How many times have we heard the phrase “you are what you eat,” yet lots of us still eat poorly. How many times have you done something stupid and know it was stupid while you were doing it? The fact is; we all need to be honest with ourselves. I don’t remember the exact day but I absolutely remember the time period when I became aware of my choices and started to be honest with myself. I can tell you that my life became more enriching and I was able to enrich the lives of those around me. I believe that if we are all honest with ourselves then we will accomplish so much. Dreams will cease to be distant musings; they will become attainable goals.
I have long been amazed at how we have become blind to our basest needs. Heck, it dates back into antiquity. Somewhere along the way the good of the nation became more important than your own health. The Romans invented plumbing to stop the spread of disease but they stuffed their belly with wine, and consistently displayed less than chivalrous and promiscuous behavior. We have hand sanitizer in every bathroom to stop the spread of germs and public smoking laws to better the health of the nation, but there is a fast food “restaurant” on EVERY street and obesity rates are cataclysmic . Why? Because they make money. Why? Because people aren’t honest with themselves.
Let me break it down this way. We have jobs because the reality of the world is; we need money. So a truth was born: we HAVE to choose a profession and perform well in that chosen profession in order to earn a place in this world. We internalize that truth and therefore have to be honest with ourselves about what we have to do. Fast food and TV have created a loophole for us to dishonest about our health. In Paleolithic and Neolithic times, being healthy was the innate truth. They had to hunt, gather, move, defend, and etc. If Paleolithic or Neolithic man were sedentary then we may not be here today. Be that as it may, in our culture, technology has advanced past the point where we need to worry about survival and thus, our sense of health has been almost eradicated. If we were to sit down and write down our interests, hobbies, and what is important to us; I am willing to guarantee that almost everyone will list some sort of sport and some version of family time and longevity Therein lies the unspoken lie; YOU NEED GOOD HEALTH TO MAINTAIN THOSE VALUES. Can we survive on fast food? Absolutely. Can we survive without exercise, of course. Can we achieve true happiness with a steady diet of McDonalds and Family Guy? NO!
Here comes the honesty part. When are you happiest: after you get done watching a movie, or after you get done playing an activity you enjoy like basketball, hiking, etc.? What are your best family memories: TV time or vacation on the beach or camping? Do you feel better the next day or even the next hour after eating a spinach salad with grilled chicken and strawberries, or after a Whopper with cheese and fries? Having tasted a whopper and fries and having watched movies before, I can answer those questions. Being active and eating clean leaves me feeling awesome! There isn’t a comparison.”Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” (Einstein). Don’t be flabbergasted that you are gaining so much fat when you eat pastas and chips, cookies. Don’t be shocked that you have joint issues, and back pain when you spend all of your time on the couch. I can’t guarantee much in life, but I can tell you that you won’t get in shape and feel great by eating poorly and being sedentary.
Now for the challenge part. I want you all to go one week without eating junk food and do one outside activity per day during that week for at least an hour. After the week is up, go back and answer my questions I asked earlier. If you are honest with yourself then I would be surprised to hear any other answers than my own. I say it over and over because it never ceases to get me fired up: WE ONLY LIVE ONCE! We are here, we are doing it, lets do it AWESOME.
So that just leaves me with one question… if eating clean and being active feel so good; how are video games and fast food joints kicking our asses??? My one week challenge is your opportunity to be honest with yourself and join the TFW resistance. Help us change the world.
In the late afternoon yesterday I found myself speaking with an old friend and in the wake of our conversation we found ourselves plunged into the topic of running and the efficacy of it for the average person, or non-long distance athlete. I am an outspoken anti-runner (unless one truly enjoys the activity or endurance sports). It isn’t that I hate it, I just believe it to be inferior to sprinting. With everything I do or I teach my students I keep the word optimization in my head. “Is this the best exercise we can be doing to get results?” Whenever I even think about running as part of my program it just never passes the optimization test.
Why you shouldn’t run:
– wear and tear on the body. I often hear, including from my friends yesterday that running hurts people’s knee
s. This could be caused by improper form, lack of strength, posture, etc. but it is also just a lot of continuous long term impact for the limbs to bear.
– Muscle type. Lets be honest with ourselves. Who do we want to look like? Endurance athletes tend to be skinnier and really exhausted. Sprinters do much less work, look much sexier, and happier because their workouts are shorter. Just look at the picture below!
– Energy utilization: the classic thought about running is that you burn fat, hence the “fat-burning zone” but I am here to tell you that it is a misconception. Yes, you primarily burn fat when you run. BUT, you have to run for an hour to burn 400 calories and when you stop the workout, the fat burning stops with it! When you sprint, such as in a hurricane workout; you burn closer to 600 calories and you get the afterburn. the Afterburn is a period of time (24-48hrs) AFTER the workout where you burn fat to recover from the HUGE disturbance you created in your body from sprinting.
Why you should run:
– If you love the scenic activity of being outside.
– If you are an endurance athlete.
– If it gives you stress relief or if running is the one thing that motivates you.
I don’t want to kill anyone’s running game, I just want to stress the point of optimization with you. Know WHY you do the things you do and think about if it is the best possible mode of exercise to reach your goals.
Mitch won this month’s award because he is relentless in his quest to become injury free and attain longevity as an athlete. His commitment is shown through his attendance record which is at least 2 times per week but often more and also his ability to absorb our teachings and continue them at home. I look forward to this up coming baseball season where Mitch is going to bring the heat. I hope everyone in the TFW familia gives Mitch a high five when they see him in the gym.
With the emergence of sensationalist programs like your local “bootcamps,” people have become accustomed to, and even addicted to the sexy exercises like snatching, cleaning, and box jumps. As a strength and conditioning specialist I do believe in the effectiveness of exercises like those but they aren’t needed for the general population and I would argue they do more harm than good to most “weekend warrior” exercisers. I am writing this tip of the week because I have heard over the last month some horror stories about people getting hurt and they actually think that it is cool. They think of it as their red badge of courage.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BASICS???
If you can’t master the simple exercises with proper form and mobility then why on earth would we progress to a complex movement pattern like the snatch? It isn’t necessary or healthy. How many pictures have I posted even have a barbell in them? Maybe 3? Again, that isn’t because barbells suck. I love them and have classes designed around barbells but you have to master the basics first. Manipulate your own body weight, eat healthy, get enough sleep and then you are ready for the sexy stuff. Assess, progress, and ask why you are doing something. ANYBODY can take you into the gym, put together a circuit full of high intensity exercises and make you sweat. Understanding your body, knowing where you are at physically, and learning to progressively incorporate more and more will build a stronger athlete that is built to last.
Why You Should Eat Eggs
It’s 6am and you are getting ready for work. There is no way you want to get the cooking ware out and make something complex, so what? Grab that english muffin, Eggo, toast? Spike your blood sugar and then crash later on…
Why do that to yourself when there is an easy and healthy option that has gotten a bad rap. The answer is eggs. That’s right, a simple and powerful little food. Eggs don’t take very long to cook as long as you don’t get fancy and try for the perfect omelet, or fried egg (which I don’t recommend anyway because of the added fat). It takes about 6-8 minutes to boil an egg depending on how you like them. You can scramble them in about the same amount of time or less. The fastest way is to put them in a bowl and microwave them. I hear from a lot of my clients that they have no time to eat healthy in the morning. The egg provides the perfect opportunity to get your day off to a healthy start. I like to plan ahead and boil a whole dozen and eat them over the course of a few days. A large egg is about 70-90 calories of amazing nutrients that provides your body with the building blocks it needs to function at a high level.
People are scared of eggs because of diet marketing ploys that encourage you to eat egg whites or not eat eggs at all. I hear constantly, “egg white omelet,” or “ egg white breakfast sandwich.” It is true that there is no fat in egg whites but I ask you this: why do you not want to eat fat? The body needs fat and fat can help you lose weight. There is only about 5g of fat in an egg and only 1.5g of that fat is saturated fat. Yes, there is dietary cholesterol in eggs but natural cholesterol consumed in whole, unprocessed foods will not spike your blood cholesterol levels. In fact, your liver produces cholesterol because it is needed to build cell membranes, transport “bad” cholesterol out of the blood, and cholesterol is also a building block for glucocorticoids which aid in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Still not sold? Cholesterol is also used in your sex hormones: testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone and we all want those produced regularly and to their max potential.
Eggs also contain 6g of protein with all of the essential amino acids. Eggs are considered a complete protein. Sprinkle in Vitamins A, E, D and don’t forget about the anti-oxidant power of tryptophan and tyrosine and you have yourself one hell of a power food for your muscles and your heart health.
If you are in a hurry to get to work but don’t want to compromise your health then pop a couple eggs in the microwave, add some spices or organic sauce like salsa and you will not only save your morning from diet disaster, but you will actually give your health some much needed fire power for the rest of the day.
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