Why You’ve Failed & How to Succeed

This is the time of year when everyone wants to set goals. We turn over the calendar for a new year and instinctually feel compelled to identify some area of our lives where we would like to see improvement.

How to Achieve a Training Goal

When was the last time you achieved something substantial with your fitness training?

3 Ways to Have More Fitness Support

Remember back when you were in school? Maybe you’re still in school and this is very familiar. But for those of us that aren’t going to school anymore we’ll have particular memories.

Top 10 Rules For Attending a Fitness Conference

So I’m sitting in the Seatac airport after spending the last four days in California at a conference. And what an incredible four days it was.

There were some really good presentations and some great opportunities to connect with the icons of our industry. I’m talking about being able to hang out and have a beer with people like Mike Boyle, the guru of hockey strength and conditioning. Or Mark Verstegen of Athletes’ Performance, Dr. John Berardi, Dr. Greg Rose from the Titleist Performance Institute and legendary strength coach Dan John.

The 100 Workout Challenge

Do you have a goal in mind with your training?

Maybe it’s to lose a certain number of pounds. Or it might be to increase a particular lift, such as the deadlift, to a new personal best. Or maybe you are training for a race, competition, tryout or test and want to be your best on a particular day.

Amazing Story About Exceeding Expectations

The other night I was enjoying a little down time with the family. And so we decided to see what movies were stored on the pvr.

After scanning the list we decided upon ‘Invictus’. Have you seen this show? If you haven’t you should check it out.

It’s set in the early 90’s after Mandela is freed from jail and then becomes president of South Africa. Facing a number of domestic issues to resolve, Mandela turns to the captain of the national rugby team to inspire South Africa at the 95 World Cup of Rugby.

At one point Mandela sits down with Pienaar, the captain of the National Rugby team, to discuss leadership. He asks the rugby player about how he gets the most out of his team. He says:

‘But how do we get them to be better then they think they CAN be? That is very difficult, I find. Inspiration, perhaps. How do we inspire ourselves to greatness when nothing less will do? How do we inspire everyone around us? I sometimes think it is by using the work of others. ‘

This is a powerful way of thinking.

How do we get others, or even ourselves, to exceed our expectations?

What makes us strive for more in spite of obstacles or setbacks?

What causes us to continue on when others not only don’t support you but may ridicule you for even trying?

I believe it has to do with setting up the right environment.

This includes your family, your friends and your coworkers and anyone else you interact with. Because we can be inspired by their actions.

And these actions can fuel and motivate us to greatness.

Consider the story of Zach Krych.

Zach who?

Exactly. Not really a household name is he?

But that’s what’s great about this story.

You see Zach is a 27 year old Olympic weighlifter from Minnesota who trains out of Colorado Springs, CO. I was through the Olympic Training Facility a couple of years ago and remember seeing him train. But that’s not the interesting part of the story.

Back in 2008 Zach was performing cleans which is when the bar starts on the floor and ends up at the top of the chest in one powerful movement.

Everything was going well until Zach rocked backward on the catch position. As he fell back he couldn’t push the bar away from himself because he was strapped to the bar.

***Note to self, make sure to do a blog post about avoiding the use of wrist straps. Hey wait a minute…***

So as Zach tipped back his elbows hit the ground first and the weight had nowhere to go so it broke both his arms.

Since this was at the Olympic Training Facility the workout, and this injury was recorded.

Check it out. It’s 5 minutes in total.

Wow! Can you believe he came back from that?

What was going through his head when he attempted the same weight that he got injured with? And a year plus a day after his initial injury?

And how great did he feel to win the US National Weightlifting Championship?

Because he could have retired at this point. He could have taken the advice of his doctors and never tried to lift 100 lbs overhead again. And no one would have judged him or called him a quitter.

But he knew normal expectations weren’t for him. He knew he could achieve more. And he went out there and did it.

As you get ready for 2011 what new goals do you have for yourself? Do you now think you are capable of more?

In the comments sections let me know what you want and I’ll do my best to help you get there.

All the best,

Chris,

okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

5 Things I Can Do Better to Improve My Health & Performance

If you’re serious about your health and performance than you want to know that you’re doing the best you can with your efforts. And if you’re not where you’d like to be weight-wise, performance-wise or in terms of your rehab than there are probably some things you could be doing a better job of. And if you are having some success in these areas than you are probably motivated to see what else you could do to ramp up your results even more.

I’ll be honest…I know I could do more personally. A while back I stated some of my goals. A few of them included hitting targeted strength measures, improved fitness levels and a specific scale weight.

And while I’m on track to hit my goals I know I could be further along. I know I maybe under-estimated myself by selecting goals I knew I had a pretty good chance of attaining.

There’s not a problem in doing that. But we want to make sure we are giving our best effort and setting new goals if necessary.

So while I’ll probably wait until I realize the current goals I’ve set  until I pick new ones there are a few things I know I can improve on until then. With that in mind here are 5 Things I Can Do Better to Improve My Health & Performance.

1. Improved sleep – I need 8 hours of sleep a night. Not 8 hours of bedtime on my computer, reading or doing sudoku puzzles but 8 actual hours of sleep. I need to make sure that I get as many of these 8 before midnight as possible. And I need to make sure to be as consistent with my time to bed and time to rise as  possible.

2. More soft tissue work – Every workout should begin with some foam rolling. It doesn’t have to be lots of time and the more I do of it the less time is necessary. But sometimes I’m a little short on time for training and this is what gets cut from the program. I need to remind myself how effective foam rolling is, how this restores alignment and posture, how it helps we achieve optimal technique on my lifts and allows me to recover more quickly between workouts.

3. Less sugar – For a while there I was in the habit of writing down the sugar content of everything I ate. Well not really everything but if it came in a package I was jotting in down. And this good because as you get your insulin under control your fat burning goes way up. I’ve got to get back to doing this again.

4. Drink more water – Sometimes I’ll get busy writing programs or running errands and won’t drink as much water as I should. As soon as you’re 2% dehydrated performance drops off. Plus many of your muscle building and fat burning enzymes are hydrolytic and require water. There are a number more good reasons to drink more water and I know I have to increase my intake.

5. Watch out for compensations – As soon as we compensate we put stress on the body where it shouldn’t be. And we then take longer to recover from this stress. Plus the longer we get away with our compensations the harder they are to undo and the greater the chance of injury. Specifically I need to watch that I am maintaining a neutral lumbar spine on all of my lifts. Only the weight should move and the rest of the trunk should be steady.

Well there are the areas I think I can do better in.

What about you? Where can you improve? Does it have to do with rest, training, nutrition or something else altogether? In the comments section tell me what you want to focus on and I’ll reply to help you out.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                             okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

What does a healthy 600 calorie snack look like? (video)

Hi there: Hope you’re having a great week and are accomplishing all of your health, fitness and performance goals. One of my favourite ways to relax and unwind is to go the movies. Last night my wife and I check out ‘Due Date’.  Think of it as an updated version of ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’. Anyways, it was good for a laugh. Never underestimate the value of relaxing and having a good time as it relates to your body’s ability to regenerate and recover.

But enough about relaxing and movies because it’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for a nutritional tip. Over the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with how many calories my body is burning. Knowing this informating allows me to be not only more specific with my training but also more specific with my meals.

I now know how many calories I should have at each meal. And how often I should eat in order to put on 10 lbs of muscle. So with that being said check out the following video where I show you a sample healthy snack and a great online nutritional resource for looking up your favourite foods.

Here’s the link for the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UomdVRRzzzs

Let me know what your favourite snack is. And have you used this online resource before?

Your coach,

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                    okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’