I wish to give out one final free copy of The Birth of a Hero Vol 2 before it's imminent release.
If you'd like to be the winner, just comment in the section of this blog post (relatively briefly) who your all time favorite superhero is, and why he/she should have a complex named after him/her.
I will select one--scratch that--TWO winners at random tomorrow night!
I hope you enjoy this mini-excerpt from the The Birth of a Hero Vol 2 on mental toughness.
How Fares Mental Toughness
In middle school I played basketball.
I’ll pause, so that you may laugh that one out.
Anyways, my team possessed what I would say to be an average amount of talent. My ranking amongst the roster, admittedly, heavily pulled the talent mean down. And if it were a calculus class, graded on a curve, my presence would have been more welcome than it was. Then again, I fare better at derivatives then I do hoops, so I reckon my previous point to be nullified.
Even as a wishful preteen, I did not play with the high hopes that I someday would share the court with the likes of LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. I believe it important to dream big, but equally important is it to recognize reality.
Nor did I play to rank myself amongst notable company. My presence on the team fooled no one into believing me a basketball player any more than my karaoke performances ever have anyone of the idea that I am to be the next national heartthrob of teenage mademoiselles.
I did not play for fame, glory, or riches. Again, I’m well-grounded in reality. I did not play for the love of the game, the coach, or the teammates. The game itself bores me; the coach was a jerk, and the teammates nincompoops. I did not play because mommy wanted me to, or to make daddy proud. My mom was the first to poke fun at the inappropriateness of my decision, and my dad never hesitant to point out the incompatibility of me and a basketball court. I did not play to win a fair maidens heart. Girls had germs back then. Still do.
I played for two reasons, of which are similar in nature, to what has compelled me to do what I do now.
The first and foremost reason was that even while I reviled the sport, I respected the practice. Cancel that, I loved the practice. Our coach, a red-bearded man, pale like a lamp shade and girthy as such, knew little of effective physical conditioning. His approach was that of the traditionalist history teacher turned basketball coach. Unremittingly, he ran us into the ground. Now this, I loved!
Certainly, it was my abnormal love affair with the infliction of sprints, push-ups, burpees, and other etceteras (a passion shared by no other), that garnered me a position on the team. I made the cut (believe it or not there actually was one), not because of talent, but staying power.
Many times the coach tried to break me, physically and emotionally, hoping that I would opt-out on my own. I offered no such courtesy. Like an annoying gnat at a barbeque, I kept coming back again and again and again.
After two years on the team, I learned little of basketball, but much in the ways of toughness.
As testimony, at the time of obtainment, I was the youngest of any individual to ever be numbered amongst the ranks of certified Russian Kettlebell Challenge instructors, under Pavel Tsatsouline. I attribute my success not to favorable genetics (aside from my pretty feet, I have none), but to my mental resilience and adherence to a “tough” training program.
What I have learned, is that toughness, like strength, and like movement, is a skill.
As I've previously noted, one develops a skill by operating according to a particular set of rules. There is no other way to adhere to these rules, or to learn to implement them to the degree of mastery, than by operating (or in a more lay sense by doing).
To understand this is to know what it means when I say that if you want to get tough, then you must practice being tough. The rule is that you have to train under conditions which aim to break you. And you must not break.
And to that point, I pose the question of “how fares your mental toughness?”
In celebration of the impending release of the Birth of a Hero Vol 2, let's put it to the test...
The Mental Toughness Workout:
Do not approach this session warily. Completion is possible, but not by the timid or the faint of heart.
Inside this mental toughness workout, which I have affectionately dubbed "The Abattoir", you will find two self-wrecking creations of mine. I proudly introduce you to "The Aristocrat" and a re engineered version of "The Flynn-Man Maker".
Here's what I got for you. Let's see if you like it:
3 Rounds of the Aristocrat
2 Rounds of the Flynn Man-Maker
2 Rounds of the Holy Fiver
2 Rounds of the Great Destroyer
Go as heavy as you can (within reason) with each complex.
If you'll permit me but a few general announcements:
1. The Birth of a Hero Vol 2 is (tentatively) less than a week away from release.
2. To celebrate, I'd like to give out a few more free copies.
3. For a chance to win, and to help me best serve you, please comment on this post, telling me what your number one fitness goal is as of right now. Nothing is off limits, I just want to know a little bit more about you.
I will select one winner at random tomorrow night.
KWOW: Episode 19 - Peg Leg
This deceptively challenging pressing workout is straight out of BOAH Vol 2, and is a drill I subject all of my clients to when first learning the kettlebell military press. The one-leg press punishes poor posture and allows little room for error.
To understand this is to know that if your press is out of whack, then you'll most likely end up on your back!
I will be direct and to the point, with no fancy introduction or warm up.
The Birth of a Hero Volume 2 is less than a week away from release. I have kept its development a closely guarded secret, and will provide further details as to why and what you can expect later in the week.
However, if you'd like a chance to score a FREE copy (before it is officially released to the world), tell me what your favorite kettlebell complex or KWOW is in the comment section.
I will select two winners at random tomorrow night.
I hope you enjoy this brief excerpt from BOAH 2 on the futility of exercise programs.
A well designed fitness program is much like a well-thought out recipe. To bake a spectacular cake, the finest ingredients and most brilliant of recipes are only useful to the extent that they are entrusted to a skillful baker, who understands the proper ordering, dosage, and relation of said ingredients.
Even the most wonderful of recipes, when entrusted to a novice practitioner, often results in a lackluster cake—simply because he/she lacks the competency to implement the recipe to the degree it deserves. To connect the dots, even the most effective exercise program, when bestowed to someone who has not developed the skill of exercising (some may refer to it as an art) will fail to deliver impressive results—simply because he/she lack the competency to implement it to the degree it deserves.
A skill is developed when you form a habit of operating according to a particular set of rules. Furthermore, there is no other way to form a habit of operation than by operating. This is exactly what it means to say one learns by doing.
I do not want you to think of what’s to follow as an exercise program, but rather, a set of rules. As I described in my book Fitter, Happier, More Productive, strict exercise programs are frequently futile when prescribed to the inexperienced. When you understand and operate according to a set rules, strict periodized exercise programs become obsolete. That is what it means to say one is skilled in the art of self-programming.
That is what it means to say one has become skilled in the art of exercising.
Kettlebell Workout of the Week: Episode 18
- YOU VS GODZILLA
Just when you thought the nightmare was over.
Gentleman, if possible, perform this KWOW with 2 x 24kg bells.
Women, if possible, opt for 2 x 16kg bells.
YOU VS GODZILLA:
Alternating Lunge to Press (5R + 5L)
In life, there is no more painful a curse, than to be on poor terms with yourself. Also note that such a curse is self-inflicted through the neglect of what I believe to be the two foundational requirements for exceptional living.
1. Vitality of body.
My definition of which is one that is free from all ailments as far as practicable. A body that requires little but offers much, is resilient and spirited. A healthy body is not just absent ill-health, but vigorous.
2. Tranquility of mind.
Tranquility of mind (a concept I first learned from reading the works of the Ancient Greek philosopher Democritus) is what the Greeks called “euthymia”:
“A mind that is well-disposed to itself, happy in its own condition, and can bear its own company. A mental state that follows a smooth and unwavering course and is not interrupted with false excitements or depressions.”
Everything is as your thoughts make them so. No external pleasures can override the deep lack brought about by a lack of confidence and satisfaction with oneself.
These two criterions are, unmistakably, unattainable. Ideals are not meant to be obtained, only pursued, for it is the pursuit, not the obtainment that matters. Do not judge success on whether or not you ever reach such a pinnacle, but rather, who you become in your quest. Should anyone ever achieve either of these two states, I suppose that’d make them a sage. Such people seem to be as prevalent as unicorns.
The 5 Principles for Exceptional Living:
1. Eat Less and Move More
Over production of insulin, from a high eating frequency, is slowly cooking America to death. Combine that with a sedentary lifestyle and you’ve discovered the function for accelerated aging.
On the contrary, short intense exercise combined with fasting keeps the mind and the body biologically young.
Do not overcomplicate the matter as most do. You do not need a strict exercise regimen or dietary protocol to achieve physical excellence.
Abstain from food during the day, move around often and sporadically (sprint, push, pull, crawl, roll, squat, etc), and consume the vast majority of your calories in the evening.
2. Read Often
Words are nourishment for the mind. Make it a habit to read every day. But avoid the trash. While you may find a penny in a garbage can, there are much better places to look for something of value.
A book is only worth reading if it challenges you intellectually, and encourages you to reach and pull yourself up to a higher level of enlightenment. I doubt you’ll receive any such courtesy from the Twilight series.
Here are my three personal favorite non-fiction works that I reference almost daily:
- How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler
- The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
- Psyco-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
3. Do Nothing Some of the Time
I challenge you, starting tomorrow, to do nothing for ten minutes every day. As I did on my first attempt, you will find this meditative drill to be exceptionally difficult. The objective is to be only in the present. Do not let your mind wander into the future, or regress to the past.
In today’s crowded society, meditation has fallen to the wayside. People have grown uncomfortable in solitude, and often seek out company not because they need it, but because they cannot bear their own.
Learning to find comfort in your own mind takes time, practice, and consistency, but yields deep feelings of self-satisfaction and serenity. Nothing works better than doing nothing for resetting the mind. Ten minutes a day is all I’m asking.
4. Keep a Few Good Friends and Avoid Contamination
You become the average of the five people you hang out with most—isn’t that what they say?
Nobody is perfect, so when pursuing friendship, I encourage you to seek out the “least bad”.
Disease starts when you mix the healthy with the sick. So avoid those who spend their time complaining, whining, and lamenting. Their intentions may be all well and good, but their negativity is infectious.
Also avoid people who preface their sentences with statements such as “can I be honest with you”, or “can I tell you the truth?” What the hell are these people getting at anyways? Such pretenses are unnecessary to people who are genuinely sincere, and indicative of those who are only conditionally honest.
5. Find a Purpose
What makes it worth being born?
What causes joy in being numbered amongst the living?
What makes it all worth the hustle—the trial, the tears, the sweat?
The answer, I deeply believe, is finding a purpose in life. There is no greater return to be had than from dedicating your time to something greater than yourself.
To this end, I believe that everybody should have a little PMS. That’s a personal mission statement, mind you. Developing a personal mission statement takes time and deep thought, but will offer your life clarity, impetus, and fulfillment.
Want To Win a FREE eBook?
I wish to conduct market research. Would you be so kind as to help me out?
I simply want to know what YOU would like to see more here at Chronicles Of Strength.
Do you want more gruesome kettlebell complexes?
Perhaps more insight on nutrition?
Whatever you enjoy, and derive the most value from, is what I aim to provide.
So I ask of you, please drop a brief note in the comment section outlining exactly what you'd like to see more of in the coming months on this website.
For your kind efforts, I will select five people at random to win any one of our eBooks at choosing.
Thank you for all that you do and all of your continued support!
Kettlebell Workout of the Week:
Episode 17 - Bottoms Up!
PS-CLICK HERE to check out The Birth of a Hero Vol 2!
When: September 17th at 8pm (Eastern)
Where: Hosted From Pat Flynn's Secret Lair
Most complain that life is short, but that is untrue. Life has been provided in the most generous of quantities, allowing for the greatest of achievements and experiences, so long as the whole of it is well-invested!
Unfortunately, most squander the vast majority of it on the completion of useless tasks...
Don’t spend another single second of your life doing something that doesn't make you incredibly happy—or struggling to succeed at doing what you love.
Discover how YOU can generate smart, passive income every month—doing only what you love—to support the lifestyle of your dreams. It’s all possible, and there's never been a better time than NOW to cash in on your passion!
If you love fitness, and want to make a great living—scratch that—want to create the ULTIMATE LIFESTYLE out of HELPING OTHERS realize their full physical potential, then this FREE webinar may be the most transformative two hour event of your life!
DO NOT HESITATE OR DELAY.
SEATING AT THIS EVENT IS LIMITED AND WILL FILL UP EXTREMELY FAST!
Here's a Little Bit of What I Will Be Covering at this Unprecedented FREE Two-Hour Event:
- The Ultimate Lifestyle Fitness Business Model
Escape the conventional business lifestyle and learn how to create the ultimate LIFESTYLE BUSINESS. I’m talking about minimizing work and maximizing peak experiences in your life.
- How to Attract MORE Customers
Sit back and relax as we take you by the hand and show you our battle-field tested fitness marketing system—guaranteed to keep your pipeline full of hot new leads.
- How to Convert MORE Customers
Discover how to prevent how leads from falling through the cracks and how to automate the sales process with our bulletproof conversion systems.
- How to Retain MORE Customers
There’s little sense in bringing in new customers if you can’t keep the ones you already have! Learn unique techniques and community building activities that ensure your customers become more than just clients—they become friends—they become “lifers”!
- How to get started with almost zero upfront costs (it’s easier than most people think)!
Don’t go broke before you even get started! Learn how you can secure a location for next to nothing, and get your business up and running in as little as two weeks!
- How to harness the profitability of “one to many” and maximize your dollar to hour ratio!
Discover how to minimize work while maximizing pay—so that you spend less time stressing about your business, and more time doing the things that you love. Like eating Mexican food, drinking beer (cheat days only of course), and watching Kung Fu.
Discover How YOU Can Replace the Mundane Business Lifestyle With the Ultimate Lifestyle Business!
- The Truth About Social Media
How to use Facebook advertising to generate highly qualified leads, increase your brand equity, and effectively position yourself as the go-to-expert in your area.
- Discover How to Actually Get Paid What Your Worth
No more confusion about pricing. I’m going to give you three proven pricing models—and show you exactly what you should be charging!
- Attract COOLER clients who you will actually enjoy coaching
No more dealing with Negative Nancy or Flakey Phil. I’m going to teach you exactly what you need to do attract the most qualified—and the downright coolest clients—that you’ll not only want to work with, but would want to hang out with anyways!
- Unsexy, but Necessary Business Processes that Often Separate the Winners from the Losers!
Discover simple, easy to implement business processes that automate work, eliminate waste, and will provide you with a huge competitive advantage over the competition. This is where 99% of fitness business owners fail—can you afford to be one of them?
I look forward to teaching you EVERYTHING you need to know to start, run, and grow your very own lifestyle fitness business!
- Pat Flynn
PS - I am testing out a new webinar software for this event, and space is extremely limited! If you are serious about running your very own fitness business, CLICK HERE to register before all of the seats are taken!
Stress and anxiety are not the consequences of an external source, but rather, your opinion of it; moreover, your reaction to it.
If you don’t like what you experience—that is your own fault—that is your own judgment—and nobody’s preventing you from changing your attitude.
Crying instead of laughing over spilt coffee doesn’t make it any less spilt—only you more wretched.
Humans don’t have a fixed action pattern—you have complete control over how you respond to every event in your life—this is what separates us from the goose and the bear.
Upon the arrival of winter, the goose can only fly south and the bear always becomes lethargic. These creatures have preprogrammed response options. We have the blessing of choice.
The past weighs heavy on no one. The burden lies within our present perception of it. The same can be said of the future.
The cost of any event is sunk. If something stresses you out, you can reduce the burden only by changing your attitude.
Blaming is comforting, but self-depreciating. Acceptance and thoughtful change, on the other hand, demolishes all obstacles.
So respond positively to the negative, respond positively to the positive, and remain indifferent to all things indifferent.
Kettlebell Workout of the Week:
Episode 16 - SNATCHZILLA
When all else fails, pounding some KWOW's makes for excellent stress management!
Have a stress free day!
- Pat Flynn
PS - What techniques do you use to handle stress? Please share them in the comment section.
Should imagination fail me, I often retreat to the double clean and press—as it is my most familiar metabolic cubbyhole. I use the term cubbyhole, because I have entrenched myself into this movement to the point of it almost feeling…comfortable?
Odd, I know, that such a systemically demanding movement could be worn like a pair of old slippers; but thus is the case!
This KWOW features the masochistic 8x8 protocol:
8 sets x 8 reps of the double clean and press.
Keep rest under 1 minute between sets and go as heavy as possible.
PS - Post some love and questions in the comment section.
PPS - Check out the Birth of a Hero
The human mind is naturally mobile. It welcomes—scratch that—invites distractions and stimulations. What’s most interesting is how it seems like the mind wishes to be worn out by useless duties rather than those of a more productive nature.
Every now and then a pesky itch needs to be scratched, and even if it temporarily hinders our progress, shooting the proverbial shit provides mental utility—if nothing more than contributing to the serenity of our minds.
The problems, as they most often do, arise when we scratch the itch too often. Pick at a scab too much, eventually it will bleed, and potentially worsen to the point of infection. The same can be said about how distractions affect the mind—a few feel good, alleviate tension, and may even unclutter your mental bandwidth. Too many and we become infected with the habits of the unproductive.
There’s a clear distinction between scratching the itch curiosity and picking the scab of compulsions.
Knowing this, what then can we do to ensure that the whole of our time is well-invested, so to speak?
1. Create a Daily Action List
To-Do lists are antiquated. Action lists, popularized by GTD, identify specific tasks (such as front squatting), rather than general projects (such as “working out”), that must be performed in order to progress you towards the attainment of your goal. Assembling an action list, rather than a to-do list, provides clarity as to where you should focus your efforts.
2. Bulk Activities
Bulking, also known as “batching,” is a method used to allocate blocks of time to similar tasks. Certain chores naturally lend themselves to batching, such as laundry—rarely do you find someone who intermittently washes their socks throughout the day. If you subscribe to Parkinson’s law (I certainly do), which states that work expands to fill the time allotted to it, I urge you to investigate the Pomodoro technique, created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s. The Pomodoro technique helps to eliminate distractions, focus attention, and best of all, it gives me an excuse to use Clocky.
3. Avoid multi-tasking
Focus your efforts intently on accomplishing one task at a time. Multi-tasking, or the attempt thereof, dilutes concentrated effort and squanders time. Attempting to switch between multiple tasks is both inefficient and ineffective. Instead, “swallow the frog first” (get the most painful but necessary activity out of the way), and watch as your focused efforts create momentum.
4. Surge and Purge
Depending on the dosage administered, work can either be exhausting or invigorating to the mind. Work intensely. Rest intensely. Many forgo the latter, suffer burnout, and output diminishes. For every twenty five minutes of intensive effort, rest for five (at least).
5. Eliminate All Possible Distractions
Omitting the spontaneous impetus of an unruly St. Bernard, many possible distractions can (and ought) to be mitigated through thoughtful preparation. Log off Facebook, turn the ringer off on your cell phone, and learn to say “no” to people asking for “just a minute of your time” during peak productivity time. It's OK to say no to people. Really, it is.
Have you experimented with any of the techniques mentioned above? If so, what have been your results—either inside, or outside of the gym? I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section.Please procrastinate responsibly,- Pat Flynn
If you want serious abs, then you need to start taking your ab work seriously.
It's hard to find an "ab exercise" that offers greater utility than the hanging leg raise (and his close cousin the windshield wiper).
Assertion: Abs are made in the kitchen
Correction: While the attainment of a low body-fat percentage through proper nutrition is a critical piece of the puzzle, the development of truly "stand-out" abs, for most, requires at least SOME direct ab work.
For the sake of efficacy (and efficiency), I opt-for training the hanging leg raise, and subtle variations therein, 2-3 times per week
Give these two KWOW's a shot, and let me know how your abs feel in the morning.
Please lift (hang) responsibly,
- Pat Flynn.PS - Check out our SuperHero Development Program.
Here's a Few More Ab-Ripping Variations