90 Fitness Answers 08 – “How Do I Set and Achieve My Fitness Goals?”

If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else
-Yogi Berra

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

90 Fitness Answers 07 – What Is “Trans Fat”?

90 fitness answers 07 - what is trans fat?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

Be Relentless Podcast Monday Quick Hit 25 – Beat That Drum

be relentless podcast quick hit 25 - beat that drumThis 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.

Mentioned Links:

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90 Fitness Answers 06 – Is Fat Bad?

90 fitness answers 06 - is fat bad?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

90 Fitness Answers 05 – What Does It Mean To Be Fit?

dad fitness get in shape bangor maine

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

90 Fitness Answers 04 – How Do I Raise My Metabolism?

90 fitness answers 04 - how do i raise my metabolismYou 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

90 Fitness Answers 01 – How Much Protein Should I Eat?

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

Be Relentless Podcast Quick Hit 24 – LUCK – What It Stands For

be relentless podcast quick hit 24 - luck - what it stands forLUCK

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.

Links:

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Be Relentless Podcast Episode 37 – Four Lessons From the Best-Worst Time of My Life

New Podcast Episode!

Good times, bad times
You know I had my share…
-Led Zeppelin, “Good Times, Bad Times”

It’s funny.

When I get the chance to talk to people who’ve had some success in their life and I ask them about the best (or at least most valuable experience) in their life they almost always point to something that you could consider the “worst” time of their life.

Maybe they hit rock bottom.

Maybe their world fell apart.

Which is terrible.

But it’s also where they learned how to grow, build, and overcome. It turned into a valuable part of shaping them into who they are today.

Continue reading

Be Relentless Podcast – Monday Quick Hit 23 – Fall In Love With the Process

Allan T worked the process for six weeks, and earned the results!

Let’s be honest. The vast majority of people don’t hit their goals, whether it’s in fitness, business, or life in general.

They end up settling for less.

Now, is it because they’re not smart enough to get to their goals and dreams?

Usually not.

Is it because their goals and dreams aren’t rooted in reality?

Sometimes, but generally not, as most people actually dream pretty small once you boil away the extra.

No, most people fail because the way to their dreams is HARD.

And when it’s hard, they give up.

Why do they give up? Is it because they’ve hit a threshold of suffering that they just can’t manage? Again, maybe, but often times that isn’t the case at all.

They give up because the struggle and suffering that comes with chasing big dreams outmatches their EXPECTATION of what it would be.

So, what’s the answer? Listen and find out!