Thursday, December 10, 2015

2015.12.10 The Importance of Practice

I've been thinking about my powerlifting program and a bit stressed that
... I've missed a few workout sessions
... I missed my planned lifts several times--likely due to an overambitious 1 rep max
... I have my first powerlifting meet end of January and can't seem to stick to a program

Today was different. I went to the gym tonight, an "off" day. I went to train not because I had to, but because my body wanted to. 

Also, I decided to shift my mindset. While I'm "working out" and "training", my goal today was "practice". I recently read a profile on Alastair MacNicol, who will be running the powerlifting meet in January. I resonate with his training philosophy:
I treat powerlifting like a skill, one that has to be practiced in order to be mastered
With the simple goal of practicing this skill, I went into the gym with resolve. I was more mindful of my movement, even my walking and posture. I felt focused, yet peaceful. Here was today's practice:
  • 3 min run on treadmill. Increase speed every 30 s if comfortable. With the increased speed, focus on staying relaxed, efficient and strong.
  • Pistols 3x5. Execute with proficiency and control.
  • Back squats 3x5 @ 135 lb. Move with intention. Practice staying tight. 
  • Pull-ups 3x5. Sub-maximal reps and full control. Focus on power on the way up.
  • Turkish get-up 1x5 10 kg. Focus on control throughout the movement.
  • Kettlebell practice 1x10 one-arm swing, 1x10 high pull, 1x10 snatch @ 18 kg.
Today, my goal was not to lift a specific weight, but to lift with intention and awareness. Of course, this is just one day. One step along a journey towards mastery. There are so many things I want to work on, let alone "master". To progress, I will start with one goal at a time. 

Now ... time for a cold rinse!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

2015.12.09 Morning Coffee

I woke up this morning at 5:30 a.m. and walked over to the gym. Having missed my last two workouts, I took it light today.

5x3 Back Squats @ 185 lb
Kettlebell circuit


The past few days, I have been experimenting with "ice baths"--no ice, but used coldest available water. The mental barriers are slowly fading. The two benefits for me are:

  • improved recovery
  • instant wake-up!
I used to have a coffee first thing. Now, I've been having my cup of coffee around 10 a.m. Today's coffee is Tim Hortons grinds brewed with an Aeropress.


Most recent podcast: How Facebook’s #30 Employee Quickly Built 4 Businesses and Gained 40 Pounds with Weight TrainingThe Tim Ferriss Show

Key takeaways:
  • important routines: making your bed, read
  • take action, now. elaborate plans not required. start simply. start with your first client, subscriber, etc.
  • say no to things that do not align with your goal.
  • consider productivity apps 
  • stop wasting time, e.g. facebook newsfeed eradicator
  • start with simple hacks, e.g. increasing trackpad speed

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekend Highlights

Free Indeed Men's Conference

Session 1 - Breaking Free From Religion
Jeff Schwarzentraub

- To know Jesus is alive makes all the difference
- Prodigal Son (Luke 15) is a story about two sons
- Living for yourself = empty life
- You can't keep faking it
- Being near to God is not the same as having a relationship with God

Religious people (older son) ...
... don't go to God by themselves, always through a third party (e.g. through a pastor, small group leader, etc.). I need to make it my own (Philippians 3:12).
... cannot celebrate God's goodness to others. The truth is ... no one deserves it.
... believe love must be earned.
... think they are better than others.
... believe they deserve more.
... believe God has limited resources

My key takeaway: My relationship with God is my own.

Session 2 - The Freedom of Security
Norm Millar

Four amazing facts about your salvation (1 Corinthians 1:21-22)
1. God establishes us in Christ
- 100% God's work. Can't earn it. Can't lose it.
- Who will condemn you on judgment day? Friends? Satan? Yourself/sin? God? None of the above.
2. God anoints us in Christ
- Heb 4:14-15 "in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin"1
- 2 Cor. 5:21 not only did he pay for our sins, but He made us His righteousness
- We are not condemned because He looks at me with the perfect obedience of Jesus
- I am a messed up sinner. If I boast, I will boast in the things that show my weakness.
- In Christ, I'm secured and I have found rest for my soul. In my weakness, I am strong
3. God has put his seal on us
- seal = ownership
- do not let sin rob you of your joy
- stop identifying with our sin struggles and start delighting in being a son of the King
- clarifying "perseverance of the saints": because God has saved you, you will persevere to the end; not that you need to persevere to be saved
4. God gives us his Spirit as a guarantee
- He will see it to completion in spite of me.

Q: Does God the Father love you because of Jesus and what he did for you on the cross?
A: "The death of Christ does not constrain or elicit the love of God but the love of God constrained to the death of Christ as the only adequate provision of this love." John Murray

My key takeaway: Delight in being a son of the King, not identifying with your sin struggles.

Session 3 - God's Calling for You
Robbie Symons

- Psalm 51:1-6 Foundation of confession
- Any great work/revival starts with repentance and confession
- Repentance cultivates the soul of our hearts

1. O God, I need a clean heart
- heart of stone -> heart of flesh
- only God can do the work
- we need to hate sin. we are saved for more than this
- life is too short to let our gifts be ineffective
- sin can clog God's power in our lives (analogy: drain)
- God rushes to the man who is broken and humble

With a clean heart, I will find
... joy
... renewal
... revival

Psalm 32:3-4 "for when I kept silent, my bones wasted away" ... fatigue may not be physiological only, but also because sin is hidden in our hearts

Prayer items: lust, anger, hard heart

My key takeaway: Hidden sin can wear you down from the inside.

Session 4: The Freedom of Resurrection
Ian Hales

John 11

1. Hear the cry of his heart
- strength for the weary
- meeting alone with Jesus is the greatest bomb for your weary soul
- sorrow for the world
- we need a lifelong pursuit of weeping over our sin, brokenness and humility

2. Hear the call of his voice
- Hear I am, send me. Where is God calling me? Will I go as a faithful ambassador?

My key takeaway: Meeting alone with Jesus is the greatest bomb for my weary soul.


Mustache shortbread cookies at the Free Indeed Men's Conference. Amazing.

Our attempt at Superbowl snacks. Go Seakhawks!

Team Meeting @ Frankie Tomatto's - 1st Plate

Team Meeting @ Frankie Tomatto's - 2nd Plate

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday update


Two weeks ago, a few of us spent a night in Muskoka. Harvest Newmarket launches March 1 and we'll be a set-up / tear-down church, so we went up to see how things are run in Harvest Muskoka.

We were told we'd be staying in a "cabin". As it turned out, our hosts invited us to a spacious "cabin" and tried out some delicious recipes on us. 

Need to lift

I try to workout with other coaches on a semi-regular basis. But it's hard. I need to lift more on my own, and be diligent in my training and nutrition.


I am blessed with a wonderful girlfriend. She encourages me in every way I know. I am grateful for the fun, the silly, the tough times, and the crazy times :) Life is much fuller with her in my life.

Basement clean-up

Our basement flooded several times. On the most recent flood, we decided to rip out the sub floor and laminate flooring. We also got rid of some drywall and wiped down the area from the mould, mildew and rot. It was a lot of work and I had fun doing the work with others.

Nevertheless, we still got some professional help after we did most of the groundwork. A mould specialist helped finish the cleaning job and sanitized the area properly. We'll wait for the area to dry and see if we have any flooding issues in the spring. But in the meantime ... this looks like a great area to lift, don't you think?

Excited for tonight!

"If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." --John 8:36