What I Do When I Feel Stale
Two important notes before we get started:
1. Today is the last day you can purchase the Peak Performance Diet and Training Summit at its sale price. Once the clock strikes midnight tonight (11/19), Joe and Dr. Mike are increasing the price $100, and you’ll be sad. And while I’m sure many are balking at the price, if you look at it as more of an investment rather than an expense, you’ll see that it’s definitely worth every cent.
2. Along the same lines, today is also the last day you can purchase Muscle Imbalances Revealed – Upper Body Re-Loaded at it’s sale price of 47% off. NINE additions were added on top of the already stellar content, and now it’s available in DVD format, too! Also, for those who don’t know, MIRU is my very first product and I’m damn proud of it. So what I’m trying to say is: if you don’t buy it, you’re banned from this site. Well, not really. But kinda.
With that out of the way, lets get to today’s content.
Full disclosure: I “stole” this blog idea from Mike Reinold. He wrote a similar post a few weeks ago and I liked it so much I thought I’d use it myself. Trust me, he won’t mind. I think.
Whether it’s training, nutrition, how I coach/cue clients, trying to come up with content for blogs and articles, or writing programs, sometimes I just feel stale or otherwise like I’m walking in mud that’s knee deep.
What follows are some things that help me get my mojo back.
1. Have Tony Time. Okay, get your mind out of the gutter…(wink). I’ve mentioned this here before, but I’m an introvert at heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love being sociable, but there comes a time where I reach my threshold and I just need to step away from the chaos and have a little “me” time.
Seemingly, I’m “on” all the time. There are always programs that need to be written; e-mails that need to be answered; clients that need to be coached; articles that have deadlines; and meatloaf sandwiches that need to be eaten.
We close early on Fridays, and since I get home relatively early, I tend to use Friday night as my wild-card night. Or Tony Time, as I like to call it. Most often, I use it as a night to head down to my favorite hang-out spot and just catch up on some reading.
I may spend an hour reading some blogs: Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson, Nia Shanks, John Romaniello, Dean Somerset, Lee Boyce, to name a few. If anything, reading what other people in the industry are doing or what they’re currently thinking about is an easy way to get my own juices flowing.
Conversely, I may just spend my time reading for the sake of reading. As much as I love reading about strength and conditioning, sometimes it makes my head hurt. There’s this really cool bookstore in my neighborhood that’s like a five-minute walk from my apartment, and it’s not at all uncommon for me to walk in, grab a chair, and spend the next 2-3 hours reading the Kama Sutra or something.
Hahaha. Okay, that doesn’t really happen.** But I do spend a lot of time there reading various books, and I always walk back home feeling re-charged and ready to attack the road a head.
2. Watch other coaches. I don’t do this nearly as often I would like, but it stands to reason that one of the easiest ways to get out of a rut is to actually go see what other coaches are doing with their athletes. I’m lucky in that I live in a major city with 50-70 schools in the area. As an example, Mike Boyle is literally right down the street at Boston University where he’s the head strength for the men’s hockey team.
Likewise, I bumped into Art Horne, head athletic trainer and strength coach at Northeastern University, two weeks ago, and he invited me to stop by and observe anytime I wanted. Given it’s roughly a 10-15 minute walk away, I’m totally going to do it.
The point is, try to make a concerted effort to go see other coaches in action. Networking is something that’s crucial for professional development, and it’s always cool to talk shop with other coaches and pick their brains.
A small piece of advice, though. You have two ears, two eyes, and one mouth……….use them in that order.
About a month ago we had a woman come in to OBSERVE and I actually saw her attempt to coach one of our athletes out of the blue.
Unless asked, that’s a big no-no. Not only that, she was all up in every coach’s grill asking questions and just being annoying when the place was jammed packed with athletes. I was thiiiiiis close to asking her to leave, but didn’t want to make a scene. Thankfully she wasn’t there for too long, but it definitely gave some food for thought with regards to what NOT to do when you go observe at another facility.
Rule of thumb: don’t suck! Go and watch. Ask questions when the time is right. And stay out of the way!
3. Fajita night. Sometimes I just need to turn my brain off and sit on a couch with Lisa and eat fajitas. We like to have “date night” every now and again where we make our own fajitas and then pop whatever came in the mail through Netflix into the DVD player.
Who says romance is dead?
4. Hill Sprints. Arguably one of my favorite forms of exercise. No equipment needed other than a hill and a pair of shoes. And maybe a pair of pants. Maybe.
Whenever I have a case of writer’s block or just feel like a pile of poop, I simply walk outside and perform some hill sprints, and instantly feel better.
Just exercise. Just get up a move for the love of god! Lift heavy things. I don’t care: deadlift your couch! Exercise has been proven to improve cognitive function and one’s sense of badassery.
5. Write s*** down. For the past 4-5 weeks, I’ve been in a massive training slump. In a nutshell, I’d show up to the facility, decide what didn’t hurt, and then toss some weight around. It sucked donkey balls, and my enthusiasm to train was pretty much non-existent.
Given I had no set plan in place, this shouldn’t come as any surprise. I know, I know………I’m always preaching the importance of having a plan in place. What can I say: I was in a rut.
Last weekend, though, I decided to nip things in the bud and actually write down my next four-weeks of programming. Wouldn’t you know it: this week has been a SOLID week of training.
What’s more, there’s an old saying that states the easiest way to increase your wealth by $25,000 is to write down FIVE things you need to do TODAY. Then, do them.
Easy enough. Write it down. It holds you more accountable.
6. When all else fails – Inject Spike into my left ventricle.
Works every time.
What do you do when you feel stale? Share your thoughts below
** or does it?