Rollin’ down the street liftin’ heavy weights, sippin’ on a protein shake…
LAID BACK… with my mind on my gains and my gains on my mind…
-Snoop Dogg (probably)
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:
Every diet that has ever worked in the history of mankind shares the following characteristics:
1. Eat primarily whole foods and minimize processed foods.
2. Make your own meals instead of dining out.
3. Reduce/eliminate snacking + liquid calories.
Those are The Big 3 when it comes to dieting.
Sure, there are made-for-you meal programs like NutriSystem, but let’s be real. Nobody is going to eat food packaged foods from one company for the rest of their lives.
It makes much more sense to do the hard work and find a way to make proper nutrition a reality for you instead of latching onto a shortcut and hoping for the best.
Now that we have those 3, main components of diets that actually work, the question remains – what path are you going to choose for your nutrition?
There are a lot of diets that combine those 3 components.
Ketogenic diets, the Carnivore diet, veganism/vetetarianism, and flexible dieting/macro tracking come to mind.
Before you begin with any diet, it’s best to sit down and reflect on the foods you love, and choose the diet you think you could stick to indefinitely.
We often start dieting with the ‘end date’ in mind.
We wonder how long this will take us, and we are already looking forward to the day we don’t have to ‘diet’ any longer, so we can get back to our old ways of eating.
This isn’t logical.
If what we’re currently doing is causing us to gain weight, and we come up with a plan to get the weight off, what will happen once we stop the plan and resume our old eating habits?
I think you know the answer to that question…
Now that we know you need to make your own meals out of whole foods and reduce/eliminate snacking and liquid calories, which option would work best for you?
It seems as if everyone and their brother is going no-carb or even meat-only.
Keto and Carnivore diets are all hyped up right now – everyone is swearing by them left and right.
I will admit, years ago, I fell for the allure of the Keto diet. (It wasn’t even called that when I did it – this was 2011 before the word “Keto” went mainstream…)
Did I lose weight?
Yes, I definitely did lose weight by trying to eat zero carbs.
I also lost my immune system, my sex drive, a significant amount of muscle, and I felt horribly for 5 straight months.
But hey, I lost weight, though, so it’s all good, amirite?!?
It was only when I reintroduced carbohydrates to my diet that it all started to ‘click’.
I continued to lose fat and I lost it more easily and with less sacrifice.
My gym sessions immediately improved and my strength shot up considerably in a short amount of time.
I regained my libido, which was likely from a testosterone boost after reintroducing carbs into my diet.
And most importantly – I enjoyed my meals more!
That’s a severely underrated part of your diet. You MUST enjoy your diet if you want any plan of sticking to it long term.
If you can’t see yourself going ‘zero carb’ for the rest of your life, it’s time to ditch the Keto and ultra-low carb schtick.
I’ve helped hundreds of men and women reintroduce carbohydrates into their diets after being led astray by the Keto Cult.
If you’re still searching for the best way to diet, I highly recommend dropping unsustainable practices and go for a more moderate approach.
There’s no need to do mental gymnastics to convince yourself you hate eating carbs. (We all know that’s a lie anyways, lol…)
The road to success is always the road less traveled.
Real nutrition advice often gets ignored due to it being ‘boring’.
And bad nutrition advice often gets more coverage due to it being needlessly complex.
This ends up causing most people to think nutrition is this tricky, difficult concept they’ll never truly understand.
The key to being lean for life is simple.
Eat a bit less than you need, eat plenty of plants and whole food carbohydrates, and eat ample protein.
But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Far from it…
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
In the 2010s, machines got a bad rap in mainstream fitness.
The barbell was *everything*, and fitness coaches left and right proclaimed machines to be less worthy than free weights when it comes to training effectively.
For awhile, I even saw coaches bashing people who used machines.
Smith Machines were only for ‘wusses’ and anyone using the chest press machine instead of a barbell was seen as a coward.
This is wrong for many reasons…
Each piece of weight lifting equipment serves a purpose, and has an advantage over other pieces.
There are advantages to the barbell.
The biggest advantage of the barbell is it helps you accumulate overall strength and force production more effectively than dumbbells or machines.
The barbell is often used in our strongest lifts – lifts like barbell back squats, deadlifts and variations, presses, and rows.
The stabilization aspect of the barbell helps make our tendons and ligaments more robust and immune to injuries.
There are also advantages to using dumbbells.
Dumbbells aren’t on a fixed plane like barbells are.
You have to focus intently on each individual weight and move them as if they’re ‘connected’, if you will.
Dumbbells allow you to show a fuller range of motion and are convenient and versatile to have at home.
While dumbbells may not be as effective as the barbell for rapid strength accumulation, you could argue for muscle growth, they’re far superior than barbells.
There are advantages to machines as well.
The biggest advantage is how rare it is to injure yourself on a machine.
Machines have a fixed weight path.
The path the weight moves is determined on the machine and who manufactured it.
As such, if your body’s mechanics are slightly different than the machine set-up, it could cause joint issues over time.
Pay close attention to how your body feels after using specific machines to see if this relates to you.
In most cases, you will be extremely safe using machines in your training.
The fact that you won’t drop the weight on your body if you fail means you can really push your limits without worrying about injury.
A machine’s best use is to create a wicked ‘pump’ – that feeling you get when you’ve done a million bicep curls and you swear your arms will explode at any minute.
This is one of the biggest factors to muscle growth, and if gaining lean body mass is important to you, you should always try to get a pump at each of your gym sessions.
One of my favorite set ups to use with clients is the “Century Set”.
The Century Set is actually 4 sets, not 1 set.
You have 4 sets to get to 100 total reps of a given exercise.
You take each set to failure, or close to it, and after each set, you wait a strict 30 seconds before you begin the next set.
If you get to 100 reps in 4 or less sets, increase the weight you use for the next session.
Be careful with these if you give them a shot – 100 reps is pretty intense, especially if you’re putting a bit of weight on the machine stack.
I would suggest using about half of the weight you would normally do for 10 reps.
Because of the intense nature of a Century Set, please don’t do them for movements like squats or deadlifts.
This is why I reserve them exclusively for machine movements with clients.
Machine curls, machine tricep extensions, machine rows, chest press machines, Hammer Strength machines, etc are excellent choices for Century Sets.
During the Holiday Season when you’re naturally eating a bit more food anyways, give Century Sets a try and watch your gains take off.
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
I’m currently reading an excellent book I’d like to tell you about.
The book is called “The Gap And The Gain” by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy.
The authors discusses 2, different, distinct ways to view your progress.
You can view your success in 2 ways: By measuring ‘The Gap’ or by measuring ‘The Gain’.
Let me explain…
We all compare ourselves to others.
This is a natural part of the human element.
However, it’s *how* we compare ourselves that can lead to us being happy and fulfilled, or being burned out and full of stress.
Often, we measure ourselves in “The Gap”, and that’s destroying our sense of well being.
Measuring yourself in “The Gap” means you’re holding yourself to a hypothetical, and perhaps impossible, standard.
You’re looking at what you’ve done and you’re always wanting more.
The goalposts for ‘success’ are always shifting for you and you never truly get to derive satisfactions from your accomplishments.
“Gap Thinking” is when you have an incredible accomplishment, but you barley feel it.
Instead of enjoying your moment and letting yourself shine through, the only thing you can think is… “What’s next?”
Gap Thinkers end up comparing themselves to the ultra-successful.
Or perhaps they lost 25 pounds and they look amazing, but instead of being proud, they deflect praise because they don’t measure up with who they *think* they should be in their mind.
If you’re a Gap Thinker, you can’t find any enjoyment out of losing weight, because you STILL don’t look like the steroid-bound freak or the 20 year old Instagram model.
If you’re a Gap Thinker, and you have a great month in your business, instead of taking pride in what you’ve accomplished, you use this great month as your new ‘baseline’.
And from here on out, if you don’t hit your new numbers, you’ll feel like a failure immediately.
As you can see, Gap Thinking is toxic – it’s also something I personally struggle with often.
Contrast this to Gain Thinkers.
Gain thinkers only compare themselves to who they were in the past – they view each ‘win’ as a chance to become a better version of themselves ONLY.
What a powerful shift in your mindset!
When Gain Thinkers lose 25 pounds, they think back about who they were before they started their journey.
They see how far they’ve come, and they take the time to reflect on their accomplishment and ‘feel’ it fully.
When Gain Thinkers have a great month in their business, instead of shifting the goalposts, they think back to their days as a broke kid fresh out of high school or college.
They reflect on how far they’ve come and feel proud about the life they’ve built.
They aren’t comparing themselves to other people, other businesses, or anything else – other than the person they used to be.
What a beautiful concept to live by.
Social media makes it difficult to be a Gain Thinker.
We’re always seeing everyone’s highlight reel, 24/7/365.
Nobody posts the bad shit on social media.
It’s all rainbows and unicorns – you’re getting a sanitized and bleached version of reality.
And it’s a reality that’s been run through filters and carefully crafted so you think highly of the person posted.
If you find this concept interesting, grab a copy of The Gap And The Gain.
I’m about halfway through it and it’s been eye-opening so far.
There have been a lot of moments where I’ve read a passage and I say, “Shit – I do exactly this every day!”
I can already tell this book will be transformative for me and I’ll re-read it whenever I need to.
I think we all can learn a thing or two about how to be kinder to ourselves.
We’re all out there doing the best we can.
Don’t watch someone else’s highlight reel and wonder why you don’t measure up.
Comparison is the thief of joy – and don’t you ever forget it.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
“I do not fear the man who practices 1,000 kicks 1 time.
I fear the man who practices 1 kick 1,000 times.”
Stick to the basics, and practice them relentlessly.
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 first gangster rap song I ever heard was “Nobody Move” by Eazy-E.
The song highlights a bank robbery, narrated from the first person point of view.
10 year old me listened to this song under my covers on an old, cassette boombox, praying my parents wouldn’t hear the explicit lyrics.
It’s still a banger, and I listen to it on a regular basis, even at 40 years of age.
Here’s the link if you haven’t heard it (NSFW – language)