Here are a few random fitness musings and common sense stuff from the previous few weeks…
Randomness #1 – “Knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em” is a very valuable concept in the fitness setting. Here is an example from my deadlift session last week. I hadn’t slept well the night before this session and didn’t have high hopes for the planned, heavy single at the end of my workout. However, my first two work sets (a set of 5 and a set of 3) felt pretty good and that single seemed much more attainable as I got going…then Kenny Rogers reared his surgically “enhanced” face!
As I started to pull, the bar felt like it weighed a ton and I lost my core brace, causing me to ditch the lift. In years past, I might have played some angry music in an attempt to get fired up and try it again. However, something deep inside me told me that this wasn’t a good idea and I stripped the bar off to live another day. Fast forward to this week – some simple goblet squats got my lower back fired up pretty good. I’m guessing that whatever the cause of this heat was lurking in there last week too so I’m glad I folded on that heavy single last week. Thanks Kenny.
Randomness #2 – I have found that there is direct correlation between one’s level of clutter and one’s resultant level of productivity and success. An easy example…when my various work stations get overly cluttered, my productivity drops. If you find yourself constantly moving stuff around and/or digging through piles looking for stuff you need on your desk, do yourself a huge favor and commit to a regular clean out. Taking 30 minutes to regulate clutter at a work station is easily worth 3-5x that in saved time down the line.
A less obvious example…a unorganized refrigerator/freezer! When my fridge gets cluttered, it takes me longer to cook stuff, food waste increases (hidden leftovers), and my food cost goes way up. After several wasteful clean outs a few months back, I resolved to go more minimalist in the fridge and the pantry to keep stuff from accumulating. The result – we eat more of what we buy and waste far less food as a family. Grocery shopping is also easier too because I have a better idea of what we have and don’t have. Do we occasionally run out of stuff at inopportune times – definitely. However, the gain from the minimalist fridge/pantry approach far outweighs this occasional aggravation. Trust me – commit to a semi-regular clean out. You will thank me later!
Randomness #3 – Another valuable concept in fitness is remember not to “fix” things that aren’t broken. We had a client that came in for measurements and lost 4.5 inches and a full pound of body fat over the course of about 5 weeks using sensible eating and exercise strategies. These gains easily qualify as smashing successes! However, the first thing out of her mouth was “What should I do differently moving forward?”
After I recovered from a mild face palm, I told her that she should continue to do exactly what she is currently doing and “mine” it for everything she could. Once the gains slowed or stopped altogether, then I advised that we should mix up her approach. Another reason for my suggestion…when too many changes are made too often, it is much harder to identify what is working and what it isn’t!
Randomness #4 – Never, ever underestimate the value of regular, small investments of time that genuinely make you happy or relieve stress. My example – I have had a subscription to the local Chattanooga newspaper almost continuously since I’ve lived here.
Is it a great paper? Not at all.
Do I even read all of it? Definitely not.
However, the 20 minutes or so it takes me to read the sports, business, comics, and any other random articles I find interesting has come to function as much needed “me” time. It relaxes me and gives me a brief escape from the nuttiness in my life. So much so that if I let my subscription lapse or miss a day, I GENUINELY miss it. On days when I don’t get to read it, I will occasionally get crabby as hell. I can honestly say that this “just OK” paper has become an indispensable piece of my happiness factor. If you don’t have something similar, I definitely recommend that you keep looking for it! Once you find it, protect it and savor it!
Randomness #5– If my sleep suffers in quality or amount (or both), my ability to resist carbs (sweets in particular) crumbles like a cookie (feel free to eye roll). The worst part – I KNOW THIS ALREADY. My point – if you are doing something that you know causes you to do dumb shit, either stop doing it or resolve the underlying issue. No complaining – it’s on you.
Thanks Netflix and Mind of a Chef I was horrible about getting to sleep this past week and I was nicking carbs all week as a result. Last night, I took some of my own medicine from above and put the IPad away and was out by 10:30pm. I slept great until 5am and the result of my actions was a clear head and no carb cravings today…
Lesson – if you find yourself crushing carbs when you shouldn’t, look at your sleep habits…there might be some answers there.
Hope you enjoyed this one – please comment below with any questions.