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Personal Training: 8 Steps to Break the Cycle of Self-Sabotage

I would love to say that every client we work with reaches their health and fitness goals and leaves our studio happier and healthier than they could have ever imagined. After all, that’s what we – as the trainers and instructors – want for them, and what we work tirelessly, both in sessions and outside of sessions, to help them achieve. We have developed a unique and foolproof plan to help anyone reach their goals, and we have proven results from lots of clients who have, indeed, reached and even exceeded their goals with us. But the truth is, many clients that we work with quit before they reach their health and fitness goals. Why? Not because they are incapable – because they are all capable. But because they sabotage themselves, in one way or another, and prevent themselves from getting to where they want to be, and from allowing us to help. Some clients even begin the self-sabotage pattern before they begin training. Here we’ll discuss how to know if you’re self-sabotaging, why self-sabotaging happens, and how you can break the cycle in order to make real progress with your goals, whatever they may be.

Most people have sabotaged themselves at some point in their life, whether it was procrastinating on that report in school, missing an important event at work, or eating Ben and Jerry’s after a commitment to go sugar free. We sabotage ourselves when things are hard, or uncomfortable, and even sometimes when things are good. It doesn’t seem to make sense, and we often aren’t even aware that that’s what we’re doing.

It doesn’t make you a failure if you do this, it makes you human. The key is, though, to bring awareness to these patterns and to work toward change.

How to Know if You’re Self-Sabotaging

Personal Training is, well, personal. We get to know our clients really well, and because we’re more objective, we’re often able to see things – patterns – that the client may not see themselves. Here are some ways that we suspect that we’re dealing with self-sabotage:

  • A client with significant health issues signs up for a definitive number of sessions and immediately talks about quitting once those sessions are over.
  • A client who pronounces within 5 minutes of meeting is that they have a pattern of self-sabotage, yet often have not taken any steps to overcome this.
  • A client that misses sessions with various excuses
  • A client that refuses to try parts of our plan; or a client who agrees to our plan but consistently makes same mistakes without concrete attempt to overcome
  • A client that says something to the effect of “I really want to _______, but I will not do ______”. For example “I want to lose weight but I refuse to give up bread” or “I want to lower my blood pressure but I don’t have time to take deep breaths every day”.
  • A client who makes progress, but then quits before reaching his/her goals.

Do any of these things sound familiar? Do you see yourself doing or thinking this way? Self-sabotaging comes from negative self statements and fear. The negative self statements are often things that we tell ourselves subconsciously, that sabotage our efforts. For example “I’m too fat to do that”, “I won’t succeed”, “I’m not worth it”. These statements translate into fear of doing things that are hard. Fear of overcoming all the things that hold us back. Fear of allowing ourselves to do good things for ourselves because it might not last. These statements and feelings can translate into “I’ll never get to my goal so I might as well enjoy this pizza and ice cream” or “I can’t afford personal training anymore” or ” This plan isn’t for me”.

How to Break the Cycle

So if you see this pattern in yourself, or suspect that you may have a tendency to self-sabotage, you’re probably now wondering what you can do about it. We’ll, actually wanting to do something about it is the first step! Here are 8 Steps to Break the Cycle of Self-Sabotage, to move forward with your goals, and to be your best self:

  1. Acknowledge what you’re doing
  2. Dig deep and find that inner voice of negativity. What is it saying? Is there a theme?
  3. Become aware of the feelings and thoughts that arise when you become uncomfortable. The diet gets too hard, the workouts are challenging, your trainer asks questions that make you reflect on negativity from your past: what do you see yourself doing and hear yourself saying in these moments?
  4. Now that you have brought awareness to the negative voices and your behavior patterns, you must work to actively and consciously change these things.
  5. Set small goals – setting goals too big or unrealistic can lead to failure and further negativity toward yourself.
  6. Practice non-judgment and non-harming toward yourself. When you hear the negative voices creeping in, acknowledge them, without judgment, and consciously change them to positive or kind voices. By consciously changing the internal chatter, the subconscious will soon follow.
  7. Enjoy and celebrate in your accomplishments, no matter how small.
  8. Don’t give up. When you feel like giving up, go back to Step 1.

If you find that self-sabotage is something you struggle with, or if you struggle to reach health and fitness goals but aren’t sure why, come see us, we can help! Contact us to schedule your free private consult in-studio or virtually!

Illness or Injury: Why It’s Important to Keep Moving

Illness and injury can put a damper on a health and fitness routine, and can sometimes result in complete loss of motivation. Aside from not feeling well, being sick or injured can be frustrating to say the least, especially if you’re someone who works hard to reach certain goals. But illness and injury are not necessarily good excuses to miss your appointment with your trainer, your daily visit to the gym, or your home yoga practice. In fact, if you stop moving you can actually do more harm than good to your body, and as a result, your mind too.

Benefits of Exercising When Sick or Injured

There are benefits to keeping up with some form of a workout routine when suffering a minor illness or injury.

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  • Sticking to a routine. Maintaining a health routine leads to better success in reaching your goals in the long run. You will be more likely to continue your health and fitness routine once you recover, and will feel less intimidated by the thought of returning. Psychologically and physically, maintaining your routine and schedule is imperative to reaching your health and fitness goals.
  • Post-surgery, exercise can help you heal faster. Obviously this depends on the type of surgery, and workouts will need to be modified, but by keeping the body moving you are increasing your chances of a speedy and healthy recovery.
  • Help relieve pain. While joint pain and inflammatory injuries make you feel like you don’t want to move, ever, exercising can actually improve symptoms and discomfort.
  • Boosts energy. Being sick or injured can deplete your energy levels, causing you to want to remain sedentary, which then makes you more tired…it’s a vicious cycle. Movement can help boost your energy and therefore your ability to recover faster.

When Should You NOT or When Should You STOP?

Obviously if you’re severely sick or injured exercise may not be an option. Additionally, you never want to push your body to the point that your illness or injury is made worse. According to an article by Dr. Mercola, fever, widespread body aches, and vomiting are all good reasons to take it easy. However, if you have a head cold or sinus infection, feel free to keep moving. Likewise, you can speed the healing of minor injuries through movements and stretches, when done the right way. But always listen to your body. High intensity may not be the most effective or beneficial type of exercise when sick or injured, for example. Yoga or lightweight movements may be a better choice. Here are some examples of modified exercises or movements that you can do when sick or injured, being mindful of your body and what your body is going through.

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  • Lightweight or bodyweight exercises, such as thrusters, air squats, or even push-ups can help the body recover, increase energy, and keep fit even during illness and injury. Modify the amount of weight you use and the number of repetitions to avoid fatigue or pain.
  • Different kinds of movements. Using different areas of the body than the areas that are injured is one way to keep moving when injured, without re-traumatizing the body.
  • Plank or modified plank is a safe movement for many illnesses or injuries. Depending on how you’re feeling you can get creative with it, or simply hold it for increasing amounts of time.
  • Yoga. Meditation is great anytime, no matter the illness and no matter the injury. It’s a great way to stay focused, to reduce stress, and to help the body heal through a positive mind and body. Yoga poses can also be extremely beneficial, as some poses are even designed to help certain areas of the body heal from both sickness and injury. Yoga is a wonderful way to keep the body moving, to relieve pain and stress, and to maintain strength and flexibility while recovering.

If you are fortunate enough to have a well-trained, knowledgeable personal trainer or yoga instructor, you are in good hands! Continue your regular routine with them, and they will be able to modify your sessions around the needs of your body. We often encourage clients to come in, even if just for a meditation practice, in order to keep their routine, their motivation, and to uplift their mood during illness or injury. When clients are unable to come in we offer virtual sessions via Skype.

Interested in a free consult to learn about our personal training or private yoga sessions? Contact us to try our online private training or health transformation consulting services, or if local to Philadelphia, a class or private session!

Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

7 Ways Functional Movements Are More Beneficial Than Exercise Machines

As functional fitness has become more and more mainstream, the fitness world – and gyms – have had to evolve to keep up. Research has shown that whole-body, multi-joint movements and high intensity workouts are extremely effective, as we discussed in our previous post.  Still, the appeal of exercise machines such as the elliptical, the stairmaster, and a plethora of other resistance machines, remains for many. Machines are easy, and routine. You can set your pace on the elliptical or treadmill and read a book or zone out listening to music. Some gyms even have movie theatres where you can plop yourself on your elliptical for an hour or so while watching an old favorite on the big screen, and leave feeling like you did a great workout for yourself. Simply said, machines make working out easy.

But working out isn’t supposed to be easy.

If we’re looking for easy, aren’t we missing the point? It’s called “working out” because it’s work. It can be fun, and I’m all about making fitness fun, but it shouldn’t be easy. Working out should, if done effectively, be challenging and stimulating to mind and body. That’s how you reach your optimal health, and your health and fitness goals, not by doing what’s easy or monotonous. Here are 7 Ways Functional Movements are More Beneficial Than Exercise Machines:

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  1. Mindfulness. Zoning out isn’t an option when you’re moving and working your body in the most effective ways. In fact, zoning out can lead to stress and injury. Functional fitness requires you to be mindful and to pay attention to your body, the mechanics of the movements, your form and your level of intensity. Being present leads to stress reduction and improved overall physically and mental health.
  2. You can do it anywhere. One of the reasons the functional fitness movement has caught on is because, let’s face it, Americans want convenience. Using free weights, or even better – body weight movements – is convenient. You don’t need to be tied to a gym or a bulky machine to get a great workout. You can literally do functional movements anytime, anywhere. That’s why they’re functional, duh.
  3. They are functional. It’s worth repeating. Functional movements are functional. Thats means they are exercises that translate to everyday activities and movements. With these movements, your body moves in three dimensions, which is how your body moves in daily life. Machines on the other hand, do not. Machines force us to move on the path of machines, rather than on the path of our bodies.
  4. Man making burpees during strength training in gym.More muscles are engaged. Through functional fitness exercises, the whole body is engaged, and more muscles are working to stabilize the weight. Machines on the other hand tend to focus more on larger muscle groups, ignoring some of the other muscles necessary for stabilizing, which can result in injury.
  5. More efficient. Functional fitness is more efficient than working out with machines. A 5-10 minute functional fitness workout can be more beneficial (and yes, burn more calories) even than an hour on an elliptical machine.
  6. They stimulate the mind. Just as functional movements work the whole body, they also work the mind. The mind and body work together to move through the exercises and various movements. Functional fitness workouts are constantly varied and high intensity, making them fun and intellectually stimulating too.
  7. It’s how our bodies were meant to move. We weren’t created to rely on machines to move our bodies. It’s really that simple. Functional fitness allows our bodies to move the way they are supposed to move, and to do movements that keep our bodies functioning optimally, despite our culture of sitting and minimizing movement. It’s a way of allowing our bodies to do what they naturally do best, and we are often surprised by what our bodies can do when given this freedom!

Curious and ready to try Functional Fitness for yourself? Contact us  to try our online functional fitness services, or if local to Philadelphia, a class or private session!

Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.

Self Defense: Getting Comfortable In Uncomfortable Situations

Have you ever taken a self defense class? I’m not talking about the fun girls’ night, gouge the eyeballs, kick ’em in the groin, and laugh at your friends one-time self defense class that often comes to mind. I mean a self defense class, with a well-trained instructor that teaches techniques and skills that can actually be useful in real-life situations? A self defense class that incorporates techniques from some of the most functional and effective martial arts in the world, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Krav Maga. If you have then you know what I mean when I say these classes teach you to get comfortable with being in uncomfortable situations. And while some of these uncomfortable situations do incite giggles, it’s clear that being uncomfortable is not just for fun, but is a necessity for learning how to defend yourself effectively.

My First Class

I remember when I began learning self defense from Japheth, years ago, in a class with several other women who were also new to self defense. There was a lot of nervous giggling, and I’m not ashamed to say a lot of it came from me. While I enjoyed the kicking and striking parts of class (who doesn’t?) I was nervous and cautious when it came to kicking and striking pads that other women were holding. It felt weird putting all my strength into essentially fighting another person. I eventually overcame this of course, but it took some getting used to. And then came the takedowns and the ground work, and the introduction of a whole new level of discomfort. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a true art form. A powerful combination of cognitive skill, mental manipulation, and physical mastery that is unrivaled. It is a challenge like no other, not just because of the amount of mental and physical energy required, but also the level of discomfort involved. The ability to be okay with straddling a stranger or being straddled by a stranger, often bringing faces, crotches, and/or feet into close contact with various other body parts, does not come naturally for a lot of people. In fact, I’d venture to say that some women and men do not like BJJ – and often do not stick with self defense classes – for this reason. People are not innately comfortable with being put in uncomfortable situations. Psychologically and physically, we choose flight.

So Why Do It?

To answer this question, let’s come back to why you came to a self defense class in the first place. Chances are you want to learn to prevent and defend against an attack. Think of an attack that feels comfortable. Right…there isn’t one.

So when learning to defend yourself from an uncomfortable situation you must face the discomfort, acknowledge it, and overcome it.  It’s survival. 

BJJ gives students the skills necessary to defeat even bigger and stronger opponents, how to get out of inferior positions, and how to instead achieve advantageous positions. What would you do if attacked from behind? Or taken down to the ground with the attacker on top of you? Learning how to move and use your body on the ground, especially while in uncomfortable positions, is necessary in order to be successful in any type of ground encounter.

Submission choke hold

BJJ teaches real life techniques for real life situations. With a skilled and trusted instructor, in a safe environment, you can and will learn to become more comfortable with the thought and the reality of uncomfortable situations. Take it from me – and the other women in that first class that are still my friends years later, despite us sparring each other every Wednesday night – getting through that discomfort is worth it, for you and for your loved ones.

I encourage you to find an ongoing self defense class and learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones. Learn more about our self defense classes and contact us to try our online self defense services, or if local to Philadelphia, a class or private session.

 

6 Benefits of Live Online Personal Training

Much like our variety of classes and modalities, our virtual – or online – services were born based on the needs of our clients. Years ago when we moved to Philadelphia, many of our clients chose to continue working with us, through virtual private training. Some of our sessions were by phone, and others through Skype. We still work with many of the clients now, years later, at a lower frequency. Many of our current studio clients also opt for virtual sessions from time to time, as they may be traveling for business, feeling a little under the weather, or just want to enjoy a session from the comfort of their own home. We enjoy getting to travel the world virtually with our clients, and helping to keep them on track to their personal health and fitness goals, no matter where they are!

Our online personal training services are just like our in-person sessions, except online. That means you’ll be working live with an instructor during each session. You can ask questions, check in about your form, your measurements, your goals, and even do a workout with your trainer right there with you! Our sessions include individualized health consulting, assessment of metabolic functioning, and an individualized plan including workouts and breathing or meditation exercises and whole foods based nutrition.
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 6 Benefits of Live Online Personal Training

Have you tried online personal training? Here are 6 reasons why you may want to consider this option for optimizing your health:

  1. Convenience of Location. This is the number one reason most people opt for online personal training sessions. No worries about travel time, trudging through snow, or leaving the house while the chicken is cooking! You can do your session from home, from work, from the beaches in Mexico, or a hotel room in Japan – just log on.
  2. Ease. Having an online personal trainer is easy. As I said, just log on. The workouts, however, are not.
  3. Individualized Workout and Nutrition Advice. Your personal training session will be live and face-to-face (unless you choose a phone call, which will be more ear-to-ear). Your workouts and nutrition guidance will work around where you are and any situations that you may encounter. Don’t have access to a kettle bell? We’ll find a substitute. Have a business dinner in Taiwan? We’ll help give you tips on eating out. Feeling under the weather? We’ll modify your session and plan based on your needs.
  4. Flexibility. You can do your workouts where you want, when you want, and wearing whatever you want! With our online training services you will get weekly workouts, recipes, and tips sent straight to your inbox, for you to access and use at your convenience.
  5. Accountability. Since your sessions are live, you will be held accountable for your progress and in reaching your goals. Our online trainers will check in with your measurements and discuss challenges and successes as you progress.
  6. Access to an Expert. Choosing a personal trainer online gives you access to trainers anywhere in the world, that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. This means you can be a little pickier. Scan reviews and testimonials to find someone who is experienced, successful, and a good fit for you!
Affiliate Notice
This website may, from time to time, endorse various products and/or services that we believe will benefit you in your quest for improving your life and health. It may be true that this website and its owner will receive compensation for these endorsements should you choose to purchase said products or services. In fact, in such cases, you should assume that we are an affiliate and will be compensated. Having said that, this website and its owner will only endorse products and/or services in which we strongly believe, or which we have used ourselves. By using this website, you hereby consent to the disclaimer and agree to all terms, policies, and conditions.