The Daily Rebel – Snatches, misses, and offering a different perspective

So today was a very odd workout for me.

While I managed to make 76kg in the snatch my toy, I couldn’t stick it. What do I mean by the? Well, getting the weight overhead was sickeningly easy… keeping it there on the other hand was another matter all together. Truth is that I have always sucked over head, however, while I could simply chalk this up as another bad session, I actually looked at this from a different perspective. I chalked this workout up as a win!

The last time that I snatched that heavy I was 94kg, while at this current moment I sit at a svelt 88kg (194lbs), and while this may not seem like a big difference is weight, when you are performing something as technically demanding as weightlifting, then small changes in body composition and levers does play a huge factor. Also, while may max lifts have not gone up, e.g, my 1RM’s, my minimum weight has increased massively. I have gone from hitting 65kg 5/10 times to consistently being able to get 70kg up and over my head with ease on any given day. This positive outlook on todays training session was bolstered even further when I think about how easily the weight popped up over my head in regards to what that weight felt like only a few months ago.

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One day…

Training is going to be filled with failure, especially in weightlifting. So stop taking everything at face value and broaden your horizons when it comes to defining ‘progress’. There is more to success that more weight on the bar.

But enough wisdom, here is todays workout:

A1) SNATCH: 1X1RM / 3 X 1@90%

B1) HANG SNATCH: 1X3RM / 3X3@90%

C1) SNATCH PULL: 1 X 3RM

D1) SNATCH GRIP DEADLIFT: 1 X 3RM

Hope you enjoy todays training and, while I don’t know about you, I cannot wait for squats tomorrow!

Rogan Allport

The Daily Rebel – Front Squats, Push Press, and grit!

So the up shot of having the worst workout imaginable yesterday is that todays workout had to be better!

The lesson of this is this - Sometimes you need to just say f*$#k it and decide to be a bear!

The lesson of this is this – Sometimes you need to just say f*$#k it and decide to be a bear!

Needless to say that it was, but I was doing front squats, so how could I not have a great time right…? Squatting whimsey aside, this was a pretty good session considering I was tired and had to really dig deep to get half as far as I did – 130 x 3 as a top set.

Here was the workout:

A1) FRONT SQUAT – 1 X 3RM / 4 X 3 @80%

B1) PUSH PRESS – 1 x 1RM / 6 x 1 @80%

C1) STRICT PRESS – 3 X 5 + STRIP SET ON THE FINAL SET DOWN TO THE BAR

E1) PULL UPS – MAX REPS

E2) DIPS – MAX REPS

More than anything else, I knew that this was not going to be a world beater of a workout, but it gave my a chance to get over the mental drain of yesterdays non-event of a workout and get back under some heavy load.

That’s all for today Rebels, but never fear I shall be back tomorrow with a trouser splitting, t-shirt ripping accessory day workout. LETS GET JACKED AND TAN!!!!!

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan Allport

The Daily Rebel – Cleans, hang cleans, and clean pulls, a.k.a – The worst workout ever!

Hey Rebels!

Well, I have to say it has been a long time coming, but today was the worst workout I have had in a very, very, very (did I say very?) long time!

In my mind, I looked like this... I didn't.

In my mind, I looked like this… I didn’t.

Here is what I had planned to do today:

Cleans and Jerk: 1 x 1RM (work up until the Jerk started to feel heavy)

Clean: 1 x 1RM / 3 x 1@80-90%

Hang clean: 3 x 3@90%

Clean Pull: 1 x 3RM / 1 rep every minute on the minute for ten minutes @3RM

Pull up’s: 4 x max reps

What actually happened was me failing left right and centre at weights that should have been easy, and not being able to stay co-ordinated through any of the movements.

My training delusion continued as I tried to pull like this guy!

My training delusion continued as I tried to pull like this guy!

However, while this workout may have been a failure, it was not a waste of time. There is no such thing as a wasted workout. You simply need to disengage from the over emotional attachment that you have to having a ‘good workout’. 

Just as the tide ebbs and flows, and the summer gives way to autumn, you are going to have bad workouts. As surely as death and taxes, it is going to happen. So learn to accept it and let go Even if you do everything right in regards to recovery and nutrition, you still sometimes perform less than admirably. So take it for what it was, a fluke, and get on with your training and your life. The worst thing that a bad workout can do is ruin the next one.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan Allport

Clean Pull: 1 x 3RM / 10 x 1 (1 minute rest inbetween)

The Daily Rebel – Jerks and Back squats

Well, it’s been a while. With starting the business and taking the time away from blogging to free up time to generate more leads and clients, I feel that it is time that I came back to the blogosphere and touch base with my Rebels on a more regular basis.

To that end, I am glad to say that the Daily Rebel is now back in full swing, but with a twist. You will still get the great workouts, the great tips and content, but it will only be on the days that I am training from now on. So dont get worried if there is a day or two in the week where you dont get a workout from me, I am just recovering and putting more time back into the business.

So, whats on the docket today? Me hitting the 100 club!

This was a huge milestone for me as my jerk has been probably the thing that I have struggled with the most in regards to my overhead strength. This is largely due to the fact that in the jerk one is moving from a position from high stability, to a low stability transition position, and then back to a position of high stability – provided you can find it.

So, to that end, here was my workout for the day:

A1) Jerk – 1 x 1@100% / 3 x 1@ 80-90%

B1) Back Squat: Work up to a heavy triple beltless*

* I had competed over the weekend so I just wanted to grease the groove and get back into heavyish squatting.

C1) Pull ups: 4 x max

C2) Seated row: 4 x 8-12 @60kg

D1) Lateral raise: 4 x 15

E2) Dips: 3 x max

F) Resistance band face pulls: 100 reps in as few sets as possible

If you are like me and struggle getting overhead, here are my top tips to getting stronger when pressing overhead:

1. Have strong triceps – Have you ever seen a good presser with small triceps? Didn’t think so. Besides filling out your tshirt and giving you a sick pair of pipes, having strong triceps is going to strengthen the stability of your elbow and increase your ability to press with more power.

2. Work on your shoulders and upper back – These muscles are your prime stabilisers when getting overhead, so make sure that they are big and strong so they can handle a greater load.

3. Spend more time over head – Just try and spend more time pressing overhead for as much of your shoulder/pressing work as possible. The fact is that while the standing shoulder press and the seated shoulder press are both shoulder dominant exercises, the total body demands of simply being upright and standing will transfer over far greater to your overall strength than simply sitting down.

I hope this helps you get stronger overhead, and if you have anymore questions, just get in touch via the contact us page.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Rogan Allport

The Daily Rebel!

11/12/14 – Let it go

I am sure you are as sick of hearing ‘Let it go’ as much as I am, but that crazy girl with the ice powers does have a point. The truth is that we all get so emotionally attached to what does not go according to plan in our lives that any deviation from our perception of what we deem to be our expectations. The fact is that some days are just better than others and we need to learn as a species to hold ourselves accountable for our bad days, but embrace the good days when they happen. After all, its just a bad day!

It is not the end of the world when things go your way, in fact, a wise man once told me that there are no lessons learnt in victory but a thousand to be learnt in defeat. Well I definitely learnt a lesson today. I had spent the entire day gearing up to deadlift 200kg for a double, and I failed. At earlier points in my life I would have let this get to me mentally and would have let it affect me negatively for the rest of my session. instead all I did was take a few deep breaths, remember that I am only human, that failure in inevitable, and then I moved on with the rest of my day.

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Deadlift

– work up to a beltless 2RM

-work to a belted 2RM

– 3×3 on 20kg less than your belted 2RM

Bent over rows

– 4 x 12

Pull ups

– 5 x max reps + 1 x max reps strip set of straight arm cable pull downs.

Bicep curls

– 3 x 20


Make sure that you are not so caught up in your own self inflated expectations that you forget that you are only human and that you will fail, but in failure you will find the lessons that you need in order to progress and to move forward not just in the gym but outside of it.

To find out how you can get strong and realise your inner athlete just click the link below.

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Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

The Daily Rebel!

10/12/14 – Playing just the tip

So this is going to be a really quick post to just give you a quick insight now that I have taken a step back into the world of Olympic lifting. After taking time off from any sport activity or movement pattern it is always worth playing just the tip rather than going guns blazing back into something that your body is just simply not prepared for. I have stated my opinions on submaximal training in a previous article. In my case, today was a day spent focused primarily on the snatch. I have not snatched in nearly two months due to having to work commitments at a gym which is not set up towards weightlifting as it lacks the space or equipment necessary in order to perform the lifts as they are intended to be done. Needless to say I was super rusty and had to ease myself back into the game by focusing on getting a large amount of training volume in at lighter weights.

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I am a firm believer in auto regulation i.e. the use of your own common sense in dictating how hard you train. I built up the intensity over a series of triples, doubles and eventually a technically challenging single which was just hard enough that I felt if I stuck at the weight, which I did, that I would get progressively better over the course of multiple quick sets. You don’t need to go balls to the wall every time you step into the gym, nor should you.You need to ease back into training rusty movement patterns and honing your technique. Now, I am by no means an expert at Olympic weightlifting, but I do know that pushing the envelope for no other reason than to satisfy your own goddamn ego and sense of personal expectation is nothing other than a sure fire way to get your self hurt, or worse get yourself into a training rut in which you never take the time to step back and re-evaluate your goals and technical faults.

With all that in mind, here was todays workout:


Snatch

– 3RM

– 2RM

– challenging single: 8×1 (I stuck at this weight till it felt smooth)

Bench press-

– 2RM

– 6×3

Dips

– 5x max reps

Pull ups

– 4 x max reps

Face pulls

– 1×100

Lateral raises

– 4×10


So remember Rebels. Sometimes it’s safer to play just the tip.

To find out how you can get strong and realise your inner athlete just click the link below.

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Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

The Daily Rebel!

9/12/14 – Water, water every where… drink it!

So, no work out today as I feel like I have been hit buy a truck. That 150kg x 3 nailed me! However I do have a little topic I wanna chat about. Let me tell you something you already know, water is important. No, I tell a lie, water is super important! Now, as a readership of educated individuals, I am sure you all know that water is important and that generally speaking we drink too little of it in the majority of cases, but do you know why? Do you know the ins and outs of hydration? Well, your about to! So lets start at the beginning – how much water should you drink? Well, that’s a damn good question. Drinking half your body weight (lbs) in ounces has long been the basic hydration protocol for athletes. So if we have a 150lb athlete, then he/she should drink 75 ounces of water each day. However, I have an issue with this… shocker

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Water, water everywhere, but how much should you drink?

 While this is a good start, it’s not a comprehensive prescription. The main reason for this is that it’s generic. You can’t prescribe a set intake of water without taking into account individual activity level, personal environment and most importantly of all, the individual themselves. You see, we are all different and any prescription which are going to tell you that you an fit into a one size fits all protocol is something to think long and hard about. Drinking half your own bodyweight in ounces a day is a good place to start, but just like finding out your nutritional requirements, hydration is part science and part self experimentation. You must individualize every aspect of your training, your nutrition, and your hydration is no different. So make sure you take the time to experiment with how much water you need. Drink more, drink less, drink at different times, and base everything on how you perform and how you feel.

But how do you check your hydration levels? Well, checking the colour of your urine is the most tangible methods of checking the hydration levels of your body. The clearer your urine, the more hydrated you are. The darker your urine, the more dehydrated you are. Simple yes? Simple it may be but despite the tangibility of this test, it has its limitations. The fact is, is that it’s far too easy to become dehydrated. You are constantly losing water through all of your primary bodily functions: respiration, perspiration, urination etc.

During your sleep it is not uncommon to lose on average a pint of water in a period of 8 hours. The body, depending on whom you talk to, is 70-73% water, and as such losing just a small part of that can have a huge effect on you and your body’s performance. Knowing when you are dehydrated is a difficult thing, mainly due to the lag time. This ‘lag time’ is caused by the fact that once you are dehydrated, you are going to continue to be dehydrated until you have caught up, which is a difficult thing to do as it takes time for your body to process water and partition water into the cells of your body. The primary signs of dehydration such as darkened urine, headaches, reduced mental cognition and thirst, usually come on too late in the game.

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Whoever this was, they need water…STAT!!!

This is especially important for the athlete to bear in mind. The reason for this being that muscle cells can hold up to 7 times more water than fat cells. This should give you some idea of just how much of your mass is water based, but also how being a leaner individual puts an even greater focus on your hydration regime as, once the water has left your muscles, you don’t have fat stores to fall back on, and as such, the body will break down muscle cells in order to re-hydrate the body as best as it can. This of course has a huge impact on your performance, which can start to suffer at as little as 3% dehydration. A study at Ball State University USA, showed a drop in performance by 7% in runners over a 10K distance when dehydrated by only 2-3%. An interesting test you can use to test for your water demands is to hydrate yourself before training, weigh in, and then weigh in again after training. This should give you a decent idea of how much water you have lost during the time that you train. For every Lb that you lose, drink 16oz of water which should make up for the lag time and allow you to have water left in the tank to continually hydrate your body.

Now, chucking lots of water is great, however, water alone is not enough, you need something to bind that water within your cells. This is where things are getting interesting. Electrolytes such as Sodium, Chloride, Potassium and Calcium are all minerals that are not only responsible for water retention within the cells of your body, but are also responsible for helping within nerve transmission, muscle contraction, muscle relaxation glycogen formation, ATP production and more, electrolytes are the glue to holding your hydration protocol together. As you can see, the presence of electrolytes are hugely important, and are the meeting point between nutrition and hydration. The food you eat provides the electrolytes that are going to keep you in a performance ready state, and as such, you want to make sure that you are on top of all aspects of fuelling your body, but be warned. Just like water, over/under consumption can be equally harmful to your performance, and causes more sever conditions such as hypernatremia and hyponatremia.

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Dehydration + Training = KO

HYPERNATREMIA – when the level of electrolytes in the body, specifically sodium, reaches a very high level. This high level of electrolytes out balances your water intake and as such to make up for this imbalance, water is drawn out of the muscles causing dehydration.

HYPONATREMIA – Electrolyte levels in the body reach very low levels due to over consumption of water. Due to a lack of electrolytes, either due to lack of consumption, or having them washed out by your water intake, causes your body to have no way of retaining water at a reasonable rate which keeps up with your level of dehydration.

These are obviously less than optimal states for your body to be in. So remember, hydration and nutrition are two parts of the same coin. Without optimal hydration, you will not be able to perform the extent where you are effectively using the fuel that you have digested. Equally, without proper nutrition, your ability to retain water and perform in a more optimal state is severely diminished. Hydration and nutrition are the foundations upon which you build your performance, so give them the respect that they deserve, and in doing do, respect your own athletic potential.

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“Hydration… Do it!”

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Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

The Daily Rebel!

8/12/14 – What are your wants vs. your needs

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday everyone, but even I need a day off. Any way, today I want to talk about Why do we do the things they do? How is it that one person will sacrifice his own life for another, while another will murder a stranger for sheer pleasure? What causes a perfect baby child to develop down the path of good or evil? What is the force that drives, shapes and develops our feelings, emotions, psyche and ultimately our behaviour?

While each one of us is unique, we also share a central nervous system and a muscular – skeletal system that function in the same way universally across all races, colours and creeds. Something else that we share in common is that there are also six fundamental human needs that everyone has in, and all behaviour is simply an attempt to meet those six needs. Each one of us prioritises our basic needs depending on the reality of our existence and our perception of our reality. I introduced these concepts in last weeks Daily Rebel.

The six human needs – 

1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure

2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli

3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed

4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something

5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding

6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others

The drive to fulfil our basic human needs is something that is encoded deeply into the genes every one of us. The means by which people meet these six basic human needs are unlimited and unique to each and every single human on the planet. For example, one of the six human needs is the desire for certainty in an attempt to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Some of us pursue this need by striving to control all aspects of our lives, while others obtain certainty by giving up control and adopting a philosophy of faith and faith is a key aspect for getting out of your comfort zone and getting stronger.

Having the faith to that leap and believe that you can make the extra rep, start your own business or just be the person that you always wanted to be all starts with the choice to take that first step. Sure people will argue that sometimes faith is not enough, and they are right. In some circumstances faith is not enough, but in most cases just having the courage to take that step is enough to take you just that one step further on that journey to claiming what you deserve.

Variety makes us feel alive and engaged with the world around us. Then there’s the desire for significance—a belief that one’s life has meaning and importance. Some individuals will pursue this need by competing with others, or by destroying and tearing down those around them that they see as a encroaching on their ability to develop significance in the world. Others may strive to fulfil this need through connection with other human beings. The way in which seek to discover our own significance depends once again on the choices we make to move forward in a way that is most beneficial to our own personal development. Now this is not always the easiest or most enjoyable of process’ and can be one of the most destructive and gut wrenching of moments of revelation, but the moment you come to terms with your own significance or lack there of, we can truly start developing a sense of significance in our lives leading to a sense of fulfilment.

We all have a need to experience a life of meaning. Fulfilment can only be achieved through a pattern of living in which we focus on two spiritual needs:

1) the need to continuously grow

2) the need to contribute beyond ourselves.

All dysfunctional behaviours arise from the inability to consistently meet these fundamental needs. When our attempts to reach fulfilment fail, we will settle for comfort. Look to replace any negative, and dis-empowering ways of meeting your needs with things that empower and support you and those around you. Understanding these basic needs, and which ones you are trying to meet in any given moment in time, can help you create new patterns that lead to lasting fulfilment and a true sense of significance in your life.

Here is todays workout in which I took what was a huge step out in faith and took 150kg in the back squat for a triple. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done in the gym and took a real leap of faith on no other grounds than if I had just stopped at two reps, I would have regretted it.


Back Squat

– work up to a 3RM

– 3×3 @80% of 3RM

Leg extension

– 4 x 8 + 1 strip set

Pull ups

– 5 x max reps

Leg curl

– 4 x 8 reps


The last of the human needs is contribution,  the need to give back and develop that which is around you. They say that the mark of a man is the impression that he leaves behind, but I want to make something perfectly clear to you. Corporations will liquidate, bank accounts will empty and empires will fall, but the impact that you have on the lives of those around you will live on in the stories and memories of those individuals long after you are gone.

So get out there and take that leap of faith. Go and try that which you have been to afraid to try. Live the life that you deserve for no other reason than it is your for the taking, so long as you believe that it can be yours. Remember that in letting your own light shine that you are consciously giving people permission to do so.

mandela

To find out how you can get strong and realise your inner athlete just click the link below.

http://bit.ly/1rvbFHQ

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Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

The Daily Rebel!

6/12/14 – 4 tips for a bigger Bench

So today was my first trip back into competition style benching in lieu of setting up to make my return to the platform in the new year, and all in all it went very well. I worked up to a paused set of 3 with 105kg and continued on with my workout, but it got me thinking. I have taken a number of big steps in order to increase the numbers on my bench and I wanted to share with you the my top four tips for a bigger bench.

Now that is one hell of a bench!

Now that is one hell of a bench!

1. Improve your set up – 

While I am still not a real advocate or fan of the dramatic arch used by many powerlifters, what I am an advocate of is getting as tight and set into the bench as possible, regardless of what weight is on the bar. Taking time to make sure that you are properly set on the bench press will be the foundation upon which you can build a monstrous bench. Take time to make sure that you have grounded your upper back into the bench, that your glutes are driven down and are firmly set with your feet acting as anchors and power generators on the ground. Making sure that you are as physically tight and immovable as possible is key. If you get a bit uncomfortable – deal with it. As Louie Simmons, owner of Westside Barbell says, “purple equals strong.” Louie has also said that why have a tan when you can have high blood pressure… I guess he cant be a genius all of the time. The level of tightness your generate with your start position should be the same whether you are benching with the empty bar or your max.

2. Break the bar in half – 

The minute the bar comes out of the rack make sure you set your shoulders by attempting to bend the bar into a horseshoe. By making sure that your shoulders are in an externally rotated position during any time that the bar is out of the rack is going to be key to making those weights fly up. The act of externally rotating the shoulder tightens and secure the musculature of the shoulder girdle and allows for a fuller recruitment of the muscles, thereby increasing shoulder stability and power generation throughout the lift. That being said, it also helps to create a stable bar path due to the limited range of motion of a fully externally rotated shoulder when attempting to ‘bend the bar’.

3. Turn your lats on – 

Have you ever seen a great bencher that doesn’t have big lats? Cause I haven’t. It is a simple fact that the more muscles your recruit, the greater your power output. In essence, without recruiting the lats during your bench press you are a eight cylinder engine using only four cylinders. The lats help create greater stability throughout the bench, especially in the bottom positions with the bar across your chest, but what it also does is trigger a stretch reflex that will help to propel the bar upward. Whether the bench is touch and go, or with a competition pause, never forget to turn your lats on by setting your back and externally rotating the shoulder, pulling them down towards your hips. If you struggle to activate your lats increase the level of upper back accessory work that you are doing. Pull ups, straight arm cable pull downs, single arm rows and lat pull downs are all great options.

4. Triceps are king – 

Besides a big upper back do you know what the best benchers in the world have? Well developed triceps, and I don’t mean a nice lean horseshoe shaped tricep, I mean something that you could unzip and smuggle a watermelon in. Seriously though, the tricep is such a small muscle but plays such a crucial part in making a big bench that they cannot be ignored. Tricep strength in many instances is the make or break muscle in the kinetic chain of events known as a bench press and if they give out, well, then you my friend better trust your spotters. Throwing in lots of close grip benching, as well as accessory work such as dips, tricep pull downs, pushups etc is only going to help develop the musculature of the tricep but also your bench.

Taking all of that into consideration, here is what I did today.


Paused bench press

– work up to a 3RM

– 4 x 3 @ 90% of 3RM

– 1 x max set @ 60kg + pushup AMRAP (As many reps as possible)

Dips

– 4 x max reps

Pull ups

– 4 x max reps

Straight arm cable pull down – 

– 4 x 8 + 1 strip set


Take these tips away with you, try the workout, and get one step closer to building a world class bench press.

To find out how you can get strong and realise your inner athlete just click the link below.

http://bit.ly/1rvbFHQ

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Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

The Daily Rebel!

5/12/14 – How to set goals and achieve them

So, no workout from me today guys. I was having too good of a time with my beautiful and talented journalist girlfriend. However, I do have a little something I want to talk about, namely, goal setting and how hindsight is the biggest bitch of them all.

Let me tell you something that you already know; getting what you want from life is hard. There are so many things in this life that we want but are unwilling to make the sacrifices it takes to get the things that we say we want more than anything. And yeah, sure, there are those guys and gals who are gifted, who don’t have to work as hard, who can just toss their hat into the ring and wind up in the winners circle, but I will let you into a dirty little secret, they are not you, and chances are you are not like them. You are going to have to work towards what you want. You will have to scrap, and claw and fight for the things that you want in this life, and you will do it because it’s worth it. We all look back at our failures in life and we talk about all the things that we could have done and should have done. Well, the fact is that until you will make those ‘should do’s’ into ‘have to’s’ your goals will forever elude you.

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Do you have it?

I try to live my life by two maxims, and while I am not a fan of sweeping generalizations, I do find that these two sayings ring so true its like a crystal bell going off in my mind.

  1. Fail to prepare and you have prepared to fail
  1. Hindsight’s a bitch

Now, I feel that the first one speaks volumes, and in fact is what inspired this article. You need to plan not only the means by which you are going to achieve your goals, but the goal in and of its self. You need to ask yourself whether or not this is the right goal for you, and if so why. The hard truth is that many of us don’t have a good answer for why we want something, and just saying, “cause I want it” I’m afraid, just won’t cut it. Because if all you have to turn back to when the times get hard and the end could not look further from your reach is “cause I want it”, your going to find that this once great and supportive answer really isn’t all that supportive anymore.

The second statement is something that I feel requires little explanation. Hindsight is, and always will be, a bitch, but she is a bitch because we made her that way. We use hindsight to look back at all the things we could have done better, and instead of using this as a valuable lesson, we just get pissed off and throw the proverbial teddy out of the proverbial pram. Don’t make hindsight into a bitch, both she and you are better than that.

Lets just take a moment to focus on something here; there are no bad goals, so long as your goals do not negatively impact another person. What there are however, are reasons for choosing a goal – see how I am making this all link up? Genius I know! “But Rogan,” I hear you say, “what are good reasons for choosing a goal?” Well that is a damn fine question. In my opinion, a goal should be a means to an end rather than an end in and of itself. So, in my case I wanted to get strong, and some would argue that I have done that, others would say I haven’t, but none can argue that in three years I have taken my PR Deadlift from 110kg to 200kg. Now, this is not me bragging, a 200kg Deadlift is not something to write home about, at least not in Powerlifting circles, but becoming strong was a goal that served as a means of developing myself as an athlete. I wanted to get strong, not to become a Powerlifter, but to be stronger in the broader sense of my athletic development. Entering the world of Powerlifting has been a fantastic added bonus, but it was not the original goal I had set for myself.

So, if you take nothing else away from this first section, take away that you need to have a good reason for picking a goal, and that the reward of working towards the goal should not be the goal in and of itself, it should be everything you have gained leading up to, and blasting past that goal.

So now lets say you have picked your goal. You have meditated, philosophized and conversed with all the Buddha’s (yes there have been many) and you have come to a single conclusion of what it is you want. GREAT!!! Now how the hell are you going to get there? When planning your route to your goal you should remember to always think about if your goal is SMART.

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Realistic

T – Time framed

The first part is easy, heck, it’s your goal! You should know specifically what it is, if you don’t, its back to the drawing board for you my friend. The second thing to think about is whether or not this goal is measurable. This basically means, can you quantify your goal in regards to something tangible – can you track your progress? If not, then you are just going to be chasing smoke. Find a progressive system that allows you to mark out and record your progress in what ever it is you are doing. I have previously been trying to gain weight at a slow pace in order to become bigger and stronger while building up my aerobic engine, so how have I measured my progress? I have weighed myself every morning and put it into an excel spreadsheet and made a graph. Extreme? No, not really, it takes a minute out of my morning, and on some days I was too heavy, and others I was too light but always the trend, the constant, is moving slowly forward. When weight gain was my goal, I was gaining roughly 1kg a month, and that’s just fine by me.

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Here is an example of my weight gain graph. Always follow the trend! 

Asking your self if the goal is achievable is a tough one. We all like to think that with enough hard work and planning we can get anything, and to an extent this is true but I am not going to turn into Phil Heath, regardless of how much time and effort I might put into that goal, if indeed that was my goal, which is most certainly is not.

You have to bite the bullet at some point and say to yourself the hard truth of, I cant do this and its not realistic – see what I did there. Or, at least not within the framework of the constrictions I have given myself. You see, if I wanted to take 2 seconds off my 100m time, I could do it. If I wanted to do it in two weeks, while I also train for a marathon, chances are I am going to fail, hard! So make sure that the goal you have is achievable within the context of your life and planning.

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Matt Chan balances having a family, owning an affiliate, being on the CFHQ coaching staff, and having an active lifestyle outside of all of this. Goal management is the key!

A useful technique is to break your main goal down into a series of way points, markers if you will, which will be the points by which you measure your progress on the path towards your main goal. We do this within our Strength and Conditioning programming, and it works, so why not do it in life? Applying periodization to your life may just be the thing that you need in order to break your goal down into manageable pieces, which in the end will fit together and allow you to find yourself at the end of your journey with your goal in hand.

So remember, plan, prepare, and prevail! If you do these things, then you will be able to conquer your goals!

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