Becoming a Juggernaut

Have you ever had a desire to train, but never really got yourself past workout #2 (or even workout #1 for that matter)? You’re not alone, this is probably the biggest thing that people struggle with when starting a training plan. Wolfgang Gullich once said “The hardest part of training, is making the decision to start training at all”.

gullich

But, on the flip side of this, once you make it a few workouts in, it becomes easier. And before you know it, you have become a juggernaut – a force that cannot be stopped. This is when you’ll start seeing gains in your training, and before long, sticking to a schedule and training regularly will be a piece of cake.

Not sure where to start? Try one of the following workout challenges:

  • Finish every climbing session with a 5 minute circuit of 3 pullups, 6 pushups, 9 burpees
  • Finish every climbing session with a hangboard routine – 10 second hangs with 30 second rest intervals.
  • Pick 4 boulder problems just below your flash level. Climb each one back to back, only taking time to chalk up in between. Rest 3 minutes, and repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 sets.

So push past those feelings of discomfort and hardship during those first few workouts, because this is the path to achieving your goals!

Making Goals Stick

It’s been far too long since I’ve written anything, so to start the change in that, let’s talk about goals. Or more accurately how to help make you stick to your goals, and not let them fall to the wayside or slip through the cracks we call excuses.

We all know that goals are great – we need a bar of some sort to have something to strive for. But what happens when excuses take over and we let our progress towards our goals slip away? It either becomes much harder to achieve our goals, or they just fade away. So what’s a sure fire way to help you keep on track? Tell everybody. Make your goal public so that you have people that you become accountable to. The more people you tell about your goal, the higher the chance that people will be asking you about how it’s going or how your progress is. And since most of us don’t want to disappoint, or say “oh, I quit”, by telling people what we are working towards, we get a simple way to keep us on track, give us that push that we need to keep us training, learning, moving towards what we want.

There’s a couple other key things to do when setting a goal to help make them real. The first is to make sure there’s a timeline attached to your goal. Know when you want to achieve your goal by so that you don’t just keep putting it on the back burner, to be dealt with later. After you have your timeline, make your plan – how are you going to achieve said goal. Lastly, make it visible. You want it in your face everyday so that there’s no way you will forget about it. This could be a picture of what you want that’s posted somewhere you’ll see it, it could be a video that you watch everyday. What ever it is, make sure you have something to remind yourself about your goal.

So, to give you guys an example of goal accountability, I’m going to share with you my latest goal. This is something I decided on about a week ago, but will take me a full year to achieve. My goal is to make the Canadian National team next year and compete at a couple World Cup events. There you go, it’s now public. No backing out now.

What’s your goal? Are you keeping yourself accountable to what you want to achieve? Share your goals, give yourself that extra little bit of incentive to keep you on track. You’ll be amazed at what it does for your motivation!

The Power of Breath

I want you to picture a sports car. It doesn’t matter which one, whatever gets your fancy. Now think about the engine. It’s basic purpose is to take fuel and turn it into something (energy) that the car can use to propel itself, and the joyful driver down the road. Now, I know all cars do this, but the reason I wanted you to picture a sports car, is because it’s high end. I’ll get to the point of that in a minute…

McLaren-MP4-12C

Now I want you to think about yourself when you’re climbing. Your breathe is the equivalent to the engine in the high end sports car. It allows your body to take fuel (glucose) and turn it into energy (ATP). You need to think of yourself as a high end sports car, no matter what level you climb at.

Wolfgang Gullich

The process in which your muscles use oxygen to produce ATP energy is called cellular respiration. As you breath, your body obtains oxygen which enters the blood stream and is carried to your muscles. Some of the oxygen is used immediately, and the rest is stored by a protein called myoglobin. Since your muscles have to work harder during exercise, their demand for oxygen increases. This is the reason your breathing and heart rate increase, to pull more oxygen into the bloodstream. So what happens when you hold your breath when you climb or don’t breathe properly? Power output drops, and fatigue sets in.

An exhausted Flo!

This is why it’s so important to learn how to breath properly. To allow us to use our bodies like high end sports cars and perform the way we want to perform.

So how do you breathe properly you ask? Try and always breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Next, make sure that you are filling up your tank fully – start by filling the diaphragm (it should feel like your stomach is filling up), followed by the chest. You want to exhale when you make moves, and when you are resting, make sure to take a few deep breaths and exhale fully.

Master your breath, and you’ll find a whole new world of performance possibilities open up.

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