We all know we should be exercising. But for many people, finding the motivation to exercise, and the ongoing motivation to make it a habit, is extremely difficult.
For a while now I’ve been paying attention to what the people who are successful do in their pursuit of health, and what the people who aren’t successful don’t do. And there is one major distinction.
That distinction is in how they start their journey. The ones who get off to a good start are far, far more likely to not only be successful, but to integrate exercise into their life long-term.
One of the most common complaints I hear, and biggest challenges to health and wellness, is back pain. Back pain is pervasive in society today. But if you can fix it, you almost guarantee adhesion to your training program, and ultimately success in every desired outcome.
I would have to say that the number of people contacting me with back pain has risen dramatically in the last 12 months. Often they come saying they want weight loss, athletic performance or toning. However, this is quickly followed up with their challenges. And one of the most common challenges… back pain!
"But in my experience, most [back pain] can be fixed through proper and informed movement."
I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years with back pain. And having worked closely with physiotherapists and massage therapists, I’ve discovered there are many causes. But in my experience, most can be fixed through proper and informed movement.
If you’ve ever struggled with trying to get a flat tummy; or you’ve ever thought a flat tummy just isn’t possible for you — maybe because you’ve blamed your genes, child-birth or a cesarian, then I have some really good news for you!
"There isn’t just one strategy that will help you achieve weight loss and a flat tummy. All five are important."
I’ve been helping people get flat tummies for years. While my experience has spanned the world of athletic performance and injury rehab, one of the most common desires I hear, and take great pleasure in helping people achieve, is a flat tummy. My own partner, Holly, is one of them. After four children in five years together, and five cesarians by 32 - yes, 5 (ask me more in the comments) - I’m working with her because she wants to get her flat tummy back.
Sure, scars make a difference. It makes it hard to achieve a flat stomach when you’ve got a scar that folds the...
This isn’t an article to make you feel bad for not exercising. That just isn’t my thing. This is an article explaining why you might have found it hard in the past to find time to exercise. And it may just uncover some deep-seated habits that have held influence over other, possibly least expected, areas of your life too.
"Regardless of how rich and successful, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day."
I look at those people like Richard Branson and Tony Robbins and I think, “How do they do it? How do they find time for everything in their life?” It’s not like they have any more hours in their day to me. Well maybe Tony does. He seems to be super-human. But how do they fit business, family, friends, functions, events and even philanthropic work into their busy day, and still have time to look after their health?
Of course they outsource. You simply couldn’t do what they do without outsourcing. They have massive companies comprising thousands of...
Have you ever had enough of feeling fat, unattractive, tired and miserable? I have! Picture this… You’ve finally had enough. You reach that critical pain point. That point where there’s enough pain to drive behaviour. So you get all motivated to go out and buy new runners, exercise clothes, and maybe even equipment. Sound familiar?
I’ve been here plenty of times. I was a chubby kid. And just before I turned 14, I went on this health kick. I left grade 8 a chubby little boy and returned a completely new person. Not only did I look like a different person, mentally and emotionally I was a different person. That 6-week Christmas school holidays changed the course of my life forever.
"...regardless of what your goal is, there is a journey you must take to realise that version of yourself. Your goal might be a stepping stone ten days, ten weeks, or even ten months into the future of that journey."
While I’ve never gone back to being clinically...
Developing motivation can be a tricky and complex process… if you don’t know how to do it. And like I always say, everything comes down to having a series of frameworks that operate within a system. With an effective system, it’s actually really easy.
I’ve spent years researching, putting into practice, tweaking, modifying and implementing strategies to develop motivation. Some of that has cost a lot of money and most of it has cost a lot of time. But I’m obsessed. It’s one of the areas of psychology that intrigues me the most. One of my favourite classes in my psychology course at university was titled, “Learning and Motivation”.
Combining my love of fitness and psychology has been very well received. There’s so much demand for the knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated. The three characteristics I hear people say they struggle with the most are:
That’s fair enough. Those three...
The term “functional training” has become quite a buzzword in the fitness industry. And as a result, it can be open to a wide range of interpretation. The true meaning of functional training is to perform exercises that lead an individual to perform the activities of everyday life more easily. In my interpretation, it is to practice fundamental movements and become proficient at them.
I believe I’m a very humble and modest guy. But I’m going to put my modesty aside for a moment and say, “When it comes to human movement, I know my $h!+”. Seriously, I know how to break down movement. You just need a system. And from my time at the institute of sport, I created a system. I created a list of regressions and progressions for each of the six fundamental human movements. And in total, there were over 250 exercises — about 50 exercises for each basic movement pattern.
I’ve just introduced two words — functional and fundamental, but they...
Contrary to common belief, changing your habits doesn’t take a designated amount of time. Many people think that habits take 12 weeks to change. But that’s just not the case. Habits don’t have a schedule telling them when to switch on or switch off. It’s not like you get to 12 weeks and through some magical switch, just activate. Habits evolve. They become stronger and they become weaker. They move along a continuum. And that continuum is infinite.
Like many others, I believed that habits took a designated amount of time to establish. And most of the internet will reinforce this. The most common time frame you’ll hear for a habit to become solid is 12 weeks. This is the theory underpinning so many of those 12 week programs you see in the fitness industry. But undertaking my own research into habits helped me to see otherwise.
Consider the smoker who gives up for ten years, only to take up the habit again at a party. Or the father who was never there for...
Probably the biggest aversion to outdoor exercise is the weather. Sure, you could just go join a gym — have a controlled temperature, with a controlled level of humidity, and be completely dry (well except for the sweat) every session, every day. But when there are so many additional health benefits to outdoor exercise, who wants to make every session a gym session?
I exercise outside all the time. I love outdoor exercise. While working out in a gym might provide a bit more comfort, particularly when the weather outside isn’t ideal, breathing fresh air while you’re exercising is much better for you than recycled, conditioned air, especially if you work in an office all day. Research is beginning to support all kinds of benefits to outdoor exercise, even in as little as just 5 minutes.
Studies are beginning to show that outdoor exercise can boost your self-esteem and mood. One study from the University of Essex in 2010, showed that this can occur from just 5 minutes...
Getting back into exercise can be tough — you’re not feeling as energetic as you used to and you know that first session is probably going hurt. However, once you’ve done it, you know you’ll feel better for it. And every session thereafter will get easier. So to make that transition back into exercise easier, should you join a gym and hire a personal trainer?
As a personal trainer, I didn’t think I needed to hire one. And the only time I’ve worked out in gyms is when I’ve worked in them. I’ve always believed that the great outdoors provides everything you need for a complete full-body workout, and the fresh air is better for you too. But when I was doing a workout (in a gym) with a mate who is also a personal trainer, he pointed out a couple of things to do with my shoulders, while doing bench press, that I would never have noticed myself.
Regardless of how experienced you are and how much you know, a personal trainer is capable of...
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