Recently I participated in the Live your Legend blogging challenge and made myself accountable to post at least one article per week for the next two months.
How hard could that be?
Unfortunately I failed. I was able to last for only a couple of weeks until I gave up. I thought it would be a piece of cake since I had a lot of content floating around in my head waiting to be published. However having content is not enough, I need to learn the skill of organizing my thoughts and ideas so that it has some semblance of logical flow in it that others can understand and not just the geek inside of me.
Well I don’t really consider it as a failure because in reality, the only failure we have is when we don’t try. Sometimes failure to achieve a goal is even better than succeeding because you learn a lot more lessons from it. What is important is to accept defeat, learn from it and stop making excuses. If you treat life as one big experiment on finding the things that works and those that do not, it takes away most of the ego induced pain attached to failure.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Before making any commitments, figure out if it is aligned with the bigger picture
Focus and eliminate distractions
I usually over estimate what I could do in a given period of time
Participating in challenges and bets with deadlines and becoming accountable (like asking a friend to bug you about it) will force you to either achieve that goal or prioritize something else more important. You will figure out what really matters to you and make you choose between sacrificing one goal in order to achieve another.
Getting back to the drawing board
The first quarter of the year is over. This is the year when most people forget all about their goals for the year and wait until the next January to start a never ending cycle of failed New year’s resolution.
Looking at my own list, I am thankful for the things I’ve accomplished but there are a lot of things that I failed to do as well in the last three months
Time to look into it, review and extract any valuable lessons and nuggets of gold I could get and treat it not as failure but part of the learning process.
If you are reading this, what is your progress in your 2015 goals? 10%? 15% What are the things that didn’t go as planned and what are the things that you succeeded at? Share it in the comments!
So you have taken the red pill and woke up to a new reality, a world of new possibilities. The story doesn’t end there. In fact it’s just the beginning. Sometimes you will wish you took the blue pill instead.
I know I did.
Son Goku and one-arm push ups
As a kid watching DBZ, I watched Goku do handstand push ups and one arm push ups. I was really amazed and thought how awesome it would be if I could do that too but I told myself :
“that can only happen in an anime series”.
It wasn’t even part of my reality. Until I saw someone doing it in real life. (actually a youtube video). That was the metaphorical red pill for me. I was living in a dream that handstand push ups were impossible and I had this look:
when I watched youtube videos of people doing what I previously thought was impossible.
During one of my recent climb with a group of friends at Mt. Ampucao, the highest peak in Sagada, we originally planned to hike just halfway in to the summit.
We previously thought that the true summit was out of reach for climbers because it was private property, hikers are not allowed and it seemed too far and impossible to get there in just half a day. We reached the mini summit where there view is nice and everything was awesome…. until we saw other hikers coming back from the true summit.
We asked them how much time did it take them to reach the summit? – “Two hours of torture on an assault trail”. One of them answered and still panting.
In my mind I was yelling amateurs! I’ll get there in half the time! But there was also a part of me that wished we never saw the other climbers coming back from the summit because then we have a perfect convenient excuse not to climb it. We were tired anyway and we could just happily stayed there and take groufies ignorant to the fact that there was a higher summit to conquer.
In both instances a part of me wanted a blue pill.
“Only Goku is capable of 1 arm push ups.”
“Only elite athletes could do that!”
“that guy on youtube must have been on steroids!”
“His power level is over 9000 that’s imposssiible!!!!!!”
It took me a few months of dedication and hard work to finally do a solid one arm push ups. And it took us half the time to reach the summit of Mt. Ampucao.
I’m glad we took the red pill, embraced reality and worked hard towards achieving our goal however small or big it is.
Red pill awakening and the competence model. Going from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence.
When you awaken to a reality that you previously didn’t know existed, you are in a stage called conscious incompetence. That is stage two of the competence model.
You can apply the competence model in any skill you want to learn or goal you want to achieve like driving a car:
Stage 1: Unconscious incompetence:
-you are a caveman and didn’t even know that car existed let alone how to drive it
Stage 2: Conscious incompetence:
-you learned that cars existed and you decided you want to learn how to drive
Stage 3: Conscious competence
-you are learning how to drive a car but it takes all of your effort, will, focus and concentration to figure out how the stick shift works, how to find which is the brake and gas pedal and at the same time pay attention to the road, traffic rules. You also try not to hit the old gandma crossing the street.
Step 4 Unconscious competence
-you drive with a bottle of beer on your right hand and you text on your left hand and somehow you manage to arrive at your destination alive and well.
In fitness and fat loss there is a similar model.
Stage 1 Unconscious incompetence
I’m big boned
Stage 2 Conscious incompetence
I’m not big boned
Stage 3 Conscious competence
This is the part where you start working on losing fat, or gaining some muscle or both. You have some success but obstacles and challenges are thrown in your way.
The process of moving from stage 2 to stage 3 and leveling up to stage 4 is summarized in the 4-step super Saiyan transformation framework.
Stage 4 Unconscious competence Fat loss becomes effortless,
This is the stage where you reach your ultimate goal. In my case, I was able to achieve super Saiyan level in one of my fitness goals which is to reach less than 10 percent body fat while still eating the food that I love, even go on an occasional eat-all you can rampage and maintain it effortlessly by having “super Saiyan” metabolism that makes me impervious to calories. IMHO a life where you are anal about what you eat is no fun. There has to be a balance of self-restraint and self-indulgence.
This is a tricky skill to master when it comes to eating and it takes years of practice to achieve Unconscious competence super Saiyan levels.
When Goku first transformed into a super saiyan he was charging and yelling for a whole episode and all the time he was making an effort to maintain his super Saiyan state.
Eventually he reached a level where he could relax and even go fishing with Gohan in his super Saiyan form.
There are other fitness goals as well as in other areas of my life that I’m working on right now. What’s yours?
Take the red pill in all areas of your life.
Think of areas in your life were you woke to up to a new possibility ?
Six pack abs
Your first 1 million.
You know it won’t be easy but it will be well worth it.
You can take the red pill and accept that reality or you can take the blue pill anytime and stay where you are right now and no one will blame you for it. You will be taken back to a dream where you have no control over your goals and it’s not your fault if you fail or stay mediocre for the rest of your life. Because in that world you are the victim and the world is conspiring against you.
In the matrix movie, Morpheus asked Neo if he wanted to take the blue pill or the red pill. He could have just taken the blue pill and forget ever meeting Morpheus, live in a blissful state of ignorance and leave the burden of saving human kind for someone else but Neo took the red pill and woke up from the false dream created by the machines to control the humans.
From then on, Neo would live in a reality wherein the responsibility of leading a rebellion against the enemy and saving mankind would rest on his shoulders, and not to mention the power to bend reality and some awesome Kung-fu skills when his in the matrix dream.
In the Matrix there exist two worlds.
The Matrix dream, a fabricated reality created by the sentient machines to keep the humans docile and in control while they consume the heat produced by the human body as a source of power and the real world, where people unplugged from the matrix dream woke up to and live in “the truth of reality”
I use the two worlds of the matrix dream and the real world as a symbol for the mindsets and beliefs that people have that affects their perception of reality.
The Scarcity mindset and the Abundance mindset.
On the one hand, the matrix dream created by the computers is a metaphor for the scarcity mindset that many people have. This is also synonymous with the victim mentality and a close cousin of having external locus of control orientation.
When you live in this false dream created by the evil machines, you believe that the government, your classmate, your friend, your cat, the social media and everyone is to blame except you for all the wrong things that happen in your life because you’re the poor victim and it’s not your fault because it’s out of your control. You believe that your too old or too young or too to do this and that. You believe that you are big boned that’s why your fat.
People in the matrix dream (scarcity mindset) also believe that we are living in a world of injustice, inequality, and anytime now the earth could be hit by an asteroid and everything that ever existed will vanish. Those who live in the false dream and has not woken up yet is not entirely to blame.
It’s not their fault because we are wired to do that… as a survival mechanism during the cavemen days, it makes sense to pay attention to every possible negative scenario that might occur in our environment, being pessimistic was useful because during that time, the paranoid survives and a lot of the chill caveman were killed because they didn’t pay attention to the saber tooth tiger.
This pessimistic paranoid scarcity mindset might also be useful in a zombie apocalypse situation so you can’t blame Rick for the way he acts in recent episodes of the walking dead.
On the other hand, the world where Neo woke up to is somewhat a bittersweet reality. The red pill would lead to his escape from the Matrix and open his eyes to “truth of reality”. He could lead the war against the machine, achieve ultimate freedom and save humanity but he knows it would not come easy.
For me the world where Neo woke up to is a metaphor for the abundance mindset. People who live in this reality believe that we live in an abundant world of possibilities and endless opportunities and today is the greatest time in history to be alive ever. Of course in this world, “nothing worth it comes easy, and things that come easy go away quickly”
But you think of about it, people even in the lowest class of society have access to the internet, almost everyone has smart phones, and even the lowest end of the smartphones today have better capabilities than the mobile phone the most powerful leader in the world 25 years ago. If Bill Clinton had video recording capabilities on his phone then, the Monica Lewenski scandal would have been more interesting.
You have a choice
The point is you could live in the Matrix dream of scarcity mindset or live in the real world abundance mindset. Some people will forever stay in a state of unconscious incompetence dreaming in Matrix world but some are given a choice to take the red pill or the blue pill.
But now that you’re reading this you now have that choice to make.
Like Neo, we can wake up to a world of abundance where we have the potential to be anything that we want to be and achieve any goals that we set to achieve, just like the humankind’s war against the machines your personal battles will be a struggle, victory won’t come easy and the possibility of failure will always be there
By taking the red pill you accept the fact that you can also prematurely die, fat, lonely and broke and your debts the only legacy you will leave to your children and with the last 10 years of your life bed-ridden, living in an institution with no one to take care for you other than professional caregivers and social workers or you can also can retire a millionaire, get that six pack abs even when you reach your senior years like this guy here:
or run a marathon at 90 years old like Olga here:
It’s all possible now that we have access to all the knowledge using the power of Google right at our finger tips, the tricky part is how to apply and execute that knowledge and how to drop the limiting beliefs installed in our minds. And whatever the scenario you end up with is entirely up to you and you have no one else to blame for yourself.
“But what if I worked my ass off, invest all my money and the economy collapses because of some global black swan or terrorist attack?”
“What if I dedicate 10,000 hours in the gym and still end up with a pot belly without getting any results?”
The question is what if it doesn’t? This uncertainty that comes with the red pill is what makes it such a bitter pill to swallow and why some people would rather take the blue pill and continue to live in a state of blissful ignorance, live a shitty life justified by your limiting beliefs, self-deception and no one will blame you for it because it’s the government’s fault, or your in-laws, or your pet or (insert your favorite excuse). Swallow the blue pill and forever remain in a state of unconscious incompetence. Take the red pill and you wake up in a state of conscious incompetence. Still incompetent but it makes you want to move to a stage of conscious competence and level up to unconscious incompetence.
More on that in the next post “What you need to do after you swallow the red pill.”
“It’s not Spoon that bends it is only yourself”
If you’re reading this, I’m curious to know what are the times in your life where you swallowed the red pill and bent spoons with your mind? Write in the comments! And share the times you were able to do something you previously thought was impossible or achieved something you previously thought was unattainable by shattering the limiting beliefs you had and adopting a new mindset?
Imagine waking up one day and being able to eat all the pizza, donuts, frapuccinos, dairy queen triple chocolate xtreme ice cream and unlimited rice… without having to worry about gaining a pound of fat after your monster meal.
Maybe you decide to go for a 15 minute “easy” workout, pull off a few one-arm pull ups and one-arm push ups. The dudes at the gym who kill themselves for 2 hours every day without getting any result doing sissy dumbbell curls and bench pressing with what you consider “Barbie weights” see you with their Geiger counter and yell:
“his power level… it’s over nine thousaaaannd! That’s impossible!!!”
I want you to know that it is possible and in this post I want to share:
the power of automating your fitness by creating a daily ritual…
the benefits of cold thermogenesis
the 4 minute super Saiyan workout.
These are strategies and techniques I’ve personally used to boost fat loss and achieve super Saiyan metabolism that enables me to eat all of this in one seating at a body weight of 135 lbs without gaining a pound of fat.
Conquer the mind, master the body!
Yup. We all know someone who has an appetite of a hardcore construction worker who eats twice as much as you but weighs twice as less than you do.
Maybe it’s their genes or could they be a real life super Saiyan? Over the years I’ve developed the super Saiyan ability to eat a whole box of pizza, or devour a whole crispy pata in a single meal, and I currently hold the last man eating and last man drinking contest championship belt between me and my friends while maintaining below 10 percent body fat.
But I’m probably no match for this guy.
If your current goal is to lose 20 lbs., then why not make your goal even more awesome by making it specific like:
“Lose 20 lbs. of pure fat ( because for most people the 20 lbs. they lose is a combination of water weight, fat and muscle mass) and maintain my ideal weight for the rest of my life without becoming a prisoner of fad diets, weight loss pills and also be able to eat any food that I want even go on an occasional eat all you can rampage without gaining a pound of fat”…
like a Super Saiyan would.
Okay you may not have an alien Saiyan blood but…
the good news is there are steps you can take to transform your body into a fat burning machine and tips on how to maintain it without the dishonor of fad diets. It will enable you to eat like a Saiyan, and maintain a lean body without ending up miserable like ramp models who starve themselves to death just to look good on camera and photoshoots.
If you haven’t achieve Super Saiyan status yet, then simply follow the techniques below while eating moderately to shed off those unwanted pounds and make your abs pop by shedding off the tub of lard covering your abdominal muscles.
The long term solution: build strong lean muscles and aerobic endurance by creating a daily ritual and using the power of habit
The why and how of building strong lean muscles and a huge gas tank of aerobic endurance:
More muscle cells mean more capacity for handling calories. It does not necessarily mean having Incredible Hulk muscles, and yes ladies… lifting weights will NOT make you huge unless you inject yourselves with Captain America’s super soldier serum.
When you eat, the carbs in the form of glycogen gets stored in the muscle for fuel, when it becomes full the excess glycogen are then stored as fats. More muscle cells mean more storage for you. You will also be able to handle more calories because more muscle mass also means more work capacity You can perform at a higher intensity and harder variations of exercises which burn more calories DURING workouts and burn more calories AFTER the workout even while you SLEEP doing nothing. This is due to excess post oxygen consumption. A huge gas tank will make long distance runs a relaxing, meditative joyful activity that you look forward to and not just an activity done with an end goal of burning calories to lose weight.
How do you build muscles and endurance as quickly and as painless as possible? Well I’m sorry to tell you but there are no short cuts.
There are no substitute for discipline and hard work. The key is in the process of making discipline easy and effortless by transforming whatever you do (that requires discipline and will power) into a habit and turning hard work into fun by learning to love what you do and aligning it with your goals and core values. How do you do that? I’ll cover that in future post but the first step is to create a powerful 15 -45 min daily ritual of mind and body exercises to start the day that boosts your strength, cardio and internal state and feelings. An established ritual or a habit requires no will power. You don’t force yourself into doing it just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower (I hope so). The power of creating a daily ritual of mind and body exercises makes muscle building and fat loss go on autopilot.
A daily activity of physical, mental, emotional exercise even as short as 5 minutes can increase your life span too…
Watch Jane_Mcgonigal on TED talks as she speak about “The game that could add 10 years to your life”
Part of my morning ritual started with learning Spanish on Duolingo on my phone upon waking up, a few push ups and body weight squats here and there and a relaxing walk while listening to my favorite podcasts and at the same time thinking of all the blessings in my life which puts me into a state of gratitude.
It doesn’t matter what fitness level you’re in right now,
You can start with 5 knee push ups a day and a 10 minute walk. What matters is you start right now, do it with enough consistency until it becomes a habit. Soon 15 minute walks evolve into an energizing jog and your knee push ups will progress into insane variations like one arm push ups and pistol squats like it did for me.
The best part is when you have acquired the habit, even if you start at just 5 to 15 minutes a day, you will progress automatically and you’ll wake up one day and realize that your exercise has transformed from burdensome work into a delightful activity and your workouts become an expression of who you are like a poet writing poems.
Burning calories become effortless. Lifting weights becomes a source of pleasure.
When you get to this point you won’t ever have to worry about gaining fat from a monster meal every now and then. You can have the freedom to binge once in a while knowing you have the capacity to burn a day’s meal in one running session. You can work out in a way that would boost your metabolism for days. Your muscles become a tank storage of glycogen never getting full and converted to fat.
The bad news is that it takes time. If you haven’t achieved super Saiyan status yet through your 15 minute daily ritual of easy exercise you can also use the techniques below as fat loss boosters while eating moderately and if you already have your ideal body, you can use these techniques to maintain it even when you go on a Son Goku diet.
Accelerate your fat loss with cold thermogenesis and the occasional 5 min Super Saiyan Workout.
WTF is cold thermogenesis?
It simply means exposing yourself to a cold environment like ice baths, cold pool or freezing weather forcing your body to burn more calories by regulating your body temperature.
I won’t go all geeky explaining the law of thermodynamics of how your brown adipose tissue produces heat to regulate the cold, there are tons of resources out there and if you fancy reading scholarly articles and research written in scientific jargons that make your nose bleed but make the authors sound super intelligent… here are a few of them: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/68993 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23780370.
Tim Ferris dedicated a whole chapter of his book the about harnessing the power of cold for burning calories and figured out how Michael Phelps can eat up to 12,000 calories a day… that’s a week worth of calories for most people (nearly impossible to burn using just exercise and workouts alone if you do the math) without gaining a pound of body fat in his book “The 4- hour body”.
Cold thermogenesis doesn’t only make you burn fat, it also has physical and mental performance enhancing effects and can accelerate recovery in your workouts as well. Some people use ice packs or ice vests, others use ice baths and cold showers, UFC fighters and professional athletes use cryogenic chambers for accelerated recovery in their training.
Personally I go to the ACE Water Spa www.acewaterspa.com.ph/ once or twice a month ( a more affordable option than cryogenic chambers) and use the cold pool for multiple sessions of 5 to 20 min bouts then contrasting it with heat training in the Sauna room and a relaxing hydro massage.
Another alternative you can do at home to activate those brown adipose tissues and make you burn more fat is to sleep naked and turn on the air conditioning to full blast.
The 4-minute Super Saiyan workout for boosting your metabolism
Caveat: If your a beginner, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet but If you’re on your way to a buffet dinner or a hotdog eating contest or a box of Krispy Kreme is right in front of you begging to be devoured… then you can mitigate some of the fat gain with a 5 min super Saiyan workout.
What is the 4-minute super Saiyan workout?
No need to get intimidated… anyone can do it. It’s just my fancy way of describing tabata workouts with exercises like burpees, squats and push ups doing them in a circuit style training that will enable you to push you into 90% of your maximum effort. It’s actually just 2 minutes! if you don’t count the 30 seconds of rest period in between rounds. The key is to go all out and use a compound movement that works multiple muscle group or a whole body exercise like burpees to maximize fat loss ( none of those sissy dumbbell curls and other isolation movements) BTW This is what 90% max effort looks like:
You can do easier or harder variations that will suit to your level of fitness but the key is doing it in good form and making sure that at the end of 5 mins (or 4-5 rounds of 30 sec max effort and 30 sec rest), you are gasping for air and unable to finish one sentence without taking another breath or two. Oh and be sure to take a short warm up first like jogging in place and a few jumping jacks. Workouts like this help shuttle the carbs your about to eat into your muscles thus preventing them from being converted into fat. You can also do them 90 mins after you eat that box of jcos so you can use whatever sugar that is in your blood as fuel and prevent them from being stored as fat. Pick any of this exercise that you can do virtually anywhere: push up, pull up, squat or burpees and do as many reps as you can AMRAP in 30 seconds with good form and then rest for 30 seconds and do it 4 to 5 times. If you are at a restaurant, then excuse yourself and go to the rest room to do your squats… The 5 minute super Saiyan workout is two times shorter than the average bathroom breaks of girls and you can do this anywhere so no excuses! If regular variations of the exercise is too easy for you then do a harder variation like this one:
For beginners, it doesn’t matter if you are doing knee push ups or one arm push up. The key is you give 90% of your effort. Really push yourself just for 30 seconds. If you’re an overachiever, then do a 20 minute easy walk or jog as cool down after the intense 4-5 rounds of thirty second max effort and thirty second rest. WARNING. Do not do this every day because there’s a good chance that you’ll burn out, suffer from injuries or in some cases kill yourself with spontaneous human combustion. It’s best to do them once or twice a week.
There you have it! The secret of how to eat like a super Saiyan without gaining a pound of fat!
To sum it up:
Build lean, dense, strong muscles, boost your metabolism and build a huge gas tank slowly by having daily ritual of 15 to 45 mins of super easy resistance training and cardio.
Occasional bouts of cold thermogenesis and the 5 minute Super Saiyan workouts.
P.S. speaking of daily rituals, what other simple easy to do habits can you include in your daily ritual that will be a game changer if you just do it every day for the rest of your life? Pick one and post in the comments below (it helps to make your self accountable by posting your goals publicly) and go do it for 30 days every single day