Happy Monday to you all.
Without getting too deep right off the bat, Monday doesn’t have to be the drag that most people associate with it.
Your attitude and perspective is what gives any particular day it’s “power” on or over you.
As Gary Vaynerchuk has said, “If you live for the weekends and vacations, your s*** is broken.”
But true, right?
Having to escape our day-to-day is a tell tale sign that there’s something more fulfilling out there for us that we haven’t yet tapped into.
We were designed with a purpose. With gifts and talents to cultivate and share and empower others as we take on this journey of life.
So, evaluate where you’re at and where you’d truly like to be.
No better day than a Monday to sort out your life 😉
My BIG idea for you nutritionally this week is to pick just one thing and stick with it.
Do you lack on drinking enough water each day?
Start every morning with one big glass and then fill a water bottle to keep with you throughout the day.
Do you avoid vegetables like you’re a fussy seven year old?
Make it a point to get one serving each day, at any meal you choose. Just get it in. Adult a little bit.
Are you a habitual fast food eater or go out for more meals each week than you eat at home?
Plan to pack your lunch, or prepare a family menu, for each day this week. Yes a little planning will be involved. However, by doing so you’ll not only be healthier but save a ton of money by not indulging at every restaurant in town.
We all get it. We’re busy, busy people.
Our days are packed from start to finish with just about any and all obligations that propose themselves.
While we’re not going to dive into time management and being more selective with our commitments, I’d recommend using full-body exercises and workouts to make our training sessions as efficient as possible.
You don’t have to block out hours each day to improve your health and fitness. I would, however, say that you can afford 30 minutes each day for just you and getting your sweat on.
So, to maximize our return on time invested in the gym, I’d recommend recruiting as many muscles as possible in each and every workout.
I’m not talking about building every muscle group like Shwarzenegger (you don’t have the genetics, training volume, diet, drugs, or desire he had, so don’t worry). What I am talking about is pumping up multiple muscles to burn the glycogen stored within them and increase your calorie burn both during the workout and for hours after you’re done.
We can do this a couple ways.
First, give circuits a shot. Plan out 3-5 exercises and perform them in succession until completed, rest and repeat.
A good approach is an upper body pulling movement, an upper body pushing movement, and a lower body movement. Sprinkle in a core exercise for a nice full body blast. An example circuit might look like:
- Push ups (modified for your ability) x8-12 reps
- Pulldown or pull ups x8-12 reps
- Goblet squat x8-12 reps
- Plank x30-45 seconds
Performing that circuit 3 times through could be a great stand alone 10-15 minute workout.
Something is always better than nothing.
A second approach to really revving up the muscles and torching some body fat is to incorporate compound lifts and movements into your routine.
Examples here would include the thruster, burpees, and the rowing machine.
Think about these as movements that use both the upper and lower body at the same time to maximize muscle recruitment and get into pretty great shape fast.
Crossfit training isn’t for everyone, but the use of multi-joint exercises and high relative intensity is a fantastic approach for making the most of your gym time.
Pick one of the exercises listed above and set a timer for 15 minutes. Perform a given number of reps/distance (i.e. 10 thrusters, 10 burpees, or 200 meters), rest 30-60 seconds and repeat until the time is up.
You should be sweating and breathing like a beast right about now.
With the above diet and exercise strategies we’re well on our way to a great week of improving ourselves.
Let’s step out of the kitchen and gym for a moment.
To get the most out of ourselves we cannot neglect the other areas of life: mental, spiritual, relational, etc.
I’d like to give you some homework per se this week. Schedule “workouts” for these other areas.
Two to three days per week (like a good, intense strength training regimen) take the time to exercise and develop your mind and spirit.
Read the good book.
Listen to the great teaching CD in the car.
Get quiet with just you and a journal and pray, meditate, review.
These could all be classified as part of the process and growing and improving. Just as with a good workout routine, you may feel invigorated after your first session, but you don’t make lasting results without putting in the time over a period of weeks, months, and years.
As we discuss this venture of a healthy and fit life, it will mean something different to everyone. “Success” is a relative term. What we can do together is share in good habits that develop the strength of body, mind, and spirit.
Become more and more aware of who you are as a person. Is something lacking? That doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, perhaps just haven’t been intentional with that area of life.
Should we all practice the same habits?
Well, yes and no.
We should all exercise.
But you’ll be doing a different workout than the person next to you. Or train at a different location. Perhaps your fitness is a nice long walk each evening while your neighbor hits his garage gym every morning at 6 am.
Find what works for you.
We should all read.
But you’ll probably find an author that speaks to you more than your coworker across the office. You might dive into material specific to your current circumstances. You might read upon waking or prefer before bed each evening. Regardless, we’d all benefit from the habit.
So, moving forward today, this week, and this year, think of small areas that we can measurably improve upon right away. Stay consistent. Stick with a small habit as long as you need to before tackling another.
Enjoy the process. And understand it’s all a process. We don’t ever “arrive” and have this all figured out and achieve perfection, whatever that may mean in our imagination.
Do you, and keep making that better and more awesome!