WOULD I EVER BE HAPPY WITH MY BODY? 

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It started when I was 18...

I remember looking in the mirror constantly making sure I was in great shape.

I was putting on size and staying ripped, it was my only focus….. But I felt disconnected, tight and limited in my own body, Something wasn’t right! 

Thinking back I was happy. I was pushing what I believed to be my physical limits. Pumping iron, measuring my body fat percentage. I would stand on the scales at the gym, you know: the old school ones that you had to slide the counter balance to get the reading… I was weighing myself daily, hoping to be 1 kg heavier, looking in the mirror morning and night always hoping to see improvements with my body.

Sometimes it was subtle, i’d just glance walking past the mirror.. Other times, though, we’re talking full on flex-off. Veins popping in my forehead and all. Would I ever be happy with my body? 

I’ve always had high energy and a passionate drive for anything I set my attention to. But this feeling of comparison to others and endless stuggle to improve the way I looked was fucking exhausting. A feeling of treading water every day began to set in. It sucked.

Almost a decade later, one day my mate invited me to take a gymnastics class. I was a bit afraid, as he wanted to learn how to back flip and wanted me to come along…

A BACKFLIP! WHAT?? that’s impossible!! Although we pretty much only trained with weights and bodybuilding, I had always wanted to flip. I had watched martial arts films as a kid… So, although I thought back flips could only be done by younger people with a gymnastics background, I hesitantly said “Yes”

It turns out, like most things in life, the back flip had progressions or steps to lead to this skill. Although I failed a bunch of times I learned from each experience to eventually sticking the flip! 

The flip was the crazy “ah-ha” moment for me, as someone now pushing pushing 30. It blew me away that I was able to learn an impossible skill in a matter of weeks. This really lead me to ask myself… What else am I capable of?  

In the next couple of months, I slowly let go of the grind and daily struggle of worrying about what I looked like and instead focused on what my body could do. I let go of the mirror. 


WOW it seems so simple, however what a power shift in mindset for me

This was the pivotal moment is my life. I realised I could do anything with a powerful environment , the right steps or progressions and solid mindset. With these we can push into our limitless potential. 

Even today, I still can’t believe how powerful it is to be moving my body in complex ways and the effect this has on my life and those around me. 

Movement has had a snowball effect in other areas too. It seems to have been the catalyst for progressing in all areas of my life including career and relationships. I have have seen this shift in many others too. 

Movement can come in many forms, the biggest question is, how are we using it as a powerful tool to improve the quality of our lives?



Practice makes perfect.

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September 8, 2019

Practice makes perfect.

 

How do we learn new things? Through practice of course. It’s not like we live in a world like Neo from The Matrix where we can just plug in and instantly learn a new skill. We have to work hard at it and that’s what I want to talk about today – forming habits in aspects of our lives where we want to improve and integrating these habits so that they become our new normal.  The best way to do that is through repetitive action.

 

So, forming habits through repetition sounds easy enough right? Studies have shown that if I place myself in a situation where I perform an action over and over, I’ll soon just get it, but how does that work[1]? Neuroplasticity my friends.

 

It’s a term you may or may not have heard and to put it simply I think of it like exercise itself; if we exercise our muscles regularly, they get stronger and better at performing their function.  This is because the brain has remembered this previous exercise, and that is where neuroplasticity comes in.  When we complete a certain exercise regularly, we are building and strengthening the synaptic connection between our neurons; when we repeatedly fire on our neuron’s connections, they will in turn perform better each time.  A common saying is “Neurons that fire together, wire together”[2].

 

The same theory applies when we are learning a new skill: the more we engage in certain patterns, the more facilitated that pattern becomes.  On a personal level, this is how I went from only being able to hold a handstand for a couple of seconds, to being able to confidently hold my handstand for over 20 seconds.

 

We can take this concept and apply it in many realms of our lives. In the sense of movement, it means that if we complete a certain pattern over and over, the brain activity will require lower levels of stimuli each time to perform that movement. If we are thinking about not forgetting to water our plants so they stop dying, we would keep our watering can close by and write a note that’s visible as a cue to remember. After a short about of time we will start to be more automatic in our thinking and the habit will be formed. 

 

They say it take 2 weeks to bed in the formation of neural connectivity when forming new habits so why don’t you get out there and have a go? Try that new exercise, or that new movement or even watering your plants consistently for 2 weeks and see what happens.


-Dr Dan


References:

[1] Lally, P & Gardener, B 2011. Promoting habit formation. Health Psychology Review, pages s137-s158 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17437199.2011.603640?scroll=top&needAccess=true

[2] Hargrove, Todd, 2014, A Guide to Better Movement: The Science and Practice of Moving with More Skill and Less Pain, page 54.

The Ultimate guide to yoga in Newcastle

The Ultimate guide to Yoga in Newcastle

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Yoga is becoming increasingly popular and the benefits are widely known for increasing flexibility and calming the mind. We have added a yin class on Wednesdays with Cveta owner of The Yoga Loft Newcastle.

TMC is more than just a gym we are well known for having the best tools to increase one's mobility and flexibility but something was missing from our practice. We had the strength and skills covered, but were lacking a more pronounced element of mindfulness, gentleness - the yin that balances the yang.

The Yin practice at The Movement Collective encourages practitioners to develop a stronger sense about the conscious functioning of the lungs, awareness of the body and observing the activity of the mind whilst nurturing release of the fascia and working into tissue. 

Members are shown demonstrations of varying parameters of each pose before finding their unique expression of the pose. We are trying to move people away from only working on their strengths and encouraging them to take on new and exciting journeys of their movement practice. An example of this is the strong man only working on strength or the flexible girl only practicing yoga. We all need a mixture of the elements that make up the movement practice as we have so much untapped potential in all areas that we want you to uncover. 

The mindfulness component of Yin Yoga explores gentle self observation/reflection. Students are nourished with Cveta’s wealth of knowledge regarding yogic philosophy, meditation, anatomy and The Chinese Medicine Approach.

The Yin yoga class is different to the stretch classes on offer in the ways that it is ground based and focuses on much deeper releases in both the mind and body.

We create so much unnecessary stress for ourselves in our day to day life and regularly practicing yin yoga calms the central nervous system and can be used as a gentle tool to help alleviate such stress.

More and more members are trying the class out each week and witnessing the benefits of the practice for themselves. Come and spend some time slowling things down and giving your body some much needed yin love. 

Soon we will need more yoga mats!

FIRE UP YOUR GAINZ WITH BODYWEIGHT TRAINING

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You will die a slow and boring death aimlessly going to the gym every day for fitness sake!

Many people get to a certain point in their lives in almost a panicked state…. Oh shit, I need to workout and exercise haha, Sound Familiar?

It seems to be a big rush once they figure that out and want the quickest and simplest way to the results as fast as possible. So then with a Google search and quick flick through muscle magazine, they realize exactly what they need to do…..

That is start doing bodybuilder style workouts because obviously, that’s how you can look good. Obviously! I would like to also admit that this was me for such a long period of my life. Headphones in listening to heavy music pushing myself to gain an extra inch on my chest and biceps.

Until something crazy happened!

Ok so If you are an actual bodybuilder that style of training is perfect! The best thing for you no doubts about it. Buuuuuuuuttttttt that is a very small percentage of our population, so if you are not a competitive bodybuilder then it really makes little to no sense at all training like a bodybuilder. Right?

Tesla Roadster vs Toyota Prius?

It’s like driving a Toyota Prius when you have a Tesla Roadster in the garage waiting to be charged up and unleashed. It’s ok because right now you don’t even know the Tesla is waiting for you, I want to show you another way and that there is more to the human body than gaining muscle and abs. Not that you can’t have those too :)  

I was heading to the gym every day doing the 4 sets of 6-8 reps of curls for the girls and while I did get the girls :)HAHA  It was lacking any sort of substance

  • Human Connection

  • Passion

  • Fun

  • Creativity

  • Expression

  • Contribution

  • Growth

  • Excitement

  • Playfulness

 

I needed something dramatically different in my life.

If you knew what you were actually capable of as a human I reckon you would be scared shitless.

It’s time to get scared and level up

 

Built like a gymnast

Ever seen a gymnast who trains regularly? Pretty impressive right? Ripped, Solid muscle mass with crazy flexibility and skills that would blow any of your party tricks out of the water. These people are on another level. This is why The Movement Collective puts such a massive focus on this style of strength work because you can really have it all.

My suggestion would be to find a local gymnastics or movement facility near you and start making some proper gains that will serve more than your ego and destiny to fill out an XL shirt.

 

Contact us if you need some advice for facilities in your area