Friday, 9 July 2010

20 things i have learned along the way...

A big hello to everyone who reads this...

A welcome to the new reader...

And "Hello, Mam" why haven't you read the blog yet! to Mother (Beverly) Williams. In reality, I may have to travel home to the UK to personally show my parents (IT challenged folk) how to check emails, internet, text messaging, etc. To be fair to my Dad he has caught on with the email phenomenon and regularly updates me when his golf handicap comes down.

Dad loves updating from home

Thanks to the guys/gals that have taken the time to commen on previous posts, please keep the comments, arguments, questions coming, it makes for great discussion and debate... i really dont mind abuse or disagreement!

Ok, today's blog is a regular blog post from other fitness writers and they are always great reads. My inspiration to write my own "What i learned..." blog has come from reading other simliar vlogs by Eric Cressey, Jason Feruggia, Vince Delmote to name a few.

For those with a heavy interest in Training, Jason Ferrugia's "53 ways to build muscle and be f*cking awesome" is brilliant.

Ok, here goes... Its been a good life so far, these are my cliff notes:

1. "Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym"

True, true, true... i could go on. When somebody tells me they eat perfectly, im immediately skeptical. Almost everytime i hear that senteence, 10 seconds later the same person is saying they eat cereal, toast and juice for breakfast. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

2. 'Associations' are deadly when trying to get in shape

We all have associations and most of them are saboutaging our physiques. For example, Tea & Biscuits, Cinema & Popcorn, Weekends & Alcohol. Identify your worst association and avoid it. Stop drinking tea, dont eat at the cinema, do something physical on the weekends so you wont drink. It will all help.

Is this the reason why you went to the cinema?

3. Watch less TV and get smarter

Spend 1 hour less per day watching tv and read a book instead. All books are good for vocabulary but obviously there are better choices than others. I would suggest you read something that will develop you or your career The Success Principles, The Paleo Diet and not books that will drain your life force Posh Becks "My story" or anything by Jordan. What a tragic waste of time and paper.

4. Travelling and visiting new places as often as you can

I still get a rush from visiting new countries, im very lucky to be in a location where i can pick off so many different locations. I plan to go to Spain and France this summer and also looking to visit Lebanon, Oman and India in the next 12 months.

I heard a story about a couple who went to the same hotel, same resort every year, on the same date for 25 years in a row! each to his own but i find that rather saaaaaad.

5. Rocky Rules

There are so many life lessons to be learned in the Rocky film series i dont know where to start. If you dont get emotional and fired up when watching these films i believe you have something missing within, a fire, a competitive spirit? Bravo to Sly Stallone for the idea, who declined the offer to sell the film to take a chnace to direct and act in 'Rocky' himself. That chance turned into an oscar and a film star was born.

Apollo Creed was actually the greatest boxer of all time, not Muhammed Ali.

6. "Every man should name an animal once in his life"

A line from Rocky Balboa. I have had very powerful bond with the animals we had growing up. Rocky, a german shephard who was my brother, no question... you ask my real brother and he would say the same, German shephard are the most amazing creatures. You will never find a better burgler alarm anywhere in the world.

Next we had cats and i named the ginger one "Tino" after faustino Asprilla, the newcastle player. We had other cats but Tino was a special character who made me laugh by being so massive (Yes i fed him some creatine when he was a kitten but he enjoyed it... i think). My point is that these animals are a massive part of my upbringing and i think very child should be taught to look after an animal as it teaches important lessons about love, life and death.
                                               Gentle giant Tino relaxing with a book after training

7.  Never stereotype

After travelling around the world, working with all different nationalities, i have concluded that there is good and bad in every nation, mostly good. Dont let one person change your view of a whole country. Yes some nationalties have certain traits/styles but then you will meet some who completely changes your mind. im proud of being Welsh but i know there are idiots out there who happen to be Welsh.

8. Everyone has a story

Every cleaner, Waitress, Toilet attendant (yes in Bahrain they need FT toilet attendants), employee, colleague, team-mate, etc has their own story. get to know some of the people around you and you will find out amazing things. I recently found out that nearly all the waiting staff at our work canteen have studied at colleges in great cities like Shanghia and Delhi, they were professional entertainers/singers... there was me assuming they were just waiting tables!

9. Relationships are hard

Ok here goes, this could be where i lose my credibility. Relationships often end in failure, its true. If both people are strong and have an opinion they clash. If one is dominant, they often abuse that position.

Its pretty impossible to find a pair of people that get on with each other perfectly because "Men are from Mars" which means we are selfish SOB's and "Women are from Venus" which means they care about everything, often things men find ridicolous... like greeting cards. I mean, seriously, who gives?

The ideal partner for a guy would be a girl who:
- loved the PS3
- didnt want to get married
- watched sport
- didnt care where he was at any time
- could sink about 10 pints (without looking like she could sink 10 pints!)

Perfect GF material?

The ideal partner for a girl would be a guy who:
- loved walking around shoe shops every saturday afternoon
- enjoys strolls along the beach
- can dance
- will make productive comments about whether bag/shoe colour match
- not pester them for sex every morning beofre work

Basically Ricky Martin.

10. You are the exact average of the 5 people you hang around with the most

Try it. If you hang around with miserable, negative, A-holes... guess what? you're probably one too. Waaah!

11. The best investments are those which are spent on yourself

Not sure where i read this but it true. 2 examples recently from my life are:

1) My trip to the US cost around $1,000,000 out of my own pocket (ok, not that much but it wasn't cheap) and i have only ever thought baout what i have gained from it. i by far a better trainer and have taken so many ideas and techniques from that trip that it will actually turn out to be cheap.

2) Somebody told me they wouldn't get a TRX because they were 'expensive'?? Really, i paid for mine in about 4 PT sessions and it will last me years to come. Buy new tools which enhance your own training and skills as a trainer.

12. Respect, Inspect and protect

One of my own... RESPECT your body, INSPECT your food and PROTECT your health. Actually look at what your eating, if it looks like crap then it probably is.

13. Ron Burgundy is the classiest newsreader of all time

For the past few years something has troubled me more than any health, fitness, life issue... How can people not find Anchorman funny? I often find myself chuckling at lines from the film and then send them to my friends and they chuckle... its infectious laughter, perfect comedy.

When busy, Ron sculpts his guns at the office. Genius.

But... there are folk who just don't get it! arrrrgh, what? i don't get that. Please let me know what you dont find funny about will ferrel's Ron Burgundy character.

14. "Be inspired or you're gonna get tired"

An absolute gem from Todd Durkin ( when he was asked about maintaining great energy all day.

15. Stop programme hopping, stick with a plan.

I think it was Eric Cressey (name dropping again!) that said "Assess clients thoroughly, write a program based on the findings and then coach the hell out of that program" pretty solid advice. I would add... use that program for 4-6 weeks making small changes where you see fit and re-assess to test the effectiveness of the program. Use the re-assessment findings to create new targets and goals.

In my experience, any of my clients who did 2/3 6 week programs based on assessments - got the results they wanted.

16. Set definite goals

The biggest complaint from my clients was that they wished they had taken pictures, wished they had taken measurements. "If you dont know where you are going, how are you going to get there?"

Create a goal - Lose 10lbs
Create a deadline - 35 days

Reduce the goal into smaller segments - every 7 days i should be down 2lbs to stay on track.

This is only an example, i try to educate my clients that weight loss is only part of the story and they need to take in muscle gain. Fat loss (%) would be a better way to go.

17. Change your 'wants' into 'promises'

Change your internal language and create more powerful emotion with your goals/targets. Change:

"I really want to own my own gym one day and hope i can one day get there" (Hopeful)

"I promise that one day i will own my own gym/facility and realise my lifetime ambition (Powerful)

18. Sleep is more important than you think

I wont try an re-hash all the information currently out there, but there are so many reasons why getting a good nights sleep is great for your health. Read this brilliant article by Martin Rooney:

19. Foam roll before every training session

If you are not using a foam roller, go out an find one for $20. Its like having your own personal therapist on-hand to work your legs, glutes, back, lats, etc. It will turn out to be the best buy you ever make.

20. Get back to basics

"Run, jump, climb and crawl" (taken from Jason ferrugia's article above). Gym folk are quick to pick up weights and bang away, these same people cannot perform basic human movements like crawling, lunging, squatting, push ups, pull ups. Master the use of your body before really getting heavy with resistence. i wish somebody would have told me that at 14 years old, my shoulder would be a lot happier.

Thats goodbye from me Ron Burgundy, go f*ck yourself san Diego!

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