What is the best way to get in shape?
One, two maybe more ways you will say. Some of you will say a thousand ways. Well, in my book, there are only 4.
1 - Train
2 - Eat good stuff
3 - Sleep
4 - Manage your stress
Remember, the best results come with the simplest things. So, keep everything simple and the results will be there. Don’t get mixed in a complicated workout because there will be a trainer that will try to invent all kinds of stupid moves like squat on a Swiss ball for the sake of being different from their peers. A squat was made to have your feet on the floor. Simple is the key.
Here at SSP Barbell Club, our key lifts are: squat, bench-press, deadlift and we do it the regular way. No bullcrap like I see in different gyms across the country. What I do is very basic. The results that my clients have are there, so here is my tough on the ways to get in shape.
1 - TRAIN
Well, you’ve heard these a million times: Go to the gym! You will feel and look better! In all my years of training, this sentence is the one that gets straight to my head. This is not the only reason to go to the gym I hope! To LOOK AND FEEL? You must be kidding me here. The bottom line is that if you go the gym, you will have better posture, energy, discipline, food habits, information on health (if you have a good trainer that always tries to be better in his / her job), overall quality of life, more growth hormone, slow the aging process, prevention of injuries and the list goes on...
Yes, you must start somewhere! But if you think that by starting off with 4 to 5 time a week is the way to go for the bikini season, the golf season or the doctor recommendations of losing 25 pounds of fat. Well, sorry but you are dead wrong. IT TAKES TIME TO GET RESULTS! All trainers who claims that they will get you results very fast are wrong (IE in less than 2 month). Most of the time, there is something wrong with this and if you’ve been training for a year with no result well, there is a problem there too!
I think the minimum should be 3 days like always. Why? Because you have the perfect rest interval between workout days. If you do too much, you will get tired and have no results whatsoever. And after the adaptation period, you will go 4 times a week. You didn’t get a black belt in 3 months, huh? Same goes for the gym. Take your time and build a strong foundation. After, you will have a strong body and you’ll have better results. Got it?
Now that you made it to gym, got your membership at the local gym, you got to the desk to meet THE trainer of the place (Johnny Cardio, who won the last 15 triathlons in the country). You listen to him talk about your muscular structure, muscle imbalance, etc. Just by looking at you says: You have an imbalance in the scapula or the pelvis. You have a bad posture. Trust me, this is how it works!! They give you that b.s. evaluation with a grip tester then they measure how stiff you are with a seated posture on the floor that you must push a small device that measures how far in inches you can push the thing, and finally, they take your pressure and your fat test with a scale. And yes, this is an EVALUATION!!!
Then, he bends over to reach your program in the third drawer (posture problem) of his desk and gives you THE program!!! WTF?! This is how they do it! After all these years in working in gyms, this is not the way to go! This is a bad service, bad evaluation, and you will fail. Not because of you, because of a trainer that knows nothing!
They were hired because of their performances in the field, not because what they know. Remember, they were athletes!! But If you are a retired athlete that reads and go to seminars, got a degree, ok, he / she might be better than most of them. There are a few like that out there that I know and they do a very good job.
Like I said before, you must pass time under the bar. Why? Because you must test all the theories before giving them to a client. The next thing that bothers me is, how can you tell a client that he / she has a structural problem without making any tests? To test a client, you need a lot of practice, go to seminars, learn how to test and practice on a lot of subjects. Most commercial gyms do not allow it!!
The bottom line is, get a certified coach with experience. Go to the gym 3 times per week. Get a coach that will be testing you for muscle imbalance and posture and that knows what he / she is doing. Make a background check about your trainer. It might be the difference between winning or losing when it comes to results!
2 - EAT GOOD STUFF
Remember this; If it doesn’t fly, swim or run, you don’t eat it. The funny part is when I meet people for their evaluation. The first thing they say is; I eat good (I’m here for the workout) at home, we have a good diet. Ok, then how come you are so fat (in my head)???? Last time I met a client, she was asking info for her daughter. She told me the only thing missing in her regiment was a good place for training so, I told her what we were doing and she said: Nice, I love it! This is what I’m looking for. Then, she added this:
You know at home; we’re eating very well. There is no need for a diet. While she’s telling me that, she pulls out a carton of chocolate milk out of her pocket! WTF?! I mean, you must be joking here. They lie to themselves. If everyone is on a diet, then why are people so fat????
Athletes and corporate clients must have a healthy meal plan. If you have chocolate milk and looking to lose fat, that is not the way to go. Again, you must have a therapist / biosignature practitioner that knows how it works. Not your mom, uncle, brother or sister. They won’t cut it. You need a specialist. Aim for at least 6 meals a day. Drink plenty of water and SEE A SPECIALIST. After all, the food you put in your body is your daily fuel, and you don’t want to put cheap fuel in the machine. I know occasionally, a good cheat food is fun, but when the cheats come in every day, this is where you have a problem. You’ll have to make some sacrifices if you want to get some results. Even trying to gain mass is not that easy. Remember in my book, the ratio of eating and workout is 90/10. Most people say 80/20... Yes, 10 years ago. We live a world where every day is a battle. Cheap food is against us most of the time. You will have an iron discipline to win this war.
We live in a fast world. Just go to McDonalds for example, in and out in 20 minutes. This means you ordered, sat, ate and got out! You go to the grocery store in the frozen section and BAM, you have a diner or lunch cooked in 3 mins! We do not cook anymore. We train for the wrong reasons and we stress about everything. We have very bad sleeping habits! About sleeping here, it is;
3 - SLEEP
Well you must go to bed! You remember mom or dad telling you that? THEY WERE RIGHT! Us adults go to bed too late and (if we go) get out of bed to late in the morning. Sleeping habits can help you a lot to gain weight, lose fat, have more energy and feel better. Sleep is made to recharge the batteries. If your sleep is always disturbed, well, the batteries won’t get charged at full capacity. Sometimes, I have clients who say: Steve, I eat good and train hard, but the results don’t show up. Why? And I know that these clients are doing their homework. I ask them: What time do you go to bed? What time do you get up? Often, the answer goes like this: Go to bed around 11 pm and get up around 6 am for the day! Next question: How many times per week do you do that? Well, 2, 3, max 4. Ok, well here is problem. Going out, getting drunk occasionally and sleeping next to the toilet bowl is not the way to go. We need a good 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night and this science is not my invention.
The human should go to bed before 10 pm and wake up around 6 am. Why? All because of melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical located in the brain that helps you get a good quality of sleep. So to all night birds out there, if you are fat, you will stay fat. Go to bed and you will have better results in your life. If I can give you a hint of advice on a good book, the title is: The promise of sleep by William C. Dement, MD PHD. This is a master piece.
4 - MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Doing yoga and mediation might be a good source of stress management but to me, this sentence says it all:
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
So, prepare! We all have stress and we will live with this for a long time, but there are some ways to manage stress and get a better quality of life. If you think about it, stress in my opinion, is a bad call that we make and have a hard time living with it. We say all kinds of things and afterwards, OUPS! We realize that we made a mistake. Too late, that was STRESS. Life is about making choices for you. We live for others, not for us. How often do you say: If I say no, what will they think of me? For me, if I say no and they are not happy that’s their problem. I’m not there to please anyone but to lower my stress. It’s my life! Everyone will ask you all kinds of things and if you feel pressure or obligated to do it, you will have more stress and you will not live for you but for the others.
We can’t escape stress that is for sure, but we all can make a difference by doing small things to get a better life and a stress free one.
In the end, all the choices you make are yours. You must choose wisely before getting involved in something. Make sure you will enjoy it and make the best out of it. Regret nothing. But before analyse, take information on all aspects of what you are getting into. If the choices you made are bad, blame yourself, not the other guy. You are the problem. You made a bad call and you must assume it. Go on with your choice. In life, what pisses me off are people who blame others for their unsuccessful life or failure. Just blame yourself. In today’s world, everyone blames something or someone else. But in the end, we are to blame. Like my dad always says; you fuck up, you assume, so you won’t do it again.