It is evident by the increase in traffic and purchases over the last few weeks that many of you intend to maintain the age old tradition of physical transformation this coming New Years. Although many consistent athletes make a mockery of this January onslaught of resolutioners I personally believe that this is the beginning of a new lifestyle for many that will lead to ongoing health and fitness including a higher quality of life, self image and strength to last a lifetime. Even if only 10% maintain their resolution into the latter months of the year, that means thousands of people will have taken control of their health and habits and undoubtably extend their life and health span for a life time.
Not everyone shows up on Jan.2nd with the same goals so we decided to offer a couple of key tips to help you reach your potential without drawn out confusing topics that ignore the basic tenets that have delivered results to all who have already obtained success in health and fitness.
I can assume that the vast majority of people that begin a exercise regime this New Year's will fall into 1 of the following 4 categories:
1. Fat Loss
2. Muscle Building and Strength
3. Cardiovascular Health
4. Mobility and Injury Rehab
Some key tips below.....
- You must maintain a CALORIE DEFICIT every single day for weeks on end. Please do not crash diet which ruins your metabolism and STOP CHEATING, you know who you are! This is not forever but it is for weeks. So stop snacking and cut the calories; it is that simple.
- Up your PROTEIN. When you're in a calorie deficit your will burn muscle. Up that PROTEIN especially at breakfast and hold on to as much muscle as possible.
- LONG FORM ZONE 2 CARDIO. This form of cardio oxidizes fat stores specifically for fuel and is the basis for long term cardio vascular health. By all means add in some HIIT but not at the detriment of the ZONE 2 work. This means you should be able to have a conversation and maintain the same pace for a minimum of 30 mins. If your muscles are burning hard you are not in Zone 2. Higher intensity cardio begins to use a higher percentage of stored sugar for energy and less fat is oxidized.
MUSCLE BUILDING AND STRENGTH
- You must maintain a CALORIE SURPLUS every week for weeks on end. You can implement a deficit day here and there and still build muscle but it is better to keep the calories above your baseline.
- Up your FAT, CARBS AND PROTEIN by stealing food off the plate of your fat loss friend. Keep the food healthy but of course add in some sweetness to ensure the gains.
- Don't commit GLUTTONY. You need a surplus and for everyone that is different. But you dont want to pack on tons of fat and a little muscle. 1-2 lbs per week is awesome. Anything more is detrimental to long term health.
- Take CREATINE. If you start creatine expect 3-5 additional lbs over a couple a weeks. This is water and energy storage not fat, so dont be concerned.
- Train your TENDONS AND LIGAMENTS first. Don't train to failure if you haven't been lifting leading up to New Year's. Strengthen your joints by keeping the reps higher, a liitle deeper and practice form. This will keep your from having to take steps backward due to sprains and strains.
- ZONE 2 is long form cardio mentioned above. This trains your heart muscle and teaches your body how to utilize fat for fuel. It also helps your recover faster. You must put in the time, so put your phone away and zone out.
- ZONE 3 is lactate threshold. This pushes up your ability to maintain a higher pace and teaches your cells to use glycogen as fuel. A great way to burn storage carb in your muscle and make you feel leaner instantly. Pick a pace you can maintain for 3-10 mins, rest for 1-2 mins, then do it again for a few rounds.
- ZONE 4 AND 5 brings you into HIIT training. Hard for 30 secs to 3mins, rest for equal time, the go again for a few rounds. This will build the burn in your muscle and teach your body to use lacate for fuel. HIIT has been shown to spike Growth Hormone and builds massive power and muscle in your legs
MOBILITY AND INJURY REHAB
- Practice MOBILITY WORK AND STRETCHING 4-7 days a week minimum. The sheer amount of these videos is a blessing and a curse. Find a couple whole body routines you like on youtube, download or save those videos, and repeat the same one over and over. I subscribe to Strength Side on youtube.
- Be PATIENT. These adaptations take a very long time. Every centimeter you gain in mobility and range is a huge win and translates to a lifetime of better mobiilty that future you will be very grateful for. Please stick with it and know that it does pay off, its just hard to notice sometimes.
- LOAD THE END RANGE. Don't just stretch and crouch into deep positions and hang there. You need to load the end range with some weight or just contract and relax. Teach your body it is safe there, play aroud in deep positions!
- Find a KINESIOLOGIST. Basically a kinesiologist is a personal trainer with a Bachelors degree. Club 16 has kinesiologists through Elevation Rehab that can be afforded at a very decent rate and they can teach you how to work around and rehab an injury without aggravating to the point you need to regress. If your have an ICBC injury you are pre-approved.
Just because some huge percentage of resolutioners drop off after a few months that doesn't have to be you. I look forward to all of you finding a deep love for fitness and the body you have been given. Treat yourself well in 2023 and have an amazing New Year with Friend and Family.