The Power of Confidence

Without confidence in ourselves, others will lack confidence in us as well. Having confidence  and really believing in yourself is probably one of the most important traits you can have. It will move mountains when you need it. If you are around long enough and you display a confident attitude you will be known for it. Others will search you out because they know that your confidence is a strong quality that they can rely on. If you make a mistake you will be confident enough to admit your mistake and look right in the eye of anyone looking to take advantage of your mistake. You tell them ” I made a mistake, and I intend on doing it right the next time”. How can they say anything negative about that? Because they make mistakes too, we all do! So this is the honesty that comes with confidence. It’s worth its weight in gold. People will also consider you truthful and trust worthy. See where this going? Confidence will be the core and the rest of it will fit right into place.

Will there be doubt sometimes? Of course there will. Especially when you try something new. But what shows confidence more than jumping up and being the first to say ” I will try that right now, I think I can do it”. Even if you fail the first time it doesn’t matter. The point is that you were confident enough to get up in front of everyone and try it. If you don’t do well the first time it doesn’t matter because you will try it again. Your confident that you will succeed even if you fail many times beforehand .

Sometimes it’s that moment of hesitation that really screws you up anyway. Where you lose your confidence and then the doubt sinks in. What happens next? That little whisper in your head gets louder and becomes a distraction. Your doubt may even become fear and the fear physically immobilizes you. Instead of success you fail. If you can realize this now , it will save you on lost opportunities in the future. It will also become easier and easier as you go.

If you think about it it’s a little bit of aggression mixed with a whole lot of will power and sprinkled with a bit of curiosity to see how far you can push yourself. The feeling can become intoxicating and liberating. You will actually begin to like the feeling of butterflies in your stomach and you will enjoy the rush and the feeling of excitement .  Being afraid you will fail or look stupid or anything else will disappear and you will believe in yourself. It’s the closest anyone can feel to being invincible.

Ways of being more confident are; do what you want to do. Make a plan and stick to it. Do not listen to naysayers. This will set the tone for the rest of your endeavours. That’s all I’m really going to say about that. If you really want tips or step by step instructions there are shit tons of articles on-line to read from. But you are wasting your time me thinks because what you really gotta do is just say “Fuck it! I’m doing this” and just go ahead and do what you gotta do! Man up or woman up.  It will be downright impressive and you will be enthralled afterward. You may even have trouble going to sleep later that night.

Now what I am telling you is from my own trials and tribulations throughout my life. If you are younger and just getting out into the world and making your own place in life you may be burdened with serious doubts of your abilities. I was there. I would say back in my day it was 50/50 for me. I showed some confidence but I also held back quite often too. I felt the fearful pause that would set me back . But then I would have the confidence to get back in there and go for it again. Look, you may have to just do it the way I did and it will eventually come together. But I think back and realize I could have used some strong motivation back in the day. If I can help you with that right now then I am very happy to assist. You are young and you know it and its a goddamn good feeling. Embrace that shit and dive right into life.

Now if you are older than guess what? You really got it going on! Something special comes with some age. It’s the attitude that only experience can develop. You know what it feels like to make an error. To get burned once or twice. To have tasted defeat. If its popular opinion your worried about when you are young something magical takes place as you get older. You start to say, ” Hey I know whats right and what I need to do”. You no longer care as much about what others think. You are still going to be surrounded by naysayers and arm-chair quarterbacks who will try to hack you to death just to try to stuff you in a hole. But you see right through the thin veil they hide behind. These are people who have not grown up, have no confidence and are ultimately jealous of the fact that you have the will to reach for the stars and not be held back by negative thinking. Instead of being angry for their lack of support you instead will feel sorry for slight personality disorder.

Overall whether you are young, middle-aged or older , confidence is the right thing to have. If you make it a point and a central core value in your life and keep it simple, you will go much further than you ever had dreamed. One day , I will have this talk with my daughter. I will tell her to be confident in who she is and never allow anyone to say she can’t do anything. I will explain that failure is part of life and it is also part of the process in reaching your goals. That her confidence in herself will attract  those that are confident themselves and great relationships full of love and admiration will spring forth from it. Any failure that comes from learning and trying to do anything will be nothing, a mere speck of dirt that is easily flicked away. That her confidence will support others in her life and if she were to make a mistake that those people will support her with their love.

Like I said…….. INVINCIBLE!

 

Muscle Building Workouts

Muscle Building Workouts – Build Muscle And Fitness The Right Way

Does this sound familiar to you?

You have goals for your muscle building workouts. You follow a regime that allows you to achieve those goals. You’re doing everything right. But, you fall on your ass.

Then you find that you get back up and start the whole process working on your muscle building workouts all over again. Only to find that you keep falling down, getting back up again and repeating this over and over.

You do this until you think that you are never going to achieve anything here. You think that this training lark isn’t for you. So what do you do?

Yep, you give up.

Why does this happen and what can I do about it?

You’ve probably asked yourself that question many times. But you may have found that you never came up with a real answer. You blame the muscle building workouts and everything that led you to it.

So what is the real problem?

It seems that you have the right muscle building workouts. You may have goals in mind of what you would like to achieve with that training routine.

Maybe you’re doing one, or more, of the following:

* Having bad, or no, warm up sessions.
* Not eating enough.
* Not taking enough fluids.
* Training too much.
* Lifting excessive weights.
* Not getting enough sleep.

These are all very common to all muscle and fitness workouts, no matter what sport you do.

These are easily identified and remedied. Just go through each one of these and see if they apply to you. If so, then identify why this is the case. Having done that, you need to find the right solution to fix it. You do this in a systematical manner, until you have fully identified what is wrong, the reason for it going wrong and the appropriate solution for it.

For example:

Lets say that your not experiencing any growth in your biceps. Ask yourself some questions of your muscle and fitness workouts:

Question: What is wrong? Answer: My biceps are not growing.

Question: What are the possible causes, and why? Answer: The exercise may be done too quickly, or maybe I’m cheating in my training, or maybe there isn’t enough weight on the barbell.

Question: What can be done to remedy this? Answer: Improve my form when doing this exercise. Reduce the weight so that I don’t cheat and to keep me more strict. Or increase the weight on the barbell to promote more growth in this area.

So you see, you need to identify the problem first. If you don’t do this, you cannot fix it up. Then you must identify what the possible causes are so that you can offer up appropriate solutions to remedy the situation. Just go through each solution, one at a time, until you are satisfied with the results.

This requires patience and dedication. Most people will not put in the time to find out why they’re going wrong. Instead they spend a lot of money and waste a lot of time trying out different solutions. Whereas, what they should have done first was to seek the answer within themselves. Then seek the appropriate solution elsewhere suitable for their muscle building workouts — only if that solution is outside of their grasp.

Keeping A Workout Log is Smart. Fitness Apps

I don’t care if you think you look corny or goofey or whatever when you’re walking around the gym with a little notebook and you are writing down all your reps and weights. So what if some  dude is sneering and making jokes. Screw them! Do it anyway.Why? Simple. If you really take your workouts seriously you have to be able to keep track of your training.  By not logging your workouts it’s like driving across the United States without a map, sure you’ll get there but it will take a lot longer.You may think that you can remember where you started and what you did a week or two before but after a few months you won’t remember jack and that will come back to haunt you. Since you are planning on training for the rest of your life (you are , aren’t you?) you will need to reference all sorts of details that you will not remember unless they are jotted down in your notebook.One thing is for certain your time is valuable and you want to benefit the most from your training. By keeping an account of your workouts you will make sure that you are progressing. You always want to be adding weight, getting faster or whatever.

Let’s say you are bench pressing and for your last set @ 230 lb you miss your target rep range by one measly rep. Then you have an action packed week and by the time you come back to the bench again you don’t remember that you missed by 1 rep. You also don’t remember that you added 2.5 lb plates onto the bar. So this week you just do 225 lb. instead and then make your rep range. You think you got stronger but you’re not sure because you don’t remember what you did. Meanwhile if you had a log book you would have seen that you almost had 230 lbs. but missed it by 1 rep. If you saw this you would have loaded the bar with the 230 instead of the 225 and went for it! And you probably would have gotten it too. So you missed out and you’re not progressing.

When keeping a log book all the little details are right there for you. It is all useful information. If you want you can even add other notes like what you ate before your workout, how much sleep you had and whether or not it was quality sleep, if you are stressed, how much water you drank, what the weather is like , so on and so forth.

If you are a little self conscious because not many people are walking around with a notebook just suck it up. Before long you will be moving punishing amounts of weight while the jokers are still toying around with the same weight they were lifting 6 months ago. If you are still not buying my motivational shpeel then you should ask yourself why you are so concerned about what other people think of you anyway. That I will deal with in another post.

In the meantime, I am trying to get you to keep a vigilant track of your training so here’s a little secret for ya if you don’t want to carry a note pad……use your phone. Everyone will just think your Mr. or Mrs. Popular and sending text messages to your friends.

You can either just use a notebook function that is already in your phones TOOLS or you can download one of these Apps I highlighted below.

I don’t use a smart phone so I’m not using any of these so if anyone has any input on these apps then let us know what you think. Thanks!

“The obstacle is the path”

Keep Track Of Your Workouts And Train Hardcore with these Fitness Apps

#1 RunKeeper – A GPS-based app that keeps track of your run, ride, or walking path, providing time, distance, average speed, and more. A great motivational and informative app that can help you analyze and track your progress from your iPhone. It’s like having a coach with you every step of the way.

#2 iFitness – Choose workouts for overall fitness or to target specific muscle groups. You can even create your own special workout and it will keep a record for future use. It’s like having a personal trainer on your iPad.

#3 aSleep Classic -Sleeping is part of your training, it’s when your muscles grow. This app  provides music to create the perfect setting for you to relax for stress management, meditate, do a yoga session, or just help you get to sleep. A portable chill out zone wherever you go.


#4 FoodSwitch – Just like sleep, your nutrition is part of your training too. You can’t grow unless you are shoveling in the right nutrition. This is a camera-based app that can read food product bar codes to inform you of nutritional content as well as providing healthier options for you to choose from. It really takes the confusion out of food labels. Your personal dietitian at the supermarket.

#5 Yoga Stretch – Stretching and core strength are  important for your well-being, affecting everything from posture to digestion. Yoga Stretch app will take you through a session of your choice for both intensity and time. A yoga class ready when you are.

#6 Ready, Set, Run! – Another running based training app that lets you set a goal and then helps you achieve it by tailoring a program for your level of experience and needs. A motivation coach in your pocket.

#7 Chinese Health Massage – We can’t all have a masseuse at our beck and call, but we can help speed up our recovery with simple stretching and self massaging techniques, like an old swimming trick of using a tennis ball against a wall to ease the tension in your back and shoulders. The Chinese Health Massage app shows you simple ways to relieve tension in key stress areas like neck and upper back.

#8 iMuscle – An incredible app that helps you understand the mechanics of the body so you can choose better exercises and have more effective workouts. Use your iPad to find all those detailed muscle groups.

#9 Upbeat Workouts for Runners – A music-picking app that matches the beat of the song to your running stride to make workouts more fun and keep you in rhythm. A personal iPhone based “DJ-workout motivator” for every step

My .02

One of the first names that I wrote down when I was thinking of starting a blog was “.02 Fitness” or in other words “my two cents”. Because that is all any of this is. My opinion. But I went with another name instead because it just sounds better. But don’t get any ideas and steal this name because It may serve me in the future. If you steal it I will hunt you down and terminate you!!

Anyway, go ahead and read this post and just realize that I am just telling you what I think works. I don’t take fitness or being fit lightly, I put thought into it. I read about it and I submerge myself in it. Many people do not do this and treat their workouts as an after thought or something like they have to get out of the way. Being mindful or thoughtful toward your life even in the small matters is something that is found in the warriors code,something I have touched upon here in the past. Developing some kind of mental process or philosophy is a great way to bring you to the next level.

Stay away from junk food.

By junk food I mean processed food too. Now before I go further I must admit that I will occasionally have desert at a special occasion. This is ok because for 99 % of the rest of the time I am eating clean. A little trick I learned is to fill yourself as much as possible with good food and then drink a big glass of water. Then when it’s time for your kid’s birthday cake select a very small piece. You will be so full you won’t even have the craving for a bigger piece.

Keep a workout log.

Most people who take working out seriously keep a log of their workouts. Remembering the weights and reps that you did last week and building on top of those is a fast route to success. Workout logs also help keep you accountable to yourself. No excuses for doing worse than last week, and no excuses for missing a day at the gym. Besides the gym this works if you are a cyclist , a runner, swimmer or whatever you do.

Consistency

There is absolutely no replacement for consistency with anything. Diet, training, sleeping, you name it. If you ask anyone who competes in bodybuilding, figure, bikini or fitness competitions how often they skip going to the gym, 99% of them are going to tell you that they don’t. Being consistent with your diet is a huge step in becoming highly fit as well. Making excuses for a ‘cheat day’ or a ‘cheat meal’ every few days is not doing anything for your physique but slowing down the process, or even taking a step backward in reaching your goals. Cheat meals are okay every once in a while, there’s no reason to torture yourself. But, anyone who is ‘highly’ fit and serious about training wouldn’t think about doing that to their body

MAKE Time for the Gym

The emphasis is clearly on the ‘make’ part of this habit. Inspirational speaker Tony Robbins once said

“Now do you think those people out there working out 5 days a week, do they have more time than you do? Is there life less busy? It’s just a must for them. They must work out that way and they’ve made that turn in their life change. So if you want to make real progress, then you really have to look at your life in a different way. You’ve got to say, I’m going to take control of this process and not just hope it’s going to work out, like people do and make a resolution.”

If you make time for the gym by saying “from this time to this time I am going to be in the gym” and you make that known to everyone around you and it is prioritized , then you will be more likely to commit to a consistent training program. This is because it is just too easy to have things interrupt your day and before you know it the day is slipping past you.

Fear is like a mirage

This is an excerpt from a post on Ireland Strength & Conditioning    called “3 important steps to eliminate a fearful mindset”. The post covers some very interesting stuff on dealing with fear in the sports world. It is a good read and I encourage everyone to go and read it.

What I took out of it is something more than its application in the sports realm but its application in my work as a firefighter and actually anything we do in life. Here is the excerpt;

Step 1 – Fear Is Just an Illusion

The first question you have to ask yourself is what is fear anyways? Fear is your perception of future events or outcomes that you may not want to happen. In sport, you may:

  1. Fear letting your team and management down
  2. Fear making mistakes
  3. Fear of being embarrassed in front of spectators
  4. Fear not winning the approval of your teammates
  5. Fear of being rejected by others
  6. Fear that you may be seen as a failure in your given sport

The list goes on and on. All these fears are not within your immediate control. They are all perceptions and part of your faulty thinking pattern. They are all “what if” scenarios. When you are thinking like this your focus is way off the radar.  What you need to do is take control of what you can control or what we call “controlling the controllables.”

Start evaluating and identifying what the cause of your fear is in the first place. You will soon find out that you are wasting positive energy on circumstances that you have no control over. What you need to do is focus on what you want out of your performance rather than what you do not want to happen. Your focus needs to be on the present moment and that is all you can control.

Michael Jordan, one of the worlds greatest ever basketball players once said, “Fear is like a mirage, it doesn’t really exist.”

Read more of this post at http://irelandstrengthandconditioning.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/3-important-steps-to-eliminate-a-fearful-mindset/

So like a said, this is some really helpful stuff that I am sure anyone can get something useful out of.

Passion and Inspiration

Passion and Inspiration

I’ve had some conversations lately about doing what you love.  About how inspiring it is seeing somebody drop the normal day to day grind to do what it is they love.  This inspiration comes from everywhere. You can get inspired walking down the street seeing a street musician playing the guitar.   Think about it, have you ever seen someone play a musical instrument or an artist paint really well and noticed the passion they have for it?  Tell me it didn’t make you want to learn how to do it!

What inspires me is seeing people do what they love, are good at and have a passion for.   For example, I love sport, and watching anybody play with passion can literally bring tears to my eyes. Not for a show (i.e. professional)  but just for the love of it.  You can see the joy and the passion for what they are doing.  Its part of them, its built in them. Some of them may have been born with the talent, others may have worked their asses off to develop it, either way its part of them.   There is something about loving what you do so much that its part of you.  I think this is important.  You have to find what you love to do and do it.  Whether it becomes your career or if its your passion and you do it on the weekends, find what it is and do it!

What do you have a passion for?  What Inspires you?

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MAKE Time for the Gym

MAKE Time for the Gym

The emphasis is clearly on the “make” part of this habit. Inspirational speaker Tony Robbins once said

“Now do you think those people out there working out 5 days a week, do they have more time than you do? Is there life less busy? It’s just a must for them. They must work out that way and they’ve made that turn in their life change. So if you want to make real progress, then you really have to look at your life in a different way. You’ve got to say, I’m going to take control of this process and not just hope it’s going to work out, like people do and make a resolution.”

A lot of people make excuses that they don’t have time to go to the gym. They don’t want to get up early to work out or they are too tired after work. But, everyone is busy and everybody who isn’t a professional bodybuilder has a life. Highly fit people find a way to go to the gym, whether it’s waking up at 5:30 in the morning or joining a 24 hour gym that’s going to fit their job with odd hours. Right in there with consistency, highly fit people do not make excuses as to why they “don’t have time” to go to the gym.

This goes for everything else in your life as well. All things from your career to your relationships require you to make time for them. That’s a lot of things that are constantly viewing for your attention. The more in demand your attention is , the more it is necessary to get away from the unimportant things , the time wasters. You know what your time wasters are so whatever they are put a big target on them and eliminate!

To help you along you should follow an exercise program. Have everything written down so you know exactly what to do and where to go in the gym. Write down your reps and your sets. Stay focused on your workout. Minimize the talking and maximize your training. If someone is on a piece of equipment either ask them to work in or go back to that one later. The idea is to get in your best workout at the very least time.Make sure your diet is spot on. If you have a wish washy diet where you miss meals and cheat a lot then it will slow down your progress. By eating right and true you will maximize your training and results will come quicker.

After all this if you find that you are still having trouble making it to your workouts and you have done everything you can then maybe consider a radical approach. You are obviously working a lot and that is sometimes just the way it is. I am not going to tell you to not go to work! That would be radical yes but not smart either. So what do I mean by take a radical approach? You have already cut out the time wasters like T.V. and video games. You have restructured your whole itinerary around a 3 day a week workout program. You have been eating right and sleeping enough. What else could one do?

Here are some options;

If you workout at a gym consider making a home gym and do your training there. Since my daughter was born this strategy has not only allowed me to still get my workouts in but I actually have excelled and I am doing better than ever!

Or the reverse, if you workout at home then maybe join a gym that is right near where you work. Maybe this way you can train on your lunch break or as soon as you get out of work.

If your social life is the thing that is soaking up your time then try to incorporate it into your training time. If it’s your girlfriend or wife ask them to go to the gym with you. If it’s your friends ask them to go with you.

Again if it is your social life and it involves partying up till the break of dawn then maybe stop and think about the long-term effect this will have on your body. Are you ready to go down that road? Losing muscle mass and gaining fat mass. Feeling tired all the time . Eventually winding up at the doctors with bad news. Or flip the switch and shit can the all nighters and instead take up exercising for real. That’s a choice that you have to make.

If things are that tight that you don’t even have time to do anything then maybe yes you need to just not worry about working out. Just wake up 15 minutes earlier and do a quick body weight workout on your floor. Push ups , sit ups, lunges and planks. Bang it out in 15 min. hit the shower have breakfast and get on with your busy day and since diet is more important than training (90 % diet 10 % training) just make sure you eat healthy. Do this everyday without fail and you can still get in some vital exercise that will make you look and feel a lot better! Come on, you gotta have at least 15 minutes right?

You’re Gonna Get Far With That Attitude!!

When you look at pro athletes at the championship level who are competing , who is the better player? They are both talented and hard workers. They both exhibit elite level skills. What will discern the true champion from the other? Luck? Or how about ATTITUDE?

Consider the Stanley Cup Playoffs of the NHL. Hockey at this level is by far the most intense sport anywhere. When it’s game 7 of the final round and the score is tied going into the last period it is pretty safe to say that the next goal will come from the team with the right attitude. Both teams have demonstrated that they have the right aptitude by advancing as far as they have.They won’t find any more skill in a magic potion.

It’s when the legs get tired and the back starts to ache that the mind starts to unravel. Any doubts or second guessing will only deplete the athletes further. If they allow frustration to creep into their heads and the other team stays cool under fire then it’s only a matter of time.

Attitude wins.

Usually any person in their respective field is surrounded by others that have the same aptitude. The key difference between these people is their attitude.

A person can do very well in their field even if their skill level is not as good as a fellow coworkers as long as their attitude is very good. Bosses who promote from within would first choose the person with the right attitude because they know that they can work with that person. They know that they can train them to develop their skills. They know that it is very hard to alter ones attitude though.

Just think of people you have met or known who had all the skill in the world but just a piss poor attitude. Usually these people will fail. No one wants to deal with a bad attitude so they have nothing to do with them.

Usually they say that “you won’t get anywhere with that attitude” but sometimes attitude is all you need! As long as it’s the right attitude. If you add desire and passion to attitude you have a trinity of unstoppable force. Who can take that away from you? Who will stop you?

Certainly aptitude is important to our success in life.Yet anyone who has been around for more than a few days knows success or failure is precipitated more by mental attitude than by mere mental capacities.

Some Individuals would look at a pile of rubble and say “what a mess” while others will look at the same pile and say “what an opportunity”.  Which one of these individuals would you want leading your team or doing the most important work?  Most would say the one who has a vision of what that “mess” could be.  This is an excellent example of a positive attitude.

With all this said…how is your attitude?  Before you answer, what would others say if they had this opportunity to answer? I encourage you to take a true examination here.

Be Hardcore

Besides us guys always strutting around being all tough and hardcore you have to make room for the ladies as well. When a women displays any signs of aggressiveness or is assertive, tough, powerful or strong and independent,us guys should respond with enthusiasm. If you feel threatened in anyway it is not her fault, it is your own and you need to figure out who you are.

Fred