A message to anybody suffering. I actually feel we all are to be honest, on different levels, different capacities, at different times, for different reasons. And so, a message to anybody. Everybody.
Dietary issues. Body image. Toxic partner’s. Toxic parent’s. Toxic peer’s. Finance. Grieving. Stress. Anxiety. Loneliness. Home-schooling. Homeworking.
This is a very tough and challenging time. And so, it’s absolutely OK if all you do is keep going. It’s absolutely OK to do far less when we have so much more to cope with, and overcome. We must take a more subtle, empathetic approach to regular, everyday issues, that in the past we previously may have felt guilt or disappointment towards. These set of circumstances are still alien to us. Yes we’ve been in Lockdown before, but we haven’t been in a third Lockdown in 12 months before – different circumstances require a different approach.
Checking in on those closest to us is important. Checking in on ourselves is vitally important. Some days working out, eating well and completing all your task’s is no problem to us. Some days getting up out of bed, or off the couch is more challenging and binge watching Netflix is as productive as we can manage. Both are perfectly OK in their own right. Both are perfectly OK and understandable right now.
If you feel like training twice a day and baking banana bread, while starting a podcast – go for it! But only if it makes you feel good and doesn’t add negatively to your headspace. Slow down and just do the minimum for a little while, if that makes more sense to you and is required. Both are perfectly OK and understandable right now.
Bad habits may creep in. Moodswings are likely. Your headspace will seesaw from peaceful and tranquil to chaotic and muddled. Support yourself in the same way you’d support your loved ones. Be empathetic, sympathetic and compassionate to yourself. You’re doing a great job! 😊
Stay safe! ❤️🖤
A very important component and principle that contributes greatly to muscle growth and development (hypertrophy) is mind to muscle connection.
This process is the action of bringing attentional focus to the “working muscle” and/or “targeted muscle group”. There are two different types of attentional focus:
The first type is Internal Attentional Focus, which is the action of directing all of your attention to the muscle you want to target, develop and grow when you perform an exercise. Fully engaging your targeted muscles is key. IAF means less focus on flying through your reps and far more focus on feeling the tension and the engagement, the contraction of your targeted muscle. Controlling your muscle’s promotes efficiency. Concentration and visualisation goes along way here. Lastly, if you’re trying to isolate a specific muscle, find ways to eliminate the secondary muscles from being recruited by analysing your grip, stance and/or technique.
The second type is External Attentional Focus, which is focusing on something outside of your body that is motivating, not the muscle being worked. EAF is often implemented if the goal is orientated specifically around strength or power (e.g. 1 Rep Max) rather than for aesthetic purposes.
It is both important and advised to manipulate both variables! Regardless if your pulling, pushing, lifting, squatting, thrusting, etc, you need to ensure you’re feeling the exercise physically and mentally. A suitable warm-up circuit will contribute greatly to a successful mind-muscle connection later in your workout also and so its vitally important to pre-activate your muscles correctly before you workout (another day’s article!)
Some of my observations that I feel no book or college course can teach you. I’ve learned the following the hard way – by living it and experiencing it – never underestimate the unique lesson’s that experience teach us.
Above all, you are openly committing yourself to a life of vulnerability, one for which most people couldn’t handle or comprehend.
With that, you will be gossiped about, judged and criticised unfairly and possibly/probably made fun of, particularly at the beginning. You’ll learn of some of this, but will never know of the full extent.
The majority of people wont be able to truly relate to you, particularly if you struggle to switch off. This can and likely will put strains on friendships and relationships. Self employment will expose your flaws but also enhance’s, promote’s and educate’s you about your strengths.
Some people (inside and outside of your circle) will be quick to highlight your slip-up’s, mistake’s and failure’s, and slower to support and promote your service’s and business.
You won’t ever improve unless you learn to embrace constructive criticism from others’. Critic’s often want you to mess up and fail. Constructive critic’s want to help. A monumental difference in a person’s intention. Letting go of your ego will allow you tap into your full potential. The following approach works:
Understand their point of view.
Don’t be defensive.
Delay your reaction.
Admit your mistakes.
If you’re a start-up or self-employed, keep going!!
What occurred as a novelty in the first half of last year, now seems as though it is here for the long-haul. Like many, your employer or organisation may have arranged for you to work from home. Like many, it’s possible you were expected to make the switch over-night and were given no follow-up strategies or set of guidelines to make working from home effective and efficient without it impacting negatively and being detrimental to your mental health and general headspace. Given your laptop and assignments and sent on your way. Not good enough!
The novelty probably will (and has) worn off for most by now. You need to have healthy habits and regular routines in place to ensure you’re focused and productive during working hours and you have the ability to properly switch off after you sign out each evening. I’ve compiled a list of habits I feel will greatly benefit you:
1. Set a routine and Stick to it. Do not leave working hours and personal hours become muddled together. Rise at the same, regular time each morning. Carry out your usual morning routine. Include your usual “commute” time but utilise it. Read, walk, stretch, cook. Most importantly be strict on finishing times. When your usual working hours stop, stop working.
2. Create a dedicated work space. An office or work station work’s really well. If you don’t have this at your disposal, designate an area in the house free of distraction and interuptance. Make sure it’s comfortable and you have everything you need in one place.
3. Take regular breaks. It can feel like we are expected to be “online” and “available” all the time. This is fine, until it begins to affect your mental health, and over time, it will. Break’s from stressful situation’s and pressure are essential – include a proper lunchbreak and regular shorter break’s in your working day.
4. Working from home promotes isolation. Staying connected has never been so important. Arrange a virtual coffee or catch up with friends, colleagues (away from work hours) or family. Virtually socialise and interact – it’s vitally important for us all.
5. Time Management. “To Do List’s” should be your new best friend. Learn more about, and improve, managing your time. Implement the 4 D’s of email/work load stress management:
Delete: applies to approximately 50% of the emails you receive
Do: if it’s urgent or can be completed quickly
Delegate: if someone else is free/can deal with it better
Defer: longer task’s. Need specific time set aside to complete these
6. Be kind and forgiving to yourself. Acknowledge the situation, alien and unknown to us all. Do what you can, as you can. Productivity might slower than usual, focus might be blurred. Distraction is everywhere. Do what you can, as you can, and regardless, relax when you’re working day is done.
Let’s rewind to pre-Covid-19 times for a second…
Life for most was very busy, chaotic at times. Your time and effort’s were in high demand from work and family commitments. Your office hours exceeding 9-5pm, your commute to/from work, social events at the weekend’s, the children’s classes and matches throughout the weekend. And, (hopefully) trying to include some exercise yourself in between all that lot. It was a stressful time, full of commotion, non-stop. You were pulled left, right and centre and naturally a seed of resent probably emerged. “You need to be here at this time… You have to do this… Don’t forget to collect that… That demand of your energy, attention, time and effort is draining.
Resentment often skews a person’s perspective. What I’ve found helpful during this ongoing pandemic, (to challenge my perspective and hopefully immerse with a more positive view) is to flip scenario’s on their head and without getting too deep into gratitude or comparison, just acknowledging and respecting that some “everyday task’s” for me, would be a complete privilage to other’s. You see, privilage is most often taken totally for granted. We feel our everyday task’s are sometimes a burden, an inconvenience, a trigger for stress, a chore.
Right now the world is commuting a little slower than normal, the “pause” button has been pressed. Our stressful, chaotic, energy draining, busy lives absolutely will return at some point but for now, embrace the less hectic lifestyle. You now have time to focus on side projects, home improvements, upskilling and study. You have time to acess and influence your child’s education yourself. You can try fitness classes, Yoga, Dance classes, Pilates, from the comfort of your own home. You can experiment with cooking and baking, art and music.
“If only I had the time…” Now is the time. Now is your opportunity. Embrace the circumstance and don’t live to regret not maximising the opportunity.
“Normal” for us all, will resume. Everything we miss will return, but with it will come the return of the chaos and hectic schedules but like I always say, there is opportunity in everything and a slight shift in perspective can turn a bad day into a good one.
I’m not claiming to be the greatest coach but I do pride myself and my team on our indept understanding of coaching, our approach to helping others and our ability to achieve the very best for, and with, our clients. With an open-minded approach, we promote the fundamental’s and practice the basic’s. Considering a person’s situation, acknowledging their limit’s and initial boundaries, placing ourselves in their shoe’s, providing suitable solution’s for them, encouraging them, supporting them and unlocking their potential, (often of which they can’t identify themselves,) enhancing their lives’.
Expertise only comes with experience. Expertise is developed as a result of hour’s, week’s, month’s and year’s of repetition and continuous progression. Your reputation must be earned, it’s not a given. Nobody (long-term) remembers or recommends those who know a lot. They remember those who make a positive impact with what they do know.
As a team, our care for others is embedded deep within us. We understand, respect and appreciate the privilege that is a person trusting us and confiding in us. We often see more in them then they do themselves. We work very hard and we take immense pride in our profession and reputation.