Autonomy 🤸🍔✊ GMB Fitness

Structuring Short Sessions (when shit gets crazy)

December 10, 2020 GMB Fitness Season 3 Episode 58
Autonomy 🤸🍔✊ GMB Fitness
Structuring Short Sessions (when shit gets crazy)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We've all been there -- schedules and routines change, and we can't fit in our regular workout. Rather than trying to stick to your routine amidst a big project, the holidays, or a busy time, tailor your workouts to better serve you.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • changing your mindset when your needs change
  • specific adjustments you can make to your training
  • how to plan in advance so your workouts help you focus
  • examples of how to structure short, effective sessions 

Learn how to use life changes to your advantage; adjust your training to help you focus on what you need to get done.


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Andy: [00:00:00] All right. All right. All right. So, I believe we are now live on Facebook. 

Ryan: [00:00:07] What's up, Everybody. 

Andy: [00:00:09] All right. So we're recording the session live this time. Welcome to the Giant Meal Binge Podcast. 

Ryan: [00:00:15] Yeah. 

Changing Your Plans & Mindset When Your Needs Change

Andy: [00:00:17] Yeah. So today, we're going to be talking about something that happens to literally zero people, we are going to be talking about what to do when things get crazy, and you feel like you're drowning, and you know that you need to do something. You need to get some sessions and you need to move your body, but you're overwhelmed with the prospect of taking a full even 30 minutes away from stuff. Right? And what do you do? And we have answers, unsurprisingly. 

Ryan: [00:00:49] Yes, yes, yes. Yeah. This is one that's, I think everyone can relate to, but especially with me recently. And this is why I was thinking of this topic because, over the past, what three weeks? It's been pretty fricking crazy for me.

Basically, creating some new stuff for GMB, and after shooting, what? Close to 200 videos for it and editing all those videos sitting in front of my computer. I'm almost done with it. And sitting in front of the computer was the big thing for me recently, I haven't been in front of a computer sitting down in a chair for this extended period of time in quite a while.

But the thing is, there are times where you just got to get shit done. And the main priority for me has been getting this finished. And even though, yes, I enjoy exploring and learning new skills and moving my body around, I didn't really have the brain capacity, if you will, to actually do that, and nor the energy, to be perfectly honest. And so what I've done is really look at the bare minimum of what I not only could do but what I wanted to do during that period of craziness. And so today, that's what we're going to be talking about. 

It doesn't necessarily mean that it's only to be used when life is super busy. There can be other things that come up in your life where you're just not able to do it. One example is of our very good friend, Mikey, from time to time, he's on a boat in the middle of the ocean and..

Andy: [00:02:29] Not in that cool kind of rap-video-on-a-boat way.

Ryan: [00:02:32] No, not like that at all. And, basically in this tiny room, if you will, don't know the proper... birthing suite, I don't know...

Andy: [00:02:43] I think it's called coffins. 

Ryan: [00:02:45] Coffins, basically. It's not like he's got a lot of space to do stuff. And over the years, I know Mikey has been like, "Hey, I'm going on the boat for this week or two weeks. Hey, can you give me an idea of what I can do? And these are the options that I have." And basically, the options have been like nothing at all.

Today we're going to jump into here and give some ideas of what you can do when things do get crazy, or you don't have the ability to do what you would normally do. It could be a big project that's coming up for you. It could be the holidays where that you're, recently is a little different, you're not going to have a whole lot of family coming over probably, but you just know that things are going to be busy.

Might even just be an extracurricular project that you're working on where you get really excited with that. And even though you still want to do your workouts, it's not the main thing right now for you. You're so excited about this new project or this thing that you're doing that it's really taken up a lot of time, and you want to spend time on it, which is a good thing.

During those  times, you can't expect to be able to do everything at 100%, and that's okay. That's the biggest thing to look at, and rather than looking at just right now, look at this in the big picture sort of thing. We're in this for the long run. And there are times where it might be a week where you're super busy at doing something.

And hey, if you're able to understand beforehand and plan for that, planning could simply mean reframing the way you look at it. Shifting your mind to say, "Okay, I'm not going to be able to do what I usually did, and that's fine, but what can I do?" Then, you're going to feel better about things during that particular time.

You're not going to feel bad because you happen not to be doing your workout or, you won't be thinking about the other stuff, and you'll have that opportunity to really feel focus on the thing that's right in front of you that you need to spend the majority of your time on. And that, to be honest to me, is freedom.

And knowing that you're not trying to cram things in, I think, is so important. And so that way, because you've been able to plan ahead, that when you do step on the mat to do the thing that you plan for, you do it, you finish it, and then you can go back to whatever it is that you're doing and feel good about it.

Andy: [00:05:08] Yeah. And we've talked about this before. We've got episodes where we've talked about maintenance mode. You take something off of the front burner and put it on the back burner. And this is an extension of that is that maybe you might take all of your training off of the front burner. Maybe you have something that's taking up most of your burners. And this is really when you've got half a burner left is what we're talking about today. And that happens, and it doesn't necessarily mean that it has to be a bad thing. It might be that you have so many great things going on right now that's what you want to focus on, then that's completely fine.

And this is where, again, another episode we've had where we talked about a Minimum Viable Program too. Having something like that to fall back on is also a really great thing to have planned in advance. But again, sometimes these things are very short-lived, very transient. So like Ryan, you mentioned Mikey, it might just be a week, or for you, it's been a couple of weeks, but then you're going to get back to a regular program again. So you don't need to change everything around to fit this new situation because it's transient. But you need to be able to respond to it in real-time and to be able to answer that need that, Oh, you do have 30 minutes, and this is a chance to do something. 

Ryan: [00:06:16] And again, bringing it back to the fact that if you can make that shift in thinking and how you approach it and reframe it as, "Okay, oh my God, this is doing, and I have to do this," but instead of thinking of it that way, I'm thinking it as an opportunity to be able to put more focus into the other things in your life in order to grow. And so that I think is important. So even though yes, the past three weeks, I've been sitting in front of the computer, pretty much all day long. It's actually been great, and I've actually, to be honest, I enjoyed it because I know that what I'm working on, something I'm very passionate about. I know it's going to help a lot of people, which is also cool. So it's not that I'm just like, Ugh, I've been sitting in front of the computer and blah, blah, blah.

It's something that I'm really happy to be doing. But in order to do it, I've had to make some shifts in other places in my life. And so that's really just what we're talking about today. And those shifts, been in the way that I'm moving and exercising. And what I've done really for shifting things around is moved to short but more intense sessions when I'm doing that. And the other thing too, is that, I'm not really focusing on the big skills that I was up until that point. And so they're related to those skills that I want to get. But what I've done is I've actually dropped down a couple of levels, in terms of difficulty wise of those movements, because I know those, I don't want to say basic movements, but I know the other not so difficult variations of the moves so well that I can go in there and spend more time intensifying them,  making them harder.

And I'll explain that here in a little bit, but again, it's shorter so that mentally, I can go and do it and then be done. And I'm not exhausted after these sessions for when I go back to the other stuff that I want to do. And the key point, here again is short sessions. Making them intense during that time. And the way to do that is by taking them down a few levels, using movements that are very comfortable, that I've been doing. And so really that's kind of it. And, we got to go over exactly what I was doing with that. But, anything to add to that, Andy? 

Adjusting Intensity and Complexity

Andy: [00:08:34] Yeah, I think, so we're going to go over examples in a second, but I think there are really two principles that are happening here that are important. And so one is intensity, right? And there's a lot of ideas about what that could mean, but in this case, generally, what it is that you're moving a little faster and you are taking less rest. So it could be the same five-minute duration, 10-minute duration or whatever of time spent on a specific movement or something.

But within that time, you're going to be moving faster, moving with more power, exerting yourself more in each movement. And you're not going to be, going slower, taking risks as much. That's how you increase the intensity. It doesn't mean that you have to change to completely different exercises. It doesn't mean that this exercise is more intense than another, or you need to add weight or anything. It just means you're executing things with more speed, more powerful intent, and you're not resting as much.

The other thing that Ryan mentioned is bringing the complexity level, the skill level down. And this is especially important when you're busy or when you have something else you're focusing on because the skill complexity of the move isn't just like a safety thing or challenge thing. It's also this is the part that gives you the neurological stimulation as well. So when you're choosing, doing challenging movements that are at the edges of your skill capability, this is the part that's really challenging your mental ability to recover as well. So this is what's going to add to your fatigue. And if you are trying to keep your mind focused on an event or a project or something, then you specifically want to avoid too much challenging of your skill.

You want to, that's a really bad way to say that, but you really want to avoid that kind of mental fatigue and exhaustion that you get when you are doing very highly complex challenging skills. And so, bringing the skill challenge level down a few notches means that what you're doing is you're really working your muscles and your joints. But you're not going to fatigue your mind quite as much as well too. So I think that those two things reall:y the change in skill level and the change in intensity. Well, we're going to have examples, but those are really the key points.  When we look at the specifics, looking at through those filters, I think will be really helpful.

Planning for What You Need; Examples

Ryan: [00:10:51] Yeah. And then again, I can't stress this enough, is that shifting your mindset and how you're approaching these sessions. Don't think that you're like missing out because you're not doing some particular skills that you've been working on. Another way to even look at this and let's say that you, maybe it's just a couple of days or a week, look at that as a recovery week where, a de-load week, if you will, where you've been working very hard up until that point, but you're actually giving your body an opportunity to recover. 

So that's another way that you can shift the way of looking at it. Depending on what you're doing, of course. And as I mentioned that when I was planning for these few weeks that I knew were coming up, instead of me continuing on working on these particular skills, my front lever or my planche or the other things I've been working on, I decided, "Okay, what are the things that I really am very comfortable with that I can go back to and explore, if you will, during a very short period of time, but really hit it hard and do that work, get it done so that I can get back to the other stuff that I was doing?"

The other thing that I took into consideration was that I knew that I was going to be sitting in front of a computer for a very long time. So I didn't want to be doing movements that are actually going to hinder me and make me actually tighter as I'm sitting in this chair, because obviously, sitting in the chair, I'm going to get tight throughout the day.

And so what I would do is, from time to time, stand up and stretch, meaning just stretch my arms out to the side or maybe, squat down or something. It wasn't like a stretching session. It was just a couple of times throughout the day I would stand up and do some stuff just to move my body around. But basically, I didn't want to do something where, let's say, I did 15 minutes session of continuous barbell squats. That would just fully exhaust me, and I would get tremendous DOMS and not be able to sit down and actually concentrate on my work. I didn't want that. 

Andy: [00:12:50] Yeah. Sitting down for a couple of hours after a heavy squat session is not the best thing for you.

Ryan: [00:12:56] Yeah. And then trying to stand up. Yeah. Good luck with that. So that was something else I was trying to take into consideration is finding a balance of what I was doing and looking at that strength component, flexibility, as well as some control in there because, of course, I still wanted to, move my body around.

Three sessions that I was looking at and what I did was I wanted to keep it fresh, in other words, not just do one single thing the entire time. Each day I wanted to do something different. So I chose three sessions, and I would rotate those sessions. So it would be like, for example, Monday session one and session two of a different thing on Tuesday, Wednesday would be something a little bit different. And that repeat that, and then, I would take Sundays off, cause I was also working Saturdays and for the most part, Sundays as well, but that's a whole other thing

Andy: [00:13:44] And so side note here, we occasionally get emails from people that say they want to work for GMB. And so there's your answer. It's a horrible working environment. We are working Saturdays, Sundays. Ryan is a fitness and movement guru who's forced, strapped into a chair in front of the computer for hours on end. You don't want this. 

Ryan: [00:14:05] You don't. It's horrible to work for GMB. It's absolutely horrible company. 

First session, I looked at Integral Strength, and I wasn't working again at a level that's very high for me. I mentioned this before, the complexity of the movement. I decreased that complexity in order for me to actually go a bit harder, push myself a bit harder when I was doing these, and I shortened the session. And so let's say typically if I were to do upwards of an hour of the session, I would half it. And so basically, that is really how I determined my sessions is what do I normally do, and I just halved it. So that goes for exercise selection, as well as time selection. And so, 30-minute session of Integral Strength. And the cool thing is, on Praxis, our Praxis platform that we have, there's the ability to choose the duration of your session.

And it's all laid out for you. So this is great for me too, because I just went in there and I just said, "All right, I want to do this session." And then set it up for 30-minutes, and I just hit, okay, let's go. And then it's just all laid out for me. And this is very, very important as well, yes, I programmed these sessions myself, but the thing is, I didn't want to think.

I didn't want to have to think, "Okay, what am I going to do today?" This is one more thing that I got to think about, and I wanted to have this all planned out ahead of time. And so I just said, listen, it's already laid out. Let me just go in there and just go through it. And so again, I just did that 30-minutes Integral Strength short session. And the intensity factor, Andy, already mentioned this, but what I would do is use these movements that were on a little lower level in terms of complexity.

And that allowed me to go either a little deeper with the movements. For example, if I were, maybe doing  a step back lunge, then do it in a way that was pushing myself a little harder than normal. It doesn't mean I'm just cranking out reps as fast as possible. It could mean, for example, that, on the pull-up, for example, the chin-up that we have in there, where I do a very, very slow eccentric , but then explode as I'm pulling myself back up to the bar. 

And so there's a variation in playing with tempos and things like that you can do in order to make it more difficult for you, but generally, speeding things up a little bit more, or just trying to get more volume in during that duration of time is a good way to really ramp up the intensity as long as you're still focusing on quality of movement. Yeah. And so that was just the first session. Super, super easy, to be honest, in terms of just, all right, I got 30-minutes time to go hit the button, do it, done and then get back to work. So then my second session would then be Elements and again, very short session, 15-minutes, that's it.

And just go into the Prep. I want to do this session. You do the Prep, do the Practice. You do, whether it be Play that day or Push that day. There's no thinking. I know exactly what these movements are. I've done them hundreds, maybe even thousands of times. But the thing is, it's always going to be good for me to go back and go through these again.

And I can do it in a way that's going to be good for me and also was fun because it was allowing me to take a break and just focus on what was in front of me in that session, taking a break from my work. And then, so I could get back and do the stuff that I wanted to do. 

Andy: [00:17:39] This is a few months ago. I think we shared a video on YouTube of you doing a 20-minute Element session too. So that's also for people to check out a good example of how even Elements can be a pretty solid session if you go for 20-minutes. 

Ryan: [00:17:55] Oh yeah. And I'm huffing and puffing during that session too.

Andy: [00:17:58] Yes you are.

Ryan: [00:18:00] You'll see me do that. So again, it's not that I'm going back, and it's super easy, even these movements, again, I've done thousands of times. They're still difficult for me when I go back and do it, which is a good thing. Session number three was looking at our program Mobility. And obviously, if I'm going to be doing my strength work and I'm going to be doing Elements, and there is a factor of flexibility and mobility within Elements but the thing is, again, really taking time to make sure that I am focusing on my mobility because my ass is in this chair all day long. 

And the third session was Mobility. It was a short session, and really what I did with this particular thing with Mobility is just focus on the general session that we have in Mobility.

And so if you've gone through Mobility, you'll know what I'm talking about, where it's okay, if there's only one session that you need to go through, this is the one to focus on. And when you work through Mobility, there is that session. And so that's all I would do. So every single third session would just be that session. And it was very short. It was another, just a 15-minute session. And as I mentioned before, too, I would stand up throughout the day, a couple of seconds or whatever I need to do, but the main goal for me working through these sessions, my exercise sessions was not to exhaust me, not at all.

I wanted to actually feel more energized afterwards. So that's why I kept them short but kept them intense as well because afterwards, "Wow, I feel really good." And I was really pumped up, to be honest, to get back to work, which was pretty important. 

The other thing I will say is there were days, and Andy knows this because we talk every day, but last week it was like Tuesday and Wednesday. I was just exhausted. I'd been working on these things for a couple of weeks, sitting in front of the computer. Things are good up to that point. And it was just like Tuesday and Wednesday. I was just like, Oh God, man. I was just exhausted. I didn't do anything that day. 

And I didn't think that, "Oh, I got to get my session in," or anything like that. The reason why is there are those times where you need to really think about your body, think about your mind as well, and where you are that day. Would cramming in a session that's going to further exhaust you be good for you that day? In my case, it was not.

And so Tuesday and Wednesday, I decided not to do that. And I actually just went for a walk. And walks are always great for me, anyway. I always love to walk. And I went out for a walk, and I felt better and came back, and I was able to focus on what I needed to get out. And so it wasn't just me trying to push myself with an intense short session when I was doing it, but the main thing I'm trying to say here is that you need to figure out what is going to be good for you during whatever it is you're doing. And it's always going to be different. If it's very difficult work, then you're going to have to understand that its not just a physical thing. It's a mental thing as well.

Another example, maybe you're going on a trek for a week. Okay. And you're up in the mountains or wherever you are. Chances are, you don't need to do any other exercise except for that trek. Okay. You might, maybe you want to do a little bit of mobility or something, but the thing is, don't just think that you should still be working out just because you've been working out up to that point. Take a look at what you're doing and make the appropriate decision and respond to that ahead of time to be able to plan for what you need. 

Andy: [00:21:29] I think that's really important is people assume, Oh when I'm busy, I only have a little bit of time. I really have to get the value out of this. I really have to work hard in this session and really bust my ass so that I get a whole week's worth of workout in this one chance. And the thing is if you're busting your ass in other places, that might not be the right response. And so you might just need to be focusing on something physical for recovery, you might just need to be taking some time to relax physically, to stretch out, spend a few minutes breathing might be the right thing too. 

Ryan: [00:21:59] That's great. That's fabulous. And I will, you know, plug our stuff, but take a look at Praxis. If you've gone through Elements before, if you've gone through Mobility and you haven't played around, if you will, with some of the time adjustments, then try that out, and maybe you don't feel it today. 

Maybe you typically do a, I don't know, 30-minute Elements session or something like that, but today you're just kinda "Mmmmm." Hey, great. Maybe you just go on and try a 15-minute session, and see how it goes. And again, this comes back down to autoregulation but also thinking about what else is going on in your life, and making those appropriate decisions that are going to be good for you.

Andy: [00:22:38] Yeah.

Ryan: [00:22:39] That's about all I got to say about that. Thankfully, this is coming to an end, and I can get back to some of the other stuff that I do. But, thanks for listening, everybody. If you have any questions, post them and, Andy will answer all of them very politely. So. 

Andy: [00:22:52] That's basically what I do all day every day is politely answer questions. So, thank you to everybody who asks. Well, good ones. Yes. Thank you to people that ask the good ones and not to everyone else. All right. That's it. Have a good one. 

Ryan: [00:23:07] Have a good one. Bye-bye.

Changing Your Plans & Mindset When Your Needs Change
Adjusting Intensity and Complexity
Planning for What You Need; Examples