Posts Tagged ‘mindful’

I have used visualization in my training for many years. Skeptical at first, but the results of it have been great for training progress.

I first started using it during the 1980s when I was learning to trade sleep for study time at the University of Pittsburgh. I would take a study break and find a quiet spot and visualize where I was going to lift that day including the sounds, smells and feelings.

I would close my eyes and feel what the weight would be like on the first rep including the lift off. I would feel each successive rep getting heavier and more difficult to accomplish. Most importantly what the last rep which was my extra rep or increased weight from the last workout would feel like. I would always visualize the succesful completion of the rep. You really have to get your confidence up and “buy in” for the completion of the final rep.

My workouts became more businesslike and matter of fact. I went on some great training runs with this technique and I believe it to be well worth a try. Think of it as a very effective free training supplement.

You find out life’s this game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small — I mean one-half a step too late, or too early, and you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow, too fast, you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us.…..

When you transition and open your hips what part of your foot hits the ground first? (Should be ball)What does your shin angle look like?(should be positive) If not, why not? Is it a habit? Are your hips tight? Are you weak?

They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second…….

Are you addressing your weaknesses or are you hopping through hoops and ladders without correcting your flaws?

On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch, because we know when we add up all those inches that’s gonna make the fuckin’ difference between winning and losing! Between livin’ and dyin’!…….

Are you willing to put your brain to work and get into the science of training? If you are already athletic will you hide behind that or do you want to get even better?

I’ll tell you this: In any fight, it’s the guy who’s willing to die who’s gonna win that inch. And I know if I’m gonna have any life anymore, it’s because I’m still willin’ to fight and die for that inch. Because that’s what livin’ is! The six inches in front of your face!!

Will you work smartly and effectively as if your life depends on it or are you going to muddle through? It’s all about you vs. you and becoming the best you can be. No matter what you are striving to accomplish.

**Italics quotes courtesy of the movie Any Given Sunday(The inches speech as delivered by Al Pacino)

I felt awful this morning as I did my warm up for a running day. Joints hurt, low back hurt, no pop in the step. A funny thing happened though as I got 5 minutes into the run. My thoughts settled into a rhythm with the crunch of leaves under my feet. My breathing got into a steady rhythm and the aches and pains drained away. Any journey as they say starts with the first step. If I put that run off this morning I never would have gotten it in or found out. Get your mind right first to give your physical self a shot.

The weights never lie and the steepness of the hill remains unchanged. They will be constant and you can count on them to stay true. The hill isn’t steeper and weights are not heavier on a given day. Your mind and neural drive control these things. Be true to yourself and allow your body to be at it’s best by staying positive and believing. This cannot be faked. The least stressed aspect in training is the mind and it is exponentially more important than diet, rep scheme and loading protocols, and the latest training craze. Fitness crazes and training methodologies are transient and temporary, but the power of the mind is timeless.

What we need is emotional content! -Bruce Lee

I can’t stress enough how little the process of going through the motions helps. This is useless for athletes or trainees beyond the beginner phase.

If you get yourself worked up to the point of almost tears before you do a lift then you are getting warm.

If you read your phone or let your mind wander or bullshit then your set will be sub par.

Your heart and soul must be involved in training to get the most out of what your physical self can be.

100% neural drive required!

Your mind when fully engaged is extremely powerful. I’ll tell you that if you are preoccupied with your phone, the days’ events, or whatever is coming up you will not be at peak efficiency. This could be peak efficiency for spending time with your family or working out or solving problems.

The more advanced you get, the more critical your mind becomes. If you want to run. Run. Clear the brain. If you want to lift. Lift. If you want to write a paper. Write.

Thoreau said, “I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit. In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to Society. But it sometimes happens that I cannot easily shake off the village. The thought of some work will run in my head and I am not where my body is — I am out of my senses. In my walks I would fain return to my senses. What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?”

The weights never lie and the steepness of the hill remains unchanged. They will be constant and you can count on them to stay true. The hill isn’t steeper and weights are not heavier on a given day. Your mind and neural drive control these things. Be true to yourself and allow your body to be at it’s best by staying positive and believing. This cannot be faked. The least stressed aspect in training is the mind and it is exponentially more important than diet, rep scheme and loading protocols, and the latest training craze. Fitness crazes and training methodologies are transient and temporary, but the power of the mind is timeless.

Gaining Perspective

Posted: February 23, 2021 in Uncategorized
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Coming up on 5 years now I was at the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute and sat down opposite a kind happy man in the waiting room. He was around 65 years old and the first thing I noticed about him was his personality. Warm, caring, charismatic, god fearing and kind. All of this In 5 minutes. He had struck up a conversation with my wife and I and discovered I was an NBA fan and our conversation turned to the Cavaliers. And Money. And Peace of mind. And fortune. This was the most content man I had ever met in my life. He also had one eye closed and later upon further conversation I learned it was sewed shut. He then matter of factly told me he had his eye removed last week. He was so happy to have it out due to his diabetes and was so blessed to have one good eye. He went off to his exam room and my wife and I to ours. As I passed him in his exam room he yelled out “All right Ed Go Cavs!” with a thumbs up! Suddenly I realized my headache and sore knee weren’t really problems and most of the problems I had were not real ones, only imaginary. Knew this man for 20 minutes and really stuck with me. Amen!

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Posted: September 23, 2020 in Uncategorized
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PSU Football’s Mason Stahl working up to 500×3

Going back about 12 years I caught hell from a head football coach whose team we had been contracted to train for strength and speed 3 days per week. His assistant coaches had spread the word that these infidels(my coaches and I) didn’t have the team hitting each muscle group. Coach called me to his office and was insane and yelled, “They are only doing 4 exercises each workout! No curls, no skull crushers, no leg press, no side laterals, no strip set forced rep banded madness!! “How can one gain from just 4 exercises Ed?!! This is ridiculous I can’t believe we hired you guys!” I calmly said, “Coach back in 2003 I worked up to deadlifting 415×20, Squatting 495×5, Chinning 5 reps with 115 pounds on my waist and Benching 315×5 with 5 exercises on Monday, 3 on Wednesday and 3 on Friday. No chemical assistance Coach. I was 37 years old Coach and weighed about 190 pounds. ” “Oh”, he calmly said. Well maybe we will try this out………… The KISS principle: Keep it Simple Stupid.

The same principle applies to an everyday tasking environment. Multitasking feels great but leads to stress and inefficiency no matter how good you are at it. Keeping it simple and staying in the moment of each task is most efficient and the best way to lead to your own effective longevity.

The Gap

Posted: September 14, 2020 in Uncategorized
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One of the best books that I have ever read is the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by the late Steven Covey about 25 years ago before I started my entrepreneurial venture. There are 2 parts of this book that really resonated with me.

The first was the notion of the gap between a stimulus that you receive and your response to it. First and foremost a theme that ties many of the principles together is self awareness. You are not your thoughts, your background, what life had dealt you, or how people treat you. What you are is your response to those things. In many ways this is mindfulness and “Zen” like.  It sounds very simple but just so powerful. It is applicable on so many levels. At the root of it is your ability to feel secure with your own principles and not giving “you” away to the pressure you receive from an event or another person. Think and pause before you react.

The second was a comment he made to not “get caught up in the THICK of THIN things. Things that matter the most such as your principles and family should not be at the mercy of self imposed deadlines, the opinions others have of you, or a junk filled email list. This certainly involves saying “NO” to requests others have of you. If they are a friend or a truly supportive family member they will understand. If you are too worried what they think of you because you told them NO then you have some interior work to do. If you say YES to a very thin thing you may have said NO to something more important without literally doing so. 

The book is a fantastic read and even better as a guide and reminder.