A Pull Up…Great, now what?

A Pull Up…Great, now what?

I posted an article regarding goals the other day. It was one I had written last year. This is a follow up thought…

Last week a client of mine did a pull up…for the first time. She was fired up (and I mean fired up). Everyone in the studio knew she just did her first-ever pull up. I think she might have signed autographs if I had supplied the pen. It was great. Wish you could have seen the smile. She even said, “I’m not a touchy-feely person and I know you’re not a touchy-feely person…but if I was and if you were I’d give you a big hug!”

Until that point, it had been a rough day. She wasn’t looking forward to working out, she hadn’t eaten enough and was low on fuel, etc., etc. Then she comes in and knocks out the pull up. Now mind you, this was a goal we had set a couple months previous. It was something she had always wanted to do but had been informed by previous trainers there was just no way that was happening. So she’d given up on that…until she told me. I figured if she put out the work we’d get there in 2 or 3 months. Got it done in about 2.

What happens next? 30 minutes of jubilation and then the proverbial crash. “What now?” We hit the goal that she had for much of her lifetime. Pretty big deal. Now, it’s over. What next.

The next 5 minutes, or so, as we finished up our training session we pondered that thought. On the one hand, since I’m the trainer I’m supposed to do all that “way to go, you’re the greatest, you achieved a lifelong goal, I’m so proud of you, let’s get started on the next big milestone” stuff, right? Good luck with that. I don’t do that stuff. I’ll leave that to the cheerleaders. In truth, I was excited for her. Always fun to see people getting better. And yes, we talked about the next goal right then and there.

But the reality of the situation couldn’t go without mention. It was just a goal. They’re fun. They help us strive and achieve and improve. These are important things. We should be striving to grow and use our time of life wisely. Otherwise, what are we doing?

But goals are not THE most important things.

And the realization of this comes in the jubilation that is ever-so-quickly lost following the attainment of them. There is more to life, more to eternity than a goal. If you haven’t figured out what that is, I hope you’re looking.

To Resolve or Not to Resolve

The New Year’s Resolution…ah what a wonderful time that is.

I often ask during this time of year whether people engage in this activity or not. The responses I get are usually fairly interesting. Some answer yes, most no. But rather to my surprise most of them are somewhat tongue in cheek with regards to the resolutions that people profess to engage in (or have engaged in). It’s almost as if people know they are doomed to failure or just have to laugh about previous attempts to conquer unrealistic expectations. Whatever the case, I had usually resigned myself to agree that the New Year’s Resolution was of little to no value and therefore did NOT engage in such a practice. That was, until my college years.

I once had a conversation with a good friend of mine regarding the topic. In it he explained how he and his family sat down at their dining room table at the start of each year. It was at this table that each member of the family explained in detail to the others what his or her goals and desires were for the upcoming year. True goals…true desires. Suddenly the idea of becoming “resolved” about something at the beginning of the year took on new meaning. It didn’t need to be simply trying to put an end to an unwanted habit or making a drastic life change in 2 weeks. It could be about working toward something real…something I was passionate about and desired to make a lasting change in.

So is it worth it? Making that decision? I believe it can be if the perspective is good, the motivation is right, and some helpful tools are utilized. Here are a few (though not an exhaustive list) tools to get started in the right direction.

The most important place to start, I have found, is finding something that is of importance to you. It must be something that has lasting value. If it does not, it will again become just another quickly discarded resolution. Once you’ve found depth in your direction, there are 3 other general tools to use:

1. Set a goal that is specific and measurable: if you don’t you may never know if you’ve truly accomplished it.

2. Set both short and long term goals: starting with the end in mind and working your way backwards in order to “baby step” your way to the goal is helpful.

3. Set goals that are realistic yet lofty: if it doesn’t stretch you, it’s not a goal. But something too far fetched may be more of a discourager than an encourager. This may be an area where you seek advice in order to find out what a reasonable goal is (for example, knowing how much one can increase his/her vertical jump in a month or decrease bodyfat is wise to get input on).

4. Write it down: I’ve heard it said that it’s only a wish until you get it on paper. And I might add that once you’ve got it written down, share it with those that are close to you so they can keep you accountable and encourage you along the way. Research shows that adherence to fitness goals can increase 200-300% when you are held accountable on a regular basis.

Core Conditioning December 2007

Here is the December program for the Core Conditioning group training class I hold at Hayashida & Associates Physical Therapy Clinic. For those of you who are athletes, weekend warriors, or just looking for something different than the typical “gym” workout…put this into effect for a month and watch your agility, stability, balance, explosiveness and core strength improve. If you are an athlete, you can utilize this program as a pre-season, in-season or off season program for improving strength and power endurance.

Variations and progressions exist with each exercise. Holler with questions:

Dynamic Warm Up (5-10 minutes)

Core Circuit (2-4 Sets / 30 seconds each / 0-5 seconds between exercises)
Swiss Ball Prone Torso Rotations
Double Leg Lowers w/Draw In
Medicine Ball Rotator Cuff Dribbles on Wall
Swiss Ball Supine Bridge w/MB hold between knees
Prone Y Lift
Swiss Ball Back Oblique Crunch

Explosive / Balance Circuit (same sets/time)
Forward/Backward Mini Band Walks w/Balance Step
Wall Drill (1 counts/2 counts)
Drop Step and Balance
Power Push Up (Modified)
Single Leg Balance and Touch
Zig Zag Hop and Stick

Agility / Lift Circuit (same sets/time)
Footfire Linear and Lateral
Medicine Ball RDL-Overhead Squat
DB Single Leg/Single Arm Row
Agility Ladder
Slideboard Leg Curl to Hip Lift
Cable Push/Pull

Active-Isolated Stretching Cool Down (5-10 minutes)
Arm Hugs
Knee Hug Walks
Quad Stretch Walks
Straight Leg High Kick Walks
Piriformis Stretch Walks
Hip Circles

Make sure you can do exercises with perfect posture and landing technique prior to progressing to more difficult variations.


Consult a physician prior to beginning any exercise program and stop at the onset of any pain or dizziness.

Advocare Scientific And Medical Advisory Board Member Wins Prestigious International Award

excerpt from Advocare.com

Dr. Carl Keen, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis, was awarded the Outstanding Researcher Prize at the Third International Conference on Polyphenols and Health, held in Kyoto, Japan, Nov. 25-28, 2007. Dr. Keen is a world-renowned expert in the study of flavanols (active compounds found in cocoa, green tea, purple grape products, other fruits and vegetables, and a number of AdvoCare products), and shared the award with Dr. Augustin Scalbert of France and Dr. Helmut Sies of Germany.

“The award reflects the efforts of a great many people on our research team” says Dr. Keen. “Just like AdvoCare, combined efforts, discipline and dedication to a common goal are some of the keys to success.”

AdvoCare’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Board has over 250 years of professional experience in nutrition, medicine, sports performance, pharmacology and health sciences. The vision of Dr. Carl Keen and others on the Board continue to bring the safest, most effective and innovative products to the marketplace. Congratulations Dr. Keen!

Prevail Conditioning