Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rules for Results

Results don’t come easy! 

They come at a price. 

A price that many might not fully comprehend or think through until they take the plunge and submerge themselves into the health & fitness lifestyle to create the change (or 'upgrade' as I like to call it) that they’re looking for. Whether that change is weight loss, building lean muscle, improving energy system output, or just looking & feeling better, change is inevitable and must not be taken lightly.

The process of creating change also comes at a price depending on the level of commitment and consistency that one is willing to put forth. It won’t come easy, but it’s a must do if you plan to transform – in mind and body!

In other words, you have to be willing to put in the work to attain the desired results! Period!

Change is one of the hardest things that most people will struggle with. I remember when I'd meet new comers who would come and visit the gym for the first time. I'd explain what they could expect during their intro sessions as well as how they could truly benefit from a great workout without using certain pieces of fitness equipment that they were probably familiar with - treadmills, Stairmasters, recumbent bikes, ellipticals, the list goes on. I’d be willing to bet they'd probably wonder how in the world they expect get a great workout without using any of the items mentioned. In addition to this, I'd encounter those who would be adamant about doing away with their 45-60 minute cardio session(s). Walk into any ‘big box gym’ and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Don't get things twisted as I don’t despise the use of “fitness equipment” or lengthy cardio sessions at all. They all have their place. I just have a different perspective, philosophy & approach on how to obtain the best results possible with the least amount of equipment in the half the time that most people are use to spending in the gym.

Have you ever tried doing a full body workout using nothing but bodyweight exercises?

What if you didn't have access to a gym?

Or maybe couldn't utilize any fitness equipment of any kind?

What then? What options do you have? 

The point is this – it’s not the tools or the equipment that makes that workout effective….but rather the coaching! 

The coaching methods that I incorporate involve a progressive model by training our bodies the way we’re designed to move - pain free, multi-directional, compound movements. These ‘movements’ involve the pillars of human movement: 
  • Push/Pull 
  • Rotation
  • Hip/Knee Dominant - i.e., Squat, Hinge
  • Locomotion
  • Core Activation/Stabilization
  • Explosive - high-intensity interval training (HIIT) activities that jack up the heart rate & burn calories for hours post-workout.
So, is this what it takes to see RESULTS?

Yes and no. You see, training alone isn’t going to cut it if you plan to unveil that beach body come summer time. Not even close! The one thing, and probably the most important aspect of any personal health & fitness program is to get your mind right. You have to be mentally prepared to commit to the health & fitness lifestyle. Being mentally prepared means that you’ve made the decision to change your current situation in order to create a better one.

Aside from the mental preparation, here are some additional strategies that I use and believe in which I know will help you get closer to your personal health & fitness goals. 

#1 - Create and setup an environment & lifestyle for success – Your environment is more than just your home and your work place. It encompasses everything that surrounds you – from the places you go and see to the people you associate with.

The ideal lifestyle is one that allows nothing but positive influences to impact your life to a greater degree. If negativity is within your vicinity, how will you turn it around to create a positive disposition? This may entail that you remove yourself from the toxicity or possibly make some tough decisions to remove those who disburse negativity. Like I said, this won’t be easy….but it might be a necessity if you plan to become a better version of yourself.

Always ask yourself this question, which is applicable to just about every facet of your life – “Are the choices and decisions that I’m currently making getting me closer or further away to my goals?” Do that and you’ll get an appropriate answer each time you do.

#2 - Making optimal nutrition choices that align with your goals and creating habits that compliment them – This is one key factor that will take precedence before physical activity & exercise if you plan to transform physiologically. No matter what, you'll never be able to out train a bad diet. Period! I don’t care hard or how long you workout for, thinking that you can just eat whatever you want isn't going to deliver the goods to see results! This is like taking one step forward and two steps back - you’re never going to get ahead!

Keep in mind that not all calories are created the same. Let’s say you ate 220 calories worth of a pack of plain M&M’s (which is the actual calorie count), which is nothing but empty calories with no nutritional value. Compare those 220 calories with 4 oz. of grilled chicken breast & 1 cup of green beans. Now we’re talking about a protein-rich low carb meal that’s better for me and is aligned with my fat loss goals. I don’t know about you, but if I’m hungry I know that the M&M’s isn’t going to cut it. Plus with all that sugar, I’d be in a feeding frenzy as I wouldn’t feel satiated while eating more calories than I need.

The things you need to know about optimal nutrition aren’t complicated.

First, learn to read nutrition labels. Check out the total calories and the serving size for the product of choice. Check out the contents and nutrient totals for protein, carbs, sugars, fiber and fat. However, consider that fact that 'real food' doesn't contain food labels.  

Second, shop around the perimeter of the supermarket. This is where you’ll find the freshest & natural 'real foods' - meats, fish, produce/veggies, eggs, yogurt, fruit, etc. The only thing you should ever shop for in the aisles should be healthy fats, like olive or coconut oils, nuts & seeds, as well as frozen veggies, & fruits and herbal teas. Everything else should be off limits.

Third, stick with whole, clean foods – lean proteins, veggies, some fruits, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive & coconut oil, yams, sweet potatoes, etc.

Fourth, make sure you hydrate with zero calorie beverages with the preferred being water and non-caffeinated herbal tea.

Finally, allow yourself one day to eat what you want without over doing it. This doesn’t mean to eat the poorest quality food all day, but do allow yourself to have a little of your favorite treat. Just make sure that you understand that this is only allowed 1x per week. Not every day….as most people do!

#3 - Exercising & training are key components that tie it all together – As I mentioned earlier, we must train the way our bodies were designed to move. Plainly put, our bodies were designed to move even when under load and tension. Not to sit around all day and do nothing. We all know what happens when we don’t do any form of movement - we decrease our metabolism and increase our chances of putting on unwanted body fat thus yielding an increase in our waistlines and decreasing our overall health.

A great way to start is with a progressive approach by using body weight exercise variations, then moving on to external loaded exercises using tools like the TRX suspension trainer, kettlebells, sandbags/sandbells, dumbbells, ropes, bands, plyo boxes, Dyna-balls, etc. The list goes on. 

The goal is to not only challenge you, but to also throw in the fun factor into your training program by providing variations of sorts that allows for pain-free multi-directional movement. I find that this will keep you engaged (preventing boredom) and challenged all in one.

The end result will be a stronger, leaner and better version of you!