It’s easy to find yourself traveling down a rabbit hole of endless information. Before you know it, your brain is fried and you haven’t made it to the gym nor eaten your first healthy meal. But before you get sucked into the vortex of information overload, use these seven principles below to establish a rock solid fitness foundation.
1. The magic lies in your daily habits and behaviors
You might want to lose 15 pounds by the end of the year, but one swing of the bat won’t knock all your weight out of the park. Often times, we take actions hoping for the grand slam. We want to take one action and magically have our problems vanish.
What you do on a daily basis predicts your outcome as opposed to what you do occasionally. Losing 15lbs might be the goal, but that won’t become a reality unless you focus on executing the proper habits and behaviors on a daily basis.
Your future becomes your reality when you stay present with your actions.
2. Adopt an 80/20 principle mindset
The Pareto principle (“80/20 rule”), in the business world, states 20 percent of your customers represent 80 percent of your sales. Twenty percent of your time leads to 80 percent of your results.
With fitness, the “80/20 rule” is your best friend. Instead of trying to implement every tip you come across while turning your life upside down — only select the tips that deliver the biggest bang for the buck.
Think about whats the 20 percent in fitness that will give you the 80 percent of your results. This 20 percent comprises the basics (sleep, good food choices, etc). The basics will stand the test of time. Your goal is to get the most value for your actions out of the least amount of effort put forth.
3. There are many different paths to healthy eating
At one point, I was stuffing my face daily with bland chicken breast while downing shots of olive oil like it was Tequila.
Did I enjoy this?
No, but I didn’t know any better since I saw the pros and hardcore lifters doing this.
Just as there are many modes of transportation that can get you from point A to point B– your nutrition operates in a similar fashion. There isn’t a one size fits all nutrition template for everyone to follow. No matter the diet, they all start with the same fundamental philosophies of eating less processed foods and more nutrient dense based foods.
This general philosophy entails 90 percent of the equation. The remaining 10 percent is when all diets tend to unleash their weird rules and so forth. Focus on your 90 percent and let the 10 percent filter in however you deem appropriate. Obsess over your food choices (90 percent), not food timing (10 percent). Pleasing your palate and meshing with your lifestyle is the most important goal for any diet.
4. Sleep is your greatest ally
If the choice came down to either an extra workout or sleep–sleep takes the crown 100% of the time. Sleep is the silent dark horse that isn’t given it’s much deserved attention.
Lack of sleep has the ability to affect our hormones, moods, and hunger cravings — all of which leads to weight gain.
Before you plan an extensive workout program, make sure to plan and commit to a sleep schedule. Results and progress happen when you focus on rest and recovery. Try cutting off electronics 90-120 minutes before bed, read a book (not a kindle), make your room as dark as possible, have sex or try meditating for as little as 10 minutes to help with your sleep.
5. Find a workout program that you enjoy and fits your specific goals
Your friends may love crossfit, circuit training, or power lifting, but if you find zero amounts of pleasure in those activities, then do something else. You’re unlikely to stick with a regimen over the long haul if you absolutely dread taking part in it. Willpower is finite and eventually abandons you.
At the beginning, experiment with various forms of working out until you find something of enjoyment and simultaneously beneficial to your goals.
Combine cardio with strength training, don’t skip those big lifts, and lift to failure. These are just a few of the secrets to training success our team of top experts share with you.
You’ve been hitting the gym and seeing great results. But now you want more. Curious about how the pros get and stay in world-class shape? Sometimes just a few tweaks to your approach are all you need to start making remarkable progress.
We’ve asked three leading fitness athletes for advice on how to go from good to great. Each of these tips can help you become a well-balanced athlete ready to tackle any challenge thrown your way.
ÃÂ Combine Cardio with Strength Training
Add cardio elements to your strength routine through “active rest,” performing short bursts of cardio during your rest periods. “It’ll save you time and skyrocket your results,” says RSP athlete Hannah Eden.
Eden explains that keeping your heart rate elevated during strength training helps you burn more calories, build bigger and stronger muscles, and increase your flexibility.
“Start with 30-60 seconds of intense cardio with explosive movements such as jumping rope, tuck jumps, box jumps, and broad jumps,” Eden says. “Then, pick up your heavy weights to pump more oxygen and nutrients into your targeted muscles. This combination is a great way to supercharge muscle growth.”
ÃÂ Train Your Core Lifts
When it comes to your exercise selection, don’t skip the big lifts. “There is no way around it,” says RSP athlete Curtis Bartlett. “You just can’t afford to avoid the two core lifts: squats and deadlifts.”
If you’re a regular at the gym, chances are you never see anyone skipping chest day. But keep your eye on the squat rack, and you might notice that it’s hardly ever in useÃ¢â¬âat least, not for squats. “Even if people do work their legs, you rarely see them using the squat rack or the deadlift platform,” says Bartlett. “While I have nothing against machines, and often use them toward the end of a workout, they can’t replace the benefits and core activation gained from doing squats and deadlifts.”
Bartlett recommends doing some variation of squats and deadlifts every other day to build and maintain a solid foundation.
ÃÂ Stop the Comparison Game
“One of my favorite quotes to live by is, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy,'” says RSP athlete Kieon Dorsey. “It’s fine to use people you follow on social media, or even the legendary greats, for motivation and inspiration,” he says. “But never compare yourself to them, because there will always be someone bigger, better, stronger, and faster than you.”
Instead, Dorsey recommends measuring success by the progress you’re making and by remembering why you started in the first place. “It’s a great idea to take time every so often and reflect on how much progress you’ve made,” he says. “Look at how far you’ve come instead of how far you have to go.