By Kevin Seaman
I heard something the other day that struck me, “You can be a victim of change or a victor over change.” Although I’m not convinced any of us can overcome change, we can use it, capitalize on it and flow with it.
It has been my experience that in order to make a remarkable change, one must take remarkable action. It is not what you intend, but rather what you do that facilitates your progress in any objective. It’s not about intent… it’s about ACTION! But, we all have so much to do and only so much energy to do it.
The number one question that I am asked is, “How do you get so much energy?” At 57 years old, I currently teach 25-28 physical Martial Arts and Boxing classes a week, train myself, run my business, write books and articles, and I feel GREAT! If you had more energy, what would you be able to accomplish? What interference does a lack of energy create in your athletic goals, health goals, your academic goals, your career goals and your family goals.
In this week’s “Tip”, I’m going to give you a few of the best strategies, I’ve gained through my 30+ years as a Professional Trainer to obtain more energy.
First, let’s start with the Mental Aspect. How many times have you said to yourself, I’m beat, I’m really tired or something similar? When you tell yourself your tired, when you focus on this minor dip in energy, you enhance that feeling in your mind. Your Self Talk can have more to do with how you feel and how you perform than almost any other factor. Tell yourself what you want, not what you don’t want. You want to feel “Great”, tell yourself, “I feel great, I feel terrific!” repeat it with emotion
either internally or aloud, and you will begin to feel differently. Of course audibly may be more appropriate for certain select circumstances.
Second, change your Physiology and you will instantly change your emotion and therefore your energy. Take a break if you’re at a desk, driving or
doing something that’s putting you in a pattern of immobilization.
Interrupt that pattern. Take a short walk, stand up straight, breathe deep from your diaphragm. How would you stand if you were highly energized, adjust your posture, as if you were in a Peak Energy State. You know this state, you’ve been there before, so does your body and your mind. When you adjust your posture in this way, you will “Cue” your sub-conscious, you will associate it with the times in the past when you were in this state.
It’s simple and it works!
Third, visualize yourself doing something when you were highly energized.
If there was a risk factor involved, that’s even better. This will help kick on your adrenal glands and literally take you back to that moment. In order to do this effectively, you must use clear, bright emotionally charged pictures. The more real it seems, the more involved your mind/body connection will be. Using these three techniques, your results will be optimized, due to the influence of auditory, kinesthetic and visual involvement.
“All that you accomplish or fail to accomplish with your life is the direct result of your thoughts.”
OK, let’s look at few of the physical aspects of human energy. First, in order to have energy, you need to use energy. This is a physiological concept based on supply and demand. In order for your body to operate optimally, you must stay active. As a trainer, I have a couple of tricks
I’ll share with you. Eat a breakfast with some complex carbs, stay away from sugar, especially in the morning. Never skip breakfast. This starts your day with a low in your blood sugar. If you eat a lot of sugary foods (simple carbs) for breakfast, you will get a boost of energy, then insulin will kick in and you will be left in a lull with useless, empty calories.
You will crash. Use nutritional supplements wisely, don’t over do it! Although not easy, the best way to maintain a level source of nutritional energy is to eat a few small healthy meals, through the day. When you digest your food, something happens physiologically to your blood’s location. It moves to the stomach to aid the digestion process. This provides less blood for other processes and you sort of physiologically downsize your activity capability. This is why you may feel tired or groggy after a HUGE Meal , and why you can’t seem to get going at the gym, after a big meal (or hard to digest foods.) This is sometimes known as”Food Coma.” Remember the swimmer’s rule, “No Swimming for two hours after eating.” Why? You’ll get a cramp. Usually in your leg (the largest muscle group where the most blood is needed to operate.) The blood is reduced in other areas of your body in order to digest.
The Bottom Line: Eat small, eat often, eat a nutritious whole fresh foods diet, and use nutritional supplementation to your advantage.
Kick up your metabolism, kick up your energy!
When I need to shake up the metabolic rate of a client, I do two major things. First I suggest an increase in both time and frequency of aerobic cardiovascular training. Twice a day, five days a week, when possible with an initial increase at usually around 50% (20 min=30 min) after about two weeks, you will notice a difference. Next, I train them to develop lean muscle mass. If it’s a woman, I usually duck, after I first suggest this.
However, let’s look at this logically. Strip away your body’s fat, bones and organs, and what’s left is muscle mass. Muscles aren’t just for high level athletes, bodybuilders and action heroes, they give you the structural strength to carry your body around every day . Maintaining the physio-mechanical usage of your body is essential for your quality of life.
Building muscle decreases your chances for obesity and osteoporosis, while increasing flexibility and stamina. And, because muscle mass burns more calories than other tissue — even at rest — it also helps you lose weight and keep it off. You are essentially burning calories during the workout and as the muscles repair on off days. What type of plan you use should be discussed with a trainer. The one I get the BEST results with for producing muscle mass and strength without huge growth is super setting by working opposite muscle groups, with little rest. (Example: Chest/Back, Quads/Hamstrings) Repetitions run between 12-15 for 3-5 sets.
Sets can be increased as you progress. If 12 reps is too hard and 15 is too easy, adjust your weight, but don’t go to failure. Do 2-3 exercises for each muscle group. You should be getting a cardio lifting workout. In addition to my very active lifestyle, I do a full body strength work out twice a week and it takes me 45 min. If you do little else, you may want to increase to 3 times a week. Let me know if you have any questions I can guide you on.
How to use this
For optimum results use the information above conjunctively. My experience has taught me, in order to be successful, your approach must be holistic, not restrictive. When using the Winning Mind Set mental exercises, try using them simultaneously or in succession. Your results will be the most optimal using this approach. Try using the mental exercises for one week, and see the results for your self. With the physiological strategies, make the changes slowly. If it seems too hard, you probably won’t stay with the changes. Visualize often what you’ll obtain as the changes transform you, how you’ll feel and look.
“In sports, mental imagery is used primarily to help you get the best out of yourself in training and competition. The developing athletes who make the fastest progress and those who ultimately become their best make extensive use of mental imagery. They use it daily as a means of directing what will happen in training, and as a way of pre-experiencing their best competition performances.”
~ Terry Orlick, Sports Psychologist
“In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
© 2012 Kevin Seaman, all rights reserved. Material may be reproduced upon request with written permission. Just ask.