“If there is no enemy within, the enemy
on the outside can do us no harm.”
This is an ancient Chinese proverb that hits very close to home for many people. However, one must have a very open and honest opinion with him or herself to fully understand this quote. Many times, the reason for failure among so many people has nothing to do with the outside circumstances, and everything to do with the environment between their own ears. So often, we hold ourselves back more than anyone else. We think of what may happen and create this false story, and become nervous, and start breathing heavily, and sweating, and we become afraid and do not want to go, and then when we get there…all is fine. This happens all too often and many times we do not even show up to see that the end result is not bad at all. The man in the mirror can be your biggest cheerleader or your biggest critic as well. If you and “him” are not on the same page, it will be difficult to move forward. What this means, is you have to be 100% honest with yourself. You have to decide who you are, what you are about, and what you want to become. Once you do this, you will start to love yourself as the person you are, not what you compare yourself to in magazine or on TV. We always compare out worst with others best. We compare our hair in the morning to the girl on the cover of a magazine who went through hair and make for two hours only to then be photo shopped before the picture is published. Give an honest look into your own eyes and see who you really are. Get on the same page and rid yourself of your inner enemy. That critic who is always so hard on you. Become teammates in this fight against life. Work together to move forward, and like the quote says, if this become so, the enemy outside (temptation of failure) can do you no harm.
Exercise of the Week: Reverse Lunge
Just as we mentioned with the squat in week one, hitting the legs is one of the most important aspects of fitness from all perspectives; strength, aesthetics, power, etc. The reverse lunge is very similar to the squat but with more movement and therefore more stability. The reverse lunge is a great way to exhaust muscles without lifting a large amount of weight, due to the fact that you are now working one leg at a time. The points of interest are also very similar to a squat; you always want to have your weight on your front foot and drive upward through your heel; not your toes. You can have your upper body straight up or slightly forward. Leaning slightly forward will immediately put the stress on your glutes; you will feel it as soon as you make the adjustment. Lunges also are great to work in the aspect of balance, which is simply working the small, quick-firing muscles in your legs. Also, with the stepping motion forward and backwards your core must be strong in order to keep stable.
The important things to note about performing a reverse lunge correctly are:
- Keep your core engaged; most of the weight should be on your front heel
- By adjusting your upper body weight forward or back you can hit different muscles
- Step and find balance before dropping to focus on hitting the correct muscles
More on the Reverse Lunge: The two most common ways to perform the reverse lunge is with a barbell across your shoulders (above) or with dumbbells in your hands. If you are not yet ready for additional weight, begin with body weight lunges and even stand close to something for help with balance. Use smart progressions to help prevent injury. Once you are ready for more weight, you can add movements to make the exercise more full body, such as curl the dumbbells at the bottom of the rep (right). If you add movement make sure you adjust the weight accordingly. Your legs will always be able to move more weight than your arms can.
Eat to live; do not live to eat.
When you go to a zoo and you see the animals, although very different from their natural habitat, the zoo does their best to imitate the natural environment they are used to. Along with that, the animals are fed a diet that replicates that of the wild. For example, the Lion is not eating a bowl of cereal. So here is a question, if a human was put in a zoo, what would he/she be fed? When people talk about eating meat they use the excuse, “well our ancestors did it.” That is true, and this is not about eating meat or not, it is about the fact that our ancestors ate what they did in order to survive. They hunted and gathered food so they did not die. People in this day and age live to eat; which I call addiction. We do not need to get into a debate about addiction or eating meat or anything other than the fact is that humans and all other animals eat in order to replenish their body with vital vitamins and nutrients needed to build, maintain, and protect themselves. This has long been lost through the ages of fast food, microwaves and popular restaurants. Take a step back to the basics and eat in order to live. You may also begin to think about what you are actually putting into your mouth as well.
“What does your ALTERA Life look like?”
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