Happy New Years!

December 31, 2009

Happ New Years! One thing that many people do is make New Years Resolutions – a commitment to do something that will enhance their life. Common resolutions are to start a diet, begin an exercise program, and quit smoking.

However, 80% of people break their resolution after only one day! They quit so early, most of these people probably never even attempted or tried to uphold their resolution. This is terrible – if you cannot even uphold your word to yourself, how can anyone trust you?

I’m going to give you some tips on keeping your resolutions and continuing your journey to a better you!

Picking a resolution – Do not just decide upon a resolution because it is the cool thing to do. Choose something that you want and are passionate about. Not sure? Visualize in your mind what it would be like to have completed or upheld your resolution. Picture it in vivid detail, like a dream. How would you feel? Is that feeling strong? The type of feeling you would get after watching an inspirational movie? If so, then go for it!

Set a timeline – Obviously, you start at the beginning of the new year. But how long do you plan to keep this up? Is it forever, or until you have reached a certain goal. Be very specific. Give yourself deadlines to help push you into the right direction and take action.

Be realistic – If you have never climbed before, setting a goal to climb Mount Everest is a bit ambitious. It will be easy to quit. Instead, give yourself reasonable goals that you can achieve. If you finish them, you can always add more goals later.

Setup a motivational system – Staying motivated is the hardest part of maintaining a resolution. I have talked before about having a library of motivational sources such as books, movies, objects and people.

Where positive motivation fails, disciplinary actions can be enforced. For example, master mind groups often will have their members have to complete a task by a certain deadline. Failure to do so will result in paying a fine of $1000, split amongst the group. The fear of loss motivates members to work hard to fulfill their goals. In these groups, it is rare for people to pay the fine, but other members will be happy to collect 🙂

You can be creative in structuring your motivational system. Just be sure to have one. Try to make it involve other people that are serious and willing to help you reach their goals. Often it is best to find people whoever are trying to accomplish the same goals, developing you own group. Now each person in the group will keep each other motivated.

So make those resolutions and keep them!

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How to diversify your heavy bag training

December 30, 2009

Anyone who trains striking has at one point used a heavy bag. They are a great tool to develop striking power and building sport specific stamina. But like all tools, proper use will enhance the benefits – and many do not know the techniques you can implement to create an effective heavy bag workout. Here is a brief overview of different techniques I use regularly.

Striking styles – When hitting the bag, you can train with a specific striking style. For example: power, combinations, volume or freestyle.

Power – In this style, I will throw one strike every four seconds. This is not a cardio workout – it is strength builder. I will repeat the same strike 10 times, with each strike hitting with more speed and force. I focus on utilizing my full body power – twisting my hips, driving off my legs, rotating my fist, etc.

Combinations – Similar to power, except now I will focus my power on a sequence of strikes. I will execute the combination explosively every four to five seconds, repeatedly it ten times as before. Each repetition should be faster than the previous one.

Volume – The opposite of power, I will try to throw as many strikes as possible. The emphasis is on speed. Each strike is fully extended. This is definitely a cardio round.

Freestyle – Here, you so whatever you want. So it is good to mix everything up.

Just by using styles, you will get much more our of your heavy bag workouts. You can also add some more bang for your buck by implementing additional exercises.

Sprawls – Every so often, drop down flat to the floor and get back up a mimicking your defense to a takedown.

Slams – If you have a throwing dummy or equivalent, you can lift it up and slam it, training your throwing ability.

Explosive bursts – Let your hands fly and strike with bad intentions for either a set amount of strikes or time.

Abominals, shoulders, neck exercises – During your bag routine, for 15 seconds do a quick set of crunches, shrugs, or neck rolls and jump back onto the bag.

These are just a few ways of making your heavy bag routine more challenging and beneficial. Give it a try in your next workout!


Stop caring so much

December 29, 2009

Do you worry all the time about everything? Does the fact that your friend’s cousin’s grandfather’s barber got into a fender bender ruin your day? Want to have thicker skin and be more in control of your stress?

The key is to focus on what is important – YOU. Only worry about things that YOU can affect. Everything else is out of your control and does not deserve your anxiety. You shouldn’t worry about the weather, market trends in China, or whether the Dolphins are going to won the super bowl.

It is especially true for sports. I have seen people that will have the day ruined for seeing the favorite team lose. It is ridiculous to invest so much emotional energy into something that you have no control over.

Invest your stress on things you can change. But isn’t stress bad? No, in fact it is great source of motivation when used properly. Stress in physics terms is potential energy. It is bottled up emotional energy that wants to be used as physical action. What happens is that when you worry about things you can’t do anything about, this emotional energy has no way of transforming to physical action – so it turns to emotional pain.

However, if you care about things you have control over, your emotional energy turns into physical action. For example, you have a project you have to turn in for work. You worry about not finishing it in time. That makes you get to work on the project – turning your stress to useful action.

So the key to making stress work for you instead of against you is to worry only about those things that you have control over. Stop crying over Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, forget about Tiger Woods and focus on what matters – YOU!


Breathing easy

December 28, 2009

Want to run faster, for longer with less pains? The key to good running is proper breathing. It is so simple to do but many people are not aware of the simple techniques I am about to share with you.

Mouth breathing – Many of you have been told to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. While this is good for stretching exercises where oxygen intake is low, running at a good pace requires more oxygen. Breathing through your mouth will allow you to take in more oxygen to keep your body fueled.

Belly breathing – When you breathe, focus on air filling your stomach and then emptying. This is opposed to chest breathing, where you let air expand your ribs. Belly breathing allows more air to come into your body. It will also exercise your abdominals, giving you more bang for your exercise buck.

Rhythm – Establishing the proper rhythm will make your running a lot easier. To do this, coordinate your breathing with your foot steps. Depending on your pace, it may be every fourth step or every second step. Elite runners use a 2-2 rhythm, breathing in on first two foot steps, and breathing out on the last two. On an easier pace, a 3-3 may be better. Sometimes, a 2-3 rhythm is better suited. Test out a couple of different rhythms until you find one that works for you.

Breathe out on left foot step – People who suffer from “stitches,” sharp pains typically felt on the right side of the body, can benefit from this type greatly. These pains typically occur from the diaphragm getting pushed down by the liver. Since the liver is mostly on the right side, the pains are most often felt there. It is said that by breathing out on your left foot step, it minimizes the possibility. Conversely, if you feel pains on your left side, then breathe out on your right step.

Focus on these breathing tips on your next run and you will be breathing easy 🙂


What makes Sherlock Holmes such a great detective

December 27, 2009

I went to watch Sherlock Holmes today, and as I observed the fascinating tale of the incredible detective, it made me think about a key aspect greatness. It is the thing that seperates the awesome from the meek, the gold medal from the silver. It is so often overlooked, because it is small.

What is it? It is the small things, the little details that make all the difference. In Sherlock’s case, he is able to pick up on the pieces or evidence that everyone else overlooks. Just a small hair is enough to break the whole case. That little detail makes him the top detective.

This doesn’t just apply to fiction, real life follows the same rules. A study was done on race horses that tracked horses times and winnings. The result, the top horse won over 10 times the winnings of the average horse, while running only 3% faster! 3% percent is the little things, the extra attention to details.

So be like Sherlock Holmes. Give your customers the extra attention and courtesy that others do not. Go the extra mile. Look around and see what you can do that others are not doing, then do it! You will surprise yourself on how big a difference little details make.


Going the extra mile

December 26, 2009

It is easy to become lazy during the holidays. With all the food, days off, parties and celebrations, it is only natural to fall into vacation mode. Especially when you see everyone around you relaxing, you feel justified in taking an extended break.

While having a period of rest is good for you, what is not so good is losing all of those good habits that you worked on. They say it takes 6 weeks to develop a good habit, and only a few days to lose it. Everyone has felt that reluctance to get going after a long break. Starting over is the hardest part – so avoid it!

Keep up your routine during a break. It doesn’t have to be a full fledged training program. Make it enough to maintain your program. This way, you won’t have to start from scratch, you will come back from a break right where you left off.

Another way of thinking of this is running the extra mile. While everyone is partying or sitting around the house, you will be putting time to getting yourself ahead. Everyone works during workdays. It is the top performers that work when nobody else wants to. If you want to pull away from the crowd, you definitely want to keep busy.

As I type, I am watching my fighters run and stay in excellent shape!


Merry Christmas

December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas morning like I did. I got to wake up with my beautiful girlfriend and enjoy the best gift of all – love. That is what Christmas is all about, sharing love.

You share it when you give a gift or receive one. You share love during dinner. You share love by enjoying each others company. It is what makes the holidays so wonderful, because everyone enjoys being in love.

If you surround yourself in love, you will be a happy person. Make it a habit and not just a seasonal event. Have that holiday spirit year round and make everyone’s life just a bit brighter by being in love with life. If you can make someone feel loved, you will have given a gift better than anything you will find at the mall.

I am off to share some more love to my wonderful parents, and I hope to receive an amazing breakfast too 🙂