STRENGTH MATTERS (to everyone)

Strength training is a very important aspect of being healthy, there is a mountain of research to support strength training for:

1.  Injury prevention

2.  Bone density improvement

3.  Performance enhancement (speed, power, strength)

4.  Decreased body fat 

5.  Increased flexibility/mobility

Any great body needs to be a strong body.  For the workouts you do, never accept them as is.  Think about them critically and decide whether they make sense for you.  Muscles are your movers so it important to train them because strength is the base for all movement. NEVER sacrifice form for weight or more reps.  It’s okay to start small as long as you have perfect form.   You CAN always add weight, you CANNOT take away an injury.


Here are exercises that you must do at least once per week:

Squat Great variations are the front squat and goblet squat


Single leg exercises: There are several variations each of these channels, I like
the Single leg RDL ,
the RFESS 
and lunges … there are many others and you can play around with these.

For the upper body you need to each of these at least once a week: (I would probably do a vertical push/pull one day and a horizontal push/pull the next)

Horizontal Press (ie Bench or Pushups)

Horizontal Pull (ie Body Row or DB Row) 

Vertical Press (ie Military Press) 

Vertical Pull (ie Pullups or Chinups) it’s okay to start with a band, in fact I recommend it

To be the most efficient I recommend to start with 2-3 full body workouts a week. You should be able to get through a lower body lift, upper push, upper pull and single leg exercise in 20-40 minutes.  Do lots of core and core type exercises, the plank is the absolute best.  But if you also want variety, the channels I gave have lots of variations you can try.  After preforming your main exercises you can move on to your secondary lifts (aka curls).  Make sure to warm up and cool down and you can do all this in under an hour.

Finally, I really recommend writing down everything in a journal.  This way you can track the improvements that YOU WILL see.  Too often I see people randomly choosing weights without tracking their progression and staying around certain ranges of weight for too long.  By logging workouts you can reflect on what is working, what you can build on, and what you need to change.

I hope this helps you structure simple but effective workouts.  Remember this is just a base for a plan.  Every 2-6 weeks you should be changing something.  If you have questions about programming principles please send them my way.



“BE willing to DO what it takes to HAVE what you want” – Shawnee Harle

I got the opportunity to learn from Shawnee Harle this past weekend.  She is the Assistant Coach with our Canadian Basketball SWNT, and you should check her consulting company out called ‘Winning Matters’, because let’s face it that’s the truth.  The course was on building a basketball practice throughout a season, but there were many life lessons to be picked up from her and in a very specific order they are presented below.

Eat that frog!  This means that you have to do the hardest thing first.  The frog is that thing you don’t want to do, it is what you procrastinate on.  But if you don’t eat the frog now, it’s going to stay there and you will keep thinking about it and before you know it the frog has grown into a hairy tarantula, and there is no way you’re going to eat that, so it stays on your plate for tomorrow and wouldn’t you know it, you wake up the next day and that frog is still there.

The importance of a regular fitness routine!  Yes that probably goes along with eating that frog because you know it is something you need to do.  It can never be stressed enough how important it is to move, sweat and challenge yourself in new ways.  It can be tough with so many things going on but it is one of the things we can control and thus makes it a great way to perform self discipline.

Listen to your instincts!  It’s that voice in your head, that feeling in your heart and it is probably telling you to do something uncomfortable.  So do something uncomfortable. Be. Do. Have. Remember?

Adapt.. Or Die!  The snake that does not lose it’s skin shall perish.  It is not enough to be leading the pack, you must continue to run, because the minute you slow down or take a rest, the pack runs you over.

Wonder and Wonder! What, why, how? Be a life long learner as you go along your path and journey.  It is the game of life that is really to be pursued so keep your mind, your heart, and your soul open.

Meticulous planning and preparation! Without this you can’t expect to to win but with this you can win and you’ve earned the right to believe you can win.  Preparation is one of the controllables, yet so many things aren’t, so you must be precise with your preparation. “How you do anything, is how you do everything.”

Think outside the box….is so cliche….crush the damn box! Why are you even in the box in the first place?  Steve Nash was never in a box because he was the opposite of what an NBA player should be and he was an MVP.

Gameface! You cannot pick confidence, it isn’t a characteristic or a trait, it is an emotion.

Tough love! This goes for others but I truly believe it is important for this to apply for yourself as well.  Everyone needs something in their life with the guts to push them to their goals, dreams and aspirations.  It is more important to give them what they need then what they want, again this goes with yourself as well since the best learning is reflective learning.  Do you want the truth or harmony? Harmony isn’t the way to the podium, you get their with truth and love.  What they/you want is ice cream, what they/you need is vegetables.

“Wanting to be great, to be a winner, to stay at the top isn’t special.. Doing, not wanting is special.” BE. DO. HAVE.

Connections and Connecting

“Everyone wants to be rich.  Although most people think being rich is about having money, rich is a description for everything but money.  Rich relationships lead to much more than money. They lead to success, fulfillment, and wealth.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

Networking is becoming more important then ever as most great jobs are never even posted, they are filled through personal connections.  It’s up to you to connect, but networking is not about strategies and tactics, it’s about creating mutually beneficial relationships, where you not only receive, but provide value.  ‘The Little Black Book of Connections’ by Jeffrey Gitomer is a quick read that gets to the point, with comic and lists it is a great way to understand connections and connecting.  The following is one of the most valuable lists in the book.

The 17.5 Strategies, Guidelines and Rules of Connecting – Jeffrey Gitomer

  1. Be friendly first, and everything else falls into place.
  2. Project your self image in a way that breeds confidence in others.
  3. Your ability to look someone in the eye as you speak to them is a tell-tale sign of your own self-respect.
  4. Your consistent positive attitude will breed positive responses and positive results.
  5. No connection is made without some form of risk.
  6. Ninety percent of success is showing up prepared.
  7. The less you focus on your motive to met, the more likely it is that your connection will be successful.
  8. Take a genuine interest in other people before you ask them to take a genuine interest in you.
  9. The sooner you can find something in common with the other guy, the sooner all the barriers will disappear.
  10. The higher up the ladder you go, the more cautious people will be of your advances.
  11. Your projected image will often determine your ability to make a real connection.
  12. People judge you by every action that you take.
  13. Provide value.
  14. Transferring you message with EXCELLENT communication skills.
  15. Staying in touch is more important and more valuable than making the initial connection.
  16. Since you don’t know what day a powerful connection will be made, you must be ready every day.
  17. Your present reputation determines your future fate.

17.5 Be yourself. Talk real, act real, be real, and you will find that others will do the same in return.
There are several reasons for being yourself.
First it’s the most comfortable feeling you can give yourself.
Second, it’s obvious when you project it.  It shows that you’re relaxed with it, and confident with it.
Third, it’s always repeatable.  It allows you to be consistent in all of your communications with all of your connections.
And finally, it’s the best and most honest way to act.  It creates an atmosphere for open dialogue and honest communication.

So I leave with you with one last question to think about regarding the quality of your connections.  

“Who can you count on? And who’s counting on you? Who would you call at two in the morning? Is anybody home?” – Harvey Mackay

B Engaged, B Successful

“Education is inoculation against disruption” – Robin Sharma

Time-management strategies are a huge point of discussion of anyone with things to do.  With so much going on in our lives it can get hard to find the time to do what is important, but I have always believed that if it is important enough to you, then you will make the time.  However, even once you are at the desk, working for hours on end with some sort of project it can still be hard to produce great results.  Why is this?

There are two recent books that I have read that have led to a profound mind-shift in how I look at work and productivity.  These books are “The Monk who Sold his Ferrari” by Robin Sharma and “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr.  The basic premise of the two books is that it is not time-management that is the key to success but managing our energy.  Before we get into the details I want to stress the importance of reading for achieving success. Robin Sharma says “to double your success, triple your investment in self-education.”  After hearing similar sentiments by many successful people I believe this to be true.

In a presentation, Sharma highlights a myth in our society that being genius or talented is something innate to the individual.  That Bill Gates was meant to be billionaire, Mozart a famous composer, Kobe Bryant a perennial all-star and the list goes on.  But this is a lie told by society to keep us small.  Science says that genius is less about genetics and more about how you practice, how you deal with failures, genius is about continuing to develop your craft.

Four tips that overlap between the two books to be productive are to: be undistracted, be an active learner, continue the task through the full extent and that change is intense so we must train our brain.  In a world with social media we have trained our brains to process content by skimming rather than focussing on the material, I know I have.  Research shows that the average person gets distracted every 11 minutes and spends 2.1 hours distracted per day.  If you want to do what only 1 percent do, then you have to be willing to do what only the percent will do. Imagine what more you could do with an extra 2.1 hours a day!  You have not only the opportunity to be successful, but a responsibility to reach your potential.

In a presentation Sharma gave his principles of success.  First, genius is less about genetics and more about will power.  Keeping this in mind it is important to note that every expert was once an amateur, every master was once a beginner.  He also noted that this is more likely to be done in a talent hub, suggesting the importance of surrounding yourself with people living the lives you want to be living, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.  Second, your growth is built around your discomfort.  I acknowledge discomfort can be scary, and our natural reaction is to try to get back to comfort as soon as possible, but without this you cannot grow.  Growth occurs on the edges of your current state.  The seduction of safety is more dangerous than the perception of uncertainty because that is where true performance lies.  Next, he noted that it is your natural responsibility to be great, and that creating a life that is legendary is the secret to happiness.  Another important point is that the goal is the process, and that it is not completing your goal but what the challenges you faced made of you that is the real value.  Be in love with the process of moving to mastery rather than the accolades.  Lastly, he noted that the secrets of all great success are in transformation.  He pointed out that, success is not about one win on a sunny day but about constant wins day in and day out. 

Consistent little tiny wins over time amount to an avalanche of results.

52 Quotes I Just Had to Share

If we have ever had a conversation you know that  I am a little bit of a quote nerd.  In this blog, I plan to share anything I come across that I find important, thought-provoking, useful, inspirational or anything that gives me a reason to share it with you.  So I thought why not kick off my blog by going through the many quotes I have written down or retweeted at one point or another and share with you my favourite.  I hope you appreciate them.

  1. “Play the game one way, full speed. Whatever happens happens. You never see a lion hesitate, when they got their eyes on something, that’s it.” – Ray Lewis
  2. “I believe the world is plotting to do me good today and I can’t wait to see what it is.” – Jack Canfield
  3. “Invest your time, don’t spend it.” – Alan Stein
  4. “I want to be the best in whatever I do. So, if all I ever do is shoot in this gym. I’m going to do it to the best off my ability.” – Unknown
  5. “I’ve learned that the ache of unfulfilled dreams is the worst pain of all.” – Alan Stein
  6. “The overnight sensation understands better than anyone that success never happens overnight.” – Kevin Eastman
  7. “Sports psychology doesn’t create talent. It can only help release it.” – Gary Mack
  8. “Be happy now. Don’t wait for something to make you happy in the future. HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE” Alan Stein
  9. “Wake up EVERY day with the optimism that TODAY is the day something will happen to make all of your dreams come true. One day it will be.” – Alan Stein
  10. It has nothing to do with how bad you want it. It’s all about what you actually do to get it. – Alan Stein
  11. “I know me, I will endure whatever pain, whatever discomfort and how much time I had to put in to get that split second result.  If it were eighteen months that I had to put in of pain and suffering and sacrifice of my personal life and this and that for a tenth of a second.  You’re darn right, I’ll do it all over again. I’ll do whatever it takes to get that split second. To know in the end I’m gonna come out on top.  But it only lasts a second, am I crazy? It doesn’t matter I’ll do it. You know why? Cause I know what the other feelings like. It doesn’t go away.” Tom Peck
  12. “If it’s important; do it every day.” – Dan Gable
  13. “Sometimes your drive can put you on an island all by yourself. Sometimes you have to do it alone.” Kobe Bryant
  14. “A successful person makes more opportunities than they find.”- Francis Bacon
  15. “Make your combat stance, your everyday stance.” – Musashi
  16. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate/ Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure/ It is our light, not our darkness/ That most frightens us.” – Marianne Williamson
  17.  “You don’t succeed because you are destined to; you succeed because you are determined to.” – Unknown
  18. “Quit trying-start doing! “Trying” leaves failure as an option. Decide what you want, figure out how to get it then don’t stop working till you do!” – Drew Hanlen
  19. “What is the real game? It is a game in which the heart is entertained, the game in which you are entertained. It is the game you will win.” – Maharaji
  20. “Winning is overcoming obstacles to reach a goal, but the value of winning is only as great as the value of the goal reached.” – Timothy Galloway
  21. “One person sees the obstacle and another sees the opportunity. Who are you?” – Henry Barrera
  22. “There is no never… just long periods of not yet.” – Solenn Heuseff
  23. “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockerfella
  24. “Making change that lasts requires a three-step process: Define Purpose, Face the Truth and Take Action” – Jim Loehr
  25. “The question is not how far. The question is do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith to go as far as needed?” – Joshua Medcalf
  26. Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball.” – Phil Jackson
  27. “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”—C.S. Lewis
  28. “Older people sit down and ask, ‘What is it?’ but the boy asks, ‘What can I do with it?.”
    Steve Jobs
  29. “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” – Steve Jobs
  30. “Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” – Steve Jobs
  31. “Let’s go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about what happened yesterday.” – Steve Jobs
  32. “That’s what I do now: I lead and I teach. If we win basketball games from doing that, then that’s great, but I lead and teach. Those are the two things I concentrate on.” -Coach K
  33. “A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist. That’s how I want you to play.” – Coach K
  34. “Making shots counts, but not as much as the people who make them.” – Coach K
  35. “How DREAMs become reality. Discipline Respect Effort Attitude Mentality” – Heather Stewart
  36. “Building a legacy of living trophies is my WHY.” Melissa J Baker
  37. “The intensity and dedication of your pursuit are the level of your passion.” – Bob Beaudine
  38. “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” –  John Wooden
  39. “From struggle comes strength. Even pain can be a wonderful teacher.” – Robin Sharma
  40. “The opposite of remarkable is very good.” – Seth Godin
  41. “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart… He who looks outside, dreams. He who looks inside awakens.” – Carl Jung
  42. “Math you actually need:
    Knowledge X Practice = Proficiency
    Proficiency X Motivation = Productivity
    Productivity X Consistency = Success” – Alan Stein
  43. “Imagination is more important that knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein
  44. “Take hold of the wheel, you’re closer than you think” – Bob Beaudine
  45. “The only really important question you need to answer is: what am I doing right now to steer my life in the direction of the future I desire” – Unknown
  46. “The greatest component of talent is desire” Press Maravich (father of Pistol Pete)
  47. “Only those who seek shall find.” – Robin Sharma
  48. “Everthing is always created twice: first in the mind and then in reality”. – Robin Sharma
  49. “Saying you don’t have time to improve your thoughts is like saying you don’t have time to stop for gas because you are too busy driving.” – Robin Sharma
  50. “Most men die at 25, we just don’t bury them by 60.” – Ben Franklin
  51. “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” – Kevin Durant
  52. “Wisdom, knowledge, experience and the way you take care of your body” – Ray Lewis

This is in no way a comprehensive list, I know there are favourites of mine I have missed, and many I haven’t even heard so if you have one I have to hear then please share it with me by commenting here, on Facebook or Twitter, or shoot me a message. Thanks for taking the time to read these.