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Hello all of my fitness freaks!
In today’s noisy world of the interwebs you can find evidence to either support or deny almost any piece of evidence. The quality of facts presented can be questionable at best and sometimes the information is completely false. As far as health and fitness goes, there is an epidemic of uneducated fitness wannabes spewing out whatever they can think of on their facebook live video at that moment.
You’ll hear things like, “I don’t recommend riding your bike, it takes too long to get your heart rate up”, as this “fitness guru” is sitting on a stationary bike as they say that. That is ridiculous. My point here is, how do you cut through the overwhelming amount of BS and find valuable information? How do you find sound advice vs. bad advice?
When somebody is consistently inconsistent, stating unfounded generalized useless “hacks”, or uses fitness buzz words to gain attention they are most likely full of it. The same goes for nutrition, never eat this food or that food if you want to lose body fat. That’s not how the body works; there isn’t one single food that can destroy all of your chances of losing those extra pounds forever. Physiologically it doesn’t add up, it’s all click bait.
I have studied in the field of health and fitness for years. I have my degree in exercise science with a minor in strength and conditioning. I work directly with clients and see the real life struggles they go through. I also see what brings success and what leads to failure. I am constantly consuming new information on both training and nutrition.
I see many impostors lying to people just to gain followers and it makes me angry. Somebody who understands behavioral change AND the science behind the exercise and nutrition methods can explain things in a way that do not seem complicated. A proficient educator will not try to shield their lack of knowledge with confusing terms and theories causing you to get lost. A proficient educator will make it as simple as possible to understand.
I am not saying that I am the most knowledgeable expert but, I do know I possess information that has helped people in the past. My goal is to help guide as many people as possible to success. I am going to tell you the 4 most common reasons I see people not getting the results they want.
These 4 reasons may seem simple, but that’s the best place to start, pick the lowest hanging fruit first! If this solves the issue you don’t need to worry about getting the best program, or which pair of shoes is best for you, or which supplement. Start with the basics, and always return to the basics! Here’s a quick overview of the 4:
1. Tracking food intake.
2. Getting clean sleep.
3. Prioritizing recovery.
4. Having defined goals.
1. Lack of tracking food intake.
My guess is most people have no idea how many calories they are taking in each day. I hear guys all the time saying they just can’t gain weight or they can’t build muscle. This simply means you are not eating enough food. If you THINK you’re eating as much food as you need but you’re not tracking your calories, you actually have no idea. You MUST track what you’re eating so you know if you are hitting the necessary amount of calories each day. If you can’t gain muscle you have to eat more.
You should know how many grams of carbohydrates are necessary for your training volume, how much protein you need to achieve your goals, and proper fat intake. There are other important factors relating to general health and body composition goals as well. This can be a daunting path to go down, but you must start if you’re not seeing the results you want.
You must know your basal metabolic rate as a baseline of calories needed to just keep your body functioning. Then decrease or increase calories consumed based on weight loss or weight gain goals. MyFitnessPal app is a fantastic tool I use to track daily intake. Start there and you’re on the path to success.
We offer a service of guiding you through the process of finding your macronutrient ratios, taking all of the stress of off you to figure out how much to eat of which macros each day. See the link below to learn more!
2. Getting adequate “clean” sleep.
What the heck is clean sleep? What I am referring to here is something called sleep hygiene. This is the quality of sleep you are getting and the environment in which you do so. You are not getting stronger while you are in the gym, you are getting stronger while you sleep and recover. This is the truth and you HAVE to get enough sleep in order to see results physically. To get clean sleep you have to prepare your bedroom for optimal sleeping conditions.
Your room needs to be completely black out dark when you’re sleeping. Even tiny lights from a smoke detector can interrupt sleep due to the photoreceptors on the skin that pick up light. The standby light on your TV is the same thing, I literally put small pieces of duct tape over the light to black it out. Put up black out curtains that do not all ow light in at all while you’re sleeping, you can get these at almost any major retail store that carries home products. If you increase the quality of sleep you’re getting, it will directly transfer to getting stronger and seeing results in and out of the gym.
3. Failure to prioritize recovery.
As I said before, you are getting stronger and allowing the side effects of exercise take effect when you are recovering. If you have serious goals of making gains in the gym, (building muscle, losing weight, getting stronger, increasing performance), then you need to have a recovery protocol in place as serious as your training program. Recovery not only includes recovering the musculoskeletal system, but managing the amount of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol levels will be raised by physical training, but levels can actually be raised more by just THINKING of a stressful situation while lying in bed.
So to truly push your limits you have to mentally recover as well. There are many different tactics you can use for mental stress relief and recovery. Some of the activities I include are yoga, getting a massage, hanging out with family and friends, going on a walk and listening to an audiobook or podcast, and finally my favorite is meditation.
Meditation is the most beneficial tactic I have been introduced to in my entire life. It is the activity that brings me the best return on my investment. During times of regular meditation I have lasting effects mentally AND physically from this practice. I am calmer, able to think clearly, I am more driven, productive, and creative. Last but not least I am HAPPIER! I enjoy all of the small things in life and I am able to relax and reduce stress levels dramatically.
There are fantastic apps out there such as, calm or headspace, to learn to meditate if you don’t know where to start. Try this from 20 minutes a day for 7 days straight and you’ll start to notice the benefits.
4. Having undefined goals.
One of the most important pieces of reaching any goal related to body composition or physical performance is clearly defined goals. You have to know exactly where you want to go in order to get there. Your goals will dictate what style of training you engage in, what your diet looks like and what kind of results you are going to see.
Understanding what you want the end result of your journey to be will allow you to work backwards from your goal. You will be able to implement all of the tools you need to achieve that end result if you work backwards from your goal to where you are now. You have to be chasing personal goals and aspirations to ensure that what you are doing makes sense and is getting you CLOSER to a well planned out goal.
If you lack clearly defined goals you run the risk of ending up just drifting along jumping from program to program, or fad diet to fad diet. Eventually all of it will seem tedious and you will forget why you are putting in all of this hard work, and at that point you break. You will lose motivation and completely give up.
In order to avoid this scenario it is time for you to WRITE DOWN, that part is important, your clearly defined plan or goals. Once you have them outlined it’s time to decide what steps to take next in order to start getting you closer to those goals. If you know you can’t do it alone immediately reach out for help from somebody who has the skills or knowledge to assist you on your journey to achieving success.
If you found this post interesting, useful, or entertaining please SHARE it with somebody you think could benefit from this information. I appreciate it a ton!!