Blog Archives | Strength Clinic

Category Archives for "Blog"

Top 6 Ways To Save Your Body! – Part 2

By Patrick Diver | Blog

Top 6 Ways To Save Your Body! – Part 2

In Part I of “Top 6 Ways To Save Your Body!” I talked about focusing on productive workouts by cutting out the busy work, avoiding extreme workouts to save yourself from injury, and the importance of “big picture” thinking to help you understand how important physical strength is for quality of life. In Part II, I’ll discuss the importance of commitment, why fat loss should be a priority, and how a support team is critical in helping you achieve your goals. Let’s get started.


4. Stick With It

“It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just I stay with problems longer.” — Albert Einstein​

Einstein was probably talking about a different kind of problem then the topic at hand, but the sentiment remains.

Losing body fat and gaining strength can be tricky proposition for some.

Although the mechanics behind the process is relatively straight-forward, getting an individual with his or her unique emotional and mental makeup in-sync with the process can be challenging affair.

What works for one person, may not work for the next.

Some things may work instantly, while others require the ‘ole carburetor adjustment, as I like to call it. In short, it can take time. So here’s a question to ask yourself:

What if realizing your fitness goal doesn’t happen in the timeframe you think it should happen? How long should you stick with it? When does throwing in the towel make sense?

I suggest you answer this question before you begin a fitness program.

The reality is I almost NEVER see someone in better shape after quitting a structured fitness program than before they quit.

They may have quit because they didn’t see the fat loss they were hoping for (which, by the way, has very little to do with the exercise, as I’ll explain in a minute)…but what they failed to appreciate was that even without dramatic weight loss, their body composition is still radically changing.

In fact, in many cases, they were able to successfully stop further weight gain. Few consider this, but it’s evident by the sudden gain in fat they experience when they stop working out.

Do you see what I’m getting at? When it comes to health and fitness there is never a good time to stop cold turkey.

You should always be doing something to progress and maintain your strength.


5. Make Fat Loss a Priority

There’s a saying amongst knowledgeable fitness professionals:

“You can’t out train a bad diet.”

What it means is no amount of training will play a significant role in helping you become slim, fit, tone, etc. — if you eat too much.

Your general physical appearance is governed by three things — bone structure, body fat, and musculature.

Since your bone structure is unlikely to change, we’re left with body fat and musculature to work on — with your body fat level playing a far more significant role in your appearance than your musculature.

That’s not to say your musculature is not important. Musculature gives you shape, and with enough body fat loss, will improve the look of your arms, legs, and everything else.

The best way to improve your musculature is to strength train, of course.

Body fat, on the other hand, is best manipulated through diet. People often ask — what percentage of fat loss is diet versus exercise? Is it 50/50? 80/20? 90/10?

Well, let’s put it this way: forget the numbers and accept the reality that if you are going to lose body fat, you will most likely need to reduce your food intake.

You need to make conscious decisions about how much you eat otherwise your body will see no reason to release body fat if it’s kept padded with additional food.

Many try to go nuts with the exercise in an attempt to burn fat off with making little change to their diet, but this approach is difficult.

Why? It’s just plain hard to put in countless hours doing what amounts to manual labor, all the while building up an appetite…and then trying to hold back at the dinner table.

It’s just too easy to eat more than you have burned off during a workout.

It’s for this reason the most efficient and rational way to improve your appearance, performance, and health is to figure out how much food you need to consume to each day to encourage fat loss and then build your muscle mass through strength training.


6. Don’t Go At It Alone

A lot of people think coaching is only for athletes or the well-to-do. In particular, they think fitness coaches are for celebrities, doctors, or high earning business owners.

My view is understandably different.

I believe if your track record shows that you have been unsuccessful achieving what you desire — then coaching is not only warranted — but absolutely necessary.

And this goes for anything you want in life, not just fitness.

If your emotions are getting the best of you, you would work with a counselor. If your business is suffering, you would hire a business coach.

Fitness is no different. If you feel you’ve tried, and tried, and tried to achieve your goals — and it hasn’t happened — then it’s time to get help.

If success alludes you, it generally boils down to three things. First, you don’t have the knowledge of how to put a complete game plan together. Second, you lack a workable plan-of-action that integrates everything required for your success. Third, you lack the support system required to not only achieve your goals, but also maintain them.

You see a good coach provides knowledge that is conveyed in a useful manner — as well as perhaps the most important thing — accountability. This is why working with a coach is unquestionably the most important thing a person can do to achieve their goals.

And yes — it costs money.

But what doesn’t? What are the financial consequences of being in emotional turmoil, seeing your business fail, or being in terrible shape?

The money is only an expense, until you see the payoff — and then you realize it’s not an expense, but an investment.

Noted sales trainer and success coach, Tom Hopkins, says 10% of your income should be devoted to self-improvement. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty good number to begin with when we consider how we spend our money and what we really value in life.

So seek out the most qualified coaches with the best track records you can find. Make the decision to work with them until you can consistently do what is necessary on your own!

So there you have it — the Top 6 Ways to Save Your Body! Armed with this information you can leave behind the frustration of old, and begin forging your way to a new healthy you in the New Year. If you follow these steps to the letter, I promise you’ll achieve the health and fitness you deserve.

Don’t wait, get on it and take action now!

Top 6 Ways To Save Your Body! – Part 1

By Patrick Diver | Blog

Top 6 Ways To Save Your Body! – Part 1

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about why most New Year’s fitness resolutions fail, and how to prevent it from happening to you. It was one of my most popular posts with regards to social sharing — and for good reason: the info covered in it could save our country billions of dollars (yes, that’s billions with a “B”) in health care expenses if people would get off their butts and take action.

Want proof?

According to the CDC, 133 million americans (nearly 1 in 2) live with a chronic disease (diabetes, obesity, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer) and more than 75% of health care costs are due to these conditions. Moreover, the CDC recognizes chronic diseases as the most preventable of all health problems and that a “comprehensive approach to prevention can save tremendous costs and needless suffering.”

So yeah, it’s kinda a big deal.​

And since​ a comprehensive approach to health and fitness should be your first line of defense against this problem, getting it right should be one of the top priorities in life.

Yet it still surprises me even after all these years of training and working with people here in Orlando, how many guys are still endlessly repeating the same fundamental mistakes that are preventing them from truly enjoying the benefits of a strong and healthy body.

With this in mind, I present the top 6 ways you can save your body, reduce health care bills, and make the person staring back at you in your bathroom mirror a heckava lot better looking.


1. Cut out the busy work

I don’t know about you, but I hate busy work. I’d rather be doing something productive, and knowing my efforts will yield some sort of positive results, than toiling around with the small stuff. In the fitness world, working out every day is nothing but busy work to me. To be in the gym that much means you either like hanging out at the gym…or you’re very inefficient.

When people finally decide to get in shape they often think the more, the better. You know, like working out 5 or 6 days a week….getting up at the crack of dawn each morning, or hitting the gym immediately after work every night.

Sound familiar?

The problem with this approach is almost no one can stick with it. The proofs in the pudding. Ever seen how busy a commercial gym is in January? Trust me, it looks quite a bit different come March.

The harsh fact is most people quit exercise programs after a few weeks….while a few ‘survivors’ might actually last a couple of months. Most people just don’t have the energy to keep up overly ambitious workout programs long-term.

What’s the point in exercising if you can’t stick with it long enough to see results, or more importantly, maintain what you have accomplished?

To me it’s all about sustainability. Only when your exercise program is brief and productive, does it become a long term proposition. And more importantly, all the benefits derived from exercise — from looking better, to feeling better, to performing better — are no longer fleeting moments, but your permanent reality.


2. Avoid ‘Extreme’ Workouts

There’s another downside to an endless parade of daily workouts.

Injury.

No one likes to talk about the I-word but it’s a reality for far too many people.

When you are just getting started with a fitness program your muscles, tendons, bones and other connective tissue are less accustomed to the forces they’ll encounter.

Over do it too much or step the wrong way, and the emergency room may be your next stop.

There are over 20 million injuries per year as result of participating in recreational fitness activities — which incidentally might also explain why the biggest house on the block is owned by an orthopedic doc.

The good doc is also grateful, no doubt, to the amount of “referrals” he gets from extreme exercise programs like Crossfit, P90X and bootcamps. While there is something to be said for the energy and spirit of these programs, let’s be honest — I doubt you could purposefully design fitness activities that could put you at greater risk.

If injury were to occur keep in mind it’s considerably harder to go to work Monday morning in a cast or splint.

Be aware also that many of these injuries are not just isolated, one-time events.

There are long term consequences that may include pain medications, doctors bills, surgeries, and arthritis that the devil himself may gift you as a result of tearing your rotator cuff, spraining a knee, or some other nasty injury.


3. See the Big Picture

I said it before, and I’ll say it again — if you can’t maintain an exercise or fitness program for the long haul, it has limited value.

In fact, if an exercise program results in injury, it pretty much has done the exact opposite of what you were looking for.

The truth is exercise is important, but you have to be clued into what actually produces results and how to go about getting them.

So what should you be concerned about? Strength; developing and maintaining it.

Properly performed strength training is the only thing to have been shown to reverse the aging process at the molecular level.

Since the dawn of time people have been searching for the proverbial fountain of youth — and we have it with strength training.

And that is what the big picture is all about, my friends. You want to be there to watch your grandkids grow up? Strength train. You want freedom and mobility well into your senior years? Strength train. You want the to feel and look younger? Strength train.

You can truly turn back the hands of time by rebuilding what age diminishes — if you’re willing to work for it.

Did you know the average person loses 5 lbs of muscle per decade past the age of 20? That means by 40, you have lost 10 pounds of muscle that is responsible for your strength, balance, coordination…the list goes on and on.

But by spending less than an hour per week with the clearly defined intent of building physical strength, you can change your destiny.

For some, increased strength will vastly improve their functionality…whether it’s carrying groceries, getting in and out of a car, or even getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom!

For others, it means delaying the inevitable slowdown of old-age for as long as possible.

Indeed, your strength plays a major role in quality of life, so commit to a strength training program!

 


In Part II of the Top 6 Ways To Save Your Body, I’ll be talking about the importance of commitment, why fat loss should be a priority, and how a support team is critical in helping you achieve your goals.  You won’t want to miss it, so stay tuned and please share this post with anyone that could benefit!

You Don’t Need Motivation, You Need This….

By Patrick Diver | Blog

All progress begins with telling the truth  — Dan Sullivan

One of my most profound discoveries is Grant Cardone’s 10X Rule.

The 10X Rule states that any worthwhile goal will be 10 times harder to achieve than you initially thought. 

Actually, ’10 times harder’ maybe a little conservative — some goals may seem 100 times harder. The point is the vast majority of people underestimate what it takes to successfully reach a goal.

Examples are plentiful that illustrate the far reaching depth and merit of this rule. When was the last time you heard a construction project finished ahead of schedule…or even on time? How about marriages? We all know the divorce numbers…think some people underestimate the effort required there? Same goes with small business success (I can personally speak volumes about this one) and even large corporate growth. Underestimating the effort required for success is so common that it is the norm.

In your own life I’m sure you can attest to this too. Big goals always take more effort than initially thought and usually by a lot.

And fitness is no different.

Losing weight is 10 times harder than most people think. I don’t care if the goal is losing 5 pounds or 100 pounds, it’s all the same. Ditto with keeping weight off. Once a person achieves their goal weight it will be at least 10 times harder than they initially thought to remain at that weight. Same goes with strength training. After the honeymoon period is over and the excitement wears off on a new strength training program, it’s a special person that can keep showing up week after week, month after month, year after year.

But does the need for strength training ever diminish? Does there come a time when you can just kick back and relax a little? Of course not! Strength training is as necessary as brushing your teeth because age related muscle loss (sarcopenia) is as real and destructive as tooth decay.

You may not have considered this, but your strength is the rate limiter that determines your ability to participate in an active life. In many ways, strength is the driving force behind quality of life, while weakness undermines it.

And yet people stop strength training. Why? Because they grossly underestimated the effort required to do it, do it well, and to keep doing it well.

The point of the 10X Rule is not to be pessimistic; the point is to be prepared. Know first hand that whatever your goal, successfully meeting it will require you to put forth a 10X effort. Anything less will most likely leave you disillusioned and disappointed.

And if by some chance you meet your goal with a little less effort, consider yourself damn lucky. There will always be outlier examples, but 10X is the norm.

So what does understanding the 10X Rule really mean?

It means no longer placing blame on others or comparing yourself to others. Their advantages or disadvantages are not relevant to you. The only thing that should matter to you is how much effort you are putting into it. It also means the end to lame duck excuses. If your results don’t add up, it forces you to get creative and look for new solutions, coaching, or help. By the same token, the 10X rule is embedded in the old ‘grass is always greener’ adage. The grass is not greener. Once you get to the other side, you will quickly realize it will only stay green if you give it a 10X effort.

In essence, the 10X Rule illustrates the single biggest difference between achieving success and failure and why increasing your efforts…in whatever form or shape that takes…is the always the correct answer.

4 Life Changing Lessons A Dog Can Teach You About Fitness!

By Patrick Diver | Blog

A person can learn a lot from a dog. He taught me how to appreciate the simple things…about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.   ~ Author John Grogan, Marley and Me

Hi everyone, I’m Pebbles. As you can see from the pic on the left, I’m a greyhound. My Dad owns Strength Clinic Orlando and seems to think he’s got this fitness thing down. And to his credit, he’s pretty good. Dad learned a long time ago to streamline workouts down to only the most productive things — and get rid of the rest. He says this is more effective and gives you time to do other stuff — like walking your dog for instance. See, he is smart 🙂

Besides following the clinical research and observing what works in the real word, Dad says he’s learned a lot about fitness by observing us dogs. Here are just a few good things about fitness we have taught him over the years:


Weight Control

This may seem obvious, but as dogs, our weight is mostly controlled by how much we eat. If we’re overweight it’s because we’re consistently fed too much. The reason my late sister, Lucy, and I always maintained the appropriate weight was because we were fed the recommended amount of food each day. This also meant we never got table scraps or unlimited dog treats. Some people mistake food for love, but dogs truly become your best friend with the right amount of exercise, discipline, and affection.

We’re hungry!

That said, let me tell you a thing about hunger that he observed by watching us. Lucy and I received about the same amount of food each day, but she seemed to have a blunted hunger response compared to my exaggerated one. I just never felt as full as her, and was always looking for more. Dad thinks this hunger variability exists in people as well, and may partially explain why some people struggle so much when they diet.

Your Takeaway:

As with dogs, slimming down is mostly about controlling food intake. Just like a vet will tell you to use lighter calorie dog food and follow recommended portion sizes to help your dog lose weight, the total amount of calories you eat daily plays a primary factor in your weight. For those people that have an exaggerated hunger response, research has highlighted a number of interesting strategies that can help moderate hunger. Meal timing, eating speed, and even plate sizes have been shown to help people with weight loss success.


High-Intensity Exercise

Which one is faster?

Ever watch dogs play at a dog park? We just love exhausting ourselves in short burst of energy and will run, jump, chase, and even swim if we get the chance! Dogs know that if our bodies are to remain robust, strong, and agile we need to occasionally go all out or we will prematurely slow down – you know, the old “use it or lose it” idea. Some of the benefits of high intensity play include:

  • Helps to reduce digestive problems and constipation.
  • Helps to build confidence and reduce behavioral issues.
  • Helps with restlessness and improves sleeping habits.
  • Helps with weight control.

Speaking of weight control, high intensity play can set the stage for quicker results. One of the best ways to do this is by playing fetch with us or getting us to sprint around the yard (my favorite!).

One word of caution, however. Be conscious of how intense exercise affects your dog’s joints. Too much can result in joint inflammation and muscle strains — so please keep an eye out for that.

Your Takeaway:

Stretch it out!

It is hard to oversell the benefits of high intensity exercise. Dad says high intensity exercise can lead to greater insulin sensitivity (to help limit fat accumulation), strengthen muscles and bones, boost organ functioning, and even provide cardio improvements not seen in lower intensity cardio activities like walking or jogging.

The trick is to realize all the benefits without putting yourself in harms way. The best way to do this is through high intensity strength training. The risk is minimal compared to other high intensity efforts like sprinting or jumping around. As a bonus, it’s also very time efficient — requiring well under an hour per week.​


Low-Intensity Exercise

Ready to go in any weather!

Dogs love to go on walks. It’s mentally stimulating and relaxes us. In fact, if your dog is acting up or has behavioral issues, Cesar Milan (you know, the Dog Whisperer), recommends walking your dog as a fundamental tool to help keep her emotionally balanced, “Walking with your dog is a primal activity. It is hardwired into her brain to migrate with her pack.”

So don’t skimp on our walks. Remember, it’s not natural for us to be cooped up inside all day long. Take us outside and let us connect with both nature and you — by leading us on a long walk.

Your Takeaway:

The best part about walking (or a similar activity) is that it provides an emotional lift. The movement, fresh air, and enhanced blood flow conspire together to balance out your mood. Dad says research indicates exercise helps normalize sleep, mitigate stress, and can even help alleviate long term depression. So take it from this greyhound, get out there and move! No need to over do it — just do what feels right.​


Resiliency

Day 3

My Dad thinks I’m pretty amazing. While all greyhounds were bred to run, I’ve been able to do it for over a year with just three legs!

Let me back up a bit.

About a year and a half ago I started having some pretty bad pain in my left rear leg. A couple of x-ray later and we discovered it was osteosarcoma…bone cancer. The good news was that it was localized and had not migrated to the chest. The bad news was the limb needed to be removed.

Last day of chemo!

It wasn’t and easy thing to do, but Dad decided to move forward with the amputation and later, chemotherapy. I’m not going to sugar coat it, and say it was a fun experience — but we got through it because…well, we didn’t have any other options. And I have to say after nearly a year and a half later, I’m glad we did. That…and it sure beats the alternative!

Your Takeaway:

Resiliency is one thing dogs have that people can learn from. We suffer pain, injury, and setback just like you do, but don’t amplify the situation with head trash that can paralyze us and make things worse. We just keep on keeping on.

Three brave ladies tackle cancer

You are going to have life situations that get in the way of your goals — fitness and otherwise. Work obligations, family commitments, vacations…the list goes on. And like me, you might even get sick. The key is to deal with your setback, and then get back on track as quick as possible. The reality is a strong commitment to fitness will pay dividends in nearly every aspect of your life.

Bottom line, if I can still run and jump with three legs, I think you can exercise too! There are ways to work around existing injuries, deal with time crunched schedules, and even do it with little-to-no equipment. The key is to seek the best advice, get started, and never quit!


Wrapping Up​

All we need is love (and exercise!)

I hope you have enjoyed this article. I usually spend my day napping away, but writing this was a nice change of pace. I also hope you realize that fitness for both people and dogs is a relatively straight-forward process. The basics will get it done every time. For more information on how to improve both your dog’s fitness and also your relationship with him or her, I recommend reading Cesar Milan’s book, Cesar’s Way. And if you need help getting your own fitness life handled, contact my Dad. As I said before, he’s pretty good with this stuff. 🙂

Pebbles Sue, October 2014