About 3 years ago after completing a leg day workout and sipping on my protein shake, I started to look around the gym as I cooled down. I saw members finishing up their BodyPump class, some getting after it on the treadmills, others taking selfies of themselves in the mirror and I thought to myself how awesome it was that we have access to all this.
How great it was to be able to relieve stress, to be able to exercise with family and friends, to be able to better yourself physically, mentally. Then I thought about all those that don't have that ability to go to a gym (pre-pandemic).
Whether it may be because of location, finances, family commitments, or other reasons. In that moment I thought about how easily I was able to access the gym at any time, any day of the week and get my workout in. I thought about how much I love doing so. There are those that really do want to workout, they want to leave the excuses behind, but can't.
Today working out takes on many different forms, it doesn't just have to be in the gym. That was part of the premise behind the birth of Vanbar. It was too ensure that everyone, no matter where they are and no matter their circumstance had some access to working out or coaching.
Help me in reaching those that don't have that access, that want to better themselves. That want to be greater versions of themselves. Help me in spreading the message. Help me to let them know they aren't alone. They have help. They have their coach.
If you know of anyone, if that may be you yourself, let me know. Email me at email@example.com and reply simply with 'I'm Ready!'. I look forward to speaking with you.
Follow me on Facebook at Vanbar Fitness and on Instagram @vanbarfitness. Let's spread the word.
With everything that has been going on, are you finding it hard to stay positive? Hopeful?
Here are some strategies that you can use right now to help you stay positive.
Check it out below in this audio message.
Are you stuck in a rut with your workouts from home? Sometimes a change in scenery or slight changes can make all the difference.
Here are some things you can try:
-Go for a walk/run
-Gardening or cutting the grass (if you're into those hobbies)
-Try adding in family members into your workout (create a little challenge).
-Workout with family/friends over video call and challenge each other.
These can make all the difference keeping motivation going for your workouts. Give it a try!
What do the soul and body have to do with each other? A lot.
First what is our soul? We can easily identify what our body is. It's our physical self. It's our muscles, our limbs, our bones. Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. Our soul is our character, our feelings, our intellect. And the two have so much in common.
Let's take working out for example. When we are nearing the end of a tough workout, our body is fatigued, gassed, and ready to give up. Ready to stop. However our body may still have something left in the tank. That is where our soul comes in. Our mind can communicate to our body to push through those last few reps or to hold that sprint for just another 10 seconds, to push through and finish our workout.
It is in moments such as those where our soul and body work in harmony. If there is a major disconnect between the two, then we are leaving a lot of stones unturned. There are workouts that aren't completed, or never started. There are tasks that don't get done. There are projects we are supposed to complete today that we tell ourselves can wait until tomorrow.
We must train our soul to to be strong and diligent. How?
Through prayer, through meditation, through reflection. Through deciding to make a choice that today is going to be better than yesterday. That today you will be greater than you were yesterday.
Have you ever worked so hard and so much to reach a workout goal? Or to reach an ideal weight or figure to match someone you've seen on TV?
It's alright if you have. Be honest with yourself.
Don't get me wrong, it's okay to have a workout goal, and to work diligently to get there. What is wrong is trying to be something or someone you're not. It becomes a problem when your entire workout program is built on you trying to be like someone else.
It's a trap. Don't fall for it.
For those that have achieved that "goal", when you have sculpted yourself to look like that person on TV, how did it feel?
Was there something still missing? Did you still feel a sense of emptiness?
Theres' a reason for that. You are more than just a body. You are more than just a physical specimen.
Whether you want to believe it or not, you are also a spiritual being.
Again, nothing wrong with wanting to look a certain way. However, don't base that off of someone else. Achieve it for you. That way when you do reach your goal, you don't feel incomplete.
Working out is for more than just the physical aspect. Your fitness is tied to your inner self, your spirit. When you feed your spirit and body at the same time, reaching that goal seems much more meaningful. You become more effective in reaching that goal. You feel that much better because you're making a greater and lasting impact on the inside and outside.
Don't workout for vain pursuits. It doesn't lead to anything worthwhile. In fact, it may leave you worse off.
Workout for a purpose that is defined by you, not anyone else.
With everything going on, your body may be feeling drained. Over the last few weeks we have been talking about keeping up with a regular workout routine and not letting anything stop you. You also know that I am an advocate for balance and not overdoing it.
Enter exercise fatigue.
Yes, there is a such thing. There are times when our body, and our mind, just won’t allow us to perform a workout to the level we would like it to. It happens. We experience exercise fatigue when we are in a state of mental and physical depletion.
Know the signs. If you have been consistent in your workout routine, but one or two days of your workout all of a sudden become sluggish, you’re experiencing exercise fatigue.
If you try to lift a certain amount of weight that you’re accustomed to, but no matter how hard you push yourself, you just can’t achieve it, you’re experiencing exercise fatigue.
When you feel like you’re going through the motions, and your mind just isn’t feeling the workout…you guessed it, you’re experiencing exercise fatigue.
And I want you to know that exercise fatigue is completely normal. It happens. At some point or another we just haven’t felt like ourselves in at least a workout or two.
How do we overcome it?
Just listen to your body. As important as exercising is, those recovery or rest days are as important. When we’re fatigued, we need to just completely take a step back from exercising. We may need a day or two. Maybe even three. The key point is that we do more harm than good to ourselves if we try to workout when we are exercise fatigued.
If our nervous system isn’t up for the tasking demand of the workout, putting undue added stress onto our body can increase our risk for injury.
Life stressors can drain us mentally and affect us physically, leading to that exercise fatigue. Lack of sleep will contribute to that as well.
If you need to recharge, do so. We become stronger at times in our moments of rest. So when your body (and mind) tells you that you need to rest, listen to it. You’ll be thankful that you did.
We're all unique individuals with differing opinions, but one thing I think we can all agree on is that quarantine life sucks! For me, not being able to see family or friends in person is probably the most draining aspect of it all.
But there has been some good to come out of it, and that's time to reset and refresh. If you haven't looked at it that way or haven't had a chance to breath, I urge you to do so. Take a second and pause, and relax.
Did you do so? Great!
Now, one productive thing we can do with this time is set goals. Evaluate goals that you made and see if you need to tweak them or if you're on the right track. Establish new goals. Think of things you never thought you could accomplish and set a goal for it no matter how insurmountable it may appear to be. You never know unless you try!
When we set a goal then reach it, it’s a great feeling. You feel good inside, maybe even pat yourself on the back for a job well done. On the flip side, when we set a goal and don’t reach it, the feeling isn’t so good. We all have different ways of how we deal with a failed goal. Some of us brush it off and set another goal, while a failed goal for some may result in resisting to pursue another.
Here are two things I want you to understand as you set those goals:
For the ones you accomplish, great! For the ones you don’t, so what? Move on to the next one. It’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t matter in what arena you set a goal in, be it fitness, professional, or some form of personal goal, your duty is to give it your best effort. As long as you do that, whatever the outcome may be, just live with it. It is what it is. No use in harping over the failures. Learn from what happened and move on.
Sometimes with our goals, we set them to be out of reach, unrealistic, or unattainable, and set ourselves up for failure.
Whatever your goal is, whether it is small or large, develop a plan of action. You may have heard of the acronym SMART coined by Peter Drucker. It stands for:
Specific - simple, sensible
Measurable - indicator of progress, motivating
Achievable - attainable
Realistic - state what results can be achieved, given available resources
Time-related - specify when the result, or results, can be achieved
This is a great way to break down your goals, and ensure that you are setting yourself up for success.
Let’s learn from our mistakes, and limit our failures. Make sure we put ourselves in the best position to accomplish as much as we can. Let’s begin to raise the bar.
What's the best time to workout?
In one of our previous posts we discussed that the best time to workout is whatever time is best for you.
Now with having to be confided to the comforts of our home for the time being and not being able to go to the gym (if you do workout at the gym), your routine is probably all out of wack.
So what do we do about this?
By now you've switched to home workouts to keep yourself going. I suggest doing your workouts as early in the day as possible if you can.
Doing your workouts earlier in the day will release endorphins and give you more energy as you go throughout the rest of your day.
Your workout will be done and out the way so you don't have to think about squeezing it in later in the day. If unexpected tasks or distractions come up during the day, you don't have sacrifice your workout. It'll already be done!
This may be a challenge at first if you're not used to it, but our bodies are good at adapting. We're creatures of habit. By establishing a pattern, after a few weeks it'll become a habit.
Give it a try, and comment on the impact it has on you!
I want to go back and revisit a post from two years ago about consistency. Especially in these times, I think it's an important topic. We can all agree that when it comes to getting something down pat, to make something a habit, it's about consistency.
It's the Consistency Factor. And when we create a pattern, a pattern that is for our good, it'll take a whole lot to break us out of that pattern.
If you've always wanted to get into a workout routine, but felt that you didn't have the time, now is as good a time as ever to begin your pattern of working out.
Some tips on getting started: take it easy and keep it simple.
Don't try to workout every day of the week and jump to 1 hour workouts.
Start with 2 or 3 days and for 20-30 minutes for those days. All you're trying to do right now is to build a pattern, make it a habit.
Go for a walk a few days out of the week. It's a nice simple workout if you are just getting started with your workout journey.
For my intermediate and advanced readers, you can use some of the objects that are right in your home.
Place a chair behind you to do sets of squats. Walk up and down your stairs about 3 times. You'll be surprised how quick you feel the burn.
Working out can still happen. It's all about if you want to make it happen. And if you do, there is no magic pill, no drawn out secret, it's just a matter of consistency.
I wanted to go into some more depth about home workouts and how to structure them. If you're used to using equipment and all of a sudden don't have access to that equipment, it could be quite the adjustment.
However if you follow a simple guideline of how to structure your workouts, you'll still be able to keep going without missing a beat. These guidelines are the same as you would structure a workout that you'd do in the gym.
1) Warm-up (3-5 minutes)
2) Workout (10-30 minutes)
3) Cool-down (3-5 minutes)
And if you are confined to your home, make sure to take frequent movement breaks throughout the day. Walk around the house and get away from any screens for a few minutes. Step outside and take a breath of fresh air. These simple steps will help with your physical health and mental health.
Those short breaks throughout the day, those quick resets, will do wonders for your energy level throughout the day.
Try it out and let me know how it works!
Your fitness guide, your motivation, your inspiration!