By now I’m sure everyone has heard or seen Felix Baumgartner’s amazing jump from space. If you haven’t, look it up on YouTube. It is quite an amazing accomplishment. He has seen things that few have seen in person and probably never will. From over 24 miles above the earth, he jumped down hitting record speeds and surpassing the sound barrier, and landed safely on the ground. This record setting jump was 5 years in the making. Think about that..5 years. That’s a long time to have your eyes set on a goal. Now I’m sure there were bumps along the way. People telling him that he was crazy for trying to attempt such a jump. Even last week, when the jump was supposed to take place, the weather thwarted their plans, and the jump was scrubbed. I dont think any of that got in his way. I dont think anyone could shake his determination to finish what he started. He had a goal, and he hit his mark.
My favorite quote was “Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are.” Sometimes we need to stop and see the bigger picture to get the minor details.
Now what has this record setting space jump have to do with you?
Well, we all have goals in life, don’t we? But how often do we let little things hold us back from reaching those goals? In the context of health and fitness, we always have big ambitions and goals when we first start(especially the new years resolution crowd), but slow progress and slow results leads to disappointment and then eventually you just drop off completely. But theres a saying “some people quit due to slow progress, never grasping the fact that slow progress IS progress.” It may not happen overnight, but with hard work it will happen.
I’m here to tell you, dont let little setbacks slow you down and deter you from your goals. Learn from those set backs so they dont happen again.
Look if Felix Baumgartner can jump from the edge of space, you can certainly accomplish any goals you set out to accomplish.
Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. -Lou Holtz
You have the ability on any given day to take on your goals, hit the gym, keep your nutrition on point. You need that internal motivation that nothing is going to stop you from those goals. Take on an attitude of “I’m gonna give it my all. I’m 100% in and committed.”
Now, if you’ve read any of the first few posts that I’ve written, you know I’m Do yourself a favor, avoid these machines, that is if you are still training using machines at all. Leg Extensions, Hip ABductor, Hip ADductor.
The leg extension machine is probably the most dangerous one to use just from a bio mechanics/physics standpoint. The body is really a system of levers and when looking at leg extensions, the knee acts as the fulcrum and the load is at the very bottom of the lever(lower leg), as in a class three lever. This results in shear forces on the knee, specifically on the ACL(anterior cruciate ligament) itself. Yes it is designed to increase strength of the quads, however at what cost to the knee. In terms of looking at it from a “functional” standpoint, when is a forceful leg extension done? Soccer? Place kicking in football? Most of that strength is drawn from the hips, not in isolation. Just in terms of the compression and shear forces on the knee joint itself, you would do yourself a big favor in staying away from this exercise. Try doing wall squats, or squats in general. Squatting with the right form is one of the best exercises you could do for your quads. “But what if I’m coming off a knee injury?” Well yea, that’s a tough question, but there are heel slides, quad sets, and straight leg raises to help recover initially, but the sooner you get back to squatting, the healthier your knee will be. Listen, I handled my own knee recovery from a PCL(posterior cruciate ligament) by doing suspended TRX lunges, front squats, and deadlifts. Not once did I do a leg extension. My knee has never been better.
Looking at the two hip exercises, you have to look at it from a functional standpoint again. When are you ever seated and moving your legs in and out against a resistance? Safe to say almost never. I would rather see people engage in lateral or transverse lunges as these exercises train the adductors to decelerate the body and absorb impact. They train the body to move and work as one rather than in isolation. As for the abductors, try wrapping a band around your ankles and doing lateral walks for about 15-20 steps. Much more effective at targeting those abductor muscles.
So skip these 3 useless machines and try the substitutions i mentioned. You may find out that they work better than those isolation exercises.
Can’t is a word you use to set yourself up for failure. There are no can’ts, only won’ts, and don’t want to’s. Try living without the word can’t in your vocabulary, specifically “I can’t.” Its so self limiting.
Say to yourself “I can!” Very powerful stuff right there.
Hey, its the start of the a new month. That means its time to reevaluate some of our goals and see where we are at. My new goal is to be more involved in this blog, and that means starting today, I’m going to provide an inspiring quote each Monday. I’m calling it Motivational Monday. Typically Mondays are the hardest day to get moving again because of a long weekend where we might not always be on top of our diet or exercise programs. Maybe with the help of a good, positive quote, you’ll get going again.
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
– Steve Prefontaine
This is one of my favorite quotes, mostly because of who said it. What I take away from this quote is that you should always give your best everyday, no matter what it is your trying to accomplish. This applies to all aspects of life.
Go out and be 1% better today than you were yesterday.