Archive | October, 2013

The Power of Negative Influence

31 Oct

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“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” – Ghandi

We learn through demonstration.

Every act of malice.

Every ill-spoken word.

Every blatant display of mistrust and betrayal.

And we are creatures of habit.

We absorb, but we also implement. For every lie we are exposed to, we speak another, for we know its power over those we intend to manipulate. For every word we hear spoken in hatred, we use again to bring down those we dislike for reasons that have to do with our own self-assurance. Our words can bring about new life, or cut a current one into the ground. We fertilize and repair, or we tear down and allow our own self-hatred to get the better of us. And what we choose to pass on can directly influence the energy and attitude of those around us, as well as our own.

Our outward presence and treatment of others is a direct display of our inner confidence.

We cannot bring someone down unless we are first on the ground ourselves. We cannot lift someone up if we are not already up in spirits. Likewise, we speak badly of others when we feel badly of ourselves. And we speak kindly of others when we value ourselves.

Considering this, how can we expect our future – that is to say, our sons and daughters – to grow into the kinds of people suitable for keeping the earth alive, if we cannot teach them through proper demonstration of what should be considered redeemable qualities?

Those who influence us the most influence our habits. Our thoughts are formed through repetitive engraving of old words passed on, and experiences in our most impressionable years.

It is through these countless demonstrations that we form our moral fibre. And it is with the absorbability of our minds that we might also reverse our poor habits and exchange them for better thoughts and actions. The mind is an amazing thing. While certain things cannot be unlearned, they can be counterbalanced with enough positive reinforcement.

Remove bad influences from your life. Let go of negative people, and surround yourself with those who lift you and others around them up. Submerge yourself in the good so that you will be able to pass on that goodness to others. Realize that a poor attitude only prevents you from experiencing all the good in life. There is no reason to settle for cynicism.

Positive thoughts equate positive actions. Dedicate time each day to improving the way you think, and be mindful of the words you choose to say. We only get one try at a first impression. The negative ones last a lifetime.

meditation

Training Session: Bench 10/29/13

29 Oct

Back was bugging me this morning. Had to pop some Advil, but all was well.

 

I mean…except for the horrifying hand-off for my PR set. Good lawd.

 

Either way though, at least I didn’t die.

 

Bench:

bar x bunch

65×3

80×3

95×1

110×1

115×10 (lolwut)

120×8

Vid:

Let me just take a moment to explain this atrocity of a hand-off.

I have reason to believe my spotter was meaning to smack me right in the vag with the bar. I don’t recall asking him for a push-off. But it took a lot to readjust under the weight. So my shoulder and lat positioning was beyond sub-optimal.

But, if I could PR with that, I definitely could have gotten more with a better set-up! PR is a PR.

So thanks for that, dude.

 

Chin-ups: (Reverse grip)

3×5

 

Tricep Pushdowns:

55×10

65×10

80×10

90x10x3

 

OH Rope Extensions:

45×12

55×12

65×10

80x10x3

 

Tricep Push-ups:

10×3

 

OH DB Extensions: (single arm)

12.5x10x3

 

 

I’ll end this with a shameless back selfie:

Delts are getting juciaaahhh.

Delts are getting juciaaahhh.

 

 

Training Session: Lower Body 10/28/13

28 Oct

leg-day-chicken-legs

So first off… SO STOKED for Relentless in Detroit!! Big thanks to anyone who helped donate to the cause. Very much appreciated! Just a few days left. Not lifting there, but the man will be and I’ll also get to see lots of other great lifters there. I always enjoy going to meets even if I’m not lifting. Gets me even more psyched to get this injury over with!

My back has been having good days and bad days. Today was an in-between sort of day. I’m still pretty limited with my lower body exercises, but I’ve been trying to do as much as I can.

I think the best change I have made so far is switching my warm-up routine. I feel a million times better getting into my workouts than I used to. This is what I did today for warm-up:

Stair stepper: 6 minutes (medium speed)

X-band Walks: a lot (I don’t really remember how many times I went back and forth haha)

Banded Clam Shells: 2 sets of 15 on each side, with a pause at the top

Swiss Ball Leg Curls: 2 sets of 15

Swiss Ball Unilateral Glute Bridges: 2×10

Planks: 2 x 45 sec.

Sounds like a lot. But it really didn’t take all that long to go through. I don’t think warm-ups should really be less than 15 minutes anyway. I definitely feel much better and much more “primed” when I have done all my activation exercises and a little cardio prior. I can actually feel all my muscles activated with each exercise.

Which is really what you want to aim for in the first place. If the glutes aren’t firing properly, they won’t work properly and your quads will take more of the load, etc. It’s important to be able to FEEL each muscle working with the particular exercise!

That being said. Here’s my workout for the day (glute/hamstring focused). Everything was kept really light because of my back, so I just focused on really contracting hard and using my mind-muscle connection to get the most out of my session.

Romanian Deadlifts (Surprisingly these didn’t hurt my back! Score!)

95 lbs – 12×1

105 lbs – 8×1

135 lbs – 8×3

Bulgarian Split Squats

25s – 8×1

30s – 8×2

35s – 8×1

Hip Thrusts

90 lbs – 12×1

100 lbs – 10×4

Bad Girl Machine

220 lbs – 12×1

235 lbs – 12×1

250 lbs – 10×1

265 lbs – 10×2

GHR (On GHR machine)

MM Band – 10×4

WORKOUT FINISHER:

Walking Lunges (lots)

Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls (lots)

Training Session: 10/21/13 (High Volume Lower)

21 Oct

Back is still feeling achy. I went with the suggestion of a friend though and did ZERO mobility work pre-training. Instead, I did the following:

 

Planks: (full, LS, RS)

1 min, 30 sec, 30 sec. (x 2)

 

Hanging leg raise holds: 3×1 (as long as possible)

 

Surprisingly, this actually felt good…very good. I have a feeling that I lack a lot of core stability which may have contributed to my injury in the first place. My right side with the planks was MUCH stronger than my left. At 30 seconds I was shaking like crazy, but when I switched to the right side, I could have held it for an extra minute.

So I definitely know what needs some improvement!!

 

Leg Press:

180×12

270×12

360×12

450x12x4

 

Death Penalty/Bulgarian Split Squats:

25’s x 10

30’s x 8

35’s x 8

40’s x8x2

 

Bad Girl Machine:

190×12

205×12

235×12

255×12

290x4x10

 

GHR: (monster mini band)

10×4

 

Lying Leg Curls:

60x4x10 (very controlled)

 

Training Session: 10/16/13 (Back injury update)

17 Oct
Human back

Well fuck me sideways. This sucks.

For those of you who didn’t know, I injured my back two weeks ago.

Ya really.

I honestly don’t know what it is at this point. But I went from pulling mid-200s for my deficit deadlift sets, to barely being able to pull 135 off the floor. It’s very, very frustrating.

Two weeks ago, I did deficit deadlifts. The next day I was extremely sore, and needed to do heavy squats the day after…so I got some horse liniment and grit my teeth. I managed 260×4 with an extremely sore back. This was a VERY poor move on my part. I think that not only could I have possibly avoided injuring myself if I had lightened up and listened to my body, I could have also gotten a bigger PR…and have been able to go through with my max-out week.

So, I was pretty sore, and I just felt like I had over-taxed myself a bit. But during and after my down week, I noticed that the pain stayed with me and I had lost a LOT of strength in my lower back. Even after resting from squats and deadlifts for 1.5 weeks, I tried to pull 135 again on Monday and only managed 3 reps.

The pain is localized. Nothing shooting, burning, or tingling. It’s in my SI joint area, so lower spine/tailbone. It’s sore, and I do experience pain when there is any pressure.

I won’t know much until I can get an MRI. But because I’m in Canada and our healthcare sucks donkey balls, I won’t be able to get an appointment until at LEAST January, if not March.

All I can do for now is rest it and train around it until it clears up. Very discouraging, but I am trying to not let it get me down. Gotta stay focused and motivated. It’s not the end of the road, just a minor obstacle to get around.

Today’s lower body training…

WARM-UP:

10 minutes incline walking

Hip mobility drills x4

Single-leg Glute Bridges (between two benches) – 20×2 (per leg)

X-band walks – 10×3 (per side)

Banded Clam Shells – 15×2 (per side)

Foam rolling – glutes, lower back

Leg Press (leaning forward to take pressure off the lower back)

1pps x15

2pps x15

3pp x20x3

DB Walking Lunges

30’s x 20 steps x2

Cable Glute Kickbacks

45×10

55×10

65x12x3

50x12x2

Lying Leg Curl

70x12x2

60x12x2

Leg Extensions

90×15

105×12

120x12x2

Backwards Plate Sprints (like sled drags, only harder)

3 plates x 4 rounds

STA: Nothing Works The Same For Everyone

9 Oct

think_outside_the_box1

**(STA: something to think about)

The greatest thing about reading and hearing differing viewpoints is taking a little of everything and coming up with your own ideas.

After all, building your life is all about learning how to develop your own plans based on the advice and results of thousands of others. The only real way you will define your own path is by learning all you can, and still taking everything with a grain of salt.

How boring would it be if you could have everything laid out for you so simply? Experimenting is exciting. It shapes your character, provides you with valuable experience, and forces you to think outside the box. Nobody has a cookie cutter life plan that they can offer to everyone. Suggestions are all that can be given. You should never take someone else’s words as blueprints for your own life.

Consider everything. Try everything at LEAST once. Don’t be afraid to fail or do something that you don’t enjoy. Finding what doesn’t work for you is the best way of narrowing down what DOES work for you!

It’s something else for you to check off the “Don’t Fucking Do This Shit” list. There might be ten thousand other combinations you’ll have to try to find what works. But that’s not something to be stressed over. Consider yourself lucky to have the option of being able to experiment.

If everyone based their ideas off of what someone else said was right, the world would never know anything it does now because we would have taken everything at face value. Some guy started the rumor that the world was flat. But Pythagoras and Columbus had to challenge that idea before they found out it was round.

flat-earth-society1

So just because one person might say something works or doesn’t work, doesn’t mean it will or will not work for you. You’ll have to try it out and see.  Since everyone has varying success rates with different methods, you need to play around with a lot of things for enough time to make decisions on what is and is not practical.

You can never only follow the advice of one person, because you are not that person. What works for them may not work for you. And if it does, so much the better. But don’t stop there. Keep learning. Keep growing. We’re often too afraid to toy with new ideas, and that holds us back from accomplishing more and getting further.

Think big. Your brain often “expands” with intelligent thought. 😉

(Or at least that’s what I like to tell myself…)

An Open Apology

8 Oct

index

Okay. There is something else I really want to say. It’s been long over-due, and somewhat difficult for me to outwardly express, but here it goes.

If for whatever reason I have negatively affected you in any capacity during my years as a blogger, I sincerely apologize. One of the biggest reasons for shutting down my first blog was that I realized it had a lot of negativity attached to it…emotional baggage, so to speak. It didn’t help that I was trying to revive something that had already died. I was rude, opinionated, harsh, and critical. And in the process, I lost a lot of good followers and caused many people to think critically of me. Even though that was opposite of my goal.

Of course, I am still opinionated. To say that you aren’t would be hypocritical, as it comes with being human. But I have been making an effort to relay my thoughts in a more positive way, as I want to be someone who brings others up rather than tearing them down.

It isn’t necessarily that I am afraid of offending others. It’s that I am concerned that I could potentially and perhaps indirectly be the cause of somebody’s depression, self-hate, or insecurity. I have never intended to be a bitch, or cause any hurt feelings. Please understand that, while I displayed a lot of outward confidence, I still battled with quite a bit of insecurity myself. I was young, passionate, and trying to find my place. And unfortunately I got a little over-zealous with the feedback I was receiving, and that’s what lead to my downfall.

I did draw attention. A lot of it was very positive. But a lot of it was also very negative. At first I brushed it off and labeled it as “hating”, because I didn’t know any better. And while I realize that no matter what you do you will receive negative feedback in some way or another, I really think I could have done things differently. I think I could have approached things more maturely. But I was too caught up in trying to make a name for myself that I let myself get carried away, and really didn’t give a very good first impression to a lot of people.

I am still young! Only 20 years of age. But a LOT can change in four years. My mentality and perspective on life has done almost a 180 from where I previously was. I have been through anxiety attack after anxiety attack, medication, depression, failings, being broke and barely getting by, tears, sweat, and loss of friendships. But in the past four years I have learned a lot about myself, my desires, and my passions. It’s shaping me into a stronger person inside and out.

So I am very sorry if I have ever hurt anyone during that period in my life. I know I still have a long way to go with developing my character, but I should say I have taken some good steps so far and the changes I have made have all been positive ones. The desire and effort is there. This blog was one way of me starting over completely from scratch.

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive to me in those times, and who has still supported me through all my changes. Thank you to everyone for the words of encouragement when I needed them the most, and for those who stuck by me even when everyone else walked away. Words can’t express how grateful I am to have developed the following that I have already. I feel very undeserving, yet very honored and appreciative.

I hope you will all continue to follow me in my journey, and if I can be of any help to you in some way, please feel free to send me a message any time. I don’t always have exactly the right words to say, but I am a FANTASTIC listener!!

Never settle for less. Improve always.

Wishing you all a wonderful week. ❤