It’s a hard chest day… for us,
It’s a hard leg day… for us,
Instead of running, we get big,
Instead of cardio, we lift big,
It’s a hard chest day!
– Jay-Z (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
A few weeks ago, our family took a trip to Disney.
We stayed at the All-Star Music resort and visited the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom.
We had a blast; our kids are at the perfect age to enjoy Disney (12 and 10) – it’s a trip they’ve had circled on their calendar for months.
One thing is for certain at a place like Disney… the food isn’t very healthy.
You can seek out some healthier options, sure, but many of the meals there are high in calories and low in protein.
They sure taste great, though… that much is certain…
Not only that, but there was no gym at our hotel. Not even a small gym with some dumbbells.
Granted, you get a LOT of steps in at Disney; I was averaging over 20k per day.
But still, no gym meant no lifting for the week (and I was focusing my time on my family anyways).
And of course, I just HAD to try out some of those Disney goodies that are only available in the “Happiest Place on Earth”.
My favorite was the Holiday Dole-Whip Nachos.
I posted a picture of the treat online – it was a doozie:
Naturally, more than a few people made comments about how unhealthy the treat was.
And I agree 100%, it was not a “good choice” by any means.
But I ate every bite, and didn’t care at all.
When you have your habits dialed in, and you’re metabolically healthy, you can get away with a LOT.
I went through years where I would never even dream of eating something like this – during the process of losing 80 pounds, I kept my eyes on the prize the entire time, making healthy choices whenever I could.
But now that I’m on the other side of obesity, and I train regularly and get 10k steps in on most days, a treat like this won’t even make a dent in my health.
Granted, this is a “once every few years” kind of a treat here. I don’t eat like this on a normal basis (or even a semi-normal basis).
It’s similar to someone who is in a lot of debt.
At the start, you need to be LASER focused, and spend money only on the essentials while you pay down the debt.
But after some of those debts start to get knocked out, and you get more wiggle room, you can start purchasing things you ‘want’ occasionally, instead of only sticking to the items you ‘need’.
It’s true what they say – if you keep yourself in check throughout the year, you really can “have your cake and eat it, too”.
Substitute “ice cream” for “cake” in this case, though…
N.W.A. Fitness Tip Of The Week
If you’re not building strength, you’re not building muscle.
And if you’re not building muscle, you’re wasting your time in the gym.
Today’s fitness tip is simple: In the gym, most people need to push harder.
In order to create a proper growth response, your muscles need to be taxed to their fullest.
Coaches argue “failure” versus keeping some reps in the tank, but either way, your intensity needs to really be up there in order to gain muscle.
Losing fat is simple – eat less calories than you need. Sure, there’s details, but in essence, that’s the most important part of fat loss (by far).
Building muscle is a different story.
You need to be fueling your body properly.
You need to be lifting consistently.
And you need to be pushing – HARD – when you’re in the gym.
This is easily the biggest roadblock most people have to making real gains over time.
The effort you see in most commercial gyms is lacking.
Most people are leaving at least 4-5 reps in the tank for every movement – they stop once it becomes a struggle.
But those tough, final reps are the exact reps that stimulate proper growth.
Remember, your set isn’t over when it gets “hard”.
Your set is over when you cannot do one more rep with good form.
That’s your indication that your set is complete – nothing else.
An easy way to make sure you’re pushing hard enough is to simply play “beat the training log”.
Keep a detailed record of what you’re doing, and every week, try to add some weight or do a few more reps.
Over time, if you do this, you’ll be shocked at the difference.
You’ll be “training” – lifting weights with a purpose and a goal in mind.
This is very different than just “working out”, and much more effective than what most people do in the gym.
And your results will be much improved as well.
N.W.A. Mindset Tip Of The Week
After our Disney trip, on Sunday night before school started back up, my oldest daughter, Brooklyn, came out of her room in tears.
We had allowed the girls to miss a week of school to go on the trip – we firmly believe family time is more important than a week in school.
And we knew it would be tough for her to make up her work.
She was in tears because she didn’t understand her assignments.
The instructions were confusing, and she was unsure of what to do.
Brooklyn’s a “rule follower” (she takes after her mom) and she’s wound pretty tightly.
I wasn’t surprised she became so upset.
I gave her a hug and asked her a simple question: “Do you expect yourself to know everything you missed right off the bat?”
She admitted that no, she didn’t.
But she said, “This is going to take forever to make up, it’s so overwhelming!”
And that was a true statement – when you have a big task in front of you, it DOES get mentally overwhelming.
But then, asked her another question: “Do you know how you eat an elephant, Brooklyn? It’s easy. One bite at a time.”
Of course, she looked at me like I had 2 heads (lol).
I explained: “If you have a huge task, you can’t think about how big it is. You can only think about the task in front of you, and nothing else. It’s human nature to see the Big Picture, but you really can’t think about that in this situation – it’s too overwhelming.”
And of course, there’s lots of parallels to fitness with this story.
If you are out of shape and starting from scratch you cannot think of how long it will take.
You can’t think in terms of “losing 70 pounds” or “gaining 20 pounds of muscle”.
That’s too daunting.
And too overwhelming.
You only think about today.
Nothing more, and nothing less.
Can you eat healthy today?
Can you get your workout in today?
Can you hydrate yourself and get 7-8 hours of sleep.
Our need for instantaneous gratification has us forgetting how remarkable things happen – they happen by taking things bit by bit, having good habits, and making progress towards a big goal.
Everything in life is a process; create the system, trust the process, and reap the rewards.
I’m positive Brooklyn will be just fine.
She just needs to calm down a little bit and take care of business, like I know she will.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
The cure for:
– Man boobs
– “Bat Wing” arms
– Saggy bottoms
– Thunder thighs
… is the exact same in all instances:
Calorie deficit, high protein, and strength training.
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.
The start to this song always cracks me up… (NSFW – lyrics)