All these machines look good, but they do little to build muscles and burn fat.
(In part 1 of this series, I went over how important it is to get a better body in this mental toughness program. For many of us, getting a more attractive body is one of the biggest obstacles in our personnel lives that we had to overcome. So training for the aesthetics is a huge component for this mental toughness system. During this process, you just have to remind your over and over this simple mantra – Strengthen the mind and a rock hard body will follow.)
In the previous post on “Getting the Best Body Ever with Mental Toughness Training,” I wanted you know all the understand the major principals on how you will improve your body composition with this program. It important that you understand the reasoning and concepts with what you doing while you are participating in this mental toughness program. Many psychological studies have suggested when one is trying to incorporate a new habit in their life, they’re chances of succeeding are better if they understand the reasoning and benefits behind this new habit.
Same thing here with everything I ask you do in the mental toughness program. I don’t want you to accept everything as blind faith and just do what I tell you to do. This is what got you in trouble in the first place and why so many people aren’t making improvements with their body composition. I understand and I have been a victim of this too. It’s just too easy to read the fitness magazines and listen to all their lies and misinformation. So before I explain the science behind the best way to build muscle and burn fat, I want to go over the two biggest lies in the fitness world. The better you understand how wrong you have been training, the more likely you will be motivated to finally workout the most efficient and effective way. But, before I take out my geek card and explain to you simplest terms on why the WODs in this program will get you best body ever, you have to understand why what you have doing at the gym hasn’t been working.
If I ask you, what methods you think is the best way to build muscle and lose fat, the majority of you will say – doing a bodybuilding program for muscle building and going for a run to lose weight. This is what all those bodybuilding books, fitness experts, beauty magazines have been telling us for years. Yet, most people are not making much gain in improving their body compositions, which is the ratio of muscle to fat in a person’s body. It’s not that people don’t try or just plain lazy. Most people think they are working out the most effective way. Go to any global gym and you’ll see the effort and desire is there. People sweat, groan and yell. Unfortunately, most people look the same even after countless reps pumping iron and endless hours on a treadmill. In my 25 years of going to commercial gyms, I have always been puzzled at how the average gym goer can work out so hard and long, yet stop being able to make real improvements in their body.
I was once confused by this as well.I experienced this same plateau, and witnessed it happen for my clients, too. Which begs the question: what if the fitness world has it all wrong, especially when it comes to building muscles and burning fat? What may seem like obvious ways to pack on muscle and incinerate fat may be nothing but false myths perpetuated the media?
Before I discovered mental toughness training, I had to find the answers that have eluded me for decades. I was able to discover the truth and the most effective, scientific approaches to fitness. But, to my surprise I found how getting a better body was linked to mental toughness training.
The Two Biggest Fitness Myths
To develop more muscle, starting a typical bodybuilding program is the most common approach. It is almost a rite of passage for most young men. Packing on as much as mass as possible is just about every male’s goal at one time or another. A traditional bodybuilding program is taught universally– not only for professional bodybuilders, but for teenagers, men, women, senior citizens, just about everybody who wants to look better. Conventional wisdom teaches us that the most successful way to gain muscle is to divide your body into single muscle groups. It’s the most common way to workout in this society. On one day you’ll work your arms and the next day, you train your legs. You’ll alternate on working specific body parts to make your body grow. Start a bodybuilding program and you will more than likely see gains in your muscle mass. You’ll love how your veins are almost popping out of your biceps when you do concentration curls. Once you and others around you notice the improvements in your body, you will be hooked on individual body part training. Unfortunately, you will eventually hit a plateau and the quick gains that you made become harder to attain. This is not to say you can’t pack on muscle doing a bodybuilding program. You can, especially when you are young and just starting off. However, as you get older and have been doing single body part training for a while, it can get quite stale. This is what I personally experienced as well as most of my clients, so it forced me to search for other methods to improve one’s body composition. Ditching the most common muscle building practice was very difficult, but results of alternative methods were superior. Individual body part training is the most common protocol to gain muscle, but it may not be the most effective. It surely isn’t the best way for overall fitness and conditioning.
In terms of losing weight, the majority people do long and steady aerobic conditioning. It almost seems like common sense to think the best way to lose fat is to go for a run. After all, just about everybody who does prolonged cardio thinks it is the most effective fat burning method. And just about everybody at my gym is always waiting for an open treadmill, bike or elliptical machine. Everybody is doing it, so it must work. This is the conventional wisdom that has been handed down to us. Most never question it. They will not argue against the effectiveness of a long run. I move my body, sweat, so I must be burning fat. And besides, everybody is doing it. But, what if everybody is wrong? By failing to question the effectiveness of long steady cardio, we all are guilty of prolonging one of fitness’ biggest misconceptions – the myth of long cardio work as one of the best ways to lose fat.
(End of part 1)
Today’s strength training WOD
5 sets of three reps
Dumbbell bench press
Toes to bar (As many reps as you can do per set)
You probably noticed that I dropped the reps to 3 for today’s strength WOD. That means, I want you to progressively add more weight with each per set, even if it’s only 5 more pounds. I want you to try to establish today is you PR max with 3 reps for the compound movements today.
The psychological focus today is how to regain your aggression during a WOD after you lost it. Getting into a state of an aggressive mind set for the beginning of a WOD is pretty straightforward. You do your mental warm-ups and when the WOD begins, you mind is fuming with aggressive thoughts. Simple enough. The problem arises is when the WOD begins to overpower you and fatigue starts to set in. When this happens, you become less aggressive with your thoughts and actions and doubts of your ability to finish the WOD begins to dominate your mind-set. When this happens, you are prone to quitting.
Most newcomers to this high intensity training make the wrong assumption that just because they psyche themselves to become relentless during their preparation time, they will automatically be aggressive throughout the battle. You can never assume that you will be in attack mode. The skill that you are honing in on today is this ability to summons in on your aggressiveness at your will.
The goal of the preparation process is not to elicit aggressive thoughts and behaviors throughout the challenge, but to make it immediately accessible when called up. One of the best way to do this is by constantly referring back to your needs and reasons to become mentally tougher. Unlike the metabolic conditioning WODs, with strength training workouts, you have a distinct resting period in between sets. Some of you will take this resting period too literally and by doing so, you will dissipate a lot of your aggressiveness out of you. This could be especially a problem if you start a conversation with somebody, begin texting or just day dreaming. So stay focus on your task which is – you have to lift some fucken heavy shit really soon.
Instead of zoning out, you should use the time to focus on the lift, especially when the weights start to pile on. Your thoughts should be coaching cues to help you make the lift with correct form mixed in with the occasional reference back to why you need mental toughness in your life. Learn to visualize yourself making the lifts and how the successful lift will get you closer to ending a life of being mentally and physically weak. By tying in the successful lift with mental toughness growth, you just created a greater sense of urgency by putting more meaning in the lift if you make it than just your average last set. By taking risk and putting yourself on the line with the outcome of the heavy lift, you have a lot to lose, but so much more to gain when you make it. This is the attitude that I want you all to seek after.
This is the sort of aggressiveness that is rarely seen in the average, but common for those who aren’t afraid of trying. With the effort comes the toughness.
You will strain today, but you will not be stopped.
Now go pile up some weights and experience it for yourself.
Scaled back versions of today’s WOD –
1. Omit the toes to bar.
2. You can replace the back squats with good mornings.
3. Do only three sets per movement.
Acceptable alternatives –
1. You can use a barbell for the bench press if you wish. And for the presses, you can use either dumbbells or a barbell. Just don’t use a shoulder press machine.