Mental Muscle: October 2017

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If you missed the first installment of the “Mental Muscle” series last month, you may check it out here. 

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Sleep Strategies For Success

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According to National Geographic’s 2014 documentary, Sleepless In America, the average American sleeps just 6.5 hours each night, with 40% of all U.S. adults sleeping less than 6 hours per night, and many more getting less than 5 hours throughout the week—this despite The National Sleep Foundation’s recommendation of at least 7-9 hours per night for adults.

What does this data imply for our overall health and well-being as a society?

Well, being chronically sleep deprived can lead to a whole host of problems for us—cognitively, behaviorally, and metabolically.

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Mental Muscle: September 2017

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What’s up everybody?

This post will kick off a new segment of my blog: at the end of every month I will send out links to all the interesting podcasts, books, documentaries, articles, music, movies, and performances that I checked out throughout the previous 4 weeks and that inspired me in some way, shape or form.

I’ve been doing this for my clients via email the last few months, and I thought that it would be cool to share this stuff with all of you as well.

One of the characteristics that I feel distinguishes me from others in the health and fitness industry is that I have a very broad definition of “wellness.”

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Muscle Soreness Vs. Muscle Fatigue

It was the summer of 1996.

Jay-Z’s first album, Reasonable Doubt, had just been released, Michael Jordan had just won his fourth NBA championship, and Bill Clinton still knew the definition of the word “is.”

Image result for Eden Roc MiamiI was ten years old and my family headed to Miami Beach’s Eden Roc resort for one of my father’s biennial conferences for the Cuban American Medical Association.

For him this meant 3 days of lectures, meetings and glitzy dinners; for my sister and I this meant 3 days of unadulterated “fun in the sun.”

We’d get up early and hit the buffet around 8 or 9 am, then spend the rest of the day at the beach and the pool,  playing games and horsing around with the many friends we had made with the other doctors’ kids.

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The Best Exercises For Each Body Part

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I recently discussed The Law of Diminishing Returns in regard to training in an Instagram post about a week ago.

Basically, this economic principle refers to the point in which the benefit gained from something ceases to outweigh the investment (time, energy, money, etc.) required to accrue that benefit.

If you are new to training, it doesn’t take much to get results: just lift 2-3 days per week; and focus on 3-4 exercises per session, consisting of full body, compound movements.

A simple workout of 2-3 sets of squats, dumbbell press, and rows can elicit some pretty impressive results if executed correctly and fused with proper eating habits.

Now, once you are passed that beginner – intermediate level and focused on taking your training and muscle-building to the next level, you’re going to have to get a little more intricate with how you design your workouts.

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The Perfect Workout

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Most people have absolutely no clue whatsoever about how they should go about designing their training sessions.

They walk into the gym and immediately head over to the free weights or machines – without warming up – and dive in, head first, into an incredibly inefficient training session; and, in most cases I observe, a workout that usually does more harm to their bodies than good.

This is because not only are they performing exercises incorrectly, with bad form and/or in the wrong sequences, but they are also just focusing on one aspect of a training session: lifting.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Getting Healthy

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I’ve been lifting weights now for almost 20 years; and I’ve been studying nutrition and exercise science for just about the same amount of time.

One of the many mistakes I made when first starting out as a personal trainer 8 years ago was that I often gave new clients too much, too soon.

I would forget that not everyone was like me; and while this stuff might have come easy to me over the years, for most people it was complicated and extremely challenging, especially later in life – and even more so if they were severely overweight.

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Change Your “Diet”

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This past weekend, I was listening to a “Beats 1” Podcast that featured one of my favorite young Hip-Hop artists, Joey Badass.

Joey just released his second full length LP, entitled “Amerikkkan Badass” – if you haven’t heard this album, it is absolutely amazing, and I highly recommend giving it a thorough listen.

The music is uplifting, inspirational, and delivers a stinging social commentary on the current state of our Union as it pertains to social justice and race relations.

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Every Book I Read This Year – 2016

readers-leadersLet me start this post by wishing everyone reading a very “Happy New Year.” 

A few years ago I decided that I wasn’t reading as much as I would’ve liked, and I made a resolution to read at least 2 books per month.

I was out of practice, and sitting down for several minutes on end in deep concentration was not easy.

Like most adults living in the “Age of Information,” my brain had adapted to quick bouts of stimulus from multiple sources spread out across the day.

I decided to treat this endeavor as a form of mental exercising, and I started with a slow, gradual approach, just as I would any type of athletic pursuit.

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Know Thyself

 

socratesWho am I?

What is my purpose?

What is the meaning of life? 

Humans have been asking these questions for centuries.

I personally struggle with them on a daily basis, and have done so for quite some time.

Knowledge of self, or self actualization, is defined as the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.

In philosophy, it’s considered the highest of all human needs.

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