10 Rules of Fitness - Follow These Principles
To Reach Your Goals
say the best advice is often the hardest to take. Our ego and pride
can stand in the way of what we really need to learn in order to
reach our goals. This is especially the case when it comes to developing
a fit body.
Below are 10 rules of fitness that were a bitter pill for me to
swallow over the years. The good news is that once I got them down,
my fitness potential exploded and life became a heck of a lot simpler.
Fitness Rule #1: Fitness is a simple game of cause and effect.
You can make excuses, or hang your reason on whatever logic
you like. At the end of the day, the human body simply accommodates
the information it receives. If you're not getting the effect you
desire, then the cause simply isn't there.
Fitness Rule #2: Mother Nature doesn't care about your diet
or exercise dogma. Many diet and exercise plans are based upon
a theory or dogma about what we should be doing to stay in shape.
Some say we humans are not meant to eat food that's been cooked.
Others are based upon the idea that we should only eat or workout
at certain times of the day. As I mentioned in the last rule, fitness
is a cause and effect deal. If you follow the laws Mother Nature,
you will have the result you seek. All of the dogma and idealism
is a product of human imagination and creativity. It's not bad,
but no dogma or ethos is more correct than the rules of Mother Nature.
Fitness Rule #3: You can't out train a poor diet. You also can't
fix crappy training with super clean eating. Diet and exercise
are two players on the same team. They both have different yet synergistic
jobs to do. If your issues stem from a poor diet then nothing you
do in the gym will help. At the same time, if your training is unfocused
and inconsistent then no amount of nutritional discipline will make
you a champion.
Fitness Rule #4: What you do outside of the gym has a bigger
influence than what you do inside the gym. An hour workout hardly
stands much chance against sitting at your desk for 9 stressful
hours and spending 3-4 more hours sitting in a car or in front of
the TV. Our body and mind were made to be active throughout the
entire day, not just at a short clip once in a while. Peppering
short physical activity breaks through the day can do wonders.
Rule #5: Your energy level rules all and is influenced by everything.
Your energy level is the single most important aspect of your
health and fitness. With energy you can do anything and do it much
more easily. But with a low energy level your potential goes into
a tail spin and everything becomes much harder to do.
What's more, your energy level is influenced by everything in your
life. From the thoughts in your head, to the websites you visit
and even the pets you keep, everything is an influence. So be on
the look outside of the diet and exercise box for other areas of
your life that are either boosting or sucking your energy level
Fitness Rule #6: No one cares about your fitness level or weight
loss. As you read these words I'm willing to bet your parents
are not wondering if you hit that PR in the gym. I'm pretty sure
your best friend isn't tracking your workout habits on her calendar.
And I'm pretty sure I could gain 10 pounds of fat and lose 10 pounds
of muscle and hardly anyone would notice.
It's not that folks are mean or uncaring. It's just that everyone
else has their own distractions and issues in life that they need
to deal with. But don't be discouraged. Getting fit for your own
intrinsic motivations or personal reasons is far more powerful and
rewarding than getting fit to fulfill someone else's ideal of what
you should be.
This also goes for the haters who dislike your positive changes
in lifestyle. Not everyone is going to be happy you're getting lean
and strong. Some people will feel uncomfortable about your success.
Don't let them drag you down. If they react negatively it's because
they have a long term problem they buried deep down that you forced
them to confront.
Fitness Rule #7: The quality of your exercise is far more important
than the quantity. You do more good for your body doing 5 super
focused pull ups than doing 100 sloppy ones. Remember it's all about
cause and effect. If the quality of the exercise isn't there then
the cause simply isn't there no matter how many reps you do or hours
you spend sweating away.
Fitness Rule #8: The quality of your exercise is 100% dependent
upon your own focus and concentration. When you exercise, your
mind is literally feeding your body instructions on how it should
perform. In this way, your mind is responsible for the cause and
your body is feeling the effect.
Your muscles are literally hard wired to your mind via your nervous
system. Whatever your mind says your muscles will do. If your mind
is distracted and not focused, the message to your muscles is broken
up like a call with bad cell phone reception. So be on the lookout
for distractions and use anything you can do to hone your focus,
be it music, a mantra you say or a little dance routine you do before
Rule #9: There is no weight loss exercise. Every exercise, from
running hills to juggling flaming kettlebells does one thing; it
trains your body to be capable of that activity. Every change your
body makes is to accommodate the functional demands of that activity.
Unfortunately, there are almost no exercises that require your body
to be leaner. Even if you would benefit from being leaner, like
with pull ups, your muscles are being told they need to be stronger
to lift the extra weight.
In other words, you can't train for fat loss. You can train for
balance, speed, strength, endurance, coordination and any other
aspect of capability, but you can't train skinny. Sure, you can
burn lots of calories through activity and that can help with weight
loss, but there's no guarantee it will make you lean. If calories
going in is the same as the calories going out then your fat levels
will remain the same no matter what your workout program looks like.
The good news is that you don't have to spend so much time and
energy at the gym to stay lean. No more long cardio sessions and
no more worrying about gaining weight because you don't workout
during your vacation.
Fitness Rule #10: No workout program will prepare you for everything.
Life is certainly easier with a strong and fit body. That being
said, no matter what you do there's always going to be a gaps and
holes in your capabilities.
No matter how much you bench you still may not be a very good boxer.
You may be able to run for miles but struggle to hike up a mountain.
Sure, there is carry over to many things with the basic exercises,
but nothing can completely cover the infinite number of possibilities
This is why it's so important to figure out what physical capabilities
are most important to you and to attack those with passion. If running
is your thing then go after it and be the best you can. Who cares
if you can't do a decent snatch with a barbell? The same goes if
the snatch is important to you but you couldn't care less about
improving your 5K time. Go after what's important to you. Don't
worry about everyone else telling you that you're not truly fit
if you can't fit within their standards.