Easy Way to Change Your Weight Training Exercises

If you’re anywhere near my age or someone who needs a lot of variety, getting bored with your workouts can become a problem. The good news, changing your routine in the weight room is not that hard to do, although I don’t see it happen enough and it’s one of the reasons clients hire me. Why? Because, we are creatures of habit and tend to do what’s comfortable and familiar. Because, we walk into the gym without a plan. Because, we’re tired from all the other to-do’s we deal with or we just get a little complacent. And, because we are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Take a look at the picture below. I just gifted you with nine new exercises. That’s right. Survey says, just change your bar or handle. That small change is still something new to your muscles and to your mind and to the connection between the two of them. A wide grip verses the D-ring verses the rope. They all provide different approaches and varying results. You hit the muscles differently. And, not to get too complicated, but you can even change your grips on some of these and get yet another layer of change.

Unless your facility has a policy, change out your handles and bars.

Unless your facility has a policy, change out your handles and bars.

Don’t make it complicated in the gym. Use adequate resistance. Get out of breath. Feel your muscles work. Work hard enough to need to recover and give your workout at least a few minutes of prep time. There is much more to this, such as higher or lower reps, more or less recovery time; pyramids, stacking and on and on. For now, change out those handles and bars for your rows and pull-downs; for your triceps and those guns and even for chest work. Use them on different machines and with the cables if you’re allowed. Mix them in with your free weights. I bet you’ll wake up with a little soreness in new areas. Time to rock and row, baby!


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How Do You Measure Success


Another brick wall. Now, what?

A friend of mine is in the midst of a colossal uphill battle that starts with a brick wall that climbs the sky like Jack’s bean stalk. He has none of the typical status symbols of success. He could easily bury himself in pity and dispair but instead he focuses on helping those around him and creating opportunities with that which he can do right now. He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t whine. He doesn’t make excuses. He elevates. He encourages. He inspires. Imagine what he’ll accomplish when the walls are behind him.

It seems more and more apparent to me that our success is built during the in-between times and measuring it is best saved for after conquering obstacles; after big disappointments; and, after admitted failures (or, mistakes if the F word is too harsh for you). I believe it was Archie Manning (if I’m wrong, please correct me) who told his sons to focus on PACE or performance after critical error. Truly “successful” people probably overcome a lot of in-betweens and step up their PACE time and time again. We can’t all be the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world, but based on your circumstances and how you’ve created and reacted to them – your brick walls – you might be more successful than you think. Consider the cumulative effect from all the people who stay on course, living their lives with dignity and strong moral character and reacting positively during in-betweens despite the fact that they are not curing cancer or playing in the superbowl. Genuine success could be as simple as being part of a continuing chain of people who choose to put one foot in front of the other despite obstacles. Everyday, bright peeps that find a way to contribute tangible or intangible worth to society. I am here to suggest that not being a total drag on resources (time, energy and space, etc.) moves you to the middle and with a little effort, to the win column. The successful side.

Please think about your in-between times, your walls, your natural talents, the incredible ripple effect of one small gesture and the strength and growth that results from adversity. Focus on your PACE and remember that success is measured by the positive and lasting impact you have on those around you. Your personal journey, even when you are stuck between brick walls, can create forward momentum and keep the rest of us moving. Group hug, everyone. Group hug.


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Three Tips to Break Bad Habits

In my previous post I explained why relying on willpower is usually a dead end. I also introduced the Column of Change. Here are the three tips I mentioned to support your efforts. It’s never too late to make important changes.

Tip #1: Write out a goal in a positive, visual manner and post it everywhere.  For example, “I will enjoy shopping for a new suite by Feb. 15th” because I won’t be worried about trying anything on” rather than “I will lose 15 pounds and get rid of my belly” or the dreadful cliche, “I will get in better shape and lose weight.”  Post it on your bathroom mirror, in your car, at work, in the kitchen, in the garage and wherever you might slip up and return to your destructive patterns. Repeat it to yourself, say it out loud. Visualize the outcome. See and feel it happening with every positive choice you make. Most successful entrepreneurs write down a specific goal and refer back to it often. If this goal is important to you, treat it that way. Reminder, your goal is supported and will be achieved with your new habits that you listed in your productive column (outlined in the previous post).

Tip #2:  Break free from bad associations and fortify healthy ones. Protect, fortify and guard a healthy lifestyle. I know many of you navigate pot holes, bumps in the road, brick walls and everything in between. I would ask you to think about the top three things that cause you distress and that lead to unproductive behavior. How do these play into your habits and how do they contribute or detract from your goal? Can you see a pattern or triggers? Consider your every-day surroundings, people, places and things. These have a great deal of influence on you. Work or career, emotional baggage and scars, money concerns and most definitely, how well you manage your stress. You are in charge of creating and maintaining healthy space and positive vibrations in and around your daily activities and with your thoughts. Pretty tough to break a bad habit when you hang around its friends all day.

Tip #3: Repeat to reinforce your new behaviors. Repeat to reinforce your new behaviors. Repeat to reinforce your new behaviors. You’ve probably heard that it takes at least three weeks to change an old habit and create a new one. True, but from my many, several, numerous good and not-so-good experiences, 21 days is generally not enough. Too many distractions. Too many obstacles. Too many external factors that derail us. Stop at three weeks if you are certain your automatic thoughts have merged into new behaviors. If you struggle for even a second, however, don’t abandon your routine. New patterns in your brain begin to form after they’ve been repeated. Those patterns get stronger with repetition. If you don’t reinforce your efforts, you won’t be able to form new neural connections, new habits or new behaviors. Whatever you repeat over and over again is programmed into the subconscious mind. That goes for the not-so-good stuff, too. (I hate it when that happens.)

How’s your lucky 2013 so far? I’m honored to kick it off with you and I hope you’ll share your journey, the ups and the downs and how you break through those brick walls. If you need additional help, please check out my good stuff at http://tinaandersonOC.com.


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Break Bad Habits & Achieve Goals at Any Age

Are you operating on auto pilot most of the time? (Courtesy of funny-potato.com)

Are you operating on auto pilot most of the time? (Courtesy of funny-potato.com)

With age comes wisdom but it certainly doesn’t guarantee an abundance of extra willpower when it comes to changing bad habits. Your resolutions, your goals, your efforts to change, no matter how hard or how many times you try, will be a constant uphill battle if you rely solely on old fashioned will power – or your conscious thoughts. We constantly engage in mental battles, reasoning and rationalizing our way into a decisions and actions. Yet, other behaviors happen automatically, with little or no thought. One takes a lot of effort and energy (and still doesn’t guarantee success) and the other, literally none. How pervasive is “auto pilot” living? A lot. Some studies claim that 95-percent of our behaviors are unconscious and automatic or what we simply call habits. They’re typically not easy to change because we don’t think about them anymore. If they’re bad habits, you need a strong battle plan, patience and a lot of tenacity. I can help with the former.

The Column and Your First Step. I’ll have an actual worksheet for this in my upcoming Groove Package but you can easily create your own.

  • You need four columns. Headers are Destructive Habit, Productive Habit,  Supported Goal and Completed
  • List your destructive habits in the first column, listing the worst first.
  • List your new productive habits in the second column, after you figure out what triggers the bad habits and what alternative behaviors and thoughts you can realistically put in place.
  • List the corresponding goal that you’ll be able to achieve with the new habit. You could easily have the same goal for several different habits.
  • Decide what you want to start with and focus on either the most important or what looks less daunting.
  • Pick your start date and make a notation somewhere on the page.
  • Post the page in several places where you will see it throughout the day.
  • When your behavior has changed to an automatic, unconscious habit, mark your completed date, celebrate forward momentum and perhaps even a goal achievement.

In case you’re struggling with how to do this, here are two examples. Destructive habit is going home after work and skipping your workout. You change that to taking your gym clothes with you and heading straight for your workout before going home. Your supported goal is to lose 10 pounds and gain muscle strength. Or, if you berate yourself every time you look in the mirror, ban yourself from looking other than when it’s necessary and write down a new “self-talk” script that you can say every time a negative thought enters your mind. Your supported goal might be self-acceptance and better control over “pity” eating.

Next segment, I’ll start with my three Habit-Changing-Goal-Achieving tips to support your Column of Change! Please check back in about a week or subscribe so you don’t miss any posts!



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Build & Strengthen Your Confidence

Happy New Year and here’s to a lucky 13! I’ve always prescribed to the theory that you create luck by being prepared and by recognizing and seizing opportunities. If you’re not feeling oh-so confident about yourself, you may end up on the other end, S-O-L or (sh*t out of luck). Not if I can help it!

According to research, confidence is not a natural trait for most people. Even highly successful individuals struggle with it. Academy award winning actor Gene Hackman once said that he never watched his movies because he knew he wouldn’t be satisfied with his performance. He wasn’t confident that he gave his best. The good news. We can develop and strengthen confidence, especially at our age! These seven tips will get you started.

Good words as we welcome in 2013.

Good words as we welcome in 2013.

  1. Perfectionism Is Paralyzing. Accept failure and mistakes and imperfection as normal aspects of success. If you typically strive for perfection in everything you do, you will never be satisfied and you will probably miss out on the important lessons one learns from taking risks and facing failure. It also creates stagnation. If you’re afraid you won’t do something perfectly, you may not start it at all.
  2. Stop Comparing. If you’re focused on someone else’s accomplishments, you’re not invested in your own. My son is back in a sport he left four years ago. His teammates were more skilled, more experienced, in better shape and guess what, more confident. In the beginning, he focused on how much better they played and how inadequate he felt. Once he changed his focus and stopped comparing himself to every player, he improved and so did his confidence. Someone will always be better than you at something at some point in your life. Doesn’t matter. You are on a different journey. Focus on strengthening your weaknesses, enhancing your strengths and blocking distractions.
  3. Recognize And Record. Pull out your resume, update it if you need to and spend some time looking at everything you’ve done. Same with thank you notes, letters from your kids and photo albums (with special occasions that were special because of what you did). Or, create an outline and start recording your accomplishments, from the insignificant to the very significant. The insig’s started you on your path to the sig’s. Don’t take for granted that which you do easily or naturally and don’t discount an achievement because of it. Confidence is rooted in understanding your gifts and talents and seeing how they have played out, from rocket scientists to stay-at-home moms.
  4. Rehearse And Prepare. Determine what makes you feel awkward, uncomfortable and unsure of yourself. Visualize a desired outcome and practice getting there. Start with similar, safe scenarios until your behavior becomes natural. It might be tough in the beginning but the more you face the situation and realize you can handle it, the more comfortable you will become.
  5. Learn Or Improve. This is a simple one. Learn a new skill or improve upon a current one. It showcases your potential to do so much more. From getting stronger in the gym to learning piano or training as a youth volunteer, push yourself mentally and physically and watch your efforts transcend into all aspects of your life.
  6. Accept Praise And Compliments. Stop rationalizing your accomplishments and making them less-than. We are telling the truth when we give positive feedback (unless you hang around with a lot narcissists). Graciously accept with a smile. You earned it. You deserve it. It’s real. It’s you.
  7. Stand And Set. Set attainable goals: daily, monthly and beyond. It’s fine to start small and build upon your success. Remember, you’re building and strengthening. And, always stand tall. Shoulders back, tummy in, chest slightly lifted. Same goes for sitting. No slouching. In both cases, you will not only feel more confident, you will look it, too! Now, go rock 2013 with your serious bad-a## selves!


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