You’ve probably read a lot of those “get fit quick” articles over the years. Maybe some of the advice was good, but you had a hard time sticking to it. Maybe the recommendations they had were to dive headfirst into an extreme regime that doesn’t work for you and your lifestyle.
Your solution to getting fit and getting back to your best self isn’t a magic pill or a “totally exclusive” PDF workout plan. It’s not a restriction/mass gain diet. There are many ways you can get back into an active lifestyle, but we’re here to cut the BS.
The bottom line: It’s about finding a solution for you and staying accountable to it.
We’re not saying we have the be-all-end-all solution, but we are here to help you find out what will work for you, your body, and your lifestyle.
BEFORE YOU HIT THE GYM
Maybe back in the day you owned Arnold’s Modern Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding and followed it like it was scripture…maybe you haven’t ever stepped foot in the gym and you’re not even sure how you got to this article. In either case, we’re glad you’re here, right now, at this time in your life!
Because, it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from, but where you’d like to go.
We know… this is starting to sound BS-y… but hear us out! Why are you here? Just like any other journey, before you pick your route, you need to figure out why you’re getting in the car in the first place. What is your motivation?
When we say this is the No BS guide, it’s because we want to be real with you, and we want you to be real with yourself. You need to know why you’re making this choice to become healthier.
Is it to look better? To fit into those clothes? Is it to impress your colleagues with stories of marathon milestones at the water cooler? We promise that you’ll stick to your commitment longer if your “why” actually means something to you.
Do you want to get fit so you live longer? So you can keep up with your kids? So you can be a good role model to your loved ones by encouraging a healthy lifestyle? Only you can decide what drives you to the gym.
After you know your why, let’s figure out your goals that support your reason to move. Do you have a goal weight? Are you looking to master a certain move? Get specific! Don’t just say “I want to be fitter.” Time to brainstorm tangible, realistic goals that you want to reach, and let’s help you achieve them.
Before we let any of our members pick up a weight, we sit them down to discuss the true reasons why they want to get fit. If you can’t see the finish line, it’s difficult to stay on route. We’re here to help you pick the road map, give you the tools, and give you a boost when you run out of gas, but you have to tell us where you’re going.
Still, struggling to find your why? We’d love to have a chat with you and pick your brain about this. You can always reach out to us for a no-obligation chat about your fitness goals. No commitment! We just want to find out if we’re a good fit to help you reach your fitness destinations.
IN THE GYM
Alright, alright. Enough about motivations and feelings. Let’s get to pumping that iron to get your ideal physique. Here are our top tips that we give our members when we build out their workout plans both in and out of the gym:
Don’t skip leg day
Many men like to focus on lifting and particularly on the upper body (chest, back, and arms). It’s where we feel the pump the most. Those endorphins blast through our body with each biceps curl. But let’s think about this more holistically for a second.
It is important to focus on all areas of the body to avoid imbalances that can lead to injury. You know those guys shaped like pizzas whose traps look permanently fused to their ears? That’s the kind of look that will occur when you only isolate your chest, arms, and back and forget about the rest of your body. If that’s your goal, that’s great! But if not, you need a plan that works in multiple parts of your body, and you need to start working toward your goals through functional training.
|What is Functional Training?
Functional training is a group of exercises that mimic movements that you do in your regular life outside of the gym. As described by the Mayo Clinic “Functional exercises tend to use multiple joints and numerous muscles…This type of training, properly applied, can make everyday activities easier, help reduce your risk of injury and improve your quality of life.”
They are important as you age – these are exercises that mimic movements that you do regularly in everyday life. For example, if you’re finding you spend all day at a desk and are experiencing back pain, we would recommend back and core exercises to strengthen muscle groups in the area and build the support you need for better posture.
Gain through Cardio
While getting that mass pump to your muscles feels great during strength training, it’s important you remember to hit at least a few minutes on a cardio machine. While exclusively training cardio can be harmful to your joints, using cardio to complement your strength training can have huge benefits.
Switching between cardio and strength training reduces the risk of injury, promotes fat loss, and gives you better muscle endurance. When performing a cardio exercise, you are building up stamina in the muscles used during a strength workout (particularly in your lower body).
Did we forget to mention, cardio makes you smarter as well?
When we run or participate in a cardio exercise, the increase of blood circulation stimulates the creation of new nerve cells and blood vessels within the brain, an organ that tends to shrink as a person ages. Getting the blood pumping also releases endorphins that create that euphoric feeling (sometimes called runner’s high) that reduces pain and will put you in a better mood overall! It’s a boost for not only your physical health but your mental health as well!
IN THE KITCHEN
As they say “abs are made in the kitchen” and it is true. You can’t out-train what you eat. Now we’re not saying you need to restrict yourself from any of the foods you love—it’s all about moderation and the mindset shift.
Have you ever thought about what you’re putting into your body?
Sometimes our days can get hectic. We get that sometimes the only option is to eat what’s in front of you (regardless of how healthy it is) just so you can move onto the next thing. But just like exercise itself, we all can make time to put nutrition at the top of the to-do list—it’s all about prioritization.
We don’t want you to obsess about it—there is no such thing as a “right’ or “wrong’ food to eat. It’s a sliding scale. Some foods will fuel you farther than others. It’s just like the gas you put in your car, some fuels will burn cleaner and some won’t work for one model of car. You have to find what works best for you.
We recommend the same for women and men. It’s not about eliminating food groups, only eating plan chicken with broccoli, or never having the things you love to eat! We teach whole food nutrition that simply incorporates more nutrient-dense foods into your meals throughout the day.
Nutrient-dense doesn’t have to be anything fancy. When you have the choice of what to eat, pick the one that will give you the energy you need to get farther through the day.
Need some ideas? Check out these 5 healthy snacks to get you through the workday.
IN YOUR LIFE
Taking care of yourself is a huge part of the “get fit” equation—especially as you get older. Trying to “go hard” and work out every day is a recipe that often leads to injury and takes you further away from your goals.
Your body needs to rest between workouts in order for the muscles to recover. After you work out, your body will take the recovery time to repair the exerted muscles, which builds up mass and strength for your next workout. If your body is constantly in exertion mode it doesn’t have the time to build and your supporting joints will start to stress, usually leading to injury.
That doesn’t mean you have to stop working out completely! Taking a recovery day can mean working out different muscle groups to give the others rest, backing off the heavier weights, or like we suggest above, mixing in some cardio.
Read more: 5 tips for workout recovery for men over 40
Similar to workout recovery, your body needs sleep to recoup and regenerate. Lack of sleep can also produces cortisol (more on that below), which creates stress in the body. If you don’t get enough sleep, this can also cause extra weight gain! When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces ghrelin, a hormone that boosts appetite, which can cause you to overeat and negate all the work you put into the gym.
It’s important that you prioritize sleep, just as much as the time you put into the gym. Not only because of the dangers of lack of sleep but because getting enough sleep is the easiest way to ensure you’re in the right mindset and mood to stay committed to your fitness goal—being sleepy and irritable are two major excuses that keep people out of the gym.
Check out the other benefits of sleep here.
Sometimes we have a lot going on in our life. We might have a lot of commitments to juggle, which can create huge stress on ourselves if we don’t take care of ourselves.
When we are stressed, our body releases a hormone called cortisol, which puts our body into overdrive: it’s that flight or fight response that causes our blood pressure to rise. This is a hardwired response that was designed to keep us safe in the hunter/gather days but still happens today. Your body now treats the threat of a saber-tooth tiger the same as the compilation of minor stresses such as bills, work deadlines, and social obligations.
To some degree, it’s okay to have this response—it’s what kept us alive all these years, after all. But too much can have a hugely negative impact on your body.
Long term effects of too much cortisol and other stress hormones can have the following effects:
- Digestive problems
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
- Memory and concentration impairment
You can use many techniques to manage your stress, exercise being one of them, of course. But like we said above, too much exercise can exhaust your body even further. It’s all about taking things in moderation and setting boundaries for your time. Of course, there will be some things you simply cannot avoid, but taking the pressure off to do everything at once and to be everywhere at once will help reduce that internalized stress.
Sometimes you cannot control what goes on in your life and you can’t pick your obligations, but you can choose how you view them.
We host weekly mindset calls to teach you tips and tricks about how you can reduce stress and shift your thinking for a healthier lifestyle—no BS! Just facts about the tools we have available to us. We all have the same 24 hours in the day: you decide what to prioritize and what works best for YOU.
What you can do NOW
The tips above may have been obvious to you—but are you practicing all of them? A lot of times, guys know what they need to do to get fit, but they don’t follow through or stay accountable to themselves. It starts with a tiny excuse—I don’t have time this week—and snowballs into a huge gap in time where you put yourself on the backburner, wondering where to start again.
We get it! We’ve all been there! But we’re here with you, right now!
If accountability is your issue, we got you! Checking in on our members is so important to us because we’re about more than pushing you in the gym. We want to make sure we’re giving you the tools to carry outside the gym and into the rest of your life.
It’s all about starting with small goals you know you can remain accountable to.
The first goal? Set up a call with one of our qualified trainers. No moving necessary, no money necessary—just click here to book a call, and we’ll help you from there. We’ll only take about 10 minutes of your time. That’s less time than you take on average deciding what to stream on Netflix per day. No BS! Just a conversation about what you need to become the best version of yourself!
Make one day, day one. Click here!