January F**kery

Part 8: Creating your training program

The finale! The finish! The climax! The last instalment of January F**kery.

Honestly, I could probably keep going and continue this well into next January, I have so much more I want to help you with but there is more than enough to get you thinking acting differently this year.

And as long as you keep reading my emails you’ll get more and more as 2020 progresses.

But I am going to finish this off with the main area everyone focuses on the most… The Training.

Because when it comes to training it’s confusing;

Where do you start?

What do you do?

What’s the best for weight loss?

What’s the best for fat loss?

What if you don’t really care about any of those things and just want to be fitter and healthier?

See, a ton of questions, and quite honestly it can be overwhelming unless you understand the human body.

I’m not going to bore you with a biology lesson here all I’m going to do is break things down super simple and give you examples, you can then decide for yourself what you want to do with it.

I don’t like dictators, I simply want to help and educate.

And I’m going to go from inside to out! {of the human body}

First up, let’s go deep inside:

As humans we need to breathe, eat and move around in order to live. That’s a given! For this we need energy, and this comes from the foods we eat.

Too much energy and we’ll store it as fat. Too little and we’ll still survive, but our movements will be less, our mental function will be poor, and we’ll pretty much feel like garbage.

So, we need to find that middle ground. And if we get this just right we will function at our optimal level and won’t gain weight and maybe even lose weight.

To help with energy balance we need to a) control what we put in (energy in), and b) increase our activity/exercise (energy out)

The summarise, {this is your first part of the equation}

Energy balance is critical for health and life performance. Keep your nutrition (energy in) controlled and move more (energy out).

  • Walk more – use the car less
  • Do more fun activities – with friends and family
  • Dance more – Because really, we all like a secret little boogie when no one is looking!

Moving helps your body metabolise fat for energy and it helps your body function better and it keeps your heart healthy.

So that’s the inside. Think of this as energy burning and heart health.

Next up!

Bones and ligaments.

These are what essentially hold you up and keep you stable. Without these you’d be a pile of skin on the floor, so they are pretty important.

Here’s the thing though, as you age they deteriorate. Yep that’s right, they start to become weaker and more brittle and then diseases such as osteoarthritis (joint inflammation and deterioration) and osteoporosis (bone weakness and deterioration) start to manifest.

This is why older people become more susceptible to broken bones, joint replacements and dramatic posture deformations. Yes, there’s exceptions but I’m emphasising the majority not the minority.

Look it’s inevitable you’re going to age and things will deteriorate, there’s no doubt about that. But, there is a way to counteract the ageing process… Strength training!

Overloading bones and joints over time and on a regular basis improves density and strength.

You don’t need to be hulk strong, just life strong!

One of the most motivating stories I’ve heard is from one of my very first coaches here at LIFT. His name is Bill and his story should be a prime reason why everyone should do some form of strength training.

As a young lad, Bill was heavily involved with martial arts. Outside of his martial arts training he used bodyweight strength movements to keep him strong and fit.

To cut a long story short, in later years (around 50 years old) he was experiencing a lot of pain in his lower back. He later found out it was actually broken and had been for a number of years…

… I know, amazingly he was still walking around, right! But we’ll keep Bill’s legendary statues for another email.

Anyway, he went for surgery! The surgeon, when operating on his back was absolutely astounded!

He later told Bill that he had never, in all his years been a surgeon, needed to go through as many drill bits to insert a small hole in someone’s vertebra. He couldn’t believe how dense and strong his bones were, especially at the age he was.

He went on to tell him that most people his age their bones are very soft and, in some cases, even crumble from the power of the drill.

Yet, here’s a guy defying the norm and making the machinery crumble!

His secret?

From a young lad Bill had always done some form of strength training. He started with bodyweight work such as push-ups and pull-ups but as he got older he started including compound lifts such as deadlifts and squats. These were always non-negotiable in his daily life.

When he retired from the martial arts scene he simply put all his focus on his strength work and essentially became superhuman!

I’ve had numerous clients in their 50’s who’ve come to me with bad knees, hips and poor posture. The difference strength training does is quite honestly life changing!

I know this stuff might not seem that sexy, but think of it this way,

I’m only 38 and I see people around the same age as me and they look 20 years older. They hobble, complain of back and knee pain and you can see exactly how their posture is starting to deform…

For me personally, I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be the one hunched over and complaining of joint pain. I want to be that old guy who bounces down the street who everyone is in awe of his vitality…

You know the guy I mean, everyone knows one.

Now… now is the sexy stuff.

Changing your body shape, losing fat, looking lean and toned…

This is the surface stuff! The one thing everyone stresses about and always on the lookout to improve.

And this is also super important. I think everyone SHOULD have a level of vanity.

It’s powerful for confidence building and it also demonstrates a level of self respect. I’m not for a minute talking about six packs and low body fat here.

What I am talking about is bringing body fat levels to a healthy level and having self-respect for your health. Feeling good in your clothes and having the confidence to wear or not wear whatever you want.

If it is about six packs and low body fat, kudos! You go for it.

All I want to make clear is six packs and low body fat doesn’t necessarily make you healthy or happy.

And health and happiness have to be the prime factors.  

Muscle!

Muscle is what gives you a defined look. It’s what people ask for EVERYTIME!

“I want to lose weight (fat loss) and tone up (muscle definition)

Muscle is live tissue.

It’s metabolic.

It helps you burn more calories.

But steady on there, it doesn’t mean piling on pounds of muscle will be the answer to you losing piles of fat.

It does mean challenging muscles and getting them stronger will help you burn more calories and it will also shape your body.

Let’s say you have a flat butt and would like it to be rounder and shapelier. You would need to build and strengthen this particular muscle.

Maybe you want more defined arms… guess what, you need to train your arms.

Yet for some reason, people are insistent on doing cardio to define their shape.

This will never happen!

You can definitely use cardio as a way to burn a few extra calories (energy out) but for definition, firmness and shape you got to train and challenge your muscles.

Don’t worry though, you don’t need to be bicep curling your hours away in the gym. Hitting big movements is all you need.

Let’s take a look a few examples:

Push-ups:

Triceps (back of arms), shoulders and chest.

One movement, multiple muscles.

And another…

Hip thrust:

Glutes (butt), hamstrings (back of legs) and quads (minimal but still play a part)

One more…

Pull-ups:

Back, biceps and abs (if done correctly).

Now you may be thinking,

“I know what you’re saying but how does it all go together?”

Here’s the fun part, putting it in a logical and effecting order.

Step 1:

Eat decent quality food and manage your energy intake. Start utilising energy and fat stores by moving more. Use an activity tracker and aim for 10,000 steps per day.

Step 2:

Your training program.

Don’t over complicate this. Keep it stupid simple (K.I.S.S)

There are four basic human movements:

  • Knee dominant (quads)
  • Hip dominant (glutes and hamstrings)
  • Push (triceps, chest and shoulders)
  • Pull (back & bicep)

If you done these four movements alone and got good at doing them, you would achieve the best results you ever had… guaranteed!

This is how a program could look.

Session 1: Set Reps Rest
A1. Hip thrust (hip dominant) 3 10 90s
B1. Pull-up (pull) 3 Max 90s
C1. Walking lunges (knee dominant) 3 8 e/s 90s
D1. Push-ups (push) 3 Max 90s

You’ve done four movements, hit every single muscle group and burned a ton of calories.

You could then add a few ab exercises in or a sprinkle of cardio (energy out) if you really wanted to, but it wouldn’t be essential.

Session 1: Set Reps Rest
A1. Hip thrust (hip dominant) 3 10 90s
B1. Pull-up (pull) 3 Max 90s
C2. Walking lunges (knee dominant) 3 8 e/s 90s
D1. Push-ups (push) 3 Max 90s
E1. Plank (ab stability) 2 60s 60s
F1. Air Bike (cardio) 5 12s sprint 36s rest

By doing these four movements you’ve also ticked off the bones and ligament box from earlier.

To summarise, from inside to out.

  1. Activity to burn fat and keep a healthy heart (inside)
  2. Bones and ligaments for life strength (structure and stability)
  3. Muscle for body shape and strength (outside) 

You have just bullet proofed your body!

Hopefully, you’ve found January F**kery of value. And if you have, I’d love to hear from you.

I will be compiling the whole series into an eBook, so if you’d like to receive a free copy let me know and I’ll put you on the priority list.

Thank you for reading and good luck.

Keir Spoon

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