Your Delusions of Grandeur – 5 Reasons You Don’t Look & Feel The Way You Want!

Delusions of Grandeur

This time of year, perhaps moreseo than all others, marks a time of change. After the holidays, copious intake of sweets and cookies and all the celebrations and time spent with people it’s pretty natural to want to take a moment for yourself. And in doing so that probably includes a long stare in the mirror both for the reflection as much as to hear what is being said behind those eyes of yours. I have a sneaking suspicion the voice starts talking about change, both of your body and of your life going forward. I’m going to see if I can help you with both.

First, let’s get to your delusions of grandeur regarding fitness, aesthetic goals, reduction of physical pain as well as weight optimization.

I Beat Anorexia

Well, yes sir, you did. But perhaps you “succeeded” all too well!

Delusion #1

If there’s any one thing people just NEVER seem to understand well enough it’s this: 90% of the fat loss equation happens in the kitchen. And over the next few weeks the proof of this will come as I’m about to receive dozens of emails, phone calls, Facebook messages and text messages all asking for one thing: “Adrian, help me dude, I packed on the holiday pounds and I need to get back in the gym to lose it.” Listen, closely:

I’m not the answer. I’m not the solution.

This is:

Prepped Meals

Well, minus the plastic containers as only a fool would ask for good meals like this alongside a fair dose of xenoestrogens. If you don’t know what a xenoestrogen is you should: READ, READ, READ, READ and go learn about these suckers that are in everything from your shampoo to your antiperspirants (oh and xenoestrogens absorb 10fold through the skin!)

Back on track. If your major goal is fat loss: DO NOT call me for assistance in fat loss before you first contact this guy (my first choice) or this guy (my secondary choice). I’ve already told you why when I wrote THIS.

Delusion #2

For years upon years I’ve been doing my best to dispel the myth that spot reduction is possible. There may be an ever so slight chance of it, but likely it’s all hogwash. And whatever amount it may possibly happen is quite simply not worth focusing on. You have to understand one simple FACT: YOU CANNOT FLEX FAT. Despite the minute scale in which spot reduction is possible you can’t turn fat into muscle. You can’t flex your bingo wing. You can’t flex your love handle. You can’t flex your saddlebags. And despite Dean Somerset‘s epic picture, you cannot adduct your inner thighs into the greatness you so desire.

Dean Somerset

Body fat is nothing more than excess fuel storage. While hormonal patterns may partly determine where you may store this excess fat don’t take that to the extreme and go buy the latest fad supplement that supposedly targets cortisol sites therefore it will magically erase your kangaroo pouch. There’s far more evidence suggesting biotyping is a myth as well. IT JUST AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.

Look, does your car burn fuel right at the site of the gas tank??? NO!

It burns it in the engine’s process. So what is the engine of the body?? The answer is your muscles.

Light Bulb

DING!

Again, you can’t flex fat. You have to burn it off. Your muscles burn this fuel. So work them, hard and often! And know that targeting fat is a bloody waste of time. Make the whole machine work harder and you’ll be on the right track. Which leads me to the next…

Delusion #3

What’s the biggest muscle in your body? Hint: it’s not your chest, nor your biceps. It’s your glutes!

Glute Anatomy

What’s the next largest muscle group? Hint: it’s still not your chest, nor your biceps. It’s your back!

Rhomboids

Oh, those painful knots in your back are the highlighted muscle (the rhomboids) and the main reason they hurt so much is your shitty posture is overstretching them as you slouch all the time. So say it with me now: “I _____ (insert your name) shall always prioritize back training over chest training!”

What’s the next largest muscle group? Hint: Nope, still not your chest, nor your biceps. It’s your legs!!

Leg Anatomy

Should I even continue? The next would arguably be your core/midsection musculature followed by your upper arms/shoulder combination. AND THEN finally, last and least: your chest and biceps (and well, calves but let’s not go there).

What’s my point?? Look, I’m all about looking pretty in the mirror, I like pumping my chestceps and biceptorals into oblivion like the next guy BUT if your main goal is fat loss, which means you’re gonna attempt to burn off the excess fuel hanging around the various sites of your body (pinchable body fat) that means a smart person would have already deduced the best chance of that happening in the gym (refer back to Delusion #1) is to work those muscles in that order. Glutes, Back, Legs, Core/Midsection, Shoulders/Arms, Chest and if you insist, biceps. Doing this backwards is the complete idiots guide to failure! But, Adrian, you ask: “What about cardio? Should I perform fasted cardio 3hours every morning 8 days a week?” Look, do proper cardio if you want but muscle training always matter more! The bigger the engine (meaning the more muscle you build) the more fuel that sucker is gonna burn off. A 550 horsepower V10 engine is going to burn WAY more fuel than a 250 horsepower 4 banger, even when sitting idle in the driveway (your periods of inactivity).

So ladies, when you ask me why I keep making you do so many squats, drag and push the sled up and down the gym and why I’m training your glutes so aggressively understand the above and know it’s not because I have a gluteal fetish. Oh, wait, I do but that’s besides the point. I don’t care about your tricep area fat. We’re gonna burn that better by moving your biggest body parts – all the time!

And gents, if I see you walk into the gym again wondering what you’re going to train (you’re supposed to be following a training program anyway) and you decide on chest and biceps instead of legs, glutes and/or your back I will kick your ass with a barbell and then make you squat with it! If you still insist at least do something like a push up plank as a work-rest between sets. That would at least make some minutia of sense. Or just throw a push up streak into your weekly/monthly/yearly training programs.

And if you still don’t understand how strength training can equate to fantastical fat loss well, Nick Tumminello’s book is set to arrive soon enough!

Brain Power Increase

Delusion #4

You can work smart, not hard. Nope! Lies. I cannot even begin to go off about the hundreds of stories about folks in the gym busting their ass ALL WRONG. I mean, there’s even an epic Facebook page dedicated to this. But oftentimes, moreso than I’d care to admit to my clients: those working the hardest in the gym are the ones usually seeing the best results.

Exercise technique is of paramount importance, do not get me wrong there. And I am in no way advocating horrid exercise as being okay because you’re “working hard.” Trust me, an injury will slow your roll in the near future! But if you haven’t grunted, if the color of your shirt has not visibly darkened in the time you have been in the gym (for the love of the petri dish that gyms already are bring a damn towel with you!), if you haven’t gone through 1L of fluid during your workout or haven’t sworn to either me or yourself a good half-dozen times: YOU ARE NOT WORKING HARD ENOUGH.

Work hard first. Then seek the expertise to help you learn how to work smart and hard! There is always a better way but it never means you’ll be working any less hard. In fact there is a nice little slogan I see floating the interwebs often:

It Never Gets Easier, You Just Get Better

Delusion #5

It IS your fault. Period. You look and feel the way you do because of no one but you!

You Are Not Fat, You Have Fat

There is a reason why I wrote this on my gym walls forcing you to read and reread it every time you walk in!

Not a single soul is going to get you where you want to go except for you! Sure, there is assistance out there but you have to move, you have to workout, you have to prep your meals, you have to eat them, you have to go to bed on time, you have to de-stress.

I will endeavor to get to the details of the formula as I have written on the walls (the above pic) to help you understand where you need some changes. But basically the formula is: NEPA (non-exercise physical activity) levels. You’re probably not moving about enough in your day. And I hope for your sake you’re not sitting too long. Nutrition: are you eating enough (so many overweight people simply starve themselves yet oddly enough get confused as to how they aren’t eating enough)? Are you eating the food types and in the amounts that match your goals? Again I’ll refer you here for more info on that and eventually tell you to contact this guy (again, refer to Delusion #1). Does your exercise frequency and type fit your goals. It’s quite likely despite me telling you prior that you need to work harder that right now you might be working out too often! Are you getting enough rest (sleep included), downtime and finding ways to lessen the stress you face in your life? I definitely do not. And a friend recommended I order this book which I did today so I may work on this aspect. Are you doing the small things daily that recharge you so you may be the better version of yourself? I also neglect this so I went out and finally bought a sweet set of headphones to drown myself in the music that rejuvenates me.

Again, I’ll get into that formula in a near-future blog but know that if you feel lost there are always professionals out there that can help. You don’t cut your own hair (well some of you do but usually that means you don’t have any). You shouldn’t do your own taxes. You don’t fix your own furnace when it blows up. And I doubt you change your own car transmission. There are experts in every field and you may need their assistance. And while this journey and its successes are 100% dependant on whether you get it done, part of that means being smart enough to recruit, hire and ask those around you to assist.

Conclusion: No More Delusions

I will leave you with this final question and the wonderful source I found it (trust me, spend the 35 minutes of your life to watch this video uninterrupted and in one go!!!):

What seperates the successful from the unsuccessful?

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWFXQAWkqX4]

For 2014, I will implore you this: work more on debunking your delusions than you do talking about all the things you’re going to achieve this year. Via that you shall certainly see your goals come to life! As my buddy Rob King always says: “Go F*^king Get It!”

BTW, you can now find me on:

Instagram @adriancroweathletictraining

Facebook page at Adrian Crowe Athletic Training “The Crowe’s Nest”

YouTube www.youtube.com/acathletictraining

or email me directly at adrian@adriancrowe.com

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50% Less Achy In 30 Minutes!

Click on PART 1 or PART 2 of this You’re Not Doing What Worked, You’re Not Doing What You Were Told and You’re Not Eliminating What’s Messing It All Up series if you’ve not read them already.

Up until a couple of days ago, I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually taken a bath…

No, don’t get me wrong, I shower all the time. In fact I’m quite particular about being clean in that I hate being in my own funk for too long. Great, choose a job where I sweat all day; nice choice Adrian.

Wednesday night I got home late and from my super long day (6am-9pm at the gym) on top of the culmination of all my workouts the days prior – I was absoultely beat up. Destroyed was more like it. My feet were throbbing. My back was stiff and achy. My shoulders felt like 100lbs each. I was so destroyed I didn’t even want to bother eating when I got home. Everything hurt so much that I couldn’t even relax enough to be able to sleep.

Then I remembered what works (and I always recommend to others):

 So I ran a hot bath, poured in 1 cup of epsom salts as the tub was filling and proceeded to hop in. At first I planned on reading while in there. Then I opted for playing on my phone. But when I sat down all thoughts of doing anything other than just NOTHING all disappeared.

Why had I forgotten this? It is so nice, so cozy, so relaxxxxing.

30 minutes passed and I decided it was time for bed. I dragged my soggy self out, exhausted but Zen-like and proceeded to have an awesome sleep.

The next morning I woke up and just went about my day. Later it dawned on me that I was not achy anymore. I could feel my worked muscles from previous workouts but that was minor compared to the night before.

Here’s what I (re)learned: Destroyed/achy Adrian + hot epsom salt bath = great sleep + rejuvinated body = setting 2 new personal records (PR’s) on lifts the following two days.

Some tips:

1) Take a 30 minute (or longer; shorter is useless) hot bath with ~1 cup of epsom salts a couple of times a week. Any time you bath, add epsom salts. It’s surely not going to hurt getting more magnesium in you, especially when you’re training hard.

2) If you like smellies then add 2-5 drops of essential oils into your bath. Aromatherapy is a great add-on relaxer. Pick up a bunch of different kinds; For example eucalyptis is good for clearing you up when you’re stuffy; Peppermint oil is good for an upset stomach. When in doubt do less drops (2). Experiment with various oils and or blends of oils (such as stores like Eccents or Sage have). You can even buy epsom salts that have things like lavendar or eucalyptis already in them though I prefer to add my own.

3) Try to take the bath in the evening, right before sleep. Magnesium (epsom salts are magnesium sulfate) is incredible for relaxing the body which will greatly improve sleep. In my opini0n, magnesium is the single most important nutrient for hard training athletes. You can eat your way to enough of it, supplement it (just look for “ate” versions, not oxides. So magnesium citrate is better than magnesium oxide) or take epsom salt baths regularly (the body absorbs it through the skin). There are times I forget to take my magnesium and within two days I notice a huge difference in my whole body achiness from my workouts, my restfulness from the little sleep I do get as well as my workout performance. Everyone should read this: http://www.t-nation.com/strength-training-topics/magnificent_magnesium

Look, if someone tells you that you can feel 50% less beat up in 30 minutes and it’s going to cost you less than 25 cents (about the price of a cup worth of epsom salts) it’s worth a try is it not?

I promise we won’t judge you for adding bubble bath or a rubber ducky either…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf9d7rSf_Ks

Forgiveness

So you’ve hit a speed bump, come to a fork in the road or just simply got outta practice…

If you’re anything like me and how I knee-jerk react to such situations, you’re probably beating yourself up about it, at least to some degree.

Now, I don’t understand this insatiable need to punish oneself for making poor choices. I can distinctly remember a handful of potential clients during the consultation phase who’ve told me things like, “I need to be punished for eating bad” or “I need you to work me extra hard because I slipped up” or “Make it so I have to crawl out of the gym” or anything else that fits in the category of repercusion for you falling off the path of your goals and plans.

Really? You’ve fallen off, gutter ball’d a few days (or weeks, or months or hopefully not: years!). Is that not hard enough to deal with?

WHY ARE YOU BEATING YOURSELF UP TO NO END?????

Stop. Now. Stop whining about it. Stop talking about it. AND PLEASE for everyone’s sake stop Facebook’ing about it!!!

Forgive yourself. Learn from it. Get back on the horse so to speak. Make choices that are guaranteed successes. Build on that.

Forgive yourself!

You’re Not Doing What Worked, You’re Not Doing What You Were Told, You’re Not Eliminating What’s Messing It All Up – New Series

I’ve got a laundry list of blog topics that I want to cover and as the discussions keep going strong week in and week out I just keep adding to the list. But I’m sure that this point you can tell when I get into something – I GET INTO IT.

You have to understand that in my unique job I get to hear some things over and over. I probably would have jumped off a bridge if I did become a psychologist like I wanted to back in high school. But discussing issues personal to my clients is commonplace and to be completely honest, I never get tired of it. I’ve said this about my job (man, I should blog about the life of a personal trainer as a series – add to list): no matter how grumpy, tired, upset or unmotivated a client may be when they walk in, they’re here and it’s always a positive step that they are. Everything about my job therefore is a positive. I couldn’t say the same thing about my previous life of pushing paper and working for the “man.” I feel very blessed about that.

One caveat: If you keep whining to me about the same thing over and over without taking the advice I’ve given you a half-dozen times already…we are eventually going to come to a point where my quiet, calm voice gets dead-serious and sternly issues cold, hard, factual “statements”!

You know what they say:

 

One more thing, trust me when I say this, as I use this blog to rant and provide information I’m never pointing fingers. Seriously. But a dozen times these past two months people have come to me hesitantly asking about a certain topic or video or email I’ve put out there and they somehow think I’m directly speaking about them.

So I ask you this: 

Is what I’m saying speaking to you? If so, maybe it’s time to listen.

So begins a new series that I will frequent and will cover a wide variety of subjects:

You’re Not Doing What Worked.

You’re Not Doing What You Were Told. 

You’re Not Eliminating What’s Messing It All Up.

To show I’m not pointing fingers the first couple entries in this series are going to be talking about myself. Maybe we’re in the same boat on a few subjects.

I’m Not Doing What Worked

Ever notice that when you put something out into the world (you write it, Facebook it, say it to a friend) it just happens to come to a reality in freakish speed? I think we sorta know what’s coming even if we blindly walk into it.

A couple of months back I told a buddy (on Facebook) that I’m sure the time would come when I would need a break from the style of training I was doing: HP Mass and I had it in my mind that “one day” I would flip back to another very effective style of training that worked incredibly well for me: Max-OT. The main difference between the two (as both prescribe low reps, heavy weight) is pure volume. Some of my HP Mass workouts I’d extend out for 2-2.5hours because I was feeling beastmode and I was feeling I had that in me.

With this stupid, supposed minor car accident I had two months ago my neck has been giving me some serious grief that just isn’t subsiding like I’d hoped. I’m getting work done on it frequently and slowly it’s getting there but…I need to ease off. By that I simply need uber high intensity for very short periods of time versus 500 rep workouts. Max-OT is the number 1 candidate for my needs.

So hear me on this: HP Mass was by far the most effective (and fun) program I’ve ever used. It worked well for me. It hasn’t lost its effectiveness, my situation has changed for me to soak the rewards of that type of work.

I know it works and I’ll come back to it when the time is right. But to keep going on the path that works for me and gets me where I’m trying to go…you gotta know when to switch

And I’ll tell you something…I’m excited again to dig out those Max-OT DVD’s and watch them this weekend. To pour through the AST site again. To go through old training logs and see the PR’s I was setting 4 years ago when I was using this style of program.

I’m excited…

Maybe you need a switch to excite you again…