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Last Updated on March 1, 2018

This 24 Hour Workout Will Leave You Thinking, Looking And Feeling So Good!

This 24 Hour Workout Will Leave You Thinking, Looking And Feeling So Good!

When your mind is clear, you look and feel better. Over the past couple years, I have been experimenting with a routine to improve my cognitive capability and overall life satisfaction. I call this routine The 24 Hour Workout.

Imagine if you could see the connection between how you Think – Look – Feel. Would you see a gap?

    If so, let me share with you a way to fill this gap — The 24 Hour Workout. Here is what you can expect to find if you read on:

    What is the 24 Hour Workout?

    Essentially, The 24 Hour Workout is a routine that provides you the following:

    • 24-hour pump. Jump start your morning with an aerobic exercise, followed by push-ups, planks, and curls throughout the entire day.
    • Break your comfort zone. Since you must do your push-up and plank routine throughout the entire day, you will be forced to do these exercises in front of people. It is awkward the first time you are planking in an airport!
    • Spark Neurogenesis. Exercising, especially in the morning, prepares the brain for optimal learning and sparks Neurogenesis. Neurogenesis shows that exercise is strongly correlated with increased brain mass, improved cognition, and new brain cell production. It is sparked by exercise. Explicitly, aerobic exercise is the optimal vehicle for the production of the substance known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
    • Kickstart your metabolism. Metabolism is the sum of total energy our body expends each day. Just as in our car, we burn less fuel at rest compared to when we are moving.
    • Increased cognitive abilities. If you are like me, you will to turn into an audiobook junkie. You will find that you are able to read and/or listen to approximately 100 books a year. Additionally, you will be waking up before everyone else, so this is the optimal time to read.
    • Learn to embrace waking up early. To maximize this routine, you must wake up early. You do not have to be as crazy as I am with this routine, but you must embrace this.

    How I use The 24 Hour Workout

    Here is a summary of my 24 Hour Workout.

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    • 2:30am: alarm goes off. Take first round of Qualia, then go back to sleep.
      *Tip: Keep Qualia (more on this later) and bottle of water next to you on your night stand.
    • 3:30am: wake up. Qualia will naturally get you moving and wake you up. Then do your first round of push-ups, plank, and curls.
      *Tip: I found that it takes around 45min to 1hr for your “Qualia Alarm Clock” to kick in.
    • 4:00am: stretch, listen to an audiobook, then perform an aerobic exercise. I normally run (always outside if possible) for 3-5 miles daily. Perform your push-ups, plank, and curls.
      *Tip: If you find it difficult to wake up, try the following: immediately splash cold water on your face, walk outside if it’s cold out, or turn your shower to its coldest setting and get in! Also, sleep in your running clothing or keep them next to you in bed.
    • 5:00am: shower and listen to an audiobook. Perform your push-ups, plank, and curls.
    • 5:30am: read, write, blog, or journal. Perform your push-ups, plank, and curls.
    • 6:30am: eat breakfast. Perform your push-ups, plank, and curls.
    • 7:00am: Spend time with family.
    • 7:30am: Perform your push-ups, plank, and curls. Head to work.

    Throughout the day I attempt to complete 10 sets of the push-up, plank, and curl routine. I set a timer on my Fitbit so that every 30min to 1hr I knock out a set. Furthermore, at 12:00pm I take the second round of Qualia with food.

    The Five Pillars of the 24 Hour Workout

    The Five Pillars of The 24 Hour Workout:

    Pillar #1 Cardio and Audio

    Some type of cardio exercise is mandatory. This is the optimal way to spark Neurogenesis and will provide an abundance of health benefits. I recommend performing this five days a week and always listen to an audiobook while performing your cardio routine.

    Pillar #2 Power Up

    I have started to focus more on quality rather than quantity. Specifically, when I complete my push-up and plank routine. I now focus on form and muscle fatigue, not repetitions. I recently started to perform Power Push-ups and Power Planks.

    Power Push-ups I recommend reading further about it in my other article:

    The Simplest and Most Effective Exercise in Existence: The Power Push-up

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      Power Plank A great how-to video for the power plank can be found here. The key is to get in a good planking position.

      First, tuck your butt under and squeeze, then drive your elbows down into the floor towards your toes and your toes up toward your elbows. Squeeze every muscle as hard as you can.[1]

        Pillar #3 Get Up Early

        This is the most important aspect of this routine, yet it is the hardest. Read How to Stay Awake and Energetic No Matter How Busy Your Schedule Is for tips on how to do this.

        Pillar #4 Nootropics – Qualia

        Ever since watching the film Limitless, I have been searching for something similar to the mysterious smart-drug called NZT-48. I am not completely insane and I do realize this pill is fictional. However, there are smart-drugs (nootropics) out there that are safe and legal. Qualia is one of those safe and legal nootropics. I have also found it to be the best. Find out more about Qualia here.

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        Pillar #5 Metacognition

        If you are really looking to maximize this routine, then you must look for ways to improve your metacognitive skills. Embrace reading and read every chance you get.

        How to adopt the 24 Hour Workout

        I recently came across a unique way to shatter my goals provided by travismcashan.com. Travis McAshan calls this The Bruce Lee Challenge. Adopt The 24 Hour Workout by using The Bruce Lee Challenge.[2]

        • Step 1: Choose your goal. This could be simply starting a morning routine.
        • Step 2: Decide your key objective. Here you are looking to break your goal down into specific and measurable metrics that you can track. For example, let’s say you have the following goals: 1) Wake up every morning by 5am; 2) Run 5 days a week (starting at 5:30am); 3) Read for 30 minutes every morning.
        • Step 3: Commit for 21 days. The human mind takes nearly 21 days to adjust to major life changes. Try sticking to your new routine for 21 days and see what happens.
        • Step 4: Take immediate action. This one is simple… get started now!
        • Step 5: Make a decision. After you have committed for 21 days, it is time to make a decision. Are you going to continue your new routine or not?

        Think – Look – Feel

        Most of us live life where we know we need to get better, yet it seems like we can’t.

        It seems as though how we think, look, and feel are all interconnected… which they are. When our mind is foggy and we can’t think, we don’t look well, and we don’t feel well. There is a gap in between each of these, but how can we fill it?

          So, what can we do? Adopt The 24 Hour Workout!

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            By simply adopting The 24 Hour Workout, you will find that your thoughts will be clear, you will look better, and ultimately feel better. By doing this, you will evolve into a more complex information processing system. Essentially, you will enter beast mode!

            Just remember to never give up. You will fail at times during this routine, but you can’t quit. Recently, my friend Casey King was frustrated as he wasn’t reaching 100% consistency with this routine. He felt like he was spinning his wheels. Here was my advice to him,

            “You will never get there as things will always get in your way. You have to be mentally okay with a 70-90% day, because that is better than the alternative. The important point is to never give up as your 70% day next year will be better than your 70% today. Essentially, your 70% day next year will be your 100% day this year.” – Dr. Jamie Schwandt

            Featured photo credit: Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

            [1]Human Form Fitness: How to Perform a Power Plank
            [2]Travismcashan.com: The Bruce Lee Challenge

            More by this author

            Dr. Jamie Schwandt

            Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

            Being Self Aware Is the Key to Success: How to Boost Self Awareness How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills for a Sharper Mind 10 Brain Training Hacks to Increase Your IQ, Focus and Creativity How to Be a Maverick and Develop a Maverick Mindset Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

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            How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

            How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

            Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

            Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

            I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

            You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

            Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

            When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

            I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

            Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

            Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

            Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

            1. The Inner Critic

            This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

            • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
            • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
            • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
            • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

            He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

            Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

            2. The Worrier

            This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

            He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

            Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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            3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

            He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

            He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

            He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

            4. The Sleep Depriver

            This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

            His motivation can be:

            • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
            • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
            • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
            • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

            How can you control these squatters?

            How to Master Your Mind

            You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

            Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

            There are two ways to control your thoughts:

            • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
            • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

            This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

            The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

            Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

            For the Inner Critic

            When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

            You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

            For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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            You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

            “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

            If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

            • He riles up the Worrier.
            • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
            • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
            • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
            • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

            Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

            Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

            For the Worrier

            Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

            Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

            You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

            • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
            • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
            • Muscles tense

            Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

            If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

            Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

            “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

            Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

            If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

            Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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            Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

            For example:

            If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

            “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

            Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

            “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

            Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

            For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

            Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

            The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

            • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
            • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
            • Muscles tension

            I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

            Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

            Breathe in through your nose:

            • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
            • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
            • Focus on your belly rising.

            Breathe out through your nose:

            • Feel your lungs emptying.
            • Focus on your belly falling.
            • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

            Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

            Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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            One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

            Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

            For the Sleep Depriver

            (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

            I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

            Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

            1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
            2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

            When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

            From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

            For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

            If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

            You can also use this technique any time you want to:

            • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
            • Shut down your thinking.
            • Calm your feelings.
            • Simply focus on the present moment. 

            Becoming the Master of Your Mind

            Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

            You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

            Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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