Monday, January 20, 2014

Trifecta



As we move into 2014 I will post some of the things I am looking at and thinking over.

Here's one:  We often hear that nutrition is 80% of the equation when it comes to achieving fitness goals.  That is somewhat true / somewhat false. It depends on who is working toward what goal and what they have done previously.  It can be hard to split best practice from the diet industry when there is so much mixed information.  My thought is that whole/unprocessed foods are the way to go whenever possible. Limiting sugar is good.  I don't like the word diet because it implies uncomfortable restriction and my preference is to bring the body into balance so that positive changes correspond with feeling better.  Here's a TED Talk on Why dieting doesn't usually work by Sandra Aamodt.  She emphasizes mindfulness as a key way to become more comfortable with food.

Here's another one:  One tenent of my fitness philosophy is to train for function. I would like everyone I work with to be willing to find their athleticism, in whatever capacity suits them.  Recently I've been enjoying MyMadMethods.com. They've got great free workouts, a couple of free ebooks and a members area if you are so inclined.

Last one for today:  The study of willpower / motivation / personal development has a lot of crossover with health and wellness.  I don't think that real change happens when we force or fight ourselves. We become successful when we get more intune with ourselves and introduce ourselves to more satisfying ways of being.  Having an amazing thinking pattern specialist/hypnotherapist like Heron Saline in your life is awesome.  If you are going it alone, I like Omvana for this type of thing though there are many other sites out there.  Don't drive while you are listening!  If you want to understand willpower, there's a great book by Kelly McGonigal called The Willpower Instinct.  Definitely worth a read.

On a long term note, I am making a rough study of where the leading thinkers in evolutionary medicine, health and fitness, and the psychology of motivation agree.  Most of the focus will be split into three categories: nutrition, fitness, and personal development.  I am always interested in your thoughts and suggestions, so please feel free to message me: carey@careyrockland.com.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Out With A Bang

It's been an epic year.  There's one more month to rock out and then it will never be 2013 again. Before we hit 2014 I want to make sure that I've stared down the last of the 2013 demons and reached the best of the 2013 goals so I can jump forward with a clean slate.

Some thoughts for those of you metaphorically cleaning house right now:

1. What patterns are keeping you stuck?  How can you adjust your thinking / behavior / strategy to get unstuck?

2. What's been successful and why? Can you apply that same strategy to another area of your life?

3. What have you given up in pursuit of your fitness goals, and what have you gotten while in pursuit of these goals?

4. What do you want to do next and why?

5. Are you focused on the journey or the outcome? How can the journey be more enjoyable and what makes the outcome a richer experience?

If you are choosing to hibernate right now, be deliberate about it.  This is pre-season 2014! Leverage that hibernation so that you are ready to leap ahead come January.  Embodiment is a life-long commitment and it gets richer as we develop our relationship with ourselves.  Be creative, re-invent, make some inspiring changes, but most importantly, allow it to happen organically.

Happy Holiday Season, whatever your style may be!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Results


Have you ever gone for a night run and suddenly the urban landscape transformed into something much more beautiful?  That feeling of cold night air in your lungs and registering light and sound differently unwires the sedentary routines that many of us fall into in the course of our lives.

I have gotten so much from full body strength and conditioning workouts that extend beyond any aesthetic or weight loss goal.  The results I am referring to are the benefits of feeling alive, capable and powerful.  When we feel that way we respect ourselves and we make good choices for ourselves.

Discipline is good, will power is good, but being on our own team is the most important thing.  On-going positive change comes from being our own best friend, our own parent, our own hero.  It can be hard to stay in that headspace but with practice it can become the default.

In time, great workouts feed us and then we continue the positive cycle and add the in healthy nutrition, the sleep, recovery time and efficiency that completes the circle.  It can become compelling.

Here's a simple way to begin:

Three times a week take a 20 minute walk and do 5 push-ups and 10 step-ups (with good form!) on every park bench you pass. Vary your pace based on landmarks - i.e. - speed walk from the fire hydrant to the lamp post. Duck underneath railings and continue the duck-under zig-zag for the length of the railing.  Hold onto handrail and hop up steps one leg at a time.  Look for more options as you travel the landscape and PLAY.

If you're more advanced bring a pair of gloves to protect your hands and run the course. Add jumps, bear crawls, crab walks, lunges, split jumps, pull-ups, recline rows, burpees on and off different surfaces, hill runs.  Extend the time limit.

Good nutrition means eating whole foods and staying away from processed foods as much as possible.
A simple change that yields quick results is to cut the sugar. Eliminate sugary drinks and sweets, or at least cut down in quantity. If weight loss is a goal, cut meal sizes down by 1/4 to start, reduce snacking (think of them as small meals instead) and see how you feel.  Hydrate adequately but not too much!

We will begin posting our Bay-Fit weekly workout challenge each Sunday night along with a sample workout.  Stay tuned and stay in touch.  Happy Training!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hitting the Wall.


This happens:  We hit a wall.  There's been a block in the way.  Maybe it's invisible.  It just won't move.  There's been blood, sweat and tears and still we have this.  Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard we work, how much effort we expend, we are right here staring at the wall. 

The wall is the teacher, the lesson and the journey.  It's how we get to know ourselves.  It begs the question, can we like ourselves in spite of hitting this?  In spite of hitting it repeatedly? 

In that moment when we are starting at the wall, we can ask: Did I try everything? Did I go all out? Could I have been more thorough? Did I do the best I was capable of given the hand I was dealt (or even, given the hand I created when I knew less than I know now)? 

If the answer is yes, rest and regroup.  If the answer is no, the game is still on. Go back and fix the missing links. Try it again.and again.and again. but not the same way.  Remember the definition of insanity. 

Sports, fitness, life, they dovetail into very similar themes.  A wall is an opportunity to grow and become bigger than the old version that hit it in the first place.  Walls are part of life.  Walls cannot take away self-esteem, dignity or drive.  Face it and keep on going.  Walls can be beautiful. 










Monday, April 1, 2013

App-tastic


It's part of my job to stay up-to-date on what's out there in my field and for fun I sometimes choose and to test run combinations of tech training options.  The following is a combination that I like:

If I my nutrition goal was weight loss, and I wanted to get into better strength and cardiovascular shape I would use the following low cost programs:

Online nutrition: The Whole30 

Apps:
Tabata Timer 
Gorilla (this is all body weight work, with videos included)

Habit change via payment to a negative charity. StickK.com

Daily Routine:

Commit to Whole30 for the whole 30 days.
Enroll at StickK.com and get a referee (enlist a friend) - set goals here.
Do the following 6 days a week alternating daily between Programs A and B

Program A.
Warm-Up x 5 minutes - 10 minutes.
Complete 4 Tabatas with one minute rest between Tabatas
If you are new to fitness keep the intensity low.
Alternate between two exercises per Tabata.
T1. Squats and Jumping Jax
T2. Push-Ups and Hip Bridges
T3. Back Rows and Jogging in Place (high knees)
T4. Abs (Planks) and Supermans
Follow with 20 minutes brisk cardio.
Stretch out.

Program B.
Warm-Up x 5-10 minutes
Complete one Gorilla workout at your fitness level (progress to next workout next time).
Follow with 20 minutes of interval cardio :
either 30 sec quick pace : 1 min normal/easy
or
30 sec quick pace : 30 sec normal/easy
Adjust the work:rest ratio to meet your conditioning needs.
Stretch out.

As with all exercise programs, consult your physician prior to engaging.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Leveraging Individuality



Individual exercise and nutrition programming is exactly that: Individual.  There is no absolute right way to do it, no matter what the mainstream dictate is.  I observe greater degrees of success when the program is designed for the person.  There is a logic to our preferences that can be dialed in to bring us to where we want to go.

For those of us who are programmed to operate to swing between extremes:  Leverage the extremes so that they serve what we are seeking.  If you tend to fall off your training program make sure your program is periodized to include natural breaks or "fallout".  If you tend toward extreme nutrition practices incorporate carb cycling or intermittent fasting so that your practice feels familiar but the result will increase your health and wellbeing. 

For those of us who are programmed to longterm routine:  Leverage that consistency so that it yields the desired result.  Change the variables of the routine such that the routine creates change, but keep the basic structure and timing steady. Variables to shift might be: intensity, number of reps, amount weight, style of training, macronutrient ratios, and rest times.

Embodiment is as individual as we are. Physical practice is about working with ourselves to bring our best self forward.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Self-Styled



Describe "your game" - it's a question that's been high on my list for the past 16 weeks. Its a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition question put to me by my mentor and friend Cody Fielding.  His point being that I have my own distinct way of moving, preferred flow patterns and strategic preferences. I need to be able to explain that system, if only to myself.  When I roll I don't scramble through my mind-library of BJJ technique in hopes that I'll come up with a game plan that works, I have my own pre-existing style.  This style can be honed / adjusted / game changed but essentially its my way of moving.

Take this a little broader and apply it to personal relationship to physical practice.  Do you do take a generic / mainstreamed attitude to exercise or do you self-style your experience?  Are you driving it, or is it driving you? This is different than say, intelligent program design (it matters!).  Self-styling is an inspired attitude and a customized approach based on one's individuality.  

Outside of a sport or enjoyment context sometimes I think through the cultural push to exercise for health reasons or for aesthetics.  These can be considered neutral objectives that can either be externally driven, or owned and self-styled by the individual.  External drives tend to be somewhat hollow and lack the sense of calm and relationship with self that personal ownership offers.  My sense is that personal ownership leads to confidence, power and passion for the practice.  

It strikes me that those who are truly masterful at their practice tend to be excellent at the specific array of techniques / movement patterns that come naturally.  They have taken their style or their game to an elite level by playing to their strengths.  

Our personal relationship with our own physicality can be one of the most intimate relationships we have.  Why not hone our individual styles, get to know our own game and kick some seriously empowered ass!