Josh Bowen: Aversion vs Ascension

joshFear is paralyzing. The fear of failure. The fear of success. The fear of being looked at as abnormal. These can all avert us from achieving things in life. We condition our thoughts to drive us or to sink us. We can choose to go workout when we “don’t have time” or we can choose to apply for a better job, inversely we can choose to make excuses that we don’t have time or that we are not qualified for that position. Either way, you choose to do it or don’t. We choose to avert the situation or you choose to ascend to great heights and try without fear of failure. The choice is ultimately yours.

Either fears win or freedom wins.

Excerpt from the book Motivational Manifesto by Brendon Burchard:


“Why are some people more driven by fear than freedom?

It can only be because in the past they were conditioned to be fearful, either by those around them or by their poor application of mental faculties. There is no genetic curse or personality trait that permanently condemns one person to fear more than another even a genetic predisposition for anxiety can ultimately be flipped on or off by mental conditioning. We are not slave to our history; we can be freed by our conscious thoughts and disciplined habits.

This is not to blame our past or excuse our fears. When people choose fear as an adult, they are choosing not to manage or overcome it. This is difficult work for many because fear has become their default impulse. The thoughts ruling their minds and their self-talk replay the cutting barbs of the critics and misguided caretakers who once demeaned them. The good news is we can change this conditioning. When we awaken to responsibility, we realize that nothing can be done about our past but to see it from a new perspective. We can release ourselves from its grip. We cannot control how others treated us yesterday, so let us work instead on understanding how we are currently dealing with those who stoke our fear today. The great efforts to move our lives forward always come down to a new moment when we interrupt our fear and activate our freedom by choosing how to feel, interpret, and direct our lives.

Part of the mastery of life comes from anticipating that the same kinds of characters that sought to instill fear yesterday shall be met again today or tomorrow. Knowing this, we become wary of people who chip away at our freedom. These are the worriers, weaklings, and, in rare cases, the wicked. 

From the above you can see certain situations and people can have an effect on ourselves, preventing us from being who we want to be. The worriers, weaklings and as he says in rare cases the wicked, steal our freedoms and instill fear in us. Lets discuss these three:

The Worriers

The most common are the worriers. These are people that without knowledge, are often the people who induce the most amount of fear. The are not unkind or malicious but always extra cautious and always reminding us “be careful” or “are you sure you want to do that?” or “thats not who you are, you cant do this.” These people can disrupt our ascension to greatness. We must tune them out and listen to ourselves. You can do this. This can be you. And being careful never created greatness.

The Weaklings

A wise man told me once, “don’t argue with fools because from a distant you can’t tell who is who.” This couldn’t be more correct. Weaklings will speak out against your hard work. They will ask, “why do you workout so much?” They will say, “you can have just one piece of pizza, it won’t kill you.’ They downplay hard work and dedication because they are not hard working or dedicated. We must not give these people our ears and keep moving.

The Wicked

We have all met someone (or lots of someones) that are just out to tell us we cannot do something. Or are so malicious in their intent, it only disrupts our flow and our attaining greatness. These are the people of the world who do not want you to succeed because it will make them feel better about themselves. The wicked are the people on social media watching your progress in life just hoping you will fall off the wagon and return to your previous state. We must rid our lives of these people. Listen to your heart, gut and soul not some one who can’t do what you are doing.

Victory can be ours if we stay true to ourselves, trust the process and keep a positive attitude. We must also eliminate people who are not contributing to our mission or do not see the our goals as important or attainable.

Eli Mitchell: Aaron Harrison: Big shot taker to undrafted

eli mitchellAaron Harrison, along with his twin brother Andrew were regarded as top 5 players in the 2013 recruiting class. `They were expected to shine at Kentucky immediately and be drafted in the lottery of the 2014 NBA draft along with fellow Kentucky signee, Julius Randle. Aaron did shine in his freshman season by averaging 13.7 PPG and hitting huge shots in the NCAA Tournament but it was overlooked by NBA scouts because of his inconsistency and body language on the floor. If Aaron would have entered his name into the draft he most likely would have been drafted in the late 1st round because of a weak draft class. After hearing that from NBA scouts Aaron decided it would be best to come back for his second season at Kentucky to compete for a National Championship.

Coming into his sophomore season Aaron was named the SEC preseason player of the year, it looked as if he was ready for a big season. On a star loaded roster, Aaron lead the team in scoring for the regular season with 12.0 PPG. Throughout the season Aaron’s draft stock moved up and down when his play became inconsistent. Heading into the NCAA tournament with an undefeated record Coach Calipari looked at Aaron for big plays down the stretch. Scouts were again impressed by his clutch shots down the stretch. After a disappointing loss to Wisconsin in the Final Four, Aaron had a decision to make. He could either bet on himself in pre-draft workouts or he could head back to Kentucky for a third season.

Aaron decided to enter his name into the 2015 NBA Draft along with 6 other Kentucky players. At the NBA Combine, Aaron struggled with his shooting and overall play, he looked to be forcing too much. His draft stock plummeted heading into workouts with individual teams. His workouts for interested teams went a bit better than the combine had. When draft night rolled around Aaron watched on patiently as his 6 teammates were drafted before he was. After the draft Aaron went on to sign with the Charlotte Hornets summer league team. Aaron has been very upfront about the chip that he has on his shoulder from being undrafted. After watching him play in the summer league it looks as if the Hornets want Aaron to make the switch from shooting guard to point guard. Aaron will do whatever it takes to make his place on an NBA roster.

Josh Bowen: 4 Nutrition Myths

joshI love myths. They are fun to me. This wild and wacky fitness world provides us with a LOT of myths and the problem lies in the fact people believe them. Quite frankly, sometimes I get caught up in the myths. It is very easy to do with all the magazines, fitness gurus and my favorite the internet trainers, dispelling all this wonderful information to the world. EVERYONE is an expert these and its hard to decipher what is correct and what is not. And truth be told, there are no absolutes, sometimes it just depends. So, let us take a stroll down my four favorite nutritional myths, shall we?

If you eat after a certain time, it turns to fat

This one is predominant and would be willing most people believe this. There is no clock on your stomach that says after 8pm everything that is eaten will go straight to your fat cells. It is a fallacy. For example I eat after 10pm (because of my long days and nights) nearly everyday. I workout late at night and my body needs fuel to repair my muscles and replace what was lost. If this myth were true, people in different time zones would be in massive trouble. Its not so we are all safe. However, people who tend to have a regular schedule (eat dinner around 6pm) who cut off their snacking or eating before 8pm tend to take in less calories and do not tend eat out of boredom. However, there is nothing wrong with having a protein shake or some type of protein packed food prior to bed time. In fact, it can be very beneficial while you sleep.

Cholesterol causes heart disease

It has not been until recently that this has been questioned. Most, for a long period of time, have been under the assumption that cholesterol had a significant impact on the increase of heart disease. Now that is starting to be questioned http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/why-cholesterol-may-not-b_b_290687.html. The fact that 75% of people who have heart attacks have a normal cholesterol (whatever that means) damn near debunks this myth. If I had to put something in jail as the culprit for the rise of heart attacks and heart disease, I’d lock up sugar. There you have it.

Eating less calories means I will lose more weight

False. False. False. In the short term this could work, in the long term this will cause metabolic turmoil and can cause you to gain weight because your metabolism is screwed up. We are predesigned to be grazers and eat periodically, even though we had to “eat what we killed” we still snacked on fruits vegetables. My advice, do not play the calorie game, eat whole foods and give your body what it needs to survive. 1200 calories or less or anyone is not going to make that happen.

Whole grain bread is better than white bread

Not necessarily. There is a minute difference in the following: color, fiber and micronutrient content. But this is minute. Even thought white bread goes through more processing and is stripped of its vitamins and minerals, many white breads are later fortified with those same vitamins and minerals. The fiber amount is not that different and you can do a lot better by eating high fiber vegetables than you can eating wheat bread. Simply put, if you are eating wheat bread as a substitute for white bread and to increase your fiber per day, you are better off eating neither and concentrating on your vegetable intake. For more information check this link out http://examine.com/faq/is-whole-wheat-bread-better-than-white-bread.html

David Host: The Right Result – But a Troubling Ruling

David HostI have long been hesitant to write about the marriage equality issue because of my own nuanced feelings on the issue. I have always strongly believed that our society must confer the same protections and benefits upon couples regardless of sexual orientation – and as the current debate has progressed, I have become increasingly persuaded that such benefits must include the civil contract which the law defines as “marriage.” Thus, on a basic policy level, I agree with today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Yet, I remain fundamentally uncomfortable with this ruling for other reasons. First, I do not think that the Court’s evisceration of the democratic process was necessary or wise in this instance. The rapid growth of states which have adopted marriage equality shows a fundamental change in societal attitudes on this issue; a transformation which seems only likely to accelerate as the so-called “millennials” achieve a greater share of political power. I think that the Court could have steered a more moderate course by requiring states to recognize all marriages performed in other states, without directly overruling a particular state’s definition of marriage by judicial fiat. Instead of promoting an emerging national consensus, this ruling seems destined to exacerbate divisions on this issue.

Second, I think the Court short-circuited a vital discussion that needs to occur in our society regarding the entanglement of church and state when it comes to marriage. Given the “wall” that exists between church and state in almost every other instance, I have always thought that marriage offered an interesting display of cognitive dissonance. Many of us have gotten married in a church and divorced by a judge – and ministers who officiate a marriage ceremony frequently proclaim that they act “under the authority of God and the State of ______.”

I certainly hope that this entanglement does not become the “nose under the tent” which leads to a broader intrusion upon the free exercise of religion and the freedom of conscience in America – yet, I cannot not see how ministers who invoke the state’s authority can avoid performing same-sex marriages under the implications of today’s ruling. Perhaps the onus is now upon the churches which do not recognize same-sex marriage; they can always distinguish between “spiritual marriage” and “legal marriage,” and limit the marriage ceremonies they perform to the former. Of course, many couples would have to participate in  two wedding ceremonies – but I think that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has always mandated that result.

My main concern is that today’s decision has steamrolled the dissent on this issue, foreclosing the natural consensus that could have otherwise emerged; a consensus that would have confirmed and strengthened the boundaries between church and state in America. Instead, I am concerned that the Supreme Court’s ruling will further blur the line between private conscience and public responsibility; an outcome which does not seem likely to enhance the long-term health of our nation.

Josh Bowen: Why Your Body Hurts: 5 Inflammatory Ingredients

joshPain is a unique thing. It often comes out of nowhere and in some cases for unknown reasons. We often push it off as arthritis or old age (guilty) in hopes that it will get better. We stretch (not recommended), foam roll, apply Rock Sauce, take NSAIDs etc. to decrease our pain. These are are all great thing and do have some effect on our pain levels but they only deal with the site of our pain, not the source. We often can look to our diets for the reason we are in so much pain.

Make no mistake about, inflammation can be deadly. Whether in the muscles, joints or in the organs, when our bodies become inflamed we are under serious distress. In fact, excess inflammation can cause obesity and diabetes. For more information on that check out this article http://chriskresser.com/how-inflammation-makes-you-fat-and-diabetic-and-vice-versa/.

Now that I have your attention, lets look at five ingredients that cause inflammation:

Sugar

Processed sugar can go by many names on an ingredient list. Just look for anything ending in “ose” like fructose and lactose. The ingestion of sugar causes the body to send messengers to elicit an inflammatory response. Do you best to stay away.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Not to be confused with the anti-inflammatory Omega 3, Omega 6 fatty acids are still essential but when too much is eaten in the diet, an inflammatory response happens. These are commonly found in; corn, salad dressings, sunflower oil, soy and mayonnaise.

Refined Carbohydrates

White flour products such as; bread, instant rice, mashed potatoes, cereals are high glycemic and stimulate the production of AGE which causes inflammation.

Aspartame

Many people who try to go sugar free will opt for the diet sodas and many diet drinks or calorie free drinks. Problem is many of the drinks contain aspartame and that can increase the inflammatory response even more. Aspartame is neurotoxin which means it effects your brain and your body will instantly try to get rid of it, causing an inflammatory response.

Alcohol

Alcohol is the liver’s enemy. They do not get along. It is a foreign substance that should only be used sparingly. Excessive use weakens the liver and other organs the liver interacts with, causing inflammation.

Fact is, when trying to decrease body fat and be “healthy” inflammation is not our friend. When trying to decrease your pain, the foods above and others do not serve us well. Do you best to rid these and watch the body fat and pain go away.

Eli Mitchell: Where will the Cats Land?

Jeli mitchellohn Calipari has preached all season that his main goal has always been to get his players drafted. On Thursday night seven of Calipari’s players will be waiting to hear their names called. Four of those players have been projected as lottery picks and two more have heard their names mentioned in the first round. Let’s look at possible destinations for each Cat.

Karl Anthony Towns will hear his name called very early on Thursday night with Minnesota and Los Angeles as potential landing spots. Towns is recognized as the best two way player in this draft. Whether he is picked first or second on Thursday Towns will make his name known early in the NBA. The other 7 footer, Willie Cauley-Stein has been projected to go as high as 4th to the New York Knicks or as low as 11th to the Indiana Pacers. Cauley-Stein will make an immediate impact on the defensive end for whichever team he is picked by. Devin Booker and Trey Lyles are hoping to hear their names called in the lottery on Thursday night. Booker could go anywhere from 8th to 14th, the Charlotte Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder are hoping to add his lethal shooting stroke. Lyles is a bit of a wildcard, the Knicks have shown great interest in him but it is doubtful that they will pick him at 4. He could fall out of the lottery and be picked later in the draft by Boston or Atlanta.

The 3 unknowns in the draft are Dakari Johnson, Andrew Harrison, and Aaron Harrison. NBA scouts love Dakari’s size and ability to rebound, he could go as early as 25th to Memphis. Andrew Harrison had an impressive run at the NBA combine and in private workouts with teams. He improved his stock significantly and could be picked as high as 30th to Golden State. His brother, Aaron, did not do as much to improve his stock. He doesn’t have a realistic shot at going in the first round but should be picked in the second round due to his size and shooting ability. As Thursday night comes to a close, John Calipari will be a very happy man because he helped 7 young men achieve their dream.

 

Josh Bowen: The Rules of the Gym

joshOK lets have some fun. As I sit down to write you today, I can’t help but want to write something that will make you laugh and make your day a little easier. For the serious, educational content click here . To laugh your ass off, continue reading.
So I went to workout today, I couldn’t help but find some humor. The gym is usually serious time for me but today I just took a look around and had fun with and decided today’s piece should lighten our spirits a bit. So, in great humor and fun, here are MY 10 rules of the gym. Have fun! Here we go (print these off and take them with you!):

  1. No one is staring at you…they are staring at themselves.

Not really a “rule” but a statement! Believe it or not, people are not staring at you working out, in fact they are staring at themselves. Why do you think they put mirrors up? To check our form? No! To check if we are showing definition in the triceps. Duh!

  1. Re-rack Your Weights

One of the first rules we learn as a child; if you bring your toys out, you have to put them back where they came from. You take the 5lbs dumbbells across the gym to do hammer curls, take ’em back Jack!

  1. No Grunting Unless you are Lifting Something Heavy

Squat 500lbs, grunt all you want, curling 55lbs, not necessary.

  1. Get Off the Cell Phone

You are here to workout not talk. Ditch the phone Paco!

  1. Proper Workout Required

Shorts, pants, t-shirts etc. Not a full leotard with open front. Could get drafty and appalling.

  1. Don’t Do This…

or that..

or that..

  1. No Curling in the Squat Rack

Just don’t do it!

  1. Dancing on the Treadmill Could be Dangerous and Otherwise Silly Exercise
  2. Use a Towel in the Locker Room
  3. Don’t Join Here

Josh Bowen: Did I? The Ultimate Fitness Checklist

joshI am a firm believer in make everything I can, simple. The more complex things are, the more I struggle with it. So I will work to simplify anything if it will save me time and a headache in the long run. Fitness is no different. I work with a variety of clients and they all have differing opinions on what works for them or in some cases they are trying to figure that out and need my help. I will always attempt to simplify the situation and give them a small number of things to concentrate on to chip away at the goal at hand.

A few months ago, I wrote on the Wall of Aspirations a list of four things that I thought were vitally important in achieving any fitness related goal, no matter the size. I felt like if anyone concentrated on these four items, a lot of their problems would be minimized. Of course, there is no “one stop shop” when it comes to these things, some things work for some people and some don’t. Life will always be life and there will always be exceptions to the rule. However, I write to you today to expound on this list of four, with the hopes it will simplify your fitness quest and help you achieve better long-standing results.

Did I?

Prepare Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

You either prepare to succeed or you prepare to fail, there is no in-between. If your nutrition is your limiting factor, focusing on preparing your own meals versus eating out or not eating at all, sets you up for success. It is a lot to ask of someone to do this. Most people wake up as late as they can get by with and scoot out the door on their way to work or school. If that is you, prepare yourself something in advance or make something simple like a shake or have a Quest bar (no Power bars Coby!). Regardless of your choice eat something. There is too much research that says eating breakfast, particularly protein packed breakfast, aids in boosting metabolism and helps fat loss. Like Nike says, Just Do It.

Drink 1 Gallon of Water

No matter how you slice it, water is important. It has zero calories, keeps your hydrated and decreases the hunger mechanism. Drink it and drink a lot of it. My advice as always been at least 100 ounces a day, but if you go that far you might as well go with a gallon (128 ounces). If you drink that much, you will feel SO much better, that I will guarantee you.

Workout at Least Four Times

I ask my clients to be active at least four times per week and bare minimum work with weights at least two of those days. We need activity in our lives. And on half of the days during the week we need vigorous activity (i.e. lifting weights). Make this a priority and make time to be active or you will have to make time to be sick and tired. The choice is yours but the outcomes could be so much better if you follow the rule.

Sleep

Here is the big one. The one no one talks about as it relates to fitness. Sleep. If you lack sleep or quality sleep the following can happen; elevated Cortisol levels leading to increased fat retention, impaired Glucose control leading to irregular blood sugar levels and retention of body fat, and increased adipose tissue retention, basically meaning you will hold on to your fat longer. The part about sleep that people forget is the release of growth hormone, a hormone that decreases body fat and increases muscle tissue aiding recovery. 7-8 hours of sleep is optimal but if you cannot do that, napping has its place as well. To be your best, you must sleep…period.

Simplifying things will more often than not make things better and I hope this list helps a few of you out. I would love to hear about it! Shoot me an email if you’d like.

Eli Mitchell: One player away

eli mitchellAs the spring signing period passed John Calipari failed to add any additional big name recruits to the 2015-16 class. The class features big name high school players, Skal Labissiere and Isaiah Briscoe, along with Charles Matthews and JUCO transfer Mychal Mulder. ESPN rates the class second behind Duke. A number two rated class doesn’t seem like it’s missing anything but if you look further into Kentucky’s roster another piece would be huge.

Calipari has stated multiple times that he would like to add another piece to this roster. He tried but failed to add Caleb Swangian, Jaylen Brown, Malik Newman, Cheick Diallo, Brandon Ingram, etc. It was surprising to most Kentucky fans that Cal missed on these prospects to less elite basketball schools like Purdue, California, and Mississippi State. Jamal Murray and Thon Maker are prospects that Kentucky could still add this summer. It seems like Murray is going to reclassify to the 15’ class within the next month, but it is not certain that he would commit to Kentucky at that point. Maker’s recruitment is a roller coaster and no one is sure what he will do.

The 2015-16 roster is filled with elite players and could feature a 9 man rotation. The lone senior on the roster is Alex Poythress, a former 5 star recruit, is slated for a huge season after tearing his ACL just 9 games into last season. Sophomore point guard, Tyler Ulis, will look to continue his success from the NCAA tournament into next season. Marcus Lee, Dominique Hawkins, and Derek Willis will try to increase their roles next season. Calipari will play with multiple line up combinations looking for the best fit but his job will but a lot easier with one more player like Murray or Maker to work with.

Lauren Mayer: Useful New Words

Many people (including yours truly) have mocked Sarah Palin for mangling the English language and perhaps inadvertently coming up with new words.  But a few of her creations have caught on, such as ‘refudiate,’ and it turns out creating words is also bipartisan – although perhaps more intentionally, and certainly more ironically, on the left.  Gay rights activist Dan Savage sent out a tweet last week suggesting ‘Duggary’ and asking for definitions. So in the spirit of the generation that grew up on Schoolhouse Rock, here’s a musical explanation:

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