We talkin’ bout practice, not the game

Yes sports fans, Allen Iverson’s famous rant (benched for missing practice, he repeated the phrase *we talkin’ bout practice* 22 times in a press conference) shall serve as fodder for the lesson today, which is:

You don’t get to be a champion unless you love to train.

Practice?

That’s right.

I’m talkin’ bout practice.

Even the great A.I. – despite his apparent disdain for practicing – loved to play basketball.

Roger Federer loves to play tennis.

Wayne Gretszky loved to play hockey.

They all loved to win too, but winning – be it awards, championships, or praise – wasn’t their primary motivation for playing, despite what you may think.  It drove them to greatness, but wasn’t what summoned them to invest a disproportionate amount of their lives participating in, and preparing for their respective sports.

Pleasure did.

They all felt great just doing what they were doing.

I became a strongman because I wanted to flip tires, pick up stones, and do other cool stuff like that.  Sure I cared about my results in competition.  But I always looked forward to training.  In fact, I didn’t really excel until I stopped caring as much about my competitive performance and threw my focus into my prep.  As long as I was happy with how my training went, and had fun on contest day, the outcome would take care of itself.

Too often we want things – achievable things – but throw up veritable hailstorms of resistance to avoid getting there.

Take losing weight for instance.

Many people obsess over the number on the scale but bury their heads in the sand when it comes to changing their lifestyle.  They proclaim that working out is torture, and cringe at the prospect of healthy food, which they consider bland.  They’ll try shortcuts like crash diets, supplements, and juice cleanses – really anything to ensure not a single bead of sweat traverses their pores.

But that’s backwards, you see.

The best bodies belong to people who enjoy whatever mode of exercise they prefer, and possess a sense of satisfaction about nourishing themselves well.

In short, they like the ins and outs of acquiring their desired body.  The activity itself is its own reward, without needing the additional payoff of being thin (or ‘thin right now‘) to feel good while doing it.

Surprise, surprise…they’re leaner.

People who love making money, and managing their money…are richer.

Whatever the achievement, it’s the ones who love the process of success that have it.

They don’t blow off practice.

(Well, most of the time.)

That’s why many humans approach to getting what they want is seriously effed up.

They just want the trophy.

But ya don’t get the trophy without practice…

…And you’ll never practice enough without passion.

What you’ll find, that I’ve discovered, is that there’s something else for us to gain through all this that goes way beyond winning or losing.  And that’s what you really miss out on, unless you spend those days, weeks, or years covering the terrain in search of something wanted.  Answer the call of your desire.  Let what’s ahead entice you.  Just don’t let it blind you to the beautiful vistas along the way.

Love the game…you can have your championship.

Love the process…you can have your result.

Yours In Great Health,

Conor Kelly

P.S. For help with de-mystifying the process of getting and staying LEAN, check out my latest Lean For Life talk in Liberty Village, May 17th:

Click here for details.


The mirror-selfie & the end of civilization

Meet Lazar Angelov.

He’s Facebook’s premier Bulgarian fitness model/personal trainer.  I’ve never met him, but he does train at the same gym I sometimes frequent when I’m in Sofia.

In *Fakebook* terms, his following is HUGE.

His marketing basically consists of posting wax ‘n tan shirtless pics of himself in various not-so-creative locales.   This daily *ab-check* garners hundreds of thousands of likes, and thousands of comments.

(Isn’t that one of the signs of the apocalypse?)

Besides foreshadowing our impending doom as a species, it’s a pretty good racket.

He’s got a great physique and a photogenic look – he’s a real prize poodle — and that’s all it took for him to build a fan base which he can besiege with his online programs.

So one day I thought, “I can do that,” and decided I’d try my own ab-domination routine.

‘Twas a mere two mirror-selfies later that I elected to scrap the idea.

Why?

It just ain’t me.

The Conz don’t play that.

Heck, I never even wear tank-tops in public.

So instead I recommitted to doing it like Sinatra, my way, by flexing my fingers against the keyboard of my laptop.  And aren’t you glad I do…

(No one really wants to see gym change room selfies anyway – unless you’re 1. a Jersey Shore reject, 2. a major creeper, or 3. Mark Zuckerberg…see #2).

Not hashing Lazar’s gig.  It works for him.  And the audience he appeals to would rather watch his body talk than read his emails – which I can vouch for…I’ve read his emails.

The point is there’s a lot to be said for authenticity in advertising.

Most of the clients I serve are not looking to do anything Lazar-like with their bodies.  They’re interested in health, feeling strong, and minimizing injuries.  Sure they want to improve how they look, but lifting their t-shirts to reveal a chiseled six-pack isn’t high on their list of priorities.

Yet many trainers are still trying to subject their clients to the standard hyper-strict pre-contest diet and high-flying workouts that Lazar groupies may want, but make absolutely no freakin’ sense for an executive mother of two, who’s caring for an ailing parent, and has a history of back issues!

Meet the client where they are now.

It’s at this crossroads that life-changing benefits are possible.

For time-saving strategies to help you burn fat, fit your clothes better, and boost your energy, without unrealistic diet and workout regimens, call me at (416) 826-4844 or reply to this email for your complimentary personal training consultation.

I only have one rule…

No mirror-selfies allowed.

Happy Transforming,

Conor Kelly

Why diets don’t work

It’s hard to believe that in this day and age the human machine would require anything such as a famine response.

At least not in first-world countries, where the existence of 24HR drive-thrus and grocery stores ensures ’round the clock access to food for anyone with a method of payment.

But there wasn’t always an oasis of perfectly preserved foods, neatly organized into categories, and placed on refrigerated shelves within easy reach.

When we first evolved…times were tough.

Food was scarce.  Tools were primitive.

Finding sustenance for our mortal coil presented its own unique challenges.

Hence, our bodies developed a mechanism to cope with starvation, by slowing down our metabolism to conserve energy.

Presto – famine response.

This protective device enabled our organism to stockpile energy and fat calories at higher rate, so we’d survive shortages.

Even today, your body can’t tell the difference between intentional deprivation (i.e. diets) and genuine starvation.

Beyond the universal imperative of hunger, it adopted other ways of motivating us.  For example, when blood glucose falls below the desirable threshold, signals communicated through dendrites, transported along axons, and transferred between nerve cells by neurotransmitters – send information to your brain about this sad state of affairs.  The result surfaces in your mind as a craving.

Not only can cravings be powerful, but when brain glucose drops, our resistance to hunger crumbles.

Willpower goes out the window.

Genetically speaking, all the rules are dead set against us ever being successful at dieting.

And the stats bear it out too.

1 in every 3 Canadians report being actively engaged in some sort of diet program.  Yet, more than 50% of our population is considered unhealthily overweight.   In fact, any person that tries to lose weight through dieting is statistically more likely to GAIN weight in the long run.

Never.  Diet.  Again.

‘Tis the lesson for today.

As of this moment, I relieve you of this harmful habit.

Instead, eat according to what science tells us your body needs (your palate will adjust – trust me), work out with weights to preserve lean muscle, train your heart and nervous system with the right combination of high and medium intensity cardio, and focus on flexibility to forge fluid movement mechanics that enhance every activity you love.

Do that – and the fat takes care of itself.

Sound simple?

It’s not.

That’s why I created my Lean For Life talk, which I’m presenting at Physiomed on April 25th:

Click here for details & to save your seat.

I’ll help you exorcise the demons of information overload and time scarcity, and cut to heart of what really works to get you feeling great again.

Until then…

Happy Eating,

Conor Kelly


Give up the willpower binge

Did you know you have a limited supply of decision-making power?

That’s right, research shows willpower is like a muscle…it fatigues, and eventually refuses to cooperate altogether.

The more decisions you make in any given day, the more you deplete your willpower stores.

Yet, most people attempt to form new habits (e.g. eating well, exercising) by willing themselves to it.

And it don’t work.

That’s why I recommend abstinence in making choices.  Quit dispensing your willpower in such a willy-nilly way.  Restrict yourself to high-leverage acts of will, and instead of trying to moderate your minute-by-minute behaviours, focus on applying what I call *context changes*.

A context change is a change to your environment.

The reason it’s so powerful, is you apply a little determination ONCE, and it pays off over and over again.

Eee Gee

One of my most harped upon nutrition strategies is food prepping.  Why?  It’s a high-leverage, high-upside decision.  Sure you’ve gotta convince yourself to make time to cook and pack meals.  But that one move saves you having to make 6-10 individual choices you’d otherwise encounter if you didn’t already have meals and snacks on hand.  Standing at many repeated crossroads will eventually leave you tapped out in the good-decision-making department.

You’d be binging on your own willpower.

Example numero dos

Let’s say you want to walk more.  One way is to simply tell yourself you’re going to walk more, and daily match wits with the devil on your shoulder and his compelling case for collapsing on the couch instead.

The other is to not buy a metropass, so you’re forced to walk to and from work each day.

Again, one choice vs. many.

Leverage.

Got a weakness for potato chips?

Perform a Lays-ectomy on your kitchen cupboards.  You might still eat them, but at least you don’t have to stare temptation in the face so often that it erodes your judgment.

Is any of this advice new?

Maybe not in the specifics.  But I’ll wager the concept behind it has never been placed before you in such a neatly wrapped package.  Once you get the thought-process behind the examples above, you can see with new lenses any area in which your actions often betray your goals.

What context change can you implement?

How can you make better choices by making fewer choices?

I cover this in full detail, along with several other BREAKTHROUGH concepts at my Lean For Life talk on April 25th:

=>Click here for details & to save your seat.

Don’t miss it.

Hear me, ye faithful…

Forsake thy binge.

Ration thy willpower, and thou shalt not hunger.

To A Low-Willpower Diet,

Conor Kelly

Should you lift heavy weights if you’re older?

A few weeks ago I celebrated Easter in the traditional way – by drinking Tequila, and smoking Cuban cigars with my Irish Dad.

As the aromatic tendrils of cigar smoke swirled about us, he let fly a bombshell of epic proportions.

It turns out my Grandmother’s paternal Grandfather was English.

After some not-so-quick math I realized this makes me one sixteenth English.

Blimey.

(As one client, also of Irish descent put it, “I’m sorry to hear that.”)

All those years of obsessively watching The Black Adder and Fawlty Towers suddenly make sense!

The upshot is I can now legitimately add British insults to my already formidable arsenal of putdowns.  And according to Anglotopia.net, it’s scientifically proven that any insult is 100x better when spoken with a British accent.  The website lists classics like twit, wanker, and lazy sod, as well as lesser known beauts such as trollop (a lady of questionable morals), and my personal favorite, Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys (The French).

While the kettle boils for me tea and crumpets, let’s dig into today’s content, shall we?

A client reports:

“I’ve had two people this week tell me ‘you shouldn’t use heavy weights if you’re older.’”

First, let me point out that the client in question is strong, lean and fit-looking, and you’d have to be daft as a bush – crazy – or a complete tosser to criticize his health habits.

Second, older is broad.  What does that mean?  For our purposes I’m gonna say *over 50*.   (I’ve gotta draw the line somewhere.  Don’t get your knickers in a bunch.)

Third, heavy compared to what?

I’d never suggest anyone, regardless of age, lift beyond what they can achieve with good form.

But, other things being equal,  I’ll sing the sweet praises of  progressive resistance training (done correctly) until the cows come home.  That’s because there’s a whole lotta legit science certifying the benefits of heavy-for-you lifting as we get older.

It maintains hormone levels, bone density – even cognition and memory.  It lowers bodyfat, and prevents most forms of degenerative disease.  It combats inflammation responsible for achy joints, chronic fatigue and depression.  And strength holds everything together, allowing you to move the way you want to and minimize injuries.

One of the world’s leading anti-aging experts, Dr. Michael Colgan, regularly trains with near max weights.  He’s 77, 10% bodyfat, and does one-arm pushups on stage at speaking engagements!  Jack Lalanne was known to pump iron on the daily until he died at 96.

Even big Hollywood stars are in on the action.  Clint Eastwood could chest press 100 pound dumbbells for 12 reps at age 75!

In fact, research indicates that you can’t get the same results with cardio or light weights.

That’s because they’re less effective in building muscle, which you MUST do in order to accomplish all of the above.  We lose on average a quarter of our lean muscle between the ages of 20 and 80.  It’s a BIG factor in the waning vitality that comes with age – if we accept it.

So don’t accept it.

Hit the weight room with enthusiasm.

And the next time some twit suggests you take it easy, you have my permission to tell him to *bugger off*, that he’s *mad as a bag of ferrets*, or *not batting on a full wicket*.

Then go back to the squat rack and bang out your next heavy set – for the Queen’s sake – and don’t be a lazy sod like those cheese eating surrender monkeys.

Anybody who disagrees with me has lost the bloody plot.

If you’d like to maintain vibrant health with advice based on the latest findings – instead of confining yourself to a rocking chair – check out my Lean For Life talk at Physiomed on April 25th:

http://bit.ly/1qKqFTm

Discover how to cheat aging and defy the odds by staying lean for life.

It should be a jolly good chin wag…

Anyway, hope to see you there.

Cheerio,

Conor Kelly

The *Fitpocalypse* and why most programs fail

Every January determined resolution-ers line up for machines in the cardio section of most health clubs.

By February, the same row of treadmills looks more barren than a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Even in the best of times, obesity research confirms that less than 5% of men and women succeed in losing weight.

Say whaaaaat?

Why do so many fitness programs lie in this graveyard of failed promises?

As any good shrink knows…it’s complicated.

It’s a multi-factorial, non-linear, multi-disciplinary, counter-intuitive…well, let’s just say there’s lots of reasons.

But one of the biggest reasons – as far as I can tell – that we continually fall in and out of love with our *gottalooza daweighta* project, is the same reason useless gizmos, workout videos, fad diets, and fat-burning pills make BILLIONS each year…

We’re looking for a simple fix.

The one shot wonder cure that’ll eliminate all of our fat loss woes.

Trouble is, the body don’t work that way.

It’s a complex organism.  With many moving parts.

Think of a rectangular table.

Four legs.  Each leg supports one corner, and shares the load of whatever’s placed on the table, indeed the table itself, with the other three legs.  What happens if you remove one?  Gets pretty unstable, don’t it?  Two?  You’d be lucky keep that sucker standing.

You see, most people are trying to get fit using one leg when, as I see it, lasting fitness has FOUR.

Focus on one to the detriment of the others and, well, prepare for your table to come crashing down.

What are the four legs?

1. Nutrition, 2. Resistance training, 3. Cardiovascular training, and 4. Mobility training (otherwise known as flexibility).

If you ain’t got all four, you’re doomed – like other casualties of the new year’s Fitpocalypse – to exclusion from Healthtopia (the new world order of the fit) when the nukes fly on February 1st.

Some enlightened programs serve two, maybe even three of the above.

But I’ve never seen ANYTHING that adequately addresses ALL FOUR LEGS needed for a rock solid foundation, and lifelong success with your fitness program.

That’s why I created my 16WK program.

Think of it as a firm but fair immigration policy that eventually wins you permanent residency in Healthtopia.

(Politicians, take note.)

And you don’t even need to scale a fence, dig a tunnel, or bribe a border guard to get in.

Just call me today at (416) 826-4844 for your complimentary personal training consultation.   I’ll see what I can do about speeding up your paper work.

When the Fitpocalypse comes, don’t get caught unprepared, flailing around on just one leg…

Get your table in order, and be one of the lucky 5% that survives.

See you on the other side,

Conor Kelly
(416) 826-4844