When the alpha came through me and my bros stood next to a brick sh*t house,
He was a monster but I out-lifted him… and still no one found out.
– Eminem (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:
I love hitting up the sauna after my workout.
There’s nothing more relaxing post-lift than focusing on my breathing and sweating like nobody’s business.
It’s my favorite part of the day, hands down.
However, it’s pretty obvious there are a lot of people in the sauna who try to use it for fat loss purposes.
If you’re currently doing this, please realize that’s not how losing body fat works…
Heat exposure has been around for centuries.
In ancient Greece, Spartan warriors would spend hours in saunas in order to toughen them up for battle.
The thought was, if they could handle the intense heat of a sauna, they would have more endurance and strength while fighting in hand to hand combat.
While we aren’t training for hand to hand combat (probably), it’s hard to deny the mental benefits of heat exposure.
It’s hard to be ‘in your head’ when you’re doing everything you can to keep your heart rate in check.
After about 10 minutes, my body is screaming at me to get out, and once I do, I feel amazing for the next few hours.
That being said, it’s important to note that heat exposure doesn’t actually burn any body fat – at all.
It doesn’t boost your metabolism in any significant way.
It can rid your body of water weight, though, which can be helpful to dry you out and make your physique pop.
In my gym, the sauna is full of men and women who are clearly trying to use the heat of the sauna to lose weight.
These aren’t athletes who need to be in a specific weight class, either.
These are people who come to the sauna (and avoid the actual gym), and they spend an hour going from the sauna to the steam room, to the hot tub, and then they continue in that fashion, attempting to lose water weight.
If this is you, your time would be much better spent in the weight room working on adding strength and muscle to your frame.
If you truly want to boost your metabolism, that’s the best way to do it.
Fun fact – while heat exposure doesn’t increase your metabolism, cold exposure actually does.
So, if you wanted to burn a few extra calories, try ice baths, cold showers, and cold plunges instead of saunas and steam rooms.
It’s definitely not going to be as relaxing… but if your main goal is fat loss, it will be much more effective than simply losing some water weight, which will come right back to you as soon as you rehydrate yourself.
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
The best advice for when you begin lifting weights is to use good form, and progressive overload.
The point of lifting weights is to tax your muscles and make them momentarily weaker.
Then, you rest, recover, eat, hydrate, and sleep, and the next time you come into the gym, you should be *a little bit* stronger than before.
This is the crux of weightlifting – if you are not striving to be stronger each session, you’re missing the point entirely.
That being said, any serious lifter will eventually need to stop trying to just lift heavier weights.
There’s only so many 5 pound jumps you can make before you’re taxing your central nervous system and risking substantial injury.
If you’ve spent a SOLID 5+ years ‘under the bar’ and you’re plenty strong already, perhaps it’s time to consider ‘coaxing’ some muscular growth instead of trying to force it all the time.
‘Coaxing’ muscle growth requires a bit of finesse.
In essence, you want to become a “better weightlifter”.
Instead of just trying to lift heavier weights while sacrificing form, take the opposite approach.
Still use progressive overload, sure, but focus your energy on lifting… well… better!
Try to control the weight more effectively.
Try to improve the smoothness of your repetitions.
If you’ve been ‘cheating’ a bit on your reps, raise your own standards and show a full and complete range of motion.
Slowing down your tempo and focusing intently on the mind-muscle connection works really well, also.
A simple way to make a lift much more intense and effective is to use a 2:1:1 tempo.
A 2:1:1 tempo means “2 seconds on the eccentric/stretching, 1 second pause in the full stretch position, and 1 second on the concentric/contracting part of the lift.
I’m here to tell you, it’s a whole, new ballgame when you slow the weight down, take ALL the momentum out of the lift, and flex as hard as you possibly can every repetition.
You’ll be surprised at how much additional growth you have inside of you when you start focusing on the “art” of weightlifting, if you will.
There’s more to lifting than “5 more pounds, bro, you got this”.
Coaxing growth will not only help you make some extra gains when you’re in an intermediate or advanced stage, but the emphasis on form should keep you healthy and in the game without injury.
Always work smarter, not harder.
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
Last July, I took a guy’s trip to Colorado with some of my good friends.
We had a blast hiking, ATV riding, fishing, and spending time out in nature:
Naturally, given my profession, the conversation turned to health and fitness.
After we returned home, our group text chain really heated up.
A few of the guys on the trip wanted some help to get into better shape – the guys on the trip were all 35+, and the hands of time had done their thing to them.
I decided to have some fun with the group.
I proposed a Challenge – the guys had 6 months to get into the best shape they possibly could.
I put up some prize money to the winner for some external motivation as well.
There was only *one catch*: The guys had to use Anyman Fitness nutrition recommendations and workouts.
The guys were fired up; each day there were texts from the gym, texts of meal planning pictures, and lots of positivity all around.
It was a thing of beauty to see other men being positive influences on each other, and keeping each other in check when life got difficult.
All of the guys on the trip got into better shape, but 2 of the guys stuck out head and shoulders above the rest.
The first is my good friend, Matt – I’ve known Matt since kindergarten:
Matt lost a solid 15 pounds and over 5 inches off his midsection.
He’s much healthier now, and he’s fired up for the summer season – he hasn’t looked forward to taking his shirt off in years, but he’s ready now!
While Matt did a fantastic job, the winner of the contest was Aaron – by FAR!
Check out this wild before and after picture from Aaron’s 6 months of progress:
In 6 months, Aaron lost 60 pounds and 11 inches off of his waist.
I won’t lie – my mind was blown when I saw his results!
Obviously he looks much better, but the health improvements Aaron made are just off the charts.
Last July, Aaron struggled to keep up with the other guys.
The extra weight on his frame was giving him lower back pain, and he had to gut it out on several occasions – I know he wasn’t having much fun due to his limitations.
Just look at the smile on his face – he can fit his daughter inside his old jeans, right along with him:
You know the best part of Aaron’s transformation?
He literally just decided “enough is enough” and he did the damn thing.
There was very little thought on his part – it was ALL action.
And that’s what made his results shine so brightly.
Fitness is such an incredible discipline.
There’s only 2 requirements to fitness:
1. You try hard.
2. You don’t give up.
If you can do those 2 things – try hard, consistently, without giving up, you will WIN at fitness.
That’s been proven time and time again.
I’m honored to know an ass kicker like Aaron, and I can’t wait to see him this July.
We’re going back to Colorado for another round in a few months, and Aaron will be bouncing up the mountains on our hikes, no doubt.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Less sugar; More salt
Less sitting; More weightlifting
Less junk food; More real food
Less carbs; More protein
Less blue light; More sunlight
Less complaining; More gratitude
Less negative people; More positive people
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’ve always wondered… is this a real recipe to make crack? I should ask Ed Latimore, me thinks… (NSFW, language)