“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else”
Now, Yogi is famous for his quotes, which are often quirky, but there’s a lot of wisdom there, too.
One of the most important things in this whole fitness journey is to set a goal that you’re shooting for. If you don’t, then chances are it won’t be long before you wane from the path. New habits are hard. Adults don’t tend to create them easily and if it’s something that’s going to be a departure from your current life, as adopting a healthier, more fit lifestyle probably is, then it’s not always going to be easy.
So, the first thing we’d want to accomplish is figuring out basically where you want to go and WHY you want to do it. That why is up to you, of course, but if you don’t have a clear sense of that then it is going to be hard to be consistent once the new excitement wears off.
Step 1: Figure out a sense of where you want to go and really zero in on the WHY.
Now, once you’ve got those two basic points down, I like to firm up goals with clients with something called “backwards chaining”, which is a fancy way to say we start at the end and work our way back. Continue reading
Yesterday we talked about whether dietary fat is good for you or not, whether it’s been improperly vilified or glorified by public opinion, and the other ins and outs of the story.
Today, we’re going to talk about a specific type of fat that’s popular in the media, but most people don’t really have a handle on what it is: Trans Fat.
For the purpose of our discussion, a trans fat is basically a “manufactured” or industrially-altered fat. Basically, Hydrogen is added to some of the bonds and this “hydrogenation” helps the fats last longer before going rancid, be solid at room temperatures, but also melt easier under other conditions. Trans fats DO occur in nature, but only in small amounts. For example, CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a fat that occurs naturally in dairy in small amounts, and can be healthy. By and large, though, trans fats are considered to be tremendously unhealthy and it’s recommended that they make up less that 1% of a person’s diet by the World Health Organization. Trans fats are associated with a large variety of health issues (heart/cardiovascular system, digestion, obesity, depression, fertility issues in women, diabetes).
Ok, so they’re not great for you. Where are they? Continue reading
This past weekend I was at a business conference. In a lot of ways, business and fitness run parallel. Both require hard work, consistent discipline, and while there’s a lot of flashy stuff out there, there’s also a lot of pretty proven paths to success.
Of course, when you get a bunch of fitness or business people in a room, in this case, fitness business people, you here a lot of talk about “what’s working”. There’s always new ideas being thrown around. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and want to shake everything up or jump onto a new, shiny program.
Is that really what you need, though?
Maybe yes, maybe not.
Should you change your path?
WHEN should you change your path?
What’s the biggest secret to success that nobody seems to talk about?
I picked up some really great lessons and reminders about those questions this past weekend, and they were definitely not the ones that I expected.
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Is Fat bad for you? Diet and nutrition trends tend to wax and wane, come and go as the years go on. A common source of contention is whether a certain macronutrient (fat, protein, or carbohydrate) is “good” or “bad” for you. Fat, in particular, is frequently an arguing point for many people.
On one side of the equation, you’ve got a whole crowd of people that blame fat consumption for everything from clogged arteries to massive weight gain. On the other, you’ve got a crowd that tries to get 70-90% of their energy from fat and praise it as the fountain of youth.
As usual, the answer tends to be somewhere in the middle. Here’s how:
What is fat? Continue reading
Relentless athlete Travis is getting some serious interval work done on the Prowler!
What Is Being “Fit”?
While it’s great to go talk the nuts and bolts of fitness, sets, reps, grams of protein, and the like… I think it’s important to take a step back and think about something even more fundamental:
Answering the question of “what is being fit?“.
There’s lots of different answers out there, depending on your school of thought or guru that you follow. If you ask the endurance community, they’ll say that fitness is having a great VO2 Max and being able to go for miles and miles. Throw it out to the powerlifters and they’ll say that the only thing that matters is your squat, bench press, and deadlift. Ask a gymnast the question and they’ll have their answer, just like a football player, rugger, or Water Polo player would.
Broaden it out even more, and you’ll find that the 83 year-old who still lives on their own and does all of their own yard work has an answer… and it might be different than the 37 year-old mom of three and probably a bit different than the 32 year-old guy who works in an accounting firm but likes to run obstacle course races on the weekends.
The point I’m trying to make is: Being “fit” isn’t an arbitrary number or ability. It’s the ability to perform your desired tasks. For MOST people, it’ll be something to the effect of: Continue reading
You know those people that it seems like they can eat anything (and everything) and they don’t put on an ounce of fat? Then there are those people who look at a bowl of pasta or a birthday cake and it’s like ten pounds magically appears. If you’ve ever asked “How do I raise my metabolism?” then chances are you’re in the second group.
Let’s start by just defining what we actually mean by “metabolism”, to get on the same page. Basically, the metabolism is all of your body’s processes. Everything from powering your cells to repairing damage, replacing old cells, creating new ones, and so on all fall into this lump category of “metabolism”. All of these things require energy, in the form of calories, to take place. That energy can come from the food you’re eating now or it can come from fat or muscle stored on your body, which is past overeating that you did. Of course, when people are asking this question they’re generally looking for ways to expend more energy and ideally have the excess come from the stored fat.
For the first group, there’s a handful of reasons as to why they may be able to just burn through food, not all of which are related to the metabolism, but for the sake of this post we’ll stick with those. For the rest of us, here’s how to get that metabolism cranking and the fat dropping: Continue reading
Long-time Relentless athlete Tara was a great example of building both strength AND endurance!
Let’s get into the training side of our 90 Days of Fitness Questions. This is another one I get a lot:
“Should I do my cardio before or after my strength training?“
Well, let’s start by defining what we’re talking about. Usually when I get this question people are defining “cardio” as long-duration, slow-to-moderate speed endurance work: Going for a run, bike, etc. They’re defining their “strength training” as a more traditional weight training session: Squatting, benching, etc.
For the record, those are not totally opposing activities. There are ways to develop strength WHILE improving one’s cardiovascular ability, which we do at Relentless, but for the sake of this discussion I’ll keep to those definitions to not muddy the waters too much.
When it comes to combining cardiovascular/endurance training with strength training, the common thought is often that if you do too much cardio you’ll lose all of your strength and muscle. We’ll actually get deeper into this in a later question, but the answer there is yes and no.
Yesterday, to kick off our 90 Fitness Answers series I addressed a common question that I get which was “How Much Protein Do I Need?“.
After establishing that most people who strength train are looking at somewhere in the 0.8g to 1.0g of protein per pound of lean or goal weight, the next question I get from a lot of people is:
“Holy cow! That’s a lot of protein! How am I going to eat that much?”
That’s a fair question, especially if you’re not used to it.
So here’s some basic strategies to up your protein intake:
1. Eat more frequently/add a snack. If you’re a three-meals-a-day (or less) person, and your target protein ends up being 120g/day or more, you may find that you struggle to cram down 40-50g at each sitting. Honestly, for those of us who’ve been doing it for a while that’s not that big a deal (so it gets better), but at first it can be a challenge. A great way to add some more is to sneak in a high protein snack like turkey roll-ups, Greek yogurt, or something similar. Often you can get in 15-30g in a snack and that’ll take a little pressure off of your big meals. Plus, you’ll feel a little less hungry during the day, so when meal time comes around it’s easier to make good decisions. Continue reading
In honor of there being only 90 days left in the year, I thought it’d be fun (and useful) to answer 90 of the most common fitness questions I get here at Relentless… one per day. So to kick it off:
Day 1: “How much protein should I eat?“
This is one of the most common questions that I get in the gym and that’s why I chose to kick this series off with it.
When it comes to putting together a nutrition plan (or heck, even “just trying to eat better”), one of the first things that people almost always run into is the question of how much protein should they eat… or even what IS a high-protein food, which we’ll handle a little bit later.
When it comes to the amount of protein you’re expected to shovel in, youll find that there’s a couple ends of the opinion spectrum: Continue reading
How often do you hear someone say “So and So is lucky!” or “That was a lucky break for you!”?
Now, there’s definitely some examples of luck or good coincidence, but when it comes from people being “lucky” in fitness, business, and many other facets of life, I’ve found that there’s usually something a lot more to it than a simple alignment of stars and planets, or whatever.
I was listening to a Real Estate Podcast (BiggerPockets) and one of the guests had an acronym for LUCK that I had never heard before.
It really hit home and I think it sums it up. Here’s my hot take.
Looking for a step-by-step guide to creating your own workouts? Check out the 1-page Workout Planner here.
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