What is better, private training or group fitness? There are many factors that determine which is best..
Don't wait until January 1 to get started with fitness. Too many guys burn out after a month because they go from 1 to 100 without any thought on how to build sustainable habits.
Back when I was starting out writing on the interwebs some 5 years ago, I remember "experts" saying you had to do TOP 10 Tip articles. I did a few. I tried to follow what I was supposed to do. What others were doing who were successful in the blogging world and specifically in the fitness blogging world.
But like all things, I eventually go off the path and do my own thing. You gotta follow your own heart, listen to your own drumbeat and other such sayings..
So I've grown to dislike the "Top 10" posts. Or top 5, 20.. Mostly because, you don't need any more tips.
You know what to do. But you aren't doing it. Or not enough of it.
The biggest excuse I hear is lack of time, and rather than just scream at the top of my lungs "MAKE TIME!" I choose to offer up something more helpful, in my opinion.
Here's what I want you to do. This is your action-plan.
Go to a store that sells t-shirts and shorts/sweats/workout clothes. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive or colorful.
More basic the better, in my view but if you like to mix it up with fancy colors then have at it.
Also, while you're out, buy a gym bag. Seriously. It can be a no-name brand, doesn't matter.
Now before you go to bed I want youto pack the gym bag with your gym clothes. Set your alarm for an hour earlier than you normally do.
You will be doing a 30 minute workout. Depending on how far your gym is (it could be your garage or basement) you will have to adjust for time, obviously.
Even if you have weights in your garage I want you to perform this routine. It seems so simple and ridiculous, I know. But it's important.
The act of buying gym clothes and packing your bag can make a huge difference. And the repetition of this act, over and over for weeks, months, years will pay off in big-time results. (along with hard work in the gym and proper diet, of course)
If you have yet to cement your fitness habits this is a great way to start.
Just do this. Don't worry about packing your lunch every day or anything else just yet. Do this 3 times per week for 2 months. If you have found it hard to get to the gym and only go sporadically, this will help.
No "TOP 10 Tips" here. Just actionable advice. Now do it.
If you need someone to help you stay accountable send me an email. I will do my best to help you get over the hump.
I had the most amazing beef brisket burger today. Just wanted to share that.
How do you fit those types of meals into your eating plan?
One way is to count your macros/calories. If you want to lose fat you eat less than your body needs per day. (or over the course of a week)
The other way is to eat "clean" most days of the week and to have a meal or two one day a week where you go off the normal diet plan.
Either way works. Any diet can work.
For how long? And will you have a big rebound?
Here's a big concern that no one really thinks about. Ok, you lose 20 lbs. in 6 weeks. Then what? What does your diet become after that? Can you sustain it?
Or do you go right back to where you were before ?
Diet and training are simple yet complex at the same time.
The human body is an adaptive machine. Our body doesn't want to be super lean. It wants to survive, which means having more fat stored up.
We have to constantly work with our body and understand it. The best diet is the one you can stick with and adapt as you go. As you change, as you age, go through different transitions, transformations, have new goals etc..
The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn to listen to your body.. Pay attention. Write down what you experience. Take notes on what foods make you feel bloated, what foods give you great energy, what drinks give you a headache etc..
What I want to say is this - have that brisket burger. Enjoy it. And don't worry about it. When the meal is over, that's it. It's over. No guilt. No starving yourself for a half a day. Have a plan, stick to it 80-90% of the time depending on your goals. If you want more fat loss then go more towards 90% but you can still enjoy that apple pie or burger or whatever treat you want.
Don't stress about it. Just eat the damn burger already.
On the one hand you have fitness experts who say the general public is clueless about health and fitness. The other hand says people know what to do, they are just lazy and don't want to work hard.
Which is it?
If I was trying to sell you a program I would choose one side and cherry-pick some studies to back that program up (there would be plenty on both sides) and voila, here's the answer for you.
But I don't work that way.
I know that life isn't so black and white. There's plenty of grey area.
But for the sake of this post let's talk about the person who knows what to do. Generally speaking.
Let's say you have a decent grasp on eating right for your body, what kind of exercises to do, how to structure a workout, a week/month of workouts etc.. you have a basic understanding of supplements and which ones are a waste of money and the ones that may help a bit.
But you don't do it.
Are you just lazy? Can't find the time? Have too much fat to lose and you know how long it can take?
Maybe it's just your MINDSET.
You don't take your fitness seriously. It's not a priority.
So what will it take to get you on track? For good..
Find a friend that you can go to the gym with. Drive together if that helps. Pick days/times and stick to them. Hold each other accountable.
If that doesn't work for you, try an online forum. Check in daily to post about your workouts, meals, progress, struggles etc.. it doesn't take as long as you may think. You're already on a computer anyway aren't you? Make a few internet friends and comment on their training logs. They will comment on yours. When you don't post, they will ask where you are.
If that doesn't work for you, find a coach/trainer. Search your area, ask around, post on your facebook.. get a referral. Talk to someone who has a trainer and get a recommended name.
This is huge. And it's often overlooked.
I've done each of these three methods and they all work.
Try one. Any of them! They are better options than what you're doing now aren't they?
You can search the internet all day long for new diets, workout ideas and fun things to do but until you actually starting taking action CONSISTENTLY, you will stay stuck where you are and it will only get worse.
So start today. You know everything, I know. But when you start taking action on this, you will find that guys will have tips for you that you wouldn't have found out yourself just from reading. It's a whole new level when you have someone there to check on your form, assess your movement, and push you beyond the level you'd push yourself.
I had these two great ideas to write about. Then I started eating a 'treat'- some waffles with real maple syrup.
As I savored the taste, I realized it would make a much better blog post than my other topics about fitness.
So let's talk about waffles. Or pancakes. Or tortilla chips and salsa... whatever you like. Those foods you are told not to eat, and when you eat them you feel guilty. Or you think you need to do more cardio to make up for it.. or you wonder why you can't control your cravings..
I go through these phases. For a week or two usually. Sometimes it's honey nut cheerios I crave. Or peanut butter cups. Or chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Or those bagels with all different kinds of seeds, topped with melted butter..
Here's how I find a way to fit these kinds of foods into my life and satisfy those cravings that we all eventually give into.
I track my calories daily.
I know what numbers I need to shoot for. It's not perfect. Rarely do I ever hit the exact numbers but you know what? I am getting leaner.
I get to eat the foods I crave (within reason) on top of the normal go-to meals I eat that contain a good amount of protein, veggies/fruit etc.. I make sure to get as close to my protein goal for the day and the carbs and fats will often vary.
This has been the easiest 'diet' to follow for me. When I want to cut fat, like I am now, I cut calories per day by about 500. Give or take.
It's not an exact science. I don't use a food scale and I'm not obsessed over the minutiae. - love that word-- but this way of eating some call 'flexible dieting' or "if it fits your macros' is very effective.
Just like any other training or nutrition protocol, it may or may not be a good fit for you. But I need to stress here that YOU are the most important part of this process of finding a diet you can stick with long-term.
When I get down to the bodyfat percentage I am shooting for I can then bring up the calories a bit to maintenance level or higher if I want to start building some mass.
So have your waffles and real maple syrup or whatever you desire. It's your life! Train hard, eat for fuel/performance 85% of the time and fill in the rest however you want.
I love finding my own way.
My best training 'programs' have always been my own creation.
Templates and popular programs can be great too, and I've had some success with them as well, but nothing feels quite so empowering and fun and challenging and rewarding as making my own way. Experimenting. Trial and error.
Taking notes. See what works, what doesn't. What used to work and no longer has the same effect.
I try to give some of this vibe to my clients who I work with in-person.
To share some of my love for fitness, lifting weights, becoming better physically, achieving goals etc..
When a new client comes to me that hates working out or hasn't found a way to be active that they can stick to, it is a challenge I welcome and love. I hope to rub off a bit on them. Make them see that it's doable. That they can do more than they thought.
That working out/training doesn't have to be this awful thing you dread. And that there are so many ways to go about it that you are bound to find one that will speak to you. One kind of training that will really resonate with your inner-being and you have more desire to keep at it and to excel at it.
Training your own way can take you far. It transcends the gym and looking in the mirror.
Every struggle in the gym can mirror the challenges of life. Small scale but really when you build those habits of physically challenging yourself and overcoming the resistance, it builds something within you. True strength. Will. And a sense of confidence.
I can do much more than I ever realized.
This is what I aim to instill in my clients.
You can do much more than you realize. And when you reach another level, you can go even further still.
It's remarkable what we can do when we set our minds to it.
So find your own way. Try out different programs. New exercises. Hell, make up an exercise or modify one you don't like or don't feel it the way you think you should. It's your journey. Don't let anyone tell you there's a right way or wrong way to do it.
You can pick up tips along the way. This can help tremendously. But in the end, it's on you.
Just you vs. the resistance.
Make your own way.
My mind was set. All I wanted was to get my deadlift up to 4 plates.
This was my priority number 1.
I pushed my other lifts also but all my focus was on this goal.
Having just one goal will give you tremendous focus.
And this is a big struggle for most guys I talk to.
No excitement about training. Not looking forward to the gym.
No destination. No plan.
This is for you guys.
For the guys who have a plan and need a break from goals, this is not for you.
So having no passion for training. You don't have thoughts in your head while sitting at work about getting into the gym and crushing pullups.
Or how you can't wait to feel the sweat from your sled pulling after your lifting.
The problem of having no real zest for the physical. For hard training. The work. The grunting. Sweating. Swearing. Moaning and groaning that comes from real tough physical exertion.
What should you do to get it going?
Find something, anything really, that you can get excited about. Maybe it's one exercise you really enjoy because it's easy. Or one muscle group that seems to grow easy for you. Or a good challenge that gets you amped, maybe it's a crazy workout of the day that scares you a little bit.
Anything will work.
The feel of the barbell. The sound of the weights clanging.
The high after your session when you sip on your protein shake as you drive home. A feeling of accomplishment in your veins.
Just get that one tiny flame. Find it. And ride it. Let it take you to the gym. Or your garage or the park. Wherever.
Passion for physical fitness.
It doesn't have to be a gym.
In fact, there are NO limits here.
But don't let another day, week, or year go by without making some kind of physical progress.
I don't know about you but I get tired of all the information on diets, weight loss, the newest greatest pill that will burn fat while you sit on your couch and eat donuts all day.
Most of it is just garbage.
I love to learn and find new tips I can use in my own life and to help others, whether it's clients that I train or people I help over the internet.
But I like to learn and take action on what I learned.
Not just soak up endless information and never apply it. Just talking about it does nothing for me.
I'm an action man. I would rather get into the gym and try out a new method rather than debate if it will work or not.
How about you? Do you find there is way to much info, much of it conflicting?
One day there's a study saying coffee is bad. Next week it's good. It goes on and on with just about everything.
How do you sort through this mess?
Keep it simple.
You know what is good for you. What works for you and what doesn't.
You've tried different programs and failed or found success with them.
One thing people often overlook is the ability to listen to your body. To what the signals are. What it's telling you. If a certain food gives you problems. If an exercise keeps causing injury. If you feel one movement in the "wrong" area.
Take time to listen to your inner self. Whats going on inside. Really listen to it and forget about all the info on diets, fancy programs, supplements..
By all means, read. Learn. But take what is useful, apply it. And forget what is just taking up space in your brain.
And if you find you still struggle, ask someone who has some experience dealing with the issue you are struggling with. Often, just one tip will make all the difference.
I'm fired up today. And I sure didn't wake up that way.
How do I get motivated? How do YOU get motivated? To train. To improve your fitness. To get stronger. To gain muscle, burn fat, get healthier, own your life, gain confidence, fill out a shirt, get better at a sport etc..
Regardless of what anyone else says, this is my opinion here. I believe that no one is 100% motivated at all times. And I also believe that motivation doesn't always have to come from within like some hardcore fitness gurus may say.
And I'll make this quick, because it's a blog not a novel and we all have like 5 seconds to spare so here we go.
Today I was exhausted. Spent. Almost hit the snooze this am. I never do that.
Fighting off some kind of sinus/allergy crap and it's annoying the heck out of me. Putting a drain on my energy. I can go on and on all the reasons why but here's what I did. The action.
I said I'm going to the gym to just do one exercise. Just 1. Then I'll sit in the sauna and sweat for a half hour. So that's what I set out to do.
Packed my gym bag, went to do my 1 exercise. It wasn't even going to be a really tough one. Just rear delts. But like almost every single time I play this mental trick on myself, once I get there, get going, warm up, feel some blood moving in the body, a bit of sweat, heart rate goes up.. then on to the next exercise... few reps, some sets later.. on to the next.. and then I'm revved up with some music that gets me going.
I had some old school Black Sabbath come on. Boom, I started hitting up the dips with bodyweight for high reps. Feeling awesome. Still tired yes. Same body. Yes. Same mind. But I found a way that worked FOR ME.
And that's the answer.
Find whatever will get the job done for you. Today. This moment. OR whenever you go work out. Find it. It's out there. Or in there. Either way.
Maybe you need to get stronger for your family.
Maybe you have a wedding coming up and need to look better.
Whatever it is. Just do one exercise. Just do cardio. Just walk.. etc.. start. And you will be surprised how much just getting moving will do for you.
Motivation is not some magical thing that only the select few possess and they have it all the time. Everyone has to find ways to get up early. To go to work and stay late and still go to the gym afterwards when all they want to do is go lay on the couch and eat chips and dip.
Find a way. Outside. Or inside.
With so much information out there, how do you know what fitness plan you should follow?
Before I answer the question let me just make it clear what I want to do with this blog. Since this is my first blog post on this new blog (I had hundreds on my old blog) I want to start out by letting you know that I like to keep things simple. I'm all about results. For myself, for my clients and for you, the reader.
With that being said, back to the question.
The best fitness plan and the best diet plan is the one you will follow. The one you will do. Where you will be consistent, make progress and it's something you can stick to long-term.
Now I could go many directions with this point but like I said, I want to make this simple. Let's talk results.
1- Be realistic. How many days can you see yourself committing to the gym? Be honest with yourself. Same for your diet plan. Can you see yourself sticking to whatever diet you choose for 80% or more of the time?
2. Find something you enjoy. If you hate to run then don't try to run yourself into shape. Or if you can't stomach going into a commercial gym then find a way to work out in your garage or find a small studio with a trainer to help you out.
3. Experiment. Try different programs. Give a program some time to work before changing it up all the time but if you dread going to the gym and don't look forward to your workouts at all then you may need to find something else. There's no hard rule that says you have to lift a certain way or only do certain exercises. Find your own way!
That's it for now.
In this age of technology and social media there's enough to read and videos to watch. We have short attention spans. How much info can we even hold in our minds? So I will keep these short and to the point with the hopes that it will help someone. If you have more questions, feel free to email me.
I usually reply within a day with my honest opinion.