Mindset Habit #1

Welcome to your first mindset habit - Consistency/Feeding the Piggy Bank. 

If you only take away one thing from this entire 12 weeks, I hope it's this: Consistency, in anything in life, is the key to success. 

It doesn't matter how intensely you do something if you only do it sometimes. It doesn't matter how often you think about doing the thing or how great your intentions are, Consistency - taking small action everyday - is how you will get better or see progress at anything. 

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." 

That's right. We're already hitting you with the cheesy quotes, but we believe in that shit. 

So your first habit is: Consistency/Feeding The Piggy Bank**

**Full disclosure - we straight up stole "Feeding the Piggy Bank" from our dude friends over at Strength Faction. It was so good, we wanted to incorporate it into our habits as well. 

The idea of feeding the piggy bank is to make a small, positive action deposit into the piggy bank that compounds interest into transformation. 

So often we want to overhaul everything at once and see dramatic change tomorrow. We are a society of instant gratification and taking the time and patience to do the small things is not always the most fun, but it's the thing that is the least painful that gets us the most results. 

How do we get to our end result? By breaking it down into small investments. 

For our purposes, investments will be behaviors. Behaviors could be anything from going grocery shopping so you have food in your house, scheduling your workouts in advance so they are non-negotiable, getting up when your alarm goes off, taking the time to foam roll and take care of your tissues at the end of your sessions, etc. 

It's making time to do that little thing will have huge payoff over time and shouldn't feel like it's too much to do. 

Let's pretend that we are talking about finances. 

Say you want to start a savings account but the minimum to start is $1300. In one lump sum, that might feel uncomfortable. It might cause some anxiety or feel overwhelming to have to cough up up front. BUT, if you could spread the payments out over a year, that's only $25/week. 

We spend $25/week on crazy shit: coffee, snacks, taking a cab 4 miles. It's easy and painless to spend $25/week. 

That's the beauty of small deposits that create a compound effect. They're unnoticeable and easy. 

The challenging part is, the little things are just as easy not to do. You have to make a conscious effort to incorporate that little thing into your life everyday to see it compound. 

So here's your action:

Pick ONE thing that you are going to consistently do or deposit into the piggy bank everyday. Make sure it's something you can easily nail. If you don't currently prep all your meals for the week and you're eating out 2x a day, doing a full week of meal prep will likely be overwhelming. Make it small and doable. 

Maybe it's working out everyday.  

Maybe it's packing your lunch so you're not starving and grab the closest, easiest thing.

Maybe it's bringing a water bottle with you and drinking through out the day.

PIck one thing that you can easily commit to and take that small action everyday. We are going to be checking in on this with your weekly check-ins so you'll have some accountability. 

Daily Mindset Question: Did I feed the piggy bank? 

 

 

 

Nutrition Habit #1

Our first nutrition habit is up, and we are going strong out the gate. 

Eat protein with every meal. 

What? 

That's right. 

If you aren't getting it in with every snack or every time you eat, that's okay. But, breakfast, lunch and dinner, aim to eat some lean protein with it. 

How much and what kinds? 

You're shooting for 1 palm sized portion of protein of any of the options listed below. 

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It's all in the Nutrition Quick Start Guide

Make sure to download and save that to refer to through out the 12 weeks, and then forever. It has planning and prep strategies, lists of great macros to choose from, measuring suggestions, and more. 

If you're vegan or vegetarian, no sweat. There are lots of friendly protein options out there, many included in the quick start guide. 

If you trust that protein is the jam and you need no other convincing that you should be including it in your diet, sweet. Start getting it in. 

If you're unsure and want more information check out THIS article Wheels wrote for the Mark Fisher Fitness blog. 

Happy eating! 

10 Ways to Measure Progress (that aren't weight loss)

Often times we get caught up on using the scale to measure progress. There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose a few pounds, and while constantly checking in with what you weigh can **keep you in check, there are ways to measure progress that are more empowering. 

**make you so, so sad

Weight Lifted

Can you lift heavier this month than last month? Congratulations. That's progress. Strength progress is empowering as fuck. While it may not be your goal to win a power lifting competition, getting stronger will increase your lean mass, decrease your fat mass, help you burn calories more efficiently, increase bone density, and keep you kickin into your older years. 

Side note: The number one reason people go to nursing homes is because they can't get up by themselves. Also, the STD rate in senior citizens has more than doubled in the last 10 years. Moral of the story: if you're not getting stronger, you'll likely end up in a nursing home with an STD. Ask my grandma, Marilyn. She's the life of the party. 

Recovery

How do you feel between sets? Are you able to bring your heart rate down quickly and bounce back in? Being aware of what's happening between sets is a useful way to measure progress. 

Let's say you're doing 1:00 min intervals with equal rest time. If after the first few minutes you feel like death and can barely peel yourself off the floor when the rest is over, your ability to recover isn't the best.

If the next month you are able to stay standing and feel like you're ready to jump in after the rest, that's progress. 

We can only progress as fast as we can recover, so recovery is a kick ass measuring tool. 

Reps for Time

Doing work for time is called density training. It refers to the volume and duration of your workout. If over several sessions you can do more work in the same amount of time or the same amount of work in less time, that's progress. 

Two examples:

Task: Complete the ladder as quickly as possible. 

5 of each down to 1 of each.

Deadlift, hang power clean, front squat, push press

If the first time you do it, you complete the task in 7:53 and the next time you try it you get 6:22, that's progress. You've done the same amount of work in less time. 

Time: Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 min. 

20 Squats, 15 Push Ups, 10 Pull Ups

If the first time you do it, you do 5 rounds and the second time you try you get 8 rounds, that's progress. You've done more work in the same amount of time. 

Give yourself a high five. 

Resting Heart Rate

Your resting heart rate (RHR) is the number of times your heart beats per minute. If your RHR is low, your heart is more efficient. It tends to be a healthier heart.

If your RHR is high, your heart has to do a lot of work to get blood distributed throughout your body while you're not doing anything. Imagine how hard it has to work if you exert any effort. 

If you don't have a heart rate monitor, an easy way to find your RHR is right after you wake up in the morning. Before you jump out of bed, give yourself a minute or two to relax. Using your pointer and bird finger, find your pulse on your opposite wrist, below your thumb. Count the beats for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4 to get your heart rate.  

The average adult has a RHR of between 60-100. If you are a trained athlete, that number can be anywhere between 40-60 beats per minute. If you've been training (eating well, hydrating, sleeping, and monitoring stress) and your RHR goes down, hell yes. Progress. 

Aerobic Window

Your aerobic window is the difference between your resting heart rate and your anaerobic threshold. The anaerobic threshold is the level of intensity where lactic acid builds up in the body faster than it can be cleared away. What the heck does this mean? 

Have you ever taken a HIIT class and been able to cruise along for a while when all the sudden your muscles start to burn, your heart is pounding out of your chest, and you can't go hard anymore? 

That's your anaerobic threshold. 

The aerobic window is how long your body can use oxygen to do the work before you crossover into the anaerobic (without oxygen) system. Once you cross over, it'll only be a hot minute before you'll have to slow down or stop. If you can increase the time you can do work with oxygen, this is huge progress. 

If you'd like more information on how to find out what your AW is and how to widen the gap, check this out

Mobility/Range of Motion

Mobility is a great measure of progress.

Can you reach your arm straight over your head without arching your back or shooting your face forward? If not, start to observe where your end ranges are while keeping your core engaged and spine neutral. 

If you notice you can get more range of motion without getting false range from other parts of your body (usually the spine), that is badass. 

Being able to move your joints freely through their end ranges is not only a super important part of training, but of life. Your 75 year old self will high five your sweet ass if you are progressing in mobility. 

Energy

How do you feel during the day? Are you gulping 32oz bubba kegs of coffee at regular intervals to stay awake, or do you have a consistent pep in your step?  If you're finding that you aren't crashing out midday or reaching for the extra dose of caffeine (or cookies, or cocaine - no judgement on any of your vices), that's progress.

Sleep

Have you tossed and turned in the past but notice that you're sleeping through the night and waking up rested?

Ding, ding, ding. That's not an alarm - that's great news, Sleeping Beauty. There are, scientifically, one jillion ways that sleep affects your emotional, mental, and physical well being. If you are progressing in your sleep patterns, it's likely you are progressing in life. Lets take a momentary pause and do a happy dance. 

Clothing

How does your clothing fit? Getting looser? Do you look like Missy Elliot in the Supa Dupa Fly video

Yes, there is potential that weight loss has occurred if your clothing is fitting differently, but if you are increasing lean mass while you're decreasing fat mass, there might not be a lot of movement on the scale. 

Using clothing to measure progress is a great way to feel good about yourself without diminishing the feeling by the number on the scale. 

Confidence

How do you feel about yourself? If you are starting to feel more confident, you'll show up differently at your job, in your daily interactions with your peers, in your relationship, and definitely in the bedroom. Feeling more confident is a measure of progress that gets overlooked but is a huge influencer in all you do and how you show up in life. You don't need a scale to deflate that.  

 

Try these on for size, and see how much changing the tools you use to measure can start to shift your mindset and help you feel empowered.