We come to the last month of the year, and 2017 is nearly upon us.
I trained about 1,200 sessions this year, and achieved the most tremendous results I ever have with my clients.
Reviewing all the programs, articles, and workouts Ive written, I wanted to offer up something applicable for YOU to use for yourself.
The following is nothing revolutionary. I deal in the pragmatic, not in superlatives. Regardless, incorporating some or all of these points into your training may be exactly what you’ve been looking forward in your own path to improved health and physique
Want upper body definition? Do Pushups (and pushup variations)
Pushups are what everyone comes to hate as they age, both men and women.
You know why you are bad at them? BECAUSE YOU DONT DO THEM
What muscles do pushups train?
Practically everything on the entire front of the body: deltoids, pecs, triceps, abs, and even biceps (doing pushups on paralletes, or with Fat grip handles can work the biceps and forearms)
Pushups are the exercise thats so obvious and effective, that no one does them. Truthfully most men and women could simply performing incline presses and pushups variations, and 99% of you would be extremely pleased with your upper body development, leanness, and overall strength level. I program in pushup variations constantly for clients, and it is to everyones benefit. Their pushups improve, all their other pressing exercises improve with them
“Big arms aren’t functional!” -said no one that was big and strong EVER.
Here’s a shocker for you: if you lift weights with your arms, your arm muscles will probably be bigger. Mind=blown.
About 10 years, the functional fitness trend started and it basically set out to run over isolation exercises as “nonfunctional.” Subsequently, you ended up with general public being dissuaded from doing “bodybuilder” exercises like bicep curls and tricep extensions, and being deluded into thinking these were pointless movements.
Examined critically, this makes no logical sense: Why would having strong arm muscles be pointless? You use your arms for EVERYTHING. A lack of arm strength is why people fall, slip, and lose the ability to interact with their environment as they age. Arm strength is CRUCIAL for quality of life
Muscular arms are a directly visible effect of lifting legitimately heavy things and doing something beneficial for your physique and health. And functionality wise, there is no task in daily life that I can think of where you would benefit from having weaker arms. Men need strong arms, women need strong arms, and there shouldn’t be any shame in training them directly.
Your Energy is lacking…
Most people are low energy without realizing it. Chronically tired, chronically stressed, chronically underfed, chronically fed up.
How do you help someone to fix their broken lifestyle?
Mentality wise, thats a huge thing to tackle.
Strategically speaking though, the priorities of what needs to CHANGE are very simple
- Resistance train at least 3x weekly
- Walk for 15 minutes daily
- Improve the quantity of sleep you receive
- Eat regularly, and eat enough of each macronutrient, according to your own needs
- Drink water
That’s 5 things. Training can be done in about 2 hours a week. Walking 15 minutes a day equals another 1 hour and 45 minutes. Extra sleep, lets say an extra hour each night. Eating and drinking water shouldnt take anymore time that you currently spend.
So in lets say 12 hours a week, you could dramatically change your health, reduce every possible risk factor for death and disease, and maximize lifespan, and improve quality of life.
Is that worth it to you?
I dont know, how soon do you want to die? And how do you want to live?
Arguing against investing in yourself is a poor argument
Supplements are for Specificity, not Generality
When you are eating enough protein, having enough carbs, and drinking water, your nutrient bases are being met. Beyond your physiological needs, there are few things that can be generally recommended.
However, there are specific supplements that one could take:
-If you have joint pain and inflammation, trying taking curcumin
-If your immune system is suppressed, try glutamine and Ashwagandha
-If your vitamin D is low, take supplemental vitamin D
-If you have fatigue, cramps, and feel under recovered, try taking magnesium
Supplements can be help with specific conditions, but they are not solutions to general health.
Its for this reason that there is nothing “general” I really recommend, beyond someone taking protein powder for convenience sakes.
Everything else beyond that is context specific to someone’s lifestyle.
Whats the lesson here?
Eat FOOD first and foremost. And then critically examine what you MIGHT need to supplement with after having done that.
Having Specific Intention > Having a specific plan
Do you want more energy? Get more sleep
How do you get more sleep? Create plans to do so, and then try them out
Do you want bigger arms? Improve your curl and dip strength
How do you improve those things? Incorporate them into your training and practice them
Planning is good, but what comes before it? What is the plan before the plan?
The plan is your intention. A perfect plan will fail when the intention behind it is reliant on motivation.
A general plan will succeed when the intention behind it is committed and focused.
Specificity is only useful when you are willing to be adaptable with it. When you want to get something done, the day in and day out commitment is what delivers it, not the “perfection” of effort.
Simplicity equals effectiveness. What you can replicate and practice over and over is what yields the outcome you desire.