Every once in awhile I ask myself, "Why on earth do you write a weekly newsletter?" Well, last week I was given a friendly reminder to that question...
I have been in the fitness profession for 10+ years (I am losing track of how long) and through the years you get to know a lot of people. It is not uncommon to run into someone out in public that you have met in a gym or coached. Last week, I saw an old friend and he said, "I still read your newsletter every Sunday!". This made me smile and gave me a nice reminder to keep this thing rolling. This newsletter has provided me an opportunity to stay in touch with everyone over the years and getting comments like this make it all worth it. Last Sunday was my 200th newsletter and today is number 201. I am amazed we made it this far!
I want to thank all of you for reading and sending a nice message or comment when we cross paths. It is appreciated!
Fitness Tip of the Week
I came across this question earlier in the week: How often do you do something outside of your ordinary routine?
I remember back in the days of working in a commercial gym where you get to know the members pretty well. In addition to getting to know them as a person, you also get a good feel of their training routine. If you paid just a little bit of attention, you could watch someone walk in the door on any given day and know exactly what they were going to do with their workout. This has its pros and cons to it as there is some real power behind having an established routine like coming to the gym, but doing the same thing over and over again did not allow for one key component: PROGRESS!
If improving is the goal, then we must change the stimulus one way or another. We have to go a little further, perform an extra rep, train a little longer, or change up our exercise selection for growth. In my mind, the most logical way to do so would be the same but different approach. If you perform a bench press try doing a single arm version with a dumbbell or kettlebell instead. A two legged squat can become a single leg squat or rather than doing exercises for reps, try performing an exercise for time. I am asking you all to make a small change in whatever your current routine is, give it some time, and see if you become a better person for it.
Keep in mind, I am not asking for a total overhaul as that can effect adherence. All I am asking for is a little change, a little challenge, and in the end, a little progress!
What I've Been Thinking About...
This week we were searching for a show to watch as a family while our daughter was home and came across the last season of The Voice.
If you have never watched the show, the participants try out by singing in front of four judges who also happen to be successful musicians. The catch for this particular show is that the judges do not see who is singing as they have their backs to the stage. If they like what they hear, they hit the button and their chair turns around allowing them to watch the performance. If more than one judge turns, then the performer gets to pick who they want as a coach.
As these artists share their stories, you realize what a cruel, cruel business the music industry is. Time after time they were told "No" but one thing that separates those who make it and those who don't, talent aside, is their ability to stay the course. They chose not give up when the record label turned them down, the radio wouldn't play them, or the media criticized their latest album. In the face of adverse conditions, they decided to keep pushing forward. Often times in life, I think people give up before the going gets good. You never know when the big breakthrough will come so keep on chugging!
On a different note, music has the ability to do two things that always amazes me:
I recorded a podcast this week titled: Bully's Suck. In it, I share a story about a kid who had a terrible interaction with a classmate on the day they were set to come to the gym to train. As they arrived, his body language said it all. He was not interested in training at all. With that being said, I set a goal for myself to get him feeling better when he left the gym than when he came in. In this instance, it worked and he left happy. Exercise can work wonders on the mind.
This reminded me of the SMILE study out of Duke University that was conducted in the early 2000's. During this study they tested the effects of medication, exercise, and medication plus exercise on depression. They split them up into three groups and went about their business. (Eventually, they added a control group and got similar results). Here is the conclusion: in the first month, all of the treatments helped minimize depression for that month. The crazy part of this study occurred at the ten month mark where 38% of the medication only group relapsed into depression, 31% of the medication plus exercise group relapsed into depression, and only 8% of the exercise group relapsed into depression. At first glance, I did not understand how this could be but the researchers speculated that the individuals who were in the exercise only group took matters into their own hands. They realized that through their work, they could feel better. They did not have the crutch of medicine. They did it themselves and felt much better for it.
Which brings me to the quote of the week...
Quote of the Week
"How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?" -- Epictetus
I hope you all have an awesome week!