That Green Grass – by Jamie Bolton

I’m sure on a daily basis on farms across the world something like the following is said between cows and other grass-eating creatures:‘That grass over there, I’ll be damned if it ain’t greener than what we’ve got here”

The other side might not be greener...

Fortunately for us, we’re not cows. We can wander beyond the field our owner keeps us. We can go see if that grass is greener. And that’s where the problems start. All too often it isn’t. But it doesn’t stop us from trying. Again. And again.Clearly I’m not talking about grass. I’m talking about all things performance related here. It’s a problem of too much information and not enough knowledge. In fact I’d argue it’s one of not enough confidence or belief either.Put your hand up if you’ve ever switched programs just a couple weeks in? Added in exercises because you thought it was okay?

Hands up if you had an unscheduled boatload of carbs on a low-carb diet (and probably labelled it as a ‘refeed’)? Or thought you’d drop the calories back a bit further to ‘speed’ fat loss? Or perhaps not followed your bulking prescription to a tee for fear of fat gain?

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.  

And that’s not just you. It’s me too. It’s human nature to believe what we’re not doing is somehow amazingly better than what we are doing. Moreover, it’s another oddity of the human psych that whilst a coach far more in the know than ourselves designed our program, we know better than him and thus our changes are ‘warranted’.

Now if this is an ‘oddity’ of humanity, something ‘built in’, what do we do about it? Acknowledge it’s occurring and ignore the impulse next time it happens. Better still, prevent the impulse from happening – why not commit to a program and then insulate yourself from possible problems by not reading other possible program designs until your current one has run its course.

You have to give a program time to yield results. Unfortunately we can’t change ourselves overnight. But day by day, and month by month, we can. There is no, absolutely no, point in following say, German Volume Training for 2 weeks then switching to DC training because you didn’t wake up as a mass-monster just yet. Give me a break. How about you ride the program out for the full duration first before evaluating? People often mock the overweight for starting some diet and giving up after just a couple weeks, ‘not long enough to see results’. How are you any different here then?

Another often seen situation is the guy who changes his aims every other week. Bulking then cutting endlessly. Repetitively. He ends up changing direction so often all he ever does is spin his wheels and go nowhere. One minute he wants to be big. Then he wants to be ripped. Then he wants to be strong. All 3 are admirable goals for sure. But you are mistaken if you think 2 weeks a time at each is ever going to get you anywhere. Sure, go for all 3, but give each one time to be properly ridden out. Focus on strength for 12 weeks to increase your poundages, then add some weight to yourself by focusing on size for 12 weeks, and round it off by leaning down for 12 weeks. That’s 36 weeks planned out, two-thirds of the year. In 8 months you could make some serious progress. Or you could keep switching and become stuck. Progress less, looking and lifting the same as you do now in 8 months. Your call.

That 'green grass' will only leave you trapped!

Let’s not forget the guy who adds to a program, or switches exercises in a program because they’re ‘too hard’ (leg extensions are no replacement for squats pal). The guy who ‘bastardises’ a program. If you take Bill Starr’s famed 5×5, but switch out the squats and deadlifts, guess what – you’re not doing 5×5 anymore! When someone writes a program, be it diet or training, they have an intention behind what they prescribe. As soon as you start tinkering without permission, you change the nature and effect of the program entirely. Don’t be surprised when it suddenly ‘doesn’t work’.

I said at the start it’s a problem of too much information and not enough knowledge. We are constantly pounded by information from the media and the internet. By not knowing what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ it’s easy to end up completely confused. That’s where education comes in. To be able to differentiate you need to acquire a base of knowledge such that you can discard what is irrelevant or indeed wrong. If you’re not there yet, or you don’t want to be, that’s where the next element comes in. Confidence and belief. Follow something by a coach you believe in. Someone reputable. That way you can be confident in your approach. You can’t be an expert at everything ultimately. Believing in what you are doing means you’re more likely to follow it to a ‘T’ and ultimately see progress. If you don’t believe in what you are doing is it any surprise that you want to keep changing?

At the end of the day, we’re all human. Despite our best intentions, we do and probably always will want what we don’t have or aren’t doing. Looking beyond just the performance training field, it’s not hard to think of a tonne of parallels that fit the bill just as well. So what do we do? We recognise it and move on. On a personal note, since I’ve become aware of this, I’ve made far more progress. Lightyears worth. Am I ‘cured’? Hell no. But am I much more aware of the ‘urges’ when they occur. Most definitely. If I set out to diet for 8 weeks, then that’s exactly what I do.

The grass on the other side may sure look greener, but it’ll just have to wait until I’m done with the grass right here.
Advertisements

Inspiration 24/06/11

Its been a while now since we last posted some inspirational videos for you so here are another 4 great videos with powerful messages to motivate you in you training. Enjoy.

The guys from EliteFTS prove the impossible.

 

Are you  just making excuses?

 

You are your maker. Go achieve.

 

Do you have passion in your eyes?

 

 Train Hard. Train Smart. Stay Strong.

Inspiration 10/04/11

It’s Sunday again, so it’s time for your weekly dose of inspiration. Enjoy.
.
How does Kai Greene keep pushing himself? Where does his energy come from? The answer lies in the power of rage
.
.
George St. Pierre gives us another insight: the Battle of Champions
.
.
Lance Armstrong shows us what it really means to be ‘Driven’.
.
.
And finally – The moment you’ve been waiting for
.
.
.
 Train Hard. Train Smart. Stay Strong.

Stop Looking for the Secret Formula – by Jamie Bolton

Stop looking for the ‘secret formula’, there isn’t one. 

Now I hate to break it to you, but the truth of the matter is this – you probably already know everything you need to know in order to succeed. However, the problem is, you just don’t want to do it.

“Ya i know squats are a great exercise but they’re kinda hard” or
“I know veggies are great for you but its boring to eat them”

These are such retarded statements when you think about it, yet we hear it all the time. People are afraid of doing the very things that they know can produce results.
Why? Because its hard and there must be some easier way.

You probably know everything you need to get there, just do it!

If you log onto any strength training forum and you will see endless threads with people asking for critique on the minutiae in their program, diets and more typically most of the time – supplements.

“Like theres this super-duper creatine made in Russia lined with pixey dust, but is it better than this one which is cross-filtrated decarboned fossilated creatine which my mate said will get you hyuuuge” (yes both are made up before you go looking for them)

Dude for f**ks sake its creatine, it may well help but please just go and buy some standard creatine monohydrate and get over it. Heck go buy a gallon of milk a day instead, you’re probably not eating enough anyway.

Results are a function of two things – hard work and consistency. Nothing more, nothing less.

People want things that give them instant gratification….eat a donut now and yummm yeah, it tastes good, but is it really getting you closer to your goals? Replacing junk food with real food might not be instantly gratifying, but you’ll be thankful in a few months time when you look, feel and perform better.

That’s kind of the problem these days with society. Everyone wants instant rewards. No in fact, they expect instant results. Sure you’ve eaten like crap for the past 25years but somehow you expect to look like a mens health cover model in a month? Give me a break. Apply some logic here, if it took you years to get that way, you really think you can reverse it overnight?

If you want it, and I mean really want it, then you need to be prepared to make permanent lifestyle changes and stop looking for short cuts, because they’re aren’t any. There is no program that allows you to sit on your arse all day, eat crap and yet look & perform great, no matter how hard to you look for it or attempt to believe it exists. I know the magazines and media say it does, but guess what – they are putting out ‘lies’ in order to make you buy the damn thing because they know it appeals to the instant gratification people want to be true. It’s called marketing.

Anything is possible when it comes the realm of strength training, but it always boils down to one thing – desire. Those who want it enough are walking the walk, doing day in, day out what everyone knows produces results. They’re not hung up on looking for the ‘magic’ formula. They train like monsters, eat like beasts and sleep like babies. They don’t spend more time looking for a program or a diet than actually following it. They already know the real key to success – hard work & consistency.

Inspiration 20/03/11

As it’s sunday, we’ve got your weekly dose of inspirational videos to get you fired up for the training week ahead! Enjoy.

First up, we’ve got footage from the rugby six nations – Invictus

 

Next – the beauty of bodybuilding

 

And finally, a VERY inspirational piece from Kai Greene – ‘Champion of Mind’

 

 Until next week. Train Hard. Train Smart. Stay Strong.

Inspiration 10/03/11

Today we’ve got another selection of videos from the web to get your fired up about your training and sport.

This clip I feel encapsulates what it takes to be the best; the power of inner belief, going hard everyday, staying on your grind, rising to and overcoming the challenges.

 

For all you bodybuilders out there i don’t need to explain why this clip is immense!

 

Don’t dream, don’t you dare dream. That won’t get you anywhere!

 

Its you versus 2nd place pal…let’s see what you’ve got!

 

Until next time. Train hard. Train smart. Stay strong.

Attitude – by Jamie Bolton

I’m going to cut straight to the chase and reveal the fitness industry’s biggest secret. Are you ready? But shushhhhh, don’t tell anyone. There isn’t one. What? Yeah there is no secret.

Wait what?

Look, what separates the weak from the strong isn’t some secret training program, it isn’t some revolutionary diet, it is ATTITUDE.

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Winston Churchill

Notice that guy in the gym going hell for leather? Headphones in, sweat dripping off him? Yeah he’s probably lifting more weight than you are too. He might be mid-set squatting, looks like he’s beat, but he still drops down and gets that one more rep. Sod it, he went and got two more.

It might be that woman at work who meticulously follows her diet. She’s dropped more lbs in the past month than you have in the last year. Your buddy comes round and offers round some cake. You accept, heck it won’t hurt your fat loss efforts will it? She declines.

Or it might be a pal that gets up at the break of dawn to work out, since he’s got a job and family to support. He’s out in his garage at 5am, working to build a better him. How about you? Tucked up in bed, 5am’s far too early to work out after all? He’s breaking out PR’s before you’ve even opened an eyelid.

I’ll even go a step further with these stories. You analyze, as you do. The hardcore guy in the gym, he seems to be breaking the ‘rules’, he does far more sets than that muscle and fitness magazine said to. The woman at work eats too many carbs, sure they’re in the form of fruits, but that low-carb nutrition guru said that was bad. Our early-starter pal, he hasn’t got all the fancy equipment that our gym has, heck he’s just got a barbell, some plates and a rack, that can’t be good.

It’s funny, as despite this, I bet all of these people are making more progress than YOU.

But wait, you’ve got that super-duper, lean-muscle-freak-enhanced new program. Your diet, well that’s from the leading nutrition guru’s. Equipment? State of the art gym I bet. What’s going wrong?

Whilst these other people have ‘inferior’ set ups, they have the one thing that trumps everything else – attitude. They want it. They crave it. And you know what, they’re getting it – progress.

I wonder, and indeed worry, about the amount of people out there who focus on the minutiae in what they do. “Should I do 4×8 or 3×10?” or “Whats better – chicken or turkey?”, or in fact, more commonly something like “Should I take creatine?”, believing this will make all the difference. This is whats known as ‘paralysis by analysis’, or not being able to see the woods for the trees. People zone in on excess detail, losing the ability to make effective decisions, and worst of all, it’s on such marginal issues that it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference.

The best program in the world followed half-heartedly won’t work all that well, if at all, period. A program with just an inkling ‘rightness’, but followed with unswerving passion and all-consuming desire to succeed trumps it every time.

Imagine what you get if you put it together. You educate yourself and follow a solid, proven training and nutritional program. And you follow it with such a zeal and dedication that suddenly you are that person I described above. You show an infectious intensity in the gym. You eat like your life depends on it.

Stop worrying about the fine-print of what you do and just do it. Believe in your actions. Drive to constantly be better. Be better.

The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right.” Henry Ford

%d bloggers like this: