We’re officially in fitness scumbag season. Horrible DVDs, terrible home products, get lean quick pills, gym sales guy in an extra medium polo, cleanses and products are about to flood your magazines and televisions. Big Fitness wants you to believe you have to buy all this crap in order to reach your goals in 2013.
Well, you don’t. It’s really quite simple when you strip all of the clutter, trim back the claims and studies, remove the fine print and focus on what matters.
1. If it grows from soil, walks on all fours or swims, eat it.
2. If it’s made in a laboratory or factory and longer than two ingredients, don’t eat it.
3. Eat as many color vegetables as possible.
4. Eat meat. And plenty of it.
5. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t starve yourself.
6. If your goal is fat loss, don’t eat carbs. If it’s strength, muscle growth or endurance, eat a lot of them.
7. Don’t expect running to produce body changing results. Running doesn’t tone you or target the specific muscle fibers needed to genetically shift body composition. It’s science.
8. Lift weights. Definitely two days a week, preferably four.
9. Having a seizure in your living room and arbitrarily winding yourself is not the same thing.
10. Do squats, cleans, presses and deadlifts. If you don’t know how, join a gym that can teach you or workout with a friend that can show you.
11. Swing kettlebells.
12. Run sprints.
13. Do pull-ups.
14. Swing hammers and flip tires.
15. Save your carbs for post-workout.
16. Push the envelope. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
17. DVDs will never replace four walls and a gym full of authentic free weights. I don’t care what kind of results your friend’s cousin achieved.
18. Get more sleep. When you’re tired, your cortisol is elevated. Cortisol promotes fat storage.
19. Take scheduled 5 minute “clear your head breaks” at work every few hours. When you’re stressed, your cortisol is elevated. See: get more sleep.
20. Get a workout partner that’s on your same page. Hold each other accountable.
21, If you’re fat, you don’t get cheat meals. You earn those after you lose the weight you want.
22. Don’t let negative people distract you.
23. Don’t drink calories. Water, tea and coffee. Maybe a vodka soda or two. That’s your list. No one cares that you like to drink wine.
24. Cook stuff in coconut oil or 100% real butter.
25. Track your workouts and improve something each session.
26. Lift heavy weights.
27. Write your program ahead of time or have someone else do it for you. Any planning is better than no planning. Professional planning is better than your planning.
28. Don’t work out in And1 shorts.
29. Or high tops.
30. Don’t determine your own success by comparison against others. Professional competitors base their lives around fitness and typically have hard wired genetics for what they are competing. Don’t benchmark yourself against a professional. Have very aggressive goals, but make them within reason.
31. Don’t use machines.
32. Unless you’re a beginner.
33. The treadmill was invented as a tool for hard labor. Just saying.
35. Don’t count calories.
36. Train with people better than you.
37. Train your weaknesses, not your strengths.
38. Cook all of your meals.
39. Shop the outer ring of the grocery store.
40. Stay out of the aisles.
41. Drink milk if you want to get bigger and stronger.
42. Get a sound squat and deadlift.
43. If it has a mascot, don’t eat it.
44. If it promotes the healthy ingredients it contains, don’t buy it. Real food doesn’t need labeling.
45. Prioritize self improvement over how fast you finish your workout. A time is just a number, challenge yourself on the weight and movements.
46. Don’t eat stuff from a can with the exception of coconut milk and sardines.
47. Take fish oil.
48. Plan what time you’re going to the gym the day a day in advance.
49. Bring your lunch to work.
50. You don’t need a gym bag the size of a midget filled with stuff you don’t need and things you don’t use in order to change your body.
51. Focus on horsepower before you get rims. Get your squat and deadlift to respectable levels before worrying about accessorizing, if strength is a goal.
52. You can always do more, go harder, go further, train longer, lift heavier and eat better than you think are capable. Some fit people are genetic freaks, most just work harder than the average person. Lose the average mindset, lose the average body.
53. Work hard, commit and stay patient.
Good luck. Go get it.
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