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Archive for the ‘Strength’ tag

The Fountain of Youth, Red Meat, and The Effort Trap (Sunday Reads #19)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocusera collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

On Living Well

While I’m not usually a fan of these, 12 Signs You’ve Done Well in Life is a keeper.

Strength training is the true fountain of youth.  Training with resistance boosts brain health while simultaneously making you less fragile.

The Mediterranean Diet may slow the aging process by 5 years.  As usual, this headline is a bit on the extreme side.  But “there is an increasing amount of evidence that eating a healthy diet rich in fish, vegetables, legumes and nuts is good for your brain.”

Speaking of diets, many of you probably read the (many) articles about how red meat is “proven” to cause cancer.  Of course, it’s tempting (though dangerous) to read too much into articles like those.  If you’re looking for a breakdown, the following articles are good reads: 1) What Does the WHO Report Mean For Your Meat-Eating Habit, and 2) So Will Processed Meat Give You Cancer?

On Productive Work

Jack Dorsey picks themes for days of the week in order to effectively run two companies at once.  If you have the flexibility to do, focusing on one area (and nothing else) for specific days throughout the week is a great idea.

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Written by Mike Torres

November 1st, 2015 at 3:28 pm

That Post-Vacation Feeling, GMOs, and Ronda Rousey (Sunday Reads #17)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

Could our gut microbiome be affecting our mood?  Making us happier?  Possibly.  And there may even be an evolutionary reason for it: “happy people tend to be more social. And the more social we are, the more chances the microbes have to exchange and spread.”

How do you hang onto that post-vacation feeling as long as possible?  Plan, Reminisce, and Retreat according to an interesting New York Times Travel article.

I love this stretch.  In less than five minutes, hit the hip flexor, shoulder, and back.

Top 6 Kettlebell Exercises for Building Mass.  While I’m not as into “building mass” as I was in my 20s, I know these double kettlebell exercises will pack on muscle like no other.

How the “war against GMO” is mislead and full of lies.  Warning: this is an epically long article.

I love what Juliet and Kelly Starrett are doing to bring standing desks into the classroom.  I’m anxious for my kids’ school to take this approach as well to increase overall fitness and attention in the classroom.

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Written by Mike Torres

July 19th, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Cheat Meals, Bacteria, and Prioritizing Experiences Over Things (Sunday Reads #13)

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Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.

Join thousands of other readers by subscribing to this blog and email newsletter or by following @Refocuser on Twitter.  If you’re receiving this in your email inbox, spread the love and forward it to a friend.

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last two weeks; my family and I were traveling (without opening a laptop!) Next week there won’t be a Sunday Reads either as I will be participating in the StrongFirst Instructor Certification for three full days (Fri, Sat, Sun) – wish me luck!  Sunday Reads will be back the following week (May 3rd).

On Fitness, Nutrition, and Sleep

Greatist asks if cheat meals are hurting your health – or at a minimum being positioned incorrectly as something that is ‘bad for you’, resulting in guilt.  My personal experience is that cheat meals are a gateway drug that eventually opens the door to cheating more often – so I very rarely allow myself to have a complete cheat meal or a cheat day any longer (I’ve had two “cheat” meals since September).

Metabolic slowdown effects are seen when sleep is reduced by only a few hours.  In other words, you don’t need to miss an entire night’s sleep for your metabolism to be affected, all it takes is a few hours missed.

An apple a day doesn’t keep the doctor away based on a new research study.  But I will keep eating one because they’re tasty.

Dan John tackles what it takes to get stronger.  For those who don’t know of Dan, he’s one of the best strength coaches in the industry.  I listen to what Dan has to say.  I love this quote from Brett Jones in the article: “Absolute strength is the glass. Everything else is the liquid inside the glass. The bigger the glass, the more of everything else you can do.”

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Written by Mike Torres

April 19th, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Building the Perfect Home Gym (Without Going Too Far)

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to workout alone.  While my first “official” workouts didn’t start until my 18th birthday – not coincidentally about 6 weeks after arriving at Cornell as a freshman – I spent a lot of time in my teens messing around with weights in the basement of my childhood home.  We had a beat-up old bench with rusty plates and a few bars to go along with it… and it was heaven.  Some of my best workouts to-date were in that (usually flooded) basement, and they didn’t require a Power Rack, a treadmill, or Freemotion cables.

Here I am, many years later, still longing for the same.  They say some things never change.  Over the last few months (and the next few really) I’m piecing together the home gym setup I’ve been thinking about for almost two decades.  Below is my list.

First, a word about the investment required.  Depending on your bank account and your tolerance for spending, the list below may seem extravagant… or perfectly reasonable when compared to a pricey gym membership.  No matter how you slice it, different people have different priorities and not everyone wants to spend money to improve their overall health, mood, or strength.  You can tell where I fall on that spectrum.

The great thing about having the ability to workout at home is that you have no excuses.  Not a one.  You can get a great workout finished in less than 20 minutes and you don’t have to wait for your turn to use any equipment.  You can listen to whatever you want, you can wear whatever you want, and you can be in the shower 10 seconds after your last rep.  The convenience simply can’t be beaten.

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Written by Mike Torres

December 20th, 2010 at 11:37 am

Strength Training 101

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Click for photo Physical conditioning, emotional strength, and mental focus are interrelated and natural precursors to one another.  A strong body drives intestinal fortitude and a focused mindset just as a clear, focused mindset can develop a strong body.  All three sides of the triangle are a requirement for the kind of focus this blog is all about; it’s hard to achieve self-actualization if you’re missing one of these prerequisites.  This counter-balance is often described as mind-body-spirit in various spiritual practices.

It’s clear that training the mind in various ways (NLP, visualization, meditation) can help develop physical skill as much or more than rehearsal of the activity itself.  But just as the mind drives the body, the body can drive the mind as well.  Confidence and real strength can be derived from physical activity whether it’s through enhanced coordination, a sense of empowerment and control over something, or as an avenue for achieving flow.

Looking at empowerment and control alone, it’s clear that overcoming challenges – small and large – can increase self-esteem and confidence.  And having confidence in your abilities in one area can translate to other areas of life, effectively parlaying success in one controlled arena to other potentially less controlled ones.  Tony Robbins has his conference attendees walk on fire on day one of a retreat to show them how their limiting beliefs have been holding them back, and once they’ve done something they previously thought was impossible, they’re more open to tackling more personal challenges.

In many ways building muscle has this same effect on people

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Written by Mike Torres

April 15th, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Posted in Exercise

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