Why You Shouldn’t Even Lift Weights At All

What does it even matter? For a lot of people I meet that’s their big rationalization to being so averse to lifting weights. Why should I? I’m not a powerlifter and to be perfectly honest; to someone who lifts weights for a living I can tell you that that is like saying “Why should I get my license? I’m not a formula one racer” And on top of that it actually makes even less sense overall for you to skip the iron.

Let’s really try to pick apart why.

  • The what if. Why do people save money? Invest? Buy guns and ammo? Have a pantry of extra food. The answer is “the what if” factor. What if I lost my job? What if someone broke into my house and I had to protect my family? What if something devastating happened and we had no access immediately to food? I believe the same applies here but in a much more general and common sense. What if you needed to move something around the house? What if you fell and needed the strength to move? Or the extreme: What if you were trapped. Or had to defend yourself? What if someone else NEEDED you and you were incapable? What if you had never practiced being strong? And now you not only need to be strong, but someone else needs you to be physical fortuitous and you are not.

 

  • Stronger bones. Lifting weights not only makes you stronger muscularly but structurally as well. I’m still not even touching on the integrity of your joints or ligaments and tendons. Do you know what one of the largest crisis’s facing the elderly? Disease? Malnutrition? No. FALLING. They have become so brittle over the years that they fall and break something. Which in the case of the elderly can be not only life-changing, but life ending in some cases due to the negative repercussions brought about but such physical setbacks.Now let’s take this very real idea and extrapolate it out even further. The fact of the matter is that kids nowadays are getting so much less physical activity overall that their bones are becoming less and less dense over time to the point where young people in some cases literally shatter bones while DANCING. That shit actually happened. Lifting weights increases pressure on the skeleton of the body, which in turns signals hormone production that helps increase ostiophages (bone builders) which increase bone tissue density and integrity. Making you a stronger, safer, and more effective person.

 

  • It’s primal. Some would say this is purely my opinion but I believe it to be factual. In a world where the powers that be are constantly striving to put us into some sort of order, we are seeking a release. It’s why RPG games are so popular. We can be the master of ourselves, the hero, the leader, numero uno. This speaks do a deeper issue within us. Something is dying to get out. Something inside is screaming to be released and I believe that weightlifting is that release. It gives one the visceral pleasure of ousting pent up energy and emotion into an effective and beneficial ritual for the purpose of not only bettering yourself as a person but making the world a better place. (healthier people have lower medical bills, eat less shit, and have better sex. Less depression?) Even here though we must fight the fight against lifting how we choose. With shit like Planet Fitness, Retro Fitness, Chuze, and other foo-foo gyms popping up where we must avoid making noise, dropping weights, or in many cases intimidating other people; they are trying to control you.

In this moment I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

           ― Marianne Williamson

Never ever let someone dull who you are. It is a form of control and you must resist.

  • It can teach you two things simultaneously. It can teach you both patience and the joy of success. In the beginning, the gains come quickly whether it be in strength, size, fat loss, whatever. The numbers look good but then seem to stall. Your first plateau. You’ve now crossed your first lesson and entered your second. The first lesson is success. Showing that putting in some work and attention can reap large quantifiable rewards. The second lesson being that when things slow down you must not quit. Patience is a virtue not wasted on the weak. By being steadfast in your pursuit of your goals you will relearn to appreciate small benefits and successes along the way which can be translated to a greater overall sense of self as well as pride in your work. This patience you learn will become invaluable to you.

The reality of the situation is that lifting weights creates a better version of yourself. It may be daunting or intimidating when first setting out, yet these are surmountably thought processes that can be overcome by simply persevering. What’s not as easily struck down is the self-defeating mindset of “Why should I?” And the answer is that in the end you aren’t training for you. You’re training for the potential that others may count on you, for the future you that may depend on your hard work, for your ancestors who fought and died to keep the blood in you alive, and for the wisdom it can teach you about life as a whole.

THAT is why we train.

Make It Fun First

Less than half of all Americans (~48%) report getting the necessary amount of physical exercise every week. Roughly 26% of Americans report getting little to no physical activity in at all. Why? Do they not know they need to exercise? In my opinion that’s not possible. It’s about discipline, adherence, and enjoyment. Yes, enjoyment. People need to exercise; it will literally save their fucking life.

Yet we in the health industry can’t make them exercise and the cost in healthcare is in the billions of billions yearly. So how do we get people to employ even a shred of discipline or adherence to an exercise protocol?

Simple. The shit needs to be FUN.

THAT’S IT.

FUN.

Below is cited a study done with children suffering from cystic fibrosis. The researchers measured exercise intensity between children utilizing an exercise bike and children using an Xbox Kinect. The results were interesting and significant.

The children OBVIOUSLY preferred the Xbox to the stationary cycling. Now, something to be noted was that the children did not achieve all of the same cardiovascular benefits that could’ve been yielded by cycling regularly, but the key to success here was consistency. Children rated the Kinect as being more enjoyable, something that could (and in my opinion would) translate to greater levels of use overall.

 

RESULTS

“Thirty subjects with CF (11 males, mean SD age of 122.5 y, mean SD FEV1 of 73 16% of predicted) were enrolled. Xbox Kinect provided a cardiovascular demand similar to a stationary cycle, although the modality was different (interval vs. continuous). Maximum heart rates were similar (P.2). Heart rate target was achieved more frequently with a stationary cycle (P.02). Xbox Kinect caused less dyspnea (P.001) and fatigue (P<.001) and was more enjoyable than a stationary cycle (P<.001).”

CONCLUSION

“Subjects preferred Xbox Kinect for its interactivity. Xbox Kinect has the potential to be employed as an exercise intervention in young subjects with CF, but investigation over longer periods is needed.”

CONCLUSION CONT.

“Xbox Kinect induces a significant increase in maximum heart rate, but we could not establish if it provides a cardiovascular demand similar to a traditional stationary cycle. Subjects expressed greater enjoyment when using Xbox Kinect with a lower perception of dyspnea and muscle fatigue. Based on these preliminary data, it would be advisable to investigate the medium-to-long-term effects of an Xbox Kinect-based physical exercise program on cardiovascular adaptation and exercise adherence in subjects with CF.”

 

Children preferred the Kinect, but it didn’t yield the exact same results. So it appears we are at an impasse. Do we force an entire population of people to (hopefully) exercise regularly even though they hate it? Or do we make a push towards having that same population willingly engage in physical activity that is enjoyable, variable in intensity, and likely to retain their attention over the long term? Thus resulting in net gains that will be expressed in greater quality of life and increased longevity overall?

My money falls on enjoyment and adherence one hundred percent. People must exercise consistently to stay healthy and the tools are out there to make that a reality and I for one will cheer on the person that gets up and plays a little DDR as much as I will the person who hits the pavement every morning. Health is the goal for all, adherence is a piece, and enjoyment is the key.

 

SOURCE

Salonini, E., Gambazza, S., Meneghelli, I., Tridello, G., Sanguanini, M., Cazzarolli, C., . . . Assael, B. M. (2015). Active Video Game Playing in Children and Adolescents With Cystic Fibrosis: Exercise or Just Fun? Respiratory Care, 60(8), 1172-1179. doi:10.4187/respcare.03576

THOUGHTS ON STRENGTH

What is strength? Physical strength to be specific. Who gets to decide what the definition of strong is? Is it simply who can lift the most? Maybe. I’d argue that strength is absolutely relative and that there are levels to strength. Now don’t get me wrong, numbers, volume, effort, and records matter; but what about personal records? If you’re a gym rat you already know what a “PR” or “PB” (Personal Best) is, but what about the person that doesn’t think of themselves as strong in any capacity as it stands? This is where I posit that it is in the interest of the trainer and client to redefine strength as the act of being strong, and not just the numbers themselves.

What is strength? Is it a 1RM on your deadlift? Is it a PR AMRAP set of pull-ups? Is it that L-sit to handstand that you finally achieved?

Perhaps strength is a number, a given volume, or even a specific effort. But, the problem with this is, most new trainees don’t even know what these words even mean.

And more importantly, when these vulnerable newbies see a trainer or an advanced trainee hit one of these personal records in the gym, whether it’s a max set of an exercise, or a very high level skill, they are not inspired, but rather discouraged.

In the past few years, trainers have come a long way in shifting the focus of training from aesthetics to strength. But just as we had set unrealistic physique goals in the minds of our potential clients, we now have managed to instill that same sense of unworthiness with abnormal strength benchmarks.

Every trainer has that client. That one client with low self-esteem or poor physical image of themselves. It’s up to us to change this mental atrocity that the world of strength training has allowed to be cast over these folks. What do I mean exactly?

Let’s start off with relativity. What’s heavy for me may not be heavy for someone else or what’s difficult for me may not be the same for my client. This becomes an immediate roadblock for many potential strength athletes to give up because in their mind the gap between where they are and we are is practically unattainable. They can’t fathom, (despite having hired us as a coach), the idea that they’ll ever be “strong.” This is where we step in to save the day.

It’s up to us to explain something to them, (and ourselves), and it’s this: There is no such thing as stronger or weaker, only where we are at and where we will end up. If ever you are doing something difficult, working harder than you’ve ever worked before, and striving to be better every day, then you are being strong. If you are stepping into the gym, putting your head down, and doing the work that will make you better, no matter how difficult, then you are being strong.

If this is the case, then being strong is no longer a goal, but an action. The client is literally acting strong every single time they step up and put in the work. Where they are now is not where they shall always reside and it’s up to us to show them that fact.

We as trainers have an obligation to build people up physically AND emotionally. It’s often simple to make that emotional connection, but it’s also easy in the wake of this to allow the client to continue the path of self-destruction they’ve been on until they met you. This is the metaphorical fork in the road, where you teach them that every time they do something more difficult than they’ve ever done, then they are already there. They are already strong. Their actions make it so.

Go out there and redefine strength. We tell people constantly that they are more than the number on the scale, let’s teach them that they are more than just the weight on the bar, because they were already strong when they decided to grab hold of the iron.

The Dividing Attribute Between Success and Failure

What is truly the key towards succeeding in an endeavor undertaken? Is there some sort of special quality bestowed at birth upon those who do well vs. those who do not? Personally I’d say there is no special “quality” about successful individuals. Though there is absolutely a dividing line between succeeding and failing in any area of your life and it’s at once the simplest answer possible and the most difficult to conceive long term.

It isn’t a quality or a personality trait necessarily, but it is frustratingly ingenuous. The answer is consistency. Consistency in action, in thought, in process. There are a plethora of factors that go into “success” as a whole, whatever that means to you, but all of it is shit without consistency.

Consistency above all else is absolutely the key towards success. Now of course if you’re attempting a goal and you perform the wrong actions or moves continuously then you will be bound for failure. But there is no way that you can combine the correct actions again and again and again without realizing your goal. The appropriate gestures combined with consistent work will yield the utmost results, always.

Any time in the past that I have been working towards something; be it some training goal, fat loss, better grades, etc., my success hinged on the fact that I deliberately stuck with the actions of the task at hand for months at a time to get there, almost always with fantastic results. That is the rub with most people, consistency can be boring, it’s not usually glamorous and there’s no crowds cheering you on every day for simply doing the shit you’re supposed to be doing. Yet this mindset absolutely works.

What does consistency require? It takes three things:

  1. Writing down your goal.
  2. Discipline over motivation.
  3. Cutting out habits that distract from the task.

I have believed strongly in writing down goals for a long time. Physically putting pen to paper and looking at it frequently can remind you of the objectives you’ve set for yourself and help to stay on track and focused. Hang it in the open, somewhere you’ll see it daily. Ask yourself every time you read it whether your actions match your dreams.

Motivation is nice, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the bonfire of discipline when it comes to achieving your ambitions. Cool memes on Instagram, catchy t-shirts and slogans, and motivational speeches always feel warm and fuzzy until it comes time to put your head down and do the work. Again, the non-glamorous, day-to-day grinding, relentless toil that is working towards something greater.

The last is always the most difficult part for people. We get emotional about the things, people, or habits in our lives when faced with the idea of separating from destructive forces. Now, this isn’t a call to quit your job, throw away possessions, breakup with your partner, or stop doing things you enjoy necessarily. What this is, is a call to reflect long and hard on the people, habits, and things in your life that are holding you back. Want to eat healthier? Do you find resistance or support from those around you? Want to train harder or more frequently? Do you make time to train or do you just make excuses when you can’t or don’t feel like it?

None of these thoughts should depress you or weigh you down. Moreover they should open your eyes to evaluating what’s important to you and how you want to live. It means being honest with yourself for potentially the first time ever and that can be daunting as fuck. It can be emotionally taxing or terrifying to confront habits, people, or things that hold you back from accomplishing a goal.

Consistency, people. Consistency above all else. When it comes to feeling triumphant in your journey, this is the key to success. You need to stay the course when things become arduous, but if you never make that leap of faith, you’ll never fly anywhere.

2017 & NY Resolutions (so far)

I don’t appreciate New Year’s resolutions. Not because I don’t believe in trying to self-motivate, or that discipline isn’t important; because I do and it is always. I don’t necessarily appreciate New Year’s resolutions because waiting until the New Year to begin a change can set people up for failure in my opinion. We all want to improve and we’re all starting from different places, but why is the New Year THE time to do it? The point is that change can happen at any moment, not just the New Year and not always all at once.

Often times NY’s resolutions are accompanied by a renewed sense of willpower and determination. Yet if there is a person starting from a place of low willpower or unsure determination, they are simply setting themselves up for disappointment. They are beginning a new set of goals, all at once, with both absolute and obscure deadlines at the same time, and putting the pressure to succeed on themselves again without fully evaluating their potential for their ability to complete even one of their NY’s res. items.

The point is, starting on NY’s day isn’t what’s important, it’s simply starting that’s important. It doesn’t have to be NY’s day that you begin a new journey. You can stop whatever you’re doing right this second and begin working towards whatever it is you’re striving to achieve. We place so much emphasis on THE DAY we are set to begin working towards our goals that we cloud the idea that that moment could be the hour to set out.

Also, people place so much importance on a list of goals to accomplish. Now I’m not against listing your desires, but what we need to remind ourselves of connects back to the idea of willpower. Often times we forget that willpower is like a muscle that must be trained over time and built up. Setting up a date and time and myriad of goals to begin tackling is like putting someone in an octagon and telling them to fight with zero training.

The long and short of all of this is the idea that when setting objectives for yourself to achieve we must keep in mind three simple things:

  • Don’t concern yourself with a date and time. If you want change, start immediately. You may never be truly ready, but that’s not the point.
  • Tackle one goal at a time. Biting off more than you can chew can be physically and emotionally exhausting, leaving you feeling burnt out and right where you started.
  • Combine these two and bear in mind your own willpower at all times. This is your key to success. Stick to 80/20 rule of sustaining your goal. Take healthy eating for example, plan your “bad” foods. If you’re eating five well planned out meals a day, plan for one to be looser than the rest. More relaxed so that you can remain sane as you continue to chip away at your goals.

Max Shank talks about the marble statue approach to goal setting. Which is where people view trying to accomplish their goals like carving a statue from marble. You would never begin a sculpture such as this with they eyelids or nose and your goals are much the same way. In order to be the most successful, it’s necessary to start with the big picture and work your way inward. Begin with trying to first get the shape of your goals and work your way deeper and deeper towards success. Sticking to these principles we can help ourselves navigate the route to success with greater willpower, ease, and long-term fortitude.

Transform Your Grip

Throughout my history of training I have always felt invariably that most peoples’ weakest link fall at the distal end of their extremities. We focus so hard on larger muscle groups and core training that we end up neglecting the furthest reaches of our anatomy and missing out on greater overall body strength. The grip being a prevailing shortcoming of many, I seek to address a weak hand, wrist and forearm with a simple routine to improve strength and integrity of the fingers, hand, and forearms.

A strong grip means greater levels of confidence in all areas. It means heavier swings/deadlifts, easier pullups, and further farmer’s carries to name a few. By learning and implementing some simple and effective drills twice a week in addition to your regular routine you will see improvements in the aforementioned areas as well as the potential for increased confidence in your handshakes.

Because no one likes being handed a dead fish dammit.

Drives people insane

Drives people insane

 

1. Axle Bar Bicep Curls

This should really just be the staple barbell curl for any and all lifters. Targeting not only the biceps and shoulders, stressing the grip for added strength. This lift will be more difficult out the gate, but long term the wrist and forearm strength gained will be of incalculable value.

Do you seriously need more explanation?

Do you seriously need more explanation?

 

2. Captain of Crush Isometrics

Find the highest CoC gripper you can reasonably handle and make this your go to gripper. Maintain a locked arm and close the gripper, holding closed for 5-10 seconds. You cannot pass up a chance to crush the grip.

Simple.

Simple.

 

3. Sledgehammer Levers

In terms of old timey strongman baddassness this one is up there. Improving finger, wrist, and forearm strength through poor leverage and controlled deliberate movement you can target an oft neglected portion of the forearm: flexor carpi ulanris.

I relieve myself of any and all responsibility when it comes to you breaking your nose.  Do not drop it on your face.

I relieve myself of any and all responsibility when it comes to you breaking your nose.
Do not drop it on your face.

 

4. Sledgehammer Rotations

When it comes to improvement wrist movement and strength as well as integrity this is the way to go. Taking the sledgehammer and holding as far from the head as your are able, lock your upper arm against your body at a 90 degree angle with your forearm in a supine position out front. Take the sledgehammer and rotate the head all the way over into a prone position maintaining control the entire time and then return to start. Get ready to have the brachioradialis from hell.

The move is completed by rotating back to the start position.  Maintain control the entire time. Don't let the shit flop.

The move is completed by rotating back to the start position.
Maintain control the entire time. Don’t let the shit flop.

 

There is almost zero organization needed when it comes to implementing these drills for gains in strength. Making sure you pick realistic rep ranges at feasible weights that can be done repeatedly is all that is needed. But because it appears that you usually need to hold someone’s hand through everything here we go:

  • Fat Bar Curl x5-8
  • CoC Iso 5-10seconds per arm 1/1
  • Sledgehammer Levers 10lbs x1-3 per arm
  • Sledgehammer Rotation 10lbs x5-10 per arm
  • REPEAT 4-5 ROUNDS 2X A WEEK
Because arms.

Because arms.

25 Random Thoughts on Food, Fitness, and other Shit

Implementing something as small as pushups, done extremely concentrated each day can bear enormous benefits.

Everything you say will be accepted by some, ignored by most, and ridiculed by the rest. Best to just say what you’re thinking and be open minded.

Do your research on everything before you speak. Once you’ve learned, go back and learn more.

There’s never one side to any story.

If you trust the government then you are as lost as people that where tin foil hats.

5f6b7d827b46f6ab73dc777b1e85a61a8a6de6e077cc4a75c15b3b8748562a76

Sometimes a slice of pizza along side your omelet is the best way to get carbs in easily.

Prepping food ahead of time is easy.

Eating clean is cheaper and easier than people realize, arguing otherwise is pure obstinance and idiocy.

Ladies afraid of lifting because they don’t want to “look like a man” are self-defeating and need to be lifted up.

Being productive is not the same and being busy. Learn the difference to succeed.

Sprints are like jogging but for people who’ve got shit to do.

Learn the difference

Learn the difference

Move every morning for a few minutes before you do anything else. Then drink some water. It’ll change your life.

On that note: make sure you stop whatever you’re doing throughout the day and move at least a few times.

If you’re in a relationship. Spend a few minutes at the end of each day working on your relationship. Whatever it takes.

Invest your money, hoard it, accrue whatever you can and make it work for you.

Do what you say you will.

If you know what to do but you do not do what you know then it does not matter that you know it.

Integrity means being the person you portray.

Integrity1

What you say has nothing to do with who you are, your behavior does.

You should be able to get through a “hardcore” training session with nothing but 8 hours of sleep and a bottle of water.

High rep squats show who you really are inside. High rep deadlifts build character. And burpees suck no matter who you are.

From a man’s perspective. It seems as if women are so much harder and more judgmental on each other than men. I can’t understand why.

The only reason you should be looking into someone else’s bowl is to make sure they have enough.

When you keep other people down. You can never grow because you must work to keep them in place instead of moving forward together.

Opera Non Verba – Deeds, not words.

photo

 

 

The Weight of Words

This is a story about the time I talked someone out of committing suicide. Across the news lately there have been numerous articles and talking points about suicide and depression, mostly positive, some negative. I was spurred to talk about this when I learned that recently a young man I knew as child took his own life.

This past weekend the world lost a rare young man. I knew him when we were kids and had only reconnected with him several times since then. I have not a single negative memory of him and from what I have heard neither does anyone else. This loss is as tragic as any.

I would hope than anyone and everyone would agree that if they had the power to prevent suicide they would. That’s why talking about the gravity of these events is of such importance. For me it went like this.

It was a simple night out with some friends. It was early in the summertime and I was coming home from a bonfire. As I came around a turn on a road with little light or visibility a woman sitting in the street loomed into my headlights.

I was able to swerve around her, missing her, and stop. At first I was angry with her for doing that until I realized she hadn’t even flinched and only sat there with her head in her hands. I got out of my car and approached her cautiously.

When I got over to her I found her crying quietly and upon asking her what she was thinking she said: I just don’t want to live anymore. I was absolutely speechless for a moment. A moment was all I had as another car came around the turn and I had just enough time to grab her and drag her to the side of the street as they kept driving.

Again I found myself angry with her for not moving until I realized she was looking back to the street as if to go back. It was then I realized I had no business being angry and I felt only one thing: compassion. She truly was at the end of her rope.

I held her hand and asked why. She had a myriad of reasons, no boyfriend, bad job, no family, full of regrets. They all seemed to add to the overriding fact that she simply felt useless, unloved, and alone.

I didn’t know what to say for a second until I realized I didn’t really need to say anything. I just needed to BE THERE, I asked her to tell me more. She told me about how her boyfriend left because he felt too good for her, she hated her job but needed to pay bills, and her family lived across country so she was alone.

I didn’t do anything. I sat, I listened, and I held her hand the entire time. I learned she believed in God and felt lost. I explained to her that she deserved to live. I told her that her life was worth more than a man, that we might not like our jobs but we can become more, and that family will always be there, if not physically then emotionally.

I explained to her that she was important, that she did matter, and that her life meant more to those around her than she realized. Together we called for help. I waited until authorities arrived and spoke with her. When I couldn’t play a part any longer I gave her my number and left.

Several days later I received a text from her. It was short. Thanking me for being there when no one else would, that she wanted to live, and that she believed God had sent me to save her. That that had filled her with renewed purpose.

As much as many people would like to try to fix everything, sometimes there is nothing to fix. Sometimes we don’t even need to actually do anything except be there. I believe that that night I was the light in someone else’s darkness. I am glad I seized the opportunity to be there.

What started off with me being angry at what she was doing, turned into a life changing experience for more than one person. Be careful how quickly you are to judge. The only time you should ever be looking down on another person is when you are lifting them up.

 In Memory of Brian Brice

1988-2014

asb089117-1_20140816.jpgx

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or thoughts of suicide please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Kids Should Read Fantasy

I was a nerd growing up. I still am, but I was then too. Growing up I loved a few things and none of them were exercise or physical activity. They were video games, nerdy card games, and fantasy novels. I’ll keep it light when getting into detail here but you might be saying to yourself “He’s not the biggest nerd of all time.” And you’d be correct. I never hoarded nerd toys or learned to speak elvish. Let me say now, I am in no way denying who I was and still am in many ways. I am thankful my folks gave me the freedom to be unusually nerdy for my entire life and support my desire to be whoever I wanted to be.

This is who I am and who I always hope to be inside. This article in fact is why I believe more parents should encourage their children to engage in nerdy shit, specifically delving into fantasy novels. These things helped shape me, they also left me with wonder as a child, and they gave me something I think is disappearing in a way: Romanticism, ideological views, and a broad general sense of imagination.

abstract reading fantasy art books imagination boys simple background children_www.wallpapermay.com_98

I’m not saying imagination is dead, but I think it’s evolving. In a world of ever increasing realities being forced upon kids at a young age with the advent of 24hr news and YouTube. We have kids developing not believing in anything. We know it’s not real, they know what’s in the books isn’t real, but while reading, it becomes real. That’s the point. Children need wonder in their life.

I believe that by taking children and college prepping them in kindergarten we are robbing them of their childhood in a way; Athletic coaches, piano teachers, language teachers, tutors, and the infamous playdate. Children need to be taken on an adventure where they paint the picture in their own mind. A place where they envision characters in their mind’s eye without Hollywood or someone else telling them how a hero should be portrayed.

It's not up to us to tell them

It’s not up to us to tell them

When you encourage your children to be nerdy or acting nerdy they do something I believe is extremely healthy. They trade in social norms and standards for something intangible. For a time children wont be bogged down by the demands that their life is calling for constantly. It serves as a respite from pressures and avenues of social anxiety.

Probably doesn't care what you think.

Probably doesn’t care what you think.

For an hour a kid can be a hero in his own mind or sit and imagine what it would feel like to go on an adventure. They learn to visualize what being strong means to them. Heroes in stories bear a seemingly different level of moral fiber than your average Joe and I believe that this is perfectly healthy for children. In a world where our children see the flaws in life at too early of an age, it is a gift to them to be able to immerse themselves in a different world in which the hero(ine) lives with strength and integrity.

It's difficult to find a picture of a female warrior without sifting through more T&A than a Playboy.  But that's a completely different article.

It’s difficult to find a picture of a female warrior without sifting through more T&A than a Playboy.
But that’s a completely different article.

I impart this feeling with me in many of the things I engage. While lifting I like to think of the hero and the people in need. What if we had to save someone, chase someone down, or be useful in a time of strife. I don’t believe you can be truly physically fit and not bear some level of elevated mental fortitude. I believe if you teach children from a young age the beauty of living with integrity and grit, the hero(ine) qualities, they can impart these into every aspect of life. Whether it be school, business, relationships, whatever. Teaching your children to suspend social constructs in an effort to enjoy something in its purest form is one of the healthiest things you can do for them.

This kid is going places.

This kid is going places.

This pendulum can and does sometimes swing too far in either direction. Just as you have people who never take up a book and live as primal meatheads, you have kids who never venture outside their comfort zone of games and books to experience life. Both of these extremes have their own sets of pressures and norms that can be daunting and manipulate an individual in ways that may or may not be that positive.

Somewhere between these two.

Somewhere between these two.

The goal here is to find the middle ground. Show your child (or yourself) that diving into a world disconnected from your phone, friends, and pressures of life and spending time being someone else, somewhere else is not only necessary to being a healthy person, but will most likely make them more compelling and enjoyable to be around.

Read more fantasy novels. It’ll afford you the opportunity to relinquish the hassles of daily life whenever you desire. These books can awaken a part of the brain lost in antiquity: fantasy and wonder. It behooves you to recall a sense of what it feels like to be a hero or heroine. Your children deserve a chance to immerse themselves in an alternate world and exercise their imagination. So here’s my question; are you willing to seize your own “sword of destiny” and talk nerdy to me?

Zero fucks given

Zero fucks given

On Getting Shit Done

Most of my life I have been a procrastinator, that would make it sound like I grew out of it though and that’s a lie. I’m not truly a procrastinator. I get things done; it’s just usually either all or nothing. I go through intense bouts in which I devour every task before me and then finish it all off with some iced Jameson and steak. Or I put shit off until the last minute then scramble doing all the work with sweaty palms and lots of Jameson still, but this time to numb the pain of my own stupidity. The fact remains though that I am improving. More on top of things, ahead of the game if only by an inch and I’m here to share a few strategies that have helped me.

Pictured: problem solving

Pictured: problem solving

When devising what attributes helped improve my quality of life the most I sat back and thought about it for a moment. (Trying hard not to drift off into daydream land and end up watching fail compilations on YouTube) Besides, I figured I’ll just watch them later, but that’s a completely different article. A few of the tips you’ll find here will have to do with an application or two to help you stay on task, time management thoughts, and personal beliefs that I hold dear.

Maybe not that tightly though…..

Maybe not that tightly though…..

  • Wake up early – I know this idea is about as played out as vanilla ice, but vanilla ice was/is the shit and so is waking up early. Let’s face facts: we only have so much time during the day, and most people don’t handle stress very well. This usually throws many into a floundering state where they almost can’t function mentally. Moral of the story? Put your phone down, shut the TV off and get to bed. Can’t sleep? Read a book. Getting up early gives you more time in the day, makes you more alert, and increases testosterone levels. Quit bitching and stop hitting the snooze button.
  • Write things down – For me this ones fits in with the previous paragraph. As I’m winding down my day. I write down 1-3 things I NEED accomplish for the next day. Physically writing things down does something to us mentally. Makes the task feel more real. More pressing. Personally I enjoy that feeling of crossing things off. So grab a note card, write down three things you WANT to get done, and get out there and boost yourself up with some self-made motivation.

2424198118_7307ebac5e

  • EVERNOTE – I chose to make this a totally separate piece because this is my article so I’ll do what I want. This app does all that for you. My big problem, like many people, is that I mentally tell myself to remind myself to send this, or call that person, or look this/that up later. And like most people I completely forget and then remember at 9o’clock at night when I’m in bed. Never again. Get evernote, get organized, and remind yourself to be awesome.
  • Tell people – This one is simple. Telling people about things you want to do makes you accountable. Having people depend on you is important. It makes you take action. Set a time you need to have things accomplished by, and make it earlier than the actual deadline. I have grown to love accountability and personally responsibility. It makes me better at eating well, training hard, and doing work to the best of my ability.
  • Do things you’re good at – This last one is a bit obscure. I believe heavily in doing what makes you happy or having a career you love. I have said forever that people do what they want and only what they want. And if someone is engaged in something they DON’T want to do then what they are working on is purely a means to an end that they DO desire. By choosing a path you love then you will be more prone to work at it, to hone whatever this craft is, and devote obscene levels of time to it. This will make you more productive, more successful, and probably more attractive considering how many people actually devote time and effort to ANYTHING worthwhile nowadays.

67096_461274673915203_852234592_n

Five things I do to help me get shit done. I employ these tools constantly and always strive to improve upon whatever my last conquest may have been. Success is for everyone and it’s true that the early bird does catch the worm. I’ve heard that good things come to those who wait. I disagree; good things come to those who wake the fuck up and get shit done.

ngbbs4af3e547a4643