Train Your Brain, Body, and Mind

Your brain is a playground. It’s a computer. It’s your security system. And it loves to collect data. When you train, neurons activate and form new physical associations. Old neurons die and rebuild with flexible connections. People who understand the neuroscience of the brain can use it to their advantage in life and career.

“The brain’s ability to change its plasticity is lifelong.” (UC San Francisco neuroscientist Michael M. Merzenich, Ph.D. Michael Merzenich: Growing evidence of brain plasticity, 2004, Ted Talk TED2004) Learning anything new, perfecting a skill, puts the brain in a “stressful” situation. It’s very similar to physical training. The rebound from experience allows the brain to toughen up and develop a new resiliency. Brain function increases. Your memory can become sharper. Your cognitive abilities grow. Task yourself beyond your comfort zone. Train your brain with physical exercise. Invoke the modern science of human physiology.

Your prefrontal cortex is the CEO of your brain. If you have ever been curious as to how you make decisions, your prefrontal cortex is the hardware making it possible. It’s the control room where priorities, temptations, and wants to receive the go/no-go sign. It is where your habits reside.

How Do You Benefit from Neuroscience Knowledge?

Take points from other successful coaches. “Be a teacher first and a coach second.” John Wooden. Take your first step – activation. Make some determinations about yourself and what your purpose is. Find a source of knowledge. That might be a strength coach or someone in your family. Make sure they are objective and open to learning as well. Your goal is to understand your habits.

Identify your “why.” Get clear on why you pursue your objectives. Recognize the routines you subscribe to that keep you trying as opposed to succeeding. Identify what you must do for yourself to become the type of person capable of greater success. A behavioral change is required for you to keep moving forward in your pursuits. Become conscious of your internal growth and the skills necessary to move towards an external expression of your growing mental strength.

Activate. Attack your habit of comfort and realize the positive effects of exercise on the brain. Being forty years old has an impact athletically. If you are fifty or sixty, you must build brain health. You have lost flexibility and strength over the years. All physiological functions slow down as you age. If you’ve been active over the years since high school, you might be in a little better physical shape. Believe in the science. Exercise works to rejuvenate brain performance. You must see training as one goal with two targets.

Prioritize. Merzenich goes on to inform us that if you don’t rejuvenate your mind, you have a 50% chance of being senile by age 85. You will understand the shocking reality if you find your car keys in the refrigerator. I recently reached into my jacket to grab my cell phone and pulled out the remote control for the TV. It’s time to add another workout session to my busy week. Your routine behaviors must congruent with your goals. Don’t lose it without a fight. Take positive steps in creating new practices knowing you can grow your mind. Do it now before you forget.

If you are a party animal, the gym will appeal to your gregariousness. If you aren’t, then maybe your choice of individual training will work better. Regardless you must feel safe and believe training will work for you. You are building brain health.

We live by our behaviors. We die by our beliefs.

Dan Raabe, Performance Trainer

Training isn’t rocket science. It’s not pain and suffering. Creating new habits is the real work. Develop a working model of modern behaviors for anything that might be holding you back. If you are healthier and stronger, you’ll be more able to protect the ones you love.

Think of your “why.” Include brain training in the picture. Physical exercise for brain training is a substantial reason. Find yourself involved in all manner of brain performance and brain health. Let the strength training do its job. Your task can be permitting yourself to stay motivated.

Physically remodeling yourself is a choice. Behave towards new horizons without following the negative buzz on the Internet. Think about the ability to move and function better physically. Think of channeling stress into positive motion. Envision a more functional circumstance. See yourself in a crowd standing a little taller. Fit people are easy to find.

We don’t need a Ph.D. to get motivated to invest time in useful activities. Develop a life of fascination. Train differently. Apply the lessons to your career. What if your perspective is cleaner? Your calling card says you are an individual. You listen. Your unique proposition expresses your motivations, knowledge, and follow-through. You have criteria and metrics that can be understood by anyone you meet. Through the new skills, you’ve worked to polish, and the personal presence you exude, those around you feel your intrinsic value. It’s a winning outcome.

If you feel that training involves risk, we do risk well. You will grow in athletic prowess. Proper training is a skill.

Fill your head with insights and knowledge. It’s human nature to analyze everything, but cool it a little bit. Learn for the sake of supporting your interests and curiosities. A good portion of your physical health is vested in keeping your brain engaged. Exercise does its part in the activation of your core neurology. Sleep is necessary and rejuvenates brain chemistry. Actively learning through study, reading, and indulging in abstraction keeps your brain plasticity youthful.

Performance Coaching is Complex

Asking anyone to identify “why” in an area of life is invasive. It’s personal. But you must get on with the task. Activation means you made the first move with autonomy. You attended the webinar. You took a pro-active stance and physically moved to action. Then you created new priorities. Performance training must be one of your top priorities.

Train hard and train for a reason.

If you find yourself in the forties plus, career-centric, working-professional group you are my target audience. There is more to the performance discussion and I’ll gladly share it with you. I am a speaker, author, and interval training expert. Send me an email or text to (303) 880-4641. Mention “LinkedIn article” and I’ll send you today’s workout. Don’t look for a reason to train. Train for a Reason! #performance #danraabetraining #trainforareason


Form follows function. Logic follows concept. Less is more!

How is it that a coach can employ abstract thinking to the logical process of physical development? As it turns out, training is creative. Form-follows-function. If you consider skills in all areas of your life, the most productive will often require creativity.  Creative visualization is abstract. If the intent is to widen boundaries and affect outcomes, a coach (or a business person) must employ abstract thinking to take action along the desired path.

Form follows function

Coined by American architect Louis Sullivan, “form follows function” is intended to bring the inspiration closer to the result. If the purpose of a set of exercises is to build core strength and explosive power, the plan needs to consider the resistance, plyometric, and calisthenics modalities of the training.  But how about a business person who wants to develop better sales or presentation skills. They would seek out the best training modalities that will affect a change in their abilities. There is always a cocktail of choices that when used will lead to a functional result.

Logic follows concept

We can’t logically attribute this premise to any single person. Aristotle may be a plausible primary choice because he talked about inference. We train for a reason. The concept is to identify why you need strength, then commit to the time. Nothing subordinates a commitment. The logic puts training on our calendars, and the purpose is clear. We want to be stronger, and we know that a consistent practice of strength building is the only way we will succeed. How many of us make an appointment with a coach, or seminar series that will guide us to embellish our business skills? If you want to be better at anything, is it logical to seek professional training? Of course, it is. Finding a reason to train is not a concept. Finding reasons to do anything is a commitment not to commit.

Less is more

I discovered that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe coined this in 1947 to describe Minimalist design and architecture. We use the concept in all we do.  Imagine working out for an hour. It’s long, tiring and leads to limited benefits. We train for small wins that add up to beneficial outcomes. We do less in each gym session, but we do it very well.  Skills trump workout craziness every time.

Less is more allows the client to experience a skillful practice of exercise. How does this concept relate to your business? Maybe you see the advantage in serving a smaller segment of your market.  Or you take the opportunity to understand and employ the Pareto principle to your business – and fire the under-performing customers who waste your time.

Training, whether physical, career or life has to lead to action. You could find that a typical sales training may sound good, but there is a more significant win at less cost if you invest time in an improv group. You could get injured in an hour aerobics class, but twenty minutes of strength building with highly skilled exercises will serve to injury-proof you for any activity.

It has been a benefit for me in business to understand the value of the abstract. Before I became a coach, I was a commercial photographer. Every concept is abstract, even if it’s sketched out on paper. There is always the gray area between what we imagined and how we can deal with the physical world.

Form follows function, logic follows concept, and less is more offer us a moment to think things through. Do we see the solution if we remain on a trajectory? Are we meeting the clients where they currently reside? Do we guide people who understand the value of health, down a worn path, or do we look at their genuine desires and address issues of strength and performance creatively, with the simplest solution that produces the best outcome?

If you find yourself in the forties plus, career-centric, working-professional group you are my target audience. There is more to the performance discussion, and I’ll gladly share it with you. I am a speaker, author, and interval training, expert. Send me an email or text to (303) 880-4641. Mention “LinkedIn article,” and I’ll send you today’s workout. Don’t look for a reason to train. Train for a Reason! #performance #danraabetraining #trainforareason


Dan Raabe Performance - Train For A Reason - Gymnastics, Conditioning, Mental Strength, Tactics, Skilled Movement, Training


Start right! Finish ahead!

Start right. Finish ahead. Shift into first. Let out the commitment clutch. Listen to the roar of that race-tuned motivation-engine. Run through the gears. Each upshift represents a skill level acquired through coaching and consistent practice. Get your machine up to speed so you can maintain momentum without depleting energy. Focus on priority issues. Visualize the outcomes. Go deep with your knowledge. Stop for the flashing red lights in the rear-view mirror. Know your destination lies ahead and the path is worth the investment in time and effort.

Recently I bought a new Volvo. It’s a comfy car. There is no way the proletariat can understand how it works. It has a computer that controls everything but the driver. I go to park it in the garage on a hot day, and the fan is raging under the hood. It’s a hurricane force gale, and it won’t shut off. I call the service guy at the Volvo dealership and ask if something could be wrong with the car. The sultan of sarcasm immediately responds, “Dan, do you know what the most unread book in the world is? The Owner’s Manual.” It states that the cooling fan will run until the cows come home to protect the engine…”

I’m an adult. I could have looked up the information. It’s on page 12. How many of you have read the owner’s manual for training?  Do you know how train -for strength? Have you sought out the insights of experts when it comes to “what to do” to get in top condition? The training culture doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We are up to speed on training because we have to understand the science behind physiological development.

Strength training is holistic. You are about to develop mind, body, and soul further than you ever imagined. You’ll be training athletically. Why, because athletes can have it all and so can you.

Begin with the computer that runs you. Your brain. It is no secret your main-frame loves to exercise. It likes to send messages that develop proper movement. It loves to learn and experience. It enjoys the relationships you build and the stimulating input from the outside world. It loves the neurotransmitters and other chemicals that refresh its systems and higher functioning.

Your body with all its systems begs to be refreshed and stimulated. Work is the bane of our existence, and without a healthy dose of exhilarating physical exercise and learning how best to perform it, we’re just all too “normal.” Dump the myths you may hold about activity and what you may become if you engage. Proper training has always been science and creativity. It’s useful. We train because we want functional strength.

As you learn the basics and begin to acclimate to a higher level of activity, you will have a chance to schedule your training so that you can accomplish it multiple times weekly. Just be sure it’s a top three priority.

Here are three questions you might want to answer for yourself:

  1. How can I better organize my daily schedule?
  2. What do I expect from a coach?
  3. Am I willing to take steps to develop myself physically and mentally to be more dynamic, robust and healthy?

Lack of inspiration fuels abundant procrastination. Take all that you know about yourself. Write short sentences that honestly describe what kind of person you feel you are, and where you are athletically. Take a 50,000-foot view of where you are. Write some responses to the question in column one. There are people around you who may see you in an entirely different light. Be brave and ask them for an honest opinion of how they view you.

Record the responses in column two. In column three decide how you are going to close the gap. Remember you are training for yourself first. When your success in training begins to impact your outward appearance, habits, and perspectives you’ve started to cash in the paycheck that Train for a Reason creates. An inspired training program raises a motivated person. The best test outside the gym is to account for your efforts by planning and taking action. Motivation doesn’t fall from the sky. Create a visual image in your mind, words written on paper, or some other graphic representation of the goals you intend to build. We demonstrate each exercise for that day’s work, then pull out a stopwatch. The coach establishes the targets. The stopwatch focuses the mind. And the skills are the stewards that can put your mind and body where you want when you move.

Here’s your prescription for the right start:

  1. Why do you train?
  2. What is the current behavior that you want to change?
  3. What are you ready, willing and able to do to get to a measurable goal?

We have a blueprint for motivation. Answer the questions. Drill down to a level that hits your emotional launch button.

Sakichi Toyoda used the “5 Whys” to drill down to a solution to problems within Toyota’s manufacturing processes. Take it for your use. I did!

What keeps you up at night? Have you accomplished all your goals? Are you on the treadmill? Are your kids and family safer because you don’t train, or don’t exercise with the proper mental propellant? Are you going to be healthy enough to lead them into the future?

Utilize a seeker mentality. Curiosity never pales. Interest buffers the goals and aspirations of the active adult from the ravages of opinions, old beliefs, half-truths, and collective apathy of the information gatherers, and harmful “crap-ologists” around them. Seeking opens doors. Information is humbling. The curious mind is the place from which anyone with the burning desire to succeed can explode into action. Success needs work! Work it, because you are an “action person.”