Stop A Bad Habit

self sabotage

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

You know, I had a lot of trouble stopping my worst bad habits. It was bad habits that sabotaged my life. Many people around me have the same difficulty I had because unfortunately nobody showed them a conscious step to stop these bad habits.

Think about it, eating healthier allows you to have better energy, better body weight and live longer. Just eating less pre-prepared meals and replacing that with healthy food allows you to avoid having hundreds of bad calories in your body and this make a huge difference in the long term.

It’s a concept that used in all fields of your life. I think you know the consequences of smoking and not playing sport ?

My old bad habits

Ok, I see you need to see concrete things so I’ll tell you the bad habits I stopped :

bong

  • When I was 15 years old, I started smoking weed (marijuana) and quickly I smoked bong or water pipe several times a day. I stopped smoking when I started to train to have a body like 50 Cent. And after, I realized that I was smoking weed (marijuana) to get away from my daily worries. It was like pressing the « Pause » button several times in a day.

    elric of melnibone michael moorcock

  • For several years, I have only read heroic fantasy’s books (Hawkmoon, Elric of Melnibone, etc) and no personal development’s books. It’s not a bad idea to read heroic fantasy’s books but read only that, it’s just entertainment. When I started reading personal development’s books, I realized that I had lost years of knowledge, references, tools, methods that today would be extremely useful to me. Fortunately, it’s never too late.

    fat food

  • For several years when I was doing Karate or Kung-Fu, I had a bad diet. I only ate pre-prepared meals, pizza, fat foods, sweet drink, candy and I didn’t like vegetables. Today, I have a better diet and I’m proud of the result. Since I have a tool that allows me to have my diet under control, it’s MyFitnessPal  on my smartphone (except for my Saturday’s cheat meal)

I like seeing the reaction of people when I explain to them what I eat at breakfast : rice(or pasta) with meat(of egg) and vegetables. I don’t know why breakfast is very emotionally loaded while this is the easiest meal of the day to change. When you only have healthy food in your fridge and in your closets, you have no choice to have a healthy breakfast.

It may be because of childhood memory that people like to have sweet things at breakfast but our bodies are evolving and we need to feed them differently. A child and an adult don’t eat the same amount of calories to be operational.

Wait here is another bad habit that I stopped. I used to play video games for hours. Sometimes with friends we played more than 8 hours non-stop. Once I invited many girls to my condo to do a « before » with my friends before going to the club. We decided to take the bus (public transport) because we wanted to drink a lot of alcohol.

The problem is that with my friends, we were too focused on the video game and we missed the last bus. The girls had gone crazy and they made us understand that it was the last time we (me and my squad) did this (especially an ex-girlfriend, it was sex versus video games). Since then, I haven’t completely stopped paying video games but I play much less because I don’t buy the new video game console.

I guarantee you that having stopped these bad habits had an incredible impact in my life.

Your future old bad habits

healthy food

Now I have a question for you. What bad habits you want ? What bad habits can you replace with a good habits ?

I advise you to make a list of bad habits you want to stop. When you have chosen the bad habit you want to stop, put in place a simple action to stop it. You can’t stop a bad habit in one night. You need to have a constant simple action to have excellent result.

For example :

  • If you want to eat more vegetables, you can use this grandmothers tactic that is to eat vegetables before dessert.

  • If you want to watch TV only for 1 hour, read a few pages of a personal development’s book.

Leave me a comment with a habit you want to stop and that simple action do you use to stop this ?

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

-Steph

Know How Much Weight To Lift (Part 1)

how much

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

When we’re beginners and we have studied the theory well, the first time we train in a gym, we have this kind of questions :

  • What weight should lift to begin with ?

  • If my program tells me to do 5 sets of 5 reps at 80 % of my 1 rep max, how do I get to know my 1 rep max ?

  • In my program, there isn’t this notion of percentage and 1 rep max, how do I know the weight I have to lift ?

Here are some tips to start your program with the right amount of weight.

Bodyweight

bodyweight exercice

The fist step of your workout is to do bodyweight exercices to learn how to do well the bench press.

This may sound odd but I really advise you to take your time to learn to perform well without weights or with a very light weight. Imagine that you can’t climb stairs normally, What happens when you have to climb stairs with bags of supermarket ? Yes, you’re going to hurt yourself.

Here is how you can learn a movement without barbell, dumbbells and weights :

  • To learn barbell’s movement without barbell, you can take a broom stick or a PVC pipe.

  • To learn dumbbells movement without dumbbells, you can take 2 sections of PVC pipe or 2 bottes of water.

It’s true that it’s not the same sensations that with weights but it allows you to learn a movement without risk to hurting you.

With this method, you can train at home alone. No one looks at you like in a gym so you’re less nervous. What’s cool is that yo can film yourself with your smartphone to compare your videos with tutorial videos that you can find on Youtube of elsewhere.

To learn in depth how to move, I recommend the book Starting Strength .

Once you feel confortable with movements, you go to the next level.

Barbell

barbell

For your first training with the barbell for the bench press, you’ll use the barbell without weights to be comfortable with. As you read in my articles Back To The Source Of Equipment Part 1 et Part 2 , the barbell i’m talking about is the Olympic barbell 20 kg (45 lbs).

If you have difficulty with the Olympic barbell, here are some alternative.

A lighter barbell

Look in your gym if there are lighter barbell like the « women’s bar » 13.6-15.87 kg (30-35 lbs) or the « training bar » 6.8 kg(15 lbs). EZ curl bar isn’t designed for the bench press.

Dumbbells

You can use dumbbells. It’s true that isn’t really the same movement but it will help you to build your strength to be comfortable with the Olympic barbell.

Bodyweight exercices

Continue to do bodyweight exercice as squat, lunges, pull ups, push ups. This will help you to build your strength to be comfortable with the Olympic barbell.

That may be the opposite. For you to use the Olympic barbell without weight is easy. I still advise you to continue your first training with the Olympic barbell without weight. In this way, you can concentrate for each repetition to have the best technique possible. Wait the next session to add weights.

There isn’t ego in a gym. Unfortunately in gyms we often see people lifting very heavy weights with a poor technique and this happens more and more often. I have 2 friends who have dislocated their shoulders with the bench press and now they can no longer develop their chest and their shoulders.

One of these 2 friends showed in front of me who his shoulder dislocates when he do bench press and he regrets a lot of having lift too heavy with a bad technique. Since I’ve seen this, I prefer to lift lighter with a good technique and I advise you to do the same.

If after your first training with the Olympic barbell, you’re still not comfortable with. I recommend you to continue to train with the Olympic barbell without weights until you’re comfortable with. If you need to do this for 10 sessions, do it, there is not problem.

I’ll tell you something, Listen carefully. If you get hurt, it’s not because you body isn’t ready. It’s because you don’t trust in you under the Olympic barbell. Self-confidence is the most important element to lift heavyweights and heavier. It means knowing when you can lift and when you can’t lift. An athlete train his/her body and mind.

If you have planned to use dumbbells as your main lift (like me) and don’t use Olympic barbell, stat with 2.2-4.5 kg (5-10 lbs) dumbbells to work your technique.

Add weights

weight plate

Most beginners workout programs are 5 sets of 5 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or 3 sets of 10 reps. For this example, we’ll use 5 sets of 5 reps.

Your workout should always begin with a warm-up routine. Then you take the barbell without weights and you do the repetitions number of your program (for our example, it’s 5).

Yeah, yeah, I know. You thought that after the warm-up routine, you could lift heavy but you have not quite prepared your body yet. For each exercice, you need to warm your body with lightweights. It’s very important to do this because it allows your body to warm your nervous system and the muscles needed to make the movement.

For beginners, it’s really important to learn the good technique right away.

Increase gradually

Once your nervous system and your muscles are ready, add between 1.1 kg (2.5 lbs) and 4.5 kg (10 lbs) on each side. Do a set of 5 reps with this weight.

Note : If your strength training is based on dumbbells like me, starts with 2.2 kg (5 lbs) dumbbells, then 4.5 kg (10 lbs) dumbbells for example.

If you can do 5 reps without degrading your technique and without slowing the speed of the barbell, you can add weight. If it’s really light adds 4.5 kg (10 lbs) on each side or less like 2.2 kg (5 lbs).

Continue to do this process until the speed of the barbell or you technique begins to deteriorate. The weight you lifted before your technique deteriorates is the starting weight on which you will base all your future exercises.

The basic weight for your workout

If you thought you could lift more, don’t panic, that’s the right number. You’re not in a gym to impress someone. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or your 1000th workouts. It’s better to start too light than too heavy. The goal is to do quick reps with a good technique. When your technique deteriorates, you have reached a limit with your body, too much will create an injury.

In this process, you’re trying to lift the heaviest weight you can so use collars for your safety. When it becomes difficult, ask someone to be your spotter to avoid an injury.

This is the end of the Part 1. In the Part 2, I’ll talk about what to do after several workouts, find your 1 rep max and what amount of weight is respectable to lift.

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

-Steph

What Is Motivation

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

A guy named Roger Bannister in 1964, Oxford, England, did something impossible. He ran 1.6km (1 mile) in 3 minutes and 59 seconds. While 9 years, the world record was 4 minutes and 01 secondes. 3 years after Roger Bannister’s record, 13 persons ran 1.6km (1 mile) in less than 4 minutes.

It’s like the Tony Hawk’s record with the 900° on a half-pipe. Since 9 persons did it .

How is possible than suddenly abilities improves ? It’s because of equipment or we impose ourselves limits ?

Brain VS muscle

The truth is that you’re physically able to go beyond the limites that your brain tells you.

Look, in 2012, a group of trained cyclists did a 4k timed trial as fast as possible. Their guideline was « Use all efforts ».

They did this trial again with a virtual avatar who had the same speed than them at the first trial. The average speed of all cyclists was 1 % better than the first trial. Remember at the first trial, cyclists were in mode « Use all efforts ».

They did this trial a third time with a virtual avatar again. Cyclists didn’t know that the virtual avatar was a little bit faster than them. Again, cyclists beat the virtual avatar by increasing their performance of 1.7 %.

It’s like to play to Mario Kart and do a race against the ghost of your last performance. You know exactly how to increase the speed and you have a visual cue.

For more information, read the Mark McClusky’s « Faster, Higher, Stronger » about limitations, fatigue, emotions and what our bodies are capable of doing.

Tim Noakes, South Africa professor of exercices and sport science at the University of Cape Town, make the hypothesis that it’s not our body that slow down but our brain who control WHY and HOW our body slow down.

« Fatigue is an emotion, a construct in the mind that helps ensure that exercise is performed within the body’s ability. That emotion is affected by many factors, such as motivation, anger, fear, memories of past performance, self-belief, and what the body is telling the brain….our physical performance is regulated by the brain, not limited by our hearts, lungs, or muscles ».

We’re able to do more than we think. Cyclists always beat the virtual avatar who was faster than them.

How

Read a funny quote on Imgur :

« Better to cultivate discipline than to rely on motivation. force yourself to do things. force yourself to get up out of bed and practice. Force yourself to work. Motivation is fleeting and it’s easy to rely on because it requires no concentrated effort to get. Motivation comes to you, and you don’t have to chase after it.

Discipline is reliable, motivation is fleeting. The question isn’t how to keep yourself motivated. It’s how to train yourself to work without it ».

If you want to be motivated to train, stop it and stop crying. It’s better to build a system that isn’t relied on motivation. Create a system like the cyclists virtual avatar, create an avatar of your last week performances. Don’t be relied on inspiration but build a system for success, a system that improve your abilities each week.

Sometimes, we need people to push us, challenge us to do things we don’t want to do to go to the next level.

Surround yourself with people better than you in your activites. More you do activities with people who have more experience than you, more you become better.

And sometimes, you need a technological assistance to buid these habits :

  • Self-Control to block time-wasting website on our computer

  • Rescue time to track our efficiency

  • Alarm clocks across the room

Did you see ? No ones of these exemples are relied on a motivation, will or be better than someone else. It’s external forces that we use to exceed our limits.

Outworked

Imagine what you can accomplish if failure isn’t an option. McClusky make a theory in his book « the winner is the athlete for whom defeat is the least acceptable rationalization ». So people who want to do everything to achieve their goals almost always accomplish theirs goals.

Watch this Will Smith’s video .

« The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories.

But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right ? »

This is why Will Smith is one of the most successful actors.

Of times in our quest when we don’t make sacrifice to succeed, we fall into the belief that accomplishing our goal isn’t possible.

In fact, this rationalisation may appear to several people event before trying !

Instead of rebuking yourself when you aren’t motivated to do exercice or that you struggle to eat healthy, take a step back and look it with a different angle :

  • « how can you build a habit of success and be focus on rather than seeking a motivation to realize it ? »

It’s easy to become ensnared (to chase motivation and fail) or to rationalize inaction and never try. We all fell into the trap.

What is you plan to avoid this trap ?

-Steph

P.S. Do you want a free training program ? Click here