Tuesday, 6 September 2016

How fitness will boost your mental game

One of the basic reasons for making my blog, www.2Fit2Fold.com, was that the life of the traveling poker player makes staying healthy and fit very difficult!
Long hours sitting at the poker table, in a smoky casino with poor food choices, isn’t usually very conducive to getting in shape! And in my recent trip to Foxwoods for the WSOP series, I fell off the wagon a bit. It was a brutal grind and I needed someone to give me some motivation. We all need help sometimes!

Enter Victor and www.livingleanandmean.com. Victor is an online fitness coach and part of the Intertops family. His no nonsense style was just what I needed to get my mind right and get back on track! He has a great wealth of knowledge on training and nutrition, with over 15 years of experience in the field. But my favorite thing about Victor is his approach to the mental game!  He doesn’t pull any punches, just gives it to you straight and tells you the truth! He sent me this article and it was just the kick in the ass I needed! So if you’re having a tough time at the tables or with your fitness goals, I suggest you give it a read. I know it will motivate you as much as it did me!

How To Be The Best

It's late at night.

You're at home spread across the couch watching an underdog movie. You know the kind of "rags to riches" story, where the good guy wins and gets it all. You brush it off as a Hollywood fairy tale.

"This stuff doesn't happen in real life..."
You say to yourself while making your way to the bedroom. But you can't shake the feeling of utter disappointment. You're looking for ways to justify your situation, to silence that inner voice. Is it bad luck? Bad genetics? Destiny? Wrong! I'll tell you why you're not sitting atop the food chain. I'll tell you why you haven't tapped into your potential yet.

You haven't paid your dues.

These days it seems everybody expects money, women and 6-pack abs to just fall into our laps. But there is no such thing as something for nothing. You have to invest the time and energy. You have to go through hardship and adversity to get to the Promised Land. You must work for it. You must earn it.

"Yeah sure... I just wish I had the talent to..."
Stop right there. Your lack of talent is not why you're stuck in reverse. Hard work will always outperform talent. If you use your talent (or lack thereof) as an excuse to slack off, you will get mauled by the competition. I don't care what game you're playing or trying to be successful at. Talent won't get you anywhere if you fail to do the work. It's a level playing field, with equal opportunities for every man.

The game plan
But how do you proceed? How do you become the best at what you're doing? How do you become the best YOU? Stick to this game plan for the next 30 days and never look back. Don't just read the lines nodding in agreement. I want you to incorporate as much of the following as possible into your daily routine. The time is now.

1. Start eating better.
You're eating the same stuff as the next guy (= crap) and you're wondering why you look the way you do, have no energy and no drive to get anything done. Your body is a high performance machine, yet you're feeding it waste material instead of high performance fuel.

"What diet should I follow?"
Eating right is not rocket science. The industry wants you to think it is, but it's not. Ditch the diet shakes and superfoods and focus on the fundamentals. Reduce the amount of processed garbage in your diet and start eating more foods that don't come in a plastic wrapper.

Consume 3 nutrient dense meals a day like clockwork, and cut out the perpetual snacking. In doing so, you provide your body with the necessary means to function at peak capacity without becoming a slave to hunger or your meals.

2. Build your body.
Ahhh... now we're getting to the fun stuff. Physical badassery. Not that silly BS you read in your men's health magazine. No. I'm talking about unapologetic human performance. If you want to be the best you have to do what others are unwilling to do.

"Got it. What's the best fitness routine and should I sign up at my neighborhood gym?"
It's not about the particular exercise program or bodybuilding split you do. It's about how you do it, how you train. You don't need weights or fancy equipment to get the job done. Your muscles don't care whether they're being stimulated by weights or bodyweight training.

What you need to do is introduce a progressive stimulus for adaptation on a consistent basis. Choose compound movements over isolation work (chin-ups > bicep curls) and go after it. Keep your workouts short but ramp up the intensity. Challenge yourself every time you train. Aim to move more weight, do more reps, do higher complexity exercises and/or shorten your rest periods. Also, monitor your progress and make sure you improve on a weekly basis.
I don't expect you to start lifting iron and blow up like a bodybuilder. But I want you to realize that you'll never be where you want to be physically, mentally and emotionally, until you get your ass in shape. No more excuses. Get it done.

3. Strong body, strong mind.
"You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength." - Marcus Aurelius

Start carrying yourself like a winner. This is no time for false modesty. You've been a push-over for all your life, and look what it got you. Here's a little secret for you: You don't need anyone's approval.What other people think and say about you is absolutely meaningless. Know your true value and don't be afraid to proclaim it.

For the next 30 days, I want you to stop wasting mental equity on the stuff you can't change and start focusing exclusively on the stuff you can. If you're complaining, you're losing.
Put your head down and work on your craft with obsessive determination. Every damn day! Get your meals and workouts in with the precision and regularity of a Swiss timepiece. You said you wanted to be the best? This is the price you must pay. There will never be a shortcut to greatness. Ignore the buzz around you and start focusing on the only thing that truly matters - yourself.

You are in control and have absolute power over your actions. The way you look, the way you feel, the way you perform on a daily basis... is your choice.

Choose wisely.
Thank you for reading

Victor Gaspar has researched the fields of nutrition, training, health and performance for over 15 years. A former Muay Thai national champion with a Masters Degree in Business, he currently coaches clients across the globe, helping them achieve their fitness goals. He is the founder and creator of livingleanandmean.com, The Ultimate Human Performance Resource. 

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