GETTING BACK INTO THE TRAINING MINDSET

GETTING BACK INTO THE
TRAINING MINDSET
September 15, 2015
by ASP Admin

Winter is finally over and the prospect of beautiful, sunny days is finally in sight! For many of us, however, the cold winter months have not been kind, and with declining motivation to eat well and hit the gym the winter weight has added a few unwanted kilos. After losing the motivation to train over winter it’s sometimes hard to get back into the routine of regular training. So what are some of the things that you can do to get back into the right mindset for hitting the gym? Below are a few pointers to get your mind back on track.

SET CLEAR AND CONCRETE GOALS

This is one of the most important points to follow if you want to succeed in attaining your gym goals. More often than not people go to the gym without specific goals. They might have a vague idea such as ‘I want to lose some fat’, or ‘I want to put on more muscle’, but this is typically coupled with an ‘I will train and see what happens’ approach and no timeframe in sight. The problem with vague goals and ‘seeing what happens’ is that typically not much happens at all. Vague goals leave far too much room for deviation and don’t hold the individual accountable; it’s much easier to justify eating junk food if you don’t really know what you’re striving for and if there’s no deadline to meet the goal.

If you want faster results at the gym it helps to aim for something more concrete. Many people apply the commonly-used S.M.A.R.T. acronym when setting their goals. If, for example, your goal is ‘I will get from 24% body fat to less than 15% in eight weeks’, this is how to apply the S.M.A.R.T. acronym:

(S)pecific: Is the goal specific in nature? In this case, yes, since you have given yourself specific figures to reach, together with a timeframe.

(M)easurable: Are you able to measure your progress? Yes, you can measure body fat percentage.

(A)chievable: Is the goal attainable? If you are committed to the appropriate lifestyle changes, then yes.

(R)ealistic: Is the goal realistic? Provided no major unexpected events occur, then yes.

(T)imely: Does the goal have a deadline? In this case, eight weeks.

Sometimes a goal may seem overwhelming or difficult to reach. In such cases it may be necessary to set up smaller goals in between that finally reach your end goal.

When you’ve reached your goal then create a new one, even if the goal is to maintain what you’ve achieved.

As a final point it’s also a good idea to write down your goal and stick it on your bathroom mirror!

UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF YOUR GOAL

This next point is a great tool to help you stay on track and motivated. It really involves looking at your goal (and your life) from different angles and identifying how your goal can be a positive influence if you reach it, as well as the consequences if you continue on your current path. This may lead to some very hard realisations, but also identifies some very positive outcomes.

Here’s how it works. In relation to your goal ask yourself the following questions and list your responses:

  1. What would happen if I reached my goal?
  2. What wouldn’t happen if I reached my goal?
  3. What would happen if I didn’t reach my goal?
  4. What wouldn’t happen if I didn’t reach my goal?

The key is to respond to these questions whilst considering all aspects of your life, from your health, work, relationships, mental state, physical state, financial state, etc. Whilst this exercise may take a little bit more time and thinking you’ll likely find that it’s a great way to get you motivated again. If it helps you could even pin your responses in a place you regularly look at to serve as a reminder.

CREATE A MOTIVATIONAL BOARD

A motivational board is another way to stay motivated and is one strategy that many in the health and fitness industry use. This is the place where you can write down your goals, put up inspirational quotes, pin up pictures of the physique you wish to have, or anything that represents what you want out of life.

TRAIN WITH SOMEONE

If training on your own is what’s stopping you from staying motivated then train with a friend, join a group class, or better yet, train with an experienced coach. Training with a good coach will give you the appropriate guidance you need in terms of training with correct form, program design and pushing yourself appropriately to get the most out of your workout. A good coach will also make sure you stay accountable by frequently checking up on your training, nutrition and other lifestyle habits.

These are just a few ways to help you get back into the training mindset once again. Keep in mind that there are dozens of motivational techniques to choose from, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. Many people use visualisation and do this every night before sleep. Others watch motivational workout videos on YouTube, and others enjoy following fitness role models. It may be hard to kick-start yourself back into a regular training, but with the right motivation the habit will set in again and you’ll be on your way to getting ready for summer!

My Aaustralian Strength Performance Experience

MY AUSTRALIAN STRENGTH
PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE
August 15, 2013
by ASP Admin

Today’s post is a guest post by the newest member to the ASP Team – Brian Zaugg. Brian is a Bachelor of Physical Education (BPhEd) graduate from New Zealand with a double major in Exercise Science and Prescription, and has been training with ASP for some time now. For more information or posts of Brian’s check out his brand new blog at zauggb.wordpress.com

After travelling and working around the United States for over a year, my journey brought to Melbourne, Australia where I was in search for some work. After a few weeks of searching, I landed a job at Fitness First Melbourne Central, one of the cities most popular gyms. While spending some time there I was fortunate enough to meet a trainer by the name of Ben Siong. A few talks later and we soon found each other appreciating the same training methods and principles. It was then that I was introduced to his company – Australian Strength Performance. Ben and his elite team of trainers take a scientific approach to achieve results for clientele, which include but are not limited to optimal body composition, body transformations, sport specific training, and strength work. Ben, one of Australia’s leading body composition experts founded the operation after experiencing years in the fitness industry and countless certifications in an effort to keep progressing and expanding his knowledge. He follows the methods and teachings of expert lifestyle, strength and conditioning coaches, including world-renowned Charles Poliquin.

While I could list all of Ben’s credentials, it is more important to specify that Ben’s Bachelor of Science and Psychology Honours, PICP Level 4 (theory qualified), and BioSignature certification speak for themselves. It is this knowledge that has drawn me to ASP allowing me to be fortunate enough to work with them as a consultant and now, fitness writer on their website!

Well, enough of the formalities! I’m sure you are all curious to know whether I train with them and the answer is YES. Along with my own personalised program and nutritional/supplemental biosignature program, we all do a team workout once a week together that is devised by Ben. Every Thursday theASP Team and myself hesitantly prepare ourselves for what is about to be revealed. None of us know what the program will look like until it gets handed out to us at the briefing prior to the session. This is Ben’s idea of “being in the trenches” style learning with a hard lesson in session planning, training protocol (rep ranges, sets, and tempos), as well as exercise selection and technique all occurring the week prior to the session.

Now, I will start off by saying I’m not a novice by any standard of my training age, I’ve been doing this for a few years now for myself and as a profession, and this training style is not for the faint hearted. There’s none of this bodybuilding style, set, rest, mirror flex, set, rest, and bang out as much weight (even if your technique is dangerously terrible) as possible stuff. All of it is a precisely calculated programming with each aspect having a specific purpose. I can’t give away too many secrets but I can say that there were definitely times where I thought I was going to throw up, pass out, curl up in a foetal position and cry as it broke me. Don’t even get me started on the rigor mortis feeling of delayed onset muscle soreness the next day when you try to get out of bed! But there is something very humbling when you complete such a session; you feel a sense of achievement as well as mental growth. I have never been one of those trainers who just read sources and prescribes. How could I, being in an industry that is based on physical activity? With such an attitude, how would I know what it is like to truly go through the pain and commitment of a client for the resulting effect?

Speaking of such an effect, I am currently working with Ben through a 12-week transformation challenge. The abovementioned year of travelling brought all of its challenges such as lack of gym access (at $30US a workout 5 times a week, you do the math), less then ideal nutrition, and the ever-present peer pressure of late night socialising. I realise many of you reading this will think that a serious trainer would have found a way but honestly, that would have taken away from my entire globetrotting experience. Now that I have got that out of my system, I’m itching to get back and surpass how I once was. I am roughly halfway through the transformation process and will be posting final results in a ‘Part 2′ of this article. So stay tuned for progress pictures, stats, thoughts, and some more insight about what ASP has to offer. But if you can’t wait that long, contact either myself, or Ben through the website and go through it yourself!

A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN 2 WEEKS!

Above is a sneak peak of Brian’s progress in his ASP Evolution Transformation. Along with his 12 week program mentioned above, Brian was also part of a ‘two week trainer challenge’ where ASP had the privilege of transforming three trainers from varied backgrounds into the best shape of their lives, in less than fourteen days! Incredible changes already Brian, and only two of twelve weeks down!

For full details and images of the two week trainer transformations, head to our Trainer Challenge: A Lot Can Happen In Two Weeks! blog post.

Values

VALUES
May 8, 2013
by ASP Admin

“I’ll have a sparkling water, please.”

It has been a long week filled with deadlines, meetings and presentations. It is 5:30pm on a sunny Friday evening. “What a welcome to the weekend!” everyone is thinking.

Terry, an office worker (whom you often see queuing up for a large coke and popcorn at the cinemas) has just arrived in the beer garden and is about to order 2 pints of cider. There is a two-for-one offer from 5pm to 7pm and he is hoping to get as many in as possible. Not far behind in the line, is Terry’s colleague Jake. Jake, a well built athletic 40 something (who loves Saturday morning runs) is ordering 2 sparkling waters with a squeeze of lemon.

So what prompts people like Terry and Jake to make the choices that they do? What prompts us to make decisions that help or hinder us? Why do we sometimes feel like we are making progress one moment and the next, it seems like a slippery slope?

“Why can’t I seem to get a six pack/toned tummy no matter how many times I go to the gym?”

“Why can’t I stick to eating well?”

Sound Familiar?

It all comes down to what you value in your life. What means most to you and how much you are willing to do to fulfil this value.

Values steer us to a specific direction on where we want to be, how we would like to be and why it is important to us.

Someone once said to me “Gym goers are wasting their lives away, they aren’t living!”. The argument was that the gym junkie’s life revolves around the gym. They can’t head out on a Friday night and go on an alcoholic binge. They can’t eat anything they want. They need to set their alarms at 5am on weekday mornings to go to the gym.

But to label this as time wasted really depends on perspective.

The gym fanatic might value looking lean/toned. They might value feeling strong, healthy and confident in their appearance. This same gym fanatic will see the value in investing $30 in a bottle of fish oils, rather than a $30 bottle of wine. They might value waking up feeling fresh on a Saturday morning and going for run.

Values are integral part of how we perceive the world; they are the internal compass that guides us to make conscious decisions, decisions to whether something does or doesn’t suit us. Values influence the way we speak, our behaviours and also our social circle.

Values are what separate the office worker running on the treadmill from the fitness model standing on stage (who also happens to work behind the desk).

Define what you value.

If you want to be committed to a positive change in your health and fitness goals, a great way to start is to identify specifically what you value, what you specifically want and why you want it.

STEP 1 – Ask the right questions.

“What specifically do I want?”,”Why do I want it?” etc.

STEP 2 – Visualise it and own it.

Believe without a shadow of doubt that achieving this is possible. Start visualising that you have already achieved it. Think of this experience as creating your own movie/picture in your mind. Be in the moment and know deep inside that you will get there.

STEP 3 – Focus on what you want rather then what you don’t want.

The mind does not recognise negations. Negations such as don’t, won’t, can’t, not etc. For example, consider the statement ‘I don’t want to be fat’. The mind disregards ‘don’t’ and only focuses on the subject. The mind interprets it as ‘I want to be fat’.

Start choosing empowering statements of possibility rather than lack.

“I am getting stronger with each repetition”, “I am losing that weight” etc.

Be kind to yourself. Be positive!

Many people stare at their own reflection and only see their flaws, they see the weight they are not losing (especially in the areas that they want to lose most). Try focussing on the other areas of your body and notice the changes that are happening. Be kind to yourself and give yourself a pat on the back for each step forward.

What if exercising meant that you were going to be cured from heart disease? What if eating unprocessed and organic food was going to prolong your life if you had cancer? What if being positive living healthily was going to prevent you from having depression? How would you then act? What would you start doing differently?

When you value your health and specifically state what you want, then other factors such as being lean/toned, having more strength and energy, fitting into clothes perfectly and being confident in the way you look, just become by products of the journey.

REMEMBER:

INTERVIEW: GEOFF HIGHAM – 62 YEAR OLD BODYBUILDER

INTERVIEW: GEOFF HIGHAM
– 62 YEAR OLD
BODYBUILDER
April 3, 2013
by ASP Admin

We recently interviewed one of our long time ASP clients, Geoff Higham!

At 62 years old, Geoff has been exercising for over 40 years! He has spent countless hours in gyms in all his time training, but instead of tiring he is still training strong and maintaining a physique enviable of most 20 year olds!

Below we discuss Geoff’s experience with ASP compared to the many other fitness professionals and services he’s been exposed to over the years, as well as his secrets to remaining in such great shape!

When did you start training with ASP and how has ASP helped you?

“I started training with Ben over four years ago, before ASP was even created. Since then I’ve kept coming back to Ben and his team of ASP coaches to train and transform my body and lifestyle, they’ve completely changed my life!”

How is ASP different to other trainers, coaches and fitness services?

“Over the many years I’ve been exercising I’ve trained with a lot of different people, even before gyms and personal training especially became as popular as it is now. I’ve trained with trainers and coaches who know their technique and service they provide like the back of their hand, and some that don’t. But I can safely say that ASP is the best of the lot! I feel the burn and the effectiveness of every exercise during every session. I can then feel the changes to my body, and of course see them too. ASP trains me with completely different methods than any that I’ve worked with before. Ben’s also helped me to make my training, nutrition and motivation regime a lifestyle that I live now, instead of a fad fix that I try out for a while. I’m not ready to slow down, I’m the healthiest I’ve been! ASP has even inspired me to complete the course to become a PT myself, at 62

What’s included in your daily nutrition these days?

“Most of my meals will now include red meat or chicken, and vegetables, with nuts as snacks. Sometimes I’ll have juices or whole fruits too, but that’s only when I’m feeling lean – thanks ASP for that tip! I basically eat clean every meal, I’ll have some cheat meals on rare occasions but these “

Out of the supplements you take to support your training lifestyle, do you have a favourite?

“BCAAs! I take BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) with every workout I do now, they help with my body’s response to training, make me stronger and not as sore after each session. They’re great!”

What other supplements are you taking?

“I take a multivitamin, and a post-workout BCAA/Amino complex to keep me lean, no carbs there! I also take ten omega-3 fish oil capsules a day, 5 in the morning, 5 at night. I love my supplements! “

Finally Geoff, what does ‘fitness’ now mean to you?

“ASP has definitely changed the way I think of fitness. I see fitness as a lifestyle now, not just exercise. Me being fit now means I sleep better, eat better, generally feel better. Fitness is not all about exercise!”

Geoff began his training journey with Australian Strength Performance at 67kg, reached a post-ASP transformation weight of 77-78kg, and now maintains a steady, lean and strong physique at 71kg.