I love it when you call me Big Squatter…
Throw your glutes in the air, if you’s a true playa!
– Biggie (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:
If your coach gives you a list of foods you’re not “allowed” to eat, you need to find a new coach.
Diets fail people more often than not.
This is a fact. Dieting in general has a low rate of success.
Only around 5% of those who try to lose weight succeed and keep it off long term.
1 in 20.
We need to ask ourselves why this happens.
This is one of the truly BIG questions in fitness and nutrition.
It’s a simple question as well… “Why do we find weight loss so difficult?”
There are many layers to this question and I don’t know all of the answers.
Our current environments and the way society is set up in general is a big clue, though.
We’re all stressed to the max, we have no time, we’re barely staying afloat, and now we have to eat healthy and get to the gym on top of it?
Psshhhhht, ain’t nobody got time for that…
But focusing on diet and nutrition specifically, why do you think we find weight loss so difficult?
What are the big reasons we find it tough to stay consistent with our food?
There’s 2 main problems everyone has to learn how to face and defeat if you want to get in shape and stay in shape.
One of these problems is true, and the other one is 100% totally FALSE.
It’s just that everyone *thinks* it’s true…
Problem #1: Dieting makes you hungry (TRUE).
When you’re dieting, you’re purposely eating less than you need in order to lose body fat.
Ergo de facto, you’re going to be hungry.
Sure, you can reduce your hunger by staying hydrated, eating lots of protein, getting plenty of veggies and fiber into your diet, and getting your 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll be “hunger free”.
The leaner you get, the hungrier you’ll get as well.
If you want to get truly lean – under 15% body fat for men and 25% body fat for women – you’re going to be hungry quite often.
Problem #2: Dieting means you have to eat foods you don’t like (FALSE).
We have a strange misconception when it comes to dieting.
We think we have to nibble on rabbit food and eat nothing but chicken, almonds, and brown rice for every meal.
We see foods as “healthy” or “unhealthy”.
“Good” or “bad”.
“Fat loss foods” or “Fat gain foods”.
And sadly, there are still coaches out there who forbid their clients to eat certain foods.
Or even worse, they sometimes force them to eat specific foods they don’t like.
How successful do you think you would be if you were required to eat exactly what someone else told you… and you didn’t like the foods?
Not very successful, I’ll tell ya what…
My sister once called me all fired up.
She had joined a new gym and one of the trainers at the gym gave her a nutrition guide to use for her meals.
I swear to you, the cheap flyer had 5 foods on it.
- Chicken breast
- Brown rice
That was it. Dead serious. 5 things and nothing more.
The flyer said you could eat as much of those 5 things as you wanted, but you couldn’t eat anything that wasn’t one of those 5 predetermined items.
My sis was all excited… I just smiled and said, “Good luck, you got this” just so I didn’t shit on her parade (lol).
But there was zero chance of that working.
I knew that immediately.
And of course a few weeks later, the crazy restrictive plan was thrown away and discarded (as it should be).
Almost all foods can fit into a healthy and active lifestyle.
Almost all foods can be eaten while you’re losing body fat.
You just need to decide what foods will fit into your goals, while also being foods you love and enjoy.
You need to balance your every day foods with your every-once-in-a-while foods with your once-per-year-on-special-occasion foods.
And that just may be the toughest part of all…
Nutrition is so personal and preferences vary so much from person to person, you will need to dive in and get your hands dirty yourself.
But if you ever have a coach or find yourself in a fitness course and there’s a long laundry list of foods you can’t eat, run for the hills.
And never look back.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
Progressive overload is a simple concept.
Once you conquer a weight, next time, do a bit more.
Rinse and repeat over time.
At first, this is pretty easy to do.
You should be able to add 5 pounds per week to most exercises for quite some time when you first get into weight lifting.
Over time, though, this slows down.
Eventually you have to fight tooth and nail for every rep.
When you start getting closer to your genetic strength limits, adding 5 pounds per month is an excellent accomplishment.
This is all a part of the game if you’re a weightlifter.
I’ve been training hard on a proper program for about a decade.
Those 5 pound jumps are tougher and tougher to get these days.
Let me give you a little progression tip I’ve been using that has been working much better than just doing 3 sets of 10 reps and moving up 5 pounds once I get all 3 sets of 10.
When you’re lifting at a fairly high percentage of your strength level, you can get taxed pretty easily.
If I were to go balls-to-the-wall and push 3 sets of anything to true failure, I would be toast for the rest of my workout.
My performance in my other lifts would suffer accordingly.
I need to be careful not to accumulate too much fatigue too early in my workouts if I want to get the best possible result from them.
Instead of pushing all 3 sets as hard as I possibly can, I push only the 1st set to the absolute max.
For the next 2 sets, I back off a bit. I keep the weight the same, but I don’t push to the absolute max.
The set is still challenging, but as soon as I know the next rep might be “iffy”, I rack the weight and end the set.
This allows me to practice with the heavier weight and get some high quality reps in without needing to go “HAM”, so to speak…
I often push that 1st “all in” set past the rep range, too.
I did this today with my incline barbell bench press.
I had 3 sets of 10-12 reps to complete.
Today, my first set, I did 14 reps.
In my 2nd set, I did 9 reps, and in my 3rd set, I did 8 reps.
Although I got 14 reps in that 1st set, I won’t be adding weight next session because I didn’t get at least 10 reps for all my sets.
I’ll go again next week with the same weight.
Once I do get at least 10 reps in for all 3 sets, I’ll move up again.
Since the weight is staying the same each week, I focus intently on getting more reps in Set 1 each week, and I don’t worry as much about Sets 2 and 3 – I simply use those for some extra practice.
Be sure you mess around with rep ranges, progression models, tempo, etc while you’re in the gym.
That’s how you make really cool discoveries about yourself and how you make progress the best.
There is no “perfect” set of sets and reps.
“Perfect” is always the enemy of “good”.
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our own heads, we forget to cut through the noise from time to time.
90% or more of fitness is psychological.
Anyone can do it – literally.
All you need to do is eat right and workout for one day.
But the problem is you need to have that one good day every day…
An important part of your own personal discovery process is unraveling your own reasons for not being consistent.
It’s important to ask yourself “Why?”
I went through this many moons ago myself when I went from ~300 pounds all the way to 210 pounds in the course of 2 years.
I was regularly reflecting and asking myself questions such as:
- Why do I snack even though I’m not hungry?
- Why do I eat crappy food that doesn’t *truly* satisfy me and isn’t healthy for me?
- Why do I find it so difficult to say “no” when a friend or family member offers me food/drink?
- What situations do I find toughest to stay on track with?
- What can I do to increase my chances of success in social scenarios/settings?
- What good, healthy habits do I need to create to make dieting easier over time?
It’s a worthwhile cause to ask yourself these questions.
Everyone’s answers will be different; nobody can do the deep work for you.
Getting real with yourself is always a great idea.
But eventually, no matter how many times you reflect and ponder, you’ll still be forced to make a decision and answer one, simple question:
Are you gonna do it or not?
Sometimes, when I’m helping a client and we’re having a conversation about their own psychology, we get all twisted up in the weeds.
Reflection is a good thing.
No, wait, it’s a GREAT thing.
But don’t use “reflection” as a form of mental mastrubation, if you will.
Reflection is fine and dandy.
But the last time I checked, nobody “reflected” their way to a 40 pound weight loss.
You STILL have to get after it and do the work, no matter how much trauma you’ve worked through.
Action begets results.
Results begets confidence.
Confidence begets further action.
Be sure you see Step #1 here… because action is always the first step when it comes to self-improvement.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
If you spent as much time trying to get stronger as you spent trying to get sweaty and burn calories, your results would be 100x better.
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.
“Jeen-Yuhs” has some incredible footage, but there’s nothing cooler than seeing Pharrell hear “Through The Wire” for the first time and promptly lose his shit. (NSFW – language)