The Unsexy, No BS Guide to Actually Getting Results
What follows is what most people, most of the time, probably outta concentrate on in order to see results with their health & fitness goals.
(NOTE: This is a repost of a blog post I wrote back in 2017. It still holds).
1. Stop Chasing Optimal.
What’s the optimal number of days per week to train? What’s the optimal set and rep scheme to perform? What about optimal exercises to include and in what order?
People get so caught up in optimal that they’re often paralyzed to start. Optimal is often equated with “perfect” and that’s a lot of pressure to put on oneself.
If I had to define optimal it would look like this:
Get to the gym and do something – anything – 3 days per week, 52 weeks out of the year. It could be your standard 3x per week full-body strength program, three days per week of yoga, group classes, CrossFit, or, I don’t know, Krav Maga naked arm wrestling ring gymnastics.
It doesn’t really matter.
What matters is being and staying consistent.
Shut up and do that.
2. Results Require Recovery
I always tell my athletes that they’re only going to be as strong, fast, and unstoppable as how well they allow themselves to recover.
Recovery and recovery strategies is all the rage nowadays.
Rightfully so: recovery is important.
However, I’ve never seen a more blatant game of oneupmanship of late than people discussing what they do to recover.
The latest fad is people paying money – and a lot of it, mind you – to stand in a cryo-chamber for a few minutes and, literally, freeze.
Cool. <— hahaha, get it? I’m being sarcastic & ironic at the same time.
As far as it’s efficacy, I’ll just drop THIS here and let you talk amongst yourselves.
You might be able to convince me this would be a viable option for Bulgarian or Russian weight lifters who train 3-4 times per day six days per week.
But even that’s a stretch.
Yet, you have guys who’ve squatted 225 lbs once bragging about utilizing cryotherapy.1
“Gotta recover. #YOLO.”
I have a better idea:
- Go to bed.
- Eat ample calories to support your goals.
- Get a massage.
- Get laid.
- Pick your nose.
Any of those would be a far better option that freezing your balls off.
3. Easy Training is Good Training
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
“Lifting weights isn’t supposed to tickle.”
There has to be a degree of uncomfortableness if you want to see results in the gym.
However, it doesn’t have to be every…single…workout.
Working hard and training with purpose/intent is one thing. (Good).
Not being able to feel the left side of your face is another. (Bad).
A talk I have often with my own clients is the idea of 80% workouts. It’s a concept I stole from strength coach, Paul Carter.
Someone may walk in one day and say something to the effect of:
“Tony, I feel like my last workout was too easy.”
My typical response is something to the effect of:
Okay, only slightly kidding.
Of course there’s always the chance I was a bit too conservative with loading or the mode of exercise. If that’s the case I’ll adjust accordingly.
Most of the time, though, I’ll reiterate it’s okay to have “easy” workouts.
Easy training is good training.
- 10% of the time you’ll feel like a rockstar and these are the days the weights fly up.
- 10% of the time you’ll feel like a bag of dicks and weight you normally crush feels heavy.
- 80% of the time are your “easy” workouts.
80% workouts are the ones where you show up, do the work, don’t miss reps, and then go the eff home and Netflix and chill (emphasis on chill).
Those are the workouts that matter most.
Refer to Point #1.
4. Miscellaneous Tidbits & Tomfoolery
– Train alongside other strong, albeit supportive people. Find an environment, even if it’s just once per week, where you can be amongst your people; your tribe. It’ll make all the difference in the world.
– If your gym doesn’t allow chalk, you’re a member of the wrong gym.
– More Tiesto…;o)
– Stop wasting your money on detox diets or organic Acai berries fertilized using the shit from a Centaur’s rectum. If you’re not accounting for or cognizant of total calories per day (as it relates to your goals) it’s pointless.
– Drink more water (best detox diet their is).
– Walking is a undervalued and underutilized form of exercise.
– I’m sure I could pontificate longer and muster up some more gems, but 1) I’m hungry 2) I need to go relieve the nanny and 3) I want to hear what YOU have to say.