See you at the bench press (so you won’t be lonelyyyyyyy…)
See you at the bench press (so you won’t be looooooooonelyyyyyy…)
And I’m gonna love smashing iron…
And I’m gonna love smashing iron…
Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony (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:
Today’s nutrition tip is bound to get me a few reply emails…
Today’s tip is simple, but difficult for a lot of people (including me).
One of the best ways to rapidly improve your fitness results is to eliminate alcohol completely from your diet.
Don’t get me wrong – you can still get solid results while imbibing a bit from time to time.
But let’s not kid ourselves – alcohol is a literal poison and a toxin.
It has a lot of negative side effects to drinking it, and each person needs to understand what those side effects are and make the choice of drinking alcohol a personal decision.
When you drink alcohol, your body recognizes it as a toxin instantly.
All other metabolic processes are halted immediately – both fat loss and any anabolism (muscle gain) occurring at the time.
This happens because your body’s top priority when there is alcohol in your blood stream is to eliminate the ethanol.
It’s an “all hands on deck” moment, if you will.
Every digestive process has only one goal when you’re drinking booze: To get it OUT of your system as fast as possible.
(That really tells you something, doesn’t it?)
When you drink alcohol, it’s not just empty calories you’re putting into your body.
Your heart rate increases.
Blood pressure goes up.
Your body starts becoming dehydrated.
Anxiety can kick in.
Sleep patterns get disrupted.
Digestion gets out of whack.
Blood glucose levels increase.
Not to mention you let your guard down.
Your inhibitions lower, and you’re many times more likely to grab a bag of Doritos or hit up the Taco Bell drive through so you can ‘Live Mas’…
But I’m not going to act holier than thou here.
I enjoy alcohol myself from time to time.
Granted, I’ve drastically cut down on my drinking over the years, and it’s always a top priority of mine health wise to continue to reduce my consumption.
While I love having a few drinks from time to time, it’s not worth it to me to be a multiple time per week booze drinker.
It just causes too many negative side effects for it to be something I want to do.
Occasionally, I’ll go on a long sobriety streak of a month or two.
And I gotta tell you – every time I do that, I feel incredible.
Anxiety totally disappears, digestion improves, sleep gets better, and my fitness results explode.
It’s a literal cheat code to living healthy and well.
If you’re drinking on a regular basis, and you’re not getting the results you’re after, consider going straight edge and seeing how much of an improvement you see.
I would be shocked if it didn’t alter your own view of alcohol and your relationship with it after seeing all the benefits of going without.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
Often times in the internet fitness world, there’s a stigma around training with machines.
If you talk to certain fitness personalities, they’ll tell you machines are for “wusses” and if you’re serious about your results, you need to be training with free weights at all times.
All things equal, yes, the free weights do have more benefits than the machines do.
Free weights will build your strength and muscle more quickly than machines do in most instances.
That being said, there’s a time and a place for machines, and pigeonholing them all into the useless category is misguided.
The biggest benefit to machines is it’s rare to get injured by a machine.
Machines are built keeping good form in mind – the last thing a machine manufacturer wants is to have to recall a gym machine because too many people are getting hurt by using it.
One of my favorite benefits of machines is you can rep, rep, rep, rep, rep and REALLY make that muscle BURN, without needing to worry about dropping the weight on you or risking some sort of a tendon or ligament strain.
In order to grow muscle, you’re going to need to maximize a few factors during your workouts.
“Mechanical tension” is the tension you feel in your muscle as you’re performing an exercise through the full range of motion.
Your goal as you lift is to keep tension in your muscle at all times.
This can be tough to do with a dumbbell or barbell – your muscle will start to fatigue and burn quickly as you keep the tension in your muscle.
If you’re not careful, you may reach failure and drop the weight, injuring yourself.
But not with a machine.
With a machine, you can just keep going and going and going until your muscles reach true failure.
This can be really helpful for you if you’re struggling to build strength and muscle.
10 years ago, I was a “skip the machines and pick up the real weights” kind of a Coach.
These days, I’m much more nuanced.
I use machines regularly, but I don’t rely on them.
I do just enough free weight work to keep my strength high, and I use the machines for extra volume and muscle stimulation.
I highly recommend sprinkling in some machine work into your training programs – they’ll surprise you with their benefits and the results you’ll see by using them.
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
If you’re starting from scratch (or after a long layoff) in 2022, be sure you ramp things up properly and don’t overdo it from the start.
It’s common to go balls-to-the-wall out of the shoot of a fitness program.
Often this leaves you overly tired, exceptionally sore, and you may end up quitting before ever really getting started.
Think of it like this.
Let’s assume your goal is to get a base suntan at the start of the summer.
Which of these options would work better?
- Go into the sun for 2 hours on the first day and get burned
- Spend the next 10 days recovering
- Rinse and repeat
- Go into the sun for 10 minutes on Day 1
- Rest a day
- Go into the sun for 13 minutes on Day 2
- Rest a day
- Go into the sun for 16 minutes on Day 3
- Rest a day
- Go into the sun for 22 minutes on Day 4
- Rinse and repeat
Of course Option 2 would be far superior.
This analogy is exactly what training is like.
You need to provide yourself a challenging, but intelligent stimulus and remain consistent in it while trying to improve performance.
Going from ‘0 to 100’ will burn you out quickly, no pun intended.
Don’t get me wrong – if you haven’t trained consistently in a long time, you’ll still feel sore.
But the soreness should be manageable, and you should be able to continue to stay consistent and train without pain.
Your #1 goal with fitness is to do exactly 2 things:
1. Show up
2. Go hard
That’s seriously the ‘magic pill’ of weight training.
If you get into the gym consistently and push yourself while you’re there, it’s difficult to mess it up.
That’s truly the secret to success long term in the world of fitness.
But if you go crazy and kill yourself in Week 1, the odds of you continuing to show up dwindle dramatically.
Start off slow, build up some big wins, and play the long game.
As I tell my clients often, you don’t train for ‘today’.
You train for the rest of your life.
There’s no hurry – the weights will be here for you, ready to be lifted, no matter what.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Today at the gym, there was a total New Year’s noob on the chest fly machine I wanted to use.
She had no idea what she was doing and it was annoying as hell.
So I asked her if she needed help, waited patiently, fist bumped her when she was finished, and said, “Nice job”.
Be nice to the noobs – we were all noobs once.
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 unabashedly love Kanye West.
His mindset is unique and different – his raps are about fiscal responsibility, consumer culture, the collegiate industry, and taking ownership of your own life.
None of his songs hits me harder than “Saint Pablo”, off of his album ‘The Life Of Pablo’.
He truly lays it all on the line, calling out all his insecurities, and allowing the listener to get deep into his mindset of why he does things the way he does.