Enough can’t be said about the mind-body connection and the fact that an improvement of the one is necessarily an improvement of the other. In our search for fulfillment we tend to over-complicate things. Here’s a simple recipe I dare you to try. The result of which is a better you.
And here’s the cool thing…you get to decide what “being better” is…whether you want to be a better mountain biker, a faster runner, a stronger lifter or a better dad, mother, friend, you decide…
- Functional movements
- a Dose of intensity – matching your psychological and physical tolerance
- Restricting carbs
- Getting adequate proteins
- Enjoying fat
- Write down, on a piece of paper, exactly what it is you want to be better at and hide it (where you can find it again).
- Mix all the ingredients together until it reaches a sustainable consistency. (The goal must be to log 5 “training or active” hours per week)
- After six months, take out the piece of paper you hid and reflect.
What is functional movements? Basically is involves training movements as opposed to muscles. It mirrors how humans were meant to move and helps to make us move even better. Running, jumping, pushing, pulling, lunging, climbing, lifting and squatting for example, are movements not only encountered in just about every sport out there but also in our everyday living.
Reasons why you should do functional movements:
- Functional workouts defy injuries. Since it strengthens the core and corrects imbalances, it significantly reduces the risk of injuries. Bodybuilders, who train muscles, tend to heap muscle on top of potential asymmetries which is an injury waiting to happen.
- It boosts performance – inside and outside the gym. It transfers to real-life situations. You can do leg extensions until you’re blue in the face, it won’t help you get off the couch in the way squats will. Squatting is a functional movement recruiting not just the quadriceps but just about every core muscle you can think of. Similarly, knowing how to execute a proper deadlift will make light work of picking up anything from your baby to a piano.
- It burns fat like crazy. The reason this type of training is so effective in getting individuals lean is due to the fact that these movements are compound, meaning they use more than one muscle group at once. This not only builds more lean muscle mass – which helps us to burn even more fat – but also recruits more muscle fibers during the exercise.
- It betters your quality of life. Recruiting a combination of muscles at once promotes full range of movement and the longer you can use and move your limbs in the way they were meant to be used the cooler grandpa you’ll be.
Why Intensity? The benefits are well documented and without boring you with scientific jargon and references to millions of studies conducted, here’s why you should incorporate intensity into your routine:
- It will make you fitter and stronger quicker. The really cool thing is that high-intensity training seems to have even bigger benefits the older you get.
- It allows for proper form. Since you’re getting breathers at regular intervals you can really push yourself without sacrificing proper form.
- It’s fun and you get work done. It’s way more fun to do 10 burpees, rest 30 seconds and repeat 10 times than having to do 100 burpees.
- Believe it or not, high-intensity training also builds endurance. So, not only will you look good naked, you’ll be able to keep going for longer.
About proteins and fat. Proteins are our body’s building blocks, needed for building (muscle) and repair. The only readily available natural sources of complete proteins include seafood, poultry, eggs, beef, lamb, game and dairy products. Fat on the other hand are essential to life and good health and are pivotal to attaining permanent weight loss and glowing health. But beware, some fats are not good for you.
Better fats and oils to choose are those found in nature such as lard, duck fat and butter, as well as coconut oil, olive oil and macadamia nut oil. Healthy fat intake does not lead to fat storage unless mixed with sugar and other carbohydrates. Fat functions well with protein and thus by avoiding high-carb foods, especially refined carbs, you will spare yourself the inflammation that accompanies such diets.
The last ‘special’ ingredient: Community. Do it with friends. Be that person that inspires others to get off the couch and to start moving. Their enthusiasm will become your fuel.
In summary then: Regular training, involving functional movements coupled with intensity, together with a diet made up of real food, providing adequate protein, will make you better at whatever it is you want to be better at. Promise.