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how to be a superhero

Story Time: Crowning Worthyness

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Story Time: Crowning Worthyness




You just received a beautiful ordamental chest piece for your efforts in clearing out the near by mine of orcs. Carved into the side of this armor are the words “Dragon Hunter.” The mold was scrubbed and washed with dragon scales, enfusing the already strong iron alloy with the durability of dragon hide. This level of alchemy is rare, expensive, and only adorned by the most worthy of heroes and adventurers.

You slip the chest piece over your head and tighten the leather straps along the side.

And keep tightening.

And keep tightening.

And keep tightening.

But it's still way too big.

In your efforts to tighten the armor properly it slide down your shoulder and hung over your arm. Your neck is the only thing keeping it from falling all the way off. Frustration begins to build as you try to straighten the armor out.

“I've toiled in the haunted woods. I've rescued multiple towns from hellscapes.” You try to remind yourself.

“I've trained, practiced, and sacrificed to protect this realm.” Your words are true, but do not bring you comfort.

“I've put more effort and work into this than anything I've ever done. How THE FUCK is it not enough!”

You try again to center the chest piece over your shoulders, and set it down. It hangs off your frame as if you are a wire coat hanger. Head down, shoulders slumped, pride shot, you walk toward a shelf in your home and feel you can barely move. The armor is heavy! Even if it fit over your shoulders, you couldn't walk more than twenty feet before needing to take it off and rest.

“How?” You wisper to yourself as you slide the chest piece off and toss it onto the floor.

“What more must I do to prove myself. Why do I bother seeking out these adventures if I'm not worthy of their glory?” You kneel and begin to weep.

“Let the realm defend itself then!” You declare.

You did everything right. You accomplished every quest you've taken on. You have never once falterd in the presence of evil. Yet somehow you lost.


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Don't forget to USE your carbohydrates

Don't forget to USE your carbohydrates

Quick science lesson:

Glycogen is the primary fuel used for bursts of muscular endurance. Carbohydrates are broken down into glycogen through digestion. Some foods high in carbohydrates break down super fast. Some foods high in carbohydrates break down not as fast. Most foods higher in carbohydrates tend to be mixed with other carbohydrates in an attempt to make them even tastier! This leaves you vulnerable to forgetting to stop eating once you've gotten your fill.

Quick metaphorical question:

What happens to a car when you put too much fuel in the tank?

You know......I'm not actually sure. Let me check google....

According to google, putting too much fuel in your car's tank can "either overwhelm your evaporation system and break something or cause a hazardous leak by the excess pressure in the system. Gas needs extra space to expand in the tank. Extra unneeded gas can damage your car’s vapor collection system, designed to reduce harmful emissions."

That sounds an awful like a bloated, gassy, slow moving, humanoid with a tummy ache.

Hey everybody, guess what happens when you overload on carbohydrates? (Hint: switch out the car parts for body parts in the paragraph above).

When your muscles are fully loaded with glycogen, and you give it MORE carbohydrates to break down into glycogen, you get sick. You feel sluggish. You may sweat a little for no reason. 

How do you fix it? Simple. USE YOUR STORED GLYCOGEN! Turn your potential energy into kinetic energy! If you use your stored glycogen then your tank will be empty and you will need to fill it with MORE carbohydrates AND you will feel much better, if not awesome. Sounds like a win in to me!

If you are looking for ways to use up some stored glycogen, check out Part 2 of our Ebook series "How to Train for the Life You're Currently Living." Or you could inquire about our different programs!

 

 

 

  

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!

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.