Category Archives: PFIESTERISMS

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re·bound verb \ˈrē-ˌbau̇nd, ri-ˈ\

Rebound: Return, bounce back, setback, backfire, move backward. 

Stev Pfiester, Light Heav WeightI recently took 18 competitors from my gym, Max Fitness, to compete in the NPC Southeast Classic. The goal was hitting the stage. Not winning a trophy, but using the stage to make us push harder and be our best.

The goal was made, and the goal was met!  What we do now defines what we learned on our journey to accomplish our goal.  In the “realm” of goal acquisition, focusing solely on the goal can be a tragedy.  What I mean is, the goal is just that: “a goal” – a means to an end.  How we develop, the wisdom we gain, and the way we develop along the way is the real reward for meeting our goal.  Goals are not the real rewards.

Team max

Josh GayLets think backwards for a second.  By creating a goal to shoot for, you are inviting some level of adversity into your life.  How much adversity we will endure is measured by how grandiose the goal.  The “Goal” only gives reason to validate and hold accountable our hard work, our long suffering, our perilous effort to make our bodies fitter, our will stronger, our bellies hungrier.  I have never seen anyone train harder than when they were stretching themselves to reach a new goal. These guys did just that. Josh Gay‘s 60-day before & after picture shows just how hard they worked. Then, they hit the stage, and celebrated, and then they went home…

Score! Now What?

CruiseWhat happens after we reach our goal?  It is good after hard training to back down, enjoy the “win” and celebrate the goal acquisition. For me, it was going on a vacation (cruise). We hit the keys, then Mexico and then headed to Disney shortly after we got home. Yes, there was a lot of food involved. But, at some point, we must get back in the game.

We don’t pay off credit cards just to go on some huge spending spree waisting our money, discipline and hard work. It is ok to go charge a dinner, but then we pay it off immediately to avoid getting in the bad position we were once in. Whether the goal was physical or financial, it’s important to remember what you learned along the way and how you felt while you were working so hard.

Sloppy Joes Key West

The best way to prevent rebound is to give yourself a marked amount of time to enjoy your hard work. But after that time is finished, it’s time get back to work. It’s time to make new goals – both long and short term.

bench pressBefore you even reached this goal, you should already dream about what is next. Don’t take your eye off of the immediate prize.  Don’t focus on your future goals until you accomplished the one set right before you.  However; you should already be thinking about what is next.  This will prevent your downtime from turning into a complete train wreck and a complete rebound.

Doesn’t matter if we are talking about finance or weight loss, enjoy your success but don’t throw away your investment.  Remember what you learned along the way.  This is what makes you better, stronger, and more patient.  Make some goals, so you can push your limits!

Geared Up & Ready

Even something like a new pair of shoes can get you motivated to get back in the gym and hit it hard again.  I got these new Reebok ZigCarbons and love them. It was just what I needed to want to do cardio again.

Reebok ZigCarbon

My next new gym toy is Reebok’s Bose Headphone set. They help get my mind focused, shut out distractions and make the most of my time at the gym. Totally what I needed to tune back into my routine.

Reebok Bose Headphone Set

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Formula for Success

goal“If you take your eyes off the goal, for even a second, doubt will rush your mind like a band of brutal thieves.”

Doubt intends to kill your dreams, destroy your desire, and beat you down with fear.  Evidence of this is obvious in the most trying times.  When we are hungry, when we are tired, when we are angry, when we are in despair…

arnold Be Hungry

When you are hungry, let that hunger be your purpose.  It is a burning reminder in your gut of what you want to accomplish. When you are tired and your eyes grow heavy, don’t be the martyr the world excuses you to be, no one owes you anything. If there is something you want, you stay up one more hour and you go out and get it!

Be Productive

train like you want itAnger?, rage? Make it productive, and focus the intensity of this moment into success instead of resentment.  No one can control your emotions but you.  And when you are in complete despair — Stop. Shhhhh. Be still, and listen.  You are more than “just being”. You have the potential to be even more than your desires. You have the ability to accomplish things you havent even dreamed of …yet.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes by way of the late Henry Ford.  He reminds us that we can decide what happens next… he said “he who thinks he can, and he who thinks he can’t, are usually both right“.

Go Beyond 

“Attaining the goal isn’t success.  Success is found in the pursuit, attaining your goals is the icing on this cake we call life.”

Work harderLastly, it isn’t enough to just dream. I love visualization. Wondering what if, thinking just maybe…  Hoping, even praying, for that desire of your heart.  Instead of praying for “the goal”, pray for the opportunity to make a way for your goal. The satisfaction of accomplishment comes in the effort – the blood, the sweat, the tears, the years, in pursuit of the “goal”.  Attaining the goal isn’t success.  Success is found in the pursuit, attaining your goals is the icing on this cake we call life.

“Vision without execution is just hallucination” Henry Ford

Equation for Success

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #LiveWithFire

If you Run from the fight, you might miss the Glory!

The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences! 

Bonnie and I were both brought up in the south, and for many of us that means that we were in church everytime the doors were open.  One of the phrases you hear a lot in the church is “we really hate SIN”.  Don’t tune me out, I’m about to make a point.  As much as church, Bon and I in our adult lives spent a lot of time in the gym as well.  One of the phrases we hear all of time at the gym is “I love my workout”.  So “we hate sin and love our workouts” hmmm

Hate Sin?  Not at all.
We love sin, its exciting, feels good, it’s attractive, it taste good, it’s a total rush…  No we don’t hate sin.  What we hate is the consequences of our sin.  Sin can lead to drug addiction. divorce, obesity, disease, or even death – not to mention total seperation from the Dude who created you.  (another blog, another time).  But to say we hate sin, well, that just isn’t true – but to truly hate the devastating affects of sin is such a huge reality it isn’t a lie to say “I hate sin”.  Hold on, here it comes…

Love your workout? Not truly… 
Right now I am doing 315 pound shruggs.  I think I just popped every vertebrae in my back, just ripped a callous, my legs are trembling and I have sweat in my eye and a charlie horse in my calf.  Love my workout? …not so much.

HOWEVER, I absolutely love the consequences that I experience from working out.  Health, aesthetics, energy, increased self esteem, confidence, the ablility to defend myself and my family against danger, and vitality are all considered bliss – directly related to the suffering and drudgery of the afformentioned workout.  Knowing the amazing results of hard training, I can honestly say, “I love my workouts”!

The same way a person who has been caught up in SIN becomes so hurt and disgusted with that lifestyle, another can honestly say they love working out becuase of the amazing results and positive influence, that it can acutally be said, “I love my workout”

In short...The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences! 

How do we change our belief system to be able to honestly say… “I love training”?

1. Set goals and BELIEVE you can attain them.

2. Visualize the prize (end game) seeing the goal as if its complete.

3. Make a plan that is realistic and effective to meet your goal.

4. Grow a pair.  Dont be afraid to “gut it out”. Know it will be worth it.

5. Start over a million times – but dont quit, not even once!

Fitness: Love it do ya?

We have all come across those, “beefers”… you know,  those crazy fanny pack wearing’ freaks that actually love the brutality of lifting weights, or those skinny little 1/2 dead marathon runners that get this euphoric “runners high” at mile 19.  All I get at mile 19 is a cab and a five guys burger.

Ok  seriously though, haven’t we all heard of people who boast of loving their workouts, even loving the actual burn they acquire while gutting out a few more reps?  Better yet, have you ever talked with a runner that actually cant wait to wake up and get their run started at 4 am – and worse, they love the way the concrete massages the bottom of their feet over the next 9 miles?

No friends, I’m serious… these people exist, they dwell amongst us, you hardly see them because they are at the gym about 4 am.  Secretly, I think they are all 1/2 “Vamp”… but that is another blog for another time.  Let me help to break this down for you, even if you are one of the creatures of early morning to which I am referring. Talking to exercise zealots, I often hear much of the aforementioned subject matter and I have to call Bull.

If you say to me “Seriously Steve, I even  love the pain I get when my calves are on fire during calve raises”!  Reeeeeeeeeeeallllyyyy??? (in my best Jim Carry)… Even a sadist doesn’t inherently enjoy pain.  The pain is only a conduit to a belief system and it validates a feeling, thought, hope, or memory that gives them so much pleasure that they associate the discomfort of training, to the positive feelings the training brings about.

Follow me through another example.  allow me to use my own story.  I havealways been one who struggles with my weight.  Mostly because I used to love love love to over eat.  I mean it was so bad I would back up from the table, take a deep breath, loosen my belt, and go back in for thirds.  How did I get over this?  I changed my belief system.  What if I told you now, I actually like the feeling I have when I am just a little hungry?  Well, I do.

After a bodybuilding show, I could gain 20 pounds in just 2 weeks.  I would binge eat and destroy all of my hard work from the previous 6 months.  Yep, destroy it all in 2 short weeks.  Believe me that is a lot of food.  Now knowing the destruction that my body deals with from gorging my stomach and organs at each meal, and the associated bloated feeling, tight clothes, nauseous, and laziness that comes with that type of binge and full feeling, it isn’t too hard to see why eating lighter and stop-eating-before-I-am-stuffed, begins to actually feel better than being full.  I now associate feeling tighter, skinnier, and attractive with a slight hungry feeling.

My pfiesterism is “fit feels better than food taste“.  And for me its true.  It didn’t happen overnight, but indeed it did happen.

Look for my next blog on learning to love your workouts and change your mindset.

Majoring in the Minors

Yesterday I saw this young guy with a completely trashed car that barely ran, and he put at least $2000 dollars worth of “spinner” rims on it?  I even saw someone wearing target jeans, and when I looked down they had on $200 dollar shoes?…  Okay, bad example, cause I do that… but you get what I mean.. right?

What does this have to do with fitness?  (Insert soap box)  I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve been at the gym and have seen the meticulous biomechanical strategies that some people come up with to make their lifting routine more effective, or the countless times I’ve listened to people who are extremely overweight, discuss food on a totally microbiological level.  Instead of looking at calories, they are “buggn” about if it is free range or not.   I am not arguing that biomechanics and microbiology doesn’t have a place in training and nutrition, but by god-man,  look at the bigger picture.

I call this “majoring in the minors”.  As a trainer, blogger, or just exercise enthusiast, it is so vital that we realize the importance of fundamentals.  My back ground is very clinical, but I have never deviated from the application of fundamentals.  I am not saying that details are not important, however, $2000 dollars worth of wheels and tires on a $300 dollar car is a waisted investment.

Biomechanics: When you evaluate your body and decide you want to tone and tighten specific areas, start with the basics.  There is no need to do complicated movements when your time and energy will be better suited using fundamentals.  i.e. you want to tone your glutes.  Let’s begin with squats,lunges, and maybe straight leg dead lifts.  Why begin with 1 legged Romanian dead lifts or cook hip lifts, when simple basics will reach deep fibers at rich angles and are superior to intricate complicated movements.  Do these other exercises have their place?… Of course, but after exhausting the basics!

Take home:  When you sit on a machine for the first time, do it as designed.  Do not begin to invent your own way or make up a complicated movement to target some erroneous area of musculature.

Nutrition: Many people, in there quest to find the “right diet”, dissect micro-nutrition to a fault.  At the end of the day (listen Paleo Freaks) no matter how clean you eat, if your caloric intake exceeds your out put, you are going to store energy.  Your body prefers to store energy as fat because, for the same amount in grams stored, your body can yield twice as much energy from fat as glycogen or lean muscle.  This my friends is MACRO-nutrition.  It is the science of metabolism of  four general substrates: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, and Alcohols.  If you are eating more calories than you burn, regardless of your “blood type’, “zone”, “points” or any other thing else you measure… LISTEN… YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT!

Take home: Before you get involved in vitamins and minerals, the ph of your blood, even the glycemic index of foods, first figure out how many calories you burn per day, and eat less than that.  It’s just science.  Anyone who challenges this statement (Dousch-tard) would be saying, “if you are dropped off on a deserted island for two weeks, with nothing but water, and luckily found, you would have not lost any weight”. 

Fitness is simple guys… Our industry makes it complicated.  Quit  looking for the magic bullet, trying to find the “little pill”, or doing the perfect gluteal exercise for 30 seconds every morning.  You give me fundamentals, hard work, and discipline… And I’ll give you your magic bullet!

“The magic bullet IS fundamentals, hard work, and discipline.”

Train Hurt or Go Home! (or should you?)

No matter how careful you are in the gym, sooner or later you will be faced with some sort of achy extremity or throbbing appendage.  What you learn next could redefine how you train during injuries.

I got caught in an arm bar last Monday night at the Forge, where I am learning mma.  Yes, apparently I suck; however, after being caught in this rather precarious maneuver,  I thought my elbow had been broke.  Not so much from my arm going numb, or the excruciating pain in my elbow and shoulder, but mostly because of the huge tearing sound that made my opponent let go and say “did I break it”.  Not exactly what you want to hear.  Now the critical point… Am I just “hurt”,  or am I “injured”.  If I’m hurt but not injured, should I continue fighting or should I rest?  How do I know?

Let’s define the difference between hurting and injuring your body.  Here is my own rough definition:  when you are “hurt”, your body has sustained some sort of benign pathology, or an ouchee, that is sensitive to movement or touch.   The integrity of the tissue is usually not compromised to the point where continued movement will cause more or excessive damage to itself or surrounding tissue.  In other words, you’re ok; it just hurts like a bitch.  And then… and then… there is injury.  I don’t like any of the definitions I googled, so let’s look at some cinnamon’s (ha-I crack myself up) destruction, ruin, impairment, mischief… If tissue is destroyed or ruined, it could be said to be “injured”.  I’m not Webster, but let me make this clear.  When part of your body is compromised to the point that further use is unavailable, or attempting to use said body part may cause more damage, I would define this as an “injury”.  Now knowing these terms, how do we distinguish between being hurt, and being injured, without diagnostic equipment like an X-ray or MRI, or one of those cool scanners that “Dr Bones” had on Star trek?

To determine if you are injured or just hurt, in most cases, you can do a quick field assessment to get a rough idea if you should continue training/fighting/playing.  You must take into consideration your pain threshold when assessing your status.  For instance, if you’re like me, you could have a paper cut and think you need stitches or, on the other end of the spectrum, be like my father in law who could have a bone sticking out of his leg saying, “it just a little bump”.   If the pain was acute from a blow or a spasm, or a movement you just did during exercise, you may need to rest at least a day, as pain, adrenaline, and activity can mask your diagnosis.  Even if the incident is acute, you can still use these principals as long as your better judgment prevails.  This assessment is most accurate for a potential injury sustained over time, when the origin of when the pain began is rather ambiguous.  Usually if you sustain an acute, “potential injury” during training, it is usually best to stop the training session at least for the day, observe the pain pattern, and -of course- ice immediately.

If you find yourself hurting, and wanting to determine if you should train through the pain or not, try these simple rules… Read the rest of this entry

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