5 Top Reasons to Invest in Lifting Shoes

Lifting shoes are purpose-built to provide a solid and reliable platform. They are very effective at helping the lifter produce more force and push through the floor to get the weight in the desired position. The proper shoes are essential for those involved in regular deadlift or heavy squats. Let’s take a look at five of the major benefits of the lifting shoes:

Elevated heel

A basic feature of the lifting shoes is the elevated heel which helps to hold the right posture when weight lifting. The ability to maintain posture is not only beneficial for the person lifting the weights, but the proper posture in a lift is essential in a professional environment. The height of the heels can vary with the different shoes. The preferred height will make it possible to achieve the right power position and maintain balance.

Solid base

Many of the lifting shoes are built with a solid base consisting of wood, hard plastic, or a mixture of these materials. A solid platform to make a lift is essential. Trying to lift on an unstable surface can be very dangerous. However, the firm base of the lifting shoes makes it a lot easier to maintain the proper posture.

Ankle support

The majority of the lifting shoes are made with a rubber, leather or plastic-like material. The entire shoe is created with firmness in all areas to create a very secure feeling for the foot and ankle. Also, the shoes can feature extra straps to further help in an effort to provide support.

Mobility

The solid base, elevated heel and support are designed to give all-round mobility while performing the lifts. The shoes are particularly helpful for giving proper mobility for the hips, knees and ankles. Proper hip and ankle flexion is essential to help achieve the desired burst of power and the ability to maintain a hold for the appropriate time. If the hips and ankles aren’t in a position to give the desired power production, it will be a lot more difficult to produce the proper power.

Safety

The proper shoes must be worn when weightlifting to help lower the risk of injuries. Lifting heavy weights or performing complex movements have the potential to lead to injury if a solid base and support isn’t in place. Any shoes that lack support can put the body in poor alignment, which has a much greater risk of injury.

Innovative Mindset in Society Is America Losing the Edge in Innovation?

Is America losing the edge in innovation? How can this be? Where did we go wrong? What happened? Could it be that we’ve changed our education system and society in a way that gives less incentive to innovators? That would be a travesty since our entire national identity is in part founded on the ‘can do attitude’. Let’s discuss this briefly and you tell me if you see it too.

Are we losing our ability to think creatively and innovatively solve problems? I believe so. We also seem to be losing self-reliance, no need to solve problems – all the problems have already been solved. No need to think, just look up the answer on Google. Suddenly, there is no accountability or integrity – passing off copied ideas and plagiarism for innovation.

Look, I am not Luddite, and I don’t live in a cave, I know there is innovation out there – it’s just that I see an ocean of imitation and very few pearls of innovation in comparison. Everyone is busy liking, friending and forwarding – searching online for the daily highlighted viral original concepts rather than coming up with new ideas themselves. Maybe that instant gratification of a dopamine blast is as good as that “Ah-Ha Moment” when you solve a problem or when the light-bulb of innovation dings that bell inside your brain?

There seems to be a deep desire among members of our society to be creative and innovative, just as companies know there is a distinct advantage to the having a robust Research and Development Department and maintaining an innovative edge in their sector. Perhaps that’s why everyone and their brother claims to be an Innovation Expert Consultant. It’s rather hilarious how many of these ‘innovation coaches’ promise to teach us how to innovate, yet, I dare to ask; how many of them have original thoughts themselves. Is this yet another case of; ‘those who can’t teach’.

As an innovator myself, I find it amazing what is passed off as creative or innovative in this day and age. I guess we all have free speech in America and one is free to call themselves an innovator if they wish without any proof or examples of creativity of innovative attributes – but that doesn’t make it so. There is no honor in continuing this façade, we are only hurting ourselves and we cannot fix the problem until we address the reality and the problem here. Do you see it too? What should we do? Please consider all this and think on it.

Men, Unleash Your Potential With Boxing

Too many guys squander their time in the gym doing curls and other exercises to look pretty while never really challenging their bodies to be everything that they could be. Boxing is one of the best workouts that can help bring you to that next level.

GET RIPPED

Boxing may be one of the best ways to shed body fat and lean out while preserving muscle mass. Research has shown that interval style training like boxing is great for fat loss and for speeding up your metabolism. Exercise like traditional aerobic cardio workouts only create an increase in calories burned during the actual workout that drops off rapidly when you end your training session. But because of a phenomenon known as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) you have a substantial increase in the amount of calories you burn for hours after you end a boxing workout. Since boxing uses your fast twitch muscle fibers to perform quick and powerful punches over and over again it encourages your body to hold onto muscle and even can increase your muscle size which will lead to a ripped broad shoulder look and not the skinny look that so many endurance athletes have. So, if you only have a limited amount of time to get a workout in, try attending a quality boxing gym near you which will give you better results for your time then a traditional cardio workout, such as going for a run.

SPEED, POWER, ENDURANCE

Few styles of training can give you the full spectrum of physical improvements that boxing can. ESPN ranked boxing the hardest sport in the world because of all the ingredients that go into preparation. The primary qualities needed to be a great boxer are speed, power & endurance. Here are just a few ways you gain those qualities through boxing training.

SPEED: Through hitting a bag or doing mitt work you are demanding your muscles to fire faster than you are accustomed to. Every time you punch, you must quickly twist your body, shoot out your arm, and bring it right back. You must move your feet quickly to get in, out and around a bag or an opponent. In a good boxing workout, a variety of plyometric exercises and other drills that demand your body to move as fast as possible are also mixed in which forces you to new levels of speed production you may have not thought possible.

POWER: Boxing teaches you to use your entire body to produce maximum power in a punch while delivering it accurately, quickly and on balance. The lock and squeeze at the end of a punch is a massive contraction of the muscle fibers in your arms and shoulders that happen in the very instant you first makes contact with your target. That contact puts a tremendous load on your muscles all the way from your chest muscles to the muscles of your back which must bear the load of hundreds of pounds of force when you land a hard punch. When punches are delivered properly you will feel the work that was put on these muscle groups the next day. ENDURANCE: A lot of research has been done over the past couple decades about the benefits of high intensity interval training on VO2 max ( a measurement of your body’s ability to utilize oxygen). Interval training like boxing has been shown to increase VO2 max faster and in shorter workouts than steady state cardio. Boxing is great cross training for individuals that play a variety of sports seriously or for recreation as it helps tremendously with boosting endurance. At the end of the day, boxing is a much more exciting and time efficient way to get your cardio in than running on a treadmill or spending time on a stationary bike.

FUN & EXCITING

We all know exercise can be fun, but boxing for exercise can be even more fun! Whenever you exercise, you get a release of endorphins that make you feel accomplished and satisfied after a hard workout. With boxing, you get the same feelings, but more. After a hard boxing workout you have the feeling of accomplishment as well as progress when you learn new techniques. The excitement of throwing punches, moving around, bobbing, weaving and blocking punches is a huge thrill that is extremely addictive and will leave you wanting more after every workout!

STRESS RELIEVING

Have you ever gone through a super stressful day and just wished you could have punch something? Energy like that, if held in for a long time, can be detrimental to your interactions with people around you and the people closest to you, leaving you easily frustrated and ready to fly off the handle. People that have made Boxing a part of their daily routine get to let out that frustration all the time! If you spend 30 min to an hour of throwing hundreds of punches as hard and as fast as you can, you better believe you will feel a huge sense of relief. When you train boxing, you are using that energy of aggression and transferring it into a positive outlet that will not only make you feel great, but look great as well!

THE FINAL BELL

I strongly encourage you to try a boxing workout either in a class or personal session. To get the most out of your workouts you need to go to a quality boxing gym and experience what boxing is really all about!

There Is Not Any Secret Technique Or Fix Except For Integrated Effort

“If it is to be, it is up to me” the saying goes. When push comes to shove though, how many of us want to blame others and push the bill on the other person when it comes to improving our situations? Too many of us. So many want a big reward without working for it or earning it like a lottery or sweepstakes win for real. For the few who genuinely want the secret to earning it through the equivalent work, and beyond luck, it is much simpler though: It comes down to integrated effort.

What I mean by the term “integrated effort” is this: It does not come down to working harder or longer, it comes down to using our efforts in the most beneficial, realistically enriching and power controlling ways, and when we make mistakes, instead of quitting or lamenting, learn from the mistakes. Also called, “failing forward”.

Indeed, we are not owed anything, not even the skin on our bodies or realities good or otherwise. Also, we must “boot strap” or take conscious account of our own lives if we want to get anywhere good and productive in them. In life, to win the case of life, you must not feel sorry for yourself, because however hard someone seems to listen to your sad stories, there is always someone else taking the lead with integrated effort with the similar “bad background” in life meaning we have a choice to feel sorry for ourselves or get busy achieving from the ground up with the same skin and clothes we were sad in to get glad in.

I was listening to a friend today before writing this article, not talking. This friend got me thinking what real success comes down to. The “dream” is the lottery, luck and all of that “someday I will make it” stuff, and “I will get what I am owed someday”. The reality is integrated effort, “failing forward” and getting better at it until you are genuinely strong in your field. I am not saying do it until it hurts, but do it until you genuinely get it right in your soul, spirit and being. I get the real core messages of the novels and philosophy of Ayn Rand: Perfection is a mind created concept sure, but it is what you deem it genuinely to be within yourself, not outside of yourself. This is where I agree with the psychological idea of Nathaniel Branden that self-esteem is the immune system of the emotions, soul and spirit. I mean, without an honest assessment of yourself through integrated effort, how can you get anywhere? I end with this question to tell you that there is more to life and existence for us all than just a “lucky break”.

My name is Joshua Clayton, I am a freelance writer based in Inglewood, California. I also write under a few pen-names and aliases, but Joshua Clayton is my real name, and I write by that for the most part now. I am a philosophical writer and objective thinker and honest action taker. I also work at a senior center in Gardena, California as my day job, among other things, but primarily I am a writer.

Writing Resources You NEED to Know About

Many aspiring authors spend hours and hours, alone behind their computers tap, tap, tapping away. Then those hours turn into months, and of course, the months slip into years.

This is admirable. If I’m confident of anything, it’s that to be an author you have to be willing to spend hours of your life equivalent to entire years out of your life slaving away writing. I’m just for sure that you need to read at least just as much.

One thing that gets unfortunately overlooked by many is that you also have to be willing to leave your books and your computer behind sometimes. To engage others.

Not that you can’t be an introvert. Thousands of widely regarded successful authors were introverts. That’s is because in some way or another they were able to overcome, albeit sometimes only briefly, their restrictions and step outside of their comfort zones.

That’s because while writing can take many forms; journaling, hobbies writing, personal letter writing. Authorship is a profession, and that means that it falls within a business structure. No matter how sincerely you believe that Jack Kerouac went from nothing to a fantastic book within two weeks of boozing (which FYI, in reality, he didn’t). If you want to move books from shelves, you will need to approach the task earnestly. With a humble attitude that is open to working with others.

The business of writing, designing, editing, publishing, marketing, and selling your books requires a multitude of strangers. Regardless of whether you have a small budget, or you’re JK Rowling.

In fact, the small your budget, the approach is better suited to involving a large number of people each with small, potentially volunteer style task. For instance, having friends complete a narrative edit before giving it to a professional editor, to reduce the amount of paid time the editor has to spend on the manuscript.

For your first book, I highly suggest having a strong group of people who can offer various products, services, and insights to help you stay focused, motivated, and up-to-speed on the ever-changing self-publishing landscape.

Being a successful author requires a lot more than just writing a great book. You have to get into the weeds, be willing to change out of your writer’s cap and into a variety of other hats depending on where you are in the process.

You may not have the skills or willingness to tackle everything with your own two hands, and that’s why it’s so important to develop your own file of go-to resources along the way.

Here are 30 more resources to tap into along the way!

While this list is mostly self-publishing focused, if you’re going the traditional publishing route, you should still have a rigorous shift through them to make sure you are familiar with what is out there.

Useful Blogs and Sites

1. The Write Life

This workhorse blog is a one-stop-shop offering all you need to figure out how to work with clients, navigate the changing landscape of publishing, learn the ins and outs of social media, grow a following for your blog and find a community that will support you along the way. You’ll always find something useful for your book business here. Try not to get lost in the rabbit hole though. There is so much helpful information here I try to time my visits to make sure I’m not eating into my writing time!

2. Kindlepreneur

If you want to dig deep into the goulash of marketing your books, Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur is your man. His strategies are groundbreaking. Every successful author has to wear many hats, and Dave shares his years of marketing experience and success to show you how to promote the heck out of your books.

3. The Book Designer

Joel Friedlander, the creator of The Book Designer, says “Writers change the world one reader at a time. But you can’t change the world with a book that’s still on your hard drive or in a box under your bed.” This embodies the Community Writer mentality. Joel gives you everything you need to get your book out of the box with a variety of self-publishing guides, advice, templates, and toolkits. With his experience in book design and advertising, Joel has the creds to help you produce and sell a great-looking book.

4. The Creative Penn

The Creative Penn is run by Joanna Penn, who has been wildly successful with fiction and nonfiction. In her blog and podcast, she covers every aspect of what it takes to start and run a successful author business. She also has a grab bag of books on various self-publishing topics if you can’t get enough on her blog.

5. Jane Friedman’s website

Jane has more than 20 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry, with expertise in digital media and the future of authorship. Her site is full of actionable content and detailed strategies for the aspiring author from someone who’s been there and done that many times over.

Podcasts Worth Your Time

6. Podcast – Neuralle (Uncommon)

Please forgive the shameless self-promotion here, but aside from the fact that I will be most likely appearing on this podcast at some point, Neuralle is a fantastic self-development podcast and in my humble opinion a must for any aspiring author or entrepreneur.

Past guests have included Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs, Chefs, Restaurant Owners, Body Builders, Strength Coaches, Activists, Winemakers, Filmmakers and many, many more.

7. Tim Ferris Podcast

This show is the first publishing-related podcast that I followed, and it’s still an all-time favourite. It’s hosted by Tim Ferris an American best-selling author, entrepreneur, self-proclaimed “human guinea pig”, and public speaker.

8. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Every green writer should bookmark this podcast. With helpful and insightful tips on grammar and storytelling, Mignon Fogarty’s podcast is sure to help you improve your narrative and technical writing skills.

9. The Writer Files

Hosted by Kelton Reid, The Writer Files is a long-running podcast that delves deep into habits and habitats of famed writers. Reid interviews writers from a broad spectrum, giving each listener a chance to see into the mind of an accomplished wordsmith within their genre or interest.

Forums

10. Neil Gaiman Board

Neil Gaiman’s Official Message Board. Enough said.

11. Goodreads Groups

Goodreads is the mega-site (with over 20 million members) for authors and readers. They have more specific groups than you can count, and if you can’t find an answer or inspiration here, then it doesn’t exist. You might feel a bit overwhelmed, but here’s a smart article on using Goodreads to support your author business.

12. Scribophile

There are tons of writing forums out there to choose from, so I suggest you have a play with a few of them. This one works a bit differently which is why I like it though. Scribophile provides detailed and helpful critiques from a member exchange. The analyses you’ll get are so much more than just a pat on the back – you’ll get actionable ways to improve your writing.

Writing Tools

13. Scrivener

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool for authors that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring your documents. Get a free 30-day trial and watch some brief YouTube tutorials to get acquainted with the system quickly.

14. Grammarly

This proofreading application is an improved version of your standard spellchecking program. Just copy and paste blocks of text into Grammarly, and it will check your writing for common mistakes. The reason it’s better than most spellcheckers is that it provides useful feedback that will improve the overall quality of your book. You will learn a lot very quickly by taking heed of the side bar suggestions and explanations.

15. Hemingway Editor

Excellent writing is quite often straightforward writing, and Hemingway was the master at that. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, your narrative should get to the point with simple language. With the Hemingway software, you will learn how to simplify your writing.

Book Publishing and Freelance Help

16. Archangel Ink

Archangel Ink is a one-stop solution for getting your book ready to publish. Archangel offers a range of services to help you with cover design, editing, formatting, audiobook production and much more. I feel that if you haven’t published before you learn a lot by manually going through the process of completing your manuscript via Scrivner, finding editors/cover creators via say Reedsy/Freelancer and then uploading it to KDP/Createspace. However it can be frustrating, so I completely understand throwing down some cash and handing of some or all of this to someone else. I’m currently considering using Archangel Ink to produce and audiobook for me.

17. 99 Designs

This is a service where you post a design project, like your book cover, and dozens of freelancers submit mock-up examples. You then select finalists based on the submissions and choose the winner to work with you to create a finalised version. 99Designs can be pricey, but it’s a great option if you want a professional cover design for your book.

18. Grammarly

I won’t rant on this too much as already do that frequently enough if you don’t have the free version of this you need to get it now. What some of you might not know, is that via the paid version they have an option to connect you with a professional proof reader. I haven’t used this before but considering the calibre of everything else they do I think it’s worth investigating.

19. Freelancer

One the most significant websites for hiring freelance talent. If you want to find the largest pool of people, then this is a great place to look. The app makes chatting with prospective freelancers seamless so you can manage your project and selection of the perfect candidate on the go.

20. Reedsy

Reedsy offers a boutique experience in editing and cover design. Most freelancers here have worked in the publishing industry, so they have a thorough understanding of what will work for your books. But you should also expect to pay more for the freelancers you find here. If you’re going the self-publishing route within fiction, a professional editor is a must, an absolute necessity, seriously. Reedsy is a great way to find one, with almost every budget available. If you can’t afford the lower tier, I suggest saving your pennies or going the traditional publishing route, where a publisher will provide you a professional editor to work with.

Getting Feedback

21. Survey Monkey

Is an easy to use survey builder; ask multiple choice questions and get demographic information about your audiences, like age, sex, or occupation. You can use it for your current email list, or post a survey with a lead magnet somewhere your target audience will see it (forums, pay-per-click ad etc.)

22. PickFu

PickFu allows authors to get instant feedback on your book before you publish using audience polls. This is a more advanced option for those who already have income streams, again I don’t suggest paying for a resource unless you’ve used a free version and had equitable success with it.

Email Marketing

23. AWeber

With a drag and drop email builder, unlimited image storage and an easy to use interface, AWeber is a great option to manage your email marketing communication.

24. MailChimp

MailChimp offers 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers – free. That’s what MailChimp can do for you. A great email marketing resource if you’re just getting started. MailChimp is easy to set up, easy to manage and offers an easy to scale pricing plan as your list grows. As the Wix email option ‘Shoutout’ has a capped number of emails you can send but an exportable email list. You can use MailChimp to send additional emails if you are pushing the boundaries of the free Wix option.

25. Constant Contact

You can’t call yourself constant contact and then not be available to your customers. And that’s just what makes this email automation company shine. They offer round the clock support 7 days a week. They also offer 60-day FREE trial.

26. SpyFU

Search for any domain and see every place they’ve shown up on Google: every keyword they’ve bought on AdWords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 11 years. This combined with Wix’s seamless SEO makes key words unbelievably easy. You don’t need to have some ten years long.

Learn how to connect with these domains, too. Find online and traditional leads methods — social media, email, phone, and address — you can’t find anywhere else. So you can look at other authors within your niche and find out exactly where readers are going to find them.

Staying Organized

27. Google Keep

Keep is an excellent organisation tool. It stores every idea, research plan and content structure. Which can quickly be dumped into Scrivner later.

28. Evernote

Another option this is with a few more features is Evernote, you can save snippets of content you find online and go back to all of it in a searchable, taggable easy to find notebooks on Evernote. It also connects to my Google Home via IFTTT which frustratingly Google Keep doesn’t seem to, so I can handsfree keep notes easily.

29. Google Drive

Accessible from anywhere with internet, Google Drive is a great collaborative tool for teams to use when you’re working with content, files, or images in tandem. Google Sheets and Google Docs makes group work seamless, and all work can easily be shared with hyperlinks.

30. Tomato Timer

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management strategy preferred by many authors. It’s not always easy to keep track of the non-writing tasks related to your book projects. With Brain Focus Productivity Timer, an excel sheet (or just pen and paper) and Scrivner’s session tracking you can keep motivated with tangible evidence of how hard you’re working. Not only time associated with the project. Team Viz is another excellent paid alternative to this method, and you can’t forget the simple Tomato Timer (tomato-timer.com)

31. Slack

It’s like super chat. Instant communication. Instant file transfer. Indexed and Searchable. It is fantastic for collaboration if you have a specific project you are working on. Again, use wisely, if you are co-authoring for example. Not if you’re just working with a freelancer for a short time, instead use the platform’s chat for content protection!