Posts Tagged ‘Fitness’

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Just so we’re clear, there is absolutely no supplement out there that is going to make up for crappy nutrition and destructive eating habits. Supplements are there to supplement your diet.

With that in mind, food is always going to be superior to supplements. There’s no debate in saying that your nutrition should primarily consists of whole foods — it’s a given. But, there are a handful that I strongly recommend looking into.

1. Curcumin

 

Curcumin is the yellow pigment associated with Turmeric — and is perhaps the most powerful supplement I’ve taken. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, its other effects range from pain management to benefits that affect nearly every organ system in the body. One of my long-time clients who has osteoarthritis in both knees has experienced tremendous feedback from supplementing with curcumin.

The caveat, though, is that it has poor bioavailability. So, you need to ingest curcumin as part of a formula that contains piperine (black pepper extract) to enhance absorption.

2. Vitamin D

 

More than 40 percent of American adults are thought to be deficient in vitamin D.  In fact, every time I ask my clients for their blood work, more often than not, their vitamin D level is sub-optimal. Interestingly enough, when carbohydrate intake is controlled, I’ve found that supplementing with Vitamin D has a positive effect on Hemoglobin A1c. So, if you’re pre-diabetic, look into your Vitamin D levels. Of course this is just anecdotal evidence.

3. Magnesium

 

Magnesium is a big player for a number of biochemical reactions that keep the body functioning properly. Unfortunately, most people across the population are deficient in it. A deficiency has been shown to increase blood pressure and has a negative effect on carbohydrate metabolism.

If you don’t want to supplement, nuts and leafy vegetables are among the best food sources.

4. Fish Oil

 

It’s pretty obvious that we all should be taking this due to it’s variety of health benefits. There’s ample evidence that suggest it promotes healthier blood vessels, and lowers lipid count. Omega-3 fatty acids delivers potent anti-inflammatory effects, and the most obvious is that it has a positive effect on brain and cardiovascular health.

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Let’s face it, cardio is bone-numbingly tedious. There’s ample evidence that suggests long duration of steady-state or low-intensity cardio leads to muscle loss. Simply put, it becomes counter-productive. Now, if we’re talking about having a positive impact on your performance and body composition, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better solution than adding “finishers” to your workout — it does a fantastic job of building muscle, maximizing fat loss, and improving conditioning. Don’t get me wrong, low-intensity cardio is still important, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by doing only two hours of cardio five days a week. Mix it up.

 

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1. Sled Work

 

Sometimes you just need a good kick in the ass to toughen you up. Hence, the sled.

The vast majority can agree that there’s really nothing more badass than moving heavy weight on the sled. But… they’re brutal, and they also make you question your sanity (in a good way).

Push it. Pull It. Drag it. Move it.

 

2. Landmine Complexes

 

Just to be clear, I think traditional barbell complexes are absolutely fine. If you can do them, do them. Generally, though, I don’t like them because a lot of people royally screw it up, particularly beginners. You also have to understand that the further you go into a fatigued state, one thing is constant — your form will start to break down. That is why I’m more partial to setting up with the Landmine. They’re safer. Nuff’ said.

Try this:

  • Landmine Squat x 8
  • Landmine 1-Leg RDL x 8/leg
  • Landmine Deadlift x 8

Repeat for 3-4 sets.

 

 

3. Kettlebell Combos

 

While the sled is my favorite tool to use, the kettlebell would be a close second.  This piece of equipment is one of the most versatile tools you can have at your disposal.  As such, everybody should learn how to properly use them.

Option 1:

  • Kettlebell Swing x 12
  • Push-Ups x 8
  • Kettlebell Goblet Squat x 8
  • Push-Ups x 6

Repeat for 3-4 sets.

Option 2:

  • Kettlebell Swings x 20
  • Front Plank x 30 secs

Repeat for 3-4 sets.

Takeaway

 

Despite what you might’ve been told, cardio doesn’t have to be relegated into just countless hours of walking on the treadmill or elliptical. These are some of the simple protocols you can use to add some spice into your training, but also speed up your progress.

Speaking of which, I’m happy to announce that I’m taking clients for my online fitness coaching. If you want to get stronger, build lean muscle, and decrease body fat, learn more about my coaching here. Follow the link and I’ll contact you as soon as possible to see how I can help.

Let's Get It Started

Now that the calendar has switched over another year, it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot more people in the gym.  By no means is this an attempt to downplay their attempt to get in shape. Far from it. In this post, I want to share some tidbits I’ve learned this past year. Here they are:

1. It doesn’t matter what training protocol you do. You can’t out-train a destructive lifestyle.

 

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Perhaps the biggest perk of regularly working out is that you can afford to have higher allotment of indulgence. Meaning, you get to drink and eat more. To that end, it’s amazing how naive we are to think that progress is made in the gym.  Regardless of the training method, all you’re doing is breaking your body down.  What you do outside is going to dictate your results. If you live for the weekends, you’re not going to get anything in return.  Yes — there are people who can get away with eating crap, and getting minimal rest. But there is a tipping point.

Good intentions and justifying yourself on social media doesn’t mean much. Consider the different elements in your lifestyle that are a hindrance. Work to gradually change them and in turn, you’ll maximize results in the gym.

2. Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean productivity.

 

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When I first started out as a trainer in a commercial gym, I did everything and anything to fill up my time slots. Early in the morning, sure thing.  Late afternoon, you got it. However, the more I advanced and grew, I realized that I had to be more efficient with my time — especially now that I’m a business owner. Greg McKeown, the author of Essentialism, refers to this as discerning the vital few from the trivial many. To give context, you have to recognize what’s important — and from there, you prioritize.

3. Prioritize single-leg work. You’re welcome.

 

Just to be clear, I’m not against lower body bilateral training.  In fact, I love the squat and deadlift. I’ve achieved a 315lb Front Squat, and a 405 Deadlift. Your body, however, takes a beating. There’s only so much load that it can tolerate before it starts to breakdown. So, why not split that load in half and do it one leg at a time. You still get a comparable training effect without imposing a ton of sheer force on the spine. You’d be surprised at just how much value focusing on single-leg work can bring.

4. All the training won’t matter if your diet royally sucks. (Get this through your head)

 

This ties in with the first point above. It’s a clear observation that completely disregarding the importance of proper nutrition is foolish, to say the least.  Look, I get it — it’s incredibly hard. But consider how many benefits have the potential to dramatically improve your physique and performance if your diet was on point.  Understand that there is a trade-off and you have to exercise serious discipline (not restriction).

5. Being strong doesn’t mean jack sh** if you move like a tin-can.

 

If you’re as strong as an ox, good on ya’. But if you can’t move well, you’re not going to be able to perform at a high level. Don’t be like the traitor from 300.  Maintain quality of movement by devoting at least 5-10 minutes on the foam roller in conjunction with your dynamic warm-up.

Trust me.

It’s much easier to maintain, than it is to regain it back.

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6. If you don’t like the way you look, do something about it.

 

We can’t all look like a bikini competitor, model, or physique athlete. But that shouldn’t stop you from training to improve your appearance. How you look is a testament to your health and vitality — take pride in it.

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