Too long to Tweet

IMG_20150425_083821-COLLAGESometimes, I have a lot to say… other times, not so much. Of late, I’ve not had a lot good to say, so I’ve kept pretty quiet. Twitter is where I spend most of my time, and a closed Facebook group I am part of. You can also see crappy progress pics and photos of food up at Instagram.

So why let the blog slip?

I’ve pondered this long and hard and come to the conclusion that I need to lower the bar somewhat. Not necessarily in terms of quality, just in terms of airing thoughts and getting stuff down. I tend to set the bar too high for the blog, looking for ways to write an elaborate detailed and thematic post, and that can turn into a half day commitment… time I just don’t have (or want to dedicate) to blogging.

So my plan is try and post a few times a week, but to make those posts shorter and easy to digest. That way, I still get to write, you still get to read, and collectively, they still tell the story of me.

As I always point out, this blog is more of a journal than a resource, and thus usefulness and/or interest to the reader will vary dramatically. There’s too much information on health, fitness and bodybuilding out there, and if you do want REAL information, you’ll already be following the likes of Adam Bornstein and Bryan Krahn.

As always, if you have questions about what I am doing, my goals, plans etc., just ask – I’m always happy to share my experiences and what I have (or at least should have) learned.

Just about anything will work

just do workI’ve been working informally with a couple of people of late, helping them build a program to reach their training goals. And it’s been fun.

However, regardless of what route we take, the “split”, the programming, periodization, intensity, loading, volume etc., I always end-up distilling the advice down to the following. So much so, that it’s worth stating here:

At the end of the day, it’s good to remember that just about anything and everything can work in the gym. It’s largely about showing up, working hard, consistently, for months, and eating large amounts of good healthy food.

Sure, there’s a lot of detail I could have added. I could have talked about rest intervals, recovery patterns, dietary intake, macros, supplementation, sleep; the list is pretty much endless. But in the end, 90% of the progress you’ll make in the gym comes down to forming good habits, showing-up regularly and simply doing the work.

Training with Attitude

Jason StathamI assume you are going to the gym at some point this week, but are you going in with the right attitude? Are you going to just show-up or are you there to make shit happen?

Don’t be one of those muppets that breezes through a workout, surfing your Instagram and Facebook feeds between sets.

You’ve committed your time, and given yourself the chance to make real progress. Don’t waste the opportunity… seize it!

Crush your workout and leave the gym happy and satisfied.

If my words aren’t enough to fire you up, here’s what Jason Statham has to say about attitude:

“I’m a firm believer in attitude. Some people just don’t have that desire, and they need a good kick up the ass. Look, you’ve come to train… let’s fucking train! Your body is like a piece of dynamite. You can tap it with a pencil all day, but you’ll never make it explode. You hit it once with a hammer: Bang! Get serious. Do 40 hard minutes, not an hour and half of nonsense. It’s so much more rewarding.”

You are only going to get out of a workout what you are prepared to put in. Put it in. All of it.

Happy Monday!

To love something despite

I stumbled across this simple yet touching passage this morning in my Kindle highlights from a [most excellent] book, The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicles:

We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.

To know the flaws and love them too.

Are we each not flawed? Yet, do we not long to be loved; not in spite of those flaws, but because they make us who we are?

Rare and pure and perfect. 

How progress is made

I stumbled across this rather excellent quote from Thomas Henry Huxley this morning, and it summed quite nicely the foundation on which I firmly believe progress is made.

“Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not. It is the first lesson that ought to be learned and however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.”

I often hear people talk about the psychology of training or dieting, as if this notion were an adjunct to the physical challenges of exercise or hunger.

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Don’t cheat yourself out of progress

kettlebellWe all go into the gym with the best of intentions, focused and ready to give the workout everything we’ve got. But if your workouts are anything like mine, the intensity and ball-busting effort soon takes its toll and, if you are not careful, you can find yourself searching for those little “outs”.

One way in which I KNOW you have let yourself off the hook before is by dropping the odd rep or set. I know I’ve done it, and oftentimes, not intentionally. One pattern where this can happen for me quite regularly is during what my coach likes to call, the finisher; an intense metabolic circuit intended to drive-up the metabolism and improve overall conditioning.

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What do you want me to write about?

ThoughtfulI have perhaps my biggest travel period for the year upcoming; a mixture of conferences, summer vacation and extended work travel. As always, part of me is thrilled at the prospect (who doesn’t love to travel!), and the other part of me is dreading it (transatlantic flights, loss of sleep, high stress and huge disruption to the exercise and nutrition program).

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Why Visceral Shift?

A number of people have asked me why the blog is called Visceral Shift, so I thought I’d take a minute to explain. Truth be told, domain availability is always a factor in these things, so in part, this was a name that was simply available. But there is additional meaning…

Aside from sounding absolutely awesome, the word visceral has a couple of meanings to me and this blog. First, there’s the health and fitness connotation. Visceral fat is one of the nastier kinds of body fat; it’s the fat fills your body cavity, distending your abdomen and enveloping your organs. Second, there’s the more formal definition: Relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect … that deep-rooted, instinctual emotion that often controls how with think and feel, despite having facts to suggest otherwise.

Building on those two associations, Visceral Shift:

  • Shifting, eliminating that that visceral body fat
  • The constant shift of guttural, instinctual emotion that drives some of our choices

There you have it. Maybe not as deep an meaningful as you might have hoped, but there is meaning there, none the less. Enjoy!

Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange LandI stumbled across a quote from this book this morning, and it reminded me how much I enjoyed reading it. I was also reminded of just how many great quotes and passages there are in that book; so I thought I’d share a few with you.

In case you’ve never heard of Stranger in a Strange Land, it’s a novel by Robert A. Heinlein about Valentine Michael Smith, a newborn that survived the first mission to Mars. Raised by Martians, Valentine returns to Earth an innocent, rich heir, and “owner” of Mars.

Oh, and don’t write the book off merely as science-fiction or otherwise something you wouldn’t normally read. It really is an interesting story and extremely well written. Seriously, give it a try!

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