Happy New Year? It Can Be

Here we are again. Another year has passed. 2013 had its ups and downs, but more ups than downs. My family grew by one beautiful little girl. There were struggles, but looking through the prism of hindsight, they were bigger in my mind than what they actually were.

This is relatively common. Our struggles were only struggles because we let them be.

So as we embark on 2014, let’s do our best to limit our struggles. At least physically.

How is this possible? A flexible plan. Right now, I’m constructing a plan for myself. I’ve set some lofty goals and I know I need programming and benchmarks. Included in those goals:

500 lb rack pull
450 lb squat
285 lb bench press

That’s adding 100 lbs, 90 lbs, and 40 lbs, respectively. All attainable. All challenging. All impossible without a plan.

Most people start the new year wanting to exercise more. This is where they fail. Before they even start. They exercise. They don’t train. The goal is abstract. It’s unrealistic. It’s sporadic. The opposite is true when you train.

Does training mean a strictly regimented and unenjoyable plan. It can be, but it’s just as prone to failure as no plan. If there isn’t room to make adjustments, you will not be successful. For example, a benchmark isn’t met. Is the plan a waste? Probably not, but maybe some minor adjustments need to be made.

No plan is perfect and everyone will suffer setbacks. There no pro athletes reading this, so our day jobs will interfere. You will fall off the proverbial wagon of training. It happens. But the will to remain consistent can overcome if you follow your plan.

Will 2014 be the year you make that resolution happen? Maybe. But hoping, wishing, or dreaming it won’t make it happen. Hard work, consistency, and encouragement will. The best way to predict your future is to make it happen yourself.

Have a happy new year!

Have a Meathead Christmas

I was recently reading an article about what to get the fitness buff on your Christmas list. I was slightly disappointed, though. I get that everyone is trying to sell something, but when every other other item is something you sell, you aren’t being helpful anymore. So to counteract this, here’s a list of things any meathead would want and/or need and the relationship level for each gift.

You Don’t Care For This Coworker

Lacrosse Ball
Reasoning: If you have that meathead you don’t like in your office pool, look no further than the lacrosse ball. An underrated piece of equipment, it can be used to massage sore glutes, forearms, and quads. A good tool for rejuvenation and recuperation.

What this says: I read a blog about meathead gifts and I don’t like you very much, but Merry Christmas!

Coworker You Do Like

Lifting Straps
Reasoning: There’s a 10 dollar limit on the office Secret Santa and this dude looks like he lifts. He nods and waves when he comes in. Doesn’t leave the coffee pot empty. Did a keg stand at the retreat. That guy’s alright!

Although I’m not a huge fan of these for their intended purpose (see below), they are good for assisting in developing proper squat technique.

What this says: 10 dollar limit bro. You couldn’t have done any better.

We’re Friends

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Fat Gripz
Reasoning: This gift is about helping a friend. It shows you took some time, discovered an area of weakness, and made a solid purchase.

This will assist the fitness guru in attaining a stronger grip. Grip is an unfortunate limiting factor for strength development. These can also be used to take some stress off of your elbows during pushing movements.

What this says: Your weak handshake is embarrassing for you and me. I choose to associate with you. Get better.

The Cardio King/Queen That You Are Genetically Linked To

Wahoo Blue Heart Rate Monitor
The Reasoning: Your dad/sister/cousin won’t shut up about the marathons, half marathons, 10k’s, 5k’s and other stupid events they participate in. So allow them to track even more stupidity like calories burned. Maybe then they’ll shut up about “runner’s high”, which apparently happens right before they crap their pants.

In all seriousness, this is a good gift for the meathead as well. If they are hitting up some met/con, the app associated with the device can tell if you’re slacking.

What this says: I put some thought into a gift and although I may not approve of your cardio lifestyle, I love you just the same.

We Have Offspring Together

Weight Releasers
Reasoning: Your spouse’s pathetic bench/deadlift/squat is hurting the relationship. If there was a way to load up the bar on the eccentric phase of the lift, but still be able to knock out reps on the concentric part of the lift, maybe you would love them more.

These are a great tool for busting through plateaus. They provide for an increased load without the fear of getting pinned under a bar.

What this says: Honey, it’s time to crank it up a notch!

We Have Offspring Together And You Still Love Me
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Prowler or Dog Sled

Reasoning: You’ve been together awhile and you want to express your love monetarily. These things are not cheap. If you are planning to purchase one of these, there is no weighing of naughty or nice. This is “Do I have the world’s greatest spouse?” territory. If the answer is yes, then purchase one.

There is no better workout than pushing a sled. It’s versatile. Develop strength? Load up the plates. Work on endurance? Push it for 20 minutes with little rest in between intervals. Truly a great, great piece of equipment.

What this says: I love you and realize that this, not a Lexus, will give you a December to remember.

There you have it. A list of meathead gifts for all situations. If you’re looking for any last minute gifts for the author, I’d like my boss, Frank Shirley….