[IMPORTANT] In order to make this list useful I'd advise you to print it out and even if just 5 things that you DO in the next 30 days it will make a difference. Color mark the one's you feel will help you most moving forward and then put the list somewhere where you can see it all the time so that you actually do it. The key is DOING! Here us part 1 with the first 25 tips...
How you eat is how you'll feel (yes, you can get away with it for a while but it will catch up to you, faster than you think!).
You should squat. Just make sure you don't try to fit yourself to the squat but rather the squat to you. KB goblet squat, front squat, HEX squat, box squat, bodyweight squat... there are many squats. I hear a lot of people say squats hurt them. It's not squats but rather HOW the squats are done. Pick the variation that fits you (exercise history, injuries, assessment, posture).
The same goes for a deadlift (hip hinge). It's something we do every day so why not train it. The key is doing it with good form and finding the variation that will fit where you are.
Get strong to get lean. I believe in this wholeheartedly and as you increase strength and performance, the body composition results come along too.
You should supplement with Vitamin D, especially in places with less sun. In Chicago take around 5,000 - 7,000 IU's a day (a.k.a. wish there was more sunlight).
Resetting your insulin (insulin sensitivity) is one of the best things you can do for yourself if your goal is fat loss and just as much health. You want to have a good internal hormonal environment and the best place to start is to improve your insulin resistance. You can do the above by eliminating carbs for a bit (and when you add them back you cycle them), eat more fat, do metabolic resistance training => lift weight that actually weigh something in a circuit fashion or density training).
Farmer’s walks are awesome. They build grip strength, core strength, upper back/traps, etc. Single arm variations are even better. Just make sure the form on them is good and the right muscles are used. I say this because not enough people do them.
Too much variety can be bad but variety also keeps you healthy. 'Doing too much repetitive movement can create overuse injuries (especially when there is bad form) so it is wise to rotate exercises and training BUT it's also important to get good at lifts and it will improve your movement through them as well as improve the nervous system. When you lift at the beginning is imperative that you get good at lifts.
You should do something physical every day (non-exercise related). Surprisingly, the majority of people who workout three to five times per week are still sedentary. Most people sit for eight hours or more each day, which makes them quite inactive. It’s important to get up and move your body as often as possible. This gives you a chance to get out of the same, seated position, and possibly prevent musculoskeletal imbalances that often arise from sitting for long periods of time. Every time you move you add to your energy expenditure. If you’re already training several times a week, think of ways to increase your non-exercise physical activity. Move your body at every given opportunity.
You have to have a WHY behind your training and set some specific goals. Your fitness is definitely a journey that lasts a lifetime but setting goals on your way is very important if you want to reach them. Read more HERE...
You need a plan. I'm all about ready, fire, aim, but the truth is that if you don't have a plan to follow you'll be all over the place and then is tough to get results (and keep consistency). When you are a beginner you need a plan. If you're an intermediate you need a plan. If you're advanced you should have a plan but then you have experience to be more intuitive.
Warmups are IMPORTANT. A proper warmup is first and foremost about injury prevention. It helps you increase your heart rate and blood flow, increase temperature in the muscles, which will lead to improved strength during the training session. A proper warmup can be used to increase flexibility, mobility and range of motion, And last but not least it helps you correct bad posture and work on your weaknesses. The warmup is the buffer between your life in and outside of training.
Coaching cues during exercises can change the effectiveness of the exercise, both from a standpoint of good form/posture and getting more out of the muscles you want to work. Get a coach (or at least a training partner that knows what good form is and how to coach it).
Transformation tip #1! Transformations start in your head. Be committed, focused, disciplined and have a goal. There are many nutrition plans, training programs and coaches. They can ALL work but the main thing is doing the work, doing your best and sticking to the plan. You really have to want to transform to be able to transform.
Do single leg training. Most of life happens on one foot (walking, running, etc.). Single leg training helps with balance, injury prevention, mobility, and strengthening the stabilizer muscles. They're also great to get a lot of volume without loading the spine (this was a key for me when I was rehabbing from my back injury).
Choose what you eat wisely. Most people choose food based on the following reasons: #1. Taste #2. Money #3. Health Considering that things are not going in the right direction in this country (maybe for you too) when it comes to health, don't you think we should switch it around? And I'd have you consider that the foods that get you to your goals also taste good. Who said you can't eat "xyz"? Talk to us and find out how you can eat the things you like and get the best results you've ever got.
Have a support group. I don't know anyone that has been successful that has gone at it completely alone. You need a team of partners and mentors. Coaches and mentors get you laser focused and help you achieve far better results than you ever could on your own. I've sought out coaches and mentors the majority of my life (once I got my head out of my butt) and it has always been the best investment.
The 3 P's of food preparation that would help everyone that is not doing it: #1. Planning #2. Purchasing #3. Preparation Instead of making a grocery list, I know make a meals list for the week. This way I buy groceries for the meals and not just groceries and then figure out the meals, as this always means there is left overs that aren't used. Planning = planning meals, then grocery shopping for meals.
Every time you eat, it's a chance to heal or harm. Start healing a lot more than harming and see how you start feeling and looking. With that I will say that how we eat is how we live, and how we live is how we eat.
Replace your slow steady state cardio with something more athletic/metabolic. Sprints, sleds, ladder drills, or even just going to play a sport a once a week. Don't use steady state cardio for "fat loss" but rather use it for recovery training and getting some more parasympathetic stimulus (rest and digest) rather than always being in sympathetic (fight or flight). We'll prescribe different lower intensity cardio to clients that have a lot of stress and it’s to calm them down (if your resting heart rate is over 66, you may fall in line for this). Otherwise high intensity cardio is always better for fat loss.
Every cell in your brain and body need fat. Your hormones can’t function properly without fat. Drop the processed carbs and sugars (and eat less carbs in general) and up your fat and protein. My favorite fat sources are avocados, coconut oil, butter, nuts, fish oil, steak, fatty fish, etc.
Get more sleep. I'm a culprit of not getting enough and have consciously been working on it and improving it. Sleep is THE best way to recover, so get more and get better sleep too.
Power is very important. Reactivity is important. For athletes of course, but also for everyone else. Not only does it feel good to be athletic, but it's the first thing we start losing as we get older (you lose power before you lose strength). After 50, 1 out of 3 people break their hip when they fall. If they had power and reactivity they would be able to catch themselves.
When doing rotational core work, always make sure you are moving from the hips and not the low back. Rotating from the lumbar spine is dangerous and will lead to injury (sooner or later). Always brace and move from the hips. That was a mouthful... and I'll leave the rest for next week Use some of it and become more ninja like. If that is not a good enough reason then what is?
You need to do soft tissue work, it's a must. If you want to feel better it's a must, and if you want to perform your best, stay out of pain, move better - it's a must. Foam roller, lacrosse ball, massage therapists; you decide but make sure you do 5 minutes a day (the simple tools will be easy to do daily). Make sure you tune in for Part 2 next week... Coach "50 solutions" Kosta
If you have been struggling with your results when it comes to your body transformation, whether from not knowing the next step or you've been on a roller-coaster diet and you feel stuck, and you are weary of all information on the internet...
... I'd advise you to consider a conversation with me or one of our coaches at Chicago Fit Performance so we can find out the right approach for you. And set up a plan of action for you, one that works based on your individual needs and goals.
This is a strategy session to create clarity around you and your next steps that will help you get to your desired results.
To apply for a STRATEGY SESSION click HERE