I recently had the opportunity to read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. I highly recommend reading the book if you haven’t done so already. It will truly change the way you think about money. One of the themes that he talks about in the book and preaches on his radio show is the “Power of Focus”. Essentially, you list all of your debts in order smallest to largest. You put all of your focus on paying everything you can toward the smallest debt while paying the minimum on the others. When you payoff one debt, you concentrate on the next until your debt is cleaned up. READ the book! I highly recommend it (did I say that already?)!!!
This got me thinking though that when it comes to working out there is old conventional wisdom that you focus on single body parts when you workout. A lot of times bodybuilders will use this and have leg day, chest day, arms, back, and whatever else they want to concentrate on. The new conventional wisdom seems to steer clear of this ideology and has shifted toward high intensity interval training and total body workouts. The idea behind it is that everything gets worked in synergy and all of the muscles are forced to worry about balance which in turn makes you stronger. What about putting Dave Ramsey’s theory about the “Power of Focus” and applying it to our workouts to create a hybrid of convention as you might say.
Let’s face it, we all have weaknesses that drive us nuts and under today’s convention with the whole body concept, the weaknesses we host are likely to get exponentialized as our body uses the strongest muscles to make up for weakness. What I am proposing is that on certain days during the weak we put all of our focus on those weaknesses. For me it’s chest and legs. So on two days during the week, I would focus on these items, one day chest, one day legs. On the rest of the days, I would concentrate on the total body concept. With this idea, you work on strengthening your weaknesses so they have a chance to catch up with the rest of the body. By doing so your putting less strain on the muscles that have to pick up the slack and working on getting better in your weakest areas.
This isn’t a totally new concept. P90x has a similar focus but instead of focusing on weaknesses, Tony Horton intermixes focus days with what he considers “cardio” days. These workouts include Cardio X, Plyo X, and Core Synergistics. On the other days he has you focused on things like legs and back, back and biceps, chest, biceps, and triceps, and so on.
The concept is compelling and something I am going to test over the next few weeks. Remember, we all need to shake up our workouts once and a while. Getting into routines causes us to plateau. Step out on a limb and try new things.
What are your thoughts on the idea?
If you’re in any way shape or form like me, you have probably made New Years Resolutions year after year. Every year around the end of February or mid March, the commitment to those resolutions tapers off to a measly nothing. The fire that burned at midnight on the 1st is completely gone.
With tax day here and gone, it’s time to look and the mirror and get real. No more excuses, look at the person standing across from you and blame them. It’s that person’s fault you aren’t hitting the gym today. It’s that person’s fault that you decided to go back for a fourth plate at the Chinese Buffet last night. It’s that person’s fault that instead of shrinking your waistline, it’s nearly doubled in size. No more excuses! I don’t have time, should be replaced with I have not made time or that time is not a priority for me. Get real with yourself, be honest; why should we lie to ourselves. How would your boss feel if you missed a deadline and your excuse was you didn’t have time. Guess what they are going to tell you, MAKE TIME OR YOUR FIRED!
The only way you are going to get over the hump and make real progress is by being completely honest with yourself. Once you have scolded and beaten yourself up about not meeting your goals, then and only then can you start to come up with solutions for the future.
What was your new years resolution? Are you still on track to meet your goals? Is it time to make your goals work for you?
I love golf, but golf doesn’t love me. Let me explain. Golf is one of those games that looks easy, but when you step on to the lush green tee box, grasping a driver in hand, something doesn’t translate. Typically when I swing the club, the ball goes left or right and very rarely does it land on the fairway. God forbid I hit an iron that lands on the edge of the green, stops dead in its tracks and reverses direction toward the hole. Does this stop me from going to the driving range or dropping 20 to 40 bucks on a round of golf? Of course not! It’s a fun game that relaxes my mind and eliminates stress for the four hours I’m on the course. One thing most people don’t think about when it comes to golf is how much it exposes your fitness level.
When I first started playing golf, I was completely terrible. Of course, the more I played, the better I got, but I noticed something. About two or three years into playing, I began working out, eating better and losing weight. An amazing thing happened when I started doing this, I got better. Not only did I get better, my game improved by leaps and bounds.
When Tiger Woods stepped onto the scene in the late 90s he forever changed the game of golf. While he had a tremendous gift, his foundation came in his fitness. I don’t personally know Tiger, but anyone who does can’t stop talking about his tremendous work ethic in the gym. His strength was leaps and bounds above anyone else in the game when he burst into the PGA. His fitness laid the ground work for his golf game and allowed him to grow as a golfer. Lefty is another great example of fitness in golf. Phil Michelson when he first entered the PGA didn’t have the strong accolades. He won events, but wasn’t at the top of the golf world. Slowly he began to transform and you could tell physical he was getting stronger. If you look at Phil now compared to the beginning, he looks stronger and walks stronger which has translated directly into his game. The last example I’ll bring up is Bubba Watson. If you follow Bubba you know he has one of the most explosive drives in the game. I had the opportunity to stand in front of Bubba when he was on the tee box at the masters a few years ago. If you want to wet your pants, try this. When he laid into the swing, you could physically feel the wind of the ball as it blew by. Such an awesome feeling. If it wasn’t for Bubba’s work ethic in the gym and his pure core strength, he wouldn’t have near the explosion off the tee.
Golf is a great game and there’s no better time to celebrate it than during Master’s week. Take some time this week to dust off the clubs, hit the gym, and then head out to the course. What is
- Walk 30 minutes
- Deadlift: 190 lbs x 5 sets x 6 reps
- Squat: 150 lbs x 5 sets x 6 reps
- Lunges: 35 lb dumbbells x 3 sets x 16 reps
In a world headlined by complexity, sometimes simplicity can be bliss. Never more is this true than when putting together a workout. Let’s face it, if you have a million exercises you want to accomplish in a given amount of time, there’s a good chance that you’re never going to remember them all and your never going to get the gains you want because you never have the opportunity to master a workout. Simplicity has a ton of big advantages including the following:
- Master Form: Simplicity allows you to first master the form of each exercise. By sticking to just a few exercises, it allows you to perform more reps or even just more sets of smaller reps to get your form down. Remember in previous posts, form is the master of strength.
- Focus on Muscle Groups: Too many exercises = exercises competing for muscle groups. If you are doing leg presses, leg curls, leg extensions, deadlifts and squats all in the same day, each of those exercises are competing for the same muscle group and your not going to get the most out of any one specific exercise. By the time you get to your squat or deadlift, your quads and hamstrings are going to be so fatigued that you are more likely to set yourself up for injury. By simplifying your routine, you can focus on fatiguing your muscles the proper way with proper form rather than overloading them repetition.
- Never Get Bored: There are a lot of good exercises out there and when you keep your routines simple, you can really focus on adding variety to the workouts weekly by substituting workouts on a regular basis. This is not only going to confuse the muscle and force it into overtime, but it also keeps you from losing interest in the workout. If you try to do all of the workouts at the same time at every workout, your going to get bored quickly and lose interest.
There’s certainly a lot more we can touch on with this subject. Send us your questions and we’ll be glad to answer them. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, or Google +