6 TRUTHS OF ACCOUNTABILITY

One of my greatest strengths is holding myself accountable for what I do as a fitness professional. It might be easy to make excuses for not completing something, however as I have gotten older I realize there really are not any good excuses.

I admit, I still struggle with this with my clients sometimes because I really want to be source of strength for them. I do not want to be just another person in their lives telling them what they are not doing.

Today is not that day. Today I would like you to hold yourself accountable.

Here are 6 Truths of Accountability:

1.  “BELIEVE IN YOUR MISSION”

What is your mission? It is one thing to tell everyone you are going to lose weight, you are going start exercising, you are going to win the Olympics. It is another thing to actually believe it. Do you believe what you are selling to yourself?

There are many distractions and doubts that will cause you to no longer believe in your mission or change it. There are people in your life that may not believe the same things that you do.  There is no reason to change your mission. If you are passionate about it, then you need to do everything to complete it.

The truths below are going to  help you do this.

2. “DO YOUR RESEARCH”

Once you have decided on your mission it is time to see if it is actually possible. Most likely, it is possible. There are always windows of opportunity; you just need to take them. Do your research and find how much work is required to complete it. Ask the experts. Get a few opinions. Ultimately it is up to you which path you take, and this is the time to weigh all the conditions.

Remember you cannot do this alone.

3. “BUILD YOUR SUPPORT”

You do not have to do this yourself. It is okay to share with people what you want to accomplish. It is also okay to ask for help. From the experts to your closest friends and family, everyone will take on a role during your mission. I do not understand clients and athletes that insist on doing it alone. I understand there is satisfaction in being able to say “I did it by myself, and no one else helped me!” Yet, when you turn around to celebrate your accomplishment there will not be anyone to celebrate it with.

Build your “fan base” so you can share your success.

4. “ENJOY THE PROCESS”

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Your mission may be a little out of your reach. It is nice when you can achieve things easily and in a short amount of time. However, most missions a take some time, and the journey may be delayed or stalled for some unseen reason. That is the time to take a look around and see how far you traveled! Remember why you are doing this and who you are this doing for.

Then turn back around and keep going.

5. WELCOME THE CHALLENGE!

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It is not easy. It shouldn’t be easy. If there were not any obstacles, then the journey would not be worth it. The most frustrating thing that I hear from clients and athletes today is, “This is too much work.” What ever happened to your EDGE? We are the greatest species on the planet because of our resourcefulness, our ability to choose, and our versatility. Our ability to adapt is one our greatest strengths; if we are not utilizing our abilities as human beings then how can we call ourselves great?

All of us have the ability to accomplish the mission; just at different times.

6.  “GO AT YOUR PACE”

Everyone should go at their own pace. Some of us can explode right out of the gates and accomplish great things in a short amount of time. Some of us need more time. In the end, we all reach the same place, therefore it does not matter how we get there. During our research, we develop a plan and follow it. Our support system will be there along the way and we will have time to enjoy it.

Everyone’s journey is unique.

Moral of the Story

I have been stewing about this blog all week.

Writing is challenging for me, but since I started this blog it has gotten easier. My biggest challenge is saying what I want to say.

I was finally able to write today because of what happened to someone I cared about…

They did not believe in themselves…

It drives me crazy. In this instance, the person had doubts because someone who did not support them told them they were failing.

What right does someone have to tell you you are failing  at your own mission?

My athletes want to see success now. They want to be fast now. Mostly because they see other athletes that are currently having success in training and competition.

Keep in mind that those individuals decided their mission a long time ago. They did their research and have built the necessary support system around them. They are now finally enjoying the process and have settled into their pace.

That is what makes it seem so easy from the outside. They have found balance between the challenges of their mission and their ability to reach their goals.

Stop.

Look down. The starting line is at your feet, and you are just beginning your mission.

Look ahead.

The finish line is there in front of you.

Take these 6 Truths of Accountability with you as you begin your journey…

I am right there with you.

For more information on training programs for rowing, rowing technique, Kettlebells, Clubbells or athletic consulting with AthleteDISC, and the Process Communication Model® like me on Facebook at RUFO OPTIMAL WORKOUTS.

“The 12 Things in Fitness That are so Insane to Me”

This is the most wonderful time of the year. In just a few days we will begin shifting our focus to “Peace on Earth” and “Auld Lang Syne”. We will be exchanging holiday gifts, connecting with loved ones, and taking time to appreciate what we have.

However, there is still time to poke a little holiday fun at things that we cannot stand…

Which leads me to my favorite holiday movie line of all time:

“Take it Russ”

Russ reminds us that are just some things that we hate and would rather do without. There are just some things in fitness in my opinion that should just go away; therefore I would like to add my own spin to one of the more beloved songs of the holidays.

12. “Twelve” Different Biceps Curls

 In anatomy and physiology, we learned about the joint actions of muscles or the primary movement. The Biceps Brachii or “Biceps” have one joint action they are primarily responsible for.

“FLEXION”

That’s it. That means the one exercise that make the Biceps independently bigger and stronger are Bicep Curls. I am okay with Bicep curls, yet everyone seems to love biceps curls. They love them so much that there is actually over 50+ “different” Bicep curling exercises.

For the purposes of body building, it is important to “work all the angles” to get the “maximum pump” for the muscle. For the general public, energy might be better spent teaching people how to incorporate the biceps into full body exercises that will help them get fit over all.

 “Talkin’ about the Cayotes…”

Yeah, we don’t need a million different ways to work the Biceps.

11. “Eleventh” Session Free

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Big Box gyms want to sell you personal training sessions. In their incentive to get you to buy more sessions, they will tend to throw in 1 more free session.

A few years ago, I went to LA Fitness to do some research. The personal trainer there sat me down to find out my goals, as well as sell me some personal training sessions. As he went over the personal training packages, he said, “The more sessions you buy, the more free sessions you get.” He continued to describe the benefits, and I realized that he was selling me 30 minute sessions.

Therefore, even if I bought ten 30 minute sessions, it would only really be at total of 5 ½ hours of training.

I don’t know about you, but it takes many of my clients 15 to 20 minutes just to warm up (mobility, stability, flexibility).

“Just need one rep…”

 Maybe that’s all we need…

 10. $10 a month

A recent article on UPROXX regarding Planet Fitness has been circulating on Facebook. The article describes how gyms may target individuals that will pay the monthly fee, but never set foot in the gym. This comfort of knowing they have a good deal on a membership is enough for individuals to keep paying, but never-ever going.

For 2016, I suggest you look for the quality of training you could receive, rather than the quantity of money you may be saving.

“Crushed it…”

There is no price on your health.

9. “Nine” DVD’s

 "13 DVD's"

“13 DVD’s”

"11 DVD's"

“11 DVD’s”

"More Options?"

“More Options?”

“How many DVD’s does your set have?

 

 

 

We Love our fitness DVD’s. Every time a fitness infomercial is on, I find myself lulled into watching. For the most part, I want to see if there are any new concepts that these fitness entrepreneurs are bringing to the table.

As I wrote last week –  They aren’t

But they are great at marketing.

Seems like you can’t get fit unless you have the complete box set of DVD’s.

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“I guess it looks as if you’re reorganizing your records. What is this though? Chronological?”

“Autobiographical.”

“No f***ing way.”

Why can’t they just put all the content on one single DVD or Flash Drive? DVD’s are like records people. All my CD’s are down in my basement, and I occasionally take them out, dust them off, and put on All-for-One.

Otherwise, they stay in the basement.

8. “Eight” Accredited Certifications

“I am kind of a big deal.”

I can be accused of this as well. In my quest for training knowledge, I have found myself with quite a few letters after my name. Enough that I cannot fit them all on a business card.

However, my clients and fellow fitness professionals really don’t care how many certifications I have. The letters after your name only mean something if you apply what you have learned. I still need to list all the letters in my bio so potential clients can see my experience, but I don’t wear it like a sign on my chest any more.

There are also too many certifications out there. In the world of Kettlebells, there are two that stand out. The SFG (StrongFirst) and the RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certification).

 Now another Kettlebell certification is coming out through Strength Matters – the SMK, and it involves former trainers that used to be SFG and RKC.

“These are O.R. scrubs.”

Now I have to spend more money to get more letters after my name…wonderful!

7. “Seven” Minute Abs

The fitness industry has done very well in creating content that just involves the core. However, if you train the full body, you incorporate the core into every exercise.

The first thing we teach in Kettlebells training is how to utilize and engage the core. The core connects the lower and upper extremities, and is critical to moving well. Therefore, it really isn’t necessary to just do crunches and sit ups at the end of the workout, because you should have already taken care of that earlier in your session.

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Why train the core, when you can get this!

6. “Six” Workout Selfies

six selfies

Workout selfies. Hmm.

As a competitive athlete, I never thought of taking photos of myself working out. I never wanted my opponents to know what I was doing anyway.

“I can barely lift my right arm ’cause I did so many. I don’t know if you heard me counting. I did over a thousand.”

 People should feel good about themselves. Just make sure to get a workout in!

5. No bare feet (“Five Fingers”)

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I hate wearing shoes. Ever since I became a Kettlebell instructor, I cannot train with shoes. As a rower, I didn’t wear shoes either. Now shoes hurt my feet. I only wear them to make public appearances, and because my wife makes me.

I really do like the Vibram Five Fingers. I can buy into minimalist footwear. The thing is that they cost over $60, and I refuse to pay that much for shoes. If you train a lot, then you wear your shoes out in 3-6 months. I cannot justify spending this much, just so I can workout for an hour a day.

However, gyms will never go there because of liability.

 

Whether I am wearing shoes or not, if I drop that amount of weight, I am going break something…

4. “Four”Quad Stretches

stretches

“Hold on, I need to stretch…”

If you have a limited range of motion, then you should relax and stretch the muscle. Stretching before training should only be necessary if you cannot get your body in the proper position to train.

Wherever I go, when people are “warming up”, I will see them do the “Standing Quad Stretch”. It is the symbol for all us middle-age athletes trying to “get back in shape”.

Check out the Knee Pain Explained website.

Most of us learned to do it wrong, and we are probably causing more bad than good.

3. “Three” Sets of 10

 MASSIVE

I can honestly say that the first time I have met with an athlete and client that has experience with strength training they always say the same thing:

Me: “How many reps and sets have you been doing?”
 Client/Athlete: “Well, I have been doing 3 sets of 10…”

 

Every client. Every athlete.

I believe it is time to retire 3 sets of 10. Whomever patented that program should be collecting royalties. “3 sets of 10” is on par with common fitness phrases like, ” “Feel the burn,” “No Pain, no Gain”, or “Burns up Carbs”…

2. “Two” Calf Machines

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Why are there only two calf machines at any gym? Actually, why are there Calf Machines period? For some people the calf muscles are an attractive feature, however, there does not need to be a giant Hammer Strength Calf Machine taking up space in the gym, just so you can do this:

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“One, Two, Three…”

Here is a great way to work your calf muscles, and you do it every day…

Yes, walking up, and running and down stairs works the calf muscles just the same. And you are using your body weight…

1. One “Shake Weight”

When I was still competitively rowing and going to school for personal training, my wife mentioned that QVC was looking for fitness models to advertise a new product called the “Shake Weight”.

I looked at her and simply said,

“No….”

When she looked up the product. She looked at me and said,

“Oh…”

Moral of the Story

 Don’t be a fitness model for QVC and model the Shake Weight.

REAL MORAL OF THE STORY

Happy Holidays to everyone!

(Sing to the tune of “12 Days of Christmas”)

The 12 Things in Fitness

“That are so Insane to me…”

Twelve Different Biceps Curls

Eleventh Session Free

$10 a Month

Nine DVD’s

Eight Accredited Certifications

7-Minute Abs

Six Workout Selfies

No Bare Feet!

Four Quad Stretches

3 sets of 10

Two Calf Machines

And one Single “Shake Weeeighttt”

 mens-shake-weight

For more information on training programs for rowing, rowing technique, Kettlebells, Clubbells, DISC, and Process Communication like me on Facebook at RUFO OPTIMAL WORKOUTS.

Also check out the DISC2K – Philadelphia Seminar on January 9th, 2016!

Online consulting and Skype sessions also available.