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Posts Tagged ‘health’

Discipline is a Beautiful Thing

Many people have a go at mixed martial arts, the military, boxing… and things like that.

I take the opposite view.

Safety in mma and boxing is proven to be better than the nfl and rugby, and similar to hockey.

True, if a trained fighter beats the hell out of a civilian for looking at him sideways… or a president sends an army to level a population for oil or money… it is despicable, deplorable.

But that’s a human and society problem, not a martial arts or military one.  They are about being the best you can be – a path to discipline, confidence, and purpose.  Great commodities.

For every thug that uses his skills to assault an innocent, there are thousands that were taken away from violence, gangs and drugs – and put in a positive direction.

The military and sports are also on the cutting edge in terms of learning and performance.  These discoveries can then be brought to the wider public – for the betterment of mankind.

One of those areas is nutrition;  an important key to mastering oneself.

Enter George Lockhart.

George was the nutrition specialist in the US marine core.

When operatives needed to fuel properly for missions, when they needed to cut weight or gain weight or increase performance… they would knock on George’s door.

It wasn’t long before word was spreading into the sporting arena.

MMA fighter and former marine Brian ‘All American’ Stann came to George Lockhart and asked him if he’d help him cut weight for his next fight.

They worked together, and Brian never found it easier to make weight or perform better.  Then Jon Jones came to the party.  Many more followed.  The latest ones being Holly Holm and Conor McGregor, who describe GL as a genius.

That he is.  He’s not just the best in the MMA business, he’s the best in the business.

I’ve never come across anyone who lays it out so well and so exactly.

He talks about three factors:  Fueling the body with exactly what it needs when it needs it, staying ahead of hunger… and controlling hormones.

That way you’re not fighting your body.

It doesn’t react with hunger hormones or fat retaining hormones (in reaction to starvation and other problems).

The result is being able to eat good portions, at regular intervals… even when losing weight.

There is no ambiguity.  You eat this at this time, in this amount…  then this will happen over the next week.  Boom.

‘Your day is different today…’  ‘Okay, here’s what you do’… down to the gram and the minute.

‘Your workout will be 45 minutes and will be at this intensity’…  ‘Okay, here’s exactly how you fuel it.’

Now there’s a guy that knows his stuff.  My kind of guy.

I’ve tried so many diets.  Many were good.  Some were revolutionary and worked like a charm… to a point.

But there was never a perfect solution.  It was never comprehensive or exact enough… probably because they hadn’t things wrapped down tight enough.

There were always some sort of concessions involved, usually to do with diminished purr-formance.

So I tried George’s plan.

He created this software called FitnessVT.  You log in your goal, your activity level for that day, your workouts etc.

And each morning you enter your weight before you eat.  It spits out exact instructions for the day, as per his algorithms.

It takes all sorts of things into account, even down to balancing sodium/potassium and calcium/magnesium ratios, which play a role in performance, health and even weight loss.

You can swap foods you don’t like or don’t have, for similar ones.

It’s just the thing I wanted for a long time.  In four weeks I’ve burned 8 pounds of fat, without losing any muscle… and it was pretty easy.  I hadn’t much to lose, so it is even more impressive.  I feel great and I know exactly what to do every step of the way, without having to work it out.

I can’t recommend this higher, and believe me I don’t recommend things lightly.

If you want to eat heartily, eat well and reach any weight, fat loss, muscle gain or performance goal… you’ve just found the solution.

Best,

Brian Timlin

www.precisionphysique.com

www.nextlevelsportsprogram.com

P.S.  Other than looking and feeling better than you ever have, here’s what else you can look forward to: balanced hormones, increased anti-aging hormones, youthful skin, drastically reduced inflammation, increased energy, well being and better recovery.

It’s no good abfabulising and buttsculpting like a fitness model if you’re doing it via drugs or starvation. Eventually, it will all crumble. Even good diets, like intermittent fasting (when it is done correctly), ketogenic diets or carb backloading usually have some difficulties and/or concessions involved.

With this method, everything just gets better… it’s totally sustainable and it works for every person – 100% of the time.

P.S.S.  FitnessVT is so good that many elite fighters that work with George also comment that they just have to use the software and don’t even need his personal assistance.

It’s all they need.  It’s all you will ever need too.

Get on board today and it will change your life forever

Playing Touch Butt With That Dork in the Park

There’s a tribe in the Amazon and they are circling around a campfire… wearing animal heads… and making loud rhythmic noises.  They are prancing like animals and doing something that looks like Tai Chi – a meditation in movement.  It is all so connected to the natural cycle of life.

Modern living has moved away from this.

There are great things in our world.  However, a lot of the conventional technologies and lifestyles have moved faster than how WE are designed.  We’ve gotten away from our natural flow.

You can be sure as hell those tribes are a lot healthier and physically fit than most people.  They also have a lot less stress.

The world health organisation (WHO) estimates that stress is the cause of most illness in society… and it’s growing.

This is because we’ve lost our natural evolutionary way.

Yes, child mortality is much better our developed nations.  We also have more resources and knowledge in dealing with emergencies.

But boy oh boy are we bad at managing chronic health issues.  It’s out of control.

A lot of getting back that control will be in keeping what is resourceful in modern life and stripping back the rest of it.  It is also about regaining many of our natural instincts, practises and rhythms.

This includes diet, workouts, less passive behaviours (like watching the boob-tube)… and cleaning our cup (as they say in the East) or taking some time each day to refresh our mind.

HOW we do these things can lead to very different results too, as many of THOSE practises have also gone away from our natural evolution.

When Conor McGregor fought Nate Diaz there was some very entertaining trash talk back and forth.  One of the things Nate said was, ‘You’re playing touch butt with that dork in the park with the pony tail’… or something to that effect.

He was referring to videos of Conor training with Ido Portal in the park in skimpy MMA gym shorts.  They were being creative with slow Tai Chi and animal type movements in a simulated sort of dual.  Ido Portal calls that drill ‘movement riddles.’

It looks so different that some people ‘pooh pooh’ at it and other such methods.

There are many that go so far to say that Conor is still a fake, that he is all promotion and no substance… even when he has two UFC world titles in two separate divisions.  He also won them in spectacular fashion.

His method is so far ahead that it looks effortless.  Even most experts can’t figure out how calm, poised, skilled and brilliant he is in the octagon.  They can’t understand how he seemingly touches high level fighters and they crumble.  They continue to back against him.

Then some none the wiser fans even go so far as to talk about ‘dives.’

It’s precision, timing and internal power.  When you have such control of your own body… it’s much easier to translate that into effortless power.  For the same reasons he can also use unorthodox approaches, angles and strikes depending on the situation.

The reason he’s so far ahead of his peers is how he thinks about life, sport and how he trains.

He’s very much in his natural flow in all areas; mentally, physically and emotionally.

What I will say to you is this…  I’ve studied training and sport for years.  Near the end of my research for my last book, a couple of years ago, I knew I’d gotten some very large chunks of the puzzle.

I came across Ido Portal and realised he was doing a lot of what I was finding (he does a lot more than touch-butt).  Then I came across McGregor and realised he was doing pretty much ALL of it.

I had a hunch he was going right to the top and fast… or had a great chance based on his training.  When I saw more of his fights I was even more convinced.

The way he trains applies to anyone, even if you just want health… but it will give you a LOT more than that.

I’ve finished many of the experiments I was continuing even this year (to confirm concepts and methods) and have started applying it with amazing results in my own life.  I only did bits and bobs of it in the last year at various times for my golf… and when I did… I won 6 high level medals or trophies, including an All Ireland medal, and a provincial event player of the year that contained many of the top players of my district or province.

I’ve started the full program now for the coming season (early next year).

When I was trying things out to test certain matters… and went away from what works… my form TANKED.  I even injured myself for a few months.

There are always ups and downs when you are truly learning and going towards goals.

Make mistakes, but LEARN.  That’s how you really move forward.

Nature… of… the… beast.

I’ve learned my lessons, will come back stronger and improve to new levels again in the new season.  Will you?

If you apply this knowledge, you too will also experience superb results.

You will be literally connecting back to how you are wired and you can apply this to health, energy, success and zooming up your results in just about any area of life… especially sports.

This is your time.  Click here to order The Next Level Sports Program today.

Yours,

Brian Timlin

I thought he was having a stroke…

I have a friend who smokes a pipe.  He’s one of my older friends.

I play golf with him.  On one occasion we were playing in the dunes of Belmullet, Co Mayo… and I was up on the tee with our other two playing partners, when I spotted Owen lying down in the fetal position under a big mound.

He’s no spring chicken at 70, so I thought he was having a stroke or something.

I jumped off the tee and sprinted over to him.  As I got closer I realised he was just sheltering from the wind, to light his pipe.

I cursed at him.

He looked up laughing, the leg of the snuff furnace clasped between his lips… and he made that popeye ‘pbop pbop’ move out of the side of his mouth – puffing bursts of smoke into the air.

I have to say I love the smell of it.

Well you might think a man who smokes a pipe is vested with great wisdom… but you couldn’t be further from the truth.

Haha, just joking Owen.  In fairness, he does have a lot of depth and magnanimity to his Mayo soul.

In fact, I’d even go so far as to call him one of my mentors… or someone I’d seek advise from.

Just don’t tell him I said that.

Next thing he’d be at the pulpit whacking his pipe off the bible.  He’s a lot more dedicated to his faith than a more wayward soul like myself.  You have to respect a man of the code, even if I don’t agree with a lot of it.

Amen to that brutha…

We were playing golf again last week.  After the round ‘The Pipe’ cracked open an oyster and popped out a pearl for us to ponder and polish.

It went something like this…

‘They say we should never buy meat in Aldi, but I bought some fillet steaks there during the week and my wife and I both agreed it was the nicest meat we’ve had in years.’

For those of you that don’t know Aldi, they are a European company that found a way to source and distribute products of equal, and in some cases better, quality – at a much lower price.

On a big shop you can expect to save between €30 to €50.  It’s amazing really.

Why would you shop anywhere else?

What they do looks simple, but years of trial and error, research and testing went into perfecting their system.

Et al with what we do here with The Next Level Sports Program.

It looks simple, and it is, but there are thousand and thousands of hours gone into the end result.

Having the knowledge of WHY certain methods work so much better is also invaluable.

Sometimes we are duped into confusing simplicity and price with QUALITY.

The Next Level Sports Program is an elite program… that applies to everyone’s life, not just sportspeople.

PhD’s are telling us this is how people will be taught in college degree courses in the future.

I strongly suggest you order today before we come to our senses and mark it up to Mayfair prices – as that is what it is truly worth.

Now it’s your turn to zoom up in performance. Click here to order today

Yours,
Brian Timlin

Is ‘everything in moderation’ good advice?

A scientist has some vegetation in the lab.  He takes a sliver of one of the greens, makes a slide and looks at it through his microscope.  He sees a collection of cells.

When you break it down, that is what we are too, along with our genetic blueprint for our cells.  Assuming you have a normal genetic blueprint, your health will then come down to that which effects cellular health.

So is ‘everything in moderation’ good advice in relation to this?

Yes and no.

It’s a good idea, but it’s also a vague one.

There was a study done stating the one thing that long lived people usually have in common is that they do things in moderation.

The concept being that if you do everything in moderation then that is the best way to live.  It’s good advice in that way, but it’s also useless to most people.

It sounds to me, while this was a valid conclusion in many regards, that the study was lacking in depth and awareness of many critical factors (and so completely left them out).

While its true that our health, well being and longevity is best served by not overdoing or underdoing work, exercise, play, partying etc… don’t we already know this?  I mean wouldn’t you expect that the longest lived people will nearly always not have done extreme things in their life.

But most people don’t do extreme things and yet illness, cancer and heart attacks are very common and have increased markedly over the last century.

What’s the real difference?

If you take an individual who feels fine, but unwittingly has health issues that will accumulate over time and end up in an illness at some point (and it could be in 20-30 years), telling him to do ‘everything in moderation’ is probably not going to help him.

Here’s why:

He/She is probably already doing things reasonably and in moderation.  If you take an average 40 year old person; they work 40 hours a week, don’t drink alcohol too often, have hobbies they enjoy and eat reasonably well.

I don’t want to be grim, but that person, on average, will experience a lot of health issues at some point.

This is the norm from an ‘everything in moderation’ point of view.  So it’s a largely meaningless statement.

What’s meaningful is physiological stress and epigenetics (physiological stressors flipping bad genes on and good genes off).

A person’s current and future health will be determined by that.  It will also influence longevity and heavily influence quality of life in later years. We can also be totally unaware that our body is very stressed.

So what influences physiological stress?

– Traumatic memories, negative beliefs/interpretations (these are usually subconscious, so again we can be totally unaware of them).  WHO estimates that 85% of all illness is caused by stress.  Psychologists conclude that most stress is caused by unhelpful interpretations and/or actions in relation to those.  Consequently, this factor is probably the biggest influence on health and well being.

– Chronic lack of certain nutrients (macro or micro), which is far more common than realised, even in developed countries

– Eating too much (adequate nutrients but a balanced calorie intake is required)

– Excess adipose tissue or body fat

– Bacteria, virus, fungus (you can have a large pathogen load that is causing havoc that can be hard to detect for nearly all physicians, they can even be inside cells)

– Environmental toxins which can accumulate in tissues

– Too much or too little work

– Too much or too little physical exercise

– Bad habits and addictions

– And so on.

 

There are ways to successfully address all of these factors, but the point is that this is the make or break with health, well being, longevity and quality of life in later years.  These are the concrete issues.  I would say in most cases ‘everything in moderation’ will ignore these things, and so won’t do the job.

The longest lived and healthiest people in the world are the Okinawans.  They live on a secluded island off Japan.

They meditate and exercise daily, eat fish, chicken, seaweed, vegetables and rice from lands that they naturally replenish with nutrients.  They don’t overeat.  They also disregard treating symptoms with toxic pharmaceuticals and instead use natural medicines to help facilitate the body to heal itself without side effects.

Five times as many Okinawans live to be 100 years old as their compatriots elsewhere in Japan – and Japan has the highest life expectancy of any country.  Okinawans also usually die of old age and not from any disease (they have drastically different rates of illness and prolonged illness to the west). Therefore, they usually have a high quality of life right up to when they die.

They also have many fighters in their 90’s, who are still able to whoop guys half their age!  In other words, they also retain strength, speed and flexibility a lot more than their counterparts in other nations.

Could it be that they have a great weather system, are wealthy, have unique genes or are secluded from infectious diseases?

The weather is no different to lots of places.

Okinawa is poor – Japan’s poorest region in fact. It has had its fair share of hardship – it has been invaded many times over the centuries and suffered heavy losses in the second world war. Studies suggest that when they emigrate, Okinawans quickly lose their health advantages – which means it’s not about genetics.

Unfortunately, their lifestyle is also starting to change as other influences come into their culture.

However, if we go back to factors that cause physiological stress and successfully address those things we can mimic their results and even better them!

I go into these factors and how to address them in a lot more depth in my report, The Health and Energy Code, click here for more information.

The best upper body workout on the planet

It’s 7.00am on a summers morning on the Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro.

There’s a stream of people on the sand, exercising with kettlebells, bodyweight exercises and yoga.

These people are moving their bodies in their surroundings.  Their feet are connected to the earth, the sun is shining down and they’re taking in gulps of fresh air.  They’re wearing nothing but speedos and bikinis so more sun, water and air can nourish them.

What a great thing to do for your physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

After finishing their workout on the beach they might want to try this:

If they find a good sturdy overhanging branch or monkey bars in a nearby park, they can attach some gymnastics or trx rings to it and start to do upper body exercises.

Nothing can beat the rings for upper body development.

upsidedownonrings

 

Mastering gymnastic movements on the rings gives incredible strength, great balance and magnificent control of the body (obviously people start with easier moves).

It’s a different level to even a big bench and shoulder press, so much more functional.  There’s just a lot more that goes into 3 dimensional movement, controlling our own bodyweight at all sorts of different angles and leverage points, not to mention all the extra muscles that are used.

Therefore, the development is greater.  After those people in Rio work out on the rings or the monkey bars (the rings are more difficult), they can go back to the beach and cool down with a swim.  What a perfect start to the day…  and it doesn’t have to be in Rio!

I mention Conor McGregor a lot, because I admire his training so much.  If you saw his fight in January 2015 against a Russian-German called Denis Siver, you’ll see what happens when someone who is mastering their bodyweight meets a weights trainer.

Speed, fluidity and unadulterated power against a strong, but stiff and slow opponent who can’t control his body at angles.  There’s only going to be one winner, and by a landslide!

Why you are probably very deficient in Magnesium and how it is critical to good health and sports performance

Picture a man living in a cottage in a forest, near a river.  He’s surrounded by the elements.  There’s a lot to be said for it.

Every day he eats fresh greens, he catches fish and eats them.  He exercises and does meditative type things that relax his mind and body.  His health is probably a lot better than most.

The reason being he’s getting what he needs to nourish, remove toxins and de-stress.

 

Regarding the nourishment part greens, fish and fresh mineral water are high in magnesium.  Most of us in the modern world are deficient in magnesium (many of us are severely deficient), and it is so important.  It is needed for regulating no less than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.

Magnesium deficiency is a significant factor — often the major factor — in many severe illnesses including heart attacks and other forms of heart disease, asthma, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, fatigue, diabetes, migraines and other headaches, osteoporosis, insomnia, and most cases of muscular problems.” Dr. Steven Johnson puts it better: “The range of pathologies associated with Mg deficiency is staggering: hypertension (cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver damage, etc.), peroxynitrite damage (migraine, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.), recurrent bacterial infection due to low levels of nitric oxide in the cavities (sinuses, vagina, middle ear, lungs, throat, etc.), fungal infections due to a depressed immune system, thiamine deactivation (low gastric acid, behavioral disorders, etc.), premenstrual syndrome, Ca deficiency (osteoporosis, mood swings, etc.), tooth cavities, migraines, hearing loss, diabetes type II, cramps, muscle weakness, impotence, aggression, fibromas, K deficiency (arrhythmia, hypertension, some forms of cancer), Fe accumulation, etc.”

The modern diet contains water that has had many of the natural minerals taken out from treatment and recycling, and we eat far less greens and fish than before.  Also, a lot of the vegetables we do eat have come from land that is not fully remineralised, because most large farms use man-made fertilisers that are only high in the minerals that make crops grow bigger (and are deficient in the other macro minerals like Magnesium and all the micro minerals).

This issue has been compounded by rudimentary conventional magnesium testing that is actually inaccurate to your true magnesium levels.  Most doctors and laboratories don’t even test for it, and if they do they only look at the blood.  Only 1% of the body’s magnesium is in the blood, the rest is in the tissues.

So, the bottom line is most of us need to address this problem ourselves.  The first thing you can do is make sure you are eating more greens and fish.  If you have a lot of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency the second thing you can do is supplement.  Check after a number of weeks to see if it has benefited you.

Magnesium can be difficult to supplement because taking it orally is not the best way for it to absorb and at higher doses it also loosens the stools.  My advice is to supplement transdermally, rub it on your skin.  There is a oil/gel available from a company called Ancient Minerals.  Their products are available at ancient-minerals.com and magnesium.ie .  It’s very hard to overdose magnesium as most people are very deficient and excess is usually either not absorbed or removed from the body.

Ancient Minerals magnesium chloride is extracted from the Ancient Zechstein Seabed in Europe, 1600 to 2000 meters deep in the interior of the Earth. Well protected for the last 250 million years, it is the most pure magnesium in the world.

I’ve found this supplement fantastic in my own health and I’m sure it would of great benefit to most other people as well.

One other thing, magnesium increases Atp (energy, speed, stamina), is one of the best anti-inflammatories (if not the best) and helps your muscles to relax.  Do you think it might help your training, recovery and sports performance as well?

Don’t get left behind is my advice.  Lather that stuff all over your body before and after training (especially where it is most needed).

The man living in a cottage in the forest doesn’t have an iphone, but he’d probably kick all our butts in living in a way that makes him fit, healthy and happy.  Smartphones and the internet are great in some ways and we don’t have to live in a forest, but let’s be far more like that guy and not king of the rats in the rat race (the ill-health and death race).

Let’s get back to living in a way that is in tune with our nature!

The Dragon’s favourite exercise

Bruce Lee is famous for his explosive speed, strength and his very ripped physique.  His abilities came from his superior mind-body connection.  He created this largely from using isometric exercise.  Isometrics are static contractions.  It is a powerful combination of mental focus and physical exercise, because you are creating the contraction mentally.

BruceLee

If you show off your bicep to someone and mentally flex or contract the muscle to tighten it, you are doing isometrics.  If animals in the wild who live and die by survival instinct and one of the greatest athletes of our time use these exercises extensively, then I’m sure you’ll agree this is an exercise worth looking at.

The uses and possibilities of isometrics are endless.  It is very helpful for flexibility in alternating contractions with relaxing into the stretch.  I’ve a whole report on my website about that, which is a great thing to use.  You will find it mind boggling how much further you can stretch immediately using this method.

Static contractions are proven to create 5% more strength every week in any muscle trained 3 times per week or more.

You can also hit just about any angle, any part of the range of motion and even the smallest muscles using isometrics.  The usefulness of this is huge.  For one thing, it makes it a lot easier to do sport specific exercises or target muscles needing rehab.

Add to all this the fact that you are creating a powerful link from the mind/brain to the muscles and you have something very powerful.

As we point out a lot here, the more your brain is involved during exercise the more you are going to get out of it in terms of performance, hormone response, neurological and physical adaptations.

However, SC not a complete exercise either.  I wouldn’t recommend isometrics as a stand alone routine.  You aren’t really strengthening your joints without putting actual weight on them, so isotonic exercise or movement with resistance is also needed.  You are also not practising movement.

However, isometrics are quick and easy to do and are a phenomenal compliment to any type of training.  Some things to note are that often the strength you gain from isometrics will only translate 10 degrees either side of the point of contraction.  In other words, it is a good idea to contract your muscles at about 3 different places in its range of motion.

It is also a good idea to relax your muscles periodically in a session, maybe after three or four 6-10 second contractions.  Relaxing only takes a few seconds, but it is good to shake the tension out, release and relax the muscles again.  Using your breathing is very useful for doing this as well.

You only really need to be aware.  Most people probably won’t even need to do the relaxation part, but a lot of us are so used to holding onto tension that we may not let go properly after a contraction exercise.

Tension when you don’t need it hampers your coordination, calmness and balance.  Learn how to avoid that, by learning how to relax your muscles as well.

When you picture Bruce Lee training what you see is total body control.  He is able to tense and relax at will in perfect timing.  He’s gained a lot of this from static contractions.  You will see him pull against a rope as hard as he can, push against something and then start exploding into speed moves.  This is all using the mind-muscle connection over and over again to grease the groove and create better and better neurological connections between the brain and the muscles.  That’s where his extreme muscle density, ridiculous speed and explosive power came from.

Thank you for your legacy and wisdom Mr. Lee.

‘Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one’, Bruce Lee.

Why dancing is one of the best exercise routines

If you picture a scene in the amazon rain forest full of animals, what is going on?

If they aren’t mating, eating or trying to eat or avoid being eaten, they are singing, dancing and playing.  I’m not saying animals are better than humans, because they are not as developed and don’t have the ability to reason, inspire or create metaphor.  However, I think we often forget that we are animals too. We’ve lost a lot of our instinct and what actually works for us to make our lives better.

In that way we can certainly learn a lot from them.  So let’s go back to that scene and let’s look at the animals singing, dancing and playing.  It’s marvelous when you think about it.  It’s a cacophony of the senses.  They are really in the moment, in the flow and doing great things without effort.  We can really struggle with that.

Our world has moved so fast that we’ve devised a lot of education, lifestyles and practises that were created without thought as to whether we are designed for it.

As a result we are often stuck in the analysis part of the brain, which only makes up a meager 2% of the grey matter.  The rest of it is based on sensory images, and we seriously neglect that to our cost.  Our perceptive ability and potential is often hugely hampered as a result.

In the previous articles, we’ve talked about using more of the brain while exercising to get better results and also to enhance the rest of our lives.

We’ve talked about sport, coordination, balance and ambidexterity.  Well, what about music?  RHYTHM.

So important as well.  Rhythm connects our auditory sense and kinesthetic sense.

What do nearly all top sportpeople, dancers or athletes have in common?  Great rhythm.  Wouldn’t it be a good idea then for us to look at this important factor?

Would a dance class for exercise be a good idea?  Of course it would.  Sure you are using more of your brain, you have to coordinate, get in the moment, stay in rhythm, connect with other people and also keep your balance.

It’s a marvelous thing to do.

If you watch a monkey swinging from a tree, a quick lizard moving at pace along the ground, or a gazel taking off on a sprint what you see is fluid movement.  It is in beautiful natural rhythm.

Dance is a great way to connect this up.  Team sport is also a great way to develop it.  A good team movement is all about rhythm.  It’s not quick, cohesive and elegant without it.  But dance is an easier way to develop this because rhythm in team sport takes some individual development first.

For strength, you can also master bodyweight movement using good technique, rhythm and copy animal bodyweight movements like the lizard walk.  There’s a flow, coordination, balance and rhythm to those movements you just can’t get with a conventional weights exercise.  It will also show in overall results; how you look, how you feel and how you perform.

Really consider taking a dance or zumba exercise class.  It will do wonders for you, even if you start with two left feet.  You can start to get great results just by improving and practising a few times a week.  You only have to look at the enjoyment, posture, fluidity, muscularity and tone of a professional dancer to see what it can do for us.

If you start you’ll be gaining those things too.

All you really have to do is keep showing up to enjoy yourself.

Why you want to be like a frog

The frog is an advanced creature at jumping, swimming and generally using his/her legs fluidly, explosively and with awesome strength.

We humans can learn a lot from the humble amphibian.

We are tensed up.

You want to be loose as a goose for various reasons.  It makes you feel better, it gives you more energy, mental clarity and you become better at doing just about any task.

It’s all about balance.  Strength is good, but flexibility is more important.

It’s fine to build muscle or strength or both, but don’t neglect flexibility in the process.  You can have powerhouse muscle’s like a frogs legs, but still be fluid and loose.

There’s a former world champion wrestler called Matt Furey.  He’s burly and naturally muscular and he’s also done lots of strength training.  If there was ever a guy that you’d think wouldn’t be flexible it’d be him, yet is muscles are so ‘soft’ that he can do the splits.  He achieved that later on by flexibility work.

That’s where you want to be.

It’s all about balance.  We tend to be tensed up so we need to stretch out for relaxation, stress relief and health.  We sit forward a lot, so we need to stretch in certain directions that bit more than others.  Strength is great too, but its the other side of the coin to flexibility and having both is the best place to be, for health, performance and injury prevention.

It is also better to strengthen using your own bodyweight (some free weight exercises are good too) to improve coordination, balance, hit many angles, smaller muscles and strengthen the spine so you are getting way more out of it and also not creating imbalances.

You don’t want to neglect muscles, because that also creates tension and leaves you open to injury or back alignment issues.

Note: There are ways to increase bodyweight exercises to ridiculous resistance and difficulty levels.  Some people think there are only a few simple bodyweight exercises like two handed push ups and pull ups.  That’s only start of it.

The animals in the wild have it right.  They have an instinct that many of us have lost.  Everyday, they stretch themselves out, they do static contractions for strength, they exercise naturally using their own bodyweight, they play and spar with each other.

It gives them the best chance to enjoy life and survive.  Similar training gives us the best chance to survive, be at our happiest and flourish.  The ancients observed animals and created great methods like Yoga (you don’t have to do Yoga per se).

We just have to start where we are, see the benefits and keep improving until we are a master like Matt Furey.  All it takes is a little bit of daily exercise and rejuvenation time.

I like what Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor says about training and how he gets ready for fights.  Many people would think the best way to get ready for a fight would be heavy sparring and pumping weights.  McGregor does very little of that, he spends 90% of his training time on skills, balance, flexibility, fluid animal movements and bodyweight training.  Not many UFC fighters train like this, but he’s got the best physique, speed, he’s the strongest and is currently wiping out his whole division.

Be like a frog.

Why the brain is the most important ‘muscle’ in the body

In sport, training, and physique building everyone talks about strength, speed and muscularity, but the truth is a lot deeper than that. It’s really about the brain and then we branch out from there.

Everything we do is controlled from the brain. If we develop the brain, we develop everything else.
You may think I’m full of it at this point, but hear me out.

When you strength train you are commanding your brain to create a denser network of neurons that create better wiring that travels down to your muscles, to make them contract harder.

When you develop a skill you are doing the same thing, except this time you are developing fine motor skills or hand eye coordination or movement patterns. All of the above come under the bracket of procedural memory. Your brain is learning to do something better, putting the blueprint in place mentally and in your neurological system, to do it automatically. It is creating more dense networks and faster wiring for certain tasks. It will also create the necessary hormones, body fluids, building blocks to do that task.

This is one of the reasons that I talk about focusing on the muscles you are using in a strength exercise, because it switches the brain on more; and the more of your brain that is engaged, the more you will gain from the workout.

Let’s take this one step further though:
What if we super engage the brain? How could that impact strength training, physique and hand eye coordination?

A lot, as it happens.

So how do we really light up the brain?

Well more of the brain’s cortex is taken up with the hands than any other part of the body. If we develop our hand eye coordination and hand-forearm strength then we are really lighting things up in the grey matter. If we also do that while working ambidextrously we are really taxing (and developing) our brain.

This will make you better at just about every other thing you do.

This is why it is important to play sport, especially ones that require a lot of coordination. Ever notice how much easier it is to do a lot of running when you are playing a game or a match? More of your brain is switched on in chasing the ball, controlling the ball, doing skilled tasks, keeping an eye on opponents, the pattern of play and just having fun etc. Therefore it will provide more of its abilities and resources to help you improve. As a result, you’ll get a lot more from it.

We’ve always sort of known that sport is important to society, but now we are getting more ‘proof’ through neuroscience. We learn a lot about personal development and team work by sport. We also learn about competing. However, we are also directly developing our brain in many different ways and increasing our blood flow to the cerebrum.

The effects of this are far reaching into all aspects of our lives. This will help you in just about every area.

So take up a sport or two, a team sport or a team and individual sport and also try to develop your skills ambidextrously. The greats are nearly always good on both sides or play the opposite way to their natural dominance. Check it if you don’t believe me: Ronnie O’Sullivan, the most talented snooker player of all time, is ambixdextrous. Rafa Nadal in full fitness at his peak was untouchable, he even beat Federer on grass at that point, and he’s right handed but plays left handed. All the great soccer players are either two footed or left footed in a righty world. Tiger Woods is left handed but plays right, Ben Hogan was left handed but played right, Phil Mickelson is right handed and plays left. The best soccer goalkeeper of all time, Peter Schmeichal played handball as a kid (you have to use and develop both arms to play handball). The left side of the body is connected to the right brain and vice versa, and both sides of the brain have abilities the other side doesn’t. We want to engage and amplify all areas and also communication across the hemispheres as much as possible. If the spacial awareness, rhythm, vision, reasoning, interpersonal, sensory, impulse control, and decision centers are all switched on and communicating… skill level is greatly heightened. The greats with ambidexterity are using more of their brains!

This isn’t inbuilt either, it is about development. Then it looks like it is natural two sidedness, but there’s no such thing. There are many accounts of people who acquired an injury to one side and over time developed the other side to be just as good. And of course, as stated earlier, many of the great sportspeople play the opposite side to their usual dominance. If you develop both sides your brain creates that motor cortex structure, if you neglect one side it never develops.

This is another reason why bodyweight exercise trumps repetitive weights routines. You have to learn to control your own body, balance and coordination to do bodyweight exercises correctly. They are also bilateral as they get harder, in other words you start to do them one side at a time (like a one arm push up).

You can also greatly develop your memory directly, and memory is connected to everything you do. You have images for how to do simple tasks, complex skills, for how things work, for things you’ve learned etc.

There was once a study done of London black cab drivers before and after they had memorised 25,000 streets. Their hippocampi region of the brain was 10% bigger after! The brain is very much changeable and very adept at learning skills if you practise them. It will literally change its structure to get better.

So when not playing sport but doing a simple exercise (like push ups or running etc.), you can also recite the capitals of the world or something else you’ve memorised. You’ll find that you actually accomplish more physically because more of the brain is switched on. You are creating more hormones and your neurons are connecting and communicating more across the regions of the brain. This makes you better at everything.

So start using more of your brain, it will lead to greater results in all areas of your life!