How To Bounce Back From Failure

How To Bounce Back From Failure

Stopped Working Out? How To Bounce Back.

Having been a trainer for over two decades now (wow, I’m getting old. When the hell did that happen?!), I know there are a lot of people who have a hard time getting fit and losing weight.

In my 20-plus years of being “in the trenches,” I have found that most people can find the energy and enthusiasm to start a fitness plan, or a new eating plan. We make a commitment to ourselves and we start.

No problem.

Where the challenge lies is in staying committed to those goals on an ongoing basis.

I’m Starting… Next Year

Think about how many times you have triumphantly told yourself that “today is going to be the day!”, only to have that same enthusiasm wane as the days pass.

Or, how many of you have promised yourself, “I will start on Monday,” only to have Friday come and everything we promised ourselves, and were kicking ass doing on Monday and Tuesday, is slowly starting to fall to the “not so important anymore” category in our daily lives.

All these broken promises to ourselves can leave us feeling resentful, frustrated and angry with ourselves.

We wonder, why we can’t do this? What’s wrong with me? Will I ever succeed? Ha, trust me, there nothing is wrong with you.

You are human and we ALL fall and slip with our health goals. I even fall prey to this. There are some weekends where pizza, cookies and rum dominate my Saturday and Sunday nights and then Monday comes for me too.

How To Bounce Back 

Now, first off I want you to know that making poor choices with your health, when you promised yourself that you wouldn’t, is not failure. Failure is9, not even recognizing that you need to change your lifestyle.

Ignorance is the biggest indicator to failure.

Whereas admitting that you need to change some (or a lot) of things in your life to feel better, and then falling on your face every so often, is completely, utterly human.

So, what can you do next time you fall off the wagon? You have three choices. You can:

A) Crawl back into bed and throw the covers over your head,

B) Yell and scream and blame everyone else for your slip up

C) Dust yourself off and bounce back

While A can be tempting, and B we may do at times, it’s C that’s the clear winner – dusting ourselves off and bouncing back is the only way to bounce back from disaster and failure.

5 Steps to Bouncing Back

To successfully pick ourselves up takes:

  • Strength from within
  • Support from those around you
  • Responsibility on your part
  • An ability to embrace challenge and change
  • A never-stop-bouncing back attitude

First, strength within happens through self-love. You have to convince yourself that you are worth it, that even if you are starting over again you are still way farther ahead than you would be if you didn’t.

You need to remind yourself that you are making better choices in your life – for your life.

To help accomplish this new love affair with yourself you may need to reframe your thinking. Instead of thinking of exercise as a form of punishment, think of it as a choice you are making because you love your body. Sounds corny eh? But, it works.

Case in point, would you rather do a workout if someone said to you “This is going to hurt like a motha and leave you crippled for days”.

Or, “You are going to feel amazing after this”. Person A would get a punch in the throat, I am positive.

Yet, this is how we talk to ourselves all the time. We either guilt ourselves into doing something, or we take the most negative aspect of it and focus on that.

Your grey matter can play a huge roll on whether or not you put those runners on.

Bounce-back

Second, lean on those around you. Don’t feel like a burden; get help from your family, your social circle and even social media. The more people that know you need help staying on track, the more people can help. And, who knows, maybe one day they may need your help too.

Third, take responsibility for your actions. This is a tough one. It can be a hard pill to swallow, but recognize that you are completely and utterly in control of your actions.

No one is stopping you from exercise (example, you are the one creating the “I am too busy…too tired… too unmotivated…too sore…too old…” excuses that stop you from getting those runners on), and no one is stuffing bad choices down your throat in the form of burgers and beer.

Take responsibility, learn from your mistakes, bounce back up and move on.

Finally, it’s important to embrace the challenges and the inevitable adjustment that has to happen to change the direction of your health.

Don’t put up stop signs (such as “I’m too busy… too tired… too unmotivated…too sore… too old…”). If you want to make a change, start – and then get the hell out of your way and let the changes happen.

Work on those little grasshopper, and then you will find that you can bounce back, come back and live through anything.

 

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10-Minute [Killer] Ab Workout

10-Minute [Killer] Ab Workout

10-Minute Killer Ab Workout

Training your abs. You either love doing it, or you hate doing it.

There’s usually no grey area I’ve found when it comes to working your abdominals.

But, regardless you know you gotta train them and you know you should train them.

Now, the great news is if you do moves like squats, lunges, deadlifts, mountain climbers, pull-ups and push-ups you are training your abs and core – and in a functional way (and double great news if you follow my YouTube workouts).

You see, your core muscles are designed to stabilize the spine, as well as flex, rotate, twist and laterally bend the torso.

When performing the big moves I mentioned about you are firing up the core to stabilize the spine. Hence, a good weight training workout (try this one – it’s awesome) will train the heck out of your abs.

However, we also love a little extra, when it comes to our abs. Which is precisely the reason I developed and filmed this 10-minute ab workout.

It’s effective, fast, works all of the ab muscles and is perfect to do after a strength training or cardio workout, or while binge watching your favourite TV show (my current fave is “Strike Back”. I am obsessed with it right now.).

10-Min Killer Ab Workout

The Workout

10 Min Killer Ab Workout - workout described

 

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The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training

The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training

The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training

There are many different goals that people tell me they want their fitness programs to achieve. However, the one goal that is most often cited is increased muscle tone and strength.

And, as a strength training coach and trainer I love to hear that, especially from my over-40 crowd.

After the age of 40 our strength begins to decline (they call this atrophy), and continues on that downward spiral to hell 8 to 10 percent, per decade, thereafter (Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging).

Now, this decline in strength not only affects our ability to move and our strength in general, it also has serious consequences on our metabolism.

Our metabolisms are what dictates how many calories we burn throughout the day. A higher metabolism, the more calories we will burn. The more calories burned, the better our chances are for a slimmer, trimmer body.

How do you keep your metabolism running as quick and agile as a bunny?

You can start by holding onto those muscles that are slowly disintegrating with each passing year.

The more muscle you have, the more calories your body needs to support that muscle (a pound of muscle at rest burns about 6 calories, while a pound of fat burns about 2).

You see, it requires more calories for the body to keep a pound of muscle warm (because the body loves staying in a homeostasis state of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), than it does a pound of fat.

Intense strength training can also increase your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and your EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption). Both of which can lead to some serious calorie burning.

In fact, fat loss studies have proven that high intensity strength training can burn fat faster than traditional aerobic exercise. So, say good bye to running and hello to the bench press if you are looking to lose weight.

Beginner's-Guide-Strength-Training

What else can strength training do for me?

Strength training is the only means of fighting that age-related business of muscles wasting away (atrophying).

In addition, strength training: increases bone strength, decreases resting blood pressure and lowers individuals’ risk for type 2 diabetes.

And, as mentioned above it is also a champion when it comes to burning fat.

As a beginner how often should I lift weights?

Every day and twice on Sundays.

Just joking. If you are just starting to lift weights you are in a fantastic place. Beginner’s ALWAYS see gains, and quickly. It’s because the moves and exercises are a new stimulus to you and your body is going to respond in a positive and happy way!

I recommend, to all new exercisers, a twice a week strength training routine, working all the major muscle groups of the body, with at least a day’s rest in-between lift days.

From there, as you get stronger and more accustomed to strength training, progress to 3-4 times a week.

This change in frequency will usually have to happen by month three, as you start to plateau. However, a simple tweak to your intensity and how often you lift will get you over that hump so that you can continue to see change and growth.

Is it safe to strength train at any age?

You betcha! Strength training will help improve balance, (therefore decreasing the risk of falling), sustain a longer independence in life and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

In a recent study, researchers found that walking by itself was not enough of an overload to stimulate bone-building cells. Weight training and impact-type exercises were found to be more advantageous.

Try this Beginner’s Strength Workout 

Strength-training-older-adults

How many reps should I do?

There are two primary types of muscle fibres: slow twitch and fast twitch.

Slow twitch muscle fibres move more slowly and have more mitochondria (structures located within the muscle cell that contain enzymes needed to metabolize food into energy sources). This means that they have a higher aerobic capacity and are less resistant to fatigue.

On the other hand, fast twitch muscle fibres are characterized by their fast speed of contraction but lower level of aerobic capacity. Since we carry both sets of fibres, I always recommend periodizing a strength program of:

  • 4-8 weeks of high reps (1-3 sets of 13-20 repetitions) at a light load. This should address the slow twitch muscle fibres.
  • Then, for the next 4-8 week period, switch your program to a heavier load of 8-12 reps for 1-4 sets. This type of programming should avoid exercise plateaus and address both types of muscle fibres.

Are machines better than dumbbells?

Machines. Suck. Period. All right, I’ll be a little generous; they are kind of good for beginners and those coming back to the gym after an injury.

This is because they support the individual and help dictate the plane of motion to lift in. However, that’s precisely why I hate them too.

We should be learning to support our own bodies and move through our own range of motion, and not that of a machine. I prefer dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, tubing, TRX, cable machines, pulley systems, stability balls, the BOSU, the Rip Trainer, medicine balls and wobble boards.

Try this TRX & Dumbbell Workout.

Suggested workouts for beginners:

 

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20-Minute Hamstring and Hip Opener Workout

20-Minute Hamstring and Hip Opener Workout

20-Minute Hamstring and Hip Opener Routine

20 minutes and a mat – that’s all you need to stretch your hamstrings and open your hips.

And it’s something I recommend all of us over the age of 40 do at least once a week.

Why is stretching the hamstrings and hips so important?

  • Shortened hamstrings pull on your pelvis, affecting how you walk
  • Tight hamstrings are one of the leading causes of low back pain
  • The muscles related around your hips are responsible for every movement from walking to running
  • Tight hips can cause everything from low back pain and knee pain
  • Both groupings of muscles tend to be shortened with people who sit a lot during the day,
  • Muscles and connective tissue shorten with every passing year due to a decrease of water in the tissue


Hamstring & Hip Opener Routine

 

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10 Best Oatmeal Recipes

10 Best Oatmeal Recipes

10 Best Oatmeal Recipes

I love oatmeal. I have been known to eat for breakfast (not unusual, I know), for lunch and again for dinner (now getting weird).

While some people order eggs benny while brunching with friends at a restaurant, I will ask for a big ol’ bowl of oatmeal, brown sugar on the side please.

Why am I Team Oatmeal?

Well, first off let’s start with the fibre content. One bowl has about 4 grams per serving, and we should be aiming for 25-30 grams a day.

It is a slow-releasing complex carbohydrate, leaving you fuller for longer – and with the fuel to take you through your morning and last you until lunch.

Oatmeal contains important vitamins and minerals such as iron, thiamine, folic acid, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, and zinc.

A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast will also help re-stabilize your blood-sugar levels, giving you the energy needed to tackle your busy mornings and help you manage your weight.

Not all oatmeals are created equal, though. The pre-packaged, instant oatmeal packets are filled with sugar and unnecessary chemicals and additives that we just don’t need first thing in the morning.

Don’t be fooled, even the weight-controlled instant oatmeal isn’t that healthy for you.

If time and convenience are the reasons you reach for those handy little packets in the early hours, then allow me to show you how you can make a healthier, cleaner version in just under five minutes – using ingredients that you most likely already have in the cupboard!

best-oatmeal-recipes-Fitness-with-PJ

Steel-Cut Oatmeal Base

I, personally, prefer steel-cut oats because they have a higher protein and fibre count than rolled and quick cooking oats. This recipe I make on a Sunday and it provides me with 4 servings of oatmeal which I then refrigerate and re-heat during the busy work week.

Recipe #1 – the base

1 cup steel-cut oats (I love “Bob’s Red Mill Steel-Cut Oats”)
3-1/2 cups water
dash of unrefined sea salt

Bring water and sea salt to a boil, add oats and gently boil on low heat with the lid on for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the burner and add the following:

3 tbsp ground flax seed (or you can use bee pollen, salba seed, chia seed, hemp protein)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2-1 tbsp tbsp cinnamon (adjust according to your taste)

Mix the above in with the oatmeal and let it sit until thick and then place in a container and put in the fridge.

This will keep for up to 5-6 days. In the mornings simply spoon a serving into a microwaveable dish (remember, your container is now holding four servings, so simply cut the oatmeal in fours so that you get the appropriate serving amount) and microwave for 1:00.

Add milk, or almond milk until your oatmeal is at the consistency that you like and then put it back in the microwave for another minute. From there you can add any of the following to make your oatmeal even healthier AND tastier:

  • Recipe #2 Apple Walnut Oatmeal
    • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
    • 1/2 diced apple (it’s even better if you microwave the chopped apple in some cinnamon and stevia for 1-2 minutes to soften it)
    • sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top
  • Recipe #3 Banana Bread Oatmeal
    • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
    • 2 chopped dates, or 1 tbsp raisins
    • half of a banana, sliced on top
  • Recipe #4 Blueberry Strawberry Oatmeal Dream
    • 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries & 1/2 c sliced strawberries
    • Slivered almonds on top (if you have time, toasted almonds is really good in this)
  • Recipe #5 Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal
    • 2 tbsp dried cherries
    • 1 tbsp sugar-free cherry jam
  • Recipe #6 Cranberry Oatmeal
    • 2 tbsp dried or fresh cranberries
    • 1 tbsp walnut pieces
    • a drizzle of honey on the top
    • 1 tbsp sliced almonds
  • Recipe #7 Super Duper Oatmeal
    • 1/2 c blueberries (fresh or frozen)
    • 1 single serving, sugar-free apple sauce container
    • A sprinkle of cinnamon on top
  • Recipe #8 Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
    • a dash of nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or if you have it in the cupboard, 3 tbsp canned pumpkin pie filling
    • 1 tbsp sliced almond (if you have time, toast the almonds – yummy!)
  • Recipe #9 Yogurt Oatmeal (boost the protein and calcium of your oatmeal with these additions)
    • add a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • Recipe #10 Peachy Keen Oatmeal 
    • add some sliced peaches (drained) and sprinkle the top with a bit of nutmeg

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
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