4 Things I Learned From Going Old School

Phone

This is my cell phone.

I get 9 hours of talk time. Texting is horrible because I have to press a million buttons so I’m more likely to actually call you as reply. Every picture looks like the Blair Witch Project thanks to my 2.6 megapixel camera.If you tried to shoot me and take my Cinnabon, I could use it to deflect the bullet and then call the police to report you for being so rude

The Mysterious Case of The Great Half-Asser

I’m known for my legendary workouts.

Not legendary in the “his work ethic inspire the hopes and dreams of millions around the world” sense, but more like “he has been here for 2 hours and I don’t think I’ve seen him lift anything yet…is he even sweating? What the hell is he doing?!”

I’d walk in with the good intentions of crushing 6 exercises, but then I’d do some arm swings and check Facebook. Do a few chin-ups then scroll through Instagram. Warm up with some light weights before firing off some texts. Before I knew it, my 60 seconds of rest was long gone, stars exploded in a blaze of glory and a new President had been elected.

Since getting rid of my smart phone, the quality of my workouts has improved dramatically. I’m stronger, leaner and my cardio is better than it has been in at least a year, and it all comes down to focus.

For the best results inside the gym and out, a full-ass approach is required. A half-ass approached will yield exactly what you’d expect.

Phone_HalfMeasures

If I’m in the gym, I’m there with a single purpose: to give my best to the training at hand. If I’m diddling around on my phone between rest periods, while seemingly harmless, it IS taking away from my mental sharpness and commitment to my workout.

Does a lion stop to take a quick selfie because #beastmode right before pouncing on a gazelle? Does Lebron text some quick LOLs right before a championship game?

There’s a time and place for everything. Give your phone a time out in the gym for a month and see what happens both. You’re worth it.

From Good to Great Sex

I was in bed with my lady one night and she made an offhand comment that gave me a moment of pause: “you’re always on that thing.”

And when sitting there on the phone, I can’t say that she didn’t have a solid point.

It made me think back to the big moments of our relationship and what made it feel like a bag of magic and vanilla frosting 24/7. When we were together, we were really TOGETHER and not staring into the glowing box of infinite distraction. Looking back, we don’t have many pictures of us or the things we did because we were so in the moment that we didn’t think about trying to capture any of it.

A few years ago I heard Danielle LaPorte speak at a conference and she said something that always stuck with me: our presence and attention is the most important gift we can give to someone.

Girl, you just wait 'til we get home and I give you that good lovin. YOU GON LEARN TODAY!

Girl, you just wait ’til we get home and I give you that good lovin. YOU GON LEARN TODAY!

PREACH.

Good sex is fairly easy to come by. But great sex? That doesn’t happen by accident. One of the key ingredients of that sizzle pie is genuine connection, and there are opportunities for this connection in every moment if we’re open to them.

It’s like those couples you see out at dinner, unblinking eyes pressed up against their phone like they’re getting the most important retina scan of their lives. I bet they’re going to race home and set the bed on fire. I wish my sex life was like theirs…said no one ever.

So there were major improvements in that area, but also every other area where I was interacting with another awesome human being.

The Constant Itch

If I was by myself or I wanted to avoid doing something I’d whip out my phone and see what was happening in the Internet rabbit hole.

If I was out and there was a lull in the action or conversation, I’d browse the Internet as a reprieve from the boredom.

I found it increasingly difficult to keep my attention focused on one thing, from reading a book to writing to seeing a ridiculous thought in this crazy mind of mine through to completion.

In the background of every moment there was the quiet whisper that there was something, important or not, that I was missing out on and if I just reached in my pocket I could pull out this thing that would give me access to all of it, the present moment be damned.

Check the phone, my precious.

Check the phone, my precious.

Am I documenting this for my own benefit once my memory starts to fade, or am I doing it to share it with other people for who the hell knows what reason?

Now without it, I feel more like a sharper, more energized, creative version of myself.

When I’m bored, I can be with that boredom and see what, if anything, comes of it. When I’m talking with someone and the flow drops off, I can see that as an opportunity to resurrect the conversation like a conversation wizard instead of pressing the abort button by taking the easiest escape route – my phone.

I’m a Tool

A good 90% of the time I found my phone in my hand, I don’t even remember consciously reaching for it. It’s like in the horror movies where the terrified home owner burns the demonic doll, only to look up 5 minutes later and find it sitting on their bed, unscathed, eating Cheetos.

That’s when I knew I was screwed. It was no longer something I chose to do, but something that happened because it was a habit that ran on autopilot, with or without my consent.

Y'all got that WIFI?

Y’all got that WIFI?

The smart phone started off as a useful tool, and the problem with tools is never the tool itself, but the user. After becoming reliant on it and using it on a daily basis for so many things, came to the sad conclusion that this thing had a vice grip on me, not the other way around.

It’s like a full-blown crack head saying they’ll just have a little bit of crack, or a sex addict saying they just want to cuddle for a few minutes – it never works.

So I had to cut it off completely by getting a phone that can only do the basics, because if I left any window to my old habits open while trying to form new ones, they would just sneak up on me quicker than Michael Myers in a Prius.

Sound Familiar?

If any of this resonates with you and you want to stop yourself from going down the slippery slope, here are some steps you can take without going full old school.

  • Keep the phone in your locker or gym bag when training.
  • When you’re with others, leave it in the car or put it on silent/airplane mode.
  • Have designated times during the day/week when it’s completely out of your possession, especially when you’re working on a mentally challenging task.
  • Turn off all notifications.

I’m almost 2 months in and doubt I’ll go back anytime soon, if for no other reason than the look of disgust on people’s face when they see this relic, like I just showed them a pair of 100 year old balls, is priceless.

It’s Always Your Fault

ChrisBus

Imagine you’re the passenger on a bus. You pull the cord to let the driver know that your stop is coming up, but instead of slowing down they slam their foot on the gas and veer out of control as they turn to stare at you.

Their hair is disheveled, shirt filled with random stains and the funk of 1,000 years invades your nostrils. Their eyes are bloodshot and the last good tooth they had abandoned ship years ago. For all you know they may not even be wearing pants!

To say they’re methed out of their mind would be the understatement of the century.

And that’s when it finally hits you: wherever you want to go, this bus definitely isn’t getting you there.

Why Victimhood Is Killing Your Gains

Have you ever felt like things were constantly happening to you and that you were just a passenger along for the ride?

It’s exactly like being on that bus, except way worse because it’s actually your life.

I’ve been there, and on any given day I can easily slip into right back into that passenger seat if I’m not careful. Blaming, defending, complaining – these are all tools of the trade.IMG_5119

And I get it. Sinking into that victim mentality and letting it run amuck has a certain seductive appeal to it.

When in that mode, it’s easy to think that you’ve got it all figured out and that if only those other people out there would get their act together, you wouldn’t be in this predicament.

You’d be in much better shape if your co-workers would stop bringing all sorts of treats and delectable fatty foods into the office…

You would have time to hit the gym if people stopped making so many demands on your time…

When dieting for a photoshoot, I felt myself mentally blaming friends I was going out to eat with – how could they order that when they know I’m trying to get mad sexy?

AND WHY ARE THESE FRENCH FRIES SO DELICIOUS? DOESN’T THIS RESTAURANT KNOW THEY’RE MY FAVORITE AND THAT I CAN’T POSSIBLY RESIST?!

On the outside, I played it cool. On the inside, I was whiney and had a pretty bad case of the emo.

It’s tempting to feel like you’re always the one in the right, making it easy to blame everything on something outside of you and keeping the pristine image of yourself intact.

That’s taking the easy, low-effort approach to living life.

Blaming others will never better you. It only ensures that you stay exactly where you are and miss out on the best parts of life

Whenever I find myself playing the victim, I tell myself one thing that never fails to pull me back from the brink of destruction…

It’s Always Your Fault

BreadHead

Are you not exercising as much as you’d like? It’s completely your fault.

Looking like Captain America pre-Super Soldier serum? Certainly your fault.

Do you feel like you can’t create the kind of relationship that you want to be in? It’s definitely your fault.

Are your eating habits spiraling out of control and it’s wrecking havoc on your mental and physical well-being? It’s for sure your fault.

If you’re anything like me, hearing that something is your fault can make a piece of you immediately want to jump on the defensive.

The goal here isn’t to send you down a self-critical rabbit hole of shame and doubt, but to empower you. This is all about self-acceptance with as little judgment as possible.

“It’s your fault” is a helpful mental shortcut capable of sneaking past all your hidden defense systems, leading to the end result of it being your responsibility.

Let’s say I kidnapped you and dropped you in a pile of quicksand (which I have on hand at all times).

It’s not your fault that I was a big ‘ol meanie and snatched you up while you were watching How I Met Your Mother, but if you want to live long enough to see another episode then it’s your responsibility to do something about getting out.

If something involves you, you play a role in the situation and bear the responsibility of bringing about change.

Own it all. The good, the bad, and the fugly.

When you stop looking for things outside of yourself to blame, you’re forced to look inward and search for ways to better yourself.

Instead of all of your resources going towards deflecting and complaining, they’re now funneled towards finding solutions to get you where you want to go.

Only by claiming responsibility can the process of true growth begin.

Be Your Own Hero

Hero

This is your life. Hold yourself accountable to it.

You are responsible for everything in it, from the look of your physique to how you make a living and the quality of your personal interactions.

Others can help you, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. It’s great if they do, but no one else is responsible for making anything happen in your life but you.

No one is coming to save you. Fully embrace this fact.

Stop the momentum dead in its tracks by asking this question: what’s one thing I can do in this moment to help myself?

No matter how small the answer that you come up with is, do that thing and then build off of it relentlessly.

Regardless of your situation, there are dozens of things that you can do today to snatch your power back from the claws of victimhood and actively create the life you want to live.

It’s ok not to be perfect. It’s ok not to have all the answers. It’s ok to say you don’t know but that you’re still looking.

It’s not ok to blame your problems and struggles on others.

Staring right now, you are no longer a victim.

Action and a deep, ever-evolving understanding of self. is the only thing that can and will save you.

Go forth and act boldly, even if it looks like a hot mess until you get the hang of it.

Men: Can Fitness Supercharge Your Sex Life?

3211455675_a7b572135f_z

Image courtesy of Fred Johnson: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fredjohnson

 

Invest in your fitness and your sex life will improve dramatically.

It sounds like the biggest duh moment in the history of humanity, doesn’t it? Of course it will be better: you’re stronger, leaner, have rock hard abs and more stamina. You’ve just achieved the holy grail of sex appeal.

Not necessarily.

While these are nice additions, they’re far from necessary and aren’t close to the actual character traits that – in unison with these features – will drive your woman wild, connecting you two on an entirely new and meaningful level.

And these are traits that you can practice and develop daily, on your own, in less than 45 minutes.

  1. Commitment

With all that we have on our plates, taking care of our physical health is never convenient; there’s always something else that you could be doing. Then again, showing up for our woman fully in the relationship (and in the bedroom) isn’t always convenient, either.”

It would be easy, maybe even understandable, to let our physical health fall by the wayside of other responsibilities, to put in occasional effort here or there and pat ourselves on the back. But this small degree of effort only leads to mediocrity, and deep down inside you know you want more than the meager results it offers, and that she wants much more from you and of you.

What we commit to grows. What we commit to commands our full attention, focus and energy, and the things that we once thought were so important begin to fall lower on our priority list.

Your woman needs your complete commitment to be able to fully open to you. Even if you aren’t consciously aware of it, her Spider-Sense notices when you aren’t providing it, and over time this will serve as a barrier to your intimacy.

Choose a strength training program that’s appropriate for your current fitness level and commit to it fully for the next 12 weeks. From this day forward, like breathing, it is something that you unequivocally do. Create a backup plan for when obstacles get in the way, and then create a backup plan for that backup plan.

During these 12 weeks, it’s less about crushing it and more about flexing your commitment muscles, becoming a man who prioritizes and grows through his commitments.

  1. Connection

To connect fully with her, you must first connect fully with yourself.

The gym, or wherever you are building your body, is the ultimate training ground for self-discovery. It gives you the chance to get out of your own logical head and into your body.

Feel how your body responds as you grind out the last repetition of your set – did you have more in your tank?

Observe that sensation in your gut as your body fatigues mid-workout – does it make you want to dig deep or to call it quits?

The best things in life must be felt, not philosophized.

Would you trust with your goals a personal trainer who had never trained a client or exercised effectively in his life? Or a professed surgeon who only took a quick look at Yahoo Answers before opening up your chest?

Your body is your tool and it is your responsibility to understand it well, as a knight knows his blade. The more in tune you are with all of its inner workings, the more connected you can be to hers.

  1. Presence & Intention

Millions of people around the world watched Michael Jordan play basketball because they knew from the moment that he stepped onto the court that this was not a game.

He wasn’t thinking about what his momma ate for dinner, nor how many thousands of dollars he just made in the last few minutes from Air Jordan sales. Every thought and movement was intensely directed towards a single objective; fully in the moment, he responded intuitively to the ever-changing landscape, wasting not an ounce of movement.

He didn’t come merely to win – he played like he was saving the world (and thus Space Jam was a biopic).

Are you fully in the moment when making love to your woman, able to sense what she needs and giving it to her even before she even knows that she does?

Or are you distracted, thinking about the argument you had with your boss, or mentally drafting your next tweet?

You can either tweet, or you can fuck – pick which one is more important.

When you’re at the gym, you’re at the gym. Leave your phone and any distractions in the car and immerse yourself in your sessions, over time developing the same immersion with your lady.

  1. Passion

When was the last time that you truly ravished your woman? I’m talking lifting her out of the shower, throwing her over your shoulder and lovingly, passionately, bending her over the kitchen counter kind of sex?

Society tames us to a large degree, dulling our edges for the sake of group cohesion, but the bedroom (or backseat), the intimate space for you and your partner, is the last place that you want to be civilized – it’s not in your basic nature to be.

That desire to give all you’ve got to your woman springs from the same part of you that would risk your life to protect her from harm. The woman wants to surrender to you and to the direction you provide – but only she trusts that you can handle it all.

Don’t waltz your way through your gym sessions. Bring intensity to each repetition no matter how tired you are. Don’t worry, it won’t kill you. In fact, through strength training, you are literally overcoming resistance with every push and pull, identifying your weaknesses and bolstering your strengths with decisive action.

Each time you grab the weight, you’re slightly better than you were before.

She wants the passionate, unbridled animal inside of you. The lion that snuggles and is affectionate with his lioness is the same creature that’s capable of fighting tooth and nail anything that would bring harm to her and their cubs.

By approaching your workouts in the manner laid out above, in due time you will develop the ability to give her just that.

Fat Loss & Muscle Building Supplements

Dear fantastic and loyal reader,I get a lot of email about which supplements are great for muscle building and fat loss. In person, once people find out what I do for a living, I get asked even more (so now I tell them I’m a janitor).I’ve got nothing but love for you, so when you read this please hear it from that place of love.

Fuck supplements. Fuck them right in their silly asses.

Imagine that your body is a car, whatever your glorious mind can conjure up (mine is Speed Racer’s Mach 5).

You know the body, wheels, breaks, engine, pedals, doors, windows, ignition, and anything else required for a car to actually run and not suck? In your body, this is represented by your diet and training.

Want to know the role that supplements play in this car? They’re solid gold pair of balls hanging from the license plate – nice to have but unnecessary, costly and ultimately pretty damn useless.

Supplements are meant to do just that – supplement a solid diet and training program. If you don’t have that base established, no supplement in the world can help you.

Returning to the car example, no matter how many pairs of solid gold balls you have, if you don’t have the actual car to attach them to, now you just look like a silly person carrying around a bunch of solid gold balls for no reason.

At the end of the day ALWAYS look at your diet and training. I’ve trained hundreds of clients and from my own experience with them and myself, 99.99999999% of supplements don’t do a thing but give you a false sense of confidence and progress, taking your money and making your bank account cry tears of agony.

Your bank on supplements

Your bank on supplements

99.999999999999999999999% of your results will come from dialing in your diet and training, aligning them with your goals. Then, and only then, will supplements even potentially, possibly, perhaps add something to the mix, but even then it’s extremely negligible.For muscle gain and fat loss, here are the only supplements I’ll ever recommend to the general trainee, but even then these are in addition to a dialed in diet and training program.1) Creatine Monohydrate (nothing else).

2) Caffeine (because with more energy you’ll train harder, but look at your sleep levels first).

3) A quality protein powder IF you need to boost your protein intake/for convenience, but whole foods trump all powder.

4) Sex. Lots of it. Preferably with someone you really love and care about.*

*don’t pay for this supplement – it defeats the purpose.

That’s it. No fat burners, sprays, wraps, herbal mixes, anything with some fancy name or really awesome charts and graphs on its packaging.

Now if you’re tempted to go spend your hard earned money on supplements that promote building muscle and losing fat at any point within the next 5-75 years, please just deposit that money into my bank account instead, because I will go buy a delicious steak, bite the shit out of it, and praise your name as I absorb its glorious flesh into my body.

Want to make sure that you have your training and nutrition base locked in and directed towards your goals? Click here.

StoneColdMeme

 

How To Use Your Gaming Skills For Fitness Success

RogLawSSJYou’re in an enviable position, like Liam Neeson in Taken (AKA The Greatest Film Of All Time). You have a particular set of skills that make you a force to be reckoned with.

You’re a gamer, and it’s time the world hears you roar.

Life is the ultimate role playing game. Sure, there MIGHT not be dragon, and you MIGHT not be able to effortlessly deliver 9,999 points of damage to your enemies (yet), but much like Cloud, Samus, Master Chief and Lara Croft, you’re the hero of your own story.

Everyday that you wake up is a new chance to use the lessons learned from your experiences to create the future that you desire.

Now here’s the kicker: no one can do this for you. No one can tackle the necessary work required to change your world for the better. Frightening? Maybe. Exciting? You can bet your sweet hit points that it is! As a gamer, you innately understand this. Regardless of the game you play, you’re thrust into the role of the hero, shoes that only you can fill.

The princess (or prince – that’s right, ladies!) is in another castle and you’re their only hope.

This subtle mindset shift, from victim to hero, is what allows gamers to excel at anything we set our minds to, with fitness being custom-made for our particularly awesome skill set.

Enjoy The Grind

When it takes longer to level up, and more challenging to accumulate valuable experience points.

When skills become harder to acquire and progress all but grinds to a depressingly screeching halt.

Welcome to The Grind.

Everyone who has done anything worth doing has come face to face with it, but luckily you’re more familiar than anyone else with this part of the game, and it’s high time you use this to your advantage.

Lifting and nutrition is a battle of attrition, wearing down bad habits, uninspired moments and fighting the natural human urge to look for the path of least resistance (hello McDonald’s drive-thru). If there’s anything I can say with absolute confidence after working with hundreds of clients it’s this: there is no magic bullet.

These things take time, and those who are most successful find a way to enjoy this necessary part of the journey.

Grind

It’s like staring down a long corridor with a giant boss glaring at you dubiously from across the room. The hallway has many doorways, all containing something useful, all serving only as a distraction from your main quest.

No matter what you do, the only way forward is to do the work, to defeat the boss.

The latest fad diet.

The newest workout that promises to adorn you with muscle and cut slabs of fat off like thick-sliced bacon in record time.

Hopping from one program or diet to the next in search of the “secret” that will fast-track your results is just another way of trying to circumvent the grind.

This is where dreams go to die.

This is where many people spin their wheels for months or years on end, not moving any closer to their goal than when they started.

But what about gamers? Not a chance! You know the meaning of hard work and sacrifice, viewing the grind as a necessary part of the path towards completing your quest. You know how to keep your goal the goal. Find what works and milk it for all it’s worth before exploring other options.

With this firmly entrenched in your brain, it’s becomes not a matter of if you’ll reach your destination, but when.

Progress, Rewards And The Pursuit Of Awesomeness

Let’s talk about loot, gear, rewards and treasure.

If you think this whole health and fitness thing has to be head down, powering through difficulty after difficulty until the end of time sort of deal, I invite you to consider another perspective.

As someone who once believed such dogma, this couldn’t be further from the truth, and buying into it can actually make it even more challenging to accomplish great deeds.

Games have a fantastic reward system built into them that we can apply to our own pursuit of happiness. Complete a quest, get a new item. Perform a certain task, unlock a new area of the world. All of these are ways of keeping us motivated and moving forward, focusing our eyes on the proverbial prize and feeling great for doing so.

We play games for the enjoyment that they bring, so why not treat our lives the same way?

LevelUp

Nobody said that this had to suck. Identify an area where you’re struggling and build a quest and reward system around it – you can even draw your own avatar if you’re feeling particularly sassy.  If you’re struggling with getting to the gym, set a weekly or monthly goal for the number of sessions you want to make. Each time you go to the gym, give yourself a certain number of experience points and once you have enough to “level up”, reward yourself.

The same goes for nutrition. Do you usually order fries when you go out to dinner, but this week you subbed them out for veggies a few times? BAM – that’s a win.Treat yourself for new personal records, consistency streaks, and pretty much everything that you can.

The key to success is pushing yourself consistently in small doses that make you slightly uncomfortable. As you get more wins beneath your belt, your confidence in your ability to overcome anything that comes your way grows.

Keep this mantra in mind: as you can do better, do better.

Growth and progress happens in small spurts. Of course it would be daunting as a level 1 noob to step into a level 99 dungeon, but it becomes less so after you work your way up to that point. Every once in awhile you’ll have the opportunity to do something very difficult that will level you up in a big bad way – take these chances whenever you can.

Fail Forward

Dying sucks.

For some, seeing the dreaded “Game Over” screen after several hours of work is enough to make you wanna throw yourself on the floor and flop around like a fish that’s having a seizure. But first, calm down, playa.

Dying means you took a risk.

Failing means that you went for it but didn’t quite make the mark, and that’s perfectly fine.

Game Over

The great thing about failing in game, much like real life, is that you always get a second chance – mistakes aren’t permanent. Using the knowledge gained from your setback, you can jump into the fray and try again, stronger and wiser from your defeat.

If you fall off your diet, identify what happened (was it stress related, poor planning, or just one of those days?) and confidently hop back on, knowing that when the scenario presents itself again you’ll be prepared.

Get Your Hack On

Like Neo dodging bullets in The Matrix or learning kung-fu in 5 seconds, a hack is a way of manipulating your environment to serve your needs by looking for opportunities to make any difficult task less challenging and thus easier to comply with, increasing your chances of long term success. If devices like the Game Genie and Game Shark exist for consoles, then why not apply the same principles to get your sexy on and take control of your health?

Neo Dodge

If you’re constantly running into a wall with your diet because of poor food planning one hack would be choosing 2 days a week where you prep the majority of your food for the week so that you eliminate this issue before it becomes a problem. Another even more awesome, albeit it more costly, way would be to hire a company that prepares and delivers your meals right to your doorstep.

Can’t find the time to make it to the gym? Sit down, find out the reasons why and set up a system that removes a particular barrier from the equation. If you’re always sleeping through your alarm, set 5 of them at different intervals. If you forget to take your gym clothes to work, keep a spare pair in the trunk of your car and in a locker at the gym.

Getting a grip on your health and manipulating how you look and feel through sheer force of will and your own efforts is about as life changing and magical as you can get without a wizard’s wand or gryffin.

You only live once, and when your world is in peril, failure isn’t an option. Suit up and get ready for battle, hero.

Flotation Tank: A Quick & Easy Way To Beat Stress

JREI first heard about the flotation tank (also known as the isolation or sensory deprivation tank) from being a regular listener of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. As someone looking for ways to better manage stress both from life and the gym, and is always looking for new experiences, I decided to give it a try.

Little known fact: I’m afraid of water AND the dark AND am unreasonably worried about accidentally drowning in the bath tub or a small rain puddle, so I was extremely hesitant about this experience – to this day I haven’t successfully floated in any other body of water.

Thankfully the staff was knowledgeable and friendly enough to answer my questions, one of which was if I would be the first person in the history of the world to go bye bye in the tank, and if so could they make up a way cooler, heroic story to tell my mom, preferably one where I died saving a bus filled with orphaned puppies from a deranged serial killer.

I was shown to the tank and given the preliminaries – session length, what to do in case I panicked or needed help, putting wax inside my ears to prevent water from getting in, etc. Once I was left on my own, I did the only thing that made sense: get nekkid.

Stick with me here. I’m not being creepy.

You can enter the tank in a bathing suit or swimming trunks, but the main benefit is the sensation of nothingness, so if you do that then the feeling of material pressing against or clinging to your skin might take away from the flotation experience, so butt nekkid is the way to go, people.

From there I opened the hatch, descending into darkness, closing the door behind me.

And then there was nothing.

flotation-tank

As a 6 foot tall gentleman of considerable thickness, the inside was spacious enough to allow me to move my body around the tank without feeling too constricted. It did however take awhile for me to stop tensing my body up, preparing for inevitable moment when science failed me and I started to sink. Then came the business of finding the most comfortable resting position: do I go beachside hands-behind-my-head style, or do I cross my arms like I’m a vampire in a coffin waiting for sunset?

My first time was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. No sensation of feeling anything against my skin, no sound and no light; the closest thing that I can liken it to would be meditating while floating on your back through outer space if suddenly all the lights in the universe turned off.

With this physical stimulus gone, the only thing that remained was mental chatter, and there was a ton of it. I thought about what I was going to eat for dinner, if I accidentally forgot to lock my apartment door, if there was anyway that I could become a taste tester for Cinnabon, and if there were any creepy infrared cameras spying on my less-than-presentable dangler.

For the first 10 to 15 minutes, it felt like I was sitting in a room filled with a bunch of people who were having 20 different conversations at the same time and all I wanted to do was tell them to shut their silly faces.

I breathed into my stomach and out my nose at a slow and controlled pace. Once I did, the thoughts started to subside as I focused less on them and more on my breath. After a few minutes of this, I began to experience the most relaxed sense of prolonged peace that I can ever recall having.

Time felt like it was slowing down and speeding up simultaneously; the more relaxed I was, sinking into the experience and letting go of any expectations that I had, the faster time seemed to go. I watched thoughts flow in and out of my head. If one came in that I was particularly interesting to me, I held on to it for a bit and once it was no longer useful to do so I let it go, sending it on it’s merry way.

After what seemed like just a few minutes in this state, I was stirred by a knock on the tank door – my hour was up.

The rest of my day was extremely relaxed. Situations that would’ve annoyed the hell out of me just rolled off my back, and this feeling of “ahhhhhhhhhhh” carried well into the rest of my week.

Each experience is profoundly different. Some sessions I used to surrender and let go of as many thoughts as possible, and others I used as uninterrupted problem solving time for any particular issue I was having.

Even if you just do it once a month, you can’t put a price on an hour of uninterrupted solitude – no voices, no text alerts, no email swooshes or people looking for you to do something for them.

Since making it a regular part of my life, I can’t speak highly enough of this experience. If you’re the type of person who is easily overwhelmed, is filled with anxiety or can’t seem to pull yourself out of “GO GO GO!” mode, you owe yourself to give this a try.

Float Questions

What are the benefits?

To name a few:

  • Quick reduction in stress levels
  • Decrease in stress related pains & anxiety
  • Can help with depression
  • Better sleep
  • Enhanced creativity via shift in brainwave activity
  • Make your skin feel like magic

Where can I find a flotation tank?

There are hundreds of locations worldwide. Here are a few sites you can use to find one in your area.

http://www.floatation.com/wheretofloat.html

http://www.where-to-float.com/

http://floatationlocations.com/where-to-float/

Will I drown?

Nope. Thanks to 800+ lbs of Epsom salt in about 9 inches of water, it’s impossible to drown due to the density of water. The only way I can think of is if you fall asleep and mysteriously flop over onto your stomach…so don’t do that.

Will I run out of air?

Nay. Fresh air is constantly being circulated through the tank. If you feel claustrophobic, you can always get out at any time.

Rog, you got naked. Is it clean in there, or do you now have Ebola?

Quiet, you! You’re required to shower before entering the tank, and the tank is cleaned after each session through a variety of methods to ensure that those nasty microbes don’t live to see the light of day.

How long should I float?

A typical session lasts anywhere from 40 to 90 minutes. You choose the length, and can get out when needed.

Any last words of advice?

Avoid caffeine or other stimulants a few hours before you float, otherwise it can impact your ability to relax. Make sure that you don’t have any open cuts, because this salt is not a game and you will pay dearly for it.

Also, if your eye itches, DO NOT SCRATCH IT!

Audio Lovin

Photo by: Spiros Politis

I’ve done a slew of podcasts over the last few months, so instead of the normal weekly writing I wanted to give your eyes a break and make sweet, sweet audio lovin to your ears.

Full Disclosure Fitness

http://fulldisclosurefitness.com/fdf-episode-061-rog-law-of-rog-law-fitness/

The FitCast

Part 1: http://thefitcast.com/episode-304-roglaws-rules-of-fit-living-part-i

Part 2: http://thefitcast.com/episode-305-roglaws-rules-of-fit-living-part-ii

Fit Smart

This is the podcast that I record with my partner in crime JC Deen.

Our internet home: http://fitsmartcrew.com/

iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-fitsmart-podcast/id506717061?mt=2

Muscle For Life

http://www.muscleforlife.com/rog-law-fitness-interview/

The Damian Brown Show

http://www.damianbrown.com/podcast-episode-1-lifes-too-short-not-to-be-awesome

The Kryptonite Report

http://www.kryptonitereport.com/episode-23-with-rog-law-sexification/

The Joe Rogan Experience

The episode in all its glory.

Training Music Bonus

I’ve been known to go to the gym every now and then, and when I do I like to make sure that my ears are thoroughly assaulted by the finest of tunes. Here’s my personal playlist that gets me through my sessions.

The Art of War

Please know that if Beyonce pops up in the middle of a heavy set of squats and you crumble to the ground, questioning everything that you know and love about me, I regret nothing.

Man Wastes Life So You Don’t Have To

I don’t know about you, but I’m very familiar with the occassional sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that tells me I don’t have any idea what the hell is going on and that I’m just a series of unfortunate events away from going broke and being forced to breed Alpacas while moonlighting as a carny to make ends meet…or at the very least that I’m spending too much time assing around and not doing the things that make feel alive.

Adorable, but ain't nobody got time for that.

Adorable, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

Maybe you haven’t descended into the depths of Alpaca farming that I have, but I’m sure you can relate.

Most of us more or less wrangle this feeling at some point and start to navigate our lives in the direction that we want to go in, making the necessary adjustments along the way. But then there are those that don’t, who let the momentum of the life that they’re living carry them away without any resistance, despite their inner voice telling them to keep fighting the good fighting.

Below is one of those stories via Reddit user JohnJerryson.

A Cautionary Tale

Hi, I my name’s John. I’ve been lurking for a while, but I’ve finally made an account to post this. I need to get my life off my chest. About me. I’m a 46 year old banker and I have been living my whole life the opposite of how I wanted.

All my dreams, my passion, gone. In a steady 9-7 job. 6 days a week. For 26 years. I repeatedly chose the safe path for everything, which eventually changed who I was.

Today I found out my wife has been cheating on me for the last 10 years. My son feels nothing for me. I realised I missed my father’s funeral FOR NOTHING. I didn’t complete my novel, travelling the world, helping the homeless. All these things I thought I knew to be a certainty about myself when i was in my late teens and early twenties. If my younger self had met me today, I would have punched myself in the face. I’ll get to how those dreams were crushed soon.

Let’s start with a description of me when I was 20. It seemed only yesterday when I was sure I was going to change the world. People loved me, and I loved people. I was innovative, creative, spontaneous, risk-taking and great with people. I had two dreams. The first, was writing a utopic/dystopic book.

The second, was travelling the world and helping the poor and homeless. I had been dating my wife for four years by then. Young love. She loved my spontaneity, my energy, my ability to make people laugh and feel loved.

I knew my book was going to change the world. I would show the perspective of the ‘bad’ and the ‘twisted’, showing my viewers that everybody thinks differently, that people never think what the do is wrong. I was 70 pages through when i was 20. I am still 70 pages in, at 46.

By 20, I had backpacking around New Zealand and the Phillipines. I planned to do all of Asia, then Europe, then America (I live in Australia by the way). To date, I have only been to New Zealand and the Phillipines.

Now, we get to where it all went wrong. My biggest regrets. I was 20. I was the only child. I needed to be stable. I needed to take that graduate job, which would dictate my whole life.

To devote my entire life in a 9-7 job. What was I thinking? How could I live, when the job was my life? After coming home, I would eat dinner, prepare my work for the following day, and sleep at 10pm, to wake up at 6am the following day. God, I can’t remember the last time I’ve made love to my wife.

Yesterday, my wife admitted to cheating on me for the last 10 years. 10 years. That seems like a long time, but i can’t comprehend it. It doesn’t even hurt. She says it’s because I’ve changed. I’m not the person I was. What have I been doing in the last 10 years? Outside of work, I really can’t say anything. Not being a proper husband. Not being ME.

Who am I? What happened to me? I didn’t even ask for a divorce, or yell at her, or cry. I felt NOTHING. Now I can feel a tear as I write this. But not because my wife has been cheating on me, but because I am now realising I have been dying inside.

What happened to that fun-loving, risk-taking, energetic person that was me, hungering to change the world? I remember being asked on a date by the most popular girl in the school, but declining her for my now-wife. God, I was really popular with the girls in high school. In university/college too. But i stayed loyal. I didn’t explore. I studied everyday.

Remember all that backpacking and book-writing I told you about? That was all in the first few years of college. I worked part-time and splurged all that I had earned. Now, I save every penny. I don’t remember a time I spend anything on anything fun. On anything for myself. What do I even want now?

My father passed ten years ago. I remember getting calls from mom, telling me he was getting sicker and sicker. I was getting busier and busier, on the verge of a big promotion. I kept putting my visit off, hoping in my mind he would hold on. He died, and I got my promotion. I haven’t seen him in 15 years.

When he died, I told myself it didn’t matter what I didn’t see him. Being an atheist, I rationalized that being dead, it wouldn’t matter anyway. WHAT WAS I THINKING? Rationalizing everything, making excuses to put things off. Excuses. Procrastination. It all leads to one thing, nothing. I rationalized that financial security was the most important thing.

I now know, that it definitely is not. I regret doing nothing with my energy, when I had it. My passions. My youth. I regret letting my job take over my life. I regret being an awful husband, a money-making machine.

I regret not finishing my novel, not travelling the world. Not being emotionally there for my son. Being a damn emotionless wallet.

If you’re reading this, and you have a whole life ahead of you, please. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t leave your dreams for later. Relish in your energy, your passions. Don’t stay on the internet with all your spare time (unless your passion needs it).

Please, do something with your life while your young. DO NOT settle down at 20. DO NOT forget your friends, your family. Yourself. Do NOT waste your life. Your ambitions. Like I did mine. Do not be like me.

Courtesy of Colin Wright

Courtesy of Colin Wright

This is your life and no one else is responsible for what you do with it. If there’s something that you want to do but have been putting off for any number of reasons, make some progress towards it, no matter how small,  NOW.

Join a gym, send that e-mail you’ve been talking about doing, take an exercise class, buy a recipe book and cook a meal even if it ends up tasting like a toxic shoe. Do anything you can to throw a wrench in the mechanical cog of momentum.

If you don’t, no one else will.

How To Take Charge Of Your Motivation

Photo By Lee Scott

From world leaders to authors and movie stars, we all have these moments of blah. Motivation can be a fickle and elusive force, leaving us wondering if we really want the things that we set out to achieve.

One moment you’re on top of the world, moving towards your goals, cutting through tasks with ninja-like speed and accuracy, and then the next you’re derailed, unmotivated and left wondering how it all fell apart so quickly.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. You have the necessary tools to harness this seemingly magical force, using it to your advantage whenever the situation demands, and it all starts with reconnecting with the ball of awesome that is you.

What’s Your Story?

Photo credit: Myung Jung Kim/PA Wire

Bruce Wayne became Batman after the death of his parents.

Peter Parker became Spiderman after that whole radioactive spider biting him thing went down.

Bruce Lee’s training and philosophy changed dramatically due to the outcome of a fight he had with a rival martial artist.

On a less heroic note, we both come from vastly different backgrounds. JC was an athlete growing up and was introduced to strength training early on. Rog, on the other hand, grew up a gamer and didn’t pick up a barbell until he was in his 20s.

We’re all a bundle of unique stories. Use it to your advantage.

Psychologically they’re an amazing tool for creating lasting change because you have a pool of experiences to draw from – everything up until this very moment is at your disposal. It represents the switch, that moment when your life begins to shift in a fundamental way away from both where you came from and where you are towards where you want to be.

This is just the beginning, however. The real ingredient behind getting your motivational engine started and keeping it running amidst the occasional stats and stops is connecting your story to a powerful why.

Unabashedly Choose Your Goal

CYOA

Want to find a simple, no-fuss way to manage your diet and training yet well-meaning people keep piling complication upon complication on you?

What if you just want to look great naked yet are constantly talked into trying methods that aren’t bringing you any closer to inspiring shock and awe when you jumped out of that birthday cake in your birthday suit?

Your goal is yours and yours alone – don’t let anyone hijack it.

It doesn’t have to appeal to the sensibilities of anyone else but yourself. In the end you’re going to be the one making the necessary sacrifices and doing the work needed to get there, so making sure that you’re physically and emotionally invested first is key

Write It Down

Pencil

Scribble it on a napkin, put it in a word document or carve it into a tree if you’re feeling a bit old school. The mission here is to write it down, getting it out of your head and bringing it into the real world.

When you own your goal like this, you set the stage of success in two important ways.

First, it forces you to make a decision. By putting pen to pad (or fingers to keyboard), you’ve said in a tangible way that this is what you want. Doing this not only makes your goal more real, but it also serves as a beacon, directing your internal GPS towards Awesomeville. You can’t hit what you can’t see.

You don’t need to know exactly how you’ll get there yet. Right now this is enough to get you going.

Secondly, it narrows your vision. Choices become a lot easier to make. What you do either leads you closer towards your goal or it doesn’t. By knowing what to say yes to, you also identify what you need to say no to as well.

Instead of getting distracted and led astray by every shiny thing along the way, you’re able to stay focused on the things that will bring you the most value and results for your time invested. In the great words of the sage and philosopher Mr. T, you cut out all the unnecessary jibba-jabba.

Pass The “Vanilla Ice” Test

Ice

In the mid 90s, rapper Vanilla Ice was allegedly held upside down over a balcony by a record executive who threatened to drop him unless he came up with a few million dollars. True or not, this actually has a lot to do finding your own motivation.

And if you don’t know who Vanilla Ice is, I’m not sure if I feel sad for your soul, or jealous that I’ll never again be as pure and innocent as you are right now.

When it comes to our goals, we often have what’s considered a base reason. We want to get in shape, be strong, lose some weight, feel good, be healthy or a host of other generic answers.

Many times our analysis of what we want goes no further than this, and because of it we set our chances of success incredibly low right from the start.

Put yourself in Ice’s shoes. Imagine someone holding you over a balcony ready to drop unless you told them why you want to achieve your goals, do you think you’d give them some of the baseline answers from above?

If so think again, because it’s a long way down.

Friedrich Nietzsche said that he who has a strong enough why can bear any how. This is critical as you’ll undoubtedly encounter resistance and setbacks along the way to achieving anything worthwhile. If your why isn’t built on a solid foundation of personal meaning on an emotional level, it becomes far easier to abandon your goal whenever difficulties arise.

Your why will serve as the kindle for your fire during times of doubt.

Do you want to feel more confident & comfortable in your own skin?

Do you want to be able to play with your children as much as their little hearts desire?

Do you want to stay healthy so as not to end up like a loved one who died far too soon due to not taking care of themselves?

Do you want to feel more attractive to and have more sex with your partner?

We can’t answer this question for you – it’s up to you to fill in the blank. As long as your reasons are true to yourself and get you absolutely excited about pursuing your goal, resonating with something deep inside of yourself, you’ve passed the test.

Action Precedes Motivation

We’re going to touch more on this in the habit module, but wanted to leave you with this idea. When was the last time you felt motivated?

When was the last time you had that aha moment or spark to get going only to have it fade away within a day or two. It feels extremely easy to act when we are motivated, but it’s fairly difficult to act when we’re not.

So how do we combat this? It’s worth stating that you’re never going to be completely moitvated all the time. If you are, we’d like some of your secret sauce. The main thing that separates those who could stuff done, and those who don’t are the ones who don’t rely on motivation to act.

So, even if you don’t feel like doing something, it’s better to act out of knowing what you want your outcome to look like, rather than waiting for more motivation.

Use Past Mistakes To Fuel Future Success

If this is your first foray into pursuing a fitness or health goal, we envy you – you’re about to learn a ton about yourself in the process.

If you’ve been around the block a few times and still haven’t achieved what you’re looking for, chances are you’ve encountered the same personal road blocks over and over again.

Instead of viewing mistakes as failures that offer you nothing, change your perspective and see them for what they are – ways that simply didn’t work. By knowing what don’t work, it frees you up to learn from them and focus on finding ways that do.

You can also reach out to people who’ve accomplished what you’re looking to do and ask them what pitfalls they encountered along the way. It may seem intimidating at first, but odds are they’ll be more than willing to help someone who is in a position they were themselves once in.

When you’re in uncharted goal territory, it helps to have a partial road map pieced together from both your personal experiences and those of others who’ve been successful.

As you get better at bouncing back better and wiser from your setbacks, jumping into the fray once again, the process becomes more enjoyable. Refine your course as necessary and let the process itself, not the reward you seek, become its own reward.

With this mindset firmly in place, it’s not a matter of if you’ll reach your goal, but when.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

The Great Comparison Hoax

Comparison

Death by a thousand cuts.

Luckily I don’t mean a literal death, since that’s the least anabolic activity of all time and would surely negatively impact your gains. The death I’m speaking of is more sinister, capable of covering your otherwise great life with a general malaise that seems unshakable.

Most of us know objectively that to compare ourselves to others is an exercise in futility. We’re emotional creatures, and logic and rational thinking get drop kicked right out of the window when it comes to our wants and desires.

When it comes to how we look, how strong we are, how fast we’re progressing and everything in between, our emotions can push our rational minds out of the driver’s seat, take the wheel, and drive us straight towards Crazyville.

Like sticking a fork into an electrical socket, or taking a 3 hour nap while you’re cooking a steak in an oven (I’m not alone in the last one…right?), comparing ourselves to others is more often than not a horrible idea that no good can come from.

Much like a moth drawn to the flame, we just can’t help ourselves. None of us are truly immune to it.

Our Behind-The-Scenes VS Their Highlight Reel

Grass

We’re with ourselves 24/7, and as a result we know more about us than any outside observer would; our motivations, goals and hot button issues. When we go into comparison mode, our brain wrangles up those demons and throws them right back into our faces, completely unfiltered.

The problem is that we aren’t comparing our demons to someone else’s – we’re pitting them against only what we can see on the surface, and given that people typically put their best foot forward in the public, this is rarely an accurate portrait of the situation.

Imagine yourself doing all that you can to get results in the gym. You’re logging your workouts, keeping track of your calories and nutrients, making time to prepare your meals when you would love nothing more than to ease up on the reigns just a little bit.

Then one day you see someone working out there with a physique that you would sell your first born child for, casually strolling through their session. And here’s what kicks you right in the junk: they’re eating a candy bar post workout.

All of a sudden, your inner comparison beast busts loose.

Why do they look like that and I don’t? They clearly don’t work as hard as I do. I train hard ERRYday. #BeastMode #NoDaysOff #AnotherRidiculousHashtagHere.

 I take my nutrition way more seriously and here they are eating a candy bar, looking like they just walked off the set of a photo shoot.

But you don’t know the full story. You don’t know what they sacrificed to get there, or anything about them. All you have to go off is this brief snapshot in time, and it’s easy for the comparing mind to take that and create a vivid picture that’s far from reality.

Getting caught in this trap can cause you to do things you otherwise wouldn’t do. I’m talking constant program hopping, ridiculous diets, setting unrealistic time frames for yourself, and setting out on a never-ending quest searching for “the secret”.

Our worst vs their best. Our inside vs their outside. It’s always a losing battle.

Welcome To The Black Hole Of Suck

this-is-going-to-suck

The appetite of a black hole is insatiable, feeding off of everything around it. When it comes to comparisons, this is the exact scenario that we find ourselves in – and it will drain your life dry if you let it.

In this mode, nothing is ever enough. You constantly feel inferior.

You’re never strong, because someone else is stronger.

You never feel truly feel comfortable in your skin, because someone is always leaner, has bigger biceps or more ab definition.

You aren’t making progress fast enough, because someone is always achieving more in a shorter amount of time.

Comparison feeds off of these types of thoughts., and it never ends.

I once dated a woman whose ex boyfriend was a UFC fighter. After a quick Google search to find out who he was, I went from being completely happy with my development and progress to feeling like Captain America pre-Soldier Serum.

Here I am, a guy who works out 3x a week, loves to eat ice cream by the pint, enjoys a good marathon video game session and more often than not falls asleep to a YouTube video because I stayed up way too late clicking my way through the internet rabbit hole, comparing myself to an Olympic champion with ungodly genetics who trains more hours in a week than I do in a single month and makes a living training to punch a hole through the soul of other elite athletes in front of thousands of people.

If I were looking for a recipe to help make myself feel like hot diggity dog shit, I hit the nail right on the head.

By constantly sucking in all of this outside stimuli without any filter, letting it bombard our inner world, all we do is diminish our own accomplishments, taking the wind out of our sails for no good reason.

The Only Way To Slay The Comparison Beast

Conan_swing_sword

To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

The act of comparing may never really go away, but you can turn the tide in your favor.

When you notice in the moment that you’re falling victim to this mindset, stop immediately before the thoughts build any momentum.

Take a deep breath and relax. By doing this, you go from being reactionary to proactive, creating space to decide what you’re going to do next with the information you have.

This may sound woo woo as all hell, but give it a try. Your breath (that thing that keeps you alive) is intimately connected to controlling how you feel in any given moment.

Is your training partner progressing faster than you? Great – there’s something that you can learn from them. Maybe you won’t have the same results as them for a host of reasons, but if nothing else it shows you a vision of what is possible, and you can bring that energy and excitement to your workouts.

There will always be someone better than you out there, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. All that you can focus on and truly control is the effort that you bring to the task.

You’re the only person that you need to compare yourself to, and only to check-in and make sure that you’re improving at a rate that’s acceptable for you and your goals.

When this is the focus, what others are doing becomes irrelevant.

Let me be clear. I’m not saying that you can’t look at what others are doing and using that as fuel to push yourself forward.

Sometimes seeing others making progress towards their goals can be a healthy gut check for you, allowing you to reconnect and give yourself an honest assessment as to if you’re playing it safe or if you have more to give.

For others it does more harm than good. It’s like fire: you can use it to warm up your house or burn it to the ground. The devil is in the details, and it will take time to learn when to push forward and when to be kinder to yourself and pull back a bit.

Instead letting the accomplishments of others feel like a slight towards you, use them to build yourself up. Choose to be inspired by what others are doing, no longer making yourself the victim of outside forces, and tap into a constantly renewable source of motivation and energy – yourself.