5 Fitness Absolutes
Do you want to:
● Lose weight
● Get strong
● Get big
● Run fast
● Get fit
● Get healthy
Over the last 15 years of working with everyone from joes to pros, I have observed 5 major practices that must be followed in order to experience results. These items work like a checklist to be sure you are doing the baseline requirements for success. This article is not intended to give exhaustive explanation for why or how you need these habits. Most of these items should already be daily practices, however, we often overlook the simple things in search of the magic solution.
1. Train hard and often
You must workout 4 times per-week, for 12 straight weeks before you evaluate results. Consistency is key. Use some kind of tracking device to keep record of your workouts. Consistent effort over time is what will get you to your goal.
2. Eat real, whole food
What you should and shouldn’t be eating is an important factor. There are so many fad diets boasting fast results. However, there is one nutrition plan that has worked for thousands of years: consuming real, whole foods in moderate amounts. Before we talk about supplements, nutrient timing, and superfoods, you must get rid of the packages, powders and processed counterfeits and start diving into fuel that either comes directly from or is fed by the earth.
Don’t skip over this one. Most people do not drink enough water. Do you? Many people consume way too many calories and sugar through a straw. Do you? The best way to know if you are drinking enough is to measure it. 64oz of water per day is the minimum I recommend for a well hydrated body. One of the best ways to begin your day is to have an 8 oz glass of water on your night stand to drink promptly upon waking.
This does not mean just lay your head down on your pillow and close your eyes. We would all benefit greatly by practicing quality sleep guidelines. Some basics are:
Minimize your exposure to blue light LCD screens one hour before going to bed
Do not drink caffeinated drinks after noon
Do not eat too close to bedtime
Implement a bedtime ritual that cues your mind and body that is it time to rest
How much sleep should you be getting? The answer is different for each person. If you are not recovering from workouts, feel tired during the day, or just intrinsically feel like you are not getting good sleep, seek to improve both your sleep quality and quantity.
5. Manage Stress
There is no such thing as a stress-free life. We were made to handle hard things. The right level of stress is good for us. We need to be pushed out of comfort zones to achieve and become greater in areas that matter most to each of us. However, too much stress is detrimental to the health, recovery, and growth systems of the body. There are mounds of material available out there on how best to manage your stress. I will not pretend I have the answer for you here in this short article. I encourage you to seek out the information, develop a plan and begin to order your world in a way that allows you to enjoy life as a healthy individual. I personally find play time to be a huge stress reliever. Maybe you are like me and need to do activities that allow you to escape the grind, elevate your mood, and energize your soul.
6. Coach + Plan + Team = Results
People who have the best results are those who have surrounded themselves with support. Support in the form of a coach, a plan and a team. Your coach can help you sort through all the information out there, provide accountability and keep you on track. A plan will keep you focused, encouraged and patient. Finally, a team of family and friends is invaluable when you need someone to kick you in the butt and then celebrate with you when you have reached your goals.