In my last post I talked about New Year’s resolutions and how to simplify it into steps that will make it successful. This is a continuation of that post…
Keeping It Simple Stupid…
The KISS principle, so easy to understand and so under utilized. I have always been a true believer that any task, no matter how complex, needs to be broken down into simple and easy to digest parts. You don’t climb a mountain with one gigantic leap. It takes many simple little steps to accomplish your goal, otherwise frustration sets in which quickly leads to quitting or failure!
So as you make your New Years resolution to be a new and better you, the KISS principle is vitally important for success.
Like one prominent college football coach, Jimbo Fisher said in a radio interview recently, ‘to be successful you have to make the main thing the MAIN THING!’ Such a simple concept which gets lost in the planning due to many distractions!
So what’s the MAIN THING for a new you in 2015? Well if you want to be healthier, lose weight, put on muscle, or whatever, you have to break it down into its basic components.
The KISS principle for a healthier you consists of three pillars, each one just as important as the other. Without the three being in unison, you lose the effectiveness of your goal and are more prone to failure. They are:
This is the one most people think they have to just do and results will then follow. It is also the one that most people also stop doing first!
First some misconceptions about what exercise is and isn’t. A lot of people will say, yes I get my exercise in when I walk my dog every day. That is not exercise! While it is better than just sitting on the couch, it doesn’t even come close to any form of exercise. Your heart rate will hardly rise just walking and stopping as your dog sniffs everything in sight!
Another one I always hear is that they take a walk after dinner. Again, hate to say it but this is not exercise!
In order for it to be any form of exercise, you have to elevate your pulse rate and tax your muscles. Any type of cardio should at least get your heart rate into the Fat Burning Zone. This is calculated as follows:
220 minus your age times .7 to get the lower end of your heart rate. Then 220 minus your age times .8 to get the upper end of your heart rate. The two numbers you get is the range in which you want to maintain your heart rate for at least 20 minutes.
Why 20 minutes? Because in the initial part of your cardio session, your body is using easily available glucose to provide the energy to perform the cardio routine. At around the 20 minute mark, or before, your body has exhausted the easily available glucose source and now starts to use fat as the alternative fuel to create energy.
This is one way to burn fat in its simplest form. Another method is High Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT. I did a blog post that talks about HIIT towards the end. It can be read here.
Now another KISS principle for exercise is to do something that you have a passion for. Don’t just do something that you hate for the sake of doing it. You want to maximize success.
I encourage people to mix up cardio with resistance training. Now resistance training comes in many forms. From just doing calisthenics to going to a park for a more vigorous workout, to going to a gym and using their assorted free weights and machines.
One example of KISS is to take a run or bike ride and at certain moments along the trail, do pushups, squats, lunges, pull ups. Break it up into intervals.
I tell everyone, once you have committed to an exercise program, each day that you are scheduled to train, you have 24 attempts to get a one hour workout in. NO EXCUSES, NONE should exist.
Ah, my favorite! I see so many people at the gym come in daily, train for hours, yet nothing happens to their body. There is no doubt, except for a rare medical condition, that these people are not following a proper nutrition program. When I talk to them and start analyzing why they are not getting results, it almost always comes down to what they eat.
When you train the body, you are breaking down muscle. The muscles need to recover and rebuild in order to get stronger and ready for the next workout. If you eat junk, your body will never ever see any progress.
Nutrition is about getting the right amount of protein in your body, reducing the amount of fats you get into your body, and taking in the proper vitamins and minerals that orchestrate the proper digestion of what you are eating.
In its simplest KISS form, my intake of calories consists of 40-45% coming from protein, 40-45% from complex carbs and 10-20% from fats. Within the complex carb component, I make sure that I also take in the proper amount of fiber, a minimum of 30 grams a day regardless if you are man or woman.
I have written many blog posts on nutrition. Some of them can be found here:
Ok, so you are exercising and eating right, I should be good to go right? Well not exactly. Exercise is to work the body into getting in shape, nutrition is to feed the body in order to continue to exercise, but in order for nutrition to be successful and for you to be ready to exercise again, you need recovery.
Recovery comes in two forms. First one involves not overtraining the muscle over and over again on consecutive days. They need 48 hours to recover fully and repair itself. You can’t work out chest every day for example, you will end up damaging rather than strengthening the muscle. Your training program must come in cycles.
A good blog post on that can be found here.
The second part of recovery is sleep and naps. Yes naps, they are not just for pre-school children, adults need them too. You need to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. If this means getting to bed a little earlier, condition your body to do this.
So there you have it, the KISS principle for a better you by breaking it down into the three pillars of health: Exercise, Nutrition and Recovery.
Make 2015 the best year of your life and get…Fit Forlife!