Archive for March, 2006
Tuesday, March 21st, 2006
Last night I picked up a friend who is here to do some work for me this week.
He was asking me questions about why I think some people succeed while others don’t.
I started to give him some examples in story format. The first had to do with me as a young college freshman.
I was sitting in the locker room in Iowa City, and my coach, Dan Gable, was sitting next to me reading the living section of the paper.
I grabbed the sports section and began reading.
Next thing you know I’m spouting off, talking about some of the highly-regarded football players featured on the front page, three of whom I had beaten in wrestling matches.
I started talking out loud about whom I’d beaten and how. When I first began talking about my first ‘victim,’ Gable looked over at me for a second with an ‘Ask me how little I care?’ glance.
I didn’t get the hint and started on the next guy.
He moved the paper away from his face once again, gave me another look – this one saying, ‘Shut the hell up. That was high school. This is college.’
I got the message and started busting my hump to get his attention, not through talk, but through action.
Today I coach a number of people with their businesses, and it is always amazing to watch how quickly some come to know everything about anything. When they should be listening – they’re yapping.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people making is the so-called ‘announcing of one’s goals’ to the world – or
to anyone other than a coach or others who want to help you.
This is a big mistake, for many reasons, one of which is that you are announcing your goals mostly due to personal
vanities; not because what you are saying is going to happen.
I learned this mistake, again, from personal experience. Not only from Gable – but from an old negative girl friend I had
back in Santa Cruz, California.
She didn’t teach it to me, however. I had to learn the lesson from observing my results.
Here’s what I mean: I would set a goal I wanted to accomplish, usually a ‘new client’ goal. I’d put the goal in writing, begin to
visualize it, and before long the phone was ringing with prospects who wanted to be clients. I’d have a couple on the hook who would swear they’d be dropping by later in the day to formally enroll.
This was awesome, I thought. I’d immediately call the girl friend, start bragging about the power of my new creative visualization – and she’d say, ‘Wow, that’s grrrrreaatt. That’s incredible,’ and so on.
Then I waited for the ‘new’ sure-thing clients who NEVER showed.
This scenario repeated itself over and over and over – until, finally, I learned to shut my mouth.
Hence, the Fureyism I coined last night: ‘If people would just learn to shut up – they would be successful.’
Naturally, this is NOT to be taken to ridiculous extremes. When a person has achieved something worthy of mention (not the beginnings of something worthy of mention – big difference), it is good to let those who have helped you know what you’ve done. But these are instances of gratitude and appreciation – not braggadocio.
On the other hand, if you’re in business for yourself, you also need to let out a roar and let people know you exist. Thing is, you’re doing this for business reasons, not to feed your vanity.
Had a couple people write over the last week to tell me how much they like my new ‘Fusion-Orange’ HUMMER. At the same time they told me that the picture of me wearing the orange silk chi kung outfit resembles something far less admirable.
My reaction: Could care less. The photo is where it is for reasons other than my personal vanity. By the way, if you’d like to take a gander at this photo – go to the Psycho-Cybernetics – Zero Resistance Living page and make sure you read the entire letter from me. It truly represents a ‘baring’ – or it is ‘bearing’ – (again, I really don’t care as I agree with the Mark Twain line that you should never respect a man who only has one spelling for a werd).
Well, my friend, that’s all for today. Gotta go do some Hindu squats, Hindu pushups and bridging – the 3 exercises that have slain dragons, launched rockets and turned your average and ordinary couch potatoes into Super-Hero fitness machines. Check it out, if you haven’t already, by going to the Combat Conditioning page.
Better yet – get Combat Conditioning and six other gifts ‘gratis’ by becoming a member of the Matt Furey Inner Circle.
Kick butt – take names!
Monday, March 20th, 2006
Twas doing a little bit of “research” at the magazine rack the other day. Typically this means looking at all the so-called “scientific” facts about health, fitness and inter-galactic stuff – that are placed inside all the brilliantly stupid muscle comics.
During my research I happened to pick up Men’s Journal – and what do you know, an article that shows that bodyweight calisthenics are BETTER for your heart than long-distance cardio.
Now this was something worthy of reading. The article, written by Lou Schuler, entitled “The Fastest Way to a Healthy Heart” – shows the following bodyweight exercises as the ultimate test of cardio health.
1. Standard Push-up – nothing compared to Hindu pushups
2. Bodyweight Squat – nothing compared to Hindu squats
3. Bodyweight Lunge – okay, but still lacking
4. Bench Dip – okay for triceps, but not a real ass-kicker like Tablemakers
5. T-pushup – tis not bad – but nothing compared to 1-arm pushups
6. Diagonal Lunge – yawn
7. Step-up – a whopping 6 reps per leg – wow!
8. Decline Pushup – probably the most difficult of all – but still no cigar compare to the Royal Court of Combat Conditioning
Now, lest you think I’m “bashing” – I’m not. At least the writer and his quoted scientific sources are on the right track. But they’re still light years behind the Furey Faithful.
Because the test they give, which is is to be done 2x a week, involves only 6-12 reps per exercise. With these exercises, my fellow Fure-cats wouldn’t even have an elevated heart rate. They might as well do the standard treadmill test.
Now, for the average couch potato – I suppose this test is okay – but then again, the average couch potato probably can’t even do five reps of many of these exercises – that’s how far gone many of them are.
The key thing the test discerns, however, is how FAST a person gets an elevated heart rate – and how long it takes for it to come back to normal, and from this you will be better able to detect the possiblity of a heart attack than you will from doing cardio. I agree.
One of the other things they found was that you do more to help your heart by taking it out for a sprint as opposed to a long drive. Your body needs its valves “blown” wide open – just like a Porsche.
Bottom line, as I see it, if you do a set of Hindu pushups and Hindu squats, and it only takes a couple minutes before you’re huffing and puffing like mad, then the elevated heart rate you are experiencing will do more to improve heart health than going out for a one-hour cardio ride, run or splash.
This is nothing new. I’ve been saying this sort of thing for years. So has Dr. Al Sears. And that’s why both of us recommend bodyweight exercises and sprints for heart health. I particularly advise hill sprints a few times a week to really rev up the engine.
There is nothing wrong with doing cardio – if it is something you enjoy. I do some myself, such as long-distance walking. But I do it for reasons that have nothing to do with heart health. As a writer and creator, it helps me to go for a long jaunt by foot. Helps release creative energy and keep the “idea machine” flowing.
But make no mistake about it – the exercises I teach in Combat Conditioning and Combat Abs will do wonders for you. They will simultaneously improve your strength, endurance and flexiblity. And the endurance I’m talking about is both muscular and cardiovascular.
Make sure you do the Royal Court and Magnificent Seven today. Not just once or twice a week as a cardio test. Do them EVERYDAY for heart health.
Saturday, March 18th, 2006
Back in my early days as a high school wrestler, I recall the day I lost a match and was heart-broken.
I went to workout the next day and Tom, a former college wrestler, who was a friend of mine, asked me how I did. When I told him I lost, he looked at me and said, “The difference between winning and losing is almost always DESIRE.”
Man, that one stung. I thought I was working hard. I thought I was putting in enough time to win – but he wasn’t talking about that. He wasn’t talking about my work ethic or how much sweat I put into my practice.
He was talking about an internal quality: DESIRE.
You can go through all the motions, all the training – you can even work real hard – and success will elude you.
It will elude you UNTIL you learn that you don’t just train your physical muscles – you must also train your internal muscles.
And DESIRE is one of the most important.
In fact, if you visualize what you want – but your desire is weak, you won’t get what you want. Your desire must be strong if you want a vibrational shift to take place within you. And once this vibrational shift takes place within you – rest assured it is taking place outside of you as well.
Once your desire is pulsating, you’ll find that the goal you seek is also seeking you.
So the question is: How strong is your desire?
I, for one, believe it can and should be strengthened on a daily basis. Just like your muscles.
Dr. Maxwell Maltz’ Zero Resistance Living program will ramp up your desire and help make all your goals come true – if you’ll move the negative part of yourself out of the way and let success come into your life.
By the way, I guess I should point out that, even though today’s story was about my experiences in a sport – the very same idea applies to your business, your career, or any other goal you have set for yourself. Success does not necessarily follow
hard work. Success comes to the person who WANTS it the most.
Friday, March 17th, 2006
As a growing boy I learned that the Irish are good at doing 4 things:
3. Turning everything into a competition
4. Carrying grudges to the grave
At a recent seminar, when I told this a man raised his hand and said, “Do you know how to tell when an Irishman has Alzheimer’s?”
“No I don’t,” I said. “But this I gotta hear.”
“An Irishman with Alzheimer’s forgets everything but the grudge.”
Now THAT was a good one.
Truth is that if it weren’t for God creating whiskey (and yes, that is the correct spelling in Ireland), we’d have conquered the world a long time ago. Afterall, according to one famous author the Irish saved civilization itself – see “How the Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill.
And now, for what I really think about the Irish …
I think of a true Irishman as someone who is an expert at telling a story, either in writing or orally. An Irishman who cannot tell a story will go broke. A true Irishman is a fighter, or a politician, a priest, a policeman, or an actor/comedian, or some sort of performer.
An Irishman will be opinionated beyond belief. He will have a comment about almost everything – as well as a theory, principle or LAW.
And an Irishman, most of all, will have a sense of humor, even during times of extreme adversity.
My father once told me a story about his days in the Philippines during World War II (and this is the ONLY story he ever told me about that war – couldn’t get him to speak about it if you threatened to beat him).
Here it goes: “One day we were in the trenches and there was a lot of fire. I was right next to a couple of Irish and right during the heat of battle, after a couple bullets just missed them, one looked at the other and said, “You know, if these bastards keep this shit up I’m going to get mad. They’re really starting to piss me off.”
My dad told me that story for a reason. It has to do with an orientation toward life itself. You can be negative about what is happening to you. Or you can find a reason to be positive, laugh about it – but keep on fighting.
To the “Fightin’ Irish” and to all Irish – Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Wednesday, March 15th, 2006
When someone is resistant to a new idea, one of the things he will do to stall, procrastinate and delay is ask the question
I know this tactic very well .. and so does my wife.
We went through the ‘why’ stage when we were learning each other’s language.
When I was learning Chinese, instead of simply absorbing the material like a sponge, whenever I was angry at having to relearn new thought patterns, I would stop the knowledge absorption process by asking “why?”
“Why does the person’s name have to come first, followed by the time, followed by the verb? Why do you say it that way?
‘Wo mingtian chi fan tai duo.’ Translated literally, I yesterday eat too much.
I’d much rather say it my way, ‘Wo chi fan tai duo mingtian. ‘I ate too much yesterday.
Zhannie went through the same, only in reverse.
“Why do I have to put an ‘s’ on the end of some nouns but not on others? Why not just put the number before the noun so we know how many of something? Isn’t saying five car the same as saying five car(s)?”
When you think about it, we don’t need the doggone ‘s’ at the end to understand. But we insist on it in English. Why? Who the hell cares? Just the way it BE (yes, twas an intentional Furey mistake). We accept it and move on.
Whenever something is NEW to a person, if he is resistant to change, instead of being open and listening, he’ll literally start demanding ‘why, why, why?’ Yet, deep down, the person doesn’t really want to change – or do some work.
Reminds me of the story Michael Masterson told at my bootcamp a couple weeks ago. When he first began studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – he had a million questions for his instructor. Finally, one day, his teacher said, “Michael, there is one answer for all your questions.”
“What’s that?” said Michael.
Oh yes. Training. Practice. Doing something.
Very profound – yet so very simple.
From that moment onward Michael got on the mat and trained like never before. Sure, he still had questions – but he understood many would be answered if he busted a hump each day.
The result: Michael turned into a butt-kicker himself. Today, at 55 years of age, he’s a force to be reckoned with. All the younger guys in the gym know they’re in for a thrashing when they train together.
This same scenario is true with my conditioning and fitness programs. Don’t write and ask why pushups are better for you than the bench press. Just do the doggone pushups. Don’t ask why I say you don’t need LSD cardio if you can do 500 straight Hindu squats. Just do the Hindu squats and you will have your answer.
The only real way for someone to be convinced of the validity of Combat Conditioning or Combat Abs – is to get the programs, use them and discover the truth for yourself.
So “do the thing,” as Emerson says, and “you’ll have the power.”
Tuesday, March 14th, 2006
Okay, I gave in. I bought another gas-polluting beast. Traded the old one in. Yellow is ugly anyway. The new beast is one of only 1,500 made. Tis a special edition, ya know. You won’t see many floating around. This may force me to come out with my HUMMER Fitness program afterall – niched, of course, to people who drive these puppies.
In the interim, the product of choice will have to be Combat Conditioning.
To see a picture of me with the new ride, go check out the Psycho-Cybernetics page.
Saturday, March 11th, 2006
There’s an old tale – and this one is true – about passing on information from one person to another.
Here’s how it works. When you hold a seminar or class, take one person aside, show him a sentence writen on a card to pass on to the next person, but do not give him the card to show anyone else. He simply has to remember what you showed him and pass it on. After he passes the sentence on, the next person is to do likewise – and this should repeat until the sentence has traveled to the very last person in the room.
Once the exercise is finished, the teacher should have the last person write the sentence he was given on a different card. Then the final sentence should be compared to the initial one shown to the first student.
Mark my words: The final sentence will not resemble the first in the least. You’ll literally be prone to wonder, “What the bleep were these guys smoking?”
And so it goes with the performance of Hindu squats and Hindu Pushups. I brought both of these exercises to the attention of the world almost 10 years ago – then in the year 2000, I showed the correct way to do them in my Combat Conditioning book and DVD’s. Since then, a number of people have seen that these exercises really do work, and they’ve gone on to put out their own version of how to do them.
Some of the versions you will see are done well – whereas many others give great cause for consternation. Let’s take Hindu squats first – and in a future tip I’ll cover Hindu Pushups.
Here are 7 mistakes I’ve noted in the performance of Hindu squats. Make sure you look out for them:
1. Hindu squats are as much a deep breathing lung-builder as a leg builder. Therefore, you should be able to hear someone breathing from across the room when they do this exercise. If you cannot hear the person’s breathing, they don’t have a clue.
2. Hindu squats use a reverse exhale/inhale pattern. By this I mean that the exhale is on the descent and the inhale takes place as you come back to standing. This pattern is the opposite of the breathing pattern used in barbell squats, wherein you inhale down and exhale up.
3. Hindu squats are done in a relaxed manner – but not the way you might think. By relaxed I mean that you do NOT slowly lower to the ground as if you have a barbell on your back. Instead, you allow your thighs and buttocks to relax and drop. Yes, you do lower under control – but the truth is you don’t over-control the lowering phase of the exercise.
4. Hindu squats do not have a bounce from the bottom position. When done fast, the exercise may appear to have a bounce, yet there isn’t one. This is a detail that is a bit complicated to explain. Just remember thatt Hindu squats are done in a circular manner with no apparent beginning or ending point – even though, for teaching purposes you have to show the beginning and ending.
5. Hindu squats can be done with elevated heels or with flat heels. I teach the heels-elevated position in Combat Conditioning – but when coaching people, such as in the Matt Furey Inner Circle – I often give both versions, depending upon the workout that each person needs.
6. Hindu squats are not done with your toes pointed outward. I realize this is difficult for some people, but your toes should be pointed as straight ahead as possible. If your toes go a bit outward, not to worry – but they should not be turned to the 3 or 9 o-clock positions.
7. Hindu squats are done with dynamic arm movements. You do not simply hold your arms out from your body. Your arms are moving the entire time. On the inhale you pull your arms in. As you begin to lower your buttocks toward the ground your hands go behind you and travel all the way down. From the down position your fingertips touch the ground then your arms swing back up to the start position.
There are many more details to cover on Hindu squats but these should prove helpful in getting started on the road to Mastery.
Good luck, and don’t forget to …
Kick ass & take names!
Friday, March 10th, 2006
“Take care of the abdomen and the rest of your body will take care of itself… I had to travel thousands of miles, coming to the South Sea Islands, to learn this important principle of physical culture. It was not to be found in my own country, as most Americans have weak, flabby bellies.” – Paul Bragg
The message shown above was written over 50 years ago – and it is truer NOW than ever before. We have a choice to make about the future of our waistline. We can let it expand – or we can pull it in.
I say, “Pull it in. Reduce. Get back the look of your youth, when you were in your sexual prime.”
There are three exercises that I want you to know if you’re going to reduce your waistline – and all of them can be found in my international best-seller, Combat Abs.
The first is the Farmer Burns Stomach Flattener. This exercise, first made famous by the late Farmer Burns, involves mixing deep breathing with the flexing and tensing of the abdominals. This exercise tightens the abs, reduces the waistline and improves digestion in a huge way. Do it first thing in the morning and you’ll know what I mean by improved digestion.
The second is the vacuum. In this exercise you literally train your midsection to act like a giant suction cup. This exercise looks “odd” when you see it in action – but the results from doing it are phenomenal.
The third exercise is, in fact, a series of exercises that you can do with a device called the Power Wheel. There has never been another abdominal training device that even remotely compares to the Power Wheel. Everyone I have spoken to who has gotten one and USED it, says that you can literally observe the changes in your abs on a day-to-day basis. Not kidding either.
I give an entire routine to follow with the Power Wheel in Combat Abs. And if you just take a few minutes each day too follow the routine, you’ll be in shock at how quickly you can turn the flab into fitness.
Friday, March 10th, 2006
Earlier today, my webmaster, Ed Baran told me that he is often asked what my “real name” is. Matter of factomundo, he is usually asked, “Is Matt Furey really his real name?”
Tis a good question, eh?
Reminds me of my days when I began as a personal trainer, back in 1987, in Soquel, California. The parents of the wrestlers I trained often asked me if my so-called name was my business name or my real name.
Twas always stunned to hear such ramblings as I never gave my name a second thought, save for the legendary Dan Gable, telling me, when I signed a letter of intent to wrestle for him at the University of Iowa, that I had the best name for a wrestler you could find. Then again, now that me thinks about it, Dan Kennedy, upon first meeting in 2001, told me that my name was “comic book character perfect.”
Okay, so what is my real name … really?
The first answer that comes to mind is “none of your business.”
The second, which is much closer to the truth, is that I was born an Irish-Catholic child, with the name Matthew John – and the surname, Furey.
I was the sixth of seven children – the fifth of six boys (and yes, I got my ass kicked daily for at least 10 of my first 18 years; herewith I credit the whoopings to making me into a determined human being – and if you’re wondering why I use ‘herewith’ the answer is due to the fact that my father was a lawyer).
What you don’t know is that my family’s REAL surname is not Furey. It is … O’Furey. Legend – or some other tale – has it that my grandfather, Frank O’Furey, got tired of walking into bars and being greeted with signs that read, “No Dogs or Irish Allowed.”
So he decided, as many Irish did, to delete the ‘O’ or the ‘Mc’ from the name. Incidentally, in case you don’t already know this, the ‘O’ stands for “son of” – and in MY case, you can fill in whatever you’d like after ‘son of …”
Back in 1991, when I decided I was going to begin taking and making steps toward becoming what the rest of the world calls a “writer” or “author” – strange words, indeed, are they not? – I decided to put the “O” back into Furey. And since that date I have always signed my name, ‘Matt O’Furey.” Figured it was good for my confidence, esp. because my grandfather was the publisher and editor of a newspaper BEFORE he lost the ‘O.’ In addition to that, the whole idea of being afraid of being known as Irish no longer appealed to me (somewhat archaic, not?) – so yes, I put the ‘O’ back on. Today I go by both names, Matt Furey and Matt O’Furey.
Why not Matthew, you ask? Good dumb question.
I don’t know why – but from the time I was a young lad, I didn’t like being called “Matthew.” Something about it seemed arrogant and pompous – and I can do that number plenty well without the extra ‘hew.” And so today, I simply go by Matt Furey. Unless, of course, you’re at a seminar and you ask me to sign your book. In that case, if it’s possible to read my writing, you’ll see an ‘O’ inserted into the middle of things.
Someone once aksed me what the ‘O’ stood for.
I could only recite the vocabulary words my father taught me, at age 8, when he said to me, “You’re obstinate, you’re obstreperous, you’re obtuse, you’re obnoxious and you’re oblivious to what I’m saying.”
Gotta love a father who gives you a lesson like that, right? I mean, how many dads could string together that many words with an ‘ob’ prefix when they needed to make a point?
Funny guy, my father – he taught me more than I’ll ever know.
Wednesday, March 8th, 2006
It’s been said that success is nothing but having goals – and the rest is commentary.
Yet, so many people tend to think of success as arriving at a destination. Not trure. All the great thinkers have stated, in one form or another, that success is a journey; that success is a decision; that success is the progressive realization of a dream. Naturally, this means that ‘having a goal’ is most important. And whenever you achieve your goal, you must form another, and so on.
The majority of people have no goals; neither in writing nor in their head. And that’s precisely why the top 3% of society, those who have goals – out perform the other 97% combined.
The amazing thing is that it doesn’t take much to form a goal. All you need do is ask yourself what you want – then jot the result you intend on a 3×5 card. Once you’ve written the goal, it’s a good idea to carry it with you wherever you go and read it to yourself over and over each day – picturing in your mind the successful completion of the goal and how much you are going to celebrate and give thanks for having achieved it.
I teach all this and a whole lot more in my Magnetic Mind Power – a program that will help you get fit, lose weight, make more money, improve your career – and so on – provided you do the first thing required: You set a goal and think about it all the time.
Copyright © 2011 Gold Medal Publications, Inc. and Matthew Furey