Category: Fitness

You are a special snowflake

You are a special snowflake

When my main source of nutritional information was magazines like Men’s Health, I tried every diet imaginable in order to gain weight or to lose it. “Fats are bad”, so I decreased my fat intake. “Just saturated fats are bad”: best indulge on some avocados and peanut butter. “No wait, you should skip the carbs”: okay, so no more bread for me. Though not every diet gave me the best results, they did work in terms of scale weight. What I also noticed was that without fats, I felt more hungry even though I just ate a large meal. I could go some while without >100 grams of carbohydrates, but I would end up lethargic from eating just protein and fats.

In the end, I found that I perform best on 200 grams of protein, 80 grams of fat and the carbohydrates for my remaining intake. I don’t need a fancy diet, I need moderation when I am trying to lose weight, and to eat a little extra when I am trying to gain. I found out what works best for me by trying a lot of extremes. Years of interest in nutrition and exercise taught me that me that everything in life should be treated as an experiment.

Derek Sivers states in Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of Titans:

“Treat life as a series of experiments.”

Or similarly, by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

By making adjustments to what you are doing right now, tracking the results over time and examining afterwards, you learn how your body responds to a certain stimulus. By changing behaviour based on these tests, you make small increments in improving yourself. Whenever you ask yourself: “Should I squat once a week, twice a week, daily?” the only appropriate answer I reckon should be: “Try them all!”. In exercise, consistency is key. You need volume for bodily adaptation, but how much? In that sense, everybody is a special snowflake. Find out what works for you.

Book Notes – Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle – Tom Venuto

Book Notes – Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle – Tom Venuto

NOTES

  • If your goal is to shed fat permanently and safely without losing muscle, it’s truer to say, “Diets never work.”
  • Diets increase hunger and cravings.
  • Diets slow down your metabolism: “adaptive thermogenesis”.
  • When you cut calories, your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) level drops. Many people already know that low-calorie diets make them lethargic.
  • Without enough fuel coming in, you’ll fatigue faster, your strength will suffer.
  • The odds of you losing fat permanently with traditional low-calorie diets are stacked against you biologically, psychologically, and environmentally.
  • The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act we strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable and binds us irrevocably.”
  • The best way to destroy bad habits is to replace them with new ones, rather than trying to overcome them with willpower.
  • Cut calories if necessary as your weekly results dictate. Do it slowly and progressively in stages, not all at once.
  • The fastest way to transform your body is to eat more and burn more.
  • Training (burning more):
    • Raises your metabolic rate
    • Creates a caloric deficit without triggering the starvation response
    • Provides countless health benefits
    • Builds and maintains lean body mass
    • Increases fat-burning hormones
  • Dieting (eating less):
    • Slows down your metabolic rate
    • Triggers the starvation response
    • May be harmful to your health
    • Promotes loss of lean body mass
    • Decreases fat-burning hormones
  • Your body composition is entirely under your own control:
    • How much you eat
    • What you eat
    • When you eat
    • What type of exercise you do
    • How frequently you exercise
    • How long you exercise
    • How hard you exercise
    • Your overall lifestyle
    • Who you socialize with and allow to influence you
    • Your mental attitude
  • Don’t try to become better than someone else; become better than you used to be.
  • Losing weight is the wrong goal. You should forget about your weight and instead concentrate on shedding fat and gaining muscle!
  • ‘Skinny fat’ may be fitness slang, but it’s a real clinical condition: Researchers call it “normal weight obesity.” Where you are lean but carrying excess fat around your frame.
  • John Wooden once said, “Being average means you’re as close to the bottom as you are to the top.”
  • There is no such thing as failure—only feedback, only results.
  • Everything looks like a failure in the middle. You can’t bake a cake without getting the kitchen messy. Halfway through surgery it looks like there’s been a murder in the operating room.”
  • Don’t just follow advice:
    1. Research your own experience.
    2.  Absorb what is useful.
    3. Reject what is useless.
    4. Add what is specifically your own.
  • When gaining/losing weight: Never panic over a one-week fluctuation. The trend over time is much more revealing. Don’t get emotional about short-term results.
  • Each time you make a change, watch carefully for what happens every day during the following week.
  • Performance improves when performance is measured, so always keep score!
  • Another way to penetrate the subconscious (although much slower) is through spaced repetition.
  • By constantly repeating negative commands such as “I can’t lose weight,” your subconscious will see to it that you never lose weight.
  • The instant you notice a negative thought, immediately replace it with a positive thought, affirmation, or question.
  • Most people never reach their full potential because they don’t believe it’s possible, so they don’t even try.
  • He who chases two rabbits catches neither.
  • Whatever idea is fixed in your subconscious will always express itself in physical form: behaviors and results.
  • Experimental and clinical psychologists have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the human nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and one imagined vividly and in detail.” – Dr. Maltz
  • When losing weight, use a maximum calorie deficit of 30 percent below maintenance.
  • The people with the best bodies in the world are meticulous about tracking calories.
  • Establish a foundation first (follow a program/diet), then experiment, adjust, and customize.
  • Remember the 80‒20 rule. That’s the efficiency principle, which says that 20 percent of your actions—the vital few—will produce the majority of your results. The other 80 percent—the trivial many—is minutiae.
  • When you see nutrient recommendations for the general population, keep in mind that the average person is not training and that minimum and optimum nutrition needs are two different concepts.
  • Fats to avoid: hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, and trans-fatty acids.
  • Oils are, by nature, unstable substances that go rancid quickly with exposure to light and air.
  • Potatoes had the highest satiety index score of all the foods tested by far.
  • As you become dehydrated, your body’s core temperature increases.
  • Save the drinking for weekends, or even less often—only for holidays and special occasions (you might enjoy it more that way).
  • Track everything: structure, numbers, and timing develops discipline and attention to detail. I believe these are major factors that separate people with average bodies from people with the best bodies in the world.
  • When you’re disciplined about eating, you become disciplined about training and other areas of life as well.
  • We often use the words “good foods” and “bad foods” as figures of speech, but in reality food doesn’t fall neatly into these two categories.
  • Cook in bulk.
  • Most (the leanest people) have two or three favorite meal plans—a total of 10 to 15 different favorite meals—and they rotate those over and over.
  • Diets can actually make you a smaller version of your old self—weighing less, but still flabby and weak.
  • Paradoxically, it’s often the busiest people who get more done than anyone else, because their schedule forces them to become masters of productivity and because of momentum. – How you do anything is how you do everything.
  • Progressive overload (more volume, more weight, more sets, more reps etc.) is the number one principle of all successful training programs.
  • Sometimes you’ll make fast strength gains and increase the weight every workout. At other times, you must be patient and move up one rep at a time.
  • The bad news about plateaus is that they’re common. In fact, you should expect them. You’re more likely to zigzag your way to your goal, with sticking points and good weeks and bad weeks, than you are to shoot to your goal in a straight line without a hiccup.
  • Your body will forever be adapting to everything you throw at it and you will always be working against your body’s tendency to remain the same.
  • I’ve always found that the more complex you make your training and nutrition, the more confused you get. Simpler is better.

I found the nutrition and strength training advice in this book very applicable to other area’s in life. I therefore recommend this book even to people moderately interested in having an improved physique. If you liked these notes, you can support my blog by purchasing the full book on either:
Bol.com: Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle on Bol.com
Amazon: Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle on Amazon
Check out this book on Goodreads. I rated it 4 out of 5.
Book Notes – Starting Strength – Mark Rippetoe

Book Notes – Starting Strength – Mark Rippetoe

NOTES

  • “exercise is substitute cave-man activity, the thing we need to make our bodies, and in fact our minds, normal in the 21st century. And merely normal, for most worthwhile humans, is not good enough.”
  • “Our strength, more than any other thing we
    possess, still determines the quality and the quantity of our time here in these bodies.”
  • “Properly performed, full-range-of-motion barbell exercises are essentially the functional expression of human skeletal and muscular anatomy under a load.”
  • “A straight vertical line is also the most efficient bar path for a barbell moving through space in a gravitational framework.”
  • For the squat and the deadlift that means: “Weight is moved most efficiently directly over midfoot”.
  • “There is simply no other exercise, and certainly no machine, that produces the level of central nervous system activity, improved balance and coordination, skeletal loading and bone density enhancement, muscular stimulation and growth, connective tissue stress and strength, psychological demand and toughness, and overall systemic conditioning than the correctly performed full squat.”
  • Lower position of the squat:
    • The spine will be held rigid in lumbar and thoracic extension.
    • The bar will be directly over the middle of the foot.
    • The feet will be flat on the ground at the correct angle for the stance width.
    • The thighs will be parallel to the feet.
    • The hip joint will be in a position lower than the top of the patella
  • Use your hips! “The complete concept of the correct use of the hips in the squat is best understood as the use of both an actively locked lumbar extension and actively shoved-out knees, resulting in a below-parallel squat that incorporates a stretch reflex, using all the muscles of the posterior chain in the most optimal way possible. This movement pattern gets the thighs out of the way of the pelvis so that good depth can be more easily obtained. At the same time, it makes the squat stronger because the active use of the external rotators holds the femurs in a position that enables both the external rotators and the adductors to contribute to hip extension. This hip extension produces a more effective use of more muscles over a wider range of motion.”
  • “For example, if you are tall with very long femurs and relatively narrow shoulders, you need a wider stance than is usually recommended.”
  • “A mirror is a bad tool because it provides information about only one plane of the three: the frontal, the one that gives you the least information about your position and your balance. The most important reason to squat without a mirror in front of you is that you should be developing your kinesthetic sense while you squat.”
  • “As a general rule, the more of the body involved in an exercise, the better the exercise. The press produces strength in the trunk muscles – the abs, obliques, costals, and back – as well as in the shoulders and arms. It trains the whole body to balance while standing and pressing with a heavy weight in the hands and overhead. It uses more muscles and more central nervous system activity than any other upper-body exercise.”
  • In the (shoulder) press: “Lean back slightly by pushing your hips forward. This slight movement must not be produced by bending the knees or the lumbar spine. Rather, the movement is a function of only the hips. Without the bar and with your hands on your hips, push your pelvis forward and back a few times, keeping your knees and your low back locked in position.”
  • “You will have to take a new breath before each rep, at least for a while, or you risk a “blackout” at heavier weights.” – Unfortunately I have experienced this once in the form of an exertion headache.
  • “For the vast majority of lifters, the deadlift should be an essential part of training. It is the primary back strength exercise, and it is an important assistance exercise for the squat and especially for the clean (for which it is an important introductory lesson in position and pulling mechanics). The deadlift also serves as a way to train the mind to do things that are hard.”
  • “The deadlift starts at the mechanically hardest part of the movement and requires the lifter to generate the entire explosion necessary to break the bar off of the floor and get it moving up, without any help from a negative or anything else.”
  • Deadlift grip: grip the bar in the hook of the fingers, not in the meat of the palm. Otherwise the bar will slide down.
  • “In the squat and deadlift: The back muscles and the hamstrings are in a war for control over your pelvic position, and the lower back must win.”
  • The five steps for a perfect deadlift.
    1) Take the correct stance.
    2) Take your grip on the bar.
    3) Drop your shins forward to touch the bar, pushing your knees out slightly and without dropping your hips.
    4) Squeeze your chest up, with your weight on the mid-foot.
    5) Drag the bar up the legs.
  • “Because our muscles can contract only a small percentage of their length, our skeletal system is composed of levers that multiply the distance of their contraction at the expense of an increased force production requirement.”
  • “The arms are not plumb in a deadlift because the lats do not attach to the arms at 90 degrees when the arms are plumb. The arms must slant back to achieve a position of stability as they hang from the shoulders.”
  • “If the back rounds during the pull, some of the force that would have gone to the bar gets eaten up by the lengthening erectors. If the weight is sufficiently heavy, the rounded back cannot be re-straightened and the deadlift cannot be locked out.”
  • “People with long femurs, long tibias, and relatively short torsos will have a more horizontal back angle and a more closed hip angle. Long arms produce a more vertical back angle. Long arms tend to mitigate the effects of a short torso.”
  • “The use of the full range of motion is therefore important for two very good reasons. First, it allows you to quantify the amount of work you do: if you hold the range of motion of an exercise constant, you are holding constant the distance variable in your work equation.”
  • “Second, full-range-of-motion exercises ensure that strength is developed in every position in which the joints can operate. Strength development is extremely specific: muscles get strong in the positions they are made to be strong in, and in precisely the way they are trained.”
  • Bench press: “Correct use of the legs and hips involves only the maintenance of chest and back position, with the force directed horizontally along the bench and not vertically up off of the bench.”
  • Bench press: “The proper position for the feet is flat against the floor so that the heels can be used as the base of the drive up the legs. As with most of the things in the weight room, your heels need to be nailed down to the floor.”
  • “The best assistance exercises are those that directly contribute to the performance of the basic movements that produce the most benefit.”
  • “Assistance exercises fall into three categories. These exercises 1) strengthen a part of a movement, as with a partial deadlift (either a rack pull or a halting deadlift); 2) are variations on the basic exercise, as with a stiff-legged deadlift; or 3) are ancillary exercises, which strengthen a portion of the muscle mass involved in the movement in a way that the basic exercise does not, as with the chin-up.”
  • “Your bench press strength doesn’t adapt to the total number of times you’ve been to the gym to bench or to your sincerest hope that it will get stronger. It adapts to the stress imposed on it by the work done with the barbell. Furthermore, it adapts to exactly the kind of stress imposed on it. If you do sets of 20, you get good at doing 20s. If you do heavy singles, you get better at doing those. But singles and 20s are very different; the muscles and nervous system function differently when doing these two things, and they require two different sets of physiological capacities, and thus cause the body to adapt differently.”
  • “Exercise follows exactly the same principle as getting a tan – a stress is imposed on the body and it adapts to the stress, but only if the stress is designed properly. You wouldn’t lay out for 2 minutes and assume that it would make you brown, because 2 minutes isn’t enough stress to cause an adaptation.”
  • “As a general rule, you need to try to add weight to the work sets of the exercise every time you train, until you can’t do this anymore. This is the basic tenet of “progressive resistance training,” and setting up the program this way is what makes it different from exercise. For as long as possible, make sure that you lift a little more weight each time.”
  • Exercise is specific: training a lift for one set will make you better at lifting one set. Sets of 20 will make you better able to do sets of 20.

These were my personal notes, which I wrote down based on my own strength training needs. The book contains far more information on the power clean and assistance exercises. If you liked these notes, you can support my blog by purchasing the full book on:
Amazon: Starting Strength on Amazon
Check out this book on Goodreads. I rated it 5 out of 5.
Lose weight with delicious apple cider tea

Lose weight with delicious apple cider tea

I came across this tip by Fledge Fitness, a youtuber primarily concerned with intermittent fasting and whose channel I dearly recommend. He advocates prolonging the fasted period by consuming apple cider vinegar (ACV). The vinegar in itself is a powerful appetite suppressant, which should be the main use for consuming the ACV even though a host of benefits are ascribed to it all across the internet like:

  • Decreased insulin: supposedly increasing fat breakdown and the ratio of fat burned when losing weight.
  • Lower blood sugar overall.
  • Improved metabolism.
  • Sometimes ACV is claimed to even burn fat by increasing fat burning genes (link).

Though I don’t believe in the aforementioned claims necessarily, I have tried ACV for its appetite suppressing effects. In my experience, the ACV does indeed stave of hunger for at least a couple of hours.

In order to make the apple cider vinegar more palatable, Fledge Fitness provides a recipe containing: a splash of apple cider vinegar, a splash of lemon juice, a pinch of cinnamon and hot water. These ingredients culminate to form an apple cider vinegar tea that is easier on the teeth and throat due to the disolved acids.

This is especially beneficial for people who don’t like to drink black coffee or to ingest caffeine, since it brings another option to the table.

Improved apple cider tea

After being introduced to the apple cider vinegar tea, I drank it multiple mornings in the week in order to stall my first meal until noon. After a while, I began to grow bored of the taste and increasedly substituted the tea by coffee. Even though coffee is great, and the office coffee machine provides a sort of decent coffee, I tend to get jittery after 2-3 cups. Furthermore, my sleep tends to suffer when I drink coffee in the early afternoon.

I therefore tried to add a splash of apple cider vinegar to a multitude of flavored teas using store bought tea bags. This turned out to be delicious. I have tried this with rooibos tea, green tea, cranberry tea, lemon tea, chamomile tea and mango tea. Surprisingly, the result is great with each of the teas I tested this with.

I suggest adding apple cider vinegar to your tea to give it a more tangy taste and make it more flavorful overall.

Make life effortless for your future self

Make life effortless for your future self

Instead of simple sandwiches, my lunches usually consist of some type of salad or skyr/yoghurt with fruits. I do take my time in creating enjoyable lunches for myself. People sometimes ask me, ‘how can you eat so healthy?’ or exclaim, ‘I don’t have time to fix those kinds of lunches’. The truth is, once you have a couple of simple systems in place, the management of your nutrition becomes easy. The fun thing is, the better these systems become, the more leverage these systems create. The effects compound in such a way that fitness becomes increasingly more effortless.

For example, I follow these steps:

  • From experience, I know what meals I enjoy and are conducent to my nutritional goals. These meals contain the micro- and macronutrients I need, but are very enjoyable as well.
  • On saturday, I select the lunches I wish to eat the coming week from these staple meals. I do my groceries, and since I already know what I need, and made my list in advance, these groceries take up very little time.
  • I then prepare these lunches on the nights before, so I have fresh meals every day.

That way I can start of the day without having to spend time in the kitchen. I simply grab the food from the fridge and get to work. Saving a little time, I can start working early and start the day of productively, as I found that the morning hours are my most productive times. More importantly, I won’t have to expend any willpower or thought on my food choices that day, since I already made those. Since I also don’t eat breakfast, the rest of the morning is centered on getting things done, while I can look forward to my lunch.

By the time lunch comes around, I will already have put in a solid 5 to 6 hours of (preferably deep) work, allowing me to focus on more menial tasks in the afternoon. Doing low-stress work at the end of the workday provides the opportunity to wind down and clear the mind so that when I get home, I have all the energy/willpower I need to get to the gym and have an awesome workout. The cycle repeats itself, when in the evening I prepare my foods for the next day.

As I mentioned, the routine creates a sense of effortlessness that spreads throughout the rest of my life. Having my nutrition on point means performing better in the gym, having more energy to do all the things I want to do and being more healthy overall. By feeling better and having more energy I can get more done in a day. This then compounds as I create new systems in my life, further optimizing my activities, making life increasingly easier for my future self.

A small tip to break bench press plateaus

A small tip to break bench press plateaus

Being stuck at 65kg for reps for over a year, I tried everything to break through my bench press plateaus: benching once a week, twice a week, three times a week. Doing al types of tricep work, such as dips, close grip bench press, skull crushers. All without results, even during periods of eating more.

Recently my bench press has been increasing consistently and I will attempt 75kg for reps next week. Until now there are no signs that I will not be able to continue this rising trend. So what did I change to make my bench press numbers start increasing again?

Simple: I started doing daily pushups and tracking my progress.

So the daily pushups are probably increasing strength but more importantly the mind-muscle connection of my pectoral and tricep muscles. The tracking part helps me to consistenly do these pushups. During the first three months of the year, I am doing 30 pushups daily. In April I will increase this number to 40, in July to 50 and to 60 in October. I am planning to do over 16.000 pushups this year. These numbers are high enough to help me increase mind-muscle connection and increase stability of the shoulders, scapula and back, but not too high so that it will not cause fatigue or negatively affect training.

I am guessing this strategy will be applicable to things like pull-ups as well, perhaps even squats. It was Pavel Tsatsouline who introduced me to a Russian saying: “To press a lot, you must press a lot”. This isn’t a novel idea, but it seems to be working magic on me.

On a bonus note: I have been struggling with tricep dips forever. Perhaps being able to do only 2 or 3 good reps before fatigueing. Yesterday I attempted dips for the first time in months, easily completing 4 sets of 8 reps.

Use rewards to trick yourself into the weight room

Use rewards to trick yourself into the weight room

Two weeks ago I wrote about the benefits of intermittent fasting. How pushing your first meal until later in the day can actually help you feel more satiated with less food. I was reading Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational when I came across a chapter on procrastination and self-control. Basically, the text explains how it is completely logical that people find going to the gym and eating well so difficult.

The conclusion of the chapter is that we humans are exceptionally bad at doing the best for our future selves. Think about it. We choose to eat the extra pizza, or endulge in that extra serving of ice cream, only to foist ourselves with the promise to make up for it the next day. When the next day comes around, we find all kinds of rationalizations to continue our bad behaviors.

Since future you is not your best friend, we have to trick ourselves into making the beneficial decisions right now. The solution provided by Dan Ariely is to couple something we dislike with something we love. He gives the example of an overweight movie lover who will only allow him-/herself to watch a film while walking on the treadmill.

I found that intermittent fasting helps me to get into the gym at least 4 times a week, by providing me with a guilt-free post workout meal. Because my lunch and dinner consist of around 60% of my total daily calories, I will allow myself to eat the remaining 40% (approximately 1000 calories) ONLY after I worked out that day. This doesn’t require a lot of discipline, since the lunch and dinner will be fulfilling meals on their own, curbing my desire to snack in between. I will make the first meals as healthy as possible, so I don’t have to skimp on more typically “unhealthy” foods later on.

The anticipation of the rewarding post workout meal helped me make going to the gym a habit. Furthermore, it helps me go to the gym when I’m not particularly looking forward to it. Though this is just one example of pairing good and bad behaviors, this technique can be applied across your entire daily life. It may just help push you to make that final step.

How skipping breakfast helped me see my abs for the first time

How skipping breakfast helped me see my abs for the first time

During most of my youth, I was fat. It was when I went into puberty and gained some height when I started to receive comments like:

“Did you lose weight”, “Wow, you look a lot better than a year ago” etc.

Though I indeed lost size in my waist, I never had the idea that I looked good without a shirt. At around 17 years old, I tried to lead a healthy life by distance running multiple times a week and eating only “healthy” food (fruits, nuts, vegetables), skipping “bad” food (cookies, cake etc.) -I will do an article on the value judgement of food in the future- and eating small meals multiple times a day to stave hunger and keep the internal furnace burning (calories). A couple years later I started resistance training and drinking protein shakes in the hopes of magically getting a more toned physique.

At 25, I was skinnyfat, meaning I looked good with clothes on, but somewhat chubby without. I weighed around 86kg, thinking this was a healthy weight to be at 1.88m. I hadn’t gained any notable strength in the last couple of years. Things needed to change. It was at the start of 2016 when I tried a new strategy in losing weight: skipping breakfast and stop eating after dinner/my evening post-workout meal.

By limiting the window in which to eat food, it becomes a lot easier to restrict calories. The term for this type of lifestyle is called “Intermittent Fasting”. Instead of eating 6 small meals a day, I ate a large lunch (40% calories), a small dinner (20% calories) and a post workout meal in the evening (40%). Instead of eating 2800 calories spread out over 16 hours, I ate 2300 calories in 8 hours. Think about it. By eating a 1.000 calorie meal at noon, I didn’t feel hungry until dinner. My dinner gave me the energy to go balls to the wall during my workouts, while the 1.000 calorie post-workout meal provided an excellent reward for going to the gym and going to bed completely satiated.

The funny thing was, even though I didn’t eat before noon, I never felt hungry in the morning. On the contrary, I saved time by skipping breakfast, most of the time experienced more clarity and became more productive overall. Moreover, it was always the co-workers eating small snacks over the entire workday complaining about hunger all the time. In the rare cases of experiencing hunger, I could stave it off very easily by drinking a cup of coffee or sparkling water. The only challenge is fighting off the people who will comment that it is unhealthy to skip breakfast, even though science already proved this to be bullshit.

One year later, at the 1st of january 2017, I weighed 75kg and could see my top abs, with the contours of the lower ones very much visible for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. In the meantime, I finally squated with my own bodyweight on my back for 5×5 reps, after continually stalling for years trying to lift 60kg.

Though it wasn’t JUST the fasting which helped me attain these results, since I also made sure to eat enough protein (2g/kg body weight) and worked out consistently for 3 days a week + light cardio on the other 4. It did make the weight loss that much easier! If you find you are trying to lose weight to no avail, feel hungry all the time and have the mental clarity of an insane person in the morning: try skipping breakfast. It sure was worthwhile for me.

If you sit all day, it will look like you sit all day

If you sit all day, it will look like you sit all day

I’m not sure where I came across this quote for the first time, but it has been on my mind the entire week. I paraphrase: “If you sit all day, it will look like you sit all day”. Basically this sentence contains two important reminders.

  • If you have a sedentary job like me, you will want to move around as much as possible. All the cliche solutions will suffice. For example by taking a walk during your lunch break. Instead of e-mailing your colleagues, move around in the office. Park your car further away from the office’s front door. I could go on and on.

    The point is, your body will adapt to whatever inputs it gets. If you just sit all day, your body will adjust to being capable of sitting all day in the best way possible. That means that you will be tight in the gym, you will experience more fatigue and pains, and instead of being this chiseled god you will look more like McDonald’s Grimace. This leads into the second reminder:

  • There are no shortcuts in fitness, even though all the inspiring January 1st articles around the internet will want you to believe there are. Silver bullets are always nice, but they just do not exist! Sure, you can do some things more intelligently to save time, but you cannot expect to become fit if you go to the gym for 1,5 hours and be a complete slouch for the other 22,5.

    You are in this for the grind. As I stated above, your body is good at doing one thing: adapting to the stimuli it gets. So get up and get moving. Use the quote as a reminder to become more active every day. Otherwise your body WILL tell you that you are not.