Have You Noticed?

Written by: Coach Jess

When was the last time you noticed how you were feeling–physically and emotionally–before eating?  Have you ever noticed how you feel when you see yourself naked after stepping out of the shower?  Do you take time to notice how you feel–mentally, emotionally and physically–before heading to work for the day?  Be honest here–have you noticed??

Noticing is very similar to mindfulness, awareness and consciousness.  But it is different, in that “to notice” is a verb–something we can do, an action we can take (even if we aren’t yet mindful, aware or conscious).  Mindfulness, awareness and consciousness are all nouns; they are states of being and sometimes we don’t know how to get to those states.  Noticing is how we get there.

What’s the value of noticing, you ask?  Noticing your emotional, physical and mental state before, during and after any activity will help you connect thought patterns and habits to outcomes–both good and bad.  Let me explain:

  • Are you well-fueled for a workout?  As you drive to the gym, take a moment and let go of what happened an hour ago at work, and take inventory of your body.  Does it feel like you have enough gas in the tank for a workout?  During your workout, is your energy level steady, or do you feel depleted?  After your workout, do you feel energized or drained?  How do you like to feel, or how would you like to feel?  What can you do to achieve that?  Oh, yeah, you say–I am going to take an afternoon snack to work, so I feel good when I get to the gym.
  • Before your next dinner, take inventory of how you feel. Calm?  Anxious?  Stressed?  Peaceful?  Next, observe how you eat with that feeling.  An hour after dinner, take notice again.  Here’s my story:  I used to hype up Thanksgiving dinner as if it were a euphoric experience.  I would build up loads of anticipation and excitement, and I would gorge myself.  I thought I enjoyed it–until about 30 minutes after dinner, when I became miserable from being stuffed.  Then I felt gross, lethargic and let down.  Once I made the conscious connection, I was able to approach that feast much differently.  Now I can enjoy one reasonable plate of food–a reasonable serving of my favorites, a tiny serving of the others and pass on those that are just OK.  I can walk away from the table still feeling energetic (and definitely guiltless).  The lesson applies to every meal during the week, too.  If you make a connection between your stressful day at work and a bag or Doritos, now you have the power to control the craving.
  • Do you listen to your own self-talk?  Or, has it become like the furnace in your house and you know longer notice when it turns on?  Take a few minutes and notice what your self-talk sounds like.  Would you be proud or embarrassed if your self-talk were on a billboard?  Would you talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself?  We all have a little devil who sits on one shoulder and an angel on the other.  Which one is whispering more loudly in your ear?  Your angel or your devil?
  • How do you feel while you are getting ready for work?  Are you looking forward to a few jokes in the breakroom with some co-workers you enjoy?  Or, are you wrapped up in dread about a meeting, or quotas or something else?  How do these feelings affect your physical wellness?  How do they affect your performance?  

Noticing these things about ourselves CAN result in change.  Let’s say that your spouse asks if you have replaced the bathroom faucet.  “No,” you say, “Why would I?”  Then you walk in the bathroom and notice the faucet is leaking (and you’ve wondered why the water bill was increasing for the last few months!).  Now that you’ve noticed it, you can take action and fix or replace the faucet.  

The same is true about YOU.  Maybe your doctor or loved one has mentioned (one too many times) a poor choice.  You argue, “Hey, it’s hard to (insert life change here).”  Maybe that’s losing weight, stopping smoking, partying less–WHATEVER.  Take a minute and observe yourself.  Once you notice something, you have the power to change it.  

 

Scarcity vs Abundance Mindset

How do your words affect your thoughts? What if I told you that the language pattern you use with yourself and others determines your level of success in the gym and out in the wild. Read on to learn how…

To start we need to understand 2 mindsets:

  • Scarcity (Fixed) Mindset
  • Abundance (Growth) Mindset

Scarcity Mindset

If we’re trapped in a scarcity mindset we believe that everything necessary for future progress is becoming scarce or running out. Scarcity also tends to focus on what others have that we do not. Scarcity shows up in our language with a focus on what there is “Not enough of”. There are never enough hours in the day, money in the bank, people who care, etc.

When we are in the Scarcity Mindset in regards to fitness we say things like, “I don’t have time to meal prep.” OR “I’ll never be as fit as (fill in the blank). I bet it’s sooooooo easy for them to lose weight.” A scarcity mindset also focuses on all of the things you’re giving up or losing by making healthier choices: treats, pizza, alcohol, Netflix.

Scarcity often focuses on immediate gratification and disregards your long term goals because… YOLO. This mindset brings negative emotions like envy, guilt, sadness, and anger. Examples: Have you ever eaten like shit for a whole weekend and felt awesome about yourself on Monday morning? Nope! Does comparing yourself to that super fit person on Instagram make you feel good? Doubtful

Abundance Mindset

On the other hand, an abundance mindset believes that there is always enough. When in abundance we focus on the long term and create positive feelings about self worth and value. Abundance focuses on what we do have and what we can do. Abundance shows up in our language with a focus on what there “IS enough of” and what we “CAN do.” I can plan better and give myself more time, I’ve always had enough money and will always find a way to provide, my life is filled with people who care about me, etc.

A growth mindset in fitness says, “I can schedule time this weekend to meal prep for next week.” OR “I will work hard to become the healthiest version of me because I am worth it.” An abundance mindset also focuses on all the things that you’re gaining or adding by making healthier choices: health, energy, libido, self confidence.

When in abundance you are in opportunity seeking, problem solving, a$$ kicking flow. This mindset brings positive emotions like joy, excitement, compassion, and calm.

Cultivating An Abundance Mindset

Mindset is a powerful tool because just like working out to build muscle, mindset can be practiced, and if you practice my friend you can get better at it. You are not fixed. Human beings are capable of amazing change both internally (how you think and talk to yourself) and externally (your body composition and how you talk to others).

Sometimes scarcity language is sneaky. It may not be as obvious as the above examples. Often, it’s more a slow creep. Here’s a quick mindset/language game I’d like you to play that will hopefully hit this material home for you.

First, grab a pen + paper or open up a Google doc to type.

Got to, Need to, Have to → Get to

Part 1: Pressure/Scarcity Language

Step 1- Please write out 1 of each “Got to”, “Have to”, and “Need to” sentence.

Examples:

  • I’ve got to go to bed earlier tonight.
  • I have to go to work. 
  • I need to work out later.

Step 2- Read these sentences aloud.

Step 3- Check in with yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you feel saying it? 
  • What are you feeling right now?
  • Where are you feeling it?
  • 10 is high, 1 is low – what number is it?

Part 2: Choice/Abundance Language

Step 4- Rewrite the 3 sentences from above and replace the got to, have to, need to with get to.

Examples:

  • I get to go to bed earlier.
  • I get to go to work.
  • I get to work out later.

Step 5- Read these sentences aloud.

Step 6- Check in with yourself. Ask yourself:

  • Any difference between the first set of sentences and the second set of sentences?
  • Describe the difference.

What Changed?

When we change our words we change our focus. Shifting 1 word in a sentence can make all the difference in how you see the event in your mind. Is this a “have to” or a “get to”? If you look objectively at your life there are very few things that you “have to” do. I have to go to work… you can quit. Well, I “have to” pay bills… you can sell your house and move into something cheaper. I “have to” work… you can get a different job, change your lifestyle, move across the country. You choose to go to work, to pay bills, to stay where you are. 

Our days are the culmination of our decisions, our choices, and when we acknowledge that then we can choose to enjoy them or make different ones. That is the scaffolding for building an abundance mindset.

Motivation is Bullsh*t

Most days I can train without too much resistance. Most days the decision to train is easy. Most days training feels great. Most days training is a necessary release it centers me. Training is my meditation. A time to process, to be present.

 

And some days it really f*cking hard to do it. Some days I don’t feel motivated to train. Some days I want to stay curled up and nestled in the warm blanket of comfort. Some days it’s a battle against my mind to pick up a barbell or get on a rower.

 

Today was one of those difficult days. They come infrequently but when they do, the lack of motivation to train can be crippling. Because if I don’t feel like training it’s highly likely that I also have a desire to engage in some other form of self-destruction. It could be eating junk, I’ll eat a whole large pizza on a day like today, or I may attempt to clear my schedule and not move from the couch. I have one of those all in personalities and I never half ass anything. This includes going off the rails and spiraling into a self-induced food/lethargy fueled energetically depressed state.

 

Today is/was a difficult day to be disciplined when I don’t feel motivated.

 

I dislike the word motivation because I believe that “motivation” is largely bullshit. Here’s why… 

First, motivation is NEVER there when you need it. Looking for motivation when you’re down is like looking for water in the desert.

 

Motivation is often external. We want someone or something outside of us to spur us to action. We want someone to call us when we don’t feel like training to ask us where we’re at. We want a pep talk. We wait for the feeling. We wait for something to show up and make our hearts race just enough to get off the couch. The problem is that feeling never shows up for most people.

 

If motivation does finally show up in your life fleeting at best. You ever felt so motivated to clean up your diet that you purge the kitchen of junk food with every intention of refilling the cabinet and fridge with ONLY healthy options. How long did that last? Did you even make it out of the store without some junk? Did you make it a week? A month?

 

At some point, you gave up and slid back into the old habits of eating for mouth orgasms and dopamine rather than eating for fuel. Now, not every meal you eat should be boring but if you’re #1 goal of eating is edging, you may need to reevaluate your relationship with food. More on this in another blog.

 

The reason you gave up is that you ran out of motivation. There is no amount of external stimulus that can solve an internal issue. Motivation is a lot like caffeine. If you didn’t get enough sleep last night it’s a nice pick me up and it can pull you through a day or two. But if you don’t get enough sleep for a week straight no amount of caffeine is going to save you. Your performance is going down the drain.

 

Rather than looking for motivation, we must lean into discipline. Discipline says “Even though I don’t feel like it, I am going to do it anyway. Even though I’d rather eat a whole bag of Doritos, I’m going to have a salad and some chicken. Even though I’d rather stay in bed, I am going to get up and exercise.”

 

Discipline is the answer to the problem of motivation because you are going to have days when you don’t feel like it. And if you’re just starting out those days will be more numerous than the days that you do feel like it. Motivation won’t save you on those days.

 

I still need some help sometimes. That’s when I lean on my coaches and my community or I’ll search and listen to motivational speeches on YouTube for a hit of that sweet dopamine. It feels good to hear others talk about the struggle. They let me know that it’s normal to feel a lack of motivation. At the end of the day no coach, other person, or YouTube video can do it for me. I have to be disciplined.

 

It’s on me to do it for me, just like it’s on you to do it for you. When you look at the reasons that you train what do you have? Do you do it for yourself? Or are you doing it for someone else? For your spouse? Your kids? Your doctor?

 

Training for someone else is another form of looking for “motivation”. Here’s the deal if you don’t train your spouse will likely stay with you, your kids will still love you, and your doctor doesn’t really care that much anyway. This also shows up in the person that needs a training partner or a gym buddy to keep them accountable. What happens when that buddy ends up canceling a session because insert excuse here. Both people end up skipping the session that day. Eventually one falls off for good and shortly after both quit going to the gym because neither person started doing it for themselves… They started doing it to not let someone else down.

 

When I sit down with someone new in a consultation I can tell who will stick out the arduous journey of transformation based on how they talk about their “why”. Nearly every person who told me they want to do it for someone else either doesn’t enroll because it’s too expensive and they’re not planning to stick it out anyway, or they quit within the first 3 months.

 

The people who stick it out with training and reach their goals do so because 1. They start selfishly. They start for them. Or 2. They start for someone else and spin that into a selfish reason to stay. An example is a father who starts so that he can play pick up basketball with his son pain free and stays because he like the way his body is starting to look when he gets out of the shower.

 

If you only remember 2 sentences from this blog remember this. Training should be selfish and motivation is bullshit. No one is coming to do the hard work of training for you and discipline is the only way to show up when you don’t feel like it.

Athlete’s Hierarchy of Needs

We discuss this Hierarchy with all of our new clients and athletes.

Why is this hierarchy important?

Because this is how our coaches determine what our clients/athletes need to prioritize to stay injury resilient and crush plateaus! This hierarchy is our bedrock for making informed decisions. Without this process for assessment, we’d be guessing what our clients need rather than making informed data-driven decisions.

When looking at this hierarchy it’s important to know that while we can work on more than one thing at a time it’s built like a pyramid for a reason. The base is the most important layer for building up.

From an injury resilience* standpoint without the necessary or prerequisite flexibility, you become more likely to incur an injury through training. Injury is a broad word that captures catastrophic incidents like a tear or break. Though in training it’s far more likely that you experience a minor injury such as a pulled muscle or a sprain.
*side note- we no longer use the term injury prevention because there are many factors that play into injury and we can no more control or prevent those variables for clients than we can control the weather or what happens when you leave the parking lot. More on this in another blog

From a performance goal angle. Do you know how tall a pyramid can grow? Answer, as wide as its base. So if you are looking to lift more weight/gain more skill having adequate flexibility is paramount and the indicator of potential growth.

Here’s a great example to describe that nagging injury. Bob’s knee hurts when squatting. Working on Bob’s squat to improve his knee pain is jumping all the way to the top of the pyramid (because squatting is a skill) and we missed all the layers below. It’s possible that Bob has stiff or short muscles in the front of his upper leg (quads) as a result of sitting at a desk 8 hours a day for the last 15 years. So, we need to work on Bob’s quad flexibility first before addressing the skill of squatting.

Next, we’ll briefly break each layer down:

Flexibility

A structure, joint, or tissue’s passive range of motion. If I use my left hand to pull my right finger back towards my forearm as far as it will comfortably go I am demonstrating my finger’s flexibility. How far my finger can move = flexibility

Mobility

That same structure, joint, or tissue’s active range of motion. When I lift that same finger as high as possible without any assistance attempting to follow the same path I am demonstrating my finger’s mobility. How far I can control/ consciously access movement = mobility

Strength Balance

At Fortitude, we work off very real specific ratios to understand how well you produce force in different movement patterns. The more structurally balanced you are the less pain you have and the better performance gainz you get. Win/Win. Below is an example of some of the ratios that we use to determine why someone like you or Bob, from the example above, may get knee pain when squatting.

What we have observed over the last 2 years of implementing this strength balance testing is that the closer our clients are to these ratios in terms of weight, the more injury resilient and less injury prone they are. These ratios allow us to see if someone is squat or hinge dominant, stronger on one leg than the other, or lacking something like grip and core strength (both of which are indicators of longevity).

For example, if you can deadlift 100# and also squat 100# you are squat dominant to the tune of 20%. To improve resilience and decrease the potential for pain/injury we would work on developing strength in your deadlift. We can then extrapolate this data all the way down to your single arm carry and single leg step up. Anywhere that we find a deviation from the goal ratios, we have an opportunity to train. Creating more balance. More balance = more resilience

Work to Rest Ratio

How much are you doing vs how well are you recovering? You do not get fit from working out. You get fit by creating an opportunity to recover. Exercise breaks down your systems, recovery builds it back stronger. Recover = Gainz. Here we look at things like Stress, Diet, and Sleep as intentional recovery strategies.

Skill

Skill is defined as the ability to do something well. The air squat, pull up, and deadlift are all complex movements that require practice to get good at. Developing these skills through training is how we help you develop strength, resilience, and become an all around bada$$ out in the real world.

What does it all mean?

Each layer is a piece to the puzzle that allows us to identify how we can help our clients continue to train pain free for life. On day 1 of our onboarding process, we take new clients through a full joint by joint assessment to learn about any flexibility or mobility restrictions that they might have. This information coupled with some simple strength balance metrics dictates how we teach what we teach to new clients. From day 1 we build a custom roadmap of education around each individual in order to set you up for long term success in training.

As new clients progress here at Fortitude Strength we will reassess these things every 6-12 weeks to help them continue moving forward towards their strength and fitness goals while staying injury resilient.

3 Keys To Creating Success For Youth Athletes 

College athletes, high school All Americans, or little league, any and all youth athletes need physical exercise. Exercise that is more than just running around at practice. Youth athletes need to be trained on how to control their body in space, get stronger, improve their performance on field, continue to be injury resilient, and become overall better human beings. 

 

Here are 3 keys to success for youth athletes. 

  1. Move REALLY well. Become a master of the mundane. Do this in every range of motion possible. Get comfortable doing the little things correctly on a daily basis. 
  2. Lift often. Athletes should move heavier loads once or twice a week while moving exceptionally well. Yes, getting stronger means that the weights need to go up. However, they should only go up once you’ve demonstrated that you can do it perfectly with lighter loads. Athletes should also practice moving lighter loads very quickly. 
  3. Play the long game. It’s very easy to get caught up in the highlight reel on Instagram. Train with intent and deep focus. Have a plan of action when going into the workout. 

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

 

By: Ian Burkhart

What Does it Mean to “Recover Well”?

The ability to recover is an essential part of living an active lifestyle.

Recovering well is both a science and an art. It takes careful attention to your body, intuition, and knowledge of exactly what you need to feel your best.

How do you know if you need recovery?

The tried and true: Listen to your body.

To listen truly to your body, it helps to have an idea of what you’re listening for.

A need for recovery doesn’t only show up in workouts or purely physical clues.

To assess your need for recovery, consider a full range of physical, mental, and emotional effects. Consider both how you’re feeling (subjectively) and what’s literally going on in your life (objectively).

Below are some cues that you could benefit from more (or a different type of) recovery.

 

If you’re experiencing any of those symptoms or outcomes, talk with your coach about it.

Together, you can come up with a plan to document what you’re experiencing and collaborate on which recovery strategies are best for you.

How Do you Recover?

The symptoms you are experiencing will give you clues on what recovery strategies to use. The only way to know for sure what’s best for you is through experimentation, experience, and paying attention.

Below is a list to give you some ideas. For longer-term recovery, implement these regularly over a week or multiple weeks (rather than one time or only infrequently).

Common Recovery Strategies:

  • Decreased overall exercise output and intensity
  • Adding gentle movement and mobility (walking, cycling, swimming, gentle yoga)
  • Breath work and meditation
  • Massage or foam rolling
  • Sauna or bath
  • Midday nap
  • Lengthened sleep ritual
  • Increased carbohydrate intake
  • Increased protein intake
  • Increased hydration and electrolyte intake
  • If possible, take a day off from work (or from meetings) or talk to your coworkers about your workload
  • Socialize with close friends or family

Use this Practice to experiment with what kind of recovery strategies work best for you. Try one or a few to practice, and record how they affect how you feel and perform.

Be aware that it will take more than one exposure to an activity to yield an impact, especially if you’ve been feeling the need for recovery for a while. Don’t give up on something without giving it a chance to work its magic.

 

By: Steve Graham

Security, Status, Solution

I used to be really uncomfortable talking to people about money. It’s a weird social thing. I remember when I was little being told that it’s rude to ask someone how much someone makes.

 

Most people feel uncomfortable talking about money. Why? 

 

I imagine it’s because most people aren’t in control of their spending habits the way that deep down they wish they were. We put money on a pedestal. Saying things like, “If I can just make another X dollars, then I’ll be comfortable.” 

 

Really? Do you need more? Will that really solve the problem? Allow me to be clear, I love capitalism. I love money. I love spending it. I love making it. But I don’t see money as a finite resource. In my limited experience, there is always more. Any time I needed it, I found it or made it.

 

To me, money is simply a way to quantify and then transfer energy. If I want something, I trade my time for it by working so that I can make the money necessary to acquire things I want or need.

 

When spending money I can usually trace my use of that money back to 1 of the 3 S’s:

Security, status, solution

 

Security is one of the easiest to define. The best example is insurance, it’s not about needing it. It’s about the warm blanket of security that you wrap yourself in knowing that you have it IN CASE you need it. 

 

Typically, security purchases provide more perceived security than actual security, but there is value all the same. If you get rear-ended in your new car, you want to have full coverage. If you break a bone, you want to have health insurance. Security spending is a way for us to sleep without the “what if” alarm going off in our heads constantly.

 

Here are some numbers on “security spending”. The average individual American pays around $6,000/year for health insurance ($500/month). The average American family pays over $15,000/year for health insurance ($1,250/month). The average family deductible (how much you need to pay doctors BEFORE your insurance kicks in) is $3,000/year.

 

Status spending is all about how other people see you and/or how you feel about yourself in the eyes of others. New Car, Bigger House, New Shoes= Status. This is one of the greatest debt pits that so many of us fall into. Do you know that the average new car payment is $563, while used cars have an average monthly payment of $397. 

 

Now we all need transportation. I get that, but if you’re constantly stressed about money or saying things like I can’t afford to buy healthy food or pay for a gym membership and you have a $500 car payment… You have a priority problem.

 

Solution= Mechanic when your car breaks down, dentist when your tooth aches, plumber when the toilet leaks

 

Gym memberships for most people fall under Solutions. I want to lose weight or I want to get healthier. We see these as problems to solve. Unfortunately for many, these aren’t really high priority problems. 

 

You may say, “whoa they are high priorities for me.” To which I say, cool. How much did you spend on fitness last year? The answer is that the average American spends about $155/month on health and fitness. With $55 going towards supplements and $35 going towards gym clothes… That means all other expenses make up ONLY $65 for the average person.

 

Think about this… What do you do if your car breaks down and the mechanic says it’ll be 1400 to fix? 

 

You might get a 2nd opinion, but more likely you find the money no questions asked because you see your car as a necessity that you need right now.

 

Imagine if you valued your body the same way you value that car. Most people put off their health and fitness because they see it as an expense. It takes time, money, and energy. But what if we considered our health an investment?

 

I think we can all agree that one of the greatest expenses for most people is getting sick. Not only are their expenses for treatment and medicine but lost wages as well. Having to take a week off being sick could cost you hundreds of dollars. 

 

Now imagine that you let yourself get in such a state of dis-ease that you get diabetes. Here’s a stat for you that hit hard for me when I read it. The average health expenditure is $13,581 per year for those with diabetes and $3,954 for those without in the US.

 

If I told you that I’ll give you $10,000 this year to start eating healthy, exercise, and lose some weight. Would you do it?

 

Most of us think we have a money problem. In reality we’re too close to the tree to see the forest. We’ve bought into the story that “I can’t afford it.” We’ve created habits of spending on things that may not be moving us to our goals.

 

I’m going to wrap this up with an exercise that you can do right now, today, to identify if you fall in this category. Hell, I do this once a year now to audit myself.

 

I took a client through this exercise after he told me that he couldn’t afford to buy healthy groceries for himself and his family. Through it we found out that he had been spending upwards of $800/ month eating out! Between stopping at the gas station in the morning, pizza and dinner on the weekends, and hitting the drive thru for lunch. This had never registered to him because it had become a habit which became a story that “I can’t afford X.” In this case X = eating healthy.

 

Exercise:

Step 1- Print off your CC and bank statements from the last 3 months. Then circle every transaction that moves you away from your goal of health and fitness. Could be eating out, buying a new tv, whatever. You gotta be the judge here. 

Disclaimer: you’re going to have to be honest with yourself on this, it might reveal some bad spending habits. That is OK! The first step is awareness.

 

Step 2- Tally the 3 month total

 

Step 3- multiply by 4. This is an estimate of how much money you have spent in the last year that moved you further away from the healthy person that you want to be.

 

Step 4- Commit to taking a portion of that $ and budgeting it towards health and fitness.

 

If you’re currently spending $1000/month on things that move you AWAY from health and fitness, what could you do with 25% of that? $250/month or $3000/year dedicated to a healthier you?

 

For many of us it’s not really a money problem. It’s a perception of what that money gets us. Security? Status? Solution?

 

Investing in your health and fitness is one of the ONLY things that covers all 3. It’s the greatest investment you can make. This exercise shows you how.

– Cody Ringle

What to Eat Post Workout

What should I eat post workout?

This is a golden question that often gets overlooked or inappropriately applied when trying to increase performance in sport or in the gym.  The first thing people reach for when they think about increasing their gym output is pre-workout.  I get it, I am no stranger to the effects of a good pre-workout.  The rush is immediate and I can feel it working.  That gentle tingle of the beta alanine on my face, the stimulating energy rush pushing me into my workout.  In this age of instant gratification, I am completely aware of why pre-workouts are popular,  but the more important performance window is after your workout. We are going to take a look at why post-workout nutrition is the single most effective thing you can be doing to increase results.  We will also look at current post-workout trends, and finally what is the ideal post-workout meal.  If you want to get more out of your time in the gym, then read on.

Post workout nutrition could possibly be the missing link in your program that could skyrocket your results.  Before we dive into that, we must first understand what the body is doing during your workout and what it needs after. 

When you load up your body doing multiple movements for time or are moving around barbells and dumbbells it is heavily taxing on the glycolytic energy pathways, meaning that you rely on glucose for fuel. Your body is burning through this glucose that you have in your bloodstream and in your muscles while you are cranking out a pushups, sit-ups, and squats for time or pushing out a heavy back squat for sets of 10. As the intensity or duration increases, you deplete more of this glucose reserve.  Think of this like the gasoline in your car, the more or faster you drive the more gas you burn, same concept.

Depletion of glucose isn’t the only magic that’s happening during an intense workout.  Your body is under physical stress causing the muscles to break down tissue.  This break down of tissue is a normal function of resistance training and essential to getting stronger and bigger. Without this process, the body would not grow and adapt to the increased stress of training. Look at it this way, where the glucose is the fuel of the car, protein is the engine. The harder you drive the car the more wear on the engine, so you have to replace worn parts with bigger and better parts.

Ok now that we know what’s happening where does post workout nutrition come in?

After a good workout, your body is super revved up and receptive to growth. Directly after a workout your body is craving glucose to replace the fuel, and needs protein to repair and build muscle tissue. You may have heard this being called the “anabolic window”. Now, it is always very important to get a quality protein and carb source post workout, but the timing isn’t as specific. Regardless of the time, whether it is 30 minutes or 4 hours, whenever you can get it in, you will see the benefits. However, there is evidence that the closer you refuel at the end of your workout and get your body the things it needs, the sooner it can start the recovery and protein synthesis process. 

You may be asking, ok so what should my meal look like?  Our prescription is simple, eat real food mostly plants and not too much.  This is the case and will be true for every other meal of the day.  The post-workout situation is a special scenario where speed is the main focus.  We want to get our protein and carbs back to our muscles as quickly as possible.  Now real food is great but it takes time to digest.  We want this in a normal setting but not post workout.  You want something that digests quickly and will get to your muscles faster than whole food.  This is why you see common post-workout rituals that include whey protein shakes, gummy bears, and fruit.

We recommend the post-workout stack from 1st phormm, Phormula-1 and ignition. Ignition is faster digesting than even table sugar and it will drive into your bloodstream quickly replacing that muscle glucose that was depleted.  It also has an electrolyte blend that will replace the ones lost during training.  Phormula-1 is a quality whey protein isolate, that has been hydrolyzed to aid in quick digestion. It will speed up the start of protein synthesis, pushing you into an anabolic state where you will be building muscle, burning fat, and recovering.  

If you are tired by the end of the week, feeling super sore or just plain want to push your results to the next level.  Taking a second look at what your doing post workout could be the golden ticket to feeling better, being less sore, and of course, being bigger, stronger, and faster.

– Cody Ringle 

What Fitness Can Do For You?

When we hear someone say “I work out” most people will think that they are working out for some type of weight loss or management, but working out goes much farther than that.

When we think about our health and fitness there is a larger scope to look at then just the physical sense of weight. There is things like strength and physical capabilities, stress, immunity towards illness, and so many other things.

Your fitness encompasses this all.

In order to improve this we have to exercise.

So, here is just four reasons why an exercise routine is ESSENTIAL to our health, longevity and quality of life.

  • Exercise can improve our body composition, increase our metabolic rate, manage our blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides, increase oxygen transport to the body and brain, and keep our hormones in balance.
  • Strength training can strengthen our bones, develop our muscles, make us resilient to injury and pain, maintain our coordination and balance and equip us with the strength to overcome physical, emotional, and mental hurdles.
  • It can enhance our immune system, combat other bacterial and viral infections, and eliminate our need for prescription medicines. The regulatory effect of an exercise routine provides the body with a daily diagnostic to recognize abnormalities in the system.
  • Exercise can make us happier – data shows that it is an effective anti-depressant and the perfect place to invest anxious energy. The confidence boost post-exercise can develop into a long-lasting sense of efficacy when habit is achieved.

This is not an exhaustive list, of course, but it paints a picture that is crystal clear:

Exercise is essential for all. It is effective for the individual and the collective. Movement is the alpha and omega of our preventive plan against disease and dysfunction.

– Ian Burkhart

3 Ways To Develop Consistency

Anthony Robbins once said In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”  

 

Being consistent is hard. It takes a great deal of effort to do what needs to be done day in and day out. Building consistency takes time. It’s not an overnight success story. However, there are steps that you can implement into your daily routine to put you in a position to be successful. 

 

Here are 3  ways you can begin to develop consistency today. 

  1. Create and implement a morning routine. This is huge when it comes to being consistent. Set up a routine that you can accomplish every morning and stick to it. This could look like waking up at the same time every day. Then jumping in the shower, drinking 8oz of water, and reading for 10 minutes. Start your day off on a high note and watch how easy the rest of the day becomes. 
  2. Exercise. This doesn’t mean exercise every day, but be consistent with the days you do. Dedicate 60 minutes 3 days a week to move around and get active. 
  3. Write it down. Physically write down on a piece of paper what you want to become more consistent with and look at it daily. Read it out-loud. Tell someone so they can help keep you in check. 

 

Just like any other learned skill, consistency gets better the more you practice it. It will also help to boost your spirits and help you push through some of those hard times. However, being consistent goes beyond the gym. Picture this, you want to lose 10lbs by the end of the next month. That’s a pretty achievable goal! What happens if you only eat a few meals a day and both of those meals are from a gas station or drive through; that goal becomes significantly harder! What if you were to be more consistent with the way you eat? That would look like preparing some meals ahead of time and eating 3 meals a day. 

 

Consistency. The act of doing the same thing repeatedly. Is it hard? Yes. Can you do it? 100%!! 

 

By: Ian Burkhart