My Blog Has Moved!

With the latest update to my website, I can now blog from there! WordPress has been good to me, but I’m excited to blog from my own platform.

If you want to keep seeing my content you have two options.

  1. You can friend me on Facebook, where I share all my new articles.
  2. You can sign up for my newsletter

Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed my articles and I hope I haven’t lost you as a reader!

Cheers!

P.S. I have an instagram now! Follow me @mortonfitness

Turning Your Excuses Into Progress

Excuses aren’t helpful. Agreed? Good.

Moving on.

More important are the reasons we feel inclined to make an excuse.

An excuse is used as a justification for a mistake or imperfection. Excuses seek to lessen blame or judgement.

Considering how fucking judgy the fitness world can be, no wonder it’s riddled with excuses. We hate feeling judged!

If we think we’re going to be judged, an excuse is a rational defense mechanism. We all make excuses for our imperfections, so there will be no high horses allowed.

get-off-your-high-horse

I don’t fault people for making excuses. That said, if we own the fuck out of our imperfections, we will nurture a greater capacity for growth and behavior change.

The excuses we make to ourselves hold us back the most.

Excuses prevent us from being honest with ourselves.

Self talk matters. When we make excuses, we shirk responsibility.

The missing factor here is acceptance.

We can’t fix our mistakes if we don’t accept the fact that we made them. To move forward we need to be brutally honest.

Excuses are sustain talk– they reinforce our internal status quo.

Taking responsibility and really owning our shit is hard, but it’s challenge worth undertaking.

Reasons, on the other hand, are an analysis. Reasons seek to objectively explain a series of events.

The search for reasons implies acceptance, mindfulness, and assessment. All of which are necessary to overcome our barriers, rather than continue to bash our faces against them.

So how do we turn excuses into reasons?

Build a habit of mindfulness around excuses.

Be on the lookout for excuses. When you notice one, dive into the fear shower and seek out the reasons you made that excuse.

You’re trigger for practicing this habit is guilt. Feelings of guilt usually precede excuses.

If you notice something else that would serve as a more consistent, obvious trigger then by all means use that.

We all have different relationships with food and exercise. I don’t mean to paint this issue as being black and white. My aim is simply to provide a starting point for exploring this relationship.

When you’re trigger happens, tell yourself out loud, “It’s OK”, ideally in the mirror. Next, try to objectively tease out the reasons for the decision in question. A journal where you reflect on your fitness journey can work wonders here.

Note that feelings (guilt, sadness, stress etc) can be objective reasons.

Objective simply means honest. Objective doesn’t mean denying your feelings. It’s actually the opposite. Objectivity means fully embracing and accepting that, “This is how I feel”.

torn

Be brutally honest. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, as long as it’s honest.

“I was tired and didn’t feel like it” is honest. “It’s OK because I went for a run today” isn’t.

If we can remove moral attachment to foods we can lessen food guilt and the ensuing excuses that stand in the way of our fat loss goals.

Another way to combat food guilt and excuses is to join a crew of people you know won’t judge you because they are experiencing the same struggles.

A culture built around growth and acceptance might be the best way conquer this. And I’m not just saying that because I want you to join the Tribe of Badassery Coaching Group. I promise 🙂

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Loss”

 

How To Minimize Gym Time And Make Room For The Rest Of Life

Lifting is one of my favorite activities.

That said, I don’t want to spend all my time in the damn gym. As much as I love picking up heavy things and putting them down, I need balance. Gym-ing all the time doesn’t make me feel happy, balanced, or grounded

More isn’t always better. Sometimes it is though.

If someone only does the elliptical, more lifting is a plus. Now, if hypothetically someone hypothetically was training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai twice a day, 6 days a week, in addition lifting 3 times a week, this hypothetical person probably doesn’t need more exercise.

In case you didn’t pick up what I was putting down, I was the “hypothetical” person bt-dubs.

We don’t need to spend all of our life-force on our fat loss pursuits to get that line of definition on the back of our arms that makes wearing a tank top feel more awesome.

Now, creating lasting healthy nutrition habits with minimal mental energy and time is a different discussion. And I would be more than happy to write about it in the near future.

If you’re interested in this topic email me at jeff@mortontrainingsystems.com with the subject line: Write the damn thing already!

Today, for clarity’s sake I want to focus on cutting down gym time. For now, I’ll give you some tactics you can start implementing today to minimize your gym time and still get as sexy as you wanna be.

You don’t need to lift everyday

In fact, I wrote an entire other blog post on why 3 or 4 days of lifting is usually optimal. Check it out here: How Many Times A Week Should I Workout?

Focus on the Big Rocks

Devote the majority of your gym time to practicing bang-for-your-buck exercises. This means you’ll only be doing 5 or 6 exercises per session.

bigrocks

Compound, Multi-joint exercises are where the money’s at. Our gym sessions should revolve around the 5 fundamental movements (Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge, Carry) which all happen to be compound exercises.

We can explain the term Compound (multi-joint) by comparing it to Isolation (Single Joint) movements.

An example of this comparison would be Squats (Compound) vs. Machine Leg Extensions (Isolation). Squats involve movement at the ankles, knees, and hips in addition to a shitload of spinal stability. Leg Extensions involve movement solely at the knee.

More examples of compound lifts include: Bench Press (Push), Bent Over Row (Pull), Lunge (Squat), Sumo Deadlift (Hinge), and Farmer Walk (Carry).

Compound movements win because they’re efficient. You can work more muscle groups in less time. Furthermore, because many muscles are working together in compound lifts, you can hit each muscle involved harder than you could with an isolation move. A boat with many rowers is more powerful than a boat with one rower.

Let’s look at the deadlift. We can break it down into the muscles involved, and we will, but it doesn’t really do the lift justice in describing its benefits.

bobpeoples

The deadlift works the entire back, thighs, butt, deep abs, forearms, shoulders, calves, some arms i.e. everything.

Using every muscle in your body at once means you can lift a lot of weight. Each of those muscles is being loaded with much more weight than it could handle on it’s own. Go team!

It’s an instance of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Like you! 🙂

The result is a greater training effect in less time with less exercises. Yeah Buddy!

If you absolutely need to throw in some curls or whatever, set a timer for 15 minutes at the end of your session. This is your cut off time. After that timer goes off, you’re done! Get out of the gym and go have a few laughs with some friends.

Last Point

Stop doing cardio if it makes you associate the gym with masochism. Cardio can be great. Some people love it. It makes them feel as good as hitting the devil’s lettuce. That said, if it ain’t doing anything for you, scrap it.

Use that time and energy for something that’s important to you–something you feel like you never have enough time for.

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook 🙂

 

Finding Your Knight In Shining Lululemon: 3 Traits To Look For In A Workout Partner

Everything is better with a buddy– going out to eat, hiking, orgasms. You name it. Pretty much everything is better when you have somebody to do it with.

This is ESPECIALLY true with fitness goals.

Enter the accountabili-buddy. This person is someone who helps keep you accountable. You do the same for them because you’re a good person.

We grow and change our behaviors most effectively in groups. Just look at how well Crossfit(ers) is/are doing.

That said, not just any group will do. Finding the right person(s) to join forces with can be a silver bullet for sustainable fat loss.

silver bullet bill

For that wonderful life-changing growth to happen, your buddy needs to needs to meet some criteria.

1. We ought to have similar goals

Losing 20 lbs of fat and gaining 20 lbs of muscle are two completely different pursuits.

While the workouts for each goal have some overlap, the nutritional part i.e.the HARD part, is vastly different. That’s not to say a buddy with different goals won’t ever be helpful. However, it’s better when your buddy shares the exact same arduous adventure with you–minutia and all.

2. We ought to be at a similar point in the journey

Maybe they’re a little better at some things. Maybe you’re a little better at other things.

This is ideal.

We don’t want someone who is so advanced we feel intimidated or awkward. We don’t want to feel like we can’t keep up.

We don’t want to be on the other end of that dynamic either. We don’t want to wait for someone to catch up before we can move forward as a team.

It works better when both of us are at the same point in our journey. That way, we can work through the same struggles feeling like equals. We feel safe enough to have some friendly competition.

3. We ought to have something else in common besides fitness goals

Awkward silences aren’t great for building accountability.

We should have something to talk about besides fitness. The stronger the human connection, the more successful we will be.

An important side effect of a good accountabili-buddy is that you start looking forward to going to the gym, hanging with your buddy, and lifting some stuff.

Boring and uncomfortable social situations aren’t exactly conducive to enthusiasm.

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook 🙂
P.S. if you want to join an army of accountabili-buddies for maximum results, I have 5 slots open in my Online Fat Loss Coaching Group for those looking to lose between 10-20 lbs.

4 Awkwardly Sexual Exercises You Should Be Doing

The title really says it all. Sometimes the best exercises are the least flattering ones.

Now considering that many gyms are probably the least emotionally comfortable place in the world save a locals-only biker bar in Stockton, CA, I understand that what I’m suggesting isn’t appealing.  

That said, if you decide you give zero fucks about what anyone else in the gym thinks, these exercises can help you get a bigger booty, happier hips, eliminate back pain, and unleash your awesome.

I would add that the exercise of not giving a fuck is healthy.

Hip thrust

You put a bar on your hips and hump the shit out of it.

No matter which way you spin it, that’s what this lift is. It’s also the most important exercise for bigger, stronger, nicer glutes.

Don’t chase big numbers on these. Keep the weight moderate and really try to feel your glutes working. At the top position of the lift, squeeze your butt cheeks together like your life depends on it.

 

Tactical frog

Another humpy exercise. This one might be more awkward. I think a more apt name for this exercise would be, “What my friend’s dog does to his pillows”.

 

Band seated abduction

Here you’re basically getting strong at spreading your legs. Many find it unflattering, but it’s a great tool for building a balanced, round butt.

Do these after hip thrusts to get a crazy burn.  Or do them before to help develop the mind-muscle connection. Make sure you’re focused on feeling your glutes contract HARD throughout the movement.

 

Jefferson deadlift

I call these hipster deadlifts because you’ve probably never heard of them.

This lift entails lifting a loaded barbell into your crotch. HAAWWWT.

The Jefferson Deadlift is one of my favorites. And not just because I get an odd satisfaction of people thinking I’m crazy.

While this lift looks bonkers, it’s one of the safer deadlift variations. The bar is centered directly under us which means we put less shear force on the low back. The asymmetrical nature of the lift also means we strengthen our weak links. Most exercises don’t have us moving in this rotational manner, so this lift can help prevent muscle and strength imbalances.

The best exercises usually aren’t the most sexy.

Sometimes they are, in fact, TOO sexy. This is one of those times.

too sexy

 

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Deadlifts: The Best Friend in Romantic Comedies

You know the trope: The best friend who always gets pushed aside for some rich douche-canoe with great hair.

In the end though, the leading lady realizes that her best friend is actually everything she ever wanted. The best friend can provide her everything she needs to be the best, happiest version of herself.

“Jeff, have you ever actually seen a Rom-Com?”

Don’t be silly. Of course I haven’t.

The deadlift is your best friend.

The deadlift is right in front of us so we often ignore it. But when we look at what we really want:

-Less gym time

-Joints that don’t ache

-A great ass that makes us feel mega sexy all the time

-A lifelong physical resiliency that allows us to go on any new adventure we want

-Oh yeah, and to feel more comfortable without a shirt

The deadlift gives us these things. Once we realize that, we easily and organically fall in love with it. We realize we were wasting our time with that jerk Chad.

Chad is expensive and takes up a lot of your energy. Chad requires a lot of maintenance and attention. He often makes us feel worse about ourselves when we realize we’re not happy even though we should be. Everyone says he’s perfect after all. He gives us what we think we want. He gives us what society tells us we want. These things are superficial. Chad will never give us what we value.

Chad is cardio.

hamster wheel

Chad is also a hamster, apparently

There’s nothing terrible about Chad. He’s a bit of an asshat, but he’s not a sociopath or anything. He’s simply not “the one”. He doesn’t help us grow, like our best friend can.

That’s not to say you can’t still be friends with Chad if you want to. However, the best friend will give you much more of what you need to feel awesome, confident, and complete in the other areas of your life.

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Get in touch at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/

Make Yourself a Fancy Pair of Sandals

I once read an excellent book written by a really smart dude.

True story.

If you’ve ever been kept inside from PE on a rainy day, you’ve seen ”Searching for Bobby Fischer”. If you haven’t, it’s based on a true story about a child chess prodigy who isn’t Bobby Fischer.

bobby fischer

That prodigy, Josh Waitzkin, grew up and wrote a book called, “The Art of Learning”. He claims learning is a skill just like any other. Skills can be honed. In the book, we learn how to learn so we can win at life.

One aspect that resonated with me was the chapter, “Making Sandals”. The topic is encompassed in this quote:

“A man wants to walk across the land, but the earth is covered with thorns. He has two options – one is to pave his road, to tame all of nature into compliance. The other is to make sandals.”

Sandal making skills are essential for fat loss.

Because in reality, most of the time, the earth is covered with fucking thorns.

thorn elemental

Life WILL play this asshole card

Conditions won’t change, not on our whim at least. And it’s certainly problematic to wait until the thorns shrivel and die before walking the path. That event might never happen.

Life is full of adverse, unideal circumstances.

Assuming otherwise is a flawed hypothesis.  We must accept life’s challenge as inescapable fact.

Point is, we can’t treat adversity as a fluke, as a random event that distracts from all the good stuff. The inevitability of tough times needs to be incorporated into our strategy and perspective.

So how do we ready ourselves for the storm?

One my clients, let’s call him “Gerald”, phrased it wonderfully. He said that when life was going smoothly it was a good time to build infrastructure. When the sun’s out, that’s when we bring the guns out that’s when we should start laying down sandbags.

This means we build a foundation so that our new habits are more sturdy and resilient in the face of shitty weather.  Our house needs to withstand the inevitable stormy season if we want to continue having a place to live.

What does creating infrastructure look like?

Anything that sets us up for success during a hurricane.

This often looks like cementing new habits. When life is crazy, maintaining new habits is AMAZING progress. With sturdy infrastructure, we’re in a better position to maintain our new habits during the storm. We don’t have to worry about building momentum, just maintaining it.

Building new habits during the storm, while possible, is pretty damn hard.

During the storm is when we are tempted to say, “Fuck it. I’ll start on Monday”. This is why simply maintaining inertia is so incredible. We’re not quitting our new habits when life desperately wants us to.

Progress doesn’t always look like forward movement. Oftentimes maintaining is the best progress.

While we can never predict when life will kick us in the balls, we know that it will, repeatedly.

What a dick.

 

Like the post? Hate it and want to tell me personally? Get in touch at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/