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10 Ways to Build Mental Toughness

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You don’t have to be “tough” to face the real challenges of life. It requires awareness, finesse, and the knowledge of your own mind. We have experts answering the questions we hear most about building mental strength. Use their strategies to improve your grit game. Not a single answer tells you that you are “man up”.

1) Can you get stronger physically without leaving your mental comfort zone?

      “The body can only adapt when it faces something new, and new challenges will not always be pleasant,” says MH Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS So basically no. Your mind will also adjust to the discomfort and you will increase both your mental and physical strength. The secret: start small. “Add one to the goal you are pursuing each week,” says Samuel, “whether that means repeating another push-up for each set, adding another minute to your morning run, or holding a plank for another second . “

      2) I hate to fail. Is there any way to end your obsession with what went wrong?

      Start thinking like Michael Jordan. He considers himself a failure: by the time he counted, he missed more than 9,000 shots. “Twenty-six times I was entrusted with taking the game-winning shot and missed,” he said. “I’ve failed over and over again in my life.” How did he get on? He went forward. “Making a mistake is just a source of feedback letting you know you’ve gone off-course,” said Lisa Stephen, Ph.D., career, personal, and athletic performance coach and owner of Ignite Peak Performance in Vermont. “Use this data to focus on the next steps. Then forget the mistake. You can imagine flushing it down the toilet or releasing it in a balloon. It’s about leaving the mistake behind and building on what you’ve learned. You cannot do your best if you focus on your worst. ”

      3) Can I let go of negativity without writing a damn gratitude list?

      Yes, by doing something for someone else. “One active approach to eliminating jealousy and negativity is to practice benevolent actions,” says psychiatrist Tracey Marks, MD, of Marks Psychiatry in Georgia. Start by giving others compliments and positive feedback. If you’re feeling extra generous, pay for it at a coffee shop or drive-through. There is some evidence that generosity is linked to activity in areas of the brain that are responsible for happiness.

      However, if giving is frustrating you (what about my needs?), Try gratitude without the list, says Dr. Marks. Spend a moment each morning thinking about what you are grateful for.

      Jobe Lawrenson

      4) My workload is ridiculous. How do I avoid burnout without dropping the pecking order in the office?

      Learning to use the word “no” is natural for some of us, but it is slow for others. Many people do not use it because they fear they will miss out on opportunities or be seen as unwilling by employers or customers. In reality, the opposite may be the case. “My experience is that if I say no, my worth increases,” says Elizabeth Day, creator of How to Fail podcast and author of Failosophy. “If you respect yourself, others will also respect you more.” “I can’t get on with any other project” is an easier conversation than “I can’t get along with this job”.

      5) I am a hopeless procrastinator. How do I work out more get-up-and-go?

      Let go of the concept of creative inspiration or you need to be “in the zone” to do what needs to be done. There will never be a right time to get the job done, and if you wait for the mood to hit you will be a long wait. James Clear, author of the bestselling Atomic Habits, advocates sticking to a schedule rather than a deadline. If life gets in your way, reduce the size of the task – spend ten minutes on it instead of the original 30 – but always stick to the schedule. Just don’t give yourself the option to skip it.

      6. I am grappling with the loss of a loved one, but I have to be strong for my family. What can I do?

      Being “strong” doesn’t mean holding back emotions and tears. “The way to show strength is not to be afraid to reveal your pain,” says Dr. Marks. “When everyone is hurt, the people who depend on you will see you as a role model for dealing with themselves.” If you hold it back, you can telegraph that grief is a shame. To be strong, show how you feel.

      Jobe Lawrenson

      7. Reading the news often annoys me and annoys me. How do I reset?

      That is understandable; The news causes stress because it can create feelings of hopelessness and injustice. To process difficult news, try to create boundaries on how you can get it and find people to have meaningful conversations with about it, recommends psychiatrist and MH counselor on mental health Gregory Scott Brown, MD. Flight response in overdrive, do something to cool it down, like meditation or at least watching a fun, non-dramatic show.

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      Another solution: Swap passive news consumption for active discussion. Using the Black Lives Matter movement as an example, Eugene Ellis, founder and director of the Black, African, and Asian Therapy Network, points out the psychological benefits of talking to others. This can also help you know what action to take. “It’s an antidote to the feeling of powerlessness that many of us experience. When you start getting involved, you discover that beneath hopelessness lies the connection. And when you can find a connection, it’s easier to know what to do. “

      Shoes with laces that outline a brain

      Jobe Lawrenson

      8. I’m doing an ultra marathon. Is it true that the mind is about the muscle?

      “Ultras are probably 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical,” says Michael Wardian, a professional endurance runner who was one of only three people to have completed the Leadville 100-mile / Pikes Peak combined marathon (and the Backyard Ultra as well 2020 won). intense running mentally and physically). To master an ultra or endurance performance, “you have to have a big why. Don’t just run for social media, run for your kids or to prove something to yourself, ”he says. Also helpful: Rely on “chunking” – set yourself small goals such as reaching the next mailbox or the next refreshment point. You don’t always have to run to build your mental strength. “Get used to doing things that are uncomfortable for you,” he says. Set your alarm clock for 4:00 a.m. – or just do the dang dishes

      9. I don’t have the patience to meditate. Can I reduce my stress differently?

      “Yoga is an excellent way to relieve stress, and it’s good for people who can’t sit long enough to meditate,” says Dr. Marks. It also brings you stress relief benefits from two directions: As with meditation, focus on breathing, which can help relax the body. “And by stretching tense muscles, you release tension,” she explains. You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga and there are tons of virtual ways to practice it these days. Two of our favorites are Alo Moves and Apple Fitness +. Both offer a wide range of courses, from one-hour stress busters to ten-minute yoga snacks. (A side note: meditation is really worth persevering, so stay tuned. Try an app like Calm, Headspace, or Ten Percent Happier to make it less boring.)

      10) What should I say to someone who tells me to “get up”?

      Read this article here.

      This story originally appeared in the July / August 2021 issue of Men’s Health.

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    Powerlifting Coach Mark Bell Shares His Best Bench Press Tips

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    The barbell bench press can feel like an easy exercise, especially if you’ve been training for a long time. However, the movement involves more than just lying on a bench and pushing the weight off your chest, especially considering what your goals are in the weight room.

    Bench press is a great all-time chest size exercise, but it’s also an important (ahem) benchmark strength move, one of three events in the world of powerlifting competitions (along with deadlifts and barbell squats). When you’re a powerlifter, you’re not just working your way to grow to lift as much weight as you can. If you can’t get your bank up and running, you will never compete.

    So some trainers might teach you how to bench press with a focus on hypertrophy in order to build as much muscle as possible. For others, like legendary powerlifter and trainer Mark Bell, who boasts 578 pounds of raw bench press PR, the goal is to push weight. Bell recently shared a long YouTube tutorial about the exercise and really took the time to break down what he thought were the most important aspects of the bench press. He teaches neuroscientist and podcaster Andrew Huberman, Ph.D. made the move with the assistance of trainer Nsima Inyang – but if you want to learn more about this mindset, his tips will work for you too.

    How Mark Bell teaches the bench press

    For Bell, it all starts with hand placement on the pole. It’s not fixed in any particular point – it depends on what is comfortable for the person doing the exercise. “Just make sure you have an even grip,” he says. Just be sure to press the rod firmly. “When we are pushing a barbell, we want to push it with everything we have because we are trying to initiate from our fingers to our toes. We want everyone to be involved in the bench press. “

    As you lie back on the bench, Bell emphasizes the importance of having your chest in an upright position to maintain a neutral spine. “When our back is in a neutral position and our head is in a neutral position – it’s not too far down, not too high – we can express most of the force through our extremities, in this case our arms.”

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    When it comes to moving the weight, Bell has a counter-intuitive tip: pull the bar out of the rack instead of pushing it. But there is a method to madness – pushing the weight outward puts your shoulders in a bad position once it is time to get your body into position for the actual press. Especially if you are working with a lot of weight, be prepared to get safely into press mode.

    As you lower the weight on your chest, Bell recommends aiming for a point near your sternum that is comfortable to the touch. Tip: If you’re working with a larger belly, use this to shorten your range of motion to make lifting easier.

    From here, Bell rewinds a bit to talk about positioning on the bench. He admits that there is controversy over arching the back – but he quickly makes it clear that dramatic postures, in which athletes with shoulders and buttocks as the only points of contact on the bench, are not the goal here. “We’re not trying to arch the lower back,” he says. “We’re aggressively arching our upper backs though, trying to take our shoulders and really screw them into the bank.” This concept is no different from other exercises like the deadlift and squat, where you emphasize “screwing” your feet into the ground to drive down to create strength.

    To get this bow, pull yourself down on the bench with the bar. Can’t you find out Let a spotter grab you by the traps to get you into position. Just be careful not to move your body too much and slide down the bench. Then focus on activating your lower body by placing your feet on the floor. “I like it when my heels hit the ground,” says Bell. “Even if you enjoy being on tiptoe, you want to keep your heels all the way down to the floor for your entire range of motion.” That’s because you want to be in a position where your knee is lower than your hip.

    Next, Bell says that the key to your arm positioning is to have your bones stacked with your wrist and fists above your elbows and your elbows close to your body. Keeping your arms closed can shorten your range of motion, which in turn makes lifting easier. You can also use your lats and triceps to support your chest from this position.

    “Downstairs, if you get it right, you’ll almost feel like you can pull the weight in and be really strong and explosive when you push yourself back up,” he says. When you’re at this lower point, Bell recommends trying “bend the bar” – sometimes at MH we recommend trying to “break the bar” – by rotating your elbows from the outside. This will allow you to get better leverage for your elevator.

    When Huberman takes over, Bell has a few more comments on the reach. Remember: how you feel is much more important than an arbitrary position. Be on the lookout for more tips and hacks on how to bench press even harder.


    Brett Williams, fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM CPT certified trainer and former professional football player and tech reporter who divides his exercise time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running.

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    How This Man Lost 35 Pounds and Got Shredded in Just 5 Months

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    Lawyer Suang Wijaya, 33, had been slowly gaining weight in recent years, but noted that his weight gain “accelerated” during the pandemic. “Most of it was diet,” he says. “Also, when I had a busy time, I would go out without exercising for a few weeks. I wasn’t feeling too comfortable because my office clothes were suffocating a bit!

    In his heaviest form, Suang weighed almost 160 pounds – but it wasn’t until a crucial moment in the work that he realized how much he needed to change.

    “My team at work had won an important criminal case,” he explains. “After nine years in prison and a potential death penalty, our client was found innocent and released from prison. Before he returned to his home country, we served him a steak. Our photo with the client was posted on the news was a happy occasion, I just noticed how bloated I looked! So I felt like I had to do something. “

    Suang came to Ultimate Performance Singapore and started training with a personal trainer. He did three strength training sessions each week with his trainer and then another three workouts alone, consisting of a mixture of upper and lower body exercises, as instructed by his trainer. After losing 2.2 pounds (1 kg) in his first week, Suang felt motivated to keep pushing himself.

    “I’ve learned how important it is to push myself harder with every training session,” he says. “I also learned to do the exercises correctly and safely.”

    Just as important as the exercise was the changes Suang made to his diet. “Before Ultimate Performance, I didn’t know about calories, how many calories I had in a day, and how to track calories,” he says. “This trip taught me about calories and the importance of calorie tracking … I now have a better relationship with food and no longer worry about the frequent business lunches I have with my customers.”

    Over the course of five months, Suang lost approximately 35 pounds. “My family, friends and colleagues noticed it straight away,” he recalls. “They were very curious about my exercise and diet program. Some of them hired personal trainers themselves!”

    “I definitely felt a lot healthier,” he adds. “I have the feeling that I sleep better at night and also get sick less often. Through this trip I also know how important health and fitness are … The first step is always the hardest. After that it will be much more manageable. “


    Philip Ellis is a UK freelance writer and journalist specializing in pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ + topics.

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    Lanarkshire band raises charity funds with new track tackling male suicide

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    A Lanarkshire band celebrated the launch of their latest single with an incredible fundraiser for a mental health charity.

    The new track from The Naked Feedback, titled Boys Can Cry, explores the suicide rate of men, a topic that is close to their hearts.

    The Blantyre band has partnered with the charity Tiny Changes, founded in memory of the late Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison, who took his own life in 2018.

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    Through the release, the musicians have raised more than £ 1000. And as part of their effort, two of the boys completed a sponsored run from Glasgow city center to Blantyre.

    Singer and guitarist Dean Anderson and drummer Derek Whiteford made the 10-mile performance on the day of release as there were many donors to support the cause.

    The idea came after the band got stranded after a night out in Glasgow a few years ago and returned almost on foot as the wait for a taxi was too long.

    In the end, they thought against it, but decided to take on the challenge of celebrating their new song – and all for a good cause.

    Dean Anderson and Derek Whiteford after the 10 mile run

    Speaking of the track, The Naked Feedback hopes to raise awareness about men’s mental health and the alarming rate of suicides in recent years.

    It also looks at the mental struggles people have faced over the past 18 months after being hit by the pandemic.

    Dean told Lanarkshire Live, “Boys Can Cry is about the struggles that people with mental health problems bring about, but also about the social stigmata that keep the issues from being addressed or addressed.

    “The track itself is very aggressive and intrusive, while the lyrical content is a bit softer and almost like a cry for help.

    “That was on purpose. Even today it is a taboo for a man to express his feelings and to be written off as weak or not a real man.

    “The aggressive music symbolizes this old way of thinking about masculinity, but the gentler message runs parallel.”

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    It’s also a topic for Dean, who recently lost friends to suicide.

    He added, “A lot of people I knew about the lockdown committed suicide. Also, I think everyone’s mental health is in poor health as we were all locked inside.

    “The track is more of an overview of central / western Scotland’s mental health affected by lockdowns and the pandemic.

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    “The line ‘Boys Can Cry, They Shouldn’t Die, Is One Man Enough When He’s Dead?’ sums up the message we’re trying to get across and the topic we’re trying to keep in the spotlight. “

    The charity campaign raised a total of £ 1005 for Tiny Changes, raised through a Just Giving page, monetary donations and a generous contribution from HSBC.

    The online fundraiser is still active and you can donate here.

    And you can listen to Boys Can Cry on Spotify or visit the band’s website for more information.

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    And did you know Lanarkshire Live has its own app? Download yours here for free.

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