My Pillars - Mindset. Nutrition. Movement. Recovery.

No matter your individual athletic goals, each of these four things should be pillars in your training.  Important alone but each supports the other as well.


What is mindset? How do we shape it, prepare it, and maintain it?


What is nutrition?  How can we optimize it, afford it, and keep it consistent?


What is movement?  How do we train it, make time for it, and refine it?


What is recovery?  How can we make it faster, easier, and more efficient?


The first pillar.  Mindset.

Mindset; noun, an attitude, disposition or mood; an intention or inclination

It’s about dedicating oneself towards a goal with the full understanding of what it takes to accomplish it.

We set our intentions every day, from the moment we wake up.  They may transform, shift, or alter slightly throughout and may be changed by outside influence or interference, however in the end only we are at the helm.  Our intentions drive our outcomes, ultimately and hopefully supporting our goals.  Consider how your mindset will or has effected your performance on or off the field or competition floor as both are equally important. 

A quick reflection, can you recall a time you have let a poor mindset lead to a negative result?  On the other hand, who has felt a positive mindset lead to favorable results?  I know I can recall both.  Learn from your results and empower yourself with the outcomes.

No one is 100% perfect, no one expects you to be 100% perfect, but be conscious of your mindset.  Use tools, easy buttons and routines to help keep it on course.  Music, art, books, games, etc., these are all tools to help us in shaping our mindset in the short and long term.  Start your day with something that supports healthy thought and I am sure you will feel the effects.

For me my morning routine keeps me focused and prepared for my next task, athletic or not.  Keeping my mind organized and in sync, allowing me to adapt to my changing environment but stay honed on my goals. 

If and when I find myself feeling “off”, stressed from life’s challenges, or out of rhythm, I reflect, reevaluate, and refocus. 

Prepare for your next move with a quality frame of mind, and you’re one big step closer to succeeding.   

The second pillar.  Nutrition.

This topic comes with some serious baggage and for good reason.  I could probably use up 50 pages discussing more detailed outlines.  I am not here to pitch a one size fits all plan, as that isn’t a realistic approach to athletic nutrition but I will cover the basis of why nutrition is so important to your foundation of success.  

Nutrition; noun, the act or process of nourishing or being nourished; the process by which organisms take in and utilize food material.

Nutrition provides the foundational support to fuel the body and mind, and maximize performance.

No doubt about it, everyone eats, but what are you eating?  What is my foods role in supporting my goals and performance, and how is it fueling my body?  As I said earlier there is more than one way to peel this orange, calories, macro nutrients, portioning, timing, supplements, Paleo, low carb, high carb, low fat, organic, non GMO the list goes on and on and on.   

We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat”, right?  A good mantra, but let’s tweak it just a bit.

“You are what you eat, ate.”  What went into making the food you consume? How whole and natural are the ingredients?  Of the many questions to be asked first and foremost consider the quality.    

Imagine you are building a house, you use poor grade materials, and randomly piece them together with no design, no plans, and no outline.  Sure you ended up with a shelter, but how long will it last?  Maybe one year, two, more?

Your mind and body are that house, and it’s your call to decide how long it will last, and how it will weather the years.  Make a plan and make it last a lifetime. 

Use clean ingredients from quality sources, make an outline and keep it simple.  Fuel your body for performance and I can guarantee, you will almost instantly see results. 

Take a look at this short video.

Parents empower your youth athletes, help teach them to cook and prepare quality meals, learn what is and isn’t fueling them and you for success and provide an avenue for a healthy lifetime of sport and activity.  Quality in = Quality out

The third pillar.  Movement.

Movements change between sport, however implementing the philosophy and methodology stays consistent.

Movement; noun, the act, process, or result of moving; a particular style or manner of moving; usually, movements, actions or activities, as of a person or a body of persons.

Movement is essential for improving performance.  However, it’s about moving your body better.

This pillar should be consistent in your daily routine as well as in your training.  Teach your body to move better, more efficient, and more frequently.   

“Practice makes perfect.” This is another good message that we have probably heard countless times.   However I think we can improve on it a bit.

“Perfect practice makes permanent.”  Doesn’t this apply a bit better to all movement and sports or activities of all kinds?  Isn’t our goal consistent quality performance?  Yes, every rep, every drill, every practice, every shot, every play, and every movement counts.  Remember its training and no one is perfect, so you won’t always be perfect, learn from your struggle, reflect on your challenges, hammer your weaknesses and demand quality of yourselves.  Don’t settle, and you will continue to grow without limits. 

Trust in your coaches, trust in your training, trust in your movement, and ultimately trust in yourselves, keeping quality movement consistent.

The fourth pillar.  Recovery.

Recovery; Noun, the act of recovering, restoration or return to health from sickness, restoration or returning to any former or better state or condition, the time that is required for recovery. 

Recovery allows the mind and body to re-energize and prepare for the next day’s activity.

Not any less important than the rest and often times overlooked.  Movement stresses systems in your body breaking things down, recovery adapts to those stresses, rebuilds and makes connections to better prepare you for future events. 

Recovery can be active and passive, both are valuable and should be implemented consistently.  Active recovery on off days can be as easy as going for a walk, hike, skateboarding, biking, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, or participating in other recreational sports.  Keeping the activity at a low intensity will yield the best results and are especially effective in the days following harder training sessions or events. 

Passive recovery is also necessary, allowing the mind and body to achieve a prolonged state of rest. 

Hands down the most important passive recovery, which we all take part in, is sleep.  Sleep is our natural reset, repairing, restoring, and clearing our mind and body.  This is another topic that begs for more time, but as before I will keep it simple.

Keep your focus on consistent quality. How well rested are you?  Reflect for one second on the other three pillars, Mindset, Nutrition, and Movement, each of these has an impact on the other and each of these effects your sleep.  A clear mind, rests well, a well fueled body, rests well, and a well moved body, rests well.  Add these up and the sum will surely equal success.  

Lastly with regard to recovery, let’s dive a little deeper into the effects of sleep on one area of your body, a particularly important one at that, your brain.  The following will give some insight into one reason why recovery during sleep is crucial.


In conclusion, your Mindset drives motivation.  Keep it on course.  Nutrition supports a healthy mind and body.  Keep it clean.  Movement improves performance.  Keep it quality.  Recovery restores and revitalizes.  Keep it consistent.   

Traveling? Keep moving during your trip with a couple of these workouts.

20 min AMRAP
10 Push ups
15 Squats
20 Jump Rope

50 Mountain Climbers
40 Sit Ups

20 Walking Lunge
20 Push Ups

10 Burpees
20 Squats
30 Push Ups
10 Burpees
40 Sit Ups
50 Jump Rope
60 Mountain Climbers
30 Walking Lunge
60 Mountain Climbers
50 Jump Rope
40 Sit Up
10 Burpees
30 Push Up
20 Squats
10 Burpees

40-30-20-10 Squats & Push Ups (start and end with 25 Burpees)

100-Mountain Climbers 50-Situp 25 Pushup 50 Mountain Climbers 25 Push Ups 50-Situp 100-MC

(5x) Handstand 30 seconds (on wall if needed) 20 squats

(3x) Hold bottom of squat for 30 seconds 15 push ups 30 sit ups

(10x) 10 push ups / 20 Walking Lunges

200 air squats for time

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 sets of sit-ups and Pushups and a 100 jump rope between odd set


20-1 Push ups and Squats or Push ups and Sit ups or Squats and Sit ups.

A few more...

  • 100 air squats for time. Rest 1 min. 100 sit ups for time.
  • Sprint 100 meters, Walk 100 meters, 10 rounds.
  • 100 push ups for time.
  • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Burpees and Sit ups.
  • 50 sit-ups, 400 meter run or sprint or walk. 3 rounds.
  • 10 walking lunges, 10 push-ups, 10 rounds.
  • Tabata split jumps.
  • Workout…Handstand for 30 seconds or 5 handstand push ups…400 meter run. 4 rounds.
  • 10 burpees, 100meter sprint 10x for time.
  • “L” sit off the floor. 10 rounds of 10 seconds…if you can’t do it sit with your legs straight out and try to lift your heels of the ground for 10 seconds instead!
  • Run 400 meters, 50 air squats. 4 rounds.
  • Run 1 mile for time. Rest 7 min.  Repeat
  • 10 push-ups, 10 squats, 10 rounds.
  • Tabata Squats/Double unders: 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest, 16 rounds. Alternate between the two movements
  • Handstand to Jack-Knife to vertical jump. 30 Reps.
  • Run 1 mile with 100 air squats at midpoint, for time.
  • 7 squats, 7 burpees, seven rounds, for time.
  • 10x 30 second handstand to 30 second bottom of the squat hold.
  • Burpee to the push up position, do 10 push ups, burpee out. 5 rounds.
  • Run 1 mile, Stop every minute and perform 10 squats and 10 pushups.
  • 100 burpees for time.
  • 5 squats, 5 push-ups, 5 sit ups, 20 rounds.
  • Plebs plank, bottom of squat, hollow rock hold, 30 seconds each for 10 rounds. Use the transition times as your rest periods…they should be as brief as possible.
  • 5 push ups with a 30 second plebs plank(a hold at the top of the push up, arms extended and body tight like a plank!) at the end of each 5 reps, 10 rounds. Then 3x 100m dash @ 80%.
  • Handstand practice, 25 tries at free handstands, then a 1 mile run at 80%.
  • Handstand 10 seconds jack-knife to vertical jump. 25 reps…
  • 50 air squats x 5. Rest equal amounts as it took to do each 50.
  • Sprint 100m 30 squats…8 rounds.
  • 30 push ups, 30 second handstand or Plebs Plank.3 rounds.
  • 10 sit ups and 10 burpees…10 rounds-for time.
  • 250 jumping jacks…for time.
  • 100 jumping jacks, 75 air squats, 50 sit ups, 25 burpees. For time.
  • Tabata Push-ups.
  • With eyes closed do 10 air squats, open eyes, do 10 push ups eyes closed, 5 rounds for time?
  • Run 1 minute, squat hold 1 minute. 5 rounds.

Foundational Nutrition

What to eat:

Base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, low glycemic fruits, healthy fats, sprouted grains, lean meats, raw whole dairy, nuts and seeds, little starch, and as little sugar as possible. Many have observed that keeping your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Food is perishable. The stuff with long shelf life is all suspect. If you follow these simple guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition. Shop for foods that come from nature and are left in their most wholesome form.

When available purchase raw whole dairy, organic fruits and vegetables, and grass-fed meat.  A great way to purchase produce is to use the clean 15 and dirty dozen Ap provided by the Environmental Working Group.  Shop at local farmers markets whenever possible for the freshest in season and organic produce.  Raw dairy can be found at health food stores or through local dairy farmers.  Choose your local butcher for meats, remember you are what you eat ate!


What to avoid and why:                                               

Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly. They include white rice, non-sprouted bread with sugar added, candy, potatoes, sweets, sodas, and most processed carbohydrates. Processing can include bleaching, baking, grinding, and refining. Processing of carbohydrates greatly increases their glycemic index, a measure of their propensity to elevate blood sugar.

The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that they give an inordinate insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been positively linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction and a Pandora’s box of disease and disability.