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Primetime… I’ve never hit these heights, I mean it’s like… it’s like 225 feels light,
I’m trippin’ on it, gotta be sure I don’t start slippin’ on it,
Pre-workout, I’m sippin’ on it,
Sh*t tastes different, don’t it?
– Kanye West (probably)
Happy Friday, Coach J here from Anyman Fitness – and welcome to the latest edition of The N.W.A. Newsletter.
Each Friday’s N.W.A. Newsletter will have 3 parts:
- A Nutritional Tip to help make your diet healthier and easier to stick to.
- A Workout Tip to help make your training sessions more effective and fun.
- An Attitude/Mindset tip to help you strengthen your greatest asset – your mental toughness.
I will also give you my single favorite piece of social media content from AF over the past week and link to it on either Instagram or Twitter.
Without any further ado… let’s get started, shall we?
N.W.A. Nutrition Tip Of The Week:
Today’s nutrition tip is one of the toughest nutrition tips to master, but one of the most powerful tips there is:
Do everything you can to make your weekends look like your weekdays, nutrition wise.
Most of us have a easier time staying locked into our diets from Monday through Friday.
Humans love routine and predictability, and for most of us, our weeks are predictable.
Not only that, but when we’re busy, it’s easier to stay the course with our nutrition.
When we’re bored and we have extra free time on our hands, often we eat and/or drink to fill that boredom.
I understand how that might feel like a terrible way to live, though.
After all, it’s the weekend, and you worked hard all week long.
You should be able to relax and enjoy yourself a little bit on the weekend; we all need that (too short) break from reality on Saturdays and Sundays.
Each weekday morning, for breakfast, I eat a protein shake.
I make them the evening before so all I have to do in the morning is grab the shake out of the fridge and chug it down.
I’ve tried waking up early and making full breakfasts on weekday mornings, but that’s just not me.
I’d rather get all the sleep I can possibly get, and that means having my breakfast prepped and ready to go.
Each weekday for lunch, I eat 12-16 ounces of lean meat with some whole food carb choices.
The type of lean meat rotates between beef, pork, and chicken, and I vary the seasonings and spices so my food always tastes good.
Our dinners vary, but those standard breakfasts and lunches have been around for years.
Having a simple template like this is almost like a “fat loss cheat code”.
I don’t have to track a thing since I’ve been doing it for so darn long…
But what if you don’t want to eat the same thing on the weekends?
What if you want a little variety?
Consider having a “weekday menu” and a “weekend menu”.
I do something similar to this.
On Saturday and Sunday, I just don’t feel like eating my protein shake and my meal prepped lunch.
So, instead, I fast in the morning and just drink coffee.
For lunches on those days, I season a big New York Strip or perhaps a ribeye, and I couple it with some blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries.
It’s a high protein, moderate fat, low carb meal that keeps me full for hours.
Then, for dinner on those days, we usually dine out as a family.
I try to get a dish that’s high in protein and I’m careful of extra fats or sugars.
I stay away from the fried foods, and try to do my best to eat healthy.
It’s always helpful to have a plan for every situation, and having a plan on the weekends is an important aspect to nutrition.
I’ve seen hundreds of men and women who are spot on Monday through Friday, just to burn it all down over the break.
Weekend calories count, too, so if you’re struggling on the weekends, sit down and come up with a plan for success for tomorrow – your waistline will thank you for it.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
Rest periods are a misunderstood part of training, but they’re crucial to understand.
Rest periods can also tell us a lot about the intensity we’re using in the gym.
I’d like to chat a bit about rest periods, and how to use them properly in your own training.
A rest period is simply the time between the end of one set and the start of another set.
They’re the time you’re breathing deep and recovering from the work you just did.
Every training program has built in rest periods, and they tend to vary based on the exercise.
The science shows the longer the rest period, the more strength you will have when you begin your next set.
And this should be goal #1 with a weight lifting session: To be stronger than you were last session.
Using longer rest periods is crucial for the heavy, compound movements like squats and deadlifts.
If you are doing a barbell squat, or a barbell deadlift, and you’re working close to your maximum capacity, you will need a solid 3-4 minutes of recovery, perhaps even more.
If you’re doing a compound, heavy, upper body movement, you may be able to get away with a *little bit* of a shorter rest period.
But you’ll still need a good 2-3 minutes to fully recover and ensure your central nervous system is ready to go again.
A failure to rest long enough could mean a slip in performance in your remaining sets, so resting properly is crucial.
For smaller muscle groups and isolation exercises, rest times can vary.
I like to superset things like bicep curls, lateral raises, tricep extensions, calf raises, etc.
You can do this for smaller moves like this because they’re much less taxing on your body and nervous system.
Using myself as an example, I might use the 35 pound dumbbells to do bicep curls.
For lateral raises, I’m currently using the 17.5 pound dumbbells.
But on incline bench, I’m pushing up 215 pounds currently for 10-12 reps.
And on wide grip pulldowns, today, I did 3 sets of 9 reps at 265 pounds.
For both of those exercises, I needed a full, 3 minutes of rest before the next set.
If I had used shorter rest periods, my performance would have suffered as a result.
There’s one caveat to this… I’m assuming you’re putting forth maximum effort in the gym and taking each lift within a rep or two of muscular failure.
Often, I’ll get asked if the rest times from our programs can be reduced if someone doesn’t “need” them.
I tell them sure, but if you don’t need the full rest periods, you need to increase the load of the exercise.
All you need to do to ensure proper intensity is use progressive overload.
Meaning, if you get all your reps/sets in your scheme, add weight to the next session.
If you do this enough, you’ll naturally be pushing yourself to the limit without needing to do anything extra.
If you’re currently using short rest periods, and your body is able to “go again” after a brief rest period, that’s a sign you need to be more intense in the weight room.
There’s zero chance I could do a set of incline bench press 60 seconds after doing the previous set.
I’m still catching my breath and trying to regain my energy.
If you’re not doing the same, just keep adding those 5 pound jumps, and eventually, you’ll need to rest longer between sets as well.
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
“Self love” is an interesting concept.
There seems to be a few, different modes of thought on what “self love” is.
There are some who say “self love” means loving every aspect of yourself, no matter the circumstance.
And there are some who say “self love” is a crock of bullspit.
To each their own, but I’d like to make the case that “self love” includes self-improvement, which is a necessary part of our growth as humans.
Here are 2 statements I’d like you to consider:
1. I love my body and I’m proud of it.
2. I have things I don’t like about my body, and I’m working on changing those things.
Do you think those 2 sentences can co-exist?
Or are they mutually exclusive?
I’ve seen a lot of content claiming if you are trying to improve your body, you aren’t showing “self love”.
You should be content at all times, and even if you’re obese, untrained, or unhealthy in general, we should always “love” what we see in the mirror.
This is disingenuous.
You should always view your physical self as a work in progress.
The work of physical self improvement is never done.
I’ve been consistent in the gym for over a decade now.
As such, I’m damn proud of the work I’ve done, and I love my body, 100%.
In fact, whenever someone asks me what my “ideal physique” looks like, I tell them, “I already have my ideal physique.”
And that doesn’t mean I’m not trying to improve things.
I’m always trying to add more size to my upper body, or lean out for the summer, or bulk up for the winter, or add more definition in my shoulders, or…
There’s always *something* to work on.
This is where the whole “fitness is a journey, not a destination” comes in.
Your specific, time based goals will always be changing.
But your overall, arching goal of eating right, staying consistent, and pushing your body should remain unchanged at all times.
You SHOULD love your body.
You SHOULD show yourself self love.
You SHOULD be proud of the work you’ve done so far.
This is what “Self Love” is all about – you should always love the progress you’ve made so far.
But at the same time, never become complacent.
Fitness is the ultimate status symbol.
You can’t buy it, you can’t lease it, you can’t bottle it, and you can’t sell it.
You can only get it through hard work, consistently, over time.
And if you stop, eventually, you’ll lose it all.
Show yourself love – as Terrell Owens famously said, “I love me some me!”
And you should, too.
But never use that as an excuse to stop your fitness regimen.
Always trying to improve physically is one of the best kinds of “self love” there is.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Your goal isn’t to “lose weight”.
Your goal is to lose “pure body fat”.
The only way to ensure you’re not losing muscle is to:
1. Lift weights with intensity 3+ times per week.
2. Eat plenty of protein.
Be sure this happens if you’re currently dieting.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Anyman Fitness N.W.A. Newsletter.
I’ll be back next week.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
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My ultimate life goal is to someday tell my wife to “pour yourself a bubble bath… and float in that muthaf***a like a hovercraft… and soak in that muthaf***a ’til I call you back” just like Kanye does in this classic collab with Jay-Z… (NSFW – language)