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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Streaking: And How Every Step Counts

If one were to ask me: “Adrian, what’s the absolute fastest way to get to my weight/fitness/health _______ (loss, gain, size, shape, etc) goal via exercise, what would that be?”

Without a doubt: STREAKING!

Streaking

Well, perhaps not this sort of streaking

But let’s think about that picture for a moment. Every step this brave soul took the entire crowd was anticipating (either to see how far he’d make it or when it would finally be over). Every single step counted. It mattered. If it was ended 3 seconds in, it went down as a flop, waste of effort and was worthless. Instead this dude made it far enough to get himself plastered all over the internet for people like myself to use in a blog. Great job sir! I hope your phone call went through in time.

It all started with Martin Rooney

I first heard about the idea of streaking via a coach I have looked up to for years. He was working on a 10,000 push ups in a year “streak” he called it. At first I thought, wow, that’s a lot of push ups. But then I’ve done 500 in a workout (took me 40 minutes) before so really 200 days like that and you’d be done.

Martin Rooney - 10000 Push Up Streak

But surely it would not be that easy. Work, life, family and other usage of our time could really get in the way of a goal such as this. Or….not. I mean I could hop off the computer right now and bust out as many push ups as possible …

…Okay, just did that. Got 32 reps. Damn that hurts after yesterday’s chest and back day.

Now if I just did that 3 times a day, 5 days a week for a year I would attain 24,960 push ups within a year. It took me 48 seconds to do those 32 reps. So about 25,000 push ups would cost me a total of 1,872 minutes of the 525,600 minutes I get every year (or 0.35%).

But let me ask you this: would 25,000 push ups in the next year make a VERY significant difference to my physical appearance?? Probably one very much in line with my goals?

Why You Should Streak

Given the right selection of exercise(s) to utilize in a streak you are going to save yourself one giant hassle: setting aside the time required to get your exercise in. Let’s face it, driving to the gym, getting changed, making sure you remembered your water bottle and towel, making your iPod playlist, dealing with the meatheads grunting on the bench press station every 8 minutes when they do a set, driving home, changing, doing the laundry of those smelly clothes…

Working out at a gym takes time, energy and don’t even get me started when having to work with a really busy personal trainer who’s schedule is absurd and hard to book appointments with (I apologize for that). With an appropriately chosen streak there’s none of that. You can climb out of your cubicle right this second, perform 15 body weight squats and 15 wall slides and sit right back down. Your boss won’t even know. Hell, you’ll probably even boost your energy and lessen your pain this way. So the question I really have for you is: why haven’t you been doing this all along?

How You Should Streak

I’m of the opinion first and foremost streaks should be body weight only first. Sure you could do a 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge using 12kg. BUT are you really going to pack around a 12kg kettlebell with you to work?? or carry it to the bedroom and bust out 50 reps before bed. Unlikely. So don’t set yourself up for failure when it comes to your first time streaking. Make it foolproof and then the only thing you have to worry about is excuse-proofing your damn self!

What exercises should one choose? Here are some criteria I suggest you consider:

1) it should be a movement you’re quite capable of performing pain-free and comes with a fairly low chance of joint stress on the long run (see warning later about that)

2) it should be a movement you can do anywhere (home, work, gym, on the train ride to work if you’re an attention seeker…)

3) it should be a movement based on your A) aesthetic goals  B) posture correction, mobility or flexibility improvement or pain reduction goals C) performance of a lift goals (eg. 10,000 body weight heart beat squats would probably improve your barbell back squat)

The Details

No one said this had to be rep based.

It can be time based: maybe you want to spend 25 total hours in hamstring stretches because you haven’t been able to touch your toes since the 80’s.

It can be program based: maybe you were lucky enough to read this article: http://bretcontreras.com/5-things-you-should-do-everyday/ and decided that within the next 60 days you were going to achieve this brilliant advice 45 of the 60 days! That would do absolute wonders for you and your health and pain reduction.

And who even said this had to be exercise related? Maybe your goal is to finish 3 jugs of Superfood within 3 months.

Don’t make it complicated is my point. Just whatever numbers, time, goals, etc come to mind as a challenge but achievable and within a decent amount of time…just do it!!! It doesn’t have to be every day. Maybe you’re too sore; fine, skip a day or two. BUT don’t go too many days without doing your streaks or you’ll simply fall off the wagon permanently.

Exercise Ideas

So, you’re willing to give it a go eh? Good on ya. Let’s help you set up a few streaks. That’s right, a few. You’ve come this far, why bother with just one. If this is your first time, pick 2-3. If you’re really gung-ho and really can’t afford to get to the gym more than 1-2x/week than hell, go for 10 streaks at a time. Some you’ll finish well before others.

Want a better butt? Try a streak of this sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSUFWViGZ54 Maybe you do it 250 times

Want better chest development? Pretty tough to be a push up. Try some of my favorite variations here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eQopawA3vM

Your shoulders creaking and achy all the time, well perhaps you might want to give these a whirl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMOQNsBMSl0

Want to increase your overall toughness, fitness level and “core” power? Pretty impossible to beat isometric holds in this category: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIJDhKbVp94

Want to perfect your kettlebell swing technique because it may just be the single best exercise on the planet? My gal did just this and it took her quite some time and instruction to get her to not feel it in her back. Here she nails the form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raLZ9bRFu_o (and oh boy so her booty look primo for doing so!)

Stronger “core”: Try these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdRFsf1A0Uw

Better abs: Look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzte9pmOZOM

Harder, more shapely thighs: Here ya go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baokarot4Ss

Wanna bring up that glute-ham tie it (I get giddy for GHTI): Alright: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSO0ad0h-qE

Want bigger shoulders: Try this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOGHKp1Wc8I , this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aIdaOI7E7A or this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVWelgUaIx4

Point is: any PAIN FREE, well performed exercise done in a streaking manner will equate to absolutely astounding results in a very short period of time. IF you don’t give up and you actually set your mind up to getting it completed!

MY ONLY WARNING

I akin the goal of a thousand repetitions of an exercise to the display at every IKEA store that shows their cupboard drawers being pulled in and our mechanically thousands upon thousands of repetitions. You can’t do hundreds and thousands of reps of anything and not expect a few negative situations to occur such as muscle soreness (perhaps a lot of it), tendon wear and tear, fascial tissue trigger points, inflexibility of the muscle being worked (10,000 push ups doesn’t sound like a good postural idea for the average gym monkey), and possible injury risk (such is the case with chin up streaks http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/13064_pullups_in_5_months which led to my first purchase of gymnastic rings).

I will say this: if you choose to slaughter your glutes via 50,000 glute bridges you had better be smart enough to do some very serious self myofascial release on them routinely!

Wanna do a push up streak? Best be hitting some chest self myofascial release there too and copious amounts of chest stretching such as Dan John’s amazing “Stoney Stretch”

Stoney Stretch

Trust me on this: you will never see faster change in performance, posture, strength, muscular endurance, muscle shaping/size/hardening and mental toughness than utilizing properly selected “Streaks” into your overall health and fitness programming.

If you’d like some help in selecting streaks based on your goals just leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help.

We're Going Streaking