Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Science Over Style/Energy Over Everything

(Writing this on my phone so please excuse typos or repeating thoughts, it's hard to read this as I pound away w my chubby thumbs).

I hear goals.
Then I hear "I want to..." or "I don't want..." in regards to lifts and loads.
In my head I think "the goals steered us over here... But the words that followed erased that and now took us there."
The problem lies in disinformation.  Magazines say one thing, and odds are, they're full of shit.  I think it's Women's Health that I follow on Facebook.  I clicked a few links to read their articles and completely disagreed w the entire article.  The next 3-4 I read were equally inaccurate.  
Fact:  our bodies respond differently to different loads and time under stresses (ie, the weight and/or actual time of reps per set).
Should you be lifting heavy?
Should you be lifting light?
Should it be fast or slow?
Yes, yes, and yes.
Programming and periodization has been destroyed by fad styles and catchy little boot camp studios.  Even the boots I ran, I always designed them to follow a specific program.  People think they need to be covered in sweat or too sore to walk, when both are irrelevant.  

"Cardio," is heart rate.  Doesn't matter what you're doing.  You burn calories at rest, doing nothing, so adding movement elevates the heart rate... Cardio.  Yes, might not be as intense as some would prefer, but that's not the point.   

Program.  Think in terms of gears.
I write programs on the fb page where I say "failing at 10," or another number.  That failure number designates the "gear."
Power/strength = 1-5
Hypertrophy/size = 8-12
Endurance = 15+
My programs, nothing makes sense if we're not touching all 3 gears.
"I don't want to get big."
It's not about "getting big," and lifting in that phase for 3 weeks won't do it.  What it's doing is, stunting the growth, shocking the muscles and breaking routine.  
How can you have endurance but no strength?
And vice versa?
That's not a very functional human to me.
Then, are you healthy?  Are you in pain?  Does your program address potential injuries?  
Point = in my opinion, your program must  have a rotation of phases, even if it's only primary lifts.  People love to argue this but it's science, not an opinion.  Feel free to borrow any of my NSCA texts and read it for yourself.


I said "well I'm kind of on a church tour."
They laughed, but it really is.  I'm pretty much checking out different churches, different religions, just to see and feel.  I'm not really looking to become a member or not, my goal is really to feel energy.  
This past Sunday, I really tried to talk myself into staying home.  But I thought "what will benefit me here over the next 90 minutes?" So I got dressed and headed to a service.
On my way, every was my thought.   Just to be in a room with a group of people, sharing and channeling energy, sounded really nice.
And it reminded me of yoga... Actually every Sunday reminds me of yoga.  Yes, I would often say "studios are my church," and meditation is my prayer... And the more I read and learn and open up about things... I think I'm right! (Go figure, right?)
Prayer to me, is quiet time, channelling thoughts and energy... Maybe in search for answers?  Guidance?  All depends I guess, but that's what I look for.  Meditation?  Same thing.  As we quiet and really work to quiet our own goofy voice and all the phones and televisions, and work, and world... Answers come to us.   They do.  
Yoga and church... A group of people, sharing energy, maybe similar energy, over time.   I can see where a pastor can be motivational or thought provoking unlike many yoga instructors, but if you're lucky, maybe you'll find an instructor that does the same.
Point is, I'm seeing similarities.  The flow of energy.
We meet people, we feel their energy.
A song, energy can passed or created.
An atmosphere, can change energy, create energy, expand it... It can be contagious.
If we're lucky, we'll be a part of energy that outlasts us.   Isn't that what memories do?  Conversations?  We say things, and we're gone. Our words, our energy, floats around.  One day when we're @ home behind the sun... The vapors of our energy can still make a difference.
Maybe WE ARE just energy, trapped in this flesh and skeleton, blood and oxygen w this wildly untapped, under-used, computer between our ears.  Just bodies as tools to maneuver, experiment, enjoy...  

To be honest (as if that hasn't happened yet), I strongly urge you to dive into new realms of self exploration.  New ideas, or maybe old that you dismissed, of therapies and ways to tap into a new line of thinking. (Are you paying attn to my posts?) And when/if you do, don't be afraid of the truth you find there.  There's happiness there.  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Let Me Clear My Throat

Ever hear that song?  Love it!  I've been playing it pretty much everyday since about 2 weeks ago, and ironically, I've had a little lump in my throat that I need to "clear."
(the tone of this one actually isn't a party anthem, its a more Eminem or Public Enemy but whatever)

So you may have felt a negative vibe off my posts recently, I did, but I couldn't 100% shake it off.  If you've read everything just in 2015, this blog might have actually turned you off or left you thinking "this dude is weird and depressed," (I'll still proudly hold the weird title).
This week it hit me... I knew it, but I was able to find separation (finally) and see it as it truly was - A horrible relationship.
I'm talking about one of my former jobs.
I posted "2 weeks ago, my anxiety was "oh god... It's Sunday... I have 5 straight days of..." a job I actually enjoyed, the people... my friends and coworkers, I miss very much, but the atmosphere was toxic.  Truly.  Mgmt and ownership created an environment of fear, anxiety, distrust and panic.  And I wasn't quiet about it.  Throughout my time there, coworkers would vent to me and I would approach mgmt with their issues (with their permission, anonymously).  Ignored.  I would ask to open communication between the "pawns and elite," as it was referred to by certain members of mgmt (imagine that), and it was shut down with "if you don't like it, leave," responses.

It made me see things differently... I know I have a hippy heart that fights with the brain and body that's been placed here, I know I have conflicts because of it, but this just didn't feel like a reality to me.  I feel, no matter who we are, where we work, what our jobs are, there's still decency and respect between us, no?  For most of us, what we do for work is not who we are, so why be a dick?  Not here.  "The king rules, if you don't like it, leave," was told me too many times.
But I didn't leave.  Instead, I continued to fight for what was right, what was logical and for coworkers.

This is where I started to pray, as I eluded to in the last two entries.  I prayed for answers, relief, help... and it happened.

A guy called me and basically said "Hey, do you want to come back to being you again?"
But a part of was addicted to fighting with these other people...
But I sat there and said to myself... "Hey dumbass!  You asked for answers, relief and help... here you go."
And I left and started a new job.
So now on Sundays, I'm thinking about programs we can run to help people instead of dreading being 1 minute late and getting "1 point," as a penalty and then sitting on some dumb conversation about "well, you've been late twice now in the last 6 months..." as I'm daydreaming of that scene in Fight Club where Ed Norton beats himself senseless.  I'd think "This guy is telling me how to work? Am I on a television show?"

Looking back, I didn't realize how damaging that job was, how much it effected everything I was doing.  Being treated like a "pawn," by people that really couldn't hang in real life situations, very weak characters who I feel enjoyed keeping me ion the position they did (it was personal), beat me down a bit.  I definitely had to get out before it sunk me, before it completely swallowed my drive and soul.  I wondered "was this job so depressing and stressful, it ruined my enthusiasm in Mentor?"  I think so.  Was this job so stressful and depressing it effected some contracts and made me want to quit everything?  Yes.  I cancelled classes because I was so upset dealing with the issues that surrounded the actual job, I just wanted to go home and go to sleep... that's not healthy.  It truly feels like I was walking around in a room w low ceilings and couldn't stand up straight, and now, I'm upright and tall again.  I wake up excited again.

If you're in a position like this, working a job you dislike or making someone money you dislike (who makes sure to shove his purchases in your face often), you have to work to fix it (as I did for too long) or to be aggressive in finding new work.  Just as a relationship, if you're unhappy, you have to work to fix it or leave.

Now, I'm knocking off some rust and just taking one more step toward improving my life and living exactly how I envision.
The day I quit, I sat there going back and forth, almost trying to talk myself into staying in my seat.  I walked to the men's room and looked in the mirror... Literally fighting back some emotions... My onnit "One Day as a Lion," T shirt popping out of my button down.  
Never looked back.  

(Sidenote:  No, this isn't some "get on the internet and blast a former employee rant."  If it was, I could go on A LOT more.  My feelings were not a secret, this is the analogy (work to life to relationship to life to work) and finishing the post I started a few weeks ago.)

This Is Blue Chip