We all have choices. There will always be a fork in the road and we will have to choose which path to go down. Go down path A or path B? Each “path” or choice we make will give us a different outcome. Some of us choose a certain “path” because it’s easier – a straight shot that is easy, flat and comfortable. Others choose the more difficult path that requires work – lots of hills, twists and turns that take us out of our comfort zone. Most people choose the easy route, because it’s predictable and there are no surprises. We know the route and it’s familiar to us. It’s scary to step away from what we “know” and do something that is different.
It’s 5 am and the alarm goes off. You can choose to stay in bed, hit the snooze button and go back to sleep like you do every morning or you can choose to put both feet over the side of the bed, lace up your shoes and head off to the gym. It’s dinnertime. You can pick up the phone and order a pizza for delivery or you can take a few minutes to make a healthy meal and take the leftovers to work the next day. It’s a choice. Take the easy route and stay exactly where you are in life, or take the harder more rewarding route that takes a little bit of work but will take you to where you want to be. It’s a choice that you have to make for yourself. Do you really want to feel better, have more energy and live a better quality of life or are you content doing what you are currently doing right now and never experience what will happen if you take the more challenging road?
I decided to go down the challenging path and it has taken me to places I could have NEVER dreamed of. I have pushed my body to its limits, ran half marathons, climbed to the top of a mountain, completed in strength and fitness competitions and I have an incredible job where I am able to be a part of so many people’s journey into health and fitness. I know if I continue to take the more difficult road in life, I will experience so much more than I can imagine. It will not be easy, and at times I will want to quit. There will always be gooie pieces of “chocolate cake” and a warm cozy bed in my way, but if I side step the obstacles and continue to put one foot in front of the other, the journey will be worth it.
Make this your mantra for the month: “TODAY I am choosing to live a healthier lifestyle and I am going to stick to it. Yes there will be bad days and slip-ups, but that happens to the best of us. I cannot and will not let that get in the way of something that I want. I deserve to have the life I want and I am willing to work for it. NO EXCUSES!”
Written By Tera Busker
I often hear people say, I need to workout, but I just can’t get motivated. Even seasoned athletes experience highs and lows occasionally before getting started.
There are so many ways to motivate yourself to exercise, and I want to share some ideas that have helped me. Sure I’ve had days when I’ve struggled with exercise. Just like everyone else, there are days when I’m too tired, or have too many things scheduled to find time to exercise. With 2 full time jobs, I have a plate full of responsibilities and everything seems to require top priority. But my workout is my time for myself, so I have a secret stash of motivational jolts that keep me on the fitness trail.
The post-workout high. I always feel on top of the world after a good workout. I feel strong, confident and like I can accomplish anything!
“Me Time”. This is your special time for yourself. While many make time to take care of others (kids, husband,wife other family, co-workers, boss), they often neglect taking time out for themselves. Make your “you” time a priority, and don’t break that exercise appointment.
The dread of feeling disappointment from not exercising. I hate the guilt, frustration and feeling like I have missed something very important when I skip my workout.
REWARDS!!! After every fitness milestone, I reward myself with something. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive: a book, shoes... new training gear. If I am having trouble getting motivated, I remind myself that after I reach my goal I will be sporting new gear.
Stress relief. Stressed from a long day at the office? Get out and work it off. It really helps to have this physical outlet to let go of all that tension.
Fitting into “new” old clothes. Remember that great pair of jeans, shirt or dress that you are just dying to wear again? Remember how amazing you felt the last time you wore them? Enough said – get moving so you can wear them again!
Time for contemplation. Sometimes, I enjoy losing myself in my thoughts when I exercise. I’ve found it often helps me uncover solutions to daily problems.
Find a workout partner. Not only is it much more fun to exercise with a friend, you have a sense of responsibility to them to keep your workout appointment.
Hire a coach or trainer. Worth the money, if even just for the motivation and the accountability of having to keep an appointment.
Keep an exercise journal. People who keep a journal of their workout routine have a far better chance of success than those who do not. The journal is your own personal checkpoint to remind you where you came from, where you are now and what your intended goal is to be.
Written by Tera Busker
One of the hardest things about exercising is sticking with it. And, let’s face it, a walk here, a bike ride there and an aerobics class every now and again isn’t the stuff good, strong bodies are made of. But, if you can keep up your motivation for a couple of weeks, it will become a habit – and you’ll truly see and feel results.
Here are six simple steps to make fitness as natural as breathing:
Timing is everything. Workout at a time that fits your schedule. If you plan to hit the gym after work, but often stay late at the office or have social engagements, it’s going to be hard to make your workout a regular part of your week. For most people, mornings are the most realistic time. If you can get up an hour earlier for one week, you might find that exercise wakes you up and energizes you for the rest of the day.
Seek convenience. Inconvenience is the #1 reason for not working out! Find a gym that is close to your home or office, exercise outdoors during lunch or workout at home. You can build a home gym in your basement or spare room – it will save you the travelling time! For as little as $100 you can invest in a mat, bands, ball and free weights all of which are excellent tools to get you started on a strength training program. For cardio you can take advantage of the great outdoors and get out for a walk, run or bike ride.
Make it a “given". Schedule a time to workout. Write it in your day planner and treat it like you would any other important meeting. It’s best to pick a time that works for you every day so that when, for example, 6:00 pm rolls around you know it’s time to get ready for your workout. Make sure your friends and family know that other engagements will have to wait until after your exercise time – this is YOUR time to do something for YOUR health. The more you and everyone else in your life become accustomed to scheduling around your workout, the less likely you’ll be to blow it off for other activities.
Think ahead. Half the battle is being organized. It doesn’t take much. While you’re packing your lunch or laying out your clothes for work the next day, be sure to pick out clean exercise clothes, pack your gym bag and fill up your water bottle so you can get up and go in a hurry. If you are working out at home, make sure your exercise area is neat and clutter-free before and after each session so you won’t get distracted by cleaning the next time you exercise.
Talk it up. Decide that you’re going to be that person in the office or around the neighborhood who is awe-inspiring for motivation. When co-workers start noticing your transformation, tell them that you now exercise four to five times a week. Make it a character trait, a fact of life — not just something you’ve been dabbling in lately. Hearing yourself describe your life in this way makes it real — and will inspire you to keep it up.
Become an addict. The truth is, the “feel-good chemicals” released during high intensity workouts can leave you craving exercise. If you can reach the point where you yearn for that fitness “high” the way someone might desire coffee, motivation will no longer be an issue. When you are exercising don’t forget to drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods that will refuel your body for the next workout. You don’t want to sabotage all of your hard work!
Written By Tera Busker
“Success isn’t overnight. It’s when everyday you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.” – Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
“There’s no substitute for hard work and getting out there and busting your butt at whatever it is. Nothing comes easy. You can overcome so much just through hard, focused work.” - Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
“If something stands between you and your success – move it. Never be denied.” - Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
“With drive and a bit of talent, you can move mountains.” - Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
“In 1995 I had $7 bucks in my pocket and knew two things: I’m broke as hell and one day I won’t be.” - Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
“Growing up, I had nothing. We were pretty much broke. Someone told me, ‘Once you’ve been really hungry, you’ll never be full.’ I’ll always be hungry in some way and motivated to get what I want.” - Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
“Success isn’t always about ‘Greatness’, it’s about consistency. Consistent, hard work gains success. Greatness will come.” - Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Are you active in the fitness industry? Compete? Workout enthusiast? Have a weight loss success story? Do you share healthy recipes online? Do you skip the bar on the weekends to hit the gym and live the fit life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s safe to say you probably have a hater or even haters. Even if you haven’t experienced anything negative yet, more often than not you will.
“What’s this?!? Haters?” you say… Yes, one of the drawbacks of success in any field will always be people trying to bring you down. They will talk bad about you, belittle you to others, and even make up lies about you.
I am asked quite often how people should handle haters. How I do, and what advice I can give to them to continue on their own personal journeys and not be brought down by the negativity of others.
To be completely honest I am hated on EVERY DAY. I’ve accepted this and refuse to let it get to me. In the beginning this wasn’t always the case, and I initially had a hard time understanding why people could bash on me for doing good things in my life. My industry friends and clients all have come to sound like a broken record, all telling horror stories of friends, family, and even people they’ve never met launching attacks on them and their lifestyles. This is a topic I’ve grown to know well. Although I only put positive things out there to the world, apparently I am cocky, arrogant, conceited, unhealthy, too big, too small, blah blah blah.
In life 50% of people will be happy for you the other 50 won’t, that's how it goes with just about anything. I’m being modest in my estimates. That’s Just how it is.
People fear what they don't understand, and for most of the general public they don't understand the fitness industry, dieting, healthy living, etc. Fear leads to anger and anger to hate...Thank Yoda for that one, but it’s true. When the hate doesn't work they will make up lies to try to hurt you and bring you down. DONT LET THEM.
Jealousy is another reason for people’s actions. Why? Because they don't have the motivation, will power, or even knowledge to do what you do, or they are just lazy and feel bad about whom they are so they try to diminish your light. You are the mirror image of what they wish to be.
This is your journey and you decided to take this path. It’s your path and yours alone, so embrace it and don't let haters in on it, they don't belong there.
For people who post a lot of online positivity. No matter how nice your pictures are or how real your quotes are, there are some people who will never hit the “like” button just because it’s you.
Have you ever met a hater doing better than you? Me neither…
For the most part these people don’t know you. Not who you really are inside anyways. They know what their biases perceptions tell them, but they don’t know how this life style makes you feel, the confidence you have gained because of it, the benefit it has on your life and others around you.
Understand why you do what you do and your purpose. If you truly know it’s good, good for you, doesn’t hurt anyone, and helps inspire and motivate others, then allow it to continue under your terms. You define you. If you have good intentions and want to truly better yourself and or help others, then do it.
Do these "haters" pay your bills? Will you still be friends in 5 years? Do they decide if you will or will not be happy in life? In most all cases you can say no to all of the above. If they don't have a direct effect on your life...why care? And if they do have a direct effect on you and your life, they obviously don't have your best intentions in mind.
Don’t let them get to you. It’s that simple. Respect yourself and your decisions and don’t let their opinions and hate into your life.
Surround yourself with likeminded positive people. They say the 5 people you surround yourself with most will dictate where you go with your life. If you surround yourself with people constantly trying to bring you down, just exactly how successful do you think you will be? Build a support system of positivity and people that will encourage you every step of the way.
Keep a level head. Don’t give them a reason to attack you. Meaning, be conscious of what you put out there. Remember, when you put something online it is for all to see. If you can’t handle the criticism, then find different methods to get your message out there.
If you are under attack, it’s ok to stand up for yourself and your ideals. Don’t feel bad for this. However, I would recommend that you don’t waste your time with people you don’t know/online. They want a reaction out of you, and when you give in, the attacks will get worse.
Don’t respond. If you don’t respond they will eventually move on.
Love yourself, yes love yourself…It’s that simple. You know who you are, you know your strengths and your weaknesses. Once you accept your flaws and love yourself for all that you are, you take away their power.
“Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the F you were gonna do anyway” –Robert Downey Jr
Really what it amounts to is this. These haters only bother you because you allow them to. You have a choice every day, and every time it happens to allow the negativity into your life or not. You can’t control what other say or do, only how you handle yourself and how you respond to the given situations . If you want to better yourself, be a beacon of hope to some, motivate, educate, inspire, etc...That's your choice...Just as it’s others choice to do the opposite. If you're not hurting anyone, then don’t let someone else dim your light simply because it’s shining in their eyes. Do what makes you happy. Life is too short to be anything less.
Written by Brandan Fokken
Lets face it, if you have no spark and no motivation, you can have all the knowledge and strength but it will not get you too far!! Some of us are very self motivated, while some of us find it hard each and everyday and have to dig really deep to find motivation. For all those who find it really hard to stay motivated, you are in for a treat!! Lets get that spark and fuel your daily training and diet with the following ways to skyrocket your motivation levels.
It is crucial that you are around people who are wanting to achieve a healthy lifestyle and are positive minded. You don't want to be in a daily environment where you are among people who will have a negative effect on you in terms of your goals and desired accomplishments. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you no matter how big or small your goals are and respect your diet choices even if it may seem a bit extreme to them. Try to find a gym where you belong. For example if you are a competing athlete, it is motivating to be in a gym where other competitors train, this will push you harder and remind you that you are not the only one putting in that kind of work in order to achieve your goals!!!
If you are reading this article, you are already in the right place. Cutandjacked.com has been an amazing source of training info and inspiration for any athlete or individual that is leading a healthy lifestyle. It is a family of people who are like-minded and support each other through comments and recommendations. Whether you are a competitor, a fitness model or an individual who is trying to learn more, keep checking cutandjacked.com for frequent updates. Magazines are also a great way to stay focused and get inspired. Such constant visual reminders of your goal physique is only going to keep you focused and allow you to achieve and strive for better.
This is one of my top recommendations. Hitting a plateau is a very common downfall for any athlete. You get stuck in the same workout, you get comfortable and you stop progressing. The human body is so amazing at adapting to surroundings. An example of this is like getting callused hands when you train, your body creates this rough surface to fight back...it adapts. While in this case it is a good thing, unfortunately in bodybuilding the last thing you want is to adapt, the constant change in workout is the answer to progress. Once your body gets used to a training program, it expects it and it will fight to adapt as quick as it can. The goal should be the change in lifting techniques and trick the body on a frequent basis to keep progress at the highest level. Here is a training system that will shock your body back into progress and add some flavor into your training:
Ascending drop sets (5-10-15)
This is one of my favorite plateau breaking methods that is a creative drop set. There are many different range of repetitions this can be performed with, but (5-10-15) is easy to remember and is very effective. Ascending drop sets consist of decreasing the weight drastically so that you can perform more reps with each substantial weight reduction.
For example: barbell incline bench press - * attention: the resistance below is just an example, work at your own pace!
5 reps with (235lbs) - No rest - 10 reps with (185 lbs) - No rest - 15 reps with (135 lbs) = 1 ascending drop set
Reps: 5 reps (no rest) 10reps (no rest) 15reps = 30 reps
Sets: 2 ascending drop sets per exercise
Rest: 90 seconds to 2 minutes between each ascending drop set
Exercise 1: Barbell incline bench press
Exercise 2: Dumbbell flat bench fly
Exercise 3: Cable crossovers
Advanced: Complete 2 ascending drop sets per exercise
Beginner: Complete 1 ascending drop set per exercise
Note: You can use this for your current workout split for any muscle group
You have your own style and your own ways to express yourself. It will only help to train with badass outfits to have badass training sessions. This can mean different things to different people, to some, it means hardcore where it is about training at high levels of intensity with old looking ripped up clothing and to some it means new and shiny apparel that makes them feel good to train in. No matter what it is that makes you feel your best in the gym to allow for the insane lifting sessions, then grab it and kick ass in the gym!
You may not know this but I can guarantee you that someone out there is inspired and motivated by you. You may not think so and you may have bigger and better goals and dreams for yourself, but someone out there may not be where you are at yet and you may be an example and a goal for them. Knowing this should be motivation enough, others looking up to you and watching you work hard and be inspired by you is a very powerful motivator for yourself as well.
Have an insane and safe month of training!!!!!
Written by Melih F. Cologlu
Team grenade sponsored athlete
Eastern usa mens' physique champion
Photography credits: Diana Hayes photography, Luis Rafael