Moments of Reflection

TJ Featured In DNA Magazine

The art of physique competitions is always a story of hard work, consistency in all phases of your life and few get any recognition of their perseverance and dedication. Why do most people who step on a stage compete? A simple quote can answer that. The source of the quote is unknown, but it goes like this: “I don’t compete to win a prize, I compete to show a prize”. That is something that has always stuck with me since I saw it years ago. It speaks more about the journey, the experiences, the highs and lows that come with training, diet, and ultimately, life. So here is the page from DNA Online Magazine in which our very own TJ Prall has been featured. As a friend and colleague, I am proud of his success. Even more proud of the journey and growth he has experienced along the way.

 

If you wish to view the image to read the article, click on the picture, and then to enlarge the image in your browser Hit “Ctrl” & “+” at the same time until you have the desired size increase.

 


Get SMART with Goal Setting!

So, you have a goal, something to work for? If you do, thats awesome! If not, find something to achieve, even something small. We have all been there. We decide we want something and say “I want that” or “I want to do that”. You all know what I am talking about. Its akin to January 1st and a resolution.

But its different this time. Isn’t it? And it WILL be! It doesn’t matter whether its to lose 20 pounds of fat, walk or run a 5k or marathon, or even step on a stage in a tiny thong or bikini and strut your stuff. What matters most in this goal, is setting a plan. And being SMART about it. SMART goal setting is a great, simple way to both analyze your goal, and make sure you have a proper plan in place to hit that goal. Let me explain a little bit about how this works.

While no one part is greater than the whole, lets break it down for you! I will use running a 5k as an example, but keep in mind that it can, and does translate well to ANY goal you want to accomplish!

 

S – Specific - Run a 5k. Not just as simple as that. What I always recommend to my clients is to pick an event. It doesn’t matter if its your first 5k or your 100th 5k, it just matters that you have picked your event. Now sign up for it! Once you have paid your entry fee, you are now locked in. Now we can break the rest of your SMART goal setting down for you.

M – Measurable - Well we know 5 kilometers is measurable. Now what we need to do is set up your training plan so you can cross the finish line with confidence! What you do is you break down your training time into segments. So if your event is in 3 months, break it down into smaller chunks. A goal for each month, or week makes the whole event manageable and enjoyable!

A – Achievable - Always pick a goal that is attainable for you and your abilities. Lets say its your first 5k event. Likely, your goal isn’t to win it, but to do the whole thing, and not feel dead at the end! Walk, Jog or Run, it doesn’t matter how you get there, only that you are bettering yourself!

R – Realistic - Don’t shoot for the stars right away. If you want to compete in an Iron-Man event, but never done a 5k before, start with the 5k, progress to a 10k. Advance to short duathlons (run-bike-run) and then short triathlons (or even relay versions). Crawl, walk, jog, run….you get the idea!

T – Timely - Sticking with the 5k theme, if you have never done a 5k and you want to run it, don’t pick a 5k that’s in 2 weeks. Give yourself some time to train for it.

 

With proper goal setting, proper training plans fall into place. As such, you will significantly reduce your risk of injury, stay healthier, and be more able to enjoy the process. The goal is the reward for your plan, your work and your consistent determination to accomplish your goal. And remember, we at Strong Point Fitness are here to help you! Real people getting REAL results! To your health!

 

 


Achieve More Success with Rules Winners Follow

The philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” As far as we know, however, Emerson never completed a marathon, bench-pressed 300 pounds, or pitched a shut-out. Those who have, and those who have trained those who have, repeatedly say that the secret to success isn’t magical pills, high-tech equipment, or even transcendentalism. If you want to get stronger, lose fat, or achieve any athletic goal, they say, you’ve got to put in the hard work, and it’s got to be consistent. If you dont have a plan, you should consider getting one together. It will help keep you on track for the goals you set.

Set an ambitious goal. It shouldn’t be outlandishly difficult,  but it should be enough of a stretch that you’ll be excited to work toward it. Nobody who sets a goal of losing 5 pounds miraculously loses 20.

Be specific. It’s not enough to simply envision yourself succeeding at a goal. There are multiple studies have shown that intention fails about 75 percent of the time. Instead envision all the hard work that will make you succeed. To do this, break down your goals into the exact steps you’ll need to get there.

Who, What, Where, When. Multiple studies have shown that deciding ahead of time where and when you’re going to do a chore more than doubles the likelihood that you will. So give your steps to success a day, time, and place. Rather than “I’m going to weight-train three hours per week,” tell yourself “I’m going to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 until 9.” If possible, do this with other people who are successfully reaching their fitness goals. Science shows that willpower is contagious.

Why. Every goal should have a good reason behind it that matches your values and inspires you: to live long enough to play with your grandkids, or make your father proud, or help the world.  Then when you feel your willpower fading, you can remember your “why” and it’ll give you a boost.

Trust but verify. Your brain, will help you reach your goals by trying to close the gap between “where you want to be and where you actually are.” To do that, however, it needs feedback. It can’t tell you to keep doing crunches if you haven’t set a goal for crunches then counted how many you’ve done. Use this to your advantage: When you’re tempted to inhale that bag of tortilla chips, a quick jump on the scale will remind you and your brain that there’s still work to do.

Create If-Thens. When you tell yourself you’ll run on Wednesdays, your brain starts to unconsciously match the If (Wednesday) with the Then (run). You can also create If-Thens to ward off potential problems: “If I crave a frosted doughnut, I’ll eat an apple instead.” “If it’s cold and rainy and I don’t want to run, I’ll just put on raingear.” “If I think I’m too tired to work out, I’ll think about my ‘why.’” If-Thens start to work on an unconscious level and become habits, which spares your willpower.

Self-control is like a muscle: It improves with use. The more you carry out the steps toward your goal, the easier it becomes.

Reward your successes. Science reveals that one little gift can double your self-control, and it doesn’t have to be a box of chocolates. You can pay yourself for reaching a crucial stage, or watch an extra hour of junky TV, or simply think about what you’re learning from the process. Anything that makes you feel good will help you to be good.

Feed your self-control muscle. Studies show that willpower weakens significantly when our glucose level drops, and can inprove significantly even from rinsing your mouth with something sweet. (But skip the Splenda; it won’t work.) So plan your eating to keep your glucose stable throughout the day.

Recognize the will-power weakeners. Twelve-steppers are taught to be especially on-guard for slip-ups when they’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. If you feel tempted to lapse, do some “why thinking;” focus on your long-term goals and ideals.

Don’t exhaust your self-control muscle. Trying to achieve too many goals at once can overload it and reduce odds for success. If you’re training for a triathlon, maybe leave your goal of studying for the GRE or improving your Urdu until the race is done.

Focus on mastery, not performance. Studies show that when we stop trying to be good and start trying to get better we not only do better, but work harder and persist longer. And persistence and hard work, have a lot more to do with success than innate ability.

Shut it. Overconfidence is a proven impediment to success. Studies show that talking about our goals actually reduces motivation. Stop discussing what you’re going to achieve and you’ll be more likely to actually achieve it.


The Fitness Journey-From A Client Perspective

Hello, hello! :)

I figure I should start my first contribution to the Strong Point Fitness blog with a brief introduction of myself.

My name is MacKenzie, and I am a 27 year old client of Strong Point Fitness. I am working full-time and going to school, while also devoting time to getting in shape.  :)  I’ve been officially working with Kevin since early November 2012, although we had crossed paths on a session or two in 2008/2009. When I approached him for some guidance last November, I thought my goals were just to lose some weight and tone things up a bit… With his nutritional/supplement guidance and a custom written 4-day/week routine, I have successfully lost over 20 pounds already, and I’m able to run a 5K race (3.2 miles) at a 5.5 MPH pace without stopping. This past weekend, I ran my first Warrior Dash (3.01 miles, with approximately 12 obstacles), and I know I couldn’t have done it without his support. (See below for photo!)

Before and After Warrior Dash 2013

Since we have made so much progress in a short time, I am finding myself wanting more… Now I’m working on a program with Kevin to get myself trained and prepared for intense obstacle course races such as the Tough Mudder (approx 10-12 miles with countless obstacles). Without his help I certainly wouldn’t know how to train as a runner while also keeping my strength to be able to complete the many intense physical demands of the obstacles along the way. I’m looking forward to documenting my results and sharing my insights on how to balance getting healthy with a busy lifestyle.

Keep an eye out later this week for an update from me that includes my beginning measurements (weight/body fat %age, etc), and my updated measurements to date.


Should you trust a Phd or MD with your health?

So each month its always great to go back and look at the highlights of the last month. For me, that was on a call with a local Physician at a Mens Health Clinic who “specializes in physicals”. What prompted this was a problem with my prostate. To start, its a $550 for the physical itself. $450 for “basic” blood-work on top of that. So let me tell you what $1000 would get me (thats with a Paid-in-Full cash discount). In general the Dr was very vague as to what was included, as it was, “a standard physical”. He still would not tell me what specifically would be done.

 

So I went past that and inquired about the blood analysis. He said they would check cholesterol. I asked for him to be more specific. He said “Total Cholesterol.” I then asked if they would look at the ratio of LDL and HDL. He said no. Further blood work would be needed then. He told me they would check for Thyroid function. Again, I asked for him to expand. He said they would check the TSH. I asked if they would check for T3 or T4. He said further blood work would be needed. Then he mentioned that they would check Testosterone. Yet again, I asked for what they were testing. He informed me rather quickly that it would be just “Total Testosterone”. Naturally, my reply was “what about Free Testosterone, or Estrone, or Estrodiol, or Progesterone or Luteinizing Hormones? By this point it was no surprise that he said more blood work would be required for such information. He then added that they would check the T3 and T4 in the Testosterone check. I reminded him that T3 and T4 are related to Thyroid, not Testosterone. I asked him if they would check RBC Zinc, RBC Magnesium, DHEA Sulfate, Fasting Insulin, or HbA1C. Can you guess what he said? No sir, all that costs more.

 

At this point, there was a moment of awkward silence on the phone while I could tell the MD was pondering while formulating a very pivotal question. As plain as day he asked, “Are you in the medical profession?” I replied with a succinct, “No, I am just a fitness trainer.” Shortly after this point, he went back into a sales pitch, where I interrupted him and told him I was not interested. I politely thanked him for his time and lack of education.

 

Moral of the story is that you can not always trust someone with a PHD or MD. In many cases this over-inflates the persons ego.  I am thankful for the mentors I have had both in college and in my professional career. When you trust your health to others, they sure as hell better know what they are talking about.

 


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