Shift work can be tough, especially if you’re in the emergency response career field. The best way to sum it up would probably be sporadic. There’s no telling when the next call will come in, or how long it will take before you’re back.
We all have that little voice in our head. The one that tells us we’re not good enough when we’re about to embark on something new and challenging. I’m yet to meet someone that hasn’t experienced that at some point in their life. So let’s start by recognizing that you’re no different than anyone else. We all encounter these thoughts.
If you’re new to skiing you’re not going to immediately go running for a double black diamond trail. You’ll probably start out on a few bunny hills and gradually work your way up in difficulty. Life is kind of the same way. You’re not going to set a goal of expecting to lose 50 pounds in a single month, at least I hope you don’t.
I’m not a fan of handing out 8th place trophies. I feel like it takes away from the competitive spirit of sport, or whatever competition is at hand. So instead, let’s focus on the traditional 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place hierarchy of standings. Particularly, let’s focus on the middleman, the 2nd place contestant, the proverbial runner-up.
We all exercise for different reasons. Some people want to lose weight so they can keep up with their kids. Others want to improve their physical performance on the job. Still others just want to look better naked. When these things don’t happen we tend to get frustrated and begin to slack off, assuming that it’s just not in our cards to live an active lifestyle.
I was suspended 7 stories in the air, held there only by a half-inch rope. My forearms were beginning to burn, knowing that there was still a long way to the ground. It was a training exercise in rappelling and I was of course connected to a belay line, but it stresses the importance of having grip strength and endurance.
2019 is here in force. So that begs the question: Is this going to be just another year like every other one before it, or are you going to go out on the initiative and make it memorable?
I see so many people start off the year with these big hopes and dreams, making the promise that this year will be different. That lasts for about a week or two, and then life sets in. Work obligations pile up, home life gets congested, and things just seem to magically pop up at the worst time possible.
Life is always going to happen, there’s no way around that. The determining factor between success and another year that blends in with the rest of them is what you do when a challenge arises. Are you focused and intent on seeing it through or are you going to let any little challenge derail you for the entire year?
Start out with 3 big things you are going to accomplish this year. Nevermind creating an endless list of things you want to complete. That will only work to overwhelm you. Visualize what it will look like when you’re completing them and what it will look like when it’s finished. Really get into it and recreate the feelings and emotion that you’ll feel when completed. See the obstacles coming up that have taken you off course in the past. Picture yourself stepping up to the challenge and overcoming them once and for all.
2019 doesn’t have to be just another year. It shouldn’t be. This should be the year when things start working in your favor. Remember, you’re going to have to work for them. You’re going to have to work really fucking hard. But in the end, when it’s all said and done, you’ll be lightyears ahead of where you started out today. Be consistent, put in the hard work, and know that anything worth achieving takes time and patience to complete. Here’s to 2019.
Jon Griffith specializes in optimizing performance for firefighters, police, EMS, and military personnel. He provides 28-day challenges and online personal training designed to meet the unique needs of our emergency responders. Jon is a personal trainer, strength & conditioning specialist, full-time firefighter, and former U.S. Army infantryman.
Join the movement to ensure all emergency responders are physically and mentally prepared to face the challenges in their day brings by following Max Fortitude Fitness on Facebook.
It’s that time of year again. 2018 is coming to a close and people are starting to think about their big plans are for 2019. If you’ve familiar with the ebb and flow of gym members, then you’re probably bracing yourself for the “resolutioners.” For those not familiar with the term, the resolutioners make up the large influx of people that sign up for a gym membership at the beginning of the year, only to make it a few weeks into the new year before they start to fall off.
We are only a few days away from Christmas. That means you are probably being bombarded with food temptations at work parties and family gatherings. Traditionally, this is the time when most people tend to ease off their diet and put on a few pounds because of it. Then when New Year’s rolls around in a week or so they’ll be the first ones rushing to trying and get that weight off. Today I’m going to outline a tactic you probably don’t hear too much in the fitness industry.
I hate cold weather. It’s one of the main reasons why I decided to move from Michigan to Texas. That doesn’t mean I completely escape the cold weather, but there are certainly less below freezing days down here. I also love running. So what happens when I want to get a run in but the temperature outside doesn’t agree with my preferences? Here are 3 tips you can use when it comes to running this winter.
#1 – Sweat Before You Run
No one likes warming up. It’s probably one of the reasons why so many people skip a warmup and jump straight into an exercise or cardio routine. But when it comes to running in colder temps your warmup becomes your best friend. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are all at an increased risk of injury when you try to go from 0-60 mph. It’s a shock on the body that’s completely avoidable.
A proper warmup primes your vascular and respiratory systems for increased loads, it makes your muscles and tendons more pliable, and it decreases your risk of incurring an injury. A good warmup will have you sweating before you’re even out the door.
#2 – Dress for the Temps
Trying to run in your typical winter coat isn’t going to be very comfortable. Runners seem to have their own sense of style when it comes to dealing with the elements. You want the protection from the cold, minus the bulk. Along those same lines, the best way to stay protected from the cold is to dress in layers. Moisture wicking nearest the skin, then an insulating layer that traps in air, and a shell on the outside to deflect wind. Don’t forget about gloves and headgear as well.
#3 – Don’t Forget Your Water Bottle
People think that because it’s colder out, that they won’t sweat as much if they are outside. You might not sweat as much as you would on a summer day, but you’re still going to sweat. That means you’ll need a hydration source while you’re out on your run. The size of it will depend on the distance you are running. For shorter distances, you will be fine with a 16 or 20 ounce bottle, while longer distances might call for a race belt or CamelBak.
Jon Griffith specializes in optimizing performance for firefighters, police, EMS, and military personnel. He is a personal trainer, strength & conditioning specialist, full-time firefighter, and former U.S. Army infantryman. Join the movement to ensure all emergency responders are physically and mentally prepared to face the challenges in their day brings by following Max Fortitude Fitness on Facebook.
Injuries suck. There’s no way around that. Your training suffers, your mood suffers, and it seems like everything you have worked so hard for disappears in an instant. A serious enough injury might even mean you’re confined to light-duty while you work to come back from it. So how do you find any good in it and work to get back to your old self as soon as possible?
Today is Thanksgiving. For many that means time spent with family around a table filled with an assortment of food. Even if you’re working a shift today, there’s probably some form of a potluck happening. All of that is great, but let us not forget to spend at least a few minutes giving thanks for everything we have in our lives.