An active lifestyle and strong mind set isn’t a crash diet or weight loss program. A new way of life and of thinking allows you to get the most out of your day and maybe even help you reach your goals, whether they are to get a new job, lose weight and tone up.
The danger with pieces about hot to lose weight is that they come across like a ‘get quick rich scheme, as a sales pitch or a next crash diet. The implication is that they are easy and a quick fix but truth be told there is nothing easy about reaching your goals. Very few goals that are worth achieving are easy, such is the nature of desire. It is really hard work but that is the point, you learn to be tough.
Jason’s is not an uncommon story and a reminder that anyone, given the right frame of mind and structure, can transform their, mind, body and outlook and live a better quality of life and be happier through making small changes. Personal journeys can be enlightening, inspiring and a helpful way to remember what people, given the right support and mind set, are capable of.
What strikes me most about Jason’s story is not his physical transformation but how he transformed the way he thought and how he learned to have a fighting spirit and use his relentlessly positive outlook on life and channel it into achieving a personal goal. It takes a lot of courage, confidence and character to do this. Over to Jason.
When I started my Krav Maga NYC training, I was overweight and out of shape, although I didn’t realize it at the time. I decided to make a change and become more active so I could feel better day to day. One of the changes I made was to enroll in self defense classes, I thought it would provide me with an alternative way of getting fit and strong. It could have been anything though, spinning, boxing, team sports or swimming. The first couple weeks of classes were challenging but having made a commitment to myself, I persevered. Even though I left class exhausted, I also felt really alive and invigorated so I pressed on and true enough, it became easier.
During the course of the next 4 months I made a lot of changes in my life, inspired by the fighting spirit I learned in these classes. Krav Maga NYC has been a really positive addition to my life. It is not just that I have found a new level of confidence and security, which has made living in New York more enjoyable and improved my quality of life. I feel better too.
The following is a list of 10 things that I learned from my experience that might help someone out there achieve a goal they have set for themselves too. I really hope you find them helpful.
- Choose and Commit to your Core Activity. Choose a challenging activity, sport, martial arts system to focus your efforts on that you really enjoy and commit to it. It should be your focus, like say Brazilian Jujitsu or Krav Maga and build from there. There is no sense in having 6 different activities or classes, your goals become diluted and confused and delays the process of transformation rather than helping it. You can always use other classes and sports you enjoy to supplement your training and help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself for your core activity.
- Have Fun. Your core can be anything but it must be fun. It has to be as much fun as a sport or it’s going to be difficult to keep motivated. I had barely heard of Krav Maga before joining and it is not a sport but classes were fun, social, practical and I felt confidence boost after training. It kept me engaged and motivated to reach the next level.
- Social and Supportive. It helps to have people to share your experiences with, it was helpful to have like minded people to talk to and laugh with during the more challenging times. This makes the process easier, more enjoyable and felt supportive.
- Training with a goal. Whatever you decide to do should provide you with a goal, mentor or role model. Competitions, lifting higher weights, belt test, or achieving quicker times. Incentives work.
- Push the Boat Out. After a month or two of regular Krav Maga classes, I decided to try the Combat Fitness class. It is basically an hour of intense military style fitness. I had heard talk about this class from other students, and everyone said it was a really tough. I was a bit nervous for the first class, but I showed up ready to go. Josh normally teaches this class and knows how to push students to their limits and this is exactly what he did to me but it was done in a fun and challenging way. He kept the class moving at a fast pace and knew exactly when to push us as well as when to back off. Leaving class that night, my entire body was tired, sore and weak, but I saw that as a challenge and made a personal commitment to myself to return. ‘I will be back!’
- Learn to have Fighting Spirit. Krav Maga NYC classes taught me to have a fighting spirit. Fighting back with aggression is the only option for survival so I embraced the thinking and tried to apply it to my goals. Learning not to give up and fight for your goals was instrumental in learning how to push myself. During the third or fourth Combat Fitness class, I showed up to find it was only me and one other guy in class (a lot of the other students had started to give up), so we were presented with a challenge, ‘Do 500 pushups in the remaining 25 minutes of class’. What!? Did I hear that right? 500 Pushups? I thought that I would never be able to get to 100, much less 500. Well that night I ended up doing 275 pushups! I couldn’t believe it! I also couldn’t lift my arms for the rest of the week.
- Personal Bite Size Goals: I can see how the old adage, one step at a time, is a recipe for success. It makes the challenging more easily digestible and provides a way of looking at a challenge that doesn’t overwhelm but that inspires confidence. I heard about the 100 for 100 push up challenge from Josh (100 pushups for 100 straight nights). It sounded unachievable, painful and overwhelming but I thought what the hell and gave it a shot. I applied my bite size principle and started with 10 sets of 10 push ups every night but much to my surprise my bites became bigger quickly, they were 4 sets of 25 after about a month and a half until I was able to do even more.
- Easy routine. Routine and structure are your best friends and I don’t just mean a routine that allows you to have enough time to make it to classes or the gym after work. I discovered that routine and force of habit can be built relatively quickly and can get you used to doing some extraordinary things. My 100 for 100 push up challenge became part of my routine after only a month.
- Be like a Shark. Sharks need to be constantly moving or they die (or so they tell me). I had to keep moving to stay interested and my program had to keep changing to keep my interest. Once I was comfortable with 100 push ups a night, I added 100 sit ups, also broken up into 4 sets of 25. Then I added in 3 sets of 10 pull ups. And finally I added in 100 squats, also 4 sets of 25. I have been doing this, almost every night, for somewhere around 200 days now. It takes me about 25 minutes to complete the entire circuit. This was in addition to staying active in Krav Maga classes and combat fitness.
- Don’t worry about your diet too soon. Don’t worry about it too much at the start. Your diet will change naturally as your body changes and you will learn to eat well quickly. You start to feel what is right for your body and what is not. A lot of people ask me if I changed my diet, and honestly I haven’t, I think the biggest change in that regard is that through Krav Maga I have become more aware of my body and now I eat only when I am hungry, which sometimes is all day and sometimes maybe only once a day.
Even though my physical transformation has been amazing, it doesn’t even come close to the changes I have felt internally and mentally. I hope you find this helpful and to see all of you in class soon!
We are starting our new KMI NYC strength and fitness programs on Thursday September 25th 2014. This program consists of three tiers of classes:
1. KMI NYC Endurance: cardio kickboxing class that will focus on combatives, punching, kicking, combinations, functional fitness, fighting.
2. KMI NYC Strong: group kettle bell, sandbag, bar bell, dumbbell classes.
3. KMI NYC Elite (combat fitness): high intensity and constantly varied military fitness (not for the faint-hearted).
Check out our class schedule and check yourself in.