Avoid Being Workaholic

workaholic, burn, out, office, computer, bone, skeleton

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched an Olivier Roland’s video and I learned some good stuff.

There is a trick to avoid being a workaholic that the majority of entrepreneurs don’t do. It’s to have a productive activity outside of work (because the company is based on a passion). If you’re not sure what a productive activity is, you can read this article I wrote. Click here ].

A lot of entrepreneurs are workaholics, which means that they’re work addicts. It’s not really a bad behavior, especially in the early years of the company because there are many new things to learn and few employees. But in the long term, it can block you to achieve the success you should have.

Workaholic

workaholic, burn, out, office, computer, phone, coffee

When I say « work addict », I don’t mean that a person is an addict like with cocaine, heroine, crystale methamphetamine, etc. We, human beings, are afraid of emptiness. This is very well explained in the Tim Ferriss book « 4-hour Workweek » . For example, you become more and more efficient using the 20/80 method (Pareto’s law) and you manage to earn 2 hours of free time per week. Now, what are you going to do with these 2 hours of free time ? Are you going to sit and count the insects ? No ! And as today more and more entrepreneurs have a laptop, they’ll continue to work on the laptop.

The problem of working during free time are :

  • Too much nose to the grindstone and do things that aren’t really useful. It prevents you from having peace of mind, serenity, being creative, decompressing, taking a step back, etc.
  • Work to work. For many people, consciously or unconsciously, if they don’t work, they’ll be bored. So they’ll do things that aren’t really useful to be busy. We can call it « intelligent procrastination ». With « intelligent procrastination » people around you see that you’re working but it’s not things that really make your company evolve. For example, spending 2 days choosing the font and colors of your website is « intelligent procrastination ».
  • In the long term doing things that are not really useful for the company’s evolution, will have negative effects. You’ll lose you serenity and have more stress. The symptoms of this state of mind are that you have the impression that everyone is stupid. At that moment, you have to take a holiday right away, otherwise you’ll have a burn-out.

I know it’s a little paradoxical because the first years of the company, you have to work as much as you can because there are lots of things to do and there is no budget to pay employees, but it’s important to have a productive activity to keep the balance in your life.

Usually when you start looking for an idea to start a company, you make a list of the things you like to do the most. This productive activity can be one of those things from the list that wasn’t used to create your company. This can be an activity such as flying a plane, kickboxing, meditation or something else that allows you to relax and forget about work.

Don’t hesitate to write this productive activity in the comment section and if you don’t know, make a list of things you like to do to get ideas.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Machine Hip Extensions

machine hip extensions

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

The torso tilted forwards with your hands on the handles. You’re standing on one leg and the other is slightly forward with the pad placed under the knee joint at mid-distance from the ankle :

  • Inhale and move your thigh to the rear until your hip is fully extended backward (hyperextension).

  • Keep the contraction in isometry for 2 seconds and return to the starting position

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

This exercise works mainly gluteals and a little bit semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris long head.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Calf Stretching

calf stretching

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing with your hands on your hips. One leg forward with your knees stretched and your feet in the knee axis :

  • Flex the knee of the front leg while advancing your pelvis. Be careful to keep your back leg straight and keep your heels on the floor.

  • Keep this position to feel the stretch of the back leg.

This exercise mainly stretches triceps surae (composed of 2 gastrocnemius and soleus), flexor muscles of the toes and tibialis posterior. This exercise stretches a little bit long and short fibular.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know.Thank you.

-Steph

Standing Leg Curls

standing leg curl

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Stand with your torso on the support with your knees on the pads and your leg extended. Your ankle is placed under the pads  :

  • Inhale and flex your knee

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

stanting leg curl
With ankle in extension

This exercise works all hamstrings muscle (semi-tendinous, semi-membranous, biceps femoris short and long head) and a little bit gastrocnemius. To work more intensly your gastrocemius, during the flexion of your knee, you need to have your ankle in flexion. If you don’t want work more intensly your gastrocemius, keep your ankle in extension during the movement.

hamstrings femur patella articular disk tibia gastrocnemius fibula anatomy knee

By contracting simultaneously, hamstrings and the 2 gastrocnemius muscles of the triceps surae flex the knee joint.

Biceps femoris short head

anatomy biceps femoris short head monoarticular

For all flexor muscles, the biceps femoris short head is the only one to be monoarticular.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

How To Do Lying Leg Curls

lying leg curls anatomy

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on your stomach on the machine with your hands on the handles and your ankles under pads :

  • Inhale and bend your legs trying to touch your glutes with your heels. Exhale at the end of the movement.

  • Back to the start position by controlling the movement.

lying leg curls anatomy

This exercise works hamstrings, gastrocnemius and in depth popliteus.

hamstings anatomy lying leg curls

In theory, it’s possible to target the work on the semitendinous muscle and semimembranous muscle by making an internal rotation of the foot or to target the work on the femoral biceps, long head and short head by making an external rotation of the foot. But in reality, it’s very difficult that’s why it’s easier to target the work on hamstrings or gastrocnemius :

  • With the foot extended to target the work on the hamstrings

  • With the foot in dorsal flexion to target work on gastrocnemius.

Variant

lying leg curls anatomy alternative

It’s possible to do this exercise by flexing legs alternately.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

The Only Thing To Be Successful In the Long Term

 long term success

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

Sir Winston Churchill said : « Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm ».

I’m sure you’ve heard this quote . But there’s something that nobody told you about that quote. This thing is the « GRIT ».

What’s this

definition

The meaning of the word « grit » is : « passion and perseverance for a long-term goal ».

We discovered after several years of case studies that intelligence wasn’t the most important element to have success in school, at work and in life.

The most important element to be successful is grit and personality. It’s essential to have the courage to go through all the challenges and failures to find a new solution to achieve the goal.

Psychology Professor at University Of Pennsylvania, Angela Duckworth shows in her studies that   :

« Smarter students actually had less grip that their peers who scored lower on an intelligence test. This finding suggests that, among the study participants – all students at an Ivy League School – people who are not as bring as their peers compensate by working harder and with more determination. And their effort pays off : The grittiest students – not the smartest ones – had the highest GPAs ».

And  :

« At the elite United States Military Academy, West Point, a cadet’s grit score was the best predictor of success in the rigorous summer training program known as « Beast Barracks ». Grit matter more than intelligence, leadership ability or physical fitness.

At the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the grittiest contestants were the most likely to advance to the finals – at least in part because they studied longer, not because they were smarter or were better spellers ».

These findings suggest that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the sustained and focused application of talent over time.

There is also this article by Thomas Friedman in New York Times: Need a job ? Invent one .

In this article, there is a quote from Tony Wagner, Harvard Education Specialist : « Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know ».

As you can see, it’s not the amount of information that is important to be successful but what you do with this information. It’s the same principle to have a healthy body. I know people who know a tremendous amount of information about how to lose weight and how to build muscle. But there is a problem, they’re all overweight and from year to year, they take on more weight and they need to take more medicines.

What is necessary is to use the information that you have every day. It’s useless to know all the answers and look for the perfect workout. Start with what you have now and day after day, you’ll improve your knowledge on the field.

How do I do

how much

Here is my case. As you already know, I plan my workout program throughout the year to gradually increase the difficulty (periodization). I have failures (very often) and I adjust. Every week I search for small changes and tactics.

Tracking my workout helps me tremendously to adjust the difficulty without creating any injury. I use an application on my smartphone to track my workout, it’s Jefit.

I know that all my life is going to be like that. Learn more, have more failures and find new tactics to progress.

It’s true that says it like that, you think it’s boring but it’s very motivating to see progress made week after week. Small details are important to your body. Often the people around you don’t see you making progress. They don’t see that your body is changing but you know you have more strength and better health.

What looked annoying is actually motivating. I like to see small changes on my body because I know that the accumulation of small changes make a great transformation. It’s the same principle as a video game, the main character is gradually becoming stronger and stronger.

When I look my workout’s tracking over several months or several years, I see that I have done great transformation. The amount of weight lifted has increased and my endurance has increased.

When I check my workout’program of the day, I stop to day to myself : « It’s going to be painful today, oh no ! » but « Mmmh, it’s going to have a little new record today ! ».

That is why I began to « document » the evolution of my body. If you watch my videos every day, you’ll not see any difference but when you watch the videos I made 6 months or 1 year ago, you see that the differences are really visible. And it’s the same for you.

Build the grit

grit

For several years I had several (one ton) failures and I searched to find small changes and new tactics to change my body little by little, week after week. I did all that to create « my new standard » and « my new identity » to have the best possible future in my life. All these small improvements on my body have developing more grit and perseverance.

Here is how to build your grit yourself :

  1. Determine your new « identity ».

    The more specific your new identity, the easier it will be to prove it to yourself. For example : « I’m the type of person who never miss a workout » and « I’m the type of person who always eats a healthy meal at lunch » and/or « I’m the type of person who works on his own business as soon as I have free time ».

    To always have these identities in mind put post-it in several places in your house like on the calendar, the phone and the mirror of your bathroom. You can also have it in the wallpaper (lock screen) on your smartphone.

  2. Have small victories every day to prove it to yourself and motivate you to do that

    Follow your evolution and highlight your small victories to see that you are in the right direction. Make a daily challenge that takes you between 5 and 15 minutes. Once this challenge is successful, it’s a small victory in addition.

  3. Increases the difficulty of your challenges every 30 days

    For a month, for 30 days, you’ll have small victories. Once you have 30 small victories, make a party to celebrate these victories and increase the difficulty of your challenges for the next 30 days.

    Attention, our will’s strength is limited so use all this will to build this new healthy habit.

  4. When you have created you « new standard », it’s time to improve it.

    Improve your « new standard » by making small adjustments. Make slow and steady progress to win. If you make drastic adjustments, you will have more failures than small victories and this will make you want to give up.

  5. When you fail in something , be sure to fail differently next time

    Failure doesn’t mean that you have a bad or a weak personality. It’s just mean that you didn’t have all the knowledge and experience to succeed. Learn and practice more on the field to continue towards the best.

It’s not important where you’re from, where you’re going that’s important.

I warn you already that this a path with more that 1 billion challenges but it’s the price to pay for a better lifestyle. To achieve the lifestyle of your dreams , you will create 1 billion versions of yourself, all better than the previous ones (it’s like an update).

The most important thing is that you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish anything in you life (this also includes you parents).

If you know you can do it, do it !

What is the little victory you have recently made, and what the next ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Adapt Your Training To Your Morphology (Part 1)

morphology

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

In bodybuilding, it’s really important to take into account individual morphological differences. Especially for squat and deadlift.

Squat and deadlift have a different muscular work for a brevilineal person and a rangy person

A brevilineal person has a proportionally long torso and short limbs. An rangy person has a proportionally short torso and long limbs. This has nothing to do with height, muscle development or adiposity. Which means that a person can be a small fat rangy or a tall skinny brevilineal.

A brevilineal person have facility for squat because their short femurs makes that the torso is little inclined. This limits lower back and hamstring tension. As a result, the movement can be done in relative safety and the brevilineal person can almost exclusively focus on quadriceps work. It’s for this reason that almost all squat champions are brevilineal. An impressive example is that usually dwarves monopolize podiums of small categories in powerlifting.

Rangy people have more difficulty to do squat because their long femurs makes that the torso is very inclined forward. This puts hamstrings, adductors and gracilis in a dangerous position. Rangy people must fight constantly to not be out of balance forward.

It’s also important to pay attention to the back’s position to avoid rounding the back. Having the round back causes serious spinal injuries like the famous herniated disc.

Rangy people doing this type of squat leaning forward works much muscles of gluteus maximus which have the function of straightening the pelvis, torso and all erectors spinae muscles that try their best to avoid the rounding of the back.

As a result, the squat for long limbs is excellent for developing powerful glutes and lumbar spine. On the other hand it requires a lot of concentration for the positioning of the body during the movement. It should be noted that more weights are heavy, the more dangerous the movement’s execution.

For rangy people who really want to work quadriceps, it’s advisable to use incline machine like « hack squat ».

Difficulties change side

change side

For brevilineal people who are the kings of squat, there is a reverse medal. They have a lot of trouble to do deadlift.

Brevilineal people with short legs should bend their legs to take the barbell. Sometimes their femurs are almost horizontal and this position requires a lot of energy to start the movement.

On the other hand, rangy people can take the barbell with their legs half bent. With this position, quadriceps can us the maximum energy to start the movement. The morphology of the rangy people allows them to lift heavier weights than brevilineal people despite a tilt of the gluteus and erectors spinae muscles

It’s for this reason that almost all of the deadlift champions are rangy people.

morphology brevilineal rangy

morphology deadlift

Ankles flexibility

ankle morphology

The ankles flexibility has a great influence on the squat’s execution.

Ankles flexibility may be influenced by musculotendinous limitation (such as significant calves retractions) or bone limitation. For example, if the dorsal flexion (the fact of raising forefoot) is limited, the squat technique is completely modified.

The lack of ankles flexibility limits the shifting of the shins forward and the advanced knees. This makes it necessary to squat with the buttocks very back and the back leaning forward, which has the effect of working intensely the gluteus maximus and the spine erectors muscles.

Squat with an excessive inclinaison of the torso put dangerously tension on the back muscles of the thighs, adductors magnus, gracilis and increase the risk of muscle tearing.

It should be added that the positioning of the femurs below the horizontal has the effect of rounding the back, which increases the risk of vertebral damage. This squat requires a lot of concentration for the positioning of the body during the movement because the more the weigh is heavy and more the movement’s execution is dangerous.

Be careful, whether for the squat or the deadlift, having stiff ankles make it difficult to flex our legs even if the femurs are horizontal.

morphology deadlift

Finally, the cantilevered that is more important for deadlift than squat, this is requires quadriceps to provide more strength to extend thighs on the legs.

To read Part 2, click here.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you

-Steph