Stardate: 12th June 2014
I have a question for you ladies: Do you want to get in shape?
Of course you do!
Why else would you be slaving away in those 2-hour-long aerobics classes, scouring the internet for “the best 100 calorie snacks”, and sinking hundreds of dollars into the oddest fitness gadgets to have ever graced the home shopping channel?
I’ve worked with, literally, hundreds of individuals like you, and advised thousands more. Out of it, I’ve devised five very simple tricks to get the most out of the very limited time you allot daily towards fitness.
I need to warn you though: if you are easily offended… this article is *not* for you.
Here we go!
1. Seek professional help.
No, this isn’t a plug for my services. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me WHOSE service you utilise…once you commit to use *someone’s* assistance. (See yesterday’s article: “even the best of us sometimes needs help”).
I’ve seen a recurrent trend over the years: people coming to the gym, fitness magazine (or article of dubious origin) in tow, doing the WEIRDEST of shit…and looking the same way for years on end.
Literally years on end.
These people are adamant that they’ve ‘tried everything’, and that they know just about everything there is about fitness.
They/You don’t know what you believe you do.
If they/you did, a magazine cover would be in your near future.
Look in the mirror.
I didn’t think so.
2. Ditch your gym membership.
With the exception of a few franchises, gym memberships are expensive.
With the exception of team-driven gyms (e.g. Crossfit boxes, martial arts studios, bootcamp studios, olympic lifting studios and the like), where support is the underlying team, nobody cares about your progress.
This runs contrary to your feeling that everybody’s staring at you while you workout. It also runs contrary to the ads that most gym put out there, that posit that they’re there *for you*.
The actual truth?
1. Most gyms exist to sell memberships.
2. Most gym employees exist to sell membership.
3. Neither of the aforementioned care if you come back or not, as long as your cash is already in their account.
4. You’d be better off spending your gym membership, and fitness fad gadget cash on a results-getting trainer. (See section #1: “Seek professional help”).
3. Strength-train, under supervision, at least twice per week.
Point #4 from the preceding section: hire a trainer.
And, I’ll tell you why.
A results-oriented trainer will push you to your limit from session to session. Each session will be the most productive you’ve ever done. You won’t be tempted to use suboptimal weights. And, even if you were, that annoying guy you’re paying to supervise you will remind you of ust how much you lifted on each of your previous sessions.
There will be no more meandering pointlessly through the gym. There will be no second-guessing.
There will just be work.
Effective. Disgusting. Fruitful. Work.
And that’s exactly what you need, twice per week.
4. Do cardio on your own on non-supervised days. Make it fun. Make it weird. If possible, make it cheap.
This is one of the most important components of a successful fitness routine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that cardio is a *must*… But it can help. AND the more you enjoy the activity, the more likely you are to commit to it.
Learn a new skill: Take up a martial art, swimming class, or dance class. Learn to play a sport. Find a large tire and a sledgehammer. Imagine that tire is your boss, and beat the hell out of that tire for 20 minutes.
Take up yoga!
Doesn’t matter what the activity is.
All that matters is:
1. It’s fun.
2. It’s different.
3. It’s fun.
4. It’s intense.
5. It doesn’t cost you much.
6. It’s fun
7. You can do it on the days you don’t train with a trainer (ie a minimum of twice per week).
5. Make better dietary choices.
This is the most important facet. It’s also the place where most people trip up.
Why is that?
Well, people are complicated…and they like to complicate things. Give a person 20 options to work with (which amount to 10 more than they’d usually incoporate in their daily diet, as people are creatures of habit), and they’ll a.) Try to find ways to sneak 5 additional options in, or b.) Claim to be bored.
That’s a whole different article altogether though, so I’ll touch on that another time.
Let’s simplify dieting for the average female.
a. Consume protein at every sitting. Women, especially, tend to undereat protein…and overeat everything else. This practice generally undermines their fat-loss efforts.
b. Eat protein first in every meal. Protein yields a significant degree of satiety, so eating it first in the meal generally stops you from overeating anything else. Follow protein with your veggies…and, lastly, finish up with your starchy carbs. Eat in this order and you’ll never overeat carbs again.
c. Eat smaller portions on the days that you don’t weight-train. Eat less because your body needs less. Remember, food fuels activity. So, less activity = a lower need for fuel. Have protein, vegetables, some healthy fats, and small portions of carbs. Carbs here are optional, truly.
d. Cut carbs on the days you plan on cheating or drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a fuel source that can only be used immediately to fuel activity, or stored immediately as fat. It isn’t generally isn’t burnt as heat…or any of the other fun stuff that protein and other macronutrients undertake. It also has preferential disposal. This is to say: While alcohol is circulating, nothing else is being burnt.
So, logically, you’d want to cut back on the other fuel sources you have circulating, so there’s a lower likelihood of them being stored as fat.
My clients, I generally have consume protein and fiber on the days they plan on drinking…and that allows them to have a pretty-much-guilt-free round of drinks that night…without gaining a pound, or feeling lethargic the day after.
There are many other tips and tricks, but I think I’ve typed too much today. <– If you disagree, feel free to comment below… with a request that I continue.
Yours in fitness,
-Corey “Narkissos” Springer