Episode 49. Mathew Park, the Peak Mindset and the Inner Game

Episode 49. Mathew Park, the Peak Mindset and the Inner Game

★★★★★
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Show Notes

We had Mathew Park of the Peak Mindset podcast on to talk about what a “peak mindset” really is, and how mastering your inner game can help you with the outer game stuff as well. Mathew is a motivational fitness speaker, a performance business coach, and a WBNF pro natural bodybuilder. He is the founder of INBF Canada and Vice President of RE7, a caffeine-free, all-natural sports drink. Mathew helps trainers and folks in the fitness industry master their inner game, their focus, and their long-term goals.

Mathew Park’s story

  • As Mathew tells it, he was a farm boy from the middle of nowhere in Alberta, Canada.
  • Mathew got started in bodybuilding way back when he was only 12, and did his first show when he was 16 (he got last place!)
  • You can see Mathew’s original old-school training set up here:

  • A little more here.
  • Mathew’s moved on from INBF and RE7 to coaching other trainers to help them with their business and life.
  • The discussion turned to how mindset is a gaping whole in the fitness industry: trainers and often the marketing will pay lip-service to it, but often that’s really all it is.
  • Scott was also reminded of Rocky IV’s training sequence:

Inner Game and Outer Game

  • Mike and Scott were both curious about the connection between Mathew’s coaching, and how it ties into, say, the business model of one of his clients.
  • The first thing Mathew focuses on is self-image, because it’ll affect business decisions like Why am I even in the fitness industry? What am I hoping to do with my career? and that sort of thing.
  • He’ll also help his clients who are trying to take their business to the next level: Okay, what’s your plan? What’s your one-year goal, what’s your five-year goal, and how are you going to design a strategy to get you there?
  • A lot of trainers have no business goals, and end up doing four or five different things at the same time, when really they need to figure out a) what their goals are, first of all, and then b) what are the things they’re doing that are actually producing results — i.e., use the 80/20 rules and figure out what are the 20% of activities that are producing 80% of the results.
  • Mike and Scott had a bit of a debate about what how you define the industry someone is in. Scott always says a coach isn’t in the fitness industry, they’re in the services industry. Mike pointed out that the “fitness” element can stay constant even as someone moves from services (like coaching) to parts of a business that are not technically service-oriented (e.g., physical products related to fitness).
  • Both Scott and Matt emphasized that, if you’re trying to succeed as a coach or trainer, you need to stop thinking about “me” (I won this show, I have such-and-such a certification, etc.) and start thinking about we — what can your coaching do for the client?
  • Mike pointed out that this shift is the essence of good marketing. Marketing isn’t taking a product and saying, “Okay, now do the marketing thing with it so people think it’s really good!” Marketing is… about the market itself. What are their needs? What’s their story?
  • Mathew pointed out that our culture conditions us to think it’s all about you, the individual, rah rah rah, but that’ll only get you so far.

Mathew’s Five Pillars of Your Inner State

  1. Your Body’s Physiology
  2. Your Focus
  3. Your Language
  4. Your Intensity
  5. Your Vibrations or Frequency
  • Mike asked about #5, and Mathew said they were about your KPIs (key performance indicators) and where you’re at.
  • Mathew is heavily into morning routines, and he’ll make specific suggestions to clients for their own routines.
  • Speaking of physiology and training, Scott pointed out that there is a ceiling to the number of clients you can train, as is always the case when your income is tied to your time.
  • There was a discussion of goals, plans, and processes, and some debate about “believing in” yourself and your goals. Scott said there’s a difference between “belief” and capital-letters, bold and underlined, BELIEF.

One Thing You Can Do Right Now

  • Mathew suggested flat out writing out where you want to be one year from now. Paint a picture of your life, in all areas of your life. Think about it, and write it down. Think about it, then act on it.

Find out more about our guest today,
Mathew Park:

Podcast

The Peak Mindset Show on iTunes

MathewPark.com (Get a free David and Goliath Blueprint from Mathew’s site)

Social Media

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mathew_park/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mathew.park/

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Episode 48. Strength Expert Dan John and the 1-2-3-4 Client Assessment

Episode 48. Strength Expert Dan John and the 1-2-3-4 Client Assessment

★★★★★
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Show Notes

Strength expert Dan John shares his knowledge and experience using what he calls the 1-2-3-4 assessment for his coaching clients. We also discussed the difference between training for strength versus hypertrophy, what Dan calls stenosymbols, training and dieting that’s actually reasonable and sustainable, as well as changes in the industry.

 

The 1-2-3-4 Assessment

  • Dan emphasizes that you have to figure out what the client really wants, and then figure out okay… What do we need to do? The 1-2-3-4 assessment is designed to give you insight into this question.
  • It is also designed to focus on the difference between what the client says they want, and what he as a coach now knows what they NEED.

Assessment 1:  Stand on One Foot:

  • If the client fails this test, Dan will also refer the client to a medical doctor.

Assessment 2:  Two Measurements:

  1. Scale weight
  2. Height to waist line ratio

Assessment 3:  Three Measurements:

  1. How many pillows does it take for you to be comfortable at night?
  2. Do you eat colorful vegetables?
  3. Do you exercise for at least half an hour each day?

Assessment 4:  Four Tests:

  1. Plank
  2. To the floor and back up
  3. Standing long jump
  4. Farmer’s walks

The Venn Diagram

  • The assessments tell you where to focus your energy.
  • Dan uses a Venn diagram to show the ways a client’s needs may overlap.

 

  • For example, problems in Assessment Two (the measurements, meaning someone over 300 lbs. and/or with a waistline that’s more than half their height) equals a three in the Venn Diagram, and the client needs to focus on body composition.

Stenosymbols

  • “I want to lose weight” is a stenosymbol with a lot of semiotic baggage.
  • In fitness, when a coach says “nutritional intervention” what the client hears is “rabbit food and starvation.”
  • “Weightlifting” has gone from meaning the olympic lifts to bodybuilding-style training. The meaning has changed.

Other Notes

  • Dan also likes the idea of before and afters… and after the afters. How much can you lose and actually keep off?
  • Dan has taken a lot from the bodybuilding world, but he also considers it to be the current paradigm we’re in, so when trainees come to a coach, they expect to get what amounts to a bodybuilding workout.
  • Dan spoke to a professor in family life who said that labor saving devices just plain don’t save time. She was talking about vacuum cleaners, washing machines, dishwashers, and so on, but of course also think about email, the Internet, the latest app.
  • If you want to age really well in your 40s and 50s, you gotta do  the work in your 20s and 30s. Pro-active is better than re-active.

Links & Resources

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Episode 47. The Art and Science of Program Design

Episode 47. The Art and Science of Program Design

★★★★★
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Show Notes

With the launch of Scott’s Program Design Masterclass at programdesignmasterclass.com, we figured we would just do an episode all about what program design really is: why Scott believes there is an art and a science to it, what good programs look like, what bad program LACK, and that sort of thing. We mention a few specific exercise sequences and programs, scenarios, and what factors affect Scott’s program design decisions.

The Art and Science of Program Design

  • Scott believes there is an art and a science to program design. To him that means a workout is more than a collection of exercises, and a program is more than a collection of workouts.
  • In other words, what you do today is affected by what you did yesterday, and it will affect what you do tomorrow, and next week. The program you just finished a month ago affects the program you should be on now.
  • Scott got started in this way back in the early 1980s, partly when he got tired of trying to guess or just do what the magazines said, and started trying to learn more. There really wasn’t much on program design specifically, so he was reading a lot of actual physiology texts and articles, but one of the books that really stuck with him was Bill Pearl’s Keys to the Inner Universe.
  • Mike and Scott also discussed Scott’s process for designing a new program from scratch: he starts with the theme or purpose, then moves on to the structure, then the context, then whether or not (or how) to use planned performance training* or periodization, and from there this lets him determine the strategies and tactics, and what will be variable vs. constant.
  • The theme or purpose might be something like conditioning, or balancing conditioning with long term physique development goals, putting on muscle, developing workload capacity, and various combinations thereof. Context is a bit about the trainee, but in a general way, before the specific application. Structure is like “a 3-day program using quadplexes” or “a 5-day traditional bodypart split.”
  • That’s all the DESIGN of the program. The application of a program to a specific client or trainee is then about the 5-Part Training Model, which asks “Who is my client?” in terms of 1. Effort, 2. Training Strategy, 3. Workload Capacity, 4. Recovery Capacity, and 5. Internal Biochemical and Hormonal Environment.
  • In other words, Scott has a “collection” of hundreds of workout programs he’s designed over the years. Sometimes a trainee needs a totally new one, but often not: often Scott can just go into his collection, make a tweak here and there, and assign it. Sometimes it doesn’t even need a tweak — the customization will be in Scott’s email where he’ll say, “Look, here’s the program, pay attention to this, but watch out for this, this and this, and condition into it by doing this…”
  • Scott mentioned a part of the masterclass where he and Mike breakdown and compare things with color coding. This is so you can see some of the structure alluded to above. This gif is from that recently recorded breakdown:

  • * I think this comes from JC Santana – M

Scott and Mike referenced some slides that Mike made for the masterclass, to illustrate Scott’s process for designing a new program right from scratch:

Using 4-Weeks’ Worth of Workouts

  • Scott mentioned that one of the ways he could very quickly see if someone was taking his programs was they would come back with a four week cycle of workouts.
  • That is, Scott’s workouts aren’t periodized in terms of planned load percentages or anything, but many of them do have 4 weeks’ worth of workouts that you cycle through, so you do Week 1 of chest, week 1 of delts, week 1 of arms for the first week, then in the second week you go to week 2 of chest, week 2 of delts and so on, until you’d done all four weeks, and then you would start again.
  • Changes might be in exercise selection, rep ranges and loading parameters, or some combination thereof.
  • One of the reasons for this is making sure you hit a bodypart throughout its given proper ranges and planes of motion. You don’t just “do a bunch of back exercises,” you design a program where (for example) you train the lats in one range of motion heavy but the other range of motion much light this week, then next week you switch which one gets hit in the lower rep ranges, which one comes first, etc etc…

 

Free Downloads for this Week’s Episode

4-Day Hybrid Quadplex Bodybuilding Program – Day One

This is a good example of the kind of thing Scott discussed where the trainee gets to pick which exercise you can do, but the program still maintains a certain structure and balance throughout.

5-Day Hybrid Program /w 4 weeks’ worth of workouts) – Day One (Chest + Quadblasts)

Notice how the bodypart is hit in various ranges and planes of motion as you go through the four weeks’ worth of workouts, but also compare the rep ranges and the load demands. If you’re in the Program Design Masterclass, I’ve added this to the Program Vault, since you should also pay attention to how a given day of workouts fits in with the other days in the program. (E.g., maybe you can go heavier on the second week of Chest because you go lighter in the second week of Back…)

Find out more about the Program Design Masterclass

programdesignmasterclass.com

This is the website where we’ll keep all info about the Masterclass. 🙂

Episode 46. Dangerous Workouts

Episode 46. Dangerous Workouts

★★★★★
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Click here to leave us a review and rating!

Show Notes

On the heels of several university athletes being hospitalized because of the intensity of their workouts, Scott and Kevin ranted a wee bit about some of the most dangerous strategies that are currently popular in the fitness industry.

Dangerous Workouts

  • One of the most dangerous things to do is heavy kinetic chain work to failure, without a lot of rest. 
  • Although a lot of crossfit programs are much better, a lot of crossfit training programs still do this.
  • The university students had indicators of rhabdomyolysis, or “rhabdo,” which has also come up in some crossfit programs, and “uncle rhabdo” has become almost a joke.
  • It’s worth noting, though, that the university players in the article were doing bodyweight workouts, which in this case meant stuff like hundreds of burpees and things like that.
  • Scott and Kevin emphasized that there is a difference between optimum work capacity and maximum work capacity.
  • Going into a gym or a workout just to see how badly you can punish yourself isn’t a sound strategy that has anything to do with the principles of exercise physiology and eliciting a specific adaptive response.

Where do you draw the line? How do you “push it” in the gym?

  • Two key points came up here:
  • One, it can heavily be about mindset. There is a difference between having a bit of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) because one workout was especially intense, or you are pushing yourself according to a set workout program.
  • Secondly, this goes into program design. Yes, you push it, but you don’t assign a new trainee a 6-day program they can’t handle. Someone doing rehab after chemo treatments shouldn’t jump into a high-level program like Whole Body Hypertrophy.
  • Leaving the totally insane workouts aside, you need build up a person’s (or a client’s) workload capacity and recovery capacity over time, and assign workouts that will challenge that and build it up.
  • Both Scott and Kevin are basically against group training. To make a long story short. It’s a one-size-fits-all approach to something where that doesn’t work.
  • Scott emphasized what he calls the “law of least eligibility.” The least fit person in the room receives the most stress or overload.
  • In terms of your own progression, you should also learn to differentiate different forms of biofeedback. DOMS is not the same as ongoing muscle cramping, discoloured urine, and sense of fatigue and low motivation, a loss of libido, and things like that. Invigorated, not exhausted!
  • Even DOMS should be something you adapt to over time.

Dangerous Workouts

 

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