December 17, 2020
One of my favorite (and very graphic) Greek mythology stories of all time, “Oedipus Rex”, sadly ends with the main character stabbing his own eyes out. After ridding himself of his own vision, Oedipus exiles himself from his kingdom with his sister/daughter as his guide (that’s right, he had a daughter with his mother) to finally die a pitiful death in the city of Colonus.
Health & fitness can also make you want to stab your eyes out (or something like that).
Not that the eyes help at all, because 95% of the people I chat with don’t see a clear path to reach their health and fitness goals.
But fitness doesn’t have to be eyepopping, painful, or confusing…In fact, it can be a bunch of fun when done properly.
Whether you are just getting started toward a fitness goal, or you’ve been at it for some time…by the end of this article you’ll know exactly what you need to do to reach your next goal. This article will serve as your very own Tiresias (you’ll only understand this reference if you read Oedipus Rex”)
Disclaimer: This article is not for hardcore workout peeps who live to be in the gym – this is for every day people looking to be improve their general health.
Your first step…
To begin, find a program and/or coach that teaches you the fundamentals of exercise and nutrition. If the program you find is sound, your exercise will prioritize strength training with focuses on mobility, proper form, and safety. You should regularly be performing squats, lunges, hinges, pushes/presses, rows/pulls, crawls, carries , and planks.
Your nutrition should focus on a balance of eating nutritious foods and not-so-healthy foods in healthy portions. It probably shouldn’t be based around cutting out an entire food group (like protein, carbs, or fats).
In your first 6 months to a year, focus on:
- Proper Exercise Technique
- Eating Nutritious & Not so Nutritious Foods Quantities that match your goals.
In your first 6 months to a year, avoid:
- Comparing your Day 1 to someone else’s Day 500
- Beating yourself up if you miss a workout – just do the next one
- Obsessing about progress – it will come
Follow this for 1-2 years, and you will most likely be in the best shape of your life (unless you were a high-level athlete at some point.)
At Hybrid Fitness, we have members who follow these bullets through our guidance, never add additional steps, and are completely satisfied. If you continue to follow these past that 1-2 year mark, you will begin to stagnate, but that’s okay if you are happy where you are at.
If you’re considering Hybrid Fitness as your training facility, I recommend beginning with our Fit-For-Life or Ultimate Results program. Both of these will accomplish the “first step” bullets.
If you want to push the limits of your body, you need to add a few additions to your program. These additions will make you drop to below average body fat levels, and above average strength.
In your first year of training, you can grow stronger by learning proper technique in the many patterns I mentioned above, as well as adding randomized weights to those exercises. Eventually, your body will adapt, and it will require more “stimulus” to push you forward.
Now is the time you want to keep a journal. Repeat the same two or three strength workouts for a 4-6 week period before switching to new ones. Each time you do the same workout, aim to add more weight or repetitions. Don’t underestimate an increase in 5lbs, or 1 or 2 reps. If you multiply that “small win” over the course of a year, you will make significant improvements. Your physique will transform (your friends and family will start to notice) and your confidence and mental state will improve.
When progressing strength further, focus on:
- Increasing sets, reps and weights
- Repeating your workouts
- Sticking to basic movements (avoid getting too fancy)
When progressing further, avoid:
- Sacrificing form to increase weight
- Doing randomized workouts
- Getting really fancy with exercise selection
If you need guidance in this step, I recommend working 1 on 1 with one of our personal trainers either online or in-person, or joining our Ultimate Results program. Increasing your weights, maintaining proper form under increased load, and writing a sound program will require more coaching and guidance than the previous steps.
Cutting Body Fat
Dropping more pounds of fat will require additional steps as well. Keep a food diary within the phone app MyFitnessPal and weigh all of your food that you input into it.
Maintain a daily weigh-in log, and average your weigh-ins each week to see your “average weight”. Compare your average weight and your daily average calorie intake.
If you aren’t dropping ~1% Body-fat each month, add 60 minutes of walking/cardio into your week, or drop your calories by 100-200 each day. Repeat this process until you’ve found a happy pace of progress.
Make sure that 30-40% of your calorie intake is coming from protein. This will optimize your recovery from your demanding strength workouts, allowing you to maintain and add muscle while burning fat.
Guidance at this step can be found in our 1 on 1 Nutrition & Accountability
You now have a clear path to take you where you want to go in your health and fitness. Your goals will change over time, and if they do, so should your actions.
This article may seem very simple…Maybe too simple. The truth is, the longer I work with people on this, the more simple I find it to be.
I wish you the best of luck on your health & fitness journey, wherever you are, and if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email myself or my team…
…And remember, “Small Steps, Big Results”.