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My Top 5 Books Of The Year

5 Books That Have Opened My Eyes This Year

I don’t know about you but I love reading and I especially love reading books.

Unfortunately I don’t spend enough of my actual reading time with a book in my hand, too often distracted by social media, newspapers and articles.

If there’s one habit or skill I need to work on, it’s getting my ‘reading books to skimming-the-internet’ ratio from a frankly terrible 40:60 to a more respectable 75:25.

Yep, it’s that bad.

If I do this I have no doubt that the effect on my intellect, my income, my vocabulary, my writing, my ability to empathise and listen will increase exponentially. All solid upside.

The fact is, most people don’t read. And if they do, they don’t read enough. If you read 20 pages of a book per day, you’ll plough through at least a book per month. This will put you ahead of 90% of the population in terms of being exposed to ideas, theories, stories and language.

Total amount of words read annually by someone who reads for 15 minutes a day: 1 million.

Source: Read Faster, Reading Stats (2014)

 

This year I’ve read somewhere in the region of half the books I should’ve. Of those that I have read, these are the ones I’ve derived the most value from – my top 5 books of year (so far).

Coaches Use A Range Of Methods To Get The Best Out Of Their Charges: There Is No Magic Formula.

Coach Class – The 6 Types Of Fitness Coach You Need To Work With

As much as I advocate and embrace the two pillars self-sufficiency and time-efficiency when it comes to training – especially for Super Fit Dads who have limited resources (time, money and space) – there are times when you need to lean on the experts for a little extra motivation, wisdom and inspiration as you traverse the rocky path of progress.

But picking or finding the right coach can be a tricky and potentially expensive exercise. There are some great coaches out there – the ones who simultaneously cajole and nurture you to ever-increasing heights of achievement. There are some terrible coaches who seem to be surviving on past glories, or no glories at all.

Then there are the myriad of average coaches, those who are neither particularly good nor bad. This example of the species is, perhaps, the most dangerous because their average-ness makes it harder to escape their clutches and start afresh elsewhere.

To save you time in the selection process I’m going to outline 6 types of coaches to look out for. Each offers extraordinary scope for learning and progression – if you can track one of these guys down, you’re likely to be in very safe hands.

I’ve been lucky enough to train with at least one of each type over the past few years; I’ll mention who they are as we work through the list.

The ONLY Fitness Apps You Need on Your Phone

Regardless of whether you view your mobile phone as the bane of your life or The Ring to your inner Gollum, it’s probably not going anywhere fast.

In fact, for the time being, until smart watches get smarter, you’re going to be stuck with it.

So how can time-poor Dads fight back against these time-sapping, attention-seeking and productivity-diminishing devices that have us walking the streets like zombies, necks crowed and eyes transfixed not on where we are going or the world around us but on a tiny 3″ screen?

Well, at the very least, we can take advantage of some of the health and fitness information and tools they are able to deliver.

That’s only fair, right?

Listed below are some of the best fitness apps for Dads I’ve found and currently use. It’s by no means an exhaustive list but it gives me a start on redressing the balance of power between me and the dreaded device.

Testing Times – term 1 progress report

Progression, it’s said, is the key to success.

So, with this in mind, whilst I approached testing week at my Crossfit box with confidence that I would, most likely, have progressed somewhat from my relatively lowly starting position, I might fall short of where I had hoped to be. Which was a stupid idea because I hadn’t actually given much thought to where I’d hoped to end up.

What the Dickens? PRs everywhere

It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks, to paraphrase someone, somewhere, sometime. I forget who.

When other things were turning quite bleak and the gravity of a situation was hammered home in the most unceremonious of fashions, a few rays of sunshine appeared on the horizon to offer satisfaction and a sense of progress.

5 Easy Kettlebell Workouts in 20 Minutes or Less

The kettlebell: much feared and with good reason. Well, sort of.

Introduced to the West by a pretty heavy Russian Spetznaz dude (Pavel Tsatsouline) and a whimsical, but ferociously strong, American guy who is older enough to be a grandpa but can still do one-handed pull-ups (Steve Maxwell) – so the story goes – the iron ball and handle is actually the perfect accoutrement for anyone wanting a super-quick, super-intense workout.

In short, this piece of kit was made for Super Fit Dads (and Mums).

Crossfit Beginner? Here’s How It Goes Down

Revisiting my first experience with Crossfit a bit over a year ago. Here’s how it went down…

A couple of months ago I did something I’d been meaning to do for almost five years and stepped across the threshold of a gym as a Crossfit beginner: a murky world where devotees of this particular fitness phenomenon flog themselves senseless doing workouts that combine Dad-style circuit training with Olympic weight-lifting and even some gymnastics, usually performed to cranking music and without a shirt on.

And that’s just the women.

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