the pursuit of looking incredibly well built, and doing insanely cool shit
Just like a video game
There are mazes, game overs, and things to learn along the way, but the most important part is turning on the console.
An average program with average effort yields average results; average is for losers.
The purposeful placebo
Everyone knows that placebos work. If you think something is awesome, it will be more awesome. If you think it sucks, it will be suckier. Tell someone with cancer they won’t die (even if they will), and they’ll likely fight off the disease better.
Most of our placeo experiences are secret. Someone lies to us. Or we take a fake pill. But the thing about the placebo: it usually works even if you know it’s a placebo.
One of the most revolutionary moments in my training was believing that my program was the best in the world. (Even though it wasn’t…it still isn’t…) It takes a huge weight off of your shoulders. You no longer search for something better. You just go pour your heart into whatever your doing. That’s where the results come from.
Lie to yourself. You might just believe it…and it might just come true.
Change one thing
Radical change makes it harder to gauge what’s responsible for new results. Say you want big arms and you start doing six curl variations and taking an “arm exploder 2000” supplement, all while changing your routine. And say you end up seeing results. What caused them? The new routine overall? One of the six exercises? Two? Three? A combination? Or maybe the supplement?
In the tricking world, things happen so fast you can only focus on one thing at a time. If you want to go higher, maybe you toy around the the arms. Then the next go, throwing the leg higher. Then the next, wrapping tighter.
The benefit of tinkering with one thing is that you can then take the concept and apply it to other areas. So if the only thing you do is add reps to your current arm routine, and your arms get bigger, maybe your body will respond well — overall — to more volume for a little while.
It may. It may not. But at least you know one definitive thing that either worked or failed which helps you become much more in tune with your body.
The tao of food processing
The more hands any one food sees (call it processing, if you will), the greater chance it has to become utterly FUBAR.
It’s like the old game of telephone. Tell one person who tells the next who tells the next, and by the time the message comes full circle, it doesn’t resemble the original message in the slightest.
Do you have a belt?
A few years ago, I went to a New Years party. I wore a new pair of jeans that seemed snug when I put them on, but when I got to the party they magically loosened. It wasn’t long before I was consistently tugging at my waist to keep my pants from falling off.
It may seem stupid, but I was miserable. If you’ve ever forgotten a belt, I’m sure you can emphasize. It’s like you can’t do anything but focus on your pants.
My higher institution education kicked in, and I asked the owner of the house for a belt.
He didn’t wear belts.
At this point, my psyche was ruined.
But not so fast!
The house owner didn’t have belts because…he used zip ties. (I’m not making this up.)
He took me to his garage and strung zip ties through the belt loops on both ends of my hip. Outside of the sharp edges of the ties, my pants held snugly for the rest of the night. Everyone lived happily ever after.
Most everyone in the world of physical performance and body composition doesn’t have a belt. They’re lost. They can’t enjoy anything. They’re always worried about keeping their pants up. But they ignore it.
They try to dance…try to go for a run…try to live a normal life…but their pants are always falling.
Failing might not be from a lack of effort. So ask yourself: what’s holding your pants up? What’s your belt? What’s your anchor?
You have to believe that what you’re doing is perfect for your situation. That is your belt.
All things aside, the stronger athlete…
It’s one of the most common phrases thrown around in this world: all things aside, the stronger athlete is a better athlete.
But it’s never this easy. What made the athlete stronger? More time lifting weights? More focus on strength? And then what did that do for his focus on sport practice?
A better phrase to throw around: all things aside, the stronger athlete put more emphasis on strength training strength, which <insert here>.
- Took away time he could have been practicing more important skills
- Turned out to be a great thing, as he needed the strength to out muscle his opponent
- Got him stronger, but not necessarily better at his sport
It always goes both ways. It’s up to you to decide which way is better for you.
Coordination vs. strength in injuries and movement
An interesting experiment: grab (and drink) your morning coffee with your non-dominant hand. Notice how much more “out of whack” your entire arm behaves.
Chances are, your elbow will flare a bit more. You’ll be a little more cautious, maybe even to the point of having to keep eye contact on your cup during the journey from table to mouth.
You don’t have the same coordination and feel with your left hand, so the entire system is effected. The shoulder is called upon to help stabilize the cup of coffee (elbow flaring), your eyes are called upon more to help with the balance too.
It’s not that my non-dominant hand muscles are imbalanced or weak…just not as coordinated. And yet it greatly effects how the system works as a whole.
The question: what’s the effect of coordination on injuries and movement? Do your knees cave in on a squat from weakness or coordination? Elbows flare from weakness or coordination? Compensations?
Learn what NOT to do
Sometimes learning what not to do is just as valuable as learning what to do.
Want to get faster? More explosive? Stop doing HIIT and other lactic-anaerobic (muscle burning) things.
Start with your problem or goal, then identify things that don’t help you get there. What’s left might be exactly what you need, and you might not have gotten to that conclusion otherwise.