Look, life isn’t easy right now for many people. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones and if it is easy, congrats to you but for many, the struggle is real.
Getting fitter, healthier and spending time (and money) doing this is not a priority for many.
I have a free eBook that explains everything and reading this will help many of you, here’s a link to the download.
Furthermore here’s some quick, easy hacks you can use everyday, that will re-energise you and help you lose some weight –
Weigh yourself tomorrow morning when you wake up, if you’re not measuring you have no idea if you’re succeeding! And do it everyday, for 2 weeks. And remember to make a note of the numbers.
Engage in intermittent fasting, NOW. Don’t eat breakfast tomorrow, ignore your rumbling stomach and drink extra water when you wake up. What will this do? It will mean your body must continue to use fat as a fuel and chances are, you have plenty to burn, even at 12, 13, 14% bodyfat people have got plenty to utilise. If you’re 30-40% you MUST do this because honestly, there’s no other way and it’s the way our ancestors did it. Set a target time and don’t eat until then and when you do eat, eat SLOW! The temptation will be to eat fast and too much, eat slow and eat a regular amount.
Tonight, turn your phone off 30 minutes before you sleep and find a book and read. In bed. You will be asleep in no time! And charge your phone at least 3 metres away.
When you wake up in the morning and after you weigh yourself do push ups, here’s how you do a push-up, properly! Then do squats, here’s how to do a proper squat. Add one extra push up and squat everyday for 2 weeks.
Get back to me in 2 weeks and let me know how you went!
Be a HERO, for yourself! Put some time and effort into you and reap the benefits!
A common theme in my new blog posts is human function and probably more accurately, dysfunction. Nobody is perfect especially when it comes to complete human function but there are examples of excellence in specific function.
Usain Bolt and Catherine Ndereba are examples of excellence in gait (sprinting and distance running), forward players in rugby are experts at pushing due to their practice at scummaging, Olympic lifters usually have excellent squat patterns and discus, shot putters and javelin throwers have gained excellence in rotation.
Gait, push, squat, rotate are all human movement “patterns”, part of the 7 we all can do, the other 3 being lunge, pull and hinge. These were discussed in a previous post here and along with movement “planes” being saggital (forwards/backwards), transverse (rotation) and coronal (side to side).
These movements are our human function as it pertains to anatomical structure, bones, muscles and connective tissues and play a major role in our basic physiology. Physiology relates directly to health and I will be writing a post very soon about this subject. For now what I am telling you is this, if you practice human movement patterns and planes on a regular basis your general physiology will improve, even to the extent that the neuroendocrine system will be positively impacted. There are researched and confirmed relationships between certain types of exercise and hormonal balance.
What do hormones dictate? How we feel, how we sleep, our emotions, reactions to events, whether we can reproduce, if we have energy and our ability to lose fat and put on muscle…….there’s a LOT of things.
Move poorly or incorrectly or not move at all and your hormones won’t thank you! Add to this sleep/rest and nutrition being the other major influencing factors on our hormonal balance and lack of attention to these results in hormonal imbalances – which in turn will lead to lack of function!
As a starting point for all of our fitness routines we should be addressing the 7 patterns and 3 planes. There’s a mantra that all good fitness coaches adhere to and that is “movement before loading”. In other words learn to move correctly before engaging in any strength training. Most good coaches will correct or teach movement patterns first, then technique in lifts, jumps, rotations, sprints, hinge and should be able to evaluate a running gait to name some of the basic movements.
Once these are sorted out real conditioning and strength training can commence, these activities providing the platform for highly beneficial impact on the neuroendocrine system.
Running off fat with long-winded cardio, out-training a bad diet, doing crunches “to get abs”, excessive bicep curls to build arms and eating 6 small meals a day to boost metabolism are all examples of the misinformation that is awash in the fitness industry and many people are completely unaware of it.
A lack of awareness results in people doing many things the wrong way and physiological dysfunction soon follows. The worst thing is a lot of this becomes a chronic injury especially in joints, shoulders, ankles, knees and back.
Chronic injuries can be created by trainers with the best intentions but simply not having the proper anatomical nor physiological knowledge. Putting clients through frequent sessions of poorly performed exercises over periods of months could be really bad for a client and the client has no idea. Just like the trainer, sadly.
Poor physiological function results and this will lead potentially to medical issues.
Your trainer should be able to explain basic physiology including hormone balance, joint mobility, movement patterns and planes – if he or she cannot they do not understand the very basics and this is a big problem.
Your training should not be compromising human function and you can certainly ill-afford to spend money on a professional that then goes about doing just that!
Currently globally there is no governing body that fitness professionals can register on and that people can use to find a qualified and reliable expert in the fitness industry. Until then there are shots in the dark unless you get lucky and stumble across someone that meets the criteria!
One of the worst things you can do is put shoes on children at too young an age. Our feet are one of the most sensitive parts of our bodies with only hands and genitals being more sensitive. The feedback loop from the sensory receptors in our feet to the brain create neural pathways that enable children to develop movement patterns that are required for the basics of life. We have 2 arms and 2 legs and the rest of our musculoskeletal system works to maintain the effectiveness, the function, of these limbs. The patterns once learned serve humans in many ways, obviously sport is one but it’s certainly not limited to recreation.
So if you shut down that development process watch your child stumble around like a newborn foal! And forever struggle to develop and improve agility, sprinting, gait, lunging and squatting to just address the basics.
Function is a word I am using frequently in my posts. We do so many things to disrupt basic human function. There’s a reason your Mum would tell you to stand upright and pull your shoulders back. This is posture and in terms of function having good posture is a further starting point for active joints and effective movement patterns.
Putting shoes on children and interrupting the development of posture and movement patterns is not going to serve your child through life.
Furthermore our feet are essentially springs with the arch coiling and uncoiling as we engage in dynamic activity and to set these springs in motion for a lifetime of proper human anatomical function you MUST allow them to develop –
Shoes that “support” arches are doing a disservice to correct human anatomical development and therefore function and on top of that, make orthotics manufacturers millions of dollars every year! When they should not be!
Arch support in shoes is not the only problem footwear creates.
“Tilting” the plane of our feet by wearing shoes that lift our heels, the most extreme example being high-heels shuts down function of our achilles –
In the diagram above the (rather odd but it was the best I could do) pic of the heels, “1” shows the lift or tilt at the heel and “2” the impact of the tilt at the achilles compared to no lift at “3” and an unrestricted achilles at “4”.
The pictures above illustrate the lift in heels of commercial running shoes.
The point of these pics is to illustrate that proper function is beng seriously hampered by the shoes we wear and not only for sport but every day wear of some shoe types will result in chronic issues that only present over a long period of time. Just like performing a squat badly for a few years may result in chronic lower back issues wearing shoes with a higher lift at the heel than the front of the shoe will restrict achilles function and then quite probably ankle mobility. A lot can wrong after that and usually in the knees or hips but possibly the lumbar as well – the human musculoskeletal system is a single, homogenous unit that operates in a finely tuned chain, any interruption at any point in the chain will result in malfunction presenting itself usually at another point. Soreness and pain that refer in your body are located back at the origin and how physiotherapists are able to pinpoint causations of injury. It’s very interesting stuff!
The title of my post is shoes can be a massive problem if used too early in a child’s functional development and even as adults we can make bad choices that will result in big issues.
At high school in New Zealand I was changing for a game of rugby and sitting next to one of my mates who was from Fiji. As he removed his school shoes and socks I was shocked to see how developed his feet were – his toes were spread like fingers and his feet were huge! We talked about how he rarely wore shoes growing up and even at that age after school the shoes were off and he was doing everything bare footed. Years later the significance of that discussion has dawned on me, islanders like Fijians, Tongans, Samoans can be amazingly talented sportspeople and a lot of that attributed to their amazing movement patterns that have been developed from an early age.
We’re all creatures of nature and yet some of us follow sometimes such completely opposite natural behaviours – running on the sand in running shoes as an example. To me that’s craziness but so many will do it much to the detriment of maximal function!
So let your child develop his or her feet as free from restrictive shoe wear for as long as possible. And for you try to cut down on high heel lift shoes and let your feet rediscover their freedom to work as intended! Proper function will result and less injuries further up the chain will occur.
I am astounded to see that this stationary bike company has revenues of $1.8 billion! Plus they have pivoted and now offer not only a $2000 bike but a 4 grand treadmill as well! And to enable a user to participte in all the classes other equipment is presumably required – I reckon a “Pelotoner” if that’s what they’re called could easily spend 7-8 grand in home equipment! That is a serious chunk of change!
My question is why in the world would you?
Understanding how to build lean muscle and get fitter and stronger does not require 7-8 thousand dollars in equipment.
In fact it really should be a fraction of that, to be precise 100 times cheaper!
Sylvester Stallone has learned this valuable lesson by telling the world that he uses resistance bands for his workouts now in this article here.
The 3 Immutable Truths of Fitness confirm that resistance bands work just as well as any piece of equipment at a fraction of the cost. Learn more about the 3 Immutable Truths and download my free eBook HERE.
There’s no need to spend thousands of dollars to get fitter, leaner, stronger if you know how to do it! Spend less than a hundred dollars on equipment and then 1 or 2 hundred for a 1 month through to 9 month program that will take you from wherever you are now to massive fitness gains – strength, mobility, leanness, speed, power, agility and aerobic endurance. All of them covered and more in the 3TRUTHS Fitness solutions.
In a previous post I discussed human physical function. A significant inhibiting factor to proper function is excess weight/obesity. So what is the mechanism of fat storage and why over the past few decades have so many become so fat?
Excess sugar in our diets is the number 1 issue. The underlying mechanism at work with sugar is the hormone insulin. The pancreas releases insulin when we eat sugar (carbohydrates) and it goes about moving the sugar, now in the form of glucose to the liver where it is stored as glycogen and into your blood as circulating glucose.
Once glycogen/glucose levels in the liver and blood are full insulin will store remaining glucose as fat. This is THE single most important part of the weight gain process, insulin storing sugar.
The issue is modern diets are so full of processed foods which contain more and more sugar. We hope/trust most reputable companies work within the nutritional guidelines created by regulatory authorities. There are 2 proviso’s to this. One is there is a wide degree of latitude afforded to food companies and the nutrition labels they create – for instance the US FDA allows a 20% higher amount of sugar than stated on the label! You read that right, check it out here. So a food may have a label saying it is 30 grams of sugar when in actual fact it is 36 grams…..the FDA randomly checks claims but the budget, frequency and enforcement of this scrutiny is not disclosed, of course! So there’s fairly significant latitude in labelling that you would assume is fully exploited by the industry.
If ANYONE is eating 20% more than they realise, especially sugar, of course there will be a problem!!
The second proviso is that like a lot industries, the regulatory authorities in many countries have a revolving door situation between governance and industry – this seriously clouds impartiality.
Sugar we know is highly addictive there is much science around this so daily we can be easily trapped into an eating pattern that is highly habitual. We KNOW we shouldn’t eat it but we can’t help ourselves and denial then makes the binging worse. We are eating too frequently, eating to much each time and the foods we eat have too much sugar.
One of the biggest challenges is breakfast. Modern breakfast cereals are highly processed and contain extraordinary amounts of sugar. I grew up in New Zealand and moved to Australia in my 20’s – I had never heard of Nutragrain cereal but it was a dominant player in the breakfast cereal “war” in Oz. It was basically made up of a third sugar, 33% (possibly 40% with our new found knowledge above) and then 5 or 6 years ago they reformulated it to “less sugar” by changing it to 27% sugar which is still probably 33 based on the knowledge we have on labelling, hmmmm……interesting.
Our eating habits are creating excess circulating glucose meaning insulin is always produced and the fat-storing process is ever-present. The more sedentary you are the less you are using up glucose and with each new meal more insulin is released and the fat storing process simply continues. The old idea of 6 small meals a day can create more probelms than it solves!
Based on the information I have shared it’s reasonable to make the assumption that a LOT of people are in continuous fat-storage mode. Sleep and therefore not eating obviously interrupts this process but how many of you know that son or daughter or partner that will wake up hungry in the night? And go an eat!
What makes us hungry and even wakes some people up is the hormone ghrelin and for some people it’s in absolute beast-mode! Ghrelin tells us we’re hungry and it is ferocious in how it drives us to eat. It’s almost as ferocious as insulin is in packing away those fat stores in readiness for the next famine – I am serious about this.
Human wiring is as old as our species so that makes it very old and a lot of inbuilt biological mechanisms are as hard at work today as they were thousands of years ago.
We store fat as this is our primary fuel and our body knows this. By continuous storage we are creating a tank of fuel that the body fully expects to one day utilise.
Modern diets literally wreck our finely tuned endocrinal system and hormonal balance leading to a number of health issues! A human body being fed a continuous supply of sugar is a recipe for disaster!
So, breakfast! The most important meal of the day………this would be true if you wanted to continue or restart the fat-storing process (that’s a joke). But if you have pounds/kilo’s to lose then actually it’s probably the reason you’re not losing weight!
Breakfast, if your goal is weight management, is the LEAST important meal of the day and in a lot of cases completely unnecessary. Why? Because we want to interrupt the fat storage process, in fact we must interrupt it and then and only then can we force the body to start using fat as a fuel. I am afraid the fat-burn zone so often promoted as a solution is an unwise and unproven concept – many studies indicate the body has a preference for glucose even at lower exercise intensities. Likewise the concept of eating to maintain your metabolism – think that one through a bit, you’re eating more calories to increase your metabolism that in turn burns these calories? No sense to this at all.
What is the solution? Mini-fasts have been proven to reduce fat stores in humans a good article is here. The article is good but it suggests the regular mini-fast or intermittent fast (IF) is 16 hours of not eating and 8 hours eating window (described as 16:8). In fact the better solution is 18:6 and even 20:4 and many of my clients alternate between these 2.
IF works because as much as our bodies in an evolutionary sense learned to store fat it also learned to use it. Our ancestors did not have the availability to food that we have and they had to work much harder to get it all the while keeping secure spaces for the family/community from predators and other tribes. Our bodies therefore evolved with an almost daily or longer feast/famine cycle with a daily hunt and gather followed by a feast.
The easiest way to adopt an IF protocol is to wake up and not eat breakfast! Drink water and black coffee or tea with no sugar of course but eat no calories. If you didn’t eat 2 hours before you slept and slept for 8 hours that’s only another 8 hours to go! You will feel some odd sensations, ghrelin will be nasty and after a day or 2 you will feel the effects of having no circulating glucose and move from carb-dependent to fat-adapted. In this period you may experience headaches, drowsiness/lethargy and other short term issues but keep water levels up and you will be fine. Remember to eat enough in your 4, 6 or 8 hour window, this usually being the number 1 problem people face – initially you may not feel like eating as much as you normally would. We do tend to over-consume so this is not a bad thing but over time you need to work on what amount works best for you.
I have personally and by way of my fitness businesses helped thousands of people lose literally tonnes of fat. I have done this by staying true to our human evolution and hormonal make-up. It is a process that anyone can engage in, it works and it continues to work because you learn the mental game PLUS your body adjusts and plays its part by resetting hormonal balances of insulin and ghrelin.
Botton line is we don’t need breakfast and as for the claim of it being the most important meal of the day –
I always want to write and talk about fitness, writing, talking and fitness all being passions of mine!
And with the fitness industry there’s a lot of confusion over many topics so I am going to write about relevant issues doing my best to illuminate some of these topics in a way that will hopefully clear up the confusion.
So when we talk about being fit, I think it should be about embracing the embodiment of the word –
n. The state or condition of being fit; suitability or appropriateness.
n. Good health, especially good physical condition resulting from exercise and proper nutrition.
So in a nutshell I think fitness is about being fit, not just looking fit. In the pic above who do you think looks fit and who is actually fit?
We have a bodybuilder and we have a CrossFit athlete.
Now I know some excellent bodybuilding coaches and participants and they know their craft. But they will be the first to admit that being able to jump, run (sprint or distance), play sport (agility, acceleration, power, mobility, flexibility), throw, balance etc are not skills taught in bodybuilding.
Generally the goal is to look good and the definition of “good” in bodybuilding is very defined in the judging criteria and usually includes having ridiculously large muscles! Bodybuilders turn heads, they attract attention and they often have to walk sideways through doors! Does this make them fit?
Debatable in my book.
To be fit in my mind is to be healthy and this is backed up by the definition of fitness above.
To be fit is to function optimally in a human anatomical and biomechanical fashion (appropriateness, as in the definition above). This will help with sports and athletic pursuits. So as a first base all of us should be able to function well in the 7 movement patterns and 3 planes and then to get fitter, increase loading in the movements that then stimulates a muscular, cardiovascular and joint response leading to overall biological adaptation.
This sounds complicated but it really is not if the individual tasked with the role of getting you fitter understands it!
Being fitter will also increase your health status and reduce the chances of developing disease.
The pathway to finding a professional that knows how to best help you is not easy but doing a bit of research and embracing knowledge makes good sense! I am not saying that CrossFit is the be all and end al solution because it is not, however the ethos of this sport embraces many of the true concepts of what it means to be fit.
There are many excellent CrossFit coaches out there, you just have to find one that takes the good bits from the sport and combines them with a sensible approach to getting you fit! So your job is to determine what you need and find a professional that can provide it!
We all want to attain our ideal weights, increase all-round fitness and health and maximise our quality of lifestyle – 30-45 minutes a day is really all it takes, it can be done at home, at the park or beach or when travelling. You just need to know what to do!
At 3Truths Fitness we have taken out the guesswork, used our wealth of experience and educational backgrounds to deliver the best value for money you can find!