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Our personal progress in fitness and nutrition.

Environment is stronger than will-power

Another leg day at the gym and I am sure that the offset pain delay will kick in within two days from now. Not bad doing hack squats of 270 pounds for 3 sets and 12 reps each, but I always can’t wait to pistol squats soon. So, I been watching all those calisthenics videos on the internet and I became a bit obsessed with pull-ups lately, even though I am doing the Kris Gethin 12 Week Muscle builder and I don’t want to overload my body until I am done with the program. I been working out at Colosseum Gym in New Jersey because its closer to home and I know some of the people there since I was in High School. Got six more weeks until I will focus more on Circuit Training and strength building and really see how much I can truly push myself to not only get the physical results, but mentally can endure anything thrown at me.

Ok, so I like quotes, lyrics and analogies, they are things that would always resonate with me no matter what. The title of this blog came from a yogi guru named Paramahansa Yogananda and took a while for me to think of this blog post, but sometimes its your environment that alot more powerful than you think. If it wasn’t for my personal trainer, I would never consider losing more weight than I expected, consider writing this blog to you today and venturing more into fitness and wellness. If it wasn’t for my best friend, I would never consider doing fashion photographer or photoshoots, only to discover its in my family history. I still have lots of travelling, personal growth, career goals to grow in mind, but hopefully my hit list can motivate me to do better and become better.  Going to show you something cool, ever heard of Jack Canfield?  Yes, you have, he is the guy that wrote all those Chicken Soup for the Soul books when our teenager years had a void of real shit that talks to us directly. 

Come to think of it, from talking to some old school guys at the gym today, you can’t  help to figure why some people are hotter, smarter, financially set, better version than you and just sit there hoping that’s you one day. One of the guys I worked out with mentioned that,

If you really want to start doing muscle-ups, try to get at least 25 pullups  great pullups and you be set. Want to be a barstar? I can tell.”

Long story short, I put myself out there at times and it really does make a difference. The will-power/self-discipline is really part of a bigger picture of everything around you, your environment. I may not have the strength to do awesome tricks like those guys from Baristi or Bar Brothers, I may not be a trainer, I may not be at the peak of my media career yet, but if I want some of the wishful thinking to go away, my environment needs to change constantly and who knows. 

Here is a list of environments Mr. Canfield mentions:

So as not to overwhelm yourself, start by picking three of the nine environments to actively change or modify, and once you see some results, work out from there. You will eventually discover that changing any one environment will begin to affect all of the other environments.

Here are the Nine Environments:

Memetic

 Body

 Self / Intangibles

 Nature

 Spiritual

 Relationships

 Network

 Financial

 Physical

If you guys like this post, please comment below or at https://www.facebook.com/tcofit

What to do if help isn’t in your dictionary?

You are a go getter that everyone seems to admire from all walks of life. A creative, a PR manager, CEO, doesn’t matter. Day in, you tend to the calls of all that summons your expertise, sometimes they underpay for your services, sometimes you helped them out of courtesy of your good heart. You know that you will eventually make it and hopefully karma would be on your side. Most likely, you got the best experiences under your belt, worked with a few top people in their game and spent countless hours on your craft. Priding yourself for doing this, you had anti-social moments. Within these anti-social moments you are considered a superhero, nobody knows the real you.

However, little that people know, you have a weakness or two. Whether its kryptonite, family issues, or a shaky past, you reminisce on these things far away from the people who adore you. Sometimes you help more people than you should, some of which are only around you for the wrong reasons. Selfish, greedy and parasitic, they know how much of a hero you can be and they want all they can get from you, leaving others that really do what to be around you, the short end of the stick. Sometimes you are left angry, perhaps more lethargic and rude.  As a result, you are starting to crumble, your health and passion especially and you, the superhero can’t fix this one on your own.  You need help.

It took a while for me to get to the point here, but sometimes in life, it’s totally fine to ask for help. Even some of our beloved celebrity stars did so. I mean, why you think we all love Lady Gaga so much since calls us “Little Monsters”; she connects with her fans on a personal level and she too has hit a plateau throughout her career. Tony Bennett was a help and so were her fans. ­­­­­­­You may not realize, but eventually you will hit a very low point in your life, one hell of an iceberg obstacle and it’s up to you to figure out your outcome. Here are a few tips when you reach this point.

  • Write out things that you are passionate about. (No Netflix, sorry.)
  • Write out the things that you are most grateful for (Gratitude is proven to be one of the keys of happiness.)
  • Write out your strengths and weaknesses. (Wait for it.)
  • Write out the five people in your circle.
  • When you see the patterns of items 1-4 and what needs to be changed, circle them.
  • Replace the circles with goals and people that you want to have around you.
  • Go for it. (The answer is making the effort to go for what you deserve.)

For example, if your friend Kevin makes you feel like a dummy and you want to improve on your presentation skills, spend more time developing potential solutions to that skillset and replace Kevin with a supportive person in your circle. If you have a problem getting your temper down and Roy has a love/hate relationship with you, but you know you need to calm down, drop Roy and spend more time exploring ways to relax. You may not be ready to let go of people you are “supposedly­­” close to, but look at the list from #1-#4 over and over again until it makes sense.

Never be afraid to ask for help.

Question of the Day: Do you think that people may influence your passions? Share your thoughts here.

Follow The Concept of F.I.T. for more blog posts and awesome stuff!

Pullup madness

Today’s workout is brought to you by: Kris Gethin ‪#‎kagedmusclebeats‬. Definitely one of the hardest gym workouts for my back. 10 sets of 10 pullups and other intense stuff. No, I’m not just training my body to see how strong I want to be, I’m also training my mind. Sometimes, the harder I train, the more creative I become. The more gym days I attend, the less obligated to go out. Sorry, but I got my music on, so don’t interrupt me. And without the earbuds, i’m focused on me anyways.

When your heart speaks, take good notes

I had a hard time coming up with a title to this post because I realize that I spent more time on topics to fill a void for this blog instead of the things that I should focus showing you guys (Visual content, writing is fun, but I’m a creative professional.) Fitness wise, I love Superfoods and Circuit Training.  From a nerd’s perspective, superfoods are like power-ups and Circuit Training is training similar in Anime in order for me to get stronger to defeat an obstacle. Goal wise, I might consider going into obstacle course training to try out for Spartan Race. Btw, the title of this post is a quote from Judith Campbell. When your heart is calling to you, you have to understand what it’s truly conveying to you.

It’s a reminder that you need to shut off negativity from your environment for you to focus on the end goal. If your heart tells you that you want to be a dancer, become a dancer.

If your heart tells you that you need to spend more time taking care of yourself instead of spending on selfish people draining you, then do yourself a favor and hire a personal trainer for a few sessions. Most likely you see a change a mood and I assure you can plan accordingly (Cut off these people, no excuse). I always tell my peers how much people deserve to be happy and prosperous. Our life has a purpose for something for our time here and if you are not doing something that is not helping others, then you are wasting your time.  I know it’s better done than said, but from my experience I can’t stress this enough.

I know that media (video editing and photography respectively) has been my passion since I was sixteen, but with having a language disorder, I always tell myself I can never be in front of the camera. Why? Well, I have no control on what I say, but I can control the narrative in a visual a.k.a, “Behind the camera”. My heart tells me that I am also a good storyteller, regardless cardinal direction I am within the camera, hence part of the reason why I started The Concept of F.I.T. which I will share in a video that will be uploaded sometime soon. Fitness is really a given for one reason, without taking control of your physical state, your mental state will be at stake.

I believe the mantra of the more you train your body, the more you train the mind stands correct here. In my case and scientifically proven, fitness will make you creative and I haven’t produced any personal best work in a while. So guys, I owe you big time, I need to be as transparent with you as possible in hopes that my findings can help or inspire you in any way. I should break boundaries instead of simply acknowledging them and share my journey in hopes that others can do the same.

Question of the day: What are some obstacles have you faced in your life and how you overcame them. Share your stories below; I might feature your words in my next blog post. Until then, more to come.

How the hell creativity has anything to do with fitness?

I admit. I have a long way to go before I acquire the knowledge of a certified fitness professional. Whew, I just have to put that there before I rummage the internet for endless loads of information about diet and exercise to write for Examiner.com and customize my diet and exercise plans to get stronger. There is so much I learned so much about circuit training and body-weight exercises that my body not only shred off the fat, but I was able to do more pullups than I ever expected. (I can hit 10 proper pullups, but I’m a nutcase and want to do 25 pullups and at least 5 muscle ups) Let’s get to the point here, I really am not used to talking about myself if it doesn’t have to deal with my photography/videography work, even thought I haven’t edited videos in ages (in my terminology). I’m still conscious and nervous as shit when I have the camera focused on me. And most importantly, I am not used to asking for things versus always being the one giving out a helping hand in general.

Everyone has their starting points in life. Everyone have struggles, difficulties and things they wished they done in the past. People have their ups and downs, plateau on their health, passions and other things (This article from Nerd Fitness helped me alot), jerks that took advantage of your time, energy and kindness and etc. As a  press photographer and freelancing video editor, the art of picking up projects and doing them comes with creativity. You have to be in “the zone” to really have a product that “wow” your audience and you have to do this often and often and often! For me, it means the excitement, passion and zeal in everything you are doing. Pretty much, you have to feel good about everything. If you feel like shit, everything you do will eventually show. Your work is not as strong as before. You have that “creative block”. Flustered, pissed off and depressed, you get stubborn about changing your career choice, but you do want to get back in creating again. So I took a 5 minute walk every time I get pressed.

“Exercising on a regular basis may thus act as a cognitive enhancer promoting creativity in inexpensive and healthy ways.”

I realized that when I had my first training session for a few months with my trainer, I noticed a change beyond my weight. I became more creative, or in other words  improved divergent and convergent thinking, which are considered the two components of creative thinking”. I saw improvement on my photography when I shoot, I feel a lot confident in reaching out to strangers in general, whether if I’m doing a set and need someone to hold my camera to get video of me and most importantly happier. Long story short, fitness makes you more creative. The more I pushed myself, through the workouts, sets and reps, the more creative and understanding I become of myself. I realize how much I missed video editing and would love to get more opportunities. On the flip side, I became more resilient when dealing with people that aren’t worth my time. I actually don’t mind being in front of camera a bit more and have more ideas than I did when I didn’t start working out. I will post more content of my results, not just the fitness aspect, but my creative stuff too. Who knows, maybe I can do my own photoshoots with me in it.

Oh and enjoy this picture I took of Taylor Swift.

Question of the day: What tips that you have experiences that helps you get over your creative blocks? Please share you comments below.

Follow The Concept of FIT for creative and innovative products we adore, fitness personalities, motivational content and other creative ramblings.

Gym Diary: Leg Day from Hell

Courtesy of Kris Gethin Muscle Builder from Bodybuilding.com

I am used to taking images of other people for the past two years and rarely I can do the same thing for myself. I think everyone deserve to document themselves because its great to look back at all your experiences, whether its graduation or a day with your best friends. Today was a killer leg workout day for me because I always been proud of my arms, but rarely I pay much attention to my legs in general.

Today was perhaps the most challenging leg day I ever had, not because I spent 2 hours at the gym, but the fact I lifted heavier than I expected and pushed hard. I hit every set and hit every rep with great form. For once in my life, I want to look at pain and try to negotiate with it. “I give you 100% if I do 110% better the next time.” I took this pic of my last seated leg curl before I chucked my camera back to my fitmark bag.

I increased my overall poundage of all sets by at least 10 pounds from the previous week. I took this pic before nailing my last set for the workout. I was definitely scared as hell because I hoped my legs wont do something crazy like give birth or explode, but I was only super sore afterwards.

Moral of the story: You never know until you try. Sometimes its worth it at the end.

Oh and I survived the icy path home.

To Compete or Not to Compete?

This is my first gym day after months training via bodyweight exercises.

This is my first gym day after months training via bodyweight exercises.

An email from Bodybuilding.com pops through my notifications:

Chioma – As If You Needed More Proof to Show You’re Awesome, Gal

  • You hit a personal best with four calf exercises throughout the week.
  • Your four calf exercises from this week are more than your three-month weekly average.
  • You did two hamstring exercises this week. Oh yeah!
  • Three sets, hell yeah! You totaled those lower back sets across one exercise

My first week at a gym setting and I can feel the same soreness from lifting weights from my gym classes in high school. I spent most of 2014 doing body-weight exercises and lost more than 25 pounds with the help from my personal trainer. I was far from my home gym in Jersey and had no choice but use my 3-day trial card from New York Sports Club since I don’t feel like travelling for an hour to do my leg day. You really CAN’T afford to miss a leg day if you are doing split training. Honestly, I hate winter and trying my best to workout more in the cold will take its time. I am striving to improve my body’s aesthetics and weight training is the way to go from my books. I really enjoy talking with the staff members and gym goers from the gyms I visited in New York City and one thing that people keep asking me, “What are you competing for?”

Sometimes I scoffed at this question with a sidetrack remark of how much weight I lost. The question replays itself with other people that asked me the same thing. No one doesn’t want to believe I was 30 pounds heavier a year ago. They see a kid with a decent physique that wants to get in some tip top shape for something. It hits me,should I actually compete? The managers at New York Sports Club recently got a personal trainer that was a IFBB Bikini Pro Competitor and would love for me to meet her in hopes of competing. At first, I thought it was for an article for Examiner.com and I again come in with the sidetrack dialogue of how I lost weight and so on. I was asked again, but on a serious note. “You should try to compete this year, you should talk to her on Wednesday and see what you have to do.” Not to toot my own horn, but I generally gain muscle as fast as I can gain weight.

I am somewhat dumbfounded. I never really plan on actually working my way to compete for something yet. I was thinking Tough Mudder, but that’s really it. Then it hits me, after my 12-week Muscle Building Trainer with Kris Gethin, I might just pick something. Could be a bodybuilding competition or even my first CrossFit Games. Working on my gains then give me a few weeks to figure it out! Strength Training and Weight Training is actually not exactly the same thing.

What are your thoughts about training for a competition?  Have you ever had the thoughts of doing them and if so what? Have you ever competed before? Submit your comments below!

Why I started doing Spilt Training

Spilt Training

I restarted my fitness journey when I started doing bodyweight exercises via circuit training with my awesome personal trainer. Never would I have imagined I can perform 10 pull-ups in a row, especially a girl with long arms. I dropped more than 20 pounds and got closer to my high school weight, when I was a track and field runner. Although I started out doing bodyweight exercises, I am also pushing aesthetically to transform my body as well. I want to build a bit more muscle and improve “certain” areas in my body (honestly, a larger butt and more defined legs wouldn’t hurt for the summertime).

With the wintertime in session and finding it hard to tone up and build strength at the same time, I figured why not go back to the gym?  This is not to say goodbye to my bodyweight exercises, but gives me a chance to reunite with my first love in the fitness realm, weight training. I struggled with my weight (underweight, overweight an always with bulging belly) growing up. I vow to someday get the body I will feel the most comfortable in.   Here are few good reasons to check out split training:

Learn the hype about leg day

Since you are working different parts of your body per day, you be kicking yourself if you miss a workout since you have to wait until the following week. Besides, who doesn’t want build muscles on their legs and buns when you do those heavy squat lifts?

Shaping specific muscles in the body

As mentioned earlier, splits are great for targeting specific muscle groups to shape your body. This also helps when you simply want to get rid of those bingo arms faster or a hanging gut when hitting the weights.

Vascularity

Even though you can get vascularity from improving your overall strength from bodyweight exercises, doing slow and constricted free weight pumps and with proper diet and plenty of water, those veins will come out of hiding. I call them “Tiger Stripes”

I recommend doing cardio at least 30-45 minutes a day for at least 3 days a week. Since I am used to pushing my body from circuit training, I am currently under the Kris Gethin 12-Week Muscle Building Plan on bodybuilding.com. Using the Y3T training system founded by bodybuilder, Neil Hill,  the principle of Y3T (Yoda 3 Training) is to systematically keep your muscles guessing how you are going to train so that your body has less chance to adapt. In other words, gains, gains and more gains!