With all the information out there now a days it still means like there is misunderstanding about how important the basics are. Look at most professional athletes, they don’t do anything super fancy, they just do the basics really really well.
A lot of times people think that fitness is something that you only have to do 1 thing, workout, and that’s it.
That is so far from the truth.
So what I’ve done here is compiled a list of the important pieces of fitness. Now, when looking at this list, it can look overwhelming but that’s ok. This is a process of working on just a couple things at a time and then moving on. You will not get there over night. No one does.
When it comes to fitness and health we all want results and we want them now. However when the focus is on weight loss, muscle gain, running faster, whatever it is, we lose sight of the day to day things that all work together to get us there.
Use this article to put everything in order of what to focus on. If you do these tasks, not all at once, then you will have long lasting success with out always being up and down. Drum roll please……….
I bet I threw you off there.
Just about everyone knows that nutrition is “important” but they always put it as a last priority.
Benjamin Franklin had a really good quote about this and I use it a lot. “If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.”
You HAVE to make a plan, you HAVE to make time, because no one has free time just lying around, and you HAVE to be consistent.
I always teach the 80/ 20 rule.
If you are on point 80% of the time then that’s great. Now depending on the goal it may need to be closer to 100%. More the majority of the public, 80/20 is money. This does include water.
Water helps us so much.
Even the way our bodies process food and send signals to organs and other parts of the body to function.
Hydrate or die.
So you are working on your nutrition and now you are ready to work on the next step. You are excited to start exercising. Maybe trying one of our Classes, online/ remote training, or something else. If you can’t perform the exercise properly then you are either going to get injured or you are selling yourself short with the results you could be getting.
If you are new, working with a certified personal trainer will do wonders for that. Even a few sessions can fine tune that technique and get you on the road of great form. If you aren’t so new but need another set of eyes, get out your phone.
Record yourself and compare to videos from reputable individuals.
Typically when I’m looking up a video I go with a YouTube channel that has a legit channel. (IE, info about them, pictures on their wall, etc) It’s not that other don’t know what they are talking about, it’s just that one is a professional and do it full time and one could be some meat head that got his technique from one of the many pointless magazines out there.
Pay attention to the little details, they can make the biggest difference.
Now we get to the “good” stuff.
When the technique is good enough to start adding some weight, it’s time to start the most important part while in the gym. Strength is the underlying piece that holds everything else together.
Without proper amount of strength, your fat loss, power, and muscle endurance will be severely limited. Not to mention a higher chance of getting injured. A strong muscle can explode harder and more consistently.
A strong muscle can do more reps and push the pace when you get to get in more work.
Build strength and the rest will come.
I don’t know how many times I’ve talked to someone and they were upset they weren’t hitting their goals, but when I asked about the consistency of their training and nutrition, mmmmmmmmmmmm.
“Well that shouldn’t matter, because I’m doing XYZ”
I’m sorry to tell you this, but that is 100% wrong. If you are not consistent, you will not succeed.
I’m not saying everyday is great and you do everything right. I’m saying, did you give up, did you go to the gym even when you didn’t feel like it, did you miss out on something because you needed to meal prep for the next week. (I’ll go into a personal story at the end about that)
When it all boils down you will be giving something up. You either give up reaching goals by not doing things you need to do, or you give up staying out late with friends because it will mess up your training the next day.
Something has to give and you just have to decide what that will be. Going back to the 80/20 rule. Since there are 7 days in the week, 80% of that is 5.6 if you want to be exact. So that means you need to stay consistent for 6 days out of the week.
No matter what your goal is, you have to be using some form of periodization.
You can’t exercise the exact same way, over and over again and expect to see gains. If you are doing is running yourself into the ground with cardio, then you are losing muscle that will burn more fat.
Break up the different goals into 4-8 week blocks and have a main focus.
That’s not to say, that’s the only thing you are working. It’s just the main focus. Our bodies are really good about adapting to changes.
That’s how we get faster, stronger, and loss weight. All of these are our bodies way of adapting to the stress we put on the body. When you lift something that’s heavy, the body adapts by either growing in size/strength.
When we cut calories and are in a deficient our body adapts by losing weight because our body is saying we don’t this much mass for the amount of calories we are in-taking.
Switch it up and your body will continue to make progress. Check back with me because I will go into great detail about how to do this in another post.
This is so incredibly important.
During sleep is actually when the body is repairing itself from all the damage that you put onto it.
That could come from working out, stress at work, kids, and everything else in life. Shortening the sleep cycle is telling the body, “Hey stop healing, I’m getting up and doing more damage.”
I know with the crazy world we live in it maybe hard to get that sleep time in, so I’ll tell you the secret. Make it happen.
If you prioritize, you will have the time. Maybe not a much as you should be getting but even an extra 30-45 min is an extra sleep cycle.
I’ve recently read a book called “Sleep Smarter” by Shawn Stevenson.
This book is amazing.
What he talks about is how he was able to fix some very serious health issues by changing his diet and sleep. He teaches a bunch of cool ways to get better quality sleep. When I started, I used just 2 or 3 and it made a HUGE difference.
No matter how much sleep you are getting, the quality of the sleep is what’s most important. Check this book out. You won’t regret it.
So there you have it. No one is expected to do all these things at once. Spend some time figuring out which one is going to be the easiest for you to accomplish and tackle it first. Then after a couple weeks, I usually suggest a month, add the next one. What you don’t want to do is pile to much on at once and lose it all. Remember the goal is to be healthy for the rest of your life, not just until you hit your goal, or the next couple months. Look the the eternal perspective of it. Fitness is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.