The Pursuit of Happiness
Happiness—or rather, the pursuit of happiness and all around fulfillment—is an ongoing life pursuit as old as time.
People in the Stone Age sought happiness, fulfillment, in hunting, gathering, relaxing and relationships with their clans. Fulfillment was found in spearing a great bison, safety from predators, and making babies.
We see celebrities in the news or Social Media reminding us that fulfillment (or seeming fulfillment) is found in the number of cars we own, the size of our houses, the travels we take, the pretty faces we date, and the number of accolades we acclaim.
Your favorite Pee Wee football coach may have found personal fulfillment in the mentorship of others—3rd and 4th grade boys; serving as the father figure he never had; or ‘paying it forward’—being a teacher and a guide to others, like the teacher or guide in his life that was most impactful for him.
The guy on Wall-Street is fulfilled when he sees the market is hot; his leads were spot on; and he’s banking it—bringing in the big bucks, making deals, playing his cards just right.
A loving mother knows she’s attained fulfillment in the rearing of her three children—witnessing them flourish in their own lives; make good decisions for themselves in the midst of peer pressure; complete their chores without being asked.
A competitive athlete uncovers her fulfillment in the rush she gets during competition—knowing all of the hard work she’s put into her training in the gym; the hundreds of meals she’s prepared with food quality and high energy consumption a priority; and the unwavering dedication and perseverance she’s had throughout her athletic career, dating back to her elementary days when she began playing sports.
Experts say something like 40-percent of our own happiness, our personal fulfillment, is up to us—in spite of genes, behaviors and life circumstances—a big chunk of our own happiness, our fulfillment, is fully in our control.
If this is the case— ultimately the primary question comes down to you: What defines “fulfillment”, or happiness to you? What do you want in your life to feel complete?
Take a moment to really reflect on that.
As a coach, similar to my Pee Wee football example above, I know I personally find a great majority of my personal fulfillment, my personal mission, ‘fulfilled’ or met through the coaching, leadership and mentorship of others—inspiring and creating those “a ha” moments for my own clients, and for other coaches who are seeking to really be a “better coach.”
Chances are, your role, your job, as a coach plays a big part in your life—that is, if you truly like what you do.
You got into this profession for a reason, and it is VITAL to understand for yourself what fulfillment really means to you in order then to HELP others, help your own clients, discover and realize what fulfillment means to them. (After all, it’s like the oxygen mask in the airplane analogy—you must first help yourself in order to help others).
In the spectrum of our lives, I like to view the way we run this race, the way we live our days, as revolving around a curve that I have coined the ‘Fulfillment Curve.’
If the pursuit of happiness, fulfillment, is truly a desire of the human heart (which it is—we want homeostasis, success, joy, peace, love, contentment) then we are constantly living our days with our eyes and hearts aligned with that prize.
And that prize can be attained in multiple ways. It is not confined by age. Or by financial status. Or social class. Or a particular destination. Or a cookie cutter version of happiness. Or even the length of our lives.
-For instance: Say an athlete passes at age 65. He was a 65-year old Master’s competitor by that time, who did what he loved and loved what he did every single day. He passed from natural causes, but after spending 40 years competing in sport, he still never felt more fulfilled than he did competing—doing what he loved, loving what he did.
-Or another example: Take a yogi, a meditator—completely devout to her practice and in touch with her inner self. At age 93, she defines the definition of “living long and prospering”, having attained a maximal potential; a psychological peace.
-A 5-year-old is 100% completely satisfied and fulfilled on his fulfillment curve on Christmas morning: a stocking full of goodies, the Hot Wheels set he’s been begging for, the pure joy and rush and excitement of seeing what Santa has in store for him (although he knows he’s kind of underserving after punching his sister the day before).
-And one more: Maybe someone who sounds more familiar to you: a fitness enthusiast. Day in, day out you hit the gym and words cannot explain the amazing sense of high you get from a training session. Perhaps “endorphins” is one term for it, but you absolutely love the feeling, the grind, the challenge of training, gaining, losing—and working to win back—whatever that is. Fitness is a lifestyle, and while the majority of the free world may not ‘get it’—you do, and that is fulfillment for you.
As you can see, “fulfillment” on the Fulfillment Curve can be reached in multiple ways, at varying times and ages, in our lives.
So now that you understand a bit.
As a coach, if you truly want to impact others’ lives (The reason you got into this biz right? Because it was not for the big bucks!), seek to understand what is driving your clients.
What defines happiness for them? What are their goals really? And are they themselves even really in touch with those goals right now?
When you have clients come into the gym from the get-go, get to know them—their whys in their lives—behind ‘just coming to get fit’, or ‘ripped’, or ‘more toned.’
Before losing them to the sea of group training classes, where one person can become 1 out of 200 or 300 individuals, if being a great coach is a value of your own, a total coach, then take the time to see your clients through the lens of the FULFILLMENT CURVE.
For when you are aware of what is underlying the drives of your clients, that is when you can truly make an impact, an imprint, on their lives—for longer than perhaps that 9-24 months their feet walk through your gym’s doors.
Great job to all those who took part in our testing series last month! We gathered a lot of good data and look forward to building upon our findings as we continue this series throughout December.
OPEX Testing 15.2
Max Assault bike calories in 10-minutes
Deadline for score submission is Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. PST.
Please report results here!
This test begins with the athlete sitting on their bike. At the start of the clock the athlete may begin pedaling and accumulating calories. Scoring will be reported as total calories completed in ten minutes as well as bodyweight measured in pounds. Please measure bodyweight immediately prior to this event for accuracy in results interpretation.
An Assault bike is NOT required to participate in this event. If you have an alternative air bike model you may perform this 10-minute max calorie test. The specific model of your chosen bike will be asked in reporting. HOWEVER, we highly encourage individuals to utilize an Assault bike for standardization if possible.
In addition to completing your challenge, we are asking all participants submit a picture of themselves next to, or sitting on, their bike. Please send your best assault bike pictures to email@example.com !
Comprehensive results will be posted shortly after all scores are received.
Is Social Media Slashing Your Progress?
We live in a social media driven world.
Gone are the days when Facebook (or if you recall MySpace) was the only platform on the planet.
Now, we’ve got to keep up with our tweets to keep up with on Twitter, our connections to connect with on Google+, creative pics to post Instagram, our network to build on LinkedIn, and, for the young guns, the action to catch for our SnapChat accounts—just to name a few.
The fitness realm in and of itself is filled with high consumers and producers of social media content.
- PR backsquats boasted on Facebook.
- Crazy handstand feats and planche holds caught on Insta.
- Beautifully poised and posed squat snatch catches blowing up the news feed.
- Rantings and reviews on everything, from the best pre-workout supps to take to thoughts on new workout standards, recovery techniques and the shoe of the moment
- And, of course, our daily food log in photos.
No it’s not just you.
It’s many of us.
After all, the more Likes, followers, shares or re-posts we get, the better right?
The better for What!?
Sometimes, less is more.
In other words:
How often do you see super stud athletes—Rich Froning, Tiger Woods, Katrin Davidsdottier, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Lebron or Arnold himself, getting the camera ‘just right’ to post and boast their latest feat in the gym to their 5,000 closest friends every single day, or even two to three to five times daily?
They are busy actually focusing on their progress and training in the gym.
(Sure, you can argue they still do post frequently. After all, many of them do have a social media team or sponsors behind them that expect frequent posts—but, still, even with some professionals aboard, they aren’t ‘Boo-yeahing’ the camera day in and day out with their personal success. If anything, they are sharing more about what’s going on in their lives and inspiration from outside the gym as well).
As you scroll through your never-ending daily news feed, filled with work cubicle updates, re-posted inspiration and shirtless selfies of others living their lives, it can be uber easy to get caught up with the want (and need) to post more frequently about your own amazing life. (Considering Facebook is the “US Weekly” for us average Joes and if we want to be known, heard or seen we’ve gotta stay in the ‘game’).
However, a great question to ask yourself, before hitting the ‘Share’ button on your social media channel is:
Am I focusing on getting more attention, or actually making gains—and perhaps celebrating those gains with others?
In other words: What is my why behind this post?
NO, your posts do not need to be philosophical or works of art in order to make it ‘feed worthy.’
But instead, by simply asking yourself:
- Am I posting or thinking of a PR I need or want to hit, because I am dependent on recognition or needing approval?
- Or, am I sharing a remarkable gain or feat I’ve worked hard to accomplish, something that is inspirational or intended to help others?
…You begin to cultivate genuine, connected content.
You may have heard this saying on integrity: “Integrity is doing the right thing—even when no one is watching.”
When it comes to training (and posting on the worldwide web): “Training (that yields progress) is working hard, head down, and remaining focused—even when no one is watching.”
August 28, 2015
Coach Brian Foley
Peak For Competition
Throughout the off- season majority of athletes competing in the sport of fitness are going to be in accumulation. Spending months and months building a wider base for the upcoming season. As we get into to the later months of the year I encourage my athletes to participate in one or two competitions that we can prep for. This allows for small peaks within an accumulation phase. Below are two skeletons of what an accumulation week may look like and what an intensification week may look like.
– Competitive athlete, wants to make it to regionals
– Competing in the 2015 Granite Games.
ACCUMULATION: This is her base training. Large volumes of general training focused on specific goals.
Row Repeats/ Run Repeats
A. Back Squat %
B. Clean Pull/DL /Complex
C. Glute Hinge
Grinder Knee Flexion/ Midline Stability
A. Jerk Intensive
B. CP Upper Body Vert. Pull
C. EMOM Upper Body Push Work
D. Gymnastic Density Sets
45-60 Min Easy Aerobic
A. Back Squat – Intensive
B. Snatch Pull/DL /Complex
C. EMOM Bending +Gymnastic
Lactic Power Sets
Assault Bike 30/30 Repeats
A. Upper Body Hor. Push /Pull
B. Scap Work
C. Strict Gymnastic Sets
D. Muscle up Skills+ Upper Pushing
A. Back Squat – Dynamic
INTENSIFICATION: 4 weeks out from the Granite Games, volume is dropped and intensity increases.
A. Back squat – Intensive
B. Snatch / Clean – MAX
C. Odd Object
Muscle Endurance Sets
W/ Constant Movement
W/ Barbell + Advanced Gymnastic
Lactic Endurance Sets
45-60 Min Easy Aerobic
Warm up: Handstand Walk Skills – 10 min
A. Split Jerk – Moderate
B. EMOM – Touch and Go Work
C. Front Squat/Back Squat Intensive
Easy Aerobic – W/ Ski Erg
Comp Simulation #1
Comp Simulation #2
Comp Simulation #3
Comp Simulation #4
To work with Coach Foley, please contact our Exclusive Coaching Coordinator Erin Carter to set up a consultation!
Establishing Gym Culture With Remote Coaching
In the past few months, I’ve made a big transition after finishing the first level of the OPEX CCP. I’ve sold my gym and have transitioned to 100% remote coaching, using the principles I’ve learned during the past few years in working with OPEX.
During this transition, I have noticed one really big difference between on-site coaching & remote coaching and it might not be what you think it is. (more…)
Deep Embodiment of The Love of Fitness
I’ve been going through a period of deep reflection as of late. Those coaches out there who have gone through the Life Coaching module will appreciate that I am in the “Reflection” stage of the Four Seasons of Learning.
One of the ways I spend time reflecting is through communicating with like-minded friends, colleagues and coaches who also like to play with ideas. The art of playing with your thoughts is a concept ingrained in me by many of my mentors, most notably Bernie Novokowsky. (more…)
What Do The BEST Athletes Eat?
What is your fuel of choice when it comes to supporting or recovering from your training?
Peanut butter and chocolate milk? A particular protein powder? Gatorade? Perfect Food Bars? Ice cream?
Ask 10 different people, and you will get 10 different answers. (more…)
It’s always a challenge getting the message across to people interested in learning gymnastics.
In my experience most people see and want to do gymnastics elements, but haven’t the vaguest conception of the work it has taken to achieve these skills.
I have hosted a six week introduction to gymnastics course in the past and have had athletes disappointed that they hadn’t achieved a muscle up by the end, bearing in mind they didn’t attend all the sessions and the only gymnastics they did was during each session I taught. (more…)