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Odd Exercises for Physical Vigor From an Oldtime Strongman

posted by coach Jay D

Although the accessibility of new fitness, exercise and training rituals and programs are faster than they’ve ever been in history via the internet, there’s nothing quite like going back in time and reading about how the Strength Community of yesteryear sought and found their strength.

Thanks to Art of Manliness, here’s a great article showcasing a few odd exercises to increase ‘Physical Vigor’.

A perfect “To-Do” for anyone’s morning – somewhere before your morning run, yet after your ‘Sun Salutation’.
Enjoy the timelessness.

Odd Exercises for Physical Vigor: An Oldtime Strongman’s 15-Minute Routine

Have A Strong Day.

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The “2 Minute” and “5 Minute” Rules of Defeating Procrastination

posted by coach Jay D

The 2 and 5 Minute Rules of getting stuff done has been around awhile, apparently.
Unfortunately, I only recently heard about them. I guess someone out there was procrastinating on getting this wisdom and word out to me.
Let me share this with you…

The 2 Minute Rule of Defeating Procrastination (Starting)
One variation of this rule is to simply start a task that you’ve been putting off. In other words, whatever you’ve been pushing to get started on “later”, MUST be started within the next 2 minutes.

This concept is brewed in Newton’s Law of Motion that, “An object in motion will stay in motion.”
You are the object. Now start that damn task and motion and don’t stop.

The 2 minute rule is great because it tackles our laziness by simply starting our dreaded task. That really is often the hardest part – STARTING. Whether it’s training, savings, work or relationship-related, start your task the moment you think of doing in within a 2 minute window.

You’ll be surprised that you’ll probably end up finishing in one shot.

The 5 Minute Rule of Defeating Procrastination (Consistency/Repetition)
The 5 minute rule is usually reserved for larger projects and longer term goals.
The 5 minute rule demands that you dedicate 5 minutes towards working on your task. Once 5 minutes is up, it’s up.
Really. Honestly. After 5 minutes, STOP! Whether finished or not, STOP!!

Thereafter, dedicate 5 minutes here, 5 minutes more there and 5 minutes more later on or even tomorrow.
The beauty of this that you’re being consistent and chipping away at your goal. You’re taking little steps and progressing.

This concept is brewed in Psychology’s Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Being consistent at a thing and working on it slowly in increments eventually leads to a larger picture; a larger goal and ultimately, success.

These 2 rules might seem like little things and overly-simplified, but that’s the beauty of it; It’s DOABLE and you’re already making strides further than you were doing nothing and procrastinating in the first place.

Get Started and Be Consistent.
These are the lessons of the “2 Minute Rule” and the “5 Minute Rule”.

Evolve or Die.

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Men Are Babies (When Sick + In Many Other Instances): An Article About Training With A Runny Nose

posted by coach Jay D

I’m Sick. I’ve been sick over the last few days. I’m a big sick baby.
And for those of you who I’ve trained one on one with, I’m sorry if you’re sick because of me. Rather than get made, please appreciate my dedication to you and your journey of movement.
If you’ve joined my lunch classes, all of you MWF’ers, probably didn’t catch how nasal I’ve been since the beginning of the week (MWF’ers being Monday-Wednesday-Friday’ers, btw); the same can be said for my kettlebell classes both at Fuel Fitness and R3 Evolution on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, respectively.

So how do I cope? Do I still train?

Let’s look at the common cold or flu situation…
Your goal is to get rest and get back to optimal health. As discussed before, you don’t have to be healthy to be fit. Athletes are the prime example of this…many athletes put their personal health on the back burner in order to train. A lot of you training for personal pleasure, Movement Pursuits and Strength Seeking, are no exception to the rule, either. Fact is, a lot of you need Movement on a daily basis, sick or not.

But let’s not downplay Health. Let’s not downplay rest. Let’s not downplay proper nutrition, too.

To get healthy from illness, You need to:
Make sure you schedule when you’re gonna put your mobile device down, walk away from the desktop or laptop and just ‘X’ out of Facebook and Twitter. You people on Instagram, this means, you, too. Stop shooting your snotty kleenex.
Log at least 6hrs and 8-10 for optimal rest. Your body needs this ‘sleep’ time to combat those pathogens and foreign invaders, so don’t be stingy with your pillow time.

I usually emphasize plants in my daily diet, but of course, there’s proteins and healthy fats both from animal and plant sources, just the same. You might not realize it, but your body is using a ton of energy to combat your cold or flu. Your body heat is up, therefore you ought to be eating just a few more calories to fuel this process, on top of staying super hydrated with water. I personally, drink a lot of tea, ginger, lemon and honey concoctions and combinations. Chilli peppers and spicy foods are also a nice secret weapon to increase your vitamin C, antioxidants and induce sweating and sinus-clearing/vasodilation. Give me a big bowl of Thai Tom Yum and I’m on my way to 100%. You should be, too. Just not too much juice, k? Reach for the real whole fruit, instead.

As for Training…
Yes, you need to rest, but not necessarily halt Movement and training, all together.
In order to get better and stay on top of your training while sick:

Famous Strength Coach Dan John said, “If it’s important, do it every day”. I believe it. You don’t need to be Squatting or Deadlifting or Snatching your 1 rep max PRs daily, but rather at least “groove” the motion, or as Dragondoor/Pavel heads would tell you – “Grease the Groove”; keep it moving; use it or lose it.
For instance, my current Strength Program is in its 3rd week of 6. It’s very basic and involves: A Back Squat, A Sumo Deadlift, A Bench Press, An Overhead/Military Press and Weighted Pullup all for near max loading for no more than 5 reps/each. Would I then pick up in all my lifts right where I left off on Monday afternoon (considering I train MWFs)?. Hell no, today, at what I hope is the climax of this cold at its worst, I loaded 60% of my max. I was super conservative with my loading and let myself simply “Groove” the motion. Take the time to de-load a bit when sick and groove the motion. There will be future battles, but you can’t be at optimal lifting mode if your health isn’t all there. Be patient, grasshopper.

All the things that you dedicate a mere obligatory 5 minutes towards before you train, should be granted more time. We all know this. Use your sick day as an opportunity to dedicate a bit more time to foam rolling/myofascial release/massage, fancy mobility moves and static/dynamic stretching. Think of this time as training to get back into training once you’re back at 100%. Think of this as accessory and support work. Prehab and Rehab!

You know how you fail to time your rest periods between sets? you know how you go for a walk, grab a drink of water, try and pick up that girl/guy in the gym before attempting your 2nd set a good 10 minutes later?…Well, now’s the time where it’s actually justified. Rather than not train, all together, turn it back a dial on your intensity. Take a longer rest, do your set, then approach again.

I’ve learned, especially over the last two nights, that Moving is pretty damn therapeutic. Moving during illness, whether on my own, doing my own program or coaching a class makes me feel pretty damn good and better.
Now I might not have the exact science to back this up, but here’s my anecdote. Movement is Health. Movement is Strength.

Evolve or Die.

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