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Formula for Success

goal“If you take your eyes off the goal, for even a second, doubt will rush your mind like a band of brutal thieves.”

Doubt intends to kill your dreams, destroy your desire, and beat you down with fear.  Evidence of this is obvious in the most trying times.  When we are hungry, when we are tired, when we are angry, when we are in despair…

arnold Be Hungry

When you are hungry, let that hunger be your purpose.  It is a burning reminder in your gut of what you want to accomplish. When you are tired and your eyes grow heavy, don’t be the martyr the world excuses you to be, no one owes you anything. If there is something you want, you stay up one more hour and you go out and get it!

Be Productive

train like you want itAnger?, rage? Make it productive, and focus the intensity of this moment into success instead of resentment.  No one can control your emotions but you.  And when you are in complete despair — Stop. Shhhhh. Be still, and listen.  You are more than “just being”. You have the potential to be even more than your desires. You have the ability to accomplish things you havent even dreamed of …yet.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes by way of the late Henry Ford.  He reminds us that we can decide what happens next… he said “he who thinks he can, and he who thinks he can’t, are usually both right“.

Go Beyond 

“Attaining the goal isn’t success.  Success is found in the pursuit, attaining your goals is the icing on this cake we call life.”

Work harderLastly, it isn’t enough to just dream. I love visualization. Wondering what if, thinking just maybe…  Hoping, even praying, for that desire of your heart.  Instead of praying for “the goal”, pray for the opportunity to make a way for your goal. The satisfaction of accomplishment comes in the effort – the blood, the sweat, the tears, the years, in pursuit of the “goal”.  Attaining the goal isn’t success.  Success is found in the pursuit, attaining your goals is the icing on this cake we call life.

“Vision without execution is just hallucination” Henry Ford

Equation for Success

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #LiveWithFire

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If you Run from the fight, you might miss the Glory!

The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences! 

Bonnie and I were both brought up in the south, and for many of us that means that we were in church everytime the doors were open.  One of the phrases you hear a lot in the church is “we really hate SIN”.  Don’t tune me out, I’m about to make a point.  As much as church, Bon and I in our adult lives spent a lot of time in the gym as well.  One of the phrases we hear all of time at the gym is “I love my workout”.  So “we hate sin and love our workouts” hmmm

Hate Sin?  Not at all.
We love sin, its exciting, feels good, it’s attractive, it taste good, it’s a total rush…  No we don’t hate sin.  What we hate is the consequences of our sin.  Sin can lead to drug addiction. divorce, obesity, disease, or even death – not to mention total seperation from the Dude who created you.  (another blog, another time).  But to say we hate sin, well, that just isn’t true – but to truly hate the devastating affects of sin is such a huge reality it isn’t a lie to say “I hate sin”.  Hold on, here it comes…

Love your workout? Not truly… 
Right now I am doing 315 pound shruggs.  I think I just popped every vertebrae in my back, just ripped a callous, my legs are trembling and I have sweat in my eye and a charlie horse in my calf.  Love my workout? …not so much.

HOWEVER, I absolutely love the consequences that I experience from working out.  Health, aesthetics, energy, increased self esteem, confidence, the ablility to defend myself and my family against danger, and vitality are all considered bliss – directly related to the suffering and drudgery of the afformentioned workout.  Knowing the amazing results of hard training, I can honestly say, “I love my workouts”!

The same way a person who has been caught up in SIN becomes so hurt and disgusted with that lifestyle, another can honestly say they love working out becuase of the amazing results and positive influence, that it can acutally be said, “I love my workout”

In short...The temporary pleasure of sin will never out weigh the devastating long term consequences, as the temporary pain of training will never out weigh the amazing long term consequences! 

How do we change our belief system to be able to honestly say… “I love training”?

1. Set goals and BELIEVE you can attain them.

2. Visualize the prize (end game) seeing the goal as if its complete.

3. Make a plan that is realistic and effective to meet your goal.

4. Grow a pair.  Dont be afraid to “gut it out”. Know it will be worth it.

5. Start over a million times – but dont quit, not even once!

HOW TO “NOT” START A DIET

So, you wanna start a diet and get skinny.  Well hooray for you, good luck with that… nooo, don’t get mad… Just say’n…
 OK, I’m sorry.  My sarcasm stems from years and years of trying to drive this “how to”, point home.   After 3 health clubs, 2 weight loss reality tv shows, thousands of twitter and Facebook friends, and most importantly… my own life, this is what I’ve learned…

 ITS HARD AS A “MOFO” TO LOSE WEIGHT!!!!!!!
How do we bear down, draw a line in the sand, and say NO MORE?  Wellllll…
The truth is, almost all cold-turkey diets don’t last!

Here is what I mean… 

This is what I call “the evolution of a diet”.

1. First, we try purge our house of everything tempting, unhealthy, or non-conducive to a new diet.  (most of us now will polish off  the rest of our ….fill in the blank… , beer, ice cream, Doritos..  instead of throwing it, or giving it, away)  

2. Then we research and grocery shop for the “healthy alternatives”.  Try to fill our houses with healthy foods and snacks. (shopping for any and everything that we can eat a dump truck load of and not get fat, instead of realizing, we must learn to eat a little less of everything)

3. Research diets.  (Monday, we are going to get a shot of, only god knows what, and eat 500 calories)

4. Join a gym.  (We might even hate working out, but all the magazines say we need to workout because lean muscle will burn calories while I sleep)

… Are you getting the point yet?  This is a recipe for disaster.  Yes, more than likely you will lose weight, maybe even hit your goals, BUT, you will have to change your belief system about food and activity if you ever plan to keep the weight off.  98% of all people, even if they hit their goals, will gain their weight back, and then some. 

So what should we do:

Here are some very realistic ways to begin to develop a lifestyle change that will lead to a healthy and successful diet conducive to weight loss and fuelling our performance in or out of the gym.

Week one: Educate and become aware.  

As you are eating this week, research your calories;  become aware of everything you are putting in your mouth.  Decide what really taste good, and decide what you might be able to do without.  Also become aware of when you might be eating for taste or actual hunger.  Sometimes we just have to suck-it-up-just-be-hungry !

Week two: Purge the naughty.
 Only purge the things that you deem a waste.  The foods and candies that you know will destroy every attempt at a healthy diet.  Continue to research healthy alternatives or substitutions for some of your vices.  Try not to binge other foods as a replacement.

Week three: Actual “diet” begins. 
I would be surprised if you havn’t noticed a slight change in your waist and a bump in your mood, but even if you havn’t… “STAY THE COURSE” It’s about to get fun…  Week three you must begin to look at the amount of food that you are consuming and compare it to what you are burning.  This means math… I know I hate math too.  The Harris-Benedict Formula will give you an estimate of your Basal Metabolic rate (calories burned at rest).

BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.76 x age in years )
BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )

Multiply this times our activity level and we can get a close estimate of calories burned per day.

Little to no exercise Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.2
Light exercise (1–3 days per week) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.375
Moderate exercise (3–5 days per week) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.55
Heavy exercise (6–7 days per week) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.725
Very heavy exercise (twice per day, extra heavy workouts) Daily calories needed = BMR x 1.9

As long as you eat fewer calories than that number, you will lose weight.  Unless you weigh and measure your food (not forever… just until you get a grip on portions and calories) you will never know how many calories you are taking in.  After you determine calories out and calories in, you can determine if and how fast you will lose some excess body weight. This is the week you must begin to decrease your portions.  Change the way you think!  That slight hungry feeling is your body wanting to be skinny, it is the feeling of your beautiful body burning gobs of fat.  Please embrace that small hunger feeling, do not chase it away with a burrito.

Week four: proteins, fats, carbs… 
now the most delicate part of this “blog Vomit”.  How do I make sure I’m losing fat and not muscle?  You have to determine where the calories you are eating are coming from.  There are a lot of great sites online for this, but you must still know your portions to get correct data.   My suggestion for anyone starting a diet and isn’t sure… if you are trying to decide between High protein, or low carb’s, or no fats, let’s just start with equal amounts (in calories) for all of these. In other words, 33% of your calories coming from every substrate except, of course, alcohol…  so on a 1200 calorie diet, you could eat 400 calories of protein, 400 calories of carbs, and yes… 400 calories of fats.  Don’t make this crazy hard, or what I call majoring-in-the-minors . Its’s just one meal at a time…

FAT VS MUSCLE PART 2: Is Your Workout Getting You Fat?

As I said in Muscle vs. Fat Part 1, “All excess unused calories will be stored in your body.  It’s up to you HOW they are stored.

Runners Store Fat

Running is an activity, requiring moderate  intensity performed over a longer duration. Runners primarily (especially in highly trained runners) use slow twitch, slow fatiguing muscle fibers.  The primary fuel source for this activity dictated by duration, intensity, and muscles fiber type used is fat stores. As a runner, excess muscle will only slow you down, and protein stores are very heavy and dense and will only yield 4 calories of energy per gram (that’s why a runner’s body typically doesn’t have a lot of muscle – your body doesn’t want it).  In comparison, fat will give the athlete over twice as much energy per gram, and metabolically takes less energy to maintain at rest (this is why your body hoards it, whether you burn it all off running or not).

So even with a higher protein diet, any excess calories stored are prone to be stored as fat.  It is primal…  It is science.  Your body is always efficiently meeting the demands you are putting on it.  Here is what happens…  As your muscle atrophies,  you become lighter, and as you store more fat, you can run longer.  Congratulations, you are now skinnier and fatter.

Your body doesn’t give a crap if you can win a hot body contest. It’s programed to keep you alive despite the demands and tasks you set before it.  How you feel you should look is solely up to psychological and social parameters we put on ourselves.  How you perform, on the other hand,  is up to the demands you put on your body.

Bodybuilders Store Muscle

Building muscle, in a biological environment,  is hard and plays against the odds.  The human body finds very little use for excess muscle as it is dense and not very efficient for survival or providing energy.  Yes, when these proteins are broken down, some of the amino acids can be used on a cellular level, but our body has amino acid pools that already exist for this and are an efficient storage system for this.

Excess striated skeletal muscle is left (stored) as a useless luxury at best.  It’s nice to look at, but after the body has enough skeletal muscle to move and function, the rest becomes very inefficient, energy-wasting luggage we must carry around all day everyday.   In order for you to quit storing much needed valuable fat, in leu of storing heavy useless muscle, you must create an alternate environment that will primally dictate some sort of need,  so your body will begin to store muscle instead of fat.  So, how can we make this happen?

3 ways to Store Muscle NOT Fat:

1. Take away the need for your body to store excess calories as fat. Do not use long bouts of running or moderately intense exercises to control your weight.  Restrict calories instead, and try intervals of sprinting or higher intensity shorter duration activities. (sorry runners)

Quit long distance running > 5 miles.

2. Restrict excess calories.  All excess calories can be stored as fat.  Even if all you eat is pure protein and green vegetables, if you eat more than you burn, you will store these extra calories as fat. We must decrease our sugars and make sure we are getting quality proteins and fats (mono/poly unsaturated fatty acids) to support protein synthesis.

Eat less simple carbohydrates and increase protein if need be.

3.  Train Hard. You won’t store muscle, unless uou give your body a reason and a need to store the extra calories as muscle by,  intense, short duration, resistance training.

Train with resistance and intensity. 

DISCLAIMER FOR HATERS:
This was written with the “big picture in mind and trying to stay under 1000 words,  It would be impossible to site and discuss micro metabolic science within these parameters.  So unless you find something butt-a#* wrong… don’t be a “douschtard”.

FAT VS MUSCLE PART 1: Weighing It Out

“The excess calories we eat, and how we train, determines if our body is going to store our excess calories as fat or muscle, that can later be used as energy if the need arises.”

MYTH BUSTER

The purpose of this blog is to break down some of the controversy and myths about muscle and fat. I want to clarify the different factors our bodies experience in order to gain, or lose, fat and muscle.  Also, we should understand the purpose of muscle and fat as it pertains to biological and  metabolic function.

Before we can continue, I want to differentiate between a pound of fat and a pound of human adipose tissue, as well as, the difference in a pound of muscle and a pound of protein.  But as we do, lets all agree that a pound is a pound is a pound.  Yes?  And science will tell us that 1 pound of anything will equal 453.59 grams when discussing gross weight.

FAT

It isn’t fair to say a pound of body fat is equal to a pound of pure fat.  Body fat is also called adipose tissue and is comprised of about 80% pure fat.  This is where the math finally works out.  If one pound equals 453.59 grams, and 1 gram of fat yields 9.3 calories, then 1 pound of fat should yield 4,218 calories of energy. (1 pound=453.59g’ X 9.3-cal = 4218 calories) Yet, we know a pound of fat only gives us 3500 calories worth of energy.  This is because the fat we are referring to is truly “adipose tissue” which is composed of other cellular derivatives besides just pure fat.

MUSCLE

Here is why simple math just wont work.  Again 1 pound of muscle is 453.59 grams, and if there are 4 calories in 1 gram of protein, 1 pound of muscle would yield 1814 calories of energy, yet it does not.  The real numbers are much smaller and very controversial, but we can ball park it close to 1000 calories when talking about striated skeletal muscle.  Mostly because 1 pound of skeletal muscle is comprised of more than just pure protein.  Just as body fat is only 80% true fat, skeletal muscle is made up of more than just protein.  Muscle tissue would include  glycogen, fat ,and water.  Muscle  is also full of a circulatory network, as well as tendons and other structures that wouldn’t fall into “just protein”.

The good news is we don’t have to kill ourselves to figure all of this out.  You are kidding yourself if you are trying to dissect your calories down to this microbiological level.  Spend your energy on the big picture, which is: What are these two substrates purposed for in our body as they relate to metabolism and building a physically fit physique?  FUEL!

FAT/PROTEIN = FUEL

Fat serves many purposes for the body from protecting our vital organs to providing energy, and muscle provides necessary hormones and cellular structures needed to live, even second to second.  However, for this discussion, fats and proteins are nothing more than fuel sources.  Any and all excess unused calories will be stored in your body.  It’s up to you HOW they are stored. The excess calories we eat and how we train determines if our body is going to store our excess calories as fat or muscle, that can later be used as energy if the need arises.

A FAT BODY
When When you see a 250 pound obese person, do you think that extra adipose tissue is vital for his existence?  Does his body need 100 extra pounds for warmth, digesting vitamins, or neural and cellular function?  The answer is no…

A MUSCULAR BODY
Ok, what about when you see a 250 pound body builder, do you think his body looks at the excess skeletal muscle as vital for life?  He surely doesn’t need 20 inch biceps to sustain life.    The answer is still no.   In each case, their respective bodies have stored the extra calories as either fat or muscle depending on the food and  environment that organism has been subject to.  And the muscle and fat, when needed, will be broken back down and used as life-sustaining energy… nothing more.

FAT VS MUSCLE: PART 2

My next blog will offer tips on how to make sure you store what you WANT, not what your body wants.

DISCLAIMER FOR HATERS:
This was written with the “big picture in mind and trying to stay under 1000 words,  It would be impossible to site and discuss micro metabolic science within these parameters.  So unless you find something butt-a#* wrong… don’t be a “douschtard”.

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