All hands are in the air,
And wave ’em from here to there,
Whether you’re an OG lifter or a leg day hater…
-Montell Jordan (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:
Nutrition can be a confusing topic for many people.
It was even confusing for myself, many moons ago.
Truth be told, the biggest reason I wanted to start a fitness business and begin coaching others is simple:
I felt like I had been lied to and taken advantage of by an industry who preys on disinformation.
For about a decade, I tried to lose fat using subpar or ineffective methods.
I tried “3 day diets” which consisted of eating around 1,000 calories per day (and I’m 6’8″, 240 pounds…).
I tried eating zero carbs because I believed when you ate carbs, it was impossible to lose weight.
I tried putting coconut oil in my coffee each morning for the ‘fat burning properties’.
I tried frequent, small meals to ‘stoke my metabolism’.
I would print off articles titled “Top 5 Foods To Flatten Your Belly”, take them to the store, and stock up on these foods in hopes they would finally do the trick.
And of course, they never did…
It was only when I started finally focusing 100% of my efforts on The Big Rocks that my progress *finally* started to take off.
The Big Rocks Of Nutrition are simple:
- Keep your calories in check first and foremost.
- Be sure you’re eating plenty of protein to reduce hunger and help spare your hard earned muscle.
- Make as many of your foods whole, healthy food sources as possible.
- Don’t drink a calorie and/or reduce your snacking to make dieting much easier.
It’s interesting how quickly we forget these Big Rocks.
Even my own clients can occasionally get misguided and start to chase fads and gimmicks…
This is natural and a part of human nature.
If we think we’ve spotted a shortcut, we just have to try it out and see if it’s our answer to permanent weight loss.
This is called “Shiny Object Syndrome” and it can get the best of you if you let it.
I sometimes get flack online because I don’t have a list of foods for my clients to avoid.
We don’t have a “Do Not Eat” list, and we never will.
It doesn’t matter if it’s sugar, seed oils, alcohol, treats… I haven’t once in my career told a client they “can’t” eat something.
There’s always a way to fit foods you love into your lifestyle if you’re smart, intelligent, and strategic.
Be sure you’re not missing the forest for the trees, though…
If you’re struggling with your fat loss, that’s a common problem.
Millions of Americans and possibly billions of humans in general share the exact same problem.
It’s often said “common problems have common solutions”.
And if the common problem is you’re struggling to lose weight… well… what do you think the common solution is?
I would imagine you just said, “Well, if you’re struggling to lose weight, you’re eating too many calories” or something to that effect.
And you would be right! (This former teacher gives you a Big, Gold Star!)
But how often do we really see through the narratives we tell ourselves and cut to the core of the issue at hand?
“Majoring in the minors” isn’t going to move the needle for you.
Majoring in the minors is when you spend most of your time focusing on the small details that barely matter, while missing the Big Picture that makes up the majority of the fat loss equation.
Some examples of majoring in the minors include:
- Ordering brown rice over white rice when you much prefer white rice (same with sweet vs white potatoes)
- Stressing about the sugar content in a banana
- Being overly obsessive about your “eating window” and/or meal timing
- Training while fasted/unfed strictly for a (very) minor fat loss boost (when training with food in your stomach would make for more effective workouts)
- Being overly obsessed about supplements and pre-workouts
I used to stress about things like this all the time.
I remember going to the grocer, picking up a package of sausages, and putting them back because they had 7 grams of sugar in them.
That’s 28 calories!
I probably burn 28 calories each time I sneeze!
I was so misguided… it really makes me shake my head to think about…
In my opinion, there are 2, crucial steps in order to make a full body fitness fat loss transformation:
1. You must truly understand – and believe – that calories and macros matter (far) more than anything else in nutrition.
2. You have to internalize this and do everything you can to stick to those 2 metrics – your overall calorie intake and your macronutrient breakdown.
Knowledge is only half of the battle here.
Once you have the knowledge, you need to learn how to apply it.
And THAT, my friend, is the toughest part of fitness.
It’s not the knowledge.
It’s the application that gets most people.
But the more you chase shiny objects, the less likely you are to bite the bullet, roll up your shirtsleeves, and do the hard work.
Keep your eyes on the prize at all times.
Hit your calories.
Mind your macros.
Eat whole foods.
Reduce/eliminate liquid calories and snacking.
And do everything you can to stick those simple habits like glue.
Take it from a guy who’s been through this all before.
Your progress will take off like a rocket ship if you pour all of your energy into moving The Big Rocks.
It’ll also make those “minor pebbles” completely obsolete – and you’ll never have to worry about them ever again.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
The biggest change to my training in 2021 didn’t come at the hands of some crazy new program.
I didn’t learn any ‘groundbreaking new protocols’ or anything.
But I did make one, single change that’s been tremendous for me, and I’d like to share that with you.
I took more walks than I’ve ever taken before, and it’s paid off for me in spades.
10 years ago, I would have scoffed at someone who suggested I walk more as a cornerstone of my fitness routine.
I would have been certain walking is for wimps and I needed to show more effort than that.
I’ve definitely changed my tune after taking a 30-40 minute walk after every training session this year.
The benefits have been tremendous, both physically and mentally.
Whether you’re walking, jogging, or running, if you cover around the same distance, you’re going to burn around the same calories.
That always surprises people, so I want to say it again to be sure you heard it.
*Whether you walk 3 miles, jog 3 miles, or run 3 miles as hard as you can, the calorie burn will be similar in all 3 situations.*
The only difference will be how long it takes you to complete your cardio (obviously running/jogging will take less time than walking the same distance).
I lift hard for about 45 minutes or so, 5 days per week.
I do around 30 minutes of compound exercises (presses, pulls, squats, and/or hip hinges) and 15 minutes of isolation work (curls, triceps, lateral raises/shoulder work, and calf raises).
After I finish the workout, I set the treadmill to a slight incline at 3.5 miles per hour, and I put on soft music and walk.
Sure, the calorie burn is nice, but it’s all the other benefits that are the most important to me.
I focus on my breathing and keeping my head up and shoulders back.
Sitting in a computer chair while I work isn’t exactly healthy for my spine, so this is a great way to keep my posture on point.
I allow my mind to wander and sort out any upcoming work items I should be focusing on.
But mostly, I breathe deep and try to not let my mind get bogged down with all the little details of life.
Call it meditation if you want – it seems a bit like that, although it’s not expressly done for that purpose.
I’ve been able to stay much calmer and less stressed in 2021 after I started walking daily.
It’s such a simple thing to be alone with your thoughts without any distractions whatsoever.
Being present is a difficult thing for most of us, and this is a great way to practice being present while getting some extra movement into your daily routine.
Plus… well… a 40 minute walk burns around 200 calories or so for me.
I trained over 200 times in 2021.
200 x 20 = 40,000 calories burned this year just from walking.
A pound is equal to roughly 3,500 calories…
40,000/3500 = 11.4 pounds’ worth of calories burned in 2021, just by walking.
That really makes me think and reflect on just how powerful this habit can be after it accumulates over the course of many months.
If you don’t have a simple walking routine, make that your #1 Goal for next year.
In my opinion, one of the best workouts you can possibly do is get in a solid lift to build muscle, and follow it up with a 30-40 minute cool down/walk on the treadmill to recover, burn some calories, and clear your mind for the rest of your day.
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
Nobody is coming to save you.
This simple fact took me way too long to understand.
For 10 years when I was teaching school, I was spending most of my time and energy championing for teacher rights, salary, and respect.
And don’t get me wrong – those things are needed – but I never liked the way it made me feel to constantly be screaming “I deserve more”…
The strange thing was I truly felt that way.
I thought I DID deserve more.
But year after year I’d yell until I was blue in the face, and eventually I realized not much was happening as a result…
Since this is a gangster-rap themed newsletter, I’ll give you one of my favorite lines (I’m sure you’ve heard it):
“Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”
There’s so much truth in this little soundbite it’s tough for me to totally wrap my mind around it.
Many “systems” are broken and it seems as if more are being broken each day.
We’re at a strange sort of a crossroads in society lately and the curtain seems as if it’s being pulled back on America and how most of us behave and act.
Politics feels broken.
Our economy feels broken.
Even our money system currently feels antiquated and outdated with cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin on the rise.
So, what should we do if we don’t like the way things are trending?
Surely you’ve heard of Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the “Metaverse” which was announced last month.
Mark spoke of a virtual world we would all be a part of.
You can see how the world is already trending in that direction.
More and more of our time is spent in virtual situations these days, and the percentage of time we spend in virtual worlds will only increase over time.
So, what should we do about these broken systems?
Yell and scream?
Shout into the void about all of the atrocities out there?
Yearn for simpler times?
Find a bunch of land and move off the grid?
You’re welcome to do that if you wish.
But I would suggest simply focusing on improving Person #1 in your life.
That would be YOU, even though you may have been thinking of someone else…
Every decision you make, be sure you keep it in the proper frame of mind.
Only you can decide what’s important to you.
Every big decision I make, I ask myself these 3, simple questions:
1. Is this the best decision I can make for my family?
2. Is this the best decision I can make for myself personally?
Selfishness can be a dirty word.
But being a bit selfish in order to be the best you you can possibly be is always a net positive.
Always have the mindset that you should be taking action and moving towards your life vision.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
Are your present-day actions aligning with that vision?
If not, there’s your red flag.
Sit down and develop a proper action plan and start executing ASAP.
Take it from a guy who spent years yelling into the clouds, wishing to be *more*…
It was only after I stopped yelling and started focusing all my attention on actually moving forward with my life that I started seeing the fruits of my labor in full bloom.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Why is this meme so accurate? 😂
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.
This song will never NOT make me feel 16 years old… (NSFW language)