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It was a clear black night, a clear white moon,
Coach J was on his laptop, tryin’ to get to you,
Some tips for your gains, and boy are you in luck,
Go ahead and keep readin’ and I’ll get you jacked as…
-Nate Dogg (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 my favorite past times is messing with the ‘low-carb’ crowd on Twitter.
There’s a big community of people who *firmly* believe if you eat any carbohydrates at all, it’s impossible to be lean and healthy.
Let’s be sure to get this out of the way first – this is 100% NOT the case.
There have been zero calorie controlled studies which have proven carbohydrates alone are the cause of excess obesity.
This has been tested time and time again in controlled studies, and each time, whether the diet is low fat or low carb, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is the presence of a proper calorie deficit – if you can maintain a consistent calorie deficit and take in less than you need, you WILL lose weight.
The real issue with carbohydrates is they tend to be in many processed junk foods.
Much of what we consider to be ‘carbs’ aren’t actually ‘carbs’ if you look at the nutritional information carefully.
Consider a donut.
Most of us would call a donut a ‘carb’.
Let’s take a close look at the nutritional information from the Krispy Kreme website to see if this is accurate:
Hmmm… one glazed donut (the best kind) from Krispy Kreme contains 190 calories.
There are 3 grams of protein and 22 grams of carbohydrates.
3 grams of protein = 12 calories (3 x 4)
22 grams of carbohydrates = 88 calories (22 x 4)
11 grams of fat = 99 calories (11 x 9)
So, that ‘carb’ of a donut… it actually has:
12/199 = 6% protein
88/199 = 44% carbohydrates
88/199 = 50% fat
So, what does this mean?
This means a Krispy Kreme donut, the same one everyone calls a ‘carb’… honestly isn’t a carb.
In fact, it doesn’t even have carbohydrates as its main macronutrient – more calories come from fat than carbs with this donut.
Pretty eye-opening, right?
This plays out with nearly every food the mainstream media has labeled a ‘carb’.
- Ice Cream
- Many Italian + Mexican dishes (especially with creamy dressings, cheeses, sour cream/guac, etc)
Many of these items would be classified more accurately if they were simply called ‘fats’ instead of carbs.
They contain over 50% of their calories strictly from fat.
Carbohydrates are wonderful, and they’re our bodies’ *preferred* source of energy.
Yes, in the total absence of carbohydrates, you body goes into ketosis and uses fat for fuel.
But this is not an easy process. It’s a process that’s difficult on your body – this is a literal biological defense mechanism we possess in case we are ever in a place where the carbs are scarce but fatty meats are in abundance (such as the Intuit tribes).
Just because your body *can* use fat for fuel doesn’t mean it *wants* to.
Whole food carbohydrates are definitely the way to go.
Rice, potatoes, and fruit make up the ‘Big 3’ carbs for dieting.
Those 3 choices are all nutrient dense and provide you with energy for hours.
On the next tier, you have things like bread and pasta. Some people can handle bread and pasta and others get bloated or feel badly from the gluten.
Your mileage may vary – I always suggest testing various foods to see how your body responds to them and refining your diet based on trial and error.
But whatever you do, there’s no need to fear carbs. If used intelligently in your diet, carbs are fantastic.
They provide you with energy for your training sessions, they help you recover/rebuild muscle, they help lower your stress levels, and they flat out taste awesome.
Be sure you’re sticking to real, true carbohydrates as well, and remember all those ‘evil foods’ you think are carbs… well… they’re actually combinations of refined carbs AND fats.
That combination is impossible to resist.
We are hardwired biologically to love carbs and to love fats.
Again, both likely due to a survival defense mechanism during times of famine.
When you combine carbs and fats? What do you get then?
The tastiest (and junkiest) foods on earth, that’s what.
Of course you want to avoid those foods, or only eat them sparingly.
Just be sure you don’t blame ‘carbs’ for what the Doritos did…
(If you’ve tried very low carb diets that didn’t work for you, read this article on how to cure yourself from the Keto cult – you may find it useful)
N.W.A. Training Tip Of The Week:
One of the best ways to improve your leg strength and overall athleticism is to perform more single leg work in your training.
Single leg work provides excellent functional benefits – focusing on one leg at a time allows you to maximize your muscular contractions with each rep.
The stabilization aspect kicks in as well, which helps your overall balance, athleticism, and fitness level.
I must admit, I hate doing single leg work.
Being 6’8″ makes lunges, step ups, and split squats seem like torture.
But this is the exact reason I do them – often times, the things you hate are the exact things you should do more of in the gym.
Here are a few suggestions for you on how to incorporate single leg work into your training programs starting today.
For beginners, I’d recommend the simple Dumbbell Step Up.
Make sure you put your entire foot and heel onto the platform and drive the weight up through your heels (not your toes).
You can do these alternating, or one leg at a time if you prefer.
Once you find these easy, you can also hold onto dumbbells to increase the resistance and difficulty level.
For intermediates, lunges are your go-to.
Lunges come in many various forms – forward lunges, reverse lunges, curtsey lunges, 3D lunges, side lunges, walking lunges, etc.
You can pick your poison – all of the variations will work just fine.
Be sure to always keep your weight on your midfoot/heel and keep the weight *off* of your toes to avoid knee problems:
For the advanced folks, give Bulgarian Split Squats, Dumbbell Split Squats, or Barbell Split Squats a try.
Split squats are like lunges, only instead of doing a full lunge back to a starting position, you stay in the lunge position the entire set and do all your reps before switching to the other leg.
Bulgarian Split Squats are pure torture – you elevate your back foot onto a bench and put 100% of your weight on your lead foot.
Those suckers BURN like nobody’s business and you have to concentrate like crazy not to fall over.
This is why they improve your athleticism so quickly:
Although single leg work is difficult, it’s entirely worth it.
Mixing in single leg work will help all of your double leg movements improve in strength dramatically.
No, they aren’t that much fun to perform, but they will challenge you like no other.
And isn’t that kind of the point anyways? 😉
N.W.A. Attitude/Mindset Tip Of The Week:
Lifting weights a few times per week isn’t going to turn you into a muscle bound freak.
Just like driving down the highway won’t turn you into Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Or making a grilled cheese sandwich won’t turn you into Gordon Ramsey.
Or singing karaoke won’t turn you into Whitney Houston.
If you’re not lifting weights because you think sniffing the weight room will make you look like the Incredible Hulk, you’re doing fitness the wrong way entirely.
Lifting weights is self-less.
Being strong prevents you from injury and falls as you age, and will make you less of a burden on your loved ones during your Golden Years.
Show your family you love them by pounding the iron today.
One Favorite Social Media Post Of The Week:
Every day I see people spending hours in the steam room who are obviously trying to lose weight.
Say it with me, y’all:
Sweating due to heat will reduce water weight but has no bearing on your metabolism/body fat.
Do it to meditate if you wish….
Steaming to lose body fat is a fool’s errand.
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.
Read the N.W.A. Newsletter Archives
In 2004, Kanye West released his debut album, College Dropout.
Kanye was ahead of his time, talking about serious cultural problems nobody was discussing yet.
The lyrics to “All Falls Down” (NSFW – language) highlights this.
Where most rappers were talking about guns and drugs, Kanye was discussing the declining return of a college education, addictions to material goods, and mental health problems.
While he may be quite the eccentric character, I’ll always love Kanye for the fresh and unique voice he brings to the world of hip hop.