Mista lifter, where the heck you at?
Can’t bench a lick, so I know you got ya got’cha…
Workouts jacked, you need a plan from Coach J,
A plan you can work with, and make all kinds of gains with,
– Dre (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 worst things you can do when dieting is to diet without eating enough protein.
There’s many reasons for this.
Protein is easily the most filling of the 3 macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats).
Protein provides a metabolic advantage when eaten (25% of protein’s calories are used in the digestive process).
But far and away the biggest advantage to eating plenty of protein when dieting is it helps to preserve your muscle and allow you to lose mostly body fat.
Our muscle should be cherished and you should be doing everything you can to preserve and grow as much of it as you can.
There’s a bit of a stigma around muscle – there are lots of people out there who don’t lift weights because they “don’t want to look like a bodybuilder”.
That’s such a terrible myth; lifting weights doesn’t make you look like a “bodybuilder”, especially if you’re natural.
And double especially if you’re a female.
More on that to come in the next section…
Protein is the building block of muscle.
When you diet, you lose actual body mass from either your fat stores or your muscle stores.
You do NOT want to lose muscle, even if it means you may see a lower number on the scale.
If you had 2 choices – lose 40 pounds (20 fat, 20 muscle) and lose 20 pounds (all 20 pounds are pure fat), you want to choose the second option every single time.
You will be much healthier as a result.
Muscle mass boosts your metabolism so you burn more calories at rest.
It helps bulletproof you from falls and frailty as you age.
It gives you a higher quality of life.
It boosts your confidence and helps you look better naked (very important!).
Not only that, but muscle is “hard earned”… anyone who’s put on a few pounds of muscle in the gym knows just how darn tough it is to grow body tissue.
It’s one of the hardest things there is to do in the world of fitness.
A good guide to aim for when dieting is “take your high school (or “wildest dreams) weight and eat that many grams of protein per day”, at least.
For me, that would mean 215 grams of protein per day. That would be just about right for a guy my size.
(I would also cap that number at 140 grams for women and 250 grams for men, as well – that more than covers your bases.)
Also, it’s important to note that animal protein is more bioavailable than plant sources.
Meat and dairy are your best protein options from a bioavailability lens.
If you’re getting your protein from plant sources, you will need roughly 20% more protein intake to get enough protein in.
But no matter how you slice and dice it, when dieting, keep your protein HIGH at all times.
You want to transform your body and change its proportions; you don’t just want a “smaller version of yourself”, so to speak.
And protein is the food source that makes that happen.
N.W.A. Fitness Tip Of The Week
One common question fitness coaches often get is “How should my workouts change if I’m going from trying to lose fat to trying to build muscle?”
The thought is you should train *one way* when you’re trying to get lean and *another way* when you’re trying to gain skeletal muscle.
That’s misguided, though…
The reality is you should ALWAYS be training to “gain muscle”; you only alter your diet, not your workouts.
Since muscle is such an important thing to keep around, you should always follow the main tenets of a proper strength training program:
- Train 3-6 days per week
- Use a real strength training program with repeated workouts
- Use a full body approach over the course of a week’s time
- Track every workout and strive for performance improvements each session (more reps, or a bit more weight)
- Stick to ONE program for at least 8 weeks, possibly more
The above items should be non-negotiable.
Frankly, a huge reason why lots of people don’t get the results they want is because they’re not following one (or more) of the above bulletpoints.
They are spotty in their consistency…
They “just wing it” in the gym…
They don’t track their workouts…
They skip “leg day” and do cardio instead (a terrible idea)…
They don’t add 5 pounds because the weight was “hard” last workout…
When you’re dieting, your strength shouldn’t be impacted, assuming you have a proper set up and you’re not starving yourself.
But your recovery *might* be impacted.
A solid strategy I use with some clients in these situations is to add extra rest days to the mix.
Example: You’re doing a 4 day per week program, but the last few times you’ve done “Session 2”, you haven’t been able to increase the weights.
You’re feeling tired and a bit run down.
In that case, add in an extra rest day and only do 3 days per week that week.
But here’s the catch – you still want to rotate through the workouts without skipping any!
That way, you’re always giving your body a “full body stimulus” and approach.
It works like this: Let’s say there are 4 workouts, and we’ll call them 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Week 1: You do all 4
Week 2: You do all 4
Week 3: You’re feeling beat up and extra tired, so you add in a rest day and you do workouts 1, 2, and 3, skipping 4.
Week 4: You’re still feeling tired, so this week, you do workouts 4, 1, and 2.
Notice you kept the workouts in order. You didn’t skip any single workout, you’re just adding in a few more rest days for recovery.
This is a simple way to get extra rest if you need it without needing to alter your training program (which would alter the effectiveness of the program as well).
Next time you’re feeling tired and beaten up, try this simple suggestion – it will work wonders for your recovery and keep your strength high.
N.W.A. Mindset Tip Of The Week
It’s important to note how much of a role your mindset plays when it comes to training while dieting.
Often people will head into the gym thinking “I’m dieting right now, so I’ll probably get weaker.”
And guess what happens when you start having that mindset?
Yup… you get weaker… it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy…
You always want to go into the gym with the mindset of “I’m going to beat my training log today”.
That’s the only thing you should focus on – nothing else.
You should never “wing it” in the gym – always have a rock solid gameplan and know exactly what you’re going to do.
One psychological “hack” I like to use when the weight gets heavy…
I’ll look at my training log from last week.
If it says I hit my reps, I’ll move up in weight and add 5 pounds to my lift.
If last week’s set was exceptionally heavy, that might psyche me out a bit.
To get into the right frame of mind, I’ll grab a 5 pound plate and hold it in my hands.
I’ll say to myself, “this is so light… I know I can lift this much more… I had good rest and healthy food, and I’m stronger than I was last week… LET’S DO THIS”…
This way, I don’t start the lift with an “iffy mindset” so to speak, and I’m mentally ready to go.
Every single workout, focus on being better than you were last week.
THAT’S how you stack up little wins each day that make a huge difference long term.
If you went up in weight 5 pounds per MONTH in an exercise, that’s 60 extra pounds you’d put on every exercise in a year’s time.
Do you think your body would change from gaining that much strength?
You’d better believe it!
Always go into the gym with the mindset that you’re going to crush those weights and leave stronger than last week.
It’s arguably the most important part of any training program, and will lead to drastic changes over time.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Eating less calories than you take in => WEIGHT loss
Eating less calories than you take in + eating plenty of protein => FAT loss
Eating less calories than you take in + eating plenty of protein + strength train 3-5 times per week => FAT loss + MUSCLE gain
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.
I was a huge Eazy-E fan as a kid. He was the first gangster rapper I listened to. When this song came out, it made 6th grade me sad there was so much beef between the N.W.A. guys… (NSFW – lyrics)