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I don’t know if you’re gonna lift or not,
If deadliftin is in your plans or not,
If bench presses are in your plans or not,
I’m trippin’ this pre-workout’s got me sayin’ a lot.
– Kanye (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
One of the strangest trends I’ve seen in my 10 years in the fitness industry is the recent backlash against fiber.
It seems there’s a whole pocket of gurus out there claiming fiber is “non-essential” and causes more problems than it solves.
These individuals suggest eating no vegetables and/or fibrous material, and claim it’s superior to eat 100% meat for your diet.
It’s a trendy thing to “eat like our ancestors” – it makes us think we’re doing something good when we “return to our roots” so to speak.
And while I would always suggest eating real foods that fill you up, restricting your fiber intake is NOT how you do it…
Fiber has a load of benefits, including, but not limited to:
- Normalization of bowel movements/digestive system
- Lowers your risk of colorectal cancer
- Lowers your risk of hemorroids
- Lowers your low-density lipoprotein (aka, “bad cholesterol”)
- Helps to control your blood sugar
- Reduces hunger
- Slows down the digestion process
- Reduces your risk of cardio vascular disease
Perhaps the best argument for fiber is simple – the hunger reduction angle.
Ridding yourself of excess body fat is ALWAYS step #1 to being a healthier person.
All of your biomarkers for health improve as you get leaner – your resting heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, etc.
It’s true; many of our collective health issues can be improved dramatically from just doing one thing: Lose the excess weight.
Hunger is enemy #1 when it comes to dieting.
Any diet that leaves you excessively hungry isn’t going to be sustainable over time.
When you’re hungry all the time, your energy levels plummet and you’re flat out miserable.
Because of this, we need to do everything we can to keep hunger manageable.
Eating a mixed meal with a solid dose of protein (super important), carbohydrates, and fat is always a good idea.
Combining macronutrients slows the digestion process, keeping you fuller for longer.
And when you add fiber in on top of it, the process slows even more.
Fiber helps keep your food in your system, providing you with clean, stable energy throughout the day.
Men should be aiming for around 35 grams of fiber per day; women should be aiming for about 25 grams.
These numbers can be tough to hit, but they’re ultimately doable.
If you’re sure to get 1-2 servings of fibrous veggies into each meal, you’re likely to come close to those numbers.
In our community, we don’t track our veggies – we consider them “freebies” and want our clients to eat as many of them as they can.
If you’re still struggling with getting enough fiber, a supplement can help.
One tablespoon of psyllium husk per day is an excellent way to bump up your numbers.
If you’re not a fan of the taste or texture of psyllium husk, there’s plenty of other options out there (Metamucil works wonders as well).
But either way, if you’re sleeping on your fiber, and you’re finding it difficult to stick to your diet, bumping up those numbers is a great way to reduce your overall hunger, making it more manageable.
N.W.A. Fitness Tip Of The Week
The chest supported row machine just may be my favorite machine in my gym.
As the adage goes “you need to row to grow” – your back is a much bigger muscle group than your chest is.
We all want to have a big, strong chest, but in reality, having a strong back is much more beneficial to your overall strength levels and your physique.
Having a broad back provides you with a solid base for making upper body strength gains, and having a wide back gives off the illusion of strength and size right off the bat.
But the issue many people have with rows is it’s too easy to “cheat” on them.
As the weight gets heavier, we use our momentum to hoist the weight upwards when we should be lifting the weight with our lats specifically.
A few pointers for getting the most out of your rows:
Keep your lats engaged at all times.
This can be tough if you’ve never tried to engage your lats before.
You want to visualize moving the weight with ONLY your back muscles, not your biceps or arms.
Each repetition, think “pinch my shoulder blades together”.
Pretend someone has a finger between your shoulder blades and you’re trying to pinch their finger between them.
Second, “pull with your elbows”, not with your hands.
We tend to overgrip our rows, turning them into a bicep exercise.
In reality, our arms are just “along for the ride”, so to speak.
If you try to pull the weight with your elbows instead of your hands, this will naturally fix the problem (and also engage your lats as well).
The chest supported row machine solves all of these issues instantly.
The hand positioning ensures you’re working the right muscles, and the fact that your chest is supported and laying flat against the machine ensures you’re not using too much “body English”.
I personally do at least 3 sets of chest supported rows every week on this machine:
Even though training your chest may be more fun, never neglect your back.
And if you’re lucky enough to have a chest supported or t-bar row machine in your gym, by all means, take advantage of that wonderful machine!
N.W.A. Mindset Tip Of The Week
I often see articles on the internet telling you to find a fitness regimen you find “fun” to help you stay engaged and active.
While on the surface this may seem like good advice, in reality, I always have rolled my eyes when I heard these statements.
It’s missing one, huge piece to the puzzle:
Most out of shape people don’t find ANY fitness regimens “fun” – at all!
I remember reading articles like this back when I weighed 300 pounds and was grossly out of shape.
Every time, I thought to myself, “Welp, I’m screwed… I don’t think fitness is fun at all… I guess I’ll never be fit…”
It took a big mindset shift and re-framing before I solved this riddle.
We enjoy what we’re good at.
That much is a fact.
Ask anyone who has chased their “passion” only to find out they weren’t very good at whatever they thought their “passion” was.
If you’re not making progress, and you’re not seeing the fruits of your labor, you’re not likely to continue, no matter how “passionate” you are.
In contrast to that, there are lots of people out there who have started with a new job that wasn’t exactly their cup of tea, found out they were really darn good at it, and all of a sudden, fell in love with it.
That’s what happens when you’re good at something.
We all love things we’re good at.
We enjoy the satisfaction that comes from seeing our skills improve, and getting the positive feedback from our peers.
Instead of thinking of fitness in terms of what you find “fun”, I suggest you change the word “fun” to the word “tolerable”.
This is exactly what I did many moons ago and it made a HUGE difference in my mental approach to fitness.
I didn’t find running fun.
I didn’t find sprinting fun.
I didn’t find cardio fun.
I didn’t find high intensity workouts fun.
Heck, I didn’t even find lifting fun… at first…
But I did find lifting “tolerable”.
When I really thought about it, I realized when I was lifting weights, the vast majority of the time was spent actually NOT lifting weights, ironically enough.
Consider a 15 set, full body workout consisting of 3 sets of 5 different exercises.
Each set takes you about 10-20 seconds to complete.
The rest of your time is spent recovering between sets, listening to music, grabbing a drink of water, etc.
15 sets x 20 seconds = 300 seconds = 5 minutes.
During that single 60 minute training session, you’re actually ONLY doing 5 minutes of real “work”.
Not only that, but each set is only 10-20 seconds.
Sure, it may suck for those 20 seconds, but it’s over pretty darn quickly.
This is a huge contrast to high intensity interval training or cardio work, which can feel like it takes forever just to complete one workout.
This realization totally changed my relationship with weight lifting.
I said to myself, “Dude, you can suck it up for 20 seconds – it’s a really short amount of time.”
And I did just that, and instantly became way more consistent with my training.
And then, the funniest thing happened… because I got more consistent, I started seeing more results.
Watching my body change week to week became intoxicating, and I started to show even more intensity and push even harder during those short, 20 second bursts.
And because of that (wait for it)… my results got even better!
As the months became years, I realized I actually ENJOYED lifting weights.
I had made the firm connection between “effort” and “results”, and because of that, the effort came much more naturally to me.
I fell in love with lifting after finally realizing the immense benefits it gave me.
If you’re struggling with your own consistency, this mindset shift can make a huge difference for you.
What can YOU tolerate?
Whatever it is, jump in head first, and tell yourself that yes, you can suck it up for a little bit and stick to it.
And eventually, who knows… you may just fall in love with what you discover.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
You are the sum of every seemingly insignificant choice you make.
Hydrate today? +1
Stay up late? -1
Train today? +1
Ate fast food? -1
Got in your protein? +1
Drank alcohol? -1
The small choices you make add up, and will either build you up, or tear you down.
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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