Whenever I do presentations on the topics of exercise, fitness, and strength training, I always run into the same inquiry:
“I love the information! Is there a way you can put the most important points together? You know, something I can refer to and jolt my memory?”
An excellent request but how does one do that and keep it as brief as possible?
Summarizing aspects of exercise science, biomechanics, nutrition, and mindset can get rather touchy since there are so many valid good points. There are hundreds of lists floating around, all equally valid. You will find many variations, and perhaps contradictions among them, but you will also find some common ground.
Many will love this list, many will not, but what’s certain is that there many unavoidable truths in there, and facing truths makes many very uncomfortable.
Regardless, here you go!
1. Visualize the accomplishment of your goals each and every day. Experience the taste of success and feel that sweet satisfaction. That is your own inner battle, nobody can do that for you.
2. If you are just getting started, err on the side of caution. Don’t be hasty in your quest, earn that right! On the other hand, if you have some time under your belt and your body is ready, push the intensity of your workouts. Stay focused and do not waste time.
3. For your meals, use smaller plates and fill it with nutrient dense, calorie dense wholesome foods. The satiety will last longer, you will have greater energy, and believe it or not, you’ll consume fewer calories overall. If you must use a big plate, start with a dense bed of leafy greens and spread your food out evenly. The illusion is more than plenty.
4. Build accountability into your workouts to help you resist the temptation to slack off. Work with a coach either one-on-one or in a group training setting if you need help. Very few can train hard on their own, and even them look for the power of the group of the motivation of professional guidance.
5. Believe in yourself. Know with conviction that you CAN accomplish your goals. Success is a result of mindset and so is failure. Poor mindset is the reason many fail before starting the journey.
6. Drink water throughout your day. Carry a water bottle and opt for water rather than calorie-filled beverages. So simple yet so beneficial.
7. Calorie free does not mean is healthy, let alone good for you! Do you seriously think a can filled with colorants and sweeteners produced in a lab are good for your body?
8. Help is always available. Don’t be afraid or too proud to ask.
9. Is there anything worse than monotonous, steady pace workouts that force you to kill time by reading or watching TV? Ugh! Talk about “Hamster Training”, spinning a wheel mindlessly with no care for what your body is doing. Kill the rut by incorporating bursts of high-pace/high-load intervals into your training. Your workouts will be more productive and enjoyable.
10.It’s not about will-power, it’s about want-power. You have to want it.
11. Think you are eating healthy? If your food comes prepackaged, in an envelope or box, you may want to reconsider. Avoid processed foods! They are high in empty calories and contain a plethora of chemicals harmful to your health.
12. Shut up and move! Stop talking about getting in shape and start doing it.
13. Fat is overall higher in calories but is also nutrient dense. However, this does not mean you can freely splurge on it, so limit the amount you consume to high quality oils and fats. Combine your good fats with your other nutrients for a more complete and satisfying meal.
14. Be wary of products labeled as “health food”. Some of them are pure delusional junk! Remember the 100 Calorie snack packs? A container of 100 trash calories! Always check the content.
15. Find a workout partner who is as committed as you, or better yet, join an exercise group or work with a coach to guarantee dramatic results.
16. Make a habit out of reading nutrition labels. When it comes to ingredients, if you have a hard time reading it, you shouldn’t be eating it.
17. Destroy negative self-talk and remove negative talk out of your life! I have no problem removing whiners, complainers, and energy vampires from my social networks. Life is full of awesome things and potentials, but the whiners don’t want to focus on that, and don’t want others to focus on that either!
18. Avoid the trap of high-calorie beverages! I find it surprising that many folks who count their food calories (a futility by the way) think nothing of splurging high calorie sugary drinks or alcohol.
19. Be consistent with your workouts. Exercise three to four times each week.
20. Expect more of yourself. Aim low, and well, you’ll get there. Aim high so that even should you fall short of your goal, you’ll be a lot higher that you’d ever be by aiming low all the time.
21. High fructose corn syrup should not be in your diet. It is high in calories and will quickly derail your health efforts.
22. Challenge yourself with each workout. Sometimes it will be your body, sometimes it will be your mind. Getting yourself acquainted with challenges will make you a more complete fitness enthusiast.
23. Eat whole plant and animal foods. Your best sources are your local farms, farmers markets, and places that cater to what is locally grown and raised.
24. Avoid the Kool-Aid and keep an open mind. There is nothing wrong with having emotional attachments to a system, approach, place, or person. However, when you start being derisive of other approaches just because they are different, it’s time to take a deep breath and back out!
25. Set specific, measurable goals, but also be flexible. Random is just as unproductive in the long term as strictly sticking to a program, irrelevant of the circumstances!
26. Emphasize every meal! All of them are important and dictate how your body will respond. Having a good breakfast does not give you leeway to eat junk for lunch. There should be nothing refined or processed in your meals, and each one should have a balance of all your important macronutrients to keep you energized and strong.
27. You deserve better…go get it and let No One tell you otherwise.
It is nothing I would call a tremendous breakthrough, but rather, reminders in a world that keeps us distracted with the tasks of daily living. Remember, our health is our most precious possession and the more we take care of it, the happier we’ll be.
Please feel free to add your contributions! I would love to see what you have in mind.
Until next time, happy and safe training.
See you on the exercise floor!