From skinny to jacked, player, I ain’t done,
I got 99 problems, but a deadlift ain’t one.
– 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:
With Memorial Day in the rear view year, the pool parties, lake trips, and vacations are about to heat up.
Usually, summer parties are synonymous with calorie bombs.
It can be difficult to stay on track during the warm months.
Particularly so if you live in a colder climate like I do (Michigan).
We wait so long for the weather to break that when we do, we’re ready for the treats and goodies.
This can make it difficult to keep on top of your body composition goals during the summer months.
When you add alcohol on top of it, it makes it even trickier.
I’m not here to judge – one of my favorite things to do is have a few cocktails on a boat and enjoy the warm sun and breeze.
We have a limited time each year to enjoy those moments when you live in ‘The Mitten’, so that’s a small treat I’m not willing to give up.
At the same time, it’s helpful to have a game plan ready to ensure you keep things reasonable and don’t overindulge.
While beer is often the summer drink of choice, it’s not the best choice for your waistline.
Beer contains phytoestrogen and prolactin – two chemicals that can increase estrogen in your bloodstream.
Excess estrogen can lead to an increase in your body fat percentage; it’s best to keep beer consumption to a minimum if possible.
You’d be much better off grabbing a mixed drink with a zero calorie mixer.
From a calorie perspective, it’s a much healthier choice than grabbing your favorite 6 pack for your summer party.
If you’d like to have a delicious, summer cocktail without the spirits and that’s *almost* calorie free, check out this recipe from one of our clients, Peter Bancroft:
Here’s a picture of Peter toasting with his alcohol free, almost zero calorie ‘cocktail’:
Enjoy yourself this summer, but be sure you’re intelligent when you head to your parties.
Keep your booze consumption reasonable, and be sure to mix in a water for each alcoholic beverage you enjoy.
You’ll feel better, you’ll recover more quickly, and you’ll be healthier as a result as well.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
Isolation exercises are an excellent idea for your shoulders.
Yes, it’s important to hit your main, compound shoulder exercises as well, such as barbell or dumbbell shoulder presses.
But after you knock out the main event, be sure you hit your shoulders with some smaller loads to keep your joints healthy and robust.
I’m a big fan of the following shoulder exercises:
- Lateral Raises
- Front Raises
- Bent Over Rear Flyes
- Cuban Presses (excellent for mobility)
- Arnold Presses
- Shoulder Presses
One movement I’ve been programming more and more into my training blocks is the full front raise.
The full front raise can be done with either a plate or a dumbbell.
With a ‘regular’ front raise, you pick the plate/dumbbell up until it’s at your eye level.
With a ‘full’ front raise, you pick the plate dumbbell up until it’s directly overhead, using your entire, full range of motion.
Here’s a few pictures showing you how the exercise looks.
You start the full front raise with one weight in each hand, starting with the weight at your waist level.
I’m using 10 pound plates in my hands here:
You then raise the plates up in front of your body keeping your arms straight the entire time.
You keep going until the weights are directly overhead, and then bring them back down to the starting point:
The full front raise has all the benefits of the regular front raise, and then some.
The exercise will strengthen the tendons, joints, and ligaments in your shoulders.
You’ll thicken up your front delts, which will help improve your aesthetics.
But the best part about this move is the increased range of motion.
It’s always a good idea to give your shoulder as much rotation and range of motion as you reasonably can to keep your flexibility solid as you gain strength.
Performing 2-3 sets of full front raises 2-3 times per week is a great idea for your shoulders.
I’ve been emphasizing them myself lately in my training programs, and I’m sure the exercise would benefit you as well.
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
Transforming your body isn’t easy.
It’s never easy – and anyone telling you it is “easy” is either blowing smoke up your ass, or is trying to sell you something.
Now, the basics to fitness are relatively simple.
If you want to lose fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit.
Strength training is highly recommended so you keep and/or build upon the muscle you have as you’re leaning out.
Eat plenty of protein, drink lots of water, reduce your snacking, and eat mainly whole foods.
You know… the stuff your grandma used to tell you to do.
If you want to gain muscle, you need to be in a slight calorie surplus.
You need to train HARD, consistently, and force your body to grow new muscle tissue.
You need to eat even MORE healthy, whole foods, and get plenty of rest so your body can recover and hit your next gym session with gusto.
Transforming your body is an ‘extraordinary’ thing.
I love that word – ‘extraordinary’.
Think about its simplicity – extra ordinary.
The definition is obvious – ‘extraordinary’ means “more than ordinary”.
And that’s exactly what you would call someone who had a fitness goal and saw it all the way through to completion.
It’s not “ordinary” to transform your body.
In reality, very few people do it.
It requires a huge amount of grit, determination, and patience to accomplish a goal like this.
In short, you can’t be “ordinary” and expect to accomplish a big fitness goal.
You need to be dedicated.
And… well… you need to be more than ordinary.
In fact, you honestly need to be ‘extraordinary’.
It’s human nature to become frustrated along the journey.
There will be roadblocks and issues which may come up.
You might have a bad day, or even a bad week, and be tempted to quit.
But if you find yourself in that situation, ask yourself one, simple question:
“Am I being extraordinary?
Or am I just being ordinary here?”
Normal people quit, or give up when faced with adversity.
If you want to get fit and stay fit for life, you can’t stop and expect to continue to make progress.
Instead, you need to be one of those extraordinary people who starts taking their fitness seriously, and never stops.
That may seem like a daunting task, but I can assure you, it’s worth it in the long run.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
There actually IS a best rep scheme for getting stronger and gaining muscle.
It’s “3 x 52”.
3 workouts per week; 52 weeks per year.
If you can hit these ‘reps’, your results will be beyond your wildest dreams.
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 all time greatest rap tour of all time. Man, they need to do this again. I was lucky enough to nab a ticket for it back in the summer of 2001. One of the best nights of my life. (NSFW – language)