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!)
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.
Not all progress can be shared and portrayed visually on social media. Visual progress most often get’s the most attention and applause which is understandable, but equally a great shame because progress is achieved in many forms through many different means for many different people.
Recognition of effort and achievement is often overlooked and discounted just because it can’t be seen and isn’t portrayed by an attention grabbing image of comparison. Furthermore, progress and achievement that cannot be physically seen are equally as relevant, as personal, as impressive and unquestionably as important as any and we need to be mindful, to be present, to be aware, and to be actively supporting those around us pursuing and progressing with their own personal goals, also.
Perspective plays a vital role here. We need to slightly switch our perspective from solely applauding the “amount of change/progress” made to recognising and applauding the “amount of effort” put in consistently during the process and the bravery and courage it takes just, solely, to begin! For all the attention, recognition and applause we dish out for physical transformation and physical progress, imagine the positive impact the same levels of support and recognition would have on people battling through and working on the folllwing:
Caring less about the opinions of others
Feeling less intimidated in public
Adapting to change in routine
Personal relationship issues
Returning to work/exercise while grieving
Improving and gaining confidence
Improving and gaining strength
Guilt-free socialising (Covid permitting! 🤪)
Accepting and understanding any figure on the scales
Parenting for the first time (or 2nd, or 3rd…)
Beginning councilling/opening up to someone
Holding yourself accountable
Seeking help for any type of issue
A nugget of encouragement and support mid process is far more impactful than that received after one is complete. Remember that. 🤘💯
Stay safe ❤🖤
Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” For many, this accurately describes the annual merry-go-round experience of setting NY’s resolutions in early January but ultimately losing momentum and interest by the middle of February as your efforts dwindle and rapidly fade away.
January is commonly oozing with enthusiasm, it’s wall to wall “positive vibes” and “fresh starts” on social media and the “New Year, New Me” brigade are in full swing 🙈 Motivation is high, and although all the above play their part and provide encouragement to some, why is it that every single year, by middle-late February efforts dwindle, we fall into a disheartening mindset, goals are abandoned and the annual cycle just repeats itself, again and again.
Maybe it’s because your approach and mentality are initially incorrect. Maybe your perspective is skewed. Perhaps a shift in focus and reshuffling your priorities can help. Here’s what I’d advise and suggest:
1. Forget perfection – it doesn’t exist. You cannot be perfect but you can be perfectly consistent. ANY goal is within your reach and abilities if you’re consistent. Don’t allow the impossible chase of perfection to interfere with your consistent effort. Consistency > Perfection.
2. Momentum has a much longer shelf life than motivation. You can become de-motivated just as quick as you can become motivated – it’s completely unreliable, long-term. Momentum attracts progress, but it must be earned. Momentum > Motivation.
3. Over thinking always delays starting. “Doing” is hugely productive. Thinking about, and planning what to do is massively unproductive, in comparison. By doing nothing, by not starting, you’ve failed. Just begin because as soon as you do, you propel from nothing to a work in progress. Action > Overthinking.
Often the most straight forward and simplistic tweaks can develop into the most monumental, effective strides forward. May 2021 be the year that you break the frustrating cycle of repetitive goal setting and reach and exceed your full potential. 🤘
Stay safe! ❤🖤
Strangely, as I publish this article today, the emotions I experienced and felt announcing my new business and sharing my vision with the world, three years ago, are also present once again. Nervous. Anxious. Stressed. Fear of the the unknown. Uncertainty. At times, I’ve struggled to accept the current climate and it’s drastic negative impact on our business. At times, even just for the length of a random thought, I’ve dreaded today. The enormous highs and powerful bursts of positivity, pride, delight and celebration overshadowed by an intense gloom, deflation and nervousness.
However, I also write today with an imensely overwhelming feeling of gratitude and good fortune. I’d have no shyness in stating that I’ve worked diligently and extremely hard over the past 3.5 years to build what I have today, but a person can work hard and be unlucky, be given no opportunity. Hard work and dedication is a primary ingredient in any recipe for achievement but without luck or good fortune it cannot guarantee you success. I’m proud of the part I’ve played but I’m forever indebted to the people and opportunities I’ve been blessed with.
The people. Be it starting a business, completing a degree, winning a championship, raising a child, beating an addiction, it absolutey does not matter what the goal is – what all these examples have in common is that they all heavily rely on a strong and reliable support system to be achieved. The people around you are fundamentally vital to achieveing anything. Our business and my progress, to date, is no different.
To Mark, Ali, Keelan + Colin, you all know I hold you in the highest regard. You all individually personify what a genuine, kind, hard working person should be. Collectively you are the back bone of this great little business. Thank you! ❤️🖤 To my Mum, Dad & Katie. There is no business and no 3 year anniversary without you. I’ll continue to work as hard as I can to repay you for a lifetime of love and support. Thank you. ❤️🖤 To our friends, families, clients and colleagues. To our online friends and followers and to everyone who’s ever even just said “Hello!” Thank you! ❤️🖤
If the next three bring even a fraction of joy, fullfillment and friendship that the last three have brought, I cannot wait to be a part of it!
A heartfelt Thank You to one and all! ❤️🖤 We can’t wait to see you all very soon!
Mind yourselves, mind each other!
– Lockdown is not a weight loss competition
– Lockdown is not a productivity competition
– Movement is vitally important. Don’t stress over gym closures or gym equipment, or lack of. You need ZERO equipment to squat, lunge, walk, run and jump. Keep moving.
– Social media is great. It’s also an absolute curse at times. If you need a break, take it. Delete some apps for a week, two weeks. Don’t worry, it’ll still be there when you login again and guess what, you’ll miss out on absolutely NOTHING.
– Communication and social interaction is our most under-utilised, under-appreciated ability as human beings.
– A text is great. But to check in with somebody effectively, ring or video-call to communicate.
– I’ve never taken who and what I have in my life for granted, ever. But I never realised how much I relied on them.
– Downtime and rest is OK. It can actually take some getting used to for some, but it’s not a negative if you slow down a little during this pandemic.
– Some individuals are excellent at being productive, sharing content and lifting spirits amidst this pamdemic. Encourage them, applaud them and interact with them.
– Others, with the best intentions, and through no fault of their own have reacted differently and have been quieter than usual possibly, a little lost at times and anxious. Be patient, understanding and supportive with them. They’re trying and doing what they can, just as much as everyone else.
– If you won the lotto in the morning, you could do close to nothing with your cash, if you could even collect it in the first place! Your health matters. It matters above all else. No money or possessions come close.
Mind yourselves, mind each other.
Stay safe! ❤️🖤
This is completely new territory for some, including myself, and can take time to adapt to. Be patient and allow yourself time to implement the relevant changes to your usual routine. Here’s what I’ve found helpful:
- Organisation and structure. If you have a regular routine, aim to follow it as best you can. Rise at the same time, shower and grab a nice coffee. Productivity is the aim of the game here. Usual/normal eating patterns and nutrition habits are highly encouraged. Avoid convenience food by prepping/cooking meals regularly, just like before. STAY HYDRTAED. And stay occupied and entertained also to avoid emotional eating. 🍴🧠
- Scheduling is important. Pencil in regular breaks based on your usual working day. Take the same approach for finishing times. If you usually finish at 5pm, then working from home finishes at 5pm and you log off till tomorrow. Fill your evenings with exercise, Netflix, reading and catching up with family and friends. Side-note: Choose one reliable media/source of information that you trust and avoid the rest. 💯
- Get enough fresh air/daylight. We are facing the possibility of a scenario where we are forced to remain within the four walls of our homes, complete isolation. Thankfully, that is not the case today. The most underutilised opportunity every one of us has, every single day, is to get outdoors and walk, breathe in some fresh air and clear our busy minds a little, even if just for 20/30 minutes daily. If you usually commute to work, and are working from home, use that commute time for your walk. Alternatively use your lunch breaks after you eat. Take the classic “Earphones in, World out!” approach and get some steps in outdoors. 🎧👌 Did I mention I have a podcast with 5 great episodes to choose from? 🤣
- Communication. Often and regularly. This doesn’t have to be in person, that’s what we must remember! We all love to catch up with friends, family and colleagues. We naturally love a catch-up, a gossip and a good laugh. We’ve never had so many options at our disposal to stay connected e.g. WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime. Yes, social distancing is in place, but social interaction is vitally important to our wellbeing and mental health — Reach out, check in, communicate and have a good chat with those closest to you, just like before. 🙌
Tag your colleagues, anybody working from home, or in isolation who this might help! ❤️🖤 I’m sure they’ll thank you later for the few minutes of distraction! 🤣
And guys, if you need us, we are here for you! I can’t emphasise that enough and as I’ve mentioned to many of you privately, don’t be shy – PLEASE reach out if you need ANYTHING! ❤️🖤
Mind yourselves. Mind each other.
Stay safe! ❤️