Monday, April 16, 2012

Keeping Things Simple - Your Success Guide That Yields BIG Results

A couple months back, I was in church listening to my pastor speak about his shopping adventure for a mobile phone for his father-in-law. He stated that his father-in-law had never owned a mobile phone and that this was a defining moment for getting him a new smartphone while bringing him up to speed in the tech world.

Once the phone was purchased, my pastor was so excited that he was anxious to show his father-in-law all of the newest & latest features that his new phone contained - email, internet, Facebook, Twitter, games, and various apps. Despite having one of the best phones on the market with all the 'bells & whistles', my pastor's father-in-law asked him the ultimate question -

All I want to know is how do I make a phone call?! I could care less about all that other stuff!"

After hearing this story, the wheels in my head started to spin. I thought about the same "bells & whistles" approach that many take with their fitness & nutrition program.

In a quest to build muscle and minimize body fat, many seek the most current, cutting edge info based on trends, protocols and methodologies within the health & fitness world. However, there's so much info out there that many people tend to ingest what they feel may give them the advantage in seeing better & faster results which often times to leads to an overwhelming feeling of frustration - all due to information overload. Many people simply try to do too much too soon with very little results to show for their efforts.

Well, I'm here to make things easy for you and cut through all of the B.S. - 'bad stuff'. I know many folks have spent countless hours and lots of hard earned cash from everything to supplements, weight loss systems, workouts videos and DVD's, etc.

Don't get me wrong, not all products out on the market are bad but the majority of them can definitely leave someone scratching their head wondering if whatever they bought will promise them the results they're looking for.

There are a few things that you MUST make sure are in good order if you plan to see any kind of results. But first, you need to understand that in regards to physical training & exercise, no matter how long or how hard you train, you will never see any results if you have bad nutritonal habits and practices. In other words, you can never out-train a bad diet.

Also, if your lifestyle is not in alignment with your goals, you're going to have issues and continue to struggle to see any noticable results. I'm talking about things like missing workouts, staying out too late partying with friends, hanging out with people who don't support your healthy lifestyle, not getting enough recovery, making poor food choices, etc.

So how can we make things simple in order to see BIG, awesome, postive results you ask? Well, let's dive right in and show you how.

Here's what I call "Your Success Guide For Keeping Things Simple That Yields BIG Results".

Get Your Mind Right

My good friend, colleague and former college classmate Todd Durkin, CSCS - founder of Fitness Quest 10, always talks about "getting your mind right". Simply put, this entails the ability in obtaining mental toughness and having a driving purpose that's bigger than just you. It's about striving for significance and having the faith & belief in yourself that you can and will achieve much more rather than settling to the perceived limitations that so many set for themselves.

Getting your mind right allows you to shift your phsyche to believe that anything is possible and attainable. Through hard work, dedication and putting your time in, anything you strive to accomplish will be within reach as long as you continue to progress linearly in an upward state. Not only that, but your positive mindset will also resonate to those around you as they feed & thrive off your 'energy of greatness'!

Eat Clean - Eat For A Purpose

If you want to see any kind of weight loss or fat loss results, it all comes down to the things we put in our mouths. Quite frankly, if you eat like crap, you'll not only perform crappy but you'll look like it too!

Piggy-backing from what I mentioned above about "getting your mind right", I know many people struggle with nutrition due to stress in their lives and often times make poor nutritional choices out of instinct and emotion. They eat out of comfort to relieve their stress but can't quite connect "two-and-two" together as to why they gain weight, feel de-energized & sluggish, sleep poorly, and so on.

Start by slowly taking the approach to change 1 or 2  things in your diet and start creating better habits until they become part of your everyday lifestyle. Once you've mastered these habits, work on the next 1 or 2 things the same way. Before you know it, you're eating great, losing weight and feeling awesome.

Eat for the purpose of fuel....not pleasure!

So what does a clean eating plan look like? For starters, it's about eliminating or minimizing the junk - anything processed that comes in bags & boxes. They also includes things like cookies, pastries, candy, soda pop, sugar and so on an so forth - you get the picture. Instead choose foods like:
  • Organic lean meats, poultry, fish, shellfish
  • Cage-free, omega-3 eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Healthy fats - olive & coconut oils, nuts, nut butters, avocados
  • Moderate fruits
  • Water, zero calorie beverages, caffeine-free herbal teas
Eat for the purpose of staying lean and for the ability to physically peform at an optimal level. Doing so will not only make you lean down and look great, but your body will become stronger and more powerful.

Lift Heavy Weights

To increase strength, me must “load” our mucles with some type of resistance - preferably heavy loads. It matters little whether the resistance is applied to a muscle via machines, barbells, dumbbells, stretch cords, bricks, or even other human beings. This loading of a muscle is referred to as the Overload Principle. This principle states that, for a muscle to increase in strength, it must be stressed or overloaded, with a workout that is beyond its present capacity. Also, the load or resistance must be made progressively more challenging over time for strength to continue increasing.

By forcing more muscle fiber activation, you strengthen bones, connective tissues, tendons and ligaments which can protect the body against injury. You can also enhance the activities of daily life by reinforcing balance, proprioception and stability all due to lifting heavy weights.

The ultimate benefit about heavy lifting is that you increase lean muscle which has a direct impact on resting metabolism. In other words, for every pound of lean muscle gained, you burn an additional 35-40 calories per hour at rest. Fat on the other hand only burn about 5 calories.

Check out "The Big 7" for a list of exercises that I consider are the most important lifts.

Get Your Lifesytyle In Check

Here's the deal - if your lifestyle is jacked up in terms of sleep habits (getting about 2-4 hours per night), excessive socialization (going out and staying out late numerous day/nights during the week), missing workouts, elevated stress levels, poor decision making skills, etc., then you must take the time to analyze these things in order to create balance and linear progression of advancement.

For example, if I'm only getting 2-4 hours of sleep each night, I may need to re-work some things in my schedule that will allow me to get to bed at a descent hour. The same goes with missing workouts - having the flexibility and opportunity to notate workout times in my schedule the same way I would for other appointments and commitments. Doing so will not only reassure you that you must get your workouts in, but it will also make you accountable in making sure that it happens.

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Just like all things in life, if the plan is to obtain better things, get a better paying job, ask the girl of your dreams out on a date, speak to a group of 100 people, we must get out of our comfort zone to reap the rewards of growth, opportunity and advancement.

The same goes with all things related to fitness & nutrition. If the goal is improve athletic performance, boost metabolism, get leaner, stronger, and/or faster, we must take our training to the next level to see any kind of change. Doing so will never be easy, but the results will be BIG! All of these things will require that we implement some form of training that will encompass the "Progressive Overload" principle - where we must do a little more or do a little better than before.

If we keep doing the same things, at the same levels and loads, how would we ever expect to get better and see results? It just doesn't work no matter how much time and energy we put forth. Sadly, many people fall vicitim to this approach since they either haven't been taught otherwise or they just don't care to change as they'd rather be in their comfort zone.

The way I like to put it is if you want to see any kind of change for the better, you need to create change and get comfortable with getting uncomfortable!

All in all, it all comes down to these basic principles:

  • Get your mind right
  • Eat clean
  • Lift heavy
  • Train hard and out of your comfort zone
  • Get some sleep/recovery
  • Repeat
  • See RESULTS!

I hope that you find value in the principles that I mentioned above and apply it to your "Life, Health & Wellness" as you see fit.

Time to get to it!


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