So you have aspirations to get fit this year. Maybe you have written down some new year’s resolutions to go back to the gym. You may have been a regular gym-goer in the not-to-distant past or maybe you were even an athlete at one point. But you aren’t exercising now and you can’t seem to get started. You know you should because you constantly hear your friends mentioning how they run 10K every morning; or

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Less than a week remains as Olive Branchers make final preparations before this Saturday morning’s Spartan Race! Some of us may be feeling super excited, especially those who have done long distance sports or obstacle courses before, but others with much less experience in these settings may be feeling a bit nervous - anxious even! For a lot of us who are trying a new event for the first time, it can feel daunting and

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  I’ve blogged many times on mental toughness (here, here, here, here, here, and here). And now, one of my favourite bloggers, Eric Barker just wrote another blog on it! In his blog, he provides 3 tips to improve your mental strength. Read here to become a stronger you, mentally and

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This answer from Quora is one of the better pieces I've read online for a while. Although, the piece veers slightly away from fitness and nutrition, the advice is all about improving oneself - and that is the fundamental mission of Olive Branch. It is a bit lengthy, but it’s completely filled with nuggets of wisdom that will benefit you. Read it - and let’s discuss!  Comments welcomed! Read Matt Bodnar's What does the 1%

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There’s been a lot of emphasis on new exercise routines and functional training in the fitness industry - and there will always be some new shiny object that comes along.  The objective of this blog is to make a case for why the basics are, in my opinion, still supreme. The primary goal for any exercise program is to improve one’s health.  Although, there may be other positive side effects of exercise, such as enjoyment,

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I’ve blogged a lot about mental toughness (you can read about them here, here, here, here, here, and here), but I’m going to start the new year with a Member Spotlight blog on a Olive Branch member, a mentor and a friend, Cary Cheung.  A story on real mental toughness put into practice. Although Cary doesn’t regularly attend ACT class here in the Shanghai Olive Branch studio, he does train ACT regularly at his home

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If you’ve come to one of our classes before, then you would have probably heard me say “PUSH TO FAILURE”.  This is ingrained in our training philosophy because of one main ideology - stimulus equals adaptation. If you’re trying to make your body stronger (ie. adapt), then you need to apply a stimulus (ie. training) that is strong enough so that the body can hear it and then make the necessary improvements to build up.

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“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”   In the Information Age, the unique skill that will determine your success is your ability to stay focused.  But there are just so many distractions and temptations trying to steal your attention.  Temptations exist in all forms and they always derail you from your long-term goals.  They may come in the form of a chocolate cake, or a cold beer, a WeChat group

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Last blog we talked about how willpower is a construct of the mind.  If you believe it is capped, then you have just capped yourself.  On the other hand, if you don’t believe there is a willpower limit, then you will continue to do things that are good for you and for your future.  This trains your dorsal striatum to side more with your prefrontal cortex of your brain - the logical side. This blog

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  Continuing from last week’s blog on why it’s so hard to go to the gym, we explore the topic of willpower. As mentioned last week, the ego depletion theory has been challenged numerous times to the point now where I no longer believe it to be true.  I must admit, that at one point I did believe in it.  It made sense and had some studies done by psychologists that support the theory. But

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