Viewing entries tagged
cosplay bodybuilding

Finding Your Accountabilibuddies

Finding Your Accountabilibuddies

Have you ever tried to do push ups, or planks, or squats, in the comfort of your own home? If you've been following our blog, or any other form of our content, you absolutely should have by now. They're free, they're simple, and they're essential to any form of movement outside of exercise and the gym. We often prescribe homework in our clients programming that contain language like "hold a plank during commercials while watching tv....NO FAST FORWARDING OR TIVO MAGIC." Or "Attempt a pull up or two every time you walk through a door frame in your home." Or "Practice your squat by not using your hands to get up and down from the couch." We use this style of language in our programming to focus on habit training, and to help eliminate the illusion of excuses. 

So as holistic personal trainers we recognize how important those two facets are to making sustainable changes, and how beneficial it is to know you can in fact exercise anywhere, anytime. 

However.

As fully formed adult nerds who built, live, and preach, a lifestyle on the tent pole principle of pursuing enjoyment, excitement, and wonder, we can also tell you how much it blows. It blows hard. On the scale of priority setting and procrastination, doing push ups in the comfort of your own home is the fitness equivalent of doing the laundry. You will feel good after doing it, but getting yourself to do it feels like pulling your teeth. In slow motion. While strapped to your couch.

90% of the success with "DIY" fitness programming we write for people stems from having us there. We are there to check in and remind them to do it. We are there to cheer them on when it gets done. We are there to point out and rejoice in the progress that would otherwise go unnoticed. We provide a sense of proof for accomplishments. We are there to point out each and every time they do something they said they couldn't.  We turn can't into won't, and won't into can, and can into will.

Rest assured, at no point does doing push ups on your home carpet become more enjoyable, or easier to make happen. The power of having proof for your effort, and a positive reinforcement for even trying, makes the teeth pulling tolerable. This is the power of the accountabilibuddy.

Just think, if the power of the accountabilibuddy is strong enough to get you to do and see progress from the most painstaking part of self improvement and habit training, imagine what it can do with things you actually enjoy doing!

What the heck is an accountabilibuddy?

It is a person, group of people, place, or environment, that holds you accountable and encourages your pursuit of self improvement. For a lot of people that feel stuck on a hamster wheel, or start and stop diets or programs frequently, not having an accountabilibuddy is most likely why. 

Sometimes it doesn't matter if you can ride your bike with no hands. It only matters if someone SEES you riding you bike with no hands. Especially if that someone is a person you respect or desire attention from. That's not to say you should be trying to improve your self for someone else. Because, don't. DON'T DO THAT. Your health and wellbeing should never be codependent on someone else, or worse, someone else's attention.

But. 

We are inherently social creatures. Even the most hermit based, prefer my dog to my neighbor type of person, enjoys having their effort noticed. Your accountabilibuddy is a sweet spot of social and variable pressures. Someone waaayyyy better than you or waaayyyy worse than you at something is not relatable, and will either fail to bring out your best, or make your climb seem insurmountable. A place filled with too similar of a struggle is a breeding ground for self loathing and victimising. 

Your accountabilibuddy will never be: 

- A person or place that claims you embarrass them, or makes you feel embarrassed.

- An environment that is angry when you try something new or different. 

-  Someone that lets you get away with giving up before you've tried.

- A group that tells you NOT to do something because A) You don't know how it will turn out. Or B) You have to get your shit in order first.

Your accountabilibuddy is going to support you in YOUR decisions, hold you accountable for what you say you want, be unapologetic with excuses, and pick you up when you fall. Because you will fall. Everyone does. You'll forget, or your motivation will waine, or you'll burn out for weeks at a time. 

Your accountabilibuddy is a force of positivity. Your defence against the unkown. Your super team in the battle of trying to give a fuck. So when preparing for a quest, always, ALWAYS, grab your accountabilibuddy!

What Super Power Do You Covet?

Comment

What Super Power Do You Covet?

When you prepare for your crime fighting mission, what power do you expect to most rely on? The sheer amount of cardio you have to do will happen regardless. We discussed this in a previous post. But once you swoop into action, would you prefer to save the day as quickly as possible, pick something up and move it to safety, or deduce how the crime took place, so you can stop it from happening again.

Basically, would you prefer to have super speed, super strength, or super deduction?

All three skills, speed, strength, and deduction, are needed in some capacity for any hero. The super power describes which of the three you prefer to rely on, enjoy using the most, or use by default without thinking. 

For example:

You come to a stone wall. How do you get to the other side? Do you smash a whole and walkthrough? Do you run up and jump it?  Do you look for a door? 

Your instinctive answer is your super power. The primary gift you should look to hone and keep sharp in case of use. The other two skills are viable options you should always mix in, just in case. It would suck to rely solely on finding a door, only to determine there isn't one.  

Your super power is the anchor to your training. It's what you should resort to when you fall of the wagon, when you're feeling unmotivated, and what you measure and test your progress against.  

We are going to analyze and break down what parameters will be most useful for your desired super power.

 

Super Strength

upload.jpg

You are going to pick up anything that isn't strapped down. You are the one your friends call when they are moving. Some asshat parked their car in your spot? Move it. Locked yourself out of the house? Knock down the door. You prefer to wield giant hammers, clubs, axes, or two handed swords, swing them once, and go home.

The first rule of strength training, is that you don't get strong by being strong. You don't improve strength by trying to lift 500lbs that won't budge. You don't improve strength by always and only lifting your max. You can realistically hit your max lift once. It takes so much of your energy to do so however, that you can't do it a second time.  

To improve your strength you want to work in full body compound movements. You want weights heavy enough to tax your whole body, while at the same time being light enough that after you have set them down, you can still pick them up again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And then maybe rest.

 

Super Speed

upload.jpg

Lines are the worst. Walking in a pack downtown makes you want to pull the skin off your face. You can totally run faster than rush hour traffic. The fastest way to get from point A to point B is a straight line, walls and private property be damned. Your jab is your favorite weapon and your wit is quick.

Speed is most effective in short bursts. The longer you spend doing something, the more energy it takes to keep doing it, the more you slow down. So when training for speed really you want to focus on two things. 1) Your top speed being higher. 2) The amount of time you can maintain your top speed, or close to it.

Plyometrics are your best friend.  Sprints, jumps, and other short bursts of power are going get you going faster, sooner. 

 

Super Deduction

upload.jpg

You know who the killer is within the first act of the episode. Crosswords and sudoku are your jam. Getting a question to something you don't know the answer to is both exciting AND an excuse to jump down a rabbit hole of research and thought experiments.  Your quick thinking prevents fights from escalating in the first place. Your understanding of physics and obsessive nature help you excel at things like climbing, darts, and billiards.

Just like strength and speed, your ability to deduce information from observing the world around you is physically trainable. To make it a superpower you have to be able to rely on it when you don't have time to think. When panic sets in and the chips are on the table, being able to tell whether someone is left or right handed doesn't matter unless you can apply the knowledge at full speed.

To train your deduction you want stimulate your mind in between spikes of adrenaline.  Playing memory in between a tabata, or tick tack toe in between heavy lifts can scratch this itch.

Which  of these powers do you feel calling to you? Which of the descriptions best describes how you see or would prefer to interact with the world? Lets discuss! If you want to learn more about how to exercise for character type, make sure to check out "How to Train for the Life You're Currently Living Part 2: Superhero Special Moves," on the products page!

Comment

Being a Superhero is Mostly Cardio

Being a Superhero is Mostly Cardio

As superheroes we know the importance of being able to lift tons of weight, hone our powers, withstand ungodly amounts of pressure, posses a relentless motor for getting through any situation, and the greek god like body that can come from training all those things. You know what no one ever seems to talk about? The amount of cardio required in superhero work. I'm not talking about training even, just the day to day job requirement that is high levels of cardio. 

You spend most of your time running to or away from things. Even if you're not dealing with a direct conflict, you're still walking during your patrol of the neighborhood. Quick question, how much energy do you think you would have left for bad guy shenanigans after forty five minutes of walking around the block, climbing buildings, and jumping from roof top to roof top? I'd say, rounded to the nearest whole number, zero. 

The trouble is, training cardio sucks. It is absolutely the worst. It is painful, and gross, and a great way for seeing the inside of your stomach. But if you plan on saving the day, you have to include it somewhere in your program. All the greats do. Even the strongest most super powered hero has to work on cardio. 

The Flash has super speed powered by the speed force, equally enhanced reaction and time perception, and has enough power in his sprint to bend, break, and travel through time. And he still had to practice running in order to do so because, cardio.

Superman is a Kryptonian alien with more powers, abilities and might, than most other teams of heroes put together. His power is fueled by our solar system's yellow sun. He has had most, if not all of his powers by puberty, and yet even he has to find time to huff and puff and hopefully not blow a house down because of accidental super breath.

Batman has every bat themed gadget you can think of, including an armored fleet of vehicles, and created a fighting system that requires one timely strike at a time to help him avoid as much cardio as possible. Yet he runs, swims, climbs, and of course conditions with sparring, you know, just incase.

Maybe, just maybe, it could be helpful to do a burpee, or run a sprint.

Somewhere The Joker is laughing.

 

How to Navigate Your Skill and Attribute Tree

How to Navigate Your Skill and Attribute Tree

 

When embarking on the heroes journey, you may find that navigating your user interface for your skills and attributes is rather clunky and not very intuitive. When possible, using a tutorial with the help of a guide can greatly improve your chances of success. At the very least learning how to read and understand your skill and attribute tree can set you in the right direction. So what are skills and attributes, and why do they even matter?

What are Attributes?

Attributes are your basic physical traits. Strength, speed, endurance, agility. Generally speaking when you are working out, you are attempting to improve one, some, or all of these attributes. They are the limits of what you can pick up or carry, how quickly you can get what you're carrying from point A to point B, how far a distance you can carry the object between point A and point B, and how many movements or changes in direction you can make while moving from point A to point B.

Most of the time if you find yourself using your attributes, the quest in question requires a mix of some to all of them. It is very rare that your quest simply requires you to pick something up and replace the object in the same spot you found it. However! When working to level up your attributes, you are best served by focusing on one attribute at a time. Whether it be through a full cycle of training that you spend on one specific attribute, or splitting up your workouts through out the week to focus on separate attributes.

The reason you want to focus on one attribute at a time is because they are applied generically to a variety of events, and trying to predetermine which events you're going to encounter is highly improbable. By linearly focusing on one attribute at a time, you can clearly see your progress as you level up, and have a better estimate of whether or not your current level can successfully interact with a situation. 

What are Skills

Skills are abilities that utilize your attributes. They are movement patterns, ranges of motion, or tool use. We use the word tool loosely. It doesn't have to be a crescent wrench or help you build something. It can be a toy, game, a weapon, or any other object that requires your interaction to be used. Your skills are the creative outlets for using your attributes. Much like with your attributes, you're best served by focusing on one skill at a time.

Not so much for keeping track of the linear progression, but more because of the time consumption required for success. There is a direct correlation between the amount of time spent practicing a skill, and the point at which it becomes an unconscious response. Leveling up a skill starts at the first point of it becoming unconscious. If you have to think about executing a skill before doing so, you have already been slayed.

By focusing on one skill at a time you can minimise the amount of time required to reach an unconscious response. You can further improve the time it takes to reach an unconscious response by practicing it everyday. While a given skill may get rusty if unused for too long, having it logged into your subconscious makes it much easier to pick up again when you need it. This allows you to focus on leveling up a new skill while merely maintaining your already developed ones. Maintaining your leveled skills simply requires applying their unconscious responses in your quests. In other words, keep going on quests.

Where do they fit into your heroes journey?

While your skills are purely technical, and until used, mostly theoretical, it is your attributes that dictate how long and with how much force you can execute them. You can't really succeed in any quest unless you build and maintain both of them. A skill without honed attributes will be weak, inefficient, lower your chances of survival, and eliminate any chances of escaping. Highly leveled attributes may allow you to survive longer, but leave you unable to complete any tasks.

The balance of trying to level up a skill and your attributes can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. The simplest structure is to focus on one skill and one attribute at a time and separately from each other. Your skill would be practiced every day, while fresh, and separate from or at least before your attribute workout. Your attribute workout would then focus on improving EITHER strength, speed, endurance, or agility. This allows you time to recover physically from each workout AND accurately track your attributes progress. If you don't have enough time or energy to switch attributes every day, you can instead focus on one attribute each time you work out and switch them out every month or so.

The relationship between your attributes and skills is built and maintained for the long haul. There is no point where you wake up and no longer have to work to at least keep your attributes at their current level. This is the biggest fallacy of working out. The idea that you've reached your goal, so you can stop. Or that you're done working out because you are already in shape. The most painful example is believing that you will pause your real life until you level up your skills and attributes to an acceptable level before returning to your previous ways.

The most crucial aspect of the heroes journey is adapting the lessons you learn to create a new you, understanding, and way of life. Peter Quill (Star Lord, and leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy) was once nothing more than a lazy dimwitted local government employee, that sucked at shining shoes.  He altered his beer intake, found his way to the gym after failing the police fitness test, and built in the day to day discipline required to improve his attributes to the level of a kick ass space pirate. He did so all AFTER turning 34. Peter didn't become a kick ass space pirate and then return to over consuming beer and getting high on shoe polish. He continued to maintain the required skills and attributes his new life required of him. Unfortunately for the fate of half the universe, he never really grew out of his over emotional dim wittedness.