Archive for January, 2009

My [Mini] Seminar and the 80/20 Rule

Today I had one of my first real speaking experiences outside of college where I could really talk about the area of life I am most interested in, exercise and strength training.

I am not well known in the world of strength and conditioning so I am even more unknown with the group I was to talk to.  I was told to make an hour-long presentation on the benefits of exercise and strength training for optimal health.  OK a little remedial but pretty straight forward none-the-less.

No Quite My Average Client

No Quite My Average Client

So I figured that this was not my typical tire-flippin’, box squattin’ crowd but I imagined a room full of eager eyes waiting to soak up all the information I was about to spew out for the hour to come, well I was a little wrong.

The room filled with about eight people and I was assured more.  I was not worried about the numbers but I did need to get the show on the road.  More trickled in late and as I began to speak I assessed the crowd I was dealing with to see which direction I was going to take it.

Go Ahead Bring McDonalds in for Lunch See if I Care

My eager eyes I dream of before were few and far between.  Out of a room of 15 people only three seemed interested and the rest of the lot were either shy, sleeping, know-it-alls, or just there to try and piss me off by walking in late and bringing McDonalds to stuff their faces with.

In all honesty I have learned over the years to work as hard as I can for myself and not to care too much about others.  Like the famous 80/20 rule where 80% of your ______(fill in the blank) comes from 20% of your _____ (fill in the blank).  In my case 20% of the people represented 80% of all the attention, question asking, and personal story sharing that went on this afternoon.

I guess the best we can do in the real game of life is knowing you worked as hard as you could to reach for the elite 20%  that will listen, execute and return the favor by passing it along to others.  If only that were easier said than done.

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Thursday, January 29th, 2009 Business No Comments

Just a Simple Plan is All I Ask

I still work at a commercial gym a few hours a week to make ends meet and to be with the clients that have stuck with me through thick and thin throughout the years. Today was a holiday (MLK) and I should have thought twice about going into work.

It was 10am and there was not a 10lb dumbbell to be seen. The gym was packed with the usual soccer moms however they brought along their bread winning other halves today and man it was a site to see. I am not one to knock people too much because I feel that just getting into the gym shows some guts, even at an upscale local gym, however I might have to revoke that last statement for some because guts might have been replaced by complete absentmindedness. I am not necessarily talking about the guys who use the squat rack to do their 45lb bicep curls I am talking about the guys, for whatever reason, seemed to have the followed the hypnotic movements of some Lululemon pants or the sounds of the new Brittney Spears tune “you’re a womanizer, womanizer, womanizer” (you get the picture) and ended up lost in a sea of people in the weight room.

This Guy Could Benefit From a Plan

I must have asked three queasy looking guys today “are you OK?” All of them had some answer about how they were lost, zoning out, or thinking about what to do. Just by looking at them I fully understood and accepted their answers.

Too many people just float around the weight room of life without a plan and expect to get something out of it. Sure you might get sore or lucky every once in a while but those things are short lived. The long term results only show when you have a long term plan. The funny thing is, is that these guys know it. I am sure every other part of their lives, especially their professional careers, has a plan and some structure striving towards a goal and that is why they are successful.

So no real powerful insight here just the reiteration that having a plan and sticking to it when it comes to exercise and training can make a huge difference in the results you see and it will also make you look a lot more confident when you are in the weight room.  Remember even if you don’t have a plan at least try to walk around with a confident look like you do so I will not feel inclines to write about you in my blog.

When in Doubt: Fool Them with Confidence

When in Doubt: Fool Them with Confidence

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Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 Business No Comments

Strength Training and Your Teeth

Six months comes by too quickly when you realize that you have to go to the dentist. Don’t get me wrong, I like my dentist and it took me years of jumping ships and experienced agony to find one like him, who is down to earth and pays attention to detail. This guy even cleans my teeth himself, talk about the king’s treatment.

Anyway my dentist has all of these fancy gadgets that my old one did not have. I told him that two of my lower teeth on the opposite sides of each other had been hurting occasionally. I hardly ever have teeth pain and I have only had one cavity my whole life so I was not sure what it was. He checked them out, performed a myriad of tests, took a few pictures and came up with his conclusion. He showed me some pictures and a chart of my teeth a year ago. He said a year ago they were fine, within the last year he said I had started grinding them. He showed me the wear and tear spots on my molars and said “yep one year ago you were fine because you didn’t own a business, now you have one and along with it added stress.”

I found this alarming, I do not feel more stressed than before, busier sure but not stressed. Looking at the pictures I knew he was right and I am not sure if that was a good thing or not because I now have a visual image of the aftermath caused by my stress so whether that creates even more I don’t know. Before I get too far off track, I naturally asked what I should do to prevent the further decay of my teeth without getting a new profession. I found the analogy he used interesting because it made a ton of sense. He told me that my teeth were like strength training. If I did nothing I would be fine for a while but if I were to look at the big picture, ten years down the road, I would have some serious problem. He also said that if I were take a few more precautionary measures, again 10 years down the road, my teeth will be even healthier, cause me a lot less pain and a lot less money to fix.

I must take care of my teeth

When he said that it made me grow pensive and think about the way I try to equate every aspect of life to training. When a new athlete or client comes in and tells me their goals I ask them how long do they feel it will take to reach their goals? Some will say “a couple of week.” Some slightly smarter ones will say “a couple of months.” What I try to tell them is something like this:

“Training is not something magical that will somehow transform you into the person you think you want to be, it is simply another means to an end. It is, however, a powerful means if used systematically, wisely, and by a person in the right frame of mind. Training is an investment and that investment usually has a long term goal attached to it. Long term goals are necessary and they must be seen as long term. Short term goals are often overlooked yet equally necessary because they are the milestones you hit when heading down the road towards your long term goal. So whether it is to lose 15lbs. or to get that college soccer scholarship first we have to make sure that we hit the milestones that come before it like;

  • Feeling better
  • Learning and perfecting new skills
  • Building our work capacity
  • Gaining Strength and flexibility
  • Losing some weight and adding some muscle
  • Starting to perform better in our sports

It is after these things are achieved that our long term goal comes into sight. For some it might have taken months, some years but it does come. A sign of success is not only achieving your long term goal but the path that took you there.”

Many do not realize is that the training investment can take you far beyond your long term goal. After it is reached you can use that training to access many other avenues into your adult life. You can be fit to run around with your kids,

Happier, less stressed, and possibly the most important, have a life with, greater health, less injuries and pain.

I told my dentist that after I had my visit with him I went out my local drug store and bought a new toothbrush case, some paste, floss, and mouthwash and put in my gym medicine cabinet. I am committed to the investment of my teeth. My long term goal is to stop the occasional grinding pain and the excess tartar that build up because of it and I realize that if I do that my extended future will be one where my teeth will be much stronger and have less wear tens years down the line. All of these things will keep me from doing something more frequently that I didn’t like doing in the first place…going to my see my dentist for a checkup.

Brushing is good

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Thursday, January 15th, 2009 Business No Comments


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