Thursday, December 29, 2005

What Next?

2005 is coming to a close and it's time to look forward. The beginning of every new year is filled with so much promise. We start the annual process known as "getting our acts together" on January 1st. We tell friends & family that we're going to improve our lives in one way or another. There's an energy and enthusiasm that seems palpable. Everyone is talking about quitting smoking or starting projects or losing weight and getting fit. It's fun to be around people when they talk like this. The focus is so positive. There's never any talk about obstacles or failure. We clean our slates of the muck and mire, look to the future, and set goals with exuberance. A brand new attitude to kick off the new year.

Why the hell does it all fade away? Why isn't this mojo sustainable for most people? Where does all the energy and enthusiasm go? The short answer is; happy thoughts are easy, action is hard. Talking a good game is an American pastime. Talk is cheap. Talk doesn't cook rice. Great Americans turn their hopes and dreams into something real with persistent action. An un-relenting constant movement forward. The ups and downs, twists and turns don't detour them. This is behavior that must be learned. It doesn't just happen based on some nice thoughts about the future. If you've started something and could not finish it then you weren't ready in the first place. The foundation and plan were never in place on day one.

If you really want to succeed, if you really want to see something through to the end, then you need a new approach. You need deadlines, goals and help. This is why Power90 has worked so well for so many people. There is a start date and an end date. You stick with it because I guarantee that if you do what I tell you to do then great change will happen. You take your photos, your measurements and your weight and you begin to move your body. You get into the boards, chat rooms and WOWY and get connected with other people who need you as much as you need them. Success is achievable because this system is time tested.

If you take this simple system and apply it to all other aspects of life then they will dramatically improve as well. From finance to romance deadlines, goals and help are how you get there. Winging it with happy thoughts will surely fail. Deadlines and goals can and will change sometimes (that's okay) but if you continue to seek help from people you trust then the process and journey are enjoyable and rewarding. With the new year fast approaching it's time to see if you're willing to apply a method to your gladness. See if you can turn positive wishes into substantial life long change.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Law # 6


Take the onus off of weight, inches and body fat percentages and put the focus on MOVING. From dancing, rock climbing, mountain biking to ping-pong. I love that ping-pong. Think in terms of “can do” instead of “look like”. Sports are fun and help develop balance and coordination--which in turn accelerates your results. Jump, kick, run, spin, throw, skate, shoot, hit, score, compete…PLAY!

Every Sunday I head down to the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica and meet a group of friends for a two and half hour fitness extravaganza. We do a crazy combination of pull-ups, handstands, swinging plyometric dips, 15 and 25 foot rope climbing (hands only and sometimes up-side-down) a myriad of wacky push-ups--we even throw in a back flip or two, and finish with a rendition of AB Ripper X. Anyone that has attended one of the Santa Monica Fitness Camps has seen the fun first hand. It’s extreme with a capital X. I love it, because it kicks my butt. This is NOT a routine I would do alone. The main reason why I show up is to hang with my buds. As hard as the workout is, I believe the reason why we’re all there is for the camaraderie, laughter and encouragement.

We look at Sundays as an opportunity to incorporate sport into our weekly fitness routines. What started out as push-ups, pull-ups and dips, has turned into (thanks to Chuck and Mitch Gaylord) gymnastics for old guys. Sport is the main reason I stay fit. Every other Wednesday night, I meet up with a group to go rock climbing. Every fall, I get together with ski buddies and come up with ways to get our legs ready for the hill. Where do you think the P90X Plyo workout came from? The Leg/Plyo workout in the new Power 90 Master Series was the routine I used to get ready for this year’s ski season.

To me, there is nothing better than the great outdoors. My sports involve cool crisp air, gorgeous views and climbing up or ripping down mountains. When I’m skiing or rock climbing, I’m one with my surroundings. I’m happy as a clam and at peace with the universe. I also try to mix in other sports like inline skating, ping-pong (it’s a sport…sort of) basketball and mountain biking. These are great ways to get into shape. I encourage you to get involved in SOMETHING athletic—anything that would be fun and enjoyable for you. You need to care less about weight loss and more about accomplishment. There are so many different kinds of sports to choose from. Set a goal, take a class, sign up for a race, anything that gives you a reason to focus on “can do” as apposed to “look like”. When you’ve shifted to an athletic mindset you don’t obsess about calories, inches, and weight. You focus more on “can do” numbers like reps, range of motion and amount of resistance. Athletes care about improving their game, not how they look in their climbing gear.

If you can find one thing/sport that you really enjoy, then your day-to-day workouts will be less of a chore and more of a means to an end. Sport will also give you the opportunity to better connect and share with a partner. And whether your single or partnered with someone, it will give you a chance to meet like-minded folk. The people I know who have a regular sports pursuit are consistently fit over time, are rarely depressed and anxious and meet tons of amazing people in the process. (See Fitness Camps) Sport also develops balance and coordination--giving you a more well rounded level of fitness.

For some of you the excuse of time or money, or fear of looking uncoordinated in front of other people will keep you from trying something athletic. There were tens of thousands of Power90 and P90X customers who had those same fears, but they stepped through the door anyway and found a brand new and exciting reason for staying fit and healthy. Remember when you were a kid and you just did stuff? Explore and be curious. Open the door to Sport and you will discover a new and greater level of excitement.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Pain & Suffering

At the age of 47 I'm begging to realize how much my fitness and healthy lifestyle is preventing the pain and suffering that many of my peers are going through. It's freaky and somewhat sad to see a lot of my friends fall apart. I've been watching many of the people in my life slowly age in the traditional way. It's that ache in the back, knees & shoulder talk I hear all of the time. Fit and active kids, teens and young adults are turning into old men and women right before my eyes. Thin friends from high school and collage are now obese. Most of them are resolved to the idea that this is a normal pattern in life. They say it's genetic or bad luck or some other environmental phenomenon. I have heard them say that it's too late to turn nature's events around. It was this way with their parents, so it's inevitable that it will happen to them. They talk like 40 and beyond is the beginning of the end.

I can not tell you how crazy all this is. I've seen hundreds of stories of people in their 30's, 40's, 50s, 60s, 70's and beyond turn nature on it's ass. What happens to our hope and optimism as we get older? Are we letting life beat us down to the point where we think all the fun stops at 30? Is youth left for the young? The answer is NO! Can you turn it around after 40? Hell YES! The first step is believing it can happen. The "This is what happens when you get older." talk has got to stop. It has to be replaced with something, anything that gets you to make better choices every day. Turning an old ground in thought pattern around isn't easy. I've got friends & family I can't seem to help. There needs to be a tipping point (something extraordinary) that shifts the balance. Maybe it's a mentor, book or heart attack. Something that says life can get better through better choices.

You're only good at the things you do often. If you're telling yourself often enough that life after 40 is full of aches, pains and suffering from one aliment or another then it will be true. If you wake up every day committed to do something that demolishes those incorrect negative thoughts then you will create a happy, healthy, youthful life, no matter what age you are.