We’ve all been there. We start the new year with the best of intensions to lose weight, get fit, eat healthier….the list goes on and on. But then it happens. Life throws us a curve ball. We slip. We delay. We procrastinate. We give up. Why does motivation always seem so fleeting?
Guess what– even the most driven, successful people on the planet don’t feel like getting things done all the time. You might ask, “well, how are they still successful?”
When we look deeper into what motivation is, we see that it’s actually the driving force behind discipline. It’s what carries us from our goal to our accomplishment. In other words, motivation is wanting to get things done.
But when we’re exhausted, and we’re stressing over all the little things we have to do… that motivation and drive fades. So, what can we do to reignite that spark of motivation?
Here are three simple ways to hack your motivation and stay (or get back) on track:
Know Your “Why”
The number one motivation hack is knowing your “why”. When your goals have deep, personal meaning and purpose, it’s so much easier to stick it out when things get challenging. “I want to get fit.” Great goal…but why? “So that I can be a good example for my kids”. See the difference?
So…what’s your “why”? The reason behind your goal? Figure it out. Write it down. Post it somewhere you can see it every day. This is the influence that keeps you moving forward. This is what feeds and fuels your motivation. Remember, our goals are not just about achieving something, but about the person we want to become.
Building new, sustainable habits can be challenging. We tend to think more about eliminating “bad habits” first. “I have to stop eating fast-food.” Or “I have to stop spending all weekend on the couch binging my favorite show.” But, experts agree that rather than eliminating habits that don’t serve us or our new goals, it’s better to replace our old habits with new, more beneficial habits. Easier said than done, right? Fortunately, there’s a hack for this one, too. It’s called habit bundling. And it’s all about establishing a pattern or routine to help you reach your goal.
For example, “When I decide to pick-up fast food, I will go for a 20 minute walk or run.” Or “Every time I start a new episode of [insert whatever binge-worthy show here], I will do 20 push ups.” The trigger of “when I do this, then I will do that” removes the forced ‘I have to do this’ need for motivation, and becomes a standard practice over time. Repeated behaviors like this can turn into self-improving habits. “Instead or ordering fast food, I’ll go for a 20 minute run or walk and then head home for a healthy dinner.” The best part? It increases productivity while reducing mental stress.
Plan for Failure
Yes, you read that right. We all know it’s ideal to reach our goals flawlessly and in a timely manner. But, life frequently seems to have other plans. Staying motivated when difficulty arises is a lot more challenging than it sounds – especially if we get into a groove and an unwanted interruption occurs. Say you’ve been intentionally going for your daily run and eating all the whole foods with plenty of veggie (yay, you!). Then a hard freeze hits. You take a week off from running due to the frozen conditions and all of a sudden you’re having potato chips for breakfast and ice cream for a late night snack. Now,you’re frustrated, confused, stressed out, and losing focus on your goals. Sometimes, we can get so thrown off that we hyper-focus on the issue (I failed) rather than the solution (how can I get back on track?).
So, how do you stay on track when stuff hits the fan? Plan for failures and imperfection. Seriously. You have to drill failure into your practice. We can’t predict everything that could possibly go wrong– but expecting setbacks and knowing your alternative options when disaster strikes makes all the difference in your motivation. When you accept that life can (and will) interrupt your plans, you can keep the momentum going anyway. You can approach your tasks without being deflated. You’ll be more realistic about what you can achieve, learn how to make adjustments, and stay open to exploring other options. Don’t be afraid to plan for failure. Embrace it as a tool for staying motivated and achieving your goals. Flexibility is the path of least resistance.
Ultimately, being a motivated person just means that you’re in control of your life (despite old habits and possible set-backs). Remember, you’re fully capable of making the necessary changes in your life to achieve your goals. And you deserve to live the life you want. Take small steps, one day at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be celebrating your success. You’ve got this.
Ready to join our martial arts community and fuel your motivation even more? It’s easy to GET STARTED.
There’s no shortage of fitness tips out there. Don’t believe me? Just scroll through social media. It’s common for well-meaning people to innocently spread misinformation when it comes to fitness. While it may seem harmless, buying in to false fitness tips can lead to physical burnout or even injury. So, how do we avoid falling for fitness myths?
We’re debunking three of the most popular fitness myths to keep you focused and well-informed as you work towards your fitness goals.
1. “No pain, no gain”
When it comes to fitness, ever hear the phrase “no pain, no gain”? This phrase is commonly used to push an athlete harder during their workout. Don’t get us wrong, challenging yourself occasionally is a great thing! But, doing it too often can lead to potential soft-tissue injuries and even set you back when it comes to making progress towards your fitness goals. In fact, training too hard can make it more difficult for your muscles to recover properly. It can also effect your mood, your sleep cycle, and even hinder your immune system. The best approach is to slowly increase the intensity of your training, rather than over-doing it all at once.
2. “Fasting before your workout helps you loose weight faster”
The idea of doing fasted cardio, or exercising on an empty stomach, is that you’ll burn more fat because your body is using stored fat as energy instead of glucose.
While you may initially burn more calories by doing fasted cardio, at the end of the day, it doesn’t make a huge difference. This is because weight loss really comes down to your total daily caloric intake. If your goal is to lose weight, being in a caloric deficit is far more important than whether you exercise fasted or not. In fact, research has shown that there is no significant difference in weight loss between those who fasted before their cardio workout and those who did not.
The best bet is to listen to your body. If you discover you feel better when you exercise on an empty stomach and are in good health, there’s nothing wrong with doing fasted cardio. However, you may find that fueling up before some types of training, like strength training, is a better option to prevent you from experiencing fatigue during your workout. Always check with your primary care physician first, especially if you’re pregnant, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other underlying medical issues.
3.” If you’re sore, then you had a good workout”
A common misconception is that being sore after a workout means you had a good training session. Typically, when we experience muscle soreness, it’s because we’ve tried a new exercise or pushed ourselves harder than normal during a workout. This type of soreness is called delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. DOMS leaves our muscles inflamed, tender, and tight. This discomfort typically lasts 24 to 48 hours after your workout. While DOMS can generally resolve on its own, using a foam roller can aid in faster recovery.
So, what’s the best way to gauge if you had a good workout? Experts agree that evaluating your performance during your workout sessions is a much better indicator. So, if you’re able to lift more or do more reps during your next workout session, you’re on the right track. Even better, as you adapt to a workout routine, the soreness you experience will lessen which will keep you on track with your training and progress.
Ready to bust the fitness myths and start training smarter? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.
A common desire for most martial artists is to increase their strength and performance. Many martial artists incorporate strength and conditioning exercises in their training sessions. But did you know that you can feel stronger through stretching? It’s true! You can actually stretch yourself strong.
You’ve undoubtedly heard how important it is to stretch. When we stretch consistently, we maintain our mobility and overall strength. Here are a few ways stretching makes us stronger:
Joints: stronger joints yield improved range of motion
Ligaments: stronger ligaments increase stability
Muscles: stronger muscles help us with better balance
Body: stronger bodies help lower our risk of injury
There are three basic ways to feel stronger through stretching: dynamic, static, and assisted stretching.
Dynamic stretching uses controlled movements that prepare your muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues for performance and injury prevention. This type of stretching improves speed, agility, and acceleration of movement. As such, dynamic stretches are ideal for pre-workout warm-up. Examples of dynamic stretches include arm circles to help with shoulder mobility and straight leg swings to help with hamstring muscles.
One of the most popular and familiar types of stretching, static stretching involves stretching a muscle as far as it can go without feeling pain and hold it for 20 to 45 seconds. This type of stretching is great for increasing flexibility. As such, static stretches are ideal for cooling down after a training session. An example of static stretching includes reaching to touch your toes from a standing of seated position.
Also called partner stretching, assisted stretching allows your body to move in ways that it is not able to when stretching alone. This type of stretching can help reduce muscle tightness, increase flexibility, and improve our range of motion. While you can achieve some of these benefits with the help of a trusted friend or exercise partner, it is recommended to seek the help of a trained professional for maximum results.
So, how does any of this improve our performance and make us stronger martial artists? For one, as your flexibility improves, you lower your risk of injury. Additionally, the more flexible you become, the better you will move. Your muscles will work together more efficiently and your techniques will become more effective.
Ready to start experiencing the benefits of incorporating more stretching into your martial artists training? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.
According to the CDC, a staggering 25% of U.S. adults are considered physically inactive. The health repercussions of not getting enough physical activity can be severe: obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Of course, the benefits of physical activity are numerous including a decreased risk of chronic disease, improved mental health, and better sleep to name a few. Bottom line, as adults, we need to get moving.
There are several reasons adults don’t exercise. The most cited reason is a lack of time. Also noted are a lack of support or lack of desirable options. Let’s face it, the idea of spending half an hour on a treadmill isn’t exactly inspirational.
So, what can adults do to get moving that’s fast, effective, and includes a positive and supportive community?
Martial arts training is an ideal solution. Surprisingly, only 5% of adults have ever trained in a martial arts discipline. With so many benefits, we want to do our part to share our passion for mixed martial arts training and grow that number.
There are a variety of physical, social, and emotional benefits to training in martial arts. Need to loose weight? Want to feel stronger? Could you use a confidence boost? Is a lack of accountability crippling your progress? Regardless of what your fitness goals are, you can completely transform your life with martial arts training. We’ll show you how!
Ready to become part of the 5% of adults that consider themselves martial artists? It’s time to get moving and start getting the results you deserve. At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.
We’ve all been there. We start out with the best intensions, come up with a goal, and a plan, and commit to getting in better shape. But then something happens. We get injured. We don’t see the results we expected. We get discouraged. Sometimes, we even quit.
So, how do you make sure to stay on track with your fitness goals?
We’ve come up with some simple tips to make your workout more effective, maximize your results, and minimize your chances of injury.
Always make sure you warm up first. According to Mayo Clinic, a warm-up should last around 5 minutes. Warming up helps prepare your body for aerobic activity and lowers your risk of injury.
Fueling your body before a workout is just as important. Protein is one of the most important nutrients. The recommended dietary allowance is 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women. While this may sound like a lot, and you may not be a fan of protein shakes or bars, there are several foods that are excellent sources of protein.
Some examples include:
1/2 salmon fillet – 30g
half a chicken breast – 26g
3 ounces of lean beef – 25g
7 ounces of greek yogurt – 20g
2 eggs – 12g
2 ounces of almonds – 12g
1/2 cup of lentils – 9g
1 cup quinoa – 8g
Above all, always listen to your body while exercising. Pace yourself and be patient. You will continue to get stronger and more resilient over time. Prioritize cooling down after you workout. A cool down activity can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes. Walking, yoga, or static stretching are great options. This will speed up your muscle recovery and reduce soreness.
Check out the graphic below for more great tips.
Ready to put these tips into practice and start getting the results you deserve? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.
When it comes to fitness goals, everyone knows how important setting goals is to staying on track and achieving lasting results. But, did you know that not all goals are created equal? In fact, setting SMART fitness goals can make all the difference. The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely—all of which are important in reaching your desired outcome.
Setting SMART goals will help you stay on track and remain committed to completing every planned workout and sticking to healthy meal options.
So, what’s the best way to start creating SMART fitness goals? Use the tool below to help you better understand what makes a SMART fitness goal so powerful.
Now, let’s put our learning into action!
Clearly, we’ve all heard a fitness goal like “I will exercise more”. While that is a great place to start, it can be difficult to measure your progress with such a vague statement.
And let’s face it, it’s pretty challenging to keep chasing a goal when it just doesn’t feel like you’re making any progress.
So, how do we revise this goal statement to set us up for success?
Instead of saying “I will exercise more”, we can easily turn this into a SMART goal by saying “I will attend 45 minute kickboxing classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next 6 months”. As you can see this goal is now specific (kickboxing), measurable (45 min classes, 2 times per week), attainable (challenging but realistic), relevant (pertains to fitness), and timely (6 months).
It’s important to note that fitness goals typically fall into three main categories: physical goals, health goals, and behavior goals. Creating SMART fitness goals in each of these categories will set you on course to creating lasting habits that will yield long-term success and have you living your best life yet.
Ready to set some SMART fitness goals and get the results you deserve? At Invictus, we help you do just that! And it’s easy to GET STARTED.
The difference between a good and a bad workout often comes down to how you fuel your body. What you eat and when you eat it determines how hard you can push yourself during a training session. It also impacts how well your muscles recover afterwards.
Many people believe not eating before a workout will help them burn more fat. That’s simply not the case. In fact, not eating before a workout can lead to feeling lethargic or even faint during a workout. The main goal of eating before a workout is to prime our metabolism and replenish the glycogen that supplies our energy needs to our body.
So, how do you fuel your body for a successful workout without limiting your performance? The solution is a simple nutritional recipe for fitness success: drink plenty of water, and eat good carbs and lean protein.
Here are a few tips on how to best fuel your body to maximize your training experience.
We can’t stress this enough: stay hydrated. Drinking water before you begin your workout is crucial. The amount of water your body needs will vary from person to person based on size and muscle mass. Do your own personal research to determine your optimal hydration requirements. The goal is to be fully hydrated within an hour of starting your workout. This is because the act of drinking water only starts the hydration process and our bodies need time to fully benefit. During a high-intensity workout, aim to drink water every 20-30 minutes to stay hydrated as you exercise. Keep in mind, when you drink water during your workout, you’re not just putting liquid back into your body, you’re also replenishing electrolytes, sodium, and glucose. Even better, drinking water can help regulate your body temperature and even prevent muscle cramps.
Eat Regularly Throughout The Day
We get it. Life happens and suddenly we find ourselves skipping meals and making excuses. The benefit of disciplining ourselves to eat at regular intervals throughout the day is that we can better maintain proper blood sugar levels and energy levels as well. Aim to eat about 300 to 500 calories about two hours before your workout. Remember, your body can only use food it’s already digested. Eating easily digestible food a couple of hours before you exercise will provide your body with the time it needs to properly fuel itself without making you feel too full.
Convinced you just can’t make that happen? Even just eating a 50 to 100 calorie snack consisting of fast-digesting carbs right before your workout can provide a quick burst of energy to fuel your fitness. Some great choices to eat on the go are fruits like oranges, bananas, apples, or raisins.
Just Say “No” To Some Foods
When it comes to fueling a great workout, avoid foods high in saturated fats like fried foods or pizza. In general, these kinds of foods take a long time to digest and tend to sit very heavy in your stomach. A small serving of good fats is much more ideal, such as half an avocado or a hand-full of almonds.
Additionally, while foods high in fiber are great for digestive health, consuming large servings of foods high in fiber right before a workout could upset your stomach. Consuming high-fiber foods like broccoli, lentils, or certain cereals before a workout draws blood flow to your digestive system rather than your muscles. This can limit the amount of oxygen, sugar, and amino acids your muscles receive as you exercise.
Lastly, avoid carbonated beverages like soda and seltzer before working out. These drinks can cause gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. They also contain significant amounts of sodium, which can cause dehydration.
Fuel Your Recovery
Jump start your recovery process by consuming good food within 30 to 45 minutes after completing your workout. Look for foods consisting of carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein. Whole grains and lean meats work best for restoring glycogen stores and stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Fruit smoothies or protein shakes are great options if you’re crunched for time.
In general, macronutrients are key for maximizing your body’s recovery after a great workout. Protein helps repair and build muscles. Carbohydrates replenish your body’s glycogen stores. Good fats like avocado, nuts and seeds, eaten in moderation, have also been shown to aid in muscle growth after a workout.
Finally, don’t skip the water. Replenishing lost water and electrolytes will help you maximize the benefits of your workout.
Now that you’ve got some great tips for fueling your workout, try a FREE training session at Invictus! Which class below are you most curious about?
When most people think of martial arts, they tend to think of the benefits of learning self-defense. But did you know, training in the martial arts doesn’t just teach your body how to protect you from violence? Regular participation in martial arts training also teaches your body to protect you from common medical conditions as well.
Martial arts is medicine, plain and simple.
In fact, the fitness industry as a whole plays an important role in the Healthcare Continuum: preventive healthcare. Experts agree that regular physical activity is vital for the prevention of several chronic diseases. Of course, you should always check with your primary care physician before starting any new exercise program. Here’s a list of some of the most common medical problems and how martial arts can help prevent them:
Participating in regular aerobic exercise, like kickboxing, is one of the body’s most efficient ways to control nasal congestion associated with allergies. This is in part due to the dilation of blood vessels which increases blood flow and improves the body’s ability to extract oxygen from the bloodstream. Physical activity results in increased blood flow which allows allergens to be moved quickly through the body and eliminated by the kidneys and skin.
Another benefit of martial arts training is focusing on controlled breathing. Breathing exercises can help build stronger lungs that can help protect against severe allergy symptoms.
Individuals with arthritis are often reluctant to exercise because they fear their symptoms and condition will get worse. Fortunately, new research shows, that being active actually improves joint function.
In general, more activity mean less disability.
When you train in the martial arts, performing various punches and kicks forces the skeletal joints to move which induces the production of synovial fluid and helps to distribute it over the cartilage and circulate throughout the joint space. While these things won’t reverse the damage already done by existing arthritis, it can help prevent things from getting worse.
In general, exercise helps lower blood sugar levels, strengthen the skeletal muscles and heart, improve circulation, and reduce stress. In fact, a recent study shows that type 1 diabetic patients who regularly engage in martial arts training can achieve or maintain satisfactory glycemic control without the increased risk of severe hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
Exercise increases insulin sensitivity which helps your muscles better use available insulin for the uptake of glucose during and after activity.
During exercise, your muscles contract allowing your cells to take up glucose and use it for energy whether there is available insulin or not.
When you make martial arts training, like kickboxing, a regular habit, it can also help lower your A1C levels as well.
According to the Center for Disease Control, high levels of LDL cholesterol increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Fortunately, training in the martial arts can help raise HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels in the blood and lower LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) levels.
In fact, an intense martial arts training session can burn up to 500 calories!
Even better, regular participation in martial arts training results in gaining muscle mass. This helps burn even more calories! As your heart rate increases during your martial arts training, your heart learns how to pump blood throughout your body more efficiently. This results in decreased blood pressure, reducing your risk for hypertension.
Exercise promotes bone density, thereby lowering an individual’s risk of experiencing bone fracture. In fact, a recent study shows that adolescents engaging in martial arts training presented higher values of bone mineral density when compared to the control group. This means adolescents that train in martial arts will be less prone to developing osteoporosis later in life.
There is also evidence to support learning how to properly fall during martial arts training can be extremely beneficial for individuals suffering with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a well-known risk factor for fall-related hip fractures. Learning and practicing simple fall techniques in a safe and controlled environment can help prevent hip fractures in individuals with osteoporosis.
Ready to experience these health benefits for yourself? Invest in a personalized approach to your wellness with a FREE training session at Invictus. We have new classes starting and invite you to get real results today. Click below for the class that interests you the most and get started for FREE…
Finding the right personal trainer can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Maybe you took some time time off from your fitness routine and suddenly a few weeks turned into a few months. Perhaps you’re bouncing back from a minor injury and feeling uncertain about what exercises are best for your current activity level. It’s possible you’ve never had a consistent exercise regime and you could use some guidance. Or maybe you’re just struggling with feeling unmotivated. We’ve all been there. You know a personal trainer can help, but how do you find a coach that’s right for you?
Regardless of why you’re considering working with a personal trainer, one thing is certain. You want to see clear and consistant progress.
When you think of a personal trainer you probably think of a typical training session including some cardio as well as strength training with weights. But did you know, there’s an alternative? If running on a treadmill and working with free weights doesn’t get you excited, an MMA coach may be the perfect fit for you. Getting in shape with martial arts training isn’t just possible, it’s also a lot of fun! Understanding the benefits of working with an MMA personal trainer is as easy as A, B, C!
A. All About Accountability
One of the main reasons people hire personal trainers is for accountability. It’s a lot harder to blow off your training when there’s a coach waiting for you at a set time every week. Knowing you have a coach who is fully invested in your growth and development helps you stay motivated to keep doing the work and keep showing up. An MMA coach will specifically challenge you to develop your upper and lower body as well as your cardio during each training session. MMA training is a full-body, aerobic activity that uses body-weight resistance training to develop strong bones, encourage weight-loss, and strengthen muscles. Whatever your fitness goals are, having an MMA coach as your personal trainer will keep you focused on why you started and give you the support you need to achieve lasting transformation.
B. Beat The Boredom
Let’s face it, nothing sucks the life out of you like doing the same exercises week after week without seeing any progress. In fact, many people will quit their gym memberships because they just aren’t motivated. Keep things interesting with an MMA personal trainer! A good MMA coach has mastered the art of disguising repetition. Whether it’s mixing up combos and pad drills or working through sparring techniques, every training session is different. Ultimately, you’ll stay engaged and excited about your training while working up a great sweat.
C. Customized Training
Your fitness needs and goals are uniquely yours. Shouldn’t your training program be too? A personal trainer will customize your training experience to ensure you get exactly what you want out of your workout. A good MMA coach will help you understand your body and train you to be able to maximize your performance the way only you can. In addition to training you how to perform each technique, your MMA coach will also train you why each technique works with your specific body mechanics. Worried about an old injury? Your personal trainer can suggest modified movements that will still help you make progress while avoiding re-injury.
Ready to give personal training a shot? Reserve a FREE private coaching session at Invictus where REAL people like you are getting REAL results for the REAL world!
If you’re like us, you LOVE finding secret benefits to ethically hack more results from your life.
Let’s be real: we all have the same 24-hours in a day. But some people seem to get more from every hour than us. The same is true of martial arts training. Have you ever noticed some people get better results than us at the gym… but we’re doing the same kind of training?
Which makes us wonder: what’s their secret?
Today, we’re going to give you five secret benefits of martial arts that no one else is talking about… but really should be!
1) Better Insulin Sensitivity
Experts agree that exercise helps improve your cells and muscles’ sensitivity to insulin. This is a really good thing! Because that means your body doesn’t need as much insulin to work effectively. And even better, it means less belly fat.
2) Less Stress
Experience shows that working out with martial arts quickly reduces a person’s stress. That’s because exercise like martial arts reduces cortisol (the stress hormone). Why does that matter? Too much cortisol triggers the body to become insulin resistant (that’s bad) and signals the body to store belly fat. Additionally, elevated cortisol stress makes you crave sugar and carbs… a vicious cycle. Break free of the stress-eat cycle with a quick 45-min strength and cardio session at Invictus (BTW, it’s always FREE to try)!
3) Better Brain Health
Our brains perform better in everyday life when we exercise! Martial arts exercise improves memory, enhances learning, and boosts concentration. In fact, vigorous exercise (like a training session at Invictus) is known to even be a great antidepressant working just as effective as common prescription drugs. Exercise helps to improve your mood (we wrote about it HERE), boost your energy, and reduce mental fog and fatigue.
4) Reduced Risk For Chronic Disease
Exercise protects your heart and reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact, we’ve written extensively about this in previous posts HERE and HERE. Martial arts exercise can reduce inflammation which is the cause of almost every disease associated with aging. Furthermore, it balances hormones that contribute to reducing breast and other common cancers.
5) Enhanced Detoxification
Intense exercise is known to assist your body with releasing toxins through your skin. Now, before you get all grossed out, this is a very common way our bodies naturally detox. Vigorous exercise helps you work up a great sweat (a great detoxifier), but a gentle exercise session will keep your circulation going. This flushes out all the toxic fluids that build up in your lymphatic system.
With benefits like these what’s not to like? Now that you know these five secret benefits of martial arts, perhaps it’s time for you to give it a tryfor FREE! And best of all you just might like feeling better, feeling stronger, and feeling healthier!