You’re probably reading this article because you want a quick fix or a blueprint that will help you get to your training or physique goals as quickly as possible. Well here’s the good news. HERE IT IS! With so much information out there as to what to eat, how to train, when to train, etc. it’s no wonder so many people give up before they even get started! The good news is that almost any training program can work if you are motivated to do it. Whatever program you decide to adopt, if you focus on these five things, your results will be exponentially better and more lasting than just doing the exercise prescription given in your program! In fact, apply these simple tips to any program and you will reach a level of self-satisfaction and success that you may have never thought possible!
Focus on your meal prep
Listen to your body!
Focus on your meal prep:
This is perhaps the most difficult aspect for most people because it takes time and a little effort on the front end. The rewards are tremendous, however, as YOU have control of what you put into your body, you actually save money in the long run, and it allows you to stay consistent with your calorie and macronutrient goals. So take a Sunday night and cook enough to last for two or three days. Cooking for two to three days at a time allows you some flexibility in your diet and makes the effort seem manageable.
Study after study has concluded that nutrient timing around your workouts is almost as important as your daily macronutrient goals. Here’s a simple recipe for success. See attached article for the science and recommended dosage for each element.
30 minutes before workout: Pre-workout formula that contains caffeine, Betaine, Beta-alanine, Citrulline Malate, Creatine (optional), and a solid dose of BCAAs. More on these individual compounds in a later blog. That seems like a lot to look for, but most pre-made powders have some combination of these ingredients. Look for labels that clearly list the amounts of these products, as opposed to a “proprietary blend”, which leaves you guessing how much of each ingredient is included in a serving.
Intra (during) workout: Sip on a concoction made with about 20-25g whey and 7-10g BCAAs.
Post-workout: As soon as you are done training, try to get 25-50g simple sugars (I like cyclic dextrin) along with another 30g of whey protein. I also like to add a green superfood powder to this mix as well. There are many pre-made post workout formulas out there on the market to help take the guesswork out of this meal.
In another article, I will discuss my recommended supplements. I am not being paid to push these products in any way and I change products often to test them out on myself. These are just the products that I’m currently using that have yielded tremendous results in my recovery between workouts and provided me with the energy that I need to train daily.
Simple, but not always easy to do. Find some time to meditate or think about what you want out of your training. How do you imagine being fit, sexy, and strong will affect your life? How will it influence your confidence in other areas (like EVERY area) of your life? Imagine the sacrifice and hard work that you put into your training in an effort to reach your ultimate you! Taking time to do this on a daily basis will give you the self-motivation that you need to stay the course, embrace the work to come, and ‘feel the reward’ and satisfaction of your considerable efforts!
Commit to yourself:
Ok, here is the one time when being a little self-absorbed is a good thing! This isn’t a pretentious thing, it’s a commitment to bettering yourself in every way. The discipline involved in creating the best version of yourself may involve some sacrifice in other areas in your life, but just remember that this commitment leads to a healthier, more energetic, more mentally centered, more positive ‘you’. In turn, this becomes the ‘you’ that actually better serves the people in your life!
Listen to your body!
This is the one thing that seems to teeter on the boundary of madness and progress. The “power through”, “suck it up”, “train to failure and beyond” mentality that’s so popular in our machismo-laden society has been responsible for more injuries and burnout than a Crossfit competition! Don’t get me wrong, when you have a passion to train, you can actually train every day, however, you can’t put your body through those all-out sessions day in and day out! The thing that people fail to take into consideration is a little thing called the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS). Alternating between hyper-intense sessions and sessions that promote recovery is the best way to promote sustainable progress and keep your motivation for training high.
Go all out when you have the energy and focus, and then back off on the days that you are just not able to pour everything you have into your workout. Take the OPPORTUNITY on your ‘tired’ days to try something new like a yoga or Pilates class. Find some hills and go for a walk or get into the gym and try some exercises that you’ve never done before to see if there is a place for them in your program. The goal is to learn what your body is trying to tell you. If you approach your training intelligently, you can actually do something every single day of the week and NOT OVERTRAIN!
There it is. A mini-Blueprint with sensible information that will help you to get the most out of your training! Now plan, commit, and get after it!