My motto when it comes to training? Keep it simple. Stay consistent. It’s great to want to try new things, but the more consistent you are with your strength goals, the stronger you will get. When I was younger, I used to complain to my mom that I was bored. She would look at me and say, “You’re not bored. You’re boring.” And she was right. I was boring. I wanted to be entertained by her. Don’t look to be entertained. (I worked for a club once as a cycle instructor and the word “extertainment” was an actual word the group fitness director used when referring to the group fitness classes and how they were supposed to be taught. I wanted to throw up in my mouth then. It still makes me want to throw up.) Look to get strong. Look to get that headstand or bodyweight deadlift. Look to being able to do 10 push ups or 5 unassisted chin ups. Too many trainers feel the need to entertain you with new tricks because they think you will get “bored” with just doing squats. Guess what? You do not need to be entertained!!! It should not be about getting bored. It should be about making progress. And the only way to get better at something, is to do it over and over again. Because then you get better. You get stronger. You get faster. You start to move better. We live in an age where we are constantly entertained – TV, the internet, Facebook, Pinterest. Don’t let it interfere with your training. If you are playing the “dosomethingdifferenteverydaybecauseidontwanttogetboredgame,” just understand that having your hands in too many fitness jars may derail your efforts or goals, not help them. Stay focused. Stay consistent. And most importantly, train smart. 😉
This also applies to eating. Don’t over complicate things. Keep it simple. And stay consistent. Eat whole foods. Eat protein. Whether it is animal or plant protein, eat your protein. If it is plant, you will have to get a little creative with your eating to make sure you are getting enough protein. Eat your vegetables. Eat fruit. Eat less packaged goods, fewer processed foods. Watch your alcohol intake. Eat when you are hungry. EAT. If going for 5 hours without eating works for you, do it. If you are starving after two hours though, take a look at what you are eating and how much you are eating. You may need to work on eating more or eating better (ie. nutrient dense foods) that will keep you satiated longer. Remember, eating is not rocket science. It’s about how much you eat and how often you eat. And it’s also about how often you move. People want to over analyze eating. Want to lose weight? Take out the non-essentials. What are the non-essentials you may ask? You know, the “extras” as my husband likes to call them. The “did I really need to eat that after I just ate lunch a half an hour ago?” extras.
Here are a few of my “extras”:
1. Trail mix (that I know I am not eating a 1/4 cup of, the actual serving.)
2. Peanut butter, almond butter, any and all nut butters. (Again, I am not really eating two tablespoons, the actual serving. I mean come on now…..Who does that?)
3. The “healthy” baked goods that I have been baking up a storm…..the oat bars, banana bars, pumpkin bars, breakfast “cookies,” the list goes on and on…
Sure, they are healthier versions of what you buy in the store, but that does not give me license to *cough,* eat them in two days….as I like to do. 😉
These are my “extras” that I find I can eat a lot of and that I don’t necessarily need. These are my non-essentials. They are oh so delicious and yummy and tasty and what I crave. But they should not be my essentials. But if I am trying to lose a little fat, shed a little winter coat, these may have to go….for the time being. Not to say I will never eat them again…but I know that they are extras and extras, when consumed too much, can lead to well, you know what, especially if I am not watching how much I am moving or eating in other areas. Sigh. Is it really that simple? Yes. Move more. (Lift weights.) Eat less. (Take out the extras.)
Take home message: Train smart. Keep it simple: Squat (barbell, goblet, split squat -whatever. Just do it.) Press (barbell, kettlebell, dumbbell.) Deadlift (barbell, trap bar, kettlebell, single leg. Do it.) And for the love of all that is great on this earth – ROW. Face pulls. Single arm rows. TRX. Bands. T-bar. I don’t care. But work your back. Because no one ever does and everyone should. Work on your push ups…the right way, please. Work on your chin ups (I know I need to.) Get your heart rate up. Go for a run if you like. Bike. WALK. And that’s it. REALLY. Don’t waste your time when you train. Work smart. Eat smart. Enjoy your life.