A while I ago was chatting with my friend Dwayne about . . . well, I can’t remember. Life in general I believe it was, and we were talking about work and success, and how things don’t often go according to plan.
And how we should always be prepared for not necessarily the best – but the WORST to happen.
Hey, don’t get me wrong.
It’s all well and good to EXPECT the best, but what if that happens in a manner and (perhaps more importantly) TIME not of your choosing?
What if the “worst” were to be something that “was slated to happen” in order for the best to happen?
And curiously enough, that is how it usually DOES work.
When you’re at the bottom of a tall, tall mountain with nowhere to go – guess what.
It’s GREAT NEWS – because you have got only one way to go.
Henry Ford famously once made the comment along the lines of “when everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplace flies AGAINST the wind, not with it”.
So true, my friend.
It is only after experiencing the nadirs of FAILURE that one can rise to the heights of success, and after studying scores of successful men and women, I cannot think of a SINGLE case to which this didn’t apply (and usually not just one failure either – several massive failures).
If you’ve never failed at anything, chances are you’re never truly succeeded at that thing either.
Point here though isn’t that failure is required in order to achieve true and lasting success.
That it is, but what Im saying is here is what WHEN the mishaps occur.
Do you sink – or find it in you to SWIM – often times against a mighty tide doing all it can to keep you DOWN – and OUT?
Simply answering yes to the above question isn’t enough.
You must DO the thing.
And the key to this, my friend lies not only in what Dwayne very correctly said – – but also what Claude Bristol said in The Magic of Believing.
Success is a matter of never ending application. The minute you pause to rest on your laurels is the minute it takes wings and FLIES away.
Paraphrased, but the gist is what I just wrote.
And if there ever was a comment that rang true with yours truly THIS IS IT!
(and that’s what Dwayne was talking about with regard to “I’m the chump that keeps working”. And if you want to listen to someone that’s BEEN there and DONE the thing, and then some, well, that’s the man.)
I cannot think of how many times in the past Ive done something successfully.
Built up the momentum. Felt great. Built up several small victories.
And then inexplicably I slacked off. For no good reason, I’d let things “slide”, thinking that the momentum I created would be enough to keep things humming.
It wasn’t, of course, and I found that out the hard way.
Right now, every time I embark on a new biz venture or even something fitness related, I think long term and do NOT let the small successes or failures alter my overall emotional state either way.
You gotta be in it for the long term, and this holds true for fitness too.
Here today, gone tomorrow holds true if you stop to “admire yourself in the mirror” and forget that WORK, solid WORK is still required – and that, my friend, is the topic for today.
Chew on it some, and let me know what you think!
P.S. – The exercises in the 0 Excuses Fitness System are NOT “one trick ponies”. In fact it is a challenge even for the baddest mofo out there to MASTER any of these exercises in its entirety – even the humble pushups. And there is a very good reason I keep working on the basics despite my “advanced” status at all this, and why YOU should too.
Find out more about the System here, and get ROCKING now – https://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/
Oh MY! Something huge is coming up - a new book release, to be precise, my own "Zero to Hero" book - and it will be available for sale VERY SOON indeed at the 0 Excuses Site.
Here are but SOME of the results you can expect from following the tips I lay out in this book, my friend: –
Overweight, rundown, “beat up” and unfit -> Full of stamina, STRENGTH and boundless ENERGY!
From “frustration at where you are in life” -> a LIFE IN FLOW – with BOUNDLESS optimism and REWARDS!
From “procrastination” – > a state of “getting her done” no matter WHAT!
From self doubt and self denial -> a state of ACCEPTANCE, DEEP CONTENTMENT and ZERO “self denial”!
From “stuck in the grind” to SELF EMPLOYMENT and FULFILLMENT – with minimal “apparent” effort!
Man oh man, I'm so excited I can barely TYPE!
I'll end this one here - but anyway - the reason I'm sending it out to THIS website FIRST is because this is where it really all started, my friend.
This is where I really got going first - and so it makes sense to post it here first, even though I'll be selling it on my other site soon.
Get "thee buttocks" over to 0 Excuses Fitness now, my friend - and if you haven't already - sign up for the mailing list there!
Do it NOW, my friend. Don't waste a SECOND LONGER!
P.S. - Additionally - be on the lookout for a MAJOR, MAJOR announcement coming TONIGHT on the 0 Excuses site!
Though I've been blasting this out "ad infinitum" in my Facebook messages and my daily newsletters etc, there are a lot of you that are still loyal visitors to the orignal rahulmookerjee.com website.
And that is FINE - that is where it all STARTED - and there is nothing wrong with the site at all. In fact, the blog posts on the site offer you valuable tips and advice on getting - and STAYING - fit, and truth be told, you'd be well served by taking a gander at some of it (being that the reason you arrived at the page is - well - fitness itself).
But things change, and I figured I'd give the site a new look first, but then I decided against that for whatever odd reason.
Nah. I figured I'd build a new site - and so I have - and the new site is www.0excusesfitness.com - a name that bears significance if just because it points out the MAIN reason people fail to accomplish whatever goals they are that they set for themselves - not just fitness wise - but in LIFE in general.
That's right, my friend. Excuses and smartphones are the BANE of the modern world, and I'll stand behind those words till the day I "pass on", hehe.
Anyway, this particular blog has been discontinued for the nonce in terms of fitness - so please head on over to the NEW site - and check out the BLOG there - more great stuff for y'all to take a gander at!
And of course - new and UPDATED products as well - http://0excusesfitness.com/products/ .
Last, but NOT LEAST - PLEASE SIGN UP for the daily blog posts on the new site PRONTO in order NOT to miss any of the great stuff I post on a daily (or sometimes more) basis. I can't always get on Facebook etc in the nick of time, so this is the best way to stay abreast of what is going on at 0 Excuses Fitness HQ!
All for now - see you at the NEW SITE!
0 Excuses Fitness
Well, it wasn't exactly the most of pleasant and restful of nights for me last night, to say the least. Started off well enough actually, a few brewskies, part of what seems to be a good flick - - you know - - a typical Sunday night for most folks.
And what made it better was a great workout before the evening - - done in searingly hot and humid weather as usual, and with a few new exercises to boot. I've been concentrating on hanging leg raises these days (great, great exercise, and one which I detail in Fast and Furious Fitness extensively: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/4-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book), and I did an interesting variation of this exercise yesterday.
For those that don't know (and you should!) - - the hanging leg raise is by far one of the BEST exercises you can do for your core, and the variation that I did involves pulling your legs up to your chest while you hang prone on the bar. It's supposed to be an easy variant - - in theory, that is - - in practice, do them the right way, and they're anything BUT easy.
Anyway, I went to bed a happy camper, and woke up around 5 A.M. or so, thirsty.
Ok, no big deal, happens a lot, and off I trundled off to the bedside table to grab some H20. . .
Well - - I really should say that I STARTED making my way over to said table - - and - - BAM! OUCH!
I suddenly discovered I was unable to stand on my right leg - - unable to put any pressure at all on that leg - - and the left leg funnily enough was normal - - no problems on that leg.
But it's the pain I remember MOST vividly - - OUCH! It's not often that I scream out loud with pain, but merely standing on my right leg was causing me to do so (and if my neighbors woke up due to this - - and are reading this - - mea culpa, but at the same time, the pain was of a kind I'd never experienced before!).
It wouldn't go away no matter what I did, though it seemed to subside somewhat when I sat down in a certain position.
And finally, after much pummeling, screaming and "thumbing" deep into where the pain was coming from (the side of the inner right thigh), the pain died away - - somewhat.
I finally popped off to bed around 6:30 or so, and when I woke up, the leg seemed fairly normal - - at least compared to the night before when I could barely walk on it.
And my thoughts upon waking up were: - I CAN walk on it now - - but I CANNOT lift my leg off the floor without support - - so SOMETHING'S happened for sure.
Turns out I've got an "abductor muscle pull (or slight tear - - not sure which)" - - the muscle that runs along the SIDE of the thigh - - the inner thigh - - not the groin, but the part of the inner thighs which touch together when you bring your knees together.
Drat - - I don't need this, I thought. Lots and lots of walking to do in the next few days, and I sure don't need to be hobbling around while I do it!
Anyway, I decided to test the leg out with some simple walking on level ground and climbing a few flights of stairs, and strangely enough, I can do that without too much pain (or very little pain, actually). But try and lift the leg off the floor by itself - - and - - OUCH!
As to why this happened to an extremely active and conditioned person such as me (at least, conditioned in the things I do)?
Well, for one, I've been exhausted for the past few weeks (hectic, hectic, you know how that goes!) - - and perhaps this is one way my body is telling me to back off a bit?
Maybe - - but more importantly, I think the reason is the variant of the exercise I did. I know I was feeling a bit funny when I was drawing my legs up to my chest - - and holding - - the other afternoon, but I did not think much of it at the time.
Uh oh, mistake #2 right there (I'm sure you can guess #1?). . .
And the reason that I'm telling you this is simply to drive home the fact that you should - - ALWAYS - - LISTEN TO YOUR BODY - - no matter how good of shape you might be in, or think you might be in. Something I keep emphasizing in all my books and writing, but something that we tend to ignore - - yours truly at times as well.
Anyway, I guess I'll be taking a break today from my climb - - or if I do it, I'll be sure and take it easy today. Definitely no leg raises for the next week or so - - the nagging case of elbow tendonitis I'm dealing with is annoying but nothing to worry about - - but this could get a lot worse if I don't do the right things for it.
Sitting around is never the right thing to do, of course, and that isn't what I'm going to do. That is also why I went for a brisk walk on level ground this morning (along with a few stairs) just to "test" the leg out and see what sort of shape its in - - and so far, so good. I bet I'll be making a full recovery in a few days - - touchwood, of course!!
So, that's the update from here. If you work out today - - make it a great one - - and remember to listen to your body as well!
P.S. : - This email isn't to encourage anyone with a thigh or elbow injury to go out and climb hills or do pull-ups - - remember, everyone is DIFFERENT - - and you should ALWAYS seek medical advice for any injury you might have! That said, some MILD activity "just to get the blood flowing" is usually always a good ideas as well. . .
Judging from the reader feedback I've gotten so far, a LOT of you seem to enjoy my posts describing my workouts (and sometimes, life in general) in Southern China, and for those of you that enjoy that sort of thing, this note will be right up your alley.
For those that don't - - well, you might want to read it anyway - - if just for yet another reminder to avoid doing "bunny curls" at the gym, and so forth, hehe.
Anyway, I've been noticing a strange guy wheedling around the park on one of those "one wheeled cycles" that seem to be the rage for some people these days (though for the life of me I can't figure out why).
This guy looks like the epitome of the "roid crazed" bodybuilder I talk so much about - - shirt stretched tight over "puffed up (to the max)" pecs, huge arms, a broad upper back and legs that. . . well, legs that look rather like chicken legs compared to the rest of his "physique".
(and given that the bulk of the work they get is holding him up on the motorized tool he so proudly struts around on, music playing to the max, that isn't surprising, is it?)
Anyway, this dude whizzes around the local park quite a bit, and I've noticed him often after returning from my daily climb, usually just before I start part #2 of my workout. And a couple of days back, this dude stopped right by the monkey bars (where I was working out) and parked himself on a bench nearby, flexing his "massive" biceps as he did so, hoping to catch the passerby's attention with every pose he struck.
And catch their attention he did - - though not for the reasons he'd want. With his sunglasses, shaved head, massive upper body and stork like legs and music that blared nonstop through his phone - - and of course, his "one wheeled cycle", he WAS the center of attraction, but again, not for the reasons he'd want.
I mean, it was one of the ONLY times where I can remember breaking down laughing during a workout - - but more on that later.
Anyway, I noticed the dude "sizing" me up from a distance, and he was soon at the monkey bars, music in tow, preparing to do a set of pull-ups.
He grabbed the bars, and hung for a second or so, or what seemed like it.
And then, he proceeded to emit a set of curious sounds.
"UGGH! GRR!! MMMPPFFF" (all this before the actual pull-ups, mind you).
And then, he "jumped" up to the monkey bars, chest flopping around as he did so, and held himself there for a minute, furiously grunting and moaning as if he was trying to lift King Kong on his back.
(and just so you know, the sunglasses stayed on while he was "exercising").
Down a few inches, and up again. Down, and up. Down, and up. And then I heard a loud thud, as the "man mountain" fell down to the ground, much like the figurative ton of bricks, and furiously started flexing his biceps, and wiping imaginary sweat off his brow.
(and that, my friend, is saying a lot considering that the humidity levels here are over 90% - - not to mention the actual temperatures themselves - - I seem to start to drip with sweat even after a mild walk - - let alone a vigorous workout!)
Actually, I'm exaggerating when I say a "few inches". Those "massive arms" could barely go up and down more than TWO inches, if that, and that was the extent of his pull-ups before he moved on to the dipping bars.
The strange grunts emanated from him again, and he jumped up to the "top" position of the dip, and furiously held himself there, contorting his face, looking every bit like a gorilla that has bitten off more than it can chew.
But he never did a single dip.
A few seconds later, the contortions were replaced by a wide grin, and the dude starts to "pedal" on the dipping bars, moving his legs slowly around, much like a dowager slowly cycling through the neighborhood market.
No - - I'm NOT kidding you - - that was his version of the "dip", and it was at that point that I burst out laughing - - hey, some things are too much for even yours truly to ignore, and laughter is good for health anyway!
After that he looked around, grinned at all the onlookers snickering behind him, and made his way down the path again, ruffling his "hair" (though he had none), and ogling all the women as he did so.
Sanity returned to the place for a while - - or at least until he showed up again - - but that's a different story altogether!
Anyway, now that you guys have choked on your morning coffee (or evening brew of choice, hehe), here's something else I saw. Something that might inspire you - - at least, it did me.
A couple of afternoons ago, I was completing my daily stretches at the top of the hill, when a couple of ladies came over by me, one dressed in semi-formal office wear, and the other dressed smartly in a tank top, shorts and sports shoes. Green sports shoes, if I recall correctly. . .
I was going through my daily stretches - - the sort I described a few emails ago (visit http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/blog/item/172-reader-q-and-as for more details on the exact stretch) - - and the lady (the one in the sports attire) started her own routine.
And it was a simple enough routine, yet the ease with which this lady did it literally FLUMMOXED me - - and I mean every word of that sentence.
She stretched the way I mention in the above link - - but she did it while throwing her leg at least five inches or so above head height, and doing so as casually as you might pop a can of beer, for example.
And the stretches she did after that - - well, let me just say that I attempted to follow along and despite my many years of experience in this field, and a fit body, I fell flat on my arse the first time I attempted to do what she did.
"Ta Hen Chuang (Mandarin Chinese for "you are very strong")", I found myself saying, as the two ladies giggled at the foreigner trying to do what they were doing, and not really succeeding, to say the least.
"Bu Shi. Yi Dian Dian", giggled the sports "girl" (Not really. Just a little).
A little, my rear end, I thought, as she then walked over to a wall nearby and every so casually walked backwards down it, ending in a perfect gymnastic bridge.
And THEN - - she walked away from the wall - - BACKWARDS and on all fours, at that, so she was in the bridge position without any support - - and then she placed her entire weight on her forehead, much like what is done in a wrestler's bridge.
(For those that are wondering, the "bridge" is a fantastic exercise for the back, and I talk about it in Fast and Furious Fitness).
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture here. Can we say SUPER FIT!!!?
Now, judging by this description, you might think this lady looks like the Chinese version of Jane Fonda - - and I wouldn't blame you for thinking that way - - but amazingly enough, she DOESN'T.
She was NOT one of the "toned and lean" sorts you hear about so often - - and neither did she have "rippling muscles" (or muscles that showed at all, for that matter).
Oh, that's fine, some of you might say. She's probably young and flexible, and...
Hold on, hold on. Hold "yer horses" as they say - - this lady was - - get this - - 35 years of age, and the mother of a four year old child!
And again, she looked normal - - in fact, some might even say she had a bit of extra "padding" in the wrong areas - - but the things she can do with her own body would put many a trained gymnast (and certainly our pal on the one wheeled cycle) to shame within a matter of minutes.
I got to talking to her a bit, and though my very limited Chinese prevented anything in the way of advanced communication, I did learn that she grew up working in the fields. Hard, manual labor from an young age and an interest in sports led to the inevitable, and today, she doesn't even need a warm up before jumping into a serious stretch (well, not much of a warmup, at any rate).
So that's the other "story" - - always best to showcase both sides of the coin, hehe. I'm sure those of you that work out in gyms have similar stories to share - - and if you do - - well - - send 'em over, and I'll try and publish as many of them here as I can.
As for who to emulate - - well, I don't think that one needs to be addressed, to be honest!
All for now - - Stay tuned for more "blasts from the present" (if I might use the term, hehe) in terms of the madness (as well as some amazingly GOOD stuff) I see going on around me as I slog through my daily workout routine.
Hasta la vista - - and if you work out today - - make it the BEST one - - and avoid "them" one wheeled motorized cycles while exercising, hehe.
P.S.: - Our facebook page is a wonderful way to stay up to date with "what is going on at Fast and Furious HQ's" - - https://www.facebook.com/fastandfuriousfitness
More of the usual foolishness at the local park today as I prepared to commence my daily slog up the hill. I was already sweating before I started - - it's THAT hot and humid here. Sort of like a blanket of "heat and humidity" (and of course the ever present smog/pollution, hehe) wrapped around you as you exercise intensely. . .
Anyway, I passed the chinning bar on the way to the hill, and I saw a fine young (not) gentleman literally "frogging" his way up to multiple reps on the pull-up bar.
What do I mean?
Well, this fellow was LITERALLY doing a "frog kick" with his legs to get his chin up above the bar, and uttering strange noises as he did so, as if he was working his entire upper body really hard.
And when he was done, he barely broke a sweat - - not surprising, me thinks.
Anyway, I've written enough about the nuts who seem to think the "rep" is all that counts, and form be "damned", and as promised, I'm going to write about a welcome surprise that I've been getting over the last few evenings in the park.
This middle aged Chinese gentleman usually shows up in the park around the same time that I do, and can be seen valiantly working his pull-ups in the same area as I do. As in, the monkey bars - - with THICK bars!
He can't get a single rep in as of now. In fact, it's all he can do to even pull himself up halfway, after which he falls from the bar like a sack of bricks.
This is mostly because he is overweight and out of shape - something which is clearly evident, and YET, I rate HIS attempts on a FAR, FAR higher scale than the other clowns who "frog out" repetitions.
Yes, even though he can barely hold onto the bar for any length of time.
Well, because he TRIES - - and does so in a genuine manner. No preening, no posing, just a STRUGGLE to get that first rep in - - as it SHOULD be.
And more importantly, he tries to do the exercise in proper form. He starts out with a dead hang and THEN tries to pull himself up from there, and isn't concerned about the fact that he isn't succeeding in his efforts - as yet.
And he shouldn't be - - if he keeps this up, and incorporates some hill climbs into the mix to lose the flab around his midsection, he'll soon be pumping out GENUINE reps like nobody's business.
This dude isn't worried about "impressing" the girls, and he isn't worried about "how he looks" upon not being able to complete a single rep.
Not for him the nonsense of "I did a 100 reps, I'm better than you!".
Just silent, hard work - - and THAT, my friend, ties in nicely with the topic of today's e-mail, which is basically that you have to start SOMEPLACE.
Hey, we've ALL been there - - no-one is born looking like a human Hercules, and it's a fact of life that some of us have to work way harder at this than others that may be a tad bit more genetically gifted.
That's a fact of life that we can't change, and quite frankly, I've never bothered wasting brain cells over it - - and this is coming from someone who is a hard gainer in the true sense of the word - - ME.
I mean, my forearms have ALWAYS been weak, ultra weak in fact from what I'd say - - and yet today, I've got a stronger grip and better upper body development/strength than a lot of "naturally" gifted folks.
And it doesn't matter what your current strength levels are, or how you "look in front of the girls", or "how many reps you can do NOW", or whether or not you have a family connection to the Pope (ok, I made that one up).
What matters is that you WANT - and TRY - and TRY in the right manner.
What matters is that you know you have to start someplace. I did - we all did at some point.
And most of all, what matters is the will to SUCCEED, and IMPROVE, despite seemingly insurmountable odds in your way. I talk about will power a LOT in Fast and Furious Fitness - - in fact, it's one of the "commandments" that are an absolute must to read even before you start on the exercises and workouts outlined in the book.
Fast and Furious Fitness: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
And that, my friend, is why I bring up the middle aged Chinese gentleman who I'm sure will improve within a few weeks, faster perhaps if he takes my advice on incorporating some cardio into his routine.
I also gave this gentleman a tip or two on HOW to grip the bar when doing his exercises - - advice he was more than happy to accept, and advice that has him firmly on the path to a rock solid grip and super forearm strength down the line.
So remember - it doesn't matter what your current fitness or strength levels are. In other words, you have to start SOMEPLACE - and so long as you have the right attitude and the gumption to forge ahead no matter what - well - NOTHING can stop you from achieving your desired goals!
And just so you know, this philosophy is applicable to all areas of life - - NOT just fitness.
All for now! If you workout today, make it an excellent one - - and write in and tell me about it!
P.S.: - Working on grip and forearm strength is a great place to start, and I've put a course out there that tells you exactly what and how to do to get started: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/products/89-gorilla-grip/
That was the exact thought that came to my mind this afternoon as I hustled up the steps, determined to beat my previous best time on this route.
I was sweating like a racehorse, puffing like a locomotive and panting like I'd just swam an ocean (or darn near close to it) - but after passing about ten people that had started the climb before I did, I finally had to pause for some much needed breath.
I breathed in deeply, making sure to breathe "into the stomach" as opposed to the shallow breaths that it's so easy to get suckered into when one is out of breath. And soon enough, I was fine, and ready to continue again.
(That's a tip for you right there - breathe the right way, and you'll find your performance in most physical activities improves without you even actively trying. I've written about the importance of proper deep breathing before, so I'm not going to get into it here - - just know it's something well worth keeping in mind at all times.)
But while I was gasping for air, I knew I still had a GOAL to attain - that goal being bettering my last climb time, and that meant resuming the climb ASAP.
I look up above me, and all I see is the sun shining down angrily, and a vast imposing row of steps as far as I could see.
Well, not as far as I could see, actually, but the top seemed far, far away at that point. You know how it is - that last bit always seems to be the toughest!
And all of a sudden, I remembered.
"Eat a bear - but ONE bite at a time!"
And in my current situation that meant one thing.
Go for the goal - attain it - but remember that it's the little steps that add up to the big thing.
So, I tackled the steps in sets of 15, as opposed to thinking of it as one long arduous set of steps I had to get through, and get through fast. And before I knew it, I was at the top, and I had bettered my previous time by one second.
Not a lot by any means, but again, it's the small things that add up. That one second will turn into 30 soon, and then 60, and then more, and so forth.
And why do I mention this in an email to you, my friend?
Well, because fitness follows the same principles, my friend.
Take the case of a person that can do only one pushup before collapsing. Show him the ultimate goal of 100 at one go, and he'll likely sigh and throw in the towel before even starting on the long and arduous path ahead of him.
Other than, set a goal of 10 for him, and chances are, he'll get to this goal within a few days with a bit of will power and lots of properly applied effort.
He'll then progress to 20, and then 30 even before he knows it.
And soon, within a couple of months, he'll get so good at doing pushups that he'll crack off 100 plus in a row.
And what did he do to get to this goal? Well, he broke down the goal into gettable "bites" (parts), and ate the "bear" slowly, one bite at a time.
The same thing applies to losing weight, getting stronger, and so forth.
You might say "elementary, my dear Watson (Mookerjee)", but the fact remains that this elementary piece of "wisdom" is ignored by many on a daily basis.
"Oh, I'm too out of shape to do 25 pushups"
"Oh, my knees hurt so bad, how could I possibly go for a run?"
"Oh, I'd rather sit on the couch, and shove potato chips into my mouth - easier than getting down on the floor and cranking out bear crawls, or whatever the heck that Mookerjee guy is on about"
Ok, so maybe the third was a bit of an exaggeration (although many do prefer gobbling up potato chips by the dozen as opposed to exercising and following a decent diet), but the first two sure aren't.
I'm sure you can think of a couple of examples yourself too.
So remember, the next time you think a target is too tough to achieve, you just need to say one line to yourself (or others).
Eat a bear - - one bite at a time!
All for now - - back again later.
P.S:- It's easier to simply ignore this email rather than to take action and improve your fitness levels NOW. Remember, words don't rock the boat - - ACTION does. And the first step to take towards reaching your fitness goals is to grab a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness right HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
I wrote to you yesterday regarding a drastic change in diet a couple of months ago, and the wonders it did for me - including get my hill jaunt timings down to less than 15 minutes - something I couldn't do even at a trim, lean and fit 25 years of age.
And while diet played a massive role in making this happen, there was more to it than just diet.
I think I mentioned I returned to China in March, and started to go for my daily climbs again as soon as I got back. Well, due to work related reasons I've been climbing mostly in the afternoons as of late, around 2P.M. on most days, and that applied to my March climbs as well.
(Side Note: Tough outdoor exercise during the peak hours of the day is NOT recommended if you live in extremely hot locales, as dehydration is a very real risk especially if you are pushing yourself hard. If you absolutely have to exercise at those times, make sure your a) drinking enough water, b) drinking enough water, c) know what you are doing, and d) yes - you guessed it - drink enough water - and by water, I mean good old H2O - nothing else during your workout.)
Ok, that side note turned into more than a "side" note, but it needed to be said - I don't want any of you keeling over in the hot sun for sure!
The hill I climb has many different routes, my favorite one (or should I say one of my favorite ones) being a long, steep climb with tons and tons of stairs. Sort of like a Stairmaster workout x 10, if you get my drift, or tougher. . .pictures on the site as well on the Fast and Furious Fitness Facebook account.
But, there is another route I use regularly - one with a long, sloping path going straight up and "around" the hill. There are NO steps on this route for say 70% of the climb, and the last 30% merges with the other route I take (the one with steps).
I usually alternate between these two routes. If I climb up route A, I go down route B, and if I climb up route B, I descend via route A. And I alternate between A and B daily - works different muscle groups in an intense manner.
This wasn't what I did years back in China - I stuck exclusively to route A going up, and route B coming down - it seemed to give me a better workout - but times change, and so should your workouts if they need to. Plus, it adds a bit more variety into the route, keeps it interesting.
So, anyway, I'm huffin and puffin one day at the top of the mountain, and I notice this old Chinese man walk up the stairs behind me, observing me quietly, yet intently.
We acknowledged each other, but didn't say much, mostly due to a language barrier. This guy must have been at least 70 years of age by the look of it, probably more if you consider the fact that many old Chinese people actually look a few years younger than they are, due to following healthy lifestyle habits their entire life.
He walked around the top of the hill once, and left, and I returned to my pushups.
Come the next day, I took route B, and I saw the old man again. We started together up the hill, and I was expecting I'd easily keep pace with him, maybe even outpace him, but what surprised and shocked me was the speed and pace at which he motored up the hill. I think I must have kept pace with him for about 20% of the climb that day, and I was already bushed after that.
Now, just so you know, this guy is not a "fitness guru" or "fitness buff" or anything like that, at least not in the traditional sense. No rippling muscles, no excess brawn, and like zero percent body fat - actually quite a small guy if you look at him from a distance.
But as they say, it's not the size of the dog, it's the size of the FIGHT in the dog.
Anyway, I got to talking to him a few days later, and shook his hand - and it felt like I'd put my fingers inside a pair of iron pliers.
I started to notice this guy's routine more closely after that. At the end of each climb, when most people are gasping for breath, this guy walks coolly over towards a nearby wall, and kicks up into a letter perfect handstand against the wall - and holds that position for exactly 60 seconds.
After that, he stretches his hamstrings out thoroughly - but in a manner most people wouldn't dream of doing. That sort of stretch stretches the ENTIRE core, lower back, chest and hamstrings - as well as calves and shins to a certain degree.
And after that, he walks back down the hill. Sometimes, he'll bang out a few pull-ups - letter perfect reps, almost always 15 reps per set.
And that's the extent of his workout. A 10 minute climb up the hill (which some folks can't complete in 30 minutes), and a 5 to 10 minute stretch/workout combination that works the ENTIRE body as a unit. And the results are there for all to see.
Granted, the guy probably follows a great diet as well - but still, a 70 year old (or more) doing all that? Most people would be lucky to kick up into a handstand at the age of 30, let alone 70, and add in pull-ups and a hill to the mix, and we're talking some serious fitness levels there, my friend.
And why do I tell you this? Well, first to let you know that age is NOT a barrier in terms of achieving your fitness related goals. I don't care if your 15, 25, or 40 or even more - the right attitude and the right workout routine WILL get you results - there is no other way.
Second, because inspiration doesn't always come from those who you think it might come from. This guy is an ordinary old man - nothing special to look at, but he's the one that in part inspired my less than 15 minute climbs.
Ok, a little urging from him (I'm not going to get into what that urging entailed, hehe) helped, but still, he inspired me to push myself and achieve what I couldn't even back in 2005 at the age of 25!
And third, because one never really stops learning in terms of fitness. I know a little something about handstands and handstand pushups - I've written an entire training manual on that exercise alone - but this old man showed me a tiny little adjustment to make in terms of leg placement while kicking up, and that tiny little bit DOES make a difference to how your final handstand turns out.
I'll cover that in more detail in the future, but that's the story for today.
Anyway, my goal is to beat the old man's approximately 10 min timeframe - and do it in less than a month. See how THAT pans out!
All for now - if you work out today - make sure it's one of the best ever workouts!
P.S: - Talk about shoulders like boulders - this old man has a pair of shoulders on him that would shame most gym goers. Pound on over here to find out how YOU, my friend, can develop a vice like grip and shoulders like King Kong here: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/products/87-shoulders-like-boulders
Well, that's another long break from writing to you for sure. I think my last note to you was on New Year's Eve, and funnily enough, I just haven't had the time to post after that. Maybe it was my New Year's resolution of starting new businesses that started to work for me, or perhaps I just got too busy dealing with other stuff, but either way (and again,funnily enough), here I am in China, writing to you right after the Chinese New Year holidays.
Strange how that works, huh - I found no time to write to you after the "English" New Year, but I seem to be getting time to do so after the Chinese New Year? Is that a harbinger of even better tidings to come?
Well, I don't know, to be honest, but what I do know is that I've been busier than a bee trying to build several honeycombs at once. I've been dabbling in a new business I might start shortly, and I've also been doing lots and lots of writing, again for different business which I've already started. So, lots of things going on for sure - and all throughout, I've been climbing my favorite hill here in China on a daily basis.
(Note: There's always time to exercise for those that really want to!)
Anyway, so I saw this little building being built today in the park my hill is in, and thought I'd look closer to get a better look. Turned out they are (or were, at some point) building a small building where folks could barbeque food, cook their own meats etc while relaxing by the side of the lake, perhaps with a beverage of choice.
Ok, that's MY style of relaxation - but the combination of the hill and this potential bar-b-que spot instantly got me thinking about the furnace INSIDE of us - which everyone should have, but doesn't.
Furnace inside of us? And "keeping the fire burning"?
Do I mean keeping the "desire alive", which is what "keeping the fire burning" commonly alludes to? Well, there's nothing wrong with keeping the desire alive for what one likes, but I'm referring to something else.
I'm referring to the FAT burning furnace inside of you that lights up the fire cells like fireworks, and pops each one of them right OUT of your system. The furnace that is key to dissolving the layers of pesky chub that bulge out over that abdomen. The bar-be-que inside of you that is instrumental in roasting off the blubber hanging off your backside. And so forth.
Effective fat burning can often be compared to a successful outdoor BBQ. Think about it - how do we get a good BBQ going? It takes a large flame to kick start the process, but that flame usually dies down to a steady, but intense heat that keeps the coals red, and cooks your food from the inside out. And far burning, my friend, works much the same way.
In other ways, you kickstart your metabolism - and keep it at a level slightly below what it was during the peak part of your kickstarting.
So, those long, boring runs won't do it in terms of shedding fat quickly - - And neither will lifting weights all day in the gym do it. In fact, large and clumsy muscles can actually sometimes worsen your entire look if your overweight to begin with.And while walking is a great overall exercise, and does burn calories, it alone won't give you the intense fat burning effect that overweight people need.
But take an exercise - - any exercise - - that cranks your heart rate up to the MAXIMUM level it can go (depending upon your current conditioning levels), and then either keeps it there (not possible for very long periods) or "dies" down to to a slow and steady pounding, and you have the perfect recipe for building muscle and burning off fat - - both at the same time, while also getting your heart and lungs in the very best shape of your life.
Climbing hills fits the bill for sure, but for those of you that don't have hills nearby, here are some more options to roast your inner lard right off your frame: -
- Stair climbs/sprints (almost as good as climbing hills)
- Pushups done in sets; a great lung buster
- Jumping rope at the right cadence
And many, many more - - all exercises that I've included in Fast and Furious Fitness: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book - - grab your copy right NOW if you haven't already.
Once you've got your hill climb in, or done a few hard sets of pushups, or whatever, really, that BBQ is going to taste so much better once you get to it. And if you don't believe what I have to say - - well, all I'm going to say is this - - TRY IT - - an intense workout always works up a far better appetite than slow, "grind me down" exercise that actually ends up harming you more than you think it benefits you.
So that's the tip of the day, as well as interesting way to think about burning fat!
P.S.: - It's the Year of the Horse in China, and the very best thing you can do for your health and fitness this year is to grab my fitness manuals and start implementing what I teach. Gallop on right here: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
As you know, the New Year will be upon us in a matter of hours. In fact, it's probably only an hour or so away for some of you, especially those of you from New Zealand and nearby areas, where it's already 11P.M. at the time of writing this.
Not quite that late here as yet, it's around 5:30 P.M. here. And it's a great time for - you guessed it - some introspection on how the year has gone by, and how the New Year is going to pan out.
Notice I don't know "how you think the New Year is going to pan out" - I say "how the New Year is going to pan out". And that's more than just adding in two words - I believe that WE make our destiny to a large degree, and so whether or not the New Year is a roaring success or tepid failure for you is really up to YOU, my friend (again, to a large extent).
Be positive, and look ahead to the upcoming year with optimism, hope and positivity - - and chances are the same vibes will flow back into YOUR life. Other hand, look ahead to the New Year with trepidation, worries about the economy, or just a bleak outlook in general, and chances are 2014 won't exactly be the best year for you either. And that holds true both in terms of life, and fitness as well, my friend.
Note that this doesn't mean you ignore practical realities - not at all - but sometimes, a healthy dose of measured optimism is just what the doctor ordered in many cases.
It has been said that an optimist stays up until midnight to ring the New Year in, and a pessimist stays up until the same time to bid a teary farewell to the old year - which one are YOU?
Anyway, 'nuff said on that one. Back to introspection - a lot of you are probably getting ready to go out and celebrate the New Year in style and that's fine - but a little time spent tabulating your goals and reviewing where you are (in terms of life) in general will work wonders for you in the New Year.
For instance, you might have set a goal to drop 40 pounds this year - did you make it? If not, why not?
Or some of you might be looking to get that raise, but cannot no matter how hard you try - why not?
You get the picture - sit back with your beverage of choice and a piece of paper, and simply think - and jot down the points that appear in your mind.
Along with those points, jot down your GOALS (concrete goals), and also the ACTIONS you are willing to take to achieve those goals.
This should really you take you no more than 15 minutes or so - if it is, your doing something wrong.
And that's it - just make sure you keep that piece of paper with you, and look at it come midnight with a POSITIVE mindset.
Go to bed, wake up the next morning - and start to put your PLANS in ACTION - and watch the year whiz by so rapidly you won't even know it's come and gone. And chances are you'll be pretty happy with what you accomplish as well.
As for this cat, well, my routine today wasn't really any different from what it's been like the last couple of weeks, really. I don't have any plans of going out and ringing in the New Year "in style" (though there's nothing wrong with doing so to be honest) - it'll probably be a quiet evening as usual spent talking to my baby girl (who has a case of the sniffles) as well as Mommy. And then bed as usual.
One of my goals for next year is to get in a hill climb DAILY, without fail (at least ONE hill climb) - as in, a minimum of 365 hard slogs up the hill, more if possible (and it should be very possible). No "rest", no "days off", no breaks, nothing (unless I really, really need it due to reasons beyond my control) - just hard exercise EVERY DAY of 2014. Not really all that different from what I did in 2013, but there it is - thats one of my goals.
Make that one of YOUR goals (replace the hill climb with whatever you prefer, of course) - and you'll be surprised at just how fit you are come 2015.
OK - enough for now! To all readers of this blog, or those who "chanced" upon this post - or just everyone, in general, really - have a very happy, prosperous and safe 2014 - and make it the best year yet!
Rahul and family
P.S.: - My new course on pull-ups is disappearing off the shelves like hot cakes - make sure to grab your copy HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/88-getting-better-at-pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks.