." As soon as these thoughts start to manifest themselves in your mind, it means that you are trying to convince yourself that being fat and unhealthy is tolerable.

When these thoughts start to take form in your mind, you need to realize your desire is dwindling. And while you may still have enough willpower and motivation to get yourself up and going for now, it'll soon become too much effort. Take action immediately as soon as you find your desire is fading. Take some time where you can be still, quiet and where no one will bother you. Find a comfortable spot, sit back, relax and close your eyes. Now, play out all the images you remembered that moment when the desire first took hold of you. This is why it is so important for you to make the images and experiences in your mind's eye as real as possible. 

See and feel again all the images you felt on that first day. Taste all the tastes and smell all the smells. Try to remember the positive feelings you felt, of how good you'll feel when you reach your goals. Try also to remember the negative feelings you felt, of how everyone ridiculed you and how you had almost no energy energy in the day. Remember all the good and bad feelings and then remember why you wanted to take action to lose fat and build muscle in the first place again. Make it all as real as it was for you that first day. Again, imagine yourself as if you've already achieved all your goals. See the faces of others as they see the new you and feel how you'll feel when you have done all you plan to do.

You'll find that the same intense feelings of desire will return. You see, the desire never goes away, it only fades until a tiny ember remains. But if you use this visualization technique, you can blow on that ember and add more fuel to get it to burn bright and hot again. Hot desires lead you to action and will automatically bring about motivation and willpower again. 


Technique # 2: Document everything and keep it in front of you at all times

It is also very important to write everything down when you experience desire for the first time. All great nutrition and exercise programs should start with a section on goal setting. Not only do good, clear and strong goals help you to maintain higher levels of willpower, but good goals can be used to maintain high levels of desire and also to re-fire the desire furnace again, should it ever cool down.

In addition to setting great goals, one should also document everything in the entire process and especially one's progress. A fitness journal, progress pics and weight measurements can be used to keep desires burning hot and bright.

How do we use our great goals, journals and progress to keep desire up? We keep it in front of our eyes the whole time. Do everything to make sure you're constantly reminded of the program you're on. Write out your goals in big large bold letters and paste these up everywhere around you. On the fridge, on your bathroom mirror, in your office at work, in your car, everywhere. Everywhere you look you should be reminded of what you want to achieve. Goals that are always visible and that constantly remind you of the process you're engaged in will make it difficult for you to lose desire. The effect is like that of a mirror. It constantly gives you true feedback and makes you very self-conscious about the promises you made to yourself. People tend to keep promises to themselves more times than promises to others and this helps to keep your desire alive.

Keep your journal, progress pics and weight measurements close as well. Compare each new measurement and pic side by side with the previous one. Write down in your journal every new little achievement you've reached, every small little detail you can see as your body changes and your feelings and attitude day by day. Paste you first progress pic and every new one side by side alongside your goals everywhere where you'll always see them and be reminded of them. If ever you find that desire is low, then pull out your goals, your journal and your progress pics and take a look at the success you've already achieved. Not only will the constant reminder of the program you're on breed new desire, but success is also one of the greatest drivers of motivation, willpower and desire.

As you achieve more and more success and as you lose more and more fat and build more and more muscle, your desire to improve further will become more and more intense. The truth is that success breeds on success and once you've set the success cascade in motion, it becomes a snowball effect where desire, motivation and willpower only increases.

By documenting everything and using it as leverage to keep your levels of desire high and intense, you need never concern yourself about losing motivation and willpower. Keep your plans in front of you all the time for a constant reminder and set the success cascade in motion for 100% commitment till the end.


Technique # 3: What's the worst case scenario?

Finally, another technique to be used to fuel your desires is imagining yourself in the absolute worst case that failure to take action will put you in ever. I mean, if you don't commit and don't follow through what is the absolute worst that could potentially happen to you? 

Let's look at a person that is severely overweight and has type II diabetes. Furthermore this person must drink many, many pills a day to keep his blood pressure down. The pain of being unhealthy, of having to take so much medication and of being unable to participate in any fun and healthy activities with friends and family ignites the desire inside this person to take action to improve his health and fitness. 

Now that the desire has been cultivated and while it's still burning white hot, our unhealthy person jumps into a diet and exercise program with a vengeance. But soon the desire starts to fade and the fat guy resigns himself to tolerating his unhealthy lifestyle. Think of what's going to happen now. What will be the absolute worst case for him if he doesn't stick to the program?

We'll in a case like this, the unhealthy lifestyle this person is living will eventually catch up to him. He'll develop ugly sores and lesions on his legs because of diabetes and poor blood circulation. Eventually he develops gangrene and the doctors amputate one of his legs just above the knee. Now, with only one leg, this person is even more sedentary, and the depression of not having both legs sends him into a feeding frenzy. On top of that, he has systematically cut off all contact with the world due to feelings of depression and shame. He has no friends and feels utterly alone. Often he has contemplated suicide, but could never bring himself far enough to actually do it. After a couple of months, on a hot sunny day, our fat guy crumples together. On the way to hospital, in the ambulance, he learns that he had just had a heart attack and that he's lucky to still be alive, in the condition he's in. After one day in ICU, his tired and unhealthy body decides that it had had enough, and fat guy dies a lonely, premature death. He was only 36 years old, a time when we are all supposed to be in the prime of our lives. He had no friends because he would not leave the house to live and enjoy his life with those he knew. His funeral is a sad reminder of the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.

If this story is also your story, imagine for a moment, that by going on like you are now could lead to your own untimely, premature death. How does that make you feel? Are you still just comfortable with your life like it is at the moment? Do you still feel like it is something that may be tolerated? Does it not cultivate the desire to do something about it right this moment? Or, if you have ever tried and quit a program, does it not re-ignite the embers of desire that made you want to get fit and healthy in the first place?

I mean, I try to live a healthy lifestyle to best of my abilities, and I would reckon myself to be in reasonable shape, but even my desires to live healthier are made stronger when I think of a potential absolute worst case scenario as told above. 

What's your worst case scenario? What would happen to you if you took no action to improve your health and fitness? This worst case scenario approach can be quite a shock, but a damned effective one in my opinion. Take some time today, if you feel that your desire is dwindling, and think of your worst case scenario. Visualize it in painstaking detail, just like you would do for any other visualization exercise. Involve all the sense and make it as real as possible. How does it make you feel? Can you feel the desire coming back again? Are you motivated and willing to jump right on back into your program again?

If ever desire wants to leave you, taking some time to think of the worst case scenario can shock your system back into gear again. A worst case scenario visualization will definitely help to drive desire back into the red again. And, as we know by now, desire leads to automatic motivation and willpower.


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These three techniques are powerful weapons that anyone can use to make sure that they always have the desire to make constant, ongoing changes in their lives. Always remember, that motivation and willpower stem from desire, and if you lose the desire to change, so too will you lose the motivation and willpower to make the change possible. 

Never allow yourself to lose your desire for change. Use these three techniques to see it through until the end and to make of yourself the person you want to be! Learn to recognize the signs of a strong desire for action and then immediately couple it to these three techniques. Life is too important to miss out because of unhealthy lifestyles and being unable to participate. 

Have you ever felt the desire for change? Could you feel it driving you onward? Did it ever happen that you lost your desire? All your comments are welcome. Share the experience!


Until next time friends, STAY TRUE AND TRAIN HARD!