We’re gonna vent our frustration

You want to make the time but you can’t. If you have read my posts you may have read one that talks about prioritizing the things that are important to you in your life and to make the time to do those things. It looks great on paper but not easily done.

I’d like to think I have all the answers.

 

You want to make the time but you can’t. If you have read my posts you may have read one that talks about prioritizing the things that are important to you in your life and to make the time to do those things. It looks great on paper but not easily done. It can take some time to change your habits and have the new things you do become your habits. But lets not get too deep into that and instead here is a post on how to maximize the time you do have so you aren’t taking a hit physically.

 

The workout

Let’s start by warming up. PRO TIP: Never start exercising without warming up the body. Not warming up can lead to immediate injury or incurring an injury later. To warm up you can do things like jumping jacks, mountain climbers (at a bit of a slower pace), rotating your arms backwards/forwards, leg swings, etc. The goal is to keep everything moving and to also get your heart rate up to about 120 bpm’s (beats per minute). Here is a simple warm up to do that.

*WARNING* The following is a high intense workout. Consult with your doctor before starting any physical program and also before changing your workout to something more intense.

The warm up

Exercise: Jumping Jacks. Duration: 30 seconds. If you don’t know how to do Jumping Jacks then google it. Doesn’t everyone know how to do these?

Exercise: Arm Crosses. Duration: 60 seconds. Cross your arms like you are giving someone a hug then swing back to open up your arms. Alternate each time which arm is the upper arm. Gradually let your arms open up a bit more each time, dynamically stretching the front of your shoulders.

Exercise: Leg Swing. Duration 60 seconds. Starting with the left leg, bring it as far back behind you then swing forward trying to touch your outstretched right hand. Then do the other side. The goal is to increase gently the backwards and forwards motion of your leg swings. Keep switching from one leg to the other.

Exercise: High Knees: Duration: 60 seconds. Using your core and leg muscles, raise a knee up as high as it will go keeping that foot under the knee, not behind close to your bum. Then do the other leg. The objective here is to do this in a controlled fashion, using the muscles to raise the knee, and not bending forward crunching up. Change back and forth from one leg to the other at a pace that isn’t too quick as again we want to maintain control and also keep our heart rate at 120 bpm as we are warming up.

Exercise: Arm Rotations: Duration 60 seconds. You can do this using both arms at the same time or alternate back and forth. Swing arms up and behind you like you are making big circles. Don’t go too fast as you don’t want centrifugal force to take over possibly causing an injury. You can change direction to a forward rotation half way through.

Exercise: Mountain Climbers. Duration: 30 seconds. Position yourself like you are in the starting blocks for a 100 meter dash, weight on your hands, one foot forward, one back. Now alternate quickly which foot is forward and which one is back. Keep this alternating, back and forth motion going like you are running nowhere. Think of your knees driving forward and backwards. Keep the pace at a rate that keeps your heart rate around 120 bpm.

Summary

Here’s what the warm up looks like:

Jumping Jacks:  30 seconds

Arm Crosses: 60 seconds

Leg Swings: 60 seconds

*Mountain Climbers: 30 seconds

Arm Rotations: 60 seconds

High Knees: 60 seconds

* You can substitute Jumping Jacks for Mountain climbers if you find the load too much on your wrists or shoulders.

Workout

Now that our body is warm let’s get into it.

*WARNING* The following is a high intense workout. Consult with your doctor before starting any physical program and also before changing your workout to something more intense.

The following workout is a high intensity interval training workout. Specifically because this is meant to be done with little time this is a Tabata workout. As with any workout, it is very important to follow the spirit of the workout, of Tabata. 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for a period of 4 minutes. The 20 seconds is 100% effort while the 10 seconds is 0% effort. Basically the 10 second rest period should be spent trying to get your heart rate back down quickly by focusing on deep breathing and quieting the mind.

One more time. Tabata: 20 seconds 100% effort, followed by 10 seconds 0% effort intervals for a duration of 4 minutes. There are plenty of free Tabata apps for smartphones. I would recommend using one of these.

You will know if you truly adhered to what a Tabata workout is if when you were done you were a big pile of goop. Really. Although a short period to exercise (4 minutes) you should be exhausted because during the work phase of Tabata you really did give it 100% effort. Read here to find out the benefits of this type of exercising.

Exercises

Burpees. That’s it. You really need only one exercise for a good Tabata workout. And the great thing is you can do burpees pretty much anywhere. No special equipment, no large space needed. I like to use burpees for this because it’s an exercise that increases our heart rate to max as quickly as possible and also keeping in mind constraints like space, equipment. Be sure to always use full range of motion, lowering yourself down into the squat all the way before kicking your feet out behind you, to almost the same position as a plank.

Can you do other things? Sure. You can sprint for 20 seconds. You can do alternating lunges with a really quick foot change. It has to be quick. If you do your lunges without the quickness your heart rate is taking longer to get to max. And again, you have only 20 seconds. High Knees at a fast pace? Maybe, if you really push it. I’m not a fan of this because high knees end up being middle knees then lower knees. It’s too easy for the intensity to slip. It’s hard to do that with burpees if you keep moving. You are forced to move your whole body. It’s excruciating. That’s why everyone hates burpees.

Done

Now that you have completed your Tabata and you are dead, don’t just stand there. Jog lightly or just shuffle the feet so you are still moving and focus on breathing. Stay loose, let the arms move. Deep breaths (and I mean deep) in through the nose and then force the air out via your mouth. This has to be active breathing, not passive. Forcefully breathing in and out using the full capacity of your lungs will get rid of the residual air in your lungs and replace it with fresh oxygen full air thus bringing your heart rate down to a lower level quicker. Also by moving your body around you prevent blood from pooling. Keep this up for whatever time it takes you to get your heart rate back to about 120 bpms. You can then let your heart rate come down to about resting rate as you spend 5 minutes for stretching. Don’t want to stretch? Read this and maybe you’ll change your mind.

Stretching

I’ve done many posts on stretching and hopefully you have read them and are an avid stretcher. Because of this I’m not going to spend much time on this. Try to spend at least 5 minutes stretching. The payoff will be huge with benefits such as injury prevention, better quality of life due to increase in mobility. One thing I will say is don’t stretch the muscles that don’t need it. Spend time on your weak areas. Not sure what those are? Hire a personal trainer.

Lastly

That’s it. 5 minutes to warm up, 4 minutes of work, 2 minutes to cool down, and 5 minutes to stretch. 16 minutes of your day, ahh, let’s round up to 20 minutes. And this isn’t some crappy thrown together work out that you won’t see results from. THIS GETS YOU RESULTS.

It’s intense and demands a lot of you. Because of that be sure to get your rest. And because of the intensity you cannot do this every day. How often you can do Tabata is based on things such as your current level of fitness, age, injuries, health issues, etc. If you are not sure hire a personal trainer. But be sure to understand these things to help prevent injury or health issues.  And again:

*WARNING* This is a high intense workout. Consult with your doctor before starting any physical program and also before changing your workout to something more intense.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

wanting it easier than this

I often forget, but lately I’ve been reminded.

To me it’s pretty high up there, almost right up there with water. Lately at least it has. We can neglect this for many reasons, some being self inflicted the remaining due to circumstances of our life. And you don’t always realize the level of severity until your sane sense of mind returns.

Sleep

It’s been a really long week for me, physically and mentally. It’s been a sad time as my best friend, and teacher, dad passed away. With all that comes along with that I’ve been teaching all classes. And also due to a relatively new warehouse management system implemented earlier this year where I work it’s been really early mornings for me having to deal with unplanned warehouse outages. Also to add onto that my nagging shoulder and,I don’t know why, a really tight/sore mid upper back has not made for the best sleep when I’ve been able to get it.

We can feel the tiredness and sometimes even the toll this has on our mental faculties as we struggle to get through the day and mentally have to process things. And we don’t always realize it until that sleep comes upon us, enough of it and we then realize how it impacted us. How we weren’t the person we normally are. How we couldn’t quite process things in a manner that may have made sense. It reminds me of watching a video on youtube at a quality of 144p then seeing it again in HD. Things then become sharper. Of course I realize the impact lack of sleep has on our processing part of the brain. Tests have been done to show this. We lose some of the ability to do math, our reading becomes slower and reflexes too. But I don’t believe I’ve seen studies on the impact lack of sleep can have on us emotionally. I’ll have to look for that.

Also, if part of your life includes goals that involve physical performance lack of sleep will negatively impact that. Sleeping allows our body to go through the process of healing itself from the damage done by exercising (micro tears of muscle fiber) allowing the process of muscles repairing and getting stronger/bigger. When you sleep your body produces infection fighting substances like cytokines. If you don’t get enough sleep you are impacting your body from fending of invaders and also it may take you longer to get better when you do get sick.

Lack of sleep can also impact balance putting you at risk for an immediate injury or lead to improper technique when exercising causing unnecessary stress on joints and connective tissue.

Why

I do realize I’ve recently written a post on importance of sleep. But I thought, no more like felt the need to write this one. If you have one of those days, or even weeks where you know you didn’t get the sleep you needed try to keep things to a lesser demanding schedule if you can. Keep things subdued and try not to do anything that calls on you to be at your best.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

same time, different year

I think each of us deal with two primary voices we hear from our brain. One voice, the voice that tells us to stay in bed, the voice that tells us that there will always be tomorrow to get up and go running, the voice that tells us to indulge more than we should.

Will it be different?

 

Clocks have been set back an hour, darkness upon us earlier into the night. Getting colder and colder as the weeks go on.

This time of year along with the deep winter months can be tough to keep yourself motivated. The darkness can effect us in a bad way, and during the day when it’s not sunny out, that can keep us in the dumps some times, or most times. What can be done about it?

The voice

I think each of us deal with two primary voices we hear from our brain. One voice, the voice that tells us to stay in bed, the voice that tells us that there will always be tomorrow to get up and go running, the voice that tells us to indulge more than we should. We have another voice, the voice that tells us how better we will feel after the work out, the voice that tells us we will be closer to our goal if we work out, the voice that in a sense lets us know what the right thing to do is. But, the first voice is very strong. It’s strong on it’s own but can be strengthened by events from our life, things that have shaped us. And it can be hard to ignore. The first voice is the voice that we should ignore and not pay attention to. Some times the messages from that voice can be really hurtful, the messages like we’re not worth it, we don’t deserve it, it’s too scary, what if I fail, and it doesn’t matter anyway.

That voice is 100% negative, not benefiting us in anyway. It’s hard to ignore, I know, but we have to. We have to not listen to it as it does us no benefit to listen to it. It will never be the voice that gets us to where we need to be to cross the finish line in our next race, to complete our next triathlon, the voice that gets us the job we want. It’s the voice that will stop you from doing all of those things, if you listen to it.

How

How do I know? Because I honestly believe that all of us can do those things. All of us have the parts, the tools, the capabilities to do anything we want if we work at it and do what is needed to accomplish great things. 30 years ago running a marathon was a HUGE deal. You were an elite athlete if you completed a marathon. Today? It’s not uncommon to know people who have done that. Now, people are running ultra marathons, multiple day endurance races. People are completing 5 ironman triathons in 5 days! But of course these must be gifted people, people who genetically are superior. Nah, I don’t think so. These people are no different that you or I. They have struggled like you and I. They still struggle, everyone does. They decided though to not listen to that first voice but listen to the voice that is the positive voice, the voice that says if you want this then do it. Get up in the morning and do it. Tomorrow is there but what are you doing today? The voice that says you can do it, why not?

Why Not

And why not? What is holding you back? Really, what is it? Fear, intimidation, lack of time, self doubt? Whatever it is you will never get started and do these things if you don’t address them. Fear of failure? I’d rather fail at something than not try at all. You learn about yourself when you fail, you learn the good things about yourself. Failure should be something we accept especially if we tried our best. And if anyone criticizes you because of it then maybe you don’t need to hang around those people any longer. It is so easy to sit back on the side lines and criticize people for falling, for failing. But if you fail than so what? You TRIED to do it. And there’s next time. Look honestly as to why you failed and make changes. And what was the failure anyway? Did you fail to complete the marathon but completed half of it? Wow, you just completed a half marathon! Pretty awesome!

Be honest with yourself be it a success or failure. Analyze and determine what things could have been done differently for a better outcome. And move forward. You only harm yourself dwelling on failures.

Lack of time can be remedied by reducing time spent doing things that do not get you to your goal. We all love spending time on the internet but if that is preventing you from reaching your goal than it’s not helping you. Sometimes we do these things because we can zone out, relax. Try meditation to relax. There are many more benefits to this than passively watching vids.

Self doubt is a real killer. I think most of us, or maybe all of us have that in us. Sometimes self doubt is used to stop us from starting something new, or making a change in our lives. We’d rather go through life dealing with the same shit every day, knowing how much we detest it instead of making a change. It’s familiar, comfortable even though it’s harmful. I had an opportunity to become a ship’s diver, a 6 week course with a 60% failure rate. As it got closer to the course I was scared shitless! I heard so many stories of so many failures that I almost pulled out. To this day I’m glad I didn’t. I became a member of an elite team and also had the opportunity to become  a full time commercial diver. I finished first in my class. Now, if I did pull out I would never have had the opportunity to learn these things about myself.

The other voice

Listen to the voice that tells you what you need to do to achieve your goals. Listen to that voice that says to get out of bed even though it’s cold and miserable outside. Surround yourself with positive people who encourage you to do these things that make you grow as a person. You will become a passive influencer. Become that roll model for younger people. We need more of those. Too many people of lesser quality are influencing our younger generations. No longer is the message to push yourself hard, to do great things with your life, to strive to achieve that huge goal. Instead they are learning that money is everything no matter what the cost. Shallowness rules the social media networks.

Become someone you want to be and let that rub off onto others. It’s awesome to do that and give back what you got. Be that person you need, or needed in your life for someone else.

Lastly

I didn’t think this post was going to be this long. I only meant it to be a post about helping you with this time of year but if it helps you get that kick in the ass you need than it was worth it.

Yours in health,

Darryl