These 3 things always work.

We’ve just introduced something at home with the kids to help them learn about the concept of healthy boundaries, self-control & discipline.

It’s Strong Mondays.

It all came about from Tony chatting with Gen about becoming stronger on the Monkey Bars.

I’m sure she is a monkey from a past-life and between home, school and gymnastics, she monkey bars multiple times each day.

At first she was determined to hang on.

And then she was determined to move forward.

And then it was how many rungs can she do….and now it’s, “Hey Mum, watch me go backwards!”

The whole time she has been implementing (without realising) the scientific principle of progressive overload (getting stronger by doing a little more each time), and the life principle of – never give up!

If you want something bad enough, you have to work at it and be prepared to suck at first. And only after you’ve worked hard at it, will you master something.

So the Strong Monday conversation started with Tony….

“Hey Gen, you know how you have chocolate after dinner each night as a treat….?”

“Yes Daddy…”

“Well why don’t you have a night without chocolate?”

But I love chocolate Daddy!” There was slight fear in her eyes at the thought, but she was listening…and I was mildly amused where this conversation might go.

“I know you do Gen, but sometimes it’s good to not always have treats because then it’s not a treat!”

“Ummmm” Gen had no idea what to say.

Gen, you want to get stronger on the monkey bars and you know chocolate is a treat, so if you don’t have chocolate one night, you’ll definitely get stronger and be able to do more monkey bars.”

The Master Head Coach had struck again and delivered his first lesson to his daughter – the art of self control.

“But I really, really love chocolate Daddy…”

“Of course you do Gen, it’s up to you, just thought it was a good idea to help you get stronger.”

Reverse psychology.

BAM!

She pondered….“Ok Daddy, I’ll do it.”

“Great Gen, which day of the week do you want to choose?”

Tony was now applying the principle of specificity. Getting specific about the action she’d have to take based on what she’d now promised herself.

“I think Monday’s Daddy, so that it’s over with at the beginning of the week, and I can have chocolate all the other nights!”

“That sounds like a great idea Gen. Why don’t we call it Strong Mondays. And you know what Gen, I’ll do it with you, I won’t have any Wine on Mondays ok?”

WTF did he just say? No Wine? Was he going to drag me into this as well?

“Mummy, did you hear that? We are going to have Strong Mondays and Gen is not going to have any chocolate and I’m not going to have any Wine…. Did you want to join us?”

Check-mate Jodie.

“Of course – that sounds like a great idea!” There were possibly daggers thrown at Tony at that point in my mind.

So Strong Mondays it is, and I have to confess it’s a good thing, despite the loathing and cursing on the first one.

It’s been weeks now of Strong Monday’s in the Hebrard House, and it has really reminded of these 3 timeless principles that always work…..

1. Set your intentions small.  One out of seven days to abstain from a treat is doable. Go small so you can keep it going after the honeymoon period is over. The mental battle is small so you can win at it on the days you couldn’t be f****d. The mental strength you’ll gain far outweighs any physical benefit from just one day.

2. Support Works By having Strong Mondays as a family we can support and nurture each other with words of encouragement and affirmation of the big picture – getting stronger for whatever is important to you. Find your support crew & get them on board!

3. Make it Fun & Empowering. We gave our “thing” a name. It’s a positive name to affirm what we are gaining, rather than any reference to what we are abstaining from. We could have named it, “Treat free night” but Strong Mondays is so much more empowering for your mind.

So that’s the latest update fromGen Monkey Bars the Hebrard Household. I’ve love to hear if you implement anything at home….Drop me a line :)

Jods x

P.S. Here is our monkey doing her thing!

GHD Stretch

Thoracic Spine & Shoulder Stretch with the GHD | Daily ROM

Brisbane Personal Trainer & CrossFit Coach Tony Hebrard shows you how to stretch your Thoracic Spine & Shoulders by using the GHD at your CrossFit Gym.

A gentle and easy way to open up your back so you can improve your mobility for training.

 

Band Hamstring Stretch

How to stretch tight Hamstrings with a Band | Daily ROM

Brisbane Personal Trainer & CrossFit Coach Tony Hebrard shows you how to stretch your tight hamstrings with a Band.

By using a Band you can control the amount of tension on your hamstring, making it easier to stretch this muscle.

 

Guilty as charged.

I remember the conversation like it was yesterday.

I was calling a Girlfriend for a bit of sage advice as Tony and I were contemplating a change – a tree change.

After living in the “burbs” for nearly a decade and being only 4kms to the CBD and our Gym, the convenience of inner-city living was wearing thin.  With our 2 girls now becoming little people who like to run and play, I started to have strong urges to give them a more relaxed upbringing with a rural influence.

Santa had already delivered 3 baby chickens at Christmas and throw into the mix, a new Puppy as well, we were starting to feel the squeeze on our 359 SQM block.

So, this led us to looking at property in Samford (about 20kms from CBD).

Back to my Girlfriend and that phone call.

I was calling her because she’d done it.

She’d done the Tree-Change and had lived at Samford and had only just recently moved back to the City.

Did she love it?

What was good about it?

What was not so good?

If she had her time over again, would she change anything?

I rambled, I stumbled and I semi-listened to her responses.

And about half-way through the phone call, it hit me.

I wasn’t listening to her responses, I was only listening to the bits I wanted to hear.

I nodded and engaged with the appropriate “Ok”, “Uh-huh” and “Hmmmm” when needed and we wrapped up the phone call with, “I’ll keep you posted!”

I realised as I hung up, that I really wasn’t after her advice.  I had called her with that intention, but deep down I’d made up my mind.

I was calling her to continue to validate the decision I had already made in my mind.

We were moving. It was going to happen.

2 weeks later with more house inspections we were now at an Auction and walked away that day with a signed contract on our dream home.

1.7 acres and about a 30min drive from the Gym, I was in bush-heaven.

After months of “research” the burbs to the bush project was complete.

I look back now and laugh at my behaviour and wonder, Where else have I done this?

Where else have I made up my mind on something, without consciously voicing it and ignored what anyone was around me saying, even after I had asked for their advice, opinion and feedback.

We all do this, don’t we?

I’m guilty as charged when it comes to any form of stretching or re-hab from my beloved Physio.

“Alex, I’m still getting shoulder pain and it’s really frustrating me….”

“Ok Jodie, so how are you going with your stretches I gave you?”

<insert long awkward pause here>

You see, I’d already decided that stretching was boring as bat-shit therefore rarely do them.

And I’m even guiltier when the c-word is mentioned with my Trainer, Nikki.

The c-word being Core.

“Nikki, my core is still weak and I want it to be stronger….”

“Sure Jods, how many times did you do your core exercises this week?”

<doh!>

I had decided that getting my core stronger is really hard work.  Like really, really, really hard. Too hard for me in fact. So, I don’t do a bloody thing about it!

We can all decide what is going to be easy, hard, enjoyable or painstakingly boring as bat-shit.

We decide if it can’t be done, can be done and is going to get done, well before it is ever done.

We make up our minds and that determines the outcome, before you’ve even started.

Dr Suess was right.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

Yes Dr Suess.

I’m hearing you.

Best I start steering myself in the right direction.

Best I decide today is the day.

What about you?

Jods x.

P.S. A few snaps of our Tree-Change to share with you…

Burbs and Nella“Plenty of room for hide and seek in our new yard and Nella found the perfect hiding spot.”

Burbs and Family

Celebrating the move. Me soaking up the fresh-air with a glass of bubbles!”

 

Burbs and Chickens

“Meet Claudia, Tootoo, Huey, Duey, Spotty and Caster. 6 out of our 11 Lovely Hens…Oh, and the view from my home-office!”

Alex Photo Physio 1And lastly, Meet my Physio, Alex.  The smiling assassin.”

Dr Suess

The 3 reasons I hate CrossFit

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Let’s cut straight to the hate.

#1 Hate.

My Mum & Dad, who are 66yrs of ripe old age, do it.  And my Dad has a hand disability which leaves him unable to make a grip with his left hand.

They come religiously 4 times a week and choose the right scaling options for themselves and finish their workouts –  all the bloody time.

I hate it because there’s no excuse for me to skip a workout, saying it’s too hard, too technical or too anything else.

There’s no out.

There’s always a Scaling option which means you can’t hide.

#2 Hate: It’s hard.crossfithard

The very nature of CrossFit is born from high-intensity training which essentially means  – do more work in  less time.

It’s confronting, humbling and just down-right hard work.

You can’t escape it and you already know before you go to a workout it’s going to be hard.

The sort of hard that leaves you fitter, stronger & faster – pity about that. (Note sarcasm)

#3 Hate: It’s never-ending.

Back in the days before I CrossFitted I was pleased with myself to have “mastered” strength training, got my shiny little black-belt in Tae Kwon Do and dabbled in Triathalons along the way as well.

There was an end-game in a short space of time and mastering the skills was always within reach.

But with CrossFit it’s a never-ending game of being a beginner – again and again and again.

You have to swallow your pride, be patient and enjoy the journey, because the destination is a long way away.

Wall Balls, Double Unders, Clean & Jerks, Toe to Bars, Snatches, Squat Snatches, Muscle-Ups, Rope-Climbing… Ummmm should I continue?DSC_0069-v2

Boredom is nowhere in sight and I hate knowing that there’s a plethora of skills to master, and can only be mastered when your basics, your foundations are (mostly) flawless.

It’s a long-game, not a quick-fix.

Patience Jodie, Patience.

Jods x

Is it really all worth it?

I was reminded yesterday of a basic fundamental in the fitness formula of getting results.

I was flat, feeling tired and sore going into the workout and nothing much changed throughout the workout   except more tiredness and soreness.

Workout done, protein recovery done, shower and refreshed and then struggling in front of my computer to  get myself into action.

I was hitting a wall big-time, feeling fatigued mentally and physically.

As I sat at my desk I started to procrastinate – getting up filling my water, going to the bathroom, checking on things that didn’t need checking.

The whole time I was telling myself how tired I was and how flat I felt.

The basic fundamental was – if you train hard then expect to feel tired.

Not uber motivating I know, but it’s the truth.Tired

Getting results takes work – hard work, and hard work will feel hard.

There’s no sugar-coating it or wrapping it up in cotton wool.

I let myself slump into a pity-ball which wasn’t helping me and when I reminded myself that what I was feeling was normal it helped me snap out of it.

There will be times when you’ll question whether it’s worth it…

And I’d recommend that you don’t answer this question when you are feeling tired and flat after a workout.

When you’ve nailed a workout, high from a P.B. (personal best) or sitting smugly in new threads, that’s when you should ask yourself….”Is it worth it?”

A day later and a better mood and less tired body….

Yes.

It’s worth it.

Jods x

The Devil is in the Details

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In 4 ½ months time 5 ladies and I will be hitting New Zealand for an amazing 5 Day Trekking Adventure and I can’t wait!

It came about from me wanting another challenge and something to strive for and after a few phone call and emails, the group is now locked in!

The funny thing is since I’ve got the last ladies on board, I’ve started telling more people about it and then I’ve had questions which I have no bloody idea about.

Questions like…

How many kilometers are you trekking?”

“How long are you trekking for each day?”

“16kg doesn’t sound like a lot to carry when it includes food, clothes, cooking equipment….are you sure that’s right?”

I’ve had the same answer for each question.

“I don’t know.”

The people that know me laugh and the people that don’t know me have a puzzled look on their face that says, “Why wouldn’t you know this?!”

Sometimes knowing too much about something is not always a good thing.

Sometimes the more you ask the more you 2nd guess yourself, become unsure and then continue to sit on the fence.NZ_ArthursPass01

It’s not that the detail is unimportant or that I don’t have access to the information, it’s just the detail is not important to me – especially right now.

Knowing WHY I want to do it, is way more important than crossing my i’s and dotting my t’s before I go. (For the detail people, I may have ruffled your feathers here ;))

There’s a syndrome that you can sometimes experience: Analysis Paralysis.

A place where you are frozen and unable to make a decision.

A place that takes you nowhere other than around and around in circles.

You’ll find yourself saying things like, “I’d like too…I want too, but, jeez I’m not too sure now!”

All I know about my adventure is it’s a 5 Day Trek across Arthur’s Pass in the South Island of NZ, and we’ll be sleeping in huts, carrying our own 16kg Packs of clothes, food and cooking equipment – and there will be no showers.

I also know I need to get fitter and the most important thing – I need to listen to the expert here – our Trek Guide.

It’s his job to know everything, know all the details and be across any questions that come his way.

It’s his job to tell me what to do…and it’s my job to do what I’m told!

He’s the expert – I’m not.

Kinda, sort-of, just maybe relates to listening to any expert that you are getting help from.

Kinda like…your Trainer. :)

Learn to use your Experts around you.

Learn to focus on simply following the plan that they give you.

If you need the detail – get down and dirty with your WHY, why you want to do it and why it’s so important to you.

imagesYou’ve heard the saying, “The devil is in the details” and that can work for and against you.

True or not true?

Jods :)

Discipline

There is one muscle in our body that will get you the best results of all – if you train it properly.

People ask me about spot-reduction, trimming and toning their but, arms and whatever else and even though doing things the right way is important, knowing this about this muscle in our body trumps any squat workout.

It’s the Kings king, or maybe even the Queen’s, queen. :)

And here’s the catch.

You don’t train this muscle when you are at the Gym.

You train it away from the Gym – when you are at home, at work, out partying.

And like any muscle, the more you train it, the stronger it gets and the easier your next workout will be.

And it’s the most important muscle of all.

And that muscle is your mental discipline.

The flexing, pushing and pulling of following through when you couldn’t give a …..

Yep, that muscle.

We are never taught how to work this muscle to make it stronger, so let me share with you 3 of my flexing exercises for this…

1. Write down your goals (daily) and how good you’ll feel when you get there.

You gotta get past the short term pain in your daily chatter, and start to imagine what it will really feel like to achieve your goal. Without some sort of positive to pull you forward, it’s damn hard to beat that negative nelly in your head!

2. Keep an “evidence journal” of all the good things you did do, obstacles you overcame and opportunities that presented themselves.

This one is all about being mindful and grateful to allow more good things to happen to you.

3. START SMALL. Yes I did just yell at you, and there’s a reason for that. Changing your health is a long term game. You gotta to start chipping away, and start flexing your Discipline Muscle with the right amount of weight for you.

Don’t jump in and start lifting 20kg with the new mental commitment you are going to workout EVERYDAY from now on.

That’s starting way too big – and you and I both know that after Week 3 when life starts to get in the way, you’ll let it.

Start with a 5kg new mental commitment and focus on that.

Run 1kms instead of saying 5kms.

Go to the Gym once a week, instead of saying 5.

Cut alcohol back just one night a week instead of going dry overnight.

Do you get my drift?

Start flexing it a little every day and you’ll feel the power of this muscle for the long haul.

Jods x

Tuning In

It made complete sense as soon as I read it and left me wondering why hadn’t I thought of it sooner!

No fluff, just simple common sense.

I was reading a CrossFit article on Facebook and it was an interview with one of Australia’s most respected Coaches, Matt Swift.

And there was one little golden nugget in the last question directed at him: “Matt, what would you recommend to people when they are checking out CrossFit for the first time?”

In his usual brevity: “Enjoy being a beginner.”gen

Told you it was so simple!

Kids naturally “do this” with anything new I reckon.

Everything new is fun.

There’s no hangups, expectations or negative self-talk.

Just pure excitement with the opportunity to learn and they have fun – they totally enjoy being a beginner at everything!

The first steps.

The first words.

The first bike ride.

Small wins are celebrated with a smile, and failures are met with hands being dusted off and having another go – straight away.

They aren’t worried about any on-lookers and they actually encourage it!

“Look at me Mum, Look at me Dad!”

How cool is that?!

They are too involved in themselves and in the learning, to worry about what others are thinking.

And that’s where the focus should be – on tuning in, not tuning out.

On how we feel about ourselves with our effort – not the result and on our progress, no matter how small.

On enjoying the process and not rushing towards the outcome.

Is it time to tune in for you?

Jods

The Art of Self Motivation

When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything. – Stephen Richards

We all want to live healthier lives. So what’s stopping you from reaching your fitness goals? Surely those people at the gym who never seem to get off track have some extra chromosome that keeps them going. Right?!

Wrong. A lot of self motivation is less about being in the mood and more about creating sustainable habits that become your default so on those days when you just don’t feel like doing another squat you do. Because you’ve created a framework to support yourself with.

But we all have to start somewhere right? Right! So here are 4 simple steps, from coach Steve Stagg, that can help you start to create those healthy habits.

Here it goes:

Step 1 – Write Down Reasons Why

Really understanding the reasons behind any goal is the best way to develop that ‘must have’ attitude that let’s nothing get in the way of success. I recommend you start by writing down 10 reasons why for each goal that you have. It may seem a little difficult to start with but be honest with yourself and it will begin to flow. The more reasons why you can think of the better so keep adding to the list over time and solidifying your motivation.

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Step 2 – Write Your Goals Daily

Writing your goals down daily is a ritual you must perform to be truly self-motivated. Keep a little notepad and pen next to your bed and your goals will become so ingrained into you that everything you do each day will be a step towards achieving them. Choose whether you write in your notepad first thing in the morning or last thing before going to sleep but make sure you are recording goals that are specific, measurable and have a timeframe.

Step 3 – Use Pictures

Pictures are a great tool for helping to stay motivated. Obviously the picture you use will vary depending on your goal but choose something that creates a fire in your belly to achieve your goal. Pictures can be put on your training diary to fire you up before your workout. You might like to put a picture on the fridge to help you make good food choices or on the bathroom mirror so you look at it every time you are cleaning your teeth.

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Step 4 – Reward Yourself!

Lastly, rewarding yourself for achieving your goals is great positive reinforcement to help you continue on with your goal achieving ways. It doesn’t have to be big but it does have to inspire you to keep getting better. An example of this might be to buy yourself a new pair of jeans or treat yourself to that new restaurant when you achieve your weight loss goal. Or perhaps getting some new running shoes for completing every planned workout for the month. Be strict with yourself here and only reap your reward once the hard work is done.

– Steve Stagg, Brisbane Personal Trainer & Manager

Okay, ball’s in your court. Start small and start today. And if you ever need support, talk to one of our awesome coaches/trainers. Go for it athletes!

Rae “of Sunshine” Kess

CrossFit Zenergy, Windsor