Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fitness Essentials: Sifting Through Garbage To Find The Gold

        "It's not the daily increase, but the daily decrease. Hack away the unessential." - Bruce Lee 

  The world of fitness is a vast and confusing place. Every single day we're bombarded by countless new workout fads, "miracle supplements", and new pieces of fitness equipment that keep getting stranger and stranger. Seriously, have you seen those kangaroo boots? WTF?

                                                              Yep, these exist ... 

  It's not hard to see why so many people end up frustrated with a serious lack of results. After all, you're being hit with wave after wave of misinformation and contradicting points of view on a daily basis. "Trainer X" preaches a program that is in direct contradiction to  "Trainer Y". You read an article on how fats like butter are actually healthy for you, but your doctor is telling you to reduce your fat intake to help lower your cholesterol.How in hell are you ever going to get the results you want when you're not even sure where to start or what information to put into action?!

 My suggestion to those of you struggling with all of the "info" out there today is this ... stick to the basics and strip away the rest.

- Eat a lot of veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and other plant life

- Eat quality protein with each meal (chicken, beef, steak, pork, fish, eggs, duck, lamb etc.)

- Cook at home so you know what's going into your food

- Eat when you're hungry, stop before you're stuffed

- Avoid processed foods, grains, sugars, and deserts

- Drink lots of water. Avoid soda, fruit drinks, and too much juice.

- Keep alcohol to a moderate amount, avoid beer and stick with spirits mixed with soda water or water

- Always warm up before your workout.

- Stretch often.

- Workout, at least 3 times per week using resistance training. This can be your bodyweight or using weights. If you don't know how to use your bodyweight, check out "The Bodyweight Solution" for ideas and instruction.

- Base your workouts around total body, multi joint movements. It doesn't even need to be complicated. Make sure you're squatting, pulling, and pushing at the very least. There's multiple variations of these exercises you can use, choose a variation or weight that's tough for you. Which brings me to the next point ....

- Master a certain weight, or movement and then move on to a more advanced movement or weight. Try setting up your workout with your three basic movements (squat, pull, push) 3-4 sets, 8-10 reps, 60 seconds of rest between sets. Perform all the sets and reps for one exercise before moving onto the next exercise. Once you can do 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps without too much trouble, it's time to move onto a greater weight or harder bodyweight progression.

- Move quickly at least once a week. This means run sprints, jump rope, or do tabata intervals with burpees or battle ropes etc. Just make it short, and make it intense.

- Get quality sleep, rest, don't over train. Listen to your body, if you're tired or stressed just relax.

- Move often. This means walk places, take the stairs, hang from bars or sit in your squat position. Play sports, play with your kids, or play with your dog. Who cares! Just move.

  It's really that simple. The basics always remain true, and some of these would just seem like common sense ... something that's not always so "common" these days. No one got fat from eating real food, moving more often, challenging their strength, and avoiding shitty food. Keep it simple.

  If you want to get lean, build strength, improve your movement, and be healthier, just follow these basic guide lines. Everything else out there is icing on the cake, it's fluff, it's all adding onto these basics. Stick with your basics, and then develop on them. In time you'll be able to make your program as intricate/complicated or as basic as you like.

- Tim



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