When it’s all said and done we will judge ourselves through a lens of good and bad.
A good life will be full of events that lead to growth in and around us. A bad life will be lacking in experiences, relationships, and opportunities for such growth.
A good life tends to have a balance of health and happiness while a bad life tends to be full of regret, fear, and hate.
Regret is felt through the lack of action or poor decisions we make. Fear surfaces when we lack trust or belief in our self. Hate can arise when we come face to face with that which we do not know, understand, or agree with.
Our health will be determined by the fitness of our bodies, the serenity of our minds, and the loving relationships we have around us.
Fit bodies are built through movement, rest, food, and water. Minds are molded through gratitude, meditation, and learning. Relationships are established through trust, communication, and kindness.
Happiness embodies our health with the addition of purpose. Purpose is found by pursuing goals, making an impact, and creating a legacy.
The amazing part of this equation is that we are in control.
Regret can be prevented through action.
Fear can be erased by building faith.
Hate can be obliterated by seeking knowledge.
By taking steps each day to improve yourself you can generate a powerful life that is full of good, void of bad, and something to be proud of.
You decide the outcome of your life.
Your thoughts, emotions, and actions will lead you down every path you take.
The wrong reactions will lead you astray; though many lessons can be learned from these misfortunes so do not regret these missteps.
The correct responses will lead you to prosperity. You will find happiness and satisfaction.
Life is a great responsibility.
You can choose to coast through and skim by with little effort and energy. The end result will likely be less than rewarding.
Or you can choose to pour yourself into where you find passion. The outcome will be more than gratifying.
Each day you wake up, you have the opportunity to move forward, backward, or remain sedentary.
Inactivity and regression will leave you full of remorse. Progress will bring with it fulfillment.
The outcome is in your hands.
What makes you smile? What brings you joy?
Take a moment to reflect on these two questions. Write down any and all answers that come to mind.
Find a way, every day, to experience at least one item on your list.
Too often people neglect their own well being for others, work, or because they do not feel they deserve joy.
Whether it be simple or complicated, long or short, you deserve the time. You are worthy of happiness.
There are few forms of exercise that can transform your body composition and power output like sprinting. The demand sprinting puts on your body will torch calories while having a full body strengthening effect.
But don't rush into them. The last thing we want is a muscle tweak that puts you on the sidelines for a few days. There are two ways I like to introduce sprinting each year when it's time to push the pace.
My number one go to are hill sprints. Find a steep hill (or hop on a treadmill and jack up the incline) and you are set. Don't worry about the length in the beginning though a hill lasting 30+ yards would be ideal.
The incline of the hill naturally slows you down, lowering the intensity and resulting in less force production which reduces the risk of an injury. This natural intensity limit is beneficial for us, especially as we are just getting started as our bodies aren't use to this style of exercise.
The steeper the hill the better in the beginning in my opinion. Over time feel free to lower the incline (if on a treadmill) or look for a flatter hill. Unless you are a sprinter though I wouldn't worry too much about sticking with a steep angle.
The amount of reps will depend on the length of the hill and your fitness level. I've done anywhere from 2-20 reps in a workout. The 2 repper was a steep hill of ~160 yards that left me about to puke upon completion. The 20 repper was a steep hill of probably 20 yards. I'd aim for 4-6 sprints going about 70-80% effort the first week or two. From there gradually build up both your effort level and the numbers of sprints until you are challenging yourself sufficiently.
The other option to add sprinting into your program is to start with Charlie Francis' "Tempo Runs" on a football or soccer field. Tempo runs are typically 50-400 yards in length. They are ran on soft surfaces like grass to reduce the impact forces (preventing injury) at an effort level of 60-75%.
This may mean a beginning workout consists of a few 100 yard runs at a fast jogging pace. Once again do not rush into sprinting. Take a few weeks to let your body adapt to the exercise before pushing your limits. With tempo runs I like to perform about 1000-2000 yards per workout. In the beginning I'd recommend people start in the 400-800 yard range.
If you want to spice up your tempo training feel free to put some push-ups, crunches, or other exercises in between your sprints. This is a great way to build up your work capacity and train efficiently.
Sprinting is one of the biggest bang for your buck exercises there is.
For someone looking to change their lives by beginning a few new habits here is one way, along with a few habits, to do so. It's a 3 month progression adding 1 new behavior each month. The goal is to perform each habit as many days as you can per month. Then you add a new habit on top of the old one and continue. After 3 months hopefully the behaviors become second nature.
For beginning exercise:
Phase 1: Bodyweight Squats x 25
Phase 2: Push-Up or Plank (25 Push-Ups or 60 Seconds of Planking)
Phase 3: 3 x 10 Minute Walks spread out through the day or one 30 minute walk
So after the 3 months of progressing you're walking for 30 minutes and performing squats and either push-ups or planks on a daily basis.
Adding a morning routine to your day:
Phase 1: Drink 1 glass of water first thing in the morning
Phase 2: Write 3 things you are grateful for
Phase 3: Perform 1 minute of meditation or deep breathing
By the end of this your morning routine would include a glass of water, a gratitude practice, and some meditation.
For someone looking to cut back on poor eating habits? Cut out ONE poor choice each month until you are happy with your diet.
Anytime you are trying to add or take something from your life it is typically best to start small. Change is hard, but small changes are manageable.
The sun is out in its full glory today. Soon the heat will push everyone to the pools and lakes we are fortunate enough to have around us.
When that happens many of us will critique our bodies. We'll wish we had more defined arms, less abdominal fat, and be better able to fit our swimsuits of the past.
If you're worried you may fall into this category do yourself a favor and start working on it now.
Take your current body weight and multiply it by 12. You are to consume no more than this number in calories on a given day. If you want to be more aggressive go with 10 instead of 12.
Download an app such as myfitnesspal and begin tracking your calories. Make sure you are as accurate and honest in tracking your foods as possible. You are only cheating yourself if you aren't doing a thorough job.
Next you will implement an eating window of no more than 12 hours. If you eat breakfast at 7am you must be done with dinner and snacking by 7pm. If you are able, I would suggest shooting for an 8 hour window.
I want you to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night. This is a minimum. I'd prefer 8-9 if possible.
I want you to walk for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. This can be done by performing multiple walks throughout the day (say 3 10 minute walks) or all at once.
Finally you will be performing strength training three times a week. Each workout will follow the below outline:
Upper Push (Push-Up, Chest Press, Bench, Etc)
Upper Pull (DB Row, Chin-Ups, Lat Pulls, Etc)
Squat (Bodyweight, Goblet, Any barbell variation, Etc)
Unilateral (Step-Ups, Lunges, etc)
Hinge (Deadlifts, Single Leg Deadlift, KB Swing, Etc)
Day 1 you will shoot for 4x8 on each movement.
Day 2 you will shoot for 3x12 on each movement.
Day 3 you will shoot for 5x10 on each movement.
If you stick to this set-up for 8-16 weeks then your body composition will change. It requires discipline and consistency, but that is what change takes.
As Spring brings about better weather my exercise routine begins to evolve. As warmer days present themselves I start to crave training the athlete inside of me.
I want to be explosive, powerful, and fluid. I want to jump, throw, and sprint to regain the dynamic abilities I once possessed.
I start searching for fields, hills, and tracks where I can run through a routine of power speed drills from my track days, throw medicine balls as far and as high as I possibly can, and perform a variety of jumps and sprints up a hill.
The added benefit of escaping the gym for fresh air and plentiful amounts of sunshine is a boost to the mind and body.
Spring through fall is my favorite time to train. The ability to take a few pieces of equipment, be it kettlebells, dumbbells, bands, or medicine balls, and have an amazing workout outdoors is hard to beat.
As the weather begins changing for the better I highly encourage you to utilize the great outdoors for your workouts. I think you will find yourself energized, happy, and tapping into new results if you do so.
Athlete's are fast, powerful, and mobile. They move with grace and beauty. Not everyone is a good athlete but you can train like one to become quicker and more fluid.
Power and speed are the foundations of a good athlete. To be fast you must move fast. A mix of sprints, jumps, and throws are ideal for converting strength into power.
Here is a workout you can do outside with a little space to move.
Jumping Rope x 100 Reps
Front Plank x 30-60 Seconds
Jumping Jacks x 20
Right Side Plank x 30-60 Seconds
Seal Jacks x 20
Left Side Plank x 30-60 Seconds
High Knees x 20 Yards
Butt Kicks x 20 Yards
Jumping (Focusing on jumping as far or as high as possible each rep)
Power Skips 3 x 3/Leg
Squat Jumps 3 x 5
Broad Jumps 3 x 3
Throwing (Medicine Balls are preferable, but use any durable object if you want)
Chest Throws x 10
Overhead Backwards x 10
Slams x 10
Sprinting (Use a hill if you're able)
5 x 30-40 Yards
Start doing a workout similar to this 2 times a week and you will soon be feeling more athletic!
I had an older gentlemen who came to meet with me yesterday. Considering his age and a few health problems he had gone through, he was moving quite well. During our discussion he said he had a theory of "if you don't use it, you lose it".
He then begin telling me what movements he tries to keep in his exercise plan such as walking everyday, pressing weight over his head, as well as several others. The most amazing part of his story was that he retrained the muscles in his forehead to regain the ability to lift his left eyebrow after many radiation treatments to defeat skin cancer on his face took that away. He said after the treatment everyday he would use his fingers to pull up the eyebrow and visualize his muscles working correctly. After a lot of practice it began to work.
So what movements are most important to you? Off the top of my had these are the movements that jump out at me.
Ability to get up from the floor (Get-Ups, Burpees)
Push/Pull light objects (Basic strength straining for arms)
These would be the bare minimum patterns for basic survival and activities of daily living as we age in my opinion. A workout based around this could look like:
10 Minutes of Brisk Walking
3 x 10 Goblet Squats
3 x 10 Push-Up (or Chest Press)
3 x 10 Seated Row
10 Minutes Brisk Walking
The above would be a function or movement based workout around the movement patterns we would look to maintain as we age to keep strong and mobile.
Many of us my have other past times or goals. If you wish to play sports as you age you need to prepare your body for that. If you have a goal of dancing at your grand daughters wedding or playing pick-up basketball against your kid in the back yard then stay fit now and for the years to come to enable yourself to do so.
We are Amber and Jordan Kirbey. We are excited to share our experiences and ideas with you!