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Many people believe that any health and fitness endeavor must be a full-on sprint. They start a new diet and don't take into account how they're going to sustain it over the long haul. On this episode, we talk about how to find your pace.
Due to Allan's travel we recorded our hello and wrap up sessions beforehand and did not do our standard hello section for this episode.
Today we're going to talk about pace and how life isn't all sprints. I want to start this with basically two contrasting stories from my life. The first one was my tough mudder training. Now I've told the story in the book, and basically the concept here was that I decided I wanted to do a tough mudder with my daughter. And this was March when we made this decision.
And the race that I wanted to do was in November. My daughter was going to be 21 years old, close to 21 years old. She was a level one CrossFit coach and quite fit. And so in my planning for this tough Mudder, my training for this tough Mudder, I knew I was going to have to push myself pretty hard and pretty fast if I was going to be in shape for that tough Mudder. So going from March, where I was already generally training to November, I still had a lot of ground to make up, and so I did what I call a sprint.
I trained really hard. I worked on my nutrition really hard, and I sprinted, and I got it all done. I got the work done. The results were great. You can see the before and after picture on my Facebook and on my website, 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com.
And when I did it, I felt really good. I got that sprint done. I accomplished everything I wanted to do, so good for me. Right? Well, let's flash forward about five years, maybe a little bit further when I did the Spartan training.
Now I plan to do the Spartan race as a function. We were going to be traveling to Chicago, and there was a spartan in there, and I thought, hey, I could do a Spartan. And so I asked my younger brother if he wanted to do it with me, and he did. So I'm like, okay, let's do this Spartan. Let's go to Chicago and do a Spartan together.
The difference was I was in okay shape, but I needed to be in Spartan shape within about two and a half months. And so I started my sprint, and I pushed hard, and I worked on my nutrition, and I did everything I could do to be ready for this Spartan race until I broke my rotator cuff snapped in the middle of a workout. I was trying to do overhead presses with dumbbells, and the reality was I didn't hurt myself doing the presses. I hurt myself trying to get the weights up into the starting position.
I felt it snapped, and I knew immediately what I had done.
And in fact, it was a very bad tear. But it wasn't a tear that had happened just during that sprint. It was a tear that had been happening over a long period of time. And the only reason I tell you these two contrasting stories, I still did this part. It hurt like heck, I still did this part.
But the stories I'm telling here are really just to emphasize the fact that if we go too hard, too long, we will break. And that's not the purpose of what we're trying to accomplish here. The goal in health and fitness is not a destination. You might approach it and say, oh, I need to lose 40 lbs, and that's my goal. That's my thing.
That's my finish line. But after you've lost that 40 lbs, it's not like honey and roses for the rest of your life. You're still going to want to train and need to train. You're still going to have to focus on nutrition and do the things you're doing for your health. That doesn't change.
So don't feel like there's a finish line. Just like if you're saying you're going to do the couch to 5K and you complete that 5K, hopefully you're not hanging up your running shoes and saying, I'm done nothing more. No more training. I'm out. I accomplished the great thing, the 5K.
That's not how this works. We train to live and be the people we want to be, to be better tomorrow. And yes, while we might have goals in mind of certain things that we want to accomplish, be it a weight loss goal or completing a race or doing something else, those are just motivating goals. Those are just things that drive us the measurement criteria. So we know that we're successful at getting better.
The true goal here is to come up with a sustainable lifestyle and a sustainable lifestyle basically means you can eat the foods you like and not feel deprived. Now, are you eating as much of it as you want? Maybe not. Maybe you used to have pizza every night, and now you're only having pizza maybe once a month. But you're still having pizza.
So you're eating the foods that you enjoy and you're enjoying your foods. You're just not eating as much. And maybe you've changed your palette to a point that some of the foods that you used to enjoy, you don't enjoy as much now. So you've found a sustainable way of eating that you can eat most of the time, if not all the time. And you've also in sustainable lifestyle,
You've built a movement pattern that improves and helps you maintain your fitness without breaking you. So sustainable is something you can do for the long term. And that should be the overall objective of everything we do with our health and fitness is to find the sustainable path that we can stay on the vast majority of the time. It's not that you wouldn't depart from that, that you wouldn't take a detour. But once you take the detour, you know, to get right back on your sustainable path and keep pushing forward.
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So let's talk a little bit about pace. The faster you go, the longer you go, the more likely you break. That's true in everything that we do, particularly when you're over 40. Now, my story at the beginning of this episode, we're about pushing too hard training for an event, and I broke, but the same can hold true for nutrition. If you deprive yourself of a type of food or you eat a certain way, that's really restrictive, the likelihood you're gonna fall off the wagon goes up substantially.
If you tell yourself I'm never going to have another drink, that might work for you. But the reality is for most people, they're going to find themselves at a party, they're going to find themselves at a bar and they're gonna have a drink, and that's okay. There's nothing substantially wrong with that. But the harder you push yourself, the more restrictive you are, the more likely you're going to fail at some point, it's just the way it works. So when I talk about pace, I like to think of them in three terms.
Okay. The first is the sprint or the Ferrari, the second is a moderate pace. I call the pickup truck, and the third is slow, which I call the minivan. And there's reasons for each and every one of these paces that goes beyond what you want to accomplish. So let's talk about sprints first.
When you are ready to do a sprint, there should be nothing between you and the finish line. You want to be able to do straight forward without having to stop. You want to do it as quickly as you can responsibly. And that means there's nothing there to stop you. There's no one there to bother you.
There's nothing that is going to be in the way. So if you're training for something and you want to do a sprint, it's got to be there in your eyesight, in line of sight. And so in that case, it's got to be close enough. You're trying to go from A to B, not A to T. And while it might look from my before and after picture A to T, realize not all of that was really a true 100% sprint.
I wasn't sprinting every day, all day, but I was working toward getting better and better each day. And as I got better, I pushed harder and harder. So it was a sprint, in a sense, but it was an A to B, B to C, C to D kind of approach. I wasn't looking to go A to T. And if that's what you're trying to do, you're probably going to break before you get there.
And then the final bit with sprints, that's really a big one for me is you've got to keep the ego in check. Ego is your enemy when you're doing a sprint, because at that point, you're not looking at your red line. You're not looking at what's going on with the heat and your engine. And if you're pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing and you're not paying attention, snap, there you go.
Honest Truth, the weight I was doing when I was doing those overhead presses was far more than I should have been doing. I didn't need to be doing. I did it because I could until I couldn't. So you've got to keep your ego in check and know what you're doing is building you rather than breaking you. So sprints are important.
You're in your Ferrari, you're rooming down the road, and as long as there's nothing to hold you back and you're not going to red line and break, go for it. Next is the moderate pace. So I was a big fan of tailgating when I lived in the United States, and so I had a pick up truck with a tonneau cover so I could put all of my tailgating gear in the back of the truck to go to Hattiesburg for the games. Now, here's the thing. I couldn't own a Ferrari and take all my tail gaining gear because it wouldn't fit.
And my pickup truck doesn't travel as fast as a Ferrari. So I couldn't get there as fast. I could get in the Ferrari. And other than law enforcement, pretty much be there from Pensacola to Hattiesburg. And I don't know, 3 hours, maybe.
Okay, but that wasn't going to work in a pickup truck. I had to go a little bit slower. I take a little bit longer, not much longer, but it would take longer. So it was a more moderate pace because I had baggage to carry. So what's the kind of baggage that would hold us up in general?
Well, we have vacations planned. We have family members that are around that maybe we need to do some things with them. Maybe we have a job, all those little things you got to carry around with you that might slow you down a little bit. And that's okay. If you're patient, you find yourself a sustainable pace that fits your lifestyle, again
That's the objective here. And then you move and you're in this for the long haul. So in general, you should probably be spending most of your time over the course of the next several years in the pickup truck going a moderate pace, you can carry the things you need, do the things you need. There's a lot of utility there to get things done. You just have to have the patience and look at this as the long haul.
Slow and Steady
And then the final pace that I like to talk about is slow. And that's where you're in the minivan. And so you got the kids and the wife and this and that and you got to stop and go to the bathroom, every other exit. And so these issues, these people, these things, they're all happening. And it's not necessarily outside, outside your control, but it's generally outside your control that these are things you also have to focus on.
Your health and fitness may not be the ultimate number one priority in your life, but it's got to be important enough that you're still moving forward. And that's the key. If you have even more patience and self compassion, you do keep moving forward. And that's the key of moving slow is that you're not sitting still and you're not sliding backwards. So at worst times, you're holding your ground.
But most of the time, there's this little push forward a little bit forward. And while the minivan can't go as fast as the pickup truck or the Ferrari, you're still doing something positive for yourself, and you have to keep your head up and realize that's the case. And so I titled this episode, you can't sprint all the time or something like that. But basically, it's not all about sprints for sure. So what is the right pace for you?
Well, the reality of it is it's probably at different points in time going to be all three. There are going to be times when a sprint makes sense. So you say, hey, I'm going to sign up for a 30 day challenge to do this thing, and that can be an awesome motivator. You can sit down and say, when we get to next spring, I want to be able to run a 5K, and now you're moving at a moderate pace, taking a very cool or easy couch the 5K program to get yourself to a point where you can complete that race safely.
And then there's going to be times when things are going on in your life that you just have to slow it down and get in the minivan.
So having the self awareness to know which one makes the most sense for you, and using that as a tool where you're moving forward, you're sprinting when you can. You're going a moderate pace most of the time, and occasionally a slower pace, so that self awareness gives you kind of the gist of all of it. So again, find the pace that you don't break yourself. Find the pace that keeps you moving forward and not going backwards and stay at that pace until it makes sense to change and do something different.
You have health and fitness goals. You know what your vision is, of what you want to accomplish. You have to go the right pace or it's not sustainable. So again, the overall objective of your health and fitness should be to find a sustainable lifestyle and understanding pace and being self aware are key components of making that happen.
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Before we get into today's episode, I would like to ask you if you would take just a moment to vote for The Wellness Roadmap in the Author Academy Awards. We've made it as a top 10 finalist in the health category. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist, and that'll take you to their website. You'll find a little arrow down the page a little bit. You can scroll to page 7 of 16 that's the health category. Just click on the book title, you don't have to give them any information about yourself. Just click on the book title and that will secure your vote for The Wellness Roadmap. Again, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist. Thank you. This award means a lot to me and your vote means the world to me. Thank you.
So today's episode is the third part of a mindset series. On episode 397, we talked about prioritization and time management by utilizing a tool that I created called the identity grid. You probably do better to go back and listen to the last two episodes, but you don't have to. I'm gonna try to make each episode stand-alone, but if you want to get the whole picture, I will probably be flashing back to that grid.
Also on episode 398, I kinda got into the getting the wellness, the things that you'll need to do to make that happen that include pushing outside your comfort zone, uh, applying your energies the right way and not overstressing yourself. Um, and then just looking at it more like a program rather than a project. So I'd encourage you to go back and listen to 397 and 398 if you haven't already, but I will try to make this episode stand-alone.
Today we're going to talk about commitment. Are you committed?
I talked to my clients, fairly regularly about this topic. I've talked on the podcast about it a few times, uh, but I can't under stress or overstress that the importance of commitment. If you really want to accomplish major wellness changes in your life, it's really just not going to happen if you're not committed to change. Because change is probably the hardest thing for a human being to do. Our bodies are naturally designed to find balance, are naturally designed to get to a comfortable place under what stress and daily living requirements we have today. So if you can get away with being 200 pounds overweight, your body's gonna let you be 200 pounds overweight, uh, because you can, and you can get away with it. And we can work around all these different things that used to set us back, but we figure it out.
You know, um, if you're unable to get up from a toilet because you're older and your legs aren't strong enough, put rails in the bathroom now that's going to help you for a period of time and then eventually you'll probably lose that arm strength. I don't want that to be my future. So I've made a commitment to ensure that I keep myself healthy and strong. So that isn't my future. That isn't who I am. That isn't how I identify. So I've set up an identity for myself that includes doing regular fitness training. And so as you look at that though, showing up is hard. Our bodies naturally want to be in that balance. So what do we do to break that balance? To break what our body calls, what they call in our body homeostasis. While it takes stimulus, stimulus takes work. So if we want to improve our overall health, we improve the foods that we're eating.
If we want to improve our overall fitness, we have to push ourselves across the different modalities that we use to define fitness. If you've read the book of The Wellness Roadmap, uh, that's up for an Author Academy Award. I talk about that in the book. Fitness is basically fit for task. It means that you're capable of doing the things that you want to do in your life. So for me, at 105, I want to be able to wipe my own butt. I want to be able to get up off the toilet. So I'm going to need to be fit enough to make that happen. For some of us right now, fitness can be, I want to basically be able to go on hikes and spend time with my family and not be overly fatigued or down and out the next day. Um, I want to be able to lift things that need lifting around the house.
I want to be able to open jars for myself and my wife. I want to be able to do those basic things that as we get older, sarcopenia and Osteopenia kinda take away from us if we're not doing something about it. So how do we make this commitment and how do we make it a commitment that we're going to stick to? Because face it, all of us do resolutions. All of us do our diets, all of us have done fitness regimes before and failed. And the reason most of us fail is this lack of commitment, a resolution, a goal, a diet there. They're all words. We used to fail that because so many people do. There's no, there's no jeopardy to it. There is no disgrace to it. It just, yeah, I tried a new diet and I fell off the wagon. I'll get back on it on Monday.
Well, today's Tuesday a well, okay, well, yeah, Monday. Um, there's all these different reasons we don't do it. But a commitment is very, very different. When you make a commitment, you're starting from a point of self-love. You're starting from a point that's very, very deep and emotional. And if you've ever made that type of commitment before, you'll really begin to resonate and understand what I'm talking about when you say you're going to do something for someone you love, you do it. Um, if you say you're going to pick up your spouse at the airport at five o'clock, you're at the airport at five o'clock. So if you make the same kind of commitment to yourself with the same basis of self-love, that you're going to be at the gym at five o'clock, then you'll be at the gym at five o'clock and not at the drive-through at McDonald's.
So that's where this comes from. The commitment comes from this really, really deep, deep emotional well, it's gotta be something that really touches you. It has to be a part of, as I've said over the course of this last few weeks, it has to be a part of how you identify. If you don't identify yourself as someone who's getting fit, it's not going to happen. When you get married, you make the commitment. You go from being engaged to married. You go from saying fiance to spouse. Now, you might verbally trip that up a few times, but in your head you know that commitment's there, you feel that commitment, you've made that commitment and you made it in a rather public way. So I encourage you, if you're really looking to to make a commitment, start with something deep and emotional and then make it public.
Now I provide online personal training and you can come to me, go to the website, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com and you can find links there to look up our group training and you can make that commitment to us. We're on a Facebook group, we're on our regular weekly calls. You can email me, we can have regular conversations about this commitment you have and keeping you on track. So make it deep, make it public and then beyond all kind of know what this is going to look like. You know a lot of people get married young and they don't know that type of people they're going to be when they get older, they really haven't set that vision. That's why a lot of people will say, wait a little while before you get married, so you really know what you're getting into. So you really know the vision of the direction that your life is going to go and where you want it to go.
I got married when I was 21 now. Was that a mistake? I guess so because I'm not married to her anymore, but at the same time it was just a part of my life lessons and I learned from it. So I'm not going to call it a mistake, but I do know that if I had known my path a little bit better at that point in time and had a better vision and we shared that vision and it was the same deep and emotional thing, that commitment would have stood time. It just would have. But we didn't do that. So make a commitment. And again, I can't stress this enough, deep and emotional, make it public and know what it means. Have that vision. So you have the why and you have the vision and you put those together and you make it public. That's your commitment and it needs to be based on self-love.
It doesn't need to be based on fear. Fear will only get you so far before you forget the fear and you revert back to old activities, but love sticks with you. Fear is something you feel in a movie theater and then you walk out of the theater and you're not afraid anymore. Love is something that you just keep on feeling. It's deep. It's emotional, it's chemical. It's a part of who you identify as. So take the time to build a solid commitment so we can make this fitness and health thing happen for you. Like I said, if you need a coach, reach out to me. I'd be glad to get on a 15-minute call with you just to kind of fare at some of this stuff out so you can get a little, get to know me a little bit better so I can get to know you a little bit better.
Online personal training isn't for everybody, but if you want to just get on the phone, have a consult, absolutely free. Come check it out. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com and you're going to find a link right there on the sidebar. If it's, if you're on the phone, you may have to scroll down a little bit before you see it, but just get in there, get to know me and figure it out. We can help you set this commitment. We can get to your why, we can get to your vision. We can put that together into a very solid commitment that could change your life, so do check it out.
before you get too far away, please do take a moment to go over to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist scroll to page 7 of 16 find The Wellness Roadmap. It's actually the first book on the list for health category at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist and then you just click on the cover and it'll take just a couple minutes for you to get over there and find the page and and vote for the book. I really do appreciate it. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist and vote for The Wellness Roadmap today.
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Hello and thank you for being a part of the 40+ Fitness podcast. I’m really excited to have you here today and I’m really excited to share today’s show with you. It’s going to be a solo episode. I got a lot of great feedback from the last one, so I did promise you and I am going to continue to give you some of these solo shows. And the topic we’re talking about today called “Modes of Transportation” is really, really important. It’s something that you really need to make sure you understand before you get into your wellness journey, until you get into your path. It’s a part of what I call the “Wellness GPS”.
What I find is so many people struggle to know what to do when, where to go, how to get there, and when they run into a problem, they really don’t have the tools to break away and get through what’s going on. So they’re in a plateau, they don’t know how to get around that. They get into a roadblock or they hit a stumble or a pot hole. They don’t know how to get around that. If you’ve set your GPS right, it will help you do those things, and if you’ve set your Wellness GPS well, you’ll know how to react and do the right things for your wellness.
I want to help you do that, so to do that, I’m going to launch a challenge. It’s going to be called the Wellness GPS Challenge. This is going to be a short-term challenge – I’m thinking probably something in the realm of about seven days. We’re going to walk through each and every step of the Wellness GPS path, get you completely set up to almost guarantee success.
My clients that have used this strategy, used this approach – they get results, and I want you to get results too.
Now, because I’m going to be working directly with you, I can’t bring on a whole lot of people to do this. It’s going to be a very small group, like 20 people. I’m only going to allow 20 people in, and if you want to be a part of it, you need to be on the waiting list, because I’m going to contact the waiting list first, allow 24 hours for them to join, and then I’ll start looking to announce it on the podcast and otherwise. But the first 20 slots are going to go to people that are on the waiting list if they want it. So you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/GPS. And when you sign up on that mailing list, you’ll be getting some emails from me to let you know what the timing is and what we’re going to be doing, and then we’re going to go ahead and launch it. If I get to 20 just from this mailing list, then I’m done. So if you don’t want to miss out on this offer of being a part of the Wellness GPS challenge, I encourage you to go join that mailing list today. Again, that’s at 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/GPS.
Let’s get into our topic – modes of transportation. So I want to set the scene for you. I was probably about five years into my wellness journey, as it would be, and basically it was a yo-yo experience, to say the least. At this particular time though I was in generally good shape. I felt really good, I’d been working out, things were going pretty well, but my work schedule was just getting insane. I was traveling about 90%, and this was one of those rare weekends that I was at home and I just decided I didn’t want to do anything. I was jet lagged, I was tired, so I’m sitting on the couch just pretty much working my thumb. It’s a Sunday morning and I’m flipping between Face the Nation and various infomercials. So as I’m flipping the channels and watching stuff, all of a sudden this commercial comes on for a program called Insanity. You might’ve heard of it – it’s from the same people who did P90X and all the Beachbody people. And this was Shaun T, and this dude looked great. The folks behind him were moving, they were exercising. It all looked really good. And what was really cool about it was that they didn’t need any equipment to do the work they were doing. I was like, “Wow, I travel a lot, it’s really hard for me to find a gym at points in time with all the travel I’m doing. This might actually be the answer.” So of course I get my credit card out, I dial the 1-800 number and I order the stuff.
I come back from my next business trip, and there it is in my mailbox. I was really, really excited about it, so I just decided to rip the covers off, see what’s in it. I knew that I couldn’t carry all these DVDs with me. There were about 12 of them or so. I couldn’t carry all of them with me, so I was saying, “What do I need to do? First thing I’ll do, I’ll rip all these to my computer. I’m getting on another trip soon, and instead of having the DVDs with me, it’d be easier if it’s on my computer. I’ll be more likely to do it on the road.” So I did that first, knowing myself, knowing I needed to have it handy if I was going to use it. Then as soon as I got done with that, I put the first DVD in and it was a fitness test. So I do this fitness test and I really push myself because I want to know how well this does, so I’m going to really push myself to do this fitness test. And it was hard. Not just hard; it was really, really hard. The next day I was basically incapacitated. I felt like I’d been strapped to my bed and beat with a baseball bat. I woke up and I felt so bad, and I really didn’t want to get up. I knew I had to get ready for work and I was laying there and I finally decided, “I’m so much pain, I won’t be able to concentrate. This won’t be a good day for me.” So I called in sick. It’s kind of embarrassing now to look back at it. It’s a little funny, but at the time I was really embarrassed that I pushed myself so hard in a workout that I literally can’t go.
I only tell you that story because I think a lot of us actually approach our health and fitness thinking, “I’ve got to get this done now.” The body weight, the things that we’re trying to get rid of, the things we’re trying to do. We didn’t get into the shape we were in just a couple of weeks, in a couple of days, in a couple months. But I think a lot of us have this general mindset that we want it now. And one of the things that’s going to be a limiting factor, and I’ve talked about this a lot on the show, is just physically what we’re capable of doing. I think in a sense we all know that if we push ourselves too hard, we’re going to break.
But there’s another point to pace that I really want you to take to heart. And it’s the one that’s really the hardest for us to deal with, because we’re gung-ho and we all want to get there – and that is, what vehicle are we going to have to choose to go? The vehicle we choose is going to determine the pace with which we get there. So, in a normal example, if I wanted to drive from here in my home in Pensacola Beach to Hattiesburg, it’s about a 3-hour drive. I’ve done that drive so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. It’s a relatively straight flat road. If I got into a sports car, I could probably get there in two and a half hours easy. I’ll break a couple of speed limits here and there. I know where to not break the speed limits by now, but I’d go really quick. It’s a really easy road, I know the way. Boom, I’m there. It’s just me and the car, and I’m in Hattiesburg. So if I want to be in Hattiesburg for a football game, I’m there. No problem.
So, if you’re single, got nothing else going on in your life, no other troubles, no other problems, no other passengers or baggage – sure, hop in the sports car and get there. As much as your body will allow you to do so, that should be your pace. That can be your pace. But unfortunately many of us do have baggage and passengers. So if I wanted to go to a football game, but I also wanted to set up the tailgate for everybody – I can’t take the sports car now because I can’t carry the tent, the chairs, the grill, the food, the cooler – all the different things that I would want for the tailgate. Now I have to bring my pickup truck. The pickup truck doesn’t handle as quickly as the sports car. It can’t go quite as fast and it’s not going to get there in the same amount of time. So now with the truck, it might take me three hours to get there, which is actually substantially more than two and a half when you sit down and do the math. But because I need to carry the baggage of the stuff in my life, it’s going to take me longer. So, if I have a job that has me working 18-hour days, I won’t be able to work out as often as I may have wanted to work out. If I have some other issues going on with people that are going to want to have food and I want a social life and I want to go tailgate, then I have baggage that’s going to keep me from moving as fast as I might have moved if I didn’t have that baggage. So I have to take the pickup truck – it’s going to take me longer to get there. If I can’t do the things I need to do all the time, without regard to any other timing, any other thing, I might have some difficulty getting there as quickly. And I have to accept that. That acceptance is a very, very important thing.
Before we really get into the acceptance though, I want to talk about the final one, and that is, what if I have passengers? So what if I have six people that want to travel with me to the game? I can’t take the truck because I can’t sit six people in my truck. Now I’m going to have to buy a bus or rent a bus, and the bus is going to be a little harder for me to handle. I might not be as familiar with the transmission, I’m going to have to slow down. And then invariably one of the six or seven of us that are going might have to go to the bathroom while we’re on there. So we’re probably going to be taking a few more pitstops, particularly if those passengers happen to be your children. So, recognizing that you have people in your life that are going to slow you down, you have stuff in your life, events, work, the gym closes, all these different things that can happen that are going to potentially slow you down – you have to set your mind to understand that there is going to be a pace of movement that is going to be most appropriate for you and the lifestyle you want and need and have.
I define wellness as being the happiest, healthiest, most fit person you can be, and I put happiness in there for a reason. Not having baggage can be great, not having passengers can be great. But I’m thinking to be the happiest person you want to be, you’re going to have the baggage, you’re going to have the passengers, you’re going to have those special events. You’re going to have the people – your children, your spouse. You’re going to have those people in your life, so you have to make sure that your fitness journey, the way you set all of this up basically is strategized to deal with that. You may have passengers, or baggage, or you may have both. So you have to choose the appropriate mode of transportation which is going to then reflect into the pace with which you see movement, with which you see the journey happen. Once you satisfy yourself with understanding that that’s how all of this works, it becomes a lot easier for you to accept that you don’t have to feel the acceleration of a sports car to know that you’re moving forward, as long as you stay the path and you keep moving forward. So, getting your mindset on the front end of what is possible and how you’re going to get there, with which vehicle and what that pace is going to be like, is going to go a long way towards helping you reach your goals.
I want to close with one other thing, and I know this is going to be a really short episode. This is a really, really important topic that you need to think about and wrap your mind around, because if you really do want to meet your goals, if you have certain fitness goals that you want to meet – it’s not if you’re going to meet those goals. You must meet those goals. Your health and fitness, your wellness should be the most important thing to you right now, and if it is, then you’re going to want to pick the right vehicle, and then just understand that it’s not if, it’s when you reach certain goals. If right now I wanted to train for a 10K, I have my wife, I have a couple of trips that are coming up. I have to consider the baggage and the passengers to decide, can I do a 10K? Am I capable of doing a 10K in six weeks, or maybe I need to sign up for the next one? I still have it. It’s still there, I still set it up. It’s just a different 10K at a slightly offset time, and I’m doing that because I’m being responsible to understanding what my baggage and my passengers are. And if you’ll do that, that’s going to lend into the whole happiness thing because you’re getting what you want out of your life and you’re meeting your goals. So it’s not if, it’s when. And now you’re on the path and you know you’re going at the pace that’s appropriate for you.
Closing, I do want to leave with one other thing. There are the passengers, there is the baggage, but you are the driver on your wellness journey, period. You have to make some hard decisions, and that might mean at points in time, asking your spouse to eat a little differently or to help you deal a little differently. It might mean telling your children they really can’t have Oreos in the cupboard all the time because you’re trying to accomplish a certain thing. It might mean that you skip a time out with your friends to go do a run because your actual race is coming up really quick. Those are the tradeoffs you’re going to make, but to get the full balance of what we’re trying to get out of wellness, which is happiness, health and fitness, you’re going to have to really tie into understanding the pace that’s the most appropriate to you. That’s not just what your body is capable of doing; it’s what your life is capable of supporting.
So, take some time to think about the pace with which you should be working towards your wellness goals, and then make that your reality. Make those goals happen when they’re supposed to happen for you. You’ll be so much happier, healthier and more fit, and therefore, well.
Kiki asks, “Should I focus on strength, flexibility, or both? I answer her question and get a bit deeper into the various fitness modalities providing a way for you to decide for yourself.
Allan: Hello, and thank you for being a part of the 40+ Fitness podcast. Today’s show is going to be a little bit different. I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately. In fact, I was just looking at this – up to today I‘ve interviewed over 175 authors and experts, so quite a fit bit of interviewing going on on the show. I thought I would mix things up, particularly because I received a call through the SpeakPipe app on the Contact Page. A listener had a question and she asked me to do a podcast on a specific issue. It's actually a very important issue and it is something that I think everyone should know. So I wanted to take a little bit of time to go over her question, and it was a good question. So if you have some questions, I do want you to reach out.
You can go to our Contact Page. There’s a couple different ways to contact me there. If you’d like to potentially have your question answered via audio, on the show, then do use the SpeakPipe. I can also do that in email, so you can email me at email@example.com, and I’ll be glad to answer any and all questions. I do answer all of my emails, so if there’s something going on and you have a question, please do take the time to reach out. I am here to help you and I want you to know that if you’re needing something and you don’t know the answer to it or know where to look, I’m your guy. Send me an email or contact me on the SpeakPipe, which is through our Contact Page on the website 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com. So, the question today comes from Kiki, and I’m going to go ahead and play her audio section. So here we go.
Kiki : Hi. I have been listening to your podcast and I was wondering if it would be possible maybe to do a podcast about flexibility and muscle strength past the age of 40. My physio said that women over 40 should be concentrating more on muscle building than flexibility, but I always thought it should be a balance of both. So I was wondering if I’ve got it. Thank you very much. Thanks for listening.
Sponsor: Before I answer Kiki’s question, I just wanted to remind you that this podcast is sponsored by Teami Blends. You can support the podcast by going to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Tea. And when you’re there, if you use the promo code 40plus, you can get a 15% discount on a purchase of $30 or more. They have great tea products so I could get to know them. I’ve actually ordered some more. I really do enjoy their teas and I know you will too. Go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Tea.
Allan: Kiki, thank you so much for that question. When my clients come to me, they come to me from many different walks of life, different age ranges, obviously over 40, but I have clients in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. So, it can vary from time to time as far as what fitness modality you should focus on. I agree with your doctor somewhat that strength is important, but I also agree that the answer is probably both in your case. So, let me go through each of the fitness modalities. There are five of them that I think my clients should spend most of their time focusing on when we’re over 40:
When we talk about strength, the reason that strength is so important is that we tend to lose muscle mass and strength once we’re over the age of 35. It’s a process called sarcopenia. Now, the doctor could have said, “I want you lifting weights so you can retain or gain muscle.” In talking to a woman, a lot of times you see them kind of deflate a little bit because they don’t want to get bulky. Of course, they believe if they’d go lift weights, they’re going to look like a bodybuilder, and that’s just not so. You don’t have the testosterone to do that. You actually don’t have the physical capacity, the energy that it would take for you to put on a significant amount of muscle. You may be able to add a few pounds of muscle, but again, if you’re so onto your weight, obviously you’re going to be, “I don’t want muscle”. We’ll talk about that in a minute.
Strength is a good way to have that open conversation with someone because they can see a need for strength. If you can’t open a jar, if you can’t pull yourself up from your chair, if you can’t reach down and grab something off the ground, like a bag of groceries – then that’s going to be something that’s going to be debilitating later. It’s going to keep you from having liberty, it’s going to keep you from being independent when you get older. If you don’t lift, you’re only going to get weaker. There’s just no other way around it. You can’t live your normal lifestyle and not lose strength. You have to do resistance exercise to retain or gain strength. So, I encourage all of my clients to strength-train. I think it’s very, very important for everybody to strength-train.
Now, mobility is also very important. You can’t reach down and pick up that bag of groceries if you can’t get the full range of motion in your hips, knees, ankles. Having good mobility is important because if you move incorrectly, you have the potential of injury. So, I agree with you that flexibility and mobility are very important modalities for us to maintain. There can be good reasons for you to want to improve beyond what you’re doing now, particularly if there’s an activity that you’re interested in doing. So if maybe you want to go canoeing, there’s a lot of mobility that’s required for you to be in a canoe and operate that canoe. So having the ability to get in and out of that canoe, you’re going to need good working knees, good working ankles. And as you’re rowing, you’re obviously going to need good rotational mobility. So yes, flexibility is also very, very important. So those are the two, what I would call the prime ones that most people should be doing.
I’m also going to talk about total body composition. Rather than just talk about weight loss, because I think every one of us can probably say, “I’d like to lose a couple of pounds of fat or more, but I don’t want this to just be about weight loss because if I lose weight, I might also be losing muscle, and that’s not a good thing.” You might lose two pounds, but if that two pounds is muscle, then you’re actually in worse shape. You’re actually less healthy, because now your body fat percentage has gone up. So instead of thinking about what the scale is telling you, you should think of body composition as a percentage of body fat, or a percentage of muscle mass. Whichever way you want to think about it – cup half full, cup half empty.
Most of us are going to go by body fat percentage – those are things that can be measured. They can be measured with a caliper at a gym. So you can go into a gym and a trained personal trainer can go through a process with the caliper. You can use electrical impedance, although those tend to be off a good bit, and a lot of that will depend on your hydration. If you stay hydrated, they work pretty well. But it could help you give a trend. So you can use them on a consistent basis and see if there’s a trend, but don’t think that’s actually what your body fat percentage is. There’s also the liquid submersion and the BOD PODs that use air. I prefer the DEXA scan. There’s a price to it. I do it probably about once every other year, just to know. But in a general sense, I can tell by looking at myself, measuring my body circumferences around the waist, stomach, hips, neck, arms and legs – I can generally tell how I’m doing on my body composition.
So, total body composition is important because if we allow ourselves to have a little too much body fat, that leads to issues like cardiovascular disease, we can get diabetes. There are other things going on there. You do want to focus on your body composition, but if you’re doing appropriate strength training, then you’re maintaining your muscle. The rest of that is going to be done in the kitchen. So eating good whole foods is actually going to help you lose that body fat. That’s what we want to focus on there – not so much the weight as to make sure that we’re eating good foods and we’re losing body fat.
Balance is important, because particularly as we get into our late 60s, 70s, 80s, there are lot of falls, and most of the falls are sideways when they happen, that someone gets really, really hurt bad. So if you fall sideways and particularly if you haven’t been lifting the weights for strength, you have the potential of breaking a bone. So having good balance is one of those things that can help prevent you from falling in the first place. The strength will help because when you do the resistance exercise, you’re also helping to strengthen your bones, not just your muscles. You’re strengthening your bones. So, a good strength training regimen and then having some balance work, and I prefer to do balance work in a couple different planes. It’ll be one foot or the foot, so you get used to that. You mix that up a little bit. And then you can also work on it from the perspective of moving side to side, being comfortable with your feet side to side and not tripping up as you move from side to side. So shuffles and what I call with karaokes – those types of movements will help you maintain lateral balance, which will prevent falls. So knowing those things, you do want to make sure that you maintain balance, and as you notice that your balance is getting worse, that’s when you want to say, “Okay, I need to focus a little bit more attention to balance.”
Finally, I go into life-specific. So, you have a grandchild, and the grandchild wants to run around, so you’re going to need maybe some additional cardiovascular fitness just so you can keep up with that little bugger. Maybe you want to play some tennis, so hand-eye coordination and agility are something that you want to keep up with. Or maybe in your younger days you were on the track team and you want to try some Masters track, so some speed work might be something that would be important to you. It’s really about your lifestyle and what are those other little bits and pieces that are going to make you better at being that person? That’s where the last piece comes in.
I’ve gone over five different fitness modalities – they’re strength, flexibility, total body composition, balance, and life-specific. Those are the five that I would spend most of my time on. Now, it’s really hard to do all of those at one time and it’s really hard to know which one matters most, which is why I want to take a few minutes to go back over the GPS model that I talked about in episode 296. GPS stands for grounding, personalizing, and self-awareness. If you do those three things, then you’re going to know exactly what your body needs now.
Let’s walk through the GPS model. Grounding is where we’re going to take our “Why”. It’s the grandchild – you want to be there for your grandchildren. The vision – what does it look like? Where do you want to be with the grandchild? Maybe you want to be the grandmother that can get down on the floor and color with them and also run around the park with them and keep up with them, be able to pick them up from the ground and walk with them. If that’s your vision of you with your grandchild, now you have this idea of what you need to look like, what your physicality needs to be. The type of human, athlete effectively, that you need to be to be that grandparent.
If you take your “Why”, which is your grandchildren, and what that vision is, you now have a commitment. You can make a commitment to be that person, and you make that commitment out of self-love, just like you would make any other major commitment in your life, like when you get married or when you profess your faith at your church or your synagogue or your mosque or whatever. When you go into this and say, “This is who I want to be and this is why I want to be it, and I believe it in my heart, and emotionally want this”, and through self-love, you make that commitment – a strong, emotional, deep commitment to make that happen – that’s your grounding. Now you have a center, now you have a reason to do this, and now you know what you need to do because you know what it looks like.
The personalizing is where you start thinking about, if you’re going to take a trip and your GPS says, ”Go up to the next intersection and turn left.” So, just like your GPS would tell you what to do, now you’re saying, “I want to be able to lift up my grandchildren and I want to be able to keep up with my grandchildren.” Those are two fitness modalities – strength and cardiovascular conditioning. At this point, now you’re saying to yourself, “I know I’m going to need my strength and I know I’m going to need to be able to keep up with them.” So putting together a program or a set of goals now that says, “I want to be stronger” – how do you measure that? Maybe you go in and you get your baseline. So you go do some work and say, “I want to be able to deadlift and squat and bench press. Maybe that’s the three lifts that I’m going to measure myself on.” And those are what most weightlifters call “the big 3”. We test with those in high school, we use those as athletes. So the deadlift, the squat and the bench press is a good metric to know that you’re building strength.
Maybe for you it’s pullups and pushups. You get the idea that you can come up with some baseline, and then you can start working on your overall body strength using compound movements. And then as you do that, you should notice improvement in those baseline exercises. So you’ll set smart goals; you’ll say, “I can bench press 100 pounds”, or maybe it’s 50 pounds or 20 pounds. Whatever it is, you have a max strength. You say, “I want to improve that by 10% this next month.” Early on that 10% is possible. So it is one of those stretch goals; it’s attainable though. So part of the smart is attainable. If you try to keep going 10%, 10%, 10%, there’s going to be a point where that’s just not attainable because your strength curve just won’t allow you to get that strong. But you can early on particularly see very large improvements in your strength as you get more comfortable with these exercises. Setting a smart goal that pushes you and making it time-specific – within a month or within a quarter or within a year – those are very good. I prefer the smart goals to be shorter term. Saying you’re going to do something within a year is really hard to keep you focused. Saying you’re going to do something within a month, six weeks, eight weeks – those are probably a little bit more appropriate to ensure that you have consistency and you really work towards them.
So set some smart goals. You know you want to work on strength – you set some smart goals for strength. You know you want to work on cardiovascular – so maybe it is, “Right now I can walk for 30 minutes without getting winded. I want to be able to add maybe another 100 meters to that 30 minutes by the next time I walk.” So I’m walking faster and I’m building speed. Or maybe you’re going to turn that into some interval running. Maybe there’s a little bit of jogging in there, so I’m going to jog to the signpost. Over time your expectation is either you get the distance done faster, or within the 30 minutes, you get more distance. You can choose how you put those goals together, but you can set smart goals for your running or your walking and cardiovascular fitness, in the same realm.
So you get involved. Now here’s the thing – nobody’s perfect. We have physical limitations. But we also have capacities, and many people don’t understand that their capacities often far exceed what their brain believes. Unfortunately, our body is never going to do more than what our brain believes. If you had a child trapped underneath a car, you’ve heard the stories of women and men that had been able to pick up a car to get that child out. How did they do that? Where did that strength come from? They inherently had it in them all the time, and when their brain turned off as to what limitations they had, their capacities kicked in. So taking some time to understand what your mental and physical limitations are, is a very important step because you don’t want to break yourself. Don’t go out there thinking you’re going to be able to double your strength in a few days, therefore you’ve got to work out every day. Be thinking in terms of, “I know when I work out I get really sore, and I’m sore for a day or two, so maybe I’m going to work out every other day, and I’m going to work out different body parts.” Maybe you’re going to do a full body workout one day, next day is going to be your running day or walking day, then you’re going to do another workout, and then another walking day, and maybe then take a day off to rest and recover. And now what you’ve thought of is, “This is what I think my limitations and my capacities are right now from a physical perspective.”
And then you’ve got to think about the mental perspective. I know when I go to work and I work all day and I get off at 6:00 and I go to drive home, and it’s turn right to go to the gym or turn left to go home and have a glass of wine – I have to make that decision. But I’m tired and I know in the evenings I’m so tired that that’s a very hard decision to make. So what do I do? Maybe I should do my workouts in the morning before I get tired, before it’s really that hard. And I fix up my gym bag in the morning, I put it right in front of the door, I put my gym clothes right there on my dresser, so as soon as I get up, I see my gym clothes, I put my them on, I grab my bag and I go out the door. If for whatever reason I don’t get up in the morning – because maybe you’re not a morning person, then I still have my gym clothes there, I still have my gym bag. So I take my gym clothes, I fold them up, I put them in my gym bag and I dedicate myself to say, “My commitment, based on my grounding – I need to do this.” So this gym bag is going to sit in my car on the passenger seat. When I come out of work, I’m going to see that gym bag sitting there, just like I would see a wedding ring on my finger and say, “I committed to myself through self-love to do this thing. So tonight I turn right and I go to the gym.” So I know it was a little while I went onto the GPS model, but I wanted to take a time and talk about it again because I think it’s really important for us to get our minds right first. This GPS process that I’ve laid out here is really about making sure you know why you’re doing this, knowing what you should look like, and from that perspective it really does open up to, “These are the fitness modalities that are going to matter the most to me.”
I’ll give you another quick example for myself. My “Why” is my family. I want to be around for my family, I want to be around for my children and my grandchildren. And as I put together the vision of that, it was not just be there, not just be the cheerleader sitting on the bench, watching them do what they do. I wanted to be engaged with them while they were doing the things they loved. My daughter was into CrossFit so I wanted to be able to do CrossFit. Then she wanted to do mud runs, I wanted to be able to do those obstacle courses with her. That meant I had to work on the fitness modalities to do that.
Also, I want to have a lifestyle that I enjoy. I want to enjoy my life so I’m a better person, I’m a happier person to be around. One of the things that was missing from my life at the point in time where I made that commitment was that I wasn’t playing volleyball anymore, and it was really bumming me out that I wasn’t capable of playing volleyball the way that I had been. I knew that that was a cardiovascular fitness thing, it was a mobility thing. So, to do the mud runs, I needed the cardiovascular fitness and I needed the strength. For me to do the volleyball, I needed the mobility and the cardiovascular. You see how now I have three modalities that were very, very important to me because they tied in directly to my vision, they tied in directly to my “Why”. By tying those all in, I now had a baseline, and it was a commitment, self-love, and now I know which of the fitness modalities matter most to me.
I’m still going to go back and tell you, I think strength, mobility – which includes flexibility, and total body composition are things that we should all always be working on. The others become important to us and we want to focus on those when they matter. So the question then is, if I’ve got all these fitness modalities, I can’t do 18 different workouts a week to maintain or build all of these at the same time. How do I go through a process of methodically building myself where I need to build myself, and then figure out how I can make all that work? There are only so many hours in a day, we’re mostly all working. We’ve got to get things done, and then we have a very short window of time to get this fitness thing done. So how do I do all of them? There’s a couple of different things you can do.
One is called cross-training. Obviously, if you get into a cross-training program, maybe it’s a circuit for strength, therefore you’re working your cardiovascular system and your strength at the same time. Maybe it’s a process where you do something like a bootcamp, where there’s a little bit of all of it going on. And you’ll see improvements. Particularly early on, you will definitely see improvements with anything that you do. So just know that early on – yes, work on all of it. But as you get a little bit stronger and as you mobility improves, as your cardiovascular fitness improves, you’re going to find it very hard to do these cross-training things that are going to be sufficient for you to do all the time. You’re going to want to focus on one thing at a time, at points in time, just so you can improve those more.
That is a process that we call “periodization”. With periodization, what you do is you figure out one or maybe two modalities and you say, “For a period of maybe the next six or eight weeks, that’s my thing. I’m going to focus on that.” Periodization is basically where we’re going to take one or two modalities and we’re going to focus on it for about six to eight weeks. That might mean I want to start really working on my strength and I’m going to take about a six-week period of time and I’m really going to bear down on my strength training. I’m going to get those compound movements that I want to do, I’m going to put in maximum effort for my strength, and I’m going to really bear down on that. Then after I finish that six to eight weeks, I’m going to mix up my program. So maybe body composition is also something that I’m very interested in building, so I do a period of time. Like I said, for strength, I get done with that six to eight week period and I say, “Now I’m going to change up my programming to make it work a little bit more for building muscle mass.”
And there are slight tweaks and variations of those. For the most part, if you’re working strength, you’re going to see some muscle mass improvement. If you’re working muscle mass improvement, you’re going to see some strength, but they’re not in complete overlap. There are ways to maximize and optimize one over the other. As we were talking, for me, I want mobility, strength, and cardiovascular fitness. So what I may say is, “I’m going to do a strength period and with the strength period I’m going to work mobility. And during my cardiovascular period, I’m going to go ahead and work mobility.” So I do a big strength push and I’m doing mobility on the side. And then I do a big cardiovascular push, and I build mobility on the side. And then I can alternate and go back into strength. So you see where you can get these things all improved and then as you do that, you’re going to see optimal improvements in that particular modality. So I would never really say just do one modality, particularly if you notice doing multiple ones together gets you the results. But if you find that you plateau and your strength is not really improving, your mobility is not really improving, your cardiovascular fitness is not really improving – then that might be a time for you to really bear down on that certain modality.
So the answer, as you said, is really both. And I would say it’s even more all-encompassing than both. It’s really all of them. You should be aware of how all of them impact your vision, how they’re going impact your life, and you should dedicate the appropriate amount of time to each of those five modalities that we talked about.
I hope this has been helpful. Again, if you have any questions at all, please go to the Contact Page and leave me a message on SpeakPipe. I get back to those immediately with the short answer. If it makes sense for me to do a podcast on, I will in do one. Otherwise you can email the question to me and if you’re comfortable with it, I’ll read your email and do the same thing with a podcast episode. Please do reach out if you have questions. I love that interaction, I love that opportunity. I want to take your question because you are not the only one with that question; there are others out there. I want to take the questions that you have and I want to teach others with that.
That all said, I am going to somewhat change up the format here. I haven’t really done a lot of solo episodes since the year started. It’s been a lot of interviews. I might not even have done a single solo episode since the year started, so I’m going to actually start mixing in a few more solo shows as we go. It might be something like a three to one ratio, sometimes maybe two to one. We’ll see how that works out, but I do want to have some more solo shows and I do want to continue to bring on experts on topics that matter to you. So just know that I am out there. If you have topics, issues, things you’re concerned about, I’m available. Reach out to me. I do want to make this show important to you. I want to make it as valuable to you as I possibly can, so please do reach out to me so I can do that for you. Thank you.
What is the best meal timing for weight loss and health? This question comes up quite a bit online. It is one I find very hard to answer in a simple Facebook post, so I decided to dedicate a full podcast episode to it.
What is the best meal timing for weight loss and health? This question comes up quite a bit online. It is one I find very hard to answer in a simple Facebook post, so I decided to dedicate a full podcast episode to it.
I view eating windows as a continuum much like the political spectrum. There are different approaches and people are very passionate about defending their place. Few people are able to objectively look at the full spectrum and see the benefits of each.
The meal timing for weight loss and health spectrum is:
Most people approach meal timing for weight loss. Before you can effectively lose weight, you'll have to manage your hormones. Understanding your hormone profile will help you decide where you should be on the continuum. Most of the approaches are focused on managing blood sugar and thereby insulin.
Lifestyle also plays a big role in determining which meal timing works best for you. I am often on a 16/8 intermittent fasting approach. I opt to skip breakfast and have a good lunch and dinner because it would be odd to not be eating when my wife is taking dinner.
All this said, being a sugar burner or fat burner will have the biggest role in determining which meal timing approach you can stick with. Frequent meals spaced throughout the day works best for sugar burners. Fat burners are often more comfortable with intermittent fast and extended fasting.
Here are a few of my biggest pet peeves related to health and fitness:
When I first launched 40+ Fitness Podcast, I posted an episode each Monday for the first ten weeks that was a lesson that touched on each of the health and fitness foundations in my Forever Fitness Personal Training Program. These are the principles I share with my clients to help keep them progressing and meeting their health and fitness goals.
I start with commitment because without it, you'll never see success. Willpower fails, motivation wains and resolutions are dropped. When you know your “why” and a vision of what health and fitness looks like for you, you can put these together to make a vow. This vow paired with self-love makes all the difference. If you really want it, go past making a decision and commit.
We get fat because of sugar. The average American eats 150lbs of sugar per year. Sugar raises your insulin, which is the core hormone for fat gain. The only way to successfully lose weight is to reduce your sugar intake. Aim for 50 grams or less per day and you're going to see great results.
Persistence is what keeps you going, Progression is what keeps the results coming. Patience is where you're going to face this challenge over the long-term. Applied together, these three keys are what all successful people have.
Our body goes through some very important functions while we're asleep. Our hormone cycle is driven by our sleep. Memory development and muscle repair also occur during this time. You'll want to get 7 – 9 hours per night, but focus on quality rather than quantity.
The liver is responsible for dealing with toxins. It makes its job easier by pushing the toxins into the fat. Now that we're losing weight (aka burning fat), we're releasing these toxins and the liver is forced to deal with it. Beyond not adding more toxins, it is important to give the liver plenty of water.
Our brain, joints and skin all use water to perform well. If you are dehydrated you're going to look and feel worse. Your
Our bodies were built to find balance. For this reason, we will often find ourselves hitting plateaus. You can build in strategies to break through plateaus or avoid them all together. Periodization can be effective particularly in muscular strength, muscle mass, or endurance. Or you can look for a way to push past it. Just don't quit.
You are a unique individual. As a result, what works for someone else may not work for you. Don't be afraid to experiment to find the things that will work for you. Take the time to educate yourself and then apply and tweak your programming and food.
Recognize that there are different fitness modalities and you should consider most of them. Focusing on one at the detriment of the others will keep you from meeting your goals or accomplishing your vision. A few fitness modalities to consider follows:
Of all the fitness modalities, the one I almost demand my clients do is strength training. Strength is the most important factor to being healthy and fit. Heavy lifting boosts testosterone production (libido) and helps maintain strong bones.
Once you've seen success, it is important to shift from this being a project to it being a lifestyle. If you've made good healthy habits, this becomes easy. Avoid language like diet. Diets are temporary and when you go back to eating the way you did before, you'll go back to what you were. Health and fitness is a continuum. You can always get better.
Health and fitness is a state of being, not a destination.