Finishing Well

2014 is winding down.  How was your year?  I always look bad at Cline Eastwood referencing “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” to describe my life.  Some view that as a 2/3’s negative statement but really ugly is self defined.  Sometimes it might be bad.  Sometimes it might be good.  Life isn’t always pretty.  But when you finish well…even with the lack of style points making it a little ugly…you succeed.

I drove thousands of miles and even flew thousands near the end of 2013 in search of something.  In life we get caught up on that “it” component to make us rich, famous and happy.  “If I just had ((insert word)) then my life would take off.”

Consider one of my favorite actors and likely one you also appreciate: Robin Williams.

Sure he played “characters” but he also inspired.  He was rich, famous and I do think happy although he struggled with mental illness.  The “it” fact alluded him.  Or did it?  Maybe there really, truly is no such thing.  Maybe just maybe that “it” is really “you!”

What if really we are just tricking ourselves about our own existence?  What if we really did believe in ourselves?  What would happen if you suddenly believe you had all the tools in the world to be a success in life.  What if what you needed was more really a different perspective?  Maybe a blue or red pill if you will:

Time to unplug friends.  It is time to move beyond the shackles of our own self tyranny and move forward with a perspective of truth: we are enough!

I finished well.  I held on to hope, love.  God Bless and Happy New Year!

Jim Harbaugh arrives in Michigan! GO BLUE!!!

Wolverine’s have their coach for football.  Jim Harbaugh was rumored for a long time to be strained in the relationship with the 49ers.  Possibly issues with his grit and personality but the GM of the Niners stated they had philosophical differences.  Who knows exactly what that means.

Upon exiting there were nothing but positive statements from his Niners players regarding how much they loved and respected their former coach.  Frank Gore, the all world stud running back, stated how much he owed “coach” for pushing and believing in him.  While polarizing players like wide receiver Anquan Bolden seemed a little more puzzled stated it “confused” him.  Bolden who is just a total animal as a receiver and blocker may be concerned that his time is over as well as age and attitude are catching up with him.  Time will tell how the roster in San Fran shapes up.
This morning I read some words from Trent Dilfer:
“(Harbaugh) got a lot of credit for developing the quarterbacks, both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick,” Dilfer said on 95.7 The Game, according to the publication. “But if you really look at their body of work at the end, they never got better in the critical areas of quarterbacking.

“… Don’t judge them by the stats, judge them by third-down efficiency, red zone productivity, end of halves, end of games – critical moments when quarterbacking becomes graduate level. And both Alex and Colin did not perform their best in those moments.”

I get what Dilfer is saying but no one wants to admit that qb’s are just human without good schemes, blocking and catching.  Sure all the dynamics that a qb should possess I agree with Dilfer BUT it is still a team game.  
Kaep may never be the qb Russell Wilson is of the Seahawks but give it time.  There was a time when guys sat the bench of the NFL for a few years playing only in preseason and mop up time.  While the Niners have not had a steallar offense under Kaep or Smith they were also a run first, smash mouth team.  If you review what Russell Wilson does please DO NOT tell me that is from Pete Carroll.  Wilson is a total workhorse and gym rat.  He studies alot.  He is known for truly being the guy putting in more time than others.  Heart and intelligence is what Wilson has more of than most not just the Niners last two qbs.  You can’t coach that!
Coach Career: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Harbaugh

WKU assistant (1994–2001)
During his final eight seasons in the NFL (1994–2001), Harbaugh was an NCAA-certified unpaid assistant coach under his father Jack Harbaugh at Western Kentucky University(WKU). Serving as an offensive consultant, he scouted and recruited high school student-athletes throughout several states including Florida, Indiana and Illinois. He was involved in recruiting 17 players on WKU’s 2002 Division I-AA national champion team. His father was a football coach for 18 years, including 14 years as head coach at WKU.[4]

Oakland Raiders assistant (2002–2003)
Harbaugh was quarterback coach for the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and 2003 under Bill Callahan.[4] During his tenure with the Raiders, Harbaugh coached starting quarterbackRich Gannon, who led the Raiders’ run to Super Bowl XXXVII, won the 2002 AP NFL MVP award, and was selected to the 2003 Pro Bowl after the 2002 season.[65] Other Raiders quarterbacks coached by Harbaugh include Rick Mirer, Tee Martin, Marques Tuiasosopo, and Rob Johnson.
University of San Diego (2004–2006)
Prior to the 2004 season, Harbaugh was named head football coach at the University of San Diego. In his first year, he directed the Toreros to an overall mark of 7–4, including 5 straight wins to end the season. The following year, the team improved to 11–1 and won the 2005 Pioneer Football League championship. In 2006, USD again went 11–1 winning their second consecutive Pioneer League title in the process.
Stanford University (2007–2010)
Harbaugh was named the head football coach at Stanford University in December 2006, replacing Walt Harris. Harbaugh’s father, Jack, was Stanford’s defensive coordinator from 1980–1981, while Harbaugh attended Palo Alto High School, located directly across the street from Stanford Stadium.[66] Harbaugh stirred some intra-conference controversy in March 2007, when he was quoted as saying rival USC head coach “Pete Carroll‘s only got one more year, though. He’ll be there one more year. That’s what I’ve heard. I heard it inside the staff.” Upon further questions, Harbaugh claimed he had heard it from staff at USC. The comment caused a rebuke from Carroll.[67] (In fact, Carroll would be at USC for three more years.) At the Pacific-10 Conference media day on July 26, 2007, Harbaugh praised the Trojans, stating “There is no question in my mind that USC is the best team in the country and may be the best team in the history of college football.” The declaration, especially in light of his earlier comment, garnered more media attention.[68][69] Later in the season, Stanford defeated #1 USC 24–23 with a touchdown in the final minute. With USC being the favorite by 41 points, it was statistically the greatest upset in college football history.[70][71] Although Stanford lost to USC in 2008, Harbaugh and the Stanford Cardinal upset USC at home again with a score of 55–21 on November 14, 2009.[72] Stanford’s 55 points was the most ever scored on USC in the Trojans’ history until Oregon scored 62 in a 62-51 win over USC on November 3, 2012. It was Pete Carroll‘s first November loss as USC head coach. Harbaugh has never lost in USC’s home stadium, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

In January 2009, Harbaugh was confirmed to have been interviewed by the New York Jets for the head coach position,[73] although the job was eventually offered to Rex Ryan.[74]

In 2009, the Cardinal had a comeback season, finishing the regular season at 8–4, finishing #21 in the polls, and receiving an invitation to play in the 2009 Sun Bowl, the Cardinal’s first bowl appearance since 2001. Running back Toby Gerhart was named a Heisman Trophyfinalist, finishing second to Mark Ingram in the closest margin of voting in Heisman history. On December 13, 2009, Harbaugh was rewarded with a three-year contract extension through the 2014 season.[75]

The 2010 season brought more success for Harbaugh and the Cardinal. The team went 11–1 in the regular season, with their only loss coming from Oregon, a team that was undefeated and earned a berth in the BCS National Championship Game. The first 11 win season in program history earned the Cardinal a #4 BCS ranking and a BCS bowl invitation to the Orange Bowl. Stanford defeated Virginia Tech 40–12 for the Cardinal’s first bowl win since 1996 and the first BCS bowl victory in program history.[76] Second year starting quarterback Andrew Luck was the runner-up to for the Heisman Trophy, the second year in a row that the runner-up was from Stanford. Harbaugh was named the winner of the Woody Hayes Coach of the Year Award.[77]

San Francisco 49ers (2011–2014)
On January 7, 2011, four days after winning the Orange Bowl, Harbaugh agreed to a 5-year, $25 million contract to become the next head coach for the San Francisco 49ers.[77]He succeeded Jim Tomsula, who was interim head coach for only the last game of the preceding season after succeeding the fired Mike Singletary. Though the 49ers were expected to struggle in what was anticipated to be a rebuilding season,[78] with a new scheme and many new players as well as shortened summer practices due to the lockout, Harbaugh led the team to a 13–3 record in the regular season, winning the NFC West division while finishing second overall in the NFC and bringing the team to the NFC Championship Game. This was the first time the 49ers had made the playoffs since the 2002 NFL season, generating widespread praise.[79][80] On November 24, Harbaugh played his brother John and the Baltimore Ravens, losing the Thanksgiving showdown 16–6. John and Jim Harbaugh are the first pair of brothers to serve as NFL head coaches in the same season.[81]

Harbaugh’s work in San Francisco had resulted in an extremely successful season, revitalizing the career of quarterback Alex Smith and with defensive coordinator Vic Fangiocreating one of the leading defensive squads of the 2011–2012 season. The 49ers’ season ended with a 20–17 loss in overtime to the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game. At the conclusion of the season, Harbaugh was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year.

In the 2012 season, Harbaugh resolved a quarterback controversy by replacing incumbent starter Alex Smith with backup Colin Kaepernick. Smith was ranked third in the NFL in passer rating (104.1), led the league in completion percentage (70%), and had been 19–5–1 as a starter under Harbaugh, while Kaepernick was considered more dynamic with his scrambling ability and arm strength.[82][83] Smith began 2012 with a 6–2 record as a starter before suffering a concussion in the following game.[84][85] He missed the following game, and Kaepernick was 16 for 23 for 243 yards with two touchdowns in a 32–7 win over Chicago.[85] Harbaugh was impressed with Kaepernick, and said “we have two quarterbacks that have a hot hand” while dismissing any rule that a player should not lose their starting job due to an injury.[86][87] Smith was medically cleared to play the day before the next game, but Harbaugh chose not to rush him back and again started Kaepernick, who threw and ran for a touchdown in a 31–21 win over New Orleans.[88][89] The following week, Harbaugh announced that Kaepernick would start for the 8–2–1 49ers, while also stating that the assignment was week-to-week and not necessarily permanent.[90] However, Kaepernick remained the starter as the 49ers again qualified for the playoffs.[84]

Harbaugh led the team to an 11-4-1 record in the regular season, winning back to back NFC West titles.[91] Harbaugh’s quarterback decision was on display in the first game of the playoffs.[84] The 49ers won 45–31 over the Green Bay Packers, as Kaepernick had 444 yards of total offense (263 passing, 181 rushing) and four touchdowns. Kaepernick set the record for rushing yards by a quarterback in any NFL game with his 181-yard outburst against Green Bay.[92] On January 20 at the NFC Championship Game, Harbaugh led the 49ers to a 28-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons, which sent the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, and on February 3, Harbaugh faced his older brother, John Harbaugh and the Ravens in the Super Bowl.[93] It was the first time two head coaching brothers met against each other in the Super Bowl, John Harbaugh and the Ravens won this game with a score of 34-31.

In the 2013 season, Harbaugh led his team to a 12–4 regular season record and a third consecutive appearance both in the playoffs and NFC title game. In doing so, Harbaugh became the first NFL head coach to have reached a conference championship game in each of his first three seasons.[94] On October 5, 2014 it was rumored that Harbaugh will not return in 2015 regardless of the season’s outcome, though owner Jed York denied the claims.[95]

Following an 8–8 season in 2014 where the 49ers failed to reach the playoffs for the first time with Harbaugh as their head coach, Harbaugh and the 49ers agreed to mutually part ways immediately after a win over the Arizona Cardinals in the final week of the regular season.[96]
University of Michigan (2015–present)

On December 30, 2014, Harbaugh was introduced by the University of Michigan as the school’s new head football coach.[97]

Our Society Is Diseased. These Powerful Retro Illustrations Will Show You Why.

John Holcroft is an illustrator who creates satirical illustrations of modern day life. Due to the brilliant way he tackles modern issues in his unique 1950s art inspired retro style, his pieces have recently started to go viral.
His work focuses on modern issues such as our reliance on Facebook to fulfill our egos, outsourcing, and the modern financial system. The end product is a highly accurate yet haunting series of illustrations that will make you think hard about the world we live in.

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Romanian Deadlifts with Reverse Bands

This was right after my back injury ummm number 2 I think.  I went with double overhand grip to take it easier on my spin twisting slightly and to give my bicep a break.  One might call this just a rack pull and I am ok with that.  I used a setting that was perfect for how I would do Romanians so…there you have it.  Slow and steady on the technique.  No resetting on this set but no bouncing either.

Free Workout: Chest, shoulders, tri’s


Example:

Incline bench press
Warm up – bar x 15
Warm up – 65 x 8
Work sets:
80 x reps – 4 sets

*your reps will probably decline as you fatigue, this is normal. Do not take any weight off the bar.

**the bar itself weighs 45 lbs. When I say 65 lbs, I mean the bar plus 20 lbs. (this will be for all free bars and smith machine also)

Dumbbell flyes
3 sets of 15 at a lighter weight – all sets should be 1-2 reps from failure

Smith Machine shoulder press
Warm up – bar x 15
Warm up – 65 x 8
Work sets:
95 x reps – 4 sets

Db side lateral raise
3 sets of 15 at a lighter weight – all sets should be 1-2 reps from failure

Pushdowns
warm up – 30 x 9
work sets:
50 x reps – 4 sets

Db skull crushers
3 sets of 15 at a lighter weight – all sets should be 1-2 reps from failure

Cardio following training:
20 minutes of steady pace treadmill, stepper or bike

*the muscle group at the end of the workout has already been secondary for the other exercises and therefore does not need as many warm up sets.

**this is just an example workout. You can use it and change the weights to fit your strength level.

Your New Year’s Revolution:"Becoming A Firestarter" How to stoke the flames of intensity to burn bright while not burning out!

New Year’s Revolution is approaching.

Here is a little article I wrote this past fall:

I have a confession: I hate going to meets and training. None of it is fun for me anymore. I bet you are thinking that this is the worst motivational article ever written. You may be right but hear me out as I share how I am getting the embers going and stoking a flame to be MY best.

Before we talk about the INSPIRING FEEL GOOD quotes of the “Dead Poet’s Society” (yes…they are coming!) let’s examine how I became a curmudgeon. Distractions are always what get us off our paths, right? My distractions came in the form of pressure and injuries. Believe it or not I was going to be a 2100 total true raw powerlifter weighing under 275 pounds just a few short years ago. Sponsorships with real money were coming my way, along with pressure. Remember Drago in Rocky 4 yelling at the Russian Premier stating, “Ya b’yus’ radi pobedy! Dlya sebya! Dlya sebya!” Translation: I FIGHT FOR ME TO WIN! FOR ME! I didn’t enjoy training as much with the forced expectations to lift for someone else. It was a distraction to what I really love: THE GYM.

So yes, the gym. It’s my sanctuary, my church and my home. I love the smell of chalk in the morning! Ok not that you can hear me using a Robert Duvall voice ala Apocalypse Now, but I am really feeling it. Unfortunately as my body started to give in my distractedness via depression grew exponentially. A shoulder hear, elbow there and then after getting ready to demolish an 800+ raw squat I damaged my knee and back. I became a has-been in my mind.

Depressed doesn’t begin to describe how I felt with my perceived world falling apart. I shut down totally while making little effort to train. I removed myself from the gym. I stopped engaging in lifting conversations and groups. WHAT WAS I GONNA DO? BICEPS? SCREW THAT! And yet as I type now I gotta say, that wouldn’t have been such a bad thing. I really suffered perception issues. Maybe I broke my “perception” as well? I failed to see all that I had as an athlete versus what I didn’t have. And in my wallow of shame I missed the boat totally. Distraction. It’s a beast.

So here they are, my three points to go napalm in a hurry! (Que Prodigy for dramatic effect please.)

Have a plan: Your plan is the guts of your success.

The plan is your epicenter of it all! Sure a plan sounds simple enough but it is often take lightly and for granted. Take a look around a lot of gyms. Ask someone that is heading to go train what he or she is going to do. You will likely get a vague answer or it is a program that they just started from the other program they just stopped THAT they just started. THAT ISNT A PLAN unless you call planning to fail an actual plan. So you need to map out a strategy. If you want to be the best you have to plan for it. It doesn’t just happen. Preparedness trumps talent any day of the week. Look at NFL players that are studs in college and flop in the league. Then look at the 7th round draft pick that meticulously follows a plan and is suddenly a pro bowler!

For competitive lifters you might be looking at a meet, event etc to participate in. Consider a mock meet and videoing it as well. There are a lot of options but reach for something. Do not be ambiguous with no time line. You need that healthy pressure to reach the finish with your best effort. So write down the plan and goals with a dry erase marker and make your bathroom mirror a motivator with reminders. Use a notepad to log your training, eating and thoughts while keeping it in your pocket at all times. Purchase a calendar and start to work backwards setting up your goals. Break it all up into smaller segments. Create an email reminder for that portion of the training cycle you are in. Add a Youtube video and/or quotes to remind you are why you are pushing yourself. My clients that are training for meets in powerlifting are given detailed spreadsheets for their entire training cycle and I send them quotes to “fan” their flame.

Are you a tech nerd that loves a nice smartphone? Use tools like Google Drive, a good timing app, and video recorder to chronicle your training. Part of having that plan is how well you can execute it so be prepared to pursue! Review and reassess constantly as you go. The fancy term now is auto regulation but for the longest time I have always just stated a lifter should self assess his or her training constantly.

My plan is to help at an upcoming meet. Sure a small plan but as I heal I am getting really excited to help push others to do their best. I have never enjoyed training for meets but I do love seeing others lifting and competing so I just treat an event like a long day at the gym. There is nothing wrong with using the energy of others to help be inspired. Inspiration is the ignition!

Create Accountability: Surround yourself with people to help you “grow.”

A training partner can be a great start to helping to push you especially while lifting weights. You not only are answering to that person via a schedule so you can’t sluff off but your work ethic is exposed! Maybe you don’t need a training partner but still surround yourself with people that are encouraging, honest and supportive of your set goals. There is no point sharing goals with people that don’t get it or are unwilling to support you. With this in mind consider limiting your exposure to social media during this journey. Avoid the distractions remember? Being held accountable doesn’t take a village but it does take the right support network. Remember the dude from “Indiana jones and the holy grail” that didn’t choose wisely? Don’t be that guy!

My accountability partners are individuals I trust implicitly. I ask them to ask me how I am doing and to get on my butt if I am not following through. They get the “keys to the city” to invade my space about achieving personal performance perfection. They ask the tough questions when I least expect it and need it most! Incidentally, this concept of accountability is a great premise to utilize period.

Stay Inspired: Use the right fuel for the flame.

The journey alone may be the inspiration thinking of that goal you keep grinding towards. If that is enough you are one of the lucky ones but use it! And use it to inspire others. Maybe you are keeping someone else accountable. Share with that person your journey too. There is a great quote that says, “As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.

Remember when I mentioned distractions? Do not let that smartphone turn you into a selfie fool. Use the phone as a tool for your goals and stay on the plan. I have had clients that would get an upsetting text or message that would totally defeat their training session. So remove the potential for distractions. Turn off those features of the phone to stay focused!

Lastly, I would also like to suggest you practice kindness and humility during your journey. You will be amazed at how strong your are mentally while focusing on much more positive things during this time. I am not asking you to start a soup kitchen or hand out hugs but I do think keeping focused on your own actions will serve you well. We have all seen the troll behavior of some or just the ahole comments from people being petty about technique etc. Let’s go “Field of Dreams:” If you lift it negativity will come. So just dont be that person. Focus on the positives. Consider your tone. Text is so inefficient so be careful how you type so you can be representing yourself with class and integrity. Positive energy is inspiration personified.

Personally, being a coach and working in social services gives me ample opportunities to give and encourage others. Inspiration to me is a guy with MS that does his damnedest to walk a hallway with a Spinoflex machine (harness and walking rig). What excuse do I have?

Well, I am done. My hope is your wheels are turning for ideas and innovative concepts to reach your goals. And my 3 point sermon isn’t a life changer at all but it is a spark. You have the real work of applying these ideas to your own life. The question is will you?

8×8

Vince Gironda was a famous trainer of many of the legendary pros of lore.  He worked with the top studs like Arnold!  He was the real deal and innovative.

He used different ideas of what he found to be effective for training, nutrition and posing.  He was the guy to go to for becoming the best.

His 8×8 training program is something that you can imagine is gross.

Well as I love making things harder here is 8×8 for you to give a try.  It is hard, brutal and effective.

8×8 has several key points:

  • 8 sets of 8 reps per exercise
  • Full body training
  • 45-60 seconds rest between sets for large muscles
  • 25-30 seconds rest between sets for small muscles
  • Every other day training at the most otherwise use 3 days a week with a rest day in between
Sample:
Chest – Bench Press to Neck
Upper Back – Pullups to nipple line
Triceps – 1.5 rep dumbell skulls
Delts – Lateral Raises
Biceps – Dumbell Preachers
Calves – Standing Calf Raises
Hamstrings – Reverse Hamstring Curls
Quads – Hack Squat
Warm ups can be simple cardio for 10 minutes and light stretching.  At first you might be able to get a heavy set or two but quickly your body will respond to the rapid rest periods.  As the weeks progress feel free to use different exercises and change the order around.  Always strive to push the rest periods a little more while adding a little more weight.  Something will have to give but you will also gain alot of quality muscle while being in some amazing shape.  
Give it a try.

Sample Diet: Zone Based 2000 calories

Here is a sample meal that I create for my clients.  This is a meal plan based on more of the ZONE style of eating.

His day would be made up of :
2047.0 Calories  
116.4g Carbs  
143.7g Fat  
80.3g Protein

Here is the breakdown for breakfast or meal 1:
710.0 Calories
54.5g Carbs
30.0g Fat
55.6g Protein

1 serving Strawberry protein shake
416.5 Calories
51.4g Carbs
5.6g Fat
40.0g Protein

1 pan Pesto Scrambled Eggs
293.6 Calories
3.1g Carbs
24.4g Fat
15.6g Protein

Strawberry protein shake
scaled to 1 serving
30 grams Whey protein powder
1 cup, frozen Strawberries
1 cup Lowfat milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 medium (7″ to 7-7/8″ long) Banana
1/2 cup (8 fl oz) Plain yogurt
Add everything to a blender and blend well. Using a plain, vanilla, or strawberry protein powder is ideal.

Pesto Scrambled Eggs
scaled to 1 pan
1/2 tbsp Butter
2 extra large Egg
1 tbsp Basil Pesto
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Crack the eggs directly into the pan, then scramble them slowly – combining the yolks and whites slowly so there is still some variation between the two. A heat resistant silicone spatula works best.   About one minute into the cooking, add the pesto to the pan and continue to scramble the eggs, working the pesto in gently.  Once the eggs are no longer runny, they are done.  Serve with extra pesto.