3 OCTOBER 2013
FIXING YOUR FITNESS
Since I began writing about how to get fit I have received a great deal of email asking for more details. there is no secret formula, or shortcut here. Although every one of us may be different, we are all the same in terms of how to attain what we are looking for. In general, eat Paleo, sprint, and lift heavy stuff. Do that and your body composition will in fact change.
What we want is a muscular body with minimal fat. And it can be attained at any age. But sometimes a reader will tell me he or she has been doing all of this without any success. I suspect that they have not been "doing all of this" sufficiently. Here are some mistakes that you can avoid:
1). Diet is deficient in vitamins and nutrients. In a perfect world we would get all our nutrients from organic food that was nutritionally - well, perfect. That is not the case and no amount of wishing will change it. So we need to supplement our nutrition. When it comes to losing fat one of the best vitamins to supplement is Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with being fat. Raising the level by supplementation will lead to losing greater degrees of fat.
I have also found that supplementing with D will generally kill a cold as it begins, or shorten it once it hits you. Other important supplements are Zinc, Magnesium, and sufficient water.
Along with that is the matter of not restricting the starches and sugars in the diet. Starches and sugars fill you up and habitual consumption will prevent you from losing fat. Someone on a quest to lose fat has no business eating anything in the pasta family, or potatoes, or bread, or anything with sugar. Its a matter of discipline, but it is necessary if you are to attain a lean and muscular body with minimal fat. I hear all about "cheat days". Look...if you cannot see abdominal muscles, there should not be any cheat days.
2). Stressful lifestyle. You have read my "Distance from Disorder" discussion before. if not, it is on warriortalk. Stress is a part of living and a stress-free life would be boring as hell. But excessive amounts due to negative people, victim mind set, etc., will increase the production of cortisol in the body which shuts down fat burning dead. Excess stress also leads to lack of sleep which compounds the problem.
So seek to de-stress yourself as much as possible. Expell negative people from your life. Find work arounds to restrictions imposed by others. The outlaw or pirate mindset is very liberating and free of stress, for example.
Note that item #1 can easily lead to item #2. And both will affect item #3.
3). Training Faux Pas. One thing I often see associated with the desire to lose weight (which is incorrect...what is desired is losing fat, and not necessarily "weight") is extensive cardio as typified by the marathon runner. This sort of steady state cardio work is inefficient for losing fat and actually leads to retaining the very fat you wish to lose. The reason so many like it is that it is easy to do and requires little focus or thought. Think of the guy or gal on the treadmill at the gym, at a steady slow jog, watching CNN. THAT is not the way to get a lean and muscular body.
Instead use some sort of sprint interval, whether it involves running sprints, using a rowing machine, or kettlebells, a high intensity expediture of energy followed by a short rest interval, repeated a number of times in succession is what we want!
With weights, we want to have short intense workouts. We do not go to the gym to be social...save that for the Starbucks down the street. Get in there with a plan and a goal...hit it hard, attain it...and leave. Your weight sessions should hit the main functions of the body: horizontal pushing and pulling, vertical pushing and pulling, folding, hinging, and squatting. And the exercises should involve heavy weight that you can move for about 6-8 repetions. And those repetitions should be organized into three to five iterations, or sets. The guy doing three sets of fifty with a weight a child could lift is wasting his time. Get heavy on the weight to lean of body.
Give those three fixes a try and see if they don't get your fitness quest back on track!!