These following 10 pointers are like my commandments for life. If you want to achieve your fitness goals then starting to incorporate the below into your life would serve you well….
1) Planning is essential for progression.
Without a plan you’re doomed to fail. You must plan your sessions with added progressions and plan and prepare your diet based on your individual needs. A good way to keep yourself on track and monitor your results is to keep a training diary and a daily food log. Remember if the plan doesn’t work, change it, but never the goal!
2) Breakfast is king.
We all know the importance of breakfast but I think most of us don’t realise just how important. What you eat for breakfast sets up your entire neurotransmitter production for the day. It connects the brain to the gut, once that connection has been made it allows for better digestion and absorption for the rest of the days meals.
My preferred breakfast of choice is protein, fats & fibre. E.g Eggs with smoked salmon on a bed of baby spinach.
3) Fish oils.
Adding more omega 3 to your diet could probably be one of the best additions to your supplement regime. They are super important to how your body functions and feels overall. They dampen inflammation in the body, improve insulin sensitivity as well as support your skin, nails & hair, eyes, and heart. Studies show that supplementing with omega-3s significantly increases lean mass, while decreasing body fat at the same time.
My number 1 choice is Reflex Nutrition Omega 3 or Krill Oil.
4) Rest, Recover & Grow.
Few people within the health and fitness industry can truly acknowledge or even recognise the importance of rest and recovery in blindness to the success of their ultimate training goals. In order to gain size, strength, definition, you have to work hard, we all know that. However without proper rest and recovery you will not and cannot regenerate, ultimately this will lead us into the dangerous state of over training.
Listen to your body, if you feel or think you need to rest you probably do. I recommend that you have at least one complete day off a week and a deload week every 6 weeks. This will give your body and your mind a break and trust me you won’t lose any of your gains.
When a person is accountable to someone else for doing what they said they would do, they do it. They make the changes they’ve been toying with with and they reach their goals.
When we tell someone we’re going to do something, we engage the power of social expectations. For many of us, that power is very strong. When you tell your boss you are going to get that proposal done by the end of the week, you do it, yes? However, when we tell ourselves, and no one else, that we’ll drop that body fat, gain that lean muscle mass, or have abs like steel, we are less likely to do it.
To move beyond mere talk, you need to commit to specific actions that will move your goals forward and agree with someone else to hold ourselves accountable.
So put yourself on record and become accountable!
6) Cheat days are bad!
Having no moderation or control on a cheat day carries far more risks than benefits to your physical and mental health. In extreme cases it can lead to a fatal outcome from extreme acute gastric dilation after an eating binge and over time metabolic damage.
Eating a cheat meal won’t keep you sane, all it’s going to do is keep you from is your final goal. We crave junk food and high fat meals the same way a drug addict craves drugs. I’ve never heard of a therapist tell a alcoholic to get wasted every 7 days so they don’t go insane.
It takes a minimum of 67 days to break a bad habit. If you eat bad foods every 4-7 days, you’ll continue to reintroduce yourself to every bad habit you’re trying to break.
So, here’s what I suggest. Have a higher calorific MEAL by all means, but certainly not a whole cheat day.
7) Fix your gut.
You train hard and eat right, you manage to control all the external influences that can affect you such as stress and poor sleep. But what’s the point if your gut health is poor and you are struggling to digest and absorb the nutrients you are providing to assist you in your fitness quest.
The digestive system is so important when it comes to health, it is involved in so many processes that when functioning optimally makes us perform to a greater level and thus rewards us in return. A simple and effective protocol can be the addition of L-Glutamine & Probiotic’s.
L-Glutamine has shown to be an amazing aid in healing, sealing and repairing a “leaky gut” by playing a role in the health of the pancreas, liver, mouth and esophagus. The function of all of these parts impact digestion and thus the health of your gut. By taking Glutamine it will ensure the entire digestive process runs much more smoothly, preventing future damage but more importantly healing any damage already done and allowing for better absorption from the quality nutrients of your food. My recommendation for males is to take 20 grams in the morning and 20 grams at night before bed, females should reduce this to10g.
Now these bad boys main purpose is to put good flora back into your gut lining so you have more good bacteria than bad. There are many things that disrupt our good gut flora, including our toxic environment, highly processed and high-sugar diets, inflammatory foods and even medications. It’s due to these reasons that this supplement is an absolute must in my eyes. If you are exposed to any one of those things, and are not putting beneficial bacteria back in your body, you are potentially jeopardising your gut function and immune system. They will also improve digestion so that the nutrients you consume get absorbed and used by the body in an effective manner supporting your metabolism and helping you feel better.
My recommended dosage is to take one first thing in the morning, generally if it’s a good probiotic this is all you will need.
Those with more serious issues can also add a digestive enzyme to each meal.
8) Carbs at night! Do we, Don’t we?
“You can’t consume carbohydrates at night or you will store fat!”
You will have heard or have been told this theory at some point no doubt, right? Its crazy how much it is still used or preached out in the fitness world today. The reason behind this is because most people who recommend limiting carbs at night do so because they believe your metabolic rate decreases at night therefore those consumed and unused carbohydrates will be stored as fat instantly.
This idea that you should avoid carbs at night because your metabolism slows down has been proven to be an invalid theory. Research now actually shows that not only does your metabolism NOT slow down, its actually no different then your resting rate during the day, plus if you exercise it’s actually shown to increase your sleeping metabolism significantly.
Also if you do have difficulty sleeping, including a carbohydrate source in your last meal of the day can activate certain chemicals in your brain that relax you, signalling sleep and allow for a better nights recovery.
9) The Responsibility is in your hands… Stop with the Excuses!
The choice to be healthy and make a change is in your hands. No-one else’s. As children we rely on the adult figures in our lives to ensure that we eat well, sleep well, use our manners, go to school etc. Yet somehow as we get older those basic life tools begin to take a back seat in our hectic life styles. The words “I didn’t have time to eat” or “I forgot to eat” are heard far too much these days, and yes I know we all have lots on but if you make excuses like that then remember your goal is NOT a priority. The human body is a machine and it needs fuel / food just like a car does. I know some people hate using the term food as fuel but essentially it is. You can survive without most things in life but without food you would eventually die, therefore it is a necessity to life.
However, I’m not just talking about any kind of fuel, I’m talking about the right kind of food for you and your goals. When you run out of petrol you wouldn’t fill up your car with cereal or diet coke. That would be stupid, because it wouldn’t work. Yet when some people feel low or become hungry due to missing meals etc they happily load their bodies with junk food, fast food or snack treats. This is because you convince yourself you didn’t have the time and that they were the only options available for you, but essentially it’s laziness or just an extreme lack of education on nutrition. I refuse to believe the majority of adults in this day and age don’t know the right choices to make when it comes to the selection of food available when in similar situations. Granted it’s never the perfect choice but there is always a better option available, something is better than nothing though, just choose wisely.
Guys YOU have to treat YOUR body the best way possible. You only have the one and it’s with you all your life so take care of it! It’s your responsibility to do so, no one else’s. So quit with the excuses, make the right choices and not only look better but feel better which will reflect on everything else in your life.
10) Be the best YOU can be!
One thing I try to preach to those looking to follow in my footsteps is to “Be your-self”.
Yes it’s ok and a very good idea to have aspiring models / people to look up too, but in reality “You can only be the best YOU can be”. Don’t be thinking I want to look like him/her because in the real world and genetically speaking the majority of the time this won’t be possible.
Concentrate on you as an individual and make your own mark in the world with a unique personality, because at the end of the day you’re selling yourself, not a replica of somebody else!
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