THE FOOLPROOF WAY TO PREVENT TRAINING INJURIES

Train cool, not like a fool.

What do fractions and fitness have in common?

Answer: With fractions what you do to the top (numerator) you have to do to the bottom (Denominator). Similarly, with training the attention dedicated to the upper body should also be applied to the lower half, and what you do to your front you should do in equal measure to the back.

Thus today’s post will cover some key preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of sustaining a major training related injury. (To keep things sweet and simple this article will mainly focus on upper body injuries, commonly associated with the shoulders. Lower body issues will be elaborated upon more thoroughly in future).

1) Make structural integrity a training priority

Note: This step alone will increase the longevity of your training years and if implemented early will save you a great deal of pain down the road.

When it comes to training the vast majority of typical bodybuilding and strength-training routines overlook (or worse, downright ignore) the critical importance of maintaining structural integrity and harmony between muscle groups throughout the body.

What is structural integrity?

Simply put, it’s the strength balance between the anterior (front chain) and posterior (back chain) muscles.

To avoid needles injuries, muscle imbalances and problems with posture, it’s imperative that there isn’t a significant variance in strength level between the muscle groups of the front and the back.

Muscle imbalances are incredibly common among seasoned lifters and gym rats alike, often the result of too much chest and arm (front work) focus and not enough back, rear delts and rotator cuff attention.

Over time, this unbalanced, one sided training approach will inevitably lead to an imbalance and is the big reason why many shoulder injuries, rotator cuff tears and strains are so prevalent amongst lifters.

What winds up happening is the chest and front delts end up becoming significantly stronger than the muscles of the back and in effect overpower them. This creates a muscle imbalance, and is the primary reason that the hunched shoulder look is prevalent.

Overtime due to lack of stimulation the muscles of the rear delts and rotator cuff weaken further and SLAP, BANG… Injuries, in the form of a rotator cuff tear or shoulder impingement etc.

On the contrary, don’t think this is merely relegated to those of us who regularly engage in the practice of blessing iron. Oh no.

It pertains greatly to everybody, whether you train or not. Due to the fact that as human beings the vast majority of the activities we engage in happen directly in front of us. (Don’t get it? hold your horses and all will be revealed).

See, think about this, you look down at your phone, computers. You pick up your knife and fork to shove grub down the ole pie hole, pick up a book or magazine to read etc. You get the general idea. All these activities take place in front of your torso.

If you’re like the majority of people they’re usually looking down at their phones, laptops etc. for extended periods of time, ultimately resulting in posture issues (the dreaded hunched shoulders) down the road, and potential shoulder/rotator cuff injuries aforementioned earlier.

So how’d you avoid this unpleasantness?

How do you best avoid this scenario and greatly reduce the likelihood of experiencing such an injury? (definitely not fun).

Great questions, that brings us to point numero deux.

2) Include a posterior chain exercise in every workout

I’ve adopted the practice of making the first exercise of every upper body workout a pulling motion to effectively target the back, which as I’ve mentioned before is often neglected at least in comparison to the more favorable “show muscles” of the front.

I routinely begin each session with 2-3 sets of face-pulls as a preventative measure.

So, taking into consideration everything mentioned earlier in this post, the following simple exercise list will give you an idea of some of the counter measures you can take to combat “deltoid destruction” and “back blowout.”

Exercises to throw into your training mix:

  • Face pulls
  • Rear delt flyes w/ dumbells or on pec dec machine
  • Pull up/chin up variations
  • Any bent over rowing motion
  • Deadlifts/ Back bridges/ hyper-extensions 

Include the following pulling movements in your training to ensure you hit the muscles of the posterior chain. These’ll act as a counter balance to all the pressing/pushing motions and work you do to your front.

In my opinion, the pulling to pushing ratio of movements in your routine should be about 70/30. (Obviously favouring pulling motions).

Remember, you’ve got to compensate for the fact that you spend a lot of your day involved in tasks that take place at the front of your body, let alone the exercises you do to pump up your “show muscles.”

3) Understand the purpose of assistance movements in injury prevention

Though compound movements (bench press, pull ups, overhead press, squats etc) are great for stimulating overall muscle growth and strength development, they cannot engage all aspects of a muscle.

Relying solely on compound lifts will also lead to muscle imbalances as weaker muscle groups will give way to stronger ones when performing a certain lift.

That’s where assistance or isolation movements come into play. They’re great as a means of specifically targeting, stimulating and strengthening the weaker muscle groups.

I view the assistance exercises as not just a means of isolating certain parts of a given muscle, but also a way of ensuring you strengthen and engage weaker or less developed areas of your physique, thus maintaining a good strength ratio between the various muscle groups.

THERE YOU HAVE IT.

3 simple steps to maintain order, harmony and balance throughout your body and greatly reduce the instance of injury.

If you enjoyed this post, found the content useful and want more info like it, there’s 2 simple thing you can do effective immediately:

That’s all for now folks…. TTFN.

HOW TO LIVE ARTFULLY

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ( The artful Venice circa 2016).

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. (The artful Venice circa 2016).

“You are an artist. Your experiences the brushstrokes, & life itself the canvas. Go forth and create your art.” 

Let that statement mull over and sink in. Ultimately, the conclusion you should arrive at is this:

You are your own unique masterpiece and work in progress.

Today’s post will cover a few methods you can implement to break out of the mold and become a creator rather than a consumer.

So your next questions are likely….

  • How do you create your own masterpiece?
  • How do you make life art?

Simple. Do what you love. (Since I’m a swell guy, I’m not going to leave you hanging with that somewhat incomplete explanation).

That which inspires, excites and thrills you. Engage in activities that are meaningful to you and allow you to bring your own personality to the table.

When people think of art, they bring their close-minded, boxed perception to the forefront.

Sure painting, photography, sculpting, pottery etc, are all examples of art and fit within the context of artistry.

However, to say that these aspects exemplify art in its entirety is downright moronic and unjust.

Art is to be free. It’s freedom of expression. Unlike subjects such as math and history, art isn’t something that can be tied down and confined.

The moment this happens it’s no longer an art form.

To live artfully is to live authentically. To live life as you see fit and to partake in self-expression.

Human beings weren’t designed to be robots, despite the hive minded direction society seems to be engulfed in nowadays.

Anyways, I digress.

The following pointers are elements I’ve implemented and personally recorded great successes with, in relation to the overall life satisfaction department.

I’m pretty darn positive that you’ll be able to experience the same and bring about a new way of thinking and experiencing the world around you.

Here goes….

1) Envision your life as one gigantic masterpiece

Far too many individuals look at their lives from a pessimistic, negative perspective. They tend to get caught up on the problems they’re experiencing and being challenged with.

To truly break free from this vicious, ensnaring, self-defeating circle you’ve got to shift your mindset.

Though you may not be able to control all outside forces and factors in your life, you can certainly diminish the feelings of negativity towards these experiences by adjusting the way you perceive these situations.

The net result will be a positive shift in the manner in which you respond to your environment.

If you view and think of your life as an artwork, something you can mold and sculpt into a thing of beauty, your outlook will change, you’ll feel more enriched and happier.

However, in order to establish this mental shift in yourself, you have to devote considerable time and effort to activities that bring value, meaning and satisfaction to your life.

Which brings us to point number 2.

2) Engage in meaningful activities

Time is a commodity. Spend it selectively and spend it well. Artists know to spend their time creating, shaping, building and polishing. Constantly working, re-working and refining.

Similarly, if you seek to become a true “artist of life” (a phrase well used by Bruce Lee), the requirement is that you focus and devote the majority of your time, effort and attention to activities that help shape and create the reality (life) you want.

Apply this unanimously across the different avenues of your life and you’ll reap the vast benefits.

Want to create your best possible physique?

Select a suitable program, then get your ass into the weight room and use the tools available (barbells, dumbbells and machines) to build and sculpt your muscles and boost your strength while using diet to polish and carve away the excess body fat.

If you wish to enable yourself the luxury of taking vacations at your leisure, and witnessing the vast and wonderful world. Focus on creating the revenue stream for yourself, that’ll allow you to accomplish that ambition. Whether through a career, business ventures, entrepreneurship etc.

Want to improve your intelligence, acquire life knowledge and ultimately learn more about yourself on a deeper, more intimate level?

Pick up some books and put in the time reading, studying and imparting knowledge into your head.

Keep a journal, jot down your thoughts, to find patterns in your thought process and identify problem areas you need to address in order to advance your life.

Want to be able to protect yourself and your loved ones from needless physical attacks and violence?

Devote the necessary attention to studying, practicing and honing in the skills and disciplines of a martial art.

Be it Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Muay thai, jiu jitsu, Hapkido, Judo etc. Whatever, just decide on one, join a class and train like hell.

Since it’s so damn important, I’ll say it again.

Create the life you envision, by investing the majority (upwards of 80%) of your time and attention into activities that will bring about the results and desired outcomes you seek. (Assuming you have more than one life aspiration).

 3) Apply yourself diligently to life

 A true artist creates and follows his/her own path. Stop looking to others to give you cues and answers. Instead, apply your entire being (mind, body, sprit and consciousness) to your life.

To be an artist of life the pivotal requirement is that you truly envelope yourself entirely in living.

Ask yourself the question: What do I want out of life?

Do yourself some justice and answer it as honestly as possible. Better yet, grab a pen and a journal and write down your life goals and the steps you need to take to reach them.

Avoid becoming a bystander, a spectator in your own life. Refuse to sit idly on the sidelines, waiting endlessly for the “perfect moment”, while the world passes you by.

Get into the habit of doing the things you know you need to do, in order to create the life that you seek and see yourself worthy of.

3) Explore yourself

An artist creates from his core, his soul and the very root of his being. The most honest and powerful source of inspiration and motivation comes from within.

The solution then, is to identify what makes you tick. What sparks your soul and gets your creative juices flowing?

This is why it’s a damn necessity to keep a journal and do some honest soul searching, spending some real quality time getting to know and understand you.

Bearing in mind, and getting at the heart of the matter, you know yourself better than anyone else. (If you don’t, you’re really missing the whole beauty of living).

4) Become receptive to the world around you

It’s easy to keep to your thoughts and get stuck in your head. This is probably even more prominent in us creative folk.

And while there definitely is an element of necessity to this ability, it’s important not to neglect your environment and become so closed off and immersed in yourself, to the point that you neglect some of the beautiful moments that life throws your way. (In fact, it can be pretty damn detrimental). Don’t be that guy or girl.

Of course you want to focus on yourself the majority of the time and creating the best possible life you can, however, sometimes ideas, and creativity can spark from places you least expect. So keep your eyes peeled, ears open and senses sharp.

5) Art is subjective

It goes without saying, art is subjective and therefore, as your life is art, it is equally subjective. It’s one of a kind, and what’s good for one person isn’t necessarily for the next and vice versa.

By that measure, to compete with others and even striving to be another carbon copy flies 100% against the very nature of life itself.

Live in the manner you see fit, do what you think and feel is right and screw the critics.

Not every masterpiece is viewed as such. To one person it represents beauty, whilst to another it might arouse absolutely nothing.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

To that effect, you are the beholder of your life.

Ultimately, all that truly maters is that you’re contented with the life you create. That’s the bottom line.

Final thoughts

In closing let me say this:

Don’t take anything anyone says to you, whether tips and advice or criticism as 100% fact.

Why? Because seldom do they know the real you and your inner workings.

Heck, don’t even take what I say as gospel. If it resonates, fantastic. That’s fine and dandy.

Always keep this one thing in mind.

“Life is a journey of self discovery and mastery.”

Live with conviction and create your life, like an artist.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post and found the info presented useful, you’ll likely appreciate the value in my upcoming book “Conquering Chaos: A guide to creating you’re idyllic life”

DIETING 101: STRUCTURING NUTRITION

dieting 101

Perfectly prepared by The Uncaged Animal.

Diet, diet, diet!! Good old dieting. If you’re like the majority of people who get into this wonderfully addictive (sometimes borderline obsessive) thing called fitness, you’ll know doubt already be aware of the importance of nutrition and how eating appropriately plays into the ultimate outcome of your health and physique.

So today ladies and gents, we’re going to break down and systematically cover the fundamentals of setting up the eating portion of your fitness plan, and getting you on track to blasting through your goals like no tomorrow.

Step 1: Set the appropriate energy balance (caloric intake) for your goal

Motor vehicles run on petrol/ diesel, similarly the body runs on energy. Calories are simply energy matter. When you overfill a bucket with water it spills over.

Similarly when you overeat, or otherwise take in more energy than the body requires to maintain your current body weight, guess what you gain weight. Do the opposite and you lose weight.

Pretty straightforward, right?

Only there’s more to it than that.

Whether your aim is to build lean tissue, lose body fat or both, its critical to fuel the body with enough energy so that it has the necessary reserves to function optimimally. The knock off effect being, you get to your goal in the fastest, most efficient way possible.

Start by figuring out your unique maintenance calories.

Maintenance intake = the number of calories it takes for your body to sustain your current bodyweight on a daily basis.

You can use an online calorie calculator to get an idea.

For Fat loss:

If you want to lose “body fat” not “weight” begin by reducing your caloric intake gradually by about 250 cals the first week of the diet, the following week go down again by another 250. The idea is to ease the body into the diet, that way you don’t become subject to wild caloric swings and fall of the wagon.

Aim to go no lower than 500 calories below maintenance. Too drastic a deficit will give way to eventual stalling out of fat loss and increase the likelihood of uncontrollable cravings and ultimately binges.

For muscle growth:

Before you go any further, ask yourself this!!

Are you trying to gain weight or are you focused on sculpting your body?

Here’s the deal.

You don’t need a massive surplus of calories to grow a few lbs of extra, dry, lean muscle tissue. A small surplus of 250-500 cals over maintenance is plenty to trigger growth, combined with an appropriate training regiment that focuses on stimulating the muscles and gradually increasing overall strength.

You can eat 1000-2000 cals over your body’s daily requirements, but unless you’re extremely active and burning energy all the time, all you’re going to do is lay down plenty of new fat mass in relation to the small amount of muscle gained.

The body simply can’t build and recover faster beyond a certain capacity, and no amount of additional calories or protein will change that fact. There’s simply no way the body can recover from training and the stress of day to day activities and build 10lbs. of pure muscle in 4 weeks.

The exception to this is in the event an individual is using exogenous hormones, which greatly enhances the body’s recuperative abilities and ability to put on muscle mass faster than a natural pace. But even so, these hormones can provide only so much of an additional response.

If the aim is to increase muscle mass, whilst avoiding unsightly, not to mention counterproductive fat gain, shoot for roughly a 0.5-1lb-bodyweight increase per week max. No more. Any additional bodyweight will likely be adipose (fat tissue).

That translates to approximately 1-2lbs of lean, dry muscle tissue a month and also covers some of the additional fluid and glycogen stored in the muscles, which also counts towards lean size.

Step 2: Dial in your macros

High carb, low carb, high fat, moderate protein etc. You can essentially utilize any macro breakdown you want. Bear in mind however, it has to help you get to your desired outcome. If it doesn’t aid you in achieving your goals, it’s not the right breakdown for you and you need to make some adjustments.

The reality of the situation is you’ve got to be prepared to experiment with your body and unique metabolism.

Some people do well on low carb, higher fat diets, whilst others do better with more carbs and lower fats.

I recommend playing around with the different macros, adjusting carbs and fats to see how your body responds to the food sources you feed it.

If you eat a carb heavy meal and you begin to feel lethargic, switch to a fat and protein based meal and assesses your energy levels.

REMEMBER TO LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. It will constantly give you feedback, but you’ve got to be willing to listen.

Protein:

The building blocks that comprises the majority of skeletal muscle tissue (by dry weight). The only macronutrient that is capable of repairing & building muscle, skin, hair and nails.

The general consensus is to eat roughly 1 gram of protein per pound (lb) of bodyweight. I think it’s a nice round number and easy to generalize, so I stick with it since I’m so used to it. You could certainly get in less, as low as 0.8 grams and still build muscle, but a higher protein intake seems to improve satiety, which is always a plus on a fat loss plan and isn’t bad for muscle growth either.

These days however, I don’t really track it all that much. I have a pretty thorough idea of the amount of protein I take in from food, so I don’t stress over it.

Initially it’s a good idea to track everything, until you get a firm grasp on the macro breakdowns of your meals and can pretty much eyeball them without much difficulty.

Carbs:

Carbohydrate (Carbon+ water) hence the word carbo-hydrate. Contrary to popular belief I don’t personally think carbs work best as an energy source per say. (At least for me anyway).

That said, a prime benefit of carbs is their ability to spare protein, thus allowing it to do its intended job of repairing muscles and other cells, while the body uses the glucose (breakdown of carbs into sugars) from the carbs to fuel the brain and muscles. That’s primarily the reason blood sugar tends to drop during and after intense exercise.

Carbs do an excellent job of bringing water into muscle cells, helping the body achieve a full, hard look. This is where people get the idea that carbs build muscle. They don’t. Only protein can build muscle.

Carbs push water and increase glycogen stores in the muscles, leading to a fuller, bigger looking muscle. (Think of it like filling a balloon with air). The insulin response they generate also helps to shuttle protein and nutrients into the muscle cells. (For the sake of simplicity and space we’ll delve into that in future).

The problem with carbs is people don’t know how to customize and match their carb intake to their unique body structure and metabolism.

They fall into one of two camps. Either they eat too many carbs, over fill their glycogen stores in the muscles and liver, resulting in a soft (lacking hardness & definition) & bloated look.

On the flipside there are those who go super low carb (no more than 30grams a day) for extended periods of time, drastically depleting all the body’s glycogen stores & excreting massive amounts of water in the process, leading to a dry and conditioned (ideal), but much flatter, (lacking fullness and size) depleted, undersized and stringy look. (This in combination with overemphasis on long, drawn out sessions of cardio and training for far too long in a depleted state only escalate the situation).

Getting the “right” amount of carbs for your body to look and perform it’s best is largely an individual process and no damn generic formula or calculation can give you the correct amount.

YOU’VE GOT TO DO SOME ACTUAL FIGURING OUT. GRAB A PEN AND PAPER OR A PULLUP THE NOTES APP IF YOU HAVE AN IPHONE AND WRITE DOWN THE FOLLOWING:

  • Jot down the quantities of food and the impact it has on your body.
  • How does it make you feel after eating it?
  • How does it affect the look of your body?

The reality of the situation is this.

Carb intake will vary depending on your overall activity level, the intensity of your training and how insulin sensitive your body is.

There’s no clear-cut ratio or magic number of carbs that’ll be suitable for everybody.

If you’re an insanely active individual, engaging in some form of physical activity virtually everyday a general rule of thumb is to consume 1-2 grams of carbs for every lb of bodyweight. Some (rare) people can get away with more, but many will get by fine on less.

I’ve gone as low as 30 grams a day and it takes some getting used to. Usually if implementing more fat, I’ll scale carbs back to around 0.5-0.6 grams per lb of bodyweight. (Which is a nice sweet spot for me).

I would experiment by pulling carbs out for a period of at least two weeks and gradually re-introduce them. (Remember to increase fat intake slightly to compensate for the lake of energy coming from carbs if you go this route, otherwise you’ll experience a lot of hunger, cravings and just generally feel like crap).

If you carry plenty of body fat, which is essentially stored energy, lowering your carb intake is one effective means of reducing caloric intake, which overall results in fat loss. (One of the biggest reasons for this is that a great many folks are just prone to over eating carbs. Also it doesn’t help that most of the typical junk that people tend to overeat are a combination of carbs and fats, or mainly carbs).

However, the buck doesn’t stop there. It would be criminal not to mention the certain hormonal and metabolic responses that can occur from a reduction in carbs. (This is a more complex topic, that we’ll save that for another post).

Fats:

Good old fats. Although people are coming around to the realization that the consumption of dietary fats are not the root cause of obesity, heart disease and other associated health problems, they still receive negative coverage.

Fats actually play a vital role in the production of hormones like “the big daddy” testosterone, which is pretty damn important when it comes to building muscle (among other things).

Fat is also a necessity when it comes to absorbing fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, K and E, which is important for overall health and wellbeing.

They also make foods taste better. PERIOD. If you’ve ever been on a low fat diet for a period of time, the damn pesky feeling of being hungry and not satiated all the time is just problematic, especially when dieting to lose body fat and overall energy intake is limited, coupled with the fact that most individuals don’t have the ability to endure the hunger. It’s a potentially detrimental situation.

Although it’s a good idea to keep some fats in the diet, it’s equally critical not to get too carried away. Going overboard on fats, even in the absence of carbs can attribute to weight gain and ultimately not getting quite as lean as you’re hoping.

Be mind full of the fact that fats, calorically speaking, are the densest of the macronutrients, coming in at 9 cals per gram. Whereas, protein and carbs come in at 4 cals per gram each.

Generally speaking, if you go the higher carb route it’s a good idea to keep fats around roughly 20-30% of your caloric intake. If  dropping the carbs in favor of the higher fat route about 50-60%.

Personally, if I’m eating more carbs, I drop my fat intake to around 0.6 grams per lb of bodyweight. If utilising the higher fat approach, I go up as high as 1.5 grams.

This is simply what works well with my physiology.

Again you’ll have to experiment with the ratios and tailor them to your body.

DO THE DAMN WORK. Invest in yourself and don’t expect anybody to give you all the answers because they simply can’t. They’re not you. Nobody knows exactly how your body reacts to certain foods and calorie/macro breakdowns any better than you.

Step 3: Select your preferred meal frequency

All right, lastly you’ll want to structure the number of meals you’ll be aiming to meet each day to get in the appropriate nutritional content and energy.

People like to slam bodybuilders and their eating habits, but hey it works for them. It meets their needs. If you’re one of those individuals that actually enjoys eating smaller portions, plus it works for and sustains you, who should dictate and tell you it’s no good for you and doesn’t work?

Ultimately, you’ve got to put in some time, effort and actually experiment and try different things until you find what functions well for you.

My Personal eating arrangement

Intermittent fasting is an incredibly useful and effective tool for reaching and maintaining a low body fat. (Case in point, see my picture to the side).

the uncaged animal

However, let’s be frank here. It’s not magical and it’s certainly not the only way to build muscle or achieve fat loss.

I’ve personally been doing a variation of IF, pretty much daily for the last 5 years because I enjoy going periods through the day on an empty stomach. I feel good, have clarity and am more in tune with my body.

For those curious, I usually eat 3 (fairly large) meals a day, sometimes 2, depending on my preference & schedule. I aim to fast around 16-18 hrs, but these days I really don’t rigidly concern myself with sticking to a set – eating window anymore. My body naturally likes to go longer without food and so I do what comes natural to me.

Besides, I thoroughly enjoy the feeling of sharp, laser like focus and clarity I get during the earlier part of the day, as a result of not having anything sitting in my stomach.

I made the switch from tracking calories and macros, to finally eye balling my food. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’m taking in nutritionally, from the vast amount of time I’ve invested prior into identifying and tracking my unique nutritional requirements. (Which will vary, depending on my personal goals). I usually stick with the same foods consistently, and that keeps things simpler. But make no mistake; I still have a very good gauge of what I’m eating.

To me, this is what flexible dieting really is about (Or should be anyway). Having control and not being restricted or limited by meal timings, frequency and being able to roughly know just how much quality, nutritionally dense foods you’re consuming.

Eating a bunch of crap for the sake of it, doesn’t factor into my lifestyle. You should be able to fit your eating preference to your lifestyle, rather than the other way around.

A word on “flexible Dieting” and IIFYM (If it fits your macros)

Can you consume some junk food, sure. In all honesty though, a lot of people have turned it into a full-blown license indulge in all manner of shitty foods just for the sake of satisfying their taste buds.

If you’re able to get in sufficient macro (proteins, carbs, fats) & micro (vitamins and minerals) nutrients, then by all means go for it. As long as you’ve got your energy balance dialed in and you’re not going overboard it’s perfectly fine to indulge a little.

Do you need to indulge and eat your favourite junk meals?

Absolutely not.

Lets be clear.

Just because you can eat whatever you want and get away with it, doesn’t mean you need to. There are no magical physique benefits or nutritional properties in those foods that make losing fat or building muscle any more advantageous than eating nutritionally dense, whole foods.

The consumption of these “treat” foods is more of a mental, psychological and emotional want rather than a necessity.

As part of a smart eating set-up they won’t really hinder your gains, but they don’t really contribute a whole lot either.

So have them if you want, fully content with the knowledge that as long as your energy balance and macros + micros are where they need to be, you’re not doing any real damage.

In closing, if you break everything down the way I’ve just done above, eating appropriately for your physique/fitness goals really isn’t quite as daunting as it initially seems.

When you get back to the roots of fitness, bodybuilding or virtually anything relating to physical culture, health was of primary importance.

At its heart, fitness really is firmly based on making lifestyle choices that greatly improve and promote the state of health.

This article has lasted much longer than originally intended, but then again there was a lot to cover.

Train intensely, eat intelligently & watch the magic unfold.

HOW TO APPROACH FITNESS FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS

How to approach fitness for optimal results

We’ve all heard how important it is to adopt the right mindset in order to make dramatic improvements to your physique.

“Mind over matter.” Right?

The problem with this statement is that it’s pretty generic.

Don’t get me wrong!! Creating the right mental framework is dang crucial to your results. Without it you’re not going to receive the best possible outcome from the fruits of your efforts.

In fact, there’ll be times that are really trying. You’ll be pushed to the max, struggling to reach your goals, and it’s the mindset that gets you over the edge and keeps you in the game.

Most people, when they actively make the decision to get into shape, place a high level of emphasis on their training and nutrition. While those are definitely key parts of your fitness journey, and play a significant role in the way you’re able to mold your physique, they don’t form the complete picture.

But here’s the kicker. The mind is only useful when it’s made completely aware of what you want to achieve. It needs to consciously know what’s to be expected. (In other words you need to fully know your endgame inside out, through and through).

You need to know exactly what to get your mind focused on when it comes to training, diet and improving your body. Only then will you see dramatic improvements in your physique. (This goes for other aspects of life as well).

As is the case with many things in life, most people simply coast through without being fully engaged and understanding the real reasons behind what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

These individuals are in the dark. Sure, you could argue that they’re getting some benefit from what they’re doing, but settling for 50%, when you could be getting 100% is really sub optimal and literally dumb.

I digress. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

So where should you place the majority of your focus when it comes to your fitness pursuits?

I’d suggest giving the following some serious contemplation:

Revaluate your priorities when it comes to fitness

Why do you really want to be in shape?

  • Identify and understand the driving force (root/deep reason) behind you wanting to transform your physique
  • Approach your fitness goals from an objective perspective

 The best mindset to adopt with regards to health and fitness is a survival mindset. Take things back to basics. Learn how the body works and the language it uses.

The above statement I’ve made literally translates to:

Make survival the backbone of your physique development/fitness endeavour

See, the body only cares about survival. It’s an organism built for survival.

It doesn’t give a damn about being 200lbs at 6% body fat. It tries really hard to maintain homeostasis. Its basic function is to adapt to stresses in order to keep you alive.

Resistance training is a stress and the body compensates by building new muscle and increasing your strength level overtime, to help it cope with the demand placed on it.

Below are some questions and example answers to initiate that change in thinking….

Q: What are the benefits of being strong and how does it apply to everyday life? 

A: If you’re stronger, you’ll be able to handle day-to-day tasks with more ease and efficiency. E.g. makes carrying groceries easier, picking up the kids and lifting heavy objects. (Especially if you work a physically demanding job etc). The bottom line is think outside the box and Look at the goddamn bigger picture!!

Strength training shouldn’t be viewed as some arbitrary activity just designed to make you look good naked and improve your efficiency at tossing around huge mounds of metal.

Q: What are the benefits of being lean?

You don’t have to carry around excess weight and lard that makes walking up a flight of stairs, playing with your kids, running around after your dog, fitting into a car and practically just about anything that involves moving your body a damn chore.

When I fully embraced this frame of mind, I made drastic improvements physically. It’s all about honing in on the essential and discarding all the unnecessary crap. (As Bruce Lee very rightly pointed out).

The way I view diet and training nowadays is on a whole other level, compared to when I first started.

To me they’re a means of making the body more efficient at generating and utilizing energy.

If you can digest and wrap your head around this stuff early, you’ll save time and avoid misdirected effort.

It all boils down to SURVIVAL.

Channel your mind and bring it into alignment with the deeper attributes associated with fitness.

Remember, merely having a destination you want to reach, with no understanding of the route required to get there is really a sub par strategy that’s practically doomed to fail.

On a side note, this shift in thinking doesn’t just apply to fitness. You can implement it in all aspects of your life. It’ll make you a more efficient person in your work and fun life. What I’m getting at is, you’ll be able to really crush it at life.

The take home message is:

Adopt this mindset and watch how your productivity and results improve across the board in your life.

If you liked the post, be sure to share and subscribe for more awesome content. If you want a full program, training & nutrition guide, check out and grab yourself a copy of Warrior 101. (Solid copies now available) And build yourself a warrior worthy body.  Contact me for further details.

Keep training hard, eat well and live legendary.

 

HOW TO GET & STAY LEAN ON AN ERRATIC SCHEDULE

Meals

Ah… it’s nearing that time of year again. Out go the sweat pants and jumpers, in come the shorts and tank tops. Beach season, pool parties and barbeques. Yep, summer’s nearly underway.

Over the past three months, I’ve been busy filming a short film. (Unrelated subject matter). Without going into too much detail, It consumed virtually all my time. There’s a lot of work that goes into it, especially when you’re the writer, director, director of photography (camera and lighting) and editor all rolled in one, and on a tight schedule.

Much as it pains me to type this… training just wasn’t top priority. Unfortunately it had to take a backseat.

Many will shudder at the thought of reducing their training frequency and volume, fearing the loss of their gains.

A drop frequency and volume, alone won’t necessarily result in massive drops and losses, providing adequate stimulus and intensity is maintained.

I was literally training 1-2 (that’s 2 hours a week) times a week hitting heavy, basic movements. My primary objective as always, to progressively increase strength. And you can still get stronger while training only 1-2 times a week.

Since I regularly adhere to a 3 day a week lifting regime, it wasn’t mentally problematic.

As we’re all aware, nutrition is the other part of the equation. I used the same strategy I implemented during my time in Spain at the end of 2014. I was busy traveling, sightseeing and exploring and also rarely saw the inside of a gym.

I was pretty active on a daily basis. I’d actually kick each day off with varying degrees of calisthenics movements and due to the nature of my trip, I ended up walking places an awful lot. (I even found a nice steep hill and set of steps to run up and down like a maniac).

Now, I’ve been implementing some form of intermittent fasting daily over the last 4 years. So I’m pretty accustomed to going without food for stretches of time. So this made staying lean more manageable.

My approach is as follows:

Meal 1: 1-3pm

Protein, fats & greens (Small meal)

Example: Chicken breast & broccoli w/ coconut oil

Meal 2: 5-7pm

Protein, fats & greens (moderate meal)

Example: Salmon, green beans & salad w/ ½ avocado

Meal 3: 10-11pm

Protein, carbs & fats (Largest meal)

Example: Turkey & potatoes + (optional Sweet treat)

I didn’t always adhere to the schedule allotted above and I didn’t always eat 3 meals. I rotated the food choices frequently in accordance with personal preference and availability.

The one thing I did consistently was eat in a manner that enabled me to maintain sufficient nutrient uptake and simply tweaked and adjusted meals based on feeling and look. If I felt really light, I’d eat a little more, usually in the form of carbs. If I felt stuffed and uncomfortable, I’d cut back and reduce the total food volume. The idea is to find what works for your body.

The most important consideration when dieting to maintain or trim down is identifying a satisfying way to eat. Hunger is the bane of fat loss, because most don’t have the ability to tolerate it. If you fill up on foods that satisfy you and keep you tied over, that’ll alleviate the unpleasantness that usually accompanies hunger. (Why make things unnecessarily hard on yourself?).

Now, diet is specific. It varies from individual to individual. You can’t take one approach and deem it appropriate for everybody.

Nothing was or is set in stone. The arrangement and layout is merely a sample, to demonstrate the manner of eating I used. (In fact I’m still eating this way today, because I enjoy it and it works for me).

The key is to experiment with different foods and ways of eating to find what works for your unique structure, metabolism and biochemistry.

That’s the art and science behind it. What works for you won’t necessarily work for me and vice versa.

This eating arrangement affords itself well to fat loss, due to the simple fact that it’s not heavily packed, calorically speaking. In fact it’s damn light.

But that’s not the point.

The real takeaway from the above is:

1) Whole foods take priority.

Real, solid, nutrient dense foods should comprise the bulk of you’re diet. Sure you can eat as much processed crap as you want and still “lose weight” if you’re eating below your body’s requirements. However, I’m willing to bet you want to preserve your health so you can keep on rocking the good life. If the majority of your nutrition comes from whole foods, you’ll be supplying your body with all the necessary macro and micronutrients, which in turn enable it to function and perform optimally.

I’m not against eating a little junk now and then, but junk tends to be less filling than nutritionally complete foods. As a result of this when the hunger demon strikes, you’re more likely to cave in and gobble all those goodies, setting yourself up for a perpetual nightmare. By all means have your cake and eat it, just be selective and mindful when you do it.

2) Eating modest earlier & larger later in the day

This ties in, and works well alongside fasting. I often break the fast with a lighter meal, gradually increasing the calorie intake as the day wages on.

During late evening or night I switch gears and consume the bulk of my calories. I prefer eating this way. It helps keep me satisfied and aids sleep at night. From a hormonal standpoint it makes sense. Eating carbs releases serotonin (feel good factor) in the brain, which in turn helps you wind down. From an anecdotal perspective, this method helps me stay on track and avoid over eating. I notice when I eat carb dense meals earlier in the day, I tend to get hungry much sooner than intended.

3) Intermittent fasting is just a tool

Fasting isn’t magic. It’s an effective way of eating, that when correctly implemented should allow you greater liberty in dropping fat & building muscle. It should free up your time and day. People make the mistake of getting too caught up with the little details, like sticking to an eating window. If they happen to go over that window by a few minutes or couldn’t eat at a specified time they freak out and stress over it.  That completely defeats the purpose. You don’t have to be so damn rigid about eating all your food in some arbitrary 8hr window.

These days I don’t cling rigidly to an “eating window.” I just like pushing my first meal further into the day and allowing roughly 3.5 – 4hrs gaps in-between for digestion. The main thing is to eat appropriately for your goals. Always keep your goals in mind.

The info presented here is merely in place to act as an example. It’s my method and it works for me.

I’ve come to realise training and eating are unique processes, and therefore needs be taken on an individual basis. Sure, you can learn the basic principles, but self-experimentation and implementation is what it really boils down to.

EXPERIMENT, IMPLEMENT & ENJOY…FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!!

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A SIMPLE, EFFICENT WAY TO BUILD MUSCLE- PART 1

Muscle model

There are 4 key components that come into play and will literally make or break your efforts of achieving the physique you want. (I know you’re probably anxious to hear about them so lets get started).

  • Hormones
  • Nutrients (macro/micro)
  • Calories
  • Training

(You were expecting something more. Damn shame. In the simplest terms it really does boil down to this).

Tick of each of these boxes and watch as your body gradually changes. Each of these components works together in conjunction with one another to produce results.

Now maximising each of these areas will result in a “rapid” transformation.

Note: I’m not saying you’ll gain 15 pounds of pure muscle in 6 weeks. You will however, allow your body to function optimally and build up at it’s own pace.

For the sake of simplicity and to keep things short, (relatively speaking) in this first part of the series we’ll cover hormones.

Note: Most people’s efforts to build muscle would go a lot smoother, if they had a relatively low body fat to begin with. (Relax, it’ll all become clear).

Hormones

(Obviously if you’re on chemicals, this isn’t really a concern).

Since we’re addressing the issue of muscle growth, the key hormones we’re concerned about is none other than big daddy testosterone, the most anabolic hormone in the body, insulin and to an extent growth hormone.

All three of these hormones play a major part if you want to grow muscle tissue. Therefore, maximising these becomes priority number one.

The first thing I would do is lean down. Yep, that’s right I would lean down a bit to make improve my body’s level of sensitivity to insulin.

Lower body fat  = better hormonal response, mainly in the form of insulin sensitivity, which results in better overall nutrient partitioning.

Shedding fat also has an effect on testosterone levels, improving them, whereas being a fat ass leads to increased estrogen. (Not good when it comes to being lean and more importantly masculine).

The fatter you are the worse your body is at efficiently utilising nutrients.

So increasing insulin sensitivity and losing body fat is the first piece of the puzzle.

I’ve found the best approach for me personally is to adopt a diet lower in carbs, anywhere from around 50-120 grams a day.

I’d keep protein to about 1-1.5grams and increase the fats to compensate for the drop in carbs.

Depending on current body fat levels I would maintain that for the course of 1-3 weeks.

If you’ve got a lot of lard to lose, I recommend sticking to the above protocol for 3 weeks, before transitioning to a more conventional fat loss approach.

If we’re talking body fat ranges, In approximation, if you’re around 15% body fat with no visible abdominal definition, I would lean down till about 10% then up the calories in order to spur new growth.

If you’re at 10% body fat already and have some semblance of a six pack, I would still lean down a to about 7-8% body fat, before upping the calories and prioritising muscle and size gains.

Note: You don’t need to get super shredded 4-5% body fat.  Going below 7-8% starts to become tedious and demanding on the body.

It seems counter intuitive to go the opposite direction, but in the long run it’s definitely well worth it.

You’ll find you put on less fat during muscle gain phases. (I hate the word bulking and the idea of conventional bulking).  

Your body will also absorb and make use of the nutrients you’re feeding it and will push them towards the muscle cells instead of the fat cells.

In short, you’ll have an easier time building muscle without accumulating heaps of unwanted fat. (You don’t want to turn into a doughnut now, do you?).

Most people want to look good throughout the year, not just for 1-2 weeks out of 52.

Unless you’re a professional, competitive bodybuilder, or borderline anorexic or bulimic, conventional bulking is not the most optimal or conductive way to build muscle and look good naked.

By getting leaner first you’ll promote better insulin sensitivity, which will enable your body to shuttle nutrients to your muscle cells instead of your fat cells. Thus keeping you leaner during periods of higher caloric intake(It’s worth repeating). 

There are various ways to naturally go about raising your testosterone levels. However, they’ll never compare to being chemically enhanced, so get the notion of becoming a super freak out of your head.

Here are some things you can implement, if raising your testosterone, improving muscle mass and body composition is your goal.

  • Lean down – If you have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25 and can’t see your toes, you need to lose fat period. Don’t even consider a muscle gain phase until you have some abdominal definition.  If you’re skinny fat, same thing applies. Your first priority should be to balance your out of whack hormones. It makes the muscle building process a lot smoother.
  • Sleep sufficiently– 7-8hrs a night. During sleep cycles the body is repairing and testosterone peaks during the night.
  • Eat some fat– Fats aren’t the enemy, but if you over do them they aren’t going to be your friend. Avoid trans fats as much as possible. They’re the worst kind. I stick to fatty cuts of meat, egg yolks, nuts, avocado’s, butter olive oil and fish oil for my fats.
  • Supplement with zinc and vitamin D3- If you have an issue with low testosterone, supplementing with zinc and vitamin D3 has been shown to improve levels of T.  
  • Get your levels checked– Visit your doc and get your levels checked. If they’re low he/she can give you some pointers.
  • Avoid over consuming caffeine- Caffeine is a stimulant. Yes it can aid fat loss by mobilizing fatty deposits from fat cells, allowing them to be more readily burned during training. However, too much caffeine in the long-term will fry your adrenal glands and cause your body to (unnecessarily) secrete cortisol, resulting in lowered T levels

What about Growth Hormone?

 Growth hormone is important. Most people understand the importance of it when fat loss is a concern.

It has an important role in the body’s ability to utilise fat from fat stores, as well as allow the body to recover optimally.

Thus, proper sleep is important as gh is secreted by the pituitary gland during nightfall.

So partying, getting stoned and staying up late to watch bad(cheesy) horror movies are not going to help you. Not to mention when your sleep cycle is out of whack your body’s cortisol levels go up.

I’m not going to get to in depth with cortisol, other than to say you want to keep it low the majority of the time.

It’s a stress hormone that’s released when your body is over stressed.

When cortisol levels are up gh and testosterone go down. Similar to a seesaw, when one goes up the other comes down.

So not sleeping enough, being overly stressed out taking in too much caffeine (all you coffee drinkers out there) and training too damn long, will raise cortisol levels.

Back to Growth hormone then.

While it doesn’t necessarily promote muscle growth it does play a key role in the preservation of muscle tissue.

So how do you go about naturally increasing it?

Other than ensuring sufficient sleep at night, I would throw in a bit of interval training. I like to run sprints 1-2 times a week, either on foot or on the bike.

Generally speaking, after intense training your body’s level of gh will be up.

The only real way to boost gh considerably is to inject synthetic growth hormone out of a vial. It’s true. Nothing you can do naturally will compare to what you can do when enhanced.

That’s just the nature of the beast.

Cheer up, there’s still plenty you can do on your own. It’s still possible to look good without chemical assistance.

If you found this article helpful don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Don’t miss the next article, Part 2 Nutrients and calories. 

 

A GUIDE TO DEVELOPING UNSHAKEABLE FOCUS

Zero in on your goals.

Zero in on your goals.

Want to achieve a goal, dream or aspiration? Of course you do. What a question.

Stop me if this sounds familiar. You want to improve your body composition or become a better parent.

Whatever it is, you’re 100% committed to the goal. You make the necessary changes. You start to eat better and train hard.

Maybe you take a parenting class and just spend more time doing things with your kids.

You stick at it for a while, but inevitably something stops you in your tracks like a kick in the nuts.

Your FOCUS WAIVERS.

Focus, or lack thereof, is probably the single greatest obstacle preventing people from achieving their goals.

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” Zig Ziglar

If you improve your ability to focus, you’ll improve you’re life. You’ll get things done and enjoy the feeling of satisfaction that follows.

I know, you’re anxious to get started so here we go.

Without further ado, here are three simple, yet not so simple factors you can use to help DEVELOP UNSHAKABLE FOCUS.

1) Meditation

This is the most obvious one. So it’s a good place to start. If you think it’s dumb stop reading right now.

Meditation is key to developing focus and concentration. When you can let your mind become clear of useless thoughts, emotions and general clutter, you’ll develop the ability to focus on the things that really matter to you in your unique life.

I mediate everyday for about 20mins. I get up bright and early at 5:30am, when half the world is still sleeping in their warm comfortable beds, dreaming about achieving goals.

You don’t have to do any mindless chanting, just sit quiet and try to clear your mind. Sounds simple, but the reality is another thing entirely.

In fact it’s probably one of the hardest damn things you can do.

You don’t have to start at 20mins. Work up to it. If you can only go 1-2 mins without thinking about something, stick with that and gradually work your way up.

As soon as a thought enters your head, that’s the point where you should stop. Don’t force yourself to go on.

Forget about and pick it up the next day. The idea is you’ll be able to go longer without a thought entering your mind. Just keep pushing to improve, but remember, it’s not a race.

2) A specific “concentration exercise”

This is a simple exercise I do daily and its done wonders for improving my ability to focus. It’s pretty simple in theory, but in practice it’s a very different game. (Trust me. You’ll find out when you try it).

Whatever menial thing you’re doing, whether it’s washing your dishes or cleaning your car.

Forget about everything else. Empty your mind of all the clutter and just FOCUS only on the task at hand. Think of it like active meditation.

Devote all of your attention to that one thing for that limited time.

You’ll more than likely fail on your first few attempts. I did plenty. Somewhere along the line a stupid thought will enter your head. Don’t worry about it.

Think of this as “Mind Training.

We’re exercising the mind, which never seems to be given much significance, and stimulation. At least not to the same extent our bodies when we’re at the gym.

“Focusing isn’t just an optical activity, it is also a mental one.” Bridget Riley

The really important thing is to keep at it. Do it daily and watch as your ability to concentrate improves.

If you apply this to simple situations, as your focus develops you’ll find more complicated ones become a breeze.

Note: Be 100% damn honest with yourself. Self-honesty is paramount to this exercise. You’re only going to waste time and effort and cheat yourself of the potential benefits. So keep it real. THIS IS CRITICAL!!!

3) Ingrain the goal in your head

This is probably the simplest and easiest to implement out of the three. It’s so simple and that’s probably a reason why it’s often overlooked.

The gist is, GET THE GOAL STUCK IN YOUR HEAD. THAT WAY YOU’LL LEAVE YOURSELF NO OPTION BUT TO FOCUS ON AND SPEND TIME TAKING STEPS TO ACTUALLY ACHIEVE IT.

It doesn’t matter what the goal is, JUST DO IT!!

Write it down and repeat it to yourself when you get up every morning.

Write it down on a post it note and stick in places where you’re likely to see it.

Think of it like an insurance policy. The insurance being, you not losing sight of your goals.

So that’s it. Three simple steps you can implement today, that’ll get you on the fast track to obliterating obstacles and reaching your goals.

Leave a comment in the comment section if you plan on using this information and reaching new heights.

If you know someone that could benefit from and find this useful, pass the word on.

FOCUS AND FURY 

image Credit: DVIDSHUB

ACID/ALKALINE ADJUSTMENT: A GUIDE TO BALANCING PH LEVELS

Acid or Alkaline?

Acid or Alkaline?

It’s an often-overlooked aspect in the fitness community. Something just brushed under the carpet. Understandable, as people don’t know enough about it. Many make the mistake of sacrificing their health in pursuit of their aesthetic goals.  A damn shame, considering they complement each other nicely.

Confused?

Time to elaborate.

Your PH levels have a major impact on your health. A PH of 7.0 means your body is neutral. Above 7.0 means your body is alkaline. Below 7.0 and your body is acidic. (Danger zone).

Ideally you want your PH to be in the neutral range. The more acidic you are, the higher the probability of you experiencing some nasty effects. (Real nasty).

Joint pains, arthritis and body stiffness are some of the more common and moderate indicators of an out of whack PH. (Those bad knees aren’t just a simple by product of old age). These are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s plenty more.

The harsher consequences include:

  • Inability for cells to receive and absorb nutrients.
  • Decrease in cell energy production, resulting in fatigue.
  • Decrease in the ability for cell repair.
  • Cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment.

You’re probably wondering how this ties into you and your physique/fitness goals.

Well, if  your body isn’t efficiently absorbing the nutrients you’re taking in through all that food your shoving down the pie hole, you aren’t going to be able to produce the best gains in relation to muscle growth.

Remember, muscles are made up of cells and like any other cell in a highly acidic environment, they won’t be able to uptake the maximum amount of nutrients from the foods you consume.

You’re wasting time, effort and money and not receiving the maximal benefit. The logical solution is to balance out your PH levels, enabling your body to better absorb nutrients.

You might find your recovery sufferers between training sessions as a result of impaired cell recovery. Your muscles will recover at a much slower rate when you’re highly acidic.

It’s more common in the western world for people to suffer the negative effects of high acidity levels. The funny part is, it’s not necessarily their fault. Many people aren’t aware of the problems associated with an acidic PH.

Combating the problem

Now that we’ve covered some of the problems, let’s look at some good old common sense solutions. (Thing with common sense is, unfortunately it isn’t that common nowadays).

Solution 1: Drink more water

Water alkalinises the body. The PH of naturally sourced spring water is 7.8 (neutral). Everybody knows the importance of drinking enough water, yet many still don’t drink enough.

Water cleanses and flushes all the filth and junk out of the body. If you’re one of those individuals that doesn’t drink enough, you’re seriously messing with your health in the long run.

Aim for at least 2 litres a day as a base. Obviously if you’re more active go higher, maybe 3 litres per day. That’s what I do. NOW GET CHUGGING.

Solution 2: Ditch the processed junk

Pretty obvious. If you eat filth regularly you’re going to end up overloading your body’s toxin levels.  Especially sugar laden garbage. Excessive sugar and processed carb intake will not only imbalance your PH levels, tipping the scale in favor of the acidic range, but also lead to a cascade of other ailments, from obesity to diabetes etc.

If you can’t completely avoid it, seriously limit your intake. (It’s your health). If you have a severe acid problem, you should reduce your total carb intake and eat only veggies, proteins and maybe some roots like yams and sweet potatoes. Try that for a month or so, after that you can begin adding back other starches.

Solution 3: Increase your intake of alkalinising foods

This one’s a no brainer. If you want to alkalinise your body it makes sense to fill up on foods that promote an alkaline environment. I’m not going to go into a whole list of foods, you can easily just google it. I will however, give you some examples of the foods I include in my diet to maintain the balance.

  • Lemons/limes – I like adding a few drops to some hot water and drink it in the mornings. It’s great for helping to reduce acidity as well as cleansing the liver. (One hell of an important organ).  Use it as seasoning to meats and salads. The applications are limited by your own imagination and creativity.
  • Green veggies – (Especially leafy ones). You likely know the benefits of eating greens. They’re high in micronutrients, fiber etc. Real important for cleansing the body of all the toxic rubbish. In order to heal you need to cleanse. Without cleansing there’s no healing. In order to restore your PH you need to cleanse your system. Period.
  • Berries/low sugar fruits – Low sugar fruits are good in helping to restore the PH. Here’s the catch, not all of them are alkalinising. Strawberries for example are acidic, while blueberries are alkaline. Apples are highly acidic and pears are alkaline. You don’t have to stop eating the acidic fruits altogether, but you should limit them when you are highly acidic. Until you alkalinise your body, you should only eat fruits that have an alkalinizing effect.

Bonus tip: High protein diets

We all know how important protein is in relation to muscle growth and repair and how it’s important to eat a sufficient amount daily. Problem is, meats and animal proteins are acidic.

What to do?

Does it mean stop eating meat?

Not really.

To counteract this, combine your meats with alkaline forming foods like veggies and you’re good to go. It’s that simple.

You know what to do, now you need to do it and see the benefits for yourself. Thinking that this article will solve the problem entirely is like thinking one tablet will cure all disease. It won’t.

I talk about all of this and much more in my book/program WARRIOR 101. If you haven’t already, be sure to grab a copy.

If you liked this article, don’t forget to subscribe and share. If you know someone that could benefit from this, spread the word. 

BTW: NEW YEAR GREETINGS. GET SET FOR ONE PRODUCTIVE AND EXCITING YEAR. LIVE YOUR DREAMS AND  CRUSH YOUR GOALS.

HEALTH AND WEALTH 

 

A GUIDE TO DEVELOPING AN IRON WILL

Made of iron. With a will of iron.

Made of iron. With a will of iron.

“In the absence of will, man is left hollow and empty.” (G.K)

“People do not lack strength; they lack will.” (Victor Hugo)

There’s one thing I notice with people in modern society. If you haven’t guessed it from the title of this article, it’s the sheer lack of will power and inner strength. It’s all been replaced with weakness, mediocrity and uncertainty. If this sums you up, don’t sweat it. All is not lost. You can change. Of course, the average person lacks the will to do this and that’s why they’re average.

But if you’re reading this, it means you’re not happy with average and only the best will do. After all, no trophies for second place and second place is first loser. Be the best you can be, take first place and uncage the animal within.

Here are a few pointers you can implement today that’ll get you en route to developing a will of iron. (If you haven’t already).

1)   Lift weights

Lifting weights is one of the best things you can do for yourself. There’s nothing like pumping some iron. Nothing tests your will power like lifting. It’s just you against the weights.  Pushing hard for those last few reps, going through the agony and emerging victorious. The gym is the battleground for the modern warrior. The feeling of succeeding is one of the best you can experience. Do that day in day out and you’ll understand why you’ve developed an iron will.

Of course, it helps that there are many other benefits to lifting weights, namely sculpting your body and getting strong.

2)   Take cold showers

Forget those steaming hot showers. Those are for wimps. A warrior showers one way only. Cold. What more is there to say about them other than to get out there and start taking them regardless come rain or shine.  Try it today. The feeling after taking one is incredible. (If you take them regularly like I do, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about).

In fact, go and have one right now after reading this. It takes sheer will power to get under a shower with cold water flowing through. After a few seconds many people give in and turn that dial the opposite direction. Not you though. If you want a will of iron, you’ll endure that cold water no matter what. Why? Because you’re a ferrell animal.

Would it help if I told you that you’ll get some nice bonuses like, better immunity (don’t want to catch that nasty cold now), increased resistance to the cold, better looking skin etc. (Deserves it’s own article). The point is, the positives outweigh the negatives i.e. all the above mentioned benefits vs a few moments under a cold as hell shower.

3)   Intermittent fasting

The average person lacks the will to refrain from  munching (like cows). They’re continously stuffing themselves. Eating constantly to lose weight is a nightmare. You’re practically chained to your kitchen. In nature the hunters eat sporadically. Grazing is left to the prey.

In simplicity, eat fewer meals throughout the day. At first it will be hard going against your body’s rhythm. That’s where the will power comes in. Believe me, I do it every day so I know. Eventually you’ll get to the point where it becomes second nature, just like breathing. Effortless!

I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty of it all. There are plenty of other resources out there for you to find the info. Simply find one that you like and get going. If it’s any consolation, the two methods personally used by yours truly are:

Eat Stop Eat (24 hr fast)

Leangains (16hr fast 8hr eating)

Some of the known benefits of intermittent fasting include; easier method of fatloss, decrease in time spent cooking and dishwashing etc.

4)  Learn a Martial Art

(This is one I myself need to get back to).

Learn and practice a martial art. Before you ask, it doesn’t matter which one, as long as it’s one you feel comfortable with and can stick with. After all, what’s the point of starting something if you just quit for no other reason than “I didn’t like it.”

Martial arts will instill discipline within you and that will have a direct impact on developing your will power, If you can stick with it. (That requires an iron will in itself). You’ll see the results.

There are of course, other numerous advantages. The one you’re probably interested in is being able to defend your butt and kick the daylight out of any wacko that attempts to get a piece of you. (No responsibility taken for your actions)!!!

And with that it’s time to go, lift some weights and take a cold shower!!!

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.” (Douglas Macarthur) 

DUTY and  GLORY