(No this isn’t good. More info below.)
The title says it all here. Trust me I am not trying to blow your mind with this post. It got created because I decided to take an hour and write down anything that pooped (excuse me popped) into my head concerning fitness and life basics. So yes, it will probably seem all over the place. Maybe this list will reassure you, or maybe it will get you thinking. Maybe it will even give you an idea to write one of your own. With that said, take a look. I’ll start it off with…
1.) For the most part, corn sucks. Sure it’s great economically as it’s cheap, easy to store and is pretty much in everything. But most of it is genetically modified, and it’s a food made to feed the masses just like most other carbohydrates. Oh, and is not a vegetable. If you currently treat it like one, you may want to reconsider.
2.) Squat, hinge, push, and pull consistently and correctly. Without these basics of lifting you will be left in the “fitness dust”.
3.) Why, what, when, and how you are going to achieve something are MUST SET goals. Without them I believe you will fail.
4.) Stop TRYING to lose fat, and start actually DOING it. Don’t accept who you are, your potential is at a place you have no idea about. I don’t care what the goal is in fitness or in life.
5.) Don’t blame getting fat on sugar from fruit. That should be your least of your concerns.
6.) You didn’t gain weight all of a sudden. It happened over time.
7.) You cannot predict how much weight you want or need to lose. If you say you want to lose 21 pounds I would love to know how you formulated that. You are at a different time in your life with a lot more going on internally than you can imagine.
8.) You cannot lose fat cells you have created. You can only shrink them.
9.) Floss your teeth.
10.) Eating for health automatically leads you to accomplish your fitness goals (fat loss, lean muscle gain, performance) without “trying”. No crazy strategies or diets like weight watchers etc. are needed. Just cleaning up your diet and eating whole unprocessed food alone just “works”. The few exceptions would be if you are shooting for doing well in something to the extreme (physique based competition or Olympic lifting competition etc.) or if you have a medical condition. Stuff like whole wheat breads and flavored oats don’t count.
11.) You are what you eat, eats.
13.) Start foam rolling and warming up. Unless you want to increase your chance of injury like 99% of people who train.
14.) Stop copying exercises you see people doing immediately. Most of the time they have no idea what they are doing, but even when they are it’s a lot more complicated than you think. I cannot count as high as the amount of times I have seen people butcher exercises I do with clients. I just want to cringe. For example if you watch me have a client squat you would probably just copy how I had them do it. But are screwing your feet into the ground forcing your knees out? How about squeezing the bar as hard as you can? How about keeping your upper back as tight as possible or making sure your shoulders and hips move at the same time while locking out all the way at the top by pinching the penny. That is just ONE of MANY examples. Do yourself a favor and stop copying exercises because you either look terrible doing so or hurt yourself during the mimic.
15.) Don’t sit still for longer than an hour. Your posture is probably terrible here so just get up and do anything. Stretch. Go for a little walk, foam roll, go outside etc.
16.) Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed or with like minded goals. From real world experience this support is huge and makes the process so much better. for all of my clients who are lucky enough to have it.
17.) Your body fat % is higher than you think. I am just saying this because I get so many people who come to me and say they are “so and so” body fat and would like to get to this “so and so” number before a certain “so and so” time. They are usually way off to start, which interferes with where they can actually get to, by the time they want to. I like to think I am doing my job by telling them the truth, and also by setting more achievable short term goals, and even more incredible long term goals than they ever thought. Not for, but WITH them of course
18.) Do not listen to someone who doesn’t practice what they preach.
19.) Do only 1/2 of what Popeye does. That said eat more green vegetables but QUIT SMOKING. Popeye didn’t get strong from smoking. Or did he?
20.) Drink more water.
21.) Artificial sweeteners are very addicting. They cause upset stomachs, and add to health problems. The more you eat the worse you are. Stop consumption of all for 2 weeks and you will most likely not be addicted anymore. Those 2 weeks will suck if your used to them though.
22.) Take ONE day off from Facebook and emails a week.
23.) Stop worrying about minuscule calories when your diet is already atrocious.
24.) Train heavy to get lean. If you still think doing high reps and sit ups give you abs or tone you need to seek help immediately.
25.) Don’t become addicted to anything. Facebook, phone, email, and coffee included.
26.) Give yourself at least 20 minutes to an hour of complete “NO THINKING” time a day. Meditating or a long walk alone and without music and just observing will do.
27.) Don’t weigh yourself more than once a week or while on your “cycle” if you’re a women. If you are shooting for a goal, weigh yourself at the same time, on the same day, once a week. Fluctuations throughout the day because of water, glycogen, sodium etc. are enormous.
28.) Drive a different route to work and turn off your stereo everyday for a week. Oh yea and wear a seat belt,
29.) Perform a random workout unlike anything else you normally do every couple of months.
30.) Learn what macronutrients are, how to count them, and how to read food labels. It doesn’t take a nutritionist to do so.
31.) Stop focusing on calories and cardio to lose fat! I don’t care if you’re training or eating. A lot more than just calories is going on and it’s a LOT more complicated than that.
32.) If you currently have a trainer nutrition or coach and they have not evaluated and screened or assessed you that’s BS.
33.) Small steps lead to HUGE changes in the long run. Sure anyone can go all in for a week, but very few will stick.
34.) Some people can go all in when it comes to changing a lifestyle. Something just hits them hard and they change forever. It’s not very common though.
35.) Don’t THINK about doing something, DECIDE to do it.
36.) Learn something new every single day.
37.) If you are going to goon the treadmill (none of my clients do) DON’T HOLD ON. Besides the fact that less calories are burned, your normal gait is destroyed, and there are much better ways of warming up etc.
38.) Do something you never have before once a month. Skydive, pick up a musical instrument, anything. No bad habits allowed here.
39.) Run, jump, crawl, throw, skip, and carry consistently and correctly.
40.) Quit doing push-ups from your knees. If you cannot do a full one properly, elevate your hands on something like a smith machine and work your way down until you can.
41.) Take a week off from Facebook and emails once a year.
42.) Be conscious of your posture more. Set a timer for every 10-20 minutes if need be. Correct your forward head, get as tall as you can, squeeze your glutes, and stretch your pecs and hip flexors. Its very simple. If you are in a car rounded forward sit up. Get as tall as you can driving, at your desk, or anywhere.
43.) Lactose and gluten (or milk and wheat) are just fine for people who are not allergic to them. Sure you can eat a diet without them and feel great, but this “fitness trend” is getting blown way out of proportion especially for people who can handle the foods.
44.) Brush your teeth with the opposite hand you normally do every other day.
45.) Over-training is overrated for most advanced trainees, and underrated for most beginners.
46.) Train explosively. I don’t care if you are 2 or 90 years old.
47.) Don’t use music all the time in the gym. Using music sometimes as a motivator is awesome, but after a while it stops serving as motivation once you get “used to it”. This is even coming from myself being a musician. Train without it and you will see the difference in your focus.
48.) Squats don’t hurt your knees, how your doing squats hurts your knees. That said squat below parallel. More on this in a future post.
49.) A good follow up to point 49 is not to contraindicate exercises, but contraindicate people.
50.) You should always be progressing. If you’re not, your maintaining or regressing.
51.) Stay away from machines. Most of the time. More on this is a future post as well!
52.) Don’t build strength on dysfunction. One example of this would be If you can’t perform a lift with full range of motion (ROM) don’t use partial. Or in other words, if you can’t deep squat, do not leg press.
53.) Sea salt is not healthier than regular salt.
54.) If you eat opposite of the food pyramid you will be in a better position.
55.) Pick things up and put them down.
Sorry Planet Fitness you’re way wrong on this one and almost everything else you recommend. I don’t know about you but I think most people pick up groceries, move furniture etc. so yes almost everyone picks things up and put them down EVERY DAY.
56.) Train movements AND muscles.
57.) Train with a dedicated partner with the same goals if possible.
58.) Avoid threats. Anyone who doesn’t want you to succeed does not deserve a say in what you want to accomplish.
59.) Cardio is overrated. Scroll down to the part where I talk about “No traditional cardio”, and “cardio ranting” in this article here.
60.) Do the same thing you have always done, get the same results you have always gotten.
61.) Never limit yourself and don’t accept who you are. You can get feel 100 times better and get 100 times leaner, stronger, healthier etc. than you think.
62.) Being honest, motivation doesn’t work. You need to figure out WHY you MUST have something. Not WHAT you SHOULD do to get there.
63.) We are a lot dumber than we think. Stressing the point above you must always learn more. The more you learn the less you realize you know.
64.) Never knock someone with a passion.
65.) Find your passion and run with it.
66.) Nothing comes to you, you must go out and get it. I would guess approximately 1% of the population is lucky enough to go against this saying
67.) Be confident and believe in what you do. Smiling, and being conscious of having good posture will make this easier.
68.) Avoid surgeries, medications, and putting man made materials inside your body whenever possible.
69.) Anyone can demolish themselves training in a few seconds. That’s not working out. That’s being stupid. Sure you can do that once in a while but that’s not smart training most of the time. Yes train hard and to maximal effort, but also train SMARTER.
70.) Exercise classes and boot camps should not be your main focus. Not saying they are all bad especially if they get you moving, BUT most of the time they are not geared towards your limitations, imbalances, problems and specific goals. They can’t be if there is 10-20 or more people in the class.Training with one other person or with a trainer 1 on 1 can and will help you a lot more if you find someone who gets tons of people results you want to have. I don’t care what anybody says. With 10-30 people or more you CANNOT provide the type of service you can with 1-4 people. Especially considering form and technique.
71.) You don’t have time? Successful people make time. If you have time to eat bad you have time to eat healthy. If you have time to wake up in the morning 30 minutes earlier, go to bed 30 minutes later, or time at lunch etc. etc. etc. you DO have time. I have worked with Doctors who work 70 hours a week with pretty decently sized families. You DO have time.
72.) Have fun. If you don’t love what you do, or leave the gym with a smiling face of agony, you must find something training wise you enjoy and that works according to your goal.
73.) Don’t give into fads, the ideas of the media, or commercially based gyms and diet groups. Does the owner or someone who is he creator know your name? Does he always talk to you and help you individually when in need? They want your money and not much else. They are a business. They sell products. Does the owner know your name? Does he always talk to you and help you individually?
74.) There is no such thing as “I am going on a diet” or “The diet starts Monday”. Your diet is what you eat. You are on a diet now. If you think of your life as an on going cycle of diets you are in a VERY bad place.
75.) One program won’t work forever, so stop making them, instead develop a system. You always need to progress. Sure changing up things all the time is bad as well, but hopefully you get the point:)
76.) Avoid common man-made “health foods. Flavored oats, nutri-grain bars, honey nut cheerios included.
77.) Sugar is toxic. Stop eating it.
78.) Drink green tea.
79.) Fat doesn’t make you fat. I have seen a nutritionist who was afraid to eat almonds but could drink vitamin water!!! Are you kidding me? It comes from the earth. Oh and it’s also okay to eat the egg yolk.
80.) You don’t need supplements. They shouldn’t even be used until your diet and training has been consistent for years. They are exactly what they say, a supplement for food.
81.) Yoga is great, but it will not always cure your back pain. Especially if its not muscle related and it’s something else like a ruptured disc etc.
82,) The same program doesn’t work for everybody.
83.) In general, strengthen the posterior chain more (glutes, back, etc.) and lengthen the anterior chain more (pecs, hip flexors etc.)
84.) Keep things closer to you when you pick them up. Groceries, rocks anything. For example even if your doing the dishes and get a little back pain, squeeze your glutes and get closer to the sink. It could do you wonders.
85.) Don’t work on your strengths, work on your weaknesses. If have good strength but your endurance sucks, work on your endurance a little more. If you are a fantastic presser, but suck at squatting or rowing then cut back on pressing and do the later two more. If you lack mobility of your thoracic pine, hips and ankles then do some more mobility drills over strengthening movement patterns that require mobility of those areas. If have weak glutes hit them harder and more often. It’s a simple concept but it’s often neglected.
86.) Take naps, but no longer than 30 minutes.
87.) When you sleep, no lights or electronics should be on or near you.
89.) Stress, in particular distress, is one of your biggest enemies concerning appetite, muscle gain, overall well being and so much more.
90.) Inflammation is very overlooked. Being overweight promotes inflammation, and inflammation promotes weight gain.
91.) Fitness and health starts in the brain.
92.) The thyroid, gut and liver don’t get as much attention as they should. Finding the cause of these things and fixing them is very important. I am not a Doctor, but I wanted to make you aware.
93.) Have a “go to” meal if you are craving salts and or sugar. Don’t just dive into the cabinet. I like this for a healthy treat.
94.) Culture destroyed us. How we eat, how much we eat, meal timing, how we move, how much we move etc.
95.) We sit wrong. Having the luxury of always sitting on elevated seats all the time is a problem. How come other countries can “get to” and live in the deep squat position. During one of PT Grey Cook’s lectures I remember him stating that we used to squat deep to shoot in the military. This would help us get to a lower position quicker and also become a harder target to hit. But no, we can’t even do that anymore. We were capable of it back in the day so we still should be now. Other countries talk, smoke, and live down there. They even go to the bathroom down there.
96.) Learn how to breathe properly.
97.) No more fast food or smoking. Period.
98.) All calories are not created equal. To lose weight. is not all about eating less and starving yourself. Starvation mode will actually slow your metabolism, especially in the long run. A calorie is a unit of energy. 100 calories of broccoli is metabolized a lot differently than 100 calories of Gatorade.
99.) Bicep Curls and Obesity: If you are trying to “tone” your arms while you are overwight you are behind time. If you are overweight, isolation exercises should be the last thing in your fitness tool box. These include things like biceps curls, triceps, press-downs, crunches, adductor squeezes etc. Instead focus on compound lifts like squatting, deadlifting, pressing, pull ups, push ups etc.
101.) “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” I love this quote by Buddha.
102.) “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” Ken Robinson.
103.) Dark chocolate isn’t that healthy. It’s a lame excuse for eating garbage. Try something with unsweetened cocoa instead for a chocolate fix like this.
104.) All in all just STOP THINKING. Just do what you know will help you reach your goal. In general eat whole natural foods (no not the ones that need to be labeled “all natural” that are terrible for you) and move. Sure a lot of science can go into your programming but be “raw” and just do it.
105.) Be aware of your situation, not in fear of it. If you are overweight it is what it is, you CAN change it. Looking at it from another perspective (and I forgot who first said this) if you get in an accident the car didn’t come from nowhere. It came from somewhere. Be aware of where you are, not in fear of it.
106.) Don’t worry about other people so much. They are not you, they are different. Sometimes you can’t do what they do to get results, and they can’t do what you do.
107.) If you’re going to complain about something, don’t do it.
108.) Put yourself first, honesty is king, and extra generosity goes a long way. Take care of YOU and everything else will fall into place, don’t lie, and tip someone who has given you an exceptional service they were working. Servers, care takers, massage therapists to name a few. Oh and always say thank you.
109.) Be thankful for what you have. This often gets forgot about until you see people who are in a much worse situation than you are. For example, if you’re reading this post not everyone has access to the web.
110.) You CAN beat genetics. Even though your genetics are limited, your mind and spirit is not. I have seen way to many people achieve what they though they could not.
111.) Not many people become what they want without hard work. 1% of the population gets “lucky”. Just about everyone else who is successful has put in there “time”. Whether its with obtaining an awesome career, body, or life working hard, smart, and consistently for a long time is a common trait among successful people.