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Posts Tagged ‘mentality’

Creating The Circle of Happiness in Your Life

19:54 October 8th, 2016
200 yards from the Atlantic Ocean,
Salthill,
Galway,
Ireland.

The last few days my 5-1/2 month old Nephew Seamas has been up to visit us.  He’s an adorable little man.

Kids at that age are superlearners.  It’s amazing to watch.  Almost daily there is some progression.  He’s always up to something to develop himself, in every waking moment.  And the sleeping and feeding is just to rejuvenate – so he can power forward again.

He’s not crawling yet, but he’s able to do mini press-ups and he does the yoga greeting the sun move of raising his head up as high as he can with his hips on the ground.  He gets up on his hands and feet and he starts rocking back and forth.  Then he makes an effort to crawl forward.

Any day now he’ll master it.  He can go a bit forward down on his elbows, but it’s more of a squirm.  All these moves are making him stronger and more coordinated.  It’s setting the stage for his next milestone.

He’s also biting and tasting everything.  He’s interacting with people and having fun.  He gets more advanced on these things all the time.

They say we learn more in our first five years on the planet than in the rest of our lives.

Babies are amazing.

Well, we’ve talked before about going towards OUR GOALS.  Let’s look at what the most efficient learners do… the little guys above.

They are as happy as larry and have a picture in mind for what they want to do.  They’ve no encumberments of irrational fears, tension or doubt.  They just have desire to achieve the next step for them.  They also really ENJOY the whole process.

I was on the ground playing with Seamas earlier as he was ‘working out’.  He was up on all fours and making his latest attempts at moving forward.  He had a big smile on his face the whole time –  a happy lad, doing his thing.

Nothing is surer he’ll achieve his goal too.

He’s delighted where he’s at.  He feels confident.  He might grunt a bit when he flops down because his arms aren’t yet strong enough to take him forward.  However, the smile isn’t far behind.  He’s also clearly determined.  He has a clear image of what he wants and strong desire to do it.

It’s all fun, joy and loving the challenge.

It’s not a problem to solve either.  Too many of us adults are ‘problem solvers.’  It’s the wrong way to look at things – much better to treat ‘problems’ as things to transcend.  If problems come up, don’t look for the solution, look for what you actually WANT.  And move towards THAT.

Otherwise, more problems come along, because we are just in ‘putting out fires’ mode.  In fact, with this approach, most of the problems we ‘fix’ tend to come back too.

Problems are taken care of automatically if our focus is on what we want.  It’s the flow instead of stress route.

Getting back to the title of this piece, ‘The Circle of Happiness’, goals are also supposed to enhance our lives.  Too many of us turn goals into stress events of large proportions.  That’s not how we were when we started life.

Let’s get into our flow.

This is the NATURAL way to be; feeling happy, calm and grateful.  If you start to do this and continue it, your self-image will grow and so will your confidence.  MORE and better versions of success will come your way.

Happiness is how we view ourselves and engaging our passions.  It is not something that comes from outside things or reaching a goal we ‘HAVE’ to achieve.

Sure, we want to create desires and goals.  That’s a great thing.  It is enlivening to go after things.  It’s part of who we are as humans.  It’s fun and progressive.  Who doesn’t like doing that?

However, we just want to do it in the most powerful way, not one that creates an unhealthy life.

That’s what the ‘Creating The Mentality of Success’ and ‘Your Breath is your Power’ chapters in The Next Level Sports Program are about.

The result is the Circle of Happiness.

There’s a concept of surrendering the outcome.  This ensures you are in flow before, during and after an event or conclusion.  That doesn’t mean you aren’t determined and burning with desire to achieve the goal.  It just means you are happy no matter what.  It means you don’t have fears or unhelpful beliefs creating interference and bad stress.

Letting go of the outcome also gives you a better chance of achieving the goal.

Feeling great… AND more successful.  Way to be, right?

And after all, isn’t the main goal we all have in life… HAPPINESS?  Think about it.

The mini-humans have it right and they learn more in the first five years than we do the rest of the time…  OR they USUALLY learn and achieve more in the first five years than the rest of us.

There are some very rare super learners and ultra successful people among us that by luck or design have this concept ingrained as adults too.

Be one of those people.

Be it. Do it. Live it.

Yours,
Brian Timlin
www.nextlevelsportsprogram.com

 

Ps.  When I say ‘successful’, success is determined in different ways by different people.  Mother Theresa was just as successful as Steve Jobs.  She was happy and living her truth and passion.

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 not all research, or rather, not all interpretation of the research, is created equal.

This article is going to outline why you also have to use your own head, no matter how much of a supposed expert the person you are dealing with is.

I’m not into dogma, because it results in anything from lack of progression/innovation to downright incompetence. I always encourage people to write their own notes on any material and get their own experience. I think my writings are very well researched and tested, and they do get great results, but that’s not the point.

Every system has to evolve, get better and more accurate. Furthermore, each person who wants to master a subject can get a shortcut to the gold, but they won’t have any mastery until they’ve put their own perception and stamp on it.

For one thing you’ll have to tweak it to your own needs, goals, body, personality, capabilities and lifestyle. I really want to teach people to be their own coach.

Another big reason I do that is because that’s where the real progress and understanding comes from. When you really know the picture of things first hand you gain an extra level of motivation and vision for just how far you can get. It will also safeguard you against dogma that is inaccurate. You get a lot of experts who just rehash stuff, often information that was incorrect to begin with.

Some degree courses are teaching health and fitness information that is actually based on a business model and not science. In conventional medicine, for example, you have a setup where Doctors are taught to treat symptoms and not root causes. Plus they are using allopathic medicine, because it is the only licensed treatment. That was a policy made by government lobbies. Law was passed that you had to pay $20 million to get ‘official’ research. You can’t patent healing, natural substances the drugs are usually based on (without the side effects), penny on the dollar medicines or any other processes by which the body is aided in healing itself. Without the patent you can’t corner the market and make the $20 million back, so no one is going to do that. Also only large corporations can afford to outlay the initial $20 million anyway.

Therefore the system is not setup for the best results and science, it is setup for a monopoly and one particular type of medicine, which as it happens is very ineffective at curing people, 90% of the time. I’m not totally against pharmaceutical drugs because they can be useful, and in emergencies can save lives. However, with chronic illness they are largely a business con. They are very expensive, usually ineffective at curing, just treat the symptoms, have a lot of side effects (sometimes even causing death) and create repeat customers. I don’t want to be having a go at Doctors because in emergencies they save lives. This dogma is pushed on Doctors and they are a generally speaking a conservative bunch by nature, highly technical, strong at passing tests and carrying out the current system very well, for better or worse. There’s a lot of the worse around at the minute, unfortunately.

And not many of them are doing anything about it, but there are of course some doctors out there too who are brilliant at curing chronic illnesses as well.

We also have issues with independent research because it’s usually anything but. In 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most respected journals of medicine, made a startling announcement. The editors declared that they were dropping their policy stipulating that authors of review articles of medical studies could not have financial ties to drug companies whose medicines were being analyzed. The reason? The journal could no longer find enough independent experts. Drug company gifts and consulting fees are so pervasive that in any given field, you cannot find an expert who has not been paid off in some way by the industry. So the journal settled for a new standard: Their reviewers can have received no more than $10,000 from companies whose work they judge.

So all the money coming into research, grants, education, medical seminars, FDA is all tied to big pharma. Plus the doctors are overwhelmingly being given this drug treatment picture in their training, a business model masquerading as good science.

Let’s get into the practicalities.

This is a typical situation: Take cholesterol issues, for example. A man goes to the doctor. The tests come back and his cholesterol is not in such good shape. The doctor tells him the only proven way to reduce his cholesterol is to go on a statin drug. This happened to a guy I know recently. I told him there was plenty of research that you could sort cholesterol issues out completely by reducing body fat, inflammation and improving fitness.  You do this with a decent diet plan, a supplement or two like omega 3 fish oil and a good workout plan. He said ‘sure I did that the last time I had high cholesterol, because the statin drugs made me feel awful before that and I went back and my tests were fine, plus I never felt better’. ‘There you go’ I said to him, I’ve seen that plenty of times myself as well.

Essentially the doctor had him on a dangerous drug proven to actually block the CoQ10 pathway, which is an important muscular energy nutrient. And guess which muscle requires it the most? Yes, the heart! Statin drugs might treat the symptoms of high cholesterol, but it’s not addressing the cause, which is inflammation (which causes arterial damage which is then repaired by cholesterol glueing it up). Inflammation is usually caused by stress, excessive adipose tissue (body fat), magnesium deficiency or a lack omega 3 in the diet.

So getting to the title of this article, not all research is created equal. The research says statins reduce cholesterol. Blood thinner medication thins blood. But they are addressing the symptom, not the cause. And they have many bad side effects. Blood thinning medication is similar in make up to rat poison, I lie you not. They actually use rat poison in the army at times during emergencies, which is fine, I mean you use what you have at the time. However, someone taking that everyday, that’s BAD science.

It’s completely missing the big picture. Conventional medicine and the west is obsessed with details (left brained) to the point that it is easily duped by business. The big picture (using the right brain) and other important details are completely missed. The Chinese and other Eastern medical doctors find this laughable, and rightly so.

You have to get to why the person has high blood pressure and address that. Otherwise, just giving a drug is going to leave the problem unabated and health degrades. Often people end up on 2-8 different drugs per day and in a nightmare situation with their health. The result of all of the above is that illness is increasing at all ages in the most ‘developed’ countries in the world (WHO statistics). It’s absolute madness, not to mention the costs involved, which is just more money going directly from the taxpayers pocket to the rich corporate owner’s coffers.

This ignorance helps the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

It’s a total nonsense. And it all starts with dogma.

Regarding fitness, there was a study published about interval training being nine times more effective than steady state (jogging or similar) for fat loss. Turns out the reality in the study and not the notes, was that the participants had lost 1mm extra at nine different points of the body. That’s a minor amount better, overall, nowhere near the claimed amount.

When we look at what the research really says and test things out for ourselves we start to work out the big picture and the details. We have first hand mastery, not dogma from someone else, who may have their own inaccurate conclusions or even an agenda. Intervals are not nine times more effective, they are slightly more effective for fat loss. Overall, however, both together is even better because you can’t do intervals too often or you burn out.

So you can have research that is twisted up or ignoring other large factors, or not taking the big picture into account and more. Also, no one can fully understand you, your life, your circumstances, health, personality etc. like you can.

Listen to people who get results and speak sense, but also be your own coach! It’s a guard against the epic fail and it’s the only way to great success!

Why building the mind-muscle connection is important to any sportsperson, bodybuilder or gym goer

It’s important because this unseen aspect of training will increase your results.

What is the mind-muscle connection? It’s basically how many nerves are going between your brain and your muscles, and how well grooved the pathways are.

If there are more neurons and connections in your brain for handling certain muscles, then they will function better, contract with more force, fire faster, with more control, coordination etc.

A lot of this is built simply by regular training. If you lift weight you are building the mind-muscle connection to make it stronger. You are building the physical structure in muscle fibre, but you are also building the skill of strength. Your brain is also adapting to get better.

The same goes for any type of training. You have to perform technique a certain amount of times before it is second nature. That’s all neuromuscular adaptation, the neurons getting a blueprint for how to do a movement (using muscles). Anyone who’s trained for a decent amount of time, eventually gains a supra awareness of their body, ‘the mind is more in the body’. It may be noticed as simply feeling muscles contract, but it is a powerful perception and a sign of increased ability.

Furthermore, we can amplify the connection with certain exercises, and it adds a lot to results.

For example, using ballistic exercises not just builds more speed, but it is also very helpful to strength training and general performance. This is because deliberately firing muscles faster is a mental focus that builds the mind-muscle connection. It’s not uncommon for people to increase their bench press 100lbs from adding ballistic training for the chest and shoulders. A lot of this is due to engaging and growing fibres not hit in heavy resistance training, but it is also largely to do with neuromuscular adaptations.

We know it is also nerve power increase because using a different focus during strength workouts also increases lifts quite a bit.

Long term, these practises will make a very noticeable difference. We outline exactly how to put this in a program in our book, Precision Physique: Training (module 2).

What are good body measurements?

There are actually body measurements that are ideal for your height and gender.

And they are attainable long term for anybody with the right training and diet.

They are also not the stereotypes you often see on the front of a bodybuilding or fashionista magazine. Those dudes are often too big and the girls are often too skinny.

That’s not just what I am saying, that is what the maths is saying as well. There is a number throughout nature called Phi, or the perfect ratio. It is the design number. It is in everything from seashells, to plants, to animals, to humans. It is also used in roads, buildings, credit cards, cars, cereal boxes and lots of other things to make them structurally sounder, more visually appealing and to sell more.

Nearly all the great physique statues are on these numbers as well. We discuss the numbers in depth in our book, Precision Physique.

The extremes don’t look right, it is commercialism to try to get people after the unattainable (and actually undesirable), so they will keep buying magazines, the supplements they own, the clothes they advertise and so on.

The young people who are hell bent on getting the drug induced physiques in the pictures end up shooting steroids or with eating disorders. Not good.

So it is not just interesting information to talk about the correct health and physique goals, but it is actually very important information.

There’s nothing worse than a lean girl thinking she would look better if she was skin and bone. Her health, life and even appearance will end up in bits.

The idiots who perpetuate this madness (in the images and articles they write) need to be called out. Hopefully then eventually everyone will be aware of it and then no younger people will want to buy the stupid mags anymore (until they start publishing good material).