The Magic Formula

There is one concept, one idea available to anyone that almost guarantees someone to achieve what they want in life. It sounds ridiculous. It sounds impossible. It sounds like a scam or get rich quick scheme, but countless men and women have used this formula knowingly or unknowingly to achieve incredible success. This concept is the very basis of almost every self-improvement book and so much has been written about this topic that I hardly feel I have anything to add to the discussion. I will however, for the sake of those who have not come across this idea, present a brief overview of the Master Key system. It is simply this: Be, Do, Have. Just three words can, if you act upon them, transform your life forever. Here’s how:

BE-

If you want to become a certain person, whatever it is: a nice person, a rich person, a smarter person, or a bodybuilder, you must first believe you already are that person. Possession begins in the mind. You must state over and over again that you are rich, nice, strong, whatever it is because your mind must believe that you are capable of being that type of person. Saying, “I hope I’m rich one day” will do nothing. Instead, “I am a rich person.” This has nothing to do with deluding yourself or tricking your brain. It has everything to do with convincing yourself that you are capable of being such a person so that…

DO-

Once you’ve established what kind of person you want to be, and the mind believes it, you can now do what that type of person would do. If you wish to be rich, think about what a rich person would do. How do they act to acquire wealth? What investments or careers do they have? Now you can see that first you have to figure out what you want to be, and then you will realize what to do which will lead you to…

HAVE-

Once you have decided who you are and what actions to take, now you may begin to have what you want. You cannot have what you desire until you take the correct action to acquire it, and that cannot be done until you decide what type of person you want to be. If you act first without establishing who you want to BE, you may find yourself toiling away at the same jobs for years or even decades without ever achieving your desires.

I cannot stress enough how important the order of this formula is. Thinking about and deciding upon the person you want to be is vital. That will give you the answer as to what actions to take so that you may have whatever you like. Let’s say you start out by saying you want big muscles. Okay fine. That doesn’t tell us anything about what you need to do or who exactly you want to become. “I am a bodybuilder,” you say. Very good. What does a bodybuilder do everyday? See, now you have an action plan, a set of habits and behaviors to follow that will lead to you becoming a bodybuilder. After that, you will have big muscles. What about money? “I want money!” you say. Fine—go rob a bank! They have money. See, this is why you must first decide what you want to be. If you’re a bank robber, you may have money but not for long. If you decide to be an entrepreneur or investor, on the other hand, you will now have a roadmap to follow so that you can achieve financial wealth and help others along the way.

So there it is. The Master Key to getting anything you want. Believe it or disregard it, the choice is yours. All I’m trying to do is present it to you here. It has worked for me, but let me warn you, we live in a universe where sometimes the best don’t win, tragedy befalls good people, and a hailstorm can wipe out your entire crop. That’s just the way things are. So, I would remind you that in order to truly BE anyone, you must also have perseverance and the desire to keep pressing on until you are who you want to be and have what you want to have. Most don’t. Most people quit after a few defeats. BE. DO. HAVE. And remember to keep moving forward until you actually are the person you want to be. At that point, you won’t need to remind yourself who you are and you won’t have to tell other people. Your actions and all you’ve achieved will speak volumes.

Check Your Carbs

Check Your Carb Sources

If you are overweight or carrying more body fat than you’d like, there’s a very high chance that you are eating too many carbohydrates. Carbohydrate consumption triggers the pancreas to release insulin to bring down blood sugar. Insulin then transports the glucose in the bloodstream into muscle tissue for repair or it stores the glucose in fat deposits. Since most Americans are consuming carbohydrates in abundance at every meal (and many don’t even know what a carbohydrate is) I suggest that you reduce your carb sources to only one or two total. My reasoning behind this is twofold; 1.) so that you can properly identify and measure out exactly the amount of carbohydrates you are consuming and 2.) so that you can identify if certain carb sources are causing your body distress and messing with your metabolic and digestive functions. The truth is that many people have an immune response to certain foods. Dairy, grains, soy and sugar, nightshades and citrus are all very common allergies for people.

The second reason given is also somewhat of a revelation that I’ve had recently. I’ve been battling autoimmune disease for the last 15 years. I thought that I had finally narrowed down the culprit foods to wheat and dairy, however it wasn’t until I began prepping for a bodybuilding show and my only carb source became jasmine rice that I realized my body gets inflamed from starches such as beans and potatoes as well. I had been consuming those foods, the same ones causing minor inflammation in my body for years thinking that I was doing better. I was, but it wasn’t until I really eliminated them for a period of time that I finally realized I may be better off without them. Also, it’s very easy for me to measure out the jasmine rice throughout the day so that I can properly measure the amount of carbs I’m getting. I find it much more difficult to do this eating sugars, flours, potatoes, beans and other carbohydrates.

The famous strength coach Charles Poliquin says you have to “earn your carbs”- meaning that your body fat must be low enough to utilize the carbs without turning them into fat. This happens from training intensely and being diligent about measuring your carbohydrates throughout the day. This is not to say that you need to deprive yourself of food or not indulge on occasion, but frankly, most people don’t need to eat as many carbs as they do. There are no “essential carbs” like there are amino acids and fats. Carbohydrates can be a great energy source for training, but if your bodyfat needs to come down, they are the first macronutrient to begin scaling back. So, learn which carbs you respond well to and then be sure to measure them out and consume the majority of your carbs around the time you train. This will decrease the likelihood they will be stored as extra fat.

Maximum Contraction

The best way to truly build up your body.

            Do you ever notice how certain people have excellent body parts? It could be their biceps, chest, back, shoulders, butt. Let’s be honest, 2014 was the year of the butt. There’s even a new term “belfie” due to the phenomenon of people posting pictures of their firm butts on social media. Maybe you have a body part you’re really proud of. Maybe there are a few you don’t want to talk about. Today, we’ll talk about the best way to truly sculpt the body parts you want to improve.

The secret to building up stubborn body parts is one word: Contraction. While many lift weights and perform exercise they think will help sculpt their body, the likelihood is they are not contracting the target muscle for a long enough time to build it up. The other problem is likely the muscle is not fully shortened during the exercise. What’s fully shortened mean? Let me explain.
Fully shortening a muscle, like the triceps for example, would be pulling your elbows back behind your body and fully extending your arm. You see most people do triceps pushdowns with the cable in front of them and then extend down. They may feel their triceps, but they haven’t fully shortened or contracted the muscle. This process forces your nervous system to recruit more muscle fibers because the muscle is very weak when fully shortened. So let’s start by laying out what you need to do to get maximum contraction.
Learn the Muscle’s Range of Motion:
A key to this process of properly contracting a muscle is to learn the true range of motion of the muscle itself. As with the example of the triceps, the full range of motion is when the bicep is contracted (the triceps are fully stretched) and when the elbow is pulled all the way back and the arm is extended. With the chest, maximum contraction comes when your hands are pulled in towards each other. With the calves, point your toes up towards your knees as far as possible, then extend your toes down as far as possible (like a ballerina). Getting the idea? Take the time to figure out your body’s full range of motion!

Start by Contracting:

With any exercise, begin by contracting the muscle you intend to engage first. So, when doing a seated row for example, pull your hands away from each other first, thereby engaging the lats immediately. Then, follow throw with the movement by focusing on driving your elbows back and down. This will shorten the muscle and take it through its full range of motion, ensuring constant tension and stimulating your body to repair it bigger and stronger.
Slow the Negative:
Super important! Slow down the negative part of the exercise. For example, after you do a bicep curl, control the weight slowly on the way down. Keep tension for as long as possible during a set of an exercise. Muscles only grow because of the tension placed on them. The weight you use should only be a tool to increase tension, but the truth is you can increase the tension just by activating the muscle, fully shortening it, and keeping it under tension through the duration of an exercise. In other words, leave your ego and attitude at home when weight training. You don’t need lots of weight to get amazing results.

Have a Vision:
Yes, the mind-muscle connection is very real. It’s your brain that send signals to muscle fibers to contract and extend. Therefore, it’s imperative that you focus on the target muscle and squeeeeeeeeeze it to maximize the connection between your mind and the muscle. It’s true—you must get your head in the game when bringing up lagging body parts. So, have a vision for the body you want and then train wisely and efficiently to go and get it!