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17 Things About Training, Nutrition & Life

January 1, 2018

To bring in the New Year, and say goodbye to 2017, I wrote a blog post! Here are 17 things about training & recovery, 17 things about diet & nutrition & 17 things about life and business! Enjoy!

17 Things About Training And Recovery

1] It’s always a good idea to put muscle on

Muscle looks better at almost any body fat percentage than not having it.

Muscle helps performance goals, like doing a chin up or deadlifting a dump truck

Muscle improves cardio performance, making you a faster runner, cyclist, or whatever the rage is these days

Muscle demands calories, which means you can justify eating a little more without affecting your body composition

Muscle can improve bone density, hormonal function, and sleep quality.

2] Quit Hitting the Pause Button on Training

If you’re telling yourself, “I’ll get back into shape when I have time”, you have the pause button mentality. Life has no pause button. There’s never going to be a moment when things are easier.

Time will still pass. Bills will still pile up. And your fitness & health may still be lacking because you’ve fallen under the illusion of a “better time” some time in the distant, fantasy-filled future.

3] It’s okay to train to look better

No matter what anyone tells you, it’s absolutely okay to workout because you want to look better naked.

4] Take cold showers for better recovery:

If you know me you know I detest feeling cold. But I have started taking cold showers or at least running the cold water at the end and I feel like it has been helping out my recovery and joints.

5] Stop doing isolation-routines until you develop an appreciable amount of strength

If you’re working on your “lagging biceps”, but you can’t even do 8 pull ups with good form your priorities are off.

First of all, if that’s the case you are still weak & need to get stronger overall. Second of all, body part specialisation has its place, but it’s always the ones who need it the least who are doing it. Worry about body part specialisation after you achieve some major strength goalposts. Until then, body part specialisation is a distraction that will interfere with your development as a whole.

Lastly come back to me and tell me your biceps & shoulders are lagging once you have reached these strength goalposts. You might feel a bit different about things then.

Generally speaking, people have no business contemplating specialisation or isolation-routines for “lagging body parts” until they achieve two out of the following four goals: bench press 1.5 x body weight (for men), 1x bodyweight for women, pull up 1.5 x body weight or bodyweight for women, squat 2 x body weight or 1.5 x bodyweight for women or deadlift 2.5 x body weight or 2 x bodyweight for women. Get overall strong first. Seriously. All the isolation & specialisation work won’t do shit until you have a solid base of strength.

6] Deadlifts are poorly suited to a high training frequency.

I’ve never derived any benefit from training the lift heavy more than once or twice per week, and even twice a week is pushing it in terms of recovery. Generally speaking, I’ve had my best deadlift-sessions while training the lift no more than once a week or once a fortnight. Squats are a different story, I like a higher training frequency for squats. It might not be the same for everyone but from my experience deadlifts don’t need high frequency.

7] Be OK with awkwardness when learning a new skill or exercise.

When you start learning any physical activity you have to go through the awkward stage.  And if you want to be at a more advanced level, the awkward stages never stop coming.  Learn to be at peace with feeling clumsy because the awkward stage is a necessary first step. For me with sprinting, the warm up drills felt so awkward and I hated them, but it’s necessary for improving & it does get better.

8] Use all the rep ranges.  

Don’t be stuck in only using small rep ranges. There’s gold in all ranges including sets of 15-20 reps.

Achieve the feeling of "flow" in your training: Physical activity is a great precursor to the flow state a period in time in which one becomes so completely involved in an activity that all other thoughts and emotions – are excluded from your consciousness.  Learn to trigger this state with less effort. This is really good for the mind and the body.

9] You don’t need to de-load or take a week off every time you have a bad workout.

Bad workouts are part of the journey and don't mean anything is necessarily wrong.

10] You never master form & technique.

Keep working on it.

11] You build muscle and make gains when you are resting, not during training

Part of the “art” of a perfect training routine is the ability to design your program in such a manner that it provides a sufficient training stimulus to induce positive physiological changes without exceeding your body’s capacity to safely adapt to that stimulus. In other words, you need to achieve an appropriate balance between training and recovery. More is not always better. If you can’t recover from it you are doing more harm than good.

12] Which workout program is best?

The one that most motivates you to train.

13] You won’t lose muscle or strength if you take a week or two off from the gym.

It takes a while to build muscle, and it doesn’t just disappear the second you stop lifting. Take more than three weeks off, though, and you will probably lose some strength and muscle. The good news is that once you start lifting again, you’ll gain muscle in less time than it took to build it in the first place. Fitness you’ll lose quicker, but you can also gain it quicker than muscle & strength.

14] The slowing of gains is normal as you get more advanced.

It doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong.

15] Don't overwork your arms if you aren’t accustomed to high volume.

This is a fast track to tendonitis, tennis elbow and golfers elbow. Gradually increase volume.

16] Train better, not longer

If you can't get in a quality workout in within 60 to 75 minutes, you have no business working out for longer.

17] If your training and diet are causing you to burn up muscle tissue then you're not getting leaner, you're just getting smaller. 

And your metabolism is going to be slower as a result. Build or retain muscle, always.

17 Things About Nutrition & Diet

1] Eat more lean protein

Trust me on this one. Just do it.

2] It’s much easier to over consume calories than it is to burn them off.

When it comes to fat loss, diet rules over exercise. Get your diet right first and foremost. Exercise should be more for building muscle than burning fat. Having more muscle will help out your fat loss in the long run.

3] If your weight is bothering you, lose the fat so you can move on with other goals.

Stop tip-toeing around the issue.

4] Instead of eating the “clean” version just eat a small amount of the real thing and leave it there

If you are craving a dessert eating the fake “diet” version of the real thing tends to leave you unsatisfied, hungry, and not feeling any healthier than before, because let’s be honest, they don’t taste even remotely similar & are generally still chock full of calories & sugar (just labelled as “organic honey” instead of plain ol' sugar). Instead try eating a smaller portion of the stuff you really want. It will leave you so much more satisfied.

5] Nutritional supplements aren't magic

But that doesn't mean they are useless.

6] Start conservatively with your fat loss efforts.

Diets that work long term don't make you feel like crap. If yours does then you've gone overboard and you won't be able to maintain it.

7] Using veggies to add volume to your diet when you are trying to lose fat is a wise, healthy idea.  

If you’re eating less calories to lose fat, adding in extra veggies will add more volume without adding more calories and will help you feel full & keep the hunger at bay.

8] Change your diet if it's not working.

If you've become so steeped in the culture of your particular diet, i.e. ketogenic, paleo, isogenix, etc etc. that you continue to use it even when it stops working, then you are being a follower. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again & expecting a different result. Change what is not working.

9] Fat loss is difficult. Accept that.

It’s not easy. It’s never going to be easy. There’s no quick fix. In this day and age we have gotten softer. With all the “love yourself as you are”, “being hungry is triggering me” it’s gotten to the point where people think that something is wrong if something is hard and painful or a bit of struggle.

But hard & painful doesn’t = bad for you or emotionally and psychologically damaging.

For example, if you are hungry because you are trying to lose weight, that hunger is an inherently negative feeling, yes. However, this negative feeling does not need to automatically necessitate harmful action such as binge eating.

You’re hungry sometimes, it fucking sucks. But you are doing it for a reason. You have a goal in mind.

You aren’t 2 years old. You can do hard things.

Acceptance means opening up and making room for those uncomfortable feelings, sensations, urges, and emotions. We drop the struggle with them, give them some breathing space, and allow them to be as they are. Instead of fighting them, resisting them, running from them, or getting overwhelmed by them, we open up to them and let them be. Knowing that with no struggle there is no success.

10] If you can differentiate between a craving and hunger then you’re well on your way to diet success.  

If you can do that even when stressed out, even better.  Cause that’s tough.

11] For health purposes & getting enough nutrients try to make 80% of your diet consist of nutritionally dense/non processed foods.

If you can stick to that you as best as possible you will have your bases covered when it comes to getting enough nutrients.

12] If you regularly drink alcohol, changing nothing but your alcohol intake can help you lose fat

Just because wine bottles aren't labelled with nutrition facts doesn't mean those calories don't count, they add up fast.

13] Eating “healthy” paleo and gluten free versions of desserts, snacks etc. doesn’t make them any less fattening:

More often than not, these fake health foods are just appetite-inducing sugar bombs.

Sugar is listed under a ton of different names and they all do about the same thing in the body, even healthy sounding ones like coconut crystals and organic agave nectar syrup.

The other problem is that because these desserts and snacks appear healthy, they're easier to rationalise eating in excess.

14] Before asking someone with an enviable physique what their nutrition and training plan is, ask them how long they’ve been at it.

Tells you A WHOLE lot more.

15] Remember, a physique isn’t made or broken with one meal or one single food

Or in a day, a week or even a month. Consistency rules.

16] Occasional overindulgence won’t be such a big deal if you seek to gain rather than to lose

Hypertrophy is about growth, not restriction, and that change in thinking frees you from the constant cycle of trying to eat like a mouse all the time & then falling off the wagon.

17] Gluten isn’t making you fat

Neither are sugars or genetically modified foods. For most people, the real problem is the quantity of whatever food it's trendy to hate on, not the actual  food itself. If you really want to lose fat, there's something else you should avoid: overeating.

17 Things About Business & Life

1] Know your numbers:

I am naturally not a “maths” person but learning my numbers made a huge difference in my business this year!

 2] You have to spend money to make money!

This was suuuuuuch a tough lesson for me this year. If you want to start treating your business like, well…a business and not a hobby you’ll eventually have to spend some money on it. It’s gonna be hard to do but it’s important.

3] Everything we do for enjoyment does not have to be labeled as “self care”

Can 2018 be the year we stop labeling every activity we enjoy as pretentious "self-care," because it's okay to just be a human being who enjoys things and we don't have to justify it.

This increasing cultural impulse to label every indulgence or moment of fun with “Because I deserve this” rather than “This is just a nice little part of life” feels very unhealthy.

Everyone “deserves” joy, we don't need to justify it or explain that to anyone.

4] Do things that are “uncool” if you like them

Later on, they usually end up becoming cool anyway.

5] Get used to feeling stupid when learning something new or getting out of your comfort zone.

It’s a sign of growth.

6] Never allow yourself to be bullied into silence.

Speak up. Tell the truth. You don’t need to be an asshole, but the world does not need another conflict-avoidant, evasive person. No one wants another individual who steps in line with everyone else. The status quo is doing fine without you, so it’s up to you to call out bullshit if you see it. Be kind to people, but stand up for yourself when needed.

7] Those who don’t give a fuck what people think change the world. The rest do not.

People are judging you all the time. Yes, it’s really happening right at this moment. Some people don’t like you, and guess what? There’s nothing you can do about it. No amount of coercion, bullshitting or pandering to their interests will help. In fact, the opposite is often true; the more you stand for something, the more they respect you, whether it’s grudgingly or not.

You don’t need everyone to like you. Check this out: when people don’t like you, nothing actually happens. The world does not end. You don’t feel them breathing down your neck. In fact, the more you ignore them and just go about your business, the better off you are.

The past year I have learned to truly & actually not give a fuck. And not giving a fuck is actually a necessary precedent to create a good life for yourself. It can’t happen without it. That’s why you have to begin today.

8] The sum of the little things matter much more than the big things:

I remember watching an interview with Mark Zuckerberg’s college roommate. The interviewer asked him what it felt like to be part of Facebook’s “overnight success.” His answer was something like this, “If by ‘overnight success’ you mean staying up and coding all night, every night for six years straight, then it felt really tiring and stressful.”

We have a propensity to assume things just happen as they are. When we look at someone successful from an outside perspective we tend to only see the result of things and not the arduous process (and all of the failures) that went into producing the result.

It’s good to dream big but it’s important to remind ourselves that reaching those big goals and dreams will actually be composed of hundreds and thousands of daily small things that must be silently and unceremoniously maintained over long periods of time with little fanfare. Welcome to life.

9] Be more aggressive in your decisions.

Just make a choice and go. Stop being so scared of failure.

10] It takes time to grow an online business

Most people don’t get to experience the relatively “easier” side of online business, earned once you’ve created a body of work, stayed consistent for long enough and helped enough people, that your work can speak for itself. Most people don’t get to experience that time when enough trust has been built that generating leads is easier, writing is easier, creating products and services is easier, selling is easier, because you've got more traction organically, and this is not something that can be "bought" or rushed. Organic growth online takes time, & that's the problem with people trying to fast-track everything these days and build a business in 3 months. Sure it might look like they have boomed as there are a lot of ways to cheat the system when it comes to getting new followers and likes, but the depth that comes with an organic reach won't be there & that is something that can't be bought or rushed. Most people don’t get to experience the awesomeness that comes with online business's when you stay the course because they give up during the grind, years 1 to 3. You gotta stick at it during those first few years!

11] Don’t take anything personally, ever.

There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally. Easier said than done but it’s really true. 95% of the time, the problems you think people have with you, aren’t even about you, they’re about them.

12] Tackle your most important jobs first each day

Contrary to how most people work through their day, I actually found that tackling your most important and difficult tasks first in the day, leaving less important ones for later is the key to having productive days. I’ve found that if I tackle my most difficult tasks first, then the rest of the day just doesn’t seem as difficult, because it really isn’t.

13] The older I get, the less I allow my time to be wasted.  

I see my life as a long list of unchecked to-dos, and every passing month seems to whiz by like a week or even a day. So my apologies if I don’t take your bait to get involved in your drama or negatvitiy.

14] Never read online negative comments twice. Just hit the delete button:

As well as that, don’t look at your unsubscribes, un-likes or un-follows. It will just stress the shit out of you. Not everyone will want to follow you or continue following you & they will have their own reasons. But they aren’t your people or your customers. Focus on those who stick around and continue giving them value and doing you!

And as far haters and trolls, there's nothing more satisfying than using the delete button.

15] People who show up surpass 90% of everyone else.

Why? Because they keep showing up. They may not be the most talented or naturally gifted but they get further because they’re relentless.

16] Ideas and goals are useless without action.

There comes a point when you can’t be coddled or spoon-fed anymore. You have to take the scary risks yourself & go at it alone. True mastery only comes from having to fight certain battles on your own. You can’t replicate experience in any area of life. It’s a byproduct of taking full accountability for your actions, being brave and putting yourself and your work out there day after day.

17] You have a say in EVERYTHING that happens in your life.

Take 100% responsibility for everything. Ownership brings options.

And that's a wrap!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!

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