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The Blog

What we are reading

At a recent staff meeting, as so often happens, the topic turned to books - what we are reading, 

what we are learning, and how we can apply it in our own lives but also here at Synergy.

Atomic Habits by James Clear was discussed as a resourceful guide on how to alter your habits for the better, 

by rewarding your good ones and creating tension for your bad ones.

Clear emphasizes the importance of sustainable habits using the Four Laws of Behavior Change:

Make it Obvious

Make it Attractive

Make it Easy

Make it Satisfying

Key points:

Environmental design: make good habits easier; make good habits harder

Habit stacking: pairing a new habit with an old one

e.g. “After I pour my coffee, I will meditate for one minute”

Temptation bundling: pair an action you want to do with an action you have to do

e.g. “As I do my grocery shopping, I will listen to an audiobook”

Create a low-friction environment for good habits (make them easier)

e.g. "I will pack my gym bag and put it by the door the night before" 

Atomic Habits will help you better recognize and design around your habits. You should read it. 

Emma, Asst. Strength Coach

Redefining ‘Realistic’ by Heather Moyse

I’m currently reading Heather Moyse's Redefining 'Realistic'. Throughout the book Heather stresses the importance of not setting limits on what you can achieve. She discusses how limits stop individuals from reaching their full potential. Too often one's full potential is not reached, as they do not truly believe in what they can accomplish; if they believe that they can reach their goals, it becomes much easier to put forth the work that is needed. 

Heather uses her own personal experiences to demonstrate how she was able to push past her limits and reach her full potential. She recognizes the obstacles and challenges of being an elite athlete. 

The central message of the book thus far is that a person’s mindset can take them to the next level, whether that is in sport, training, coaching or any other life area. 

Justin, Asst. Strength Coach

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

David Goggins is a retired US Marine who is tagged is one of the world's top endurance athletes and one of the world's toughest athletes. David once ran an ultra-marathon eight weekends in a row, and in 2013 he set the world record for 

pull-ups over a 24-hr period ... with 4,030!

Can't Hurt Me tells the story of David's childhood, in which he and his mother overcame poverty and abuse from his father. He outlines what he refers to as The 40% Rule: 

that we are only operating at 40% of our true potential. He uses examples of the mental hurdles he had to overcome and how that fuels his purpose today - and how we can all overcome our own mental challenges.

WARNING: if cursing offends you this book will not fit. David is very intense and does not hold back on the swear words. If you don't mind motivation that isn't sugar-coated,  this is the book for you. 

Christie, Asst. Strength Coach

7 Habits of High Effective People by Stephen Covey

It was an excellent read and what I could gather from the book personally was that its all about how everyone has a different perception on life; people don't always have the same ideas or beliefs as everyone else and that is what this book encourages us to do - change our "paradigm," meaning our beliefs and perceptions towards things. It also teaches that  your response to a situation - good, bad or ugly - is totally in your hands. You can choose to be upset and worry all the time about things that are totally beyond your control, or you can take the high road, change your paradigm and get a better result!

The 7 Habits: 

  1.  Be proactive
  2.  Begin with the end in mind
  3.  Put first things first
  4.  Think win/win
  5.  Seek first to understand and then be understood
  6.  Synergize  
  7.  Sharpen the saw

My favourite habit was put first things first. This one opened my eyes to many things that I worry about a​nd perhaps place too much importance on! A great book and I would encourage anyone to read it! 

Bailey, Asst. Strength Coach

Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker

 I am currently reading Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker. Dr. Walker discusses the importance of sleep and some factors that can influence how well and poorly we sleep, such as caffeine and blue light, which play a major part in determining our sleep quality. Dr. Walker also discusses daylight as a resetter of our biological clock, as well as food, exercise, temperature fluctuations and regularly timed social interaction.

The topic of sleep is an intriguing one to me, as it plays a major role in muscle recovery. As athletes, rest is very important for proper recovery, and you can only set yourself up for success the next day by taking care of yourself the day and night before. 

Nick, Asst. Strength Coach

The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kashmir & Fumitake Koga

This book is highly recommended for those looking for a clearer view of their own personal life through Adler’s psychology. It involves two characters -

a philosopher who studies Greek philosophy and teaches how simple happiness can

be achieved by anyone, and a student who views the world as a chaotic place and challenges the philosophers view of life and that the idea of true happiness doesn’t exist.

The novel travels through 5 separate day of dialogue between the two, involving a variety of scenarios that break down and describe different situations of daily life.

It says true happiness is how we perceive and act on the world through our own eyes. 

A series of chapters on feelings of inferiority and superiority lead up to the chapter entitled “Life is Not A Competition."

In this chapter the philosopher describes the pursuit of superiority -

where we pointlessly fight and claw to get to the very top and be the best. 

To be a person who pursues superiority means simply to have a mindset of taking one step forward on your own feet.

This can apply to any athlete or gym member - the goal of walking into a gym isn’t to beat the person next to you. The focus should instead be on trying to improve YOU.  

Ally, Asst. Strength Coach

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero 


Jen Sincero gives you tips on how to live your best life and reach your full potential - 

it’s for those who are ready to make a big change in their life. From confronting your fears to taking risks, to making money or finding love, etc. 

Sincero incorporated her world of travel, coaching, and being a parent into life lessons that all of us need. She calls you out very bluntly, which is something we need. 

I myself need to hear that voice telling me to stop making excuses, stop procrastinating, and stop accepting the life that you know you don't want. This book made me realize not to rush in pursuing my dreams, and to believe that I am already in this place.  

I recommend this book to anyone hiding behind the badass that lives within them.  

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