For most of my training career , I got people to eat healthy and get leaner by following an eating approach, that was anti- calorie counting.
Here is the thing. I never really liked counting calories personally and I assumed many other didn’t either.
If I could make it, simpler, people were more likely to do it, I thought.
This worked for many people.
I advocated improving your food quality and you’ll most likely eat the right amount and reach your goals.
The big things I would advocate were
Eating protein based meals with real foods like chicken, beef, fish protein shakes, yogurt , cottage cheese etc
Eat more fruits and veggies.
Eat healthier and more natural versions of fats and carbohydrates, the ones that were not highly processed like potatos instead of breads and olive oil instead of fake fats like margarine.
Drink plenty water
Eliminate or reduce, most other foods.
Now, for most this way works and works well. The problem is right now,
It might not be something your even willing to do.
Also , you can still be overeating, even if its healthy foods, this can stop you from getting lean.
I wanted to give you 5 reason why counting calories, may be just what you need.
To me counting calories means
-Recording the foods you eat on tracker like my fitness pal.
-Doing your best to accurately measure and weigh most of your foods.
This isn’t something to do for ever, but maybe a month or so. To educate your self and become more aware.
Not everyone has to do this, but it’s smart for some situations . I’m going talk about this today.
Your brand new to diets and eating healthy. There is a lot talk about eating intuitively. The issues is you don’t know, what you don’t know. I’ve been, eating healthy for most of my adult life. I can look at a plate of food and judge how many calories are on that plate better, than some one who hasn’t paid attention to food much in there life .
There lays the issue, often when people struggle to lose fat, there eating more than they think. This is why spending a brief time, counting and measuring food. Can be real eye opener for many and make it very clear, what you have been over doing.
For beginners focus on hitting a calorie goal of around 12 x your ideal body weight and hit body weight in grams of protein, is great place to start. Than try to fill the rest of the foods you eat with, healthy foods and foods, you enjoy.
2. You like eating junky food. For some people there just aren’t willing to eliminate all unhealthy foods.
That is perfectly okay. You’ll see a tremendous health benefits and be able to lose fat by eating mostly unprocessed foods and not overeating.
If your someone, like this , who always likes to include some junky food like, ice cream, candy, chips etc.
It best to always track calories, because your not going be just eat those things and expect to lose weight. There just too easy to over eat.
Like I said this okay. You can include some of those things, if you keep your calories and protein in check. You’ll still get really good results. With this style of eating, but there is always a give and take.
You want your chips, you have to sacrifice carbs or calories some where else. So maybe less carbs at dinner or lighter breakfast and/or lunch, so you can still have chips and not going over your calories, so you can still lose fat.
3. You’ve been eating super clean. So, this another situations that happens. You’ve been eating healthy. You eat a ton of clean food. You might of gotten some where, but maybe your stuck now.
But, you feel stuck. There is a myth that eating healthy is the same thing as easing for fat loss. Healthy is good but fat loss is always about eating less calories, than you take in.
Hence why tracking calories, might be a huge eye opener for you.
4. Direct way to fast fat loss. So, many people want fast results. But, the most direct way to lose fat is tracking calories diligently .
You can eat clean , you can eat keto or go low fat, but you can still get stuck, if your still eating too much.
Counting calories, is the best way ensure fat loss, if your in a rush.
Those are a few times,when counting calories is the thing that you may need. But, you don’t have to count to get results.
I had guy go from 300lbs to 180 without counting calories.
But, just because you don’t count calories to lose fat doesn’t mean that you didn’t lower calories, which caused the fat loss.
If your looking to get leaner, I offer free nutrition coaching with me personal training. Hit the contact button and schedule your free assessment and free workout today.
The 2nd most common pain , is shoulder pain. It something I have to deal with .
Being very active most of my adult life.
Lifting, doing OCR races, grappling and fighting, has done a number on them.
There certain drills, that are a must for me.
The funny thing is, people who not as active as I have been, will still experience shoulder pain in the almost the same way.
Three things we need to think about, when it comes to developing better shoulder health and increase the chance of getting out of shoulder pain.
Movement and exercise routine.
These are three different subject. I’ll talk about. But, there all interconnected. Poor breathing, drives poor posture and poor posture effects, the how we move and how we exercise..
This might not seem like a big deal but how we breathe effects our posture and also the health] of the muscles, that will contribute to shoulder pain.
If you think of breathing , we do this in two different ways.
Chest breathing, where we breathe shallow into our chest, this is constantly expanding and retracting our muscle in the upper body. This is equivalent to doing 1000’s reps of on these muscles a day. This creates very tight pecs, lats and traps. Which can contribute to shoulder pain and poor shoulder movements.
Also this style of breathing will, also causes us to extend at the lower back 1000′ of times a day. This creates a posture, wherever it is hard to breathe in the second way, I’ll talk about . This is how , poor breathing patterns, create worse posture .
The second way breathing is breathing into our diaphragm and into stomach . This the ideal way to breathe , most of the time. This way reduces our stress, improves our cardio, as far shoulder pain reduces, the tension in all those, upper body muscle we over use, when we breathe shallow into the neck.
There is an issue, though. If we have bad posture, it is hard to breathe into the stomach.
The hips and bottom of the rib cage align to create, this canister or chamber to breathe into the stomach. Without this posture belly breathing can be very tough.
But, if we have poor posture and hips and rib cage are not lined up. It becomes harder to breathe this way. It will feel more natural to breathe through the chest,
This kind of thing, like the chicken or the egg.
Do we have bad posture because we breathe poorly.
Or do we breathe poorly because we have bad posture.
But, by working on both we can, reduce tightness in the shoulder and create better posture, that leads to greater shoulder function and hopefully get out of pain.
Next is posture, how we spend most of our time. Determine our default posture.
Good or bad.
Sit down with back rounded and head forward for 8 hours a day at work.
We are going to have less than ideal upper body posture.
This creates tight muscles and weak muscles, causing an imbalance between the front and rear shoulder. This can create dysfunctional and painful shoulder. Because they can’t stabilize like, they want to,due to this.
What is ideal upper body posture?
This what most people are dealing with. The cross line , shows the tight muscles, and than the weak muscle. This often due to our daily movements and posture
This is ideal posture. Lower back flat , upper back without an excessive curve and head over shoulders. You’ll notice the line, going through the body, that shows you, what great posture is.
Movement and exercise
The third things , we can do, is to exercises to balance things out.
We want to stretch or open tight areas and get the area that are weak, stronger. In general the tight muscles, will be the front muscle and the weak muscle will be the ones in the back.
So, since we are talking the upper body we have to open up.
T-spine the part of the spine right behind the chest
We have to get the upper back and shoulder stabilizer stronger and the lower and mid traps, as well rhomboids.
This is where a great programming is important, we don’t want do a program that makes, these things worse. Which is what many workout of day style gyms, can do.
So, what would make this worse?
Too much bench work or chest work.
Not enough push ups
Not enough upper back work
Using bad form and with heavy weight.
So a good program would do theses things.
Have proper warm up that opens the chest and lats and activated the upper back and shoulder stabilizer.
Than during the workouts, we will get more upper back work, than chest and front shoulder work.
Example might be
Chest stretch 60 sec per side
Lying wind mill 10 per side
YWT 20 sec per side
Face pull with band 20 reps
Yoga push up 10
DB bench press 3x 5
Push ups 3x 10
Ring rows 4 x 10
Band pull aparts 4x 20
Rear flys 3x 15
lateral shoulder flys 3x 15
I hope this helps, you out.
This is something, that wont works like magic, it going take some time to get better shoulders.
Work on breathing, if your shallow breather
Be mindful of posture and do the best you can correct.
Warm properly, make sure we stretch open chest , traps and lats and activate the upper back and back of shoulders
When you train use proper form, make sure not all chest exercises are presses and do more push ups too, there better for shoulder health. Do more upper back than chest, when doing this, think total reps. The workout I gave there, was total 45 reps of chest and 165 reps of upper back, 80 those being lower intensity upper back exercises from band pull parts.
If there is one subject, when it comes to fitness, that is close to my heart.
It is building muscle and getting strong for harder gainer and scrawny dudes.
That was me.
I told this story many times , I was in auto repair shop and I was trying break lug nut.
I was struggling, putting my whole body behind it and I heard a few kids begin me laugh at me.
That afternoon , I joined a gym. I was 17 years old.
The rest history.
There has been many things, I’ve learned since than.
I’ve been working out for the past 16 years.
Here are some of those lessons, I’ve learned.
Bodybuilder Don’t Have The Answers(At least not for guys like you and I)
This was one of my first mistakes Following bodybuilding program in the magazines. . Body builder have a few things, most of us do not have.
Fundamental levels strength and muscle
So, the programs that you’ll see in magazines might work great for genetically gifted guys, like the ones who would play football in high school.
But, for people like us, they suck. Too much volume and accessory exercises.
What we need to do is to build a strong foundation of strength by
Mastering the basic compound exercises and getting strong at them.
The basic exercises would be a
single leg exercises
upper push like bench press
upper pull like row
Shoot for staying in the rep ranges of 5-8 reps, until you build strong strength foundation. Unlike bodybuilding, your not going hit one muscle group once week.
You want hit it with frequency, hit the same muscle group 2-3 x week. So , full body workouts are great for beginners.
A quick examples
1 arm row
Supplements Are Never The Answer
With picking up bodybuilding and fitness magazines. You get a ton of shitty workouts.
But, you get bombarded with ads for all theses supplements, that clam, they will change your life.
I got sucker in , spending so much money on these.
Supplements are exactly, what they are. They should supplements your diet. There far from the most important things.
If you take them, focus on the ones that comes from food and that your having trouble getting in your own diet.
Things I like are
Like I said earlier, I would follow these body building program ,the problem with this was, the volume was way too high, for someone who was very weak.
When you do high volume but your not loading that much weight, this is highly ineffective.
One of the first times, I realized how important intensity was, when I got in to this training program called Heavy Duty by Mike Mentzer
It was doing 1-2 exercises per body part but only doing 1 set to absolute failure.
At that time, I saw my best gain with this way. Way better than any gains I did following workouts, that had 20 set per body part.
Although, I now do more sets, than 1 . It taught me how to train all out and how effective it can be.
You don’t know intensity until, you know what failure looks and feels like. Having parts of your workout, where go to failure, is important. Just from a stand point of learning to go all out.
You might, think ,you did a hard set of 10, but maybe if you did that to failure, you would got 20 reps instead.
Which mean that set of 10 wasn’t really, as intense as you thought.
There was this squat, challenge I’ve done in the past. That I loved. Where you put your body weight in pound on the bar and squat for max reps and see what you can get.
There were times, where after 12 reps, I would feel like I was done, like I only had few reps left.
But, I would take it one rep at time and and push it until I couldn’t. Before I knew, I would be at 25+ reps.
Intensity is important .
A method of tracking this, is rating your RPE after each set
RPE is rate of perceived exertion, rate from 1-10
Most of your working sets should be a 7-9.
A good way to think about this, is if you went all out for , how many more reps you could get past the given rep range.
Say your doing sets of 8,
If you could get 3 extra reps or more it is probably a 7 or lower
If you could get an extra 2 reps, it might a 8
If you could get 1 extra reps, it might be a 9
If you could get 0 extra reps, it would be at 10.
This is great way engage intensity , this is also a great way to know, when you should add weight.
If you do a set of 8 chest presses and the RPE was 9, you probably know, that you don’t need go up, for your next set, or next week, you should stay at that weight.
Ramp Up Sets
This was a game changer, for the longest time, when I did a workout. I would do the prescribed sets and reps, that was it. Maybe I would a 1-2 warm up sets for real heavy lifts.
But, when I started to incorporate ramp up sets, notice huge difference.
A ramp up set are 1-4 easy to harder sets, that help, you get ready to handle heavy weight, but also give you the opportunity to practice great form, when the exercises are easier, thus increasing your performance at that lift, when the weight is heavy.
I kinda did this for big lifts, but when I took it more seriously and did this with almost every exercises. I added more muscle and got stronger.
The reason for this is most likely due a few things.
Your better prepared to handle heavy weight.
The little extra volume, may have help build muscle.
Because I’m warmed up better , I has the ability to go harder on my working sets.
It help me know which weights, are the best for my working sets, instead of guessing, and going to heavy or light for my first 1-2 sets, which used happen often.
Here an example for ramp up sets with a bench press.
Say your workout call for 3x 8, to me a hard set of 8 might be 155lbs
I might do this
bar for 8
95lbs for 8
115 for 8
135 for 8
Than do my first working set at 155
If your not doing this, start doing this and notice more strength, more muscle and maybe more importantly less injuries or aches and pains
Mix Methods (conjugate)
Typically we work on one thing at time, during weeks and months of training.
We might focus on, just building muscle, than strength and maybe than power, etc.
But, I’ve seen my best gains working on multiple methods at a time.
I don’t like working on different thing each phase.
Like a few months of strength work than, than building muscle and than power development.
I find that, doing this causes you to lose your gains in one area, too fast.
I prefer working on everything in each workout or at least each week.
Popular by westside BB conjugate system.
Does this, you work on multiple modalities simultaneously.
For example my strength workout yesterday for my group training was.
1A DB Press 2/3x 4-8 (max strength)
1B Rotational MB Slams (power)
2 Push ups 3x 15 (hypertrophy/muscle building work)
3A Strap rows 15 (hypertrophy/muscle building work)
3B Forward and backward lunges 8 per side (hypertrophy/muscle building work)
3C Rack Walk 30 sec (core development)
Repeated for 10 minutes
Finisher: Hill sprints 10 sec 5 sets( conditioning and lactic power development)
In one workout we built multiple, things : max strength, power and focus on building muscle. As well building conditioning.
This work well because it hits the three triggers of building muscle
Mechanical tension aka heavy lifting
Time under tension aka high reps with controlled tempos
Metabolic stress- combination of higher reps with incomplete rest and the intervals
This is fun way of training, with a huge bang for your buck.
Last thing I want point on is recovery. After , I grew frustrated with bodybuilding workouts, I found in magazines.
I discovered this old school body builder, who taught the complete opposite.
Instead of more sets, he said one.
Instead of training 6x week, he said train 2-4x week.
He emphasis recovery.
I saw at that time, my best gains by following his guide lines.
Although, I don’t agree with all his thoughts now.
He was way a head of his time, with how important intensity and recovery are to build muscle.
He advocated 1-2 exercises per body part and 1 brutal set taken to failure and than you would take 3 days off.
If you want build muscle, you have to respect the recovery process, that is focusing sleep and structuring your workout in way, that allows for recovery.
For sleep , I’d shoot for going bed by 10pm and trying get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep.
Than for workouts, try not to lift 3 straight days. Here are a few splits I like
Mon Weds Fri Fullbody
Mon Tues Thurs Fri Upper/lower split
Mon Weds Fri lower upper and pull
Now, let take this stuff and hit the ground running . Let me know if you have any questions.
Summer is coming and I’m sure, you wouldn’t mind being a little leaner. I want to go over, one the most under looked aspects, of fat loss success or any goal you might have.
I actually had to work on some of these idea myself to reach my goal of being promoted to blue belt, last year.
How we think and how we react when things go wrong. Is a major contributor of our success.
Mindset is important, our brain literally control everything we do. So, if we don’t address this first . Most approaches will not be sustainable.
First thing about mindsets, is shifting from an all or nothing approach to always something.
Often times when we, do something. We expect to do something in a certain way. And when we can’t! Instead of doing less.
What do we do?
We end up doing nothing. So , if we have an all or nothing mindset. As we get older and things come up more and more. We end up doing , really nothing.
We need to start leaning to be ok, with doing less. Trust, me you’ll get leaner doing something everyday for 365 days a year.( Even if it is something small)
Than only doing something for 30-90 days in a year,
A few examples.
You mess up and have a muffin for breakfast, you can still have a healthier lunch.
You miss your workout on Monday, workout for the rest of the week.
Your super busy, maybe just make sure you drink enough water and go for a little walk after dinner.
This stuff, might seem small and insignificant, but over time it builds up. It will create results.
This is how results are produced and maintained. Consistent Action.
Anyone can do something for 30 days but, it’s the person who can do something for years, that we want to become. I’m sure you have been able to do something for 30 days before. where have that gotten you.
Which is why a sustainable approach to fitness and diet, is the #1 reason why people fail or succeeded.
What we believe, is what happens most of the time .
If feel like you can not lose fat due to this or that. You probably wont. Despite, if you actually could.
We often develop believes, from what we expose our self to, our child hood, and past experiences
The issue is just because you believe in something.
Does it make it true?
I used to believe in Santa, but that never made it true.
If you feel like you can’t lose weight because of your age or genetics. Doesn’t mean it is true.
It is often important to test out your believes and really discover , how true they are. They might be true like you feel or maybe there a little off.
What are some of your believes ,that you have about fitness, diet etc?
You may or may not be right. But, the only way to know for sure is to.
Try prove your self right by going all in on a fitness program or diet, that is right for you. Than see what actually happens
If you don’t think you can get leaner. Go all in on sustainable program for 90 days and let’s see for sure. But, you have to go into it whole heartily.
Growth mind set
Growth mind means, that where you are right now, isn’t where you’ll always be.
Fixed mindset, is thinking you are, where you are and there is little you can do to control it.
Now, you might have growth mindset in one area and a fixed mindset in another, this common.
Say two people try lose fat.
They both slip up on day day 3 and hit McDonald.
But, they think through this set back very differently.
One says, “you know this diet thing isn’t for me. It’s my bad genes and I am over 40 now, so there is that.”
While the other person says. “How could I make sure, that doesn’t happen tomorrow. They start brainstorming , maybe if I drink more water and have a good breakfast, I’ll be less tempt to stop at McDonald.”
So, than he tries that and he may or may not have some success with stopping for fast food.
But, who do you think will have more success overall?
Confidence/ Self Efficiency
This is something, that will make or break our success.
When you start a task, how confident are you that you’ll be able to succeed? This your self efficiency.
If it’s low, often times, we wont succeed.
This why people end up quitting after struggling time and time again.
But, the good thing. This isn’t static. Say, you scaled your self efficiency on losing 20lbs from 1-10.
When you first start, it might be an 8.
Than after a tough weekend it at 5.
Than a stressful time at work its 2.
The thing about this is, once we start building a high self efficiency , we are motivated and action becomes easier.
You may have notice, the things your naturally good at, you like to do more. The things you stink at, you don’t like.
But, How do we get from a lower self efficiency to something, higher, that will lead to more success?
You have to vote?
Think of all your action as votes, to become more confident or less confident in achieving your goals.
Everything, is a vote to one of them. The more you vote in one area, the more that becomes who you are.
So, the best way to build this self efficiency or confidences. Is to start small and do all these small things, that are all votes in the direction you want to go.
This works because subconsciousness, when you start doing more and more stuff, that push you towards your goals. You start to build confidence and deeply believe in your self. Because, you have proven to your self, by having your action align with your goals.
But, other way is true to, the more you vote against your goals, the less you will believe it will ever happen for your self.
This is why, it is important to do something, everyday towards one of your big goals. But, the action it self doesn’t have to be big. As long, as it is a vote towards, who you want to be.
But, if we start with thing that are too hard or big. And you are unable to follow through with them. This will destroy your confidence. Sadly, this is what most do.
Another thing, I think is important to mention, if your goal is fat loss.
Is not judge your entire success on the scale,
The scale is fickle, it goes up and down.
A raise doesn’t always, mean you gained fat. Most of the time it is water weight change from stress, carbs or salt you eat(carbs or salt make your muscle store more water) poor sleep or sometimes you’ll gain some water weight, the day after you lift.
If you are going to use it to measure progress, you should pay attention to the trends. In the last 2-4 weeks, is it overall going down. As well as pay attention to things like, how feel, energy, clothes fitting and how we look.
Keep that in mind.
The mindset topics we went over are
All or nothing trap
Growth mind set or fixed mind set
Investigating your believes
Self confidence and self Efficiency
If your got this far, thanks you for reading. I really hope this will help, you work on the most important muscles in our body. The one between our ears. Once we strengthen that, great things will start to happen for you .
If you know anybody, this would help, please feel free to share it.
Power actually keeps us safe to react quickly in life. Lost of power are contributed to falls as we get old, which can be life ending. There are many other examples , when we need to react quickly in life.
2 If we have more power, that increases our potential for better lifts, which will help us build more muscle as well as lose more fat.
3 When we do compete in hobbies such basketball or pick up football etc with friends , power is powerful friend. In smashing your buddy and getting bragging rights.
4. If you do conditioning, more power makes it more effective. Take hill sprints for an example. If you have more power behind your sprints, you’ll drive your heart rate up high up faster. Making it more effective.
Power is about creating a lot of force very quickly.
It not about getting tired or fatigued.
Many times, when people start training, in this way, they might feel like it is easy.
Keep the intention on short sets of explosive bouts and rest longer enough, that you can repeat that explosive bouts.
TIP- If you can measure your power, so you know, when you start produce less power, it may help choose the right amount of sets.
Example Timing how long it takes sprint 10 yards and you might stop, when the time dramatically gets slower.
Don’t turn it into cardio.
Here are my favorite exercises types to build power
Kettlebells KB swings Kb snatches
Sprints hill sprints sled sprints Prowler sprints Done for short distance for speed 5-20 yards
It may just be the prefect time, to build some muscle.
Why ? More muscle makes us look leaner. It allows to eat a little more. It has been linked longevity of life. It allows us to handle carbs better. It build strength. It is the one modality that can help us get stronger, build muscle, reduce injury, burn fat, increase our fitness and increase mobility.
Now is a perfect time for it.
We are stuck at home , eating more than we should. Use that extra food to build muscle.
We don’t need any fancy equipment either
Think about it Bobby
Train with me from any where in the world apply here
But, the quickest is probably Hitting caloric goal, that will put you in deficit Hitting your daily protein goals. It’s just not be right for everyone.
Now, just because this is the fastest , doesn’t mean everyone needs go this route.
I have helped many people shed pounds doing other things like.
Eating less processed foods Eating more protein Drinking more water Consuming more veggies Cutting out foods, that don’t leave you satisfied.
But, fat loss is triggered by being caloric deficit, and the reason why those things, work above is for that reason.
The thing is much as I personally and many of my clients over the years, might prefer the anti-calorie approach.
That approach isn’t full proof . You can still
Eat too much while having unprocessed foods You can hit more protein and still consume too many carbs and fats You drink lots water and still make not the best choices. You can consume more veggies and still give in to your Sweet tooth.
But, it just makes it a lot harder to over eat.
If your goal is fat loss.
Just realize , you have a few different routes to go.
The one you should choose , is the one that you can maintain for the longest.
If you like numbers maybe tracking calories and protein is where yous should start.
If you don;t like that idea, maybe start by eating more protein based meals, veggies/fruits and drinking more water and start cutting out proceeded foods.
Do what is right for you.
Not just in the next 30 days but for the rest for your life.