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Webinar with Dr. Cobb

Episode 33: Hey! No Pain Face.

Video Highlights

Hi everybody. Dr. Cobb back with you.

Happy New Year, I hope that 2014 is starting off great for you. Now today what I want to do to start off the new year correctly is give you one primary exercise tip that I want you to use not only for this week and this month but for the whole year and learn it for the rest of your life.

And it’s really simple tip that it’s one of the most common errors I see around the world, every time I go into a gym, I watch people train, I see people at our courses.

So what I’m going to ask you to do is avoid and this what you want to write down, the pain face.

Avoid the pain face. Now, here’s what I mean, you go in and you watch people exercise. Either you’re driving along and you see someone out for a run and you look at their face and it looks like something’s breaking inside them. Right?

They got this, “Ah”. This tension, their teeth are gritted, their trying really hard and they’ve got all kind of veins popping out. Well the problem with that, generally, is that whenever we tighten up our head and neck, whenever our faces are displaying signs of tension that is a neurosignal to the rest of our body that we’re under threat, we’re in danger. And so what we tell people all the time is, “As soon as you start tightening up your facial muscles the rest of the body is going to follow suit.”

Now when we’re exercising, while it’s okay and very important to work hard, we want to work hard efficiently. So we want to train our brain constantly that whatever we’re experiencing we can handle it. And really literally one of the best ways and this has been supported by sports studies around the world for a number of years. One of the best ways that we can work on teaching our brain that we can handle what we’re doing is to continually focus on relaxing our face.

So the two things I try and get my athletes to do is anytime they’re training have one of two facial expressions. One that’s either quite blank, just relax or have a smile because what I tell people is that if we want to look like an elite athlete eventually in our lives. Elite athletes make everything look easy but they make it look easy through tons and tons of repetition and practice. Well if we constantly, every time we’re in a gym, every time we’re going a push-up, every time we’re running, if we constantly make something look hard by having the pain face, we’re actually never going to be able to achieve what we are after in the first place from our training, which is to be high functioning and make it look easy.

So that’s tip number one for 2014, avoid the pain face in your training. Now you may have been doing this for so long and you’re unaware of it so one of the best things that you can do is either videotape your training session. Uh, I don’t know if we actually videotape anymore, record your training session with your iPhone or whatever or just have a friend watch you. And this is a great thing if you have a workout partner; you just start checking one another. Every time you’re doing something, go, “Hey, no pain face.”

Whenever you start incorporating this into what you do, I promise it’s going to make a tremendous difference especially as your skill develops because what you’ll begin to feel is that as you relax and you smile no matter what you’re going through physically, your brain will begin to say, “This isn’t as bad as I thought” and you should see not only your relaxation capacity but your strength and endurance go up, when you begin avoiding the pain face.

So there you have it. Tip number one for 2014, we’re looking forward to talking to you throughout the year.

Have a fantastic week and I look forward to talking to you soon.


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