Back to get wrecked,
All respect to those who break their neck to keep their gains in check,
But oh, wait, you’re sweatin’ fitness majorly,
And I don’t know why; your gains look good to me…
-2 Pac Shakur (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:
Dietary fat can be tough to keep reasonable in our current food environments.
It’s a double edged sword currently that “carbs are bad” and “fat is good”.
Of course, that saying is total and utter nonsense, but that’s pretty much how most ‘normal’ people view nutrition in the present day.
(Side note – ‘normal’ in 2021 means overweight, inactive, and on a load of pharmaceuticals – you want to do the opposite of the masses and strive to be ‘weird’ if at all possible…)
Often times, I track my macronutrients to ensure I’m on point with my nutrition.
But there are cases where I either don’t know the nutritional information or I’m out of my normal environment.
In those cases, I want to give you a simple tip that will help you keep your dietary fat intake, and your overall calories, in check.
Fat has a few uses and benefits for us.
Fat helps improve our hormonal profile – namely, testosterone production.
Testosterone is important for both men and women for energy, vigor, zest, and of course, sexual function.
Fat also helps our hair and nails grow in thicker and stronger, and helps our skin complexion as well.
Fat helps to slow your digestion – if you eat a meal with veggies (for fiber), protein, and some dietary fat, you’ll be full for hours.
But perhaps the most important function of fat?
It helps to lubricate your food and make it taste better/more palatable.
Fat flat out tastes good.
Our bodies are hardwired to love the taste of fat – most likely because it has over 2x as many calories per gram as carbs and or protein.
This is likely a biological defense mechanism to ensure we eat as much fat as possible so we bulk up and don’t die of starvation (or a particularly harsh winter).
But if we aren’t careful about our fat intake, we will have a hell of an issue losing weight.
I hear from people almost daily who are eating ‘clean and organic’ and can’t lose a pound.
And most of the time, when I ask them what they’re eating, it’s always the common culprits:
- Steak (NY Strip, Ribeye, etc)
- Whole dairy
- Coconut oil
- Nuts of all sorts
Do you notice there isn’t a single carb on the list above?
They’re all fats (with a few protein sources mixed in – really fatty protein sources of course…)
But all of those foods above are currently considered ‘healthy’ – just like bagels, pasta, and bread was considered ‘healthy’ back in the 80’s and 90’s…
We’re *definitely* eating too many fats in 2021, and it’s a big issue for all of us.
So, here’s the tip…
When you dine out, you get *one* (added) fat source for your meal *if* your meal is lean/low-fat.
(Also, Part 2: If your meal has a fair amount of fat in it naturally, don’t add any extra fats to your meal.)
It works like this in practice:
Choose a cut of meat for protein – this will form the base of your meal.
If the cut of meat is lean, you can add one serving of fats of your choice.
That can be some cheese, butter, creamy dressing, or a sauce to dip your meat into.
But you only get one fat source – no doubling up!
If you’re at a sub shop and you grab a turkey breast sub, you can have cheese, or mayo, or even ranch dressing – but ONLY one source, not all 3!
(Remember, if your sub is a fattier option like meatballs, sausage, salami, proscuitto, etc, no added oils or fats!)
And if you do add fats to your meal, you want to use *just enough* fat to help make your food tastier and easier to eat.
Be very light on the added fats, always.
No having a ‘ranch dressing and cheese sandwich’ with some turkey on the side!
Oh, and one last thing… if your meat source is naturally fatty, don’t add additional fats to your meal.
Eat your ground chuck burger sans cheese – it definitely has enough fat in it already.
Eating a cheese-less-burger might make your tastebuds angry at first, but you’ll get used to it quickly.
That’s another dirty, little secret about nutrition… you are conditioned to enjoy what your tastebuds frequently taste.
If your tastebuds frequently eat sugar, fast food, or processed bullshit, then whole foods will taste bland and boring.
But if you eliminate those foods from your diet, pretty soon an apple starts to tastes like a bag of Skittles.
Start using this simple tip today to decrease your overall calories, make your meals a bit healthier, and start to trim up your waistline properly.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
There are a lot of variables in a weight training program.
These variables include, but are not limited to:
- Exercise selection
- Rest periods
- Prior (and future potential) training blocks
- Injury history
- Equipment availibility
- Time considerations
But there’s always one variable that’s tough to quantify for me, specifically online:
Since I can’t physically be in the gym with my clients, it’s hard to gauge if they’re truly pushing as hard as they can be.
One simple way to figure it out is to play the “how much stronger than last year” game…
Want to find out if you’re intense enough in the weight room?
A male with 2+ years of solid strength training experience should be able to:
- Bench Press 0.75x their bodyweight in pounds
- Barbell Back Squat 1x their bodyweight in pounds
- Deadlift 1.5x their bodyweight in pounds
These are rather modest strength standards, too.
Many coaches would say men should be able to perform 1x bodyweight bench presses, 1.5x bodyweight squats, and 2x bodyweight deadlifts…
For women, the numbers are slightly lower.
A female with 2+ years of solid strength training experience should be able to:
- Bench Press 0.5x their bodyweight in pounds.
- Barbell Back Squat 0.75x their bodyweight in pounds.
- Deadlift 1x their bodyweight in pounds.
And again, these numbers are relatively modest.
Many coaches would say I’m being ‘soft’ with those strength standards for the general public…
So, here’s the self-reflection question for you:
Do you have 2+ years of strength training experience?
And if so, do you meet those modest strength standards?
If so, awesome!
If not… well… your intensity very well may be lacking… you need to learn how to push yourself harder…
The best thing for you to do is to get on a basic, linear progression (where you add 5 pounds every workout to each lift if you get your reps) and bump your numbers up.
Oh – guess what?
After a few weeks, it’s going to get HARD – really hard!
And that’s when you dig in and fight for all you’ve got!
Real strength is gained pound by pound and week by week, pushing yourself to the absolute limit.
Of course, show good form, don’t get injured, and don’t do anything that may hurt you.
But strength training isn’t supposed to ‘tickle’.
It’s hard ass work for tough people like YOU!
Get in there and get some – and let out a big-ass grunt while you’re at it, just to purposely set off the Lunk Alarm… 😉
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
Both of my Grandfathers served in World War II.
I think about that frequently.
Maybe I’m getting older now or something, but the more I look around at society, the more I reflect on the people who came before us who had very little, and yet thrived in crazy and often dangerous circumstances.
Luckily, neither Grandpa served on the Front Lines.
If they had served on the front lines, I probably would have never met them, and would have only heard of them through family stories or seen old photographs…
Actually, I take that back… considering both of my parents were Baby Boomers, I suppose I probably wouldn’t even be here if either of my Grandpas were on those front lines…
Every generation has its own sacrifices.
My Grandfathers both sacrificed their lives for our country.
Upon returning home, they began families and lived quiet, hardworking lives while their wives stayed home and raised of all the (many) Baby Boomer children.
The next generation – my parents’ generation – made their own sacrifices.
They were Baby Boomers.
They worked, worked, and worked some more, diligently saving up for their own retirement, so they could retire and be financially independent without worrying about Social Security paying the bills.
They also raised a pretty kick ass son, who somehow figured out how to make a living by sending people gangster-rap-filled-fitness-emails from his laptop… 🙂
But our generation?
Our sacrifice is different.
My Grandparents (The ‘Greatest Generation’) sacrificed their lives…
My parents (The ‘Baby Boomer’ Generation) sacrificed their time and social lives for upwards mobility (and often, material possessions due to their frugality)…
And that brings us to our current, younger generations – Generation X, and possibly the Millenial Generation… our sacrifices are… different than the sacrifices of the past generations…
If we want to be the best version of ourselves, we need to do *LESS* and not more.
Every generation up to this point was singularly focused on one thing:
MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE!
Better phones, larger TV’s, better video games, faster internet, quicker Amazon delivery… MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE!
And what has it done for us, exactly?
As a society, we’re miserable.
And flat out tired of it…
Instead of doing and searching for ‘more’, consider the power of ‘less’.
Simplify your life.
Reduce your material wants and desires.
Understand that ‘attention’ is now our most coveted currency.
Everyone wants your attention.
And it’s up to YOU who you give it to.
You need to focus on what is important to you, and try to block out all the ‘noise’ that society is throwing your way.
(I also understand the irony of me telling you to only pay attention to things that matter while you’re reading our weekly email newsletter. If you don’t think this newsletter is valuable to you, unsubscribe is at the bottom. I won’t be mad – I *seriously* want you to eliminate anything you aren’t getting a positive benefit from in your life…)
One of the best recent decisions I’ve made is to stop watching the news entirely.
In the 2020 election, I got caught up in the election (and covid) news cycles, I must admit.
All it did was stress me out, make me anxious, and it had a negative impact on my well being.
The things in my life that are important are as follows:
- My wife, my 2 daughters, and their respective health
- My extended family and their health
- My relationships with my friends
- My own personal health and fitness
- Being able to provide for my family
I’ll go out on a limb and say those are the most important things in your life, too, no?
They’re pretty universal, and pretty basic…
Notice what’s missing… I don’t see anything about Fox News, CNN, politics, racial tension, cancel culture, or anything else.
It’s kind of funny how that works…
Society wants you to be distracted.
Instead, be focused.
Focus intently on the things that matter.
And if you find yourself struggling to focus on what’s important to you, eliminating things that are time-wasters or distract you from what’s important is an excellent step in the right direction.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
‘Don’t envy someone else’s chiseled abs or eye-popping physique.
Envy the discipline, drive, and mental toughness they obviously have to look the way they do.’
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.
While I do have an undying love for 90’s gangster rap, the glorified violence came at a price.
Way too many skilled and talented young men (and women) got caught up in senseless gunfire and ended up losing their lives.
This clip from the 1995 Source Awards was the catalyst for the East Coast vs West Coast battles which ensued.
The ‘rap beefs’ caused many deaths – including the deaths of 2 of the most talented rappers of all time – The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.
I often reflect on how incredible it would be to still have them around, rapping, and mentoring young kids on business, music, and life.
Tupac Shakur died on September 13, 1996, at the age of 25.
He was at a boxing match in Las Vegas when he was the victim of a drive by shooting which remains unsolved.
Christopher Wallace (aka, The Notorious B.I.G.) died 6 months later, on March 9, 1997, when he was shot to death at a stoplight in Los Angeles.
His murder also remains unsolved.
He was only 24 years old at the time.