My Blog Has Moved!

With the latest update to my website, I can now blog from there! WordPress has been good to me, but I’m excited to blog from my own platform.

If you want to keep seeing my content you have two options.

  1. You can friend me on Facebook, where I share all my new articles.
  2. You can sign up for my newsletter

Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed my articles and I hope I haven’t lost you as a reader!

Cheers!

P.S. I have an instagram now! Follow me @mortonfitness

2 Simple Tips And 1 Less-Simple Tip To Break The Snacking Habit

Snacking is an easy way to unknowingly rack up extra calories.

You know this.

But what if having this knowledge doesn’t fix the problem? How do we effectively reduce our snacking?

Eat bigger meals

Snacking isn’t inherently at odds with fat loss.

In fact, the 3 solid meals + 1 snack a day setup seems to work really well for most people. However, compulsive snacking is where we run into some problems.

This is where the “don’t eat after 10 pm” myth stems from. The food we eat after 10 is usually compulsive. We eat out of boredom or stress, not because we’re actually hungry.

When people stop eating after 10, they cut out a decent amount of compulsive eating. The weight loss here is correlation, not causation.

We’re not gremlins. Eating after 10pm doesn’t automatically cause weight gain.

Caloric balance still matters–meal timing doesn’t change that. It’s just that we often eat calories we don’t need after 10.

Sorry. I got sidetracked. Back to eating bigger meals.

We should feel satisfied after meals.

Fullness doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve overeaten. For example, feeling stuffed from grilled chicken vs. pizza will yield two drastically different caloric scenarios.

Feeling satisfied after meals will help limit the impulse to snack.

Less cravings= less need for willpower=less feelings of deprivation=less snacking.

Don’t keep unhealthy snacks around the house

Our environment greatly influences our behavior in ways we may not realize.

whats water

If snacks aren’t in the house, our cravings won’t be triggered. And if we want ice cream we have to change out of our lazy pants and walk all the way to the store. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

We’re using the same logic here as in last section. The goal isn’t to get good at white knuckling through cravings, but to engineer infrastructure to avoid the cravings altogether.

We want to make healthy behaviors more convenient and unhealthy behaviors inconvenient. This drastically increases our chances of successfully changing our snacking habits.

But what about if I have zero control of my environment? What about the candy bowl at work?

This situation is SUPER tricky to deal with. That candy bowl is always freaking there and you always have to walk by it!

However, there are some strategies we can use to make this situation easier:

-Walk around the snack bowl when possible. Figure out what triggers your snacking here, and do your best to avoid said trigger.

-If you have a snack craving, let the craving sit for 30 minutes. If you still want that fun size Snickers (Twix is clearly the superior option, but I won’t hold it against you) after that half hour, commit to having half a serving. If you want the rest after another half hour, go for it. With practice, this will get easier.

-If you have a craving, go for a walk or watch a youtube video or something. “Change the subject” in some way.

-Joining a group of supportive, welcoming individuals who are working on this same snacking habit is the most surefire way to deal with this situation. Having that support, camaraderie, and accountability makes dietary struggles less daunting.

By joining my online Tribe of Badassery Coaching Group you will become part of an awesome crew of like minded individuals that motivate each other to conquer their fat loss struggles. We struggle together, and we change together.

Want to be part of a community, but don’t feel like paying for coaching? You’re in luck! Join the party that is my free Facebook group Sustainable Strength

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Loss” 🙂

 

How To Minimize Gym Time And Make Room For The Rest Of Life

Lifting is one of my favorite activities.

That said, I don’t want to spend all my time in the damn gym. As much as I love picking up heavy things and putting them down, I need balance. Gym-ing all the time doesn’t make me feel happy, balanced, or grounded

More isn’t always better. Sometimes it is though.

If someone only does the elliptical, more lifting is a plus. Now, if hypothetically someone hypothetically was training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai twice a day, 6 days a week, in addition lifting 3 times a week, this hypothetical person probably doesn’t need more exercise.

In case you didn’t pick up what I was putting down, I was the “hypothetical” person bt-dubs.

We don’t need to spend all of our life-force on our fat loss pursuits to get that line of definition on the back of our arms that makes wearing a tank top feel more awesome.

Now, creating lasting healthy nutrition habits with minimal mental energy and time is a different discussion. And I would be more than happy to write about it in the near future.

If you’re interested in this topic email me at jeff@mortontrainingsystems.com with the subject line: Write the damn thing already!

Today, for clarity’s sake I want to focus on cutting down gym time. For now, I’ll give you some tactics you can start implementing today to minimize your gym time and still get as sexy as you wanna be.

You don’t need to lift everyday

In fact, I wrote an entire other blog post on why 3 or 4 days of lifting is usually optimal. Check it out here: How Many Times A Week Should I Workout?

Focus on the Big Rocks

Devote the majority of your gym time to practicing bang-for-your-buck exercises. This means you’ll only be doing 5 or 6 exercises per session.

bigrocks

Compound, Multi-joint exercises are where the money’s at. Our gym sessions should revolve around the 5 fundamental movements (Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge, Carry) which all happen to be compound exercises.

We can explain the term Compound (multi-joint) by comparing it to Isolation (Single Joint) movements.

An example of this comparison would be Squats (Compound) vs. Machine Leg Extensions (Isolation). Squats involve movement at the ankles, knees, and hips in addition to a shitload of spinal stability. Leg Extensions involve movement solely at the knee.

More examples of compound lifts include: Bench Press (Push), Bent Over Row (Pull), Lunge (Squat), Sumo Deadlift (Hinge), and Farmer Walk (Carry).

Compound movements win because they’re efficient. You can work more muscle groups in less time. Furthermore, because many muscles are working together in compound lifts, you can hit each muscle involved harder than you could with an isolation move. A boat with many rowers is more powerful than a boat with one rower.

Let’s look at the deadlift. We can break it down into the muscles involved, and we will, but it doesn’t really do the lift justice in describing its benefits.

bobpeoples

The deadlift works the entire back, thighs, butt, deep abs, forearms, shoulders, calves, some arms i.e. everything.

Using every muscle in your body at once means you can lift a lot of weight. Each of those muscles is being loaded with much more weight than it could handle on it’s own. Go team!

It’s an instance of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Like you! 🙂

The result is a greater training effect in less time with less exercises. Yeah Buddy!

If you absolutely need to throw in some curls or whatever, set a timer for 15 minutes at the end of your session. This is your cut off time. After that timer goes off, you’re done! Get out of the gym and go have a few laughs with some friends.

Last Point

Stop doing cardio if it makes you associate the gym with masochism. Cardio can be great. Some people love it. It makes them feel as good as hitting the devil’s lettuce. That said, if it ain’t doing anything for you, scrap it.

Use that time and energy for something that’s important to you–something you feel like you never have enough time for.

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook 🙂

 

4 Awkwardly Sexual Exercises You Should Be Doing

The title really says it all. Sometimes the best exercises are the least flattering ones.

Now considering that many gyms are probably the least emotionally comfortable place in the world save a locals-only biker bar in Stockton, CA, I understand that what I’m suggesting isn’t appealing.  

That said, if you decide you give zero fucks about what anyone else in the gym thinks, these exercises can help you get a bigger booty, happier hips, eliminate back pain, and unleash your awesome.

I would add that the exercise of not giving a fuck is healthy.

Hip thrust

You put a bar on your hips and hump the shit out of it.

No matter which way you spin it, that’s what this lift is. It’s also the most important exercise for bigger, stronger, nicer glutes.

Don’t chase big numbers on these. Keep the weight moderate and really try to feel your glutes working. At the top position of the lift, squeeze your butt cheeks together like your life depends on it.

 

Tactical frog

Another humpy exercise. This one might be more awkward. I think a more apt name for this exercise would be, “What my friend’s dog does to his pillows”.

 

Band seated abduction

Here you’re basically getting strong at spreading your legs. Many find it unflattering, but it’s a great tool for building a balanced, round butt.

Do these after hip thrusts to get a crazy burn.  Or do them before to help develop the mind-muscle connection. Make sure you’re focused on feeling your glutes contract HARD throughout the movement.

 

Jefferson deadlift

I call these hipster deadlifts because you’ve probably never heard of them.

This lift entails lifting a loaded barbell into your crotch. HAAWWWT.

The Jefferson Deadlift is one of my favorites. And not just because I get an odd satisfaction of people thinking I’m crazy.

While this lift looks bonkers, it’s one of the safer deadlift variations. The bar is centered directly under us which means we put less shear force on the low back. The asymmetrical nature of the lift also means we strengthen our weak links. Most exercises don’t have us moving in this rotational manner, so this lift can help prevent muscle and strength imbalances.

The best exercises usually aren’t the most sexy.

Sometimes they are, in fact, TOO sexy. This is one of those times.

too sexy

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Get in touch at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/

Weekly Fitness Reads: 4/18/16

RTS Coaching: The Reaching Deadbug

I love me some deadbugs! Here’s a great variation to break up the monotony of standard deadbugs. 

Shut Up About Toxins

You may have heard of 10,000 hour rule. Imagine how many hours your liver has been “practicing”. Hint: Humans first appeared on the seen between 8 and 6 million years ago. i.e. the liver is pretty damn good at it’s job.

Simple Tricks To Make Hard Things Easier

I don’t normally share my own articles on here, but this one has been getting a lot of love lately. Apparently people like it. I hope you do too!

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Get in touch at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/

Weekly Fitness Reads: 4/4/16

Social Sabotage: How to Respond to Criticism About Your Food and Exercise

Everyone on a fitness journey has experienced this to some degree. This a fantastic write up on the social hurdles that make fitness even harder than it already is. Unsupportive (often unintentionally so) social situations present the biggest detriment to success. The flip side of this is that the right group, the right community, has the biggest positive impact on success. I’m not saying to ditch your friends if they don’t know how to help you. I’m simply recommending you seek out people who are going through the same journey as you. That’s a different discussion though 🙂

Building Core Control with “The Bear”

I’m mortally terrified of bears. Any physical form of defense, outside of using tools, a bear can do better than a human. Think about it. They’re better evolved for running, swimming, climbing, you name it. And they’re certainly stronger. And they have claws and teeth. When I heard the name of this exercise I did have a moment of dread. Upon further exploration I came to realize this bear was not something to be feared, but to be celebrated.

5 Fat Loss Mistakes That Most People Miss

Most of the problems we have with fat loss are a matter of implementation. And implementation is a balance between strategy and perspective. I know that sounds vague and unexciting. This is because what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. We’re different people, with different lives. That said, there are some strategies and tips that work often and are worth a try. Just remember that this is all an experiment.

 

Learn more about sustainable, non-obsessive, no bullshit fat loss at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/

Motivation and Making the Bed

I don’t make my bed. Ever.

I think it’s a gigantic waste of time. And I value my time.

When I was growing up, making my bed was required. It was one of my daily chores. I had to do it… or else.

Therefore, I made my bed every damn day. And I always thought it was stupid.

I have always held the belief that making the bed was absurdly impractical. The benefits are mostly cosmetic. Sure, a nicely made bed is a little easier to get cozy in, but blankets are blankets. If you’re under them they’ll keep you warm.

When I moved out I stopped making my bed. Despite the fact that I had been consistently making my bed for 17 years, the habit didn’t stick.

Why?

Because I don’t give two shits about how my bed looks. It’s not something that lines up with my values and priorities.

Building habits isn’t only about repetition. For a habit to stick, it has to be something we want to do. Or at the very least, the outcome of the habit needs to be something we want.

The repetitive practice of a behavior is important of course. However, if we aren’t making the choice ourselves to practice that behavior, it won’t become a habit.

Habits need to come from a place of autonomy, not of authority. Surprisingly, we can become our own authority figures. As an example let’s look at the following statements:

“I HAVE to eat vegetables”

“I MUST workout 3 times a week”

“I HAVE to stop eating cupcakes”

Says who? These all describe rules we make for ourselves.

The nature of rules is that we’re meant to follow them whether we like it or not. If we make up the rules ourselves, we have effectively created our own internal authority structure.

And when we do things because we’re being forced to, by ourselves or others, we don’t build habits. We don’t build behaviors that will stick for the long term.

We might end up following the rules so long as they are in place. But we’re being obedient, we aren’t making the choice for ourselves.

This is a big reason why we gain weight back after dieting.

Once we let go of those rules, so goes the behavior along with the results.

The trick here is to build behaviors that we want to build. We also ought to realize that the rules are all made up.

We ALWAYS have a choice.

We can see this in the example of legality. People steal all the time, regardless of the potential physical repercussions. They have chosen to take that risk.

When we realize we’re making a choice for ourselves, with no coercion, we’re more likely to make that choice again in the future. Because we do actually want to make that choice, which is why we make rules for ourselves to begin with.

If you may, imagine your Fitness Coach says one of these two sentences to you:

A: You have to workout 3 times a week

B: Working out 3 times a week is a great way to move forward, but it’s really up to you

How do you feel after each one? Which one leaves you wanting to workout more?

I clearly hate being told what I can and can’t do. You don’t know my life! You’re not my real Father!

step ladder

Naturally I find option B more favorable. The point is, we don’t have to do anything. If my coach says option A and I don’t work out 3 times a week, I clearly didn’t HAVE to work out 3 times a week. I chose not to.

If we’re being realistic, we always have a choice, to our success or detriment. That’s just the truth of it.

By making rules for ourselves, we lessen our chances of building lasting, healthy behaviors.

We deny ourselves the option of doing things for ourselves.

Not only does the bed not get made, but we turn into our own mothers, which is just weird.