I’m Back! (like you noticed I was gone…)

Posted: September 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

In case you didn’t notice  — judging by the amount of views this blog gets, many of you haven’t — there hasn’t been a post here for a while.  I’d like to offer my apologies as I’ve been on vacation the past few weeks.  I also got to spend time in some dude’s dream that was actually another dude’s dream in which we were trying to keep Tom Cruise’s samurai friend from dying and Juno and yeah, something about Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a cobra choke.

Alright.  So a good majority of my vacation may or may not have been spent watching Inception and then dreaming about dreaming about watching Inception.  In a dream.  Sorry.  My blog didn’t exist when Inception came out, so I’m a little late to the party.  I’m done.  I swear.*

Here’s something for your troubles:  a quick post about how to make your approach to diet and exercise a little more effective.

As a fitness professional, I occasionally get questions like, “what do you think about x-diet?” or “is such and such exercise good for you?” and, “when are you going to cut your damn hair?”

Truth be told, that last one is probably the one I get asked the most, but I digress.

I’m always more than happy to answer questions like these, because I realize that most people have not spent any time in the trenches training people and figuring out what actually works.

But it almost never fails to draw a slightly disappointed look when my answers start off with, “it depends.”

The truth is that most fitness questions should be answered with, “it depends.”

If we look at this a little closer, there really are a bunch of factors to consider.  Among other things, you have to take into account what a person’s goals are, what their current training level is and the amount of time they have to spend towards said goal.  If you’ve at least figured out your goal, the next thing I would say is to just try whatever it is you’re asking about.

There’s no better way to find out if something works for you than by trying it.  I don’t think there’s any way to argue that statement, but is there more to it?

There are literally hundreds of workout routines and diets out there and we obviously can’t try them all.  We just don’t have enough time.  Unless, of course, you make friends with a scientist who has wild hair and an affinity for DeLoreans and plutonium.

Not all of us are going to be that lucky, so we have to have a better way of narrowing down the possibilities.  Or better yet, is there something we can make sure we’re doing day in and day out that will keep most goals within reach?

What most smart coaches and trainers will tell you is that it comes down to enhancing function.  If we train and eat to optimize the function and performance of our bodies, our desired results are bound to follow.

A lot of fuss is made in the mainstream media about achieving a certain “look.”  Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly okay to want to look a certain way.  Although I might question your decision making abilities if that look entails wearing your pants around your bottom lip on a day thats not Halloween.  

My point is that when we merely seek out a certain look, we tend to only stick to our plans temporarily.  We see a version of ourselves in the mirror that we like to look at and let the foot of the proverbial gas.  We get pretty close to our goal and decide we can take a few weeks/months/years off, only to go back to where we started.  This just leads to a vicious cycle of on and off dieting and exercising that most of us have been through before.

By making sure we’re eating and exercising to maximize our potential each day, we create a lifestyle as opposed to a temporary diet.  Our workouts become a day by day reflection of our desire to better ourselves and our dietary habits start to revolve around getting ourselves to feel as good as we can each day.  It will leave us in a better mindset to stay the course and make it easier to get back on track when we fall off.

So how would you apply this to your own goals?  Here are a couple of suggestions:

Want to lose weight?

Make sure your body has the proper nutrients to operate at a high level both physically and mentally by getting in enough fruits, vegetables, proteins and healthy fats.  Doing this will leave you less malnourished.  This in turn will keep you from overeating in most situations and keep your food choices within good reason.

When you hit the gym, focusing on getting your entire body to move properly will make sure you’re challenging your entire body.  This will help stimulate as much lean muscle as you can in hopes of getting yourself into an energy deficit, leading to fat loss.

Want to be faster on the field?

Using a program that challenges your 1 rep max in lifts like the squat and deadlift will improve your maximum strength which you can then translate into faster movements on the field.  By making sure we get all the nutrients we need, our bodies are able to recover and perform better on a day to day basis.  This will ensure that your workouts will continue to trend towards the positive.

Believe me, there’s nothing quite like the way your body feels and functions when you put the proper nutrients into it.  On the flipside, you begin to notice how leaving those nutrients out makes you feel as well.  Once you become aware of these effects, its hard to let yourself slide too far.

There are many ways to go about this, and the trick is finding what makes you feel and perform the best.  For some this might be the Paleo Diet or Crossfit.  For others it might be Precision Nutrition and 5/3/1.  What you’ll eventually find is that the successful nutrition strategies and programs will have a lot in common and will differ slightly in the details.  And when you consider that most people are nearly identical from a DNA perspective, this makes a lot of sense.

So what have you tried that seems to work for you?  Let us know in the comments section!

*As it turns out, I actually incepted into your brain, that “I’m done making fun of Inception,” when I was in fact, not.


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