After reps on reps of Overhead Squat-recoveries things don’t always go to plan!
Jessica Stojnic and I had a good laugh about this, but damn her strength is through the roof! And her speed to run out of there 😂
🎓 📝 LAB REPORT-365 📝 🎓
#58 4 TIPS TO HELP YOU BREAK THROUGH YOUR RUT AND FIND YOUR INSPIRATION
Strength Performance Coach
We all have those days were we feel a bit flat. Crawling back into bed seems like a much more appealing option than getting up and getting on with our day. Sometimes we get into a rut and these days happen more often than we would like to admit. Fear not! Here are a few helpful tips for breaking through the blues and finding inspiration in places you would have never thought of!
As soon as you open your eyes and you can feel that lack of motivation creeping up on you, turn up the beats! And turn it on a little bit louder than you’re comfortable with at such an hour. After a couple minuets of your head rattling you’ll get used to it then into it! Music is a great way to inspire and pump you up on those down days. I’ve been all about the super epic instrumentals to get me going on my early morning commute. I get to work fired up and ready for the day.
OKAY. Before you blow this one off, I know it seems a bit cheesy, but these things really do work and are actually my #1 go to when I need to light a fire under my ass. I find an interesting one, usually that has some music too for the double whammy, and it’s the first thing that goes into my ears in the morning. I feel like a solider on my way off on a quest to beat something evil but it’s cool. Better then feeling like a sloth and dragging my ass to zombie my way through life ya? Plus Will Smith and Arnold (to name a few) speak some mad deep shit. Love it.
Or whatever kind of social media where you can watch a couple clips to get you excited about the day. Watch anything. Dogs doing silly things, record breaking Clean and Jerks.. Whatever you’re into (clearly I’m into both). Just a couple videos in the morning to simulate the brain and light up that fight in you, the desire to get up and work hard.
This one is a bit of a fun little project to start off but once it’s done and it’s staring you in the face every day its super effective. Think of your biggest dreams, the goals you want more than anything. Start small then add more and more onto the board. You want money? Put REAL money onto the board (We don’t have time for any funny money). You want a big new house? Find of photo of YOUR FUTURE HOUSE and put it in the bored. You want to travel the world? Win gold medal? Stand at the highest point on a podium? Save the fucking world? PUT IT ON THE BOARD. Look at it every morning when you get up and accept it as FACT. This is my life. This is my stuff. No doubt. No fear. Make it happen. Being REALISTIC is the most commonly travelled road to MEDIOCRITY. When your goals are clear it isn’t hard to grind because you know what you’re working for. Only YOU can make it happen and you’re the only one to blame if it doesn’t. Fight fear. Fight doubt and BELIEVE in your ability to succeed.
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How? I made a choice.
I made the decision to change after years of competing in individual and team sports believing “good” was ok. I want to be the best possible athlete my body will allow it to be. The only thing was I didn’t know how to do it. When I changed my path and took on the Fitness Industry as a career, it opened my eyes to a whole new world. Long story short, I was a Softball pitcher with the WORST shoulders ever. Reason = no education. Once I understood Strength Training along with anatomy, biomechanics, physics and physiology, it all made sense.
The positive effects:
• You understand the crazy things the human body is potentially capable of.
• Your mindset will change from being okay with “good” to “I want to be the best”.
• You know how to get there by the science of programming and a determined mindset.
• I don’t know about yours, but my whole body has changed for the better. Inside and out (see before and after strength training photos below).
• You build a ridiculously strong head game.
The negative effects:
• You become addicted to progress and never stop.
Take on the challenge. Find your reason to be strong. Everyone should have one!
– Mikaela Briggs – Performance Coach
Before I tore my ACL in Jan 2016, I was a super active human. I was training for my first Weightlifting Competition in March, I trained three times a week as a Quarterback and Wide Receiver for the Brisbane Blaze. My weekends would involve the swimming in the beautiful Queensland beaches, camping with the family, climbing mountains and we all know I loved to party.
Within the first 3 weeks after surgery, I noticed a HUGE mental shift. I had myself wishing I could do all the things I used to do everyday, I constantly put myself down for getting injured by saying I wasn’t good enough, strong enough, fast enough, etc. I was angry, frustrated and anxious about almost everything I did. My self esteem was lower than ever. I had no confidence in my self, particularly in the fact that I was an injured coach.
I needed a total change of focus at this stage. So I did. Since coming back to the gym, I’ve found my niche market I want to target for my business and developed a positive and productive routine from the time I wake up to go to sleep every single day.
This is how I did it:
Put myself in a supportive, encouraging and empowering environment.
Set goals. One each for personal, lifestyle, financial, career and relationships.
Make lists. Every day I list what I need to do to chip away at each goal
Got a Mentor. Talk to the people who have what you want.
Healthy eating habits. It’s crazy how much good food has an impact on your mood!
There are a few special people to thank dearly for the continuous support but you know who you are.
In summary, I needed a drive to grow and by feeding off the positive environment around me and believing I deserved to improve, lead me to be able to squat well over my bodyweight seven weeks post surgery, change my whole focus on life and business and improve my relationships immaculately.
Follow my journey further:
Mikaela Briggs – Performance Coach
Photo Credit: Anthony Rap
🎓 📝 LAB REPORT-365 📝 🎓 – #51 THE TRIGGER
Performance Based Goals to Help Reduce the Risk of Unsafe Habits and Support Mental Health in Females
To start I’d like to mention that this definitely applies to men as well. I’m writing specifically directed to women only because I can confirm a lot of this information myself based on my personal and professional experiences with clients/friends/family. Another point I’d like to clear up is my use of the word “athletes” in this article. I refer to all of my clients as athletes. Anyone with a performance goal is in “training” and is an “athlete”. So many people don’t see themselves as athletic or aren’t comfortable in referring to themselves as an athlete, especially in the early day of their fitness journey, but YOU are an athlete. You bust your ass to achieve your goals. End of story. I’ll go into how changing your perception of yourself can help you achieve your goals in greater detail another day.
Let’s start with some facts. Energy balance is the key goal for performance based athletes. If your balance is off it will eventually adversely affect your performance by either not having the energy reserves to keep you fuelled for the day or, on the flip side, could weigh you/slow you down. I can tell you I have experienced both sides of this spectrum and neither is very fun when you are working towards a clear set goal. When I say energy balance I am referring to protein, fat, and carbohydrate intake. Our primary source of energy as humans is glycogen (carbs) so getting you carb intake on point will have a massive effect on your performance.
There will come a time in most athletes’ lives that they’ll either want to reduce fat or gain muscle. This is achieved by intentionally offsetting the energy balance by either reducing or increasing macro intake. A safe fat loss goal is around 0.5kg per week which would require approximately a 500 calorie deficit. To add mass at a similar rate you’d need to be eating a 500+ calorie per week surplus.
When a client comes to me with either one of these goals, and something I’ve learned to implement in my own life, I acknowledge what they are saying before shifting the focus to performance first. Why I do this is I want it really imbedded in their minds that this is the number 1 goal before body composition. This is creating a trigger. An off switch, alarm bells, a warning sign that will subconsciously switch if bad habits start to appear such as disordered eating, depression, lack of confidence or drive, all things that can happen to women that are changing their routine and habits. In saying this, some women have great self-control, are super confident and experienced and in that case perhaps this approach isn’t always necessary but that would be up to your discretion to decide if this client, friend, family member, or yourself fits into that category before moving forward. There’s definitely no harm done in creating a trigger just in case.
What will happen is if, in the example of fat loss, the calorie deficit is too great for some reason whether it be skipping meals and intentionally trying to shed at a faster rate, or poor guidance by a dietician or nutritionist, the athletes performance will suffer, they will become tried, lose strength, be unable to perform adequately in training and day to day life. Tigger flips. “ My number 1 goal is to squat 120kgs and I’m drained half way through my warm up reps”. This will be a BIG red flag for someone with clear set performance goals. Someone without a performance goal will notice these changes too but their primary concern will be how much flatter their tummy looks. They are far more likely to go longer and create more damage such as reductions in metabolic rate, disturbed menstrual cycle and decreased testosterone levels. This leads to decreased strength/power output and impaired bone density.
A female looking to put on mass will be less likely to see their performance suffer. In fact they’re probably going to see strength/ power gains and be hitting PRs like crazy at first. Then the weight gain starts. Some women will embrace this, loving their new found curves, which is great, while others will really struggle watching the scale go up and feeling their cloths get tighter. This is where you’re more likely to see a shift in mental health in the way of lack of confidence, anxiety, and even full on depression. This is where a good solid support system in place is vital to success, people that are there to use the trigger for you if you’re struggling to flip it yourself. “Remember, larger muscles= greater potential for strength and a double body weight deadlift is your NUMBER 1 GOAL. The rest will come after. This is a process.”
Life is hard. Living up to what society thinks we should be like/look like/ act like is not only hard but its bullshit. Falling into the flames that are fuel by junk reality TV, social media, mainstream advertising (just to name a few) is also hard. We have so much access to viewing genetic freaks of nature or people with enough money to make it look like that they are genetic freaks of nature that our view on reality is easily blurred. To clarify, I am not a fan of the “accept me for me” social movement that some LAZY people abuse to try and force society to accept them. What I do believe in is that women come in all shapes and sizes and they need systems and support set up to help them safely reach their goals.
I’ve talked about science backed facts here followed by a system that has worked for me personally and professionally. I wasn’t a natural born athlete. I haven’t been strongly involved in health and fitness my whole life. I do have had a long history of disordered eating and haven’t always been mentally strong. I am not a genetic freak. I will never be a size 0. I’m 5’3 and 64kgs. I’ve been around 60ishkgs since I was 12 years old. What I am, is trying. Trying to respect my body, improve my health, train like an athlete, eat for performance, sleep for recovery and listen to the safety triggers that I’ve put in place. I have, for the first time in my life, been able to see and acknowledge that I was cutting too fast and immediately start back dieting because of these triggers and because I have GOALS. Big ones actually, and super shredded abs doesn’t even come close to standing on a platform and hitting PRS, all white lights, and having all my lifts well over bodyweight/ double body weight. Those goals kept my head on straight.
Strength Performance Coach