Ain’t no such thing as halfway reps.
He’s scared to squat, he’s scared to death.
He ain’t a lifter, son…
He’s just a shook one.
-Mobb Deep (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:
One of the best things you can do to to help lose body fat more effectively has nothing to do with your diet or exercise.
It has to do with your sleep.
When you sleep more, it’s easier to get into proper shape.
You lose fat, gain muscle, and increase your health dramatically by being sure you get enough shut eye.
Anecdotally, coaches have known this for years.
I have seen many cases of clients trying to lose body fat who struggle due to their lack of sleep.
It’s extremely difficult to stick to your diet when you’re running on fumes and not properly rested.
Have you ever had a really early flight and have to be at the airport at some ungodly number, like 5 am?
Waking up at 3:30 am is no fun, no matter how you slice and dice it.
Every time I’m in this situation I know my hunger cues are going to be WAY off.
By 6 am, I’m going to be ravenous, even though I usually don’t eat breakfast until 8 am or later.
And even if I eat at 6 am, I’ll be hungry shortly thereafter.
That’s not real hunger – that’s just me being tired, and my body sending me mixed signals.
Consider a recent study done on adults who routinely slept less than 6.5 hours per night.
The study did not restrict their diets in any way whatsoever.
That bears repeating – the goal of the study was NOT to see if the subjects could stick to a diet.
They weren’t even GIVEN a diet to follow!
They were just told to sleep more.
The point of the study was to simply to see what would happen to their body composition if they increased their sleep by 1.2 hours per night, or roughly 72 minutes.
Without changing a thing about their daily routines, the subjects spontaneously reduced their daily caloric intake by 270 calories per day.
The subjects maintained the same daily energy expenditure during that time as well.
Here’s the wild part – during the study, the subjects lost a pound per week, on average.
Without altering their diets.
Without exercising more.
It just kind of happened…
The subjects also noted they felt more energized, alert, and in a better mood.
Go figure… 🙂
In reality, what likely happened is the additional sleep helped calm their hunger cues and made them less likely to overeat.
Since they were more calm and balanced after a full night’s rest, they likely made better food choices overall.
When you’re rested and feel good, you’re more likely to eat nutritious, healthy foods that fill you up.
You’ll also have more energy to cook wholesome meals from scratch.
And you’re less likely to feel run down, tired, and just want to go to the nearest drive through for burgers and fries.
It might be difficult to turn the lights off at a decent hour and get a full night’s sleep.
But it’s well worth the effort.
An hour of sleep before midnight feels like 2 hours of sleep after midnight.
Sleeping more might be one of the easiest and simplest things you can do to become a healthier and happier version of yourself.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
When you’re training, you want to be pushing yourself as hard as you can.
If you’re using a standard, linear progression model, you should be doing this naturally.
A ‘linear progression model’ simply means you’re prescribed a certain rep range, say 12-15 reps.
If you get at least 12-15 reps for all of your sets, you add 5 pounds to the exercise the next time you do that workout.
While this sort of a progression model is an excellent idea, over time, it can be extremely difficult to add 5 pounds to your lifts.
Eventually, you need to fight hard for your reps.
You may even find yourself in a scenario where you can’t increase your reps week to week.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, I have a solid strategy for you.
Instead of trying to get more reps or lift more weight, consider working on the “skill” of lifting the weight itself.
If you find it difficult to go up in weight, stay at the weight you’re at.
Work on controlling the weight better throughout the full range of motion.
Work on moving the weight smoothly the entire time, with a 2-2 tempo (2 seconds up, and 2 seconds down for each rep).
Work on being sure to fully stretch/elongate your muscle, and then intensely contract it.
In essence, work on being a better weightlifter!
You’re likely to see your strength improve over time with the additional neurological adaptations you make as you improve.
If you’re just starting out in the gym, by all means, a linear progression model is the way to go.
You want to spend your first few years ‘under the bar’ trying to add 5 pounds as frequently as you can.
But after time passes, and you find yourself nearing the top of your maximum genetic strength potential, you’ll likely need to stop constantly trying to put more weight on the bar.
That should be your cue to slow things down a bit, take your workouts as they come, and become a better weightlifter in general.
It will help you stay injury free, and keep those gains coming for many years to come.
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
I want to chat with you for just a minute about a little fact you should know:
Change is hard.
It get it completely – it’s difficult to make big changes in your life.
But the fact remains, you likely want to get healthier.
And that’s going to require *something* in your life to change.
So, how do we accomplish this goal?
How do we change our habits in a way that sticks – for the rest of your life?
That sounds like one enormous goal… “The Rest Of Your Life” is a really scary concept…. you know?
Luckily, the answer is simple.
Whether you’re walking 5 feet or 5,000 miles, it all starts in the exact same way:
With one step.
We need to work on the mental trick of “Minimizing the Change” here – it’s going to give you a clear view of exactly how your brain should operate each day.
One second at a time.
One moment at a time.
One day at a time.
We have 2 requirements for our clients to join our coaching program.
They must commit to strength training regularly, and tracking their macronutrient intake daily for at least 3 months.
I am a firm believer in tracking your intake for a set time period at least once in your life.
In order to understand proper nutrition, tracking your intake is hands down the best thing you can do to learn about proper portion sizes of the food you should be eating.
As such, we make it a non-negotiable item for our programs.
That can be a tough sell, if I’m being blunt.
Nobody wants to do any hard work any more.
It doesn’t matter how many hundreds of stories I tell them about Anyman Fitness clients who thought it would be difficult, but in reality, it just took a few minutes each day.
Not only that, but it guaranteed success, and they finally got the results they were after.
One of the best strategies to use when you need to make a change in your life is to “Minimize The Change”.
Make the change as small as humanly possible to make it seem “easier” in your mind.
When you’re struggling and feeling like you want to give up, Minimizing The Change is an excellent idea.
It works like this.
In fitness, you only have 2 things to do.
Eat right and exercise.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Do you think you can carve 45 minutes out of your day and workout today?
Yeah, I think so, too.
And do you think you can create some healthy meals and eat them?
That’s not such a big thing, right?
You’ve done that before, haven’t you?
Awesome. Then let’s do it.
And that’s it.
No frills, no nonsense, and no “looking at the big picture” or the long road ahead.
It doesn’t matter if you have 5 pounds to lose or 100 pounds to lose.
All you need to do is 2 things.
Eat right and exercise.
So, just do those 2 things today.
And then do them again tomorrow.
And repeat them each day.
And you’ve just mastered fitness.
Pretty simple stuff, right?
Whenever you’re feeling anxious, bummed out, or you’re wondering if it’s possible for you to reach your fitness goals, Minimize The Change in your head.
It might not be easy, but nothing worthwhile in life is easy.
The things in your life that are the most challenging are universally the most rewarding.
If you’re struggling with consistency and staying on track, start Minimizing The Change if you want to maximize your results.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Her: You can’t eat carbs without gaining weight
Her: Yep, I cut carbs and lost weight for the 1st time ever
Me: What did you eat instead?
Her: A lot of protein & plants
Me: So you ate fewer calories?
Her: No, I just stopped eating carbs
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.
Everyone kid could sing every word to this song when I was in 7th grade.
Always a classic!