a better life, action, adaptation, asking questions, attitude, awareness, beauty, better choices, boys, care empathy, choices, courage, dads, dads love, decisions, ego, Energy, examined life, habits, Imagination, kids, leadership, life, long-term perspective, love, man, manners, needs, parenthood, parenting skills, perseverance, real man, reflection, respect, responsibility, self improvement, self-respect, strengths, taking action, truth, you, your life

Who are YOU?

We’re all captaining our ships through the changing ‘seas of life’.
Captain well, I say. Captain well.
Resolve to continue to get better at life.

Dreams  shape our future.

I have dreams.

Sometimes.

Do you?

One of my dreams is for a future world that is better for all.

It is time for us as men to become Real Men, to put the Gentle back in Man. The world needs more Gentle-Men. It is time for us men to reject this fragile ego business.

We use it (fragile ego) to cover up our failures and avoid looking at ourselves. We need to look at ourselves with honesty and with dignity.

What’s happening to Men? Have men forgotten what it means to be a man?

Thus, the women and children in our lives, who, it seems, have better egos than we do, must pick up the slack. They seem to take responsibility for our actions and feelings.

Our sons become the men we are.
Be responsible to YOU first. Become the Best Real Gentleman you can be – for you, first and … our sons will have the best template they can build on

Resolve.

What has Men become?

Come on guys!

We need to resolve to try to look at ourselves with integrity, let us do some soul searching’. Let us try to struggle honestly. How do we expect to grow as a man, an individual … a human being?

They say that the best way to overcome fears is to face them. Take action. Action eliminates all fear. Face your fears with the comforting belief that God is always by your side.

So, as Men, we need to be confronted by our actions, messages and weaknesses (I know I have many) if we expect to learn and grow.

As I tell all muscle-building enthusiasts, “we need to leave our ego at the door”. Men, I propose that, us men need to stand tall and deliver.

We need to stop hiding behind excuses and refrain from blaming others. We need to discontinue hiding behind phrases like, “This is just the way I am.” What a cop-out, what a load of rubbish!!

Let’s be honest with ourselves, Men.

Being honest with ourselves is probably one of the most courageous things a man can do in his world. Look honestly at his inner soul and take actions to make him a better person.

Continuously.

Let us have a good, hard look at who we are. This is very important to the future of the world.

Why?

With the next generation of Valentine males – Zachary.

Our sons use us as their blueprint

Who YOU are is the best indication of who our sons will become.

The future Champions and Champion Leaders of our future world making decisions that will impact on the fate of the world.

To save the future world, we, as Men, need to save our ‘inner world’ and be the BEST Real Gentlemen we can be. Our future world depends on it.

Again, who are YOU?

Read that last sentence again.

My son and I.
Provide the best blueprint you can of what it means to be a man.
He needs you now more than ever.
Save him now so that tomorrow’s world will be saved too.
Vv.

Let’s all resolve to become increasingly aware. Take sufficient and appropriate actions and most importantly, adapt.

Hard YAKA.

I believe we can do it.

JUST DO IT!

How do we begin?

The answer lies in the question.

BEGIN.

Cheers & Ahoy!!

 

The old Captain Viking Pirate …. & his thoughts on Stopping. Reflecting. Adapting. Taking actions and adapting.

Be the light unto yourself with faith in God.
And then … be the light for the future men of our world – our sons.
Be the light that illuminates the path they are to follow.
We are the source of light in their young lives, with God’s help.

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a better life, adaptation, asking questions, awareness, basics of training, Beliefs, better choices, body, breaking points, caring, change, choices, ego, Energy

Learn to be more coachable.

Learn the basics of exercise in the gym. Learn to be more coachable - learn the rules so you know how to use them better in the future. This applies to most rules in life. Vv.

Learn the basics of exercise in the gym. Learn to be more coachable – learn the rules so you know how to use them better in the future. This applies to most rules in life.
Vv.

My gym experience has taught me a lot about people, about human nature. I love observing human behaviour in action, it fascinates me.

As most of you would agree, there is no doubt that people are different. We are all different and unique but we also are more alike than we like to think. We are all wired differently and that wiring lends itself to certain skills, environments and roles rather than other skills, environments and roles.

Some people find it very difficult to change. Some people need to learn to be more coachable, if they are to achieve their full potential and avoid some of the mistakes other people and previous generations have made.

There was this member of the gym I used to own for a number of years that was very stuck in his ways of training. I always tried questioning him on why he did things the way he did and he was very inflexible to learning something different. An alternative.

His reason: he had been training with weights for longer than me and he didn’t have anything to learn. Fair enough. I did not want to force him to stop doing harm to himself but I felt it was my role and duty of care to point out the potential risks he was putting himself and others in the gym, now and in to the future.

This a story about how too much of a good thing can be bad for you and relates to one particular exercise: the wide chin-up exercise.

Let’s call this individual “Dave”.

You see, he loved doing chin-ups. Some of you may know it as ‘pull-ups’. He loved it so much he did it every time he came to the gym for his ‘session’. He came to the gym about four times per week. He really loved doing very wide chin-ups and prided himself on lifting an additional 40kg dumbbell hanging from his waist for reps. He was certainly strong. He was very dedicated.

The one major drawback with his weight-training sessions was the fact that he loved doing chin-ups so much. Now, there’s nothing wrong with having a favourite exercise and this exercise is a great one.

Learn the rules of life. Learn the rules of training in the gym. Learn to be more coachable to manage your 'risk:benefit ratio' in life. Vv.

Learn the rules of life. Learn the rules of training in the gym. Learn to be more coachable to manage your ‘risk:benefit ratio’ in life.
Vv.

However, one should always be aware of doing that particular activity too often as it increases one’s risk of injury. And this is exactly what happened to our poor friend Dave. As we have all been told over the years – “too much of a good thing can be bad for you”.

I had a great chin-up bar. Matter-of-fact, I had another installed beside the original just because men had different size hands and preferred varying grips. It was a winner – for Dave and for every other enthusiast.

At the very start of his relationship with me, I gave him a piece of advice regarding his training regime that was rejected stubbornly every year for five years, before his accident.

Yes, he did have an accident.

My piece of advice was: don’t overdo an exercise.

I told him that he should probably cut back on the frequency of his chin-ups (doing it every day, every week for the whole year) to consider doing it in one workout every fortnight, that he should consider doing the many other exercise options available that would target the same muscles that chin-ups did but with minimal risk to his joints.

Minimising potential risks to his tendons and ligaments around the elbow joints. I basically tried to tell him to give his joints more rest and recovery, which in turn would probably see him spur on more muscle growth than what he was used to.

I suggested the traditional “Lat Pull-down” machine. A perfect alternative and there were a few ways of doing this exercise too.

That was unacceptable to him. Period!

He said that only ‘sissies’ did the exercise. I couldn’t believe he said that, calling everyone who ever did machine lat pull-downs a ‘sissy’, including me! I reminded him of some of the best backs built over time due partly to machine lat pull-downs. They used the machine lat pull-downs religiously!

He didn’t want to hear it. He was happy doing what he was doing and had been doing all his life. We went through this same conversation at least once every year. Me warning him about the excessive nature of his exercise choice of chin-ups and the damage he was potentially doing to his elbows further down the track.

Dave wasn’t open to other ideas, he did not want to be coached.

Anyway, in his fifth year of training in my gym, Dave went missing from the gym for about a month. I called up to see if he was ok like I did for anyone of the hundreds of members that I didn’t see for more than four weeks.

He returned to see me in the gym the next day.

Just like any activity, understand and always assess the risk of any exercise you do in the gym. Vv.

Just like any activity, understand and always assess the risk of any exercise you do in the gym.
Vv.

He wasn’t able to train in the gym, in particular he couldn’t use his arms without experiencing excruciating pain through the elbows. All pushing and pulling movements were no longer possible. He basically couldn’t train and he wasn’t coping with this lack of activity very well and didn’t know what to do.

Dave felt a little embarrassed and admitted it was one of the biggest training mistakes he had ever made – not listening to my little piece of advice over the previous five years. The high risk of injury I had made him aware of every year for five years had manifested and now he couldn’t do the exercise he loved to do but even worse, he also couldn’t train. Period!

He was a mess. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. He needed help.

I sat him down and let him rest his head on my shoulder. I said it was alright to cry. All grown men have a license to cry. He did just that.

I told him to forget about the past but to learn from it. I gave him two options to help him make his way back to where he was but I needed him to listen and let go of prior beliefs regarding training.

He needed to set new beliefs. He needed to understand and introduce a new paradigm. He needed to learn to be more coachable and unlearn some irrelevant old habits. He was going to have to accept the guy that looked back at him in the mirror now – not twenty years ago in his youth.

He needed to be agreeable. Kinder to himself. He needed to love himself more.

He did.

He learned to do this after almost twenty five years of training in the gym. Yes, he was training and gaining a lot of ‘experience’ but it was not getting him anywhere. He was just getting more and more experience of getting it wrong.

Not good. He trained mainly with his ego and did not leave it at the door each time he walked in to the gym. Does not get you anywhere and generally leads to disaster as his case showed.

I devised a plan of recovery for him and he got back the use of his arms, particularly his elbows. As the pain sub-sided and he started exercising after a little while, his whole demeanour and life improved.

As you know, ‘knowing is one thing, doing is another.’ A wise man once told me that ‘elephants don’t bite, mosquitoes do!”. It really does apply in this case and in many things in life, where too much of a good thing can be bad for you.

Dave did not take care of the mozzies (like the frequency of performing the exercise) and as a result, the compound effect of incorrect technique combined with unnecessary frequency leads to unwanted joint injury.

The message in this story could apply to all areas of life where too much of a good thing (chin-ups for Dave) can be bad for you. Dave learned the hard way and didn’t want to learn from other people’s experience. He didn’t allow himself to be coached. It takes courage to understand your faults but it takes even more courage to make changes to help prevent a huge mis-hap later.

Life is short. There are rules in the gym and gym training, just like there are rules of life. Learn the rules, so that in time you can have the wisdom to discern what is relevant and not.

Live life with quality and integrity and live it to the fullest. Know yourself and be true to yourself.

Have fun with your workouts and have fun with life.

 

Until next time,

In body re-engineering, fast improvements are the result of excellent feedback from excellent coaches. Here, constant examination of my physique by my coach (and 2 x World Natural Body Building Champion) allowed me to reach my peak performance and placing 2nd in Australian Titles. Learn to be more coachable to achieve your best in whatever area of life. Vv.

In body re-engineering, fast improvements are the result of excellent feedback from excellent coaches.
Here, constant examination of my physique by my coach (and 2 x World Natural Body Building Champion) allowed me to reach my peak performance and placing 2nd in Australian Titles.
Learn to be more coachable to achieve your best in whatever area of life.
Vv.

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ego, grip, habit, muscle building, training

What grip should you use when you train?

Learning how to properly execute an exercise with good form throughout the full range of motion is vital to muscle building and longevity.  Vv

Learning how to properly execute an exercise with good form throughout the full range of motion is vital to muscle building and longevity.
Vv

I was asked by a host of a function I attended recently about what grip was best to get the most out of your barbell bench presses?

Over the last two decades I have seen many variations of grips. I believe it is a matter of individual preference and your level of experience of training in the gym. If you’re a beginning gym enthusiast, it would be best if you used the ‘thumb grip’, meaning your thumb goes around the bar in the opposite direction to your other fingers, forming a secure grip.

If, however, you are more experienced and advanced, then using the ‘thumbless grip’ may be something for you. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term ‘thumbless grip’, it simply means that you move your thumb to the same side of the bar as your fingers.

If you had to assess the risk of the two types of grips, the ‘thumbless grip’ is a much higher risk to you and possibly others close to your training station. I know of a man who injured his sternum doing a bench press using this grip. The bar slipped off his hands during a set of bench pressing and fell on his chest. Very painful, not recommended.

However, this risk is lowered if the bench press is performed using a “Smith Machine” or similar. The thumb grip is safer.

It can also be argued that it is more productive to NOT use a thumbless grip when performing an exercise like the bench press. However, how productive you are depends on many other variables and in the list of key variables influencing your productivity during your workouts, the grip you use would have to be quite far down that list.

So, to sum up, if you’re a beginner, DO NOT use a thumbless grip, especially if you do bench presses with free weights. Period! The seasoned campaigner can give it a try if you are using a smith machine to mitigate the risk of the bar falling on you or have a good training partner.

But, if you are in it for the long haul, the use of a ‘thumbless grip’ isn’t going to give you much more weight doing your presses. I think your focus should be on more important things like ‘feel’ and ‘control’.

Two principles of building muscle: 1) Simplicity and 2} Continuity. Here, Ex-Australian Rugby legend Phil Waugh using a 'thumbless grip' in a Smith Machine to do Bench Presses. Become aware; Apply action: Adapt accordingly.

Two principles of building muscle: 1) Simplicity and 2} Continuity.
Here, Ex-Australian Rugby legend Phil Waugh using a ‘thumbless grip’ in a Smith Machine to do Bench Presses.
Become aware; Apply action: Adapt accordingly.

I tell everyone that if you’re not feeling the muscle and not in control of weight, then you’re not building muscle, you’re just building ego. Learn to leave your ego at the door if you’re serious about building good quality muscle and re-shaping the body you see in the mirror towards the one you imagine yourself to be.

Focus on doing each repetition of each exercise properly. Do this repeatedly as best as you can. This includes doing the last rep as good as your first. Not some of the time, – all of the time!

Feel the ‘essence’ of the exercise ( … and it ain’t vanilla!).

When you feel you’ve mastered this and the BASICS, then, and only then, should you worry about what grip to use when you train.

Understanding the basics and the principles of simplicity and continuity are more important keys to your success in training.

All the best!

Until next time,

_MG_9779-1

~~Life & wellness COACH~~

~~Life & wellness COACH~~

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a better life, attitude, authenticness, Beliefs, better choices, change, courage, ego, Energy, examined life, game of life, gratitude, happiness, life, long-term perspective, love, perseverance, responsibility, self love, spiritual balance sheet, spirituality, success, time, truths, you, your life

Is the grass green on the other side?

Greener grass anyone?

Greener grass anyone?

Change your philosophy, change your life.
Vv.

Envy

How much do you earn?

Is it enough for you? Do you wonder if your friends, neighbours or family are earning more than you? Do you secretly covet what your neighbours’ drive; what house they live in? I wonder …. Is the grass greener on the óther side?”

How do they do it? What do they do to make so much money and wealth? How can you learn their secrets, you wonder. Should you change jobs or see if the grass is greener on the other side. What word could sum up this way of thinking, I wondered. I think a good word would be: Envy.

Some argue that envy is the root of all evil.

Some argue that envy is what spurs on economic growth. Well and good in a capitalist society. My question is how much growth is enough? I must admit that I, along with many others have been charmed by “overnight success Rags-to-riches stories” and the wealth of the very rich.  You’re bombarded with examples on social media, on-line and in magazines and papers.

The simple things in life are often the best

The outward display of success seem so appealing that it’s pretty easy to fall for those less-than-subtle advertising ploys touting fancy foreign engineering (like cars) or architectural wonders of some luxury house.

Gee, even in church we sometimes focus on the trappings – lavish sanctuary, fine pipe organs, plush carpeting and so forth.

It seems the advertising industry is the machine that uses this belief as its fuel: Envy. Most in the western world have been have been prisoners in the tyranny of consumer culture. Programmed with advertising, movies, video games, magazines, tv and MTV from the cradle. They say by the time a child in our western world reaches the age of 21, he or she would have watched and/or listened to a million ads.

Now, that is a lot of noise and clutter for the brain, and you wonder why the fastest growing disease is mental disease.

It is certainly great for business, because more growth is better for everyone, for the sake of capitalism.

De-clutter your brain of all that noise built up from early childhood clouding your thoughts.
Delete and stop contributing to the bottom-line of ‘bullshit’
Work on managing your funnel better. Don’t be part of the horribly growing stat

 

Try Harder = more success?

The theory is that if people are unhappy which has resulted because people were envious or jealous, people generally tend to TRY HARDER. Does it work that way with you? Or do you pull others down rather than raise your standards and climb up to theirs? Do you just wrap yourself in self-righteous misery when you cannot complain anymore about the unfairness of life?

If you are a believer in Christ and very wealthy, remember not to leave God our of your life. It is said that – without understanding, you are like the beasts that perish. Your power, influence and wealth won’t carry weight now but will not matter one zilch, in eternity.

I know you know this already.

A neuron example & its network of dentrites

Nature of Wealth

Do you read the annual publications of Rich Lists? Where do you stand? What do your friends make? Do they make more than you? How does it make you feel? Does it make you happy or miserable? I dare say that it must make more people unhappy than happy. The thing is, it shouldn’t be. You see, there is a finite nature to wealth ….

Do you wonder those “what if “ scenarios like the price you may have got in on a certain share/stock or what if you had sold your car or business at a better price by waiting a little longer or if you had not left that job? I’m sure you have thought about certain things in your life this way too. We all have. Does this make your life better or worse?

In this life the wealthy often inspire awe, admiration and praise. Be happy for them, don’t envy. This adulation will be short-lived. The possessions that are the basis of their pride and self-aggrandizement will not serve past ‘six-feet under (the grave)”.

Allow your mind to ”connect’ with infinite intelligence.
With consciousness.
It is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.

Contentment (genuine) brings you closer to the elusive Happiness

Maybe we should resolve not to begrudge others their success or good luck in life. Maybe we should resolve to be happy for them. To genuinely wish them well with it.

Maybe we should see that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not always. Maybe we should not yearn for the grass on the other side.

Maybe.

Maybe it would be easier to sail your ship through the sea of life by looking ‘straight ahead’ instead of looking over your shoulder at the other ships (other people).

Maybe, just maybe you will find contentment and move a little closer to everyone’s elusive ‘happiness’ goal, if you stopped coveting the wealth and treasures of the very wealthy. I believe – being content, genuinely content, is one of the surest ways of moving close to happiness. It is a process by which you also move to another consciousness level. Ask yourself how content (genuinely content) are you with everything in your life?

 

Be content with where you are and what you have achieved to get this far.
Appreciate what I refer to as your ‘reverse bucket list’ and have an attitude of gratitude.
This is a key ingredient to moving towards genuine happiness

Change your colour, change your life

I know one thing for sure: being less envious and accepting that ‘the grass is not always greener on the other side’ would make your life less depressing.

No, I am going to take it further and suggest that maybe, we should trying viewing the colour of grass not as green or greener but viewing it as another colour (another view/philosophy).

Change your colour (philosophy). Find the right colour. Change your life – for the better.

For me, the colour is a combination – black with a touch of red.

What’s your new colour?

Then ….

Ask God to teach you to help you find and guide you with your perspective on life … to learn to live always, not for this life only, but with “ëternity’s values in view.”

One way to know YOU is to understand God.
God is in you.
God is you.

I’ll hopefully, see and chat to you in heaven when our time in this third dimension is done and dusted!

Until next time.

Cheers and a big ahoy to you on your journey through the maize of life!

 

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate … & thoughts on envy, contentment and happiness in life.

Appreciate beauty. Find your truth. Create your beauty if you can. Usually, beauty and truth does not involve wealth, growth, mass and material possessions.
It is counter-intuitive, but to find your beauty, your truth … LESS IS MORE.

 

Eliminate and de-clutter the ‘noise’ that has been uploaded in to your brain since the cradle

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