There’s probably a million “Top 5” “Top 10” “Top Whatever” list on how to be a healthy and fit person. Despite all these simple, go-to guidelines people still seem to put on weight (fat, not muscle) or can’t lose what they have (fat, not muscle). So, here’s MY little guide/vent session on WHY you need to follow these “no sh*t” rules if you ever want to make progress or keep making progress…
- STOP BLAMING RANDOM SH*T!
I can’t describe the avalanche of anger I feel when someone says they can’t decrease body fat or increase lean muscle because of “X, Y, Z.” You want to know why? Because, I have met many people with the SAME EXCUSES as you and they got into better shape.
They lost body fat, increased lean muscle, looked good at the beach, had more energy in their daily lives, felt better overall, became more productive at work, became a better wife/husband/friend/parent/sibling, and more.
So, for every excuse you’re going to give someone for why you’re not in the shape you want to be in, be it….
- Lack of time
- Lack of motivation (from yourself, friends, or family)
- Lack of gym access (you can get plenty done with a $50 suspension system in your home)
- Lack of health meal options (you have more options than you realize)
…..just remember there really is only one, honest reason; you kept making excuses. Knock it off!
- YOU SAY YOU’RE IN A DEFICIT & I SAY “BULLSH*T!”
You cannot, I repeat, CANNOT decrease body fat without being in a caloric deficit. No, you do not defy the laws of thermodynamics. Want me to prove my point? Move to a 3rd world country and live there for a month. I promise you’ll drop weight faster than a 4 year old carrying a hot plate.
“But Joooosh. I have XYZ disease! Everyone in my family is overweight!” SHUT UP! I’ve heard it before! Sure, genetics play a role in how fast or slowly you lose or gain weight but they aren’t magical. This isn’t Camelot. You’re not Merlin.
“But Jooooosh. I’m in caloric deficit and still not losing weight!” NO YOU’RE NOT! If you’ve restricted your food intake to just below maintenance for 20 out of 21 meals in a week (3 meals a day, 7 days a week) then you are not in a CONSTANT caloric deficit. Remember, it’s the total number of calories you consume over a lifetime that determines if you’re in a deficit or surplus. Your body doesn’t need much to go up or down. But, it does respond to consistency. Eat more than your body needs? Your weight goes up. Eat less than your body needs? You goes down. Weight’s not moving? Then you’re at maintenance whether you like it or not. It’s that simple.
- LIFT SOME HEAVY SH*T 80% OF THE TIME! MOVE YOUR ASS 20% OF THE TIME!
This doesn’t mean you’re going to look like a fitness model. This doesn’t mean you’re going to look like a sexy, lean ballerina. It simply means, “Stimulate your body with consistent, progressive overload over a prolonged period of time,” if you even hope to see results.
(FYI….”time” in this instance refers to the number of weeks, months, and years you follow a program….not the minutes per day you spend working out…although, that is important too….shoot for 45 min.)
Why lift heavy sh*t? Aside from the mountain of research over the last 50 years which validates this claim, aside from the massive numbers of fitness freaks on social media, aside from the numerous collegiate, professional, and Olympic level athletes who focus on strength, and aside from a life of experience testing different training methods, I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that breaking down muscle fibers, helping them rebuild (through proper nutrition and sleep), and simple movements (pushes, pulls, hinges, squats, and carries) you WILL get the results you’re looking for.
Spin class? I’ve seen plenty of cyclists with amazing legs and big fat guts.
Barre class? If you’re not rehabbing from an injury working with the Imperial Russian Ballet Company then, no, you’re long going to “lift, tone, burn” your ass into shape.
Yoga? It’s great for upper body strength building (to a point), flexibility, and balance. However, I haven’t been too impressed with the physiques of most yogis. If you see a yogi in great shape they are either 1) doing other things outside of yoga such as lifting or 2) doing far more advanced body weight exercises (i.e. gymnastics) that you are not near the level of performing. I’d go with calisthenics or gymnastics instead, but that’s just me.
Running? I’ve seen amazing physiques on sprinters. I haven’t seen amazing physiques on people doing ultra-marathons or running their local 5k. Long-distance, slow, steady pace running is good for heart health, mental therapy, some fat loss, and very little muscle increase. Do NOT use it to have a stellar body. Use it for the prior mentioned reasons.
Kickboxing/Boxing Class? Yes, it’s a good cardio builder, core enhancer, and some basic power work. However, real kick boxers and real boxers lift! They don’t just punch and kick a bag all day (well, they hit other people on occasion). So, if you’re joining your local kickboxing/boxing studio and expect to look like Floyd Mayweather or Misha Tate, think again.
Sorry for the venting but this just needed to be said. Too many questions, excuses, etc. lately and needed to make sure everyone reading the articles on this website are on the same page.
STAY FIT MY FRIENDS!