5 Motivational Tips for Success!

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  1. Be Goal Driven and Specific

What is the number one thing you constantly hear about how successful people became successful? Goals. Every person who is successful today has set goals that got them to that point. The number one way to achieve success is to set goals and work your ass off reaching them!

The quality of your goal is extremely important!

Let’s say you want to set a goal with squatting.

“I want to squat heavy” = this isn’t a goal … slacker.

“I want squat 200 pounds” = alright, it’s a little better but let’s be more specific.

“I want to squat 200 pounds in 16 weeks” = Ding, ding, ding, ding! Now we have a quality goal.

A quality goal requires specificity and must have a deadline.

It is important to set goals that are detail oriented.  I am fairly new to the fitness scene with only lifting confidently on my own for about two years. I have always had vague goals in the back of my head like a specific physique or lifting heavy for certain lifts. I never specified what weight I wanted to hit AND the amount of time I would designate myself to reach this goal. Specificity is key! Set your goal, set a deadline, and keep track!

Goals are important and are crucial but it’s also very important not to become obsessed with your goals. Realistically, you simply will not reach every single goal you set. Even the strongest, leanest, fastest person will fall short of their goals at some point … the key is not to get down on yourself when this happens!

Every failure presents a learning experience, so even though you did not reach that goal, you still gained something from the experience that will help you reach your goals in the future!

  1. Review your goals OFTEN!

How often do we push important life planning like goal setting aside for more immediate matters like work, bills, and family? Pretty regularly. It’s part of life. Make goal setting a priority. Setting aside time just once a week is all you really need! The best time to review your goals is first thing in the morning. When you get up, review your goals, remind yourself how important that goal is to you, and how you plan to eventually reach that goal. Five minutes is all it really takes!

  1. Don’t be afraid to change it up!

If you are anything like me, atmosphere is everything when it comes to fitness AND motivation. I am a huge “vibes” person, I can feel the serious, goal driven vibes coming from the person next to me at the gym. You know, the guy who is lifting heavy, panting, breathing heavy, and pushing himself further and further … well, that is exactly what motivates me. My motivation is high when I can feel other people’s motivation is high. On the opposite end of spectrum, my motivation can diminish when there are clusters of people having a conversation hogging the weights … dear Lord!

Don’t be afraid to change gyms if you notice the atmosphere just plain stinks! I’ll take old equipment, dirty floors, and bent bars over the other gyms if the atmosphere pushes me to be my best! Also, don’t be afraid to change-up your training routine. Change your reps, sets, weight, add plyos, HIIT, cardio, etc.

Step out of your comfort zone!

  1. Don’t be a shallow Hal, see the bigger picture!

It’s easy to get caught up in all of the gym selfie progress pictures and videos on IG. Yes you are working hard to better yourself physically but step back and look at the bigger picture. You are working hard to strengthen you mind, muscles, heart, and bones. You are creating a healthy body. A healthy body that is able to run around with your children. A strong body that is able to provide for your family and someday see your children get married. The bigger picture is that you are simply improving your body so that you will live a longer, healthier life.

  1. Grow a Pair!

Honestly, there comes a point in your journey towards your goals where getting motivated through others will just simply lose its impact on you. Simply put, you will need to motivate yourself. YOU need to want it!

If fitness is just too much of a hassle then stop and do something that makes you happy! Hula hoop, collect insects, run an ant farm, whatever it is that makes you happy … do it.

Being able to improve your physical and mental health, your physique, and bodily function is a privilege life allows us to experience and it is a privilege that most people only dream of doing in their life time.

So, don’t just dream of  it, work hard and achieve optimal health.

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TGIM – Time to reassess your goals!

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Have you ever wondered where motivation comes from? Think about it.

You have a test that you really, really need to pass! You write down a game plan, execute it and succeed! (woo-hoo!) If it wasn’t for how badly you wanted to reach that goal … do you think you would have worked so hard for it? The answer is probably not.

Are there goals you have set in your life that you haven’t reached yet? Maybe it’s time to re-assess those goals. Are they goals you truly believe in working towards? or, are they goals that you wanted at one point but no longer care to reach?

Don’t feel bad in admitting that fact, it happens to everyone! What you want today may not be exactly what you want tomorrow. There is no reason to waste your time working towards a goal that you feel 50% about. Right?

Make today the day that you re-assess the goals you have made. Erase the goals you no longer feel 100% about and create new ones. If there are goals you still feel passionately about maybe take a look at the action steps and create new game plan! Sometimes we get lost and just need a fresh start to get back on track!

Have you ever been in this position before? What is a goal that you used to have that you kind of lost interest in? What goal did you replace it with?

-mk

“With ever new day we are born again.” – Buddha

5 Ways to Enjoy Fitness Post Contest Prep

If you haven’t checked out CSL’s amazing supplement line yet be sure to check it out! Also, stop by The Vault to check out my articles! I write 2 articles a month that vary between fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle. Check out my most recent article today!

http://clinicalsportslabs.com/5-ways-to-enjoy-fitness-post-contest/

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5 Ways to Enjoy Fitness Post Contest Prep

I don’t know about you all but I am so very excited! Want to know why? Simply put, Fall. I adore this season. Colorful leaves falling from the trees, cool air, and all of the fun festivals … don’t even get me started, (I can be quite the southerner at times). Not only is fall a beautiful season but it’s also a chance to let ourselves relax. It’s time to make some room in those macro plans of yours for turkey, apple pie, and a few cocktails! Unless you are Ashley Kaltwasser who seems to be on contest prep year round (wonder-woman maybe?), then you may need a little bit of a break from all of your restrictions. Below are five things you can do to let yourself loose, have fun, and enjoy fitness!

1. Run a Race
This is a great way to remain active and to switch up your routine a bit! Your normal weight lifting or prep routine can get old and boring. Try something new and sign up for a race like a 5K or even the menacing Savage Race! Active.com is a great site to visit to find any local races in your area. Step out of your old, boring routine and spice things up with something new!
active.com
savagerace.com

2. Rock Climbing
9.22.15 Workout ImageHere’s one for those of you who are adrenaline junkies! Talk about something different to try. Rock climbing is gaining popularity and guess what … You don’t have to be outside to do it! There are many indoor rock climbing venues where you can get a quick training session in and then be on your way to rock climbing! For those of you who like to test the waters, give outdoor rock climbing a try! There are great rock climbing schools that can teach you the ropes—no pun intended. It’s healthy to test the limits and rock climbing will certainly do that!

 3. Fitness Classes
It is truly amazing to think about just how many options you have when it comes to exercise and fitness classes. Let’s see:
• Zumba
• Yoga
• Body Pump
• Pilates
Just to name a few of the most popular classes. There are also group personal training classes where you can get the one on one attention you may need in a fun group setting! I actually started out utilizing fitness classes when I was new to exercising! I highly recommend it not only as a good starting point for beginners but something new for all of you experienced fitness gurus!

4. Hit the Water!
I know we are coming to the end of summer season but don’t blow out that flame just yet! We can still squeeze some summer time fun out of it! Hitting the water in a canoe, kayak, surf board or wakeboard is a great way to help you let loose from your zombie prep! Here are a few ways you can take your fitness into the water!
• Kayaking
• Wake boarding
• Surfing
• Tubing
• Skiing
• Swimming

5. Visit a New Gym
If you’re anything like me I am not a fan of straying from my home gym. I know where all of the equipment is located and the people there are familiar, but visiting a new gym can actually refresh you not only physically but mentally too! Every now and then I will visit a new gym that a friend of mine trains at. It’s kind of like moving somewhere new. You don’t know anyone and they don’t know you. It can be scary but at the same time quite the adventure.
Visiting a new gym gives you a chance to try a brand new fitness regimen with machines your home gym may not have. It also allows you to meet new people, make new friends, and network.

Let’s face it, even though I have never experienced competition prep for myself I have researched it quite a bit and follow many people who do compete on my social networking sites. I am always reading about the positives and negatives of prep, the whirlwind of emotions you experience all getting you to reaching that goal of stepping onto that competition stage. After your prep, try to give yourself a break both physically and mentally by having some fun with your routine (your body and soul will thank you for it!).

Meagan Kunisch
Lead Editor/Clinical Sports Labs

Meagan Kunisch

Meagan is a fitness and health blogger who regularly writes for Clinical Sports Labs. On her blog named FitLife, she shares her passion and drive for living healthy and fit. She is a promoter of positive thoughts, exercise and optimal health. Check out her blog at www.fitlifemk.com .

A Review of MyProtein

A Review of MyProtein

A month or two ago I was asked to sample some products from MyProtein. MyProtein is a supplement company that offers a wide variety of health and fitness products. Over the past month I was able to work in two of their products into my supplement regimen and here is what I thought!

The first supplement I sampled was their pre-workout called MyPre, lemon-lime flavored. Below is a list of what I liked and disliked.

Likes

  • Size and amount of servings (30 servings)
  • Some natural flavor
  • No jittery sensations, itch, or tingling
  • Provides long lasting energy for exercise

Dislikes

  • Some artificial flavor
  • I was not a huge fan of the lemon-lime flavor OR color. It tasted and looked very artificial which for me made it difficult to consume.

The other supplement I sampled from MyProtein was their impact whey isolate, rocky road flavored. I am a huge fan of whey isolate proteins. Not only are they low in calories, sugars, and carbs but they are easy on the stomach! For me, this is something I suffer with when consuming regular whey protein. Below is a list of what I liked and disliked.

Likes

  • Whey isolate protein makes it easier to digest with no bloating or gassiness.
  • The flavor tasted artificial, but was good overall.
  • Great solubility
  • Tasted the best when blended with ice cold water.
  • Low in calories, sugars, and carbohydrates.
  • Affordable price

Dislikes

  • I am not a huge fan of 100% artificially flavoring supplements. I like to see some natural ingredients and flavors.

Overall I enjoyed the protein more than the pre-workout. I am extremely picky when it comes to pre-workout supplements especially with the taste or flavor, solubility, color, and the effect it has on the body. I don’t like consuming a supplement filled with artificial ingredients. I like to see that a product I am consuming has some natural ingredients.

http://www.myprotein.com

T.G.I.M – Don’t wait too late to do what makes YOU happy!

Too many people let their lives fly by without doing what they really wanted to do. Don’t let the clutter in your life block your vision. All of those things you want to do .. make plans to do them. Make a list, a bucket list, and slowly check each one off throughout your life. Enjoy your life. See all of the beautiful things the world has to offer and embrace the warmth, the happiness.

Here are a few things I want to do in my lifetime:

  1. Inspire someone to change
  2. skydive
  3. visit a country I have never been to before
  4. compete in a fitness competition
  5. have my very own fitness spread in a magazine
  6. have a chance to educate kids about health and wellness

Your list can be literally anything!

Don’t wait too late to do things you have always wanted to do.

Start today!

-mk

T.G.I.M: Don’t wait too late to apply these helpful life lessons!

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I found these very helpful life lessons on another blog/website called reginabrett.com. These were written and created by Regina Brett the night before her 45th birthday and after she found out that she had breast cancer. These are some important lessons that we can apply to our lives today!

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
  9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  25. Forgive everyone everything.
  26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  30. Believe in miracles.
  31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  40. The best is yet to come.
  41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

You’re getting warmer! Why you should warm-up, stretch, and cool down!

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I have to ask …

Do you warm-up, stretch, and cool down before and after your workout?

Unfortunately, many people will agree that they DON’T. If you are one of those people, this article is exactly for you!

You’re Getting Warmer!

Warming up is absolutely critical when it comes to being successful with your training. It allows your bones, muscles, and mind to warm-up, get loose, and get the blood flowing. This allows your body to train efficiently and accurately minimizing the threat of injury to muscles, joints, and ligaments during your workout. Though the main purpose of warming up is injury prevention it is also super beneficial for your mental state as well!

When you go into the gym and immediately start lifting or working out you don’t give your mind enough time to comprehend your workout and get you motivated for the stress you are about to put your body through. During the warm-up phase of your training you will be able to focus on the exercises you want to hit and you will be able to jump-start your motivation!

Here are a few great ways to warm-up before you train!

  • 5 – 10 minute warm-up on the treadmill, stair climber, elliptical, or arc trainer.
  • Perform light weight warm-up sets for the muscles you plan on training, bump up the weight to a moderately heavy weight and complete a few warm-up After this moderately heavy warm-up set you want to rest until fully recovered, then start your workout!

What you get from warming up!

  • Increased flexibility
  • Injury prevention
  • Lubricates the joints
  • Achieve optimal results

Stretch it Out!

Along with a good warm-up before your workout you should follow-up your workout with a stretching session. Just like warming up, stretching is preventative care. By implementing stretching into your training regimen you are less likely to experience injury in future training sessions.

There are many great ways to stretch each and every part of your body!

There is a big debate about what whether or not you should stretch warm or cold muscles. I am a huge advocate for stretching after a light warm-up. This allows increased blood flow to the muscles which in turn creates better mobility and avoids injury while stretching.

Imagine that your muscles are like a rubber band, a cold and brittle rubber band will snap but a warm rubber band will stretch and bend and return to its original shape.

What you get from stretching!

  • Increased blood flow
  • Improve flexibility
  • Prevents injury
  • Optimum training

Cool Down

Cooling down after you workout or cardio session is actually very important even though most people don’t normally incorporate a cool down after training. I would say it is most important after cardiovascular training. Think about it, you just completed 15 minutes of 30 seconds on and 1 minute walking rest of sprints. You immediately turn the treadmill off and leave. You’re gasping for air, sweating bullets, shaking, and your heart rate is higher than the empire state building. This is exactly why you need to allow your body a chance to cool down and let your heart rate return to normal.

I would say if you complete a 5 minute warm-up you should also complete a 5 minute cool down after you session.

What you get from cooling down!

  • Helps your heart rate and breathing to return to normal
  • Will help avoid dizziness or fainting
  • Helps prepare your muscles for the next exercise session

Protect your body from injury by incorporating a warm-up and cool down session along with stretching before and/or after training. Hey, we only get one body! Might as well take care of the one we have.

-mk