Previously, in Part 1 of Christmas Hacks, we talked about the Eating aspect related to staying on track towards your fat-loss and performance goals. In this section, I’ll get right into the Training + Movement aspects to focus on during the next 2 weeks of gluttony, over-indulgence and sloth that come along with the Holidays.
1. BODY AS ONE PIECE
2. MOVE FAST AND SLOW
Aerobic training, which is slow and long over time at low intensities does much for recovery. Whether “recovery” is from the previous day’s “Strength/Power/Resistance/I did weights” programming or “recovery” is from simply being inactive or missing training sessions during the holidays – Moving slow and low does wonders for the body when it has rust to kick off and rids fogginess of the mind. “low and slow” DIRECTLY trains your aerobic capabilities while indirectly enhancing your anaerobic capabilities.
“So what is it, JD? High Intensity or Low Intensity. Make up your mind!”, you might be thinking.
Whether it’s treadmill Hill Sprints interspersed with treadmill walking OR Kettlebell Snatches interspersed with Planks OR Sled Pushes interspersed with walks – I aim to Work and Rest in an Interval Training format no longer than a brief 15 minute session. I’m in, I’m out and I’m feeling refreshed knowing that I not only got the best of both Anaerobic and Aerobic Worlds, but I’m strutting out of the gym knowing that I’m a Caloric furnace, even hours after I’ve left the gym.
3. BE MINDFUL
If it’s one thing I’ve learned from the current and last 4 months of weightlifting under my coach, it’s that focus is everything. You might think that clearing your mind is simply too new age for you, but TRUST ME, a mind is a terrible thing to waste (in the gym).
Focus your mind to complete your lift.
BEING MINDFUL, might be a hard concept to swallow, but BEING MINDFUL in the context of your training and especially during the Holiday season is exactly what your mind and body crave.
If you’re not able to do yoga or set aside 10 minutes daily for personal meditation time, then focus on your lifts if you’re a lifter; Visualize.
You need and owe it to yourself to DECOMPRESS your mind.
Face it, socializing, shopping, wrapping, praising/worshipping and even eating/boozing all take a lot of work and drain your body and headspace.
4. TAKE A HIKE
Get out of the stuffy restaurant or home of your hosts; tell them you have to take a call or have taken up smoking (Don’t actually do it) or forgot something in the car. Go Walk. You need fresh air and your guts inside of you need to digest, which simply isn’t efficient when you go sit or lay down.
5. SLEEP + RECOVER
Your body needs to digest and heal itself, not only from your training, but from your holiday food and drink. Give yourself enough hours after socializing and late night partying to rest properly.
In regards to recovery – as always, tack on some mobility/flexibility and release into your training and day. Enhance your performance by noting that you’ve likely missed training days, modified training days or overtrained when you were able to fit in a training day, as a means of compensation. The end result is rust and really, soreness. Do the things you know you need to do in order to RECOVER.
Remember, the goal is Performance and Fat-loss, Not zero training or mediocrity in training.
These are just a few important Training + Movement Guidelines to Hack Your Programming with amidst the Partying.
Merry Christmas to all and Have and Healthy and Happy 2016.
Evolve or Die.
Rounding out 2015, we’ve arrived at what could be the hardest two weeks of the entire year.
Face it, if you’ve been on a strategic meal plan or training regimen, for weeks/months up to now, then NOW is the time when you’re most likely to fall off.
In part 1 of this series here are 5 Eating strategies to implement and execute during the Holidays that’ll keep you on track towards your training and performance goals.
It also serves as an opportunity to show others that you actually care to share your healthy lifestyle with them. Face it – for a lot of your friends and family, YOU may be the only exposure into the health and fitness world that they have. Be brave and proactive; be the gateway and expose them to the concept and truth that eating well can be delicious and enjoyable, too. Who the hell wants to eat JUST grilled chicken breast on a bed of steamed frozen veg, anways? JUST. EAT. REAL. FOOD.
Try an intermittent fast for a day or two leading up to the parties and thereafter. Establish a fasting window time frame where the only thing you put through your GI-tract is water. Set this to about 16h. Yes, 16h of no food.
This, of course, can and should be included with your sleep time. The remaining 8h will be called your “feeding” window. Include your party, luncheon/dinner and drinks consumption, here.
I’ve been a true believer and advocate of Fasting for a few years now, even practicing it through different training phases and times of the year. It enhances performance, helps with overall digestion and health; but that’s another entire blog entry to be talked about. Google here, for details and studies.
4. PLANTS + PROTEIN
At minimum, 1/2 of your plate should strive to be stacked with plants of some sort. This will help with digestion, help you obtain all of those healthy minerals and vitamins to be strong like the Hulkster, and balance out the possible refined/pro-inflammatory foods you might ingest (alcohol/carbs/meats)
Also, on the other 1/2 (or less) of your plate, emphasize real sources of protein and lean sources of protein and healthy fats. If you’re vegan/vegetarian, paleo/primal, let’s all agree here towards the fact that real sources of protein and healthy fats are best, while refined/processed are terrible. High protein foods along with stacks of plants on your plate will leave you full, hydrated and well-nourished. Indirectly, it’ll leave little to no room for heavy carbs and desserts.
Don’t be a blacksheep and/or feel uncomfortable. Oppositely, don’t be the source of other people feeling discomfort with their choices. Rather, lead by example and stay true to your needs without being dogmatic about food. Holidays are for enjoyment; the term “enjoyment’ as defined by your needs and perception, subjectively.
I know that the holidays can be a hard time when you’re striving towards fat-loss, hitting a new PR in your lifts or simply be healthier, but only if you make it that way.
If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.
Evolve or Die.
These are all arguments that have been going on forever.
My take: your squat is based on your needs.
Want massive legs and definition?
We’ve been squatting since we came into this world and nobody taught us how.
But in terms of the lifting aspect of a barbell squat…where did it start? Why did it start?
Always dig and know your ‘WHY’? It will make you more passionate and connected to your lifting.
I love this stuff. Enjoy.
Craft Your Lift.
My new love is the Snatch. Its variations include, but are not limited to the Power Snatch and even the Snatch High Pull.
Whatever the case, the Snatch is a lift of beauty displaying not only Power, but precision and technique.
That said, here are the top 10 alternatives for any athlete looking to gain the benefits of Power/Speed Strength without having to learn the technical aspects of a Barbell Snatch.
6. Broad Jumps
4. Depth Jumps
1. Box Jumps
I wouldn’t recommend putting all of the above, let alone more than 3 exercises together in a training session. Oppositely, any of these exercises performed individually within a program over time with gradual progressions and loads will benefit any athlete looking to improve their Power Development (Jumping, Sprinting, Striking, Lifting).
Keep these in mind and you’ll be tearing it up on the field, the platform and in life in no time.
Evolve or Die.
Video Piece on Legendary Strongman, Bill Kazmaier.
He seems like a gentle giant…but remember, don’t mistake kindness for weakness.
I heard he’s coming to town. Hmm?
Strength Seekers, in training, as in eating well, as in sleeping, as in studying, as in saving money and investing – it gets hard.
Sometimes, we get lazy. I’m not really sure what steps we took to carve out this path of Sloth, but I’ll share a powerful video and concept that’ll hopefully light a fire underneath your ass and get you going.
Here, the SealFit Coach + Commander, Mark Divine breaks down, Laziness as, “A Feeling of Incompetence”.
CONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE (+ REALIZATION)
CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE (+COURAGE)
UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE (+MASTERY)
Hopefully, a brief understanding of where we fall within this continuum helps you as much as it helps me.
Bruce was always concerned with efficiency and effectiveness in the martial arts, strength training and movement, in general. Aside from being well-read into his books regarding philosophy, martial arts and nutrition, Bruce read tons into Kinesiology/Physical Education and Physiology.
Here’s a small slice of Bruce’s training that would be a great template for all Strength Seekers involved in the martial arts, Strength Sports and Bodybuilding and general fitness.
“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
Movember is just around the corner, and if you’ve spotted me at the head of your class, or in a one-on-one setting, just the same, then you’ve caught my face-fur harvesting in progress. This lack of contact with my razor, is all a means of setting the groundwork for Movember, when I’ll be raising funds towards Prostate Cancer Research, as well as doing everything in my power to create an awareness towards men’s health. My moustache, during this time will literally and symbolically, change the face of Men’s Health, while creating awareness and solidarity surrounding the matter.
One of the initiatives in this year’s Movember 2013, is “MOVE“.
MOVE is pretty much a call to arms for all Mo’Bros and Mo’Sistahs supporting the Movember Movements. It demands that each and every one of us, literally “Move” – in all forms.
In other words, it’s physical activity; it’s MOVEMENT; something that will make all of our lives that much better in quality and hopefully, longer.
I, therefore challenge all of you, men and women Strength Seekers out there to get off your asses at some point for duration of Movember and Move.
Watch the video below for details + Stay Twuned to all of JD Training’s Social Media for tips and propaganda surrounding this very important Movement next month…
Evolve or Die.
1. IT STARTS THE SUNDAY NIGHT
2. BE WISE, EARLY RISE
3. WALK OR HIKE
4. MIX UP A COLD, ENERGIZING SMOOTHIE
5. WRITE DOWN AND MAP OUT YOUR WAR STRATEGY
Have A Strong Monday.
The problem with our thinking is that we see too much of the hurdles and effort required to achieve all of the above.
In saving money, we believe that we have to save 100s or 1000s of dollars at a time. We feel we have to pay just the same amount of cash, effort and attention towards our debts and loans.
The same can be said for health and fitness-oriented goals in life.
If we’re overfat, seemingly “unfit” or lacking in core strength and range of motion, we view the climb in all of its entirety.
Before even getting started, we mistakingly forecast and waste our time looking at the pitfalls of weekend junk food binge eating, birthdays and cake, late nights spent during overtime at work and lack of time to prepare food, that are ahead. We think of the cost of “healthy groceries” and where that money might better spent towards. We look at the early hours we’ll have to set our alarm clocks to, just in order to get up and reach the gym to actually exercise and train. We then wonder, “what’s the point?…why even bother?…”
Fact of the matter is, this is what I call “Getting Ready (To Get Ready) Symdrome”.
We’re taking too long expecting perfect conditions, circumstances and alignment of the stars to start doing what we ought to be doing immediately.
Friends and Strength-Seekers, whether it’s landing your dream career or vacation or having that perfect healthy, fit and capable body, just get started on the path NOW. I mean physially, actively and aggressively — start ACTION now.
It sounds cliche, but Nike had it right with their marketing campaign, commanding you to “Just Do It.”
A dollar a day counts and goes way further than waiting for that perfect time to suddenly find $10,000 in your bank account.
Cutting back just 1/2 of your grains at lunch and dinner, replacing them with whole, natural foods, like fruits and veggies or even quality protein, will have tons more of an effect than trying to buy the most perfect organic, free-range, hormone-free, sustainable groceries, supplements, cooking utensils, books and classes en route to eating “clean” (whatever that Hell that means, nowadays).
Getting your ass up, actually, better yet – Jumping your ass out of bed, into your car and starting your Joint Mobility Work at the gym before your training session will kick start your day. Get FIRED UP.
Refer to this post, constantly.
The Mind and Body work together; synergistically and symbiotically.
Every horse starts wild, before they’re trained to pull a carriage.
It’s what I promote during your low and high points of training,
Stop getting ready to get ready. Stop being paralyzed while wasting time to analyze.
Start Action Now.
Small pieces of the puzzle everyday add up and create the bigger picture, friends.
Evolve or Die.