Here’s the latest edition of my regular series of Quick and Easy Health, Physique Transformation and Sports Conditioning tips.
You can put these into action right now to Look, Feel, Move and Perform better.
These tips are organised into 3 different categories:
- General Health & Motivation
- Training (Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, Athleticism & Strength)
General Health & Motivation
‘Tell people your goals to set up external sources of accountability’
Whether you are trying to lose fat, gain muscle, get stronger or more athletic, or accomplish another fitness goal, be sure to tell everyone!
People tend to keep their goals to themselves; they want to quietly make changes.
While this may work for some, the more successful approach is often to tell the world your plans.
When you announce your plans to make a change you instantly set up numerous sources of accountability. You must hold yourself accountable for your actions, but it helps when you know others are also looking to see your progress.
If this is the case, you will be less likely to miss a training session (where others at the gym know your goals), or repeatedly make poor diet choices when you know you are soon meeting up with people who are interested to see how far you have come.
Other ideas include joining a site where people can track your workouts, or doing a blog or weekly Facebook post on your progress.
Training (Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, Athleticism & Strength)
‘Make your “fillers” more effective’
“Fillers” are popular, and for good reason. Everyone is busy, and using them is a terrific way to maximise training efficiency.
So, what’s a “filler”?
“Fillers” are corrective activation, mobility, stability, and motor control drills to be performed in rest periods between sets of an exercise.
They should not be strenuous enough to detract from your program. When used correctly, they can aid in improving movement quality, outputs, and results. In order to make them most effective, fillers should be personalised to fit your body type.
Hypermobile (excessively “loose”) people should spend time getting stable, and hypomobile (“stiff”) people should spend time getting loose.
Loose people are already able to get into just about any range of motion they desire. In fact, they are generally able to get to some ranges that are not desirable. Therefore, they are better served doing corrective activation and stability based drills between sets. This will help them “own” positions better and promote better control within their ranges of motion.
Stiff people, on the other hand, need to fit in extra mobility work as often as possible. Their time is best spent working on various mobility drills, as well as some corrective activation drills. These will help them move better in general, and get into more advantageous positions when performing the exercises in their program.
The drills each population chooses can be individualised based on the needs of the person and/or the demands of the exercise with which they are paired.
Many hypermobile people need better core, hip, and shoulder stability. So, drills like Dead-bugs, Bowler Squats, Scap Wall-Slides, Bodyweight Turkish Get-Ups, and Rotator-Cuff activation drills work great.
Many stiff people could use more thoracic spine (upper back) mobility, hip mobility, and ankle mobility. Drills like ankle, hip, and thoracic spine mobilisations are solid options.
Regardless of your body type, choose variations that don’t compete too heavily with the exercises with which they are paired.
Furthermore, choose variations that hit areas which need extra attention for YOU, or that will aid in YOUR ability to reach good positioning with the exercise in focus.
‘Use a food diary to aid in weight loss’
I recently came across this Science Daily report on a study from The Journal of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The study found that women who used a food diary to monitor daily intake “consistently lost 6lbs more than those who did not”.
It’s always great when research backs up something that you’re already doing.
You see, one of the first things we do with every client for improving nutrition at Results Health & Performance happens before our first session.
Each client fills out a 3-day food diary detailing everything (food and drink) that they consume. This takes less effort than you would think and more often than not, this alone helps raise people’s awareness of how much they are consuming, and of what quality that food/drink is. It never ceases to amaze me how unaware people are until they actually take the time to write it all out.
While the act of filling out a food diary will help initially, in order to use this tool for constant progress I recommend a few key pieces of advice. Likewise, Anne McTiernan PhD, MD, and her colleagues asked the same of the 123 women participants: “Be honest — record everything you eat. Be accurate — measure portions, read labels. Be complete — include details such as how the food was prepared, and the addition of any toppings or condiments. Be consistent — always carry your food diary with you or use a diet-tracking application on your smart phone…”
Pay close attention to being honest, accurate and complete. Many diets fail when people are unaware of extra calories coming from condiments, dressings, or inaccurate portion estimates.
Using a food diary is certainly not something one needs to continue for an extended period of time. Simply keep an accurate journal long enough to help you know what “right” looks like and it will kick-start your nutrition progress.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the latest edition of my regular series and found it useful.
Thanks for reading and please do share with anyone else you know will benefit!
P.S. – to access every installment of my regular ‘Quick and Easy Ways to Look, Feel & Perform Better’ series, click here.