Tag Archives: diets

How To Crush 2017

“There is no other road to to genius than voluntary self effort”

– Michael Gerber

I’ve heard it all. The same ol’ story that leaves us with the same ol’ results. All valid mind you, your daughter absolutely needed to get to her music lesson, your wife or husband was actually sick and left you with all the house choirs, that email you’ve been waiting for actually did come in just as you were walking out of the door.

Basically, life happens and will continue to happen. The choice we all have is whether life is happening with us or to us. You may not like to hear that, but it isn’t just coincidence that some of the most powerful and busy people in the world like Barak Obama, Tony Robins and Steve Aoki prioritize exercise into their daily routine.

I believe that their ability to achieve greatness and most importantly sustain it is in large part due to their adherence to health and fitness. So, how do we, the average person find time to make health and fitness a priority in our life? I believe the real question is about energy; what produces it and how we can cultivate it?

First of all, the ego craves the status quo, and if left unchecked will continue to make self limiting, fear based choices that suck the energy right out of us. Until the ego is checked and under control, we will jump from excuse to excuse as to why someone is able to achieve physical, financial and spiritual success but not us. Trapping ourselves right where we are.

It’s the story that we tell ourselves about who we are and what we’re capable of that creates the self limited belief system that forms the basis of our decision making. Even when we know we need to change, that we hate our current circumstance and want to be better most of us just won’t make a move because no matter how terrible it is, its what we know, and that’s comfortable. When opportunity presents itself we suddenly catch a bad case of performance paralysis and stand blinking like deer in headlights unable to take a chance.

Change is hard. Trust me I know, but it also happens to be the only constant in life. So, if we’re to succeed at anything we must become pros at spotting when its time to make a move and take action.

We get stuck in our thinking that we can’t be more because that would involve doing more, and who has time for that? How am I supposed to carve out an hour a day for exercise when I barely have time to do all the other things in my life? Fair question, and if you can honestly say you spend zero time on social media, binge watching television or other idle/ low value activities then touché, you got me there. However, we both know thats probably not true.

The American dream has created a culture that idolizes hard work, pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and burning the midnight oil. Its not surprising then that few of us want to admit that we spend on average 20-50% of our day on mindless entertainment. Nobody is saying you shouldn’t enjoy a good television episode after a long day. Hell, that’s one of the pleasures of life, but that episode, cheat meal, glass of wine or any other indulgence will be ten times more enjoyable when you’ve taken care of your health and well-being first.

So often I’ve hid from doing what was necessary in order to become the man I knew I could be. I had no other reason than simply believing the story I was telling myself that I couldn’t pile anything else on to my already busy schedule. Only after taking action did I find that in fact choosing to do more was the very thing that expanded my capacity to be more. This is one of life’s paradoxes and this realization only comes after I got out of my own way and drop the self limiting beliefs that plague so many of us. Good ideas are a dime a dozen, but life meets you at action.

Once we commit to being more, huge obstacles suddenly fall seamlessly into place and clear our path to greatness. It seems counter intuitive but structure and commitment is what sets us free. Conversely, avoiding structure and avoiding commitment keeps us trapped in the throws of life unable to break through.

When we prepare our meals in advance we no longer waste our time and energy hungry and scrambling last minute for food. When we create a schedule for ourselves and time block what matters most to us we no longer mindlessly engage in low value activities. This creates the freedom to flourish personally and professionally. Things like exercise become non-negotiable. If you continue to let life happen to you then your inner dialogue will always be correct; you don’t have time, money, energy etc.. Basically, you can not be the person you know you should be because you’re still doing the same things that keep you the person you are.

As Lau Tzu said “When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.”

Spending your day visualizing health, happiness and abundance for all, doesn’t mean shit unless you take that first step. There’s nothing magical about it really. It’s pure logic. Whether you’re an athlete or a couch potato the journey to greatness only varies by scale. There is always the next level, the next step and it’s up to us to not succumb to complacency and fall into the never ending rat-race where the average person spends a lifetime woking 60 hours a week so they can impress coworkers and neighbors with their car, house, wardrobe etc… Even if it means they gain weight rapidly due to lack of sleep, high cortisol levels from stress, too many stimulants and unhealthy foods that just turn into a means of satisfying hunger rather than nourish their body.

100,000 years ago if you were lucky enough to be born bigger, curvy,  stronger or well endowed you had a good chance of procreating and passing along your genes to the next generation. It was survival of the fittest in it’s most raw form. Now a days things are a little different. Its no longer simply physical prowess that determines your future lineage, its mental. And the part that is physical only applies to our overall state of health and well-being with the slight chance that we’ll ever need to use our physicality in a survival situation. So, if its all about health then why bother achieving the upper echelons of performance? Because of the simple truth that it’s always better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have.

There’s arguably no bigger turn off than a macho douchebag picking fights with smaller guys and therefor nothing more satisfying than that smaller guy surprising everyone with his strength and ability to defend himself. Just as with keeping our minds engaged with books, blogs and seminars so too should we adopt a general physical preparedness program to our routine that keep us ready for life’s unknowns.

Now get out there and crush it.

Justin


Add 2 Years to Your Life

How many hours do you sit in a day?

  • 1 hour in the morning while you get ready for work
  • 30 minutes in the car to work
  • 8 hours while you’re at work
  • 30 minutes on the drive home
  • 1 hour at the table for dinner
  • 2 hour the couch while you close out the day?

Crazy when you think about it that way, huh? That’s 13 hours!

If this sounds anything like you then I’m going to make the assumption you’re in a little back/neck/hip pain.

Rarely is back pain ever caused by the back itself. Pain in your back is a symptom of poor hip/shoulder mobility and movement patterns. If the muscles in your hip (mainly hamstrings, quadriceps, Gluteus, adductor and flexers) are stiff or inhibited then your lower back is recruited by your brain to pick up the slack.

The number one cause of this is prolonged sitting. Dr. Peter T. Katzmarzyk, lead researchers on a study to determine the effects of prolonged siting and sedentary behavior that was featured in the July 10th, 2012 issue of the Wall Street Journal. He estimates sitting for 3 hours or more a day can decrease your life expectancy by 2 years. Even of you’re physically active, eat well and do not smoke or drink.

By my estimations this is nearly the entire developed world. Myself included. Siting inhibits your glutes, which are the main muscles responsible for extending your hips when you run, walk, stand, lunge, jump, kick etc.. So when you sit on these poor guys all day your body, the clever creature it is starts recruiting other muscles to do the job. Over time this leads to a cascade of postural issues and cause pain when you do just about anything but sit so sitting becomes the dominate position your body feels best in.

Since we know that movement is the number 1 thing we can do to heal and rejuvenate our body it would make since then that the opposite is also true. A sedentary lifestyle will slowly kill us.

The best thing you can do for your hips and back is to be active and move every hour. give your mind and body a quick reset from your work and hop up, do a set of 20 lunges, walk around the block and stretch your legs every hour or so. A little goes a long a way and can significantly decrease your changes of falling victim to a sedentary death trap.

Try it for a day and see how you feel. I’m willing to bet you’ll feel an improvement after just one time.

Let me know how it goes!

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Lose Weight Fast With a Zone Paleo Hybrid

Hey tribe, question for ya…

What motivates you to get to the gym everyday? Health? Strength and stamina? What about looking good in a bathing suit? For that matter, how about looking good naked? Bingo!

That’s totally ok.. It’s not a bad thing to want to look good. Appearance is a powerful motivator. Obviously it can be taken too far as with anything, but I think its fair to say that one of the biggest reasons we get our butts to class day in and day out, put ourselves through the wringer with exercise and diet is to make us feel more confident about our appearance.

We all have desires; career, relationship, personal, etc. Coming into this world to create the life we want and mastering one’s self is the code we get to spend our lifetime cracking.

That means what you choose to eat is just as important as what you choose to do for a living or how you choose to spend your free time. All too often I see members and clients alike showing up to workout with admirable consistency, yet remain physically unchanged after months, sometimes years of dedicated training.

A little subtle probing almost always reviles the answer; poor diet. Not surprising really, and theoretically easy to fix. However, we are creatures of habit, and despite our best intentions we all too often resort back to default patterns.

So, what do we do?

Given the undisputed evidence supporting a sound diet, first we need to get clear on what diet is going to best support our unique goals and body type. Next, we need to set ourselves up for success.

Don’t look at a new diet as a complete sea change that happens overnight. Otherwise you’ll be left with a formidable void that will no doubt find you in a moment of weakness elbow deep in a box of your favorite snack just days into your resolution.

Instead, think of crowding out the bad with the good. For example: Just commit to eating a salad everyday. Once that becomes the new norm try adding in a few extra glasses of water throughout your day. Once thats no longer a problem, incorporate eggs or a protein shake for breakfast, and Presto!

Within a few short weeks your new diet is in full effect with no trace of that evil void.

Once you’ve reached the basics of nutrition I just mentioned and are ready to take it to the next level, there are 2 diets in my opinion as a trainer for 10 years that have reigned supreme in terms of efficacy and overall heath.

Paleo and Zone

First, lets talk Paleo

In a nut shell (no pun intended) its meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and some fruit. The idea being that we as humans did the majority of our genetic evolution during the paleolithic area where our hunter/gatherer ancestors lived mainly from tracking and eating plants and animals.

Makes sense, right? Especially when you consider how long evolution takes to make a significant change in a species and the fact that in parts of Africa there are still hunter gatherer tribes alive today.

In the book “Born to run” author Christopher Mcdougall lays out a compelling case that humans are in fact, endurance predators. With our unique self cooling ability to sweat combined with our Achilles tendon and nuchal ligaments which are mainly found on running animals, along with both type 1 & type 2 muscle fibers.

Type 1 being for long distance running and type 2 being for explosive sprints or “going in for the kill” as McDougall calls it.

A study in the Journal Of Applied Physiology Vol. 104 compliments this theory by showing the surge in hormones we experience while sprinting. Quadrupeds (4 legged animals) especially hoofed ones have no ability to self cool as they run and therefor can only run short distances before they must stop to recover, giving humans (or endurance predators) the evolutionary advantage when it came to tracking and catching them. We would literally run them to death.

In my opinion this diet works wonders for people looking to drop weight and get healthy. The biggest reason is because there are no grains or sugar which are arguably the biggest cause of our current health epidemics. Once you become “fat adapted” as Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple calls it, you turn into a fat burning machine.

However, I think even Sisson would agree that an “ultra low carb diet” under 100 grams a day, isn’t necessarily the best option for performance athletes. For this I would recommend:

The ZONE Diet

This ones a little trickier. It involves a calorie ratio of 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat, eaten in portions called “blocks”.

Each block consists of 9g of carbs, 7g of protein and 3g of fat. The number of blocks you eat depends on your size.

All foods are categorized and its up to you to pick the type of proteins/carbs/fats you wish to eat and measure them out in proper potion sizes bases on the number of blocks you should be eating. You need a healthy foundation in task management for this one. However, if you are an athlete who’s exerting energy as fast as you’re consuming it, then this diet may give you the competitive edge you need to keep performing.

The reason I wouldn’t recommend the 40/30/30 ratio or “zone” diet unless you’re consistently training hard 4 or more times a week is because carbohydrates are fast energy, pure and simple.

Unfortunately our evolution hasn’t caught up to modern abundance yet, and therefor our bodies are still wired for scarcity. Meaning that as a survival mechanism we store that extra unused energy (carbs) as body fat until the day comes when we need it. The reality is that day rarely, if ever comes, but the stockpile keeps building.

The Ultimate Combo Zone AND Paleo (Zoleo?)

Personally, what works great for me is a hybrid between the two. I avoid grains especially ones containing gluten, but because I am a coach, athlete and inherently thin guy, I maintain a moderate level of carbohydrates in my daily diet. I keep it around 150 grams a day. Mainly from yams, rice and some fruit. I try to keep my protein levels north of 150 grams a day and eat all the nuts and vegetables I want.

If you look at ZONE and Paleo as dietary parameters, or a continuum of sorts, you can gage which direction to lean toward based on your exertion levels. For instance; If your goal is pure performance then you might want to turn your dial more towards Zone, but if you look at exercise a bit more casually, but want to stay trim then shifting your diet towards Paleo will be your best option. If you’re like me then you’ll most likely land somewhere in the middle.

Happy eating


Superior Nutrition with KJ SuperFoods

For years I have been a big fan of super foods. Considering the amount of toxins our bodies go to battle with on a daily basis such as air pollution, chemicals in our water, preservatives, hormones and antibiotics in our food, it is crucial that we keep our bodies nourished to the best of our abilities. However, sometimes it’s just not possible to eat as many fruits and vegetables as we know we should. For this reason my partner and I created KJ SuperFoods. A nutritional supplement made straight from our earth consisting of 13 organic, wild harvested and chemical free herb, vegetable, algae and fruit ingredients. One serving gives your body 100% of every vitamin and mineral it needs for the entire day. Unlike most grocery store vitamins, KJ SuperFoods assimilates in minutes delivering dense nutrition that your body recognizes as being grown from the earth not in a laboratory. Check it out and see for yourself how noticeably better you’ll feel after all your nutritional requirements have been met.

To your health


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