Week 1: The Basics

The Journey Begins!  Are you ready?  Good!  Here we go . . .


To start, we’re going to initiate three extremely beneficial habits so you can hit the ground running.  Don’t sleep on any of these steps as they are the foundation for what lies ahead.


1) WATER: Hydrate your cells and open up detoxification pathways by drinking at least ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water everyday this week.  One caveat, the water you drink during your workouts doesn’t count towards your total because it simply replaces what you lost as a result of training.  


TIP: For optimal results drink 24-32 oz. of cold water first thing upon waking to stimulate your metabolism.  It’s a huge step towards your daily goal within the first 10-mins of waking.  


2) GET YOUR GREENS - Eat a big salad consisting of greens and a variety of raw veggies and/or fruit everyday this week.  


TIP: Lettuce has water and fiber, but not much else in the way of micronutrients and enzymes so pick nutrient dense greens like spinach, arugula, spring mixes, and kale.


3) GET MOVING:  Move with intention for at least 45-minutes at least 5 times this week.  Of course, gym sessions count towards that total, but I encourage you to begin and sustain a movement practice outside of the gym.  We’re starting with 5 days of movement, but the ultimate goal is to move everyday.  


As humans we’ve evolved to move daily to maintain our bodies.  Movement is a prerequisite for survival and a catalyst for physical, mental and spiritual rejuvenation.  Unfortunately the modern world and most current career paths are devolving into a more and more sedentary state, hence the need for a daily intentional movement practice.  


That doesn’t mean, however, that your personal movement practice must be the same style and intensity of movement everyday.  A variety of movement styles and levels of intensity is the key to an effective and sustainable movement practice.  Place an emphasis on sustainability.  

Let me share an example from my personal practice.  Ground-based movement and bodyweight training on the rings and bars is what I most enjoy so I do that most often. I also have a great appreciation for the many health benefits of strength training so I regularly lift really heavy things like barbells, kettlebells and sandbags. However, I have to be mindful of how much heavy lifting I do because I can start to feel rundown and stiff if I overdo it.  I balance that work with lower intensity regenerative movement and mobility training.  


When I need something regenerative I practice tai chi, swim in the ocean, go hiking or just walk around my neighborhood.   


If you have kids, play with them!  I regularly serve as my daughter Ryan’s personal dance partner, catapult, jungle gym and horsey.  A side benefit is that now Ryan has a budding love for movement as well.


My short(er) term goal is to improve my physical abilities while remaining healthy, energetic, and clear-minded.  However, the long-term intention is to maintain health, energy and clarity until the day I die (hopefully at +100 years old while in the midst of some enjoyable vigorous physical activity.)  If at any point my quest to improve my ability level precludes me from maintaining good health, energy and clarity it’s not something I continue to pursue, and that is the reference point from which we share with you everyday.


To put it simply: Don’t break yourself down trying to build yourself up!


One of the big reasons I encourage you to develop a personal movement practice that extends outside the walls of the gym is because you are the only person that can determine your balance of ability, health, energy and clarity.  


I define this balance as personal wellness.  


Another reason I encourage you to make your movement practice personal is because it’s important to take responsibility over every aspect of your journey.  Trainers and coaches are merely guides for certain parts of the journey.  It’s your obligation to take control.  If you intend to make changes, it’s up to you.  Let that be an empowering thought rather than an overwhelming one.  


“You have the power!”  -Lessons from He-Man Volume 1


Set an intention to try a class, sport or skill you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t tried so that your personal movement practice becomes truly holistic.


New experiences serve as a gateway for deeper exploration and plant the seeds for your own personal movement practice.  I encourage a holistic approach to health and fitness.


Hopefully, exposure to the different movement curriculums at 34°N will serve as a gateway for deeper exploration and plant the seeds for your own personal movement practice.  


We teach a holistic approach to health and fitness and our personal training programming and variety of group classes represent the entire movement spectrum.


While you may not buy a set of kettlebells to lift at home, there are certainly elements of every training session at 34°N that you can spend some time developing on your own.


My recommendation is to start with things you really enjoy that make you feel uplifted, happy, strong, or accomplished. Start to play with them a little when you aren’t in the gym.  Once you have some momentum start integrating some of the things that you find most challenging so you can improve on some weak points.  


Let the strength and skills you accumulate in the gym open a gateway to interact with your environment in an entirely new way.  You can climb trees, jump over things, test your balance on the top of a low wall, hand balance or pick up a new activity like tennis or martial arts.  


The point is to use the physicality you’ve developed in the gym to do something you can lose yourself in through play.  


“Losing yourself” is the experience of being so completely one with your actions in the present moment that you lose the separation between the self and the doing.  The self “becomes” the doing.  You become the dance, the ring flow, the run or combination of punches on the mitts.   Another way to put it is that the fuel becomes the fire.   


Take a moment to consider what movement resonates with you.  Do you ever get urges to move in a certain way?  I’m certain you do even if you don’t realize it.  Do you ever hear music that makes you want to dance?  Do you get the urge to bound up a flight of stairs two or three at a time?  Do you find yourself daydreaming about a sport you play?  

A personal movement practice is important because of it’s potential to become a lifelong habit.  It’s something you want to do, rather than something you feel you have to do.  It’s the flip side of the things you should do to ensure health, longevity and wellness.  


Deadlifts, pull-ups, and metabolic conditioning are examples of things you should do but may not love.  They’re like the greens you need to eat everyday.  When you have a personal movement practice your value of those things appreciates because you see how they improve your ability to do the things you love.  


Things evolve to a point when you realize the things you need to do are connected to the things you love to do.  Even though they’re at opposite ends of the pole, they’re still on the same pole.  The middle of the pole is where they connect, where they become one.  When you experience that awakening you find a movement practice that you’ll want to continue for life.  It’s no longer a “workout” box that needs to be checked everyday.