Grant and Theresa's Life Prep

Making Plans and Achieving Goals

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Read Less and Act More

I love reading.  I read every morning, I listen to audio books in my car and check a few blogs at work.  The trap I fall into is reading these fantastic, life changing books only to set them down and move onto to the next one.  What good is it to read Think and Grow Rich if you aren’t integrating the concepts into your life?  Knowledge alone will do nothing for your success.  We need to read less and act more. Continue reading

Pay Yourself a Car Payment

Cars are like a financial sink hole and can really put a damper on your journey to financial independence.  They are expensive, they wear out and they depreciate in value rapidly.  People also tend to buy way more car than their budget would allow because the payments are just so reasonable.  We bought a new (gently used) car this time last year and paid cash for it which I think everyone should do.  However, we are still paying ourselves a car payment every month. Continue reading

Spectating The Boston Marathon With A Baby

Boston Marathon Expo is a great place for a nap

The Boston Marathon is unlike any race I have ever been to.  It isn’t just that there are a lot of runners (30,000) but, it is the amount of spectators and town support that make this race unique.  Most other cities feel inconvenienced by a marathon coming to town because of the crowds and street closures but every Boston local we talked to acted like it was one of their favorite events of the year.  All of this love for the Boston Marathon does, however, make it challenging on the spectator.  There are countless articles about how to train and prepare to run the Boston Marathon but what about how to watch it?  Specifically,  how can you see mom run while you are dealing with a baby?  We just got back from the 2017 Boston Marathon and it was quite the adventure for the whole family so I thought I would share my perspective from the bleachers.

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Get Addicted One Rep At A Time

Usually, when people hear the word addicted that have images of cigarettes and drugs pop into their head but in my opinion not all addictions are bad.  You can be addicted to something that is good and beneficial for you.  You can be addicted to meditating, increasing your net worth, fitness, learning, giving or really anything.  This is a topic that is argued in the philosophical world as to whether any addiction can be positive and what makes something a habit vs an addiction vs a compulsion.  If you do something repeatedly to change your current state, have with drawls if you are unable to do it and will do at the expense of other important things I say it is an addiction.  If that word makes you uncomfortable then just think dedication or healthy habit from here on out. Continue reading

Financial Advisors Hate Coffee And Talking About Fees??

Have you ever noticed that every person giving financial advice always wants you to give up coffee?  Because that coffee cost $4.00 a day and that times 60 years at 12% interest is however many millions of dollars.  You would think that Bill Gates must have massive self-control over his desire for coffee and that Microsoft thing is just his side hustle.  I don’t even drink coffee and I get tired of hearing about how it is ruining your retirement. Continue reading

Q1 New Years Resolution Update

Well, we are a fourth of the way through the year and I’m still at least talking about my new year’s resolutions so I guess that is a good thing.   As we all know it can be quite challenging to achieve big long term goals like a New Years resolution.  Hopefully, everyone out there is still crushing any big goals they set for themselves.  Without wasting much time lets just get right into how I’m doing. Continue reading

What Does it Take to Feel Rich???

I read a great an article from a financial blogger than I really like, Financial Samurai, about feeling rich.  This is a really interesting concept as it is so different for everyone.  Some people feel rich so long as they can get some food that day while other people don’t feel rich while flying on their private jet.  So what does it take to feel rich?

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Shoulder Pain When Pressing? Here Is How I Fixed It.

Just a few months ago I had to completely stop all pressing movements.  This meant no more benching, no more dips, no more push ups and no more overhead presses.  The pain had gotten so bad in my left shoulder that I couldn’t do one full range of motion push up.  It felt like something was ripping in my shoulder.  Specifically, the area at the top, front, of the shoulder where everything kind of comes together.

It was one of those things that started off slowly and I could just push through it.  Anyone who has done any real training for anything knows that you are going to get some aches and pains along the way and it is just part of it.  If we didn’t train or practice on days we didn’t feel 100% we would probably workout about 3 times a year.  So I kept going with it thinking surely it will get better soon.  After about 4 weeks from the time I had first noticed it I had gone from I can feel it to I can barely use my arm.  Not a fun feeling.  Looking back I clearly shouldn’t have let it get that bad.  I especially made things worse by taking Advil before my workouts to try and ease some of the pain when the pain was my body telling me to “stop it you idiot!”

This would be the time to go see a physical therapist if you know of a good one.  I have not had the best of luck with physical therapists as most of them don’t get weight lifting.  They want me to throw a 2-pound medicine ball against a trampoline, workout on balance balls and don’t squat with my knees going over my toes.  Listen I get that there is some injury risk associated with lifting heavy but it is what I enjoy doing so I need a physical therapist who gets that and will help me keep doing that.  Telling me not to lift heavy is like telling the injured football player to just stop playing football.  Yes, you might fix the injury problem but you took away the thing I love thus creating a new problem.  Anyway, if you got a good PT go to them if not you can try what I did.

I searched around the interwebs and found lots and lots of shoulder articles related to weight lifting.  The shoulder area is extremely vulnerable because of the extreme range of motion and all of the muscles and tendons that are all connecting in the same area.  This makes diagnosing the problem very difficult.  We might both have shoulder pain but it could be two totally different injuries.  So if you try what I did just know that this is what worked for me but it very well could make things worse for you.

What I did:

  1. Stop freaking pressing anything.  Yes, I know you love to bench but stop it!  I didn’t follow this advice until I didn’t have a choice.  Please listen to your body better than me.  If the pain is progressively getting worse with each upper body workout then back it off.  Stop trying to just push through it when you are getting worse.
  2. Start working your rear delts and rotator cuff.  I tried a bunch of different exercises but I ended up coming up with a circuit that I did almost every day.  I would do about 20 band pull aparts, 20 internal and external rotations with a band, 20 band face pulls and 20 dumbbell lateral raises with thumbs up.  I would do these exercises one right after the another with no rest.  I would push the sets to the point where I felt any form start to slip.
  3. After about two weeks start adding some push ups from your knees to the end of the circuit.  Just do as many as you can do with perfect form and zero pain.  Once you feel the slightest twinge of pain just stop and move on.  Move to regular push ups after you can do 20 from your knees with zero pain.  Then work up to 20 regular push ups with zero pain.
  4. Start easing back into your benching, dipping and pressing overhead.  Work up very slowly on all of your weights and be prepared to stop instantly if you feel pain.
  5. Continue to do your shoulder circuit.  I still do it almost every time I work out but I kind of just superset the exercises in between other sets now.
  6. If you aren’t already doing so, be sure your program has you doing as much pulling as you are pushing.  So if you do 6 sets of bench a week you better be doing 6 sets of rows or pull ups.

Below is my timeline of how everything went from the first time I recorded anything about my shoulder pain to the point where I was pain-free.  In total it was about 5 months of recovery from the first mention of pain until where I am today.  This would have been dramatically reduced had I not pushed a bad shoulder for almost a month.  However, 5 months might seem like a long time but when looking at the big picture it’s nothing.

  • First time that I see any mention of shoulder pain in my workout log was 10/12/16 towards the end of my workout during incline dumbbell flyes
  • Constant bitching about shoulder through the next few weeks until 11/7/16 I stopped all pressing
  • Tested shoulder on 11/18/16 after 2-week break with dumbbell pressing with no success
  • 11/21/16 started above shoulder circuit mentioned above
  • Started trying push ups from knees on 11/28/16 and was able to do 10 with minimal pain
  • Got 3 x 20 regular push ups on 12/8/16
  • Started working in light weight benching and overhead presses 12/12/16
  • Last mention of any shoulder pain was 1/14/17
  • 2/13/17 it looks like my strength is about 90% of my max with no mention of pain
  • 3/17/17 handling near all time max weight on bench with zero pain

I know it can be horribly frustrating to be injured but don’t let it get you down.  Instead just find ways to work around it.  I did a lot of extra leg work and hit some of those forgotten muscles a little bit like traps and calves.  Once you start seeing any signs of improvement you will get your full motivation back.  Just be persistent and you will get better.


When To Deload? No One Knows.

A deload is a temporary break from your current workout program that comes after a period of overreaching.  There are no set rules on what a deload should look like.  The most common is to take a week either completely off or to cut your volume and intensity by about half for a week.  The idea behind a deload is that it allows your body to completely recover from your previous workouts and will allow you to come back stronger.  The question is how often should you be taking these planned breaks from your intense training.

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Ultimate Home Gym Buying Guide

I guess the previous owners had a home gym too.  I see you treadmill.

Turning our garage into a home gym has been an absolutely fantastic decision, even though basically everyone told me, “you will never use it” and “don’t waste your money.”  Since college, I have always wanted a real gym in my home, so when it came time to look at houses, my only requirement was that it needed to have an enclosed garage or a basement.  We have had the home gym now for just over two years and have each worked out in there 3 to 5 times per week, ever since.  I see no way I could ever go back to working out in a commercial gym, but I do acknowledge that it might not be for everyone.

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