Easily I approach,
The deadlift platform because I ain’t no joke,
Back up and watch me prep for my lift,
I’m about to give this bar a big rip…
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 straight forward and simple:
Drink 20 ounces of cold water 10-20 minutes before you eat your meals, and you’ll eat less calories overall.
There was a small study done at the University of Birmingham where 80 obese adults were split into 2 groups.
The first group was instructed to drink 1-2 pints of cold water before 1-2 meals per day.
The second group wasn’t instructed to drink any water – they were instructed to pretend like they were full and satisfied.
The group that drank 1-2 pints of cold water before their meals lost substantially more weight over the course of 3 months than the group that pretended to be full.
The water drinking group lost 9.5 pounds on the scale, and the non-water drinking group only lost 6.8 pounds during the same time frame.
That’s a 39.7% increase in scale weight loss.
Pretty significant difference!
The reasons this happens are straightforward.
First, many of us are chronically dehydrated.
We often mistake our thirst for hunger, and drinking a few glasses of water before your meal can help quench your thirst to be sure you’re not making that mistake.
Second, water fills your stomach up a bit, which helps reduce your overall calorie intake.
Simple enough, right?
Last but not least, cold water helps improve your metabolism slightly.
It’s not a huge difference but over time, it can really add up.
Plus, cold water is refreshing and delicious.
Sometimes, the most important changes you can make are the ‘low hanging fruit’.
Easy things everyone can do that make an impact over the long haul.
Drinking cold water before each meal falls into this category.
It’s not difficult, it’s not hard to do, and it can really make a difference for you this year.
Give it a try and see if it helps you reduce your overall calorie intake and stick to your diet a bit easier.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
Every gym has ’em.
Well… at least every commercial gym has ’em…
At every commercial gym these days, look for the stair steppers, and you’re bound to see them taken up with people doing this:
Glutes are all the rage these days.
Everyone and their brother wants to have a nice pair of glutes.
Even the men! I know I certainly do…
And it’s easy to see why – a good pair of glutes rarely comes naturally.
Most of us have to fight to have a solid posterior chain.
A nice pair of glutes shows you train hard, live healthy, and you don’t skip leg day.
That’s the kind of message I want to project out there into the world, personally. 🙂
But here’s the thing… these stair stepper glute kickbacks are doing next to nothing to shape your glutes.
These are performed using only your bodyweight – and only the weight of one leg, at that.
Perhaps if you’re totally untrained and you’ve never worked out before, there might be a mild benefit to doing these.
But after you’ve done them for a few weeks at the most, you need to start adding some weight to your glute workouts if you’d like to continue to make progress.
The glutes are POWERFUL muscles.
They can lift hundreds of pounds for both men and women.
As such, they need volume (aka, a lot of sets and reps).
And they need heavier weights (be sure you’re using progressive overload and getting stronger each session).
Using your bodyweight only isn’t going to move the needle very far for you… it would be comparable to doing “air bicep curls”…
Do you think if you performed “air bicep curls”, eventually you would have huge biceps?
Nahhhhhh, of course not, don’t be silly – we all know you need to use real weights to grow your biceps.
And the same is true with your glutes.
Two of my favorite booty builders are goblet squats and Romanian Barbell Deadlifts.
These are both staples in my training programs and I do them every week.
Goblet squats are a bit easier on my back and hips than traditional Barbell Back Squats, so I like to program those with some higher reps to really feel the burn.
I use RDL’s as my main posterior chain strength exercise, so I tend to go heavy with those and really push the needle.
It seems to be working – 5 years ago you could have argued I had a typical 40 year old ‘pancake booty’, if you will.
That’s certainly not the case any longer – I find it difficult to find pants that fit my glutes and hips these days.
The real reason why I’ve been able to grow my glutes properly isn’t because of the specific exercises I do, though.
The real reason is because I use progressive overload at every workout, I track my sessions, and I always try to improve my performance, either by adding more weight, or by doing extra reps at each session.
That’s the secret to making real gains over time.
You have to be striving to get better and better at each session.
And if you’re doing stair stepper kickbacks, that’s not happening.
You’re doing the same steps and kicks every time, without increasing the resistance over time.
That’s a great recipe to see zero changes, and end up frustrated.
If you’re serious about improving your derriere, it’s time to get serious.
We need to drop the kickbacks and stair steppers.
It’s time to get STRONG and get after it in the gym.
Start using those glutes for what they were meant to do, and they’ll be looking mighty fine come Summer ’22. 🙂
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
Nobody cares that you’re in the gym.
I was a ‘resolutioner’ back in 2005.
I was self conscious as well, weighing close to 300 pounds at the age of 24.
I hadn’t taken care of myself after college, and I had ballooned up higher than I had ever weighed in my life.
My grandmother sent me a pair of Dockers for Christmas in 2004.
I got them in the mail, opened them up, and tried them on.
They had a 46″ waist.
They barely buttoned up… there was no way I could wear them – they were so tight my muffin top was spilling over all the way around my midsection.
The very next day, I went to a local gym that had just opened and joined.
I remember being self-conscious about my body.
I had on a too-small college t-shirt and I felt puffy and bloated (because I was).
I distinctly remember sitting down to do some sets of incline bench press, and I noticed my stomach was just rolling out from under the too-small shirt.
It was a tough feeling to deal with.
I had let myself go.
I had allowed myself to gain almost 80 pounds since I had graduated high school.
I was certain people were watching me.
There were a LOT of guys in the gym who were leaner, muscular, and fitter than I was.
Pretty much all of ’em, if I’m being honest with you.
That was tough to take.
The once-strapping Jason Helmes had allowed himself to turn into a shell of his former self…
But now, when I think back about the Winter of 2005, I realize something:
Nobody *actually* cared that I didn’t know what I was doing.
Nobody *actually* was judging me or my appearance.
Nobody *actually* gave two shits about me, honestly.
It was ALL in my head… and if you feel this way, there’s a near-certain chance it’s all in your head, too.
Nobody thinks about you as often as you think they do.
We all get wrapped up in our own minds and form our own realities.
But when push comes to shove, literally… nobody cares that you’re at the gym!
Everyone is too consumed with their own training programs, their playlist and music, or taking selfies for social media.
And I want to tell you something else… the only way to gain confidence and become one of the ‘regulars’ is to keep going…
Yep, a funny thing happened that Winter of 2005…
I kept at it and I didn’t give up.
I vividly remember the moment I knew I had made going to the gym a habit…
It was around April, and I was doing lat pulldowns.
After my set, one of the regulars came over to me and said, “Hey, are you training for a competition or something? You’re working like crazy in here, and I’m wondering if you have an event you’re working towards.”
The answer was no, but damn, that really made me feel good!
Granted, I had only lost 10-20 pounds at the time, but if one of the regulars was saying I was so intense he thought I might be an actual pro?
Hell yeah, that had to mean I was an actual regular!
My confidence soared.
That was the moment my personal identity became that of a “weightlifter”.
I figured I had earned the title by then. 🙂
There is only one way to feel more confident about going to the gym and lifting hard:
You have to go into the gym and lift hard.
Pretty obvious, eh?
And yet, so many people forget it.
But if you start today, and get over your insecurities, who knows where you might be 15 years from now.
Maybe you, too, will have a fitness business and get to send out cool emails to people every week, helping them how to get fit.
No? Okay, well then maybe you’ll just get into fantastic shape.
That works, too. 🙂
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Overweight and don’t know where to start?
Start with “The 3 Rules”:
1. Eat whole foods only
2. Eliminate snacking
3. Never drink a calorie
This will work 99.9% of the time for men, and 75% of the time for women.
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.