Category: Posts


Raising the Bar

 

Extraordinary directions

Extraordinary directions

A few months ago, I was one of the lucky 100 plus participants who attended a 3 day summit that basically celebrated two very specific things.  One was to thank me for doing exactly what I am doing, and the second was giving me a few more pointers on how to continue to do what I am doing.

What am I doing you ask?  I create extraordinary experiences to help you move forward into excellence.  What is excellence?  Excellence is doing all that you commit yourself to, to be done at the highest level of focus and meaningful direction.  Simply said, it is a trained instinct of significant progress.  You interested?

I have learned over the years that nothing can be forced.  In fact, the more you push at it, ironically it pushes you right back to where you started.  Yes, equal and opposite reaction, or in this case, the opposite direction.  In order for us to gain forward motion and progress, focus and a meaningful direction are both required.  Then, a lot of hard work done intelligently, so that any force being transfered is exactly into the direction of what is necessary to further your quest.  This is why it is so important to know what you want.

Why Raising the Bar?  I have helped to lead  so many people toward extraordinary changes in their daily lives and I have done this by learning early on that most were not recognizing their daily actions of insanity.  Yes, they were all working hard, however, they didn’t recognize that their work had become non-progressive.   I would like to introduce a new direction, and this direction leads us away from mediocrity, and toward extraordinary.

I can tell you now that extraordinary does exist, and if you are willing, you will find it.  You can begin now with three very simple steps.

1.  Wipe your slates clean, mediocrity was yesterday.

2.  Write down exactly what you want

3.  Next to it, draw an arrow going up, because this my friend is our direction toward extraordinary.

A voice of direction and creativity,

Coach Sanity

A Strong and Healthy BACK

Inspiration from Coach Sanity!

First, a little reminder about the Sanity Fitness System approach to education and practical application, keep it simple and make it significant.  I believe that when you spend time doing the exact right things, you have more time to have fun with everything.   That being said here’s to a strong and healthy back!

The most efficient way for me to break down what I feel is most necessary for a strong and healthy back would look like this:

B – Big Moves - Spend your time in the gym on progressively improving, strengthening, and challenging the proper lifting mechanics of big moves like a squat, deadlift, overhead pressing, power cleans, and snatches.  These whole body activities asks for a whole body to be present.  If your back is currently a weak link, you will quickly learn from your attempts from these big moves, and you can adjust your resistance, range of motion, and modalities (Barbell, Dumbell, Kettlebell, Medicine Ball, etc) to work with what stress you can actually tolerate.

A – Active Range of Motion - If your back can only handle a certain range of motion, then this where you begin, with a goal to increase your neuro-muscular (fancy word for mind & body) active range of motion (AROM) over time.   If you can not feel your back working properly, then chances are it might not be.  Go as far as you can, and then add a bit more range over time.

C – Core Coordination -  There is a certain ‘rhythm’, if you will, that our core region will synchronize with new movements.  LIke a dance, your core activates, contracts, pauses, and transfers through dynamic movement patterns like the big moves I listed above.  With that, you should also spend some time cross training with activities that require your core musculature to experience a different path of neural firing.  For example, outside the gym activities like running, cycling, swimming, hiking, and dancing.  This will not only increasae variety with your exercise time, it will also allow you to further build an intelligent mind and body connection.

K – Keep Moving - I think this statement speaks for itself.  Studies have shown us that you can workout for an hour everyday, however, if you sit for several hours, you are just as unhealthy, and at risk for both an orthopedic issue, a long with the negative physiological issues related to stroke, heart disease, diabetes, etc.

In short, stay active, find sanity!

6 Small Meals?

In the hopes to continue to create a sense of balance, a long with share my thoughts of sanity, I’d like to share some personal applied practices to the theories of 6 small meals vs one large meal.  I also think this is something important to address because each year most of us set a goal to lose weight.  Ironically, for some strange reason, most people can not maintain their lost weight, and find themselves either starting over, or starting from an even higher weight gain.  Hopefully once you have read this post, you will have a more clear idea as to which philosophy to follow.

First, where did the practice of ‘six small meals’ a day come from.  If you are familiar with Bill Philips, and his book, Body For Life, you can recall his prescription for weight loss was to consume six small meals a day.  With the goal to a. speed up metabolism,  b. stabilize insulin levels, and c. provide a steady flow of carbs, proteins, and fats (macronutrients).

This is simplified down for the spaces of this post, moreover, there are other benefits to this way of eating.

Needless to say, this can be, and has been a successful way of eating for a lot of people.  Bodybuilders specifically as they have been successful with it for years.  If you have found success in doing this, by all means, don’t change it if it isn’t broken.

I do feel it is important to also share that there are some not so positive realities that may come with following this way of food consumption.  For one, it can become quite time consuming to prepare forty two meals every 7 days, for each passing week.  You may also begin to feel overwhelmed with your mind set around food, food, food.  In other words, your mental frame of your day is around consuming calories ALL DAY LONG.  Probably not the best approach if you find that you are back to square one, months or a year later.  Of course if you never stop eating this way, and you do gain the self control to stick to small number of calories six times a day, then you will be successful.  Keep in mind I said NEVER.  Which may be a lifetime of worrying about overeating.  One word, stress.

If you are in search for something different, might I suggest my way of daily eating.  Understand that I started years ago as an overweight adolescent.  Later, I glorified the small meal eating as I was also a competitive bodybuilder, and all around gym rat.  When I reached my 30′s, I found that I was not in balance of my mind spending, with preparing for the gym and being at the gym vs. a life existing outside.  How could I have the rewards of both worlds?

I switched my way of eating and found liberation.  I was liberated from thinking about food, to making memories of trying flavors.  No longer was I fearing overeating because I no longer experienced self deprivation.  The rewards were that I was now healthy because of how I used my time in the gym, and now I also have a healthy relationship with all foods.  No fear of overeating, just a healthy habit of chewing slowly, all those zests of macronutrient combinations.

My typical day of eating looks like this:

Wake – 4 a.m.

Sip coffee

Meal One (large) – 3 p.m.

Meal Two – 6 or 7 p.m.

Sleep – 9 or 10 p.m.

Please note, for all sane purposes, I am not thinking about food preparation all day because I only need to think about it twice.  Now more space is available for making smiles, and smelling roses.  The beauty of this way of eating is that, through time, it becomes very flexible to social gatherings, traveling, surprise getaways, etc.  No need to feel obligated to keeping a kitchen within a 5 mile radius.  Just the open road and a blank canvas.

I hope that I could at least open your mind to something different.  A different way of eating, a long with a different way of living.  If you like what you see, and have a question(s) for me, please feel free to ask.  Obviously I can not customize this approach to you specifically within this confined page on the internet.

Fun. Move. Play.

Coach Sanity

 

Simple tools.  Significant movement.

Simple tools. Significant movement.

Our excitements run high of adding  new activities through out each year.  Remember, life is a long marathon, not a sprint, and the better we prepare ourselves to enjoy each and every day, the more we can enjoy ALL the rewards.

Before you embark on your next activity (a run. a class. a lifting session. etc.) be sure to take a little time to prepare your body for proper recovery.  Aside from a proper warm-up, healing from the stresses of exercise can begin once you have finished today’s sweat session.  It is also a nice habit to make recognizing that your body can only continue to provide you what you will give it back.  In other words, take care of it, and it will be there for you when you need it.

A few simple actions you can use for recovery are:

  • self myofascial release techniques
  • passive or static stretching
  • short stages of meditation/breathing

I have found that a after my fitness training sessions with a few minutes spent on a tennis ball for my feet, some simple stretches, followed by 10 minutes of meditation can do wonders for longevity.  We all love playing this game of life.  And the better we treat our opportunities to savor our experiences, the more we open ourselves up to take in each colorful rain drop we call today.

To our health, Salud!

Let’s play,

Coach Sanity

I’d like to throw in my 2013 fitness predictions for my fans to mull over and share forward.  First a quick recap on what happened to the others in 2012:

  • Obese rate still on the rise
  • Fitness Fad Market increases
  • Health Benefits/Insurance cut
  • Still confused on where to begin/what to do

In short, insanity still exists and there is more work for me to do.  To begin, let’s all agree that our next approach will not be the same.  In fact, it won’t even be coming from the same engrained habit you call upon in your brains.  It is now time for something different.  Enter sanity.

2013 Sanity Fitness Predictions

  • An increase of appreciating meaningful and purposeful movement  (FOCUS)
  • We begin to chew more slowly
  • We invest our fitness time into the most valuable exercise prescriptions – no fads, just real fitness.

Stay tuned for an amazing year of Sanity!

Coach Sanity

 

 

Strength training articles have been written for years, and so, our practice has traveled from all corners of the fitness continuum supporting sporting activities ranging from weekend warriors, to minutes shaved from of a mile, to strokes removed to find us further under par.

I am writing this post specifically to educate about the training for a life filled with activity.  I have found where most people fall short is not recognizing their opportunity to rehearse, and thrive, within life’s activities.  A large part of this is not personal fault, rather, a commitment of time spent on a mass market of fitness filled with draining activities that sacrifice quality for quantity.  Strength training for life is allowing for a practice of progress found in progressive training.  Like goal strategy, this is intentionally planned and modified.

Where other mistakes are found is not knowing what is wanted in return for the time spent under a barbell.  Without knowing your take away product, the value  of the benefits begin to decline, and when we find ourselves short of long term results.  A few valuable benefits found in strength training are:

  • injury prevention
  • bone density increase/maintenance
  • long term weight management
  • mind focus
  • a sense of resilience

These benefits only continue to improve, as we challenge through periods of progressive strength training protocols.  Furthermore, I have found one of the most valuable benefits my clients take away with them from my strength training prescriptions is an improvement of their ‘in the moment’ thinking.  I value it as an increased ability of (RAISE ) React Accordingly In Stress Environments.

We tend to use a large amount of our human ability to recover from stress when we overreact to the happenings of daily living.  Your staying power can be found within the results of personal progression of the movement patterns our bodies were designed to do since the beginning of existence.  In the gym, they fall under weighted squats, deadlifts, over head pressing/pulling, throwing and hurling, and jumping/landing.  Simple movements done with progressive overloads, to test the human systems of tolerating heightened amounts of stress.

Seek value in the movements that change your life for the better, and spend more 0f your lifetime doing the activities that  make you smile.

Play now, live longer

Coach Sanity

It’s safe to say we are all now falling down that holiday funnel of Thanksgiving feast into Christmas cheer.  With it, brings an extra large place setting of holiday work party’s, family gatherings, and late night munching of leftovers.  Right around this time of the season I get asked that question, What do I do Coach Sanity?  Lucky for us, Christmas has come early.

I will share with you a few simple tips to add to your holiday festivities, and help curb a habit of bringing overeating into your new year.

1.  Leave a little something on your plate -

Let’s say it is a given you will be consuming more calories around this time of the year.  A good habit to now call upon is the habit of leaving some food behind for Santa and his reindeer.  Make it a good thing (opposite from when we were young) to leave some food behind.  If you visually see that empty plate, it will be very easy to repeat that experience over and over this entire season.  Stop the insanity now!

 

2.  Add a pinch of cinnamon-

Smart scientists have shown us that cinnamon can reduce the glycemic index of a meal by almost 30%.  Moreover, mothers have known this fact for generations.  (Hence, fresh home made apple pie ;) ) If your desert does not go well with cinnamon, sprinkle a little into your coffee, or try sprinkling some on your turkey or stuffing during Thanksgiving.  Just get a dosage into your body before you massively consume large amounts of pies and cookies come desert time.

 

3.  A day of fasting

For those that follow the “several mall meals a day” type of eating plan, you already know you’re allowed a day of splurge every seven days.   This is because it reminds your metabolism to not accommodate and slow down to low caloric eating, and kick into light speed digestion on day seven.

I am suggesting you take that approach and flip it, by fasting for one full day within one week before or after Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Not only will this give your metabolism a much needed break from all that consuming, it will also allow your body to get back to healthy medicinal movement, and take on another year of sanity living next year!

Happy Holidays,

Coach Sanity

 

 

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“I believe a life practice is personal development aimed at a powerful direction.”

 Coach Sanity

 Through tough “hard knock” life circumstance, I found myself settling with content, moreover, without a direction or meaningful purpose.  After the passing of a parent, illness of a sibling, and friendships lost,  I was led to a dark abandoned place where courageously fought life chapters become closure.

What I discovered was an emptiness of truth, a blank space called possibility.  Deep down inside is where our true self gets discovered.  And to be nurtured, for in time, can again be shared with another.

Salud,

Coach Sanity

 

My mission is to simplify.  Simplify.  Simplify.  I speak these intentions so boldly because to me, sanity is a fluid line connecting our dots between our mind & body.  I am not only speaking to one direction, moreover, to every direction.

In this moment I speak of a simple application that brings together training, and tasting.  What I mean is, the open spaces between both of them, and how they can more easily work together for you.

When we think of the word train, we may tend to envision words that elevate our hearts and cause us to perspire. For example move, lift, heave, and throw.  When we hear the word taste, we may find ourselves searching for a connection toward delicacy, flavor, and indulge.

As I voiced, our sanity is a line that exists between the lyrics of mind & body.  In this instance, I speak of your lyric to be within a balance of left and right brain hemispheres.  When we taste, our mind should speak to our body voicing logical, rational, analytical, and objective impulses.  We should see it as parts, and as sequential means to an end.  When we train, our mind should fall toward intuition.  Be subjective & holistic.  To learn to see it as a whole rather as individual parts.

A balance can be found not within a focus of which side one remains dominant, but rather gain a strong trust in our body’s feelings of both present place and present time. Here is where I am to be, where I am to play, and where I am to discover.

Follow the signs,

Coach Sanity

 

Front desk, locker room, cardio machine, etc.  It amazes me that so many people walk into the gym for their workout, and tend to travel the same route they did the day before.  Here are 3 tips I suggest to stop the insanity of living the same as you did yesterday.

1.  Wear a bright color around the area of your body you want to focus on for that day’s session.

When you look into the mirror, your eyes can focus in on the bright color around your mid-section, arms, or butt (for example), and you can better ‘connect’ to that area, and maximize every single repetition you do.

2.  Take a dry erase marker with you, and before you leave your car, write out on your window your word of accountability.

I love writing things down.  It makes them so much more real than simply keeping them floating around in my head.  The next time you head to the gym, write out one word you absolutely know will hold you accountable to your workout.  We all need reminders ;) For example:

  • name of your child
  • date of your wedding
  • color of your new bikini
  • the name of the guy/girl you have a date with on Saturday

3.  Focus on one thing, and one thing only

Most people go into the gym and dance around the entire area doing several machines and free weight exercises.  I suggest at least once a month you go into the gym to focus on one movement.  Spend at least half the amount of time you would normally spend, and perfect this one movement you have chosen.   Take the time to warm-up as if you were doing your regular workout, however, take this time to also focus on the muscles you will use for this one movement.  Don’t be surprised if you feel more sore than you have felt in quite some time.

 

Follow the signs,

Coach Sanity

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