I am guessing a lot of people caught the VMAs last night and while I can't say I actually planned on watching them thanks to my fiancé's love for Justin Timberlake the DVR had already been set to record the show. So when I got home from a late night training session I got a brief fast forwarding recap of the whole event. Of course this was after I got hear all about how NSYNC reunited during Timberlake's performance (gag me, but I don't doubt there were a lot of women letting there teen girl show last night). 2013-VMAs---Miley-Cyrus-blurb-jpgBut what I couldn't believe was Miley Cyrus's performance! Geez! Someone get that girl a psychological evaluation stat. I feel terrible for that girls father.

On a high note though Bruno Mars sung the hell out of his performance. Sucks though that all the talk on major media outlets this morning revolved around Cyrus's performance instead of highlighting the Artists who actually rocked out. Just goes to show that controversial and abnormal are what spread.

Any how regardless I do have an opinion I wanted to share real quick with you that I have been mulling over the past couple of days. I keep seeing this constant fluid of images on my facebook feed with really sexy women and a quote plastered over them in the foreground. Usually the quote is something along the lines of "No Pain, No Gain" or "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and while some people might find such things inspirational I am of the opinion that it is a mistake to be using such a mindset to approach training with.Unknown

Don't get me wrong perseverance, determination, and commitment are good things. They are necessary for long-term success in many areas of life as well as training. But lets all be a little realistic. Do we really actually need to be promoting the idea to people that the only way to get fit and healthy is to put yourself through tortuous hours of training? How do we expect to get inactive and unhealthy people of the couch with this kind of message? It is sure to do only one thing, keep them on the couch and out of the gym. They will think well I can't do that. I don't have that kind of drive and discipline.

And they are probably correct, but it doesn't mean they can't make a positive change. It means that we need to be approaching this get healthy and fit with a different mindset. We need to promote achieving health as a journey one which will include failures and successes. Over time we can develop an individual's ability to push on and to tolerate discomfort.

I am just really sick and tired of this perverse idea that training is all about beating your body down and suffering. When in actuality training for the majority of the population is mainly about improving quality of life. And this goal will not be accomplished through grueling and punishing training sessions that leave you feeling broken, battered, and needing to take 800 mg of ibuprofen.

Just a thought. Perhaps you disagree or think I am right on target with my ideas, either way share your feelings in a comment at the bottom or post a comment to my facebook page.

Now on to three great pieces of reading material.

1. Take Pride in Your Weaker Lifts by Bret Contreras

The title here says it all. Strengths are great, but in fact the most improvement can often be made by bringing up our lagging weaknesses.

2. Some Big Reasons Why Your It Band Hurts by Dean Somerset

UnknownDean Somerset is the post rehabilitation guru! So whenever he writes a detailed blog about an injury problem and how you can go about correcting it it only makes sense to read up and take notes. I thought that this particular post is appealing to a large number of people because of the prevalence of IT Band problems in runners. Some really great take aways and possible solutions to some of your aches and pains.

3. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

415V1QUNH1L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_I am really of the belief that keys to successful personal training and winning the fight against America's poor health lies in understanding individual psychology and behavior. I think while you have to be able to design a competent program based on sound physiology it is much more necessary to understand how to get someone to actually pick up the program and perform it.

You have to understand how you need to go about making people care enough about their health to make a change. So I have been doing some heavy reading into books regarding change psychology and behaviorism.

This book was one of the first I read on the topic and I have to say it is still probably the most entertaining and actionable-knowledge filled ones I have read to date. I think everyone can benefit from understanding their own psychology better and gain an insight into why they might be making the decisions or choices they are making and how they can fix the bad ones. I highly recommend it!

Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training