Nov 24, 2009

Gravity: Friend and Foe

I know a lot of people who fancy themselves powerful forces in fitness but even the influence of the great Jack LaLanne pales in comparison to the most powerful force in all of fitness: Gravity.

Think about it. It's gravity that gives force and resistance to every otherwise inert dumbbell and barbell. Even the vast majority of machine rely on this prolific, mysterious force.

Without gravity running would be as leisurely as laying on the sofa, and we'll all be "the next Lance Armstrong" on a bike. And climbing Everest would be as heroic an achievement as chewing gum and almost walking.

Yes, when it comes to getting in shape, getting leaner, fitter and stronger gravity is your best friend.

Then, just when you're certain Gravity is your bestest bud, your vital training partner keeping you strong and fit, you step on the scale! And gravity turns on you.

For it is truly the force of Gravity that a scale reads.

My advice is simple: Make friends with this powerful force, learn to work with it, even master it in all aspects of manipulation--much the way a lion training befriends the ferocious beast.

Do this and you will find that Gravity is not really so ferocious, that it's not and never has been against you. Do this and you will find gravity content to be on your side, even when you're on a scale. 

Nov 18, 2009

When Life’s Got You In A Sleeper Hold, Do This…

SleeperHold Life can get the best of the best of us.

Too much swimming upstream, too many long days and short nights, too many local tragedies and international disasters can act like Kryptonite to even the strongest and bravest among us.

When it feels like you’re flailing your arms to stay afloat or worse yet, “doing okay” Life’s got ya in a sleeper hold.

You’re playin’ not to lose rather than to win—and there’s no surer way to lose than that.

In steps the Power of Challenge.

A Challenge brings out our best, awakening your Strength.

It wakes you up, ignites your power, gives meaning to Life.

Life without challenge is, by definition, sleep walking.

Yet, when life’s got you in a sleeper hold, everything looks to be an insurmountable Challenge.

Hell, balancing your check book just as well be repelling off the Empire State building.

When every Challenge is in the “other” category—the one that shuts you down cold, it’s time to take control and put power back in your Life.

It’s time for simple, daily, repeated, positive action—success you can celebrate will have you back to Full Strength, “Kryptonite F.r.e.e” in short order.

Watch this short video as I explain the fastest, easiest way to take control, claim your power, super-charge your confidence and get you back in the game—playing to win big.

Take the 14-Days to Full Strength Challenge

Now, I invite you to step back into your rightful place, to get that confidence back on your side, and feel the control and power that is your birthright.

Step into your power in 14 short days, take the 14-Days to Full Strength Challenge.

It’s backed and 100% Guaranteed by yours truly. You’ve nothing to lose but fear and anxiety?

Don’t wait for things to turn in your favor—take action and turn them yourself.

The 2-Weeks to Full Strength Challenge will have you back at Full Strength, playing to win, fast.

Nov 17, 2009

Extraordinary: The New Gold Standard

Thanks to our over-the-top, everything in excess culture dripping wet with marketing you've likely become as immune to the word "Extraordinary" as you are to cursing, nudity, violence and the sound of car tires pounding the asphalt.

It's a damn shame the deafness the comes with extended loudness means we lose a huge part of our senses--we become less attune, less aware, less in touch and less present to. 

Sensory deafness means we don't perceive brilliance when we step on it for we're our systems became exhausted by the shallow likes of a Britney Spears.

Well, in the event you too like so many have forgotten, misplaced, dislodged of just plain forgotten what is meant by the word:


I give you this video clip as a new standard.

Should you ever have occasion to use the word in print, pantomime or passing, may I suggest you take a brief moment and watch this performance and ask yourself again, "Is what I'm about to say truly extraordinary? or is it simply 'good?'"

Extraordinary: Definition according to Webster's:  1) a : going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary  b : exceptional to a very marked extent...

In my book, what you will see in this video is nothing less than EXTRA-ORDINARY... beyond that which we are accustomed to... dare I even suggest this performance is reaches beyond the confines of the human realm.

Yes, Bettye LaVette (in her performance tribute to the Who at Kennedy Center Awards) shows once and for all that you don't have to invent the wheel to make it roll in an entirely new and inspiring way.

Here's to a new standard for extraordinary!

Nov 14, 2009

Chocolate of Vanilla? [A Live Poll]

ChocolateVanilla There may be no question more instantly polarizing—meaning easy to answer—than this one:

See how quickly you answer it:

Thanks for playing along. I'm testing a new polling system that looks pretty cool. You can even answer the poll by texting on your phone, in a live event.

Nov 04, 2009

Beyond "Have to" Exercise, To Fitness Freedom

ShaunWhite “Have to” vs. “Want to Fitness”

As I write this, I’m watching Shaun “The Flying Tomato” White flip and fly high through the air out of the half pipe on his snowboard. Watching him is amazing. It’s truly art in motion.

Absorbed in the moment, it occurs to me that this sort of expression—this talent and skill—can not be the result of “have to” approach. There’s no one big enough or mean enough in the world to make someone “have to” fly head over heals, 720 degrees around.

This is truly an expression of some other energy, some greater desire. Even if it we’re a “have to” for yourself you’d not achieve this level. It’s impossible.

“Have to,” also known as "obligation," is one of the four levels of motivation, on the path to Mastery, that I detail in my book, Strength for Life. This is the level from which most people first engage in fitness and transformation.

The good news it’s the motive that gets you going but it’s not the motivation that can keep you going. It wears out quickly and wears you out too.

"Have to" results in more “have to”'s and next soon you “have to” hire a lion trainer to get your ass out of bed.

The sort of amazing human expression that Shawn White show arises from a higher place, a “want to” energy. I “want to” fly, is fueled by feedback, reward both intrinsic and extrinsic (from the outside). 

"Want to" is an expression of self, an energy you can not contain. And the more you express, the more you revel in “want to” the more quickly you move to the ultimate freedom, “Mastery.”

Mastery is the instantaneous expression of excellence. It’s where you cease “doing” and start “being” the thing, be it snowboarding or strength training. It’s the ultimate freedom for you no longer rely on carrot and cattle prods to get you moving.

"Want to" get out of the “have to?”

Find the thing you most want, animate the energy that gets you moving—no right or wrong. At one time it may have been getting the girl or guy. Perhaps it’s a “want to” win a contest, a “want to” compete, “want to” impress, “want to” achieve.

One tip, shallow as it may be, usually the transformation best happens in a public domain for that which is done in secret, is well, secret. And that means it’s usually things we “want to” keep that way.

Find something you “want to” brag about.

Oct 22, 2009

5 Things That Strangely Don't Require Refrigeration

Mark_fridge_may_2006 I was talking with a friend the other day and he sheepishly mentioned he'd tried that Nutri-System for Men weight-loss food program. Honestly, I was a little shocked that he'd not just asked me about it first, but that's testament to good marketing.

When I asked him about why he didn't just try Full Strength, take the 14-day "Feel Great" Challenge, he said that at 40 lbs. overweight he thought it was "above me."

"I'm just a dude needing to lose this gut and you've fueled the greatest athletes in the world. Why would Full Strength be for me?," he pondered aloud.

Trust me, I was taking notes. I get that his perception is real, although not accurate. As I created Full Strength to be daily nutrition for the "man in the middle" of life. Sure, it's nutrition for better performance but in this case, more performance in life than on the field.

More on that later... 

Weird Food

When I asked him about his experience he said the weirdest, most unsettling part of the Nutrisystem food was that it would be sitting on his porch all day when he got home, and that it didn't require any refrigeration.

In an effort to make him feel better about this odd (and unsettling) fact, I started listing other things in life that, strangely, don't require refrigeration.

Here are a few that popped for me. Please share your additions to this list below:

5 Things That Strangely Don't Require Refrigeration:

1. Soy Milk - No, soy milk does not require the fridge. Placing it in the fridge section of stores is just brilliant marketing. Feel free to stick the soy milk where the light don't shine.

2. Bud - in contrast to Coors, which is not pasteurized and thus cold along every step, from bottling to shipment, to delivery (hopefully) I've always been somewhat aghast at the fact that Bud is as good with room temp as Nutrisystem. Not that either or a favorite beverage for me. :-) (yes, I am native to Golden, CO)

3. Road Kill - that is unless you've dressed it properly and salvaged the remaining good meat.

4. NutriSystem boxed meals - This is a mystery I don't really want the answer to. I'm not sure I could handle this truth. I know that beef jerky, and some cured meats, don't require refrigeration so maybe they're selling jerky burgers and such. 

5. Baseballs - unless of course you're on a Major League team where they're maintained in a giant chilled, humidor like fridge.

That's five. Runner-ups for the list included Twinkies (but we know these aren't food because bugs won't eat them), my PC (long story), Ted Williams head (that's on ice, thank goodness), non-dairy creamer...

What can you think of that doesn't belong in your fridge?

Oct 14, 2009

How to Restore, Revive, Renew and Reboot Your Energy

Orange Glo Rescue Me direct mail brochure 1If you’re couch gets ripped or torn, you repair it. When you’re lawn or garden wilt, you revive it.

Do you treat your most precious resource—yourself—with anywhere near equal respect?

Congratulations if you do for most people don’t even come close to offering their body-minds the sort of attention they’d give their car.

I just ran across this ad from a local marketing expert (I found him reading his review of The Last Lecture… but that’s a story for another day).

This ad got me thinking about the importance of self-care and the single most overlooked aspect living a vibrant, healthy, fit life: Renewal.

Renewal, or rejuvenation, is the Yin to exercise and training’s Yang. It’s no less vital to your life energy and fitness than the exhale is to the inhale. In the absence of one, there other is not. 

This is why in Strength for Life the first move towards a life @ Full Strength is not one of action but inaction. It’s not to “do” but to “undo.” This reset is achieved through a simple, yet stunningly effective, 12-day Reboot for Body and Mind.

As I suspected, and the feedback has affirmed, this Reboot is the best, most vital first move towards any effective fitness pursuit, be it Transformation or a season of racing.

The black-hole where recovery would normally go is where the energy is escaping from our lives. It’s a hole you can’t plug with more coffee and sound you can not quiet without rest.

It’s the elephant in the room, the not-so-secret secret no one wants to talk about. Perhaps to mention it is to reconnect people with the limits of being human. Yet, choosing to pretend it’s not there, to continue to walk around it, makes all life many times more difficult.

As a result of ignoring your nature, cutting of your half that rests, we end up climbing harder and seeing fewer tangible results. It’s what’s making you crazy, driving you harder and killing your progress.

Ready to elevate your results—in fitness, relationships and life?

Revive your Strength and Energy with the the 12-Day Reboot from Strength for Life. In less than 2 short works you’ll feel more energy, more alive and better, stronger and clearer than you have in years—and be asking, “Shawn, why didn’t you tell me this a year ago?”

Oct 05, 2009

Red-Hot Fat-Loss, Literally!

Get Ready for a Hot, Spicy Bowl of Weight-Loss Coming Your Way Soon.Bowl_of_chili_with_sour_cream_and_cheese

In the continuing search for the weight-loss magic-bullet, a New Study suggests that the compound that gives red pepper it’s signature heat, capsaicin, may help prevent diabetes like symptoms in obese people.
“Our data suggest that dietary capsaicin may reduce obesity-induced glucose intolerance by not only suppressing inflammatory responses but also enhancing fatty acid oxidation in adipose tissue and/or liver, both of which are important peripheral tissues affecting insulin resistance,” wrote the researchers, led by Rina Yu from The University of Ulsan in South Korea.
With the latest reports indicating over 300 million obese adults worldwide, and over 25% of the US population, the market potential for drugs and nutritionals interventions which can lessen the damaging impact of obesity related inflammation disorders, which include  type-2 diabetes, heart disease, insulin resistance and liver disease is, for lack of a better word, enormous.

What does this mean to you?
For starters, expect to see a radical increase in the use and marketing of “natural red chilly pepper” (aka capsaicin) in weight-loss supplements. It’s the sort of natural ingredient that can create good traction in the minds of people because it’s “natural” and the connection to “heat” or being “red hot” plays on the strong correlation we have with “burning” away fat; however inaccurate this connection is.

You can also expect to see the miracle red-pepper power leak into food positioning, with an added emphasis on anything even remotely spicy, like chili. Yes, I think you’re likely to see, if not a full-on “chili weight loss diet,” a strong hint that eating chili (and similar foods) is conducive to weight loss.

All this will occur even though this study was not about weight-loss nor done in humans. It was a mice study and the results have not recreated in humans.

My Advice on How to Apply This…
I’m sharing this for both your entertainment and to strengthen your “marketing deflector shield” for the onslaught which is likely to follow. I find that more informed means more rational and less likely to be caught in the trap of a skillful marketer.

As for red-hot peppers, I like spicy food—especially after a “big night out” or when I have a cold—and I’m prone to believe there is something in red peppers that’s good for us. Just the same, I really doubt that eating a load of dried rep-pepper extract is going to lead to radical weight loss or instant good health.

My advice for overcoming
or resisting excess body fat is to eat well, exercise and create a powerful, life enhancing relationship with food. Diets may be necessary along with various levels of intervention along the way. A Lifestyle, the ultimate destination for us all, is earned not purchased.

More Facts About Red Chili Extract  

Used in folk medicine as a remedy for rheumatism for centuries, capsaicin intake has been linked to inhibiting the growth of pancreatic cancer cells, as well as a growing body of science suggesting it may cut fat and energy intake when added to the diet. Some experts recommend caution, however, as high intake of hot chilies has been linked with increased risk of stomach cancers in the populations of India and Mexico.

Sep 16, 2009

Harnessing The Weight Loss Power of a 3-Ring Circus

LionTamer_DietFailed your last diet attempt?
Tired of trying to lose those last 10 pounds?
Frustrated by your lack of discipline and motivation?
Can’t get the appetite under control? Feel like you’re in a constant struggle with yourself, like there’s two of you—one who wants to be lean and fit and the other who wants to eat deep fried cake for breakfast?
You’re struggles are over.
Now you can get the sort of rock solid, unshakable discipline that dieting will never provide, that only the most skilled experts in behavior modification can create.
Step up to the big time for real and lasting Transformation…
Hire your own personal Lion Tamer!
If you’re serious about making a change, a professional lion tamer will take you from struggling to freedom in a few short months.

Think about it.

Is there anyone in the world more skilled at behavior modification on a more critical stage? Failure for their profession is deadly so the shear fact that your trainer will be alive is nearly a guarantee you’ll achieve your desired results.

Sure, they’re not cheap but then there’s no price tag on your life, is there? Of course, you’ll deal with nominal public ridicule when your friends find out but hey, in a few months you’ll be the lean, fit one who can poke fun at their fat asses. 

And after they get a look at your amazing results you can bet they’re going to find a lion tamer of their own.

You’ll know when the time is right for you to give it a shot. I wouldn’t use the word desperation that’s just me—you can feel free to use it. And hey, if that doesn’t work you can always try the path to Nutritional Freedom.

Nutritional Freedom may not be as risky and exciting as having a live-in lion trainer but it's every bit as effective in helping you gain your freedom to eat the foods that are best for you the most.

If the Lion Tamer is too costly and perahps a little extreme, step up to the Full Strength 2-Week Challenge, and feel the energy and freedom, fast. Guaranteed

Jul 29, 2009

Better to Burn Bright Than Fade Away
The Deadly Game of Good Enough

As usual "The Philosopher King" Seth Godin nailed it this morning...

"Mr. Big Brand: organize to win. To do anything else is a waste of your time, your talent and your momentum. Ignore apparent risk, buy the assets you need to matter, avoid the compromises that your competitors have made and do something worth doing."

Assuming you're neither a business owner or a Big Brand, Seth's point is even more important to you. For the wisdom within is truly universal.

Why is "not settling"--not giving in to a life of mediocrity more important the Mr. Big Brand? Simple... he screws up and loses money. You take this low road and lose your LIFE.

And in my book, that's more important than any business.

Most people are, "Settling for less than you can have and deserve...," as I say in the Intro of my book, Strength for LIFE.

As a result that walk the tight-rope of health, a slip away from being a liability to themselves, their family and their country.

The resort to diets, quick fix program, miracle anything to try and "lose more" but never take a moment to set their sights on something Higher--on a vision that would compel. They seek motivation and ignore the option of Inspiration.

They wait for the Dr. to propel them forward with fear and hope to drop a few pounds rather than gain some strength, get faster, go further...

They regret losing their ability to walk which results from ignoring their desire to run.

It's a backwards approach...

Yes, this "striving for mediocrity," approach to life gets me riled up.

Largely because settling for less, just getting by, surviving rather than thriving is a choice. It's your life and you alone must choose not to be the author of your experience. And once you've made this unconscious decision, things will not get better until you flip this switch and grab the wheel firmly with both hands.

I promise, no one is going to come save you. There is no knight on a white horse coming... not even the Government is in a position to prop your life up if you're without the strength to stand.

This settling for less approach is the "problem with health." And if you don't know what that is, I vividly detail the inherent problem and the solution in Chapter 1 of Strength for Life. As you might guess, my solution is to set a new standard for your life, a higher state of living in abundance which I define as Strength.

Yes, Seth... I agree. Go for the win... don't waste your time, your talent nor your LIFE...and do something worth doing.

It's time for a focus on Quality of life, on impact, on becoming MORE not being LESS..

And while I think to burn bright will result in a much longer, more amazing life even if that turns out not to be the case, as the Neil Young said, "it's better to burn out than fade away."