Training

Keep It Simple


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Every nutritionist wants to claim that they have finally found the “5 easy steps” to fat loss and making people fit, and have they? I’ll let you answer that, just know that there are over 1 Million “New Releases” that come up when you search health and fitness on Amazon, and over 3,000 books on keeping resolutions and goals. How many failed crash diets and wasted emotional whims will it take to realize that there is no such thing as “easy steps”? I’m going to tell you the things that all the guys who want to make money won’t: you can reach your goals all by yourself, with no expensive seminars, no pills, no gimmicks.

If you have found your eyes moving down to this line, somewhere inside you agreed that achieving your goals will take a little hard work, and you’re ok with that. You have already made the first commitment, and that’s the hardest one. Unless you stay committed everything else I tell you won’t matter, there are tons of very knowledgeable obese people out there, what are they lacking: commitment. I will promise you that between today and achieving your goals is lots of sweat and hard work, if you can’t stay dedicated to your goals then stop reading.

Break the Habits:

The first thing you must do is set your goals and strategize, if you fail to plan, plan to fail. To arrive at your destination you must get the barriers out of the way. These are the bad habits you have accumulated along the way. Having a  breakfast strategy a habit will increase your chances of making healthy food choices throughout the day. The picture below shows a fast and simple breakfast. Adding some dark vegetables (I choose spinach,) to your breakfast routine will give your body a shot of vitamins like nothing else, pills included, I don’t care what anyone says.  Now, I know that everyone thinks you MUST eat breakfast in order to be healthy.  Upon waking you have numerous fat burning hormonal advantages that are arrested upon eating (for more on this research check out DangerouslyHardcore.com), some researchers believe that drinking coffee is the best breakfast one can have for fat burning.  The most important point here is to have a stragedy and know why you’re eating what you are.  Thinking that everyone should eat the same way is a huge mistake, different body types and different goals require different  eating stragedies (more on this later).

Another major enemy is the fast paced American lifestyle, you can’t change this so you must adapt our “On the Go” culture. Pick a day that you have some extra time, (mine is Sunday) and prepare food for the upcoming days. This will be hard at first, but soon it will become a habit, the kind you never want to break. Get some (I mean about 30) zip lock plastic containers and break your cooked foods into single servings so you can grab them on your way out the door. This will save you from those fast food eating binges and in car snacking. You don’t need to turn your new diet into rocket science, just start eating healthy (lots of veggies, some fruit, and lean meat) and try to eat food you cooked more often then not.

Get Off the Treadmill and Into a Circuit:

Now for exercise, you must plan for this aspect as well. If you think that I’m just going to recommend putting gym clothes in your car the night before and voila you’re fit two months later; you’re wrong. There will always be something begging for your time at this point in your day, you have to learn to give this weak impulse “the finger” and then get to work. The most physical aspect, exercise, turns out to be 85% mental, simply by consistently deciding to go into the gym you’ll be winning the battle. Now for the educational part, both men and women’s training mantras in America have problems. Ladies first, running on the treadmill at a medium pace for a half hour won’t get the job done. Steady state exercises, moving at a constant pace for an extended period of time, teaches your body to conserve calories so you can maintain the pace you’re at. You see the problem with this, calories need to be burned and consumed at the highest rate possible, so yes this means you will need to do something other than the Precor, sorry. Fellas, going in and doing 3×10 bench, 3×10 tricep pushdowns, 3×10 curls, and finishing off with some “ab stuff” won’t get your heart rate higher than a trip to the bathroom will. Nor will it increase your strength levels for that matter (increasing maximal strength is an entire other article in itself and you need to focus on getting healthy and fit before you start worrying about benching 400).

It’s called circuit training, no it’s not Taebo or Richard Simmons (that means there’s not some annoying dude shouting at you with awkwardly tight clothing and Crisco rubbed all over him), but it’s the best way to maximize every minute you’re in the gym. Pictures like the one below remind me why people hate going to the gym, and why you never need to pay guys like this to train you. Are you kidding me ThomasBunbury.com?

in the gym. Circuit training has been turned into a gimmick by many, but you don’t need to fall prey to their infomercials. The workout plan is basic, start your workout with 2 “heavy” movements, squats, bench, kettlebell deadlifts (women), etc., something that you can only do 5 reps of. Do this for three sets then on the fourth do as many as you can, this will recruit a higher percentage of muscle fibers that will carry through your entire workout, and create oxygen debt (heavy breathing) which increases your metabolic rate (fat burn). After these two heavy sets finish the workout with 3 high rep, low resistance circuits that have a leg (lunges, squat jumps, 30 sec high intensity treadmill), upper body (renegade push ups, pull ups, shoulder combos), and abdominal aspect to them.  My favorite are barbell circuits, choose 5 exercises and do 10 reps with a barbell, keep your time under 60 seconds. Rest 90 seconds- 3 minutes based on your level of conditioning. Because you are working different body parts you can work harder at each exercise without needing rest, this varied exercise approach will also continuously shock the body (anti steady state), each of these aspects result in high rates of caloric expenditure and muscle growth/tone. Women will predominately use body weight because they want to tone, men use a weight you can do approximately 12 reps with, this will incorporate muscle definition as time goes on.

Recovery:

Leave the gym feeling good, you don’t need to be mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted every time you leave the gym to get results. If you kill yourself every time you’re in the gym you will only dread coming back, and then we get into the vicious mind game again. Go to the gym, work hard, be consistent, and you will achieve your goals. Like I said before, not rocket science. Spend some time stretching at the end of you’re your day, this isn’t high on the testosterone meter but stretching aids in muscle repair and will reduce the cortisol (a stress hormone) that your body released when working out. Cortisol turns into fat, lowers immune system efficiency, and promotes restlessness when sleeping. Again, we have made ourselves back to food, your diet is the most important aspect in actually making your body look like you exercise. Food is crucial in fueling your body, and is the thing that will allow you to recover from your last workout and get you ready for your next one.

Morphing Your Diet:

Getting informed is so important, I’m not going to bombarded you with little food factoids, there’s enough people doing that. You need to know your body, what works for you, and what healthy food types fit into your schedule. Again, with dieting it’s all about creating habits and routines. Basic macronutrient overview, carbs give you energy in the form of glucose, if not used they are stored as fat. Protein rebuilds muscles, and the amino acids are the building blocks for DNA, cell replication and communication, and fats improve organ functionality, vitamin absorption, and have been shown to balance hormones level. Avoiding fats can be as dangerous as having too many, so find your favorite unsaturated source (fish, flax seed, avocados, almonds) and eat it. There are three basic body types, ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph; what body category you fit into will give you a guideas to the percentage breakdown of carbs, proteins, and fats your diet should have. These body types are shown below:

Identifying what body type and bone structure you are will guide you in macronutrient needs, Endomorphs operate better on fats than their ectomorphic counterparts.

The thing to keep in mind when determining your body type is not to base it off of how you look in the mirror right now, it’s your bone structure and overall density. Ectomorphs have small bone structures, high basal metabolic rates, and high sensitivity to stress responses (adrenaline, epinephrine, etc). These are the distance runner type frames and their diet needs to comprise of 55% carbs, 30% proteins, 15% fats, vegetable and fruits should be in 3:1 serving ratio. Carbs can be eaten with any meal and post workout (<3 hours) meals need to be made up of high complex carbs.

Endomorphs have large bone structures, they typically have broad shoulders compared to hip width. They are very sensitive to insulin, which is released in response to carb intake, this can lead to weight gain if the diet is not well managed due to glucose being stored in adipose tissue. Endomorphic macronutrient breakdown is 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fats. Carbs should only be eaten during and <2 hours after exercise. The rest of the day should be steady lean protein sources (fish, protein shakes, turkey, eggs, chicken) and unsaturated fats. Vegetables should be a major aspect of every meal and should be in a 5:1 serving ratio with fruits. A very important aspect of vegetables is that they have usable carbohydrates but are so packed with fiber that they won’t make your insulin go crazy. Adding more veggies into your diet will control cravings and balance hormone levels throughout the day.

Being an Ectomorph doesn’t mean that you will always be skinny no matter what, nor does being an Endomorph mean that you are destined to be overweight. My 300 lb. business partner, Chad Smith is most certainly an Endomorph, does this mean he’s fat and can’t control his weight? I’ll let you decide.

Mesomorphs have a medium bone structure, they are dominated by testosterone andgrowth hormone. Many athletes you see on TV and want to look like are mesomorphs, they can gain lean muscle mass and maintain a lower body fat percentage easier than most. These types can have a diet comprising of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 30% fats, and a 3:1 vegetable to fruit ratio. Yes these types have it easier than most, if you’re not a mesomorph, join the club and start eating right so you can be confused as one. The most important thing is that you identify your body type and diet towards that. Find foods that you like and fit into the nutritional parameters outlined above, its on you now to carry through.

Recap:

Remember, if someone is telling you getting fit and healthy is easy, anticipate a sales pitch to soon follow. Get healthy as a result of knowledge, not fear. Break the habits that are keeping you from eating and exercising, you have an hour every week to prepare food I don’t care what your excuses are. Work out, just do it, if you can’t make it to a gym then do body weight circuits in your living room. Determine your body type and start dieting, food is fuel, not a hobby. Set realistic goals and commit to them, success is simply a series of choices with the same destination in mind.  Keep it simple and watch the results happen.

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