So I have a whole bunch of information to get out to you guys over the next few days. After much hemming and hawing, writing and rewriting, I decided to start with a broad view and narrow down into specifics with later, more detailed articles. Therefore, we are going to start with some of the most common myths about fitness. I’ll just use that because that’s the goal for most of us here.
Fitness: Loosely defined
For the average Joe or Jane, fitness can mean many things. For the sake of argument (and sanity), we will describe fitness as a collection of attributes. Depending on your specific goals, those attributes will change. For instance, sports require very specific physical skills and attributes in order to not suck at them. Since this gym caters to regular folks who are sick of the health club scene, gimmicks, and sundry other bullshit, we’ll focus on YOU. So fitness for people who are not athletes, have lives, jobs, obligations, families, etc. simply boils down to: being lean, strong, physically capable, and looking good whilst doing it. Let’s break it down, shall we? Our recipe for the above is simple.
- Live right
- Lift heavy
- Break a sweat
- Have fun
Sounds easy eh? It is, but it isn’t.
- Live Right
This is where I get up on a pulpit and extol the virtues of taking care of your body and mind….Not really. By living right all I mean is eating clean and getting enough sleep. In addition to that, I would add conducting yourself in a manner that is congruent with your goals. Are you 32 years old, 30 pounds overweight and going out drinking every weekend, staying up late? Even though you are paying money for supplements and a gym membership? Give me your money so I can wipe my ass with it, as it will at least grant me some amusement and you get the same frustration… But seriously, you’re busting your ass in the gym. You’re motivated and (almost) dedicated. Results happen out of the gym. If you train hard, but don’t eat right or sleep enough, you’ll stay fat and end up broken, plateaued, and humiliated. Because there are girls warming up on squats with your max…
How do you it? Look, there are 100 different ways to eat that will get you where you want to go. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Carb cycling, intermittent fasting, paleo, bodybuilding style diets, etc. They all work, but you have to do it. If you take your nutrition half as serious as you do your training, you’ll be on the way. Remember the “Walmart Rule”. If someone riding a scooter at walmart would eat it, YOU SHOULDN’T!!!! In order to put this into practice, next time you are at the grocery store, when you bypass a lumbering beast glance into their cart. Do you see anything in their cart that you have? Get rid of it. What to eat in 1 sentence: Meat, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats, avoid sugar, booze, fried foods, and liquid calories, starches after workouts.
Scooter AND a mullet = completely failed at life
Finally, get enough sleep. Sleep is when your body repairs and rebuilds itself. Skimp on sleep, skimp on results. If you have kids, I can relate. Therefore, nutrition is even MORE IMPORTANT.
2. Lift Heavy
Squat, press, bench, deadlift, and row. Do it heavy, do it often. Overtraining? No such thing. Just under-eating and under-sleeping. Some days you’ll feel fresh, others you’ll feel freakin’ awesome. It’s par for the course. Practice the lifts with consistency, intensity, and proper form. If you don’t know how to squat or deadlift, find a coach that knows what the hell they’re talking about. If you’re too skinny, you need to lift weights. If you’re too fat, guess what? You need to lift weights. Do you have ovaries? You need to lift weights too. WHY????? Performing heavy compound movements triggers a powerful hormonal response in the body. The eustress (good stress) caused by appropriately heavy lifting causes the body to produce increased levels of testosterone and GH (growth hormone). In turn, this will help you to build muscle; building muscle gives your body a shape and appearance that won’t make a member of the opposite sex puke in their mouth. Finally, the more lean mass you have, the easier it is to burn stored body fat. Think of the muscle in your body as the engine in a car, and the fat you carry is the fuel tank. The bigger the engine, the better you can burn gas. While it sucks for cars, it’s good for people. This is also why people who lose a bunch of weight using only cardio end up getting fat once they inevitably quit… In other words, don’t be hapless layabout who doesn’t want to get too bulky, or only wants to tone up. You can’t tone fat, and don’t confuse “bulkiness” with “fatness”
Boob-job not included
Point made. Lift heavy, you get stronger, and being stronger makes everything easier. 3. Break a sweat A few times a week, do something hard. Intervals, circuits, finishers, WODs, whatever you want to call them. Conditioning workouts help to round it out, as most of you here do not aspire to be big fat power lifters, but rather well rounded human beings. Pick 2 or 3 exercises, and hit them hard for 5-10 minutes. We typically do these after our strength training sessions. Here’s an example, straight from one of our recent training sessions: Back Squats Standing military press Barbell Rows, supersetted with pushups Tabata Intervals swinging a sledgehammer (Tabata intervals are 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeated 8 times) Hitting a tractor tire with a sledgehammer. You can use calisthenics, dumbbells, barbells, and sandbags, whatever. Simplicity is the key here. Keep it short, intense, and fun. 4. Have fun So you’ve dedicated yourself to better health and fitness through a no-nonsense training program including proper nutrition, adequate sleep, heavy lifting, and solid conditioning. Now what? Pretty soon, you’ll start to develop an impressive array of skills and physical ability. Put it to good use in some sort of recreational pursuit. Learn new skills, such as handstand walking. Enter a lifting meet. Play sports, whether it be a local men’s/women’s league, pick up games. Try other cool things that take a degree of physical ability. Events like mud races, ballroom dancing, strongman, martial arts, you get the idea.
Yeah, it’s kind of like this…
When you make the decision to change your life for the better, you are taking a position of leadership. Your friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else in your circle of influence will begin to take notice. Whether it is your intention or not, it’s true. With 2/3 of the adult population in the United States overweight or obese, you now lead the way for others to change their life. While I have some strong opinions and come of as crass at times, it’s for good reason. It takes strength to peel an ass off a seat, especially one that has been firmly planted for a great deal of time. And sometimes, it takes strong words (that might sting a little bit). I don’t say these things to hurt people, I say it to motivate. The greatest compliment I could get is for someone to be so incensed by something I say that they get so mad as to do something for themselves in order to change their lot. Rant over. Train hard, eat well, and be happy.